Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 27th, 2006

One problem with Hong Kong movies

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I’m watching The Adventurers, in which Andy Lau, whose parents were killed by a guy who 20 years later is a crime boss, goes undercover to kill him and avenge his parents, but ends up falling in love with the crime boss’s daughter, who, married to Andy and now pregnant, is almost killed by Rosamund Kwan, the crime boss’s mistress, who herself has fallen in love with Andy, but who (alas) is evil as well as being The Other Woman. But, as the movie ends, she is killed, even though Andy, good to the last, tries to save her, and as she lies dying in his arms, she looks up at him, still in love, and chokes out her final words in Chinese—a poignant moment, as they (and we) think of all that might have been, a moment given a strange twist by the somehow touching subtitle translation: “Will you give me better comments?”

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Katie

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Katie, alert

The last photo in this little series about Katie the Canadian Kitty. Bye for now, Katie. (I like to think that she’s giving a little kitty roar, and all the field mice are trembling in their burrows.)

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Cats, Katie

Graphic: Deaths in Iraq

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This graphic compares the number of American deaths to Iraqi deaths in the current war. No wonder the great majority of Iraqis now want the US out of Iraq.

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 11:02 am

Posted in Iraq War, Military

Israel being tough

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This reminds me of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, in which 34 American serviemen died, and nothing was done—because Israel was, after all, our ally:

A new book quotes U.S. officials around during the 1967 Israeli attack on a U.S. surveillance ship as saying the attack was not an accident — as Israel has always claimed — but deliberate.

The attack, in which 34 American sailors died, was carried out to prevent the United States from eavesdropping on Israeli military activities, author James Bamford writes.

The USS Liberty was attacked during the Six Day War on June 8 by air and sea forces off the Sinai coast. Israel said the ship was mistaken for an Egyptian one and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson then accepted the explanation.

Israel later paid modest reparations to the families of the 34 Americans killed, and to the 171 others who were injured.

What the Israelis did not know, according to “Body of Secrets” — published by Doubleday and scheduled for release Tuesday — is that the U.S. National Security Agency had a surveillance plane flying above the Liberty.

The book quotes by name a Hebrew-English translator on that U.S. plane as saying the Israeli pilots talked about completing an attack. He said “they mentioned an American flag” — suggesting the Israelis knew they were attacking a U.S. ship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 9:42 am

Posted in Military

Thank heavens for clove oil

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I have a toothache, a rarity for me and (I hope) for most of my readers. I knew I had a sensitive spot on the bottom right: if I chewed something firm there, it “felt funny” as we professionals say. Then yesterday it started to hurt. Obviously, the treatment I was using (denial) wasn’t working. Clove oil is the temporary answer, and it works like a charm, thank God. And today I see the dentist.

If you ever do have a toothache, remember: clove oil.

UPDATE: Tooth number 29 (middle of right side, lower) is fractured. No fillings, it just fractured. (Chewing ice when younger? Cracking those thick-walled native pecans? I’m sure that it was some inappropriate use of my teeth. Reason I’m sure: the tooth now fractured is adjacent to another molar that, with no fillings, fractured, and both are where I would bite to crack nuts… Be warned.)

I am so glad I live after the development of good anesthetics. I have a temporary crown, and will have to decide on next steps: root canal (if possible) or implant and replacement (if fracture goes too deep for root canal to work).

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 8:30 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Medical

The magic of the kid’s plate: HbA1c = 5.4%

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I’ve blogged before about how nicely the kid’s plate works, and after yesterday’s visit to my endocrinologist, I’m more convinced than ever.

I have type 2 diabetes, the main cause of which (besides a genetic predisposition) is being overweight and sedentary (sounds ever so much better than “fat and lazy”). So it’s a lifestyle illness, one of many, and in my case it was triggered by some relatively minor surgery done while I was in the at-risk physical condition. (Surgery can indeed trigger diabetes if you’re on the cusp—or so I’ve read. In any event, better to stay far away from the cusp.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 8:21 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Medical

The yessable proposition

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Years ago I read Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project. This book is invaluable and, were I to create a college curriculum, would be required reading. (Here is a summary of the book and here is an outline of the book.)

Because I was so impressed with the book, I set about teaching the method to co-workers. I figured that this would not only benefit them, it would ensure that I learned it at a deeper level (under the rubric that the best way to learn something is to teach it). And indeed, it worked, and I now use many of the methods without conscious thought.

One I found myself using yesterday. It is encapsulated in this proverb: “If you want a horse to jump a fence, make the fence as low as possible.” I.e., if you want some specific action taken, remove as many obstacles and impediments to that action as you can. This is why soda pop machines, which used to require exact change (a nickel, in my youth), were successively refined to make change, to accept any combination of coins, to accept bills, and to accept credit cards. Each step made it easier to jump the fence—i.e., to buy the soda.

From this comes the idea of the “yessable proposition”: working things through so completely that the person whose approval you have to get is required only to say “yes” or perhaps to place one signature on a document. One example of this is found in the purportedly real memorandum Completed Staff Work, available at the link as a PDF file.

When I was a manager, I would frequently get requests, such as a request for a new computer. I was astonished at those who seriously and sincerely wanted a new computer, but expected me, as their manager, to do all the work. I explained the idea of a yessable proposition to them, and had them complete all the necessary forms and paperwork and then present the request to me in a form that required only my signature. I did not feel that this was particularly unfair: it was they who wanted the computer, so it seemed logical that they should do the heavy lifting in the request.

I thought this idea might work for you: if you want someone to agree to do something, do all the research and prep work necessary to make doing the thing as easy as possible.

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2006 at 7:37 am

Posted in Books, Daily life

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