Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hilarity, stolen from Gwen.
notes from Brian Brian's rendition of this was so hilarious, I had to post the whole thing :).
Hitchhiking my way through Kyrgyzstan:

August 31st was Kyrgyz independence day (or the day Kyrgyzstan got weaned from mother Russia) in case you missed it. To celebrate, several of us went to attend the national games festival being held n the next village over. We watched as bisexual men tried to see how fast they could ride horse while picking-up a rock of the ground without falling off. There was the ever popular “tried to catch the woman on horseback,” which is the game that led to the Kyrgyz “national tradition” of stealing women. The fun part of that game was when they decided to let the women chase back and the game turned into chase the man and then hit him with your horse whip.
Neither of those games compared with the grand finale. The British have long thought of polo as a civilized game to be played by the wealthy and the noble. The Kyrgyz decided to create their on version. You can almost imagine the conversation that took place:
Kyrgyz man 1: We should competeKM2: I agree. Let’s try to out maneuver each other on horseback to show our skills.KM1: Excellent idea! But what is the goal?KM2: Hmmm. We could try to throw something into a hole in the ground.KM1: Brilliant! But what to use as a ball? What do we have lying around?KM2: The only thing I see are goats.KM1: Then goats it is. We’ll gut the head off, and play with the body.KM2: Perfect!
You see the Kyrgyz are a resourceful people, so instead of creating a new kind of ball, they simply used what they had: a decapitate goat. We knew this was going to the game, but what we did not know was that the Kyrgyz like to play with a fresh ball. Right before the game started there was a slaughtering of the ball. So picture this scene for a moment: There we are in a throng of people standing virtually on the field as animals crash into each other with their riders trying to grab a decapitated goat, ride away with it, and throw it in an old tractor tire. Of course the whole time we were tossing back beers that were 11 percent alcohol (and not legal in America). So we had lots of things crashing, dead animals being tossed around, and lots of high alcohol content beer. You tell me this is not a redneck’s dream!Man, do I miss beers that are 11% alcohol....though a bar within walking distance of my place does serve export Zywiec, which is something....

It's hard to even know what to say or how to think about the hostage massacre in Russia. I seem to have inherited from my Polish side the tendency to simply give up on Russia's ability to become free and peaceful, which is clearly not the answer, but my default position nonetheless. Even as a matter of policy, though, I simply have no idea how a government ought to deal with situations such as this one. Someone clearly screwed up, but what would have been a safer, more successful alternative?

Gubernatorial brilliance "Gov. Jeb Bush urged the thousands hunkered in shelters and behind storm shutters not to underestimate the weakened storm.
"This is a huge storm," he said. "Tropical-force winds are a big darn deal.""
Frances kicks Florida's ass
No word yet on how my family is fairing except that they (along with a million or so other Floridians) have lost power, and will be grilling a whole hell of a lot the next few days.