Letters to Holly

Tuesday, July 17

Wayward Box of Books

By now you know about the failed box shipment that seems to have gone to Switzerland instead of Snazziland. We received the shipment Monday but were confused by the packaging. Your Sis discovered she recycled it when we put books in the M-bags. I had to correct folks at the post offices in Mayberry and Asheville when they think I said "Switzerland." I'm not surprised that the local office bungled this; they're unreliable, and I've sent items from Asheville to increase my chances. I recall the woman who helped us prepare the M-bags. She was not a joy to work with.

We finished Return of the Jedi last night, and man, does it collapse into a pile of failure when the Ewoks show up. It's a Wrong Turn from which the film never recovers. The film does have a great space sequence as the ships buzz about the Death Star, and the Darth/Luke confrontation makes for some nice moments.

Picture of the Day
This is what the package looked like when it arrived.

In the News
I put off a news update for a while now, but a blog about things you already know about is a flimsy offering.

The all-night Senate debate IS political theatre, as the Republicans claim, but theatre is an essential part of politics. The Democrats can't get a successful withdrawal vote before the September report by the general overseeing the occupation. But recent testimony by the former surgeon general about the administration editing Cabinet reports casts doubt as to the credibility of what the general might say. The administration will play this one of two ways: either things are so good, that we can't stop now or things are so bad that we can't stop now. There will be no withdrawal of troops before the 2008 election. It will benefit none of the presidential candidates, and the administration doesn't seem to care about the success of the party once it leaves the White House. The recently leaked intelligence report on Al Qaeda is a double-edged sword for the people in charge too. It say that after everything we've done in Afghanistan and Iraq, the group solely responsible for hitting us in 2001 is virtually unchanged in strength or resolve. It allows the administration to say their efforts must continue unabated, but it throws into further doubt the efficacy of anything they choose to do.

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The Harry Potter spoilers are apparently up on Yahoo!'s front page. I'm not looking, but I'm resigned to the truth that I will know what happens in the book before I read it. The entire book is reportedly online in a few formats; one is a batch of photographs of each page. I'm online virtually all day; it's impossible for me to remain ignorant of the events for a month or so. Your Sis gave me Watership Down to read, and I should finish that before picking up another book. I also don't have much interest in the new film. This is the first to be released after I read the source book, and I admit that the absence of certain material discourages me from watching. So I've achieved that level of fandom for the books.

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