greg (grysar) wrote,

Happy 4th

[Edited 7/4/07 10:12 am]
This has been quite the busy weekend for me. I'm quite grateful that CSIS gave both Monday and Tuesday off, it's let me get a lot done I couldn't have otherwise.

The party went off well and lots of people made it. I've gotten better at prepping for parties over time, though still have a few tricks to master. I think once I start throwing them more regularly I'll get more into a groove and be less frantic before one starts. The one disturbing note was that as soon as brought my grill out the mosquitoes swarmed. Maybe I just didn't notice them before, but they seemed to be attracted by the mere sight of one. I spent ten minutes before the party trying to kill as many as I could. I had slightly less time than usual, because I drove my parents up to a Delaware train station. They're going to Philadelphia to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary today (the 4th).

I saw Inconvenient Truth Saturday. I quite liked it. It can be critiqued for focusing on the less likely but catastrophic scenarios, but that's a fairly standard form of argument. While less humorous than Michael Moore's stuff, it also stands up better. Also man, PowerPoint Keynote can be amazing when done right. Although it's crazy hard of course I shall have to try it some time.

Earlier, I saw Cars with kamalloy. That was enjoyable and cute. Not as good as some of Pixar's other work, but Pixar sets a real high bar to begin with.

I also finally did make it to Archives II a week ago Thursday. Unfortunately do to the laptop running out of power while in standby mode I lost the notes I took. The work lost is marginal, it's just tricky to schedule a return since I'm still car-less. The building itself is interesting. Researchers get their text records by putting in requests at "pulls" like four times a day. The documents themselves get brought down on carts that the researcher gets to use. It's interesting working with original primary sources, I've never really done that before. The rules were real strict, researchers aren't even allowed to bring in pens. Interesting side note, the JFK assassination papers are stored at Archives II. I wonder how many conspiracy theorist visits they get.

I've been reading "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. I've enjoyed it, but the second half is a bit weaker than the first. The story is a lot of fun for me because the protagonists are researchers. However, the research emphasis does cause the book to drag at times. Similarly the use of flashback via letters is fairly unsatisfying. I'm still enjoying it, but I'm afraid I'll have to downgrade my recommendation.
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