Thursday, December 30, 2004

Charlotte Simmons Fini

I finished "I am Charlotte Simmons" by Tom Wolfe, all 657 pages of it. Here is how I rate the TW books I have read:

1) The Right Stuff (one of the best books non-fiction I have ever read)
2) The Bonfire of the Vanities (sets the tone for the Wolfe archetype, all the rest of his books follow the same SOP)
3) A Man in Full
4) I am Charlotte Simmons

Notice a trend? Yes, I think he is declining with age, but a #4 on this list is better than 90% of the rest of the garbage that is out there.

Strange that in the twilight of his years, Wolfe would choose college life to write about. As such, he misses the mark (did anyone think a 70 year old white man would hit it?) with his portrayal of a modern college campus. Who hits on girls by telling them how much they look like Britney Spears? Who says or thinks the word "insouciant"? Also - I imagine this book will read horribly dated in 2-3 years (so read it now, I guess).

Still, an enjoyable read - although I'm not sure everyone will be happy with the ending. Suspension of disbelief is a bit of a necessity to get through the tome... but still - there is enough reality in "Charlotte Simmons" to send me into some distress about sending my own daughter to someplace like the fictional Dupont. Good thing she is only 2 months old.

Red Flag at IMAX

A buddy of mine, Tractor, is in the new IMAX movie about fighters at Red Flag. He's the "Aggressor" in the film. Go check it out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Singing Mommy Web Log (Wife's Blog)

Here is a link to my wife's web log, Singing Mommy Blog.

Monday, December 27, 2004


This was a good one... highly recommended,

Action/Adventure 1 hr. 36 min. In a distant war torn land, a ruthless emperor is rising to power with an iron fist and his massive armies. To control everything, he will stop at nothing. International action star Jet Li is a fearless warrior with no name on a mission of revenge for the massacre of his people.
Release Date: August 27, 2004 (wide).
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality.
Distributor: Miramax

Dodo on-line

Some geek humor from my college's underground e-paper

Poll shows troops in support of war

Poll shows troops in support of war
Mon Dec 27, 8:27 AM ET

Top Stories -
By Robert Hodierne, Army Times
Despite a year of ferocious combat, mounting casualties and frequent deployments, support for the war in Iraq (news - web sites) remains very high among the active-duty military, according to a Military Times Poll.

Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush (news - web sites) is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.
But the men and women in uniform are under no illusions about how long they will be fighting in Iraq; nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.
In addition, 87%% say they're satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they'd leave the service.
Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged.
A year ago, 77% said they thought the military was stretched too thin to be effective. This year, that number shrank to 66%.
The findings are part of the annual Military Times Poll, which this year included 1,423 active-duty subscribers to Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times.
The subscribers were randomly surveyed by mail in late November and early December. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.6%.
Among the poll's other findings:
• 75% oppose a military draft.
• 60% blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone.
• 12% say civilian Pentagon (news - web sites) policymakers should be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq

Code One Magazine

Here's a link to Code One magazine, Lockheed Martin's trade magazine. Has good information on F-16, F-22, and F-35. Archives have some pretty good F-16 pictures.

Flying in Europe

Flying in Europe is ridiculously cheap... even with the tragically weak dollar. Check it out.

All family pictures are saved at

If I know you and you want to see the pictures, comment with email and I'll send you an Ofoto invite.

European Quick Trips

A link to some quick day trips in Europe.

Charlotte Simmons

Currently reading "I am Charlotte Simmons" by Tom Wolfe. Pretty good so far... done with 1st 100 pages or so and he's used the F word 89 times. Also, at least 10 people have done the nasty. It's a book about modern college life, so I guess it's pretty spot on.

But what would I know? I went to college at a small engineering school for boys in the mountains.