Nice lunch yesterday with cute girl, following on the primary result of drinking on Sunday night. She plays ice hockey and is currently replacing the front suspension on her car, which needless to say makes her more butch than I am--my manliness is not well-described by the cars/high-end audio/sports/fart jokes ideal that passes for masculinity in America. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, although there usually is; but in general there aren't many alternative role models for what it means to be a man.

You really haven't appreciated Shakespeare until you've read it in the original Klingon.

I feel sorry for the personnel of the Royal Navy: their lives now depend on Windows.

Fencing on Tuesday has left me feeling like I got beat up. My right leg especially is all siezed up from doing a ton of I still haven't gotten back to aikido since Monday. I'm genuinely confused about why I've been so constantly tired for so many months. There's no upheaval happening in my life, nothing I need to worry about...and nothing to really challenge me, I guess, and nothing to risk and nothing I'm genuinely afraid of. Maybe it's time to go bungee-jumping, finally, though in terms of deeper structural change I'm putting a little more effort into finding a new job. And, of course, getting drunk and writing weird personal ads, though honestly I've got more faith in changing jobs.

While I was ranting and bitching about SUVs the other day, naturally I started thinking about incendiary grenades, so I did some research and discovered that the original incendiary grenades were thermite. All I knew about thermite previously is that high school chemistry teachers will sometimes use it to demonstrate an exothermic reaction. I missed out, of course, since I skipped chemistry ("Do you ever regret not taking chemistry?" "Well, my grades were higher, but I've paid for it by having to struggle to understand the chemistry behind pharmaceuticals, psychedelics, and explosives."), and so I was stunned to discover that thermite, this substance which burns through metal, contains its own oxygen so it can't be smothered and burns underwater, is...iron oxide. And aluminum. And that's it. Three parts rust to one part aluminum, ignite it (a strip of magnesium is most common, but I've been assured one can use sugar as well), and get the hell out of the way. I suppose I could find a use for it someday, but mainly I'm thinking of the fun factor: 3000C (5432F) is more than enough to melt sand into glass (1700C). (That page is also the first time I've ever seen mention of water glass, though it doesn't seem to be clear, so I guess it's called glass just for being a silicate.)

The best part of learning all this is that someday it will be useful. If not directly, I'm sure it will help me get girls, right?