where'd I go?

Cape Cod, mostly. I trucked out there for 5 days this past weekend for a couple of birthdays. The trip was uneventful, though a bit harsher than usual: sinus pressure plus the lack of my usual coping mechanism on flights (Nyquil, and I never got off my butt to see if there were gelcaps that would put me to sleep just as well) made things a bit painful. I had a great trip, though, and got to see my brothers and parents and nieces, and saw Cape Cod and some family friends for the first time in what may be eight years or so. And it rained! So it was all worth it.

If you have Flash and sound, I cannot recommend highly enough watching the "Talking to Americans" show from the CBC.

Hey, look. Quantitative evidence that abstinence-based education doesn't work. No doubt conservatives can blame the 13% pregnancy rate on the teachers' failing to reach the students. Surely, if we can just reach these hormone-addled teenagers with the message that they shouldn't have sex, then they won't have sex. Right?

I have a motorcycle license! I barely passed the written test (I didn't study well at all, and it was hard), and for some reason they needed to get a new signature, thumbprint and picture for my license. I remembered to register as an organ donor, so now I have some gear to buy and to find a motorcycle. There are lots of Ninja 250s for sale at the moment, so maybe one of them will work out.

I had a great time at aikido last night. One of our guys tested for 2nd kyu before being deployed to Afghanistan, and I got to throw him around during his test, and then played with a bunch of other people...one of those nights where I felt pretty relaxed, and able to handle whatever attack people threw at me. It's a nice feeling, knowing that I'll do something. It might not be the demonstrated technique, it might not even be strictly aikido, but I won't just stand there.

Been reading a bit about the American educational system, which this incident reminds me of. One author posits that in fact our schools are working just fine, given that they were designed to produce good, pliable citizens. The quick read on this, with supporting references, comes from a 2003 Harper's article by John Taylor Gatto, who wrote The Underground History of American Education, which appears to be out of print (and now I'll have to find it).