Saturday, September 22, 2007

Being a Freak

I've always been the different one in the family but for the most part I wasn't too bothered by this as a child or even much aware of it. The fact that I had my nose buried in a book during most hours of the day and night (except when I was outside rough-housing with the boys, leading the army or the navy or the calvary, or getting into stone fights with the "foreigners" who lived across the alley) was something they pretty much ignored. It was just who I was, and they loved me anyway. As I got older I gravitated to others who shared my same interests and I had an easy time through school - I was not teased, I was not bullied. Today I guess I'd be called a "geek" but back then we were called "collegiates," "hoods" and "brains." Because I was pretty I was popular enough despite being "a brain." "Prettiness" is the grand panacea for nerdiness. I was one of the few girls in my graduating class who didn't either marry within a year out of high school or go on to college to get a nursing or teaching degree (those were the options most women considered back then). I wanted a "career" and I went out and made one for myself. Eventually I worked my way through college and then law school. Through the years I have been blessed in having acquired a close group of friends of like mind and interests. I usually don't think much about being "different." It crops up though, sometimes. It happened a few days ago when I went out to lunch with a group of women from the office. There were nine of us, gathered around two circular tables shoved together, and it was a congenial group. Several of the women were talking about work, a natural-enough topic, and several were talking about details of their personal lives, also a natural-enough topic given that women tend to be more open about these things with each other, although I wouldn't think about discussing some of these topics with anyone except the most intimate friend, and certainly not in a public setting. (Does this mean I'm not much of a woman?) And what was I talking about? I raised the issue of our distressed public transportation system which has been all over the local news lately. No interest - all these women drive to and from the office or get driven there by their accomodating mates. Since I don't drive, don't have a license, don't know how to drive, and will never own a car in this lifetime, this is an interesting topic to me, but only one other woman in the group had ever been on a public bus and she rides it primarily because she doesn't want to pay for expensive downtown parking. Strike One. I tried to discuss the leadership vacuum at the local level and the deteriorating infrastructure in our city despite sky-high taxes and our obvious "social" problems - all prominently featured in the local news for the past couple months. No interest whatsoever. Judging from some of the looks I got I knew at least some of the ladies were wondering "why does she want to talk about THAT? Strike Two. I then mentioned the story I'd read about Jolee Mohr, who died after being injected with a virus designed to carry a genetically altered gene to a certain part of her body in a medical trial to test this new technology. One of the ladies had read the same short article in our local newspaper, so we were able to discuss it a little, but even this story generated only mild interest in what I thought was an absolutely absorbing (and horrifying) subject. Not quite Strike Three, but close. I then pretty much stayed silent for the remainder of the meal and concentrated on my food (which was very good Mexican). I didn't want to push my luck, and so I shut up. After I got home that evening I conducted research on a number of different rather esoteric subjects and did some posts here at the blog - all on subjects that the ladies would probably not have any interest in and, on some, would probably think I was quite weird for even thinking about! It occurred to me this morning that I really am something of a freak - not so well-disguised these days, I guess, since the looks are fading, fading, fading into the depths of middleagedom. I spend hours on end researching the most obscure topics online, devouring books on history and I watch Top Model. Not one of the ladies understand why I like Top Model! More troubling to me, it seems they either don't read the local newspaper or if they do, they restrict themselves to Dear Abby, the t.v. listings, and on Wednesdays the recipes in the Food Section, and they don't watch t.v. news either. No one wanted to talk about the major news stories in our local newspaper. I found this strange and very disturbing. If these women, who work for a living, are moms, girlfriends, sisters and aunts, who are not silly or stupid, don't bother to inform themselves on the events of the day, what hope is there for this city and, more importantly, what hope is there for this country? If people aren't informed about the issues of the day, how do they form opinions - do they even have opinions? I don't expect people to understand my interest in subjects like the Amber Room, female infanticide in China and India and particle physics, but I am amazed at how naive I continue to be about how uninformed people are in this day and age, when there is no excuse to be ignorant of what is going on in the world around us! I don't get it. I don't understand this. How can people not be interested in what's going on? How can people not be interested in all the fascinating things going on all around them? I guess I'm even more freaky than I ever knew.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Night Miscellany

Summer is still here, even though this is the traditional first day of fall. It was in the high 80's today with strong winds out of the south, and a chance for thunderstorms tonight. The lawn is dry dry dry - no appreciable rain in three weeks. I don't know whether to water or try to cut - the lawn has that silvery cast caused by water deprivation and is laying down flat although it is quite long in spots. Oh well, I'll figure it out tomorrow. Sundown is before 7 now and the mosquitoes are out in force, I'm not going out there for blood or money! There's been a lot of hoo-ha this week over at The Daily Grail about an alleged meteorite that crashed into a remote part of Peru, not too far from a small village. Early reports alleged that villagers who rushed to the site saw boiling water in the crater and there were fumes. Later it was claimed that some 150 to 200 people got sick and went to hospital - although where this hospital wasn't clear since I doubt the village would have a place large enough to accomodate that many people! Anyway, the government sent investigators and medical personnel who did tests - radiation was suspected but actually to date (about a week now), no one has any radiation sickness. Actually, it can't even be confirmed that this was a meteorite. Pravada, picking up on a blog report somewhere, suggested that it was a piece of space junk shot down by the Americans for nefarious purposes (of course), while others suggest it was a piece of space junk whose orbit decayed, while others think it's the precursor of an alien invasion, etc. etc. Today it was reported that some bits of a iron indicative of a metallic meteorite were discovered - a few days it was reported that some bits of a rock meteorite were discovered, but the "crater" doesn't look like what I think of when I think meteorite blast site. Some have suggested that because the crater is in a volcanic (is that a word?) area it could be a mud-hole or sink-hole. Many have suggested that the initial eyewitness reports of boiling water and noxious fumes are more indicative of this type of phenomenon than a meteorite. All of this has been reported and/or commented upon by bloggers at the New York Times blog entry on the subject here. Well, it's all been entertaining, and quite amazing, actually, what people can dream up about conspiracies and aliens and what-not - and they're not even high on anything. If you'd like more reports, try doing a Google search under Peru meteorite - you'll get tons of stuff. Have you ever heard of "foreign accent syndrome?" Well, neither had I - until I saw this article. An 8-year old Yorkshire lad struck with viral meningitis had brain surgery, and when he woke up his Yorkshire accent was gone, replaced by a "posh" accent - does this mean BBC standard or the accents we hear in A&E productions of English classics? Anyway, "foreign accent syndrome" is a rare but well-documented phenomenon. Science is slowly closing in on its causes. Find more information here. Darlings, I haven't had the heart to see how Moro did today at the WCC Tournament. If Moro can't win it, I hope Anand does, for a host of reasons that I won't bore you with posting about. Chess related, for amusement this morning at the office when I should have been working, I visited Google's rec.chess.politics (it's something like that) and read what Mr. Sam Sloan has been up to of late. Mr. Sloan has what appears to be a never-ending bone-to-pick type battle going on with Paul Truong and Susan Polgar (mostly one-sided since they generally ignore him or out-flank him) - which seems to have been conducted mostly at the USCF "official forum." I don't intend visiting there anytime soon. My lefty-leaning Democratic roots seem to have biased me against visiting most "official" sites for anything! After sampling Mr. Sloan's rec.chess.politics posts for several months off and on, I think he sees himself in the role of a certain well-known Cervantes character - and no, I'm not talking about the donkey although sometimes Mr. Sloan does conduct himself like an ass. However, Mr. Sloan is a chess institution among some chess circles, and so one takes Mr. Sloan with a grain of salt, disregarding the garbage and enjoying the occasional tasty morsel he dishes up. One post today caught my eye, because I've been wondering about this myself. What's up with the 2008 U.S. Chess Championship? Susan Polgar, who promised on her blog to report there about what was going on at the USCF after she took her seat on the Executive Board, has been silent on anything having to do with USCF, beyond a few posts made shortly after she was first invested. I, for one, would be interested in reading more at her blog about what's going with the USCF and less (much less) about Ms. Polgar's new message board. What IS going on with the 2008 U.S. Chess Championship? Have any bids been received? Is the EB evaluating bids? Have any dates been set? What about the Women's Chess Championship? Will that be held separately, as a part of an overall U.S. Chess Championship, or will it be killed? I'm not asking for state secrets here - just some basic information. Is this information being revealed at Ms. Polgar's message board - to which you must sign up to view? That goes against my libertarian views! You don't have to be a member of Chessville in order to view the posts there - you can enter as a guest. Actually, speaking of Chessville and the good folks there, why didn't Ms. Polgar start posting there if she wanted to engender and encourage civil discussion about what she sees as chess issues? They would have loved to have her posting there and the influx of new members and views. Goddesschess has money for a 2008 Brilliancy Prize for the U.S. Women's Chess Championship. Will we be able to donate it???

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Durga Pooja Time

Durga Pooja Is A Time To Invoke The Blessings Of The Goddess Written by EditorsChoice Sunday, 16 September 2007 The weather turning pleasant, the autumn being heralded through the colorful leaves, the fragrance of celebration hanging in the surroundings is a sure shot sign that Durga Pooja is in the air. Durga Pooja is the biggest festival of all Bengali Hindus in the Indian states of West Bengal, Orissa, Tripura, Assam, Jharkand and other parts of East India and Bangladesh. Even countries like Nepal and Bhutan celebrate the festival with certain variations in the rules and customs. The festival celebrates the homecoming of the goddess Durga and is celebrated from the sixth day to the tenth day of the period of the waxing moon during the sixth month of the Bengali calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar the dates usually fall in the month of September or October.

Islamic Republic Demolished Parthian Bridge of Negin

Released today from CAIS, although it is dated August 20, 2007: LONDON, (CAIS) -- Islamic Republic under the guise of construction of a new bridge in Shamim Yaar, one of the districts of Masjed Soleyman, have demolished 2200-year old Parthian bridge of Negin. The ancient bridge was amongst the best preserved and intact bridges of its type remained from Arsacid dynastic era (248 BCE-224 CE). This news has been announced by Mojtaba Gahstooni, the spokesman for the Khusestan’s Friends of the Cultural Heritage Association (Tariana). The 60 meters in length was the best survived Parthian water engineering example in the country, which was demolished despite the 100-meter legal protection boundary, imposed by Khuzestan Province Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (KCHTO). According to “Gahstooni”, the KCHTO in 2005 announced initially a 700-meter protection boundary for this monument was set and the Islamic regime’s Ministry of Roads and Transportation was ordered to observe this and keep its operations away from the announced area. However, the boundary was reduced to 100 meters in 2006 by KCHTO possibly from pressure from the regime in order to pave the way for its destruction and later to claim that was an accident. Shortage of fuel has been announced to be the reason of delay in sending experts of KCHTO to prevent it from total destruction; this is while the Islamic regime spends billions of dollars of Iranian monies in Iraq and Lebanon. Until this moment, none of the KCHTO experts or the regime’s authorities have answered to the request for an interview. After 1979 British-orchestrated Islamic Revolution in Iran, the ruling clerics who are of non-Iranian origin have been devoted themselves to destroy and erase all the pre-Islamic Iranian culture and civilisation, under the guise of construction projects. The destruction of this Parthian bridge is one of the latest examples of their animosity towards Iran and Iranian nation and their rich heritage. ************************************************************************************** This kind of deliberate destruction of ancient culture just makes me sick to my stomach. The Islamic regime in Iran is run by barbarians who are getting rich off the loot of Iran. That's exactly why the Iranian government stood by and did nothing as Jiroft was looted for months after its location was revealed by flooding of the Halirood River in 2001. The Guard was in on the looting wholesale - and probably gets a cut at every looting site around the country. What a disgusting, vile regime.

2007 World Chess Championship Update

Moro isn't doing so well - Goddesschess can't seem to get its mojo working for him. In last place with 2.0 after Round 6. He meets Leko in Round 7 - I didn't check to see if he has the black or white - I assume white since he had black in the last 2 rounds. Round 6 Gelfand, Boris-Morozevich, Alexander 1-0 50 E17 Queens Indian Round 5 Grischuk, Alexander-Morozevich, Alexander 1-0 41 D38 QGD Ragozin

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Angels of Mons

I wasn't aware of this "heavenly vision" that occurred during the early days of World War I. Very interesting - I see it as a masculine version of a vision of the "Virgin Mary." The Angels of Mons Revisited From the Monday, 17 September 2007 By J.M.Sinclair ... WWI was a horrific conflict that took the lives of nearly nine million people and served to shape the subsequent history of the 20th century. WWI was also a war riddled with supernatural occurences more fitting accounts of a medieval war, than a modern one. Chief among these stories are the Angels of Mons. The Battle of Mons was the first major action by the British Army in World War I. After the forced withdrawl of French and Belgian forces, the British were left exposed and while they fought valiantly, they too were forced to take a costly retreat in the face of overwhelming German forces. In the midst of this retreat a strange apparition of angels holding back the Germans was claimed to occur. Accounts filtered to the media in Britain of three angels appearing between the British and Germans, protecting the British in their retreat. The angels appeared as larger than men, with a center angel in bright light, with wings extended, seemingly protecting the two smaller angels in the face of the Germans. The British interpreted it as St. George, and the story was used in the recruitment of British soldiers. But did it really happen? The seed for the story may have been planted by occult novelist Arthur Machen, who wrote a short story in the London Evening News about a month after the battle called "the Bowmen". Machen himself said the story was fictional, and it wasn't specifically about Mons. In fact, it wasn't even about angels, the story relates that a soldier prayed to St. George, who brought back a spectral host of bowmen from the Battle of Agincourt who fought on the side of the British. But a number of soldiers present at the battle swore that St. George himself had appeared at the battle and staved off the Germans. Its a fact that something did cause the Germans to waver, for a time they recoiled and withdrew which allowed the British to retreat, but was it St. George? The story of the Angels of Mons bears so little resemblance to Machen's story that its hard to swallow that it was the seed that led to the legend. Most cite a lack of direct accounts as being supporting evidence that the vision never happened. However, some direct accounts do in fact exist of the Angels of Mons. Harold Begbie's book "On the side of the angels". contains his collection of accounts describes the three luminous angels, though unfortunately most of his accounts are anonymous in nature. Other accounts exist claim that the number of angels was as many as five. All accounts claim that the German cavalry stopped in their tracks as their horses would go no further, allowing the British retreat. Significantly, accounts from the German side are almost entirely lacking. This general lack of witnesses isn't surprising in light that most of the people present at Mons did not survive the beginning of the war, which would grow into war of attrition mostly spent in trenches. In any case, the story became legendary in Britain throughout the war, and served to both boost morale and recruitment. Did Angels save the British Army in August of 1914, or did a public desperate for good news latch onto a fictional story and mould it into a legend? We can't be certain. But the fact remains that the Germans did waver in the face of something, whether it was fierce British firepower, or angels siding with the British Army, we will never know for sure.

Butterfly Redux 2

During our July vacation, Dondelion and I had an up close and personal encounter with a butterfly that wouldn't take no for an answer - until it got drunk on my wine! I told the story here, with a photo - not a very large photo of the butterfly in question. (Enlarged photo to the right - unfortunately, not the best resolution).

I followed-up with posts here and here.

Lo and behold, yesterday as I was scouting about doing research on Niobe, I happened across a blog entry about another particularly insistent butterfly and the photograph of that butterfly reminded me of our drunken butterfly :)

Here is the blog entry. I wonder if it's a relative of our Milwaukee butterfly???

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Koneru Wants Women's World Championship

Koneru Humpy eyes next year`s world championship
September 19, 2007

Vijayawada, Sept 18: Grandmaster Koneru Humpy said she has set her eyes on winning next year's Women's World Chess Championship. "

My main opponents are going to be Alexandra Kostenvik of Russia, Xu Yuhua and Zhu Chen of China and Stefanova of Bulgaria in the tournament. "I am expecting 2606 rank," she told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

Humpy said she will take part in the second Asian Chess Tournament at Turkey and Eueropean Chess Touranment at Macau. Both meets are being organised next month. Koneru Ashok, Dronacharya award winner and father-cum- coach of humpy, said "the 2008 world championship will be crucial for Humpy and I am confident she will realise her dream (of winning it)."

"I plan to set up a chess academy to coach talented children once humpy achieves her ultimate goal," he added.

Bureau Report

A Scary Story

Gene therapy likely not cause of woman's death From MSNBC Updated: 3:28 p.m. CT Sept 17, 2007 Govt. experts say fungal infection, not experiment, may be to blame WASHINGTON - A virus used in a gene therapy experiment likely didn’t cause the death of an Illinois woman suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, although it can’t be completely ruled out, government health advisers said Monday. Advisers to the National Institutes of Health said that a massive fungal infection is near the top of the list of likely culprits in the death of Jolee Mohr. Mohr, 36, died at University of Chicago Medical Center on July 24, several weeks after receiving the second injection of trillions of genetically altered viruses at the Arthritis Center in Springfield, Ill., as part of a gene therapy study for rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors have since struggled to determine how she died, though a massive Histoplasma capsulatum infection appears to be a leading cause. Advisers to the National Institutes of Health met Monday to hear autopsy results and other evidence to determine what role — if any — the injected virus also may have played. The genetically engineered virus was used as a vector or vehicle to carry a new gene into Mohr’s body, helping it to make a protein that would ease her arthritis pain. Mohr had suffered from arthritis since her 20s. “We can’t to 100 percent certainty exclude the vector but as was presented, the data would suggest that it’s unlikely to be playing a role,” said Dr. Howard Federoff of Georgetown University Medical Center, chairman of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. Federoff said the fungal infection, called histoplasmosis, was “near the top” of the lists of likely causes for Mohr’s death. The fungus is commonly found in the Midwest. At the time of her death, Mohr was taking drugs to treat her arthritis that also can suppress her immune system, which would have weakened her body’s ability to fend off an infection. Too sick for shot? Mohr also had taken both antiviral and antibiotic drugs in the days before she received the second shot. Panelists questioned whether Mohr should have received that shot, since she appeared already to have been complaining of sickness, including fatigue. It will take several weeks to complete tests that would show if any of the injected viruses migrated beyond Mohr’s right knee. If none is found, that would make it even less likely the virus played a role. The experiment’s sponsor, Targeted Genetics Corp. of Seattle, has halted the study and the 126 other patients are being evaluated. A tearful Robb Mohr pleaded with the panel’s members to keep the study on hold until they could figure out what killed his wife. “There is just no answer to the biggest question I have to the members of the committee: Would my wife still be alive if she didn’t participate in the study? If anyone up there can answer that with any certainty, please don’t put anyone in the American public in my shoes,” he said. Federoff said the panel could not yet answer that question but that it would seek to bring closure at another meeting set for December, though he cautioned that uncertainties could linger. The panel expects to have the results of blood tests in hand by that time. “I don’t think the data are in,” said Mohr’s attorney, Alan Milstein, who also represented the family of Jesse Gelsinger. The Arizona teenager’s 1999 death is the only reported fatality definitively linked with a U.S. gene therapy study. Jolee Mohr fell ill the day after being injected in her right knee. She was initially treated in Springfield, Ill., but transferred to Chicago on July 18. She arrived with a puzzling array of symptoms. “We were at an initial clinical loss for the cause of all the current problems,” said Dr. Kyle Hogarth, who treated her in the intensive care unit. She died 10 days later after being removed from life support. A nearly 8-pound pool of blood in her abdomen had crowded out her kidneys and was pressing on her lungs, according to autopsy results — presented after Robb Mohr had left his front-row seat in the auditorium. The source of that bleeding remains unknown but likely hastened her death, doctors said. The autopsy also found signs of fungal infection in her liver, lungs, bone marrow and elsewhere. Targeted Genetics officials previously have said Mohr might have died of the fungal infection. The study was designed primarily to assess the safety of the gene therapy treatment. Panel members also discussed ways of preventing study participants from confusing that short-term goal with the longer-term goal of finding a cure for their condition. © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. *************************************************************************************** See here for information about the Jesse Gelsinger case. I find this whole "genetic engineering" scene really scary stuff. While the "experts" can tell me until they're blue in the face that Jolee Mohr died of a "fungus" run amok in her body, I don't think I'll ever believe them. When I read about the Jesse Gelsinger case earlier today, I really freaked out! I don't remember hearing about this when it happened - seven years ago, in 2000! For Goddess sake! How many people will have to die while money-making ventures try to "perfect" this technology? Do we really know what the long-term impact of this kind of "tinkering" with genetics will do to humans (for that matter, do we know what it will do to plants and animals?) Doesn't anyone remember the "Eugenics Wars" from Star Trek and the horror (albeit fictional) that was unleashed on the world? Haven't we learned anything from Frankenstein?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Every Picture Tells A Story, Story...

This says it all.

Kramnik after drawing with Grishuk in Round 4, Mexico. What a hoot! Darling, you really need to shave, tsk tsk. You'll feel better, trust me. Have you been to a dentist about that jaw problem, it looks like it's dislocated - it's rather evident in this photograph, oh my...

Chess as Metaphor

Chess is used constantly as a metaphor, in politics, war and sports. Here are a couple references used in recent news: A chess match in Smithfield Pocono Record September 17, 2007 Do Smithfield Township residents play chess? Those who oppose the planned concrete batch plant on Airport Road may want to brush up on their skills, for they face a formidable adversary. ... If these residents want to be taken seriously, they will have to be innovative in their strategy, making patience and determination their watchwords. ... It will be an interesting chess match. Remember, even a lowly pawn can take down the king. General calls for surge in diplomacy September 16, 2007 Eaton is an intense admirer of the Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan -- "This is the next 'Greatest Generation' " -- but contemptuous of leaders who've put them in harm's way. ... The guy he (Bush) is hiding behind is a very good general," he said of Gen. David Petraeus. "General Petraeus is playing a sophisticated game of chess over there while the administration has problems understanding checkers." Is Belichick the Next Auerbach? Boston Daily September 17, 2007 Even before the tape scandal broke there was a feeling that, as the saying goes, Belichick was playing chess while everyone else was playing Chutes ‘n Ladders.

2007 World Cup News

According to the People's Daily Online, Women's World Chess Championship Xu Yuhua will compete in November at the World Cup: World Chess Federation's (FIDE) women's world champion Xu Yuhua of China will face world's 128 strongest chess players in the World Cup in November, FIDE deputy arbiter Dr. Gendengin Altanoch told Xinhua on Sunday. "Women's world chess champion Xu Yuhua obtained her champion title at the Women's World Chess Championship at Ekaterimburgo, Russia, by defeating Russian native Alisa Galiamova (2467 FIDE ranking)," Altanoch said. Xu, besides being a women's Grand Master of chess, is a law graduate, living southern China. She learned chess at the age of six. Xu, 29, with more than 2502 FIDE rating, obtained her current title by defeating Galiamova 3-0 in a four-game match and Galiamova decided to forfeit the fourth game since Xu's advantage was decisive. "Vishwanathan "Vishy" Anand, current World Chess Championship Mexico-2007 contender and highest FIDE-rated player, has won the World Cup twice, once in Shenyang, China (2000) and another in Hyderabad, India (2002)," chess reporter from India, Vijay Kumar, covering the World Chess Championship Mexico-2007 said on Sunday. Xu is the third Chinese citizen to become women's world chess champion. Xie Jun was the first, two times world champion in 1991-1996 and 1999-2001, while Zhu Chen was the second in 2001-2004. The first women's world champion had been Vera Menchik from England in 1927-1944, but she died in 2nd-World-War German bomb attack in London in 1944. "There have been a total of nine women chess world champions," Mexico's men chess Olympic team captain FIDE Master Alfonso Ferriz Carrasquedo told Xinhua on Sunday. "The other women champions include Ludmilla Rudenko (1950-1953) of the former Soviet Union (USSR), soviet player Elisabeth Bikova (1953-1956, 1958-1962), soviet player Olga Rubzowa (1956-1958), soviet Nona Gaprindashvili (1962-1968), soviet Maya Chiburdanidze (1978-1991), the last of the soviet women's domain toppled by Chinese chess Grand Master Xie Jun, Ferriz said. Hungarian Susan Polgar (1996-1999), Zhu Chen (China), Bulgarian native Antoaneta Stefanova (2004-2006) and current champion Xu Yuhua have also held that title, Ferriz added. Men's FIDE World Chess Championship Mexico-2007 is being played in Mexico City.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Moro World Chess Championship Tournament Update

Game 4 with Moro as white against Anand is still going on as far as I can tell. Sources I read report that Anand played a novelty move and Moro chose to complicate things even more. Here are Mig's comments about Moro's game 3 victory yesterday: The only decisive game of the day was Morozevich's typically bamboozling effort against Svidler. I swear that man plays some moves just to see the look on the other guy's face. It was one of the most unnatural sequences I've seen in a long time as Svidler chased Moro's queen around and Morozevich kept finding ways to keep material on the board. Eventually Svidler worked his way into a miserable position with two knights versus two bishops and a pair of mobile center pawns. How did that happen? The Moro works in mysterious ways. I'll update this entry when I know what the result is. 8:10 p.m. Moro drew with Anand after white's 61st move. The only victory today was Aronian's with white against Leko. The standings haven't been updated at the official website yet. Monday (September 17) is a free day.

Shopping and Cleaning My Closet

This is one of those "Everything" entries, darlings. Whew - it's been a busy weekend. Too busy, actually; right now I'm scrambling to get laundry done and I'm cleaning out old clothes in my closet that I'll never fit into again in this life because the Purple Heart Veterans folks are coming by to collect it all bright and early tomorrow morning. Tomorrow it's back to the office for the daily grind for another 40 hours. Goddess, I can't wait until I can retire! Saturday saw me in a shopping mood - a rarity these days. I used to love shopping; back in my 20's (ahhh, those were the days), on Saturday mornings my roommates and I would trek "downtown," which actually had clothing shops of all sorts in those days, and we'd shop and shop - searching for just the perfect outfit to wear to the disco that night or the following weekend. Then we'd have lunch at the counter at Woolworths. I had a collection of spectacular dresses that went out of fashion as quickly as they came into fashion :) When I hit my 30's, I lost interest in (1) disco and (2) shopping, but never in (3) men :) I also used to wear hot pants. LOL! I used to wear my hair in a "shag." Does anyone out there still remember the "Sasoon" cut? Double LOL! So, my knees are aching like the dickens since 2:00 p.m. because the weather is changing - it's supposed to get back to summer here for the next week, a welcome relief from "end-of-October" temperatures! The "oh-my-knees-are-aching" is a good excuse to NOT shove around the lawn mower for several hours cutting the front and back yards - but the grass is growing so, alas, I must do it sooner or later, unless I can hire someone tomorrow to do it for me - I've had it with grass cutting for the season. It was pleasant enough this afternoon to sit on the deck for an hour and read the sales papers from the gigantic Sunday newspaper. It's not Sunday if I can't read those sales papers, you know, although I rarely make a note to go out and buy anything I see in them these days. Okay - back to shopping - I hit the mall at 9:26 a.m. yesterday and several stores weren't yet open, but I had a goal in mind (four pairs of dress slacks for the office in assorted colors) and Kohl's was open. By 10 the rest of the mall was open for business and I crossed back and forth in search of the perfect-fitting pair of dress slacks four times on the top level, and four times on the bottom level. I stopped for lunch at 1:00 p.m. or thereabouts, and exhausted and disappointed with my miniscule shopping haul, I decided to get my hair cut after stuffing myself with a Big Mac Meal. Okay-no comments about the obvious here, please! Alas, the Regis salon that used to be at the Mall isn't there anymore, and so I left bereft, sans four pairs of dress slacks and sans haircut, but happy with a Big Mac in my stomach making me sleepy... Forever sunny of nature (ahem), I am one of those people who sees the glass half full rather than half empty. Although I tried on dozens of slacks and was getting more and more depressed as the sizes kept getting larger and larger, I did find two pair that fit to perfection. I had better luck with tops - two sweaters and two blouses were added to my haul. When I got home I went online and was able to hunt down and purchased three different colored pairs of slacks of the same brand, cut and size (I sure hope they are the same size as those that fit me at the Mall) that I could NOT find at the Mall. I ask you, what the hell are Malls coming to, when a woman who wants to shop cannot find something to buy??? I swear there's a conspiracy going on among clothing designers - they all hate women! - and is it my imagination or are most of the clothing designers gay men these days? I have nothing against gay men (or gay women, either), except it seems to me that the gay men design clothing for stick figures, not for real women with curves and bulges! Well, not just the gay men - all those damned designers! A pox on them all! And the sizing, oi yay! We've sent men to the Moon and still have land-rovers running around on Mars continuing to obtain and transmit scientific information back to us years after their useful lives were supposed to have gone kaput! And yet we don't have a uniform system of sizing clothing for women! Ridiculous! In some things I'm a size 10; in other things I can't get a leg into a size 10, or an arm either, for that matter - and the sizes climb into the 1X, 2X, 3X, etc. Come now, I'm not a 3X - whatever that means (it's just really big, like a tent). Generally I'm a size 16; 0kay, no cracks about the size, not until you've tried on as many clothes over the years as I have. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, you know. I've got a generous figure - my beanpole days ended when I hit 48. I don't mind it, generally, I like how I look. But it's a real pain in the butt shopping for clothes that fit me and are suitable for my age and profession when the fashion industry insists on producing clothing for Twiggy-sized teenagers who all want to look like Brittany Spears. Like - Gag Me! Even worse, this same fashion industry now produces those Twiggy-size Brittany slutty fashions in sizes that might fit me, if only I would try them on. Except the clothing is designed for an 8 year old who wants to look like a hooker, not a ___ year old who uses wrinkle eraser cream at night :) I would look absolutely ridiculous in such outfits - believe me - I've seen women of my age and relative size trying to wear them in public - shame shame shame... I'm too frugal - and realistic - to waste my money on such nonsense! Okay, so I hauled my newly-purchased clothing home and tackled the closet - continued today (in between bouts of laundry). Every outfit tells a story, story (wasn't that a Rod Stewart song years ago???) So, it's taking much longer to do this cleaning-out stuff than I thought would. For instance, there's the size 6 "dusty pink" number I wore to the wedding reception of an attorney (who married his thrice-divorced secretary) in - I think it must have been 1987 - who was later disbarred for embezzling client funds...There's the size 12 100% polyester black crinkled pants-set with white and yellow daisies (what was I thinking?)...there's the size minus 2 maroon chiffon number I wore in Las Vegas back in - well, never mind, let's just say I had a lot of success with that maroon chiffon number :). And then there are the "career" additions to the closet from years past - pink, green and lavender suits that haven't been in fashion in - well, never mind (again) - all sizes 6 and 8. There are also the more "serious" size 10, 12 and 14 suits, in navy, grey and black - and one red tartan plaid (what was I thinking?) Oh - and jumpers - jumpers? - that look like they'd fit my 8 year old niece... It's painful to part with those jumpers - they're so damned cute! Well, you get the idea. And don't even get me started on the shoes... I was much smarter with my purse purchases, thank goddess for small favors!
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