A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for September 2003

Another Close-Fought Chess Game

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2003 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Assorted


I’m sure Iraqis would have major problems with this proposal from National Review Online. Get the US to help rebuild Iraq? Why bother, since Iraq isn’t American:

As such, we would propose a fairer way to pay for infrastructure reconstruction in Iraq than the president’s plan. First, the dollars for rebuilding this nation should not be given, but rather loaned, to Iraq through the U.S. government, or better yet, through a financial intermediary, such as the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund. These loans should be collateralized against the future profits of the Iraqi oilfields. A formula which dedicates 50 percent of the oil profits to the repayment of these loans, could mean that within 10 to 15 years the debts would be paid off in full (depending in part on what happens to the world price of oil). Better yet, if the Iraqi government decides to privatize the oil fields through a public offering, some percentage of the sale proceeds should be dedicated to debt repayment. We would even go a step further; a substantial portion of the actual war costs could and should be reimbursed to the U.S. government from this oil money, because the ultimate beneficiaries of this war were the Iraqi people themselves.

I’m sure Iraqis will love this.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2003 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Assorted


(I borrowed this from Proletarios Epanastatis.)

Your meme, should you choose to accept it, is to rank the following bands in order, from couldn’t live without to couldn’t care less. To add value to this process, you must also add one band to the list, and remove one band from the list, before passing the meme on (including these instructions).

The Beatles
Fleetwood Mac
Rolling Stones
Paul Simon
Talking Heads
The Doors
Green Day

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2003 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Assorted

I watched Aliens last night with some friends, then continued on to watch the last third or so of Aliens Resurrection. Aliens was an awesome film; I was confirmed in my opinion of it being the best one of the entire series. Sigourney Weaver is a realistic action hero, and a realistic woman action hero; compare Charlie’s Angels. And, of course, there’s the element of acid-spitting aliens with multiple rows of razor-sharp teeth being such a fun Saturday-night adventure.

I have come down with something, some kind of bug that’s making the circuit of the entire Queen’s student population. I had hoped that one and a half years of intermittant work in the Children’s Library back home would have given me some extra immunity, but alas this was not to be. I slept for ten and a half hours; I feel better now, though still not 100%.

I’ve been spending most of this weekend working on school materials. I’ve caught up on typing my notes; now, for the writnig and sundry other forms of organization. We’ll be reading Margery Kempe’s two books for medieval literature, Foucault for theory, a late 19th century novel–Howell, I think–for New York literature.

Today has been uneventful. Some organization, more errands–returning library books, seeing a friend off on his practicum for his BeD in Oshawa, trying out the swimming pool (quite good, with water much warmer than that of the Gulf of St. Lawrence). Later, I’ll be going out for dinner with a friend.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 28, 2003 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Assorted

Power; and Gravitas

I’ve gotten involved in the Graduate English Society here at Queen’s. I’m the MA coordinator for the grad student listserv. I’m also in charge of organizing a weekly coffee event. Despite some organizational and publicity flaws (i.e. I only sent out the E-mail announcing the coffee hour twenty minutes in) there was good attendance. So that’s going well.

Today, I met the person I’ll be TAing for. Deena Rymhs, a PhD student teaching a course on contemporary literature. She’s a nice person, as are the other two TA students (one a MA student, one a PhD student). Afterwards, I checked out my office, shared with two other people. It looks good.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 27, 2003 at 1:57 am

Posted in Assorted

The day proceeded quite nicely. After breakfast and a nap, I went to the Stouffer Library to pick up some books, including Doyle’s Empires. Class (814, on medieval/early modern concepts of selfhood) went well, taught by the capable Dr. Scott Straker.

Following class, I got an ISIC card (free for graduate students) and proceeded downtown. I stopped by the public library to pay the 45 dollar lost fee aforementioned, but I also got (and have not, so far, lost) a B-52s greatest-hits package and Zubrin’s Entering Space. Then, to the Royal Bank to pick up a money order to order a 2300AD sourcebook–Ranger–dealing with the Ebers and their apparent homeworld at <a href="82 Eridani. I walked up Princess Street, buying Lou Reed’s New York and a Love and Rockets single (“Motorcycle” and “So Alive”) at a used-CD store, bought a canister of Tim Horton’s coffee for an English department coffee afternoon I’ll be hosting for tomorrow, and then went on the bus, #2 west to West Campus.

Turns out, though, that was actually #2 east. At least it was a nice tour of northeastern Kingston.

I found out upon my return that a dorm mate, Tim, met someone from the Island today. It was a woman who was a relative of the owner of the Water-Prince Corner Shop where I used to eat seafood dinners. Only one degree of separation; I’m impressed.

I went to the Grad Club with some dormmates at 8:30. It was wonderfully fun, of course, perhaps despite the inebriation (two Keith’s and two shots of something that tasted like chocolate milk, if you must know). I had an excellent time socializing, long before the alcohol hit me. I left at a quarter after 10 for Jean Royce/West Campus, but at the bus stop I struck up a nice conversation with a Palestinian (natally Jordan, raised in Abu Dhabi) that went on for more than an hour.

All in all, a decent day. Not that much work done, but not much that needed to get down. It’s just nice to be social, and relaxed, and happy in a way that I rarely was on PEI save when I was drunk (possibly explaining some statistics generally speaking, possibly not). Life is indeed quite good.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2003 at 12:25 am

Posted in Assorted


I thought I’d take the occasion to make it clear that things aren’t proceeding entirely well.

On the 5th, coming back from a street fair in the middle of the Queen’s campus, the zipper of my UPEI kitbag gave way on the bus. Unbeknownst to me, I lost three books, including an interesting Kingston-Frontenac Public Library book on empires. Alas, I haven’t found it, and neither has the bus company. A 45 dollar replacement fee will be owing.

And today, I decided to polish my shoes with black, in the third floor washroom. After the shoe polish exploded out, I spent a half hour cleaning up. The shoes look good, though.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 23, 2003 at 7:47 pm

Posted in Assorted