The Bow-Tied Blogger

The life and adventures of one soldier and his various journeys.

  Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Six Weird Facts!!

I wasn't tagged per say, but I'll join Irina's meme :)

1) I am not comfortable dressing down. I don't own anything more casual than a golf shirt and slacks. I have no problem with how other people dress, but I follow a self-imposed dress code.

2) If I develop an interest in a subject, I tend to get downright obsessive until something else catches my attention. This tends to greatly annoy my family and has caused me to lose a few friends.

3) So far, I do not need glasses, even for reading, though I have always found a woman more attractive if she wears glasses.

4) My godmother is a lapsed Catholic and in the last year and a half, my old faith has evaporated (but now I have been wandering in an abyss and will soon find the comfort of another faith rich in history and tradition, though more will be revealed on that later if I haven't told you anything yet), and I wonder how this will affect my own godson's faith.

5) I have a fondness for fashions considered outdated. I want white tie and tails when I get married, and I like bowties, along with three-piece suits, and I wear a bath robe at night.

6) It is odd for a male perhaps, but when I was 12, I had a baby kitten I named Attila, and I was very fond of him and loved him dearly. He died almost six years ago, and I still miss him, though my mother has berated me for expending so much emotion on a cat, when I have never shown that level of feeling toward another human being. I returned from Army training to my old house and without Attila meowing, I couldn't stand the place and was glad she sold the house.

  Monday, December 25, 2006

He really was President for Life!!

Saparmurat Niyazov, First President of Turkmenistan. He died on December 21 of cardiac arrest. Ironically his political party is the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, yet there was little democracy. Hopefully after his lifetime term expired, there will be an improvement in economic freedom, human rights, and some actual competition for leadership.

I doubt most people will even take much interest in this, but I always find it a bit amusing when a "President for Life" dies. I sure hope this one does and soon.

BTW, if you thought this was a Christmas post, that's a big negative. In fact, this sentence is all I will mention of Christmas, so Bah Humbug :)

  Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Chanukah videos!!!

I was looking for some videos for Chanukah to add before the festival is over. Enjoy:

And this reminds me to get some Chinese food if possible for Monday.

  Thursday, December 21, 2006

Guess who gets an interview!

Not me, but that infamous fatso himself, Santa Claus. This is hillarious and perfect for the Bagel Blogger

Click here for the interview

  Monday, December 18, 2006

This is very good news.

I need to start setting up links to my favorite blogs and that should be my goal over the time off I get for the next two weeks :) One blogger I am very fond of is the Bagel Blogger, and I am happy to hear that his daughter is doing well.

  Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Chanukah!

Today is the 25th of Kislev, and the first night of Chanukah, the eight day festival of lights, as well as rededication. It is also great for latkes and sufganiyot as well as chocolate coins which go with the dreidel.

When I first learned about Judaism at age 10, it was because I bought a fun little book about Chanukah, and learned about Judah Maccabee as well as Antiochus IV, a nasty little tyrant. The story started when Alexander the Great conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judea, and the Judeans were allowed to live and worship in peace as long as they paid taxes to the Seleucids, until 175 BCE when Antiochus IV ascended the throne, and he decided to be a schmuck and started a series of progroms against the Jewish people. In 167, he ordered a temple of Zeus in Jerusalem. As a response Matthias, a priest, and his five sons John, Simon, Eleazar, Jonathan, and Judah started a revolt against the Syrians. The next year, Matthias died and Judah took the lead, as well as earning the name Maccabee (the Hammer), making Judah Maccabee the original Hebrew Hammer :) A year later, the Maccabees won and the Syrians were driven out of Jerusalem.

Now, the miracle has nothing to do with the military victory. Instead it is about the olive oil used to light the menorah in the Temple. There was only enough oil for one day, but it lasted eight days, until more olive oil was attained.

Another aspect of Chanukah is the dreidel. The dreidel is a top with four sides and a letter on each side, The letters nun, gimmel, hey, and shin stand for Nes Gadol Haya Sham (a great miracle happened there), while in Israel the Sham is repalced with Po, because in Israel, it is more accurate to say the a "great miracle happened here."

The purpose of the dreidel was a cover, since the Syrians outlawed Judaism, so when Jewish students were learning, a lookout was posted, so that when Syrain thugs were nearby the students could pull out a dreidel and some money, so they'd appear to be gambling instead of learning the Torah. Nowadays, the dreidel is used as a fun game and the gelt (chocolate or real coins) represent the money that was used for the cover.

In some ways history repeats itself as Israel is still menaced by Syria (also Ahmenidinnerjacket could be regarded as a modern day Haman, but let's save that for Purim), though Syria does not rule Israel, as it did during Greek and Roman rule (the Governor was in Damascus while a praetorian praefect ruled over Jerusalem), and while it took two years to kick the Syrians out of Judea. A modern day Maccabee could smash Syria within two weeks, or maybe even during the eight days of Chanukah, which would make for great dramatic effect.

This evening, 19 years later, I went to my first Chanukah party, which was very nice and filled with knowledge, fun songs, and great food. While I knew some things about Chanukah and can learn the rest through wikipedia, it is even better to experience it. I hope everyone who reads this post is having a Happy Chanukah, whether you're Jewish or goyim, or somewhere in between :)

  Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meme Time.

So far, my two favorite ladies Have done this 150 question meme, so it's time for me to enjoy my conspiracy femme fatales :)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
Big negative, unless it's water :)

02. Swam with wild dolphins (wadded through water)
Nope and after seeing King oh the Hill, I'd be skiddish about that.

03. Climbed a mountain
Kinda, but almost feel..I am not too fond of heights, unless I can hold on to something, or someone.

04. Taken a Ferreira for a test drive
Nah, but that was an awesome scene in Scent of A Woman

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
Nope, but I've been inside the Hagia Sophia

06. Held a tarantula
Can't say that I have.

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
No, but that sounds like a great Honeymoon event..change bath with jacuzzi and that sounds like a plan.

08. Said "I love you" and meant it
Well, I thought I was in love, and I may have been, but it didn't last.

09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
I'm a bit of a wous.

11. Visited Paris
No, but I joked about invading it when I was stationed in Germany.

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
No. Never been at sea.

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
Yes, back in the end of 99.

14. Seen the Northern Lights
Yes, in Newfoundland.

15. Gone to a huge sports game
I doubt High school football counts and I just sold programs for Key Club.

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
Crowd was too long, but I saw it and took pictures.

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars
Yes, gotta love the Army (when I am out of the field).

20. Changed a baby's diaper
Big negative. Maybe one day in the future, after I get married and have the candlelit bath with my future wife, whoever she is :)

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
No...I'd be tying myself to the basket out of fear.

22. Watched a meteor shower
Can't say that I have.

23. Gotten drunk on champagne
I hate champagne.

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
That is being a pious fool. Besides, tzedekah is a better concept than charity.

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20 years ago.

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
All too often and during a religious retreat.

27. Had a food fight
I avoid such things.

28. Bet on a winning horse
I never bet the horses. I bet 75 cents on an Air Force base in Germnay and lost.

29. Asked out a stranger
Yes, and she's still friends with me, but no relationship emerged.

30. Had a snowball fight
Oddly enough I did have one with my father, but being New Orleans only three snowballs could be arranged.

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
That make my throat feel so sore.

32. Held a lamb
No, but they are so tasty :)

33. Seen a total eclipse of the moon.
I would have if not for the clouds, back in '89

34. Ridden a roller coaster
Yes, and it made me queasy

35. Hit a home run
I think once in Phys ed years ago.

36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
I got goaded into it and I was pretty carefree then, but the jerk teased me about it relentlessly for months to come.

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
For an entire week, actually. A Bronx accent. I can switch to several different accents within a short period.

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
Yes, but not just for one moment in time

39. Had two hard drives for your computer
Nah...I have never risen about 2nd class apprentice geek.

40. Visited all 50 states
No. I think I've been to 12 altogether.

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
No, only one person I'd consider caring for if she was drunk. Guess who :)

42. Had amazing friends
Yes, and I still do. Went to Avenue Q with two amazing, but very recent friends.

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
Not a stranger and I'd rather not think about that awful night ever again.

44. Watched wild whales

45. Stolen a sign
I like my rank.

46. Backpacked in Europe
Tempting, but I've work one in Europe :)

47. Taken a road-trip
Another bad memory and why I hate Christmas. Also, why I prefer not to spend time with my mother beyond once a year if possible.

48. Gone rock climbing
No. Maybe some day.

49. Midnight walk on the beach
Not yet. Maybe if a pretty young lady were interested....

50. Gone sky diving
I was in Airborne Training for two days if that counts.

51. Visited Ireland
Not yet, but it is where most of my mother's family is from.

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
Not heartbroken, but bitter and misanthropic. Another time in my life I'd prefer to forget. Stupid prom.

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
Yes. Great time with the right people.

54. Visited Japan
Tokyo's airport. I should do that.

55. Milked a cow
No, but I milked sympathy.

56. Alphabetized your CDs
Yes when I was 17. It was a very good year :)

57. Pretended to be a superhero
Believe it or not, I'm walking on air....

58. Sung karaoke
Yes, many times and sober :)

59. Lounged around in bed all day
I couldn't do that. I'd need to get up sometime.

60. Played touch football
I prefer not to, unless it involves very soft ground and all the other players are ladies trying to tackle me :)

61. Gone scuba diving

62. Kissed in the rain
No, but I'm open to it.

63. Played in the mud
When I was very young.

64. Played in the rain
With my mother, I'd be slapped in the face and yelled at for hours, then bitched at when I caught a cold, so no.

65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business
No, unless this includes a lemonade stand

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
Nice trick that would be.

69. Toured ancient sites
Well, I went to Istanbul and Sofia which had ancient but still running sites.

70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
Not 6 hours, but close.

72. Gotten married
I was engaged, but got dumped last August.

73. Been in a movie
That would be nice

74. Crashed a party
I'm not so daring.

75. Gotten divorced
Broken engagement was enough. I hope I never endure divorce.

76. Gone without food for 5 days
No, but 40 hours.

77. Made cookies from scratch
Closest I came was Pillsbury. That is a thought as cooking abilities can make me attractive to a highly paid career driven lady :)

78. Won first prize in a costume contest
Came in third.

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
Never got that far, but I took a gondola tram in Switzerland.

80. Gotten a tattoo
No. I promised my father I'd never get one and that's the excuse I'm using if any yahoo tries to goad me into it. I have no desire to do that anyway. I will also bring up halakha as a second rationale against it.

81. Rafted the Snake River
Not even the Mississippi.

82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
Tried to when my HS went co ed, but I was on the news for three seconds.

83. Got flowers for no reason
Nah!! Doesn't happen for men..well hetero men anyway.

84. Performed on stage
Yes, in grade school. I played Scrooge.

85. Been to Las Vegas
Not yet, but I'd like to see it. I don't gamble so I won't be a dumbass.

86. Recorded music
No, but I made a radio show that was fairly mean spirited when I was 15.

87. Eaten shark
Yes. Quite good.

88. Kissed on the first date
Yes, and not my wisest decision in the long run. I do miss the warm feeling of a woman's kiss. Any volunteers? :)

89. Gone to Thailand
No, but I've been to Singapore.

90. Bought a house
Never. Now a condo maybe.

91. Been in a combat zone
Yes, nine months in Kosovo and I made a nice amount of money cha ching.

92. Buried one/both of your parents
Well, my sister and I once buried my father alive with pillows and he played dead until we got nervous, then we all had a good laugh :)

93. Been on a cruise ship
Honeymoon option #1

94. Spoken more than one language fluently
I wish. I know very little Latin

95. Performed in Rocky Horror
No, but I have friends who have.

96. Raised children
I've been very careful not to have to worry about that.

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour I can't say that I've followed Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, or the Village People on tour or been to a concert of theirs live even

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
No, but I took an adult tricycle on a ten mile trip.

100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
Well, that also involved joining the Army, so I had help. Thanks taxpayers :)

101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
No, but one day.

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
I feared my parents and my mother's slapping hand too much for that.

103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
Yes, my heart stopped beating twice right before I was born.

105. Wrote articles for a large publication
university Economics journal doesn't count, right?

106. Lost over 100 pounds
No, but I lost 22 pounds in Basic while acquiring a few layers of muscle.

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
Thankfully I haven't.

108. Piloted an airplane
I am still struggling with driving a car.

109. Touched a stingray

110. Broken someone's heart
Yeah, but she's friends with me now, not that she was really in love with me.

111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a T.V. game show

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
Not even my ears.

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
Well, I am in the Army.

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse
When I was very young, like more than 20 years ago.

119. Had major surgery
tonsillitis wasn't major right?

120. Had a snake as a pet
I would like that. I love snakes

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Never been that far west.

122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
Not that I recall.

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
Not yet.

124. Visited all 7 continents
Three down and four to go.

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
Not interested, to be honest.

126. Eaten kangaroo meat
One day.

127. Eaten sushi
Excellent stuff

128. Had your picture in the newspaper
Yes, but my HS newspaper

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
I tried, but there was this storm called Katrina, so I wound up back in the Army instead.

131. Parasailed

132. Touched a cockroach
I think it was a cockroach. Not as horrifying as I feared, but still creepy

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
I think I did, back in New Orleans.

134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
No. I should

135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
Ayn Rand :)

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Maybe one day.

137. Skipped all your school reunions
So far, but that's the Army life

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
That would be neat.

139. Been elected to public office
Stuedent Council Treasurer. I thoughgt of running for state legislature at 18 on the platform that I was a virgin and that it would balance out Bill Clinton somehow :)

140. Written your own computer language
That would be neat, but I am more history oriented.

141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
Well, as long as it isn't a disturbing dream.

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
No. I wonder if I will one I love my mother deep down..that is the question.

143. Built your own PC from parts
Neat trick, but no.

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
I wish.

145. Had a booth at a street fair
Well, it was a unit event.

146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head (totally bald, in a 'previous life')
Well, not totally bald, but I did go through Basic Training.

149. Caused a car accident
Yes, with my psychic powers :)

150. Saved someone's life
Yes. I donate blood and I got a thank you card for saving a girl with cancer.

  Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Posting on History of Qatar in my Desert Baron blog.

Greetings to all who shall read me. My name is Thomas Forsyth, and this is my blog :) I am currently a Finance soldier in Fort Hood, Texas, and I will be deploying sometime next year, and I will be blogging about that in another blog of mine. This blog will be more about my daily life, or politics, or anything else on my mind. This blog will be my primary blog, and other posts will gain a link here. I also have a blog devoted to political pot-shots and googlebombing, named in (dis)-honor of Teddy "Chappaquadick" Kennedy, as well as posting to an excellent group blog named Culture for All.

Also, I am fond of bow ties and in defiance of the rules of sensibility and security, I will post a picture of myself in a bow tie :)

Enjoy :)

Copyright 2007 Thomas forsyth. I welcome comments