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July 31, 2005


I've been on the search for some new tea lately and rediscovered Republic of Tea while browsing in Cardullo's over the weekend. In particular I was looking for caffeine free teas. I ran across three that are all very yummy.

  • Lemon Wintergreen
    : A great mint based tea with the kick of lemon grass. Great for sipping after lunch.

  • Republic Red Chai: The best non-caffeinated chai tea I've had. Very flavorful.

  • Cedarberg Organic Red Tea: Wonderful substitute for black tea and a great base for mixing with lemons, honey, or both.

July 30, 2005

Lincoln at Gettysburg

I was astounded that such an incredible book could be written about a speech that lasted only 272 words, but Garry Wills has done just that in Lincoln at Gettysburg. Wills dives into details about the political climate of the time, the structure of the speech, and many details about Lincoln that help show how the speech was written and why it had the reverberating impact that it did. With my spotty English, political, and historical background I know there are many pieces of the book that I just missed. This will be a great book to pickup and reread in a few years time.

20: "The power of words has rarely been given a more compelling demonstration." The authors' comment about Lincoln's speech.
31: "This displays Lincoln's normal reluctance to improvise words as president." A true testament to the time and effort that went into the speeches of the time. Anything said would inevitably end up in a newspaper and at such a difficult time for America, every word counted.
38: "He altered the document from within, by appeal from its letter to the spirit, ..." The Gettysburg Address in subtle ways helped transform the way the Constitution was viewed.
53: "Restraint deepens passion by refusing to give it easy vent."
59: This section provides a great breakdown of the Gettysburg Address and how it compares to an Epitaphios.
69: "The services will consist of music, prayer, an oration, a formal declaration setting apart the grounds to burial uses, and the Apostolic Benediction."
71: "..., as part of the nineteenth century's fascination with death in general and with cemeteries in particular."
80: "Towering genius disdains a beaten path."
101: "It was at this point in the argument that Lincoln distinguished between the Declaration as the statement of a permanent ideal and the Constitution as an early and provisional embodiment of that ideal, to be tested against it, kept in motion towards it."
171: Lincoln was very adapt at telegraph speak.
175: "In his brief time before the crowd at Gettysburg he wove a spell that has not, yet, been broken... he called up a new nation out of the blood and trauma."


I've now found a new mecca of sake in Boston: Mall Discount Liquors out at the Fresh Pond Mall. By far the best selection of sake I've seen in a long time. They even have write-ups on the shelves about many of the sakes. One neat thing is that the back of many bottles included a quality scale from eSake.com.

Besides picking up a new bottle of sake to try, I also found some cool glasses by Riedel. They will make a nice edition to the sake drinking set I already have.

July 26, 2005



From The Economist's Survey of America. The entire set of articles is a good read, this one statistic caught my eye though:

College-educated women are also postponing children for the sake of their careers. On average, they have their first child at 30, five years later than in the 1970s and eight years later than their contemporaries who have not been to college.

July 25, 2005

4 Weeks

That cold I mentioned in my last post was a beast. A beast with big hairy fat clingy legs. I ended up going to the doctor when my ear ache didn't subside, my eye clogged up, and the cough kept getting worse. Turned out I had a mild case of conjunctivitis. The antibodies really didn't do anything, which unless I'm backwards, means that I just had a really nasty virus. In any case after 3 weeks of feeling like crap and another week of only feeling kind of bad, I'm mostly back to normal.

The bad part in all of this is that I'm become a lazy ass dwarf. The fact that the Tour de France was going on didn't help since I was glued to the Tivo every night watching that day's OLN coverage. I continue to believe that Bob Roll should just be taken off the air. Shortly after an interview with John Kerry, Phil Leggitt remarked "I don't know anyone who is a fan of Bob." This was in reference to Kerry's remark of getting the Bob hand motions down.

I thought Lance's podium speech was okay. I don't know if it was rehearsed or not, but given his message of turning the skeptics, I think a more practiced delivery would have added more oomph to it. That is a nitpick against a man that, well you know the story. Seven wins. Absolutely outstanding.

This past Sunday was also the first time in four weeks that I've managed to get out on my bike. Man my legs are jello and my endurance is crap. Feels worse than the start of the season. I just need to remember to take it slow and build back up.