Well, it's certainly been a while hasn't it? So long in fact that it's doubtful that anybody still reads this thing. But just in case somebody does happen across this webpage in the vast expanse of the digital universe, here's what I've been up to lately...
I've been working a lot lately. And that's about all that I'm allowed to say about it. Sorry.
My personal life essentially revolves around weekends and afternoons. And since Amanda has been in Europe for the past month they haven't been all that exciting. I was hoping to go mountain climbing with my friends a week ago but I ended up coming down with a pretty nasty cold so we postponed it to this weekend instead. But the weather report predicted rain all day Saturday so we called it off again. There ended up being no rain yesterday. I was pretty disappointed.
Instead I spent yesterday straightening things out around my home and tidying up a bit. I own a lot of things. Most of it is still in boxes and is stuff that I've had for ten years. I made a pretty pile of stuff to throw out last weekend. I also had the last of my mice put down last Saturday because she was very sick and very old and I doubted that she was going to get better. Since the terrarium was already broken on one side I threw the whole thing out. My other little plastic cage I gave to the emergency animal clinic in case they needed to use it.
I also finished converting all of my recorded VHS tapes to XviD. With my new 460 GB hard drive there's really no need to keep those old VHS tapes. Electrons take up a lot less space than VHS tapes after all. Most of the stuff that I converted was videos of the musicals I was in, homemade projects, or just pieces of memorabilia. The movies that I want to keep I'll just download via BitTorrent for better video quality. Some of the tapes, like my Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies I kept with my Star Wars collection. When all was said and done, I had over one hundred VHS tapes to get rid of. I'll let Christine take what she wants of the commercial tapes and throw out the rest. The recordable cassettes, which make up the bulk of the load, I've managed to sell most of them on Amazon.com after erasing them and putting blank labels on them. I actually shipped out a box of eleven Sony cassettes yesterday. I sell them for virtually nothing; just enough to cover the shipping and Amazon.com's stake.
I also started reading a new book that arrived in the mail the other day. Tactics of the Crescent Moon: Militant Muslim Combat Methods by H. John Poole is so far a pretty enjoyable read. It analyzes and compares the tactics used by militant Islamic groups against "Western style" military units throughout the past century. So far, his conclusion in each conflict is that traditional Western military forces rely too much on heavy, strategic firepower. As a result, they generally lack the tactical combat abilities that Eastern military doctrine excels at. The book focuses so far mainly on matters of military tactical combat and less on overall counterinsurgency strategy. This is refreshing considering the plethora of strategic books available on the subject of counterinsurgency. This is actually the first modern-era book I've found that deals with techniques of face-to-face combat, which are just as important in warfare (arguably more so) as the "master plan". President Bush can come up with the best strategy in the world for Iraq, it won't amount to anything if a single battle isn't won.
Amanda-chan comes home from Sweden on Tuesday! I shall be happy to see her again after nearly a month! Moving her into her new apartment next weekend should also be fun too! I wish summer would last forever!