The Lone Quark

28 September 2008

Yo, Pirates, This is your lucky day!

Filed under: Pirates — The Lone Quark @ 8:36 pm
Russian Frigate Neustrashimy

Russian Frigate Neustrashimy

Russian navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo reportedly said that the missile frigate Neustrashimy left the Baltic Sea port of Baltiisk a day before the hijacking to cooperate with other unspecified countries in anti-piracy efforts. The ship was then ordered directly to the Somalian coast after Thursday’s attack. According to the British-based Jane’s Information Group, the Neustrashimy is armed with surface-to-air missiles, 100-millimeter guns and anti-submarine torpedoes.

The Los Angeles Times

USS Howard (DDG-83)

USS Howard (DDG-83)

A US destroyer is moored off Somalia within sight of a Ukranian cargo vessel carrying tanks and ammunition which was hijacked on Friday.  The Howard, a heavily armed guided missile destroyer, was in place to monitor whether Somali pirates began offloading any of the MV Faina’s 33 Soviet-type T-72 tanks or their ammunition, a US Navy 5th Fleet spokesman said.


26 September 2008

Asmara Architecture: No longer a secret

Filed under: Travels — The Lone Quark @ 11:45 am

Thanks to the beautiful photo book, Asmara: Africa’s secret modernist city by Edward Denison, Guang Yu Ren, and Naigzy Gebremedhin, the wonderfully unique architecture of Asmara, Eritera, is no longer a secret.  The attention that this book brings to the city is well deserved.

“Asmara represents perhaps the most concentrated and intact assemblage of Modernist architecture anywhere in the world.”  UNESCO World Heritage Center.

Here are two views of a house that I particularly liked when I lived there in 1968-70.

House in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1969

House in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1969

Entry to house in Asmara, Eritrea 1969

Entry to house in Asmara, Eritrea, 1969

25 September 2008

“Music is for building the soul, the mind,” Naseer Shamma

Filed under: Music — The Lone Quark @ 8:55 pm
(AP Photo/ Mohamad al-Shehety)

(AP Photo/ Mohamad al-Shehety)

Naseer Shamma is a renown Iraqi oud composer and performer whose charitable activities were recently featured in an Associated Press article.  His website (Adobe Flash required) has an extensive collection of audio clips.  This clip appears on YouTube.

For westerners, the oud is an acquired taste. It helps if you are a fan of the Spanish guitar.  This website on the oud is also worth a visit.

24 September 2008

It is not a blog without a cat

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 8:59 pm


This is Jefferson.

19 September 2008

Through the looking glass – darkly

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 11:58 am
Criv Cristinel Vecerdea

© Criv Cristinel Vecerdea

A few years in the Army gave me an appreciation for the value of black humor.  This little darkness in The Wall Street Journal seems to fit the times:

Predictably, all the confusion and anxiety already is leading to some doomsday humor. On the train Thursday from Chicago’s suburbs into the city, two traders were overheard having this mordant exchange:

First: “Hey, good to see that you haven’t jumped off a building yet.”

Second: “Not yet. I’m waiting to move to a higher office.”

17 September 2008

You get what you pay for – Quality Service

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 2:43 pm
IBM T60 ThinkPad

IBM T60 ThinkPad © Copyright IBM Corporation

Before I began graduate school two summers ago, I purchased an IBM (now Lenovo) T60 ThinkPad laptop computer. Since most of my classes were taught online, I judged that the computer was a mission critical component of my education and therefore spent real money for workhorse machine. The T60 performed perfectly and I graduated.

Two weeks ago, the cooling fan developed a new song (dry bearing?) and its end was near. Last Friday I called IBM’s ThinkPlus EasyServ toll free–number.  On Monday the DLH courier was at my front door with the shipping box. That afternoon the laptop was on its way to the Memphis service facility and it came home this Wednesday morning. All is cool and quiet again.

Service like this is hard to beat. Sometimes quality and a three–year warranty are worth the cost.  Thanks to IBM/Lenovo for a real warranty.

11 September 2008

The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 8:18 pm
At roundbreaking for the Pentagon Memorial

At groundbreaking for the Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial was dedicated today and opened to the public at 7pm. The Washington Post has a section devoted to the Memorial here.

Not only did the tragedy of the attacks change the way the nation thinks about itself and its place in the world, but the attacks brought people together in unexpected ways.

Last year the Post posed the question, Who did you call on 9/11?

I called my mother on that day and let her knew I was OK because I worked in the Pentagon. I was divorced for about 7 years. 9/11 made me think more deeply about my life. 2 months later, I called a woman I met once 10 months ago and I told her I like to meet again. 3 months later, we were engaged; 4 months later, we were married.

Posted by: Peter | September 11, 2007 6:46 PM

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