Maybe it's the chill of the first few days of real autumn weather or perhaps a desire to grow into the title of Papa Souzek, but in any case I have decided to grow out the beard for the winter months. The idea came to me last night, I mulled it over all night in my dreams and in the morning the decision was made. As hard as it is to believe, this winter will mark the fifth anniversary of my last beard, which played a more than minor role in meeting and marrying the girl of my dreams, so why not commemorate it with another?
Make sure you go check out Dinka's new site design, officially rolled out about five minutes ago. Dinka did all the graphic design and layout work and made all content decisions, I merely put the ideas into XHTML and CSS.
This redesign marks the first step towards making souzek.com 100% standards compliant. With the exception of a few older posts (ampersands in URLs, img tags generated by Movable Type with the border attribute), Dinka's new page is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS, and RSS 2.0. And as if that wasn't enough, with a little help from this CSS float tutorial, I was able to code the entire site without a single table. These are dull facts to most but I am very proud of them.
Like most people, I receive a number of unspeakably filthy emails per day from spammers (I long for you, Spam Assassin) but I just received one that caught my eye for an entirely different reason. I use a text email client so I don't see the images that normally occupy the whole message, I just see text. At the bottom of this spam was the following:
"them.b as for the appearance come from?' d answered the 'from going to and fro on the earth and from wal up and down on it.' the 'have you considered my servant job? there is no one like him on the earth a blameless and does it become holy? the priests answered 'no.' then haggai said 'if one who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any"Curious, I decided to see if I could find the source(s) of this strange, cryptic message. As it turns out, the first part is from the second chapter of Job, verses 2 - 3, in which the Lord challenges Satan to tempt Job, whose story we all know:
"The Lord said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?'The second part is from the Old Testament as well, but from Haggai 2:11 - 14. Haggai is teaching a lesson about works through the metaphor of cleanliness:
Satan answered the Lord, 'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.'
The Lord said to Satan, 'Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.'"
"Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Ask now the priests for a ruling: if a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?'If this is a common spam practice, it's new to me. I wonder where they are pulling this text from, assuming it's done by some automated process. Is this crusading spammer trying to teach us all something by sending out indecent emails with cryptic Biblical messages? Only Nydia Jacobs (email@example.com) truly knows.
And the priests answered and said, 'No.'
Then Haggai said, 'If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?'
And the priests answered and said, 'It will become unclean.'
Then Haggai answered and said, '"So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,"' declares the Lord, "and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean."'"
Autumn is the time of year that makes Indiana tolerable. The leaves and the weather conspire to make you forget about the bleak and startlingly flat landscapes of the rest of the year. For some of you this may be hard to believe, but fortunately I have pictures from our two outings as proof. Our first trip was to County Line Orchard, where we picked apples and pumpkins and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather for early October. Our second outing was a hike through Indiana Dunes State Park this past Sunday in ridiculously warm late October weather. Being the young and active parents that we are, we chose the second most difficult trail, 3.55 miles (5.71 km) and "moderate difficulty." I don't want to make it seem like we're old and out of shape because we are totally not, but it was a challenge. I would say that carrying a baby and being pulled by a dog through the sandy trails adds a few points to the difficulty rating.
Click here to launch Autumn Adventures.
As of this evening around 8 p.m. it became official--we are going to Austria in January to visit our wonderful family and introduce Veronika to all of the aunts, uncles and cousins that she has not yet met. We will be in the air on New Year's Eve, arrive on January 1st, and I will return on the 12th while Dinka and Veronika will stay another week. As is always the case, my head is spinning with all the possibilities of things to do, but specifically I am wondering if a certain sister-in-law with a connection at the Wiener Staatsoper could arrange for us to see La Traviata there on Thursday the 8th. And perhaps my father-in-law could arrange some tennis and a trip to the Markowitsch vineyard to talk about my future plans with Lukas. Or maybe it's best to stay in more and fatten myself on my mother-in-law's wonderful cooking. Or how about all of the above and then some?October 07, 2003 | Comments (3)
Let me begin by saying that I have read almost none of the canon of important fiction. I just glanced at the list of books I have read that have appeared on various "Best of" lists (over at Lists of Bests, of course) with the intention of linking to it but after seeing it again, I am too ashamed. The reasons for this are myriad: spent too much time watching movies in high school, studied computer science in college, too busy reading philosophy for my "humanities" program, cannot read faster than a fifth-grader, and so on. In the year and a half since I graduated, I have taken steps to remedy this but the road through history's important literature is long and arduous. So whenever I make any grand statement regarding the world of fiction, please remember that I am still in the shallow end of the pool.