A New Pledge

We’ve been discussing The Pledge of Allegiance on one of my favorite messageboards, specifically how it is, by and large, ineffectual at forging unity among people… partly because those whose religious affiliations balk at the “under God” reference and partly because the idea of a State-enforced pledge smacks of exactly the kind of political structure under which Freedom will wither and die. My biggest concern is that it has become fashionable with our youth to disregard anything that hints of ‘Pride of Nation’ (not to be confused with Nationalism). This great melting-pot experiment that we call ‘America’ is but an assembly of sub-groups from around the globe with their own storied histories and traditions. How, in the face of an increasingly balkanized society, do we create National Unity that is palatable to all? The recitation of a National Pledge is very likely not a real solution. It’s the kind of ceremonial harrumphing that happens when people feel the Spirit, but lack the means to assemble a real solution. Platitudes. So if the existing Pledge of Allegiance is so offensive, if its recitation is flecked with what my uber-liberal friends perceive as thinly-veiled Fascism, maybe we can simply change the wording….. see what you think of this:
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Ending The Cycle

I have just closed the final page on the most compelling 3,000 page series it has ever been my good fortune to read. I feel happy, confused, disappointed and lost; for me, Neal Stephenson’s series ‘The Baroque Cycle’ is at an end. For the past few months I have lived with one of the three encyclopedic volumes of that author’s cycle clutched to my side, graduating from Quicksilver to Confusion to The System of the World.
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1993 Honda Civic Sideview Mirror Repair

A few weeks ago the manual driver’s sideview mirror on my 1993 Honda Civic stopped working correctly and I ordered a replacement from an online store. As expected, when the mirror arrived it didn’t come with installation instructions and I couldn’t find any with a ten minute Google search so I winged it. Near the end I snapped some pictures and thought I’d stick them on the website to help others. This isn’t a super step-by-step set of instructions but I’ll bet it helps a bit. Please be sure to scroll down and read the comments section, as a reader named Bart took the time to write in with some additional tips which may speed your repair (and preclude some of my former advice). I have amended this post to reflect Bart’s suggestions, thanks Bart!
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Cardboard Stormtroopers 2006

Box Robot Troopers
Update: Now there are videos about us on YouTube! Take a look at us in the DragonCon Parade, here’s a closer angle and here’s the news report where Alfeo and I are interviewed. Track all the new photos of our costumes on Flickr! If you’ve missed earlier posts about my cardboard robots don’t miss reading about how it all started, our 2005 box costumes, the cardboard underwear I made for a friend, and the challenge that led to this year’s hijincks.

Alfeo, Elliott and I suited up in the parking garage of the downtown Atlanta Hilton on Saturday morning and headed upstairs to begin walking down to Woodruff Park. I was bitching everyone out, telling them to hurry up. That went over famously.

Exiting the elevator, I figured that the first 20 people we ran into would provide us with a good idea of how we’d be received elsewhere for the rest of the day. We were particularly worried that the “real” stormtroopers would take demonstrable umbrage at our cardboard costumes, which was never my intent.
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Revenge of the Nerds

While I was clomping around the dealers room DragonCon in a cardboard box yesterday some folks came up to ask me if I knew Katie Troebs (the answer was of course “Yes”). They said that she’d told them to be on the lookout for me, which leads me to suspect that one of those folks was the production designer for the remake of Revenge of the Nerds that’s set to start shooting here in a month or so. Most of you guys already know that McG, who finished shooting We Are Marshall here in Atlanta a few months ago is one of the producers of ‘Nerds. I don’t know how much the world needed a remake of that movie, but someone has to stand up for the Nerds…. so until my romantic comedy set at a con goes in front of readers again this fall, ‘Nerds will have to do~

Update: a little birdy has informed me that there will be a guy wearing a cardboard robot suit in a very recent rewrite of the ‘Nerds’ movie… homage or hijack? Time will only tell!