Google Analytics

Google Analytics is pretty neat. I instrumented my blog and home page with it so that I can measure if there is any interest in reading it. Curiously, I'm getting a few hits a day! If you're one of those readers, welcome.

The Iraq Occupation

The Prince of the Marshes by Rory Stewart is an excellent read, and summarizes the differences between incompetent bureaucrats and relatively effective administrators. I loved the quotes from Machiavelli that introduced many of the chapters. This book was particularly good because it was written by a Brit: he has a far greater understanding of history than most of us Americans.

Too bad the Bush administration didn't understand (and maybe still doesn't understand) that effecting governmental change takes a skilled bureaucracy and not just propaganda.

revolution in string instruments

NY Times article on modern string instruments

Fascinating. I wonder what it would be like to play on one of these instruments?

After the Thin Man

After the Thin Man was quite entertaining. Netflix is an excellent way of getting a hold of these old movies!

Scooby Doo!

From Around NY

We went to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons the night before the parade. It was quite fun, and there must have been tens of thousands of people there! Scooby Dooby Doo!

The Thin Man

The Thin Man was recommended to us by my friend Sanjay. Excellent film! The dialogue had a modern feel, much like His Girl Friday. And as a bonus, it was set in New York City.


We walked by a fascinating dessert place: Rice to Riches. They serve rice puddings! It was quite crowded in the store. If we hadn't been so full from dinner in Chinatown, we would definitely have tried some of their pudding.

There is a limit of 500 rice puddings per customer.

Asia Society

We went to see an exhibit on the Liao Dynasty at the Asia Society Museum. Yet another museum with free admission on Friday nights in New York! An interesting exhibit, if somewhat small.

The Asia Society Museum also had an exhibit of modern Asian-American artists, which I found to be pretty uninteresting.

One amusing item: there was a piece by a Hong Kong artist named Wilson Shieh!


We finally made it to Zabar's. It was utterly packed; there's almost no room to wander around in there! Quite a selection of interesting food.

Little Manhattan

We watched the movie Little Manhattan. Pretty good story about childhood infatuation/love, told by a adult-voiced child.


Here's a great web site with videos of squash matches. Fantastic playing!

Jonathan Strange

I tried to read the massive tome Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but it was just too dry. It is imaginative and fascinatingly detailed, but it just did not grab me.

Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs is the Hong Kong B movie upon which Martin Scorsese's new movie The Departed was based. We watched this tonight, and it was not that good: however, the ending was a better ending than that of The Departed.

Chamber music

Music at Marlboro played at the Met. Outstanding concert: the performance of Brahms' songs for mezzo, viola, and piano, was truly magnificent.

Lily Francis, violin
Miho Saegusa, violin
Eric Nowlin, viola
Katie Kadarauch, viola
Marcy Rosen, cello
Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano

Beethoven—Folk Songs for Voice, Violin, Cello, and Piano
Brahms—Zwei Gesänge, Opus 91 for Mezzosoprano, Viola, and Piano
Bartók—String Quartet No. 4
Mozart—String Quintet in D Major, K. 593

Tamara, Ieva, and Eric performed the Brahms. The rest of concert was quite impressive (the Bartok 4 was sparkling), but the Brahms is the performance that I will remember.


The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe was a mildly entertaining movie. But it certainly was not that good a movie. Perhaps if I were as young as I was when I read the book, I would have enjoyed a great deal more.

Stephen Brust

I managed to read through Dzur. Overall, it is an entertaining book, but after waiting so many years for this series to continue, it was also somewhat of a disappointment. Too little payoff (too few questions answered), and too many questions added.


I managed to finish Peter Singer and Jim Mason's book The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter while on an airplane to CA. It's a very disturbing book, and is a good followon to The Omnivore's Dilemma. I've been trying to shift my diet away from meat, and this book provides a lot of good reasons why I should try and continue.