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Christoph Blocher out, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf in

As I said previously, I rarely talk about politics but the last couple of days have been just, well, exciting.

The charismatic leader of the far-right SVP (People's Party), Christoph Blocher, and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, who was a member of the SVP (but of the rather more tolerant Grisons section) is in as the Justice Minister. The SVP has thrown her, and the other party member who was elected to the Bundesrat, out of the party, and the SVP itself has pulled out of the government in protest. There's infighting going on within the party, and the news media here are calling it the biggest shakeup in Swiss government in 50 years and things like that.

I was going to write a whole thing about this to explain it to non-Swiss residents, but the SwissGuy has done it far better than I could.

It's not comfortable as a non-white person to live in a country where a small but very vocal minority with xenophobic and racist and protectionist views is prominent. Sure I may look harmless but, and I am, but still. I had to pass by those black sheep posters all the time. I ain't no black sheep! (I could be a cuddly light brown one maybe.)

In any case, this is really great news and I hope it does signal a turn in another direction for this really otherwise nice country.

Wow, they threw out Blocher. I hope it sticks.

I rarely, rarely talk about politics, here on the blog or in real life. I am the most apolitical person I know. I hate politics.

Still, today's news is quite amazing and exciting: Christoph Blocher has been ousted as a Cabinet member.

Things are not settled yet, but do I ever hope all the political maneuverings will succeed in throwing the old bastard out forever.

Maybe the tide is turning, finally, against the racist, xenophobic, sexist, paranoid views of the SVP.

Maybe blogs need to have an end as well as a beginning

I've been doing a sort of year-end clearout of my computer stuff. One of the things I've been clearing out is my RSS feed list. Some feeds are simply dead, and others I've lost interest in just because I've moved on. There are a few whose topic I still care about, but which has just deteriorated to the point where they are no longer useful.

I'm not talking about the sites which have withered away due to lack of updates. These sites are still busily updated, but the quality has gone down so much that they aren't worth reading anymore.

Menu For Hope IV raffle prizes

Just in case you are the odd type of person who reads this blog but not my food blogs, both Just Hungry and Just Bento are offering prizes this year for Menu For Hope, a charity fundraising even that last year managed to raise more than $62,000. This year it will earmark funds towards the World Food Programme's school lunch programme (or program, if you're USen) in Lesotho, Africa.

The Just Hungry prize is for the hedonist: 53 bars of Swiss chocolate (code EU13). And the Just Bento prize is for your favorite bento lover: a box of bento goodies plus a book with English translations (code EU14).

Go ahead and buy tickets for both! It's for a great cause, and will give you warm fuzzies all over.

I so need to clean the house

I so, so need to clean the house from top to bottom.

I feel the clutter and the mess holding me down, like a big weight. It's holding me back from doing so many things! Argh.

I need to make a list of where to start, I think. And I start playing with iGTD and OmniFocus beta and get all distracted.

This can't do at all.

A terrific essay On Being Japanese-American

Yoko from Philadelphia recently linked back to an excellent essay she wrote back in 2003 called On Being a Japanese-American. While my background is a bit different, there was a lot that she mentioned that resonated with me, as it would I believe with anyone who has grown up in a dual-culture environment. Must reading!

If only I didn't have to run ads

I run ads on my two food sites. The ads pay for the server, some site related expenses, and a little bit more.

If only I didn't have to run any ads. Ads clutter up a site, even the most discreet ones. Ad insertion code is often gimpy. Ad code is often invalid. Some really bad ad code can even make a browser crash, a server crash, or break a page design. Mostly, ads suck.

Tweaking a Drupal site

After having wrestled with MovableType (and Typepad), skirted around WordPress, and dipped my toe in, and out of, ExpressionEngine, I am now quite happily esconced in the land of Drupal for most of my sites, including this one. The busiest one of those administered and published by me is Just Hungry. I spent the weekend tweaking it under the hood, as well as giving it a visual facelift.

No dating cats.

I'm more than a bit confused, as to why this site seems to be confusing people.

Case no. 1: on StumbleUpon, the site is classified under, of all things, Dating-Tips. WTF? I don't ever remember offering a dating tip. If you want to find anyone more clueless about the Dating Game than I, I want to meet that person. (Not for a date. I'd be too shy.)

Case no. 2: I got this dubious email today:

Feelings: Mixed

When Oprah somehow picks not just one, but two, in succession even, of ones favorite books of all time for her book club.

some of my flickr photos


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