Grisly college politics (Chicago Tribune)
Student politicians at Bir Zeit University no longer stump on simply better library services and cheaper lunches. They also campaign on which party claims to have killed more Israelis.
"For the Islamist bloc, it is 135," says senior Rami Barghouti, a leader of the student bloc formed by militant Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Barghouti says that figure, which is all but impossible to confirm, is the number of Israelis who have been killed by Bir Zeit students associated with Hamas.
This is insane. After the election " the administration circulated a letter to students, declaring "the university has nothing to do with the violence, and we do not support these things," said Munir Qazzaz, dean of student affairs." Yet the election results stood and no action was taken against any of the students.
Yesterday was allowance day. (My kids who have no concept of what day or time it is normally never seem to have a problem remembering what day they get money.) Trevor wanted to go to EB to look for a game. He started bugging about it yesterday and I finally agreed to take him today.
After going to EB we went to Blockbuster and the grocery. Blockbuster was fun because I got to see some woman make an ass of herself. The fun part of that was that it wasn't me.
Blockbuster has a roped off area for people to queue up to wait for the next open cash register. This woman had formed her own line just to the side of everyone else. I don't know what she thought the rest of us were doing or if she even noticed the long line forming to her right.
When they asked for the next person in line and someone from the real line went up there the woman got mad and flung her rental box onto the counter, knocking things onto the floor. She stormed out of there too fast to hear the rest of us laughing at her.
It's been a slow weekend, I take my entertainment where I can find it.
I am sooooo easily amused. I was playing with Mixmaster. It allows you to enter one URL for layout and another for content, then mixes them together.
I was using my blog URL for the content and first tried Google and JoeAnt for the layouts. Mildly interesting. Then I tried sites from my blogroll as the layout. Here are the results:
Arguing With Signposts
[My apologies to the authors of the above sites. These sites were chosen out of admiration and their content is much better than mine. No actual sites were harmed or defaced. The only thing that was endangered was my computer as I nearly spewed my drink all over it when reading some of the mixes.]
Visitors are encouraged to leave comments on what they like about their states. I haven't seen much political commentary, most is about the natural beauty of the states. There are also comments about the people who live or lived in the states (family, famous people, sports teams.)
No one says, "these are the people, places, and values we fight to preserve and protect". They don't have to. Their pride in and love for their states says it all.
A couple of days ago I wrote about a man who was suing the city of Escondido for violating his civil rights.
A jury Friday rejected a disabled man's claims that Escondido violated his civil rights after a cat librarians had adopted attacked his assistance dog.
...No jurors were willing to speak about the decisions.
They probably were afraid they couldn't talk about it with a straight face and didn't want it to look as though they hadn't taken the responsiblity of jury duty seriously.
"I noticed this black and white cat laying on the counter," Espinosa testified. "I was surprised because I hadn't seen any sign outside."
I wonder what the cat was laying...eggs, maybe? Now that would be real news. Perhaps he meant lying on the counter.
It snowed again last night so school was closed today. I realize that there are some places where a few inches of snow doesn't automatically mean no school, this isn't one of them.
My kids are happy about the three day weekend.
I have a headache. I'm not saying they're the cause, but they sure aren't a cure. I love my children but "quiet time" isn't a concept that they understand.
We can't find any caches of WMDs. What does this prove?
Nothing. Lack of evidence of their existance is just that, it doesn't prove the opposite. It does not disprove that they existed at one time nor that there were plans to make them.
What evidence do we have?
Hussein used such weapons against the Kurds. He had people whose jobs were to research and develop such weapons. He failed to co-operate fully with inspectors and to comply with the resolutions that he provide proof of the destruction of weapons.
None of this proves he still had them. It implies that the weapons were there, or at least available to him...or he thought they were and made others think so too. If I decide to liberate your wallet from you and either through my words or actions imply that I have a weapon, I'm committing armed robbery. The police come along and arrest me but can't find any weapon. That doesn't prove I never had one. It doesn't really matter whether I did or not. The implication is enough.
We haven't had any more terrorist attacks in the U.S. This does not prove that Homeland Security and our war on terrorism is working. Unless you believe the multiverse theory and have a way of visiting a parallel universe where the U.S. decided to try to appease terrorists rather than fight them, you can't prove the decision to fight had any effect. Still, it does imply that our efforts are successful.
We don't have a control group universe to compare ours with so our actions can't be proven to be the right ones. Lack of evidence to the contrary isn't proof that our actions were the wrong ones. All we have are implications that this administration is on the right course to make us (and the world) safer.
Sometimes that is enough.
You are Boss Hogg. Money and food are the most
important things in your life. You realize
that you have to take what you want in order to
What Dukes of Hazzard Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
A former West Salem School District board member who is protesting the contents of an elementary school library book said he took the matter directly to the board because the district's complaint policy process takes too long. Maynard Carlson read a copy of the book Walter the Farting Dog to the board on Jan. 13. Carlson said he found out about the book after his elementary school grandson brought it home from school. He said he objected to the flatulence topic and said the words "fart" and "farting" are used 24 times in the book.
It is nice when a story for children keeps them quiet and listening for a bit. If it helps make them interested in learning to read, that's a bonus. It sounds as though this book does both. If you have children, or have spent any time around them, you know they will always prefer an "improper" story.
I had never heard of this book before I read this article, now I think I may have to buy it. (Not for my kids, for me!)
Richard "Rik" Espinosa, a former radio and newspaper journalist, is seeking $1.5 million in damages because his assistance dog was attacked by a cat who lived at the library.
In 2000, the cat blocked his entrance to the library and scratched his dog.
The San Diego Uniion-Tribune reports:
In the opening statement of a trial in the case, Espinosa told the 10- woman, two-man jury the cat "blocked my access into that building. My civil rights were violated and, in turn, your civil rights were violated."
Librarians got rid of the cat in May 2001 after its third attack on a dog, according to the North County Times.
Espinosa, acting as his own attorney in the case, addressed the jurors nervously.
Espinosa said he rescued Kimba from a pound in Tulsa when the dog was 4 months old and kept it as a pet.
He began suffering panic attacks from the smoking of his co-workers seven years ago, and returned to San Diego County with the dog, he said.
The attacks became so severe, he said, he would order underwear from a catalog, rather than face public humiliation at a laundry.
Eventually, he came to believe Kimba would warn him of impending panic attacks by bringing him a ball, making him an "assistance" dog, he told jurors.
"My disabilities are real," Espinosa said. "I have a lot of them. I have worked through some of them."
Besides the panic attacks, the plaintiff said he suffers from clinical depression and Post Traumatic Stress "syndrome."
Steve Nelson, an attorney for the city of Escondido, said library employees were unable to ensure access for the disabled plaintiff the day of the attack because he left immediately.
More information comes from the North County Times where Espinosa had worked at one time as a staff writer.
Espinosa says he's allergic to cats and couldn't risk pulling 12-pound L.C. off Kimba. So, the man said, he dragged his dog backward, injuring his own back and suffering a panic attack in the process.
Espinosa's throat tightens and his voice shakes when he recalls the details of the "mauling." He points out scars on Kimba's furry face.
Also hard to handle, he said, is that everyone has laughed about his "wuss dog that got beat up by a cat."
Before the jury hears word one of the trial, there are still 29 pieces of evidence that the two sides are wrangling over.
Among the items that Espinosa wants the jury to see is a photograph of him with boxer Muhammad Ali. Nelson said the picture is not relevant to the case; Espinosa said the photo gives him credibility.
It also strengthens his argument, Espinosa said, since he believes the cat is like the famed pugilist: a tiger in the ring, a pussycat outside of it. L.C.'s ring, the Palomar Mountain resident said, was the library on South Kalmia Street.
At the court's urging, Espinosa has scaled back his original list of 117 witnesses to just 20, including the city mayor, Nelson said.
The cat was removed from the library after the third time it attacked a dog and lived at the home of a library staff member until its death in October last year.
Why aren't they showing this one on Court TV? Heck, I'd even be willing to pony up a few bucks to watch it on Pay Per View.
While sitting in a chair raise your right foot about 6" off the ground and begin making clockwise circles with it. Hold your right finger in the air and make the outline of the number 6. Your foot will change directions and begin going counter clockwise.
Back on the 17th I linked to a blog post about a boy in Texas who was suspended from school for using the NETSEND DOS command. At that time, I also told my son Trevor about it. I knew that he and some friends were using the same IM to send messages to each other after they had finished their assignment in the computer lab. One would think he would take that as a warning not to continue sending messages in class.
The students received a warning this time along with a review of what is inappropriate use of school computers. This is good, much better than a 3-day suspension.
Not the students, the school administrators and lawyers.
If my kids came home complaining about being teased or saying they were embarassed for not making the honor roll, I would agree that something needed to be done about it. That "something" would not be to make the school remove the honor roll, it would be for my kids to work harder.
One of those barriers is some colleges' practice of rewarding applicants because their parents went there. These "legacy" preferences don't reward kids based on what they've accomplished. They don't encourage diversity in the classroom or address discrimination the way affirmative action does. Legacy preferences reward students who already had the most advantages to begin with.
James' comment was:
I agree that legacy preferences have no place in public universities. But it's unclear why they constitute a more substantial barrier to mill workers' kids than affirmative action programs, just given the numbers involved.
On January 15, 2004, Talk of the Nation's first discussion was about college legacies. It discussed pros and cons of legacy programs at private and pubic schools. The students accepted as legacies make up a small part of each year's group but their families provide a large amount of the financial support given to the universities. This support helps pay for the students who qualify but wouldn't be able to afford the college.
When the legacy program is used as a tie-breaker among qualified students, the same way affirmative action could be used, I don't see a problem with it. The worst result from these acceptance polices is not that the students won't receive an education, it's that they may have to go to a lower-tier rather than a first-tier school. Attending North Carolina State University (then going to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his law degree) instead of beginning at UNC didn't seem to hurt Edwards. I don't know to which schools he had applied nor do I know if North Carolina State was not his first choice. It just makes me wonder if some of his opinion on this is based on a long held resentment or if he thinks that other kids need more help, for whatever reason, than he had.
Too Cool Cole in NRO says:
Though he often relies on subtle word games and puns, at times Cole comes right out and puts his politics on the table. After the 2000 election, Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. ran an ad that showed the intersection of Bush Avenue and Cheney Lane alongside a road sign that read "Dead End." Implausibly, Cole says that "the message really wasn't meant to be political, it was meant to talk about how we'd put in office someone who had gotten less votes than the next person and kind of addressing our frustration with the process." In other words, Cole's candidate didn't win, and he wasn't happy.
I'm not going to complain about the ad itself, it's his opinion and he has every right to
be a wrong-headed jerk say it. I am not going to quibble about the number of votes nor suggest that he doesn't understand the Electoral College. My complaint is about the term "less votes."
Vote is a count noun. You can attach a specific number to it. When you have a count noun, you use "fewer". If you have a noun where you can't attach a number to it, you use "less". For example, I have fewer dollars than (soon to be knighted) Bill Gates. I (along with several whole countries) have less money than Bill Gates.
The signs over the express checkouts at groceries (10 items or less) bug me too but I've decided they're written that way because many of the people who use them (why does it seem that when I'm in a hurry I'm always behind someone with 20 or more things?) can't count anyway.
(Link to the NRO article found via Mark Nicodemo.)
Louisville - 65
Tennessee - 62
What's the deal with UT's floor? People were sliding so much they might as well have been playing outdoors here in Louisville.
At this moment, what is your favorite...
After all weekend with my kids at home all day all I want to hear is golden silence.
Chocolate...no, make that Gordon's Hot Chips...wait, how about strawberry ice cream with big chunks of strawberries...or maybe honey hot wings? Dinner's cooking and the pork roast is smelling pretty good too. I skipped lunch, everything sounds good right now.
3. ...tv show?
Joy by Jean Patou.
"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country."
A MIXTURE OF MOSTLY FREEZING RAIN AND FREEZING DRIZZLE AND SOME SLEET WILL REMAIN LIKELY THIS AFTERNOON, FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL KENTUCKY AND PARTS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA. TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET AND ICE WILL RANGE FROM ONE QUARTER TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH.
THE ICE MAY BE GREAT ENOUGH TO CAUSE TREE LIMBS TO SNAP AND SOME POWER OUTAGES TO OCCUR. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY HAZARDOUS THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON.
The ice storm started later than predicted but is coming down steadily now. Many of the local churches cancelled services today because of the road conditions. I'm expecting schools to cancel classes tomorrow...oh joy and rapture, another day with the kids at home. When they're here there's too much fighting about whose turn it is to use the game consoles...seems like they would have learned by now not to argue with me, it should be my turn whenever I want to play! Little game hogs.
An FBI notice similar to the ones that warn home-video viewers not to make or distribute illegal copies is headed for CDs.
The recording industry and the FBI have struck a deal that allows CD packaging to include the FBI's logo on labels warning consumers about the illegality of file-sharing.
I'm sure it will be as effective as the warning on videos has been.
I was looking at stats for my blog. At first I was comparing the traffic totals from the different counters. Yes, I have more than one. I had Stat Counter when I had my blog on BlogSpot and just moved it over too when I changed to MT and the new URL. My webhost offers a few more ways of checking stats; Analog, Awstats, and Webalizer along with something that shows the last 300 visitors. (The last one isn't very interesting unless you like looking at entry after entry of visits from Googlebot and Slurp.) I also added Site Meter for Ecosystem tracking. No two agree on the amount of traffic.
In the list of the 250 top referrers in Webalizer, along with all the spam referrals, I noticed a referral from clarkbot.forclark.com. Daily Clarkbot: links about Wesley Clark seems to be listing links to anything it finds that mentions Wesley Clark without any review for content.
The Clarkbot is a Perl script written by Rick Heller. It searches the Feedster RSS search engine for references to "Wesley Clark" To be picked up by the Clarkbot, a blog must generate an RSS Feed, and that feed must be listed with Feedster.
I'm not sure if this is one of the more gutsy moves I've seen or the most dunderheaded. Judging by the blurbs that are shown with the links, many of them are anti-Clark so I'm leaning toward the latter.
Each citation has the title of the post/article and a 40 word excerpt. (No, I didn't sit there and count the words in each blurb, this did it for me.) I'm going to save this post before I give in to the tempation to change the title to "Does Clark Know That Hillary Clinton is a Miserable Failure?" or "Does Clark Know That Maureen Dowd is a Poodle?". The possibilities are endless and the more I think about it, the more tempting it gets.
Wish me strength.
[Update: "Michael "Miserable Failure" Moore Supports Clark" is another tempting title.]
Link to the Moore Googlebombing found via Sliced Lemons.
The weather service is predicting freezing rain for Louisville tonight. The weatherman on TV called it a "rain event" with a "freezing episode". I've heard estimates of 1/2" to 1" of ice. I just hope it doesn't cause a blackout or knockout my DSL.
I'm charging up my GameBoy and my cell phone just in case. I better make sure my laptop is charged up while I'm thinking about it.
Now John Kerry is on C-SPAN. He made some comment about George Bush "playing dress-up on an aircraft carrier". Here's a man who rode a motorcycle onto the Tonight Show stage saying the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the United States and a former pilot shouldn't have worn a flight suit when he landed on the carrier. Inconsistent? Yes, but that isn't the only problem with the contrived motorcycle act.
MSNBC has a Newsweek poll that asks for opinions on the Democratic candidates and whether or not Bush should serve another term.
Go add your vote.
- A couple of nights ago the TV new announcer said that the problem with the Mars Rover is either "a software or a hardware problem". I'm glad they've been able to narrow it down. I guess they've ruled out alien interference. Couldn't he have just said the cause of the problem is unknown? My impression was that he was trying to sound technically savvy but to me he just sounded dopey.
My theory was that it had picked up signals from Earth carrying the Dean "I Have a Scream" speech then spent Tuesday trying to make sense of it and decided to reply in kind with gibberish and beeps. Equally dopey, but I'm not announcing it on the evening news.
- That same evening I was listening to the radio when the announcer said the temperature would get cooler.
It was already cold. The temperature was in the mid-teens and getting colder. A spring breeze cools. An arctic air coming into the midwest makes it miserably cold. Maybe she just transferred here from Siberia and isn't used to our weather yet. Oh, well, it was public radio and I've given up long ago on getting any accurate information from them.*
These are just two examples and neither one really significant. I've heard worse, these just struck me since I heard them both during the same evening.
If someone's job is to deliver information, they should be as accurate and clear as possible. English is a wonderful language. It has adopted and adapted words from many other languages. In many cases there will be words that represent an idea, each with slightly different shades of meaning. There's no reason to use the word "cool" when you really mean "soul-sucking cold".
This hour, we'll take a look at New York City in the year 2050, after a century of human-induced climate change. What will a warming planet mean for this city and its people? Plus, can sustainable design--from green office buildings to green roofs--ensure a better future for the Big Apple?
A discussion of climate change is fine. It shouldn't begin with the premise that global warming is caused by humans. Causation is too complex and there are many alternate theories. Just because one theory is popular doesn't make it correct.
I decided to add this part because of an old article about NPR requiring permission to link to their site. I'm in a mood and felt like flouting their rules but it seems that they've ended that (unenforcable) policy. The permission request form is gone, instead they have this:
NPR encourages and permits links to content on NPR Web sites. However, NPR is an organization committed to the highest journalistic ethics and standards and to independent, noncommercial journalism, both in fact and appearance. Therefore, the linking should not (a) suggest that NPR promotes or endorses any third party's causes, ideas, Web sites, products or services, or (b) use NPR content for inappropriate commercial purposes. We reserve the right to withdraw permission for any link.
So, just so you know, I'm not implying that they agree with any of my opinions. Judging from what they say there about being "committed to the highest journalistic ethics and standards". I would say that their opinion and mine are, in most cases, completely different.
My husband and son tested for their blue-tip belts in Tae Kwon Do this morning. They were tested on their form (green belt), self defense, and breaking (using a skipping side kick to break a board.) Both passed and will begin working on their blue belts.
You are a Logical-Mathematical Thinker
Like to understand patterns and relationships between objects or actions
Try to understand the world in terms of causes and effects
Are good at thinking critically, and solving problems creatively
Other Logical-Mathematical Thinkers include
Isaac Newton, Archimedes, Albert Einstein
Careers which suit Logical-Mathematical thinkers include
Physicist, Chemist, Biologist, Lawyer, Computer programmer, Engineer, Inventor
You are an Interpersonal Thinker
Like to think about other people, and try to understand them
Recognise differences between individuals and appreciate that different people have different perspectives
Make an effort to cultivate effective relationships with family, friends and colleagues
Other Interpersonal thinkers include
Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, William Shakespeare
Careers which suit Interpersonal thinkers include
Politician, Psychologist, Nurse, Counsellor, Teacher
Not the results I was expecting. I expected something along the line of, "Stay where you are. We are tracing your location and the authorities have been notified. When the nice men in white jackets arrive, go with them quietly."
The only thing I would add is that Maureen Dowd is a rabid poodle. Think about it...symptoms of rabies can include foaming at the mouth, erratic behavior, extreme excitement, and aggression.
Link found via Debbye at Being American in T.O.
The interaction of bats and wind turbines is emerging as a major and unexpected problem in northern Appalachia. From mid-August through October 2003, during the fall migration period, at least 400 bats died at FPL Energy's 44-turbine Mountaineer Wind Energy Center on Backbone Mountain in West Virginia.
These 400 may be only a small percentage of the bats killed. Most of the ones found; red bats, eastern pipistrelles, and hoary bats, are small and many could have been overlooked.
According to the article, possible reasons for this may be that migrating bats aren't using echolocation, that the wind turbines may emit a high-pitched sound that attracts the bats, or that the bats are getting caught in wind shear from the turbines.
Wildlife advocates are concerned that a 20-turbine wind project in Meyersdale, PA could threaten the endangered Indiana bat and are threatening legal action. (Indiana bats may use this area as a summer habitat.)
Wind energy has many benefits but this time (for a change) I'm siding with the animal activists. I like bats. Ones such as the victims of these turbines eat bugs. Anything that eats mosquitoes gets my support.
I can't count the number of times I've told my kids to turn off their GameBoys and go to sleep so don't you think I should know better than to stay up until 4:30* playing mine? It's not like I hadn't had a chance to play all day. I'd already played with it from about 8:30 until I had to pick the kids up from school at 2:30 and then again for an hour while Emma was at her ballet class.
Rotten kids. "Here, mom, try this game, you might like it." They've done it before with the N64 and GameCube (so far I've resisted the Xbox) so I should have known better.
*Correction, I only played until 3:30. Then I remembered that I'd gotten a new issue of Scientific American so I had to flip through it real quick (an hour) to see what it had of interest. I think there were some good articles. I don't remember now. I'll check it again later...but first I have to go play a bit.
Your Existing Situation
Works well in cooperation with others. Needs a personal life of mutual understanding and freedom from discord.
How about just "needs to get a life"?
Your Stress Sources
Feels that life has far more to offer and that there are still important things to be achieved--that life must be experienced to the fullest. As a result, she pursues her objectives with a fierce intensity that will not let go of things. Becomes deeply involved and runs the risk of being unable to view things with sufficient objectivity, or calmly enough; is therefore in danger of becoming agitated and of exhausting her nervous energy. Cannot leave things alone and feels she can only be at peace when she has finally reached her goal.
My main goal is to take more naps.
Your Restrained Characteristics
Clings to her belief that her hopes and ideas are realistic, but needs encouragement and reassurance. Applies very exacting standards to her choice of a partner and wants guarantees against loss or disappointment.
Circumstances are forcing her to compromise, to restrain her demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things she wants.
It's forgoing the Porsche, personal jet and the vacation homes in the mountains and on the beach that are really annoying. Even though I've occasionally wondered if I'll be able to pay all the monthly bills, these are still reasonable things to hope for, right?
Your Desired Objective
Wishes to find her stimulation in a voluptuous atmosphere of sensuous luxury.
Sensous luxury brings to mind thoughts of wearing nothing but a full-length sable coat. And lots of Godiva truffles. Whatever. I'm sure I could force myself to adapt to "a voluptuous atmosphere of sensuous luxury."
Your Actual Problem
Has a fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants. This leads her to employ great personal charm in her dealings with others, hoping that this will make it easier for her to reach her objectives.
Yep, I hear that all the time. People point to me and say, "What a
bitch charming woman."
The latest issue of Time Magazine arrived yesterday. In it was a short article with questions and responses by Bob Dole. I like Dole because (all together now) he's funny.
Here's a multi-parter: Give us a quick take on some of the Democrats. Howard Dean? The most pessimistic man in America. But he's very bright, very articulate. Wes Clark? Outstanding general. Probably be a great president of West Point. Joe Lieberman? He's my buddy. Nice guy. I just wish him well. The numbers don't look too good. But he'd be a good President. John Kerry?He's taller than me. Richer too. When I think of him, I think of a tall, rich guy. John Edwards? Very attractive guy. He'd be great in The West Wing. He can take Martin Sheen's place anytime. But not down Pennsylvania Avenue. Dick Gephardt? He's president of Iowa. I am too. We were both inaugurated together, and we're never going to let anyone forget it either. Good guy, really respect him.
Bush wants to send a manned mission to Mars. What do you think? I say, send Paul O'Neill instead.
This is my favorite excerpt:
Some critics have said our duties in Iraq must be internationalized. This particular criticism is hard to explain to our partners in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries that have committed troops to Iraq. As we debate at home, we must never ignore the vital contributions of our international partners, or dismiss their sacrifices. From the beginning, America has sought international support for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
Shots of the audience added interest. I was concerned about Hillary Clinton at one point...the look on her face made me want to sign her up for a free sample of Metamucil. The next time the camera focused on her she was smiling. Must just have been gas pains earlier.
Madeleine Albright, who was sitting on Hillary's left, just looked sour and pissy. Must be rough to hear what this administration is doing and know that part of the reason is that you failed to do your job properly. Or maybe it was just something in the air.
There were theatrics from Ted Kennedy who was either rolling his eyes, shaking his head, or just fidgeting (rubbing his jowls). The world of (over)acting and the world of politics have both suffered a loss by his choice of careers.
About a week ago I wrote that I like blogs that had some humor in them. I admire people who can come up with funny things to say because I'm so bad at it. Usually when I say something that I think is funny, all I get are blank stares...I imagine the response is the same when I write something that I find humorous.
For example, I had read an article about a woman in Texas who wanted a statue of a panther removed because it represents paganism.
Castillo said she would also not be bothered by a statue of a steer, because Fort Worth is nicknamed "Cowtown," but that a "cat-type animal brings more sinister symbolism."
My comment was that cats can't be sinister because they're so dexterous. That still cracks me up but I've had to explain it everytime I've tried telling it to anyone else.
Others may question my mental stability but at least I amuse myself.
“God said in the beginning he created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” Koger said. “If you don’t got a womb, then you’re a man.”
Koger said in an interview later that she raised the issue because she opposes gay rights and thinks King’s holiday should not be used to support the issue.
I agree with the second part, if an event is planned to honor King then other groups, regardless of what agenda they're pushing, shouldn't be using it to get attention. I felt the same way about this when I wrote about Dean going to the Iowa King remembrance.
The first part, "If you don’t got a womb, then you’re a man.” Does this mean that women who have had hysterectomies are men? Kind of a high price to pay to get to use the shorter bathroom lines at sporting events.
Link to the article found via Backcountry Conservative.
Andrew Sullivan writes, "The Iowa voters - not exactly centrists - picked Kerry and Edwards to be the anti-Dean candidate, and the shrillness of the Dean-Clark message (the shrillness that so appealed to Paul Krugman) was just as soundly rejected. Good news for the Dems - and the country."
According to an opinion column in the Des Moines Register, this shouldn't be a surprise. "Centrists win. Despite the knock on the Iowa Democratic caucuses as being dominated by a pack of liberals, caucus-goers have historically chosen candidates more toward the center of the spectrum. That tradition continued Monday."
Also known widely as the Fire Bird, the phoenix is a profound symbol of life and rebirth. It has a life cycle of 500 to 600 years and after that amount of time, it sets itself on fire and dies in the flames. Then, after three days, it rises again from the ashes. It is a completely benign creature who lives in dew. It is said that the phoenix has a beautiful melodious song which grows ever more mournful as its life comes to an end. It is also a symbol of the sun and immortality.
What mythical beast best represents you?Take the quiz!
One way to liven things up...probably not a good idea if you plan on blogging about it later.
Deborah's Blog has a letter to ex-President Clinton. It's a point-by-point thank you for what the Clinton administration gave us.
Read number 14.
Link via Pardon my English.
Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) took a strong lead in partial results from the Iowa caucuses over Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, who was running a surprisingly close second in the first major contest to determine the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.
With 67 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Kerry led Edwards by 37 percent to 33 percent. Running third in the early results was former Vermont governor Howard Dean with 18 percent, followed by Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.) with 11 percent. Two other candidates -- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) and New York activist Al Sharpton -- drew scant support.
Earlier in the day, Dean told news media to "get a new life."
With the start of the Iowa Caucus only hours away, the former Vermont governor arrived at the Iowa Historical Museum for the State of Iowa King remembrance.
Dean, who was not scheduled as one of the speakers, arrived with the national and local media waiting. The event had been posted on the media roster by his campaign.
After Dean’s bus pulled in at about 10:30 a.m., he circled the large building, just blocks from the golden-domed capital, as hordes of press and orange-capped Dean “storm troopers” followed in tow in the subfreezing weather.
When Dean finally made his way into the building, chaos ensued - although nothing out of the ordinary for the kick off of a closely contested caucus race.
“Dean came here and he was hoping that his henchmen would get the job done," said 26-year-old Seville Lee, who heads a mentoring program for at-risk youth in Des Moines. "He thought he was going to speak."
“I’m offended that Dean would even try and do this,” said Lee, who organized a children’s play that day in honor of King. “He wasn’t scheduled to speak.
"If he wanted to come he could go sit down like everyone else.”
After Dean entered the packed auditorium with a mostly black audience of about 300 people, the former Iowa front-runner took a seat in the front row for about five minutes.
..."You know why I wasn’t able to attend this event,” Dean said, “because you guys are behaving so badly you’ve got to get a new life.”
Upbraiding the media, Dean told the press: “I’m feeling great, we’re going to win but you guys got to behave yourselves out of respect for Dr. King.”
Blaming the media for the commotion of his arrival, Dean refused to answer any more questions.
If you travel with a circus, expect to get attention. What I want to know is, how did he manage to get a front row seat? Why not go alone and sit in the back? Arrogant behavior from a man who wants to educate me about race.
Operation Mom is a group which directly supports our military and their families through care packages for the troops and care groups for their families. There is a media section on the site with newspaper articles and videos about the organization.
They are selling t-shirts and other stuff to help support their efforts.
Goes great with televised football, basketball, (insert your favorite sport here), and beer. (If you've been to Louisville and are familiar with Mark's Feed Store, these are similar to their Honeywings.) I consider this recipe enough for one person or at least a good start on enough for one. If you are serving other foods or you aren't as
piggy addicted to them as I am, this may be enough for three or four people. Warning: Honey hot wings are not for dainty eaters.
12 chicken wings
2/3 c. flour
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. hot sauce
1/2 c. honey
Cut each chicken wing in half. Place the chicken wings in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and let simmer 15 minutes. Drain the chicken and set aside.
While chicken is cooking, whisk together the honey and the hot sauce to make a dipping sauce. Adjust the sauce to taste by adding more honey or hot sauce. Set aside.
Mix flour and garlic salt in a plastic bag. Dip the chicken into the beaten egg and then shake them, a few at a time in the bag to coat.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown the coated chicken wings. Serve warm with dipping sauce.
Back when I took the quiz to see my journal rating, it was rated G.
Doesn't that make you wonder what I'm not telling you?
Good, there are too many people buying too much meat. I blame them for driving the price of beef up. I'm a "Beef, it's what's for dinner" kind of person* and had been hoping that the media's ranting about mad cow would lower the prices. Instead beef prices have just gotten weird...$6.99 for flank steak (!) but strip steak was on sale for $5.99 and tenderloin for $9.99. But my grocery always has a sale on one cut or another, if beef prices are falling overall, it's not being reflected in the regular prices at the store level.
*I pay as much attention to food and diet trends as I do to fashion trends. My opinion of fashion is similar to the Monks of Cool.
I was hoping to be Judgment Day or at least payday.
I'm the queen of laziness and procrastination. The only thing I work hard at is avoiding anything that resembles real work. Back when I was gainfully employed, I always did my job well without complaining (much) about it. For the past year, I've been able to contribute to the family income from my computer at home. This has been much better for me. Not only can I do my work at the time of my choosing, I have an excuse for all the chores I didn't do...Sorry I didn't do any laundry, I've been working.
My children are:
Trevor - Sunday...true except the "gay" part in either the current or original meaning. He's a teenager (14, almost 15) and is always cranky. At least he is when he's at home around his younger brother and sister. And he likes girls although I think they rank somewhere below video games and Magic cards.
Conor - Wednesday...true if "full of woe" means he complains about everything. He's good at it too, very persistant. I see a future for him as a consumer advocate. He'll have huge corporations saying, Fine, we'll give you what you want, just please shut up!
Emma - Friday...she is loving and giving. She's seven now, let's just hope this still holds true when she's 13.
Link via LeeAnn
EW: Why HP?
AC: The moment I read the book, I was hooked. It's a myth for our times. You read about Fudge and the Ministry of Magic--that's Tony Blair! And Guantánamo is not that different from Azkaban. There are Dementors over there, too.
...EW: So you're having fun?
AC: Loads. Though after so many bluescreens, you just snooze. The other day, I joked, "Give me a sex scene! Somebody, please: Get naked!"
Update: Ith of Absinthe & Cookies doesn't seem impressed with Cuarón's comments either.
Up until a couple of decades ago the only type of lenses available for eyeglasses were made of glass. These lenses were heavy, anything beyond a minor correction could be very uncomfortable. They were also unsafe, an impact could make them shatter, possibly damaging the eye. My father was an optician and he's told me stories about having seen severe damage to children's eyes due to broken glass lenses.
Then plastic lenses came out. They were lighter but they were't scratch resistant like the glass ones were. Just cleaning them without getting the lenses wet first would leave tiny scratches on them reducing clarity of vision. They were much safer than the glass lenses since the plastic didn't shatter as easily but many parents were reluctant to get them since it often meant replacing lenses several times when they became scratched and blurry.
NASA’s Dr. Ted Wydeven of the Ames Research Center generated the technological seeds for the first scratch-resistant plastic lenses while working on a spacecraft water purification system. To alter a membrane in the purification process, Dr. Wydeven coated a filter with a thin plastic film using an electric discharge of an organic vapor. The research continued as NASA developed an abrasion-resistant coating for the astronaut space helmet visors and other plastic surfaces of aerospace equipment.
Foster-Grant invested over 10 years of research trying to find a coating for lenses that could give glass-like scratch-resistance while keeping all the benefits of plastic. In 1983, Foster-Grant obtained a license from NASA for the scratch-resistant coating technology. The company combined its own technology with NASA’s and produced a superior lens. Their scratch-resistant lenses lasted, with normal wear, ten times longer than the most widely used plastic optical lenses, surpassing even glass. Today, the majority of sunglasses, corrective, and safety lenses sold in the United States are made of plastic.
Other NASA research on image processing and space optics led to a method and device for detecting human eye defects. Children who are too young to read an eye chart or even ones too young to talk can be screened for nearsightedness, farsightedness, cataracts, differences in the eyes that can indicate amblyopia, and other vision problems.
A couple of blogs I read, Ipse Dixit and Wizbang, have weekly caption contests. I'm not going to do that and maybe one or the other has used this picture in their contests, but doesn't this photo just beg for a caption?
I've made an effort at having a single-focus blog. I was doing pretty well at keeping up with it for a while...but I've been slacking off lately. My
attempts at channeling my cats' thoughts other single-focus blog has gotten to the point where there are only one or two posts a month. The point I'm getting to is that I admire someone who picks a topic and sticks with it. Especially when it's entertaining. Ugly Wedding Dresses is one such site.
This is one example...and not necessarily the worst of them.
You know, my seven-year-old daughter would probably think this one is great. Her taste runs to sparkly and gaudy.
Our national contest aims to help him find his perfect First Lady. We will post profiles of interested single women, and at some point we'll let our readers pick the best Kucinich running mate. If Congressman Kucinich agrees, PoliticsNH.com and LiberalHearts.com will fly the winner in to meet him and treat the two candidates to dinner.
Eighty women have entered the contest so far....some have pictures (don't you wonder about a middle aged woman who submits what looks like a high school photo?) and all have personal statements:
I can’t imagine my life being complete without a date with Dennis.
I can think of nothing that would give me greater pleasure than having the opportunity to enjoy dinner and an intellectual exchange with the one political figure in this country whom I now most admire and respect and to offer him my solid support in his campaign. As for "other" things, of a more personal nature, who knows what might happen when two kindred passionate souls with similar commitments meet?
When I saw Dennis speak in San Francisco, I am embarrassed to say that I was moved to tears by his speech. I thought "How incredible if someone who believes everything I believe could actually become president. I want to live in his world!
I want to create a Love Nest that is off-the-grid and sustainable (Rose Garden to Organic Vegetable Garden!).
Samantha of Uncle Sam's Cabin writes about reparations for descendants of slaves.
Julie Neidlinger's Weblog has a post about a student who was suspended for using a DOS command (NET SEND) on a school computer. Check the links to the teacher's site and to comments from the student (especially the comments from his mom.)
LeeAnn's post about a bird flying into her door gives me an excuse not to clean my windows. By leaving all the streaks, smears, and fingerprints on the glass my windows are more visible to birds. Although with one, two, or three cats looking out and twitching at them, I doubt any birds are in a hurry to try to fly into our house.
Forgotten Fronts has comments about a British study on the safety of cell phones.
More later if I have the time.
Off on a bit of a tangent here, this has nothing to do with the weblogs mentioned above. I know that with the large number of bloggers, people will occasionally write about the same things at the same time. Sometimes it's not just coincidence though. What do you do when you see that you have had a visit via someone's site tracker minutes before they posted about a link that was in your blog without giving any credit to where they found the link? Email them? Remove them from your blogroll? Just ignore it? I realize there are no "blog laws" saying you have to give credit when you find a link and write about it but I would be interested in hearing if this annoys anyone other than me.
"Specialty recipe" from "The Honorable Howard Dean, M.D.Governor of Vermont" on 1st Traveler's Choice:
One 8-pound ham
3 quarts sweet cider
2 cups raisins
2 cups Vermont maple sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 cup water
Simmer ham in cider for 2 hours. Drain, skin ham, and cover it with paste made from maple sugar, mustard, cloves, and water. Place in baking pan, pour cider over it, add raisins to pan, and bake 2-1/2 hours at 325 degrees. Baste frequently. Make thickened gravy of cider raisin drippings.
Somebody's specialty recipe anyway. At least he didn't submit his apple pie recipe.
They don't cook much, either -- at least they haven't since the early 1980s, when Dean decided to bake apple pies for the neighbors, which took all day, "and the apple pie was not that good," Steinberg said.
"I cook chicken if I have to," she added. "I cook hamburgers. He cooks pasta. He barbecues."
Dick Gephardt has a website, DeanFacts.com, has quotations and comments showing Howard Dean's position on issues.
"The way to balance the budget, [Vermont Gov. Howard] Dean said, is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. "It would be tough but we could do it," he said."
"[Medicare is] one of the worst things that ever happened... a bureaucratic disaster... You'd destroy the health care system in this country if you had Medicare for everybody."
"I still think NAFTA was a good thing."
You know, I think we ought to look at affirmative action programs based not on race, but on class, and opportunity to participate. (Even Dean can say something that makes sense occasionally.)
French President Jacques Chirac is said to be considering sending a military contingent to Iraq as part of a U.N. force once sovereignty is returned to Iraqis.
Another prominent critic of the U.S.-led war remains opposed to deploying soldiers in Iraq. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Friday that while he was ruling out sending troops, even under a U.N. mandate, he is open to a humanitarian role in helping rebuild Iraq.
"But de Villepin was firm in saying the idea of sending French troops to Iraq was "not currently on the table."
"For us, the issue of the current political void is at the heart
of the Iraqi question," the French foreign minister told reporters.
I got an aural (ear) thermometer when my kids were little. Taking a baby's or toddler's temperature in their ear was much easier than the alternative. I still use it almost weekly when one child or another wakes up complaing that he/she is too sick to go to school. "No fever, not throwing up, you're going to school."
Mercury thermometers need to be held in place for about three to five minutes. Electronic thermometers need about a minute and an half. Infrared sensor thermometers give a temperature read out in two seconds. Easier, faster, and you don't have to wait to take your temperature if you've just had something hot or cold to eat or drink.
Aural thermometers use infrared sensors to detect heat. This technology was developed to detect the birth of stars and has been used to measure the temperature of distant stars and planets for the Space Shuttle program. Diatek, a producer of medical instruments, approached the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for help in using the infrared technology in a commercial ear themometer.
I like my thermometer. I think my kids would prefer one that was easier to fool.
"Studies have shown that for every dollar spent on space development, $7 have been returned to the economy in the form of a new product or service." - Jim Lovell, Commander of the Apollo 13 lunar mission
I've seen this on several websites. If anyone knows the original author, please let me know so I can give credit.
1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.
6. You have to be against capital punishment (putting murderers to death) but support abortion (killing innocent unborn babies) on demand (federally funded of course.)
7. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments and unions create prosperity.
8. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature but loony activists from Seattle do.
9. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
10. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
11. You have to believe that taxes are too low but ATM fees are too high.
12. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.
13. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist but racial quotas are not.
14. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.
15. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House.
16. You have to believe that homosexual parades should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
17. You have to believe that illegal Democratic party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the U.S.
18. You have to believe that gasoline priced at $1.59 per gallon is too expensive but accept bottled spring water at $1.09 per quart as reasonable.
19. You have to believe the purpose of government is to take money from people who earned it and spend it on people who did not earn it.
20. You have to believe in the Democracy but demand only Democrat victories in elections.
21. You have to believe that people who disagree with you are stupid and backward while believing people who agree with you are "progressive" and "enlightened."
22. You have to believe that a "B" average economics major from Yale University with a MBA from Harvard Business School is too stupid to be President of the United States.
23. You have to believe that a "C" average history major from Harvard University, dropout from Vanderbilt Law School and failure at Vanderbilt Divinity School is brilliant and should be President of the United States.
24. You are proud to have Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Bill Clinton in the Democratic Party.
25. You agreed with France's position on the war in Iraq until combat victory was achieved within three weeks.
26. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is really a lady.
Vote Democratic...It's easier than getting a job!
Area Code Information - the top result for a telephone area code will be a thumbnail of that area's map and the name of the geographical region. Example.
Universal Product Codes - type in the UPC from a package and the results should have a link to the UPC Database. Example. I had trouble getting this to work at first. I had left off the first and last numbers (ones outside the barcode.) Sometimes you get the link from Google but when you click on it you get a message that the UPC wasn't found in the database.
If you looked at the Google links above, you saw a link to "Track FedEx package...." This was one of the number searches introduced last month. It looks as though it now checks for FedEx tracking without having to add the "FedEx" prefix to the number as described below.
The search by number feature lets you directly enter UPS tracking numbers, FedEx tracking numbers, U.S. patent numbers, FAA airplane registration numbers and FCC equipment IDs. The topmost link in your results will be a link that takes you directly to databases that have specific information pertaining to the number.
For UPS and FAA numbers, simply enter the number and you'll get the link. The others require you to enter the type of search before the number, for example "fedex 999999999999", "patent 5123123" or "fcc B4Z-34009-PIR".
For weather conditions at U.S. airports, just enter the three letter airport code, followed by the word airport -- for example, "den airport." The direct link takes you to a page of airport status information provided by the FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center.
Flight Tracking - enter the airline name or code and the flight number to "get two links to flight information, from Travelocity and fboweb.com."
Vehicle ID Numbers - returns a link from CarFax.com.
U.S. Postal Service Tracking Numbers - allows shipping status tracking of a package.
Ninety percent of single family homes across the United States have at least one smoke detector installed according to the National Fire Protection Association.*
Having a smoke detector cuts your chance of dying nearly in half if you have a home fire. I don't know of any estimate on the number of lives saved by smoke detectors. It's not just the people who heard the alarm and got out of the building on time who were saved, when everyone is out and accounted for, firemen do not have to take the risk of entering a burning building on a rescue mission. Even if there were such an estimate of lives saved, could you place a price tag on them?
Maybe I should mention who we have to thank for smoke detectors. They were first used on spacecraft designed and built by NASA.
Tell me again why a space program would be too expensive.
*They are only good if they're working. Go check yours now while you're thinking about it.
California volunteers travel to Iowa to support Dean:
An army of California campaign volunteers -- representing a wide range of ages, occupations and political interests -- has stormed into Iowa, the center this week of the American political universe.
Armed with literature, bumper stickers and passion, they are spreading out to small towns and universities and local schools, walking door to door to politely address independents and registered Democrats, handing out pins and bumper stickers, writing letters, and putting up lawn signs in the hard, cold -- and lawn-less -- Iowa earth.
Dean's "Perfect Storm" volunteer effort is by far the biggest and most organized push, expected to reach 3,500 dedicated "Deaniacs'' by this weekend, including dozens arriving from the Bay Area by train and plane in the final days of the heady Iowa campaign.
Odd choice of a name for this effort...Perfect Storm. If you remember the movie, all of the crew died at the end.
I don't know about the people in Iowa, but I wouldn't want anyone coming in from another state to try to influence my decision on how to vote.
January's Site of the Month, Editor-Owned Site of the Month, and Blog of the Month are up on JoeAnt's index page now. I had submitted my choices about a week before the end of December but the message got buried...I guess Jerry's not used to me sending them in a timely manner. I usually think I have plenty of time to pick some sites and then the end of the month sneaks up on me. (See archived SOTMs.)
I was going to make a New Year's resolution to stop procrastinating but I decided to wait and do it next year instead.
If you have a Website you can join JoeAnt as an editor and add it to the directory. Browse the directory first to make sure you select the best topic for your site when you sign up as an editor. (To add a Weblog, choose the Computer topic.) Make sure you send me an email at adminATjoeant.com and let me know which site you added.
No editor contest for January because I was too sick at the end of December/beginning of January to come up with anything. My main goal for about a week and a half was to walk more than three feet without feeling as though I was going to pass out.
My new goal is to not become addicted to my GameBoy SP (a present from Santa.) This will be a tough fight because, in general, I find any alternative to work preferable to actually having to DO something.
Polls Show Clark Gaining on Dean in N.H.
Wesley Clark has gained significant ground on Howard Dean in polls of likely voters in New Hampshire almost two weeks before the state's Democratic presidential primary.
I'm now waiting for Madonna to claim credit for his rise in the polls.
The estate of "Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien has won the rights to the use of the domain name www.jrrtolkien.com in a United Nations ruling.
The World Intellectual Property Organization ordered the name handed over to the company that holds the rights to the British author's works and that claimed it had trademark rights in the name.
The Web address had been registered by the company Alberta Hot Rods of High Prairie, Canada, and linked to a commercial Web site, Celebrity1000. Arbitrator Alistair Payne ruled that Alberta Hot Rods had no legitimate rights or interests in the name.
...The U.N. arbitration system, which started in 1999, allows those who think they have the right to a domain to get it back without having to fight a costly legal battle or pay large sums of money.
Now we know what the U.N. is good for.
Similar cases brought by Pierce Brosnan, Pamela Anderson, Celine Dion, kevin Spacey, and Michael Crichton against Alberta Hot Rods were decided in favor of the celebrities.
Stephanopoulos Fails to Correct Dean’s False $304 Tax Cut Claim
Stephanopoulos fails to correct Dean. In an interview with Howard Dean, taped aboard the ABC News campaign bus and shown on Sunday’s This Week, Dean repeatedly made the fallacious claim that the bottom 60 percent only got an average tax cut of $304 in the Bush plan. But the “Annenberg Political Fact Check” Web page pounced on Dean’s claim as made in an earlier debate: “Half of all U.S. households got more than $470 according to the Tax Policy Center. Dean arrives at his figure by averaging in the cuts received by the bottom 60% of households, which includes all those who paid no taxes in the first place and thus got no cut.”
Read the whole thing and check out The Best of Notable Quotables 2003 while you're there.
Like Jury Duty? You'll Love Caucuses
by Joel Stein (Time Magazine January 19, 2004)
...To explain how it all works, Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver is going around the state holding practice caucuses. At his workshop last Tuesday at the library in Clive, a suburb seven miles west of Des Moines, about 50 people showed up, several of them young enough to be my parents. Most of these folks already knew how caucuses work and just wanted a refresher course. Clive needs to get itself a bowling alley.
...Culver had the audience vote on their favorite pets. Debra Salowitz, who gave the pro-cat speech right before the woman in the Christmas sweater gave the bird speech, combatively announced, "If you have a bird problem, cats can take care of that."
...Each candidate was awarded a number of delegates corresponding to the percentage of people standing in its corner. Out of the seven allotted in this fake precinct obsessed with pet hierarchy, four went to the dogs, three went to Uncommitted, and none went to the birds since so many of them got confused during realignment that they strayed from their corner. While much was learned about how caucuses work, more was learned about the intelligence of people who own birds.
Read the whole thing.
A letter from Madonna*:
I've never done this before. But life is about taking risks is it not?
I know that people seem to pay attention to everything I do. Big or Small. Ridiculous or Sublime. So I am hoping they pay attention to this:
I am supporting General Wesley Clark for President.
Not only as a "celebrity" but as an American citizen and as a mother. I want my children to grow up with the same opportunities that I had – to know and understand what's going on in the world and to travel that world safely and with pride.
Oooooh! How risky! How daring!
I'm a mother and I want my children to be able to travel safely. Obviously our thoughts on who would be the best president to help make that happen differ. I've taught my kids to be proud of their country and who they are. At least they won't ever have to hear a friend tell them that they saw their mother kissing another girl on TV. Or in a book of photographs doing things that one normally doesn't do in public.
* Time Magazine (January 19, 2004) had a different quotation from her website:
I've never aligned myself with a presidential candidate during the primary season. But this time, the stakes are too high.
I couldn't find that one on the site.
Today was another Brownie meeting day for my daughter's troop. The girls are working on two new Try-It badges, one having to do with cooking and one having to do with nutrition. For some people, those two things go together.
First we talked about the Food Pyramid. I was a good Brownie leader and used the USDA pyramid instead of my own (which has chocolate as the main food group). After that we made some salsa. [Note to self - Remember to bring aprons and and goggles next time the girls have to stir something.]
To prepare for the meeting, I spent the morning looking for a recipe, printing out a Food Pyramid worksheet, going to the grocery (don't get me started on how much I hate the grocery), washing all the containers and utensils, and chopping onions. When I got to school, I had remembered everything except for a mixing spoon (sitting in the dish drainer at home) so we had to get some spoons from the school cafeteria. They gave us two small plastic sporks.
After the discussion about who got to put what into the bowl, we began adding the ingredients. Then we took a break to discuss how to add them. [Second note to self - Remind girls that measuring spoons are not catapults.]
We managed to get everything mixed without any injuries and without too much of a mess. There were lots of colorful comments on what the salsa looked like and smelled like before we began mixing it. (Barf.) We spooned the salsa into individual containers so the girls could take some home.
Emma left hers in the classroom where we have our meetings and didn't remember it until we were pulling into the driveway.
We dropped the boys off and headed back to school for the salsa.
Got back home and Conor began complaining that this has been the worst day ever. He thinks he should get paid for having to stay with me during his sister's
screechy girl meetings Brownie meetings. I had even brought his GameBoy with me so he could play with it during the meeting but the battery died just after he had done something stupendous in the game and so he lost everything he had done. He complained about that too.
I got back on the computer and read the comment for my last post. I found it entertaining in a bizarre sort of way but am now wondering who died and left me a "whopping great inheritance". I'm not sure how to feel about it. Everyone I know who would include me in their will is in good health so this inheritance must be coming from a stranger. A windfall of any size is always a good thing but shouldn't I feel at least a bit sad? For the person who died, I mean, not for the person who thought that his comment was relevant to anything (him, I pity.) Now I'll feel guilty for not knowing who died and for looking forward to my inheritance...and you know, guilt causes more stress.
I called my husband to tell him that he needs to take me out to dinner tonight because I've had enough of cooking (even though what we did wasn't technically cooking). [Third note to self - Make sure restaurant has a liquor license.]
I also let him know that someone neither of us knows thinks he's daft but not to worry because we're getting a large inheritance from someone else we don't know so after we're wealthy everyone will just say he's eccentric. It sounds so much nicer that way.
2 cans chunky diced tomatoes, (14 oz each)
1 can (4oz) diced green chiles
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Drain tomatoes, reserving only 1/3 cup of the juice. Combine tomatoes and juice with remaining ingredients; cover and chill at least 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
I change my blogroll from time to time, add some, delete some. The ones that remain, the ones that I don't tire of, all have one thing in common. Humor. Not just the "let me tell a joke I heard" type of humor (although I have read some great jokes on weblogs), but the clever, even sarcastic, kind of humor that comes from looking at things differently than other people might. As often as not the butt of their humor is themselves.
Some, like Scrappleface, always have something humorous to offer. Others may just throw in a comment here or there that makes me smile. Sure, serious matters deserve serious discussion but we still need to laugh once in a while.
Sometimes I wonder if this is part of the problem some people have with President Bush. He frequently looks like he's having fun. When you see photos of him out meeting people, he's smiling. Not the fake politician smile, but real smiles that reach his eyes. He can be solemn and stern when the occasion calls for it but not every occasion does.
Some of the things he's done which the Left derides; landing on an aircraft carrier, making a surprise Thanksgiving visit to Iraq, he always looks as though he is throughly enjoying himself. You know, it's one of the things I like about him.
You are Sculpture.
While Photography is expert at recording reality,
your strength is the ability to recreate it.
You are physical, and often direct. You get
along well with Painting and Dance.
What form of art are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Link via Drumwaster's Rants.
Another way to
avoid housework spend time on the computer.
*Possibly a slight exaggeration.
To me, it sounded as though they had pictures and video of people dying from the cold. Turns out the pictures are of the regular winter in the city type - icicles, frost, a kid with a snow fort.... Guess I just have a morbid imagination.
I added a Blogs for Bush blogroll this weekend. It's a long list and I had several interruptions (kids!) while I was doing it, so if any blogs were left off, it wasn't intentional. If I overlooked anyone, leave me a comment and I'll add you to the list.
This blogroll (lower left) shows the most recently updated first. Check them out.
I edited this blogroll to show 50 at a time with the most recently updated ones still at the top of the list. I expanded it again...some blogs I like to read weren't always showing. Either new entries they made weren't getting pinged (so they weren't moving to the top) or there had been so many others that posted that the ones I wanted to see got dropped down where they weren't showing.
Link via Politics & Law
Britney Spears says her marriage was a joke. No, Britney, it was just a stupid thing to do. This is a joke.
Sad to think how much more time, thought, and effort went into a real joke than went into her marriage.
Earlier this week the weather turned colder. Today we woke up to snow. Not a lot of snow but enough to close schools for the day. It really doesn't take much snow to close schools in our county, it's still largely rural and if the school buses can't navigate those back roads everyone stays home.
I could have predicted this colder weather months ago if anyone had asked. How did I know it would get colder? It's Girl Scout Cookie time, of course. We're doing the advance sales now, taking orders for cookies to be delivered at the end of February. The same thing happened last year. During the two weeks plus that we do the advance sales the weather last year was probably the coldest of the winter...except for the one day that we were doing a booth sale in front of the local grocery store. People just don't want to stop and peruse the cookie selection when their fingers and toes are going numb from the cold.
I hope the weather turns warmer soon. I'm just now beginning to recover from whatever disease I've had and have no desire to take my daughter around the neighborhood to sell cookies in this weather. I know that being cold doesn't make you get sick but after feeling miserable every day of the year so far, I'm not looking for new ways to feel uncomfortable.
New Scientist has an article about using RFID in casino chips. I'll leave a discussion of this for my husband, our resident casino chip collector, to cover. I'll be interested to see if the chip collecting community considers this a good thing or not.
If MoveOn supporters and their ilk think that Bush is Hitler, what does that make me?
Certainly they are free to make whatever comparisons they want. Freedom of speech isn't limited to rational thinking people. I don't see any logical connection between Bush and Hitler but I do see a logical connection where, if they think Bush is Hitler, then it's reasonable to assume that they must think I and all other Bush supporters are Nazis. I find this very offensive.
If you know much about the Bible — which I do.... Does Dean remind anyone else of Cliff Clavin?
Asked his favorite New Testament book, Dr. Dean named Job, adding: "But I don't like the way it ends." "Some would argue, you know, in some of the books of the New Testament, the ending of the Book of Job is different," he said. "I think, if I'm not mistaken, there's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later."
Job lived to be an old man, but I'm quite sure he didn't make it to the New Testament (as Dean later admitted.)
What's this "we believe was tacked on later" business? I took a class about the Septuagint in college and don't remember anything about a revised ending but that was almost 20 years ago and I may have forgotten it. (The test audience didn't like the ending...said it was too depressing. We want everyone to feel good!) It's just odd to think that a new ending would be added because the original was too stern for two reasons: 1. If you're going to do some revisions, how about revising the Ten Commandments? Change the "Thou shalt not" parts to "You really should try to avoid". You gotta have some wiggle room. 2. If the story of Job ended without his health and wealth being restored, it still isn't a depressing ending.
The story affirms that regardless what ills befall you, no matter how much you suffer, God is not punishing you nor has He forgotten you. Even in the worst of times, Job was the subject of God's divine love.
I can think of gloomier endings...Dean winning the election, for one. (I didn't say likely endings, just gloomy ones.)
Asked again about his favorite part of the New Testament, Dr. Dean said, "Anything in the Gospels."
They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. (Matthew)
Maybe he really meant he likes any of the songs in Godspell.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."