There is a certain segment of the population that likes to believe that their neighbors are homophobic, racist, anti-whatever. Whether this belief is based in truth or not, it seems to make them feel better about themselves. They are surrounded by haters but are, of course, not like their neighbors.
When I hear people saying something that assumes prejudice in others, I always think that they are projecting their own feelings on others.
I killed off most of the petunias in the hanging basket when I forgot to water it for a couple of days. The bunny finished it off.
I'm not sure what the chipmonk was looking for. He climbed up on the deck, looked around, and left.
Some baby robins that were in a nest outside our window. Their mother was not happy at all with us when we tried to look at them. She would fly by the nest and then fly away, I suppose in an effort to distract us into following her. But everytime she swooped by, the babies would pop up their heads and open their mouths, hoping for some food.
"It's not that I want to punish your success. I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." - Barack Obama
Cut out the government middleman and spread your wealth directly to me.
The soundtrack is now available on iTunes!
I'm sorry I laughed out loud when I looked at you. My only excuse is that I don't get out much. I'm sure that if I did I would have recognized that your outfits were very trendy and fashionable and not at all as ridiculous as they appeared to be to me.
How does a litterbox get classified as a "Kitchen & Dining Deal"?
I stopped reading a book midway through the other day. It wasn't that the story wasn't interesting or that it was poorly written. In fact, it was by an author whose books I have enjoyed before and this one wasn't atypically bad or boring.
I stopped reading when I came to the second occasion in the book where the characters began making negative comments about the current presidential administration. It was totally irrelevant to the story and the dialog felt as though it had been shoehorned in just to make a point.
A couple of months after the paperback version comes out these bits of dialog are just going to seem dated and weird.
One the last day of school the weather was freaky. There would be sunshine one minute and pouring rain the next. Unfortunately the pouring rain came when Trevor was driving home from school. The rain was so hard that there was almost no visibility and the road between the school and our home doesn't have a shoulder to pull over onto. He slowed down but not enough to be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a car that was stopped to take a left turn.
It was the type of accident that could have happened even with a more experienced driver but knowing that isn't going to make me feel better if (more likely when) my insurance payments go up. A teenage driver, especially a son, is expensive enough as it it. Almost as bad is having a teenager without a mode of transportation. (There's nothing within a reasonable walking distance from where we live.) He really wants the repairs on the car to be finished, but I think the rest of the family wants it even more.
I was reading an article about the number of accidents caused by Heelys (wheeled shoes) and began to wonder if some of them weren't caused by people who dislike the shoes as much as I do but have less self-control.
If you have never had the urge to trip someone on these things you either have the patience of a saint or don't spend much time out in public. I think parents who buy these shoes for their kids do it just so the kids will stop annoying them and begin annoying others.
I admit that the shoes look fun but they don't belong in theme parks, malls/stores, schools, or anywhere else where there may be crowds.
I was planning on reading an article in the NYT about Andrew Speaker, the man who made the news for traveling while infected with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis. I couldn't get past the photo at the top.
Why is the picture reversed? The sign is backwards and his shirt buttons on the wrong side. Is there some technical reason or is it just sloppy work?
Hmmm, while I was writing this they corrected the image so I'm going to go with "sloppy work".
...drivers register their cellphone and license plate numbers with SameLane, which sends them bumper stickers identifying the drivers as part of the SameLane network. After spotting a member, drivers dial a company number, punch in the license plate number of the car they want to reach and wait for SameLane’s computers to connect the call.
More and more the message I want to send to other drivers is "hang up the phone and drive!". Calling to tell them that doesn't make much sense.
Kellogg's Smart Start - There's something about her voice that just annoys me. The inane drivel about whether raisins are smart doesn't help.
Cingular Commercial - STFU.
Travelers Insurance - Reattached rabbits feet...it's just creepy.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. I think this video is more powerful than most lectures on the subject of eating disorders would be.
* I altered the code when I embedded this. It originally said, "Watch more funny videos here" and there is nothing funny about this one.
Alec Baldwin finally said something I agree with - 'If I never acted again I couldn't care less'
The New York Times has a column about wealthy women doing their part for the environment. Their part seems to be more cameo than leading role.
My first thought when I saw the photo that accompanied the column was that boots appear to be the footwear to wear with skirts. Either that or the whole global warming thing isn't coming through quite fast enough. I don't follow fashion so I really can't tell.
I love this part - "Ms. Rockefeller wanted four kits, one as a gift to her housekeeper." So thoughtful. I wonder if she gives her chef a gift card to a chain restaurant to celebrate holidays or other special occasions.
Moment - A brief, indefinite interval of time.
I am on hold waiting to talk to someone from my credit card company to tell them that I will be traveling next week so that they won't put a block on the card since I'll be using it outside of my area.
For about an hour* they have been telling me that someone will be with me in a moment. A message that gives the estimated hold time would be much better. That would let me decide whether it's worth waiting now or if I should try later. The only consolation is that I'm not having to sit on hold while on vacation.
*This doesn't include the time it took to figure out how to talk to a real person instead of just listening to prerecorded messages in their phone tree. After finding a real person, I was told that I needed to speak to someone in the fraud department and let them know I would be out of my usual area. She transferred my call to the other department.
Update (2:40): After about an hour and a quarter of waiting on hold my call was cut off.
Update (4:55): Called again and spoke to a customer service representative. I got the direct number for calling the fraud department (I couldn't find that number on their website). I called the fraud department and got right through. If you can consider listening to two different welcome messages and having to punch in my card number twice to be "right through". I did get to speak to a real person though. The only problem is that their systems are updating and I was told to call back in three to four hours.
Calling them "inconsiderate" in the title of this post may have been a poor choice of words. It's just that the other words I considered aren't ones that I want my kids to read.
The water main near us broke so we have no water. It was fine this morning when my husband got ready for work so I knew it wasn't a frozen pipe. I called the water company and they told me about the break in the line and said that they were working on it. They couldn't tell me how long it would take so I decided to go to the grocery to get several (20) gallons of water.
On the way I saw a water company truck and one man walking around with some stick-like thing. I guess it's a divining rod. No repair work was being done yet. He was gone when I got back from the store. Still no water though.
Update: The water has been back on for a few hours now. I still have quite a few jugs of water left. I'm trying to convince everyone that was my plan - to add them to my earthquake supplies. I don't think they're buying it though.
I'm going to be on WHAS TV news Wednesday at 11:00. The piece was taped recently at OpenRange in Crestwood and is about the growing trend of women taking an interest in shooting.
When I took the safety class the gun range offers I wasn't so much afraid of guns as I was uncomfortable with them. My lack of experience (and, I imagine, that of many of the women who take the class) made me a better student. I knew that I didn't know anything so it was important for me to pay attention to make sure I learned how to handle a gun properly. It's easier to learn good habits than to unlearn bad ones.
I bought an iPod recently and have been buying some music from iTunes. The songs I've gotten are ones that I don't have on a CD and most of them are ones where the song I buy is the only song by that group or artist that I like. This totally skews the recommendations that the iTunes store comes up with. I understand why it comes up with the results that it does but they're way off from what my main interests are.
Sky One showed a live-action version of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather this past Christmas. I wonder what the chances are of it ever being shown here.
Someone thoughtfully gave me an early Christmas gift, a cold (also known as slow lingering death). About a week and a half ago I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever of 102.something. Fortunately I had finished most of my gift shopping but it really limited my annual Christmas cookie baking.
My Christmas present to the cats this year was a Litter-Robot. We got the black one and named it "R2-PU".
It was a big investment but it comes with a money-back guarantee if your cats don't like it. The cats weren't sure what to make of it at first but they all use it with no problem now. Because it waits seven minutes after it's used before it goes through the self-cleaning cycle it's less likely to startle them and create a negative reaction. Even with the delay the cats appeared to be able to figure out there was some sort of cause-effect thing happening. For about a week after we got it, after one of them used the Litter-Robot, they would all gather around and wait to watch it until it finished cleaning itself.
I received the notice from our local sheriff's office that I could pick up my new CCW permit about the same time my temperature was peaking so between that and Christmas I wasn't able to pick it up until a few days ago.
I doubt that I'll make use of the permit on a day-to-day basis but it's nice to know that I can carry (a gun, butcher knives, shurikens...) if I want. I decided to take the class for the permit just to see how well I would do. I scored 100% on both the written and shooting portions of the test at the end of the class. I would like to pretend that this is impressive but it's not. The written portion just makes sure you understand what you can and cannot do under the law and the shooting portion just requires you to be able to hit a large silhoutte with 11 out of 20 rounds at 21 feet. (I hit it all 20 times, but still, it was only 21 feet away and it's a big target.)
A few days before Christmas I got a letter from one of my second cousins. My mother and grandparents left England and moved to the U.S. when she was a young child and I had never met any of their (our) relatives. Now I've found relatives in Canada and England. Or, rather, they found me.
This is one of the best Christmas presents I've ever gotten. I'm an only child and each of my parents had only one sibling, both of whom live in other states so finding out about more relatives is especially exciting for me.
I hope to be able to take a trip to Yorkshire and Derbyshire to meet some of my relatives and see where my mother's family is from.
Spencer Gifts has p0rnaments on sale for Christmas. (Link via Scared Monkeys.) Read VW's post about how it's the female reindeer that has antlers in winter and then look at this ornament. (Warning: reindeer games shown on ornament are for adult audiences only.)
Who's laughing now? Well, not me because I think the ornaments are tacky but I did snicker just a bit at all the people who bought this without knowing about the antler thing. I blame my inner
According to this, the average US woman is 5' 3.8". This means I'm just about a couple of inches shorter than average. Entirely within the normal range to my way of thinking...although it's clear that some of you are just freakishly tall.
I mean that in a good way.
The article also says that the average weight for a woman in the US is 163 pounds. I don't think I came close to that even when I was pregnant but I have nothing snarky to say about those who do...you all could totally kick my butt.
I mean that in a most respectful way.
It's interesting that the more we (as a country, not you and me personally) concern ourselves with being thin, the more weight we tend to gain - up 11 pounds on average in less than a decade.
I went to Open Range for practice shooting today. I can tell that I'm improving (practice, practice, practice) and it was certainly a better day than Monday when I managed to catch a casing in my cleavage. Talk about leaving a mark.
I watched the first part of the ABC miniseries tonight. If the Democrats hadn't raised such a stink about it I probably wouldn't have bothered and I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the final part tomorrow.
I did like how they cut from Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" statement to a shot of the Washington Monument. A not-exactly-subtle use of symbolism.
AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers was on Bravo. I missed the original airing of this special but sat through the whole thing tonight. The movies on the list are good movies, but most inspiring? I'm not so sure about that.
It was a good thing that they had people from the film industry explaining why each movie was considered inspiring otherwise I might have thought that Dark Victory was meant to inspire me not to get brain cancer...or if I do, to marry my doctor. Even with the explanations I'm not sure how I'm supposed to be inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey but I am careful not to do anything that might offend my computer.
Amusement Today has announced this year's best parks and rides. Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) won for best park and Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, Texas) won for best waterpark. Holiday World (Santa Claus, Ind.) won for Friendliest Park Staff, Cleanest Park, and Best New Ride of 2006.
My favorite park destination is still Walt Disney World. With four parks (and two waterparks) it's easy to keep everyone in the family satisfied. My oldest son gets to go on all the thrill rides, my younger son gets to enjoy the waterparks, and my daughter gets her "princess fix". And I get pins straight from the source.
Only 50 days until we're there.
Yesterday I took the two youngest kids to see Barnyard. I still haven't decided which is more absurd: that the bulls have udders or the line, "the best leader is the one who cares the most".
The movie does have a few cute moments but not enough to balance out the stupid ones.
Boy Scouts in Hong Kong must be working on a new badge. Is there one for being tools of the entertainment industry?
Starting this summer the Hong Kong government plans to have 200,000 youths search Internet discussion sites for illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies, and report them to the authorities. The campaign has delighted the entertainment industry, but prompted misgivings among some civil liberties advocates.
The kids will visit Internet discussion sites and report to authorities when they find copyrighted material available through a posting.
I don't think it's a civil liberties issue to report on people who are breaking the law. I don't have a problem with the crackdown on sharing copyrighted files. (Stricter enforcement here has saved me a lot of money. A few years ago I used to buy one or two CDs a week because I found new music that I liked through shared files. Now I go months without purchasing one.) I wouldn't object to commercials directed at kids and teens encouraging them to report illegal file sharing but this is too much - "All members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and nine other uniformed youth groups here, ranging in age from 9 to 25, will be expected to participate." It's no wonder this reminds some people of mainland China's Cultural Revolution.
When I get in the car I start button-pushing my way through the stations to find something I want to listen to. Frequently all I find are commercials or sucky music and I end up listening to the public radio news/talk station.
Most of the time I would have been better off (or at least my blood pressure would have been better) listening to inane commercials but lately something very strange has been happening. I've heard stories that support the troops in Iraq. I mean honestly supportive, not the "we support the troops but..." ones that are used as an intro for a rant against them.
I heard one opinion piece that said Haditha is not My Lai and Iraq is not Vietnam. The really weird part was that this wasn't followed by another opinion piece implying that the first speaker was (a) wrong, (b) insane, and (c) a moral deviant.
Another piece discussed the TV show The Human Behavior Experiments and compared treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib with a psychology experiment at Stanford in the early 1970s.
In this experiiment, students were randomly assigned into groups of either guards or prisoners. "In less than a week many of the guards had of their own accord turned sadistic, while prisoners grew anxious and disturbed. Some of the photographs from that study are eerily similar to the Abu Ghraib snapshots: naked prisoners posed in sexually humiliating positions with bags over their heads." This doesn't excuse the soldiers' behavior but it sends the message that none of us can be absolutely sure what we would do in similar circumstances.
All of this is so unlike what I'm used to hearing on this station. I don't know what to make of it.
I just got another of our regular calls from our phone company. They call anywhere from once a week to daily to try and get us to add their long distance service. The answer is always "no".
While I wasn't rude, I did feel regretful afterwards. Not because I was emphatic about asking that they don't call again, I regretted that when the caller asked if I made the "phone service decisions" that I didn't answer, "I'm the decider." It's one of my new favorite phrases and I missed the perfect opportunity to use it.
Oh, well. There's always next time. (They haven't done anything about my requests not to receive any more calls before so I'm assuming they won't this time either.)
Next time, after I announce that I'm the decider I'll ask them to check how many long distance calls I make with my landline phone. (None, I rarely call long distance and when I do I use my wireless service at no extra charge.) When the caller says they don't have access to that information, I'll say I watch the news and from what I can tell, everyone has access to my phone records. Then I'll accuse him/her of wanting to spy on me.
I'm almost looking forward to it.
Nintendo Revolution is now call Wii
Nintendo explains the reason for the new name. Wii sounds like "we" which emphasizes this console is for everyone.
Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abreviate. Just Wii.
Okay, it's not language specific except that the pronoun "we" is different in different languages. This made me wonder if Nintendo gave different explanations for different languages - for example, did they tell French speakers that Wii sounds like oui? (I think "Yes" would have been a great name.)
Mon nom est … Wii
Comme on prononce "nous" en anglais.
I checked the other languages on the Nintendo Europe site and every one that I looked at said that the new name sounds like the English "we".
So if they don't really mind if "Wii = we" is universally understood my next question is, will they mind if I abreviate it to Wi? Or will IL, IA, MI, and MN feel envious?
My kids hav been taking the CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) tests this past week. My oldest son was telling me about some open response questions on one of the tests. The topic of a number of the questions was global warming. He said that he gave them the type of answers that he thought they wanted for the first several but when it came to the last question about ways to cool the Earth (one natural and one influenced by people) his answer to the second part was probably not what they were expecting - nuclear winter.
From an article in USA Today: CEOs say how you treat a waiter can predict a lot about character.
It's not just how people treat waiters but how they treat anyone they feel is "beneath" them that lets you get a glimpse of their real character.
There is a bird that I can hear from my bedroom that has a song very similar to a phone ringing. If I'm fully awake and hear it, I can tell that it is a bird. But the pitch, interval, and duation of the note that it sings are all very similar to a phone's ring. The sound is close enough to wake me from a nap and make me think the phone is ringing.
The only good part is that the bird sounds like a home phone and not like some of the ringers that come with cell phones. If he develops that talent he may find himself going the way of the Norwegian Blue.
It's raining. It has been raining all day and is supposed to continue raining for a couple more days. Most people see this as nothing more than dreary weather, I see it as a sign from the heavens that I should go back to bed and take a nap*.
* While I tend to be skeptical when it comes to believing in messages from God, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to naps. And trips to Florida. I can see signs that I should do one or the other in pretty much anything...sometimes the reasoning is a bit convoluted but it works for me. Actually the rain could be a sign that I should go to Florida and take a nap on a warm beach. Unfortunately my finances don't allow that right now so I'll settle for a warm bed.
Last night Emma and I went to see Nanny McPhee. I really enjoyed it. There's something about someone coming in and making unruly children behave that appeals to me.
Today is my oldest son's 17th birthday. He seems to think that means it's his special day. I think it should be mine. I told him to strap a watermelon around his waist for a few months and then tell me who deserves special treatment. I know a watermelon doesn't exactly simulate what it's like to be pregnant but it's close enough. I would probably still have to sneak up and punch him in the kidneys once in a while to add to the experience.
Tonight we've been watching the Commercial Bowl XL. It made me start thinking - if you had a competition with a team of sports announcers and a team of U.S. Senators to see who could talk the longest without really saying anything, who would win?
First there was the "news" that Britney Spears would guest star on Will & Grace.
The pop star will appear as a Christian conservative sidekick to Sean Hayes' character, Jack, who hosts his own talk show. Jack's fictional network, Out TV, is bought by a Christian TV network, leading to Spears contributing a cooking segment called Cruci-fixin's.
The American Family Association was not pleased. I don't know if their complaints mattered much to NBC, I doubt that the AFA and like-minded people are the show's target audience but NBC is now saying, "The reference to "Cruci-fxins" will not be in the show and the storyline will not contain a Christian characterization at all."
Am I cynical to think that this was just an attempt to get attention for a show that long ago lost whatever humor it once had?
I hate having my hair cut. My last haircutting experience didn't help this at all.
I wanted to be able to give the stylist an idea of what I wanted so I looked for pictures online. I found one I liked - a "regular person" picture, not some super model or movie star picture. I understand that my hair, it's thickness and growth pattern, means that I may not end up with something exactly like the picture. That's not a problem, I just wanted something similar.
I showed the stylist the picture. She told me what she thought would look best. I told her again what I wanted. She repeated what she thought would be best. About this time I begin thinking that it's less a matter of what would look best but what she was capable of doing. I gave in, afterall, if anything more than trimming a few inches off all the way around is more than she feels she's able to do, who am I to argue?
I need another haircut and I think I'll try some place different this time.
Last August I posted my theory of the cause of global warming. After I wrote it I found an article that says that windmills may actually cause local climate change and if widely used could cause global climate change.
What I had thought was a totally unique theory had been done before. This was a disappointment and it caused me to rethink things. I now have a new theory of the cause of global warming.
I'm still blaming friction for creating the heat but I have now focused the blame on meteors. You may say that meteors are nothing new, why would they suddenly start causing global warming? I have the answer for that. It's electromagnetism! All the powerlines and all the electronic equipment that generate magnetism attracts iron-filled meteors like a magnet attracts paperclips.
I haven't checked but I feel fairly safe in saying that this theory is totally my own. If not, then I have real fears for the future of science.
These rules didn't come with my Capitol Records release of X and Y.
An article has a collection of some of the odder news stories of the year.
Here's a country that takes education seriously - In Japan, police were so upset to hear that a student who was caught up in a traffic accident had to get to an important exam that they gave him a full escort with sirens, arriving with 10 minutes to spare.
This doesn't sound very eco-friendly - Tourism authorities in Switzerland decided to wrap an entire glacier in PVC foam to try and stop it melting during the summer months.
Inclusiveness gone too far - A pastor in Denmark's established church who had been suspended because he did not believe in God was allowed back into the fold. "We're giving him another chance," said the religious affairs minister, who oversees the Lutheran Protestant Church.
At what point does the recognition that there are several holidays at this time of year become a "war on Christmas"?
If neighbors complain about a house with a nativity scene in someone's yard, then I think that's going too far. (Although I don't think I would like this in my neighborhood.) But what if a stranger, an individual or business, fails to wish me Merry Christmas?
If I get a pleasant greeting from a stranger, I take it in the manner it was given and reply the same way. It's just nice to see someone who is still cheerfully greeting others. If a business sends out a flyer or catalog that wishes me Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, why should I care? I think that Christmas is too commercial anyway so the lack of a Christmas greeting isn't something I'm going to miss. These are businesses, I'm not going to get in a tizzy just because they aren't marketing only to the holiday that I celebrate.
When I shop in the stores my concern is whether or not I get good service. Is the item I want in stock? Are there enough sales people and cashiers? Are they cordial and helpful or do I get the feeling that I'm an inconvenience to them? I'm shopping for gifts, not new buddies, and I don't wish to pretend that our relationship is anything but a business transaction. If I've bought something that is obviously Christmas related or mentioned that I'm shopping for a Christmas present and the salesperson wishes me a Merry Christmas as I leave, that might earn them and the store a mental brownie point for paying attention but I'm not going to stop shopping there if they don't say it as long as the service was good.
Whatever the form a holiday wish takes, it is like a gift because it's the thought that counts. Being offended that it wasn't tailored especially to fit you is churlish and self-centered.
Why is it that people in shopping malls behave just like my cats do at home? They either race around, practically knocking me over or rush to get in front me and then slowly stroll along aimlessly (with occasional abrupt stops for no apparent reason).
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a list of top 100 movies. I've italicized the ones I've seen (or, at least the ones I remember seeing. I may have seen others that I didn't find good or bad enough to be memorable or I saw them during the '70s which I have trouble remembering much of anyway.)
It is a good list of movies but I'm not sure about the order of them...Monty Python's Life of Brian ranks higher than The Holy Grail?
Are there any on this list that I haven't seen that you would recommend? Any not on the list that should be?
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
3. Blade Runner
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. Donnie Darko
6. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
7. Pulp Fiction
8. The Princess Bride
9. Gone With The Wind
10. Fight Club
11. The Sound of Music
12. To Kill A Mockingbird
13. 2001: A Space Odyssey
15. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
16. American Beauty
17. Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
18. Monty Python's Life of Brian
19. Lawrence Of Arabia
20. Apocalypse Now
21. Cinema Paradiso
22. Doctor Zhivago
23. The Matrix
24. The Castle
25. Singin' in the Rain
26. A Clockwork Orange
27. The Blues Brothers
28. Withnail and I
29. Life is Beautiful
30. The Godfather
31. Moulin Rouge
32. Some Like it Hot
33. Lost in Translation
34. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
35. Local Hero
36. The Third Man
39. Breakfast at Tiffany's
40. A Room with a View
41. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
42. Dead Poets Society
43. Harold and Maude
44. The Big Lebowski
45. The Wizard of Oz
46. Out Of Africa
47. Picnic at Hanging Rock
48. The Usual Suspects
50. Forrest Gump
51. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
52. The Piano
53. Pirates of the Carribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl
54. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
55. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
56. The City of Lost Children
57. The African Queen
58. Love Actually
59. Strictly Ballroom
60. Wings of Desire
61. Raiders of the Lost Ark
62. Babette's Feast
63. The Fifth Element
64. Spirited Away
66. It's a Wonderful Life
67. Napoleon Dynamite
68. Rear Window
69. Romeo And Juliet
70. Dirty Dancing
71. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
72. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
74. Muriel's Wedding
75. When Harry Met Sally
76. The Great Escape
77. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
80. Garden State
81. Sin City
82. Chariots of Fire
83. The English Patient
84. This is Spinal Tap
87. Look Both Ways
91. All About Eve
92. Citizen Kane
93. Stand By Me
94. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
95. Mulholland Drive
96. Back to the Future
97. High Fidelity
98. The Thin Red Line
99. Being John Malkovich
100. Dead Man
Some of my favorites that weren't listed are Sunset Blvd., Yankee Doodle Dandy (but I can see where that might not be as popular in Australia), Men in Black, Remember the Titans, Brian's Song, Adam's Rib, Airplane!, Toy Story, A Shot in the Dark, How Green Was My Valley, Easy Rider, Rebecca and just about every other Hitchcock film. What have I left out?
A couple of days ago I watched C-SPAN presents The Annual Video Game Report with guest star Joe Lieberman. The real name was "10th Annual MediaWise Video Game Report Card" but I like my title better.
The best part of the program was a question for Lieberman about his op-ed...probably because it's the only thing I remember hearing during the whole show that I agreed with.
Not that the rest of the show was a complete waste of time. The list of games for their "parent alert" section was interesting. I hadn't heard of most of them but after seeing the clips from them I put one on my rent-to-check-out list. Stubbs the Zombie looked fun. The clip showed a zombie going around popping people's heads off. Tell me that wouldn't be cathartic after a day at the mall.
I enjoy a variety of music genres and artists and so I was happy to see that I don't have any of the listed CDs. I did notice that country music seemed to be under represented in this list (I'm not a big fan so there may be names I don't recognize). So, my question is, does Sony think that country music fans are less technologically savvy or more honest than fans of other types of music?
A Florida law firm's television advertisement featuring a pit bull, a dog breed known for its aggression, is misleading and an affront to the legal profession, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
...The advertisements "demean all lawyers and thereby harm both the legal profession and the public's trust and confidence in our system of justice," Chief Justice Barbara Pariente scolded a unanimous decision.
Considering how some people feel about lawyers, they may see this as more of an insult to the dogs.
We'll be going out to dinner this evening. Between now and then my plans are to take a nap, maybe do a little work (only because November's been a busy month so far and I don't want to get behind), and eat myself into a chocolate truffle stupor. If I only manage to get the last one accomplished, I'll consider it a day well spent.
Hurricane Wilma, brought to you by the number 2
You think your ex is a snake?
Last week I decided it was time to clean out the shed. I found something that I know I didn't put in there.
Neither of us was happy to see the other.
Real time crisis management involves finding answers when you aren't sure you have enough information on the specifics of the event(s) to know all of the questions. Preparation is vital but, even so, problems that weren't expected will occur. Everyone will think his or her problem/area of responsibility should get top priority.
Finding fault later is so much easier, more information without any of the pressure. You can look at the whole chain of events and point out what should have been done and when. The best part of hindsight is that you can never be proved wrong. No real world test means no chance of failure.
Could earlier intervention by the state's National Guard or by federal authorities made a difference?
On this week's This American Life radio broadcast a woman was talking about her experience in the New Orleans Convention Center. There were rumors among the evacuees that the National Guard was going to open the flood gates and drown them all.
In one news report I heard that people working under FEMA were hiding their ID badges under their shirts because of their concerns over how people in New Orleans would react. Their fears may be justified. There are people who blame FEMA for many of the problems. Of course by not letting the people they are helping know that the aid is coming via FEMA is just going to perpetuate the idea that FEMA isn't doing anything.
Distrust of authority, whether it's the federal government or state military, may have been made worse by extreme conditions but it existed before in varying degrees. So what would have happened if these or other official agencies had tried to force evacuations earlier? Would more people have been saved? Or just different people? Could there have been even greater resistance to leaving their homes resulting in even fewer people getting away from the flood?
How long would it have taken for rumors to start? People are wonderfully imaginative and would come up with all sorts of possible scenarios. The less imaginative ones would start comparing the National Guard to Nazis and claim that they were not there to rescue people but to send them to their deaths.
What do you do when someone you don't trust tells you that you must do something? Comply or resist? If it's something you were planning on doing already, do you reconsider your plan? If you do trust the authorities but your friends, family or neighbors don't, do you let them influence your decision?
There are some things, like the breakdown in communications among the police, that are obvious failures. There are other things that could have been handled differently, but different doesn't automatically mean better.
FEMA has a page with contact details for state emergency management offices and agencies. I clicked the link for Kentucky Emergency Management and found the important information that "the installation of the Apache web server software on this system was successful."
Kentucky does have another Division of Emergency Mangement page but it tells you to visit the nonworking page for the Emergency Operations Plan, Administrative Regulations, and other internal, agency related information. The page with this link was last updated yesterday.
I'm not feeling very confident.
My own plans for emergencies (outside of the usual 911 types) don't depend much on what the government or its agencies do or don't do. Still, it would be nice to know what they have in mind.
I've emailed the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and asked for the correct URL and will update this post if anything results from it.
Update: I didn't get a reply but the http://kyem.dma.ky.gov/ page is working now and has a link to Kentucky's EOP. It's all Word doc and PowerPoint files. Nice for downloading, perhaps, but not my first choice for reading online.
Update 2: I received an email from a public information officer of the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs on Friday afternoon. "A link to our old server was temporarily down, it is up again. Try; http://kyem.dma.ky.gov/ & clink (sic) on the internal link KyEOP."
The link to the server was down but I still got the Apache web server software message?
It seems that everyone is pointing fingers of blame. Bush should have done more before/during/after the hurricane. Of course, if the federal government had come in to force evacuations beforehand and the hurricane had missed New Orleans completely the complaints would be even louder. Those rethuglicans going in and shipping out poor people for no reason.
The mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana have also been blamed for poor planning and being slow to react to the problems. While I think that they do deserve criticism, I don't think that this is the time for it. Could they and all the mayors and governors that came before them have prepared for a disaster like this? Maybe, but it's easy for someone trying to run a city or state to get caught up in taking care of the day-to-day business - things that need to be done now - and put off taking care of planning for an event that may or may not occur during their term in office.
It's not an excuse, just the way things are. How many of us have plans for taking care of ourselves and our families in an emergency? Does your family have fire drills? Does everyone know what to do to get out and where to meet? Do you have emergency supplies set aside in an area that would be easy to get to? Or do you just hope nothing will happen and if it does that everyone will instinctively know what to do?
If you don't have a plan, make one. Now.
I'm going to join the blame brigade too. I'm not blaming any people (there's been enough of that already), I'm blaming butterflies.
Find the Top 100 songs from the year you graduated from high school. Underline the ones you love, bold the ones you like, cross out the ones you don't like, and ignore the ones you don't remember or don't care about.
There are a lot I don't remember. There are several where I like the band/artist more than I liked their song(s) for that year. It was easier to pick out the ones I don't like than to decide how much I liked the others. Even though I underlined some, I think of it as more of a stronger like rather than a love for the song. If I never heard any of these songs again, the number of the ones that I would really miss could be counted on one hand. Some that I liked when they came out I grew to hate as I heard them played over and over again. I've also come to like some that I didn't like before.
Find your year here (scroll down, it's near the bottom of the page) or continue reading to see my list.
Top 100 Songs of 1977
(Subject to further editing)
Tonight's The Night, Rod Stewart
I Just Want To Be Your Everything, Andy Gibb
3. Best Of My Love, Emotions
Love Theme From "A Star Is Born", Barbra Streisand
5. Angel In Your Arms, Hot
6. I Like Dreamin', Kenny Nolan
7. Don't Leave Me This Way, Thelma Houston
(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, Rita Coolidge
Undercover Angel, Alan O'Day
Torn Between Two Lovers, Mary MacGregor
11. I'm Your Boogie Man, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
12. Dancing Queen, Abba
13. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Leo Sayer
14. Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet
15. Telephone Line, Electric Light Orchestra
16. Whatcha Gonna Do?, Pablo Cruise
17. Do You Wanna Make Love, Peter McCann
18. Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder
19. Hotel California, Eagles
20. Got To Give It Up, Pt. 1, Marvin Gaye
21. Theme From "Rocky" (Gonna Fly Now), Bill Conti
22. Southern Nights, Glen Campbell
23. Rich Girl, Daryl Hall and John Oates
When I Need You, Leo Sayer
25. Hot Line, Sylvers
26. Car Wash, Rose Royce
You Don't Have To Be A Star, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
28. Fly Like An Eagle, Steve Miller Band
29. Don't Give Up On Us, David Soul
30. On And On, Stephen Bishop
31. Feels Like The First Time, Foreigner
32. Couldn't Get It Right, Climax Blues Band
33. Easy, Commodores
Right Time Of The Night, Jennifer Warnes
35. I've Got Love On My Mind, Natalie Cole
36. Blinded By The Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band
37. Looks Like We Made It, Barry Manilow
38. So In To You, Atlanta Rhythm Section
39. Dreams, Fleetwood Mac
40. Enjoy Yourself, Jacksons
41. Dazz, Brick
42. I'm In You, Peter Frampton
43. Lucille, Kenny Rogers
44. The Things We Do For Love, 10cc
Da Doo Ron Ron, Shaun Cassidy
46. Handy Man, James Taylor
47. Just A Song Before I Go, Crosby, Stills and Nash
48. You And Me, Alice Cooper
49. Slow Dancin', Johnny Rivers
50. Lonely Boy, Andrew Gold
51. I Wish, Stevie Wonder
52. Don't Stop, Fleetwood Mac
53. Barracuda, Heart
54. Strawberry Letter 23, Brothers Johnson
Night Moves, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
56. You're My World, Helen Reddy
57. Heard It In A Love Song, Marshall Tucker Band
58. Carry On Wayward Son, Kansas
59. New Kid In Town, Eagles
My Heart Belongs To Me, Barbra Streisand
61. After The Lovin', Engelbert Humperdinck
62. Jet Airliner, Steve Miller Band
63. Stand Tall, Burton Cummings
64. Way Down, Elvis Presley
65. Weekend In New England, Barry Manilow
66. It Was Almost Like A Song, Ronnie Milsap
67. Smoke From A Distant Fire, Sanford Townsend Band
68. Cold As Ice, Foreigner
69. Ariel, Dean Friedman
70. Lost Without Your Love, Bread
71. Star Wars Theme-Cantina Band, Meco
72. Float On, Floaters
73. Jeans On, David Dundas
74. Lido Shuffle, Boz Scaggs
75. Keep It Comin' Love, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
76. You Made Me Believe In Magic, Bay City Rollers
77. Livin' Thing, Electric Light Orchestra
78. Give A Little Bit, Supertramp
79. That's Rock 'N' Roll, Shaun Cassidy
80. Love So Right, Bee Gees
81. The Rubberband Man, Spinners
82. I Never Cry, Alice Cooper
83. Nobody Does It Better, Carly Simon
84. High School Dance, Sylvers
85. Love's Grown Deep, Kenny Nolan
86. Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman), Joe Tex
87. I Wanna Get Next To You, Rose Royce
88. Somebody To Love, Queen
89. Muskrat Love, Captain and Tennille
90. Walk This Way, Aerosmith
91. Whispering-Cherchez La Femme-C'est Si Bon, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
Year Of The Cat, Al Stewart
93. Boogie Nights, Heatwave
94. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
95. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Elton John
96. Don't Worry Baby, B.J. Thomas
97. Knowing Me, Knowing You, Abba
98. How Much Love, Leo Sayer
99. Star Wars (Main Title), London Symphony Orchestra
100. Devil's Gun, C.J. and Co.
On Saturday, Oldham County High School hosted the Kickoff Classic. It marked the beginning of the 2005 football season and all three county high schools played games that day. The games were originally scheduled to be at noon, 3:00 and 6:00 but because of the heat index all were pushed back until later in the day. My son's school, South Oldham County High School (the last one scheduled), didn't begin their game until 10:00.
No one thought to reset the timer for the automatic sprinklers.
Play was halted briefly on account of "rain".
I blame windmills. The blades going through the air create friction. Friction generates heat. The heat warms the atmosphere.
Sometimes I even manage to amaze myself with my
crackpot brilliant theories.
My 16-year-old son and I went out today so he could practice driving. It left me with one burning question. Why do they even have drive through pharmacies if we can't drive up, explain the situation, and have them give me a trial sample of Xanax?
TheDamnBlog.com posts that pushing the door close button and your floor button at the same time will put the elevator into express mode. No stops at other floors on your way.
It's a good thing that I am seldom around any buildings with more than a couple of floors. The temptation to try this out might be too much for me to resist.
Conor and Emma at the zoo.
We went back to see the lorikeets and I remembered my camera this time. I have a couple of pictures of them plus a few of the other animals.
The Louisville City Council voted to allow wine and liquor sales on Sundays. Beer's been available on Sundays for quite a while so it seems that it's reasonable to allow people to buy other types of alcohol too.
When I was a child this wouldn't have been a matter for consideration, store were closed on Sundays. In theory I kind of miss the old "blue laws" that kept stores closed one day a week. In reality I like being able to go shopping 24/7. Families have changed, work schedules have changed, not as many people now have the time to shop during the week so it makes sense that retailers changed to accommodate them. Some still argue against it, there's the whole Sabbath thing...the Christian Sabbath, of course, imagine the complaints if businesses were shut down at sunset Friday night.
We've got to keep things separate, secular. This made me think about the courts. I read about their judgements on keeping anything remotely religious out of the public arena. You know, no Christmas displays on public property, no Ten Commandments in the courthouse. So I checked some courthouse websites, and the ones I looked at all appear to take Sunday off. Why Sunday? Why not Monday or Wednesday, or just rearrange schedules so they are open every day? Just askin'.
I watched the TV show Over There on FX tonight. It's produced by Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue). All I had heard about it before this evening came from a radio interview I heard on public radio. That alone was enough to make me wonder if it was something I wanted to watch. But Bochco said he wasn't trying to make a political statement and I have liked other shows he's done so I decided to give it a chance.
I liked it. It's violent, even grisly in parts but it is good drama.
Update: Instapundit links to some negative reviews of the show. They make some good points. There are inaccuracies. There are stereotypes. If I had been in the military, I might have had the same objections to it. Heck, even without being in the military I still noticed some of the problems these other bloggers mentioned. (See Joe's Dartblog, Indepundit, and Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys.)
But it's not a documentary, it's a TV show and considering what it could have been like (what I was afraid it would be like), I think it was done pretty well. After I watched it I read a Newsweek review that panned the show. I counted that as one more reason to like it.
There's a proposal being considered by Congress that will add two months to Daylight Saving Time.
"The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use,'' said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the measure with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
Congress is obviously more powerful than I had realized.
From July 12 until October 12, 2005 Sprint users can send a text message to a landline phone at standard text messaging rates. The message will be converted to voice and the person who is receiving the message can reply by selecting one of the available responses.
I may have to text message myself. I can't think of anyone else with a landline phone that I know the number for, wouldn't be freaked out by getting a message, or wouldn't think it was a telemarketer and hang up immediately.
I just fininshed reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If you've heard or read anything about the book you know that a major character dies. It made the ending of the book very sad but, for me, it was made sadder because the death appears to have came about through the betrayal by someone this character had trusted.
Trevor needed some white shoes for marching band so we went out shopping. One of the stores we went to was a sporting goods store. He found a pair he liked and we were waiting for a sales person so we could ask to see ones in Trevor's size.
We were standing next to the display...this was right next to the door to the backroom. The sales person went in and out a few times to get shoes for other people while we stood there.
Then he seemed to just decide to take a break. He walked over to a bench, propped up his foot on it and stared off into space.
We left. We found a nice pair of shoes at the next store we tried. Cost less too. I guess you don't have to charge as much when your sales people actually take care of the customers.
I'll be leaving for my monthly book club meeting in a few minutes. The book we read for this month was The Known World by Edward P. Jones. Unfortunately for me, I read it soon after last month's meeting and I'm not sure how much of the details of it I'll remember well enough to discuss.
Maybe it will help me talk less this time.
I wanted to add some about something I've noticed about some books I read but need to go get ready. I'll update this post later.
About a week ago I read a book where the main character said something about using several browsers to search for information on her computer. It was just one brief part out of the whole book but aren't computers common enough that the author/editor/proofreader/someone would be able to get basic terms correct? In another book there was a character that was supposed to be a computer geek. This character supposedly had a good, close relationship with his sisters...but one of them had an AOL account!
Maybe I should stick to historical fiction.
We're reading (rereading for me) Stranger in a Strange Land for next month. I'll be helping lead the discussion on that one.
Stack Rock Fort, about 800 yards off the west Wales coast near Milford Haven, is for sale for £150,000.
There doesn't appear to be much in the way of amenities (like plumbing, electricity...) but it has cannons!
I was really excited yesterday when I heard that Pink Floyd would be getting back together. They're one of the few bands that I didn't see in concert but wish I had.
Then I found out it would only be for the Live 8 concert. In England. And the tickets are all given out (as if the unavailability of tickets were more of a problem for me than traveling to get there.)
Some people who had managed to get tickets were selling them on eBay. The auction site has now withdrawn all Live 8 ticket sales. It seems that Bob Geldof objected to the tickets being sold. The tickets were given away for free through a text message lottery and had bids on eBay of up to $1,800.
Geldof said, "The people who are selling these tickets on Web sites are miserable wretches who are capitalizing on people's misery." (I bet he really said "capitalising".) While I think selling the tickets is crass, I don't really see how it harms the people the concert is meant to help.
Well, Bob, I'm miserable that I can't be there. Concert tickets, round-trip airfare, and accommodations for a family of five would ease my pain. Maybe I'll even change my opinion on the BRIT award you got....
Tomato Nation: 25 and Over has a list of rules for grown ups. "...once you have turned 25, the grace period is over, and starring in a film in your head in which you walk the earth alone is no longer considered a valid lifestyle choice, but rather grounds for exclusion from social occasions."
Some of the ones about things that annoy me the most are (The rules are in italics followed by my comments.):
4. Develop a physical awareness of your surroundings. This is something that really annoys me. I can't count the number of times I've had to jump out of the way or pull my kids out of the way of someone who wasn't looking where they were walking (or who suddenly stopped walking). When you're out in public, leave your daydreams at home and join reality. Pay attention.
5. Be on time. Really. Late is not cute. Late is not fashionable. Late is rude. Your time is not more valuable then mine. If you have a job such as heart surgeon or fireman where you may be called away in an emergency, I'll understand. If you're just so self-absorbed that you think the world revolves around you, you will find your world getting smaller as your friends get tired of constantly waiting for you and stop inviting you to join them.
11. Do as invitations ask you. I've just about given up on having birthday parties for my kids. It's unfair to them but I've gotten tired of parents who ignore the R.S.V.P. on the invitations. We've had parties at baseball games, a martial arts studio, a ceramic painting studio, gymnastics school, indoor play center, and some more I can't remember right now. I spent time arranging the parties (more than just making the reservations, I try to add some extra things on my own) so my kids and your kids could have fun. Can't you spend a few minutes to let me know whether or not your child can come?
14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. Little stories from work can be interesting up to a point. Keep them short, especially if they are about people/things I don't know. If, on the other hand, it's always just complaints about work, keep it to yourself or try to do something to change it. (See 19. Take care of yourself.)
And the one that sums up the rest:
20. Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else's, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere.
I took my sons to see the new Star Wars movie on opening day. I have a cold so I wasn't feeling up to sitting through a 2+ hour movie so I didn't stay with them. I was also afraid that I would have a coughing fit that would cause the fans to attack me. As if missing some of Lucas' dialog would be that great of a loss.
This is just background to explain that I can't tell if the following makes sense.
My oldest son said a friend of his compared the Jedi Council to The Beatles and Padmé to Yoko Ono. The explanation he gave of why this is so wasn't very clear. For those of you who have seen the movie, does this comparison make sense? Can you explain it to me?
My teenage son walked into the room and his only comment was, "This guy can't sing." Trevor likes classic rock - mostly from the second [wave of the first*] British invasion - so that's his standard for good music. It's a good thing he didn't stick around long enough to hear Springsteen talk politics or I would still be getting questioned about why I was listening to that liberal stuff. I don't know if I would have an answer. I guess I just hoped that he would have some songs that are fun and fast and rock instead of sounding like a whiney dirge.
*Inserted this to make my meaning clear. The world (or at least Wiki) and I have a different view of what constitutes a second wave.
Regardless of your opinion on teaching diversity/multiculturalism in school, teaching 5-year-olds in kindergarten about "same-sex couples raising children" raising children doesn't make sense.
It has nothing to do with whether such relationships are "good" or "bad". It's that to a 5-year-old, those relationships don't matter. Young children first begin to recognize how others are related to them (family, friend, teacher...). At kindergarten age they relate to other children as "someone like me" and view the realtionships the other children have in the same way - how the people in that other child's life are related to that child. How those people are related to each other isn't an issue yet. For example, a friend's brother is thought of only as a brother, not as another child of that child's parents. Parents are parents, period. It's not that the child is totally unaware that parents may also be husband and wife or whatever their relationship or lack of relationship is to each other, it's that their primary identification label in his mind is "friend's mom", "friend's dad" (or "friend's other mom"), "friend's grandmother", or "friend's whatever-you-want-to-call-the-person-who-takes-care-of-him". At this age, adults and other household members relationships with each other isn't as important as their relationship with the child or his friends.
For a child who is dependent upon the adults in his life, their relationship with him is what is most important. Funny how some adults seem to have lost sight of this.
I don't believe it's the place of the schools to teach about family relationships. I'll teach my children what they need to know about that when they need to know (when they begin asking questions.) The schools should trust me to do this just as I trust them to teach literature, math, and science (in spite of the fact that one science poster I saw in a classroom said "energy causes light" and another teacher said that touching mercury will burn your skin.)
What some parents teach their children may not be what the educational powers that be think is "right". If the schools spent more time teaching the basics and teaching critical thinking then this wouldn't be a problem. Teach a child to think critically and find the truth for himself and eventually it won't matter if his parents have taught him that anyone different is wrong or to be hated. Life experience and his critical reasoning skills will help him find the truth. Spoonfeed him the ideas that you believe are right and he won't learn anything other than to believe the voices that he hears the loudest.
Some of the
talk blogging today is about talk radio. (Here and here.) I don't listen to the radio much, usually only when I'm in the car, and if I do listen to talk radio it's usually public radio. I enjoy many of their programs...the non-political ones but I should know by now to change the station when the show has a political theme.
I was driving to the store a few days ago, listening to a discussion on the radio about filibustering. One caller was the mother of two preschool children and she was telling about her worries (that without the ability of a minority party to block judicial nominations) that her daughter would grow up in a country where she wouldn't have the right to choose to have an abortion. My daughter is nine and I don't think this concern has ever occurred to me. I guess I just don't think ahead, coping with the immediate problems of child rearing that each age brings is enough for me to handle without dwelling on their future (one hopes fairly distant future) sex lives.
Her worries for her son were that he would be forced to fight in a war in which he didn't believe. It was then that I began yelling at the radio. Had I missed something or had she been asleep since the early '70s? Last I heard, no one was being forced to join the military. Again, this isn't something that I have stayed up nights worrying about even though I have two sons. If either of them chooses to join (an honorable decision of which I would be proud), I'll worry about their safety then...although don't you worry about the safety of all your children regardless of where they are or what they do? It's just that when they're in the military you have a better idea of where possible danger may come from. The parents of the 9/11 victims probably thought their children were safe in their offices.
Not that she mentioned that she would be worried about his safety, just about him having to do something he didn't agree with. I hope that parenting philosophy doesn't extend to the more mundane aspects of her children's lives...homework, brushing their teeth, showing respect for other people and their property. If it does, that's something she should really be worried about.
We're just coming out from tornado and thunderstorm warnings. I haven't heard of any injuries or damage anywhere and most of the storm passed us by. Most of these spring storms seem to follow the same pattern. They split into two parts, one part goes just north of us along the Ohio River and the other part goes just south of us. As much as I
want need to move into a larger house, the micro-weather pattern here is one benefit of staying where we are.
Good thing the worst of it passed us. There were reports of large hail and if it had hailed on my new car.... Not that I think hail damage is more dangerous than a tornado or that I don't take the warnings seriously*, the odds of hail just seemed higher than the odds of a tornado.
*By taking it seriously I mean that I told the kids to take cover. I stayed in the kitchen and made chess bars. I don't like my plans to be interrupted and I kept the TV on just in case.
Update: There are some reports of damage coming in. Not sure whether or not there have been any injuries or how severe the damage is yet.
Are all local morning news teams as witless as the ones where I live? They used to really irritate me but the senseless blather doesn't bother me anymore. Maybe I'm getting older and more tolerant. Nah. It's the idea that if I wake up one day with the IQ of a grapefruit I could still find a job working with them.
Worked on taxes this week...wrote the checks to the federal and state treasuries yesterday...mailed it all today. I need a vacation. Unfortunately once those checks clear I won't be able to afford one. I'm settling for a good book and possibly a nap.
Naps are good. Not two-week cruise good, but at least I don't have to worry about finding someone to take care of the cats during it.
I took Emma over to a friend's house about an hour ago. When I was almost home I saw a turtle near the edge of the road. I didn't get a good look at it as I was driving by and assumed it was a box turtle. I pulled over as soon as I safely could and ran back to move it away from the road. (I really like turtles and didn't want one to become roadkill if I could prevent it.)
I was surprised to find that it wasn't a box turtle but was a red eared slider. So, instead of just moving him away from the road I brought him home. There's a wooded area with a small creek behind our house and we took him there. I hope he decides to hang around there...it's better than the road and we might have a chance of seeing him again.
Last month I joined a book club at a local bookstore. The book we read for that meeting was "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler. I enjoyed that book and have since read another one by her, "Sister Noon".
The book for this month is "The Hot Flash Club" by Nancy Thayer. I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much. It was okay, a quick read and entertaining enough if I didn't think about it too much...maybe I shouldn't have read next month's book (Pride and Prejudice) right after it. Thayer's book had enough problems without having a much better one to compare it to.
The story is implausible, four women meet at a party and form a club to help solve each other's problems. Who begins sharing personal problems with strangers that quickly? Anyway, I can overlook a big implausibility, it's the details that bother me.
One character is an MIT professor, a paleobiologist who specializes in the study of trilobites. At one point she is thinking to herself, "No one knew why, 500 million years ago, all trilobites had been decimated." Decimated? Only 10% were killed off? Everyone else thinks they became extinct...she must be a super scientist to have discovered some still living.
Another character is an artist and tells a young woman about an artist named Maud Lewis. She says Lewis was from Quebec...but she was born and lived her entire live in Nova Scotia.
A third character is a vice president of a large company. She opens an email attachment and gets a virus on her company computer. I know that people do dumb things but don't spend half the book telling me how savvy she is and then have her do something like that. But that's not the worst of it. The virus sounds like a combination between the Secret Admirer virus and SirCam and after it executes by sending random files to everyone in her address book it puts an icon for itself on her desktop. What a nice virus, making it so easy to find. The woman gets in trouble for the emails but no one says anything to the company's IT department for its poor security.
These are just little details but there were more of them than I've mentioned...enough of them to be bothersome to me. Inaccuracies, either from poor writing or poor editing, make it hard for me to stay focused on the story the author is trying to tell.
I bought a new car yesterday. The enjoyment of having a new car doesn't really start until the memory of the tedium of the sales process fades. I may take my time deciding what to buy, but once I do, I want things to move quickly. Spending three hours or more with three different people - the salesman, the sales manager, and the finance manager - isn't my idea of speedy.
I probably could have picked a better day than yesterday. The kids were off from school and had been since Thursday of last week so my patience for anything/everything was wearing a bit thin. (If you have two or more children, you will understand this. It's the bickering among themselves that's tiring to me.)
This morning our furnace quit working. I think it was jealous and wanted attention. Machines are like kids. You bring home a new one and an older one acts up.
I have a pain in my back - a different one from the normal torn disk pain. I think I have another kidney stone.
I tried telling myself, it could be worse. That wasn't much comfort because it reminded me that while things weren't as bad as they could be, there was still the potential for more things to go wrong. Considering how this week's starting, I'm not ruling out that possiblity.
I need a vacation. Considering that I'll probably only have about 75 cents left in my checking account after I pay the furnace repair bill, I guess I'll have to settle for taking a nap instead.
Naps are good.
Update: I was making steak fries to go with dinner. I've been frying french fries for about 30 years now and tonight, for the first time ever, some oil spilled and caught fire. On the positive side, I found that baking soda really does work well at putting out oil/grease fires.
Because the house was full of smoke, we opened some windows. The kids complained about the cold so I let them take a ceramic heater into the living room. That, along with every light in the room and the TV and video game console, caused a breaker to throw. When I went out to reset it I found a wild rose bush had grown next to the breaker box. Finding it in the daytime wouldn't have been so bad, finding it at night was like walking into the middle of a cat fight.
Microsoft is replacing the power cords that came with some XBox consoles. "Gamers outside continental Europe with an Xbox manufactured before October 23, 2003, require a replacement cord. In Europe, owners of Xbox consoles built before January 13, 2004, need a new cord, the company says."
Update: The website says it may take weeks to get a replacement but I requested ours online on Sunday (2/20/05) and we received it Wednesday (2/23/05).
Tony Shalhoub won "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series" for the second year in a row. In his acceptance speech he thanked the guest actors that have appeared on the show and recognized the difficulty they face coming to work with a cast and director with whom they aren't familiar.
I didn't watch any more of the awards show but I heard on the news this morning that Jerry Orbach's wife accepted his award for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series".
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jamie Foxx / RAY - Ray Charles Universal Pictures
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Hilary Swank / MILLION DOLLAR BABY - Maggie Warner Bros.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Morgan Freeman / MILLION DOLLAR BABY - Scrap Warner Bros.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett / THE AVIATOR - Katharine Hepburn Miramax Films
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
SIDEWAYS Fox Searchlight Pictures
Thomas Haden Church - Jack
Paul Giamatti - Miles
Virginia Madsen - Maya
Sandra Oh - Stephanie
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Geoffrey Rush / THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS - Peter Sellers HBO
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Glenn Close / THE LION IN WINTER - Eleanor Of Aquitaine Showtime
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jerry Orbach / LAW & ORDER - Detective Lennie Briscoe NBC
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Jennifer Garner / ALIAS - Sydney Bristow ABC
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Tony Shalhoub / MONK - Adrian Monk USA
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Teri Hatcher / DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - Susan Mayer ABC
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION CBS
Gary Dourdan - Warrick Brown
George Eads - Nick Stokes
Jorja Fox - Sara Sidle
Paul Guilfoyle - Jim Brass
Robert David Hall - Dr. Robbins
Marg Helgenberger - Catherine Willows
William Petersen - Gil Grissom
Eric Szmanda - Greg Sanders
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC
Andrea Bowen - Julie Mayer
Ricardo Antonio Chavira - Carlos Solis
Marcia Cross - Bree Van De Kamp
Steven Culp - Rex Van De Kamp
James Denton - Mike Delfino
Teri Hatcher - Susan Mayer
Felicity Huffman - Lynette Scavo
Cody Kasch - Zach Young
Eva Longoria - Gabrielle Solis
Jesse Metcalfe - John the Gardener
Mark Moses - Paul Young
Nicollette Sheridan - Edie Britt
Brenda Strong - Mary Alice Young
Screen Actors Guild Awards 41st Annual Life Achievement Award
I have a low-grade fever and my throat hurts so I can't talk very loudly. At least I haven't come down with the stomach virus all my kids have had. (Knock wood.) I don't even want to contemplate what that would be like combined with a sore throat.
Last week my daughter came home from school complaining of nausea. She had the stomach virus that's going around. At least she came down with the symptoms (regular bouts of vomiting) during the day. When my younger son got it (last night), it hit him in the middle of the night. He came and woke me up again just over half an hour ago to tell me that my oldest son was sick.
This will be night number two where I get little or no sleep. I'm not complaining. I'm just trying to explain why I am again posting about a TV show. My middle-of-the-night experiences are limited (TV or barf) and my brain is numb for lack of sleep.
Actually, I'm not even watching the program I'm going to write about. (I'm getting there, just hold on a moment longer.) I noticed it when I was looking at the TV listings to see if there was anything on that would help keep me awake.
The subject of tonight's PBS show American Experience is Fidel Castro. How does that come under the heading of "American" experience? I looked at the archives of the show and didn't see any featuring other non-American leaders. The two that I saw that come closest are about the Cold War and the US/USSR arms race.
So what makes Castro more a part of the American experience than any other foreign person who has influenced America or American policy for good or bad? Maybe someone who watched it can explain.
Saying that the Left (and PBS) loves Castro doesn't count. That's a given and still doesn't explain why.
Quick, name your favorite ten Bob Geldof songs! (You're going to have to go off the top music charts since the Boomtown Rats only had five top ten songs and his solo career hasn't produced any major hits. If you're feeling generous, I guess you could count "Do They Know It's Christmas" since he cowrote it.)
I can't name any songs he performed. Maybe his contribution to music isn't as obvious on this side of the Atlantic. Maybe I'm just too old. Whatever it is that he's done, he will receive a BRIT award for outstanding contribution to music for it.
When I think of Geldof (which doesn't happen often), I think of him as the character "Pink" in the movie Pink Floyd The Wall or his Live Aid projects. He received a knighthood for his efforts to end world hunger so it's not as though this award is making up for some oversight there.
Maybe I've seen too many musical celebrity telethons to consider it a "contribution" to music.
Past winners of this award include The Beatles, The Police, Eric Clapton, The Who, Queen, David Bowie, Elton John, and U2. Then again, other past winners are Wham and the Spice Girls.
We have Pompeii: The Last Day on TV right now. I haven't been watching it closely so I don't want to be too critical but from what I can tell so far, the main result of the eruption was to kill some mediocre actors.
Why does everyone have a British accent?
What's with the scene where the slaves refuse to leave their master and his family even after they are given their freedom? They aren't staying because they think going on would be equally hopeless, they stay out of loyalty. No more derisive comments about Mammy and Pork staying with Scarlet, okay?
When it appears certain that they will die, one man offers his wife a poison that he promises is quick and painless. What is he, KGB? They're running for their lives with little or no time to take anything with them and he "just happens" to have poison for a suicide?
Pyroclastic is fun to say...at least the makers of this program think so.
Even though I haven't been writing much lately I've still been making the rounds and reading other blogs. I like to see what you all have to say and I keep hoping inspiration will strike and I'll find something I want to write about.
I haven't found it yet. This can be good news or bad news, depending on how you view my usual posts.
I blame the cold weather. (While I enjoy comments, I don't want to hear from those north of me saying I don't know what cold really is. Nor do I want to hear from those in the south saying, Oh, yes it's so cold...it got down to 50 degrees this week....) If I forced myself to write something daily it would have just ended up as a series of one-line posts - I hate cold weather.
I could try to be positive about it and say that it's good weather for napping. (I love taking mid-morning naps. Naps at other times aren't too bad either.) But I have no problem taking naps anytime during the year so cold weather isn't a benefit here.
This reminds me of one reason I'm happy the presidential election is over and that Bush was re-elected. During the fall I would fall asleep with the TV news on. Two or three times I woke up from bizarre dreams in which I was cleaning up cat barf. Every time this happened the TV was showing Kerry making a speech. I haven't had a dream like that since then.
I'm not saying there was a definite causal relationship there, but just in case there was, I'm glad I don't have to endure four years of cat barf dreams.
I'm snowed in. My van is stuck and so am I.
It didn't bother me yesterday. I didn't even try to go anywhere. With the van being as heavy as it is, I never had a problem with the snow before and I assumed (incorrectly, it would seem) that I wouldn't have a problem this time. Then, again, during previous snows I didn't have a torn disk so I could shovel the snow that blocked my path
to freedom out.
Now that I know I'm stuck, it's going to drive me crazy (or crazier). It's not that I really need to go anywhere...or let me rephrase that, there's nothing that I need to go buy, no errands to run, but the kids are home being their normal loud, boisterous selves and pestering about opening presents...a little time away would
help to keep me from turning into the Grinch be good for me.
If I can't get out, then the kids will have to go. Not permanently, of course. I think I'll pack up Christmas cookies and have the kids deliver them to our neighbors.
Maybe one of them who has managed to dig free of the snow will take pity on me and offer to drive me somewhere...anywhere...at this point I'm not very picky about the destination.
It was snowing when I got up today so I did what everyone around here does, I went to the grocery. We're supposed to get up to a foot of snow. As far as the snow-is-coming grocery ritual, it doesn't matter if it's flurries or a foot of snow. People stock up on supplies as if they are afraid of not being able to get out again until spring.
My biggest concern wasn't food, we already had plenty of what we need in the pantry and refrigerator, it was that we would run out of kitty litter.
I've been to two school band concerts this week.
I've had a migraine from yesterday evening through this morning. This has nothing to do with going to band concerts. I just thought I would mention it to increase the sympathy factor.
Yesterday's concert was the high school band in which my oldest son, Trevor, plays. (The headache was starting before the concert and hadn't yet got to the point where I pray for death with each sound or glimpse of light.)
They played Christmas music including Angels We Have Heard On High and Christmas Time With Charlie Brown. They also played Hanuka Fantasy, a medley of traditional Channukah tunes. The program called it the Winter Concert but we were welcomed to the Christmas Concert.
Last Monday we went to hear the Sixth-Grade Band Concert at the Middle School. Most, if not all, of the kids have learned to play their instruments since the beginning of this school year (mid-August).
It really was better than the words "Sixth-Grade Band Concert" would make you think. The assistant principal spoke first and welcomed us all to the Christmas concert. (Christmas!!) Before both concerts they told us where the exits were in case of an emergency (clunkers don't count as an emergency). When the middle school band director spoke, he said that he gets a bit nervous when they talk about the emergency exits because lightning hit during the spring concert and knocked out the lights. He called the lightning an "Act of God".
No one booed when either Christmas or God was mentioned. No one walked out in protest and as far as I know, no one has threatened to file a lawsuit.
Weird, huh? Imagine, all of us unsophisticated hicks from Kentucky sitting there enjoying the concerts in the spirit in which they were presented. What kind of people think that it's more important for their children to have a pleasurable experience performing than it is to teach them to complain and hope for media attention?
Not that I have a place to put one...or would get a chance to use it if I did. I'm afraid our three cats would claim it as their own.
I just finished reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. I really enjoyed it...but what's not to like about a book where some of the bad guys are members of ELF?
We went to our local YMCA yesterday to go swimming. As we drove up, my son mentioned that their sign said they were having an open house for Hannukah.
A Christian organization celebrating Hannukah. In a southern red state. Compare that with the parade in Denver where everyone but Christians could be represented.
Listen to leftist propaganda and you will know that it's the Christians who are intolerant. So, what's going on here? Those wily Christians, going and welcoming people of another faith. It's like they actually try to do the "love thy neighbor" thing instead of just talking about it.
1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Mel Tormé,
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin)
3. Winter Wonderland (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith)
4. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie)
5. White Christmas (Irving Berlin)
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne)
7. I'll Be Home For Christmas (Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram)
8. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks)
9. Little Drummer Boy (Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone)
10. Jingle Bell Rock (Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe)
11. Silver Bells (Jay Livingston, Ray Evans)
12. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish)
13. Feliz Navidad (José Feliciano)
14. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (Edward Pola, George Wyle)
15. Blue Christmas (Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson)
16. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Johnny Marks)
17. Frosty The Snowman (Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins)
18. A Holly Jolly Christmas (Johnny Marks)
19. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Tommie Connor)
20. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Meredith Willson)
21. Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) (Gene Autry,
22. Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney)
23. Carol Of The Bells (Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich)
24. Santa Baby (Joan Ellen Javits, Philip Springer, Tony Springer)
25. This Christmas (Donny Hathaway, Nadine McKinnor)
I think of my cellphone as a handy but not-so-good digital camera that also happens to be a phone. I don't make or receive that many phone calls but I do like being able to personalize my phone's ringtones (see here). I want to have something distinctive that I immediately recognize as my phone when (on the rare occasions) I'm out and about. I can keep the ringer volume fairly low this way too.
It's not that I get that many calls but the ones I do get are usually from my husband or my kids so I want to make sure I get the calls without having to check every time I hear any cellphone ring. It's also handy to have different ringers for different people so if the phone rings while I'm working, I can decide whether or not to answer. (I always do answer, but I like keeping my options open.)
Now companies are offering ringback tones. This is the sound you hear when calling someone else. The person you are calling gets to pick the song you hear instead of the usual ring.
I don't like this idea. Or, I should say the "good" Marybeth doesn't like the idea of imposing my musical tastes on people who are calling me. The "bad" Marybeth is considering the possibilities. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 for when the kids' schools call. The U of L Fight Song for all my friends whose allegiance lies with other schools. As soon as my oldest son turns 16 I could set his ringback to Get a Job.
Anyone know of a song that orders the listener to clean their room or do their homework? I could really use some songs like that too.
If others think the way I do, what they spend on ringback tones will more than be made up for in the decrease of incoming call minutes that they will have to pay for.
I'm afraid my old van won't make it through another winter (or rather, since the heating doesn't work well, I won't make it through) so I want a new car. I'm also a bit hesitant to get one now because my oldest son will be 16 on February 5th and I don't know if I'll want to let him drive something new.
It's not that I don't trust him but I've seen him drive on video games. Maybe I can just lock him in his room for a year or two.
I need a vehicle that will seat five people comfortably. Three of these people are my children and by comfortably, I mean comfortable for me - seating them so I don't have to hear about someone taking too much room or there isn't enough leg room. (My oldest son is already over 6' tall.)
I've been driving a van for over a decade and have thought about getting a full-size car this time. I just don't know if I want all three kids side-by-side in the back seat. They argue enough when they are in the same room. If they are actually touching, I would have to limit the length of any car trips to ten minutes.
I don't want a SUV and as much as I would like a car, I think I may end up getting another van. Any suggestions (other than duct taping the kids hands, feet, and mouths)? What about leasing instead of buying?
Conor, Emma and I went to the opening of a new Chick-fil-A near us. It was so busy they had people standing outside (in the rain) directing traffic. They were handling the crowd inside well too. We didn't have to wait long for our orders and had no problem getting a table.
Conor took this picture with my phone.
The kids got a plush cow and I got a certificate for a chicken biscuit when we left. Yum.
The Gospel Music Channel has a new Web site with streaming music. If you're a fan, go listen. If you don't think you like Gospel music, visit anyway, you might be surprised. I probably wouldn't have described myself as a fan of Gospel music before. I couldn't even really tell you what "Gospel music" was.
There is no one genre of music presented here. Some of the songs I've listened to so far could be called soul, others rock. The one thing they have in common is a positive, uplifting message.
I guess that's the point. Seems kind of obvious now.
Why is it that between election years you can read stories in magazines and newspapers that laud families who have left high-pressure jobs in big cities to move to rural areas? Then, it's a good thing that these people have quit the rat race to discover the importance of family and personal values.
This week, the people of middle America who share these ideas and values are suddenly ignorant rednecks. Maybe your opinion only counts if you left a job as a stockbroker to go raise llamas. Trust me, we're not living in middle America because we have no other choice. We're here because it's a nice place to live.
In Louisville the average home price in 2003 was between $60,000 and $226,500 (depending on the location.) You can rent a good multi-bedroom apartment for under $1,000 a month. A one-bedroom apartment is closer to $400.
We don't have to live next to a park to see trees. There are still farms near my home and I can get into the city in fifteen to twenty minutes. We complain if traffic is backed up and it takes a half an hour to get downtown.
We can water our lawns every day all summer long. Our tap water tastes good too. It's a little thing, I know, but in so many places that I've visited from New York to California the water tastes like chemicals. I wouldn't know about the water in other countries...I've traveled abroad but I followed the advice to not drink the water.
We have an outstanding ballet company. The Louisville Ballet is over 50 years old and is the only regional ballet company in which Mikhail Baryshnikov performed in repertoire productions. It has an international reputation and is known for commissioning new works.
Actors Theatre of Louisville is 40 years old. It is home to the Humana Festival of New American Plays where many Pulitzer Prize winning plays have premiered (see the extended entry for a list of the plays). We have Stage One, a theater that provides professional performances for children.
We value innovation but don't ignore the classics. Every summer for over 40 years residents have gone to see Shakespeare in Central Park. Admission is free. Thousands of people go to watch the plays in the Old Louisville park redesigned according to plans by Frederick Law Olmstead. (He designed several parks in Louisville... but you might be more familiar with his designs in other cities - Central Park in New York City, Chicago South Park, Stanford University campus, United States Capitol Grounds, along with parks in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, and other cities.)
The Kentucky Opera was founded in 1952 and is the 12th oldest company in the country. The Louisville Orchestra plays for all opera performances (and for many of the ballet performances.) We like all types of music and the city has a history of support for live performances. Whether you like classical, jazz, rock, country or whatever, you can find it here.
Jewish Hospital has lead the way in AbioCor (artificial) heart research so it's the one that has gotten the most news coverage but we have several other good hospitals too.
The schools in Oldham County (where I live) were named by Fortune Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Schools in Towns You Can Afford". The pupil to teacher ratio is 20.6:1 and we're building more new schools.
We don't have any major league teams but we do have the Louisville Bats, a minor league baseball team and U of L football and basketball. Ticket prices are reasonable too. And, of course, we have Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
We have the Louisville Zoo, the Speed Art Museum, the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium, Crane House, the Louisville Science Center, and the Belle of Louisville. If you like the outdoors we have hiking trails, bike paths, and nature preserves and we have the Louisville Extreme Park for skateboarders. There are 122 parks in the the Metro Parks system.
So what if some of us talk with an accent and say "you all" instead of "you guys"? I can't help it if we're naturally more inclusive. I've lectured my sons about not assuming someone is ignorant or stupid based on their accent. It's a shame your mother never told you the same thing. You have to listen to what someone says, not how they say it. Doing otherwise just makes you appear shallow and provincial.
You call us stupid rednecks and you can't understand why we voted the way we did. Maybe if you quit calling us names and quit yammering about yourselves for a minute and actually listened to what we have to say you would understand. TV, newspapers, radio, and magazines give us daily doses of your point of view. We might not agree with all of it but at least we have an idea of what you think and why. If you think we voted for Bush because (pick whichever you think applies) we: want a theocracy, hate gays, are racist, want to bomb abortion clinics, think marriage is best kept in the family, are against free speech, think everyone should carry sidearms, think 6th grade is the ultimate in education, or are just moronic mouth-breathing cretins that don't deserve the right to vote, then you haven't been paying attention.
You don't have to agree with us but as long as you act the way you have been the only thing we can really feel for you is pity. We're sorry for your rude behavior and we're sorry for your ignorance about the rest of your country. Not that being ignorant about something is shameful, it's only when you refuse to learn that you shame yourselves.
God gave you two ears and one mouth. Take that as a hint to listen twice as much as you talk. You might learn something.
Pulitzer Prize winning plays that premiered at Actors Theatre:
Dinner with Friends (Donald Margulies), Crimes of the Heart (Beth Henley) and The Gin Game (D.L. Coburn) and Pulitzer finalist Keely and Du (Jane Martin) as well as Getting Out (Marsha Norman), Agnes of God (John Pielmeier), Lone Star (James McLure), In the Eye of the Hurricane (Eduardo Machado), Courtship (Horton Foote), Extremities (William Mastrosimone), My Sister in this House (Wendy Kesselman), Tales of the Lost Formicans (Constance Congdon), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (John Patrick Shanley), Marisol (José Rivera), One Flea Spare (Naomi Wallace), Slavs! (Tony Kushner), The Batting Cage (Joan Ackermann) and Y2K (Arthur Kopit).
I have an equally tasteless suggestion for a costume - Ranting Liberal Moonbat. Don't bathe between now and tomorrow night. Dig an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt out from the bottom of your laundry hamper. The longer the clothes have been allowed to sit there and ripen, the better. Put on the jeans and t-shirt. Just before you ring the doorbell, chew a piece of an Alka-Seltzer tablet to get a good foaming-at-the-mouth effect.
Feel free to accessorize with a "Bush=Hitler" sign or other moronic messages.
I have never gotten a flu shot. I neither had nor have any plans of trying to get one this year. I'm curious how many people that don't normally get one and hadn't planned on getting one are going to try and get the vaccine just because there is a shortage.
You know how human nature is. There are people who don't want something until you tell them they can't have it. Getting something that is in short supply, even a vaccine, makes them (in their minds) part of a special group. How many people for whom the flu would mean nothing more than some discomfort and time off from work are going to get the vaccine, thus keeping those whose health would truly be endangered by the flu from getting it?
Meanwhile, some members of Congress, acting on the advice of the Capitol physician, got flu shots before they headed home to campaign this month, despite the vaccine shortage, the AP reported.
It's not that most people who don't normally get the flu vaccine will be thinking of it in that way. It's that John Kerry's and the media's focus on the shortage will increase the perceived threat of the flu.
There have been no early outbreaks of the flu and there is no reason to believe that this year will be any worse than any normal year. It's always possible that we could get a severe outbreak. It's just not likely. It's possible that the strain of flu that is most common won't be the same as the one for which the vaccine was developed. In that case, no amount of vaccine would help.
It was a Discworld weekend. I got the Wyrd Sisters DVD and the new Pratchett book, Going Postal. I enjoyed the book. Vetinari, although he isn't the main character in this one, is becoming one of my favorite characters...somewhere below Death and the witches (especially Granny Weatherwax.)
The Scrappleface book, Axis of Weasels, that I ordered came yesterday. So, you know what I'll be doing today. Yes, that's right, following my husband and oldest son around the house reading excerpts to them. (Jeff has the day off from work and the kids have the week off from school.) Fun, fun, fun for everyone!
MetroNaps provides America with mid-day rest facilities: a clean, comfortable place to take a nap. MetroNaps was born from the realization that many employees spend significant amounts of their day dozing at their desk or catching powernaps in odd places. We seek to be the premier provider of professional nap centers in the United States.
MetroNaps in New York City rents out pods for napping. You can also order lunch from a limited menu and have it waiting for you when you wake up. A 20-minute nap is just under $14, lunch is extra.
Forget lunch for me, what they really need to offer to make it a good napping experience is cats. Cats make very nice napping buddies. Around here, they also make a good excuse for taking a nap - "I only laid down for a minute but the cat came and laid down on top of me...what else could I do but stay there and fall asleep?" Cats emit sleep waves, you know. Once they join you, you really have no option other than to nap.
I like naps but I'm not sure how much I would like taking a nap in a semi-private pod. I wonder about the possibility of pod rage when a patron can't nap because of a loud snorer in a neighboring pod. Still, I guess it's better than the other napping options you would have in the city.
This year Halloween falls on a Sunday. Because of this, some people think it should not be celebrated or should be moved to Saturday.
"It's a day for the good Lord, not for the devil," said Barbara Braswell, who plans to send her 4-year-old granddaughter Maliyah out trick-or-treating in a princess costume on Saturday instead.
"You just don't do it on Sunday," said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. "That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."
I don't believe that Halloween is a day to celebrate the devil but if you do, is any day a good day for that?
Halloween celebrates childhood. It celebrates imagination and the idea that, for one night, you can be whatever you want to be. When children come to the door and ask for treats, it celebrates the generosity of their neighbors. I have to believe that God would like those things.
If you object to Halloween because of its pagan origins then you better avoid having a Christmas tree and visits from the Easter Bunny too.
Why is it that my children understand the term "mission accomplished" better than John Kerry seems to?
Two words: video games. Any gamer can tell you that to reach the final objective you have to complete a series of many missions. Real life is no different. You can't go to school and complete one assignment and expect that to mean you are ready to graduate. You can't go to work and complete one project and expect to retire. You can't go to war and complete one mission and expect the war to be over.
At least his obtuseness over the announcement of a mission being accomplished has provided me with a new way to annoy my kids. When they're playing a game and finish a mission, I insist that means (according to Kerry) the game is over and it's my turn to play or watch TV. Let's just say they
think he's a blithering idiot disagree with him and leave it at that.
Seems like it would only be fair to wear pajamas, the judges will be in robes.
Branson, head of the Virgin Atlantic airline, said Monday that passengers in groups of five could be sent into orbit by 2008 at around £110,000 ($200,000) a trip.
(That's $200,000 per person, per trip.)
The price will include three days' flight training and a two to three hour trip in space.
So, a two or three day vacation in space for my family of five would only be $1,000,000. Suddenly a family-sized suite on a luxury cruise sounds like a bargain by comparison. Still out of my price range, though.
I became a bit familiar with cruise prices about two months ago. I had started thinking that a family vacation in October (the kids have a week break from school) would be nice. I looked at some Caribbean cruises and a few other destinations including ones on both coasts of Florida, central Florida, and New Orleans.
Then came the hurricanes. Maybe if I set up a donation button for people to pay me not to consider a trip to where they live I could afford the space trip.
Scene from downtown Crestwood, KY.
It's a happening place and it's not even the weekend yet.
This maximum limit of 150 reminded me of something else I read recently about social groups. It's the size of our Monkeysphere!
My husband wasn't amused with my suggestion that, should we visit New York and go to the CBS store, we should print up some money with the computer to spend there. Maybe get a CSI t-shirt....
Not that I would really do that but how often does a major corporation announce that they don't mind if something is fake as long as it's accurate? Especially when accuracy is decided by the ones with the fake documents and not the recipients/viewers.
I wonder if they accept these? (A bill that says, "We like ice cream" and "USA deserves a tax cut" is accurate to me.)
Past CBS slogans which deserve to have a revival include:
"We Put It All Together" (1970)
"The Hot Ones" (1976)
"We've Got the Touch" (1983)
I've always tried to be fair, even-handed, not an advocate for any group. - Dan Rather
"Do or do not... there is no try." - Yoda
**Several of the search engine results that have brought visitors to my blog lately include:
Massachusetts state motto - what's up with this? The motto is "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem". What were you expecting, "Our senators are more obnoxious than yours"?
Budweiser donkey ad/commercial - seven months after it aired during the Superbowl, people are still looking for it. I emailed them shortly after the commercial came out and asked if they planned on making wallpaper or screensavers from it. They had wallpaper of the Clydesdales but didn't have (or plan to have) any featuring the donkey. You can see the commercial online though. Go to Budweiser.com and click on "Entertainment". Then choose "TV/Radio Commercials". You will have to click through the "more commercials" menu a couple of times. The title is "Born a Donkey".
email@example.com - I am not the marybeth you are looking for. I have a gmail account but "marybeth" wasn't available when I signed up, so I have a different address.
**Speaking of gmail, I wrote recently about donating some invitations to Gmail4Troops. I haven't received any requests for invitations yet. Now I don't know whether to hold onto them in case they are wanted later or to go ahead and give them away.
I didn't donate all of the invitations I had and was able to
unload provide one for use by the Carnival of the Recipes. I guess I'll wait a bit longer and if I don't get any requests from Gmail4Troops, I'll pass them along to my visitors.
**I got a nice email from the people at Mozilla thanking me for a post I had made about Firefox. They asked me to add a button linking to them.
I'm pleased with their product and impressed that someone took the time to search for blog posts about it so I added this one over on the left of my page:
The Culture Insights section of the September/October issue of Psychology Today has an article about Disney cartoons and mental illness. (At this time, this issue is not yet online.)
From dim-witte Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the "psycho" in Aladdin, Disney classics may be teaching children to laugh at and fear the mentally ill, according to a study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
The Results section of the study says, "For example, in Beauty and the Beast, the townspeople frequently refer to the intellectuals Belle and her father, Maurice as mentally ill. Mental illness words are used to set apart and denigrate these characters, implying that to be mentally ill is to be different in a negative and inferior way."
They watched the movies, but did they actually see them? Even a child watching Beauty and the Beast can tell that it is the people who are mocking Belle and her father who have a problem. While it's obvious that Belle and Maurice are different from others in the town, it's not in a negative way.
This emotional association may result in increased fear of persons with a mental illness, increased worries of possible harm, and an increase in distancing and avoidance of contact.
All of the little girls who have dressed up as Belle for Halloween must have missed this message in the film. Maybe the message they got was that you need to look at who a person really is (Belle, her father, the Beast) instead of relying on what you hear about them.
The author of the study, Andrea Lawson, "concedes that fairy tales lack subtlety and that children don't necessarily take them to heart."
"Bambi, notes Lawson, was one of the only Disney films free of negative references toward mental illness." The message that guns are bad and hunters will kill your mother wasn't mentioned.
The Louisville Cardinals football team beat the UK Wildcats 28 to 0.
Some other good news, for me anyway, is that my efforts to move up in Google's search results for "marybeth" are succeeding. (See here, here, and here.) Since August 29, my blog has moved up from 92nd to 9th in that search. I think the biggest influence on this was the change in my title to include "marybeth" but I also want to thank fellow bloggers who linked to me using "marybeth" as the anchor text.
Update: And now it's down to 32nd.
Final (maybe) Update (9/10): Now I'm up to fifth! That's a nice improvement over 92nd. No more updates (unless I hit #1), even I'm tired of the topic by now.
My van refuses to start so I'll be stuck at home for at least today. I could use this as an opportunity to get a lot of cleaning and other housework done.
It's a rainy day, perfect for napping. If I'm feeling really energetic, I'll get up from the couch and play some computer or video games.
If Christmas is your favorite time of the year, you can still be with your family at that time even after you die. As a Christmas ornament.
Each ornament is made with molten glass that contain a bit of cremation ash from your loved one. The ash is mixed with molten glass, re-dipped in clear glass to completely encase it. It is a hollow sphere, that comes alive when the minerals are added to produce colorful swirls.
You can also get other keepsakes, a glass horse's head, for example. I can think of a few people for whom the other end of the horse might be more appropriate.
The customer comments are interesting too. This one's my favorite.
Ann Althouse has a blog post about a NYT article on celebrities and politics. Her post ends with the question, "does the near-unanimity of celebrity endorsement for anti-Bush create a deep-seated feeling that all the cool people are on the left?".
I guess it depends on how you define "cool". Is coolness determined by who has the most CD or movie ticket sales? Is it a popularity contest? Does being more popular with younger people make a celebrity cooler than one who is liked by older people? Are rock musicians cooler than country musicians?
For me, neither success at one's job nor popularity indicates coolness. (If being good at your job made you cool, then in high school only the A students would be cool.) The people I've known who I would consider cool were well liked but not necessarily the most popular. Coolness isn't based on their talents, it's whether or not they are enjoyable to be with.
Rock may be considered cooler than country music but does that make rock musicians cooler than country musicians? I'm generalizing here and it may have as much to do with how the stations cover the artists but when I watch shows on MTV, VH1, or CMT about different artists, it seems as though the country stars are more willing to spend time with their fans and to give the fans more credit for their success than the rock stars do. That's cool.
So, is Alec Baldwin cooler than Stephen Baldwin? Is Bruce Springsteen cooler than Alice Cooper? I liked Alec Baldwin in Hunt for Red October and I've seen a couple other movies he's been in. I don't think I've ever seen anything his brother has been in. I enjoy more Springsteen songs than I do Cooper ones although I've bought records by both. I haven't met any of these people. The only way I have to judge their personalities instead of their job performance is by interviews I've read or seen on TV. Going by that makes me think that Alice Cooper is intelligent, funny, and doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. Again, that's cool.
Just a quick visit to eBay and you too can have a Silver Star. Show it off, tell people you earned it. (It = the money you used to buy the medal.) If they ask for more information, act indignant. Tell them it's all in your military records but refuse to let anyone see all of the records.
I'm usually wary of people who act indignant when questioned about something they said or did. It makes me think they are hiding something. People who are being honest tend to be baffled as to why you would be questioning them.
Note: I'm not seriously suggesting that anyone buy a Silver Star and pretend to have earned it. Not only would it be dishonest, it would also be disrespectful to those who have been awarded this medal because they deserved it. If you earned this or any other military award, God bless you and thank you.
I decided it was time to change my phone ringers again so I spent the evening looking for MIDIs. I found a nice collection here that has oldies, Beatles, country music, TV themes, and bluegrass. There's another good collection with music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, sorted alphabetically, here.
I'll use this program by Anvil Studio to shorten the songs before downloading them to my phone. I've used it before and found it to be an easy way to edit the MIDIs for length. It lets you cut off some of the music at the beginning and/or end.
I use mbuzzy to download the songs to my phone and my son's phone. You can also save pictures there to download to your phone.
It's not that I think anyone really cares that I'm changing my ringers, but if I post about it, it will be easier for me to find these links next time.
I've been having lower back pain for the last several months. It's gotten worse recently so sitting in front of the computer for any length of time has become almost impossible. This has greatly reduced blogging time but I'll try to keep posting when I can.
Jeff and I went to Joe Ley Antiques this morning. We were there for about an hour but could have easily spent another hour or two looking at everything. (You have to appreciate a catalog that has a category for Monkey Decor.) The online catalog has only a portion of what is in the store.
I liked this. Unfortunately (?) it didn't go home with me.
My post about the Just Go Vote Foundation has generated several comments. I don't like phone calls like this because I resent the intrusion but I almost feel bad about complaining about my one call since some people reported receiving several of them.
Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you've provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls.
While I'm not surprised that the politicians who drafted the Telemarketing Act did not ban calls from political organizations, I think they should have required these calls to follow the same guidelines as telemarketers: call only between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. (recipient's local time) and allow their phone number and name to be displayed on caller I.D.
I think the phone message for political calls should include whether or not they are affiliated with or support/are supported by any particular party and provide contact information for those of us who would like to be removed from their call list.
It bothers me that I can't find any information about the Just Go Vote Foundation. Encouraging people to vote is a good thing but their methods and the tone of their messages are questionable...enough so that it makes me wonder what their true motive is.
On a lighter note, click on "continue reading"...
Someone has thought of a way to make telemarketing work to our advantage.
The phone rings. I answer. There's a pause so I know it's an automated call and I should hang up but it's
not noon yet still very early in the day and my reflexes are slow.
It sounds as though the caller-bot tells me that he's with the JessCo Boat Foundation and his friend George has been in a wreck. Then he tells me how his friend has to go door-to-door asking people if they have weapons. He wonders if he will ever be able to sit and watch TV with George again.
Someone paid for the caller-bot phone calls so there has to be a message here somewhere.
Eventually my one working brain cell figures out that he's with the Just Go Vote Foundation and George is in Iraq. The call was to tell me to register to vote. (I'm already registered, have been for more years than I care to think about. My husband is also registered and my kids are too young to vote.) Does he think I should register again? Where does he think I live, Chicago? It was also to inform me that this election (I assume the presidential election) is important. No kidding, I would never have figured that out on my own.
If the idea is to encourage me to vote in a way that will make sure he and George are safe to sit and watch TV (always my top priority), then it's clear I need to vote to re-elect George Bush. Both he and the caller-bot's friend George are working to keep us safe. The caller-bot, on the other hand, is pestering me at home.
I checked several search engines for "Just Go Vote Foundation" and found nothing that tells me who they are. I had expected to find something since the "Do Not Call" list doesn't seem to apply to them. Anyone know who is behind this group?
Update: The September 2004 phone call from the Just Go Vote Foundation.
A poll found that over 40% of Canadian teens think the U.S. is evil.
Another source says "60% of those 15 to 17 years old say they use contraception each time they have sex." I'm sure the 40% who are too stupid to bother are an entirely different 40%.
I noticed there are a lot of Canadian polls asking what people think about the U.S. I had a hard time finding any U.S. polls that asked what Americans think about Canada. We must be too busy planning evil deeds to bother.
"VocationVacations is the ultimate vacation adventure for people yearning to explore the job they’ve always dreamed about – but have never had the chance to try."
That's what they say, anyway. My dream job would involve me getting paid large sums of money, not me paying to do work. Still, there are some interesting jobs to choose from:
Brewmaster ($599 for one day) I've made beer at home for much less and it turned out quite well, so this one's not that tempting for me.
Cattle Rancher ($999 for two days) You get to ride a horse and do basic chores (feeding, grooming, saddling the horses; mending fences; and work in the Inn). Riding horses is the only part that interests me here and I could board a horse for months with that same $999 and get to do all the scut work every day!
Horse Trainer ($999 for two days) Involves exercising, training, and riding, feeding, grooming and cleaning stalls. No doubt I could learn a lot from them, but except for the training I could do the rest much cheaper at home - see Cattle Rancher.
Sports Announcer ($1,299 for two days) it's a bit more pricey than the others but you get to give sports color commentary for the Tennessee Smokies baseball team over the public announcement system and over local radio station, you will have the chance to pull the tarp off the field, if necessary! You will also get to manage the scoreboard!
Cheesemaker ($699 for one day or $999 for two days) I can think of one person who might be interested in this one.
Wedding Coordinator ($999 to $1,299 for two days) Unless the bulk of the fees goes to providing me with Valium, I'm not paying to spend any time dealing with brides or (this can be worse) their mothers. I would probably want to be paid that much just not to laugh at the dresses the bride has chosen for the bridesmaids to wear.
When they add Pampered Princess to their list, I may reconsider. Until then, I already have my dream job (except for the large sums of money part.)
Many of the articles about Fahrenheit 9/11 mention the footage of the president sitting with grade school students after he was told of the second plane hitting the WTC. Am I the only person who isn't bothered by the fact that he didn't rush out of the classroom?
Of course he was stunned. Who wasn't? Creating a disturbance among the children and teachers would have served what purpose? Running out might have looked macho for the cameras, but would it have changed anything?
Bush's detractors have claimed that most of his success has been because he has surrounded himself with smart people who do their jobs well. (Of course, they see that as a weakness while I see it as good management.) If you know you have a good team working for you, then you don't need to act impulsively or make rash decisions.
In hindsight, it's easy to say that he should have cancelled his visit with the second-graders after he heard the news of the first crash but as a mom, I appreciate that he met with the kids.
After dumping Ken, Barbie has found a new boyfriend.
Beach living Cali Girl(TM) style wouldn't be complete without a summer romance, and Blaine(TM), the suave new Aussie surfer in the group, caught more than a few waves when he snagged Barbie(R) doll's attention. With a mature character and worldly, seasoned surfing style, Blaine(TM) doll is giving America's surfer girl some tips and tricks from international waters.
According to Barbie.com, his favorite saying is "Dare me?" This must be an example of his "mature character".
From an article about Democratic Georgia Sen. Zell Miller endorsing President Bush written by Jeffrey McMurray, AP writer:
"I think he has sold his soul for a mess of pottage," said (Democratic Rep. John) Lewis, in a reference to a speech Miller gave as a congressional candidate 40 years ago in which he argued that President Johnson was "a Southerner who sold his birthright for a mess of dark pottage" because of his support for the Civil Rights Act.
Pottage is defined as a thick soup or stew of vegetables.
So, is he unfamiliar with the story of Esau and Jacob or does he just think that defining the word "pottage" gives more context to the quotation?
One email I got told me:
1.The size of the banner is very heavy.
2.The rotation and geotargeting is not good.
We would like to recommend two very feature rich banner tools.
PLease (sic) try them and improve the revenue earning stream of your site.
The site doesn't have a banner. It doesn't have any advertising at all.
Another email had a link to Share Your Experiences. It said, "Someone who knows you is attempting to share experiences and opinions about you in our online community.
The purpose of this email is to inform you that a posting has been made about you at our website. This is email is not commercial in nature.
If this email message was delivered to your spam or bulk email folder please notify your ISP or spam filtering company regarding this mistake on their part." (At least this last line shows they have a sense of humor.)
According to the site, member #M00491032 has information about me. He/she claims to know me socially and that the experience they wish to tell about happened in the last year.
This seemed odd because anyone who knew me socially would probably not know that email address. That, and the fact that I can't think of anyone I've socialized with in the past year...unless video game characters have gotten Internet access. Yes, my social life is that pathetic.
According to this site, it's a scam that is trying to trick people into paying for premium services from the site.
Shame on you, John Torrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) of 2711 Centerville Rd., Suite 120, Wilmington, Delaware 19808 (Phone: +1 (516)2148365).
Shame on you too, Pedre Nieto of A+Hosting, 302 E. Carson St., Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (email@example.com).
Birdstone won the Belmont. Smarty Jones had a four length lead at the top of the stretch but Birdstone caught up and managed to pull ahead during the last seconds of the race. This is trainer Nick Zito's first Belmont Stakes win.
Before the race a commentator said that one man had bought 6,000 $2 win tickets on Smarty Jones. Those would have sold well later had he won....
A win ticket on Birdstone paid $74.
Yesterday we didn't have a thunderstorm or tornado warnings. I think it was the only day other than last Friday in over a week where we haven't had the threat of severe weather.
The threat of very naughty cats has remained constant.
Tonight is Conor's fifth-grade graduation. Trevor and Emma are both complaining about going to the graduation ceremony. All the kids complain about going to any event that another one of them is part of...as an only child, I used to be surprised by the lack of support they show each other. All I had known about how siblings act was based on having watched The Waltons. Perhaps this was a mistake.
Next year I will have one child in elementary school, one in middle school, and one in high school. I can't begin to describe the joy I feel at the thought of belonging to three different PTAs and trying to keep track of events at three different schools.
Yesterday we went to the middle school so Conor could sign up for band. He has choosen to play the saxaphone. He insists on calling it the saxamaphone...someone is watching The Simpsons too much. Speaking of The Simpsons, if that show had been on when I was younger, my idea of how siblings behaved would have been much closer to reality although I may have remained childless.
The domain name Washingtonienne.com, once home to the blog by the young woman who was a Senator's staff aide by day and a prostitute by night, has now been taken over by MoveOn.org.
Today should have been my last day of peaceful, quiet solitude
without kids hogging the game consoles, bickering with each other, and thinking that my job is entertainment director when they get bored before the kids have a three-day weekend from school.
No such luck. My husband woke us up to tell us that Oldham County had closed the schools because of downed power lines. (We had severe storms go through here last night.) I let the kids stay up late last night, until we were clear from tornado warnings, so I wasn't looking forward to prying them out of bed this morning...but it would have been worth it
for one schoolday's time of sweet silence to make sure that they don't miss a valuable day of education.
Does this mean we can expect an official syndication announcement soon?
The temperature is going up again this week (it had cooled off a bit over the weekend.) I'm not complaining, I would rather have it hot than cold but the unusually high temperatures make the kids think it should be summer already. This doesn't make the last few weeks of school any easier for them or for me.
When it's hot, this is what I'll be doing. That and sitting in front of an air conditioner vent.
Check out the gallery of snow flakes too. There are some really amazing ones.
Chaos seems to aid learning - given the lack of order in our house, my children should all be geniuses.
Material grabs more sun - improved solar cells are more efficient.
My younger son did a science fair project using solar cells. At that time I thought it would be cool to build something useful with them (when we were doing research we found a description of a solar-powered fan that one could take to the beach). The problem with actually building something is that it would take many cells to power anything that approached usefulness. The cells are fragile and not that cheap, so for now, landfills be damned, I'm using battery power.
Engine of Our Ingenuity - this program isn't on my local Public Radio station but I wish it were. At least I can read the transcripts and listen online.
The snails which are as large as a person's hand were seized from schools in Wisconsin.
In 1966, a Miami boy smuggled three Giant African Land Snails into the country. His grandmother eventually released them into a garden, and in seven years there were more than 18,000 of them. The eradication program took 10 years, according to the USDA.
...The snails, native to Africa but also found in parts of Asia, are known to consume as many as 500 different plants and their mucous can transmit meningitis.
The main concern is that the snails could be transported to states with warmer climates where they could do serious damage to crops and other vegetation.
Too bad they can't train the snails to only eat kudzu.
The 130th Run for the Roses will be this Saturday. I will be watching it on TV. I'm not one of the fortunate ones who have box seats nor can I afford the prices the "resellers" are asking (a few hundred to a few thousand dollars each).
When I was younger I would go to the Derby and spend the day in the infield. I never saw a single horse when I did that, but it was still fun. I've also been with people who had box seats. The whole experience is very different depending on which side of the track you sit. The older I get, the more I appreciate the seats on the outside of the track.
The day before the Run for the Roses is Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. The Oaks is a race for fillys and is more popular with many Louisville residents who want enjoy the Derby atmosphere without the huge crowd. It's well attended but not to the extent the Run for the Roses is.
I'm not going to it either. Instead I'm going to be home with my kids (another 3-day weekend...pray for my sanity...what there is left of it.) The schools around here always are closed on Oaks Day. Are there any other school systems that schedule a day off because of a sporting event?
You can register to win $5 million by picking the finish order of all the horses in the Run for the Roses. If you do this and win, please see my earlier post. I'll probably give this a try later today or tomorrow. I really haven't been paying much attention to what horses are running this year. Not that I'm very good at picking the winners. Maybe I'll just read off the names and let my daughter pick them, she seems to have better luck than I do when we go to the track.
Her method is pretty basic. You don't need to worry about pedigree or past performances. Two things matter, the horse's name and the color of the silks.
In February of this year a Harris Poll compared the fear of terrorism in the U.S. and Great Britain. (The poll was conducted in late January 2004.)
At the time of the poll the alert level in the U.S. had recently been dropped from orange to yellow.
How often do you worry about the possibility of a terrorist attack in this country?
U.S. - often 9%, occasionally 46%, don't worry much 33%, don't worry at all 12%
G.B - often 12%, occasionally 47%, don't worry much 28%, don't worry at all 13%
How likely do you think it is that there will be a major terrorist attack in this country in the next twelve months?
U.S. - very likely 11%, somewhat likely 52%, not very likely 32%, not likely at all 6%
G.B - very likely 11%, somewhat likely 53%, not very likely 31%, not likely at all 5%
In both countries the majority of the people answering the questions said they don't avoid traveling by air, don't avoid large events, don't travel less, and don't avoid visiting big cities.
What makes anyone think that vague warnings or a notification of "increased chatter" would have changed or prevented the attack on September 11? Would you have stayed home that day? What if there had been a warning everytime there was an increase in activity or communications among suspicious groups. Would you stay home when you heard of the first alert? The tenth? The fiftieth? Most of us wouldn't. We didn't feel vulnerable. Even now, most of us still don't. We know that just because something is possible doesn't mean that it's probable.
The only ones who knew that the possibility of an attack using passenger planes on September 11, 2001 had become a probability were the people who planned and carried it out. Put the blame where it belongs.
The only thing the family was guilty of was using a lot of electricity.
I've stated before that I think marijuana, medicinal or recreational, should be legal. This doesn't mean that I think its sale should be unrestricted or that it should be available to anyone of any age.
It could be taxed so not only would we save government money in trying to find and arrest users (or harass innocent people), it would be a good source of tax income.
It could be controlled for quality. You may be thinking, who cares if someone gets stuck with some low quality ditchweed, but that's not the control I'm thinking about. It's making sure that nothing else (PCP or pesticides, for example) has been added to it.
One reason I've heard for prohibiting the use of marijuana is that it is a "gateway drug". I don't believe that everyone who uses it will go on to harder drugs and those that do may do so because they are buying them from someone who also sells other illegal drugs and wants to move their customers up to a higher profit (or more addictive) product. Buy it from a legal retail source and that contact is gone.
I'm basing my opinion on what I knew about people who bought and used marijuana about 20-something years ago. Maybe it's all changed but if it has, I'm betting that the chances of getting an adulterated drug or of being encouraged to try something stronger has gotten worse, not better.
Drug War Rant has a brief history of the ciminalization of marijuana. Read it, read other sources. Weigh the evidence objectively and make up your own mind.
I bought my first (and previously only) video camera back in 1989. It was huge. I also found that I seldom want to sit and watch videos on TV.
I got a new digital video camera. It's tiny. Just over about half the width of a GameBoy SP and about an inch longer. It works as a video camera, still camera, voice recorder, and MP3 player with everything stored on a SD card.
I'm charging the battery in it now and will test the camera this week. There are several things I like about this camera but there are a few things that could be better. Right now, my thinking is that a camera small and light enough to go anywhere is going to get more use than a larger one that will give higher quality videos and pictures but may get left behind if I don't feel like toting it around.
We went by my dad's house today and I was looking through some of my old stuff. I found this Sinclair ZX80 from about
one million 25 years ago. My father had gotten it as a gift for me but I think it was just an excuse for him to get one to play with. I think I played with it a bit but I don't really remember doing that much with it.
My father really became interested in computing and within a couple of years I was using one of these (a hand-me-down from him).
I used this to write my college papers (Scripsit) and store recipes (ProfileII). (I also used it to read some of the smutty chat on CompuServe. Then it was novel, a kind of "can you believe these people?" thing. Compared to what shows up as spam in my email inbox now, that chat was tame.)
Twenty-something years later and most of what I still do with my computer is write stuff and store recipes.
My blog's wearing green today to celebrate.
I also want to wish a happy anniversary to Jerry and Tonya.
It was sunny and 60 degrees yesterday. Earlier this morning we had a thunderstorm. Now it's snowing. Okay, so it's not exactly a sign of the Apocalypse but I do think it's a sign that I need to go snuggle down with a warm blanket, a cat or two, and a book.
Encourage people to throw more crud into oceans or rivers. Message in a Bottle has a list of sites run by people who will put your message into a bottle or other container and set it adrift.
After that, you can visit KEO and leave a message for future generations. KEO is a satellite that will be launched in 2006 and will return in 50,000 years. You have until the end of 2004 to leave a message which will be stored on a CD ROM. Your message can have up to 6000 characters and spaces. That should be enough to explain why you cluttered up the waters with messages in bottles.
I changed the ringers on my cell phone this weekend. I liked the ones I had but I've been using them for about a year now. The song that I had for when my husband called was Thank You by Led Zeppelin. It was the first song he sang for me and is one of the few songs that I can get him to sing now. (I can't carry a tune, he sang competitively and got a scholarship for it. I love to sing, it would be easier to get him to give me a kidney than to get him to sing.) Anyway, the song starts out softly and unless I had the phone next to me, it frequently went to voicemail by the time I heard it and found it.
Sprint has some that I could have downloaded but I decided to find my own. First I searched for MIDIs and saved them to my computer. Then I used Anvil Studio to shorten the music. You only need about 30 seconds of sound, anything longer won't be heard because the phone will go to voicemail by then and it just wastes memory space. With that program you can cut out the extra music you don't need, this is especially good if you want music from the middle or end of the song.
After that, I uploaded the music to my locker at mbuzzy. They are stored there and I can send them to my phone whenever I want to change ringers. I added Whiter Shade of Pale, Purple Haze, In the Mood, the theme from the XFiles, and Kashmir (I had to have at least one Zeppelin song.) I also saved some to send to my son's new phone.
I'm still looking for more songs. I can assign a specific song/ringer to incoming calls from people in my phone list. Right now I have the XFiles one for any call but I'm thinking of assigning it to calls from my kids' school. I had Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah for calls from home because the only time I get calls from my home phone is when I'm out without my kids and they are feeling a need to pester me. I had the U of L Cardinals Fight Song for text messages but I'm ready to change that one too (not because of how they've been playing lately, I'm just ready for something new.) Now I have to think of something appropriate for those...deciding what songs to search for is the hardest part of the whole process.
After the Super Bowl, I made a comment that I liked the Budweiser ad with the donkey and the Clydesdales. This was enough to get my post to show in searches by people looking for computer wallpaper showing the donkey.
After seeing several of these referrals I decided to check out Budweiser's site to see if they had anything like that. They had several different wallpaper scenes of the Clydesdales but none with the donkey. I sent them an email telling them that it seemed to be something that people were interested in finding. They replied and said they have no plans to produce a wallpaper from the commercial.
It turns out that it's: Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (By the sword she seeks peace under liberty) Infoplease has this translation - "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty"
Oh, like fighting to liberate Iraqi citizens? I guess the phrase, "We fought for peace and liberty but other countries that need our help can all go take a hike" is too long to fit on the flag.
It's time for a new state motto.
Sprint PCS Vision customers soon will be able to have their cameraphone photos printed professionally through a partnership announced Tuesday between Sprint Corp. and Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.
The service will allow Sprint customers to send their photos to the Picture Mail Web site, edit them and forward them to a Fujifilm retailer for printing. Customers will be able to select a local retailer where they can pick up the prints in as little as four hours.
I couldn't find anything about this yet on Sprint Picture Mail website. I did have fun playing with the built in picture editor though.
Camera phones are handy for taking pictures to email or post on a blog but the resolution isn't high enough for prints. According to the article, 1-megapixel phones will probably be available by the end of the year though.
I'll probably be ready to upgrade my phone by then. Note: being ready is no where near the same thing as being able to afford to upgrade.
(Link to article found via picturephoning.com.)
Myria has thought provoking comments about privacy. Or the lack of it. She makes some good points about how much information we give away to businesses when we have no idea what then need or want it for.
I left a comment on her blog but thought I would add a few more comments here. What I wrote there was already starting to get longer than I wanted.
I used to work for Radio Shack. Probably one of the best known businesses for collecting information. Employee performance wasn't judged just on sales, the percentage of names and addresses counted too. This was used by Radio Shack to build their flyer mailing list and wasn't given or sold to other companies.
Customers (unless they were paying by check) could refuse to give their name and address but since each store paid a percentage of their sales to the company for advertising it was important for the managers to make sure their customers were on the mailing list. Some let it become too important and alienated customers.
Radio Shack quit asking for that information a while back for most sales. Sales that require a credit check (cellular phone and satellite dish service subscriptions) still need to know a lot about you. In those cases it's the company that provides the service that wants the information. Considering the number of people who default on monthly payments, I can see why they want to be as careful as they can.
Those are both luxuries, if you don't want to give the information they need, don't buy the product. (You can still get a pre-paid cellular phone without having to give your social security or driver's license number. You will need to give your name, address, and phone number.)
I think there is a big difference between providing this information and when businesses ask for a phone number as in Myra's Toys R Us example. If you don't want to give out information, if you want to know why they need it, if you want to know whether they share or sell it, ask the sales clerk. If (big IF) he knows, they should tell you. Then you can make an informed decision. Just ask nicely, the person on the other side of the counter is only doing the job he was told to do. Give him a little credit for trying to do his job even if you don't agree that the company should be requiring him to ask for your information. More companies have lost my business from employees not wanting to do their job (in other areas than asking for my phone number, obviously) than have lost it from wanting too much info about me.
Just because I believe there are legitimate reasons for businesses to ask for personal data doesn't mean that I think they should be able to buy and sell it. I would like to see stronger controls on information brokers. Consumers also need to be more careful When you're filling out a form, look to see if it mentions sharing information and whether or not you can opt out. Ask questions, make informed decisions.
In recent years some changes have been made to protect your privacy. DMVs are no longer allowed to sell or share your information (there are exceptions). They used to be among the worst at selling information.
Rules on patient privacy limit what information your health care provider can share and to whom it can be given.
More needs to be done, but it's a start.
Type your phone number into Google. If you're listed in the phone book the first result will be your name, address, and maps showing how to get to your house. You can opt out.
Some of the strongest pro-American sentiments I've heard expressed are from people who moved here from another country. They are aware that our country isn't perfect but through their life experiences, they realize the opportunities here are pretty damn good.
One would think that the very wealthy, with their access to good education and ability to travel, would come to similar conclusions. Instead these are the people who are often disdainful of America.
It could be that when they travel, because of their wealth, they are treated to a version of the country they are visiting that the citizens there (and regular travelers) don't ever see. The people they meet there are from a similar social group whose desire to continue their style of life motivates them to present a distorted view of their country. Any "average citizen" they meet has been preselected in the knowledge that they will promote the desired propaganda.
Still, even without comparing the United States to other countries, shouldn't they see that our country offers amazing opportunities to those that want to work for success? No one is locked into the social or financial position in which their parents lived. It may be a harder struggle for some than for others, but the opportunities are there.
Maybe it's because these people have never had to struggle, never had to develop the determination it takes to achieve something that seemed, at first, beyond their grasp. They've had everything handed to them and don't understand that people succeed, not by getting handouts, but by learning to set goals, then breaking the goals down into smaller managable steps, and by having the inner strength and determination to take care of themselves.
You don't have to close your eyes to imperfections in America, just don't close them to what is right.
Body Worlds, anatomical exhibitions of real human bodies created by Gunther von Hagens.
Von Hagens uses a "plastination technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive polymers, such as silicone rubber, epoxy resins, or polyester."
Plastinated specimen are dry and odourless; they retain their natural surface relief and are identical with their state prior to preservation down to the microscopic level; even microscopic examinations are still possible.
His work isn't just for students of anatomy, he has a traveling exhibition (now in Frankfort and Singapore). According to the March 2004 issue of Discover Magazine, displays include a "figure labeled Muscle Man (who) stands upright, flayed bare and proudly dangling his full cloak of skin from one hand. 'Reclining Woman in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy' is...a Venus-like figure lying on her side, gazing at the viewer and casually displaying her opened midsection to reveal a fully developed fetus."
Not all of the exhibits are this sensationalistic but those are probably the ones that have caused over 13 million people in Europe and Asia to pay to see the exhibition. The show hasn't been to the U.S. but Von Hagens would like to bring it here.
For those who can never get enough attention, the site tells how to donate your body. There is also a shop (no, you can't buy bodies or body parts) and computer wallpaper. (See "Continue reading" for one example.)
[I thought that the Discover Magazine article I read about this seemed to approve of Von Hagens' exhibit. AZCentral has an article on Von Hagens with a different viewpoint.]
We ate dinner during the beginning of the game. Chili, hot wings, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, and chili con queso (got the last from Tumbleweed)...save the nutritious meals for another night. Cake for dessert, part of an early celebration of Trevor's birthday (it isn't until the 5th). We gave him his presents; a phone, an EB gift card, and a DVD.
Watched the game. Yawn. I'm not a football fan. I picked the Patriots because I liked their uniform colors better.
Watched the commercials. You can see them at iflim.com too. I liked the Budweiser ones, especially the donkey who wanted to be a Clydesdale. The FedEx alien was cute. The IBM one just made me wonder how they managed to make it. How many takes did Ali have to film or was it all put together in editing? Over all, I wasn't impressed. Maybe there's so much hype ahead of time so I'm expecting too much.
We didn't watch the
half-talent halftime show. I was sorry the cameras didn't show the streaker. That bit of exhibitionism sounds more entertaining than the earlier bit by Janet Jackson. According to the Drudge Report:
Top CBS executives approved a musical skit where Janet Jackson would expose her breast during the MTV-produced Super Bowl half-time concert, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
"The decision to go forward went to the very top of the network," a well-placed source explained from New York.
CBS denies any prior knowledge and "deeply regrets the incident".
The game ended. Wheee. I was paying even less attention during the second half than before because I was looking for MIDI files to download as ringers for my phone. I saved a bunch of them but can't tell what half of them are now, the file names aren't very clear and I didn't think to change them when I saved them.
Now I'm hungry again. Time to check out the leftovers.
The second-by-second account of the shuttle's last minutes, Columbia's Final Minutes, from Newsday.
The NFL will have a tribute to the Columbia astronauts during the pregame show.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Possibly a slight exaggeration.
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 I traveled more, I would want one of these for my laptop.
Found via Joi Ito Web.
I was just resting. A lot.
It made my eyes tear up.
I was thinking about it again this morning. My head still hurts and I'm too brain-fogged by my cold to research this, but maybe someone else has the time and interest. Are there people in Israel who are protesting the offer of aid? The reason I ask is this made me think of the complaints in the U.S. about American Christian groups offering aid earlier this year. I can't remember,and am too lazy to look to see, if the aid was to go to Afghanistan or Iraq. I just remember accusations that the aid was a cover for the Christian groups to evangelize.
As far as I know, neither the Christian groups nor the Israelis have, nor plan to, use aid as a way of spreading their religious beliefs. Christians and Jews both believe that they have been instructed to give to those in need. There is no post script saying, "By the way, use charity as a lure to convert others." It seems that those in the U.S. and in Iran who believe that everything should come through a government do not understand the true nature of charity. It must be difficult for them to understand that there are times when gifts are given with no strings attached and no underlying agenda.
Off on a semi-related tangent, remember the scene in Gone With the Wind where Belle Watling gave some money to support the Confederacy? She gave the money to Melanie Hamilton/Wilkes after being unable to get anyone else to accept it. Melanie understood the value of charity, both in the giving and in the acceptance. Note, I am not comparing Christian and Jewish groups to Atlanta's town madam in anyway except to say that charity is something that can be separated from the giver's other beliefs and actions and it certainly shouldn't be up to the ones who don't need the aid to decide to reject it for those who do.
First the football game (40 - 24), now the basketball game.
On October 23, a team of paleontologists and pathologists announced that they had discovered a massive, possibly lethal brain tumor in the fossilized skull of a Gorgosaurus, a 25-foot-long relative of Tyrannosaurus rex that lived 72 million years ago.
The tumor, possibly an unusual type of bone-forming cancer called an extraskeletal osteosarcoma, filled nearly the entire area formerly occupied by the cerebellum and brainstem and probably impaired the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls thought and memory. “As the tumor grew, the dinosaur—a female perhaps three years old— would have forgotten where she left her last kill, and then she would have forgotten to go to the bathroom,” says paleontologist Peter Larson of the Black Hills Institute in Hill City, South Dakota.
Dinosaurs had bathrooms?
Excuses and other weaseling...
I mailed the check, the post office must have lost it.
The dog ate my homework.
I had a flat tire.
My cell phone battery died.
This isn't my department.
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman...Ms. Lewinsky"
How can I when my people are in bondage?
U of L beat Florida 73 to 65 today, earning Rick Pitino his 400th career win. Francisco Garcia scored 21 points in today's game. His brother, Hector Lopez, was murdered earlier this week and Garcia has dedicated "everything to him - my life, my season, everything," Garcia said. "He was my blood, my best friend."
On November 17, 2003 the 40th known Mersenne Prime number was found. It has 6,320,430 decimal digits. The discovery was made by a computer that is taking part in GIMPS, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search.
A prime number is a positive number divisible only by itself and one: 2, 3, 5, 7 and so on. Mersenne primes are a special category, expressed as 2 to the "p" power minus 1, where "p" also is a prime number.
This doesn't mean much to most of us...unless you're looking for an excuse to have a party....
Prime number drinking games:
Thirty-one or if you are a real math geek, sit everyone in a circle and play Buzz. The object is to
get shit-faced drunk to count up from one to whatever number you can reach before everyone falls on the floor. Whenever your number is a prime number, you say "buzz" instead of the number. The first person says, "one", the next says, "buzz" (1, buzz, buzz, four, buzz, six, buzz, eight, nine, ten, buzz...thirty-six, buzz, thirty-eight, thirty-nine...) When someone messes up, everyone drinks.
(Obligatory note: Drink responsibly, have a designated driver, don't drink alcohol if you aren't old enough to do so legally in your area.)
I woke up in a panic early this morning. I had suddenly realized that it was December and I hadn't been to any of my classes since the first day. I didn't know what I was going to do. It's too late to make up the work and past the deadline for dropping the classes.
I'm not registered for any classes. I graduated from U. of L. almost twenty years ago.
Flashback, the onset of senility, or a side effect of my cold medication?
We hear more from the popular press about celebrities who criticize the President and the war than we do about those who are actually doing something to show support. It's nice to know that some people do what they think is right without feeling the need to draw attention to it.
My husband is a retail store manager. He was in his store at 5:30 and opened shortly after 6:00 a.m., almost an hour before the advertised opening time because people were already lining up outside the door.
By early afternoon they had already beaten their sales numbers from the same day last year (which was a gain on the year before.) Take thatAdbusters! They also have a gain for the month over last November.
Seems the economy is getting better across the U.S.