Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sunday Morning Musings

Until three weeks ago the most popular post I had written was the one about the guys who live with dolls. The silicone adult variety. Then I ranted about the Stop the catbox commercial. Well, that was worth a few thousand hits, not that they'll ever be back.

What cracks me up about this is that my status on Technorati has been like the proverbial stone as the links from the Anti Torture campaign age out. Meanwhile, my Truth Laid Bear ranking is currently at Flappy Bird status because of all the catbox traffic, but I should be a Slithering Reptile again when people get bored with the commercial and the traffic drops off. I really want to be an Adorable Little Rodent and someday I may get there, but since I don't visit the really big blogs anymore, I will never be a Marauding Marsupial.

Since I've been using Google Reader some people might think I'm no longer reading them, but I am. Carol has a great post from yesterday on why the rich should pay higher taxes. Brilliant! True, too.

If you think this is disrespectful, wait until Carter or Clinton dies. If clearing brush is more important to Bush than showing respect to a Republican President who privately disagreed with him about Iraq, I can hardly wait for the infantile reaction to a Democratic President's death. And justification. Absolutely shameful, but unfortunately in keeping with their prior behavior. Interesting how Bush could rush back to Washington to sign a hastily passed bill in an effort to "save" a brain dead woman. Priorities, priorities.

I had a friend who lived in Carlsbad. She called the police because her roommate's boyfriend was beating the girl up. She got him out of the house before the cops arrived. He waited on the street, spoke to the cops first and my friend was the one arrested. She gets very hyper under stress and the guy told them she was doing speed. The drug test came back negative but they had roughed her up a little and she spent the night in jail. Not a nice town, police wise.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Death, Death, Sex and Death

Shades of Ceausescu. Not really but almost similar, in a nightmarish type of way. Plus I like the way it sounded. Good riddance, you don't quality for the RIP file because you don't deserve it, payback is painful (something we never learn) and people from the Middle East have very long memories. Bush is finally successful at something besides making the rich, richer but this is sure to have unforeseen (at least for the crew without a clue) consequences.

Meanwhile, not to burst your bubble, while everyone in the MSM gloats over a false "victory", back in the real world they are expanding the search for bones at the World Trade Center. Five years later. That Osama guy is where? Over five years later and New York still has a big hole in the ground with stray body parts and the perpetrator is free to live as he wishes. Nothing like getting sidetracked from the real objective.

Of course, that's assuming there is an objective.

When I was younger this was at the top of the yuck chart. My, how times have changed. It seems that older people like age appropriate sex videos. NetFlix doesn't have it as a category, I checked.

Ten things that your hospital or gas station or cruise line won't tell you. I read the ten things your gym won't tell you.

Will we or won't we? Manage to have 3000 troops killed by the end of the year? It was only fourteen months ago that we crossed the 2000 mark. That's quite a few lives that have been ruined in the pursuit of a man that had nothing to do with September 11 or the terrorism that has been visited upon us, or will be.

Let's recap, shall we. Osama bin Forgotten, mastermind of 9/11 is still free. Gaddafi, a man that Ronald Reagan described as the "mad dog of the Middle East" is still free, but very quiet. That guy with the bad hair in North Korea that babbles about nuclear weapons? Still free. We do nothing about the genocide in Africa (what the heck, they aren't even brown, they're black), but we managed to devastate a country, instigate a civil war in the same country, drag a guy out of a hole, have the worst puppet trial in history and then have him executed in a hurry to take the focus off of Gerald Ford's posthumous admission that he didn't approve of the Iraq war.

I guess if you weren't one of the almost three thousand Americans killed, the fifteen thousand or so that are wounded, the scores of Iraqis that have been killed as collateral damage or an Iraqi family that has lost family members in the last three years for one reason or another, it was a pretty cheap price to pay for personal satisfaction and the opportunity to show up one's father.

Thank you Mr. President.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Stupid Alert

Scientists, no matter how smart they are, can be rather clueless at the same time. Or as Nikola Tesla once observed, they can build a structure that has no basis in reality.

Today's nominee for stupid quote and or question, is from an article in Scientific American and it's a beaut.
"One of the other problems we've been trying to explain in human reproduction is why is it that women all over the world been having fewer children whenever they get access to contraception or more education," says Dr. Penn. "If women bear a higher cost for reproduction than men, then this might help explain why when they get control over their reproduction, they would have fewer children."
Gee, why is it so difficult for some people to wrap their heads around the idea that if women are given a choice that they will limit childbearing? I mean who wouldn't enjoy having their body held hostage for at least thirty years, subject to hijacking by a parasite that can be created without the consent of the host? Then there is that whole messy inconvenience if there is no parasite creation. And then there is the possibility that the parasite survives and draws even more energy from you. Yup, I can see where you might have to study the issue. Especially if you're clueless.

Speaking of dumb things being said, someone compiled a list of 50 dumbest Bush statements. I don't know if all of them qualify and certainly some are missing but it is interesting reading.

I guess it's just that kind of morning. Did you know that not only can one build oneself a McMansion, but now you can also build a Mini-Me version? Who says Americans aren't disconnected from reality?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I Love My Mother

And since she had her stroke, she hasn't been the same. She used to be hale and hearty, aggressively attacking every opportunity that came her way. Now she is tentative and asks for permission because she is afraid she will make a mistake. It's breaking my heart to see her this way. It may sound strange but I'm missing her before she leaves.

It's hard not to do everything for her, to let her be as independent as possible while still keeping her safe. It freaks me out that one moment in time, just a few heartbeats, and the person you've known all your life, is changed forever. When I first started living with my mom, I accepted this as one of the statistical realities of my future. It's a whole lot different living it, the stress is phenomenal.

Today she left me a message on my cell, telling me that we needed water and milk, I couldn't understand her. This is frustrating for both her and me, but lately I've discovered reserves of patience that I didn't know I had. If you knew her previous to the stroke you might think that she is developmentally impaired or if you suffer from ageism, that she is senile. She isn't senile, she's just a little slower than she used to be.

My brothers came to visit her yesterday and one of them just couldn't resist pointing out to her that statistically she is likely to die, and soon. She tires easily, doesn't eat as much as she used to, but still catches sarcasm and innuendo.

Go figure.

Thursday Morning Nibbles

Of all the people poised to run, John Edwards is my favorite and most likely to get my vote at this point. If it had been Edwards/Kerry in 2004 instead of the other way around, America would be a much different place and 2 billion that was wasted in fraud might actually have gone to Katrina victims. Bringing attention to the growing economic and opportunity divide is an extremely worthwhile cause. At least I don't want to put my foot through the tv whenever I see him, unlike the current occupant of the White House.

Which Rotter will Pot Potter? The betting has been increasing since J.K. Rowling released the title of Harry Potter's last novel.

So, executing Saddam might spark some violence. Ya think? The last link to stability, no matter how messed up it was? I guess one of the many differences between the people of the Middle East and the US is that Middle Easterners aren't afraid to express their emotions or their dislike of their government. No sheeples there, as long as you overlook a fanatical adherence to fundamental religion.

Avoiding fees, 35 of them. Now that's something practical.

I don't think that going to a coffee shop will help me get my housework done, but different strokes for different folks.

I am not interested in eating cloned food. Ever. And I should be the one to make that choice, not the government. Put the labels on the "food" so I can make my choice known with my pocketbook since that's all that seems to matter nowadays.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Running Errands

Busy day today, I'm off to physical therapy and an MRI for my knee. My brothers dropped in and took mom off to breakfast.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Presidential Addition

To the rest in peace file. Gerald Ford, our first unelected President and the longest living, has passed away and unfortunately become a political pawn once again.

Wonder how much Bush will milk this since he needs the distraction and this is big enough to distract the networks.

Such a shame, I hope his family was able to say goodbye. Rest in peace, Mr. President. Thank you for your service.


This was the topic of a conversation on KFOG earlier this month. I don't like the song at all, whether it's being used in a commercial or played on the radio. It gets on my nerves.

It looks like it's going to rain. In California that means we get a splash title (bold and in caps) every time they mention it on tv. Drivers forget how to drive in the rain and everyone is surprised when some house slides off a hill. Like gravity doesn't work. It's just rain and wind, not a hurricane.

Winchester may be out of the blast zone unless someone brings the blast zone to them, which is quite likely. Public discussion? During the Decider's reign? You're joking, right?

Hoo boy, Big Brother watches and talks. There will be no lying to Santa next year, or anyone else that might have a uniform and a badge. A new version of peer pressure. Right.

Courtesy of the WSJ we have a word geek alert. I'm not fond of the layout but the idea is pretty cool.

A little too late to regret all that steroid use, not that anybody is bringing it up. Just like a stick figure, overbuilt and inflexible.

Jolly Roger riffs on Blunder Boy (as he refers to him) and how he "listens" to his generals. Which is why I refer to them as the crew without a clue. And the military deaths continue, even more than we lost on September 11. The civilians count even less than our troops.

Scary Christmas

Dealing with the healthcare system can be a trying experience when you are under stress. It requires great patience, tolerance of stupidity, repetition of the same information and the same tests, either because doctors don't trust each other's judgment or it isn't written in a readily accessible place and the computer is too much trouble. Whatever the excuse, it's aggravating.

Mom woke upon Christmas Eve morning with slurred speech and the left side of her face was slightly drooping. I didn't notice at first because she didn't vary her routine , she brought me my tea, responded with your welcome, took her coffee and went outside to smoke. A little later I was asking her about what else she wanted for dinner and I noticed she couldn't say Brussels sprouts. Convincing her that something was wrong took a monumental effort because she can be quite stubborn. Meanwhile it made me look like I was being mean, until the diagnosis came back, then everyone talked about how it was a good thing I was so persistent.

I took her to the hospital where the triage nurse yelled at me for taking too long ...then they took her into a treatment room and left us there for an hour. Then they came back and took her blood pressure (243/127) and left us for another hour. Meanwhile mom is getting frustrated and wants to go home, swears she isn't spending the night. It took five hours to get her CT scan and then she consented to being admitted overnight. She made me promise (long story), in front of witnesses, that I wouldn't tell my brothers.

She's home now, her blood pressure is a little lower and she told the doctor (in no uncertain terms) she wasn't going to quit smoking. The neurologist asked her where she was from, turns out her parents are native born Germans also. She changed tactics immediately. It was pretty interesting. Mom's orthoneuro evaluation was encouraging, once doc got her past CN 3,4,6. Mom really doesn't understand the concept of following the doctor's finger. They finally ended up telling her which way to look and you aren't really supposed to do that. The damage seems to be confined to CN 7 and 11. That's almost funny. Motor skills and strength are unaffected, she is just difficult to understand sometimes. And she drools a little.

Her cholesterol is great 172, HDL of 67, triglycerides were 54 but they still want her to take Zocor, I'm not really sure about that since the side effects are more likely to outweigh the benefit. I can understand about the atenolol but I will be watching her diet because she doesn't need Type 2 diabetes on top of everything else.

She loved her Christmas presents, homemade truffles from the Minstrel Boy (they deserve their own post!), thermal underwear and bright red slippers, Shai Shai got liver treats and I got a handmade molcajete and Open Fire by Ronnie Montrose which has the amazing and haunting instrumental "Town Without Pity" that I've been looking for, plus an iTunes gift card. Dinner rocked, even though mom wasn't supposed to eat any of it. Standing rib roast, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and southern greens.

Bad start, decent ending.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The List Is Getting Longer

Another legend has left the building. Rest in peace James, you will be missed.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sunshine Memories

I miss the sunshine of my youth. It was brighter back then. Some of my happiest memories are from when I was six or seven, a time period not a specific date. The sun shone a lot back then.

I used to collect soda bottles and ride my bike onto the base (Fairchild AFB) and trade the bottles for money at the airman's bx (Base Exchange. There used to be one for each level, NCO's and Officers had their own sections of the base., not unlike the ghetto, suburbs and McMansion neighborhoods that existed in the outside world). I would then use the money to buy comics (12 cents!) and ride home to read them.

On Saturdays all the kids would meet at the base theater and watch the movie. We didn't really care about the movie, it was all about Hopalong Cassidy and other shorts that continued from week to week. The movie was usually something that was really stupid but it was a great excuse to hang out at the same time every week.

We had so much freedom. Freedom to run around in the fresh air, to explore places that were "down the block", to develop our own personalities and our own opinions. We rode our bikes everywhere.

We moved to Puerto Rico when I was nine. What a great three years that was. Sunshine, fresh fruit hanging from the trees just waiting to be eaten, fresh air, beautiful views and a street full of kids to play hide and go seek with. What more could a kid want? Oh yeah, hanging out at the airman's pool. It was outside and had a lifeguard. We couldn't use the NCO pool, we made too much noise.

When I was eleven I got to go to the NCO pool and I didn't like it because it was indoors. What I do remember is that somehow or other I had my first drink there and no, my parents didn't know. It was a Tom Collins and I still drink them to this day.

The sunshine isn't the same as an adult, I don't know why but I'm leaning towards pollution. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Saturday Hmm Edition

Children are like pets, granted very expensive and expressive pets but they still need guidance. As any good pet owner can attest, it is more effective to train the owner to be consistent than it is to beat the animal. Consistency is important in childrearing and now it is being tried as a viable option to medicating children into proper behavior. What a concept.

Taking care of a family member is difficult. No matter how much you love them, it does get tiring and so with very little fanfare Congress is starting to provide some relief.

We've been having a few rattles in the East Bay this week and Cookie Jill over at Skippy's place points out some earthquake history.

Most outrageous comments of 2006, by conservatives anyway.

Yes, there's a Muslim in Congress, whoopee! Did you know that there are also two Buddhists? And that one of them is from Georgia? I didn't but Maha did.

Mumbles and Musings

The internets are absolutely fascinating to me. I've been trucking around in it for almost eleven years and have enjoyed almost every moment of it. I started with AOL, back when they charged by the minute and those first two months were expensive. Four months later I switched to Earthlink and now I use that convenient but rip off service called Verizon. As one techie observed, you are allowed to download Windows Service Pack Two but you can't listen to streaming radio because you might use too much bandwidth and it's only supposed to be for business use. What planet does Verizon exist on?

All my life I had my nose in either a book, news magazine, comic book, science article or whatever I could get my eyeballs on. My ex used to say that if I didn't get my daily supply of words that I was unlivable. It was one of several things about myself that obviously bothered him. In my defense I can say that the only time I ever read romance novels was when I was married. I prefer science fiction, it has a better chance of coming true.

Since discovering the internets, my days of buying my purse to fit whatever size of the dead tree edition that I was currently reading are over. I hardly ever read a fiction book anymore, non-fiction is so much easier to find on the internets. I've been trying to finish Eldest for a year. Grisham, Robinson, Nance, Baldacci, Jordan (series should have been finished at book five, he's on eleven plus a prequel and I quit on eight, I'm sorry he's sick), Cussler and Clancy (wrote his most popular character into a corner) have not graced my eyes in a while. I only have eyes for the internets.

Oops, I have drunk the Google Kool-Aid. Once Blogger (no longer in Beta, yeah!) started using Gmail as a sign in, I began to use more of the services. The personalized homepage was first, with all of the little widgets from many ingenious people. I have no idea how it happened, but I lost all my Sage live bookmarks and had to start over, so I did. With Google Reader. Love it. Now I can really keep up with news, bloggers and several other items that interest me.

Recently there has been much whining, crying and useless flapping of hands in the blogosphere over having to switch to the new Blogger. When I first switched, I wasn't very happy but some of the ideas appealed to me and I went back and slowly played with the template (Minima, it's easier to add than to take away) and now have it hacked to the teeth. I realize other bloggers just want to type and print and aren't particularly interested in the intricacies of widgets and how much easier it is to play with unless they suffer from a form of geekdom.

Some are asking, what's the difference in page elements, can't I just use one? Not really. If you don't have a friend to help you, aren't comfortable with asking another blogger for help and don't mind reading through some people's arrogance, I recommend the Blogger Help Group. In addition, at the top of my page you can mouseover the HackZone, these are bloggers who explain how to do something and explain it very well.

Remember to make a copy of the code in the template section to a text editor (plain not rich text) on your computer before you start. This will contain all the code that you may be using for Haloscan, Sitemeter, et al. Then you can copy and paste the appropriate portions of code into the correct page elements instead of having to regenerate.

Blogger requires that some sites get permission to access and this is accomplished through a Google screen that pops up if they are interested in working with Blogger. I just copy the YouTube embed code in order to post to my blog since it won't work any other way. So it isn't a one click deal, but eleven years ago it couldn't be done at all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mikey's Letter To Rush

I have made no secret of my support for Mikey Weinstein and now he's responded to one of the three biggest blowhards in the United States today. Rosie is keeping the Donald and his comb over occupied, O'Reilly is still bleating about the non existent war on Christmas and Mikey takes on Rush.

My favorite line of the letter?
Given your personal lack of service in our nation’s armed forces, I can partially understand why you might not grasp these basic facts.
Rush finds it difficult to grasp any facts and doesn't let that stop him from spewing hatred and lies, but then that's what drug use will do to you.

Fraternal Friday Links

Eating organic used to mean something. It meant that the food was grown in clean soil, devoid of any additives, pesticides or herbicides. As with most things that affect the general public; names have been changed, rules have been relaxed, oversight has been reduced or eliminated, boards are being stacked with compliant members and nothing means what it used to. Too bad the quality or safety of the food won't improve.

If your intent is to thin out the population, the draft probably is of benefit to society. Of bigger benefit to society would be to drop the warlike holier than thou attitude and try to get along with the rest of the world instead of trying to dominate, control and force our way of life on the rest of the world. I believe this is called sowing the field.

The Journal has a nice article on the best and worst ads for 2006 and how much advertising is changing to better reach the consumer. I very rarely watch tv but now there's YouTube so I can catch up and they planned for that. I don't need this product but I've met people who are thankful it exists.

I hear that SNL has had some funny moments (on purpose and it's not a campaign year!)lately and thanks to that YouTube place I can see the explicit version of the Timberlake skit. Snicker.

From the same state that doesn't want John Connolly's body exhumed for the "magic" bullet. Go figure. Try to solve one of the two greatest conspiracy theories of the last fifty years or put a young black man in jail. Priorities, priorities. As if he isn't suffering enough for his stupidity.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Baghdad Bob's Back In Business

Well, that didn't take long, now did it? Hear what you want to hear, see what you want to see until you achieve the result wanted. Focused focus groups. Haven't we seen that reasoning before? And wasn't it wrong? Oh well, try,try again.

If you use tainted sources, you'll be as wrong as your namesake.

Why Not An Even $100B?

What's up with 99.7? Is it someone's favorite radio station or are they taking the temperature of their liver? Cracks me up, they round off everything else.

Real or fake, which do you prefer? For a Christmas tree.

What does it say about the state of our military when the Veterans Administration declares a veteran 70% disabled due to PTSD, something they hate to do and avoid at all costs, and the military is so desperate for troops that it feels he's okay not only to go back to duty but back to a warzone? Are we so desperate for bullet stoppers that we will take the already injured? The disproportionate few continue to forfeit their humanity in pursuit of a losing cause that doesn't protect the US or have any other rational explanation.

Today's music mashup: Fleming and John's Winter Wonderland set to Misty Mountain Hop by Led Zeppelin. What hoot that was.

So, money is distributed unequally between the well off and the not. Huh! Who saw that coming?

Most security measures are akin to locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen and biometrics are no different. They have demonstrated various methods in the movies and television for many years, up to and including forcible removal of the pertinent body part, no matter where it's located on or in the body.

Nothing new here except that it might go a long way to explaining the love of Jaegermeister to people in their twenties.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Humpday Alternate Realities

I see there's a new Baghdad Bob, let's hope that even if he's not effective that he's as funny as the original.

I'm listening to Raptures Riders, a mashup of The Door's Riders on the Storm and Blondie's Rapture, I liked it. It was ...different. What will they think of next?

Bush flirts with alternate realities. He will have made his speech on expanding the military by the time I get done writing this post, probably something like: If you or your parents make less than 100K and haven't donated to the Republican party, you are subject to the draft and prepare to report to your nearest induction station so you can help fight my war on terror. Against the Constitution and the American people.

I prefer to go out to eat dinner by myself, it started when I got divorced many years ago. It's my version of being rich and the only time when people do for me what do for others. I can read, listen to music, watch a show on my iPod and just generally relax. I don't have to entertain anyone and the only person I have to talk to is my server. I guess dining alone is traumatic for other people, but I don't feel like a loser. I guess it's all in the attitude.

Talk about disconnected from reality, this guy has gone a little over the edge. That was some amazing logic, equating using Linux with the financial destruction of the United States and Osama uses it so therefore it is all a plot. Dude, Osama uses it because it is difficult to track, he isn't stupid and it does the job he needs without the spyware. Doh!

The geography of religion, 5000 years in 90 seconds, very interesting.

Hybrid herb. Great that it resists herbicide and that it can be grown all year long, but what about the quality?

Even the Wall Street Journal believes that the Iraq war has backfired, which is a polite way of saying that it is so bad that even the kool aid drinkers have noticed. Now it's all on Rice to use diplomacy to ease the tension in the Middle East. We are so...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nothing's Changed

Microsoft is still sticking it to the little guy. Or in this case, mom and pop businesses that heretofore have made a profit because of the internet. It sounds so simple, it can't possibly be that bad is your first thought, then reality sets in and you realize that once again, the deck is stacked in the favor of big business. All under the guise of protection.

More and more it is becoming harder to find a way to be independent, the Wal-Martization of the underclass continues.

It would almost crack me up if this wasn't so sad. Conservatives continually piss, weep and moan about America losing its sovereignty because of the United Nations or being overrun by illegal aliens and yet they are all too willing to sell the nation piece by piece and inch by inch to the highest bidder. All in the name of not having to raise taxes. The people are still paying but now they no longer own the country they live and travel in. Nice going guys. What's next, putting control of our water under Osama bin Laden?

There's no substitute for the human touch and what a novel solution to the illegal immigrant problem. Move the business to where they are, even if it's growing lettuce. If only we could outsource the executives instead of the businesses, the dollar might not be headed in a downward spiral.

Have you taken MSNBC's end of year test?

Refridgedeezer Soup

Inspired by a post over at Big Brass Blog and that for some people free space is needed in the chill zone, I present my ever-changing recipe for Refridgedeezer Soup. Ready in as little as 15 minutes, extremely tasty in 30.

I like to start with a chicken base and mine is found in the refrigerator. Minor's is my favorite and can be purchased in the spice section at Costco. I can use as little or as much as I need. it has less sodium than the others and upon rehydration solid pieces of meat and vegetable are present. In this recipe it is a base, its flavor is to blend not predominate. If you wanted chicken soup you should have roasted a chicken the day before, purchased some chicken feet and simmered those puppies up overnight.

After a gentle simmer has been achieved, check refrigerator for recent (within 3 days) leftovers such as vegetables, meat, beans, rice or pasta and add to broth and return to simmer. If you only have one or two veggies to add, open freezer and use a smattering of the different veggies you have in there. I also like to keep frozen chopped onions available for soups.

Open spice cabinet and use any combination type seasoning that matches your leftovers. Get creative. Taco seasoning will add a "mexican flavor" and italian seasoning will add ... you get the picture. I also like to add crushed red chiles to almost any soup, but that's just me. Don't forget the garlic. If you simmer for more than 30 minutes you can throw whole cloves in and they will be sweet at the end. At any time a can of tomatoes or tomato sauce, and a can of beans will add substance and flavor. Bring to a gentle simmer for as long as you can wait. Do not boil, it makes the veggies mushy and disperses fats throughout the soup, making it difficult to remove if necessary.

Grab bowl, wolf down. Smile. You cleaned out the fridge, got at least four servings of veggies with their nutrients and fiber for very little effort, and the fewest calories you're going to ingest until next year.

Save leftovers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Where Am I?

IMG_9684, originally uploaded by 陳小樂.

What is this place? Do I have to stay here? Why is everyone staring at me? Why are there so many? Why do they keep pinching my cheeks?

Random Flickr Blogging, once again.

Calories, Kilowatts And Entertainment

Where does the weight you lose go? The smartass answer is away, the technical answer is this.

The top ten stories that were missed by most and that includes the media, according to Foreign Policy. I saw a couple of these and a few I had not heard of.

As soon as they can figure out a way to tax it, it will be legal.

Fifteen minutes or less. A lousy way to do your job but necessary if you want to do it again.

The space heater has been running for the last few days and my electric meter reflects it. I have insulated as much as possible but electricity is going to be my biggest bill this winter, especially if it continues to be unseasonably cold. If there was anything else I could do, I would do it.

As some of you know, I have been running this little experiment myself for most of the year and it works for me. Nice to know that occasionally I can be in the forefront of a revolution.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Supporting The Troops

Doesn't seem to be on the agenda. The Smirking Chimp has a great article based on a Wall Street Journal front page article that was ignored (I'm not paying for the WSJ) throughout the blogosphere ...and most regular "news" outlets. The facts and numbers are just criminal. Unless the intent isn't to win but to piss away the military and leave this country defenseless.

I'm a veteran of the Army, my dad retired from the Air Force and one of my brothers was an officer in the Navy, so supporting the military is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. To find out that the military is so ill-equipped and has been so since day one of the Iraqi war and that the future looks worse than the past is disappointing. To say the least.

You may go to war with the Army you have but at some point you have to replace the armor, bullets, transportation and the people themselves. Street combat doesn't normally involve submarines or a fleet of F-18s but lining the pockets of political cronies, does. At least in the crew without a clue's fantasy universe anyway.

I wonder how much longer it will be before the bill comes due for this mismanagement of government resources? You have to pay the piper if you want to dance, and with typical American hubris we seem to have hired a whole symphony. On spec.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Or is that wow? The pictures! I love to drive but this is not my idea of a good time. I'm sure that the views are beautiful but I would rather practice omphaloskepsis than go zipping off the side of a mountain.

Just sayin.

What A Copout

For the last six years Time's Person of the Year hasn't been woth discussing. The editorial board bobs and weaves, shows very little initiative and very little imagination. This year is no different.

You are the person of the year. I am the person of the year. We get to be little persons (it's just a small p, not a dig at those of slightly shorter stature than myself. And I mean slightly) of the year instead of one big person we can all be proud or ashamed of, as the case may be. I'm surpised they didn't just pick teenagers as the Person of the Year since they do a large proportion of what Time thinks makes us so special.

Einsteins, Edisons, Jobses but no Gates. Snicker. LOL. Now that was funny.

Perpetuating The Dilemma

Perhaps we shouldn't be fighting the war in Iraq, has this clown general considered that option? Just because we are at war doesn't mean we should always be at that state and if we have that many enemies, what are we doing wrong? We used to win friends and influence people, not send them into self-destructive murderous rages.

The National Guard and the Reserves are just as tapped out as the regular military. At this point there really is no difference. These people have lives that support the infrastructure of the United States. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has never been an effective strategy, it feels good in the short run and then Kim shows up wanting a slice. Oops.

What you really need is a draft and you can't come right out and say so because that's the third rail, now isn't it? People are not willingly joining the military, so you are going to have to make them in order to increase or even maintain the military and that's going to go over like a personally released fragrance in church. Actually it sounds like you want to make it a forced career by preventing people from leaving when their time is up, for the good of their unit. The only options (surges) being proposed are based on the false flush of too much adrenaline and testosterone without thinking of the long term consequences to America and what we used to stand for.

If this was a just war, if Iraq had ever been a threat to us, if there had ever been a coherent reason for our involvement, I might be able to support these actions. But I doubt it because none of the reasons given so far have had any sense or staying power and throwing good money after bad or live troops after dead ones just doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps a simple demonstration of a timeline would help impart some perspective. Now that was sad, wasn't it? Pop, pop.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Live Free Or Die ...Harder

Almost twenty years after the first Die Hard we have the fourth installment and it looks explosive. The fourth of July is usually a sad day in our house, but this year I have something to look forward to.

Hmm, does this mean there is still hope for another Indiana Jones movie?

Stop The Catbox

The most recent Cingular commercial gets on my last nerve. Every. Time. It. Plays. In order to download music have to know the name of the song, or did it come as part of a musical package? The name of the song is just like the lyric they mangle, Rock the Casbah. Mondegreens (misheard lyrics) abound and this song has several but this example is over the top. Even the tag line drives me nuts. You don't have to understand your music in order to download it. Then how did they find the song? I understand they want to sell their service but seriously, another song would have been a better choice.

If Lieberman shows his real colors (red) in the next few days and helps to swing the Senate majority back to the Republican side it will just give everybody the excuse to say they can't change anything and enable the Decider to ride out his last two years in office in relative comfort. If only the Hague would swear out a warrant or bring an indictment for war crimes. Nixon should have had such loyalty.

The Republican in me objects to wasting the state's money and this is a perfect example. After having several courts find that baring one's breast, even if you're female, is protected by freedom of speech. Oh well, I guess it's easier than trying real criminals since violent crime is three times the national average and that must be pretty intimidating. Nice use of the publics' trust and money.

All you have to do is get into the country, you don't really have to worry about leaving because the United States has no way and no plans to track overstayed visas. As long as you don't look Hispanic you should be okay.


Sometimes a pretzel is just a pretzel, not the determining factor on whether you like your body. How many would they have eaten if they were with members of the opposite sex?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Never Ceases To Amaze

And the planet this "leader of the people" actually occupies? Is this the best you can do? A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon it will add up to real money. But that's been said before.

If it was naming a building or passing a useless resolution, Congress is your man. If you expect real accomplishments don't hold your breath. They won't be able to do anything to change the debacle in Iraq. Everyone will talk, nothing will get done except more troops and innocent civilians will die.

John, you are talking out your derrière again. More troops aren't going to solve the problem, they will just be additional targets. What is it going to take before the crew without a clue (which looks like is has added more members) realizes that nothing is going to make the situation better and that every decision so far has made it worse? Is there going to have to be one big incident where we lose a substantial number of troops before the "administration" begins to bring the troops home?

Unfortunately, I agree with his assessment. The American people are way too comfortable to have a revolution. Piss, moan and complain, yes. Do something about it? No. Why? Because the pain is limited to an unfortunate few and it just doesn't affect "normal" people.

The best science fictions.

Men Of The Year Candidates

Definitely makes me happy I'm single. Why would anybody let themselves be treated this way?

Pictures courtesy of reader Rick.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So Bummed

Young Frankenstein is one of my favorite movies and the Putting On the Ritz scene was priceless, as were the scenes with Madeline Kahn. Peter you will be missed. Truly.

I really hate the end of the year. Really.

Rest in peace and thanks for all the laughs.

One By One

A phrase that can apply to Congressmen, newspapers and anybody not in the White House when it comes to discussing the abandonment of support for the Iraq war. The rest of America is leaving in droves and as usual, politicians are behind the times. If elections weren't such a pain in the rear we should have them more often, just to keep our elected representatives honest and on their toes.

And then there are the suck-ups, guys who should know better but are stuck in the past.

What do you mean that Shai Shai doesn't know it's Christmas? Of course she knows that the baby Jesus was born thousands of years ago so people can run around buying gifts they can't afford for people who won't appreciate them. As if that wasn't enough, now you can spend ungodly amounts of money on your pets and include them in the artificialness of the holidays. Give me a break, but for the entertainment value KFOG will have pets in drag pics up after 10 am. Did you know that India has a pet dinner delivery service?

As I've stated before, I went to school with Mikey Weinstein. Not only was I in the military myself, but I was an Air Force dependent until I joined and an Army dependent after I got out. Religion was never pushed down our throats, though I will admit that all of the AF bases I lived on (Fairchild, Ramey, Vandenberg) had a very strong Southern Baptist or Pentecostal contingent. I know since I was baptized Pentecostal at sixteen. Then I joined the Army, they aren't as particular about which God you pray to when the bullets are flying. I guess it's a little easier to pick and choose when you are above the action. That doesn't give you the right to push your religion down the troops throats or to give the enemy a perfect weapon of propaganda. You go Mikey.

This so not cool, another Hundred Year War, and we're part of it. How about we quit creating more terrorists and clean up the mess we have, before we try to take the splinter out of someone else's eye? Just like the Dark Ages this will pass, provided we quit providing fuel and giving them more ammunition to strengthen their position. But that goes against the macho position that we must maintain so people don't perceive us as weak and ineffectual. Too late.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Holiday Spirits

Can be very bad for you. especially if you aren't used to them. That punch may taste light and refreshing or smooth and creamy if it's eggnog (calories!) but they can still make you do or say things you might regret later. Then I hear that there is that morning after thing, a hangover I believe it's called, so here comes the annual how to drink and recover list.

This year they even discuss the perceived effects of different types of alcohol. It was about as convincing as saying that the iPod shuffle doesn't have moods. We all know it does but they keep trotting out scientific "evidence" that it really is random, just as they do trying to convince us that alcohol is alcohol. Not. Just like all carbohydrates aren't equal.

30 amazing things you can do with widgets. But do I really need to know how to take care of a chia pet?

How about starting a fire with a can of coke and a chocolate bar? It and 25 other food hacks can be found here.

Nine reasons to hate Christmas. Ho, ho.

Monday, December 11, 2006

All Tied Up

IMG_9609, originally uploaded by Jakesz Faller.

And no place to go. Now be honest, Do these ropes make my butt look fat?

It's Random Flickr Blogging Time!

Monday Morning Musings

Imagine that most women you meet automatically know that you don't "measure up" to some arbitrary standard? In an effort to prevent the spread of HIV some genius decided to point out that a majority of Indian men are one to two inches smaller than the world average. Maybe the average needs to be readjusted since that is a significant number of men.

Holiday office parties bring out the worst in people. Actually it's the alcohol and those who aren't used to drinking in public. Now it seems they suffer more from the aftereffects. Wuss!

Inching toward history is right, another political cult of personality in my lifetime. I don't do the swoon thing, he's much too likely to end up like the song.

I was wondering how long this would take, I knew she wasn't dumb when she married Gates but she's patient too. Good things come to she who waits.

One of the ways I solved the transformer problem is that mom and I have the same phone and I picked my power strips so they can take those odd looking plugs. I am extremely deficient in electrical outlets and the power drain has to be carefully managed otherwise things start blowing. Nothing else must be used when the microwave is going.

Who are these people kidding? At 91 there was never going to be any "justice", just like there won't be for Castro. They accomplished their life's goals and are dying in their old age just like normal people. The time to have done something was years ago, not whining about your lack of revenge now.

Childbirth used to be a natural act. In an effort to turn it into a medical procedure many things are done that have nothing to do with the health of the baby or mother and everything to do with convenience. Now it seems that an effort to avoid pain during childbirth can have detrimental effects on the infant's brain, and ultimately their health, by depriving them of the protection of breast milk. Epidurals may give the perception of making childbirth easier while in reality they extend labor, lower blood pressure and now pass an opiate to an unborn child. Get in shape, it's healthier in the long run.

Of course I'm going to go see Star Trek XI when it comes out and if Kevin Pollak can't act like James Kirk, Matt Damon would be an acceptable substitute. Very acceptable.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

You Are What You Eat

According to this author, taste has never been considered in depression. I love the arrogance. Maybe not by western medicine but taste is an integral part of Chinese Medicine diagnostics. It is one of the Ten Questions, specifically: Of these five flavors which would be your favorite? Sour, sweet, salty, spicy or bitter? And your second favorite? Whichever answer you give opens a large window into you as an individual. Plus, we use the tongue to help in diagnosis; size, shape, and color being several factors.

Coupled with thirst, are you thirsty, how often do you drink liquids, what temperature, does it satisfy your thirst? Appetite, do you have one? Hunger is different from appetite, which is the desire to eat. As an example I can be hungry all day and not eat because nothing appeals to me as opposed to people who nibble at every opportunity.

By the time I get to temperature, sweat, and sleep I have a very good idea of what's going on emotionally and we haven't even gotten to the intimate questions. TCM understands that it is how you feel in relationship to your own body AND that there are standard norms which should be taken into account but aren't always the deciding factor. Not everything can be found in a blood or urine test, x-ray or ultrasound. Sometimes listening, looking, touching and smelling can be of use.

I love food. I like thinking about it, planning what to make, shopping for it, prepping it and cooking it. I'm getting better at presentation and the dishes are someone else's problem. When I go out to eat I like to enjoy as many flavors as possible and tasting menus are a favorite choice. I rarely finish my plate and I don't do leftovers, so little tastes of many things appeal to me. Dimsum is okay but all the great flavors come in the same wrappers and I get bored. I hate eating the same old thing.

That being said, I don't think I would enjoy smoky bacon flavored ice cream. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should and some of the pioneers of molecular gastronomy feel the same way. The new cooking manifesto.

I'm hungry and I haven't had my morning tea yet, I wonder what time I'll get around to making breakfast,

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bursting Bubble Boy's Bubble

Isn't going to happen. In the real world it would have burst on impact but his has shown great resiliency, even now. Historically when things haven't gone the way he wanted, he called Poppy to bail him out. Having spent the last six years trying to show the world that in all things Oedipal he was better than daddy, accepting help no matter how badly needed, is not what he has in mind for his "legacy."

He made a point of saying a few years ago that he takes advice from a "higher power" than his father which only showed that he doesn't listen to anybody, not even God. Because if he did, he would have obeyed at least one of the Ten Commandments, you know the one. Honor thy father (not touching the mother thing!) doesn't exist in the Bush bubble. Actually he treats the Commandments the way he treats the Bill of Rights, with absolute utter disdain. Between the killing, the stealing, the coveting, and the worshiping of false idols there isn't much left to accomplish that God said don't do.

Meanwhile, back on this side of the blogosphere we notice that more than one columnist now feels brave enough to point out that the emperor has no clothes. The ever popular Modo (behind the hideous NY Times paywall) lets loose once again with the aptly titled Oval Intervention, the so-called "fictional" behind closed doors attempt to bring Junior back to reality.

From the until recently quiescent Eleanor Clift, comes another observation on Poppy's little breakdown from earlier this week, which happened to match my own. Wrong boy got the right job and destroyed everything that Poppy had worked for, I almost feel sorry for him. Not.

You raised a son whose idea of a consensus is for everyone to do what he wants, not for him to compromise for the greater good. The greater good to him is whatever makes him feel good at the moment. Great parenting, no wonder you were a one term President.

Picking and choosing intelligence (!) is part of the reason we got into the mess in Iraq and bubble boy still feels confident picking and choosing which parts of the Iraq War Group's report that he thinks are important and the advice that should be disregarded. It doesn't matter that the American publics wishes mirrors the recommendations in the report or that the Iraqi peoples wishes mirror the American peoples. What matters is that he can use one line to justify his position. As if that makes everything right.

Nice way to run a country. Into the ground.

Anybody seen that Osama (not Obama) bin Forgotten guy lately? Dead or alive, another promise conveniently forgotten.


Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Funnies, Peculiar Not HaHa

Some people have lost their minds. Suspension and a mark on his school record. It used to apply to high school students, now it's prekindergarten. A four year old suspended for inappropriate touching because of a hug. Methinks the teachers aide protested a little too much, you know what I mean? Wink, wink. There's political correctness, sexual boundaries and most important of all and sorely lacking here, common sense.

Where are all the new rocket scientists going to come from? Certainly not from the restrictive school system from above and probably not from a public elementary school near you. How can kids aspire to a space program without incentives such as role models, realistic goals from society or advancements in space travel. For today's youth all they know is that Space Shuttles blow up, either taking off or landing. There have been no magical moments to inspire for thirty years. Sigh.

As I've stated before, I'm not fond of playing games but I might try out this new Firefly online game when it becomes available. I really enjoyed Firefly and the universe it was set in. These aren't the fans to irritate as whoever screwed up the Flanvention are about to find out. People were on their way already. Wankers.

Gee, why start now? It's only been longer than our involvement in World War Two, what took so long for this brilliant idea? Supposedly this was supposed to be the goal all along. As the Iraqis step up, we'll step down. Wasn't that one of the many promises we've been told for the last few years? Now we're finally going to beef up the training of Iraqi troops. Ah yes, another example of the lack of planning for the after invasion of a sovereign country. Hmm, my plan from a year or two ago still sounds viable and would have accomplished the "goal" by now. Why don't they do their basic training like we do? On bases and away from home and distractions. I guess that's too simple.

Chicken fried bacon. All righty then.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

One of the many places I have lived in my life is Puerto Rico. NCO housing at Ramey AF Base to be exact. We lived there from 1965 to 1968 and they were some of the happiest years of my life. Good weather, good fruit, good neighborhood, good times. It rained every day from 5 to 5:15 and then we would play while it evaporated. I still remember how the sun looked as I watched it set into the ocean from my favorite spot overlooking the beach. The reason we were there was because of the work my dad did in the Air Force, the most important of which took place at Arecibo. I'm pretty sure it wasn't to look for extraterrestrials but to keep track of Castro, paranoia was pretty high back then.

It looks like once again when it comes to the space program we are going to be penny wise and pound foolish. We're going to build a base on the Moon, go to Mars and at the same time eliminate funding for the study of near Earth asteroids because someone thinks that a private agency will pick up the slack. Ooh, another shining example of contracting out work that will never be done and putting the health and safety of not just Americans but other world citizens in the hands of the incompetent and the greedy.

Do you use math shortcuts? I have a few that I can't explain but they work for me. These might work for you.

The Coast Guard got the New Orleans treatment. Lots of talk, lots of money spent on projects that aren't completed, lots of time wasted, and lots of excuses. Meanwhile we don't have a viable security force to police our coastline and reinforcements seem to be locked up in the pork barrel.

Different species of fish cooperating to get food. Do you suppose they figured it out watching smuggled copies of Finding Nemo?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Geeky Thursday Thoughts

Tornadoes in London. Wow! Is there anybody left who doesn't believe that the climate is changing? And not for the better? How about gulls attacking whales for food? They used to wait until they were dead but that doesn't seem to be an issue anymore.

I played with the template again. I replaced the labels as tabs hack with a dropdown menubar that has widgets in it. Now I have to download some stuff into a graphics program and play with two .gifs (more than I really want to do!) and then I should be able to get it to blend in a little better. I also reduced my categories and as soon as I find the other hack that lets me add subcategories I should be done playing with the template. And if you believe that one...

How do you remember? They are getting closer to figuring out how memory works, Interference seems to be reason why people misremember. When I was in college I had a psychology teacher who loved to test my memory at odd times. She was fascinated by how well mine worked and never hesitated to put me on the spot. She thought she was conducting an experiment and was never aware that I was conducting my own. This was an 8 am class and I would rearrange my mental faculties by outside means and then attend class. This is one of the reasons I'm confident about my memory skills. They've been tested. Thoroughly.

Not that anyone besides me can see it, but I'm using a holiday Firefox theme. Tinseltown, with candy canes, lights and wreaths. That's as close as I'm going to get to decorating.

What I do enjoy are the make fun of the holiday movies. I watched The Ref again. It's one of my favorite movies, the dialog is hilarious. Denis Leary always makes me laugh even though it was strange to hear an Iraq joke from a twelve year old movie. Mom said it was just like our family Thanksgivings. I'm going to have to get Home For The Holidays for her. That one really nails our family.

The speed of thought can affect your mood. This is one case of the faster, the better.

Kitchen utensils that someone thought every cook should have. What disturbs me is that I have everything except the oval pan and the terrine dish, but then I do love to cook. A good knife is indispensable and my 10 inch Wusthof Classic Chef's knife is my favorite. I also have an 8 inch Chef and a 7 inch Santoku. One of these days I would like to have a sushi knife but a good one is worth as much as my car. I'm not into baking. While I have been accused of being anal retentive, baking is just way too precise for me, I prefer to cook according to my taste buds.

Do you get the feeling I'm avoiding politics? You're right At least until something comes along that I can't ignore.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Herbs And The News

Ed over at the Tao of Politics sent me a few links related to herbology this morning. In regards to the link about some herbal medicines causing liver damage, I have this to say.

Number one, two cases does not an epidemic make. They conveniently don't mention all of the documented cases of drug interactions and deaths caused by western medications. Number two, one of the reasons why you go to see a licensed acupuncturist is because we are trained and tested regarding interactions and appropriateness of herbal care. Any competent practitioner should know that you NEVER prescribe liver qi movers to a compromised patient. Ever. This is one of the many reasons that I object to vitamin and herb stores such as GNC or drugstores selling single herb capsules. We have very few single herb formulas and they are for emergencies.

Not every herb is appropriate for every person. A proper herbal formula can cause as much harm as the prescription the western doctor gives you. Herbs should only be prescribed after a full intake which includes how you eat, sleep, fart, crap, sweat, dream, your favorite flavor, sex drive and that's just for starters.

While in school I helped give an herbal presentation to the San Diego Hospice and the whole intent was to show them that they couldn't just keep a few prescriptions on hand and then use them whenever they thought it was appropriate because a few symptoms matched. Two hours later they had agreed with us because it is much more involved than it looks on the surface.

Yes, cinnamon will help regulate diabetes, if you happen to be one of those people who are cold, sluggish and have a tendency to retain water. But, it needs to be the bark of the cinnamon, not the twigs and leaves. There is a difference. Ginger is another example. Fresh, it is used to relieve the surface (make you sweat). It harmonizes the digestion and helps to prevent damage from other herbs in a prescription. Dried ginger is extremely hot and is only used medicinally for a few formulas, most of which involve cinnamon. Both of these herbs are considered to be very tonifying to the kidney and are used to build energy. But if you happen to run warm already and find it difficult to keep still these two herbs will ramp you up and make you very uncomfortable.

Mushrooms (the ones that end in ake) have been used for many centuries because they tonify the system. One of the ways that Chinese Medicine attacks disease is by supporting the healthy and encouraging the rest of the system to do a better job. We have toxic herbs that are only used under certain circumstances and for an extremely short period of time. Gingko biloba springs to mind. It is used in our major asthma formula and we recommend a period of six weeks at a time, then you should take a break. Don't even get me started on ma huang and how it has been abused by the dieting craze.

Japan also has a high rate of stomach cancer and for the same reasons. Pickled and smoked foods. They may taste good but just like anything else, moderation is the key.

Well, that woke me up, didn't it?

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog.

Quirky Tidbits

Kitty Alzheimer's, what are the symptoms? Acting strange cannot possibly be one of the criteria.

The turduckhen of spy gadgetry. For those who missed Q in Casino Royale.

I've been testing the Blockbuster Total Access program and sucks. I much prefer Netflix. Their website is better organized, it's easier to fill your queue and they have a better selection of movies. It took five days for BB to credit my account when I dropped off the movies in the store.

If you don't win, destroy the playing field seems to be the motto of the outgoing majority. With each passing day I find it harder to believe that we elected grownups since they act so much like preschoolers. Makes me wonder how many report cards included the phrase "doesn't play well with others".

I have written about this subject several times. We destroyed the quality of life for women in Iraq. Above and beyond the bombings, shootings, lack of electricity, etc. We turned the clock back to the dark ages for a generation of women that grew up just like American women. Now they get to live under the Iraqi Taliban. That's the US for you, improving lives all over the world. As long as you aren't female.

Of course he isn't above the law, he is the law. At least in his own mind and those who toady after him. How about we try to get the country back on track and if evidence appears (and you know it will) then we can worry about investigation and prosecution. But first we need to ensure the safety of our troops and our homeland. Just not by restrictive means.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Twitterings

What a load of bullcrap! This is why most people think that psychologists are not quite right in the head. He extrapolates, supposes and then admits to using anecdotal evidence. The sexes are equally dependent upon each other emotionally. I am constantly amazed by how men feel the same way that women do, they just don't talk about it as much. By definition the people that see psychologists are hurting in some way, that doesn't mean those examples can be extended to the rest of the population. Misogynistic crap from an unhappy man, not that he would admit it. He's the one trying to increase his social standing. Or maybe he wants to live in a country that forces its women into his fantasy lifestyle.

How can you conduct two wars and not budget for repair of equipment? Not only is the crew without a clue unwilling to take care of the country's veterans, now we see that they treat the physical equipment the same way. When did the military become an entitlement program? Why is it that smaller government always translates into tax cuts for the rich and reductions for everything except pork? You don't put the military on a short budget during war time, unless you don't care about being successful. Why does the crew without a clue hate America so much?

Passwords are important but how do you choose and remember them? I'm not telling mine but I do have a system and it doesn't involve personally identifiable information. I don't use the same password everywhere, I vary the difficulty depending on the site. I also don't write mine down, a good password is one that nobody knows. I make my reminder clues cryptic also.

I would love to have a Tivo (or any DVR) for Christmas and after that anything for my kitchen (major geek stuff) is a great idea. According to the Red Tape Chronicles gift cards aren't such a great idea, cash is better.

I love the session saver function of Firefox 2.0. I forgot what I was doing and started installing the Google Reader Notifier for Mac, doubletapped the wrong thing and opened like 30 window and slowed the Mac down so far tfhat only the cursor would move but I couldn't activate any windows. I restart the system, crank up FF and low and behold, there is my post. Thank goodness. I think I'll quit while I still can.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't Let The Door Knob Hit You

Where the good Lord split you. Now you'll know what a recess really is, maybe you can start a mustache cleaning service. Tata, buhbye, thanks for all the laughs. Not.

War Two Ways

So which is it? If the situation is worse than it was during the Lebanese civil war, why wouldn't the Iraq situation be a civil war? And yes, life was better for the average Iraqi under Saddam than it is now, thanks for pointing that out. A day late, a dollar short and thousands of innocent Iraqis later.

The world stood by and let America destroy a sovereign country for no good reason. Or at least not one that was valid for more than a few weeks. Considering the trade imbalance it should have been easy to impose sanctions on us. Something could have been done that would have shown the world's displeasure besides pointing out four years too late that the defecation has come into contact with the rotary oscillator.

Breathing while black. I've done it for years, I don't recommend it as a lifestyle. There are less colorful ways to be frustrated by life.

Erectile dysfunction ads should be aired during traditional men's programming. Kids toy commercials air during the time they are most likely to be watching tv, the same should hold true for adults.

Can't we do anything right? We seem to have a problem finishing the job in Afghanistan or Iraq. We are like a bull in a china shop, crashing around and destroying the merchandise with no way to fix it when we're gone.

Speaking of not fixing things, it seems that one thing that FEMA is competent at is finding ways not to help the needy. Less than one fourth of one percent will reach the financial cap imposed on the victims of Rita and Katrina. You'd think they were giving away millions but we're talking about $26,200. This is going to sound callous but they would have been better off as victims of 9/11. It's amazing how we prioritize life, isn't it? Class warfare continues with only one side having bullets.

Aurora, one of these days it might dawn on you how clueless you are, how little education you have and how big your own prejudices are. The Palestinian situation is bad and quite a bit of it is due to Israel's bad behavior. Why is it ok for some groups to fight against injustice and others are considered to be racists and bigots for pointing out the obvious? Thinking wasn't her strong suit, spewing venom is. It sounds like it was more than Carter that made her a modern day Republican.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Lazy Sunday Morning

It looks like my obnoxious neighbor is moving. Thank goodness because I was really getting tired of being spit and cursed at. Little did he know that I have had more experience turning the other cheek than he has at demonstrating adult behavior. End result? He's leaving.

Global warming. With each passing year the ramifications become more clear and the damage more extensive. As the warm season lasts longer there are more animal births, which means that some are unprepared for the winter because they are too young to hibernate successfully.

Twenty-two ways to stimulate your brain. Most of these are simple and require very little effort for the amount of return. Plus, everyone of them helps another aspect of your life.

If you can remember to take this pill, it might help your memory but then so will sleep.

This will go over like a fart in church. And they thought there was an "assault" on Christmas last year. I can hear O'Lielly and Limpballs whining now.

Loudon Wainwright III has written on of the holiday songs that make me smile. Suddenly It's Christmas is one of them. A buffet in between, that line cracks me up.

I don't normally like games and toys unless they are word oriented but I have always been fascinated by building race tracks and the last gift I bought my ex was a train set. Something about the hands on of building something and then having a moving object stay on the track intrigues me. This gift for kids sounds like it would be just as much fun for adults. The price is definitely in the adult ballpark but a toy is a toy. They don't all have to be electronic.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Well, That Tears It

I took mom to work this morning, where her boss promptly laid her off. Eight years, no warning, no severance. Nice. Really nice.

Just before Christmas and what little budget I had has become burnt toast. Mom is more than a little depressed and I'm approaching full panic mode. When my dad died, he left my mom a house. Now she has nothing but memories.

It sucks getting old. Being broke doesn't help. What disturbs me is that any change to an elderly person's routine is not helpful. Especially one of the big changes that has an emotional effect to go along with the financial. I hope mom is able to weather this latest setback.

Saturday On The Web

Ten things you should know about Iraq and won't see in the news.

Chris Rock predicting OJ would write a book, from 1997. He even got the title right.

How dumb is your dog? Shai Shai is a pug and her breed is ranked number 57 in the smart department. Of course this is based on obedience and the ability to learn commands quickly. According to this chart it takes 40 to 80 repetitions. What a crock. Breedists!

Shai learned the down command hand signal without ever being trained. She watched my brother train his Ridgeback and followed the command the first time and every time since. Sometimes not as quickly as I would like but she always does it. She also knows all her toys by name. I got her a new squeaky frog toy yesterday and even though it doesn't look like her first one, she knew exactly what it was. My favorite trick of hers is when she pretends that something is wrong with her. She doesn't do it often, like she knows not to overuse it, but it works every time and she gets my immediate attention. Dumb? I don't think so. Manipulative? Very.

Onions and garlic are not only tasty, but evidence is mounting that they are linked to lower rates of some cancers.

Do you know God's three pet peeves? It looks like I might be warm for eternity.

The original contract with America. Soon to be null and void.

Do you know the ten things that are bad that are good for you?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ignoring The Truth

JurassicPork wrote a brilliant post entitled "Impeach the Cheerleader, Save The World". Priceless!

Major geek time! Some of the future predicted by science fiction is just around the corner. Invisibility, anti-gravity and perpetual motion. Oh my! What about the transporter?

I have a healthy fear of waves. I would prefer to live near the mountains than the ocean. From the little tiny waves with the wicked undertow that can steal you off a beach to the ultimate expression of Mother Nature's power, the tsunami. The Mediterranean is not a place that most would envision suffering from a ten story wave, traveling at 450 mph. Glad I missed it.

Since these people were wrong from the get go, why would they suddenly be right, now? At what point is Washington going to realize and accept what the rest of the world knows as fact? Iraq is in the midst of a civil war and nothing that we do there is going to improve the situation. We can only make it worse as we lose more valuable lives in a lost cause. If only we knew what that cause actually was. It's sad how the hope for change before the election has been reduced to a distant useless memory. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

2008 is not what the people of Iraq or the United States want. They want to see a change immediately, preferably one that doesn't involve explosions but does involve taillights. Meanwhile, the crew without a clue choose sides in the not so civil war.

It's not so secret now. I had a vegetarian boss who was a real witch when it came to travel. I wonder what they would think of her?

In honor of World Aids Day here is an article about increasing condom use. What's so novel about that? Well, some genius decided that if they talked up the pleasure potential, the use would go up. The money quote.
"Since pursuit of pleasure is one of the main reasons that people have sex, this factor must be addressed when motivating people to use condoms and participate in safer sexual behavior," the authors say in the "Viewpoint."
Oh yeah. Pleasure. Do the fundies know that? I don't think they'll approve.

Cheating in an ethics class? Say it isn't so.