Wednesday, November 30, 2005

NC to be Diebold free
State republicans forced to plot new ways to cheat

Diebold would rather lose all of its voting machine business in North Carolina than open its source code to state election officials as required by law, the Associated Press reports.

Due to irregularities in the 2004 election traced to touch screen terminals, North Carolina has taken the very reasonable precaution of requiring vendors of electronic voting gizmos to place all of the source code in escrow.

Diebold has objected to the possibility of criminal sanctions if they fail to comply, and argued for an exemption before Wake County Superior Court Judge Narley Cashwell. The judge declined to issue an exemption, and Diebold has concluded that it has no choice but withdraw from the state.

The Register, UK
The magic sphere says Troops will pull out 1-20-2008

Hours before President Bush is scheduled to deliver a speech Wednesday morning, the White House went on the offensive by releasing a declassified document that it says outlines strategy for victory in Iraq.

The 38-page released document, titled "Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq," attempts to define what victory in Iraq means in the short term, the "medium term" and the long term.

The plan calls for pursuing three tracks: political, security and economic. The tracks are broken down into eight pillars, including defeating terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency; helping Iraq strengthen its economy; and increasing international support for Iraq.

With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain," the report said. "No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one."
During a speech Tuesday night in Denver, Colorado, Bush insisted that he would not withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq "without having achieved victory."

"We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience," the report said. "Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete."

Earlier in the day, during a visit to the U.S.-Mexican border, Bush said any decisions he makes will be based on the recommendations of top U.S. commanders.
"If they tell me we need more troops, we'll provide more troops," he said. "If they tell me we've got a sufficient level of troops, that'll be the level of troops.
"If they tell me that the Iraqis are ready to take more and more responsibility and that we'll be able to bring some Americans home, I will do that."

But he said he would not let the U.S. troops killed in Iraq "die in vain" by withdrawing before a stable, democratic Iraq emerges.

"That's what's important for the American people to understand -- that, one, we are not going to cut and run; two, we'll achieve our objective; and three, the president is going to listen to those who are on the ground who can make the best assessment," Bush said.

Why? he hasn't listened to those "on the ground" since this thing started. He didn't lsten when they said they needed better armor, he didn't listen when they said they needed better quality supplies. He didn't listen then and he won't lesten now. He only listens to himself. "Bush insisted that he would not withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq "without having achieved victory.". We will have troops in Iraq longer than our troops have been stationed in Germany.

"The Plan" PDF file, will need Adobe.
2 for 2

And so this morning before I left for the day, after I said goodbye to the animals and checked the lock and peeked at the thermostat, I stood there in the kitchen in my rain coat holding my purse and lunch bag and looked at my very fabulous rubber boots and said “Hmmm. The weather report in the paper said it might rain off and on. It is not raining now. I do not want to lug the boots into the office and then lug them out of the office and back home if it end up raining more off than on. I mean, it is not raining now. I think I’ll just leave them here.” Dummy.

The paper was right. I did rain; although the “on” button appears stuck so instead of “off and on” rain we have had only “on” rain. I think someone should call and see about that. It is raining and it looks like it is going to continue to rain the rest of my work day – because why would it stop? To prove me right? To validate my rockin’ decision making skills? I don’t think so.

I wouldn’t have any thoughts on the matter one way or the other rain wise, I walk the dog in the rain a lot - except that I’m wearing The New Shoes and I don’t think TNS really want to get rained on. I did not end up with the shoes I wanted but I did get nice pair I could afford, that is sadly, not water resistant. Yesterday I did wear the rain boots to work and carry TNS in a bag and I should have just done the same thing again. I even thought a little bit before I left work Monday about leaving TNS in the office and wearing the boots home and totally cutting out the whole issue all together but of course, I thought that was a waste of time and what happens if it doesn’t rain? I would be caught clumping through the parking lot in rubber boots and that would be bad? The “cool kids” would shun me? Whatever. Dummy.

Under that rain coat as I decided TNS fate, I was wearing warm clothes. It’s not cold here, it’s muggy and humid and wet. I am wearing a turtle neck and a thick sweater. Why am I dressed this way? Because I was cold at work yesterday and decided to not be cold today. I complained about being cold and didn’t expect anyone to listen, no one has listened in the past, why start now? Today the office is comfortable. Down right balmy. I’m not warm, I’m hot. I’m doing well decision making wise today.

Nephdog is going home this afternoon so I won’t get to see if he likes to walk in the rain. He didn’t seem unhappy while I was giving him a bath the other day but it was like trying to lather up a seal and he did keep looking at his watch and asking if I was hearing the phone ring and could I be a dear and go check his cell for him.

Dogger may not get walked today either but I don’t think she’ll complain much about it, but I bet she will and she will make my evening miserable. I have a couple of hours of TV this evening and I do not need to be miserable. My Name Is Earl is not (insert sobbing) on, instead there is a two hour The Biggest Loser. It’s kind of funny, a show about people working hard to be big losers trumping a show about a guy who achieved big loserdom and is now working hard not to be a loser.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Reason number 134 that cats are better than dogs

You will not come home to find the room ankle deep in the shredded entrails of what was once your cats' bed.

Arrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. What are some other reasons that cats are better than dogs, other than:

1.Cats do not need to be taken to pee when it is raining,


2.You can leave a cat alone for a weekend.

Puzzling Time Waste For You

It's a bird, it's a plane! No! it's moving jigsaw puzzle thing!

Guaranteed hours of frustration or fun depending on your stance on jigsaw puzzles.

Image stolen from Dependable Renegade
Worst President since Emperor Augustus

In the Forward Martin van Creveld says:

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.

Who is Martin Crevald?

He is a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and one of the world's foremost military historians. Several of his books have influenced modern military theory and he is the only non-American author on the US Army's list of required reading for officers.
Jingle Dogs

Top 5 Phrases I’ve Used Since Sunday

5. Stop Peeing On Her
4. Stop Mounting Him!
3. Ow! Stop It!
2. Stop whining!
1. Stop Moving! How did get your whole front leg through her collar?

Did you go see Harry Potter? I’m assuming that you did as it’s made $408 million world wide since it opened last week, at least some of you must have gone to see it. I mean if you haven’t seen it yet it’s like the book only shorter… So I’m going to plunge right into discussion. Kind of. Did you know the other schools in the Tri-Wizard contest were single sex? I didn’t know that. I don’t remember that being specified in the book. I mean I might have missed that the first time but I’ve read the book a number of times and I don’t remember that detail. For those of you that did join the masses and went to see it: How glad were ya‘ll that we got to miss out on Herminie in shrill!and!tiresome! Mode going all Norma Ray and figuratively standing on a desk holding a parchment above her head trying to unionize the house elves? I mean, if she had done that I might have liked the plot line more, at least we would have been spared her endless SPEW campaigning. Standing on a desk would have been quieter. We should wish she had merely tried to be Hermione Ray. By the end of the book I was kind of hoping she would flounce off in a SPEW induced fury and fall off a convenient precipice and into the Black Lake – possibly to unionize the merthings. The movie thankfully excised all that twaddle and cut to the chase – which is fine, but, it meant the movie was All About The Tri-Wizard and wasn’t really about anything else. I may need to re-read that book again but I’m sure there was more to it then Hermione unionizing the house elves and Harry battling dragons.

You know what happens if you spend a few days with hot and cold running food? You get used to being able to eat whenever you want to. I mean the food is just there, being ready- to- eat food right in the front of the refrigerator. You want food and food presents itself. The sucky people I work with did not bring any of their food in to the office to share either. It’s not right – I think if I suddenly have a craving for stuffing, I should be able to get some stuffing! That’s how it’s worked for the last four days and I think that should carry over into this week too. Humph.

Speaking of the last four days. I have been putting together ideas for my 2005 Christmas display. In the past I have gone with cheery Border Town Whore House Meets Santa’s Workshop theme - and it looks great too, really

But. It may be time for a change. I’m on the edge of not swathing the exterior of the house in net lights… I’m thinking of downsizing the display and going with a cheery Belt Tightening Fiscal Responsibility theme instead – the Bush Bust in twinkle lights if you will. I won’t have as many light strings up but I’m thinking of doing staged reading of my last December’s power bill every night while dressed in a red white and blue unitard with backed up vocals supplied by Dogger and Kitty in Bush and Rove masks! Instead of Christmas carols I would play a recording of all those oil company executives explaining lying to congress about their obscene profits and immoral price gouging!

Seriously. I saw on one of my 378 home improvement shows I watch how I could use a tomato cage to make a festive outdoor Christmas tree and I went with it. It looks great and I think having three trees and the whore house lights around the door would look really nice and possibly lower my this years December power bill at the same time – which would be nice as it was colder inside my house then outside my house last year and I would like to experiment with not that, this year.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Am I adding links because that asshole hard working volunteer at TTLB Ecosystem downgraded me from Marsupial to an Amphibian? Yes, yes I am.
Compare and Contrast


Crooked congressman admits receiving bribes


Cunningham Quits - U.S. rep. resigns amid scandal
Experts say flu fears over wild birds over-stated

TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) - Fears that migratory wild birds will spread a deadly strain of avian flu across the world have little, if any, scientific proof and chances of them infecting humans are even more remote, experts said.

"The real issue is where the highly pathogenic strain of the virus comes from. That's not in wild birds. It's almost certain it comes from poultry population," said Ydenberg, who heads the Center for Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

While acknowledging the risk of the lethal H5N1 virus, experts attending the meeting said there was no need to panic and adopt draconian measures such as killing migratory birds.

"I think bird flu fear has been over-emphasised," said Leslie Dierauf, director of the National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin, the United States.

Reuters had no comment from Panic Merchants close to the Bush Administration.
Off Shoring, For Sure

NEW DELHI: America's loss is turning out to be India's gain. Within days of announcing 30,000 job-cuts in the US, automobile giant General Motors Corp will this week unveil plans to increase its workforce in India by nearly 30%.

The carmaker has decided to add 450 jobs at its existing plant in Halol (Gujarat) as part of plans to expand presence in India - the emerging low-cost automobile hub in the east.

"GM is going on a hiring spree in India, and it's add jobs both on the factory shop-floor as well in the executive cadre. GM will this week start the process to hire 450 additional people for its India venture," a senior head-hunter told The Times of India.

While it will increase its floor-worker force by 400, another 50 are being added in its executive cadre. "This is in line with the company's plans to expand its presence in India, which GM feels will drive future growth," the source said.

From The Times of India
SCOTUS Building Chimes in

"The Nominees suck!"
said the edifice. "It's hard enough with the global warming and acid rain eating me alive, but these nominees are literally killing my will to live! And that piece was just a practice throw! I'm warning you: I could completely fall apart! and if that happens? I'm taking all of you with me! Are you listening Bush? That piece I dropped was just a practice throw, I am working on my aim...
Share and don’t share alike

I am sitting at the computer. Word is warmed up, brilliance is nearing boil and wisdom is flowing. Life changing, conscience raising lit-er-at-ure is awaiting the green light. I am ready to impart. I am ready to blog.

Nudge, nudge

I can not bring forth wisdom imparting while being nudge, nudged

Me - What?

Dogger - Um. Nephdog, Nephdog has my toy.

Me - You have other toys.

Dogger - I want that toy.

Me - I see your ball over there. Play with your ball. Can’t you tell I’m trying to impart here?

Dogger - Nooooooo! I need that toy that Nephdog has! Make him give me my toooooooooyyyyy. Sob!

Me - I have wisdom to impart. Go away.

Dogger - Make Nephdog impart my toy back.

Me - Go slurp your water.

Dogger slurps and then lies nose to nose with Nephdog and watches him play with her toy. She in time takes the toy away from Nephdog. This is a toy that has been living under the ottoman in the living room for months and she had totally forgotten about it, now it is her favorite.

I am back at the keyboard.

nudge, nudge

Me - Dogger stop it! Oh. Nephdog, hi sweetie. Stop It.

Nephdog - Make Dogger give me the toy back.

Me - You gave it her.

Nephdog - She tricked me.

Me - Eat one of her other toys.

Nephpdog - No, I need that toy. I need it back. Now.

Me - Sorry.

Nephdog - Nobody loves Nephdog...

Me - Everyone loves Nephdog.

Nephdog - Nobody loves Nephdog. His people left him. His other people left him. Nephdog gets passed around and handed down and left alone. Nephdog is unloved. Poor Nephdog. No one will feed Nephdog. Nephdogs toys get taken away. Nephdog is sad.

Me - Nephdog got to ride in the truck! And Nephdog got to ride in the Minivan! Nephdog has been wandering around in circles on Doggers bed for fifteen minutes. Remember the good times Nephdog!

Nephdog - Dogger is bossy.

Me - Dogger can be a brat. Sorry.

Nephdog - I want my people!

Me - Do you know when Tuesday is? Your people will come for you the day after the day after today!

Nephdog - Waaaaahhhhhhhhh! They have left me to never have my toys to myself again forever!!!

Me - Those are Doggers toys...

Nephdog - I have no toys!!!! I have been abandoned to the elements!! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Me - You have been “abandoned” for two days to a bigger bed, a larger space to play in, a companion dog and regular walks.

Nephdog - My life sucks! I. Want. That. Toy.... And? The bed makes a funny sound! My bed doesn't make funny sounds when I walk on it!! NOBODY LOVES NEPHDOG WHIIIIINNNEEEEWooooWOOooooNOBODYLOVESNEPHDOG!!!I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOMMMMMEEEEEE!!!!!... hmmm, what's this?


Me - SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! I am IMPARTING here dogs! Leave me alone!

Nudge nudge

Dogger - Nephdog has my toy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Saturday, November 26, 2005


Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging, Day After Thanksgiving Style

The Kitty doesn't "do" malls, hates turkey and doesn't care for football, but he wishes to remind you that he wears size "small dog" .

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The Kitty hopes that you enjoy your meal as much as he will!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Always thinking of us...

During this holiday season we start to become very busy. In case you missed our article in the newsletter, this is the extended version of frequently asked question regarding holiday decorating. Please read and post the following holiday guidelines. Your safety is important to us. --Your Safety Committee.

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, naturally most sections want to put up holiday decorations which includes paper cut outs, lights, garland, Christmas trees and other items that support the holiday spirit. In this regard, we should all keep workplace safety in mind when using holiday decorations.

Listed below are some frequently asked questions regarding holiday decorating.

Can I run a drop cord to my...? No. Extension cords are not allowed except for temporary presentations or temporary attended use. Extension cords are not to be used in lieu of permanent wiring systems. Do not use ground pin "cheater" devices to plug a grounded cord into an ungrounded (2 slot) receptacle outlet.

So the two I have to use every year to decorate the damn tree are verboten? Maybe I should bring this up and let someone else deal with the tree decorating duties. I would hate for our tree to be outcompliancence...

Are candles allowed? No. No items with an open flame even during direct supervision are allowed. (candles, potpourri, etc.)

Puh-lease. They don't have any more luck with this than the dorm monitors did.

Can I put up an artificial tree? Yes. If they are labeled as "fire retardant" or "lame resistive".

Oh good for us! our tree is so old it's made from asbestos! flame and fire resistant! score one for us! It is however resistant to both "pretty" and "attractive".

Can I put up a natural tree? No. Not in State Buildings or State leased space. They can dry out because of weekend inattention and poor humidity conditions.

We had one a couple of years ago, the guy in charge of our building took chopped it down of his own yard. It smelled nice for the first day but then we got tried of having to feed and water it. We won't have another, not because it dried out but because so many people were allergic.

How many lights can I string together? Install UL listed (or CSA) lights in accordance with the listing instructions. Most light sets limit the number of sets that can be connected in series (connected to each other) since the first strand carries all of the current to subsequent strands. If no instructions are provided or available, use a UL listed multi-tap to power one or two strands only.

Right. This only applies to offices that are not this one.

It's cold in my office; can I have a space heater? No. No portable electric heaters are allowed.

Sucks being you or more importantly, ME. Assholes.

Can I decorate the stairwell? No. Not even a plant.

Saftey Grinches!

Can I decorate the hallway? Yes. However, don't block exit corridors and exits with decorations since this is our means of egress in an emergency situation.

Where do you think the left plugged into an extension cord all night non-flammable trees are? The exit doors are an ideal place to stick a tree so as to keep it out of the way. Should the worst happen, it won't matter anyway because the doors are locked.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Just what you were looking for

The Internet Slang Translator
New Blog Toy

If you look at the right hand of the screen you will see an image marked "Foto Pages", those pix are mine and will change ( they promise) every time you see the page, and you can see more if you click on the image.

I got kept awake last night and for once it wasn’t the Kitty’s fault.

It rained

A lot. Loudly. All. Night. Camp Knotty Pine is much closer to the sky than I had remembered. I kept waking up to the sound of hammers on the roof and it took me a few times being woken like that to understand what was going on. Kitty was not happy either; every time I woke up I noticed he was awake too and not on purpose. He was looking at me like I could do something about the situation and that perhaps this could be remedied if I put food in his bowl.

And it is still raining. Or at least it was the last time I went outside, but from what I can see out my one remaining unblocked window, it still looks kind of rainy. It’s been a long time with out rain. They had put all these water restrictions in place, mostly having to do with lawn watering and car washing. Under the drought protocols we could still water our lawns but only 12 hours a day... Washing your own car in your own driveway could run you a $1000 fine. Paying some business to wash your car for you would only run you the cost of the wash. I see the fine hand of a car wash lobbyist at work here. They were also threatening us with four minute showers – how they were going to monitor that was not announced. They never said anything about how many loads of laundry I could do guilt free each week or how often I could run the dishwasher. Drought amateurs.

There is a lot of water outside. I kept wondering why the cars going past my office seemed so loud, I found out when I left for lunch. The cars were making a lot of noise because they were having to drive through the new lake in the parking lot. I was a little afraid that Mini didn’t have it in her to make it through the water like the truck had been able to, but she did it. Aw, Mini is an SUV and didn’t know it, Go Mini! Next week I think I’ll take her off roading. I don’t think anything will cool the SUV Nations ardor for destructive off roading like the sight of a minivan churning up the ecosystem and destroying the environment. Maybe Bono can give me an award or something for coming up with that.

I think they should have ads of little minivans chortling across the Serengeti and wiping out sand dunes. I think there is a whole lot of nature exploiting images that could be used to market Minivans and aren’t being used. It’s a shame. I think it would be possible to jump off a cliff and into a minivan and then tear up the desert, just like in an SUV. Car commercial writers are sexists – woman want to destroy stuff too, damn it! And we want to destroy stuff in our Minivans on the way to pick up our 2.5 blond, WASPy children at soccer practice or dance class. Hrrmmph.

Completly different topic

My goal for this evening is going to be making the front entry way presentable. This will require a dumpster or failing that, an industrial strength paper shredder. I don’t even get mail everyday and yet the entry way is carpeted with direct mail circulars. I am getting all kinds of pre-need crap from the pre-need industry and I blame AARP for that. You tell the AARP to go to hell and take their membership card with them one time and they put you on a list. I should have just thrown the damn card away, it would be tidier than the flood of "pre-need" post cards and mailings they are sending me now as punishment for what I did do with the card - Perhaps I should have just returned it to them with a note instead of tearing the card up, burning the remains, and than soaking the ashes in Holy Water before I sent it back to them. The AARP really needs to talk to a someone about their ongoing anger management issues.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I am not alone

Someone else feels my Kitty inflicted sleep issues
Teh Cuteness

I'm pretty sure I have posted this before but how can you resist Kitty! It's just like The Kitty only with out the malevolent paper shredding and growling and biting.
The 1971 side of Sears

It Came From The 1971 Sears Catalogue If you didn't have these things in your house, your knew people who did.
GM parts supplier faces problems

GM parts supplier Delphi plans to axe 24,000 jobs: reduce hourly wage from $27 to $9; pay managers bonuses worth $90m

Former General Motors parts unit Delphi, which is in bankruptcy protection, has said that it will close all its US plants unless trade unions agree to wage cuts to rescue America's largest auto parts-maker.

Under the latest Delphi proposal, the average production worker would earn a base wage of $12.50 an hour, but the starting wage for new workers could be lower. The company also said that it would improve a health care package proposal.

What do they do exactly to earn $27 an hour!! Heart surgery? My Gawd. I would feel a lot sadder for those employees if they wern't making so damn much money! I know that's not the point and it is a very bad thing that all those jobs are going to be toast but hey, $27 an hour, they should have been saving some of it for a rainy day or when the PTB discovered they were paying them $27 an hour!
Deep sigh.

TV lawful capabilities: The Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox Reality Channel ordering up its first original series, Solitary, in which contestants must survive harsh conditions ranging from solitary confinement to sleep deprivation to earn prizes.
It's not "torture" its "lawful capabilities". George Orwell spins in his grave

Director: CIA does not torture

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The CIA's interrogation methods are "unique" but don't involve torture, agency chief Porter Goss says, although he won't specify just what techniques are used to extract information from prisoners.

"This agency does not do torture. Torture does not work," Goss said. "We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways, all of which are legal and none of which are torture."

Without elaborating, Goss suggested that some techniques that would be restricted under McCain's bill have yielded valuable intelligence. He said it was important that the United States have flexibility in dealing with terror suspects in other countries.

Goss declined to discuss reports that the CIA maintains secret detention centers at military bases in Central European countries.

added off record, "If Dick Cheney says the iron maiden isn't torture, the iron maidon isn't torture and neither is the rack torture or placing electrodes on the genitals torture or pulling out fingernails torture or useing drills torture - it's all We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways and is by no means torture. Cheney says so."

Here, I look into my Crystal Ball and see Porter Goss standing before a tribunal saying "I did what I was told. I was only following orders..."
Happy Thanksgiving?

G.M. Announces 30,000 Job Cuts

General Motors Corp. announced plans Monday to cut 30,000 manufacturing jobs and close nine North American assembly, stamping and powertrain plants by 2008 as part of an effort to get production in line with demand.

Rick Wagoner, chairman and chief executive of the world's largest automaker, announced the closures during a speech to employees from G.M.'s Detroit headquarters before the financial markets opened.

Among the plants that could be involved in the announcement is G.M.'s factory in Janesville, Wis., where workers have begun a drive to save the facility from shutting down. The auto company also could cut production at its Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., which opened to fanfare in 1990 after more than 30 states competed for the project
The Raleigh Christmas Parade - "Happy Whatever Applies to you"

My plan for the weekend was to set an alarm, get up early and hop out of bed and get to house cleaning! I set and alarm, got up early, hopped out of bed and got to the 61st annual Raleigh Christmas Parade.

6 of 1...

I immediately highlighted my first timer status by not bringing a chair and having to sit on the curb like a toddler. A cold toddler. I was glad I was there early though because there was all ready a good sized crowd.

Finally, it got started. First up, not surprisingly, cops and solders.

The paper said there were 38 floats in the parade. There may have been 38 groups marching, but these guys were the only one that brought their own "float".

Everyone else shared the same tarted up flat bed with a white Christmas Tree. I didn't get a picture of it because after the 25th time I saw it, the mere idea of that seeing that flat bed again made me want to nod off.I had plenty of time to nod off, what with the constant 10-15 minute pauses between bands/drill teams/flat beds gave me plenty of time to rest up between sightings.

There were bands. After 22 of them played martial versions of Jingle Bells, I was shocked by martial Black Eye Peas.

Along with the tarted up flat bed and the marching bands we had the traditional wee drill teams and roving bands of clowns.

Then we had these guys

I understand how hard it is to get men involved in the Church activities, men are hard to come by and churches have had to get creative about getting them interested and but do we really need to get them involved with Para Military groups?

We had marching Librarians,

And nothing says Merry Christmas! like marching safety cones!

And I bet that your Christmas parade didn't feature live chickens

And finally, The Big Kahuna, the guy we were all waiting for!

Darth Vader!

I had been there for three hours, it was cold and I was ready to go. I saw a guy in a red suit and I made for the door

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Saturday, November 19, 2005


Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging

Many bad things happen in Kansas, but at least Pat Robertson loves them

Shock and Aw! Not all conservatives are morons! Charles Krauthammer shakes of the shackles of the theocracy and calls Intelligent Design what it is : Creationism.

Phony Theory, False Conflict
'Intelligent Design' Foolishly Pits Evolution Against Faith

Stolen from Atrios

Do you realize that Thanksgiving is next week?

I mean it was just Halloween and all of a sudden its Thanksgiving all ready. I’m going to have to do something about the house. It’s not holiday ready, it’s not even door to door salesman ready. I also decided the other day, just to add to my angst that it is also Christmas Dog Cookie Time!! Because you can never have too many holiday projects to not have started yet, so far I have hit the dollar store for some tins for the future cookies, but if I don’t get on the stick and start on the cookies it will all be for not and I will be stuck with guilt inducing cookie tins for the next year and I want to avoid that.

I’ve really started to slack dog cookie wise. I started to buy OTC dog biscuits and as it turns out, Dogger will eat those too. I was kind of hoping that after glomming down all those home made dog cookies over the past year, she had totally spoiled her palette for store bought but apparently not – she’s a bigger fan of hooves and food coloring then I thought she was.

If I am good this weekend I’ll first clean the kitchen and then make my first batch of holiday cookies for the people on my dog cookie list. But right now that just sounds like so much work, I’m so tired. All I really want to do after work is go home and fall into bed – not that that is going to happen. I have too much to do after work to just come home and go to bed, I blame The Kitty for this, for two nights in a row he has woken me up before 4am to ask for food and I have (obediently) gotten up to feed him. This is great for him and I’m sure it sends some pet welfare group somewhere into paroxysms of joy - but I would like to be able to sleep through the night. I don’t think he takes into account that I have to go to work in the morning.

Even after I get finished with my post work chores, I still won’t be able to nap because there are only so many hours I can sleep in a given 24 hour period and I would prefer for those hours to not run out at 3am. I wonder if this fatigue isn’t late effects of my flu shot. I felt fine after I got it but maybe it just now caught up with me.

There was good news when I came home Wednesday. All the leaves I had piled up on the curb had been taken away. I just now put them there; usually my leaves stay there until they kill the grass underneath them. Imagine my surprise when they only stayed there over night. The yard is of course, again, all ready covered with leaves but these are different leaves then the last leaves and hopefully I can stay on top of these laves before the yard reaches maximum density and the leaves begin to slide over into the neighbors.

I killed six wasps yesterday. I haven’t seen that many in a while. Four of them were on the window waiting for me to come home and the other two had gone on tour and needed to be tracked down and I am now doing the course work needed to become an OWBH (Official Wasp Bounty Hunter). If I play my cards right I should have a show on Discovery by the first of the year. It will be kind of a Worlds Worst Jobs meets Dog the Bounty Hunter idea – very high concept, maybe it can run after American Chopper. I think I'll call my show The Buzz Killer.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Read Washington Post staffers debating Reporting v. Responsible Journalism

A Leaky Newsroom
Yay! House doesn’t pass budget, or Boo, House doesn’t pass this budget

REVOLT: Critical Spending Bill Goes Down In The House
In a dramatic rebuke of conservative leadership, the House has defeated the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education spending bill for Fiscal Year 2006. This year’s bill, which contains one-third of all domestic spending, calls for deep cuts in critical government programs.


House Labor, Health and Human Services

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), has angered colleagues facing reelection in 2006 by cutting $1 billion in pet projects from his subcommittee’s spending bill to pay for programs popular with Democrats and centrist Republicans.

Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, who, like Specter, is a centrist Republican, agreed to the $1 billion in project cuts after it became clear that Senate negotiators would not support the bill otherwise, said a House GOP aide familiar with the negotiations. Regula is a member of the Main Street Republican Partnership, a coalition of Senate and House Republican centrists.

“We put back $175 million into LIHEAP, we put more money into CDC, we put money into community health centers,” said Specter. “Those are the funds from the billion dollars in earmarks.”

The savings will be used to pay for the fight against the global spread of AIDS; to increase funding for LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; and to fund new construction of health-preparedness facilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said a House GOP aide familiar with the legislation.
The pet-project money will also be used to increase Title 1 education spending on schools with high proportions of poor and disadvantaged children and to increase spending on special education, said the House GOP aide.
Another Democrat removes head from ass

Murtha, D-PA Comes Into the Light
(Full Text of Murthas' statement)

Vice President Dick Cheney jumped into the fray Wednesday by assailing Democrats who contend the Bush administration manipulated intelligence on Iraq, calling their criticism "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."Murtha, a Marine intelligence officer in Vietnam, angrily shot back at Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."CentreDaily news

He should have known what needed to be done 2 1/2 years ago, but I will take what I can get.
Digital cameras at 50 paces

Dear MoveOn member,

Top Republicans in the House of Representatives are now vowing to vote on their reverse Robin Hood budget proposal within 48 hours. Your work has helped erode their support, and the vote is too close to call.

That's why today we're launching our "Face America" photo petition calling on Congress to literally look us in the eye and do the right thing.

We're aiming to collect thousands of photos of ordinary Americans with homemade signs, asking Congress to oppose the Republican plan to cut services for poor while handing tax breaks to the rich. To make sure you're heard, we'll deliver every photo to every member of Congress before the final vote and run some as online ads in the newspapers Congress reads.

To join the photo petition, just attach your photo (or photos) to an email, and send it to:

You can see photos from other members by going to:

Joining the "Face America" photo petition is easy. Just write a simple message on whatever is handy, grab a digital camera, point and shoot.

Aim for short, easy to read messages like:

Stop the reverse Robin Hood budget!
Hands off Medicaid, food stamps and student loans!
No empty plates this Thanksgiving!
Don't rob the poor to give to the rich!
Be creative!

It sounds kind of fun.
Hide and Shriek

So I’m trying to leave the house yesterday morning. I do my daily sweep to make sure the front door is locked,look at the thermostat even though it isn’t on so that I don’t forget this step when it is on, pat The Kitty’s’ head. The Kitty head isn’t where it usually is. I look around the living room.

There is no Kitty.

He is not on the arm of the couch, he isn’t on the couch and he isn’t sleeping on the ottoman. He is always either on the ottoman or the couch arm, always. It’s his thing; if it is a quarter to seven in the morning he is on the arm of the couch. He’s very dependable that way. The fact that he is not where he is supposed to be is a little stress causing. I wasn't sure when I saw him last and I can’t remember if I had seen him since I took the dog out, The dog kept me outside a little longer then she does most mornings and I simply couldn't remember if I had any memory of the screen door opening while I was out there. Kitty is good with doors; if he wants out he will get out. I try to firmly close the door to the entry way before I take the dog out but…

I check the dining room chairs, nope, nope, nope, nope, another cat friendly hide out, cat free. I go upstairs and look around, no Kitty. I stand in the middle of the living room and call his name - nothing. Kitty doesn’t actually know his name but sometimes the deep inner feline inside him reacts to the sound of panic and comes to see if the panic is coming from he can eat. No kitty.

The clock is ticking and I have to go and I am really not wanting to have to call in and explain to my boss why I am going to be late to work. She is a pet owner but I don’t see her stupidly letting her pets get out of the house like this. I keep looking. I add more food to his dish and rattle the food container in hopes he will at least want to check that out. No kitty.

My search finally leads me outside. I check under my car and in the shrubbery. Nothing. I try outside the front door. More shrubbery, checking under cars that are not mine. Nothing. I go back inside and check upstairs again, a little more thoroughly. No kitty.

I am really beginning to panic now. I check the office to see if maybe Kitty has gone in there to torment Dogger. Nothing. Dogger is curled up on her bed untormented and wondering why I am still in the building. She wants to sleep and I am bothering her.

Okay, running out of places to look that are inside the house. I really, really, really do not want to go outside again and do the Spot The Crumpled Dead Cat Body thing on the busy street outside during broad daylight. It seems a little less pathetic when I do that after dark. I go out anyway and recheck mine and the neighbors cars/shrubberies/yards. No kitty.

Finally as I am coming back inside, Kitty appears from upstairs.

Thank You Jesus! Kitty wanders into the kitchen and looks at me the same way Dogger did “Why are you still here? Go away now”.

Me – Where the hell were you!

Kitty – Around.

Me – Around?! Around where? Do you have any idea how scared I was? I’m going to be almost late to work!

Kitty – Feeder, please. I said I was around.

Me - No, Look, I am just about making myself almost late for work! Come when I call you!

Kitty – Do I look like a dog? Cats come when Cats want to. Chill out.

Me - I’m going to work now.

Kitty - Why are you still here? Go Away Now.

I am so keeping the upstairs door closed until I leave from now on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

That is what I call service

I had to call 911. Not for me, no one I know. I went to the grocery and while I was waiting at a light I saw some guy come up to the car in front of me. I thought they were just talking and at first I was like "Dayum! Visit on your own time asshole! Move the &@#$ on!". The guy in the street was propelled away from the car pretty fast and the guy in the car said something to him and the now, obliviously, panhandler moved on. I got a closer look at the panhandler, he was older and standing in the middle of the street in his socks and he appeared to be,as we say in the biz, to be "Altered" . It was dark and colder weather was on the way. I said to myself if the old guy was still there when I back from the store I would call 911 on him, up close he was too old to be out there, and besides panhandling is againts the law.

He was still there on my way back.

I got home and called 911. And waited and waited and waited for the phone to get picked up. 7 rings later - Thank God I wasn't bleeding to death or panicking or was really in need of help - I told the operator why I was calling and he asked for a description of the panhandler

Me - Old guy. African American.

Op- What was he wearing?

Me - Dark pants, light shirt, white socks, he was carrying a red plastic cup with change in it. He was acting kind of altered.

Op - ( repeated it back to me)

Me - Okay.

Op - Could you repeat it back to me?

I did. But I was thinking What? I don't know what brand of tee shirt he was wearing, who made his pants? his socks were dirty but and he may have had a shoe on one foot but it may have been a dirtier sock. Its not like I asked for his name or anything. I mean, even in my neighborhood there aren't that many panhandlers, it's not like they are going to have their choice of elderly panhandlers to pick from.

The operator said they'd send a car out. I hope they did fast, it started to rain really hard after I called and there's a front coming.
Republicans think ethics are for poor people

Remember, oh, last week when congress called all those oil company heads to the carpet and asked them about their sky rocketing profit's? and that Rethuglican gas bag from Alaska swore and declared that those same oil company heads didn't need to be sworn? because they understood they were called to the carpet and they would tell the truth the whole truth and nuthin' but the truth so hep' them jaysus, and they didn't need to swear in public to do that that? Well there was a very good reason for that Rethuglican gasbag from Alaska to sand bag the whole swearing in part - Because he knew they were going to LIE.

Toward the end of the hearing, Lautenberg asked the five executives: "Did your company or any representatives of your companies participate in Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001?" When there was no immediate response, Lautenberg added: "The meeting . . . "

"No," said Raymond.
"No," said Chevron Chairman David J. O'Reilly.
"We did not, no," said ConocoPhillips chairman James Mulva.
"To be honest, I don't know," said BP America chief executive Ross Pillari, who came to the job in August 2001. "I wasn't here then."
"But your company was here," Lautenberg replied.
"Yes," Pillari said.
Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, who has held his job since earlier this year, answered last. "Not to my knowledge," he said.

from, a reprint of the story that ran in the WAPO, which can be found here

A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who posed the question about the task force, said he will ask the Justice Department today to investigate. "The White House went to great lengths to keep these meetings secret, and now oil executives may be lying to Congress about their role in the Cheney task force," Lautenberg said.
The executives were not under oath when they testified, so they are not vulnerable to charges of perjury; committee Democrats had protested the decision by Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) not to swear in the executives. But a person can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for making "any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation" to Congress.

That Dogger she is just such a sweet dog. Kind of.

I drove back home Sunday afternoon. I had a good trip and the ride back was faster than I had expected. I approached the house and drove up the drive way, turned off the car and let myself in, and left the animals in the car so I could unarm the house alarm with out trying to do this with Dogger in one hand and Kitty in the other. So far so good. Since I was all ready in the house I called my parents Dad to assure him I was not eaten by monsters or kidnapped my terrorists or dead in a ditch somewhere along the way. I was inside for a total of about five minutes, tops, if that.

I go back out to the car to free the animals. Dogger won the toss and I got her out first, I noticed a wet spot on the sheet I use to protect the car seat from excess dogger fur. Dogger peed in my car! Dogger has never done this before! She doesn’t do things like that. She’s a good little traveler. I was shocked. Instead of freaking out on her - my go to response for things like that, I took a deep breath and put her in the yard to finish what she had started and maybe think about what she had done – because she totally felt bad about it and was just to embarrassed to ask me to stop somewhere along the way home so she could releave herself. Not. I think she did it to punish me for something – probably for making her go home in the first place.

She had a great weekend. She took a break from her death from above act and ran and played and had a great time at the beach. She had not been enjoying herself outside up until then. She lives in fear of something in the sky coming to get her. I don’t know if she got hit on the head with an errant acorn, the big giant tree gesisons those little buggers like missles this time of year, when they hit the car port it sounds like fire crackers ngoing off - or if maybe a bird dive bombed her somewhere along the way but she can be down right panicky when outside. She's been fine at home lately, kind of, as long as she studiously avoids all over hanging tree limbs, fall leaves, power lines and jet trails she's fine. Down where my parents are she is on Defcon 4 all the time where she is safely out of the range over hanging tree branches, fall leaves, and power lines she's still haunted by the evil jet trails. So the really good beach trip was a real treat and a surprise for everyone involved.

Speaking of leaves. Dogger didn’t get a chance to freak out yesterday because as I was driving up to the house after work, I spied my elderly next door neighbor out rakeing his leaves. ENDN doesn’t have any trees in his yard. ENDNs ENDN doesn’t have any trees in his yard ether. The poor man was raking up my leaves in his yard. This made me feel about thisbig. I had to do something about this right now...

So instead of a walk, Dogger got to spend quality time in the back yard while I hurriedly changed clothes and raked the front yard before it got dark.

My rake rawks, yo. I don’t know where it came from or who got it for me but it is the best rake evah. I was able to get up just about everything and it only took twenty minutes. I didn’t end up with a sore back or blisters. I didn’t get all the leaves up as I still have some hope that the grass seed I put down may be viable and I didn’t want to rake the leaves that cover what seed is still there, so some leaves got spared. The tree is still full of leaves, so this emergency raking won’t be the last, but hopefully, I will get on it before my neighbors have yards full of my leaves again. It was really embarrassing.

edited to add- I reraked my leaves Tuesday when I came home from work. I see me doing this until my tree drops the rest of its leaves. It's still very leafy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The GOP thinks not enough of our troops have died yet

Senate rejects timetable for Iraq withdrawal

WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Senate easily defeated a Democratic effort Tuesday to pressure President Bush to outline a timetable for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. It then overwhelmingly endorsed a weaker statement calling on the administration to explain its Iraq policy.

The Senate-approved Iraq policy calls for — but does not require — t he Bush administration to “explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq” and to provide reports on U.S. foreign policy and military operations in Iraq every three months until all U.S. combat brigades have been withdrawn

Instead of calling for a withdrawal timetable, the GOP provision urged that 2006 “should be a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty,” with Iraqi forces taking the lead in providing security to create the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces.

So close to almost better then nothing and yet so far.
I heart John Cusack

I find him tiresome in interviews, which makes me sad, but he has a nice piece in the Huffington Post detailing his unhappiness with the admin and the war. It's pretty much chapter and verse what "everybody" has been saying since W took office, but it's being said by John swoon Cusack swoon. Go here to read it.
What did the Vice President Know and when did he Obfuscate it?

Cheney Heckled by Anti-War Protesters
- In Knoxville, TN!

I went shopping over the weekend. I was allegedly on a mission to find new sneakers. I have all terrain SUV sneakers but what I was supposed to be looking for on this trip was more sedanish in nature. I need something that is not as big and clunky and all terrain to wear when I’m just running over to the store. I needed Keds ™.

This is easy. There are Keds™ everywhere.

There are Keds™ everywhere; they just don’t have my size or a color I like. So, I was thwarted. I had a check book and a mission and I was thwarted. It isn’t nice to thwart a shopper. It makes us testy and may cause dangerous amounts of off topic purchases that will end up causing the shopper unhealthy amounts of buyers remorse.

For instance. Instead of buying perfectly rational sneakers I actually need, I was forced out of the shoe department of two different stores and into the dangerous and sale riddled non-shoe departments where I found many things I did not need. It is really important that store shoe department buyers keep plenty of each style and size and color on hand at all times! It is vitally important that prospective shoe buyers are not forced into the rest of the store to buy irrational things that are not shoe related! I was on a mission damn it! I was programmed to buy and that programming was thwarted! I was forced into some irrational purchases and I blame the shoe buyers at JC Penny’s. It is their entire fault that I ended up with (on sale!) bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans I did not need instead of the sneakers that I did.

I did not need bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans, before I saw the bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans. I did not want bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans but as soon as I saw the bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans I had to have the bedazzled, rhinestone studded jeans. I was not going to leave the store with out them if I had to use them as a purse! Damn it, those jeans were going to me mine.

I hate J.C Penny’s. I also hate the designer for putting the wrong size indulging in “creative sizing” with them and causing me to buy into the lie that I may actually be the size on the deceitful bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans of my dreams, when I know for damn sure I am not and have not been for a very long time that size. I hate me for taking the bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans into the changing room and being really impressed that the bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans fit so well and I also hate Bill Blass for being a jean bedazzling rhinestone studding size lieing asshole.

Thanks to J.C Penny’s I now can pass as an act at the Grand Old Opry and never even open my mouth! Yes, I now have in my wardrobe a piece of clothing that might not look out of place on an American Idiot contestant! Oh, My Gawd! I have Clay Akin jeans! And I like them!

They are really cute though and despite the fact they should not fit, they look really cute, I don’t have many opportunities to wear bedazzled rhinestone studded jeans, another reason to hate Bill Blass for reminding me I have no life and no need for his bedazzling tool – that bastard!, they are really cute. I now have jeans for “good”, which is exactly what my wardrobe was calling out for, jeans appropriate to wear for the more dressy occasions that come my way like club openings or Paris Hiltons 9th annual 21st birthday party…

I was also forced to buy a Christmas ornament shaped like a (big surprise) bedazzled cupcake and two plastic plates with snowmen on them as well as a much marked down fall print mock turtle neck. I never did find my sneakers. Damn You J.C Penny’s!!

Monday, November 14, 2005


World's poor face digital divide

Worldwide, just 14 percent of the population is online, compared with 62 percent for the United States and an even higher ratio in some Western European countries, according to the International Telecommunication Union. Less than half the world's people have telephones, even as some in developed countries are so wired they can't seem to get away from ringing phones.

Political unrest, civil wars, hunger, disease. What these folks really need is highspeed? Yes, lets all join hands and bring the internet to places with no indoor plumbing - that will make all the very real, intransigent problems just melt away. Gawd.
Fun Thing

Swing at the penguin . Click on the yeti to make the penguin start it's desent, click again to bat the penguin. There is no prize or score keeping. No point to the penguin batting either, but great time waster.

Kitty is making me crazy. He had a lovely weekend with Mini Kitty and the chance to eat really good cat food that makes him sick instead of the ashes and wood pulp at home that keeps him healthy - so of course his lower GI issues are back with a vengeance and he now he does not want his wood pulp and ashes kibble any more. Yippie. I can’t believe I left his food at home! Doggers food? In the car the day before. Dogger who can eat anything, her food I take time out to make sure I have - Kitty who can eat one brand of cat food in all the world? that food I leave in the kitchen. Brilliant.

Kitty is saying he’s hungry. I say, I have food for you in the kitchen. Go eat it. Kitty still sitting by telling me how hungry he is. I go to the kitchen and drop him in front of his full bowl and go back to my magazine. Kitty is back and is now licking a stray photo. I take it away an and he tells me again that he is hungry. I put my magazine down again and take him back to his food bowl again, I hold the bowl up in front of him and stir the kibble. I take some into my fingers and feed it to him. He sniffs and begins to eat. I go back to my reading. Kitty comes back again. This time I throw him and his baby upstairs. I do not know what his problems are but I have things to do - I got both an Entertainment Weekly and a Movie Line and I have two hours of SNL in the 80s to watch later. I have a full evening planed. I have to set my priorities.

I was reading one of my forums and I decided to drop by and read the SNL topic. The posters hate it, uniformly, week in and week out. They think it has sucked for years and yet they can’t stop watching and bitching about "it was so much better back then...!!!". Oh Shut Up! When was it "So Much Better" It has been on the air for 35 years!! Pick a time frame. It has good years and bad years and some casts are better than others and some years there are stand outs like Eddie Murphy or Michael Myers and some years the whole cast is just one big Brad Gray . Deal. With. It.

I really like SNL. I am a fan. I always like it. I don’t know why I read the forums, I always end up pissed off. Anyway, those pretend fans can’t wait for the 80s special. They are going to be surprised if they are thinking it was better then than it is now (because in their world view the show always sucks now and was always awesome "back then") The 80s were not kind to SNL. It wasn’t pretty - I remember, because I stayed up late to watch and for the most part the biggest draw were the really, really long commercials and I don’t mean the parodies. I don’t know if those fair weather fans are only looking forward to it as a new way to snark on the show or if they are just too young to know how bad it was. Whatever with them. I’m watching to see Billy Crystal and Eddie Murphy back when they were still funny and to remind myself that a bad week with Horatio Sanz cracking himself up is still better than Gary Krueger cracking no one up.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Saturday, November 12, 2005


Friday, November 11, 2005

Fall in the City, Autumn at the Beach

Veterans Day

Lest we forget
Friday Feral Cat Blogging

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Charlie Brown Your Christmas

There is nothing like The Charlie Brown Christmas - its uplifting, referential and fun. Now you can bring the spirit of that Christmas Special into your own home with out saving a little tree or reciting Luke. Urban Outfitters is there for you.

New Toy

Please check out my newest blog toy! it is called Frappr! and it's an interactive map. Go and add yourself to the Reading In The Dark map. I can see from my hit counter stats that I do have readers from all over, much to my shock and joy. So stand up and be counted with your really cool International selves, you too Domestic Gods and Goddesses!. I went out and got it myself after seeing it initially at Blondsense

edited to fix the links Duh!
On This Day

1975 - The ore-hauling ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm in Lake Superior. All 29 crew members died.

House Shelves Alaska Drilling in Budget Fight

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 - House Republican leaders were forced to jettison a plan for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska on Wednesday night to save a sweeping spending bill, a concession that came one day after the party suffered significant election loses.

Given President Bush's dismal poll numbers, a string of misconduct accusations against party leaders, unease about gas prices and the war in Iraq, other Republicans said it was surprising the party did not fare worse on Tuesday. Many said they were thankful they were not on the ballot. "The standing right now is about as low as it gets," said Representative Michael N. Castle, Republican of Delaware.

In dropping the drilling plan and a second provision, on coastal exploration, the leadership was trying to win over moderates in the party to enhance the chances of winning initial approval on Thursday of more than $50 billion in spending cuts demanded by House conservatives. But the decision is likely to meet objections from the Senate, where senior lawmakers are insisting on the drilling plan, a priority for President Bush.

The last-ditch effort by the leadership to avoid an embarrassing legislative defeat was the latest symptom of party unrest arising from instability in the leadership and anxiety about the 2006 elections. Those concerns were heightened by election results on Tuesday that Democrats and some Republicans said exposed the party's vulnerabilities and threatened its policy agenda.

"There is a clear message from the election results all over the country," said Representative Sherwood Boehlert, Republican of New York, an influential moderate. "The American people, by and large as a body politic, are looking for a more centrist approach."

from The New York Times
I’m going to dye.
My Hair

While I was standing in the flu shot line and listening to the spoiled workers in front of me bitch about their ergonomic chairs, I noticed that one of them needed to color her hair. I mean really needed to color her hair. She looked all right but her hair was a lot older then she was. Her hair was not working for her, it was working against her and she needed to seriously meet it half way - at her colorists.

The lady might have been a big Bonnie Raitt fan, but we are not all Bonnie Raitt. The rest of us don’t go into that white night that bravely, especially those of us who are not graced with so much talent that even our hair follicles are artistic. Most of us do not look good with streaky white hair. I knew looking at that other woman, I was looking at a mirror.

It’s not like I can ignore the white hair. I have mirrors and a newish prescription, denile is not turning my white hair brown. The white hair and it is white not gray, thank you very much, the white hair stands out. When I first started to see these intruders, way, way back in college, they were kind of cute. One at a time. Tweezers could keep on top of them. Those were the forward scouts. The white hair armies have arrived.

I am not ready to wave a white flag. I'm too young to look this old.

This will not be the first time I dyed "colored" my hair. In the past I’ve done it out of youthful spontaneity: "Wouldn't it be fun to be blonde!!, Hey! Look at her! I could be a red head!" My senior year of High School I Sun In’ed my self into orange hair. That was enough of a deterrent to hair coloring that I didn’t go near chemical enhancements for years. Oh, my friends did, dark purple, various shades of bottle blond, red - but I stayed true. I wasn’t going down that road again because once you and your hair take that off ramp into chemical slavery, you're finished.


Time passed.I found more white hair. Cheap hair color was used. I found a reasonably good colorist and I was winning battles with the armies and I paid the price for it too, until I realized that I wasn’t get paid enough to fight the war. I surrendered. I kept the stray white hair issue in check for a good long time but the armies of whiteness have been starting to make real in roads and they are getting harder and harder manually keep under control. It is time for chemical weapons. It has become more then one girl and a pair of tweezers can keep up with: My friend Andi McDowell has been telling me for years that she can rescue me from the advancing hordes. Andi McDowell wouldn’t lie to me would she?

I think the last time I used color out of a box ( pre-colorist) it was a drippy, messy nasty affair. Andi McDowell has promised me a non - drippy, non - messy, non -nasty experience this time and I want to believe her. I worry though. The last time was so messy and nasty and drippy and so not what whomever was doing the commercials back then indicated it would be, that the next time I got a yen for change I ended up paying someone else five or six or seven boxes of OTC hair dye to do it for me.

I’m not even sure why I did it, if it was as long ago as I think it was. I certainly didn’t have a need then way back in the mists of time - except it may have been in response to what a TV character did with her hair - but I try not to be that pathetic, so I must have had a coupon too and now I have actual gray to cover and no coupon. Andi McDowell better be all about chapter and verse on the truth in advertising laws because I can’t afford to pay someone else even three or four boxes of OTC hair dye every month to keep back the hordes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Guess who Dogger was for Halloween?

If you knew now what you'll know then

From Oct. 24, 2005 to Nov. 30, 2005, will collect thousands of letters that our readers have written to themselves. And we'll deliver them up to 20 years later.

Go here, try it out.

BREAKING NEWS Andrea Yates, the Houston woman convicted of drowning her five children in a bathtub, to get new trial, her attorney tells CNN.
Rethuglicans think Oil Executives should be allowed to lie.

Democrats and Republicans sparred over whether energy executives should have to swear to tell the truth before the panels.

The hearing comes as consumers are expected to get hit by a jump of 50 percent or more in home heating bills this winter. Gasoline prices are nearly 20 percent higher than a year ago, though they have retreated in recent weeks.

Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, rejected the call by some Democrats at the joint committee hearing to have the executives sworn in, saying that the law already required them to tell the truth."There is nothing in the standing rules to require that witnesses be sworn," said Stevens. "These witnesses accepted the invitation to appear before the committee voluntarily. I shall not administer an oath today." He rejected a motion by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to have the committee vote on whether the executives be given the oath.

The CEO's of Exxon Mobil (Research), Chevron (Research) and Conoco (Research), as well as the head of U.S. operations for overseas oil giants BP (Research) and Shell Petroleum (Research) are due to appear before the joint hearing of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees.

The industry's third-quarter profits jumped 62 percent to about $25.9 billion as Exxon Mobil, the nation's biggest oil company, posted the largest corporate profit in history in the quarter. Oil company's stocks have jumped about 40 percent from a year earlier, giving big gains to shareholders.

Senators are expected to grill the CEOs about why they haven't invested more profits in refining capacity and other equipment to help bring prices down.
There have also been calls for a windfall profit tax by some members of Congress, with proposals to have the money distributed to lower-income consumers to help them with energy costs.

But Sen. Pete Domenici, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, said in his opening comments that he would oppose such a tax.
Things that make you go …

I’m moving on past the wax paper and fall leaves debacle. I’m working on concentrating on what I can do like consistently remembering to turn on house alarm off before I go out to get the paper and remembering to record My Name is Earl now that House is back. You have to focus on your strong points.

I feel the need to pimp MNIE. It will be aired back to back to back to back on Saturday night on NBC. Two whole hours of good Karma. It will allow you to catch up with what you’ve missed if you haven’t been watching as well as letting regular viewers see episodes they missed because their VCRs hate them. I can’t have the only VCR with PMS…

In the spirit of moving on past the wax paper and fall leaf debacle, I am going to suck it up and rake my kitchen floor this evening to fully put the debacle behind me. I was going to wait for them to break down and turn to dust, but I’m moving on. . I wish the wasps would also own their wrong place wrong time failure and move out themselves, but they seem to be hanging on. I killed four last evening and there were at least that many dead on the floor when I came home. I don’t think Kitty is doing that, I don’t think he would be happy about getting stung over and over and if he did go after one, I don’t think he would be dumb enough to go after more. I know they are down in the basement as well but I am hoping that they and the nasty spider/crickets duke it out and wind up killing each other before I have to do something about it or I have more laundry to do, whatever comes first.

I was just informed that in the plans for the new building, my office will be in the basement. I’m so under joyed. I all ready have isolation issues and they are putting me in the basement! . I can deal with where I am now because I have windows and a view. I don’t want to be in the basement. I have a basement. It is damp and buggy and basement-y and I don’t spend a lot of time down there. Maybe I should start practicing. I wonder if I can devlope a mold allergy? I mean it is a state building and it did go to the lowest bidder…

I am also annoyed that I am not on President Shrub’s enemies list! It seems to be packed with people who have publicly disapproved of the way he is running the nation. I have publicly disapproved of him plenty of times! I do it nearly every day! I’m hurt.

As long as I am listing things that annoy me. There are two bathrooms on the hall. One at one end and the other and the other. They are both officially gender neutral bathrooms. In the past they were not but we aren’t in the past we are in the now and now they are gender neutral. I am annoyed that people do the pee pee dance all the way down the hall just that they can drop trou in the former ladies room. If you really have to pee, and if you are publicly pee pee dancing down the hall, you really have to pee, WHY do you insist on going down the hall pee pee dancing all the way, to solve your problem if all you really have to do is go across the hall! which would most likely cut out the whole PRB issues that you are exhibiting. It bugs. I know it’s probably a generational thing but it’s dumb and it annoys me. It’s just a former men’s room. There aren’t any penis centric signs, no titty mags hanging around or measuring sticks to offend girlish sensiblities, there is a urinal but really, it isn’t an obstacle, there is a regular girly toity with a door as well. Dumb people make me tired.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

White House keeps dossiers on more than 10,000 'political enemies'

Spurred by paranoia and aided by the USA Patriot Act, the Bush Administration has compiled dossiers on more than 10,000 Americans it considers political enemies and uses those files to wage war on those who disagree with its policies.
Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California�s Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (the Daily Kos).

Bush is not the first President to use the FBI to keep track of his enemies. Richard M. Nixon used FBI files to try and discredit his opponents, including Daniel Ellsberg, the Department of Defense employee who leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. Bill Clinton used the FBI to compile dossiers on critics like Conservative Congressman Bob Barr and legal gadfly Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch. But worried White House insiders say the intelligence gathered by the Bush administration is far larger, more extensive and potentially more damaging than the excesses of previous occupants of the White House.

The database of political enemies of the Bush administration is not maintained on White House computers and is located on a privately-owned computer offsite, but can be accessed remotely by a select list of senior aides, including Rove. The offsite location allowed the database to escape detection by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald during his investigation of the Valerie Plame leak. The database is funded by private donations from Bush political backers and does not appear on the White House budget or Federal Election Commission campaign reports.

Take this opportunityty to go find a Bush voter and kick them in the balls.
The New Wonder Drug

U.S. severs most contacts with Syria, officials say
----Washington debate reported over idea of 'regime change'

Washington -- The United States has cut off nearly all contact with the Syrian government as the Bush administration steps up a campaign to weaken and isolate President Bashar Assad's government, according to U.S. and Syrian officials.

Some U.S. officials say privately that there is now an active debate about whether "regime change" should be a U.S. goal. Publicly, administration officials say that they want to see a change in behavior.

Syria halted intelligence cooperation after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, U.S. officials say Syria must make a strategic decision to completely change its ways -- like Libya did -- or risk being cut off from the world.

"There have been repeated and numerous high-level attempts to engage the Syrian government," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. "Yet they have failed to act."

San Francisco Chronicle
Kindergarten Teachers have it going on

Since I actually got feed back on my leaf question, I am going to go and do the leaf thing. I feel obligated to "live blog" the experience. Join me as I :

- Collect Leaves!
- Stress over suitability of collected leaves!
- Go To The Store and buy my first wax paper!
- Search for my iron!
- Burn myself and the leaves!
- Throw a tantrum!
- Become disgusted with myself and run to Wal-Mart to buy premade fall leafy things instead.

Collect Leaves

Dogger and I scoped out the fall leaf situation over the weekend so finding appropriate leaves is not hard. The only problem is finding the prettiest leaves out of thousands of possible candidates. They are all pretty and interesting and worthy of pressing. Dogger and I collect our leaves. As an extra bonus I ran across a couple of guys that I initially think I might be interrupting, this would be new but as it turned out, they were turning on not turned on. They give me a dirty look so I am forced to reveal how huge Dogger is, I let her pull me a little to illustrate how strong she is and how difficult it might be for me to pull her off of them should she decide to eat their faces. I would hate that for them.

Stress over suitability of leaves

Other then stressing over how many leaves and how many of each variety and color I would need, there wasn't much stress. I really didn't want to spend a lot of time out in the open arguing with myself over which yellow leaf in my bag was the "best" yellow leaf or if the orange in this leaf was more or less vivid then the orange in this leaf, or if this red leaf was redder then this other red leaf. I did, but I tried to be casual about it.

Go to store for first wax paper!

I thought I had wax paper. I could have sworn I had some. But that would lead me to asking why on earth I had wax paper. I'm not even sure what you do with wax paper other then this leaf project. I get to the store and find the isle where the wax paper should be. I do not find wax paper. eventually, after I stand their staring at the aluminum foil, cling wrap and baggies, I finally find the wax paper.

Search for iron

I find it second try. Go me!

Burn myself and the leaves!

I didn't grow up in a fall foliage place. I have only heard about this wax paper/fall leaves idea. I know it can't be hard, thousands of kindergarten teachers can't be that much more skilled than I am. I majored in fine arts - earnest art projects were part of my degree plan, I’ve built tiny little sets using nothing but found objects! It turns out my tiny little sets were not as earnest as an El Ed major earnest art projects. This whole thing is harder then it looks. I artistically arrange the leaves on the paper and get to ironing. And ironing. And ironing. Nothing. The wax isn’t melting or sticking or burning or whatever it’s supposed to do when heat is applied.

After a near tantrum I call my Mom.

It turns out I should make the iron hotter, "3" isn't hot enough and should be using my ironing board. The towel on my kitchen table isn’t going to cut it. I find my ironing board, I pat myself on the back again as I find it first try.

Trying again.

Linen setting + Ironing board = Wax leaf nirvana.

Tantrum. Not a near tantrum. Tantram City. I think I wanted to do this project last year. I collected leaves and put them in the refrigerator. I know the leaves I found in my refrigerator didn’t just magically appear there. I’m sure I will eventually get the leaves out of my kitchen drapes, from behind the oven and off the ceiling fan.

Dear Friends At Home,

I was going to send examples of real fall foliage to your fall foliage deprived kids. It was supposed to be a wax paper project, instead here are some pictures of fall foliage.


Monday, November 7, 2005

Actress has best publicist ever

This actress has the hardest working publicist in the business . Crazy Tom Cruise needs to hire this person at once.
Bush To McCain - Nuts to you!

I wasn't going to comment on this, but then some cow stepped in front of me at the copy machine and totally harshed on my mellow.

US does not torture, Bush insists

"We do not torture," Mr Bush told reporters during a visit to Panama. He said enemies were plotting to hurt the US and his government would pursue them, but would do so "under the law", but in his mind he was saying:"um. Here "under the law" in Panama, or Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea, a few former Eastern Block nations, with your more War on Terra friendly Human Rights human shmites world view."

the beat goes on. Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain La de da de de, la de da

Five U.S. soldiers charged with detainee abuse

CNN -- Five U.S. soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment have been accused of beating detainees in Iraq, the U.S. military said Monday.

"The allegations stem from an incident on September 7 in which three detainees were allegedly punched and kicked by the soldiers as they were awaiting movement to a detention facility," according to a news release from the U.S. military.

What George and Dick will continue to do is: Question, Interview, Interrogate, Make Enquiries, Oppugn, Query, Exam, Consult, Converse,Abuse, Twist, Strain, Distort, Torment, Over Refine. Agonize, Anguish, and distress in countries or Gitmo, with less then total dedication to Human Rights.

It's not Torture if you don't call it Torture. We can feel free to:








Screw Blogger for not being more open to other cultures. Try to add a little Japanese, Korean,Russian, Greek, and Chinese to your discourse and it finds a way to turn them all to gooblegook. Trust me, the question marks are actual words and I am not going to remove them as some of you out there may have the settings to make those question marks words. The words are all Torture. You can say it many ways but it's all the same.
Emergency Contraceptives

If you need them, you need them. Circumvent your local Khristians and get the help you need.

For Emergencies
The Fifty-Five Days of Christmas?

I think I’ve mowed the yard for the last time this season. I may get the mower out again but it will be more in a leaf sucking capacity then as a lawn mower. This is also the weekend that the wasps have returned to my living room.

This year I am much better armed than I was last year. Last year I relied on bathroom cleaner to both poison and if that failed, drown the wasps. That turned out to be messy and not 100% effective. Sometimes the wasps just got drunk and flew around in circles - trust me, wasps in tiny little Zeros buzzing Bonzi! as they dive bomb your head does not put you into a suitably charitable holiday place. I didn’t want them confused I wanted them dead. In some cases the bathroom cleaner/ poison would knock them senseless for a while and lull me into thinking they were dead, time would pass and the bathroom cleaner/poison would evaporate and the wasps would go on their waspy way. This year I am armed with the vacuum cleaner and an extra long hose. So far, I haven’t had any escapes but I think I’m going to pay someone else to empty the bag. I’m pretty sure they should not live through being sucked into a hose, but I could be wrong. Maybe they have evolved extra strong waspy exoskeletons just in the eventuality they would get sucked into a vacuum. Another plus for the vacuum is that if it happens to sit on the floor for a couple of days, it doesn’t eat the finish off my floor. The More You Know...

The official “Sounds of the Season” is now Christmas. I flipped through the digital music stations on the TV and as of 11/1/05, it is now Christmas Time. On 10/31 they were playing recorded screams around the clock to play at your haunted house and then as of 12:01am on 11/1 they started up with White Christmas.

Doesn’t Thanksgiving have any sounds associated with it? Are there no good Autumnal hits? It’s very sad. Nothing singing the praises of football season or school days? They couldn’t just play the “Top 100 Half Time Performances” or songs about Harvests or something? There is a local radio station that switches to an All Christmas All The Time format around Thanksgiving. I had heard they had started early this year but after tuning in I learned it was only a “Christmas Sneak Peek Weekend”. Whew. My Wal-Mart doesn’t even have all their Christmas stuff up yet.

I do need to find some DIY stocking holders because I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay the $5 a pop for them that even the dollar stores are asking for them and all the holders I’ve seen are big clunky heavy jobs that I don’t need or want. I must have fallen behind the curb on stocking stuffers because I don’t think the holders we used growing up need to possess the towing capacity of a full sized truck.

Despite our lack of rain, the leaves are finally changing. It’s very impressive. I’ve wanted to gather up leaves and send them home to my friends at home in fall foliage challenged Texas, but I haven’t figured out how to accomplish that withy it turning into a huge project. I don’t want to have to go out and buy supplies just so I can say “Look! Real life fall color! Orange! Red! Yellow! Wow!”. It’s cool and all but I don’t want it turn into a project. If any one has any cheap and easy solutions, that don't really require any skill or a lot of patients, let me know.