Sunday, February 27, 2005
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Random "Pet " Peeve
|When a little creature some mistake for a dog nips at your heels, step on it. Hard. No. Harder. ::squish-pop!:: That's about right... All these evil little vermin people keep as pets, vermin the folks call dogs but are really just lil rats in disguise... don't you just want to call them by a more appropriate name? Like "Dog Food"? I will admit, though, that they do make decent kick toys. And four or five of 'em might make a decent meal for a real dog. Or a base for an Asian stew. (Ya know Chihuahuas got their start as stewpot critters, don't you?)|
A Cosmic Tap on the Shoulder
|Get that out of my eyes!
In December, the Milky Way Association™ delivered a belated Welcome Wagon Basket™ to Earth.
"A huge explosion halfway across the galaxy packed so much power it briefly altered Earth's upper atmosphere in December, astronomers said Friday. [February 18] No known eruption beyond our solar system has ever appeared as bright upon arrival... ...The blast originated about 50,000 light-years away and was detected Dec. 27... ...'That it can reach out and tap us on the shoulder like this, reminds us that we really are linked to the cosmos,' said Phil Wilkinson of IPS Australia, that country's space weather service."Glad to know the universe knows we're in the neighborhood...
Friday, February 25, 2005
Wanna lose weight? Lose the diet
|Shedding Light on the Scourge of Dieting...
Methuselah ate what he found on his plate, And never, as people do now, Did he note the amount of the calorie count. He ate it because it was chow. He wasn’t disturbed as at dinner he sat, Devouring a roast or a pie, To think it was lacking in granular fat Or a couple of vitamins shy. He cheerfully chewed each species of food, Unmindful of troubles or fears Lest his health might be hurt by some fancy dessert, And he lived over 900 years.[NOTE: this is a duplicate post carried over from my Whistling in the Light blog.] I like food. And food likes me. Unfortunately, over the years, I failed to account for my changing lifestyle, my aging metabolism, etc., and food liked me so much that more and more of it seemed to stick around on my body until my 42" chest became 48" (sometimes more) and my 34" waist became 42".. or more, and 235# stared me in the face whenever I dared torture the bathroom scales. A couple of years ago, that changed. Someone introduced me to the idea of adding a particular 150 calorie food bar and a mild one-mile walk to my day, and the result has been a blessing. Now: From clinically obese on a BMI (Body Mass Index) to normal. (All it took was 50# staying off.) 42" chest 36" waist Baggy Pants Posterior Syndrome™ NO PAIN IN MY KNEES!!! I still love food (last night was Green Chicken Casserole and "Mexican" beans, leaf lettuce salad, ice cream—not "diet frozen dessert"—and a few "gummis" for an additional sweet kick). But now, food is nicer to me. Diets are for fat people. Since I didn't want to stay fat, it's kinda good I didn't diet, eh? Lose the diet. Gain health. (Oh, and thx to Donald Sensing for spurring this post.) Update: in a related matter, give a listen to RA (Rob) Kemp's "Chocolate in Heaven" Sample chorus: "Will there be any choc’late up in heaven? This is something I truly got to know. ‘Cause if there ain’t any choc’late up in heaven I got to fill my pockets ‘fore I go." —R.A. Kemp ©JJANA
Thursday, February 24, 2005
|In which I offer partial relief from a dread condition
Iowahawk's satirical piece on "Mommy Madness" is a worthy read for those suffering from Dave Barry Withdrawal™*:
In fact, Iowahawk might well form a partial answer to that dread condition...
"From its inauspicious beginnings in rural Florida, the battle to preserve priveleged urban women's happiness has spread like wildfire. America's minority communities have been especially active in the cause. "Suffering knows no color," says Latasha Evans, 26. "When I heard about all the career and time management struggles of these unhappy white women, I knew as a Christian, I had to do my part." A mother of two in Harvey, Illinois, Evans persuaded her fellow parishoners at Calvary Zion AME Church to act on behalf of the victims. Evans' church choir, The Mighty Gospel Wings of Mercy, recently recorded a self-funded album to promote awareness of Affluent Supermom Syndrome. Entitled "Sweet Glory of Self-Esteem," the CD's proceeds will go directly to offset victims' Ballet and Pilates class dues. Evans is also donating her time to the effort, travelling by CTA bus twice a week to Chicago's Gold Coast and North Shore as a volunteer care provider for needy white supermoms in need of a break for self-reflection. "It's tragic when you hear, first hand, how these women don't get the parenting help they need from their male partners," she says. "The experience has made me realize how lucky I am to have D'Shawn [Collins], my babies' daddy, and the $150 he sends me most every month.""Much, much more at the link. *Note: since Dave Barry announced the cessation of his column, over a month ago, millions of people worldwide have been heard to scream at unpredictable times (and in typically inappropriate places), "Why Dave? WHY!?!?!?!" This post is an attempt to offer some alleviation of their pain.
::YAWN:: More dog bites man non-news
|Belaboring the obvious: Bob Dylan flogs a dead horse
Boring news from the program notes of Bob Dylan's latest tour:
"I know there are groups at the top of the charts that are hailed as the saviours of rock'n'roll and all that, but they are amateurs. They don't know where the music comes from... I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that."(This from a guy whose chops were never all that good to begin with, whose music is pedestrian at best. ::sigh::) Thanks for belaboring the obvious, Bob. Anyone with ears and two functioning brain cells can tell that the recording industry is pushing so-called vocalists who simply can not sing at the public (partly because more and more of the public are atonal musical idiots—or maybe it's a self-sustaining feedback loop), or pushing vocalists who can sing to record crap for atonal musical idiots to consume. Pitch? Melody? Heck, rhythm! All just messy blobs in most "big" recording non-artists' non-work, today. The big deal with rap is supposed to be rhythmically-spoken words with some aort of pseudo-musical instrumentation backup, but if one listens to rap for even a very short time it is obvious (to anyone with ears and two working brain cells) that the words and the rhythmic delivery are usually wildly at odds with each other. In othert words, rap is crap. Want to hear proto-rap as music? Listen to Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger do so 30s era "talking blues." Or try some Langston Hughes. Rappers just don't seem to have the mental capability to actually craft decent rhythmic lyrics that actually have inherent rhythm that "sings" on its own, which is probably why so much rhythm is forced onto words in nonsensical ways in rap. Crafting well-wrought lyrics that beg a rhythmic delivery calls for thoughtful hard work. I've heard very, very little rap that demonstrates the creators did little more than scoop up something that fell into the toilet bowl and call it art. And rap is some of the MOST creative of popular recording output! OK, yes, there are a few exceptions. But even the few exceptions seem to be steered by unmusical idiots (in both the redording industry side and the consumer side) toward producing homogenized, dumbed-down unmusical pap. Witness the emerging talent of someone like Fantasia Barrino, who can interpret a song like nobody's business, is steered toward doing an album like "Free Yourself" which is full of... " pop/hip-hop, a humdrum patter over a rhythmic, repetitive semi-musical background" [Orson Scott Card—who knew we'd have similar musical tastes?] Even with a voice as rich and a delivery as strong as this gal can make it, these "songs" are pretty crappy. Dimwit lyrics, boring background. Just unworthy of someone who could, IMO, be an artist. And that pretty well represents the best of the new. ::sigh:: And yes, there are other exceptions that could be creating more music, but a large portion of the public is simply too stupid to know that music could be better than the crap they consume. So, back to that mediocre musician, Bob Dylan. Even he thinks the stuff coming out of the sewers of the recording industry today is crap. Now, that's rich. Afterword: I neglected to acknowledge Drudge for the link to the article about Dylan's comments that spurred this rant, and now the link is gone from Drudge. Ah, well.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
"Who the **** do I think I am?"
|The subject line is as instructed by the great Frank J of IMAO And the quiz below is his invention. [warning: mild language implied ("****") that may offend some tender sensibilities] In (typically) ironic answer to Ted Rall, the idiot who makes racist remarks in poorly drawn cartoons (who does he pay to do his penwork? Whoever it is, it's too much) whenever a black American steps off the socialist plantation, Frank J has devised THE "WHO THE [h]*** DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?" BLOGGER QUIZ Which I'll attempt to answer in the text below... 1. Who the hell do you think you are? That may be one of the deepest conundrums of metaphysics. "Are," of course, comes from conjugating "to be," as does that bane of Presidential Rhodes Scholars, the word, "is." If one of the brightest minds (according to the likes of Ralls) of the 20th Century cannot discern the meaning of "is" then who am (there's that pesky "to be" in conjugation, again!) I to attempt an answer? As to the hell part, well, let's not go there, shall we? 2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass? I charge people for fixing the problems they create on their own computers. And I do slightly resent you calling me by the name of one of my son's dogs... (the one that refuses to speak like a bass). 3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot? Like? Nope. Not one teensy tiny bit. Ironically, that makes me more qualified than Jordan Eason or Dan Blather to voice my views. (Please, please: more Valley Girl questions! And can you mark inflection for a little uptalk, just for verisimilitude?) 4. Do you even read newspapers? Whenever I can't avoid it. 5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool? Nope. Don't watch Fox News, either. I do sometimes tune in an entertainment show to catch the latest mass media Podpeople's Army fictions, and I've been known to read time (the weekly fiction magazine) when there was absolutely nothing else available in a Drs waiting room. 6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh? Nope. I have managed about 40 minutes total listening time to that blowhard, Rush Limbaugh, but it isn't something I wear as a badge of honor. I do try to catch Car Talk when I can, though. Does that qualify as "Talk Radio"? After all, Tom and Ray do talk. They have callers, and it's much more entertaining than the lies on CBSNBCCNNABC et al. But as to the moron assertion, the jury's still out there. 7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot? Nah. My fax number's unlisted. 8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist? Actually, I like hearing stupid people talk, as long as I can turn down the volume and do something productive. Or even completely time-wasting. It's like white noise. I can actually play games of Zen Freecell while skimming the latest rants of idiots. (My Freecell score attained while "reading" and/or listening to idiots is now at 4,600 wins, zero losses. Idiots are good for clearing one's head. Or sinuses.) When you can listen to/read them and hear/read the actual content of their thoughtsyadayadayadathen you will have attained true peace, Grasshopper. 9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport? No passport. Why would I need to travel to a third world country when I live in America's Third World County™? At least I know Andorra's political structure. And that could be important one day, if I can ever trick another buncha folks into playing Trivial Pursuit with me. For money. 10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick? Thanks for asking. Yes. Several. BTDT. ::yawn:: But thanks for noticing that I'm from America's Third World County™. 11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk? I'm an old fart who can't fake a 30-year difference with a fake birth certificate. What's your excuse? 12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face? Horrors of war? I've "taught" seventh graders (as though seventh graders could be taught!). Don't talk to me about the horrors of war! (And I've seen cold cream in the morning. .. ) 13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo? Why, yes. Thank you for asking. I recall cleaning up my first stiff. (Well, he was stiff long before he died, in fact, and I periodically cleaned up some nasty goo then, too.) And my second... and... It was a great job to work my way through school with. people dropping like flies on my shift every week... But please don't ask meagain about procedures for removing a certain type of impacted waste product. 14. Once again, who the h*** do you think you are?! I don't know. You tell me. We'd both have a better chance of getting it right than a certain Presidential Rhodes Scholar...|
Shut up? Says who?
|Again with the free speech clause...
Betsy Newmark points to Tinker v. Des Moines, today. Here's the nub of the decision:
" ...in our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression. Any departure from absolute regimentation may cause trouble. Any variation from the majority's opinion may inspire fear. Any word spoken, in class, in the lunchroom, or on the campus, that deviates from the views of another person may start an argument or cause a disturbance. But our Constitution says we must take this risk, Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949); and our history says that it is this sort of hazardous freedom - this kind of openness - that is [393 U.S. 503, 509] the basis of our national strength and of the independence and vigor of Americans who grow up and live in this relatively permissive, often disputatious, society."OK, the case of kids wearing black armbands as a "statement" against the Vietnam War barely qualifies in my book as "speech" (but does qualify, because they widely publicized that was the purpose), so, qualifying, it's simply not the business of ANY agent of a governmental body in any way recieving funds from Congress to promulgate a regulation "abridging the freedom of speech." Period. And any agent of the feds (or person or body who recieves moneies from the feds in any way, shape, fashion or form) who says differently is itching for a fight. And I'd be happy to oblige them. Of course, the Thousands Standing Around will clap you in irons if you make a political observation in their presence that disagrees with their tender sensibilities... Maybe I'd better not fly anywhere for a while...
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Side dish and a tutorial
|You didn't really think I'd pass up a chance to be pedantic, did you? First, the tutorial, then the recipe. I've had a couple of folks ask me about the "Do I need to do a clinic on using a chef's knife to chop an onion?" comment in the Green Chicken Casserole recipe below. Apparently I do need to. 1.) Hold the chef's knife like this: thumb and index finger gripping the blade up toward the top 1/3 of the blade, near the handle; other three fingers firmly wrapping the blade. This gives you a firm grip and stabilizes the blade in three dimensions. 2.) Place the onion on your cutting board reserved for vegetable processing laterally, with the root end toward the hand you use to hold the knife (left for lefties, right for righties). 3.) Hold the knife above the onion, right-to-left in front of you (or left-to-right, for lefties). Place your non-knife-wielding hand on top of the blade (with your fingers splayed out on one side and your thumb also well-clear of cutting area on the other), reach down with your non-knife-wielding hand and grasp the onion. 4.) Place the tip of the chef's knife on the cutting board in front of the onion and, continuing to hold the knife blade on the onion with your non-knife-wielding hand and simply lower the hand holding the knife toward the board. The onion in halved vertically. 5.) Now, place one half face down on the cutting board with the root end away from your knife-wielding hand. Cut off a small portion of the shoot end of the onion but leave the root end uncut. Peel the onion skin off. 6.) Now, with the chef's knife blade held parallel to the cutting board and your non-knife-wielding hand holding the onion, make several parallel cuts into the onion from the shoot end almost to the root end. The more cuts, the finer chopped the onion will be in the end. The fewer cuts, the larger the onion pieces will be. 7.) Now, rotate the knife so that the blade is perpendicular to the cutting board and the blade points toward the root end. Make several vertical cuts across the grain of the onion making sure not to cut all the way through to the root end. 8.) Lastly, place the knife so the blade is perpendicular to the board and pointing directly away from you, across the onion. Make several cuts all the way through the onion and what falls way will be perfectly chopped or diced or minced onion pieces, pepending on how many (and how fine) the cuts you have made are. BTW, don't throw the root or stem ends you have left away. Can anyone say, "Freeze and keep for stock"? It's a lot simpler to show (and maybe I ought to make a slideshow of it), and very simple and quick to do. So simple and quick, that I've aced out scores of grannies in the kitchens of church socials over the years. *heh* Of course, nobody seems to like cutting onions, anyway, so maybe they were shining me on... (on the onion tears thing, another post, another time, maybe. It's a non-issue.) Now, the side dish. I alluded to "Spanish" rice in a couple of posts. Here are a couple of different recipes, depending on the taste buds of the folks eating. 1.) Moderately mild, with a tiny kick: Gringo "Spanish" rice Simple. Just grind some cumin (do NOT use the pre-powdered stuff. May as well use finely ground sawdust *sigh) from seed. Yeh, buy a coffee grinder just for your spices. Open a can (a can!?!?! yes, a can) of Rotel's™ tomatoes and chiles. Cook some rice as you normally would, just substitute the Rotel's™ for part of the water and add the cumin powder with the rice when the water/Rotel's™ is at a boil. I'm not going to dictate your rice cooking procedure. Mine won't work for you unless you have some so-called "waterless" cookware, anyway. You notice I did not specify amounts on the rise, water or cumin—or really the Rotel's™. That's what makes this so customizable for taste. Experiment to achieve what best suits your family. Even add more chiles, or other peppers, if your family likes it spicy. Make it your recipe. I sometimes add some of my own enchilada sauce to the mix. 2.) "Spanish" rice for babies and really green gringos Wimpy "Spanish" rice Just substitute your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce for the Rotel's™ in the above recipe. That ought to make it mild enough for all but the tenderest stomachs. There. A clinic on chopping an onion and two easy recipes. (Anyone noticed that the theme of all my recipes is EASY? *s*)|
Monday, February 21, 2005
Don't miss it again this year...
|Dydd Gwyl Ddewi (St David's Day), in honor of the other Celtic saint
For the life of me, I can't understand why Patrick is so honored (though mostly in the breech, as it were) and David so seemingly forgotten—at least outside of Wales. Ah, maybe that's it: the Irish, so unsuccessful in their own land, have huge swarms of folk in this, the most media-stricken land on the globe, and so Patrick just gets too much press.
"...Saint David, or Dewi Sant, as he is known in the Welsh language, is the patron saint of Wales. He was a Celtic monk, abbot and bishop, who lived in the sixth century. During his life, he was the archbishop of Wales, and he was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain."from Saint David and Saint David's DayIf I can find it, I'll also post a short hymn I wrote considering the likes of Sts David and Patrick, tune name: DEWI SANT. And this puppy's also going in over at Whistling in the Light. So grab yourself a leek or a daffodil to wear and be ready. (So much better than some lame shamrock, eh? And what's with wearing sham rocks? Can't the Irish find some real rocks to wear? *heh*) Saint David's Day is March 1.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Green Chicken Casserole
|It's not as bad as you'd think from the title. :-) "Green Chicken Casserole" Doesn't that name conjure a pretty picture? *heh* It's a pseudo-Mexican/Southwestern dish that's easy for gringo taste buds to handle. It's a nice, mild dish with a moderate Southwestern flavor for those with tender taste buds who can't take hot foods. And since you can assemble it almost all from pre-packaged ingredients, it's easy for kids (or non-kitchen oriented spouses) to make. The only potentially non-kid-friendly part—depending on age, experience, apptitude and temperament—is chopping the onion, and if one really HAD to, one could use a food processor for that... well, that and "hot dish from the oven" skills. 2-10oz cans of GREEN enchilada sauce 2-4oz cans (or one 10oz, if you can find it) chipped mild green chiles one can cream of chicken soup 3 medium (or 2 large) cooked chicken breasts, cubed (or a coupla cans of chicken *s*) One-half large YELLOW onion, chopped 24 corn tortillas about 2C shredded cheese. A colby/jack cheese mixture is good. I like a little mozarella thrown on top. Leaf lettuce Sour cream 325F Oven (About 165C) Fire up the oven. Mix the green enchilada sauce, chopped green chiles, cubed chicken and cream of chicken soup to make the sauce. Grease or oil a 9"X12" baking dish. Bacon grease is great, unless you live with a cardio patient as I do, otherwise, a good olive oil will do. Chop the onion. (Do I need to do a clinic on using a chef's knife to chop an onion? I thought not. I use my 10"-blade Sabatier for almost all veggie processing. Faster than having to assemble, disassemble, clean, etc., a food processor by LOTS.) Chop all the onion, but just use half in the dish. The rest can be part of a garnish or refrigerated in a plastic bag to "sweeten" for another meal. Assemble the dish as so: Layer the bottom of the 9X12 baking dish with six overlapping tortillas; cover with sauce; sprinkle on chopped onion; cover in shredded cheese; next layer... Top layer as before, but no onion on top layer. 24 tortillas yields four layers of six flat "enchilladas"—more than enough for four pigs, easily will serve six as the main dish in a full meal. For an empty nest, 3 or 4 days' meals. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers, cos it warms up nicely in oven or microwave. 325 oven for 35-45 minutes, depending on how much browning you want on the top layer of cheese. Top with chopped onion, shredded leaf lettuce and sour cream, if desired. Add sides of refried beans, "Spanish" rice, and chips to scoop the rice and beans, etc.|
Friday, February 18, 2005
Carnival of the Recipes #27 is Up
|Missed it again... For the second week in a row, I've missed getting a recipe into the Carnival of the Recipes. But that's not going to keep me from sucking the marrow out of this week's submissions. I always get at least one good recipe I can try out immediately (have to make another batch of "Cinabons" soon!), and my recipe folder is filling up with enough goodies to put back on the 50 pounds I've taken off, if I'm not careful. Check it out, over at Inside Alan's Mind. I think next week will feature some of this week's Carnival recipes, such as Italian Potato Leek Soup Elotes (Mexican Corn) Salad Posole (although I have another very good recipe for Posole from DNW—thanks Dave!) and "Mad Scientist" Chicken Casserole (yum!), at the very least. See the rest of this week's entries here.|
Channeling James Lileks
|No, my name is NOT John Edwards See: Whistling in the Light *heh*|
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
|"I'm number nine! I'm number nine!" It just doesn't have the ring of "I'm number one!" *sigh* Googled "Third World County" and out of 1,360 hits, this blog came in at the number nine spot. *profound sigh* I just have to do something to trade y'all in on a new readership. :-)|
The Emperor's New Clothes
Hanging out the wash: Is this what the death of art looks like?
Strange thing... all the articles I've seen on the web that praise this washer-woman's nightmare have been strangely devoid of pictures. Maybe that's because the gushing praise would sound even more inane in the face of such crap. John Podhoretz's article, "Masterpiece," in the New York Post sums up my estimation of this blotch/"art" better than I can.
"So what if walking through the park simulated nothing so much as traveling through a car wash without the car?"And that's the highest praise he has for this piece of... work. Naturally, the "art world" is agog. The ninnies.
|The tip of the iceberg
Mark Steyn pegs the corruption that goes by the name "U.N." in a piece filed yesterday, "UN Forces—Just a bunch of Thugs?"
"... corrupt organisations rarely stop at just one kind. If you don't want to bulk up your pension by skimming the Oil-for-Food programme, don't worry, whatever your bag, the UN can find somewhere that suits - in West Africa, it's Sex-for-Food, with aid workers demanding sexual services from locals as young as four; in Cambodia, it's drug dealing; in Kenya, it's the refugee extortion racket; in the Balkans, sex slaves."Read the whole thing.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Fuel efficiency is more than just good gas mileage
|Well, duh. Of course. Varifrank has a proposal I wish our Congresscritters were intelligent enough to understand. It's not for everyone, but a large portion of our population (and the businesses they work for) could benefit from this concept. Smart businesses already are. And, as a side-effect, it promotes fuel efficiency. (h.t. Glenn Reynolds)|
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Hell freezes over! Pigs fly!
Saturday, February 12, 2005
A General Summary
|I stole the subject of this post from Kipling for a reason...
Lynne Stewart, so-called "activist" lawyer, is convicted of aiding her client, has been convicted "...of helping terrorists by smuggling messages of violence from one of her imprisoned clients -- a radical Egyptian sheik -- to his terrorist disciples on the outside." Promptly squeals, whines and goes running to sympathetic fellow-travelers in the Mass Media Podpeople's Army.
Eason Jordan, erstwhile vice-president at CNN, in charge of CNN "News"—the most busted name in news—quits in hopes that the furor over his accusations of the U.S. military deliberately targeting jourmalists for assassination will die on the vine. He has the power—he sits on the board of the sponsoring group—to get the tape of his Davos conference remarks released but won't. Yeh, that tells us all we need to know about what he said, as opposed to what he now says he said.
Harry Reid can do nothing in the face of Republicans citing his actual words and deeds of record except whine that citations of fact are "personal attacks." (Poor baby. If his public life were factually different, he'd have nothing to whine about at all, it seems.)
Teddy Kennedy. 'nuff said.
Jean Fraud sKerry. Too much said.
Why detail all the corruption and evil commited by people in positions of trust? Kipling said it as well as can be said. (And no apologies from me to people who've heard me quote this for years):
A General Summary Rudyard Kipling WE ARE very slightly changed From the semi-apes who ranged India’s prehistoric clay; He that drew the longest bow Ran his brother down, you know, As we run men down to-day. “Dowb,” the first of all his race, Met the Mammoth face to face On the lake or in the cave: Stole the steadiest canoe, Ate the quarry others slew, Died—and took the finest grave. When they scratched the reindeer-bone, Some one made the sketch his own, Filched it from the artist—then, Even in those early days, Won a simple Viceroy’s praise Through the toil of other men. Ere they hewed the Sphinx’s visage Favouritism governed kissage, Even as it does in this age. Who shall doubt “the secret hid Under Cheops’ pyramid” Was that the contractor did Cheops out of several millions? Or that Joseph's sudden rise To Comptroller of Supplies Was a fraud of monstrous size On King Pharaoh’s swart Civilians? Thus, the artless songs I sing Do not deal with anything New or never said before. As it was in the beginning Is to-day official sinning, And shall be for evermore!
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Y'all heard about the Magnitude 4.2 Quake in AR?
|NorthEAST AR, that is, along the New Madrid fault Nothing here, just north of WallyWorld Central. As usual. ::yawn::|
WARNING: New Email Virus
|This one is NASTY! My daughter, a couple of hundred miles away, has the flu. I think I caught it from her emails. Be careful out there. It seems the flu isn't caught by anti-virus scanners but by users of anti-virus scanners. Oh, the humanity of it all...|
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Change of pace
|Heading on home Cal Thomas' most recent column (up today at Townhall.com) included one comment that has me strongly considering a change of pace. "Light dispels darkness and good can overcome evil. But a light won't shine if it isn't lit and cursing the darkness illuminates nothing." Sounds like something I might think to post on my "Whistling in the Light" blog... So, I'm considering 1.) Less blogging overall but especially here. Perhaps cut myself back even further to something like once a week more or less. 2.) A little more posting over at "Whistling in the Light" and, what the heck, 3.) Spending less time on this computer and more time on another that's set up to be more useful with my music transcription software, writing more music again. Maybe post more new music (or links to songs) at "Whistling in the Light", etc. Let's see if I can break the cycle, or at least bend it a bit, eh? :-)|
"Driving Mr D... crazy" Coming soon to a roadway near you
|Mostly off-topic for this blog, but I certainly hope this reaches a broader-than-usual audience... My daughter's, ummm, "guy friend" has proposed teaching her how to drive his stick-shift Mazda R. Thinking back on her initial driving lessons in our old Chevy Nova, I'm hereby declaring the institution of a fund to pay for his psychiatric counseling. It's non-tax-deductible and I'll be happy to administer it in any way I see fit. If you want to help this poor soul out, just let me know. :-)|
Monday, February 07, 2005
Re: Social Security
|A note to Congress
On January 17, 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (you know, the patron saint of Democrats) presented his administration's case for enactment of Social Security. The full text is here. below is a one-paragraph excerpt that the Bush administration should throw in the current crop of Dems faces at every turn:
"In the important field of security for our old people, it seems necessary to adopt three principles--first, noncontributory old-age pensions for those who are now too old to build up their own insurance; it is, of course, clear that for perhaps thirty years to come funds will have to be provided by the states and the federal government to meet these pensions. Second, compulsory contributory annuities, which in time will establish a self-supporting system for those now young and for future generations. Third, voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age. It is proposed that the federal government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans."It's obvious that the current Social Security program ought not to be dealing with the first issue mentioned by Roosevelt at all, by now. It's equally obvious that the fact that the program is NOT annuity based is a large contributor to the current mess that the Social Security System is in now. And it's is stomp-on-your-face obvious that the current generation of Dems will say anything and do darned near anything to prevent the third principle voiced by Roosevelt from being enacted. There you have it: the patron saint of the Social Security System sepaks from the grave in favor of the Bush proposal for private accounts.
Air (-head) Amerika
|Mike, over at Half-Bakered posted this modified screencap of Janeane Garofolo moking the Iraqi ink-stained voters (and those who expressed "solidarity" with them) with a Nazi salute. The "Nazi News Network" logo and "Luft Amerika... " were added as slams on CNN and Air America, naturally. Picking on half-wits: not nice, Mike. (But better than they deserve.) Read his whole post here. He has links to more on the story No kidding: Garofolo really mocked the Iraqi voters and those who supported the Iraqi voters with that Nazi salute in an appearance on MSNBC. Where are the British Royals and the Britpress when you need them? Garofolo doesn't need a trip to Auschwitz for sensitivity training; she needs to be locked in a cell, alone with Saddam for a few weeks... Although, that could be considered torture enough to gain lenience for Saddam.|
Sunday, February 06, 2005
There he goes again!?!
|Who is that masked Hyundai? In partial defense, I'll plead being really tired (lost sleep, being heavily "flu-ed" for a coupla days, etc.), but really... ::sigh:: Finally dragged myself outa bed, dumped several cupsa coffee down my gullet and we headed off 35 miles north to keep an appointed afternoon with our son. Shopped some. Wore my tail into the ground in a little over an hour. Cut things short and headed back, hoping for a serious nap! ::profound sigh:: On the four-lane that proceeds through 2 counties and halfway, now, through America's Third World County, I was going rather more slowly than I usually do (I knew my driving skills were blunted by tiredness). But I was unaware of just how slowly I was driving until—was that déjà vu??? No! That'sthe same Hyndai that passed me ten miles ago! Whoa!! I've been lapped by a Hyundai!!! Need. Sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. :-) UPDATE: got a little sleep since the post above. Not (yet) enough, but some. Still, the inage that popped into my simpled-out brain of a lil Hyundai circling the globe and lapping me as I toodled down the highway was enough to send my (totally simpled-out!) brain into paroxysms of (silent: too much effort to actually laugh!) hilarity. And yeh, it probably was two different cars. But they're so much cookie-cutter clones that it made it just that much easier for the "I've been lapped!" image to bubble up from some unconscious reservoir of silliness. Or maybe that was my unconscious being serious...|
Saturday, February 05, 2005
|Eason Jordan still refuses to talk turkey; no facts to back up his claims of US soldiers targeting journalists for assassination
Eason Jordon's multiple slanders of U.S. military in Iraq, CNN’s Coverup, and the mostly silent MMPA on the issue,spurs a rejoinder to that kind of mistreatment of our military via Kipling:
Tommy by Rudyard kipling I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer, The publican [Name: Jordan?--heh] 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here." The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I: O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away"; But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play, The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play. I went into a theatre as sober as could be, They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me; They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls, But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside"; But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide, The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide, O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide. Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap; An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit. Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?" But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll, The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll. We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you; An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints: Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints; While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind," But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind, There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind, O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind. You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all: We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace. For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!" But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot; An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!...and, from an ancient letter home from a North African campaign:
"We hear that there are tumults and riots in Rome, and that voices are raised concerning the army and the quality of our soldiers. Make haste to reassure us that you love and support us as we love and support you, for if we find that we have left our bones to bleach in these sands in vain, then beware the fury of the legions."A worthwhile warning to such as Eason Jordan, Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy, Jean Fraud sKerry and their ilk. But one I dare say they are too stupid in their arrogance to ignore.
It's worse than I'd thought...
|No, I don't think it's "Adult ADD" A few weeks ago, posting on the glories of "the holy bean," I commented that until I had my first cuppa joe in the a.m. I stood in danger of setting my coffee cup down and forgetting where I'd done so. It's worse. Now, it seems, I cannot even remember to drink my coffee until I've had a coupla cups. Learning what cold coffee tastes like, and not liking it... Ahhhh! That's better. Another sip, down to the bottom of the cup, another three or four IQ points added to today's usable brain cells. I just have to remember to go get another cup. Should be easier now that I've at least had some coffee...|
Friday, February 04, 2005
Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Happy Dance!
|Iraqi citizens Kill 5 terrorists
Wound 8, burn their car, have a party. Just go read the post.
(This is all over the place, and I really don't recall where I saw it first, since I had so many pages loaded and was flipping back and forth between them. This one's the best, though, IMO.)
Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Happy Dance! (Now, go kill some more, folks.)
Brings to mind a thought by a character, "Ding" Chavez, in a Tom Clancy novel, Rainbow Six, that pretty well sums up "understanding" terrorists:
"...the best thing about the inside of a terrorist's mind was a 185-grain 10mm hollow-point bullet entering at high speed."
Climactic Change Voodoo
|How deeply deceptive are the MMPs about climate change? Russel Seitz argues that we are not getting the straight dope from the MMPA [duh]. But he does so so very intelligently that you may be sure that you'll not hear about it from any of the branches of the mass media Podpeople's Army. Nope, not on ABCCBSNBCCNNFOX. Nor on so-called "public" tv or Discovery or darned near any newspaper or magazine. That's probably in large part because the study of climate change is simply too complex for a sound bite or headline. Read his essay, A War Against Fire. You can do it, you're not only smarter than the MMPA thinks you are, you're smarter than they are (and you can bet less than 1% of the MMPA can or will read Seitz' essay). (This is one of the really Good Weeks on Jerry Pournelle's site.|
Bill's a sick, sick megalomaniac... or is he?
|...in which graphologists are revealed as dumb-as-doornail, low-rent b.s. artists Flapdoodle in the last few days about Tony Blair's "doodles" at the Davros meeting. British MMPs (and they call themselves "journalists"—yeh, of somewhere near Dan Blather quality, it seems) got ahold of some doodles that were purportedly those of Tony Blair at the World Economic Summit at Davos, Switzerland. The promptly went out hunting some "graphologists" they could coax away from their tea leaves and crystals long enough to "analyze" the doodles and discover that Blair was a meglamaniac under great stress and probably very ill physically to boot. Good going guys. The doodles were Bill Gates' doodlings. Oops. h.t., another one of the alert folks (Tracy) at Jerry Pournelle's site.|
The Long Slide Down is Getting Shorter and Shorter
I'm bumping this post from last week to the top because new info reveals it to be the result of inexcusably sloppy "reportage" by The Telegraph. [duh] I should have known better than to trust any MMP mouthpiece... [sigh]
See the background at Jerry Pournelle's Thursday Mail page for this week.
Can there be any doubt that Europe is in the running to make Sodom and Gomorrah look like a Sunday School picnic?
This just in from Germany (link to The Telegraph article via Drudge):
A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.Huh? The government says she has to take a job as a whore or they'll cut her off? Yep.
The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe. She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile'' and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel. Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit... ..."There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. "The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."So, Germany is becoming our age's Gomorrah (France is already our age's Sodom, well, along with San Francisco... )
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Don't mind the moustache
|at least it hides some of the ugliness... I searched the web for an up-to-date picture of Tom Shales (the one on the Washington Post website was obviously out of date). Took a while, but I finally got a good shot of his best side. You know, the one he uses to say the kinds of things found in his Wapo article dated today. Oops. Forgot to mention, h.t. to Betsy Newmark for the link to the Shales article. And another thing... surely someone would have told Shales by now that a blue suit with a red "power" tie might offset some of his homliness, eh? After all, it's all about perception, Tommy baby.. Right?|
Strange turn of events
|Is it spreading? Time will tell I have no idea if this represents a sea change in MMPA "thinking" or not, yet. For one thing, I only "watch" Fox, among the MMP "news" channels (too strong a word, really, since I mostly leave it on in another room when I'm working on something else). But the strange turn of events I've noticed is this: since Sunday, the word "terrorists" seems much more common in replacement of the disingenuous "insurgents" that was de rigeur before. Now, when thugs attack civilians or non-combatants in Iraq, one is as likely—at least on Fox, it seems—to hear them referred to as terrorists as insurgents. Interesting. Of course, this could just be my ear picking up on a word that seems out of place in a MMPA account, but I hope the nomenclature is undergoing a change toward reality.|
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Doubts to the left...
|...but healthy ones, finally
Believe it or don't [heh]. In today's Chicago Sun-Times, dted-in-the-wool leftist Mark Brown asks fellow lefties the tortured question, "Was Bush right?" He closes the article with
If it turns out Bush was right all along, this is going to require some serious penance. Maybe I'd have to vote Republican in 2008.Maybe? Hedging his bets all the way, but finally asking some serious questions. Just read the whole thing. (h.t. Drudge)
"...the junior Eeyore from Massachusetts..."
|John Podhoretz zings the Jean Fraud sKerrys of the so-called "Democratic" Party
... the junior Eeyore from Massachusetts, John Forbes Kerry, who had the distinct misfortune of being booked onto "Meet the Press" yesterday only 90 minutes after the polls closed in Iraq — and couldn't think of a thing to say that didn't sound negative. "No one in the United States should try to overhype this election," said the man who actually came within 3 million votes of becoming the leader of the Free World back in November. No? How about "underhyping"? How about belittling it? How about acting as though it doesn't matter all that much? That's what Kerry did, and in so doing, revealed yet again that he has the emotional intelligence of a pet rock and the political judgment of a . . . well, of a John Kerry.Just read the whole thing.