Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New digs coming soon...

I'm working on my own site with a Wordpress blog.

You can find it HERE.

I will be either deleting this blog or making it private within 14 days, after I update the blogroll and am assured that most of my regular readers have found their way to my new site.

I'm still working on's rough...but I think I will like having my own space a lot better.

All of my old posts and comments have been transferred, and new posts have already been made (including the answers to the questions I invited on that post last week). Check it out! Add it to your blogroll! Love it!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Sorry 'bout the absence this weekend (if anyone noticed at all, that is). I had a belated birthday party to help clean for and attend (Saturday), and then recovery from said party on Sunday, along with another birthday dinner. It wasn't exactly social, but I wasn't sitting on my butt all day, so that's good.

I've been keeping up with everyone even though I haven't been commenting much, so rest assured that I haven't missed much, if anything. Bless you, Google Reader...bless you.

On with the snark!

Remember when Tam wrote about that prom party where the mom supervised while the teens drank some beer and hung around? Well, she's been sentenced to 27 months in jail. This was down from 8-10 YEARS.

Why? Well, aside from the fact that ommitted the happy little fact from the other parents that there would be alcohol available to the teens (which I do disagree with), she...well, the reason is that she gave them alcohol at all. MADD was the group wanting to give her the 8-10 year sentence, which is EXCEEDINGLY amusing to me, given the fact that the kids all had their keys taken away, and none of them drove at all, under the influence or no. If anything, she might have saved their lives or even the lives of others, should they have chosen to drink elsewhere (and subsequently try to drive home drunk).

And I'll go ahead and say what others have said, because it's the truth: If I was a parent, I would MUCH rather my child drink in the safety of his/her own home, if they were to drink at all. A kid's going to do it, anyway, so you might as well make it as un-rebellious as possible by not necessarily making it commonplace, but removing the glamour and the taboo associated with it - basically, the parents should show the kids that they're well aware of what kids want to do, so the kids don't think they're doing anything that hasn't already been done before. Obviously I'm not condoning giving your kids something to drink, but I think that should be up to the parent to make that decision.

Again, that's the only problem I have with what this woman did - all but one of the children involved WASN'T hers, so I could see how some of the other parents would get pissy. But for fuck's sake - this is ridiculous.


Speaking of ridiculous, that former teen (now 21) who was sentenced to prison for consensual oral sex between him and a 15-year-old girl (he was 17) was told that he could just have 12 months of probation, and the time he served in jail was more than enough.

Well, of course someone filed an appeal. Because god forbid older teens make any decisions of a sexual nature that don't result in pregnancy and don't involve rape.

At the time of the encounter, the law forbid such action (was it the ages of the two teens? the action itself? or the fact that it was videotaped?), but it was changed shortly after this guy was sent to prison. They didn't apply the law retroactively, though, even though his case was the partial reason for the law change.

And now, after two years of fighting, and after a judge in a court of law ruled the punishment "cruel and unusual", this prick of a prosecutor feels the needs to make a point by filing an appeal and trying to get the rest of this sentence carried out.

What a douche.


Daughter killed by parents after she falls in love with someone of a different religion.

It's like a really fucked-up version of Romeo and Juliet, except the Capulets just decided to off Juliet themselves rather than deal with the drama maturely.

They might as well bring back the guillotine, because that appears to be the way things are headed.

I just can't believe someone would kill their own child, least of all for something so petty. Beliefs aren't diseases, y'all. You can catch them by being around them, and you can just ignore them if you want. It's not like this guy threatened her family or their way of life. They just didn't want to be known as "those parents whose daughter's arranged marriage failed". Then she had to go fall in love with someone else. How dare she.

Boot, meet ass. Face, meet floor.


Why won't Bono just go away?

I can understand wanting to help people, but no one likes a whiner. And you're whining. A lot. Shut the hell up.


Five Republican senators have voted to oust Gonzales.

The head honcho, Arlen Spector, has said he's going to vote "No Confidence" on Gonzales.

It's a shame that it might not make it through, but it's good that people are finally going, "WTF?" and trying to get rid of this dumbass. "President Bush's best friend" isn't a qualification, it's a description.


I just wanted to post this link (regarding juvenile diabetes and how it can strike adults, as well), because I LOVE this woman's attitude about it: "You deal with it."

She's not whining, she's not suing anyone, she's not demanding that things be changed for her.

She's taking care of herself, exercising, eating right, etc.

Granted, there's a chance that she should have been doing all that stuff before she got sick. But there's no "woe is me". That's refreshing. So I'm going to just end my post there.

Hope everyone's Monday has been as relatively uneventful as mine (I mean that in a good way).

Friday, June 8, 2007

My D-Day Story - An Unsung Hero

I knew I had a good story for D-Day, but I wanted to wait to post it until I got all of my facts straight. I just talked to my father and got all the information I think I need to give a brief rundown of my grandfather's involvement in the invasion and the war in general. It's amazing. I don't generally think fighting is amazing, and war doesn't impress me...I share my late grandfather's viewpoint that someone who runs to retrieve a dead body from the line of fire is probably an idiot, and doesn't deserve the title "hero" or a medal.

However, I wouldn't hesitate at all to call my grandfather, Bud, a hero. That means a lot, because I'm generally not impressed with people, even my own family and friends. It takes a lot to make my jaw drop in awe rather than disgust.

D-Day is part of a bigger story, and I'm going to tell as much of it as I know, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but it's enough that many of you won't finish this in one sitting. Grab a beer and some nachos (or tofu and water...whatever) and settle in. If it's half as amazing as I think it is, it will probably amaze you, too, to some degree - if not the actions, then the consequences (or lack thereof, in this case).

Bud was in his 20s when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He joined the Army, and was somehow assigned the task of Demolition Specialist/Engineer for General Patton (yes, THAT one). During his tour of duty, he started in North Africa, participated in D-Day, went through the Philippines and parts of Asia, and ended up on a ship headed for Japan when the first bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945.

As a DS (not the correct terminology, but bear with me here - I'm going on secondhand information by someone who heard the stories when he was less than 10 years old), his job was relatively simple in theory, tough in practice, and nearly impossible in combat: He and his fellow DS's were to sneak under bridges that were occupied by the enemy, set up demolition equipment (i.e. attach bombs to them), get away safely, blow up the bridges, take care of the enemies still hanging around (obviously the rest of their group helped with this), re-build enough of a bridge to support their troops safely across, then blow THAT bridge up, as well. In this way, they made their way around.

As you may well know, Patton was famous for his attitude during wartime, which was essentially to shoot first and think about it later. In battle, he was ruthless, and while his troops had a high mortality rate, they were also fiercely loyal and had more success than most of rest of the Army.

Imagine, if you will, being in a wooded area near a bridge. Standing at each end of the bridge is one or more soldiers, with guns, grenades, and orders to not let anyone cross for any reason. These men have been ordered to die for that bridge, and they are prepared to do so.

You and your partner saddle up in your "frog" gear and go a little ways down the river, entering downstream. You swim slowly upstream, careful to keep attention off of yourselves, until you reach the bridge. With any luck, the soldiers at the ends won't see you - but they usually do, as splashing below in an otherwise quiet area tends to catch attention. They begin firing as you attach explosives to the bridge, all the while dodging bullets, and sometimes dodging grenades. Your buddy might get shot, but you both finish the job and swim away as quickly as possible. You detonate the charges, and your group comes out to make sure the area is clear of enemy troops as the bridge crumbles.

As they cover you, you and some other soldiers find as many supplies as possible and build a new bridge so that you may cross. If there are only soldiers on foot, it could be as easy as laying a strip of metal on some supports for them to run across. If you have tanks, it is decidedly more time-consuming.

Somehow you finish the bridge with most of the troops having come through safely. They cross. On the side that was just vacated are enemy vehicles making a beeline for your new bridge, trying to cross close behind you.

As they come, you're back in the water, attaching explosives, likely being shot at again. You're still scrambling out of the water when the bridge explodes, and pieces of the metal that you'd slapped together go whizzing past your head.

Minutes, hours, days...any amount of time may pass, and you'll have to do this again. And again. And Bud did, for most of the time he was in the Army.

During a field battle, people were assigned wherever a soldier was needed. In Bud's case, the machine gun nest on top of a tank was vacant, so he was ordered to take it.

In battle, when you're on the ground, a tank is, well, a tank. It has no real weak spots. You're not going to damage the machinery with a mere gun, especially back in the 1940s. The only thing to do to stop the tank from doing any more damage that it does by merely rolling around is to get rid of the firepower, which involves killing the guy manning the machine gun. So, as you can imagine, it's a pretty stressful position. I believe at that point the life expectancy of the person manning the tank's gun in battle was a whopping 10 minutes. And Bud survived. Not only did he survive, the only bullet that hit him merely grazed the side of his helmet. It gave him a scare, but he was unscathed. He apparently took down quite a few people while up there, too - he grew up hunting for food for his family, so he was a great marksman.

At another point, he and some of his fellow veterans (I call them that because they were in for quite a while at this point...they weren't n00bs by any stretch of the imagination) were under the command of a Lieutenant. This officer was straight out of West Point, and was very full of himself. Education, to him, trumped experience, and he had a habit of telling them what they needed to do without actually planning out how they would accomplish it strategically.

They were in a trench, being shot at from all sides by machine guns. They were waiting to be able to move, but they weren't sure where yet. The Lieutenant told them that they needed to cross a street close to them, and that they needed to do it NOW.

Bud was in the front of the line...the closest soldier to him. Therefore, he was the one who should have led the pack. He sat there, counting machine gun rounds, and didn't move.

The Lieutenant yelled at him and asked him what he was doing, and repeated the order. Bud told him to hold on a second. The Lieutenant pulled his gun out and pointed it at Bud's head.

"Either you cross that street RIGHT NOW, or I will shoot you, do you understand?"

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Bud sat there trying to weigh the benefits of being shot by your commanding officer vs. being massacred by enemy fire. Before too much time had passed, another soldier came up and put HIS gun against the Lieutenant's head.

"If you shoot him, I'll shoot you."

The Lieutenant was bewildered. "What's going ON here?"

The soldier explained. The Lieutenant said, "Okay".

They all made it safely across.

It's a classic example of why authority isn't always right, and why book learning doesn't always yield the "smartest" results.

I don't have many details about D-Day. That's apparently a story that was too massacre-happy for my grandfather to talk about very much. I do know that he stormed with Patton, and that he may not have entered on June 6, but that he came early, because he was a key player in their advancement across the countryside (still a DS).

After that little slice of history, they advanced through the Philippines and parts of Asia. And then, as I mentioned before, they boarded a ship and began a journey to Japan to invade. Then the bombs dropped, the war ended, and he came home.

Remember me mentioning the bullet grazing his helmet while he was manning that machine gun? That's the ONLY bullet that hit any part of him. He came out of that war completely unscathed physically.

Given what he'd been through, THAT is amazing.

He was always able to keep a level head during times of crisis. He was a boxer, and would often settle bar fights by sitting and calmly nodding and smiling at the person trying to start something, and then out of nowhere, he would smack them a good one and knock them down. People usually only tried to mess with him once. My grandmother (his widow) said it was creepy how you could never tell when he was going to snap, because he looked so calm and happy until his fist had already made contact with one of his fellow barflies. I think it was this ability to hold out on retaliation until necessary (and until it was actually a surprise) that allowed him to survive. It also took a certain element of anarchy to be able to do what he did - he couldn't always follow orders if he expected to live. So...he didn't always follow orders. And he did well, though he only made it up to Corporal as a result of his disobedience. He never did like being in charge of a group of people, anyway.

After he got out, he married my grandmother and then my father was born, 13 years after the war ended.

In 1969, he turned 49. My dad would walk home from the bus stop in the afternoons (he was 10), past the tavern, and would check to see if Bud was parked there. Often, he was. So Dad would go in there and say hi.

One day, Dad went in, said hi, and then asked what Bud wanted for his birthday. "Oh, you don't have to get me anything."

"No, I want to. What do you want?" Obviously my father didn't have much money, but he felt it was important to give gifts for someone's birthday, particularly a parent's.

"Oh, haha, well, why don't you buy me a beer?" Bud laughed.

My dad thought about it for a minute, went into the bathroom, and emptied his pockets. He found 35 cents, which just happened to be exactly the amount a frosty mug of beer cost in those days. He approached the bar, away from his father, and asked the bartender to please take his money and use it to buy a beer for Bud. The bartender said he couldn't, because Dad was a minor - this went on for a few minutes, and finally my dad asks what they could do.

They both headed over to Bud, my dad handing him the change and telling him to give it to the bartender. "What the hell for?" "Just do it."

The bartender took the money and set a mug of beer in front of my grandfather. He was amused.

That was the last birthday present my dad would buy for him.

After the stress of the war, Bud settled into family life without actually "settling"...he always had to do things for himself, and considered it a sign of weakness to change any part of his routine, even those parts with were obviously bad for him, such as the excessive drinking and smoking.

He had 3 heart attacks in his 40s. All that excess, and all the work he wouldn't allow anyone else to do...things like yardwork, and preparing to move to another part of their land, away from the main road. He did it all himself, even when he was wheezing and having problems.

On August 21, 1970, Bud, my grandmother, and my dad were eating dinner. They usually watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but that night Bud said he just wanted things to be quiet, and to just leave the television off. This had never happened before.

Shortly after dinner, he said he was tired, said goodnight, and went to bed. He never woke up. His 4th heart attack killed him in his sleep.

He was never regaled for his acts in war. He was never given any medals, and no speeches were made about him. He lived his life after the war doing what he had during the war: what he had to.

All the cool kids are doing it.

If you have a question, ask away.

I like answering them.

And while I'm not at a lack for things to blog about, I figure people might be more likely to check back if what I'm blogging about actually has something to do with them.

I will post the answers in a few days.

Don't all ask at once, now.

YGTBKM, part 2

Say Uncle has an interesting reflection on the fact that California reps voted 41-38 to outlaw mixed-breed animals in the state.

No mutts. No general "cats" and "dogs". Nothing that doesn't have a traceable lineage, and nothing that can't have papers provided for it.

Everything else must have a mandatory spay or neuter by age 4 months.

I don't understand why they're doing this, but it makes me want to throw a Third Reich salute and scream, "Sieg Heil!"

Next think you know, they'll demand that only blondes live in the major cities.

YGTBKM, part 1

I had a hard time following this article's line of thought.

It's about Edwin Hall, that guy who kidnapped Kelsey Smith in a Target parking lot and then killed her. He kidnapped her last Saturday, and I guess they just found her body on Wednesday in Missouri (she was kidnapped in Kansas, which makes this a federal offense).

The article appears to want to be a dissection of his MySpace page, but apparently there wasn't enough interesting info there, so they continued to speculate on the murder/kidnapping itself, turning this article into a schizophrenic interpretation of the situation.

It says that the MySpace page said that he liked to eat kids and "harm small animals", but there was a link from his wife's MySpace page to his, which causes me to think that this was a gag of some sort. Else why would his WIFE link to his page? Unless she was just a sick fuck, too. Not much is said about her, though.

Also, this guy had a small kid. If he was serious about harming small animals and eating kids, and was dumb enough to put that on his MySpace page, wouldn't his wife have left and taken the kid with her? And wouldn't he have already been in jail? Did I miss something here?

Maybe I'm missing the point. It's happened before. But this article, as it stands, is poorly written and stupid. They just wanted to have something to say about it, likely. That's pretty sad.

At least Paris Hilton wasn't on the front page this morning. That stupid bitch needs to just take her solitary confinement and be happy they're not putting her in general population, though she deserves that. That's all I'm saying about her.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

oh my god can't breathe laughing too hard ow i think i pulled my sternum again...

So there ARE nice doctors left in the world...

...they just don't exist in The System.

I went to a clinic today for something that some of you might know about, but that I'm not going to write about on THIS particular blog (it's not really a big deal, but it's something that my stalker would LOVE to know about, so I'm leaving it alone here, since this is the popular blog).

The doctor is someone I know outside of the office, and he's a genuinely nice guy. Libertarian, too, which is likely why he charges per office visit without insurance. They don't accept insurance, they don't charge based on any sort of pre-qualifying factors. They charge a flat rate for everyone, and given what they're doing, that rate is more than fair. I got what I needed and then some for $70 (this includes 2 prescriptions) which is less than a simple "how you doin'?" office visit at my GP would cost. I call that a bargain.

I briefly said hi to him, then went in the room with a nurse practitioner. She asked all the standard questions, and since I'm used to giving short answers (I've been trained that being friendly is a waste of time in most offices), I did that. She wasn't having any of it. She asked MORE questions. Got me to open up and talk. And she LISTENED and responded. It was awesome.

The whole visit took about 15 minutes, and I left not lacking for any information or sense of what I was to do.

This hasn't happened to me in YEARS. And for it to happen at the type of clinic I went to rather than a Family Practice that I'd gone to for 12 years? That's pretty fucking sad. But I'm happy, all the same. Because I needed that. I needed for my faith to be restored, just a little.

Sometimes faith just slips away when you go into the office one day because you can't sleep, and they shove Seroquel down your throat, then follow that up the next year with Lamictal and Risperdal. Because they won't listen when you tick off the other symptoms on your fingers. The ones that clearly point you away from bi-polar and into ADD territory. Because they're too worried about the patient in the next room...the next paycheck...and they're concerned with going through as many of you as possible during the day.

I know what doctors do is called "practicing" for a reason. But you can practice with a positive attitude. Treating patients like cattle is something you learn in marketing, not med school.

Sometimes I think I have no faith in people.

And then I think about it, and realize that it's true: I don't, in fact, have any faith in people. How sad.

On a TOTALLY UNRELATED NOTE *wink wink*, I cringe every time I see a report on the news about scientists discovering new ways to make people live longer.

People who have terminal diseases.

People who should probably die, anyway.

I'm not trying to sound insensitive, but for fuck's sake, people - if you're sick and you're going to die, get your affairs in order and realize that we, as animals, have to go sometime. It's shitty luck to be stricken with something such a terminal cancer, lupus, AIDS, Lou Gehrig's disease, etc, etc...and because I'm speaking out about it like this, I'll probably end up with all of the above in some weird genetic freak accident stemming from a new tattoo in a seedy parlour on a trip to a foreign country while drunk and high on roofies.

My point is this: we are not meant to live forever. It's a nice thought (actually, it's not a nice thought to's kind of creepy...but I know some people who would like to live forever purely to keep helping people, and that's kind of nice, as long as they're not of the class that wants to keep people's hearts beating until they're 150 years old), but we're not Galapagos tortoises. We're not gods (despite what some politicians would like for you to believe). We're not meant to live past around the age of 65, if you want to know the truth. Proof positive? Look at the sharp decline of the health of the general population past that point. We're meant to die of natural causes or being eaten by something before then. We are, in fact, ANIMALS.

I just felt the need to rant about that for a minute. I've seen all these reports about genetically finding a cure for impotence, Crohn's disease, and whatnot...and while I don't begrudge anyone's wish to live their life to the fullest during the time that they're able with some help, I just know that when my time comes, I'm gone. I'm not going to fight. There's no point. It happened for some reason, and whether it was my fault (smoking, which I don't do, but you get my point) or someone else's (uh...nature's for giving me cancer? I dunno), I'm going to deal with it. I'll get my affairs in order if I have the time to do so, and if not, I'll assign someone to do it for me. If there's a chance of my survival that's above 50%, I'll go ahead and try one round of treatment, depending on my age (if I'm over 65, just let me die, would ya?). If my chance of survival is below that? I'll just take my trip to Europe, thanks, and do what I can while I'm still alive.

I have a feeling I'll be more comfortable when I go, that way.

Having said that, I will do my damnedest to NOT accept death by an unnatural cause, such as someone trying to take my life. That's as bad as killing yourself, in my eyes. :-P I wouldn't bother getting a gun and trying to protect myself if all I was going to do was simper something like Sabine in The Three Musketeers: "Be kind...aim for my heart."


Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Dear Oriental Trading Co.,

No doubt you've seen my previous entry on the prevalence of the word "patriotic" in your most recent catalogue, which I did find somewhat annoying and redundant, given the fact that every single one of these items is fashioned in some way after the American flag.

I just want to let you know that I DO usually find your catalogue very interesting, and that I was actually considering ordering some of your non-season-specific items, such as the inflatable palm tree cooler, which would come in handy for the small summer parties The Boyfriend and I like to throw.

Also: buttermints? Yes, please. Yum.



Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How can you even TELL?

That word...

...I do not think it means what you think it means.

So I'm looking at an Oriental Trading catalogue. The ENTIRE thing is devoted to "patriotic" products.

Aside from the fact that seeing "patriotic" splashed all over a catalogue is pretty annoying, I keep seeing this sentence:

This [insert item name here] will make any [insert activity here] patriotic!


It'll make the party love its country? Or make the game sing the praises of our constitution? I'd like to see that. Truly. So maybe I'll buy some of your "Stars and Stripes Kick Balls" (sounds racking someone in the name of the Constitution, which doesn't sound like a bad idea, except that it will probably be viewed as terrorism, and though I'm probably already on the "watch" list for having an opinion, adding to that with physical assault probably wouldn't be a good idea), throw a party, and WATCH THE PATRIOTISM FLY!

As an aside, when the hell did I become so cynical?


Thanks to JP for this LOVELY rendition of the Italian Festival photo I posted this weekend...

I think I almost peed when I saw it.

Olympic Logo Unveiled...and it's a mess.

This is what approximately $800K will get you by way of London designers.

I stared at that picture for a good minute or so before reading the article, trying to figure out what the hell it was supposed to be.

Oh. "2012" with the Olympic rings in the "0"? If you say so. I see scribbles.

Considering how much money the city hopes to rake in with merchandise sales, you'd think they'd listen to the 10,000 people who signed a petition in the FIRST DAY telling them to change that ugly logo.

I'm not even a designer, and I KNOW I could do better than that. Gimme $800K...I wanna try my hand at it.

And people are just figuring this out?

Proof that humans are more arrogant than they should be: They're surprised to find that animals are more intelligent and emotionally advanced than initially thought to be.

As a pet owner and lifelong lover of animals, and as someone who is perhaps too sensitive to the emotions of others, I've long ago come to the conclusion that animals can sense much more than they let on.

My guinea pigs are pretty damned smart, and I would put them on the level of human infants in terms of their responses and learned behaviors.

I've met people that are functionally retarded compared to some of the cats I've owned.

I watched my aunt's husky hit her head on a table and try to be nonchalant about it until people started laughing, then she wandered to the middle of the floor and proceeded to be publicly embarrassed. I kid you not, she looked absolutely humiliated.

And I've seen an animal mourn itself to death.

This has all happened without study, without an official record, without someone standing with a clipboard and forcing activities upon my pets. The pets just *are*, and sometimes just watching them *be* is enough proof that there's something wonderful going on in those minds of theirs that I wish I could be privvy to.

And lest we forget, humans are animals, too. And if we can feel and think, chances are really good that every other animal on earth can feel and think, too.

I've given ants the benefit of the doubt. Birds. Lizards. Beetles. Even roaches. Because you never know.

And I'd rather know that I was at least willing to grant the other animals on this planet some respect. That's just the ethical thing to do**. I'm sure the other pet owners will agree with me.

If there's someone out there who doesn't, you can just keep it to yourself. Your comment will not be approved, nor will I take your bait and argue with you. Because there's no reason for it. I have my opinion, you have yours. If they differ, they differ.

(**eating them notwithstanding, because we're omnivores, and the way of nature is for animals to eat each other - if you want to be a vegan, that's cool, as long as you're not neglecting nutrition for the sake of trying to assauge your guilt)

and...AGAIN! :-D

JP sent me the Thinking Blogger Award after I'd just sent it there. INDIAN GIVER!

Kidding. ;-)


2 in one week...the mind-control techniques are working...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Thinking Blogger Awards

From what I can see, the tradition for someone who's been awarded a Thinking Blogger Award must pass it on to 5 others. Is that correct?

Oh, well - if it's not, I'm going to pass it on, anyway. I'm going to try to give it to people who actually READ my blog, so the cycle can continue.

First up, we have TD. Despite outward appearances, he doesn't spend all his time drinking and teaching others how to drink (Ahem, pdb...). He's a pretty intelligent blogger, but to get the full extent of his personality, AIM chats are necessary.

The next award-winner on the list is Hammer, particularly for this post on bathroom etiquette, which is not only true, it's funny to boot. He's on vacation right now, but hopefully when he gets back he'll regale us with more reasons why he hates people. Because those are always fun.

Number Three is BobG. His rants kind of remind me of myself...or, since he's been here longer, maybe I remind myself of him. Or something. I dunno. Anyway, he's a good read, and I recommend him to anyone who likes reading my actual, you know, political...stuff.

JP of Vaginous takes #4 (not work safe, FYI). Sense of humor, maniacal work pranks, helluva smart one. Damned good read.

Abby of Bad Dogs and Such rounds out the 5. She just finished a pretty big move, so there have been some gaps in her (usually) prolific posting. Her profile says all there needs to be said. Get over there and check it out!

Okay. Sorry. I lied. I have one more: Matt G. He's a police officer with a heart Silver? Brass? Whatever it is, the whole shebang is controlled by a damned fine brain. Need protection advice delivered in a humorous, yet stern, way? Look no further than this guy.

Go forth and spread the linky love!


3 Illinois Teens Arrested After Food Fight.

As The Boyfriend says, "If you treat kids like prisoners, they're gonna ACT like prisoners."

Boy, am I glad I'm not in high school any more.


Democratic debate results in people arguing like children.

I think we can safely say that a Democrat is NOT the best option for this country.

Also, has anyone else noticed that the debates seem to be happening a lot earlier than usual? Didn't they previously start these things about 9 months beforehand? Did I miss something?

Granted, I was only legal to vote in the last presidential election (I *barely* missed 2000) (do you feel old, yet?), so it's not like I've paid close attention to the other ones. But this seems weird to me.

As an aside, there's a video in which John Edwards decides that he's the authority on what's a right and what's a priviledge. He lists things as follows:

College Education - Right
Healthcare - Right
Liveable Wage - Right
Access to the Internet - Right

He got it all backwards. Who's suprised? Anyone? Show of hands?



EDIT: The Boyfriend just sent me a link to an Edwards interview on YouTube.



Death Row inmate solicits jokes to tell as his last words.

People call this action "sick". Uh...he shot people to death. Would you expect anything less from him?

Common sense, people. He's not sorry for what he did. Apparently he did something bad enough that people feel that he doesn't deserve to live (don't get me started on that...), and they're surprised that he's doing something socially unacceptable?


Seriously, guys: DUH.

Hand, meet forehead. Head, meet desk.

Oh, and to all you people out there who think the death penalty is an appropriate punishment? Here's a message from one of the condemned:

"They think they're killing me. They think they're punishing me. They've already punished me. I've already had 16 years of punishment. They're releasing me. They're letting me go. That's helping me out. That's the way I look at it."

You want to punish someone, you don't kill them. That's the easy way out, for both you and them. I don't believe in torture, but boredom for the rest of your life is a pretty appropriate punishment for some of these guys. We just have to convert our prisons from Club Med Lite into an actual, you know, deterrent.


Brookline, MA bans trans fat in a nearly unanimous town hall vote.

Because babysitting people's diets has always worked out in the past.

More stereoscopic images.

Bamboo Stereoscope 1 (VERY JERKY - if you're prone to ocular headaches, DON'T CLICK THAT LINK!)

Flowers Stereoscope 2 (Smoother - this is what they're basically supposed to look like - sorry for the darkness, but the version with flash didn't turn out so hot.)

I'd call that a successful photographic experiment.

YGTBKM coming up later.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I learned how to make a stereoscopic image from a fellow photographer today.

In lieu of posting the image here, I'll just post a link to the photo in my personal gallery. It's one of those "jittery" ones, so if you have eye trouble, or you have epilepsy, don't click on the link, k? Don't say I didn't warn you. It's cool, but it'll give you a headache if you weren't expecting a photo to move:

Stereoscopic Trees 1

It's far from perfect, but I think I'm on the right track. Now, as soon as the boyfriend wakes up, I'm going to make him stand in the front yard so that I can see what a human subject looks like with this method in my inexperience.


Johnny Knoxville sued by actor after stunt leads to "personal" injury.

If you're stupid enough to put your penis in a mousetrap before that $10,000,000 check is in your grubby paws, you deserve whatever misery you get.

No, scratch that...if you're stupid enough to put your penis in a mousetrap, PERIOD, you deserve whatever misery you get.

ESPECIALLY if Johnny Knoxville and Jimmy Kimmel are the ones telling you to do it. Use your brain; to quote Tom Hanks' character in A League of Their Own, "It's that lump that's three feet above your ass!"

People up in arms about new DRM-free technology on iTunes.

Apparently, when you download this music, it's no longer attached to your email address in such a way that other people who've ganked the file from you computer won't be able to play the songs before verifying the purchase with a username and password.

That sentence was a little garbled. Let me explain further:

Say you're on AIM, and a friend sends you some tracks via file-sharing that he wants you to listen to. You download them, and then open them in iTunes. When you click on them to play them, a little window pops up with the username/email of your friend, along with a box for a password, in order for you to "verify" ownership of the track. annoying.

However, with the DRM-free technology, your personal data becomes permanently attached to the file (internally, rather than externally, as in the DRM method described above), so that if someone chooses to investigate the path of a song, they can trace it back to whomever originally downloaded it, and possibly sue them under that creative licensing stuff (sorry, I'm a little fuzzy on why people would be pissed about their personal creative efforts being virally shared online when they're still attributed to their name, and thus add to their notoriety. Maybe it's just because I'm a blogger and I don't get paid for this - but I don't get paid for my paintings or photography, either, and both of those mediums get seen by hundreds of people).

BBC Online adds a helpful little tidbit to getting around that pesky little setback, however:

"Apple uses a technology known as Fairplay to limit what people can do with downloads. Fairplay can be circumvented by burning tracks to a CD and then converting them to another format."

Thanks for the tip!

Gene therapy could be used in the future to help erectile dysfunction.

I see any story about people wanting to mess with genealogy for perfectly selfish reasons, and it makes my brain twitch.

Call me a bitch, but if you're not able to get a hard-on, your genes might not be the problem you've got to solve. Try exercise. And stop smoking. Or drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Limit your intake of fat and sugar. FRANKIE SAYS RELAX.

Funny - these are the same tidbits of advice that are given to women who have a hard time conceiving.

And either way, if you're having trouble with either activity, maybe you need to give it a rest for a while and focus on other things. Obviously you're just not meant to bump uglies/have a kid at this point in time.

Mis-timed bomb in Iraq kills civilians rather than the police squad it was intended for.

Who's surprised? Anyone? Bueller?

On a different note, it's strange how this kind of headline can be splashed all over the news about a country such as Iraq, and nobody bats an eye.

But when something comes up that's not even half that bad here in the States, everyone has an opinion, and people scramble to try to build their own agenda on top of the "tragedy".

Just sayin'.


Castro is up and about, and meeting with people informally.

Am I the only one who thinks that Castro and Mahn look like the happiest inter-racial gay couple on earth in the article's photo?

*waves hands maniacally in an effort to get even more attention*

Hey guys!

Look at the left sidebar!

I'm one of the cool kids!

And I got it by being a geeky bitch!


Thanks, AD!

Here are a few more exclamation points for dramatic effect: !!!!!!

EDIT: DUDE! I hit 3000 page views and 2000 visits this morning:


Saturday, June 2, 2007


This year was the first year my boyfriend and his friends decided to form a team for the Italian Festival here in Memphis.

Yesterday they won first place in the grape-stomping contest (which is basically an excuse for people to get out all of their nervous energy while trying to see who can extract the most juice out of a bunch of grapes by jumping around like monkeys), which is just fun to say.

I went today with 4 other family members to visit their booth (I'm technically a member of the team, but I haven't done much in the way of significant contributions to the competition as a whole, so I'm going to keep my tee shirt and shut up), and I decided to stay for the announcement of the winners in the other areas of the festival.

We (I feel like I can say that here) won 3rd Place in the tee-shirt design contest.

How cool is that? I think there were 40-some-odd teams there, and, this being our first year, I'm pretty happy with that result.

Not to mention, my boyfriend designed the shirts (I helped!), so we get to keep the plaque in his house. *preens*

P.S. I'm sunburned. Again. And Pimm's with Coke is really good. Does that make me ghetto? Or British? I can't decide.

You, too?

Friday, June 1, 2007

A bleg? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

I have a request.

I get approximately 40 people visiting my site each day. Of those, maybe 20 are returning visitors.

If the 20 of you who come on a regular basis would please pass on the following information, I would be much obliged (from my livejournal):

Red Shira is in a bit of a pickle. Her mother has a form of breast cancer which WOULD be easily treated if not for the lack of a functioning lymphatic system.

In order to raise money for the treatment her mom DOES need, Shira is offering her services as an artist.

You can find samples of her art here on her blog.

She's very talented. If I had enough moolah, I'd totally go for it.

But...I don't. Which is why I'm asking you guys to go over and look at her samples and see if maybe you'd want something painted by her.

The entire story and her reasoning are on the LJ entry in which I linked. Her style is very eclectic, and despite the one NSFW painting on that page, the rest would even be appropriate for a child's room, should any of you be interested in that.

I'm re-adjusting to actually having income again, which is why I can't partake. Otherwise I'd commission 4 or 5. No joke.

So if you've got plans for re-decorating, and you have an idea in mind for a painting that Shira might be able to recreate, don't hesitate to at least ask her. She's more than happy to do it, and the income would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, Memphis...again, you defy my expectations.

Do me a favor, guys.

Go to the Eyewitness News website.

Browse around a bit.

Find some positive news.

If you find it, post it here in the comments.

Aside from the polar bear being returned to its exhibit, I got nothin'. And even that article is stupid, because it shows how the zoologists on the staff at our zoo didn't even have the foresight to realize that, hey, a polar bear could get hurt if there's a freakin' 14-foot dry moat in the exhibit.

YOU GUYS STUDY ANIMALS FOR A LIVING!! Can't you do better than that? Seriously. You charge us $20 to go in and look at these guys, and for my money, I want happy animals. Not gimpy, sad animals. Work on it, plskthxbai.


TB-infected lawyer flies around the world.

He claims to be told that he was not a risk to anyone else. Honestly, I can believe that, with the doctor experiences I've had.

Personal tangent: I went to get my TB test, which is required in order to be admitted to stay in a dorm at college (but the meningitis vaccine isn't required...weird). I was told to wait 24-48 hours for a response, but that it was a pretty sure bet that if I had it, things would show up within a few hours. I was also told that I could call my results in, rather than having to make another appointment.

2 days later, my arm was totally fine. I had a teeeeeny dot where the needle had gone in, and the pen marks had washed off, but there was no change in the injection site, so I called it in. The nurse who answered the phone scoffed at me a bit when I said that there was no change in the injection site, alluding that I didn't know what I was talking about, but she seemed to be okay with taking my word for it until I vaguely mentioned that the pen marks had washed off the day before. Then she FLIPPED and told me I HAD to come in...presumably because she assumed that, since the pen marks weren't there, I wouldn't be able to tell whether or not my arm had swollen up or formed a rash. It must say "mentally retarded" on my chart. They pull this shit on me all the time.

I spent $77 (I didn't have insurance back then, either) to have her look at my arm and say, "Okay. You don't have TB." and send me out again.

Oh, and to have her bruise my arm with the blood pressure cuff. Again.

Anyway, you get two extremes when it comes to TB - the people who fuckin' freak when they hear any mention of it, and the people who treat it like it's no big deal. Obviously this man was exposed to people who didn't care and weren't interested in exploring things further until it was too late.

My favorite quote of the article: Thinking back on his decision to return to the United States on commercial jets, Speaker said, "In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the best decision."

Ya think, Einstein?


Kevorkian is free.

In the case of something like Lou Gehrig's disease, there's pretty much a guaranteed mortality, so deciding to die while you can still swallow (as a man in a video we watched in a moral issues class outlined) isn't anything that I see a problem with.

(As an aside, the video man's family held out hope that he would recover and ignored his wish to take horse tranquilizers/euthanasia drugs when he felt his throat control slipping, and he died of starvation after two days of refusing to eat and being left alone in a room - that ain't right.)

There are definitely some cases where it's questionable whether assisted suicide is the right decision, but if someone truly wants to die, they're going to find a way to do it, anyway, so why not let them go humanely? I wouldn't call it second-degree murder, especially if the person wanting to die has the presence of mind to have a legal document drawn up eliminating the physician/helper's responsibility for the whole thing.

If we're going to split hairs, we could put everyone who's ever sold a pack of cigarettes to jail.


Nessie spotted?

I have to admit, that's a pretty good video.

Biologically, though, there's pretty much no way a creature could survive for that many centuries (adding up to over 1000 years). If there's a possibility of this thing producing asexually (as some frogs and snakes are known to do), then I could buy that there has been more than one (because there being more than one down there at a time to produce sexually? no WAY they'd have been able to hide). But the chances are astronomical of this thing even existing in the first place, so adding those kinds of chances on top make this a highly unlikely story.

Then again, I have no ideas as to what that shape could be. And it does appear to be swimming in a very direct way (i.e. it's not a slightly submerged tree drifting around). And it's very large.

Who knows? I'd like to believe in Nessie, because that'd be really freakin' cool. I just treat it the same way I treat "God": until I see evidence either way, I'm not going to form a solid opinion (i.e. belief) about it.