< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: December 2004

Friday, December 31, 2004

Last Linky Love of the Year

First off, I have been extremely remiss, GrandRounds from Monday is here.
This week's (hilarious!!!) Carnival of the Recipes is here (thanks to Amy for the laughs!)
Jay has a pretty good compilation of first-hand Tsunami accounts and wyas you can donate.
Before Bou moves to her fancy new munuvian digs, she has a couple of funny posts about the greatest sport on ice (and most other surfaces).
Blackfive shares a testament to American ingenuity and the serendipity of fate
Val shares a wonderful Cuban custom for año nuevo.
Patterico brings us Part Two of the Dog Trainer round up
Joanie dispenses hints and good wishes for the New Year
Anita pokes some good-natured holiday fun at herself and her dad
Rob's teaching his girls to shoot the guns he doesn't have when he's not busy proving he's funny
LaShawn is way more popular than she ever imagined!

Finally, I think Margi says it best, Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Why I am not a writer: Volume 2

This is a great article by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe, expressing something that burns the crap out of me. There's no way I could write about it as eloquently, so I am pleased to bring his words to you. His subject is hate speech, and how most of it in this country is by the left against the right, and is mostly ignored. It's as good a year-end recap as I could wish for, and something to think about for the coming 4 years. We're so sensitized to it that we just ignore it. In one ear and out the other. Here are some examples of hate speech we ignored in 2004:
"...Cameron Diaz declared that rape might be legalized if women didn't turn out to vote for John Kerry. Or when Walter Cronkite told Larry King that the videotape of Osama bin Laden that surfaced just before the election was "probably set up" by Karl Rove. Or when Alfred A. Knopf published Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint," a novel in which two Bush-haters talk about assassinating the president. "I'm going to kill that bastard," one character rages.

Bill Moyers warned a television audience on Election Day that if Kerry won narrowly, "I think there'd be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly. . . . The right wing is not going to accept it." Chevy Chase, hosting a People for the American Way awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, slammed Bush as "an uneducated, real, lying schmuck."(and a f*ckhead--Ed.) A cartoon by the widely syndicated Ted Rall described Pat Tillman, who gave up his NFL career to enlist in the Army and was then killed in Afghanistan, as a "sap" and an "idiot."

But this is my FAVORITE one:

"A political flier in Tennessee, depicting Bush as a mentally disabled sprinter, bore the message: "Voting for Bush is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded.""
Check out the whole article here.

(cowboy) hat tip: McGehee

Year End Close Out

A lot of bloggers are doing their year-end lookbacks. I myself don't feel all that motivated. However, in the (somewhat) grand tradition of the Beltway Traffic Jam, send me the link to your year-end sum up and I will post it.

To start off, here is fellow Bear-Flagger Patterico's look at the LA Dog Trainer's year of sins.

From the Side of the Box

It's been a busy week, so I will give you a busy recipe. One I use when I am busy, rather than one that makes you busy....

Bisquik's Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Cook beef and onion until beef is brown; drain. Spread in pie plate; sprinkle with salt and cheese.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.

I usually leave out the salt and blend the Bisquick, milk, and eggs in a separate dish before I pour it over the meat and cheese. I also mix it up with different cheeses and add spices (garlic, onion, etc.) to the meat and the "crust" mix.

How Trashy Are You?

Deb's right. You can take the girl out of Fresno, but you can't get all the Fresno out of the girl.

No matter HOW hard you try.

The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.

h/t: Deb

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The weather still sucks

It's 31 frickin degrees outside, and it doesn't have the decency to do anything but suck. Wind and cold is no good. How about snow or sleet or even fog? I can handle fog, having learned to drive in the Tule fog that the Central valley of CA is famous for. This sunny and cold crap is boring and COLD.

Yes, my grammar is less than erudite. If you want erudite, see below.

And Fox has preempted my one TV show for friggin Basketball. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Tar Heel Basketball, and we're up by 32 at the moment, which is exactly how I like it, I went to a lot of games during the Matt Doherty seasons.....But House??? come on now. They're making me wait until Sunday at 6 to see House. At least the football should be over about 1.5 hours before House starts so it won't be preempted yet again.

How pathetic is this, the damn announcers can't even figure out which Tar Heel committed the foul....

Anyway, because I have been blogging serious stuff for the last two days (see below) and so many other people have too (go here for a roundup of links with news/ways you can help after the earthquake/tsunami), let's do something fun, shall we?

What was your favorite holiday moment/Christmas present/funny family story of this year?

I have to say that for my part I am just enjoying the break! It's nice to get a week and a half out of the lab, for one thing.

How about you all?

Debunking Duesberg

Today Dean brings forward the arguments of Dr. Peter Duesberg, a once well-respected microbiologist who studied the genetic make-up of cancer and later went on to study retroviruses (like HIV). Duesberg argues that there is no factual link between HIV and AIDS. True enough, but using the same criteria, there is also no factual link between cancer and smoking.
For example, he says
"If HIV causes AIDS, why have thousands of AIDS victims never had HIV?
Why have hundreds of thousands who have had HIV - for many years - remained perfectly healthy?
Why does the discoverer of the HIV virus now claim it can not be the sole cause of AIDS?
Why has more than ten years of AIDS research - costing tens of billions of dollars - failed to show how (or even if) HIV causes AIDS or attacks the immune system?"

Insert the word "smoking" for HIV and the word "cancer" for AIDS (and the word "lungs" for immune system). Hmm. You can make the same argument, but NO ONE believes that smoking doesn't cause cancer. Duesberg goes on to argue that
"the various American/European AIDS diseases are brought on by the long-term consumption of recreational drugs and/or AZT itself, which is prescribed to prevent or treat AIDS."

Umm ok. Sure. So are you telling me that AIDS is a drug curse rather than a gay curse? Get off the stick, my man. This argument died in the REAGAN administration.

There's more. On his FAQ page, Duesberg says the following:
"Q4: According to our leading experts the new cocktail (protease + transcriptase inhibitors) seems to work or at least to keep the disease at bay. How is that possible?

A4: Contrary to the assertions of your "leading experts", the anti-HIV drug cocktails are failing in the US. A front page article of the New York Times , showing dying AIDS patients, issued a first warning in August 1997: "Despite powerful new AIDS drugs many are still losing battle (NYT, August 22, 1997).

By September 1997 the American press already reported that "AIDS drug cocktails fail 53%" (San Francisco Examiner, September 29, 1997). In view of this I wonder what your "leading experts" do to make the cocktails "work". Where did they publish their success stories?"
Hello, it's called mutated resistance. Viruses and bacteria have very simple DNA code(RNA in HIV). This can change easily over each generation, especiallgy in bacteria. In the HIV virus,in particular, the genetic code of the virus changes so rapidly that the code in two patients(A and B) infected with the same virus (A infects B or C infects A and B at the same time) is completely different after 6 months and cannot be linked back to each other by PCR. The main point of this easy mutation is resistance. Resistance is the manner in which bacteria and viruses promote their own survival. Resistant bacteria and viruses survive to multiply while non-resistant siblings die. It makes perfect sense that just as we have created superbugs by adding anti-bacterials to everything from dish soap to hand lotion, we are also creating superviruses that are resistant to the drugs we throw at them. Duh.

As for where the success stories are published, I suggest he start with The New England Journal of Medicine or The Journal of the American Medical Association. Journals he'll never see the inside of. See, there are great journals (NEJM, JAMA, Science, Nature, Cell, etc.) and there are good journals (Brain Research, ACER, J Neuroscience, etc.) , ok journals, and crap journals. Crap journals pretty much publish EVERYTHING and are known in their respective fields as a dumping ground for stuff that needs to get out for one reason or another. Sometimes a good scientist will publish the first part of their story in a crap journal to get it out and get a publishing date before a competitor, and then publish the complete story in a good journal later.

Next point:
"Q2: You appear to think that Azt may be the cause of the disease in stead of a cure for it: how is that possible when the drug has been used since 1987 while the first cases of this strange immune syndrome were reported in 1981?

A2: Between 1981 and 1984 the Centers of Disease Control in Atlanta and many independent American and English scientists have proposed that AIDS is a lifestyle disease caused by recreational drugs. See for example an editorial in the famous New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 305, p1465) by D. Durack proposing in 1981 that "recreational drugs [are] immunosuppressive".

Based on the lifestyle hypothesis of the early 1980s and my own research I have proposed in IAV that drugs cause AIDS. The drug hypothesis holds that AIDS is caused either by recreational drugs, or by DNA chain terminators such as AZT prescribed as anti-HIV drugs, or by a combination of both.

Indeed, I have pointed out that DNA chain terminators like AZT are much more toxic than recreational drugs such as cocaine and heroin. This mayhave created the erroneous impression that the many anti-HIV drugs licensed since 1987 are the only cause of AIDS."
Two words: Occam's razor. 1981, huh? So it took 15 years of widespread recreational drug use in this country to bring AIDS about? Really. By that same reasoning, it would take 15 years after recreational drug use declined to see a decrease in AIDS cases, which we are already seeing, and have seen already for a number of years in westernized countries. Additionally, how come it wasn't the greatest consumers of drugs who got sick first? By all accounts the gay men who were the first AIDS patients were less likely to be addicts than recreational users.

And what about AIDS in places and populations where drug use is low? What about people who've never done drugs? Don't tell me little Ryan White was shooting up every weekend. Ryan White had HIV and AIDS, but he never did drugs.

AZT is foul. It's a nasty drug. But to say it makes AIDS worse is at least in part a fallacy, and to say this is worse:
"Q3: If Azt is so toxic, how is it that the incidence of infected children has decreased from 25% to 8% (in Italy and in France) in babies born to mothers who had been treated with Azt during pregnancy?

A3: Treatment of HIV-positive, pregnant women with the DNA chain terminators has reduced the incidence of HIV in their babies from 25% to 8% in France and Italy as well as in the US. This is to be expected from a drug that was designed to kill cells including those in which HIV replicates. AZT was developed over 30 years ago to kill cells for cancer chemotherapy.

The first problem with this hypothetical triumph of anti-HIV treatment is that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. The second more serious problem that AZT induces abortion, and generates birth defects in humans and causes cancer in animals born to AZT-treated mothers. For example, a study published in 1994 found that among 104 AZT treated HIV positive women, 8 aborted spontaneously, 8 had to be aborted "therapeutically", and 8 had babies with birth defects such as cavities in the chest, heart defects, extra fingers, misplaced ears, triangular faces, misformed spine, and albinism (Kumar et al., J. AIDS, vol. 7, p1034 (1994), cited in IAV)"
This chicken lollipop is ACTUALLY SUGGESTING that the reason fewer HIV infected babies are born to HIV infected mothers is SPONTANEOUS ABORTION due to the effects of AZT. This is a complete statistical fallacy. A decrease in HIV infection of 17% in healthy, liveborn babies compared to other liveborn babies is IN NO WAY accounted for by the tragic deaths of other babies who didn't make it to term for whatever reason. The statistics don't refer to total pregnancies. They refer to actual live infants. This is a complete misinterpretation of the data.

But that's nothing new for Duesberg, I guess, given what he has written before. And, while I hate to bring personalities into it, citing Kary Mullis as supporting you looks good, but carries no weight scientifically. Sure Kary Mullis has a Nobel Prize. You almost HAD to award one to the guy who invented PCR. But the Nobel citation doesn't say that he came up with the idea while surfing. And STONED. Furthermore, very few of the friendly articles he lists on his web page are from scientifically reliable sources. I didn't know Spin magazine was a scientific authority, did you?

It ain't about politics. There's no conspiracy here. Just another snake oil salesman with an agenda to push and bells to ring. Duesberg is not getting published, and is not fundable (a worse predicament) because he is peddling junk science.

Whether or not HIV causes AIDS may in fact be open to interpretation, just not this one.

Monday, December 27, 2004

FDA Approved doesn't mean safe

Here's a rant I posted in the comments of this post at Dean's World.
"Oh for Christ's sake. Dean is right. The REAL problem is that people think drugs are candy. You take two pills, you don't feel sick, and in fact, maybe you feel better, or at least feel normal, so you think that there's nothing to worry about.
Drugs are not candy. They're drugs. Aspirin, Alleve, Tylenol, etc. All drugs. Just because they're available in the store whenever you want to buy them doesn't mean they're harmless. In fact, they're ANYTHING BUT HARMLESS, that's why they come with DIRECTIONS for use. If they were candy, instead of saying "Directions: Take two pills" they would say "serving Size: two pills".

FDA approved doesn't mean safe all the time. It doesn't even mean safe most of the time. What it really means is "This will kill your disease before it kills you".

There are any numer of drugs on the market that are not at all safe. One example, the incredibly popular anti-acne medication, Accutane. Accutane is L-Retinoic Acid, a TERATOGEN. This means that if you're taking accutane and get pregnant, your baby could have serious deformities, including craniofacial malformations, a deformed heart, and deformities of the limbs and digits (I used to work in a lab where we studied RA). Not to mention that accutane can destroy your liver if levels become toxic. Another example is a drug that I take for my Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate. MTX is a chemothereputic agent that is given in low doses to auto-immune patients, but attacks newly dividing cells (including cancer) and can destroy the liver and has also been included in some formations of RU-486 type drugs. This is a bad bad drug, but it looks like a tic-tac.

My point is this. We're all gonna die. Prescription drugs make us live that much longer and that much better. Shouldn't we leave the decision of whether or not to make drugs available up to the doctors? Rather than the media or the drug company attorneys? First do no harm, the oath says. As long as drugs are helping patients more than hurting them, I don't understand why you would want to wage a war without all of the weapons at your disposal."
My point is this. We're all gonna die. Prescription drugs make us live that much longer and that much better. Shouldn't we leave the decision of whether or not to make drugs available up to the doctors? Rather than the media or the drug company attorneys? First do no harm, the oath says. As long as drugs are helping patients more than hurting them, I don't understand why you would want to wage a war without all of the weapons at your disposal."

Here's my thing. Disease is like a nasty enemy. We have lots of weapons to fight it. But we need to use those weapons judiciously. For example, we can't just prescribe automatically. Antibiotics aren't going to help the Flu or a cold. Doctors shouldn't give pills just because a patient asks for them. And at the same time, doctors have a responsibility to ensure that their patients understand the risks and benefits associated with the drugs they're taking. By this same token, patients have a responsibility to take these drugs appropriately and discuss side effects and other medications (possible interactions) seriously with their doctors.

If it says "take with food" don't blame the doctor for your ulcer. If it says "do not operate heavy machinery" don't blame the pharmacist for your car accident. If it says "don't take while pregnant", then for God's sake don't shit on the FDA to ban a perfectly good drug just because you can't read and now your baby looks like somebody squashed his face and he's gonna grow up to be schizophrenic.

Is this what we've come to? That we can't even take responsibility for taking medication properly? Are we so sensitzed (yes, I mean sensitized not de-sensitized, sensitized is correct, go look up the relevant behavioral literature) to taking pills that we forget what we're really doing when we swallow those babies?

So now what? The FDA plays Mary Poppins and ties the hands of thousands of American physicians even more? All because some morons can't read directions or discuss the risks with their doctor beforehand. Or maybe because some shitheads (not sha-theeds) are so sue happy they think that 80 year old Granny's heart attack was due to her Celebrex or Vioxx rather than the fact that she has an 80 year old heart?????? (the average age in the Vioxx increased risk study was >60)

As an arthritis patient, I can tell you that there are millions of people in this country who are terrifed right now at the prospect of losing the only relief that they've been able to get because the COX-2 drugs were much more effective in treating advanced arthritis than anything else out there in the NSAID group. Alleve didn't work for me either, but I know tons of people who are better off because of it. I say put the risks in the black box (on the patient information sheet, the outlined area that lists risks and contraindications for eaxh medicine) and let the patient and the doctor decide. If Granny has heart disease, then no Vioxx. If 35 year old Jim is healthy except for his arthritic knee, put him on the Vioxx and do an EKG once a year.

As with everything else, the media in this country are the LEAST qualified to decide which medications a person should or should not take.


The two DVDs I got for Christmas:
(Tom Cruise as a hired killer and Jamie Foxx as his terrified cab driver/coerced accomplice drive around LA whacking people tied to a drug trial that is about to begin)
Mary Poppins

well, the weather sucks

Here and elsewhere. We didn't get any snow. Everyone east of us did, though. Which is funny since usually we get snow when everyone east of us doesn't. Huh. Go figure. But it was a freak storm to begin with, dropping snow all over the Gulf Coast and all. Over 300 accidents in NC alone. The fact that we didn't have one is the only good thing with the weather because it's as cold as if it snowed, and we had snowy clouds for 2 days, just no precip. Damn.

On other geological fronts, the husband has been following news of the 8.9 earthquake in the Indian ocean with great interest (as a certified rockhound), and aside from the loss of life and property, this one will be important for future understanding of fault zones in the ring of fire.

In other news, Christmas was great. We each got a TON of crap. New DVDs, video games for him, books, and warm Jammies for me. We've been spending our time fighting orcs and southrons in LOTR: ROTK on the computer and eating Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Sue on the TV (we got 4 of those Atari plug-in games), not to mention 6 kinds of chocolate and preprocessed meats and cheeses.

What is Christmas without a beef log after all? Even Cartman sings the praises of a good beef log for Christmas....

Other than that we've been hitting the post-christmas sales and enjoying driving around on cheaper gas (yay!)

I suspect I will be blogging more as the fascination with games and DVDs dwindles and real life starts to take over again....

How was your Christmas? What did you do that was fun and/or different this year?

Also, as I have been neglectful, the Carnival of the Recipes is up, hosted by Trudy Schuett, here.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Light Blogging with a chance of Christmas....

Just wanted to let you all know that the Management™ has declared Christmas to be a blog-free holiday. This doesn't mean that I won't be doing ANY posting, but it won't be up to normal levels, we're on vacation even if we're not going anywhere!

In the spirit of the season, I'd like to wish all of you the best of everything for Christmas (even if you don't celebrate) and in the coming year!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Recipe of the week

This is a really simple one that I love. It's a real comfort food for me, and I suspect for a lot of Armenians. Bulgur is cracked wheat, generally available in the rice/pasta aisle or in a bulk bin at most grocery stores.

Armenian Bulgur Pilaf

2 Tbsp margarine or butter
1-2 oz vermicelli
3/4 cup white rice
1 1/2 cup bulgur (medium coarseness)
2 cans low sodium chicken broth (may substitute veggie, beef, or turkey broth)

Melt butter or margarine in medium saucepan or stockpot with lid (you'll need the lid later) over medium to medium high heat. If you use butter be careful not to let it burn.

Break vermicelli into 1/2 - 1 inch long pieces, brown in hot butter or margarine.

Add bulgur and rice, stir to coat with butter or margarine.

Add chicken broth, bring to a boil on high.

When broth boils, reduce heat to medium-low or low and cover. Let simmer 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, check doneness of the pilaf and amount of liquid left. If not done, let simmer 5 minutes more, otherwise move pot to a cool burner and place 3-4 layers of paper towel on top of the pot, under the lid to draw out the excess moisture for 5-8 minutes.

Serve hot. May also serve with plain yogurt (yum!)

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 2-4 as a main dish.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Urban legend or just WRONG? You decide!

A new entry for the "what NOT to name your child" file.

Heard on the WKRR Rock92 (Greensboro) morning show yesterday. The subject of names somehow came up and a caller related the following story (paraphrased):
"I used to know a maternity nurse who always used to tell us about the strange names people give their children, and this one was the worst ever. A 14 year old first time Mom had chosen a beautiful-sounding name for her new son. It was pronounced Sha-THEED. She said it was african or arabic in origin"
Ok so far, right? I mean "sha-THEED" isn't terrible next to JaQuan or Lakwenda or Jadyn or McKorrigan.

He continued:
"Then it came time to put the baby's name on the birth certificate, and she told the nurse how she had chosen to spell her son's name for the first time."
Can you guess? Shath'yyd? Sh'Thydd? Shothiid? Chythyd? Ch'Theedd?


"She wanted to spell it S - H - I - T - H - E - A - D"

ROFL!! We were in suspense for 2 hours waiting for someone to call in and say that this was fake and that they had heard it before, but no one did. This is a pretty popular show, and usually if someone tries to pull a fast one, someone else will call in and rat them out.


Reminded us of our favorite Nick Cage oeuvre of ALL time: In a 1992 Saturday Night Live episode, Nicolas Cage played an expectant father who rejects MANY potential baby names because the child might be easily taunted on the playground. A singing telegram girl reveals why Cage is so uptight when she lisps, "Congratulations, A**wipe and Emily!" Yells Cage, "It's 'Ahs-we-pay.'"

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Let's just hope the weatherman is right for once!

Does anyone else hear Bing and Rosemary?
(and Danny and whoever they dubbed in for Vera Ellen...)

Check out the forecast for Saturday! (from weather.com)


Why am I not surprised?

You Are a Self Help Book!

While your advice is not always welcome...
It's always right on target.

(h/t VW Bug)

Monday, December 20, 2004


Hell F*ck No

Rick Majerus was a bad choice to begin with. This is a freakin' disaster.

I hate Mike F*cking Garrett.

Someday I'll tell y'all the story of how we told him off at a SC B-ball game.

and they said he didn't have any huevos...

Here's a fabulous quote from George H.W. Bush (that's Bush 41) from the Time Person of the Year story:
“Michael Moore’s got to be the worst for me,” former President George H.W. Bush tells TIME’s Hugh Sidey when asked about the low point of this last term. “I mean, he’s such a slimeball and so atrocious. But I love the fact now that the Democrats are not embracing him as theirs anymore. He might not get invited to sit in Jimmy Carter’s box (at the Democratic Convention) again. I wanted to get up my nerve to ask Jimmy Carter at the Clinton thing (the opening of Bill Clinton’s library), ‘How did it feel being there with that marvelous friend of yours, Michael Moore?’ and I didn’t dare do it.”

Obviously tact won out, but can you imagine the hell that would have broken loose if he had ACTUALLY said that?

Parachuting and taking down Michael Moore and the Moonbats (is that a terrible band name or what--Ed) after age 80. How cool is Bush 41?

(h/t INDC journal)

That link fest I promised you earlier

Today's theme: Rats of all sorts....

First, here's a pic of a rat very similar to those I work with. Meet Ralph:

kinda cute, huh? (This is a Sprague-Dawley rat, the archetype "lab rat" strain)

You may ask, why don't I write on that many political topics?
Because so many others are so much better at ratting out the facts.

Calling Pablo Paredes a rat is insulting to rats

Boudicca had a crazy run in with a hell-bent-for-ultimate-destruction rat

Anita has returned from her sojourn with the "six foot f'ing rat"
(brownie points and a link to whoever gets the reference correct first)

Gratuitous RugRat happiness at Jay and Deb's

More RugRats at VW's place. And monkeys.

US Cellular are a bunch of rat bast*rds. Don't patronize them.

Acidman just reminds me of a rat: Small, sharp, and full of poo ;)

Gir relates the happy tale of a Kitty's Christmas (no rats here, just eviscerated mice)

Rats! and I was starting to like this too.....

And finally, just because I thought it was amusing, even though there are no rats associated with this post: translating feline emotions from SondraK.

What Movie is your Christmas like?

Your Christmas is Most Like: Miracle on 34th Street

Sweet and caring, Christmas is about helping for you.
While Santa may not exist, you try to share his spirit.

Stolen from Gir....It was either this or A Christmas Story, but no one's ever told me that I'm going to shoot my eye out.....

did you miss me?

I have been so busy lately that I swore off the computer for the weekend. No email, no blog, no... well, that's not true. I did read my cartoons yesterday.

I have been remiss in that the Carnival of the Recipes, hosted this week by the lovely SarahK of Mountaineer Musings (also famous as the IMAO T-shirt Babe), is up, with lots of yummy goodies for your perusal.

Linky-fest and maybe more thoughts later after the coffee sinks in and I do some work-type stuff and go to lab meeting.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Why Giving to Iraq matters

For two weeks we Fusileers have bombarded you with stories of how your donation to Spirit of America can change the lives of the Iraqi people. Now Blackfive brings us the true story of how some American toys may have saved the lives of a convoy of our soldiers thanks to one little girl who received a special gift. It's an amazing story. Go now.

(h/t Blob)

More Christmas Goodies!

JibJab is back, and they have a new Christmas Video entitled
"Grumpy Santa"

This is the video to watch if you've ever wondered whether Santa gets tired of all of the Milk and Cookies....

And another great video (LANGUAGE WARNING) Foamy Squirrel takes on "Neo-Yuppy Scumbags" (h/t McGehee and Jerry at ResurrectionSong)

Wow... Two semi-political posts in a row

Have you all seen this thing out of Washington state? About the Mom who eavesdropped on her daughter's phone conversations and subsequently turned in the boyfriend for a purse snatching, only to have his conviction overturned because his lawyer argued that children are entitled to the same rights as adults when it comes to expectation of privacy? The same ruling that overturned the conviction also held that parents can be held in jail for up to one year for eavesdropping on their kids.

I'm not a mom yet, and I'm young enough to remember EXACTLY what it felt like to have my mom snoop on me (not that she did it a lot), but I have to say I'm completely against this ruling.

Since when do teens have ANY expectation of privacy in a house provided by their parents, and for which they pay no rent or bear any responsibility? Sure we all had the space known as "My Room" (as in "Get Out. This is MY ROOM." Slam.) but that didn't mean Mom or Dad couldn't go through it at will with or without our consent.

I have to agree with the parents who have come out against this ruling. The right of a parent to protect their child and to parent any way they see fit is paramount to the child's right to privacy. If other parents are using this kind of argument to keep prayer and Christmas songs and even the freaking Pledge of Allegiance (!!) out of school, saying to wit: the right to parent supercedes the Bill of Rights, then the same argument applies here as well.

The Right to Privacy is often cited as implied by the Bill of Rights. Therefore the same argument must trump. A parent's right to safeguard their kids is paramount to laws.

Ok, Ok, I know. It's despicable, right? You should trust your kids enough to not have to spy on them this way, right? Yeah, maybe in Perfect World. Look, my Mom and Dad probably trusted me more than any other kid I knew was trusted by their parents. Yes, I usually made good choices, but that doesn't mean that they weren't concerned, that they weren't careful. We keep telling parents that they need to know what's going on in their kids lives, that they need to ask and snoop and pry and do whatever it takes because otherwise their kids could go down the wrong path. Case in point: The anti-drug ads where the Mom or Dad finds pot in the kid's room and then leaves a passive-aggressive note in place of the stash. Isn't that snooping? What about internet use? In the state of WA parental spying on internet use is still legal, although eavesdropping on the phone isn't. So if I lived in Seattle or Spokane, my mom could read my email but not listen on my phone? So by extension she could read my text messages but not listen to my voice mail? Huh?? What's the freakin' difference?

This mom deserves a medal for doing the right thing, protecting her daughter, and sending the little bastard she was dating to jail. Who knows what might have happened to her daughter with this guy. What would have happened to the girl if she was with him when he stole the next purse? or held up a mini-mart? She would have gone to jail too as an accomplice, and the mom could have been held because she knew what the kid was up to and never stopped it. That would have been a real tragedy.

I'm just waiting for some ungrateful snot-nose like this to send Mom or Dad to jail out of spite for listening to their phone calls.

My kids are gonna frickin' hate me some day. Too bad.

She's Back

Mary Beth Cahill, Intrepid Kerry campaign manager and dear friend of Katie the Resplendent Mango has resurfaced from her post-electoral hangover.

Speaking at the JFK School of Government at Harvard in conjunction with Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman, Cahill admitted that she "underestimated" (or was that "misunderestimated"? --Ed) the impact that the Swift Boat ads would have on the campaign.

Umm, Mary Beth? Duh. Maybe if you spent less time begging for GELAC $$ you never spent, and actually DID YOUR JOB you would have known how damaging the ads were to your guy.

On the other hand, it's nice to see the Dems admitting that something OTHER than "values" lost them the election....

Thanks, Everyone!

The Spirit of America Blogger Challenge is officially over, and you have helped to raise almost $90,000 for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan!

The Fighting Fusileers were responsible for $6560 of the total. Good job, all.
(there's an interesting reward for those of you who donated here)


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Holiday Treats!

One of my favorite things about the George W. Bush administration is Barney's Annual Christmas video. This year's video "Where in the White House is Miss Beazley" centers on Barney's search for the Bush's new puppy Miss Beazley and stars Barney, Willie, President Bush, and a number of top White House Staffers in a madcap comic Christmas adventure as they search for little Miss Beazley all over the White House.

There's an especially funny bit with Karl Rove and Christmas trees decorated in the wrong color....

That Rant I promised you

I'm working from home today. It's a pain in the rear to try to write with as much noise as I have to deal with in my lab, and I am using the time between "wet" experiments to work on the actual document of my thesis. In our department, you can use submitted manuscripts as individual chapters of the thesis since you already did the writing. I have one published journal article, and we are submitting the second paper next week, and I will have a third written and submitted by the time I turn in my thesis, so for me, thesis writing is a lot of cut and paste. But it's not that simple. I have to do it in chunks because it all has to be formatted properly for publication. UNC even has a 32 page document that tells you how to do it. Argghhh! (as John says)

Anyway, here's the main rant:
Daytime TV sucks big hairy donkey testicles.

Some of you might understand this, I know Ben does, anyway, but I need some kind of noise on while I work. Like white noise, but it has to be intelligible. At work, the noise level is too unpredictable, so I prefer to write at home where I can control the volume on the TV etc. In fact, I think of the TV as sort of audio wallpaper, but I need to find SOMETHING I can leave on that won't distract me or make me retch. That's been kind of hard today. Let's peruse the channels at 2:45 pm, shall we?
2 (NBC) Montel
3 (CBS) As the World Turns (yecch...soap operas)
4 (SCOLA) German News
5 (ShopAtHome) Ugly Ass Men's watch with FAKE diamonds
6 (ABC) dumb Antonio Banderas cologne commercial (during One Life to Live, evidently).
BTW, who in hell wants to smell like Antonio. Yuk, sweat.
7 Home buyers channel (Cape Cod for $133K)
8 WTF??? (indy channel)
9 (PBS) some dumb economics/math class show
10 (WB) Pooeymon (pokemon)
11(UNI) Telenovelas
12 (UPN) Judge Joe Brown
13 (FOX) Jerry Falwell (!!)
14 (Local) Local News all the time
15 (HSN) Royal Jelly Mandarin shampoo set (WTF????)
16 (QVC) Reed and Barton silverware
18 (C-SPAN2) David Hilzenrath (whoever that is)
19 (BET) some white dude trying to be black for some judges???
21 (WGN) Rockford Files (ahh, finally something watchable)
22 (???) infomercial
25 (USA) Dumb Steve Martin movie
26(TNT) NYPD Blue rerun

And about 50 more channels of pure and utter crap. ESPN is playing an NFL movie I've seen before, ESPN 2 is playing an episode of World Series of Poker I've seen three times. And I refuse to watch some woman I've never met have a baby on either the discovery channel, discovery health, or TLC, thank you very much. Even CourtTV sucks now that there's nothing new in the Scott Peterson case.

I know, I know there's always FoxNews, but I can only take so much of the same thing. Otherwise I'd leave it on there or headline news (moves too fast for too much politicking)

I even caught myself watching CNBC because everything else sucks!

While I'm on the subject, night time TV sucks too. These are the shows I watch:
The Amazing Race (when it's on at a different time from house. Damn you CBS and Fox)
Law and Order SVU (on reruns!)
Law and Order CI (when I remember)
Survivor (it amuses me)
CSI (mostly 'cause it's on after Survivor)
and Extreme Makeover Home Edition (love Ty, love the concept)

I hate Desperate Housewives, couldn't get into Lost, and frankly Joey is the dumbest Friend. Why would I watch that? Not to mention that his nephew is a good-looking street smart grad student at Caltech. I assure there is no such creature on this earth. Period. Good looking, a few, street-smart, maybe a couple, but both? No way!

And Ray Romano is the worst comic on earth. Everybody loves Raymond? Not in this house.

Maybe it's just that I've had a grudge against TV since they cancelled my all time favorite show and refuse to put it out on DVD (The Pretender, of course. Duh.) even though you can pretty much get any other show that was on at the same time including Profiler (Pretender's "sister" show)....

Screw TV. DVDs are frickin' cheap (often cheaper than going to the movies!)

SoA Update!

More toys for good girls and boys: The Armorer is offering swag to those who donate $100 to the cause! Details here.

Let's see if we can't beat $9000 for the Fusileers!

Last Day!

Today is the last day of the Spirit of America Blogger Challenge!
If you haven't donated yet, please go do so. Even one day's Latte money can make a big diffference. If you don't believe that, go read Mick's tale of the joy brought by an empty water bottle and a couple of handfuls of cheap candy.....

I've heard the same stories. My husband's good buddy is currently stationed in the Green Zone in Baghdad, and even one friendly gesture is enough to convince people that the soldiers are there to help them. You better believe that every box we've sent to Iraq is full of Jolly Ranchers and Starlight Mints (since soft candy melts in desert heat) for the kids he meets.

Even a few dollars helps make a lasting impression. Please help us make today the best of the challenge!

The challenge has raised almost $74,000 so far. Let's make it over $75,000!
We're in 5th place over all, only $110 behind Iraq the Model!!!! Can't we make 4th?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

you know you wanna...

Rhianna of A Texan Abroad will show her umm, soft pillows on her blog if The Fighting Fusileers go over $6500 for the Blog Challenge. Details here and here.

More rewards to come.... Go donate!!

Holy Crap!

I'm a Large Mammal.

Thanks, folks. In honor of this achievement, gratutitous large mammal photographs:

First up, Little Boy, a wild horse from the Outer Banks of NC, pictured here raising money at Currituck Lighthouse:

Next, a lovely young buck from my old front yard:

He's browsing the bushes in the yard.

How about some gratutitous doggie shots?
First and foremost, The Princess enjoying the sun:

Next, my brother- and sister-in-law's other children (sorry for the dark pic!)

Darling Husband's parents dog, Alvin (of the Chipmunks):

And finally, Mom and Dad's baby Jasper (at graduation from Puppy Class):

Aren't they cute???

Christmas Cookies!

These cranberry-pistachio biscotti are yummy and sweet and perfectly colored for Christmas entertaining. You can also substitute different dried fruit bits and nuts according to your preference (apricot and pecan for example). If you use salted nuts, omit the salt from the recipe.
(originally from allrecipes.com)

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti
1/4 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
3. Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
4. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
5. Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.

Startling revelations!

About Hugh Hewitt and the Northern Alliance!
(well, not so shocking in light of the fact that they are also members of the Dark Side)

Dean has the scoop.

After you've laughed yourself into submission, why don't you make a donation to the Spirit of America with us?

Monday, December 13, 2004

I owe you all a rant

Warning: Shameless ploy for comments below

I've spent so much time working on the SoA post over the last week that I seem to have lost my blog energy for ranting. I could probably take on the chimera issue in depth, but I'm just not motivated.

Why don't you all suggest something for me to rant about?

BTW, the Fighting Fusileers have raised a grand total of $5 today. That's pathetic, people. Do something to increase that total!

They grow up so fast!

My blog-baby is a month old! Go congratulate Paul on this milestone!

links and stuff

I read the blogs so you don't have to!

New, Fun, and Christmasy links (and a few serious ones, too)
First of all, USC's Matt Leinart (a blogger) won the Heisman Trophy; BoiFromTroy has the roundup
Speaking of college, Rusty Shackelford liveblogs a final exam. Amusing if you've ever taken one or given one
The Commissar presents The Blogues Gallery
Michele of ASV starts her own movie awards
From Beth and Boudicca, find out your Squirrel Name! (I'm Doctor Crazypaws)
John of Argghhh! delivers Gift Wrapping Tips for Men
Margi (and Helen) post some thoughts on the existence of Santa Claus
Speaking of Santa, Gir brings us the story of a very bad Santa indeed
Xrlq relates the only good news Scott Peterson has had in a while
Ith's car died, but it could be worse....
Windham interprets An Artist's Life in Six Acts
Anita visits the dirty rat in Orlando
Speaking of rodents small furry mammals, Blob's ferret and the Princess have something in common
From rodents to politicians (not a huge leap, I know): Captain Ed is scratching his head over the MN electors
A Red Mind in a Blue State has an interesting comparison in global politics
Val updates on the war against dead commie worship
Ken reports on just how far Cruz Bustamonte has fallen (I've met the guy, he used to be great)
On the scientific front: Dean and Paul are both discussing genetics run amok
Medpundit has a good reason to refrain from wearing one of those ubiquitous "WWLD" (what would Lance do?) yellow bracelets which are less about supporting cancer research than about style anymore.....
And finally, a couple of serious posts:
Lt. SMASH takes on deserter Pablo Paredes
Solomon questions the wisdom of pushing our kids to excel beyond their abilities
Juliette continues the math debate here

Was that enough for one evening?

Update: Ok, Ok. I apologize for my lapse in judgement. Ferrets are not rodents. In fact they are order Carnivora not Rodentia. Ferrets are most appropriately known as mustelidae, as are weasels. I just tend to think of all small furry things this way since I play with rodents for a living...

I never said I was a Taxonomist. In fact they offer neither Taxonomy nor Environmental Biology at Caltech.

Verdict Watch

According to CourtTV, the jury has reached its decision on whether or not Scott Peterson will face the death penalty for his crime. The Verdict will be announced at 1:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern.

Here we go again.

I myself am torn. You all know what I think of this louse for what he did while Laci was alive, let alone killing her. Personally I think he should be dropped into a 4x4 hole in Death Valley with a bucket to piss in and food and water dropped down. No shade, no bug spray, no visitors. But either way he deserves to rot. Sooner or later he will.

If they do decide for death, I believe the main factor was the testimony of Laci's mom, who said that even though Conner and Laci were buried together, Conner placed on Laci's chest, because Scott hacked off her arms, Laci would never be able to hold the baby that she loved and wanted and dreamed of holding.

Every loss like this is a tragedy, but for all the reasons that so many have enumerated, this has become more so. I feel sorry for the Rocha family and Laci's friends for their unbelieveable loss, but I also feel sorry for the Peterson family, for what they have been through, for their loss, for their lack of understanding of what could make their boy do this. I feel for Amber Frey, for what she stepped into, unknowing, and what she escaped and I hope she'll be able to go back to her life someday without reporters and cameras at her doorstep.

But the best part is that this whole circus is over today, except for some random appeal hearings, and of course the inevitable book tours and TV movies (yes I'm certain that there will be another one).

Rest in Peace, Laci and Conner. Your justice is done.

Update: The jury found for death. Now we can throw him in a hole for 10 years before his appeal is heard.

Update II: This is what I was talking about. Although far more seriously than Frank J ever could.

Now is the time in B'sphere when we...move

It seems to be moving season around here. Funny, I thought Spring was the season when all animals start to get the itch to travel about.....

But maybe it has more to do with the fact that fall seemed to be Spam season.

Rosemary and Jay and Deb have switched to fancy new digs. Drop by and check them out.

Who says Hockey is dead?

The AHL is alive and well, thank you very much.

Saturday's game between the Norfolk Admirals and the Lowell Lock Monsters (a.k.a. Junior Hurricanes) was a doozy!
"Lowell jumped out to a 2-0 lead with first period goals by Chad Larose and Allan Rourke. At the end of the stanza as the teams were exiting the ice, an altercation broke out between Jim Vandermeer and a Lowell player, leading to brawl between the clubs. The result was several players from each team, including both starting goaltenders, and both head coaches were ejected from the game."

There were 177 penalty minutes assessed and according to ESPN, both coaches may be suspended for the entire rest of the season for their conduct. The game continued without further incident and no one was injured. Lowell went onto win 5-1.

Yee-hah! My kind of game!

What can you do?

Last Amazon Kate has some thoughts about what your donation to the Spirit of America could mean.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Random Notes

Jack of Random Fate has been doing some international intelligence gathering on the Northern Alliance and has more reasons why you should donate to the Spirit of America!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away....

Best viewed in Firefox!

(Turn down the volume!)

Episode IV: A New Hope

 It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking

from a hidden base,
have won their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, rebel spies
managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate
weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with

enough power to destroy an entire planet. Pursued by the
Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home
aboard her
starship,custodian of the stolen plans that can save her
and restore freedom to the galaxy.

But Princess Leia couldn't do it alone. She needed an entire Rebel Alliance of Fusileers to restore freedom and democracy to the galaxy (not to mention three movies and a whole bunch of cool muppets). And these rebels weren't great warriors (well, ok, some were), just ordinary people, like you and me.
(click or mouse over to identify the Fusileers pictured below:)

Join us and you too can help restore freedom to the galaxy.
We'll even hook you up with a free** lightsaber of your own!

But what can you do, you ask. After all it's the holidays and money is TIGHT. Well, just a few dollars given to the Spirit of America can really make a difference in the lives of people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For example:
$ 5 buys frisbees or soccer balls or notebooks and pencils for school
$10 buys a new book for an Iraqi elementary school library
$17 buys a pack of Polaroid film
$50 buys A/V equipment for Universities

Any amount at all can help, because every penny adds up to irrigation for farmers in Iraq and Afghanistan, rebuild Universities, sewing machines to help women become financially independent, tools for tradesmen to rebuild what the war has cost, and especially, the spread of democracy and freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This Just In:
Rebel scum spy Cowboy Blob gathers new intelligence on the Northern Alliance.
Turns out that when they're not wearing striped shirts or boozing it up, they also work for the Dark Side:

Now who could be under that Dark Helmet?

why it's none other than The Big Trunk! I knew it!
(thanks again to Blob for his espionage!)
Let's see what happens when the Fusileers take a hand, shall we?
Restart that movie!!

(Click here to start the movie)

**(must have midichlorian count above the 99th percentile to qualify for free lightsaber)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Meow-wy Christmas

The Cat's 12 Days of Christmas, complete with gratutious kitty pics!

(from Gir)

Adventures in Bloggerland

It's funny the crap you learn when you least expect it. Here I am minding my own business and all of a sudden I take on this... project. Yes. we'll call it that until all is revealed shortly after midnight.
Things I've learned this week:
  1. When blogging, don't code above your comfort level unless you're willing to pull out some hair
  2. Double that if you use Blogger
  3. When it says embed, it means the full URL
  4. Gmail "conversations" are a pain in the ass until you figure out where your mail is.
  5. Nobody wants to be Luke Skywalker

Furthermore, people do see what you write. Even if the only way you know they're around is the site meter.

I can't believe how much HTML I learned this week.

Allah is back in the House! and other news...

Of course, he's just mindlessly pimping for votes.......
Nice to see you didn't suffocate in your spider hole :)

In other news, the Carnival of the Recipes is available for your perusal at Mary Beth's place.

Also, I'm not participating in the Annual Favoritism Debacle Weblog Awards, but many fine bloggers are up for awards including several members of the Bear Flag League and others. Go vote for your favorites. If you don't have a favorite horse, Boi From Troy has some fine suggestions, including himself for best LGBT blog.
(note: this in no way constitutes any endorsement of any blog. I told you I wasn't participating)

Spirit of America, Day 10

My creativity pales in the face of Juliette's honesty. Read what she has to say about defending this country and bringing democracy and peace to the rest of the world. Then go join the Fusileers in supporting the Spirit of America!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

From the Holy Crap file (British edition)

First: Well known philospher Antony Flew takes Pascal's Gambit, conlcuding that he is no longer an atheist. I am curious as to his REAL motivation, though....

Second: (Breaking) British authorities have evidently foiled a major plot by islamofascist extremists to blow up the railways (a la Madrid). Excellent. As Tom Ridge was fond of saying, we have to be right every time. They only have to be right once.

And now, off to eat and watch Survivor....

This we'll prevent....

Patriette Kelly has some thoughts on what the fall of the despotic Saddam Hussein regime means for the people of Iraq and the middle east, and how Spirit of America is helping to make democracy flourish. She also has a pretty good movie that illustrates what we can all do to help. Go see what you can do, and while you're there, donate!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Holiday Greetings!

The Nativity tableau at Madame Tussaud's in London is causing quite a stir due to some unconventional casting (from Reuters and Yahoo!, click the photo for the full story):

(reuters photo)

Left to right (minus tourists posing with statues) are:
Samuel L. Jackson
Hugh Grant
Graham Chapman
Angel: Kylie Minogue
Joseph: David Beckham
Mary: Victoria Beckham a.k.a. Posh Spice
British PM Tony Blair
HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh
President George W. Bush

Interesting casting. Especially love the Pulp Fiction reference with Sam Jackson and further proof that Bush and Blair are wise men.

Well, what do you know?

According to Xrlq I can now proudly call myself a member of the Bear Flag League (except of course for SoA purposes)
I like this flag so much better

than this one:

Hopefully this weekend things will settle a little and I'll be able to update the sidebar to reflect this!

A holiday poem

Brought to you by Techography and the Spirit of America!

Now Go! Donate!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Like Wrestlemania, only less sweaty, and with better acting:

Grand Rounds is up at the Examining Room of Dr. Charles
Check out this trippy Zoom Quilt. Like Acid, but less nasty to your brain
Like Margi says, if even HALF of this is true.... Damn.
Blogchild Paul has an interesting selection, including his new pet
Aaron needs a job ASAP.
Today Xrlq hits the Terrible Twos. Good thing Baby Xrlq isn't the same age....
Speaking of Anniversaries, Windham has a great post in tribute to his parents and how all of our lives changed on the day that they married...
Patterico got spammed from a very interesting source
Dean sounds off on the name game and whether or not Michelle Malkin plays fair.
Speaking of Michelles, or rather Micheles, Michele of ASV closes in on 500.
Goldstein has the right idea. Hey, 'tis the season, and all.
Gir wrote a letter to Santa, and he answered!
Speaking of Christmas, Jay G fires both barrels at the PC "Holiday" crowd
I guess Gingerbread Houses are the new thing for Chanukah
And finally, Gordon's cat is an assh*le.

Sweet or Tart?

I'm Strawberry Shortcake, evidently.

You scored as Strawberry Shortcake. Don't stand for that new version crap. If you go shortcake, go shortcake all the way. . .

Strawberry Shortcake














Which 1980's Cartoon Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

h/t Deb (who is a Transformer, BTW)

Do you love Freedom?

So do the Fighting Fusileers! Cool Blue Frank has some thoughts on the subject.

We also love sweet little puppies and kittens!

What are you waiting for? Go. Donate!

Monday, December 06, 2004

I'm evolving!

Either that, or the Ecosystem is dying...

I'm a Marauding Marsupial now!

The common wombat (wombania.com)

The Wombat is the perfect example of a Marauding Marsupial. Arr!

Update: looks like Spam was trying to evolve. NZ Bear has the 411....

Answer to an age old question...

To cross the Bridge of Death you must answer me these questions three:

What is your Name?
Sir Bedevere

What is your Quest?
To Seek the Holy Grail

What is the Airspeed Velocity of an unladen Swallow?
10 m/s (for a European Swallow)

h/t Dean

Monday Morning Pep Talk!

Fellow Fusileer the Straight White Guy has a great Monday morning pep talk that's guaranteed to get you up and out and on your way to Donate!

In other news, Cowboy Blob does more intrepid investigation and discovers that a certain member of the Northern Alliance is really a French mime! While a mime may be a terrible thing to waste, Is that who you want to donate to? Support Spirit of America with the Fusileers instead!

Which would you rather support:

Or this:

I mean, is it REALLY that hard to choose?
(thanks to Cowboy Blob and John of Argghhh! for the graphix)

Sunday, December 05, 2004


In the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac, UCLA Sucks! (requires real player, may not load well in Firefox)
Despite the closeness of the game between longtime rivals, National Champions USC kicked some bruin butt once again and are the owners of the vaunted Victory Bell, and well on their way to the ownership of the less well known Lexus gauntlet. This pretty much says it all:

(pics from ESPN, credits viewable at full size)

It was a hard fought game, and frankly, if the dirty bruins had won, they would have deserved it. But they didn't.

I think I'm going to be toasting the Trojans with a large glass of FL orange juice this evening at 6 PM during the BCS selection show......

Just a reminder, you get what you pay for: U$C vs U¢LA

If you needed a reason to donate...

How about this one?
The crowd from Day by Day endorses the Fighting Fusileers!

Do you measure up?

Or maybe it's just because the idea of siding with the Northern Alliance makes you queasy? Well, we just found out it makes THEM queasy too.....

(fabulously discovered by Cowboy Blob (thanks!)
Click here to join us, or better yet, Donate to Spirit of America!!

Update: Geoffrey found out why the Northern Alliance is so sick! They've been boozing it up on PBR and pickled pigs' feet. Ewww. Just hearing that is enough to make ME sick. Go here for the story....

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Why the Fusileers are better......

We love kittens and puppies. The other teams don't. Here's the proof:

My Happy Princess:

Lileks' kitten:

You decide! and while you decide,

Update: Beth agrees! Go here and see more sweet little animals loved by the Fighting Fusileers, and find out more about what you can do for Spirit of America!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Holy Moly !

Meet Henry Bekkering...and his mad basketball skillz

Check this dude out!!!! The video is worth clicking over to.... What a show.

Where can we sign him up for UNC? Damn....

h/t: Cobb

Check Me!

I got a Blogopoly piece!

Yay! I'm the petri dish!
Aaron Rocks!

I have a confession to make...

(warning sappy content follows...)

I read this post a year ago over at Deb's original blog, and it made ME feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and today, it still does. Go and read it first, then come back, I'll wait.

Yes, I can relate to it geographically, being from Fresno and now having to deal with cold as well.
Yes, I can relate to it personally, having been in a long-distance relationship (even after my marriage.... but that's a long story....).

But here's the thing that gets me: what I feel most when I read that post is knowing that feeling of peace. The peace you get when you know something is right. For Deb, it was a pair of fuzzy blue socks, for me it was a random kiss on my forehead from a grateful friend who I knew was about to be elevated a notch in my esteem, even though it was the worst thing I could think of. How can I put this... ummm, well, let's just say that my darling husband was less than darling in high school. Think scruffy, skinny, unshaven, and you'll be close. He was on the less than desireable end of the looks spectrum, frequently smelly (he ran XC and track), broke, and driver's-licenseless. I was going away to school. I already had a boyfriend (albeit an absent one because he was already away at school). There were a zillion reasons why we should never have started dating, but there was that moment, that feeling of peace, and I knew it was right. I was seventeen and I was going to follow this guy wherever he wanted to go for the rest of my life. Yeah, I know, corny, unrealistic, naive. Perhaps, but I was in love and I still am. For more than a decade now. I married my best friend. The one who makes me laugh and gives me that feeling of peace. So for that, I just want to say thank you.

And thanks Deb, for reminding me.

It's Carnival time!

Carnival of the Recipes is up for this week, hosted by Angela of Fresh as a Daisy.

Everything looks yummy! why don't you drop by and check it out?

My own recipe for this week, Cornbread Chicken Pot Pie can also be found here.

She's Back

Mistress of all things fisk and supreme leader of EVL, Katie the Resplendent Mango has returned from her life-induced blogging hiatus and she favors us with her thoughts on Peggy Noonan's obituary for Dan Rather's career and Mark Steyn's latest.

Welcome back!