< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://caltechgirlsworld.mu.nu/" /> Not Exactly Rocket Science: February 2005

Sunday, February 27, 2005

It may not be rocket science...

But it is brain surgery. Heh.

The lab rat pops up from her hiding place to check in and let you all know that everything is so far so good. I won't know anything until Wednesday, though, when I look at whether or not the dyes I injected worked. I have 43 rats to operate on between now and next Sunday, so I doubt I'll even see a computer in the next 6 days.

Just an aside: When I was a kid I used to love Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (or The Secret of Nimh for those of you who don't read kids' books). Funny that. Now I get to play with them. But if I ever saw a rat that was capable of what those rats could do, I think I'd run screaming the other way. Quickly.

Thanks for the laughs :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don't hate me if I'm down a bit

I have a big experiment that starts today, and I have been a tad obsessed between getting ready for it and trying to find a JOB for next year. That, and the fact that it's a difficult animal experiment.

I'll let you know later how it went.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

March 22

Mark your Calendars!!!

I will briefly disappear as I soak up the amazing goodness that is...

The Pretender

Yes, it's coming out! Season 1 will be released March 22. In fact, if you've never seen the show but want to "try it out" Fox is releasing a "starter set" consisting of the first 2 episodes (Pilot and Every Picture Tells a Story) for $9.98. The "starter" box includes a $10 coupon towards the purchase of the entire season so the first DVD is "free" if you decide to take the complete plunge. More details here. If you love it as much as I do, you can preorder it at Amazon here.


House Blogging

Morals of the story:
1. Don't lie to your wife, your doctor, your coach, or your friends.
2. Don't sleep with the Pharma Rep. You mean nothing to her but $$.
3. Drugs are bad. Mm'kay?
4. GraveDigger never disappoints.

Interestingly, on this President's Day week, House's preliminary diagnosis was Addison's Disease, which most people agree was what might have killed JFK if Oswald (and whoever else, perhaps) hadn't intervened.

This is another hacked plot, though. Stolen this week from a classic episode of Quincy, M.E. where these kids were dying and no one could diagnose their strange symptoms in time. Quincy figured out that they were smoking pot laced with Colchicine and saved the day. As usual.

In related med-show news, tonight's episode of Medical Investigation shown on USA had a quick Pretender reference (MI is created/produced by the same team who brought you Jarod and Miss Parker). The bad guy's boat was parked at SL-27. Of course.


Yours truly is #1 on Google for "I am pathetic"

Yes, yes I am.


Feel free to chime in with your thoughts....

This could be you

Go here. Read more. Raise awareness.

There but for the Grace of God (to be living in a free country)....

Another pet peeve

Floor Strippers are of the Devil!

Whenever they decide to strip and rewax the floors on my floor, they do the WHOLE thing at once, and don't bother to tell anyone. This would be mildly annoying (because of the smell) if we all worked in offices, but because our labs are spread out between several rooms, and in most cases, the offices are in different rooms than the labs, so we use the hallways A LOT. You can imagine what a pain in the ass it is to need to go change out your buffer and get told that you can't leave the room you're in for an hour because they just put down the stripping solution.

As if. The floor guys have been shit on by us SOOOOO many times. I don't understand why they don't do it at night or on the weekend, since the same guys are there at those times, and that's when they do the other (patient) floors of the hospital.

Anyway, I booked it out the door at 9:30AM, when they started mopping and buffing. I wasn't about to stay there and get sick from the smell.

Housekeeping issues

I need to update the blogroll. Badly. Mostly it suffers from the fact that I only use it at work, because at home I have over 100 blogs on my Sage reader.

Here are some great folks you might want to check out if you haven't already found them, soon to be added to the blogroll of DOOM!:

21st Century Paladin (Tre)
Baggage and Blathering (Kathleen)
PractiGal (Marie, a new blogger!)
California Mafia
Cowboy Blob (bonus ferret blogging on Sundays)
Eat Your History (another new blog!, food and history lessons by Deborah)
Subliminal Koolaid (aka Mr. Margi Lowry)
Pinwheels and Orange Peels (aka Mr. Fresh as a Daisy) (hmmm..... I notice a theme here....)
Weekend Pundit
AZ Perspective and Junk (Dave is also a part of the most recent New Blogger Showcase)

A wide variety, some political, some not, mostly just damn good reads. Enjoy!

Too much time on your hands?

You could try building this:

Bringing Escher's work into 3-d kind of kills the illusory quality of the tilted perspectives, but it is still totally cool.

(h/t: Paladin)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Scenes from a marriage

This little vignette from the Insta-marriage gives new meaning to the vow "...in Sickness and in Health..."

What a powerful image of love, of fears faced, and of shared faith and hope.

Best wishes to the Reynolds family with prayers for Helen's continued recovery.

(h/t: GruntDoc)

When did this happen?

I made large mammal status again (#932 as of 7:45 am EST)

Is the ecosystem screwy again, or am I just that cool?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Of all people...

Iain Duncan Smith, former head of the Conservative party (Tories) in Britain, who was frequently castigated during his term of leadership for being "out of touch," writes a magnificent column in today's Guardian about blogging and the influence of the blogosphere on public opinion in the US and the UK.

Duncan Smith may be a Brit, but he hit the nail on the head with this piece, pointing out:
"You would also expect this electronic revolution to be good for the Democrats, but the American left's relationship with the internet has been disastrous. The internet has sunk a knife into Bill Clinton's moderate Democratic party. Mainstream business people were Clinton's principal funders, simultaneously approving and driving his centrism. But the Democrats' new paymasters are the 600,000 computer users who, in 2004, supported Howard Dean's bid for his party's presidential nomination. Dean energised an unrepresentative group of voters with a stridently anti-war message. Electronic money powered Dean's campaign, and all of the other contenders for the Democratic crown soon pandered to his base."
Most Americans don't even get this, but the fundamental difference is that mainstream conservatives and moderates have already moved to the internet as a place where they can air their views, likewise the extreme fringe left. The mainstream liberal doesn't have to look to the internet to express his opinion, it's already on the TV and in the papers.

A further example:
"The Democrats' problem has only worsened since. The dailykos.com site of a Democratic consultant gets 500,000 hits a day. That site's memorial to four American contractors murdered in Iraq was "screw them". Hatefulness also pours out of the popular websites of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. The conservative blogosphere has dubbed the Democrats' IT base its MooreOn tendency."
If this is the voice that the left speaks with on the internet, then Duncan Smith is absolutely right when he says
"All this should put the fear of God into the metropolitan elites. For years there have been widening gaps between the governing class and the governed and between the publicly funded broadcasters and the broadcasted to."
This also has strong implications for Britain, where the government-funded networks provide a majority of news and entertainment. It will be interesting to see where it goes. Read the whole thing here.

(h/t: Tim Blair)

Friday, February 18, 2005

NHL back on?

If this goes through tomorrow and they actually end up playing, they should hire this dude to replace Gary Bettman....

(h/t: Jeremy at theMUSCtiger)


1. Drake is home. The antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. Go visit Dean for more.

2. The FM continues swimmingly. Captain Ed gives us the latest here.

3. Bou has a new blog-daughter. Offer her congratulations and check out the new site.

4. Check out the spiffy scrolling title.....

It's that time of year again......

Awards Season in Hollywood.

Those of us who ever lived near some of the venues know what a bitch this can be. We lived 2 blocks from the Shrine (USC) and 6 blocks from the Pasadena Civic (Caltech) during college, in years when the Oscars were at the Shrine and the GG's or Emmys were at the PCA. Arrgh.

Nevertheless, it is a wonderful time of year, and Allan celebrates awards season by nominating entries in The Carnival of the Recipes for "best performance by[various foods]".

It's quite a varied and interesting carnival this week! Check it out!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Drake's sick

Sweet new b'sphere baby Draco Esmay (5 weeks old) has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is in the hospital. Send your prayers and good wishes to his parents Dean and Rosemary, big brother Jake and the entire family.

Recipe Blogging

Ok, I know it's not Chanukah. I may not be Jewish, but I know that much :). I do, however, love latkes, and as far as I'm concerned, they make a great meal all winter long. This is one of my favorite latke recipes, found in the December 2004 issue of Hadassah magazine (which someone conveniently left on the bus, thanks!). I haven't made the jam, because I prefer mine with cream cheese or sour cream, but the recipe looks yummy. As written, I'm told the recipe is kosher, and it's vegetarian except for the eggs. Enjoy.

Green and Yellow Squash Latkes with Sweet Tomato Jam

3 Yukon Gold (or other medium white potato), peeled
1/2 medium zucchini
1/2 medium yellow squash
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup all purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying

1. Grate potatoes and squash in food processor or with a hand grater. Put into a medium sized bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, except oil.
2. Heat 1/8 inch oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Drop in squash mixture by the 1/4 cup, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry about 2 minutes, until brown and crispy on one side, then turn and brown the other side.
3. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all the mixture is use, adding oil to the pan as needed.

Serve warm. Makes ~12.

Sweet Tomato Jam
3 roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and diced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup + 1Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

1. Put vegetables, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, cover with 1 cup water, and simmer partially covered over medium heat for 10 minutes.
2. Mix cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water until smooth. Whisk into simmering tomato mixture until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Makes about 2 cups.

Staying home today: a rant

I wasn't planning on being at work today anyway, since we were supposed to be on a plane right now, so I'm taking a mental health day and avoiding anything work-related.

Watching the twin 125's. Oh excuse me, the Gatorade DUELS. WTF-ever, people. As far as I'm concerned it's still Winston Cup, and Nextel can shove their annoying walkie-talkie phone directly where the sun don't shine.

Here'a a rant: Why in HOLY HELL would you have one of these phones? What, you can't talk through the phone, you need to yell at it so that your private TMI-laced conversation is available for the ENTIRE WORLD to hear?

Let me 'splain. I encounter these "phones" mostly in two places: the hospital where I work and in stores. The hospital is especially troublesome. I don't want to hear about Granny's liver failure or junior's allergies, or how stupid the new doctor is, all in fantastic detail just because you can't be bothered to speak into a phone that you have to hold to your ear. They have hands free kits that you can actually speak normally into, you know. Why do you have a cell phone on in the hallway outside the various ICU's anyway? Go into the private family waiting area to make your calls. It's quieter there, as well.

And as far as stores are concerned, I don't need to hear that your sister's ass is too big for the size 8 pants she took in the dressing room, and can you please bring her the 10's....no, wait, the 12s. Maybe the 14s. I don't need to know that Johnny is going to buy video games before he meets you in the front or that the PIN number to Dad's cash card is 12345. God help you that there's no robber standing behind your daughter at the ATM when she uses the Nextel to get THAT particular bit of information.

I admit, I love my cell phone. I am attached to it, and I use it pretty often. However, I have learned that I don't need to yell in to it, and I know instinctively that certain topics are just not acceptable in public (don't tell your dad about your diarrhea on the bus, mm'kay?). Furthermore, I can actually hold the phone to my ear so that I don't treat everyone around me to a conversation about my personal business that they'd probably rather not hear.

A walkie-talkie has a place in a construction site, not a mall, and certainly not a hospital. Think about it this way, if your doctor can't tell perfect strangers about your sickness, why should you announce them to the universe via your "cell phone"?

Sad News for Pats fans

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi evidently had something like a stroke on Wednesday. He was reportedly admitted to MGH in Boston with dizziness, partial paralysis, and other stroke-like symptoms. He'll undergo more tests today. ESPN has details here.

This guy is young, healthy, and by all accounts a really good guy. He just returned from his first Pro Bowl appearance and of course the Super Bowl 2 weeks ago. He's also one of my favorites on that team (what can I say, I'm a sucker for LBs). My thoughts are with him and his wife and their adorable little boys.

Here's hoping that he'll make a complete recovery from this and come back to play football again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

too depressed to post

I quit. I fucking quit. I don't think I want to do this anymore.

Maybe tomorrow that will change.

Thanks for the advice, but

Seems as if my trip to Memphis has been cancelled. I'm really disappointed and I feel pretty stupid right now.

Is it really worth any of this?

This I'd pay to see

Wuzzadem strikes again (or perhaps, Strikes Back would be more appropriate):

The Factor takes on Yoda (liquid/food alert)

(h/t: Not Dale Gribble)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Like a Grisham novel....

Or a bad movie starring Tom Cruise.

I have a postdoc interview coming up this weekend in Memphis. They're flying BOTH OF US out to have a look around. Wow. The place I am interviewing pays a really good salary for postdocs, and everything they've set up so far seems first class. They've also been really helpful in giving my husband information about teaching in and around Memphis. We'll be touring Memphis on Saturday, and potentially looking at places to live if we decide to move there. Being a huge fan of The Firm, I am more than a little creeped out at the parallels...

So anyone out there from Memphis? Have any ideas for stuff to do that DOESN'T involve Graceland? Not sure where we'll be staying, although they did send me a brochure about the Peabody (fingers crossed)

Also, plusses and minuses to living in Memphis? What are good areas and where should we avoid? I know ZERO about the place, although I knew nothing about Chapel Hill before my interview here either. Any useful information would be appreciated.

Update: forget it. See here.

House Blogging

At the end of tonight's episode of House, Dr. Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) confronts Dr. House about his addiction to pain pills, contending that House is miserable, and that the pills have something to do with it. House responds that he IS miserable but it's not the pills.

Most people would see this as an addict's cop-out, but it strikes a completely different nerve with me. Those of us who live with chronic pain understand that living with pain means making choices, and that frequently those choices mean being pain free at the expense of living the life you were accustomed to. Of course House is miserable. He's chained to a cane he resents with every fiber of his being. Duh. He's right, he's an addict, but that's NOT his problem, right or wrong.

On another note, why is it that Dr. Foreman always get to take the trip to the patient's house for something resembling vandalism?

This is absolutely the best new show in a long time.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Everyone else is doing it...

Beth just posted hers, and Amanda seems to be posting hers in bits. Even Marie is in on the act, so I guess that I should follow suit, being the inveterate bridge jumper that my mother always feared I'd be. Consider this a VD present.

100 Eleventy-One things about me:
1. I was born in Fresno in the year of the Bicentennial and share my birthday with the US Marine Corps
2. I was 5 days "early", which means that if I had been born on my due date, Darling Husband and I would have shared a birthday (he's a year older than me)
3. I am an only child, the only girl grandchild on one side, and the youngest on either side
4. I flunked kindergarten
5. From 2-12 grades I went to magnet schools for gifted students
6. I got my varsity letter in Band (worse yet, I was in Colorguard)
7. Even so, my letter jacket says "Academic Decathlon" and "Science Bowl" on the front.
8. It says "Miss Einstein" on the back.
9. I actually wear it.
10. Autumn is my favorite season
11. I hate plain chocolate.
12. I took 11 years of Spanish in school, and I'm still embarrassed to speak to others in Spanish.
13. I once broke my toe while trying on formal dresses
14. I used to bite my nails until it hurt. Don't ask me how I stopped, or why
15. I'm terrified of needles, which of course means karmically that I will need blood tests regularly.
16. I'm also terrified of snakes in the wild. I do like live, non-poisonous ones in captivity though. I could have a pet snake.
17. I look god-awful with short hair
18. I do a damn good Cartman impersonation
19. All Time Favorite Group: Simon and Garfunkel
20. Since it costs $16 to go to the movies and $15 to buy a new DVD, we own about 150.
21. I LOVE Christmas. Everything about it.
22. I like to email my friends on May 4th and tell them "May the 4th be with you!"
23. Along the same lines, I also like Pi Day (3/14), which is coincidentally Einstein's Birthday
24. When we got married, the only people in the wedding party who were speaking to each other were the bride and groom. Really.
25. I've been to 37 states and Canada
26. I'm a Christian, but I hate church. I find it too hypocritical
27. I believe that the "Conservation of Crap" theory applies to everything
28. I also believe in karmic justice. Be nice, payback is a bitch.
29. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 23, at the end of my first year of Graduate school
30. Right after we were married, Darling Hubby and I were separated for 3 years (except for vacations) because he was in TX serving in the Army
31. We didn't get to eat the top layer of our wedding cake until our 5th anniversary. It was still good, believe it or not.
32. I'm a slow sleep insomniac. Love the sleep timer feature on the TV, 2 hours = 1 DVD
33. Either I procrastinate or I know exactly how long it takes me to do things. I'll figure it out later.
34. I believe we all have a "secret redneck" lurking inside
35. Mine likes NASCAR and Bojangles biscuits.
36. I have made negative time in the "Negative Time Tommy's Run"
37. I have met and spoken to Stephen Hawking.
38. My favorite TV show of all time is The Pretender. Hey WB, put it out on DVD!!
39. My totem animal is a turtle. You'll see them all over my house and on my license plates.
40. I hate going anywhere alone.
41. I knit like a fiend when my hands work
42. I cannot crochet. For the life of me. It just doesn't work
43. For the record, I also sew and embroider when I can
44. I am making a quilt, too.
45. I love baking, too, but it's hard with the RA
46. My secret hobby is digital photography. I just need a good printer.
47. I have no talent for gardening, either kind.
48. I miss the NHL.
49. I love Survivor and the Amazing Race
50. I'm half Armenian
51. I frequently swear like a sailor, and creatively. I can swear in at least 9 languages.
52. I use the word "dude" a lot
53. I hate the Beatles and the Rolling Stones BOTH. If I HAD to choose, I'd pick the Beatles, though because I will listen to the George Harrison stuff
54. I am worse with the TV remote than my husband and father combined. True.
55. I took up yoga after being diagnosed with RA
56. I should do it more often.
57. I am also a caffeine junkie, but I don't ever get withdrawals
58. Never smoked, never used drugs unless prescribed
59. Of course, I take enough meds to make anyone swear off drugs
60. I don't drink very much, but I can hold my liquor pretty well
61. PETA makes my skin crawl
62. I've had pet dogs, rats, bugs, a bird, and a lizard (briefly). No cats. I can't live with cats.
63. I'm allergic to most common antibiotics
64. I love Cranberry juice
65. Favorite ice cream: Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and Fosselman's Peppermint
66. Popcorn (not surprisingly) is my favorite snack
67. I miss Tommy's, Trader Joe's, and Jack in the B∝
68. I love Invader Zim. GIR and Gaz are my favorite characters
69. We used to sit around at Baja Fresh waiting for the girl at the counter to call out "69, please". Now they say "order 69 is ready".
70. The song I'm most likely to turn up and scream the lyrics to is "Freefallin'"
71. I love it when all of the undergrads leave. Chapel Hill just DIES after Mother's Day.
72. I don't understand why every freaking football team uses AC/DC as an intro before the game
73. Monty Python kicks ass
74. My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. The unabridged complete edition.
75. I also love detective stories, my favorites are the Elvis Cole books by Robert Crais.
76. My husband is better at doing the laundry than I am
77. I never lived in a house with stairs until I was 27
78. Between the 2 of us we have more toys than most 8 year olds
79. I don't need to have a baby, my dog's toys are already all over the house
80. I love to walk in the snow. I love rain best, though, and I am happiest living near the ocean.
81. I have been a "bridesmaid" in a gay Jewish wedding
82. My mother once tried to punish me by taking away all my books. That worked until she caught me reading toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles in the bathroom.
83. I am a majority member of Job's Daughters and a Past Worthy Advisor of Rainbow Girls
84. I know how to sit properly in a hoopskirt.
85. I sleep best when it's cold outside, with the window cracked and under a pile of blankets
86. I can't have anything on my feet when I sleep. Sometimes even the covers
87. My favorite drink (adult) is a Cosmopolitan. I did mention that I like Cranberry Juice. I hate beer, but I will drink Guinness. Brilliant!
88. I hate those political spectrum quizzes. They always tell me I'm a democrat. More like a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian, I think.
89. I'm addicted to British politics. I watch PMQ on C-SPAN every week.
90. Tony Blair is my political idol
91. Marie Curie is my scientific hero. She was a wife and a mother and won two Nobel Prizes.
92. I like books that are long series about the same characters. Always have. When I was a kid, my favorites were the Little House books and the Anne of Green Gables books.
93. The literary character I most resemble is Turtle Wexler in The Westing Game
94. I will still stop and watch the A-Team at any time of the day or night
95. My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper. And it's a soda or even a coke, NEVER pop.
96. In my house, Everybody Hates Raymond. I hate Seinfeld too, except the Soup Nazi.
97. My dog is severely allergic to everything and eats food made from Kangaroos. She also takes medicine for her allergies that humans take to prevent organ rejection.
98. Clovis is a way of life
99. I have petted Traveler, the USC horse
100. I have been to a professional game in every major sport but football.
101. I have been to a B(C)S bowl game
102. First TV idol: Quincy, M.E.; I wanted to be Quincy so freaking bad. CSI owes EVERYTHING to Quincy. He was CSI before CSI existed.
103. The first blog I ever read was Lt. SMASH
104. I collect paper dolls. My favorites are a Dionne Quintuplets reproduction.
105. My favorite candy is a Mars bar.
106. I've been to every level of the NHL playoffs except the Stanley Cup. And I paid less than $100 for all of my playoff tickets.
107. I love my SUV. I know how to drive it too. And, yes, we have taken it off-road
108. I have been to the Rose Parade and I helped build a Rose Parade float
109. Asshat is my favorite "internet" word
110. I rarely have female friends, in high school, I had a harem of guys I hung out with. We thought about having "BridesGuys" at the wedding instead of Bridesmaids.
111. My Darling Husband was my high school sweetheart, and he is the best thing that ever happened to me and I'm so glad I've got him. He makes me happy, even when I hate him.

A Major Award

BFT awarded me 3rd place in his latest caption contest!! WooHoo to me!

Ok, yes. It was totally lame. If you'd like to read something less lame that I wrote, go see my most recent guest post here.

Update: Screw 3rd Place! I won the OTB Caption Contest!

First Mate Update

Fans of CQ: Marcia's surgery is underway as of 9am. Cap'n Ed is liveblogging his hospital time. Drop by and leave him some good wishes, or just read his great new piece on Eason Jordan and the lynch mob meme.
Update: Surgery is over. So far so good.

Happy V.D.

Michele is having a love song sing-along, and I thought I'd join in, but with a twist.

Since it's V.D. (Valentine's Day) feel free to chime in with your favorite love song or even your favorite anti-love song.

Here's mine. It was sung at my wedding. Even the old ladies loved it.

Somebody by Depeche Mode

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She'll hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and
With every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear of
Those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it

This one is for my hubby. Happy Valentine's day love.

If you're bored...

Test your reflexes by tranquilizing some sheep.

Sheep Dash!

Brought to you by those wacky folks at the BBC!
(h/t: Dean)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Prayers and wishes needed

This is not a drill. Seems this time it worked, and the pancreas is on it's way. It's a good match and it looks good this time.

Captain Ed's lovely First Mate, Marcia is heading into surgery to get the new pancreas that she needs so badly. Please send your prayers and/or best wishes in the direction of Minneapolis for the First Mate and Captain Ed and their family, and also please keep in mind the grieving and generous family in South Carolina who made this operation possible.

Go on over to Captain's Quarters to give Ed and Marcia your best.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Nerd Post Alert!

Terrible Nerd Jokes!
A physicist, a biologist, and a mathematician were observing an empty house. As they watched, two people entered the house. Shortly after, three people left the house.

The physicist said, "Aha! Our initial assumption was invalid."

The biologist said, "No, I believe they simple multiplied."

The mathematician said, "You know, if one more person enters that house it will be empty again."

Wait, they get worse:

Why do mathematicians tend to confuse Christmas and Halloween?
Click here and then scroll down for the answer (blogger won't do extended entry). Think carefully about it first.

If you got the second one and didn't groan, proceed directly to your nearest Mathematics department for an examination.

(stolen from Ken)

These things do work...

Bunson jpeg
You are Dr. Bunson Honeydew.
You love to analyse things and further the cause of
science, even if you do tend to blow things up
more often than not.

Scientific inquiry, Looking through microscopes,
Recombining DNA to create decorative art.
"Now, Beakie, we'll just flip this switch and
60,000 refreshing volts of electricity will
surge through your body. Ready?"

John Cougar Melonhead

"Quantum Physics: 101 Easy Microwave Recipes"

An atom smasher and plenty of extra atoms.

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(h/t: Ben)

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm lovin' it

No, not McD's. But if you want to LYAO at the best response to first class moonbattery I've see in years, go here. Bridges will never be legal again. An excerpt:

“The Golden Gate Bridge is a proven killer, and media fascination with jumpers is sickening. It has inspired hundreds of people to end their lives. Anyone can simply walk out there and jump, or be pushed. There are no barriers, no waiting in line, and there is nobody assigned to the bridge who can check the mental and emotional history of bridge visitors. It’s far easier to walk out on the bridge and jump to your death than it is to purchase a firearm in California. At least when a person buys a gun, he or she must complete a background check and endure a waiting period. But nobody screens possible Golden Gate jumpers. Unlike a gun, you can’t even use the bridge to defend yourself against a criminal.

“The only way to prevent future tragedies,” Gottlieb said, “is to close the bridge. We need to stop the growing body count. It’s up to the Board of Supervisors to act, and they should do it immediately. If it saves just one life, closing the Golden Gate Bridge is the right thing to do.”
Heh. Preventing law-abiding people from owning handguns won't prevent people from dying. Preventing criminals from owning handguns might make some sense. Now, if we can just keep those bridges out of the hands of children......
(h/t: DogSnot Geoffrey)

Don't be alarmed

We've changed the comment format. Since Blogger now has pop-up commenting, I thought you all might appreciate it. Let me know which you like better.

Update: Never mind. Blogger's comments look a little different, but the pop up is TOTALLY USELESS.

Food Glorious Food

This week's Carnival of the Recipes, including CaltechMom's Enchilada Casserole is at Anywhere But Here, hosted by the fabulous and extremely artistic Kris! Go and get stuffed ; )

This just in..

She made it all up.

There is a special circle of hell for people who tell other people that someone threw their baby out the window, instead of merely putting the baby in a "SafeHaven".

CNN is showing the WSVN feed of the press conference where Sheriff's deputies in FL just revealed that the baby we all thought was thrown out the window was not actually tossed. His mother simply made up a story. FL is a SafeHaven state. She didn't have to.

Thank God no one actually THREW the baby now referred to as Johnny out a window, and that he wasn't left on the side of the road. At least his mother cared enough to take him somewhere, even if she felt she had to lie.

The deputy also says that the mother saw a couple arguing in a white car, and decided to use them as the basis for her story. That's why there were so many corroborating witnesses who saw the car and the couple.

Update: Here's the CNN link and the FNC link

Jeff Gannon story on CNN today

Watching Wolf Blitzer, and I'm reminded why I usually don't. I've been avoiding the Gannon issue, but this was too good not to pass on. Katrina Vandenheuvel of the Nation just implied that "new media" is undermining the ethical standards of journalism. Then, in her next statement she THANKS bloggers for bringing out the story.

Wolf, inimitably, tried to tie the Gannon story to Armstrong Williams, but it didn't go anywhere.

And people wonder why the internet is a major source of news.....

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Stupid Quiz of the Week

No kiddin'

Which Family Guy character are you?

I love Stewie. Too many good Stewie lines to quote, but here are two of my favorites:

"No sprinkles. For every sprinkle I find, I shall kill you."

"Damn you, vile woman, you've impeded my work since the day I escaped your wretched womb."

(h/t: new to me blog California Mafia. Love their site, especially the Miami Vice lookin' color scheme and the fact I'm already on their blogroll. Thanks, guys!)

Before I forget

Happy Birthday, Margi!

Go wish her all the best on her big 4-0!!!

Your Daily Giggles (updated)

First, found via Physics Geek, who has a great sense of humor despite severe shortcomings in the matter of sports teams....
DC monster or Hollywood monster, you decide!

Second, LMAO!! Audio funnies found here: Play-by-Play of a car accident that just goes from bad to worse in Dallas. "She hit him with her Bible!!" (it's an MP3, go here and click the link to download)
Moral of the story, don't pick on little old ladies!
(h/t: Gir)

Third, great gifts for Valentine's Day: Don't just tell your sweetie that you're crazy about them. Send an even more meaningful message! (h/t: Ken)

Nucrear admissions

North Korea admits they have nukes. All I have to say to that is this: No Sh!t, Sherlock. We've known you were talking out of both sides of your mouth on the nuclear issue for years.

The Kim government says that the weapons are for "self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's ever more undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the (North)" I call B.S. I'm not going to say what I think they're for, but if you've seen Team America, you can guess what I think. Preliminary intelligence reports further indicate that the sharks Kim keeps in the movie may actually be more dangerous than the nukes. FoxNews is reporting that NK may not even be able to launch the missiles.

As usual, Captain Ed is all over the story. He makes a crucial point:
"All this proves is the folly of appeasement, an option unfortunately forced on the Clintons by their friend Jimmy Carter, who sailed into the North Korean negotiations uninvited and dropped this Munich descendant onto the table. Tyrants do not willingly disarm; they need all the weapons which they can get in order to protect themselves from the people around them, including (and especially) their own subjects. To believe otherwise is folly, and as shown in North Korea, catastrophically deadly folly."
I thought we stopped trying appeasement in 1939. Sixty-five years later, it once again becomes clear that you CANNOT negotiate with terrorists. Reagan knew it, that's why the hostages came home. W knows it, that's why we've chased down the al-Qaeda and took out Saddam. Those who do not remember the past are evidently doomed to endanger the rest of us by repeating it.

Real Life: Better than the soaps, at least in the UK

Congrats to Prince Howdy Doody and the Rottweiler, who announced this morning that they are engaged and will marry on April 8. I guess they decided it was time to legitimize their relationship after 30+ years of sneaking around and 5 children and 2 Ex's. I find these two items highly interesting, though:
-Camilla will NOT be known as the Princess of Wales, as Diana was. She will take Charles' second title, and be known as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

-Also, if/when Chuckie takes the throne, she won't be known as Queen Camilla, but will take a title similar to that of her future father-in-law: Princess Consort.
MAJOR concessions to the Queen, who must be smacking herself today. Tony Blair was about having kittens trying to look happy making the announcement.

Americans say, who cares, they're both divorced, they love each other, etc. But this is serious business in Britain, where the Monarch is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and entitled "Defender of the Faith". The Church of England does not condone divorce, and a divorced person leading the church (remarried or not) is a real hot button issue. I find it telling that they must have a civil wedding, rather than a religious one. This despite the fact the the CoE was founded to get around a little problem with divorce....

Princess Margaret must be rolling in her grave.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Mom's Enchilada Casserole

Here's this week's entry for the Carnival of the Recipes. The CaltechMom has made this to rave reviews.

Enchilada Casserole
12-15 corn tortillas, depending on size
1 lb hamburger
1/2 medium onion
Spices to taste
3-4 cups of your favorite Green Chili sauce (Mom uses Stokey's chili sauce with pork)
Shredded Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
2. fry tortillas until soft, drain on paper towels
3. slice onions to your taste, fry with hamburger and spices to your taste. Don't add chili powder unless your chili sauce is too weak!
4. add 1-1.5 cup of chili sauce to meat mixture, heat through
5. Layer tortillas, then meat mixture, then cheese in a 9x13 baking dish as a lasagna. Usually makes 2 layers in a 9x13, more in a smaller dish.
6. Cover top layer of cheese with more tortillas, pour rest of chili sauce over the top, sprinkle cheese over all.
7. Bake 30-40 minutes in 350 deg F oven, or until hot.


Before I forget again

Two Carnival Announcements:

GrandRounds XX (Dos Equis) is up at Dr. Enoch Choi's Medmusings

The very first Carnival of Education is up at The Education Wonks. This is a cool idea, and I hope it continues.

Aww crap (Updated)

Norm Chow is moving to Tennessee. Dammit. Oh well. Let's hope his replacement is as good.

Wonder what Matt Leinart is thinking now?

BFT has more.

Update: It's a revolving door of stars at USC. BFT has the lowdown on the new (and returning) coaches who will lead the Trojans next year.

Tonight's the night

#2UNC vs #6Dook tonight at Cameron Indoor on the Dook campus. This is the first time since freaking 1986 that Carolina goes into Cameron ranked higher than the Dookies.

Roy Williams is on PTI tonight live from the Trophy room in the Dean Dome. Should be a great game.

Go Heels!
Update: Ray Felton is a complete dumbass

I am pathetic

This is the best TV news I've heard since the Pretender was cancelled:

Chris Noth is back full-time at the L & O shop. And, what makes it great is that he's going to be on my favorite of the L&O franchises, Criminal Intent. That whole smack-a-politician-so-I-can-leave-the-show-and-be-"Mr. Big"-all-the-time thing was complete crap. I can't wait to see Mike Logan and Bobby Goran go head to head.

Guess they decided Vinny D'Onofrio was too unreliable to hold up the series alone after his attack of PEST on set.

Speaking of TV, House was AWESOME last night, even though the poor woman died. I got a big laugh out of the fact that Foreman (Omar Epps) had to get the stomach shots, even though a new (shorter) series of injections is available for the large muscles of the butt or thighs.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Deep (Throat) End of the Pool?

Who is Deep Throat? No, not that Deep Throat, this Deep Throat.

According to recent reports, the long awaited revelation of the name of the Nixon White House insider responsible for leaking the details of the Watergate scandal is about to take place. Evidently the real DT is terminally ill.

We already know a few things about DT:
1. DT is a man
2. DT is/was a smoker
3. DT was highly placed in the Nixon administration, almost definitely as a top member of the White House Staff.

CNN has a good roundup of possible suspects here.

Who do you think DT is? Current speculation seems to be focused on Chief Justice Rehnquist, who was a WH staffer during the Nixon years, working in the Attorney General's office, because of his thyroid cancer.

Taking bets now.... The winner (correct name and closest date of death) gets a featured link over here and of course, bragging rights!

Monday, February 07, 2005

We're Guest Blogging

As Gandelman always says. The Caltechgirl Traveling Circus is also appearing at Baldilocks (on and off) for the rest of the month while Juliette makes some $$.

Also appearing: The Acidman Show and Kathleen's Comedy Tour.
Get your tickets while they last!

My first post is here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Oh, and before I forget

Shaun of the Dead totally rocks. Funny and gory and not all that scary. A fabulous zombie movie. You'll love the record-tossing scene and the kooky Queen-laced soundtrack.

Best Line (minor spoiler)
Shaun:"I don't think I can kill my flatmate, my mum, and my girlfriend all in the same night..."
Liz:"Who said I'd taken you back, then?"

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Funny story, this

Da Goddess received a totally cool phone call tonight. It reminded me of something I used to do to my Hubby when we were in college. If I went somewhere that he couldn't go, mostly because of geology field trips or ROTC obligations, or just because he wasn't a member of my Hovse, I'd usually want to share it with him. So every time I went somewhere after I got my trusty first cell phone, I'd call him and say, "Honey, I'm at such and such and I miss you." While I think he appreciated the calls, he used to get so pissed. After I called him from Magic Mountain one day and Knott's Berry Farm the next (it was a 3-day weekend) he threatened to break up with me if I ever did that again. So I haven't.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tell PETA where to go

I love animals. I've adopted pound puppies (including the Princess), I support shelters and rescue groups, I've given money to the Gorilla Foundation, and at one time I thought seriously about going into animal language research working with Bonobos. But, I hate PETA. Hate them. Every single thing they stand for. See, they want us to think that coddling animals is more important than helping people.

Go sign this petition to tell the IRS to revoke PETA's non-profit status, then come back here and read my story.

PETA and their ilk claim to help animals. They don't. One of their favorite aims is to "liberate" animals from research facilities and food/fur farms, including rats, rabbits, monkeys, and apes.

Here's a story that proves my point: Several years ago animal rights activists decided to liberate a colony of albino rabbits at a facility associated with the University of Oregon. The building in question sat next to an empty field that was also next to Interstate 5. Well, before I move on, I should point out that not only are albino rabbits white, but they are mostly blind. So the activists opened all the cages doors (I'm sure crying "Go, be free!!! or blasting "Born Free"--Ed.) and the rabbits ran out. Let's put it this way, the ones that survived the birds of prey (white rabbits don't blend in to a brown field) ran across I-5. Can you say squish?

A similar story from Britain. Somewhere in the north of England, animal rights activists "liberated" several thousand minks from a fur farm. Well, guess what? the next year several endangered species of birds in the area were nowhere to be found. Gee, I wonder what happened to them?

And what happens to animals in the buildings that you FIREBOMB???? I don't think that blowing up the animals in the lab facility contributes to "preventing animal cruelty," do you?

A personal story: The bastards put a mole in one of our animal facilities, and she filmed 60 hours of what she called animal cruelty over 6 months of work, including mice with tumors and rats having seizures. I ask you, would you tell your Mother that she can't have her chemo because it means that a mouse would get a tumor? Would you prevent your child from getting epilepsy treatment because a rat had seizures? I'd also like to point out that these animals, simply because we know that they are sick, get the best veterinary care available. The PETA mole also seems to have deliberately sabotaged the health care of sick animals to get it on film. We have a system whereby sick animals can be euthanized humanely by trained staff after researchers mark their cages with a certain card to indicate that the animal needs to be put down. As an animal care technician, she was responsible for euthanasia of sick animals in certain areas that were assigned to her. Instead, she seems to have removed the indicator cards (off film) so that she could complain to her supervisors (on film) that these animals needed treatment they weren't getting. Unfortunately for her, we also have to document the euthanasia requests separately, and after the PETA video of our facility was released, it was discovered that most if not all of the incidents she reported were animals that she should have taken care of.

BTW PETA's complaints have been thoroughly investigated by the USFDA (who oversees animal facilities that recieve federal funding) and to date only one researcher was disciplined, for something he did on film that would have been legal except that it was not listed in his animal use protocol.

Whenever I meet a PETA activist I ask 2 questions: First: do you bathe or use personal products? Because I hate to tell you, it doesn't matter whether your individual products say "cruelty-free", each product must consist of an FDA approved mixture of chemicals, and guess how they got approved? Animal testing at some time in the past. Otherwise it couldn't be sold in the US. Second: Do you use medicine? What if you were diagnosed with a terrible disease? Would you refuse treatment because it was developed using animal research?

And frankly, how many of them wear leather??!!?!?!?!
Last time I looked leather = animal.

Look, PETA freaks (if you're still reading this), researchers aren't heartless. We need our animals to be as healthy as possible to get accurate results. We keep them clean, feed them well, and pay attention to their social and emotional needs. We go out of our way to minimize their distress. I respect my animals. They're the reason I can do my research. If I need to hurt them any more than giving them a shot for any reason, it bothers me. There are experiments that I can't do, even though they cause the animal no pain (done under anesthesia, without survival) because it makes me too sad. Yes, sometimes what we do is painful to them, yes, sometimes it makes their life more difficult, but would you rather be in their position, or mine? Would you rather that we do these experiments on you? It used to be that way, you know, and back then animal research was deemed less cruel.

Like dairy farmers, there's no percentage in wanton cruelty for researchers. None.

Maybe you should be asking yourselves why the welfare of animals is so much more important to you than the welfare of children who grow up without proper nutrition or housing, or why children can't learn to read, or even why we can't feed all the hungry people in our own country? Are animals THAT much better than people?

Carnival time!

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is up at The Glittering Eye. Great Job, Dave!

Also, be sure to check out the newest carnival: The Skeptic's Circle, hosted this week by Saint Nate, who has a great medblog.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Happy Dessert Time!

I copied this recipe directly off of the allrecipes.com page for y'all, but I have made this several times, and it comes out great! It's a real crowd pleaser and since the Irish Cream bakes with the cake, it's ok for kids as well. Make this the night before or in the morning of the day you'll need it, since it's best to let it cool completely in a refrigerator.

Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake
Prep Time: approx. 20 Minutes.
Cook Time: approx. 1 Hour 20 Minutes.
Ready in: approx. 9 Hours 20 Minutes.
Makes 1 - 9 inch Springform Pan (12 servings).

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreo)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
3 (8 ounce) packages cream
cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a
large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, confectioners'
sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until
well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase
oven temperature to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2 In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4
cup cocoa and flour. Beat at medium speed until well
blended and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after
each addition. Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream
liqueur; mixing on low speed. Pour filling over baked crust.

3 Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C), and
continue baking for 60 minutes.

With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool,
then remove the rim of pan. Chill before serving. If your
cake cracks, a helpful tip is to dampen a spatula and
smooth the top, then sprinkle with some chocolate wafer crumbs.

Yummy. This is pretty rich, so it makes 12 or more servings, depending on how small you cut it.

F*ck the NHL up its F*cking A$$

ESPN is reporting that an ESPN the Magazine reporter has gotten an inside scoop from the NHL, and the league will announce that the season is indeed cancelled within 48 hours.

I blame both sides. Chicken Lollipops. The NHL is so assed out. ESPN is getting triple the ratings this year running college basketball instead of hockey, so they'll never get back on tv again.

I hate Gary Bettman. In fact I have booed his piddly little ass in person. I went to the draft last summer when it was here in Raleigh, and the air was really one of despair. On one hand it was a big party, but on the other, it was a sad time for the fans because we knew these were our last hockey moments for a long time.

In Memoriam:

(photo by me. Taken at the NHL draft in June '04)

Why couldn't some team I like get to keep it for two years?

Before I got distracted...

I was going to write about my day. This is my blog and my outlet to vent (see below), so I'm going to let off a little personal steam.

I have been having a bad flare up over the last 2 days, so like the good little scientist, I hit the journals. Honestly, I was just looking to see if there was something I could do other than advil. I did find a couple of interesting things:
1. RA flares are linked to cold weather, increased humidity, and changing weather.
2. Unlike OA (osteoarthritis), where the flares are more commonly associated with decreasing barometric pressure, RA flares are more strongly associated with increasing pressure.
3. Moderate stress, more than minor or major stress is linked to flares.

No wonder I feel like piss.

However, this is the part where I know I've been reading too many journals, when that little lightbulb over my head turns on:

RA pain is also strongly linked to circadian-associated hormone fluctuations.

No shit, it always hurts worse in the morning, but I thought that had to do with inactivity during sleep. So then I find out that circadian rhythm disruptions appear to be common at the onset of a bad flare. Last week I couldn't drag myself out of bed until noon and I have been sleeping like shit. What do you know? I thought I was depressed...

Having a chronic pain disease is a lot like being a Sisyphus. You keep pushing the rock up the hill, and just when you think you might be ok, the rock falls back down. Maybe it's not the greatest analogy, but there it is. They call it a disease of littles, maybe that's a better explanation. Pain increases and decreases both from activity and inactivity. You need to do a little, rest a little, repeat. That's hard to learn. When you go on vacation, you have to plan activities as if you're 5 years old: do a little, take a nap. We didn't do that on our last trip to CA and I spent an entire day on my friend's couch instead of going to the beach. As you can imagine, it's not super compatible with graduate school, but I have been lucky. I don't have to work more than 5-6 hours most days, and I can come in early or late since the experiments start on my clock. I just hope I can find a postdoctoral position that is as flexible.

It's funny too, though. After a while you can laugh at yourself and call yourself a klutz. My husband jokes about my knife throwing act, since I'm good at dropping them in kitchen. Watching your wife, as I am told, hobbling to the bathroom in her best impersonation of a little old lady every morning is a hoot. I mean, if you can't laugh about it, why bother? That's true of almost everything.

What's not funny is having to explain it to other people. They don't get that you can't pick something up or that you have to take a break. They see your messy house and don't understand that picking things up and putting things away, and especially folding and hanging laundry hurts like hell. Notice I said MESSY, not DIRTY. My house is clean but disorganized. So my clean clothes lay on the dresser, the clean dishes sit in the dishwasher, so what? I can live with that. My energy level is ZERO after a full day at work, even in a "remission", but try explaining that to your friends who want to go out and have a few drinks or see a movie. Forget going out dancing until 3 am. Tried that one once, and I was sore for 2 days. Give a little, take a little, you see?

So I sit here and vent at you. Which is not to say that I want your sympathy, far from it. I just appreciate the outlet. My poor husband usually has to deal with it when I get frustrated. I have to give him a ton of credit. He's learned almost instinctively what I can and can't do, and when I'm too stiff to get up and down the stairs by myself (when I'm off meds I have it in my ankles too). He can read my face and know what's up. And I appreciate that. Especially since this started while he was 1,200 miles away, and he had to learn to live with it long after I did. I don't tell him that enough.

Cranial Rectosis of the Blogging Kind

If I ever get this obsessed about my freaking blog, Shoot me. Some of you know where I live, and more of you have my address. You can find it :)

Here's my personal take on this: I don't give two shits about how often the kid links someone else's pictures without credit. You don't call a 13 year old kid who is trying to do something positive and intellingent a bastard. Period. If it gets to be a problem, reload the picture at a different URL, rename it, or something. Geez. When his link is broken, he'll get the idea. Better yet, replace it with an image that says "give credit where credit is due".

He's 13. He has 1/2 an hour at a time to blog and check email, so it's not likely he's gonna get right back to you. It's called patience. It's called the benefit of the doubt. It's called NOT GOING OFF THE DAMN DEEP END OVER A PICTURE THAT YOU ORIGINALLY TOOK FROM SOMEONE ELSE ANYWAY!!!!!! The pics that are the basis of that animation has been on every blog I can think of, including my own. It's not like he stole your secret formula for an AIDS vaccine.

I don't want to hear any Intellectual Property arguments either. Let's be real here for a minute and use some common sense. The kid didn't call himself McDonald's ok? He didn't go into business under a someone else's registered name. For example, you don't see me whining bbecause there's at least one other person in cyberspace that uses my handle. I know that for a fact, someone registered caltechgirl.blogspot.com and doesn't use it. It's a BLOG. There are less than 5 people in the world who actually make enough money off their blogs to do more than cover hosting costs.

I find it truly unfair that one ass got a bit in his mouth and ran far enough with it that the kid's blogging privileges have been revoked.

And as for that bot apology, PLEASE. One apology to Austin and his parents privately, with a note about that on your own blog would have been enough. Or even one note on B4B or to hundredpercenter would have been enough. Setting up a bot is childish and indicates that you don't care. At least to me.

Update: Jordan tells me that he did indeed post all of the apologies himself, so I'm willing to take it at face value and I apologize for being snarky about the apologies.....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The beat goes on

January 29, 2005:
Sunni Mullahs: "The upcoming elections in Iraq are a sham so good Sunnis shouldn't participate"

February 1, 2005:
Sunni Mullahs: " The elections in Iraq were a sham because Sunnis didn't participate"

Ahh, the old Hypocrisy Two Step.....

Quote of the day (so far)

Kevin at Wizbang says:
Personally I'd like to see the President deliver a line such as the following, "We stand with the people of Iraq in giving the finger to terrorists." Then he would display his purple ink stained index finger.
Quote comes in response to this:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Bobby Jindal is planning to demonstrate solidarity with Iraqi voters by dipping a finger in purple ink before President Bush's State of the Union speech Wednesday.

In a letter to be circulated Wednesday among fellow lawmakers, Jindal, R-La., said he would have ink available for anyone attending the speech who wanted to make a gesture of support for Iraqis and "people throughout the world who seek freedom."

Heh. Rock on, Bobby.
Wouldn't you love to see this? Especially with all of those purple fingers pointed at that fat f*ck Teddy Kennedy and that horrible wench Barbara Boxer?

Check this out

Amazon Prime. For $79.99/year you get all the free 2-day shipping you want, and overnight shipping for $3.99/item. Not a bad deal unless, like me the majority of your Amazon purchases qualify for free super-saver shipping....

(h/t: VodkaPundit (so THAT's where he gets his SW toys....))

New Sport: Troll Smashing

Joanie has had a rather annoying, zealous Commie troll drop by, and even though we all know he won't pay any attention to what she has to say, she eviscerated him. In part:
Since September 11, 2001, you and the many groups with whom you associate have contended that George Bush and the Republican party were behind the attacks on American citizens on American soil. It was either that or the evil empire that capitalism built that brought the attention of the terrorists unto us.

I've listened as you and many other protesters insist that people around the world hate us because we are a nation built on dreams of a better life, of Liberty, of determining our own fate as long as we act within the guidelines that we call laws.
Time after time, I have listened as protesters claimed that everything this country stands for is wrong. I've listened and read how our ideals are flawed. I've driven past people holding upside down American flags painted with swastikas and signs claiming that we are little more than murderers.

I'm tired of the bullshit.

You and the other protesters claim to be interested in the basic needs of people around the world. Yet, I have seen you do little more than stand around yelling angry slogans. I have seen no one reaching out a helping hand.

Over a year ago, I became involved with an organization called Spirit of America. It's a non-partisan group of individuals interested in helping those in need. Specifically the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. People who have lived in fear, under brutal regimes, terrified to utter a single word of dissent against those who led their countries into poverty and despair. Through Spirit of America, I was able to help those people. We sent school and medical supplies. We raised money to help them build water treatment facilities, homes, education centers, hospitals, businesses, and the basic infrastructures for their cities so that they might live in places where they could access whatever they required to lead better lives.

Where were you? Where were the people who dress up in costumes and burn flags? Where were the hands that could have helped lift up the oppressed and guide them safely to their destinies - whatever they may be? Where?
There's more. She really let him have it.
Thanks Joanie. You spoke for all of us.

Moral of the story: Don't piss off a Goddess. Ever.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Derkastan takes its revenge

Ace does it again. Damn this is funny. All your toys are belong to us.
Or perhaps: Take that Team America!

Guess who really did this? These guys, of course:

(h/t: QOAE)

One more for the road?

Rusty would never stoop this low......

Too bad he'll probably never win the Super Bowl of NASCAR.

He did win a WINSTON Cup championship, though.

Rusty's Last Call Tour starts February 12.
(h/t: A certain tall dairy beverage)

On a more personal note...

Baby #2 of the 8 expected on my floor arrived safely yesterday morning via C-section. Technically, he was 2 weeks early, but in reality only 4 days, since he had a date with the Dr. in the OR for Thursday morning. I guess he was just in a hurry to meet his Mom and Dad.

10 long fingers, 10 perfect little toes, perfectly healthy despite some earlier worries.

But here's the best part: he's little and sweet and calm, and I got to hold him! All squiggly, sweet 8 pounds of him. Since he and his mama are currently under house arrest in the same building (technically) as our office, we all went to meet the little guy this afternoon.

When I say house arrest, I mean it. He has a little plastic ankle bracelet, just like a tiny house arrest monitor. Damn, there was more security on the maternity floor than in some prisons.

Congrats to the new family, and I hope all continues well for them!

Another one jumps the fence

On one issue at least.

Read the amazing true story af a real-live liberal journalist who decided to reconsider his position on the Iraqi elections and maybe just maybe on the whole thing after meeting (gasp) real live Iraqis!

He says:
You may think that you have felt dumb before, but let me tell you something: until you have stood in front of a man who knows real pain and told him that you are against your country's alleviation of his country's state-sponsored murderous suffering, you have not felt truly, deeply, like a total fucking moron.
I can't tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys, and I want a clear cut mandate, some lines to believe along. But there aren't any. There's just right and wrong and following your heart of hearts. And for the first time in my life, I can say that I was wrong to be compulsively critical of the current administration without seeking my own truth.
But here's the kicker, and he's absolutely right:
The level of discourse in Amaerica [sic] has plummeted to a name-calling ping-pong match with a turd for a ball. It doesn’t matter how wicked the serve is, both sides are still smacking a bunch of shit around.
A-freaking-men! You need to read the whole thing. It is ART. And, because he got Instalanched, the comments are nearly as interesting. Strangely enough, here's the one I found myself relating to most. A woman calling herself "Judith" writes (in part):
"I would have preferred to vote for Leiberman [sic] and have hawkish foreign policy and liberal domestic policy all in one candidate, but more people felt differently.

Therefore I had a choice, and it was a no-brainer. Keeping up the momentum for demoratic change in the Middle East and continuing to take the battle to the terrorists is way more pressing right now than the social issues I care about. Now that Bush is re-elected I intend to defend those social issues, but it would be a lot easier if the scruffy protestors with "Bush=Hitler" signs were not the public face of environmantal [sic] protection, civil liberties, and abortion rights. You folks have set us back considerably, especially the hypocrisy of Western feminists who refuse to be enthusiastic about their Arab sisters' progress when a Republican makes it possible. Feminism should be bi-partisan.

If a lot more leftists were like you, then we could all have thoughtful dialogue about how to proceed. But the antiwar left is so snotty and sneering and narcissistic and hypocritical, and so WRONG about everything, that the right just dismisses you guys and all your concerns, which means some of my concerns get dismissed too.

The good news is that there is now a sizable constituency of "liberal Republicans" or "centrist Democrats" who voted for Bush but are not on board for some of the Republican agenda, and all we need is a label and some catchy slogans so people like you can find us and so we can build a movement. There are a lot of us out there and we can combine the best of left and right if we can identify each other."
(emphasis added--Ed.)
Wishful thinking perhaps, but it heartens me to know that there are still some people out there who have morals and a conscience. For the record, I would have voted for Joe L. too. I think he's a good man. Too bad the Democratic party doesn't anymore.

Less interesting, but more catchy is this little ditty, set to the title tune of one of my favorite musicals: "Paint Your Finger". The author describes it as "jingoisitic" and it is, but it made me laugh because it is at the very least hopeful.

Go be amazed at the power of independent thought!

(h/t Beth)

Update: SMASH responds, and Jeff answers, clarifying his position further.

GI Joe captured?

A militant group claims that this is a picture of an American soldier held hostage.

Compare that with this:

At least one report refers to him as "American military man John Adam", but I think he looks a hell of a lot more like a G.I. Joe doll in a Photohop nightmare. In fact rather than John Adam, I'm guessing the name is more likely Carl Greer a.k.a. Doc (yes, that Doc).
What do you think?

Kevin Aylward at Wizbang has more, including links to others who actually found what may be the photoshopped parts. If this isn't a hoax, then I apologize, but my BS meter is ringing like mad here.....

Update: Michele has the FARKing truth.....
Update II: Greyhawk has the best title yet: All your GI Joe Are Belong to Us!

Another Tribute

Ivan Noble, who gave strength and encouagement to so many by being able to talk about his own weakness and despair died today at age 37.

Ivan was a columnist for the BBC who was diagnosed with an inoperable glioma (NASTY brain tumor) in August of 2002. Since then he has chronicled his life in a weekly journal, sharing the joys of (too brief) remissions, the birth of his children, and simple family outings along with the frequent despairs of bad news, increasing headaches, strange symptoms, and finally having to face his own mortality.

His journal touched my heart, and it was with great sadness that I read his final entry last week.

In his own words:
What I wanted to do with this column was try to prove that it was possible to survive and beat cancer and not to be crushed by it. Even though I have to take my leave now, I feel like I managed it.

I have not been defeated.

Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. God grant you eternal rest without pain or torment and nothing but comfort to your wife and children who were your rock.

February 1

Because I need to be writing my "self-appraisal narrative" aka touchy-feely self-awareness cheatsheet for my boss (in all fairness, she asked me to do this for my own good, so she can use it to write nice recommendation letters for me), this will be fairly short.

Two years ago this morning it was cold and sunny. Sunday morning, so we were laying in bed trying to relax, trying to enjoy sleeping in, trying not to wake the dog (once she's awake, she wants to go out, you know how it is...). I turned on the TV, as is my usual AM routine on days when I don't have to go to school (as we used to put it "To see what blew up last night"), and found a FoxNews breaking story: "NASA reports that they lost communication with the shuttle Columbia, and we're waiting to see if it arrives at Kennedy Space Center for landing". I immediately woke up my Darling Husband, and made a couple of calls to CA. I knew this was bad. I remember they cut to FL, and the look on the reporter's face when it became clear that no shuttle was coming in to land, that this wasn't a simple communications malfunction. And then the horror of the first reports from TX of "debris".

I remember how terrified we were, was this a shuttle malfunction? Was it a missle? In a post 9/11 world, anything was possible. I remember feeling numb, but I had tears streaming down my face. This hit me pretty hard. Maybe because I had seen Columbia up close.

July 4, 1982, Edwards AFB. STS-4, the first landing at Edwards. President Reagan was there. And so was I. I was 5 years old. I remember we left after midnight (3am? 4am?) to drive down to Edwards for the 9am landing. I could hardly sleep in the car, I was so excited. I remember the pink sky as the sun rose, and my dad adjusting the rear-view mirror so the sunrise wouldn't blind him, and the gate into Edwards, the air force guys with their big guns. We pulled into the lot on the dry lake bed with everyone else and got out. The crowd was all lined up against a fence that ran parallel to the landing strip, several hundred yards away. It was sunny, and hot, and I remember my mother warning me about the sonic booms (I used to be terrified of fireworks) and covering my ears. We heard the booms, and saw the chase planes go by. Then all of a sudden, there she was, like a big boat with dragster 'chutes sliding down the sky. The shuttle seemed to fall so slowly, but when she touched down, she needed nearly all of the 15,000 foot runway to stop.

My dad bought me a bumper sticker that day. A picture of the shuttle in a blue sky with the words "We saw it land". Pretty damn cool. That thing hung in my room from that day until after I went to college, and now it's put away. Most people don't get that excited anymore, but when I catch a launch or a landing on TV, I still get the same feeling.

I've met nobel prize winners, politicians, and actors, but meeting astronauts was the coolest.

So I'll miss you Columbia, and what your service meant to our country and to the spirit of exploration. Never forget the brave scientists and explorers who saw her last mission:

Rick Husband

Willie McCool

Michael Anderson

Kalpana Chawla

David Brown

Laurel Salton Clark

Ilan Ramon