Friday, February 29, 2008

Road trip!!!

People think I'm exaggerating (OK...the phrasing they use ranges from "being a jackass" to vulgarities even I prefer not to repeat) when I talk about "driving my car while I still can, before the !(#&!( rock-worshippers take it away."

Oh, look at this... Academics in Australia say we have to give up our travel by vehicle to "save the planet." From what, they don't say; the planet will still be here even after Europe is underwater...

I'm going on a quilt shop hop, tomorrow, weather permitting (It's for
the kids!
*rimshot*). A couple of shops around eastern WI are having "Leap Year Sales" of 29% off (minimum 1-yard cut). I expect to drive no less than 200 miles...while I still can.

Did I mention most cotton quilt fabric is dyed/printed in SE Asia (in
countries with no EPA to shut down mills for using water...did someone say "unintended consequences"?) before it's shipped to Wisconsin? TEH CARBON FEETPRINT, OH NOES!

I've had a long week. I even missed E-Day, which is OK because apparently it was a bust. Too cold...


Thursday, February 28, 2008

i can haz minyon!

Haven't laughed so hard since...hrm. Feels good.

Roundball Roundup

I'll move this outside the list because it's actually not uninteresting: My cousin Cole (OK, his mother is my cousin, but outside of Iowa no one can follow) got his picture in the paper. He's on the all-conference team, and going to the state tournament next week.

Wow. I hardly paid any attention to basketball the last two seasons, and this year it's nuts.


Two competing theories of bookshelves: a) They're for impressing people with titles you haven't read; b) They're for impressing people with titles you have read. With a smattering of "you don't deserve to own things", straight out of those asinine cable shows where some bitch clears everything you've spent your life collecting out of your house, lets you choose one item to keep, and throws the rest away, because no one should own things they enjoy (just like no one should enjoy eating cheeseburgers or driving a car; 21st-century Puritanism is worse than it ever was when it was about sex).

Obviously I subscribe to none of those theories. To start, very few people who don't already know me are ever in my apartment to judge my reading, so if I buy a book it's because I want to read it. Or because someone's plane is three hours late--I love the used bookstore in the airport. I need more bookshelves, because the piles are taking over my bedroom. The cat has learned they are dangerous places to perch on or next to, but I keep tripping on them in the middle of the night.

The latest book is a Lonely Planet guide to München und Bayern, which arrived semi-mysteriously in the mail Tuesday as a very unsubtle hint. I guess I'm going to Germany in Mai.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I knew I hated DST for a reason

Besides basic curmudgeonliness:

Research on the impact of extending daylight-saving time across Indiana found:
• Residential electricity usage increased between 1% and 4%, amounting to $8.6 million a year.
• Social costs from increased emissions were estimated at between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year.
• Possible social benefits -- enhanced public health and safety and economic growth -- were not studied.

I don't buy "enhanced public health and safety." The armed robberies and carjackings of cow-orkers here in MKE happened right at the time change, when it was suddenly pitch black at 4:30 p.m. and no one expected it. I'm pretty sure microbes don't keep clocks, either (remember when "public health" meant infectious disease...?).

*snicker* When I lived in Indiana, I bought a VCR that automatically adjusted its clock, even though the local TV stations didn't adjust their broadcast times. Took me a good three weeks in April to figure out why the new X-Files wasn't getting taped but the rerun immediately following was...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Scrabble Babble II

Oh yeah...I came home with a crisp $100 bill for placing second in the "rated under 900" division, and a crisper $10 for having the highest play in the division: DYEABLE for 96 points (for comparison, the highest play in the "rated over 1500" division was RESIZING for 124 points). The best part: I played DYEABLE on the #1 seed and he challenged it. Fool! I had a bingo (word that uses all 7 letters off the rack) in all games but the last, where I found five or six on my rack but couldn't find a place to hook them). My only loss was by 125 points to the woman who got 4th; my wins were all by 15-65 points.

I think I annoyed people all day by pointing out I hadn't played any face-to-face games in 14 months, and I further annoyed people by not really caring. My opponent for Game 7, realizing there was money and prestige *scoff* on the line, got really twitchy and agitated when I shuffled my tiles for a long time, and used the blank as an O. I just wanted to make good words and not get stuck with the Q. Heh.

I had fun, except for having to explain (twice) to the other guy from Milwaukee that I haven't "been to club" because I just don't ever feel like driving out to Brookfield to play Scrabble at 6 after I push buttons until 5:30. I might visit the new east side club at some point, but there's 80 million other things I like to do...

(If anyone wants information about the Milwaukee area Scrabble clubs, let me know.)

Go Crusaders

After a thrilling double-overtime victory over Miami on Saturday, Valparaiso begins a stretch of three Horizon League games over a six-day span today when the Crusaders take on Milwaukee. Valpo is currently in a fight for one of the top six seeds heading into the Horizon League tournament, which would give the Crusaders a first-round home game. An evenly-matched series, Valpo has won seven of the 13 previous matchups between the two squads.

My friends recorded the Valpo-Miami game on their DVR so I could watch it after we got back from dinner Saturday. It cut off with 2 minutes left in regulation, when the cable company told the box the channel had switched to boxing. Someone has to figure out a better way to transmit program information for live programs...

Anyway, I watched enough that I won't feel like a poseur this evening when I join the Alumni Club for hors d'oeurves before the game. I expect to be the only woman attending who isn't accompanying her husband, because that's EVERY Valpo alumni event, but at least I'll be able to hold my own in a conversation about Urule Igbavboa's hair. (Why am I going to a party if I'm going to be standing in a corner by myself? "Free parking and complimentary shuttle to and from the game." And being surrounded by other visiting fans should reduce my chances of being spat on by local fans...)

Valpo is one of just six schools to host three home games over that time span on one of the three ESPN networks, joining Indiana, Louisville, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Villanova.
Why didn't we upgrade to the Horizon League sooner?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Scrabble Babble and the TSA

Greeting from Indianapolis, which apparently still only owns two snowplows.

In the past 18 months, I've triggered a bag search with swabs for explosive residue at Mitchell International Airport with the following items:
  • pork chops (that kills me)
  • Play-Doh (that was dumb)
  • cheddar cheese shaped like a cow (that I bought at the airport)
Yesterday my new digital countdown device--with no shut off--breezed right through security without a second glance from anyone. Huh.

There was an informal session of pickup games last night at the church where the tournament is today; my first games against live humans in 14 months. Bloodbath. :P In the third game, I played against an older and elegantly dressed woman. About 3/4 through, I had ?AEILOT (the ? is a blank tile) and all I could see was ELATION, but there was no place on the board to hook it in. But there was an F with a lot of spaces behind it, and FELLATIO got 61 points. My opponent challenged, since she was unfamiliar with the word, so we got the tournament director, who is the friend I'm staying with, who insists he's never met me before as he looks it up in the official word list (and of course, the commotion draws attention from people nearby who have finished up their games).

The word is on the list, of course--all the dirty words are allowed in tournaments. And you can hook an N onto the end.

I'm so embarrassed. But hey, 61 points.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I will do an-y-thing for lo-ove

But I won't do that:
A Florida feline is lucky to be alive after surviving three weeks, and nearly 2,400 miles, while trapped inside a sealed portable moving container.

Some heartless bastard named the poor thing "Meatloaf."
“Meatloaf's” incredible tale also serves as an important reminder to keep cats indoors all the time, and to ensure that all pets have current I.D.

Why the F do people want the government to make health decisions for them?!?!

These are the bureaucrats who are going to decide which prescriptions you should be allowed to take and when you should be allowed to see a the hell can anyone think they won't munge it up, even when they're not unilaterally denying unpopular demographic groups care to "cut costs"??

Government Continues to Declare Living Tennessee Woman Dead

Todd said that being dead off and on makes everyday life difficult.

"The IRS says I’m dead," she told WSMV-TV. "Everybody says I'm dead.”

8 years, and they can't get it right.

Would be really funny, if it WASN'T.

Good grief, J-S.

What an awful article.
Prince Fielder is a vegetarian.

That 6-foot, 260-pound build is powered by wheatgrass, soy and tofu nowadays. No meat. Not even fish.

It wasn't always this way. Fielder used to enjoy a stacked burger or a juicy steak as much as any carnivore, but a few weeks ago he received a book from his wife, Chanel, that changed his outlook on what he puts in his massive frame. The book described how certain animals are treated and slaughtered for food.

The youngest player to hit 50 home runs in a season was grossed out, so much so that he made his last meaty meal a salmon filet before quitting the animal game on Feb. 3. He has even dabbled in a vegan lifestyle but admits that might be pushing things a little.

I've got a bratwurst with Secret Stadium Sauce that says he's back on animal protein by the end of April. Soy estrogens and professional baseball aren't going to mix in a good way, and someone in the clubhouse should point that out before he loses too much brain mass.

(Now I know why Tony Dungy tells his players to "watch out for women you know too well"...)

The article is just irresponsible. Guy stopped eating meat two weeks ago, and you're glorifying his new "lifestyle"? Two weeks is nothing, ask anyone who's quit smoking six or seven times. And how many growing boys are going to read/hear "Prince Fielder eats nothing but soy!" and beg their parents to screw up their bodies just like him? Prince is big enough we won't notice gynecomastia, 10-year-old boys not so much.

Is there going to be another front-page article when someone spots his wife buying chicken again? Of course not.

Just...annoying. I didn't notice any front-page articles when Ryan Braun donated his Rookie-of-the-Year bonus to Habitat for Humanity (and helped build...), but PETA propaganda, that's worthy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Heh. Heh heh.

Lunar Eclipse tonight

I forgot to post this yesterday.

Sciencey goodness.

North Americans will have their next opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse on 2010 Dec 21.

Unless global warming destroys the planet, of course...

You can't see the moon from my apartment, ever (which disturbs me), but I am determined to not be a wuss and go out to view it. In my car. With hot cocoa. With amaretto.

The sane among us may prefer a live webcast (scroll down).

UPDATE: I need a tripod and a better camera.

Have you no respect for lemurs?!?!

The last two frames of the offending comic are most certainly true...but I respect lemurs too much to compare them to management.

'Dilbert' retells story of Iowan fired over comic:
In a bit of self-referential cartooning, "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams has penned a series of strips that indirectly describe the plight of Dave Steward, a former security supervisor for Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington. Steward, 50, a resident of Fort Madison, was fired by the casino last fall after seven years of employment. He had posted on an office bulletin board a "Dilbert" strip in which the protagonist compares his bosses to a bunch of "drunken lemurs."

The truly entertaining part of the article is the paragraph where the Register pats itself on the back for bringing this to forefront of national news. Relevant! I'm RELEVANT!!!


I see I wasn't alone...

Candidate  Votes  Pct.
John McCain 224,122 55%
Mike Huckabee 151,114 37%
Ron Paul 19,129 5%
Mitt Romney 8,083 2%
Fred Thompson 2,705 1%
Rudy Giuliani 2,087 1%
Uninstructed 852 0%
Duncan Hunter 799 0%
Tom Tancredo 187 0%


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I got a sticker!

I'd characterize my vote as a temper tantrum. I did not vote for any of the three remaining GOP candidates because they can't make me! *stomp* But with Huckabee needing something like 120% of the remaining delegates to take the nomination from McCain, I feel confident that my vote won't bite me in the ass later on. I considered voting for Hillary, but that COULD come back to bite me in the ass next January. So I didn't. If we get to watch her try to show all those other Marxists how to finally implement Communism correctly, it won't be my fault.

Nor did I vote for Mr. "This is a great country--LET'S CHANGE IT!" I'm pretty sure my ballot is meaningless. Kodos, etc.

Victor David Hanson:
If you're African-American, then it's OK that you express racial solidarity and vote for Sen. Obama by margins approaching 90 percent — while at the same time white males must prove that they are not racialists by having the courage to 'do the right thing' by likewise voting for an African-American. That apparently would make Michelle Obama proud of her country for the first time in her life.

If you vote for Hillary, likewise you transcend your gender and do the right thing — and so join the legion of feminists for whom her shared womanhood was their signature issue.

I voted for a guy. Do I get "transcend my gender" cred? Mind you, I've been "transcending my gender" daily for the last 20 years...

Heh. That's the euphemism I used to employ when women tell me I'm not a Real Woman because I don't have a husband and/or babies. It started at age 22...

Oh, and I hate the "connect the arrow" ballots. No real reason; I hated them in Des Moines, too.

Now that the whole sordid business is concluded, I have about 18 episodes of Red Green that need my attention.


Obamarama gave Sheets Byrd $10k for his re-election campaign.

I find that interesting.

I'm not sure why. Not a lot of KKK action in Hawaii in the 1960s. The racial grievance industry has more problems with Obama than with a guy who filibustered the Civil Rights Act (which I also find interesting).

Maybe it's the DNC's "you have to buy the votes of already elected officials to get the nomination" process. Nothing says "party of the little guy" like cats grown fat off their office deciding the nomination (no offense to Feline-Americans meant).

Castro "steps down"

Depriving Miami of a hell of a celebration, although he has to die eventually...

The U.S. MSM mourns:
HAVANA (AP) -- An ailing, 81-year-old Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying he will not accept a new term when parliament meets Sunday.

A half-century! That's even cooler than LBJ!

By sunrise, most people headed to work in Havana seemed to have heard the news, which they appeared to accept without obvious signs of emotion. There were no tears or smiles as Cubans went about their usual business.

I get the feeling all the emotions were beaten out of them decades ago.

Can't wait to see what the People's Cube comes up with.

Be Ready.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Audacity of Snow

Obama event in Kaukauna canceled
Plans remain in place for Monday, when Obama is scheduled to attend a rally in Beloit and his wife, Michelle, is planning to campaign in Milwaukee, Madison and LaCrosse.

I bet she doesn't come out to the neighborhood where I work, either, or any neighborhood where white guys get shot while buying gas.

Fun with Liberals

[Lib1 is wearing a new shirt]
Lib1: It's made of organically-grown hemp!
Lib2: Fair-trade from Romania!
Radish: What's the carbon footprint of imports from Romania?
Libs: [together, crestfallen] Oh.
[Radish nods sagely and gets another Hacker-Pschorr, feeling no guilt whatsoever about its journey from München to Milwaukee]

Later I wondered what they do with the wastewater from processing the hemp, how the processing equipment was powered (bast fibers have to beaten into submission...), not to mention the spinning and weaving. Of course, in Romania they might still be paying peasants pennies an hour to pound the fibers by hand until they're soft enough to process. But then they breathe heavy, and that makes carbon dioxide...

Sigh. L'esprit d'escalier. I haz it.

I've got nothing against hemp; I think it's wrong that the cotton lobby has been so effective in outlawing its production in the US. But it doesn't make anything in my amygdala flash, either. Oooh, Earthy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Radish Was Here!

This is the best time of year--I had the whole beach to myself! Of course, I wasn't sure where the beach ended and the ice began, so I stayed fairly close to the grass.

Kohler-Andrae State Park. The snow was about up to my knees (note to self: snowshoes). I had a great couple hours stomping around in my rabbit-fur hat and new boots, totally blinded by the sun off the water and the snow, simultaneously frozen and overheating. It was like being 8 again, except no one came out and physically hauled me in for lunch--I didn't leave until I was good and ready. :)

"Hillary Clinton is a Communist!"

So, I had to wait around the post office this morning for the passport window to open (which it did, 15 minutes late, after the family waiting ahead of me went over to the stamp counter to bitch...). Always interesting people-watching at the post office.

The best was a woman about my age and size, lesbian-separatist boots and haircut, who found a "don't forget to vote for Hillary" postcard in her box, shouted "Hillary Clinton is a Communist!!" at the lobby, and ripped it up and threw it on the floor. Everyone in the line was kind of stunned...she went to the stamp counter, bought some stamps, and on her way out, she shouted at us again. "Hillary Clinton is a Communist!"

That time I grinned. She wasn't looking at us, or I might thanked her for her candor.

The family in front of me had been yapping about how much better Canada is than the U.S., so I thought I'd best keep the rest of my thoughts ("Obama's not far off...") to myself. But it's so damned refreshing to hear someone use the word "Communist" as an epithet, for a change.

Not to mention that was just weird!

Random Hawkeye bashing

Spotted this comment on an article about an ISU football recruit reneging on the commitment paper he signed a mere week ago:
We all know that you don't have to go to a big-time NCAA program to get into the NFL, look at Bob Sanders and Dallas Clark.

I couldn't have done better myself!

"Nicaraguans enjoy Pats loss"

Heart-warming, isn't it? :)

"I like this a lot," said one little girl. "We never thought we would receive shirts from professional American football players."

Thousands of additional shirts and caps are on the way, as the NFL donates all the unsellable Patriots "championship" gear that was manufactured before the team's historic loss.

I'm trying to remember the argument against this sort of thing, from people who "study" dress and culture. Something about "imperialism"--basically, the charity is "polluting" their (superior, obviously) local culture by forcing American modes of dress on their pure Noble-Savage ways. Free T-shirts are a gateway drug to *gasp* capitalism and free trade and the 21st century, oh noes! I'm pretty sure this view ignores any actual research in to how recipients of free American clothing modify and use it, which is why I remember the discussion so vividly--I expected "scholars" of "dress and culture" to, like, study how cultures use textiles, not get all pissy about them coming in contact with other cultures.

Later I had a class with a woman who ran a local Salvation Army post with her husband, who told me that when African villages (I wish I could remember which country she visited) get bundles of their unsalable clothes, the women take them apart and use the fabrics and trims to make clothing and furnishings in styles they prefer.

OTOH, how sad it would be if one of those kids grows up believing the F-Pats were the Best Team Ever, manages to walk up to California without getting shot by the Mexican border guards (yeah...), and the first time he turns on the ESPN Spanish broadcast of an F-Pats game, he learns it's all a lie?


After last year’s Super Bowl game, a significant portion of the Chicago Bears apparel was distributed in Zambia in southern Africa. Other countries receiving Bears shirts included Chad, Chile, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Romania, and Zimbabwe.

World Vision also receives counterfeit NFL team apparel through its work with United States Customs. The program began in 1991 at the Storehouse of World Vision through a donation of confiscated goods from Los Angeles Customs. World Vision disburses confiscated goods and official, licensed apparel only in pre-approved, developing nations.

I am intrigued. Whole lot of stuff to look up on the internets.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I've never wanted to be a colon...

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

Worst part about being right all the time is all the people who refuse to acknowledge it.

And Happy F-ing Valentine's Day

Migrants hold mass wedding near border:

TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - Nearly 600 Mexican couples tied the knot in a mass Valentine's Day wedding by the U.S. border on Thursday, many of them undocumented migrants who met while working illegally in the United States.

Maybe I'd be more attractive to men if I broke more laws. *srednop*
"Isn't she gorgeous? I love her!" said Inocencio Felix of his new wife Angelica Perez, 36, dressed in a flouncy white wedding gown. Perez was deported by U.S. immigration officials two weeks ago from the state of Oregon, where the couple met.

Felix, also living in the United States illegally, said he came back to the Mexican border city of Tijuana, across from San Diego, voluntarily for the mass open-air wedding.

"We're going to go back to the United States soon, our life is there," he said, holding a heart-shaped pink balloon.

We'll be awaiting your application at the embassy, Inocencio...make sure you've had a TB shot, OK?

I've had a bit of a discussion this week with a college friend in California about McCain's immigration plans, which he thinks are "ahead of the curve." He thinks the amnesty is a good thing, and we really don't have enough American workers with less than a high school education. I told him to come walk by the liquor store parking lot near my office. He doesn't believe illegals are committing crimes, either--and maybe they aren't killing law enforcement officers in cold blood or committing hit-and-run vehicular homicide (DUI, of course) in his fashionable suburb of Sacramento. Wisconsin seems to be quite different.

We do agree that we need to make it easier for educated people--people who will be making enough money to pay income taxes--to get here legally without waiting several years. The best doctor I've ever had was from Ghana, educated in London, waited five years--anyone like her who wants to come here should be much more welcome than they are.

[Our main disagreement is over whether or not I should fall in line and vote for McCain next Tuesday. Huckabee can't get enough delegates, so screw it! I'll write in whoever I want! And we'll talk about November when I see who his running mate is.]

The nannies are staging a coup

Kate from Small Dead Animals had an excellent piece in Canada's National Post that I can sum up with "You people are pansies." (I've been channeling my grandmother all day...) Key graf:

Traits essential to the building of nations and preservation of democracies -- reason, resolve, creativity, self-reliance, common sense -- are no longer holding their own against the tide of the emotive, reactionary, self-obsessed and risk averse. The foundations built by those pioneering forefathers, upon which our unparalleled wealth and security were built, are cracking under the weight of regulation, litigation and personal entitlement. The nannies are staging a coup. They've moved out of the nursery to seize control of the family business.

Maybe the coming ice age will toughen us up a bit (not me, I'm already tough).

Tangentially, smoking bans increase drunken-driving fatalities. HEH! Seems similar to "dry counties cause more drunken-driving fatalities" although that's partly from people picking up an extra six-pack for the 20-mile drive back home.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Black Thursday ever!

I spent Valentine's Day eating steak with six men who adore me. That's never happened before...

OK, I was out with some geeky gay and asexual (not a dig, they're just not interested in dating/relationships) because it was a co-worker's birthday, and they adore me because I bake cakes from scratch when asked nicely. Dark chocolate with peanut butter frosting, upon request--and it was a hit with all and our waiter as well. My mother will be pleased the Future Homemakers of America training wasn't a waste, after all. *snicker*

I also got a miniature rose bush (thank you, Bryan!), although I'm not sure how long I can keep it alive:

The cat asked for ranch dressing. He got gooshyfood.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I wonder why they never visit the neighborhood where I work

According to the Clinton campaign, the former president will start with a 9 a.m. stop in Milwaukee at the Italian Community Center, followed by an 11:15 appearance at the Waukesha County Exposition Center in Waukesha.

He could drop by the guys hanging out in the liquor store parking lot at 8 a.m. and establish some rapport bitching about their babymamas.

OR he could fall down a pothole and never be seen again!

The problem with the coming ice age

Steve at No Runny Eggs has a lovely table I have sent to all my Gore-worshipping friends.

I'm all excited about the coming ice age (I love snow!) but you know what's going to happen? As the world freezes over, people are going to attribute the cause to the Prius, or giving up citrus, or giving al-Gore indulgence money, or wearing hemp, or whatever dumbass "carbon reduction" fad they fell into last year. "The sun? Are you joking? I caused global warming by showering every day, and when I switched to bi-weekly baths, it went away! It was ME! And if we take away your car, we can fix it even better!"

It wasn't the big ball (109 Earths wide) of nuclear reaction, radiating energy into our atmosphere, that has no effect.

There's no way to fight this; people want to think they're important.

If it's not hazardous on Saturday, I'm going for a long drive with no actual destination.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Best quote from Salon ever.

Yeah, I know that's not saying much.
Have you tried to hold a conversation with somebody on a diet? The first 10 pounds they lose are mostly brain.

So true.

Here's a report on the Minnesota Starvation Study, conducted after WWII on volunteers, to determine how to best help people who were suffering from food shortages in war-torn areas. A side of WWII I hadn't really thought about much. It's also an interesting refutation of the Mississippi "no fatties" bill.

Bill Clinton's forgotten terrorist pardons

You know, it's been really easy to forget what an unprincipled, arrogant, dishonorable, self-serving America-hating ASSHOLE he was, and I thank Debra Burlingame for reminding me.

Heck, the terrorists he pardoned had more honor than Bill Clinton:
The president had ignored federal guidelines for commutation of sentences, including the most fundamental: The prisoners hadn't actually asked for clemency.

To push the deal through, signed statements renouncing violence and expressing remorse were required by the Justice Department. The FALN prisoners, surely relishing the embarrassment and discomfiture they were causing the president and his wife, had previously declined to accept these conditions. Committed and unrepentant militants who did not accept the authority of the United States, they refused to apologize for activities they were proud of in order to obtain a clemency they never requested.

Iowa State commemorates a century of basketball Saturday

Also scheduled to return are eight of the 12 living members of Iowa State's 15-man all-century team - [Gary] Thompson, Jeff Grayer, Fred Hoiberg, Hercle "Poison" Ivy, Zaid Abdul-Aziz, Victor Alexander, Kelvin Cato and Jake Sullivan.

The man who reinvented Iowa State basketball, coach Johnny Orr, will also be back.

I love Johnny Orr. The REAL Johnny Orr, not this poseur.

Key Iowa State Basketball Moments.

I remember that Big 8 title game like it was yesterday (in your face LaFrentz, you traitor!), but I don't remember the 2000 Big XII title game, probably because it was on ESPN and I didn't have cable. I do remember the quilts I was working on during that winter and the Big XII tournament--all the other games were on local TV. (Barry Stevens is fuzzy, probably because that's the week I got a little brother.)

The ISU women were also back-to-back conference champions in 2000 and 2001 (I saw a lot of their games with my aunt and uncle). I will never throw out that T-shirt.

Anyway, if the trends hold, ISU basketball will stop sucking around 2013 or 2026.

I still think she's a spy.

India, the White House kitty. Owners? Cats don't have owners, they have suckers (ask me how I know this....). Notice how she's placed herself behind the plant, so she can observe the Cabinet unnoticed...

Not a lot about her, but the 2004 caption writer--I think the AP writes the captions these days--often mentioned "Willie the Cat" in the "Barney Picture of the Day", which is now the "Barney Picture of Whenever We Get Around To It."

Sample 2004 caption: Although not exactly the Kung Fu DVD box set he requested for his birthday, Barney attempts to have fun with a thrilling new multi-colored ball. All of Oct 2004 is funny, really.

Sample recent caption: Bush family pets "Kitty," Miss Beazley and Barney wait patiently for a photo session to begin in the Green Room of the White House Thursday, June 7, 2007.

Staff turnover's a bitch. Especially when they can't even be bothered to learn the cat's names.

I also enjoyed this picture of Dave Cheney exiting Air Force Two (I think). I'd love to know what the Marine is thinking. Then I'd like to replace Dave with, say, Hillary, and then know what THAT Marine is thinking. I'm sure he'll miss Dave.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cranky Monday

I love snow, but this "high of 0" garbage can stop now. There's ice on the inside of my windows. Plus, I slept on my neck funny and spent the last three hours of the night having a dream about standing in lines at the airport trying to change a ticket for a 2 a.m. flight, then standing in lines at the DMV trying to get a Mississippi driver's license because the airport wouldn't take the one I have, then standing in line back at the airport, over and over and over...insane.
  • Someone's still overrated (and it ain't Favre).
  • ..."ignoring everything that plausibly could be seen as a beacon of the music industry's future." They say that like it's a bad thing. The industry sucks, and the new "artists" being promoted by said industry are just...ugh. The only young "artist" mentioned in that whole article who doesn't make my ears bleed is Alicia Keys. They don't make music, they sell sex. (The only part of the Grammys I watched, after getting a text message about it, was Herbie Hancock and the kid with the head-in-a-blender hair fronting an orchestra playing some Gershwin. It was nice. Next up was "Best Crap Album" so I turned it back off.)
    • "In one of the evening's most awkward moments, comedian George Lopez introduced Brad Paisley with a clumsy joke about protecting Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton from assassination." George--they didn't cancel your show because you're brown, they canceled it because you're NOT FUNNY. I wonder if HRC will sic the IRS on him...
  • Future of the Western World to be decided by crooks and children. (I know, that ain't news).
  • Obamarama ruined my "no politics Sunday" with his !*%(&~#(% TV ad. "End the War!" How about "WIN the war"?? "Save the planet!" From what? The planet was here several billion years before the DNC was founded and the planet will be here several billion years after the DNC forces us all back into a pre-industrial age. "Create jobs!" What kind of jobs? How? And how do you square "we need more jobs" with "we don't have enough Americans to do the work, so we need more uneducated masses from South America!" Maybe they can carry the litters of their political betters when cars are outlawed to save the planet, who knows. Who cares? No one loves Obama for his ideas.
  • Colts in the Hall of Fame Bowl. 176 days until football starts again. If anybody needs me, I'll be hibernating.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday Night's Alright for Steyn-ing

OK, my use of the English language needs some work. Or more beer.

Video of Mark Steyn at CPAC. I think the crowd had more beers than I've had. But he's real good around minute 14 of Part 2.

Oh! I forgot to post this last weekend. On the corner of...Ingersoll?--just north of Blues on Grand in Des Moines there is a billboard honoring Brad Kasal (unfortunately, it was too dark for my camera). I about fell over. I can't imagine that being allowed around here.

I assume this is wishful thinking

because then she and her similarly-convicted friends can get all smug about "See! We knew America's just a bunch of bigots!" and feel warm and fuzzy about how tolerant they are.

If Barack Obama becomes the next US president he will surely be assassinated, British Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing predicted in a newspaper interview published here Saturday.

(OTOH, I remember thinking the same thing about W in Nov 2004, and with all the "execute him for his crimes" crap I read daily, I still kind of expect it. So.)

Friday, February 8, 2008

More stuff I don't understand.

Randy Rhoads was a genius, didn't use drugs, was going to go back to school (to get a degree in classical guitar), and died in the stupidest dumbass stunt ever.

Ozzy Osbourne...middling talent, drunk/high/stoned almost continuously for forty years (fifty years?), annoying, vulgar, and still with us.

If I could ask God two questions, that would be the second.


Fred Thompson, the one-time Republican presidential candidate, endorsed Sen. John McCain Friday, calling on the party to "close ranks" behind the presumed nominee.
*sigh* I expected more...

This afternoon at work I was listening to Rush from yesterday (I laugh when he does his McCain impression, and people look at me funny), and he said, "You don't know what things will be like next February", and I started wondering what the procedure is if the nominee has a fatal stroke before November.

I have no idea when I turned into Pollyanna.

I had no idea we were such an ugly bride.

Gary Varvel.
It's backwards, isn't it? Isn't it supposed to be the bride's father with the shotgun, forcing a reluctant groom to do the honorable thing and make the grandkid legit?? Now there's something that doesn't happen in the 21st century...

I'm not sure who the father forcing us to accept McCain would be, though. Not Reagan. Ann Coulter's been off in the weeds lately, but the bit on her website that said "Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan! (Sorry about McCain)" was right on.

Did I post this one? I gotta send David Tyree and Osi Umenyiora a thank-you note.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

While I'm ranting: "Normal" Snowfall ISN'T

I can't STAND this sort of shoddy misinformation:
So far this winter Milwaukee has notched 65.7 inches of snow. That's a wee bit over the normal of 33.9 inches.

THERE IS NO NORMAL. "Normal" precipitation as labeled by meterology forecasting companies is merely the average of a sliding 30-year period. So the "normal 33.9 inches" they speak of is the AVERAGE snowfall of years between 1971 and 2000. 5.5 feet very well could be statistically normal for Milwaukee. Yes, it's above an artificially-constrained average, but it's probably not statistically aberrant, especially if you include years before 1971.

Mostly I'm tired of people bitching about it, like they expect Wisconsin to be Alabama in February. It's still a free country for a few months, feel free to leave...

I will not disenfranchise myself

I'm cranky every election, knowing that my ballot is canceled out by some college kid voting once at school and once absentee at his folks, and/or whoever's voting with my name and the address on my birth certificate in Cook County, and/or a non-citizen signed up by an activist (what, you don't think legally-resident non-citizens don't sign up to vote on college campuses??).

But I have a great appreciation of the first-wave feminists (the ones who said, "hey, women aren't cattle...") and their struggles (Alice Paul and her compatriots were beaten and tortured in their quest to secure my right to vote). There's nothing I can do about fraud except bitch (my most sacred right), but I'll be damned if I'll let a bunch of Democrats and unaffiliated primary voters or a bunch of morons who can't see past tribal identity (that would be the Huckster fans) cheat me out of my right to cast a ballot in November.

Yes, the differences between McCain and Hillary/Obamarama are superficial, and we're boned no matter what. WI has no Senate race; the House incumbants in SE WI look pretty set for life; I'm not sure local races will have any effect on the 2012 POTUS selection. (If I was still in Iowa, I'd damn sure be out to vote against Tom no avail....)

But I don't have to choose between those two. I'm pretty sure I won't be voting for the Green Party, the Communist Party of America, the International Workers Party, etc. But dammit, I'll be writing someone in. Because I CAN, and because, being more informed than most, I SHOULD.

My car will be paid off in June, in case I have to live out of it....

The Onion does not disappoint

Patriots' Season Perfect For Rest Of Nation

"The worst part for me is that none of them seem to enjoy playing football," said Lexington, KY-area mechanic Jack Colgrave. "Even when they were winning, all they did was taunt—Randy Moss taunting crowds, Wes Welker telling people they sucked, Brady sneering at the very idea they might get beat someday. What a bunch of absolutely perfect assholes."

"Did their team plane land safely back in Foxborough?" Colgrave asked. "It didn't happen to lose altitude over Boston, burst into a cartwheel of flames, throwing players like Roman candles across New England, and then slam into few dozen loudmouth Patriots' fans houses? It didn't? Well, I guess no football season is perfect."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

White stuff!

Finally! A storm lives up to the hype! There's even wind!
...the accumulation for Milwaukee was pushing the season up the charts, from number 40 to within reach of the top 25.

I can't believe how much people have bitched about this winter, and now I learn it's not even Top 25 material...?

I love snow.

I just a had dumb argument with a friend who thinks I shouldn't read Gregg Easterbrook's column because he also writes for The New Republic (do they have any credibility left?) and, I quote "W will be disappointed in you." I thought that was the stupidest thing I've ever read, until he changed it to "Fred Thompson will be disappointed in you" when W's 'disappointment' failed to shame me.

Admittedly, I find only 30% of any give Easterbrook NFL column has any actual football content, and if the argument had been "because he's a pig who thinks women are objects who should cater to his viewing pleasures" it would have held weight.

But I didn't realize there was a blacklist of writers I wasn't allowed to read, much less that any politician gives a shit what I read.

Would be counterproductive anyway; the major appeal conservatism holds for me is that the alternatives are unfair, unfree, and unproductive. Easterbrook's socialist blather (the Super Bowl column is no exception) just reinforces that appeal. There was one earlier in the season, or maybe end of last season, that really stood out, where he was going on about how horrible it was that individuals and corporations were being allowed to buy Boeing 787s (eventually, heh) for individual usage. It stood out because the Boeing 787 is indirectly paying my rent. Without those horrible individuals and corporations being free to choose to spend their money as they see fit, I might still be living in my sister's basement and stocking kitchenware at the outlet mall for $6/hr.

Well. This is disturbing.

In the mornings, I start the coffee and then hit the shower. When I emerged this morning, I caught Satan's Little Helper licking ground coffee off the scoop. Last thing I need, a caffeinated cat...although he seems to be napping right now. No doubt he's recharging for major mayhem after breakfast.

(Two Lumps was relevant this morning, too.)

I'm taking a personal day due to snow, after calling some people already into work about the roads and calling some others who said they were staying home. Which sucks because lately I feel a need to make maximum money this year to save for living expenses after the Clinton/Obama/McCain/Huckabee 2009 Tax Hike leaves me unemployed and/or without enough post-tax income to pay my way (which is what they want--more people dependent on government for basic needs). OTOH, if I crunch my car (more likely, if someone who didn't clear the snow off their windshield or turn signals before driving 60 mph down Teutonia crunches my car), it will cost more to fix than I'd make today...

Anyway. I'm going to clean the kitchen and bathroom now, so at least I won't enjoy my break from pressing buttons.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Oh, and the "obesity costs money thing"?

Filed under "study shows something I've known for years, but get ridiculed for pointing out":
LONDON - Preventing obesity and smoking can save lives, but it doesn't save money, researchers reported Monday. It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

"It was a small surprise," said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, who led the study. "But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more."

In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.
I'm thinking if you're using hospitals all that much, you're probably not "healthy." Just thin. But, whatever.

They also found that fat people live an average of 80 years, compared to 84 for thin people who don't die of cancer or drunk drivers or stray bullets or jogging. I consider four years a small price to pay for occasionally piercing my endless boredom with frozen custard, but this is an individual choice--I'm pretty much just waiting for God these days--so feel free to disagree. Just don't feel free to legislate my choice away, dammit!

Now, the claim that diabetes is costing Medicaid/Medicare so much money, I believe that--because the problems are incentives. People don't control their diabetes with diet and exercise if they get free drugs (this is a problem for people with employer-provided insurance, too); people don't pursue full employment if they think they'll lose their free drugs if they get a better job; similarly, people don't save for their futures if they think someone else will pay their way; and finally the whole Medicaid/Medicare system is so wicked INEFFICIENT and bureaucratic...

(I'm labeling this post "fascism" because nationalized health care is. Aside: I finished Jonah's book if anyone wants to borrow my unsigned copy.)

Fascist Mississippi restaurant bill might die

I'm still not taking a vacation down to Mississippi anytime soon. Which annoys me, because I'd love to spend a month or two driving US61 from Davenport (Bix Beiderbecke) down to the Delta (obvious). I digress:
House Public Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Steve Holland announced his intention to kill House Bill 282. The proposed legislation has outraged advocacy groups critical of the legislation and intrigued the national media.

"It's dead on arrival at my desk," Holland, D-Plantersville, said in a news release. "While I appreciate the efforts of my fellow House members to help curb the obesity problem in Mississippi, this is totally the wrong approach."
Can I get a "no shit"?

The author of the bill still needs to have his rectal-cranial inversion treated:
"You take food away from fat people ... my gosh," Mayhall said.

*headdesk* NO. It's not about "fat people are crybabies who eat too much." It's about government mandating discrimination against an entire class of people (I thought there was an amendment about that...). It's about government seizing control of--and probably destroying--another industry. And mostly it's about we're freaking ADULTS, capable of making decisions about where we will eat dinner, and it's no one's damn business if someone wants to trade me a cheeseburger for a sawbuck.

Holland and Gov. Haley Barbour (R) have the right idea:
Holland, who has described himself as obese, said, "I am working on my own health issues, and I need to do that. I think (Gov. Haley Barbour's) take on this is a good idea. Let's all go walking instead of trying to tell restaurants who they can serve."

Schadenfreude Tuesday...

The fun continues--idle speculation about that video evidence that the F-Pats cheated in Super Bowl XXXVI:
As the media, the NFL and Congress commence the process of determining whether a video employee fired five years ago can prove the Patriots' video operation went far enough to potentially compromise the outcome of an NFL championship, a possibility exists that the federal government will launch an investigation into whether the Patriots took any action that violated the Economic Espionage Act.

Signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the Economic Espionage Act makes the theft of trade secrets a federal offense. Without getting into the nuts and bolts of the applicable legal mumbo-jumbo, 18 U.S.C. • 1832 makes it a criminal act to steal, take, carry away or obtain by fraud or deception what 18 U.S.C • 1839 defines as a "trade secret."

It's a broad definition, and, as a practical matter, the question of whether a pro football team's game plan constitutes a "trade secret" under this law is something that would be sorted out after a grand jury hands up indictments.

Belichick must have reneged on his deal with Satan.

I was wondering what I was going to obsess about until baseball, what with my basketball teams in the outhouse and the realization that we're boned come November no matter what happens outside of WI today.

(Aside: I told a couple of people yesterday that I was looking forward to Manning Bowl II: This Time It's Super, and lo. I am so good.)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Heh. Heh heh.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Schadenfreude Monday!

I have a lot of philosophical differences with Indy Star Colts guy Bob Kravitz. This week is no exception. Perfection, my fat white ass! The season ended too soon, and badly, and Marvin was missing for most of it.

But if you replace "perfection" with "sweet, sweet schadenfreude" he might be onto something:

For the state of Indiana, where the only thing better than a Colts' Super Bowl victory is a Patriots' Super Bowl loss, this is what perfection looks like.

It looks like Tom Brady laying flat on his back, a dazed look on his movie-star face after yet another New York Giants jailbreak to his sternum.

It looks like a humbled Bill Belichick, whose biggest challenge may soon come with additional questions arising in the wake of Spygate, sprinting across the field to congratulate the day's most accomplished coach, New York's Tom Coughlin.

It looks like Eli Manning, Peyton's little brother, engineering a Brady-esque drive in the final moments, pulling off one of football history's great Houdini jobs by getting away from multiple tacklers before receiver David Tyree's miracle catch. "That might be one of the all-time great plays in Super Bowl history," Coughlin said. And no, it wasn't overstatement.

It looks like Plaxico Burress, whose audacious early-week prediction of a Giants' victory seemed beyond preposterous, catching the game-winning touchdown, then dissolving into tears as he spoke with a TV reporter on the field.

Perfection looks like Patriots, stunned and beaten and humbled in a way that defied explanation, bathing in a shower of red, white and blue confetti that was not, for once, meant for them.

Ahhhhhhhhh. :) Welcome to Perfectville.

The cheaters didn't prosper; the arrogant were cut down to size, evil was vanquished, and forget about them anyway: this is the best (non-Colts) play I have ever seen.

The grass stains are just a bonus; the real prize will be seven months of not hearing from or about Goatboy or Randy Moss. Sweet, sweet silence.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I love Mark Steyn.

High on a hill, the Lonely Coatherd suddenly realized he was yodeling to himself.

Help, I'm in Des Moines

Terrorists should be sent here. I was forcibly detained there for several hours yesterday; after fifteen minutes I was ready to give up and spill everything I knew just for a chance of being released. Sweet Jesus, it was like the macaque cage at feeding time, except monkeys don't let their eight-year-old daughters wear more makeup than drag queens.

Had a great time with my brother, his...roommate, my sister, and her husband at Blues on Grand last night, at least.

My brother-in-law's sister went on a date with Leo-on-American-Idol at Wartburg before he transferred to Iowa State and came out as gay. I still won't watch the show. :P

Now everyone is sleeping and I am bored.