Got off work early, though I'm stll here since I have no way to get home till Nin get's off work. So, why don't I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed New Year!
Special wishes to all the new friends I made in 2003, and to all the ones I started the year with :) And extra warm fuzzies to each and every one of my wonderful readers. Y'all rock! Here's a toast to an awesome 2004!
Been messing with my sidebar as it's getting long enough to reach China, so I've made some changes. One of those is the Bear Flag League listing. As a member of the League, you need to at least link to the League listing, and if you want, you can list the entire league as well. Well, that's what I've always done, but as the BFL keeps growing, so does my aforementioned sidebar! So, I've decided to try out a modified version and see how it goes. What I've got now is a list of my daily reads in the BFL. I try and get through the entire list at least once a week, but I can't hit every one every single day. Wish I could, since there is much good stuff to be had! So just because you're not a daily read doesn't mean I don't love you all. It's just a matter of not enough time in the day.
Anyway, the list will probably vary, as time and fancy allow. But I do encourage my readers to check out the full list over at Bear Flag central. You'll be glad you did!
Oh, and while it probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that I'm supporting Bush/Cheney in 2004, I made it official and added a button!
Last year, I posted a link to some Lord of the Rings checks in a post on my old personal blog. The last few months, I've been getting thise emails from the check company telling me keep my customers happy by updating the link. Well today, I decided to email them and ask them to please stop sending me the notices as I was not a business. I get an email back and the woman is arguing with me over my request! It just set me off! So, I emailed again, this time in a very grumpy mood. Basically said that if they wanted to keep me as a customer, I wanted to be removed from their notify list as I had requested.
Geepers! I'm the frelling customer, so do what I want, don't argue with me!
[deep breath] I just got a reply back apologizing and promising to take me off the list.
According to this, you can use software to stargaze from other planets. Too bad they don't include a sample pic.
"An Anglican bishop in British Columbia has ordered a church closed after it refused to support same-sex unions and declared itself independent, Canada's National Post newspaper said Tuesday.
Despite the decision by Bishop Michael Ingham to close the Holy Cross Church in Abbotsford, the Rev. James Wagner said his congregation would celebrate Mass on Christmas as planned.
"As far as the diocese is concerned, we do not exist. We are a non-entity," Wagner was quoted as saying, "but I will not abandon these people. I will continue to pastor and pray for them in the midst of this crisis."
He said Ingham's decision to close the church was a surprise because "it's so close to Christmas."
Ronald Harrison, executive archdeacon of the Diocese of New Westminster, was quoted as saying Holy Cross brought the closure upon itself by seeking episcopal oversight from another bishop. "
Very interesting article on the evolving science of tectonics and the granddaddy of CA faults -- the San Andreas. If you're at all interested in the subject -- and if you live in CA you probably are -- then go read this one. Amazing stuff.
A few weeks ago I thanked my Secret Santa for the Ebay gift certificate they gave me. However, it turns out that it while it might have been "a" Secret Santa gift, it might not have been "the" Secret Santa gift. If you take my meaning.
I think "the" gift was the "Uppity Women" books that were waiting for me from Amazon yesterday.
So, dear Secret Santa, thank you for my gift(s) they/it were very much appreciated! And if I have a stalker, well, thank you too!
(and if you think I'm confused....)
While perusing SDB's latest on the upcoming election (which you should go read all of) (do I need to even actually say that?) (never mind) I discovered something I think I've always secretly known in my heart o' hearts: I'm a White Male. No, really. I am! SDB offers proof in black and white:
* Analysts in both parties agree that Bush is benefiting among white men from his aggressive use of force against terrorism and his alternately folksy and blunt "bring 'em on" personal style.
* To a great extent, this is because white men as a group prefer cowboys to metrosexuals.
* The ideal "is that a real man is a man of few words and determined, resolute action: like in [the movie] 'High Noon.' And Bush captures this almost perfectly and effortlessly."
The president's black-and-white pronouncements on terrorism and war — from his promise to capture Osama bin Laden "dead or alive" to his "bring 'em on" taunt to Iraqi resisters — which generate unease among many women and even some more affluent men, help cement Bush's attachment to blue-collar men, who, recent polls show, support him at higher levels than men with college degrees.
* Bush is benefiting, too, from a political environment focused on terrorism and national security issues that highlight the aspects of his personality that many men like best. Men have traditionally been more inclined than women to support military action, and recent polls show white men significantly more enthusiastic about the decision to invade Iraq than other Americans.
"He kind of runs a testosterone-driven White House, in terms of both the rhetoric and the dominant issue, which is war," said John Anzalone, an Alabama-based Democratic pollster. "It's a natural resonance with men, particularly white men. Usually the only thing that knocks that down for a Democrat is the economy."
* As long as the Democratic nomination is still in doubt, Democratic candidates won't be able to begin to moderate their message so as to begin to appeal to centrist voters. And by early August, the centrist consensus may end up as "A plague on all their houses" -- especially among white men, who are especially repelled by rhetoric which appeals to the Berkeley-left inside the Democratic party.
There you have it. I can no longer deny what I really am.
I feel so empowered now.....
(where's my damn tequila??)
Clifford May on The Corner has this observation about Iran and the deaths in Bam:
.... It was no secret that the region was prone to earthquakes. It is no secret that un-reinforced mud-brick buildings would, in case of a severe temblor, bury people alive. The leaders of a poor country could claim that they hadn’t the resources to do anything about that -- that they could not, for example, afford to reinforce existing structures or build new structures that could withstand temblors. But Iran is oil-rich and has had plenty of money to lavish on nuclear weapons programs and on such terrorist groups as Hezbollah.
What kind of people are so sick and depraved to do something like this to a defenseless cat? And it wasn't just one sicko, it was two of them! Stories like this make me by turns furious and sad and boy would I like to submit the bastards to some reciprocal justice.
The rain is coming down so hard here, I can't see across the street. And poor Nin has to walk many blocks to the truck in this :(
Mum called and said the power keeps flickering off and on, so if we keep electricity through the night, I'll be surprised.
I never posted about pressies, of the Xmas variety that it. I have to admit, I was so sick on Christmas Eve, that all I wanted to do was collapse into bed, so what I got didn't really register. But in the interest of full blog disclosure, I'll fill y'all in.
Nin got me a wonderful coat! She wins for best pressie. My brother went off the deepend, and took my permission for him to buy me a hard drive as carte blanche to buy me nothing but computer parts, and to convince my poor mother to do the same. I was so not pleased. So the video card (what my mother got me) is being returned for something off my actual Christmas list. The only non-computer part gift my family got me was the Indiana Jones DVDs.
Roberta got me The First English Prayer Book, Winston & Franklin, and the Rotk soundtrack -- which I listened to over and over.
I used the Ebay GC my Secret Santa got me to get calendars for the coming year.
We hooked up with the canoodling couple yesterday about 3pm and I think we had a pretty good time. Took them down to Carmel Beach, and pointed out Pebble Beach golf course, went to the Mission, the Barnyard where we went to Thunderbird and then had coffee at Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting. Then it was off to Pacific Grove for dinner, where we initiated Jay into the mysteries of a traditional Mexican dinner. After dinner, we headed to Cannery Row for a little pool and a few drinks. Jay insists he's never played pool before, but we think he was lying.
It was great meeting both of them, and the make an adorable couple. (everyone all together now: AWWWWWWWWWWW) They were so lovely dovey, it was disgusting! :)
This was my laugh of the day:
Here's a guy who left the Episcopal Church because of a dispute over a bike path. A bike path! That's like leaving the Catholic Church, not because of priests molesting little boys, but because you didn't like the robes the parish bought for the choir. It's an overreaction to a simple problem.
And this is the guy that some Democrats want to see in charge of foreign policy. I look at Howard Dean and see a guy who's going to invade Mexico because Taco Bell got his order wrong.
No war for queso! No Dean in 2004!
Cam's such a card!
On Xmas Day, I was watching TV for a bit, and found our local NBC affiliate was playing the Christmas morning service at the Natl Cathedral. I left it on and was just in time for the sermon. I should have known better. It was full of wonderful PC twaddle -- about what one would expect from the Natl Cathedral, I guess. But, it was soon over, and I did enjoy the familiar words of the Creed, & the music.
Via The Corner, here's a snippet from the sermon:
And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the Law to Moses? And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet Muhammad? And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
As Rod Dreher says, it comes as a surprise to many Christians that an Anglican bishop believes that the Islamic revelation was true, not false, as Christianity teaches implicitly.
Comes as a surprise to many Anglicans too!
For Paul, who was wondering at some point (if I remember correctly), how to keep his poinsettia alive.
Hey! I know I said I was going to send you a personal "thank you" email, but the last few comments you've left don't have a link or an email address.
So if you read this, let me know how to contact you, and I can email you a proper thank you!
This was funny enough to get me back to the computer.
Nin just wandered out of the "Pit of Doom" aka her room, (think Shelob's lair in RotK) all bleary, and her t-shirt is not only on backwards, but inside out as well. (You see, Nin got video games for Xmas from Roberta, and that means gaming till dawn on the weekends.) I point this out to her, and we have the following conversation:
"So, how late were you up till this morning?"
"You fell asleep in front of the TV, didn't you??"
Shifty expression appears on her face. Long pause. "Yeah."
Nin shuffles off. A few minutes later I give her a cup of tea and she points out her shirt, now in all the correct directions.
"It was just amusing!!"
[insert random persecuted grumbling]
"And it's going to make the perfect blog post!"
"I would. And it's all right her in my head, ready to be posted!"
More persecuted muttering. "Okay." And she walks away in dejection.
She's back playing her games now, and probably won't see the light of day till we go meet Jay and Deb tomorrow!
Just wanted to let everyone know I'm still alive, if not quite kicking :) I spent four days running a fever, 102 for a couple of them, anf I feel pretty weak at this point. Trying to eat now, as I didn't eat much through this. So hopefully I should start getting some umph back.
I told Nin I was gauging my suffering on "the burning pain in the head o-meter". The first couple of days it was at Gollum levels -- 'the light, it hurtss our eyes it does'. So no TV, no reading, even the radio I had to keep on at a very low volume.
For a very few minutes. This is the first time I've been up for more than 15 miunutes, so I wanted to wish one and all a Merry & Blessed Christmas! Hope Santa is good to you all.
Now back to bed for me!
Talk about perfect timing! 1/2 hour ago UPS delivered (we're at the end of the route) and there were two boxes from Amazon. What do I come to find? A book -- Anubis Gates -- and a DVD -- Don Jaun DeMarco -- from two of my readers, Kshatriya, and Debbie. As bad as I was feeling, it couldn't have been a better cheer-me-up. I was almost in tears. How incredibly thoughtful of both of you! I've read on other blogs, what it's like to get unexpected treasures in the mail, but now I know what it feels like. Thanks to both of you! Many virtual hugs coming your way!
Personal email of thanks to come tomorrow!
Here's some new -- to me -- blogs to check out.
Grim's Hall (hey, Eldar Edda snippets in the sidebar. what's not to like?)
And a very special mention for this one. ez-cure has been one of the most prolific commenters here, and he has a brand new blog. (not that he actually told me about it!)
And while we're talking about new blogs, I've discovered lots of what are now fave reads because of a comment left here. So don't be shy! Leave a comment some day so I can find you :)
What a day. My back is in spasms, no idea why. I think I need to get away from the damp. My stomach is really bothering me, and I'm ready to snap at the next person who acts like a moron.
I had to deal with one of our most obnoxious clients today. The only reason we do business with him is because he's a client of one of our contract customers. I was shaking when I hung up the phone this afternoon. Didn't help my tummy or my back, let me tell you. Throw the earthquake on top of it, and I'm a stress cocktail. Ever since Loma Prieta, me and earthquakes don't get along.
Now work is officially over and I'm waiting for my ride at 630pm, so I'm trying to calm down a bit.
There's something about an earthquake that gets Californians into social mode. Everyone calls everyone else, or drops into the office to discuss every little detail of their quake experience. Actually pretty amusing once your heart starts beating normally again!
The earthquake was near San Simeon, and the USGS is reporting it at a 6.5. We had a long stretch of swaying, but nothing fell.
Update: lots and lots of aftershocks, many right on the surface. I think if I lived down there I'd be staying outside right now.
Oh, and I live about two hours north of where this is all happening.
Nother Update: Nin says everyone at her work -- downtown -- saw it, but not everyone felt it. My mum felt it where she works in Carmel, my brother, who works in Big Sur, which is closer to the epicenter, didn't feel a thing. I didn't feel it either, I saw it though. The bathroom cupboard doors started swaying and didn't stop for quite some time. The bathroom is in the corner of the warehouse with a big industrial furnace on the roof, so the room was already vibrating. Probably why I didn't feel anything. But I did get out of there because in case it was the start of a big quake, I didn't fancy the furnace crashing down on me!
And Another: Take a gander at the aftershock list.
Here We Go Again: My coworker has the news on and he says the clock tower in Paso Robles collapsed, along with the facdes on several historic buildings. No reports of injuries.
Update: FOX is now reporting one person killed, and a block of old buildings in Paso Robles collapsed in one themselves.
I always knew there was something just a wee bit squirrely about Kevin. Now I know what it is.
Is there a blog version of shunning like the Amish do?
Hey, I'm just asking!
You'll notice a new button replacing Santa over on the sidebar. If you click, you'll be taken to a website where you can help bring a little holiday cheer to the IDF. Many more details here at Michele's.
I can heartily recommend this, having done it a few times myself. And who doesn't like pizza and donuts? Separately of course. Not talking donut topping on the pizza. Ewww!
My New Blog vote goes for a Lord of the Rings post. A big surprise, I know!
The terror alert has been raised, partly it seems , based on those reports from Friday.
Accorsing to Tom Ridge: "These credible sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the homeland around the holiday season and beyond," he said. "These strategic indicators, including Al Qaeda's continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11."
Everyone take care out there.
Just got back from the third veiwing and I have to say, it really does get better each time. All except for parents who should frelling stay home with their brats instead of spending nearly 4 hours behind me yakking, crying, and kicking my $^&(*$! seat! I swear I came near to doing a Gollum on them. It kept pulling me out of the movie and we wasn't pleased, precious, oh no we wasn't. The parents were just oblivious to their kids, not once did they try and get them under control. ARGH! Once school is back in, I'm going to go see it one weekday afternoon, where hopefully the theater will be blessedly child free.
This time, I filled in the bits I've read are coming back in for the extended version. Like I noticed that when Gandalf comes to rescue Faramir from nutty dad, his staff is gone. That's because during the scene we saw in the trailers, where he confronts the Witch King, his staff is broken.
Anyway, sleep calls, and I'm listening to the soundtrack since I'm not quite ready to let it go yet.
Just remembered another touch from the books that made it into the movie that I appreciated: Gandalf wearing Narya at the Havens.
And did I mention the characters I really missed -- even though I knew there wasn't a chance in hell of them showing up -- were Imrahil and the Sons of Elrond?
We're going with my brother tonight to see RotK. First time for him, third for me and Nin. I always find third veiwings to be the ones where I get the most out of a complex film. My brain starts sorting better!
TORN has a list of the cameos. I'd picked out some of them by myself, but here's the list as it stands now:
* Sean Astin's daughter plays Elanor, daughter of Sam and Rosie. * Sarah McLeod's daughter plays Frodo, son of Sam and rosie. * Peter Jackson's children have cameos as Gondorian children. * Peter Jackson is the captain of the Corsairs of Umbar. He also had a longer 'cameo' of around two minutes where he battles a major character - reportedly Legolas - but decided to cut it from the theatrical release. He spoke about this at the world premiere press conference in Wellington. * TORn Staffer Quickbeam has a few seconds of fame as a Gondorian soldier. * Previsualisation supervisor Christian Rivers as the Gondorian soldier in charge of the beacon. * Senior prosthetics supervisor Gino Acevedo is a Corsair of Umbar. * Richard Taylor is a Corsair of Umbar. * Bret McKenzie makes a reappearance as Figwit (one of Arwen's escorts) and even gets to speak some lines!
Hey, wait a minute... that reminds me! I'd heard that one of the Tolkien grandkids had a cameo as a Ranger from the North. We never saw any of Aragorn's kinsmen in the movie.
This site has the trailers from the DVD portion of the CD soundtrack.
Possible extended scenes for the RotK DVD. Cool if it's true!
And one last (for now) note on what from the books I missed. The part when the minstrel sings, "Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom", and Sam weeps. (it's in the chapter "The Field of Cormallen" and takes place after Frodo and Sam wake up.) It was just one of those little moments and one that tied into the end of TTT where Sam wonders if they'll ever be put into song.
I think it's time to read the books again! It's been two years, and that's a long stretch for me!
I'd been waiting for this! And thanks to Jen, I got to read it yesterday. It being the "Condensed Return of the King". Very funny! And if you haven't already, make sure to read last year's "Condensed Two Towers". It's all in the lavendar, precious!
Now if we can just get her to do a condensed FotR!
Just wanted to thank my Blogland Secret Santa for the eBay gift certificate.
My Secret Santa gift was mailed off today, so here's hoping it makes if by Xmas!
Anyone else gotten their pressie yet?
You know how some blogs have quotes from readers? I finally have one too. This from "Bad Money": "It's got a certain edgy charm to the atmosphere that I find appealing."
Thanks for the kind words, Harvey. I'll find a place to display it proudly next time I mess with the template.
And to all my readers who celebrate the holiday!
This blog has me linked as Tequila & Biscuits, which is funny because tequila was one of my potential blog titles when I was thinking of a new one. But absinthe won due to my fascination with it, and it seeming a little more exotic and mysterious!
I also have to say I'm impressed with the company my lil blog is keeping in the blogroll too!
Where you will find lists, random thoughts, and the flotsam and jetsam of my mind.
* Moments that had me in weep mode: LOTS! Actually, there were lots of places I got sniffily, but I was started in full crying mode on the slopes of Mt. Doom aka Orodruin, and kept going till the credits. By the Grey Havens I was a mess.
* Stuff from the books I really wanted but didn't get: Gandalf facing down the Lord of the Nazgul at the gates of Minas Tirith, Gandalf taking Aragorn into the mountains to find the sapling of the White Tree, Aragorn as the Healer, which was the sign of his Kingship, Eomer finding Theoden and Eowyn on the battlefield, Gandalf dealing with Saruman, the Mouth of Sauron, Arwen giving Frodo the jewel for comfort from his wounds.
* Lots of scenes in the trailer that weren't in the movie (oh, to have to wait a year for the extended version!): Merry swearing fealty to Theoden, Eomer finding Eowyn on the battlefield, Gandalf on Shadowfax on one of the upper levels of Minas Tirith confronting a Nazgul, Merry telling Pippin that they would see the Shire again.
* The first full shots of Minas Tirith gave me shivers. Amazing!
* There's a moment near the end when Legolas comes into Frodo's sick room, and he's just... almost heart-stopping beautiful. In that moment I believed he was one of the Eldar. And the amusing aspect of that was the ripple of female appreciation that ran through the audience like a wave. Now, I'm much more of an Aragorn appreciator in the movies, but even I could appreciate Legolas in that moment!
* Departures from the book that bugged me the most: Denethor! Believe me, he's not my favourite character, but even so, he got quite the hatchet job in this telling. Elrond telling Aragorn that Arwen was dying!?!?! At first, I thought he meant it as in she's mortal now, dude. But no, her fate was tied to the evil leeching from Sauron or some such nonsense. Frodo casting Sam aside. Now that I may be able to rationalize eventually, as with Faramir. It was a way to show something that was happening in Frodo's head in the books. But still!
* Hugo Weaving did a masterful job of portraying the emotions Elrond was dealing with in letting his daughter go, probably beyond the ending of the world.
* Scrubbing bubbles deal with bathroom grime and orcs!
* Gollum. There's a moment when he's sleeping and you just marvel that he seems so alive and so real. I usually forgot he wasn't real.
* The soundtrack -- other than the aforementioned "Into The West" song, the score was one of the best of the three I think.
* Amusing to see Legolas get off the pirate ship with the dead guys.
* Just reading the Shelob part used to have me crawling. Now I've seen it, I think I'm going to have nightmares. I'm a big arachnaphobe as it is!
* Touches from the book I appreciated: Sam telling Frodo not to go where he couldn't follow, Arwen bringing the banner, Frodo crying out in Elvish when he raised the Phial of Galadriel, Gandalf telling the hobbits that not all tears are evil, the sounds of birds and running water when Frodo wakes up, Faramir and Denethor calling Gandalf, Mithrandir, Grond.
* Outstanding performances from Bernard Hill, Miranda Otto, Sean Astin, and Elijah Wood.
* The ending, as most are saying, felt rushed. I felt a little cheated on the lack of closure I got considering the emotional investment I have in the characters. There was Hobbit closure, but none for anyone else. I wish PJ had gone for the leave taking as it was done in the book more or less. We see Eowyn slay the Witch King, and that's it. We don't see her again till the wedding. It would have been nice to have some acknowledgment of Eomer now being King of Rohan, a little more emphasis on what killing the Lord of the Nazgul did to Merry and Eowyn, the hobbits saying goodbye to Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli. Just quibbles, I know, but I guess I wanted more of a feeling of closure. Not that I can't pull out a copy of the book of course :)
I've seen it twice now. Once as a part of Trilogy Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, and I can't wait to see it again! I guess that says more than anything.
Trilogy Tuesday itself was cool. There was something very nice about seeing one movie after the other, and to see the extended versions in their full glory. I would definitely do it again! And New Line showed their quality by giving each and every member of the audience a gift. It's a frame with a cell from each of the three films in it. Mine had Frodo, Haldir, and Gandalf.
More as I think of it, I'm sure :)
And if you have a review of RotK, leave the URL in comments or email it to me, and I'll try and do a compilation this weekend.
Winterhart, who is one of this blog's readers and occassional commenters, has a husband who who shipped out for Iraq today. Please keep them both in your prayers if you would.
Next month will be my two year blogiversary! I know you're thrilled. Looking at my stats, I'm nearing the 45,000 mark for visits. Think I can make it an even 50,000 by next month? I think it's a fairly reasonable goal myself. But we'll see!
Michele is reporting this news story:
U.S. Intelligence Learn of Terror Threats to New York and Other Cities
There are some additional details in the comments of her post as well.
Something I was going to mention in my RotK report when I got to it, was the presence of security guards in the theater Wednesday. Never had that happen before. Oddly enough, I had a discussion with Jen before we went to the theater that I try and be aware of my surroundings and the people around me when I'm in a theater or crowded public place because I figure it's only a matter of time before we're hit with homicide bombings.
This was posted on my Celtic list this morning:
SCOTTISH FIDDLE GREAT JOHNNY CUNNINGHAM PASSES AWAY
August 27, 1957 - December 15, 2003
We join the Celtic music world in mourning the passing of Scottish fiddler Johnny Cunningham, who died on December 15, 2003, in New York City, of a heart attack. He was 46 years old.
Johnny was beloved on both sides of the Atlantic for his exquisite musicianship as well as for his renowned warmth and wit. He was called 'Scotland's finest fiddler' by the Boston Globe. He leaves behind a great body of work and a huge legacy in Scottish and Celtic music of the late 20th century. He was a founding member of many seminal Celtic groups including Silly Wizard, Relativity, Nightnoise and The Celtic Fiddle Festival.
"Johnny was a huge life force, and a brilliant musical intelligence," says Green Linnet's Wendy Newton. "He was a friend for more than 20 years. A great light has gone from our lives." Johnny played a large role at Green Linnet, appearing on more than a dozen albums as well as producing albums by Cherish the Ladies, Orealis and Brooks Williams.
Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Remembrances may be sent in care of Green Linnet, P.O. Box 1905, Danbury, CT 06813, and you may visit his website.
Johhny's music made a big impact on me. From Silly Wizard, to Relativity, to Nightnoise, it was all good. I'm going to miss him.
I'm getting email form Wesley Clark (not one, but two emails!)!! They're trying to assimilate me...
My Fellow Americans,
My name is Wes Clark. I'm running for President because I love this country and want to see us fulfill our great promise as a nation. I'm running to restore leadership to the White House, to revitalize our economy, and to reclaim our role as a respected leader of the free world.
Please join my campaign today!
In the past three years, I've watched in dismay as everything we fought for has unraveled before our eyes - 3 million lost private sector jobs, rising health care costs, failing schools, and a loss of security at home and around the world. These difficult times call for bold and visionary leadership, but instead, we've been given short-sighted policies that have alienated our allies, and tax cuts that only benefit the richest Americans, those earning more than $200,000 a year.
As a military officer, a West Point economics professor, and a businessperson, I always stood up for my troops, students, employees, and their families. I fought to make sure they had access to top notch health care; that their children had first-class schools; and that they had safe and affordable housing. And I always stood up for our American values - democracy, equality, and shared sacrifice.
That is exactly the kind of leadership I will bring to the White House. But I can't get there alone. I ask you to join me today.
Please visit my website to learn about my career, my vision for America, and my detailed plans to address the challenges our nation faces. Read more about my Success Strategy to get us out of the mess in Iraq. And take a look at my Turnaround Plan for America to get our economy, health care system, environment, and schools back on track here at home.
If you can contribute, please do so today. If you can volunteer, please get involved today. But above all, please recognize the importance of the coming weeks and months. Your participation in the democratic process counts! Together we can turn America around.
Your country needs you. Please join me today.
About Wes Clark
Wes Clark is a retired four-star General who served his country with distinction for 34 years in the U.S. Army, culminating with his role as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. He led the operation in Kosovo that saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing - without losing a single American life. He has the courage to make the tough calls that will get our economy back on track and help Americans feel safe again - both at home and abroad. Sign up for more information about the man who can help restore the promise of America.
Another reason to avoid my Yahoo! spam mailfolder
Had to have the crowns put on my teeth today, so that's why I didn't get around to my promised RotK review. Going to call it an early night and will try and get it done tomorrow.
Just got home and it's been a loong two days. But before I go to bed...
Trilogy Tuesday was much fun, and RotK was well worth seeing twice in a row. Yes, there's departures from the book that annoy me, but that's happened every movie. There were moments of true wonder, despair, and joy. I cried so much I look all blotchy.
More tomorrow. Sleep now, precious.
Dinner with Justene was much fun. It was great to meet a fellow blogger in the flesh. Hopefully Nin and I didn't scare her too much :)
Now, I'm all packed, and ready for tomorrow and Trilogy Tuesday! See you all in a few days. Have fn and play as nice as possible.
Allah asks a question for the ages.
One can hope!
Normally a champion of arty, independent fare, the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday chose "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" as the top film of 2003.
The three-hour-plus epic, which is the final part of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels, is a sweeping spectacle of computer-generated imagery - and it couldn't be more different from the rest of the films the group honored.
The critics group, composed of writers for the city's major newspapers and magazines, usually recognizes films that stand as an intellectual counterpoint to the Oscar voters' more traditional choices.
In 2002, the critics picked the '50s melodrama "Far From Heaven" as the best film; the Oscar went to the musical "Chicago." In 2001, David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" was the group's choice for best film; the Academy Award went to Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind."
This year, the New York critics chose "Lord of the Rings" because it's "a masterful piece of filmmaking," chairman Andrew Johnston said.
"It's just beautifully made, it's pure cinema, it does everything," said Johnston, a critic for Radar magazine. "It's got amazing, epic scope to the drama, to the battle scenes, a lot of strong emotional stuff, really complex, well-rendered characters and effective comic relief where it needs it."
Tom O'Neil, author of "Movie Awards" and host of the awards handicapping Web site GoldDerby.com, said he was "totally stunned" by the group's choice for best picture.
"This pushes 'Lord of the Rings' to the Oscar forefront," he said. "The critics usually go for little indie movies. When they go for the blockbusters - 'The Silence of the Lambs' or 'Schindler's List' - they usually go all the way."
Johnston said choosing "Lord of the Rings" isn't a radical departure for the New York Film Critics Circle. Other films in the running for the top honor were "Mystic River,""American Splendor" and "Lost in Translation."
"All the films we tend to go for tend to be ambitious films that take chances," he said. "Making something on this scale - all three movies at the same time, New Line betting its very existence on the success of the project and having it turn out far better than anyone could have imagined - is very much in the same line as many of our past winners."
I've seen revolving headlines all day about what Saddam is supposedly telling interrogators. My question: how do they know? Shouldn't something like this be done at the highest levels of security?
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, Nin and I head North for Trilogy Tuesday! I have my doubts on my ability to stay awake till past 3am, but I'm going to give it my all! We also have tickets for a late afternoon showing of RotK on Wednesday. Will make a full report Thursday!
A snippet from an article on U.S. reaction to the capture of Saddam that I thought was worth sharing:
The news was particularly sweet for Iraqi Americans.
"You know what they should do? Put a statue of Bush," said Habib Iradily, a 37-year-old truck driver from Detroit who fled Iraq to Saudi Arabia in 1991.
Here's a bit of an update to my post of Saturday afternoon on the Atta-Nidal-Saddam connection.
.... Abu Nidal's appearance in this memo is intriguing. The perpetrator of attacks that killed at least 275 people and injured some 625 others moved to Baghdad in 1999 where he lived under Hussein's protection. But on August 16, 2002, Nidal committed suicide, Baathist officials claimed. What they could not explain, however, is how Nidal killed himself with four bullets to the head.
Did Saddam Hussein, fearing an impending U.S. invasion, eliminate Nidal as Mohammed Atta's former tutor? Remember: Hussein's Salman Pak terrorist training camp 15 miles from Baghdad housed an airline fuselage in which Islamic extremists reportedly learned to commandeer jets with in-flight cutlery.
As for that memo, a leading member of Iraq's governing council told Coughlin: "There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network."
A toast to all our men and women in uniform.
Kevin is inviting one and all to come up with your best Indymedia style post and beat them to the punch so to speak.
But I've been reading and emaiing about the great news. Now, finally, I get to blogging!
There's much good bloggage on the subject, most that you've probably read. So the only suggestion I'd make, is if you haven't already, check out The Corner. They have some good snippets of TV media reaction to the news. About what you'd expect, but illuminating nonetheless!
Other than that, enjoy this day! And I hope this is the start of a new era for all Iraqis!
Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.
In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".
Read it all.
John Hawkins' take on not letting those that didn't help in Iraq play in the sandbox:
...The WAPO just doesn't get it. These nations didn't give us any "substantial support" and there was none coming. France and Germany weren't "just about to help us out". Russia wasn't planning on doing us any favors. Canada wasn't itching at the bit to send a couple of divisions over. They're don't share our goals, they're not with us, they're not on the same page, they're not our "important allies" when it comes to Iraq, and they're not going to be.
That's why it's so important to reward nations that are really our "important allies," like Britain, Australia, Poland, Spain, & Italy. Since they helped us out, they DESERVE to be given perks that the nations that told us to take a hike aren't eligible for. That's how you keep "important allies" and convince nations that weren't our "important allies" this time that they should get on board the next time we do something like this. That's not a tough concept to get....well unless you're an anti-war liberal or work for the WAPO.
and checking it twice.
So who's naughty, and who's nice?
You can tell me!
Speaking of Santa sort of things, don't forget Secret Santa in Blogland! you can still sign up. It'll be fun, Really! Email me for an invite or for more info. edithna AT yahoo DOT com
Today, scrubbing floors. BLEAH!! Laundry. BLEAH!!!!
Last night, Xmas shopping. Very little mall shopping, most of it online. Almost done, but I've already spent more than I budgeted. Oh well, such is the holidays.
We decided to get our wine direct from Bonny Doon this year since I had a coupon for free shipping. Ordered that this moring, so no trudging through the grocery store the day before Xmas buying wine!
Add to the list, the new blog showcase choice for this week. Anti-anti war is a cool name for a blog too.
Now I'm going to go read "Cold Mountain" and I need to remember to do a post later about the wacky punctuation in it.
Just because I'm bored, and it's been on my list of things to blog about, you get this question!
For those of you over, say... 30. I have friends around my age who listen to primarily music from their late teens to early twenties. I, on the other hand, tend to listen to what's current. What about you? Is your musical environment past or present?
(Now I'm not saying I never listen to older stuff, because I do. It's just not the majority of what I listen to)
(Of course, if you're a classical music fan then you're a whole other kettle of fish!)
(I've decided I'm the Goddess of the parenthesis post)
(Somebody needs to be, after all)
People with diabetes can help keep their bodies healthy by simply adding a dash of spice to their diet, new research reports.
In a study, diabetics who incorporated one gram -- equivalent to less than one-quarter teaspoon -- of cinnamon per day for 40 days into their normal diets experienced a decrease in levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood fats.
I know, another LOTR article :) But this one was particularly good, I thought. It doesn't treat the fans like loons, and tries for some real insight.
Anyone have a tissue?
Debbye writes about -- amongst other things -- women here in North America when we wore hats, and wonders when that changed.
My inner historian yearns to speak! Until the 20th century, "decent" women in Western countries always covered their heads when they were out. In fact, the failure to cover her head was a clear signal that the woman was a prostitute. Unfortunately, none of my history books chronicles how that came to change, although I have to think that as hemlines grew shorter, culminating in the 20's, mandatory head coverings were also dropped.
I'm just old enough (40) to remember women wearing hats (and gloves too). I think the "sexual revolution" was where that all ended. I do remember my mum wearing a hat out most times when I was very little, but by the time I was 5-6, she didn't. I love hats, but even I don't wear them that often. I think Easter church service is about the only time I do. (other than for winter warmth of course)
And does anyone remember when a man was supposed to take his hat off inside? I can't tell you how many times I've been in a nice restaurant and several men are invariably wearing ball caps.
Times do change, don't they?
I was going to mention last night's Survivor because I was stoked that the women finally got it together. The look on Jon's face!! [chortle] But, Nin already has, so go read her post!
SDB has a post on Japan that's well worth a read. From a young age, I was around people from Japan. I grew up in a hotel a block from UC Berkeley, and we had many groups of Japanese businessmen go through. Since my father was the manager, he was at a lot of social functions the owner would hold, and invariably, the men, missing their own families, would want to meet me and my brother. I have so many great memories from so many encounters, I'm not sure which ones to talk about.
They were always insatiably curious about American life, and constantly asked us questions. Over the Bicentennial, we stuffed a bunch of gentlemen in our station wagon and went to watch the fireworks. One of the men wanted my brother and I to teach him American children's songs. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has the entire car load in stitches.
There was "Tex", that's what he wanted to be called. One of the younger men, who was obsessed with Texas. He was ready to go to Dallas for the day! He had no real concept of how big the US was. I'll always remember him and his cowboy hat.
One year, it was around Xmas, one of the men was having dinner with us, and my mum was trying to explain what turkey was. That was when we realized that animal sounds are different in other languages! I still remember the laughter when mum was going , "gobble, gobble.
When I was 14, a family moved into the hotel temporarily. The oldest daughter was my age, and we became good friends. After they moved back to Japan, we remained in contact. Four years ago, I was the bridesmaid at her wedding in San Francisco to a man from Rome. Now they live here permanently, and have a doll of a little girl. (I'm 40 now, so we've been friends a looong time!) My friend's father still wants me to come to Japan so he can show me around. Apparently, he has a whole itinerary planned! I hope to be able to do it one day.
I'm not sure if my interest in Japanese culture is a chicken or egg thing actually. But I do find it a fascinating one. I've been fortunate to have met so many people from Japan, and to learn something about them and their very different culture. A series of books I can heartily recommend are the Sano Ichiro novels, which take place in 17th century Japan. Great stuff if you have an interest in history and/or Japan.
Update: Going for the traffic jam!
From SciFi Wire:
More Star Wars Changes Due?
The Digital Bits Web site is reporting a rumor that George Lucas plans more changes to his original Star Wars trilogy of films. Citing anonymous sources, the site reported that the changes will include new special effects, revised and updated shots and scenes and new footage shot with prequel actors Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) and Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor) that would flesh out moments with their characters in the original films.
For example, an aged and scarred Hayden will now appear as Anakin at the end of Return of the Jedi, when Luke removes Darth Vader's helmet, the site reported. Among the other rumored changes:
•The original Star Wars movie will restore the moment when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) shoots Greedo first.
•Lucas will revamp the lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) and Vader.
"restore the moment when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) shoots Greedo first"
Just found out our first checks in the New Year will have raises on them! Wow! First in three years. No idea how much of a raise, but I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Debbye has a great roundup of opinion on the Iraqi contracts story. Check it out.
Behold, the 10 sec. movie review!
This is a great holiday movie! It's by turns laugh out loud funny, and dab your eyes weepy, and by the end, you come out of the theater in a pretty good mood. Excellent cast, not every story has a happy ending, and much to relate to -- for me at least. Your mileage may vary. Definitely going to be a DVD purchase when it comes out. It also reminded me of my wanting to be in London over the holidays one day. Go, enjoy, it's Christmas after all!
Update: This is for Jay actually :) Jay, your gal, Keira is radiant in this movie. Dang, she's pretty!
We're looking for a few more gals for the group blog, "Girls! Girls! Girls!". No blogging experience required. Just a passion for.. umm... I don't know what you need a passion for, so pick something. Anyway, email me -- edithna AT yahoo DOT com -- if you'd like to join us. We'd love to have you.
Just a reminder of Secret Santa in Blogland.
Check out the original post for links and info.
Here's the first post, where you can read the discussion up till now.
First off, I'm glad I wacthed it. It was so much more enjoyable than I expected. Maybe it helped that I hadn't seen the original in so long. Note of interest: the original pilot was shown in Canada as a theatrical movie. I didn't even know it was going to be a series when I saw it way back in 78 (?). In that version, the Cylons kill Baltar. I do like this Baltar a lot -- he doesn't try and copy John Colicos, but goes for a unique take. I wonder if he is going nuts, or if she did put something in his brain?
As for the original, I loved it. But I haven't seen a single ep since it was canceled. I know there was a Colonel Ty, but for the life of me, I can't remember what he looked like, same with Boomer. Being 16 at the time, I only had eyes for Apollo and Starbuck I guess [g] I wonder if there will be a Cassiopeia? I see they cut Boxie's mom out, so no wife for Apollo. Seems Athena is gone too.
Now maybe I should borrow Jen's DVDs and refresh my memory!
We won't pay if you don't play.
It's a little-known footnote in postwar Iraq that an unassuming Army Civil Affairs captain named Kent Lindner has a bevy of blushing female fans.
Every time Lindner checks in on the group of young, deaf Iraqi seamstresses at their factory here, the women swarm him with admiration. "I love you!" one of them writes in the dust on Lindner's SUV.
Such small-time adoration is not the stuff of headlines against the backdrop of a country painfully and often violently evolving from war. So on this day, when Lindner and his fellow soldiers are cheered as they fire the deaf workers' boss, a woman who has been locking the seamstresses in closets, holding their pay and beating them, the lack of TV cameras on hand is no surprise.
But later that night, mortars hit nearby. Cameras are rolling, and 15 minutes later folks back home instead see another news clip of Baghdad's latest violence. It's a soda-straw view that frustrates soldiers, like those in Lindner's Civil Affairs unit, who are slowly trying to stitch together the peace while the final stages of the war play out on television.
"We've got a lot of good things going on, but when I went home (on leave), people were just like 'We never hear that stuff,' " said Civil Affairs Pvt. Amy Schroeder. "That's what makes the families worry."
What Iraq looks like on TV, and what Iraq is like for the 130,000 troops living here, sometimes feels like two different realities.
That's especially true for the Army's Civil Affairs soldiers, reservists who often serve as civil engineers in their "real life" jobs, and who are here working in Iraq's schools, hospitals and factories. There are thousands of Civil Affairs soldiers in Iraq, and their daily missions take them into all regions of the country, from the water plants in Basra to the south, to canning factories up north in Irbil.
"Our stories aren't the sexiest," says the 432nd Civil Affairs Brigade commander, Gary Beard. "But what we do will build the success of this country."
Read it all.
Steve's starting a band. Not just any band, but a very special one:
If I had a seal pup, I'd club it in the morning. I'd club it in the evening, all over this land.
I'd club out fur muffs.
I'd club out nice hats.
I'd club out blood between the whiskers and the flippers...
a-a-all over this la-a-and...
See what I mean? You don't want to miss this cutting edge group, folks! You really don't. Buy the concert t-shirt before there actually is a concert, and you can wear it at the tribute show in 25 years, knowing that you were there when!
I live in a very liberal area of California. Hey, my congressman is Sam "United Nations Flag over His Office" Farr, and likely to be for the foreseeable future. But do you know that here in liberal Monterey, it's okay to mix religion and state? T'is true! Every year, the city sponsors "La Posada". It's a commemoration of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem, and it is held every year. But guess what? You don't see any libs taking the city to court for violating their cherished seperation of Church and State. Why? Simple -- it's a celebration of "Mexican Heritage". So it's okay to have a Christian observance as long as it's ethnic. The proper ethnicity, mind. Not just anyone's heritage will do. I certainly don't think the city would allow a similar event if it were say, Scottish in origin, or English, or German. Cynical, aren't I?
And catch a look at the Angels -- that's right Angels! -- that decorate Monterey over the Christmas season.
They're all over the place, including across the roads with lights. But they celebrate "Mexican Heritage" too, so no problem, eh?
I reserved judgment till I actually saw it, and found myself pleasantly surprised! I even liked the female Starbuck -- it worked. Looking forward to tonight's chapter. It wasn't perfect, but better than expected for a SciFi channel movie.
What did you all think?
I always seem to forget to post a link to the BFL roundup, but today I didn't.
That's me. I'm not a cool mammal like a Tiger, or a Bear, but one of the slow and dinky mammals, like a Mole or something. So if you feel sorry for me now, then go vote for me! This sad lil mole needs your vote [sniff].
It's hard for a mole to cry, so keep it from happening. You'll be glad you did!
that no one knows you exist?
I'm just asking is all.
Saturday was Nin's work Xmas party, which I think I mentioned at some point. So we went, ate, drank, were generally merry.
After that, we went out clubbing with some of her coworkers. Now, you need to understand, clubbing here isn't like in the "city" -- there's maybe 3 places downtown to go to, and it's been years since I've been out. So first, we go to Doc Rickett's, which was boring because the had a comedian -- no dancing. And "L" didn't want to go there since that was where all "the White people went"! So we decide to go to Club Octane (which I find out from the sales assistant here at work is where all the Blacks and Hispanics go) (go figure!). So, we're there 1/2 hour max, and there's a double shooting on the top level of the parking garage. Right out the window of the second story of the club! So Nin's phone was used to call 911 and the entire Monterey police force was in attendance. Do we know the night to party or what?
So, the night goes on, we dance, we drink (something good the bartender recommended to Nin) Not a single guy comes anywhere near me. About 1am I'm so tired I'm literally falling asleep on the couch. Nin had to wake me up. At this point, a guy comes over and wants to dance with me. Now I get an offer! When we're just getting ready to leave and I'm about as coherent as a carrot. I explain to him that I'm really wiped out and we're just waiting for the rest of our party so we can go. I figure this means he will go away now. But no! He asks if he can give me his phone #. Uhhh... huh? Okay, whatever. So he writes his number down and says he really hopes he hears from me, then toodles off.
Now, I've never had that happen before. Nowhere in my long life has a guy given me his phone number. Let alone a guy that I wasn't properly introduced to. So now what? Opinion is evenly split on whether I should call him or not. Guys, if you gave a woman your phone number after such a brief acquaintance, do you really want her to call, or is this just a way to increase your odds of meeting as many chicks as possible? Or will his feelings be hurt if I don't call?
Hell if I know!
So, gentle readers, help the dating inept with some words of wisdom, okay?
I'm too old for this crud!
I can't be a Santa this year, but I am an Elf, so I made up some logos for you to put on your blog if you're Santaing. (Save them to your server, PLEASE!)
Sounds like it will be fun, so Ho Ho Ho!! And pass it on!
Update! Overwhlemed by self-imposed guilt, I am now a Santa! So join up and gift me, Santa Baby! :)
Today is the 62nd Aniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor -- the day that would live in infamy. Over 2000 people were killed in the attack, and it was the event that took us into WWII.
It's rainy and dark here today -- we seem to be getting a lot of rain early, which is a good thing. Can never complain about rain here on the perpetually drought stricken Central Coast. It's haircolouring day here at Casa de Ithy, and in between doing Nin's hair, I'm watching PotC. Damn, I love this movie! (I know this comes as a complete surprise to my gentle readers)
Tonight is Nin's work Xmas party at a very nice Monterey eatery, and I'm still not sure what outfit I'm wearing.
Other than that, I sit here drinking tea and seeing who's actually blogging this Sat.
Some very good news on the health front over at aimless.
I've been informed that Absinthe & Cookies is in the Large Mammal catagory of the Weblog Awards. I'm in some heady company with so many great blogs I read everyday, I have no idea who to vote for!
Thanks for nominating me.
This is via Dave, a friend of Ith and me.
I had the prep work done for two crowns on Tuesday, and I've been in a lot of pain since. Today, the top tooth is really bothering me. So I broke out my good tequila -- the Casadores -- and boy does it help!
If the tooth is still bothering me monday, I'll call the dentist.
...I was in trouble for "chicks"!!
Catch a load of this.
I really have a hard time coming up with titles for every single blog post, so I admire a good one when I see it. This week's keeper is from one of Peter's posts: What was this skirt smoking?
And it's a good post too, so you should go read it.
Some (just some?) of my fellow BearFlaggers are a little scary: case in point.
Nothing like this happens at my house when I have too much tequila.
(well, there were those singing socks)
Anyone esle see the Primetime special on RotK last night? Awesome Possum! Well, other than there seemed to be more adverts than show that is. I am so stoked for this movie and less than two weeks to go. I've been reading some of the early buzz on the movie from those that saw it in New Zealand on Monday, and it's all good. This is going to be great!
[end fangirl moment]
At the request of my family, I finally put together a list of things they can get me for Christmas, complete with links, sizes and colours. Despite this, my mum will still tell me that she didn't know what to get me :) As usual. So I'll end up with something she thinks she'd like me to wear rather than anything I'd be caught dead in. If I'm lucky, my brother will accompany her like he did two years ago and I ended up with a dark lilac leather blazer.
Then there was the year Nin got me... No, it's her birthday, so I won't pick on her! [weg]
Party at Paul's place in 8 days!
There will be ham, that's a given [g]
So this post is for you, Andrew. Enjoy it, because I rarely dedicate posts!
Update: See also this for some sentiment straight from the heart.
There aren't words to describe how much I loathe McDonald's rap ad campaign.
Not "lovin' it".
Tonight's "Primetime" on ABC is devoted to Peter Jackson and Return of the King. So get those hobbit feet on!
American lawmakers haven't even learned the lessons of Prohibition when it comes to alcohol. In the last 10 years, a well-funded group of neo-prohibitionist advocacy groups have sprung up and have begun calling for a variety of public policy initiatives aimed squarely at restricting (again) the public's access to alcohol. Groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Center for Alcohol Marketing to Youth and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse advocate such initiatives as raising taxes on alcohol, forbidding alcohol manufacturers from advertising, using zoning laws to limit the number of bars and liquor stores in a particular neighborhood, and making it more difficult for restaurants and pubs to obtain liquor licenses.
The hard lesson we should have -- but have not -- learned from our various "prohibitions" is that no amount of legislation or social engineering is going to prevent some segments of the population from using substances many of the rest of us disapprove of.
The authour of the article also has a long paper, "Back Door To Prohibition" here. Read and be aware.
Though a return to formal prohibition seems farfetched, a slightly modified, “back-door” prohibition is certainly feasible and probably already within reach. The new temperance movement has pushed for—and won—a wide range of anti-alcohol initiatives across the country, including higher taxes on alcohol; zoning laws that restrict taverns and bars or limit their concentration in certain areas; bans and severe restric-tions on alcohol advertising; and aggressive drinking and driving laws that are aimed not at rounding up seriously inebriated drivers but at putting the fear of a drunken driving arrest into social drinkers, most of whom can responsibly mix a drink or two over dinner with the drive home. The aim of the neoprohibitionist movement seems to fall short of constitutionally mandated sobriety. Rather, the neoprohibitionists seem more interested in inconveniencing social drinkers, embarrassing them, and threatening them with draconian drinking and driving laws to the point where consuming alcohol away from home just isn’t worth the hassle.
Next they'll be trying to take my steak away from me. Just wait and see.
I'd have the neo-prohibitionist's knickers in a twist with my belief that the drinking age should be 18. If you can vote, be in the military, be married, you should be able to drink! Otherwise, why isn't the voting and military age 21? You're either an adult, or you aren't.
Kevin lost his job today.
Here's hoping he'll end up with something better, and soon!
For you, my gentle readers, this song of holiday joy.
NOT work safe!!!
This is the funny of the week here at work.
And if you're looking for more brain food, you should always take time to pop over to Peter's blog. Always much good stuff to be found there!
(Thanks for the link!)
Now this would be the best of news if it's true!
And none too soon, as far as I'm concerned.
No, not a Snickerdoodle:
I saw this test all over today, so I'm not sure where I saw it first.
Jen's done the last of her chemo, and as promised, she's participating in the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. she's looking for sponsers, so help her out if you're willing!
Earlier this year I had a crown done by the dentist I started going to after mine retired. She wasn't the best dentist, though she was very nice. I decided to change dentists in July and I find out from my new dentist that the crown wasn't sealed properly and it would have to be replaced. He offered to call my former dentist, explain the situation, and get reimbursement. She refused to talk to him. I then replied to a letter she sent me, explained what the situation was and gave her permission to speak to my new dentist. Nothing. Last month, my new dentist said I should contact the dental peer review board and let them deal with her. So I did, and today, I was informed that she would give me and the insurance company my money back so I can have the crown redone.
I'm very glad it's finally settled!
Out of the 95 blogs I have on my blog roll, 32 are female, 63 are male. (the authours, not the blogs themselves) (65 if you don't count Allah)
So, do I toss off some of the guys in a nice affirmative action moment, or do I add more women? Bother! So many decisions!
So, here's a question for my female readers: how does your blog roll break down? Let's be all girly and share :)
Kevin has gone to a great deal of work to set up a blog award competition. But he's getting grief from all sides. Some people need to get a grip.
Oh, and what is the "A List"? And does it matter? And who decides who's on the "A List"? I mean, is there a board or cabal? My own personal "A's" are on my blogroll.
Just sneaking a post in on my break. I think site meter has gone nuts. Why? Because according to the summary, I've had 106 visits here before 10am, which is equal to how many I get in a whole day. Doesn't make sense -- especially since I haven't posted anything for a few days.
Huh. Go figure. I either did something really stupid to attract attention, or something cool. But this is me, so I'll go with stupid!
If anyone has an idea, let me know because I can't see any sort of trend or reason in the site meter stats.
Update: Must have been site metter being wonky. Now it says I've had no visits today. Ahhh, to have been popular for a few hours!
I can get some posting going.
We got back in town at dinner time Monday, and then I had a long nasty dental appointment yesterday afternoon, after, Nin and I watched the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD. Maybe I'll post the gory details of the dental appointment! Or not. Or I can tell you about the trip. Or something.
Feel free to chat amongst yourselves in the comments, and anything really interesting may be turned into its own post! Exciting, no?