Beloved in Christ,
As you know, the Gulf States (particularly Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi) have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and its after-effects, and the needs for supplies and other relief in that area are great. Relief efforts are underway, and the AAC has joined those efforts through the creation of a "Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort" fund. We will be coordinating with AAC chapters and congregations to distribute funds on the local level in the Gulf Coast region.
We encourage your participation in this important work. You may make a contribution in three ways:
1. Mail your contribution to:
The American Anglican Council
2296 Henderson Mill Road, NE, Suite 406
Atlanta, GA 30345
2. Make a secure financial contribution online. (Select "Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort" as the Donor Designation.)
3. Call the AAC to make a secure credit card contribution over the phone toll free at 1-800-914-2000.
In all cases, please designate your contribution as “Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort".
We at the AAC mourn with those who have lost loved ones and/or property and continue to pray that God would comfort and draw each hurting person and family to Himself during this difficult time. Please keep all those affected by Katrina in your prayers during the aftermath of this devastating hurricane.
Blessings and Peace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The Rev. Canon Ellis E. Brust
AAC Chief Operating Officer/Chaplain to the President
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love... Share with God's people who are in need."
Still not back into blogging, so it's "Shameless Self Promotion Day" here at A&C. Got a post you you want to flog? Just want people to come read your blog? Then you know the drill -- leave a link in the comments, or trackback to this post.
Please use [a href="url"] my link [/a] for your links in the comments. Replace the [ with carrots -- but you knew that.
Just so you know, we're home. Thanks to my wonderful guest bloggers for keeping the lights on while I was gone.
So, it's Monday, and no doubt everyone is busy. Ith hasn't been heard from yet, but I'm going to post this for her to act on upon her return.
The meme of the week.
You know what to do.
OK, OK... so I've been utterly useless as a guest blogger this week. I have an excuse (a new job, working the swing shift, with plenty of study on the side) but that's just, well, an excuse. So perhaps, rather than "utterly useless as a guest blogger," I'm simply utterly useless.
But then I reflect on the delight with which Mycah greets me when I get home, and I think perhaps I'm not entirely useless.
I can, after all, open the can of cat food.
This week's Back-to-School edition of the Carnival of the Recipes is up, at my place.
So everyone by now should know what an emoticon is. You know, those little smileys. They laugh, cry, even vomit, if you want. Some people love 'em. Some people hate them.
I myself am an emoticon junkie. I come from old-school unix email where all you got was :-), no pictures, no animation. And I still prefer the little ASCII guys, although some of the animated ones are pretty cute. I think emoticons are great for casual trext conversation, and they help convey tone. As a common user of sarcasm, the ;-) smiley lets me tell people I'm just joking with them, rather than being angry.
Poliblogger Steven Taylor posts an interesting discussion of the role of emoticons in modern (that is electronic) discourse.
So what do you think? Are smileys good or evil?
If you don't you should.
MuNu appears to be terminal for the nonce. However, all of your favorite MuNus are scrambling for backup and are beginning to post elsewhere... Several non-MuNu friends of the collective are posting the backup links of the MuNus who have been able to get back online.
Beth of MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Basil, and Confederate Yankee are all keeping track. Look for your favorite MuNu there, or try their old blogsplat site. As for myself, I'm going to take advantage of Ith's hospitality and share my thoughts with you over here!
Today I spent the day in my husband's new classroom, trying to help him get set up for the fast-approaching school year.... let's just say I probably wasted my time.
Now I ask you, if you resigned from YOUR job, and left at the end of June, when would you expect to remove your personal effects from your office? Before or on your last day, right?
Would you expect to return to your former workplace more than 2 months later (in late August) to pick up your personal things? Would you expect your replacement to be so kind as to pack them up for you and also let you in since you, of course, already turned in your keys?
Evidently, there IS someone stupid and rude enough to expect all of these things and more. Go over to my DH's blog and read about the unmitigated gall of this woman.
Unbelievable but true.
Oh, and MuNu is DEAD for the time being. Today's shenanigans combined with an intermittent drive failure have forced us on to the backup.... which thankfully was made yesterday. Sorry for the inconvenience and keep checking! If MuNu isn't reliable by Friday I'll host the Carnival of the Recipes here. So get those recipes in!
Hello! I'm Ilyka Damen and I am guestblogging for Ith while she is away. Normally I run a very bad blog that you should never read, ever ever. Let's pretend it doesn't exist for the time being and get on with this post instead.
I believe about a month or so ago Ith mentioned in passing the Anne series of books by L.M. Montgomery. I was thinking of those myself tonight--particularly this passage from the first novel:
"That's Barry's pond," said Matthew.It's Anne's kind of thrill I'm talking about, although I'm certainly with Matthew on the grubs (or any other nasty insects, for that matter).
"Oh, I don't like that name, either. I shall call it--let me see--the Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because of the thrill. When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill. Do things ever give you a thrill?"
"Well now, yes. It always kind of gives me a thrill to see them ugly white grubs that spade up in the cucumber beds. I hate the look of them."
"Oh, I don't think that can be exactly the same kind of a thrill. Do you think it can?"
But, see, I was peeling roasted red bell peppers tonight and just reveling in it. Why do I like roasting bell peppers so much? I have no idea. There's just something about it, about the whole process--from washing and drying and roasting, to steaming and cooling and peeling, to slicing and marinating--those silly red bell peppers, they just please me aesthetically somehow, right down to my bones.
Perhaps what I actually mean is not so much Anne's "thrill" as her "queer, funny ache" upon beholding the Avenue . . . or maybe it's a whole 'nother sensation somewhere between the two.
So let me ask you fine people something:
Do things ever give you a thrill?
Sorry if you're anywhere else but in Pacific time.... Fox is running 2 House eps in rerun tonight, #118 (Babies and Bathwater) and #119 (Kids).
Enjoy the run up to the new season :)
Yes Yes the moment you have all been waiting for, my guest post. Just let it be said that I will be participating in Talk Like a Pirate Day, however it is merely a warm up for the Grandaddy of all pirate events, Buccaneer Days @ Two Harbors, Catalina Island (the first weekend in Octobor folks, make your boat reservations early!). Come out and enjoy all the fun with your new friends. I'll be the one dressed up as a pirate, adult beverage in hand.
I got a personal call this morning from the chairman of the local Republican party, wondering why his e-mails to me are bouncing. (It's because my ISP has finally put in some decently aggressive anti-spam measures.) I told him I'd whitelist him, and then mentioned that one of the most recent things caught in the spam filter was the latest
self-aggrandizing piece of cr*p newsletter from our local congress-moron.
He then told me the best shot at getting rid of said moron, short of death (which we most certainly do not advocate, no we do not) is to mobilize every voter in California to vote yes on Proposition 77, the re-districting initiative.
If you are on the fence about Prop 77, consider this. Often you can know someone (or something) by their enemies as well as by their friends. Need I mention that the "usual suspects" (i.e. the left-wing loonies) are the ones stepping forward to oppose 77? Who do you want to align yourself with on this one?
(Note: The above entry is cross-posted at my own blog, Coffee with CrankyBeach.)
....I thought I'd post over here today.
Just wanted to pop in, say Howdy and wish Ith a safe and speedy trip. Although not TOO speedy. Those Smokey Bears are out in force :)
Also, just wanted to remind everyone about Project Valour-IT. Your spare cash can help a wounded soldier communicate with their family. These laptops are by no means top-of-the-line, but they get the job done for a total cost of about $750 each (including Dragon Naturally Speaking), so even a few bucks makes a difference! Here's what one of these computers can do (that's CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, the inspiration for this project!)
Update: MuNu is back. We had a bad confluence of DNS attacks and Spam floods.....
Yeah, I know, I know. But I just have to post this one link to a post of Cassandra's. I read the article yesterday, and never got time to post one it. It's one of those things that mirrors recent RL discussions. And as per usual, Cassandra's take is worth reading.
before I leave.
It's Cotillion time!
|Your French Name Is|
What: International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day!
When: September 19th, 11 days before Serenity premieres at a theater near you.
Why: From the official website - "Why do we need an International Talk Like a Pirate Day?
Make no mistake. We do. But it's a little hard to articulate why, especially when you've made the mistake of referring to your wife as a scurvy bilge rat and tried to order her back into the galley.
Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple.
It gives your conversation a swagger, an elán, denied to landlocked lubbers. The best explanation came from a guy at a Cleveland radio station who interviewed us on the 2002 Talk Like a Pirate Day. He told us we were going to be buried by people asking for interviews because it was a "whimsical alternative" to all the serious things that were making the news so depressing.
In other words, silliness is the holiday's best selling point.
Before we go any further, there's something we need to be clear about. Pirates were and are bad people. Really reprehensible. Even the most casual exploration of the history of pirates (and believe us, casual is an accurate description of our research) leaves you hip deep in blood and barbarity. We recognize this, all right? We aren't for one minute suggesting that real, honest-to-God pirates were in any way, shape or form worth emulating.
So what is it exactly that we're celebrating here, if not pirates? What, you're wondering, is the point?
We're going to be painfully honest here, perhaps fatally so.
The point is, there is no point.
And that's what's fun about Talk Like a Pirate Day specifically, and talking like a pirate in general."
I guess The Pirate will have to talk like a Scot or Bostonian or affect some other fun accent, instead. ;-)
This is probably it for me and blogging today. Lots to do, leaving work early, packing the car and hitting the road, hopefully no later than 4pm. We should make St George by 5am if all goes well [knock wood] Traveling with Sparrow for the first time since there was no one to watch her while we were gone. So it could be interesting.
Guest bloggers, feel free to post starting today, if you like. And if you have any log in problems, I'll be reading email till after lunch at least.
While I'm in the wilds of Utah, visiting the family units, some kick ass guest bloggers will be here, starting tomorrow, to entertain you in various time increments.
What a cast!
Thanks to all of you!
A Republican and Democrat talking about Bill Richardson, New Mexico and Arizona, and illegal immigration on FNC just now. I had to laugh. The Dem is all wide eyed about the problem of illegal immigration and how something needs to be done! I agree, obviously, but he's acting like it's a problem he just found out about. Did you know they've had to close hospitals in border states? No! Really? [rolls eyes] And it's more than a little disingenuous for him to bewail the fact that nothing has been done when his side of the aisle bows to the will of Hispanic activist groups and human rights type groups that scream bloody murder whenever there's an attempt to crack down on illegals. I'm the first to blame both political parties for inaction, but you need to walk the walk if you're going to moan about the poor border states and how something needs to be done. Action not words. And sooner rather than later, if you please.
Nin has started her own blog group! If you're a 'slacker blogger' like she is, it may be for you!
Look at what Nin gets up to when I'm not home! Stuffed animal bondage.
This is about a stray mountain goat ending up in someone's garage. This bit gave me a laugh:
Probst opened the garage's other bay door hoping to give the goat an escape route, but the critter went farther inside. It soon leaped onto the hood of the pickup truck parked in the second bay.
The goat started walking in circles on the hood, lowering its horned head and stomping a hoof on its metal perch, she said.
After Probst tied up the dog and called for an animal control officer, she grabbed a camera - in case her insurance company doubted a goat-related coverage claim, if needed.
Science fiction is coming back big. This fall will find more television shows with sci-fi/fantasy themes than audiences have seen in five years -- for reasons that may lie deeper than demographics.
Emboldened by the surprise success of ``Lost'' on ABC last season and other recent successes on cable, major networks are adding new shows covering an array of fantastical themes: alien invasion (CBS's ``Threshold,'' NBC's ``Surface,'' ABC's ``Invasion''), dead people talking (CBS's ``Ghost Whisperer'') and scary creatures of the night (a remake of ``The Night Stalker'' on ABC). These shows are being given prime spots and are being backed with sizable promotional budgets.
Over the years, sci-fi has proven a durable and effective vehicle for reflecting unease and uncertainty in the world, feelings being sparked now in a post-Sept. 11 climate where invisible enemies are seen as lurking among us, striking when we least expect it out of motives we don't understand.
``Science fiction had a big resurgence in the 1950s, the era of potential nuclear war, the Cold War and the Red Scare,'' said Rockne O'Bannon, a veteran of such sci-fi series as ``Farscape'' and the creator of a new miniseries, ``Triangle,'' set in the Bermuda Triangle, the Atlantic Ocean region where ships and planes have been reputed to have disappeared mysteriously.
``Here we are facing the same kind of questions and the same kind of uncertainties about how safe we are, how safe our children are going to be and what world is going to be like. It's something we haven't had to face in the post-Vietnam generation,'' O'Bannon said.
But it's about more than big numbers. NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says that in choosing new shows for the fall, the network keenly was aware that ``these are paranoid times.''
``Look at what just happened in London and what's going on in Iraq and the West Bank,'' said David Goyer, who wrote ``Batman Begins'' and is executive producer of ``Threshold.'' ``People are scared.''
``Who's friend? Who's foe?,'' Reilly continued. ``What's in our interest in national security? You don't want to literally go at those themes because they make you uncomfortable. You want to kind of bring them out and manifest them in other ways, give us a way to work them out.''
Which means if viewers want to find larger, real-life meaning behind the ideas expressed in the new series, they will have to recognize the allegorical references.
``In science fiction, historically, you're telling allegorical tales,'' Goyer said. ``You're shining a light back on society -- what's happening now. It's a way to talk about what's going on, but from a sideways angle.''
Ilyka has quirks. Really! I know, me too. Anyway, I've been pondering my quirks, and am finally getting around to putting it in a post.
1) I like my food/drinks to be either really hot or really cold. Don't give me anything lukewarm! If we say, get pizza delivered, or have McDonald's or something, into the microwave it goes to be hot enough. I love poached eggs, but the yolks have to be hot through. It's disgusting to eat them when the yolk is body temperature. Yuck!! Again, the microwave is my friend. Just enough to be hot, not enough to harden the yolk.
2) I don't like using the phone. I will email, write, whatever, rather than use the phone. Being a hotel reservationist was hell.
3) I turn the volume down when people call into QVC or similar. Also turn down the volume when listening to talk radio and there's yelling and screaming. And debates make me cringe. I have to force myself to watch them come election season.
4) I hate bright light. I leave a bulb burned out in my bathroom, and I've removed the florescent tubes from the fixture above my desk at work. And woe to anyone who walks into a room and just switches on all the lights with no warning!
5) I'm not good at vacationing with a group. People just annoy me too much. I need my space! Now I just say "no", but it took many miserable, frustrating trips to get me there. There is a select group of people I will deign to travel with. They know who they are.
I got an invite to a Yahoo Group this morning that raised my eyebrows. Check it out:
Hey, we're waiting for you!
So you've been online a while, looking for that just right person and wondering where in the world are they???
You know he/she is out there, but you just can't seem to connect.
One reason is that many people can't access adult groups from work, so they are not in the groups you're joining.
This group was created to solve that problem. We don't post your nude pics, so we don't get an Adult rating, but feel free to ask for them and they'll be emailed to you. Remember, you can say anything you like and you just might find that person to hook up with you've been searching for.
Basically a Married But Looking group, we do allow singles. If you can't keep from "preaching" to married but looking folks, please do not join.
Married but looking? Asking for nude pics? Yeah, sounds just like a group I'd want to join. Not!
To celebrate Nin's new job, we went out to dinner tonight as a treat. We decided on California Pizza Kitchen at the mall. They had a Raspberry Mojito on the menu, and I'd always wanted to try one, so I got one without the mint -- Ithy no likely mint (unless it's on lamb) -- and it was quite yummy, and went well with the Gorgonzola Pear Pizza and the Artichoke Cheese Dip.
Then we went to GAP (of which there's none in Rohan) to get her some dress pants for work. On the way, we discovered a Cold Stone Creamery had opened, and there was much rejoicing in Nin Land. Of course half of the Peninsula was there too. Being the boonies, there is a mad rush to try any new chain type eatery that we happen to get. We don't get many, so it's a two month sensation.
All in all, an exciting rare night out on the town.
If you've ever guest blogged for me, and would like to do so again, lemme know! I'll be gone starting next Tuesday afternoon till Sunday evening. If you've never guest blogged for me before, but have a burning desire to do so, I might be persauded to let you have a go at it :)
I've lived in Monterey for almost 20 years, but I'd never been to the county fair. Since we now live within walking distance, Nin and I decided to go last night. Our fair brings new meaning to "cheesy". It was pretty pathetic. But I did get my tri-tip sandwich! And that's pretty much all that matters. The other odd thing was the major ag companies like Dole and Tanimura and Antle, competing in the produce competitions. You never saw such amazing boxes of lettuce, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli that was whole, florets, and pre-washed and bagged. Also saw many cute bunnies, goats, cows, and sheep with cute lil jackets.
Jackman Gets Flushed Away D avid Bowers, co-director of DreamWorks' upcoming animated Flushed Away, told SCI FI Wire that the movie stars Hugh Jackman as the voice of Roddy, a pampered rat in a London penthouse. "The wretched humans are gone, and a rat named Roddy has the house to himself," Bowers said in an interview at a preview of DreamWorks' upcoming animated film slate last week. "He makes himself at home, going on the Internet, ordering food in and using the two pet hamsters as his servants." Ultimately, Roddy finds himself ousted from his luxury digs and forced to fend for himself in the sewers of London.
In Flushed Away, Jackman is reunited with his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen, who voices Roddy's chief nemesis. The Lord of the Rings' Andy Serkis (Gollum), meanwhile, gives voice to a rat named Spike, and others in the cast include British comic Shane Richie, Simon Callow, Bill Nighy, Jean Reno and Kate Winslet.
Roddy ends up being flushed out of his house while using the toilet as a Jacuzzi. Flushed Away tells his story as he tries to get back home.
As a major plot device, the British soccer team figures prominently, as did the Red Sox in the recent baseball movie Fever Pitch. Flushed Away is scheduled for release on Nov. 3, 2006.
I've been hearing about the Akaka Bill for a while, and it's beyond belief that this will actually pass.
And if you want more, check out this transcript.
Later: Kathy has a post on the subject with some interesting comments.
Read all about it at Laughing Wolf.
A single, surprising phone call and it was over. That's how Pierce Brosnan says he learned that his services as James Bond would no longer be required.
"One phone call, that's all it took!" the 52-year-old actor tells Entertainment Weekly magazine in its Aug. 19 issue.
Brosnan starred in four Bond films. He says that before they stopped negotiations, the producers had invited him back for a fifth time.
"You know, the movie career for me really started with Bond," says Brosnan, acknowledging that by the time "GoldenEye" premiered in 1995, he was already 42.
Let the replacement stakes begin for absoulute real this time!
(Any mention of Adrian Paul being cast will get you banned and blacklisted!) (Just kidding) Well, maybe I'm just kidding) (You don't want to find out)
I received a lovely surprise gift from reader Jim in the mail: Labryinth and Henry V on DVD! Thank you so much, Jim! Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
And many more piping and Pipefest related articles here.
And the official site, of course, here.
Nin got a job! Nin got a job!
And there was much rejoicing!
RightGirl has a first hand report on the lecture she recently attended given by two very brave Muslim women.
She finishes her report with this:
And what of that woman, and those guards, and that potential for anything? Our politicians and protectors denounce the threat level in this country like it is a racist construct; they pooh-pooh our fears and concerns, and they assure us that nothing bad could ever happen in Canada. After all, there are no bad people here.
So why did this lovely, intelligent women need fifteen armed guards in a country that purportedly has no terrorists? Something tells me that someone is deluded, and it's not Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
You can read romances, sip coffee, grab lunch, watch movies and curl up in comfortable chairs at Salt Lake City's Main Library. Why not just move in? Living in a library - it's a book lover's dream. Living atop a library could be the next best thing. And, in what may be a first for Utah, that might be possible in a future branch near downtown. While most libraries are built to stand alone, tentative designs for a Capitol Hill branch at 500 North and 300 West call for 24 condos to sit on top. "It's what everybody's talking about these days, walkable neighborhoods," says architect Prescott Muir. "The best way to create a walkable neighborhood is to jumble it all up." Muir is designing a mixed-use project on 300 West between 500 North and 600 North for Howa Capital. The company is developing the property - which would include a small grocery store, shops, up to 85 housing units and the library - for the city's Redevelopment Agency. The library is no sure thing. No money is earmarked to build it or run it after voters refused in 2003 to raise their taxes to pay for it and another branch in Glendale. That bond failed by 149 votes. But the city's library system does plan to build a branch in both neighborhoods eventually, and the RDA required a library be a part of the Capitol Hill redevelopment design. At first, Muir considered a library a "black hole" in the development. An early design placed it out of the way on top of the grocery store. But a subsequent market study showed the library should be the project's focal point, that it would lure customers to the surrounding stores. Now, designs have it on 500 North, on what's considered the development's most prominent corner. The study didn't surprise library director Nancy Tessman. "Libraries really genuinely are catalysts for neighborhood building. It's about shops and it's about services and it's about community and education. The more we can tie all those together, the more we create more good, healthy, positive neighborhoods."
Nin actually has several new blog posts up! It's a miracle!
by Trisha Yearwood. My current favourite song on the radio.
I was born in the early sixties, and I remember we always had nice crystal ashtrays, along with the one someone gave my parents as a souvenir from Hawaii of a foot with the big toe sticking up. Now, neither of my parents smoked, but some of their friends did, and it never entered their minds that said friends wouldn't sit in our living room and smoke when they came to visit. It just shows how times have changed, when now, my friends who smoke don't even smoke in their own homes -- they go out on the porch.
Inspired by this post.
I hate spiders. They wig me out in the worst way. So a bit ago, I happen to see something black near the fire alarm box on the wall beside my desk. At first my brain thought, stray bit of wire, electrical tape... then it short circuited, looked around the front and realized it was a huge black spider. BWAH!! I run into the warehouse and have Bo come look, cus I'm afraid it's more than a large black spider. My worst fears are confirmed when I hear a "WHOOWEE! This is a HUGE Black Widow!!" Look at the size of that hourglass!". Now my goose bumps are turning into teradactyls, and I am creeped out beyond measure as the other males I work with beat a path to my desk so they too can see the giant office manager eating spider. Then I hear, "Uh oh!". Uh oh?!?!? I have visions of the spider disappearing and me coming to work in boots and protective gear for the duration! Turned out the spider ran back into the fire alarm box -- behind the circuit boards. So Bo shooed me off and told me to go to lunch, and he'd handle it [insert tough guy posture]. So I did. I just got back, and he had uninfested my workspace by using circuit cleaner to drive it out. He also looked around for dead male spiders and egg sacks.
I am so thoroughly creeped out/skin crawling/icky!! right now. Thank god for men and their superior spider slaying abilities!
It all balances out, because I'm the one that takes the mice in the humane traps and sets them free. Most of my coworkers won't go near a mouse! Yes, I work in cesspit.
CALDWELL, IDAHO – This oasis of irrigated farm country in the high desert is a long way from the US-Mexico border, and even farther from the nation's capital, but it represents America's new battleground on immigration policy.
Here county commissioner Robert Vasquez is trying to do what he says Washington won't: crack down on illegal immigration. He recently sued several local employers in a novel bid to use federal anticorruption law to prevent hiring illegals.
Mr. Vasquez's controversial crusade is part of a larger pattern. As the border continues to be punctured by illicit crossings, and as immigrants spread to places unaccustomed to or unprepared for the influx, a local backlash is building.
Vasquez, whose grandfather came from Mexico, complains of an "unarmed invasion" that is fast transforming American towns like this one. "Why," he asks, "should I have to 'Press 1 for English?' "
But if cultural change is a key backdrop of the debate, both sides frame their views largely around economic arguments.
On that score, many here support the effort to clamp down on illegal laborers.
"They say these are jobs that no one else will take," says Tim Smallwood, an Idaho fruit and vegetable inspector, as he takes a lunch break in Caldwell. But if employers were denied that pool of cheap labor, overall wages would go up he says.
Lori Morrison, who manages a night shift at Jack-in-the-Box to help support her family, shares the worry about wages. And she adds another concern: the social-service burden on government. "Taxes have gone up," she says. "They're killing us."
But there's still plenty of fuel for local backlashes like the one Vasquez leads.
A new CBS poll finds that two-thirds of Americans oppose guest-worker permits for those who are now here illegally. And in a June Gallup survey, 70 percent said the US shouldn't make it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens.
Those opinions have hardened into action in some states and localities:
• In New Hampshire, police arrested alleged illegal immigrants using a state law on "criminal trespass." A judge is expected to rule soon on a bid to dismiss the charges.
• In Arizona, voters approved a November ballot measure denying some public benefits to illegal immigrants. This week a federal appeals court upheld the law.
• In 18 states from California to Minnesota and Tennessee, groups have sprung up with affiliations to the Minuteman Project, which coordinated a highly publicized volunteer effort earlier this year to patrol Arizona's border with Mexico.
According to this German website, Peter Wingfield will be in the new seaosn of 24!
Government workers in the state of Washington are being hit with a tough choice — if they want to keep their jobs, they have to join the union or pay a hefty union fee.
"I don't like being forced. I don't like being told either join the union or I lose my job," said state employee Sharon Mathews.
The Personnel Reform Act passed in 2002 gives managers more flexibility in hiring, firing and outsourcing. It also allowed the workers union to bargain directly with the governor on provisions of their contracts. After taking office this year, Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire (search) gave state workers a raise and then gave the union the power to have any worker fired who didn't either join or fork over a representation fee of up to $45 per month.
"I think a lot of us jumped on the bandwagon out of fear," said another state employee, Kristie Hubble.
"There will be increased political activity and they will have just by the sheer numbers of people involved in their union and by the share of dollars they'll receive there will be increased clout," said Dan Brunell of the Washington Business Association.
Union leaders say they're even-handed when it comes to political donations, but the numbers from the 2004 election tell a different story. Seventy-five percent of the union's candidate contributions went to Democrats. The union also gave $200,000 to the Democratic Governors Association and paid $250,000 to the state Democratic Party to underwrite the third vote count that finally put Gregoire into office.
FNC has a show on tonight, called "In the Company of Heros". They just finished an interview with the parents of J.P. Blecksmith, a Marine who was killed and is featured in tonight's program. Talk about a total opposite from the current parent in the news.
The show airs at 9pm EDT.
I have to thank Russ one more time for what he did for the blog. One of the most infuriating things about blogging had been the ever increasing amounts of spam. Since Russ did the upgrade, and added Conversation Killer along with the new MT Blacklist, and I tweaked it to my needs, I haven't had one single piece of spam to deal with. Not one! Before, I would deal with hundreds, sometimes ever day. It's been wonderful! He can do the same for you, and I can't reccomend him enough.
The Pride and Prejudice type: Truly an Austenite,
this type is a Romantic at heart, but they
always keep their head and are wary of
melodrama. Lively, clever, and independent.
These people are easily amused by their own
foibles and the quirkly foibles of others. They
lament society today, and dream of the time
when guys were gentlemen and girls were ladies.
Jane Austen novel quiz
brought to you by Quizilla
Though I think the Mansfield Park type is more me.
A hearty AVAST! to puppy mom, Mickey, for the link.
Ruling for Breakaway Parish: Judge rejects Episcopal diocese's attempt to get property back from the conservative St. James, which cut ties with the national church
An effort by the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to claim ownership of buildings and other property of a conservative breakaway congregation in Newport Beach was tentatively rejected Thursday by an Orange County Superior Court judge.
St. James Church was one of three former Episcopal parishes to bolt from the diocese and national Episcopal Church one year ago over differences in church teaching and the national church's controversial decision to ordain an openly gay priest in a committed relationship with another man as bishop of New Hampshire.
The diocese sued St. James and two other breakaway parishes for the property after they severed ties and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of a conservative Anglican bishop in Uganda.
The Episcopal Church is the U.S. member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
In the tentative ruling Thursday, Orange County Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez said the diocese had not shown that it would probably prevail in the property dispute with the St. James congregation, a dispute that also involved issues touching on 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights.
"Plaintiffs have not presented evidence that title to the parish property has ever been held in the name of any person or entity other than the parish since the time it was conveyed to the parish," Velasquez wrote.
The judge also said the parish had made a prima facie case that it had been sued by the diocese after it had publicly disagreed with the national church's views on homosexuality and other issues by issuing press releases and severing its ties with the diocese.
"Such acts arise out of and are in furtherance of the defendants' exercise of the right to speak on a matter of 'public interest,' " Velasquez wrote. "How churches in America are reacting to the different viewpoints on homosexuality is currently a topic of much public significance."
Via the AAC
Nin has been Piratizing the Wedding Crashers trailer with amusing results.
Perusing Site Meter referrals, and I have a bunch from a link somewhere on a site called "Catholic Match" which looks to be a Catholic online dating service sorta thing. They're all heading to a post made by a guest blogger last year while I was on vacation.
And our usual Friday entertainment post: if you've blogged about a movie, TV show, book, or CD, then trackback to this post, or leave a link in the comments. If you don't have a blog, leave your rec in the comments.
And in other science news, can I get a hearty YEAH! on this one?
Unfortunately, I rarely get to see the Perseids since it's almost always foggy at night here in the summer. But I do love a good meteor shower! One year, we trekked all the way out to Fremont Peak to see the Perseids. Very cool!
For the last few years now, I've gotten the Earthscapes daily calendar for work. The photos are lovely, but each day sas a usually goofy New Age quote. It occured to me, as I was reading today's, that I should share them with you, my precious gentle readers. Since I'm still searching for a 'thing', this may be it! Or not.
No nation owns the air, the water, the fire energy of the Earth. Ownership of the Earth takes on a new meaning in the age of convergance. ~ Meditations with Teilhard de Chardin
Age of Convergance? Is it anything like the Age of Aquarius? I have the urge to go to the airport and hand out flowers...
Very good blog I discovered a few weeks back. Written by an Army officer serving in Afghanistan.
John Hawkins has posted Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select Their Favorite People On The Right. Once again, he was kind enough to include me as one of the bloggers that participated.
I was listening to the news before work this morning, and they were talking about "Able Danger". From what I understand, a military intelligence group claims they had intelligence on Mohammed Atta more than a year before 9/11, but were prevented from passing it on to civilian law enforcement due to that "wall" law. They say that they told the 9/11 Commission about this twice, but their information never made it into the report. So, if this is true, my first thought was that this must have something to do with Jamie Gorelick, who was one of members of the 9/11 Commission, but to my mind should have been a witness since she's the one for creating the "wall" law in the first place. Now I believe that even more than I did at the time. My second thought is Sandy Burglar, err, Berger. Just what was in those documents he destroyed? Yeah, there's probably no connection, but I'm a suspicious sort to begin with, so I wonder.
I haven't had time to look up anything in print on this, so if anyone has any good links on the subject, whether media or blog, I'd appreciate it. I'm very interested in finding out more about this.
Via the one and only Jay.
Conservative Bloggers Who Support the Gay Judge Roberts got a mention in Best of the Web today! As Cassandra says, James Taranto is the bees knees!
Barbara Bel Geddes has died of lung cancer. Those of you who are fellow Dallas fans will remember her as Miss Ellie, the family matriarch.
Chris Muir of Day by Day, has a favor to ask on behalf of his sister who is fighting cancer.
Via Nin's ever changing sig quote: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then, find someone who's life gave them vodka, and have a party. -- Jeff Foxworthy
"Judge Sewall's Apology", The judge who apologized for the Salem witch trials. Sounds like it would make for interesting reading.
The hearing was last night, so I guess we just wait and see. Considering we never really recovered from Fort Ord being shut down, if we lost two bases at the same time now, I can't see how there's anyway to put a good spin on it. I'd be interested to know if any other community our size has taken not one, not two, but potentially three base closures. On the TV news they said that the two remaining bases account for 20% of the school district's students.
The hearing at the Monterey Conference Center opened with video testimony from U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and segued to statements by Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel and former Democratic Congressman Leon Panetta, before moving on to a detailed presentation by Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer. All made basically the same points.
The arguments against moving the two military schools centered on their vital roles in the war on terror. The speakers stressed that the two institutions would take years to rebuild elsewhere and that their work can't be "privatized" at civilian universities.
"It would be a huge mistake to lose these two tremendous assets," Feinstein said. "We're in the middle of a war."
Citing the Navy school's pioneering work in developing a homeland security studies curriculum and DLI's instruction in "the world's most difficult languages," Boxer said. "It is essential that no action be taken to disrupt the work of the Defense Language Institute or the Naval Postgraduate School."
The language institute, she noted, graduates 25 times the number of Arabic linguists of all other universities in the United States combined, and teaches all of the nation's Persian Farsi linguists.
A report prepared by Meurer showed that 26 students received degrees in Arabic at other universities around the United States compared to 521 graduates of DLI's Arabic course.
In addition to the military-specific subjects taught, the two schools are able to change gears to meet changing needs, said Terry Tamminen, cabinet secretary to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
DLI "shifted faster than any college could have done after 9/11'' to meet the military's sudden surge in demand for linguists who spoke Arabic, Pushtu, Farsi and other Central Asian languages, Tamminen said, and the Navy school, "unlike any other graduate university," applies the fruits of its research directly to military needs. He cited, for example, its work with unmanned aerial surveillance drones that became invaluable intelligence-gathering tools in Afghanistan.
NPS combines technical research capabilities with access to nearby training ranges with good weather year-round at Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Liggett, and open air spaces over the Santa Lucia Mountains, to test concepts as they are developed, he said.
Moving either the language institute or the Navy school is "a misnomer," Farr said. "What we'd be doing is dismantling and reconstructing, and find that not all the pieces are there" after such a move.
.... Panetta, who serves as co-chairman of the California Council appointed by Schwarzenegger to prepare arguments against further military base closures in the state, reminded the commission that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had initially recommended against moving the two schools.
"It is our view that there is no credible evidence that moving or outsourcing these functions will result in an equivalent product on behalf of our national security," Panetta said, and "there is no credible evidence that there are cost efficiencies to be achieved through realignment. To rebuild this capacity elsewhere would not only be extremely expensive, it would be risky to our defense preparedness."
DLI's language teaching is duplicated nowhere else, he said, and NPS research projects and studies are "focused on nothing else but winning the war on terrorism."
Panetta also cited endorsements of the two institutions by Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the U.S. Central Command, and Gordon England, acting deputy secretary of defense and Navy secretary.
The two schools are targeted repeatedly for closure, he said, because the military "tends to look at educational facilities and their missions as second-class citizens" and because there is a misconception that their functions can be privatized.
"The reality is that these assets don't exist in the private sector."
When I first read this headline, "The next gold mine: Moblogs", my first thought was mobsters with blogs. Turns out that isn't quite what it means.
Sisu has lots and lots of good bloggy stuff going on. Start at the top and work your way down.
A 300-YEAR-OLD murder mystery has been unearthed after an amateur archaeologist stumbled across human bones on a construction site.
The remains were discovered on the site of the new Queen Margaret University campus in Craighall, Musselburgh.
And it is now believed the bones are the remains of a female murder victim, as one of them appears to have been severed by a knife or another sharp instrument.
But although police were informed of the find, they are not launching an investigation because the remains have lain in the ground for almost 300 years.
The bones were sent to top forensic pathologist Anthony Busuttil, who has worked on high-profile cases including the Jodi Jones murder, for examination.
Archaeologists have now been called in to try to solve the mystery of the bones.
The chilling discovery was made by 32-year-old joiner Larney Cavanagh.
He said he found a variety of bones and knew immediately they were human.
He said: "I have always been into archaeology - it's my hobby. I was walking past the site early on Friday when I decided to have a little look.
"There is excavation work going on at the site just now. I rummaged around in the earth and scraped some soil away and that's when I came across the bones.
"I found part of a skull, an ankle bone, ribs and finger bones. I recognised them to be human remains - they were too long to be animal bones. One of them looked as though it had been cut with something."
Professor Busuttil said the remains of a "mature woman" consisted of part of her ribs, elbow, cranium and thumbs, and said the condition of one of the bones led him to suspect she may have been the victim of murder.
Although mystery surrounds the identity of the woman and how she met her death, the 18th century was a turbulent time for the Lothians.
Bridget Simpson, archaeologist for East Lothian Council, said there could be more remains buried at the site.
The large numbers of archaeological remains in this area, particularly prehistoric and Roman remains, suggest that other archaeological remains may be identified.
FURIOUS campaigners are to stage a massive protest at the Tattoo after learning that the man they blame for ditching Scotland's historic regiments has been invited to be guest of honour.
The leaders of Save the Scottish Regiments campaign are angry that General Sir Mike Jackson, head of the Army, has been asked to take the salute at the event. And the lobby group was set to meet today to finalise plans to give "a hot reception" to the man behind the decision to disband the regiments.
They were due to finalise arrangements for how they will attempt to disrupt the sell-out event, one of the most popular Festival attractions.
But Tattoo producer Mel Jameson said he would not tolerate any attempt to cause mayhem at the Tattoo.
Edinburgh-based regiment the Royal Scots faces the axe under the plans, which would see it merged with the King's Own Scottish Borderers into one battalion.
It would then be merged with the remaining four regiments to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
This year's Tattoo sees all six Scottish regiments performing at the event together for what is set to be the last time.
More than one-third of western Canadians surveyed this summer thought it was time to consider separation from Canada, a poll suggests.
In the survey, 35.6 per cent of respondents from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia agreed with the statement: Western Canadians should begin to explore the idea of forming their own country.
Albertans, at 42 per cent, were most apt to consider independence, followed by Saskatchewan at 31.9 per cent. Residents of B.C. and Manitoba were the least likely to consider separation, at 30.8 and 27.5 per cent respectively.
You may recall a few months back I reported that neither NPGS or DLI were on the BRAC list. Well, they were sneaky and recently added us on to the list. Now there's a scramble for Monterey to make the case.
There's a local report here.
Two articles on immigrants in the 19th & 20th centuries.
Harry Potter's worldwide popularity is so broad-based that it has become favorite reading for Islamic terror suspects at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Lori, who for two years has overseen the detention center's library, said J.K. Rowling's tales about the boy wizard are on top of the request list for the camp's 520 al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, followed by Agatha Christie whodunits.
"We've got a few who are kind of hooked on it. A couple have asked if they can see the movie," said Lori, a civilian contractor who asked that her last name not be publicized.
If you loved her condensed versions of Lord of the Rings, you'll love the condensed Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!
[still wiping the tears from my eyes]
Jen has some Pirate Booty!
Following FugiJen's blogathon.
Reading a most excellent Harry Potter fic called Harry Potter and the Battle of Wills
Watching the Cowboy Junkies DVD Nin gave me for my birthday. Though having to listen through my TV speakers sucks dead bunnies through a straw. I dearly wish I could afford a new amp. [whine]
Drinking muchos tea
Afdd to the list: Gennie's blogathonning too!
Fugitive Jen is blogathonning! So head over to her place and see what's up!
ARTISTS and performers are reacting in many ways to global terrorism in shows at the Edinburgh festivals this year - but some have altered their acts after the London bombings.
A Muslim stand-up comedian, the Danish-born Omar Marzouk, has been touring Europe with an act in which he "blows up" his audience with a fake suitcase bomb.
The "bomb" is designed by a television special-effects team and explodes on stage, but the Fringe performer is planning to cut the scene following fears it may cause offence.
The leading Irish comedian, Andrew Maxwell, said he had originally written a large segment of his show on the theme that it was impossible to have a British suicide bomber.
"That was a very key section of my show, about the Britishness of Muslims, more interested in the car and making a cup of tea than extremism," he said.
"It was in a nutshell that you would never get a British suicide bomber, that the 'normalness' of British Muslims would preclude them ever being fanatical enough.
"The audiences loved it but it proved to be completely wrong and irrelevant."
That's Entertainment -- Friday, the weekend's almost here edition.
If you've posted a movie/book/TV/DVD review on your blog, leave a link in the comments, or trackback to this post. If you don't have a blog, leave your review in the comments as well.
Check out Taylor & Company for lots of good stuff. More than I can link to.
Yes, I'm linking to Kathy again. People are going to start to talk, I swear. Anywho...
Her whole post is worth reading, but I'm particularly interested in the bit about whether the opinions of those low in the Ecosystem have as much validity as those who are "big dogs". Yes, I know, I'm paraphrasing her terribly here, so you should probably read her words, not mine.
"As soon as Sheriff Russell heard Bradshaw say, 'This town ain't big enough for the both of us,' he inadvertently visualized a tiny chalk-line circle with a town sign that said 'Population 1,' and the two of them both trying to stand inside of it rather ineffectively, leaning this way and that, trying to keep their balance without stepping outside of the line, and that was why he was smiling when Bradshaw shot him."
This year's winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.
Every so often, the guys go and get breakfast sandwiches from Spacs, but they usually forget to ask if I want one. Today, they remembered. I just finsished eating 3/4s of scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, and fried potatoes on a big seasame seed hoagie/sub type bun. That's more than I usually eat at work in a week! My normal fare here is a few cups of yogurt drink, a hard boiled egg, and a handful of nuts. No, it's not a diet, it's just I hate thinking of lunch food, so I make do with as little and as simple as possible. I hate yogurt, but it really helps my tummy problems, and I find the liquid version much more palatable than the spoon kind.
Another study that shows the benefits of the normal food chain being reinstated with the return of the wolf. Not that it's a surprise to me, but it's nice to see.
A hearty AVAST! to My Own Thoughts for the link.
Kathy has a perfect rant on women who use a public restroom, wet all over the toilet seat, AND DON'T CLEAN IT UP!! Yeah, I love having to clean up their urine before I can use the loo.
Check out a relativley new blog called Echo9er. He has excellent taste in links!
When I read something like this, I always think "when", not "if". I have for decades now. Probably when I read a short story when I was a teenager about a nuclear bomb on a barge going off in New York Harbour. I don't remember who wrote it, or the title, but I do remember it placing the certain thought in my head that some event like that would happen within my lifetime. Back in the seventies, I'm not sure if I had a 'face' on the perpetrators -- but I do now.
That's me, Miss Doom & Gloom since 1968 (First grade when I thought the Soviets were going to bomb us due to a miscommunication about a pending 'duck & cover' drill)
How did she end up with the actual bat for testing? You're driving, the window's open, bat flies in and bites you, and....? What? Seems like there's something missing in the middle there! I've had bats get in the house, and they're not easy to catch. Driving and being bit doesn't seem to be an ideal situation to catch the little beggar.
I ask these questions so you don't have to.
A hearty AVAST! to the one and only Kathy for the link
The latest Cotillion can be found at these fine establishments:
I've been reading a most unusal piece of fanfic that's a xover between Harry Potter and Stargate. Don't laugh! It works. It's not finished yet, a new part was up today. It's called "Crumpets Aren't My Style".
According to this report, all is not well with Amazing Race 8, the kiddie version. Apparently, it may not even air.
Maureen Ryan asks the question, "Ever have a teacher who tried way too hard to be "down" with the kids? Who never knew that he was using out-of-date lingo or patronizing the intelligence of the people he wanted to befriend?" The subject? Al Gore's new TV network. A review and a handy list, including:
Most unintelligible on-air statement: "Current is a bridge between the power of a generation and a mass outlet for its voice." Thank you, Gotham Chopra.
Dopiest statement: "Our Current Hottie is sex on toast, and I think any red-blooded girl would want to take a bite." Thank you, Amaya Brecher.
Most clueless statement in press kit: "Until now, the notion of viewer participation has been limited to sending a tape to `America's Funniest Home Videos,' calling an interview show, taking part in an instant poll or voting someone off an island," Al Gore states. Uh, Al, viewers don't participate in voting anyone off "Survivor."
Go, read, snicker!
American Digest is asking for reader support of Michael Yon. You can read all about it here.
It's email list advert time! I have many lists, so here's a varied selection.
If you like Science Fiction & Fantasy in any of its forms, you might like Speculatrix
Then there's a list for all things Celtic: Celts in Space.
Or if books are more your thing, there's ALRR
So many lists, so little time.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Always in control, you are a great leader, deligator, and diplomat. These qualities attract people to you, and this sometimes annoys you.
Aloof, introspective, and philosophical; you enjoy quiet time in solitude.
A hearty AVAST! to the lovely & ever delightful Kelley for the link.
Stuff I read today that you might like to read as well:
And John Hawkins has a list of least liked Republicans/Conservatives from a right of center blogger POV. Usually when I participate in RWN's lists, my choices never seem to be anyone elses, but this time, I scored well!
This is interesting. Even though Pres. Bush is "the most fit President in history", according to the official guidlines, he's overweight. What a crock these "obese" figures are! When will the government get a clue? Yeah, I know, silly question.
Despite invasions by Saxons, Romans, Vikings, Normans, and others, the genetic makeup of today's white Britons is much the same as it was 12,000 ago, a new book claims.
In The Tribes of Britain, archaeologist David Miles says around 80 percent of the genetic characteristics of most white Britons have been passed down from a few thousand Ice Age hunters.
Miles, research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford, England, says recent genetic and archaeological evidence puts a new perspective on the history of the British people.
"There's been a lot of arguing over the last ten years, but it's now more or less agreed that about 80 percent of Britons' genes come from hunter-gatherers who came in immediately after the Ice Age," Miles said.
.... Population estimates based on the size and density of settlements put Britain's population at about 3.5 million by the time Romans invaded in A.D. 43.
Many historians now believe subsequent invaders from mainland Europe had little genetic impact on the British.
The notion that large-scale migrations caused drastic change in early Britain has been widely discredited, according to Simon James, an archaeologist at Leicester University, England.
"The gene pool of the island has changed, but more slowly and far less completely than implied by the old invasion model," James writes in an article for the website BBC History.
For the English, their defining period was the arrival of Germanic tribes known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons. Some researchers suggest this invasion consisted of as few as 10,000 to 25,000 people—not enough to displace existing inhabitants.
.... "It is actually quite common to observe important cultural change, including adoption of wholly new identities, with little or no biological change to a population," Simon James, the Leicester University archaeologist, writes.
One such change is the emergence of a Celtic identity in Britain. There are no historical references to Celts in ancient Britain.
Miles explained that "Celts" was a name applied to tribes in Gaul—modern-day France—though their language shared the same root as those spoken by British tribes.
"In the 18th and 19th centuries, as Ireland, Wales, and Scotland started to assert national identity, they began to talk about themselves as Celts," Miles added.