May 31, 2003

Computer viruses, a couple of simple steps to reduce your risk and vulnerability.

Again, I read of new virus threats to the PC community. The sad part is many owners of PC's, are not aware of this perpetual threat. Worse, many people don't have any idea of how to stop, or at least, reduce the chance for infection.

Hopefully this article/rant will be of assistance.

Almost every virus out there today is dependent on 2 simple behaviours of computer users. Yes, I said 2! With that piece of knowledge, you may wonder HOW so many PC's get infected, right? The answer is simple and I will get to it in a moment.

Suppose you receive an email from an address you do not recognize. Ask yourself, what do you do? Do you: 1) Open it and see what it is ? 2) Don't open it but view it in the preview pane ( using outlook, or outlook express ) ? 3) Delete it because you don't know who it is from ?

Number 3 should be your choice. If you don't recognize the sender, don't open it. That procedure will stop 30% of all viruses from even getting to your PC. Now, to the second question.

Suppose you receive an email from an address you DO recognize which has an ATTACHMENT. What do you do? Do you: 1) Open the message and read it and then double click on the attachment to watch the "cool thing" that the message says will happen? 2) open the message, read it, and if it sounds like it is from someone you know, then open the attachment? 3) Open the message, read the short message that says "this is cool!", or something along those lines, and open the attachment? 4) Consider carefully the message, size of the attachment, TYPE of attachment and then if it does not sound like something this person would send you, delete it?

Number 4 should be your choice. No matter how curious you are about the attachment or how "cool" it promises to be, deleting it is the safer course. This procedure will stop about 50% of viruses from ever getting to your computer.

Now to answer the question posed in the 1st paragraph. The 2 simple behaviours that facilitate virus propagation and infection are the following:

1) Opening messages from people you do not know.
2) Opening messages (and attachments) from people you do know, but did not follow the style/pattern that these people normally follow in sending mail messages.

Most viruses are sent as message attachments, usually with innoccuous sounding subject lines such as, " Read the attached form", " I got your message, please read attached Confidential reply ", "This is awesomely cool to watch " etc, ad nauseam. THESE types of subject lines are typical of the many viruses that are out there. Even worse, they can appear to come from a trusted friend. So to emphasize; if you are the least bit suspicious of the email message, delete it.

It is my sincere hope that the reader, will closely scrutinize their email from now on.

Unfortunately, some email clients, Outlook and potentially Outlook Express are preconfigured to AUTOMATICALLY open attachments, when a message is opened. This, of course, is unacceptable as the choice to open the attachment, if any, is removed from your hands!

If you are using Outlook, or Outlook Express you do want to configure it, so that Outlook and Outlook express do not use the preview pane. To do so in Outlook Express, click on view/layout and UNCHECK the show preview pane checkbox. The procedure for Outlook should be similar.

If you are adding up the percentages, you will see we have 80% coverage right now. To address the remaining 20% coverage is easier than you might think. For that coverage, I would recommend the purchase of an Anti-Virus program. An Anti-Virus program will help catch what you may have missed when opening a message that you think is safe. At this point you may think: All I have to do is buy an AV (Anti-Virus) program, install it and I am all set. Well, not exactly. Since new viruses are created daily, it is IMPERATIVE that you update your Anti-Virus program on a regular basis. An Anti-Virus program is useless unless it is updated...I cannot stress that enough!

As for what AV program to purchase, that is up to the reader. My personal favorite is Norton Antivirus, the updates are easy, and setup is a breeze. However, I would suggest doing some research on the subject, asking friends and coworkers and looking for reviews online regarding AV programs.

If anyone is interested in more information on personal computer security, I HIGHLY recommend this site. If you go there, prepare to be scared and rapidly educated ( I was when I first went there!)

Posted by ondragonswing at 5:46 PM | Comments (2)


L.A. Law One More Tool for Slavery Reparations

Los Angeles is going to pass a law requiring companies that do business with the city to disclose any profits they may have made on slavery. Of course, this is just another transparent attempt in trying to get reparations.

Why is it these "Black leaders" don't sound anything like the Blacks I work with? They certainly have a different take on the disparity between Blacks and Whites, and doesn't have anything to do with slavery. all this reparations movement is, is a shakedown. These "leaders" kick up a (bad) publicity storm, and these companies fold because they're terrified of being labeled "racist". They need to stop letting themselves be extorted, they need to stand up and say "no more!". Because if they don't, these people will never stop.

They never mention the Civil War, and the price paid in blood that ended slavery in this country. Should descendants of Civil War dead demand payment for their families losses? Nor do they ever mention that Black Africans sold other Africans into slavery. And that there are still plenty of slaves to still be found in Africa. Maybe they need to work to free slaves there. But since this has nothing to do with what's right, and everything to do with playing the victim card to see how much money they can extort out of corporate America, I don't expect to see "Black Leaders" doing anything to free slaves in Africa, or anywhere else.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:23 PM | Comments (3)

May 30, 2003

Bush Tax Cuts

President Bush has done brilliant work here. As several pundits have said, noone's going to be able to say, "I want to raise your taxes by not renewing this bill!" and survive.

Every time you think POTUS has done about as much as he can, that he can't accomplish much more except resting on his laurels until 2004 campaign, he pulls something new out of his hat.

Like the AIDS bill. The AIDS bill that he can then take to the G8 summit and say, 'See? We're willing to do this much. Can you not give in proportion? Where is your compassion? Where is your honor? Frenchie, you don't have to answer that.'

For a slightly different speech from me, look at Right We Are!, okay?

Posted by at 7:23 PM

And The Hits Roll In

Jay pointed me in the direction of this post that has some very important information on how to bring traffic to your blog.

So, if I follow these steps, I should say that Jay is a ratty asshat, and that Instapundit follows these rules, which is why he's so cool, and that you can RSS and XML me (even if I have no idea what that means). I'm going to have think about posting the nude pics though. Would wearing a formal count? Oh, and Nin has cleavage cam!

(waiting for those hits to come rolling in now!)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:20 PM | Comments (7)

Jay's So Sweet!

He's trying to get us some "pity links"! [g]

Posted by Ithildin at 5:30 PM

Is There A Hallmark Card For This?

Canada, France, Germany, Russia hope to make up with Bush at summit, but his plan to leave early may indicate otherwise.

In an interview with foreign journalists, Bush said the summit in Evian — a French alpine spa — provided an opportunity for him to talk with leaders "whether they are in agreement with the United States or have differences."

"The Evian summit will not be a confrontational summit," the French newspaper Le Figaro quoted Bush as saying.

But the White House announced that Bush will cut his own time in Evian to a little over 24 hours. He will leave at midafternoon Monday to fly to the Middle East for intensive consultations with Arab and Israeli leaders aimed at getting Mideast peace talks back on track.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:55 AM


This is one of those things I've talked about in RL with friends, but with all the news again about gay Scout leaders, I thought I'd pose the question here. I'm honestly curious to hear what people think, and I'm not trying to be inflammatory or stir up trouble. I just like to get a variety of input when I have one of my mental conundrums!

When I was in Scouting, men weren't allowed to be Girl Scout leaders. The reason for this wasn't because the assumption that every man had lascivious intent towards the girls in the troop, it was a matter of propriety and appropriateness, and to ensure that the male adult was not in a position where he could be accused of doing something inappropriate. Like male doctors having a nurse in the room with a female patient even if it's just a routine visit. I checked with a coworker who has daughters that were involved in scouting until a few years ago, and he says the same thing holds true. The only difference is that men at Brownie level can be involved if there is an adult female chaperone.

So maybe you see where I'm going with this. How is gay male being a boy's Scout leader different from a heterosexual man being a girl's Scout leader? Should men in general be allowed to be Girl Scout leaders without the need of a female chaperone? Should gay Scout leaders have a male chaperone? What about women being Boy Scout leaders?

I await your thoughts!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:35 AM | Comments (5)

May 29, 2003

Bill Safire Deserves Better

William Safire is the token conservative Op/Ed columnist of the NYT. I have no idea why he doesn't take a position at, say, National Review, where he would be appreciated.

In today's article, he makes the following points:

What he thinks went wrong with Turkey:
"The mistake of the Turkish generals was to conclude that America would never attack Saddam without Turkey's willingness to provide the bases to launch a northern front.

The mistake of the newly elected Islamic government in Ankara was to believe this notion and think that it could charge the U.S. a whopping fee for transit of our soldiers.

The mistake of Turkish public opinion was to indulge in the deep-seated paranoia toward the Iraqi Kurds, suspecting that they would set up an independent state that would lead to the breakup of Turkey. That led to a warning that our Iraqi Kurdish allies would be attacked as they returned home to Kirkuk, a threat that was Turkey's most serious blunder.

The U.S. made a mistake, too, in assuming that the Turks, long a stalwart ally against communism, would again act like an ally in helping us rid the area of a dangerous tyrant. We failed to grasp that the new government was run by political amateurs.

Result: The Turks are left standing there, hands in empty pockets, while the winning coalition is pacifying and rebuilding their large oil-rich neighbor to the south. Postwar anti-Islamic mutterings are being heard in the army, which averages one coup per decade; that would be another mistake."

What he offers as a possible multilateral relations solution:

"First, opinion-leading Turks should assuage their public's unreasonable fears of Kurdish separatism. Stop inflammatory talk of intervention in northern Iraq. End internal suppression of the Kurdish culture and language.

At the same time, Americans should assure the Turks that we will maintain a military and intelligence presence in Iraqi Kurdistan and will work with the democratic Barzani-Talabani Kurds to jail any P.K.K. terrorists in that autonomous region of federated Iraq. We should quickly set up courts to adjudicate claims of Kurds and the Turkoman minority against lands stolen by Saddam in his ethnic cleansing.

Turkey should then offer a brigade of its army - about 4,000 soldiers - to be embedded in the Polish command in southern Iraq to help establish and keep order. Arabs may not welcome this at first, but Turkish troops have proved to be effective peacekeepers in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

The coalition should graciously accept Ankara's offer, and a portion of the Iraqi oil repayment we foolishly promised to Russia for debts incurred by Saddam should be used to subsidize the brigade's cost.

Then we should let economic nature take its course."

I know it's rather late in the day to be posting about today's column, but I think it's worth your read. Sure, I got most of the good stuff here, but the column as a whole puts a better flow on it.

Posted by at 6:55 PM | Comments (1)


This is the second time today I've seen a referral in SiteMeter from and I'm baffled. Anyone know how you can get a referral from someplace where there is no link to you?

Posted by Ithildin at 5:55 PM | Comments (5)


Good post over at RWN on the absurdity of suing over childhood playground accidents. If my parents had sued every time I got hurt, we'd be rich! Just off the top of my head, I remember getting slammed in the face with a hockey stick in 4th grade PE, having my head split open by a rock, also in 4th grade, and being knocked over and trampled while bending over to pick up a jump rope end in 1st grade.

It's amazing most of us survive our childhoods!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:45 PM | Comments (1)

Getting A Pass

So do sports "stars" get some sort of pass when it comes to loathsome behavior? It seems every time you turn around, some sports celebrity does something that would ruin most other people, and yet they still get publicity and accolades. The latest? Mike Tyson. He says he really wants to rape the woman he went to prison for raping. He said this in a televised interview. This guy is a creep, i's not a secret, it's not like this is his first offense by any means, and yet, he gets a TV interview!! God, why am I surprised? Look at all the attention O.J. Simpson still gets!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:40 PM | Comments (1)


Another one of those things I was going to post about ages ago, but forgot about till now. My memory was jogged by a thread on The Corner today about campus conservatives, and the comment from an emailer that his rich girlfriends were country club members, and liberals, and he swam at the public pool.

So where do the left get this idea that conservative/Republicans are all rich? I mean, the Kennedys are rich, right? I think of my favorite blogs, and as far as I know, most of the VRWC types that write them aren't rolling in dough. The opposite in fact; most seem to be regular folks who try to make ends meet and pay the bills. I'm certainly not wealthy. I share a house with four other adults to make do here in overpriced California, I own a 1986 Jimmy (My first ever vehicle that I got three years ago. I took the bus before that). I'm not living hand to mouth by any means, but if something happened [knock wood], I'd be in a serious amount of trouble. But because I'm a conservative Republican, I should be upper middle class at least! Oppressing the common worker! I don't think the Dems can handle us lower to middle class "oppressed worker" class types not buying into their nonsense. They don't get that I've worked hard for what I have, and have been working since I was 15. I didn't go to college, I've been poor. It drives me crazy when I'm told that Republicans don't understand what it is to be poor. Bull hockey!! As a child, I remember the thrill of getting to drink real milk, instead of powdered, I remember living in our camper, my grandmother's basement, and my Aunt's garage. Don't tell me I don't get it -- they're the ones that don't get it! They think by pandering to me because I'm a woman, because I'm not wealthy, because I'm a high school drop out, that I'll vote for them. That by spouting their empty promises, I'll swear allegiance to "gimme government". They believe that I'm too stupid to see through the smoke and mirrors the Dems are so good at manufacturing. Well, they're wrong. I see quite well, and I can only hope that more people will see through their slight of hand.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:49 AM | Comments (1)



Posted by Ithildin at 7:15 AM

May 28, 2003

Fisking Maureen Dowd

Most days, she's so blatant in her scaremongering that it's hardly worth my time. In today's column, she has some decent sentences, so it's worth fisking the rest. Alas, Mo, we never wanted to know ya. Ms. Dowd can't keep from attacking Bush on spurious charges for even one column. What it boils down to today, to use a cliche, is an attempt at denying that our long national nightmare is over.

Let's start with her opening lines: "By rolling over Iraq, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld hoped to deep-six the sixties. The president was down with that. He never grooved on the vibe of the Age of Aquarius anyway."

This is a good thing, Mo. Who wants a hippie pot-smoker (who didn't inhale! Yeah, right) for a wartime President anyway?

"Conservatives were eager to purge the decades' demons, from tie-dye to moral relativism, from Hanoi Jane to wilting patriotism, from McGovern to blaming America first, from Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds to the Clintonesque whatever-gets-you-through-the-night ethos."

Nothing wrong with Tie-dye. Moral relativism IS an evil, because it denies the possibility of evil here on earth... at least, it denies that anyone but capitalists and/or republicans can be evil. It tends to be 'relativism except when we need to demonize the conservatives'. Hanoi Jane is a damned traitor, and deserves what she'd get if she was ever dropped, handcuffed, in the midst of a battalion of grunts who just got off
the front lines. McGovern was an idiot. Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds... decent song, though boring. As for Clintonesque ethos... I couldn't say it better myself. Except that Clinton didn't have ethics.

"In their preferred calendar, more Gingrichian than Gregorian, American culture fast-forwards from Elvis's blue suede shoes to John Travolta's white polyester suit."

I get it! Republicans want to abandon modern science (Gregorian calendars) for... something. No idea what you mean by 'Gingrinchian calendar', Mo. Nothing wrong with Elvis's shoes, though the guy had serious drug problems
at the end. Nothing wrong with John Travolta, either.

"Whatever else has gone awry in the Mideast so far, the administration may have succeeded in exorcising American queasiness about using force, and any vestigial image of the military as "baby killers.""

Good! Now stop backhandedly referring to our fine Troops as 'baby killers', and you might someday be redeemed - at least up to Purgatory, though you're enough of an unrepentant liar that you'll probably not make Heaven.

"Karl Rove's re-election strategy is designed to tug 9/11 heartstrings, and his ads will be heroic images of Top Gun chasing down the bad guys."

Nice that you can read Rove's mind... I guess 'Top Gun' is your new sarcastic name for our President and Commander in Chief?

"The president and his posse diverted anger over 9/11 to Iraq, and now they are diverting it to Iran."

False. Beep! Wrongo! 9/11's anger went to Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan, the place you keep accusing Republicans (or at least, Bush) of ignoring and forgetting and leaving too soon? 9/11's "never again" resolve to protect ourselves went to Iraq, and now Iran.

"The Bushies are playing up Al Qaeda terrorists they say are hunkered down in Iran, even as they overlook all the Al Qaeda terrorists crouching in countries the administration doesn't want to demonize, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And the hawks have turned to grooming Iranian exiles, who are pumping out reports of secret nuclear labs. Sound familiar?"

Yeah, real familiar. It's the same old argument that was used before we busted ass in Iraq. "You're diverting from Al Qaeda terrorists in <insert name here> to go after <insert country here>!"


""Al Qaeda is on the run," the president said in Little Rock, Ark. "That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly, but surely, being decimated. Right now, about half of all the top Al Qaeda operatives are
either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem anymore."
" Yadda yadda yadda, hey hey hey, goodbye, Americans are terrified because Saudi Arabia was attacked, yadda yadda.

Wrong again! Now that you've stated the quote correctly, you're still trying to interpret it the old way, Mo! See, the point is that the half of all top Al Qaeda operatives we've captured or killed, 'are not a problem anymore'. The other half, are. Duh. We know this. Apparently only Dems don't.

"... Officials should stop speaking about threats and triumphs until they know exactly what they are speaking
about. They should lose their bewildering and unconvincing color code, because orange doesn't communicate anything to anybody any more.

Really? It communicates something to me - it communicates that those terrorist bastards are hoping to catch us with our pants down, and we're not obliging. You want absolutely complete and accurate 'speaking about'? Fine... let me know what the complete and accurate situation is after NYC gets nuked with a city-buster, courtesy of Kim Jong Il or the mullahs.

".... 800-page Congressional report that will provide what every American has a right to know about 9/11."

That would be need to know. And I don't. Neither do you. And you know what? Especially, the Enemy doesn't need to know. So let's not give him the opportunity, eh? What do you think about that?

Or do you really -want- to sit and read through 800 pages of Congressese (Congress-ese: bureaucratic blather increased by a factor of 10)? I don't.

As for your remarks about the Saudis' recalcitrance... well, that bombing you cited? That was the wake-up call to them that is making them at least somewhat more cooperative.

"The public should take its cue from Mr. Bush's beau ideal, Ronald Reagan. As the Gipper advised, "Trust, but verify.""

Oh, what a cheap parting shot! Imply that Bush is as bad as the Evil Empire at its height!


Posted by at 8:08 PM | Comments (1)

Go Us!

We're now Adorable Little Rodents!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:16 PM | Comments (4)


Here in Monterey, the local troops run by about 2-3 times a year. Lots of men (and women) running by, chanting, and giving out American Flags.

The store always empties out and everyone watches them run by.

Well, this time, there was an unfortunate incident.

All the employees at work wear our nametags and smocks when we go out to watch them run by. One employee made known her hatred of the military, shouting out anti-military phrases. For the most part, it didn't matter, she couldn't be heard over the troops chanting.

Except for when one of the men handing flags out offered her one. She told him, "I don't want anything from baby and women killers."

By the time a third of the troops had run by, she was on one side of the doorway by herself, and everyone else was on the other, waving their flags and pretending we don't know her.

The management is not pleased. I'm currently on a 'quest' to find a thank you card to send the base commander (It's slightly difficult. Almost all the thank you and blank cards in this store are 'girly' with flowers and butterflies.) to show our appreciation for the troops and to apologize.

Well, I found a card. Not bad looking. Then, after calling the information desk, I got the address to send the card. The guy answering was pleasantly surprised we were sending a thank you card...

Posted by Ninjababe at 5:06 PM | Comments (6)

Don't Turn Around, Uh Oh!

The Commissar's In Town, Uh Oh!

(Dedicated to Paul, just because)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:05 PM | Comments (5)

Important Update!

Nin's daily average is up to, wait for it... 10!!! That's right, ladies and gentlemen! 10 average daily readers! With just a little more click love, you can get her up to 12!!.

So go on, click! It'll give you something to do while waitng for the fire sidelined blogs to come back up!

Posted by Ithildin at 12:33 PM | Comments (3)

So That's What It Was About

In this piece (WSJ OpionionJournal, free registration required), SecDef Big Dog writes about the point by point problems that we have to realize are part and parcel of a change from tyranny to representative democracy.

In this article about it in the GOPUSA Newsletter, one thing that struck me was this:

tens of thousands of criminals released from their prisons

All of a sudden, I'm thinking: "Of course! That's why Saddam opened all those jails back in the first part of the year!" At the time, I'd thought it was just a miserable attempt to improve world opinion of himself, but it suddenly makes a deeper sense.

Afraid you'll lose the war you know is coming? Release thousands of hard-core criminals, use the release of political prisoners as cover, and watch in glee as they sabotage power junctions, etc, etc.

If you win, you get to use your gestapo to re-capture them all. Heck, you might even hire some of the hard-cores as new members of your gestapo.

Posted by at 8:16 AM | Comments (2)

Amen, Sister!

Go read Michele's post on emailing bloggers, and then come back and I'll tell you what I think! I know, you can hardly wait.

Click for the rest! (you know you want to!)

What she said! See? Isn't that deep? I don't get many emails, but I appreciate every single one because it says to me that someone cared enough to take time from their life to send me an email. I was very nervous about sending emails to big bloggers too (once I realized there were Big Name Bloggers) (Initially, I had no klew!), in the beginning, because I'd gotten the impression from some blogs that the big guys thought you were only looking for a link if you emailed them. So when I finally bit the bullet, and sent an email -- I went for the big time and emailed Steven DenBeste -- I made sure there was no link to my blog. (Yes, I know, I'm silly, but we've established that.) And you know what? He replied! And he was very polite and not at all scary. I don't always get replies from emails I send, but I've never had anyone yell at me either, so we're good.

I love comments, I love email, gimme!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:50 AM

May 27, 2003

Going once...!

You know, I've decided that this deserves it's own post.

In this post, Ith made the observation that my blog is virgin link territory.

Jay. Maripat, what are your opening bids?

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:43 PM | Comments (8)

More Amusing Bloggage

John has a very amusing post over at RWN on "The Real 'Dynamics Of A Blogosphere Story'"

Go check it out! You can thank me later.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:37 PM | Comments (2)


This is the first post by one of our wonderful guest bloggers. Please give Dave a warm welcome to Gaggle! ~ Ith

I can't believe I'm saying this, but kudos to Robert Coram of the NYT
for this piece (hat tip - RealClearPolitics). I admit, I have my own biases (Go Army!), but his point is valid - the A10 Warthog is an excellent CAS (Close Air Support) fighter.


Ah, that's why he has a good point - he's not a regular NYT columnist,
he's an Op-Ed Contributor. This is the guy who wrote "Boyd: The Fighter
Pilot Who Changed the Art of War." From what I hear, it's a good book. In
addition to his article, let me just say that, in my nowhere near humble
opinion, now that the Air Force is viable in its own right, they should get rid
of that stupid rule that keeps the Army from flying Fixed-Wing Aircraft
(yes, that rule exists, for those who aren't in a position to know), and give
the A10 to the Army to own, fly, and develop further in the future.

-- Dangerous Dave

Update: To clarify, 'they' means 'whatever service or Joint Chiefs or Pentagon Committee or Congressional Oversight Committee made up the rule'.

Posted by ondragonswing at 6:23 PM | Comments (5)

I Lied

I said I was going to be Switzerland in the knock out drag out fight between RWA, and Jay Solo, but this is too good not to link to! I'll make it up to Jay somehow. Maybe I could give him another award...?


Top 10 Things Maripat & Lori Are Considering In Order To Drive Up Linkage...

Here are a few of my favourite ones:

07) Maripat's pet rats go on a rampage to gun down Michael Moore and later plead the Matrix made them do it.

04) Maripat and Lori offer sexual favors to this man in exchange for daily linkage

02) Changing our blog theme to "Girls Gone Wild - The Republican Volume"

01) Posting pictures of our boobies

Jay Solo ~~ Jay Solo ~~ Jay Solo AND RWA <---new!

There, all even now, so damn whinging from the peanut gallery! [g]

Oh, and one more lil item: since this is all about links, go read Nin's Blog!! We're trying to get her more than 9 readers! Gals, and Jay, her blog is virgin link territory. I bet you could cut a deal with her -- she's always very open to bribery [weg] (she's going to kill me when she reads this!) (bwahahahahaha!!!)

Posted by Ithildin at 5:45 PM | Comments (6)

Full Disclosure

Related to all the news about the New York Times, and disclosing who actually researches and writes the articles, comes this post by Jonah Goldberg from The Corner:

But, what the press could really use is a big sweaty round of full-disclosures about how television news is produced. People get away with stuff in television editing that would be considered outrageous in print. For example, in print, if I quote you, I'm required to let you know if I'm quoting from different spots in our conversation. I can't take the tail end of sentence # 127 and splice it on to the begining of sentence #3 without using elipses (...) or some such. In television, they do that in almost every interview. In fact, whenever you see a conversation on "60 Minutes" many people might like to know that every time they cut to a tight shot of Ed Bradley or Leslie Stahl nodding and then back to the interviewee they've probably also edited vast chunks of conversation as well. But they make it sound like he just took a breath.

Or, lots of people might like to know that interviewers often re-ask the questions without the interviewee in the room. They also shoot "reaction shots" in which the interviewer nods and smiles as if they are having a conversation when their not talking to anybody (they use these re-asks to splice together the different quotes). Or, they might like to know that many interviews are conducted by speaker phone from a different city, sometimes with the re-asks and reaction shots pasted in. I could go on and on.

I knew that lots and lots of editing went into these sorts of shows, but what he describes is way beyond what I thought goes on. I don't think I'll ever watch a pre-taped news segment the same way again. Or would that be "staged" news segment?

Posted by Ithildin at 5:23 PM

Everbody Wang Chung Tonight

That is all.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:01 PM | Comments (5)

Out Of Hiding

Iraqi man ends 20 years in hiding

After two decades in hiding, an Iraqi man has finally emerged back into the real world - squinting at the unaccustomed light.

Twenty-one years ago, Saddam Hussein placed an execution order on Jawad Amir for supporting an outspoken Shia cleric.

Mr Amir escaped - not into a far-off town or neighbouring country, but into a space sandwiched between two walls in his parents' home.

He said for the whole of his hiding he never left that small, dark space and had only a tiny peephole to view the outside world.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:56 AM

Having A Party & No One Shows Up

Parties Have Difficulty Tapping Potential Talent

Apparently, it's becoming more difficult to attract candidates to run for national office. I don't suppose it's too surprising. After all, who wants to run the gauntlet of the press and just the plain nastiness of running for election? I'm not sure I would. The article also mentions "qualified" candidates. What actually makes someone qualified to run anyway? Do they only want people who are in a certain profession-- lawyers --, or with a particular amount of education? Is being an elected representative no longer something open to a regular Joe or Jane?

Posted by Ithildin at 7:50 AM | Comments (7)

Stay Tuned

If things work out, there should be some guest blogging happening here today. [hint hint]

Me, I have to get to work.


Posted by Ithildin at 7:28 AM

May 26, 2003

These two posts will remain

These two posts will remain at the top of the page today

"They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue." --Gen. James
A. Garfield

Posted by Ithildin at 11:45 PM

My Memorial Day Post

Photo from ABMC & there's also detailed info on the site. More pics here

One summer, I went to visit friends in the Army who were stationed in Heidelberg. During the course of the trip, we traveled to Scotland. On the way back to Germany, we stopped in Luxembourg to visit the American Military Cemetery there. Among the thousands of fallen U.S. soldiers buried there is General George Patton. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived, and as we approached the gates, the sound of taps could be heard in the almost total quiet. I walked in through the gates, and there in front of was a sea of white crosses, and at one of those crosses, a group of veterans and a bugler, standing at the grave of a fallen comrade. You know those moments when they say time stands still? That was one of those moments for me. I knew I was standing on hallowed ground, and the quiet, with only the sound of the bugle, and the chirping of birds as they got ready to settle down for the night, and the sun as it sat low in the sky, covering the crosses in a soft light.

Posted by Ithildin at 11:25 PM | Comments (2)

Too Close To Home

Rod Dreher posts about discovering the man now wanted for the serial killings in LA lives donw the road from his family.

Derrick Lee, the south Louisiana serial killer suspect cops are searching for, lives down the road from my family in Starhill, Louisiana, a wide spot in the road just south of St. Francisville. My sister was in school with Lee. She taught his son this year in middle school -- until Lee abruptly withdrew the boy three weeks ago, and vanished. And to think I was so relieved during the killer's spree that my family seemed safe, because the killer seemed to be doing all his work south of Starhill. My shaken sister told my dad today, when the news broke, that if Derrick Lee had come to her door, she would have let him in, because she knows him. Lee is considered armed and dangerous. Dear God, you just never know about people, do you?

I remember, a few years ago, after Christina Williams was kidnapped (and later found murdered) here at the former Ft. Ord. One of the guys they pulled in as a suspect was a serial rapist/kidnapper, and I discovered he'd worked as a maintenance man at the company in the warehouse right next to the one I worked at for nearly two years. Scared the crap out of me at the time.

You just never know what evil is right next door.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:49 PM

On Taps

From The Federalist Newsletter

Many communities will end the National Moment of Remembrance at 1500 on Memorial Day by playing Taps. From a friend at the USMA, West Point, comes this brief history of Taps: In July 1862, after the Seven Days battles at Harrison's Landing (near Richmond), Virginia, the wounded Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, General Daniel Butterfield reworked, with his bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton, another bugle call, "Scott Tattoo," to create Taps. He thought that the regular call for Lights Out was too formal. The custom, thus originated, was taken up throughout the Army of the Potomac and finally confirmed by orders. Soon other Union units began using Taps, and even a few Confederate units began using it as well. After the war, Taps became an official bugle call. Col. James A. Moss, in his Officer's Manual first published in 1911, gives an account of the initial use of Taps at a military funeral: "During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball's Battery A of the 2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the battery occupied an advanced position concealed in the woods. It was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the grave, on account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt. Tidball that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate ceremony that could be substituted."
Posted by Ithildin at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)


Andrea's observance for Memorial Day

Posted by Ithildin at 2:05 AM

May 25, 2003

Bob Hope

Really nice 100th Birthday show on NBC (West Coast) right now.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:26 PM | Comments (2)

Not Right

This is something that's bugged me for a long time, and since I have a blog now, I can tell you all about it.

Memorial Day, and the fact that stores have Memorial Day sales. Doesn't anyone else find that appalling? Why is there so little respect? This is supposed to be a day about remembering our war dead, to remember those whose blood was spilled on our behalf. It's about sacrifice and remembering. And we have store sales like it's just another long weekend. It isn't. Memorial Day should be sacred, not a day to see if you can get those sheets at a discount, or those shoes a little cheaper.

Posted by Ithildin at 3:08 PM | Comments (6)

War Crimes?

Here's some background on the "war crimes" charges against Lt Col Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:57 PM

The Double Life Of Victor Davis Hanson

Very interesting piece in the Boston Globe on Victor Davis Hanson.

....He sought refuge in the classics department, where he studied philology. In the literature of the ancients, Hanson found a ''tragic view of the world'' that resonated with him.

''The Greeks accepted the idea that we all get old, there's certain things that we can't change, human nature is constant throughout the ages and therefore certain things will always be with us-war, pestilence, the fact that individuals are capable of pretty awful things without civilization and culture,'' he explains. ''And the more I read that, the more I realized that it was the way I had been brought up.''

That very much sums up my own personal world view, and as time goes on, the more I beleive it.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:53 PM

Just Another Day In The "Religion Of Peace"

Misha reports on a 9 year old Christian girl who was raped in Pakistan.

Can you imagine if things like this, which happen all the time in Islamic countries (And happens in Western countries with large Muslim populations. Like Australia, where there's been reports of gangs of Muslim men gang raping Australian -- read "Infidels" -- women.), were reveresed, and it was Muslim women being raped and brutalized by organized Christianity? It would be reported by every network, newspaper, magazine, and radio show. But that doesn't happen when it's "the religion of peace" that makes this sort of thing a pastime.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:14 PM

Burns The Fingers

Thanks to the wonders of Sitemeter, I discovered a really fresh blog! This one is so fresh, it's like a cookie you eat too soon after it's out of the oven. all gooey and it burns your fingers!

Me, hungry? Nahhhhhhhh.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:29 PM | Comments (2)


We had a bunch of er... victims volunteer to be guest guy bloggers for the next little while! So I think we have a passle to start out with. If this little experiment works out, it may become a regular feature.

But, we still would like to have a guest Gal blogger as well, so if you think you would benefit from writing Ranty McRants [g] on a regular basis, my inbox is open! edithnaATyahooDOTcom


Posted by Ithildin at 1:12 PM

May 24, 2003


I seem to be the only one around tonight, so I guess I should take that as a sign and go make some dinner. (roasted garlic and Brie)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:16 PM | Comments (4)

Too Strange

Sea gypsies have grown 'underwater vision'

Thai "sea gypsies" living on Surin Island have developed extraordinarily acute underwater vision, research has revealed.

Ethnic Moken children were found to be able to see twice as well underwater as the children of European tourists, who were given similar tests at three coral island resorts nearby.

A team of biologists and opthalmologists from Sweden's Lund University compared groups of youngsters, aged between seven and 14, to learn how the Moken youngsters can spot tiny shells, clams and sea cucumbers four metres beneath the surface of the crystal-clear Andaman Sea without resorting to goggles.

Ordinarily, human eyesight becomes blurry under water because the eye is structured to see through air. But the Moken nomads, who tie stones to their waists so they submerge long enough to forage for seafood, can constrict their pupils to pin-prick size and spot pearls measuring only 1.5mm in diameter. They also squint in order to squeeze the lenses of their eyes, which temporarily thickens them and improves focus under water.

Very interesting read. Just ignore the scary pic of Fisk in the banner ad next to the article!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:14 PM

The Politics Of Primaries

States Rush to Early Position in 2004 Primaries

Fed up with Iowa and New Hampshire getting all of the attention, other states are rushing to move up their presidential primaries, resulting in what election analysts are calling a worrisome front-loading phenomenon.

“Remember Super Tuesday? Well, it’s in February now,” noted Kay Albowicz, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Albowicz said the trend for earlier primaries has been building for nearly 20 years. In 1984, only eight states held their primaries and caucuses by the end of March. The front-loading trend led to states scheduling more primaries by the second week of March, traditionally known as Super Tuesday. Now that target is moving into early February.

So far in the 2004 presidential cycle, Arizona, Delaware, South Carolina and Missouri have scheduled their primaries for Feb. 3 — the closest date they can come to the New Hampshire primary, which according to state law must be held seven days before every other state's primary.

Okay, one thing I don't get -- if it's New Hampshire's law, why do the other states care? Why not make their primary the same was NH's and let them deal with the problem?

Not that I really care one way or the other, I just like being a trouble maker I guess!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:11 PM | Comments (2)

More Blegging

Not only am I hunting for guest guy bloggers for Gaggle, I'm part of an all girl blog that needs some more participants. If you're a gal, and don't have a blog (or even if you do) and would like to participate in a totally non-serious blog with other female type persons, drop me a line: edithna AT yahoo DOT com.

Posted by Ithildin at 4:16 PM | Comments (4)

Get A Frelling KLEW!!

Found this over at Paul's

Celts claim to be oppressed by Ireland and its alcohol

UNITED NATIONS - Indigenous leaders from around the world were left scratching their heads yesterday after the UN included Celts from Ireland in a conference aimed at promoting native rights.

Though Celtic blood flows in the veins of the vast majority of Ireland's citizens, activists from an Irish group called Retrieve Foundation took the podium to say that Celts, as an "oppressed people," should be acknowledged under the UN's Indigenous Charter.

In particular, the group says drugs and alcohol were used to keep the Celts down.

This is so screwy, on so many levels, that I wouldn't even know where to begin! The mind just boggles....

Posted by Ithildin at 2:50 PM | Comments (1)

There Goes The Neighborhood

Slick Willy is getting a blog. Why, oh why won't he just go away?

Clinton told the audience that his Web site, which is now up and running, will soon offer his take on news events as they happen. "Now you'll know what's really going on," he promised. "Since you're not told that often these days."

Oh gee, Bill I'm sure you'll tell us exactly what's going on. What ever did we do without you?

Posted by Ithildin at 2:32 PM | Comments (6)

In Other News

Falkland Islanders get own postcode

THE Falkland Islands are to get their own postcode - because items of mail keep turning up thousands of miles away in Falkirk instead.

The Foreign Office yesterday confirmed the move in a bid to prevent thousands of bills, parcels and postcards ending up in Scotland.

Islanders hope it will stop their correspondence going via places like the Faroe Islands, Iceland and the most popular destinations for lost letters - Falkirk in Stirlingshire or the village of Falkland, in Fife.

Falklands councillor Richard Cockwell said: "I posted some postcards in Chile in March and they arrived this week - that’s because people don’t know where the Falklands are.

"I’ve had my mail come back from the Pacific and quite often it goes up to Scotland because they think it’s meant for Fife."

The need for a postcode was reinforced by the emergence of the internet as Falklanders found they were excluded from shopping on many websites.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:28 PM

May 23, 2003

Where Will It End?

A recent study tying obese patients to skyrocketing Medicare and Medicaid costs is the “smoking gun” lawyers and bureaucrats need to drive the fast food industry into submission, critics of the report say.

The report, published in the May/June issue of Health Affairs, contends that obese and overweight Americans — now more than half the U.S. population — contribute as much as $93 billion to health costs each year, with public Medicare and Medicaid programs footing the better half of the supersized bill.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (search), the data, based on a sample of 9,867 adults, measure the health care costs for patients of normal weight compared to those categorized as overweight and obese. A patient's weight category is derived by their body mass index rating, which is the federal government’s official method for defining obesity.

The study’s authors said the findings are indeed an important signal to government that something needs to be done about the growing waistline of the nation.

“If people want to be 200 pounds, then that’s their choice, but ultimately, if the taxpayer is paying for those choices, certainly, in my mind, that is where the justification for government involvement comes from,” said economist Eric Finkelstein, who conducted the research with Ian Fiebelkorn of RTI International (search) and Guijing Wang of the CDC.

..... But according to critics, those strategies are more than just feel-good campaigns about exercise and healthy eating. They include a massive regulatory and litigitory machine ready to launch a three-pronged strike against the fast food industry through private and public litigation as well as regulation.

“There are a lot of people excited about this study,” said Mike Barita, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Consumer Freedom (search), which has also been tracking lawsuits launched against McDonald’s Corp., the fast food giant blamed for deliberately encouraging excessive consumption of unhealthy and fattening food.

“It’s all about their new cash-cow — attorneys have dollar signs dancing in their eyes,” he said.

Barita said legal heavy hitters like George Washington University professor John F. Banzhaf III, who played a big role in the massive tobacco settlements with the states, are now advising attorneys and plaintiffs in the fight against fast food.

“We’re going to find a judge and we’re going to find a jury and we’re going to start winning these suits,” Banzhaf told

So are we going to outlaw fast food restaurants? Why stop there? Lets ban buffets, and Sunday brunch, and while we're at it, pre-packaged food. No food will be consumed that's not from scratch! Goodbye ice cream parlours, See's Candies, oh, and let's not forget candy and soda machines!

This is becoming more and more nuts. Not that I'm surprised, but that doesn't mean this doesn't infuriate me! Guess what, people? Breathing is bad for you! We're all going to die, so get over it.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:56 AM | Comments (1)

Yeah, Kofi Will Be All Over It

Pygmies beg UN for aid to save them from Congo cannibals

PYGMY leaders have called on the UN to set up an international tribunal to put government and rebel fighters from the Democratic Republic of Congo on trial for acts of cannibalism against their people.

Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, told the UN’s Indigenous People’s Forum that during the four-year civil war his people had been hunted down and eaten.

“In living memory, we have seen cruelty, massacres, and genocide, but we have never seen human beings hunted down as though they were game animals,” he said.

“Pygmies are being pursued in the forests. People have been eaten. This is nothing more, nothing less, than a crime against humanity.”

More than 600,000 pygmies are believed to live in the Congo’s vast jungles, where they eke out a subsistence existence. Both sides in the war regard them as “subhuman”, and believe that their flesh can confer magical powers.

UN human rights activists reported this year that rebels had cooked and eaten at least a dozen pygmies. Some of the worst atrocities took place when the Congolese Liberation Movement, one of the main rebel groups, tried to take the town of Mambasa from the rival Congolese Rally for Democracy last year.

...... About 750, mostly Uruguayan, UN peacekeepers are stationed there, but they do not have the authority to use lethal force. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, has asked France to lead an emergency force to stabilise the region. It has agreed to do so, but has insisted that other countries join. Britain, which is considering contributing, says that it is a “stop-gap operation” to reinforce the existing UN contingent.

Isn't that just rich? Annan asks the French to deal with it, but they want help.

I know it's not a new question, but over the years, I've never been able to answer it: "What's with Africa?" They have the raw materials to make a better society for themselves, but it's a seemingly never ending cycle of violence. I've been reading horrifying stories like this, it seems, most of my life. Is it even possible to try and fix things militarily? At least in Iraq, you had a populace that seemed to want liberation. In Africa, with so many factions, and practices like described in the above article, would it just put any troops into a hopeless situation?

I know, lots of questions. I wish there were some answers.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:50 AM | Comments (4)

Saving Columbia?

This is from a post on The Corner this morning:

Here's more about that supposed big NASA news coming out today. It was supposedly leaked to a Florida Space Coast paper, which said the following on Wednesday, and failed to attract national attention. My source says there's a lot more detail to come, but the bottom line is that the review board is rumored to conclude that contrary to its earlier statements, NASA could have saved the shuttle crew:

Since the first days after shuttle Columbia's loss, NASA has maintained there is nothing it could have done to save the crew even if they had known the ship's heat protection system was fatally damaged. Now, a different picture has emerged. An internal NASA study done at the request of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board indicates it may have been possible to mount a rescue mission that could have had a chance of saving Columbia astronauts. A senior investigator familiar with the study told Florida Today the plan would have to have been predicated on an immediate post-launch recognition by NASA that the shuttle was so badly crippled it could not make it home. That would have allowed the crew to strictly conserve its life-sustaining supplies, hunker down and wait for the rushed launched of shuttle Atlantis, which was on its way to being ready for liftoff March 1 on another flight. Atlantis' crew then could have rendezvoused with Columbia and tried to bring the crew aboard through a series of daring spacewalks. We'll never know if this Hollywoodesque scenario would have worked. Frankly, it takes a great leap of faith to think it would have. But it was never even considered, because NASA managers failed to thoroughly examine the extent of Columbia's damage.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:45 AM | Comments (1)

May 22, 2003

Plan For It!

For those of you who actually have a schedule, I was thinking of planning a Gaggle chat for tomorrow evening. If you're up for it, I'll probably show up around 5pm PST. The link to the room is over on the sidebar.

Be there, or have a life instead!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:16 PM | Comments (8)

Jaffas & Conservative Theory

If you're a Stargate fan (and even if you're not) this is funny. It's part of a running thread on The Corner today, but I think the post stands alone (thank god!).

Posted by Ithildin at 6:04 PM

More On Reno (Not Janet)

If anyone is interested in reading my incoherent rambles on the Old West, you can take a look here.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:57 PM

Mr. June

Anyone interested in being our guest blogger for June? (Being a guy is not required)

Visigodred is more than welcome to continue on through June, since he didn't start till mid-month, but I thought one more person for June would be kewl.

Email me -- edithna AT yahoo DOT com -- if you'd be interested.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:51 PM

All Sex All The Time

Michele says her work blocks this site due to sex, and she wants to know where the sex is. Well hell, so do I!

While I'm searching for it, here's a pic of Nin's cleavage to hold you.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:46 PM | Comments (7)

The Dean Esmay Post

As I read things of interest, I paste the link into an email for later blogging. When I looked over the latest such email, I found most of them were from Dean Esmay's blog. So here you have "The Dean Esmay Post"!

First up, an utterly cool spaceship link: White Knight & Spaceship One

This is of personal interest to me, as I remember listening to Dr. Pournelle talk about this back in 1996 at Worldcon. I came away totally psyched over all the possibilities.

Next, an American Idol post. (and this one is dedicated to Paul J.)

And last, but not least, a very interesting post on Republican fund raising.

All good stuff, so go read!

Now I need to go find some sex related bloggage for Michele.... (we're nothing if not accomodating here at Gaggle!)

Posted by Ithildin at 5:31 PM | Comments (8)

Democrat Deficit Hypocrisy

Some quotes and numbers I got via email:

Democrat Senator Ken Conrad said, "This policy of increasing spending and increasing the tax cuts when you've already got record deficits can only lead to one result, and that's more and more increases in the national debt." Proposed $433 billion in rejected spending this year.

Democrat Senator Tom Harkin said, "this radical budget ... leaves children behind by creating massive deficits on top of already large debt." Proposed $24 billion in rejected spending this year.

Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg said, "The president wants to charge his budget plan on a credit card - with interest that our children will have to pay." Proposed $15.6 billion in rejected spending this year.

Democrat Senator Hillary Clinton said, "What is it exactly we intend to leave our children besides a more dangerous world and a pile of debt?" Proposed $3.5 billion in rejected spending in 2003.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:06 PM | Comments (14)

A Real Fresh Cookie!

Check out "Repatriate".

(discovered via Geoffrey)

Posted by Ithildin at 11:31 AM | Comments (2)

Dixie Chicks Strike Again

I taped the ACM's last night since I watching American Idol and L & O. And that means I can whiz past the ads and the acceptance speechs! Anyway, at one point, I switched over during an ad, and saw the Dixie Chicks were on stage. The camera is on Natalie, and I see her t-shirt, and I see an F, a U, and the mic was in the way of the third letter, and then a K. Boy, did I do a double take!! I've been reading email this morning, and hear that the letter I couldn't see was a T, and that the shirt translated to F*ck You Toby Keith!! What the hell is wrong with that girl? First off, they started trashing Toby long before the Bush bashing incident. I remember last year, after his "red, White, and Blue" song came out, that they had made some not so nice comments about it. So now they're mad that he answered back? And they choose to wear an insulting shirt to throw the tantrum? Can you imagine if Toby Keith wore a similar shirt?

If this is all true -- the shirt meaning -- my fondness for the Chicks has pretty much dissipated. I thought they were stupid before, but hey, they're young, maybe not too bright, but I gave them a mental break. But they obviously won't let this die, and keep throwing gas on the flames. They have only themselves to blame, and frankly, I'm getting tired of their whining.

Update: From an email sent to The Corner "The Chicks were nominated for several awards. When their names were announced for nominations pre-performance, the audience clapped for them.

It was only AFTER the performance, when whatsherface wore the "F*** You Toby Keith" shirt, and their name was read for "Entertainer of the Year," that the audience booed. And, poetically, Toby Keith beat them out for that award.

People might have started to forgive them for the anti-Bush remarks. But picking a fight with reigning country badass Toby Keith has just gotten them totally ostracized from the country community. "

Posted by Ithildin at 7:42 AM | Comments (11)

More Reno Pics

Jen put up her pics as well.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:27 AM

May 21, 2003

Reno pictures...

I have the photographical evidence from the trip up!

Posted by Ninjababe at 10:13 PM

Trip Report!

I know I promised some meaningful posts later today, but I'm so tired, my eyes hurt :) and I think I'm coming down with a bug since my throat has gotten progressively more sore as the afternoon has worn on. So instead of news, I'll talk a bit about the trip. I know, I know, that should be over on the personal blog, but rules -- especially those you make yourself -- are made to be broken!

The weather was great, especially as we were expecting it to be rainy at times. Instead, there was nary a cloud in the sky. We picked up Jen and Dave in Fremont and got to Reno in the early evening. We decided to have dinner at a Japanese steakhouse that was within walking distance from the condo. The entry to the building it was in was a little seedy -- but then, lots of seedy in Reno! -- but the restaurant itself was very nice. Good dinner, and the chef kept refilling our Sake.

Sunday, we drove to Tahoe, which Nin had never been to. Jen had the idea of taking a catamaran cruise out on the lake, which we decided to do. I love boats! And I haven't been on a boat in a while. I think the last lake cruise I took was of Loch Ness and that was in much colder weather (November). We had some very nice drinks, and then it was warm enough to sit on deck, where I even got a little sun. The bartender recommended a restaurant in South Lake Tahoe for dinner, and it was a place that you wouldn't know about unless you were a local. So we got to see the sunset on the lake, and I had some mighty tasty boar chops (I looooove game meat!).

Monday was Virginia City, which was one of my fave places as a kid, and the rest of our party had b\never been to before. Grandma's fudge was still there, along with the Bucket o' Blood Saloon! Great fun was had by all. Then we headed back to Reno and had the dinner we'd all been waiting for at the Nugget. Well, more specifically, the Coffee Diablo! Damn, that stuff is good! We toddled back to the condo, slept in a bit the next morning, and then packed up and headed home. Jen convinced us to stay at her place last night so I could see the Buffy finale then, instead of having to wait till we get it on Saturday. It was nice seeing it early and seeing it with other people. My main complaint was that Angel wasn't on the ep longer [pout].

So there's the exciting trip report!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:05 PM | Comments (3)

And Here I Am

We're home -- rolled in this morning and am heading straight to work. There was much eating, drinking (lots of drinking), odd photographs that will be used as blackmail material for years to come, insane laughter, a little slots action, and a catamaran cruise on Lake Tahoe.

You know what there wasn't any of? News! We remained news free till we were on the way home last night and we hear on the radio we are at Orange.

So, to work, a lot of catching up, and more on the trip, and maybe some actual news type posts, later!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:50 AM | Comments (5)

May 16, 2003


Me and Nin are going to Reno with friends for a few days. Jen has a laptop, so we'll keep an eye on things, but doubt we'll be posting much.

See you on the flip side!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:23 PM | Comments (4)

Sick Kids

This 12 year old fed a neighbor’s pet cat to an alligator. What the hell? And what hasn't this kid been caught doing? Has he already started by torturing small animals? Or was this really the first time he'd abused and killed a pet?

Yeah, he's sorry. Sorry he got caught. Little monster.

Posted by Ithildin at 6:22 PM | Comments (2)

An 8th Grade Education

Roberta sent this to an email list we're both on. Food for thought when the teacher unions tell us we don't spend enough money, and that's why our kids can't read. (AFAIK, the test is for real. Since this is the internet, who knows?)

Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, KS, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895


Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.

2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.

3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.

4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of lie, lay and run..

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


Click on "more" for the rest of the test.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?

8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.


U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?

8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620,1800, 1849, 1865.


Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?

4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.

8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.


Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?

3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

4. Describe the mountains of North America.

5.. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S..

7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.


Gives the saying of an early 20th century person that "she/he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning; doesn't it?

Posted by Ithildin at 5:27 PM | Comments (5)

Do You Like Being Scared?

Then check out this post over at FiM

Permalinks seem to be working, but if they stop, you can turn it into a game -- guess the post!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:58 AM | Comments (2)

Oddness In The Blog Zone

Two interesting posts over at Andrea's place on people who have blogs and are "celebrities". This one, I'd never even heard of till Andrea mentioned her, but it certainly qualifies as bizarre. The other is about the guy that blogs from Bahgdad.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:48 AM

More Good Posts

Misha has a very good post on CPS and how it could happen to you.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:42 AM

Long Time

It's been a while since Rachel has done one of her "interviews", but the wait is over!

Check out the interview between Barbara Walters and Hillary.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:33 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2003

On SF/Fantasy Maps...

Recently, Eugene Volokh wondered why some fantasy and SF novels don't include maps, when those would frequently useful to the reader.

Many fantasy novels do, but many don't; SF maps are even fewer and farther between. I can see a few reasons why this might be so.

- SF fans are notorious nitpickers. Details on the map will be compared to the book, and errors will be scruitinized and harped on to the authour. Further, so well details in the map itself, which is particularly an issue for science fiction maps if the universe in question includes Earth/the Sol System. If you leave the map out, vague imprecisions as to distances and location can work. If you put it in, it and the text had better match.

- Not all authours can draw. Talent in writing isn't talent at mapping. Yes, the authour could have someone else draw a finished, quality version of the map...
but that person then should be paid. For mid-list authours, they don't make phenomenal amounts of money, so having to pay for a map wouldn't be an easy decision. The difficulties in decisionmaking also applies if the map costs came out of the publisher's cut of the proceeds, since then the publisher has to decide if the added cost of the map will be justified by any extra sales.

- It could also down to how authours write. Some authours (like Tolkien) are meticulous planners, who write and rewrite. Others write 'off the cuff', with at most a general plan. It is one thing to include a map that you are drawing (or having drawn) as a part of your writing preparation anyway. It is quite another thing for an authour who writes off the cuff to go back and reconstruct a map after finishing the novel. At that point, the novel is done; the authour may well want to move on to a new project (and potential new project) as opposed to adding a map to the old one.

- It could be an aesthetic choice on the part of the authour.

- Maps can lock you in. Once you put the map in the books, it is hard to change. Leave the terrain and map vague, and you retain the ability to add things in as you need them in the sequels. And while there are still SF/Fantasy authours that will deliberately write a stand alone novel, it is becoming rarer all the time.

Posted by at 6:35 PM | Comments (2)

Here Writes Visigodred...

the guest blogger for May...

First, to clear the basic questions up...

Who am I? I'm an SF geek in his 30s, formerly from the province of Newfoundland, now in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Why the pseudonym? Working in a government job requires avoiding public statements, even when you're so far down the totem pole that its obvious your opinion isn't policy. The veneer of a pseudonym makes it most obvious that these opinions are personal only, which IMO suffices, though I won't comment on anything I learn exclusively via work.

Why Visigodred? I wanted a name that wasn't in use, and Visigodred is a secondary wizard from a series of novels. Bonus points for spotting the reference, since Google won't help you.

Why blog? The ratio of resident Newf bloggers to expatriate Newf bloggers was getting too high. Next thing you knew, people would start thinking there was actually an economy there to keep people at home *grin*.

Why here? There was a guest blogger spot open, and the fit seemed possible. The general mood, with other SF fans, and with a relaxed non-hit and non-link obsessed attitude, all seems interesting. Besides, as a guest blogger, if we find it doesn't work, we're out little.

What are my politics? In a word, complicated. It's somewhat similar to the quiver of arrows theory advanced by Roger Simon here. If an idea is good, then I don't care if it comes from an otherwise bankrupt ideology or from someone I otherwise disagree with intensely. I'm more than willing to try and cherry-pick the best of a dozen ideologies or a hundred thinkers rather than try to rely on one ideology for all problems.

That being said, I tend to favour solutions that advance individual liberty and personal freedoms; that generally expect people to be (and act like) competent responsible adults; and that treat people as individuals as opposed to merely fractions of a group. I'm also inclined towards judging things based on what is, and what has gone before, and not some future model of what the ideal world might be. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important to have purists to point the way to ideals... but if you judge anyone against the ideal, you will find them wanting.

Posted by at 6:32 PM | Comments (2)

Guest Guy Blogger For May

Since Paul, our designated male blogger here at Gaggle, has been on a sabbatical, I decided, rather by accident, to add a guest blogger to our roster. Everyone say "hi" to Visigodred, because he's our victim... errrr... welcome guest! This is new for all parties involved, so we have no idea how this will work. (great, I'm sure!)

So here we go!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:28 PM | Comments (1)

I Have The Answer!

On Drudge, there's a blurb about Georgie Porgie Stephanopoulos, and his low ratings:

Former White House adviser turned network host George Stephanopoulos pulled the lowest ratings in the history of ABC's THIS WEEK on Sunday, barely attracting 2 million viewers, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned...

Right below that is this:


Well, worry no more, folks! I have the solution to all ABC's problems: replace George with the delightfully snarky -- and fine looking -- Simon Cowell! Can you imagine Simon grilling the guests and brutally critiquing their performance? For that, I'd tune in ABC!

a little pic for the ladies (he sprawls so nicely)

Just remember, you heard it here first!

A little lighthearted lunchtime posting.

Posted by Ithildin at 12:14 PM | Comments (6)

They Report, They Decide?

The BBC is claiming that pretty much everything we've been told about Jessica Lynch's capture and rescue is not true. Sure, I suppose it's possible, but the BBC has not bee known for unbiased reporting in this war, and what are the motivations of the people they purportedly interviewed? They don't want to be charged with war crimes, so they have every motivation to spin the story more to their favour.

I think I'm going to take this report with several grains of salt, until I'm shown more compelling evidence. Just my suspicious nature.

Posted by Ithildin at 10:16 AM

In The News

Blame this find on John "Eeyore" Derbyshire.

At least it's not too bad as far as mug shots go.... (We'll always have Rick, ladies!)

Posted by Ithildin at 10:08 AM | Comments (8)

May 14, 2003

A Question

Going to Tahoe/Reno for a long weekend. Anyone have any restaurant recommendations they'd care to share?

Posted by Ithildin at 6:27 PM | Comments (3)


Sorry for the non-existant blogging today. It's just been one of those days, you know? I shall attempt to be more entertaining tomorrow :)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:13 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2003

When You're Bored

and home sick, what do you do? You add stuff to your Amazon Wish List! And then you waste some more time playing with the "customer just like you" thingy so you can find yet more things to add to your wish list!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:01 PM | Comments (2)

Chat Room

I've added a permanent link to the Gaggle Chat Room over on the sidebar under "How Cool Is That?" So feel free to pop in whenever. You never know who's going to be there.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:12 PM

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Drudge has a nice little set of links on the President's carrier landing, the Dem's whining, and how people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones:

Patrick Leahy (D-VT) -- in pictures even!


And then we have a rather comprehensive list of politicians and assorted other functionaries who availed themeselves of carrier trips.

And last, but not least, this flashback to Harry Truman.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:02 PM | Comments (4)

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Found this on The Corner:

This is from Richard Simmons, the fitness guru, on CNN earlier today, about HHS efforts to get fast-food change to, in the words of Tommy Thompson, "diversify" by providing more than oreos (sorry, Robert) and fries: "People have been frying foods since Jesus was on this planet, and there is always going to be greasy, fried, salty, sugary food. It is up to the individual to walk in and say, I don't want those fries today. I have 40 pounds to lose. It is not the fault of the fast food people, and anyone who's trying to sue the fast food places needs a therapist, not an attorney. You have to make your own decisions. That's what the freedom in America is all about.:


Posted by Ithildin at 12:48 PM | Comments (2)

May 12, 2003


Headlines that make you look twice: Brains were kept without consent...

I haven't read the article, just saw the headline and had to share. Maybe we should make up our own ending. Anyone want to go first?

Posted by Ithildin at 6:25 PM | Comments (8)

It Happens To Christians Too

Pagan Sues Tenn. School District

..... India said she was called "Satan worshipper" and accused of eating babies when it was revealed she was a pagan. She said she was taunted, found slurs painted over her locker and was injured when classmates assaulted her and slammed her head into the locker.

The lawsuit said school officials took no disciplinary action. In a May 2 legal response, school officials said they acted appropriately, denied the attacks happened, or said they were unaware of them.

Paganism is an ancient religious tradition that embraces kinship with nature, positive morality and the idea that there is both a female and male side of Deity.

After Christmas break in early 2002, India said three boys chased her down a hall at Horace Maynard Middle School, grabbed her by the neck and said, "You better change your religion or we'll change it for you."

She broke free and fled into the girls' bathroom. A teacher stopped the boys from following her, the lawsuit said.

Don't get me wrong, what happened to this girl was awful, but this happens all the time in school. I know what I'm talking about, all you have to do is change a few of the details, and that was me when I was 14. I remember being punched right in the classroom while the teacher paid no attention. Why was I being punched? Because they wanted me to swear/use four letter words. My hair was spit in, I had dead snakes put in my locker, I was afraid to go to the girls bathroom for fear of being set upon. I don't know what the answer is, but I wish that people wouldn't immediately make it an issue about religion, or race, whatever. Kids don't need any good reason to terrorize others -- they just do.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:45 AM | Comments (5)

Quote Of The Day

(for now)

"My E-mail goes to my female." ~ Ted Turner


If you need the rest, here you go.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:30 AM | Comments (2)

May 10, 2003

It's A Contest!

Michele is running a sign contest, and you can see my attempts here, and here. and I'll probably do a few more during the day :)

update: One, Two, oh and this one

Posted by Ithildin at 2:04 PM | Comments (5)

A Brave American

Vet has hope after accident claimed her legs

.... Grant, a 1996 graduate of Business Careers, part of Holmes High School, was pinned under a tank that she was helping move in Kuwait on March 12.

She immediately lost her left leg, and eventually her right. But the 25-year-old, who's stationed at Fort Hood, is grateful to have survived.

A single mother, Grant has an easy smile that belies her injuries.

"I have God on my side," she said Thursday at Brooke Army Medical Center, where she's recovering. "I'm not blaming anyone for this accident."

Media-shy until recently, she decided to tell her story.

Grant has been at BAMC for two weeks. She spent more than a month being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. While there, she was able to meet "lots of generals" and President and Mrs. Bush.

"I had everybody important sign my book," she said.

She's undergoing physical therapy and will eventually be fitted for prosthetic legs that will allow her to return to her hobbies, which include working out and shopping.

For now, she keeps in contact with her unit, which remains in Kuwait.

"I miss them; I miss working over there," she said. "We have a family over there."

Posted by Ithildin at 1:05 PM | Comments (1)


We had fun last night! Maripat dropped by and told us stories about her rats drinking her coffee. Maripat also wanted an Elvish name like the rest of us, so I created one for her: Thaurnaaar. You don't want to know! We got to meet Gennie as well, and she showed off her blog to the room. Melissa and Jay were there too, and we had quite a chat going. But the East coasters had to get to bed, so that left me and Nin. Just as we were abut to shut down, Paul appeared. He finally put a pic up of himself on his blog, so go take a look. (permalinks are fried, so scroll down) And last, but not least, we met Dave. He found us via IMAO comments and he doesn't have a blog, but we had a great time talking about online and computer gaming.

Hopefully we'll do it again sometime!

Posted by Ithildin at 12:39 PM | Comments (2)

May 9, 2003

A Little AIM?

Anyone up for a little AIM?

Just fire up AIM and click the link

Gaggle Chat

Posted by Ithildin at 6:16 PM | Comments (3)

Follow The Leader

Since Jay shared a pic of himself over on his blog, and I've told John he needs to let us see his new haircut, I figured fair was fair. So here's pics of me and of Nin from a few months back.

I'm working on getting a pic of Kel and Paul because I'd like to know what they look like too!

update: blogspot archive links -- as usual -- are fried, so scroll down to May 3rd for John, and the first post of May 9 for Jay.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:59 PM

Not That We Didn't Already Know This...

Another article on GWB as hottie stud Pres, this time from the WSJ.

....I had the most astonishing thought last Thursday. After a long day of hauling the kids to playdates and ballet, I turned on the news. And there was the president, landing on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, stepping out of a fighter jet in that amazing uniform, looking--how to put it?--really hot. Also presidential, of course. Not to mention credible as commander in chief. But mostly "hot," as in virile, sexy and powerful.

You don't see a lot of that in my neighborhood, the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (I'm told there's more of it in the "red" states.) I was mesmerized. I flipped around watching W. land on many channels. I watched the whole speech, which was fine. But a business suit just doesn't do it the way a flight suit does. In the course of this I peeked over at my husband, the banker. He was in his third month of reading a book about the Six Day War and didn't seem to notice.

Nonetheless, I know that I am not the only one who entertained these untoward thoughts. The American media were fully aware of how stunning the president looked last week. And they chose to defuse it by referring endlessly to the "photo-oppiness" of the event. The man uses overwhelming military force to vanquish a truly evil foe, facing down balking former "allies," and he is not taken seriously as a foreign-policy president. He out top-guns the Hollywood version, and all the media can talk about is the impending campaign commercial.

....I decided to run a reality check among the soccer moms I spend my days with. At my daughter's East Side school, my friend Emily, a mother of two and probably a liberal, examined the picture of the president in his fly-boy gear that I just happened to have in my purse. She looked carefully, grinned and said, "He's a hottie. No doubt about it. Really a hottie. Why haven't I noticed this before? He looks so much better than Michael Douglas in that movie we saw," comparing the tired, indifferent megastar of "The American President" to the totally present leader of the free world.

Alexandra, an unmarried event planner in her 30s, e-mailed: "Hot? SO HOT!!!!! THAT UNIFORM!" In a more restrained way, my friend Maggie, a writer/mom, explained: "I think he is actually protecting me and my sons, and I find that attractive in a man." Suzi, who did her mom time and now writes biographies, also began with restraint. I asked, casually, what she thought about President Bush. She answered, carefully, "He's so confident. He is a very credible, trustworthy leader." "Yeah," I pursue, "but do you think he's sexy?" "Oh God, yes," she said. "I mean, that swagger. George Bush in a pair of jeans is a treat to watch." This from a soft-spoken woman inclined to intellectual pursuits.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:47 PM | Comments (1)

And In Local News...

Apparently, an Egyptian woman told the FBI that there was a terror cell operating here and that they planned to blow up DLI (Defense Language Institute). Now it turns out it was a hoax designed to keep her and her family in the country. You have to understand that this is big news here on the Central Coast -- living in the boonies, we don't get a lot of excitement!

Now something that happened last year makes a lot more sense. My mum works at a local inn and had an unsettling experience with an Arab sounding man on the phone. She almost didn't say anything because she thought maybe she was overreacting and it was nothing. I got my father to pass on what happened to one of she sheriffs he sees every day as part of his job. He was told that my mum was definitely not overreacting and it was absolutely the right thing to notify the authorities. He said it would be taken very seriously. Now we know they had an ongoing terror investigation here due to this woman's claims, no wonder they took my mum's report so seriously! now I don't know any of this for sure, just putting bits and pieces together in my head. But it makes sense.

Just a little local news from here in the sticks!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:55 AM | Comments (2)

Oh No!

Frank has exposed the Ninjaphobia of President Bush to the entire nation! Nin's never going to trust that guy again! And I worked so hard to turn her from the Dark Dem side of the force.

Update: I was wondering why we were getting so many referrals from Frank's post, seemed like way too many for a trackback, and now I see it's Jay's fault. (It's always Jay's fault!)

Posted by Ithildin at 7:43 AM | Comments (2)

May 8, 2003

She's Alive!!!!

This post is to show that, yes, I am real.

I am not a figment of Ith's imagination.

If I were, I would seriously hope she'd get psyciatric help...

I haven't really found much to blog about for current events. I barely have enough personal thoughts for my own personal blog.

Plug! Plug! Plug!

To see more of The Most Glorious Ninjababe, Ruler of the Cosmos, Destroyer of Planets, go to Ninjababe's Ramble where you will be in shock and awe over the ramblings of a pharmacy technician, scifi fan, anime aficionado, gamer, and all around crazy person.

(Yes, I'm still using that phrase)

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:40 PM

Will Make Your Blood Boil

Deb has a great blog, insomnomaniac, which you may have clicked on over on the sidebar one time or another. I was catching up there today, and found out she's been going through hell while her neighborhood is being terrorized by hoodlum punk thugs.

Go read about what's been happening to her. It will make you see red.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:50 PM

A Bit Of Humour

This was a humour forward on an email list I'm on:

The Newfies take on Sadaam

Sadamm was sitting in his cave wondering which country to invade next,
when his telephone rang. "Hallo, Mr. Hussein" a heavily accented voice
said. "This is Archie, down 'ere at the Harp Seal Pub in Badger's Cove,
Newfoundland, Canada eh? I am callin' to tells ya dat we are officially
declaring war on you eh!" "Well Archie,"

Sadaam replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"

"Right now," said Archie, after a moments calculation "there is myself,
me cousin Harold, me nex door neighbor Mick, and the whole dart team from
the pub. That makes eight!"

Sadaam paused. "I must tell you Archie, that I have one million men in
my army waiting to move on my command."

"Holy jeez," said Archie. "I'll have ta call ya back!"

Sure enough, the next day, Archie called again. "Mr. Hussein, the war is
still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"

"And what equipment would that be Archie?", Sadaam asked.

"Well sir, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Harry's farm tractor."

Sadaam sighed. "I must tell you Archie, that I have 16,000 tanks and
14,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also I've increased my army to one
and a half million since we last spoke."

"Lard T'underin' Jaysus, bye", said Archie, "I'll be getting back to

Sure enough, Archie rang again the next day. "Mr. Hussein, the war is
still on! We have managed to git ourselves airborne! We up an' modified
Harrigan's ultra_light wit a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four
byes from the Legion have joined us as well!"

Sadaam was silent for a minute then cleared his throat. "I must tell you
Archie that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military
complex is surrounded by laser_guided, surface_to_air missile sites. And
since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!"

"Jeysus, Mary and Joseph," said Archie, "I'll have ta call youse back."

Sure enough, Archie called again the next day. "Mr. Hussein! I am sorry
to have to tell you dat we have had to call off dis 'ere war."

"I'm sorry to hear that" said Sadaam. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

"Well, sir," said Archie, "we've all sat ourselves down and had a long
chat over a bunch of pints, and come to realize dat dere's no way we can
feed two million prisoners."

Posted by Ithildin at 5:14 PM

New Digs!

Looks like The Dissident Frogman has moved to a new abode. Update those bookmarks, and I'll go update mine.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:59 AM | Comments (2)

The Rest Of The Story

Sparkey at SSDB has the facts about GWB and his Natl. Guard service.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:55 AM

Remember To Wash Your Hands!

Michele discusses the dreaded LARS disease.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:44 AM | Comments (2)

May 7, 2003

For The Men Folk

Go take a look at some Republican Babes!

Someone let me know when somone finds pics of hot Conservative men, okay?

We're an equal opportunity blog here!

Posted by Ithildin at 6:02 PM | Comments (4)


Found this blog, called I'll click on anything I find with "spinster" in the title, being one myself, and this click leads to a very enjoyable read.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:40 AM | Comments (5)

Thanks For The Memory

Mark Steyn has a nice column on Bob Hope's impending 100th birthday.

Bob Hope has a special place in my childhood memories. I don't think I ever missed a Christmas show, or an appearance on Carson. I was the child of parents of the radio generation, so maybe I was exposed more to the classic comics, like Jack Benny, & Bob Hope. To me, they still epitomize comedy, and I'd rather listen to an old Benny radio show than anything Robin Williams, or his contemporaries, might come up with.

And strictly entre nous Darling, how are you? And how are all those funny dreams that never did come true? Awf’lly glad I met you Cheerio and toodle-oo And thank you so much.
Posted by Ithildin at 7:38 AM | Comments (3)

May 6, 2003

A Blog, Is A Blog, Is A Blog

A few of us here have personal type blogs. I have Dragon's Muse, Nin has Ninjababe's Ramble, and Paul (he really does exist!) (though maybe we need a designated alternate during his away times) has Blockhead's Journal. Sometimes I wonder if I should have kept all my blog stuff together, since my personal blog is a little lonely corner of my domain. I think if we hadn't decided to make this a group blog, that would have worked. But the thinking was having four people posting both current events/news type stuff and personal stuff, would be blog overload for our readers. While that was probably true, it's hard keeping up content for both. I always feel like I'm neglecting Muse for Gaggle.

Neither here nor there, but I've ben thinking about it lately I guess :)

Posted by Ithildin at 6:21 PM | Comments (10)

Well BooHooo!

Byrd Blasts Bush's Use of Aircraft Carrier for Victory Speech

Yeah, I'm sure the President is devastated at being reproached by a guy who used to recruit for the KKK.

Update: Check out "Day by Day" for 5.7.03

Posted by Ithildin at 5:45 PM | Comments (2)

A Little Slack

Laurence Simon has a fine post on, I guess you'd call it, "blog commenting etiquette".

I remember when I first realized there were "big name" bloggers out there, I got a little nervous about emailing them after reading some comments that some big bloggers thought complimentary email was just a way to publicize your blog to them. So I'd email them from my Yahoo address with no link, even one to my domain. Then I got more confident and sent email like they were normal people!

Ahhhh, the old days....

Anyway, it's a great post, so you should go read it. :)

Posted by Ithildin at 12:12 PM

May I Gripe For A Moment?

I want to talk about tax cuts. Now, I think tax cuts are an excellent thing, and there should be more of 'em! But I have a long standing beef. I'm not married, nor do I have children, and if you're single and childless as I am, no one in either political party gives a fig about you. All you hear about are families, and children and on and on and on. If it comes to tax breaks, or some government program, the single need not apply!

Don't get me wrong, I love kids -- I wish I had some. But single people pay taxes too. Too many taxes IMHO. And there are lots of us out here who would like, just once, for our elected representatives to give a rat's ass about us. Don't forget we vote too!

Thank you for your kind attention.

Gripe over (for now).

Posted by Ithildin at 7:57 AM | Comments (8)

Women With Guns Fight Back

Wendy McElroy on the John Walsh ambush of female gun owners.

Women need to defend themselves, especially single women or those with husbands overseas. And the media has a responsibility to discuss honestly the issue of gun ownership. The John Walsh Show (search) on NBC may have dealt a blow (4/29) to both goals by "ambushing" three women who agreed to discuss their gun ownership and advocacy on air.

Their story is a fascinating glimpse into the sensationalizing bias that surrounds the gun issue.

Maria Heil of Second Amendment Sisters, Tiffany Hyatt Theroit of Armed Females of America and Lisa Marquez had reason to trust John Walsh. The show's Web site describes him as "a tireless advocate for victims' rights and missing children." Moreover, Walsh claims to support the Second Amendment.

Why, then, is Maria's commentary about the show entitled "Liar, Liar"? Why does Tiffany accuse the show's staff of "invading our lives and using the fact that Lisa and I were victims to set us up." Why has Lisa released a public statement to explain she was "lied to" and declare that she, her friends and her family are "very disappointed" in Walsh?

Lisa had feared the show would be confrontational, making it too painful to discuss the domestic violence that prompted her to buy a gun. She tried to withdraw a few days prior to taping. But, as she explained, a staff member called "and promised this was a show about empowering women and not a debate." Tiffany had a similar experience and said, "we were told it would not be a debate, just about our own individual stories."

Read what happened here.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:29 AM | Comments (3)

May 5, 2003

Well Worth A Click

Kewl blog finds:

Brain Fertilizer

Margie Lowry

Lead & Gold

The Country Store

Work In Progress

Between The Coasts

The Laughing Wolf

Update: And let me add Cam Edwards to the list!

Go say, "hi"!

Posted by Ithildin at 11:57 AM | Comments (6)

Our Winner Is!

Melissa won the "name the quote" contest, and her very special prize -- other than the contentment of knowing she was right -- is being The Smart Cookie Site of the Day!!

Yay!! [throws streamers] [hands out adult beverages]


Party at Melissa's!

Posted by Ithildin at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

Pass The PC Dollars

From today's Tongue Tied:

City officials in Lansing, Mich., say they are so broke they have to cut nearly two dozen fire and police officers but they still have the money for more than $150,000 on diversity programs, reports the Lansing State Journal.

Three weeks after announcing the cutbacks, in fact, Mayor Tony Benavides spent $20,000 to bring in Harvard law professor Lani Guinier to speak at the February kickoff of his Mayor's Forum on Race and Diversity.

Benavides now wants the city council to give him another $140,000 in diversity funding for next year, including $75,000 for lectures. That money would also fund diversity training for students and community dinners to foster understanding.

You can't make this stuff up, folks! The whicky whacky left never fails to amaze me. Just when you think they can't top themselves, there's always some new stupidity to read about. I guess it's not too surprising since these are the people who think the police are "evil" and criminals are "victims".

Posted by Ithildin at 7:38 AM | Comments (2)

May 4, 2003

Another Day Wasted

Other than to do laundry, I have not moved from my computer. Am I good, or what? One thing I need to accomplish is a bio for my Slutpublican CIA directorship. I think it should be amusing, but I'm not good at amusing, so I keep putting off writing it. I mean, I'm CIA director, so shouldn't my bio be classified?

I'm going to take a shower now.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:19 PM | Comments (2)

Snickerdoodle Site Of The Week (month/season/whatever)

Just because I've found Jay's blog to be one of the most fun the last few weeks, I'm awarding the first ever "Silver Snickerdoodle of Excellence" to "Jay Solo's Verbosity". There's always lots of content of all sorts, and the comments are quite interactive too. And I'm not even jealous that his blog is more evolved ecosystem wise after only a few months than we are here at Gaggle after a year and a half. Doesn't bother me at all. Really, it doesn't.

Please go congratulate Jay on this heady honour!

And don't despair! Everyone has an equal chance to win this prestigious award. Excellence and quality are always appreciated (as are bribes and sincere flattery).

Posted by Ithildin at 3:43 PM | Comments (14)

Things To Ponder

Yesterday, I did a post about blogrolls and such that was inspired by this post of Steven DenBeste's. Lo and behold, I come to discover Steven has linked to said post. Now this got to me to wondering (always a dangerous thing). How does he know about my post? It's happened before too. He gets like millions of hits a day -- so rumour has it -- so how would he notice the three or five hits from here on his referrer log?

Now, if he were Glenn Reynolds, I'd assume he was getting powers of omniscience from sacrificing hobos to the "Dark Powers". But he isn't, so what else could it be? Then it came to me! He's an engineer, and the name of his site is USS Clueless. So it's obvious! He's got a tricorder. Or a starship in orbit of Mars where he really lives and has all those sensors at his disposal.

It makes you wonder, doesn't it? (and if it doesn't, just play along for once, would you?)

Posted by Ithildin at 2:07 PM | Comments (7)

WMD Thoughts

Andrea has a good take on Iraq and WMDs

Posted by Ithildin at 1:56 PM

May 3, 2003

The Music Of Pain

Aghhh! Have FOX News on in the background, and they were showing clips from the speeches of the Dem candidates that are going to be debating. Al Sharpton was foaming at the mouth and screaming something about "slapping the donkey", (I so don't want to know) and then Dennis Kucinich sang the national anthem. Talk about the music of pain! The rest of the clips were a variety of candidates trashing the President. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these guys running against each other?? They have to beat each other before they try and beat the President. Seems like they're so bankrupt of substance and ideas, that all they can do is whinge and wail against the current administration. Maybe they need to start telling the rank and file why they should be the candidate over the other dozen or so that are running.

(And if you can tell me the reference for the title of this post, you'll win that warm fuzzy feeling you get in knowing you were right!)

Posted by Ithildin at 2:47 PM | Comments (2)

The Politics of Blogging

Steven DenBeste has a post up today on linking and blogrolls. I've often pondered the politics of blogging, and have thought about writing some of it down, but never did. Steven's post reminded me, and, since I have no life and am spending my Saturday at the computer, I decided there's no time like the present!

When I first started blogging, I had no idea what was out there. I was so naive, that I actually asked people for permission to link to them! As time went on, I discovered there were "big name blogs", and that it was highly desirable to get them to link to you. Then I started reading things about "delinking", and so on and so forth. Who knew? Not me!

Our blogroll started without knowing any of the political ins and outs, and had no real theme or plan. (It probably still doesn't!) I linked to blogs I liked to read, and I found a lot of blogs I liked to read from them linking to us. Back in the beginning, I'm not sure I ever really thought so many people would link to us, and it's still nice to find new links. As it stands now, the bolded blogs in our roll are blogs we like to read, than that like to read us back. The other part of the list are the rest of the blogs we enjoy reading. As the list seems to grow and grow, I may have to come up with a new plan, but that would make my brain hurt, so I'll be putting that off for awhile!

We're not a big blog -- we average 100-125 readers a day -- but that's okay. I know it's not a lot compared to some blogs, but we're happy with where we are. If we grow, that would be kewl too, not going to complain about that. I mean, would it be nice to get a link from Instapundit, or Daily Pundit? Sure it would! But will my life be stripped of all joy if that never happens? Nah. I appreciate everyone who comes by to read, and I know I speak for Nin, Kel and Paul too. We are thrilled that you take a few minutes from your day to come read what we have to say. It's awesome! And thanks to every single person who has put a link to us on your blog -- our success is due in large measure to you. We've been very fortunate, so thank you for all of us here at Gaggle.

Posted by Ithildin at 2:18 PM | Comments (2)


I was over at RWA about an hour ago, and commented on Maripat's post about how cool it was to be on John Hawkin's vacation blog list, and how I remembered us being on that list on his last vacation. Well, duh! I guess I should have checked the list first, because he's very kindly added us again.

Thank you! We really do appreciate it.

Posted by Ithildin at 1:35 PM | Comments (4)

Bulldozer Alert

Check out Laurence Simon's "Official Parody READY.PS Poster".

He's freaking scary, but in a good way. (And he has the cutest kitties)

Posted by Ithildin at 1:29 PM

Lots Of Laughs

Bill Whittle and Frank J interviewed each other, and the results could be harmful to your health!

Frank interviews Bill

Bill interviews Frank

Posted by Ithildin at 1:20 PM

May 2, 2003

Friday Fun

If you liked "Elf Bowling" (and if you didn't, shame on you!!), you'll love "French Toast"!

Posted by Ithildin at 3:23 PM

More On Bush As 'Stud'

Ever notice Bush when he's at his ranch? Those jeans, that work shirt, clothes that have actually been worn doing manual labour, clothes that have gotten dirty time and again. Remember AlGore during the campaign (I know it's a painful memory, but our readers are strong!) when he tried to be one of the little people? Remember his jeans and shirt? The only work those puppies had ever seen were what it took to cut the tags off.

I bet there are callouses on our President's hands, and I'd feel safe betting he's damned proud of them!

Posted by Ithildin at 7:57 AM | Comments (4)

It Isn't "J.A.G."

This was an email sent to The Corner. I thought it was worth sharing.

All these people accusing Bush of grandstanding are know-nothing schlubs. Most of what they know about the military they got from watching J.A.G. on TV. I was in the Navy and had occasion to land on the U.S.S. Kennedy once. It was one of the most frightening things I ever did. The pilot literally crashes the plane intentionally on the deck and at the point of impact jams the throttle to full power. A hook grabs a steel cable stretched across the deck and slams the plane down hard stopping it in about 60 feet from a speed of over 120mph. There is this tremendous impact and a huge metallic KA-BLAM!! as the plane comes down. At the same instant your spine is decompressing from hitting the deck the deceleration clobbers you too. The four point restraints cut into your shoulders so hard you wince in pain. As your forehead comes to rest on your chest if feels like your head is going to pop off your shoulders. You then slam back into the seat and immediately look out the window hoping your don't see fire and the flight deck crew running away. You then say to yourself or out loud, "HOLY-_____!!" and then, depending upon your upbringing, add a religious reference or a profanity to it. I recall being very happy to get back to my "safe" job; jumping out of helicopters into storm tossed seas at night as a rescue swimmer. The Secret Service must have gone bananas over this idea and the poor flight crew that flew with the POTUS must have been a nervous wreck knowing that the life of the President was in their hands while they crashed/landed on the carrier. You see, most of the aircraft and crews we lose in the Navy are during carrier take-offs and landings. Here is what the President probably did not know. The very best pilots in flight training get to fly combat jets. The guys who do not finish at the top have to take the remaining flight assignments in the order of their academic standing in flight school. In all likelyhood, the plane he flew in was piloted by a flight crew that did not graduate flight training at the top of their class. Not in the middle of their class either. Everybody on that carrier gets what the President did. Everybody who ever experienced a carrier landing knows what he did.....What he did was this; He exposed himself to a very dangerous experience to show the troops that he was willing to take risks that they take everyday for low pay. Everybody on that ship got that message. It was meant for them, not us. It was by my measure a damned brave thing to do.
Posted by Ithildin at 7:50 AM | Comments (2)

A Real Man

I finally got to see some of the footage of the President on the Lincoln and I just gotta say that our Pres is a stud. And I mean that in the sense that he's a real guy, the kind of person you could hang with and trust to watch your back in a pinch. He's a man that's attractive for all the reasons Bill Clinton wasn't. Give me a real man like George Bush any day over the smarmy charm of a Bill Clinton.

Posted by Ithildin at 7:40 AM

Just A Random Comment This Morning...

whilst watching Fox News.

Dubya looked so in his element when he was on the USS Abe Lincoln. It was just awesome.

I think our military will remember this.

I think our military will remember that it was the Dim-o-craps who tried to get the mail in military votes thrown out in the last election.

Course I suppose that would have been okay, seeing as how Al Gore probably invented the military. *perky and cute little sarcastic smile*


Happy Friday! *throwing confetti*


Posted by at 4:52 AM | Comments (2)

May 1, 2003

Love It!

A nice pic to end the day with. Now I'm waiting for the speech!


President Bush waves as he walks on the tarmac to a Navy S-3B Viking plane at North Island Naval Station in Coronado, Calif.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:49 PM | Comments (2)

All The World's A Blog

Very Kewl!

I found this over on Road Sassy (Which is an awesome blog by the way. It's a feast for the eyes.)

It's like... I don't know what it's like! It's called "The World As A Blog" and real time blog snippets appear and disappear off the page from all over the world. I don't know enough code type stuff to sign myself up with it, but it's fun watching!

Posted by Ithildin at 5:12 PM

What's Really Important

Link via SSDB

A Marine Comes Home

.....On April 14 in Vermont, for example, mourners gathered for the funeral of 21-year-old Marine Cpl. Mark Evnin, killed in action on the drive to Baghdad. A thousand people attended the rites at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, at which the Marine's grandfather, a rabbi, presided. Reporters related how the Marine Corps League color guard and local firefighters flanked the walkway into the synagogue, where mourners included the Roman Catholic bishop and the governor.

Crowds lined the streets in salute--some with flags, some with signs--everywhere the funeral procession passed. But what struck the Burlington Free Press reporters most were all the strangers who had been impelled to come to the cemetery to honor the young Marine. One of them was a mother who had brought her two young children and stood holding two American flags. "Every single man and woman out there is my son and daughter," she told the journalists. "He could have done a lot with his life. But he gave it to the nation."

Bring a tissue before you read it all.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:09 PM

The Weapon Factor

Paul has a great post up on SARS and the possible bioweapon connection.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:05 PM | Comments (2)

Rant Interrupted

Earlier today, when I was really steamed, I wanted to rant about the Dems actions when it comes to confirming judges. I've written letters to my senators till my fingers go numb, but to no avail as I'm stuck with two of the worst -- Feinstein and Boxer. But know I'm off work and can write that rant, and the fire has gone. So, instead of a rant, check out this post on Opinion Paper. Its very informative and I learned a lot about the constitutional responsibility of the Senate when it comes to judicial nominations.

Posted by Ithildin at 5:03 PM

If it goes without saying--

then don't fucking say it, right?

If you want to be transgendered, fine--just stay in the closet. I don't really give a shit but I also don't want to know about it. Do I broadcast that I'm straight and normal? Gee, I guess I do by wearing a wedding ring and having a husband and sons to keep up with.

But if I don't want to hire someone, then I shouldn't be forced to do it or threatened with a fucking expensive ass litigation by someone who can't decide what they want to be. Either be straight or be gay. I don't care. But I reserve the right to decide who my tax dollars are gonna pay to be my children's teachers and that sort of thing.

Oh yes, let's just be so fucking politically correct that NOBODY has any rights.

Well what about mine?! Where's my rights? I want my rights as a stay at home wife and mother and owner of a gerbil.

I want my rights as the person who does the laundry around here.

I want my rights to have an occasional cigarette or glass of wine without my children freaking out and telling me I'm a fucking drug addict because I'm actually doing something that IS LEGAL.

I want my rights to have fucking chocolate and tacos and pizza.

Know what? Fuck all y'awl who think you have to have YOUR rights.

Rights are an honor and privilege one earns by being a good, law abiding, tax paying citizen, not a fuckwit.


Happy Thursday--
Kel, sick of the PC bullshite

Posted by at 12:45 PM | Comments (6)

Coupla Things

Regarding neoprohibition: Two words, then two paragraphs in explanation.


*Explanation: It's MY duty to teach my children about drugs and alcohol. Do NOT fucking UNDERMINE MY authority, you ass ratchet fucktards! Yes, I have an anger problem regarding this. Why, you ask. Because I am an ADULT. *I* have the right to do adult things. IF I am NOT breaking the law AND I am doing them responsibly, leave me the fuck alone!

I wasn't ever much of a drinker, thanks to having an alcoholic uncle on my mother's side. The man was a mean drunk. That made a big impact on me from an early age. I equated alcohol with how this man was and I decided I didn't ever want to be like that, so I wouldn't drink. Do you, wonderful readers, know that I have NEVER been intoxicated in my life? Nor have I ever messed with drugs. Now, according to the statistics, after having had an alcoholic family member AND a drug addict family member, *I* should be doing both or should have tried both in whatever various forms. Guess what?! I DIDN'T! So there! :P

Okay, so it's gonna be 3 paragraphs. Like I said, if I am being responsible, leave me the fuck alone. I've been through some major shite in the last seven months. IF *I*, an ADULT, want to do something like go smoke A cigarette and do so NOT around my family, or *I*, an ADULT, want to sit at MY computer where I am NOT drinking and driving, and have A glass of wine--I WILL FUCKING DO IT! Why? Because I AM AN ADULT and I had to wait for the honor and privilege to be able to do stuff like this.

Sorry--it's four paragraphs--I'm PC here--pre coffee. If you were thinking politically correct, bend over, kiss your own ass and stop reading cuz my next subject WILL offend you. *g*

Like I was saying--It's MY duty as a parent to teach my children about drugs. I sure as fuck don't appreciate being told by a child, any child, much less one of my own about how ROTTEN of a person I am and how much of a LOSER I am because *I* choose to do something like have an occasional cigarette or glass of wine. At this rate, I would have to fucking sneak to do it and I ask you, what kind of example is that?! Not a very good one. So you neoprohibitionists and DARE teachers and RAT people, shove your collective antidrug campaigns up your collective asses and leave me and my family alone. *g* Nothing personal, right?

On to my next subject.

The fuckers in Iraq. Yes, you read that right. NOT OUR military. The fucking natives. Throwing grenades and sniping at the very people who gave them the right to be able to say whatever is NOT a cool thing. If we'd gone to Baghdad and immediately pulled out, leaving whatever to happen, we'd have gotten bashed for that too. Know what?

Fucking pull out. Let them all kill each other and let their 'allah' sort them out. I'm not saying they have to be on their knees thanking the military, but a LITTLE bit of civility or human kindness mixed with common sense would be going a long way right about now. One simply does NOT what these fuckers are doing.

I will continue doing the candle thing until we have been able to vacate that enema needing asshole of the middle east. I feel sorry for our people there.

Happy fucking Thursday. *g*


PS--yes, I'm aware these are pro Hussein people doing this shit, but still. Would they like it if *I* did that? Or our wonderful military? Fuck no and it's just plain RUDE. Fucktarded fuckwits! Let them all go find a camel to molest.

Posted by at 4:37 AM | Comments (1)