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2005 December — Why Now?
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Posts from — December 2005

Thoughts for the New Year

As you clean out your ‘fridge:

  • How do you tell if mushrooms are moldy?
  • Can Limburger cheese spoil?
  • What do you call sour cream well past its “sell by” date?

Update: I would really like the name of the fool that decided that New Year’s Eve required fireworks and gun shots.

December 31, 2005   Comments Off on Thoughts for the New Year

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Keep telling yourself that their corruption is now in the open. They can no longer pretend that they don’t know Abramoff. They can’t pretend they aren’t using borrow and spend as a financial model. They can’t pretend they believe in the rule of law.

The coming year will be a mess as their collapsed edifices have to be bulldozed from the scene, but we will be returning to our foundations on which to rebuild.

December 31, 2005   Comments Off on Happy New Year!

On The Snow Front

The mayor of Topeka, Kansas was surprised to learn that his city has a snowball ban. You can be jailed or fined up to $500 for throwing snowballs in the city. He is moving to have the ban removed.

In Germany, the police had an easy time tracking two criminals who left their footprints in the new-fallen snow from a crime scene to their apartment.

December 31, 2005   Comments Off on On The Snow Front

Sick Call

The Cold is becoming blogdemic:

Mustang Bobby, TBogg, Steve Bates, and Lab Kat are all in various stages of recovery.

A more serious problem is making the rounds: clostridium difficile. Essentially it provokes extreme diarrhea leading to dehydration. Normally seen among hospital patients, the use of antibiotics and the powerful, new antacid medications are causing problems for an ever wider circle of people.

The microbes live in your intestines, held in check by other organisms and stomach acid. When you take an antibiotic, it kills the protective microbes allowing the resistant clostridium difficile to multiply. When the anti-heartburn medication reduces the stomach acid, there is no check on the microbes and diarrhea occurs.

If you start having diarrhea after taking an antibiotic, you should check with your doctor, if possible. You definitely need to increase your fluid intake, preferably with something like Gatorade or pedialyte to keep hydrated. If you are taking one of the antacids, you might want to stop to see if it helps. This can cause a hospitalization or kill you, so don’t ignore a prolonged bout of “the runs”.

December 31, 2005   Comments Off on Sick Call

Just Because

For Andante, this CBS News story: Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer.

And for the travelers, a piece on traveling across the United States on a bicycle.

December 30, 2005   Comments Off on Just Because

Tainted Pet Food Alert

From CNN:

Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical that comes from a fungus sometimes found on corn and other crops, can cause severe liver damage. Aflatoxin poisoning can cause sluggishness, a lack of appetite and in severe cases severe vomiting, fever and jaundice.The recalled pet food was sold in 23 states under the brand names Diamond, Country Value and Professional, and bears the date codes of March 1, 2007, through June 11, 2007. Consumers are asked to immediately stop using the product.

Twenty-three dogs has died as a result of this food and the company also makes cat food, so check your supply.

December 30, 2005   Comments Off on Tainted Pet Food Alert


They have announced that an Inquiry into leak of NSA spying program launched.

It took badgering by the CIA to generate any interest in the White House leaking the name of a covert CIA operative and exposing a major intelligence network.

Some may claim that this is a major intelligence revelation, but that’s false – everyone who is reportedly targeted assumed we were doing this. This is about embarrassment and Presidential criminality, not an intelligence leak.

How can I make that statement? Isn’t that just partisan rhetoric? No, sorry, it’s all about timing.

This investigation started two weeks after the story was printed, not two weeks after the leak was known. The White House knew about the leak before the last election, more than a year ago. If this leak were so damaging to national security it would have been investigated then, not two weeks after it embarrassed the President. It’s not one of the worse crimes of these people, but you are required to report leaks of classified information as soon as you become aware of them.

The White House started the investigation to attack its critics, not to protect the national security. This is all about protecting the image of the Shrubbery, not the nation.

December 30, 2005   Comments Off on Bogus

Would You Believe…

It’s only a month after the end of the Hurricane Season and yet: Tropical Storm Zeta.

The 27th named storm of 2005 is sitting off the coast of Africa just to remind people that “it ain’t over, ’til it’s over”.

[Update: The first storm of 2006 will be Alberto. In 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto was a nasty rainmaker locally. Storm names are re-cycled every 12 years unless the name is retired for being a real trouble-maker.]

December 30, 2005   Comments Off on Would You Believe…

Friday Cat Blogging

[Kevin Drum]

Ringo’s Bored

Friday Cat Blogging

Come on let’s play.

[Editor: Productivity goes down when the temperature goes up because the cats take turns wandering in to see what I’m doing.]

Friday Ark

December 30, 2005   Comments Off on Friday Cat Blogging

Trust Me

The man and his administration lie about everything and fill important posts with total incompetents and he expects the American people to “trust him”. What has he done that merits trust?

He took a month long vacation and ignored a dire warning just prior to 9/11/01. His Attorney General cut funding for counter-terrorism on 9/10/01. He didn’t change his vacation or schedule for days following the Katrina landfall. There hasn’t been a single, successful terrorist prosecution on his watch. But the American people should trust him?

His government has swept up thousands of people and held many for years without charges, and some who are known to be innocent are left in prison because they have no place to go as a result. But the American people should trust him?

The main terrorist threat is made up of Muslim fundamentalists who, by definition, don’t trust technology, but he wants to data mine phone calls and e-mail. But the American people should trust him?

They arrested Jose Padilla and claimed they stopped him from blowing up a “dirty bomb”, and going on to burn down apartment blocks by starting gas leaks. But when push came to shove they charged him with loitering and hanging out with the wrong crowd. They never explained how a guy that has shown no knowledge of explosives and has had no access to explosives or radioactive materials was going to get a “dirty bomb”. But the American people should trust him?

They claimed to have stopped an attack on the Brooklyn Bridge…with blowtorches. I have to assume they meant to say oxyacetylene torches, because a blowtorch is fine for melting ice or patching tar, but it would have minimal effect on a bridge. How were these “terrorists” supposed to avoid getting dumped off the bridge by union stewards for working without a card, because it’s easier to join Skull & Bones than a NYC skilled union? But the American people should trust him?

What have the American people received for the trillion plus dollar deficit he has run up since being in office? We know he didn’t spend it on body armor and vehicle armor to protect the troops. But the American people should trust him?

The man swore on a Bible twice to support and defend the Constitution and to faithfully execute the office of President, but he spends an awful lot of time and our money looking for ways to subvert the rights of Americans and to avoid enforcing the laws. He claims all this is necessary to fight the “war on terror”. All we have is his word, because he won’t respond to what little Congressional oversight that has been attempted. But the American people should trust him?

Trust and respect are earned. Where, precisely, in the record of this administration is the action or accomplishment that merits either? They spread fear more effectively than those normally considered “terrorists”, but that would seem to be their sole accomplishment. As Donald Rumsfeld observed, they have no metrics. They have no plan. Since they have no goals, they are wandering in the desert.

But the American people should trust him?

December 29, 2005   Comments Off on Trust Me

Short Takes

Karen at Dark Bilious Vapors has located the all-purpose holiday decoration.

Jack at The Grumpy Forester has a rather all inclusive rant about the year that is concluding.

According to the Pensacola Beach Blog our local zoo received a special Christmas present: a baby hippo. No pictures yet, and no name until the sex is determined.

The family of Albert Weimorts reported his passing in the week before Christmas. He was a local Federal civil servant that most have never heard of, but he took a request for a bomb to penetrate bunkers during the first Gulf War from inception to delivery of a working weapon in 28 days.

Mr. Weimorts also designed the Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon, also known as “the mother of all bombs”, 10½ tons of explosive that rivals a nuclear weapon without radiation. It’s hard to imagine a target for the MOAB in anything less than all out war.

I mention Mr. Weimorts because my Father was involved in weapons design, and to point out that if this work had be given to a private contractor, the office to design the bunker-buster would not even have opened in 28 days, and the costs would have already exceeded the entire budget for the project Weimorts led.

[update: Baby hippo pictures from the Pensacola News Journal]

December 28, 2005   Comments Off on Short Takes

Seven Meme

    Seven Things To Do Before I Die
  1. Fix my back porch
  2. Move away from the coast
  3. See a return to democracy in the US
  4. See something concrete done to address global warming
  5. Get the last of the local feral cats fixed
  6. Finish cleaning my house without interruptions
  7. Organize my tools

    Seven Things I Cannot Do
  1. Legally travel to Russia
  2. Feel comfortable in a crowd
  3. Ignore an injured creature
  4. Ignore crime
  5. Draw
  6. Competently play a musical instrument
  7. Competently speak Asian languages

    Seven Things That Attract Me to… Blogging
  1. The restrictions on letters to the editor
  2. The Republican Party
  3. The Religious Reich
  4. My stress level
  5. The price is right
  6. It’s better than screaming at my neighbors
  7. I’m not required to do it

    Seven Things I Say Most Often
  1. RINGO!
  2. Чёрт!
  3. Это жизнь в большом городе!
  4. Rot in hell, Bill Gates!
  5. Shut everything down and re-boot
  6. And I should care because?
  7. Did fairies make off with the manual?

    Seven Books Authors That I Love
  1. Terry Pratchett
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Isaac Azimov
  4. Arthur Conan Doyle
  5. Rita Mae Brown
  6. J.K. Rowling
  7. Ellis Peters

    Seven Movies Videos That I Watch Over and Over Again
  1. The Civil War Ken Burns
  2. Star Wars [the original trilogy]
  3. The Wizard of Oz
  4. Lawrence of Arabia
  5. Blade Runner
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Seven People I Want To Join In Too
  1. I don’t wish these things on others.

December 27, 2005   Comments Off on Seven Meme

Happy Hanukkah!

MenorahHappy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends. I miss the latkes and jelly doughnuts my roommates received for the holiday at college. [Their grandmothers were afraid they wouldn’t celebrate or couldn’t get “real” food at that terrible Baptist university.] It was a great break.

One of the nice things about Hanukkah is that there are established “gifts”, so you don’t have to rack your brains about what to get: a card and gelt covers just about everyone.

[Note: on the Jewish calendar the day changes at sundown, not midnight, so it’s now the 26th.]

December 25, 2005   Comments Off on Happy Hanukkah!

A Hint to Blogger

The orange “Santa hat” on the “O” is not festive, nor seasonal. It is annoying. I am not cheered or even amused by its presence.

December 24, 2005   Comments Off on A Hint to Blogger