Julie with a B

Friday, December 31, 2004
Happy New Year!
Just wanted to wish you all a wonderful New Year.... See you on the other side!

So what's the "B" for?
See below. A long list of interesting gentlemen.....

B is for Backus part 4
This is my dad. A wonderful father, an officer, and a gentleman. He passed away July 4, 2004


Robert Allen Backus Posted by Hello

B is for Backus part 3
This is my grandfather. Born and raised in Pasadena, CA He was a banker and a wonderful grandfather.


Franklin Rowland Backus Posted by Hello

B is for Backus part 2
This is my great grandfather. He and his family came around the Horn and sailed up to San Francisco. From there they traveled to Southern California and bought orange groves in Riverside. A few years later they moved to Pasadena, CA where my grandfather was born in 1880.


George Allen Backus Posted by Hello

B is for Backus
The picture is of my great great grandfather Ascan Backus. He arrived in New York at the age of 14 in 1829. When he died in 1880 he owned the largest farm on Long Island. His farm was divided up and sold as lots for houses. It's now Forest Hills in Queens, New York. I've never been to New York, but someday.


Ascan Backus Posted by Hello

Don't park your camper on my street
At least not in Sonoma County. There is a county ordinance that says you may not sleep overnight in a vehicle parked on a street. In the ongoing battle of finding a place for those to live who have limited income there are no easy answers. The county ordinance simply shuttles the same people around and sometimes into other counties. There is a wide range of individuals who are caught in this web - some are perpetual transients, some are families who have run out of luck, and many cases in between. You can say that these people should get a life, get a job, etc. but some do and some have and are still on the street. What we really need to say is "There but for the grace of God goeth I" and do our best to alleviate the stress of the innocent ones caught in the middle. The number of homeless children is high.

P.S. That's not you in front of your trailer is it D.C. ;-P

Fur flew and sales are up!
A week ago I posted about a ridiculous protest over the re-selling of old furs. The animal rights protestors flocked to the streets of the tiny town of Guerneville. Patty-Jo commented that it would be better to vote with your feet and stay away from such places. Well, the protestors didn't and the people voted with their feet - sales at the little store rocketed. And why? Everyone came to show their support. Today's article talks about what the majority really think.

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Bloggers and techies to the rescue
As I read the papers there are numberous articles about technology helping out - countries volunteering free cell-phone messaging, a blogger calling in via text message to a blogger who posts his messages, another blogger creating a site where donations could be made. All so amazing the way the world can be a community through technology. Wow.

2 Santa Rosa residents who lived thru the wave
An article from the local paper..... about two survivors and their stories. Libby's parents live in my part of town.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Man finds news of family in Thailand from post
"Web posting reunites quake family " this article from BBC News - "The Dutchman was one among thousands of people trying to trace family and friends after a disaster which claimed tens of thousands of lives. Shattered communications only added to the difficulty of getting news. But a posting by a stranger on the BBC News website led Mr. Delissen to his relatives, who had all survived"......Once again the wonders of the internet and the ability to connect with someone halfway around the world. The rest of the story is pretty amazing.

Dan, the brother of a friend of mine, was on a plane with his family headed for Sri Lanka when the earthquake hit. It is a 20 hr flight from Los Angeles, so the tsunami had already occurred before their plane touched down. However, he had not left an itinerary with any family members. There were frantic phone calls back and forth. Eventually, Dan's brother in law, called a friend in Australia, who knew one of the people Dan and his family planned to visit. Eventually that person was reached and confirmed that Dan and family had indeed arrived and checked into their hotel. No news yet as to what he plans to do, since the phone service is not working there.

Pun for today...
A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see that her name is Patricia Whack. He says, "Ms. Whack, I'd like to take out a loan to buy a boat and go on a long vacation." Patti looks at the frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow.
The frog says $30,000. The teller asks his name, and the frog says that his name is Kermit Jagger, and that it is OK, he knows the bank manager. Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial sum and that he will need to secure some collateral against the loan. She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral. The frog says, "Sure I have this," and produces a tiny pink porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patti explains that she'll have to consult with th manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there that claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. And he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what the heck is this?"
The bank manager looks back at her and says: "It's a knick knack, Patti Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a rolling stone."

Stingy U.S.
Well, heck, would this work for me? Hey, US government, you are soooo stingy!
(Julie waits for check to appear in the mail)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The Golden Meatball Awards
Be sure and check in at Nickie Goomba's place for the final posting of the Golden Meatball Awards, the coveted Best Blog of 2004!

Oh for the pun of it...
Two American football teams are on tour of Europe and have a quiz to see which team can name most places in Holland. The game was won by a single Dutch Town.

Monday, December 27, 2004
Bin Laden calls Zarqawi true soldier of God
Osama bin Laden urges Iraqis to boycott U.S. backed elections on tape shown on Al Jazeera.

Monday groaner...
Guy went home sick today with an eye problem. He just couldn't see himself working.

Sunday, December 26, 2004
From St. Monk
An article St Monk has posted: "Arab Editor Condemns Terror" check it out, Dec. 23 post. A voice of calm in the storm...

Pun for the day
A young man was in love with two women and could not decide which of them to marry. Finally he went to a marriage counselor. When asked to describe his two loves, he noted that one was a great poet and the other made delicious pancakes. "Oh" said the counselor, "I see what the problem is. You can't decide whether to marry for batter or verse."

(Stolen from Stan Kegel.)

It is just the news
How do we get news? Way back when, travelers brought news of friends and relatives when they went from one village to another, or perhaps when they traveled into a town to purchase supplies. News was passed by word of mouth, often from those who witnessed the events. Those with cash to spare would often pay travelers for news of other places, perhaps for the doings of their friends, enemies, or kings. Balladeers would set events to music in order to remember the names and places involved more easily. Letters were written by scribes and sent by messenger and read, often once again by a scribe, to someone at a distance from events. The printing press was invented, the ability to read became more common and printed broadsides, newsletters, and magazines became a way of spreading the news and information. In each of these cases, the news contained was deemed reliable by the proximity of the writer to the events, or the good name and reputation of the writer.

I have a page from the “New England Journal – Containing the moft Remarkable Occurrences Foreign & Domeftck.” published Monday April 8, 1728, Boston. The first paragraph is: “There are Measures concerting for rendring this Paper yet more universally esteemed, and useful, in which ‘tis hop’d the Publick will be gratifi’d, and by which those Gentlemen who desire to be improv’d in History, Philosophy, Poetry, &c. Will be greatly advantaged. We will take the liberty at this to insert the following Passage of History.” The “History” referred to isn’t a long time previous but events that occurred during the prior year in London. The article ends with a listing of those moving out of the city and the location they had moved to, as well as obituaries and then several advertisements. Not much different than our newspapers today, except that perhaps events are published a little more timely.

HOWEVER, as noted above, the acceptance of the news related depended either on knowing the teller, or on the good name and reputation of the writer. Clearly, the MSM of today has lost our trust in re: good name and reputation. Interesting that we have returned to the beginning! We are more likely to trust the news of those we perceive as having actually witnessed the events or have traveled to the locations involved, hence the reliance on blogs from around the world, from those who are there.

Are you truly a denizen of net culture?
Take The Scotsman's
"Lazy Guide to Net Culture: Christmas quizzery - If you want to appear like you're at the cutting edge of net culture but can't be bothered to spend hours online, then never fear. Scotsman.com's pathetic team of geeks, freaks and gimps will do the hard work for you. While you sip wine, read a book or engage in normal social interaction, they will burn out their retinas staring at badly designed web pages and dodge creeps in chatrooms to prepare for you: Scotmsn.com's lazy guide to net culture."
They then give you a list of clues to web-sites. If you can identify their series of web-sites from the clues, you will come up with a "geek-rating". Not much better than other geek-rating sites except that at the end there is a list of web sites, some of them very very funny, some are decidedly odd, that are worth cruising through. My vote is for the site with the cute little tree frog...with teeth and an odd look to him that suggests he might eat more than flies.
I scored 4 out of 10 and got a "Good" rating. I'm sure that you guys can beat that! ;-)

Too lazy to take the quiz?
Be sure to check out: Drudge Retort ;-) and B3TA for the frog.

Saturday, December 25, 2004
Grave of the real life Scrooge lost to redevlopment
Yes, there was a real "Scrooge". His name was actually Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie and he was nothing like the character in the story. According to The Scotsman
"But the gloaming of an evening in the Capital (Edinburgh), allied with an episode of mild dyslexia suffered by Charles Dickens, has forever associated Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie with one of the Victorian Author's most famous characters.
In life, Scroggie was apparently a rambunctious, generous and licentious man who gave wild parties, impregnated the odd serving wench and once wonderfully interrupted the General Assmply of the Church of Scotland by grabbing the buttocks of a hapless countess.
Dickens, was in the capital to deliver a lecture to an audience of Edinburgh notables. He was wandering the city, killing time before the talk, wehn he visited the Canongate Kirk graveyard. There, as revealed by his diaries, he saw a memorial slab which read: "Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie - meal man."The description referred to his main trade as a corn merchant. However, the author mistakenly translated it as "mean man".
Though he was shocked by the description, it gave him food for thought and two years later, art imitated life - or so the author believed."
The article goes on, a good read. I have to include this last little excerpt, however:
"'Perhaps Scroggie's most delightful claim to fame was the result of his dramatically halting proceedings at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, when he "goosed " the Countess of Mansfield during a particularly earnest debate. "It fairly dampened the proceedings," noted Mr. Clark."

Friday, December 24, 2004
Pun for Christmas day
A guy goes into his dentist's office, because something is wrong with his mouth. After a brief examination, the dentist exclaims, "Holy Smoke! That plate I installed in your mouth about six months ago has nearly completely corroded! What on earth have you been eating?" "Well... the only thing I can think of is this - my wife made me some asparagus about four months ago with this stuff on it, Hollandaise sauce she called it, and, doctor, I'm talkin' DELICIOUS! I've never tasted anything like it, and ever since then I've been putting it on everything, meat, fish, vegetables, you name it!"
That's probably it, replied the dentist "Hollandaise sauce is made with lemon juice, which is acidic and highly corrosive. It seems as though I'll have to install a new plate, but made out of chrome this time."
"Why chrome?" the man asked.
"Well, everyone knows that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"

The horse..
Every now and then I talk about my horse. So thought I'd post him here, so you can see. He is a Lipizzan.
"Developed exclusively by the Hapsburg monarchy for its use during times of war and peace, the Lipizzan is the true horse of royalty. Four hundred years of selective breeding have made the Lipizzan one of Europe's oldest breeds of horse. TheLipizzan's historical and cultural development enhances its' mystique. Physically capable of withstanding the demands of the Airs Above the Groud, this baroque mount was bred to perform haute ecole dressage at the Spanish Riding School and owes it's survival to the intervention of American General George S. Patton during World War II."
His official name is "Maestoso II Catrina II". His full brother is "Maestoso II Catrina" and his pictures are
Lipizzans are considered a rare breed, since there are only about 4,000 of them in the world. Many were lost with the problems in Bosnia, since one of the main studs was located there. Those who were taking care of the horses tried to maintain them, but the wages of war decimated the horses located there. Lack of feed and the lack of food for the local populace meant that many of the horses were slaughtered.
But to his friends, this bull headed little tank of an equine, is Bandit. I purchased him from White Horse Vale Lipizzans in Goldendale, Washington, when he was 4. Over the last 3 years we have been down some strange roads. He spent 3 months learning how to herd cows with Rex Minton of Redwood Valley and is now at Fairwind Farms.


Bandit Posted by Hello

Being Jewish at Christmas
A "blog friend", Rachel, over at The Velveteen Rabbi has a nice piece on being Jewish at Christmas time.
"Tonight at sundown, Christmas begins. Whether you see it as a Christian religious holiday, or a secularized American holiday, or a thinly-veiled recasting of older festivals like Yule, there's no denying that it plays a major role in American life."

It's a good read and helps explain a bit. Jeremy at American Warmonger had asked me a question that required me to think out how I related to the holiday, and it's difficult to explain; but Rachel says it much better than I do with some great links to other articles.

Note: Why does Christmas begin at sundown? Because, "with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water - God said, "Let there be light"
(The darkness came first, and then the light. Therefore, the new day begins with darkness.)

Thursday, December 23, 2004
"Tolerance" vs "Acceptance"
The article listed below is a sad example of the difference between tolerance and acceptance. Because the small town of Guerneville is a very liberal place embedded in a very conservative countryside, there is a great deal of local friction. A microcosm, if you will, of what is happening in the country as a whole. The extreme reaction is caused by a party that has been tolerating the actions of the other because it must, not because they accept what is going on. Many feel they are cast in a liberal light when they vehemently disagree, and because the county in general is liberal, they feel voiceless. They want to heard.

Furor on the river...
Fur protests threaten to split Guerneville
"There is nothing soft or cuddly about the fight over furs in Guerneville this holiday season, as animal rights activists square off against the newly opened Kings & Queens Vintage Clothing store."

This is for all you guys that really look for this stuff. The classic Left Coast brouhaha. Really.

"What started as a protest against just one small store has grown into picketing of two stores, threats of boycotts against all Guerneville merchants and what some are calling an insensitive statement by activists comparing the used fur coats to Nazi lampshades made of human skin."

Sigh. Yeah. Can't believe I'm posting this....
Guerneville is a small town on the Russian River. In the 60's-70's became a Hippie haven, and continues to be a town for those looking for the alternative lifestyle, now particularly if you are, uh, batting for the other team. Oddly enough it is plunked down, smack dab in the middle of a rural agricultural right leaning part of the county. Always something interesting happening in Guerneville.

Pun for today...
I told him not to give the game away.....so he decided to sell his herd of zebra instead.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
If you like puns too...
Be sure and pop over to Nickie's site and tell him that he is SO wrong about those puns that Clint Eastwood was telling. The man is a fine punster and should not be impugned in this manner!

Today's pun.... it's even a "Holiday" pun...
A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
One law for all
This is an article in reference to the use of Sharia Muslim law -
We should all be listening to what's happening in Canada. To quote the Montreal Gazette:
"This equal treatment under the law is at the heart of what it is to be a Canadian. Religious-based laws - Christian, Muslim, Jewish or any other - have no place in our system. The state is the font of justice, and strives mightily, if sometimes imperfectly, to make that justice - from criminal sentencing to child support - uniform. Equality under the law cannot be sub-contracted to religious, or any other, organizations."

"This has been part of a trend to "alternative dispute-settlement mechanisms," which are not a bad thing. Any time a compromise can be reached on a fair basis and short of a costly court case, everybody wins, at least in theory. And if such a process breaks down, for any reason, there is always recourse to the courts."

"Consider a hypothetical immigrant wife from Pakistan, who speaks little French nor English. She has no money of her own; she has no idea that she has legal rights other than those her husband or imam choose to tell her about; she believes that her legal right to reside in Canada is entirely dependent on her husband.
Taken to a Sharia court and divorced, she might be left with almost none of the family's assets. There is little or no chance that this woman would know how to complain, or to whom."

Spent night snuggled up to Hawkeye...
The server at work crashed and I returned at 2 am to have long heated discussions with Dell Computer. Since we're a (small) hospital, when the system goes down, life gets ugly. So there are 3 hard drives, and if one has a problem, you simply slide it out and re-boot. Cool. Except when the one went down, he took his 2 friends with him. After some mucking about, got #2 to re-boot. New hard drive arrived via courier at 6 this morning. All is well, except for moi who has to face the work day on 3 hours of sleep.
Hawkeye? That's the name of the huge server in the back room. Ha, made you look!

Pun for today..
Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, but when they lit a fire in the craft it sank, proving that you can't have your kayak and heat it, too.

Monday, December 20, 2004
A fine rant..
about apologizing or, actually, just moving your lips mouthing meaningless words, from William over at Pirates Cove.

In lieu of the pun for today...
Check out two items from American Comedy Network... I think the "Osama Roasting" is particularly tasteless and screamingly funny. It's in the box on the right hand side. Also, just considering everything, watch the "My Menorah" video which is also tasteless and very very funny. Go on. It's Monday morning and we all need a laugh.

Sunday, December 19, 2004
Check out more airport fun...
at SandraK's place. She got a terrific Christmas gift though!!

Flying somewhere? Don't wear an underwire bra...

Last month my elderly uncle passed away. His memorial service was in Portland, Oregon. So I drove two hours over to Sacramento airport. It’s only a little farther away than San Francisco and it’s got a lot of things going for it. It’s a tiny airport compared to S.F., you can usually find a parking place within 100 yds. of the door, and the last vendor before the gates is the Cinna-Bon place. Mmmm. So I arrived at the airport at 8:00 pm for a 9:00 flight to Portland. I walked in, found the “e-ticket” machine, put in my credit card, and it printed out my boarding pass and returned my credit card. I slogged up to the “security” line, which at that time on a Monday night had two people waiting. I handed the security fellow my boarding pass and my California Driver’s License, which expired on 3/3/03. Anyway he stared at me, scrutinized my driver’s license and handed them back. I walked out along the terminal, stopping at the Cinna-Bon place for a huge caramel and pecan sticky bun, and sat down next to Gate A-2 to wait for my plane. Soon they announced that no I.D. would be needed at the gate. Cool. I wandered onto the plane and sat down. OK. Now I’m thinking, heck, anyone who looks vaguely like me, could have used my credit card and I.D. to get on the plane. It felt like driving without my seatbelt on. Not like you’re going to fall out of the car, but somehow, not safe.

I arrived in Portland by 10:30 that night, and the next day attended my uncle’s funeral.

So at 7:15 Tuesday evening I was back at the Portland airport, headed for home on the 8:30 flight. Same deal – walked to the e-ticket machine, got my boarding pass and went up to the security line. I handed my boarding pass and expired license to the nice lady. She glared at me and asked if I had any other I.D. Uh, oh, busted. I searched around and came up with my health insurance card, a couple credit cards, the video store card, a 10% off at the bookstore card, all with my name and address printed on them, but of course, none had my picture. After the security person reviewed what I had given her, she handed them back and told me to step over to the line on the far left. The bad passenger line. My boarding pass had been stamped with NO I.D. in bold red ink in four places. My fault entirely, so I set my overnight bag on the conveyor belt, unloaded my laptop from its carrying case, took off my shoes and my jacket, and set it all on the conveyor into the x-ray. I walked through the arch, nothing beeped. A nice lady walked up and had me stand with my feet apart and my arms out so she could go over me with the metal detector wand. There was a gentleman with a military bearing, in a security uniform 10 feet away from me watching the whole procedure, when the metal detector beeped once, and then another couple times. At that point, he started to look like a hawk with a rabbit in its sites. I explained to the lady doing the search that I had metal plates in my ankle and she felt all along my leg and foot. I showed her the scars from the operation from when I broke my ankle two years ago. Beep beep beep. The lady doing the search told me why it was beeping again - did you know that your under-wire bra will set off the beeper? Not a problem for you, eh? It was a problem for me, but she didn’t search that one, thank you very much. Meanwhile, after my stuff came out of x-raying, two more people did a complete hand search of my bags. Not much there, an extra shirt, trashy romance novel, underwear, hair dryer, the AC and recharging stuff for my cell-phone, laptop, digital camera, lots of electronics, but nothing exciting. They also went over it with one of those chemical sniffer wands which was kind of interesting. As I watched, I sort of wished I’d tossed in a pair of black lace underwear to entertain them. I was chatting with them and one of the fellows asked if I liked that laptop, and I opened it up to show him that it has a large keyboard, which is nice if you do a lot of writing, and a big screen too. So I got everything stuffed back into bags and was told that I could collect my boarding pass from the gentleman who had been watching me with intensity. I walked over and requested my boarding pass. He looked me in the eye and asked for my name. I looked back, said “Julie B” and he handed me the pass. As I walked away I realized that he had been watching my face for any hesitation in my response. It was a bit chilling to be treated as someone from “the other side”. But it was also re-assuring. There really was someone keeping an eye out. I liked that

And if you can't beat 'em....
There is alot of singing going on at this time of year. Thursday night I went to the local "Sing along Messiah" and had a good time.

Next Saturday, I'm going to "Sing along with Fiddler on the Roof". It's a fund raiser for the local Jewish Free Clinic. The Free Clinic is exactly that: free basic medical care provided to anyone who walks through the door. The space and supplies are supported by donations, the nurses and doctors donate their time.

Sonoma county is a rural agricultural county. We have alot of farm workers and others who have no medical coverage and need medical care for their families. Many work in the vineyards in November pruning the vines and by December are un-employed until March or April.

The link above also has information on how to donate...

Those Christmas trees...
Ah, those public Christmas tree displays... And just for the fun of it, I'll pull the story from The Scotsman, a newspaper in, oh duh, Scotland, that brings up a very good point. Note that the Brits have no separation of church and state. The state church is the Church of England and the Queen is the head of it. Taken from a piece called "Heroes and Villains".
Villains: Florida killjoys
Officials in Pasco County, Florida, take the constitutional separation of church and state seriously. So seriously that the county attorney has insisted Christmas trees in public buildings must be taken down. Christmas trees, apparently, are a religious symbol.
However, which religion they are a symbol of isn't entirely clear. If anything, the good old Norway Spruce is a distinctly heathen symbol, although there is much poppycock about - such as the idea that the tree's triangular shape reflects the holy trinity. It is more likely that - being an evergreen - the tree was revered by pre-Christian cultures around the winter solstice as giving hope for the returning spring.
Presumably Pasco County workers get 25 December off every year. This itself must be a dangerous mingling of church and state and really ought to be stopped."
Why am I coming out on the FOR Christmas Trees side? Because, like the Scots, I think they are a secular symbol.

Saturday, December 18, 2004
Oh no Oh no, Ali at Iraq the Model wants to quit
Something has happened and Ali at Iraq the Model
wants to quit blogging. He says that it's something that an American has done, but he's not talking about who or what happened. This is terribly sad. Some of you may know that his brothers are in the U.S. with Spirit of America. Check out his story and leave a comment. This is so very sad.

Guilty Pleasures
And there are many. However. Every year the Santa Rosa Symphony and Choir put on the "Sing Along Messiah". Nice piece of music with some challenging soprano parts. Oh yeah! So I grabbed my music book and went out the door. I always buy my ticket ahead of time and kind of wander casually in. The lights went down and the music started.
I had a great time. I always do. AND I had made it through the intermission without having to explain what a nice Jewish girl was doing at the sing along Messiah. I was actually feeling a little guilty about it, because, once again, I had gotten away with it. Anyhow at the end, as the applause died down and the lights came up, I glanced over at the woman sitting across the aisle from me...and looked straight into the eyes of the rabbi's wife. She looked a little sheepish and said, "It's OK, I come every year."

Bush's economic "vision"
This falls waaay into the "just not right" category.
Let's see - we have "this much" coming in, we have 2X "this much" going out, so we borrow. Got it. But "we" are really really big, as in the US government and the interest rates aren't going to be affected? C'mon guys, this is basic economics, if something becomes scarce, it's going to cost more. Money to borrow will become scarce. Don't care? Well you better have your house re-financed already and you better hope that your friends and family already own houses, because they won't be able to afford the interest rates in a couple years. Dang.

This is how you get regulated, banned, or whatever
Here ya go. Just complete lack of common sense, that's how. Somebody gets hurt, somebody sues, and someone else says "That's just not right" and you have a law saying you can't go there. Ach, c'mon what were you thinking? That is a 2,000 pound animal, with a bad temper and teeth, you might want to keep an eye on it. Geez.

Teens with guns arrested in Sonoma...
This article is in today's paper as well. What kinds of guns? Well, toy guns. Where they threatening innocent bystanders? Well, no. They were up in the hills with a video camera staging a movie for a class project. Sigh.

That being said.....
Photo of Snowmen from the front page of the local paper... I love the lights. A block from my house there is one of those "Christmas Tree lane" types of streets with lights everywhere, candycanes up the front walks, Santa and reindeer on the roof. There is a large corner lot with a nativity scene in the yard - I just wish to note that one of the camels has a red blinking nose. I think there's been a little crossover breeding going on in the summer months.

Friday, December 17, 2004
"To kvetch is human... to act is divine"
I poached that directly off of another blog spot - The Velveteen Rabbi
OK, why would I be there? Well because I am Jewish. Now, I wanted to point this out for a really good reason. I have a somewhat different world view than some of you. But I have alot of fun with it. Don't go tippy toeing around this.
Several years ago I had a commute partner who was very Republican and very Catholic. We would get in the car in the morning, yes, I would bring my cafe mocha from Wolf's coffee and he had his plain black Folgers-from-a-can coffee. If I was driving the radio was tuned to the local Public Broadcasting Station. If he was driving we had a string of stuff, but Rush Limbaugh, Monday night football, and occasionally a show called Aryan Nation. We would, um, discuss all the way to work - it was an hour and a half each way, so we had plenty of time to build up a head of steam. John was Irish/Italian and I can tell you he could really get into it. We debated, discussed, world news stuff, office stuff, religious stuff, we worked it all out. We both worked at Waite Group Press, a computer book publisher. He was head of Editorial and I was Business Manager. We had alot of fun. Shared some tough times - the company was a start up and we worked hella long hours, then a couple years of best sellers, champagne and pizza, and then the company was sold to Simon and Shuster. During the time we commuted he gained two sons and moved up to Sonoma County. This guy with a family and a good job, a degree in History from Univ of Calif at Davis, had this big dream, though. What? He really really wanted to be a police officer. And he eventually made it. So when you read about things going bad in San Francisco, there were a couple riots in November, you can laugh and make remarks about fruits and nuts, but at the same time say a prayer for my friend John, who is working as cop there.
I so miss getting to talk to him. Yes, he changed some of my opinions, but I changed some of his as well.
Here's the challenge for you right wing-nuts. You have to fill John's shoes. Come on down.

2004 most emailed article from CNN
Yup, the #1 article.... the most emailed article in 2004.....

"Bear guzzles 36 beers passes out at campground" you too can read it here.

We take our news seriously, yes we do.

Why don't women blog?
There is an article over on oxblog by David Adesnik. He yaps on about why women, ahem, "hot chicks" don't blog. I find it pretty humorous and not a little insulting. We can't lead? We are too timid to blog? OK, I'll concede points on the latter, because, well, if you read my very first post, you may understand how difficult it is for me to stand up here naked and not hidden behind the "comments". However since I live in California I've discussed it thoroughly with my therapist and after a double decaf latte, I'm pretty much OK with it.
I also think he's must not be really looking at what he's trolling through. I've run across more than a few blogs with women chatting happily along, and you guys missed it, they were trading pictures and other interesting bits of information. The reason my blog is called "Julie with a B" is that there are *lots* of other Julie's out there blogging and it's confusing.
As far as the leadership issue goes, I beg to differ there as well. Yes, I think it's easier in California. The publishing company where I worked in Marin, had 8 female managers out of 12 managers total. But my manager at Simon and Shuster in New Jersey was a lady person, and the COO of MacMillan Computer Book publishing headquartered in Indianapolis, also my boss, was a lady person. I am not saying that there are as many women managers as there are men, because there aren't. I'm just saying that it's not a leadership issue.

Today's pun
A three legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces, "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw."

Did too- - Did not
There's a little playground shoving going on. Here are two links: one
and two in yesterday's Israeli paper, Ha Aretz. It involves whther or not the U.S. demanded that Israel remove their Defense Ministry Director General, Yaron, from office.

There are a number of issues here. Did we? Should we? Should they listen if we did? What would that say about the Israeli government?
If we did, and they didn't, what does it say about us, that we seem to be sulking in response?

And if you'd rather read it in Hebrew, go here.
Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Thursday, December 16, 2004
Corruptible? Not!
My friend (?) JR, over at Texican Tattler, (Ha! check that out, JR, I did the linky thing! Woohoo!) opined that I was corruptable. I was snorting and mumbling "I think not!" as I emailed my cousin. She begs to differ with me, she said that almost anything could be had in trade for dark chocolate or good Scotch. Oh. Well. Maybe alot of dark chocolate and very vey expensive Scotch. Like, Laphroig, or if you're strapped for cash a 20 yr old Balvenie. Straight up. No ice. Never could figure out why someone would ruin good Scotch with ice.

OK, OK. I can be bought. But you'll have to work at it.

Well, d...arn. That was not what I wanted. I was trying to get the picture into the profile.... rats!


Julie Posted by Hello

Today's pun ;-P
Two vultures board an airplane; each is carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger.

(puns are in honor of my Dad, who was a very punny man)

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

More "Blue News"
New York Times has an article on the failure of the current missile program.


(That "failure to launch", such a guy sort of problem. What do think, drugs would fix this? Anybody want to recommend their favorite??)

"After a rocket carrying a mock warhead as a target was launched from Kodiak, Alaska, the interceptor, which was intended to go aloft 16 minutes later and home in on the target 100 miles over the earth, automatically shut down because of "an unknown anomaly," according to the Missile Defense Agency of the Defense Department."

(OK, so he's shooting blanks, that isn't a functional problem...maybe it's being interrupted by that "unknown anomaly". Usually if you lock the door it keeps the kids out.)

"The agency says the tests are devised to answer specific questions and "to build confidence in the system that we are working to design." Although individual tests are expensive, Mr. Lehner said, fewer are necessary than with missiles of years past because of advanced modeling and simulation techniques. "

So how much time and money do you need? Really?

Left/Right Spite
I was yapping on another site and someone questioned whether I was really a “just slightly left of center” sort of person. Well. Yeah, I am. I think the trick here is that 95% of Americans are somewhere just barely to the left or barely to the right of center. I think that’s why we have such an even split. Really. Now don’t go to Michael Moore on me. I really wish the man would fall off a cliff, oh, and incidentally, he could take Rush Limbaugh with him. Snort, that would be a sight.

Um, Hello?
The house lights dimmed. The stage lights came up and the curtains creaked open. A spotlight shone on a bare stage. Scuffling sounds came from stage right. A rumpled girl backed onto the stage, eyes large with fright. Hands reached out and pushed her closer to center stage, voices whispered encouragement. The girl glanced at the wrinkled notes in her sweaty hands. She glanced nervously off-stage and there were more encouraging whispers. Looking up into the lights she lifted her chin and said,


OK, now that I’m over the empty white page syndrome…. I'll be back, I just have to figure out how (sound of shuffling papers) to do this.

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