Julie with a B

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Ward Churchill, David Horowitz, and Berkeley
From California Patriot Watch - - more on "Academic Freedom" or the strange demands for voices from "the other side".
The Patriot and the Berkeley College Republicans are all having a collective hissy fit, because they did not feel that
yesterday's forum on Ward Churchill was properly balanced. The forum was narrowly framed to focus on the issue of academic freedom. What did the Patriot expect? Did they seriously want a speaker against the concept of academic freedom? As for balance, I don't remember the Patriot or the Berkeley Conservative Foundation feeling obligated to have David Horowitz or Michelle Malkin share the stage with anybody, even though my student activities fees helped pay for that. Is Ward Churchill supposed to share the stage with somebody calling for his ouster? That's not balance; that's masochism. It's a requirement that's a ludicrous as C-SPAN's recent demand that the Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt be "balanced" with a Holocaust denier.
In addition, the forum allowed for balance by providing a question & answer session with no prescreened questions where
the Patriot's own Kerry Eskenas had an extended conversation with Churchill herself. Contrast this to Michelle Malkin's recent appearance promoting her pseudohistorical nonsense on the Japanese-American internment during World War II, which was so limited to prescreened questions, that BCR members shouted down actual Japanese-American victims of the internment who had as much right to speak, if not more, than Ms. Eskenas at the Churchill forum. "

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Finally.... the last question

Q. Tell us what you have liked the most and the least about the blogging experience thus far,
and (okay ... is this a bonus? ... I know you'll answer any way) what your plans are for your blog going forward.

A. Ah, well, Daisy Cutter knows this is a loaded question. He is the main reason I have a blog. He bugged me until I did it and then linked to my new site for a week or more. Not to belittle the efforts of Jeremy at American Warmonger who actually created the blog and handed it to me on silver email.

What have I liked the most? Getting to “know” people from all over the blogosphere. I haven’t yet met someone who wasn’t interesting. I love to talk to people. I love that people groan at the puns. Really. I’m sure that it’s a sadistic side of my personality.

The least? Ack, silence in the haloscan comments.... yup, ignore me and I fret ...

Going forward I hope to refine my own voice from the Left, to be clearer about my own political agenda, to write more of my own opinions, and to encourage discussion from all political views.

Q #4

Q. Okay, so a person disagrees with you profoundly about an important matter and still wishes to persuade you of his or her position. What do you say to this would-be advocate?

A. I am willing to listen to any number of petitions and reasons for certain positions. I respect everyone’s right to their own opinion. But there is an old saying, “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

Q #3

Q. Tell me at least one thing you admire about three different conservative politicians.

A. Cough, gack, blech, yuck… OK. Deep breath, take a deep breath.

I know where you want me to go with this, to current American politicians. But my first conservative politician is Margaret Thatcher. She was controversial, hard line, disliked, well-liked, and was the making of/destruction of the British economy in the 1980’s. I admire her for being strong in her beliefs and maintaining her own agenda throughout the time she was in power. She was witty and concise.

OK. Lets see. Sigh. I admire George H. Bush for understanding that he was a good administrator but when it came to the Presidency, he lacked “that vision thing”. We tend to belittle that, but for me, it made him human. He is twice the president his son is.

I admired Ronald Reagan because he knew how to get others to work with him. He did it with Hollywood charisma, a humble down home attitude, and respect for those around him.

continued.... next Q

Q. You have a way of maintaining dialogue where others fail. To what do you attribute your ability to dialogue with and maintain friendships with conservatives where so many liberals fail?

A. Hmmmm. Not sure you just haven't read the right ones DC!
However.... I am honestly interested in what makes the other side tick. The Right has the ability to not feel guilty about writing aggressively, rudely, and crudely as long as it gets a laugh. I often do laugh. I comment or talk to those that I can find some corner of common ground. Sometimes that corner is very tiny. Having a conversation with someone that I disagree with often gives me insight. My father said that you cannot fight against that which you neither know nor understand. It also helps me define exactly where I am coming from. As I have read and conversed, I find my viewpoint moving farther to the left than I thought I was.

The interview game.... JulieB's turn

The interview meme started with stealing it from Cake Eater because it looked like fun. Well, it's my turn to answer. Daisy Cutter has posed the questions.... hmmm. One of which was exceedingly difficult to answer!

Q. What are the three biggest influences in your life and give us a couple sentences or so on each to explain why. (OK, scroll down before you fall asleep)

A. (1)My dad, a terrific example of someone who always tried to do the right thing.
A soft spoken man, voted Republican, was inclusive of all kinds of people in his life. I only argued with him twice; both times about politics, the argument wasn't about that though, it was because I had spoken disrespectfully of his views.

(2) The rest of my family. I come from a large family, 13 cousins, etc. Sunday afternoon dinners around my grandparents' dining table were an education all of itself. "Children" ate in the kitchen. So at the age of 7 or 8 you were sitting with the adults and you were expected to know what was going on in the world, have an opinion, and express it. It was a very supportive environment, but terrifying to have adults listening to YOUR uneducated childish thoughts.

(3) Religion. I was born into an Episcopalian family. I converted to Judaism after close consideration of my beliefs. My family is involved in religion - several ministers in the family tree, several in each generation back a couple hundred years, so it colors my world view.

(are you asleep yet???)


Olivia's watermelon Posted by Hello

Olivia the artist
On Monday, I was honored to have 5 year old Olivia in my office for awhile. Her mother was at a training session there at work and was short a baby sitter. Olivia sat patiently in the lunch room for some time. After a bit, she wandered listlessly down the hallway, enquiring, "Do you know where my mother is?" I did and we went to visit her. She was still working tho, so Olivia came back to my office. She chattered on (!) about life and happily drew pictures with the highlighters from my drawer.

So here is "Watermelon" by Olivia.

Withholding care

"Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs."

"There are even cases of pharmacists holding prescriptions hostage, where they won't even transfer it to another pharmacy when time is of the essence.”

The pharmacist is says that birth control is against their personal moral or religious beliefs.

* * *

Some accountants across the country are refusing to file tax returns for pharmacists, saying that filing the return violates their personal moral or religious beliefs.

There are even cases of accountants holding original documents hostage, where they won’t even transfer it to another accountant when time is of the essence.

The accountant says that working for some someone who would withhold medical care from a person who needs it is against their moral or religious belief.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions
From Washington Post:
"Some pharmacists across the country are refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control and morning-after pills, saying that dispensing the medications violates their personal moral or religious beliefs. "

"There are even cases of pharmacists holding prescriptions hostage, where they won't even transfer it to another pharmacy when time is of the essence."

"No one knows exactly how often that is happening, but cases have been reported across the country, including in California, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, Ohio and North Carolina. Advocates on both sides say the refusals appear to be spreading, often surfacing only in the rare instances when women file complaints."

This is wrong. If you have an experience like this file a complaint with your state pharmacy board. In California, there is a
complaint form on the web-site.
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or call one of the reporters for your paper. Speak out against what is happening!

Those cats

Some years ago I “acquired” four kittens. The first one was Wendell who was 2 weeks old when I got him. The others are Ollie, Brenda, and Wanda who were almost 4 weeks old. They were deserted by their mom.

This one is Brenda. She is often within a few feet of wherever I am and has taken to sitting on the back of my computer chair while I post the daily pun.


Brenda Posted by Hello

Tuesday's pun
There was a snake called Nate. His purpose in life was to stay in the desert and guard the lever. This lever was no ordinary lever. It was the lever that if moved would destroy the world. Nate took his job very seriously. He let nothing get close to the lever.

One day off in the distance he saw a cloud of dust. He kept his eye on it because he was guarding the lever. The dust cloud continued to move closer to the lever. Nate saw that it was a huge boulder and it was heading straight for the lever!

Nate thought about what he could do to save the world. He decided if he could get in front of the boulder he could deflect it and it would miss the lever. Nate slithered quickly to intersect the boulder. The boulder ran over Nate, but it was, in fact, deflected, leaving history to conclude that is was better Nate than lever.

Monday, March 28, 2005
Daisy Cutter has posted the answers to his interview questions... ALL is revealed!

Octopus sneaking away...
Camouflaged Octopuses "walk" on two tentacles
"If you are using your limbs to disguise yourself, how do you flee danger without giving yourself away? The answer, when you have eight arms, is to use six arms for disguise and to walk across on the seafloor on the other two."
Read the rest.

I love this - I think octopuses are incredible anyway - they change color with different emotions, they show great ingenuity in getting things out of jars, and now they are sneaky too. I'm sure if they had eyebrows they would raise them at some of our antics as well.

wills4223 has an interesting take on them:
". . . 'by using two of their arms as legs. They use the other six arms to make themselves look like coconuts or algae. . .'
This reminds me of the Far Side cartoon where the cows drop to all fours when humans come around, but resume standing on two legs otherwise. And I for one welcome our new mollusk overlords."


Ocotpus Posted by Hello

Monday pun...

The police answered a call from the local convent about a strange object circling overhead. When the officer arrived, he asked the Mother Superior what kind of object it was. "I can't say", she replied, "but sister Elizabeth says she knows exactly what it was, do you want to speak with her?"

"That's ok", said the policeman, "I'll just put it down as a nun-identified flying object."

Sunday, March 27, 2005
Interview part 2 - Ken at Ken is a Verb
Ken at Ken is a Verb takes the challenge and here are his questions:

1. If you had to choose an animal form what would it be? Why?

2. What is your earliest memory?

3. Where do you go for really good food and what do you get?

4. You have the opportunity to interview the Pope, what question do you ask first?

5. What book do your read over and over again and what takes you back to it?

Saturday, March 26, 2005
Now a word from the Flat Earth Society...
First of all, in the writing class I'm taking at the local J.C., we can bring up any topic pertinent to the piece of work we are discussing. We have covered a wide range of topics and opinions, none of them curtailed by the instructor.

"Bill Seeks Class Time for Other Opinions
Dubbed the ``academic freedom'' bill, House Bill 837 and its companion in the Senate, SB 2126, would develop a statewide ``bill of rights'' for faculty to follow in the interest of delivering a ``fair and balanced'' curriculum, according to sponsor Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala."
"Under the bill, instructors teaching evolution also would have to teach creationism if a student requested it. A course on the Holocaust also would have to include a section on the belief held by some that there was never a Holocaust.

If that did not happen, students who sued the institution would have the support of a state law. The state Education Department warns of the fiscal effects in a bill analysis, stating Florida should be prepared to shell out at least $4.2 million a year to retain an attorney and pay anticipated legal costs if the bill passes.

Opponents say such a law flies in the face of free speech."

There is no need for such a law. Students can already speak their own opinions. And do you think that students should hear from an instructor that the Holocaust didn't happen? Will they hear about parallel universes in physics? Is the earth round or is that an optical illusion?

Not just a cup but a just cup?
Coffee with Steam
"The Seattle coffee chain has raised some eyebrows over its "The Way I See It" campaign, which prints quotes from thinkers, authors, athletes and entertainers on the side of your morning machiatto. The goal, according to the company, is to foster philosophical debate in its 9,000-plus coffeehouses.

The quotes aren't all that inflammatory, though several mirror Starbucks' hallmark tall-grande-venti pretentiousness. Take this one from film critic Roger Ebert: "A movie is not about what it is about. It is about how it is about it."

The problem, critics say, is the company's list of overwhelmingly liberal contributors, including Al Franken, Melissa Etheridge, Quincy Jones, Chuck D. Of the 31 contributors listed on Starbucks' Web site, only one, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg, offers a conservative viewpoint."

Oh for petes sake... if you don't like the sayings don't read them or don't buy Starbucks. Yeesh. Whiners.

Read the rest

Interview part 2 - Teach at Pirate's Cove
Teach at Pirate's Cove takes the challenge! Here are his questions:

1. If you could ask Ann Bonny any question what would it be and why?

2. The perfect Sunday afternoon would be spent how?

3. Who would win in a mud-wrestling match Paris Hilton or Ann Coulter? Why?

4. What books are on your coffee table? Which one are you actually reading?

5. You've won the lottery - what is the first thing that you buy? Who else would be excited by this purchase?

Friday, March 25, 2005
Bad Bible puns in the sprit of Purim

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah: he floated his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh's daughter: she went down to the bank of the Nile and picked up a little prophet. (profit)

Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?
A. Ruth-less.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Hondas... because the Apostles were all in one Accord.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson: he brought the house down.

Q. Where is the first baseball game in the Bible?
A. In the big inning. (beginning) Eve stole first, Adam stole second. Cain struck out Abel.

Q. How did Adam and Eve feel when expelled from the Garden of Eden?
A. They were really put out.

Q. What is one of the first things that Adam and Eve did after they were kicked out?
A. They really raised Cain whenever they were Able.

If you're Jewish today is Purim

Purim is the most festive of Jewish holidays, a time of prizes, noisemakers, costumes and treats. The Festival of Purim commemorates a major victory over oppression and is recounted in the Megillah, the scroll of the story of Esther. Purim takes place on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar. This year (2005) Purim begins at sundown on the 24th of March.

Everyone dresses up - I dressed as a unicorn... silver shirt, silly hat, and bells. In choir I sat next a jester and the piano player was Merlin. There was singing and silly skits and wine and food.


JulieB as a unicorn... Posted by Hello

Interview part 2
Daisy Cutter takes the challenge! Here are his questions:

1. If you could be any historical figure in the 16th century, who would
you be and why?

2. How did you propose to Mrs. DC ?

3. What movie do you watch over and over again and why?

4. If you could interview Barbara Boxer what would you ask her?

5. What is your fondest memory from your childhood?

He was mumbling something about weekend family activities.... so we may have to give him, oh an hour or so to get his answers up.

I will post Teach's questions tomorrow....

Friday's pun

The games at the Coliseum were scheduled to begin at three o'clock sharp, and Caesar decided to attend. He called Brutus, and instructed him to have the chariot standing by.

"What time do you want to leave?", inquired Brutus.

The Emperor, knowing that the ride from the palace to the Coliseum would take exactly an hour, and not wishing to be late, replied, "At two, Brute!"

Thursday, March 24, 2005
The Interview game..
Here are the rules:

* Leave me a comment saying “interview me”. The first five
commenters will be the participants.
* I will respond by asking you five questions.
* You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview
someone else in the same post.
* When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

(Shamelessly stolen from Cake Eater)

I started off by sending Will at will4223 his questions. Which were:

1. What literary character do you most identify with and why?

2. What's your favorite dessert and where do you usually go to get it?

3. What's your fantasy vehicle?

4. If you could interview Dick Cheney, what would you ask him?

5. What is the best line in your favorite movie?

I think he's taking his time answering so go bug him.... Meanwhile leave your own comments here...

Could be punny....
Zebra: Let's switch roles for awhile
Lion: Okay, I'm game.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
FEC ruling and Bloggers
The Democracy Project has the text of the ruling and a good discussion of what it might mean for us.
"A preliminary reading of the document indicates that communication about candidates via blogs or emails will not be considered a "public communication," and so will not be considered an in-kind contribution to that candidate."

"So what happens if an employee engages in something more than incidental use of corporate facilities? Does this constitute a “public communication” under the proposed rules? Will the corporation be fined or subject to criminal penalties for nondisclosure of such activity? By only excluding Internet activities that occur in "public facilities", or in one's residence, corporations may be subject to monitoring and banning any sort of blogging by employees on the premises. Considering that most blogs are read during the workday, this could be a particularly heinous limit on free speech."

Read the whole article and note that they have a link to the entire FEC document.

h/t to Pirate's Cove

Wednesday pun
Did you hear about the veterinarian who was barred from performing any surgery because he suffered from bouts of epilepsy?
The cops busted him for attempting to operate on a sick predatory bird, but the case was thrown out on a technicality. It was an ill eagle surgeon seizure.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
What happened to real Republicans?
My dad was Republican and so was I for a few years. I was a member of the Young Republicans in high school. They were a different organization then. My dad's Republican Party was a different organization.

"What happened to real Republicans?

I was a Teenage Republican. Working my precinct for Barry Goldwater, I got a thorough education in what real Republicans believe. And whether I still agree with all I learned then, I will always understand and respect it. I'm just not sure the people calling themselves Republicans today do."
Read the rest.

h/t Pusillanimous Wankers

Twos day pun

Marcy was married to Ed Smith. Unfortunately, she was also married to Ed Jones. The woman was eventually caught, charged with bigamy and brought to trial.

When the incredulous judge asked how she could have done such a thing, Marcy replied, "Well, your honor, you know they say that two Eds are better than one."

Monday, March 21, 2005
Yes, another..... cat post
My cat, Ollie, is convinced that the green eye of the webcam is staring at him. He thinks that this is an aggressive manuveur on the webcam's part and that it deserves to be taken down whenever it stares at him. Not the brightest cat on the block. But very funny.

I love the last one where he is peering down at the webcam that he has knocked from the table to the floor.


Ollie checking out the laptop Posted by Hello


Ollie sees the webcam Posted by Hello


1st move Posted by Hello


Kill the webcam Posted by Hello


Got it! Posted by Hello

"shows the Y is an eroded version of the X chromosome "
He, he, he.... well, WE knew that!

X Chromosome Shows Why Women Differ from Men
'"The X chromosome is definitely the most extraordinary in the human genome in terms of its inheritance pattern, its unique biology ... and in terms of its association with human disease," said Dr Mark Ross, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Britain which led the consortium. "
"Chromosomes, which are found in the nucleus of every cell, contain genes that determine the characteristics of an individual. Women have two X chromosomes while men have an X and a Y, which gives them their male features.
The research, which is reported in the science journal Nature, shows the Y is an eroded version of the X chromosome with only a few genes. The X chromosome is also bigger than the Y and because females have two copies, one X chromosome is largely switched off or inactivated. "

Read the rest.

H/T: wills4223

IRS on everyone's mind
The IRS is always money motivated but maybe not in the way you might think. If you make under a certain amount of money you are much less likely to be audited. The IRS itself is incredibly underfunded, often operating on a shoe-string with many empoyees paid the bottom dollar. So if they spend time on something, they tend to go for the entities that they can hope to get something from. Not in the way you might imagine, not to search randomly amounst those with large incomes, but those who really operate on the shady side of tax law.
Non-profits tend not to be in this category. There is considerable oversight of large non-profit entities, because people want their money to go to the activities they have donated it to. There is a fair amount of public scrutiny from watch dogs of every stripe.

So why would the IRS step up its audit work on these entities?

From today's NYTimes:
"Roughly a dozen nonprofit organizations have publicly contended that government agencies and Congressional offices have used reviews, audits, investigations, law enforcement actions and the threat of a loss of federal money to discourage them from activities and advocacy that in any way challenge government policies, and nonprofit leaders say more are complaining quietly."

""In previous administrations, there's been the occasional instance of what might appear to be retaliation, but when it started happening in a serial way, it began to look like a pattern to us," said Kay Guinane, counsel for the nonprofit advocacy project of OMB Watch, a government watchdog group that has published two reports on the issue."

Monday pun is baaa-ad
The angry chef felt sheepish after he had lambasted the mutton.

it's Monday... what did you expect?

Sunday, March 20, 2005
A blog-child grows up....

Once upon a time there was a blog-father. This blog-father encouraged a blog-child. He offered support, advice, and kind words. The child was grateful and thankful in return.

Then, as all children do, the child grew and became a blog adolescent. The adolescent began to have ideas of it’s own. Not only that, they were very different from the father’s ideas and not always very respectful.

The father became angry and admonished the child to straighten up and be respectful of him. The child responded by stating that it was now its own person with ideas and a voice of it’s own.

The father demanded the child either toe the line or move away, and if the choice was to move away, not expect any further support from him. How sad, after all he had done for the child.

And so. The child moved away.

Thank you for your kindesses, DC. I will always be grateful.

Speak now....
This is from Slashdot.

"Your Rights Online: Contrabandwidth
Posted by timothy on Sunday March 20, @01:02PM
tcd004 writes "Kate Palmer writes in Foreign Policy Magazine that an international black market for Internet access has arisen in many authoritarian countries who keep their populations offline. Savvy black marketers in cybercafes, universities, private homes, and elsewhere are exploiting technological loopholes to circumvent government filters and charge fees for access. According to OpenNet Initiative, a nonprofit that tracks banned sites, visiting a single website in Saudi Arabia can cost anywhere from $26 to $67. And as censorship spreads, the prices are only going up." It's just a few paragraphs, but thought provoking."

We need to think about what we have here. Think about the Patriot Act. Think about free speech.

Check out Teach's post over at Pirate's Cove "Taking the Challenge"
"Patterico has a challenge (hat tip to Steve at Secure Liberty)

I think it’s time to put the question to you directly. Who out there will make this pledge:

If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

I'll agree to that. I'll go one step further.

If the FEC makes rules that limit my Constitutionally guaranteed Right to Free Speech, I will not only not obey the rules, and I will continue to blog the same way, and will spam John MaCain and Russel Feingold's websites, as well as any other politician that backs those un-Constitutional rules. F#ck 'em.

Here is the list so far of those who have responded to Patterico."

(Apologies for being techno-illiterate about trackbacks... i would have used that if i could figure it out...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

yo ho, yo ho .... Posted by Hello

Black flag pun

Little Jimmie carefully pulled back the spring on the snap trap. Gently he laid the sliver of apple pie as a lure in the trap and then he sat back on the dock to watch. Jimmie’s brother walked over and sat next to him. “ya know, you can’t catch mice with apple pie, they don’t like it”

Incredulous, Jimmie said, “mice? I don’t want mice, I want pirates!!"

The Merchant of Venice
Tonight went to see the Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice". It's an incredible movie, well acted, well directed. Go see it. Trailer here.

Fear censors Imax films
New Screen Test for IMAX: It's the Bible vs. the Volcano
"The Fight over evolution has reached the big, big, screen. Several Imax theaters, including some in science museums, are refusing to show movies that mention the subject - or the Big Bang or the geology of the earth - fearing protests from people who object to films that contradict biblical descriptions of the origin of Earth and its creatures."

"Dr. Lutz, the Rutgers oceanographer, recalled a showing of "Volcanoes" he and Mr. Low attended at the New England Aquarium. When the movie ended, a little girl stood in the audience to challenge Mr. Low on the film's suggestion that Earth might have formed billions of years ago in the explosion of a star. "I thought God created the Earth," she said.

He replied, "Maybe that's how God did it."

For me it is sad to see this as an either/or argument. I do not see the conflict, because "Maybe that's how God did it."

Public propaganda
Over at It's My Country Too an excellent post on the type of fallacious "news" that is turning up.
"Dept. of Blowing Smoke Up The Public Ass How can you tell when you're hearing government propaganda? When, in spite of the government's own statistical evidence and your own eyes, you read something like this:

funstuff6"...affluence is becoming more widespread, thanks in part to baby boomers who have reached their peak earnings years. The net wealth of U.S. households hit record levels at the end of 2004, bolstered by rising real estate prices and an improved stock market, according to the Federal Reserve."

She dissects it and backs up her assertions with statistical evidence from government census reports. READ HER WHOLE ARTICLE.

Saturday pun
Heard this one while out drinking with some friends:

Captain Kidd and his crew were on the high seas when they were attacked by Blackbeard, their arch enemy.

The first shot by Blackbeard's gunners took off Kidd's forward mast. The second shot splintered the center mast, and the third disintegrated the rear mast.

Panic stricken, one of Kidd's men asked what they should do.

"We have no choice but to surrender", replied the pirate, "He's using weapons of mast destruction!"

Friday, March 18, 2005

Made by a friend during a meeting... Posted by Hello

Really busy at work.... will post the punster in a bit!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
In honor of the Great Goomba...
Nickie Goomba claimed to hate puns, OK, so he really hates puns, but ever since the beginning of my blog last December he has come to read... and leave the occasionally punny comment.

Oh my God, Nurse Bobbit... I asked you to remove the patient's SPECTACLES!

Oh, give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
And I'll give you a home that needs new carpets.

Did I ever tell you about my Uncle Leo, the magician. I actually saw him walk down the street and turn into a barber shop.

When my son was 8, he asked "Hey Dad, would you rather be burned at the stake or get your head chopped off?" Recalling this classic from my distant childhood, I answered "Everybody knows that a hot steak is better than a cold chop."

At the time, he thought I was brilliant.

What do you call an Irishman who lives on your back porch all year round? Patty O'Furniture.

I believe it's from the Big Golden Book of Painful Humor.

Like the fisherman said to his relatives on Thanksgiving..."C'mon over just for the halibut."

Dis here is a final warning from the pun police.

No kidding...as a kid, one of my biggest fears is that a date would be at my house and my Dad would begin reciting, complete with explanations, his favorite Bennet Cerf puns.
It's a fear/gift that just keeps on giving.

..kinda like the Winchester Mystery House, the fear keeps building.

And more on Judge Kramer
From ABC News - Sacramento,Stockton, Modesto

"In making his ruling, Judge Richard Kramer said, 'It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners.' "

"There are two bills before California's Legislature that would put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the November ballot. If California voters approve such an amendment, the issue would then be largely beyond the control of lawmakers and the courts."

Topically appropriate pun
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."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Liberal judge? Ah, no....

Supporters of same-sex marriage found an ally in San Francisco Judge Richard Kramer - a Catholic Republican appointed to the bench by a former GOP governor.

"We're certainly feeling the judge's decision is right," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, whose city's lawsuit prompted Kramer's ruling Monday that gays and lesbians have the right to marry in California, despite a law and a voter-approved measure declaring marriage to be the exclusive realm of heterosexuals.

Opponents of gay marriage immediately declared that 57-year-old Kramer is a judicial activist whose decision was "ludicrous" and "nonsense."

"We knew Judge Kramer was under tremendous political pressure to redefine marriage, but we were hopeful he would recognize the limited role of the judiciary," said Robert Tyler, an Alliance Defense Fund attorney trying to uphold California's traditional marriage laws. "We do not believe it is appropriate for judges in this setting to overturn the will of the people."

With a 27-page stroke of the pen, Kramer did just that. "The parade of horrible social ills envisioned by the opponents of same-sex marriage is not a necessary result from recognizing that there is a fundamental right to choose who one wants to marry," he wrote in the decision, which won't be enforced for 60 days, to give opponents time to appeal."

Note how he says that: "there is a fundamental right to choose who one wants to marry"

This isn't specific to gender, race, or religion. It just says you have the right to chose for yourself. Outstanding.


You Are a Dare Devil

For you, life is one big dare.

And you're all in for any adventure.

Others find you exciting, inspiring, and a bit intimidating.

You're biggest challenge at this point is trying to top yourself!

Monday, March 14, 2005
The Monday/Tuesday Pun
Two cannibals meet one day. The first cannibal says, "You know, I just can't seem to get a tender Missionary. I've baked them, I've roasted them, I've stewed them, I've barbecued them, I've tried every sort of marinade. I just cannot seem to get them tender."

The second cannibal asks, "What kind of Missionary do you use?"

The other replied, "You know, the ones that hang out at that place at the bend of the river. They have those brown cloaks with a rope around the waist and they're sort of bald on top with a funny ring of hair on their heads."

"Ah, ha!" the second cannibal replies. "No wonder ... those are friars!"

Blogger hates me..
Blogger is sucking fish today... along with two posts... OK, so they were nothing to excite a Pulitzer, but they were mine!

Thanks for listening.

Nominations for Chairs
Directly from Crooked Timber:
"The latest episode of Mark Tavener’s comedy, High Table Lower Orders, includes a character who has held both the Donald Rumsfeld Chair in Peace Studies and the Bill Clinton Chair in Personal Ethics. (My University has a set of Chairs which are named by the recipients: my fantasy is to hold the Tony Hancock Chair in something, though if push ever came to shove I guess I’d go for C.L.R. James if his executors would let me). Anyway, you can do better than Mark Tavener, surely. Nominations please."

Stop by CROOKED TIMBER and speak your nominations....

Blogging and source protection...
Listened to a great program on NPR on my way to work. (Yes, this is California, so I listen to NPR. Fine.)

The question came up, “Are Bloggers journalists?”
How do you define a journalist? One commenter said that a journalist was someone who wrote about events for a living, i.e. he is paid full-time. Of course this doesn’t fly because many journalists don’t work full time but write a column, or sell their work free-lance, or receive some type of part time pay.

Ah, but the fellow from Stanford, says that the First amendment was not intended for journalists but for the pamphleteers, who could be defined as the “Bloggers” of the 18th century. They published and posted pamphlets that were handed out and nailed to the wall of the taverns about town.

Ergo, it covers bloggers.

Should bloggers have the same protection for the source of any news that they post?

Horses, gardens, and roses, Oh my!
I haven't written much lately. The weather has been way too beautiful to do anything but go outside. Over the weekend, I rode the horse. Bandit kindly decided that since the sun was shining he would relax and, OK, be nice for awhile. In grateful response, I quit calling him Shithead for the entire weekend.

Also my shabby gardens were begging for attention. It's easy to grow stuff here. Really, I'd like to say that it grows green and lush like that because I'm a killer gardener. It grows green and lush because it rains and we have great soil. Well, except for the flower beds, where there is mostly blue clay. Bleh.

Yes, in California, even the plants have personalities. I have a rose bush in the front yard named, "Brutus". Catalog said, "lovely pink buds, opening to delicate white, bush 2' - 4' ". RIGHT! You need an axe to keep Brutus at 5 feet! His canes are, ahem, 4" in diameter! And he is grabby as well, never letting you walk past without reaching out for your attention. He does profusely blossom in large white roses, I will give him that.

I do grow several large pots of orchids, Cymbidiums to be more precise. Once again, they mostly grow themselves, but since I carry those heavy suckers to my front porch, I'll take credit, thanks.


Rosie on the front porch Posted by Hello


Cymbidium orchid on front porch Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005
To give your heart....
Last night I went to see a performance by "The Wonders", part of the Traveling Jewish Theater. The performance, about the Jewish experiences of three women in America, is spoken and sung. It was fast paced, funny and sad, poignant and pointed.
It was sponsored by Tzaddikim, the synagogue's teenage group, and the front rows of chairs had been reserved for children from the religious school.
At the end, the 3 women who made up "The Wonders" asked for questions. The two front rows bristled with waving hands. The first questioner, a little boy of about 5 asked, "If you gave away your heart, wouldn't you die?"

Ah, from the mouths of babes....

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Saturday.... pun
When the human cannonball retired they couldn't find a replacement of the right caliber.

Friday, March 11, 2005
More by the "Communists" at the J.C.
This is a follow-up piece by two JC instructors. The first couple paragraphs discuss what happened two weeks ago, be sure to read the article: By ANNE YSUNZA and JANET McCULLOCH
excerpted here:

"Over the past two weeks, it became clear that the fliers were a successful play for media attention; the scheme was revealingly tagged "Operation Red Scare" on the Web site of the California State College Republican organization.

The "controversy over communism" that The Press Democrat covered last week was entirely fabricated by the college Republicans, whose considerable organizational and public relations skills are evidently not matched by their actual knowledge of totalitarianism. They seem unaware of the ironic similarity between their tactics - anonymous accusations of treasonous thought crimes, posted on doors in the dark of night - and the tactics of the 20th century's most infamous totalitarian movements.

These students now claim that the red scare tactic was merely intended to open a "dialogue" about the "liberal bias" of SRJC instructors. Their new charge is not random or isolated; they speak for a national movement of Republican campus activists. This charge thus warrants a response."
"Instructors teach students skills in formulating and expressing their views, challenge them to keep their minds open and defend their freedom to hold and express independent opinions. In times of controversy, such as we are living through now, this job can be especially difficult - and thus all the more crucial. As teachers, our greatest shared "bias" is by far in favor of this rigorous process of free critical inquiry. The politics of this freedom, and this critical rigor, are our professional politics."
Whole article here.

Did you hear about the fire at the circus? The heat was in tents

Thursday, March 10, 2005
Blogger is a little fussy today...
Have been having a very hard time getting into Blogger today. Posts later on... ;-)

Additional musical pun from commenter, Cary
I'm fiddling about trying to pluck up a good line for this one. I can't under-stanza why I can't measure up. It's like my brain is cleft in two. Yes, I'm in treble. I'm usually pretty sharp with these things, but today I'm coming up flat. I think the key lies in consulting my staff.


Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Cheney on the Social Security stump
From Bloomberg via TPM: " Vice President Dick Cheney has been President George W. Bush's go-to guy on national security. Now Bush is counting on Cheney to do the same on Social Security."
Bush is mounting a full-court press for private accounts, the keystone of his plan, as polls show rising skepticism about the president's proposals. Republicans and Democrats alike think Cheney can be a formidable ally for Bush on his most important domestic policy, though some question how effective anyone other than the president can really be."

Information to remember from Annenberg:
President Bush and Vice President Cheney have told audiences that Social Security faces an $11 trillion shortfall if nothing is done to fix the current system. But they fail to mention that this is over the course of the “infinite future." Over the next 75 years -- still practically a lifetime -- the shortfall is projected to be $3.7 trillion.

The "infinite" projection is one that the American Academy of Actuaries says is likely to mislead the public into thinking the system "is in far worse financial condition than is actually indicated," and therefore should not be used to explain the long-term outlook."

Musical pun
The symphony orchestra was performing Beethoven's Ninth. In the piece, there's a long passage, about 20 minutes, during which the bass violinists have nothing to do. Rather than sit around that whole time looking stupid, some bassists decided to sneak offstage and go to the tavern next door for a quick one. After slamming several beers in quick succession, one of them looked at his watch and said, "Hey! We need to get back!"

"No need to panic," said a fellow bassist. "I thought we might need some extra time, so I tied the last few pages of the conductor's score together with string. It'll take him a few minutes to get it untangled."

A few moments later they staggered back to the concert hall and took their places in the orchestra. About this time, a member of the audience noticed the conductor seemed a bit edgy and said as much to her companion.

"Well, of course," said her companion. "Don't you see? It's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the bassists are loaded."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Tuesday is National Kid Call in Day
The House and Senate Budget Committees are meeting next week to come up with a budget resolution! We need to tell our Senators and Representatives that we are counting on them to produce a responsible resolution that makes children's services a priority for our nation."

Get the details here from Travis at Rain Storm

Tuesday punny
Did you hear that NASA recently put a bunch of Holsteins into low earth orbit? They called it the herd shot 'round the world.

Sunday, March 06, 2005
Sunday pun
Vincent Van Gogh had a really large family. Here's a list of some
of his lesser known relatives!

-The brother who bleached all his clothes white...Hue Gogh
-The sister who wore a mini skirt and liked to dance...Go Gogh
-The really obnoxious brother...Please Gogh
-The uncle who worked at a convenience store...Stop N' Gogh
-His dizzy aunt...Verti Gogh
-The cousin who lived in Mexico...Amee Gogh
-Another cousin who lived in Mexico...Grin Gogh
-Nephew that drove a state coach...Wells Far Gogh
-The brother who ate prunes...Gotta Gogh
-Aunt who was a good dancer...Tan Gogh
-The cousin that moved to Illinois...Chica Gogh
-His magician uncle...Wherediddy Gogh

Saturday, March 05, 2005
Birthday beach trip...
I posted these in reverse... of course. Too much time in the sun maybe. Anyhow this picture is one last look before I head back home. We played in the edge of the surf - my jeans wet half way up the thighs, the dog bedraggled with salt water. She chased the seagulls, the frisbees, the little kids, the kites when they came down, and now her tongue is hanging out about 3 feet. I played in the water, helped put up a kite, climbed all over the rocks and took over 30 pictures. I'm thinking it's a long climba back up that cliff..... a good day in the sun.


One last look before I head home. Posted by Hello


The little girl's kit in the air.. Posted by Hello


Look out for this one... Posted by Hello


Her brother's kite up with dad's help Posted by Hello

And of course you need a kite!
The kite that this little girl is holding is pretty cool. When it is up in the air, the multi colored ends spin. I don't know how it's built, but it flies really nicely and it's fun to watch. I think I need one like this....


Little girl with a neat kite Posted by Hello

Not for swimming, though
Many of the beaches along N. California have currents and a heavy undertow. This means that you can't swim off of them. Really. People drown every year, by getting washed out to sea while swimming, or washed off of the rocks. That doesn't mean that you can't go in the water - you just stay out of the waves. Today it was very sunny and fairly warm, however most people were dressed in warm clothes.


A little surf ... Posted by Hello

School House Beach
This is my favorite beach. The path down isn't too bad, it's a pretty big beach, and it's gravel not sand. The gravel is very small and smooth. Nice to walk on and it doesn't stick in the dog's fur.


My favorite beach, School House Beach Posted by Hello


This is the trail down to one of the beaches. Posted by Hello

Standing on the cliff..
Standing on the cliff looking south towards Bodega Bay (where the kite shop was)
The beaches here are a series of small beaches carved out of the cliffs. You get down there via a trail down the cliff.


Looking south along beaches Posted by Hello

Birthday beach trip
Every year on my birthday the dog and I go to the beach. We both love it. She chases seagulls. I often take a kite. I always buy at least a small bag of salt water taffy. I like the grape taffy. I give the licorice ones to the dog, who chews them noisily.
The cats have killed last year's kite. So I thought to get a kite when I got my taffy. Not this year. This place was so full of people you couldn't get into the parking lot OR the store.


Kite store Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005
Friday pun
Fred noticed his roommate had a black eye upon returning from a

"What happened?"

Fred Answered, "I was struck by the beauty of the place."

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Where I'd rather be today...
A couple pics of the Paris skyline from the top of the Opera House. A view I'd like to share...


Another view out over Paris Posted by Hello

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