Julie with a B

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Introducing a couple new links.....
Two new military linkies:

Doc in the Box (who posted Mrs. G's solution to the Gap problem) - He has been to Iraq and back, currently he is "home" in San Diego. He posts and has links to many other military bloggers.

Why does JulieB have military linkies? Because, through Soldiers' Angels, I write to military personnel in other parts of the world. When I started I wanted news about the areas where they were. Certainly didn't find it thru the MSM, so through Google searches found various MilBloggers who were in Iraq and Afghanistan. Eventually I arrived in the blogosphere myself. I still write letters, I still look for news. Hence, the Milbog linkies.

Paint it Black - Sgt. Devore is in Baghdad. Go read his story - he certainly needs everyone's support, especially right now.

Woohoo! NO GAP!!
Many thanks to Mustang 23 at Assumption of Command for the rescue!!! Please note that the solution was posted by Mrs. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette, and can be found via this link.

Thanks also go to Jeremy at American Warmonger who went over my template with a fine toothed comb to see if I had done something (!@#$) to it. He couldn't find anything but it was not for trying.

And thanks to all my blog friends who wandered by and said, "Gosh sorry about that gap problem you've got. That's nasty!" Sympathy is comforting even if you don't know how to fix the problem.


From NY Times this morning. The "Freedom Tower". Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
This is a test title and its supposed to be very long to see if there is some problem with the wrapping
Did it work? Did it go ga-ga?

I guess its not the word wrap.....

Well that didn't work....
Sigh... didn't work.

OK, I'm going to try to fix the gap...
If this doesn't work.... well, I'm still here I just... well, it may take me a bit to put it back together!


Fog rolling in over the Santa Rosa plain. Posted by Hello

Wednesday's pun
Once I got angry at the chef of an Italian restaurant, so I gave him a pizza my mind.


A pizza my mind. Of course, I haven't made up my mind yet.... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Proof that DC actually writes for the New York Times
Bush and Aides Seek to Calm Public's Concerns About Iraq: The Bush administration pressed on today with high-profile efforts to reassure Americans that political progress is being made in Iraq despite the unrelenting violence there and that it has specific plans to ensure military victory.

I was sure that in his "other writings" he would eventually slip up and use the distinctive "press on" DC phrase. He's "outed" himself now. Gee DC, and after all that whining about them not taking you because of your Winger leanings....

Monday, June 27, 2005
Supreme Court and religion
The Supreme Court seems to have come down on two different sides of an issue. I agree with the one that removed the Ten Commandments from the courtroom wall, because as they said, context matters. From the L.A. Times:
But it is a different matter when officials prominently display the biblical Commandments so that all can see their religious message, he said.

"Context matters," Souter said.

That distinction pleased advocates of church-state separation. "Everyone interested in religious freedom should want the government to stay neutral when it comes to religion," said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way.

But leaders of several Christian groups attacked the Kentucky decision. Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America, called it "tyrannical" and said it "showed once again the nation's top court is completely out of step with the American people."

The justices in the Kentucky case majority seemed determined to hold the line.

"The divisiveness of religion in current public life is inescapable," Souter said. "This is no time to deny the prudence of understanding the Establishment Clause (of the First Amendment) to require the government to stay neutral on religious belief, which is reserved for the conscience of the individual."

He and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said they saw a danger in allowing the government to take sides on religious matters.

"Allowing the government to be a potential mouthpiece for competing religious ideas risks the sort of division" that the Constitution sought to avoid, O'Connor said. "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Breyer joined them.

The ruling drew a powerful dissent in the courtroom from Justice Antonin Scalia, who accused his colleagues of ignoring religion's role in the nation's founding.

Monday groaner
California smog test: Can UCLA?


Can UCLA? Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 26, 2005
"Mind the Gap"
OK, so you won't see the humor in that unless you've visited the London Underground and been told to "Mind the Gap". But does anyone have a clue why there is a huge gap between the Title and the Body of the top post? I have hunted all over my template looking for some drip of latte or croissant crumbs or SOMETHING that would besmirch my lame, lukewarm, languid offerings, but I can't find anything.


Thanks. I appreciate it, really, I do.


Yes, Nickie, he is much better than the Saturday Night Nekkid guy... even with his clothes on. Posted by Hello

90 laps to go and . . .
Jeff Gordon is ahead. :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005
NASCAR weekend at Infineon raceway
Well, it used to be Sears Point Raceway, but nevermind. My spies spotted Jeff Gordon for me. Oh yeah, my guy. I have a DuPont T-shirt signed by Jeff Gordon and another one with his picture on the front, the car on the back. Ah, yup. The raceway is about a half hour south of where I live.
Darren Bogle staked out a spot at the Infineon Raceway heliport Friday, waiting patiently for NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

"This is the best place to get autographs," said Bogle, a Sonora resident who was waiting with his son, Kevin, both decked out in NASCAR jackets and caps. "But you never know when they will come in. We could be waiting here a while."

The heliport is set up every year for the NASCAR weekend at Infineon as the ultimate way to beat the traffic on surrounding highways, particularly on Sunday, race day.

For the drivers, it's necessary if they are going to fit a West Coast race into their predominantly Southern sport.

"Most of these drivers turn right around Sunday and will be on their way to the East Coast before dark," said Steve Page, Infineon Raceway president. "They have to be in Daytona for an event four days later."


Hmmm. Tonight's Saturday night nekkid guy. Posted by Hello

Saturday pun
Original sin: A transgression no one has thought of before.

Blogger is being a bit wierd. I have no idea why that big space is in there..... Now that I've said something about it it will probably go away!

Friday, June 24, 2005
How to avoid the flu
Like everyone else I got that horrid flu. It actually kept me home from work a couple days which is pretty unusual. I got some good advice which I thought I'd share with you:

Eat right! Make sure you get your daily dose of fruits and veggies.
Take your vitamins and bump up your vitamin C.
Get plenty of exercise because exercise helps build your immune system.
Walk for at least an hour a day, go for a swim, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.
Wash your hands often. If you can't wash them, keep a bottle of antibacterial stuff around.
Get lots of fresh air. Open windows whenever possible.
Get plenty of rest.
Try to eliminate as much stress from your life as you can.


Take the doctor's office approach.
Think about it.... . . .
When you go for a shot, what do they do first?
Clean your arm with alcohol..
Why . . . . ?
Because alcohol kills germs.
So.. . . . . I walk to the liquor store. (exercise )
I put lime in my Corona... (fruit)
Celery in my Bloody Mary (veggies)
Drink outdoors on the bar patio..( fresh air)
Tell jokes, laugh.. (eliminate stress)
Then pass out. (rest)
The way I see it...
If you keep your alcohol levels up, flu germs can't get you!

My grandmother always said, "A shot in the glass is better than one in the ass!"

Thursday, June 23, 2005
This would be in the "Oh oops!" category

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - A Sonoma County judge who has presided over two high-profile drunken driving cases has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
The California Highway Patrol arrested Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing about 10:45 Tuesday night after she drove her car off a Santa Rosa road, said CHP Officer Christine Jacobs.
No other cars were involved in the incident, and the judge was not hurt.
Rushing, 57, was cited and released. She was on the bench Wednesday morning, handling civil and criminal matters.
Rushing last year handed down maximum sentences to two people in separate drunken driving cases that resulted in the deaths of two victims.
In September, she sentenced Santa Rosa attorney Harvey Hereford to eight years, eight months in prison for a crash that killed one man and paralyzed his girlfriend.
A month earlier, Rushing sentenced William Michael Albertson to 14 years for hitting and killing a man who was cycling home from work.
Rushing is due in court for arraignment July 26.

Really, don't do as I do, do as I say...

Friday pun
"I'll get you back for that, Peter Pan", said Captain Hook offhandedly.

(from Pirate Tom Swifty)

Those polls...
We hear alot about the pollsters' ratings, mostly about those who are unpopular. I thought to look at some who are doing well:
"Obama leads Senate with 72% approval"
• Popular senators: Barack Obama, a first-term Democrat from Illinois, ranked No. 1, while Minnesota's Mark Dayton and Norm Coleman landed in the bottom third of a SurveyUSA poll ranking senators' approval ratings.
Minnesota senators: Dayton, a Democrat, ranked No. 92, while Coleman, a Republican, was 71st. They had approval ratings of 46 and 52 percent, respectively.
"These are difficult times, among the most divisive the Senate has seen, and to do reasonably well in an environment where the issues can be so polarizing is encouraging," Coleman said.
Dayton, ranked higher than only one other Democrat, could not be reached for comment. His approval rating was a jump from 41 percent in May; Coleman's held steady. Forty-one percent disapproved of Dayton; 39 percent disapproved of Coleman.

I like this guy. He's got vision. He can speak. He speaks about things that are important to me.

Thursday pun
Two ferocious cannibal chiefs sat licking their fingers after a large meal. "Your wife makes a delicious roast," one chief said.
"Thanks," his friend said, "I'm gonna miss her."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Texas lamb
Did you hear the one about the Texas sheep rancher whose wife was dying some clothes in a large tub? A tiny lamb gamboled over for a look and fell in, thereby turning a lovely shade of blue. The woman placed the lamb in a small fenced in area by the side of the road to dry off, and was surprised when a tourist stopped and offered a large sum of money for the rare blue lamb.
It didn't take the sheep rancher long to realize that he was on to something big. In fact, to this day, he is the biggest lamb dyer in the state of Texas.


Still looking for some connection. .  Posted by Hello

Coyote Democrats still . . .
Another voice speaks to the dis-connect between national politics and the western portion of the country. Perchance we should just secede and take our space, our natural resources, our farms, our technology with us?

From Patricia Nelson Limerick, NY Times:
But our conflicts present one great advantage: neither major political party offers much in the way of solutions. Consult the platform and mainstream positions of either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party and, on the issues that matter most to the West, you will find yourself contemplating the yawning interior of Mother Hubbard's cupboard.
This vacancy presents a fine opportunity to notice the mounting irrelevance of partisan squabbling. When it comes to the all-important environmental issues, most Westerners are actually political hybrids, mixtures and muddles no matter what their party registration. They want to be supplied with the necessary natural resources to support their current level of comfort and convenience, yet they want the production sites of those natural resources to be out of sight and out of mind. They want water coming out of the faucet without disruption of the river system; they want to build Western-style log houses without disturbing a single tree within their viewshed.

The italics are mine. I thought that it was worth noting for both parties. Republicans want us? Address the issues of the West. Democrats too need to address the issues of education, health care, environment, fair labor, immigration, and illegal workers.

Monday, June 20, 2005
Wiki - editorial on Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times tried an interactive editorial using the "Wiki" software. It was a game experiment that went astray. They may be up for another try:
"As long as we can hit a high standard and have no risk of vandalism, then it is worth having a try at it again," said Rob Barrett, general manager of Los Angeles Times Interactive.

The feature introduced by the Los Angeles Times editorial page last week relied on the same "open source" software used by other "wikis" on the Internet. The technology allows multiple users to write and rewrite a single web page. The form's communal spirit has made the online encyclopedia "Wikipedia" tremendously popular and spawned imitators.

Editors said they believed the Times was the first major U.S. newspaper to invite readers "to wiki" on its Web site. An essay introducing the feature Friday acknowledged that some believed the experiment could prove an embarrassment.

Nearly 1,000 users registered to participate in the rewriting of Friday's lead editorial. Called "War and Consequences," the piece argued for the U.S. to set goals for training Iraqis to replace U.S. troops in Iraq and for the firing of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld if those goals were not met.

Although marred by some profanity by contributors, the experiment got off to a fairly high-minded start, said Michael Newman, deputy editor of the editorial page, who proposed the wikitorial idea.

Voluntarily overseeing part of the discussion was Wikipedia founder Jim Wales, who soon encouraged "forking" the editorial into two pieces -- one taking a pointed anti-war stance and the other arguing for the ongoing U.S presence in Iraq.

Seems like another slant on the blog experience. It would be interesting to watch an editorial morph as more writers added their thoughts.

Sunday, June 19, 2005
Time for. . . .Headline murder...
Anti-Syria faction claims Condoleeza Rice ripples across California.

Earthquakes notwithstanding.... we're still here
For those of you hoping that the Left Coast will jiggle itself into the sea, not this time. Pretty much the whole state rattles and rolls fairly constantly, but people take notice of the bigger quakes. I live about 45 miles north of San Francisco in a fairly seismically active area. There are a bunch of active geysers within 25 - 30 miles, however, one large steam field is used for steam power generation. There is a cool website where you can go and check out recent quakes. There were two at the geysers this morning.

An earthquake mostly means that the windows rattle a bit, of course, that could also just be a truck going by as well. Sometimes you can hear an earthquake coming with a low rumbling that becomes louder as the windows rattle with it. Every once in awhile we have one that just ripples and doesn't make a sound except for the house creaking. That kind is a little creepy.

The horse show...
When there is a horse show at our barn everyone lends a hand. It is pretty fun. I have gotten to "scribe" for the judge several time. At a Dressage show the competitors ride alone in the arena and ride a specific pattern. The higher the level the more difficult the pattern. The judge awards points on how well the horse accomplishes the movements. The judge talks the entire time and the scribe, obviously, writes down every word the judge says and the score for each movement. It's hectic and not easy, but if you're patient, the scribe learns from the professional rider/trained judge sitting next to her. I got to do this both Saturday and Sunday.

The first picture is the view from the judge's shed. This shed is quite elegant with a counter and seats, flowers, and bowl of fruit. Often its just a table with an umbrella over it!

The second picture was to illustrate that fact that Dressage is a formal sport. The riders all wear black or dark coats, white breeches, and a hard hat or bowler. The upper level riders where a top hat and tail coats. Pity the rider - the coats are almost always wool, the sun is hot, and the riding is hard work.

The third picture is one of the teenagers at the barn, Perris, on her horse Axel. She is a tiny stick-child weighing 100 lbs drippng wet, but she and Axel get along quite well.


Judge's view of the Dressage arena Posted by Hello


Gideon Posted by Hello


Perris riding Axel Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005
Gone.... to the horse show
I'm working at the horse show this weekend. I am lucky to board at this really nice place. I get a good rate and in return, they own me for three weekends each summer. Its still a great deal and I get to take pictures. Tomorrow afternoon I'll put up some pics of the horses that were at the show.


He's coming to YOUR town . . .  Posted by Hello

Saturday pun
What happened to the ostrich that kept his head buried in the sand too long?

He got burned in the end.

Friday, June 17, 2005
Friday pun
The termite comedian said, "This will bring the house down."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Licorice cows and a blueberry cow and . . . Posted by Hello

And what part of "Rural" and "Agricultural" did you not understand?
Santa Rosa has is own personal low hanging fug these days. I'd like to say that I hadn't noticed it, myself, but .... I have definately noted the eau d'bovine. We have had fairly wet weather since early spring and it is encouraging the barnyard smell and the whining and complaining of the more recent transplants to Santa Rosa who moved here because of the lovely scenery. Those aren't stage props, those are cows and chickens.
Smell that? It's fields slathered in manure
Sonoma County's farmers enrich their soil - and remind us of our agricultural roots

By Tim Tesconi

A rank odor reminiscent of manure-crusted cowboy boots has settled over Santa Rosa, reminding residents that this is still a farming county with cows and chickens.

The pervasive smell, which can hit from Rohnert Park to Windsor, has residents wrinkling their noses and inspecting the soles of their shoes to find the source of the stench. Those eating lunch Wednesday at Santa Rosa's Old Courthouse Square described the smell as barnyard, rotting trash, sweaty socks or rotten eggs. One caller to The Press Democrat said the air over Santa Rosa was like the smell of dirty diapers.

Next thing you know there will be some ballot thingy discussing how, when, where farmers can do what they try do to, you know, FARM. Sometimes they pass, mostly they don't, because this IS a farming county.


Try the Coast Starlighter it'll be in Seattle by tomorrow night... Posted by Hello

Blogging for six months
(This will stay at the top until the 16th. New posts for Monday, etc, appear just below this one)

On June 16th I will have had my blog for 6 months. There are a couple bloggers who are now rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. Yeah, what were WE thinking?

I found Daisy Cutter thru the MilBlogs ring. Since I write to several of our soldiers overseas, I had gone looking for information about those place. In the process, I found several interesting web-sites on Mil-blogs, Daisy Cutter's being one of them. Altho I occasionally emailed or left comments on the other sites, DC was the first one (in 6 months of reading) to respond to me. I had emailed an observation to him that I thought might be embarrassing to him if I posted it in the comments. He said, no no, really, you should write it in comments, you have an interesting point of view. Later he encouraged me to get my own blog and post my ideas and opinions there.

Enter Jeremy at American Warmonger. I found a link to Jeremy's site from DC's. I think Jeremy had been helping Daisy with his web-site that someone had hacked. Daisy had outrageously, and very humorously, accused the local moonbats, but it was just mice, really, Daisy, just mice. In reading Jeremy's site, I commented at length on a letter he had posted. There ensued a considerable discussion. OK, a heated discussion, which ended in my apologizing profusely to Jeremy and Jeremy commenting "check your email for my response". Oh, no! I figured he had sent me some flaming missive. But no! He had gone to blogger and set up a blog for ME! Wow! I emailed him the colors for the template and there it was: JULIE WITH A B.

Daisy Cutter had links on his site all ready to go, waiting for my first post. But what to say? I had been writing my opinions in response to their posts! How to write something original? Who was I, anyhow?

If you read my site every now and then you'll realize that.... I still don't know who I am. I've decided it's not a problem, OK? Just deal with it.

Others have helped me greatly along the way. JR at the Tattlers with technical advice, as in how to do THIS. Nickie at Hey Relax, I'm just Sayin' (now Nickie Goomba's)with encouragement and bad puns all his own, all the while professing that he hated bad puns.

Charlie at Pusillanimous Wankers was the first person to invite me to post on his site. Charlie is an incredible writer, well defined in his personal vision, and so prolific that the news story had hardly hit the wires before he had an article excerpted and his own commentary in place. I was awestruck. It took another month before I posted there.

Many have followed - Jess at LOSLI, who is very funny despite himself; Will at Wills4223, encouraging my Leftist tendencies and including me on his site; Teach at Pirate's Cove, speaking to me even tho I am Left; and the host of others in the "Linky Love" section of my site.

Thank you to all of you. For coming to read, to comment, to argue, and to entertain me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Crazy daisies growing wild... Posted by Hello

Daisy Cutter declares himself a candidate for '08!
You heard it here first!
In the midst of denial and head shaking, Daisy Cutter says it like it is:
"The idea is to cast more for the best candidate who can win. I know some of you would like to vote for me, and in fact I would be the best candidate. "

The list of things I shouldn't admit to
OK, this is from Charlie at Pusillanimous Wankers, who got it from Ginger, but it is really Teach's fault that I'm actually posting it. I admit to the ones in bold. And no, you may not ask about "the details"!

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula.
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby’s diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity (no but I gave 'em a horse, once)
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse (they always lose)
30. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier (no, but I'm not dead yet, so there is hope for this one)
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government’s official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetized your records
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don’t regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who’s not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
Loved someone you shouldn’t have
Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don’t remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a check
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (does my horse count?)
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person
Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
…more than once? - More than thrice?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a seizure
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone’s heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
Had sex on a moving train ;-)
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (kayak)
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. …and gotten 86′ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
Had a booth at a street fair
Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

Keep an eye on that sunroof!
OK, aside from a moment in my far past that involved too much alcohol, too few clothes, and standing up through a sunroof, I have thought of them as fairly benign pleasant aspects of a nice car. However, this woman as a far different perspective!
From the Express-Times:
Open sunroof brings unwelcome passenger
CALIFON -- Longtime borough resident Joanne Korba was driving through town just minutes after dropping her 13-year-old daughter at school.
And then it happened.
"I was turning onto Main Street and I heard this big crash," she said.
The mother of three initially surmised that a neighborhood youth had selected her car to test his throwing arm.
"I turned around to see who threw it," she recalled. The time was 9:15 a.m. Monday, June 6. There were no vandals in sight and the borough street was quiet.
Korba's gaze shifted downward to her back seat, where the source of the mysterious "crash" lay temporarily stunned from a fall from great heights.
It was a squirrel.
"My sunroof was open," she said. "It must have fallen from a wire."
Then Korba thought for a moment.
"What do you do when a squirrel falls in your car," she recalled saying to herself since this was her first encounter with a wild animal in her vehicle.
Her thoughts quickly led to an idea.
"I pulled the car over and got out," she said.
Borough police Chief Jeff Ollerenshaw said Korba was screaming as she stood on the Main Street sidewalk.
Korba denied that characterization and said she was merely wringing her hands and wondering what to do next.
As luck would have it, a friend drove by and saw Korba standing outside her car.
"I told her there was a squirrel in my car," Korba recalled. "Then I remembered seeing Officer Jeff in town."
The friend drove down Main Street and found the chief.
Meanwhile, the stunned squirrel had regained consciousness.
Ollerenshaw arrived at the scene and went to work.
"He asked me if the squirrel was belted in," Korba said. The police chief then donned a pair of gloves and grabbed a pole he uses for situations like this. The chief opened the door and, after some gentle prodding, the squirrel stepped outside and ran into some nearby woods. Ollerenshaw said he was happy to report the squirrel did not sustain any apparent injuries during its escape.
The police chief later reflected on the chances of a squirrel falling through the sunroof of a moving car.
"The speed limit there is 25 mph," he said. "So (Korba) must have been driving about that speed."
He said the squirrel likely fell from an overhead wire or tree branch. The chief conceded the impossibility of taking any meaningful measurements to illustrate the incident. He said there's just no way to know how far the squirrel fell.
"But think about it," he said. "A half-second either way and it wouldn't have happened."
Korba said she's just glad the chief convinced the squirrel to get out of her car.
She said she's got some kind of squirrel phobia going on right now.
Korba encountered one on her friend's porch a few days after the incident.
"I told it to get away," she said.
And then there's the sunroof.
"I've been keeping that closed," she said.
( Reporter Tom Quigley can be reached at 908-475-8184 or by e-mail at tquigley@express-times.com. )

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Attention!! "Blogs for McCain's Opponent"
Well, it has been entertaining to watch the "Blogs for McCain's Opponent" grow and blossom. It's entertaining because, oh my, it would be such an incredible experience to see them all vote the Democratic ticket! Way to go Blues!

The next scene in this many act play has just started. To wit:
McCain May Be Bush's Ticket
McCain-Bush in 2008?
That would be John and Jeb, the most logical Republican ticket if the party remains in the polling doldrums. If President Bush and his political maestro, Karl Rove, decide that the only way to create a political legacy is to nod toward the Arizona senator with whom they have battled and feuded, they will go for the guy who can win.
The article goes on to note that while George W. and McCain can't stand each other, McCain decided to support W in 2004. Considering the Republicans' ethics woes, McCain would be a plus there as well, since he has a "squeeky clean" image would certainly help out. Also -
And if middle-class income growth is sluggish, bread-and-butter discontent will benefit any Democrat running on a throw-the-bums-out platform. McCain could promise just enough change to win the election. He voted against Bush's tax policies, yet he is also among the most fiscally conservative members of the Senate.

And thereby pulling in some of those "Centrist" voters - perhaps the South Park Republicans and the Coyote Democrats who currently feel dis-enfranchised by their own parties. (see note)
For all these reasons, Bush and McCain could end up as each other's best friends. Bush has been battling, with Rove's help, for a long-term political realignment in favor of the Republicans. The president could well come to see McCain as the only Republican with a chance to push a Republican era forward. McCain, in turn, knows that his only way around the Republican right is to run with Bush's open blessing, if not his outright endorsement.
. . . George W. Bush and John McCain may prefer not to need each other. But by 2008, they could well become codependent. American politics has produced stranger alliances.
I am eagerly awaiting to see how this scene plays out!

(note: I first heard "South Park Republicans" from the Llama Butchers, but I can't find it in their archives)

Tuesday's pun
What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

Monday, June 13, 2005
Schwarzenegger's special election
There are four measures that will be sent to the people in a general election.
Schwarzenegger, 57, is staking his political career on initiatives that would increase his power over the state's $100 billion budget and inject more competition into legislative races now dominated by Democrats. His decision comes after his popularity plunged this year over conflicts with state unions, sapping the sway over lawmakers that last year helped him win an overhaul to the state insurance system.
``His personal political gravitas is on the line,'' said John Nienstedt, a San Diego pollster for Competitive Edge Research & Communication, a political consulting firm. ``If he doesn't bring home the bacon on these things he is going to be wounded for his last year in office.''
The governor's decision sets the stage for a five-month election campaign in the most populous U.S. state over eight initiatives that may appear before voters, ranging from a requirement that unions get members' consent for political contributions to one that would prevent women under 18 years old from getting abortions before their parents are notified.

That being said, my issue is that this special election will cost approximately $70 million dollars. It won't cost the State $70 million, it will cost all of the individual counties that much.

When Arnold became governor, he very generously rolled back the vehicle tax. How nice of him! But you see, the vehicle tax didn't belong to the State, it belonged to the counties for administration. The State just collected it as part of the annual vehicle registration.

Please stop now, Arnie, we really can't afford you!

FCC bashing and very funny as well
OK, so if you are one of my right wing readers, just stop now. This will burn out your retinas and I just don't want you to hurt yourselves. Really. Go now.

For those of you remaining this from Howard Stern via the Buzzmachine:
Declaration of f'ing independence:
Esquire rips a web-page out of the Parents Television Council's play book with a declaration of independence you can sign and send to the FCC with a click. Howard Stern is our founding father.
The history of the present Federal Communications Commission is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the airwaves, bringing with it a tyrant's notion of "decency."
To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid world....
The FCC should be reminded that all radios and televisions have a button. This is called an "off" button, and it can be used when citizens find broadcast content to be disagreeable. It strikes us as tiresome to have to repeat this old remonstrance, but whatever. Furthermore, there now exists all manner of filters and blocks that can be used by parents and guardians to protect children from content that is not suitable for them. We, however, are not children, and we will not be treated as such by our government....
...the radio host Howard Stern does not lack for literary merit. Rather, he is part and parcel of a long, ribald tradition of gloriously undignified art that includes Rabelais, Henry Miller, and James Joyce, all of whom discussed "fingerbanging" in one way or another.
The radio host Howard Stern does not lack for educational merit. Rather, he is charting the sexual mores of our great nation, much like noted anthropologist Margaret Mead did....
In every stage of his oppressions, Howard Stern has petitioned for redress. He has railed against the FCC on his radio show, urging the citizenry to vote against one George W. Bush. He engaged in a tense discourse with former FCC chairman Michael Powell on the air, pointing out that television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey also discusses anal and oral sex in detail but is not equally oppressed because she is beloved by the media aristocracy and gives away motorized carriages to her audience....
For when faced with the termination of his astonishingly high-paying job, when faced with censure from his very own employer, Howard Stern refused to do what most of us would do: He refused to make accommodations. Rather, he declared revolution. And this is a great and good thing. This is the very act that defines a hero. This is the very act that defines an American man.
And now as a free and independent radio host, he will be able to discuss masturbating to Aunt Jemima at his discretion. It's possible that he will be discussing masturbating to Aunt Jemima to a total of four listeners. But this makes him no less a patriot. God bless Howard Stern, and God bless America, land of the free, home of lesbian porn stars and angry drunken dwarves.

Yes, I went to the noted link and clicked on it and sent it off. Do go and see for yourself . . .

The upside of taking out the garbage
Sonoma County has the same issues with garbage that everyone else has: where to put it. Recycling has cut down on the amounts, however, we still need someplace to dump it. The local dump on Meecham Rd. is almost full and can't be expanded due to ground water issues . A new site is nowhere to be found, with ground water contamination an problem at each potential site.

So officials starting looking for places to dump the trash where water was not a problem - the Nevada desert. Oh, but picture this - - long lines of trash trunks trundling along some of the most traveled freeways in California. Expensive and adds to the almost gridlock condition of the roads.

How about . . . the train! From the Press Democrat:
And a Reno-based garbage company is betting that a long-term solution for disposing of trash from Northern California, where high rainfall makes it difficult to contain pollution at landfills, will be to put the refuse on freight trains and send it to the desert.
. . . The key question for the county is whether trains could make moving trash long distances more affordable. It would take 65 trucks each day to haul all of the county's garbage to landfills elsewhere.
. . . Mitch Stogner, executive director of the North Coast Rail Authority, thinks it can be done and he is pushing rail as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly trash-removal choice.The rail authority oversees 300 miles of publicly owned train tracks from Napa to Arcata. It has been struggling to revitalize freight service since El Niño storms in 1998 and associated land slides severely damaged a section of the tracks between Willits and Humboldt County.
. . . But the 140-mile stretch of tracks between Willits and Napa, which hugs Highway 101 through Sonoma County before heading east in Novato, needs only some bridge repairs and railroad crossing signal improvements, Stogner said."The south end of the rail line has few structural needs and the repairs are manageable, but there is not a lot of freight on the south end," Stogner said. "What hauling garbage would do is create an income source to make it financially viable to operate on the south end. It could be a real silver bullet for us, because all of a sudden we've got a financial incentive for an operator to use the south side of the railroad."
The rail authority would maintain the rail line and a freight train operator would pay rent to use the tracks.
Stogner envisions trash loaded onto freight trains in Windsor or Santa Rosa and hauled to a switching station near Napa, where it can access eastbound tracks toward Nevada.
"If the anchor tenant became garbage, there are also forest products to be hauled, rock and gravel and grains that come in from the Midwest," Stogner said. "The environmental benefits of taking trucks off Highway 101 are obvious."

Sounds like a win- win situation.

Also - trains, mmm, I like trains. Maybe we'll get our commuter train down the south end of the Hwy 101 corridor after all!

Monday pun
(as the fish said, "Better late than bait")

When Captain Hook lost one hand, his other was, of course, impaired.

Sunday, June 12, 2005
Sunday pun
The fishies' favorite songs:
"That's a Moray!"

"It Haddock be you . . ."

"When you fish upon a star"

"Fiddler Crabs on the Roof"

"You Walrus Hurt the One you Love"

and for the little fishies: "Roe, roe, roe your boat"


The guys tuning up Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 11, 2005
West Nile Virus affects 2nd Sonoma Country horse
The virus, while often almost unnoticable in humans, is usually fatal in horses. There is a vaccine, but it is expensive and needs to be given every 6 months.
From the Press Democrat:
"A horse stabled near the town of Sonoma has tested positive for West Nile virus, becoming the first equine case in Sonoma County this year, county health and vector control officials said Friday.

The Sonoma horse is the second horse in California this year to be infected with the mosquito-transmitted virus, which is often fatal. Health officials fear widespread West Nile infections this year in birds, horses and humans.

"The West Nile virus arrived in Sonoma County early this year and there is a high probability that we will see many infections, including in humans," Dr. Leigh Hall, Sonoma County's deputy public health officer, said Friday."

The Saturday Night Naked Guy

Saturday Night Naked Guy
Caption from picture reads, "Future Darwin Awards recipients in action" Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005
Two more ballot measures walk out of meeting, approval dips to new low.
"A challenge... write a headline and tie three news stories to it. We will call this the LOSLI News Meme.
Let's see how Julie does with it?"

Announcing an afternoon of declining approval, GOP Chairman walks out of meeting, heading straight for the beach and the warm sand and the girls and the drinks with little ballots in them.

Hmmm... I don't think that's what Jess meant. I'll try this again.

The GOP Chairman walked off with the gavel and into the Secretary of State's office where they will be announcing Congress and President Bush's new low approval rating.

No, no, that one just isn't FUN. . .

Announcing a declining GOP Chairman, the Secretary of State's office reconvened the meeting on the Secretary's yacht moored outside of the prestigious St. Francis yacht club, where they could all recline on the cushions and enjoy fine wines, cheese, and fruit served by nymphets doing the limbo - -
How low can you go!!

So vote for your favorite, eh?


Friday night posting... Posted by Hello


Watching the Bush administration running the country.  Posted by Hello

Friday pun
More adventures of Dick Whittington and his cat....
Dick Whittington was investigating warring factions of a Chinese secret society. Suddenly, his pet was taken hostage! When Dick reported the abduction to the police, the officers were unsympathetic. "What's the matter," they teased, "Tong got your cat?"


Friday cute kittie pic. Wendell at 6 weeks. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005
Ahhh...things you know you shouldn't post, but . . . can's resist
Porn star to attend President's Dinner
By JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, June 9, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - The annual President's Dinner, a Republican Party fundraising event featuring President Bush, could get an extra dash of spice this year with porn actress and former California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey planning to attend.

The porn industry and Republicans may seem like strange bedfellows, but Carey said she sees Tuesday night's dinner as a good opportunity to learn more about their policies and do some networking. She plans to run for lieutenant governor of California as an independent next year.

Carey acknowledges that some people just think of her as a busty blonde who does porn films.

"I also have a brain and political aspirations," said Carey, whose priorities include legalizing gay marriage.

Carl Forti, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is co-hosting the dinner, had no qualms about Carey and her boss, adult film executive Mark Kulkis, attending.

"Their money was donated to the NRCC. The NRCC's job is to elect Republicans. We'll take that money and use it to elect more Republicans," Forti said.

Carey was one of 135 candidates on the ballot to replace California Gov. Gray Davis in the 2003 recall election. Voters picked another actor - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kulkis, a self-described "Schwarzenegger Republican" who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal, was invited to the dinner by the NRCC and paid $5,000 for his and Carey's plates.

Carey and Kulkis said they want to prove stereotypes of porn workers wrong.
"We're not going to show up with coke spoons around our neck," Kulkis said.

It's so lame, I don't know where to start.... Learn more about policies and network? She has a brain and political aspirations? one of her priorities is to legalize gay marriage? Ah, the poor little dumb fluffy . . .
Why is she helping to give money to the RNC?

Lights are on and no one is home . . .

Muslims arrested in Lodi - there's more to the story
When I first heard about the arrests in Lodi, I was ready with a knee-jerk reaction to Muslims with expired visas. Then I read this article about what is really happening in this community.

Here is a group of moderate Moslems who wish to start a school, to be able to teach their children in their own community, at a school with American values. Naturally, not everyone in their community agreed with this plan. Now four people have been arrested, two from each side of the discussion.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
. . . .Tuesday, the woman realized it was probably a federal agent doing surveillance in connection with a father and son from her neighborhood who were arrested and accused of terrorist activities tied to al-Qaida.

Authorities would say nothing Wednesday about any such surveillance and little about their investigation, but the arrests this week woke up this sleepy Central Valley town.

Another set of detentions -- of a prominent imam and an educator -- has reverberated through the community of an estimated 2,000 Muslims here. In fact, many in this agricultural center, 35 miles south of Sacramento, believe the arrests have re-ignited a deep, philosophical conflict between the two sets of Muslims.

Shujah Khan, 39, a Lodi ironworker who emigrated from Pakistan in 1986, said that for several years there has been a division between a group of moderate, open-minded Muslims and one not tolerant of other religions and of Muslims who hold ``American values.''

The two people held Sunday on immigration charges and the two arrested on terrorist-related charges are on opposite sides of this divide, said Khan. And he said that among the majority of Muslims, there is a groundswell of support for the imam and educator, and a distancing from the father and son.

. . . . . Many parents didn't want to have to send their children overseas to madrasahs, or Islamic schools, said Shujah Khan, because sometimes those educations resulted in pupils becoming extremist in their beliefs.

Further, he explained that the majority of Lodi Muslims -- with a wide variety of backgrounds in Pakistan and other Muslim countries -- wanted to build a school with ``American values'' and had networked with a rainbow of interfaith groups to gain support for the new school.

For several years, the Lodi Muslims have reached out to Jews, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs to build relationships and support for their school.

Thursday pun
Male spotted owl to his wife - "You can't have a headache!! We're an endangered species!"


Spotted Owl, probably male since he is clutching a chain saw... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Our union busting Governor . .
Arnold has been making himself very unpopular with the Public Employee's union and the Nurses' Union. Now he's made himself unpopular with his OWN union in regards to a little advert that he made -
From Variety
The Screen Actors Guild issued a tersely worded scolding.

In a statement, a SAG spokesman said union leadership was "disturbed and disappointed" to learn the spot produced was non-union.

Schwarzenegger's appearance in the commercial in his capacity as Governor was not a technical violation of Guild rules because elected officials who appear as themselves in commercials are not required to be covered by SAG's Commercials Contract but SAG still vented its displeasure.

"His failure to cover professional performers and crews under industry-standard contracts definitely violates the spirit of what unions stand for," read the SAG statement, "As someone who has benefited from the hard-won protections of union contracts and will continue to reap those rewards as he collects residuals and, ultimately, his pension, it is inexcusable that the governor did not take all measures necessary to ensure that his fellow performers could enjoy those same protections."

"We hope that in the future he will follow the lead of many political leaders before him and produce ads under union contracts so that his fellow performers can enjoy the same protections that he has enjoyed throughout his career."

Oh, my. Arnold is a traitor to his own. I guess he's been "TERMINATED" and is unlikely to "BE BACK" - in Hollywood anyway.

Wednesday's pun
Bird flu . . .

Did you hear about the guy who played golf on Christmas and accidentally hit a bird? He got a partridge on a par three.

What do you get when you cross a Christmas tree with no leaves and a bullet?
A cartridge in a bare tree.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Commencement address by Barack Obama
Absolutely incredible piece. No way to cut and paste this.... just go read it:

“What will be my place in history?”

gleefully stolen from MakesMeRalph

update: I can't resist this paragraph
None of this will come easy. Every one of us will have to work more, read more, train more, think more. We will have to slough off bad habits – like driving gas guzzlers that weaken our ecomony and feed our enemies abroad. Our kids will have to turn off the TV sets and put away the video games and start hitting the books. We will have to reform institutions, like our public schools, that were designed for an earlier time. Republicans will have to recognize our collective responsibilities, even as Democrats recognize that we have to do more than just defend the old programs.

It won’t be easy, but it can be done. It can be our future. We have the talent and the resources and the brainpower. But now we need the political will. We need a national commitment.

And we need you."


Your Political Profile

Overall: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

5 things I miss from childhood
This is Teach's fault ...

Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog's name in the #5 spot. You need to actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme-age to kick in.

1. Unrepentant Individual

2. No Government Cheese

3. Villainous Company

4. Pirate's Cove

5. Julie with a B

Next, select four unsuspecting victims, list and link to them:

1. Burst Transmission (you said you were bored!)

2. Pusillanimous Wankers

3. Wills 4223

4. Life or Something Like It (this should help your funk, Jess)

The five things I miss?
1. Saturday afternoons, lying on my back in the grass, staring at the blue sky, lawn mower humming in the background, not a thing to do or a constructive thought in my mind.

2. Sneaking over to the race track to ride the Clydesdale horses. I grew up blocks away from Santa Anita racetrack. On my way home from school my friend and I would sidle thru the gate into the back paddocks. There was a team of Clydesdales that sometimes pulled the starting gate. The rest of the time they mooched around their paddock, just waiting for - - us! We would tease them over to the fence and feed them a carrot while one of us would climb on. Once on, you would kick them a bit to get them to go. They’d amble around a bit until you got too energetic with your heels then they would pitch you off into the dust. Free fun rides.

3. Sunday afternoon dinner at my grandparents’ house. They had a huge house in Pasadena, CA. I had a lot of cousins, so there was always someone to adventure with. The house sat on a deep lot. There was a garden and badminton court at the far back, then a brick BBQ and patio, then my grandmother’s rose garden and lawns. There was a huge garage which we were forbidden to go into. So after church we pretty much ran riot until dinner around 3. Dinner at my grandparents meant not just good food, but also discussions of local news and politics. The kids were all expected to have an opinion and to join in the discussion; A learning process for us, as we were expected to take a stance on something and support it. It was fun because no one got angry and everyone’s opinion was respected. No one gave you a rash for saying something stupid, they just asked what kind of support you had for your opinion.

4. The innocence and freedom of it all. We were warned against talking to strangers, but it was essentially a good world to live in. We walked or rode our bikes everywhere, pretty much unbothered by parents tracking our every moment. We had to be home before dark. Dinner was at 7:00, if you didn’t show up, you didn’t eat and you got the lecture about, “You know how much that worries your mother!”

5. Simple pleasures – the Sunday comics, sliding on the giant compost heap in my grandparents back yard, sliding down the banister in my cousins’ 3 story house, running thru the sprinklers on a hot summer day, playing “baseball” with the neighborhood kids on a warm summer’s evening, home made “play dough” on rainy days, dressing the cat in doll clothes, lying on the back lawn reading a book…..

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Is there a lesson for education here? Nah... Posted by Hello


Why private accounts are a lousy idea Posted by Hello

Idiocy in Education
There are many issues confronting education in California. Money for a growing educational system, aging falling down schools, lack of qualified teachers. But what pops out of the legislature? Textbooks are now limited to 200 pages. Yup, that's right! Because, after all, this information can be found on-line, why spend money on huge textbooks? Never mind that many kids, particularly in rural outreaches have no internet access. Oh, sure, if your local public library is still open you could stand in line for access.
But Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, a Los Angeles Democrat who chairs the Assembly Education Committee, said critics are thinking too narrowly.

California schools are teaching kids with the same kinds of massive books that were used generations ago, though the world has changed significantly, Goldberg said.

The workplace increasingly demands more than the ability to read Page 435 of some manual.

It requires expertise in using the Internet to research and solve problems, according to Goldberg.

"Our textbooks are not going to be able to meet that standard," said Goldberg, a former Compton high school teacher. "I think it's time for us to begin to approach the problem in a different way."

AB 756 would force publishers to condense key ideas, basic problems and basic knowledge into 200 pages, then to provide a rich appendix with Web sites where students can go for more information.
. . .

Michael Kirst, a Stanford education professor and co-director of Policy Analysis for Education, said he's never heard of any such bill nationwide.

"There's no track record that anyone can draw on," he said.

One key question, he said, is whether a 200-page limit would be equally practical for every subject - from math to social science.

"And you'd have to know how aligned the materials are on the Internet with our education standards," he said. "I don't know that anybody has done that."

From the Sacramento Bee.

What planet does this woman live on? How about the legislators that voted for it?

Friday, June 03, 2005
And while I was gone. . .
Yes, Deep Throat lives in Santa Rosa, a quiet sort, he lives with his daughter. Announcement has perked up the end of the school year doldrums, however:
'Dead' history comes to life in SR schools
Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Local high school students learning about U.S. history have a new reason to perk up in class after it was confirmed Tuesday that the Watergate source known as Deep Throat is W. Mark Felt of Santa Rosa.

Students taking advanced placement U.S. history at Piner High School said they had studied the scandal, along with the investigative reporting by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and were surprised to hear that the driving force behind the stories lives in their neighborhood.

. . . Matthew Marshall, who taught history for 12 years at Montgomery High before becoming assistant principal at Piner, said the revelation created a "great teachable moment" in local history.

"A lot of people think history is a dead subject, and this just proves yet again why history is never a dead subject," Marshall said. "Now we have to relook at something that we took for granted before."

Brain on vacation...
Yes, I'm back but the brain is no where to be found. Hush, DC, it has only been missing the last couple of days. Hmmm... ever since Nickie's BBQ. How odd...



While The Blog is traveling: Isn't it time we developed a healthy interest in MotorSports?"

poached directly from Dave Berry's blog.

Has a little something for everyone....

Friday pun!
(Honey! I'm hooooo-oome!)

This guy wanted to get into a night club with a few friends. Unfortunately the dress code stated that without a tie he couldn't get in.

His friends didn't have a spare necktie between them but one of them said, 'Hey, I've got an idea. I have a set of jumper cables in the back of my car. Tie them round your neck, tuck in the ends and you should pass by the doormen.

On re-entering the club, one bouncer was suspicious of his neckwear. On inspection, he relented as long as the guy behaved ... and didn't start anything!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Some time ago I got into a heavy discussion about unions with a friend of mine. I was trying to explain that I felt the old administration heavy unions were an anachronism. That there was a place for unions, but smaller entrepreneur type unions for specific types of workers. He answered me with an interesting diatribe from his own experience. I was blown away and said, Gosh! Why don't you post on this? He said that he couldn't, because it involved his work. So here it is from my own un-named source:
I am (source). I am who I am? Why a question mark there? Because often I wonder can I be who I claim to be. I am a Business Democrat. I believe that people who work harder should be paid better than somebody that does nothing. I believe that in the workplace people should be paid for what they accomplish not what some union fat cat who comes to a job once year in his Caddie can negotiate. I believe that unions had their place, and may someday yet, but with today's laws and labor standards the unions have made themselves not only archaic but useless. I am a firm believer that a person that works all day should receive a fair day's pay.

I have seen people, that were just trying to make a living for their families, whose lives were threatened. I have seen the labor movement literally break their strongest supporters, honoring a picket without a job to go to and paying them $10 a day to protest. I have seen Boss Hogg looking pr!cks drive around in their cars smiling, and meeting their mistresses for a late lunch while their people went hungry.

I have worked my way from literally the lowest person on the totem pole to become a manager, without any help of any union. I got my degrees. I proved that, yes a person can make it.

I am sick and tired of Democrats being labor's party. I am not against what the labor movement accomplished early in the 20th century, but I am against labor's bullying of my party. I wish that just once a Democrat would stand up and say "Yes, I am a Democrat... but I can not support labor's actions."

Some background. I have seen unions burn people's livelihoods to the ground. How does that advance the movement? Quite simply it does not. To help the worker, yet take their job? How fucking ignorant can you get? The term "cut off your nose to spite your face" comes to mind.

The unions are for the weakest link, they are for the person that can not make it any other way. Does the Democratic Party really want to be the weakest link? I for one do not.

I am sick and tired of people in academia that have never proven their merits in the real world praising the unions. They are great in a text book, but in real life they are worth their own weight in kangaroo shit.

I have found that in my life my investments in companies paid far more dividends than my investments in a bureaucracy. Unions are going to break not only the economy of this country but the workers.

How is that worth your $48.00 a month in dues?

The bottom line. If a company does not make money... How do you expect to keep your job? If Democrat's want to become the people's party again then they must prove that they hear other voices like my own out there. They must be the inclusive party that kept the majority in congress for 50 years. Right now I feel quite excluded and the Libertarian tent looks quite tempting.

A challenge to Democrats. Save me. Become our party. There are more of us out there. Welcome the business world back into the fold. We have been waiting patiently and politely for your invitation.

Day two of trip.... no one's been murdered yet
The beauty of sitting in the front seat is that I can't hear half of what goes on in the back of the van. It is a little noisy, but the specifics are unrecognizable. It's good, I think. Actually everyone is having a good time. Enough togetherness to joke and argue, enough time out hiking with the dog to regain one's equilibrium.
Several forks of the Eel River wander through this part of the Avenue of the Giants. Still alot of silt in the water from recent rains, but that makes the river a lovely aquamarine color.

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