Julie with a B

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I've been called worse . . .
I don't pay much attention to my TTLB rating. I've been a Flappy Bird for months, with occasional slips back into the reptile world. However as I was cruising down the sidebar I discovered that I have become an Adorable Little Rodent! My my that is much nicer than what I was called..... well, nevermind.

Although, do you think a Stupid Ass would be a higher life form on the TTLB ecosystem than an Adorable Little Rodent?

Higher life form?
The Ass or the Rodent?

New linky in Neighbors
Check out People Get Ready - - he happens to be in New Orleans and has a few comments on what's happening there. I found him when I was checking on Your Right Hand Thief . Thief is in New Orleans and has not posted since Saturday, but it looked from his post that he might be heading for high ground.

Wednesday's pun...
This guy walks into a bar, orders a drink and sits down. As he sits down he hears someone say, "That's a nice suit, sir". He looks around and there is no-one there. Then again he hears, "That's a nice suit, sir" and he looks down and it is one of the peanuts in the tray speaking to him.

Intrigued, he goes to the cigarette machine, puts in his money, when the machine says to him, "F*#@ off". The guy tries once more but again the machine tells him to f*#@ off!
The guy goes to the barman and says "Your bar is weird mate. The peanuts say how nice my suit is but the cigarette tells me to get lost! What sort of establishment are you running here?"

The barman replies "Oh no sir, it's not what you think.
The peanuts are complimentary, but the cigarette machine is out of order."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
You are SO in my bed!

Monday, August 29, 2005
How you *know* that it's Monday . . .
Commuters were warned around 5:00 that traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge was slow because of an ostrich loose on the bridge. Apparently it didn't care much for the view and hopped out of the back of a truck and headed home!

Monday pun
Not too long ago a scientist tried to clone himself. However, his clone was very obnoxious and lewd, while the scientist was well received and respected. Finally fed up with his experiment gone wrong, he threw his clone off the roof of the laboratory, killing the clone.
He was arrested by the local police for...

...making an obscene clone fall.

No, I'm still here
Tough luck, more bad puns to come.
I am back after the horse show weekend, tired, sunburnt, and grinning from ear to ear. We had alot of fun. Bandit aka Maestoso II Catrina II, and his trainer, Cathryn did just fine. It was Bandit's first show. I won't bore you with details, but he took a 2nd and a 3rd. I'll post pictures of them later.

Friday, August 26, 2005
An old pun-ishment...
OK, OK, this one has been around the block a couple times (!) but I heard it again the other day from someone who was explaining why their name is spelled "Smartz" instead of "Schwartz" (it's all in the pronounciation).

Walking through San Francisco's Chinatown, a tourist is fascinated with all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners. He turns a corner and sees a building with the sign, "Moishe Plotnik's Chinese Laundry."
"Moishe Plotnik?" he muses. "How the heck does that fit in here?" So he walks into the shop and sees an old Chinese gentleman behind the counter.
The tourist asks, "How did this place get a name like "Moishe Plotnik's Chinese Laundry?"
The old man answers, "Is name of owner." The tourist asks, "Well, who and where is the owner?"
"Me, is right here," replies the old man.
"You? How did you ever get a name like Moishe Plotnik?"
"Is simple," says the old man. "Many, many year ago when come to this country, was stand in line at Documentation Center. Man in front is Jewish gentleman from Poland. Lady look at him and go, 'What your name?'
He say, 'Moishe Plotnik.'
Then she look at me and go, 'What your name?'
I say, 'Sem Ting.'"

New linky
Be sure to check out "Your Right Hand Thief" He has a most entertaining article about how the good state of Louisiana took some of the Prez's unfortunate remarks and turned them to their advantage.

(also looks like he could use some help with the CD player remote. I'd love to offer but I can only program my VCR half the time, so I'll stay out of it.)

Thursday, August 25, 2005
Today's pun
A workman was killed at a construction site. The police began questioning a number of the other workers. On account of their past brushes with the law, many of these workers were considered prime suspects.

They were a motley crew. Here is how the facts of the case shaped up:
The electrician was suspected of wiretapping once but was never charged.
The carpenter thought he was a stud. He tried to frame another man one time.
The glazier went to great panes to conceal his past. He still claims that he didn't do anything, and that he was framed.
The painter had a brush with the law several years ago.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor was known to pack heat. He was arrested once but duct the charges.
The mason was suspect because he gets stoned regularly.
The cabinet maker is an accomplished counter fitter.

The autopsy led the police to arrest the carpenter, who subsequently confessed. The evidence against him was irrefutable, because it was found that the workman, when he died, was hammered.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Able Danger stories . . .
Intel-Dump has the goods on the Able Danger story with input from one of the involved military personnel.
I put up a post last week about Able Danger and some concerns I had with the story. In the comments section, I received comments from an "Anon" who provided what looked like an insider's perspective on Able Danger. Some of his allegations were potentially explosive (such as briefing AD to senior DOD officials who then blew it off or failed to pass the into to FBI).

According to LTC Tony Shaffer, the individual who has come forward in the press with much of the Able Danger info we have now, he was our own "Anon" (hat tip: Laura Rozen, with an assist to Mickey Kaus). Captain V (aka Voice of the Taciturn) knows Shaffer and vouches for his credibility, and his public statements seem consistent with what I've seen in CT operations. Here's what he wrote:

Start with the August 18th article, then today's post. The plot thickens.

The reason for Global Warming ! ! !
From venganza.org
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

(I was sure you would all want to know this.... especially Teach at Pirates Cove)

How to kill snails
A simple process . . .

1. get a pie tin
2. excavate a shallow hole in a shady place in the garden
3. place pie tin in shallow hole, so that rim is level with the soil
4. fill pie tin with cheap beer
5. drink the rest of the can of beer
6. wait for snails to crawl in get drunk and drown
7. chase dog away from cheap beer
8. re-fill pie tin
9. swill the last of the can
10. wait for snails
11. chase dog away from cheap beer
12. re-fill pie tin
13. drink the rest of that can and the six pack
14. wait for snails
15. drive to 7-11 purchase another six-pack
16. kick dog away from pie-tin
17. re-fill pie tin
18. swill that can plus a couple, because you have extras
19. wait for snails
20. lock dog in garage
21. fill pie tin
22. drink the rest of the can of beer, as well as the rest of the 6 pack
23. stagger into the house
. . . . .
24. turn off alarm
25. take aspirin before lifting head from pillow
26. let dog out of garage
27. wash down garage floor
28. retrieve disgusting mess of dead snails and beer from under bush and dump in trash can
. . . .
30. purchase snail pellets at garden center on the way home from work

Today's pun
Today's pun comes from a column in the local paper. Chris Smith in the Press Democrat:
Madonna, you may know, broke a collarbone and cracked three ribs last week in a fall from a horse.
You may not know that at the Mendocino Coast's Little River Inn, Mel McKinney is telling folks he sustained nearly identical injuries in a horse-riding accident that happened days before the Material Girl's.
And so? The significance to Mel, who helps his wife, Susan, and their partners run the Inn, is that as a convalescing equestrian he can hestly claim the title of pre-Madonna.

Monday, August 22, 2005
Pacific Coast Air Museum - Air Show Time!
Amongst other things I made my annual two day trek to the air show. I'm a member and have friends that work on the planes. . . but mostly I go for the aerial stuff. Last year I was actually sitting up on the A-26 bomber taking pictures. This year I slid thru the gate after it started, so I was buried in the crowd.

Flying Wing
Not a terribly good picture but it is the 1944 Northrup N9MB Flying Wing. Cruising speed 165 mph, landing speed 85 mph. Belongs to "Planes of Fame" of Chino, CA. I saw this thing fly in on Thursday afternoon. I was sitting in traffic as it glided by.... very wierd! Article on it here

The wing going home

Mustangs and a Bearcat

Mustang - "Speedball Alice"

Friday, August 19, 2005

Snail . . . wait a minute! Posted by Picasa

Snails... I hate them
Why? They eat MY food. They eat my lettuce, my tomatoes, my strawberries., my cucumbers ...they mowed down the bean seedlings, the sunflower seedlings, the first two batches of squash seedlings, the cucumber seedlings, and the spinach. I think the last one was OK. I'm not that fond of spinach.

The French brought snails here. Whatever you think of the French I can dislike them just for that one move. Although . . . we gave them fast food - MacDonalds, Burger King, and others. In Paris, yes, right there in river city, a blight of fast food. Perhaps that is the best revenge?

Those snail jokes....
So this snail is leaving a bar late one night and takes a short cut through the alleyway. Sure enough some turtles beat him up, rob him and take all his money. So the cops show up and ask the snail, "how many turtles were there?"
And the snail says, "I don't know...it all just happened so fast!"
Two union guys are standing and talking. Suddenly one of them turns around and stamps his foot. The other guys says, "What was THAT all about?" To which the union guy replies, "That darn snail has been following me around all day!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
today's bad pun(s)
King Louis Seas had a wife, Marine Antoinette, who said, "Let them eat hake!"

Did you hear about the fish that got death threats through the post?
It was hake mail.

[Hake: a.k.a.: Whiting, red hake, white hake, silver hake, black hake, squirrel hake, ling
Waters:Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Description (in water): A slender fish, averaging 1 to 8 lbs., yet has been known to grow up to 60 lbs. There are at least a dozen species of hake, most of which are named for the color of the skin (red, white, silver, etc.).
Description (in market): Of the same family as cod and similar in many respects, hake is more coarsely grained with a slightly stronger flavor. Snow Hake has white flesh that is low in fat and can range in texture from soft to firm.
Sold as: Whole, fresh fillets or steaks, frozen fillets or steaks, smoked, salted
Best cooking: Can be prepared like cod, which is versatile and promises excellent results after baking, poaching, sautéing, roasting and grilling. . . mmm grilled fish.]

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
A fixer-upper of a pun..

I did some D.I.Y. the other day. I used my step ladder. I don't get on with my real ladder.

Leaving Gaza
No one is happy about leaving Gaza. It was not well-planned or discussed, it was just *done*.

One story from the NYTimes:
Only 27 families, most of them secular, built this settlement in 1986 from the sand dunes. They grew organic vegetables and flowers, most of which were exported to Europe, and they defended their settlement, which much of the world regarded as illegal, against regular attacks from Palestinian militants, and at least once from some of their own workers.

Take this story and repeat it over and over several thousand times. The packing up, trying to decide where to go, leaving a place one loved and lived in for many years. Many people aren't sure where they will go.
The decision to leave Gaza has been very divisive. Will the democracy survive?

Many of the settlers have lived together in community for many years. Breaking them up and moving them apart is not working in some places: Jerusalem Post
Earlier Tuesday, Elei Sinai residents locked the main gate to the community and barricaded it with an old Subaru. They also burned several tires adjacent to the gate so that the settlement's children could burn old Ariel Sharon–Likud election posters.

"It's a small protest gesture," resident Sa'ar Berger told the Post.
Berger said that on Monday a SELA representative came to Elei Sinai and offered its residents permanent homes as far away as the Dead Sea. Berger said that this was not an option since the settlement did not want to split up, adding that a few of the settlers had businesses in the area and could not run them from the Dead Sea.

And some refuse to leave
Chanting the now-familiar line, "Jews don't expel Jews," a group of approximately 200 activists succeeded Wednesday morning not just to evade IDF checkpoints throughout the south but also to stop traffic on the Kissufim Route, about two kilometers east of the Kissufim checkpoint.
In the opening struggle of a day promising to be full of such scenes, teams of four and five police officers succeeded in removing the protesters from the main avenue of traffic into Gush Katif and Kfar Darom, allowing empty buses and moving vans to continue their journey towards the Jewish settlements in the southern half of the Gaza Strip.

And "Postcards from Gaza" pictures and an article from a Jewish Journal.

A little behind in the pun-ishments...

There are no mimes on stamps because a mime is a terrible thing to paste.

Sunday, August 14, 2005
To make us laugh

There is a reason we keep pets. . . . to make us laugh. Cats are no slouches at this. This lovely kitty is Elmo. He WANTED those fish. He did once manage to fling one out onto the carpet. We returned it to the tank, not at worse for its little foray into flying like a bird. It was a goldfish, c'mon.
Last night I was sitting in the livingroom reading, when Brenda, a little tortoiseshell girl-kitty came racing into the center of the room, a wild look on her kitty face, raced to the top of the cat tree and back down then whoosh out the cat door. My suspicion is hyperactive butterflies in her brain, but its often hard to tell.

Saturday, August 13, 2005
Saturday Night Naked Guy

Naked Guy jogging at Burning Man Posted by Picasa

Burning Man
So tonight's Saturday Night Naked Guy is from a picture taken at Burning Man. What, exactly, is Burning Man? Um. People who drive out across the desert...to um be with other people who drove out across the desert...to uh, spend time watching the other people who drove out across the desert. You drag a week's worth of water, food, clothes, friends, entertainment out to Black Rock. Then you meet other people who did same. There are all types of artistic expressions - painted bodies, magnificent sculptures, odd stuff, live music of a wide array, and personal artistic expressions....whatever that might be for that person.
You can find a photo gallery and better explanation here.
Oh and a picture of the 2004 Burning Man (yes, there is a Man that is Burned)

Restructuring of government personnel policies a no go
Some time ago the administration announced that it was streamlining some of the rules for its personnel department. Homeland Security was not to have the usual civil servant rules. But:
"The Department of Homeland Security has reserved for itself the right to declare any part of any collective bargaining agreement null and void" by issuing directives or taking "whatever other actions may be necessary to carry out the department's mission," she said.
The rules, issued in February by the Department of Homeland Security and the federal Office of Personnel Management, said the agency needed "flexibility to carry out its vital mission." Homeland security officials "must be able to make split-second decisions to deal with operational realities," the department said.

But hold on a governmental minute. What they wanted was to hold the employees to the rules, but not the employer.

Under the personnel rules, Judge Collyer said, "the Department of Homeland Security may be required to bargain in good faith," but "there is no effective way to hold it to that bargain." Under such circumstances, she said, "a deal is not a deal, a contract is not a contract, and the process of collective bargaining is a nullity."
In other words, Judge Collyer said, "collective bargaining would be on quicksand" because the department could unilaterally "absolve itself of contract obligations" while employees and their unions would be bound by those agreements. - - -"A system of 'collective bargaining' that permits the unilateral repudiation of agreements by one party is not collective bargaining at all," she said.

Also it looks like they didn't want any whining or moaning if employees were disciplined, even if unfairly. Heck, just look what happened to Bolton! His underlings had the chutzpah to complain! Can't have that happening!
Judge Collyer also criticized procedures adopted by the Bush administration to dismiss, demote and discipline employees of the Department of Homeland Security.
These rules, she said, do not provide "fair treatment" or "due process" for employees who appeal disciplinary actions.

Certainly there are some parts of personnel that could be made less cumbersome, but taking away the right of redress isn't one of them.
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the treasury employees union, described the ruling as "a victory for the rights of employees in all federal agencies."
She predicted that it would "reverberate through the entire federal employee community, inasmuch as the administration has proposed extending the department's personnel model" to other agencies.

Saturday groaner
What did the raccoon say in his will?

"Leave it to Beaver"


"Well, uh, thanks Raccoon!" Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005
The Lutherans and Gay Relationships
Inching towards acceptance:
Miami Herald"More than 400 delegates and observers crowded into a hotel meeting room, where Lutheran leaders invited comments about proposals on blessing same-sex unions and ordaining gays who are not celibate.
The Rev. Robert Goldstein, a gay minister at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago, wore a rainbow sash around his cleric's collar as he urged delegates to ''go beyond the justice of incrementalism'' and remove all limits on gay leadership in the denomination.
''I'm a gay pastor in this church. I serve faithfully. I love it,'' he said. ``Our church must go beyond institutionalizing fear.''

Yet there is some acceptance.
Turmoil over what the Bible says about gay sex has created rifts in Protestant denominations for years. The global Anglican Communion is struggling to stay together after its U.S. province, the Episcopal Church, confirmed its first openly gay bishop two years ago.

The proposal
Affirm the church ban on ordaining sexually active gays and lesbians, but allow bishops and church districts called synods to seek an exception for a particular candidate if that person is in a committed relationship and meets other conditions.
Uphold the prohibition against same-sex blessings, but give bishops and pastors discretion on how to minister to gay couples.
Call for unity, even though congregants disagree on the issue.

I think the important point is that the proposal suggests that individual groups may ask for an exception. This is important because there are some areas that are accepting of gay relationships and they can do what suits their congregation. I do think that as people become less worried by a different relationship, there will be more acceptance. There are many actions prohibited in the Bible that we overlook as antiquated or not useful in our world today. Gay relationships will eventually become one of those.

Thursday.... joke thing... you should laugh... eventually
A snail crawls into a bar ....

and says "Gimme a drink" Bartender says "we don't serve snails" Snail gets angry and demands his drink. The bartender takes him over to the door and kicks him out into the street. One year later as the bar is closing, the bartender hears 'pounding' on the door. He opens the door looks down, sees the snail, who says: "Hey what'd ya do that for" ?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
125 things you can't do in the Air Force
h/t Rainstorm

125 Things you can't do in the Air Force
1. Scorpions are not mascots
2. Scorpions are also not housepets
3. Wild dogs are not "man's best friend"
4. It's not an acceptable form of entertainment to shut off power to the camp and see how long it takes someone to call in...

. . . 11. The power plant's fuel bladder is not a "giant waterbed"
12. When asked about the location of any personnel or equipment, the proper answer is never "Dantooine... they're on Dantooine"

Really its very funny go there and read the rest of it . . .

Wednesday pun
A musician who joined an orchestra on a cruise ship was having difficulty keeping time with the rest of the band.
Finally, the captain said, "Either you learn to keep time or I'll throw you overboard. . . ."

"It's up to you, sync or swim."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Tuesday Pun
Heard this one again the other day. . . still makes me laugh -

A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West.
He sidles up to the bartender and screams:
"I'm lookin' for the man who shot my paw!"

That explains everything....
From the London Times:
Saddam's germ war plot is traced back to one Oxford cow
By Dominic Kennedy
A BRITISH cow that died in an Oxfordshire field in 1937 has emerged as the source of Saddam Hussain’s “weapons of mass destruction” programme that led to the Iraq war.
An ear from the cow was sent to an English laboratory, where scientists discovered anthrax spores that were later used in secret biological warfare tests by Winston Churchill.
The culture was sent to the United States, which exported samples to Iraq during Saddam’s war against Iran in the 1980s. Inspectors have found that this batch of anthrax was the dictator’s choice in his attempts to create biological weapons.

Uh, oh . . .
supported by 126 MPs in the last Parliament, for a UN investigation into whether Washington broke a weapons control agreement. “It just makes them look more hypocritical than ever,” he said.

Sounds like some chickens coming home to roost.
“Iraq declared researching different strains of B. anthracis, but settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a BW,” Mr Duelfer said.
A congressional investigation into Gulf War syndrome by Don Riegle had already uncovered invoices showing that this batch was shipped from the United States between 1986 and 1988.

But wait! Apparently this little bit of anthrax has been globe trotting . . .
Its catalogue shows that batch 14578 consists of “bovine anthrax”, isolated by R. L. Vollum, a professor of bacteriology at Oxford University during the 1930s. It is named after him.
Martin Hugh-Jones, who co-ordinates the World Health Organisation’s Working Group on Anthrax Research and Control, said: “We have traced it back and it would have come in on some contaminated bones from Southern Rhodesia.
“England was importing sun-dried bones from dead animals in the colonies. They would be shipped to London and used to make soap. When they got the fat out, (the bones) were meant to be sterilised and ground as bone meal and fed to cattle. The sterilisation was not always complete. It was the major cause of anthrax for almost 100 years.”

So MAYBE its really THEIR fault . . .
The Vollum anthrax was used in biological weapons tests on the Scottish island of Gruinard in 1942, which had to be quarantined for 48 years. “It killed any number of sheep in Gruinard,” Professor Hugh-Jones said.
“(Saddam) obviously at one point had a programme because he was buying the laboratory’s cultures to underwrite a programme. Why would he want peaceful research with Vollum? Come on!”

OK. So there really were WMD . . . someplace . . . but it was the fault of the . . . . Americans . . . no, no . . . its the fault of the British . . . well, but the anthrax spores came from some bones that originated in S. Rhodesia, so its their fault, yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

Monday, August 08, 2005
Monday pun
Egotist: One who is me-deep in conversation. (hmmm most Bloggers?)

Sunday, August 07, 2005
Sunday Pun
Go check out the "Top 5 Terrorist Perfumes" at Assumption of Command!

Saturday, August 06, 2005
And... the Saturday Night Nekkid guy...

At least he's interesting..... he was in Berkeley, CA and, here, is selling bumper stickers that say "Hey man, it's just a dxxk!"
Further photos here. And more info from that website:

It took a hell of a lot of courage, but Andrew did it. He knew that there was nothing dirty or shameful about his body, and decided to start going to college classes in the nude! Since he was attending the University of California, Berkeley, at the time -- a very liberal school -- many people thought he would get away with it. And in our minds and hearts, he did.

But eventually Berkeley kicked him out, after passing a rule against going naked on campus -- a rule specifically aimed at him. Andrew continued hanging around Berkeley, was arrested for public nudity by the city of Berkeley, fought the charges -- and won! For many months, it was perfectly legal to walk around nude in Berkeley -- until that famously liberal city, too, passed a law against it.

The um, Saturday pun..
What has four legs, is big, green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you?

Pictures from Friday's noon walk

This is the beginning of my lunch hour walk. It starts on a busy town street. The path becomes a raised causeway over a water meadow, with bridges over the main streams. It runs from Sebastopol to Santa Rosa. I only walk partway out before turning back to work. On the other side of the water meadow are hay fields and cow pastures.

It is wonderful to walk out this way and clear my mind of all the "stuff" that crowds it when I'm working. The blackberries to snack on help as well!


Huge black berry bushes line the first 1/2 mile of the walk. Posted by Picasa


The beginning of berry time! Mmmm, blackberries! They are here for the picking so bring your bucket! Posted by Picasa


One of the streams that runs through the water meadow. In the winter it becomes one huge marsh. Other areas are full of bullrushes. Posted by Picasa


Queen Anne's Lace - pretty ancestor of our garden carrots. The tap root is edible, but the leaves are poisonous. Posted by Picasa


Marshy ground on the side of the water meadow. Posted by Picasa


Hay field waiting for the baling tractor that is chugging along just to the left of the picture. Posted by Picasa


Yes, everyone ignores the sign and cuts across the field. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 05, 2005
Friday laugh
OK, so today's laugh is, sigh, an email joke. Now I know that means that 75% of my 4 readers has already read it, but . . . it's funny. Read it again and enjoy.

Ten Thoughts to Ponder
Number 10 - Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9 - Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Number 8 - Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich! (hmmmm…)
Number 7 - Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
Number 6 - Some people are like a Slinky.....not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Number 5 - Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
Number 4 - All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
Number 3 - Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?
Number 2 - In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

We know exactly where one cow with mad-cow-disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America but we haven't got a clue as to where thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located.
Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration.

Thursday, August 04, 2005
Watching Ohio and other swing states...
I have mentioned more than a few times that I think the Democratic Party has lost "that vision thing". And we have. Partly because it was sucked up by the Republican Party - consider the No Child Left Behind *national* *educational* policy that demands that *states* meet certain *national* standards. Hmm, sounds rather like old Dem policy eh? Whatever. We still lack a solid platform and someone with vision to run with it.
However - from today's WaPo:
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) warned fellow Republicans yesterday not to ignore the implications of the party's narrow victory in Tuesday's special election in Ohio, saying the public mood heading into next year's midterm elections appears to helping Democrats and hurting Republicans.
"It should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans, and I certainly take it very seriously in analyzing how the public mood evidences itself," Gingrich said. "Who is willing to show up and vote is different than who answers a public opinion poll. Clearly, there's a pretty strong signal for Republicans thinking about 2006 that they need to do some very serious planning and not just assume that everything is going to be automatically okay."

The current administration is making some arrogant assumptions about a "mandate" and has become the "divider" not the "uniter" assuming that all his Republican cattle will stay on his side of the fence. Oh, oops, someone has left the gate open! There is considerable disagreement within the party and the big guys aren't listening.
"There does seem to be a sour mood among the electorate at both the state and national level," Mouk said.

Perhaps this will encourage the Dems to get their attitude together. And that "vision thing"? How about this:
So let’s dream. Instead of doing nothing or simply defending 20th century solutions, let’s imagine together what we could do to give every American a fighting chance in the 21st century.
What if we prepared every child in America with the education and skills they need to compete in the new economy? If we made sure that college was affordable for everyone who wanted to go? If we walked up to those Maytag workers and we said “Your old job is not coming back, but a new job will be there because we’re going to seriously retrain you and there’s life-long education that’s waiting for you—the sorts of opportunities that Knox has created with the Strong Futures scholarship program.
What if no matter where you worked or how many times you switched jobs, you had health care and a pension that stayed with you always, so you all had the flexibility to move to a better job or start a new business? What if instead of cutting budgets for research and development and science, we fueled the genius and the innovation that will lead to the new jobs and new industries of the future?

Yes, that's Senator Barack Obama. He talks about most of the things that are important to me. He missed my environmental concerns and issues with transportation but he's close.

Guest punsters
Summertime and life, mostly work, has been very busy. My pun-a-day has seriously dropped off to a pun a week. However! My readers have come to my rescue!

This one from
What does an eskimo get when he sits on the ice too long?

And this one from
A young lady recently told me that she was having hormonal problems. I told her I had made a hormone once....
I did not pay her.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Tiger Salamander

We have this really cool....sssslithering thing that lives in our area. Thing is building housing tracts pretty much does the little guy in. No one honestly wants that to happen - and for once a coalition of governmental agencies, landowners, and developers are *working together* (what a concept!) to set policy that works as much as possible for everyone/thing involved.
from today's Press Democrat
The action is the latest step in efforts to save the tiger salamander while trying to preserve land and development rights.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service imposed emergency protections for California tiger salamanders in Sonoma County in 2002 under the federal Endangered Species Act. When the agency downgraded the classification from "endangered" to "threatened," it prompted a lawsuit that was partially settled when the wildlife service agreed to identify salamander habitat before December 2005.

With the preliminary boundaries now in place, federal wildlife officials have scheduled a public hearing to discuss what land within the boundaries will be needed to preserve the salamander while allowing development. The meeting is Sept. 8 at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa.

"Our hope is that all people will stay engaged in the process and come up with a good conservation strategy," said Donner.

The Santa Rosa Plain Conservation Strategy Team, a broad-based coalition of federal and state regulators, local government officials, landowners, developers and environmentalists, is heading that effort.

A farm WHERE?
I have a friend who used to work for Hewlett-Packard.... but not now. She lives in Vancouer, Washington, just north of Portland, Oregon. However, she has decided to buy a 20 acre farm in Maine. She has mumbled something about raising sheep but . . . from programmer to sheep farmer? I guess stranger things have happened. She will move there with her cats and dogs at the end of September.


My friend Shelley... who has bought a farm in Maine (!?) Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 01, 2005
Bumper sticker of the day . . .
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

(I think I need that one!)

Partners are partners

Court: Businesses can't deny discounts to gay domestic partners
Monday, August 1, 2005
By Lisa Leff
AP Writer
A private country club must offer spousal discounts to same-sex domestic partners, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday, saying that a San Diego golf course discriminated against a lesbian couple when relatives of married members played for free.
Deciding a case brought against Bernardo Heights Country Club, the state's highest court said that allowing the families of married members to golf gratis while charging the partners of gay members constitutes "impermissible marital status discrimination."
While businesses might have once claimed a legitimate business interest for maintaining different policies for married couples and gay members who cannot legally wed, such distinctions are no longer justified under a sweeping domestic partner law that took effect Jan. 1, according to the court.

Two people in a life partnership are a couple. Two people in a life partnership with children are a family.


Dog with his medal! Posted by Picasa

Dog escapes Alcatraz

SAN FRANCISCO - With a stomach full of scrambled eggs, Jake dog-paddled his way into history, leaving most of the serious - and human - swimmers in his wake.
Organizers of the South End Rowing Club's 10th annual Alcatraz Invitational - a 1.2 mile swim from the infamous prison island to the San Francisco shoreline - say the 65-pound golden retriever is the first canine known to have made the crossing.
He was the only dog among more than 500 swimmers who lept into the chilly, choppy waters on Saturday, coming in 72nd overall. His time was 41 minutes and 45 seconds.

This wasn't an impromptu affair - he practices!
The pair live in San Diego and swim 4 miles a week and bodysurf together, Pokonosky said. And Jake always eats scrambled eggs before a big swim.
Bill Wygant, president of the South End Rowing Club, said he was more than happy to allow a dog into the race, a first for the more than 100-year-old group.

Duck racing ? ?
Well, sure, it's just not something that I would have thought of...
Duck race winners announced
RAPID CITY - More than 15,500 ducks were sponsored in Sunday's 16th annual Great Black Hills Duck Race, which helped raise more than $90,000 for Children's Miracle Network.
Individuals could sponsor up to 15 ducks for $5 each. All of the money raised will be used to provide services and equipment for ill and injured children in the Black Hills area served by Rapid City Regional Hospital.
The flock was dropped off Sunday afternoon near the West Main Street McDonald's. The 1.5-mile race ended at Memorial Park. More than $23,000 in prizes were awarded to the first 29 ducks to cross the finish line.
The duck owned by Yvonne Crisman of Rapid City finished first, earning Crisman $5,000 from Rapid City area McDonald's.

I can just imagine what 15,500 ducks walking around downtown Santa Rosa would be like! A mile and a half? Were the sponsors allowed to, well, encourage their entry in any way? Like with a stick? OK, OK, I can hear gasps of alarm. Could they maybe make gentle shushing noises at them at least?

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