Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Friday, November 25, 2005
That paperweight was supposed to be a cell-phone
|There is NO cell coverage in my house. There is coverage if you walk out the front door and loiter about the stop sign 20 feet away. However if you go 100 feet east . . . no more coverage. Continue to the street corner, turn right, go 1/4 mile turn right again and . . . now can dial that call. You'll have coverage . . . for awhile.|
About 3 months ago, I was standing on the hillside with a stunning view over Santa Rosa Plain and most of the City itself, but. . I had no cell coverage. This was a problem because a fellow horse rider had taken a fall and needed an ambulance. It was a Sunday, the caretaker wasn't home. Someone drove across the street and knocked on a door to get a landline so we could call in emergency services.
And I'm not the only one whining. From the Press Democrat
BEWARE THE DREADED DEAD SPOT: The single, flickering bar on Lisa Montgomery's cell phone display confirmed her worst fears -- she was in a cell phone dead spot.
So where's my reduced fee for reduced coverage? Ha, well, I have Cingular and so does my sister so we can talk for free, or, no extra charge. Why is this good? She lives in Hershey, PA and I live in California. I think I shall have to park in a NOT dead zone and rack up some minutes. . .
|The turkey - - he waz huge! the company it was incomparable! the day was full of good conversation with relatives and friends... and now I'm the one that's stuffed.|
Thursday, November 17, 2005
As the world turns...
|From today's WaPo: |
By a vote of 79 to 19, the Senate approved a resolution designating 2006 as "a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty . . . thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq." It would also require the White House to submit to Congress an unclassified report every 90 days detailing U.S. policy and military operations.
Iraq needs to find those middle managers and trained officers to help themselves through the transition.
Different article same paper:
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) declined in an interview to call the Senate-approved amendment, which he co-sponsored, a repudiation of the White House. Instead, he said, it shores up the administration's arguments. He noted that the National Security Council staff had been shown the language in advance and was given the opportunity to critique it.
A bit insulting since it was the American side that erred with the Iraqi officers.
Public unease? Certainly since the administration has not given the public any clues as to signposts of success. Yes, the election was excellent progress. Then we were to be patient...it's hard work....and patient...it's hard work... we know that.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
And Ken call's Bill O'Reilly's bluff . . .
|From Ken is a Verb, Friday, November 11- "Kind of Ironic"|
Seems Bill got all riled up over SF's outcomes. Not that I vote in the SF district, but I'm pleased he's pissed.
And Ken's solution to this "problem"?
For the next thirty seconds I shall use my amazing super powers to protect you, my dear reader, from terrorist attack.
Be sure to head over to Ken's as he describes, in detail, how he will do that!
The Legend of Zorro or Hollywood Bites Back
|The Legend of Zorro - A movie worth watching because its fun and for the tongue in cheek comments it makes. The movie opens 10 years after the last Zorro movie - Don de la Vega is still off gallavanting around as the masked crusader and his wife is just sick and tired of it. His 10 yr son thinks his father is a mild mannered wuss, since he isn't in on the Zorro secret. On Zorro's way out the door his wife gives him the ultimatum, "if you go out that door, you can stay out!" Oh my. Not all is happy in the lush manor of the illustrious Don de la Vega.|
The wife divorces him and heads for the arms of another man - but not just any other man, unbeknownst to her - the head of a world wide terrorist organization! Oh no! An organization aided by the evil looking "crusader for God" and his followers.
There are Pinkerton men involved as well, secret messages and secret alliances.
So we have "the government", "bad terrorist guys", "righteous religious warriors", and a family in the midst of breaking up.
Never fear, it all turns out well, with the family happily together and the "terrorists"banished, and Hollywood has a field day with the Right that has been taking potshots at it.
Oh. And they blow up alot of stuff and, despite its PG rating, its pretty violent. However, my 84 yr old mother absolutely loved it. She used to be a surgical nurse though, so she thinks the gorey stuff is just fine. I look the other way.
Gorgeous picture from P.D. article
| CHAD SURMICK / PD Looking north, Mount St. Helena towers over glowing vineyards off Guenza Road in Bennett Valley at sunset Monday. Strong winds and warm temperatures left Sonoma County with clear, dry air and 30-mile visibility. Forecasters say today should be the warmest day of this stretch, with temperatures as high as 80.|
Zoom Photo Buy Photo ?
(I board Bandit at a barn towards the top of Guenza Rd. and often ride in the surrounding vineyards, some of them pictured here.)
Indian summer . . . still
|When I passed the time/temp board this morning at 8 am it said 75 degrees. Hellooooo, it's November! Could we have some November weather please? Drop the temp a bit and some rain? I don't need alot, but watering the lawn and garden in November seems, well, just not right.LOOKS LIKE FALL - FEELS LIKE SUMMER|
Put your sweaters away
North Coast basks in unseasonably warm weather - and it should last for a while
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
By KATY HILLENMEYER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Don't shake the mothballs out of your woolens yet: Santa Rosa is expected to see record-high temperatures today, continuing a dry spell that forecasters think may stretch to Thanksgiving.
"The entire West Coast is locked in a dry weather pattern for the next seven to 10 days," said forecaster Steve Anderson of the National Weather Service in Monterey.
In Santa Rosa today, temperatures could peak at 80 degrees, he said, breaking the previous Nov. 15 record of 77 degrees in 1977. The AccuWeather forecast, which The Press Democrat uses, also called for sunny skies, but with temperatures topping out only at 76 degrees. Monday's high hit 77 in Santa Rosa.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Saturday Night Naked Guy - part 2
So how about this one?
Not too bad . . . nice, um, trees in the background?
Saturday Night Naked Guy
Saturday blogging... why?
|I dunno. Just found myself sitting at the computer . . . well, I'm facing a big bank of windows with a view of the backyard in "Fall" mode. So I'm at least thinking of raking the leaves while I sit here. It is once again stunning weather. Cool in the shade, just warm enough in the sun, a little breeze, perfect barn weather! OK. So I go and ride even in the pouring rain, but its more fun like it is today, OK?|
Are you out there?
Didn't think so.
I do believe that I was the ONLY person at work yesterday. Some great Veteran's Day posts out there. I should list them... nope its Saturday.
I nipped down to the Sitemeter to see who comes to Julie with a B. Sadly...mostly people who Googled "naked guy" or "Satyr" or "Giant Squid" or . . . yeah the Giant Squid, you know this guy:
Friday, November 11, 2005
|Caring. Remembering. Reconciliation.|
From the London Times:Assisi adopts graves of heroes who fell liberating their city
THE people of Assisi have found a touching way of honouring the sacrifice of British and Commonwealth troops who died liberating their town in June 1944. Aware that the real relatives of the dead soldiers live too far away to visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Assisi, locals have begun “adopting” the graves of the 945 men that are buried there.
The “adopt a hero” initiative started last year and more than 300 graves have been allocated so far. Participants promise to visit the grave of their “hero” at least once a year, on the anniversary of his death, and to leave a flower there.
But more important than any practical obligation is a personal commitment to keep the memory of a particular soldier alive. “We want people to understand what this cemetery means and to carry this knowledge with them,” Vincenzo Cavanna, the co-ordinator, said, adding that until recently few people in Assisi had clear ideas about the site’s significance.
Signor Cavanna, 82, said that while allocating graves he has tried to prioritise soldiers from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa because their relatives were the least likely to visit.
The cemetery is almost always empty. Romeo Cianchetti, head of the local Second World War veterans’ association, decided something had to be done. The idea of an “adoption” scheme came to him amid preparations for the 61st anniversary of the arrival of Allied troops in Assisi on June 17, 1944.
Some local people have managed to put behind them past bitterness, taking this opportunity to make a gesture of reconciliation. Emiliano Zibetti was 3 in April 1944, when his father was strafed and killed by the machine guns of an RAF aircraft. The incident happened as he drove to a funeral in a lorry laden with wreaths.
Signor Zibetti admitted his family had been bitter for years because of the circumstances of his father’s death. But he has adopted the grave of Harry Barnett, a gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery (2nd regiment), who came from Ledbury, Herefordshire. He was killed about ten weeks after Signor Zibetti’s father, and was the same age. “I’ve come a long way mentally. But now, whenever I go to my father’s grave I also go to see Harry’s, too. They’ re buried only a kilometre apart.”
Thursday, November 10, 2005
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL !!
You're right - - -
S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Online is dedicated to informing others about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which took the lives of twenty-nine men 30 years ago, affecting dozens of families and a countless number of friends and comrades of the shipping industry. The Edmund Fitzgerald is lost, but not forgotten.
Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) announced his opposition Tuesday.
Its the Economy
|From Bloomberg: |
The U.S. trade deficit with China for the first nine months of the year reached a record $146.3 billion, compared with $114.3 billion at the same time last year.Best bet would be to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle. AND you could buy American . . . which would mean paying more and not shopping at Walmart. Why would you shop there anyway? Acres of schlocky junk patrolled by sullen clerks . . . Euuwww.
The U.S. and China agreed this week to limit exports of Chinese clothing through 2008. Bush is traveling to Asia as he seeks further trade concessions from China to forestall protectionist sentiment in the U.S. Congress.
Oh THAT should help. He was so successful in S. America . . .
Exports slumped to $105.2 billion in September from $108 billion the previous month.
Ask yourself why it is cheaper. Who are you supporting? This is not a pro-union statement. Some of the best products are produced by American entreprenuers - they are efficient and local.
A different view from WaPo:
The soaring deficit with China has increased calls in Congress for the administration to take action against what critics complain are China's unfair trade practices such as manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages, rampant piracy of American movies and other copyrighted material and state support to the country's textile industry.
Miss Manners gets medal from President Bush
|OK. Now that you've spewed coffee over your monitor. . . |
Several area historians and writers are among those President Bush will award the National Humanities Medal in an Oval Office ceremony today.
and, for those of you who don't know . . .
Martin is famous for her "Miss Manners" column. She covered Washington culture for 25 years at The Washington Post.
Does the Prez know who she is? Will she suggest that he, and perhaps his children, read her column? One could hope.
|I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.|
No drilling of oil in ANWR
House GOP leaders agreed last night to strip plans to permit oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the offshore continental shelf from a $54 billion budget-cutting measure, probably securing the votes to pass the bill today.Good cut...the oil companies didn't want it anyway, because it didn't make business sense and some of the Republicans realized that it was pissing people off. Why get so much bad press for something that wasn't going to get you corporate money? Duh.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Wall of Breasts
|I stole this directly from the Tattlers... |
"They know all about their car, but never seem to know their wife's bra size.The wall consists of rows of silicon breasts in all sizes.
Before you click....no picture. I couldn't stop laughing...the visualization of this wall of tits with guys walking along squeezing each one to see which one felt *right*. OK. So confusing, which one's the wife, which one's the girlfriend, and . . .
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
And some really FINE gossip from . . .
|over at One Good Thing. I guess he said he was leaving and he did, but he came back, but . . . well it's an entertaining read. And a great distraction from. . . whatever you're supposed to be doing.|
Today is election day...
|A note from Gubernator Schwartzenhoffenpuffen:|
In a final flurry of campaigning Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told voters that today would be "Judgment Day."
The propositions are (with my enlightening commentary):
PROPOSITION 75: Would require public employee unions to obtain written consent of members to use dues or fees for political purposes.
(currently members simply check a box to opt-OUT of spending for political purposes, if this passes, they will check the box to opt-IN, so unions would lose the ability to lobby for lazy voters, hmmm)
PROPOSITION 76: Would limit increases in state spending, use excess revenues to pay off state debt and for road and school projects and would permit the governor to cut spending, including politically sensitive school spending, when revenues fall below forecast.
(no one thinks this is a good idea)
PROPOSITION 77: Would authorize a panel of retired judges to draw boundaries of legislative districts. The legislature is currently in charge of redistricting.
PROPOSITION 78: Would establish a state government discount prescription drug program for the financially needy.
PROPOSITION 79: Would provide for prescription drug discounts to Californians based on income and to be funded by rebates from drug manufacturers negotiated with the state government.
(but so does this one)
PROPOSITION 80: Would repeal provisions of 1996 electricity deregulation, reauthorize the California Public Utilities Commission to regulate electric service providers and requires 20 percent of electricity by 2010 to be generated from renewable sources.
(the time machine has never worked, this would restrict who government agencies could buy energy from, which would increase costs, and restricts energy sources for all consumers, large and small, discouraging alternate energy suppliers)
So there you have it. And this cost the State of California millions of dollars. Why didn't we just use this money for schools? Eh? Why not? The buildings are falling down.
Monday, November 07, 2005
West Wing... the show
|Yes, I watched last night and like others wondered the same thing this blogger did:|
I wonder what it would take to force presidential candidates to actually get rid of the scripted "debate" format and actually have something a little more real. Perhaps a massively coordinated, bipartisan boycott of the "debates" by viewers? I'm not even sure that would work. I think the only thing that would actually work is to nominate candidates that actually owned some gonads.
I arrived at his site, though, in search of a pun for today. He is a very amusing fellow. I really enjoyed this post:
1) The remains of noted astronomer Nicholas Copernicus are believed to have been discovered in a medieval cathedral in Poland. Great ... yet another "fossil theory" that the fundamentalist wackos in Kansas can dispute. I'm sure they'll just say that those bones were placed there by an Intelligent Designer in order to confuse us, since we all know that a heliocentric model of the solar system specifically contradicts the Bible. Next thing you know, they'll be finding T. Rex bones in a monastery in Russia. Those damned pinko commie atheists!!
Anyhow . . . I rather enjoyed his posts. Some of you will, some of you won't. But check out "some amusing blog pun".
Altho - - - I still haven't found anything for today's pun . . .
Oh *ouch* Free Trade talks not going well for Dubya
|From the London Times:|
If the White House ever nursed a hope that the fourth Summit of the Americas would boost Mr Bush’s flagging image, that hope died as the talks in Argentina petered out late on Saturday without clear agreement on how or when they might resume.
The South American press criticised not only Mr Bush, the most unpopular US President in the region since polling began, but also his host. Argentina’s leading broadsheet, La Nación, called the summit an “all-out failure”. It said that Señor Kirchner had been “navel-gazing” when, at its inauguration, he blamed US policies for Argentina’s economic crash in 2001. La Nación criticised Señor Kirchner for not concentrating on the “common conflicts” of Latin America, such as social inequality.
Much more difficult when those you are speaking to need to be convinced. Not at all like speaking to a crowd that is screened for only those who already agree with you.
I believe the Emperior's nakedness is beginning to show.
The Avian flu brouhaha
|Guys, it's not just media hype. It's been in the birds and people for some years. Its had some time to build, this is not a new revelation. |
"The idea that pandemic flu has just gotten traction is not strictly accurate," said Martin G. Myers, former head of the National Vaccine Program Office and now a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He said a draft was presented in 1998 to Donna E. Shalala, HHS secretary in the Clinton administration.
But the time is clearly now.
well, so now its Monday...
|It was a great weekend. Saturday was such beautiful fall weather.... I spent alot of time at the barn with horses and friends. Came home and made chicken pot pie for dinner. Seriuos comfort food and watched one of my favorite movies, Stand and Deliver. By Sunday morning it was raining . . . well sort of. The Irish would say, "it's a wee saft day". Overcast with moisture floating down, sort of a mist, sort of not, it was a great day to ride the horse - he was calm and quiet, neither one of us care if we get wet, and we had a lovely ride. In the afternoon I sorted through some boxes of old letters and photographs - most of them from the late 1800's early 1900's. Love letters from a sailor to his girl back in the Bay Area. The more things change, the more they stay the same.|
Saturday, November 05, 2005
That last post should have had 4 pictures. Blogger ate two. S'OK. I still have them.
First picture is our resident swan.
Then there's a bunch of mallards... I think they're afraid of Swan.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
But some conflict on Alito here
|This was good. From Bloomberg.com|
Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, said Alito told him in their private meeting that he recognized a right to privacy, the principle that underlies the Supreme Court's abortion rights rulings. ``I think he believes in that fundamental right,'' Durbin told reporters in Washington. He added that Alito didn't say if he would apply it in abortion cases.
However, from the same article, these comments made me choke.
On abortion, Nelson expressed support for a dissenting opinion by Alito that said states can require a married woman to notify her husband before ending a pregnancy. As governor of Nebraska, Nelson said, he helped push legislation requiring a waiting period for women before an abortion and that minors get parental consent for the procedure.
No, guys. It does not help to be *required* to tell your husband. If you have a working relationship with your husband, you don't have to be *required* to tell him. More on this issue later. *Waiting time* simply means that you have to wait. Just that. By the time one has actually made the arraingments for an abortion, you have thought, worried, cried, and made the decision. Waiting is just adding punishment to the agony of that decision. I guess that's what's intended?
However this comment was encouraging,
Durbin said Alito told him that the dissent ``was a tough decision'' to write.
More on Alito
|I had read a list of some of Alito's cases and realized that of the five I read about I disgreed strongly with three decisions, including his comments about the decision, but that I agreed with two of them. Still wondering what "conservative" actually means in reference to Judge Alito. Because that's the real question isn't it? To what extent will his personal ideology color his decisions?|
From the LATimes:
Clark Lombardi, now a law professor at the University of Washington, became a clerk for Alito in 1999.
There's one description of conservative. Yet, I'm always suspicious of gushingly positive opinions about anyone. Another gush from the same article:
Joel Friedman teaches labor and employment law at Tulane University Law School, but is temporarily at the University of Pittsburgh because of Tulane's shutdown following Hurricane Katrina.
. . . .yes, it's a Left Coast kinda thing.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
My dog keeps me healthy, she's my cur for the common cold (and for stressing out and for . . . many other things)
Save marriage from what?
|From Gary over at American Regression:|
The Senate Judiciary Committee is ready to attempt to advance a newly minted, and renamed faith-based initiative that we all know as the Anti-Gay Amendment to the United States Constitution.They now call it the: "Marriage Protection Amendment."If they want to protect marriage, then they need to stop heterosexual couples from having a cavalier attitude about divorce! Stop legal divorce, and you protect marriage. Stopping committed Americans from legally solidifying their relationship is not protecting marriage. This faith-based initiative is all about hatred and bigotry. But we all know that already. The time is now to fight it!
My Senator, Arlen Specter is the head of the Judiciary Committee. He has the power to stop this from moving forward. He needs to hear from us, and right away!You can call his Washington office at (202)-224-4254. Simply urge him to "stop" or "oppose" the so-called "marriage protection amendment."
Alito... just to begin -
|From London Times:KEY JUDGMENTS:|
Planned Parenthood v Casey 1991: Argued that a Pennsylvania law requiring married women wanting an abortion to notify their husbands did not place an undue burden on women. He said the state’s interest in promoting a husband’s interest in the foetus was legitimate.
United States v Rybar 1996: Argued against a federal law prohibiting private possession of machine guns. Said the government had no right to ban citizens from owning machine-guns.
Saxe v State College Area School District 2001: Argued that a school anti-harassment policy barring any speech that others might find offensive violated the students’ First Amendment right to free speech.
ACLU v Schundler 1997: Argued that a Christmas display on city property did not violate separation of Church and State doctrines
Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey v Farmer 2000: Ruled against a New Jersey law banning partial birth abortions
#1. Disagree to the extreme. I think he simply had no understanding of what an abusive relationship is like. Another source mentioned that Alito thought that the husband and wife should just talk it out, so that there would be understanding between them. This is just not possible in an abusive relationship. Those who are in working relationships have probably already discussed something of this magnitude with their husband. Those who have a bad relationship are the ones in trouble.
#2. I need to read more about this one. If the government cannot ban machine-guns, then can they ban cannons? Where is the line drawn. (I know, I know, I made it extreme to point out that the government probably needs to draw the line *somewhere*. I am not fond of gun control in general.)
#3. Disagree to the extreme. Hazing, name calling, gutter language, racist remarks, remarks against someone's religion, c'mon.
#4. I have read more about this one and happen to agree with the particular situation of this decision. The display included secular symbols as well as religious ones and attempted to be inclusive.
#5. Ruled against a law banning abortion. I don't think that this suggests that he supports Roe v Wade or any kind of abortion, so I think I need to research this further. I have heard opinions that he supports/does not support stari decisis (I probably spelled that wrong) and I think that would be the more important question. I doubt that anyone will really try to overturn Roe v Wade. I think it will gradually be wittled down and defined.