Julie with a B

Saturday, December 31, 2005
Drying out, the wind picking up

Apparently this was the smaller of two storms headed our way, the second will arrive tomorrow night. My.
The water is going down here. A few blocks away people were evacuated. Not the poor woman who had a hillside come down on her house though. It took them 45 minutes to get her out of her ruined house. I understand she's OK. Or, as OK as you can be when you live alone and a hillside slides down and destroys your house.
Rosie doesn't think much of water that she can't see through. She wants to know where her feet are. Where I'm standing the water is about 2 feet deep.

Real time flood blogging . . .

Excitement here as the creek overflowed its banks last night. I woke this morning to a lake where the road should be. I can hear ducks. Water came a foot into the garage, floated the trash cans around outside and brought a bit of storm debris up onto the lawns. The torrential rains have slowed to light rain. I wandered out to take pictures abut 7:00. It still wasn't light enough.

Friday, December 30, 2005
All those reports of flooding in N. California

Well, lets just say there is plenty of water rushing around.

Trades . . .
What would Texas trade for a little California rain? Hmmmm....

Where's that boat-car when you need it . . .

From the comments . .

A grasshopper goes into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, Wow, you know what? We have a drink named after you!

The grasshopper replies, "You have a drink named Steve"?

(with thanks to Dave)

Thursday, December 29, 2005
Why sex ed needs to be taught in Catholic Schools
Mother Superior called all the Nuns together one evening and said to them:
"I must tell you all something. We have a case of Gonorrhea in the convent.""Thank God," said an elderly Nun at the back. "I'm so sick of Chardonnay."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Wednesday pun
The Orchestra ended every concert with a cello solo. Everyone knows there's always room for cello!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Well, yeah, that IS the water splashing up as I drive slowly across the very flooded section of road. We have flood warnings all over on most of the smaller roads, yet this is Hwy 116, not a freeway, mind you, but a major thoroughfare none the less.
Glub glub glub.....

A little more rain...

Tuesday pun
The electrician worked on the side as a musician. He was a conductor on the train.

Sunday, December 25, 2005
Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 24, 2005
But all is well and most are Home for the Holidays

We've had a little rain here . . .

Smack the Penguin
Um, something to do on your laptop whilst hanging about waiting for dinner at some relative's house. Note that this works for the entire holiday season regardless of whatever holiday you are eating in celebration of . . .


Kid safe as well. My best score in the 5 minutes I've been playing is 350, although I did manage to land the penguin on his snoot and leave him stuck in the snow a couple times. I'm sure you guys can beat my score.

Heroes and Villains
One of my favorite reads - "The Scotsman" - has a very funny column. Their year end offering is here: "Heroes and Villians of 2005". It is behind registration but not subscription.
OK, OK, for those of you who don't like to register...

Drinker of the year
Andrew Flintoff: The sports personality with both personality and stamina, big Freddie Flintoff guided England to victory against Australia and took the rest of the UK along with him. Then came the victory celebrations which just wouldn't stop - a champagne reception which lasted through the night, through the streets of London and into Number 10 Downing Street. When asked what it meant to be given the freedom of his home town, he said: "That means I can drive a flock of sheep through the town centre, drink for free in no less than 64 pubs and get a lift home with the police when I become inebriated - what more could you want?"

The Andrex award for public excretion
Paula Radcliffe: Paula Radcliffe entered 2005 with bad memories of the Olympics still fresh in the public's minds - quitting the women's marathon when she was overtaken out of the medal places and dropping out of the 10,000 metres. It seemed she had lost her crown as Britain's favourite runner. Then came 2005 and the London Marathon. At 22 miles, it looked like it was all going to go wrong again as she faltered to a stop. But after a brief and very public toilet stop, she dusted herself down and went on to win by a five-minute margin.

Couple of the year
Charles and Camilla: Remarkably, the heir to the throne and his new missus have had a good year. There was the wedding, which was beset by terrible omens. First, the Pope's funeral got in the way. Then the groom's mum refused to go to the civil ceremony. Of course, the public had to be won over, too - that Camilla's no Diana (God rest her sainted soul). But in the end, it was all rather lovely. Her Majesty managed a smile and the happy couple's tour of America later in the year was a remarkable success.

Lothario of the year
David Blunkett: The Sheffield Brightside MP has had an eventful and emotional year, in the course of which he has demonstrated remakably poor judgment: two failed affairs; two cabinet resignations; a paternity wrangle and some unpleasantness over nannies, travel expenses and biotech shares. His decision-making ability - or, in this case, his lack thereof - should come as a surprise to no-one. The signs have always been there: The man is a Sheffield Wednesday fan, after all.

Nanny of the year
The Scottish Executive: Come March 2006, those among Scotland's smokers who have not heeded the government's eminently sensible advice to give up will be forced to huddle outside the country's pubs, clubs and bars if they want to indulge their foul, antisocial addiction. The ban covers any "enclosed public space". Unfortunately, this may well extend to outdoor smoking shelters and such "public places" as private homes. Should you be unfortunate enough to need a home visit from any of our public servants, you will be asked to refrain from smoking for an hour before their scheduled arrival. Do yourself a favour: Try not to have a heart attack or a stroke five minutes after your last fag.

Snappy dresser of the year
David Cameron: Thanks to his appearance on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, not since John Major have we known quite so much about the underpants of the Conservative leader. He may be suspiciously bereft of actual policies, but at last we know the true blue Tony Blair wannabe likes boxer shorts.

Conundrum of the year
Vladimir Romanov: The new owner of Heart of Midlothian FC rode in like the 7th Cavalry to save the venerable Edinburgh club from being turfed out of their traditional home. He appointed one of the best managers Scotland has seen, brought in exciting players and then saw his club storm to the top of the league in their best start to a season for 90 years or so. Then he sacked the manager. And the chief executive. And the chairman resigned. After a convicted sex offender was made manager, Hearts are no longer top of the league. In short, it's all gone a bit Pete Tong and nobody quite knows what will happen next..

Networker of the year
Robert Mugabe: He may be an international pariah but that didn't stop him getting a nice, warm handshake from Prince Charles this year. In 2004, the not-so-charming old tyrant (that would be Mugabe, not Charlie, for the avoidance of doubt) also managed to wring a similar greeting from Jack Straw, much to the Foreign Secretary's chagrin.

Damp squib of the year
G8: Despite all the Make Poverty History protests, the G8 failed to deliver anything meaningful on world poverty. But at least it also failed to deliver any major acts of violence.

Genuine heroes of the year
What with the tsunami that ushered in 2005, the Pakistan earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and her damaging sisters, and the 7/7 London bombings, there have been too many opportunities for genuine heroes to rescue others. We salute them.

Local Ground Beef

The afternoon chewers and mooers.....

Thursday, December 22, 2005
Op-Ed articles with a slant?
Well, yes, of course. That's the point behind an "Opinion" article, that person's opinion. But what if they are paid to express a specific opinion? Is that wrong? Well, no, we aren't talking about news reporting here, we're talking Op-Ed. One should always question why someone might be expressing a particular opinion. Those who are in a particular industry often a much broader knowledge than we do about that industry. How do you feel about an Op-Ed writer who does this? It certainly devalues what they have to say. Its not their opinion any more, they are just an advertiser masquerading as an Op-Ed writer. I do think that if they are being paid a fee by an industry it should be disclosed. Because, after all, it ISN'T really their opinion is it?
NYTimes article here:
Susan Finston of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a conservative research group based in Texas, is just the sort of opinion maker coveted by the drug industry.

In an opinion article in The Financial Times on Oct. 25, she called for patent protection in poor countries for drugs and biotechnology products. In an article last month in the European edition of The Wall Street Journal, she called for efforts to block developing nations from violating patents on AIDS medicines and other drugs.

Both articles identified her as a "research associate" at the institute. Neither mentioned that, as recently as August, Ms. Finston was registered as a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry's trade group. Nor was there mention of her work this fall in creating the American Bioindustry Alliance, a group underwritten largely by drug companies.

Nothing like a little conspicuous consumption...
A Man's Home May Be His Castle:

Downsizing is big news across the country.

When David A. Duffield sought to build a 72,000-square-foot home on rural Country Oak LaneAlamo, Calif., neighbors like Elizabeth Pelletier took exception. "It has felt like a hostile takeover," she said.

But here in the Bay Area, home to one of every 20 of the nation's billionaires, downsizing has been redefined: a reduction of 54,500 square feet in a mansion planned by David A. Duffield, the billionaire founder of PeopleSoft Inc.

To others on Country Oak Lane, who have taken to Mr. Duffield like the Hatfields to the McCoys, the shrinking of his French Norman-style mega-mansion to 17,500 square feet - from the 72,000 square feet that he had originally planned - and the elimination of a 20-car underground garage are not enough. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a brigade of 29 members of the Bryan Ranch Homeowners Association went door to door and succeeded in amending the homeowners' covenants. The amendment restricted the size of the private subdivision's houses, including Mr. Duffield's, to 10,000 square feet, max.

Snort... I don't think going door to door in their neighborhood is quite the same as going door to door in mine. 'Round here you could get 20 signatures in half an hour. You'd also say "Hi" to the kids, pat the dogs, and generally check up on how everyone is doing.

And how appalling, all this time I thought it was the Texans who were into this kind of thing...

Thursday pun

When traveling in the sleigh in inclement weather, Santa gets icicles in his beard. Real chin chillas, those. Occasionally, cosmetics fly out of the bag and into Santa's beard, causing it to known as the beard of Avon. He sometimes removes all the bells from his sleigh and travels silently through the night. One day he hopes to win a No Bell prize.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Bandit on a rainy day - like a kid let out for recess

still running. . .

Bandit playing

Racing down the long side - all four feet off the ground.

Flies on by the camera.

And slows down, almost ready to stop. Note that he has one ear on the camera as it makes a chirpy noise when I press the shutter.

That wire tapping issue - -
So much commentary, so little time. I will just add my voice to those who are asking why he didn't ask Congress. There is a whole process in place for doing wire-taps expediently and then going back with a notification process. There is no reason not to do it. Except: Hubris
He says he did it because he can; he's the President.
There are many good editorials on this asking some good questions. For a balanced approach, I suggest George Will at the WaPo. He gives it a little history and a conservative spin. (GASP!! JulieB what are you doing???) Why? Well, I liked his advice at the end of the column.
On the assumption that Congress or a court would have been cooperative in September 2001, and that the cooperation could have kept necessary actions clearly lawful without conferring any benefit on the nation's enemies, the president's decision to authorize the NSA's surveillance without the complicity of a court or Congress was a mistake. Perhaps one caused by this administration's almost metabolic urge to keep Congress unnecessarily distant and hence disgruntled.

Charles de Gaulle, a profound conservative, said of another such, Otto von Bismarck -- de Gaulle was thinking of Bismarck not pressing his advantage in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War -- that genius sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. In peace and in war, but especially in the latter, presidents have pressed their institutional advantages to expand their powers to act without Congress. This president might look for occasions to stop pressing.

I admit he does spoil it a bit for the conservative side by quoting the deplorable French, but at least it was a French conservative.

Back to back puns
On one night before Christmas, Santa Claus's sleigh team came up one member short because of a sudden illness. An inflatable plastic reindeer was used to fill the void in the team so no one would take notice of the missing animal. Regis, Chief of Elves, asked Santa, "Is that your vinyl Prancer?"

Monday, December 19, 2005
Monday Pun
When the lawyer sued the coffin maker it was an open and shut case.

(I know but its Monday and raining out . . .)

Friday, December 16, 2005
And in celebration, please note!!
That Jeremy, AKA American Warmonger, genius of the template is back in town. He took a brief hiatus.

Jeremy is the person who first set up my site and emailed it to me. Yes, folks, after a rather heated discussion of things religious, he set up the "Julie with a B" blogsite in revenge I think, since then he has been exceedingly helpful with fixes and pointers.

THANK YOU, JEREMY! The Blog continues to be alot of fun.

Prologue to the Blogfather

Two households, DC and Lovely Lady both alike in dignity,
In fair Blogivonia, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers unite;
Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their joining, puzzle their parents' minds.
The fearful passage of their ill-chosen love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but by the story’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic mess upon this page;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What history there is to hear, the beginning of this blog legend.

Prologue to Romeo & Juliet bastardized by JulieB

Yes, today, Julie with a B is one year old. We made it through the teething stage, to the crawling stage (lately I've had a bit of a reverse to the crawling stage, but it will pass). It's been quite a year.

Still a source for bad puns, some liberal discussions, the occasional comment on things Jewish, and pictures of my horse.

What's in store for the next year? I'm aiming to up the ante on the content. Yes, yes, I know lately it's been banal at best, but it's good to have GOALS, eh?

Many thanks to my beloved blogfather, Daisy Cutter, for the linky. Hi Dad. (I can hear him cringing). The lurid story of my parentage will come out eventually. And just how IS IT that such a committed right wing blogger could produce a lovely liberal daughter? The story will be told!

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Activist Judge Cancels Christmas
WASHINGTON, DC - In a sudden and unexpected blow to the Americans working to protect the holiday, liberal U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt ruled the private celebration of Christmas unconstitutional Monday.

"In accordcance with my activist agenda to secularize the nation, this court finds Christmas to be unlawful, " Judge Reinhardt said. "The celebration of the birth of the philosopher Jesus - be it in the form of gift-giving, the singing of carols, fanciful decorations, or general good cheer and warm feelings amongst families - is in violation of the First Amendment priciples upon which this great nation was founded."

In addition to forbidding the celebration of Christmas in any form, Judge Reinhardt has made it illegal to say "Merry Christmas." Instead, Americans must say "Happy Holidays" or "Vacaciones Felices" if they wish to extend good tidings."

Read the rest, of course, at The Onion.

Thursday pun
An office with many people and few electrical outlets is in for a power struggle!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Wednesday pun
Show me a piano thrown into an army trench, and I'll show you A-flat major.

Monday, December 12, 2005
A little something for Nickie . . .

Under that burlap bag exterior, Nickie is a very cultured sort. Really. Don't let it get around though, his boys might rough him up if they knew. But here is my gift to Nickie Goomba.
A little sight seeting in Venice.

And something for the Tattlers

For the Texican Tattlers......It took me a little bit to find something for them.... however this should give them a laugh.

Really, it should say "Beer, Girls, and Guns" but thought it wouldn't hurt to take it upscale a notch.

Statistically punning
He said I was average - but he was just being mean.

Friday, December 09, 2005
speaking of gifts . . .

The next gift book, well, actually I'll need to get two of these:
"The Thong Also Rises"
I really think that both Jesse over at LOSLI and Teach over at Pirate's Cove would enjoy it. It's a pretty funny book and should appeal to both these funny guys.

However! I DO give gifts....

and my friends and family know that my favorite kind of gift is a book. So stay tuned, I have a list of my favorite bloggers and I'm checking it twice!

I'll start off with one of the bloggers who got me started... ahem, listed as "blogfather" in the blogroll, a designation he frequently, frantically, tries to deny.

My book gift to Daisy Cutter is:

Marley & Me, Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

Frankly, I think his Labrador had a hand in writing this, but maybe not...

Really, I DON'T do Christmas
This time of year is always interesting, I guess that's a good word. I don't "do" Christmas. I'm Jewish. And no, Hanukkah is not the Jewish Christmas. It is not a major Jewish holiday because it is not in the Jewish Bible. Put in the absolute simplest terms it is a celebration of religious freedom.
This is a simple "history" of the holiday. The oldest source of the celebraton is the winter solstice celebrations held by all ancient peoples. It is marked more recently as a military victory in 164 BCE by the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus Epiphanes. The story can be found in the Christian Bible in the book of Maccabees. After the military victory came re-consecration of the temple altar. Here there is a story of one jar of oil, which should have lasted for one day, burning for eight days. It is a celebration of returning light and returning freedom to be Jewish.

A Friday laugh
My British friend, Nina, has a British way with words. She can tell you to go somewhere else in very civilized language and it will actually take several moments to realize the depth of the insult that she has just hurled at you. But then you laugh because, insult or no, she is still screaminly funny. Her friend William, also a Brit, can just about match her. From her email to me this morning:

"My friend William was very rude to me this morning via email. I told him to "review single digit communication". His reply:
"Single finger gesture reviewed and is currently being evaluated by the "European Union Committee on Gestures and Curses (EUCGC) as to its applicability under ISO9000, which specifies a European two-fingered model. Since the rejection of the Italian RFUA (Ramming Fist Under Arm) as too ponderous, as well as the Rumanian LLAWPTAWBLF (Licking Lips Aggressively While Poking The Air With Both Little Fingers) as being to complex for use in heavy traffic, there has been a move to adopt the single finger gesture, primarily supported by those missing either of the first two digits on their dominant hand. Both gestures are being opposed by the EU Quadriplegics Council (EUQC), who are lobbying for a simple, spit-laden
"fuck you".
Thank you for your interest. "

I'm still here
Sorry, I am still breathing. For those of you that are glad, thanks! For those of you who wish I'd go away, tough luck!

I'm just working as in working really hard, since I'm so blasted when I get home I don't want to go near the computer. It'll go away. I feel some serious posts coming on. In a week or so, it will have been a year since the blog was, sort of, foisted upon me by well meaning friends. Actually, they were just hoping I would post my liberal left-coast thoughts on my own site and not mess up the cheering, er, comments section on theirs.

Friday, December 02, 2005
Breaking News
A Los Angeles man was found dead in his home over this last weekend. Detectives at the scene found the man face down in his bathtub. The tub had been filled with milk, sugar and cornflakes. A banana was sticking out of his ass.
Police suspect a cereal killer.

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Ah, yes, the President's speech.
Well, it was a step forward from his last pronouncement. I was sorely disappointed in what he had to say last time. Whether I like the man or no, I wanted to hear a bit about the reality and where he wanted it to go. He did do that this time. He even came pretty close to saying that maybe some errors had been made (I think what he said was that "we" had learned from the past). He missed on the process though. I want to know what the plan is for getting there. I what to hear the "how" we are going to "get there". I don't think he's going to get any more "patience" and "staying the course" until he defines the course a bit better.

Winter at last!
Finally! A nice winter storm. Lashing rain, crashing thunder, oh yes. Very nice!

Powered by Blogger