Saturday, August 27, 2011

One more thing...

Netflix apparently has all seven seasons of both "Voyager" and "Deep Space Nine." I did get DS9 on DVD prior to the whole streaming versus DVD debacle, but never really got past the first couple of discs. I'd forgotten just how tedious the first three seasons of DS9 were, to be honest, and I just wanted to skip forward to season 4, which is when the true awesomeness began, but couldn't because I was introducing J to the best Trek of all time and well, plodding through the first few seasons was a necessary evil. I haven't even though about going through the first season or so of VOY -- not sure actually that I saw a lot of those first few episodes, mostly because I was in denial that anything could take DS9's place in those early days. It might very well be a time to re-attempt that trip down memory lane now that both shows are completely available on Netflix.
LotD

Hidden images in famous logos. I'm super tired tonight for reasons that are neither here nor there but cannot yet go back to sleep due to waiting on a phone call. This article amused me and killed made time go a little bit more quickly (seriously, time crawls when you wake up jarringly from a dead sleep and then need to stay awake for at least another hour).

Friday, August 05, 2011

LotD

Jordan gets a 'Star Trek' theme park!

Though the flight simulator is the only ride to be confirmed thus far, the Jordan park could be as immersive an experience for the Starfleet faithful as Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is for the magically inclined. Imagine the possibilities! Restaurants serving targ and Vulcan-endorsed baked-beans washed down by Romulan ale — with raktajino to accompany gree-worms for dessert. If you visit the adjoining bar, remember: two tranya minimum.

Forget targ, what about gagh????

Saturday, July 16, 2011

LotD

Literary theme today -- one of my favorite authors in the spotlight. Five Myths About Jane Austen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm...

Ted Danson joins CSI. I'm having a serious cognitive dissonance imagining this. I mean, it's SAM MALONE. SAMMY!!!!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Still movin'

The unpacking continues. The weird thing about moving is how quickly stuff multiplies. It's like what, this box here? What's in it? And you find receipts from 2007. I lived in my first apartment for six years and got comfortable. I stuffed things here and there, collected stuff, and just found places for it all without really thinking about the consequences. When I realized I would be moving in 2009, I did a couple of garage sales and a run to the Salvation Army. The garage sales and donations lulled me into a false sense of security; surely the move of 2011 would be a lot less stuff, right? RIGHT? Strangely, no.

At this point, we've collected eight boxes worth of stuff to donate to the Salvation Army (incidently, we donate to the Salvation Army because they are super close to our house, not for any other reason). We've also been deailng with some of the stuff that the sellers left behind like 30 years worth of paint in the garage (seriously, we had to take gallons of the stuff to the recycling center) and a refrigerator, the name brand of which had been discontinued back in the 70s. And for some odd reason, the sellers also left a lot of hangers for us -- like Old Navy and Wal-Mart hangers; into the donate box they go. It also took two weeks of trash pickup to work through the sellers' trash. As a result, we're just now getting through our own recycling and trash pick-up.

Today I'm working through the mess in the office. We get a lot of mail. Let me clarify -- a lot of needless mail. Purchase a house and suddenly everyone wants to sell you something. Don't they know we just bought a house and we're still in shock and don't want to buy anything from anyone? Especially when we're still muddling around in what looks like a box factory explosion? Then there is all the junk mail that you have no intention of doing anything with but have to shred it anyway because it's stuff like credit card applications. I should also mention that we brought a bunch of paper from our other places, so the new paper is just piling on top of the old. What we need, what we *really* need, is a filing cabinet, so we can dump all this stuff in there and fuggadabboutit. Seems to have worked just fine for us in the past.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

LotD

Interesting article: Don't Send Another Email Until You Read This. Interesting thoughts on how business communicate with customers. I've never been a big fan of direct email in my line of work for precisely the reasons outlined in the article: how do we know we're not pissing off the customer? I think about the 80 gazillion hotel emails I get a day from the various reward programs I'm enrolled in; I now delete without reading now. Maybe I'll send them a copy of this article instead.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LotD

Here's an interesting concept: Would you pay $2,500 for a guaranteed job offer in six months? TheLadders.com wants to make it happen for you. Anyway, this article is interesting since it analyzes the program and other criteria. Let's hear it for that good ol' entrepreneurial spirit!

Monday, June 27, 2011

'roid!

On a personal note, I wanted to share a little bit of a health issue I've had over the last few weeks. I'm not going to go into all of the gory details, but I did want to talk about this one thing because it is unusual and there wasn't a lot out there on the internet about it and for a while, I felt like I was the only one who had this problem. It's got a great name: degenerating fibroid. In other words, a fibroid that was dying.

A fibroid is basically a harmless mass; most women have them at some point in their lives. Mine made an appearance about 6 months ago. Surprise! My doctor said not to worry about it, it wasn't serious, and the biggest complication would be pain if the fibroid started to degenerate (i.e. start to shrink if it outgrew its blood supply), but she assured me that that was a rare occurrence. Well, surprise again!

About 3 weeks ago, the fibroid started to degenerate. I had an ultrasound done after having three days of stomach pain and it showed that my fibroid had shrunk from a whopping 11 cm to 9.2 cm. The pain initially started feeling like a pulled muscle and all of the ensuing fun that comes from a sore stomach like hurting when I laughed. The pain got steadily worse over the next few days, making it difficult to walk or bend or do much of anything. It basically felt like the world's worst side stitch along with a rhythmic stabbing motion. Hitting a speed bump in the car, for instance, was agonizing -- shooting pain up my side and through my insides. It was just really painful. My doctor offered prescription painkillers, but I decided to pass on those and just bear it.

I'm happy to report that for the last week or so, the fibroid has been quiet and the pain non-existent. This tells me that the fibroid has stopped shrinking (it hasn't disappeared; I can still feel it on my right side). Sitting still and resting was the best thing. I know pain medication would have made it easier but I didn't want to go that way for personal reasons. I think the message here is that yes, it does hurt when this happens but it does go away, it doesn't cause any other side effects or issues, and it's just a matter of getting through it. I should also add that I'm the world's biggest baby when it comes to pain so if I can do this, anyone can (or maybe it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it did!).

And oh, I'm not a doctor (obviously). So if you think this is happening to you, talk to your doctor to confirm that it is truly this relatively benign issue.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ch-ch-changes

Have I mentioned I've given up politics? If I haven't, well, I have. It was not an epiphany that just hit me 'side the head recently, but something that happened back in April when I was hanging out for a week in the allegedly happiest place on earth. It's amazing what one week free of internet and mostly free of news will do to your mind. It clarifies, cleanses, and all that good stuff. And when you come back from the detox, you find out people are still mad about the same stuff, still yelling about the same stuff, and no one has moved the ball down the field. And I realized that I spent a lot of time not moving the ball down the field as well.

I'm not sure how swearing off politics is going to help with the problem I just crystallized in last sentence of the above paragraph. I just know that my life is happier without reading who is saying what to whom, who hates on whom, and why the other side is so freakin' crazy/awful/terrible/hates America. I've unsubscribed from most of the political feeds on my Facebook page, have stopped reading politically orientated op-eds, and now skip the Sunday television gab fests that are usually nothing less than polite food fights.

I think the real thing that gets me about politics and why it's so easy to walk away -- every action has an opposite and equal reaction. For example: cut taxes, you cut revenues. Cut the budget and someone somewhere out there is going to suffer (but it's okay as long as it's someone else, not me -- hands off my government-run Medicare thankyouverymuch). End EPA regulations and sure businesses will have more cash flow, but let's watch the asthma and cancer rates go up at the same time. I can play this game all day and I know you can too.

No one talks about how to get America's kids educated so we can compete in a global marketplace, no one talks about funding research and development so we can be the innovative brains of the world again; do we not realize that the rest of the world has caught up in certain places and we're not competitive anymore? Instead, we talk about stupid things like whether gay people should be allowed to get married (um, yes) or forcing sonograms on women who want abortions (and who's going to take care of the kid when it gets here, you? Certainly not Uncle Sam). We spend all this time quibbling about other people's lives, not realizing that other countries (namely BRIC) are stealing our thunder. And dang it, I want our thunder back.

I'll be back when the country decides that it wants to act like adults and really solve problems, not talk about how the other side isn't cooperating. Cooperation, if I remember correctly, doesn't involve ultimatums and usually takes two. I should also note that my blood pressure is nice and low now that I no longer follow politics. But boy, that means I know a heck of a lot more about Hollywood than any normal, sane person ought to.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Argh!

I just discovered our magnets don't stick to the stainless steel refrigerator in the kitchen! ACK! Another mark against stainless steel appliances (we don't care for them and would have chosen non-stainless steel, but the house came with them). Now I have to figure out what to do with all of my pictures and other things we would put on the refrigerator so we wouldn't forget about them. It seems odd that the OEMs of these appliances didn't seem to realize that most of us like to decorate our refrigators! Whoever heard of a pristine refrigerator? (Model homes don't count!). *le sigh* I hate that I won't be able to use my magnets anymore, magnets I've had for years, that have followed me from place to place. GE, are you listening????

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Moving...bleech

The move is continuing through this Memorial Day weekend. We got delayed today due to the sudden realization we had run out of storage space. So off to IKEA we went, where we procured a very nice wardrobe closet (and only one widget missing from the kit!). It took 2 1/2 hours for J to build (I supervised; I'm very good at that) and so that took a chunk out of the day. Should also note that we still haven't emptied our apartment; we think we have maybe two hours of work left there for tomorrow.

We had originally planned to put the wardrobe in the closet-less guest room, but then changed direction. As a result, the dresser in the master bedroom is now hanging out in the dining room while waiting to be moved into the guest room. We also have started becoming ruthless with stuff, starting donation boxes and trash; if it's in good enough condition to donate, we will, but some clothes and linens are just so... gross that we tossed them immediately.

We think we're making progress because we have lots of empty boxes, yet the chaos around us seems to grow every day. I'm not sure if it's because we still have the apartment so stuff from there was arriving every day, making it harder to move through the stuff already in the house, or we're just incredibly disorganized, or we have lots and lots of crap. All of these things could be true. Hopefully tomorrow we'll rid ourselves of the apartment -- well, actually we have to since our lease expires on the 31st -- and really get a handle on tackling the mess that is our house. Still, home sweet home. It's nice to be here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Administrative note

And oh! I should mention -- because this has actually come up a couple times recently -- that if you ever sent me a story to be published on this site, I don't have a copy of it. Sorry. I deleted all stories from the website some time ago and kept copies for a while on my dearly departed computer, which only had a 20 GB harddrive; at some point, I decided I needed the hard drive space and I deleted anything that was no longer on my site. Add to that a couple of reformats on the drive and last summer's catastrophic hard drive failure, and I don't really have an archive of a lot of things (including some of my stuff anymore. So if you're looking for a copy, you may want to try the Way Back When machine. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
Things that make you go hmmm...

The more I encounter them, the less I like the CAPTCHA method of telling "humans apart from computer." I understand why it's used and why it's needed, but this particular human is not very good at using them. Mostly it's because those graphics are so badly rendered that it's hard to read them correctly. The letters are pushed together, the lines are blurred or fuzzy, and it's like is that an I or a 1? I invariably get my first attempt at filling the box incorrect and have to do it again several times. A couple of times, the graphics have been so difficult to decipher that I have locked myself out of my own account. I can't be the only one who has this problem, right?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Moving...

So I have moved again. Moving is no fun, as we all know. In fact, it's amazing -- AMAZING -- just how much stuff one gathers when one stays in place. Part of me thinks it's a great idea to move every year just to keep from accumulating stuff, but then the other part of me remembers what a pain in the butt it was to deal with AT&T to get phone & internet set up at the new place and I'm thinking, "Okay, maybe we'll stay put for a while." Right now I'm a bit intimidated by the number of boxes still left to unpack (we started moving on Wednesday with professional movers for the heavy stuff). We're slowly working our way through it, 'slowly' being the operative word here. At least this computer is now back up and functioning. Hooray!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

LotD

I always enjoy reading features on Hillary; have been a fan since she was first lady, so it's nice to see an article when she's not getting beat on for one thing or another. It's amazing she went from one of the most reviled figures in America to one of the most admired women in the world (though in all fairness, she's been pretty respected and fairly treated since she became the junior senator from New York). Hillary Clinton: Woman of the World Politics: vanityfair.com

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

LotD II

The state of Sbarro: America's Least Essential Restaurant. This article cracked me. Maybe I'm easily amused by the nostalgia of hitting a rather lame mall in western Mass and thinking Sbarro was gourmet; in those days, anything was better than the dining commons. Oh how I looked forward to that pizza slice. Now you can't get me to even glance at the display case of the place. Anyway, fun article, especially if you're a reformed Sbarro "fan" like yours truly.
LotD

I guess my temporary political truce is over. Paul Ryan's Individual Mandate -- how his budget resembles Obamacare. As startling as this article is, I have to 'fess -- I'm happy when I'm not part of the political cacophony. It's starting to get to be a bit much. Maybe tomorrow I'll go back to the silly stuff again.

Monday, May 02, 2011

He won't be missed

The NYTimes' Osama bin Laden obituary. Startling but very welcome development. Here's the inside story, per the WaPo. I'm just in awe of the Navy SEALs and CIA operatives who carried out this mission.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Happily ever after

I must have slept through this part of the Royal Wedding. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

'tis the season

The Perfect Summer Dress. As a dress lover, I was greatly amused by this analysis, written by a man no less!

I just returned from a week-long vacation to the happiest place on Earth. It was GREAT to be without internet or television for that time. Amazingly, people are still shouting about the same things this week as they were last week when we left. I'm, however, still in my happy place, and have no desire to be pulled back into the real world just yet.
Wedding bells

To clear up the confusion, Kate Middleton will actually be known as Princess William after marriage, not Princess Catherine. See more here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

150 Years After Fort Sumter: Why We're Still Fighting the Civil War

LotD II

150 Years After Fort Sumter: Why We're Still Fighting the Civil War. Interesting read. Coming across a lot of great analysis of the Civil War and it's scary how much I've forgotten since grade school. The 're-education' is much appreciated, especially since here in Big Red State the Confederate flag can still be found flying proud.
LotD

Five Myths About Planned Parenthood. I really like this series from the Washington Post and try to catch most, if not all of them when I can.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm

Our taxes are done and not surprisingly, we paid more in taxes than GE in 2010. Now if only our income matched theirs...

Saturday, April 09, 2011

LotD II

Analysis: Is the US ready for the GOP's Medicare cuts?

... as time goes on, the demand for the government to provide—or assist in the provision of—social insurance will grow, not decline. Historically, companies shouldered the load of funding workers' health care and retirement savings. But 401(K)s are replacing pensions. According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the percentage of employees participating in defined benefit plans was 33 percent in 2007 compared with 63 percent in 1988. Public-sector pensions are likely to be trimmed. That means tomorrow's retirees will need more old-age income insurance, not less. In addition, jobs increasingly don't come with health care benefits. According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of people in 2009 covered by employment-based health insurance fell to 55.8 percent in 2009, the lowest "since 1987, the first year that comparable health insurance data were collected." With each passing year, more people need help buying insurance, not fewer.
LotD

I thought Andrea Grime's quest to find an alternative to Planned Parenthood for a pap smear was quite interesting, especially in light of the fact she lives in Dallas. DALLAS! A major metropolitan area and she still could not find an appointment within two months. A sobering reality for the poor and uninsured; I just find it ironic since arguments people make against Obamacare is they want to be able to get an appointment with a doctor on the same day and 'socialized medicine' won't allow them to do that.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Video of the month

So much for such and such of the day! I have a fandom related post coming up, but I need to gather my thoughts since it's still relatively fresh and I'm so far away from fannish things. I just want to be coherent, y'know, and just not possible at this moment.

In the meantime, here is my Bollywood song of the day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

LotD

Uninsured with a pre-existing condition? Apparently there are some 'bridge' plans out there provided either at the federal or state level -- a temporary fix until all insurers must cover pre-existing conditions in 2014. There are some requirements, which seem kind of onerous depending on your situation, but worth checking out if you qualify. The article explaining all is here and the federal government site to apply is here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Movie-licious

Finally watched Food Inc tonight; I'd been avoiding it despite rave reviews and an Oscar nomination because truth be told, sometimes you just don't want to know where your food comes from. It's an intriguing film and I definitely recommend it, but do warn there are a couple of graphic slaughter-house scenes in it (though nowhere as bad as I'd heard). It's definitely thought provoking and filled with "you gotta be kidding me" moments (corn really makes it into nearly everything we eat?). Also, new big corporate villain is introduced -- Monsanto -- and you'll be seriously creeped out by some of their activities. Unfortunately it's food and we have to eat, but at least now I'm a little more educated on what it takes to produce the food I eat; that backyard garden looks more and more attractive now.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Baby's got an out of this world name

Just in case you were looking for names for your little bouncing bundle of joy, may I suggest Trek baby names? I especially like the suggestion of 'Borg'. With the middle name of Hirogen, it rolls right off the tongue.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

LotD

The War Against Women. And we haven't even covered the Georgia congressman who introduced a bill making miscarriages a felony if the mother can't disprove "human involvement". BTW, the previous link comes from Fox News...

Friday, February 25, 2011

LotD

How to make oatmeal... wrong. I never thought of McDonald's as the place to go for anything particularly helpful, but seven ingredients in cream? Really? Another seven in oatmeal, including 'natural flavor'? And wait until you read aout the sugar and calorie count in this one. Thanks, but no thanks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I stand with Planned Parenthood

Did you hear? The House voted to bar Planned Parenthood from federal funding. They cut funding for HIV tests, cancer screenings, birth control, and more, putting millions of women and families at risk. We can't let it go unanswered. It's time for you and me to stand with Planned Parenthood. Sign the open letter to the reps who voted for this bill — and to the senators who still have a chance to stop it. You can find the letter here:
http://www.ppaction.org/IStandWithPP

Pass it on.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LotD

Search's Dirty Little Secrets. Interesting article on how a certain retailer was trying to gain position on google's search engine. Click on the NYTimes article above to find out who it is (hint: I bet most of you have shopped there in the last 12 months).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Two more

Add Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen to the list of people I wish news organizations would ignore. The former hasn't been relevant in a while and the latter is just... disgusting. Neither adds much to society. They both need help, seem willfully inclined to disregard any help that is offered, and neither shows any motivation to improve themselves (and yes, I know addiction is a disease). It's just irritating when their troubles seem to trounce what's happening in Egypt and other places around the world.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Lotd III

My friend, Tamar Carroll, wrote an op/ed on Glenn Beck and his 'special' view of history here.

Beck has repeatedly and erroneously tarred as un-American the efforts of those who have sought to increase low-income voter registration, labor union membership, interracial cooperation, peaceful resolution of foreign conflict, and the meeting of poor people’s needs within and by their own communities.
LoTD II

Defend Planned Parenthood here. I don't usually sign up for things like this but I feel the GOP is continually doing everything they can to erode women's rights to make decisions about their own bodies. In this particular case, they're also taking away a key source for health services -- 97% of which are services not abortion (ex: pap smears, breast cancer screenings) -- for low income women and men. It just boggles the mind. Again, I want to know what the GOP is doing to address that particular gap? Oh, that's right, as the party of no, they don't have to do anything at all.
LotD

It's actually a "laugh of the day" versus "link of the day," but no matter. Today's hilarity is brought to you by Glenn Beck. It'd be funnier if so many people didn't take him so seriously and take his 'geography lessons' to heart (and we wonder why we're falling behind educationally-wise?).

"One, a Muslim caliphate that controls the Mideast and parts of Europe. Two, China, that will control Asia, the southern half of Africa, part of the Middle East, Australia, maybe New Zealand, and God only knows what else. And Russia, which will control all of the old former Soviet Union bloc, plus maybe the Netherlands. I'm not really sure. But their strong arm is coming. That leaves us and South America. What happens to us?"

My favorite is Russia taking over the Netherlands? WTF? Wouldn't Russia rather have the Baltics with which it shares a land border (and continues to squabble with, especially over matters of natural gas)? What about the Scandanavian countries with which it has a common waterway? Why would Russia want the Netherlands, a relatively small European country, when Germany and Poland are much bigger priczs. I have no idea what Beck is talking about, unless when he refers to the old Soviet bloc, he's including Poland and East Germany. Clearly, Russia has got enough states to harass and occupy before they get to the Netherlands.

BTW, this post earns a new tag: conspiracy theories. I guess I should start filing any X-Files related stuff under this tag as well.
Deep thoughts

The Pandora jewelry collection is not pretty.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

LotD

I've been wanting to address the efforts in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and the separate bill that changes the definition of rape (until recently, it had to be a 'forcible' rape, as if there is any other kind), but Gail Collins in the NYT sums up my position beautifully so go there to read. I'd take the Republicans more seriously on health care repeal efforts if a) I thought they had a workable plan to replace Obamacare and b) if I thought they actually cared about people who make less than $250,000 a year and c) if their position wasn't so hypocritical: get government out of my healthcare, but by the way, ladies, we the government want to make it difficult for you to make decisions about your own bodies and whether you can have birth control covered under Obamacare. Notice we don't have these same conversations about Viagra.

The best way, mho, to put abortion providers out of business is to reduce the need. That includes providing education, contraception, and the care and support women need to raise the children (or pay the bills required to deliver and then give the child up for adoption). My greatest fear is that abortions will become so hard to get legally that women will find unscrupulous individuals to get their abortions or attempt it themselves with dire results (the WHO reports that in Europe, up to 30% of maternal deaths are due to illegal abortions). In fact, a study shows that the rates of abortions -- legal or not -- remain the same.

PP performed 340,000 abortions last year; that's a lot hearts and minds of women to change and I would argue that we can't judge those women without knowing the why of their decisions (in fact, we shouldn't judge anyway -- it's a personal and private decision). A woman's ability to make her own decisions about her personal health care is constantly being eroded by the GOP. This isn't the time to sit back and let it happen. We need to do everything we can to make abortion legal and safe but more importantly, rare. But more importantly, we need to reclaim our right to make our own decisions about our body; no bureaucrat in DC should have that power.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

LotD

The entire country is in a deep freeze and something seems to be going on Cairo, but for the moment, forget all that and venture with me to the weirdly awkward world of maternity photography. And don't click if you're at work; some of these pictures are decidedly Not!Safe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

LotD

A politics-free post! On an entirely different note, I've been reading some of the stories on PicFic, a website devoted to "I Want to Believe" (X-Files) era fanfic, nicely divided up into before/during/after the movie. There are some really good ones here, and I'm not going to recommend any one story because pretty much all of them are wonderful. Since I don't follow fandom anywhere, it was nice to find out about this site and have all these wonderful stories by various authors all in one place. So much to read, so little time.

Monday, January 31, 2011

LotD

This article -- Repeal This -- caught my eye a couple weeks ago but due to travel, I wasn't able to post it here. It's an article dealing with a study that says half of Americans have pre-existing conditions. I looked at one of the insurance questionnaires the article linked to and found that my relatively mild case of [redacted] warrants a 50% rate increase. A coworker was telling me he's worried about getting laid off because of his wife's pregnancy -- a pre-existing condition. If you get a chance, go through the questionnaire; it's eye-opening. I daresay most people will have at least one of the conditions listed for rate increase or automatic denial.

You can look at HealthNet's guidelines here. United Healthcare and Humana's guidelines are linked within the article.

What's worrisome about the Republicans' desire to repeal the health care law is that they have NO plan to replace it or address the very real issues people are facing. We're in a new world where companies have no loyalties to their employees and will lay people off the minute it'll help the bottomline, and as a result jobs are scarce or gone forever, and yet the best way to get coverage is through your employer. Something isn't computing. If the Republicans have a plan, let's hear it already. But then again, they have the "gold plated" federal health plan, so I suppose there's no rush to make sure the rest of us have the same care.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

QotD

Thomas Friedman just said on Meet the Press: "Egypt and the Middle East has been on vacation from history for the last 50 years because of oil. Egypt didn't have oil but it had the agreement with Israel, which was to Egypt what oil is to the rest of the Middle East."

The quote just struck me because I'm reading a biography of Catherine of Aragon and the first few chapters have reference to the Moorish influences on Spain and the technological and artistic contributions made to that country prior to their ousting. I'm not quite sure what the peace treaty with Israel did economically for Egypt (perhaps aid from the US?) but oil and its ensuring revenues/subsidies gave some of these countries a reason not to develop other capabilities/competencies, leading to the high unemployment rates and stagnation that we see in the Middle East today. It's not just a democratic revolution that's needed, but an industrial one as well.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ask and you shall receive

A few weeks ago, I voiced my desire for a Palin-free month (I think more than a month would be asking too much; a Palin-free week is practically a luxury). Dana Millbank of the WaPo has declared February a Palin-free month. Unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the media will follow the ever amusing Millbank's lead.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Challenge

Some years ago, the AP tried a bold experiment: they ignored Paris Hilton for a week. Not a single story about the socialite ran for a week and amazingl, the earth didn't fall off its axis and the sun still rose in the east and set in the west. I wish they would try the same experiment with Sarah Palin; she's now becoming completely tiresome and annoying and taking attention away from credible and intelligent presidential candidates in 2012.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happ birthday!

This blog is a decade old today! Wow. I had no idea why I wanted a blog 10 years ago (and I still don't know why) but somehow this blog has stuck around all of this time. It's been fun and I've met some great people through it. Here's to another 10 years!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ideear

The show will be called "Baggage Wars" and 100 to 150 contestants will compete to get bags of various sides into the overhead bins on an airplane. Bonuses will be given to contestants who succeed stuffing not only an oversized bag, an huge personal item, and a jacket into the bins. Extra extra points will be given to contestant who holds up the line by rearranging all the bags in an overhead bin in order to get their bag in. Points will be subtracted if anyone uses the space beneath the seat in front of them.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Milestone

It's been a looonnng time, but I'm adding a new tag: tea party. I eventually plan to add an 'election 2012' tag as well. If I'm feeling really motivated (which I'm not), I might go back and re-tag the entries written prior to Blogger's introduction of the tags. Then there might be a lot of new tags on the block.
LotD

How the Tea Party's fetish for the Constitution as written may get it in trouble.

The problem with the Tea Party's new Constitution fetish is that it's hopelessly selective. As Robert Parry notes, the folks who will be reading the Constitution aloud this week can't read the parts permitting slavery or prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment using only their inside voices, while shouting their support for the 10th Amendment. They don't get to support Madison and renounce Jefferson, then claim to be restoring the vision of "the Framers." Either the Founders got it right the first time they calibrated the balance of power between the federal government and the states, or they got it so wrong that we need to pass a "Repeal Amendment" to fix it. And unless Tea Party Republicans are willing to stand proud and announce that they adore and revere the whole Constitution as written, except for the First, 14, 16th, and 17th amendments, which totally blow, they should admit right now that they are in the same conundrum as everyone else: This document no more commands the specific policies they espouse than it commands the specific policies their opponents support.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Anisha's wedding

Photo of the Day

I like to take pictures of food and in 2010, this was one of my favorite pictures.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

LotD

Why are Republicans Changing Their Tune on Fannie and Freddie?

When your party is in the opposition with a weak minority, it's very easy to talk big. You can tell Americans exactly what they want to hear without any consequences, because you can't actually pass any legislation. But now that Republicans are in a position to actually pass bills, they need to pay a little more attention to the consequences of their talking points.