Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Isn't this interesting...

Google news had this fascinating snippet, but when I tried to follow the link I couldn't get the text to load. Did anyone get to this article??
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It's Not Easy Being Cheesy

If you have visited my blog before you've probably seen the name acronym link. I decided to look up all the words for CmdrSue to see how well I thought it fit me.

    1. Containing or resembling cheese.
    2. Of poor quality; shoddy.

    I always thought of cheesy as also meaning sort of goofy, but perhaps this was because I grew up with Chester Cheetah around. If you agree that it means goofy then I will say that I do in fact contain or resemble cheese.

    1. Of or having a spiritual reality or import not apparent to the intelligence or senses.
    2. Of, relating to, or stemming from direct communion with ultimate reality or God: a mystical religion.
    3. Enigmatic; obscure: mystical theories about the securities market.
    4. Of or relating to mystic rites or practices.
    5. Unintelligible; cryptic.

    Oh yes. Absolutely.

    1. Not straightforward; shifty: a devious character.
    2. Departing from the correct or accepted way; erring: achieved success by devious means.
    3. Deviating from the straight or direct course; roundabout: a devious route.
    4. Away from a main road or course; distant or removed.

    I didn't react well to this one the first time I saw it, but I do often say that I'm clever. I don't use a direct attack on anything unless it is absolutely necessary. Does that mean that I'm devious? I don't like the connotations of the word, but if we go with definitions 3 or 4 I have to say it is pretty much true.

    1. To make lax or loose.
    2. To make less severe or strict.
    3. To reduce in intensity; slacken.
    4. To relieve from tension or strain.

    From what I understand, I give good vibe. Sometimes people just like to have me around because I calm them. I don't understand quite how this works, just that it is something that happens.

    1. Very humid and hot.
    2. Extremely hot; torrid.
    3. Expressing or arousing desire.

    "The night was sultry..." Every Scorpio wants to think that this is true of them. Is it? How in the heck would I know? In the eye of the beholder, baby.

    1. Not usual, common, or ordinary.
    Well, ain't that the truth. Why be normal? What is normal, anyway? When I was younger I took normal as the most dire insult you could give me.

    1. To wear out completely.
    2. To drain of resources or properties; deplete.
    3. To use up completely.
    4. To treat completely.
    5. To draw out the contents of; drain.
    6. To let out or draw off.

    How could I be both relaxing and exhausting? I dunno. But I think that I am. When "on task" I can be tenacious and energetic. Very, very, very tenacious.

So that's it. I think yeah, I own my acronym. It's pretty much me. And if this post wasn't cheesy, I don't know what is...

What am I, C-Span 2?

If you didn't catch the Jon Stewart interview on Larry King Live (like I didn't) then check out the transcript.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Card Carrying Member of the Wild-Eyed Coalition

Now let me tell you a little something that may not be apparent if you're a reader of my blog. The way that I make my bread and butter (and a little marmalade) is by providing analysis and recommendations to executives. Sometimes I get hired for different reasons - financial analysis, systems implementation, budget development - since those are all skills that I've developed, but analysis and recommendation is what I always end up doing. Why? Because I'm cautious, analytical, reasoned, visionary, and judicious. I don't make things up, I look them up.

So when I say that I'm a member of a wild-eyed coalition it should give people some pause. Being me, of course, I turned to to give some insight.
    1. Glaring in or as if in anger, terror, or madness.
    2. Extreme and passionate in belief or advocacy.

    1. An alliance, especially a temporary one, of people, factions, parties, or nations.
    2. A combination into one body; a union.

Bill Clinton once said that the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans is that "Democrats fall in love. Republicans fall in line." What this administration has done, essentially, is make the Democrats act like Republicans. We are beginning to fall in line. Why? Because we're mad - about the lies, the insane spending and debts, and the crippling of important programs like public education. We're so mad that we are willing to set aside various moderate to extreme liberal agendas to form a passionate alliance, an extreme union, a glaring body, for the sole purpose of setting our political house to rights.

To this administration and the Republicans in the Congress I have to say - You told us that you would be the moral party, the grown up party. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice... Go f#*@ yourself.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Just Do It

With the wise words "Spirituality is all about: identifying the good, then doing it", Swami Uptown tells us about Homes for Our Troops.

Friday, June 25, 2004

You know, Selena was killed by the President of her fan club....

Funky Fridge has this offering for days when the "Christian Right" get to us.
Posted by Hello

Makes Me Proud to Be Irish

These Irish eyes are smiling, because the natives of my ancestral homeland protested Bush's visit.

    Rallying under the "Stop Bush Campaign" banner, the crowd of about 10,000 waved signs denouncing Bush as a warmonger and calling for an end to American military flights though Shannon Airport, a strategic refueling point used by thousands of U.S. troops each month...

    "Good people of America," read one placard, "vote that son of a Bush out."

    "If we don't speak out, our silence will be taken as consent," Dublin Mayor Andrew Montague told the crowd. "This president lied to the world about the reasons for invading Iraq."

    ...Leaders of Green Party handed out copies of a mock set of instructions advising protesters how to make a "citizen's arrest" of Bush if they meet him.

This reminds me of something Bono from U2 said once. The difference between an American and an Irishman is that the American sees the rich man on the hill and says, "One day I'm going to be that man." The Irishman says, "One day I'm going to get that man..."

Monday, June 21, 2004

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Valkyrie Needs Food... Badly

CmdrSue tests out as a Chaotic Good Elf Ranger Bard

Chaotic Good characters are independent types with a strong belief in the value of goodness. They have little use for governments and other forces of order, and will generally do their own things, without heed to such groups.

Elves are the eldest of all races, although they are generally a bit smaller than humans. They are generally well-cultured, artistic, easy-going, and because of their long lives, unconcerned with day-to-day activities that other races frequently concern themselves with. Elves are, effectively, immortal, although they can be killed. After a thousand years or so, they simply pass on to the next plane of existance.

Primary Class:
Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Secondary Class:
Bards are the entertainers. They sing, dance, and play instruments to make other people happy, and, frequently, make money. They also tend to dabble in magic a bit.

Find out What D&D Character Are You?, courtesy of NeppyMan (e-mail)

**1/13/07 Update - The link to the test was broken (he moved the test) but I tracked it down and revised. If you've been here before you might want to try the link again.**

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Dirty Words

Robert Reich is on The Daily Show right now with his new book:

It got me to thinking I've been meaning to look up liberal/liberalism and conservative/conservatism since I think most people are talking from perceptions, not facts. Ultimately what is important is that the communication is effective but I think it's also good to know the true definitions.

    Liberalism: A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.

    Conservatism: A political orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes.

This confirms for me that I'm a Conservative Liberal.

It wasn't just coffee....

Yesterday's brain fuzziness wasn't just a lack of coffee. By the afternoon I was running a fever and today I'm home with tea, vitamin C, and the dvd player. We have more dvds than any rational person would, and now seems a good time to enjoy it. Right now we're watching Beverly Hills Cop.

Work is unending so I'm running reports and updating spreadsheets.

Life sucks. Except for the dvd player.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

'Er you a Beptist?

I lived in Mississippi (of and on) for about ten years and I can't tell you how many people sidled up to me and asked me if I was Baptist. This is particularly odd since it started with my 7-year-old classmates. I found that a blank look worked best. Engaging any of them in a theological discussion was, well... pointless.

Having been raised with an excess of dogma herself, my Mom wanted us to have the opportunity to think for ourselves. We didn't go to church, but we did talk about God. Of the three of us, two turned out very deeply spiritual and the other one I'll call agnostic because he still can't decide where he falls on the whole God issue. He loves to discuss it deep into the night - calling on physics, metaphysics, history, and large quantities of beer. Our Mom has decided she is an atheist, but I think that's just her code for Angry With God.

You can imagine that our family in a small town of the Deep South full of Southern Baptists was not a good fit. Now the Southern Baptist contingent has decided to leave the Baptist World Alliance because "some members of the loose, global association had adopted liberal theology and "anti-American" thinking".

In the great "Life of Brian" comedy, the Southern Baptists are worshipping Brian's shoe. That's right, I'm saying that they don't "get it". "Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) should not give money or endorsement to an organization that includes liberals. He also complained that the American Baptist Churches, a U.S. denomination, includes "gay-friendly congregations," and that other members of the world alliance call the inerrancy of Scripture into question."

How, exactly, can you read the teachings of Jesus and not conclude that he was a liberal? And not just any liberal. He was a do-or-die liberal.

I only have the satisfaction of knowing that Jesus very clearly outlined how to live a good life.


I decided to start today without caffeine and it was a bad, bad, bad... zzzzz *drool*

What? Sorry? Oh, it was a bad idea.

Thoughts aren't really stuck in my head today, they are sort of wandering around like lost prehistoric tribesmen.

  • Howard Dean is going to be in Washington, DC on July 14th. I'm trying to decide if I want to go.

  • I haven't been to the Florida beach or the Bahamas in 10 years. What the hell?

  • I live in a Fascist State and the True Believers are starting to come out of the woodwork.

  • The First Day of Summer is next Monday.

  • Someone please email me some coffee and crullers, stat.

    Monday, June 14, 2004

    Flag Day

    Every heart beats true 'neath the Red, White and Blue...
    Posted by Hello

    You're a grand old flag,
    You're a high flying flag
    And forever in peace may you wave.
    You're the emblem of
    The land I love.
    The home of the free and the brave.
    Ev'ry heart beats true
    'neath the Red, White and Blue,
    Where there's never a boast or brag.
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Sheila Samples has a great article called "Has anybody here seen my old friend God?" posted over at Smirking Chimp. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here's a sample:

      Is there not one Christian who will dare to point out that, in his foolish crusade to rid the world of evil -- a task that only God can perform -- Bush has murdered more innocent people in the last two years than all terrorists combined?...Is there not even one Christian who misses God and His blessed influence in everything around us -- the poetry of life, the music, the sun-lit laughter inspired by goodness and mercy -- the sheer joy of reaching out to help those in need -- the most vulnerable among us?

    She calls the issue "faith-shattering". Amen, sister. Amen.

    Sunday, June 13, 2004

    Small Towns, Big Dreams, and Sad Statistics...

    Joe Bageant brought up some information that goes in my 'Thing That Make You Cry' file.

      Forty-six percent of the American dead in Iraq came from towns of less than 40,000. Yet these towns make up only 25% of our population. Most of the young soldiers were fleeing economically depressed places, or dead end jobs...These so-called volunteers are part of this nation's de facto draft---economic conscription.

    I would like to point out that these towns have some of the lowest populations of youth, too, so I'm sure they have been very hard hit by these losses. Since I've never lived anywhere small, or any particular place for more than a few years, it is hard for me to imagine how these deaths have affected their communities. But when I try to imagine it, it hurts.

    Joe very quickly falls out of favor with me, though, because he dismisses the American soldier's ability to follow their dreams by using the GI-Bill. Those kids, like all the rest, need to hear that of COURSE they can achieve their dreams. The key is determination. And it's hard to keep your chin up when smirking know-it-all writers say, "I suppose lots of poor kids do go to college on their military benefits. But personally speaking, I can count the number I know who actually did it on one hand. Let's be honest here: graduating from a small town redneck white high school not knowing where Alaska is on a map of the US is not exactly the path to the fountain at Harvard Yard."

    Thanks for the stats, Joe, but shame on you for dismissing ANYONE's ambition to improve themselves. Shame, shame, shame. Seeds can only grow with proper nurturance, and you aren't helping.

    Super Size Me!

    After our dinner celebrating The Mighty Duo of Wonderfulness' results in the Urban Challenge, our gang walked over to the the theater to take in "Super Size Me".

    I had seen Morgan Spurlock on The Daily Show a few nights before and thought that he was a lot of fun. And, of course, I had heard a lot of the "buzz" about the film. Especially since Nevsky had been buzzing from two cubes away for over a month now.

    But I really hadn't expected to like the film so damn much.

    It was both funny and informative. And, if you know me, that's sort of like saying it was both great and wonderful.

    As an indication of what a datahead I am, when they mentioned the increase in American's eating out I was hopping up and down in my seat whispering to my husband, "That's all tracked by the USDA. I have the report and graphs at home! Why aren't they talking about the change in food sold in grocery stores?" Yes, I wanted them to whip the graphs up on the screen and talk about how even our home cooked food has changed to processed 'easy' stuff.

    The information that he presents will definitely make you think twice about the next thing you eat. I was raised on health food but have M A J O R L Y slid into a bad modern American diet.

    Three out of three smiley faces for "Super Size Me"!

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Revolution X

    It's the poem that got a teacher fired... and blacklisted. It sent (parts of) the school into a furor. She was called 'UnAmerican'. They want her mother to find the poem and destroy it.

    How can she be UnAmerican, when protection of Freedom of Speech is fundamental to our way of life? It's called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of No Rights. Anway, I leave it to the young lady:

      Bush said no child would be left behind
      And yet kids from inner-city schools
      Work on Central Avenue
      Jingling cans that read
      Please sir, may I have some more?
      They hand out diplomas like toilet paper
      And lower school standards
      Underpaid, unrespected teachers
      Are afraid of losing their jobs
      Funded by the standardized tests
      That shows our competency
      When I'm in detox.
      This is the Land of the Free ...
      Where the statute of limitations for rape is only five damn years!
      And immigrants can't run for President.
      Where Muslims are hunted because
      Some suicidal men decided they didn't like
      Our arrogant bid for modern imperialism.
      This is the Land of the Free ...
      You drive by a car whose
      Bumper screams
      God bless America!
      Well, you can scratch out the B
      And make it Godless
      Because God left this country a long time ago.
      The founding fathers made this nation
      On a dream and now
      Freedom of Speech
      Lets Nazis burn crosses, but
      Calls police to
      Gay pride parades.
      We somehow
      Can afford war with Iraq
      But we can't afford to pay the teachers
      Who educate the young who hold the guns
      Against the "Axis of Evil"
      Land of the Free ...
      This is the land
      If you're politically assertive
      They call you a traitor and
      Damn you to ostracism.
      Say good-bye to Johnny Walker Lindh
      And his family.
      Bye Bye
      American Pie.
      So maybe
      My ideas about this nation
      Don't resolve around perfection
      But at least I know
      Education is more important
      Than money.
      Land of the Free . . .
      If this was utopia
      We'd have to see each other naked
      Before we got married
      But instead, we see each other naked all the time
      Because the government has my social security number
      And the name of my dog!
      And then we make babies,
      But don't worry, they won't be left behind
      And they grow up saying
      God bless America!
      But they don't know who Bush is
      Because they never learned the Presidents.
      And they will ride the ship Amistad
      To our dreamland shores
      Bearing the same shackles as us.
      I'm here to say that
      Generation X
      Is pissed and we are taking over,
      Ripping down the American illusion of perfection
      We are the future generation
      I have my qualifications
      I know it looks like Angel Soft paper,
      But don't worry
      It's a diploma
      Do I look qualified?
      You can take our toilet paper,
      But you can't take our Revolution.

    Like this is a surprise...

    cute but psycho
    You are the cute but psycho Happy Bunny. You're adorable, but a little out there. It's alright,you might not have it all, but there are worse things...

    which happy bunny are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Tuesday, June 8, 2004

    Fiery Extra-Hot Cubicle

    Allen Snyder's Deadly Sinful Bush is No Christian is a great read. As a teacher of philosophy and ethics, he is understandably upset that Bush presents himself as 'a good Christian'.

    I have to say, though, that it's quite often the 'good Christians' that scare me. I would rather deal with a militant agnostic (I don't know and you don't either!), a questing new-ager (we are all God...), or perhaps a raging Tasmanian Devil.

    Monday, June 7, 2004

    This is a test, this is only a test....

    I just got a link that speaks straight to my heart from An Old Soul, a diatribe on American education from The Vast Dairy State Conspiracy. In her post "Testing Everything, Achieving Nothing" Stacie questions the validity of testing for judging teaching or public education. Why? Because the well-fed, library at home, parents read to them, curious, natural test-takers make their teachers/schools look good while the students whose lives are at the other end of the spectrum make their teachers/schools look bad. That's sort of like planting two cacti - one in the desert and one in a swamp, and then denigrating the one in the swamp because it isn't growing well.

    This brings into question - are the issues with American education an educational system issue? Or a social issue?

    One reason that is so close to my heart is that I was bored OUT OF MY MIND in public school. I was the youngest in the family by seven years - a family that prized intelligence. Like Stacie, I can't remember a time when I couldn't read. By third grade I was dragging my brother's geometry book around, proclaiming that I could teach myself geometry faster than they would ever teach it to me in school. My mother tried to get them to skip me at least a grade ahead but apparently southern Mississippi was too provincial for that. By seventh grade I convinced my parents to send me to a private school. The first one, Coast Episcopal, was pretty good. At least I got to learn some Latin. Then I moved to Alabama and started eighth grade at St. Paul's Episcopal. Mid-year my educational pursuits came to a screeching halt with the following conversation in Chemistry class(me in italics):

      "I thought we were supposed to memorize the whole table of elements."
      "No, just the first ten. We'll do more later."
      "Why didn't you just assign them all at once? I memorized them all over the weekend."
      "Susan, we have to teach to the lowest common denominator."

    Really, I thought. My father is paying through the nose so that you can teach me to the lowest common denominator? If I'd been in public school I wouldn't have had that last thought. But I had already given up on public schools (at least the ones I was near) giving me the academic challenge that I needed. Now I had to give up private schools. When I mentioned to my mother recently that most people can't understand how my parents could let me quit school so young (13) she said wearily, "They didn't know you, honey. They just didn't know you..." Obviously just remembering the curious, headstrong girl that I was made her tired. They tried to pull that truancy trump card on me, so I brought them code citations proving that there were no laws forcing me to go to school. So, as Mark Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."

    More's the pity for the schools. They lost one of their premo test takers while I took my sabbatical. (My mind is perfectly geared to school tests - I learn quickly, memorize quickly, and then after a short period my brain purges all information, like a neat-freak cleaning out a refrigerator. This is in contrast to my husband's brain, which is more like a neat-freak organizing their CD collection. The stuff he can remember makes my brain hurt.) While on sabbatical I did a lot of reading and art, and tried very hard to get my writing career off the ground. By the time I was 15 I had a pretty good collection of rejection letters. By 17 I took a bunch of tests and started college six months ahead of my "class".

    What I've taken from this experience isn't that we need to do more for the smart people. I feel that we need to value ALL of our students/children for their unique talents, interests, situations, and desires. I'm not saying I know how to do that, but obviously someone does because those are the teachers that get stories written about them and movies made about them. If "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire", then those are the teachers who know how to light those fires. From what I can tell it doesn't have anything to do with tests, structure, and systems. It has to do with faith, passion, and dedication.

    But it's also true that all the faith, passion, and dedication in the world can't make a cactus grow in a swamp.

    Quinn, I NEED my coffee....

    It's another one of those days...
    Posted by Hello

    Another great magnet from Funky Fridge.

    Certified 100% Polite

    Just took another one of those darn addictive internet tests, The Wedding Etiquette Test. I got an A+.

      My results:
      Here comes the bride, short fat and... wait, you would never say that! You seem to have the utmost respect for the sacred vow of marriage, or at least recognize the importance couples place on their "big day". Emotions are often running high at these once-in-a-lifetime events and, in addition to your gown or swanky suit, you slip into your best behavior. An invitation, after all, means that your presence is appreciated, and you want to contribute to the warm and fuzzy feelings of the day by following all the rules of etiquette. Essentially, you are well-mannered and, even when tempted, put your own desires and motives aside for the sake of the bride and groom's bliss. This is the only way to be - good job!

    Friday, June 4, 2004

    Terza Posta

    I was thinking I would post a poem
    In the format of a Terza Rima
    Since I'm a member of that fine quorum

    Where our poem is pronounced like Zima.
    I'll have to find an appropriate rhyme
    To fit myself inside of the schema.

    So if you think that I'm wasting your time
    And I'm babbling inside our fine forum,
    Invite yourself to go suck on a lime.

    Thursday, June 3, 2004

    Terza wha????

    I'm sure that my brother the poet is disappointed, but I didn't know what a Terza Rima WAS so I had to look it up.

    I'm terza rima, and I talk and smile.
    Where others lock their rhymes and thoughts away
    I let mine out, and chatter all the while.

    I'm rarely on my own - a wasted day
    Is any day that's spent without a friend,
    With nothing much to do or hear or say.

    I like to be with people, and depend
    On company for being entertained;
    Which seems a good solution, in the end.
    What Poetry Form Are You?

    Back in the day....

    What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Breakout Bat.I am a Breakout Bat.

    I am an abstract sort of creature, who dislikes any sort of restraint. If you try to pigeonhole me, I'll break the box, and come back for more. I don't have any particular ambitions, I just drift, but I am adept at keeping life going along. What Video Game Character Are You?

    Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.

    You're an Etch-a-Sketch!! You're the creative,
    artsy type who doesn't need to actually utilize
    a single muscle group in order to have fun.
    Doesn't matter though, you're still cool.

    What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Thanks to Naked Furniture (a Speak and Spell), I got the link to What childhood toy from the 80s are you?


    A little something to keep the Repugs away from you.... Get yours at Funky Fridge.
    Posted by Hello

    Wednesday, June 2, 2004

    Losers Are Red, and Winners Are Blue...

    ...If you don't believe me, you're STUPID!

    (Yeah, that'll bring in the fence sitters...)

    Generation X is Pissed and We're Taking Over

    You must go to The Twitching Tail and read the post 1st Amendment, What 1st Amendment? Read the poem. Stop wasting time here. Read the poem.


      The latest Iraqi attempts to recover control of the country's oil revenues from the United States appear to have hit a dead end with a special delegation being rebuffed in its bid to secure UN help.
      Smirking Chimp

    Yeah, so this whole thing. It was NEVER about the oil. No oil involved. Not a bit of it.

    Oh, by the way, did we mention that American oil companies posted incredible profits?? Not just increased revenue (sales) but profit (the stuff they keep). Check my math here. If the ExxonMobil revenue in 2003 was $65.95 billion and profit was $21.51 billion that means that profit was 32.6% of revenue. Right? So - if they actually got everything you paid at the pump that would mean for every $1 you put in your tank they made 32.6 cents in profit. (There are other things in there, I'm sure, but let's keep this simple.) My recommendation is that you drive less and invest in more energy stock. Unless, of course, you prefer to use Cognizant Consumerism in which case you would neither invest in evil energy stock (like oil, etc) or use it. Anyone got any alternative energy stocks to sell me?

    Gilligan And The Skipper Too....

    Vacation, All I Ever Needed

    True enough, getting away from it all on the Greenbrier River in West Virginia was just what I needed to start feeling like maybe life is worth living.

    But then, of course, I got home and started reading the news again.

    I managed to rally my enthusiasm and post my right column links. Yea for me.