Monday, February 28, 2005

All Hail the Coming of the Snack Fairy

I've been a fan of Colin Mochrie on Whose Line for awhile now. You can imagine my delight that this Scot/Canuck is now our Nabisco Snack Fairy.

They Call Me Bruce

A little shout out to my latest Blogroll addition, Bruce Cordell. He's done what all of us hailing from the Dork Forest hope to do - find a way to make a living writing Dungeons and Dragons supplements and sci-fi/fantasy. And have a picture on our blog where we're holding a kitten.

Alright Already!

I figured out how to make my haloscan comments show up ABOVE the dotted line. I think.

Now that blogger has pop-up comments and I found out that haloscan dumps my archive after a few months maybe it's a moot point anyway. Maybe I'll just switch over to blogger comments.

Of course now I have my gravatar on haloscan.

Life. It's so complicated.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

In Paper We Trust

A nice little article that details how the government accounts for our Social Security trust funds.

Global Warming

I expect this could be controversial for many reasons, not the least of which being that I'm not the environmental scientist in the family. Hopefully my husband will weigh in if I go too far afield. But I ran into a few places today where people talked about global warming as though it means that basically their local temperature will go up, with perhaps some vague mentioning about it being bad for the planet. My thought is - well, not exactly.

The concept of global warming does indicate that the temperature of the planet (in total) is going up. But you have to think about the ecology of the planet, which means you have to think about the systems and how they will react to that. The worst-case scenario is that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere changes the reflective properties of Earth, causing us to absorb more of the sun's radiation, this will cause our ice caps to have excessive melting (already starting, btw), the sea levels to rise and the Deep Atlantic Conveyor - which is driven by the salinity level in it's current - to break down. The conveyor is credited with 'evening out' our climate and creating those temperate climates that we humans love so much and have flourished in. What this means is that the climate will become erratic and that we surface dwellers will actually have to deal with some COLDER temperatures in most of the places we live, with some HOTTER temperatures in the tropical areas.

Now, all that said, I do have two points to make. 1) George Carlin was right, we're not so much worried about the Earth as we are about the environment that makes us comfortable. The Earth has been through worse. So I'm not saying these potential events are catastrophic to the planet, just to the little humans and their favorite friends. 2) Scientists don't know half as much as we hope they did. The human mind seems drawn to absolutes for comfort, but we are nowhere near knowing everything we think we do. But we have developed a pretty good idea that some of our activities are trying to assist the Earth in creating the next ice age. Ice Age was a cute movie, but I think it would suck as a place to live.

Everything It's Quacked Up To Be?

By way of Island Dave I found out about QuackTrack, self-proclaimed "World's Largest Browsable Blog Index".

I did enjoy finding listings of things that have not entered my blogosphere that I'm sorta into. For instance, I found out that there are 47 Dungeons and Dragons blogs. The bad news is that apparenlty it's all of the guys (and gals) that I studiously avoid when I'm in the gaming store. I dare not post a comment for fear that they would follow me home. There are also 26 chocolate blogs. Yum.

One thing I didn't like was that if I looked up my blog by searching it didn't tell me what I was categorized under - or if I was catergorized at all. Hopefully they will make that improvement soon.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Getting Up My Irish

Anyone who has known me for very long knows that I have Irish from both sides, and that my maiden name is Irish because my Great-Granddaddy came over on the boat with his four brothers during the potato famine. The five brothers got into a fight in a bar in New York City and two of them were put on trains to go West. Have you ever heard of a more Irish family story? So that's how my branch ended up in Washington State... I'm quite proud of my Irish peasant blood and the knee-jerk egalitarianism that it provides me. (Egalitarian is fancy-talk for fairness or equality.) I thought the whole attitude was summed up quite nicely by Bono of U2 fame when he said, "The difference between an American and an Irishman is that an American sees the rich man in the big house at the top of the hill and says, 'One day I'm going to BE that man...' The Irishman sees the rich man in the big house at the top of the hill and says, 'One day I'm going to GET that man...."

Which brings me to my next point. I'm very happy that Howard Dean is now the leader of the DNC. So happy, in fact, that I clicked my way over to to see what was going on. I happily clicked along, ignoring the fact that they wanted me to provide the email addresses of 50 of my closest friends and wads of cash. I saw the interesting title of "Leadership Councils". I thought, oh cool! I wonder what you have to do to be in the Leadership Council! Not that I would want to do whatever bothersome thing it is, mind you, but wanted to see what it was all about.

My query was shortly answered.


Lots of it.

I started with the top of the list, the Jefferson Trust - namesake of the founder of the Democratic Party. Prices from $1,000 to $25,000. The Democratic Business Council? $5,000 to $15,000.

So basically, if I were so inclined, I would have to choose between becoming a mover and shaker in my political party (for a year) or.... paying for the graduate degree program I was considering.

Yeah, it got my Irish up.

This is not leadership, it is fundraising and networking. (Which they are perfectly honest about if you read the smaller print.) I think that if we want any sort of credibility we have to stop calling things what they aren't - otherwise we can't complain when the Wing-Nuts do it.

Anyway, after surfing the DNC I really just ended up back at my old haunts at and realized I had been away for too long. Anyone else remember the days of trying desperately to keep up with the stream of comments on bfa during the height of the Dean campaign?

Please, Howard, please make the DNC more like the DFA. Those halcyon days of believing that our political future had hope was better than Santa Claus, Leprechauns, and the Easter Bunny all rolled up into one. Attached you'll find my check for $15,000 to make sure you're listening...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Are You Progressive?

My email from Buy Blue this week has told me:
The chairman of appropriately named Progressive Insurance contributed over $68,000 to Democratic politicians in the last election cycle including Howard Dean and groups like America Coming Together (ACT). Lewis is also part of a joint venture with George Soros and Herb and Marion Sandler to fund progressive think tanks.
They asked me:
Progressive Insurance may not be right for everyone, but we’d strongly encourage you to check them out and see if they meet your needs. If they do meet your needs we invite you to participate in this campaign with us.
Will I give up the Geico Gecko for a more progressive company?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Save Everything

You may remember that I'm a member of SaveDisney. I also believe in saving the whales, the owls, and when asked if I want a bag always demur with, "Save the Planet". I even inspired my brother once to write a song called "Don't Crush the Crustaceans". This, however, proves that I just feel the need to save things even if I don't particularly care for them.

I feel the need to support SaveEnterprise. Why? Well, I'm a Trekkie from way back. I think I've had a thing for Spock since before I could walk. I was never particularly for or against Enterprise. When it came on (oddly enough in September of 2001) I thought that it didn't suck as badly as it could have, but I also don't rush home to watch it every week. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what night it is on.

But don't take this as a measure of complete disinterest. We now live in the age of DVDs. I love "Monk". I don't watch it (except for the rare all day Monk-fest). I plan to just buy seasons worth on DVD. We really like "Carnivale", but it's impossible to keep up with. DVD. Although Star Trek DVDs are insanely expensive I assume that eventually I will own them all because, well, I'm a Trekkie. That's what we do. (All of them except Voyager. Voyager is dead to me. Speak not its name.) Heck, I'm sitting here next to my Mr. Spock Hallmark Keepsake Ornament. Since I just got it from E-Bay recently it has not been entered into the Star Trek shrine downstairs yet. I'm on the email list for the Las Vegas Hilton that has the Star Trek Experience. Can't they bank on DVD sales from me? I realize that it's a business - yadda, yadda - and they want ratings to sell advertising. But I think that the 'new' way of watching shows - TiVo, DVD, etc. means that the studios and producers should worry about creating shows that will 'last' which means *gasp* quality. And where can you find a larger cash cow than freaking Star Trek nuts? Even when we don't like something we have to have one to complete the set. (Yes, that means that at some indeterminate point in the future I may end up owning the full series of That Which Shall Not Be Named. But I will NOT put it on one of the top shelves of the shrine. I will not!)

Meanwhile, Rick Berman is going to bring us this.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Talking Smack to China? CHINA?!?!?

I'm just sure that if I stay up for a week and drink enough coffee I can convince myself that I'm just stuck in one of my brother's days-long 'Axis and Allies' games from my youth. Because this couldn't be real, could it?
"Unlike the United States, which has sworn to defend Taiwan, Japan was not expected to offer military or logistical aid if China attacks the island it regards as a renegade province."
What? Attack? Who? When? Where?
Ha-ha, you fool. You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian, when *death* is on the line."
But then again, this scares me a little, too...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Slap That Donkey

Howard Dean wrote to me today and told me about my new job. Well, really it's his new job, but you know how he promotes that whole "we're all in this together" sort of theory.


Apparently my job is to buy into the Democratic Party like some sort of Mooney. I'm not willing to go quite that far - simply because I believe in a little healthy, oh, intelligent reasoning before accepting something (I didn't like the whole "Build a truly national party that wages a permanent campaign in all 50 states" because I certainly wouldn't want the Rethuglicans saying it) - but I will promote that everyone should check out the Democratic National Convention and see if there is anything there for them.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sunday Dog Blogging

Our 'old man' Tyr. We're suspicious that he's smarter than we are and gave up on attempts to communicate some time ago.
Posted by Hello

Doctor, Doctor Give Me The News

The Doctor is IN! Dean was elected Chair of the Democratic National Convention.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

It's Her Party, She Can Cry If She Wants To

Christie Whitman and the RhINOs
(Republicans In Name Only)

"It is time for moderates in the Republican Party to become activists—activists for the sensible center, for reasonable policies...on the issues that are of the most importance—fiscal restraint, reasonable and open discussion of social issues, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach to environmental protection, and a foreign policy that is engaged with the rest of the world."

It sounds good. Let's see what happens. Hopefully Christie can be the Republican version of Howard Dean. We just have to wait and see how good of a primal yawp she can cough up.

(I haven't studied Ms. Whitman, so if you know anything please enlighten me. Yes, this is especially a hint to my New Jersey readers...)

How Do I Spell Relief? D-E-A-N

I got the following info from a MoveOn email. It was so good I wanted to make sure to share. If anyone from MoveOn tells me to remove it I will happily do so, but meanwhile I want the good Doctor's words out there. (I also removed the last names to protect privacy of the citizens who sent in the questions.)

Top 5 questions from MoveOn members
and Howard Dean's responses
1) What will you do to insure that all voters, in each state, have access to a universally transparent, accountable voting system?
-- Sylvia, retired teacher
(January 27, 2005; Winston Salem, NC)

If elected Chair of the DNC, I intend to work with Members of Congress, the state Democratic parties, secretaries of state, the Democratic Governors' Association, other stakeholders, and the grassroots to ensure that every legitimate voter -- regardless of their political affiliation -- is able to vote and have their vote counted. We must address the obstacles that some voters in some locations faced this past November, like inadequate numbers of voting machines at certain polling locations, faulty electronic voting machines, and voting rolls that failed to include some properly registered voters' names. And critically, we must take steps to ensure the verifiability of all electronic voting. For instance, we need to use the referendum process (in states that allow this) to ban unverifiable voting machines and to protect voters from partisan secretaries of state.

2) What would be your list of 'ideals,' things the Democratic Party stands for and will fight for?
-- Tom, commercial fisherman
(January 26, 2005; Eureka, CA)

Whether you call them ideals or moral values, there are a number of basic principles that I believe the Democratic Party should stand up and fight for. Here are a few: a livable wage is a moral value. Affordable health care is a moral value. A decent education is a moral value. A common sense foreign policy is a moral value. A healthy environment is a moral value. The feeling of community that comes from full participation in our democracy is a moral value. It is a moral value to make sure that we do not saddle our children and grandchildren with our debt.

3) What will be your strategy for sending the message that a progressive agenda is as much about "moral values" as is the Republican agenda, ie: that economic justice and equality, tolerance, civil rights and environmental protection are ethical and moral matters?
-- Anna, physician
(January 26, 2005; Hastings-on-Hudson, NY)

I believe that there are no red states or blue states, just American states. And I am confident that Americans will vote for Democrats in Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Montana and all over the Untied States if we show up, knock on their doors, introduce ourselves, and tell them what we stand for. But we will not win by being "Republican-lite" -- Democrats must have the courage of our convictions. Every chance we get, Democrats need to stand up for what we believe in, frame the debate, and call for reform. Each time that we do this we drive home the point that our progressive agenda is right where the majority of Americans are. Because Democrats -- not Republicans -- are the party of fiscal responsibility, economic responsibility, social responsibility, civic responsibility, personal responsibility, and moral responsibility.

4) What is your plan for creating an effective Democratic message machine to clearly and powerfully present our point of view?
-- Lynn, advertising
(January 26, 2005; Alexandria, VA)

I am running for DNC Chair because I want to reform the Democratic Party and make it a truly national party. Improving the Democrat's message machine will be critical to our success. To drive home the point that we are where the majority of Americans are on the issues, we have to better integrate national and state party operations -- the success of the former depends directly on the success of the latter. Two, taking a bottom-up approach to the development of the Party's message, we need to set core principles that define the Democratic Party and what we stand for. Three, the Party must take advantage of cutting-edge Internet technology to fundraise, organize, and communicate with our supporters. And four, we must strengthen our political institutions and leadership institutes to promote our leaders and our ideas. All of this won't be easy and it won't happen overnight. It will require exceptional cooperation between the National Party and the State Parties, unprecedented use of the grassroots, unparalleled message discipline, and significant financial support. But taking the White House and Congress and every other office back from George Bush and the Republicans will make all of our time and effort worth it.

5) Many people like myself were energized during the 2004 presidential election. I volunteered to canvas neighborhoods and I made phone calls for democratic candidates. I made my first financial contributions for a political cause. How are you going to keep people like me involved? Do you want to keep people like me involved?
-- Lisa, photographer
(January 26, 2005; Mechanicville, NY)

It was new supporters like you that were one of the bright spots in the last election cycle. If I am elected DNC Chair, we intend to make the Democratic Party a truly national party by becoming competitive in every race, in every district, in every state and territory. We need you and other grassroots volunteers to stay involved -- our vision won't become a reality without your help. And we will keep you involved by building on our grassroots successes, expanding community-building initiatives like Meetup, and getting ordinary people to run for office. It is time we support all Democrats carrying the message of reform.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Aw man! The Doobie Brothers broke up? When did that happen?

In some way you always feel like the monuments of your childhood should remain eternal. Heck, the preserved remains of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards - should I even mention Dick Clark? - make you think that they can go on forever. But today we lost Keith Knudsen, the drummer of the Doobie Brothers. (Slightly off topic... why is it always the drummer who goes first? Or at least loses an arm? Is this the curse of the drummer?)

I'm not saying I was a huge Doobie Brothers fan or anything. In fact I can only list more than two songs because I read the article. But they were part of that mid-70s landscape that I 'awakened' in. They played on the tinny radio in the back of my Mom's health food store. They blasted out of my brother's room somewhere between the Eagles and AC/DC. They were part of the air that I breathed and the chair that I sat in. They were, like all of the other things that I experienced, ultimately part of me.

So farewell Keith, I barely knew ye. Walk in peace, brother.
He took me by the hand
Led me far from this land
Jesus, he’s my friend
Jesus is just alright with me

Monday, February 7, 2005


First, a little shout out to sixthdoctor for the post title.

But the real point is that the Federal Budget came out today and it seems to me that the administration just can't help exposing what a bunch of hypocritical looneys they are. We are raising prices for our veterans' (you know, the injured ones we are creating) healthcare and prescriptions, while cutting their budget.

I just... I just..... Oh, nevermind.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

The Little Furry People

You may have picked up already that we are animal people at our house. A little over two weeks ago we adopted our fourth dog, Herger the Joyous. He's actually Herger the Quite Shy, but we hope that he will grow into his name. He's about a year old and looks like a Norwegian Elkhound mix. Sometime I will try to post pictures of the actual dog (and his adopted siblings).

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Oh, That's Not Right!

I was innocently surfing one of my favorite sites, IMDB, when I tripped over something that bruised my brain. This guy has the same birthday as this guy. What kind of demented deity pulls something like that?