UCF Hairball...Err...Org Chart Version 5

Monday, June 30, 2008
Updated with the latest exciting events. Corections in comments. as always.

Celebrity Collage - I Told You I Was Hawt

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

'Tard of the Week - James Dobson

Today's 'Tard of the Week is none other than our favorite friend James Dobson. Head of the conservative evangelical "Focus on the Family" compound in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he's a successful minister and political activist.

He's also a complete nutbar, and more than a little arrogant.

In a recent broadcast, he was berating Barack Obama for a speech he gave two years ago to liberal Christians, encouraging them to participate in public life, and exhorting them not to "cede the ground to religious conservatives." He rightly commented that there are many ways to interpret the Bible, and implied that allowing the religious right to speak for all Christians in this country was probably a mistake.

Well. We certainly can't have that, can we? After all, James Dobson and his ilk clearly have a corner on the Truth.

Let's look at James Dobson's pertinent comments, shall we?

"I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology."

You think? Hello? Dr. Dobson? What, are you fucking stupid? Of course Barack Obama has his own interpretation of the Bible. Just like every other self-proclaimed Christian on this planet, including you. You do not have a corner on the Truth, you self-righteous prick, and implying your way is the only way only increases the contempt the rest of the population has for intolerant, hypocritical right-wing evangelicals. You 'tard.

On the topic of Obama's belief that a politician should take into account a variety of views on moral issues, Dr. Dobson had this to say:

"That is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution. This is why we have elections. To support what we believe to be wise and moral. We don't have to go to the lowest common denominator of morality, which is what he is suggesting."

Yeah, you're right, Dr. Dobson. Your background in child psychology and theology certainly makes you much more qualified to interpret the Constitution than a Harvard educated Constitutional Law professor. What an arrogant 'tard. His assumption that everyone who doesn't agree with him and his self-righteous FOTF zealots represent the "lowest common denominator of morality" is a joke. Smug bastard.

I've read the commentary that implies that Dobson is just pissed because the Republicans chose a candidate not to his personal liking, and that he also feels Obama might be poaching on his evangelical base by reaching out to moderate, like-minded people of faith.

Well, guess what, Dr. Dobson? Put on your big-boy panties and get the fuck over it. To quote, oh, I don't know...you..."This is why we have elections." Your lap-dog Huckabee lost, because he's a nutbar, and your dream of an American Christian Theocracy is dead for another election cycle. Moderate Christians are finally starting to get up off their ass and be heard, instead of leaving the stage to you and the rest the loony-bin crack-pots you hang out with.

Get over yourself, Dobson. You are eminently unqualified to discuss Constitutional Law, and your insistence that you, and only you, have the ultimate Truth is the most self-righteous, arrogant bullshit I've heard this week. Fucking 'tard.

Hot Chicks Descend on Denver

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Hot Chicks were out in force this afternoon. Anne picked Tania up from the airport when her flight finally made it in, and then I met them downtown for lunch at a cute little Italian eatery.

Much hilarity ensued, and our waiter was kind enough to take this rather good photo of us.

Then Tania had to meet her boss at the hotel, so I dropped her (and her transmission) off.

It was cool to have have three UCFers at the same place at the same time. Now I'm even more excited for Worldcon!

Hot Chickz RULE.

Fucking Airlines

Today, Hot Chick and fellow UCFer Tania was supposed to fly in to Denver from the Great White North for a business event, and she, Anne and I were going to get together for spa treatments, lunch and shoe shopping.

Fucking airlines.

Tania's plane was delayed by six hours, and now we're down to lunch and Transmission delivery. Don't these asshats understand they're fucking with UCF visiting time? Seriously, they should realize the ramifications of their actions.

I'll try and shake off my disappointment so we can have a nice late lunch this afternoon.

And yes, I'll be posting a new UCF Hairball sometime tomorrow to reflect all the recent activity.

Fucking airlines.

I Know a Song

Saturday, June 28, 2008
Yes, it's official. I actually know how to play a song on my bass.

Granted, the song in question probably has the easiest bass line on the entire planet, but it's still a song, and I can play it.

It's U2's With or Without You.

Go, me!

Cat Blogging Saturday

video

This cracks me up. Yes, I realize I'm a day late and a dollar short, but watch it anyway. Because it's funny.

I don't know where this came from, so I can't give credit. If anyone knows, mention it in the comments and I'll ammend.

Flick of the Tail to the Mechanicky Gal

Boogie Blogging Friday

Friday, June 27, 2008

Since our household is ill-equipped for "Cat Blogging Friday," here is the incomparable Boogie, wondering why I got him up from his afternoon nap for an outdoor picture.

Trying Something New

It seems like for the last several years, I haven't had much time to read fiction. While I used to go through a couple books a week, now it sometimes it takes me weeks to get through a single novel.

I know why this is the case - every time I think to read, I end up playing my guitar, or doing homework, or knitting, or listening to podcasts, or watching some cool show on T.V., or visiting with friends, or reading a magazine, or dinking around on-line...

So I was having lunch with my Hot Mom yesterday, and she mentioned a friend of hers listens to audio-books when she's working, and loves them. So I thought, why not? On my way home, I stopped by our local library and checked this out. I loaded it into my iTunes, and listened to the first CD this morning while I was grocery shopping. So far, so good, but I can see how the person hired to read the book can make all the difference in the world.

If any of you Hot Chicks and Smart Men have any experience with these, let me know your thoughts!

2008 Flower Pr0n Part VIII

My pink roses finally decided to make an appearance. This rose bush is kind of hit and miss in terms of being a prolific bloomer, but I haven't killed it yet, so that makes it a winner in my book.

Who Cares? Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 25


Madonna and Guy are divorcing! And there was no pre-nup! Will Guy get half her money? Who will her next conquest be? Who Cares!

Of Transvestites and Transmissions

Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is a transmission for a 1964 120 Series Volvo. When I headed north today, one of my errands was to stop in Erie to pick this up for fellow UCFer Tania. Her Smart Man is rebuilding an old Volvo, and evidently this part is needed for the project. Since Tania's coming to town on Sunday for business, I offered to pick it up for her so she wouldn't have to make a special trip.

As you all will remember, I'm not mechanically inclined, and I wouldn't know a transmission from a transvestite. Luckily for all concerned, the proprietor of the used parts store handled everything for me, including providing the box. Who says customer service is dead?

After I picked up the part, I continued north to have lunch with my Hot Mom, who keeps her cell phone in this knitted cozy:

You just can't make this shit up. The thing that kills me about this is that my Mom is not a technophobe. She teaches computer courses at the Senior Center, and is quite skilled with Photo shop. But she feels compelled to knit a cozy for her cell phone. Feel free to mock her, but only if you do so with love. Because it turns out my favorite aunt did the same thing. Since it runs in the family, I may end up with one of my own one day, so I guess shouldn't get too cocky.

And as an aside, I'd like to give a shout out to my Great-Aunt Marge, my grandmother's younger sister. She's apparently been lurking around these parts, in spite of my foul language. Hi, Aunt Margie!

Geddy Lee is a Jerk, and I'm a Petty, Petty Woman


Rush was fabulous, as usual.

There was lots and lots of music - they played for over 2 1/2 hours, which is pretty damn good for a bunch of guys who say they're "100 years old."

There was a little rain, but not enough to be severely annoying.

And (as always), there was lots and lots of pot smoke, which tends to give me a headache. Since Red Rocks is an outdoor venue, it wasn't as bad as it could of been, but I did wonder about how many of those folks were driving after the concert. God, I'm getting old.

And Geddy Lee is a hippy jerk. Because he can play that bass of his like nobody's business, sometimes while simultaneously singing and working the keyboard petals, and he makes it look easy. And I'm a petty, petty woman, because I'm envious of his skill, even though I know he earned it with a lifetime of work and practice. But he's still a jerk.

So I'm on vacation today, and I'll be heading up to the Northern part of the state. Have fun, kids, and try not to burn the place down while I'm gone.

And Alex Lifeson? If you ever decide to put out an album of you playing that 12 string acoustic guitar of yours, I will totally buy it. Just so you know.

Hmm...Rush!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
If you all will recall, we had tickets to see Rush at the lovely Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison CO earlier in the month. The concert was postponed, because the stage was awash, and the band narrow-mindedly didn't want their equipment inundated with water.

It was rescheduled for tonight, and we're all set to go. I have tomorrow off as a vacation day, and I'm wearing my RUSH: Snakes & Arrows World Tour 2007 T-Shirt.

But it looks like rain, again.

SO Cute!


Is it just me, or are three-toed pygmy sloths just the cutest things on the planet?

What the Fuck is Wrong With These People? - Honoré Mashagiro and Associates

On July 22, 2007, in the Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, five members of a gorilla family named "Rugendo" were hunted down and killed, execution style. A month before, two more gorillas from another family group had been killed in the same manner. The gorillas, visited by tourists for years, probably didn't realize they were in danger until it was too late.

No one could understand who had committed this act. It certainly wasn't poachers, as the hands, heads and infants of the dead animals remained with the bodies, and poachers will typically remove them for sale on the black market.

It took some time, but it now the story has been pieced together, and reported in the July 2008 issue of National Geographic. It's an extremely complex story, including several militia groups, park rangers and other groups. I recommend you read the story if you want the entire picture.

The core issue appears to be the charcoal trade. Charcoal is used as a primary fuel source in this region, and the best charcoal is made from hard wood trees. Hardwood trees in Virunga National Park.

Since these folks are out to make a buck, it's not like they're doing forest management or anything. They cut huge swaths of trees, which negatively affect the mountain gorillas habitat. Such harvesting is illegal, but lucrative.

Enter Paulin Ngobobo, park ranger and personal hero. When he came to work at the park as a sector warden, he began a campaign against charcoal poachers and corruption. He put a dent in the traffic of charcoal, and restored the existing rangers' salaries, which were being skimmed off by corrupt officials. This restored the rangers' pride and purpose, and allowed him to make bigger inroads in the charcoal trade.

As you can imagine, his activities did not endear him to the corrupt officials who were embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars and engaging in other illegal activities. His life was in constant danger, and in fact, more than 110 rangers have been killed in the line of duty in the last ten years.

Mr. Ngobobo discovered that the Chief Park Warden, Honoré Mashagiro, was leading the ring of corruption, including the illegal charcoal trade. When Mr. Ngobobo refused to stop his investigation, Mr. Mashagiro had him arrested, and began to look for ways to discredit him.

And what better way to discredit Mr. Ngobobo than to frame him for the destruction of the animals he was sworn to protect?

So Mr. Mashagiro orchestrated the killing of the gorillas, and then tried to accuse Mr. Ngobobo, arguably the only honest man in the area, of the crime.

Thankfully, Mr. Ngobobo was exonerated, and Mr. Mashagiro has been arrested and charged with trafficking in charcoal and plotting the killing of the gorillas. When asked about his involvement in the gorilla's death, Mr. Mashagiro commented, "The gorillas were not my responsibility; they were Paulin's responsibility."

Because, really, the director of the park really shouldn't be held responsible for the endangered animals that actually live there. Jeez.

What the fuck is wrong with this guy? How does someone fall so far from their duty that this is an acceptable plan? I don't get it. I don't get it. And I hope I never do, because this man personifies the term morally bankrupt.

I don't know why this story affects me so much. I'm quite sure this fucktard had already proven who he was many, many times before Paulin Ngobobo came into his life. In fact, the killing of the gorillas is probably the least of his crimes, based on what passes for acceptable behavior in that part of the world. Over 5 million people have lost their lives to violent means in this region in the last few years, and yet the story of these animals' destruction just infuriates me.

Perhaps it's the betrayal of the gorillas. They are the most unassuming of creatures; gentle, shy, critically endangered. Men have gained their trust in order to interact with them as a tourist attraction. The gorillas came to view people as a non-threatening annoyance, and then this fuckstick comes along and decides to use them as a weapon against an honest man.

When Karma comes a-calling on Honoré Mashagiro, I hope she's carrying a huge, fiery sword, and shoves it right up his ass, all the way to the hilt.

And to those who are in charge of these chronically corrupt governments and agencies on the African continent? Get your house in order. It is unreasonable to expect first and second world countries to take you seriously and provide you assistance when you can't govern your country in anything even resembling an honest and honorable way. Leaders don't steal from their constituents, and they don't kill people who don't agree with them. So if you want the respect of a Leader, then fucking act like one.

Corrupt, greedy, dishonest Mother-Fuckers. Makes me sick.

Mammogram, Ho!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Like in "Westward, Ho!" not "Be My Ho!"

Jeez.

I'm going in for my biannual mammogram this afternoon. Initially, I was going to write a humorous and vivid description of this procedure, including the usual analogies to iron-presses, cartoonish accidents and cold metal devices squishing my boob like a grape.

But then I decided not to.

You want to know why?

Because I want a mammogram. I want to know if there's anything suspicious lurking in my breasts, waiting to take my health or my life. I want early detection and treatment if I'm a member of the 20% of women in this country who get breast cancer.

The image from HBO's John Adams of his daughter's so-called "treatment" for breast cancer is burned irretrievably into my retina, and I'm profoundly grateful for the opportunity to receive modern treatment and diagnostics.

Painful, slow death including a non-anesthetized mastectomy versus a mammogram. Yeah.

So I'm not going to bitch about it. I'm going to go and have it done, with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Because I know I don't want the alternative.

2008 Flower Pr0n Part VII


Our house is built on a hill, so I'm in a constant battle against erosion on the sides of the property.

Several years ago, I built tiers on the south side and planted some ground cover and shrubbery to hold the ground. These are the tiny yellow flowers that bloom in one of the sections. I have no idea what it is, but it typically blooms later than the other plants, which is kind of nice.

Best Commercial Evah

Monday, June 23, 2008

video


I love this commercial. I loved it when it debuted in the Superbowl a couple years ago and I sent it out via e:mail, and I love it now.


Yes, yes, I'm a sentimental sap. I'm okay with that.

'Tard of the Week - Pat Buchanan

You gotta love Pat Buchanan. When it comes to public demonstrations of idiocy, logical fallacies and bigotry, he's the gift that keeps on giving.

Who could forget these gems:

  • His claim that gays brought AIDS on themselves by "declaring war against nature."
  • His opinion that women's liberation is responsible for imperiling western civilization. Uppity wimmin.
  • His support for the South African Apartheid government.
  • The idea that African Americans should be grateful their ancestors were sold into slavery. After all, aren't their lives better than those who remained free in Africa? Ungrateful, that's what they are.
  • Let's not even discuss those godless evolutionists, terrorist Muslims, and liberal journalists.
  • And more to the current point, his admiration for Hitler.

But his 'Tard of the Week award is for a completely different piece of crap.

Pat's latest book is called Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War. Can you guess what it's about? That's right, boys and girls, World War II was a completely unnecessary war! How stupid of us to sacrifice all those men and materials when it would of been so much better to just let Hitler have his way in Europe. Since Hitler was so admirable and all.

According to a review of this POS by Christopher Hitchens in the June 23rd issue of Newsweek, Pat attempts to make his case for this thesis with the following points:

  • "That Germany was faced with encirclement and injustice in both 1914 and 1939.
  • "That Britain in both years ought to have stayed out of quarrels on the European mainland.
  • "That Winston Churchill was the principal British warmonger on both occasions.
  • "That the United States was needlessly dragged into war on both occasions.
  • "That the principal beneficiaries of this were Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
  • "That the Holocaust of European Jewry was as much the consequence of an avoidable war as it was of Nazi racism."

Well.

Mr. Hitchens has already done a fabulous job of refuting these points, so I recommend you read his analysis. But really, I can't let this go without some snark of my own.

The part that really gets my goat on this is the idea that stopping Hitler, a certifiable whackjob of the highest order, was not a worthwhile endeavor in its own right. Really, Pat? Really? Because letting Hitler have his way throughout Europe is such a fabulous idea? Because living under the Nazis was such a treat that we should of allowed all of Europe to do so? Granted, Stalin was no angel, and you may be able to argue that we made a devil's bargain in that case, but Hitler? And his commentary about the Holocaust just makes me physically ill. Of course, Pat has also hinted that he's somewhat of a Holocaust denier, so there you go. Clearly, those uppity Jews were just asking for it, and besides, it wasn't as bad as you've been led to believe. So it's all good!

Pat Buchanan, I try very hard not to wish others ill, if only for the benefit of my own Karma. But really, when Karma rings you up, I will be there with bells on.

Yeah. World War II was COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. You're right. Fucking 'Tard.

Good Bye, and Thanks for All the Laughs

George Carlin, Dead at 71.

Personally, my favorite role was Cardinel Glick.

Thanks, George. You made me laugh.

Good Food, Good Friend

Sunday, June 22, 2008
Last night fellow Hot Chick and UCFer Anne came over for dinner and conversation with me and the Smart Man.

We had spicy shrimp and cashews over rice, and Anne brought some wine that she and the Smart Man enjoyed. I can't drink wine - it gives me a terrible headache, even the whites, so I stuck with Mike's.

Boogie the Giant Schnauzer has decided he really likes his new Auntie Anne, and would like to go live with her. She has longer fingernails than his bass-playing mom, and understands the importance of a good back scratch.

We both wore our official UCF earrings, and although we failed to document the occasion, a good time was had. The Smart Man thought Anne was smart, engaging and fun, and can't understand why some other Smart Man hasn't found her yet.

It makes me wonder, however, about the nature of the UCF. While I and others have blogged about it before, I don't know if our community is unique. I've never been a member of an on-line community such as this, so I don't know if exchanging gifts, snail-mail cards and postcards, and other acts of kindness is the norm among members of such a community.

If anyone else has any insight into this, I'd love to hear about it!

Loot! Loot! Loot for ME!

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Loot!


What should arrive in today's mail but these lovely earrings made by fellow Hot Chick and UCFer Jeri.


I love unexpected surprises, especially the shinies. Thanks, Jeri!

Dog Days of Summer

Everyone else seems to be doing "Friday Cat Blogging." Since I'm a bit of a cat tolerhayta, I'm at a disadvantage for this meme.

But wait! I share the Yellow House with the cutest, sweetest, most adorable 95 pound pooch on the planet!

Boogie! The Giant Schnauzer!

Poor Boogie. Being a black doggie, he's always gotten warm really quick in the summer months. But now that he's a senior citizen (7 in November, which is considered "senior" for his breed), he seems to suffer from the heat more than ever.

He's always enjoyed a daily walk, and while he still really wants to go, he's been running out of steam half-way through if we take him when the temperature is over about 75 degrees.

So I'm going to start taking him first thing in the morning, when the temperature hasn't spiked. We went at 7:30 a.m. this morning, and he did better. This is a good thing, because skipping it with a 95 pound dog who considers the daily walk the foundation of his happiness is really Not a Good Idea.

I Got Nothing

Friday, June 20, 2008
I'm having one of those days where I can't think of fucking thing to write about.

So for today's exciting topic, we'll talk about what your wallpaper looks like.

No, not the wallpaper on your wall. Friends don't let friends wallpaper their houses. Your PC wallpaper. Because I really can't think of a fucking thing to write about.

Here's the photo I use for my home PC:


This is a photo I took when the Smart Man and I went to Puerto Rico a couple years ago. The trip was a reward vacation paid for by my company, and we stayed at the El Conquistador. The resort has a private island, and this picture was taken from the lookout on the private island, facing the main island. That blurry bump on the left side of the horizon is the Roosevelt Roads Naval Base. That was a really fun vacation, especially since the company paid for most of it.

Here's the photo I use for my work laptop:

The spots of Jupiter. Because they're cool.

What do you use?

Who Cares? Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 24

Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook may televise their divorce! The custody of their kids is at stake! Will commercial breaks feature Cover Girl Ads? Who Cares!

Pet Diaries

Thursday, June 19, 2008
I don't know where this came from, but I love it.

A Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Breakfast! My favourite!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favourite!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favourite!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favourite!
3:00 pm - Bath time. Bummer!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favourite!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favourite!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite!

A Cat's Diary

Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

When We Left the Earth

I know that Hot Chick Jeri and her family are watching When We Left the Earth on The Discovery Channel, but if the rest of you haven't seen this, get cracking.

We've been watching on our DVR (commercials = bleh), and got caught up last night.

Wow.

Just, WOW.

Every time I learn a bit more about the U.S. space program, I am a little more in awe, a little more respectful, a little more amazed at the audacity and courage of the engineers, scientists and astronauts who were involved in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.

These people were insane. But in a completely cool way.

In one of the episodes we watched last night, they were talking about Apollo 8 (the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon). Typically, the wives and families would get together to watch the coverage of a mission, and in this case, they interviewed Susan Borman, wife of Frank Borman. During the mission, she asked the Flight Controller what the chances were of the astronauts making it home. His response? "About 50/50." And she was happy. Because her husband had told her the chances were much less.

I think the thing that struck me about the early years of the space program was the fact that the astronauts knew they were involved in a dangerous and risky proposition. Space is a hostile environment, and these folks knew there was a very real possibility they wouldn't return. And they were okay with that risk, because for them, the reward was worth it. And what a reward! To walk on the moon, to leave the planet! These men personified the explorer spirit...what a spectacular legacy!

It seems that today's agencies (and their members) are much more risk-averse - and that's unfortunate. While I believe that reasonable efforts should be made to preserve life, and no one should be asked to risk their life if they don't want to, we're talking about leaving our planet of origin. Risky. At least as risky as leaving your continent of origin, and look at how many folks died settling North America.

The Right Stuff, indeed. Thanks, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Your life's work humbles me, and makes me proud, too.

2008 Flower Pr0n Part VI



Today is a thunder-go-boom, rainy-rainy day here in Parker, Colorado, so before it started pouring again, I darted outside to take this picture of my Peony, now that it's finally blooming.



On a completely unrelated note, I am feeling profoundly unmotivated in both my work and school lately. I'm having to force myself to get busy and be productive. I hate this feeling, so I need to find out what the problem is and get it fixed.


Perhaps a massage...

Donnie, You're Too Old For This

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Donnie Wahlberg, you were fabulous in Band of Brothers.

You have a movie coming out this summer where you're acting with Robert de Niro and Al Pacino.

So why, oh why, are you participating in the putrescence that is the "New Kids on the Block Reunion Tour?"

You're too old for this shit, and too good an actor.

Seriously, dude. Bad choice.

UCF Powers - ACTIVATE!

This year's Denvention III is going to be the coolest Con evah.

First because the Guest of Honor is Lois McMaster Bujold, and her Miles Vorkosigan books are some of my first favorites of all time.

Second because the Ghost of Honor is Robert A. Heinlein, and we all know how I feel about him.

Third because my friends John and Angie are driving in from Missouri to attend the Con with the Smart Man and I, and will be staying here at the Yellow House.

Fourth because I've just found out that the UCF total for this Con will be four, count them, four Hot Chicks!

Anne and I are both local, and have been planning on going for a while. Then Tania decided she was coming down from North Pole to attend with a friend of hers. And now Jeri has decided to come down and attend, and will be staying with fellow Hot Chick Anne!

How cool is that? FOUR UCF Hot Chicks in the same room.

I hope there's no embarrassing Hotness overload or anything, leading to Con evacuation or containment.

The UCF Benefactor, John Scalzi, will also be in attendance, and I know I want a photo of him with the UCF Hot Chicks. Perhaps we should warn him...

W00T!

Where is Wonder Woman?


I was never a huge fan of comic books. I read a few here and there, but for the most part, I'm unfamiliar with the recurring story lines, the hero's nemesis, and other key themes.

The Smart Man, however, is pretty conversant with most of the major lines (and some of the minor ones). As a result we tend to go see the comic book movies such as Batman, Dare Devil, Spiderman, and most recently, The Incredible Hulk. I tend to judge these movies based on their stand-alone quality, while The Smart Man will judge them on their individual quality and their trueness to the comics.

My personal favorite so far is Batman Begins, and I'm really looking forward to The Dark Knight.

I have to ask, though...where is Wonder Woman?

All of the movies so far have been pretty testosterone heavy (as is the genre, admittedly), with female characters running from helplessly annoying (Mary Jane) to quietly competent (Betty).

I used to love The Justice League cartoon. I loved the Wonder Woman television series, starring Lynda Carter. I wanted to twirl like a dervish to activate my Amazonian powers, and fly her invisible plane. I joined the Navy instead, and ended up working in areas with no windows, but you get the idea.

I want a Wonder Woman movie. But not just any movie. I want Wonder Woman to be a complete and utter badass, kicking ass and taking names. I want her to be a real person, not a cheesy masculine caricature.

Well?

Abolishing Original Sin From Your Mouth

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
When I was getting the impressions for my implant crown done today, I was treated to the following stunning revelation by our family dentist:

"When Eve partook of the Apple, God introduced thorns and weeds into the world, making it more difficult to harvest the crops of the field. The nerves of the teeth are the weeds in the garden, and are God's punishment for Eve's disobedience."

I think he was kidding.

While I've always known that my dentist was a pretty devout member of the LDS Church, this is the first time he's spoken about it so explicitly.

He's treated our entire family for many years, and we've always liked him and been more than satisfied with his work.

His performance is what matters, so I'm sure I'll let this little bit of weirdness go.

But if he starts to pray over the nerves in my teeth to drive out their original sin, I am so out of there.

The Ebola Project, Part II

The Ebola Project is on my radar again.

Please...kill me now.

I Love Technology

As you all will recall, I had dental implant surgery in January, whereby my missing molar was replaced with a screw.

Since I needed a bone graft as well, I had to wait five months to proceed, so I've been walking around with a screw (but no tooth) in my head.

Yesterday, my maxillofacial surgeon gave me the "okay" to proceed with the crown, so I went to see my regular dentist today.

How cool is this procedure? Turns out that the screw in my jaw is hollow, with threads on both in the inside and outside, and that's why it's flush with my gums. The dentist has a variety of tools he screws in, and then takes impressions. No numbing required, for any portion of the procedure, including the placement of the crown.

I love technology.

Go, California, Go!

Today is the first full day where same-sex couples have the opportunity to marry legally in California.

I'm not going to rant about how it's about time (although it is), and how the protesters who don't want this step to be taken are inconsiderate asshats for interrupting these people's ceremonies (although they are).

What I am going to do is point to Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, a San Francisco couple. They've been living together for 50 years, are both in their 80's, and were married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

I don't think it should be up to the Fundamentalists to tell these women their relationship has less value than a hetero one, or that they shouldn't have the right to marry.

Congratulations, Phyllis and Del. I hope you have many more happy years together.

UCF Org Chart, Version 2

Monday, June 16, 2008



Because the UCF IS clearly trying to kill me.


As usual, corrections in comments...

UCF Org Chart, Version 1


Yikes. I think I see a trend, here...

Let me know about corrections/additions in the comments.

'Tard of the Week - Fox News


There's really no explanation needed for this particular bit of utter stupidity, but if you want complete details on why this is the most retarded move of the week, feel free to read this description.

Sad News from San Diego

Sunday, June 15, 2008
I'm afraid I have some sad news. Francesca the Great Huntress, famed kitty of gal-pal and occasional commenter The Mechanicky Gal, aka Amy, has succumbed to coyotes.

As you'll recall, Francesca was a Good Hostess, providing fresh meat whenever an overnight guest was in residence.

She was also the scourge of the local mockingbirds, keeping them afeared and cautious.

Poor lost kitty.

Amy is philosophical about it ("It's the natural order of the Universe, damnit!"), but we all know that losing a pet is never an easy thing.

So raise a glass to Francesca, The Great Huntress. Scourge of the Neighborhood. Good Hostess. Comfortable Companion. World Traveller. All around good kitty.

::Toast!::

2008 Flower Pr0n Part V


The Smart Man and I are off to the movies this morning to see The Incredible Hulk at the cheapy "before noon" show. Until I return, here is a somewhat blurry picture of one of the Columbines that grows in the rocks in front of our Yellow House. For those of you not "in the know," Columbines are the Colorado State Flower. Hardy little devils.

UCF Org Chart

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Isn't is strange how on-line projects tend to take on a life of their own?

Here's what I have so far for the ultra-geeky UCF Org Chart:

Meat Up

Nathan and John the Scientist
Janiece and Anne
Jeri and Jim
Shawn and Kate
Tania and Jim

Gift Exchange

Nathan and Jim
Nathan and Jeff
Nathan and Chris
Nathan and Todd
Nathan and Pixelfish
Janiece and Nathan
Janiece and Anne
Janiece and Jeri
Janiece and Shawn
Janiece and Tania (by Proxy)
Janiece and Jim
Janiece and Michelle
Anne and Michelle

Telephone

Nathan and Shawn (Legendary Status)
Nathan and Jim
Janiece and Anne
Jeri and Jim
Shawn and Justin

Please post your corrections and additions in the comments section...

Phoenix Mars Lander

This video, put together by NASA of animation of the Phoenix Mars Lander and footage of mission control, fills me with joy and wonder.

Wow. Bravo NASA, JPL and UA. Stunning.

Parker Country Festival



This weekend is the annual "Parker Country Festival" here in lovely Parker, Colorado. The Smart Man and I go every year to drink beer, eat fair food, and listen to local music. The Fair is within walking distance of our home, so we don't have to worry about parking or driving after beering. This year we're going with another local couple. Should be fun.

The fair also brings out the local Harley clubs, and they park their bikes along Main Street, which is closed to traffic for the Fair. There are usually some really nice bikes out there, and this year I'll bring my camera and post some photos of the nicest ones.

Aside from some homework ("Effective Communication") and practicing my bass, those are my plans for today.

I know - I'm just an animal.

The Ebola Project

Friday, June 13, 2008
I am involved in a project right now that I can only describe as "the Ebola project."

Like the string virus, it pops up unexpectedly from the jungle, decimates the local population, then slips silently back into the mist.

Prior to this project going to contract, I produced eleven iterations of my design deliverable, starting in November 2007.

Now that they're in the implementation phase, I've produced seven change orders, and I'm on a conference call now to determine the requirements for number eight.

Part of the issue is that the customer is running around naked with their hair on fire, changing system requirements every couple days.

The other part of the problem is that the sales team can't keep track of all the changes (or the original requirements). Additionally, they seem to think the only time they need to share requirement information with me is when their implementation team realizes something is missing, and they have to come back for a change order. They usually end up saying, "Didn't we tell you we needed call recording/duplicated servers/anti-viral medication for hemorrhagic fever? Well, we do. Can you re-engineer the entire project in the next 10 minutes?"

Some days, this job gives me high blood pressure. I'm going to go walk the dog.

I'm a Geek, You'r a Geek, Everywhere a Geek, Geek

Yes, I'm a geek. And so are most of the members of the Union of Collaborating Founders, otherwise known as the UCF.

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, the UCF is a group of folks that "met up" over on John Scalzi's Whatever and Whateveresque. When the Whateveresque started to be overrun by the asshats (yes, taustin, I'm looking at you), we essentially moved those on-line relationships to our own blogs.

Now because I'm such a geek, I'm thinking of making a Visio flow chart of the UCF, to keep track of who's met whom.

So here's the dilemma: Who, exactly, is the UCF? After corresponding with our fearless leader Nathan, we've come up with the following:

  • Nathan
  • Janiece
  • Anne
  • Jeri
  • Shawn
  • Tania
  • Jim
  • Michelle
  • MWT
  • Snavely
  • Saqib
  • Eric
  • Jeff Hentosz
  • Kimby
  • John the Scientist
  • Chris
  • Vince
  • Jusin Ryan
  • Matt Warnock
  • Kate
  • Todd Wheeler
  • Steve Buchheitt
  • Ilya
  • Pixelfish
  • Carol Elaine
  • Natalie

So my question is, who have we inadvertantly forgotten, and who's listed who shouldn't be?

As for our meat meet-ups, these are the ones I'm aware of:

  • Janiece and Anne
  • Nathan and John the Scientist
  • Jeri and Jim
  • Tanya and Jim

There may be other meet-ups that I'm not aware of, so my second question is, who else have you met? Leave your corrections in the comments, BrainPALs!

Hmm...Visio.

************

Revised 6/13/2008 11:37 a.m. to include Carol Elaine.

************

Revised 6/13/2008 4:05 p.m. to include Natalie.

Who Cares? Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 23


Jermaine has finally given Janet an ultimatum...marry him or it's over! Will she follow through with their planned Paris wedding? Will she bolt? Who Cares!

You Fail


Astonishingly enough, it appears that the world did not end yesterday as predicted by self-proclaimed prophet Yisrayl "Buffalo Bill" Hawkins.

Shocking. Simply shocking.

And I can't believe the sinful blogospher, persecuting these righteous people for their beliefs. Shame on us, shame. We suck.

New Quotation Source

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Well, I have reached the end of The Notebooks of Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein, so tomorrow, I will be using new source material for the changing quote at the top of my page.

For those of you on RSS feeds, this won't affect you, but for those who actually stop by to visit, the new quotes will be taken from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce.

This book was a long-time favorite of my late father, which goes a long way in explaining my own penchant for sarcasm and satire.

It will take me much longer to get through this book, but we'll begin at the beginning, with the letter "A."

"ABASEMENT, n. A decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth of power. Peculiarly appropriate in an employee when addressing an employer."

Enjoy.

A Win for the Constitution

As I'm sure everyone's aware, the SCOTUS has decided that honoring the Constitution is a Good Thing, albeit by the skin of our teeth, ruling that Gitmo detainees are entitled to Habeas Corpus rights.

Here's hoping that this is the beginning of a trend.

Yellow House, Blue House, Foreclosed House, New House


The house painters have come and gone, and now we have a yellow house. I love my new yellow house, and you'll notice that we managed to sneak in the rust as an accent color. Take that, busy-body asshat HOA Nazis! And the yellow looks much brighter now that it's actually applied! Bwahahaha!

We thought about taking the basketball hoop down as part of the painting job, as the Smart Boy doesn't use it much anymore. However, the neighbor kids, boys aged 4 and 7, have our permission to use it when the garage door is closed (i.e., all the time), and they're usually out there every day. I decided it would pretty mean to take it down, so we'll live with it until the next time we need to paint - probably about 5-8 years.

It looks like we'll have to do some more saving before we can get the linoleum replaced with the tile as we'd planned, as we try to pay cash for those types of improvements. So instead we've done some minor redecorating, such as new linens, area rugs, shower curtains, window treatments, etc. It helps to change the look of the room without spending a fortune.

We think the house North of ours (the blue one) has been foreclosed. The previous owners were renting it to a variety of unsavory characters, as the man had been laid off, and they couldn't make the payments. Now the power and water have been turned off, no one has lived there for a number of months, and people keep showing up and taking pictures. Yesterday a grounds crew came out and did some minor yard work, basically making it look like someone was at least trying to maintain the place, rather than the "abandoned" look it was starting to exhibit.

I hope the next owners fall into the category of "good neighbors." For us, that means they're quiet, and do the bare minimum of maintenance so our own property value doesn't suffer. We're really not very picky. Unlike the HOA.

I Will Save the World

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I've completed my train the trainer on The Next Big Thing, so I am now equipped to Save the World.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to use my new mad skilz until July 14th, 32 days too late for us.

I wonder if I can use them to make those of us Left Behind more attractive, or less hopeless, or something...

End of the World Tomorrow


In case you missed the big announcement, the end of the world will occur tomorrow, according to self-proclaimed prophet Yisrayl "Buffalo Bill" Hawkins.

That's only because it didn't end on September 12, 2006, the last time ole Buffalo Bill predicted the End Times.

Evidently, if your last name is "Hawkins," you'll be saved, at least that's the final word from on High, according to...Hawkins.

So gel up your baby's hair and prepare for the final conflag, folks. Remember, you've been warned.

I'm Greedy, I Am

Last week, the Senate unanimously approved S.2162, the Veterans Mental Health Improvements Act, which will help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other mental and physical injuries. The bill included provisions drawn from the Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act.

Provisions include:


  • Cuts the deductible disabled veterans have to pay before qualifying for mileage reimbursement from the VA from $15.44 per round trip to $6 per round trip when they travel for health care.
  • Makes permanent the increase in the VA’s mileage reimbursement rate for disable veterans who travel for health care from 11 cents to 28 cents per mile
  • Establishes a pilot program on peer outreach and support for veterans, use of community mental health centers and Indian health care facilities as mental health service centers for veterans and readjustment counseling for veterans
  • Provides families of veterans with mental health disabilities the opportunity to receive marital or family counseling
  • Creates a new program that aids low-income veterans facing homelessness
  • Requires the VA to reimburse hospitals that provide emergency treatment to veterans who have service-related disabilities

I'm very glad the Senate is at least making an effort to improve the support offered to vets, but I'll continue to harangue my Senators and Representative like a fishwife to do more. The provisions of this bill seem like too little, when our vets need so much.

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History, Volume X

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is Estelle Griswold. As the photo implies, she was a member of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut.

In 1961, Mrs. Griswold was serving as the executive director, and opened a birth-control clinic in New Haven with her colleague, Dr. Lee Buxton, a Yale obstetrician. Given the age, the powers-that-be, i.e., the busy-body men with nothing better to do than interfere in other people's lives, promptly arrested them both for dispensing contraceptives to a married couple. They were eventually convicted and fined $100.

Well, Mrs. Griswold was ill-behaved, and a good thing, too. She appealed, and when the case reached the Supreme Court in 1965, the conviction was overturned, thus striking down Connecticut's law against selling birth control, which effectively overturned similar laws in other states.

This was the beginning of the belief that Americans had a fundamental right to privacy, and eventually led to the widespread use of birth control for single women, as well.

I can't speak to the legal ramifications of this decision, as I'm clearly not qualified. But I'll tell you one thing - as a woman, I owe Estelle Griswold a profound debt of gratitude. My ability to participate fully in our society as an equal citizen is a direct result of my reproductive freedom. Freedom which Mrs. Griswold fought for.

Until recently, I didn't know who Mrs. Griswold was, and yet her life's work has informed my entire life - indeed made the life I chose possible in this time and place.

Estelle Griswold. Pioneer. Activist. Defender of women's rights. Ill-behaved woman.

Thanks, Mrs. Griswold. You won't be forgotten.

I Actually Have to Go To Work Today

Monday, June 9, 2008
I actually have to leave the house and go into the office for the next few days. Shocking, I know. I'm taking a "train the trainer" course on The Next Big Thing, which will Save Our Company.

Now, I actually think this particular Thing is a good idea, and will correct some longstanding issues with my company's sales process. But I find it utterly hilarious that senior leadership types always treat The Next Big Thing as a panacea that will End World Hunger or some such.

Not so much. In this case, it will fix a specific problem, which will hopefully lead to more market share. It will not cure cancer, feed the hungry, or allow us to terraform Mars into human habitability.

So I'll be a bit scarce the next few days. If you need me, I'll evidently be learning how to cure AIDS and turn the hearts of the criminally insane.

'Tard of the Week - Ted Twietmeyer

Ted Twietmeyer is a writer, and I use the term loosely, for Rense.com. Quite frankly, I'm not sure what this site is supposed to do, but feel free to try and figure it out for yourself.

Ted believes that NASA, in an incredible attempt to continue the Moon Landing Hoax and other conspiracies, is covering up the real Phoenix images of Mars. Gasp! Really? How do you know?

He knows because the first photos sent back from the lander are greyscale and not color.

Twietmeyer contends that surely if we have the technology to land a probe on another world, we also have the ability to provide instantaneous color photos.

Um...not so much, you 'tard.

From our good friend the Bad Astronomer:

"Phoenix — and almost all modern space probes — use cameras that are digital detectors called CCDs. These are basically computer chips that are sensitive to light. When a photon hits a part of the chip, it is converted into a charge, and the amount of charge that builds up tells the chip how much light hit it. But all the CCD can do is count photons. It can’t really tell a red photon from a blue one; all it knows is how much light hit it.

The way to produce color is to trick the CCD. You put a red filter in front of it, for example, and that lets only red photons through. You do that again using a green filter, and then a blue one, taking three images in all. Then you can add the three images together, producing a color image (there are a lot of details to this of course, which you can read about here, here, and here).

That’s a lot of picture taking, and then a lot of post-processing to get the colors right! So of course, when we land a probe on a planet for the first time, scientists are perfectly happy to wait for extra images to be sent back, for people to process them, then to make them into color, and finally to display them…

Pbbbbbt. Duh. Of course they don’t do that. They take a bunch of images without a filter (or maybe through just one filter) and send them back immediately so scientists and engineers can assess the status of the probe. Color information is cool, and even in many cases useful, but not right away! It’s more important to just find out what’s going on with the lander."

To a conspiracy theorist, all accomplishments are conspiracies, I guess.

What a 'tard. Good luck with that career in science writing...

Tip o' the Tin-Foil Hat to the Bad Astronomer

I Love Snail-Mail

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I love snail-mail. It's always such a treat to get a piece of mail that isn't a bill or an advertisement.

Perhaps this is a hold-over from my early days in the military, when I couldn't afford overseas phone calls very often, and there was no e:mail. Or perhaps I'm easily amused.

Either way, I got a post card yesterday from our very own Anne C., who recently took a trip to India, and it just tickled me no end:


The fact that one of the Indian stamps has Einstein on it also tickles me. Hee! Thanks, Anne!

I May Have to Go See This

Saturday, June 7, 2008

You Don't Mess With the Zohan


We went to see You Don't Mess With the Zohan this morning.

Adam Sandler is a strange, strange man.

And Humas is gross.

That's all I'm going to say about that.

I'll Make Millions!

The Smart Man and I went to the bookstore last night, mostly because we wanted to get out of the house, and any excuse is a good excuse to go to a book store.

While there, we noticed the latest Ann Coulter book on the clearance racks. The Smart Man jokingly asked me, "What? You're not going to buy Ann's latest?"

Yeah. He's a smart ass as well as a Smart Man.

My reply was that I would only read that piece of shit if I wanted to vomit continuously throughout.

Voila! The Ann Coulter diet is born!

I'll make millions. Since right-minded people everyone (conservative and liberal) think she's a Freeze-Dried Whack-a-Loon, everyone could benefit. Need to lose five pounds to fit into your favorite dress for that Republican fund-raiser on Saturday? Read Ann's opinion on illegal aliens, and your last 10 meals will come up immediately. Need to lose those pesky last ten pounds and Weight Watchers just isn't cutting it? Read Ann's opinions on Christianity versus Islam (otherwise known as "The Ann Crusade") and every meal you've eaten all year will come up.

I think that's why she's so thin. Since she "publishes" a daily column, she can't keep anything down after writing that swill.

At least she'll be good for something.

On Gay Marriage

Friday, June 6, 2008
In this week's Newsweek, Anna Quindlen wrote an essay on the topic of gay marriage entitled "The Same People."

I love Anna Quindlen, and not just because we share the Mad Cow.

I love her because she articulates what I'm thinking. She's unapologetically liberal. She tells it like it is. She applies a moral compass to public life, and points and shakes her head when people fall short. She points out that "the most sacred business of judges is not ratify the will of the majority but to protect the minority from its tyranny." And if you need a stunning example of the morality of that position, please see "Brown vs the Board of Education."

In this week's essay, Anna points out that "the younger you are, the more likely you are to know someone who is gay. The more likely you are to support gay marriage. The opposition is aging out."

This has been my experience as well. Getting to know a member of a minority group takes away their "otherness," and allows compassion and understanding to inform your opinions.

I know a lesbian couple who are "married." Well, they're "committed" because they live in Utah, and we all know Utah will probably be the last state in the Union to allow gay marriage.

They own a home. One is a social worker, the other an oncology nurse. They're raising two teen daughters from a previous marriage and a baby son they had together. Everyone is healthy and happy, and contributing members of society. The girls are well adjusted and have bright futures, and their son is the happiest baby I've ever seen.

Why should my friends lack the basic rights that hetero couples have? Answer: They shouldn't.

Love is love. Here's to many happy years together - whatever your orientation.

In Which I Try to Paint My House, Part III

The weather has cleared, and the painters are here. Looks like we'll finally get this job done!

Who Cares? Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 22


The R Kelly trial is on the rails for the prosecution! The reporter won't give up the source of the video tape! People agree that Shonna wasn't the girl in the tape! Will R Kelly "get off?" Who Cares!

Rush - Postponed

Thursday, June 5, 2008
Rush has been postponed due to severe weather conditions at Morrison, the location of Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Cool.

Looking like June 22nd, although no definitive announcement has been made.

I guess we'll have to stay home and have hot monkey sex, instead.

Just kidding, Mom.

Not really.

On Being a Helpless Woman

So I took the Jeep in for its first service today. I've had it for 6 months, and even though I only have 2,700 miles on it, the owner's manual indicated I should take it in at 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

Yeah. I don't get out much.

I hate going to mechanics, because I am not mechanically inclined, and so am forced to trust their word for it when they tell me what they've "found." But the fact that I'm not mechanically inclined does not mean I'm stupid.

My Jeep's tire pressure sensor is wonky. Since the 2nd day I had it, the "tire pressure warning" light would go off for no apparent reason when it was cold outside. More recently, it would go off when it was hot outside. At first, I would dutifully check the pressure to ensure I wasn't driving on low tires, but then I started to ignore it, based on the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" logic.

So when I took it in, I mentioned to the in-take guy what my experience had been, and asked him to have his mechanic take a look. The conversation went like this:

Me: The tire pressure sensor appears to be wonky. It goes off for no apparent reason when the temperature gets too hot or too cold.

MCP: Oh, we always check the tire pressure.

Me: There's nothing wrong with the tire pressure. I know how to check the tire pressure. The sensor appears to be too sensitive.

MCP: (rolls eyes) Temperature fluctuations can cause the pressure to go up or down. We'll check the tire pressure.

Me: I checked the pressure. The sensor has been alarming since the second day I had it.

MCP: We'll check it.

Yeah, I'm sure you will, you nimrod. Right after you get done joking with the mechanic about the stupid woman who owns this Jeep who thinks she knows something about the vehicle.

Not surprisingly, the tire pressure was a bit low in all four tires (yeah, right), and the pressure sensors are working as designed (Hmmm-mmm).

Whatever. I hate going to the mechanic.

I got spoiled when I owned a Honda, and my Hot Cousin's Smart Man was the Service Manager of the local dealership.

Now I'm back to being a member of the great unwashed, and boy, does it suck.

Stupid Weather

The painters were supposed to start on the outside of the house today, but here is the view from my basement office:

So it'll be postponed until the weather clears.

You want to know what's worse?

We see Rush every year that they're here. I've been seeing them live since the "Moving Pictures" tour, and they always put on a good show.

However, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is their preferred venue, and guess what? It's outside.

I really hope it clears out by tonight. Because Red Rocks is a "rain or shine" venue.

Yeah. Stupid weather.

The Disappointment Continues

Oh, Will Smith. In January I practically begged you to disavow your tenuous connection to Scientology. I didn't want my favorite movie of all time, Independence Day, to be ruined by your association with the nutbars.

Sigh.

Now it appears you and Jada are following the nut-brick road, and have donated a significant amount of money to a school based on the principles of Scientology, as well as donating money to their home-schooling branch.

I'm beginning to think it's probably too late for them. Which is really too bad, as they seemed so normal before now.

The good news? I heard the other day on one of my podcasts that the number of people who adhere to Scientology is decreasing year over year.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. What a freak-show.


Tip o' the Engram to SkepChick

Nerd Love

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
As you all know, my husband is a Smart Man. We suit each other in our nerdiness, and converse about such nerd-fest topics as SIP, telecom, erlang theory, BSG, and why Jean-luc Picard is a superior commanding officer. Yeah, baby.

But I have to admit I still have Nerd Love for other men.

Men like astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

He's the keynote speaker at this year's TAM 6, which I will not be attending. Bummer.

Hmm...Nerd Love. Who's your Nerd Love?

More Homework

So I've taken two bass lessons now, and my teacher has recommended this book to help me along in my desire to read the bass clef instead of using tabs.

Since one of the reasons I want to learn bass is to help stave off the Mad Cow, learning to read the music is important.

But really, is there anything more boring than musical theory?

If you need me, I'll be learning to read bass clef and drooling all over myself.

Enough

I'm glad Barack Obama has finally won the required number of delegates to end this thing.

And I don't think I'm the only one who would rather stick a fork in my eye than accept HILLARY as the VP nominee, after her behavior in the last months.

Go home, HILLARY. Please.

2008 Flower Pr0n Part IV

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I love my Really Yellow Iris. Its bright hue makes me happy. And I also love my lilac, which is doing really well considering I planted it on the North side of the house. Its sweet scent also makes me happy.
Happy, happy flowers.

End of the Quarter

Well, I turned in my final paper for my Law, Politics and Policy class.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this class, and I have to say the Professor was the best I've had at DU. He was a really tough grader, but always provided constructive feedback and suggestions for future assignments. A very positive experience.

My next class is "Effective Communication." Why, yes, it is a required class for my degree program, why do you ask?

We'll see how this one goes. I'm quite positive it'll be a better experience than my Leadership class, but I don't consider the subject matter to be as interesting as some of the other disciplines.

'Tard of the Week - Nameless Australian "Washer-Man"

Monday, June 2, 2008
A man was operated on in Hornsby Hospital in Sydney, Australia on June 1st to remove 16 stainless steel washers from his penis.

Surgeons took about 90 minutes to remove the washers using fire department equipment.

I don't think we need to explore this particular retardation too deeply. Just sayin'.

Lazy Sunday, Sort Of

Sunday, June 1, 2008
Today I'm planning on making it a "Lazy Sunday."

We're going to breakfast at one of our favorite local places, Buffalo Boyd's. It's old and gritty, and they decorate with old beer signs. Lots of character, and fabu burritos. Much better than a chain restaurant.

We also have to stop at the post office to mail off my mother-in-law's batch of grape jelly, and I want to spend some time practicing my base, since I was able to have my lesson on Thursday, and my teacher corrected my form.

All reasonably fun stuff.

Unfortunately, however, my final paper for Law, Politics and Policy is due on Tuesday, and it's still not done.

The assignment is to write a position paper advocating for a specific policy position like you were a lobbyist. The topic I chose was single-payer health care. The twist is that you have to write the paper taking the opposite position you actually hold.

Yeah. Writing a position paper on why we should let the working poor go without medical insurance because it's simply too much of a burden to help them is offending my liberal sensibilities, and when I used actual statistics to prove my financial points, I threw up in my mouth a little.

Yes, yes, I realize it's a great intellectual exercise, and also encourages you to view a policy issue from both sides. The assignment has intrinsic value, and I don't disrespect the professor in any way for giving it. In fact, this professor has been more helpful than any DU professor I've had so far. But it's still icky, and I'll be glad when it's over.

The good news? My research led me to Health Care for All Colorado, a non-profit dedicated to instituting a single-payer health care system in Colorado. I'm seriously considering joining, as their plan was included in Colorado's Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care's Final Report, and while I think they could do better, at least they're doing something.

I'm off to peruse the Commission's report again, as I need to spend more time on the minority report. Wish me luck!