Random (but not really)

Friday, July 30, 2004

Soldiers Lost

Sgt. DeForest L. “Dee” Talbert of the Dunbar-based 1st Battalion of the 150th Armor Regiment was killed Tuesday in Iraq.

Talbert was a star running back at T.C. Williams High School, the school that served as the setting for the 2000 movie “Remember the Titans.” During his high school grid career, he picked up the nickname “Touchdown Talbert.”

He enrolled at West Virginia State in 2000, but did not play football. The Alexandria newspaper quoted Talbert’s girlfriend, Frances Hamilett, whom he met at State, as saying that “he just wanted to get away from his environment and do something with his life.”

According to the radio this morning, he was schedule to return 19 August.

Chronological list of soldiers killed
(If the above link does not work, go to this section of the Sun, and click on the link for ‘US troops killed’.)

Fallen Heroes Memorial

Written by Michelle at 11:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Politics  

Rain Day

Happy Belated Rain Day to everyone. (July 29th)

Written by Michelle at 8:23 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: History  

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Soldiers Lost

Danny B. Daniels II, from Varney, W.V., was killed July 20, 2004, in in Baghdad, Iraq.

As of Monday, 906 soldiers have died in Iraq. 133 soldiers have died in Afghanistan.

Fallen Heroes Memorial

Written by Michelle at 8:27 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Politics  

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Modesty and Dress

For some reason, Old Oligarch more often than not sends me into rant mode. Not sure why, just must be talent. Usually I just mutter to myself, but this time I must call BULLSHIT!

Old Oligarch talks about women and modest dress, and specifically mentions women’s bathing suits. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not necessarily disagreeing with him on the state of women’s clothing. I work in a university; I know precisely how bad things can get.


The female body is no more evil or dangerous than the male body. Modesty in dress should be important to females AND to males. If you think that the female chest should be covered, then you should also believe that the male chest should be covered. If Daisy Dukes are immodest, then so are men’s running shorts. If one sees the human body as something that should be treated respectfully with modest dress, than such treatment should apply equally to men and women.

Let me say one more time: Women’s bodies are not inherently dangerous. Women’s bodies are not inherently evil. If we believe that women’s bodies should be covered, then we must also believe that men’s bodies should be covered.

If most women look ridiculous wearing cropped tops and short shorts, men look no less foolish in running shorts and a bare chest.

As far as swimwear goes, my thoughts are this: If you’re in the water swimming, it doesn’t much matter what you’re wearing, as long as it’s comfortable and doesn’t hinder you. I own a one piece swimsuit, and when I wear it I’m seen as I walk to the pool, and as I walk from the pool. The rest of the time I’m in the water swimming laps, and you can’t tell what I’m wearing. So I’d say the problem is as much why we are wearing as what we’re wearing.


I strongly believe modest dress is a matter of choice. I think that many people today dress atrociously. Hideously. I often wish I had a camera so I could show people precisely how they look, because I’m pretty sure they don’t really know.

But that is their choice. I do wish that people would learn how to dress in a flattering manner, and that fashion styles would take such things into consideration. No one fashion looks good on every person, but you’ll never hear that from the fashion industry. But people have the right to look terrible if they choose. (If nothing else it provides hours of entertainment for me and my co-workers.)

I suppose it comes down to why we dress the way we do: the deep-down honest reasons. If you dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, and allows you to feel comfortable, then you’re dressed correctly. But if you’re dressing solely to impress other people, to get their attention, then you’re doing it wrong.

Written by Michelle at 12:27 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Religion & Philosophy  

At Least I Know What to Expect

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

You didn’t sleep well, last night. You won’t sleep well, tonight. In fact, chances are very good that you’ll be tired and cranky for the rest of your life. Try to think of this as an opportunity to grow, spiritually.

Written by Michelle at 8:21 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Monday, July 26, 2004

Michelle’s House of Dessert

So in addition to the lemon cake I made, my grandmother brought up her pound cake. Both of which we ate with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. (I really would like to get some unpasturized whipping cream, as I’ve read that it’s better than the ultra pasteurized you get in the store. (Which is of course superior to something out of a can, or even worse, Cool Whip.)

Saturday, about an hour after eating dessert, we were playing cards when I asked if anyone needed anything. My mom asked if there was a piece of lemon cake left (there was) so I brought the platter with the cakes over. She cut the remainder of the cake into small pieces, so that everyone could have some. (She then proceeded to eat all the pieces of cake herself. ) I asked if anyone wanted anything on their cake; we still had strawberries, but were out of whipped cream. We did, however, have some Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream.

“I’d like some ice cream,” said Michael. So I got a bowl and got him some ice cream. Grandmom, looking at the ice cream, asked, “Didn’t you say you had rootbeer?” Yes, we did. Michael bought root beer at Jungle Jim’s. Virgil’s all natural micro brewed root beer in fact. “Would it be too much trouble to get a root beer float?” Not at all. Anyone else need anything?

“Well,” my dad said, “since you already have everything out, could I have a root beer float too?”

We even had straws.

I just had strawberries. With a small bite of Michael’s ice cream.

Very delicious.

Boy, do I need to start walking twice a day again…

BTW, my grandmother will be back from visiting my brother tomorrow.

Written by Michelle at 6:08 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Random Stories

My grandmother and I were talking this weekend, and she was telling me lots of stories about growing up and about her father.

My great-grandfather came to the US when he was 18, and spoke no English when he got here. He had a passion for learning, and although he always spoke with an accent, my grandmother says he had a larger vacabularly, and spoke better than my great-grandmother, who had come to this US when she was three.

He started out as a tailor, and soon ran his own shop. He left tailoring when the doctor told him that breathing in the fibers was ruining his health, so he quit tailoring and ended up in real estate.

He lost almost everything during the great depression, in part, my grandmother said, because he was too generous. He’d go to collect the rent, but if the renters told him they didn’t have the money because someone was sick, or was in between jobs, he’s say, that’s okay, I’ll get it next time. Next time, of course, they were gone. But he’d do the same thing the next time.

Grandmom told me that although her father had a quick temper, he typically snapped something and then immediately forgot about it, so nobody paid much attention to it.

Once, someone made a mistake, and her father snapped, “If you can’t get it right, then don’t bother coming to work!” and then oeft. The next day he was walking downtown and saw the gentleman he’s snapped at the day before. “Are you okay? Is everything all right? You didn’t come to work today.”
The man stuttered, “But, but, you told me not to come to work!”
Her father was stunned, “You mean you listened to me?!”

Written by Michelle at 5:36 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Hi Ate Us?

My grandmother is visiting. Blogging will be sporadic to non-existant while she’s around. (She’s staying with us now, will visit my brother for a few days, and then back to visit us.)

If you want to get in the spirit of things, you can talk about books and play cards until late into the night. (Assuming that you consider midnight to be late into the night.)

Written by Michelle at 9:45 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Wow! It Really Is Different!

So last week I decided that I really did want and need a nice suit. I never wear dresses anymore–ever–so I need a little variety in the dressy pants suits I have to wear. On a whim I went into Coni and Franc–one of the local stores that sells women’s clothes. Expensive, and I knew it, but I thought I’d look anyway. The short of it was that I told the saleswoman what I wanted. She showed me three items, the second of which I liked, and tried on. And really liked. And they had a seamstress in store, so I got it fitted then and there. (Just taking in the jacket. I’ll hem the pants myself–couldn’t justify paying somone to do that.)

So I go to a store, the salesperson helps me immediately find precisely what I want, and while trying it on I get it fitted.


But what really got me, was that today I got a thank you card in the mail from the saleswoman.

Yeah, it was a big purchase for me, but I didn’t think that in the grand scheme of things I’d spent that much money. But I got a thank you card.

You know what? It worked. They now have a very satisfied customer who will go back there to shop next time I need a dressy outfit.

Just another reminder of how strange the business world is. We have stores like Wal Mart and K-Mart where the shopping experience is typically a nightmare (narrow aisles, too many people, ugh). At both the big grocery stores in town they have self scan aisles, where you get to do all the work yourself AND put some college kid out of a job.

And then there are places where you get helped as soon as you walk in the door and you get a thank you note for your purchase.

What a strange world.

And in the world of cooking purchases, Several months ago I bought a nice microplane zester grater. I’m trying to make the world’s best lemon cake, and that requires zested lemon, and I thought that a finer zest might be better. Now I really like this zester, exept that apparently I’m not qualified to use it. It zested the lemons very nicely, but it also zested the end of one finger, and sliced two other fingers. Which means that I had a bunch of little paper cuts, and then had to squeeze lemons.


I hope the cake turns out well.

Written by Michelle at 10:54 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Yuck Yuck Yuck Yuck Yuck

It wouldn’t be so bad if they wouldn’t keep emphasizing urine as an example.

Food scientists working for the US military have developed a dried food ration that troops can hydrate by adding the filthiest of muddy swamp water or even peeing on it.

The water seeps through the membrane into the dehydrated food on the other side. As it dissolves large molecules in the food, it creates a very high concentration solution. The osmotic pressure created then draws more water through the membrane.

Written by Michelle at 4:47 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Science, Health & Nature  
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