July 31, 2003

Vacated

Back home, and lo and behold--it's raining. I know, I know, how strange for Morgantown, perhaps it's a welcome back gift--not that I was gone for THAT long!

I've been trying to catch up on everything I've missed for the past couple days--didn't listen to the news at all while I was gone, which was an odd feeling, but it could account for my relaxed state, though almost a week off from work could have something to do with it as well.

Talked to my grandmother and found out that cousin Pat is going to have surgery. Two other doctor appointments before that happens, but from what Grandmom said, the surgery is going to happen. She did not mention chemotherapy, but I would suppose it is inevitable. I almost felt bad asking how Pat was doing, because Grandmom seemed so cheered at my call. At least I got to give her good news about Andy and how well he is doing, and she was glad we had enjoyed the trip--which reminds me that we took the camera, and took almost no pictures, but I did get a couple of pictures of Susan before we left--Hopefully Andy will send me some pictures of his house as I forgot to take any pictures myself.

Susan did make some disparaging comments about the pictures of her that have been featured on my site in the past--the "falling in the hole" reenactment and the witch hat were definitely mentioned. She didn't mind the pictures from our last trip to Cincinnati though.

Which reminds me, I should dig up those pictures from the "paper airplane incident" and scan those to add!

I did not, however, spend my last day off doing absolutely nothing--I did a bunch of house cleaning (bleh) and went through the closets for things for my run to Christian Help. As monochromatic and slight as my wardrobe may be, I still managed to fill two bags with clothes I don't wear. But at least they'll now be of use to someone--along with all the other stuff I'd been collecting to take (including SIX (6) boxes of crayons. Why I had six boxes of crayons I absolutely can not explain, but I'm sure it's my mother's fault.)

Problem is that I still feel like the house is full of junk, though I think I'm down to stuff like rag dolls and stuffed animals from my childhood. (No, books do NOT count as junk! Perish the thought!) What do you DO with old stuffed animals and rag dolls? They're awfully beat up, so I don't think that anyone else would want them, and they do have memories, so it doesn't seem right to throw them away either. Thus I'm torn between the pack-rat genes I inherited from my father, and the Save Nothing! Throw Everything Away! genes inherited from my mother.

How they have managed to live together for 35 years is beyond me.

Posted by Michelle at 08:44 PM | | TrackBack

July 30, 2003

Home from Cincinnati

So that's it for one of our fastest trips to Cincinnati. Despite the record pace with which we did everything, we still had a great time.

For the first time in a long time we got to see Andy for more than a quick lunch, which was fantastic. His house is nice, and he liked the housewarming gift we got him (of course he won't be able to use it until he gets his stove installed, which will have to wait until the gas line is run to the kitchen (he wants a gas range instead of electric)). It really is a lovely house in a very nice neighborhood, and he is quite excited about it. We also got to spend time with Heather, which is also a good thing, since she is such an important part of Andy's life.

Susan was well, and we got all necessary shopping done, although at unprecedented levels of speed. Jungle Jim's took only an hour or so, but we also wanted to go to Wild Oats, so we had to rush. Mostly I picked up chocolate. We also managed to get in two book stores, including a quick trip to Joseph Beth this morning. I found Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XX, which I presume will be the last book in this series, and a book of African folktales. I have only read African folktales in the Joanna Cole and Jane Yolen's collections, so I was rather excited about this find. I also picked up a book of Aesop's fables and a book called Song of Taliesin, which looked interesting. I almost picked up a book of Victorian tales, but since I saw it at both stores I figured that I might be able to find it elsewhere. There were a couple of other folktale collections that looked interesting, but pricey for what I was getting, so I passed, since I was trying to be at least somewhat frugal. (Plus, it's not like I'm going to have any time to read once school starts again anyway.)

Cirque du Soleil was absolutely fantastic. Completely marvelous. We had a wonderful time, and now we want to see all the other shows. Dralion really was simply fantastic. I think I watched much of the show slack jawed in awe. It was not just the beauty of the movements, or of the set design, or the music, or the outstanding athleticism of the performers, it was the entire show as a whole, that just created an incredible experience. If you get a chance to see them, it's well worth the cost (which is not cheap).

We decided that we need to go to Las Vegas to see the shows there, and I said that would be perfect because then we could also see Penn and Teller, which I really want to do. Andy then volunteered that he wasn't interested. He's never seen a Penn and Teller show, so I told him I think he'd like it.

Actually, I think I told him he was nuts for not being interested, but my commentary on his sanity and personal life tend not to make an impression after we've been debating politics. Go figure.

We also got to eat. We went to a restaurant in Hamilton (near Andy's house, perhaps called the Tumbleweed (?) which was okay. We'd gone to Uno's for lunch however, so I wasn't that hungry. Tuesday's dinner was at the Barley's Brewing Company in Columbus, because it was close to where we needed to be. FOod was pretty good, but we came in during a huge rush, so service was pretty bad. Our meal took about two hours, and it wasn't because we were sitting around talking, it was just that everything took forever. But I presume that service would be better at a time when the restaurant did not completely fill up in 15 minutes.

Today's lunch was my favorite--Thai Cafe. I got Drunken Noodles, which was wonderful as always. Service was a little slow and surly, but then we ended up having nine people at our table, because Susan's co-workers came along. Following Thai Cafe we made the mandatory trip to Grater's for ice cream.

All in all a pretty yummy trip.

But really, the best part was spending time with Susan and Andy and Heather. Cirque du Soleil was fantastic, but it was all the better because I was there with my friends.

Isn't that sweet?

Posted by Michelle at 09:39 PM | | TrackBack

Dralion

WOW!

Posted by Michelle at 01:09 AM | | TrackBack

July 29, 2003

Driving Music

So you must have the perfect driving music, but what is perfect is really a mercurial concept, dependant upon time of day, temperature, weather conditions and where you're doing.

On the way up, the sky was overcast, the temperature was cool, and we mostly listened to 80s music:
'The Best of Duran Duran'
'The Best of the Cars'
'The Best of Howard Jones'
(If you're catching a theme here, it is that I can't afford to convert all my tapes to CDs, and thus I purchased "best of" albums, giving me at least some of what I liked on CD.)
U2 'Atchung Baby'
We put in 'The Matrix: Reloaded' while Michael was driving, because he said it would be a bad idea to listen to it while I driving, because I drive fast enough as it is (I love my husband dearly, but he has this thing about driving the speed limit. I don't understand it, but I accept it) so of course we switched drivers half way through, but by that time we were outside Cincinnati, so I forced by traffic patterns to drive reasonably.

Something like proper restraint anyway.

But the CD started a discussion on the difference between techno and industrial, because someone he works with claimed that 'Reloaded' was all techno. It seemed rather odd to me, to confuse the two. Industrial is pissed off, techno isn't. however both are good for walking and driving. The gist of it was that 'Reloaded' makes me want to go find all my Ministry albums, but I'm not sure that I need that much more hostility in my life right now.

Thus we're here in Cincinnati. Spent the evening with Andy and Heather, and got to see Andy's new house. It actually has furnishings now, and looks like the home of a normal person--hard to believe Andy lives there...

I've got these few minutes while Susan gets ready, and then we're off to Jungle Jim's. (Jumping up and down in excitement) I can hardly wait!

So basically, don't expect me to post anything intelligent for awhil--I'm too busy having fun, and all political rants are temporarily suspended for political arguments with Andy.

Woo Hoo!

Posted by Michelle at 08:29 AM | | TrackBack

July 28, 2003

Off

We're off to see Andy and Susan and Andy's new house and Cirque du Soleil! Hoorah!

Trip to Jungle Jim's is Tuesday morning--I can't WAIT!

(dancing out the door)

Posted by Michelle at 07:39 AM | | TrackBack

July 27, 2003

Dreams

It's very strange, but I think I understand now, why I watch so few movies.

It's been a busy week. We saw 'The Pirates of the Carribean' on Michael's birthday, and I really liked it (that makes three trips to the theatre this summer!) and we've been watching the second series of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' this weekend.

What has struck me, as I have awakened, is that my dreams have not been my own. Although I don't always remember my dreams, I frequently do, and they are strange and unreal, but they are my own. For the past several nights my dreams are no longer my own, but are instead amalgamations of images seen and sounds heard.

As I sit her tired and muddled, I wonder whether this is pecuilar to my mind, or a mental response to watching video when I don't normally. I think it's the former, because I've always avoided horror and movies with vividly gruesome scenes, because the images remain in my mind and bother me days and weeks past viewing, while no one else ever seems to complain of this.

Of course it's too late now. I'm sucked into Buffy, and have to know more.

But I also want my dreams back,

Posted by Michelle at 09:08 AM | | TrackBack

July 26, 2003

No News Update

Forgot to mention that I talked to my Grandmother. Nothing on cousin Pat until next week. She goes back to the doctor Monday I beleive to get the results of the biopsy and the detremine what will happen next.

The good news is that Ryan is doing well and although they are going to keep check for recurrence for the rest of his life, he's back at work and doing well.

Posted by Michelle at 09:17 AM | | TrackBack

Religion and Society

Okay, regarding the question what is my "own view of life and God in general"....

Firstly, have you read any Karen Armstrong? I think that my views seem to come closest to hers.

Secondly, that is way too long for one post, single post.

Technically I think I'm a monotheist. I do not believe that there is any one true way. All ways are equally valid as long as they lead their followers to a moral and ethical life. I believe this because my (admittedly limited) research into different faiths seems to show tremendous parallels between the different faiths, especially in the message presented.

Look at the core beliefs of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The very essense of all three faiths is that you should treat others well. All three have had varying degrees of success, though up until recently, Christianity was probably the worst offender in not following the true message of its scripture. (Compare the actions the army led by Godfrey of Boullion to those of Saladin during the crusader period.)

But I don't think that religious validity belongs only to the three major monotheistic faiths. I believe that most major religions are valiad, and that God simply gave different cultures their message in a different way, because religion is not simply something that is--or should be--the same for every single person and culture.

I also believe that the developement of these religions were guided by God, NOT directly from God to scripture. This is a very important point, because it means that I do not believe that any scripture is infallable. There was simply too much time from the original message to the change from oral to written tradition for human error not to have occured, and I think this can be seen most clearly in Christianity with the variety of gospels and books that were used--after all the Christian canon was not finalized until 363.

This means that many different scriptures were valid up until that point. Why is this important? Because I do not think that a message can be valid one day, and then invalid the next, simply because a committee sat down and said so. A scripture and a religion must be dynamic, because those who follow that scripture are living in changing societies, and their faith must change with the societal changes, and adapt to new situations.

Posted by Michelle at 09:00 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 25, 2003

Orin Hatch Strikes Again

I forgot to mention this yesterday. Probably because my head almost exploded while I was telling Gina about it.

Orin Hatch is accusing the Dems of being anti-Catholic, because they don't like William Pryor. DESPITE THE FACT that Hatch was the one who asked Pryor his religious affilliation, and DESPITE THE FACT that four (4) Dems on the committee are Catholic.

Yes, that is right. Hatch asks Pryor his religious affilliation and then accuses the Dems (four Catholics among them) of being anti-Catholic. Ignoring the fact that Pryor, who may follow the Catholic line on abortion, is FOR the death penalty, which goes against the Catholic church's stance.

Which means that Hatch's claim that Pryor's stance on abortion comes from his Catholicism is disingenuious as best.

UPDATE: Here is a post that includes a partial transcript and some added commentary.

Posted by Michelle at 10:07 AM | | TrackBack

News from Iraq

Salam Pax is back to posting regularly, and has quite a bit to say about what has been going on, especially about the deaths of Uday and Qusay.

Posted by Michelle at 09:41 AM | | TrackBack

We Wear Shoes AND Have Computers

The Hillbilly Sophisticate is doing a good job finding all the ridiculous news stories regarding Jessica Lynch's homecoming.

Those of you who are not from WV probably have no idea why this is so important, unless of course you're from another state that is also seen as backwards and uneducated and so on and so forth.

Anyway, she's blogged that the CSM reporter who described the Lynch home prior to renovations as "ramshackle" had not actually SEEN the home prior to renovations. Plus a whole lot more. So check it out and see the incredible bias the media has towards West (by God) Virginia.

If you don't want to check out the Hillbilly Sophisticate, please at least read this article from the Charleston Daily Mail. WV reporter Deanna Wrenn Was given a byline on a story she never would have written.

Reuters did use one quote from the story I wrote last week in the final paragraphs of one of their earliest Lynch stories, which was sent out for publication early Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday afternoon, the quote was reduced to one sentence. Still, my byline appeared.

By Tuesday night, the quote was gone and Reuters was siphoning information from television reports. The beginning of the story was toned down. The part about "media fiction" was removed. But even then, my byline remained.


UPDATE: The Volokh Conspiracy has blogged about this.

Posted by Michelle at 09:10 AM | | TrackBack

Bonus Points for Sheer Outrageousness

"A group of 12 creative Cuban migrants have used a 1951 Chevrolet pick-up truck equipped with floats to make a break for the United States."

Now the BBC has a habit of putting random pictures up with articles, but I'm pretty sure that the picture here is the real thing.

The story did end on a sad note:
"But for all its inventiveness, the truck fared no better than its passengers and did not make it to land. It was sunk by the US Coast Guard who deemed it "a hazard to navigation". "

Posted by Michelle at 08:46 AM | | TrackBack

Good News

I thought I'd start the day with good news from yesterday.

1) The library accepted my mom's dissertation, so she is completely done. She gets the paper in the mail next month! Hoorah!

2) Andy is actually a home owner! (I'd tried to call Tuesday, but his phone was out.)

So, it's good news that is important only to me, but it's still good to have good news.

Except the rest of the day to go downhill from here.

Posted by Michelle at 07:32 AM | | TrackBack

July 24, 2003

Post for Dave

This post will self destruct in several days if no comments appear. :)

If you aren't Dave, but want to chat anyway, feel free to make a comment about any subject (WITHIN REASON) and we can discuss it.

Posted by Michelle at 11:00 PM | | TrackBack

Road Penn

After a long hiatus, there are a multitude of additions to Road Penn.

Posted by Michelle at 09:12 PM | | TrackBack

Hospice Nurses and Terminal Dehydration

Researchers study experiences of hospice nurses with patients who hasten death

On the basis of reports by hospice nurses, the researchers found that patients in hospice care who stopped eating and drinking were elderly, no longer found meaning in living and usually died a "good" death within two weeks after stopping food and fluids...Nurses reported that these patients were ready to die, saw continued existence as pointless, and considered their quality of life poor. The survey showed that 85 percent of patients died within 15 days after stopping food and fluids. On a scale from 0 (a very bad death) to 9 (a very good death), the median score for the quality of these deaths was 8, as rated by the nurses. "We were surprised that patients who chose this means to hasten death were, according to their nurses, more peaceful and suffered less in the last two weeks before death than patients who choose assisted suicide," Ganzini said.

This is very interesting, because it seems to show that doctors should make aggressive pain treatment a priority, and that patients do have an alternative to assisted suicide.

I had read previously that terminal patients who refuse food and water to hasten their death may actually be more confortable than patients who are coerced into continued nourishment. I seem to remember that one of the reasons was that those systems are slowly shutting down, and so continued nutrition actually causes bloating and discomfort in patients. I'll have to see if I can find the article.

How interesting: Andrews MR, Levine AM. Dehydration in the terminal patient: Perception of hospice nurses. American Journal of Hospice Care 1989;6(1):31-34.

Of course the major difference between the two studies is that this new article is in the New England Journal of Medicine and more likely to receive attention than an article in a journal dedicated to hospice or pain management.

And while I'm thinking about it: information on hospice care in WV. This is very basic information I put together for my Soc and Behav theory class last semester, but if you know nothing about hospice, you might find it helpful.

Posted by Michelle at 04:32 PM | | TrackBack

July 23, 2003

Mozilla is Great

In great detail.

Posted by Michelle at 04:48 PM | | TrackBack

July 22, 2003

Country Roads

Don't have too much to say about Jessica Lynch, mostly I'm very glad she was able to come home.

The media feeding frenzy, however, was a bit much. I did hear something rather interesting this morning on the news. The reporter was saying that Jessica Lynch would recognize neither her home nor the road to her home. Now I think it is absolutely fantastic that volunteers helped remodel the house to make it acessible for someone who was recovering from a serious accident. That is really wonderful. What was less wonderful was that the road had to be redone, because the television trucks completely tore it to pieces earlier in the spring.

Y'know, I don't think that the current media frenzy is going to bring *that* much money into the area, so I find it slightly disturbing that the county with the highest unemployment rate in the state had to redo roads torn up by big media who came in, complained about the lack of pay phones, and then left.

Perhaps I'm wrong though. Perhaps they gave something to the community. Perhaps the continued hoopla will bring tourism into an area that badly needs an economy boost.

Unfortunately I'm not counting on it.

Also, wanted to point out this article: "Two days after officials announced former POW Jessica Lynch would be coming home, residents were raising money for another injured soldier from West Virginia's smallest county." (via The Hillbilly Sophisticate)

Posted by Michelle at 09:18 PM | | TrackBack

Pancake Flatter

"Simply put, our results show that Kansas is considerably flatter than a pancake."
Study: Kansas is flatter than pancake

Not that this comes as a surprise to anyone who has driven across Kansas.

When I was younger and stupider than I am now (if you knew me then you would know that this is, in fact possible) I decided that I was going to move out west (Which is a story in and of itself) and it was on that trip that I learned that saying bad things really does make them happen.

It was towards the end of our first day driving across Kansas, and the sun was just getting ready to set, when I said "A thunderstorm would look really impressive with such a huge horizon!" At this point the sky darkens, rain starts and the radio starts blaring tornado warnings.

Coincidence? Continue on!

On the way back (I told you it was a story in and of itself) driving through the badlands, I look out and note the desolation, and how there is nothing visible for miles, no houses, not businesses, no cars, and I foolishly said "Wow! It would really suck if you got a flat tire out here!"

Yes. The car immediately got a flat tire. As the saying goes, if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any kind of luck at all!

Posted by Michelle at 10:53 AM | | TrackBack

July 21, 2003

Fionavar Tapestry

Despite the fact that I'm already reading several other books, this weekend I reread Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry series.

Read More >>

Posted by Michelle at 09:51 AM | | TrackBack

July 20, 2003

Blasphemous Rumors

There was a segment this morning, on The Next Big Thing about Abraham Lincoln and how he suffered from melancholy, or depression. I don't particularly like The Next Big Thing—I find it a less interesting version of This American Life, but I usually end up listening to it, because it comes on between Wait Wait..Don't Tell Me and The Thistle and Shamrock. So I listen, and today the melancholy of Lincoln fastened in my mind, primarily because of events of the past week, but not entirely, for some things had been in my mind prior.

What struck me first, the idea of Lincoln's depression, was to wonder how he felt about his own death in those moments when he realized he would die, was dying. He had done so much, and been so reviled for his actions, I can not imagine how that would effect someone who was already prone to sadness. When he felt the bullet, realized that his days were ending, did he feel that there was much still undone, that needed his further guidance? Or was it a relief to him? To know that there was nothing more he could do, that he had done his best and would now be allowed escape?

Even before the suicide this week that affected several I know and care about, I had been thinking of Mike Marlin. I hadn't thought of him for several years—even tragedies eventually recede from memory. That led me to wonder whether those who love the dead are ever allowed the release of forgetfulness?

In May it will be ten years since I graduated college, and ten years since Mike Marlin jumped from the Westover bridge. How many lives did that single action of his touch, even tangentially, such as my own? How is it that the action of a single moment can be so far reaching?

I suppose my question here is the same. In the end in the last moments, is it a release and a relief, or a realization of so many things left undone?

Posted by Michelle at 12:12 PM | | TrackBack

July 19, 2003

Weirdness Abounds

I am looking at the usage stats for my website, and discovered that in June out of my top referrers, I had 4 (four) hits from the iaea.

??????!

And six people came to my site after doing a search for "susan b robbins'. Mind you 'klishis morgantown' brought me only 2 hits. That makes susan 3 times more popular than I am.

See what happens NEXT time I post her picture....

Posted by Michelle at 04:25 PM | | TrackBack

International Bright Young Thing

Went to the post office, and sent off mail to Japan (Hammer), Switzerland (Sergei) and Kyrgyzstan (Ben). And the total was less than 10 dollars for one letter and two packages. I went in with fears of it costing me $50 or something to send out my mail, so I was extremely pleased. Of course the lady behind the counter had never heard of Kyrgyzstan, although she did guess the correct region.

Of course I was mostly amused by the fact that I was sending mail out all over the world. It makes it look like I have lots of international jet setting friends or something. (grin)

Haven't heard anything from my Aunt, but I'm working on the assumption that while they're across the ocean, no news is good news.

We also saw our friends James and Dani today, and got to meet Hunter Jade for the first time. She was, of course, very cute, and wasn't the slightest bit fussy. I hadn't seen Dani since her baby shower, and had only seen James very briefly when we all went to lunch on my birthday, so it was good to see them, and catch up. Of course what they've been doing with all their time has been taking care of, feeding, changing and generally adoring Hunter.

No, I still don't want a baby.

Yes, I'm certain.

If all goes well, Andy settles on his house Tuesday. He of course has no furniture or furnishings, because very little from that apartment was salvagable, but that just means he gets new stuff! So my question is, for a house warming gift, what do you get a guy that needs everything?

Posted by Michelle at 03:53 PM | | TrackBack

July 18, 2003

Pinned

Oh, I so need to many many items from here.

You can even buy a homo erectus pin!

Posted by Michelle at 01:44 PM | | TrackBack

New! Improved! Easier!

Or perhaps not. The whitehouse has instituted a new e-mail system for those who would like to contact the president.

Under a system deployed on the White House Web site for the first time last week, those who want to send a message to President Bush must now navigate as many as nine Web pages and fill out a detailed form that starts by asking whether the message sender supports White House policy or differs with it.

The White House says the new e-mail system, at www.whitehouse .gov/webmail, is an effort to be more responsive to the public and offer the administration "real time" access to citizen comments.

Completing a message to the president also requires choosing a subject from the provided list, then entering a full name, organization, address and e-mail address. Once the message is sent, the writer must wait for an automated response to the e-mail address listed, asking whether the addressee intended to send the message. The message is delivered to the White House only after the person using that e-mail address confirms it.
White House E-Mail System Becomes Less User-Friendly

Ah, much easier I'm sure.

Posted by Michelle at 10:36 AM | | TrackBack

July 17, 2003

Prohibited

Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic, but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished. --H.L. Mencken
But of course the same thing could never be said about drug policy.
Posted by Michelle at 12:53 PM | | TrackBack

Someone Else....

....liked Star Trek Deep Space 9. The only Star Trek show I really liked is generally reviled, but James Lileks (who I first found years ago with "The Gallery of Regrettable Food") liked DS9.

I'm not sure why I like DS9. Perhaps because it had a plot that continued from week to week, instead of each episode being pulled seemingly randomly out of the ether. Perhaps because all of the characters were imperfect--far more so than in other shows. Few characters on that show were likable all the time, and several were mostly unlikable most of the time--but even those characters had their moments.

The characters seemed more realistic. I realize that is quite strange to say about a show where all the characters wore ridiculous make-up and masks, but it's true. To me, so many characters are one dimensional--they're just lovable and they seem so rarely to have traits that are unpleasant or vile. They may have quirks, but those quirks are portrayed as cute or amusing.

No human being is completely lovable (at least none that I have ever met). We all have traits that irritate even those who love us best, so why should our fictional characters be completely lovable and admirable? I think those are the same reasons I love the Thieves' World series. The characters were multidimensional (being written by different authors will do that) but even the characters who were written primarily by a single author (Samlor hil Samt springs immediately to mind) were protrayed as flawed.

I suppose that's also why I liked Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix so much. The characters finally got more depth. Harry became less perfect (and much less of a victim) and Snape finally became a slightly more sympathetic figure. I'm very curious to see how this all turns out.

Perhaps that is a flaw with The Matrix. The characters are all completely admirable, doing their best and giving their all (except for the bad guys) they don't really have depth. The movie itself has plenty of depth, but most of the individual characters don't seem to agonize like the rest of us. Maybe that's why I liked the scene in the bowels of Zion. For once, someone had a doubt about the plan that wasn't related to Morpheus' absolute belief in Neo. It's just a small thing, for the movie was quite long as it was. Just something to consider.

Not sure what this means, After all it's not like I watch a lot of TV and movies, but I have read a lot of books. What are people really looking for in a movie I don't know, and I'm not really sure what I look for in a movie. I just know what I like I suppose.

Back to DS9. I had been considering getting Michael the first season on DVD for his birthday--until I saw the price.

Sorry honey, I love you and all, but.....

Posted by Michelle at 09:19 AM | | TrackBack

Why Are We Surprised?

I'd remembered seeing news that the administration was pressuring the intelligence services months and months ago. Looked through my blog archives, it was 23 March. The bit I quoted talks about Iraq/al Qaeda links, the synopsis of the article to which I linked talks about uranium.

I thought I'd read other articles as well, but have yet to find if I wrote about them.

Posted by Michelle at 07:26 AM |

July 16, 2003

Byrd Remarks to the Senate

(Senator Byrd's) Senate Remarks: "The National Guard: Always Ready, But Over There"

As of last week, there were 204,100 Guard and Reserve personnel on active duty. Some are stationed within the United States, performing homeland security missions. Many are deployed overseas, to places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Since September 11, 2001, we have activated more Guard and Reserve personnel than at any time since the Korean War.
...
These troops ought to have the chance to come home, too. But there are two reasons why I am particularly concerned about the long deployments of the Guard and Reserve.

First, the National Guard has important responsibilities to their states. Right now, West Virginia has all of its Guard and Reserve engineer units deployed overseas, along with all of their earth movers, dump trucks, and equipment. If summer storms cause more flooding and mudslides in West Virginia, who is Governor Wise going to go to for help? The engineers of the West Virginia National Guard can't answer the call from the hot sands of Iraq. My state would either have to rely on expensive contractors to recover from the storms, or wait two to three days for National Guard units from neighboring states to respond. West Virginians need our National Guard in West Virginia.

Second, members of the Guard and Reserve are part-time soldiers. They are proud to serve their country, but they did not sign up to serve full-time duty. We must exercise greater discretion when mobilizing the reserves, just as we did decades ago. According to the Congressional Research Service, from 1945 to 1989, there were only four involuntary call-ups of reserve forces. Since then, there have been six involuntary deployments. It is unreasonable to dip into the Guard and Reserves so frequently, pull these men and women away from their civilian careers and their families, and expect them to serve overseas with no indication of when their mission will end.

From Senator Byrd's Newsroom

I don't think there is much I can add other than please read the entire article yourself.

Posted by Michelle at 09:48 AM |

Just Because You're Paranoid

Recently I discovered that e-mail I have sent was not necessarily arriving at its intended destination. I sent end 'the brownie recipe' three times to Gina before she received it, and she never received the first two e-mails.

It makes me wonder what other messages are not getting through. After all, I have no idea whether it was my server or her server (though when I sent the recipe to her work address, it went straight through) We of course frequently receive messages that need no reply, so not getting a response to most messages I send isn't unusual. (The only reason I knew she hadn't received my message was because I asked her if she was happy to have the receipe.)

So I wonder how many messages are disappearing into e-mail limbo, and why?

Posted by Michelle at 07:33 AM |

July 15, 2003

Move Your Butt Lady!

Michael's birthday is fast approaching, and if I am going to get him anything else (the DVD player was the big gift) then I need to make up my mind and order soon.

The subject, which is simply a reminder to myself, is also an anecdote from my past that amuses me (as many things do). I find myself frequently amused by phrases and quotes that dredge up memories.

My mother used to have a habit of telling people in traffic to move their butts. It was just a quirk. This is, after all, my mother. She was made to rethink that habit one day however, when driving in the car with my brother, who was probably about five or six at the time. He was in the front seat. (This was the days before air bags, when our parents resorted to allowing us to take turns riding in the front seat when it was one parent and two kids. This was actually a desparation move on their part, because one of us in the front and one in the back, reduced the amount of fighting that was able to occur, and at the very least we couldn't easily reach each other without being completely conspicuous. (And let that be a lesson to anyone considering having children. No more kids in the front seat means you have to have a minivan or urban attack vehicle to separate two squabbling children.))

So we were driving home along a main road on a hot summer day, before air conditioning was as common in cars as it is now, so all the windows in our car were open, as were the windows of all the cars around us. This was also a time before blaring car stereos, since if you were lucky, your car came with AM/FM radio.

Now it's not like we have bad traffic in West (by God) Virginia, but not having to deal with rush hour often makes us impatient, especially when one is in the car with children that may or may not be cranky. It's not like the woman in the car in front of us was asleep at the wheel, she was just a little slow moving with the green light, so my brother, who of course knew what green lights mean, decided that was a good time to holler out at the top of his lungs into the relative silence of the surrounding traffic, "MOVE YOUR BUTT LADY!"

And so now, as I tell myself to get off my rear, I sit laughing to myself. One of the many joys of memory.

Posted by Michelle at 08:20 PM |

July 14, 2003

Lovely

So the rains this spring flooded the basement of the house next to us. Our new neighbors decided to repair the overflow drains, which involved tearing up the entire yard.

Today, the dirt was finally replaced, not that I mind the work they are doing, but our yard is a mess now, including the hill in the back that we took the trouble to seed with grass (last summer it was completly torn up, where Michael pulled out all the Tree of Heaven stumps. The previous owner of our house had let weed trees take over), and the front yard, where the heavy machinery left, tearing up the front hill (The hostas were not in great shape, but they were trying! Now their vegetative lives have been brutally cut short, and we're back to mud around the tree stump we're trying to hide.).

Now the neighbors said earlier that any damage to our yard would be repaired, but I'm slightly depressed over this anyway, since it look several months for them to finish just the basic work of putting the yard back together. It eally shouldn't matter, except that we have done quite a bit of work on the house, and it's somewhat depressing to see it torn up in the blink of an eye.

Hopefully things will look better tomorrow.

Posted by Michelle at 08:11 PM |

Redesigned Books

Well, redesigned book portion of my website anyway.

I decided that despite my lack of knowledge of CSS, I really like Movable Type, and that it would be a better format for the main book portion of my website. I ditched the frames, but that means I'm not thrilled with the navigation portion...and I just realized that I have errors. Ugh....

(There! All Better)

So (ta da!) the book portion of my website has been redone. I am pretty sure that it works perfectly, but I'm not perfect, so...

Anyway, the new BOOKS portion of me website! Hoorah!

Posted by Michelle at 07:09 PM |

Let's Try THIS!

Working with Cascading Style Sheets makes me feel exactly like I did when I first started working with HTML. I don't have a clue what I'm doing, so I just try random stuff, to see what happens.

I hate that feeling.

Posted by Michelle at 12:18 PM |

July 13, 2003

Nothing, Really

Mostly tired, and don't feel particularly witty or eloquent, but I like to make a point of writing something every day. It's good exercise for the brain, and keeps my writing and editing skills in tact (too bad there is nothing to be done for my typing and spelling skills.)

Have spent a lot of time on the phone this weekend. Talked to Andy twice, taked to my Aunt, talked to my grandmother. I feel like I haven't spent this much time on the phone since I was in high school. And I just remembered I needed to call Susan...Busy. I'm not surprised.

When I was writing my letters today, I realized that I have written more about the weather this year, than I can ever remember doing so. Not sure if that is because the weather has been so strange, or because there is nothing else to talk about. Mostly I think it's the former. We had flash floods earlier in the week--wiped out a car dealership and closed roads throughout town. Roads I don't ever remember being closed before due to flooding. Luckily we were untouched. Yesterday we had a hailstorm in the midst of a tremendous thunderstorm.

Sometimes the power of nature is truly awesome, and I wonder how we can just sit back and ignore it most days, paying it little heed until cars start floating away or hailstones rain down. I always try to pay attention to nature, for I am reminded of a folktale:

A poor woman stumbles upon a group of travellers, gathered for an evening meal. They ask her to join them, and as she sups with them, three of the travellers, dressed in light cloaks and bedecked with flowers, ask her opinion of the spring. She replies that she quite enjoys spring, with the entire world born anew.

The next three travellers, dressed in light clothes and beaming like the sun itself, ask her opinion of the summer months. She replies that summer is a wonderful time, for it is a season of growth and long joyous days.

The next three travellers, cloaked in reds and oranges, ask her opinion of autumn. She replies that fall is wonderful, for it is the time of the harvest, when food is plenty, and families can feast together.

The last three travellers, dressed in heavy cloaks and scarves, ask her how she feels about the winter months. She replies that winter too is a blessing, for it allows them to rest from their labors, to gather at home with kith and kin.

The travellers who are of course the months of the year, richly reward her for her kind words and generous spirit.

The woman returns home, a rich neighbor who is jealous of her newfound wealth, presses the good woman for details of how she acquired her riches. The kind woman of course tells all to her neighbor, who then rushes out herself.

The rich (and of course somewhat evil) neighbor comes upon the same travellers, but when asked her opinion, has nothing but complaint. Spring is nothing but rain and mud, when all is drenched and filthy. Summer is too hot, and there is not escape from the oppressive heat. Autumn's chill accompanies the unceasing toil of the harvest, while winter, with its freezing winds and snow, brings only starvation and death.

The seasons, offended by her sour attitude and bitter words, strip her of her wealth and good fortune, and send her on her way.


I can't remember where I read that, whether is was from mythology, or one of the many folktales I have read, but it has always stuck with me. So I try to always have something nice to say about the weather, just in case the seasons are listening.

Posted by Michelle at 09:46 PM |

July 12, 2003

Witty - Better Late than Never

So as we don't have cable, we've missed a lot of popular culture. Most of which I don't mind, but there are some things which I have been told I would really like and should see. One of those things was 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (mind you, I did see the orignal movie lo those many years ago, and quite liked it.) so when we (finally) got a DVD player, Erin loaned us the first season because "I think you'll like it. It's witty."

She was right, it is witty, and I do like it. Although I have to say that the high school bits are in some ways excruciatingly painful to watch. I wasn't one of those people who enjoyed high school, and reliving those memories, even vicariously, is rather unpleasant. That aside. I really did enjoy it, and can't wait to see more.

I think I've watched more video in the past two weeks, than I had watched in the past two years.

In more personal news, Andy called today. Talk about having a bad month--his last several weeks have been horrible. In the midst of everything, his webhosting service apparently went out of business, so not only is he living in a hotel and but he has also lost his website and all e-mail. So right now he has neither physical nor virtual place to call home.

Makes my personal problems seem rather petty and insignificant.

Posted by Michelle at 09:12 PM |

July 11, 2003

Pirate Keyboard!

See the Pirate Keyboard! (via Boing Boing)

And while we're on the subject of Pirates, September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

You can also discover your pirate name!

Your pirate name is:

Black Ethel Bonney

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Posted by Michelle at 03:56 PM |

Senatory Byrd's Letter to Rumsfeld

Here is a brief quote of the letter Senator Byrd sent to defense secretary Rumsfeld.

I have also received several reports of rationing of basic supplies and services. At a family support meeting, families were told that one unit had limited supplies of food and water rations of just 20 ounces per day. Soldiers with another National Guard unit have reported through their families that they are only allowed one 10-minute phone call home every several weeks.

In addition to these reports, the wife of one soldier has reported that, during a family readiness meeting, she was warned not to contact her representatives in Congress to seek redress of these legitimate grievances because her husband's commanding officer might take away from his troops telephone use and other privileges.

Posted by Michelle at 02:55 PM |

No News Is Good News

Unfortunately, I got news...

Received a message from my aunt. My cousin Ryan's mother, who was recently treated for melanoma (Ryan was just treated for lung cancer, before that his mom was treated for skin cancer) has just discovered 3 possible cancerous lumps/tumors.

Please keep them in your thoughts...

Posted by Michelle at 07:20 AM |

July 10, 2003

Wow

Virtual Ping Pong Game Matrix style. (via Matrix Essays)

Posted by Michelle at 04:20 PM |

Brought On

The Department of Defense and family members have identified 212 U.S. troops who died supporting U.S.-led operations in Iraq. Of these, 74 died on or after May 1, when President Bush declared that major combat operations there had ended.

The total of 207 includes accidental and non-combat related deaths. Other U.S. deaths have been reported but have not yet been identified.

The British government said 42 of its troops had died.

Posted by Michelle at 11:56 AM |

July 09, 2003

Hoorah!

My mother is now:

Dr. Lesley Klishis!


This has, unfortunately set the standard for my brother and me, and I'm not sure I want to do that much work.....

Posted by Michelle at 03:35 PM |

Vote!

Your Results:
1. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (91%)
2. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (84%)
3. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (65%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (64%)
5. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (59%)
6. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (57%)
7. Libertarian Candidate (52%)
8. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (49%)
9. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (40%)
10. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (39%)

OR

Your Results:
1. Green Party Candidate (100%)
2. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (91%)
3. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (84%)
4. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (72%)
5. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (66%)
6. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (65%)
7. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (64%)
8. Socialist Candidate (63%)
9. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (59%)
10. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (57%)
11. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (53%)
12. Libertarian Candidate (52%)
13. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (51%)
14. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (49%)
15. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (48%)
16. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (48%)
17. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (41%)
18. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (40%)
19. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (39%)

Is it just me, or does "Cong. Dick, MO" sound like the title to a very naughty movie?

Posted by Michelle at 10:03 AM |

Today....

Good Luck Mom!

By the end of the day, my mother should have her doctorate in education--assuming she survives her defense.

This will make her one of the most over-educated 5th grade teachers in West (by God) Virginia. Yeah mom!

Posted by Michelle at 06:38 AM |

July 08, 2003

Dr. Tatiana

I got Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to all Creation for my birthday, and it is great! There is just something about laughing out loud while reading a book on the evolutionary biology of sex. I'm about halfway through--just fantastic!

Here is a very brief excerpt from the chapter "How to Make Love to a Cannibal":

Rule number one: Never get eaten during foreplay.
Dear Dr. Tatiana,

I'm a European praying mantis, and I've noticed I enjoy sex more if I bite my lovers' heads off first. It's because when I decapitate them they go into the most thrilling spasms. Somehow they seem less inhibited, more urgent--it's fabulous. Do you find this too?

I Like 'Em Headless in Lisbon

Some of my best friends are man-eaters, but between you and me, cannibalism isn't my bag. I can see why you like it, though. Males of your species are boring lovers. Beheading them works wonders: whereas a headless chicken rushes wildly about, a headless mantis thrashes in a sexual frenzy. Why can't he be that way when he's whole? Well, it's hard to have wild sex if you're trying to keep your head.
...
As for Mr. Praying Mantis, he's had a stroke of bad luck. When he's posessed of his head, his brain sends messages to his private parts telling him how to behave. This holds his libido in check until he's in position. When he loses his head, the messages that inhibit sexual behavior cease--and he turns into a sex fiend. The result is that he can couplate when there's almost nothing of him left. Yet although this sounds like proof that he has evolved a spectacular adaptation to being eaten, the "lose head, have sex" reflex is actually rather common among male insects. Something analagous even happens in humans: throttle a man and like as not he'll get an erectoin, not from erotic pleasure in dying, but because "Down, boy" signals from the brain stop coming.
This is the ultimate geek book.

Posted by Michelle at 07:31 AM |

Books on my Bedstand

For now, I have given up on Jacques Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence 500 Years of Western Cultural Life. It's a good book, and it's interesting, but it's not fascinting, and so I'm going to save it until school starts again, and I need a good, but not fascinating book to read before bed.

I'm still reading Ethics for the New Mellennium by the Dalai Lama, off and on. Its a good book, but I've been in the mood for stories recently. The interesting thing, is that just reading this book tends to destress me to some degree, which is rather fascinating since it is not teaching calming exercises or anything, it just talks about how to live and why one should live a good and ethical life. As I said, it's a good book, and I am enjoying it, but I have been in the mood for stories recently.

I've read the introduction, but no further, in Peter Berresford Ellis' Celtic Myths and Legends. I was going to start this after school ended, but I read the new Harry Potter instead, and have not gotten back to this. Soon.

Posted by Michelle at 07:27 AM |

Tathea

Last week I finished Anne Perry's Tathea, and I have to say I was very disappointed. My grandmother and I quite like her mysteries, so I was curious as to what her fantasy writing would be like. I had picked up the book in large paperback, because I saw it before a trip to Baltimore, and I thought my grandmother might enjoy it, so I bought it and left it with her. Got it back this winter, but did not have a chance to read it until recently.

It wasn't dreadful. But it was great either. The plot mostly held together, but I did get lost a couple of times, and she took a twist about a third of the way into the book that struck me mostly as strange rather than intriguing.

But what iritated me the most were the heavy religious overtones. Now don't get me wrong, I like books on religion, and I like fantasty books where religion is a theme, but the religion of this book just grated on my nerves. Perhaps it was because it seemed to be thinly disguised Christianity--but I'm not sure I can put my finger on it. After all, there should have been a lot to recommend it: it extolled the evils as well as the virtues of religion, and the primary prophet of the religion was a woman.

But I just couldn't get into it. I could barely sympathize with the characters. It wasn't badly written, it wasn't a bad idea. I just couldn't make myself care about what happened to the characters.

Posted by Michelle at 07:20 AM |

July 07, 2003

Geek

I took this test Saturday, but my mother-in-law arrived as I was taking it and I was rushed, so I took it again today.

I am 37.47535% - Major Geek

Posted by Michelle at 02:13 PM |

Matrix vs Animatrix

I read a very interesting piece at Matrix Essays that relates the shorts from the "Animatrix" "Second Renaissance I & II" (SR I & II) to the Matrix movies. I did not like SR I & II, because they are ultra violent, and it bothers me to watch such, so I really didn’t think a lot about them at first (mostly because I was trying to forget the violent scenes I did watch, so I could sleep peacefully).

But the author at Begging to Differ makes a very interesting point—why should we care about the humans and why should we want them to win? The machines tried in SR I&II to come to an accord with the humans, but it was the intransigence of the humans that led eventually led to human destruction and enslavement (remember the line from “The Matrix” that it was the humans who destroyed the sky?)

The Animatrix seems to be saying that the humans essentially caused their own downfall and demise, that this was the only way that humans and machines could coexist.

Perhaps humans are not completely destroyed because in some small way the machines did not want to destroy their creators. Perhaps despite everything, machines enjoy interacting with humans, at least when humans are not actively seeing to destroy the machines.

For me, this story from “Animatrix” places Neo’s discussion with Councillor Hamann in a completely different light. Neo is adamant that the machines must be controlled or destroyed, while Haddon seems to be telling Neo that things are not as black and white as he thinks. When I first saw “Reloaded” I thought that Hamann was simply trying to tell Neo that machines are necessary (for Zion could not exist without them). After considering the “Animatrix” I wonder if Councillor Hamann knows the history between man and machine. I wonder if he was trying to prepare Neo for the knowledge that the machines are not inherently evil any more than the humans are inherently good.

“Animatrix” also raises questions about the need for humans to create a subservient race. Slavery, although outlawed, has existed throughout much of human history, and continues to exist today (if you think it doesn’t then you aren’t paying attention). “Animatrix” makes it clear that humans have not moved past the need to enslave others, regardless of the intelligence or self awareness of those being enslaved.

This of course raises far deeper issues of what precisely makes us human, and what makes us deserving of human rights, but that is another subject for another time.

Posted by Michelle at 09:55 AM |

Fish for Roses

While Michael was cleaning his fishtank and pouring the old water on my roses, I came to the following realization:

Me: Hey! I don't have to buy rose fertilizer! I can just make you clean the fishtank more often!
Michael: Yes, dear.

Posted by Michelle at 06:57 AM |

July 05, 2003

Hot! Hot! Hot!

It was quite warm yesterday as we wandered the craft fair to end all craft fairs at Ripley. (You might remember that the President went to Ripley last year on the 4th, which is why we went on the 6th last year. I doubt he bought anything though he could have entered the liar's contest.)

The exceitement for me was that I finally bought prints from Literary Calligraphy. I bought a framed Red Rose and Red Tulip--I really wanted the Language of Wildflowers and the Language of Garden Flowers, but they are too expensive for my budget. As it is the two small framed prints I got cost me $90. But I really love her work and have been wanting to buy something (other than the calendar) for about three years now, so it was birthday money well spent. I considered getting just the prints, but Kim got them last year, and still has not framed hers, so..... I decided to go with what I could afford instead of what I really wanted, just so that I could appreciate it upon receipt instead of knowing I had the prints in a box somewhere.

We went with my entire family, and we all went in Brian's Urban Attack Vehicle, which meant that I got to ride in the far back, which I think was better than being between my parents (Michael got that privlege), despite the fact I had no leg room.

The whole thing really is quite a racket if you think about it. Drive three hours, then pay six dollars a person (okay, both my parents were excited that they got to pay senior rates, but it wasn't THAT much of a discount) to walk around in the heat and buy things. Can you imagine if you had a pay a cover to go the the air conditioned mall? No one would go! But we (and many other people! the place was crowded!) paid good money to go shopping outdoors in 95 degree heat and high humidity. And then paid $4 for a lemonade, with the great deal of only $2 for a refill (which we took advantage of because we were completely dehydrated). What a scam!

And you know what? We'll probably go back next year, because it really is a fantastic craft fair.

Posted by Michelle at 03:03 PM |

July 04, 2003

Happy Independence Day

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Posted by Michelle at 08:18 AM |

July 02, 2003

Unbelievable

President Bush had a tough message on Wednesday for Iraqi militants attacking U.S. troops -- "Bring them on" -- and said the U.S. military presence was sufficient to deal with the attackers.


US President George Bush has vowed that the US will deal harshly with Iraqis who attack American troops, insisting his forces will not pull out. "There are some who feel like the conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is bring them on," Mr Bush said. "We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation."


President Bush taunted the armed groups in Iraq that have killed more than two dozen U.S. soldiers in the past two months, saying "bring them on"


His comments came as still another serviceman died today as the result of wounds received in an ambush on Tuesday. That brings to at least 25 the number of Americans who have died in combat since Mr. Bush declared an end to major hostilities in Iraq in May.


Apparently there have not been enough US Troops killed in Iraq that the president must now taunt the Iraqis to attack our soldiers.

But I guess it's okay, since it's not his children who are over there doing the bleeding and dying. And even if they were, he's rich enough that they won't have to rely upon Veteran's Medical benefits.

Once again, I am disturbed and disgusted by this administration's willingness to place our soldiers in harms way, while refusing to pay them a decent wage and denying veterans the health care coverage they need and deserve.

Posted by Michelle at 09:11 PM |

Jim is Running for Office!

My former co-worker and debate opponent Jim Klenner is running for County Council of Johnson County, Indiana.

Depsite the fact that he is a right-wing Republican, he is a good guy, so if you know anyone who lives in Johnson County, Indiana, you can tell them to check out Jim Klener.

He also has two children who are going to be giants, as both Jim and his wife are over 6 feet tall.

Posted by Michelle at 02:01 PM |

Not Shakespeare

3185. William Congreve. 1670-1729. Bartlett, John, comp. 1919. Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1670–1729) QUOTATION: Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. 1 ATTRIBUTION: The Mourning Bride. Act iii. Sc. 8. Note...
Posted by Michelle at 01:53 PM |

Portion Size Reduction

From the BBC, Kraft will reduce portion sizes in an effort for to decrease health risks.

As the article says, this is probably in reaction to increasing lawsuits against food producers--justified or not--but the important thing is that measures are being taken.

Several weeks ago we were discussing portions sizes and how they have increased in recent years and it really is amazing. The size of a regular cokeat McDonald's when it opened, is smaller than the current child size coke now. And that is nothing but empty calories. (The original article that started the debate I think was Burgers on the brain New Scientist vol 177 issue 2380 - 01 February 2003, page 26 .)

The US is supersizing itself into obesity, and looking for anyone to blame but eating habits and lack of exercise. The frustrating thing is that for so many people, the solution is simple and right in front of them. Stop eating and drinking empty calories, and put down the remote and the mouse and get some exercise!

Posted by Michelle at 09:00 AM |

July 01, 2003

Mine!

Adam Felber has my birthday. And darn it, I think he had it first.

Posted by Michelle at 04:51 PM |

ascii Matrix

The bullet time fight scene from "The Matrix" rendered in ascii.
(via Boing Boing)

Posted by Michelle at 04:33 PM |

Holy Cow!

McDonald's Corporation today announced plans that call for its suppliers worldwide to phase-out of animal growth promotion antibiotics that are used in human medicine. The Global Policy on Antibiotics also creates a set of standards for McDonald’s direct meat suppliers and encourages indirect suppliers to take similar steps to eliminate growth-promoting antibiotics and to reduce other antibiotic usage.
To say that I am quite surprised is an understatement!

This will primarily effect poultry and pig farmers, because those are the industries that have the most significant use of antibiotics as growth producers, and this is a good thing.
Iit is important to note, however, that this will effect use of growth promoting antibiotics only, and that antibiotic use in cattle will not significantly decrease unless feedlot procedures are changed and cattle are no longer feed a corn supplemented high protein diet.

The chances of this happening I fear, are slim to none.

You can also read why antibiotocs are such a problem in a research paper I wrote for my Environmental Health class. I also detail the reasons why restricting growth promoting antibiotics will not change antibiotic use in the cattle industry. (I got an A+ on the paper, which seemed pretty good for a graduate level class if you ask me.)

If you are curious, here is Dr Temple Grandin's website on livestock behavior, facility design and humane slaughter. She even has a section on kosher and halal slaughter. You can also listen to the Fresh Air interview with her.

Posted by Michelle at 10:54 AM |

It's July 1st!

Happy Birthday Kathy!


and also........

(dancing around)

Happy Birthday ME!!!!

DaNaNuhNaNuhNA!

Today is my BIRTHDAY!

(and so on and so forth)

Posted by Michelle at 06:36 AM |