May 31, 2003

Oh Baby

I meant to get this up here yesterday, but life sometimes dictates other plans.

I originally read this story on USA Today, but I couldn't find it there today. I'd like to point out that this article refers to the unborn child of Laci Peterson as "the baby" all throughout the article. Technically, of course, a baby can be a fetus - 2nd definition on

You'd think the liberal media would be a little more selective with its nomenclature. After all, abortion is legal, and we (read: women) don't abort babies, right? We abort fetuses. We abort unborn children.

Yet, in this case, which for some mind-boggling reason has captured the entire nation (perhaps life after war is boring?) an unborn child is an "infant son" and a "baby." And, obviously, this will inspire more public outrage.



Posted by hln at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2003

The Three Things I Learned in Home Economics Class

Yesterday, I was thinking about my 8th grade home ec class. This was a required class - it or metal shop. I took home ec only because I have an intense dislike of fire, and so shop was out of the question.

I'd best get to the point and enumerate said three things.

1) I learned to sew and stuff a pillow, and I learned how to make a short-sleeved shirt. I still have the pillow, so I guess that's a "deliverable" from home ec. The shirt, well, I'm not sure where that went. I know I wore it to the spelling bee in 9th grade, so perhaps that spelling bee memory is what made me think of home ec. I have since, sadly, unlearned any sewing tricks of the trade; I have no natural talent to carry me through in this regard, either.

2) I learned how to make pudding to please my spouse. Chocolate, no less. Might I expound on how much I despise pudding? Really, I despise it. I'd much rather clean cat litter for an hour. I have always despised pudding, and so making pudding FROM SCRATCH was not exactly a pleasant experience for me, but it was obviously memorable. I'm sure I have repressed any pudding-making skill I might have acquired.

3) Ah, the big one. I learned that Del Monte peaches are of higher quality than generic, store-brand peaches. Wow! Isn't that a revelation? A 13 year-old girl needs to know these things. Someday she may have a family to feed.

I espouse the peach theory purported by my home ec teacher, though. The generic ones were ratty looking and possessed a gravelly texture. The Del Monte peaches were oh-so smooth and delectable. Mmmm.

Thus concludes your home ec lesson for the day. Incidentally, I learned to cook at home, and I'm quite good. I learned to clean by default; my mother wanted every surface of her home "plate" clean. Yes, that means it could serve as a plate in a pinch. It's just that sewing thing...


Posted by hln at 07:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2003

Rapid Detox, baby

I read the USA Today article about Rapid Detox today. It was interesting in and of its own right, but, as is often the case, a certain paragraph struck me funny.

That paragraph is:

    "I have detoxed attorneys and doctors on a Friday and they are back at work on a Monday and seeing patients or clients on Tuesday," says Dr. Rick Sponaugle, chief of anesthesiology at Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, Fla. and director of Florida Detox, located in the hospital. "We take them through the detox in a more humane way and what I believe is a less dangerous way."

"A more humane way."

Are we killing these people? Are they animals? Humane, according to, is defined as "Characterized by kindness, mercy, or compassion." Well, that's nice. I can see the corner clinics now. You've got your Walgreen's, your 7-11, your McDonald's, and your detox clinic. Will this work for smokers?

Anesthesia and drugs to combat other drugs, more cultural panacea. I mean, obviously - weekend detox is the thing, and then back to work.


Posted by hln at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2003


Yesterday and today I have been ravaging through cubbyholes, file cabinets, and under-the-bed boxes stuffed with paper and other mementos trying to determine the difference between detritis and keepsake. It's been a good time and a half attempt at spring cleaning, and I'm still nowhere near done, but here's the gist of it all.

An online friend recently informed me he was throwing away his life. On the surface, this is a pretty strange comment, but he meant it quite literally - throwing out/ridding himself of everything that doesn't fit in a midsize car in preparation for a long move by said car.

Immediately this set me to thinking. First, I'm established in a house - been here over three years, as a matter of fact. I sit writing in my office, and I'm fairly certain I could not fit this room's contents into my automobile. Still, I tossed the thought through my head and brought it forward as a dinner topic last evening and then set about trying to mentally stratify the things that're important to me - the female Noggle hierarchy of needs, if you will.

So here they are.

1) Brian. Obviously, I'd go nowhere without him, though this would make the task a slightly cheating one - Brian has a truck, so we'd have two automobiles to fill. But, if I could only fulfill one "need," it'd be him.

2) The cats. Plural. All of 'em. They're a collective entity because I cannot further classify the cats into taking this one and leaving that. So, all five cats and Brian in one automobile - that'd be about all she wrote. I cannot fathom a long trip with 5 cats, though. Some of us would not survive, I'm sure.

3) All of the small things that I consider sentimental. Most of these things fit in two save-it boxes (my mother's terminology) that fit under the bed. I could probably compress the really, really important things into one box. I'll talk a little about these things.
  • We have a 23 year-old book mark award that says "you've read 25 books." The grape scratch and sniff component of the bookmark still works.
  • A crayon-colored and torn piece of notebook paper that says "Notice! If you want to be a cat club member, call Heather Igert at 648-4894."
  • Report cards from junior high, high school, and college.
  • My father's, grandfather's, and grandmother's obituaries.
  • A copy of my wedding invitation.
  • A card from my parents, in my father's handwriting (this is rare) indicating pride and a $50 reward for all As.
  • The rules of dancing, as I so aptly illustrated on a napkin to Brian when we were first dating. They include such gems as "No clapping, no snapping fingers, and no one-finger thing."
  • My A+++ on "Which Did More to Shape The Development of Democracy, the American War for Independence, or the English Revolutions of the 17th Century?" Incidentally, I gave credit to the British. The whole chicken and egg thing. What else is a 15 year-old to do on this subject?
  • My 9th grade spelling bee word list, containing such beauties as bilboquet, brachygraphy, casuistry, catastasis, dehiscence, fricassee, glogg, insouciance, potpourri, schipperke, tagraggery, and zaibatsu.

4) The computer. Sigh, sad, eh? The computer means I'd have the capacity to work and to communicate, though, so it is a simple choice.

5) All - the vast and volumonous quantity - of our books. It'd break down here. There's no way all of our books would fit in a vehicle, even if it were devoid of humans and felines. But books are to be kept, and, in our definition, that often means on bookcases stuffed two books deep.

6) Clothing - yeah, this doesn't seem to practical, but clothes can be replaced, or, actually, I'd probably cheat and ship them because it's cheaper than shipping books.

7) Anything else - CDs, DVDs, the various material things that are nice but not necessary.

So, there's my thought for the day and a large chunk of my weekend's activity; my recycle bin out back is a very full and bustling place.


Posted by hln at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

Tsk, Tsk, Fitness magazine I

I think Fitness magazine will only be a one-year subscription for me. It's trying to be Shape and Muscle & Fitness Hers, but it just can't put enough meat on the sandwich.

And it does things like this.

In the July, 2003 issue, we have the usual - lose weight, tone bikini body, conquer emotional eating, blah blah blah. On page 39, there's a "success story" of a woman who's 5'10 and 165 pounds. She's got a hearty build, and she looks fine. Of course, she used to weigh 310 pounds, so this 165, normal-looking, non-chunky weight, is good. We knew this - yay, go team. Then, on page 90, there's another woman's picture and her story. She's 5'1 and has dropped down to 135 pounds and appears quite fit. Just for comparison, add 5 pounds for every inch of height. I'm 5'8, so at her build elongated, I'd be about 170, which is a bit hefty, but, if you're fit and appear fit, Fitness will endorse you, obviously. Go Fitness.

Now, on pages 94 - 98, lurks the article "The Face of Fitness." The magazine selected three young women who "epitomize our mind/body/spirit philosophy." Oh, I need to mention, too, they're all STICK THIN. Specs: 5'9 and 120, 5'8 and 122, 5'8 and 115. The first one has some muscle to her - nice shoulders at least.

Ectomorphs! Ladies on pages 39 and 90, take heed! You need to lose weight in order to be a sleek fly-away female. I'm trying to imagine myself at 120, and I think my hip bones would cause pain to anything with which they had contact. "Don't run into that Heather chick in the elevator - she'll hurtcha." Who wants to see your hip bones anyway? Sir Mix-a-lot is puking, I'm sure. Is that a NuvaRing, or is that your waist?

Fitness, you bad scaly dog, you. Pick an ectomorph, a mesomorph, and an endomorph, please. This is not the ideal against which all women should aspire.


Posted by hln at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2003

Power Lunch

One pie plate (glass)
1 serving of chicken, shredded
Lettuce or salad mix enough to slightly fill the pie plate
Small bit of chopped fresh basil
1/4 to 1/2 serving of skim milk mozzarella cheese
One tomato, sliced
1 serving of pecans, split in half
Pepper to taste

Put lettuce in the pan first, then add the basil, cheese, tomato (in wedges), chicken, then pecans. This is one of those salads that I can eat with straight Regina Red Wine vinegar (with garlic flavor).



Posted by hln at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

The verdict, positive

I checked on May 17th, but I didn't find anything definitive. I've been gone all week, but in the St. Lous Post-Dispatch today, there was a small article about the defeat of Missouri SB 668, the bill that would make it a Class D felony to photograph animal facilities without prior consent.

Here's the info from the Humane Society. hln

Posted by hln at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2003

Terror Alerts

Ah, it was so confusing, but now it is so much clearer.


Posted by hln at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2003

Scientific Study Proves

Or something like that. I'm outta here until Friday - out of town. Required reading? Rachel Lucas

I sent her this e-mail this morning, not agreeing with her post about guns. This is odd - usually I agree with just about everything Rachel says, but this seems over the top. My e-mail to her:


    First, I read this yesterday. Post Dispatch Story about Escaped Rapist

    Briefly, it's an article about a woman who was raped in 1975 by a particularly vindictive man (purported to be highly intelligent). For the most part, it doesn't portray her as kooky (only move in that direction is when they mention she has gun in every room of the house), so the media gets some credit for that.

    When I read your blog entry, your post reminded me of that woman. I'd like to offer a few paragraphs about guns from a different perspective. Gun ownership/usage is a choice.

    I grew up with guns in the home. They were not toys - they were my father's deer hunting rifles, and they were kept under the bed, and I was not allowed near "under the bed." Obviously, they were not loaded with a child in the home, but there was this instilled respect for the guns. There are pictures of me as a child standing next to hanging newly shot deer in the garage. (Oh, and my father the biologist ensured we ate every edible inch of the deer).

    Somehow, some way, though, perhaps because I am a girl, I never learned to shoot. When my father died, my mother gave me one of my father's shotguns, and I keep it in the closet (no ammunition in the house because I don't know how to shoot - don't ever want the possibility of the gun being a weapon AGAINST me) until such time that it strikes me it's time to learn.

    My uncle collects civil war guns.

    For your sister, hopefully she is right. And, looking at most people's lives, she is. Most people, thankfully, do NOT need guns. For me, someday the time will be right to learn to shoot. Until then, I have my stature (both attitude/general demeanor and physical size) and craftiness to deter would-be attackers to find simpler prey before the attack point.

    Thanks for writing. I enjoy reading.


(This exercise is also known is a two-fer. Running lowwwww on time).

Back Friday.


Posted by hln at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2003

Ajax Against the World

Ajax! World! I received a "marketing tool" gift today from the owner of my company, a "stress world," if you will. It's a squeezable ball with world artwork on it, and it says "Global Wizard," which is the name of the software product on which I work.

Global Wizard, or GWIZ for short, is set to launch next Tuesday in Chicago, so today I've found myself owning not only this stress world, but also a nifty GWIZ letter opener. You can tell I worked too long today because I am blogging about work.

At any rate, all of the fun with the stress world ensued when I brought said item home. I placed it on the counter, and it was soon found by my most adventurous cat, Ajax, who surveyed it, sniffed it, and promptly put it in his mouth and carried it around the house.

This was so humorous I attempted (for quite some time) to get a picture of my cat chewing on the world, but, alas, he would do no such thing for the digital camera. Hey, someone, right there's a dissertation in waiting for some Heisenberg Principle enthusiast, as Brian pointed out.

This is the best I could do, but it's still extremely cute, though not as funny, as his ball-carrying behavior. One cat against the world - proving that, indeed, the world is not enough.


Posted by hln at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2003

Perspicacity - Absent

I read about this for the first time today and immediately tagged <blog>it</blog>. First, a small summary, lest the entire article in its full journalistic glorified simplicity not beckon your attention. Two people were killed when the two defendents were "drag racing" on a public street and struck a Geo Storm at high speed. From another article, I discerned that the deceased driver was attempting to make a left turn across traffic - the drag racers being the traffic. It also states "the men were crusing down a city avenue." Because I must sleep soon, however, I'll pick only a snippet and comment (read: rant) about it. And it won't be the most obvious piece. I feed you this paragon of paragraphs:
    The defendants, who are seeking manslaughter convictions, which carry terms ranging from probation to about 12 years in prison, testified earlier this week that they were totally unaware that illegal street racing posed a deadly risk to others and could not have anticipated the accident.
Okay. Let us begin with the very simple automobile. This machine often zooms along major roadways in speeds, often condoned by the government, of, roughly, 60 - 70 mph. Such pavement is typically called an interstate highway, and cars can only access said highway at certain points; this situation is very controlled. The defendents were purportedly traveling at speeds "reaching" 87 mph on a city road. Danger? You betcha. In my research of defending my "you dolts" stance, I offer this nugget wherein the author states:
    Using data from actual road crashes, scientists at the University of Adelaide estimated the relative risk of a car becoming involved in a casualty crash – a car crash in which people are killed or hospitalised – for cars travelling at or above 60 kilometres/hour. They found that the risk doubled for every 5 kilometres/hour above 60 kilometres/hour. Thus, a car travelling at 65 kilometres/hour was twice as likely to be involved in a casualty crash as one travelling at 60. For a car travelling at 70 kilometres/hour, the risk increased fourfold.
And, remember, these Aussies are talking kilometers. While the defendants may or may not be scholars of physics (I'll posit that they are not), a few other simple facts remain. I'll enumerate. 1) In response to, "could not have anticipated this accident" - oh puhleeez. Has neither of these gentlemen ever been rear-ended on the front end by a Lexus SUV backing into them in a parking lot? Oh, I guess that happens only to me. Accidents happen for many reasons - carelessness of one or another driver, driving conditions, averting other, more serious accidents - a full gamut of reasons, and some of them are rational. Don't begin to feign that you are not worthy of the label of "human" by purporting to be so ignorant of death and destruction that can happen when automobiles collide in an unplanned fashion. Outright dismissal of the danger is only a full-handed slap in the faces of the loved ones left to grieve. Do you know the danger now, I have to ask? 2) A public street? You know, there are some of those in your neighborhoods. Some have multiple lanes, probably speed limits of 30 - 40 mph but everyone drives 50, sometimes 60, and that's not really a big deal because there are intersections and controls and some modicum of control from driver to driver. As you make your left turn across traffic to complete your commute to the dry cleaner (in whose parking lot you'd BEST NOT PARK IN THE FIRE LANE - 'cause I'll getcha), do you expect to be confronted with screaming metal whizzing by? No! And, as a driver, are you not always, at least subconsciously alert for childrendogspedestriansrabbitsbirdsbicyclistsstudentdrivers? Yes, those things occur in nature. As far as the murder/manslaughter continuum, my head and heart collide. My heart wants the stronger charge, but my head calmly states that there's no intent to kill here. Rationally, there's no paper/rocks/scissors with this decision. Head's always got to win the argument, and, I believe the 2nd degree murder charge will not prevail. In my world, though, these two should never drive again. hln

Posted by hln at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2003

Talking Smack

I read this article twice, chuckling, and thought: I must narrate this. And so we go...
    LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Nintendo Co. Ltd., whose portable Game Boy video game player has dominated that market since the 1980s, shrugged off Sony Corp.'s plans to unveil a rival device and instead focused its efforts on new games.
Well, yeah! Game Boy's a staple for handhelds, dood. I've seen the Advance, and I'm impressed.
    Sony has already raced past Nintendo to the top of the game console market since launching its PlayStation franchise nearly 10 years ago. Sony now wants to take on the handheld market with its new "PSP" handheld device that will debut by the end of 2004.
Ever heard the Richard Marx song "Don't Mean Nothing"? Yeah, thought so.
    "The fact that they are putting a lot of features into it (PSP) is very Sony-like, but at the moment we dominate the handheld market and there is no need for us to be overly concerned right now," Iwata said Tuesday at a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video game industry trade show. "We will continue to do what we do best."
Whack, smack, and down she goes. I think this is a jab. "Features" doesn't alwas have a nice connotation.
    Nintendo's new Game Boy Advance SP handheld was released in March, and the $99 device has been hailed as Nintendo's best yet. Sony did not offer a price for the PSP but said it would be available in the fourth quarter of 2004. Iwata said Nintendo would continue to focus on creativity in games, especially those that link the Game Boy and its GameCube console, which has struggled in the market after Microsoft Corp. launched its competing Xbox game console 18 months ago. The GameCube, a major disappointment in the last fiscal year, trails both Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft' Xbox.
GameCube. If I were a bit less frugal, I'd have one of those. I really only care about two games, and, seeing as I don't play my Playstation nearly enough to justify even purchasing another game for IT, the GameCube's gonna have to wait. Two words, though. Samus. Aran. (sigh)
    Both Sony and Microsoft announced major hardware upgrades to their consoles this week, but Nintendo instead focused its efforts on new gaming titles and "connectivity" between the Game Boy and GameCube. Aiming to bolster the console's sales, Nintendo showed a number of new games at its news conference, including a revival of the arcade classic Pac Man, a multi-player affair that will let one player act as the little yellow pellet-muncher and three other players serve as the ghosts that chase him.
Hmm, eat your friends!
    Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Nintendo's hugely popular Mario Brothers games, previewed an upcoming version of the Legend of Zelda series that will let four Game Boy players interact in the same Zelda game using their own screens as well as with a GameCube console hooked up to a TV.
Nice, but not necessary.
    "Make no mistake .... This time we will not give our competitors a head start," Iwata said.
Oooh, ominous. Hmm, and is Iwata a first name, a last name, or an all-encompassing moniker? The article never really mentions anything more than what you see. And, WHSIWYG?
At any rate, a little lighter this evening.


Posted by hln at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2003

Brains, in absentia If this

Brains, in absentia

If this article were about the French, we wouldn't bother to read it because it's just stating the obvious. Oops, these were British, though, and not living people.


Posted by hln at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

Missouri Federation of Animal Owners

Missouri Federation of Animal Owners

Following up on Sunday's post, I visited the website of a group whose lobbyist spoke on behalf of the bill to make photographing animal facilities without prior written consent a felony.

I was greeted with some annoying music and bad web design, but, yes, you're allowed to call me on that ad hominem attack that it is. In scrolling text (at least it wasn't blinking), the site reminded me that:
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils of this world are to be cured by legislation." Thomas B. Reed (1886).


This is my second attempt to try to post this. Blogger ate the first post, so you get my truncated morning view instead of my prolonged evening view. The evening view contained a paragraph-long preachy rant about people, animals, responsibility, and people and their responsibility to their chosen companion animals. I'll skip that for now, but if anyone is unclear about the number of healthy animals that are put to death because they are unwanted (basic supply and demand, folks), I am more than willing to put together a post on that.


Posted by hln at 06:35 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2003

The Universe, explained Yes, really.

The Universe, explained

Yes, really.


Posted by hln at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2003

The Rest of the Story?

On April 25th, Brian gave brief mention to the Missouri legislature's bill to make it a FELONY to photograph animal production facilities without prior written consent. This wasn't the point of his story, though, but it will be the point of this evening's discussion.

We give a fair sum of money to groups like the Humane Society (both local and national), the APA, and Metro Animal Resource Services, for whom I volunteer by doing things like occasional website updates and wearing very short skirts to fundraising events. So, when animal legislation changes are possibly afoot, I'm often included in mailings, both paper and electronic. This situation has everyone's attention in the animal community.

I link you to this: Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation

First, felonies. A felony conviction, as probably all of you know, can remove many of an American's inherent rights. The first flyer I received on this gave an overview of a Missouri Class D felony - up to 5 years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. Don't forget, when you apply for that next job with your local government, you'd have to mark that you'd been convicted of "a felony" if somehow you were to violate this proposed law. Does this seem a bit harsh to you?

Next, animals, both companion and dinner animals. Animals are not people, though obviously companion animals can become part of the family. Though not self-aware, animals feel pain and pleasure, joy and sadness. Dinner animals, for lack of better terminology, well, we want our dinner animals to be as healthy and well treated as possible. After all, garbage in, garbage out.

Last, let's discuss obfuscation. Earlier, this was HB494 (officially known as SCS HB352/494). As of May 7, 2003, a mere four days ago, the debated language has been migrated (most likely strategically) to SB 668, otherwise known as the Omnibus Farm Bill, according to this article. It bothers me that I cannot verify the veracity of this information, but I'm going to go ahead and assume it is true given how long I've been following this concern, and I'll be digging deeper as the week progresses. And, if the claims are substantiated, I will make my requisite phone calls.

And I leave you with this, taken from
    Missouri – “The Don’t Show-Me State”

    It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if certain special interest groups in Missouri get their way, a picture will soon be worth an all expense paid trip to the state prison.

    Crimes are categorized as misdemeanors or felonies, a felony being the more serious. Misdemeanors and felonies are further classified from ‘A’ to ‘D’, with an ‘A’ being the most serious. A Class ‘A’ misdemeanor is a step below a Class ‘D’ felony. A Class ‘D’ misdemeanor is at the opposite end of the scale from a Class ‘A’ felony.

    In Missouri:

    It is a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor to molest a child under the age of seventeen. 566.068
    It is a Class ‘A’ misdemeanor to conduct sexual activities with an animal. 566.111.
    It is a Class D felony to knowingly abandon a child under the age of eight. 568.032.
    Knowingly starting a fire or explosion is a Class D felony. (569.055.)
    Trespassing on someone else’s property is a Class B misdemeanor. (569.140)
    Participating in dog fighting or cockfighting is a Class D felony (578.173)
    To desecrate a flag is a Class A misdemeanor (578.095}
The site also asserts that Missouri produces 1/3 of the nation's pet shop puppies.

The bill's purported sponsors:
Sen. John Cauthorn 573/751-6858 (filibustered against a good puppy mill bill in 2001)
Sen. David Klindt 573/751-1415 (bill co-sponsor, chairman of Senate Agriculture Committee)
Rep. Peter Myers 573/751-5471 (chairman of House Agriculture Committee)

Thanks for reading.


Posted by hln at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2003

Tommy Thompson, Come On Down

Actually, I think that if Bob Barker were to call Tommy Thompson down for some audience exposure, he might treat him in that fight-with-Happy-Gilmore manner. I certainly hope so.

First off - this dude works for the US government. America - you know, that place where, so long as it's legal, you can produce and sell the product. In this case, the product is fast food. It's a product. Fast food restaurants sell the product. Just what is the BIG DEAL? Who tapped you on the shoulder and stated "SPEAK."

I read THIS today. I was sufficiently disturbed. In case you missed it, I preached a similar tangent just a week ago.

So, this dude is telling us how to eat. Drop that cheese, Mr. Thompson. We know you're from Wisconsin, and it'll be hard, but, please, show some rational behavior in recognizing that your constituents (defined as all of America thrown into a gargantuan pile of soup) are NOT rational. My favorite snippets from the Yahoo preachy article:
    'I'm going to start giving out awards and singling out ones that are doing good and the ones that aren't,' he told reporters at a food policy conference. 'If I get in trouble, I get in trouble.'
First, what, praytell, is an AWARD! Is it food-based? Oh, obviously, it mustn't be. No brownies for you, McDonald's. I notice that your new salads have fried chicken. Phat! And then we have this:
    'It is important to pressure the food industry, the fast food industry, the soft drink society ... getting them to offer healthier foods and put more things on the menu dealing with fruits and vegetables,' he said. 'I don't support lawsuits. I think we can do this as a society.'
Okay, 5 points for you Tommy; lawsuits ain't the answer. Why is this all centered around fast food, though? Would you really go to McDonald's for the McApple. Oh, wait, the McSmoothie. McTofu. McSparagus! Burger King's hearty WhopSoy! Seriously, you think any of this is gonna get ordered? If I had to eat at McDonald's, it'd be a grilled chicken sandwich with just lettuce and tomato and just water to drink. It can be done!

It's not what's on the menu, dork, it's what the consumer's gonna order, pay for, and consume. If Bobby from last week's example is going to visit Fast Food Joint X, he's going to munch on whatever suits his tastes. If he's a healthy eater, he'll make do. If he's not, well, public pressure and fast food menus won't do the trick.

And more:
    Banzhaf and other lawyers claim that food companies, just like cigarette producers in the past, are not properly warning consumers that their products may be addictive.
I. just. don't. buy. it. Addictive? Last I looked, the word defined as such - really, you don't need to go there; you know what it means, don't you? Tommy Thompson - helping the American public recognize itself for the sheep it is. Sway those overeaters into healthy McChoices; they'll NEVER NOTICE, right?

Almost forgot:
    Thompson, who has recently lost 15 pounds by eating less rice, potatoes and bread, said he prefers government programs that offer cities and food companies incentives to promote healthier lifestyles.
Wow, carbomatic, baby. Amazing - eating less assists with weight loss, especially if you ate too much previously. Tell you what - offer me some "incentives" to promote a healthier lifestyle (oh, wait, I already do that). I could use the cash. I can legally change my name to Boston if we need to work around that city loophole.

What a deal.


Posted by hln at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2003

The Bike

Well, not much time this evening due to procrastination and reading of others' thoughts, but, here's the bike and its specs.

The bike gets a new seat tomorrow, as that thing that's currently attached to it does not house my rear in a comfortable fashion for five miles, let alone 150. Change is imminent.

I had something heady planned for this evening, a rant even, but it shall wait until the weekend. Giant OCR 3 - a nice bike indeed.

Posted by hln at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2003

Oh, THAT Appointment

Today was the yearly visit to every woman's most necessary doctor. And, yes, it should be at least once a year. There are so many humorous things to impart about this experience that I'm not exactly sure where to start.

But start I must. My gynecologist's name is Dr. Mormol. Yes, that rhymes with normal, and he is. I once had a Dr. Patterson, and he was one of the jumpiest individuals I've ever met. I'm not sure how he was able to stop bouncing long enough to perform an exam. I always used to bump into him at the grocery store, too, and then have to explain to my shopping companions, oh, that's my gynecologist.

Before that, I had a Dr. Walker, I believe. I change doctors when I move to different cities, so this explains the veritable doctor palette; it's not a gynecologist for every mood. Dr. Walker made every woman who came to see him, regardless of reason, take a pregnancy test. Men, you may know this, you may not, but the easiest pregnancy test is a urine sample. So, that's what you did before you saw the doctor - you filled your cup. Me, I had it easy. They were always happy to see me. This is from my pre-marriage years, so my maiden name was Igert, and they put the initials on the cup. Heather + Igert = HI. Ah, the friendly urine sample. Dr. Walker also put big posters that said "RELAX" on his ceiling. I suppose this was meant to calm you if you stared at them long enough.

But, today, there I was with Dr. Mormol, and we were talking bikes. Bikes are good - we have that bike ownership thing in common, so you really don't even notice anything else when you're carrying on a "well, how many times have you fallen because of those blasted toe clips" conversation. It was as if we were discussing our common experiences while sitting on a bus or a Metrolink car. But, no, of course, that was not actually the case. Didn't matter, though. By the time I realized everything was complete, Dr. Mormol had left me to go do doctorish things while I dressed myself.

And after I had accomplished the clothing feat, I found myself with extra time before the good doctor returned. What kind of trouble can I get in, you ask? Well, it became time to check out the literature for the Nuvaring method of contraception. I mean, we're talking piles of literature and pictures in this exam room. What's a girl to do?

And what do you think of this thing? First thing I think of is, it looks like a gummi worm. Can you imagine your small child consuming your Nuvaring? Hmm, ewww. Look, mommy, gummi! I believe there is some BrianJ lore that would support childhood consumption of mother's birth control pills, but I may have that confused with his consumption of the family's jade plant (or two). Also, can't you (if you're female) imagine all the guff you'd get bringing that thing home. Random men probably scoff, beat their chests, and call themselves Lords of the Ring.

So that was my adventure of the day. It beat the code I conquered, and, thankfully, I'm healthy, so I'll likely not repeat it soon. I don't get the intended response from the lovely kissing folks graphic, either. What I think about is, ewww, in a moment she'll be chewing on her hair.


Posted by hln at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2003

Botox! Botulinum Toxin Type A (baby)

Hmm. I watched television last evening. This alone is probably enough to blog about, the event being so rare, but no, today's topic is far richer than my channel-tuning habits.

I saw my first ad for Botox last night. You know, BOTULISM. Okay, okay, I know it's controlled, but it's still something that affects your nerves and causes muscle inhibition/paralysis - same animal.

This particular advertisement displayed a posse of women (of course) wandering to and fro with perfect white-toothed smiles (wow, does that come with? I mean, free peroxide for the teeth with every shot?) and lean, healthy bodies. Don't you want to be like these people? Redefine sexy in your 30s, 40s, 50s. We all know that frown lines are the death of our sex lives. Come, live in the happy toxin four-month-lasting-little-shots-between the eyes world! With us! You can be...

And so today at lunch I took the Google journey about the side effects of Botox (none to be found readily on the website, that's for sure), and here's what we have. Okay, point one. The first list is targetted to consumers who are considering the procedure. Superficial punctate keratitis ain't in my everyday vocabulary (which is quite extensive, thankyouverymuch). It is, as you might suspect, a problem of the eye, specifically the cornea, and defined quite nicely in medical soup by Merck.

Of course, the strongest thing to note was the small but direct sentence, "the long-term side effects of Botox Cosmetic remain unknown."

But, remember, folks, like the ad says, It's not magic (so disdain the apothecaries), it's Botox Cosmetic. It hits you right between the eyes.

And I don't need it.


Posted by hln at 06:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2003

The Search for the Sympathy Card

My Aunt Lee died last week, or perhaps it was late the week before, but I don't mean to steal and permutate (is that a word) a line from The Stranger, so I will continue. I didn't really know my aunt Lee, having probably last seen her when I was 7 or 8. She was my Uncle Dick's wife of many years, my uncle being my father's older brother. I have a very small family, and the thing to do here is to send a sympathy card to my uncle, correct?

I begin this task late on a Sunday evening, in time to place the card, which will be of course difficult to write, into Monday's outgoing mail. I retrieved my card stash out of the credenza, and here's what I found.

1) I found a sympathy card. It was addressed to me, though, so it wasn't quite what I needed or expected.
2) Enough Christmas cards to last me until 2007. I have them from the American Heart Association. More from the Humane Society. Some purchased Shoebox cards.
3) A postcard of a family of five on pogo sticks (each on an individual stick). Why?!?
4) Two orangish grey kittens on cards that say "Thank You."
5) Cards depicting Native Americans with horses. Where did I get these and why?
6) A St. Patrick's Day card (with tacky green envelope) that says "On Reilly, McManus, Male and O'Malley" and depicts reindeer pulling leprachaun Santa and a pot of gold.
7) Finally, a card that says "With Heartfelt Sympathy" and a gentle message.

Just what is our culture's obssession with greeting and other cards? I suppose it's not really proper to call a sympathy card a "greeting" card. I'm not really big on them, but for a person who professes that, I sure do store my share of them for several occasions.

Now, I just need to decide who gets the pogo stick postcard. And find the right words for both.


Posted by hln at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2003


I'm going to break down my sports gear by item, for whimsy's sake, because I have little else of consequence to discuss this evening.

1) Batting gloves
2) Weight lifting gloves
3) Cycling gloves

Shoes (and boots!)
1) Softball cleats
2) Cross trainers
3) Cycling clippy-thing shoes
4) Ice skates
5) Rollerblades

1) ~10 sports bras
2) Infinite t-shirts
3) 4 pairs of soccer shorts
4) sport socks - who KNOWS how many pairs

1) Softball bat
2) Cycling helmet
3) Softball glove
4) Knee pads (volleyball)
5) 2 softballs
6) Bike rack (for 3 bikes)
7) Rollerblade pads

Home gym
1) Nautilus incline/decline bench
2) Ankle weights
3) Dumbbells - 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 pounds.
4) Two Pilates tapes

Oh, and the new bike!

Is this not insane? 3/4 of this stuff resides in my vehicle; my poor car has metamorphed into a gear-hauling machine.

Now, what does this all mean? Probably insanity. I was a good girl today and took a day off from the gym, focusing on my sports EQUIPMENT instead.

The bike's pedals were not properly adjusted so the little clippy shoe thingees would clip in properly. I managed to get the left foot clipped while holding on to my credenza in my office (and balancing on the bike). It wouldn't come out, though. So, limber as a flying squirrel, I dismounted somehow and unhooked myself from the shoe, adjusted the tension, put my foot in the shoe, mounted the bike, and repeated this process until I could pop the shoe out with a twisting motion. Stir, beat, then fold - had to do that three more times and test it all. Riding should be tomorrow.

Oh, and, more readership, please. GAINPRO!


Posted by hln at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2003

And MORE Mail

This one is dated "Wednesday Morning." Any and all Wednesdays. It starts:

    Dear Mrs. Noggle, I don't want to believe you've abandoned the Republican Party, but I have to ask...Have you given up?
Why, yes, I gave it up for lent.
    Our records show we have not yet received your 2003 Republican National Committee membership contribution!
Your records would be correct, sir. I bet if your computer took the time, it would notice that it didn't receive 2002, didn't receive 2001, etc.
    As the Treasurer of the RNC, I know our Party's success depends directly on grassroots leaders like you, Mrs. Noggle.
Diggity-do! Really? I like my leadership role. I don't send money; I occasionally give you my vote, actually, more often than not. You send me letters that feed me grapes all the while chastizing my poor performance as a cash cow.
    So I am surprised and concerned because I know how generously you have helped in the past and how instrumental your support was to our historic victories in 2002.
Lovely. My vote counts.

So, while you're at it, Republican party, please stop sending correspondence to the Nobbles. I promise they don't live here. And President Bush, since you're "counting on me," perhaps on Thursday morning you can give me a call and we'll discuss the country. I'll be waiting.

Oh, I almost missed this gem:

    With our majorities in the U.S. House and Senate razor thin, the Democrats and their liberal special interest allies will obstruct and delay every chance they get. We cannot allow them to succeed!
How does one obstruct a chance or delay it? Oh, and, yes, the rallying cry. Earth will be ours!


Posted by hln at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

New Job for Iraqi Information Minister

He's the dude on the phone. I'd hide in the closet, too.

Oh, and thankyouthankyou Brian m'love for finding the pic for me again. I printed it in February of 2002, and it is still affixed to my cubicle wall at work.


Posted by hln at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

More mail! Cooking Club of America

DON'T SEND MONEY. It's not necessary.

Yet. Buhahahahaha. I love these little scolding letters with their tones of "you bad dog if you don't join/send us [more] money."

Directive: "Just mail your Acknowledgement (notice capitalization - deified!) in the postage-paid envelope. Then put the enclosed card in your wallet."

And, just what happens if I defy this order? My wallet refuses!

Warning: "If you don't let us know within 14 days, Club rules require me to remove your name from our membership roll. So please do it now."

Hmm, really. Is that so. Is there a reason, then, why my refrigerator sports two previous magnets from your "charter" club that I have never joined. Smirk along to the music now. The third magnet is just itching to join in.

It's important you red this entire letter

Oh, obviously. Cooking Club of America - you will save the world, no? Donate a few pineapples in my name, please.

The rest is just drivel in cookingese. I'll not bore you. Let's go on to the next piece of mail.


Posted by hln at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

dressbarn - Mail to Brian

I'm a dressbarn customer. I admit it. I even have the credit card. So, whyowhy did these bozos (read: dressbarn's computer system) send the $10 off coupon to BRIAN NOGGLE.

I fear this. I'm certain he would look smashing in some pastels, though. Perhaps we'll go to the sale together.


Posted by hln at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)