September 30, 2003

Wow, If You Flush Your Fish, It Won't Be Freed

Stories like these are why I wear my "Question Society" shirt at least once every two weeks. I've probably already used that line in a post, but it's so, so true.

    As the American summer blockbuster "Finding Nemo" surfaces on European movie screens, conservationists are beseeching fish hobbyists: Don't flush!

    Inspired by the adventures of the animated clownfish character — including his unlikely escape down a dentist's spit sink — conservationists say hundreds of children have flushed their pet fish down the toilet, hoping to free them.

    The United Nations (news - web sites) Environment Programme and its partners want to discourage the innocent practice, while using the film's Friday opening in the United Kingdom to highlight a new report that tallies exotic fish losses and habitat damage caused by the growing pet trade.

    "Parents who already have aquariums need to explain to their children that the fish will not survive if they are flushed," says Paul Holthus, president of the Marine Aquarium Council, a nonprofit conservation group based in Hawaii.
Thankfully, though, this one is British. British media - GIVE YOUR PEOPLE SOME CREDIT.

Thank you.


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The Other Running Man

P. Diddy, you go. If he's in good enough condition, perhaps he can record a rap while running.

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on Tuesday announced he will run the New York marathon and unveiled plans to raise $1 million for health-care and education charities that benefit the city's children.
November 2 is a scant 5 weeks away.

Top THAT, Nelly. You've got a bit of time.


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Spork and Web Services

Via Ted, my coworker and friend, I learned this.
    Kansas City, MO - After a six month intense integration efforts, senior consultants at B2BIntegration Inc have been unable to get a plastic spork from service provider Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to interoperate with an IBM mainframe.
If only they'd let ME configure it. Sigh. I am privy in the ways of Spork. (You've got to strip it all down and recompile the Colonel. I mean, doh.)


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September 30, 2003 - The Day Brian Gave Up Coke in Cans

GPS - coming to a coke can near you!

But you get a Hummer if they find you. So...strange and disconcerting as a package.


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Interesting Household Discussion

Yeah, this one's going to be fun when Brian arrives home from work tonight:

"Hi honey. I'm sorry I opened your Playboy. I thought it was Reason."

(Ah, those magazines the aspiring author must collect).

I hope you're laughing as hard as I am.


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Now That the Weather's Cool, You Need a Bonfire!

Kevin at Wizbang's got another one roaring. Visit.


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Blackfive's Bash

So, Matt, when's the party?

Let's schedule this thing.


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Molecular Confusion

I think I've found yet another reason to avoid the Atkins diet (as if I needed more).

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A non-human molecule found in red meat and milk makes its way into the human system when eaten -- and seems to build up especially in tumors, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

    The compound, called sialic acid, is found on the surfaces of animal cells but is not found in people, and may be one reason why animal-to-human organ and tissue transplants do not work well. Animals have a version called Neu5Gc, while humans carry Neu5Ac.

    But researchers at the University of California San Diego found it does show up in the human body, and showed it can be absorbed from eating red meat and milk.

    They also showed that the body produces an immune response against the molecule.
Hmm. It is just one study, but it raises my awareness. Look for more on sialic acid. I'm sure I'll post more as it becomes available.


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Packers Win!

Not that _I_ really care about the Packers winning, but my esteemed spouse is obviously quite thrilled.

Game on.


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Well, Here We Go...

This is live as of now.

Pixy Misa's in possession of my monolith export from Blogger, and that'll go into MT in the next couple of days. But I'll be posting here from now on, so get used to the purple.

And welcome to my new home.


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September 29, 2003

The Woven Web #1

Well, in my redesign phase, I was still collecting a list of all of the wonderful things I read in the last few days. I just haven't had the chance to post them, yet!

This'll likely be a recurring theme, since I'm armed with my mighty RSS aggregator. Everytime I get crazybusy, these'll just accumulate, and I'll make a formal posting of...The Woven Web.

Without further ado and in no particular order, I bring you:
And I think I'm gonna call it a night. I still have a backlog, but most of that'll be posts and not mere links, so, there's always more.


Posted by hln at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)


Visit Kelley's Cul-de-sac at Suburban Blight. She's linking to the old blog because she didn't know not to, but I've got a pretty good post over there about cleaning out the attic after my father's death.

If I weren't so preoccupied with this new site, I'd have read all of the linked entries by now, but, well, there's next week, and there's always archives.

Thank goodness!


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September 28, 2003

The Century I'm Not Gonna Finish

Is what I called the ride midstream today. Our century ride met up with the normal group I ride with, Bicycle Fun Club (Trailnet). The rides converged in a big soupy mess of confusion - riders not sure whose rest stops were whose, which arrows to follow (most were blindly following other cyclists...because usually you can).

So one guy asked me, "which ride are you on?" And that was my response, "The century I'm NOT gonna finish."

And so it was. Riding today was sheer hell, the second toughest ride I've ever endured. I put in just shy of a METRIC century, though, at 65.8 miles. That was the end of loop one, where everyone met back for lunch. And where our cars were. That was enough, I'm told, for about 2/3 of the people slated to do today's Flat as a Pancake Century ride.

For starters, my clothing was inadequate. I purchased a long-sleeved and some spandex for fall rides, but, thinking it would eventually be just too hot, I opted for lesser layering. I wore my normal jersey, the long-sleeved jersey, and a mere pair of biker shorts. I suffered. Poor Hans and Ryan were wearing less still. I've not gotten their ride stories from them yet. I'm sure those'll surface tomorrow.

The morning was just cold. My extremeties and rear complained for the first 25 miles because of it, and I never felt like my muscles got warm. At our rest stop, I went into the bakery located at the rest stop (I'll plug the name in here tomorrow when I have the business card of the place with me) and stood near the oven (with blessings of the staff, of course). That was warm.

Oh, and the wind. What can I say about the wind that isn't obscene? The wind in central Illinois today was BRUTAL. And cold. Enough said. At points it was 15 mph or more, and I know at least 15-20 miles of the ride was directly into the wind.

So this is why I did not finish my century. My knees are creaky, and I had my left quad chirping at me for the last 12 miles. My average speed was laughable, and I was really, really cold.

I think I prefer the 95 degree weather to ride. At least I get a funky tan. I believe most of the rest of my cycling for 2003 will be indoors. Brr.

Thank you to my friend Tim for hanging with me. This ride appeared to be pretty much unsupported, and without someone to complain to (mostly "BRRRR" or inane laughter on my part), I'm not sure I could've finished the 65.8 I did. And it wasn't about conditioning. I barely broke a sweat ;)

UPDATE! - Ryan validates that I'm no pansy!


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September 27, 2003

Front Line Voices

The project is taking shape. The URL is in place with a blog atop it, skinning to commence soon. The group of us who have volunteered have been sharing ideas about how this should and will take place. The whole thing is fascinating; the effect should be as well.

If you have as few as two free hours per week and have an interest in the project, please visit the discussion blog and find a fitting way to donate some of your time.


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Music to Whack Terrorists By

Fulfilling my Alliance duties, I present to you a song for the mix CD, Music to Whack Terrorists By:

Invincible, by Pat Benatar. Probably one of my favorite songs ever, and quite fitting.


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This Week's New Blog Showcase

Voting time again. Here are my picks:

1) Citizen Lehew's Who Ate My Democracy? is worth a vote. While I may not agree with all that much that the good Citizen has to say, he says it very well and makes a good argument. And that's worth a vote. Nice site design, by the way.

2) My other vote goes to King of Fools for the post on the Caucasian Club.

Good luck with your blogs!


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September 26, 2003

Talking Trash

Tuesday night I had a dream about trash. In the dream, I was working at KFC, must've been college. And I fixated on the trash in the restaurant within the dream. I can still smell the trash there if I think about it - a mix of vinegary cole slaw sauce remnants, the scrapings off of the trays that held the chicken, too-old mashed potatoes, and, if you're in the "back," chicken blood.

That's not the point of this post, though. When I awakened on Wednesday morning, I spent five additional minutes thinking about trash because of the dream.

My father was a collector of non-trashy trash. You know, that stuff that should be thrown out but one doesn't have the heart to do it? It's not going to rot or anything, so there's nothing that would necessitate throwing it a way. He was a true pack rat. I have a bit of that in me but not as extreme. I'm going to illustrate.

My mother and father have a house with a large attic. About four months after my father died, my mother asked Brian and me to come down with Brian's truck and remove the items still located in the attic. I balked at this a bit, knowing what a chore this would be; my poor mother had NO idea.

So after doing a few other various chores around her house and yard on an April Saturday morning in 2001, we decided to tackle the attic, the storage part of which is located above the garage. There's a pull-down ladder that you extend and then climb up. The item removal line went from Brian in the attic to Heather on the lowest step to Heather's mother who stood a bit to the right of the ladder.

The stuff just kept coming. At first it was funny - you know, like, when we pulled out the first of three toilets. Because we moved a lot as a family, there was a truckload (we know - we hauled it!) of recyclable cardboard moving boxes). There were all of the toys/stuffed animals/books that I kept from childhood. There was some furniture. It took HOURS. HOURS! And it seemed like it would never end.

In the end (that eventually came), though, it was a truckload that my mother and Brian took to the local dump, a truckload of recycling, and a truckload of items Brian and I brought home with us.

Three truckloads of stuff in the attic. We cleaned out the garage, too, and in so doing, my mother moved a board resting against the back garage wall and rediscovered the spot where my father was once too overzealous in backing his boat into the garage. He was always "going to fix that."

And we laughed and sighed. It's obviously not important, all of the little things left undone - not like you choose to suddenly die at 62. I think bringing down the trash/recycling really helped clearly define some of what my father was about, something I have in me, too. That strange unwillingness to let go of certain things, a wistfulness attached to a thing or twelve - maybe recognized as such, most likely not.

My father would've been 65 today. Perhaps that's the dream, or why I connected the dream with THAT particular trash. That day, though it was a whole lot of work, is one of the most memorable days of my adult life. And that comes a couple of years later after some serious reflection and can be reduced to a sentence.

It's hard to let go.

James Allen Igert, 9/26/1938 - 12/6/2000.


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September 25, 2003

Quick Links

1) Don't miss the Carnival this week.

2) Michael Williams has posted his Spherewide Short Story Symposium.

3) Harvey Olson of Bad Money feeds us another filthy lie about the press conference regarding the end of the Blog War as we know it.


Posted by hln at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Test Post

Thank you all for suggesting me, guys! I'll skin it over the weekend, move stuff over, and do all of that good stuff!


Posted by hln at 06:29 AM | Comments (21)

September 24, 2003

SBC - YOUR Telephone Company

SBC is frenetically advertising DSL DSL DSL, Yahoo DSL everywhere I look. Brian and I tried to get DSL 3 1/2 years ago when we moved into this house. I can't remember what they told us except "yes" initially and "no" when we complained it wouldn't hold a connection and they sent someone out to take a look.

I don't remember the why behind the no. So we looked into cable. At that time, this area was serviced by St. Louis' secondary cable company (which was later bought by Charter, about 2 years ago), and it did not offer cable Internet service. So, we were pretty much outta luck, this being early 2000. We got a 2nd phone line so that we can both do work/play online at once. Yes, sometimes we IM each other from different parts of the house. I digress.

Time passes. Dial-up SUFFICES, but we both get into this blog thing. As you probably know, sometimes it's a go-down-the-blogroll festival of link opening into new windows. This takes forever to load in 56k (which is a farce - I connect at 23.6 usually). You can read Meryl giving it a good gripe since she was blogging away from home due to Isabel. I keep thinking, "honey, you have NO idea."

Back on track. One of these SBC Yahoo advertisements made its way into our home, and it planted that little advertising seed, you know, like it's aiming to do. So we called, or submitted it on the Internet - I'm not sure which came first. They call us back, leave a muffled message on our answering machine. I call the next day - Thursday or Friday of last week, and I spend 30 minutes on the phone with smarmysalesrep, who says, "Yes, ma'am, Ms. Noogle (note the two Os - bad bad), we can get that for you. I don't know WHAT they were talking about." He signs me up. Our nifty modem came in a box Monday with the go-live date of, um, tomorrow. I accidentally attributed the wrong phone number to the order, so Brian calls on Monday and clears that up.

Yesterday, I receive a call from the contractor who would be doing any necessary beforehand work to ensure this'll work. He has some bad news. That phone line isn't copper; rather, it's fiber optic, and that's a "no can do" with DSL. He's trying to hook that to the original number, though, and so ever-hopeful Heather says, "No, wait, that's the WRONG phone number. Try this one" and gives him the new. He calls me back today - same deal.

To do DSL with this kind of set-up, the technician informs me, requires some sort of remote station. And, that's slated to happen, oh, about 2005.

Okay, people. This the year 2003. Our technology is amazing. AMAZING. Look at new computers today - mine's so ancient (almost 3 years now) that I have no idea what's out there. And, seeing that mine's perfectly functional, even for a session of Asheron's Call or two, it'll be, oh, a few months before I seriously look at upgrading some of the pieces. My point, though, is LOOK AT THE ADVANCES IN THREE YEARS. I know they're there. Some of the servers at work have a GIG of RAM. GIG! (Sorry for yelling, sorta.) What's SBC advanced? Um, it can PRINT MORE ADS and not provide any more service.

Zounds. Feel the acid. So, I've flipped the switch in my head that says "something more than dial-up." Seeing as we dropped cable on its sorry ass in June, that's kinda out of the question. At least with Charter. Ah, but there is another, as Yoda would say.

Maryland Heights, my municipality, for some reason has TWO cable companies. Most of the rest of the metro area is only serviced by Charter. So, I call Cable America today and get the hook-up. The funny part? The whole thing is LESS expensive (when you take away my dial-up account) with the Internet access and a similar cable package than what Brian and I were paying with Charter.

Pblllllht on SBC.


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Visit Here

Visit Here

And volunteer.


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Electric Venom posts this, which I initially missed because I didn't click the link while I was at work. My husband, however, made sure to point it out to me when I got home, and while one might take that statement to mean he'd like to send me to one of those classes, that's not quite the case.

Rather, I'm sure he was sure I'd have a surely grand time with this post. And, indeed, surely, I have. First, my comments directly on the original post:

    Laugh, what a crock. (But funny). I'll address this one on my blog after dinner in detail, but, for quickness and interest's sake, there are four ways to target/shape your breasts, which are basically just FAT.

    1) Incline chest press
    2) Flat chest press
    3) Decline chest press
    4) Pec flyes

    I'll give you the goods later (like, how men who build can avoid manboobs) and see if I can hack a trackback ping so those interested can see it (yucky blogger).

    None of these add cup size. They may actually slightly DIMINISH breast size but enhance definition and give a woman a certain "perkiness," shall we say.

Incline presses - the most difficult for a woman to do. They work the top of the muscle and should be done first before you're too fatigued to effectively work 'em. Flat press - easiest to learn - what most folks who lift just for a bit of tone but not out of passion do. Declines - you can lift more weight because they're easier to do, so that usually gives one a sense of satisfaction. Also, they help add some curve to those sensuous areas. Yowsers! Flyes- the best possible way for a conservative chick to become an in-gym tree hugger. That's the motion.

I forgot push-ups. You'll forgive me. Those'll add size...if they're BUILT INTO YOUR BRA. And, avoiding manboobs - inclines. Dudes - incorporate inclines if you're even THINKING about bodybuilding.

Switching lanes, I want to punch this guy because he's going to get response. Think of all of the sheep YOU know in women's bodies. Uh huh.

Here's a bit of info from the web - not too far off from the blurb Hilton gives, but it contains quite the opposite outcome.

    Because women's breasts are made up mostly of Adipose (fatty) tissue, and contain no muscle, exercise alone will not change their size or shape directly. However by working the largest muscle in the chest, pectoralis major, you can help support the breasts and hold them up higher. If performing the exercise in the gym, I would say the Incline Dumbbell Bench press is the most effective. The same exercise can be performed at home on a Swiss Ball.

Fight the sag, yes. Add fatty breast tissue - only if you eat more, and you'll likely not praise the overall results.

(Kate - this is for that ONE reader of yours who took that article seriously and is contemplating a long vacation to the UK to give it a whirl. I'm going to guess there's only one because only great, intelligent people like me visit your blog. You, missy, that one girl who thinks boob aerobics will work. Sorry. SOL.)


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The War - Choose Your Battles

I don't write much about the Iraq war, the events leading up to it, and the events that have occurred in the rebuilding stage. There's a reason - mostly because I become emotional and have trouble becoming, much less remaining, objective on this issue. But, here are a few months' worth of thoughts conglomerated.

On March 21, 2003 at about 9:00 in the evening, news of the war came on the radio. It was a Wednesday evening, and I was at my community volleyball session, just as I will be tonight. Volleyball was scheduled to last until 9:30. At 9:15, I left, very distracted, essentially unable to function in a "fun" and recreational enviornment. I arrived home to Brian watching Fox.

The media's night vision live action footage and term coinage, as if this were somehow trendy, this "Shock and Awe" etc. was and is disgusting. At work in the reception area, TVs are tuned to CNN all day. Every time I'd leave my cubicle to get more water, I'd walk by more bombing. Bombing, bombing, and more bombing. Bombing as an Olympic event. On Friday, I was at lunch at Ruby Tuesday's when Hans remarked while looking up at a perched television screen covering - you guessed it, more bombing - "What's the score?"

And that about sums it up. I support the government's choice to go to war; I hope I understand it. I essentially believe we declared war because we had to - we had said we would if certain final conditions were not met (we did all but ask Saddam pretty please with sugar on top to leave); the conditions were not satisfied, of course, and, well, you know the rest. Had we backed down with an "oh, sorry," I believe there would've been graver consequence than these we face today because the image of the United States would be weakened (thus leading to more attacks and a lessened ability to negotiate by staunch deterrence and subtle threat). There is no glaring evidence of WMDs (yet another term) - the SOLE reason we went to war, according to many of those opposed. This is disheartening, yes.

The simple fact remains, though. We. are. in. Iraq. We are not leaving until we have done our job. Many tragedies will occur between now and then - some preventable, some not. As a nation, though, we have made a commitment - a commitment I am comfortable assuming that was undertaken based on knowledge far greater than any normal citizen you and I can obtain.

Do I support the war and America's efforts against terrorism? Wholeheartedly and unquestionably, yes. Does this come without a price? No. The war makes me question what I'm about - I have become callous and have stopped reading past the headlines when soldiers die. I do not learn their names or about their childhoods and families left behind as I did early in the war. I do not connect.

I also believe that this nation has done two things with the war - one good, and one very, very bad.

The good is that with a limited amount of power, we deposed the Saddam Hussein regime very quickly. This stands as an example to other nations who would dare challenge our military and technological supremacy. It also paints us in a benevolent light, to those who stop to notice, because of our restraint.

The bad is that this is one nation, one link to terrorism. We are merely beginning, and I believe we are entering something that has no conceivable end. It has been said before and I merely reiterate that we will forever be criticized for every skirmish and issue and possible link to terrorism that we do NOT eradicate because we chose the war with Iraq.

This post comes from what Frank J. wrote last night on the Alliance blog and my frustration with knowing NO ONE involved in the Iraq war. I stopped to think about that - I don't know a soul serving in Iraq in this phase, either. That lends itself to a nice disconnect, no.

Sadly, and in complete honesty, yes.


Posted by hln at 06:55 AM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

Writing? Not Tonight. Didn't put

Didn't put up anything really for you to read. I've been reading instead of writing this evening, and tomorrow'll likely be a sparse posting day as well. I will point you five places and then put my empty brain to rest/recharging.

1) The Alliance gets serious. An excellent post by Frank J..

2) My spouse did proxy posting for me this evening. As always, quite good.

3) I can't refer you to Blackfive enough these days. I'll do it again. He's continuing to post about his boot camp experiences. Matt, I believe you have a book if you want one.

4) Also, when Aaron at Free Will posts, he POSTS. Back at it. He links to this strange thing (which is more ethereal on dial-up, I promise).

5) And, finally, Kevin at Wizbang is hosting one big hot Bonfire. Don't stand too close.

Good night. I'm so tired I'm not even amusing myself.


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    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union asked the federal courts Tuesday to prevent the U.S. Secret Service from keeping anti-Bush protesters far away from presidential appearances while allowing supporters to display their messages up close.

    The civil liberties group filed the lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania on behalf of four advocacy organizations that claimed that the Secret Service forced them into protest zones or other areas where they could not be seen by President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney or be noticed by the media covering their visits.
Forced them into "protest zones." Gee, isn't that where they belong?


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September 22, 2003

Monday Links

So many links, so little sleep (if I get 'em all in with commentary).

1) This blew my mind - from Across the Atlantic. I'm not much into current Europe news, so this was ALL news to me.

2) Venemous Kate reports on Gulf War illnesses, specifically ALS. Not to make light of this post, but seeing as Kate's an Axis member, perhaps we Alliance folk can do her neat "letter of the day" theme, but use one letter up in defiance.

3) Mike Courtney's heavy Oil of Olay use pays off!

4) Gil le Bell explores that heavy-handed notion that there's a link between homosexuality and sports.

5) I read this whole thing. Likely, you did too, but I'll link it anyway. Den Beste presents to us a human shield and her travails.

6) Roo the day!

7) Cul-de-Sac is up again at Suburban Blight. These things keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger...

8) Go link up Arianna Huffington on Friendster.

9) Jared Keller cracks me up with his fiskin' entitled NFL LINEBACKERS AND CNNSI SPORTSWRITERS... and subtitled "Are there any finer authorities on gun violence?"

10) An interesting take on noise pollution. I live close enough to Lambert Field that I hear the military jets, too. No big thing.

11) Blackfive is telling tales of his military experiences. I won't link to a specific post. Just go read the blog.

12) And, finally, my Sunday plans. Nothing like 100 miles to get the old blood pumping. Wahoo.

Good night.


Posted by hln at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

Monday Links (sponsored by Michael Williams)

Seriously, folks, Michael's on a roll. Before I start listing everything else, I'm going to give him a trifecta. You bet (bad pun). I just have to get them in the right sequence so that we all win.

Michael Post 1: Bustamente must return Bustamillions elucidates the swirling opaque sands of campaign finance reform and how it comes into play with the recall.

    It doesn't look like you can roll money from one campaign into another. This is important, because if you could spend left-over money that was originally donated to campaign A on later campaign B, it would be impossible to enforce donor limits. Someone could give money to campaigns A and B, and then campaign A could fold and transfer all its money to campaign B; the donor could end up giving twice as much as allowed.
Michael Post 2: Disabled by Fat begins innocently enough: "I'm not planning on making fat jokes." He never does stoop, but, whee, there's some serious snark. Laughter abounded from my downstairs office at this:

    No one has a problem with luscious curves, the problem is when your whole body is just one single curve. This is commonly called a "sphere", and it doesn't count as an affirmative answer for when people ask you whether or not you're "in shape".
Read the whole thing. Twice. And then send it to a friend.

Michael Post 3: Weight Loss Tip follows up on the "creamy lard" post. I read this after I posted my toothy message, so I left him a comment to that regard. Regarding soda, I'd so much rather munch and crunch than drink my calories.

And, there you have it. The soon-to-follow Links of the Day (of which there are many) is next.


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Monday, September 22, 2003. "Oppressed" Again

Don't you hate when you learn you're oppressed. I mean, who knew? I found this link yesterday via Ravenwood's Universe (in the post where he's referring to me, incidentally) - a website named Redheads United.

I gave it the perfunctory once-over, not really reading it, but bookmarking it for later. Well, today, I went back, and here's what I found.

On a page named "what is redism?" I learned that I am oppressed. This page appears to be COMPLETELY SERIOUS. (I, however, of course, am enjoy)

    If you're a redhead, you almost certainly had times at school when people picked on you, simply because you were different to everyone else. You were the one with red hair, and you were to be avoided at all costs. You supposedly had the short fuse, the unpredictable temperament and I bet you were the last one to be picked for any team too.

    There were the taunts of "gingernut", "ginger" and "carrot-top". You may remember others. You could be walking along one day and some idiot with nothing better to do would call out across the street "GINGER!", leaving you to guess his I.Q. to be under 10. And did you ever wonder why you got called "carrot-top", when you could have sworn your hair wasn't green?
Uh, no, sorry, I'm a coppertop. Perhaps I'm inadequate to be oppressed. I'll see if I can file a grievance.

    You may have managed to ignore it or laugh it off. Even the severest taunting can be forgotten as soon as it stops, or when you leave school. You tend to hope that adults won't voice their opinions of redheads in such a childish manner. However, this kind of treatment can make an impact. Your confidence can be dented by playground jibes, you can become shy or introverted, and you may well feel as if you are less important than other people with a different, "normal" hair-colour.
I'm shy! I'm abnormal! I'm not British, though, so I don't use "u" in my color. Which is, of course, red.

    The worrying thing is that redism doesn't end in the playground. You can hope as much as you like but the truth is that you're stuck with the jokes for life. The worst of it is that adults seem to be able to get away with it without it even being deemed cruel! Having reached my twenties I still get the "ginger abuse" from kids and young men and women of my age!
Clairol, honey. Nice n' Easy. Dullboringbrown is an option. If it bugs you that much, dye it. Damned oppressive cruel adults - driving you to the bottle. Shameful.

    Redism appears to be viewed as an acceptable prejudice to hold by many people, including high profile figures such as MPs or judges (see The Hall of Shame). But in this age of political correctness, how do they get away with this kind of behaviour? Should this be tolerated?

    In April 2000, for example, NPower, an electricity and gas supplier ran a poster campaign to try and get customers to switch their electricity supply to their service. One of the posters depicted a family of two parents and one boy, each having red hair. The caption for this advert read, "There are some things in life you can't chose".
Yeah, next?

    Consider what would have happened if the poster depicted 3 black people, with exactly the same caption. There would have been a public outcry, the government would openly attack the company and the advertising agency and the press would be plastered with the news that a well-known company was racist. The poster campaign would be banned, if indeed it did manage to get the go-ahead in the first place.
Yeah, so? Plug blonde/brown/black hair instead of red, same scenario. I'd be happy to make you a dumb blonde with the aforementioned dye. Lickety split, too - one evening's work.

More black people versus redheads oppression theme for the next several paragraphs - not even a good argument.

But, most importantly, I learned I'm a minority! Oh, wait, I already get a bunch o' unearned perks for being female, so I guess that's no matter. What I learned here today is that I'm oppressed, and life as a redhead isn't worth living? Hmm - I seem to remember something about "I'd rather be dead than red on the head." Yeah, heard that one a few times.

Tall bridge just made for jumping is to the north, buddy.


Posted by hln at 08:51 PM | Comments (5)

Latest Obsessions

Hello all - I promise to write before linking, but linking is SOO (yes, two Os) much fun now because of....obsession #1.

Hans has long extolled the virtues of his RSS feed interpreter reader thingee to the point that one day he said "put an RSS feed on your blog." I complied. But, with Blogger, there ain't no easy way. Hence, I have a hand-coded feed I update every time after I post. I can put some fun stuff in the feed, though, and often I do.

At any rate, this weekend, I gave a bunch of different feed mulchers the whirl, and I'm still playing with two free ones. If anyone knows of a paid one that's worth the money, I'm willing to entertain that on recommendation. The last RSS aggregators standing are: Bloglines and MyWireService. The big deal about Bloglines is that it allows me to "group" feeds in a folder and then view the contents of the folder as one big amalgamated scrolling list of blogger goodness. The upside of MyWireService is that it's much simpler to find news-related channels. When I'm an expert in exporting this info, then I'll have the hook-up.

Obsession #2 has nothing to do with number 1. I'm crazy about Propel Fitness Water. I'm so crazy about it that it - with only 10 calories per serving (sugar/sucralose) and two servings to a bottle - has me excited about water. Only problem? That damned sugar. I've never been a soda drinker (and take that literally - I do mean NEVER), and so my teeth are in some pretty good condition. A week of drinking, oh, seven bottles a day, and my poor teeth are so sensitive on one side that I had to reevaluate my newfound boon. Kinda scary.

But, on the soda/teeth/sugar/Propel note, a coworker brought in a pamphlet from his dentist that says "Stop the Pop!" You guessed it - sugar/carbonation (acid, baby) do a double whammy to da teeth. I guess this isn't surprising; I've just never had to consider it. I found more info on the web if you're interested.


Posted by hln at 08:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 21, 2003

Sunday Links I promise to

I promise to do some real writing soon.! But, for now, more linkage. I've found quite a spectrum of posts throughout the course of the day.

1) The word of the day is gesticulate. I have used this word before because I'm guilty of its action. It has nothing to do with gestate or matriculate.

2) Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine has an...unnerving (but calmly done) post about follow-up health tracking regarding 9/11/2001.

3) Michael Williams of Master of None is going to go buy six SUVs and burn them to heat his home this winter. No, wait, that's the ELF that's burning the SUVs, and Michael's climate probably isn't cold enough to warrant burning even one.

Even so, he's got a nifty little post about global warming and non-burning SUV usage. And he uses the word Huzzah! Merit points.

4) Robert Prather of Mind of Man, er, Insults Unpunished explores one ofBush's worst mistakes, as he says.

5) Spoons posts the funniest dial-up loading picture of the new Miss America. Seriously, experience it on dial-up, and you'll swear the woman's being choked.

6) Tim Blair reminisces about the 80s!. Sigh - so long ago.

7) Eugene Volokh's got a post about ownership of the Dewey Decimal System. Who knew? (Before it hit all of the news wires today, that is. I was actually going to write on this, but, naaaaa.)

8) Deb Thompson of Write Lightning gives me yet another hero to put under the heroes bookmark tab for when I need inspiration. Click on the link she provides to see why. Some people refuse to accept bad news and/or encumbering medical conditions and circumvent/override them instead.

9) The Ville has today's PETA post. The Meatriarchy is, I'm sure, proud.

10) Hans, I'm posting this just to get your response.

11) Oh, I blogrolled Ravenwood of Ravenwood's Universe and put up a more suitable picture for those of you who might be frightened and/or otherwise overcome by emotion at the sight of redheads. I do so want you gentle readers to return.

Done for now. Must write.


Posted by hln at 10:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Duck Soup

Via most of the Munuvians including but not limited to:

Me, I'm a Super Hero Duck. Of course.

Quack Rubber Duck Quiz



Posted by hln at 07:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Worm Alert!

Yikes! Please inform all of your non tech-savvy friends because this one could nab quite a few victims.

    Disguised as an official e-mail from Microsoft, the file comes attached to a note asking the recipient to install a "September 2003, cumulative patch" to protect against vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser and Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail programs.

    If installed, the program, known as Swen or Gibe.F, attempts to disable firewall and antivirus software, gather password information and replicate itself via e-mail, as well as the Kazaa peer-to-peer network and Internet Relay Chat instant-messaging.

    The virus-laden e-mail looks like an authentic missive from the Redmond, Wash., software developer (aside from a few grammatical errors), but a spokeswoman for Microsoft said this week that it doesn't send security updates in e-mail. They're all distributed through Microsoft's Web site (

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Beautifully Said

My answer to this question (1st paragraph) is "almost every day."

Truly blessed and trying to always acknowledge it,


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September 20, 2003

Links of the Day

I've been collecting RSS feeds like some other intelligent/lazy folk, and I've assembled a pretty good list of diverse links of the day. I hope you enjoy.

1) Tuning Spork of BLATHER REVIEW links to! Really, he does. Go see why.

2) Ith reports that a Seattle restaurant named 5 Spot gets a bit snarky by requiring patrons to sign a waiver exempting the eatery from weight-related damages incurred by the consumer.

3) The American Library Association lists the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000. Some surprises here.

4) Rosemary rips on Arianna! Get a seat up close.

5) Ravenwood offers an example of "the rules don't apply to x," one of my favorite themes.

6) DavidF at Sketches of Strain curbs the violence he intends for his modem. My favorite?

    Remember that you used dial up with no ill effects for three years.
I so hear you.

7) northstar of The People's Republic of Seabrook presents an insightful post about the leaking-money state of the NHL. As a hockey fan and follower, I agree.

8) The Agitator introduces me to the Broken Window Fallacy.

9) Deb Thompson of Write Lightning grabs another of my favorite topics and provides her viewpoint in Supplementing Stupidity. I agree, Deb. I've been known to wear my Question Society shirt at least once every two weeks.

10) My esteemed spouse offers suggestions regarding the 87 billion dollars spent on the Iraq war - if there were no war, we could MAKE MORE GOVERNMENT!

11) The Meatriarchy commends me for not talking like a pirate.

Thanks for stopping by.


Posted by hln at 08:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Amazing. I actually agree with PETA on this one (and its methods aren't even over the top here). Too many healthy animals are euthanized because there are too many companion animals available and not all are able to be cared for by humans. So, I disagree with the sale of animals by pet stores. I won't even go into puppy mills. I am and always have been one bleeding-heart animal lover.

But back on topic. PETA put out a press release on September 17, 2003 that targets PETCO and prompts it to halt the sale of live animals.

    This is part of a series of protests taking place outside PETCO stores across the country, all designed to give consumers the full story about the "pet"-shop chain—lawsuits, suffering animals, and angry customers. The activists will also be encouraging PETCO employees to blow the whistle on cruelty. PETA is offering up to $1000 for information leading to a cruelty-to-animals conviction for the chain.

    Date: Saturday, September 20
    Time: 12 noon-2 p.m.
    Place: 13750 E. Mississippi Ave.

    According to Forbes magazine, PETCO "has been embroiled in at least four recent court-related matters … charging animal cruelty or neglect." The city of San Francisco has filed a lawsuit to bar PETCO from selling animals there because of "the cruelty and pattern of brazen violations … [that] continued over three years." After years of receiving a never-ending stream of customer complaints—including reports of sick and injured animals who were left to die in their cages or placed in freezers to die, enclosures caked with feces, a lack of veterinary care, severely stressed animals’ cannibalizing each other, and staff members untrained in basic animal care—PETA has launched a national campaign against PETCO aimed at getting the chain to stop selling live animals and carry only animal supplies.

    Earlier this month, PETA, a PETCO shareholder, took its case directly to PETCO’s shareholders and board of directors. PETA filed a shareholder resolution calling on the chain store to stop selling birds, reptiles, fish, and other small and vulnerable animals—which, according to PETCO CEO Brian Devine, makes up less than 5 percent of the chain’s annual revenues—and urging PETCO to focus instead on selling companion-animal food, supplies, and services and expanding adoption programs.
And, because this is PETA, the issue will get some exposure.


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New Weblog Showcase Votes I

I have two votes for the New Weblog Showcase. Please visit these new bloggers.

1) DFMoore presents More on Moral Relativism. This subject always catches my eye, and I'm pleased to see that DFMoore does it justice.

2) Ilyka Damen offers A Happy Epiphany, a post about reactions to the war, its outcomes, terrorism, terrorist groups, and opinions/views. It's quite powerful.


Posted by hln at 06:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

JetBlue Hiring for PR Positions

JetBlue Hiring for PR Positions

Wired (and everyone else, really - I found one on the NY Times later) has an article about the JetBlue debacle.

    JetBlue Airways began sending out apologetic e-mails Thursday to customers who are infuriated that the airline gave 5 million passenger records to a defense contractor investigating national security issues.

    The form letter, provided by JetBlue to Wired News, confirmed a Wired News story that JetBlue turned over the names, addresses and phone numbers of its customers in September 2002 in response to an "exceptional request from the Department of Defense to assist their contractor, Torch Concepts, with a project regarding military base security."

    The e-mail was carefully worded to say that data was never provided to a government agency or used for airline security testing, that the sole copy had been destroyed, and that the Torch presentation was developed without JetBlue's knowledge. The company also expressed regret and promised never to turn over passenger information again without court order.
We're sorry. We won't do it again.

    The letter will not be placed on the company's website, but will go out under the name of JetBlue's CEO, David Neeleman, said JetBlue spokesman Gareth Edmundson-Jones. The e-mail closed with, "I am saddened that we have shaken your faith in JetBlue but I assure you personally that we are committed to making this right." Jones added the company was "flabbergasted" when they first saw the Torch Concepts presentation.
You'll get a better taste if you read the whole thing.

That last sentence I quoted is a bit damning, really. It's the presentation that bit Jet Blue the worst, not the provision of the data (which was against JetBlue's privacy policy), according to an earlier Wired article. Worse yet to the public, Jet Blue isn't apologizing for its actions of handing over customers' data; it's apologizing that the action was made publicly undeniable by the presentation.

It's sad, too - another blow to the airline industry.
JetBlue turns a profit.


Posted by hln at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2003

Classical XXX! Hot! Wahoo! No

Wahoo! No commentary necessary...yet. (Link).

    Handel Masterpiece Gets 'Explicit' Label

    SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - George Frideric Handel has at least one thing in common with Eminem and other modern artists: his music was slapped with an "explicit" warning at Apple Computer Inc.'s online iTunes Music Store.

    The baroque composer's 1742 masterpiece, "The Messiah," was marked with the red warning that indicates the content might not be appropriate for young children or others with sensitive tastes. It's on a recording by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by John Alldis.

    The warning, which appeared when the album's tracks were made available Tuesday but disappeared late Tuesday, was most likely a technical mix-up, though "The Messiah" does touch on love, violence and death - in a more profound way than, say, most music produced 260 years later.
Hey, look out for that Water Music video. Steeeeamy!


Posted by hln at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Positive Step

I was very pleased to read today about the trend of hotels completely disallowing smoking.

    >From New York to California, small and mid-size hotels have gone smoke-free, cleaning, deodorizing and redecorating rooms once reserved for smokers and designating them nonsmoking.

    One major reason is that fewer guests are requesting smoking rooms. But hotel managers point to other benefits: lower room maintenance costs and a marketing tool at a time when the business has been hurt by a sluggish economy.

    "In all of our publications, we promote a smoke-free environment, and we've gotten calls because of it. Families with kids, it's attractive to them. It reinforces cleanliness and safety," said Chris Canavos, manager of the 98-room Howard Johnson's in Williamsburg, Virginia, which went smoke-free during a renovation three years ago.
Roughly 75% of the population is composed of non-smokers. I'm obviously not sure of the percentage of sympathetic-to-smokers nonsmokers, but since I'm not in that group, who cares?

This is an excellent example of positive change (this time in the health arena) brought forth WITHOUT LEGISLATION. As time proves that these hotels do not disappear due to shrinking profits, other businesses will follow suit.

And that, my friends, makes me smile. Very broadly. (And breathe more easily).


Posted by hln at 10:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Thought for Spring

A Thought for Spring

Hey, if they can have the Axis of Isabel, we mid-staters should align our blogs as the Axis of Tornados (but we need a more clever name). I'll bring this up again, in, oh, April or so.


Posted by hln at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That's. Just. Great.

    SAN DIEGO - A fire that destroyed three homes under construction early Friday was the work of a radical environmentalist group, officials said. Investigators are also looking into a second fire at another construction site.
Yeah, great. The zombies of the Earth Liberation Front are likely behind this latest mess.

Hey, zombies. Just where do you live? Caves? Tents made of grape leaves. Really, I want to know.

Alan of Elegance Against Ignorance has more.


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

Gently-Bash-Liberals-With-Rational-Thought Night

I found two gentle but accurate pokes at liberals and decided to begin a post of themed links here. This may or may not get updated throughout the night as I do or do not find more.

1) The Yeti offers two links to Liberal "Rules" for Arguing. And they're dead on.

2) Michael Williams of Master of None writes about Idealistic Fools and chides thus:

    The problem I have with most "liberals" (i.e., leftists) is that although they aren't purposefully fascist, they seem to think that they can bring about an "ideal" society -- utopia -- by forcing people to behave properly. Christopher, who writes in the comment section (and blogs here), isn't ill-intentioned, but he doesn't want to face the reality that many of his positions are untenable, and many of his policies are impossible to implement; in the attempt to create the utopia he desires, he would instead bring about the wholesale elimination of the freedoms he values.


Posted by hln at 09:47 PM | Comments (1)

Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day

I refused to talk like a pirate today, but I will offer you Frank J's Know Thy Enemy: Pirates.

    Jolly Ranchers have no relation to the Jolly Roger... that I know of. To be on the safe side, though, if you see a bunch of Jolly Rancher wrappers lying about, be prepared for a pirate attack!
(Link found via Jennifer's History and Stuff, though I shouldn't admit I visited her before Frank, now, should I?)

Also, Blackfive's got a quiz you can take to find your niche in the pirate hierarchy.


Posted by hln at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Glenn Reynolds' Favorite Book

Glenn Reynolds' favorite book is Hands, Hands, Finger, Thumb, by Al Perkins.

The cover should tell you why.

Rumor has it, I tore this book to pieces when I was a wee lass. Of course, it was in support of Frank J. that I destroyed the monkey. Even though young Frank was not yet born.


Posted by hln at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Links of Lunch

Phew, just a few mins, so these'll be brief:

1) Romulus of Judicious Asininity unveils the Secret Weapon in the War on Terror.

2) The new Hunting of the Snark is up! The aforementioned post by Romulus is in it (as am I).

3) Jennifer has a new War Message. Do be sure to click on the Message to Ethel. This behavior will not be tolerated.

4) Pixy Misa of Ambient Irony delivers the best pirate speak phrase I've seen yet. Shiver me disk drives!

5) Hans is never coming back from Seattle.

6) Victor of Publius & Co has a post showing some Isabel damage.

7) Aaron at Free Will explains Illinois.

8) The Meatriarchy expands a headline. Pun warning - not suitable for everyone.

9) And, finally, Big Arm Woman shares her thoughts (which are close to mine) on the likes of Extreme Makeover and associated surgeries/human body "enhacements."

And now, back to work.



Posted by hln at 11:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2003

Cathexis John Cole waxes insightful


John Cole waxes insightful regarding his feline companions. And it's delightful.

    When I reach down to rub their bellies, I am usually bitten. When I work on the computer, I am usually greeted with the perfectly placed southern end of a northbound cat- this is Tunch's idea of giving me affection- cat booty in the face while I am trying to read. When friends come over, the cats ignore me and do none of the entertaining things they do when no one else is around- making me look like a liar and a fool. When I finally go to sleep, my cats either decide to play on top of me, or start meowing about something or another.

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Doom! The World is Ending

No, really. Instapundit is #2. What IS this? What quest awaits us as humanity? What demons must we slay?

(Frank J., is that you?)


Posted by hln at 06:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monsanto: Taking Yourself TOO Seriously

Yesterday, Overlawyered posted Monsanto vs. Free Speech and has this to say about its title.

    The giant chemical and agribusiness company is suing the Oakhurst Dairy in Maine "for promoting its products as containing milk from cows who are not treated with artificial growth hormones. Monsanto, which makes the leading artificial hormone for cows, said the marketing implies that there's something wrong with milk from treated cows, even though studies show the milk is no different than milk from untreated cows." (Edward D. Murphy, "On the front lines of free speech", Portland Press Herald, Aug. 31; Kristen Philipkosky, "Sour Grapes over Milk Labeling", Wired News, Sept. 16). As the Press-Herald's Murphy suggests, this kind of suit can work very similarly to one like Nike v. Kasky in chilling controversial business speech, the difference being that in this case one business is doing it to another.
Wow. The marketing IMPLIES there's something wrong with milk from treated cows.

I've posted about Monsanto before. I also regularly consume soybean products from a company named GeniSoy, and GeniSoy labels everything it produces (at least the things I consume) as GMO free.

Monsanto, where's this going to end, buddy? What do you hope to prove? Your brand is not attacked by the growth hormone statement. If labels were mandatory, this information would automatically be shown on the product.


Posted by hln at 06:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2003

Conservative Exercise Secret

Hey, I'll share an exercise secret with you. The idea is to get yourself in a mindset so that you can do NOTHING else but exercise. How, you ask? The good old-fashioned adrenaline rush, I answer.

1) Pick up a Ted Rall column. This one will do.

2) Tell yourself you're going to fisk it (before reading).

3) Read and fisk at the same time. Like this!

    NEW YORK--What kind of world would it be if someone set your car ablaze because it guzzled too much fuel? A better one, argues the Earth Liberation Front, a loosely-organized ecoterrorist organization that spray-painted environmentalist graffiti such as "gross polluter" and "fat, lazy Americans" on 30 sport utility vehicles at two car dealerships and set fire to a third on Aug. 22. Several SUVs and 20 Hummer H2s were destroyed. On Sept.2, 22 more SUVs were trashed at a Houston car dealership. (Police have arrested a man in connection with the California incident.)
Okay, fact. That's fine.

    Ecoterrorism expert Bron Taylor of the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, says that ELF believes "that ecosystems have an inherent worth that cannot be judged in relation to human needs, that human actions are bringing the earth toward mass extinctions, and that political action is insufficient to bring about the wholesale changes needed."
Bron Taylor. Okay. He's a lefty. But, wow, that quote sure has ominous implications. Read on. This is obviously merely kindling.

    Taken at face value, most Americans agree with the "elves." A Los Angeles Times survey found that, even among conservative Republicans, two out of three people believe that the environment is more important than property rights, corporate profits or even creating jobs. Virtually everyone acknowledges that human-generated pollution is affecting the environment: only eight percent of Americans think that global warming (news - web sites) is a myth. (The United States produces more greenhouse gases, both per capita and overall, than any other nation, making it largely responsible for climate change.)
Okay, first, the grammar problem. Rall, learn to write. "Taken at first value, most people..." You can't refer to the last paragraph with that, even though I know you WANT to. Rules. Grammar has rules. Use them, or land yourself in a mire/muck-filled swamp of more frequent fiskings.

Second, the meat, or, really, the juice of the paragraph. Where the hell did that "most Americans agree with the elves (presumably ELF minions)" statement originate? Did a hair you shaved off your maw yesterday morning scream that unfounded assertion to you when you had writer's block? That's an unfounded claim. Dismissed.

"Two out of there people believe the environment is more important than property rights, corporate profits or even creating jobs." Apples and oranges. The environment is VERY important, yes. Citizen, do your part. You, too, Rall. If I catch you littering or not recycling everything but the cat litter, I'm sending out a press release.

Blah blah blah greenhouse blah, next.

    The environmental crisis is, hands down, the most important matter facing humanity today. Who cares about peace in the Middle East if the region is under water, stricken by famine or choked by dust storms? Weather systems are becoming increasingly violent and unpredictable, species are going extinct and virgin-growth forests are vanishing at an alarming rate. While smog has diminished somewhat in places like Denver and Los Angeles, air pollution is getting worse nationally. Ohio's EPA, for example, announced that 2002 was the most toxic summer on record in 14 years.
What music would you set this to? Darth Vader's Imperial March, or Ride of the Valkyries? Perhaps the Moldau to incite emotion, but you'd have to read the paragraph verrrry slowly, as the Moldau is 12 minutes long.

The MOST important problem is the environmental crisis. THE. *mutter* Hey, Rall. Ever heard of a terrorist? You claim your guy Bron knows about them. Perhaps you should ask for a definition. And put your hands down. You said hands down.

    The main reason:
Stop - I can't let him finish. I know! I know! It's GUNS. Oh, wrong answer.


Dammit - I thought guns were always every problem. I need to read my manual on liberals again.

    What should we do about this long-ignored crisis? Writing letters to the editor and joining The Sierra Club (news - web sites) are admirable, but working within the system hasn't stopped the polluters.
Incite da troups! Call in the ELF (which should have its own theme song with sounds of raging fires mixed in - an eerie similarity to the KLF. Yeah. The ELF is gonna rock you).

Do you feel that blood pumping? Are you ready for the Stairmaster? Almost...
    Burning SUVs isn't the answer, argues the Sport Utility Vehicle Owners Association of America: "All told, the vandalism will not make any company think twice about producing more SUVs and other light trucks, nor will it shake the tremendous consumer confidence in the vehicles. Instead, the blaze destroyed the property of a small business owner, and put the lives of innocent civil servants in harm's way."
This is known as "giving the bad guys a chance to talk and show their idiocy." Rall, of course, feels quite the opposite. Burn someone else's private property in the name of the environment. After all, 2/3 of Americans believe that the environment is more important that private property. 2/3!

The quote is correct, though - burning a few SUVs won't stop production. Capitalism says: demand! And the rest of the quote is dead on: Destroyed the property of a small business owner, and put the lives of innocent civil servants in harm's way. Yes, indeed. And gave the media a frenzied time, yahoo!

    But SUVs are a national blight, burning 33 percent more gas, generating 30 percent more carbon monoxide and 75 percent more nitrogen oxide than regular cars. SUVs are so popular--they account for more than half of new car sales--that average fuel efficiency reversed a long-term trend by starting to drop beginning in 1987. Since 1990, SUVs have wasted an extra 70 billion gallons of gasoline, costing even more than the war on Iraq (news - web sites). They're the sole reason we dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol (news - web sites) to reduce greenhouse gases. SUVs have got to go.
Now, I'm no fan of the SUV monoliths; I'll not buy one. But they're here, and they're here to stay. "Wasted" an extra 708 billion gallons of gasoline, costing even more than the war on Iraq. What war on Iraq, Ted? Oh, you mean that little inconsequential thing underneath the downed hands. THAT war. k.

    The SUV phenomenon is the creation of an unholy alliance of Congress, Detroit automakers and consumers. The big four automakers have convinced even the legislators they don't own outright that eliminating SUVs would hurt the economy. SUV owners think the 9,000-pound leviathans make them safer than passenger cars (though studies have proven they're not), are better at handling snow (untrue), drive off-road (very few SUVs ever leave the pavement), offer extra room for big families (get a minivan instead, dope) and let them see ahead of smaller cars (while blocking the vehicles behind them). The Republican-controlled Congress has no intention of closing the fuel emissions loophole that lets SUVs pass as "light trucks." And the SUV craze is making Detroit more profitable than ever.
Unholy alliance. Hey, isn't that a Scorpions song? Yeah, it's offa Face the Heat; quit stealing the Scorpions' meme.

It's only the Detroit automakers, eh? So the Lexus, BMW, and Infiniti SUVs are white as lambs. And, wait, Mr. Rall, you're exempting minivans? I want them to be declared heathen, too. I mean, when I'm trying to turn left in my little red sports car and a minivan pulls astride me, I can't see over it, either. Waaa! Oh.

Damned those corporations profitting off of what consumers want. Damn them!

    That leaves consumers and dealers as the principal targets of radical environmentalists like the ELF. The idea is to make SUVs as unfashionable, and as scary to own, as fur became after the PETA-inspired spray-paint attacks of the '80s. In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the "What Would Jesus Drive?" TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people.
Fur. Automobiles. Fur. Automobiles. Hmm. No. And, in an ideal world, American consumers would be YOUR SHEEP, Rall. Yours. Baa. You know what else people would do in an ideal world? No one would smoke or drink too much. No one would batter his or her spouse. People wouldn't kill each other. There'd be no more hunger (k, time to cue the music). There'd be no war. People would't be obese.

Sorry, bucko. No ideal world. Oh, but those who lean so far left they have constant backaches think it'll happen if we just. legislate. enough.

(Oh, and Mom, thanks for reading - I know you're the only one who made it this far.)

4) Now, is your blood shakin', baby? You're already sweating. It's time to run/walk/Stairmaster/elliptical/cycle off that adrenaline. And the good news, puppet Rall will be back another day to inspire you yet again!

5) After your workout, submit your Rall fisk to Venemous Kate for her snarky snark snark.

Patented. Proven.


Posted by hln at 05:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Adult Happy Meal Yeah, really,

Yeah, really, according to today's news:

    CHICAGO — McDonald's Corp. (MCD) has enlisted the aid of Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer to promote an adult version of the Happy Meal (search), the fast-food giant's latest effort to offer healthier products.

    Instead of Happy Meal standards like a burger and a toy, the new Go Active Meal (search) will include a salad, an exercise booklet and a pedometer meant to encourage walking.
Wow, you mean instead of a salad I can order off the menu, I can get it with gadgets? I think I'd prefer the flexible Grimace if there're going to be gadgets.


Posted by hln at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2003

Chicken on the Barbie

Following up on my post Not Surprising about Barbie, the Evil Jewess Infidel doll (indeed!), I found that Cox and Forkum's cartoon for today hits the spot.

Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice
Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice
Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice


Link via


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The Meatriarchy would be serving up some frozen burgers if the blog were based outta Calgary.



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Throw a party and invite the Senate. Get them all drunk and make them admit their worth. What do you get?

You get this, though I bet it was compiled by more scientific/valid means than a drunken survey.

But you get my point.

Not what you would expect, eh? Still, would be interesting to see if just a few skew the whole thing. Naaaaaa - more fun this way.


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September 15, 2003

Filthy Lie #4

This is disgusting, disheartening, and wrong. I caught Glenn Reynolds going through my TRASH out back.

No, really, I did. I was suspicious when I heard a familiar bell, and I looked out my back window in my kitchen toward the patio, and there he was! The small child's bike was parked against my fence. Glenn had set the bags of used cat litter (yes, Mom, I edited that for you) aside and was sifting through my garbage, separating the chicken bones from the paper. He had a DOG with him; said pooch was tied to the fence by the bike.

"WHATEVER ARE YOU DOING?!?" shouted I. Glenn looked up at me, miffed. "Why, I'm looking for all of your private information so that I can assume your identity." Shocked, appalled, and mildly frightened, I grabbed a Cutco kitchen knife, stormed out the screen door, and waved the weapon at Reynolds. "Out, and away!" I shouted. "And leave the dog if you know what's good for you." He did not budge. At the top of my lungs, I began to sing Copacabana, by Barry Manilow.

Reynolds screeched and pedalled away, his pockets full of paper. He was afraid of my skill with a chopping knife, perhaps. Doubtful, I think it was the word "Lola." Good thing to know. Oh, and luckily, I shred all of my paper, so my identity is safe.

When Brian arrived home, I told him of the day's drama. He frowned, and, in typical Brianesque fashion, became immediately concerned. "Heather," he said. "They can reconstruct those documents even if they've been shredded." All was quiet for a moment. I mentioned then that all that should be in the garbage for this week are a bunch of cash receipts for the grocery. All was well, except I felt I'd better tell him about the dog...

A week later, after perfecting his plotted science, Brian brought this proposal to me and to the world, after first testing it on himself and our animals. You see, Alliance Members, we can keep our secrets from the evil one.

Let a lesson be learned. Destroy your vital secrets, and use your body (and those of others) as weapons.

Down at the Copa, Copacabaaaaaaaaana...


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Glenn Reynolds' Favorite Song Atomic

Atomic Dog, by George Clinton.

    Why must I feel like that
    Why must I chase the cat
    Nothin' but the dog in me

    Do the dogcatcher, dogcatcher
    Do the dogcatcher
    Do the dogcatcher, dogcatcher
    Do the dogcatcher

    Do the dogcatcher, baby, do the dogcatcher


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Nigerian E-mail Conference! My friend

My friend Tim forwarded me the link to this. It's good lunchtime snickering.


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September 14, 2003

Brian's a Goof The Shidoshi

The Shidoshi of Paranoia Speaks about Ingestion, and, well, you'd better listen.


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Tracking Activity While I was

While I was looking for information on Missouri's State Government page about the override of governor's veto of the Concealed Gun bill, I stumbled across this.

Why not? The dates work - just started, so I signed myself up. I went for intermediate because I found this on Thursday, and, well, with the foot issue, I didn't think I could get five days of cardio in this week. I was right. Seems days are more important than total time. So, I've met my goals this week for that - nothing out of the ordinary.

Tonight I went looking for the national version, The President's Challenge. Turns out, this is even easier because it'll count EVERYTHING I do, from weight training to my weekly volleyball to cycling to even STRETCHING. I filled in my week's worth of info, and I'm 11% to my first goal. This wasn't even a very active week for me.

Why do this? Well, remember those obnoxious physical fitness tests we all had to take as kids? I was HORRIBLE at those. Horrid. Grace, balance, and strength have finally appeared in my life, and, dammit, I want a piece of paper for my efforts. I used to HATE those tests. Here's what I remember.

1) The shuttle run. Shudder. We used to have to drop and carry erasers for this test. I was never. fast. enough. (I was 5' 6" when I was 11 - oversized, indeed).

2) The bent-arm hang. Okay - see #1. You know who excelled at this? Those damned ectomorphs who still weighed 75 pounds. It's much simpler to suspend 75 pounds in the air than 120 or 130 (not sure what I weighed in 6th grade - was slightly chubby but not bad) for a period of time. This is at a time before any of us was actively strength training, so, as you can guess, this was not something at which I excelled either. Then, at any rate.

3) Running the dreaded mile. My best mile time was 8:07. This was my freshman year in high school, and I had been running for a few months before I attempted this. Not terifficly fast.

4) 50-yard dash. See #1. Heather never could sprint. Still can't.

But the one thing I learned I can do is train. With weights. Heavy and hard. I learned this in high school, actually, that same class where I ran the 8:07 mile. And, my skill has gone up some in adulthood when most of these lean/mean kids are now carrying some extra poundage and/or have given up on "play" because they are adults.

So, you see, it's all fun and games now.


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Free Will - My First Visit

I cracked up at the first post I read.

Guess I'll keep reading.


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Do That Again, Bow Bow Bow

Hans responds!

This is about NICOWater, and even if he thinks it'd be a good study aid, I'd still run far, far away (while thoroughly encouraging others to feed this particular addiction). Then again, I eschew caffeine, too :)


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September 13, 2003



I put up links to some of my poetry there in the left-hand corner. I used to write pretty often, but Sisyphus that I put last week was the first in five years. Prior to that was cicada.

Most of these have been published some place or another - I have a few in two different volumes of In Our Own Words, collections of poetry that vary from really, really, really bad to quite good. I hope I'm in a positive end of the spectrum.

I have been featured in two online publications, Zero City, run previously by Michael McNeilley, who is, sadly, no longer of this world, and Agnieszka's Dowry, which appears to not be running full steam these days. My poems are here.

Other than that, mostly print. A publication no longer in practice named Block's Poetry Collection liked me - published me a few times. Columbia College's Baobab picked up some of my 2nd tier poems, etc.

If you're a poetry person, you might like some. Depends on your style, really. I have two sonnets, but they're not completely strict. One, restive, is a big, long, run-on sentence. The other, Sonnet 2 has a funny wild degrees of separation story attached to it that perhaps I'll post at some point when it's not about bedtime. The rest are free verse.

I even had a guy review me once. Trouble is, he wanted to post the review on alt.lesbian.feminist.poetry. And, well, I'm neither a lesbian or feminist so my reviewer, um, changed the gender of address in some of my poems. Here it is, though - I enjoyed the review. And the response I sent to him was most entertaining.


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I file all of the household papers, and for the last six months to a year or so I've been putting off the task of cleaning out the filing cabinets, having done it about a year ago and the things are STILL stuffed with paper.

Paper we don't necessarily need.

So, today, Brian and I journeyed to Office Depot and bought a little $9.99 shredder.

I've found some interesting things today in those files. I've discarded (to the toothed shredding machine I have not yet named) any old bills that have my maiden name on them (seeing as I've been married close to 4 1/2 years, y'know) - things like that. All the ancient bank statements and pay stubs - things you don't want to THROW away because they're just too personal.

I find this extremely liberating - like - perhaps there's something symbolic about this, some quasi-renewal, a purge of things unnecessary. A silly sort of catharsis. I'm working on filling up my third trash bag of colorful (though mostly white) recyclable material. Wahoo! No more filing dread, and perhaps I can organize my life a bit. I predict I'll have five bags full before I'm done.


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Moving off BlogSpot....


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Kelley of Suburban Blight had a recent post about geeks, dorks, and nerds, oh, my. I didn't think her geeksplanation was quite good enough, so I commented thus, and several of her readers agreed.

    You're missing a few things - where is the dweeb in all of this, or is he too proletariat?

    The dork - usually says the wrong things in all situations. Using a sock metaphor - he is often to ADHD to figure out where the socks go and may only get one on each day.

    The nerd - usually very good at one thing, and that one thing isn't anything social. He can match his socks one day per week.

    The geek - the greatest being ever to live. Among his own kind, he is a social beast, often conversing with other geeks about geek culture, including techno, software, sciences, science fiction, cyberpunk, video games, etc. Geeks are multi-faceted individuals; for example, my company is full of software developers who are avid cyclists. Reconcile that. Geeks write software to organize their sock drawers. Just because.

Heh, *flex*.


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My Review of this Week's New Blogger Showcase

Over at Truth Laid Bear, there's this little thing called the New Blog Showcase.

The Alliance is helping to rank the blogs, and so I am involved. Check out these posts.

Incidentally, here are the lyrics for Ani DiFranco's Pixie, which is where I got the little line about the Emperor. Ani's a libertarian liberal, but gosh can she sing and write. She rails on capitalism (big business, specifically) some, but she owns her own record company, Righteous Babe Records, and she gets some points for that.


i'm a pixie
i'm a paperdoll
i'm a cartoon
i'm a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i'm the color me happy girl
miss live and let live
and when they're out for blood
i always give

the man behind the counter looks like he's got
a half a dozen places he'd rather be
and furthermore it looks like he's prepared
to take it all out on me
buddy, i don't really care what your problem is
just don't make it mine
come on kids, let's all hold hands
and pretend we're having a good time

maybe you don't like your job
maybe you didn't get enough sleep
well, nobody likes their job
nobody got enough sleep
maybe you just had
the worst day of your life
but, you know, there's no escape
and there's no excuse
so just suck up and be nice

all the privileged white kids on tv
playing at death
brandishing their cold cuts
with their ghostly makeup
and their heroin breath
and all the little fishes are flapping wildly
on their hooks
while all the top critics find great meaning
in the telephone book

the little emperor he has no clothes
so he can't come out to play
and besides which life is suffering
and he likes it that way
and the little guy is not so friendly
but you know life has been cruel
so wipe that smile off your face baby
and try to be cool

maybe you don't like your job
maybe you didn't get enough sleep
well, nobody likes their job
nobody got enough sleep
maybe you just had
the worst day of your life
but, you know, there's no escape
and there's no excuse
so just suck up and be nice

yeah, i would like to perfect the art
of being studiously aloof
like life is just a boring chore
and i am living proof
i could join forces with an army
of ornery hipsters
but then i guess i'd be out of a job
so i guess that's out of the picture

cuz i'm a pixie
i'm a paperdoll
i'm a cartoon
i'm a chipper cheerful free for all
and i light up a room
i'm the color me happy gir
l miss live and let live
and when they're out for blood
i always give

This is off of Little Plastic Castle.


Posted by hln at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Free the Chickens (PETA Post)

Via The Center for Consumer Freedom, I found this article.

    Kweisi Mfume, president and chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has signed a letter in support of an animal rights group's campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    Norfolk, Va.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a low-budget group that often seeks high-profile supporters to spread its message, posted the letter on its Web site this week to add weight to its three-year battle.

    The one-page letter, dated Sept. 10 and written on NAACP letterhead stationery, is addressed to David Novak, chairman and chief executive officer of Yum! Brands Inc., which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut brands. It asks the company to require its suppliers to employ more humane methods in breeding and slaughtering chickens.
Uh, okay.

    Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! responded to the PETA campaign with a release that said: "KFC is committed to the well-being and humane treatment of chickens and we require all of our suppliers to follow welfare guidelines developed by us with leading experts on our Animal Welfare Advisory Council."

    The fast-food chain, which has a large presence in black neighborhoods, also points out on its Web site that it was named one of Fortune magazine's "50 best companies for minorities."

    Mfume's support for PETA, while limited to a five-paragraph letter, raised eyebrows among some NAACP observers.

    Ronald Walters, director of the University of Maryland's African American Leadership Institute, said he was not sure how much more Mfume could do before being criticized by NAACP membership for diverting focus from people.

    He said involvement might be warranted if the criticism targeted labor practices or marketing to blacks, who make up a disproportionate number of fast food customers and workers. The letter, however, could have some impact.
Lovely. Now chickens are an issue of race. I like Consumer Freedom's take on it.

    Doesn't the NAACP have better things to do than educating Americans that, yes, chickens expire in the making of two-piece dinners?

Breast and a leg or a wing and a thigh, biscuit, cole slaw, and a little tub o' mashed potatoes.


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Arriva, NICOWater, and Heather's Unabashed Opinion

I read this article yesterday and earmarked it for blogging.

First, anyone who doesn't know that nicotine is addictive, please raise your hands, shake 'em a bit, and then visit this website. Then come back. (No one left, I know).

Now, that being said, how much does it take to kill you (since, as my loving husband pointed out, nicotine is also a poison). It's about 60 mg to kill you.

The average amount of nicotine in one cigarette is about 1 milligram.

Now, to Arriva and NICOWater. First, a caveat. I don't know prices on tobacco products. I never will because I never have and never will use. Anyone who thinks it's wise for a 31-year old oral cancer survivor to begin a smoking/chewing program, please e-mail me immediately. I'd love to post such advice. What I'm saying, though, essentially, is that I don't know if these products would be cost-effective replacements for cigarettes.

But back to the article.
    Ariva is not the only nicotine-delivery product being slipped through the regulatory cracks. A veritable industry is burgeoning. Consider, for example, NICOWater, which is -- you guessed it -- bottled water spiked with nicotine. When the product was first introduced under a different trade name and marketed as a dietary supplement, the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and a coalition of public health groups petitioned the FDA to treat it as an unapproved drug. Last summer, the agency did so and forbade its marketing as a nutritional supplement. But now NICOWater is back, and its new manufacturer is selling it as a "homeopathic formula developed for adult smokers who suffer from the symptoms of tobacco cravings." The public health coalition renewed its petition, but the FDA has so far done nothing -- and its rejection of the same groups' petition concerning Ariva does not promise tough action.
Quit petitioning.

    There are two big problems with this state of affairs. The first is that no highly addictive and harmful drug should be marketed without substantial regulatory oversight. It is bad enough that cigarettes themselves should go unregulated by a public health-oriented agency, but it is simply inexcusable that their constituent chemical compounds would be sold in drugstores without triggering the jurisdiction of the agency that supposedly regulates drugs. Moreover, the situation is grossly unfair to drug companies that spend significant time and resources to bring to market traditional nicotine-replacement products under the usual rules of drug and medical device development. Why would smokers buy a heavily regulated and consequently expensive nicotine lozenge when the same nicotine in water is available for far less as a homeopathic formula?
My question exactly. I hope smokers would apply that logic to cigarettes and purchase the water instead. Indeed, there would be MUCH rejoicing in my world. (More later)

    The FDA's current impotence concerning tobacco products in general is indefensible -- a situation Congress desperately needs to correct. Yet the FDA does not need to make current law worse than it already is by interpreting its way out of the oversight of nicotine that it is able to perform.
Pleh - you're not thinking straight, author. The FDA's current impotence has been its impotence for a very long time. Congress' job is not to morally orchestrate the US citizens' lives.

To me, products like these seem like godsends to the non-smoking public. I don't care if people ingest nicotine. I don't really even care much about people who smoke themselves to death except to comment that I believe it to be stupid, and I'm thoroughly annoyed with smokers who won't take responsibility for their own tobacco-induced illnesses. What it comes down to for me is that I am extremely irritated and annoyed by having to breathe the foul shit smokers put into MY air, especially indoor air.

But that's just me, and I have some good, valid reasons beyond being a health nut that I'll not go into here. Back on course. If companies want to put out products containing nicotine, let them. Step gently aside, and let it run its course. Isn't tobacco regulation an oxymoron anyway? It's the drug that's harmful to others (namely, me - I'll admit I'm selfish) in proximity to its use.

So, to recap. I don't care if you smoke. Why would I care if you drank/used nicotine products? If you smoke, you already do.

Just what is the big deal here?


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September 12, 2003

Filthy Lie #3

Glenn Reynolds' doesn't have a favorite song. But he's transfixed by the song meme Lola. Here's why.

Remember the movie Telefon, starring the late Charles Bronson? People were "sleepers," activated by the text of Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening." Glenn, Evil Glenn, is activated by any song about a woman named Lola (he's safe from Clapton's Layla - it's been tried). This song meme was chosen because of deep psychological ties to Lola; our agents are unsure why. You hear Barry Manilow tell her tale. She also appears in many songs for the Kinks.

Reynolds is the only person alive who can listen to Barry Manilow's Copacabana more than twice in a row. It is a weakness that mere mortals such as you and I have - we cannot withstand the Barry Manilow torture. But Glenn's been programmed by the Lola Coalition, and Copacabana is one of those songs that sets him into entranced action.

Copacabana (truncated)

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across a crowded floor, they worked from 8 till 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?


And - Destroyer, by the Kinks.

Met a girl called Lola and I took her back to my place
feelin' guilty, feelin' scared, hidden cameras everywhere
Stop! hold on. stay in control

Girl, I want, you here with me
but i'm really not as cool as i'd like to be
'cause there's a red, under my bed
and there's a little yellow man in my head
and there's a true, blue, inside of me
that keeps stoppin' me, touchin' ya, watchin' ya, lovin' ya

Paranoia, deep destroyer. Paranoia, deep destroyer.


And, of course, the Kinks' more well known song entitled Lola.

I met her in a club down in old Soho
where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Cherry Cola
C-O-L-A Cola.
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance.
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said, "Lola"
L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo Lola

Well, I'm not the world's most physical guy,
but when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo Lola

And then there's that Ricky Martin song, *shudder*.

I digress, and you get the point.

When Glenn hears the word "Lola" accompanied by music, his brain switches modes. He becomes a servant for the puppy blending nation. He steals bicycles, batters hobos, blends puppies, and entrances Richard Simmons into doing his will. (Refer to this "evidence" from our files).

Very scary, folks. And now Glenn Reynolds has joined the Alliance. He's looking to infiltrate and, perhaps, blend us one by one. Or he's fighting his terrible fate and we must help.

<suspensefulMusic>You decide.</suspensefulMusic>


Posted by hln at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

Gag, Cough, Spew, Spit

Gag, Cough, Spew, Spit

Hi, I'm famous. I'm an "expert" (in something). Buy my weight loss book!


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September 11, 2003


Uh, honey.

Fabrications about our private life on the blog. Bad.

(I note that the spouse has spoken thus:)

    I don't even let my friends listen to my tapes or CDs for fear of violating my licensing restrictions, and I even forcibly prevent my gym-buffed wife from reading books I purchase for my own private, non-transferable enjoyment.
Pleh. You refuse even to arm wrestle me anymore.

Mutter mutter, spew spew. (hee hee)


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Free Adrian Lamo

There's a website that wants to do just that.

Contrary to the 2600s (not Atari) lying about my house, I'm not part of the hacker culture, and I know little about it - my geekiness is pretty mainstream in the code perspective.

I read about Lamo turning himself in on CNN's website, and I had to know more.

Wired gives a better profile.

    More than a year later, Lamo is becoming widely known in hacker circles for tiptoeing into the networks of companies like Yahoo and WorldCom -- and then telling the corporate guys how he got there.

    Administrators at several of the companies he's hacked have called Lamo brilliant and "helpful" for helping fix these gaps in network defenses.

    Critics blast Lamo as a charlatan who preens for the spotlight.

    Lamo's latest move: using a back door in The New York Times' intranet to snag the home phone numbers of over 3,000 Op-Ed contributors, including Vint Cerf, Warren Beatty and Rush Limbaugh.

    Although Lamo (pronounced LAHM-oh) did nothing more mischievous with the information than include himself in its roster of experts, the Times is considering pressing charges, according to spokeswoman Christine Mohan. Hacking is a federal crime, currently punishable by five years in jail.
Expert indeed. The rest of the story gets more personal (and therefore more interesting).

    "Strictly speaking, he is a criminal. The law doesn't take into account motivation," security consultant Winn Schwartau said.

    Lamo answered, "If (the government) were to decide to indict (me), I'd rather everything be on the up and up -- inasmuch as you can be on the up and up when you're committing a federal crime."

It's similar to the man who shipped himself in a crate. It was harmless in the end, but now we're all watching because it's been exposed. And how horrid it could be indeed.

So, software companies, how would you like the security holes in your product exposed?

(As an aside, I like this story because it challenges my black-and-white view of the world. This one's uncomfortably gray. Lamo doesn't make it so with his "if the government were to decide to indict me" comment. That's pretty clear, and I appreciate that.)


Posted by hln at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

Lileks on 9/11/2001

Lileks on 9/11/2001

If you read Lileks, then you expect nothing less than what he delivers today. If you haven't or don't read him, today is a good day to begin.


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


If you've not visited Michele's Voices project, please do.

I'm borrowing the text of Meryl's (Meryl Yourish) to show you how powerful these stories are.

    My how-I-heard-it story is of no matter. It's not very interesting. I left work early, stopped and pick up some extra groceries, talked with neighbors until after dark. What I found far more visceral was the first time I realized what exactly was a strange odor that sometimes permeated Montclair, where I lived at the time.

    A few days after the eleventh, maybe the thirteenth or the fourteenth, I was driving across town for lunch. It was another beautiful September day. My car windows were open, and I thought to myself, "Someone has used far too much fertilizer on their lawn."

    But it wasn't fertilizer. The wind was coming from the east, and it brought the smell of the remains of the twin towers burning. And though that was the first time, it was far from the last.

    My birthday is November 15th. On November 15th, 2001, I went to dinner with friends. We had dinner at a favorite place of mine, Charlie Brown's, in Upper Montclair. As we left the restaurant, Brenda sniffed the air and asked, "What's that awful smell?"

    It was the World Trade Center fires, still burning, two months later. Montclair is twelve miles west of New York City. Every time the wind was in the east during the months following September 11th, you could smell the towers burning.

    This is what I wrote that night:

    We may be getting closer to normal, but we will never forget. We will never be the same. Twelve miles west of Manhattan, and I can smell the Towers burning. Ten o'clock at night, and I can step outside onto my patio and smell Ground Zero.

    Twelve miles west. There's a theater troupe in Montclair named Twelve Miles West. I can no longer think of them, or that phrase, without thinking of the wind coming from the east, bearing the odor of death.


Posted by hln at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

Bizarre, Bizarre

Bizarre, Bizarre

Is it just me, or is this story especially vague?

First, (and foremost) "a rare form of cancer." That could be anything. I dug deeper.

(I'm ignoring the parents' rights versus government "rights" - I have to work soon. There's potential for a really, really long post there, and if someone wants it, go ahead).

Ewing's Sarcoma. (Here's more info on the cancer.)

In this article, I found an interesting fact.

    According to police, the family may be on their way to Houston to enroll their son in a clinical trial for another type of cancer treatment.
Alternative treatment? Houston? Hmmmmmm.

Yeah, I found it.

Thought so.

    Seeking a different treatment approach, Barbara Jensen and Parker apparently were headed to the Burzynski Clinic for alternative medicine in Houston, Daren Jensen told Idaho authorities after his arrest. Daren Jensen fled to Pocatello with the couple's four other children after the court order.

    The Burzynski clinic specializes in a treatment known as antineoplaston therapy, which is in clinical trials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    "Ewing's is a very different form of cancer and we don't have a trial for it," said Mike Goldberg, the clinic's public relations manager.
I know someone who lived because she took Burzynski's antineoplaston therapy at age 11 when her oncologist told her family she wouldn't live to see Christmas (nice, eh?). She's 18 or 19 now and in perfect health - brain tumor long gone.

You'll notice that Ewing's Sarcoma is not something that the clinic has a trial for, which, in simplest terms, means that young Parker will not be treated by Dr. Burzynski.

Parents, pray. Then take your young son to another slew of doctors, whatever it takes to convince you that you need to do SOMETHING...because cancer doesn't simply go away.


Posted by hln at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

Not Surprising

Not Surprising

Barbie dolls are a threat to morality.

Really, they are. If you are a Saudi male, anyway.

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Saudi Arabia's religious police have declared Barbie dolls a threat to morality, complaining that the revealing clothes of the "Jewish" toy -- already banned in the kingdom -- are offensive to Islam. The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, as the religious police are officially known, lists the dolls on a section of its Web site devoted to items deemed offensive to the conservative Saudi interpretation of Islam. "Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful," said a poster on the site.
Wow, Barbie's Jewish! I wouldn't have guessed. What, with her blond hair and blue eyes and all. Silly me.

And two things:

1) With as obnoxiously "strict" as the Saudis are, why now?
2) Why a statement so narrow as to attack Barbies?

The article does say later that
    Other items listed as violations on the site included Valentine's Day gifts, perfume bottles in the shape of women's bodies, clothing with logos that include a cross, and decorative copies of religious items -- offensive because they could be damaged and thus insult Islam.
I think the answer to my question #2 is American media interpretation. Ooh! Barbie! Headline!


Posted by hln at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

Obese Pets!

Isn't there anything else newsworthy this week? You know, like bombings and killings in Israel/Palestine (too many links to even begin - we're all aware of these things, and if you aren't, well, there's always CNN).

American pets are obese! Damn McDonalds!

Er, I mean, how terrible. You know, I think that's the vet's job to warn you if your animal packs on a few - and then, you know, there are things like diets, which are pretty easy to do with animals. See, house pets lack opposable thumbs, and you can keep the food in the pantry.

Like I should talk - I have two feline bundles of love that are slightly overweight, but not bad.

But, while looking for the article, I found Obese House Pets Petition Richard Simmons for Help.

Everywhere you look, Glenn Reynolds.



Posted by hln at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

Carnival of the Vanities, #51

The Carnival is up at Admiral Quixote's Roundtable

The host has had a terribly dramatic week, and I'm sure he would appreciate some encouragement for a job well done.


Posted by hln at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2003


Honey, these are probably the same kids that always play in the street even when cars are coming, no? Brian has a post about some dumb kids in the St. Louis area.

    Here in Casinoport, Missouri, one 15 year old said to a bunch of friends, hey, I just cracked myself over the head with a skateboard and it didn't hurt, I am invincible (or words to that effect). So he asked his friends to help him prove the point, and unfortunately, one of his buddies found an error in the hypothesis by cracking Mr. Invincible's skull and putting him in the hospital with a severe brain injury.

    Authorities, of course, have charged boy #2.
Ugh. Making a bad situation worse, thank you.

Brian has the link to the article, which is in the Post-Dispatch.


Posted by hln at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

The Gender Card

In one of Reason Magazine's online posts for the day, Cathy Young points out some rather amusing adults-are-big-children moments in the California Recall campaign.

My favorite is about Schwarzenegger. She states:
    "Would you let your sister vote for this man?" screams a headline in a recent issue of, the left-of-center online magazine. The article quotes activists from the California chapter of the National Organization for Women and from Feminist Majority, a Los Angeles-based national group, who lament Schwarzenegger's "disrespectful attitudes toward women" and his "appalling" use of "sexual stereotypes."

    There is, of course, Schwarzenegger's now-infamous 1977 interview in Oui magazine in which the future gubernatorial candidate, then a 26-year-old bodybuilder, discussed his very active sex life in very crude terms—including group sex with a woman who supposedly strode naked into the gym where he trained. Whether he was just bragging (as he now claims) or telling the truth, the episode makes Schwarzenegger look rather piggish; but surely, there ought to be a statute of limitations on piggery.
Indeed. Piggery - I love it. Porcine commentary in 1977 is hardly an issue in 2003. Especially if it came from me; I was five.


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

Who is Asparagirl?

And where is she? I mean EVERYONE links to her (and now, well, so do I).

When I first started reading blogs, I'd pop in on her because, well, everyone links to her, and she has such a cool name. But she's mostly AWOL.

TTLB has her listed at #189 - she's a Large Mammal.

What a legacy!


Posted by hln at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Amazing, and Disgusting

The Patriette discusses phraseology and September 11, 2001.

Perhaps to save bureaucratic time and money, we should stop trying to explain/study/describe the day and rather blindly disseminate things that other countries have to say about the event.

You can all spit now.


Posted by hln at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2003

Suburban Blight Brings You....Cul-de-Sac

Kelley outdid herself - lots of posts. Visit, but plan to spend some time.


Posted by hln at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

80's Song

80's Song

Via Brian.

Sweet Dreams
"Sweet Dreams" (by Eurythmics) Sweet dreams are made of this Who am I to disagree? Travel the world and the seven seas Everybody's looking for something Some of them want to use you Some of them want to get used by you Some of them want to abuse you Some of them want to be abused

Which 80's Song Fits You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Brian is "When Doves Cry"

What does this MEAN? Aargh. (So, if I ask questions and do things like say, "discuss," does that garner comments? Should I post .wav files of me begging? That begging thing seems to work (see below).

On to something more serious...


Posted by hln at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)


Do they work? Should I keep them? Are they non-intuitive? Will it rain tomorrow? Will virtual erasers take flight and wipe out all of Blogspot's content?

Answer me these!



Posted by hln at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)

Blog as Means of Shaming Those Who Would Shame Us

There - title will be longer than the post. Adam and cohorts encounter jerko car salesman and scathing commentary doth ensue.


Posted by hln at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2003


On barren crest
a craggy crooked overhang
stands smashed against a hill.
Each morn it bleeds against the sun,
juts an angry ledge that leads beyond the view.

Closer now, a man defines
his task, the sound immense in motion.

Briefly it sits against a nook. Silence.
Cunning once, he is broken, fixed,
briefly stooped, torpid against his fare.
Sinews in his arms collapse as
blisters dance, stretching for relief
against the sweat-washed strain.

There is no rest, really. Illusion, a blink.
The climb commences, into the
shiny blood afar we stand,
passersby who watch the
scene bemused.

A thousand years, though, this
persists in cycle. The stride, angled still -
the sullen cries. The mountain path
forgives its friend.

Who never thought to throw
the boulder down, transcend, and
behold a man born within a man.

Instead, he arches into the scripted path
whispering pleas too soft and weak
to pull the power down
and empty his hand.


Posted by hln at 08:42 PM | Comments (0)

Perfect Wistful Song

Under the Milky Way Tonight, by the Church.

    And it's something quite peculiar
    Something shimmering and white
    Leads you here despite your destination
    Under the Milky Way tonight

Posted by hln at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)


I am a master (mistress) in the realm of salad. Look at this beauty.

Ingredients, you ask?
Lettuce (bagged is all right)
Baby carrots, chopped into flat discs
1/2 oz cheese (monterey jack and cheddar in this case, I believe)
1 tomato, sliced and then halve the slices
1 oz dried cranberries
1/2 oz pecans, split in half
2 oz sirloin steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 stalk of celery, chopped

I usually drizzle this with balsamic vinegarette, the cranberries providing a nice contrast. Also, don't forget the fresh-ground pepper.

Posted by hln at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Weekly Blogroll Updates

I added some of the new members of the Alliance. Go and visit ALL of the Alliance members if you have the time.

Also, two more to the main blogroll, Tales from a Yeti Suit, who is local, and The Blog of the Century of the Week, in spite of his current status as <spit>"On the Atkins Diet."</spit> Yes, I read all of these, and so expect the blogroll to grow even more as I attempt to fill up all of that obnoxious white space on the left. (Means we have lots of room for more Alliance members).


Posted by hln at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2003

Look Ma, a Use for Ankle Weights

So, with my restlessness of being home today, I decided to put the home gym to use. I'm so thankful for it.

I did a full body workout today. I learned/reminded myself of a few things.

  1. Plate mates rock.
  2. I don't do concentration curls correctly. Gotta fix that.
  3. Doing crunches while experiencing a rolling stomach: bad.
  4. There IS a use for the ankle weights my mother got me at a garage sale.
Yes, there are four ankle weights on my leg for a grand total of 20 pounds. If I could fit 6, all the better. The lower pair are the garage sale variety - a bit harsh on the leg since the strap cuts in. The other pair I got while I was in college, thinking that leg lifts with 5 lbs would make my legs more shapely. Ha. I have learned the ways of squat, lunge, press, cables, and cycle.

And now I have an improvised home variety for those rare occasions, like today, when I cannot wear shoes and transport myself to the gym. The bad toe/foot is the other. I made sure to hide its maladies from this post.

After lifting this evening, I perused the blogosphere via my blogroll, and I found this beauty.

As I commented there: 1, ow, and 2, what a funny link. Worth visiting.


Posted by hln at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

Not Quite the Darwin Awards; Still, Mind-Baffling Reality

So, here's a good idea. You're in love with your friend's wife. So you kill your friend. Simple, right?

    Miller, 49, of De Soto, said he fatally shot Larry Holman at the request of Holman's wife, Tammy. Miller said he was in love with Tammy Holman and had hoped to move in with her and her children, then ages 10 and 12.
Ooh, look, mommy. A new daddy! Where'd the old one go?

    Miller told Judge Jeff Schaeperkoetter that he had been emotionally disturbed and medicated at the time of the killing and was unable to refuse Tammy Holman's demands that he kill her husband.

    "I wish I had been strong enough to turn her in as a cheating wife, but I couldn't," Miller said. "Every time I tried, she talked me out of it." Miller said he and Tammy Holman planned the killing during hunting season to make the death appear to be a deer-hunting accident. That's a claim she denies.
Hmm, I'm emotionally disturbed right now. Perhaps my spouse should hide? Unable to refuse. I, um, see. So, essentially, you're a weak-minded fool with the mental processing power of a syringe filled with a five-day-old unused tetanus shot. Please write that 100 times on the chalkboard, and then you can go home. This obviously is not your fault, right? The courts say, "our bad." And that's your punishment.

Of course, the courts didn't say "our bad." They put the man in prison. They also imprisoned the woman.


Posted by hln at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

Thelma and Louise Meet To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

Because no one was injured, this is the local ha-ha of the day.

    Two men in women's clothes held up a credit union employee in north St. Louis County on Friday morning, forced her into the building and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

    The robbery happened just before 8 a.m. at Vantage Credit Union, 11654 West Florissant Road. Two men wearing wigs, baggy dresses and aprons - like those worn by hotel housekeepers - were hiding behind a garbage bin, police said. They sprung out on the first employee to arrive for work and forced her inside at gunpoint.

Posted by hln at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)

PETA Party

I found this on Consumer Freedom.

Ha ha ha ha. What if you threw a party, and nobody showed up? Guess this is that. What'd PETA have to say?

    U.S. Marine Cpl. Ravi Chand, who just returned from his tour of duty in Iraq, has rejoined his old "unit" at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but he’s not through fighting the war on terror just yet. Cpl. Chand, who saw combat in Iraq and stuck to his pure vegetarian diet throughout the war, will lead a demonstration in front of the White House, highlighted by PETA members dressed as an oversized knife and fork and holding signs reading, "President Bush: Found Your WMD—Meat’s the Biggest Killer of All," to make the point that eating meat kills far more Americans each year than war or other weapons, in addition to terrorizing and killing billions of animals.
In my mind: "What?" says Cpl. Chand, "What's a vulture? What are lions, tigers, and bears, oh my? Animals wouldn't...kill each other, would they?" Hey, dude. You know what I have to say? Food chain. F-O-O-D C-H-A-I-N.


Posted by hln at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Disappointment Afoot

I'll quote Dante from Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to BE here today."

By this I mean home.

Today is the MS 150. In Columbia, MO, not St. Louis. I'm in St. Louis. Home.

This post will get really personal. I don't often do that, and I probably won't do that again until November 1, 2003. If it's too much or uninteresting, well, there are other things noted below, or you could go reread the PETA post that will eventually be above this. Or the Blogger/Blogspot rant that will shortly follow that.

Yesterday was Friday, the day before the event. I had planned to leave work between 12:30 and 1:30 to go home, pack, get bike (can't forget the bike), grab all other necessities, and head out to Columbia for the MS 150. I was nervous/excited. Okay, I was nearly manic.

At about 9:15, I walked over to Starbucks with a bunch of the guys from work, three of whom are on my MS 150 team, so we talked about the ensuing ride a bit. We returned to work at about 9:30. I had noticed a twinge in my middle toe on my left foot about halfway back from Starbucks.

My toes are really close together, and if I don't really keep abreast of the toenail length, occasionally one toenail will cut into its adjacent toe, sometimes drawing blood. I took off the shoe and sock to check on it. The little guy was painful to the touch - seemed to be the case, but no blood yet. Having no clippers on hand, and wanting to make sure it didn't get any worse, I did what I thought to be the wisest thing. I bit the edge off so it would not exacerbate the irritated part. Once, in June, I thought I'd be really wise and just tear off the offending part of the toenail. I got the WHOLE toenail, so I decided not to try to do that again.

Time passes. I'm working. At about 10:30, the thing is throbbing. I mention this in mild complaint fashion to my coworkers. Hans stops by and mentions that I might want to stop at Walgreen's to get a cushion for it so that the 5 - 6 hours of cycling on Saturday doesn't irritate it too much for me to function as a cyclist on Sunday.

By 11:30, the pain has doubled. I take off the sock and shoe yet again and pronounce myself with a toe infection. I call the doctor, wise woman that I am. Luckily, the nurse practitioner can see me today - at 1:30.

I eat lunch - read the blogs of all of you good people who occasionally stop by to see mine. That takes my mind off it some. I get up to wash my salad bowl, and by this point, I really can't walk without torturous pain. I freak out accordingly, take my cell phone outside, and try to call Brian.

Who just happens to be at lunch. (Imagine that - it's lunchtime). I call my mother because she always helps. Between limping/pacing and talking to her, I pass the time between lunch and the appointment. Brian also returns my call.

I drive to the appointment (yes, across the street). After about a fifteen-minute wait, I'm deposited in the little doctor's room, and I remove my sock and shoe and prop up my ailing toe.

Said ailing toe is red, inflamed, swollen, and there's a pencil-width line of what I perceived to be infection that runs from the toe 3/4 of the way up to my ankle.

Whoa, okay. No wonder that hurt. Thing is, this manifested itself in the period between 9:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Very scary, and of course, a very disheartening sight considering my weekend plans.

I unfortunately have a nice long wait for the nurse practitioner, or at least it seemed. I call my mother again and have a "feel sorry for self" session. The NP arrives. She frowns at my foot. I fill her in between gasps of tears that I'm supposed to ride the MS 150 this weekend. She's not a cyclist I learn later (most people probably aren't), and probably didn't understand, but she can tell I'm certainly upset, and it ain't about the pain.

She asks for the chronicle of events. So I give it, matter of fact. 9:30 onset, 1:45 (probably now 2:00 p.m., this is how it looks). I explain the part about the toenail problem I have - the cutting thing, and I mention biting off the end of the toenail. She completely loses control with laughter. This is contagious. I start laughing too, not sure why she's laughing. She said, "you can put your foot to your mouth?" I said, "well, yeah" and then demonstrated by bringing a leg up and setting my foot to my cheek. Which made her laugh even harder. So, a moment of levity. I guess everybody can't do that.

She leaves me be again to find my doctor.

The time alone sets the emotional roller coaster in motion. I am supposed to be the person to collect our jerseys and ferry them over to some of the guys at their hotel. I call Hans and attempt (in snivelling fashion) to explain that I'm not a likely candidate for this task any longer. Not sure how much of the info I actually got to him because the doctor arrived and I pretty much abruptly terminated the phone call.

The doctor is my normal doctor, so he has a general feel for my personality and my training, and I've probably mentioned the cycling to him. I explain the event of this weekend. He frowns.

He said, "do you clip in?" I said, "yeah." He frowns again.

He gives my foot that doctorly stare and judgment, "mmmHmmm." He then pronounces it a strep infection and then proceeds to give me a set of instructions that he repeats no fewer than three times.

  1. This is a very virulent infection. I am going to give you the strongest antibiotic there is in pill form. Take this every 12 hours. It will kill ALL of the bacteria in your body.
  2. If the infection increases, go to the hospital for IV antibiotics. (He repeats #1, so I really get this more like 6 times instead of 3).
  3. You can ride. It will hurt horribly. You won't worsen it by riding. However, the antibiotics will give you diarrhea, which should dissipate by Sunday.
  4. (Repeat #2).
Well, that's a lot of information to take in. I'm sure that's why he repeated it so many times. I sit in the office waffling. The nurse practitioner leaves and retrieves the medicine, Augmentin XR, which is amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium. 1000 mg per dose, twice a day.

2 grams a day.

I eventually gather my new medicine and limp out. The drive home produces a tug-of-war match in my head between Reason and Emotion. They're both pretty battered right now. Reason agrees with the nurse practitioner and Brian, who want me to stay home and ensure I get better. Emotion keeps calling me a wimp and a loser for even attempting to listen to Reason. See, I don't have the devil and the angel on the shoulder. I have Reason and Emotion. Good enough, I guess.

I return home and take the medicine with food, as instructed. And then I decide to be cycling Cinderella. My bike shoes are lying by the couch. I slip them on. I stand. No way. There's absolutely no way.

150 miles will take me between 10 and 12 hours of actual cycling time to do. At a cadence (RPM) of, oh, say 90, that's...5400 cycles per hour, meaning at least 54000 revolutions. Jabbing pain with each.

So, no MS 150 - the compromise possibility is an MS 75. I tell myself this as I call my friend Susan, whose husband is the captain of the team. Susan, I'm not going to be there. Here's why. This finally sinks in, and she takes the jersey distribution responsibility off my hands. I feel like a wimpy heel.

I next call Sheryl, wife of Adam, at whose home I am slated to crash for the next two days. I explain the predicament. I let Emotion have the phone for about 3 minutes during that explanation. She says to me, "Take pictures. Put them on your blog." I get a good laugh out of that. And do what she says.

I'm kind enough to not post them in the main spot, but if you're my mother, curious, or have already pronounced me a wimp, you may want to visit footpics. I have yesterday's and today's up. The pictures serve as fantastic objective evidence when I need to stop beating myself up.

The other funny and rational thing I did was take a black Sharpie and mark the point on my ankle past which the infection cannot go without necessitating a trip to the friendly local hospital. Thankfully, it does not seem to be spreading. The redness from it is a bit wider in my foot near the toe, and my toe is forming a pus bomb (yucky, I know) in the middle on the side/top that's about as wide/tall as a thumbtack.

What now? Research. I got online and looked up strep infections that were not of the throat. I found that Ed Belfour, goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, missed at least a game for a strep-infected thumb. I felt a bit better. Hockey players don't miss games very often.

So, terrible timing = no MS 150. Only good news? It didn't happen today. If it had happened today, I probably would have ridden through the pain, had a horrible time, and had the infection crawling into my leg instead of merely my foot. And, there's a century planned for the end of the month. It'll take the place symbolically of this ride. It's the best I can do.

More good news? If Blogger ever comes back, more blogging. And I get to keep my foot.


Posted by hln at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2003

So Am I Jane?


What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla


Posted by hln at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)


My post is up on Voices.

The site is really starting to take shape. Michele wrote that she had over 100 remaining to review. I found this at Electric Venom, and it's quite amazing. I'm sure Kate's post will be up soon, but you can catch it before having to weed through the minions on Michele's site.


Posted by hln at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

Extending Metaphors

If Johnny Depp says that America is a puppy (I'll spare the adjectives that make his statement more asinine), and Glenn Reynolds blends puppies into energy shakes...

Maybe we should all move to France in fear of our lives? Maybe Depp meant that we are MANY puppies (individuals as puppies?) and are therefore safe?

Someone should call Depp and ask. I'm a bit worried.


Posted by hln at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2003

Spoons Shocks Me

I was doing my early morning before-work reading today, and I happened upon this on Spoons' website.

I'll cut to the scary part: (quoting a quote)

    The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced the weapon to the Blue Island Gun Shop, which received the gun from the manufacturer in 1966 and sold it to Milton R. Beuck. The last official record of the gun was 1983, when Beuck registered it legally in Chicago. [Before the Chicago gun ordinance went into effect later that same year--Ed.]

    Beuck told police he had sold it to a Chicago police officer, identified by sources as Schott, at a bar in 1994, Bayless said. The police officer sold the gun to a second officer sometime between 1994 and 1997, according to a friend of the first officer. The second officer died in 2002 and it is unclear what became of the gun, Bayless said.

    "It was not registered and it should have been," he said.

    On Thursday, police charged Beuck, who is 58 and homeless, with a misdemeanor for failing to keep records of the gun, authorities said. In Bond Court Friday, Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman ordered him held on $100,000 bond and assigned him to the Cermak Hospital division of Cook County Jail.

    The high bond was ordered because of the seriousness of the eventual crime in which the gun was used and because there was an outstanding drunken driving warrant for Beuck, said Jerry Lawrence, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

    There is an 18-month statute of limitations on the misdemeanor charge, Lawrence said, but because the law requires a gun owner to maintain records for 10 years, Beuck was currently violating the law by not maintaining a record of the 1994 sale through next year.
Wow, you know. Keep those records on you at all times if you have the misfortune of becoming homeless. We, of course, don't know the circumstances of Beuck's homelessness, but still. 100k bail.

There is the issue of a 1995 warrant for a DUI. How much bail goes where, dunno. The figure just shocked me. I'd like to know the allocation.


Posted by hln at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

Carnival of the Vanities

Carnival #50 is up at

Brian and I both have pieces in this one, so do please visit.

I've not read everything yet, but here are some of my favorite posts thus far:

Cascading Failures and Politics - as found on a Voyage to Arcturus.

Preemptive Health Care (or run a mile) - brought to you by uncategorical.

(I mean, yeah. Wonder how I'd do on my mile. It'd be humbling, I'm sure. Cycling's different than running.)

On Sensible Forest Management - I read every word. In a roundabout way, this is at 4 Right Wing Wackos.

And, of course, Brian's post about Cascading System Failure.

Maybe I'll update this, too, with some more. Many Instablender lies to be found on this week's Carnival, too.


Posted by hln at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

Johnny Depp, Come on Down

Johnny "Mouth Should Be Taped" Depp made some interesting comments recently, and they hit the news today. I was going to give my thoughts, but I find others have done a far better job than the post that I envisioned, so here's some linkage.

Rachel Lucas gives you the whole "news" story and then some goodies.

And, Big Arm Woman gives us 67 cents worth as well. My favorite part?

    I'm conflicted about the Deppster. I usually enjoy his movies, because he's very good at being someone else. I like the Else-Depp, and would be perfectly content to forget the Real-Depp, particularly when, every time he opens his mouth, something banal or inane or childish comes out. I mean, really, Johnny--"a dumb puppy?"
As I find more, I'll post more. This'll be the hot item for the day, I'm sure.

UPDATE: Deppreciated!

Venemous Kate's take.

Tim Blair's thoughts.


Posted by hln at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)



Yes, really. I went and got some because I didn't want to code my own. So, there you have it.


Posted by hln at 05:25 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2003

PETA suing you today? PETA harassing you tomorrow

PETA suing you today? PETA harassing you tomorrow

Wow, no one saw the PETA post coming today, eh? Hah.

Yum! Brands caved. Yes, that's right. KFC gave in to the harassment, which bodes well for PETA and its nutbars everywhere. There's no room for debate and disagreement - only discord and celebrity-backed over-the-top obnoxious campaigns that malign facts everywhere, regardless of any veracity in PETA's claims.

I've posted on this before, not the lawsuit specifically, but of PETA's KFC badgering. So what's new here?

    PETA's suit, targeting KFC's Web site and consumer hotline, claimed KFC disseminated false information. According to PETA, KFC agreed to remove certain claims from its Web site and from the script that customer-service operators use when consumers called with concerns or questions.

    KFC phone operators will now say: "KFC disagrees with PETA's claims. KFC believes that animals should be treated humanely. For this reason, KFC has established animal welfare guidelines for vendors who supply KFC restaurants with chicken," according to Yum documents provided to PETA.

    Earlier, PETA said, the company told callers that PETA's claims are "untrue," and that chickens raised for KFC suffer no pain or injuries.
Okay, KFC. I agree that was just a small change, but what you have set now is a precedent. PETA. Will. Not. Stop. The next attack will be some permutation of this one; perhaps the thinktank that fosters PETA's "outreach" will deliver something with more glitz next time. Chrissy Hynde may haunt every store in the US soon. "Gonna make you notice." Paul McCartney can sing "Freedom" to the chickens. Say, you know, there was a skit on Saturday Night Live that basically covered this topic - it was a show opener back in the early 90's, my college days. A bunch of celebrities got together and cut a single much like "We are the World" to benefit the free-range chickens. Lyrics from said work include

    Mister Farmer, take that feed
    To the chicken's throa-oat.
    To the chicken's throa-oat!
    Let's build a world
    where cages don't exist.
    Tell the children
    To tell the world
    To tell the chickens that we are on our way!
(Courtesy of a good soul at Bully Magazine)

Yep, really. I through my extensive Google research have discovered that this very skit is on the Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Music Performances and Sketches, Disk 4. And now I want it, of course.

Ahem. <seriousAgain>Remember, though, the single point of the winding post: There's no room for KFC in a vegan world.</seriousAgain>


Posted by hln at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)

Filthy Lie™ #2

Filthy Lie™ #2

As I was walking up to the local GNC, I noticed a familiar child's bike parked against the exterior, near the door. There were three other autos in the parking lot - not very busy for a Tuesday evening. Thinking little of it beyond that, I entered the store and commenced shopping for edible supplies for this week's upcoming MS 150.

The counter clerk was thoroughly engrossed in a dance demonstration given by this man with crazy hair who looked a lot like Richard Simmons from the distance of the entrance. Richard seemed to be demonstrating some wildly energetic dance for this clerk. He had a small posse of the Simmons dance troupe with him, too!

What would Richard Simmons be doing in the Maryland Heights GNC? Why this creepy and frenetic dance? As the man turned away from the clerk, though, I could see he was only similar to Richard Simmons. The clerk dismissed him with a "Thanks, Mr. Simmons...and ladies. We'll restock the shelves with your product." Puzzled, I took a closer look. Two others were in the store with me, and though they appeared to be perusing shark cartilage and Vitamin B Complex jars respectively, I could see that they were both intrigued. Each held a miniature secret camera, too.

The aerobic dance leader was none other than Glenn Reynolds sporting a Richard Simmons wig! I gasped. "What are YOU doing here, bike stealer," I steamed. "Oh," he stated, "I'm marketing my new exercise video, "Puppy Shakes!"

He held up the cover, which was a bright purple, and, indeed, in a font resembling lightning, the words "Puppy Shakes!" graced the cover and overlaid the picture of a young, feisty golden retriever pup in mid motion.

"He was one of the originals for, you know, the prototype," sneered Glenn.

The dance troupe filched some Luna bars, exited the building, and hopped into a lime green Volkswagen bus. They sped away.

"You cannot do this," I spat. "Oh, but I can," said he. "The video, alongside my uh, protein-filled supplement shake should provide diet participants with an amazing amount of energy and the appropriate, uh, blend of all major nutrients. And those who drink from this particular fountain of youth will become my mindless instaminions," he scoffed maniacally. "You saw my troupe."

I decided to garner as much information as possible. "I see you got a new bell for your bike." "Oh, that old thing," dismissed Professor Reynolds.

That tack was obviously not working, so I asked the obvious, "Where is the REAL Richard Simmons?"

"Hmm? Oh, Richard Simmons. He's had one too many puppies to drink, I fear. He's working on a deal with Slim Fast to help reformulate their shakes. That should help us reach the rest of the population."

I was quiet for too long. Simmons/Reynolds, apparently sensing this was the time to leave, and knowing no one would believe me when I shared this ghastly tale, screeched past me through the door, hopped on his bike, sounded the bell twice, and was gone.

And so, folks, be wary. The plan is far greater and all encompassing than we had originally feared. But the Alliance will prevail. If you see Richard Simmons in public, pull off his wig. If it doesn't move, run away in a hasty fashion. If you succeed in removing it, though, expose the Instapundit.

My fellow GNC attendees gave me PHOTOSHOPIC (er, photographic) evidence! I had to pay them, though, to corroborate my story, er, Filthy Lie™.


Posted by hln at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2003

Hey, Wait a Minute

My main page is only showing yesterday and today. I'd suppose that's due to all that posting I've done today.

Still, there's a lot of good stuff from last week and...well, Saturday. So I'll link to it for your ease of use.


Posted by hln at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

Voices - from A Small Victory

This is the post I submitted to Voices, which is Michele's project from A Small Victory

I encourage you to also write something and submit it.


As days begin, this was Anyday™. I was running a bit later to work than is usual - no idea why now. I stopped for a bagel at the local grocery, and as I was in my car and exiting the parking lot, KMOX, St. Louis' most popular morning talk radio, interrupted normal programming and reported that a plane had struck a high floor of one of the World Trade Center's towers.

And regular programming recommenced.

A normal, sheltered American, I had a few sad moments of "what a horrible accident," and I continued my drive to work.

Something - I can't recall what - perhaps news from a coworker arriving later than I - prompted me to try to reach; I could not. I believe at this time we learned that the "plane" to strike the World Trade Center was not a small, single-engine plane but rather a full-sized passenger jet.

We began to flock toward televisions - there are three large TVs throughout the office. At this point, there was constant coverage of the first attack. I got the news to date and tried to return to work. When the second plane hit the second tower, I believe everyone knew that this was planned. Work was out of the question.

We sat transfixed in the large conference room - transfixed because we had to be, because we were so summarily appalled and shocked that someone, some entity, some group would do such a horrible thing. I called my client, who resides in New Jersey but has many ties in New York. His brother was in one of the towers.

I returned to the large conference room, and, in the course of the next hour, I saw both towers collapse real time. And then, of course, I saw them collapse over and over and over again. Still determined, I tried again to return to work. And then the third plane hit the Pentagon.

At this point, it becomes "what next?" I fully believe that this was nowhere as bad as it could have been. But there was no relief anywhere - none in the faces of the newscasters who must've known they'd see no sleep for quite some time and that they were tasked in serving the horrible truth to the watching masses; none in the faces of my shocked, stunned coworkers, many of whom had young children who would require quite an explanation of certainly inexplicable things; none for me either, for the stories of individuals began to trickle through the news. The man and woman, holding hands, who chose falling to death rather than burning. People who were passengers on each of the doomed planes. Mothers, fathers, children, infants. Dead. Dying.

The rest of the day is a blur of rewind-play-rewind-play of the footage. On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store where I had purchased my bagel breakfast. There were already volunteers collecting money. I gave.

Once home, I, like everyone else, called friends and relatives to ensure we were all living on the same world, and that sanity still existed - something no one would have questioned 12 hours earlier. I spent the rest of the evening flipping through cable news channels as the news started to repeat itself. More rewind-play, but more personal anecdotes as well.

And then the hopeful search for anyone who might have survived in the rubble and aftermath. The days and weeks blur from here. Cantor Fitzgerald. Televised funerals. The pictures of ash. The weekly news magazines and their coverage. Courageous rescue attempts. Clearing of debris. Interviews of the families of the victims. The comparison to Pearl Harbor.

As time passes, September 11, 2001, stands as a day everyone remembers practically hour by hour. My client's brother escaped before the towers fell. I know no one personally who perished in the attacks, but as I talk with varying people, it's very apparent that I'm only separated by a degree at most. The business trip I recently attended highlighted that.

Very briefly, one man mentioned that his wife's best friend was on one of the planes that crashed into the towers. Another man was slated to give a talk on a high floor of one of the towers on September 11th. Shortly before the event, he cancelled due to lack of interest. The people who attended the event are no more.

Most strikingly, though, is the story of a young female Indian database administrator who was listed as missing after the attacks. According to my friend who knew her, months later her husband was convinced she'd be found "anytime now." They had a young child.

Of course, there's the "how dare they" question we all ask of the terrorists. These people who are victims did nothing but merely live their American lives in America; what else would you expect? And then there are the "nostalgia" experts who profit from the tragedy. There are the lawsuits, the criticism of the evacuation misjudgments. But how could anyone have known the true ultimate horrific consequence of these terrorists?

I don't truly believe we know yet.

Life as we know it began to resume. St. Louisans flew their mighty flags and painted them on their cars. Baseball, which was put on quite a hiatus, recommenced. Brian and I had tickets with some of Brian's friends to that evening's Cardinal's game. We sang "America the Beautiful." Jack Buck read a poem.

At Creve Coeur Park, the flag hung half mast for a full month - at work as well. In October, at the St. Louis Blues' opening game, Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless the USA." We attacked Afghanistan; we triumphed. Time passed. We attacked Iraq and deposed its dictator. We slew his evil sons.

The future spreads its threads day by day. The course of American history was irrevocably altered on September 11, 2001. I pray there will be nothing to replace it as the most shocking, course-changing day in American history. I also pray that none of you forgets what this country offers us, as individuals, and that freedom, sadly comes with a price.

We are free.


Posted by hln at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

Tim Blair on Hamas - Appropriately Wry

New Hamas, Now 25% Unfriendlier

His words:

    The formerly moderate Palestinian fellowship collective known as Hamas has become radicalised, according to The Guardian:

    The death of Abu Shenab has radicalised Hamas.

    I guess that’s the end of civilised negotiation, then.

    UPDATE. Another Hamas activist has been killed, reports AFP. The War on Activism continues.
So wry. So wry.


Posted by hln at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

Cycling Races in the Rain

The RiverfontTimes has an article this week about the Gateway Cup, that took place this weekend in St. Louis.

I'm sure that was a grand time; it rained almost the entire weekend except for parts of Saturday. I'm sure that adds an element to the torture, described in the last paragraph.

    For, as the very best in the sport often claim, road racing is predicated on suffering. Not just "pain" or "sacrifice," but Suffering with a capital "S," from physical exertion and the occasional crash. In his letter to race participants, grand-poobah Cup organizer Tim Ranek writes, "I hope to have even more St. Louisans come out and watch you all hurt yourself. That is the fun of cycling." Consider starting the Labor Day weekend on Friday night at a Lafayette Square beer garden, watching gaunt athletes suffer at 40 mph in surreal backlighting, amidst thousands of other fans.
I think I'll skip racing for a few more years.


Posted by hln at 09:21 PM | Comments (0)

Udderly Disgusting

Udderly Disgusting

Carbonated Milk


Posted by hln at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)


It's Monday night. I want to poke fun at a website. Hmm. Netrition!

Okay. Load it. Read along with me.

RED KAT! Oh, baby. A libido boooooooster. Keeping you busy until the roooooster calls your name. (Okay, it doesn't say THAT).

    The effects of Sclaremax, the other ingredient in RED KAT, include its antithrombotic and antidepressant effects, as well as its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone, via cyclic AMP, resulting in the production of Testosterone (in males).
Is that in English? I recognize "Testosterone." I guess that's what's important. Oh, and antidepressant. I have couth, so I'll save the cat puns for your imagination.
And then what? Skulpt! Topical Fat Loss Spray. Just don't confuse it with Pam! or Mazola! cooking sprays. I shudder to think. What's its description have to say?

    Skulpt from Ergopharm is a Topical Fat Loss Spray developed by Patrick Arnold. It contains the best available ingredients and penetration enhancers designed to deliver the active ingredients through the skin and into the subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue, where they will then act to break down and remove the fat (a process called "lipolysis").
Uh huh. Fat! I know that word. And "remove." Ah, it must work.

I'll skip the CarbSlim Bites - rather innocuous. No, actually, I won't. What are IMPACT carbs? Really, I want to know. Looking for an unbiased source...nope. I can't find a thing that's not pushing a product. I'm going to guess it has to do with perceived sugar in the bloodstream. It's a guess, though.

This stuff just cracks me. I mean, I just want some Luna bars. Really. Where are the Luna bars? These people are pushing "low carb" as nutrition. Fat/carb blockers as "nutrition." I guess if you can sell it, sell it. But, wow.


Posted by hln at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)



U.S. Pedestrians, Cyclists Tempting Fate -- or Worse
(Both pursuits are much safer in Europe, new research says)

This is a story that begins with a personal anecdote about a dude named John Pucher, who walks everywhere. He's never been injured, but this is surprising since he's been walking everywhere for 29 years.

<scathingOverGeneralization>Because scientists seem to have infinite time and infinte interest in the most banal of things</scathingOverGeneralization>, Pucher and his colleague Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission in Brussels did a happyfunlittle study.

    Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission in Brussels found that cyclists and pedestrians in the United States were two to six times more likely to be killed than their German or Dutch counterparts. Per kilometer traveled, U.S. pedestrians were 23 times more likely to get killed than the occupants of a car, while bicyclists were 12 times more likely to be killed.

    In the United States in 2000, 662,000 bicyclists and 191,000 pedestrians ended up in emergency rooms. And 740 of those cyclists and 4,598 pedestrians died.

    "The main point of the article is that it is much, much more dangerous here in the United States to walk and cycle than it is in Europe," says Pucher, a professor of urban planning and transportation at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "The conclusion was that there are a lot of things we could do to make walking and cycling safer."

    "The results are shocking," says Michael Greenberg, associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health, and an associate dean at Rutgers.
See, mom. I'm safer on da bike than I am in da tennis shoes.

What could we Americans do to address "the problem"?

    Americans, who are suffering from an unprecedented obesity epidemic, tend to drive to a destination even though 41 percent of all trips in 2001 were shorter than two miles and 28 percent were less than one mile. While walking and cycling account for less than one-tenth of all urban trips in the United States, they account for one-third of all such trips in Germany and for half the trips in the Netherlands.

    And as more Europeans have embraced bicycling and walking, the activities have become safer, with fatalities declining since the mid-1970s.

    Not coincidentally, Europeans are also thinner and fitter than their highway-happy American counterparts, with lower rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

    What can be done about what the authors call the "appallingly unsafe, unpleasant, and inconvenient conditions faced by pedestrians and bicyclists in most American cities"? A few European-style adjustments, all of them eminently doable, might persuade Americans to leave their cars in the garage more often.

    "We could have better sidewalks, auto-free zones, more bike paths," Pucher says. "We could have walking and cycling education programs in the schools. We could introduce driver training programs that make the motorist more sensitive to the dangers involved."

    Other options already available in Europe include "traffic calming" of residential neighborhoods (such as speed bumps and curves); extensive auto-free zones in city centers; the introduction of "bicycle streets" where cyclists have the right of way over cars; bike systems that serve practical destinations, not just recreational attractions; and better enforcement of traffic regulations.
And in case you weren't convinced, Mom:

    But don't wait for the United States to catch up with Europe before you start walking and pedaling. One study found the health benefits from cycling exceeded the risks 10-to-1. Even though it's far more dangerous to bike or walk in the United States, the probability of getting killed is still exceedingly low.
The probability of "getting killed." Heh. Strange turn of phrase. Like "got pregnant" and "getting/got married." Got born?

Anyway, I made my point (and pretty much quoted the whole article). I should go on to the next topic.


Posted by hln at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

Blogroll Changes, Yet Again I

I can't seem to quit, can I? I've added The Puppy Blender, The Lemon, Suburban Blight, and Meryl Yourish all to the main blogroll today.

Mom, skip Yourish for a week. She has a picture of (and a story about) an S-word. It should be off her front page soon.

I made a second list of blogs from the Alliance. I haven't linked everyone. Discriminating soul that I am, I have only about 60 - 70% of everyone. Main criteria?

  1. No unjustified (gratuitous) use of the f-word. Its overuse makes me yawn. We're writing because we're writers and possess a level of skill above Mr. or Ms. Everyday. We should refrain from speaking in those individuals' voices without reason.
  2. Good writing style and thought process.
  3. Enough/oft-updated content.
So, that's my deal. I made one exception to #1 for the Emperorr. He is, after all, the Emperor. Heh.


Posted by hln at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

The Lemon, Again

Thanks to Harvey of Bad Money for pointing out that The Lemon is yet again updated. Shamus is a riot - he's blogrolled.

I'm a Lemontarian, too.


Posted by hln at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

Quizilla Again

I took one more today:

You're a sphinx. You're one smart cookie, but
possibly a sociopath, seeing as you kill anyone
who can't answer your riddles correctly. The tv
show "who wants to be a millionaire"
would be much more interesting with you as the

which monster from classical mythology are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Posted by hln at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)


That's what I'm staring at now - rainy Labor Day Monday. No cycling today. My Esteemed Spouse has a blog entry highlighted by Suburban Blight's Cul-de-sac. I hadn't heard of this, but I see now I have a lot of reading before me.

So should you.


Posted by hln at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)