December 31, 2003


I didn't even SUBMIT anything for the Bonfire, and yet Kevin got me. I'm weeks behind on getting my name and writing (good and bad) "out there."


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December 29, 2003

Blackfive and Good Drinking, Good Food, and Coleman Grills

I had the recent pleasure of interviewing the blogosphere's own Paratrooper of Love this last Friday. This will be a bit out of order and, well, disjointed, but it's more fun that way. The later the entry, the more alcohol was consumed, and so on, and so forth.

It began as naming good drinking cities. It went elsewhere but stayed mostly on topic; we tried to hit all 50 states.

  • Boston - "#3, home of Sam Adams."

  • Chicago - #1 - great! [interviewer thinks he's biased]

  • Milwaukee - [Has a #2 by it but my notes say that Brian says "no." I don't remember Matt giving it a'd that get there?]

  • Philly - "#11 - "Claim to fame - beef with fried cheese - I love it." [Interviewer cringes again]

  • Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver - [All get "ok" ratings.]

  • Boulder, CO - "Big party town if you have a big trust fund."

  • Ames, IA - "Not so horribly bad."

  • Ann Arbor's "Great."

  • Lansing - "Cheap."

  • Arizona - "Nothing there." I don't think we ever even got to towns.

  • Annapolis - "Top 20." [He has an ex-girlfriend there - Sherry (I gave her the nickname of "Cooking") who sings in a bar.]

  • DC - "No, but Georgetown" [censored]

  • Virginia - Richmond - "Too many Marines"

  • Texas - [he transitions to food yet again] - "good BBQ"

  • Austin, San Antonio - "Okay."

  • Dallas - "Overrated. Cowboys suck. It'd be good for the sport if Troy Aikman" [censored]

  • Tulsa - "Not such a bad drinking town." [Brian noted that "it's a slut backwards."]

  • Tahoe - "Pretty good place." [censored] "But the lake is beautiful."

  • Las Vegas - "Never been."

  • Nona Rosa, San Francisco - "Great. Ask for Chris if you go there."

  • Malibu, LA "Okay" [Interviewee ranks beer above random women in this conversation. He likes grills, though. Something was mentioned about Armorall and Salma Hayek. Matt said, "You can Armorall her, too." [I don't believe this was a euphemism; it would have to be censored then, and I don't have a notation.]

  • Portland, OR - "#25. As weird as San Francisco, but not as expensive, not as big."

  • Seattle's "Okay - good place." [Matt then went into tour-guide mode, mentioning Pioneer Square, Gasworks Park, Fremont Republic. He mentioned "diverse" and used the words business suit and Rastafarian.]

  • Vancouver - "Great drinking town." [More tour guide stuff - buildings, cobblestone streets.]

  • Missoula - "Kinda okay. Bottom 100. But if you're in Montana and you have to go somewhere, it's a good place to go. Helena, no."

  • Wyoming? "No." [Somehow we digressed to a skiing tangent. I have no context.]

  • Utah - "Mormons." [He'll pass. Maybe ski there someday.]

  • South Dakota - Badlands "Okay."

  • North Dakota - "All they can do is drink."

  • Omaha - "Buddy was a Guinness distributor. Pull off the highway. $2 filet mignon. I'll take 6." [More toury stuff - historic downtown, 1850, 1860, saloons.] "Nothing else to do. Eat steak and drink beer."

  • Kansas - "No."

  • Indiana - "No. Mr. Green's from Indiana. Yeah, Indiana, no."

  • Alaska - "Hmm."

  • Mobile's - "Not too bad."

  • Mississippi - "No."

  • Georgia - "Hard drinking in Georgia."

  • New Orleans. [censored] "Anywhere you go and they ask you if it's for here or to go - that's a good place."

  • Charleston - "Great drinking town. If I can clean out all the scotch in one bar, that's not a good thing."

  • North Carolina - "Okay if you like tattoo parlors and strip joints." [disclaimer: Matt wishes that the 82d Airborne not take offense.]

  • Tennessee - "Every town in Tennessee is a good drinking town."

  • Louisville - "Good town. A lot of colleges nearby. Cool pubs and breweries downtown. Good place to raise a family. [Matt contrasts with North Carolina and then censors himself.]

  • South Carolina - "SC pride - bumper stickers. You buy them in bars. Women in South Carolina wear stuff with Carolina on it, and they don't mean North Carolina. Charleston - more pubs than any other town in the south." [See previous section about scotch.]

  • Alabama - "I don't want to piss anybody off in Alabama, so we'll just skip Alabama."

  • Minneapolis - "Good. Nothing else to do except freeze your ass off. They drink a lot of vodka. Good Indian restaurants. Closing time is midnight. This is a problem unless you start drinking at 3 or 4."

  • Newport, Rhode Island - "Take a ferry out to Block Island. 45 minute ride. Great place. Lots of bars."

  • Connecticut - "Ex girlfriend there." [She drove him to a lot of drinking.] "Bethel is a good place. Good ice cream. Meg Ryan's from there. This is bad; she left Dennis Quaid."

  • Buffalo - "Buffalo Wings - Tin Lizzie's. Quite a few others. What the hell else are you gonna do?"

  • New York, New York - "Too expensive."

  • Portland, Maine - "#99. Not a bad place."

  • Santa Fe, Albuquerque - "Fun place." [Heather challenged to accurately spell Albuquerque correctly. Bluffs. Takes a drink of water instead of wine.] "Good restaurants and all of the restaurants have good bars. Really, really nice. Could raise a family there, but your kids couldn't spell Albuquerque." [Further, this spelling of Albuquerque is much simpler while sober.]

  • Boise - "Great frickin' town. Skiing, weather, mountains, beer - underrated. Raise a family there. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore."

  • New Jersey - Jersey Shore - "Right before Desert Storm, couldn't buy a drink there - always covered with a blessing."

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico - "Lots of Tequila. Brings out the evil twin."

  • [Interviewer cannot read her last bit of notes about the University of Illinois area - something about grills, not girls, drinking, no skiing, and the food sucks - Olive Garden being the best you can get there.]
And there you have it.


Posted by hln at 07:56 AM | Comments (10)

December 28, 2003

New Blog Showcase

Wow - this week hasn't flown like some of the others where on Sunday I scratch my head and say, "wow, it's THAT time again."

Still, to get the voting thing done and checked off of my to-do list, my votes are for My Word's post and Front Page News' post on The Point.


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It's a Mad, Mad Cow

Hello. My name is Heather. I'll be the host of this blog. Again.

Been without Internet access for about 24 hours, and with the holidays and stuff, I've lost immediacy with the whole mad cow story. But, of course, others have put into print (at least on screen) their thoughts.

First I read was Kevin at Wizbang in his post Mad Cow Patties, and it covers the political bent taken on this issue. Evidently, Dr. Howard Dean points his parentally shaking finger at the Bush administration for not being able to immediately immobilize and something like magnetically (and instantly) recall any other of the bovine persuasion that may be affected. Oh, please. Eric Schlosser was seriously yapping (eloquently, I might add - that's not an affront) in his book Fast Food Nation, and that was released in 2001. That means it was written the previous year or two years. Mr. Dean, meet Mr. Schlosser. For more on that, I reviewed the book earlier.

Kevin's nicer than I am. He says:
    Instant traceability would be nice, but would have had no effect on the foreign boycotts of U.S. product. Nations have enacted immediate bans on our beef product just has we have done with Canadian beef and British beef before that. Whether or not we could instantly identify the history of the infected animal would have ZERO impact on bans. Immediate bans are a politically easy and popular mechanism to quell domestic uneasiness. Being able to block imports for good cause is also popular because it makes money for domestic producers; just ask US beef producers coming off their best year ever partially due to the ban on Canadian imports.
And he's absolutely right on the money here. It's as if everything changed in that second when the disease was identified. Ack! Panic! What else could be lurking?

And as to the sufferance of the beef industry, from a foreign standpoint, yes. Kevin again:
    Taxpayers are already supporting the cattle industry and farming in general with a byzantine myriad of federal programs. As many have pointed out the industry has lobbied against the kinds of controls now being called for, so a good case could be made for the fact that they made their bed and should now lie in it.
Ah, industry responsibility. "We can self-police." "Oops."

I'm going to segue for just a bit - yesterday I purchased the book known as Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf. Very small print, this one. It may be good it's in paperback. Publisher's Weekly calls it "A more generous view of the beef industry than Eric Schlosser's recent Fast Food absorbing first-hand account." Somebody get me a copy of The Jungle for my birthday in July?

But, excuse, me for a moment. I have to go shake the steaks in the marinade. Moo.


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December 24, 2003


Thanks to Susie, I'm a cookie.

You are a jam thumbprint.
What Kind of Cookie Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla


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December 23, 2003

So Restless Indeed

It's 10:23 p.m. I'm just now blogging, and I have given myself 7 minutes to complete this post. 5 a.m. comes early.

Do you recognize the lyric? Are you one of those people who can't sit still - who can't relax until exhausted? I am. It explains the cycling, the weight lifting, the volleyball. I think with inactive people they call this ADHD. And give them drugs. Actually, it's probably just the Type A personality. Or programmer's leg.

You've seen it, haven't you? The leg that bounces up and down. It's usually my right leg moving in some silly way. Often, it's the left tucked under the right and the right leg swinging. Motion. Gah! Must have motion.

Brian named it, and it's a habit I've seen with many in my profession. I don't think I've noticed it with the guys I work with, but I've seen it. Really, I have. We sit for such long periods of time. So often, I just can't deal. I have to get up and get more water. Shake the leg while standing. Just do SOMETHING. And when I'm in a hurry, oh, look out. Frenetic motion, pushing others aside; parting the slow flesh-colored seas. I'm on a MISSION, people; doncha see? The grocery store can stress me out. I have to suppress the "Rarr!" emotion and subsequent actions.

Why do people move slowly anyway (I'd best wrap up - 2 mins left)? I just don't get it. I mean, if you've already pulsed yourself into an exhausted heap and are melting in your own sweat, okay. But this languid sloth that overcomes most, uh, probably normal folk, I just don't get it. That being said, I'm going to go shake a leg in my sleep. Or something. And please tell me you can hear Simon LeBon, right?

"She's moody and grey, she's mean and she's restless..."

With editing, it's 10:33.

Good night. Rarr!


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December 22, 2003

Obesity and Laws. Again.

Today at Yahoo!, we learn that there are already some state-level laws in place.

Yeah, okay. I like the latter half of the article.
    "There's a lot of fear and hysteria," said Mike Burita at the Center for Consumer Freedom, an advocacy group for the restaurant and food industry. "We're allowing government and these public health groups to dictate our food choices to us."

    Among his top targets is the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group that produces a steady flow of warnings about unhealthy food, from movie popcorn to Chinese takeout.

    "It's OK to have a cheeseburger and fries, but it shouldn't be a mainstay of your diet," Burita said. Exercise and education are the solutions, he said. "Kids went from playing dodge ball to playing computer games."

    The skeptics are being heard. A Texas proposal to limit school children's access to snack and soda vending machines died after the state soft drink association complained. Most of the 80 or so obesity-related bills around the country also failed to pass.

    "It's difficult to want to tackle something like this, something as huge as this," said Weiner, the Nevada lawmaker. She plans to bring together people from the food industry and the public health community to work with lawmakers.
If people want to be fat, let them be fat. The only thing I've advocated so far is more detailed labelling. I'd be pretty obnoxiously vocal if somehow my favorite junk food were no longer available at my local grocery store, and that's where this may head someday if it goes out of control.

And can't you see it? A butter ration. "Mrs. Noggle, I'm sorry. You've purchased five tubs of butter in this last week. You can't have any more." Nevermind I just finished making 60 dozen cookies to give away (if you gain weight over the holidays, make sure everyone around you gains more!).

In my recent travels, I did notice that people seemed less overweight everywhere I went. In St. Louis, here, it's quite prevalent. But in San Francisco and around Massachusetts....naaa. Someone might carry an extra 10 or 20, but nothing that would cause the health uproar and nothing that couldn't be removed with some extra sweat and nutrition caution.

So there's the blog entry for the evening. I'm off to volleyball.


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December 21, 2003

New Blog Showcase (and Housekeeping)

Okay - should be back to normal blogging (more of it) in the coming weeks. I hope to actually have some time off where I'm not doing something Christmas related very soon.

Here's my vote for the New Blog Showcase.


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December 20, 2003

Cars for Women!

Michele at A Small Victory has a post about Volvo (you know - They're Boxy but They're Good) designing a car with women in mind. She says:
    So Volvo got a bunch of their female workers together and had them design a car with women in mind. This prototype will include such innovations as a valley down the center of the headrest for ponytail wearers, and an hood that can only be opened by a mechanic (who is contacted by some wireless thigamajig) because women just hate to be bothered with mechanical maintanence of a car.

Yeah. Strange, no? Cars are pretty unisex. The actual article says this:
    Volvo hopes the prototype will send a message to female buyers, who have long felt neglected by male designers and disrespected by dealerships.

    Beyond that, Volvo wants to shake up the male-dominated culture inside the company, something found at virtually all automakers. Ultimately, Volvo says, the project might help attract women employees as well as women buyers.
We should make cars for Asians! For people of Hispanic descent! Maybe not. Want to make a car appealing to women? Make it curvy and eye-catching. Oh, wait, that's just making the car appealing to me. How would I know what women want?

Just a bit more...

Model name? The Volva. Groan in unison, please.


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December 19, 2003

Suggestion Deception, What's Your Question?

Is suggestion deception?

Apparently so.

    MINNEAPOLIS - One of the state's most influential medical groups has joined the fray in saying officials should change language on the state Department of Health's Web site suggesting abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.

    In a letter obtained by the Star Tribune dated Dec. 9, Dr. Robert Meiches, head of the Minnesota Medical Association, said the site's language — while not exactly inaccurate — is misleading and confusing to women.

    The breast cancer language has generated controversy since it was first posted in September, because critics say it's designed to frighten women considering abortion.
Not inaccurate but misleading. How? Intent. And, please, tell me, a scholar of communication, how to scientifically ascribe intent to another human being or group of human beings. Together, we can publish one hell of a paper. You have a motive guess that may or may not be wrong. Hey, look, I twisted that sentence. Someone chide me for my journalistic bad behavior.

And back to the case at hand. Hey, abortion kills fetuses - whom some of us see as human beings! Would that not dissuade some pregnant lady folk who might be considering ridding themselves of what Ani DiFranco lyricizes "the son or daughter I thought better of." I'll bet it does. Does the word "kill" elicit fear? PETA certainly hopes so.

But here's the paragraph that flipped the switch on the Blog About flag to. 1. Here's the big, nasty, horrifying offensive language.

    The Web site, as well as a Health Department pamphlet, state that some studies suggest that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, while other studies suggest no increased risk. That contradicts the conclusions of the nation's leading medical institutions, including the National Cancer Institute (news - web sites), which found earlier this year that there is no evidence of an increased risk.

    "It is deliberately deceptive," said Dr. Janette Strathy, legislative director of the Minnesota branch of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "It oversimplifies a very complex situation with the goal of frightening the patient."
Let me repeat: "The Web site, as well as a Health Department pamphlet, state that some studies suggest that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, while other studies suggest no increased risk."

What's the complex situation? I'm lost.

Oh, and, hey, wait - we're Americans. We're too stupid to realize that medical studies might contradict each other and make up our own minds. "Suggest" means "Is." We can't read that sentence and conclude that there's conflicting evidence. You know what - a woman who never has children incurs increased risk for breast cancer. Quick, women, conceive! Hey, honey, do we have plans for this evening? I really ought to reduce my risk for breast cancer, no? I mean, it is my top priority, and reading that something might put me at risk puts me into immediate tizzy irrational panic! Aargh! What a euphemism that is anyway - reducing the risk of breast cancer.

[Reader: note change from Health category to RANT]

Interestingly, I side with the NCI on this one. If it says no increased risk, probably no increased risk. But goodness - quit the freak-out. Anybody disagree that further studies on breast cancer and all/any of its possible causes is a bad thing? Oh, the controversy of this complex issue. Let us plaster all of the newspapers with this horrible miseducation of our nation's women.


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December 17, 2003

Massachusetts Dose of PETA

I thought I'd feed you some local news this evening.

    Animal rights advocates will single out small children at performances of "The Nutcracker'' in the next few weeks by handing out fliers saying "Your Mommy Kills Animals'' to youngsters whose mothers are wearing fur.
Yes, involve those children. And in the dark, it'll be really obvious, obviously, which is real and which is fake fur. This just in from the Boston Herald.

    The fliers include a color drawing of a woman plunging a large bloody knife into the belly of a terrified rabbit. The fliers urge kids to "ask your mommy how many dead animals she killed to make her fur clothes.

    "And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer.''
First, idiots, you can't kill dead animals. That's like performing a post-mortem health examination. "Nurse, how's the dead rabbit doing?" "Still dead, doctor." Five minutes later "still dead." Second, PETA, pipe down. What is this target-the-kids racket? How low can you sink? If you've been reading me for any length of time, you know my beef with PETA is that now animal welfare folks (like me) are perceived as loony as PETA whackjobs. Yeah, great.

A child psychologist interviewed offered a nice rational attack.
    "It's using children in the worst possible way,'' she said. "If (the activists) want to legitimately work to protect animals from destruction for fashion, they have every right to. But to do so by targeting children and making them feel their mothers are murderers is absolutely unconscionable.''
Yeah, yawn - same vein as this. PETA! It's everywhere.


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December 16, 2003

"That's Not Really Saddam Hussein" and Other Travel Stories

Warning - another of Heather's disjointed travel stories. Kinda like this one.

So I'm flying out of Lambert this morning, and an old lady (who's wearing salmon-colored slacks and has six great-grandchildren she's never met but is about to) says to me while gesturing to CNN broadcasting from above:

"They say they got him, that Saddam Hussein. But I don't think they did." "Hmm" I say - very noncomittal, and much more interested in my imminent breakfast. "He has so many that look like him, you know," she continues.

And I think - wow, what a fun conspiracy that would be. Double #247, come on down! You're the next contestant in the DNA is Gonna Be Right!


So I fly into New Hampshire to rent a car and drive into Massachusetts (did I spell that right?). And in the airport, I notice a Dunkin' Donuts. "Got to make the donuts." Yeah, that. St. Louis has driven them outta town with Donut King taking over the previous locations. Also, of course, there's Krispy Kreme, and some of the groceries make their own. I shouldn't discount the local donutteries (like University City Donuts). But Dunkin' Donuts - maker of the best apple fritter ever. I noted it.

I drove 40 some odd miles to get to my destination, and, I kid you not, I must've seen EIGHT to TEN freakin' roadside free-standing Dunkin' Donuts shops. It's amazing. I saw more Dunkin' Donuts than I saw Subways. Than McDonald's. How do they survive?

Walgreen's is kinda like that in Missouri. My mother has this theory that the stores are just pods sent from outer space. Phoom! A new Walgreen's. "Hey, wait, Bob, was that drugstore there last week?" Me, I have a sound effect for it. If you've ever played Civilization III, the sound effect is the noise that's made when you turn your settler into a city. If you haven't played, get thee to Best Buy, spend $10, and get the game. At least then you'll have a point of reference for this silly post.

I'm sitting in the business center of my hotel, not having connectivity in my room. Because of this, posting will be sporadic or nonexistent for the next few days.

And if you don't hear from me by Friday, assume one of those Dunkin' Donuts stores ate me to feed its profits. Or something.


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December 15, 2003

Well, Doh!

Yeah, I rigged it, but oh well.

chef jpeg
You are the the Swedish Chef. You are a talented individual, nobody understands you. Perhaps it's because you talk funny.

FAVORITE EXPRESSION: "Brk! Brk! Brk!" (it's BORK you sillies!)

Kokin' der yummee-yummers

"Wild Strawberries...and Creme"

"Der Swedish Chef Kokin' Bokin'"

"Vergoofin der flicke stoobin mit der brk-brk

What Muppet are you?
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Found all over Munuviana! Ambient Irony and Jennifer's History and Stuff.


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Philosophical Moments

Wow, I seem to have a pretty serious Aristotelian bent, according to this test, found via The Evangelical Outpost.

My top matches:

1. Aristotle (100%)
2. Aquinas (89%)
3. David Hume (86%)
4. Ayn Rand (79%)
5. St. Augustine (75%)
6. Plato (71%)

I'm not sure Aristotle, Sir Thomas, and Mr. Skeptic Hume would get along very well if kept in a warm room for 6 hours without a door and/or windows. So how's that work in my head?That's my first thought. Do I contradict myself? I don't think I do. No, wait, I do. Naa.

I am pleased to note that Utilitarianism never made an appearance. It's hiding under the dust ruffle in my guest bedroom.


Posted by hln at 06:54 PM | Comments (4)

Watch Your Aorta?

Okay, this was the oddest thing in the health feed I got today.

    WASHINGTON - Bill Linski was lying down watching television when he felt as if something in his chest was being ripped apart. The largest artery in Linski's body, the aorta, was splitting. It took a major operation to keep him together, and his surgeon thinks Linski's weight training triggered his brush with death.

    The pain began in the middle of Linski's chest, went away for a half second, then returned, racing up through his neck and into his jaw, leaving him wheezing.

    Linski was only 21. He had worked out that morning to prepare for competitive bodybuilding, and at first tried to pass it off as muscle pain or heartburn. But his father had died of a massive heart attack at age 38, and "in the back of my mind, I pretty well knew something was going on," he said.
You can read the article - it's basically about this special, strange case. The pic of Mr. Linski shows one heck of an awesome scar (repeat after me: scars are sexy), and it also illustrates the incline press with dumbbells. And, I doubt I need to tell you what that helps you avoid.

Sparing your drinking since I made you all drink this weekend,


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The Funniest Thing I've Seen All Day

And, yes, I'm going to make you click the link to get to it. Worth it. I nearly choked on lunch.

No wonder I'm fearful of men with beards.


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December 14, 2003

New Blog Showcase

And...500th post. Does that legitimatize me or something? Likely no. 500 more.

I especially liked anti-antiwar's hope for success. Equally impressive was the post on Locke, or Demosthenes about economics and reconstruction contracts.


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A Difference of Opinion

By now, of course, everyone is aware of the capture of Saddam Hussein. Brian and I were at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis this morning, having stayed there last evening after his company's Christmas party.

I was washing my face, and I heard him explain, "Oh, my God." A few moments later I emerged, and the television lower caption told the story before the reporter, who was explaining a tangent of the operation.

I felt immediate relief.

I'm not sure why that was my first reaction, but I've given it a bit of thought, and I think that's because Hussein's capture is tangible. It is a very good thing that we have the man alive and not dead. Alive, perhaps he can save lives. Alive but defeated, and perhaps those who were fearful can move on. Alive but defeated, and perhaps his allies will slowly, one by one, concede defeat.

Unrelated but still today, I went to do my duty for voting for the New Blog Showcase, and I found this post by N.Z. Bear. This week, sponsorship goes to the Liberal Coalition. Having never visited, I did exactly that, and I found some postulating about how democratic contenders might spin Hussein's capture to their advantage. Each point taken alone seems weak. I said as much, and then I ventured to the source of the post.

The weblog is DOHIYI MIR, and this is the first time I've seen it. So I read along a bit. This post seems accurate. And this heartfelt. But here's where my mental brakes screeched. The post is entitled Truth With a Side of Lies. Not the lies thing again, but, alas, yes.

    The bad guys attacking our soldiers are not terrorists--they are guerrillas, engaged in an insurgency. Nor are they a direct threat to the American people--or is this an admission that the neo-con's beloved "flypaper strategy" is a failure? I'll further note that we created the current violent environment in Iraq through an illegal invasion and inept occupation.

    Regardless, these statements are proof positive that Bush offers only fear to the American people.
And I have this to say. I started to comment on the site, but I believe I lost the top part of the comment, so this is a safer haven for my words. I don't address the "created the current violent environment in Iraq though illegal invasion and inept occupation." I just let that slide. But the post brought out my own thoughts, and they are not in accord with the author's. Seldom do you see me wax political - mostly because there are others who do so much more eloquently and effectively - from both sides of issues. But today - here we are. My response:

Of course it does. The continuation of violence in Iraq going on, that is. How do you stop a suicide bomber? You don't. He or she could be any person in a crowd (or car), willing to sacrifice his or her life to destroy and take the lives of others. We face cowards who are willing to die, kill those whom they do not know and may not begrudge, and give no warning.

I don't think there's any way to "win" against one. Or many.

The violence in Iraq will continue. It will continue long after we are gone, too, likely.

Is all of it senseless? Of course it is. I heard something on the radio today from a former army so and so - tuned in too late to catch who he was. But he made pretty much this same point and that it was highly unlikely that Saddam Hussein was coordinating the attacks himself.

Just a few thoughts. In an earlier post, you say "Truth With a Side of Lies." I hate this approach because everything else I'd read on this blog seemed to include balanced argument. Because person X and person Y disagree, and person Y is in power, person X labels his words as lies.

Take your classification of guerillas. I disagree, and I'll take to the dictionary.

Guerilla - A member of an irregular, usually indigenous military or paramilitary unit operating in small bands in occupied territory to harass and undermine the enemy, as by surprise raids. (from

Okay - suicide bombings - yeah, it fits either way - terrorist or guerilla. You believe one way, and I believe the opposite? Is one of us lying? No, I don't believe so. It's merely semantics.

You are correct that the people who are attacking our soldiers are not a direct threat to "the American people." Why? Because right now they're in Iraq! We have no way of knowing the outcome and occurrences of the last 8 months had we not engaged in war. Have we done any good in Afghanistan though we have not found bin Laden? Some would say that we have not. My measure is that there have been no follow-up attacks on American soil since September 11, 2001.

Would there have been further terrorist attacks had we quivered in a diplomatic corner - had we tried to merely move on with our lives as if nothing had occurred?

I have no idea. I cannot postulate because these things did not occur. And if I cannot postulate about an alternative reality, then, truly, neither can anyone else.

Pray for peace and stability. As I do.


Posted by hln at 01:51 PM | Comments (10)

December 13, 2003


Yes, really. Type that into MSN, and you get me. Of course, you also get Slashdot (uh, of course), Log Cabin Crafts, and then three CHOICE porn sites. Don't worry - just screenshot pics of the first pages, so you can click the link, but I'd suggest you not do this at work.

To searching person, sorry. Nothing about me bespeaks bunny or busty. I can tell you how to avoid manboobs, though. Drink up.


Posted by hln at 03:00 PM | Comments (4)

December 11, 2003

Candy-Coated, Baby

Brian and I both work full time. We sometimes talk about the not-too-distant future when perhaps this will not be necessary. I'm not sure who started it, but the euphemism for the non-worker is the one who "sits" (or lies) "on the couch and eats bon-bons all day."

Of course, in recent years, that's been amended (if the person of reference is me) to "sit on the couch and eat bon-bons for 10% of the day and spend the rest of the day working 'em off." Yeah.

At any rate, last evening, we had the bon-bon discussion for some reason. And I said, "what is a bon-bon?"

And Brian intimated that he thinks it's a little individual ice cream treat. Later, of course, after I'd looked up the definition, he CLAIMED that this was not the ONLY kind of bon-bon, but rather it was HIS mental bon-bon. Or something.

To me, a bon-bon is a chocolate-covered cherry candy or something like that. And, realistically, I could probably down six or so without feeling sick, but, OY, that seventh one might just do me in.

In a non-related discussion that I referred to today while conversing with Hans, I had a joke with a friend that overeating different foods led to said non-burned calories appearing en masse as attached to one body part. Like, y'know, fudge goes to your nose. He said that the Nutri-Grain billboards have helped him avoid Cinnabons and their Siren calls at airports. Not bad, eh? (And in a non-related note direct to Hans, gotta love this good software design.) Someone call in [suspenseful music] The Tester.

Wow, I'm all over the place tonight. Blogging overdose. So, back on topic. Now YOU know what a bon-bon is. And you know what it signifies in the Noggle household. And how to keep it off your middle finger? Good-good.


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The Twelve o'Clock Flasher

Get your minds out of the gutter!

I hadn't seen this yet, so when I opened the e-mail from my friend Tim, I had a good humor day starter. And if you haven't seen it yet (likely you have), it's worth five minutes of your time.

I present to you "Internet Help Desk." I have so been that guy.


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December 10, 2003

And While I'm Mostly Away...

I would like to kindly remind you that there is plenty of solid, well-written Noggle posting conducted by the greater Noggle.

Brian invents a new curse word at the expense of one of the Democratic "finest."

And then he reminds you about your paltry salary.

Good night. I'll tell you all about bon-bons sometime tomorrow.


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December 07, 2003

A Break?

Well, I really haven't managed to post this week. Or read. I'm miles behind, and I think I may take a bit of a break until I get my feet back planted on the ground. See you...sometime soon?


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New Blog Showcase

This week brought some fine writing.

I enjoyed reading Rose Buroway, Political Scientist from Although the author and I probably don't share too many common political views, the writing was sound, the language luscious, and I'll return to the blog. I also want to learn more about Guantanamo after reading that.

On the non-political end of the spectrum, "When John Denver Died" gets my vote.


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December 06, 2003


Hans sent me this - a blog entry about masking credit card numbers now being law!

The reason he sent it? I am notorious for blacking out my credit card number on paper - especially at restaurants.

I needed some good news today. (Granted, it's something that shouldn't NEED a law, but, we'll, y'know).


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December 04, 2003

Ahem, Mr. Green

Let's talk a bit about communication, readers. I have a degree in it, so that ought to count for something.

With any message, there's, at the simplest, a sender and a receiver. Now, I as a sender may have one intent when he or she releases the message, and the receiver may twist it in a way to suit his or her needs/desires (I shouldn't talk about needs or desires in this post). I believe that's what happened here. I mean, I do it myself - like take Frank J. literally and laugh at him when he calls his brother a bastard.

I digress.

You see, I mentioned this to Mr. Green, in response to a quite funny post (most of them are lately - he's doing well on that funny pill regimen). I shall quote myself.
    First, you are quickly becoming one of the blogosphere's funniest bloggers.

    Second, you forgot to mention Gainpro penis enlargement. When I first began blogging, this is where ALL my hits came from (I went through the spam in my hotmail inbox one day, and 25% of the mail was from Gainpro).

    Gainpro! Put it in your main post.

And here's what er, arose from it. Be ready to laugh. Mother, you may chide him. Go comment on his blog.

Hey, everybody, it's penis humor week at angelweave!


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Sick, Ill, Turning Stomach. Reaves Family, Meet Chante Mallard

Meet Rodney Michael Reaves and Charlott Lynett Reaves. I'd introduce you to Rodney's daughter, Joella, but I can't, you see. She's dead.

The girl was 11. According to this article in CNN (that I found via Boots and Sabers - Owen posted it yesterday), the father and stepmother were "punishing" the child for trying to leave the home.
    The girl, Joella Reaves, was beaten over her entire body with an umbrella and paddle for several days, according to the arrest warrant. Her cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma.

    "When she attempted to escape, she was hogtied. She was left with no food or water or sanitary or sleeping necessities," the warrant said.

    Joella was being punished by her parents, according to the warrant. Police, attorneys and child welfare officials would not say what she had done to anger her parents.
Maybe she didn't do anything at all. What I do know, is there is nothing so terrible she could have done to warrant a fraction of this treatment. When I introduce the Reaves adults to Chante Mallard, I mean to say that they're going to meet in the 7th circle of hell, round 1. All boiling in blood together.

Good riddance, and may guilt rot any remnant of your soul.


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Welcome to Mike the Marine

Mike the Marine has made the transition from reader to writer/reader. And it's a good thing.

He fisks an automobile?

He offers a disclaimer!

He's also getting blogrolled as soon as I find the time to update. Breathe, Heather, breathe. Probably this weekend, Mike. "Blogroll changes" is on the whiteboard.

Oh, and he reads me daily? I never would've known. He only comments like y'know, once every month maybe. Am I that uncommentable people, I mean, come on! If you'd have signed up for a Christmas card, you would've had the bonus of a PETA address label (which I just think is hilarious), but noooooo, you people who have the audacity to visit me and NOT COMMENT and NOT E-MAIL and NOT LINK to some of my brilliant artistry...okay, I'd best chill.

This post was about Mike the Marine, right? I think I need to get to the gym. Focus, Heather. A manic blogger does no one any good.


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Gephardt and Unions

Big stuff here in archland - all that was really on the news on the 6:00 p.m. drive home (with the exception that there are some computer-drawn images of the new St. Louis Cardinals ballpark to be).

A couple of unions request the head of one of Richard Gephardt's campaign managers on a platter. Stat.


    Gerald McEntee and Andrew Stern, presidents of two of the largest AFL-CIO unions, demanded in a sharply worded letter that Gephardt fire Joyce Aboussie, his campaign vice chair, saying she issued an "ultimatum" to their unions during a meeting Monday in St. Louis County that also included Gov. Bob Holden.

    Aboussie suggested that she would take steps to get a key collective bargaining order for state workers rescinded if the two unions tried to help Dean in Missouri, McEntee and Stern said.
Yesterday, on KMOX, there was a short soundbite from Aboussie. The Post-Dispatch quotes it in this article.

    Aboussie issued a statement Wednesday saying her meeting with the AFSCME and SEIU officials was "not authorized" by Gephardt or the campaign. "In a candid discussion of Missouri politics, I expressed my belief that people in Missouri Democratic politics were upset by the SEIU/AFSCME endorsements of Howard Dean," she said. "If anyone felt threatened by what I said, I apologize."
Gephardt's applying the Teflon™ approach.

    A Gephardt campaign spokeswoman, Kim Molstre, said Aboussie would not be fired. But she quickly tried to distance Gephardt from the incident. "Dick knew nothing about this. He did not give authorization for this to happen. And as far as he's concerned . . . when Joyce was in this meeting, she was not speaking as a representative for the Gephardt campaign," Molstre said.
And the meat of the issue.
    McEntee and Stern said Aboussie warned that if they didn't comply, she would send a letter signed by 22 Democratic state legislators calling for the repeal of Holden's executive order giving state employees collective bargaining rights, a longtime public service union goal.
Such infighting! Can't we all just get along?

The Sophorist wrote on this also.


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December 02, 2003

The Grinning Masturbator

Yes, this week I'm starting early, hoping to post a script on the wall of the Champagne Room.

It was a cool October day in 1994. Yes, really, it was, but I was still wearing a really, really short dress (which I still have and wear). I was casually dating a young man - this being my senior year of college - and I had taken him out for his, heh, 19th birthday earlier that day. I was also wearing rather high heels (because said young man was 6'5" 'em tall).

I normally had class that lasted up until almost 4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I'm certain this was a Tuesday or a Thursday. But, no, not this day. For some reason my late class was cancelled, so I was walking across the street (which was done using an underpass) and into the "nicest" parking lot on campus. It cost $65 a year to park there, and I had splurged, seeing as this was my last semester of college, fall of '94.

My car was near the back of the lot, which faced Elm Street, so this perhaps can be filed under Nightmare on, but it's just too damned funny.

I approached the car, and I was on the same row as it but walking west. Heels slow a woman down, so when I heard a car behind me, I figured I was in its way and stepped to the right.

The car did not pass.

I have this uncanny sense sometimes. Do you? Do you just KNOW when something's not quite right? Or when someone is watching you a bit too intently for your comfort?

I turned my head to the left, and driving slowly alongside me was a bearded man (dark hair, dark beard). His automobile was a current (at that time) tan coupe, a Camry or something. He was smiling...oh was he smiling. And he was in motion, even if his car was really, well, not.

And y'know what? He wasn't wearing any pants. And that wasn't the stick shift and a moving "OK" sign. Yeah - he's grinning pretty madly - as if it's normal for a dark-bearded man to be lying (driving) in wait to stun me with his original rendition of air penis. I mean, WHAT THE HELL!

Well, what's a girl to do? Original reaction was just shock, I said "Oh Shit!" There was no one around to hear me, but I didn't feel like I was in any immediate danger, so I did a logical thing (besides laughing hysterically) - I walked toward other people instead of tipping this guy off as to which car was mine.

And I didn't look back.

I went to work - American National Property and Casual Insurance. ANPAC. I mentioned to the girls and ladies there what had just happened, and they all said, "report the guy!" That hadn't even come across my mind, but, yeah, I could've been a 16 year-old or something, or easily shocked. That could really have bothered me instead of eliciting the "Oh Shit!" response.

So, I'm living with my parents that semester. I come home, and they've got some company - can't remember who. I tell my story, crack my mother up, and she agrees I should report the guy. So I do on the next day, and campus' police system has had other complaints for a man fitting a similar description.

Some time passes, probably a year. I've actually moved to Columbia, MO at this point and am enrolled in grad school and working as a legal secretary. My mother calls me at work. Campus police gave her a ring trying to find me to see if I can come on down and look at some mug shots, attempt to identify the guy. I tell her, "sure." She said the officer explained who he was and why he was calling, and she said, "oh, you mean the grinning masturbator?" At which point he tried to keep his composure but let slip a few chuckles.

So, call me they did - at work. And the officer said, "do you think you could identify him? And I said, "clothed or unclothed?"

Turns out, the pictures that they offered me a few weeks later when I went home for a weekend were not the guy. But, hey, great story, no?

And I really don't like dark beards. I think all dark-beareded men must own some stashed away, uh, stained? 1994 tan coupe or 10. Sorry Harvey, but now you have the whole story why Heather doesn't like bearded dudes.


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Adam Posts!

No, really - it's like one a month, but I do enjoy reading it. It's entitled "Why I hate being a republican, or my secret life as a democratic stooge." Interestingl...a sample:

    I love the language of this article. It is an amazing tribute to how "the right wing media machine" loves to slant everything wildly. Demon-crats and Communists hold hands and dance on the graves of hardworking American families. Yeah, ok... Just like I'm a uncaring facist who slays children in their sleep to ensure the racial purity of our nation.
The post.


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Quick Links

I'm way behind in reading, and I made some inroads in catching up yesterday, but, naa, let's face it - I'm behind.

A few quick things of note around the blogosphere.

Kate's resumed Letter of the Day with "M" yesterday. M linkees, I'll try to get to you, but, sigh...

Kevin of Wizbang! is accepting nominations for Weblog Awards (many, many categories).

Little Green Footballs is sponsoring the 2003 Robert Fisk Award for Idiotarian of the Year (found via Wizbang).

Snooze Button Dreams offers The Bestofme Symphony. Posts you submit must be at least 2 months old, and they don't have to be your posts. Check it out. (Saw this on Jennifer's History and Stuff and Electric Venom.)

Blackfive is running a virtual Soup Kitchen.

Baldilocks offers some well-thought words on the death of a 400-pound man who had a likely drug-induced run-in with some police officers. Oh, and he was black.

Trey Givens is back. The Peruvian ladies love him.

Hans is posting. Like, a lot. He gently laments the fall of Blogshares.

Frank J. is having a readership drive. Huh? I pointed him to the Bartender.

Jennifer admonishes the blogger suffering from blog multiplicity.


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Speaks For Itself

    CHICAGO (AFP) - Women smokers face twice the risk of developing lung cancer as men, but it is not yet clear why the cancer risk for women is higher, according to the findings of a study.

    The study, presented here to the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, also found women smokers faced a much higher risk than men of developing lung cancer no matter how often they smoked or how old they were.

    "We found that women had twice the risk of developing lung cancer as men, independent of how much they smoked, their age, or the size and textures of nodules found in their lungs," explained Claudia Henschke, a professor of radiology and division chief of chest imaging at the Cornell Medical Center in New York.
Wow. So, ladies, what're you going to do?



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December 01, 2003

King of Blogs

One step closer to crowning the King!

First Round Winners at the King of the Blogs Tournament are... Visit.


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Put This Man Out of a Job

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Baptist minister whose fall from grace began with a fire his wife set at a home he had secretly bought with his mistress will walk out of prison on Sunday and head directly to the pulpit.
No. No no no no no.

Would you take spiritual guidance from THIS man? (I haven't even gotten to the rest of his wrongdoings. It gets worse.)

The answer, most seriously, is no way. I don't remember ever writing about Christianity, my beliefs. Perhaps now is the time.

I have exactly 10 minutes, so I'll not be able to do an insightful Michael Williams-style post complete with scripture passages, but I think I'll amble along just fine with the points I intend to make.

Ministers - members of the clergy - undergo rigorous instruction in the faith. I can't speak for the Baptist denomination, but Lutheran ministers who study in the seminary learn to read Hebrew to more fully understand the Bible in its original language/context. Those of us who are familiar with Christianity and its teachings know and can recite the ten commandmants. Armed with that alone, this man knew better.

He knew - or should have known - that there are consequences for actions. For him, indeed, the consequences were great regardless of whether or not he was ever "caught."

The bible speaks that we are lost souls without God. I've always interpreted that to mean that God, through Jesus, has saved us. That we still have the responsibility to ourselves and to God to try to lead the best possible life, and through parables and teachings, the actions of Jesus, we are given the path. The man who "stands around" and "waits" for spiritual guidance is nothing more than a sheep who will never find his shepherd, not truly believing that he has been given the tools he needs to live an as-virtuous-as-possible life.

Back to this man. Sexual sins by the clergy are reprehensible. I never commented on the Catholic debacle, and this will suffice to say I'll not do so again, but the theme ties here. The actions of leaders, who are given power and authority IN THE NAME OF GOD, must be beyond reproach. Especially in this world where so many dismiss Christianity due to the scandals and corruption. How can we expect those who don't believe - especially rational adults - to look past the messes made by people and find God when their own husbands, wives, and children may be nothing more than eventual prey?

Now, am I qualified to judge? No, not really. I am also not a spiritual leader, and though God may see a sin as a sin, societally, we know different.

And, societally, we judge and decide what we believe. I tell you this man is an obvious disservice to Christianity.

Now, that being said, I'll give you some more meat from the article
    Lyons will have completed his prison sentence on grand theft and racketeering charges, but will remain on probation for the next three years on federal charges of including bank fraud and tax evasion. He also owes $2.5 million in restitution.

    Wildly popular and charismatic, Lyons was at the height of his power as pastor of Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church and president of the National Baptist Convention 1997, when Deborah Lyons set fire to the house.

    The resulting investigation unmasked Lyons' use of his leadership role at the convention to access millions of dollars to finance his lavish lifestyle. Officials estimate that Lyons took about $4 million to buy luxury residences, jewelry and support his mistresses.
I believe I am finished.


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