June 30, 2004

Expect More Rat Bastards

Rat drug may boost sex drive in women, study finds.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A drug that seems to drive female rats mad for sex may offer the first real scientific aphrodisiac for women, U.S. and Canadian researchers have said.

James Pfaus of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and colleagues there and at Palatin tested the drug on female rats and found it affected their mating behavior.

The drug, Palatin Technologies Inc's PT-141, is being developed for use to fight impotence in men, but the researchers said tests showed it also aroused female rats.

"Accordingly, PT-141 may be the first identified pharmacological agent with the capability to treat female sexual desire disorders," they wrote in their report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The female rats flirted more when injected with the drug and Pfaus and his colleagues said: "Females treated with the highest dose of PT-141 also attempted to mount the males." In rats, this is considered a sign of sexual impatience.
The female rats flirted more. Did you get that? I mean, did you really picture Minnie in a teddy with some fake eyelashes and some serious blink action? Embrace it. Flirty rat chickees.

Rats swinging their hips, meowing, lowering their voices and filling them with husk. Whole new meaning to the word "ratify."


Posted by hln at 09:28 PM | Comments (3)

June 26, 2004

Window Coverings

Could there be anything I am less interested in learning about? No. But our two non-standard sized windows in our bedroom need something, and I need complete dark for a good night's sleep. Any experts willing to give advice? All of the precision measurements and strange lengths of what we saw at Sears when we visited gave me one ugly headache.

Do you just deal with the fact that drapes/curtains (for I truly don't know the difference) are going to be way too long? Do I have to put on seamstress hat and cutslashhem? We know that horizontal blinds are a bad idea because that's what the house came with. Cats like to poke their heads (and often bodies) between them. That leaves some discombobulated (spelling?) horizontal blinds.

Can I borrow someone's fairly drapemother and just wake up tomorrow and have this be done?


Posted by hln at 02:56 PM | Comments (3)

June 25, 2004

Home Depot

Brian and I just finished turning our rather large bedroom/library purple. We took many trips to Ace Hardware (right around the corner) and one big one to Home Depot, where we procured our purple paint and most of the things that help it adhere to the wall.

I was quite pleased this morning when I read that Home Depot is donating $1 million worth of tools to the US military in Iraq. Go Home Depot!

Whoever does the overseas shipping for these guys is doing a happy dance right now, too. For sure.
The company said it is sending eight truck trailers to the military, filled with 100,000 tools and materials, including shovels, table saws, concrete mixers, safety scaffolding, power generators, light bulbs and jackhammers. The donated goods left San Diego on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the company also donated $1 million, as well as a million volunteer hours by its employees, to help military families repair and maintain their homes while a family member is deployed. The company said it has more than 1,800 employees currently serving in the military effort. It has about 300,000 employees nationwide.

Having recently returned from serving in Iraq, I know firsthand that our troops appreciate the fact that our communities and our country continue to show their support," said a statement from Tom Wagner, assistant store manager for The Home Depot in San Diego and a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

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June 20, 2004

Tour de Cure

Yesterday's Tour de Cure was held in almost perfect weather - drop the wind about 5 - 7 mph, and then we're in the "Perfect Weather Zone." As it stands, it was cool enough that I was more comfortable in tights over my shorts.

The routes were 25, 43.5ish, and 100. I did the 43.5ish route and wimped out of the 100, but I'm up to ride again today, bits of saddle soreness and all.

My team, Velocity, will pull in close to or right at $5,000. I'll post some pictures when I get them - I wasn't one of the folks with a digital camera. But the jerseys are amazing. Venerated jersey designer.


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June 19, 2004

Paul Johnson

I have spent the last hour and a half thinking about Paul Johnson. It's 4:53 a.m.

I knew Mr. Johnson would die. I knew how he would die. As Kevin Alyward posted, "As noted here earlier in the week Johnson's fate was sealed from the beginning and he may have even been dead for days. The demands of the kidnappers were a ruse."

Normally, I don't touch the weighty topics. Too emotional to form an argument. But with an hour and a half of thought organization, I think I can eke out a few points.

We - citizens of the Western world, Americans especially, are individuals. We see each other as such, which is why the kidnap/beheading tactic is so horrible and therefore "effective." The victim is a person, and then, at the hands of al Qaeda, he suddenly is not.

This isn't about any war. This is about crimes of opportunity - al Qaeda's aims are met in any event. If a Western nation caves to the demands of terrorism, surely more terrorism will ensue. We all know the flip side to that also resolves the same.

Paul Johnson is an American. He is also a husband, an employee, and many other things we will maybe never know. He may or may not have been a good person. He is dead. He is dead at the hands of those who would seek to do the same to you and me if given the chance. How long before one of us is plucked from American soil and subjected to the same fate? And how will America react to the beheading of the first female victim? These are real possibilities.

There is pure evil in the world, and in this instance, it hides itself in the name of its god. That sickens me.

But America, in all of the projection of its vapid culture, is still a nation of individuals - people who matter, not a citizenry that's expendable, disposable, and ignored. And when we band together in support - in churches, in families, as a nation, we are one mighty and powerful force. And that force is not malevolent.

As a civilized people, we try to find compassion and understand those who seek our destruction. Give it up already. There's nothing available within your psyche to understand. Ask yourself what it would take for you to group with people to snatch a person, depersonalize that person in the sake of "political gain," and then brutally murder that person - a human being. Can't go there? Nothing comes to mind?



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June 16, 2004

Turns of Phrase

I love original and strange turns of phrase, and I have to tell you folks, I'm married to the master turner. If you haven't read Brian today, go and read him just because of this line.
Just open up your maws, little cheepies, and mama CNN will regurgitate its truth down your gullet for your own good.
It may just be the bird humor that gets me. I'm still stuck on that "shut your seed-cracking beak" bit. I know, I know. You all are WAY tired of that.


Posted by hln at 08:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sand: A Danger to Self and Others

It's my civic duty to report this stuff. Sand is a menace. A MENACE, I say.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Although it rarely happens, children can be killed while playing in sand. "Sand dunes, beach digging, and other areas of substantial sand buildup, including deep backyard sandboxes, represent the greatest risk," researchers warn.

The cases of two children illustrate the potential hazard. In one instance, a 10-year-old boy was killed when the tunnel he was digging in his large backyard sandbox collapsed and buried him. In the other, another 10-year-old died after a sand pile buried him at the construction site where he and his friends were playing.

Both boys died of suffocation due to the pressure of the sand on their chests.
Not to demean the deaths of two human beings, but...sand? We've all heard of quicksand because, by golly, we played Pitfall! as children. But this other stuff, don't you feel safer now that you know? Cancel that plane ticket to Tatooine yet?

Next week, we discuss the dangers of pink plastic spoons. And, next month, safety experts will host a forum regarding proper fitting of your helmet before you play in the sand. In 2006, it'll be the law.


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Word Wiggle

Word Wiggle is online Boggle. I'm having a pretty good time with it - nice thing to do for lunch. There're tournaments and stuff, and I have a LOT of three and four-letter words to learn. I figure this will make me better at Scrabble, and Brian will stop taunting me when he's winning (because he'll be winning less, you see).


Posted by hln at 08:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Survey Says

Two nights ago, I answered the phone to find a computerized survey on the other end. It started asking me about my political beliefs, and it was pretty obvious the thing was slanted right because if you answered "yes" to the questions, they were all conservative beliefs.

I spewed forth a bunch of yesses. The last question was phrased strangely, though, probably because the sponsors of the survey were too cheap to program the survey to respond to anything but yes and no.

The last question asked, "Are you male?" I answered no, and I felt weird about it, as though that were somehow negative to the Republican party.

Just a thought.


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June 15, 2004

PETA Profile

Haven't blogged about PETA in a while, so here you go.

Bruce "Sit Ubu Sit, Good Dog" Friedrich takes his game to reality TV - Showtime to be exact.
Friedrich has been selected to appear this summer on "American Candidate," a Showtime reality series in which competitors will tackle a series of challenges to demonstrate what goes into the making of a presidential candidate.

"I do appreciate the opportunity to be a face for animal rights, a face for PETA and a face for compassion for all animals," said Friedrich, the man behind such PETA stunts as passing out "Unhappy Meals" to children to try to get McDonald's to improve living conditions for its chickens.
Eat a drumstick for our pal, Bruce, will ya? A trip to KFC is in order. Bruce promises that this show, unlike the rest of reality TV, will raise "important issues."


So sorry I missed this - I could've brought back digital pictures!
St. Louis — Holding signs that read, "The Colonel’s Secret Recipe: Live Scalding, Painful Debeaking, Crippled Chickens," and displaying an assembly line of "chickens" with "blood" dripping from their slit throats, members of PETA will protest the abusive treatment of animals by KFC suppliers at a local KFC restaurant. The protest is part of an international campaign launched by PETA after years of failed negotiations with KFC’s parent corporation, Yum! Brands:
A bucket o' fun, for sure. (Not exactly big news in the area...didn't find a single mention of it on


Hans - you up for this? PETA's is looking for the Sexiest Vegetarians. I won't tell them you occasionally indulge on fish and shellfish. It can be your secret...between you and the Internet.


Brian Carnell of smacks down PETA for its children outreach tactics.

That's enough PETA for a night. I'll be sure to tell you when they send me another nickel.


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The Female of the Species is More Deadly Than the Male?

Don't disrespect the sisters.

I would've expected an article about fighting tendencies and girls/young adults to be about hair pulling. Not quite what this one says.
For both girls and boys, the most common reason for a fight was teasing or "being disrespected." In contrast to incidents between boys, clashes between girls were more often a recurrence of a previous fight.

Compared to boys, violence among girls was more likely to occur at home and it was more likely a family member would intervene to stop the violence.

The study also found weapons were present more often in incidents involving at least one girl and that girls were more likely than boys to be injured by a weapon, especially blunt objects such as sticks or rocks.
I've never fought anyone - never had to, kind of a peacekeeping type anyway. Well, okay, except for insulting perfect strangers for their behavior that might damage my person (like those idiots who smoke right next to the gas pump...perfect example). Still, no real altercations. I'm trying to imagine angering someone so much that a full-on fight would ensue. Not bad in my 8-14 year-old period of life. Worst that happened was a bunch of girls calling me a bitch at recess in the 5th grade. I got over it.

Any violence issues for you guys during that time period?


Posted by hln at 07:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 14, 2004

No Brainer

According to this test, I am 78% left brained. I'm somehow 62% right-brained. That must explain, that number totalled, why I'm so smart. Or something.

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (62%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (78%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by

Link found on Mike Courtney's blog.


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6/14/1989 - the 15th Anniversary

I posted about this last year - 6/14/89 being my first day in the working world. It's been 15 years. Wow.

Next week I am lucky enough to start a two-week vacation. I'm off work from 6/19/04 (Saturday) until 7/6/04 (the Tuesday I return). This is the longest vacation I've had since 1993, and I am really, really excited about it. More posting then, I'm sure.

The remainder of this week is dedicated to final preparations for Tour de Cure, a charity event to raise money to fight diabetes, which is Saturday. I'm wimping out and doing the 50 miles - not in shape enough to do the hundred, I don't believe. Still, that'll be a challenge. But it should be cool that day - high of 77. If only we can hold off the rain. Last year it was in the 90s.

Still time to donate (mom, here's the link).

(And many, many lots of thanks to Teresa, Mike, Harvey, Charles, and Victor.


Posted by hln at 06:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 11, 2004

Dude, Where's My Car

Sure to be overheard in Lisbon at the Euro 2004 soccer meet. A lot.
London, England, Jun. 11 (UPI) -- Officials at Lisbon's Euro 2004 soccer meet are going to allow pot-smoking in the stands in hopes it will make fans too high to fight.

The 10,000-strong police force assigned to the month-long tournament that begins this weekend will take a "relaxed" view of cannabis, expected in abundance along with England's biggest ever invasion of fans.
Do I need to comment any more? Don't think so. Well, okay. And the Beastie Boys (now old) thought you had to fight for your right to party. Guess not.


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June 08, 2004

CSPI: Miami and Everywhere Else

Jazz Food Police are looking through my folders...

Welcome, readers, to this edition of the show where we beat up Margo Wootan and Kelly Brownell. It's the least we can do.

Today's article is brought to us by Reuters, and it stars the FTC. An offical - the head of the organization - had the audacity to state that banning junk food ads that someone has deemed as "aimed at children" (note da scare quotes) is not the answer. Amazing. Really?
Prohibiting ads for unhealthy foods "is impractical, ineffective and illegal" under the First Amendment, which protects free speech, said Timothy Muris, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

"I think banning marketing is a distraction. Even our dogs and cats are fat ... and it's not because they're watching too much advertising," Muris said at an obesity conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, sponsored by Time magazine and ABC News.
That's right - our pets are fat! Blame that on little Johnny's tv habits. But happy Margo of the Woo-Tan Clan informs us that parents feel "outgunned" (forget the whippersnappers! We've got guns! [a very old silly private joke]) by Big Advertising.


Margo, are you just trying to make Kelly feel better because he's fat? It's not his fault, you know. It's those damned long hours he puts in trying to make Americans take less responsibility for their food habits. Really. (See last week's time magazine if you want some wisdom bits (and a photo) of sedentary perky Kelly Brownell. (p. 83, 6/7/04 issue). (If I had to caption the picture, I'd say "You can't discredit me; I'm a YALE psychologist!")

Oh, a bit off the tilt, but Kelly is THE big dog proponent of the so-called (to piss of Brian) "fat tax." He's the author of (in case you missed it: Food Fight (haven't picked that one up yet). In Time, it's noted that a penny-a-can tax could produce 1.5 billion in anti-obesity money. (Or...something those tax tides turn. Anybody remember da tobacco settlement?).

Rest of the above-noted article doesn't tell you anything you don't already know. So move along, now. Y'know, burn some calories.


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D'ya like Penguin books? If you're male, you might thoughtfuly consider your answer. Bookish, isn't she?

Courtesy of Steve at AdRants.


Posted by hln at 05:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

The Perils of Cycling

I left work early today - beautiful day, but a bit windy. Creve Coeur Park opened up its trail that connects to the Katy trail on Friday, and I wanted to take a look.

After about 14 miles, I decided to head the 2 miles back to my car and call it a good after-work ride.

If I were to describe the trail at between 3 and 5 in the afternoon on a weekday, the first word would be "empty." And we cyclists like it that way - means we have fewer worries when we get up to or near training speeds. There's one stretch, though - the "feeder" part of the trail...the part where most of the parking lots (and my car) reside. I actually thought this over. It's so true.

I'm about 1/4 mile from my car, when I notice two little girls riding really near each other on their kiddie bikes - don't think much of it. They're heading out to the main part of the trail, and I'm heading back to my car, so we're traffic in opposite directions. I'm going about 17 - 18 mph. When I reach them, the smaller of the two girls, who (by this time I've finally noticed is not looking anywhere but down) cycles into my lane. She doesn't swerve - she RIDES. Her whole bike is there, almost perpendicular. And I just couldn't stop that quickly. Other girl is in proper lane, can't fall that way (didn't even have time to process this). Sand to the right (would've been the better decision). No, I try to stop. I fail.

I smashed into her. My 150+ pounds of self and bike collide with maybe 50 pounds of girl. And not lightly, either. I'm so shocked, though, that I don't tense up at all, and my first thought of myself (sprawled on girl on trail) was, "wow, that could've been worse."

Her sister, who's probably 10, untangles our bikes and starts to scold the little one (who's wailing up a storm, and, amazingly, only a small scratch on her). I help calm down the little one by pointing at my oozing elbow and cracking jokes about how fine I am (probably because of shock or what have you...because about 5 mins later, zow, that hurt). She finally calms down, and I (after looking both ways to ensure cyclistwalkerrollerblader traffic is not going to be impacted) move her across the trail into the grass.

The girls' father (who was for some reason not with them at collison time) finally approaches on bike. And apologizes. It's pretty clear older sister has filled him in on the details. I point out the young girl's cracked helmet and remind him to replace it. It's "used." The older sister picks up my sunglasses and looks strangely at my mirror. I say to all in earshot, "that's so I can see behind me and pay attention to everything."

When all's said and done, my derailleur is a bit beat up, and my handlebars are all off, and, of course, I did just get this bike a tune-up. But a kind guy who sees or hears me clopping (my clips make noise) back to the car gives me a hand with it and says it won't need another tune-up. So, that's good.

When I got home, I surveyed the damage. Elbow - wow, oozing, bleeding, ugly, and bruised. But that's all. Left quad and thigh took a pretty bad beating. I iced them and will hopefully be ready to ride again by the weekend, but probably not tomorrow.

Any good come from this? Hopefully that father won't leave his children unattended. It's a good lesson in wearing your helmet, too (comment directed at everyone). You never know when a non-attentive kid will suddenly ride into you for no reason. And for the girl - I'm very glad she had hers on. I could've done her some serious damage.

St. Louis people - Creve Coeur trail's great. I didn't actually ride on the Katy - figured I wanted to get home in time for dinner, so I'll check that out next week. Looks to be stable enough for a road bike. Never been on it.

Good night. I'm going to go ooze elsewhere.


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Joys of Summer

I'll probably be doing little positive tidbits like this in the future as I think of them.

Today's "joy" is Bing Cherries. They are straight from heaven.

Nutrition info. Or, basically - 84 calories for a cup, 2.7 grams of fiber, 1.4 g of protein, and 19.3 g of carbs.


Posted by hln at 10:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 01, 2004

Beal or Something

I have nothing to write about that someone else hasn't covered. But Brian warned me that I'd best put SOMETHING up here, so I guess I'll do some linking before I go back to cursing (or trying not to) at Starcraft.

Steve of AdRants reports that Invincible singer Pat Benetar is endorsing Energizer and hearing aids. Maybe it's Pat's fault I have hearing issues.

LeeAnn has a redesign.

Juliette from Baldilocks posts about non-white America and patriotism. As always, her piece is thought provoking and genuine. Oh, and Allah's back.

Matt of Blackfive just celebrated his 7th wedding anniverary. Brian and I were married May 22, 1999 (don't think either of us posted about that) and just celebrated our 5th.

No more posts about cilantro, I promise. Basil, though, yum. I was lazy for Memorial Day - rode across windy Illnois, but that's about it.

God Bless Our Veterans. Humans, send them books.


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