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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

La Playa. As promised, sand, the ocean, and a frog. I'll even throw in a picture of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for good measure.

Jockey's Ridge Sand Dune (tallest in the Eastern US)



Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hi there. I'm back from vacation, rested and relaxed. It was a week of sitting on the beach, getting tossed around by the waves, taking afternoon naps, playing golf, and eating good food. I even flew a kite.

What I didn't do was read or watch any news. And you know what I realized? It doesn't really matter. Bush is still a dangerous moron, Iraq is still fubar, the wingnuts are still nutty, and not much has changed. Did it make any difference whether or not I read all about Pat Robertson promoting the assassination of political leaders? Or that I know all the details of Faux News stupidly giving out some person's address claiming (incorrectly) that the person had links with terrorism? Or that I paid attention to the details of what a closet extremist Bush's SCOTUS nominee is? No. It didn't.

Frankly, I really don't have much of an inclination to do much with this little old blog here. That will probably change soon, but with the fall semester starting up this week, I expect to be fairly busy for a few days. I'll get around to posting a couple of pictures from vacation later today or tomorrow--sand, the ocean, and maybe a frog.

But that will do for now.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bloggus Interruptus. No blogging until Friday.

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know just how crushed by this news you are.

Or that you don't care.

Or whatever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mac Attack. Here is a link with video of the Henrico County Great iBook Stampede of 2005. There's even footage of the trampled stroller.

The best of humanity. First, there is the $50 laptop sale gone wild.
Jesse Sandler said he was one of the people pushing forward, using a folding chair he had brought with him to beat back people who tried to cut in front of him.

"I took my chair here and I threw it over my shoulder and I went, 'Bam,"' the 20-year-old said nonchalantly, his eyes glued to the screen of his new iBook, as he tapped away on the keyboard at a testing station.

"They were getting in front of me and I was there a lot earlier than them, so I thought that it was just," he said.
My legal counsel tells me that this was probably not just cause for assaulting others with a folding chair. I'd like to think that a court of law would weigh in on this. Here's to you, Jesse Sandler, for providing further proof against "intelligent design."

And then there's this feel good story.
An ABC television crew has swooped into Prince George's County to film an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," for which an army of designers and construction workers will toil round-the-clock for a week to build a dream home for a Capitol Heights woman and her eight children.

They got off to a roaring start yesterday morning, demolishing Veronica Ginyard's dilapidated two-bedroom home to make way for a three-story, six-bedroom house. But even before they started, the crews got a rough reminder of Prince George's crime problems.

The wife of a crew member was beaten with a gun Saturday morning during an armed burglary in the lobby of a Largo hotel where some in the crews were staying. A man demanded and received money from the front desk of Extended Stay America and then beat the woman in the face before leaving the hotel off Central Avenue near the Capital Beltway, Prince George's police said. She was taken to a hospital, where she received a few stitches, police said.
Of course, with role models like these, who can blame the callous and self-centered nature of others.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A tragedy. Roanoke's Mini-Graceland is in a sad state. Not sure which is worse...that Mini-Graceland was ever created, or that it has suffered from mini-urban decay. Or that I know what this article is talking about.

World's Ugliest Dog. I have to agree. Thanks for Joel for the link.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Iraq Constitution Writers Miss Deadline

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Members of Iraq's national assembly late Monday passed by unanimous vote an extension allowing an extra week to complete talks on the country's new constitution.

The committee drafting the document had asked for an extension after it failed to reach a compromise by Monday's deadline after months of talks. The new deadline is August 22.

Despite staying up for 48 hours straight and making several late-night trips for Double Gulps and Big Bites from the only 7-11 in Baghdad that has not been bombed out, the assembly was unable to complete its work.

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the influential Shiite group the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was the last to say "not it," and was charged with emailing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to ask for an extension.

"I'm not even sure what I said in the email. Something about my grandmother dying, I think. I don't know, really, I mean, I'd drank like a dozen Red Bull that night," said al-Hakim. "And when Mowafak al-Rubaie, the national security adviser, started talking about federalism and Islamic law, I was like, 'Dude, I gotta crash,' and we spent the next couple of hours playing Madden 2006 online."

Indecision 2008. Hoping to have more success than Ronnie James Dio's failed 2004 run for president, Christopher Walken 2008 has launched.

Snake oil. As with the "death tax," there is a special vein reserved in my temple that pops out whenever I hear the phrase "tort reform." Especially when said phrase is uttered by someone who has a sticker in their rear window of Calvin pissing on a Chevy logo. Not to stereotype, of course.

Here is an excellent article on the mythmaking (and the fictitious "Stellas") that is largely used as a justification for claims that the legal system is broken, and it's all because of those pesky frivolous lawsuits.

The article also lays out the facts surrounding the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit. That one especially drives me batty.

Granted, there are indeed junk lawsuits that have no merit. My legal counsel could tell you about some of these cases in which she delivers a thorough bare-knuckle style beatdown.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Cat and Squirrel Blogging

We put a bird feeder out on the balcony earlier this summer, and the cats love the entertainment. Recently, a couple of squirrels have been stuffing their faces, and the cats love this even more. Last Friday, Mr.Tibbs spotted one trying to break into the bag of feed.

Feel good. A heart-warming story.
LOS ANGELES - Five orphaned siblings who moved into a new dream home on the hit ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" are suing the network, the company that built the house and the couple who took them in after their parents died.

The children range in age from 15 to 22. They claim that after "Extreme Makeover" built a new nine-bedroom mansion for them to live in with Phil and Loki Leomiti, the Leomitis engaged in "an orchestrated campaign" to drive them away by insulting them and treating them poorly.

The children ultimately moved out of the Leomitis' home in Santa Fe Springs, a small city southeast of Los Angeles, and are living separately with friends, said Charles Higgins II, the eldest sibling.

Their complaint, which was filed Wednesday, alleges fraud and breach of contract. It seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Maybe Judge Joe Brown could handle this one.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Death of Irony. In order to participate in the Department of Defense organized "America Supports You Freedom Walk," you have to register with the Pentagon, giving them your name, home address, phone number, and email address. And on the morning of the march, you have to show up between 7 and 8 a.m. for screening.

I'm curious what effect my "A Few Bad Apples" t-shirt would have for the screening process. And I have two of those t-shirts in case anyone else is curious.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Clap louder. Louder, I said.
The Pentagon would hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing today.

"This year the Department of Defence will initiate an America Supports Your Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation".

The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on September 11, 2001, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black.
I think the fourth anniversary is when you give sweetheart deals to Halliburton, tax breaks to Big Oil, and permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Because if we don't, the terrorists win. Via BGW.

Trogdor. Funny.

Kazaam! Sleep tight, SW Va. Shaq is on guard.
Roanoke - Guarding the ‘Net has taken on a whole new meaning for NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal. In a special ceremony last night on Capital Hill, O’Neal was appointed as a Honorary Special Deputy U.S. Marshal during the announcement that he would serve as the national spokesperson for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation. Bedford County, Virginia Sheriff Mike Brown, whose agency heads Operation Blue Ridge Thunder, one of the premier task forces formed to combat internet sexual predators who target America’s children, was instrumental in aligning Shaq to be the national spokesperson. Earlier this year, Sheriff Brown swore O’Neal in as a reserve deputy sheriff in Bedford County in furtherance of this national endeavor based on the training and certification as a police officer that he received prior to his NBA career in California.
Thanks to Breenemeister for the tip.

"Democracy is messy." Oh, Rummy, how right you are. Baghdad Mayor Sacked by Armed Shiites.
Baghdad -- Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building during a blinding dust storm Monday, deposed the city's mayor and installed in his place a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia.

The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, who was not in his office at the time, recounted the events in a telephone interview Tuesday and called the move a municipal coup d'etat. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life.

"This is the new Iraq," said al-Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal."
Messy indeed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Flashback. August 9, 2004. You don't know how thrilled I am not to be moving this summer. The last summer that I wasn't moving was 1993. Then I was working on a paint crew painting the great schools of Roanoke County. I got up at 5 a.m. in order to drive across town and work from 6-2:30 for $4.25 an hour. Those classrooms, gymnasiums, and locker rooms don't paint themselves, you know.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday B&W Catblogging



Thursday, August 04, 2005

Novakula. He flipped out live on CNN today. Video here.

Oh, and The Daily Show was awesome tonight. Great Stephen Colbert segment on the "Dukes of Hazzard" movie. Discussing the use of the Confederate flag with someone from the NAACP, Colbert is downplaying it, saying it's all just in good fun. NAACP person says, "It was fun to lynch black people down in the South years ago." Colbert says, "That's where you and I disagree."

Priorities. Finally! The House has opened an investigation into whether or not someone was lying to Congress and the American people. Who are they investigating? Is it Bush lying about Iraq's WMD capabilities? Cheney lying about Iraq's ambitions for a nuclear program? Condi lying about pre-9/11 intelligence? Bolton lying about his role in the leaking of classified information?

No! It's Rafael Palmeiro!
ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 3 -- The House Government Reform Committee -- which heard Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro's testimony in March that he had never used steroids, while he jabbed his index finger in the air for emphasis -- has opened an investigation into whether Palmeiro may have lied under oath.

Committee Chairman Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) spoke by telephone with Palmeiro -- suspended Monday for violating baseball's steroid policy -- on Tuesday night and informed him of the committee's plan to investigate the veracity of his March 17 testimony. During the conversation, Davis said, Palmeiro pledged to cooperate with the inquiry and repeated his assertion, first made during a conference call with reporters on Monday, that he did not know how the substance got into his system.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Denny boy. This could be interesting.

Now watch this drive. Bush sez, "We are at war." While on vacation.

George W. Bush. Working for Murkans, 24-7. Twenty-four hours a week, seven months a year.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Holiday. Celebrate. The war you started has turned into a colossal clusterfuck. The other country you went to war with has a bumper poppie crop, and the guys you kicked out of power are regaining power. That guy you vowed to get "dead or alive" is still running amok. Your best bud's country was recently attacked. Your administration is under investigation by a grand jury. You're running up the people's credit card to record levels. And the people don't like you.

What do you do? Go on a 33 day vacation.

(and can we PLEASE stop with the "clearing brush" nonsense)

Darwin was a freedom-hating commie. That's a different idea.

Roids. I'm just shocked, shocked, that Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. It's not like he has a history of using performance enhancing drugs. Kevin Drum says this helps shed some light on the fantasy world of George W. Bush.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Novakula. The Douchebag of Liberty strikes again!
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 - One of the most puzzling aspects of the C.I.A. leak case has had to do with the name of the exposed officer. Why did the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak identify her as Valerie Plame in exposing her link to the C.I.A. in July 2003 when she had been known for years both at the agency and in her personal life by her married name, Valerie Wilson?

Mr. Novak offered a possible explanation for the disconnect on Monday, suggesting in his column that he could have obtained Ms. Wilson's maiden name from the directory Who's Who in America, which used that name in identifying her as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador.

Mr. Novak did not explicitly cite the directory as his source. Nor was this his first public reference to the Who's Who listing. In a column in October 2003, three months after he had first disclosed Ms. Wilson's name and her role, Mr. Novak cited the published listing as evidence that Ms. Wilson's identity was "no secret."

But in drawing renewed attention to the published listing, Mr. Novak seemed to suggest more directly than ever before that the scrutiny that has focused on which of his sources provided him the name might have been misplaced, and that he might well have figured it out by himself.
Novak suggesting that this is much ado about nothing? Well then. I'm sure that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will wake up tomorrow morning, pick up his morning New York Times, read this intrepid reporting, and exclaim, "Silly me! I've clearly been wasting everyone's time! Tap the keg, it's party time!"

I hope they pick up Novak in the paddywagon right after stopping by the White House for Karl, Scooter, and whoever else is asked to tag along.

Electric Ladyland Dudeville. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Hendrix Used Gay Ruse to Avoid Nam.
SEATTLE - Jimi Hendrix might have stayed in the Army. He might have been sent to Vietnam. Instead, he pretended he was gay. And with that, he was discharged from the 101st Airborne in 1962, launching a musical career that would redefine the guitar, leave other rock heroes of the day speechless and culminate with his headlining performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock in 1969.

Hendrix's subterfuge, contained in his military medical records, is revealed for the first time in Charles R. Cross' new biography, "Room Full of Mirrors." Publicly, Hendrix always claimed he was discharged after breaking his ankle on a parachute jump, but his medical records do not mention such an injury.

In regular visits to the base psychiatrist at Fort Campbell, Ky., in spring 1962, Hendrix complained that he was in love with one of his squad mates and that he had become addicted to masturbating, Cross writes. Finally, Capt. John Halbert recommended him for discharge, citing his "homosexual tendencies."
"Addicted to masturbating"? The jokes, they write themselves.

Hi, I'm John. America, meet your new ambassador to the U.N. A real charmer. How could they not love us?

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