Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Don't eat it!"

Having grown up in a restaurant family, Hubby's a darned good cook. He enjoys it, too. It's nothing fancy. Plain ol' fashioned food the kind his family cooked and served. Occasionally, though, he likes to try doing something a little different.

Sometimes it is an improvement. Other times, a disaster.

Since it was only the two of us last night, Hubby marinated and then broiled two thick, center-cut pork chops I'd put in the freezer last week. Mashed potatoes and seasoned canned corn. In the living room in front of the television.

He brought my plate out, and then headed back to the kitchen for something.

I know, I know. Mannerly people aren't supposed to start eating until everyone else does. A long time ago I used to be one of those because that's how I was raised. Then, I married into Hubby's family and learned really fast that you start eating as soon as YOU get your food. If you don't, it might not be there 'cause somebody else ate it.

Add to that it doesn't matter what Hubby fixes. Even if it's only heating up a can of soup, before you can even get a spoonful in your mouth he's going to ask, "How is it?"

So I cut a nice big piece of that thick pork chop, chewed and swallowed. It wasn't until then that it registered that something tasted a little . . . off. Not bad and not really discernable, just faintly . . . off.

It was probably just me. I ate another bite, more slowly this time. No. I don't think it's me.

Hubby came in with his silverware and glass of milk. Before he even put it down he asked, "How is it?"

"I'm not quite sure how to put this . . . but . . . I don't know how long you had the chops in the marinade or what you put into the marinade this time . . . but . . . it tastes like the meat is starting to rot."

On wing-ed feet Hubby flew back to the kitchen, from where he hollared, "You're right! Don't eat it!"

I woke up about 3 ayem or so heading for the bathroom. Then I crawled back to bed.

I don't know how many additional trips I made by the time the sun came up, but the light made me feel even worse. A headache so intense IT got my stomach going again.

I managed to gulp and keep down a couple Advil (tm thingie) , and some soup around noon.

It's only now that for the first time today that my stomach feels good enough to eat something solid, and I'm hungry.

Hubby just brought in a steak he'd put on the grill. No marinade, and much too well done for his taste. Far closer to mine.

Some women understand when their fella is saying he's sorry through the words he's expressing, flowers he's carrying or maybe jewelry he's giving.

I know mine's apologizing with that steak.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Interestingly enough . . .

Via: Hey Joe! who guarantees (??) everything you read on the Internet is absolutely true . . .

Interesting Stuff...

Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito's sensors so they don't know you're there.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as substitute for blood plasma.

No piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.

Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age or older.

The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.

The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

A Boeing 747's wingspan is longer than the Wright brother's first flight.

Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. So did the first 'Marlboro Man'.

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

Marilyn Monroe had six toes.

All US Presidents have worn glasses. Some just didn't like being seen wearing them in public.

Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

Pearls melt in vinegar.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs.

A duck's quack doesn't echo and no one knows why.

Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first US president whose name contains all the letters from the word "criminal." The second? William Jefferson Clinton.

And, the best for last.....

Turtles can breathe through their butts.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

WOOF!

This week's Carnival of the Dogs is at Mickey's Musings.

And then, there's THIS!

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Who knows

The telephone company spends a lot of time doing stuff at the big box on the corner. They've been spending even more time there than usual the last few days.

Then, my ISP becomes finicky. I could get through and then, nope.

Next, "The Beast" (my pc) starts acting funny. Running out of resources, freezing up. Rebooting itself. The dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Not to be outdone, Blogger decides when I hit PUBLISH, it won't. It says it has but nothing new appears. It's there on the EDIT list! I pull it up and click PUBLISH again. Nope.

None of the problems have been steady. It's been more like ordering a combo platter at a Chinese Restaurant: one from Column A and something else from Column B, with no idea what it is or when it might appear . . . but knowing something definitely will.

Saturday is my day to make sure everything has either automagically updated during the week, update applications (like anti-spyware and anti-bot that I won't give automatic permissions to), clean out cookies, back-up, run a virus scan just as an added precaution . . .

When I went to Windoze Update to see if there were any critical updates, it wouldn't scan The Beast to check because according to the message on the screen, my clock may be off.

It wasn't. It isn't. Still, it wouldn't scan replying with only the same message.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I'VE NOW CHECKED THAT FREAKIN' CLOCK?

Oops. Sorry. I didn't mean to yell. I'm just a little frustrated AND totally confused especially after Technorati reported I haven't updated this blog for over 13,000 days.

Let me think about that for just a second. Thirteen thousand something-or-other divided by 365 and a quarter is . . .

Everything seems to be working fine now. I think. Who knows.

So, I'm gonna hit PUBLISH and if this shows up.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dang

While looking for something else, I spotted an image of something I'd blogged about but had never seen before and thought, "Dang, no wonder it made so much noise."

To be completely honest, with all of the wild stories coming out of New Orleans although it had been and was still mentioned occasionally, I wasn't really sure if the darned thing even existed.

It does. And now efforts are underway to remove an empty grain barge from New Orleans, that arrived IN the city during Katrina via flooding from the Industrial Canal.

Bad design probably is the primary reason for the initial flooding along the Industrial Canal.

Katrina's first storm surges apparently shot up the Gulf Outlet and neighboring Lake Borgne from the southeast, then overtopped levees along the Outlet and the Industrial Canal. The floodwaters eventually breached the Industrial Canal's levees, and officials believe a large portion of the Outlet's levees have been destroyed as well.

"That funnel was a back door into New Orleans," said G. Paul Kemp, an oceanographer at the LSU Hurricane Center. "I don't think there's much doubt that was the initial cause of the disaster."

Think for a second about how much water and force that's required to move a barge that big. (See that little white spec on the ground in front of the barge in the image on the bottom left? That's a person.)

Imagine, too, the sound an out-of-control barge might make as it slams into and punches through an already weakened and failing levee wall.

Might it not be BOOM!?

As big as that barge is, it is still dwarfed by the size of southern breach at the Industrial Canal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"Iran is in full compliances with the non-proliferation treaty, which is more than we can say for our ally Israel." -- Former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, who's apparently taking a break from his writing gig with Al-Jazeera to shill his latest book.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

We get mail!

I received an email from Robin Koerner, one of the co-founder's of Watching America. After explaining its purpose and pointing to this article about it from The Christian Science Monitor, Robin asked me to take a look and if I liked what I saw, to please consider linking to it.

I went one better. I added them to my sidebar, too.

CSM article notes:

While the Internet has made access to foreign media only a click away, what makes WatchingAmerica.com especially powerful is its translations of foreign-language news into English.. . .

[N]ews organizations such as Al Jazeera put out different material for an English-speaking audience than for an Arabic-speaking audience. With this website, "you're getting to see what, in some cases, your enemies are saying to each other in their own languages about you," Koerner says. "That gives you insights which you cannot get from what they offer in English."
Watching America goes beyond the far better known Memri, by also providing translations from languages the latter doesn't cover.

Give 'em a look and if you think them worthwhile, a link, too.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Picture this?



Click here, or here for more from Ed Gamble.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

WOOF!

New Dog Cross-Breeds

Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport

Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet

Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed

Pekingese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle

Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes

Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly

Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by...Oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway

Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work

Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere, a dog that's true to the end

Bull Terrier + Shih Tzu = You know

Via: Hey Joe!

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"The media are so full of themselves -- among other things that they are full of -- that they act as if the government exists to provide them with something to publicize." -- Thomas Sowell

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oops!

I grabbed this screenshot just minutes ago.

I imagine the webmaster of the online version of the Times-Picayune is going to hear a little something about this boo-boo.

Later: By 6:45 when I had a chance to check back, the page next looked like this:



Later still: Link submitted to Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks LI

Picture this?



More here.

(Via: Nealz Nuze)

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Monday, February 13, 2006

You can't have it both ways

I remember the feeling: No matter what you do somebody's going to find fault.

Some of the people coming in to apply for financial assistance were ticked off that we couldn't resolve their problem — whatever it was — immediately with no questions asked. It didn't matter to them whether or not they were eligible, if what they wanted us to pay for was totally insane or we even did what they expected us to do. They wanted — whatever it was — NOW.

We didn't work that way. A local government agency with a limited budget, we had rules and regulations to follow to ensure, as best we could, that the public's funds were spent legally and wisely on the basic needs (shelter, electricity and water and food for one month) on those who were income eligible, had no resources to fall back upon, were in the jam through no fault of their own, and had no place else to turn. It's a time-consuming process.

So the Unhappy Person would go to city hall. Somebody there would call us and raise hell, especially if the Unhappy Person said that they were going to go to the media or already had. That's the way it is in a political climate and I served time worked under five different administrations.

Some were better than others. They understood what our role was and backed our decisions. Others were so worried about the possibility of bad press they'd pick up the phone to beat us up pretty darned hard. That was just the mayor's office.

The councilcritters (and some congresscritters) were pure hell, especially when the Unhappy Person mentioned the media. Instead of being worried about bad press, this was an opportunity for them to star in a self-promoting, manufactured media event in which they were the SOLE person in the entire world who was willing to fight big-bad local government on the Unhappy Person's behalf.

Once a year the city's auditors would come in to do what auditors do and are supposed to do. Make sure that the funds appropriated were spent in accordance with rules and regulations and all applicable laws yadda yadda. Money came in, it went out. Where's the receipts, the canceled checks, and the paperwork to justify why this case was approved and the expenditures authorized.

And, of course, if the audit reported all eyes hadn't been dotted and teas crossed, the media was jolly on the spot because as much as they love stories about big bad government being mean to someone, they love doing stories about governmental ineptitude or malfeasance even more.

I'd like you to keep all of that in mind when it comes to the FEMA reporting.

I'm definitely not saying its performance has been flawless. Some of it, quite frankly, has been abysmal. One example is requiring first responders who were coming in from other states, to undergo sexual harassment training before they could be deployed. That's insane. It's bureaucracy run amok.

Still, I've been sitting here shaking my head when on the news, FEMA's been getting slammed from Day One for not responding fast enough after Katrina. There's really nothing really new here, because the same thing was said the year before about FEMA and its response in Florida after the state was hit by four hurricanes in six weeks.

Later, FEMA got slammed because some of the things it paid for weren't actually related to any of the hurricanes OR because it cut checks to slimebugs who were only taking advantage of the situation.

And now, Katrina.

You can't have it both ways.

You either slow the process down to a crawl at the front end to allow for eligibility determination, or you just toss help at anyone and everyone asking for it based on their own statement of need and don't worry about later accountability.

Neither one is good. I'm not saying either one is. But when all hell breaks loose, what do we want?

In a mass disaster situation, are we willing to accept long lines of people who might desperately need help standing there, waiting for days on end (or weeks and even months) so that each individual's eligibility can be established and verified in order to discourage the slimebugs from taking advantage of the situation? Or, hoping that as much help as possible is being made available in the fastest possible way, are we willing to accept that it also goes to the slimebugs who are simply taking advantage?

I don't know the answer. I don't know if there is one, but this I do:

You can't have it both ways.

I hate these things!




Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"



You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.

You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.



Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)



Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic



What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays



Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get



Via: Bou

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Oops!

Via We Regret the Error, this correction from the New York Times.

Because of an editing error, a recipe last Wednesday for meatballs with an article about foods to serve during the Super Bowl misstated the amount of chipotle chilies in adobo to be used. It is one or two canned chilies, not one or two cans.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blue

With his blue eyes and blond hair, Da Kid has always looked good in dark blue. Navy to be exact. With only a few exceptions he hasn't worn that color in years, ever since I made the mistake of telling him that.

Now he has no choice.

I found out Sunday why it was anticipated the graduation ceremonies for Recruit Class I would take four hours. It wasn't all about them.

CCFR used the opportunity to also celebrate the promotion of nine of its members. Then came the Meet and Greet portion of the schedule which, in reality, gave everyone an excuse to eat. Where there is a gathering of firefighters, there will usually be good food and plenty of it. Sunday was no exception.

<belch>

Next, everyone headed outside for the demonstration. Two had been planned but the burn was canceled because it was so danged windy. Extremely windy. Setting an old SUV -- that had been stripped of all useful parts and then filled with railroad ties and such so that it would REALLY burn -- in those conditions? Nuh-uh. As a result, everything (except for cleaning up the mess) was over an hour early, but not before the Extrication demonstration.
(As a quick aside, Da Kid was shocked when I told him months ago that in my much younger days, through and organization I'd been volunteering with I'd taken the class he was about to. <tee-hee-hee>)

You've probably had glimpses already extrication either in television dramas, on news reports or in still pictures in newspapers or magazines. If you're not familiar with the actual process, think of it as the controlled, systematic destruction of a vehicle's structural integrity, in order to provide assistance to and remove victims trapped inside.

The short version is the windows were taken out first. Next the doors were removed. Then, cuts were made to remove the vehicle's roof in case the victim inside had to be taken out on a backboard.

If the victim is pinned inside because of the dashboard, out it goes. If more access is needed, since there's little structural integrity left to the vehicle's front end, the bumper can now be tipped toward the ground.

Once Recruit Class I was done totally destroying what at some time, I'm sure, had been someone's pride and joy, Hubby, Herself and I headed home as did the other attendees.

The graduates, however, didn't. Unlike other graduations, they're the ones who had to clean up the mess.

Da Kid reported to his station the next morning. He was hoping he wouldn't get this type of assignment. Not for a while. He didn't think was ready but apparently the powers that be disagreed.

Da Kid's assigned to a one-man station.

I didn't get much sleep Monday night. I kept wondering if he'd had enough to eat (When I asked him what was around the station he replied, "Trees."), if he was warm enough, if he'd had to go out on a call, if he'd had a chance to get any sleep, if . . .

I know I know! He'd be home the next morning when his shift was over and he's a grown man, but I couldn't help it. I'm still his mother and when it comes to your child, worry isn't something that can be turned on and off with a switch.

About 4:30 ayem or so, something hit me.

That night I was just one of many mothers finding it difficult to sleep. They were wondering the same things as I was after kissing their uniformed child on the cheek as they walked out the door.

Some, like mine, would be home when their shift ended the next day.

Other mothers, though, won't see their child again for weeks. Months. Perhaps longer. Not until they had completed basic, or their tour, or . . .

I'm not sure if that made me feel better or worse, but I was able to doze off finally.

Da Kid would be home in the morning.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Picture this?


Via: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical, unfortunately.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Heartbreak Hotels

To listen to the media, thousands will instantly become homeless now that cold-hearted FEMA has FINALLY stopped picking up the hotel and motel tab for Katrina's victims.

THOUSANDS!

Well, yes. But not really.

Many have requested and received another extension. It's only for a couple of weeks before once again they're faced with one of two choices: leave or start paying for it yourself.

Others have refused to even answer the door or the telephone (telephone?) when FEMA tried to GET them to apply.

I'm wondering why, months after Katrina, so many are still in hotels.

I can understand it in the hardest hit areas along the Gulf Coast. I can even agree that for some they have no place else to go and finding a job COULD be a problem because so many businesses have been totally wiped out.

Others, and not just in the Gulf Coast area, might have health problems or could be so old that they just can't work.

But, uhh, FEMA does have an application process for transitional housing that those still in hotels could have applied for.

Some may have. FEMA's got quite a backlog.

And along the Gulf Coast's hardest hit areas, there just might not be any transitional housing available right now.

But, if people have so much time and are healthy enough to participate in rallies in New York, Houston and other locales to demand that FEMA (in reality meaning you and me) continue paying their hotel bills, shouldn't they be able to get a freekin' job and start paying their own way?

Anyone want to take a stab on how much is being spent on these rallies? Buses, meals . . . the salaries being paid to professional protestors?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have." -- Mark Steyn.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

BlogSPLAT

Blogger has been having problems the last few days.

I was a tad frustrated last night when even it's Status Report Site seemed to have melted.

You get what you pay for and since it's free, what the heck.

But the status site not answering? That DID make me a bit nervous.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

test

test

Friday, February 03, 2006

"First in. Last out."

This is Da Kid's last week of Rookie Recruit Class with Camden County Fire Rescue. The graduation ceremony is from 2 to 6 Sunday.

Four hours?

It's not a big class (13) until you consider it will bring the county's number of paid firefighters up to 65. Then suddenly it becomes huge and explains a bit more why this is not only a graduation but an event and will take a little longer. But four hours?

Then, too, Da Kid's is the first group (officially referred to as "Recruit Class I") to ever go through Camden's new firefighting training program. But still, four hours?

Well, it seems there's a little something Da Kid didn't tell me about the commencement ceremony but since he did mention it to Herself, she, of course, told me.

The "pomp and circumstance" portion will be followed by "a burn."

For normal people, that means somebody is going to set something on fire (somewhere outside, of course) and then show the attendees how they put it out.

I think.

Then again, it wasn't until during Da Kid's last graduation that I'd learned part THAT training included sitting, dressed bunkered out, IN a building so that he and the other trainees could watch a fire's progression while the structure burned down around them.

(Be still my churning stomach.)

Nah, they're not going to do that with folks like me there, right?

Right! The recruits have been issued all of their equipement bunker gear except for their helmets, which still haven't arrived from Germany.

The most advanced design, per Da Kid. He's been issued the kind of gear from top to bottom that our firefighters here take for granted because they're so used to always having the best.

It's a heck of a step up for this small, still mostly rural county. Still mostly rural, except for the county's biggest employer: the nuclear submarine base.

Da Kid will find out in the next few days which of the stations in the county he reports to starting next week. Whichever one he goes to, he knows it doesn't matter what "book learning" he has.

He'll be working with professional firefighters, both paid and volunteer, who've been doing it for years.

It's with them that his real training starts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

UN-Believable

It didn't take long for Kofi and Krew to start thinking up new sources of funds to maintain their lavish lifestyle now that as proposed last fall, unless the United Nations began showing concrete progress in cleaning up its corruption-riddled act, the nations paying the biggest share would stop being quite so generous and understanding with their money.

While the UN's new two-year budget was approved, the poor dears at Turtle Bay were actually told just how much money would be made available to them to cover the next three months.

Imagine that! Not only having to work within a tight budget, but being told that those whose money you're spending want to know exactly how it's spent and what (if any) good it did!

Since the UN's member states nations -- the ones paying the bills, anyway -- are being so danged unreasonable, the UN has come up with a few innovative ideas on how obtain funds. Well, they're not really new . . .

Not only does the UN want to control the Internet (You thought that idea was dead, dincha. Guess again.), it also wants the ability to levy a user tax -- a surcharge -- on "high tech companies as a condition to having their contract bids accepted by local governments" for the Digital Solidarity Fund. (Doncha just love that name?)


We will ultimately pay the tab as these companies pass along the cost of their surcharge to its full paying customers. The money raised will supposedly be used to buy computers and Internet access for poor developing nations. -- Canada Free Press
How will the Fund be . . . funded?

Instead of having to deal with contrary member states nations that are not coughing up the bucks as readily as the UN wants, "mayors in sympathetic cities like Geneva, Switzerland and Lyon, France [will] bypass the normal route of nation-to-nation treaty dealings."

Other "sympathetic" cities mentioned include "Montreal, Quebec, Gatineau, Denver, Los Angeles, Houston, Nashville, Oakland and, of course San Francisco."

Then there's also that meeting a few days ago in Davos, Switzerland. The one where John Kerry called for a filibuster on the Alito nomination? Yep, that one.

You thought John-Boy was over there skiing? On vacation? Nah. He was working! Working-working-working!

American government and business leaders were in Davos attending an international forum sponsored by the United Nations. The group acknowledged that the most potent threats to life on earth -- global warming, health pandemics, poverty and armed conflict -- could be ended by moves that would unlock $7 trillion or $7,000,000,000,000 of previously untapped wealth, the United Nations claims. -- The Conservative Voice
UN taxes on airfare, totally open boarders so migrants illegal aliens can come and go as they please and a move to have member states nations pay a penalty (to the UN, of course) for their policy failures, that the UN will then use to . . . hold more idiotic conferences in places that only elite folk, like the UN, could possibly afford.

Kelo v New London, folks. If the UN Headquarters is in as bad a shape as Kofi keeps claiming, the heck with the US bankrolling its remodeling. Let New York City declare the property blighted. Under the new definition of Eminent Domain, toss Kofi and Krew out on their butts and allow a developer to do something worthwhile with that prime real estate.

How does Iran sound, Kofi.

I realize it doesn't have all the comforts you and others in the UN have become so accustomed to, but I hear it's lovely this time of year.

(Image from Sacred Cowburgers)