Thursday, September 30, 2004

"Something really fun and illegal happened today at school"

Private school employees accidentally gave kids margaritas, complete with tequila at snack time. Those ungrateful little brats didn't like it and called it "gross." Little do they know that one day they will sit in their dreary little cubicles and dream of free margaritas ... (Wash. Post requires registration, but you can get a login/password here. Thanks to the Obscure Store for the link.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I'm not always so stupid ...

I had to go to Costco to buy things tonight. The problem is that you have to pay with cash, debit card, Amex or a check. I had to pay with a certain debit card because that's where the money is (and I don't have an Amex card). Problem is, I hardly use this particular debit card, and the PIN was assigned by the bank so it has no particular significance for me. Under pressure, I can never remember it. Pressure like: they've just finished ringing up all my stuff and now I have to pay so the next person in line can check out. The checkout guys were cracking jokes about calling security on me at first, and then one guy realized that he was only making it worse for me. So he said "Try it again, I know you can do it. I feel good about this one." It worked, but I still felt like a dork.

The moral of this story is: Always remember your stupid PIN number, ya dope! It's only four numbers, for crying in a bucket.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


jerk, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

Those wacky Duke students are at it again! Blocking my driveway with their shiny new cars. It happens several times a year, and it's always the guys who live at the illegal frat house two doors down. Mr. Illinois plate #520-4351 is lucky I don't still drive my old beater Nissan Stanza, because I would have been very tempted to just back it into his cute little bug. Oops! Why what on earth was that l'il ol' car doing at the end of my driveway?

Monday, September 27, 2004

I finally got around to it ...

found in the street 2, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

About three years ago I found this photo (with another one taken the same day) in the street outside of the building where I work. I had always intended to post it somewhere but I never got around to it. At one point I soaked and rinsed it trying to get the dirt off (it's OK! Photos go through a water rinse after they are printed, and they can withstand a certain amout of water) but it only did a little good.

I make up stories about how and why the photos got into the street. Chances are they fell accidentally, but the one I prefer is that a guy came to the US to work and then someone sent him photos of his sweetheart marrying someone else back home. Heartbroken and jealous, he flung the photos into the street because he never wanted to see them again ...

It's no wonder I'm a sucker for those melodramatic Mexican telenovelas.

The story of my life ...

I was just doing my morning check of the NHC Tropical Prediction Center and I saw this: "...LISA REMAINS DISORGANIZED WHILE CRAWLING NORTHWARD..." And I didn't even drink much this weekend!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A (relatively) clean house ...

So this morning while we were out eating brunch, I announced my "clean house plan" to Mark. I pronounced the house an "unliveable pile of filth" that must be cleaned. Mark seemed to make a bit of a face, which I interpreted to signal Menshevism on the house cleaning question. But no, when we got back home, he supported the program wholeheartedly. Turns out he wasn't a house-cleaning Menshevik after all, but he had a problem with my "unliveable pile of filth" formulation, considering it to be a bit ultra-leftist. At any rate, the house is now liveable.

We went to the Save Our Starlite benefit for a while, but left very early so I could got to WXDU music staff meeting. I brought home seven cds to review, far too many but I don't expect to actually like all of them. I'll be sure to share which ones I think are special.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Shameless grovelling ...

I really want a Flickr Pro account, but the only way to get one right now is to successfully invite 5 people to join Flickr--they aren't selling them. All the people I would think of inviting already have Flickr accounts. So, help me! Tell me you'll sign up for a FREE Flickr account if I invite you! You don't have to actually post any photos to it, and it's FREE. E-mail me at, k? Thanks! Did I mention that the Flickr account is free?

I'm a loser ...

Cap'n Pants is at the boat and I have nothing to do tonight. I'll probably just read the cool cool book I recently checked out from the library (Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power by Timothy B Tyson. I should write a book report on it and post it here ... it's a hell of a book). Anyway, I want to go eat Ethiopian or Salavadoran food or something but I don't have anyone to go with. Sniff ... oh well, I'd be better off getting a salad ...

Anyway, I'm listening to Georg's Mondo Mundo show on WXDU and it's awesome. His show is so hot I had to request some Enrique Iglesias to cool it down a little! (Seriously, I did via the web request form but then I made sure he knew I was kidding because for all I know he really aims to please ... good thing I know for a fact that XDU has absolutely no Enrique Iglesias in its library.)

Friday, September 24, 2004

All about me ...

I'm going to submit a shot to JPG Magazine, and they want a "brief 2-sentence bio." Wow, how am I going to stretch the essence of me out enough to fill up two whole sentences? I think it would be more interesting to say nothing at all ... but I actually think I'm going to make something up because the truth seems too boring. So maybe I'll say I'm a homemaker and mother of four living at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. In my spare time I crochet bandages for leper colonies in Bangladesh.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Nothing a tub of alpha hydroxy won't take care of ...

So I was walking down the street today, enjoying the mega-beautiful weather and thinking that life is mostly good, when this guy walking toward me said something I couldn't make out except for the words "older lady." "Excuse me?" I said. He said "You've got great hips for an older lady." I was stunned and I just looked at him for a minute ... he looked like he was really trying to be complimentary, so I said "uhh, thanks" and kept walking. But then the phrase was bouncing off the walls of my brain ... "older lady, older lady, older lady." OK, the guy was in his early 20s, so it doesn't take much to be older than he is, but "older lady" is my mother for crying out loud.

When I got back to my building at least the security guard had the sense to say "Hello, young lady." That's more like it. Of course, he's probably pushing 60 so it doesn't take much to be younger than he is ...

Clues ...

I honestly thought that, with the exception of a couple of lyrics, my legions of obscure-music-loving readers would just tear right through my little lyrics-guessing meme game. I really thought I was making it easy, except for maybe No. 1 and possible No. 14. But I guess not.

So if anyone (rick!?) wants to keep trying, here are some clues:

1. Related to #15 (in a side-project/later band kind of way)
2. I got to meet the lead singer of this group a few weeks before his tragic and bizarre death in 1985.
3. A #1 hit in the UK in the early '80s ... this band was much less well-known in the US but still beloved by the young college radio/punk/new wave types
4. BWV got this one
5. Oop, this isn't from the 80s--it's from 1979, and I didn't discover it until after this man's third album came out in 1980.
6. rick! got this one
7. We already know this one is Elvis Costello ... come on, is there no one else who obsessed over EC in the 80s the way I did?
8. From the 70s, a defining hit for the artist most famous for singing it ...
9. The group is Irish ... this song was actually released in 1978, and I didn't discover it until after this group's controversial 1979 hit single. I still think of this as "80s music", though ...
10. We know it's Luna ... just need the song title ...
11. Ooops, another "80s song" that actually came out in 1979 ... from a UK group with enduring influence
12. rick! got this one
13. These scruffy midwestern guys were grungy 10 years before the record companies discovered Seattle. They were also known for being incoherently drunk onstage, wearing dresses and spitting beer on their fans. This is from their ass-kicking third album (not counting an EP) released in 1984.
14. See the comments for clues on this one
15. rick! got this one

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


why?, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

The logic behind "Boss's Day" escapes me. What does a Boss's day card say?

"Thanks for not firing me in a fit of pique?"
"Thanks for not being as much of an asshole as other bosses I've had?"
"Thanks for being clueless and staying out of our way most of the time. Go play a couple rounds of golf?"
"Thanks for not having me killed?" (That last one is a reference to someone I know--the less said the better--whose boss actually threatened some employees by saying he would have them killed. That started a debate in the office over whether he would at least help the NC economy and hire someone local to do the killing or whether he would bring in someone from elsewhere to do it.)

Anyway, the good thing about Boss's Day is that it falls on a Saturday, which means many of us can conveniently ignore it.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Play my meme ...

... or I'll blow your house down!

I'm picking this up from Alicia ... I don't know what I was up to last time this meme went around, because Alicia was the first I'd heard of it. No biggie, I'm usually pretty much out of the loop on everything. Anyway, the deal is I list song lyrics and you people tell me where you think they are from. Most of this stuff is from the 80s, a few are from the 90s, two are from the 70s and only one is from this century. I think most of them are pretty easy, but then I made the list, didn't I?

While I was "researching" this by listening to lots of music, I started listening to The Pixies Trompe Le Monde (no Pixies lyrics here, though), and it made me wonder: how many songs can people come up with that contain the sound of a beer bottle falling on the floor? Because "Planet of Sound" features a falling beer bottle, and I'm positive there's a Replacements song that features a bottle as well (I just can't remember which one). Anybody know of any other songs?

Anyway, here's the list:
1. In this age of frozen freaks the only highs we get are low
2. I had a girl, she loved what she saw; she loved me so good, she made her daddy mad (Georg got this one)
3. You choose your leaders and place your trust; As their lies wash you down and their promises rust (Andrew got this one)
4. It may look to the untrained eye, I'm sitting on my arse all day; I'm biding time until I take you all on (BWV got this one--mostly)
5. He sits there drinkin' gin and she sits there drinkin' beer like me
6. Dark party bars, shiny cadillac cars and the people on subways and trains (rick! got this one)
7. Don't you know I got the bully boys out changing someone's facial design,
8. I know I need a small vacation, but it don't look like rain.
9. And Suzie is a jewel, she flashes when she smiles.
10. I can hypnotize a pancake, I can levitate the pope
11. I can't love when anyone loves me, and I can't find the someone to love
12. This was the only kindness and it was accidental too (rick! got this one)
13. Yeah, I know I look like hell; I smoke and I drink and I'm feeling swell
14. To yourself and to your family and friends you're just like a party and the party never ends
15. Dialogue dub, now here's the rub; She's acting her reaction (rick! got this one)

Special bonus extra credit "rock en espaƱol" lyric (any kindred spirits out there?):
Por eso ahora tendre que obsequiarte un par de balazos pa que te duela. (Who rocks completely for knowing the provenance of these lyrics? Prentiss, that's who!)

Like I said, if you don't play along Hurricane Lisa will mess you up.

Look at me, I'm a hurricane (well, almost)!

Mark and a few of my friends are making fun of me because I'm a little bitty tropical storm. But I've got plenty of time to draw energy from the warm tropical waters and then I'll show them! And maybe when I'm done around here I'll go say hello to Andrew and Heidi up in Nova Scotia.

In other news, I spent all weekend at the Carolina Sportsplex playing flyball. It was fun but I'm still a bit tired. My teammate Sam took some photos. This is my favorite one.

Friday, September 17, 2004

I wanna play the meme ...

... that Alicia played--"guess the song lyrics," but half the songs I listen to are in Spanish and nobody's going to get the answers. Plus, I've been listening to a lot of brand new stuff this week because I brought home too many cds to review from Sunday's WXDU music staff meeting. In fact, I'm listening to something that makes me very, very happy: H.M.S. Mondegreen byThe Thin Man. In fact, I just wrote a semi-review of it, and then I stupidly navigated off of my Blogger preview page without saving it as a draft and it disappeared, and now I'm too lazy to rewrite it. So I'll be just be lame and say it reminds me somewhat of Firewater, which is a very good thing indeed.

Oh yeah, I also like D.W. Holiday's Techincal Difficulties, Under the Influence and Paul Westerberg's new cd Folker. Not that you asked, or anything ...

As for the meme, maybe I'll indulge Jason and do a bunch of 80s lyrics. First I gotta listen to all these new cds ...

“It was so scary,

... all those Ronald McDonalds staring at us in our headlights. It gave us a very, very funny feeling."

Thanks to the Obscure Store for the link.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Chix Pix ...

I finally finished the Chicks Rock III photo gallery.

A messy desk is a sign of ...

messydesk, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

I must clean off my desk because it's getting hard to get things done, but I'm too busy to have time to clean my desk. The problem is that people are always giving me all these pieces of paper associated with something they want me to do. Then I'm afraid to just throw away all the paper because what if someone asks for it back? But I'm not the type of person who keeps paper files ... even if I were I have nowhere to file them. So they start piling up, and then the piles sort of slide sideways until everything is all morphed together. Whatever happened to the "paperless office" that was being touted back in the '80s?

Another problem is that people give me all sorts of files on cd, and when I'm done they rarely want the cds back. Again, I'm loath to throw them away for some reason, so they start to stack up.

So it gets to the point where all my toys and personal effects get crowded out by all the work crap, and it's not a happy situation. I think tomorrow I'll throw away everything work related that's on my desk ... not today because I've got to finish up and then drive back to Durham to do my radio show.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hostess wedding cake

Hostess wedding cake, originally uploaded by trixie_skips.

Here's me blogging someone else's photo again. I like photos of cakes. I especially like this one. That's all.


lucky?, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.
Let's hope your new home lasts longer than your owner's impending marriage ... (from the elevator at work).

Plan for Canadian domination ....

My Canadian friend Geoff sent me this: Canadian World Domination. Fine with me, just don't forget to bring the Nanaimo bars.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Chicks Rock III ....

anne gomez ..., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

I'm still in the process of going through my Chicks Rock photos. My problem is that iPhoto is clearly not designed for actual photographers, because it slows to a crawl when you get any quantity of photos in your library. I have 3072, which really isn't that many for a serious hobby photographer. Anyway, at Sarah's suggestion I'm going to have to back them up and get them out of my library--but that sort of defeats the purpose of using iPhoto as an organizing tool ... it's good at organizing nothing, I guess.

But my friend Sam (a flyball teammate) who is seriously into rock 'n' roll photography, put up his galleries. You can see them here: Audubon Park,
Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan, and Gerty.

Gmail demand spikes!!

Horray for Maggie, who got herself a gmail inviation just for emailing me.

As for the big Durham Blues Festival noise email list brouhaha, it continues ... The guy who seems to be the tightest pantiewad of them all wrote that none of the blues fest defenders had offered "a valid argument for allowing the festival to break the law" (i.e. the city noise ordinance.) At this point I'm getting sick of the guy, so I had to reply:
How about this: Because we want it to. Because we're not so hung up on controlling absolutely everything and everyone around us, and we want people who come to our city to enjoy the once-a-year blues fest to get what they came for ... blues sound good loud, after all. Because we don't see the point in getting all worked up over one night's sleep and besides, if we just relax our sphincters a little bit we find it's easier to sleep even with a little noise. Because we see beauty and joy in a world that allows a little bit of randomness and disarray, yes, even chaos sometimes, and we know that getting our undies in a bundie over "the rule of law" would just make life overly regimented and awful. Because if we wanted to live in a place where everyone gets uptight over anything out of the ordinary or skirting the sacred rule of law we would have moved to Cary*.
I hope the guy takes it personally.

*For those of you who ain't from around here, Cary is a town that many people feel is very soulless and Stepford-like: cookie-cutter housing developments, lots of rules about what color you can paint your house (I heard a rumor that they demanded the Red Roof Inn not put a red roof on their inn in Cary because it wouldn't match everything else ... I don't know if it's really true) and vast shopping centers with national chain stores and national chain restaurants. The locals like to say that CARY stands for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees."

More neighborhood crap ....

One of the haters on our neighborhood email list posted that he hoped the next loud concert was a Britney Spears/Yoko Ono duet that would drive all the people defending the Blues festival over the edge. I wrote back for him to bring it on.

Then I told him I hope his wife runs off with a band of Maoists and his kids grow up to be crackheads. OK, not really, but I thought it.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Crank up the volume!

So Durham, a city with a major chip on its shoulder, has a Blues Festival every year that draws folks from, well I don't know how far away, but I bet blues fans would travel pretty far for such a festival. This year's headline was Isaac Hayes ... not too shabby for the little city with a big inferiority complex. It's held in the old Durham Bulls park--the one featured in the movie Bull Durham--which is less than a mile from my house, and I can hear everything pretty clearly. Friday night I sat out on my deck and marveled that I live in a cool part of a cool little city that has cool events like a blues festival. I would have done the same Saturday night but I had to go hear some cool Durham bands at Chicks Rock.

Anyway, of course someone in my neighborhood had to write a complaining note to our neighborhood e-mail list about how the noise kept them awake Saturday night and it was in clear violation of the Durham noise ordinance, blah blah blah. That really pissed me off. Here we have a ONCE-A-YEAR event that draws people to our city and celebrates its cool musical heritage, and some uptight asshole wants to shut it down because he lost a little sleep one night. I wanted to post back something like "Take a fucking sleeping pill, asshole," but instead I posted:
I would be mighty irritated if the once-a-year Durham Blues Festival, which draws in people from all over the region, were to be silenced by noise complaints from people who chose to live in this potentially noisy central-city location. I LIKE hearing the blues festival--it's only once a year, after all--because it reminds me that I live in really interesting little city with its own musical heritage of "Piedmont Blues."

In fact, Friday night I sat on my deck for a little while and listend--I was really tickled that by choosing to live in Trinity Park I had entitled myself to a free show.

I don't want to make Trinity Park like some remote, cookie-cutter subdivision by killing all of the city life around it. That life is why we moved here.

A few people e-mailed their support privately or to the list. And a few more haters posted about how they or their precious little spawn were kept awake. One guy wrote that he was going to write a letter of complaint to the organizers. This time Mark waded into the fray:
I will also write to the organizers thanking them for keeping such a great ONCE A YEAR cultural event going strong in Durham. I'll also explain that we as neighbors understand that city life isn't always perfect and never will be. Finally I'll explain that all of the residents of TP don't have a desire to control absolutely everything, and that the entire city doesn't revolve around TP. It was a great show.

P.S. It's once a year - get over it.
So then the complainer e-mailed Mark privately and accused him of "getting personal" and being immature. Here's what Mark wrote back:
I'm sorry if you have taken my comments personally. The get over it comment was only part of my email. Everyone is within their legal right to pursue whatever legal action they see fit. Just understand that your desire to pursue legal action because you experience the least bit of inconvenience, while hundreds of others have a good time is selfish. Also understand that there are those who will resist efforts to turn this city into a suburb. You can take that personally. As far as your legal action is concerned, I hope you will be ignored. Finally, I hope to never be as mature as you. I really do dread the thought. Enjoy.
Mark rocks.

Now I'm thinking that maybe we should organize some kind of letter-writing campaign along the lines of: "Crank Up The Volume, Blues Festival!"

iPhoto is slow ...

... slow-ass, slow, slow, slow! Why is it so damn slow? Sure, my Mac is no spring chicken and I have more than 2,000 photos in my library, but who doesn't accumulate that many digital photos in a few months? Besides, we're talking click-on-a-photo-and-
get-the-spinning-beachball-for-about-60-seconds-just-to-select-a-photo slow. Unacceptably slow. Slow, slow, slow.

Thanks, I just had to say that.

Dogs rock!

by a nose ...., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.
I took this at a flyball tournament in Pittsboro yesterday. I don't know whose dogs these are--they're on another team. Lucy's team didn't win anything, but we had a great time.

I'm still in the process of going through my Chicks Rock photos. Because it's a low-light situation and I hate to use flash, I always take way too many photos in the hopes of getting a handful of good ones. So it takes a long time to get through them.

Friday, September 10, 2004


iVan, originally uploaded by celerityfm.

I saw this on Flickr. Brilliant.

That's another cool thing about Flickr--you can blog someone else's photos.

Completely unrelated: I got everything correct in this quiz: How well do you know your rights? (US citizens only, subject to change with political climate.)
Thanks to frograbbitmonkey for the link.

Bummer ....

We had thought Mr. Gomez would be's pet of the month because we had an interview and a photo shoot and everything, but instead it's some dog named Tucker. I don't know what we're going to tell Gomey.

Lucy the Wonderdog!

My friend Diane photographs dog events, and she just posted her photos of the agility trial this weekend. She captured some of Lucy's photogenic moments (and one of my not-so photogenic moments):
spread jump, weave poles (with her handler in a WXDU T-shirt!), jump, jump, A-frame, tunnel, table (lie down already, Lucy!) and tunnel.

Meanwhile, I keep checking every so often because they're supposed to put up the new Pet of the Month this morning: Mr. Gomez (we think!).

Darn ...

So Ted may not be coming here after all. He had an offer of a place to stay from someone in Miami, so he's going there. If Miami ends up getting evacuated, he'll come here.

But he said he's ready to leave Key West, and if he weren't so disorganized he'd leave for the hurricane and just never go back. He's also not sure where he wants to go ... I said DURHAM!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Something Ivan has done for me ...

So my friend Ted, who lives on Key West, called today to ask if he can come hang with us for a few days while Ivan destroys the island, or as Ted calls it, the "urine-soaked hunk of coral." Yes! It's been at least 6 years since I've seen Ted, and I still miss having him around. Back in Madison, where we both used to live, we used to drink and play gin rummy, all the while kvetching about our lives. He even nicknamed me "Moronica." Good times.

Poor Grenada ....

Grenada is known among cruisers as one of the places you can go to ride out hurricane season. They just don't get hit as often as the rest of the Caribbean. Not this year. I'm particularly bummed because I've been there once (along with Mayreau, Bequia & Union Island, all hard-hit as well) and it's a wonderful place with wonderful people. It's very poor, though, and now their infrastructure is pretty much demolished. Additional reports of the devastation in the region can be found here.

Ignoring the destruction, Ivan is a really beautiful storm:

Unfortunately, he won't look that way to the people in Jamaica, Cuba and probably Florida ...

A heroic pup ...

Puppy shoots man, saves litter mates.

It would seem more like justice if the man had actually died ...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A new wrinkle in Gmail invitations ....

So now Gmail is putting a little message on some of my emails that say "Invite [sender] to Gmail." But the message isn't appearing on every single email, so I'm not sure what criteria Gmail uses to decide who I get to invite. Maybe the messages are parsed to decide if the sender is cool enough. Anyway, if you'd like to see if Gmail will let me send you and invitation, go ahead and email me. Then again just about everyone I know already has Gmail ...

Save Our Starlite ...

Lisa (i.e. another Lisa that isn't me ... the one that likes round cars) is devoting some of her spare time to helping rebuild the Starlite theatre screen, which burned down on Aug 22. The Starlite was one of the few remaining drive-in movie theatres, and the screen was uninsured. So rather than live without a drive-in theatre in the area, Lisa and a few others have formed the Save Our Starlite Foundation to pull together the funds, materials and manpower needed to build a new screen. There are several things so far that people can do to help: sponsor a sheet of plywood for $20 and get a dedication when the new screen is built; donate other lumber in sizes specified on the SOS site, call area businesses and ask them to join the fundraising drive; or put a spiffy link like the one below on their web site.

Save Our Starlite!

Monday, September 06, 2004

As threatened ....

Judy & Jackson, originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

OK, I've decided to torture folks with more talk of agility. The photo above is of my friend Judy, who is begging her dog Jackson to lie down on the pause table (he never did). It's sort of funny because when you've never done agility, you think "My dog knows the 'down' command ... how hard could that obstacle really be?" But the thing is that your dog has just been running, jumping, etc., and is probably really keyed up. Now you want her to stop and be still for the count of five? I failed to qualify (or "Q," as the lingo goes) in my standard course run on Saturday because it took too long for me to get Lucy into the down. We had a perfect run but it was about 30 seconds over time.

Because every agility course is different and you have no idea what it's going to look like until the day of the trial, they give everyone about 10 minutes to walk each course without dogs before competition begins. You have a little map and each obstacle is numbered, but you really need to memorize it because are so many other things to think about that you'll never make it through if you have to try and figure out which obstacle is next. But most people don't just walk the course, we do a slo-mo version of all the movements we'll be doing when we're running the course with our dogs. That's because our dogs mostly use our body language to know which obstacle we want them to take next (we've tried to work it all out in advance with them in classes and practice time), and we have to figure out in the walk-through what our bodies need to do at every point along the way. So the sight of all these people doing their bizarre ballet dances out in the field at the same time is really quite amusing to watch. My friend Geoff, who came to watch for a while yesterday, said it looked like the kind of thing you'd expect to see at a mental institution. I wish I had taken a photo.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Agility ...

Agility ..., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

This is my friend Marty and her border collie Link, running the standard course at the USDAA trial I was at all weekend.

I'm exhausted. I had a great time and I could bore the pants off of all three of you about it all, but I don't have the energy right now. Except to quickly brag: we took two third place finishes, but more importantly we Q'd in Starters Jumpers! (Q? What does that mean? You don't care unless you're an agility person, so just trust me that it's a very good thing and not too many people Q at their first trial.) But the best thing of all was that the judge told me it didn't look like it was only my first trial. I rock!!

Maybe I'll bore everyone more later with the details, maybe not ...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Fwd: Fwd: Fwd ....

I got one of those forwarded-many-times e-mail messages today. Usually I get these from my mom, and they're either cute or some godawful religious/patriotic crap (Have you hugged God and Your Country today? Pass this on to 87 friends or everyone will think you're some kind of godless pinko. I never forward them, of course) Anyway, this one came from Mark, so I knew it wouldn't be sickeningly cute or patriotic. It was sickening in another way:

Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag (Parliament) building by a deranged Dutchman to declare a “war on terrorism,” establish his legitimacy as a leader. (even though he hadn’t won a majority in the previous election much like George W. Bush).

“You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history,” Hitler proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. “This fire,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion, “is the beginning.” He used the occasion – “a sign from God,” he called it – to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their “evil” deeds in their religion.

Two weeks later, the first prison for terrorists was built in Oranianberg, holding the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the nation’s flag was everywhere, even printed in newspapers suitable for display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation’s now-popular leader had pushed through legislation, in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it, that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges (Like GITMO?) and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people’s homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic “Decree on the Protection of People and State” passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack on the Reichstag building was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained.

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. Instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as The fatherland. As hoped, people’s hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was “the” homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands.

Within a year of the terrorist attack, Hitler’s advisors determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, including those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist sympathizers. He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the Fatherland, (Homeland Security?) consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single powerful leader.

Most Americans remember his Office of Fatherland Security, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and Schutzstaffel, simply by its most famous agency’s initials: the (Herr Ashcrofts Gestapo?) SS.

And, perhaps most important, he invited his supporters in industry into the halls of government to help build his new detention camps, his new military, and his new empire which was to herald a thousand years of peace. Industry and government worked hand-in-glove, in a new type of pseudo-democracy first proposed by Mussolini and sustained by war.

What's that old saying: "There's nothing new under the sun?"

I think I should forward this one to my mother.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Just great ...

... now my dog is going to want one.

Raining cats & dogs ...

I posted about this in a comment to the last post, but I felt like doing a whole entry on it because I keep going back and looking at all the pictures ... like this guy:

He's one of the animals still homeless after Charley.
Now Frances is heading toward them and the building they are in may not be able to weather the storm safely.

Not that I want Frances to come our way, of course, it just makes me sad to see all these animals ...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Hello, Frances

So now I'm keeping an eye on Frances. As I'm writing this she's beating the hell out of the Turks and Caicos islands, and the Bahamas are probably next. But some of the forecasts are putting her to the north of the bahamas, which would be bad news for us. She's so massive that even if she hits Georgia we could get tropical storm conditions here. So of course I'm thinking "go south," but then I feel rotten about it. Because I'm basically hoping that Florida ends up getting creamed by another hurricane. A really big one.

Back in the fall of 1998 we booked a vacation to Belize for the following February. Then this huge, powerful hurricane--Mitch--looked as if it could be heading straight for Belize. I really didn't want a hurricane to hit Belize, thinking selfishly of my own vacation plans. Turns out, not only did Mitch turn south and miss Belize, but he just about took out the entire country of Honduras, dumping rain for days and days until everything that could collapse into a mudslide did and thousands of people were dead, some completely washed away never to be heard from again. What little infrastructure they had in some areas was completely destroyed. I felt like a jerk for having thought of my dumb vacation in the face of a category 5 hurricane. (Turns out, we never did get to Belize that year. American Airlines pilots had a sick-out and all their flights to just about anywhere were cancelled the day before we left. We ended up buying a package thing to a resort in the Dominican Republic, where there were armed guards on the beaches hassling Mark because they assumed he was Dominican.)

Anyway, so with Frances, I'm hoping that a giant from another planet gets out a huge vacuum cleaner and just sucks her right out of our atmosphere.
I'm testing Hello. I took this photo at work... Posted by Hello