Friday, February 02, 2007

Don't Tell The Wookie What To Do

It just makes him mad:
Police said that 6-foot-4 street performer was seen arguing with a 32-year-old Star Line Tours tour guide, who had expressed concern that the wookie impersonator was "harassing and touching tourists" in violation of the city law.

... The Star Line Tours guide, Brian Sapir, said in an interview today that the Chewbacca character was harassing two young Japanese tourists when he told him to stop. "You could see him exploding in his mask," Sapir said. "He said, 'Nobody tells this wookie what to do."

Young then threw his mask off and head-butted him, Sapir added.
Giant Rabbits

And the people who want to eat them (close those lop ears, Cloudy!):
The 67-year-old pensioner opens one of the cage doors to reveal what looks at first glance to be a dog. ... No, this is a monster bunny, a King Kong of the Rabbit World, weighing in at 10kg (22 pounds), with ears that look as tall as the Reichstag.

Karl has been Germany's top rabbit breeder for years; but now his fame has spread 11,340 km (7,000 miles) east.

"Last October I got a call from the North Korean embassy," Karl says. ... "When the officials turned up on my doorstep, their eyes popped out of their sockets at the sight of my rabbits. I'm so proud that my bunnies will help feed the North Korean people."

...I convince Karl to reveal the secret of his success. He leads me deep underground into his basement to an Aladdin's cave full of kitchens and storerooms.

This is the nerve centre of the breeding operation, where Karl slaves over a hot stove from morning till night preparing food for 20 rabbits, each with a monster appetite.

"I treat my rabbits to a special menu," explains Karl. "I feed them different meals three times a day, food like potatoes, bio-parsley, shredded grain and plenty of water. As the Germans say, treat them well, and they'll grow swell!"

... As I watch Karl mixing up his latest concoction, his eyes sparkling like a mad professor, I cannot help feeling there is something rather unsavoury about the whole process.

After all, bunnies are supposed to be cuddly pets, aren't they? Not made into rabbit pie? That, says Karl, is hypocritical.

"Some people say it is wrong to kill rabbits. That is rubbish. In East Germany lots of people bred rabbits for the meat, as well as for the fur to make hats and gloves."
Home Life

Back porch is done, and it looks fine, but the fuse repeatedly burned out when they used the rotary saw yesterday, and now I don't even have power to a portion of the house (the refrigerator is plugged in now with an extension cord). It may not be their fault, either: ill-advised stuff A. did last year may be to blame for this. Time for an electrician!

And why is that guy sleeping in his car in the driveway right next to mine? The woman next door comes out and feeds him, but he sleeps in the car. Is he a fugitive? Then why raise his profile by sleeping in a car?

Urban life! Don't you love it!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hoping For A Wetter February!

A desert-dry January:
Sacramento on Wednesday marked its driest January in 158 years of record keeping.

The National Weather Service rainfall gauge on the American River captured all of 0.07 inches for the month. All of it fell in one day, Jan. 4.

"It will go on record as the city's driest January since we began keeping records, in 1849," said Holly Osborne, a NWS meteorologist in Sacramento.
Watching Australian Weather

Tropical Cyclone warning in the Northern Territories' and Queensland's Gulf of Carpenteria right now.

Rains occurring in NE Queensland - even some around Brisbane right now.

The January weather summary is surprisingly chunky, with precipitation at some stations (usually in uninhabited areas far in the outback) well above average, and at other places (usually in inhabited areas near the coast) well below average.

I just want the animals and plants I saw to get wet, but most of those still long for more....
Getting In Touch With My Feminine Side

Watch those "essential oils" - they can cause havoc!:
Lavender and tea tree oils found in some shampoos, soaps and lotions can temporarily leave boys with enlarged breasts in rare cases, apparently by disrupting their hormonal balance, a preliminary study suggests.

... The study reported on the condition, gynecomastia, in three boys ages 4, 7 and 10. They all went back to normal when they stopped using skin lotions, hair gel, shampoo or soap with the natural oils.

... These plant oils, sometimes called "essential oils," are added to many health-care products, usually for their scent. The oils are sometimes found in other household products or sold in purer forms. Tea tree oil is sometimes used in shampoos for head lice.

...On product labels, the oils sometimes are listed by their scientific names: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender oil) and Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil). Such products do not require government approval to be sold unless they make specific health claims.

... Others sounded less worried. "It takes very little estrogen to cause gynecomastia in a young child," said Dr. Richard Auchus, a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center hormone expert who knew of the study findings. "If they're getting it for a brief period of time, that really shouldn't cause long-term problems."

And what are tea-trees? These pretty trees along the eastern Australian coast at Noosa Headlands on the Sunshine Coast are tea trees. A very odd-looking tree too.

Maybe that's why the men in the interior of Australia are so 'macho'. Not enough of the coastal "essential oils."
Final Weekend Of "Mame"

'Have A Little Christmas'. Left to right: Ito (Andy Hyun), Gooch (Monica Parisi), Young Patrick (Andrew Lampinen), Mame (Mary Young).

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside (William Hedge) and Mame (Mary Young).

Gooch (Monica Parisi), Mame (Mary Young), M. Lindsay Woolsey (Paul Schecter), and Vera Charles (Peggy Schecter).

Nice end to a nice show!

Final Friday, I spilled water in the stage right wing - just to add a little thrill to the show!

Flubbed up hand motions in the modern dance sequence on Saturday night, but it didn't matter: Ania, who danced with us in 'Cabaret', appreciated the satire nonetheless!

On Sunday, my guests were Bill O'Brien and Marcia Raphael. I met Bill in 1990, when he was 70 years old. He loves modern dance (he always says he 'discovered' Mark Morris, whatever that means). He loves dance so much that, at age 65, he decided to start ballet lessons, at Bobbi Bader's studio. I hadn't heard from either for so long, I figured Bill had probably died, so I started out my Christmas card to them something like: "I don't if you are still alive, Bill, but in the event you are still among the living, Merry Christmas!" To my embarrassed surprise, they called up and said hello!

After strike, good pizza at Steve's Pizza!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ban The Old Bulbs?

Here is an interesting proposal: ban incandescent light bulbs in the state of California and mandate the use of compact fluorescents.

I've never been a fan of using regulatory schemes to solve problems like Global Warming. The reason is because all modern societies are pathetically, laughably WEAK and ineffective about doing anything to limit fossil fuel consumption, which is we all HAVE to do to get a handle on carbon dioxide emissions. It doesn't matter what nation or political party tries to implement the limits. We are all addicted to fossil fuels, and addictions can't be fixed by credits, caps, limits, market schemes and all the other contrivances of government.

To slow the accumulation of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere, the only thing that will work is the implementation of technical advances that promote efficiency, so that we don't even notice how green we've gotten as we go about our daily thoughtless, piggish ways.

During the 2001 California electricity crisis, despite SMUD's heroic efforts to keep the electrons flowing, I thought electricity rates might climb virtually without limit. I panicked, and replaced virtually all the bulbs in my house with compact fluorescents. A significant number of other Californians did the same. Shockingly, my electric bill instantly fell by 40 - 45%. The compact fluorescents really worked! And I didn't pay any real price in inconvenience either!

In 2001, people were mystified as to how Californians as a whole managed to reduce their consumption so quickly, a factor which helped solve the crisis. The compact fluorescents had a lot to do with that.

So, a ban on incandescent light bulbs seems attractive at first glance. I suspect there might be problems with a ban, however. One reason is that the compact fluorescents are larger than incandescent bulbs, and won't fit in some lamps. A second reason is that the brightness and color rendering of compact fluorescents is not as good as possible with incandescent light bulbs. For most people, for most daily purposes, that won't matter, but some people might have a problem - the operators of art galleries or photo studios, for example, where brightness and color rendering really do matter, might not like the new bulbs.

I think the solution is to make incandescents considerably more expensive than compact fluorescents, 25% higher, or more, perhaps with a tax. So, for special purposes, people would still be able to buy incandescents, but cost would discourage them. I argue for a penalty against incandescents, and not an incentive for compact fluorescents, because what's keeping compact fluorescent prices high right now is the small volume of sales. Prices will come down as sales increase, making incentives unnecessary. Plus, a penalty will be easier for the state to manage as incandescent sales shrink.

The argument is made that this kind of law is an excess of a nannyish government. I would argue against that. Government is at its most effective when it imposes uniform standards on everyone. Mandating the use of seat belts in automobiles, for example, is nannyish government at its best. Heck, even George Will supports seat belts (he witnessed unbelted people get slaughtered in an automobile accident, and as conservative as he is, even he sees the point of the mandate). A suitably-amended compact fluorescents mandate would also be government at its best, and infinitely more-effective than some stupid Kyoto Protocol:
Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, said he plans to call his bill the "How Many Legislators Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?" act.

But Levine said the intent of his bill is very serious -- to phase out the standard, incandescent bulb in favor of a more energy-efficient model.

"They're cheaper for the consumer, they save the state money and they're better for the environment," Levine said of energy-efficient bulbs.

Legislation is needed because many consumers, faced with a much cheaper retail price for a traditional bulb, don't realize that an energy-efficient model can burn 10 times longer and save perhaps $55 per bulb in the long run, Levine said.

... Runner, a Lancaster Republican, said banning incandescent light bulbs would amount to "nanny government" in which lawmakers dictate how people should live their lives.

Runner said the state should create incentives for buying energy-efficient light bulbs, perhaps, but not prohibit particular models.

"People will do what they think is right for their economics," he said.

Levine said his proposal would ban the sale of incandescent bulbs by 2012.

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, announced Tuesday that he has created a separate bill to ban incandescent bulbs by 2018, thus providing a 10-year phaseout period.

Huffman and Levine said late Tuesday that they will work together on merging the two measures, but they have not yet agreed on specifics.

Huffman said he hopes to create an energy-efficiency standard for light bulbs, setting the bar too high for incandescent bulbs but allowing for introduction of new technologies in coming years.

The current alternative to a traditional incandescent bulb is a compact fluorescent lamp, which retails for up to $9 apiece but is available in the Sacramento area for about $1 through subsidies from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

... Max Lofing, one of the owners of Lofing's Lighting in Sacramento, said the vast majority of energy-efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs provide substandard quality.

"They aren't quite up to par as far as color rendering," he said.

"They don't make them up to a standard where they provide the highest quality for decorative fixtures."

...Several Sacramentans interviewed Tuesday were skeptical of the proposed ban.

"I think government's going too far on that," said Martin Piceno, 22.

Gloria Dellavedova, 51, said she considers energy-efficient bulbs a good value but doesn't want to see government dictate the market.

"I personally would prefer to have the choice," said Beth Jensen, 27.
Bye, Bye Back Porch

The old one was rotting away - the new one hopefully will be better.

(this is carpentry, not plastic surgery....)
Got Paper

Yesterday, after making car payments for five tedious years, I finally received title to my 2002 Saturn SC2 Sports Coupe. I now no longer have to make payments of $342.25/mo. to GMAC.

I wonder if I should trade it in and get another car?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Brisbane Rocks!

Brisbane's music scene is hot. And the reason? Government intervention, of course!

This article is full of dissonant strains. When I visited the place, it seemed that local government initiatives removing building height restrictions in the Fortitude Valley neighborhood might have the inadvertent effect of killing off the music scene there (because apartment dwellers hate noise at night).

Be that as it may, the city seems quite vibrant!:
MUSIC capital of Australia? Once maligned as a hick country town, Brisbane is now challenging Melbourne for the title of Australian rock's centre.

US industry bible Billboard magazine has crowned Brisbane one of its five international music hot spots spawning exciting new sounds for this year, alongside Beijing, Birmingham, Berlin and Marseille.

... This assessment is bolstered by Brisbane's long legacy of hugely successful acts.

There's been the singing Gibb brothers the Bee Gees in the 60s and infectious pop duo Savage Garden in the 90s, who have globally sold more than 180 million and 40 million records, respectively.

Brisbane's more recent successes have included rockers Powderfinger, solo sensation Pete Murray and pop princesses The Veronicas - who clinched a $2 million record deal with US label Sire Records.

Billboard name drops singer-songwriters Andrew Morris, Kate Miller-Heidke and Kate Bradley as upcoming artists to watch this year, alongside continuing success for Butterfingers and The Butterfly Effect.

... The magazine also credits Brisbane's booming live music scene, based around the city's pulsating Fortitude Valley nightclub precinct, as a key factor behind the wave of talent.

... But perhaps the foundations for this distinctive music culture were truly laid under former premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen's divisive two-decade reign.

Queensland Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett says some of the city's best music products evolved amid a "political sub culture" developed in the 1970s-80s.

"We don't have that really heavy intimidation from the police that you used to have, and the music scene was a lot smaller and insular," says Senator Bartlett - a major music fan who grew up gigging around Brisbane and helping out long-running community radio station 4ZZZ.

"As far as continuity, impact and attitude goes, you can't go past the Go-Betweens (nor) Ed Kuepper (of the Saints) as an individual performer."

Senator Bartlett says since the 1980s Brisbane has "opened up" musically, resulting in a diverse spectrum of different acts flourishing.

... Other Brisbands include Custard, Spiderbait, Regurgitator, George and Powderfinger, which has gone on to be the biggest band nationally of the new millennium.

"We're no longer just walking out of pubs with bad hearing and smoke in our hair - Brisbane's a dynamic place with a lot of variety," Senator Bartlett says.

He says Brisbane's melting pot of music has emerged because the city, basically, isn't one big music snob.

I'm not a Hillary Clinton fan, and apparently neither is Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone:
I FIRST HEARD JOHN KERRY float his "national conversation" schtick in Dover, New Hampshire, sometime in November 2003. I remember it clearly because while I usually used Kerry speeches as opportunities to catch up on lost sleep, this one had me awake from the start because it was so bizarre. After months of looking like a stiff, disinterested creep, Kerry suddenly came bounding out onstage, goofily caressing the mic like Phil Donahue, imploring the audience that "I really want to have a conversation with you." ....

That was John Kerry in a nutshell. He decided to take the big step of inviting his audience to examine him as a person and search out the glistening originality of his character not two seconds after trotting out a "let's have a conversation" line that was not only a hideously worn old saw of Democratic campaign speechery, but was also a bald concoction of the party's corporate PR slaves at the Democratic Leadership Council, which had been hosting an annual "National Conversation" conference since 1997. The DLC's national conversation was actually a series of strategic meetings and plenary sessions between the group's member-elected officials and its more prominent (i.e. monied corporate) members; the council's idea of a "national conversation" was probably Bruce Reed and Evan Bayh hitting the links with a pair of Union Carbide executives.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton announced her run for president last week. Now it was her turn to slip the "national conversation" line four sentences into her first speech as a national presidential candidate. You have to wonder what it says about a political candidate when she runs out of her own ideas less than fifty words into her national sojourn.

Actually, it took less time than that; the very first lines of her speech ("I'm in. And I'm in to win") were a cheap ripoff of Disney teenie idol Corbin Bleu's "Push It to the Limit" lyrics. Think about that: In preparation for what was clearly the biggest and most important speech of her life to date, Hillary Clinton sat down, plucked the inspirational top from a crappy teenie boy-band song, and then plunged right into a student-body-right regurgitation of DLC focus-group campaign gobbledygook, rhetoric that was still bruised and squashed quite flat from the pounding it took on the Kerry campaign trail two years ago. This was her way of introducing the future President Clinton's "new ideas" to the world.

...Kerry used to be the master of the focus-word-list style of campaign speechifying ("My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values..."), but Hillary blows Kerry away. You seldom caught Kerry lumping more than four focus words into a sentence, but check out Hillary's penultimate line. It's a six-word list: Principles, values, new ideas, energy, leadership, challenge. In fact the only focus words that Hillary left out of her speech, as far as I can tell, were freedom, pride, and truth. The key words -- values, principles, change, heroes, future, etc. -- were mostly all double- or triple-represented.

... Had Hillary embraced head-on her undeniable role as an unwitting martyr/archetype for the modern professional woman, had she opened up her campaign by actually showing us what her private thoughts have been throughout all of these trying times, and what she might think the meaning of her journey has been or could be, she would have instantly established herself as an extraordinarily interesting and compelling story, at the very least. Instead, Hillary is clearly so spooked by the experience of not being taken seriously by the Beltway establishment that she's gone overboard in the direction of being a typical Inside-Baseball, full-of-shit Washington hack, spraying cardboard cliches like machine-gun fire. She's Joe Biden without the plugs.
Shooting Fish In A Barrel

Feeling sorry for the fish:
Since Liberals/warprotestors have all the answers, let's see what they would have to say about these questions...

Question 1 (A-C)
Where do you think the terrorist are? Where should we go? Are there any terrorist left?

Question 2 (A-C)
We get out of Iraq, then what? Will the terrorist stop fighting against us? If the terrorist no longer will fight us, does that mean we won the war in Iraq?

Too see if any off them answered...
The Hitchhiker

Bad vibes from the back seat:
An Israeli who was driving in the area, Yossi Voltinksy, offered Siksek a lift as he walked towards the city, a resort on the Red Sea, dressed in heavy clothing despite the heat.

"As soon as I looked at him in the rear-view mirror I saw something was wrong," said Mr Voltinksy, an auditor in Eilat hotels and a reserve lieutenant colonel.

"He wore a windbreaker zipped to the neck, with a big backpack strapped on. He kept one hand in his pocket and his eyes darted. I asked him where he was headed, but he didn't answer. He just motioned for me to keep going. I realised at this point that I was carrying a hostile person, a terrorist or a robber."

Mr Voltinksy released his seatbelt in order to be able to move and saw his passenger tensing. Instead of heading towards the heart of the city, Mr Voltinksy turned on to a bypass road.

"I didn't want to go to a checkpoint because I knew that as soon as he saw soldiers he would blow up."

Mr Voltinksy said he thought of flipping the car over but his passenger suddenly signalled for him to stop. They were on the outskirts of the city. Mr Voltinksy said he considered the possibility of running him over as he walked away but didn't try. "There was a 1 per cent chance that he was innocent, maybe a crazy. How would I be able to live with that?"

Instead, Mr Voltinksy telephoned police. Within minutes, he could hear the approaching sirens of patrol cars. Siksek, who was almost 1km from where he was dropped off, could hear them too. He entered a nearby bakery whose two owners and their one employee were making bread for the city's hotels. All three were killed, together with the bomber, in the ensuing explosion.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Spinning Too Far Around

Kylie's romance crashing publicly (I wonder if she'd like to go out for a yogurt?):
"Olivier finds Kylie too controlling and neurotic," the source told the paper.

"But he feels he cannot dump her so soon after her recovery from breast cancer.
How Many Spouses Are Too Many Spouses?

A friend writes:
I had an interesting thought the other day: If homosexual marriage becomes legal and accepted, then so should polygamy. I can't think of a reason why one should be allowed, but not the other. Can you?
I was doing some genealogy work a few years ago, and encountered a distant relative, a federal judge appointed by Lincoln, whose circuit encompassed Utah, and who was Brigham Young's scourge on the entire question of polygamy. If I understand the argument properly, it is difficult for polygamy to function based on the principle of equality, where the spouses have equal authority. If more than two marry, then it is inevitable that one will rule the others. Two, OK: three or more, not good.

Let's see if I can dig up that genealogical reference....

Looking at the reference again, I see I misremembered the whole thing. The argument against polygamy comes from elsewhere, someplace I can't recall. But it's still a reasonable argument: polygamy leads to oppression. It may not always be true, but it may be true often enough to be a concern to society.
Thomas Jefferson Drake

Elected as State Senator Third District (Michigan) 1838 to fill vacancy. 1839 was president of the Senate.

A story is told of a wordy conflict which occurred between Thomas J. Drake, a Whig Senator of Oakland and Jacob Sommers, a Democratic Senator from Macomb County. Senator Sommers, "Uncle Jake," was in the chair and Mr. Drake, in discussing a resolution, used language highly offensive to the presiding officer and was ordered to take his seat. "Saucy Tom Drake," as he was called, a title he was justly entitled to because of his fighting propensities in courts as well as legislative assemblies, sat down, and again instantly arose and without ceasing his talk. Again he was ordered to take his seat and as quickly arose; this was repeated several times until "Uncle Jake" got furious and was about to make a personal attack when senators interfered. "Saucy Tom Drake" however, had the last word; on taking his seat, pointing significantly to the presiding officer he repeated: "Pigmies placed on heights are pigmies still," which of course, did not tend to make the two less enemies during the remainder of the session.

Mr. Drake was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for the Territory of Utah by Abraham Lincoln Feb. 3, 1862. He was reappointed in 1866 by Andrew Johnson.

Judge Drake's rulings were so distasteful to the Mormons that the feeling culminated in about a year after he assumed his duties in an effort to rid the Territory of all Federal Officers. A mass meeting was held and the following day Brigham Young sent his emissaries to wait upon Judge Drake and Governor Waite to notify them that they must leave the territory. The two men had taken a house together, and when the delegation arrived Judge Drake was writing at his desk, and as they served the notice first to the Governor he paid no attention, but kept on writing. When the committee requested Judge Drake to take notice of the resolutions as he was included, the Judge rose from his seat and said: "These are important resolutions and as they are intended to affect me I desire to say a word or two. It is a very grave thing to request a citizen to leave the country. Are you aware of the magnitude and importance of the business you have undertaken? I am an American citizen and have a right to come here and go into any part of the Republic. I have a right to ask Congress to amend the laws or to make new ones. You have no excuse for your conduct towards me. It is mean and contemptible and on your part, Taylor, a foreigner, it is impudence unequalled, and Pratt, a citizen, ought to know better than to trample on the rights of a citizen by the performance of such a dirty enterprise.

"Your resolutions are false and the man that drew them knew it to be so." (Here Taylor undertook to speak and the Judge told him to be still.) "Besides I understand that Brigham Young yesterday in your mass meeting said I was a fool and a tool of the Governor." (Taylor with great promptness admitted it was so.) "Then, said the Judge," go back to Brigham Young, your master, that embodiment of sin, shame, and disgust, and tell him that I neither fear him, love him, nor hate him, but that I utterly despise him. Go tell him whose tools and tricksters you are, that I did not come here by his permission, and I shall not go away by his desire, nor by his direction. I have given no cause of offense to any one. I have not entered a Mormon's house since I have come here. Your wives and daughters have not been disturbed by me. I have not even looked at your concubines or lewd women" - (here Taylor undertook to say something, but the Judge stopped him and bade him to be silent) - "and if you or the man you serve so faithfully ever attempt to interfere with my lawful business, you will meet with a difficulty you little expect. (Taylor again undertook to speak, but the Judge refused to let him, and said) "Horse thieves and murderers have a right to speak in a court of Justice when arrested, and unless in such a capacity and under such circumstances - don't you ever speak to me again." As the committee were leaving Taylor said "They could have their opinion." "Yes," said the Judge, "Thieves and murderers can have an opinion."

In 1869 he became so tired of living in such a "den of iniquity" as he termed the Mormon country, the he came home on a visit. As his health was much broken his friends persuaded him not to go back, so he resigned and remained at his home in Pontiac till his death Apr. 20, 1875.
Reference: Drake genealogy in the line of Samuel Drake of Lower Smithfield Township, Northhampton (now Monroe) County, Pennsylvania, Avery, Lillian Drake; published in Pontiac, Michigan, 1926, and as cited in Genealogy in Honor of Marjorie Louise Buzzell Valdez, Second Edition, Marc Philip Valdez. Sacramento, California, September 4, 2004. The first edition of my mom's genealogy is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, but the ground began quaking and the skies clouded over when I thought about sending the second edition, with this quote, so I haven't done it yet.

Nevertheless my friend was not impressed:
That doesn't sound like a very good reason. I'll go ahead and be more clear: Heterosexual marriage among consenting adults, homosexual marriage among consenting adults, polygamy among consenting adults. Actually, you could argue that any marriage -- any human relationship, for that matter -- will lead to oppression: one person will always hold more power than the other(s). That's why we have divorce.

Got any other reasons?
That's true, even with two people, one person will tend to predominate, but as more people get added to the mix, the more likely you'll get an emperor, and a bunch of peasants. Two is usually manageable, but the greater the number, the greater the number of problems.

If I was married, for example, to Canada, I would have no end of petty jealousies to deal with and any number of complications, balancing the Vancouver sweetie vs. the Toronto sweetie, and where I would sleep tonight, plus dealing with all the children too.

When you look at pictures of Mormon pioneers, the men look tired and desperate. I suspect they were very busy dealing with all these home issues. 19th Century Mormon life was tough, particularly when locusts ate the crops, or Indians attacked, but never more so than when Valentine's Day rolled around.
No Even Suspects The Goanna

Left: Looking like a science fiction monster with an appetite for radioactive waste, a three-feet long Gould's Goanna prowls the trash dumpster at Mt. Nebo, Queensland, AU, and skeers the bejeebers out of me!

Minnesota Senator gets clobbered:
"Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) returned to Capitol Hill this week with a prominent gash on his forehead after he was knocked nearly unconscious back home in St. Paul while -- of all things -- dumpster diving," the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers reported....

Coleman told Akers he was "looking for something that my wife accidentally threw in the dumpster."

... Adds Akers, "He was vague about what exactly whacked him in the head. (His office explained later that it was 'a piece of wood.') But whatever it was, the impact was so hard that he 'saw stars.'"
Awaiting Orders

The doctor suggested that, having turned 50, I should now get vaccinated for pneumonia. The vaccine is good against the most common, bacterial forms of the disease. It sounded like a good idea: after all, pneumonia is a killer that regularly puts all ages of once-healthy people into pine boxes every year. So, I rolled up my sleeve and got the shot.

Keith at Subway thought it was a bad move. "Government technology is at least a decade ahead of where people usually think it is, and it wouldn't be surprising if they injected nanomachines into your bloodstream, in order to subject you to government control."

So, healthy but enslaved, I await orders from the National Institutes of Health....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Neti Pot Sinus Relief

R.S. described her experience thus (paraphrase):
I was having a lot of trouble with sinus infections, so a friend from the yoga community recommended a neti pot. So I created an isotonic saline solution using kosher salt (so there'd be no iodine in it), tilted my head sideways, and used the neti pot to put the saline solution up one nostril, wash out the sinuses, and flush all the snot out the other nostril. I'm breathing freely now! It's wonderful!
Actually, I was appalled, but apparently it's a reasonable thing to do, and best yet, it seems to work. Who knew?