Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Boring Day

Hey, darlin's. T'was a nice day here in the Pacific Northwest; I've made a doctor's appt. for Tuesday. I think Tigger may be pressed down a bit by a sinus infection. We'll know for sure after tomorrow, if Tigger doesn't bounce back!, when I try treating myself with vodka and orange juice. Or maybe vodka and V-8, with horseradish and a nice shake of pepper. (We'll see what evil concoctions Eli has to throw my way. He's a bad boy.)

I'm open to other suggestions. Faythe, with yer cats gone wild?!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Survivor: Fiji

Hooray! Last night justice was finally done. James ‘Rocky’ Reid, the 28-year-old loud-mouthed bartender from Los Angeles, was ousted by his boys. As the end credits rolled, he pouted and spit into the camera: “I’m extremely pissed off; I’m angry.” Poor baby.


I'm glad the new Ravu realized Rocky was a total ass. But I think Rocky clinched his own fate by making fun of his tribemates after they won the reward challenge. Hey, if you chow down on hotdogs, brownies, and beer, you're not exactly gonna feel good. Rocky decided to jeer at them for being little girly-men, saying, “And if you can’t take stuff like that here, you shouldn’t be here.”

Guess they decided YOU shouldn't be here. Bye bye, Rocky.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Thought Kitties Didn't Like Water


It's An Unfair World, Peeps

...when Chris Sligh gets booted off American Idol before either Haley or that nasty little Sanjaya. I didn't like Chris's cover of "Every Little Thing Shes Does Is Magic," but he is still head and shoulders above Sanjaya when it comes to vocal talent. Looks like the woman on the hunger strike is going to have to drop some more pounds.

Does anyone else think Chris Sligh looks like David Lee Higgins, the guy who played Coffee Joe on the sitcom "Ellen?" All Joe needs is a perm.






Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NOW Endorses Hillary Clinton

Wow. I think this is premature on the part of the National Organization for Women, but then again, the Human Rights Campaign is licking Hillary's boots, too. She definitely has a truckload of money chasing after her--just this morning I got an email from Geraldine Ferraro on her behalf, asking for a campaign contribution. It seems to me that, so far, Barack Obama is the most thoughtful of the current crop of Dems. I still wish Al Gore would run.

Starvation for Sanjaya: A Hunger Strike

Well, she is a bit extreme (unless she is looking for an excuse to lose pounds, in which case there are better ways to diet), but she is right. Sanjaya is the weakest and most boring singer in the bunch and should've been kicked off weeks ago. If he survived last night's performance with that bizarre "fauxhawk" of his, I'll have to conclude that Americans have no appreciation of genuine talent whatsoever. Tsk.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Naughty Hackers!

From the Huffington Post, "This is an excellent example of a really, really funny prank that also happens to have a positive social message on a number of fronts." That's arguable (pranks, punk'ds, and practical jokes are always in poor taste in my opinion) ... but I couldn't help but chuckle at this hacker's goofin' around on John McCain's MySpace page.

Anna Nicole's Lethal Cocktail

Well, "accidental overdose" probably doesn't surprise anyone, but good grief. Salon's Fix states that found in her system was:
A laundry list of drugs (including Benadryl, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, atropine, topiramate, ciprofloxacin) combined with sleep drug chloral hydrate to cause acute drug intoxication.
Hmm. Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication for allergies, but it's also used as a sleep aid (e.g., Tylenol PM is Tylenol and Benadryl). Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan are all prescription medications used in treating anxiety, and they are sedatives/muscle relaxants. Cipro is an antibiotic, and I honestly don't know what atropine and topiramate are. But considering she also had yet one more very serious sleep agent--the chloral hydrate--in her system, it's no wonder she fell asleep never to wake up. And wasn't she supposedly drinking earlier in the day as well? Or at least the evening before? Alcohol's a depressant, too.

The medical examiner stated that, taken by itself, none of the above drugs would've killed her. But when you put them all together, they intensify the effects, and her respiratory system simply shut down. It's so sad, and her death was so completely preventable.
Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: Well Go Through Iran

The Onion

Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran'

WASHINGTON, DC-Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation's first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces' strategy for exiting Iraq.

Faux News, Fair and Balanced

Does Ramode Rhyme with Commode?

Oooh, looky, here is an email from Sgt. Marcia Ramode, recruiter for the United States Army. She apparently found this gentleman's resume posted online and sent him an email attempting to interest him in joining the Army. He responded that he was an African American gay male, and their exchange took off from there. This is just one of her highly intelligent and well-reasoned emails back to him. To read their correpondence, Pam has it posted over at the Blend.

Gonzales Scandal

This story simply gets uglier and uglier:

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's teenage boy inmates.

Read about it here.

Medicare, They Don't Care

From Inside Higher Education:

You’ve heard the complaints about paying more for tuition and textbooks. The
latest sticker shock to be upsetting students: the rising cost of birth control.

A little known provision in a deficit reduction law enacted in 2005 is taking effect this year and leading to sharp increases in costs for students who use prescription birth control. Exact costs vary from campus to campus, but students whose birth control needs could have been financed with $10 to $20 a month now find themselves facing bills as much as $50 a month. That may not sound like a huge increase, but health educators report that many students don’t have an extra few hundred dollars a year in their budgets and are furious about the change. Those frustrations upset health educators, who already worry about students having sex without birth control, and who don’t want any unwanted pregnancies on their campuses. In addition, health educators note that students who seek prescription birth control typically receive guidance on sexual health issues, guidance that might disappear if students are discouraged from these froms of birth control.

I'm sure someone with their head in the sand figured this would be a cost-cutting measure that would actually prevent unwanted pregnancies as it would force students to be abstinent. Hey, I also have some swamp land in Florida for sale! This provision benefits no one but the pharmaceutical companies (read the rest of the article), which seems to be something that Bush's Medicare changes were intended to do, at least the way they've been playing out. Personally, I think it's profoundly cheaper to be realistic, give students access to birth control they can afford (I didn't say make it free), and prevent unwanted pregnancies in actuality (rather than by just wishing they'll be good little boys and girls).

So Glad to Be Back ... Not.

Yesterday was a barrel full o' fun! I slept the whole day. I was fighting off my significant other's cold the entire trip to California and it finally got the better of me. You know the drill: coughing, congestion, night sweats, and other things I shan't even mention. I'm better today but I can tell it'll be one of those "up and around for an hour" then "lie down and stare at the tv for two hours" days.

I'd say it's good to be home but two things are making me want to crawl back into bed and just stay there: (1) it's snowing in parts of Spokane County and (2) I haven't even installed TurboTax yet, much less begin inputting information. It's much more fun to blog and whine.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Home Again, Home Again ...

California definitely has more pollen right now than Spokane.

I woke up this morning in Menlo Park and pried my eyelids apart, and it had nothing to do with the night before.

Alas.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

So far no luck

So far no luck, but my significant other keeps winning Pick 3's. Good thing somebody's winning, because my losing results in us breaking even. ;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yahoo! And therrrrrre they go!

Yo mah peeps, I may not be blogging the next couple days since it's spring break in these here parts. I will pop in if I happen to get Internet access but I'm not sure I will. You'll never, ever guess where I'm going.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Whoa. Wait. What on Earth ... ?!


James Hansen, pictured here, is Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is currently being questioned by a federal panel for his outspoken views on global warming. Hansen has indignantly called the the current Administration's tactics as being like those of Nazi Germany. (Strong words; I kind of wish he'd put it another way and not gone the blustering Bill O'Reilly route.) But essentially, Hansen is attacking the administration's rule that a government information officer listen in on his interviews with reporters and its outright refusal to allow him to be interviewed by National Public Radio.

"This is the United States," Hansen told the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee. "We do have freedom of speech here."

Republicans argue that it is reasonable for the government, which is Hansen's employer, to ask him not to state views publicly that contradict administration policy. Read about it here.

The Daily Show Parodies the Ex-Gay Movement

OMG, this is hilarious. But it's also a little frightening since the "healer," Richard Cohen, is for real. Be sure to check out Truth Wins Out and Ex-Gay Watch for unquacky information about the so-called "curing" of gays.

Why Dubya Doesn't Use Email

Oh, the irony. I guess now he can add "emails about U.S. Attorney firings" to the list.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Code Pink inside the Valerie Plame Wilson Hearings

A protester named MIDGE POTTS from Code Pink got inside the Valerie Plame Wilson hearings, appearing directly over Plame’s right shoulder, wearing an IMPEACH BUSH NOW T-shirt. Midge, who is transgendered, is a U.S. Navy veteran. I love her Jackie Kennedy pillbox hat, but even funnier is her "shame, shame, shame" finger gesture.


Tally Ho!

Attorneygate

Senator Dianne Feinstein said yesterday on Meet the Press that it's increasingly looking like U.S. Attorney Carol Lam was fired because, after convicting Randy "Duke" Cunningham for accepting bribes, she had her sights set on two more Republicans. Emails tell the story. If in fact this allegation turns out to be true, then guess what? Yup, Gonzales et al may very well have committed a crime.

Obstruction of justice, anybody?

Thus it should come as no surprise that the White House is now seeking to replace the Attorney General. In addition, Congress is more than ready to repeal the provision sneaked into the Patriot Act that allowed Gonzales to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Congressional approval.

UPDATE: Bush apparently showed a bit of temper today and called the Attorneygate scandal a Democratic witchhunt. He says he'll not let Rove, Miers, et al, testify under oath, only in private and off-the-record. I say, good grief. If there was no wrongdoing, let them testify under oath. Subpoenas will be issued, so if they don't testify, next there will be "Contempt of Congress" charges. The Dept of Justice will have to investigate. Some of the really liberal blogs (hey, I'm liberal, but I mean the REAAAALLLY liberal ones) are already mentioning the word "impeachment." Whoopee do. President Bush, please just let them testify. Then this'll be all over and done with, now that Congress has acted swiftly to repeal that bit of the Patriot Act that gave Gonzales full reign to slash and burn as the politicos saw fit.

Unless, of course, there's something to hide. And I really hope not.

I'm Feeling Feisty This Morning

My NCAA brackets are not busted yet; in the second round I got 10 winners but also miscalled 6. Maryland, VA Tech, and UVA all let me down. I suppose since now I'm from Washington, I should be rooting for Oregon (since Gonzaga and the Washington State Cougars are out), but truly, I have a hard time cheering for a duck. Quack!

How to Counter-Protest



You go, girl!

Thanks to Shakes for
finding this photo.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Thought for the Day

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evils but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Sorry, Cougs


Sorry, Cougars. The game was a nail-biter. Losing in second overtime is nothing to be ashamed of.

Of course, you did mess up my brackets.

How Are Your NCAA Brackets Doing?

Now that the first round is completed, I have picked 27 winners and 5 losers. It'll probably get uglier from here on out.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Star Trek: New Voyages


Star Trek: New Voyages is a new series in the Star Trek franchise, and it will star George Takei reprising his original role as Lt. Sulu. So what? Well, there will be a gay-themed episode called "Blood and Fire." Read about it here.

Tip o' the pen to Elaine.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: New Voyages is a fan-produced series (there have been 3 episodes thus far) available for download for free. The series is a labor of love and not-for-profit.

The Onion

General Calls Homosexuality 'Immoral'

Marine General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Chicago Tribune that he considered homosexuality "immoral."...

Too Immoral for Military Service, Eh?

Kudos to Pam over at Pandagon.

The Race Is On!


Thanks to Time magazine.

U.S. Attorney Scandal

As we all know, there are two sides to every story, and getting at the truth can be a challenge. Right now there's a lot of spin from both Democrats and Republicans regarding the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys. Some wonder what on earth the problem is. It's the Bush Administration's right to fire and reappoint whom they choose; U.S. Attorneys "serve at the pleasure of the President." And firing U.S. Attorneys is hardly a new thing. Clinton did it; so did George Bush's father (Bush I) when he took office. In short, why is there even a scandal?

Now, this is my opinion. It is naturally subject to change as more information comes to light. But in my mind, this "purge" of U.S. Attorneys is actually quite different from Clinton's and Bush I's. In these two cases, both men came into office, canned all 93 or however many there were of the Attorneys, and replaced them with whom they wanted. But in the case of George W. Bush, these were 8 U.S. Attorneys who were singled out to be fired during Bush's second term.

Of course, Bush is still free to fire whom he pleases, or to direct his Attorney General to do so--that fact is not the problem. (It is, however, odd that Gonzales and crew felt they had to lie to Congress about the White House's hand in the firings. Why lie if what they did was above board?)

Here's a short description of each of the fired Attorneys.

What is amazing to me is that of the 8, 6 were Republicans and 2 were Independent. No Democrats in the bunch, folks! These people were okay with Bush & Co. during his first term. I think two furthermore had beyond stellar records, and no one had been caught up in any scandals or anything like that. They weren't incompetent, in other words. So why were they fired?

Well, it appears that they irked certain key Republicans. For example, Carol Lam teed them off by prosecuting another Republican, Duke Cunningham (whom, as we know, now sits in jail for taking bribes). Meanwhile, there were allegations of voter fraud on the part of Democrats in New Mexico, yet the U.S. Attorney there (Iglesias) found there was no means to pursue it. This teed off Senator Pete Domenci for some reason (perhaps he didn't like whatever Democrat it was that ended up winning the vote). But as I understand it, there were three separate recounts-- that's THREE--and I also understand Iglesias put together a bipartisan group to examine whether there was voter fraud. This group found there was not. I'm not sure what else Iglesias could've done, short of making up charges of voter fraud (which is what Domenci apparently wanted him to do?)

In short, it's looking awfully like these 8 U.S. Attornies weren't aggressively helping political campaigns or Republican members of Congress and were simply doing their job of being impartial jurists. And they were fired for being impartial, for refusing to be harpies. I think that's wrong; prosecutors should uphold the law regardless of political party.

Then there's the issue of how these U.S. Attorneys were replaced. The Bush Administration used the Patriot Act to put in as their replacements their own handpicked people instead of going through the usual process of a Senate confirmation for a U.S. Attorney. I think maybe this is the thing that bugs me the most.

So it's not that Karl Rove or anyone else in the Bush Administration made a recommendation for a replacement. That's a red herring. The issue is that the Senate didn't get a chance to confirm that person, as is the usual process. The way it was all done was just underhanded.

And I have to ask why.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Conspiracy Theorists Insist Barbaro Still Alive

The Onion

Conspiracy Theorists Insist Barbaro Still Alive

WEST GROVE, PA—Rumors and speculation that beloved racehorse Barbaro faked his own death last January in order to start a new life out of the public eye are beginning to surface among equine conspiracy theorists, who refuse to believe the...

Oral Roberts Univ: Beware the Ides of March




Way to go, Cougars! They spanked the Golden Eagles, 70-54. Read about it here.

Why? Why Is He Still Here?

Here is Sanjaya's godawful performance of Diana Ross's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Okay, maybe "godawful" is too strong a word. How about "profoundly lackluster?"

American Idol, Top 12


Arrgh! I can't believe America voted off Brandon Rogers last night but kept Sanjaya. I suspect it's because the little boy looks like Michael Jackson. (Brandon, pictured here, could be Lenny Kravitz if he got a nose ring.) Actually, the truth is, Sanjaya got votes from Vote for the Worst. Here's the gloating this morning:
Go Sanjaya! And thanks to everyone who voted for him! If we can move him ONE more week into the top 10, he'll go on tour and have to sing a Gwen Stefani song. So we HAVE to vote as much as possible next week. Come on, everyone, this could be the best show ever. Does anyone miss Brandon? Probably not. But now it's obvious that VFTW saved Sanjaya, because he was in the bottom 2 and didn't leave. Had we not voted for him, he would have been gone. Great work, everyone!
I have to admit, it is kinda funny to think of Sanjaya taking on a Gwen Stefani song. I'm thinking "Hella Good." Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lies, More Lies, and Damned Lies

Glenn Greenwald over at Salon writes in "Lying to Congress has become a Republican principle, literally" that:

Revelations about White House involvement in the firing of the U.S. Attorneys means that the testimony of top Justice Department officials to Congress was fundamentally false. And everyone knows that now.

As they say, the sh*t is about to hit the fan. Yesterday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent five letters requesting that White House Counsel Harriet Miers [can you believe Dubya wanted this twit to be a Supreme Court Justice?], her deputy counsel William Kelley, and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [oink, oink!] to cooperate with the committee’s investigation into the mass firings of US attorneys. I doubt they'll cooperate, so the subpoenas will be next.

In the meantime, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are both calling on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign in the wake of the oh-so-clearly political firings of eight U.S. Attorneys. Gonzales has to turn over damning documents, and even the Wall Street Journal suggests he's quaking in his shoes.

This particular set of Republicans sure does have an interesting conception of what "Justice" is. Politics should have no place in it. Then again, Gonzales is the dolt who claims the Constitution doesn't guarantee Habeas Corpus. The next two years are gonna be long ones, folks.

UPDATE: John Sununu, R-NH, is the first Republican to call for Gonzales' resignation.

OMG, They Really Do Wonder If It's Bigger


03/14/2007


A new study on website design and eyetracking (where readers' eyes tend to travel when they are presented with text or images) reveals that men (and not specifically gay men) have a much greater inclination to check out the package than do women, based on their study of an image of baseball player George Brett:
"When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed."
Thanks to Shakes for finding this.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Woman Grows Nipple on Foot



I swear this is not from Weekly World News. It is, rather, from Dermatology Online Journal.

Oh, Dear

Doctors Disclose Rita Mae Brown’s Mysterious Medical Condition
by bad machine 08/28/2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- Doctors at University of Virginia Hospital stunned the world today by announcing that famed author Rita Mae Brown has inexplicably transformed into a house cat. (More here ... )

The New United States Constitution


Thanks to Paul Volle.

GPA Brackets

Check this out. It's completed brackets based on the teams' grade point averages.


(I know this is hard to see, so either click on the image, or a larger version is here.)

Note that Washington State beats Oral Roberts, but alas, they're taken out by Vanderbilt in the second round. Gotta crack the books more, boys!

Gonzaga? Destroyed by Indiana in the first round.

Do note that little ole Weber State, which won the Big Sky Conference this year, made it all the way to the Elite Eight. The Eastern Eagles beat Weber State, remember?

Now, you'd think the brains over at Stanford would take it all, but they get knocked out by the University of Virginia.

Who wins? Holy Cross beats Michigan State. Holy cow.

Tip o' the pen to Inside Higher Education.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cougs vs Bible Thumpers


Duck and cover! The brackets are completed! March Madness is about to commence. Here in Spokane, we're all bracing for the
Washington State Cougars
taking on Oral Roberts University, the Golden Eagles. (OK, some people care about Gonzaga too, but I don't. Sorry.)

I have driven by Oral Roberts U, which is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They have a huge statue of praying hands right outside the university.




And you can see the Oral Roberts Prayer Tower.



It's beyond gaudy. And, if memory serves, there is, at least in the suburbs, a church on every corner, a pawn shop opposite, a porn shop opposite, and then a fast food chain on the other corner. Or maybe an ice cream shop.

Oral Roberts. Didn't this Esteemed Preacher once claim God was going to kill him unless he raised 8 million dollars? And Mr. Oral actually raised something like 9.5 million?

Then he went bankrupt the next year. Oops! Read about it here.

Why people still listen to Oral Roberts, or send their children to his university, is beyond me. Don't we know a scam when we see one?

But I digress. The Cougars are gonna pluck the Golden Eagles' tail feathers. And then maul them. The Golden Eagles had better summon all their prayers.

Hapless Penguin?


With thanks to Tom Tomorrow.

Focus on the Foolios

The porcine James Dobson (Seriously. Look at him. Doesn't he look like he could be Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove's brother? And check out that red face. His head is going to explode from waving that Bible around so viciously.)

Anyway. Mr. "Focus on the Family in My Way but Not Yours" has rebuffed the National Association of Evangelicals because that group sees global warming as an imporant moral issue. Dobson squealed that they are "using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time," such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Let us review, shall we?

1. Same-sex marriage: hurts no one.
2. Abortion: hurts an unborn fetus (and it is arguable to many whether an unborn fetus is fully human and should have rights greater than or equal to an already born human).
3. Global warming: hurts everybody on the entire planet!

I would not call James Dobson a towering intellect, nor even a kind person, given his priorities.

Meanwhile, he allows Newt Gingrich to suck up to him as Gingrich runs interference for himself in anticipation of competing for the next Republication nomination for the Presidency. Gingrich, that hypocrite, was having an affair (not his first) while lambasting Bill Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. I would venture to say that repeatedly philandering husbands are a greater threat to the sanctity of marriage than same-sex marriage is, but Dobson and his hateful band of cretins wouldn't understand that.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Results

Not bad! Bwana Bull won; Circular Quay won; and Wafi City came in second. Otoh, my trifecta at Bay Meadows stank: it was 6-7-1.

Derby Prep Races in Full Swing

Everybody hop on board your Derby horse!

There are three prep races today: the Louisiana Derby, the Gotham, and the El Camino Real Derby. The last is at Bay Meadows, my favorite track.

In the El Camino Real, I like Bwana Bull to win, followed by Court the King and Brave Sun. (6,3,2)

In the Louisiana Derby, I'll go with Circular Quay since a certain cyber flirt I know favors this horse. (1)

In the Gotham, I'll go with Wafi City simply because I like his trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin; still, it's hard not to like Mint Slewlep because of his cute name.(9)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Oh, Cap'n, Come Play!

I have a little sumpthin-sumpthin for ye.

The Onion

Man Who Plays Devil's Advocate Really Just Wants To Be Asshole

COLUMBUS, MO—Though area graphic designer Derek Sills says he plays devil's advocate to help his friends better understand opinions...