Thursday, August 23, 2007

Every once in a while,

...Dr. Science is exactly right about something:

Q: What is the deal with corn? Submitted by Scott W. Short from Canton, MO

A: Indeed, what is the deal with corn? There's too much already in storage so prices are low, yet every year we plant zillions of acres and then whine if the yields don't break new records. Planting and harvesting are extremely energy intensive, it demands large amounts of water and corn's so-called value added use as ethanol is a farce because it takes more energy to plant, harvest and process corn than it yields as a fuel. So what, indeed is the deal with corn? Our nation's agribusiness is addicted to it. And like any addict, they'll go to any lengths to deny or justify the addiction. As long as we're all willing to enable the addict, it's pure insanity to think anything will change.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Put to good use

Michael Vick jerseys are being put to good use at an Atlanta area humane society.

As Jeri Smith-Ready says, "Somehow the thought of his name and number being repeatedly soaked in dog urine just warms the cockles of my heart." Amen.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I'm cutting back on caffeine.

This is hard.

I went from 2-4 cups a day down to one. I've past the part with the headaches; luckily I only got a few, probably since I cut down gradually.

What's getting me now is the tiredness. I still get the mid-afternoon sleepys, but now I can't just toss back a cup of coffee or tea. I have to try to walk around, get active, whatever- and that helps but not so well.

The other day I had no tea in the morning, so when the mid-afternoon sleepy hit me, I got a cup of coffee.

Starbucks coffee. Good coffee. Powerful coffee. All bow to the awesomeness that is coffee.

I was so awake for the rest of the afternoon and day; awake like I never felt when I was downing coffee on a regular basis. I discovered that once I'd reduced my dependency on the drug, using it again gave me the full potential. (Something most relapsing addicts know, I'm sure.)

Now that I've been reminded of the real thing, I have to avoid getting hooked again. Unfortunately it'll be mid-afternoon soon, and I just hope I don't get too sleepy...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging- Big Cat Falls edition

Obviously, they're not my cats.
We headed to the Philadelphia Zoo yesterday, the kids and I. We were very lucky on the timing, because the new Amur Tiger cubs were having their public debut! We were ushered in to the exhibit in small groups, so as not to startle or upset the cubs and the new mama. The cubs, for their part, couldn't have cared less that there were humans on the other side of the glass; they had fun just splashing and playing with each other and periodically tackling Mom.

We love the Philly Zoo; close by and small enough to see everything in one day trip. Right now is a great time to visit; in the fall, the three African Elephants will be gone to their new home, so not only are there new tiger cubs, but it's your last chance to see the elephants.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Summer is almost over; the end is in sight.

Last night I was considering when I would take the kids to the zoo, and I realized that I have exactly two chances left before school starts. I hope the weather cooperates on those days.

We still have one real, true and much-anticipated vacation coming up this summer. We have relatives coming to visit, too; summer's not over just yet. What I'm realizing is that we've done much less hiking, canoeing, backyard camping and day-tripping than we'd like to have done, and few chances left in the hot season. It's a little sad to think about it.

I guess I get this way every year about this time. I love when the corn, tomatoes and peaches are all in- but it's a fleeting time that means school, fall and more busy-ness are just around the corner.

Enjoy what's left of the dog days of summer. They're numbered.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Media-verse

*Rob has challenged folks to list what's been in their media-verse lately. I'll give it a go. It's late summer and I'm clearly not into anything heavy or serious right now:


Of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows leads the list. First I read it, then I listened to the Listening Library version. I was very happy with it. I'm listening to Eragon right now, as read by Gerard Doyle. I have a Playaway of it from the library, and I'm not enjoying it too much; I think it's the Playaway's fault- the sound quality sucks. Am waiting for A Thousand Splendid Suns at the library, and watiting for Voice of Crow to be published.

Graphic Novels:

I am reading the Y-the Last Man books. Since there are only nine compilations of those and I need a Brian K. Vaughan fix, I'm wolfing down Ex Machina too. Catching up on my Sin City as well- I haven't seen the movie yet, and plan to read most of the books first. (I can't believe I have Graphic Novels as a separate section. I blame you, Rob. I do.)

Print media:

Newsweek had a great article on the Global Warming denial machine. There's a lot of money going into confusing the public about what's actually true and what's trumped up. I read the Times of Trenton every day- or at least, go through it if I don't have a lot of time to read it. Speaking of not having enough time, I'm a little behind on my National Geographic right now.


Finally watched Clerks 2 this past weekend and it was fun, although as full of plot holes and awkward segues as the original. I caught the Devil Wears Prada on cable this last weekend and it was awful. I read the book a few years ago and it was entertaining, but they butchered it here. (Her boyfriend works in restaurants and complains about her hours? Not believable at all.) Am on the waiting list for 300 at the library; I've borrowed Volver twice and not been able to watch it either time. I'm hoping to finagle a babysitter to see the new Bourne movie.


Morning: I've switched from Today to American Morning on CNN. I only get to watch a few minutes in the morning, and I've decided I prefer some actual news to infotainment. Primetime: we always catch Olberman if we can. Love Top Chef. Love Mythbusters. We've watched two episodes of Mad Men and I've decided that's enough- I simply don't care what happens to anyone on the show, so why bother? Strangely, I do watch this show, and I can't explain why- I just keep watching.


Very little music, it seems. I've been listening to audiobooks and am out of the loop for music. I have WXPN on right now, but it's background noise really.

So I guess that's it. What's in your Media-verse right now?

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Like most voters in Our Fair State, I didn't declare a party when I registered to vote. I remained an independent until recently, when I finally declared as a Democrat to vote in a primary.

Right now, I'm so embarrased that I ever did that; I don't want to be called a Democrat. Not when they pull shit like this:

Senate Democrats reluctantly agreed to pass a bill Friday night that would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. The House planned to consider the measure Saturday after rejecting a Democratic alternative.
Bush is demanding passage before Congress' planned summer vacation, scheduled to begin this weekend.
The president praised senators for acting "to give our intelligence professionals the legal tools and authority they need to keep America safe. I appreciate the hard work they did to find common ground to pass this critical bill. Today, the House of Representatives has an opportunity to consider that bill, pass it and send it to me for my signature."

Bush said I want it passed before vacation, and the Senate Democrats rolled over and said, well, ok, if we must, but we'll do it reluctantly. I guess that makes it better, huh?

The Senate Bill requires:
Initial approval by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
FISA court review within 120 days. The final Democratic plan had called for court review to begin immediately and concluded within a month after the surveillance started.
The law to expire in six months to give Congress time to craft a more comprehensive plan.

So, in other words, Bush gets his blank check on eavesdropping for six months of his remaining seventeen in office.

On the good side, some Democrats weren't cowering:

Before the vote, Democrats excoriated the GOP plan, which Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, said "provides a weak and practically nonexistent court review."
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, angrily chastised his colleagues for bending to the administration's will.
"The day we start deferring to someone who's not a member of this body ... is a sad day for the U.S. Senate," Feingold said. "We make the policy -- not the executive branch."
Likewise, civil liberties advocates said they were outraged that Democratic-led Senate would side with the White House.
"We're hugely disappointed with the Democrats," said Caroline Fredrickson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union. "The idea they let themselves be manipulated into accepting the White House proposal, certainly taking a great deal of it, when they're in control -- it's mind-boggling."

Mind-boggling, indeed. I was hoping to hold on so I could vote in the presidential primary, but I don't know how long I can stay a Democrat, if I have to hold my nose every time I say it.