Monday, August 31, 2009
The real biggie here is that, statistically, you are more likely to die in a nuclear accident than in a plane crash, and five times more likely to get hit by lightning. Well, that, and sit in the back of the plane, but we all knew that.
Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
From 8-track tapes to latest-generation iPods - the amount of stuff we can store. (click on image for the full version)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
It's been like this for years, mind you. It's not like we just did this last week and realized we had a clacking/clicking problem. Our instant diy solution was to tie a ittle loop int he cord and then, when we opened the window, slip the loop over the dangling tassel on the drapes. (hey, don't smirk. It worked fine! Well, it worked fine until the tassel started to fray and we could no longer slip the loop over it. )
So, one afternoon, I was sitting at my desk and realized that I have a couple of those little 3M Command hook things to hang my headsets on. A-hah! I trot upstairs, peel off the little adhesive bit and put a hook up behind the drapes, so we can just toss the loop in the cord on it and voila! No more problem.
So the funny part, that night at dinner, the Adorable Husband comments that the drapery tassel is frayed and we should stop at Target and get one of those sticky-uppy hooks, we could mount it behind the drapery and no one would ever see....
No, he hadn't seen my solution. No, we hadn't talked about it. We just came up wit hthe same idea, at the same time. Again. And a weird idea to boot.
We have one brain. Just one.
I was browsing the site "emails from crazy people" and this just set me laughing again.
I think everyone should show up at Marney's house with soup spoons, incorrectly sized casseroles, gloopy sauces, and lots of red wine. If this is real, the woman needs an intervention. If it's not, well, it definitely seems to ring true with people about their family holidays and is an inspired holiday-from-hell sort of story.
Not at my house, of course. Bring wine, bring whatever you want, we'll always have a good time!
I don't know what it is about an earache, but it turns a sane, normal, adult into a whiny, crying toddler. I spent at least part of Friday in the living room chair just crying, because nothing even made a dent in the pain.
One dose of antibiotics (and about six hours) and I was actually able to sleep. And swallow. I'm still pretty miserable, but at least I'm not considering just poking out my eardrum to release the pressure anymore.
Better living through chemistry! Woot!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I'm back at work today but my brain isn't firing on all cylinders yet. And one side of my throat is still really, really sore and I look like a lopsided pocket gopher. Bleagh. The earache from the sore throat/swollen glands/whatever has reduced me to tears.
Gah. I hate being sick. I've run out of Mrs. Grass's soup, too. I may have to go back to bed....
Saturday, August 22, 2009
But the rule is not always accurate. I've now read a book and seen the movie...and the movie is far superior to the book. As evidence, I present Julie&Julia based on the book/blog project by Julie Powell - a 30-year-old New Yorker who cooked her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, writing all along about the experience. The book is her memoir about the project, not just a book version of the blog. The movie is this book combined with Julia Child's own My Life in France, with the two stories interwoven.
The movie has gotten mixed reviews - most find Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child to be spot-on and perfect, and criticize Amy Adams' performance as "trying too hard".
I have to agree with the reviews on the "Julia" side of the movie -- the scenes with Streep and Stanley Tucci (as Paul Child) are absolutely charming. They are delightful together, and the story of how Julia Child came to cooking and then to writing the cookbook are lively and fun and inspired.
I don't agree with the criticism of Amy Adams, though - her "trying too hard" and "too whiny" performance is spot on to the Julie in the book. In fact, I found the character on screen to be far more likeable and less snotty than the 'voice' of Julie in her book. The complaints are that the character comes across as very unsympathetic, and to those who thinks so, I say, "read the book". She is.
The book is quite funny in places, and even insightful, but when I put it down, I disliked Julie very much. She has a grasping, desperate ambition to be recognized for the great and important person she thinks she is, and an almost paralyzing jealousy of her friends (all of whom are doing memorable and exciting things). She comes across as shallow, vain, desperate for attention, self-entitled, and whiny--the 30-something who just knows, deep in her heart, that she is important and special and dammit, no one else is recognizing that! Perhaps in real life she is a normal sort of person, but in print, the book is one long whine about how awful her life is and then about how happy she is once people start to pay attention to her for this "project". I read the blog when she did in in 2002, and was quite charmed by it then. The resulting book is not as engaging at all. At least not to me.
The movie cuts out most of the scenes where she interacts with her friends and family (in fact, the one scene in the movie with her friends is painfully awful for her - you really do sympathize and wonder why on earth she remains friends with this trio of bitchy do-nothings). The book is riddled with comments about her friends' love lives, jobs, exciting opportunities, and how they just don't understand her and how desperately she wants to do something notable. The desperation just doesn't come out in the movie as much - the movie paints her as a sort of hapless, helpless, unhappy woman trying to find her own inner meaning, trying to find something that resonates with her life. There's a little too much weeping, but on screen, the meltdowns are actually rather amusing.
We thought the movie charming (in that heavy-blow-to-the-head style of Nora Ephron, of course, not a lot of subtlety there), thought Meryl Streep did an eerily good impression of Julia Child, and in general liked the juxtaposition of Julia's story and Julie's story.
I (since the Adorable Husband did not read the book) thought the book was a bunch of self-indulgent dribble trying to sound insightful and meaningful, wrapped around some very amusing anecdotes about actually cooking from Julia Child's book. Meh. Perhaps I would have liked it better had it actually had both stories in it - maybe reading alternating chapters of Julie&Julia and My Life in France would have been a better way to approach it.
Score 1 for the movie adaptation being better than the book.
Friday, August 21, 2009
If you have arthritis pain, the voiceover intones somewhat ominously, if you take Tylenol, you could be taking "four times as many pills", a and shows a pained-looking woman looking at a box for another pain reliever..."two pills every six hours...that's
While no one likes to take pills, I have to wonder about the line of reasoning that makes the simplistic argument that 2pills is better than 8 pills. Because those two pills purport to do the same thing as the eight or twelve pills the "other" medicine requires. You're simply taking more medication at one time.
Well, what if my headache or pain is gone in four hours, or six hours? Why would I take twelve hours worth of pain medication for it? Why overmedicate if you don't have to? Basically, the ads for Aleve are encouraging us to take more meds than we need, because it's "convenient" or easier. I'm sure I'm reading far more into this than I should be, but it airs so often during the day that I have become Officially Annoyed.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Um...it's that hard to pack and carry an apple? Really? Why would I need to buy a pre-sliced, packaged apple? Apples are already one of the most perfectly packaged and portable foods. Small, roundish, protective skin....this is another of those products that are absolutely unnecessary, but they're trying desperately to convince people that they the nature-packaged, portable, easy-to-eat apple needed improvement. Why?
It's not like pre-made/packaged foods that actually do save some time (well, perhaps) like mixed salad greens or canned tomatoes or pineapple or something - -things that are not actually meant to be eaten as a single, self-contained snack. Then again, on the shelves at my grocery store are pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, salad packs, chopped and frozen onions, pancakes in a can, and a variety of pre-packaged foods. Some of them might save a little time, but others? Are we really so busy we can't eat an apple by ourselves?
I just had to laugh.
Monday, August 17, 2009
"Because we can" seemed to be the reason. Seriously? While yes, technically, these people could carry guns in public in Arizona, they decided that having them at a presidential event was a good idea? Wanting to exercise your right to bear arms is one thing, making a "statement" by carrying one to a presidental speech goes beyond that.
A man (later updated to 2 men) was seen carrying an assault rifle and a pistol outside the VFW Convention in Phoenix where President Obama spoke today, a local newspaper reports. (Click through for a photo.)
Local police said it's legal under Arizona law, but two officers kept close by him.
"If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time," said Detective J. Oliver.
Can you imagine what would have happened if someone had showed up to a Bush event carrying an assault rife? For pete's sake, they hauled people away for wearing threatening T-SHIRTS whenever Bush spoke. There were "Free speech zones" for that sort of thing, you know.
To what purpose are these people bringing guns? I'm sorry, but I would be inclined to view this as an imminent threat, especially considering some of the signs being waved in the same vicinity and the not-so-subtle threats against the president aired by the teabagger brigade. Who do these idiots think they are? I'm sure they style themselves as some sort of patrioric freedom fighters, but I cannot see any purpose to their actions but intimidation and provocation. Why?
Let's put this in perspective, shall we? Wear an anti-Bush t-shirt to a Bush speech and get arrested. Carry a frikking RIFLE to an Obama rally and...it's ok? Wow. Things really have changed. And not for the better.
And, in case you are wondering, I'm not an anti-gun fanatic. I don't agree with the NRA, but I believe that rational gun ownership is fine.
There are an awful lot of lies floating around out there, and it's hard to figure out what the truth is if you don't have time to read the thousand+ page documents themselves. This was very interesting. I knew that the opponents were stretching the truth a bit, but, woah. I hadn't even heard some of these whoppers.
Quite a few of the quotes are from the campaign season last year, too. That's a bit misleading, but it does highlight how much all the candidates stretch things to make themselves look good.
I need to stop listening to the news. It's just pissing me off.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Investors Business Daily, in criticizing the Obama health care plan, charged that if the famed scientist Stephen Hawking lived in Britain, its National Health Service wouldn’t save his life, which “because of his physical handicaps is essentially worthless.” Mr. Hawking, 67, who has a motor neuron disease that is like Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a British subject and has received lifelong care from that nation’s health system.Not only are they wrong on the basics (Hawking does live in Britain, he is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University and has received lifelong medical care there, which he has recently praised for prolonging his life) they are also wrong on their assertion that medical care in Britain would have left him out in the cold.
The magazine ran a standard correction merely stating that Hawking actually lives in the UK. No mention of their false premise, no mention that they had banked on it being true to make their point. The Columbia Journalism Review pointed out that the error fundamentally invalidated the editorial's main argument.
When you make an error of that proportion, where the correct information COMPLETELY DISPROVES YOUR POINT, don't you think a little crow-eating is in order? This was a mistake of the worst sort, just half-assed, lazy journalism. Obviously, if it's more important that the initial idea was floated so people can spread the talking point properly -- the truth doesn't really matter much, does it?
Friday, August 14, 2009
If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government.I'm actually too incredulous to laugh.
First off, who does he think Medicare and Medicaid are run by now? And the VA - these are all "done by" the government.
Second, the Postal Service is not run by the government. The Postal service is a quasi-governmental entity (it was spun off in 1970 by Nixon), as is the IRS. They are run as for-profit entitles. It remains a creature of the federal government, but it's been decades since it used tax dollars for its operations, and we have one of the most efficient, cheap, and reliable mail systems in the world.
Finally, I wonder what percentage of Republicans simply don't know that Medicare and Medicaid (and the VA) are government health care. Medicare is federal, Medicaid is state. It's socialized health care, as per their definition. I don't see anyone running about demanding that they be dismantled and replaced by private systems.
Hell, people in general don't seem to get this. I shouldn't single out Repubs (although they do seem to be less informed and more proudly ignorant than the Dems I know) -- how many people simply don't understand how those programs work?
They just feel "in their guts" that if a program seems to be working poorly, or is onerous, or causes issues, or does something they disagree with, that it must be a government program, because "government can't do anything right" and if something is working well, it must be a private entity, because only privately held corporations can make money and be successful.
They are wrong.
The ideologues think the Postal Service is a government department because it is huge, needs more money all the time, and is an effective monopoly. They think that Medicare and Medicaid, because they are efficient and timely, must be run by the insurance companies. Nope.
I'm not trying to say that all government programs are effective, efficient, and workable - that's obviously not true. Nor am I saying that all private efforts are horrible wastes and driven by corporate greed.
However, this oblivious ignorance of the existing health care options that are run by the government, and the insistence on scare tactics that try to convince people that they are going to get "dmv-style" service, or have "death panels" is ridiculous and should be a clear red flag that some of these people have no idea what they are talking about.
I ticked down the A/C a bit to cool things down and on my way back to my desk, I realized why I have a problem:
The beasties are bogarting the cold air.
When the beasties flop down on the air vents, not a whole lot of the cool air ends up in my office! THEY are cool and comfortable, but the rest of the room gets awfully stuffy. Hah!
Monday, August 10, 2009
And, being my sister, she also shared an embarassing tidbit with me after the fact -- apparently he got a bit nervous about meeting us and did a little manscaping: he trimmed his eyebrows and overdid it a bit. She said she didn't even notice, and he was very amused that she didn't see any difference between his normal, bushy-browed self and the clippered version.
I suppose if he's going to be around for a while, he'll have to get used to the fact that in our family, we celebrate those dorky, stupid, and embarassing moments -- often bringing them up ourselves about our own foibles. The Adorable Husband still doesn't understand why we do this -- if it's embarassing, why share it with all and sundry? Well, it's what we do.
Of course, the next time I meet him, I'm going to be staring at his eyebrows and will probably bring it up. It's a compulsion.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Have you ever stared at this and thought, "oh, sure, yeah, THAT's intuitive!"
How to Hook up your Home Theater
It didn't have speakers and such listed, but those are usually easy to figure out. But cable-buying page and links to the diagrams for each component are great!
As Thompson sees it, any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record. But Monroe's career-services department has put forth insufficient effort to help her secure employment, she claims.
"They're supposed to say, 'I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right -- can you interview this person?' They're not doing that," she said.
"They're supposed to say..." Really? In what alternate universe? Did your school call employers for you to set up interviews? I don't think so. I think Miss Thompson needs to rethink her assessment that employers are clamoring for graduates like her. Sorry, honey, you highly over-rate your attractiveness to employers.
Don't you love the part about good attendance? Like this is grade school and she'll get a nice plaque at the end of the year? And she contends that the school offered more help and support to students with higher grade point averages. I especially liked the part where she accused the school of favoring students with 4.0GPA's. Oh, yes, I'm sure they were hired first because the school made extra effort to showcase them to employers, rather than employers preferentially hiring those with higher GPA's. Of course that's the problem.
Her complaint adds, "The office of career advancement information technology counselor did not make sure their Monroe e-recruiting clients call their graduates that recently finished college for an interview to get a job placement. They have not tried hard enough to help me."
Yes, because it's someone else's job to get her full-time employment. Apparently she hasn't considered the possibility that the e-recruiting companies took a look at her resume and her academic history and passed. I never realized that the school was supposed to MAKE local companies give interviews to recent graduates. Does this woman actually think that the school was supposed to force businesses to interview her? To call anyone? Wow, wouldn't that be nice? Graduate and the school is responsible for making sure you get the job you want? Where is that guarantee in the small print?
The very idea that you'd SUE a school because you can't get a job is so ridiculous and mockable that I initially thought it was a joke. But now, Miss I'm-So-Speshul really does seem to think it's someone else's fault that she isn't employed. It's not like the school lied about accreditation or misled her as to the job market. They didn't prevent her from taking certain classes or refuse to assist her. She got the same education and opportunity that every other student did. They did nothing wrong at all, although she seems to think that they supposed to grease her way into a new job automatically. Because she's so special, I guess. That sense of entitlement is boggling.
Is she so stupid that she doesn't realize that there are, literally, thousands of people out there who are more qualified than she is? She's even outranked by most of her graduating class, for pete's sake, not to mention the people out there with actual business experience. In this economy, no one is guaranteed a job, certainly not a self-entitled c-student.
Perhaps she should have paid more attention in class and gotten better grades so she was actually attractive to the empooyers that are out there. Although, if this is her attitude, even with a perfect gpa she might not be terribly attractive to an employer. I know I wouldn't want to hire someone who expected the world on a platter.
I hope, I really, really hope, that she is smacked down hard and publicly over this. She's an entitled idiot and should be dismissed as such.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Glenn Beck today exposed the Cash for Clunkers scheme to force your submission to allow the Govt. to basically set a VIRUS on your computer so that they can access all files on your computer at any time and turn those files over to the "authorities" and any one else they choose.Years of exposés on government warrantless wiretapping and TIPS, and "Cash For Cars" is what gets the conservatives to cry foul? Are they kidding? Seriously, this is starting to read like an Onion article.
Coming just a bit late to the party, aren't they?
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Enter as evidence: one Craiglist entry (if you're not familiar with Craigslist, it's basically a huge on-line flea market/swap meet). Becky (of Becky and Tim) is offering "blank" Wedding Invitations.
But apparently, she is not quite clear on the concept of "blank".
These are probably not going to work if your name is not Becky and you are not marrying a person named Tim. That might limit your possible purchasing pool quite a bit.
Read the email exchange from the blog post, though. It's a hoot!
Anyway, this little quiz has some bizarre punctuation marks - try it!
Having a bad day? Need a way to shake off that stress?
Be patient - the main flash page takes a bit to load (they are apparently very proud of their fade-in logo). Turn on your sound.
Scroll over the cute little fluffy stuffed animals.
Feeling less stressed now? It certainly helped me!
But what are the top 100? This quiz was surprisingly hard. List the top 100 English words (picked by their frequency of use) in five minutes.
I got 47 the first time around, although I'm sure it ignored some of my entries!
This is the idiotic 'birther' conspiracy - apparently a bunch of IQ-challenged mouth-breathers are so upset at the idea that a bi-racial man is president that they are desperately trying to convince everyone that the current president wasn't actually born in Hawaii, but in Kenya and the Obama family has been conspiring to hide this fact for the last 47 years. The tin-foil hat brigade is demanding a birth certificate, and when that was provided, declared it fake and went on demanding "proof". At one point, some of them tried to argue that Hawaii wasn't a state when Obama was born there, and when that failed, they claimed he was born in Kenya, and then they tried to argue that his mother's second marriage invalidated his citizenship.
These people are IDIOTS. They are an embarassment to anyone with an IQ higher than 70.
They are ignorant of the constitution, ignorant of the laws governing citizenship, and so blindingly racist and stupid that they defy description. It's embarassing.
The GOP needs to get control of the wacko wing of their party and get them to shut the hell up, or they are going to lose any semblance of respectability they have. Cater to the idiots and people will think you are on eo
Saturday, August 01, 2009
You've been warned! (and she apparently runs a web design service, too. Oh, my)