10) The dog ate my laptop.
9) I was abducted by aliens.
8) Borrowed a bunch of seven-day books from the library and had to finish them all.
7) A severe case of amnesia erased all memory of my Blogger password.
6) Couldn't type because I was growing my fingernails long to beat this guy's Guiness record.
5) The time machine backfired and I lost a week.
4) Won the lottery and spent the week meeting with lawyers and tax accountants.
3) Two words: Witness Protection.
2) Jacques Chirac called looking for sympathy. Didn't get any.
and the number one reason I haven't blogged for a week...
1) Was bitten by a mosquito and came down with West Nile Blogophobia.
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
10) The dog ate my laptop.
Monday, May 23, 2005
WASHINGTON (May 23, 2005) -- The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday, May 24, on H.R. 810, a bill that would order federal funding of stem cell research that requires killing human embryos. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) strongly opposes this bill.Contact your Congressman (phone call is best) to say you're opposed to the destruction of human life for research purposes.
H.R. 810, sponsored by Reps. Michael Castle (R-De.) and Diana DeGette (D-Co.), would overturn the policy adopted by President Bush in 2001. President Bush's policy bars federal funding of research that would require killing human embryos.
President Bush opposes H.R. 810. On May 20, the President said, "I made it very clear to Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayer's money to promote science which destroys life in order to save life, I'm against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it."
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Thought you'd like this Instapunk post today. Good reading, good photos, and, most of all, good question!
I'm trying hard to understand what happened last week over Washington, DC. Two guys jump into a plane in Smoketown, PA, start flying to North Carolina, and land a few hours later in headlines all over the world. How did it happen?
Yesterday, I posted this on the BBA. I mentioned that I'd searched GOP.com for an email I'd received from the RNC, about voter fraud in Washington, but couldn't find it.
Today I received an email from a Katie Harbath at the RNC headquarters. She said she'd read my post, and the RNC has decided to put the emails they send out up on the GOP website.
In the grand scheme of things, this is small potatoes, no question, but how cool is that to write a post, and then have someone in a position to do something about it actually make a change based on what you've written?
I better not let this intoxicating power go to my head. Next thing you know I'll be posting about wanting a free Caribbean cruise, and a travel agent will read it, and then...
Oh never mind. Just my luck, somebody would think I'd asked for a Caribbean ruse, and then I'd get a hundred spam emails from people saying they had ten million dollars in a Caribbean bank to share with me...
You discover the most interesting things by checking out the referrals to your site.
Today, for example, I discovered that someone found my blog via this search: "some calling Oprah a goddess".
Two interesting things about that search:
And this concludes my most recent entry in the "Why I Love Google" post category.
I have the top hit, because of this post. The third hit is a very funny "article". Worth the trip, really. Just be sure to read to the end, past the ad page.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Dear Jonathan or Howard or Michael,Join the rest of the blogosphere and read the whole thing.
Yesterday, my cleaning lady (who has never stolen from me once) told me that her brother is the gardener for the man who hired the guy who delivers booze, snacks, and miscellaneous packages to the secret location where Dick Cheney hangs out waiting for his turn in the Oval Office. Last week, the gardener told my cleaning lady's brother that he overheard the driver tell his boss that once a week Cheney gets a fresh prisoner delivered to him from Guantanamo (disguised as one of the regular boxes of cash from Halliburton) so that the Veep can while away the hours humiliating him.
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapunk readers! And as Chain Gang et. al. like to say, while you're here, take a look around. You might like this, or this, especially if you're a sports fan, at all.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Having an abortion almost doubles a woman's risk of giving birth dangerously early in a later pregnancy, according to research that will provoke fresh debate over the most controversial of all medical procedures.Very sad.
A French study of 2,837 births - the first to investigate the link between terminations and extremely premature births - found that mothers who had previously had an abortion were 1.7 times more likely to give birth to a baby at less than 28 weeks' gestation. Many babies born this early die soon after birth, and a large number who survive suffer serious disability.
UPDATE: Should have given the hat tip to Instapunk for this topic. My apologies for not doing so the first time around; I must have gotten rusty on this blogging thing already.
You've probably heard by now that Newsweek blew a story, big time.
There are lots of possible links to get the blog angle on this, but you might as well start with Powerline.
For the satirical take, don't miss Scrappleface:
For those unschooled in professional journalistic ethics, Mr. Whitaker explained that a retraction demands a higher standard of evidence than an ordinary news item.
"You don't just rush to press with a retraction until you nail down the facts," he added.
... one would think, anyway.
The good news is that abortion rates in Wisconsin plummeted last year, continuing a trend over the past few years.
You would think that the "pro-choice" side would celebrate this, too, right? They're always saying that they want abortion to be "safe, legal, and rare". (More on the nonsense of that slogan later, by the way.)
So, I checked the Planned Parenthood website for any press releases about this good news.
(But I did find this great list of all the pro-life action President Bush and the Congress have taken.)
Called the Planned Parenthood media contact in Washington; he had nothing to say, but gave me the local contact number.
Waiting to hear back from her. She said she'd try to find something they'd written up about it.
Am also waiting to hear back from the local NARAL person.
One thing I did notice after perusing these pro-abortion websites is that they seem to be all about keeping abortion legal -- and not really all that concerned about the "safe" and "rare" part.
Not a big shocker there, really.
Monday, May 09, 2005
No, the name is not growing on anybody. No, it will never be accepted. This truly is the opposite of the Midas touch, because no matter what the university says or does now, it all turns to dreck.
This is the biggest PR disaster I've ever seen. It's worse than New Coke.
The best commentary can be found at Marquette Warrior.
Will this new name, "The Gold", hurt the teams? No, except they'll be objects of derision. Will it hurt recruiting? Well, it won't help, that's for sure. It certainly could undermine confidence in the administration.
For myself, and my children: I have serious second thoughts about sending them to a university that is so woefully trapped in the culture of Political Correctness, that is so tone-deaf to popular sentiment, and that is so inept as to pull a dopey stunt like this.
The only question is, when do they back down, admit a horrible mistake, and beg for mercy? That's got to happen for them to repair this at all.
And then -- what? Another new and equally hated name? Could be, but gosh, what kind of instabilty does that indicate, with three different team names in 11 years?
Would they go back to the Golden Eagles? Unlikely. They got into this mess in the first place because people disliked that name so much.
Back to the name everybody wants, the Warriors? Impossible; they've said too much about how horrible, how offensive, how un-Christian, that name is, to ever go back to it without completely losing face.
Although, if they had the guts to do it, they'd gain tremendous respect. That actually would be the smartest move they could make.
Kind of like reverting to Classic Coke.
Eighteen years ago, we were married at St. Josephat's Basilica, which can only be described as an awe-inspiring church.
Well, I suppose it could also be described as beautiful, breath-taking, and gorgeous.
Then off to our reception, which was a lot of fun, thanks to all our friends and relatives who came to celebrate with us.
And then, the real adventure began! Here we are, two houses, four kids, and 18 years later.
So, honey, thanks for the memories, and here's to the next 18 years!
UPDATE: Thanks, Jib, Dean, and Rich, for the anniversary greetings! That was so nice of you all. And congrats to you, Dean, on 30 years as of tomorrow. Seems to be that Jib also ought to be congratulated, as I believe his anniversary was this month as well.
I'm happy to say that the Husband and I went out tonight to celebrate, to this restaurant (one of our favorites) and had a wonderful time. As a friend said to us when we announced our engagement all those years ago, "Marriage is a wonderful institution." That it is, that it is.
Oh, and just to clarify -- we don't currently have two houses! (Very funny, Rich!)
Sunday, May 08, 2005
This post is for my mom, who had this poem tacked to the kitchen bulletin board when I was a kid.
I made fun of it mercilessly, reciting it in a highly overly-dramatic fashion. She would just laugh and say, "Go ahead, make fun, but it's true all the same!"
And you know what? I'm sure that this poem, and the underlying sentiment (which is far more powerful than this somewhat corny poem would suggest), rubbed off onto me.
So, thanks, Mom!
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debt is high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seems worst, that you must not quit.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
And then - it's over.
Thirteen-year-old daughter won, with Giacomo -- and what odds, at 50-1. She also had the second-place horse, Closing Argument. Wow, if she'd only had some money on those horses, she would have cleaned up!
My horse came in third; oh well. Before the race, we heard the heart-wrenching story of the little girl, Alex, who died of cancer. Gosh did I want that horse to win. But, not this time. Maybe in the Preakness.
So, that's that, till next year. We'll keep that Mint Julep recipe, for sure.
Funny thing: A neighbor came to the door after the race, to pick up our oldest who was going to babysit for her tonight. "So, where are you guys going?" she asked.
"Nowhere; we just dressed up for the Derby."
She either thought we were a really fun couple, or just a couple of nuts.
OK, a little correction here. Turns out that post time is 5 p.m. our time, not 4 p.m., but the broadcast starts at 4:00.
We're camped out in the family room, snacks ready, the husband and I dressed up (the kids saying, "where are you guys going?" "To the Derby, of course!") Husband is beginning to mix the mint juleps:
Fill a julep cup with crushed ice; add 1 Tbsp of the mint syrup (that you made last night, remember?) and add 2 oz. of Kentucky Bourbon; stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the glass. Garnish with fresh mint.
Now, our picks:
Tom made up this scheme to pick our horses. He gave each of us 10 poker chips, and we had to spend 3 for our first picks. Then we auctioned off the remaining horses. The results:
I like Afleet Alex. I like the story about this horse; apparently his trainer noticed that he loved getting out of his stall and onto the track for training, so, he gets two training sessions a day. I like a horse with lots of personality. I like the diamond on his forehead, too.
I spent my remaining 7 chips on Bellamy Road. (Beat out husband in the bidding! Whoo hoo! Good odds on both these horses... we'll see what happens...)
Husband picked Bandini (gorgeous horse) and then bid for Buzzard's Bay.
Fifteen-year-old daughter picked Noble Causeway (like the name, "4" is her lucky number -- and now we just heard that the owner is the founder of Barnes & Noble; perfect for a book-lover and future author!). Then she won High Limit and Spanish Chestnut in the auction.
Thirteen-year-old daughter picked Sun King, and bid on Closing Argument. Dad gave her Giacomo, which was left over after the bidding.
Eight-year-old son just picked High Fly. He loves baseball, so that makes sense. Then he bid on Greeley's Galaxy (reminded him of Buzz Lightyear, I'm guessing!)
Finally, six-year-old daughter picked Flower Alley (liked the name, I'm pretty sure), and bid for Coin Silver, Don't Get Mad, Sort It Out, and Greater Good. She got the last few for just one chip because everybody else had spent all their chips.
Just had the first sip of the juleps; delicious! Slightly sweet, nice and cold, the minty aroma, and a kick to go with it.
Now, to settle in to watch the whole show...
OK, the simple syrup is ready to go. We've got Early Times in the liquor cabinet.
Over coffee, the husband and I got to talking about the difference between whiskey and bourbon.
In case you, too, are puzzled by this, I provide this link as a public service: Here you go. (Wonder if James Wigderson is up on this, over at his library/pub. Hope you've got your bourbon ready to go, Mr. Wigderson!)
Anyway, I said I'd post our Derby picks today, but I can't yet, because the newspaper didn't have a decent list of the horses. I'm in a snit about this. What kind of crummy paper wouldn't have a special section devoted to the Derby, with a list of all the horses, photos, and stats? Hmmph.
I'll have to hit the Derby website, but it's not the same as poring over a newspaper spread out on the table, with coffee, notepad and paper. Have to say, the website is pretty cool, though.
I also can't list our picks now because our oldest daughters aren't home right now, and they'll want to get in on this, too. They went on a bike ride with a couple of friends to get a muffin for breakfast and do a little shopping at Target.
Be sure to stop back, as I promise to post more later.
UPDATE: I knew Mr. Wigderson would know the difference between bourbon and whiskey. He oh-so-eloquently explains in the comment below:
The difference between bourbon and whisky: bourbon I fall forward, whisky I fall backwards.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Two posts ago, I said it might be my ante-penultimate post, which would make this the ultimate or last post.
But it's not.
I decided I wanted to write about the Kentucky Derby.
Right now I'm preparing the simple syrup for the mint juleps. If you want to play along: mix two cups of sugar with two cups of water; boil for five minutes. Cool. Put six to eight sprigs of fresh mint in the syrup in a covered container. Chill overnight.
No, we've never done this before, and I've never even tasted a mint julep. But we love the Derby, and the husband thought this would be a cool thing to do. I think he's right.
Stay tuned; tomorrow morning I'll post our Derby picks and you're invited to do the same! Oh, and I'll post the rest of the recipe, too. You'll need some good whiskey and crushed ice, as well as the simple syrup.
Now I have to go find a hat...
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Lots of talk about the poor choice for a Marquette team name today. I posted about it a bit over at the BBA.
Read all about it, here.
And then, for a more substantive post, read Marquette Warrior, and just keep scrolling.
(To all of you who've been coming from that blog to see what I had to say about the new name, sorry I hadn't posted anything here yet! My opinion: I concur with Mr. McAdams.)
Well, maybe it is.
I've lost that blogging feelin'. Ever since getting too busy to blog because of the conference, I now find that the blogging space in my life has filled up with other things.
So, this could be, just might be, the ante-penultimate post.
On the other hand, maybe not.
Mostly I just wanted to post this today so the three people who stop by here regularly don't wonder if I've died. I haven't.