Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Same old thing

News from yahoo:

MOSCOW - A court declared oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of an array of charges Tuesday including fraud and tax evasion, and sentenced him to nine years in prison minus time served.

The declaration of guilt and sentence came in the 12th day of the laborious verdict-reading process in the most closely watched trial of post-Soviet Russia, and one that has been widely criticized as politically motivated.

Seems like business as usual in the used-to-be Soviet Union. Maybe taxes weren't paid, and most likely shenanigans and tomfoolery happened, but the hammer came down because of the man's politics. So with this sentence, Russia takes two steps backwards.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Why is it that, despite yesterday's traffic being clogged with
"early get-away" folks, and no doubt midday today seeing more
of the same, why is it that I *know* that getting home tonight
will be an epic task? Where do these people come from? And
why do they all wait until they're in front of me to start talking
on their mobile phones?
Yesterday it sounded like the dialog from Deadwood in my van. I know
I should have more patience. I know I shouldn't throw rocks at other
drivers. I know, I know.

Know what makes it more frustrating? Our local radio traffic guy
will point out when there is some stupid reason for a back-up. "There's
several highway administration trucks blocking the right and center
lanes but the workers have just been playing cards and drinking beer for the
last two hours....." I think he's just trying to help, but, well, sometimes
you don't want to know that you've been sitting in traffic because some
fool doesn't know to move to the shoulder after his cellphone use has
caused a 3mph bump to the guy ahead of him. Oh, or worse, when the guy
who received the 3mph bump decides that he's won the pain-and-suffering
lottery and demands an ambulance and fire trucks.

Oh man, I've almost talked myself into staying home. I better go.
Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

bout time

We can only hope that al-Zarqawi has been wounded or killed. The guy is as foreign to Iraq as any American soldier from the midwest. So when they call for foreigners to get out of Iraq, this guy should be the first to go. In a box will be acceptable. And we'll be happy to leave as soon as the Iraqis can take over. (it's a good sign that 40,000 of them moving into Baghdad to sweep for terrorists)[not insurgents, terrorists]

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Weird News

From News of the Weird, the last one tickled me:
Gas Pedal? Brake Pedal? Whatever (all-new)

Accidents by elderly drivers who police suspect momentarily confused the gas pedal for the brake: Age 88, crashed into a bank (killing a customer), St. Pete Beach, Fla. (February). Age 85, crashed into a post office, West Salem, Ore. (December). Age 87, crashed into an animal hospital, Lynchburg, Va. (December). Age 88, hit two cars and two people in a Wal-Mart parking lot, Pembroke Pines, Fla. (January). Age 81, crashed into a car dealership after hitting her husband, a salesman, a car and a tree, Fort Myers, Fla. (April). Age 84, crashed into her son, waiting to be picked up at the front door upon discharge from a hospital, Manchester, N.H. (May) (He had to be readmitted.).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

New Math

From Aljazeera:

The Iraqi parliament has approved appointments for six cabinet vacancies, handing four more positions to the Sunni Arab minority.

But the Sunni selected as human rights minister turned down the job, saying he cannot accept a position awarded on sectarian criteria.

Less than half of the National Assembly, 112 of the 155 legislators present, approved Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's six nominations on Sunday, including Shia Arab Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum as oil minister and Sunni military man Saadoun al-Duleimi as defence minister.

There has to be some kind of typo; less than half, 112 of 155? Maybe it's me.
I'll get another coffee and run those numbers again later.

Monday, May 23, 2005


I get the call in traffic... Your kid hurt her finger playing
basketball you need to come get her. So I drive to the school, imagining
the extent of her injuries along the way. *Is* there
such a thing as a nine-fingered violinist? Will they let her be an
astronaut with only one arm? (from the gangrene scenario) Will the pain
drive her insane before I get there?

Course, it turned out to be one of those basketball ouchies. Run of the
mill thing that could be a break, but most likely was only a bad, bad
ouchie. The trick now is to get an x-ray and ortho appointment without
the usual six hour Urgent Care Center wait. Urgent? that will be six hours.
I wonder where you go if you're not in a hurry. Is there such a thing as
a Take-your-time-I-don't-mind-waiting Care Center? I think there is, and it's
called the Urgent Care Center. Ah well.

Anyway, mom has taken over the Dr adventure. Much as I hate to admit it, a
mom has a comforting advantage by nature. And I couldn't go with because
there is a meeting that we have to attend in order to be eligible for a
$1000-off tuition drawing; they may not be back in time. [and this year I
feel lucky]

Maybe I'll fix something special for the kid while they're gone. The problem
is timing; her favorite vegetables are french (pa-toui) fries, and hash-browns
(mmmm), and those are things that don't like reheating. Maybe I'll mix a few
green beans into the chocolate pudding and call it balanced.

Awww, poor critter got a chipped bone. We may have more doctors to do tomorrow
but she's doing fine -- she wore an arm sling to the school meeting
and impressed her friends no end. From my experience though, broken fingers
only come into full bloom on the next day -- hope she's ok in the morning.
(oh... the tuition drawing? Next year that sucker is mine)

And more-
The child would make a fine lumberjack. Not a whimper as she set off for school.
And the doctor said my splint would be fine. [in the woods we usually just
splint broken limbs with a chainsaw on either side and finish our shift]

Sounds like my first car

From Ananova:

Firemen wrecked driver's first car

German firemen have destroyed a teenage driver's first ever car after they mistook it for scrap and used it for practice.

The fire fighters from Hennef, near Bonn, spotted the teenager's pride and joy parked alongside a scrap yard they thought it had been dumped.

They set to with hydraulic scissors and axes to cut the roof and doors off to practise for freeing people from crashed cars.

But the car had only been parked and not dumped next to the junk yard.

The 19-year-old driver, who had just bought the car after passing his test, said he had not even driven it yet as he was waiting to renew the MOT.

Insurers for the fire service will now have to pay out damages to the young man.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Too Much Time on Their Hands

So the guys at the National University of Singapore have developed a system for remotely petting a chicken. You know, for when your chicken is in a toxic environment or you're just too lazy to walk out to the coop and pet her in person.

"This is the first human-poultry interaction system ever developed," said professor Adrian David Cheok, the leader of the team, who has been developing the technology for nearly two years.

I can just see the team, sitting around the lab, wondering why it is that nobody else ever thought to develop a "human-poultry interaction system."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Anderson, Is that Yu?

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has formed a special force of undercover online commentators to try to sway public opinion on controversial issues on the Internet, a newspaper said on Thursday.

China has struggled to gain control over the Internet as more and more people gain access to obtain information beyond official sources. The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.

A special force of online commentators had already been operating in Suqian city in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu since April, the Southern Weekend said.

Their job was to defend the government when negative comments appeared on Internet bulletin boards and chatrooms, the weekly quoted local officials as saying.

Suqian city's propaganda department recruited the commentators from among government officials, the weekly said, adding that they must "understand (government) policies, be versed in (political) theories and be politically reliable."

"They will guide public opinion as ordinary netizens. This is both important and effective," Ma Zhichun, one of the recruited commentators, was quoted as saying.

The only netizen I ever knew from China, Anderson Yu, seemed to be a government stooge. Or at least a stooge. The problem with being an advocate on a bulletin board is that you've got to defend your arguments. You're free to ignore the facts, change the subject, or deride your opponent, but very few minds are changed by that kind of advocacy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bill siad that?

It's amazing how few of Bill Clinton's supporters agree with
his recent statement:

"There is no point living in the past," Clinton said. "Look at where we are now. Everyone, all freedom-loving people would be better off with a genuinely representative, effective, free government in Iraq whatever your feelings are about what went on before."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I've been puttering around waiting to see if I won the bid on
some parts on ebay [I did], and now I'm waiting to get a shipping
total from the seller. Anyway, I'll make money on the parts but I
just realized that I've spent more time on bidding and searching for
these parts than I will ever make back selling them to my customers.
If I charged for my time in getting this great "deal" I'd make the
$700 toilet seats look like a bargain.

Monday, May 16, 2005

It's fun to stay at the YMCA

Stunned I am:

Jason Crowder, right, portraying an abolitionist, fights off Adam Donaldson, second left, to free some students from slavery at the YMCA Camp Cosby in Alpine, Ala., Tuesday, May 3, 2005. Donaldson was portraying a farm owner who had enslaved the students.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Pentagon Plans Massive Overhaul of Bases

Massive sorta. There are a lot of changes (the two volumes of the report
total about 750 pages) but the DoD is huge and much will remain unchanged.
Thank goodness for PDF documents; it only took me ten minutes to verify
that the 13 or so bases I work at will still be there. In fact, several of
them will be gaining personnel. My heart does go out to the people who
will lose their jobs, or have to transfer to another state to keep them.
Hey, what about the protesters who will have to commute because their
local base was realigned? It'd be a bummer to have to disrupt traffic
in front of a base three states away. Maybe there will be relocation funds
for displaced moonbats.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

the Green Party

Paperwork isn't so hard to do today, all I have to do is
look out the window at the alternatives. Lawn mowing has broken out
all over. And I'd swear some of these guys were out there mowing
last weekend too. Have we changed the formula to twice a week?
I didn't get that memo. Anyway, I don't find lawn mowing relaxing.
Especially early in the season when the mower blade is still finding
all the jump-ropes, Barbie heads, and dog collars that were lost
last winter.

I do have lots to do. The government has started paying their bills
again, so there must be a renegade at the payment office. Best to get
all the paperwork in while I can. [sometimes I wonder if their fax
machine doesn't output directly into one of those beige government
trash cans]


From Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s letter to Tony Blair:

Millions of brave Iraqis defy terrorism and reject dictatorship every day, without fuss, and certainly without attention from the television cameras. We undertake to rebuild a shattered country that has been scarred by decades of tyranny. With unwavering resolve we support plurality, egalitarianism, and the political process.

Building a democratic federal Iraq is a difficult, and slow, but rewarding process. Those who doubt the swiftness of transition must keep in mind that a state such as Iraq is a cultural, ethnic and linguistic mosaic that was only ever held together by brute force, thus, political speed can kill.

Nevertheless, January saw Iraq’s first free and open general election, leading to the first democratically elected government of our desolate history. Yet our struggle for a better, emancipated Iraq is only due to the consistent and unwavering support of Prime Minister Blair, the British people, and the coalition of the willing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

She's back

For one startling moment, I thought grandma Lumberjack was still among us.
I know, I know, I thought the same thing when the first pictures
from the Dylan Love, Theft, and Reading Glasses Tour came out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I've been clicking on more Scandinavian blogs lately. Not sure, but
maybe I'm expecting there to be a click as the realization settles on
the most liberal of cultures that they are under attack.
Anyway, it's interesting, and I am educating myself. For instance I now
know from Oslogirl that "The recent influx of younger, more attractive
prostitutes from abroad is squeezing older, drug-addled Norwegian prostitutes
out of the market...."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Friday, May 06, 2005

Weird News

From News of the Weird:

Burglars who fall asleep on the job is a retired News of the Weird category, but Steven Jakaitis, 42, was arrested in Quincy, Mass., in March outside a CVS pharmacy, where police said he fell asleep while preparing to rob the place. His car was idling; a stocking was on his head and a pistol in his pocket; and the piece of paper beside him read, "I have a Gun DO NOT Press any Alarms or let Custermors (sic) know Empty the All (sic) the register." [Patriot Ledger (Quincy), 3-15-05]


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Poetic Justice

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

Greenpeace charged with violating environmental law
Associated Press writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Lawyers selected a jury Monday that will decide whether Greenpeace and its contract ship were criminally negligent by failing to have the proper oil spill response paperwork during an anti-logging campaign.

The environmental activist group, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise and the ship's agent all are charged with misdemeanor criminal counts of operating a vessel without a spill contingency plan or proof of financial responsibility in case of a spill, as required by state law.

Opening statements were scheduled Tuesday in state District Court in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Because the case involves misdemeanor charges, it will be heard by only six jurors and two alternates.

"We feel good about the jury and feel confident they'll listen to all the evidence and render a fair verdict based on the evidence presented in court,'' said Greenpeace attorney Tom Wetterer.

State environmental regulators cited Greenpeace Inc., Arctic Sunrise Capt. Arne Sorensen and ship agent Willem Beekman last July for not filing a spill response plan or having a financial responsibility certificate. According to court documents, the ship was carrying more than 70,000 gallons of "petroleum products'' when it arrived in southeast Alaska for the protest campaign against logging in the Tongass National Forest.

How much? Seventy thousand gallons? And these are the guys who presume to
instruct *us* about treading lightly on Mother Nature?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Most E-mailed

Yahoo news has had most popular, and most e-mailed news for
some time now. I'll check it from time to time, though lately I've
wondered if the ballot box isn't being stuffed by people e-mailing
stories to themselves just to bump their favorite story up the chart.

Lately though, there's new links at the bottom of the page for most
e-mailed stories from different countries. Interesting that for the last
week the french and the germans have mainly e-mailed cartoons to each
other. And with the b-fish you can see which stories they consider
important. Ah, well. It's something to do if you don't have interest
in what Paula Abdul does on her spare time.

Oh, and you don't need translation for the most e-mailed stories from
India; they're in english. Like this one: [har]

Fraudster sells PM's residence on Web site
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The intelligence department is investigating reports that a fraudster sold an American businessman the prime minister's residence in the heart of New Delhi recently, a leading daily reported on Sunday.

The businessman forked out 35 million rupees ($802,600) for the house that was up for sale on a Web site as a "huge sprawling mansion in the heart of Lutyen's Delhi with 24x7 running water and electricity", the Hindustan Times said.

He soon received the title deed for the house and arrived in the Indian capital late in March to take possession of the house for an office he planned to set up only to discover he had been cheated.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Internet Back?

I better post fast, my cable is off-again, on-again; mainly off.
What a situation, being out of cybertouch and unable to receive
the latest Runaway Bride updates. What if she bolts again? Will
she have to pay for the search? And what is Rosie O'Donnell's take
on the situation?

One thing I really did miss when the internet was gone? Laura
Bush's remarks. Har, funny, well spoken woman. I just hope she
busts chops over new-ku-lar at home too.