Friday, January 2, 2004

About the Weather

(Insert 10000 Maniacs joke here.)

Last January was the first time I saw snow on the ground for more than 24 hours.

I'm going to see it again.

It snowed last night, about two inches. We had snow in December, but it melted off within 12 hours. Not this time. It looks like we'll have slush on Monday, when it warms up and starts to rain (oh, joy). Warm, of course, is relative; 43 degree rain is not my idea of nice weather. Of course, it's snowing in Oak Harbor as well, so I couldn't escape it even if I weren't on deployment.

It is times like this that make me long for San Diego, where I was stationed for 15 years. San Diego has its faults, but it doesn't get snow. Growing up in Florida and then living in San Diego is not a recipe for dealing well with snow.

posted at 01:25 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Andrea's Moved

When I saw the message (buh-bye-It occurs to me that I have better things to do), I thought that Andrea Harris (Too Much To Dream, formerly Spleenville Journal, formerly Spleenville World Domination Headquarters) had finally chucked the blog thing. I prepared to be sad. When Andrea gets upset, she can be wickedly vitriolic.

Instead, she moved to a new URL. (She changes names on a fairly regular basis, and changes her site's design more often than some people change their underwear or their mind). She can now be found a Twisted Spinster. She's also moved to a new software package, with the caveat that she may come back to Movable Type if the new stuff doesn't work.

posted at 01:09 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Another Goofy Quiz

(The title will undoubtedly get me MORE hits from whoever keeps googling "goofy quiz" and hitting my site).

Are You a Blogaholic?

I scored a 60, which puts me in the "dedicated weblogger" category. I scored well above the average 48, but lower than CG Hill, who scored a 64. (I nicked the link from him, BTW).

posted at 12:52 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Dead Pool front-runners

Lair is still recovering from the rush of last-minute entries for the 2004 Dead Pool, but he has managed to tabulate the top picks from the 126 participants. Go here to see the list.

For what it is worth, here is my list. Only three of my picks hit the top of the list (coincidentally, they were the first three on the list I sent to Laurence).

Politicians and spouses:

Yasir Arafat
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Bulent Ecevit (former Turkish PM)
Pierre Trudeau (former Canadian PM)


Sharon Osbourne (Ozzy's wife)
Clint Eastwood
Ron Popeil (the infomercial guy)
Wilford Brimley
Bea Arthur
Mick Jagger
Martha Stewart

I tried for a mix of can't miss walking corpses and oddball choices that nobody else picked. I think that Ron Popeil and Bulent Ecevit are not likely to show up on many lists, and some of my other choices are a bit skewed as well.

posted at 12:08 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year

As the new year approaches, and I begin celebrating with friends here, I wish to extend a hearty "Happy New Year" to each of my readers. I hope the new year brings you prosperity, good health, and happiness. For those of you who are seperated from your loved ones, I wish you good luck and a speedy return home.

posted at 01:55 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Proxy War

"Ptah Aegyptus", at Crusader War College, posts this startling link to statements made by a EU Parliament member, recognizing that the "Al-Aqsa Intifada" (the current round of lawlessness and terror courtesy of our friends the Palestinians) is primarily a proxy war between the "old-Europe"-dominated European Union and the United States. A little commentary follows. Check it out.

posted at 09:09 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 29, 2003

Warmth from the North

I am glad that most Canadians are not obnoxious blowhards like the one who wrote this letter to the Seattle Times:

It wasn't that long ago when a single cow in Alberta was discovered to have mad-cow disease. The United States immediately closed its borders to all Canadian products that contained beef, beef by-products, milk and cheese. We were told that these actions had to be taken for health reasons and health reasons alone.

I'm sure the United States cares for the health and welfare of all citizens of the world and not just its own populace. So I trust that the United States will immediately ban all exports of American beef, beef by-products, milk and cheese for at least as long as it banned Canadian products, or until it can assure the world that it is not exporting poisoned products to unsuspecting buyers.

I'm sure that Canada will have to ban American imports anyway to assure the purity of the Canadian product.

How does it feel now that the shoe is on the other hoof?

Well, since I don't recall Canada banning the export of their beef, as this jerk advocates the US doing, I don't think it's a case of "the shoe being on the other hoof". I support Canada's right to block beef and dairy imports from the US, just as I supported the US ban on importing Canadian beef (just the beef, we didn't stop the sale of dairy products, as the letter writer asserts). His supercilious turn of phrase about our "care for the health and welfare" of the rest of the world would be justified if we had advocated a worldwide ban of Canadian products, but in this instance it is just a snotty sneer from a disaffected anti-American twit. In fact, it's worse, since the cow originated FROM CANADA (fourth paragraph). If he wants to go on a crusade, I would suggest he look to Canada first, rather than mindlessly bash the United States.

We have had a ban on importing live animals from Canada since their BSE outbreak in May, but this animal was imported before the ban was implemented. A plan to reopen the American market to Canadian livestock may well be shelved. To true believers such as our corrospondent above, however, such facts are just more proof that the US is trying to impose its evil hegemony upon the rest of the world.

posted at 08:42 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Dr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle

Howard Dean has been a vociferous critic of Dick Cheney's energy task force meetings during the first year of the Bush administration. However, it appears that he shouldn't be criticizing secret meetings to develop an energy plan. From the AP (via Yahoo! News):

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean, who has criticized the Bush administration for refusing to release the deliberations of its energy policy task force, as governor of Vermont convened a similar panel that met in secret and angered state lawmakers.

Dean's group held one public hearing and after the fact volunteered the names of industry executives and liberal advocates it consulted in private, but Dean refused to open the task force's private deliberations.

In 1999, he offered the same argument the administration uses today for keeping deliberations of a policy task force secret.

"The governor needs to receive advice from time to time in closed session. As every person in government knows, sometimes you get more open discussion when it's not public," Dean was quoted as saying.

The article goes on to allow Dean to denounce the link, and notes that Dean was on shaky ground to attack Cheney for behavior in which he himself had engaged. It also notes the parallels between both task forces, along with information about donations to both campaigns from energy interests.

(UPDATE: Pejman got there first, Robert Tagorda was next, and Daniel Drezner was right behind them.)

posted at 12:42 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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