Friday, March 30, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To Hell In A Handbasket

I should probably stay away from this subject - it's still evolving.  And I know better than to trust the media for information, but since it is being kicked around as a convenient way of attacking the right to carry I have to reflect on it.  In between cussing the media.

One Treyvon Martin is dead, shot by one George Zimmerman.  Information coming out is evolving - Martin was not an angel and Zimmerman is not a frothing-mouthed bigot.  It looks increasingly to me as if this may all be the horrible end result of a couple bad decisions.  Zimmerman should not have gotten out of his vehicle after the 911 dispatcher told him to stay put.  But Martin should not have confronted him, either.  Martin should have kept his eye on him and gone on home.  Or, if he thought the danger was immediate, called 911.  It appears that instead he confronted Zimmerman.  And because of the bad decisions on both their parts, it all went to hell in a handbasket.  Martin is dead.  Zimmerman may be physically alive, but he's dead.  If the Black Panthers have their way, Zimmerman will be physically dead - the Panthers might as well wear hoods the same as the Klan does.

I have to think:  given the circumstances, what would I have done?  It appears that the screams we hear on the tape are Zimmerman's.  Martin has snapped one to his nose and laid him out and is now sitting on his chest, beating Zimmerman's head against the ground.  There is no time to reflect on what has brought them to this place.  There's no time to think "I really should have stayed in the truck", no time to think "He'll stop soon".  There's just a +6 ft guy who has broken my nose and is pounding my head against the ground.

I would have fired.  What has brought us to this place is no longer relavent.  I have no way of knowing who my attacker is.  I have no time to reflect on what led to this moment.  All I know is that somebody is trying to kill me. I don't have time to review his Facebook page or analyze why he's in the neighborhood.  The concept of tragedy and "Woulda, shoulda, coulda" is for the future. It's all gone to hell in a handbasket.

And with one life destroyed, the media is making its bread and butter over destroying another.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring

I love Spring.  I love the return of light and life and watching Orion slide back down towards the horizon, taking long, cold nights with him.  I love opening the windows and letting the sounds and smells come in once more, pushing winter staleness out.  I love watching my plants shoot up out of the ground and cover themselves with bloom in what sometimes seems like just hours. I love watching the lawn wake up out of Winter brownness and shoot up dark green faster than I can get the mower ready to deal with the season.

This has been an early and spectacular Spring, and I've relished every moment of it.  I had to close up and turn the heat on for the first time in a couple weeks yesterday as we briefly sank to normal temperatures, but mostly my house has been open to pollen and bugs and I don't care - I love Spring.

We had an electrical fire at the office last Thursday morning.  The buildings had to be closed, which normally wouldn't matter because I telework, but it knocked our servers offline.  Once I finished up the work I could do without them I was free as a bird and Thursday and Friday were spectacular.  The house, front porch and porch furniture got power washed, the porch got re-stained and the furniture got a new coat of polyurethane.  The new hummingbird/butterfly beds got dug up and supplemented, and yarrow, dwarf butterfly bush, and abelia joined the bee balm.   Mulch got put down.  The patching of a problem area began - I need to get the grass established there before the Summer heat gets here.  Some flowers that weren't doing well in one place got moved to another where I hope they will do better.  And all the while I mentally sorted through what I want to put in a couple beds that are shady and the deer keep wiping out.  No impatiens this year.  Maybe a variety of ferns.

I'm exhausted.  My joints are sore.  There's 400 more pounds of top soil in the back of the SUV waiting to get shifted to bad spots that need leveled.  I need to mow today.  I'll probably need to mow again Saturday.  My sprained finger is pissy and sore because I don't stop long enough to let it heal.   I haven't even made it over to St. Peter's to start on Mary's garden there, or started on the beds over at St. James.

And the trees are covered in hazy green through which bright birds fly and I am very, very content.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Global Warming, Global Warming! (Insert Chicken Little Here)

Except it's Jupiter.  Apparently it may be melting from the inside out.  Odd about the whole stuff-happens-because-of-natural-forces-not-the-combustion-engine, isn't it?

Full article is here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fail

Sooooooo... the climate is changing dramatically and catastrophically? (insert Chicken Little here...) But we are supposed to move to sources of energy that are dependent on that catastrophically changing climate?  I fail to see the logic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

That didn't go so well, did it?

Man's best friend against surprised would be thief. 

video

I particularly like the last part.

Sketchy

As you may have noticed, things are a bit thin.  I'm either working inside, working outside, or running cat to vet right now.  Haven't had time to sort things out for serious posting.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hm.

So a few weeks ago while I was taking a shift at our cold weather shelter one of the other volunteers who is a National Guard military cop commented that they were seeing a big uptick in the amount of supplies coming in to their depot.  It had led to them thinking that maybe they were going to get called up to deal with Occupy stuff. Now today we hear that on Friday Obama signed an executive order giving the president huge powers associated with martial law.

I need either a foil hat or more ammunition.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

So THAT'S why someone else has to pay for it!

Poor Sandra Fluke.  Now it's clear why she needs someone else to pick up the tab for her birth control.  She doesn't have any money left over from vacation with her boyfriend!  Last year's trips included Barcelona, Spain:

...and Pompeii, Italy:


Poor dear. Such a tough life.  That mean old Catholic Church attacking her rights and everything.  It's clear she's suffering.

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for this.  Take bets on whether the major media points it out?

A Bit of Medical Trivia

I was talking to a friend at church last night and learned that she has to have a lens replaced in her eye.  Somehow, what happened to her lens was because of a medication that she was taking for something else.  Which of course made me think of all the medications I've seen that have side affects that can be worse than the condition being treated:  condition:  acid indigestion, possible side affect: death (with the death part in a real fast voice or buried in small print...).

Which made my mind bounce to drugs like Fosamax and Boniva.  I noticed when they first came out - since I'm a  middle aged female the issue of bone density loss is one I pay attention to.  But I thought it was a bit surprising that bisphosphonates were being used to treat the condition.  I wasn't at all surprised, however, when my sister, who is a dental technician, told me that they were seeing serious jaw problems in their patients who took the drugs and had become reluctant to work on anyone using them.

Phossy jaw, more correctly called phosphorus necrosis of the jaw, was an occupational hazard of those who worked in match factories, which used white phosphorus for matches from the 1840s until 1910.  It began with toothaches, then the jaw bone would abscess and deteriorate.  The brain eventually would be damaged.  Removal of the affected jaw bone could save the victim, otherwise the condition was fatal.






It took active campaigning and the Berne Convention in 1906 to force a switch to safer red phosphorus and bring an end to the condition.  Which has now reappeared as a side effect for bone density drugs involving a form of phosphorus.

I often gripe at people about lack of knowledge of history.  I know that things like phossy jaw are just useless trivia to most folks, but in this case I'd be really curious to know if anybody involved in the development of Fosomax and related drugs ever heard of it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another Day, Another...

...trip to the vet's.  This time for a sonogram.  I'll be glad when we figure out what's going on with my guy.  And VERY glad when we get it fixed and he stops piddling on everything.

Monday, March 12, 2012

"The Miracle of Spring"

 
We glibly talk
  of nature's laws
but do things have
  a natural cause?

Black earth turned into
  yellow crocus
is undiluted
  hocus-pocus.
                     (Piet Hein)


Now excuse me while I joyfully play in the dirt until I render myself so exhausted I can't move. (And I know it's not a crocus but the squirrels stole all mine...)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More info.

And for those with interest in more detail of the Battle of Hampton Roads and the Monitor and Virginia, Quizikle has a good post here.

Faces From the Past, Part 2

Yesterday I said that seeing reconstructed images of unidentified Civil War sailors would not be likely to generate an "Oh, look! It's Dad!" reaction.  I stand corrected.  It seems that the portrait of an unidentified Confederate soldier has generated a "Oh, look! It's Uncle Dave!" reaction, and now the uniformed young man gazing out of it has a name, a history, and a family.

According to a Washington Post story, David M. Thatcher, from Martinsburg, VA, enlisted in Company B, Berkeley Troop, First Virginia Cavalry, and was killed in battle at age 19 in 1863.  He is buried in the cemetery at Martinsburg's Tuscarora Presbyterian Church.


The portrait in question was donated to the Library of Congress last October.  While the uniform and equipment in the picture provided a great deal of information about its subject, what it couldn't provide was a name, and so he was just an unknown face used in a Library of Congress advertisement. The wife of one of his relatives happened to see the advertisement last week and immediately recognized Uncle Dave because of another portrait that has been kept in the family.

The full story can be read here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Faces From the Past

By the mid-part of the 19th century, it was clear that exploding bombs and incendiary missiles were a problem for wooden warships.  The solution was to move to wrapping wooden hulled steam-ships with iron, followed by a push towards designing ironclad ships that are the ancestors of today's great steel battleships. 

The first use of ironclads in battle came during the U.S. Civil War 1862, when the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, formally called USS Merrimack, hammered each other at the Battle of Hampton Roads.  Tactically, the engagement was a draw.


The Virginia was a standard wooden warship that had been wrapped in iron.  The Monitor, on the other hand, had been designed and built as an ironclad.  As so often happens, the design had a flaw -while the Monitor was well-suited for river combat, she had a low freeboard and heavy turret, so she was not seaworthy in rough waters.  As a consequence, she was lost in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC, in December of 1862.

Fast forward.  In 1973, the wreck of the Monitor was found off Hatteras, and the site was designated the first U.S. marine sanctuary.  In 1986, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Due to the high cost and potential of damage, plans to raise the entire ship were scrapped, but over time the propeller, the steam engine, and the revolving gun turret have been brought up.  When divers were preparing to remove the gun turret, they discovered the remains of two trapped crewmen.


Now, nearly 150 years after they died in the sinking Monitor, NOAA  has released forensic reconstructions of the faces of the two crewmen in hopes of aiding in their identification.



It's not quite as if someone will see these pictures and say "Oh!  Look!  It's Dad!" But perhaps there is a family picture somewhere, perhaps a family story of someone who didn't come home from the war, and maybe someday these men will be identified and go home to the proper burial they deserve. Until then, their remains are held by the POW-MIA Accounting Command at Hickam AFB in Hawaii.

The full story can be read here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Pair of Brass Ones

The most entertaining of the Fluke commentaries I've read so far, from Lori Ziganto, a lady who clearly has brass ovaries in an age where too many men in public life have misplaced an important part of their anatomies:
Not one has even questioned the veracity of the statements in her ‘testimony’, which were so absurd they were almost comical. Most of it was typical slacker/entitlement mentality nonsense. We are to feel sorry for her, a thirty year old woman at Georgetown Law School, because she can’t afford some things. Paying for one’s own birth control is an ‘untenable burden’. No, really. She said that. If this mandate is supposedly (wink, wink, nudge nudge) to help The Poor ™, why is she asking – nay, demanding – that religious institutions be forced to subsidize self-absorbed 30 year old students at a fancy pants school? Instead of a law degree, she should receive a PhD in mooching; Doctor of Entitlement! Listen, honey, grow up. Get a real job and not some made up ‘reproductive rights activist’ job and, you know, stop buying stuff you can’t afford. Prioritize, baby! It’s easy. We grown-ups do things like that. Get out of your perpetual childhood-ridden Ivory tower. Try for a little less whinies and a little more thinkies. “Your body, your choice?” Your money, toots.
She then upped the absurd by testifying that numerous female students at Georgetown are so stupid that they wander aimlessly about not seeking medical care because they can’t read insurance policies. She publicly announced that women are so stupid that they don’t know how to read. Perhaps they should pick a different field of study than law where reading is, you know, fundamental? And perhaps ‘Reproductive Rights Activist’ isn’t the best job for Sandra Fluke if she can’t explain things to these poor, silly little women so they won’t be shocked – SHOCKED – that a Jesuit school won’t pay for their contraceptives. Further, the cost of contraceptives that she offered in her testimony indicates that the Planned Parenthood just down the road must be price gouging. Shouldn’t this be investigated? For The Women and all. She then grossly stated that a woman who was raped didn’t go to the doctor because she assumed it wasn’t covered as it was a ‘reproductive health’ issue. Beyond despicable. Yet not one question from the Press.
The fluttering metrosexuals in manty hose need to re-grow one of these:


And what ever other parts of their anatomies that the Nancy Pelosis of the world have removed from them.

Read her whole commentary here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Um. No.

I've heard that when Marines are out working in the swamps and woods of the deep south they may wear woman's panty hose under their uniforms in order to block chiggers and mosquitoes.  The infernal pests can't get through the fine mesh of the hose.  But I have no question about a Marine's manly manliness. 

It seems that, however, that men are adopting panty hose as general wear.  I'm sorry.  I'm sexist.  Men in panty hose just don't appeal.

This is sexy:


This is not:


Article here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crud

You think that once they are 18 you are done. They can take care of themselves.  But if you've done your job right you still get phone calls because they need to talk.  And tonight I got a "I need to talk to my Mommy" call. My daughter is an investigator for Child Protective Services. I hate her job. She hates her job - she is battling a society that doesn't really value children.  Serious bad things happen. The emotional toll is horrendous.

And I'm so flippin' upset and distracted that later I manage to tangle up my own feet and fall.  Throwing my left hand out to block in the process.  I'm still not sure what I hit.  But I'm thinking I may have busted my pinkie on my left hand.  It hurts and it looks funny.  I guess tomorrow will tell whether I go get an x-ray or not.  And I dare not mention it because my daughter has already expressed concerns because I don't react to pain very much.  It's just like "Oh...Crud.  Well, there you go."

Gottcher Back

Security Fail

Dear Mom,

You weren't home and I got hungry.  So I helped myself to a snack.


Love, Blu
 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not Hiring this Gal

Nope.  Three years of law school and this is the best argument she can come up with – one that two seconds of analytical thinking can pull apart.  The only word I can think of for the testimony is “stupid.” 

As everybody probably knows by now, the usual suspects had one Sandra Fluke stand up before a Congressional hearing and bemoan that she and many of her fellow students are being seriously hurt by the cost of contraceptives.  Apparently, they are having a lot of sex over there at Georgetown, and she can barely get by on her scholarship money because she has to pay for contraceptives out of her own pocket.  My heart bleeds.

Pssst… come closer Sandra…I have a secret I want to share with you.  Closer…I want to make sure you can hear this… Pregnancy isn’t a disease.  In fact, it is a very natural thing, and necessary for the survival of the species – a species that has aborted and contracepted so heavily that many countries are becoming demographically irrelevant.  You need human beings to pay the taxes in order for the government to buy you stuff, by the way – it doesn’t come off a money tree.   And even if it was a disease, you already have access to a preventative that is absolutely free – self control.  I know you’d rather someone else be responsible for your actions, but oh, well.

On the other hand, oral contraceptives, quite aside from the fact that some of them act as abortafacients, have been associated with health problems such as blood clots.  Ask my neighbor how long she was laid up in the hospital a couple years ago because of her oral contraceptive.  So it could be argued that you and your pals are demanding that someone else pay to put a potentially dangerous drug in your system.  Shall the school provide you with an occasional cig as well?

And where are the men in this?  Well, letting you hold the bag for their fun – that’s where they are.  You are making sure that they won’t have to deal with responsibility.  Tell you what – ask your boyfriend to pay for the contraceptives that let him have his grins and giggles.  No steady boyfriend?  Multiple partners is called “high risk sex” – that also has known health risks.

So here’s a recommendation, Sandra.  Spend more time studying law, and less time having sex.  Maybe you might learn to put together a cogent argument.  Until then, ain’t no way I’d let you argue anything for me. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Couple Political Follies

From our neighbor the Socialist State of Maryland:

The American Mustache Institute presented Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) with a proposal called the Stache Act, which calls for a $250 tax deduction for grooming products for mustachioed men.  Due to a media request for information it got forwarded to the House Ways and Means Committee.  His office should have shredded the thing when it first came in.  Political opponents who are challenging him this year have jumped on it as a sign that Bartlett, who himself has a mustache, supports the measure and hence is out of touch with his financially suffering constituents. His chief of staff responded:  "Roscoe is pro-stache, but he does not believe Americans should pay for people's  personal grooming decisions."  More here



The other incident that was getting a lot of chatter yesterday concerned Prince George's County council woman Karen Toles, who was clocked doing more than 100 mph on the Beltway.  In a county car.  Said she was late for a meeting.  First question - Where the heck is there any place on the D.C. Beltway where you can possibly move that fast?  Every time I'm on it I'm lucky to hit 50 mph.  Second question, and the one everybody is asking is - How is it that all she got was a ticket for an illegal lane change?  More here.