September 28, 2004

It's a girl!!!

Our family has just increased in size by two feet; child #1 is now a big brother. The newest addition to our family arrived at 1:12 p.m. yesterday afternoon, weighing in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces. I now have one of each. Apparently I've collected the whole set.

I'm amazingly happy right now. Also incredibly busy. Posting will be sporadic until things settle down around the house. Anyway, woo hoo!!

Update: Below is a picture of my newest packet of joy. It was taken about 5 minutes after her birth.

virginia_new2.jpg

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September 24, 2004

This week's culinary delights

Jennifer has this week's Carnival of the Recipes up. It looks great. Stop and check it out.

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Vegetarian Chili

No, I'm not a vegetarian. However, I did flirt with it for a while, leading me to this recipe. It gets better each time you reheat it. If you're in the mood for more heat, use the hottest chili powder you can find and increase the jalapenos.
========================================

Title: Vegetarian 3-bean chili
Categories: Soups, Main dish
Yield: 8 servings

2 T Olive oil
1/2 c Carrots, sliced
2 c Onions, chopped
1 t Basil leaves
1 c corn(frozen,fresh)
1/2 c Celery, slcied
1/4 t Ground black pepper
1/2 c Green pepper, chopped
2 ea Jalapeno peppers, mince

1 T Chili powder
1 T Ground cumin
1 t Oregano leaves
1/4 t Garlic powder
1/2 t Salt
1/8 t Cayenne pepper

1 ea 15 oz can kidney beans,drain
1 ea 16 oz can black beans, drain
1 ea 15 oz can pinto beans, drain

2 ea 28 oz cans italian-style Plum tomatoes

1 T Lemon juice
Grated monetery jack cheese
sliced green onions

Heat oil; add onions, celery, carrots and green peppers. Saute 5 minutes.
Add zucchini; saute 5 minutes. Add jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, chili
powder, cumin, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne; mix well,
breaking up tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
kidney beans, black beans and pinto beans; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in
lemon juice before serving. Top each serving with grated cheese and
onions.

Note: It will taste better if you simmer it for about an hour.
Just an FYI.

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September 23, 2004

This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

When Jayson Blair displays more class than you over the latest CBS fiasco, it's a sign that you've become a dinosaur looking for a tar pit, only you're too clueless to know it yet.

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Maybe a silver lining after all

Thanks to Jim Treacher for pointing out this link to me. Traylor Howard is hot. Check out this picture:

Funny thing, though. I thought that I was the only person watching Boston Common.

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"We're from the government and we're here to help you..."

Not. Really, really not. Claire Wolfe posts this tale of IRS abuse(redundant, I know). For earlier details, go here. Excerpt of letter Anthony wrote responding to a query from Claire:

The answer is complex. Unfortunately most people in the freedom movement have a foxhole mentality. ... Another factor is just plain fear of the IRS. An attorney friend contacted 6-8 other attorneys about helping and when they learned the IRS was involved they said, "No way!" More, the IRS has indicated in its filings that it intends to audit every one of my customers/supporters.

Who can blame them for wanting to avoid publicity? For not supporting me? It's the Catholic Inquisition with a different name.

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This doesn't mean anything at all

Nope, nothing to see here. Mheh.

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September 22, 2004

A belated birthday present for Harvey

I'm a man of my word, albeit a man slow to fulfill his promises sometimes. Below are links to the promised presents. Harvey, enjoy the show.

Jennifer 1

Jennifer 2

Susan Ward

Fergie 1

Fergie 2

Kristy 1

Kristy 2

One final thought concerning the last two images. This movie was horrible, but one of the male characters in the movie, when asked about Samantha, said "Great tits." Okay, I'm a neanderthal, but I completely agree.

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An interesting perspective

This site usually makes me laugh so hard that I nearly vomit. This article, though, mixes in some pretty coherent analysis with the humor. Excerpt:

The phenomenon that will form the first real cracks in your Democracy begins here. There has begun a strange sort of anti-cynicism where the average American will believe nothing the politicians from the opposing party tell them, but will believe any piece of rubbish they read on a website ("Socialists are building concentration camps to imprison American patriots!" "The 9/11 plane that flew into the Pentagon was an elaborate hoax!") as long as it supports the political party they have aligned themselves with.

Now, a storm of talk radio jockeys and a herd of bloggers on both sides of the aisle and have brought the craziness into the main arteries of the politicial zeitgeist. Thus, today one can also crack open an issue of a Florida newspaper, settle in for a boring article about the electoral college, and then run into this proverbial turd in the punchbowl:

"After Bush's theft of the 2000 election and his clear swoon in the electoral vote tabulations, he is widely believed to have a dirty trick up his sleeve. Pakistan may have trapped Osama bin Laden in an Afghan cave and be planning to help Bush produce him – three years late – just before Nov. 2. A few months ago, there were press rumors that trucks hired by the United States were shipping weapons of mass destruction into Iraq, for timely discovery. And the way has been prepared to postpone the election if we suffer another major terror attack."

Again, let us assume that George Bush is a supernova of evil. And let us assume that he is the most cunning genius ever to have walked the planet. This journalist would casually have us believe that the same man whose people cannot keep the UK press from filming him undressing by a window can keep what would be this century's most explosive secret (the capture of the most important world figure since Adolf Hitler, or the buying and smuggling of WMD's, the single most illegal and monitored substances on the planet) to the point that not a single person involved speaks out.

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Dukakis: the Sequel

Anyone that's waded through the dreck posted here will have noticed my disgust with the national Democrat party, and that I hoped the Dem's would come to their collective senses and jettison the freakish fringe that seems to have entrenched itself as the party's core. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they seem to be exhibiting one of the signs of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. John Fund has more. Excerpt:

Harold Meyerson, editor of the liberal magazine The American Prospect, tells a story of a friend of his who had a dream. He was walking through the headquarters of the Kerry campaign. Behind a door marked "Campaign Manager" he found Kerry manager Mary Beth Cahill. As he drew nearer, however, the woman suddenly ripped off her Cahill mask, behind which was . . . Susan Estrich, Michael Dukakis's campaign manager! Mr. Meyerson's friend woke up screaming.

Lots of Democrats are having similar nightmares about 1988, when Mr. Dukakis, once ahead 17 points in the polls, lost by eight to George W. Bush's father.

Says one Democratic consultant: "I would have called you crazy if in 1989 you would have told me that a decade and a half later this party was going to nominate Dukakis's lieutenant governor--another aloof Massachusetts liberal who would overconfidently feel he would mop the floor with this clueless guy named Bush. But I fear I've seen this movie, and it's 'Groundhog Day.' "
...
Even if Democrats have nothing to do with kamikaze attacks on Mr. Bush, they could still be hurt by them. Mr. Caddell says that if the documents CBS News used to claim Mr. Bush shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard are proved to be forgeries, "it would be the end of the race." He explained to Fox News that Democrats "have gotten themselves so involved in this issue that if they're not authentic, they're going to be blamed for it. It's incredible to me that they've gotten in this. I'm trying to save my party, you know, by telling the truth."

No doubt few Democrats will agree, but Mr. Caddell's larger point--that the Democratic Party will have some soul-searching to do should Mr. Kerry lose--is clearly valid. A party that is so myopic as to repeat so many of the mistakes it made in an historic loss only a decade and a half ago is a party that needs to re-examine its relationship with the American people. Perhaps, following the lead of Britain's Labour Party, it needs to shrug off its most liberal elements and embrace truly centrist positions.

Now comes the words you dread to hear: read it all.

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Adventures in homebrewing

I had it all planned. The ingredients were here: Belgian Biscuit malt; Car-Munich Malt; Victory Malt; 80L crystal malt; hops. The Belgian yeast started was in full froth. And the grandparents had my son. Let there be homebrew!

First, the mash. Grains and water stabilized at 150 F for 30 minutes. I sparged the grains with 160 F water into the brewpot and added enough water to increase the volume to 5.5 gallons. I cranked up the propane burner and started the boil.

Once the wort was bubbling nicely, I tossed in the kettle hops. 45 minutes later, the flavor hops were added. Last came the aroma hops. I dropped the immersion chiller into the boiling wort during the last 10 minutes to sterilize the copper tubing. Finally, I turned off the gas, hooked up the hose and started the water flowing to rapidly cool the beer.

And here's where the process broke down. It turns out that, unbeknownst to me, one of the clamps connecting the input hose to the copper tubing had come partially loose. I didn't notice because (a) water was flowing OUT of the chiller nicely and (b) I had a top on the brew kettle to prevent any foreign objects from entering the beer. Little did I realize that water could be the foreign matter.

Imagine my surprise when I looked inside the pot. I had a much greater volume that I expected. All of my efforts to sanitize and sterilize the equipment had just been pissed away. 2 gallons of water fed through a garden hose had entered my fetal beer. Ugh. Decision time. Dump $30 worth of malt, hops and yeast, or just say f**k it and ferment the crap anyway. Guess which one I chose?

My plan was to clone a delicious beer that the New Belgian Brewing Company produces, maybe "Matt Tire". The new name of this brew should be Biohazard Ale. There is some minute possibility that the beer will be drinkable AND good. Part one isn't difficult; people drink Sterno, for God's sake. Part two is probably a goner. Contaminants from the hose, chlorine from the 2 gallons of unfiltered water dumped into the wort. Oh well. Dump it now, or maybe dump it later. I remain optimistic that the batch will be pretty good. However, I think it's going to have a short shelf life.

This was to be Alliance Beer #2A. Looks like I'll be re-brewing it soon.

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September 21, 2004

Betcha can't

From an email carved as an afterthought into the tablets containing the Ten Commandments...
-------------------------------
Take your time and see if you can read each line aloud without a mistake.
The average person can't.

This is this cat
This is is cat
This is how cat
This is to cat
This is keep cat
This is an cat
This is old cat
This is person cat
This is busy cat
This is for cat
This is forty cat
This is seconds cat

Now go back and read the THIRD word in each line
from the top down and I betcha you can't resist passing it on.

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I just noticed something...

BlameBush! has me listed on its blogroll as Physics Gestapo. That amuses me on so many levels. I also enjoyed these gems in the blogroll:

The Lying SpaceNazi

The Fascist Blog!

The guy is seriously twisted. Thankfully.

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Quote of the day

From Jeff Jarvis:

Kerry on Letterman

: Al Gore was a much more exciting guest. And, yes, that's saying something.

That's going to leave a HUGe frigging mark.

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Evolution of a Dan Rather/60 Minutes story

1) CBS receives the following memo from a "trusted source":


111th Wiccan Coven
P.O. Box 666
Bavaria, Germany

01 August 1972


MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD

Subject: Bush, George W. !st Srcrer48748746WT
Suspension of Broom Flight Status

1. On this date, I ordered that 1st Srcrer. Bush be suspended from flight status due to his failure to perform to Wiccan/Sorcerer standards and failure to eat small children enticed to his gingerbread house as ordered.

2. I conveyed my verbal orders to the Prince of Darkness; 13 th Broom Intrcp Gp with request for orders for suspension and convening of a coven review board BLK SBTH 13-13.

3. I recommended transfer of this officer to the 13666 st Cauldron Reserve Squad in May and forwarded his WT Form SATN666 to 13 th Broom Intrcp Gp headquarters. The transfer was not allowed. Sorcerer has made no attempt meet his soul quota or flight broom physical. Officer expresses desire to transfer out of state including assignment to non-Evil coven.


4. On recommendation of Beelzebub, I also suggested that we fill this critical billet with a more evil Sorcerer from the list of qualified Wiccan child-eaters that have signed their first blood compact. Recommendations were received but not confirmed.



The B. Grimm
Fairy Tale Authors

-------------------------------------
2) Dan Rather declares that this memo provides ample evidence that President Bush was not in Alabama during 1972 as he has maintained.

3) Everyone on the entire planet points out that this "memo" is a spoof from a fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm. His granddaughter presents a copy of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" she owns containing the following inscription: To my dearest granddaughter. I hope that you enjoy these stories as much as I did. Love, grampy Dan."

4) Dan Rather denounces attacks on the document's authenticity by "partisan attack operatives".

5) Two days later, Dan Rather appears on television and makes the following statement:
"There have been many questions raised to the authenticity of this document. Here at CBS, we are dedicated to highest journalistic standards. If any evidence to the contrary surfaces, we'll be the first to break the story. However, no one has yet to question the assertions made in the document in questions. Why was President Bush not in Alabama when he claims to have been there? How long has he been baking gingerbread houses in Bavaria? Has he stopped eating small children? These are questions that deserve an answer."

6) The NY Times issues a headline: "Document Is Fake But the Content is Real."

7) Two weeks later, CBS and Dan Rather issue a statement:
"We can no longer vouch for the authenticity of the document in question."

No shit.

Update: Great minds think alike. Occasionally, so do mine and Harvey's. It turns out that I inadvertently completed an assigment on time for once.

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September 20, 2004

Time for good eats

Carnival of the Recipes #5 is up and ready for you to salivate over. Amy did a bangup job hosting it this week. So quit wasting time. Go there. Now!

Got any recipes for future Carnivals? Send them to recipe.carnival(at)gmail.com

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September 17, 2004

Piling on

Kick 'em while they're down, I always say.

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September 16, 2004

Sullivan on his game

Sullivan may despise President Bush, but he effing hates media dishonesty. Not surprisingly, CBS and Dan Rather are squarely in his sights. Excerpts:

KITTY: Mike Crowley has the goods on Kelley. I think of her as a slightly less reliable National Enquirer. Which puts her one step above CBS News.

and

RATHER IS GOING DOWN: This new story seems to me to show reckless indifference to the truth in the pursuit of political pay-dirt. Honestly, you can't make this stuff up. If a couple of years back, someone had predicted that a) Howell Raines would be brought down by a fabricating affirmative action hire; b) the BBC would lose its director-general because of shoddy anti-war propaganda tarted up as journalism; and c) that Dan Rather would flame out over forged documents designed to wreak revenge on the Bush family; then I would think it was Brent Bozell having a wet dream. But it's all true. Bernie Goldberg, pour yourself a drink. Eric Alterman, just go home and cry.

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How to fix flaws in your Windows operating system

So another flaw has been discovered in Windows that will allow a freakin' JPEG image to hijack your computer. This constant stream of security flaws bothered me enough to try and discover a better software patch. It turns out that a solution already existed. People overlooked it due to the simplicity.
Check it out.

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September 15, 2004

The power of prayer

I know that a lot of you are agnostics and/or atheists(we've had this discussion; the two are not freaking synonymous). However, prayer is about the only recourse available right now for the city of New Orleans. Over at Wizbang, Paul posts a tidbit that should tighten everyone's sphincter muscles.

... a [1998] Category 2 storm that only grazed New Orleans, had pushed waves to within a foot of the top of the levees. A stronger storm on a slightly different course -- such as the path Georges was on just 16 hours before landfall -- could have realized emergency officials' worst-case scenario: hundreds of billions of gallons of lake water pouring over the levees into an area averaging 5 feet below sea level with no natural means of drainage.
That would turn the city and the east bank of Jefferson Parish into a lake as much as 30 feet deep, fouled with chemicals and waste from ruined septic systems, businesses and homes. Such a flood could trap hundreds of thousands of people in buildings and in vehicles. At the same time, high winds and tornadoes would tear at everything left standing. Between 25,000 and 100,000 people would die, said John Clizbe, national vice president for disaster services with the American Red Cross.

This qualifies as a worst case scenario.

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