Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As much as I'd like to see looters in LA and MS getting the lead aspirin, I can't bring myself to countenance the death penalty for property theft. However, were I there with the proper equipment, I would be shooting the looted without hesitation. Not the looted stores, mind you, the looted property. A low-life is towing a big-screen TV out of a flooded Best Bayou (couldn't resist that one - sorry) and BOOM! One dead TV.
Possibly if the scum that's floated up on the flood water understands that their loot will be blasted out of their arms, they might develop something akin to a conscience. As if.
An Explanation, Such As It Is
I've had Achewood in the ol' blogroll for a while now and have even thought of attempting to write something about it. However, Chris Onstad's work is peculiarly resistant to ratiocination. Indeed, that sentence can be repeated if you delete "ly resistant to ratiocination." Yet it is utterly engaging once you start to see what the characters are like. Or who the characters are. So it is with great delight that I'm able to point you to an Achewood Wikipedia article! If you have any questions, ... well, you'll probably still have questions. Not many comic strips have a bumper sticker that features one of those "Calvin whizzing" icons where the object of his output is a big block reading "The Stultifying Compositions of Edvard Grieg."
I like Grieg's Piano Concerto myself. But I like Achewood too.
Just Damn
Kim du Toit is going on below-the-radar blog posting. 'Tis pity for the b'sphere is better off with him. Not that he is going compeltely away of course. But I will have one less stop on my morning reads for the nonce.
PoW is a fervent, albeit not-so-vocal, supporter of the Nation of Riflemen.
Dear Mr. President
Please, please do not go to Louisiana. No doubt you will called callous and uncaring by those who hate you but they will criticize if you go or if you don't, so there's no loss in not going. What you will do, by not going, is free the resources that would be spent on you to work for the rescue and recovery work. A helicopter carrying the POTUS over a disaster is one less helicopter available to pluck people from rooftops and one more helicopter using resources such as fuel that can go to recovery vehicles.
So, President Bush, please stay involved, order FEMA to do what needs to be done but don't go to the Gulf Coast.
I also wonder about those who insist the president has to be physically present at the site of a natural disaster. This is magical thinking at its worst. The president is not some heap-big tribal shaman whose presence graces and blesses us in time of trial and tribulation. But then, if you believe in "Gaia" and the new liberal religion of ecology, maybe the President as Heap-Big Shaman isn't really a stretch.
Too Soon?
I'm planning a trip to New Orleans next February for Muddy Gras.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Huricane Damage
It's a good thing Bill Clinton wasn't in the path of Hurricane Katrina. I saw that low lying areas were at great risk. There is no more low, lying area than Bill Clinton.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Today's Exercise in Stupid Politics
Today's noisepaper had a short article from the Raleigh News & Observer about the (sarcasm) brilliant (/sarcasm) strategy of Jackie Wagstaff, candidate for mayor of Durham. Durham, where I spent and misspent by not misspending four years of my young life. (Durham panhandler: "You got some spare change? All I got to my name is this here .38, nomean?") Allow me to quote: The candidate "donned bright-orange Chuck Taylor shoes and large gold earrings to announce her 'hip-hop agenda' for City Hall." Puh-leeze! Why not just don big orange hair and a ruby red nose while you're at it?
Wagstaff said she would use "gangsta" culture and rap music to appeal to disaffected youth, luring them away from crime with the offer of free studio time to record songs. T-shirt giveaways would serve as another enticement.
If elected, she would hold monthly meetings with her Hip-Hop Cabinet, streetwise teens with insights on how to improve the Bull City.
"You can always take something bad and find something positive," said Wagstaff, 46, who recently adopted the nickname J-Dub. "Gangsta to me is an organizational structure -- not organized crime, but organized good."
Good idea "J-Dub." Count on "disaffected youth" to get yourself elected and actually run the city. In other news, David Duke runs for New York statewide office by campaigning in Harlem. Then again, let's look at "J-Dub's" track record: "She survived a 2002 effort to remove her from office after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts for doctoring check requests from the nonprofit North East Central Durham Reinvestment Inc., a city-financed social services organization she ran. She also has been evicted several times for nonpayment of rent." At least she knows her constituency. And yes, she thinks her malfeasance is a qualification. Using the "it's a feature not a bug" approach she "embraces the tag that she is 'too gangsta for government.' She bills herself as the only candidate with the street credibility to solve the city's problems with gang violence and school dropouts."
Perhaps she can solve the problems of funding government by, oh, let's say, writing bad checks and just not paying bills! What an innovator. At least we can be sure that the "J" in "J-Dub" does indeed stand for Jackass.

Oh (Insert Expletive Here)
I hear on the news that my insurance company (Allstate) is expected to be one of the ahrdest hit by claims from Katrina. Great. I already have a cost increase due to my first accident in 30 years (first charged accident that is) and now that they're going to have to make up for what they're going to pay out I can expect to pay even more next renewal.
Don't tell me that's not how it works. I know better than that. Hello GEICO? Hello USAA? Hello AIG? I'll be doing some shop-ping in about six months.
The Red Planet ... And You Are There
Watch dust devils on the face of Mars courtesy of NASA in an animated gif.
Cool stuff but I wonder how much less it would cost if Burt Rutan had wanted to go to Mars.
Details, Details
The bamboo flooring was ordered from Lumber Liquidators. As that page currently displays, there is an image of "5/8" Real Bamboo Flooring" on the lower left that is pretty much the type I selected (horizontal, natural). If you click on the link under the bamboo image, you can see the range of bamboo floorings that they offer. I went with a lighter shade to make the kitchen seem bigger, even though the cabinets are a darker color.
Lycurgus did a fantastic job of installation. Only the final course of boards (against the window wall) is face nailed. All the others are nailed through the tongue and groove. And the final face nailings are essentially covered up by the quarter-round moulding. Verra, verra pretty. I need to get one more piece of the quarter-round to finish the job as there are bits and pieces that need filling. The thresholds (there are two between kitchen and other areas) are matching bamboo T-mouldings that are glued in place with Liquid Nails - remarkably stable and leaving no finish nail holes to be filled.
To complete the current kitchen project, I need to re-position a power plug box, paint a wall and then I can get my new range and microwave hood which was the real genesis of the project in the first place. It's gonna be great!

The Floor In Pictures

Here's how the floor looks now.

And here's how it looked in the throes of destruction.
A Bit of Long Range Planning
I see that Jake has a gig in October in Charlottesville, GCoV. I think I'll have to get myself sufficiently aligned with Universe to go see him again.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

And Oh Yeah...
The floor post is coming. I need to get my few pictures together to make an even mildly rewarding post for ther reader/viewer.
Supporting Easton
Now that I've reached a full week after the day of the ride, I suppose the memories of it all are ripe enough to pluck and serve in a sugared-up compote for the PoW readership. I won't go into the details of where it all is because the Atlantic Cycling site has all the details. And it has a recap as well which you should cast a squint at. Briefly speaking, the ride was on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Maryland's lovely Eastern Shore I might add. It's beautiful out there. Countryside (emph on the "country" part) there is gently rolling (nice for cycling if you weren't following closely) and beautiful: lots of farm fields and quaint towns.
The day, however, had early promise of turning ugly. And it did. Sunshine that was pleasant in the early morning turned to brutal in the late morning and from then on. Humid - yep, that too. Despite that ugliness, cycling in such weather is not killingly bad. It's not as nice as on a cool day but it's do-able. And the better cyclist you are, the better you'll do on such a day. The cooling effect of being able to skim pavement at upwards of 18 mph makes a difference.
The rest stop was an unusual situation. Usually there are two rest stops - one that catches both the long riders and the short riders and another that only gets the long riders. On the Easton ride there is but one rest stop which gets the short riders once and the long riders both going out and coming back. There were 192 riders (more than double last year's number - I ascribe it to the word-of-mouth of the incredible rest stops [yeah, right -Ed.] sarcasm doesn't become you Ed) so we had a lot of people when you consider that a good number of the riders were through twice. Lucky for me I had the help not only of Lycurgus but of a couple who live out on the Eastern Shore and help out on rides held there. I really needed the help as I was having a really bad joint day. So I mostly parked my ass and sliced watermelon for the riders (four were killed that day but their sacrifice was in a noble cause).
Lycurgus was a hero. He made runs for water and more ice, both of which were sorely needed. A lot of Gatorade passed from our rest stop to cyclists' guts to oblivion. A couple of days before the ride I happened upon a foil bag of Gatorade that made up to 2.5 gallons and bought it on a whim as 'just in case.' Good thing I did because it was all used. We were situated at a boat launch ramp in the shade of some long-needle pine trees (see the photos from the 2004 ride at the AtCyc site - it's in exactly the same place) near the house of a very nice lady who let us fill water bags from her place. Robert and Tammy (the couple mentioned earlier) worked on keeping the water coolers filled and PB&J sammiches supplied. And thank goodness - there would have been no way, no possible way that I alone could have kept up with the fruit, the PB&Js and the fluids even if my joints were functioning at full design limits.
The riders were great. By the time they came in, they were in need of the fluid and the goodies which were more than happy to provide. I was pushing "Flavor-Blasted BBQ Cheddar Goldfish" all day more because the name amused me than anything else but it became a running joke. I must say, the good cheer of the riders really helps make the rest stop experience a great one. And the Easton ride had one real high water mark: one woman was carrying an empty beer can in her jersey pocket. She and her companions, for this was a joint effort, would, if they found some item of roadkill beside the road, place a beer can in the paws of the critter. When they explained it, we were laughing our butts off. I'd love to see the reactions of passers-by to finding, say, a coon corpse clutching a "Silver Bullet." Heck, I may start carrying an empty for the same purpose.
Next year I'm riding this ride. I doubt I'll be able to do the long ride but I am going to be in the saddle next year at Easton. Promise. I will hope for a cooler day though.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Coming Shortly
A report on the Easton Atlantic Cycling ride and the great kitchen floor saga. Fun stuff. Lemme tell ya. Fun stuff.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thanks For Sticking Around
Regular blogging will begin again shortly. You may return your tray tables to the down position and loosen all articles of clothing that are constricting or binding. In the event of water blogging, your seat cushion will act as an absorbent pad. Should the blog lose air pressure, breathe really, really deeply as fast as you can and hold it until the blog reaches a level where pressure is normalized. For those of you in First and Business Class, the blog attendant will be passing out headphones that will allow you to enjoy "Pugs of War- The Musical" our in-blog movie.

Friday, August 19, 2005

What are the rules of attraction?

No reference to the movie of the same name will be accepted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blogging Will Be Limited
Lycurgus is gracing Chez BD with his energetic presence. There is much to do. The kitchen floor is nearly taken up and tomorrow the laying down of the new bamboo floor is likely to begin. Sunday is the next Atlantic Cycling ride and a visit to out of town relatives is in the offing. I'll try to post something of interest in the next week but don't expect something every day.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Another Take On The Sticker
"Dad loses custody of 8 children"
That was the headline on an AP story out of Richmond in the Wednesday paper. I won't bother Googling up a link because I intend to quote sufficiently to make going to the story unnecessary. And so it begins: "The Virginia Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a judge's decision to terminate the parental rights of a man who kept his eight children isolated in a tiny dilapidated home without electricity or plumbing." Granville Frazier Toms (for that is his name - rather grandiloquent for a low-life son of a bitch methinks) kept his children, well, let me quote again: "Deputies described the Toms residence as a trash-filled, 16-by-16 unfinished structure with no separate rooms. The family used a crude outdoor latrine, and the yard was littered with liquor bottles and beer cans." Oh great. Some low-life, toothless, mouth-breathing, redneck, white trash (I think you get the idea) son of an ape has to do this in the GCoV. Don't get me wrong, what he's done to his children is on a scale cosmically beyond the location of where he did it but the fact that he did in my backyard really makes it personal.
Moving right along: "The family's primitive living conditions came to light when Hanover County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call on Jan. 28, 2003. All but one of the children fled into the woods, without coats or gloves to protect them from near-freezing temperatures. They emerged about eight hours later, at 3:30am, and were taken to a hospital for evaluation." And it gets worse: "Testimony at yesterday's hearing indicated that the children had received no education or health care. They scored below the first percentile on developmental tests and initially communicated with a court-appointed guardian only by grunting and body language."
You might wonder why this state of affairs exists, even after hearing of the litter of alcoholic beverage containers: "Toms suffers from delusional thinking, paranoia, social phobias and other mental health problems, experts testified, along with a history of alcohol abuse dating to age 6."
Age 6. Age 6! Tell me that there's a responsible adult in this family, ever and I won't believe it. No six year old gets into the booze without some adult being aware of it. But that's not living in the now. Whatever happened before, this Toms is responsible for the eight children he provided the genetic material for (I can not bring myself to use the word "fathered"). Which leads me to the first of the two things that made me pick up this story as blogfodder. Can there be any doubt that a judge would terminate Toms's parental rights? No. And law requires that Toms be represented by competent counsel in court proceedings leading to the termination of those rights. But nothing in the canon of ethics requires that the case be pursued to appeal after the judgment is rendered. Toms may want to appeal but a good lawyer would see that real justice has been rendered in the initial ruling and convince his client to cease action. If he persisted, that counsel should have made it clear to Toms that he would continue alone.
Still, it is not outside of the canon of ethics for the lawyer to continue to represent Toms. The real mystery to me, and I'll happily entertain explanations, is how a drunk, delusional, paranoid managed to perpetrate eight children onto the face of Earth. Did one woman drink of his demon seed eight times? Did he charm eight different women into acts of congress, nine months of child-bearing and the pain of the Daughters of Eve? No mention of a mother is made in the article.
I'll put this grotesque episode to rest with one final quote from the article: "The appeals court agreed with (the trial judge) that it was unlikely Toms could remedy the problems quickly enough to be able to provide the children a decent home life. 'Toms' (sic) life has been badly scarred by destructive patterns of alcohol abuse and debilitating bouts of mental illness,' Judge D. Arthur Kelsey wrote in the unanimous opinion. 'The long-standing conditions go back to his childhood and cannot be explained away as recent, readily-correctable maladies. And they were severe enough to cause Toms to cloister his children in inhumane living conditions, to deprive them of routine medical care and to do nothing to stop the steep regression in their developmental skills.' The court ruled that officials were not legally required to try to rehabilitate Toms before terminating his rights if they determined reunification would jeopardize the health and safety of the children."
I will try to believe that a destructive spiral has been arrested by humane, intelligent action of the court. Only one thing is certain - there are eight children in the custody of the Commonwealth who need our prayers.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The acronym tag that is. Here at PoW.

"I LIKE it!"
- Clarence Boddicker after firing the "Cobra Assault Cannon" in "RoboCop."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another Amazon Day
It just keeps getting better. Not that it was all Amazon today. I got my book on installing hardwood floors, my new iPod battery and my new PowerBook battery. That was just the mail. I also drove down to Lorton, VA to pick up my new bamboo flooring at Lumber Liquidators. My kitchen is going to look soooooo good.
Then I get the new range and range hood microwave. Can it get better? Oh yes. But the new fridge is going to have to wait. Probably until after I strip off the wallpaper and paint the walls. And then the Corian countertops!
If I don't get out of here, I'll batter my Ship of Finance against the unyielding Reef of Home Improvement. Whoa! Metaphor alert!
UPDATE: I just installed the new battery in my iPod. It couldn't have gone more smoothly. The printed instructions that came with the battery are printed so small as to make then virtually unreadable even by my LASIK'ed eyes. Actually, I probably could have read these itty-bitty letters better before the corneal slice and dice. Fortunately, the site from which I bought the battery (Other World Computing) has a video available online showing how it's done. Gad, I love the Interweb thing.
Customer Service
Earlier I blogged about getting a subscription to the new Cook's Illustrated magazine "Cook's Country." Well, my first non-sample issue arrived in the mail and it was the same issue as the sample. One might be tempted to be peeved but accompanying the duplicate issue was a postcard: "You recently responded to our subscription offer and we mistakenly mailed you the same issue that we had sent you as a sample. We apologize for this error and have updated your account to ensure that you receive an additional issue."
Hmm. I'll be schnotted on. (It's not working. -Ed.) (Point taken Ed.) That is the very definition of customer service - recognizing the mistake before it has even reached the customer and correcting it.
A Dispatch From Pug Acres North
The XMBD sends the following report on near-centenarian (in human years) Spike, the Original Lad Pug of the Original Pug Duo:
Well, a few thousand dollars later, little Spikerman has returned home from a gall bladder removal. It was done on a quasi emergency basis. A couple weeks ago he started throwing up and after a couple days I took him to the vet (along with Panda - also throwing up).
There was a virus going around affecting older dogs and puppies, so they kept Panda a day and Spike two days on an IV to re-hydrate. Panda got better right away, but Spike wasn't bouncing all the way back. They did some bloodwork and his white cell and liver values were out of whack so on the 2nd it was off for an ultrasound.
The Ultrasound specialist said that he needed his gall bladder out and that he was actually pretty lucky it hadn't ruptured. His body had sort of sealed off a bile leak on its own.
So, they referred me to a surgical specialty practice in Waltham, which I really liked not only for its reputation, but also because they have 24-hour care. Most practices just have someone come in to check on the dogs once during the night. The vet was really good, but was, I think, only 2 years older than Spike. How nice - a vet who's an age peer... (Note: I'm pretty sure we're talking human years here. I figure it's more likely to have a 16 year-old vet than a 100 year-old vet. -BlogDog.)
So Spike went in Friday and had the offending organ removed and, for a 14 year-old, came through like a trooper. They kept him a couple extra days because the tubes irritated his palate, which is problematic in the little push-nose guys, and he still has a dry hack, but he's home and napping as though he hasn't missed a beat. The others are napping in solidarity. His latest bloodwork showed all the concerning levels back to normal, so things are looking good.
Call me a soppy boy but Spike is a sweetheart of a dog in a breed that is known for its sweet heartedness. I'm so glad to hear he's still soldiering on.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Need A Phrase
Glenn Reynolds has "Heh" and "Indeed" and "Read the whole thing" all sewn up. Dax Montana has "Just Damn." Acidman has "Got Dam" all of which I've used at one time or another. What can I say? What can I brand as quintessential BlogDog? A sardonic "You don't say" perhaps. It's gotta be short, it's gotta be succinct and it should be sort of uncommon. "Shut up, Ed" doesn't quite communicate my essence (But...) Shut UP, Ed!
What an Amazon Day!
My UPS guy brought me: both Elton John CDs mentioned below, John Scalzi's "Old Man's War," Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" and Dantz's PC backup program "Retrospect." I love the interweb thing. Still to come: new iPod battery, additional PowerBook battery, a how-to book on installing hardwood floors.
That reminds me - I should really update the "literature" section.
I could have had the bamboo flooring I've ordered delivered but the delivery charge of $110 makes it 'economic' to go to the local retail location and pick it up. Good thing the Outback is capacious.

My Atlantic Cycling Sticker

As promised when I posted the Sterling sticker.
Taking Note
See, it's music post so I called it "Taking Note!" Ha ha! What a clever lad.
OK, enough of that. I see in todays paper that ol' Stephen Stills, he of oh! so many bands and the most-excellent use of the wah-wah pedal, has a new disc out. "Man Alive!" on Titan-Pyramid/Universal. The link goes to an amazon page which lists it as an import at an absurdly high price. It must be available domestically at a better price even as I write. But the link to Sills's home page has a link to an MP3 of the song "Drivin' Thunder" which is worth the listen. Scott Galupo reviews the album in today's Washington Times. Expect that link to rot away in about a week.
I can't say it ranks among my favorite Stills songs (which leans heavily on his CSN&Y, CS&N, Manassas and Buffalo Springfield work in that order) but it's still better than 80% of what's being put out these days. There are two things I must say in posting about this guy: First, his song "Southern Cross" is one of the great songs of all time. Secondly, and this amuses me more than is logical, is that he tried out for Don Kirshner to be one of "The Monkees" back in the 60s but was turned down because he had such bad teeth. I hope he's been a regular at the dentist's since then.
I just got my Elton John CDs today and am listening to songs I've not really listened to in at least a decade. Yet I can sing along without reference to the lyrics. Two songs make the CDs necessary: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" on "Honky Chateau" and "Come Down in Time" on "Tumbleweed Connection."
Just Shameful
Joe Sherlock who occupies a place on the PoW blogroll (and if you're not trotting over there - Joe's place, not the blogroll - every weekday, you're missing something great), has just had a run in with the Kos Krowd. Kos being the ultra-left website that manages to be respectable only in distinction to Democrat Underground (in the sense that a gob of spit on the sidewalk is respectable because it's beside a dog turd). This will give you a full explanation of what went on even as I give you the short story. Basically, Joe cobbled together a great "separated at birth" graphic of Keith Olbermann and Milhouse Van Houten (here) which a Kos Kiddie hotlinked in a post pimping the left sheeple to try to raise the viewing numbers of Olbermann's show. (Olbermann is a leftist jackass of the first water in case you didn't know.)
Let me make that point againg: hotlinked the image. He "put" the image on the Kos site by putting in a link to the image on Joe's server. This, when done on a site that is hugeley visited (as Kos is by the mind-numbed leftbots), will result in a huge bandwidth suck on the servers when the image was originally posted. In short, Joe's bandwidth was leeched by a Kos poster. In a surprisingly classy move, the post-er apologized to Joe. I'll not abuse him any further.
In any event, Joe handled it nicely by changing the image (follow the explanatory link above to see all, know all) which resulted, naturally, in a mountain of abuse with only a light dusting of apology.
Joe, you rock. And for the abuse you've gotten, it only shows who's the better man.
Coincidental Juxtaposition
Every nownagain one sees something that just ... strikes as ... amusing. Or odd. Like seeing an online ad for Travelocity alongside a news page reporting the bombing of an airplane. My Moment of Hunh today came in the 'regional roundup' column of the daily noisepaper. A couple of articles out of the Great Commonwealth of Virginia, the second of which reporting out of Bedford, VA that hoops legend Shaquille O'Neal is getting specialized training with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. Not by itself extraordinary, keeping in mind that Shaq has long had this law enforcement connection. What sets it off, however, is the article which precedes the Shaq story. And I will give its title only: "Authorities Seek Police Impersonator."
You don't say.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hell's Kitchen
There will be a post in the aftermath of "Hell's Kitchen" finale last Monday. It will be here. I have yet to write it. But it will be here.
UPDATE: I wasn't joking when I said "here." My thanks to Paul for his impassioned comment and I bow to his superior knowledge of the kitchen craft. But I didn't have the same reaction to Michael. I did think Ralph was going to win but I rather liked Michael's dishes. I thought his underhanded behavior during the competition was, while not right, at least fitting with the idea of winning against competitors. He was there to defeat them even if it meant sabotaging the overall restaurant. Again, not the right thing to do but kind of expected in the context of the show.
Oh, and whozits being a lesbian: (sarcasm)shocker(/sarcasm).
I was intrigued that Michael took the option to go work with Gordon instead of getting his own restaurant. There is a part of me that thinks that result was always in the offing. A summer replacement show doesn't generate the $$ to set up a real, on-going restaurant. I think. It will indeed be interesting to see if Michael can make it working under Chef Ramsay. I'm going to guess that he will. Ralph will also go on to success as a chef even if he didn't win the competition. He evidenced sufficient attributes of ability in the kitchen and drive that he will be a head chef in a fairly short time. But I don't think he has the imagination to be an executive chef. I think Michael can be.
But I've been wrong before.
RIP Peter Jennings
I was sorry to see his passing last night and I hope his family (or families) have all reached their peace with what they knew was coming. But I was again struck how, if you want to be mythologized in this world at your death, be sure to have a high-profile media job. Jennings was a competent news reader and wrote a book that was better than run-of-the-mill. But if you see his bio, he fell into more beds of roses than any three people. His father was in the news biz so he "managed" to get a news business job at the age of nine. His active work (and I greatly respect his field reporting as it takes nerve to go into dangerous situations) got him a network anchor job when he was in his late 20s. C'mon. If that's not accomplished by a bit of pluck and a huge wad of luck, then the news business is not what I see it to be.
I admire that he became an American citizen even though he should have done so long before he did. And I'm sorry at his passing as John Donne noted that every man's loss diminishes us all. But I'll not miss his reflexive liberalism and ultimately tilted (that's at less of an angle than slanted) reporting.
Conversion Experience
You never know when you're going to have an epiphany, even if it is on such a small scale as to make the use of the word "epiphany" absurd. But it's still how you feel. To wit: Febreeze Air Effects in "Meadows & Rain" scent. I found, after storing a vacuum cleaner therein, that my closet had a hint of a smell about it. Nothing gross, just an identifiably different scent than the bedroom to which it adheres. And I didn't care to be struck by the fact that my closet had any kind of smell at all. It should be undetectably neutral. So, having a coupon from GoC ("Good old Costco"), I bought some of the aforementioned product. Oh joy unbounded! It smells great!
I was going to spritz the closet and leave it at that but now, the whole house smells of "meadows & rain" (puh-leeze! but I like it). So, if you drop by BlogDog Central, you will share in my peculiar taste - in this case taste being smell. Maybe I'm synesthetic.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Movin' To The Country
Gonna eat a lot of peaches. I mentioned these folks a while back and now I find they've put up a web presence. Good for them. Good peaches. Good for me. I've snarfed up the white peaches I bought (so good - so delicate of flavor! and so fragile) but still have the everso-slightly tart yellow peaches left. Mmmmm. (insert image of Homer drooling here). I think what I bought was White Lady and John Boy. No matter. De-lish whatever brand they happened to be.
I'll probably buy peaches weekly until they run out. But then the apples start coming in and yowsa! them apples is good too. I'll blog 'em when I get 'em.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Firefox and Popups
You know I'm ready to pimp Firefox at a moment's notice. I use it. I think there's no better browser even as much as I respect Safari and Opera. But I have been getting popups in the last, say, month or so and have been meaning to look into it. Well, thanks to Schultzie, I got the 411. (Oh please! Can you use any more "hip lingo?" -Ed.) Shut up, Ed.
The popup buttheads are using Flash to get around Firefox's built-in blocker. Here is the fix. And here it is without having to click the link:
  1. Type about:config into the Firefox location bar.
  2. Right-click on the page and select New and then Integer.
  3. Name it privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins
  4. Set the value to 2.
There's a bit more info at the link and I urge you to visit because the man who puts up such a useful fix deserves the traffic. Major kudos for Pete Bevin!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Martha Stewart Is An Idiot!

As much as I admire and enjoy Martha Stewart's recipes and home tips, I've got to tell
you she is a moron for having her home imprisonment extended so she could attend a yoga class with her daughter.

Let's break this down to it's simplest terms. She is a convicted felon under house arrest. She decides that 48 hours of freedom is not enough so she attends a yoga class with her daughter. Couldn't she bond with her daughter at home until the prison sentence was completed? What a chucklehead!
Do You Baidu?
Sounds as if we're partying like it's 1999.
Too Much, Too, Too Much
I was considering posting on any number of topics: Novak's CNN walk-off, bloggers banging themselves up (Venemous Kate and Martini Lad), the loss of Marines in Iraq, the Roberts nomination, the Bolton recess apointment.... But I am pushed to the point of paralysis by the weight of current events. Everybody comments on these things. It would make more sense for me to create a post that says, "Blogger X has the take on Roberts (with link), Blogger Z has the take on Novak (with link)," et cetera, ad nauseam.
I'll see if I can't pull myself together sufficiently to post something interesting. Probably personal, not national news. I have a mild case of pinched nerve in my right wrist so I need to pop it loose before I do much more typing.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Despite my "Bumper Sticker" Earlier
I am coming to the belief that the next and best GOP candidate for the Oval Office is the junior senator of the great Commonwealth of Virginia: George Allen. I'll see what I can do to make that a reality.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Apple Has A New Mouse
The "Mighty Mouse." Can't say the name sends me but there is much to like: a scroll ball (instead of a scroll wheel) and the capability of being a multi-button mouse while keeping that smooth, no-button mouse look. Now, just give me the Bluetooth version of this and you've got a sale.
And speaking of Bluetooth: I have a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone and a Bluetooth-enabled computer. Why can't I use my cell phone to make Skype calls? Hmmm?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fast Food
Father, forgive me. For I have managed to try most of the new "items" that are spewed out of the arse of the American fast food industry. My penance will be to eat most of the new items that are spewed out of the arse of the American fast food industry. Today's Hail Mary will be about McDonald's new chicken sandwich.
I like fast food too much. I avoid it mostly but, as I just noted, try the new stuff. Which, with the case of McDonald's means I made the mistake of trying one of their new "premium" chicken sandwiches. Wretched. They should be sued for misusing the word 'premium.'
When I was a kid, McD's was the Thang: the only game in town. Hamburgers, the best French fries, milkshakes. When I first tried a Big Mac, I thought it was the quintessence of burgerhood. Now ... I know better. McDonald's still has good fries. But Burger King's are better. The Big Mac is dry, the three levels of dry bun are horrid and, well, it's a lousy burger. Why didn't I know it back then? McDonald's now does two things worth a pass through the Tarnished Arches: breakfast (how can McDonald's get the biscuit right when a nominally Southern place like Chick-Fil-A can't?) but stay away from the McGriddles which are sick-makingly sweet. And the old 99¢ cheeseburger.
Not that I should know but more fast-food ripping is in the offing here at PoW.
Why I read Achewood
The text in the final panel of the August 1 strip: "When I want your opinion I will cut out your brain and eat it and crap your opinion back into your skull."
He must be an Aristocrat.

I Like Those Oval Car Stickers

You know: the OBX type. So I made one for myself. Thank you!
It may be just a bit too clever on my part but it amuses me.
I also made myself an Atlantic Cycling oval sticker but I won't upload that until another post. Sometime later.

First, our monthly tagline change. This month we will be honoring, slaunchwise, the musical "Grease" by altering a line from "Summer Nights."
Next, flick an eye down to the "longings" and you will see the latest additions to the collection. All Elton this month. But let me assure you, you'll never see another all Elton month as long as breath continues to find its way into and out of my pleura. Back in the lamentable 1970s, I was a big Elton John fan. But the Elton I liked was the Elton of the eponymous album, "11-17-70" and those coming into the fold this month. I already own "Madman Across the Water" and "Empty Sky." At some point, I'll probably acquire "Elton John" (just to get "Your Song" if for no other reason) and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" which was, sadly, the last Elton John album worth listening to.
I don't know what happened to Reg Dwight but probably when he found out that he was popular enough to come screaming out of the closet and not have it cost him anything, he stopped writing good music. I worried something whas going wrong when I heard "Don't Let Your Son" ... sorry, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me" but the "Caribou" album was an abortion from "The Bitch is Back" on. SLAP! Bad Elton! Don't make me slap you again!
Casting an eye forward, I think Jake is gearing up for a new disc. Fingers crossed for a quick release on that one. And I never did get me any Carpenters. We shall see what perverse mood strikes me at the start of next month.
Noted briefly: I listen to a borrowed "Lost and Gone Forever" by Guster. The disc dates back to 1999 and, to be honest, I'd never even heard of Guster but it's pretty good. Puts me in mind of Carbon Leaf a little which is strange beacuse Guster is a trio. But I'll be vacuuming up all the Carbon Leaf discs before I'd buy Guster. Still, if you want to sample a talented band, give 'em a try.