Saturday, September 13, 2008

2004 One Church, Two Church, Three Church, Four

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I am annoyed. The Republicans made such a big deal over Obama's pastor. Why has there been no equivalent examination of Palin's church?

This,, is a rather long (and perhaps sensationalized) description of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, its connection to The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. the New Apostolic Reformation, perhaps you are familiar with the movie "Jesus Camp"), a movement declared heretical by the Assemblies of God.

Even if you don't read the whole thing, watch the video. She's in it. I find the statement at the end, at about 9:06, about how "when you have defeated them, you must destroy them totally, make no treaty with them, show no mercy to them, ... smash their idols, break down their sacred stones...", to be especially frightening, particularly as applied to a person who could be someday at the helm, and who seems to think she is there as God's warrior, chosen and raised up to this task, and that war is "God's work".

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Friday, September 12, 2008

2003 Powerful Packaging

Friday, September 12, 2008

I don't know whether it's that my hands are getting weaker, or packaging is getting stronger, but I'm having increasing difficulty opening wrappings and bags.

When I'm driving some distance, I often buy a bag of trail mix or peanut butter crackers to nibble on the way. These days, I have to have someone in the store open it for me. If I'm on the road already, I have to pull over and stop, and dig the knife or folding scissors out of the bottom of my purse to cut the bag open.

I bought a little bag of coffee candies, and had the clerk open it for me. What I didn't realize is that the individual candies were wrapped. Not so long ago, there'd be a little cut in the end of the wrapper that made it easy to tear. Or you could pull the lengthwise seam overlap and it would cause the end to open. Not any more. I about went crazy trying to chew those candies open.

On the trip to Minneapolis, we were given little bags of munchies on the plane. Nobody could get them open, and of course no one had a real metal knife or scissors.

Potato chip bags require scissors. If you manage to get a candy bar open by hand, it might be at the cost of the candy flipping out onto the floor. Those cardboard and plastic hanging thingies that toys and small hardware and cosmetic dohickies come in drive me crazy. Scissors don't work because of the odd shape. They're so tough utility knives are dangerous - the plastic just gives and bends when you saw at it. Mostly I get them open by picking at the cardboard on the back.

A lot of pills come in foil and plastic blister packs, with perforations between the individual doses. If they're just foil on the back, it's easy to push a pill through. But now they're adding a tough paper backing over the foil that you have to peel off first. I've been having fits getting that paper backing off. My Prilosec has a spot on the corner of each pill cache that isn't glued down, where you're supposed to start peeling, but you have to separate the pills on the perforations to get to the loose corners. A few weeks ago I noticed that suddenly the perforations don't work. I can't tear on the perforated part. I try mightily, and more often than not it tears randomly, which indicates to me that it's not weakness on my part.

I buy a lot of drinks in bottles that have the plastic safety wrapper around the cap. They used to have a perforated part, a "zipper", that made it easy to get the plastic off. Half the bottles I've bought lately don't have the perforations, or the perforations don't go all the way to the edge. That plastic is impossible to tear by hand. It just stretches, but not enough to slip it off. I've been reduced to chewing the cap off a bottle of iced coffee.

Is it just me? Has anyone else noticed it?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2002 A dance video

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nothing much happening today. It's been a long time since I posted a dance video, so here's one. This is Kami Liddle, at Tribal Fest 2008. Enjoy.


P.S. - She's an entertaining dancer, but that tattoo makes it look like she needs to wear her belt higher, or shave. It's a little hard to get used to.

P.P.S - I HATE the music. Now I'm wondering why I posted this. Well, lower the volume a tad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2001 The Collider Collided

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I warned folks many months ago about the Large Hadron Collider, and the possibility that it could create a black hole.

Well, they started on-line testing today. This link is a fascinating view of the interior of the collider: Scroll down a little so you can see both the interior and the outside.

2000 Word Cloud for August

From wordle, my word cloud for August's posts:

Click on the image to enlarge.

1999 Blog Recommendation

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'd like to recommend It's a group blog from employees of the Shoebox division of Hallmark Cards. Those folks are slightly nuts.

There are about five posts a day, such things as strange thoughts, rejected card ideas, mini movie reviews, off-the-wall cartoons, etc. All very short. But the posts I like best are the daily "Newsdroppings". Today's Newsdroppings are at Check it out.

Either Hallmark doesn't know about the blog (especially the rejected card ideas - they're cringeworthy!), or they do, and if they do, it must be a great place to work.

Those people are slightly nuts.

1998 Deflecting Flack

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I subscribe to the local Mensa Yahoo Group. Lately, several members have been posting emails or bits they've scarfed from websites, supposedly from people who know or have worked with Sarah Palin. One of them, the Kilkenny letter, is valid, but most are not.

One of the most ubiquitous is the list of books that she supposedly tried to get removed from the town library when she was mayor. That list is definitely fake, since no specific titles were discussed with the librarian, and several of the books on the list weren't even published until afterward. The list is actually simply a list of the most often banned books, which someone picked up and attributed to her.

After I had shot down several attacks (I wish people would check with before they go spreading rumors - it's NOT that difficult), I was afraid I was beginning to look like a Palin supporter, so I posted the following:

Just to clarify - I may be coming off sounding like I'm defending Sarah Palin. I'm not. I'm just anti-disinformation. The truth is damning enough.

In actuality, the woman scares me. I am insulted that the McCain campaign seemed to think that nominating just any woman would swing the Hillary Sisters of the Pantsuit. If they wanted a woman, there were plenty of better-qualified women out there to choose from. The darker part of me wonders if the man who divorced the loyal but disfigured wife for the beautiful heiress wasn't swayed by charm and appearance.

Palin reminds me of many people I've run into - the socially and politically astute people who set goals, and then move from position to position to reach those goals, without really caring for the institutions they use along the way. They climb on people, they get other people to do the work for them for which they take credit, but so charmingly nobody resents them. It has always amazed me the way they seem to always be in the right spot at the right time, always saying the right thing to the right people. It's a skill that results in personal success - until they finally get to the point where their social and political skills aren't enough, where actual performance and knowledge are required, and then it all falls apart.

But the falling apart usually comes with a golden parachute, so they still win.



Speaking of golden parachutes, the CEOs of disgraced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each got 13 to 15 MILLION in severance. Um, weren't they the ones responsible for the debacle? Under what theory do they deserve that? Bond holders will be paid, but stockholders, who have already lost 90% of their investment, may get the shaft.

The stock may go back up, but not for a long time.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

1997 List/Group Experience

Everybody has probably seen this before, I know I have, but it's still funny. I belong to a few Yahoo Groups, and have subscribed to a few interest lists/forums, and this really does happen.

How many list members does it take to..........

Change a light bulb........

  • 1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.
  • 14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.
  • 7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.
  • 7 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.
  • 5 to flame the spell checkers.
  • 3 to correct spelling/grammar flames.
  • 6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb" ... Another 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid.
  • 2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp".
  • 15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that "light bulb" is perfectly correct.
  • 9 to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a light bulb group.
  • 11 to defend the posting to this group saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this group.
  • 36 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.
  • 7 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.
  • 4 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URLs.
  • 3 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.
  • 13 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too". [These are the ones that drive me crazy!]
  • 5 to post to the group that they will no longer subscribe because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.
  • 4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"
  • 13 to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs".
And finally, 1 group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.

1996 He don't look nuthin' like me

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yeah, ok, trash TV is on all afternoon. Doesn't mean I'm watching it, but it's on in the background. And I am so tired of hearing baby-mommas saying "He looks just like him!" and prospective fathers saying, "He don't look nuthin' like me!"

I want to tear my hair out. Babies look like themselves! Looks have nothing to do with anything.


I wore a new Indian scented attar oil yesterday**. On our walk, Peter asked me what I was wearing, said he liked it. Very unusual. He mostly doesn't notice.

After the group dinner last night, Roman (who had been sitting next to me during dinner by default, not choice) walked me out to the parking lot, and stuck around to chat for a good half hour. It sorta looked a couple of times like he was debating going for a hug.

I'm going to wear that oil a lot more often, I think.

[**"Prema", sandalwood and rose, available at, wholesale only. It had been sent as a gift from one of my favorite sari dealers.]

Monday, September 08, 2008

1995 Mom's Caps

Monday, September 8, 2008

Walked with Peter this morning. Perfect weather.

I don't know what made me think of it, it's not something I've thought of in years, decades even, but I've been thinking about a weird habit? characteristic? anomaly? whatever the word I'm looking for - about my mother.

She couldn't keep caps on anything, especially small caps.

Back when we used fountain pens, her nibs were always dried up, because the first time she used a pen, the cap disappeared.

She used to buy packages of Bic ballpoint pens, the kind with the separate caps. There'd be ten or twelve of them lying around, and none of them worked when you needed it, because none of them had caps, and they all dried up. We'd get her click-type ballpoints, and they'd dry up because she never clicked the point back into the barrel, and the points got all dust-fuzzy.

She hated the felt tip and nylon tip pens, because they bled all over everything, because they didn't have caps.

Bottles of ketchup and salad dressing sat in the refrigerator with twists of foil on top, because the caps had disappeared. Soda went flat.

The toothpaste tube in the kids' bathroom had a cap. The toothpaste in our parents' bathroom never had a cap.

This was true for quite literally everything! I would get so frustrated with her, because when none of her pens would write, she'd borrow mine "just for a moment" and it would come back with no cap. "Where's the cap?" "I don't know. Was there one?"

Her house was always clean and neat. There was no clutter. My parents were used to moving every three years or so (Air Force), so they traveled light. And yet those caps disappeared. Evaporated into thin air. Mom would have a pen in her hand for five minutes at the kitchen table, didn't move from the table, and yet the pen's cap would disappear. Not on the table, not on the floor, not in the trash, nowhere. And we'd never see it again. You'd think we'd find a bunch of them when we cleaned, but we never did.

Somewhere in some other dimension, there's a huge pile of my missing socks - and a small heap of bottle, tube, and pen caps.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

1994 American Pie

Sunday, September 7, 2008

For several decades I've been arguing with younger folks, and party to discussions with older folks, as to the meaning of the verses of Don McLean's "American Pie". McLean himself has never explained, and has never agreed to any interpretation, knowing, I guess, that to explain would detract. And then he'd have to get a job.

This video is wonderful. It's unauthorized (in that Don McLean hasn't said yea or nay), so it's one interpretation, but I found it fascinating.


This is an updated version of Kim Komando's Video of the Day today.