Watch cheese age!

West country farmers set up the Cheddarvision website featuring a 25 kg block of cheddar, reports ITN.

Farmer Tom Calver said: "How many other cheeses do you know of on the internet that have their own webcam and a live feed to the internet? I don't think many."

Dude, I can't think of any.
The highlight of the day on www.cheddarvision.tv is at around 10am when the cheese at the Somerset dairy is turned.

I'm putting cheddarvision on the sidebar right now. I can't wait to see it again tomorrow!

What? Doesn't include a tip?

It's been billed as the "meal of a lifetime," a 10-course dinner concocted by world-renowned chefs for the most discriminating palates and -- at $25,000 a head -- the fattest wallets.

And that doesn't include tax and gratuity.

Well forget it then. I'll take the pastrami on rye.

Oh come on.

They can't be that dumb, can they? Really?
During the hearing, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) -- one of the 87 percent of congressional Republicans who do not believe in man-made global warming -- questioned the authors of the report about a period of dramatic climate change that occured 55 million years ago. "We don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows?'


I knew it! It's a trap!

Private investigators say the week of Valentine's Day is one of their busiest.
(Oakland Press)

Vote Whig.


I found out about this election from Blue Gal (who likes Dukikis herself) and almost voted for George Washington (Red Coats really are so over) but then I thought no, no. Whigs rock.

Go vote.

And speaking of electoral nostalgia, I was listening this morning to Mermaid Avenue, the excellent album of Woody Guthrie songs by Billy Bragg and Wilco which includes a number called Christ for President in which the J-man is actually - OK you might not be ready for this so hold on tight - actually, I say, on the side of the little guy and is actually, I'm saying here, in favor of all kinds of leftie wimpo stuff like, for example, jobs.
O It's Jesus Christ our President
God above our king
With a job and a pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Go figure, huh?

We move on, we move on.

*Stolen image. My bad.

And another thing.

I am really in a grouchy mood today, huh? But really. This "feels like" stuff has got to stop. What's the use of having 25º if it feels like 1freakin6?

What's the point in even having a thermometer if it's gonna feel like something else?

There oughta be a law.

Namely and to wit: the freaking idiots in Congress have got to stop passing laws when they don't know what the damn laws are.
The ability of the White House to swap out U.S. Attorneys with partisan appointees resulted when the staff of Senator Arlen Specter inserted a measure in the renewal of the USA Patriot Act that "permitted the White House to place its own appointees in vacant U.S. attorney positions permanently and without Senate confirmation." According to Conason, Specter says he was not aware of the action by a member of his staff.
(Raw Story)
Yeah. Really. Gotta stop.

A little early to be putting together a Christmas list, isn't it?

Unless, of course, you're still working on last Christmas. So then that makes sense.

And here's just what you need. From Avadon Carol at The Sideshow, a link to The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog of ACME Products.

It takes a lot of guts to close down the Interstate like this.

Sheboygan, Wis. (AP) -- A truck driver distracted by his digital music player tipped his semitrailer on Thursday, spilling about 40 tons of cow intestines onto a major highway in eastern Wisconsin.
(Dependable Renegade)

Well, a lot of guts and a few of those damned MP3s.


The warmer side

Here's a wonderfully complicated essay, with magnificently incomprehensible charts, from OmniNerd that analyzes the accuracy of weather forecasts found on the web. If you understand it don't tell me - I don't want to know. But from reading the conclusions way down at the bottom of the page I gathered the Weather Channel forecasts of high and low temps seem to be more accurate than those of the service I've been using, Accuweather. So I looked a little more closely at the Weather Channel and sure enough, their forecasts for the next 10 days were about 3 degrees warmer than Accuweather's. I have switched widgets. I feel warmer already.

The weather in this particular spot, where I live, seems very difficult to predict and none of the services are right very often. In fact, accuracy seems to vary from year to year - some years one service is more likely to be right, some years another. I don't know why that should be but I imagine it has something to do with the forecasting models they use. So it remains to be seen if the Weather Channel will be any more accurate than Accuweather this year, but in the meantime just looking at the warmer widget cheers me up.

A bazillion years ago - well, half a century, to be exact - I had an algebra teacher who was a former Navy meteorologist and who used to get off onto a weather riff from time to time. What he said was, you can beat almost any weather forecaster over time by simply forecasting today's weather for tomorrow every day and keeping score. I've done that informally ever since, and I'm a pretty good predictor overall. One of these days maybe I'll get around to a more careful test.

Of course! Why didn't I think of this?

It all seems so perfectly clear when Peter Pace ("the alliterative Peter Pace," thanks to WIIIAI) explains it:
“There’s also no doubt in my mind that just like we look out to our potential enemies to see division in their ranks and take comfort from division in their ranks, that others, who don’t have a clue how democracy works, who are our enemies, would seek to take comfort from their misunderstanding of the dialogue [sic] in this country.”

It's just so obvious! I mean if they don't understand it, we shouldn't do it! (Well, I think. I mean, it's not that obvious what he's talking about there, but pretty obvious.)

Damn. I just hope they understand eating pizza.

Speaking of which, I've been sitting here this afternoon thinking all sorts of techie thoughts about tinkering up the blog a bit - assuming, of course, they understand it. The tinkering, I mean. But I really don't think there's much to fear because it's almost supper time and by by the time I get back I will have forgotten pretty much everything, or thought better of it. Whichever comes first.

I did, however, make a podcast. Don't panic! It's only a practice podcast, and while it casts fine it doesn't seem to pod. Just playing around, is all.

Of course I could....

Some little Tucker from MSNBC wonders if Obama is Christian enough.

So Barack Obama is a member of a church called Trinity United Church of Christ. It's a predominantly black church in Chicago, that espouses something called the "Black Value System," which includes calls for congregants to be "soldiers for black freedom" and a, quote, "disavowal of the pursuit of middleclassness." Now, it would seem to me, Tom, not to make a broad sweeping statement here, but a racially exclusive theology, a theology that ministers to one group of people, based on race, kind of contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity, and is worth talking about. Wouldn't you say?
(Media Matters)

OK, I'm only gonna say this one time.

Anna Nicole Smith was not Marilyn Monroe. Not even close. Not even remotely close.

So let's just freakin' forget this whole...wait, I forgot.

(Anyway, Marilyn Monroe winked at me once. Yeah, well, OK, it was in a movie. But she knew I'd be watching. Or, well, you know, I'm pretty sure.)

Why can't anybody get it right?

First those fools in New Orleans screw up their flood, and now the Iraqis are screwing up their war.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Many of the Iraqi forces whom the U.S. is counting on to defeat Sunni Muslim insurgents, disarm Shiite Muslim gunmen and assume responsibility for keeping the peace have been infiltrated by sectarian militias and are plagued by incompetence and corruption.
(Raw Story)

Why, oh why, won't these people come over to the dark side?

Rice losing "allure"?



The Pentagon has determined that its oft-criticized pre-war intelligence wasn't "illegal," the Associated Press reports.

"Some of the Pentagon's prewar intelligence work, including a contention that the CIA underplayed the likelihood of al-Qaida connections to Saddam Hussein, was inappropriate but not illegal, a Defense Department investigation has concluded," writes Robert Burns for the AP.
(Raw Story)

The question is not whether the Pentagon's prewar intelligence was "legal" (whatever that may mean), or even whether it was "appropriate." The question is, was it honest.

And the answer is, no.

Mine kicked a long time ago.

I can think of no period in American history when we sat idly by while $12 billion just disappeared, poof, without a paper trail; without heads rolling; without someone going to prison.

And all this was happening at a time in the war when American soldiers and Marines were going without properly armored vehicles, without lifesaving body armor and even without some of the weapons they needed.

What does it take for the American people's gag reflex to kick in?


We've wasted $600 billion on a war that we're losing, day by bloody day, at a time when our president presents a federal budget that cuts Medicare to find billions for more that war. The Decider boasts that if we do things his way, America's wealthiest individuals won't have to pay even one dollar more in taxes.

Meanwhile, the people's representatives, on both sides of the aisle, round up the contributions they need for re-election by putting themselves in the pockets of the very robber barons they're supposed to be investigating, interrogating and policing.

Joseph L. Galloway, Editor & Publisher


Damn. It's true.

He's uniting the Middle East!
An annual poll of six Arab countries puts President George W. Bush at the top of the world's 'most disliked' for the first time in the history of the poll, CNN International reported today.

According to the poll's author, Shibley Telhami, past results have always placed the Prime Minister of Israel as the most disliked among Arabs. "In the past few years, the President of the United States has become number two. In the most recent survey, the striking thing is for the very first time in the Arab world the most disliked person is the President of the United States of America, and superceded the combined numbers for both the Prime Minister of Israel and his hated predecessor Ariel Sharon, who's in a coma," said Telhami.

(Raw Story)

Amtrak. Again.

President Bush's budget plan calls for cuts in Amtrak...

I have a soft spot in my heart for rail travel, I confess. But even without that, there can be few better examples of the absolute, soul-numbing insincerity of BushCo's blabbering about reducing dependence on foreign oil - hydrogen! saw grass! (saw grass??) corn! drill Alaska to the bone! - none of which has much chance of ever happening at all, and certainly has no chance of happening any time soon, no matter how many bazillions of bucks get doled out to the corporate base.

But one will that will work, now, is putting those bazillions into public transportation at every level, everywhere. (If we can lose $12 billion in Iraq and call it no big deal, we can surely put a like amount into buses and trains.)

Amtrak runs and people use it. I've recently used it myself. It's a cruel way to travel, especially in the Eastern seaboard states where equipment and tracks are old. But with decent equipment and decent tracks Amtrak could compete effectively, even favorably, with airlines in large, populous parts of the country - the Eastern states and the St. Louis-Chicago-Detroit-Madison-Twin Cities markets come to mind. Even a New York to Chicago run, leaving in the late afternoon and arriving the next morning before office hours would be attractive if the trip allowed for a worthy dinner and a good night's sleep on board - difficult now, but certainly doable with some investment.

Yeah, I can get worked up about this. I would love to be able to travel more by train. Too bad the Feds (and it's not just BushCo - this has been going on for a long, long while) can't get worked up too.

No! Wait! The other way!

WTF? It was 17 degrees out there just an hour ago and now it's eight? Freakin' eight? That's just plain wrong! I don't want to go out there if it's only eight. Gimme a break.

Remind me to think about doing classes on Skype. Or iChat. Or something. Anything. That doesn't involve going out there.

Terrorists "cyber-inspired" to build bombs that don't work. (But just you wait.)

But the third generation [of terrorists] has learned its hatred from television and its tactics from the Web, according to the experts. Its only connections to al-Qaida are Web sites and a shared anti-West philosophy. Its practitioners go online to find inspiration as well as practical advice, such as how to build a bomb.

The result has been a number of duds. "The new generation is not professional. They build bombs that don't explode," said Rolf Tophoven, one of Germany's most respected terrorism experts and the co-director of the Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy in Essen.

Still, he noted, studies of bombings in the Palestinian territories indicate that a "completely professional suicide bomber" - able to construct a bomb and conduct an attack - "can be created in three weeks."

(Raw Story)

PS: Relax. You won't find any cyber-inspiration here.

You think getting hassled for "driving while black" is a big deal, Bunky?

What about Blabbering on TV While Being a Terrified White Guy?
...on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly led a discussion about Sen. Joe Biden’s (D-DE) racially-insensitive remarks toward Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). But instead of exlusively focusing on why the remarks were condescending to African-Americans, he said blacks should “feel sorry for us white folks here, because I’m telling you now I’m afraid to say anything. … White Americans are terrified.”
Now, that's really scary.

Maybe you say "doo-doo."

But what I say is, when Michelle Malkin is taken as the arbiter of civil discourse we are all in deep, deep shit.

Recovered from the Internets tubes.

>Tell me again why a MAC user would _want_ to run vista on their MAC?

For the same reason I bought Mercedes and then went to all the trouble of installing a Yugo engine it it.

Yes, Bunky, some questions really do get answered, given enough time.

Like, for example, the question, "Can 'conservatives' do 'humor'?"

Maybe this "war" stuff's not so bad!

In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.
I mean, I wonder how much war I'd have to have to get them to drop, say, 500 lbs. of cash right here. That could be very cool.

All of Iran probably doesn't look like this.

(Nor does all of the US look like, say, the Chicago lake shore.)

But, as is noted by this post at Corrente, there are some pictures of Iran we just about never see. Like these, which are definitely worth a look.


Blue Gal's panties.

Ha! Got your attention, right?

Which is exactly the point. Blue Gal explains (you can read for yourself on her blog) she likes to feature "panties" on her blog because it attracts a lot of Google search hits. Same thing's worked for me - "boobs" is always a winner and "Nazi cookies" was a major hit. Or hit generator, as the case may be.

So anyway, I was thinking about maybe ginning things up around here with a few more Google-oogler goodies until, just a moment ago, I was browsing my Referrals log and noticed the query, "tips for controlling underarm stench."

Now I've kind of lost interest in the whole idea.


My grocery store had a special this week (a special! how wonderful is that?) on White Castles, and this, being my night to make dinner, was slider night. And I feel like a brand new geezer now.

A modest proposal.

There should be a National Nap holiday in February. It would make all the difference.

And another thing. OK, this would make two modest proposals, I guess. So two then.

Everybody who disapproves of John McCain's campaign workers could not vote for John McCain; everybody who disapproves of John Edwards' campaign workers could not vote for John Edwards. (If you haven't been reading the blogs today this might not make much sense to you but believe me, it's modest. It's also sort of a no-brainer, isn't it?)

Speaking of naps, New York state Senator Carl Kruger could probably use one himself.
Kruger is introducing legislation today that would fine pedestrians in New York's big cities $100 apiece for using their Blackberrys, iPods, cell phones, and other electronics while crossing the street.
(ars technica)
Kruger cites a case where someone in his district was killed while walking across a street listening to an iPod - probably by a driver listening to a loud CD. As a pedestrian of long standing myself, I'm all for street-crossing safety. And I'm thinking if they're going to ban iPods they really ought to ban car radios too. Of course they won't.

So let's be careful out there.

A morning to forget.

See, that's just it - I forgot it was morning this morning, so now it's afternoon. Which, it appears on browsing through my usual sources, it might be a good idea to just forget.

In the dreaded MSM there's a minor flurry of excitement over who's voting and who's not voting to vote or not vote on a "resolution" which means nothing, or maybe something, having to do with doing something, or maybe nothing, about Iraq.

While, meanwhile, a veritable bloganalia has arisen from lefties' concern over righties' concern about a Democratic presidential candidate's choice of campaign staff - and flames lick around the question, are "conservatives" funnier than "liberals"? Or not. Which is pretty funny right there when you stop to think about it.

Still, there is hardly enough merriment in all this to dissuade me from indulging in a long winter's nap, especially considering what a short winter it seems to be.

You can see my problem here, I assume.


They don't call this guy a "special" inspector general for nothing, I guess.

The [oversight] hearing has focused on the CPA's administration of nearly $9 billion in Iraqi funds in 2003 and 2004 -- money that Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, has said was inadequately accounted for.

"I have no idea, I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it is important," Oliver says on the tape . "Billions of dollars of their money disappeared, yes I understand, I'm saying what difference does it make?"

That's special, all right.

You see how purely demented a person has become...

...how absolutely, flat-out wacko craZy, when the aforementioned person refers to 20º as a heat wave, especially when what we had here was merely two days of really chilly weather and even they were below zero only at their very lowest early-morning lows.

But, hey. I'm thinking about spending the afternoon at the beach.

YA secret of the universe revealed.

Women on average say they would be willing to give up sex for 15 months for a closet full of new apparel, with 2 percent ready to abstain from sex for three years in exchange for new duds, according to a new survey of about 1,000 women in 10 U.S. cities.

And, being Republicans, they did it entirely "off budget" too.

"Republicans on Monday blocked Senate debate on a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq, leaving in doubt whether the Senate would render a judgment on what lawmakers of both parties described as the paramount issue of the day."

Right. So "paramount" is the issue that they agreed to do nothing about a resolution that did nothing. Because that's what a non-binding resolution is anyway, a statement with absolutely no force or utility. So the Democrats didn't want to actually do anything, and the Republicans beat them by doing nothing about doing nothing.

Todd Mitchell writes in fine rant at Shakespeare's Sister, here.

Boston gets $2 mil, but still no clue.

Sez the Globe this morning...
Turner Broadcasting System agreed yesterday to pay local governments and agencies $2 million as compensation for the guerrilla marketing epsiode that caused confusion throughout the Boston region last week.

And here's the beauty part. One mil of said two is being called - are you ready for this? - goodwill money. So for its investment Turner gets way, way more than a million dollars worth of publicity (if you count front-page newspaper coverage, leading-story TV coverage, and countless hours of radio blabber "publicity") and a million dollars worth of goodwill.

Which clearly makes this the marketing stunt of the century. Unfortunately (or perhaps happily, depending on your point of view) the century's still young.


And this from an expert on sapped souls.

And once again, it was reported, President Bush -- on a day when more than 130 Iraqis died in a bomb blast and more Americans continued to fall there -- claimed that all Americans were suffering, saying the war is "sapping our souls." Having to read about or absorb images from the war is really taking its toll on us, he pointed out.
(Editor & Publisher)

Maybe they're Canadian degrees.

I mean, Canadian degrees are smaller, aren't they? Or maybe I'm thinking gallons here or something, I don't know. But whatever, it's Canadian air we've got here today and there's only 13 degrees in it and it's cold. Which is how I know it's Canadian air, eh.

Anyway it's cold, like I said. Suspiciously cold. Because, hey, I've been colder places, degreewise, but this seems colder. Or maybe I'm just getting old. But then, what are the odds?

No, I say it's cold and I say the hell with it.

OK! So what I'm wondering now is...

BOSTON - Turner Broadcasting Systems and a marketing company have agreed to pay $2 million compensation and apologize for their advertising campaign that caused a widespread terrorism scare, the attorney general said Monday.

...if I say Homer Simpson really, really scares me....

Queen Mary 2 arrives in San Francisco

Some super cool video from SFGate shows the big ship passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. QM2 is the largest ship ever to enter San Francisco harbor.

OK, so maybe there won't always be an England after all.

The book was originally called Dark Ages. It was Dark Ages for the entire time I spent writing it. In my head it is still Dark Ages. We - my agent, publisher, husband, even my contract - still refer to it as Dark Ages. But as my wise and trustworthy editor has pointed out numerous times and at great length, Dark Ages as a title will not sell. It will not sell because it suggests darkness, gloom, unhappiness. What's worse, it suggests history.

(Meg Rosoff, writing in the Guardian's books blog)

Oh, the horror!

According to an MIT study, “Tinfoil hats may actually amplify radio frequency signals.”



Ah well.

Another 20 years, they'll be back.

Go Bears.

Had enough of football for a while?

OK, how about a hockey joke then.
Q. Why won't they let Dick Cheney play hockey?

A. They're afraid he'd blow the faceoff.

Iron Mike goes all nostalgic.

(And hey, it's only once every 20 years or so.)

Or brains on fire.

Beautician #1: Do you smell burning hair?
Beautician #2: Maybe we're walking too fast.

--3rd & MacDougall, the Village

(Overheard in New York)

NFL practices t-shirt "rendition."

The Super Bowl will end about 10 p.m. Sunday, and by 10:01 every player on the winning team — along with coaches, executives, family members and ball boys — could be outfitted in colorful T-shirts and caps proclaiming them champions.

The other set of championship gear — the 288 T-shirts and caps made for the team that did not win — will be hidden behind a locked door at Dolphin Stadium. By order of the National Football League, those items are never to appear on television or on eBay. They are never even to be seen on American soil....

The loot is spirited away by an outfit called "World Vision" to some invisible "developing country," probably in deepest Africa.
“Where these items go, the people don’t have electricity or running water,” said Jeff Fields, a corporate relations officer for World Vision. “They wouldn’t know who won the Super Bowl. They wouldn’t even know about football.”

...With "assurances," of course, none of it will be tortured.


Budgeting for the brave new world.

DOOFUS wants $245 billion more for Afghanistan (oh yeah, Afghanistan - remember Afghanistan?) and Iraq, $481 billion for the Pentagon, and cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And fewer "earmarks."

And permanent tax cuts.

(Yahoo News)