Digging out.

Oooh nooo!

Not a good day for a swim.

First this...

...and now we're buried. Looks like bumper deep in the driveway, and that's after having shoveled twice last night. Alas. It'll be cold for the rest of the weekend, then quite a bit warmer: first we get digging, then we get mud. Digging is today.

And, I'm engaging in some phototherapy today, trying to get some pictures sorted out and planning some projects - more about which later, no doubt.


Pants aflame.

If you've been paying even the slightest attention for the last six long years you already know these Bushco goons, right up to the Goon in Chief himself, think nothing of flat-out lying whenever their interest is served. So this isn't really "news" - it's just one more example of the same old thing.
NEW YORK Dr. James Knodell, director of the Office of Security at the White House, told a congresisonal [sic] committee today that he was aware of no internal investigation or report into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame....

Rep. Waxman recalled that President Bush had promised a full internal probe. Knodell repeated that no probe took place, as far as he knew, and was not happening today.
(Editor and Publisher)

Lock them all up.

Have some red.

So there's that tired old joke about a guy who jumped off a tall building and as he was falling past the third floor somebody listening at an open window heard him saying to himself, "So far so good." Which is about how we're feeling hereabouts right now: It ain't snowing yet. But the forecast calls for a foot or more of wet, sloppy, sleet-mixed (read "heavy") snowfall in the next 24. And cold. Of course.

The good news is, assuming my Saturday morning class gets canceled, there'll be a whole weekend to shovel the stuff up. The bad news is there'll be a whole weekend of shoveling the stuff up. Good thing we didn't put the snow gauge away yet.


Blowback: Nuked troops.

The Iraq war casualty figures are worse than you think. Depleted uranium is killing returned soldiers -- slowly. Children born to veterans show the same birth defects suffered by Iraqi children. Gulf War II is, in a sense, a nuclear war.


Discussion. Right.

A dress that smells like the lounge room the morning after a boozy party may be just the thing to make you stand out in a crowd.

Australian researchers have combined art and science to make dresses from fermented fabric, using bacteria to 'grow' slimy dresses from wine and beer.

"We're looking at [the dresses] to provoke some discussion about future fashions..."
(ABC Science Online)

So how's it working so far?


Congresscritters discover glamorous new destination, get to hear explosions.

Yes! The green room is out, the Green Zone is in!
Lawmakers wearing bulletproof vests are shuttled around in heavily guarded Black Hawk helicopters or Humvees. Many report hearing blasts they later realized were bombings.

(St. Petersburg Times)
Also, they get per diem!
$1,200 Per diem for lawmakers' room and board in Kuwait. In Jordan it is $800. (Note: Officials refuse to provide figure for Iraq.)

Better yet, nobody knows how much!


And some mud.

Above the fold.

12' 5"

A little advice to the gamelorn.

Remind your girlfriend that if you both play video games, you'll be able to spend even more quality time together.

Can't argue with that.

And for other excellent advice (How to Hack a Coke Machine; How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer; How to Run up a Wall and Flip), this is cool: wikiHow.

Overheated engines, broken hoses, blown gaskets.

NEW ORLEANS - The Army Corps of Engineers, rushing to meet President Bush's promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The 2006 hurricane season turned out to be mild, and the new pumps were never pressed into action. But the Corps and the politically connected manufacturer of the equipment are still struggling to get the 34 heavy-duty pumps working properly.
(Yahoo News)

Lock. Them. Up.

Cleared that right up.

A profile of Terence Tao, a world-renowned mathematician, in Science Times yesterday referred incorrectly to work he did with another mathematician on prime numbers. They proved that it is always possible to find, somewhere in the infinity of integers, a progression of any length of equally spaced prime numbers — not a progression of prime numbers of any spacing and any length.

Thanks, NYTimes!

Miracles do happen.

RAW reports the illustrative (and alliterative - thank you, WIIIAI) Peter Pace (that would be General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) has clarified his recent comments about gays.
In the statement, Pace said that what he was trying to explain was that he was supportive of the US Military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy...

If that's how he explains things it can only be a freakin' miracle we haven't invaded Switzerland.


3.14 (159...)

It's pi day, boys and girls. And just in case you're in an especially festive mood, here's a pi cookie cutter.


Woohoo! Better than a lost white girl!

This'll keep the blabbers blabbing for months!
WASHINGTON - The American Humanist Association applauded Rep. Pete Stark for publicly acknowledging he does not believe in a supreme being. The declaration, it said, makes him the highest-ranking elected official - and first congressman - to proclaim to be an atheist.

"Mistakes were made," says Gonzales.

Really! After a little preamble I won't dignify with a comment Gonzales just comes right out and says it:
I believe in accountability. Like every CEO of a major organization, I am responsible for what happens at the Department of Justice. I acknowledge that mistakes were made here.

OK, so he's a little confused about what his job is but still, "mistakes were made," Gonzales say.

Only not by him.
ATTY. GEN. GONZALES: I stand by the decision. Again, all political appointees can be removed by the president of the United States for any reason. I stand by the decision, and I think it was the right decision.
(Chicago Tribune)

So "mistakes were made" by some damned peon who blabbed, perhaps. Not by him.

Why are these guys not behind bars yet?


It's fine.

Here we are almost into the 60s and now my car gets grump about starting. What kind of thing is that? It started fine on those near-zero mornings and now it's parked at 58 and it complains. Some cars are never happy, I guess.

But I am. And so is everybody else, it seems. All the little old ladies are out for a drive; they just sort of drift along in great big Buicks and nobody knows which way they'll turn next, and nobody cares. I saw one woman strolling down the middle of the street using a ski pole for a walking stick, and a great big blissful grin, and everybody just stopped and waited for her to walk by, and nobody cared.

How can a person not be happy on the first warm day of Spring?

Got red?


See, the really cool thing here...

...OK, I think it's cool, and thanks to Chris Clarke at Pandagon for putting me on the track of this with his post, The War on Easter, because I, myself, had never heard about this Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring, Eostre, which sent me following a link to Wikipedia (now more clearly than ever anti-Christian and anti-American, to be sure)...the really cool thing, as I was saying back there somewhere, is to find this guy, Bede, writing in the 7th or maybe 8th Century about Eostre, thusly:
"In olden time the English people...calculated their months according to the course of the moon."

I mean, just because.

We really do like to think of ourselves as being at the pinnacle of history, don't we.

Latte with legs.

Ayup. When you start getting a lot of "recreational gunfire"...

...things might be getting a little bit out of hand.
Drunk driving, break-ins, and recreational gunfire have become more common on the wind-whipped shores of Great Cranberry [Maine], and some islanders say the incidents are too many for them to handle on their own.

Today , residents of Cranberry Isles, who have policed themselves since the five islands that make up the town were first settled in the early 19th century, gather to decide whether they should set up their first police department.
(Boston Globe)

Ah, the memories.

Israel Recalls Naked, Drunk Ambassador


On the whole, I'd rather be at Walter Reed.

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.
(Salon via Cliff Schecter)

"Support the troops" does not mean prop them up.

Whatever happened to oat bran?

Well, no matter. Nobody liked eating oat bran anyway. Go on: you can admit it now. Oat bran is yesterday. The new wonder drug is...woohoo!...chocolate.
A chemical found in chocolate could stave off diseases ranging from dementia to strokes, a leading scientist has claimed.

He said epicatechin, a compound which occurs naturally in cocoa beans, could prove as important to medicine as penicillin or anaesthesia.
(Daily Mail)

Next thing you know, they'll be putting chocolate in the toothpaste. (What? You didn't buy the oat bran toothpaste? Where were you, Dude?) The price of chocolate will soar, and the Andes will become the new Middle East. (Maybe that's why the DOOFUS bought a ranch in Peru. He's going to start a chocolate war next. Ya think?) Next thing, guys will be standing along the road holding up signs: "WILL WORK FOR CHOCOLATE."

Oh wait. I do that already, don't I.

It worked!

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
(Lyrics: Yip Harburg)

From New Statesman (noted by Skippy):
America won't simply be paying with its dead. The Pentagon is trying to silence economists who predict that several decades of care for the wounded will amount to an unbelievable $2.5 trillion.

An economist who practices economy.

Economy of words, in this case - it takes Paul Krugman less than half a sentence to sum up Alberto Conzales' performance as Attorney General, the disaster that is the Bush administration, and the state of the union:
Nobody is surprised to learn that the Justice Department was lying...

(Credit Welcome to Pottersville for the story, which is well worth reading whole.)


Duck pond begins.

Big but dumb is what we thought they'd be.

'Iraq and Afghanistan are sucking up resources at a faster rate than we planned for,' one three-star general said. 'America's warriors need the latest technology to defeat an enemy who is smart, agile and cunning - things we did not expect of the Soviets.'
(Raw Story)

Maybe these guys shouldn't talk to the press after all. US generals say, the UK's Observer reports, those Iraqi "insurgents" are just too freekin smart. Not like the Ruskies at all.

Hearts & Memories

Dots on a wall.

Unitarily following up...

...wait, isn't that some kind of church? The Unitarilies? Well, anyway, following up on my previous post, this from the always excellent WIIIAI:
Giuliani, moral arbiter of all things matrimonial, says that Gingrich should be forgiven for cheating on his wife. So that settles that. “Sometimes when you go through things like that in your life, you can become a better person.” Well, if adultery makes you a better person, Giuliani and Gingrich must be veritable gods amongst men. After also praising Gingrich’s alleged smarts, Giuliani was asked whether he was considering Gingrich as a running mate. He said such talk was premature. A Giuliani-Gingrich 2008 ticket, that’s simultaneously the most hilarious and the most nauseating idea I’ve ever heard.

Make your own connections. But it's a helluva image, isn't it?

You're welcome.

No. Please.

"I think people no longer have a unitary idea that divorce inevitably disqualifies you, but they still look at the dynamics," said Stephanie Coontz, of the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group.

It's not the divorce thing, it's "unitary." Do we really need another pointless buzzword here? Unitary, lunitary - can we stop this before it spreads? Can we have some kind of unitary agreement on that?


Maybe in California; not here.

Cell phones: Verizon and Sprint phones will automatically change three weeks early. T-Mobil, Cingular, SBC and AT&T phones will need to be manually adjusted.
(Whittier Daily News)

My phone (Cingular) changed just fine.