Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Yahoo! News - Bush Recants, Says Terror War Will Be Won
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - President Bush said repeatedly on Tuesday that the United States will win its war against terrorism, trying to contain political damage from the doubt he expressed a day earlier.

The president was trying to douse the criticism he touched off Monday when NBC aired an interview in which he was asked if the United States could win the war on terror and he answered, "I don't think you can win it."

He added, in the interview, "I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

...and the best person to do that is John Kerry, since the rest of the world hates you.

Democrats hit hard at Bush's comment for a second day.

"The president has gone from mission accomplished to mission miscalculated to mission impossible on the war on terror," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Democrats, start your engines! One...two...three...POUNCE!
It's All About Blogger:

...which is being a real pain in the ass in the mornings. Took forever to post, and when it did it posted to my Dad's blog. Took forever to get it off there and on here. Now, it's taking forever to show up on my blog.

Getting tired of screwing around with it.

Nothing much to post anyway since the news is filled with the big Redneck Lovefest going on in NYC. Hail Ceasar!

Yahoo! News - Cold Weather Snaps Are Bad for Your Heart
MUNICH (Reuters) - Cold weather snaps can trigger heart attacks, particularly in people suffering from high blood pressure, researchers said on Monday.

The increased rate of attacks seen during wintertime lows is probably due to the fact that cold temperatures increase blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.

A 2-year study of 700 people admitted to hospital in France found the occurrence of heart attacks in people with hypertension, or high blood pressure, was twice as high when the mean temperature was lower than minus 4 Celsius (24.8 Fahrenheit).

I knew it all along; winter is bad for you.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Red seats two.
It's All About Insanity:

How does one deal with a crazy person? I don't mean 'crazy 'in a derogative way, it just fits the description of events with Kristin lately. (as always) I place no stigma on the word.

In a nutshell, nothing I do is right. I can't say anything. I can't do anything. I can't set boundaries in my life with her getting pissed off because she wants/needs something from me RIGHT NOW. Usually 'right now' is in the middle of the night after she's been drinking. Especially if it's a work night and I have specifically told her not to call me that late. She will call me up and proceed to give me a list of how I have hurt her feelings; little nit-picky shit that a normal person will blow off. But with Kristin, I'm this horrible monster for.....what? Trying to bend over backwards not to step on her toes? Doesn't matter, I could be an angel and she will find something to complain about. Shit, if I wore a purple shirt she would claim that I was purposely doing it to hurt her. This has happenend the last two times I have spent time with her. I'm at the point where I really just don't want to see her or talk to her because she will find something to abuse me over.

I wouldn't let her stay over Saturday night. After spending the whole day with her, including picking her up, renting her movies, buying her a pizza, etc. etc. trying to have a nice time, she threw an emotional tantrum because I didn't want her to sleep over on the couch. I don't want to get back into that pattern. I'm trying to have a normal friendship and keep my own space. But it's been proven to me over the past few weeks that that is impossible. She just wants to fight and take out her emotional problems on me. She is miserable in her life and wants everybody else to pay for it.

So, the friendship(?) is over, at least in my mind. But the fight probably isn't. As long as she knows where I live/work, she will always be back.

Thinking of changing my phone number again.

Wish I had an answer for this. I think the answer has to be that as long as she is drinking, or coming off a drunken binge, I cannot be around her, which effectively ends everything because I don't believe that she will ever quit. There is no hope left.

I'm blogging this because I just need to vent a little before I go into work. I'm deathly afraid that she will use this as an excuse to cause harm to herself, and I don't want to deal with the guilt that might cause ME. I have a hard time caring about what it might do to her. How selfish is that? But that's what it comes to. I feel like I have to be in a self-protecting mode so she can't hurt me anymore.

Got to go.

Whitecaps win again, keep fire burning
The win was the third in a row for the Whitecaps, who improved to 36-25 in the second half and have reached the .500 mark (65-65) for the first time since April 18 when they were 5-5.

Their magic number for clinching a playoff berth is four with nine games left in the regular season.

This was from Saturday- they won yesterday also, and are now three games up in first place. They are 23-5 for the month of August. Looks like there will be playoff baseball here in town this year!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Yahoo! News - Stage Set for Huge Anti-Bush March in New York
NEW YORK (Reuters) - They have protested naked, used pedal power, marched and rung bells in the days leading up to the Republican convention, but on Sunday political activists were expected to turn out in the hundreds of thousands to rally against President Bush's policies.

Tensions are high between activists and police, who have negotiated for months over Sunday's planned march past the Madison Square Garden convention site by up to 250,000 people under the banner, "The World Says No To The Bush Agenda."

Protesters were denied a permit to gather in Central Park after the march because city officials feared damage to the grass, but many demonstrators have vowed to go to the park anyway and that is when many fear arrests.

Go get 'em kids, but be cool. Peaceful protest does more to win people over.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Yahoo! News - NYC Police Arrest 250 in Bicycle Protest
NEW YORK - In the first major clash between police and demonstrators converging for the Republican National Convention, more than 250 bicyclists were arrested during a protest ride that snaked through the city and passed by Madison Square Garden.

Bikers chanted anti-Bush slogans, stifled traffic and, in some places, argued with motorists during the Friday night ride, which began at Union Square and drew thousands of cyclists.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the bikers had caused "massive disruptions" and endangered motorists. Participants said their ride was peaceful and that the arrests were an excessive show of force.

And off we go...are we ready for the ghosts of '68?

Yahoo! News - Greenspan Sounds Alert on Social Security
As he did first in February, during testimony before Congress, and several times since, Greenspan issued his warning that the White House and Congress need to come up quickly with a plan to trim the Social Security and Medicare benefits that 77 million baby boomers are scheduled to receive when they retire.

He said haste is critical. There is no way benefits currently promised can be financed by government, he said, and Americans born in the 20 years after World War II need to be put on notice so they can start putting away extra retirement savings during their working years.

Even under the most optimistic economic assumptions of growth and productivity, government resources will be inadequate to provide the baby boom generation with the level of benefits their parents got, he said.

Don't worry Alan. If we re-select George, he'll have the seniors eating out of garbage cans in no time.

Yahoo! News - Gays in GOP call platform 'slap in the face'
The Republican Party will unveil a platform at its national convention in New York City that includes even more extreme anti-gay language than an earlier draft version contained, a move called "vicious and mean-spirited" by the leader of the nation's largest gay GOP group.

In addition to a call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, GOP officials have added new language to the party's platform which says judges should not force states to "recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage."

"They're not just trying to prevent civil marriage equality," said Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) Executive Director Patrick Guerriero in a statement. "They want to marginalize part of the American family by barring not just marriage but also civil unions, domestic partnerships and indeed any benefits or protections for gay and lesbian families."

"The vicious, mean-spirited language adopted by the Platform Committee is a slap in the face to fair-minded Republicans all across our nation," said Guerriero.

I don't see how any gay person can remain in the Republican Party at this point. Shoot, I don't see how anybody with a brain can remain in the Republican Party at this point.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Sentient Non-Idiots For Kerry / Repubs pick a fight about Vietnam while Bush ruins America right now? Is the nation drunk?
It's enough to make you laugh 'til you gag. And choke. And move to Canada.

And isn't it hilarious how the absolute worst thing the Right has been able to dredge up about John Kerry is that he might sort of maybe have exaggerated some facts about his various Vietnam medals and acts of and valor and deeds of astounding heroism, which is sort of like saying well sure you saved 10 babies from that burning building, but jeez, you were wearing special shoes at the time and by the way couldn't you have saved 11? Traitor!

And how hard should we guffaw while we note that, as Kerry was volunteering in Vietnam and earning his medals and risking his life in the most volatile and ugly and pointless and lethal and hideous war in American history unless you count Iraq, which you really really should, Dubya was "serving" in the Air National Guard, which we all know translates to mean "hangin' down in Tijuana slamming tequila shooters and annoying the waitresses, all while praising Jesus that he had a daddy who could keep him away from scary complicated violent stuff."

I swear to God this man is my soulmate. A must read.

Yahoo! News - The U.S. Gives Mia Hamm a Golden Farewell
ATHENS (Reuters) - The United States gave Hall of Famer Mia Hamm the perfect send-off on Thursday, beating Brazil 2-1 to win Olympic gold in the women's soccer tournament.

Abby Wambach powered home a header in the 22nd minute of extra time in Athens to give the U.S. their second Olympic title after winning at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

For Hamm, widely regarded as the best ever female player, it was a fitting end to a glittering 17-year career, even though she made little impact on a disappointing game.

"They carried me tonight, that's for sure," said an exhausted Hamm, who insisted there would be no change of heart about her decision to retire.

Now Mia you can come to Chicago and try and convince the hubby to stay. I know you will love it. ;-)

Yahoo! News - Ranks of Poor, Uninsured Rose in 2003
The reports released Thursday provide a snapshot of Americans' economic well-being in 2003, two full years after the end of the recession. In 2003, job growth was slow until the second half of the year while wages overall were stagnant. Many of those who did get jobs were faced with accepting scaled-back benefits and pension plans.

There were 35.8 million people living in poverty last year, or 12.5 percent of the population. That was 1.3 million more than in 2002.

Children made up more than half the increase — about 800,000. The child poverty rate rose from 16.7 percent in 2002 to 17.6 percent.

More people lacked health insurance as well — about 45 million last year, or 15.6 percent, compared with 43.5 million, or 15.2 percent the previous year.

Hey George! You left some children behind here!

Yahoo! News - Bush Admits Iraq 'Miscalculations' - NY Times
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that he had miscalculated post-war conditions in Iraq, the New York Times reported.

The paper quoted Bush as saying during a 30-minute interview that he made "a miscalculation of what the conditions would be" in post-war Iraq.

But he insisted that the 17-month-long insurgency was the unintended by-product of a "swift victory" against Saddam Hussein's military, the Times reported.

Bush said his strategy had been "flexible enough" to respond. "We're adjusting to our conditions" in places like Najaf, the paper quoted him as saying.

The Times said Bush deflected further inquiries as to what had gone wrong with the occupation.

I doubt that he even gave much thought to what might possibly happen after. Probably expected everyone to bow down and kiss his ass.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Oh No- Bad News on Palma:

Palma Sola's tag w/tether was recovered today. Tether broke at weak link. No belt or manatee was in close proximity, but human mobility in the area was extremely difficult so we could not cover much ground. Tag was recovered 40-50ft (depending on opening) from the mangrove edge of Charlotte Harbor's west "wall". The way the tag was laying indicated placement due to an outgoing tide. The tag was not lodged, no easy float in accesses (full root and old foliage debris), trees had major defoliation along with 50% downed trees in the area we searched. This area does not normally have an outgoing tide unless there are way above normal tides. Current consensus is that the tether would not have broken due to mere wave action. If wave action was that forceful, then the belt is what should have worn down from constant pull/tug of the waves and broke at it's weak link.

Hypothesis at this point, Palma Sola w/tag was in the mangroves at some point during the hurricane. How far in??? Cannot answer that. Worse case scenario is that he broke his tag off while in the mangroves and did not make it out when the tide went. According to the maps, there is a marsh area right behind where the tag was recovered. An aerial survey is going to be flown tomorrow to make sure, to the best of our ability, Palma Sola is not in the mangroves or marsh area (or other animals for that matter). If all checks out for the land portion of the flight, a survey will be performed to note animal location while also looking for that sly belted critter. Thank you to Kat Frisch and Tom Pitchford (FWC) for being able to fly as observers for this flight in my absence.

Side note: We sonic tracked for Palma Sola in all his previous know locations with no luck. Also, the west "wall" is a known high use area for manatees this time of the year (80 quoted seen while doing an aerial survey). We have always seen other manatees when out tracking in this area but this time, NONE. Very calm day, flat waters that even allowed us to see sharks feeding. We should have been able to see them based on the water conditions. It will be very interesting from the survey to see if there are manatees around or if the hurricane caused them to change their distribution along the west "wall". This may be the beginning of understanding what happens to a manatee population after a hurricane.

August 18, 2004: (Kat Frisch, FWC)

Tom Pitchford and I just returned from flying a three hour survey of the Charlotte Harbor area in search of Palma Sola. Unfortunately, there was no sign of Palma, nor of any other manatees (in water or on land), in the areas he has frequented around the west wall of Charlotte Harbor. We circled the area of the tag recovery extensively but did not see anything suspicious thru the mangroves or in the marsh behind them. As Monica mentioned, the West Wall has been documented as being used regularly by manatees in the past. In addition to covering the West wall and Bull and Turtle Bays, we extended the survey to cover the perimeter of Charlotte Harbor including the northern limits (Hog Island) , the east wall, down across Pine Island and then up Sanibel and Captiva to Boca Grande. As Monica mentioned in her earlier email, the extensive mangrove areas around Charlotte Harbor were largely flattened and denuded by a combination of wind and storm surge. Visibility through the mangroves along the shoreline was considerably better than usual. However, the mangroves were already turning brown making it somewhat difficult to spot a grayish, brown manatee. In addition, there were large amounts of debris scattered throughout the survey area up into the mangrove regions. We are happy to report that we did not seen any areas with circling or roosting vultures which we felt might indicate something dead being in the vicinity. As I'm sure you all have heard, the area was severely devastated by Charley and the pictures on television do not due justice to the extent of the damage.

To comment further on Monica's note of yesterday regarding the lack of manatees in the area: we saw only 5 manatees in the entire area and those seen were all near Sanibel. Three of the five were in the Gulf traveling along the shoreline. (Perhaps manatees seek the shelter of deeper water in the Gulf during major storms?) However, approximately 14 manatees were seen while in the Lemon Bay area (somewhat north of the hurricane path) during the transitionary portions of the flight to and from the survey area. (An extensive survey was not done of this area but observed manatees were noted.) Several dolphins were also seen. In addition, a dead dolphin was seen on the beach at Sanibel Island.

Final note: Mote Marine graciously agreed to keep a lookout for Palma Sola and other potentially dead or stranded manatees during regularly scheduled surveys of Charlotte County later this week.

Yahoo! News - Stem Cells Put Woman's Arthritis in Remission
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Transplanting stem cells from a healthy woman to her sister with severe rheumatoid arthritis apparently cured the disease, researchers report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

At the Northwestern University in Chicago, researchers led by Dr. Richard K. Burt used stem cells from the sibling to treat a 52-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis in 38 joints.

Prior to transplantation, the woman was given various drugs to increase the odds that her body wouldn't reject the cells.

Her morning stiffness disappeared before she was discharged from the hospital and did not recur. Her rheumatoid nodules were completely gone 9 months after transplantation and now one year later the patient is disease-free and is not taking any drugs to suppress her immune system.

Yahoo! News - Republicans Endorse Ban on Gay Marriages
NEW YORK - Republicans endorsed an uncompromising position against gay unions Wednesday in a manifesto that contrasts with Vice President Dick Cheney's supportive comments about gay rights and the moderate face the party will show at next week's national convention.

A panel made up largely of conservative delegates approved platform language that calls for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and opposes legal recognition of any sort for gay civil unions.

The draft urges a constitutional ban on abortion, echoing a call from previous platforms, and endorses President Bush's restrictions on federal financing of stem cell research. Some Republicans want the restrictions loosened.

Is this what you want Amercia? Leadership that will restrict your freedom? Now that they have solidified the platform, I really, really wish I could be there to protest.

Among the key prime-time speakers at next week's convention are moderate Republicans like former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bush has walked a fine line in convention planning, trying to woo undecided swing voters by presenting a moderate face of the party in prime time without alienating his conservative base supporters.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said the platform showed Republicans were going to "fake" moderation, "but the American people need to look no further than their platform to see who they really are."

They have made lying an art form, and they will continue to do it at the convention. Let's stick Arnie and Rudy up there to appear moderate while we hide the real agenda of the Religious Right. Wake up people before it's too late. Will the moderates ever have the guts to take back the Republican Party?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Yahoo News - NY Court Rules Against Anti-Bush Rally in Park
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A judge on Wednesday declined to order city officials to give an anti-war group permission to rally in Central Park on the eve of the Republican convention, leaving uncertain where thousands of protesters will go after a march past the venue.

The United for Peace and Justice coalition has permission to march under the banner "The World Says No To The Bush Agenda" past Madison Square Garden on Sunday but the city denied a permit for the protest to continue with a rally in Central Park of an estimated 250,000 people.

The group rejected an alternate site and went to court seeking to have the permit granted. But the ruling by New York Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann favored city officials who said they feared the grass on the park's Great Lawn would be damaged and security could not be ensured for the massive crowd.

So let me get this straight- you have a quarter of a million protesters with nowhere to go after they march? What makes you think that you can keep them out of Central Park?

This might turn out to be very interesting.

Yahoo News - Tie vote kicks gay issue off Mich. ballot
Despite a surplus of signatures, an initiative to amend Michigan's constitution with a same-sex marriage ban was not authorized by state officials for the November ballot.

On Monday the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 about certifying the more than 464,000 signatures in favor of the ballot measure, the Associated Press reported. Only 317,757 were needed to put the amendment before state voters.

As a result, the courts will likely decide whether to put the marriage ban on the Nov. 2 ballot.

"We'll let the real judges decide now," Eric Doster, an attorney for the group that collected the signatures, told the AP.

These assholes aren't going to quit. Let's hope the "real" judges put an end to this once and for all. If anything, this will be tied up for awhile and I won't have to listen to a bunch of bigoted ads on the radio.

Yahoo News - Smoking Ups Heart Attack Risk in Adults Under 40
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Smoking raises the risk of non-fatal heart attacks by about fivefold in adults between 35 and 39 years of age, according to a report in the journal Tobacco Control.

In the under-40 age group, current smoking increased the risk of heart attack by 4.9-fold in men and by 5.3-fold in women relative to non-smoking.

Ouch! Followed by this....

Sugary Soft Drinks Raise Risk of Diabetes -Study
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. rates of diabetes have soared alongside soft drink consumption, and scientists said on Tuesday the spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels triggered by the sugary drinks may be at least partly to blame.

"Women who were drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks every day or more than once a day had an 80 percent increased risk of diabetes compared with women who hardly ever drank sugared sodas," Stampfer said.

Oh my. Well I guess I don't have to work on taking pictures now because apparently I'm going to be very sick very soon. Geez.
It's All About Contests:

My "Neon" entry finished eigth! Wooo Hooo! My entry for "Hope" is bombing in a big way- 4.54 so far, and those usually drop during the week. I ended up going with a grainy B & W shot just to see what people would say. So far they don't like it. Heh.

Should have went with the ray in the leaves. Oh well, live and learn.

Yahoo News - Bush Campaign Lawyer Tied to Group's Anti-Kerry Ads
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - A top lawyer for President Bush's re-election campaign has been providing legal advice to the group that has accused Democrat John Kerry of lying about his Vietnam War record, informed sources said on Tuesday.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, said Ben Ginsberg, the Bush campaign's chief outside counsel, has also been giving legal advice to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that is attacking Kerry.

Bush's campaign insists it has no relationship with the group and has denied Kerry's charge that it is a front for the president's re-election team.

Uh huh. This is the same George Bush who insisted that Iraq was a threat, also. Why does anyone believe anything this man says?

And by the way- I'm TIRED of this story. Now that we've proved George is a lying scumbag, let's move on now, shall we?

Yahoo News - Cheney Says Does Not Back Federal Gay Marriage Ban
DAVENPORT, Iowa (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney said on Tuesday that he does not personally support a constitutional amendment against gay marriage but accepts President Bush's decision to pursue such a ban as administration policy.

"My general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want," Cheney, 63, said in response to a question at a campaign "town hall" meeting in Davenport, Iowa.

One has to wonder if this is a ploy to appeal to moderates...but Dick had basically said this all along.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Yahoo News - Gene Tweaking Turns Couch Potato Mice Into Racers
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Altering a single gene turned ordinary mice into marathon racers that could run for hours and eat huge amounts of food without getting fat, a team of researchers reported on Monday.

They said their study could lead to an exercise pill that gives many of the benefits of training without the need to sweat.

"It is a pill that, in part, mimics exercise. It mimics the metabolic activity associated with exercise," Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Ronald Evans of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.

Someone is going to be very, very rich.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Hope, Take Two: Bottom of the Ninth.

Yahoo News - Major League Approves Baseball Channel for TV
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Major League Baseball has approved the creation of a national cable television channel devoted to America's favorite pastime, but regular-season games may be confined to the dugouts for the network's first year, a top league official said on Friday.

Broadcast rights under existing contracts with such outlets as ESPN, the Fox network and regional sports channels means that programming on the MLB's Baseball Channel may be limited initially to coverage of such events as spring training, Triple A minor league games and overseas competition.

Tim Brosnan, league executive vice president, told Reuters the channel also may draw on its extensive archive of classic baseball games or arrange for production of its own commentary shows, interview programs and documentaries.

Can I trade the Golf Channel for this? Please? I'll throw in the Food Channel too!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Hope 16.

Two out.

Thinking of using this for the Hope challenge, but still not sure about the legalities.

Yahoo News - Version of Munch's 'The Scream' Stolen from Museum
OSLO (Reuters) - Armed robbers stole masterpieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch from a museum in Oslo on Sunday and national radio said a version of "The Scream" was part of the haul.

Norwegian national radio NRK said the paintings stolen from the Munch Museum included a version of the famous portrait of modern angst, and a version of another key work, "Madonna."

In this day and age of high tech theft, there is something very...quaint...about stealing paintings.

Yahoo News - Graphic Designer Fired After Heckling Bush
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A man who heckled President Bush at a political rally was fired from his job at an advertising and design company for offending a client who provided tickets to the event.

Hiller was ushered out of Hedgesville High School on Tuesday after shouting his disagreement with Bush's comments about the war in Iraq war and the search for weapons of mass destruction. The crowd had easily drowned out Hiller with its chant: "Four more years."

"He surrounds himself with people who support him," Hiller said of Bush. "Your opinion ... is viewed as right or wrong."

The client was a public relations worker who represents the Berkeley County school district, he said. "It's just bizarre that you disagree with them and it all turns evil," Hiller said.

Last month, Charleston City Council apologized to two protesters arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's July 4 rally. The pair were taken from the event in restraints after revealing T-shirts with Bush's name crossed out on the front and the words "Love America, Hate Bush" on the back. Trespassing charges were ultimately dismissed.

No dissent allowed in Charleston! (or anywhere else for that matter.)

Had to comment on the amazing number of Kerry yard signs in this part of town. It shows me the that the Dems are well organized in the inner city here. Doubt that I would see this out in the burbs though!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Yahoo News - European Winters Could Disappear by 2080 - Report
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Reuters) - Europe is warming up more quickly than the rest of the world, and cold winters could disappear almost entirely by 2080 as a result of global warming, researchers predicted Wednesday.

Heat waves and floods are likely to become more frequent, threatening the elderly and infirm, and three quarters of the Swiss Alps' glaciers might melt down by 2050, the study prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA) said.

Climate changes are likely to increase the frequency of floods and droughts like those that hit Europe in the past years, damaging agriculture and making plant species extinct, the Copenhagen-based EEA concluded.

The floods that swept through 11 European countries in 2001 killed about 80 people, while last year's heat wave in western and southern Europe claimed the lives of more than 20,000.

What? Can't be bothered with this! Too busy worrying about the price of gas! And what John Kerry did in Vietnam! And Courtney Love's back in court! We are dealing with serious issues here in America!

Yahoo News - Liquor Inhaler Debuts Alcohol-Free in NYC
NEW YORK - Fruit-infused water and Gatorade — not vodka and whiskey — were the inhalants offered at the Manhattan debut of a controversial new device that lets drinkers take vaporized shots of alcohol, and opponents want to make sure the machines stay liquor-free.

The machine, the Alcohol Without Liquid vaporizer, or AWOL, lets its users inhale liquor by mixing it with pressurized oxygen. The machine's makers say it takes about 20 minutes to inhale one vaporized shot, leaving users euphoric, but not drunk, without the aftereffects of alcohol.

Existing state law is not the only obstacle the machine faces. Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano has said he wants the AWOL machine prohibited for fear it will attract underage drinkers, and State Sen. Carl Kruger has pledged to introduce legislation to ban it.

Kruger sent a letter to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer saying the machine, which is manufactured in England, "is a disaster waiting to happen." Kruger called it a "new form of pipe smoking."

How do you avoid the "aftereffects"? Does that mean no hangovers? And this "euphoric, but not drunk" claim....hmmm, even this ex-drinker is intrigued, but skeptical.

Friday, August 20, 2004

It's All About Neon:

...which is riding at a 6.20 this morning, and one comment even said "ribbon winner", although I know from posts in the forum that there are at least two people ahead of me. But, I have received some wonderful, constructive comments on it and I think that it will finish in the top ten for sure. Cool!

Yahoo News - Church Says Girl's Communion Not Valid
BRIELLE, N.J. - An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition should not exclude her from the sacrament, which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion. The mother believes a rice Communion wafer would suffice.

Church doctrine holds that Communion wafers, like the bread served at the Last Supper, must have at least some unleavened wheat. Church leaders are reluctant to change anything about the sacrament.

"This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world by Vatican authority," Trenton Bishop John M. Smith said in a statement last week.

Haley was diagnosed with celiac sprue disease when she was 5. The disorder occurs in people with a genetic intolerance of gluten, a food protein contained in wheat and other grains.

Those wacky Catholics are at it again...are the trying to push people away from the Church?

Yahoo News - Kerry Says Bush Uses Surrogates to Do Dirty Work
BOSTON (Reuters) - John Kerry accused President Bush of using surrogates to "do his dirty work," as the Democratic presidential challenger hit back on Thursday at a Republican assault on his Vietnam War record.

In his toughest response yet to questions of whether he deserved the honors he won in war, Kerry said if the president wanted to debate the issue of their respective battle records then "Bring it on."

Kerry said a group called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has attacked the Massachusetts senator's war record in television advertisements, was funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor in Texas, Bush's home state.

"They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know: he wants them to do his dirty work," Kerry told a convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which supports him.

Good to see John finally answering some of these claims, but disappointed that Bush has been successful at keeping the focus off of what is happening in the "now" as opposed to thirty years ago.

(P.S. Have found a way around the Blogger problem- just clean up the header by cut and paste in the "a href" section. More work, but whaddayagonnado.....)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It's All About Me:


Still can't do links to stories. Damn.

Well, here's the news.

Kerry and Bush still calling each other names.
More trouble in Iraq.
The Cubs finally beat the Brewers!

There was more but I forget already. Rather detached from the news lately.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Yahoo News - Ill. Plans Online Network to Import Drugs
CHICAGO - Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Tuesday that the state will set up an Internet network within the next month to help Illinois residents buy prescription drugs from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Other states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, already have Web sites to help residents buy drugs from Canada, but Illinois is the first to tap into pharmacies in Europe.

Blagojevich has been a leading figure in the push to allow the purchase of prescriptions drugs from outside the United States. Prescription drug imports are banned by the federal government, but Blagojevich and others believe they should be allowed at a time of skyrocketing prices for medicine in the United States.

Gotta love those "activist" governors! I bet the Feds don't dare touch them in this election year, but if George wins will they shut them down?

P.S. Looks like Bloggers links are still messed up, so this link probably won't work.
It's All About My Pic for Vanishing Point:

Place: 42 out of 246
Avg (all users): 5.990
Avg (commenters): 7.571
Avg (camera): 5.990
Avg (no camera): 6.000
Views since voting: 9
Views during voting: 412
Votes: 311
Comments: 14
Favorites: 3 (view)

Wooo Hooo! 42! Happy to come away in the top 50, there were so many beautiful pics in this competition. And three people picked it as a favorite! That was sweet.

My entry for "Neon" is at a whopping 6.67 so far, although that will drop as the week rolls on....

Edit at 8:15 PM. The pic now is at 41 of 245 - someone must have been DQ'ed perhaps. Almost a Top 40!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

It's All About Palma:

...who has showed up on his tracking map as of today, still in the Charlotte Harbor close to the land on the west side. (Hope he is in the water and not up on the land, but I think his tracking device would have registered that...?)

Looks like Palma made it!!!

WZZM13.com - 'Caps Slay Dragons to Complete Sweep
The West Michigan Whitecaps continue to tear up Midwest League opposition. The Whitecaps pounded their way to a 12-4 win over the Dayton Dragons in Ohio. With the win the Whitecaps complete a sweep of the Dragons and have now won 13 of their last 15 games. Jason Knoedler and Kelly Hunt drove in four runs apiece to pace a 14-hit offensive

Who are these guys? This story is a day old but I thought that I'd give the amazing 'Caps a mention here. They are now only one game out of first place, a feat that I never would have guessed would happen. I hope that they make the playoffs- those games are always a lot of fun.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Yahoo News - Income Gap Up Over Two Decades, Data Show
WASHINGTON - Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who own homes and stocks and got big tax breaks, and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less.

The growing disparity is even more pronounced in this recovering economy. Wages are stagnant and the middle class is shouldering a larger tax burden. Prices for health care, housing, tuition, gas and food have soared.

The wealthiest 20 percent of households in 1973 accounted for 44 percent of total U.S. income, according to the Census Bureau. Their share jumped to 50 percent in 2002, while everyone else's fell. For the bottom fifth, the share dropped from 4.2 percent to 3.5 percent.

Neon 4.

I can't find anything I want to blog so I thought I'd see how this looks when posted. Colors seem a little flat to me.

Edited at 5:50 PM- Different crop.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Yahoo! News - Poll: N.J. Governor's Approval Nudges Up
TRENTON, N.J. - Gov. James E. McGreevey's approval rating has not suffered since he announced that he had an affair with a man and will resign in November, a new poll showed Sunday.

The governor's approval rating was 45 percent, 2 points higher than in a similar poll conducted two weeks earlier, according to the Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers poll.

The telephone poll of 400 adults was conducted Thursday and Friday nights. The error margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Let this be a lesson to all you governors out there...what that lesson is, I'm really not sure.

Yahoo! News - Man Sought $50M From McGreevey, Aides Say
TRENTON, N.J. - The man who claims Gov. James E. McGreevey sexually harassed him was pushing for a cash settlement of up to $50 million before the governor decided to announce that he was gay and had an extramarital affair, sources told The Associated Press.

Honey, you may have been good, but nobody's that good. ;-)

Cipel's lawyer first contacted McGreevey on July 23, asking for $50 million, one of the administration sources said. More offers were made, and the price dropped. Each time McGreevey's lawyer refused to agree and did not discuss the issue further, the source said.

Eventually that figure dropped to $5 million, both sources said, and the offers to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit continued Thursday afternoon just as McGreevey made up his mind to declare his homosexuality and admit to an extramarital affair with a man.

The FBI is investigating whether a former employee tried to blackmail the governor, according to law enforcement sources.

Lotsa sleaze to go around in this story. Probably make a great movie.

Here 5.

Yahoo! News - New York City Sued for Blocking Civil Rights Rally
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Arab American organization and an anti-war group said on Friday they have sued New York City for blocking a huge civil rights rally in Central Park just before the start of the Republican National Convention.

The National Council of Arab Americans and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) said the city's action violated their free speech rights by barring the rally planned for Aug. 28.

The suit follows the city's rejection on Tuesday of a new bid by United for Peace and Justice, an umbrella organization of 800 anti-war groups, to stage the biggest rally of the Republican convention in Central Park.

Authorities first denied a permit for the rally in May out of security concerns and fear of damage to a recently installed irrigation system.

Makes you wonder what would happen if these groups 'just showed up' anyway. What are they going to do, arrest thousands of people?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

This morning.

Yahoo! News - Official: Charley's Death Toll to Climb
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The death toll from Hurricane Charley rose early Saturday, when a county official said there had a been "a number of fatalities" at a mobile home park and deputies were standing guard over stacks of bodies because the area was inaccessible to ambulances.

The eye of the worst hurricane to hit Florida in a dozen years passed directly over Punta Gorda, a town of 15,000 which took a devastating hit Friday.

Hundreds of people were missing and more were left homeless, said Sallade, who compared the devastation to 1992's Hurricane Andrew, blamed for 43 deaths, most in South Florida.

Daylight will bring some devastating pictures, I'm sure. Christmas Day a few years ago my Mom and I drove down the coast and made it right to the tip of the Charlotte Harbor before heading back, and what struck me the most was how empty it was between there and Sarasota. Lots of open space, but also a lot of trailer parks.

Yahoo! News - Ibuprofen Formulation Relieves Menstrual Cramps
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A chemically altered form of ibuprofen offers a rapid, safe and effective treatment for women with menstrual cramps, according to a report in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation.

Ibuprofen in combination with arginine, a commonly used nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug, appears to be able to provide rapid pain relief. The combined formulation reaches peak blood concentrations 20 minutes after administration, the authors explain, while ibuprofen alone takes at least 60 minutes to reach peak levels.

Pain intensity decreased significantly within 15 minutes of administration of ibuprofen arginine in 82 percent of the women, the authors report, with 99 percent of the women reporting pain relief at 45 minutes.

Where can I get some? What's the formula? Who will be first to get this to market?

Friday, August 13, 2004

It's All About Charley:

Who came ashore apparently on my manatee's head. Direct hit on the Charlotte Harbor were Palma lives. Poor Palma! Hope he's OK.

Sending out best thoughts to everyone down there- will update later.

Yahoo! News - Official: No Evidence Attack Is Imminent
WASHINGTON - Two weeks ago, when Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warned of possible al-Qaida attacks, the "where" was very specific: financial institutions in New York City, Washington and Newark, N.J.

The "when," however, was a mystery. And since Ridge's announcement, the Bush administration has discovered no evidence of imminent plans by terrorists to attack U.S. buildings, a White House official acknowledged Thursday.

"I have not seen an indication of an imminent operation," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity with reporters from nearly a dozen news organizations. Investigators are still poring over volumes of the seized information.

And when the real shit comes down, will anyone believe them at this point?

Yahoo! News - Bush Tax Cuts Heavily Favor Rich, CBO Says -Reports
NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Bush's tax cuts have transferred the federal tax burden from the richest Americans to middle-class families, with one-third of them benefiting people with the top 1 percent of income, according to a government report cited in newspapers on Friday.

The report said the top 1 percent, with incomes averaging $1.2 million per year, will receive an average $78,460 tax cut this year, and have seen their share of the total tax burden fall roughly 2 percentage points to 20.1 percent, according to The New York Times.

In contrast, households in the middle 20 percent, with incomes averaging $57,000 per year, will receive an average cut of only $1,090, the newspaper said, citing the CBO report.

Taxpayers whose incomes range from $51,500 to around $75,600, saw their share of federal tax payments increase, according to CBO figures cited by The Washington Post.

I want to see these figures repeated over and over again until America finally wakes up and sees what happened here. And keep in mind, he's calling for more tax cuts. Wanna guess who will get the benefit from those? Hint: it ain't you.

Yahoo! News - Bush Declines to Condemn Attack Ads on Kerry
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - President Bush praised John Kerry's military service as honorable on Thursday but declined to condemn ads from Vietnam veterans who questioned the Massachusetts senator's military record.

While declining to condemn the ads, Bush said the broader issue was independent groups known as "527s" that fall outside the boundaries of campaign finance laws and can spend unlimited amounts of money on attack ads.

"They've said some bad things about me. I guess they're saying bad things about him. And what I think we ought to do is not have them on the air," Bush said.

The Bush campaign has been upset by attack ads from liberal groups such as Moveon.org.

The difference here George is that MoveOn is telling the truth about your record, and these guys are lying about Kerry. I think going after Kerry's military service is a bad idea and is in incredibly poor taste.

So, your answer would be to squelch all speech then, is it? How typical of you, you fascist pig.

Yahoo! News - Florida Warns 1 Million to Flee Hurricane
Residents of the Tampa Bay area, where the eye is projected to hit, southward to the Naples area were told to expect a storm surge of 10-13 feet. State meteorologist Ben Nelson said the surge could reach 16 feet in the Tampa area if Charley reaches 120 mph wind.

The bulk of the evacuations were in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, which include Tampa and St. Petersburg, a city that sits on a peninsula.

All residents of MacDill Air Force Base, on another peninsula in Tampa Bay, were ordered out, with only essential personnel remaining. MacDill is home to U.S. Central Command, the nerve center of the war in Iraq.

Heavy traffic flowed across the three Tampa Bay bridges linking Pinellas with Hillsborough and the mainland. Officials worried about traffic jams Friday morning.

"The highway system was never designed to move this many people this quickly," state emergency management director Craig Fugate said.

Tampa/St. Pete is also full of many poor people who probably have nowhere to go. I hope they can get to higher ground- this has the potential to be a major disaster.

My beloved Anna Maria Island might be totally destroyed- it tends to flood during heavy rains, a ten foot surge would put the whole island under water.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for my "home away from home" today.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Yahoo! News - NJ Gov. McGreevey Resigns Over Homosexual Affair
TRENTON, N.J (Reuters) - New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who earlier this year said he opposed gay marriage, announced on Thursday he would resign and admitted to having a homosexual affair.

McGreevey, who is married with two children, told reporters he had a consensual affair with another man and that he had been conflicted over his sexuality since adolescence.

"Throughout my life, I have grappled with my own identity," McGreevey told a news conference, making reference to his Catholic upbringing.

The Democrat spoke about the love, strength and respect of both his first and second wives but said, "From my early days of school until the present day, I acknowledged some feeling, a certain sense that separated me from others."

"My truth is is that I am a gay American and I am blessed to live in the greatest nation with the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world," he said.

Just think of the pain he (and others) would have been spared had he been able to be himself his whole life.

Yahoo! News - Calif. Court Voids S.F. Gay Marriages
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Thursday voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages sanctioned in San Francisco this year and ruled unanimously that the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

The court said the city illegally issued the certificates and performed the ceremonies, since state law defines marriage as a union between a man and woman.

The justices separately decided with a 5-2 vote to nullify the 3,995 marriages peformed between Feb. 12 and March 11, when the court halted the weddings. Their legality, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote, must wait until courts resolve the constitutionality of state laws that restrict marriages to opposite-sex couples.

The same-sex marriages had virtually no legal value, but powerful symbolic value. Their nullification by the high court dismayed Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in San Francisco.

"Del is 83 years old and I am 79," Lyon said. "After being together for more than 50 years, it is a terrible blow to have the rights and protections of marriage taken away from us. At our age, we do not have the luxury of time."

Sorry, ladies. My heart breaks for you. I will always remember you, and I hope that your dream will someday be reality.

Yahoo! News - Heart Drugs Can Cause Potassium Overload - Study
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drugs used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions can cause a dangerous build-up of potassium and patients taking them need to be watched closely, U.S. researchers cautioned on Wednesday.

The drugs, angiotensin-converting-enzyme or ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers, can raise potassium levels in about 10 percent of patients, especially those with weak kidneys, said Dr. Biff Palmer of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

This one's for you Dad. Another story I read on this specifically mentioned Altase and Stouffers.

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Grand Rapids news and weather - Kent County judge goes back to work after attempting suicide
The Michigan Supreme Court says a Kent County judge is fit to serve after he attempted suicide.

According to Kent County Probate Court documents, Rockford District Judge Steven Servaas tried to take his life June 24. The documents say Servaas attempted to overdose on prescription pills, poison himself with carbon monoxide and slit his wrist.

Doctors who treated Servaas say at the time he was suffering from major depression.

Servaas was my judge on my second bust; I found him to be a lot more reasonable than Logan, that's for sure. Best of luck to you Mr. Servaas, I know very well what you are going through.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Time To Get Out The Bush / How do you know it's time for a major change in American leadership? Let us count the signs

Don't you feel it? The sensation that the country cannot continue to careen down this ultraviolent, antihumanitarian path much longer without implosion and desperation and a massive increase in sedative prescriptions for anyone with an even slightly intuitive sense of justice and future and long hot sighs of hope? You're not alone.

Go. Read. Now.

CPL Chicago: 1915, July 24: Eastland Disaster

The excursion steamer Eastland slowly rolled over at 7:28 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 1915. She was still moored to her dock between LaSalle and Clark Streets on the south bank of the Chicago River. Of the 2,572 persons on board, 844 perished--making this Chicago's worst single disaster.

I drymounted a map yesterday that showed this wreck as the greatest disaster in terms of loss of life on the Great Lakes. The picture above is the exact spot where it happened. I did not know that fact as we motored down the river and I took this shot. Spooky stuff.

Yahoo! News - NASA to Try to Save Hubble Telescope
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NASA has decided to try to save the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope by sending a Canadian-made robot to fix it, agency officials said on Tuesday.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe told researchers at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland about the plan on Monday, instructing the engineers there to begin serious work to put the robotic mission in to space in 2007.

"Everybody says, 'We want to save the Hubble' -- well, let's go save the Hubble," O'Keefe was quoted as saying by the Orlando Sentinel. "Rather than just sitting there and talking about how we think we're going to do it, we've got an option we're ready to go with."

Yaaaaay! Finally some good news.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

To walk a different path.

(My first challenge entry so I thought I'd put it here, too. Not bad, but not one of my favorites.)

Yahoo! News - Study: Uninsured Patients Flood U.S. Emergency Rooms
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Patients lacking health insurance are flooding U.S. emergency rooms, many seeking routine care that they should get elsewhere, a group representing government-funded clinics reported on Monday.

The report by The National Association of Community Health Centers finds that in 2002 there were 110.2 million visits to hospital emergency departments, up from 89.8 million in 1998. During this time, many hospital emergency rooms closed and there were 15 percent fewer than in 1998, the report found.

"Some health centers are experiencing an explosion of uninsured patients as high as 73 percent, and due to a weakened economy and state budget cuts, no letup is in sight," the report reads.

"Fewer doctors open their doors to patients who rely on Medicaid. One-fifth are not accepting any new Medicaid patients," it said. Medicaid is the state-federal health insurance plan for the poor.

Hospitals will need government bailouts to stay in business. Ooops! We spent all the money already! Just raise rates on the insured people then. That should work.

Yahoo! News - FCC Clears 'Buffy,' 'Grace' on Charges of Indecency
WASHINGTON (Hollywood Reporter) - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Will & Grace" passed the indecency test at the FCC on Monday as the agency rejected complaints against the popular TV shows filed by two conservative-leaning interest groups.

The complaints filed by the Parent Television Council and Americans for Decency were dismissed in a 5-0 vote because the commission found the shows didn't violate its indecency regulations. Both shows were aired in primetime.

Somebody needs to show the "Americans for Decency" where the "off" button is on their TV. I find it interesting that they targeted two shows that have prominent gay characters.

Monday, August 09, 2004

It's All About The News:

Couldn't find anything I wanted to blog, as it appears to be the same old shit that happens on a daily basis: Car bombs and chaos in Iraq, "America is safer" but yet there are new reports on targets such as the Capitol (duh) and NYC tourist helicopters, senseless murders over a video game system in Florida, The Democrats sucking up to more minority groups they can screw over after they are elected, and the Cubs slip another game behind the Cardinals. Boo. What else is new?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Yahoo! News - Report: Prozac Found in Britain's Drinking Water
LONDON (Reuters) - Traces of the anti-depressant Prozac have been found in Britain's drinking water supply, setting off alarm bells with environmentalists concerned about potentially toxic effects.

The Observer newspaper said Sunday that a report by the government's environment watchdog found Prozac was building up in river systems and groundwater used for drinking supplies.

The exact quantity of Prozac in the drinking water was unknown, but the Environment Agency's report concluded Prozac could be potentially toxic in the water table.

Norman Baker, environment spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said it looked "like a case of hidden mass medication upon the unsuspecting public."

...and one wonders what other medications are finding their way in...or what medications should find their way in...heh heh...is everyone in Britian, uh, happier now?

Yahoo! News - FBI Probes Hoax Video of Iraq Beheading
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco computer expert duped international media on Saturday into believing Islamist kidnappers had executed an American hostage in Iraq by staging his own mock beheading on the Internet.

The FBI questioned Benjamin Vanderford, 22, shortly after the hoax became public. "We will pursue any and all legal avenues for prosecution," said FBI special agent LaRae Quy of the bureau's San Francisco office. "At this point the matter is still under investigation."

The video, which appeared on a Web site used by Islamic militants, showed Vanderford appealing to the United States to leave Iraq. The Web format was that used by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and was introduced by a headline that said it showed Zarqawi killing an American.

"If we don't (leave Iraq), everyone is gonna be killed in this way ... I have been offered for exchange for prisoners here in Iraq," the terrified-looking man said, rocking back and forth in his chair, his hands tied behind his back.

The video showed a hand with a large knife apparently slicing the neck of a limp body.

But the blood was dye, the setting was a friend's garage, the Koran reading was a tape and the knife was held by a friend. Mutilated bodies and sound effects were edited in from photos on Web sites and the video was purposefully blurred to make it seem even more amateur, Vanderford said.

I don't know whether to be pissed off or fascinated. What a weird story.

Yahoo! News - Greg Maddux Joins 300-Victory Club
SAN FRANCISCO - Greg Maddux has always been a man of little fanfare, so that's exactly how he handled his 300th win — with a quiet step into history. Maddux calmly overcame a shaky start to become the 22nd major league pitcher to reach 300 victories, leading the Chicago Cubs over the San Francisco Giants 8-4 on Saturday.

Maddux never returned to the field after the final out was made. Fans hollered as he worked his way down the hallway to a postgame interview, and Maddux practically pursed his lips to keep from reacting. It took a near mugging by a bunch of teammates at his locker to finally make him smile.

"It's pretty special," he said. "I like to look ahead. I've never really looked back. When I'm done playing I'll look back. I'm sure I'll pat myself on the back then."

He also credited his teammates and didn't feel it was right to hold a celebration in "somebody else's ballpark".

In this day and age of ego, Greg is a special, special man- maybe the last of his kind. Congratulations Greg, and may there be many more to come.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Yahoo! News - Edwards: Democratic ticket OK with Missouri marriage ban
Vice presidential candidate John Edwards, campaigning Thursday in Cape Girardeau, said he and running mate John Kerry have "no objection" to this week's vote in Missouri to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

In an interview Thursday, Edwards told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "We're both opposed to gay marriage and believe that states should be allowed to decide this question,"

On Tuesday, Missouri became the first state since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts to vote on amending its constitution to prevent such unions. More than 70 percent of voters supported the amendment.

Adopting a states' rights approach, Kerry and Edwards have opposed the administration's efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to stop gays from marrying. Yet by supporting only limited rights such as civil unions and not objecting to state amendments like the Missouri ban, the Democratic candidates have disappointed many gay rights activists.

Disappointed? I'm furious. If the Democrats won't stand up to bigotry then I have serious doubts about their ability to be innovative leaders for this country. Pandering to the ignorance of the masses is the thing that got us the current version of the Republican Party- and if the Dems won't do the right thing here, how am I to believe that they will do the right thing for all the people on other issues?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Funny Bo.

Yahoo! News - Job Growth Meager, Markets Stunned
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers added just 32,000 workers to payrolls last month, a surprisingly weak number that led Wall Street to fret about second-half economic growth and to expect a slower pace of interest-rate rises.

The Labor Department on Friday also cut its tally of job growth in May and June by a combined 61,000, adding to the soft tenor of a report that came as unwelcome news for an election-bound President Bush.

"It's a huge disappointment, a big surprise," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Fla. "It implies a very sharp revision to the overall outlook for the economy."

And somewhere deep in the Ministry of Truth, they are looking for the best possible way to spin this....

Yahoo! News - Springsteen Gets Political with Attack on Bush
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rocker Bruce Springsteen has stayed out of party politics for 25 years, but now he says the stakes are too high and he's urging fellow Americans to vote President Bush out of office in November.

A day after he announced he would join two dozen other stars in nine "battleground" states for a rock 'n' roll tour aimed at ousting Bush, the man known as "The Boss" explained his decision in a sharply worded editorial.

"Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics," Springsteen wrote in The New York Times, noting he built a career singing about universal issues like human rights, dignity and freedom instead.

"This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out."

Welcome aboard, Bruce.

Of the "Vote for Change" tour -- 34 shows in 28 cities -- in the first week of October, one month before the U.S. presidential election, Springsteen said, "Our goal is to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November."

Dave Matthews, James Taylor, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, R.E.M, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt are among the other performers.

Wonder if Clear Channel will make an attempt to ban all these people from the airwaves as they did with the Dixie Chicks a while back. Are we going to have more CD destruction parties?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Yahoo! News - New 'Bushism' Born at Bill Signing
WASHINGTON - President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of "Bushisms" on Thursday, declaring that his administration will "never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people."

Bush misspoke as he delivered a speech at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defense spending bill.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

No one in Bush's audience of military brass or Pentagon chiefs reacted.

OMG he finally told the truth!!!!

Here 11.

(Did you see the moon last night?)

3 Iowa banks hit during Bush, Kerry visits
Most of downtown Davenport, Iowa, was shut down Wednesday as citizens attended competing rallies for President Bush and his Democratic challenger, Sen. John F. Kerry.

"It's a good day to rob a bank," joked one policeman as he herded pedestrians outside of the park where Bush spoke.

Three people took his advice. While law officers were busy securing the candidates' locations, three downtown banks were robbed within one hour, police said.

"Bad guys read the paper, too," said Davenport Police Lt. Don Gano. "They knew our resources would be stretched. It's been well-publicized about how difficult it would be for us with both candidates in the same small town."

America....the land of opportunity.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

MSNBC - A Leap Into the Possible
We liberals have fallen on hard times in recent elections. At the very least, like feminists, we are not supposed to say our name. Certainly none of the sanctioned speakers were supposed to describe either John Kerry or John Edwards using the L word. That will be left to the Republicans, who will use the description as a pejorative to suggest that the Democratic candidates are out of touch with the moderate values of the American people.

But it's worth remembering that today's moderate values were the liberal notions of yesteryear. Social Security. Integrated schools. A war on poverty. In just one generation we have gone from the dark threat of something labeled socialized medicine to the promise of the same thing, called universal health care. We liberals have been shamed into thinking our vision failed, when in fact it has simply been absorbed into the national self-portrait. From the idea that a woman ought to have the same legal rights as her male counterparts to the belief that workers should count on being safe from hazardous conditions, formerly liberal principles have become bedrock democracy.

I love Anna Quindlen.

Yahoo! News - Missouri Dumps Governor, Bans Gay Marriage
Missouri voters also made their state the first in the United States to approve a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage since a Massachusetts court decision last year set the stage for challenges to such unions.

Missouri, like 39 other states, already has a law that refuses to recognize same-sex marriages, but proponents of the constitutional ban said the amendment would prevent courts from following the lead of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which ruled last year homosexuals had the right to wed.

At least nine other states are planning similar votes on proposed constitutional amendments later this year, and four states already have similarly worded amendments.

Cross Missouri off the list of places to visit, I guess. This is a bad sign for the fall proposals in other states, including my own.

Makes me very ashamed of my nation.
Woooo HOOOO!:

Joe Schwarz 18,330 28%
(REP) Brad Smith 14,912 23%
(REP) Tim Walberg 12,352 19%
(REP) Clark Bisbee 9,965 15%
(REP) Paul DeWeese 4,725 7%
(REP) Gene DeRossett 4,146 6%

The Nazi goes down. How very sweet.

I'm sorry that we are not going to get our zoo. That sucks.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Build a better Bush


DPChallenge - A Digital Photography Contest

Very cool photography site. They issue challenges with a very wide base ("everyday objects") and you have a timeline in which to take and submit a photo. The pictures are then voted on by the site members. The picture must be taken within that time frame, and you may have to provide proof (exif) if challenged. No photoshop filters allowed except for the standard levels corrections, so, no "arty" stuff allowed. They have a forum and camera guides, etc.

Maybe someday I'll get the guts to enter a picture and see what kind of feedback I get. There are some awesome pictures up there- I can see that some of these folks must be professionals, and most of them have real nice cameras. (Your camera is listed in your profile and with your picture.)

ChicagoSports.com - It's too strange to ignore
By now it's common knowledge that the Cubs and Red Sox exist in parallel universes.

Both stand accused of torturing generations of their fans with dream seasons, near-misses and inexplicable mishaps at the most inopportune moments ... usually under an October moon.

So let's get metaphysical for a moment: Is there a cosmic reason why these two allegedly cursed franchises always seem to be joined at the hip? Here are 13 handy clues to get you started on your search for knowledge.

Good article. I really would like to see Fenway someday. Something tells me I would feel right at home.

Yahoo! News - Material Behind New U.S. Alert Is Years Old: Reports
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Much of the information obtained by al Qaeda that led the United States to raise terror alerts in Washington and New York was at least three years old, and U.S. officials are unsure if the group's surveillance continues, according to published reports on Tuesday.

The Washington Post and The New York Times reported in Tuesday editions that officials were still analyzing documents seized late last month after a raid in Pakistan that showed al Qaeda surveillance of specific U.S. targets.

Documents, computers, surveillance reports and sketches were recovered related to the capture of suspected al Qaeda computer expert Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, also known as Abu Talha, in July, officials said.

Much of the information that resulted from the arrest was compiled before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, The New York Times reported, citing intelligence and law enforcement officials.

Federal authorities said they are unsure whether al Qaeda's surveillance continues, the newspapers reported.

Hmmmm, don't remember Tommy saying that this info was three years old. I was starting to think that this might have been a "post-convention" scare just to keep the Americans afraid, but decided that I was being cynical.

I don't see how I can ever trust anything this administration says anymore.

Monday, August 02, 2004

gapingvoid: how to be creative

12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it's going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. If you can pull it off, it's worth it. Even if you don't end up pulling it off, you'll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. It's NOT doing it when you know you full well you HAD the opportunity- that hurts FAR more than any failure.

Interesting page.

John Kerry to Meet With Grand Rapids Firefighters
Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry has expanded his campaign stop Monday in Grand Rapids.
Here's a look at the itinerary.

In the morning, Senator Kerry will visit a Grand Rapids fire station on Kalamazoo Avenue. He's scheduled to speak there at around 10:30am. Campaign officials say Kerry will have a discussion with firefighters and first responders. He’ll also unveil the new Kerry-Edwards book, “Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home, Respected in the World.”

Kerry will then head to the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids around the noon hour and is expected to speak at about 1pm.

Wish I could be downtown. Have fun John.

Yahoo! News - Few Injured, Ill Troops Get Disability Pay
WASHINGTON - Nearly one-third of the National Guard and Reserve troops returning from war with illnesses or injuries are forced to wait more than four months to learn whether they'll be compensated under the military's disability system.

That's only one problem in a compensation system that can be as unforgiving as the battlefield. Fewer than one in 10 applicants receives the long-term disability payments they request.

The majority, 56.1 percent, were given a one-time, lump-sum payment in 2003. Seventeen percent received nothing because they either were declared fit for duty or determined to suffer injuries unrelated to their service or due to negligence.

An additional 17.1 percent received temporary disability payments that can be reviewed within five years. And just 9.8 percent won long-term disability pay that lasts for life.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Maddux seeks 300th win

Maddux will make his first attempt at the pitching milestone on Sunday for the Chicago Cubs in the series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Maddux has invited a few family members and friends to the game. What he probably didn't expect was having a new shortstop behind him. The Cubs acquired Nomar Garciaparra from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday as part of a four-team, eight-player deal.

Garciaparra was expected in the lineup Sunday. A five-time American League All-Star, Garciaparra arrives batting .321 with five homers and 21 RBIs. The Cubs are hoping his presence gives their offense a boost and helps them get to the playoffs.

OK, I gotta stay home and watch this. History in the making.

RIP: Laverne the Goldfish 1999-2004

Laverne the Goldfish passed away sometime in the night last night and was laid to rest this morning with a burial...um...."out to sea". Laverne had been with me for almost five years and was a part of the original Laverne and Shirley goldfish team. Shirley passed away in a freak "cat-mishap" shortly after Baby arrived in my house in the year 2000.

Laverne is survived by her long time companion Fred. Laverne's greatest wish in life was to see George Bush defeated in the election this year. Memorial contributions in Laverne's name may be made to http://www.johnkerry.com.

Thanks for being such a good fish Laverne. I will miss you.

Yahoo! News - Cloning Experiment Shows Cancer Reversible - Report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A cloning experiment may show that the body itself has the ability to reverse cancer, U.S.-based researchers said on Saturday.

They cloned mouse embryos from a melanoma skin cancer cell, and created healthy adult mice using some of the cloned cancer cells, showing that malignancy is not the inevitable fate of a cancer cell.

"This settles a principal biological question," said Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the country's leading experts in cloning.

He said while the genetic elements of cancer cannot be reversed, the epigenetics -- how the genes are actually turned on and off -- can be.

Many researchers want to try similar experiments with human cancer cells, but the administration of President Bush forbids the use of federal funds for such study because it would involve the creation of what is technically a human embryo.

Opportunity slips away.