September 30, 2004
All it needs is a foot switch so you don't have to put your hands down to use it.
Thanks to INDC Journal for the pointer.
Of course, that still leaves me with the boy (who's working now, but still job-hunting for a 'real' job) and Mookie. So no dancing around in my underwear for the forseeable future.
September 29, 2004
Major thanks to Rich for the pointer.
See you this evening after all the fun and excitement is over. Or maybe tomorrow.
September 28, 2004
Something dreadful in the mail each month to brighten your life. I encourage you to have them delivered to your office.
Scroll on down and read the fine print, because these are one-of-a-kind creations, not mass-produced abominations.
They are the very best efforts I produce, mailed Priority Mail, and they will be wrapped, like a present from your really, really cool Aunt that you don't have. It may be packed in leaves, wrapped in an odd length of fabric, a placemat, yards and yards and yards of string, joss paper -- you just never know, and it won't be the same twice. There will be a note from the Unfortunate Animal to you, written on god-knows-what, and it's quite likely not to make a great deal of sense, or be written in verse (Unfortunate Animals are very odd creatures, after all); unwrapping it will be an adventure in a different way each time.
Ooooh looky, there's pictures too!
Blame J-Walk Blog for this one.
And now, for your websurfing pleasure (annoying Victor is just a bonus for me), may I present the Rocket Jones Blogger Bowl cheerleaders, the Hot Jets!!!
Lemur Girl, of... uh, Lemur Girl!
Lynn S., of Reflections in d minor!
Susie, of Practical Penumbra!
Blogoline, of Blogoline's Journal!
Dawn of Dawn Enterprises!
Stevie, of Caught In The XFire!
Margi, of Margi Lowry!
Gir, of Your Moosey Fate!
Tink, of Flitting Here and There!
Sarah, of Trying To Grok!
Helen, of Everyday Stranger!
annika, of annika's journal!
Cindy, of Dusting My Brain!
Mookie, of MookieRiffic!
Denita, of Who Tends The Fires!
Jennifer, of Jennifer's History and Stuff!
Heather, of Angelweave!
Kat, of Mostly Fluff!
Nic, of Shoes, Ships, and Sealing Wax!
LeeAnn, of The Cheese Stands Alone!
Big Hair, of Left & Right!
Wegglywoo, of On the Beach at the End of the World!
Go visit them, because each one is a unique and excellent read.
Next we come to the trash talking portion of the post. This week is going to be a tough game, because I'm going up against Victor's undefeated Mice of Mischief. I've got a secret weapon, I just hope it's enough.
September 27, 2004
It's not all sweetness and light, but at the same time it's not all doom and gloom like so many of the current headlines lead you to believe.
Good news and optimistic stories from Iraq, courtesy of Winds of Change.
Reminds me of a true story that would be perfect for an Air Force Blue post, except that some things must never be put into writing because there is no karmic statute of limitations. You'd laugh your ass off though, it's a good one.
Thanks to Lynn S. for pointing this one out.
September 26, 2004
This is another of those series I remember watching with my dad, along with Combat, Bonanza, and The Rifleman (with Chuck Connors, who played baseball for the Dodgers - boo! - but I liked the show anyways).
So the commercial came on, and even though I haven't thought about it in years, memories of the show instantly clicked back into place. Airing in 1966 and only lasting one or two seasons, later shows like Star Trek, Quantum Leap and many others owe thanks to Time Tunnel for inspiration. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.
September 25, 2004
Two of them are mine. Remember when I said I didn't have the talent for poetry? I lied. Or more likely I just don't know my verse from a hole in the ground. No matter, go and read, and see the comments where annika praises me for my total lack of enjambment. That's a good thing. Trust me, I'm a poet and I know about this stuff.
Recently I found fresh tomatillos at the grocery store and picked up a pound. What follows is the recipe I used and believe me when I say it's a world of difference from that jar stuff.
6-8 Anaheim chilies
1/2 cup onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
Remove the husk from the tomatillos and wash. Slice the tomatillos into wedges. In saucepan combine everything and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour it into a blender and pulse to desired consistency.
This is a 'flavor' sauce and not a 'heat' sauce, so it's pretty mild as is. Replace the chilies one-for-one with jalepeno's for extra zing. I used Anahiems, which seem to be available everywhere, instead of the roasted and peeled New Mexico chilies called for in the original recipe. I also cut back on the broth so as to make a chunkier, thicker sauce.
If you're making this strictly vegetarian, replace the beef broth with vegetable broth.
About Tomatillos - the most common description of their flavor I find is 'lemony', but they remind me of a lighter and less acidic version of regular tomatoes. When you buy them, they'll be wrapped in a loose papery shell which you peel off. Wash them well, because the inside skin is sticky and has a bitter taste before washing. With the husk off, they look like small unripe tomatoes on the outside, while the inside reminds me of a kiwi with white seeds. A little odd, but tasty.
September 24, 2004
We should invade and conquer France.
France has been self-described as "possibly the world's first Islamic nuclear power." Sounds pretty ominous to me. Their military is better than Iraq's was (barely) although stretched woefully thin around the world. Not to mention badly underequipped. Aircraft carriers don't actually need aircraft you know, because that costs money that could be better spent paying farmers their
bribes to stay home and not make trouble subsidies.
Eastern Europe (you know, the 'new' one) would be loudly cheering us on. If Spain fusses, we send three cranky WWII vets with hand grenades into their subway system and change their government. And we keep doing it until they elect one we like.
Belgium would tie itself in knots in EU red tape while it tried to figure out what to do. Face it, nobody does indignation like the French, and no matter how hard they try, the Flems and Walloons place a distant second. We can ignore them.
Britain would stay quietly neutral, but I'll betcha that Maggie Thatcher's smiling face will miraculously appear somewhere as reported in the Weekly World News.
Russia would get the message too. Maybe we could soften the reality of the situation by sending Jimmy Carter over for "discussions and consultations", with tacit approval to jail his cardiganned ass when he becomes too annoying to stand. Hell, I'd nominate Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize for that one.
Now some would argue that NATO wouldn't allow it. My response is: "what are they going to do about it?" If they actually wanted to do anything, like say, fight, they'd have to walk to get to the battle, because Europe's armies depend on US Military airlift capabilities. Commercial airliners? Threaten to drop a few Lufthansa Airbusses into the dirt and watch how quickly their fleets would be grounded for maintenance problems. That's assuming, of course, that they can get union approval for war.
Now, once that's all done and over with, we need to do something in order to show old Europe that we're not all stick and no carrot. Like moving the UN to Paris. And making Kerry our ambassador to the UN.
Thanks to Johno at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy for the pointer to concentrated electronic paranoia.*
*Note that paranoia about something does not automatically mean that you're wrong.
(in the exended entry)
"The long neck would allow it to approach prey without the whole body becoming visible," Olivier Rieppel of the Field Museum in Chicago, a co-author of the report, said in a telephone interview.
Which is good (for the Dinocephalosaurus, not the fish), but it may have done even better than that. Ever notice how when you try to catch or swat certain insects, they seem to know and escape at the last second, even if you sneak up on them? Some insects have organs that sense air pressure, like the wave of air that arrives a split second before the rolled up newspaper. Fish have that ability too, and water, being much more dense than air, telegraphs the pressure wave even more noticably (try it in a swimming pool or bathtub, you'll see what I mean). So how did Dinocephalosaurus solve that little problem?
Michael LaBarbera of the University of Chicago, a co-author of the report, said the rib-like bones along the side of the neck may also have played a role in hunting.
Those bones give the neck some stiffness, Rieppel explained. It could flex, but not like a snake.
According to LaBarbera, contraction of the creature's neck muscles could have rapidly straightened the neck and splayed the neck ribs outward.
That would have greatly increased the volume of the throat, allowing the animal to lunge forward in the water at prey. Ordinarily, lunging through water creates a pressure wave that a fish can sense, allowing it to flee. But the researchers said that by suddenly enlarging its throat Dinocephalosaurus could, in effect, suck in and swallow its own pressure wave, giving it the ability to strike without warning.
The original Big Gulp. Nature does some amazing things.
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