Wednesday, May 31, 2006

2529 Dan Brown's Truthiness

Rodney Clapp in the May 16 Christian Century writes about the errors in Da Code. It's not a journal I regularly read (too liberal most of the time), but I thought he had some good points. Be careful--this may hurt some conservatives' feelings.

1. The book is written like a movie script.
2. The characters have no inner dimension.
3. It's designed for tourists.
4. It is the striptease of truthiness--the seductive solving of obscure and opaque puzzles.
5. Resembles the "Left Behind" series which decodes the Bible through dispensational theology.
6. Plays to a culture that stays close to the surface--a sand castle on the beach that will erode and melt from view.
7. People most drawn to Da Code tend to be ex-Catholics.
8. The anxiety and urgency of the post 9/11 world made it easier to tap into fears of dungeons and theocracy.
9. As a novel, it is a cop out--the hero never locates proof.
10. Brown's claim to doing research--39 books--is nothing in the academic world. [I used that many for just a journal article in library science.]

2528 Let's have pizza tonight!

At the library today I was reading a history of the pizza industry/craze in the United States, so I think we'll have take out tonight. No other foreign food has ever immigrated so successfully. It first really took off about 60 years ago in the midwest--and I was there, reluctantly. The first time I ate pizza was in 1955 or 1956 on a date with a tall, dark and handsome Italian-American whom I met because we both played trombone. I think he wanted to really impress me so we went to an Italian restaurant in Rockford (40 miles from my home, so counting the distance from Oregon to Mt. Morris, then Rockford then back, then to Oregon, he must have driven close to 100 miles round trip for that pizza). I was aware of two condiments--salt and sugar. I'd never tasted oregano, or garlic, and probably had never had any cheese other than Velveeta. I didn't even know how to eat it and asked for a fork--embarrassing him I'm sure. Leonard, where ever you are, forgive me. I love pizza now. I'm sorry I didn't believe you.

The second time I had pizza I was a freshman in college at Manchester in Indiana in 1957, and a carload of us went to a restaurant in the next town (getting out of North Manchester was excitement in those days), and they all ordered pizza. Being weak willed, I went along. It didn't seem to taste too bad that time. And it wasn't the beer--I still have never tasted beer because it smells like rotten grain.

By the time I had my first big date with my husband in 1959 at the University of Illinois, he took me to a restaurant in Urbana after a dance. I thought pizza tasted pretty darn good that night (maybe it was love?). However, in the intervening 4 years, I think the fat calories had increased considerably because I could see my happy reflection in the grease puddles on the pepperoni slices. And I was hooked.

Before (L) and after (R) pizza

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

2527 Saying good-bye

Today I said good-bye to my medical student. I'm a volunteer, a "senior partner" for a medical student. Because I'm pretty healthy, he didn't have much to do, but I've enjoyed learning about his studies and activities. He's from Cleveland, is bright, personable and capable, the kind of guy any of us would love to have as a son or a doctor. He says he'll see me again even though my part of the program is over, but hey--I'm not so old that I don't remember that great line of handsome young men.

Another good-bye really is permanent. A friend who'd been in a church study group with us about 10 years ago died suddenly on Saturday. She and her family had just arrived at a restaurant and she went in the rest room, apparently not feeling well, and collapsed and died. When we walked into the funeral home this evening we saw a teen in a dark suit who looked so much like his grandfather it almost took my breath away--and it was confirmed by the old black and white photos posted of her and her sweetheart in his navy uniform. They were married 52 years had 5 children and 12 grandchildren. They will miss her laughter, love and wisdom. But as our pastor has often said, although it was a shock for us, God was not surprised.

2526 The U.S. isn't falling behind in stem cell research

as reported in the latest Wired (14:06, June 2006). "Ever since President Bush hobbled domestic stem cell research nearly five years ago, US scientists have been left with just 22 viable embryonic cell lines to use for federally funded projects." says Greta Lorge in "Where the cells are."

However, in the April 2006 issue of Nature Biotechnology there was a review of all scientific publications involving the use or derivation of human embryonic stem cells, starting with the very first paper in 1998 and ending just over a year ago. Librarians love review articles. The authors' intention was to blame Bush for the U.S. falling behind, but instead says The New Atlantis (Number 12, Spring 2006, pp. 112-115) . . .

"The study itself, however, tells a very different story. Owen-Smith and McCormick reviewed the 132 human embryonic stem cell articles published in 55 scientific journals since 1998. Far from showing the United States lagging behind in the field, they found that American scientists had by far the most publications—46 percent of the total, while the other 54 percent were divided among scientists from 17 other countries. They also found that the number of papers in the field published by Americans has increased each year, with a particularly notable growth spurt beginning in 2002. . . 85 percent of all the published embryonic stem cell research in the world has used the lines approved for funding under the Bush policy"

President Bush said, "We should not use public money to support the further destruction of human life," and I agree, but as it turns out both morality and scientific research can go hand in hand.

Thank you, Mr. President. At a time when a lot of us are scratching our heads over some of your other decisions, it is nice to be reminded how standing firm in the face of media criticism and poll numbers pays off.

2525 Tom Tancredo condemns the Senate bill

The House Immigration Reform Caucus Chair, Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) said this about last Thursday's fiasco in the Senate:

"The battle is joined," said Tancredo. "Today, the U.S. Senate passed the largest illegal alien amnesty in American history. It is bad for our national security, it is bad for American workers, and it sends a very bad message to those waiting legally for their chance at the American dream. The only good news is that Congressmen are going home next week where they are guaranteed to get hell from their constituents for this amnesty."

"A majority of House Republicans are holding firm as the last line of defense against the Senate’s amnesty plan," continued Tancredo. "The President is well known for arm-twisting, but immigration is in the front of Americans' minds, and I doubt Members will easily flip on this issue. Speaker Hastert has reaffirmed his 'majority of the majority' rule, which makes sure that my party’s leadership doesn’t collude with the Democrats to pass an amnesty bill." Key features from his press release.

Senators DeWine and Voinovich of Ohio, both Republicans, definitely sided with businesses interests rather than the people they represent. If it looks like Republicans are in disarray, indistinguishable from their Democratic colleagues, who are beholden to unions which take illegals into membership, seeing is believing in this case. Follow the money.

In my opinion, to attempt any sort of "comprehensive" bill before securing the border will endanger the lives of millions of Mexican illegals and decimate their villages as they rush north to take advantage of amnesty and all the social benefits their relatives will receive. Amnesty did not stop illegal immigration in 1986 with IRCA, in fact, it increased because our borders are porous. All the same points were made in the 1970s during the Carter years, the 80s during the Reagan years, and the 90s during the Clinton years. Remember? They thought NAFTA would keep more Mexicans working at home.

We didn't secure the borders in Iraq, so we'd better do it at home.

2524 Blogger burping

Blogger seems to be rebelling about uploading my photos for my Thursday Thirteen (in draft). I'm guessing bunches of you are posting your holiday picnic and memorial observance photos. My TT this week will be on automobiles, so I really had to do a hunt through the photo albums. But my, what fun. Hope I can get the photos to work--it will be much more interesting. It also occurred to me that I almost never took photos of cars, and if I did, they didn't get into the family albums.

As I was explaining to my husband what I was doing he began to tell me about our Packard. We never had one. However, my sister Carol and I shared a Packard (about 1950 model I think) for driving back and forth to college--she was at Goshen and I was at Manchester (both in Indiana about 50 miles apart). Talk about a tank! It was even the color of one. We could get 4 other co-eds in it with all their luggage. The trip was 250 miles on 2-lane roads, and I think Dad figured it was cheaper to buy us a car to drive back and forth than to take time off work to drive us to college.

2523 The trophy wife

At dinner last night I was browsing through the latest GSLIS Annual Report (University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science)--the campus wide bioinformatics master's program, the certificate of advanced study in language and speech processing, advanced study certificate in digital libraries, and its LEEP (online education) program. I said to my husband, "If I were 20 years younger, I might just try one of these." Without missing a beat he said, "If you were 20 years younger, I'd have a trophy wife."

Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday Memories Honoring our Veterans

For all who have served, thank you for our freedoms. May we honor you by not abandoning them.
Dad and his brother in 1944

"From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles
In the air on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to bear the title
Of United States Marines."
The Marine Hymn

"After the Marines participated in the capture and occupation of Mexico City and the Castle of Chapultepec, otherwise known as the "Halls of Montezuma," the words on the Colors were changed to read: "From the Shores of Tripoli to the Halls of Montezuma." Following the close of the Mexican War came the first verse of the Marines' Hymn, written, according to tradition, by a Marine on duty in Mexico. For the sake of euphony, the unknown author transposed the phrases in the motto on the Colors so that the first two lines of the Hymn would read: "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli." "

Victory in Tripoli, our first war with Islamic terrorists in the 18th century.

Who would have thought when Dad and Uncle Russell had this candid shot fighting in the Pacific, that members of our Senate 62 years later would be trying to gut our history, honor and country?

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2521 The ultimatum

After seeing this fashion trend several times this week at Lakeside, I told my husband that if he starts wearing suspenders with plaid shirts, I'm outta here.

2520 Charlie Gibson's Amazing Escape

Can you imagine how happy Charlie must be to escape all those ladies on Good Morning America? I'm a woman and I'm often embarrassed by the chatter and talking over each other they do on that show attempting to be bright and cheerful. It seemed to me they often passed to him some stories that were definitely less than a guy-thing.

I don't know when he starts his evening duties anchoring the news, but I just watched for what seems the umpteenth time an overview--just in time for Memorial Day--of the latest Iraq scandal. If ever the mainstream media deserved the moniker "lamestream," it has been this story. Our troops perform with honor and courage 99.99% of the time, and this is what gets airplay on one of our most solemn holidays to honor our war dead. It is being investigated, as it should be--our system works. I hope it will turn out to be as phony as the Jesse MacBeth story.

Charlie, I'm going to give you a break here and assume someone else wrote the words and you were told to read them. Good luck in the new assignment.

2519 Is the Kerry story going to be flipped again?

Let it go. Viet Nam would never have been an issue in the last presidential campaign if Kerry hadn't trotted out his make-over. (His behavior after his service, yes--that would have been an issue.) Now Captain reports that Kerry might be trying to bring the Swift Boat Vets up again. Story here. Captain says he hasn't posted on this topic in 18 months, but has a list of unanswered questions ready.

, who by the way, served in Viet Nam.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

2518 Who would lie about Spudnuts

My entries on how to fix a broken zipper (can't be done) and memories of Spudnuts in Urbana, IL (University of Illinois) in the 1950s and 60s get a lot of hits. This week I heard from Mark, who left this comment:

"My grandfather, Herman Trapp and my dad, Fred Steffens; owned and ran the Spudnut stores in Urbana, IL until my grandfather’s stroke in the middle ‘60s. I love spudnuts and Krispy Kremes don’t come close. I remember as a kid, crawling on bags of potato flour and helping Grandpa stock the stores on the weekends. Glad to see you have fond memories of the Spudnut and the Spudnut coffee house.

Mark Steffens
CPS - Sales and Technical Service"

Now, I haven't checked out the veracity of this memory, but I want to believe it, so I asked for his permission to post it. has a forum about Spudnuts, the various shops, and people like me still yearning for them.

Here's a recipe for spudnuts, using mashed potatoes, not potato flour, but this lady says they taste really good.

2517 Saling at the Lake

Yard Saling, that is.

The right image is important--I wore two shades of denim and sensible librarian shoes

Lots of variety in this one--chairs, toys, mattresses, floral wreaths, picture frames, pots and pans

Lakesiders use the honor system--just drop the money in the jar and make your own change. This jar was full and I didn't see anyone around to take it in the house.

Every house on this corner had a sale. I think some people are just trading.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

2516 Bloggers, too

Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote "People such as [Howard] Stern and [George] Carlin have built careers out of making obscenity funny, that is, if you're emotionally trapped in a 7-year-old boy's psyche." . . .[who] find great hilarity in body functions and are prone to uncontrollable giggles upon hearing vocabulary that refers to human anatomy."

I've noticed that about female bloggers--only they seem to be trapped in a tipsy ditsy babe-at-the-bar persona. Twice this month on Thursday Thirteen I've come across women who tried to use the F-word the maximum number of times in 13 sentences. If there is anything uglier in our language than the Stern and Carlin dog and pony excrement show, it's ladies' night out at the potty mouth party. It's their blog and they can write what they want, but they shouldn't get indignant and hostile when I comment on their juvenile behavior. If they aren't craving attention, turn off the comment feature.

2515 When Maria was Bridget

If your ancestors were Irish and immigrated to the USA, Canada or Australia in the 19th century, you may think that because millions of immigrants were absorbed before (about 15% of the US population was foreign born in the early 20th century), why should it be any different now with illegal workers from Mexico who will get amnesty (displacing those who have been waiting on the legal quotas) and bring into legal residency their entire families, including parents and adult children? The rest of the story

2514 Spam blocks

Many blogs now support spam blockers, and some require registering name, e-mail and URL in order to comment. Many comments are not visible at that site until the blogger approves them. Some comments can go through automatically because they were checked earlier and accepted.

These are the borders of the blog world, put up to keep other writers out who are interested in selling a product, advocating a life style, or just being nasty. If there were no money in it, there would be very little spam. The blog citizen wants to have borders and decide who is allowed in. So why do we care? Wouldn't 1000 messages in our comments window, all the same, be good for stats? What if the spammer wants to sell hot lesbian sex or cheap Viagra or a new cookbook. Why shouldn't he use my bandwidth? Why should I be allowed to deny them access to my blog or make it more difficult? What if the spammer isn't leaving a thousand messages for me to delete--just 150? Wouldn't that be OK? I mean after all, arent't these just guys trying to make a living, and once they scam a few thousand folks, they'll turn to honest work?

That is the attitude and point of view that some of my readers have about the illegal immigrants and the USA border--and my comments were way down this week mainly because people just moved on not wanting to "get involved." But here's a few--imagine you're reading about spammers intruding on your space and bandwidth instead of people sneaking into your country, your town, your workplace, and your identity.

People deserve to live. It is easy for those of us who have much to look down our noses at those who have little.

I can't say I agree with your take on the issue, but I admire you greatly for researching and voicing your concerns.

For instance, with a virtually open border, 100,000,000 Mexican didn't come over the last 20 years. Only 12 million did.

Hot topic that I'll not debate but I don't think anyone can deny the fact that those numbers are mind-boggling.

I'm in Canada so I'm not going to voice my thoughts on these issues.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Claudia, a Hispanic-American leaves a plea

at's Immigration Issues.

2512 Our neighbor to the South and the Narcos

LinknZona looks at the information in the CIA Handbook (something all libraries have for many countries) and comments on how the facts are either laundered to not look so bad, or just can't be determined--like Mexico's population.

"Mexico has 48 consulates in the US while we have only 9 in Mexico. This is a gross imbalance and as has been shown elsewhere (e.g. the Mexican consulates are deeply involved in influencing, or even running, American illegal immigration policy."

Kennedy and McCain had help with the S.2611 "reform" bill from the pro-immigration forces. But it would seem there are strong interests here at home in not closing the border, and it isn't for humanitarian reasons.

"These major drug syndicates, also called drug cartels, are run by people called Narcos, although Narcos can also refer to lower level gangsters and smugglers. If you travel professionally in Mexico and have professional friends from Mexico (as I have and do), you will hear that virtually all the politicians in Mexico are controlled by the Narcos. This includes the current and several former presidents of Mexico. Presidente Fox has much more than a phony concern for the poor people in Mexico behind his demands for an open border. By telling the poor and oppressed of Mexico to migrate north, Mexico relieves its social pressure for reform, gains as much as $50 billion sent back from illegal immigrants in America, and serves its Narco masters. Presidential elections in Mexico have been fixed (see here for example) and it looks as if Fox is headed down this path. Reform would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to the Mexican economy, the crooked politicians, and to their Narco allies."

2511 They are missing a prefix

I e-mailed DeWine and Voinovich today telling them what a disaster they are for the party and the nation, and would you believe the e-mail forms won't work without a prefix--like Mr. Miss or Mrs. Well, fellas, when are you going to add Senora and Senorita because that's where you've taking us.

Business interests, Democrats and Unions

They got what they wanted out of the Senate--S.2611 passed. The Democrats and Republicans who actually need to be responsive to the voters, weren't for it. They'll need to be reelected. It is a really ugly, ugly coalition. In 1986 it was the agricultural interests--now it's the Chamber of Commerce and other business interests. Republicans who are not up for reelection must have their sticky fingers in investments that will benefit. They don't need to worry about their Social Security, which theft of will be forgiven under this plan, because they are exempt and get to have a private plan. The Democrats need a permanent underclass in this country or they can't get elected. They need new ways and new folks to make tax transfers to. The unions have been losing numbers and strength for years and need a transfusion. And the Republicans have sold their soul for a mess of pottage.

There's even some in this mix, and I hope they are few, who don't want to interrupt the flow of drugs into this country, but I don't know what to call them--old fashioned criminals?

2509 Laid back at the Lake

The painting above the fireplace is us at the beach our first summer at Lakeside (the beach being East Harbor State Park since Lakeside just has rocks). My husband is stretched out over two chairs watching a very fuzzy, snowy Canadian TV show on our non-cable TV. This is window washing time--an exhausting, grubby job. We have division of labor--he does the tough stuff, I do the easy jobs.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

2508 The game we won't play this week-end

We opened our new game, Lighthouse-opoly tonight. Bill and Joyce are coming for the week-end--thought we'd give it a try. But oops. There are supposed to be 6 tokens, a lantern, captain's wheel, ship, keeper's cap, bell and buoy. All we got was a buoy. So I logged into the site to fill out a customer report and noticed that one of the categories was "missing pieces." Makes me wonder if they have this problem often. I suppose we could create little tokens from twisty ties and q-tips, but somehow, that just doesn't sound like as much fun as a captain's cap or a bell.

All sorts of changes in the neighborhood (at the lake). Took some photos today. My azalea, which is planted in the wrong spot because I have such a brown thumb, is blooming like crazy.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen reasons I have called my SenatorsSenate bill 2611 (Hagel/Martinez bill) will be called Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act if it passes. (Or Mexamerica.) We're not talking just about workers. There are 13 groups to think about. CIRA will have both amnesty (for current illegals) and a guest worker plan (legals). And a plan for all their extended families. These are the cumulative figures for the next 20 years. While our Senators dither and blather about agreeing on a "comprehensive plan" millions are scrambling this moment to get across the border so they can claim amnesty under this plan.

1. Amnesty for current illegals--10,000,000

2-3. Spouses and children of Amnesty recipients--6,000,000

4. Guest workers--20,280,000

5-6. Spouses and dependent children of guest workers--24,330,000

7-8. Siblings and adult children of newly legal immigrants listed above--5,080,000

9-10. Employment based visas with spouses and children--13,580,000

11-12. Parents of the newly naturalized citizens listed above--4,970,000 (his and hers)

13. The usual immigrants still allowed under our current laws--19,000,000

Like the enabling parent who never cuts the apron strings for its helpless adult child, the USA contributes to Mexico's poverty by employing 15% of its labor force who can then send money back home to keep the inept government afloat.

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2506 Taylor Hicks

I've seen American Idol maybe once in five years. Reminds me of the Arthur Godfrey show--which I never watched either since my parents didn't have a TV. But this guy, who RR put on its front page this morning, certainly has the look, although I'd have guessed him to be CW. Maybe someday I'll hear something he sings.

"CBS owner William S. Paley detested Godfrey but bowed to his incredible popularity. CBS president Frank Stanton loved Godfrey because his shows were so cheap to produce but drew consistently high ratings. In 1955 when Disneyland cost $90,000 per hour, and costs for a half hour of The Jack Benny Show totalled more than $40,000, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts cost but $30,000. This figure was more in line with the production of a cheap quiz program than fashioning a pricey Hollywood-based show on film." MBC Archives

Cheap to produce and high ratings. Nothing's changed much in 50 years.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2505 Blogging might be light

Friday through Monday, if I can't find a connection at the Lake. We'll go up on Thursday, clean like demons, relax a bit, then welcome friends for Saturday and Sunday. Lakeside and Marblehead take turns having the Memorial Day ceremony and I don't remember whose turn it is this year. There is a Civil War cemetery near by on Johnson's Island, which was a POW camp for the Confederates. As many as 15,000 men were held there over the course of the war. I believe they have ceremonies there too. Gitmo is paradise compared to sitting out a few winters on an island in Lake Erie.

2504 Google jockeying

I saw this term at ACRLog and immediately recognized the behavior. "What is that? A Google jockey is a participant in a presentation or class who surfs the Internet for terms, ideas, Web sites, or resources mentioned by the presenter or related to the topic. The jockey’s searches are displayed simultaneously with the presentation, helping to clarify the main topic and extend learning opportunities." Now, I don't do it in a class, but I do it all the time when I'm reading medical or political or economic material and don't understand the context or terms, or want to know more about what the author has published. Sometimes I fall off the horse, forgetting that I need to get down to the wire.

2503 Dan Quayle was right

Lloyd Bentsen was a good man, and served his country well. He was a brave WWII pilot, and served in many capacities. The media is not serving him well, however, by quipping at the end of every 20 second obit his comment about Dan Quayle not being Jack Kennedy. I think I heard 3 or 4 announcements of his death, and it was like a template--do these news guys all use rip and read script?

Dan Quayle may well have been a much better man than Jack Kennedy--we'll never know. Jack might have become his brother Ted. One is remembered for being assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald and the other by the media. But it wasn't too long after Bush and Quayle left office, that Atlantic Monthly printed the article, "Dan Quayle was Right" by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. In that article she reminds us again of the terrible toll divorce and single motherhood has taken on America's children. Quayle, you'll remember, was unmercifully ridiculed and demonized for taking on the fictional Murphy Brown, whose writers turned her into American's poster mom, who with friends and boyfriends, attempts to raise her child.

"On the night Murphy Brown became an unwed mother, 34 million Americans tuned in, and CBS posted a 35 percent share of the audience. The show did not stir significant protest at the grass roots and lost none of its advertisers. The actress Candice Bergen subsequently appeared on the cover of nearly every women´s and news magazine in the country and received an honorary degree at the University of Pennsylvania as well as an Emmy award. The show´s creator, Diane English, popped up in Hanes stocking ads. Judged by conventional measures of approval, Murphy Brown´s motherhood was a hit at the box office."

Ten years later in 2002 he was interviewed on CNN and asked if he'd say anything differently, and he said no, and he was pleased to see so many fatherhood initiatives.

Do you know that immigrant children are healthier than our native-born children? As our immigrants assimilate and take on our casual family relationships (i.e., shacking up instead of marrying), their children become less healthy. They have poverty, crowded conditions at home, uneducated parents, no health insurance, and probably a lot of stress in the home, yet they are healthier because they are more likely (in that first generation) to have parents married to each other and living together.

Dan Quayle was right. The left has continued to pillory him, panning his 1996 book, "The American Family; discovering the values that make us strong." Their only plan to fight poverty is more government programs, but Uncle Sam makes a terrible step-father.

2502 The lamestream media

American Daughter is using that term; Rush Limbaugh calls them the driveby media. Many people still refer to our usual news outlets on TV, radio and newspapers--CBS, NBC, ABC, Time, Newsweek, CNN, etc. as mainstream media, or MSM. As I've mentioned before, "MSM" also means "men having sex with men" and is commonly used in the medical literature. So sometimes I get confused. Especially if the MSM are talking about the MSM.

2501 Family stories

The prompt for writing group this week is about unusual family stories--either those we've been told or just knew about--did we know the people involved, is it funny, tragic or weird, is the story true and what can be learned from it. I poured through my notes, jogged my memory, and exercised discretion, but decided my family was incredibly boring or else they were gossips who didn't keep secrets for me to uncover. So last night I turned off the computer, went into the living room and said to my husband, "My family is not weird; can I use yours?" He was busy nodding off during a 1950s Dorothy Dandridge movie on TV, and was either startled into consciousness or insulted. "My family might have been on the cutting edge of societal change, but they weren’t weird."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2500 Dixie Poults

have laid an egg for their fans

2499 Library notice

The public library sent me an e-mail that a book I requested some weeks ago is now available (I think it was in cataloging). It's called The Jasons; The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite. I have no recollection of this book, but I must have read a review of it and decided I wanted to look at it. But what surprised me when I checked just now was, it told me that "Customers who searched for "the jasons" also expressed interest in: Men's underwear, low sling, no line (had a photo), Geeks of War, and Learning to eat soup with a knife." The last two seem to be books, but I was a bit surprised that Amazon is hawking skimpy underwear for men or that people looking for books on history of science are buying underwear at the same time! Now that I've read the PW and LJ reviews at Amazon, I'm wondering "What were you thinking?"

2498 A pricey, but beautiful spring day

The furnace man just left. They wear little blue booties when they come in the house--isn't that thoughtful? His voice and mannerisms were exactly the same as one of my high school classmates--a jolly, talkative guy who I think is a closet introvert. It was sort of eery. It wasn't a repair, just a tune up, cleaning the heat pump and a new filter for the furnace. $166. I asked for a price on having the air ducts all swooshed out with that huge vacuum cleaning system furnace companies use. I remember we had that done once in the 34 years we lived in our house, and it is just amazing the gunk and dirt that is cleaned out. So it's based on the number of cold and hot vents. Walking through the rooms I counted 24, which will bring that to about $650. All the main rooms have a cold air return, but there isn't one in the kitchen or any of the baths and halls or laundry room.

And there's a guy on his knees on our sidewalk repairing the mortar between the flagstones which disintegrate with the freezing and thawing and the salt. That will be about $270 as I recall. And my husband called from the Lake and has an eye irritation, so I've made an appointment for him to roll into town at 4:45 and see the doctor. Money talks--it says good-bye.

2497 Happy Birthday NYPL today had this item, and since it concerns a library, I'm noting it: "Ninety-five years ago today The New York Public Library, at the time the largest marble structure ever built in the United States, was dedicated by President Taft in New York City. Designed by J. M. Carrère and Thomas Hastings, it took 16 years to build. Edward Clark Potter sculpted the two lions which guard the entrance. The building's main reading room is 78 ft (23.8 m) wide by 297 ft (90.5 m) long, with ceilings 52 ft (15.8 m) high. The library has nearly 2 million cardholders, and its collection grows by some 10,000 items a week."

Usually when I'm visiting a city, I make a point of visiting the major library, however, the last time I was in New York was in the early 1960s, and wasn't yet a librarian. This summer we'll be in Helsinki and St. Petersburg, and I'm hoping to see some biblioteki (that's not a transliteration of anything in particular--just thought it sounded good).

My father's name was Howard William, and most of my life I thought he'd been named for his maternal grandfather, William, but late in life Dad told me he'd been named for William Howard Taft, who was president until 1913, and who dedicated the NYPL. Taft would have just recently left office when Dad was born (inauguration was March 4 in 1913 and Dad was born later in March), but maybe my grandparents didn't like Woodrow Wilson. The doctor forgot to register Dad's birth name at the county courthouse, so when he went to file for Social Security Dad discovered his birth certificate said, "Baby Boy" instead of Howard William. But both of his parents were still living, so the county accepted their affidavit that he was what he'd been called his whole life.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Call your Senators right now!

Don't wait! I have just phoned the Columbus offices of Senators DeWine and Voinovich and told them I do not want to have our country overwhelmed by millions of immigrants as S.2611 will do.

Read American Daughter.

"The Senate is poised to pass S. 2611 this week, the giant amnesty bill that would change the demographics of our country and start us on the slide into rampant crime, drug culture, and third world poverty. Every thinking American is needed at this moment to phone, fax, or visit their United States Senators and oppose this legislation."

She links to the phone numbers.

Numbers USA provides these 10 years estimates:
20 million — Frist's bill (S. 2454)
25 million — McCain/Kennedy bill (S. 1033)
31 million — Senate Judiciary bill (no #)
32 million — S. 2611 (now on Senate floor, based on the Hagel/Martinez bill)

Remember the CIRA (S.2611) is conservatively 103 million immigrants in 20 years, according to Heritage Foundation research. Only about 20% of those will be "guest workers" the rest are their relatives and children. And they are stealing our Social Security with the blessings of the Congress!

Monday Memories of summer camp

Have I ever told you about summer camp?

Americans have had a long love affair with the camping experience, both the organized and informal types. My mother told stories of camping as a little girl with her parents in the 1920s. They packed their cooking utensils and tents and strapped the dog's carrier to the running board and headed for Nebraska where they owned property. The family also attended a summer camp in northern Indiana, Winona Lake.

When I was a child, my parents never camped or even took family vacations. However, our little town, Forreston, where we lived until I was in 6th grade, offered "summer recreation" about which I have extremely fond memories. Today it would be called a day camp. The school and grounds (there was only one building for both elementary and high school) were open for crafts, sports and games. We played volley ball and bat mitten in the gym, and soft ball and running games outside. We made those necklaces and bracelets from colorful plastic coated strings, wood burning projects, weaving, and pottery. There were team sports, but summers were pretty hot, so I remember also sitting in a circle under a shade tree for quiet games. I think I only walked 2 blocks to get there, and spent most of the day with my friends. It was all supervised by adults and I don't remember them being at all intrusive or controlling--they just organized things and walked around with clip boards (in my memory). For the 1940s, I think it was a pretty progressive way for the town to look after the children (and we all had mothers in the home since few women were employed, so that wasn't the purpose).

Our house at the star, school at the square

But the absolute best event was rolling our swim suits in a towel, boarding the school bus at the school and driving the 30 miles to Sterling (singing the whole way) which had an outdoor pool. I couldn't swim but I loved splashing around and screaming. Then on the way back, when we were all famished and reeking of chlorine, the driver would stop at a road side ice cream stand and all the wet, bedraggled children would stream out of the bus and get in line for a Sugar Daddy or an ice cream bar. Since I never got these treats at home, I probably thought this was the best part of summer camp!

But we children also went to summer church camp at Camp Emmaus east of Mt. Morris, IL. In 1950, when it had only been open a few years, the costs were about $11 a week and I blogged about it two years ago. My older sisters must have attended as soon as it was opened. We had campfire, singing, vespers, Bible study, crafts, and great food. Not only was I a camper there, but I was also later a junior counselor and a junior cook. The camp looks very much the same today, and is managed by Bill Hare, who was a camper when I was. My brother was the camp manager when he was in his mid-20s.

From my scrapbook, 1950, with both my name and town incorrect

Camp Emmaus 1953, Sara and me (on left)

When I was in high school, maybe about 15 years old, I attended a School of Missions camp on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin with a few other girls from my community. It was interdenominational and more study oriented, although there were water sports. In the photo of our cabin I recognize me, my sister Carol (back row left), her friend Dottie (they were 2 years older), and my classmate Priscilla. We apparently brought dresses along to wear for church. That's me in the front with the hoop and white 2" heels (fun to wear on gravel streets). The other photo is Priscilla and me, dressed for typical camping activities.

My husband attended Boy Scout camp for several years when he was in elementary school. He doesn't remember its name (when he was little he thought his mother's name was "Mom" too), but knows it was near Indianapolis. His parents, always a bit ahead of the curve, bought a cabin in Brown County, Indiana, when he was about 14 years old, so from that point, the outdoor camping experience was to help with the Christmas trees and the family cabin.

This is getting a bit long, so I'll have to write about my childrens' camp experiences at another time.

Banner photography by Donald Kinney.

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2495 For peace and quiet

build your home next to a cemetery--an old cemetery--according to this Canadian story. New cemeteries aren't particularly pretty, and you might find some digging going on.

"Our" cemetery is having a 200th anniversary celebration remembrance in June. We bought our spots a few months back and I blogged about that here. The invitation says that many of the 70,000 people memorialized at Union fought for our nation in the Revolutionary War and wars since; other established businesses we use every day; some were famous athletes or government of civic leaders. Our friend Jack Park is going to tell some stories about Woody Hayes, Fred Taylor and others. And there will be some historial re-enactors and barbershop quartet.

When I was researching the Forreston part of my Monday Memories, I found this photo of a cemetery that was very close to our house where we children used to play. The girl scout troop was cleaning and weeding as a community service project.

2494 Senate Would Allow 100 Million New Legal Immigrants over the Next 20 Years

The Happy Carpenter doesn't think that's such a hot idea and has the following suggestions on immigration. I think they look pretty good after the first 2 which sound a bit impractical. If you stop by there be sure to scroll up and read the comment of his nephew.

2493 Syphilis is on the increase

Is there any way they can blame President Bush? It has happened on his watch. From 2001-2004 the rate increased to 2.7 cases per 100,000 population, up from 2.1 in 2000. The CDC say this is a result of more gay sex, and the rate is increasing particularly among blacks. For whatever reason, the medical world calls this MSM--"men having sex with men." Since most people think MSM means Main Stream Media, I think they should find a new acronym, or just stick with gay sex. Syphilis is actually going down among women, and often they are getting the disease from bi-sexual men. Bi-sexuals are called "non-gay-identified-MSM who have female partners," or NGI MSM in this article. No pun, but that's a mouthful. Perhaps the rate is going down among women because more men are not pretending to be straight and thus not leaving women with their little gifts.
The article also said physicians under report syphilis and even when it is reported there is a "challenge of locating sex partners about whom limited information is known." In the real world, we call that casual sex or extreme promiscuity. Also, according to the CDC, syphilis and AIDS are often linked and the internet is contributing to the problem. (JAMA, April 26, 2006, taken from MMWR 2006:55:269-273)

"Over the past several years, increases in syphilis among MSM have been reported in various cities and areas, including Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Southern California, Miami, and New York City. In the recent outbreaks, high rates of HIV co-infection were documented, ranging from 20 percent to 70 percent. While the health problems caused by syphilis in adults are serious in their own right, it is now known that the genital sores caused by syphilis in adults also make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually." Triad Health Project

Sunday, May 21, 2006

2492 Libraries probably aren't allowed to report this

A librarian is asked about finding the sexual offender site on the library computer. Here's what happened:

"A young woman approached LHL to access the database. She was guided to a computer and into the database. LHL discreetly retired to the desk.

The young woman came back. "I can’t find him in this thing. He said he was in there!"

LHL said, "Well, let's check if he is in the general offender database."

"He'd better be," she said. "He SAID he was in the computer."

LHL found him and pulled up the entry. The young woman went berserk. She pulled her little boy over to see the screen, pointing at it and hollering, "Look, there he is on the computer! That's his name! See?" She was laughing and hugging her son, obviously happy to have found him.

Her next stop was to find an arson charge for the same man. This seemed to be even more exciting because it had a mug shot. More laughing and hugging.

LHL was stunned. I was stunned when she told me. It was as though her boyfriend was a celebrity because he was "in the computer".

See? This is why saying that parents need to decide what's good for their children in libraries (like my public library) is a can of worms. What do you do when the parents are totally irresponsible?

This odd case is reported at Feel-good librarian.

2491 What's Cindy Sheehan up to these days?

Making money off her dead son and dishonoring his memory, some think. Fighting against the war that took his life, others say. Read this website devoted to her and her personal appearances and see what you think.

An interesting subtext to this website is the "aging left" archive. Meeting with Cindy must bring back the memories of another war protest when they were young and virile (and of the millions of Vietnamese we abandoned and left to die or be "reeducated.")

2490 New notebook time

My new notebook has pretty roses. I blog a lot, but in going through the old one, I found 40+ topics I had noted, but either wrote about something else, or decided against it.

1)Karen Schoemer's book, "Great Pretenders; my strange affair with 50's pop music." This article about how she meets and admires Pat Boone was in American History, March 2006.

4) Poetry in medical journals, Cancer prayer. "Hope is sometimes a puddle/of stale rainwater for a parched mouth. . ." Marc J. Straus, MD

9) Movies that got it wrong.

11) Rituals of our lives.

12) Childhood obesity--watching mothers pick up their children at pre-school.

13) 13 things to lie awake and worry about (for a Thursday Thirteen).

14) Automobile advertising--photo doesn't match the small print.

15) Textbooks in libraries.

16) What I remember from the 70s.

20) End of life laws in Britain.

22) $150 billion--Americans paid to tax preparers and accountants for help with taxes

23) "Sometime we get manuscripts from dead people. I don't mean the living dead, though we get those too." Poetry editorial, March 2006.

25) Letters to the editor; put downs and set ups. [This one's practically finished--I'll have to take another look on a slow day]

26) Did I ever tell you about my Mustang? [for a Monday Memories]

27) Social changes in our society with self-employment/at home employment.

28) Cigna ad "Benefits of caring."

29) Dumbing down curricula to raise performance of low-income and immigrant children.

30) Verizon's content guidelines--seem to be much stricter than churches, TV, libraries, etc.

31) The gene that protects against alcoholism

32) OSU Lantern ad--is this ethical?

36) Do adverbs matter? darkly striking, smiled sweetly, closely followed, probably true

38) Two men sharing a loaf of cinnamon bread [this was for Coffee Spills]

39) Bush's tax cuts--capital gains revenues have increased by 79.9% 2002-2004. Total income slice going to the richest 1%, 5% and 10% of Americans is lower than during the Clinton years.

40) Lots of real estate ad stories, like the furnished 2 bdrm in Bayfield overlooking Madeline Island with fireplace, deck, kitchen, for $190,000.

42) Ilaria Montagnani and kick boxing.

43) Government growth under Bush. (sounds like a gardening story, doesn't it?) Biggest growth in gov't regs is in Security and Exchange Commission, FDA, IRS and ATF--we've got 66,000 more snoopers. Gov't regs are costing us about $8,000 per household.

44) Poetry editor of JAMA is Charlene Breedlove--she published a poem by Joannie Strangeland. Am I the only one who finds that funny? Pseudonyms?

And to think I have a box of these old notebooks--all with stories hoping to be written. Instead, they languish in blog hell.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

2489 America’s Diabesity Problem

There’s a word my spell check flags. DIABESITY. It's a combination of two words--one disease and one condition--diabetes and obesity. Dr. Val Jones at this week says:

"America's diabesity problem is not about moral failure, laziness, or lack of effort. It's about the wrong philosophical underpinnings. We have fallen for the idea that there is a quick fix for everything -- especially weight loss. We look to fad diets, extreme athletics, diet pills, and surgical interventions as a miracle cure for all of our problems.

We must make a philosophical frame shift towards a rehabilitation model of weight control. Why rehab? Because rehabilitation involves a long-term commitment; an acknowledgment that the opportunity for weight regain will never go away; and that an individualized, multidisciplinary approach has the best chance of success.

Rehabilitation literally means "the restoration of lost capabilities." It is a hopeful word, because it presumes that individuals have the capacity to improve, to walk farther, feel better, maintain a healthy weight, and add life to years. Rehabilitation medicine physicians use an integrative, holistic approach to wellness. They coordinate teams of physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, and nutritionists to help patients meet their goals. For this reason, I believe that rehab specialists are the best equipped to provide the kind of complex, long-term solution that is required to reverse the diabesity epidemic. Let's rehabilitate America!"

Why does this concept make me feel so uncomfortable? Is it the "We must. . ." phrase that makes me envision even more government fingers in our food and athletic socks? I don’t think rehab is a positive word for most people--not if you've ever suffered through restoring a shoulder after rotator cuff surgery, or arm mobility after a mastectomy. And yes, I'd say looking for a quick fix is a type of laziness, Ms. Jones.

I'm a bit heavier than I'd like to be--maybe 15 pounds, and to be honest, it isn't fast food, it is just f-o-o-d. Too much, too often. There. I've said it. I'm now walking 2-3 miles a day, but I also just made a peanut butter chocolate pie. I won't gobble it down in one sitting--I'll only have one small piece a day--my husband will eat half. And I'll eat it--gasp!--because it tastes good. It tastes a heck of a lot better than exercise feels. Move more + eat less works every time. No team, no therapist, no counseling. There. That's my philosophy, Ms. Jones.

2488 Notice to Ohio Restaurants and Contractors

I am sick to death of hearing our local business people whine that they can't find American workers--no, not find them, what they say in Ohio is American workers won't work as hard or as long as the Mexicans. Well, fellas, just keep it up because the unions are salivating just waiting to get ahold of your fine Mexican roofers and rough carpenters, and you won't be paying them $8.00 an hour then. You may be saving money on the front end, but the rest of us are paying on the back end. And when you've given the country away? Then what? How about I stroll into a restaurant or show up at the job site wearing one of these?

If you're hiring illegals, you too are an illegal, the only difference is you know better and you are a citizen.

Friday, May 19, 2006

2487 Why can illegals get Social Security and I can't?

"The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents." Story here.

I wonder if I got Mexican citizenship and snuck back across the border, I'd be able to collect my own Social Security?

Because my pension is from state teachers (STRS Ohio), I can't collect either my SS or the spousal part of my husband's. I think the NEA really ought to look into this, although I know it would rip out their liberal souls to do it. And yes, I'm well aware this happened under Reagan; that doesn't make it right to give criminals with forged IDs and SS numbers benefits and deny them to me.

Would almost serve 'em right if it was my SS number they stole! They couldn't get a dime.

2486 I can hardly wait

Shock magazine will be on the newstands next week. I collect premiere issues. The word is . . . Gross photos. Uncensored stories. Rotting flesh. Celebs. Oh, goody. Sounds like just another laddie mag. Maybe I'll pass.

New York Post story: "One of the few launches from a major magazine publisher will hit newsstands on May 30 when Hachette Filipacchi Media unleashes Shock with a print run of 300,000 and a cover price of only $1.99.

"We think we are a category buster with a new product," said Hachette Filipacchi CEO Jack Kliger.

The magazine's content will range from the bizarre to the sexy - although only the Web site will have the nudity that made it into print in a French version, Choc, launched two-and-a-half years ago.

"We're certainly going to show images that press the envelope a little bit," said Mike Hammer, the editor-in-chief of the American version and formally the editor-in-chief of Dennis Publishing's Stuff."

Well, the price on the first issue looks OK. New issues are up around $4-$5.00. Newstand and subscription price means nothing. Wired is $10.00 a year because it is loaded with expensive advertising. I think there aren't a whole lot of advertisers for this genre.

2485 How's she doing?

Here's the record of my representative, Deborah Pryce, dist. 15 (Columbus, Grove City, Marysville) on immigration. Ohio's Senators, DeWine and Voinovich, are graded a D on this web site, Americans for Better Immigration, and she gets a C. Definitely a helpful site.

Update: As of today, DeWine went from a D to an F; Voinovich went from a D+ to a D.

2484 Friday Fourteen on Immigration

To my knowledge, there is nothing going around called the Friday Fourteen, but Tran Sient's Watch had fourteen phrases that are obfuscating the issue, and this is Friday, so . . . It was too good to pass up.

1. Living in the Shadows – There is a very easy way to come out from the shadows. Walk right back where you came from and declare yourself free from shadows.

2. The jobs Americans will not do – I’m not going to take the time to rail against this again. It deserves its own post.

3. Undocumented immigrant/laborer – Oh please, we aren’t that stupid.

4. Nation of Immigrants – Perhaps we should erase the borders and declare ourselves to be an amorphous confederation of wanderers.

5. Comprehensive Immigration Bill/Reform – Let them stay and become citizens or we do nothing about the border. Either way its come one, come all. Screw you American Taxpayer.

6. Militarizing the border – If you don’t like it, go home and complain to the Mexican military/drug runners on your side of the border. See if they can help you.

7. We Are America – Over my cold dead corpse.

8. Legislation that would criminalize illegal immigrants – Call me confused. Is it currently legal to be illegal?

9. A day without Immigrants – Shouldn’t that have been ‘undocumented wandering laborers’? Why limit it to a day?

10. Pay back taxes – How much income tax does one pay on an ‘undocumented worker’s’ salary? I’m thinking that those W2s from the last five years are going to be hard to find.

11. Catch and Release – Large mouth, brim or trout?

12. Pro-Immigration – Pro-Illegal-Immigration

13. Path to Citizenship - Amnesty

14. Guest-Worker Program - Amnesty

Thursday, May 18, 2006

2483 Time to pack it in

These 18 Republicans need to be removed the next time they come up for reelection. I've borrowed the list from Powder Blue Report and haven't checked, but I see DeWine and Voinovich of Ohio are on the list of Republican Senators who voted against enforcing our immigration laws (Johnny Isakson's amendment).

We've got a serious ménage à trois here with the unions, the Democrats and business interests. The unions need fodder for membership; Democrats need a permanent class of victims for votes; and shoddy businesses need cheap labor. Any American who thinks we benefit from this cheap labor needs to look at the other side of the ledger and total the social costs, including crime, education, housing, uninsured drivers and health care to name just a few. Most states are going bankrupt from Medicaid costs--but illegal immigrants can get it. Amnesty. Shamesty. They aren't interested in U.S. citizenship--they're just sending money home. Their own worthless government needs it so their light skinned Euro leaders can stay in power.

I personally don't think we need a wall, a fence or new laws. We need some law enforcement. What if the rest of us just decided to stop obeying laws we don't find economically convenient--like income tax, zoning, family leave, Title IX, emission standards. If illegals can do it, why can't we? But these idiots don't even see the need to secure the borders while they figure out what to do. How many more millions will stream across while these folks dither and quiver?

Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Chafee (R-RI)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Craig (R-ID)
DeWine (R-OH)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagel (R-NE)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

We miss you Dad

My Dad died four years ago--May 18, 2002. This photo, which I think was taken about a year before he died, makes me smile because he's standing in front of a shelving unit with a plate behind his head, and it looks like a halo! Christians don't believe we'll become angels, but we do believe in a bodily, physical resurrection, and I know that someday Dad won't have the frail body you see in this photo. He'll be strong and healthy and doing the Lord's work.

Thursday Thirteen about the Da Vinci Code

Don't let Dan Brown or Ron Howard ensnare you in their web. The book and movie are fiction, but even the background that Brown calls "fact" is false. If I wrote a novel and screenplay about 9/11 and placed the WTC in Columbus, OH, and made the terrorists Dutch nationals you'd probably think it a bit screwed up even if Tom Hanks played the lead.

The New Testament was pretty much completed before the end of the first century after Christ, so Brown's just a victim of his own imagination on that one. The Priory of Sion has been proven to be a hoax, not from the 11th century, but from the 1950s created by Pierre Plantard. Brown's whole novel depends on this hoax, which he claims to be fact.

1) The Council of Nicaea didn't decide the divinity of Jesus. There have been Dan Browns around for 2,000 years and a few in 325 for the Council.

2) Long before the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), Jesus declares himself God to his followers and they believed him. Brown ignored not only the testimony of Jesus, all his disciples, the writers of the Gospels but also these men (called church fathers), all of whom wrote for believers before the Council took place:

3) Ignatius and Clement, 1st century

4) Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian, 2nd century

5) Origen, Novatian, Cyprian and Methodius, 3rd century

6) Lactatius and Arnobius, 4th century

7) Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the resurrection and wasn't a prostitute.

8) There is no Biblical evidence that Jesus was married, and no reason to keep it a secret if he was. His first miracle was at a wedding; he held a much higher view of marriage than the current Christian church.

9) Da Vinci says the figure in the painting is John. He's the artist, so he should know.

10) There's a lot of evidence that Dan Brown plagarized huge sections of another book and there's huge evidence that by the end of the first century A.D. Christians accepted the current books of the Bible. So who you gonna believe? A guy who makes his living writing fiction and laughs all the way to the bank, or the guys who died for their beliefs?

11) Constantine had converted to Christianity, so he wasn't a pagan, and he had nothing to do with deciding books for inclusion.

12) The Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish and pre-date Jesus.

13) Gnostic gospels were written much later than the books of the New Testament and are basically Greek, not lst century Jewish. They also did not value women, as Jesus clearly did.

"Discussing the Da Vinci Code" by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole, Zondervan, 2006.

Banner photo by Donald Kinney,
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2481 My new walking companion

My walking routine is up to about 2.5-3 miles a day, depending on the weather. Joining another group of ladies here and abroad on the internet has really helped. Yesterday at the library I checked out the audio book "Christ the Lord; out of Egypt" by Anne Rice. I've never read her vampire stuff--actually, I rarely read fiction unless it is selected by my book club. This book has had excellent reviews (but then, many like Dan Brown's fictionalized/ fabricated "history" too). This book uses a real person, Jesus as a young child, but is based on the Gospels and New Testament scholarship--not that that would guarantee a faithful reinterpretation of the facts, but I'll give it a shot--for a walk in the park.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

2480 I want one of these

Seen at CafePress.

2479 What's wrong with this picture?

Technorati today says there are 39.9 million blogs, so let's just say 40 million. And I am ranked 2,523, but I'm not in the top 100,000. OK, I can handle that. I don't think it has a way to track all seven of my blogs together, and even gets that number wrong, showing something like 9,000+ posts when I can only find about 3,500. But here's a strange thing. Technorati has a little chart that tells how many posts you have per day. This chart says I posted 15 times on May 11. Now that was Thursday Thirteen, but there were only 3 posts. It doesn't count comments, because there were 40. So what is it tracking?The number one blog on technorati is in Chinese. They have a few billion head start on us. There are some gadget blogs doing well like Gizmodo and Lifehacker. Left wing bloggers have spawned, regardless of what they say about the right taking over the country. A couple of blogs I link to are in the top 100.

2478 What I don't understand about safety

I'm just saying, does this make sense to you, because I don't get it.

No one has died from exposure to DDT. But millions die every year in the third world from malaria which could be virtually eradicated by DDT spraying of standing water.

Pain medications that help millions are pulled off the market and the drug companies are sued if a couple of elderly men die of a heart attack while taking them. This leaves millions to live a life of disability from chronic pain.

No one seems able to decide if HRT is safe for menopausal women. Meanwhile a few million of them wish they were dead or are so depressed from lack of sleep they could qualify for disability.

Illegal immigrants are bringing virulent strains of TB into the food prep areas of our restaurants, and to the crowded houses and apartments they are sharing with other "undocumented" folks, some children in our schools, but we're getting movies and warnings about birds who also ignore our borders.

Bariatric surgery has a rather high morbidity and mortality rate (in my opinion), and even higher for the duodenal switch. Diet drugs disappear from the market if studies show a few random heart attacks or strokes. Why not this surgery for weight loss which is becoming increasingly popular?

Artificial fingernails are a cesspool of germs in every study. Why do you still see women with them in hospitals, clinics, veterinary facilities and food prep areas?

Taking a wild guess, I'd say, "follow the money." If there is no drug company to sue, safety is a lower priority for protest groups.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

2477 What several strokes feel like

BigMamaDoc writes about her series of strokes two weeks ago--and I wondered as I read it if being a doctor helped her at all, or if what saved her was her sister who knew she was acting peculiar and got her to the ER. She said everything was irritating her, like she was being rubbed down with sandpaper.

I'll always be grateful to the doctor my daughter worked for, who instead of firing her, told her she was getting so crabby, he wanted her to see an endocrinologist. He found a massive goiter, starting to suffocate her, and when it and her thyroid were removed, they found the cancer.

So if you're acting strangely, let's hope someone doesn't keep quiet about it.

2476 Americans are losing to the Brits

the battle of the bulge. We are more likely to be overweight and are less healthy. I looked all through the article in JAMA 2006;295:2037-2045, and "based on self-reported illnesses and biological markers of disease, US residents are much less healthy than their English counterparts and these differences exist at all points of the SES distribution." The study used citizens over 50 who were non-Hispanic whites so that they weren't dealing with problems of immigration in either country.

Still, I submit that a white American isn't ethnically or genetically the same as a white citizen of Britain. Even though we speak English, that is not our dominate ethnic group. All of my father's ancestors were Scots-Irish, all of my mother's were Swiss and German (although there was no Germany when they arrived here). I think the researchers need to take a closer look at our differences, not just our social economic scores and education levels.

Smoking is a big problem in both countries in this age group, and that contibutes to lung disease, cancer, and myocardial infarctions. But obesity is, pardon the pun, huge in the USA contributing to higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and myocardial infarctions.

I read this article in print, which is much easier than in pixels, but you can click open the tables and see the information. You really can't dispute that we're fat and not so healthy. I just don't think they've sniffed out the reasons for the differences (other than weight).

2475 Pervert in the library

The Annoyed Librarian is back! She writes about the recent arrest of a pervert using a library terminal to solicit teen-agers for sex.

"I hope the ALA strikes hard and fast to defend the right of this pervert to pick up teenage girls with public library computers. Don't the New York State Police realize that it is an invasion of his privacy and intellectual freedom to arrest him for soliciting sex from a minor on a public library terminal?"

You go girl.

2474 Da Vinci Code Movie

I've written about this at my other, other blog.

2473 Screaming at the radio

Bob Conners, a local radio drive-time talk personality on WTVN 610 a.m. has a beautiful voice. He finds interesting things to talk about and occasionally interviews people about the economy or tourism or education. What makes me want to scream at the radio is the taped interviews for public service announcements. Last week it was a woman describing some kind of nursing program. Her voice was like fingernails on a blackboard--so nasal and unpleasant. And she spoke so fast, I couldn't wait to finish parking the car so I could jam the off button. Don't producers or sound engineers help these people?

Six Ten also has terrible male "voices" doing weather updates. There was (is?) a guy with a Greek surname whose diction and phrasing were so bad that I'd immediately change stations if he came on. I'd rather look out the window and take my chances. Not only was it "rip and read," but I would actually blush on his behalf. He was either an intern or the owner's son-in-law looking for work. I hope someone told him he didn't have the right face for radio.

2472 Reality advice

Columbus Alive (local entertainment newspaper) has an advice column called "Heart to heart." The last issue addressed the problem of a 22 year old woman who was watching so much reality TV that her boyfriend complained because they could never go anywhere or do anything. The advice maven suggested she pick 2 shows to follow and realize she was doing it to save the relationship. Now, if it were me, I'd have suggested she dump the boyfriend, because obviously he was so boring she was numbing her mind with reality TV.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2471 Glenn Beck doesn't get it

Glenn Beck doesn't seem to realize this battle's been lost. Today, as I listened in the car, he's taking calls about a survey that reports 48% of Americans think it is OK for mothers to leave their children in day care and go to work. (That's a paraphrase.) He's the father of new-born girl, of a one-year old adopted son, and two teen-age daughters from his first marriage. As he says, it is the pot calling the kettle black, but he thinks it is best for young children to be raised by a parent, not a care provider.

A child comes into the world already formed. Intelligence, personality, physical appearance, and predisposition to many health problems are already in place.--practically carved in stone. You get to contribute 1%--the values they'll carry to adulthood. Why would anyone want to turn that over to a stranger, if this is your only chance to make a difference post-conception?

On Mother's Day I wrote here about attempting to return to work part time when my children were small and deciding to wait until they were in school when I got a close look at the options. That said, I believe there are some home situations where it's probably better for a child to be gone 10 hours a day (or even it's entire life) rather than live in chaos; unfortunately, those moms are probably not finding quality substitutes. They are such poor mothers, they probably wouldn’t even know good day care if they found it.

Today at the coffee shop a single mom who lives with her boyfriend and 3 sons told me about babysitting for a friend. The other woman, also a single mom of two, has an abusive boyfriend and needed to get away. While he's spreading his sperm around central Ohio, she lives with her father, his girlfriend and her son, and a recently returned sister and her family, all under one roof. Can you imagine the chaos for all those children? Not a married father in the entire household!

The poverty rate for single women who had their first child before 21, didn't finish their schooling or marry their child’s father is extremely high. If she has married the father of her children and completed high school her children will probably not grow up poor. A step-father later doesn't really change the statistical mix that much, for the children's future.

Women--you have the power to change the world. Use it.

Monday Memories--the lost beds

Have I ever told you about our lost and missing beds?

No one noticed they were gone. Until sometime in 1987. We were planning where our house guests would sleep. Then we noticed. We had lost or misplaced many beds.

What happened to our "marriage bed" is anyone's guess. We don't remember where we got it, or where it went, but when we moved from our honeymoon apartment in Indianapolis in 1961 to Illinois, the bed didn't make the trip. When we moved from Maude's furnished room in Urbana to the apartment in Champaign on Third Avenue, we brought over a grandmother‘s bedroom suite with a lumpy and saggy mattress. After the baby was born in 1961 we splurged and spent $60 on a new box springs and mattress from the Champaign Mattress Factory. Did those delivery fellows haul the old one away?

That new "ortho" bed moved to our first house, the White Street duplex with us, and later grandma’s furniture went to Tamara and Sasha (who drank too much) when we bought our lovely oiled walnut set (which we still have). Mom and my sister came on visits so we bought an orange daybed that sort of looked like a couch. It was terribly uncomfortable. Later my brother came and took the crib and dresser for his baby, Amy. The last time I saw the dresser it was around 1984 in Florida. Our baby’s plaid pram with the folding mattress went to the guy who also bought my trombone.

When we moved from White Street to Charles Street, we had an extra bedroom. We bought another double bed mattress set from the mattress factory. The orange daybed moved to Charles Street and then back to White Street (which we kept as a rental property) when we decided to rent the second floor apartment out as a furnished place. Only one double bed went with us to Columbus, Ohio in 1967, so one of them must have gone to the apartment for the renters.

After being in Columbus about 3 weeks, we bought a king size bed from a mattress factory and put the other one in the second bedroom of our apartment on Farleigh Road. Later the top mattress was damaged in the move from the apartment to our house on Abington Road in 1968 (where we lived for 34 years). It got so lumpy from the broken springs that in 1974 I purchased two long twin top mattresses from Lazarus. I have no idea where the King size top mattress went.

Meanwhile, two more baby cribs and a port-a-crib were purchased. The red one was given away to a welfare mother. We still have the green crib and the port-a-crib was finally put in a yard sale last year. For some reason I've been anticipating grandchildren all these years and didn’t let go of those cribs.

25 years later in a truck bed

When the children outgrew the cribs, we bought bunk beds for one and used the double bed (mattress factory #2) for the other. We also bought folding single bed for guests. It was used maybe three times; we sold it to my friend Susan, who later also bought the bunk beds when our son outgrew them. With no place for company to sleep, we bought a couch that converts to a queen size bed around 1978. It was in the family room for years and then was given away around 1993.

We bought our daughter a queen size waterbed with under bed storage and a bookshelf headboard when she was a teen. We sold her old bed to the person who answered the ad for the dresser that matched the red crib that went to the welfare mother. We also bought a soft sided waterbed in 1983 for ourselves. We gave our son one half of the king size bed (whose box springs came from the mattress factory and the mattresses from Lazarus) and gave the other half to his friend George (who changed his name to Stuart after a rock star).

When our daughter graduated from high school in 1986 she moved out and took her waterbed. A whiz at packing, she stuffed it all in the back of a Ford Fiesta. Only the crack in the dining room ceiling remained. I bought a navy blue pull out couch and put it in her empty room. Then our son graduated in 1987, moved into his own apartment and wanted his bed (the one-half of our king size). That left his room empty. Meanwhile our daughter, following a family tradition, lost her waterbed in a move to another apartment. So we gave her the navy blue couch around 1990 and she got rid of it in 1994 (how I don‘t know).

I inherited my parents’ maple bedroom suite in 1990 (which had been at Mom's retreat center in Franklin Grove, IL) and that went into our son’s empty room for a few years and then traveled up to the Lake house when I converted his bedroom to my office. Since we already had 2 beds in the Lake house guest room, there was some swapping and donating done. My friend Helen got one. Friends at the Lake gave us a wonderful old style metal double bed with mattress for our daughter’s room in Columbus. I painted it green to match the dresser that matched her baby crib which was in storage. In 2001 we replaced that mattress giving it to our son who had separated from his wife and needed a bed for his bachelor apartment. When they reconciled, he dumped that bed. We replaced our water bed (I have no idea where it went) and bought a queen size mattress set after trying out two others and rejecting them. The faithful old army cot purchased in 1961 and rarely used was sold in our daughter's garage sale in 2001.

My parents’ maple twin set (from Illinois) has come back to Columbus from the lake and the metal bed is back at Lakeside from which it came in our guest room.

Would you believe we had to borrow a bed from our daughter when we put the house on Abington up for sale in 2001 so one bedroom would look right?

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