February 29, 2008
Jordana's Excellent Adventure
I hope you are following along with Jordana & Co.'s excellent adventure in London.
Well That Was A Brilliant Idea....
Technically, it's my Friday off. Nonetheless, I volunteered to bring home a big wodge of work, which I would tell you all about if the rules did not prohibit me from disclosing that [-----REDACTED-----] doofus [---------REDACTED-----] save his incompetent [---------REDACTED------] grrrrrr.
Normally, at least during the school year, I would have the house to myself. However, today also happens to be parent/teacher conference day at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method, which means that while the Missus is off dealing with such matters, the Llama-ettes are home with me.
As I try to juggle responsibilities, I'm reminded of a friend of mine from when I was a kid in San Antonio. His father was a veterinarian and the whole family was, shall we say, eccentric. Among other things, they had three or four large and vicious German Shepherds in their yard. Whether it was because the neighbors complained of all the barking or because the family itself got sick of the noise, I don't know. However, eventually my friend's dad actually removed all the dogs' vocal chords. Afterwards, they would still race up and down the fence hell-for-leather, but literally could only bark in whispers.
It strikes me now that there's much to commend such a strategy. I wonder how much I'd have to bribe the gels' pediatrician?
Happy 38th Birthday, Young Frederic!
(If I've got my math right, of course.***)
(I had to poke around a bit through all the clips of that detestable Kevin Kline Pirates - if there's one thing I can't stand, it's campy Gilbert & Sullivan - but came across this rayther nice performance apparently from the University of Iowa Summer Opera. Not the best film or sound in the world, but I think the pleasant singing, the full orchestra and the good staging make it worthwhile.)
The dialogue that follows this sequence is quite amusing, too:
FREDERIC: Upon my word, this is most curious-- most absurdly whimsical. Five-and-a-quarter! No one would think it to look at me!
RUTH: You are glad now, I'll be bound, that you spared us. You would never have forgiven yourself when you discovered that you had killed two of your comrades.
FREDERIC: My comrades?
KING: (rises) I'm afraid you don't appreciate the delicacy of your position, me boy: You were apprenticed to us--
FREDERIC: Until I reached my twenty-first year.
KING: No, until you reached your twenty-first birthday (producing document), and, going by birthdays, you are as yet only five-and-a-quarter.
FREDERIC: You don't mean to say you are going to hold me to that?
KING: No, we merely remind you of the fact, and leave the rest to your sense of duty.
RUTH: Your sense of duty!
FREDERIC: (wildly) Don't put it on that footing! As I was merciful to you just now, be merciful to me! I implore you not to insist on the letter of your bond just as the cup of happiness is at my lips!
RUTH: We insist on nothing; we content ourselves with pointing out to you your duty.
KING: Your duty!
FREDERIC: (after a pause) Well, you have appealed to my sense of duty, and my duty is only too clear. I abhor your infamous calling; I shudder at the thought that I have ever been mixed up with it; but duty is before all -- at any price I will do my duty.
KING: Bravely spoken! Come, you are one of us once more.
FREDERIC: Lead on, I follow. (Suddenly) Oh, horror!
KING/RUTH: What is the matter?
FREDERIC: Ought I to tell you? No, no, I cannot do it; and yet, as one of your band--
KING: Speak out, I charge you by that sense of conscientiousness to which we have never yet appealed in vain.
FREDERIC: General Stanley, the father of my Mabel--
KING/RUTH: Yes, yes!
FREDERIC: He escaped from you on the plea that he was an orphan?
KING: He did.
FREDERIC: It breaks my heart to betray the honoured father of the girl I adore, but as your apprentice I have no alternative. It is my duty to tell you that General Stanley is no orphan!
FREDERIC: More than that, he never was one!
KING: Am I to understand that, to save his contemptible life, he dared to practise on our credulous simplicity? (FREDERIC nods as he weeps) Our revenge shall be swift and terrible. We will go and collect our band and attack Tremorden Castle this very night.
FREDERIC: But stay--
KING: Not a word! He is doomed!
I was telling the Llama-ettes all about poor Frederic's plight this morning. They think he's very silly. They were also all eager for me to queue up the operetta for them....that is until they realized that I only had a CD version of it, not a video. (My CD - done by the D'oyle Carte people and the Royal Philharmonic, is excellent. But I've never come across a decent DVD version. As I say above, I detest that Kevin Kline version from the 80's, but none of the other videos I've seen have been very much better.) Ah, well.
(***At one point in the opera Frederic tells Mabel he won't reach his 21st birthday until 1940. That's 68 years ago. I divide 68 by 4 to get 17, which I then add to 21.)
Read Up from Liberalism from the Daily Diary of the American Dream.
February 28, 2008
Is It Still Considered Temptation If The Book Is A Good One?
Following on yesterday's sad news and given that we're still in the midst of Lent, regular reader Mink Monica emailed a recommendation that I pick up Bill Buckley's Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith, which I of course immediately did.
I suppose this is a lesson that even the devil's website can be turned to good purpose.
I'll let you know what I think.
Cool Cold Pick of the Day
Regular Llama Fan Mike sends along this totally awesome pic of life in teh Navy in Maine in the winter. The ship, USS Sterett (DDG-104), is headed up the Kennebec River, presumably going to the Bath Iron Works. That's Fort Popham on the left, a Civil War era artillery post, and Gilbert Head behind her.
When you're sitting in your office kvetching that your toes got a bit cold on the walk in from the subway this morning, stop to consider what these guys do day in and day out. God bless 'em.
UPDATE: Speaking of this spot, in fact the mouth of the Kennebec was the site of Fort St. George, the first English colony in New England, founded in 1607. (It would be off to the left in this pic, behind the battery and behind the crest of the land.) In 1608, having endured a winter there, the colonists decided they didn't like it very much and went home. Can ya blame 'em?
The unkindest cut of them all
You know the drill by now: cue this clip up, get out the kleenexes, and savor the slow, sweet, ride of the S.S. Clinton into the icy depths of the ocean of obscurity.
Or, as the rogues were wont to say, what a drag it is to get old...
The sheer awesomeness of this defies description
Although I imagine he was a Reds fan, somehow I think William Howard Taft would approve:
Red Sox broadcaster and former player Jerry Remy was officially sworn in as the president of Red Sox Nation on Wednesday in the nation's capital.
Remy -- a cult hero in New England -- was officially elected last October.
Along with vice president of Red Sox Nation Rob Crawford, Remy was issued an oath of office by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
The oath contained the following: "I, Jerry Remy, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of Red Sox Nation. I pledge to be true to the game, true to our fans and, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and promote all that is great about the beloved sport of baseball and the Boston Red Sox."
Now if I can only find the time to dredge up a pic of Washington's first swearing in and a little private time with my neglected copy of photoshop....
February 27, 2008
Requiescat In Pace, Bill Buckley
Oh, dear. William F. Buckley, Jr. dead at 82.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, Bill Buckley has always been one of my heroes. Apart from his worldview, he was a true gentleman. When I was in college, I wrote him a letter containing a little joke having to do with my subscription to National Review. He immediately wrote back himself, thanking me for the joke.
More, as you might expect, over at NRO.
YIPS from Steve-O: Greatness.
Well, Now ***
Now Deb has been a lloyal Llama reader for a very long time, and although we disagree about some things, she is no troll. Nonetheless, I feel that at least some of her response is, in fact, a straw-man argument that mischaracterizes my belief. For example, just because I think that "Influence X" has a corrosive and even evil influence on people who are swayed by it, that does not mean that I think such people themselves are "evil". And it certainly doesn't mean that I think they should be strung up from trees or nailed to fence-posts or, to use Deb's own Osama analogy, blown up with bombs.
More importantly, however, in damning what she sees as a dichotomy between reason and belief in the West, Deb slips the Creationist brickbat into the debate:
The big issue is, of course, evolution. It contradicts the fundamental idea of Genesis, so it must be wrong. In Genesis, Man's creation is strictly separate from the creation of the rest of the world. No evidence will ever prove evolution right,* no one will ever move the creationists one inch from their current understanding. And when you try to discuss it with them, they usually resort to the "No true Scotsman" version of ad homenem attacks. "No good person" or "No true Christian" holds with evolution.
So in the end, [Augustine] is just another bat to hit people over the head with. [Augustine's] position is that if you agree with him, and live your life according to the precepts he follows, you will be happy and society will be the just society. That is exactly the same position as Bin Laden, except that Bin Laden backs up his opinions with explosives and death for anyone who dares disagree. Now granted, that is a big difference, perhaps even a qualitative difference between the two positions, but the positions are akin. (Like it or not, both men are arguing from dogma.)
Now [Augustine] probably got a lot right - most "serious thinkers" do, even if they also get a lot wrong. (See Aristotle.) But his view of the workings of the universe isn't the only one out there.
With all due respect, this is applesauce, but in Deb's defense, it's applesauce that comes from the superficial and inaccurate popular conceptions of Catholicism prevalent in much of the culchah these days.
I won't get into the assumptions about Millenialism here except to say that Augustine was certainly not one of those We-Need-To-Bring-About-The-Kingdom-of-Heaven-On-Earth-By-Next-Tuesday-And-God-Help-Anybody-Who-Gets-In-Our-Way types. Nor, properly understood, does HMC suggest anything of the sort. But that's a post for another day.
As far as evolution and dogma go, curiously enough the passage I quoted from Augustine (who Deb labels as Aquinas) was aimed at the Manicheans, whom Augustine came to loathe specifically because the dogma about Good and Evil in the world that they preached as the Truth (and which seems to bear some relationship to the concept of Yin and Yang) could not be supported by empirical observation and common sense. Augustine thought them a pack of frauds and charlatans for failing to deal with this and said so.
And indeed, despite bad patches in its history (which, I understand, have generally been distorted in the popular imagination into comic book form, although I don't know enough to comment), the Church herself recognizes that Faith and Reason are not enemies, but are to work with each other. Here is what the Catechism has to say about Creation:
282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves:120 "Where do we come from?" "Where are we going?" "What is our origin?" "What is our end?" "Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?" The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.
283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."121
284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose phy
DIVINE VENGENCE? UPDATE: I have no idea what happened to the rest of this post, which seems to have stolen quietly away into the night. Sorry 'bout that, y'all. The short version of the rest of it was that I'm not a Creationist and that I don't believe there is a split between Truth as revealed by, well, Revelation and Fact as revealed by reason and inquiry, but that the two in fact work hand in hand with each other.
Oh, and in case you're wondering about the quote in the title, it's what Mal said when he faced off against Patience on Whitefall.
WHOOPSIE YIPS from Steve-O: It might have been me, as I made a St. Clippy "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with Gates, and the WORD was Gates" joke that seems to have disapeared as well. I looked for the Airplane! clip of the guy accidentally unplugging the landing lights, but found this instead:
I dunno how they got hold of my college yearbook picture, but I certainly hope them kids is a'gonna pay me some royalties for it! Young whippersnappers!
More politically incorrect advertising from yesteryear over at Nasty, Brutish & Short.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
A long and interesting piece on J.S. Bach in the Hudson Review by Harold Fromm asks the question:
[I]f Bach is The Father [of Western Music], why hasn’t he fired the popular imagination? We have soppy movies about Mozart and Beethoven as well as proliferating biographies for the intelligent general reader, but nothing really comparable for Bach. If we sample the outpouring since the year 2000, the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death, the “life and works” biographies are nothing if not weighty and serious, but these essentially scholarly volumes by Martin Geck, Christoph Wolff, and Peter Williams, despite their generalist pretensions, are hardly readable by nonspecialists. We have fairly localizable “feelings” about Mozart because the personal letters producing those feelings are voluminous. We learn about Wolfgang as a circus freak driven by father Leopold, about the Mozart family’s obsession with “shit,” about Wolfgang’s castigation of Constanze for exposing her ankles, not to mention purported mysteries surrounding the uncompleted Requiem, perfect grist for the mills of pop culture. For Beethoven, again, many autograph materials providing insights into his “spiritual development” (to use the subtitle of an early biography) and his medical problems, his patrons, his financial independence, his nephew, his deafness, his “immortal beloved.” But what is the feel we get from Bach? In fact, who is this seemingly generic father and why has he failed to solidify as part of our cultural ethos? When we hear “Mozart” or “Beethoven,” we think of a person behind the music. When we hear “Bach,” we think of music only.
Fromm goes on to answer the question by noting that there simply is very little source material about Bach aside from various official and business documents he wrote. That's fair enough. But as I've said before, I also think there is a deeper point about the relationship between art and artist. Bach belongs to the pre-Romantic world, in which the art came first and the artisan, if you will, was simply seen both by himself and those around him as the producer or conduit of that art. (Aside from composers, try thinking of any poet, painter, playwrite or other pre-19th Century artist who, as Fromm puts it, "fires the popular imagination." Can't do it, can you? People try with Shakespeare from time to time, but it doesn't really stick.)
The Romantics changed that notion. After about 1800, the art gradually began to be seen as a function of the artist, who was no longer just an artisan, but an artiste. (Of course, this all had to do with societal changes as a whole and wasn't specifically an artistic development.) Beethoven was fully aware of this movement and quite caught up in it. Mozart, I think, was not, but was instead one of the last of the truly 18th Century artists. He has been Romanticized because his brief and (in our eyes) tragic life appeals to the Romantic sensibility. Compare this with, for example, the biography of Mozart's friend and contemporary, the great Franz Joseph "Papa" Haydn, to which hardly anybody pays any attention these days because not only was Haydn firmly an artisan of the old school, he also enjoyed a solid, prosperous, happy and extremely anti-Romantic life.
Aaaaaanyway, after conceding that when one speaks of Bach, one must speak of his musick, Fromm proceeds to do so. One passage near and dear to my heart:
Bach’s posthumous estate lists several harpsichords of various types but no other keyboard instrument. For Bach, it was then and remains now (except for the organ) the keyboard instrument of choice. Nor could it be considered a precursor of the piano or rendered obsolete by it. To begin with, the harpsichord is a stringed not a percussion instrument like the piano, plucked, not hammered, producing a distinctive, tightly focused, and slightly acerbic all-or-nothing sound. To change the quality or timbre one can pull out stops to move a set of jacks into position under another set of strings or use the second keyboard (if there is one) and its own sets of strings. The changes in timbre that result from this maneuver are sudden, not gradual, since it is not possible to alter individual notes by means of touch. The later practice of introducing “expression” into Bach’s keyboard music can only be described as a bad joke that reduces power to preciosity. And of course the chief culprit in this anachronistic practice is the piano.
Hear, hear. I laughed when I read this because my poor, old, beat-up, shot-string, 40-year-old Kawai upright has gotten so tinny in tone that it's beginning to sound like a harpsichord. The tone certainly helps me try to conform to the best Bach practices, but playing the other day I realized that, yes, I am finally going to have to go out and buy a new piano.
As for Fromm's article, go read the rest. Also, I have most of the books of Christoph Wolff he mentions, and I would heartily recommend any of them if you're at all interested in the subject.
Yips! to Arts & Letters Daily.
So I guess Starsky aint that popular anymore. Or is it Hutch?
In reference to Tina Fey's now infamous (and quite hilarious) pro-Hillary screed from last Saturday night (referring to Bill and Hillary as Starsky and Hutch), this article in the New York Times might very well be the unkindest cut of all. The subtitle might as well be "How Cletus Lost his Mojo."
A nifty skewering SWMNBN this morning:
After saying she found her “voice” in New Hampshire, she has turned into Sybil. We’ve had Experienced Hillary, Soft Hillary, Hard Hillary, Misty Hillary, Sarcastic Hillary, Joined-at-the-Hip-to-Bill Hillary, Her-Own-Person-Who-Just-Happens-to-Be-Married-to-a-Former-President Hillary, It’s-My-Turn Hillary, Cuddly Hillary, Let’s-Get-Down-in-the-Dirt-and-Fight-Like-Dogs Hillary.
Just as in the White House, when her cascading images and hairstyles became dizzying and unsettling, suggesting that the first lady woke up every day struggling to create a persona, now she seems to think there is a political solution to her problem. If she can only change this or that about her persona, or tear down this or that about Obama’s. But the whirlwind of changes and charges gets wearing.
By threatening to throw the kitchen sink at Obama, the Clinton campaign simply confirmed the fact that they might be going down the drain.
And who wrote this? Bill Kristol? the G-Man? Michael Barone? Peggy? No, it's Maureen Dowd fer chrissakes.
Rats and sinking ships.....Rats and sinking ships.........Ommmmmm.........
February 26, 2008
Guess I Wasn't The Only One
Who ignored the Oscars Sunday Night (it was this past Sunday, right?). Worst ratings in a generation.
Dirty Harry wasn't surprised and he sums it up best:
Hollywood spent all year pumping out dark, ugly, poorly-crafted films that insulted America, Americans, and much of what we hold dear, namely our servicemen and women. They’ve spent years insulting us on-screen, in interviews, and yes, during the Oscar telecast. So, what did they expect last night? You hate us, Hollywood. So, while you had your self-absorbed little party we went on with our lives. We may just be a bunch of dumb hicks, but wasting four-hours on pins and needles waiting for the cheap shot — well, if you’ll pardon the quaint expression, a hog has more sense.Amen brutha!
Gratuitous Lenten Observation
[Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a Catholic post, but, I think, an Orthodox Christian one. Stand down, everybody.]
The other day, one of the members of my RCIA class dialed into our Yahoo webgroup thingy with an observation about the Stations of the Cross. At the end of her post, she added:
PS. Random thought for the day, from the ancient wisdom conveyed by this tag on my little green tea teabag: "Recognize that you are the truth." WHAT for goodness sake does that MEAN? Ah, pop spirituality...
Our group leader, a bright spark if ever there was one, had this to say in reply:
See the stations as your way in to the sufferings of Christ. That you might rise with him! And see you tea bag as what it is - in opposition to Christ. I am not the truth for I did not create the world. Christ is the truth - we must look to him as the measure of our existence.
And by a delightful coincidence, I came across the following passage in my current readings just after I'd seen this exchange:
There are many abroad who talk of their own fantasies and lead men's minds astray. They assert that because they have observed that there are two wills at odds with each other when we try to reach a decision, we must therefore have two minds of different natures, one good, the other evil. Let them vanish at God's presence as the smoke vanishes. As long as they hold these evil beliefs they are evil themselves, but even they will be good if they see the truth and accept it, so that your apostle may say to them Once you were darkness; now, in the Lord you are all daylight. These people want to be light, not in the Lord, but in themselves, because they think that the nature of the soul is the same as God. In this way their darkness becomes denser still, because in their abominable arrogance they have separated themselves still further from you, who are the true Light which enlightens every soul born into the world. I say to them, 'Take care what you say, and blush for shame. Enter God's presence, and find there enlightenment; here is no room for downcast looks.
-St. Augustine, Confessions, Book VIII, Chpt. 10.
Now as it happens, Augustine was beating up on the Manicheans in that passage, but as I pointed out to the group (with whom I shared the passage), I think it is equally applicable to modern tea-bag pop psychology (and its many Humanistic cousins). I used to dismiss this sort of thing as just empty twaddle. Now, as I start swimming in far deeper waters than I have before, I begin to see much more clearly its genuinely corrosive effect on the spirit. (And I shudder to think how many people out there might read the same or similar stuff and think "Oh, wow, that's so true!")
As a famous local Evangelical-type likes to say in his radio ads, "not a sermon, just a thought".
BURN ME AT THE STAKE AND CALL ME "SUZY" YIPS from Steve-O: What gets my hackles though is the little paperclip animated-dude on Microsoft Word, and how he pops up and says things like "I am the way to understand WORD." I'll have to check my old copy of the Examens, but I have a gut feeling animated paper clip dude is the embodiment of the enemy, trying to lead us astray in our knowledge of the true path of the Word.
The voice of Satan? You be the judge....
Signs of Spring: LLamabutcher Edition
Spring has come to the verdant Blue Ridge of Virginia: I passed the first county jail work crew out picking up dead skunks off the side of the road today, with the big old sheriff dude with a shotgun the size of a Revolutionary War musket.
This being the new Virginia, though, the sheriff dude with the sunglasses and a gun was a very large and short and scary looking African American woman, and the prisoners mostly scrawny white guys who looked like a motley collection of meth tweakers and check kiters. Think blingless K-Fed, with a mullet.
Swing low, sweet chariot.
February 25, 2008
I mentioned last week that the Missus came home from visiting her parents with a nasty case of strep. Well, now all three of the Llama-ettes have it. And I'm not so sure I don't also.
A Tale of Two Cities
Or, a study in contrasts:
Is it just me?
Or does anybody else read this and think, "Ah, a job opening for the Abbot?"
I'm Robbo the Llama and I'm Quite Mad***
Doing a looooooong pdf document review off a cd-rom. As I flip through the pages, the D-drive in my computer keeps revving up and then cutting off. The sound reminds me of that of an airliner when the pilots start fiddling with the throttle, something I particularly dislike when flying. My palms are beginning to sweat at the mere association of the two sounds.
Thank you verrah much.
(***Mad as in "mad as a coot", not as in "I'm mad too, Eddie!")
Gratuitous Scientific Observation
For all of you following the great Orgle Manor science fair project, just in case you were wondering, mice will dig into seedling trays looking for snacks.
I'm not at all sure whether we're going to be able to salvage the eldest llama-ette's corn samples. Fortunately, both the squash and the beans have shot right up, so hopefully they are mouse-proof. As for the tomato? Well, one sample is up and running, but I'm not sure the others are going to make it.
We have the project set up in a corner of my basement workshop. The gel asked me why we don't just move the tray upstairs somewhere. Want to know? Because I am morally certain that if we do, then the cats will start fooling around with it.
You can't win. You really can't.
MORE OPTOMISTIC UPDATE: Yes, the corn samples are shot, but that seems all that the furry little bastards were interested in getting. Beans and squash are doing fine and a new tomato came up today. I think we'll be able to salvage enough samples to generate some useful data. Meanwhile, I've moved the whole shooting match upstairs to the little dressing area off our bedroom (it has a couple skylights) to keep it out of harm's way.
February 24, 2008
For the Narnia fans out there . . .
the trailer for Prince Caspian.
"But Don't Talk Back To Darth Vader..."
Three year old summarizes Star Wars (IV: A New Hope):
Great. Now we have to keep the keys away from the dog, too
Boxer drives off with man's truck.
February 23, 2008
I guess Rush didn't need the protocols, NOW!
The Times, They Are A'Changin
SOOPER-SEKRET POST TO THE FELLOW ALUMNI OF SCOGGINS NATION OUT THERE:
Perhaps it's just me, but if you had said twenty-plus years ago that Flip Rollo of all people would be signing off on alumni fundraiser letters that contained passages such as this...
Fall semester at [The People's Glorious Soviet of Middletown, CT] was full of new beginnings. With the inauguration of our new president...the entire community looked forward to learning more about his vision for [TPGSOMC]. We are writing today to let you know that we did not have to wait long to hear about an exciting new step for [the place].
...well, I'd probably have said that I had thought Scoggs wanted you to cut out smoking that stuff for the season.
Special Agent Bedhead's favorite supermodel
I'm Robbo the Llama and I'm An Idjit
It was only last evening as I got ready for bed that I realized a substantial part of the reason I had blurry vision and such a headache yesterday was the fact that I had put my contacts in the wrong eyes that morning.
I mentioned this to the family this morning and they immediately started advocating Lasic, a drum they've been beating ever since our next door neighbor announced she was getting the treatment. My philosophy on Lasic has always been this: that the original concept of sculpting the cornea was pioneered by the Soviets and I'll be damned if I trust my eyes -as awful as they already are - to Ivan. In ten years' time when all those Lasic'd people's peepers start swelling up like balloons and bursting, I'm just going to stand by and laugh.
UPDATE: Captain Ned brings up a very good point in the comments about vanity medicine, of which I consider Lasik to be a prime example. Others include cosmetic surgery and/or dentistry, hair replacement and that whole line of products and procedures devoted to, well, enabling older guys to act like randy teenagers again. Frankly, I increasingly find all such fripperies to be morally repellant. Further, I often wonder how so many people come up with the dosh for these sorts of things while, at the same time, howling to high heaven about the health care crisis this country seems to be facing perpetually. And don't tell me it's just Astors and Rockefellers getting boob-jobs, teeth-bleaching and Viagra, either, because it isn't.
This smells bogus . . .
Obama's claim of underequipped troops in Afghanistan. Via Fox. It is a lot like SWMNBN's story about being turned away by a Marine recruiter when she was a law professor in Arkansas. The tale sounds impressive to the Lefty true-believers whose experience with the military is limited to watching "Stripes", but lacks the details which would allow serious investigation. In other words, it is completely unverifiable.
Yips! from Robbo: Sen. Warner has issued a letter to Obamessiah requesting those poison-pills to overheated rhetoric....specific facts. Stand by for lots of huffing and puffing and well-I-heard-it-from-my-friend-whose-roomate's-boyfriend-heard-it-from-his-sister-who's-dating-a-guy-who-heard-it-somewhere.
Well, there goes that idea . . .
Condoleeza Rice is not interested in being McCain's running mate. Looks like John will have to look elsewhere if he wants to balance the ticket with a gal who has the hot older chick "my fantasy job is to be commissioner of the NFL" thing going on. Via Drudge and Reuters.
February 22, 2008
Let me just tell you that it took about an hour and a half to post that last post, so I sure hope you enjoy it.
Storm of the Century of the Week - Winning Ten Cents In The Lottery UPDATE
Despite the fact that the grocery store was mobbed with panicked suburbanites stocking up on durable goods and provisions when I stopped off last evening to get some ice cream for the Missus' poor strep-ravaged throat, it appears that the latest SOTCOTW has only made things unpleasant in the Dee Cee area, not brought them to a standstill. While there was a moderate amount of ice on the ol' Orgle Manor drive this morning, by the time I got downtown I was only a soggy Llama, not a frozen one.
Last evening I picked up the middle Llama-ette from her brownie troupe "thinking day". While we were waiting for the gels to finish, well, whatever it was they were supposed to be doing (imitating savages possessed by the blood-lust from what I could see), I was chatting with another father, trying to recall when the last really big (by Dee Cee standards) blizzard came through. I remembered the big storms of '98, '96 and '93, and we recall one some time in either 2000 or 2001, but since then there really haven't been that many gen-u-ine "snow events".
'Bout time Snow Miser got off his duff, it seems to me.
"YEAH, I'M TALKIN' TO YOU" UPDATE:
Stop with the show tunes and get to @#$()* work!
(The Missus and I went to a law school Halloween party as Snow Miser and Heat Miser one year. No, you don't get to see the pictures.)
February 21, 2008
A Ball Park Buck Rodgers Would Love
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have unveiled the design for a new field incorporating a giant, retractable sail.
In a news conference held in the outfield of Al Lang Field, team officials, Florida governor Charlie Crist, and MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy praised the design of the state-of-the-art ballpark, which will include a unique retractable roof made of a weatherproof fabric that will be pulled along cables suspended between arches on one end and a central mast structure on the other.
"This is one of the most exciting things I've ever seen," said Crist, who owns a condominium that will have an unobstructed view of the outfield.
Just two days before December, Crist and the other officials sweated in suits and ties on a dais located just a relay throw from the Mahaffey Theater, site of Wednesday night's CNN/YouTube debate among Republican presidential hopefuls. It was a reminder of how sultry conditions could be during late-summer games.
The roof, likened to a giant sail, will produce an umbrella effect, retaining the open-air feel. Rays officials, working with HOK Sport architects, deemed a traditional retractable roof impractical because of the small site and undesirable, since it would block the water views.
My guess is that the thing is going to produce something more like a wind-tunnel effect. Wind pushing on the sails of a boat make it go through the water. Where's the wind going to go if the boat won't move? Swirling all over the diamond, that's where.
I have to confess that I'm not exactly in love with the Nats' new stadium, which seems, well, kinda boring. But at least it doesn't look like this thing.
That's No Moon, It's A....No, Wait, Never Mind
Our pal Sarah over at Life at Full Volume got a couple of good snaps of last night's lunar eclipse.
I tried to watch it myself, but it was so dark I couldn't see a thing. Heeeeeey-oh!!!
(No, as a matter of fact, the clouds rolled out of the NoVa suburbs so that by the time the big show started, it was clear as a bell. I took a quick peek but was so worn from a long day that I pretty much said "urmph" and went to bed.)
Storm Of The Century Of The Week***
Run for your lives!
... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 10 PM this evening to 10 PM EST Friday...
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a
Winter Storm Warning... which is in effect from 10 PM this evening
to 10 PM EST Friday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in
A storm moving in from the southwest will bring precipitation into
the cold air already in place over the region. The result will be
light snow overnight... followed by freezing rain Friday into
Light snow will begin during the late evening hours tonight...
likely close to 10 PM. One to two inches of snow is expected
overnight. The snow will change to freezing rain early Friday
The freezing rain will be on and off during the day on Friday and
into Friday night. Significant icing... around a quarter of an
inch... is expected. This will likely cause substantial travel
problems and power outages. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts
through this event.
A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow...
sleet... and ice are expected or occurring. This will make travel
very hazardous or impossible.
As a matter of fact, it looks like tomorrow is going to be an unpleasant day, but not enough so to justify staying home and snuggling back under the blankets. Rats. As I believe Calvin once said, getting an inch of snow is like winning ten cents in the lottery.
***Can you tell how much I enjoy using this post title?
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)
The almost-ten-year-old is off on a ski trip today with her class at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method. It's her first trip to the slopes and, as such, involved a tremendous amount of fussing about over the past few days to ensure that she had all her outdoor gear packed, together with a side trip by Self in the snow last evening to pick up a pair of ski goggles she's borrowing from a friend. It also involved the gel being wide-awake by three-thirty this morning and Self staggering out of bed an hour early in order to get her over to school to meet the bus in time.
The Powers That Be had stated in no uncertain terms that all the kids had to be at school no later than 6:30 AM or else! This meant, of course, that most of them rolled in between 6:35 and 6:45. It also meant, as I am neurotically compulsive about punctuality to the point of near obsessiveness and the gel - at least when she wants something - is getting that way, that we were at school by 6:15, utterly alone in the parking lot. This actually proved to be quite nice. There wasn't much advice I could give her about skiing (I've only been once myself), except to say that of course she was going to fall down but that is to be expected, and also that there is no shame in the bunny slope. Apart from that, we simply chatted in a desultory manner about historical trivia (the gel seems captivated by my Cliff Clavin-like font of knowledge) and politics. (The gel is taking a real interest in the electoral process this time around and wants to know all about the mechanics of the primary and general elections. FWIW, she thinks Obama is enjoying so much support right now because he's cute and people have a crush on him, but that this will fade. You might consider taking that to the bank.) The gel was also eager to try out a string of jokes on me. (Sample - Q: What do you get when you cross a skunk with a sixty-story building? A: I don't know, but it stinks to high heaven. Yes, folks, she'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your server.) We also watched the dawn slowly break, mused about which planet it was we could see in the eastern sky and just generally had a nice few moments together.
Then the other kids started showing up and things changed rayther rapidly. There are two boys in the gel's class about whom she talks almost constantly, mostly to relay a long string of allegations concerning stupid or insulting things they had said or done to her. Nonetheless, I couldn't help noticing that she immediately glommed on to them when they appeared, leaving the other girl who had arrived by then standing awkwardly alone on one foot.
I loitered about for a few minutes, but when the gel noticed that the trip chaperone had arrived, she immediately swung round on me and said, "You can go now, Dad." "What, are you trying to get rid of me?" I replied. She simply grinned and laughed. And as she scurried off, she also wouldn't let me kiss her. ("Not in front of them, Dad!") So far as I can recollect, this is the very first time that's happened. I must say that it caused my heart to thump just a bit off-rhythm for a second as I contemplated the Undiscovered Country. I'm not yet like stout Cortez's soldiers standing in wild surmise on that peak in Darien, but I'm increasingly of the opinion that I'm not all that far below the crest anymore.
Good Shootin' Tex
The Navy nails one. The CHICOMs demand "all relevant information" on the hit, not to mention data. Well, here are the relevant facts: it was broken, we nailed with a missile at 130 miles, and you can do your own beer math on data. Via Drudge and Breitbart.
Super-Secret message to Robbo: Spot the classmate division
Fellow alum doing double duty as a DNC member/superdelegate. I am not surprised.
February 20, 2008
Can I Press The Button? ***
I have to admit that all the little boy in me comes out when I read about this attempt by the Navy to knock down that damaged spy satellite. My one-word reaction throughout? "Koo-el."
*** A stock phrase from my yoot, originally coined by my brother (in a more garbled form) in connection with turning on the dishwasher, but gradually applied to competition among my siblings and me for the operation of many different appliances and mechanical apparati. It is now a family joke. And in the apples-not-falling-far-from-the-tree department, the Llama-ettes routinely spar over who gets to turn on Daddy's coffee-maker in the morning.
February 19, 2008
"An Eloquent, But Empty, Call For Change"
McCain addresses the "ObaMessiah":
I know a lot of pundits are simply quaking over the potential candidacy of "The Chosen One". But, mark my words, the campaign of SWMNBN is only "mostly dead". And even if it were "all dead" I can't - for the life of me - see this unprecedented level of unscrutinized adulation lasting past this spring. Frequent readers know full well that my political prognostications have fallen far short of reality but I know this: 2008 is going to be a trial run for Sen. Obama. When the record is examined, he will be the Adlai Stevenson of our generation.
Chris Matthews (of all people) creates a "humana-humana" moment.
Wow. That was just...uncomfortable. It actually reminds me of the SNL debate skit from 2000 when Gov. George W. Bush (as played by Will Ferrell) responded to a particularly difficult question by leaning in to the microphone and saying authoritatively..."pass".
Best summary of Obama's candidacy I've read so far - from Sean Oxendine at Race42008:
People will inevitably tire of his stump speech, the same way that “Macarena” was a fun dance song the first million times or so that I heard it, before it started to piss me off. You can start to feel this in the punditocracy and in news analysis — what exactly DOES it mean to talk about the “audacity of hope” or to say that “you are the change that we’ve been waiting for”? When Leno and SNL start making fun of Obama’s lofty rhetoric, what exactly will Obama be left with (this isn’t to say “nothing,” but it is to say I really don’t know).
I am informed that owning to the changing out or hooking up or hammering on some kind of doohickee or other in her computer with a pipe-wrench, Mom is now again able to visit Llama Nation after a long hiatus. So, you know, just keep that in mind.
As for the pic, no, Mom looks nothing like Dame Wendy Hiller playing Lady Bracknell. But the notion of her saying to Steve-O, "Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture!" fills me with mirth.
AWW, MAAA UPDATE: Botched quote fixed. At least you know I didn't wiki it. But no last names in the comments, please!
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - "Weekend of 'Auuugh!'" Wrap-Up
Veeeeeery busy today, so only a brief summary of my four straight days dealing with the Llama-ettes single-handedly: I'm happy to report that there was no permanent structural damage and only limited bloodshed.
Indeed, the only real trouble I encountered was when I went to make the gels' lunches this morning. Absent-mindedly reverting to the diet of my own school days, I was just reaching for the sandwich-spread-of-death-formerly-known-as-peanut-butter when I was brought up short by the klaxon-like calls of the gels bursting out in alarum about kids at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method who were so sensitive to the stuff that apparently you couldn't even say "peanut butter" around them lest they burst out in life-threatening cases of hives and respiratory failure.
I confess that I was momentarily thrown. However, the discovery of stashes of yoghurts, apples and left-over mac-n-cheese soon settled the lunch diet issue.
So all I have left to do this evening is pick the gels up at their little friend's house on the way home, cart them off to Orgle Manor and summarily put them to bed (they having been fed at their friend's.) And then? Mommy comes home!
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Didn't Biden get smoked for the same thing?
Clinton, Inc. accuses Obama of lifting lines from Deval Patrick without attirbution. Obama seems to concede the point by saying he and Patrick borrow each other's lines all the time. Joe Biden used soundbites from Neil Kinnock's speeches during his 1988 presidential run. His failure to provide proper attribution on at least one occasion helped bury his chances of clinching the nomination.
February 18, 2008
to Molly Ringwald who turns the big 4-0 today.
Gratuitous Public Service Announcement
In case you hadn't seen, the Crack Young Staff of the Hatemonger's Quarterly have emerged briefly from their collective burrow after a loooooooong hibernation. Whether "Chip" saw his shadow and, if so, what he proposes to do in response remains to be seen, but I'm hoping it doesn't mean another six weeks of hiatus.
Greatest gag ever.
With friends and colleagues like these...
Eeew! With A Gamey Leg?***
Actually, I'm surprised the result isn't higher, given that a) I'm quite hungry at the moment, and b) I'm feeling quite malevolent regarding my doofus colleague. Perhaps if the quiz had asked whether one would be willing to eat one's co-workers instead of one's friends, the results might have been more gruesome.
*** Spot the quote.
WHICH DOOFUS COLLEAGUE YIPS from Steve-O: 100%.
UPDATE: Typo (which is what it was) corrected. Bloody vikings.
Gratuitous Prezdents' Day Grumbling
It's a gloriously beautiful morning here in Your Nation's Capital and I'm stuck all day in my former fortress of solitude summarizing a deposition, a thankless task in any event but made much worse here by the fact that the depo was taken by an utter doofus (no, not me). I don't really have the time to check up on the nooz and surf the intertoobs, but I think I'm going to use this post as a point for rolling updates throughout the day, as random thoughts drift across what passes for the mind of Robbo while I toil away. That's me, Mr. Scattershot.
Speaking of glorious days, I looked out yesterday afternoon to discover the back yard full of robins and starlings. A sure sign that spring isn't all that far off. I love watching robins - there's something infinitely entertaining about the perky and cheerful way they hop about listening for Mr. Worm. Starlings, on the other hand, I can take or leave alone, as they are intensely ugly birds. (I know, I know. That's so hurtful.) I used to listen to a concerto written by a French Baroque composer - either Couperin or Charpentier, I believe - based on the starling's call. But I believe European starlings have a different song than American ones.
So how's it going with the Llama-ettes, you ask? Well, no fatalities so far, although there has been a fair bit of low-intensity skirmishing. They're all outside messing about at the moment and I've got the window open in order to monitor for the sound of shrieking (well, okay, also in order to shoo the squirrels off the bird feeder). I used the same line on them this morning that Mom used to use on us: do not bother me unless the house is on fire or one of you is bleeding to death. On the other hand, last evening I whipped up some bacon and water-chestnut hors d'ouvre for them. And there was much rejoicing.
Alright, alright. Back to the salt mines. I'm sure I'll be checking in again.
UPDATE: Oh, by the way, I hate the concept of Presidents' Day. Bring back the celebration of Old George's birthday, sez I.
SHAKING THE DEVIL'S HAND UPDATE: The gels have gone down the street to play with their friends who happen to have a Wii. I really don't mind.
Next up for Scar Jo and Natalie:
after this, movies on the estrogen channels and photo shoots in skin mags can't be that far away.
Next Stop: Shock Collars
From Newsweek. Skinner boxes are not far away either.
February 17, 2008
Gratuitous Intriguing Alt History Observation - "Veni, Vidi, Vici, Eh.." Division
Asked by the six year old at brunch this morning: "Daddy, did the Romans take over Canada?"
I mused for a minute on what an interesting idea that would be, until I was forced to say that no, so far as anybody knows, the Romans never made it to Canada. (I was careful to phrase it this way because God knows what might have happened to some random ship sailing about in the eastern Atlantic in classical times. I have a vague recollection of reading once that the remains of a trireme had been found off the coast of Brazil, although I never discovered whether that was just a legend or not.)
Anyhoo, Little Miss Persnickety had to kill the buzz by snapping, "That was the French, dummy."
February 16, 2008
By The Nose of Michael!
The indomitable Mrs. Peperium sends along the following from her secure vacation location. We've reached some scary convergance of the streams where I no longer can tell what is real and what is parody.
You be the judge. Either way, it can't be good for SWMNBN.
Gratuitous Domestic Observation
I have a sneaking suspicion that I've reached a certain waypoint in my life when I find myself at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning spending 45 minutes standing at the window and banging on the panes to scare the squirrels out of the bird-feeder.
February 15, 2008
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Gearing Up For The First Skirmish
Pertinent to my post below about this weekend, I had to run out to the hardware store this morning to get some supplies for the eldest Llama-ette's science fair project. Remember what I said about the stubbornness of mules? Call her the Alpha Mule.
The project involves measuring and charting the rate of growth of seeds in various kinds of soil. Simple enough, right? In order to expand the gel's mind a little, I suggested that she ought to run the same experiment on three or four different kinds of seed, in order to see if maybe different plants might prefer different kinds of soil.
"No," she said. "Mrs. B [her teacher] said one kind of plant."
"Yes, but Sweetie," I replied, "That's all well and good, but a general principle of science is that the more data you collect, the more information you can get out of it. And it's not like you have to go out of your way - just set up a couple extra trays with the different kinds of seed next to the one you were going to do anyway."
"No!" she said. "One plant only! That's the rule! I'll get in trouble if I do more!"
"My dear child," I replied again, "You're certainly not going to get into trouble for taking extra steps to expand the scope of your project. And you might just be surprised and interested by the results."
"One. Plant." she said.
So when I went to the hardware store, I picked up corn, squash, beans and tomatoes. We'll see what happens when I show them to her when she gets home.
And because it's Friday, I'm going to go ahead and roll that YouTube vid you've been thinking of since you started reading this:
UPDATE: Point taken from those of you urging caution about the parameters of the project. I could be mistaken, of course, but as yet the gel has produced no evidence of it. Further, I know the gel and I know the teacher. Smart money says the gel either misheard or is just being lazy, either of which is in her eyes perfectly reasonable grounds for digging in.
As long as we're doing Friday vids, here's one for the six year old. She even has a lot of the same moves:
UPDATE DEUX: And here's one for the eight year old. Not that the song especially reflects her makeup, it just happens to be one of her favorites at the moment:
UPDATE TROIS: Science! Surprisingly enough, the gel was perfectly amenable to my suggestion after all when I presented it to her. Go figure. We've now duly planted (or rayther, she's now duly planted) rows of said corn, squash, beans and tomatoes in samples of topsoil, manure, seed-starter (peat and vermiculite), sand and ash. I expect fairly polarized growth figgahs.
Want to stop college gun violence?
Arm the faculty and students. Gun massacres end in one of several ways: the shooter runs out of ammunition, superior firepower shows up, or the shooter offs himself (usually when he is about to run out of rounds or when cornered by the police). "Gun free schools" creates pools of unarmed, potential victims. Read this posting on a television station blog.
"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer."
Meanwhile, in other religion news
Here's a different approach to Lent:
By: Tammie Fields Ybor City – Pastor Paul Wirth says at Relevant Church located at 1731 E. 7th Avenue they're not only talking about sex they're doling out homework. He's gearing up to issue a challenge to his congregation this Sunday. Married couples must have sex for 30 days. Single members have to abstain from sex for 30 days.
Pastor Wirth says "We thought if we could challenge our married couples to really engage in intimacy for 30 days and really focus on each others needs for 30 days it would revolutionize their relationships and if we could get single people to remove sex from the equation for 30 days and focus on what really makes their relationships really work it could revolutionize their relationships the current ones that they're in and maybe their future relationships with their future spouses."
Brent Cayson is a member of Relevant Church and he's single. He says he's stoked about Sunday's lesson. "But it's definitely something you research and try to figure out. What is it that Jesus wants you to get out of it?" Becky Mahan is also single and says "It's just refreshing to have somebody finally talk about it and finally bring things up."
Carl and Kristin von dem Bussche are married church members who have two young daughters a three-year-old and a five month old. Carl says their sex life has definitely changed since they had children. He says he and his wife typically fall asleep the moment their heads hit the pillow. "It's about more than just sex. There's a lot on the guys and the relationship to really meet the emotional needs of their wives."
Pastor Wirth says “Couples across America are struggling in their relationships both married and single people. For married people it seems like the sex is great up front but then for some reason life happens. But when you're single it's like you're always thinking about it and you're like man I'd like to have it as much as possible and sometimes that prevents them from having a great really healthy relationship later on when you do get married.”
Wirth says church is an appropriate place to talk about sex. “Why not? If God truly created us then he created us as sexual beings. So God invented sex and why would the church be afraid to talk about what God invented? God invented it for pleasure along with procreation so why would the church remain silent on it? I think they're remaining silent on it because they're afraid to talk about it."
Wirth points to Song of Songs as a book in the bible that talks very specifically about sex. “I don't think sex was created in the back alleys of the porn industry. I really think God is the one who designed it and it's a beautiful thing and God wants us to enjoy it."
Oddly enough, no Episcopalians were involved in this story...
Gratuitous Fins Posting
Regular Llama reader Mike sends along an article announcing that the Dolphins have cut middle-linebacker mainstay Zack Thomas after 12 seasons and offers this opinion:
I actually see this as a gift to Zack from The Tuna. Zack is on the downhill side of his career. He gave so much of his body to the Dolphins, the best thing they could do for him is to let him go out a winner and that was not going to be the Dolphins any time soon. Tuna also would know that Zack is not a quitter so he would never ever consider leaving the Dolphins volluntarily. No, the only way to give him a shot at a Super Bowl would be to cut him loose. Jason Taylor is on travel now but I expect the Dolphins to do the same when he gets back to Florida. Man oh man, though, I really hope he does not end up with the Pats.
I heartily agree. While it's sad to see Zack go after all these years of selflessness, you can only wish him well and hope that he finds greener pastures before he hangs it up for good. God speed!
Things That Make You Go, "AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!!"
The Missus is leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow to go visit her family in Florida (pronounced "Flaahr-duh" by all those transplants from New York and the greater Tri-State area), and will not reappear until late Tuesday evening. She is not taking the Llama-ettes with her.
Now I love my children dearly, as I hope I've made clear in my many, many posts here about them. Nonetheless, I've no illusions about them whatsoever. They combine the stubborness of a string of mules, the exuberance of a troupe of baboons and the refined decorum of a longboat full of Frisians landing on the shores of Britain. I always reckoned that as they grew older they would grow out of these attributes. As it turns out, so far they've simply become more clever and sophisticated in expressing them.
Patience has never been one of my strong suits, even in the best of times. And as it turns out, I've got a serious boat-load of work to deal with this weekend. (Summarizing depositions. Heigh, ho.)
Yep, I picked a heckuva Lent to quit drinking.
Thank God for that Sunday loophole, however. Don't think I'm not going to be ready for it by then.
SOOPER SEKRIT YIPS to Kathy the Cake Eater from Literary Critic and Man About Town Fitzwilliam Steve-O: This might shed some light onto the extreme antipathy that Robbo (aka "Mister Bennet") the LLama has for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice...
Of course, that would make me Mister Collins, so.....
WELL, IF WE'RE HEADING IN THAT DIRECTION YIPS! back from Robbo:
As a matter of fact, the Missus has on several occasions told me that I remind her of Mr. Knightly, perhaps the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Now we all know that Mr. Knightly was immensely fond and indulgent when it came to his nephews:
However, we leave his and Emma's story before it comes to the point: How would he have felt if the boys were his own and there was no escape from the little blighters? (Hint: The Missus has also noted that in all our years together she never saw me lose my temper until after the Llama-ettes came along. Hint Two, of course, is that I'm writing all of this with my tongue more or less firmly planted in my cheek, even though you can't see it.)
Gratuitous Swimming the Tiber Posting
[Sooper-sekret note to Steve-O: This post is Church-politics free. Easy there, big fellah.]
I had a dream last evening that I was attending Mass. In the middle of it, a woman who looked very much like a cross between Tilda Swinton and Glenda Jackson (beautiful and cruel at the same time) came and sat down next to me. Before she could conceal it in the folds of the fur coat she wore, I saw that she had in her hands a long, sharp pair of scissors. I was positive that she meant to stab me with them and sprang to my feet in fear. As our pal Sleepy Beth would say, and then I woke up, only to discover that I had in fact sprung out of bed as well.
Now I have anxiety dreams of this sort on a very regular basis, but this is the first time I can recall having one in a specifically religious context. I suppose it comes of a combination of several factors:
-- Taking under consideration Jesus' words about not blowing horns and otherwise acting like a hypocrite, I may say that I have taken my Lenten obligations far more seriously this year than ever before (although I still could do much, much better). This has definitely had a mental, physical and spiritual impact on me in a lot of different ways and, apparently, has now got right down into my subconscious as well. (I suppose this means that I'm doing something right.)
-- In preparation for being received, I turned in all my registration bumf to my new Church this week. It's just a simple form, plus copies of my baptismal and marriage certificates, but handing them in had a real Crossing the Rubicon feel to it.
-- While my very old-fashioned Palie mother has come around in full support, the Missus remains extremely skittish about this whole business. She puts as brave a face on it as she can but she really doesn't fool me. Naturally, this is a continual source of worry (and sadness) for me, exacerbated by the fact that I don't even have the skill and vocabulary to adequately explain just what the heck I'm doing and why.
-- I suddenly realized the other day that if I'm received into the Church at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass as scheduled, then it will be on the first anniversary of Dad's death. It's probably just as well that the Old Gentleman isn't around for it, as he would have had conniptions (or, as I remarked to Mom the other day, if he weren't already under the earth, this would have put him there). Ironically, though, I flipped back through the archives of the religious posts I've done since then, and it's abundantly clear (at least to me) that his death - much more so than any issue of TEC politics - was the prime driver in finally sending me in this direction. Go figure.
The upshot of all this? There's an awful lot of stuff banging around in Robbo's brain at the moment. Looks like I picked a heckuva Lent to quit drinking.
February 14, 2008
Happy Valentine's Day from the LLamabutchers
Eyes Beginning To Open
Liberal pundit Ezra Klein of The American Prospect is having a "Wow, I coulda had a V-8" moment:
If Hillary Clinton does not win delegates out of a majority of contested primaries and caucuses, her aides are willing to rip the party apart to secure the nomination, to cheat in a way that will rend the Democratic coalition and probably destroy Clinton's chances in the general election...Let me be among the first in the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to offer Mr. Klein a hearty "DUUUUHHHHH!".
...This demonstrates not only a gross ruthlessness on the part of Clinton's campaign, but an astonishingly cavalier attitude towards the preservation of the progressive coalition. To be willing to blithely rip it to shreds in order to wrest a nomination that's not been fairly earned is not only low, but a demonstration of deeply pernicious priorities -- namely, it's an explicit statement that the campaign puts its own political success above the health of the party and the pursuit of progressive goals, and one can't but help assume that's exactly the attitude they would take towards governance, too.
I'm sure the reality is that guys like Klein have merely been in denial about the price they paid allowing the Clinton's to seize power. It's just that now they're being forced to admit it.
Indiana Jones And The Lost AARP Membership Card
Me? I already smell trouble. Half the clips in the trailer are of the "this ain't as easy as it used to be" gag variety and the other half look like they were begged, borrowed and stolen out of the first three Indy flicks.
But that's me, Mr. Doom & Gloom.
Gratuitous Lunchtime Observation
I went over to Cosi to pick up some lunch a while ago. Are you sitting down for this? I had been standing in the salad line when - are you sure you're sitting down for this? - I suddenly changed my mind and....got into the soup line instead!
And people say I'm stuffy and not spontaneous enough. Ha! You got that? Ha! Ha!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Forget about the Hallmark/FTD/Zales cabal. Forget about pricey dinners and "lovers' getaway resort packages" and all that hooey. Forget all the other posts you read today about what make men or women tick, what makes a successful relationship or "Five thousand reasons why successful relationships are fairytales and I-never-wanted-one-anyway-so-nyah." You want to know what love is? I'll tell ya what love is:
The eight and six year old Llama-ettes still need their labwork done as part of their recent birthday physicals. The Missus went out of her way to get up and get out of the house early today in order to be first in line at the lab, so that she could get the gels attended to and still be on time to go teach at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method.
Why did she do this? Because otherwise I would have had to take the gels to get sampled this weekend and the Missus specifically wished to spare me the ordeal of having to help the six year old pee into a cup.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I. Am. Not. Worthy.
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Random Commuter Observations
As I trudged along from the metro station in the teeth of an icy wind this morning, I was musing again on the phenomenon that the coldest weather in winter comes after the winter solstice (and conversely, of course, that the dog days of August come well after the summer solstice).
Whenever I think about all this, I like to imagine the planet tipping this way and that about its axis, with great huge wodges of air slopping back and forth across its surface, not in sync with the Earth's motions, but in reaction to them.
Not that it makes me feel any warmer, of course. But I take a particular pleasure in the exercise of changing my perspective to what I suppose would be called the meta level. I find the mental imagery to be endlessly fascinating and gratifying.
So what does make me feel just a bit warmer this morning? Two things. One, I spotted the first of the daffodils breaking the surface in the shelter of the garden by our front walk. Two, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.
February 13, 2008
Is it just me?
Or does Ann Coulter have a portrait of Alice Cooper in her attic closet?
Be very afraid
Who is the far left afraid of as Johnny Mac's Veep?
My favorite bit: how it makes it sound sinister to be a hard-core NFL fan.
Maybe it's the cough syrup speaking but...
Sooner or later, the crew manning the ER see it all. Via Fox.
Somebody Page The Pevensee Children
The White Stag has been spotted in Scotland:
A mythical and ghostly creature has appeared in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands -- and has been caught on camera. The rare white stag, from the red deer species, is believed to be among just a tiny handful living in Britain, according to a conservation group.
The John Muir Trust is now keeping the stag's location secret for fear of poachers.
"To see him amongst the other stags was truly thrilling because he does look like a ghost: you do a double-take," Trust Partnership Manager Fran Lockhart, who filmed the stag, told Reuters.
Neat. And if it means Aslan is on the move, so much the better.
Gratuitous Pre-Holiday Crankiness Posting
RESOLVED: Valentine's Day as currently "celebrated" is nothing but an exercise in the cynical manipulation of mawkish sentimentality and consumer guilt orchestrated by the Hallmark-FTD-Zales cabal and its allies, and therefore should be pointedly ignored.
UPDATE: Your (manly) Maximum Leader has more to say on the subject.
S.S. Hillary Death Spiral Watch
Our hopefully new daily feature, with "Nearer, My God, to thee" gooey goodness just for fun.
Best Quote OF. ALL. TIME. (insert proper Chris Berman voice for that).
It's nice to see Professor Chaos banging on the blog again.
Bryan at Hot Air is in rare agreement with the Associated Press: Hillary's excuses for not winning are running very, very thin. I would make an "Empress has no clothes joke," but I think I can speak for all the readers and say, "Please, let's have another debate about Apostolic Succession instead of having to visualize Hillary nekkid."
What happens when you get behind? Crap like this: Hillary yet to congratulate the Messiah on any of his post-Super Tuesday victories. Expect CNN to stay with this bone.
February 12, 2008
Presented Without Comment
YIPS from Steve-O: Think about it for a second: Obama's close to winning Virginia by a margin of two hundred thousand votes. In Virginia, on Lincoln's Birthday. Stunning.
Yips! from Gary:
Hear me now and believe me later.
She ain't dead yet. The primary calendar going forward favors her. And the long knives have yet to be drawn.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Pre-Coffee, Weather-Delayed Yips! back from Robbo: Agreed that it ain't over, but here's the question: At what point does she become so vicious in her despair that she actually starts damaging herself? She's basically betting the farm on Texas and Ohio (a la Rudy in Florida). If Obamessiah's mojo is too strong, what does she do? Lawsuits? Threats and bullying of superdelegates? There are already hints of that sort of thing. And what effect does all this have on voters, especially all those people who seem to be going ga-ga over Obama? Does she really think they're all going to get back in line and vote for her in the general?
I'm beginning - beginning, mark you - to think that even if SWMNBN manages to come back and grab the nomination, she goes into the general with so much battle damage that Little Mac would be grinning from ear to ear as he loads up the twelve-gauge.
Which may be what the GOP is dreaming of, after all.
Which might explain the "We Luv Ya, Hill!" bumpersticker on Karl Rove's car.
Best line of the campaign. Best line of ANY campaign. EVER:
The senator was asked a question from a Politico.com reader in Santa Monica, Calif., who was seeking assurance that "no new business or personal scandal involving Bill Clinton" could erupt if she were in the White House and give fodder to Republicans.
"You know, I can assure this reader that that is not going to happen," she said. "You know, none of us can predict the future, no matter who we are and what we are running for, but I am very confident that that will not happen."
Today is Charles Darwin's Birthday
So naturally it's time for a good article about having sex with robots.
Glenn Reynolds and Allahpundit were unavailable for comment.
The worst political ad. EVER!
I showed this one to the intro American kids as well as Congress and the laughter was deafening.
Definitely not the laughing with variety, either....
Probably the worst attempt to connect with the youth vote since Nixon's "Punch a Hippy" ad from 1968.
Speaking Troof to Llamas
We've had several reports that our spam-filter has suddenly got extra persnickity and is blocking out all comments. I dunno if this is some kind of Moo-Gnuvian system-wide thingy, or if it is specific to us Llamas. What is more, as is usually the case when confronted with a technical problem, I've gone into Luddite Brainfreeze mode. Therefore, I'm counting on Steve-O (ahem!) to do the things that need to be done in order to get things back to normal.
In the meantime, of course, if you're really dying to say something about our bloviations, there is always the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack. As we say, go ahead - make our day!
Equal Opportunity Religious Asshattery
The other day I started a bit of a kerfluffle here when I linked to and commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent auto-defenestrating statement that Sharia law was all but inevitable in Britain and that the Brits would just have to deal with it.
From the Protestant-Catholic battle lines that were immediately drawn up, it is evident that my suggestion that this was a symptom of a general cultural demise, not one specific to Reformation politics, was lost in the melee.
Well, just to reenforce that idea, I bring you (with horror) this item about Dutch Catholics swallowing the same koolaid:
Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the "Christian Ramadan" in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity. The Catholic charity Vastenaktie, which collects for the Third World across the Netherlands during the Lent period, is concerned that the Christian festival has become less important for the Dutch over the last generation.
"The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent," said Vastenaktie Director, Martin Van der Kuil.
Three decades ago the Catholic Church was as strict as many Muslims are about Ramadan with a total ban on meat and alcohol during the 40-day Lenten period between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Most Dutch Catholics now focus on charitable work after the Vatican loosened fasting strictures for all but the first and last days of Lent back in 1967.
Four million Dutch describe themselves as Roman Catholics and 400,000 people attend Mass every week but only a few tens of thousands still mark Lent by fasting, said Mr Van der Kuil
Vastenaktie organisers hope that by linking the festival to Ramadan they can remind Christians who may be less observant than Muslims of the "spirituality and sobriety" of Lent.
"The agreements are more striking than the differences. Both for Muslims and Catholic faithful the values of frugality and spirituality play a central role in this tradition," said Mr Van der Kuil.
This short article is so full of heresies, misstatements and relevatistic crapola that I don't even know where to begin. Granted, it appears that the idea was hatched by a charity, not by the Church itself, but still.
I say again: a culture that no longer believes in itself dies.
Yips! to Steyn in the Corner.
ECUMENICAL YIPS from Steve-O: I blame the strong influence of yoga. And creeping Walloonism (which, I realize is in southern Belgium and not the Netherlands, but I just like the sound of it. Say it with me: creeping Walloonism. Mint julipery. Ecumenical asshattery. That's the ticket!)
Potomac Primary Daze
Damn them all, says I. Instead, I'm starting a write-in campaign on behalf of Rufus T. Firefly:
Please consider joining me in this effort.
UPDATE: Okay, maybe that joke was a little bit lame. You want comedy? This is comedy:
Clinton, speaking on WJLA Channel 7 in Washington and Politico.com, also promised there would be no new scandals involving her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
The senator was asked a question from a Politico.com reader in Santa Monica, Calif., who was seeking assurance that "no new business or personal scandal involving Bill Clinton" could erupt if she were in the White House and give fodder to Republicans.
"You know, I can assure this reader that that is not going to happen," she said. "You know, none of us can predict the future, no matter who we are and what we are running for, but I am very confident that that will not happen."
UPDATE: What the heck, I'm operating outside the Taft Act Neutral Zone today, so let's have SWMNBN show us how it's really done:
February 11, 2008
Two solid days of nothing but politics and pop culture
And nothing in the comments section. So, here's my public service contribution:
POCZERNIN, Poland -- This wind-swept village is bracing for an invasion of demons, thanks to a priest who believes he can defeat Satan.
The Rev. Andrzej Trojanowski, a soft-spoken Pole, plans to build a "spiritual oasis" that will serve as Europe's only center dedicated to performing exorcisms. With the blessing of the local Catholic archbishop and theological support from the Vatican, the center will aid a growing number of Poles possessed by evil forces or the devil himself, he said.
"This is my task, this is my purpose -- I want to help these people," said Trojanowski, who has worked as an exorcist for four years. "There is a group of people who cannot get relief through any other practices and who need peace."
Exorcism -- the church rite of expelling evil spirits from tortured souls -- is making a comeback in Catholic regions of Europe. Last July, more than 300 practitioners gathered in the Polish city of Czestochowa for the fourth International Congress of Exorcists.
About 70 priests serve as trained exorcists in Poland, about double the number of five years ago. An estimated 300 exorcists are active in Italy. Foremost among them: the Rev. Gabriele Amorth, 82, who performs exorcisms daily in Rome and is dean of Europe's corps of demon-battling priests.
"People don't pray anymore, they don't go to church, they don't go to confession. The devil has an easy time of it," Amorth said in an interview. "There's a lot more devil worship, people interested in satanic things and seances, and less in Jesus."
Amorth and other priests said the resurgence in exorcisms has been encouraged by the Vatican, which in 1999 formally revised and upheld the rite for the first time in almost 400 years.
Although a Vatican official denied reports in December of a campaign to train more exorcists, supporters said informal efforts began under Pope John Paul II -- himself an occasional demon chaser -- and have accelerated under Pope Benedict XVI. A Catholic university in Rome began offering courses in exorcism in 2005 and has drawn students from around the globe.
One of the recruits is the Rev. Wieslaw Jankowski, a priest with the Institute for Studies on the Family, a counseling center outside Warsaw. He said priests at the institute realized they needed an exorcist on staff after encountering an increase in people plagued by evil.
Typical cases, he said, include people who turn away from the church and embrace New Age therapies, alternative religions or the occult. Internet addicts and yoga devotees are also at risk, he said.
Yoga? WTF? What's Benedict got against limberness, pony tails, and little rolled up mats?
And yes, I realize the "demon-battling priests" line just made me salivate over the prospect of Georgetown and Duke meeting in the Final Four.
Anyhoo, back to our regularly scheduled Clinton Campaign Death Watch: Nearer, My God, To Thee comes to the New York Times.
What The Huck Does He Want?
I admit, the longer Mike Huckabee continues his campaign the more silly-assed post titles I can generate. And for that, I'm thankful.
But seriously, why does Gov. Huckabee linger when it's clear that it's almost mathematically impossible for him to win? I mean, after Potomac Tuesday tomorrow McCain will probably have just about all he needs with wins in OH and TX. So what's the point?
Mike Huckabee is trying to get past 289. That's the number of delegates that Mitt Romney's "suspended" campaign currently has. I don't think the Huckster is pushing for VP because let's be honest, McCain will choose his running mate based on personal loyalty not accumulated delegates. I think he's gunning for the mantle of "conservative leader" against Romney for 2012 and beyond.
So as Huck's Army marches on, they keep McCain in the news. Right now, it's tough to break through the Hil-Bama story. But as long as Huckabee keeps hanging in there the newsies in the MSM will still pay attention to the Republicans. My guess is that McCain will take the free media coverage. He'll need it. Because the quest to paint him as an unstable right-wing nutcase will get underway soon enough.
Brace yourself, John. It's a comin'. Considering how well you did against Charlie for almost five years I give you better than 50/50 against these hounds. Party on!
Oh, Heck, Let's Give 'Em Another Kick While They're Down....
Some Patriots played in a Pro Bowl sauna yesterday at Aloha Stadium, but their reception from the sellout crowd of 50,044 was ice cold. The six Patriots who played in the all-star game in 80-degree temperatures and on artificial turf that was hot to the touch were greeted with a surprisingly emphatic chorus of boos during introductions yesterday. Cornerback Asante Samuel, linebacker Mike Vrabel, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, center Dan Koppen, tackle Matt Light, and guard Logan Mankins followed a standard-bearer of the Patriots logo onto the field amid fireworks as the crowd erupted with the only negative greeting it accorded any of the game's participants.
Neener! Neener! Ack!! Sppplltthhhhh!!!!!!
Yips! from Gary:
All this celebrating upon the ashes of Darth Belichick strikes me as reminiscent of the light-hearted chorus of "Nyub, nyub" from the Ewoks on the Moon of Endor. Beware NFL fans, he'll be back next year. He's only mostly dead.
He who laughs last truly laughs hardest
Ted Olson, who argued Bush v. Palm Beach and Bush v. Gore for the forces of good and light, on the prospect of a Clinton lawsuit over Florida primary delegates:
As the convention nears, with Sen. Clinton trailing slightly in the delegate count, the next step might well be a suit in the Florida courts challenging her party's refusal to seat Florida's delegation at the convention. And the Florida courts, as they did twice in 2000, might find some ostensible legal basis for overturning the pre-election rules and order the party to recognize the Clinton Florida delegates. That might tip the balance to Sen. Clinton.
We all know full well what could happen next. The array of battle-tested Democratic lawyers who fought for recounts, changes in ballot counting procedures, and even re-votes in Florida courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 would separate into two camps. Half of them would be relying on the suddenly-respectable Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision that overturned the Florida courts' post-hoc election rules changes. The other half would be preaching a new-found respect for "federalism" and demanding that the high court leave the Florida court decisions alone.
Would the U.S. Supreme Court even take the case after having been excoriated for years by liberals for daring to restore order in the Florida vote-counting in 2000? And, would Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, the dissenters in Bush v. Gore, feel as strongly about not intervening if Sen. Obama was fighting against an effort to change a presidential election by changing the rules after the fact? Will there be a brief filed by Floridians who didn't vote in their state's primary because the party had decided, and the candidates had agreed, that the results wouldn't count?
In short, the way things are going so far, Sens. Obama and Clinton will probably be so close to one another in delegate count by the time of the convention that all those primary votes may be tabulated, but will turn out to be irrelevant to the outcome. Those 796 superdelegate politicians will decide who the candidate will be. Maybe no cigar or cigarette smoke this time, but back-room politics all the same. All those primary voters and millions in campaign expenses locked out of the room.
This may be one of those déjà vu fantasies that won't happen. But it did happen before. And Florida has a quirky habit of popping up again and again in close presidential elections, having been a factor not only in 2000, but also the epic presidential election controversy of 1876. And Democratic lawyers have undoubtedly kept copies of the legal briefs they filed for Al Gore in 2000 into which their computers can easily substitute the name Clinton for Gore.
If it does happen, I'd be more than happy to loan Sen. Obama the winning briefs that helped secure the election of the legitimate winner of the 2000 election, George W. Bush.
I'm at a loss of which youtube clip to use to illustrate this point: exactly what clip of monmaniacal laughter should I use?
I mean, there is THAT, but I'm thinking something of the evil villain genius variety. Suggestions?
Never EVER count the Clintons out. Yet....
When you see headlines like "Clinton Badly Needs Win in Virginia" I can't help but hear this song:
And yes, a meme is born.
Yips! from Robbo: Ya know, you have to admire the courage of those politico types who have declared for Obamessiah. After all, if SWMNBN does manage to come through in the clutch (by whatever means), you can bet the day after the convention she'll have the guillotine set up in the square outside DNC HQ. And the gutters, as they say, will run red.
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Book At Bedtime Division
The good news: I've got the eldest Llama-ette hooked into The Hobbit. We finished the first chapter last evening and it looks. like. we. might. go. all. the. way!
The bad news: That's thirteen different dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard to try and voice, not to mention the various ancillary characters that come and go. What a challenge! (The trolls will be easy enough - straight cockney - and Gollum is a gimme, but how the blazes does one keep Bifur, Bofur and Bombur straight? The bit where they and their friends all show up at Bilbo's door in batches is brutal.)
For Bilbo, I'm doing a kind of Roddy McDowall riff, while my Gandalf keeps edging (for some odd reason) toward Leo McKern. Unfortunately, my Thorin keeps mutating into Grumpy from Snow White, which, of course, is all wrong.
Roy Scheider, RIP
Amateur hour: Maggie Williams takes over
as the campaign manager for SWMNBN. She has never run a campaign, much less a national one. Vince Foster was unavailable for comment. Via Drudge.
February 10, 2008
Read this article about reshuffling the management team at Clinton HQ.
Then read it while playing this on a parallel window:
Teh funniest thing. Ever.
Why I love the intertubes, vol. XLII:
To: National Football League; Commissioner Roger Goodell We the fans of the New England Patriots demand that the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell review the last 1:40 minutes of the Super Bowl held February 3rd 2008. At 1:22 in the fourth quarter, after Jacobs attained a first down the clock was stopped. The following are the rules regarding clock management in a game.
1. The stadium game clock is official. In case it stops or is operating incorrectly, the Line Judge takes over the official timing on the field.
2. Each period is 15 minutes. The intermission between the periods is two minutes. Halftime is 12 minutes, unless otherwise specified.
3. On charged team time outs, the Field Judge starts watch and blows whistle after 1 minute 50 seconds, unless television does not utilize the time for commercial. In this case the length of the time out is reduced to 40 seconds.
4. The Referee will allow necessary time to attend to an injured player, or repair a legal player’s equipment.
5. Each team is allowed three time outs each half.
6. Time between plays will be 40 seconds from the end of a given play until the snap of the ball for the next play, or a 25-second interval after certain administrative stoppages and game delays.
7. Clock will start running when ball is snapped following all changes of team possession.
8. With the exception of the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half, the game clock will be restarted following a kickoff return, a player going out of bounds on a play from scrimmage, or after declined penalties when appropriate on the referee’s signal.
9. Consecutive team time outs can be taken by opposing teams but the length of the second time out will be reduced to 40 seconds.
10. When, in the judgment of the Referee, the level of crowd noise prevents the offense from hearing its signals, he can institute a series of procedures which can result in a loss of team time outs or a five-yard penalty against the defensive team.
Nowhere in the above rules does it state that in the conditions of what was happening on the clock should be stopped. Also in addition to this six seconds were added to the game clock. Had this illegal clock stoppage not occurred there would have been 40 seconds less time on the clock, 46 seconds less if you consider the six seconds added on after the play. This means that after that play, if the clock was running the way it is supposed to by the rulebook, there would only be 42 seconds left on the clock. Furthermore if this was not enough on the subsequent play time was not taken off during the play followed by a random flashing of numbers on the clock.
The following drive took the Giants a total of 52 seconds on the game clock from the point that six seconds were added to the clock. However if the time was managed the way it was supposed to be there would have been no time left on the clock after Eli Manning was tackled at :50 seconds on the game clock. This irrefutable proof demands that Super Bowl XLII be reviewed from the point of the first illegal stoppage.
We the fans of the NFL demand that Commissioner investigate this matter as it is in his ability and it is his responsibility. The following is what the commissioner may do in this matter.
The Commissioner has sole authority to investigate and to take appropriate disciplinary or corrective measures if any club action, nonparticipant interference, or emergency occurs in an NFL game which he deems so unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of a game.
No Club Protests
The authority and measures provided for in this section (UNFAIR ACTS) do not constitute a protest machinery for NFL clubs to dispute the result of a game. The Commissioner will conduct an investigation under this section only to review an act or occurrence that he deems so unfair that the result of the game in question may be inequitable to one of the participating teams. The Commissioner will not apply his authority under this section when a club registers a complaint concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed.
Penalties for Unfair Acts
The Commissioner’s powers under this section (UNFAIR ACTS) include the imposition of monetary fines and draft choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred. In the event of rescheduling a game, the Commissioner will be guided by the procedures specified above ("Procedures for Starting and Resuming Games" under EMERGENCIES). In all cases, the Commissioner will conduct a full investigation, including the opportunity for hearings, use of game videotape, and any other procedures he deems appropriate.
Please do the right thing and investigate this game.
The Truth is out there. I, for one, blame Cheney and Halliburton.
And the Illuminati.
This is for you, Roger Goodell and Eli Manning, you rat bastards:
A little Sunday parsing
The Clinton camp is braced for Mr Obama to win a series of primary elections over the next three weeks, which they fear could hand the Illinois senator unstoppable momentum in the race for the White House.
Mr Obama has begun calling those "super delegates" - 795 congressmen and senior party officials who could break a dead heat - who are committed to Mrs Clinton, asking them to change their minds and help him wrap up the nomination.
As of tonight, the two candidates were neck and neck but Mr Obama appeared to be gaining momentum.
"He's saying: 'Hey, I won your state and I won your congressional district, why are you supporting her?'" a Democrat strategist revealed.
The Clinton camp hopes to stop the Obama bandwagon by winning Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4, after which Mrs Clinton is planning to call on party grandees including Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Harry Reid, the party's leader in the Senate, to persuade Mr Obama to stand down.
Clinton aides have privately admitted that Mr Obama would only consider such a move if offered the position of vice presidential running mate, something Mrs Clinton has always been reluctant to consider.
A senior Democrat who has discussed Clinton campaign thinking with a member of her inner circle said: "The Clintons are in a state of panic. She has to win both Texas and Ohio."
But he added that this might prove impossible if Mr Obama maintains his momentum and wins most, or all, of the nine contests which come before that.
This piece from The Telegraph is a wonderful bit of flim-flammery of Vintage Clinton. To quote Joe Mantegna's character in House of Games, "That's a dinosaur con. You have to go to a museum to see a frame like that."
First is the set-up: somehow, Hillary (or much more likely Bill) is going to corral Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid into forcing the Messiah from pulling out of the race when it enters into the March 11-April 22 Dead Zone. The delivery: He would of course be more than willing to do so because the Queen is now willing to deign Him eligible to be her VP.
First of all, who else in the party right now---let alone Nancy and Harry, who share a popularity approval level that, when added together, is still lower than the Chimperor---can make that call? Dean-O? The story's almost so preposterous to sound like it was planted by one of Obama's people.
The more likely scenario is that going into the Dead Zone Hillary's going to be on the receiving end of those type of calls. And we can look forward then to five weeks of the buzzards slowly circling the Clinton campaign.
The only thing that could potentially save her? Heck, a state funeral or something. The grieving widow's tears cannot be mocked.
If I were Bill, I'd be staying out of the vicinity of Ft. Marcy Park from now on.
Dumbassery from the pulpit
My text for today is “Hold fast that which is good”: 1 Thessalonians 5:21. These are words I heard so regularly in prayers at my Anglican girls’ school that I have been unable to forget them. I draw them to the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to have forgotten them. At least, he seems to be losing his grip on what is good in this country and, indeed, to be throwing it away with both hands in his curious suggestion that aspects of sharia should be recognised in English law.
In an interview on Radio 4 last Thursday, Rowan Williams said that the introduction of parts of Islamic law here would help to maintain social cohesion and seems unavoidable. Sharia courts exist already, he pointed out. We should “face up to the fact” that some British citizens do not relate to the British legal system, he said, and that Muslims should not have to choose between “the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty”.
What he went on to say was more astonishing. He explained to the interviewer, in his gentle, wordy way, that a lot of what is written on this confusing subject suggests “the ideal situation is one in which there is one law and only one law for everybody”. He went on: “That principle is an important pillar of our social identity as a western liberal democracy.” How true.
However, he continued: “It’s a misunderstanding to suppose that that means people don’t have other affiliations, other loyalties, which shape and dictate how they behave in society, and the law needs to take some account of that.”
Stuff like this is bad for the blood pressure, but I listened on. “An approach to law which simply said there is one law for everybody and that is all there is to be said . . . I think that’s a bit of a danger.”
What danger? And to whom? The danger, surely, is rather the archbishop and those who think like him, who seem unwilling to hold fast that which is good. What is good and best and essential about our society � it isn’t merely a matter of “social identity” � is the principle of equality before the law. That principle and its practice have made this country the outstandingly just and tolerant state it is; it is one of the last remaining forces for unity as well.
What is also good and essential to this country is the law itself. It has evolved over centuries from medieval barbarities into something, for all its faults, that is civilised. Our law expresses and maintains the best virtues of our society. Anybody who does not accept it does not belong here.
When other legal systems or other customs clash with ours, we prefer ours, to put it mildly. At least we should; what has troubled me for years is the way that exceptions and excuses tend to be made, in the name of multiculturalism, for practices of which we do not approve. Victoria Climbié’s terrible bruises were ignored because of assumptions about the cultural norms of African discipline. Last week it emerged that someone in government has sold the moral pass on polygamy: husbands with multiple wives in this country are now to get benefit payments for each wife.
In the midst of all this moral confusion and relativism, is the premier prelate in the land holding fast that which is good? Far from it. He is recommending multiculti legal cherry-picking, in which individuals would be free to choose the jurisdiction they preferred for certain matters. He even admits that his proposal introduces, “uncomfortably”, the idea of a market in the law, “a competition for loyalty”.
One encouraging sign is the almost universal fury that our foolish archbishop has aroused: he has miraculously united the irreconcilable in opposition to himself, from Christian extremists to mainstream Muslims, from Anglican vicars to godless Hampstead liberals, from Gordon Brown to backwoods Tories.
The archbishop and his few supporters insist that the media have misrepresented him and not many people have actually read the learned speech that he gave to a learned audience after his inflammatory radio interview. They are wrong. I haven’t seen any serious misrepresentation in the media, and reading his speech several times doesn’t exonerate him. Nor does it increase respect for his judgment, his command of English or his powers of ratiocination; he is woolly of face and woolly of mind.
In any case, you do not need to follow anybody’s argument to understand that legally recognising aspects of sharia is either unnecessary or undesirable. If the aspects in question accord with English law (the Anglican archbishop is speaking of England, presumably), there is no need to offer any extra provision or recognition for religious courts. They are of no interest to the law. If they don’t accord with English law, they are unacceptable and should be repudiated, or even prosecuted.
All this has nothing particularly to do with it being Islamic law at issue. The same would apply to any other religious law: Hindu, Mormon or wiccan. However, there is a lot to be said against sharia and the desire of a reported 40% of British Muslims to live under it. That explains, in part, the present outrage. Sharia is rightly feared here: it is disputed, sometimes primitive, grievously in need of reform and wholly unacceptable in Britain.
So what possessed this troublesome priest to stir up this predictable fury with his divisive and unnecessary suggestions? Why did he choose to speak not just in a quiet academic meeting but also in the public glare of The World at One? And cui bono? It has most certainly not been good for ordinary British Muslims, as they well understand. It has, however, given comfort to Muslim extremists, who will see this as the thin end of their Islamist wedge.
Williams’s behaviour looks like vainglorious attention-seeking, but it is also something much worse. To seek to undermine our legal system and the values on which it rests, in a spirit of unnecessary appeasement to an alien set of values, is a kind of treason. It is a betrayal of all those who struggled and died here, over the centuries, for freedom and equality under the rule of law and of their courage in the face of injustice and unreason. Theirs is the good that we should hold fast and so of all people should the Archbishop of Canterbury. Otherwise, what is he for?
Not much to disagree with there: on this type of thing, he is, as Bugs Bunny would say, a maroon.
(And no, this isn't a change of views on the Archbishop from the other day when Robbo first posted on this: I went with a joking response, dipping into the 6MB Secret LLama Archives of Goofy Pontiff Pics, and everybody got their panties in a wad. Geez.)
What can I say, it's Wabbit Season.
Yips! from Robbo: Perhaps my very favorite Bugs/Daffy 'toon. And, because it's too good not to use somewhere, I give you this:
"I. AM. OOOOOOOZZZZZ!!!!!" PAY no attention to that Quisling behind the curtain!!!
Maverick v. The Huck
I had planned to cast a protest vote for Romney in Tuesday's Virginia primary but I will reluctantly punch the ballot for Maverick. Primaries are low turnout affairs and a vote for anyone else is effectively a vote for Huckabee, despite the substantial lead in the polls.
February 09, 2008
McCain is losing tonight in a caucuses in Kansas, Washington, and LA.
The math going forward is pretty clear: he needs to win in Virginia and Maryland on Tuesday, then Wisconsin, Texas and Ohio by March 4th. This will put him about 60 votes short of the nomination.
Early March is crucial because both parties intentionally put a "Dead Zone" into the race: there are NO primaries between March 11th in Mississippi, and April 22 in Pennsylvania. There intention was to give the nominees--who were supposed to have been picked last Tuesday--the chance to decompress, raise money, and gear up for the general election. Instead, it's going to be a five week version for politics what the "off" week is before the Super Bowl: a chance for the entire Washington press corps to go absolutely bonkers. No news will be able to move the central narrative on the Democratic side---who's up or down in the delegate horserace--so it's going to be five solid weeks of hyperventilated non-story stories. McCain's going to want to be in the clear before this happens, and the press would like nothing better than to drag the Republicans into the uncertain nomination story, if only to give it more dimensions.
Oh, more of THIS please
Read THIS article, I implore you, and hear me cackling in wicked laughter all the way to my bowling night for the local Sith Lords lodge.
The angry left has a fever, and the only cure is.......purging their leadership in Congress as well as the "bums" they elected in 2006. And maybe, just maybe, if we're lucky and don't immolate ourselves first and worst, we can take Rahm Emanuel's triumphant fist and shove it completely up his arse.
Ipod Nation: Resistence Is Futile
The Missus got herself an Ipod not too long ago, with which she and the Llama-ettes have been delightedly fiddling, while introducing such terms into the household "syncing" and suddenly becoming the latest experts on the subject of downloads, memory upgrades and playlists.
This has awakened the Luddite in me (never a sound sleeper to begin with), and until a few days ago, I scoffed at the whole business.
That is until they sidled up to me and casually announced that they had downloaded "Silly Hat" from the Blue's Clues album, a song to which they know I am hopelessly addicted.
Well, I gave the Ipod a whirl while going for a run the other evening, but discovered it was NBG, as I could barely hear anything - evidently, my ears are not shaped in a way to get the speakers aligned properly. Nonetheless, I have been taking it off on the sly and indulging in a porkpie, pillbox, panama, tiara, turban, fez and sombrero.
Boxer at the Baby Gate
Mrs. LMC brought two tabbys into our marriage, know affectionately as either "The Girls" (by Mrs. LMC) or "The Orange Menace" (by yours truly). These felines are refugees from her days working in the admissions office at a certain woman's college in central Virginia, and now are about thirteen years old, fat and cantankerous, and never worked out an understanding with either our dog or her sainted predecessor. We are convinced the cats torment the dog when we are out, telling her things such as: "We are going to eat you when you are dead" and "The humans are going to replace you with a stuffed golden retriever any day now." Recently, they developed the annoying habit of tracking kitty litter bits everywhere in our room, not to mention walking on our heads in the middle of the night. Mrs. LMC finally moved them upstairs with the litter box a few days ago, blocking the stairs with a baby gate to keep the boxer from imposing The Final Solution on her tormentors. The dog spends an inordinate amount of time watching the gate, waiting patiently to make her move. Stay tuned to see if the cats understand their predicament and go "feline 300" .
"Good Morning! Good Morning! Good Morning-ah!" ***
At crack of dawn this morning:
"Mom! Dad! There's a dead mouse in the kitchen and it's beheaded! Blood everywhere!"
I should note I am very proud that instead of panicking, the gels dealt with the mess themselves, picking up the remains with paper towel and swiffering the entire area.
This is the second mouse in three nights. We usually have a little grey variety living within the walls and floorboards of Orgle Manor, but these two have been larger and browner. First time I can recall field mice in the house. Must be Global Warming or sumpin'.
***Spot the quote. My apologies if the transcription isn't completely accurate.
CAN I HAZ MOWSBRGRZ? UPDATE:
Yes, Mother of Gawd, it's cat-blogging. This is Bella, the younger of our two cats and the principal mouser of the household. I've been having problems with the comments all morning, so I'll just repeat here that although she's cute in an ugly way, and although she loves to curl up in my lap and purr loudly, I never lose sight of the fact that she would cheerfully take my head off if I were the size of a mouse.
UPDATE DEUX: Still having trouble with the quote? Here's a hint: Who would out-rank Corporal Salt?
CHAGRINED ANSWER-REVEALING UPDATE:
Good Lord - Am I that old?
Oh, It's On!!
SWMNBN has declared war on MSNBC for a certain (and, yes, offsides) comment from the network about her daughter.
What's that "whipping" sound I hear? Could it be a BACKLASH?
Sit back. Watch. Do NOT interfere. Keep you hands at all times inside the compartment. This is going to be interesting.
February 08, 2008
Stop the presses
Friday afternoon stupid:
Oddly enough, you would expect to see Kramer and Doug Mirabelli in this clip:
No word on whether the Rooster's name was "Babe Ruth."
What's the carbon footprint created from burning a heretic at the stake?
This would be hilarious if he wasn't actually quite serious:
David Suzuki has called for political leaders to be thrown in jail for ignoring the science behind climate change.
At a Montreal conference last Thursday, the prominent scientist, broadcaster and Order of Canada recipient exhorted a packed house of 600 to hold politicians legally accountable for what he called an intergenerational crime. Though a spokesman said yesterday the call for imprisonment was not meant to be taken literally, Dr. Suzuki reportedly made similar remarks in an address at the University of Toronto last month.
The proposal has lit up many conservative blogs since it was first reported by the McGill Daily on Monday.
Addressing the McGill Business Conference on Sustainability, hosted by the Faculty of Management, Dr. Suzuki's wide-ranging speech warned against favouring the economy to the detriment of the ecology -- the tarsands in Northern Alberta being his prime example.
"You have lived your entire lives in a completely unsustainable period," he told students and fans. "You all think growth and [climate] change is normal. It's not."
Toward the end of his speech, Dr. Suzuki said that "we can no longer tolerate what's going on in Ottawa and Edmonton" and then encouraged attendees to hold politicians to a greater green standard.
"What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there's a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they're doing is a criminal act," said Dr. Suzuki, a former board member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
"It's an intergenerational crime in the face of all the knowledge and science from over 20 years."
The statement elicited rounds of applause.
"He sounded serious," said McGill Tribune news editor Vincci Tsui, who covered the event. "I think he wanted to send home the message that this is very crucial issue."
When asked for further comment, Dan Maceluch, a spokesman for Dr. Suzuki, said that he did not mean the statement to be taken literally.
"He's not advocating locking people up, but he is pulling his hair out."
How a law concerning climate-change denial could be enforced baffled at least one leading criminal-law expert. "We used to have an offence of spreading false news," said Kent Roach, the Prichard-Wilson Chair of Law and Public Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
"But that was struck down by the Supreme Court."
Yet there could be a better blueprint for Dr. Suzuki's legal scenario.
The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, a Liberal-sponsored private member's bill that passed and was given Royal Assent last year, legally requires the Conservative government to abide by the international pact's short-term environmental targets.
In the event that conditions are not met, government officials are held liable.
"Every person who contravenes a regulation made under this Act is guilty of an offence punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, as prescribed by the regulations," the act reads, "and liable to a fine or to imprisonment as prescribed by the regulations."
The act adds that there are further legal measures in the event of subsequent and continuing offences, but does not specify the penalties.
Blasphemy against St. Alban will not be tolerated.
Except how does Apollo fit into the cosmological theology of the Gaia worshipers? Angry male god, anybody?
I picked a bad year to give up meth and Red Bull for Lent, part Deux
You know what we need this year?
We've had Youtube sponsor debates, politico, all the rest.
Now it's time for CNN to co-sponsor a debate with.............World of Warcraft.
Just think of it: a candidate debate on the big screen featuring their WofW avatars.
Finally, a debate I would watch.
I picked a bad year to give up meth and Red Bull for Lent
Woke up with this song in my head:
Question: is it just me, or does Bono look here a little bit too much like the chick singer for the Pretenders?
Which leads me to this part of Friday Stupid: the derivative music video genre, where yahoos with too much time on their hands reenact famous music videos:
I've always had a chuckle that Rush uses this song as his main theme: it's a bitching song with a great hook.
Here's the antidote:
Aiiiiiie, that's the good stuff.
FRIDAY PENANCE UPDATE: Obviously, I didn't give up being a snarky jackass for Lent this year, but I'm trying to make amends. So I just ordered this for Mrs. P. to make up for my impertinent posting of the Pope dressing like a cowboy:
The Abbot? He's getting the JP2 bobblehead:
You know I love you guys, even though I scored a "B-UTT-HD" on Meyers Briggs.
Yips! from Robbo: That's our Steve-O! Yip! Yip! Yip!
Aiiiiieee!!!! My Eyes!
They burn! They buuuurrrrn!!!!
What would it be like to walk into Oprah Winfrey's consciousness?
You can get close by walking into the new Oprah Store, a mishmash of the star's sayings, passions, gurus and even her closet, right down the street from Harpo Studios on Chicago's Near West Side.
Perhaps you'd need to make a purchase and delve deeper into the experience.
In that case, feel stress-free in an Oprah nightgown and baby-soft socks, writing in your "Passion" journal while sipping hot tea from a mug emblazoned with one of Oprah's favorite quotes. "Live Your Own Dreams" is always a heart-warmer.
It's all about comfort and self-expression -- and lots of attention from hovering salespeople -- at the store at 37 N. Carpenter, set off by large acrylic O's that light up at night on the entry walkway. Inside, bamboo, pastel colors and a brightly lighted loft set the tone.
Oprah fans have had a week to browse the 5,500-square-foot store.
The most popular item? On Thursday morning, 70 shoppers snapped up $13 cosmetics bags decorated with blue, yellow, pink and purple O's.
The setting ranges from subtle messages -- small O's hardly visible on the pockets of workout shirts and pants -- to out-and-out Oprah worship, with photos of Oprah and her favorite causes on the walls, and a TV mounted on a wall rerunning "The Oprah Winfrey Show's" 20th anniversary special.
Gratuitous Scrooge McLlama Posting
Since it appears my family is officially capped out of the Guv'mint's tax rebate scheme, I hereby announce my opposition to it.
Now pardon me while I go toss a couple more bundles of hundreds on the fire. Or better yet, I'll get the second footman to do it.
"A Brilliant Idea!"
"That's what we need, a brilliant idea." ***
This morning the Missus and I were chatting about her curricular plans at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method. Specifically, we were discussing her upcoming science topics. (She is incorporating science into her general classroom package this year. Next year she is going to be the o-fficial floating science teacher for the elementary kids.) Among those topics are a lot of what they call "Earth Sciences" matters - geology, biology, meteorology and so on. And among the projects she mentioned for her students was one involving composting.
This started a train of thought clanking out of its siding in the cluttered and confused depot of my head.
Why couldn't the Earth Sciences curriculum include a project or projects in the gardens and grounds of Orgle Manor itself? I mean, surely such tasks as laying sod in the side yard, clearing out deadwood from the azalia hedges, pruning back rosebushes and weeding the garden (all of which will need to be done), would be educational?
Furthermore, most parents in our rayther snooty corner of Northern Virginia would pay thousands of dollars for such a hands-on experience for little Liam and Ashtyn, so long as it was packaged with a name like "Potomac Reserve Eco-Immersion Experience for Gifted Young Adults". Heck, if the little blighters were to show up ready to work, I'd pay them.
I brooded on this idea all the way in on my commute and frankly, I still can't find anything wrong with it.
(***Spot the quote. The post title is included as part of the exchange in the original.)
UPDATE: We have a winner! The quoted exchange is between Pseudolus and Hysterium in the movie A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Incidentally, the name Pseudolus, which means the "lying slave" was lifted from a play of that name by the Roman comic playwrite Plautus, as was much of the plot of AFTHOTWTTF. The character Miles Gloriosus, a braggart soldier, was also lifted from a play by Plautus called Miles Gloriosus, which means, well, "the braggart soldier" and is, well, about a braggart soldier.
They'll Do It Every Time
How is it that the only time the Llama-ettes remember to flush the potty in their bathroom is when I'm trying to take a shower in mine?
My scalded llama backside asks merely for information.....
Quote of the day, Hillary Division:
One part of the Clinton mystique maintains: Deep down journalists think she's a political Rasputin who will not be dispatched. Prince Yusupov served him cupcakes laced with cyanide, emptied a revolver, clubbed him, tied him up and threw him in a frozen river. When he floated to the surface they found he'd tried to claw his way from under the ice. That is how reporters see Hillary.
"She does grace the way George W. Bush does nuance" was a close runner-up.
February 07, 2008
Conservative: Noun Or Adjective?
Huh? OK, Gary's been hitting the cooking sherry again.
I've been thinking about this the last week trying to figure out how John McCain got the lion's share of votes and delegates to date because I used to really believe that - when the rubber met the road - the level (or lack thereof) support for McCain could not possibly result in his getting the nomination. Clearly, that instinct was based on a fallacy.
(continued below the fold)
We've been hearing from so many Conservatives (with a capital "C") throughout the party hierarchy, in the punditocracy and across the blogosphere. And the consensus from those voices was "no way" on McCain. And that "movement" if you will has crashed and burned. At first I chalked it up to an inability to coalesce around one candidate. But I think it goes much deeper than that.
Those voices we've heard and columns we've read (and blogs we've surfed) are made up of many "movement" Conservatives. And a lot of these folks don't refer to themselves as being "conservative" (the adjective), they say they are "Conservatives" (the noun). In other words, the term conservative is more than just a way you lean on the issues it's an identity. They can run down a list of issues and check off that "conservative" box on just about every single line. That's all fine and good. But what about the regular Joe voters that show up at the polls? I'd say in more cases than not they say they are conservative but don't necessarily identify themselves as Conservatives.
I'm not just parsing words here. I'm not hung up on semantics. My point is this: I think those voters who take politics seriously but don't rely on media feeds like oxygen regarding who's up in the polls or who's doing better in a particular state or even who has to win a certain contest to remain viable are the ones who make the difference.
For them, there is not a set of parameters that determine if someone is a true conservative because they don't subscribe to the idea that calling oneself conservative means fitting into a specifically defined box. Many issues are important but few are deal-breakers. Call them squishy if you will but I think they get the idea that none of these candidates really fit the pre-determined "Reagan template".
So what did they do? The went with the guy that was the most consistent. Agree or disagree on this issue or that, at least they knew what they could expect from John McCain. And they decided that they could live with it. They see McCain the warrior, the hero, the patriot. They see they guy with the sack to say what he means and mean what he says. They see a guy who's not going to bother twisting himself one way or the other to make a particular group happy.
I'll admit, like it or not, with McCain what you see is what you get. So the next question (assuming you can live with him as the nominee) is "can he win?". And clearly the folks who voted for him decided that yes, he was.
So now we essentially have a nominee. And we have him sooner rather than later which is a major advantage.
Lots of people are smarting at the result and there's nine months to go. Yes, there will be a significant number of hold outs for some time but the bottom line is that a Hillary or Obama Presidency (with a Democrat controlled Congress) represents a scenario daunting enough to scare the sweet BeJeezus out of enough voters (GOP, Independent and even a few Donks) that John McCain can win - and win big. The key here is that I think his own party will be willing to meet him at least halfway. The rest is up to him.
He knows this. And he wants this. And anyone who can endure what he did at the Hanoi Hilton for five years has the fortitude to do what he needs to do to make it happen. I for one am willing to meet him halfway. Voting for Hillary (or Obama) is just not an option. And not voting is even less of an option. So many have sacrificed so much for my right to pull that lever in November (not the least of which is one John Sidney McCain III). I'm not about to turn my back on that right.
How enthusiastic I am nine months from now depends largely on Sen. McCain.
So let's pull together here. Let's remember who would sell us out to Islamic Fascism for political expediency. Let's remember who would try and make our decisions for us. Let's remember who thinks of us as children who need to be controlled. Let's remember who could give two flaming bags of poo about our freedem to live as we chose.
Let's keep our eye on the ball and remember what's at stake.
Come November, let's vote John McCain.
Hey, worst case scenario we get another shot in 2012. I'm willing to take the shot. What say you?
Mike Huckabee supporters now reaching out to Romney voters "Give Mike another look".
Hey, I know I've pledged not to bad-mouth any Republican candidates but Huckabee doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell anyway. It ain't happenin'. On behalf of many a disappointed GOP voter, allow me to extend a sincere "thanks for nothing". Oh, and no thanks.
A post over at Race42008.com says it all.
Pucker Up, Baybee!
The Science of Kissing, or Why Researchers Never Get To First Base:
Since kissing evolved, the act seems to have become addictive. Human lips enjoy the slimmest layer of skin on the human body, and the lips are among the most densely populated with sensory neurons of any body region. When we kiss, these neurons, along with those in the tongue and mouth, rocket messages to the brain and body, setting off delightful sensations, intense emotions and physical reactions.
Of the 12 or 13 cranial nerves that affect cerebral function, five are at work when we kiss, shuttling messages from our lips, tongue, cheeks and nose to a brain that snatches information about the temperature, taste, smell and movements of the entire affair. Some of that information arrives in the somatosensory cortex, a swath of tissue on the surface of the brain that represents tactile information in a map of the body. In that map, the lips loom large because the size of each represented body region is proportional to the density of its nerve endings.
"Uh, when we kiss my somatosensory cortex brain-dump! system overload! Whooneeeeguhh! Wowwweee!!!! can't help noticing the size of your lips as represented in a figurative tactile map of your body Oooooboy! goodbye holodeck come to papa neeeerrgggh!!!"
I jest. It's actually an interesting article. But there is a certain amount of the Duh Factor. To wit:
According to new findings, kissing may play a crucial role in the progression of a partnership but one that differs between men and women. In a study published in September 2007 Gallup and his colleagues surveyed 1,041 college undergraduates of both sexes about kissing. For most of the men, a deep kiss was largely a way of advancing to the next level sexually. But women were generally looking to take the relationship to the next stage emotionally, assessing not simply whether the other person would make a first- rate source of DNA but also whether he would be a good long-term partner.
As James Taranto is wont to say, what would we do without findings. Hell, I was an English major and even I knew that.
Via Arts & Letters Daily.
Ask The Llamas
We're No. 4 out of just shy of 74,000 google hits for "Would you go out to lunch with Kevin Costner?"
Me? I'd grab a beer with Crash Davis maybe, but Costner his own self? Naaaah.
Jo Harding Was Right!
"Now there's some good news. At least it flies!"
A bright spot out of the recent bout of nasty weather:
The Super Tuesday tornadoes killed at least 48 people, including four in this town. But a year-old siren system in the rural Arkansas county may have saved lives. Sirens blared 20 minutes before the tornado hit, enough time for Mr. Austin and his family to find shelter in his brother's basement.
With better weather monitoring and the wider use of sirens and other warning systems, the number of tornado deaths per million Americans has been decreasing in the United States for decades. Yet the tornadoes that swept the mid-South served as a reminder, experts say, that better public education and new technology, such as text-messaging on cellphones, could augment traditional warning systems.
I smell sequel here: Twister 2: D.O.R.O.T.H.Y.'s Revenge. In this one, that whacky pair of squabbling storm jocks Jo & Bill must fight their way into the sooper-sekret NOAA lab buried under Mt. Rushmore where all the data from the first successful encounter of D.O.R.O.T.H.Y with the killer F-5 is held by top men. (Who? Top. Men.) However, little do our heroes and their rag-tag band of meteorological BoHos know that the Guv'mint has actually already figured out a way not only to breed tornados, but to steer them. Further unbeknownst to the good guys, the Guv'mint has managed to pull the remains of Dr. Jonas "Nightcrawler" Miller from the Oklahoma field where he was splattered by the same F-5 and rebuild him as an all-but-indestructable killer cyborg. And NOAA knows they're coming.........
I picked a bad year to give up meth and Red Bull for Lent
I really need to learn how to dub that clip so Kirk is yelling that. Maybe put a big neon EIB behind him, too.
The Archbishop Surrenders the Citadel
I've seen this floating about these here internets today: Rowan Williams
welcomes pre-emptively surrenders to Sharia Law in Britainistan the U.K.:
The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.
He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".
I suppose that by "maintain social cohesion," the Archbish is trying to politely say, "keep Johnny D'himmi from blowing up St. Paul's."
Let me be absolutely brutal about this: It is a simple fact of history that a society which no longer believes in itself dies. Sometimes it simply withers away. Usually, it is devoured by another society that very much does believe it itself. Hint: there's no isolated withering going on here.
As much as I admire much of what Britain has stood for over her history, when I read of this kind of tripe coming out of the mouths of her leaders (and Church politics aside, the Arch-Freakin'-Bishop of Canterbury is supposed to be one of the mainstays of that society), I'm not really sure any more that she isn't about to get exactly what she deserves.
Once the Caliphate is established, we'll see just how much the new state will be willing to grant autonomy to those not willing to go along with its cultural mandates as well. My guess? It'll bring a whole new meaning to the policy of "hands off".
Yips! (for first sighting) to TitusOneNine.
WELL AT LEAST THE ARCHBISHOP DOESN'T THINK HE'S A COWGIRL YIPS from Steve-O:
I guess papal infallibility doesn't extend to fashion choices, either.
Weapons-Free Yips! back from Robbo: Well, I thought I'd made it clear that I was commenting on the collapse of Brit culchah, not stirring up the Ecclesiastic Authority debate again. However, as Steve-O has run up the black flag, you may fire at will.
YEAH, I WENT THERE YIPS from Steve-O: Consider it nailed to the mast.
Mr. Chekov, set phasers on "mirth"
Puzzled Yips! Back from Robbo: No, folks, I dunno where he's going with that one either. And ironically, if you believe Mark Steyn's data on the shifting demographics and declining native populations across Europe, this clip becomes funny in a way perhaps not intended by its writers.
BTW, and this has nothing to do with religious opinion, but I've never understood why people fall all over themselves about this clip. The idea is funny for about the first five seconds, but then the Team proceeds to drive it into the ground with a sledgehammer, a flaw notable in most of the humour in this movie.
There I Go Again...
Which Great US President Are You Most Like?
You scored as a Ronald Reagan
40th President, in office from 1981-1989 Born: 1911 Died: 2004
Dwight Eisenhower.... 55%
Franklin Roosevelt..... 53%
John Kennedy........... 33%
Lyndon Johnson........ 31%
Frankly, I'm a bit surprised TJ slipped into second place. Probably because of my belief in the necessity of beating the crap out of all pirates. Otherwise, I pretty much loathe the man.
February 06, 2008
Cashmere Mafia-trashy and every bit as addictive as Melrose Place
Tonight's plot summary: Mia gets frisky with Zoe's "manny"; Zoe thinks about having a fling with her "work husband" but winds up jumping her real husband on their tenth anniversary; Juliette tries to retain the best lawyer in town but discovers her cheating husband beat her to it; and the sexually confused chick's girlfriend reveals she is pregnant but our would-be lesbian is proving herself to be an equal opportunity skank. Meanwhile, the teasers for next week's episode reveal that the lesbian girlfriend's ex is none other than Audrey, Jack Bauer's girlfriend! So, the CHICOMs did not grease her after all . . .
Prediction #3: This will become the title of a book on the role of the youth vote and technology in election 2008
Prediction 2: Have you actually looked at the calendar after Super Tuesday?
Holy smokes, talk about a diversified table. Here in Virginia, the media schedulers are already in full mojo mode with the Virginia primary next week, but looking ahead:
this weekend: Washington, Louisiana, and Kansas;
next Tuesday: Virginia and Maryland
two Tuesdays: Wisconisn
March 4: Texas & Ohio
March 11: Mississippi
and then, NOTHING FOR FIVE WEEKS
April 22: Pennsylvania.
and then NOTHING FOR TWO WEEKS
until NC and Indiana go in mid-May.
It looks like Maverick is in need of @400 delegates to wrap it up, which isn't really mathematically possible until Wisconsin in two weeks. The key for the eventual nominee is to wrap it up before Mississippi on the eleventh, because that hiatus is going to be the real Thunderdome of the campaign. The Donks are going to be eating each other alive, when a media machine fueled to high octane by a compressed schedule suddenly hits a no real news zone. Expect bimbo erruptions on the HRC side, as well as the long-awaited "Messiah Stumbles" reaction against Obama. The trick for the Republicans is to enter the dead zone with a clear nominee, and let the shredding occur on the other side, as the Donks march to the inevitable "Selected, Not Elected" nominee.
Gratuitous Ash Wednesday Poetry Posting
I like this:
TO KEEP A TRUE LENT. by Robert Herrick
IS this a fast, to keep
The larder lean ?
From fat of veals and sheep ?
Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
The platter high with fish ?
Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg’d to go,
A downcast look and sour ?
No ; ‘tis a fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat,
Unto the hungry soul.
It is to fast from strife,
From old debate
And hate ;
To circumcise thy life.
To show a heart grief-rent ;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin ;
And that’s to keep thy Lent.
Prediction 1: Today, from behind the Golden Microphone...
Yips! from Gary:
EIB lockdown today? Should be interesting.
McCain hasn't reached the brass ring yet but it's in his sights. Had no idea just how well the Huckster would do. I just pray there's no side deal for the VP slot. That would be just...a disaster. McCain may want to consider giving his CPAC speech tomorrow behind chicken wire. And start off with something simple, like a Tammy Wynette song.**
**spot the gratuitous movie reference
YIPS from Steve-O:
McCain 08---We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline.
February 05, 2008
Green: It's The New Color of Lent
From one of our regular Llama readers comes the latest in fashionable piety:
London - Two senior Church of England bishops called on Tuesday for Britons to cut back on carbon, rather than the more traditional chocolate and alcohol, for the Christian period of Lent this year.
The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, and Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, have teamed up with aid agency Tearfund to invite the public to take part in a "carbon fast" for the next 40 days.
During Lent, which starts on Wednesday and lasts until Easter, Christians are supposed to fast and pray. In the bishops' green drive, those taking part can choose how they reduce their carbon footprint on a daily basis.
"For example, on the first day, people can take out one of their light bulbs and whenever they go to turn that light on, and it doesn't work, they can remember why they are fasting from carbon - to help the poor of the world.
"At the end of the fast they can replace it with an energy-saving light bulb," Jones - who is vice-president of Tearfund - explained.
Other activities include avoiding plastic bags and insulating the house.
The bishops and Tearfund said they had launched carbon fast because of the urgent need to cut emissions and protect poor communities, who are already being affected by climate change and will be the worst hit in the future.
"There's a moral imperative on those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon to rein in our consumption," Jones said.
Chartres added: "We all have a pivotal role to play in tackling the stark reality of climate change.
"Now is the time for individual and collective action in addressing the unsustainable way in which we are exploiting the earth's resources."
Yadda, yadda. Know what? As far as I'm concerned, there really isn't anything wrong with seeking to conserve resources and being better about not wasting them (although to me this is simply a matter of common-sense stewardship, not a response to global climate change alarums). But leave that kind of hectoring to the enviro-groups. Bishops are supposed to be concentrating on, well, higher matters. (I wonder does anybody go to Confession with a laundry list of the number of times they've forgotten to turn off a lamp, used plastic bags or failed to separate their paper and glass recycling?)
BTB, as this is as good a place to mention it as any, I may note that after this evening I am laying off both the bottle and coffee until Easter. Since this will be the first time I've done so since I was about twelve, I'm not quite sure what effect it's going to have on me. If my posting gets somewhat...screwy, you'll know why.
Happy Birthday Nigel Tufnel
(AKA Christopher Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest) who turns...ahem...60 today.
Gratuitous "This Is Spinal Tap" YouTube Posting:
Swell. I have to take my town to the woodshed for the way they set up my polling place today.
It was at my oldest son's school (which is in session today) so I figured I'd drive him instead of having him take the bus since I was headed over there anyway. Smart, right?
Wrong. For some inexplicable reason they moved the student drop off from the front of the school to the back, where all the buses go. The result was I ended up sitting in a line of cars for twenty-five minutes while I waited for all the buses to unload their cargo.
Figuring I was late for work anyway, I stopped for a CNN/ABC/CBS/WSJ, etc. exit poll (the first one I've ever done). In hindsight my answers will be a little confusing as some would seem a little contradictory. I voted for Romney but listed the War on Terror as my number one issue. I chose experience as the qualification most important in my decision yet I also listed as important agreement on the issues.
Turnout was pretty sparse, which probably helps Romney, but I expect McCain to win CT pretty handily. Even my son's teachers (they have two "team teachers" in the sixth grade) are enthusiastic McCain backers, which I found a little strange. One of his assignments this year was to write a letter thanking him for his service to this country. And they have an autographed photo on display in the classroom.
CT seems also to be shaping up as Obama country.
Gratuitous Llama Mardi Gras Salute
Before Gary starts in on Thunderdome Tuesday Posting in earnest, let me here throw out some Fat Tuesday Yips! to the good folks of Mobile, Alabama.
It wasn't until I was down there a couple years ago that I discovered Mobile strenuously insists that it was the site of the original Mardi Gras celebrations in America and that johnny-come-lately Noo Orleens hijacked the whole business and stole Mobile's limelight. The Mobile natives I talked to about this were mighty prickly on the whole subject.
BTW, I should mention that when I visited, I did not actually get there in time for Mardi Gras, but instead found myself on the streets of downtown Mobile early in the morning on Ash Wednesday. The trash, and above all the smell, boggled the mind. I should think there was enough post-debauch clutter to send the entire population scuttling off to church in shame and remorse.
February 04, 2008
Gratuitous Musickal Posting
These lovely and talented ladies are the Brook Street Band, an up-and-coming young period instrument group. The other day I heard a selection from their recording of Handel's Opus 5 Trio Sonatas on the radio while headed for work, and immediately dashed off to the devil's website to order the CD as soon as I got to the office. Having just got it into my hot little hands and heard it all the way through, I can say that it does not disappoint in the least.
I used to have a cassette recording of these pieces performed by Trevor Pinnock & friends. I was never able to find a CD version of it, nor have I until now found what I considered to be a really good alternative. I'm happy to report that the ladies of the BSB fill that bill very well indeed.
Heading Into Thunderdome Tuesday
Well, I've been pretty bad with predictions but I might as well keep trying.
Polls in the "winner-take-all" states favor McCain and California - which awards delegates by congressional districts - looks to be trending Romney, who is also leading in Western states.
I'm guessing that the Huckleheads are bound and determined to still vote for their guy in sufficient numbers to damage Romney pretty badly. I wish I was wrong but I'm guessing that McCain will come out of tomorrow with at least a two to one advantage in delegates.
On Wednesday, the Romney camp will look at the remaining states and delegates up for grabs and make a call. Only if it looks promising enough will he continue. Romney doesn't strike me as the kind of candidate who would pursue a brokered convention. If the writing is on the wall, he'll pull out by the end of the week. If he makes a surprise showing and remains a lot closer in the hunt, he'll probably go a bit longer hoping for his own momentum.
I don't see it, though. So, Thunderdome Tuesday: McCain and Romney enter. McCain leaves and runs bartertown.
The Dems? This one should really be interesting. Things must be getting tight because SWMNBN is turning on the water works again. Hey, whatever works, right? My guess is that Obama will win enough to keep going and the focus after this week will be all on the protracted fight in that race.
Me? Tomorrow, I'll be pulling the lever for
Giuliani Thompson Romney, despite the fact that McCain has anywhere from a 16-28 lead in the polls here in Connecticut. So, let the chips fall where they may.
As Sweet As It Gets
First, THE miracle play of the game (Manning escapes the sack, fires to Tyree):
And then, Manning to Plax = victory!!
Wow. Just, wow.
Yips! from Robbo: Yes, but let us now praise famous men of the Giants D as well, who took apart the vaunted Pats O-line and knocked Tom Brady on his head all evening.
Bottom News Story of the Day
Skeletar a/k/a Maria Shriver endorsed Obama. Via Drudge. Another member of the extended Kennedy clan has endorsed Obama while none, other than Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, has endorsed SWMNBNM. Wonder why . . .
February 03, 2008
Gratuitous Post Super Bowl Posting
Jesus. Mary. Joseph.
BTW - most popular commercial in Orgle Manor? The screaming squirrel.........
Yips! from Gary:
Speechless. Exhausted and speechless.
The Dark Lord has been thrown down!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
When asked about his early exit off the field with .01 seconds of regulation left on the clock, Darth Belichick didn't have a lot to say:
In his opening statement, he said: "Congratulations to the Giants. They made some plays there at the end and we didn't. It's disappointing."Again. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
He then repeated eight different variations of that statement. The smug look that has helped make him one of the great villains in sports was on display, but his mind wasn't. It was like the questions weren't even registering.
Meet The Blogger
I had the opportunity to meet the lovely and talented Jordana of Curmudgeonry yesterday afternoon as she and her family stopped off in Dee Cee before heading over the hills and far away. I'm happy to report that she is precisely as interesting in person as you would imagine if you read her blog on any kind of a regular basis. Further, the way in which she and her husband seem to maintain such a sense of good-natured calm in the face of all the different things they're juggling is quite awe-inspiring. And as for their kids - they're all perfectly charming.
We only got to chat over coffee and wander about Olde Towne Alexadria for an hour or two, but it was a very pleasant time.
In the immortal words of Porky Pig...
Yeahabadadhdada.........that's all folks.
At least until later in the Spring from me.
When you become a troll on your own blog, it's time for a break.
But I'll leave you with this:
(The only Giants I'll be rooting for today)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Yips! from Robbo: Criminey! Me and my big mouth.
February 02, 2008
Hoo-Boy Howdy, I Admit I Never Expected This
As someone for whom John McCain was way down on the list of preferred candidates (just over Huckabee) I can certainly understand why so many pundits, bloggers, etc. are very frustrated and disappointed that it's looking more and more like McCain will be the nominee. But this is just bizarre. I give you, Ann Coulter:
I'm sure most readers have already seen it but it bears watching again. Ann Coulter often says or writes things both controversial and outrageous because she knows its entertaining (which, arguably, she is). In this case I really believe she's saying something controversial and outrageous because she thinks she's being influential (which, she definitely is not). In fact, she really is holding herself up for ridicule here.
I mean, when you give an opportunity for Alan Colmes to actually be funny at your expense you can rest assured you've probably gone off the deep end.
I always held a firm belief that when all was said and done the majority of the GOP voters would not choose John McCain as their nominee. Clearly now I understand that this preconception was grossly exaggerated by the "conservative" media (and, yes, I include the blogosphere here).
Now, as I've said I am still rooting for Romney to do well on Thunderdome Tuesday and I'm not at the point where I've come to happy to accept the idea that McCain will win the nomination (which is the relationship argument equivalent of "I'm still not talking to you") but I am clear-thinking enough to recognize that John McCain should send Ann Coulter an early Valentine's gift of a dozen - no, several dozen - roses.
This kind of mass hysteria will only drive voters currently on the fence into the McCain camp. I will admit, though, that this is really a fascinating process to watch.
For those who want to read someone who pulls NO punches about the current "McCain Derangement Syndrome", Rachel Lucas' recent post is a must-read (content warning, Rachel is very much a potty-mouth - though she (like Robert DiNero) has evolved it to an art form.
February 01, 2008
So Shoe Me
I need a new pair of running shoes. The pair I currently have not only no longer give me any support, they are now actively conspiring to cripple me. Why? Well, as it suddenly occured to me again today, I originally bought them shortly after the eldest Llama-ette was born. Seeing that her tenth birthday is next month, you can begin to understand the problem. (I've never done a lot of running, and there are long stretches within that span when I didn't run at all. Even so, ten years is ten years.)
Why didn't I buy a new pair earlier? Well, I've thought about it every now and then but each time my Scots blood has protested that I dinna have nay cause ta be spendin' me haird-earned shillins on sech fripperies, d'ye ken? Hoots! Toots! Now, however, I think I've reached the point where my inner kirk elder will give me a pass.
So - anybody out there have any particular suggestions about makes and models? I have small feet, ridiculously high arches and shot-to-hell-by-rowing knees. When in training, I average about 15 miles per week, almost all of it on a treadmill. (I'd like to do more outside work, however.)
Any tips would be appreciated.
February 5th Nickname
Okay, it's been called Super-Duper Tuesday, Nuclear Tuesday, Mega-Tuesday and others. I've even referred to it as Armaggedon Tuesday.
But none of them really seems to fit. Until now.
Therefore, I declare this February 5th - "Thunderdome Tuesday"
Two men enter, one man leaves.
That is [not] all.
Actually I was thinking Romney/McCain but The Abbot has struck upon pure genius. Steve-O! Time to fire up the photoshop on this one, adding the faces of Bubba and SWMNBN:
Who Run Bartertown?
Thanks to Sarah G. for pshop.
If you listen carefully you can hear her voice "Who Run Bartertown?!?"
Gratuitous Movie Observation
Uh, oh. I think I'm going to have to see this (when Netflix gets it) if for no other reason than to stand agog at just what Kevin Sorbo has been reduced to doing in order to make a buck:
Then again, I might not. I actually rented Epic Movie from Netflix some months back, but mailed it back without running it off out of a pure sense of shameful foolishness at having actually ordered it.
(Yes, my posting today seems to be running a brain-wrenching slalom. Think it's painful? Just imagine what it must be like to live like this.)
Gratuitous Musickal Observation
It's a curious thing which I still haven't really figured out yet, but the fact of the matter is that while I listen to a fairly broad range of composers and styles on a regular basis, when it comes to actually tickling the ivories myself I have for about a year now had virtually no interest whatever in playing the musick of anyone other than J.S. Bach.
Oh, on occasion I'll flip through one of my books of Mozart or Haydn or Handel. And sometimes I'll go even further afield (the other evening I had a sudden urge to play "Barafostus' Dream" by Thomas Tompkins, one of my favorite Elizabethan pieces). But I always wind up gravitating back to old Johann Sebastian. Go figure. (I've more or less dropped playing Beethoven. His musick seems increasingly vulgar to me. Again, go figure.)
I was messing about today with Bach's Keyboard Partitas, a couple of which I can play at least well enough to amuse myself. Two of my favorite dances are the opening Preambulum from Partita No. 5 in G major:
and the opening Toccata from the Partita No. 6 in e minor:
These two dances are polar opposites of each other in terms of character. The Preambulum is a delightful little romp - even its name has a geniality about it, suggesting a playful walkabout with no particular purpose other than the sheer exercise of it. The dance is full of stops and starts, fun hand-crossings and periodic outbursts of joyful energy. I always finish (at least when I hit a sufficient percentage of correct notes) with a smile.
Contrast that with the the e minor Toccata. Truth be told, I generally skip over the introductory chords because at least on a piano they sound too soppy. But there's nothing at all soppy about the fugal development of the main body. It has a somber and melancholy relentlessness that seizes you emotionally and just keeps squeezing. I am literally drained when done playing it and indeed, it is the only piece of musick I can think of that has ever caused me to tear up at the keyboard.
In his dedication, Bach said of the six Keyboard Partitas that they were "Composed for Music Lovers, to Refresh their Spirits." I think by "refresh" Bach had in mind something close to the modern concept of "working out". My spirits certainly feel like they've been to the gym after going through these pieces.
Gratuitous Domestic Observation - Pop Culchah Edition
I hope and pray that Miley Cyrus doesn't go south like so many other young stars seem to, because it's going to be a black day at Orgle Manor if Hanna Montana ever gets struck from the Llama-ettes' list of approved viewing and/or listening. (I mention this today because the eldest gel has managed to snag an invitation to go and see the latest movie release this weekend.)
We're hoping the trump card this time is the fact that her father Billy Ray is so heavily involved in what she does.
UPDATE: Wow, it's quiet today. Would I garner any more attention if I were to say, since this is a Cyrus Family post, that I never have understood why so many people seem to think "Achy Breaky Heart" is so terrible? Really, it's a dumb song, but fun.
No. 19: Ask the Bible
A.J. Jacobs at Esquire spent a year living Biblically. He discovered that the Bible is such an unexpectedly practical resource for daily living, he now writes a humorous column called Ask the Bible.
Clicketh this link my children to read and learn how to live.