Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Supporting the Troops Over a Cliff

If you didn't read this Frank Rich column on Sunday, read it here. It says it all, and I need not comment.

Nod to CrankyMom for the link.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Thinking outside the box doesn't help if you're still in the hole

Twice in two days I was stuck in a hole. This morning's blog entry is about two of my own illogical unscientifically stupid moments. Feel free to use them as sermon illustrations.

Last summer my partner and I bought a pop-up pool. You've seen them, the kind that's just a big round piece of plastic that you fill up with water with a blow-up donut on top magically holding it all together. Turns out, our lawn didn't care for having bzillions of pounds of water on it in one spot. The entire right side of the pool sank 6 or 7 inches. We made it through the year with a lopsided, partially filled pool; but this summer we really want to be able to fill it completely and not worry about it spouting off to one side and washing us off in a sudden waterfall. The grandchildren would love it. Us... not so much.

What could we use to prop up the area that would be easy to move later, or would just contribute to turning it back into lawn if we move?

Not sand, our first choice for shiftiness. Shiftiness is very important to CrankyCindy. It'd never turn into lawn right. Because of the positioning of the lawn, fences, and giant rhododendronish plant matter, dirt would have to be carried from our car 50 feet, one 40-lb bag at a time. The farm girl in me hates the idea of paying for dirt. So we tried mightily to think outside of the box.

Perhaps rotten old sci fi books, destined for tag sale. But no, they would be gross to move later. Pillows was my honey's idea, which idea was finally rejected after long discussion about the compressionability of pillows under bzillions of pounds of water. I thought maybe big bags of feed corn, because like sand, it would shift under the weight, and then it'd just compost. But no, we decided, it would mould before it composted, there'd be no air there. There was no substance that didn't get pondered. Lawn Clippings piled high, wood with a little dirt on top to blunt the sharp edges, compost. We couldn't come up with a solution that didn't involve heavy lifting and paying for dirt. 45 minutes we thought about it.

Then I called my dad for the Sunday afternoon chat.

"This is what you do," he said, very gently, "you take a shovel and lower the other side, spreading the dirt around until it's level."


You'd think that'd do it, and my brain function would return, but no, there's another story.

I haven't been able to get online from home for the last 4 days, and hardly at work. They say it's something about "the lines." I don't know.

Yesterday was the Coming of Age Service in our congregation (Fabulous, thanks for asking) so I'm taking today off except for finalizing the agenda with my RE Council Chair for tomorrow's meeting. She phoned earlier this morning and told me she emailed it to me.

Aarg, my working style is not ears-only, I really need to see things in order to work on them. So I told her I'd call her back after I checked my email to see if it was up yet.

I still couldn't get on line. So I called work and yes, email was working there. So I put some on going out of the house but not really going to work clothes, and got in my car to drive to work so I could get my email there and go over the agenda with her by phone.

As I drove by her house, 4 blocks down from mine, I saw her and stopped momentarily to tell her that I'd call her in a few minutes when I got the agenda and could see my online calendar.

She looked at me like I had two heads.

"Come in," she said, (again, very gently,) "We can do that here. I have the agenda here, on my computer. We can look it over together."


So my online friends, I have, perhaps, learned that it does no good to think outside the box if you're still inside the hole. We'll wait a few days and see if I am able to extrapolate from these two situations to future ones. Time will tell.

... addendum: Now it's Monday night and I'm finally online again. I guess if Verizon owns all the phonelines,There's no market pressure to fix problems. Oh wait, that'd be another post...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

BOOK ENDS. Left and Right

How far does CSPAN go to prove they cover both the left and right? As far as this afternoon.
Today on Book TV, Angela Davis and David Horowitz.

2:30 Angela Davis, Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture
4:05 David Horowitz, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America

Angela Davis, is, of course, one of the most dangerous academics.

If C-SPAN really wanted to do fair coverage, they would have followed it up with something with Robert Jensen
(Dangerous" Academics: Right-wing Distortions About Leftist Professors)
or someone from Free Exchange on Campus, where you can fact check Horowitz at Facts Count: an analysis of David Horowitz's "The Professors."

Regnery Press, Horowitz's publisher, is the same publisher that brought us early works of conservatism like William Buckley's
God and Man at Yale, and Phyllis Schlafly's The End of an Era.

Then they dove down into the pits of hell and brought us
The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS in 1990 by Michael Fumento &
Inventing the AIDS Virus in 1996 by Peter H. Duesberg

They publish pot-shot books about Democratic leaders,
"Swift Boat Veterans" Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,
In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror, (Michelle Malkin gets on C-Span quite frequently),
Madame Hillary, The Real Jimmy Carter, Legacy, and Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.

and most recently,
Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy To Redefine Marriage, Peter Sprigg

Anyway, I started talking about this afternoon's Book TV and David Horowitz.
Now my stomach hurts. Maybe I'll just tape it and watch it when I feel stronger.