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    Out of Iraq, into New Orleans!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Return of the Katrinacrat

After some time off, I am now back. I've had time to think things over and regroup. I guess I'm still sort of in denial about my mom. I still can't believe she's gone now. So much kept happening every time I thought I would come back to the blogs. I am now ready to come back, and pick back up where I left off. I am ready for battle once again. The Katrinacrat is back!

Ten Post Round-Up: Aloha Friday

I have struggled and scraped for the last several days to find something, anything, to consider "good news" or "positive news". I didn't realize how hard it would be.

With the recent deployment of my husband, back to Iraq, this week, I've been thinking a lot about how bad news can be seen as good news (in some cases) and vice versa. For instance, of course, it's bad news that SSG Dizzy is in Iraq, but the good news is that I have three-less loads of laundry to do, per week. The good news is, now the toilet paper goes on the roll in the "proper" direction, but the bad news is that now there is no one to go grab me a new roll of TP if I am stuck on the potty before discovering the roll has run out!

So, in the spirit of shaking things up in my Round-Up, I am definitely going to include absolutely positive posts, but as filler, I will include a few good news-bad news posts (let me know what you think in comments).

Before we proceed with our ten post round-up, please proceed to this link for today's attitude adjustment.

From BlondeSense, BlondeSense Liz has a post about a Chilean prostitute who is auctioning off 27 hours of sex for charity. Well, that ought to make it easier for married "johns" to explain their indiscretion, "But, Honey, it was for a good cause!" Umm...OK, then.

In good news-bad news: Good, the surge IS working. Bad news? We'll have to stay in Iraq longer to make sure it KEEPS working! (Signs Of The Times: Catch 22 in Iraq - Why American Troops Can't Go Home).

From ABC News (Australia) we learn that scientists have found a way to make old skin young again, by blocking a single gene:
They did this by creating genetically modified mice with a defective gene that can be switched off so that their cells ceased to age when a cream was applied to the skin.

While still years from being determined safe for use in humans, the discovery offers hope of one day reversing many age-related illnesses and injuries as the technique may work on any kind of organ or tissue.

Good news? The Chinese seem to be reversing their over-population problem. Bad news? Looks might have a problem with family values in the future, since their one-child policy has helped the country breed an entire generation of selfish brats. (Reuters: China's "me" generation).

From Signs Of The Times comes word of a new advance in bionic limbs: a sense of touch!

Good news? Some mug-shots of GWB and other Bush administration officials have been discovered in a New York public library. Bad news? They're fake! ( New York Public Library Exhibit Features Fake Mug Shots of Members of Bush Administration).

Good news? Some guy won $1 million on the lottery! Bad news? Being on probation for armed robbery, he was forbidden from gambling, including purchasing lottery tickets! (Signs Of The Times: Lottery winner wasn't supposed to gamble).

Good news? After 25 years, an identity bracelet has been returned to its rightful owner. Bad news? A chicken had to die in order to find it! (Signs Of The Times: Bracelet found in chicken after 25 years).

Good news? Duct tape works really, really well. Bad news? It's not so good for your health if you get it wrapped around you. ( Duct Tape Teacher).

And, last but not least, according to Scientific American, the trick to raising smart kids is NOT to tell them they are smart, but to praise them for their efforts. Apparently, kids praised for their efforts, even when they fail, are more likely to try harder to do better than their peers who are praised for being so smart. When the smart peers fail, rather than try harder, they are more likely to find ways to get over, such as cheating, or they give up completely. Hmm...might explain a few things about Bushliburton...

I had a long night, what with the big game, last night (long story...) and I am posting this PRE-morning cuppa! So I'm gonna go get my caffeine on and why don't you go out and make it great day!

(Originally posted at Dizzy Dayz)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Sweet Thursday

You got your morning cuppa?

I got your Ten (Positive) Post Round-Up!

Hey! Don't forget to click here for your daily attitude adjustment. Today's Sweet Thursday attitude adjustment brought to you by Matt Costa.

(Introducing new format fun...)

From Shakesville, Jeff Fecke blogs about how web slackers can Waste Time on the Internets While Helping Actual Humans.

Jeff sez:
This site is seriously awesome -- basically, it's a vocabulary game, but for every question you get right, the site donates 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme. So it's a three-fer: you improve your vocabulary, you help people in the third world, and you make a conservative angry by supporting the United Nations.
You can make a conservative angry by playing this game? Where do I log-on?!?)

From, I hear the neon lights are bright on Broadway...Again! The Grinch will be stealing Christmas, tonight, and I ain't talking about Dick Cheney!

From Yahoo News, a cell-service has a solution for Londoners to help them solve the pesky problem of not being able to find the loo when the urge to do the potty dance takes over, while they are out and about.
Tourists, theatergoers, shoppers and pub patrons in London's West End can now text the word "toilet" — and receive a text back with the address of the nearest public facility.
Now if they could only come up with a service to tell you which stall has the only roll of toilet paper, before it's too late!

Want to know whether or not your web connection is being deliberately effed with by your internet service provider? From Yahoo News comes word that there is new software available to detect whether that interference is innocent or malicious.
The San Francisco-based digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation hopes the program, released Wednesday, will help uncover "data discrimination" — efforts by Internet providers to disrupt some uses of their services — in addition to the cases reported separately by EFF, The Associated Press and other sources.
And that way, we can put all of our big interweb conspiracies into perspective...

I love Jones Soda Co. I'm a sucker for soda that's not "cola" flavored. I especially love their Strawberry-Kiwi (caffeine-fortified, I might add). But, from come word that Jones Soda Co. is selling a holiday ham-flavored soda!
Jones Soda Co., the Seattle-based purveyor of offbeat fizzy water, is selling holiday-themed limited-edition packs of flavored sodas.

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.
I'm all over the Egg Nog flavored soda and I might even try the Jelly Doughnut, but I will definitely pass on the Christmas Ham...well, unless it's fresh from the oven with a pineapple glaze, of course.

Listen up in Atlanta! According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a local radio station hosted a serious fundraiser, yesterday, because some Grinchs stole $50,000 worth of Christmas toys and gifts that were donated to the local Empty Stocking Fund.
With the Empty Stocking Fund devoid of $50,000 worth of toys and gifts thanks to the thieves who swiped them out of a City Hall East warehouse, Project 9-6-1’s Giant Brian morning show is going to air for 50 consecutive hours starting at 7 a.m. with a goal of raising $1,000 an hour to cover the deficit.
I hope they find the thieves that stole Christmas from those kids. Jail will probably be too nice of a place for those Grinches, this holiday.

From The Christian Science Monitor, we learn how One man tries to spur an urban revival with tulips. In Kansas City, no less.
Call it neo flower power. Call it a petal revolution. Whatever it is, it may be one of the most unusual approaches to urban renewal in the country. Led by the mild-mannered but tenacious Rice, local residents on both sides of Troost Avenue – young and old, black and white, middle class and poor – are planting tens of thousands of tulips to help beautify what has long been the city's premier social demarcation line.
I love tulips...

Scraping the bottom of the good/positive news barrel, I am pleased to report that according to The Deadbolt News, Britney Spears is NOT sperminated. And, according to, Christina Aguilera joins the ranks of other female celebrities, such as Britney Spears and Demi Moore, who bared their nude baby-bumps on magazine covers.

And, finally, in my own personal cover story: my own, Lil' Man, turns eight years old, today! Eight years down, ten to go! Where has all the time, gone?

I know it's not "actually" ten linked posts, but good news is so hard to find!

If you like the new format (paging drive-by blogger), please let me know in comments.

My brain hurts and I need another cuppa. Until tomorrow, take care of yourself and go out and make it a great day!

(Originally posted at my home: Dizzy Dayz)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Positive Vibration Wednesday

It's Wednesday, yo! I'm sure that about three or four of you *wink* noticed that I did not post a positive round-up, yesterday (my Firefox browser updated itself, but didn't update my add-ons which included an excellent html editor in which I transformed my posts into web worthy postings. Now, I have to do things the round-about way, which means my round-ups may be later on those days when my presence is required away from my, today, for instance).

Because I need it and I know some of you do, too, I'm sending out some positive vibrations which can be obtained by channeling a little Bob Marley, for your listening and viewing pleasure.

Now for today's Ten (Positive) Post Round-Up.

From Bring It On!:
  • The Three Horsemen of Shame Finally Retired:
    There are no tears in my eyes with the sudden announcement that the last of the three horseman for President Bush is leaving public service. He is following in the well respected footsteps of our first horsemen of shame, Tom Delay who never saw anything illegal and you or any court can not prove it. Then of course Trent Lott is also following in the footsteps of shame of former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, the second horsemen of shame who pretended that a congressiona l representati ve (Mark Foley) affection for boy pages was nothing to really worry about. Trent Lott was nothing more than a yes man for anything that would benefit the rich in this nation at the expense of the masses. That makes him the end of the Three Horsemen of Shame. Over at the New York Times they have this little diamond on Trent Lott’s retirement from the Senate…
    (Dizzy sez: Good news, even if only for a few blissful moments...)
From BuzzFeed:
  • The Gulabi Gang:
    Politics Buzz A large gang of renegade women in India donning bright pink saris have banded together to fight back against the men who have abused them. This inspiring story of pink ladies rising up against their oppressors makes our 9th grade riot grrrl phase feel real silly.
    (Dizzy sez: Who can resist a story about sisters doin' it for themselves...)
  • Drinking Sewage:
    Science Buzz A "toilet to tap" treatment plant goes online in Orange County. A number of U.S. cities are thinking about getting more drinking water supplies by recycling sewage. It's a very different take on sewage than those kids making jenkem.
    (Dizzy sez: I am all for recycling, butt...)
From The Daily Mail:
  • Meet the supermouse bred by genetic scientists that CAN'T get cancer:
    Mice resistant to cancer have been created in a breakthrough that could lead to a human treatment free of side-effects.

    A protein produced by the creatures may hold the key to a future therapy.

    It attacks tumour cells, but does not harm healthy tissue in the body.

    Scientists hope the gene will one day provide a cancer treatment without painful side effects

    Scientists hope it can one day be adapted for use in humans - saving them the pain, nausea and hair loss usually associated with cancer treatments.
From The Huffington Post:
  • Google Planning To Invest In Renewable Power:
    Google Inc. said it expects to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in efforts to make renewable electricity cheaper than power from coal-fired plants, aiming to hasten the deployment of clean energy and save money for itself and others.

    Co-founder Larry Page said the Internet company's goal is to facilitate, through investments in projects and companies, the building of power-generating facilities that can produce about 1,000 megawatts of renewable electricity -- as much as one or two conventional power plants -- for three cents a kilowatt hour or less. That would be inexpensive enough to compete, without public subsidies, against coal plants.
  • Cheney's Doctors Detect Signs of Heart:
    In a stunning development that has confounded medical experts around the world, doctors examining Vice President Dick Cheney said today that they have detected signs of a heart.

    The vice president was rushed to the hospital over the weekend after complaining of chest pains, but no one in Mr. Cheney's inner circle suspected that a human heart was the cause.

    "We had been operating under the assumption that he didn't have one," said chief of staff David Addington, who said that Mr. Cheney also has not had a soul since 1995, when it was purchased by the Halliburton Corporation.
    (Dizzy sez: Who knew?)
From The Leaky Cauldron:
  • A League of their Own: Quidditch and US Colleges
    We have a fun bit of news for you, as the USA Today has a lengthy feature on the rise in popularity of Quidditch at colleges here in the States. Focusing on the team at Middlebury College, the paper notes the college saw an "Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup Fall Festival" complete with "banners, team processions worthy of Olympic opening ceremonies, halftime entertainment and 12 seven-person coed Middlebury teams vying for the chance to play the visiting team from Vassar College." The outcome ? "Middlebury's Mollywobbles defeated Vassar for the championship. A bit of a rout, really. Vassar never scored."

    While many Harry Potter fans have long played the magical game at conventions, various release parties, even a few schools, the sport is becoming more accepted at more mainstream universities, as Quidditch is now being played at "Bucknell University, Tulane, Oberlin, Washington state's Whitman College and Vermont's Marlboro College, where the Golden Snitch is not a human but a toy helicopter. (It has to be caught before it hits the ground.)
    (Dizzy sez: The Fundies must really love this!)
From The Mail:
  • Honest Man Returns Mistaken $2M Check:
    There are probably a million ways Jerry Mika could spend $2 million dollars. Trouble is, he couldn't cash the check. Expecting a $15 refund from the Utah Department of Commerce, the Draper man opened his mail recently to find a $2,245,342 check.

    "I kept trying to find a way to make it legitimate so I could cash it," he said. "I did think about all the things I could do with the money ... who wouldn't?"

    Mika returned the check -- a mistake that occurred when an employee entered a serial number, not an amount -- to state finance offices Wednesday.
    (Dizzy sez: I'll bet the idea of maybe getting charged with a crime was a stronger inducement to returning the check, not to mention paying every last dime back once the state caught up with him. Then again, how many other folks got checks like this and decided to try their luck at cashing it? At least he played it smarter than the idiot who recently tried to cash a $1M bill!)
From Wired:
  • Deutsche Grammophon Says 'Nein' to DRM:
    Deutsche Grammophon, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, plans to launch a DRM-free music store at at 7pm eastern standard time.

    According to CrunchGear, the site will sell 24K classical albums in box sets in the MP3 format, encoded at the maximum standard bitrate, 320 Kbps. Meanwhile, prices will apparently give Americans the edge over Europeans, because tracks will cost 1.29 in both euros and dollars. Album downloads will apparently include album booklets, videos, and tour information.
    (Dizzy sez: For Classical music lovers, such as myself...)
From Yahoo News-Canada:
  • Poo power from dairy farm lights Ontario homes:
    OTTAWA (CBC) - Energy produced from cow manure at an Ottawa Valley dairy farm has been turning heads and generators.

    The technology developed by farmer and engineer Paul Klaesi and his brother Fritz won a $50,000 innovation award from the Ontario government this year, and now tourists are flocking to their farm in Foresters Falls, about 100 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

    "Every week, one or two tours or groups show up," Klaesi said as he showed CBC reporter Hallie Cotnam the 300 cows and the machines that together produce enough power for the entire dairy operation and 40 additional homes.

    According to Natural Resources Canada, the Klaesi's power project is the smallest of its kind in Canada and shows that anaerobic digester power technology is feasible on a typical farm.
    (Dizzy sez: And when the neighbors complained about the crappy lighting, well, they would be right...)
Once, again, my apologies for the lateness of this positive post, but trying to go back to using old tech after growing so accustomed to using new tech is a drag (How did we get by so many years?!?!).

It's the afternoon, but still cold enough for another hot cuppa. I think I'll add some whipped cream. That oughta help my mood, considerably.

Please take care of yourself and what ever is left of your day, make it great!

(Originally Posted at Dizzy Dayz)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Lazy Monday

Oh, snap! It's Monday!

Don't you just hate the Monday after a major holiday? Makes me glad that I'm a stay-at-home mom, Sunday thru Wednesday and that I home-school my children so that I don't have to wrestle with them on Monday mornings. I can enjoy my morning cuppa in peace and snicker at the rest of the crazy world going by.

I know some of you are feeling lazy, what with that tryptophan still kicking your butt, three days on. So, why not indulge in a bit of nuttiness, this lazy Monday (drop by and enjoy a little parody, it will help your sanity).

Awww...don't you feel better, now? Feel how that attitude was adjusted into the upright position.

Now we can proceed with today's Ten (Positive) Post Round-Up.

From Anything Goes & General News:
  • Malibu residents begin returning home:
    Residents began making their way through back streets and dirt roads Sunday afternoon into evacuated areas of this upscale community to see whether their homes survived a wind-driven wildfire that scorched surrounding brush-covered hills.

    Some homes along a road near the source of the blaze had been reduced to blackened wrecks, while others were barely damaged.

    "There's no rhyme or reason to it," said Frank Churchill, who returned home with his wife and four children to find his white stucco home largely undamaged, while three surrounding homes were leveled. "It doesn't make sense."
    (Dizzy sez: Sadly, not everyone will be able to come home to a house intact.)
  • Puerto Rico pageant officials probe pepper spray:
    Beauty pageant organizers were investigating Sunday who doused a contestant's evening gowns with pepper spray and spiked her makeup, causing her to break out in hives.

    Beauty queen Ingrid Marie Rivera beat 29 rivals to become the island's 2008 Miss Universe contestant, despite applying makeup and wearing evening gowns that had been coated with pepper spray, pageant spokesman Harold Rosario said.

    Rivera was composed while appearing before cameras and judges throughout the competition. But once backstage, she had to strip off her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body, which swelled and broke out in hives twice.
    (Dizzy sez: The old saying goes, "the show must go on"! This chica was not exactly the "underdog", but causing harm to someone in order to force them to quit is incredibly selfish and evil. One could totally use this experience as an analogy for future behavior of other organizations, like the anti-war movement. Eventually, the world will make note of all the dirty tricks and see to it that those who do evil will not prevail, even if many of us have to suffer serious "hives" before we defeat those who would bring us down...or something like that--they don't call me Dizzy for nothin'...)
  • Sources: Lott to resign by end of year:
    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, intends to resign by the end of the year, sources tell CNN.

    Lott decided to run for a fourth Senate term in 2006 for reasons including representing Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    He now feels he's laid the groundwork in Washington to make sure the region is looked after, according to a source familiar with his announcement.
    (Dizzy sez: Damn! And me without one single tear to shed...)
From The Chicago Tribune:
  • Michigan City musician, violin to be reunited:
    A Michigan City, Ind., musician plans to meet with police Monday to pick up the rare violin he reported stolen from the back seat of his car a week ago.

    The instrument, made in 1892 by Jerome Squier in Boston, has been valued at $100,000 because of its superior sound quality, said violinist Nicolas Orbovich.

    "It's got this tremendous balance of different characteristics," said Orbovich, 42, a violinist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. "You don't want a violin that has too much 'brightness,' or what you might call stridence or tinniness. And you don't want it too mellow either. You don't want it too much either way."
    (Dizzy sez: A good instrument is so hard to come by! And I thought losing my car keys sucked.)
  • Pats Go 11-0 Despite Scare From Eagles:
    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -

    The New England Patriots are still perfect but the Philadelphia Eagles gave them a scare. The Pats rallied for a 31-28 win in New England's closest win of its 11-0 season. Laurence Maroney's 4-yard TD run with 7:20 left capped a 10-play, 69-yard game-winning drive for New England.

    Backup Eagles QB A.J. Feeley nearly pulled off the biggest upset in the NFL starting in place of injured QB Donovan McNabb. Feeley completed 27-of-41 passes for 345 yards and three TDs. He also threw three interceptions, two picked off by Asante Samuel.

    Wes Welker had a career night for the Patriots. Welker caught 13 passes for a career-best 149 yards.
    (Dizzy sez: I'm not a Pats fan, but SSG Dizzy is and sometimes we chat about how sucky it would be if the Pats get all the way to the Superbowl undefeated, only to get their a@@es handed to them on the "big day". My apologies for that raspberry, but I'm a little pi@@ed off that the Broncos have have a seriously "Rocky"...get it, "rocky"?...start this season...)
From The Huffington Post:
  • Film Industry Keeps Big Easy Afloat:
    Call it "the other LA."

    In addition to sharing the same abbreviation as the film industry's capital, the state of Louisiana is capturing more of the dollars going into movie and television production -- roughly half a billion dollars for about 50 projects this year.

    While it isn't exactly pirating away thousands of jobs and making Southern California economists nervous, the boom in Louisiana's film industry is raising hopes it can be a catalyst for recovery from economic devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
  • Great Job Or Greatest Job? Tasting Gum For A Living:
    Sue McNamara is the envy of friends and family alike. For a few hours four mornings a week, she sits in a spotless room in a lab coat and chews gum. Then she tells her boss how it tastes. Then she gets paid.

    "Everyone wants my job," said Ms. McNamara, a mother of three who has worked as a gum taster at Cadbury Schweppes Science and Technology Center here for almost four years. "I have lawyer friends who tell me they want my job, and I'm definitely the most popular mom in the neighborhood."
    (Dizzy sez: And here I thought I had a cush job as a DJ and Karaoke Host!)
From The New York Times:
  • Malibu Fire Is Largely Contained:
    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 25 — The fire that burned nearly 5,000 acres and destroyed about 50 homes in Malibu over the weekend was 70 percent contained on Sunday, officials said.

    Firefighters worked around the clock to contain the blaze. Officials said it was not clear whether it had been intentionally set.

    The blaze was also downgraded to fuel driven from wind driven, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Fuel-driven fires are typically safer to fight and easier to predict.

    Winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour — with gusts up to 50 m.p.h. — enabled the fire to spread quickly on Saturday. But by early Sunday, the fire was fueled largely by dry canyon brush.
    (Dizzy sez: Meanwhile, Malibu residents wait for this nightmare to end, completely...)
From USA Today:
  • Study: '12 Days of Christmas' will cost you $78,100:
    Four calling birds, three french hens, two turtledoves and, um, $78,100: That's how much it would cost to buy the 364 gifts listed in The 12 Days of Christmas, according to PNC Wealth Management's Christmas Price Index.

    That's up about 4% from last year, PNC reports. You could try to 'cheap out' and buy just one of each item (it seems like one swan a-swimming would be enough, for example), but that still would set you back $19,507, up 3.1 percent from last year's $18,921.

    Shopping online makes things even worse: the 364 items would cost $128,886 online, up 2.5 percent from last year's $125,767, according to PNC.
    (Dizzy sez: Okay, so this is not technically "good news", it's still "interesting" and that is why I have included it...)
From ZDnet:
  • OLPC: How do we gauge success? Will 490,000 units do?:
    The One Laptop per Child project’s “Give One, Get One” program has been extended through Dec. 31 as donations averaged about $2 million a day. On that pace, the OLPC should move about 490,000 units by the end of the year. Does that make the effort a success?

    The initial Give One, Get One promotion–a philanthropic sale if you will–began on Nov. 12 and give-one-get-one.jpghad been scheduled for two weeks. Under the program, you pay $399 for two laptops. You get one and a child in a developing country like Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia and Rwanda gets the other one. I bought two on Nov. 12, but took some heat for noticing the shipping charge.

    In a statement on Thanksgiving, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop per Child initial promotion will be extended to the end of the year. The rationale: OLPC (blog focus, all resources) got good demand and some folks had asked for more time to organize groups. XO laptops, the flagship model of the OLPC project, can be bought for educational purchases in quantities of 100-999 at $299 each, 1000-9999 at $249 each, and 10,000 and up at $199 each. That scale means that if you buy 10,000 XOs in the Give One, Get One program you can hit the $100 barrier per laptop, the OLPC’s initial price target.
    (Dizzy sez: I'm glad to hear that this project is going well. What will be way more interesting is hearing from some kid, in one of those developing countries, who comes forward and shows how this program has helped better his life.)
My apologies. I did have to dig through that barrel and scrape the bottom to find exactly "ten" posts today, to meet this week's criteria. So sue me *wink*! These days, I'll take good news wherever I can get it!

I gotta get a move on. SSG Dizzy is shipping out for Iraq Deployment 3.0 in a couple of hours and I gotta go put my game face on.

But, don't you worry about me, dear reader. You take care of yourself and go out and make it a great day!

(Originally posted at: Dizzy Dayz)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Sunny Sunday Morning

Dear reader, I promised you that starting today and for the next week, I would post nothing but good news in my Ten Post Round-Up and I will do my best not to disappoint you this Sunday morning.

First, we'll start with a little music, this Sunday morning (a little Maroon 5, to appeal to your senses).

Now, prepare to adjust your attitude to a more positive setting.

We are now ready for today's Ten (Positive) Post Round-Up.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
  • Grateful farmers to give trees to military families:
    Gordon Hunter, owner of a Christmas tree farm in north Fulton County, is donating trees to families on Georgia military bases as an act of patriotic appreciation.

    "These are families that are giving up a lot," said Hunter, who flew Navy fighters during the Vietnam War. "This is a way for people to open up and say thank you."

    George and Brooke Hunter, owners of Hunter Christmas Tree Farm in Milton, are helping in the Trees for Troops effort.

    Hunter and other tree farmers in Georgia sent about 275 trees to military families last year through the Trees for Troops program.
From The Colorado Springs Gazette:
  • Air your grievances in spirit of festivus:
    A Manitou Springs art gallery is celebrating an alternative winter holiday that’s designed for the rest of us.

    Partners of the Green Horse Gallery at 729 Manitou Ave. on Saturday brought out their pole of grievances and unleashed their complaints in honor of Festivus, a fictional holiday depicted in the sitcom “Seinfeld.”

    In the show, Jerry Seinfeld and friends visit Frank and Estelle Costanza, who celebrate the holiday in lieu of Christmas. Frank Costanza invented the concept after he fought another man for a doll at a department store on Christmas Eve — it’s a Festivus miracle!
    (Dizzy sez: Merry Festivus, ya'll! I could start on my grievances, but there is not enough bandwidth in the world for all that...)
From The Chicago Sun-Times:
  • Tiny Texas town fetches $3.8 mil.:
    SAN ANTONIO -- Someone in Italy placed the winning bid of $3.8 million on Friday for a one-house Texas town auctioned online.

    No one lives permanently in the 13-acre town of Albert, about 60 miles north of San Antonio, but its tavern is open on weekends. The town also has a pavilion, a dance hall, a tractor shed, a three-bedroom house, and peach and pecan orchards.
  • Stem cell discovery called milestone:
    Scientists say they have reprogrammed human skin cells so they behave like embryonic stem cells. If the work overcomes hurdles, the breakthrough could benefit science without the controversy that has dogged stem cell research. The work appeared in two prestigious journals, Cell and Science.
  • Firefighters make progress against blaze near Malibu:
    MALIBU, California (CNN) -- A "dangerous and dynamic" wildfire in Southern California that left six firefighters hurt and destroyed dozens of homes grew to 4,650 acres Saturday night, officials said.

    But firefighters have been able to contain 25 percent of the blaze, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

    They got a slight break when dry Santa Ana winds clocked at 57 mph (92 kph) earlier in the day decreased to about 20 mph, CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said.
    (Dizzy sez: Here's hoping they get the blaze completely under control very soon.)
From The Kansas City Star:
  • Fund helps Humane Society treat injured animals:
    Dogs and cats of every breed and disposition pass through the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City every year.

    But a fluffy shepherd mix puppy will forever be remembered for how his story continues to help other homeless pets in need.

    When workers from the Humane Society in Kansas City, Kan., first laid eyes on Gabriel two years ago, his physical condition was pitiful. The puppy had been illegally abandoned and had three broken legs. He couldn’t get up to greet volunteers and employees, but they instantly knew the puppy’s spirit was strong.
    (Dizzy sez: Sometimes it's easy to forget that our four-legged friends need us, too.)
From The Los Angeles Times:
  • New Polish premier pledges Iraq pullout:
    WARSAW -- Signaling a rapid about-face after last month's parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Donald Tusk pledged Friday to end Poland's military deployment in Iraq in 2008 and said his nation would engage in more "dialogue" with its neighbors before accepting a U.S. missile defense system on Polish soil.

    The three-hour speech before Parliament marked a significant departure from the politics of the last two years, when President Lech Kaczynski and his twin, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, set Poland on a nationalist course. The government largely supported U.S. military objectives but antagonized neighboring nations in the European Union and was at times openly hostile to Russia.
    (Dizzy sez: Looks to me like GWB has a few things to rant to the Festivus pole about, this year!)
  • Rescued Dog Saves Owner From Idaho Fire:
    Sometimes rescuers need to be rescued, too.

    Candace Jennings was sleeping on the couch when she was nudged awake by her dog, Anna, to find her mobile home engulfed in flames early Thanksgiving Day. The blond heeler, an abused stray dog Jennings had adopted from an animal shelter, whined and howled until they ran outside.

    "I had an awful headache. The place was filled with smoke," she told the Idaho Statesman for a story published Saturday.

    But Jennings said she ran back into her burning home to save some items.
    (Dizzy sez: No animals were harmed in the production of this great story.)
From Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
  • Forgotten Children's Fund lends St. Nick a hand:
    Have you ever looked out across the rooftops and wondered, "How does Santa do it all in one night?"

    In Seattle, Santa Claus has a little help from his friends at the Forgotten Children's Fund.

    By the end of Christmas Day, 700 families and several thousand children will hold photos of themselves with Santa that prove he visited their homes.

    For more than 30 years the charity has delivered Christmas to families who cannot afford to celebrate the holiday.
From The Seattle Times:
  • Missing mother, daughter found in Spokane:
    A 16-month search for an American girl taken from her father in Germany ended Friday in Spokane.

    A security guard walking the grounds at Sacred Heart Medical Center recognized Megan Mulczynski, now 13, from missing-person fliers, according to a Spokane Police Department press release.

    The girl's mother told police that a Catholic priest from Germany was helping the two of them relocate in Spokane under false names. The mother, 50-year-old Gail Elk Canno Mulczynski, was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of custodial interference.

    Gail Mulczynski, who was declared mentally ill by a psychiatrist appointed by a German court, refused a request for a jailhouse interview Friday.

    The girl's father, Tom Mulczynski, plans to fly to Spokane today, and expects to be in court on Monday.

    "I have all the legal documents in place to give me custody," Mulczynski said in an interview from his Virginia home, shortly after learning late Friday that his daughter had been found. "I have butterflies in my stomach."
I searched the interweb tubes left and right to find some good news to post. I'm glad that I was able to deliver.

Expect more of the same over the next week.

Hey, while you're thinking about it...go out and make it a great day!

(Originally posted at: Dizzy Dayz)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mayday, country in distress!

FYI, you still suck as much as your war Mr. Bush!

Ten Post Round-Up: Sunless Saturday

Despite the fact that it is sunny and, apparently, there is not a cloud in the sky, on this gorgeous, Saturday. There just seems to be a darkness, today. It's not just preparing to send my loved one to Iraq, but something else.

Too many of my friends, who were once gainfully employed are finding it hard to get jobs, despite the fact that they have three or more mouths to feed. Friends who do have jobs are finding they are miserable, working every day, but to what end? Things are going well for me, but it's hard to feel upbeat when the people I care about are going through so much turmoil and there is little or nothing I can do to help them.

It feels like a "sunless Saturday" where darkness prevails, despite the light.

I'm afraid my Ten Post Round-Up will not make things much brighter. But, tomorrow, I think I will make a concerted effort to post nothing but good news...if I can find it.

From AMERICAblog:
  • John Howard joins Coalition of the Going today:
    UPDATE: Stick a fork in Howard. Not only has he lost the national election, it looks as though he lost his own seat. Looks like his own "Workchoices" are a bit more limited.
    (Dizzy sez: Another Bush crony bites the dust!)
  • $20 billion spent on Black Friday:
    That's according to one early estimate, which puts buying slightly above 2006 numbers. Retailers are all delivering upbeat assessments though analysts are still cautious. Some analysts are suggesting the early start to the shopping day will result in thinner crowds on Friday afternoon, possibly slowing down business. (Wouldn't they be out for the same length of time, just arriving home earlier?)
    (Dizzy sez: But how much of that was cash and how much was "master charge"?)
From Anything Goes & General News:
  • Bridge loaded with Bangladeshis caves in:
    A bridge collapsed under the weight of thousands of hungry cyclone victims stampeding toward a relief center in southwestern Bangladesh on Saturday, and local media said three were killed and dozens injured.

    Rescuers worked to remove fallen concrete slabs to search for people trapped underneath, while frantic villagers gathered around the site of the collapsed bridge on a river in Patuakhali district, one of the areas hit hardest by Tropical Cyclone Sidr.

    At least 100 people were injured and three were killed, the private NTV television channel reported.
  • Residents flee wildfire in Malibu hills:
    Residents were ordered to evacuate their homes early Saturday ahead of a wildfire that scorched about 100 acres in the hills above Malibu as the dry Santa Ana wind returned to Southern California.

    The blaze began shortly before 3:30 a.m. PST near Malibu Lake on state park land, said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mike Brown. Some residents who live in the canyons above Malibu were ordered to leave, Brown said, but it wasn't immediately clear how many.

    No injuries were reported. About 160 firefighters were on scene and the cause of the fire was being investigated.
From The Colorado Springs Gazette:
  • Signatures sought for personhood amendment:
    It’s known as the “Definition of a Person” in Colorado, the “Ultimate Human Life Amendment” in Mississippi, the “Paramount Right to Life” Amendment in Georgia and the “Personhood Amendment” in Michigan.

    In each case, the measure would change the state constitution to define a fertilized egg as a person entitled to constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process. And in every case, it’s part of a no-compromise anti-abortion strategy that has created a deep divide between those state groups that want a direct attack on Roe v. Wade and those that prefer National Right to Life’s incremental approach.

    But abortion-rights supporters and opponents agree that Colorado’s amendment would outlaw abortion and potentially have much broader effects.
    (Dizzy sez: First off, it's disgraceful that this is happening in my state, but no surprise since Focus on the Family and New Life Church make this town a Fundamentalist Christian mecca. Basically, this could have the effect of outlawing certain types of birth control, like Plan B, not to mention outlawing abortion and go one huge step further to establishing sexually-active women, married or not, as "pre-pregnant individuals, in need of intervention to protect their fertilized embryos" and another huge step towards the theocrats winning the war to own womens' wombs!)
From Crooks and Liars:
From The Huffington Post:
  • Australian PM John Howard Loses Election:
    Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

    Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.
    (Dizzy sez: I know it's wrong to gloat, but sometimes you gotta remind yourself that there is some teeny tiny hope for the rest of the world.)
From Signs Of The Times:
  • Fatal triple bomb attack in India:
    Nine people were killed in the holy city of Varanasi, UP Chief Minister Mayawati told journalists, and four in the city of Faizabad.

    The other attack was in the state capital, Lucknow.

    There have been a number of bomb attacks in India this year, which have left well over 100 people dead.
  • Cameron calls for ID cards halt:
    Gordon Brown will look "weird" and out of touch if he presses on with ID card plans despite the loss of child benefit records, David Cameron has said.

    At prime minister's questions, the Tory leader said the data problems should cause Mr Brown to "stop and think".

    But the prime minister told MPs that using biometric profiles would ensure "people can feel confident that their identity is protected".
    (Dizzy sez: I am sure that Howard is right, what with all the good the prime minister's government has done up to now...(cough-cough). I'm sure the Brits are just as confident in their leaders, as we Americans are...(gag).)
From Think Progress:
  • ‘Wave Of Violence’ Against Women In Iraq Undercuts White House’s Claims Of Success:
    In recent weeks, the Bush administration has cited declining violence in Iraq as evidence of the success. Earlier this month, President Bush said that Iraqis are slowly “taking back their country.”

    But last night, NBC Nightly News aired a segment about a “wave of violence that’s gone largely unreported lately against women in Iraq.” The report noted that Iraqi women, once “the most emancipated in the Arab world,” are increasingly unable to walk around without a hijab, wear cosmetics, or work. Watch the report:
    (Dizzy sez: You mean to tell me that Bush's war in Iraq has made things worse? You've got to be kidding me! Sadly, there are morons in this country who would love to see women's rights go the way of the Iraqi's...see previous post in this round-up...)
Whoa! What somber post offerings, today. I promise that tomorrow I will dig my RSS reader and post only good or positive posts. I know it will be hard to do since the news these days is super depressing.

Call me Pollyanna or Heidi, but I really feel there is still some good in this world and I will find it if I have search to the very literal end of the internets! In fact, I think I will make the coming week a "good news only ten post round up"...we'll go back to the crappy news, soon enough!

In the meantime, take care of yourself and go out and make it a great day (if not for yourself, for someone else)!

(Originally posted at: Dizzy Dayz)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Living On Denial

In 3 days, 5 hours, and 54 minutes, my family and I will begin living in denial.

Hey, it works for the President. Why not me?

Of course, it could be argued that the last person on the planet who should be living in denial is GWB, but I digress.

When you have a loved one in harm's way, sometimes the only way to cope is to live in denial of the danger they are in.

It's hard enough trying to do the day to day without having that physical and emotional support that you married into. Daddy's "job" around the house now becomes your job, if you are married to a soldier who is deployed. If your kids are driving your crazy, you can't really threaten them with "wait 'til your father comes home...", because it's going to be a long a@@ time before justice is meted out.

And forget about sex. For 15 months. After so many deployments, eventually the idea of finding comfort in a "battery-operated boyfriend" gets very, very old. When you get married, many of us expect to retire "BOB" to the toy box, only to be brought out for those "wild" nights when you want to spice things up. I can tell you that for many military spouses, "BOB" becomes as much a substitute for sex as email becomes for "positive communication" between a homebound and deployed spouse.

Everything has a substitute. Of course, when you are dealing with sending your spouse to a war-zone for the third time, those substitutes become meaningless...unless, you live in denial.

So, you accentuate the "positive" or things most single people take for granted and some married people envy. For instance, no more socks and undies on his side of the bed. No more tripping over his shoes. No more getting smacked or kicked in the middle of the night as he rolls over. You control the remote control. You control what movies to watch. You get to make sure the toilet paper goes on "correctly" or that regular chores are done "the right way". You control the car radio or what gets installed on the family computer. You might get a chance to curb those annoying habits that Daddy is teaching to the little ones. Heck, you get a 15 month break from Daddy's annoying habits. Your snoring will not be interrupted by his.

Of course, the downside is, if the sh@t hits the fan, you are on your own to deal with it. Despite all the rosy things you hear about "supporting the spouses" when the troops are deployed, I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that whenever I have needed help or support from the Army, in almost ten years, I have NEVER been able to rely on the Army or my husband's unit, to help me when I needed it most. Maybe I'm not kissing the right a@@es, but, truthfully, when my husband is away, I prefer not to mingle too much with other deployed spouses. A lot of the time, whether we mean to, or not, our conversations turn to games of oneupmanship, where we spend our time comparing how many emails, how often he calls, how many angry tirades, how much money he spends, and so on and so on. The first time this happens, it's enlightening, but eventually it gets very old if your spouse is doing "better" than their spouse (apparently) is.

Thankfully, I find solace in my business and my blogging. They are marvelous distractions when the days and nights get too long.

It is easy to live in denial when your spouse tells you that he is stationed in a "safe" area and that his job will not be dangerous. It is even easier to pretend that all is well when you get to hear from your loved one every day.

The insecurity sets in when you hear about something "bad" happening in that "safe" area or when you haven't heard from your spouse in more than 48 hours, due to a media blackout (translation: when a soldier has been hurt or killed).

To alleviate stress and deal with the every day and day to day struggles that most married couples deal with side by side, you have to live in denial or else it would be too difficult to cope. In 3 days, I will revert to a pretend life where Daddy is just going on a very long trip. I'll try not to think about where his trip is taking him.

Most of all, I'll pretend not to worry about him. I'll pretend to my kids that's it completely normal for Daddies to be at work for so many days. I'll pretend to the world around me that I can cope with being a single mom (at least, I get to control how much "alimony" I get). I'll pretend that nothing bad can happen. And, if everything goes "best case scenario", he'll be home in "no time" (plus 15 months) and life will be "normal", again...until the next deployment (?).

Trust me, in denial or not, I am going to "enjoy" some of the "positive" aspects of his deployment, for a little while, at least. But, this whole routine is getting very old.

I wish our President would stop living in denial and call an end to our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, it appears that "Bushliburton" is determined to ride that river of d'nile all the way to Iran and it appears there is no legislator, willing or able, to stop him.

A deployed spouse may have no choice but to live in denial to get by, but it's a shame that our President has chosen to live that way.

(cross-posted from Sirens Chronicles)

Ten Post Round-Up: Black Friday

Retailers across the country are cheering "Thank God It's Friday (Black Friday, No Less)!"

I'm all for participating in "Buy Nothing Day". I hate crowds (one of the reasons I hate movie theaters), so standing in line for "bargains" is not on my "to do" list. One year, we tried to participate in on-line Black Friday sales and almost all the websites either crashed or were out of the products we really wanted to get our hands on. Nowadays, we don't even bother window-surfing for things on the day after Thanksgiving. Truthfully, we don't really celebrate a traditional Christmas (kind of hard to do when Daddy is gone every other year, but, I digress), but we do like to get our hands on bargains that pop up, this time of year.

I've got other things to concern myself with for the next few days and shopping for bargains, be it today or tomorrow, is at the bottom of my list of things "to do". I do want to get this Ten Post Round-up out of the way so I can go make myself another cuppa.

From Brilliant at Breakfast:
  • We have learned nothing.:
    Enron. Tyco. The dot-com crash. No matter how many times we go through this, the business community never learns, and the public is bamboozled every time.

    Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations of the "invisible hand" -- that an individual pursuing his own self-interest tends to also promote the good of his community as a whole. He believed the ridiculous notion that each individual maximizing revenue for himself maximizes the total revenue of society as a whole. It's not even saying "What's good for General Motors is what's good for the country." It's saying "I have a shitload of money. So what are you complaining about?", or in the vernacular, "I got mine and fuck you."

    George W. Bush used to brag about the high percentage of people who were now homeowners. Now many of those "homeowners" are finding themselves losing those homes through foreclosure; with a stain on their credit records that will damage their ability to gain a toehold in the economy for years to come.

    The business community couldn't have handled it better if they had set out to cut these people off at the knees and kicked them out of the middle class.
    (Dizzy sez: The American "Dream" is turning into the the American "nightmare" for far too many of us...)
From The Huffington Post:
  • Democrats' Iraq War Bill: 'More Holes Than Swiss Cheese':
    For those who want troops out, "you've got more holes in here than Swiss cheese," said Tom Andrews, national director of the war protest group Win Without War and a former congressman from Maine.

    The Democratic proposal would order troops to begin leaving Iraq within 30 days, a requirement Bush is already on track to meet as he begins reversing this year's 30,000 troop buildup. The proposal also sets a goal of ending combat by Dec. 15, 2008.
    (Dizzy sez: Of course, I call b@llsh@t on the whole "troops...leaving Iraq...", since, as many troops are coming home, many troops are also leaving to go back. Every time there is a combination troop exodus/influx in Iraq, the media tries to spin it so that all the public sees is the troops coming home. They seem to ignore the troops leaving from the same airports those returning troops are coming home through. It's an insult to those of us who know the truth, especially if we are actually experiencing the truth in our own homes. Make note, they may be drawing down some of the troops that got deployed for "the surge", but they are NOT bringing our troops home, they are merely replacing the "regular units" so that the redeployed troops can retrain to go back to Iraq, next winter. The "positive" news about troops coming home is a smoke-screen to distract you from the fact that more troops are still being deployed).
  • FEMA Alert: Black Friday:
    The day after Thanksgiving is the holiday season's so-called "Black Friday," the day when shoppers across the country steel themselves for a flood of irritating news items about the holiday season's so-called "Black Friday." Though the day is traditionally thought of as the busiest shopping day of the year, retailers are now bracing themselves for weak sales volume as concerns about a sputtering economy threaten to keep shoppers at home.

    This year, will Black Friday be nothing more than a retail urban legend? Or should shoppers expect seriously hazardous conditions at their local malls? At least one government agency thinks the latter.
    (Dizzy sez: Methinks that Homeland Security and FEMA are trying to help retailers "find" justification for those low retail sales. "It's cuz folks was scared, that's why they didn't shop this year". That way they can ignore the fact that the economy is in the crapper and THAT is the real reason sales will be down this year...)
From BuzzFeed:
  • Buy Nothing Day:
    Culture Buzz Make November 24th, otherwise known as Black Friday, a one-day shopping fast. But don't worry, you can go back to your old spendy self tomorrow. We hear Bergdorf's is having a shoe sale.
    (Dizzy sez: Best to avoid all the crazy people on a day like today, anyhoo...)
From Jesus' General:
  • Covering Black Friday:
    It's here again. That day we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior by shanking the rotten bastard who bought the last singing bass at Wal-Mart. I'm going to celebrate the holiday a couple of ways with a little music this year.
    (Dizzy sez: Good music is more soothing than any shoe discount, I'll tell ya, at least!)
From The Future Was Yesterday:
  • Black Friday:
    Click! Excuse me a moment while I pull the shades. There! That gets all that thankful stuff out of the way. Now we can concentrate on the important stuff. The Need For Greed. Today is "Black Friday." Yesterday, we saw reporters standing in front of faked, browned turkeys, talking bullshit about being thankful in ten second sound bites. From now until Christmas, we will hear nothing but hard analysis about how much money business was able to suck out of us, interspersed of course, by horses pulling beer wagons, and that ever present damn electric razor zig zagging down hill. Get drunk, shave, and shop, I guess.
    Last year, we were so damn thankful, "we" killed three people on this day, the day of The Need For Greed. Never mind stores will be open seven days a week to process your credit card to pay for a bunch of Chinese shit, that makes no matter. We have GOT to go shopping today. It's Tradition. Here's a video from last year. Doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
    (Dizzy sez: It's amazing to me that so many Americans are willing to push and shove each other, the day after Thanksgiving, to give presents in observance of the birth of the "Prince of Peace".)
From Shakesville:
  • Happy Mythologized Harvest Feast!:
    I guess somebody had to mention this. Let it be me.

    Let's just put the day into perspective, shall we?

    When I was a kid, every Thanksgiving, we did some kind of project in school which involved black and white construction paper and staplers to make "Pilgrim hats", and brown construction paper with multi-colored construction paper (and staplers) to make "Indian headbands". We were then indoctrinated with a feel-good story about how the "Pilgrims" and the "Indians" came together in a wonderful environment of sharing and good-will and ate turkey and punkin' pie.

    Of course, this was almost completely 100% crap. Pilgrims didn't dress that way, and neither did the members of the Wampanoag tribe (that probably did share a feast with the white "settlers" in 1621 -- if you can trust white historians. Jus' sayin').

    During my grade school years, there was absolutely no education in my public school about the genocide of original North American tribal peoples, or forced relocation, or forced schooling and fostering of tribal children to white institutions and families. None. Zip. Nada.
    (Dizzy sez: For the last few years, I have completely skipped discussing Thanksgiving day "mythology" with my littlest kids...Heck, in our house, Thanksgiving is either a celebration of being thankful that Daddy has returned home or being thankful he is home for a few more days.)
From AMERICAblog:
  • Afghanistan continues to fall:
    Even Kabul is close to being threatened. Chalk up another botched mission by Team Bush and his boot-licking Tony Blair. If the US wants to be a leader, it's going to have to actually lead and not run away as we've seen in Afghanistan. Moving troops out of Afghanistan and into Iraq is coming back to haunt us. It's only a matter of time before the Bush crowd starts complaining again about NATO needing to send more troops when in fact, it was the US who abandoned this war. Mission Accomplished?
From Thorne's World:
  • If You Are Grateful: Share a Square:
    5098 Squares down
    1622 Squares TO GO!

    30 afghans are finished and at my house.
    35 are being worked on
    12 more people want an afghans
    77 afghans so far!!

    That's just over half, peoples.
    If you are grateful, today... why not share it; spread it around a lil.
    Go by This Eclectic Life. Leave her a comment. Link to her. Favorite her on technorati, bookmark her in google reader or delicious or whatever social bookmarking site you use. Crochet or knit a dozen squares or offer to edge some or put an afghan together. Send her (paypal or snail mail) a few bucks for postage, or a few skeins of black Red Heart or Carron Simply Soft yarn.
    (Dizzy sez: A very worthy cause, you should check out...)
Sometimes, watching the world around us, it's so easy to think about ourselves and neglect to consider that there are people, in our own community who have needs greater than our own. I challenge everyone within sight of this post, including myself, to do something positive to help make somebody else's life a little better. It doesn't have to involve money or too much of your time, but something that expresses your humanity, something that will make you feel as good as the other person/people you help. One simple (maybe random) act of kindness for a friend or a stranger can go a long way to us finding inner peace, even if our outer peace is being controlled by madmen.

Go out and make it a great day...if not for yourself, for someone else.

(Generously crossposted: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: The Turkey Chronicles

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just took the pumpkin pie out of the oven and boy does it smell yummy. Got the cornish game hen (x4) all roasted, last night and I'll heat up the rest around lunchtime.

It'll be a laid back Thanksgiving at Chez Dizzy and in that spirit I decided to make my Ten Post Round-Up a little more laid back, as well.

I searched my RSS reader for posts with the word "turkey" in them and came up with ten turkey posts for you. But, before you proceed, please heed the following warning (and please put your morning cuppa down before you do so...I'm serious, dammit!):

Now, it is safe to proceed...

From The Huffington Post:
  • Our Thanksgiving Parade Leads into the Pool:
    Gratitude? In our tiny nuclear family, we pinch ourselves for our good fortune. But on a ritualized celebration like Thanksgiving? That's another story.

    Our clans are small and scattered. Our five-year-old has zero interest in walking across the park to watch the Thanksgiving parade. More to the point, we're far too cynical to be fooled by the antique "message" of Thanksgiving --- outside of TV movies, does anyone still believe this long weekend has any connection to expressing thanks for the harvest?

    Not to be a curmudgeon, but how do you build "tradition" on such a frail foundation?

    Answer: You can't. In any event, we can't. But we don't scoff at the national turkey, football and shopping orgy, we just retreat into sanity and do whatever amuses us, without any attempt at continuity.
From The Gazette-Telegraph:
  • Put turkey grease in trash instead of drain:
    Just as eating too much greasy food can plug a person’s arteries, pouring fat, oil and grease down the drain can clog the city’s wastewater pipes.

    Those clogs can cause backups that damage homes and businesses and send sewage into creeks and streams.
From Brilliant at Breakfast:
  • Who says you have to make that big hormone-laden bird anyway?:
    Thanksgiving may be the holiday that most often causes people to plunge into holiday-related depression. No other holiday, not even Christmas, comes with as much Rockwellian baggage as Thanksgiving. It's the day when we think everyone but us is going to sit down to a perfectly-decorated table and eat a delicious meal of golden-brown turkey that oozes juices as it's carved, glistening cranberry sauce, fluffy stuffing studded with bits of sausage/raisins/whatever, mashed potatoes that taste like potatoes instead of something you'd use to putty dents in your car, and apples or pumpkin custard nestled in crusts that flake with a fork -- even on the bottom. We think everyone but us is going to sit around that table, without a cross word spoken, beaming at a few dozen loved ones -- grandparents, parents, children, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews -- and thank God that they all had the opportunity to be together on that day.
From Crooks and Liars:
  • Bubble Boy urges Americans to ‘give back’:
    In his first six years in office, the president has made little mention of Thanksgiving, beyond the ceremonial turkey pardons, but yesterday Bush traveled to Charles City, Virginia, for his first speech devoted specifically to the holiday. “[O]ur nation’s greatest strength is the decency and compassion of our people,” he said. “As we count our many blessings, I encourage all Americans to show their thanks by giving back.”

    The problem, in this case, wasn’t with the president’s inoffensive message, but rather with his audience.
From The Future Was Yesterday:
  • Chalk Up Another One:
    This is the day we're supposed to be thankful." I have a lot to be thankful for: this day and every day. I was doing some vegetative thinking today, and I realized I too often try to link my blessings to my expectations, if I'm not careful. I have to watch that every day. Selfish, it's called, and sometimes, I'm too good at it. I have far too many blessings to list, but two are really important. One, I woke up this morning. Two, the greatest blessing that ever entered my life....

    Will be cooking those damn yams later today!
From Shakesville:
  • Happy Thanksgiving!:
    Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of America's oldest holidays, first celebrated 230 years ago. The first Continental Congress issued a proclamation of national thanksgiving in 1777. As Americans pause today to visit families, eat large amounts of food, and prepare for their holiday shopping, here are a few facts about Thanksgiving to impress your distant relatives with.
From AMERICAblog:
  • Happy Thanksgiving:
    It's still the work week over here but a get together is planned for Saturday. The four kilo turkey in Paris is going for "a very reasonable €40" as I was told. (That's almost $60 for an 8.8 pound bird.) The upside is that the the best turkey I ever had was a black feathered turkey from the market on rue Levis. They are not the same steroid infused freaks of nature that you find in the US and taste great.
From Jesus' General:
  • onions and peas and cranberry sauce:
    food, drink, and an attempt to be thankful for what is in my life. that i can do! why not. why not every day. that's what i say. let there be love. and and bread. and meat. and wine. and scotch. and for now, that'll do and i'll call it happiness. mazeltov, grandpa. enjoy the new digs. this place is still fuckin nuts.
From BuzzFeed:
  • Umami:
    Food Buzz Thanksgiving celebrates the fifth taste: meatiness or savoriness. As you start to doze off, full of tryptophan and carbs, remember to thank Kikunae Ikeda, the Japanese chemist who first put a name on the yuumy taste of meat.
I'm just thankful that I don't have any plans to go anywhere, today. It snowed, again, last night and I would have been forced to flake out on our hosts if we had been planning on going to celebrate Thanksgiving at somebody else's house (I hate driving in the snow).

Speaking of flaky, enjoy your turkey, your ham, your pies, your traditions. Make today a great day and have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

(Thankfully crossposted: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ten Post Round-Up: Any Given Wednesday

Sonofawitch! Woke up to snow on the ground, this morning. Cold Wednesday's suck the proverbial bandwidth. As an old dear friend of mine used to say, "it's colder than a witches...ummm...broomstick...out there!" I'm so cranky this Wednesday, I'm ripe for a dose of Samuel L. Jackson and I ain't talkin' about &%$# snakes on no &%$# plane, neither!

You say you want a ten post round-up? I got your &%$# round-up, right here!

From AMERICAblog:
  • Latest national poll shows Democratic race tightening. Bad time for Hillary to be losing momentum.:
    As I've mentioned here before, I really think Hillary may have a problem getting the Democratic nomination. First, a caveat: At this point, national polls don't really matter. They key polls are those in the early states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. That being said, however, there is a trend developing in the national polls for the Democratic nomination shown in the latest Reuters/Zogby poll. Hillary Clinton isn't looking so dominating and invincible:
  • In Iowa, Huckabee is on the move:
    The hard-core conservatives in Iowa are coalescing around a hard-core conservative Presidential candidate. And, it's not Romney, Thompson, McCain or Giuliani. It's Huckabee. He's got the big momentum heading towards January 3rd:
From The Huffington Post:
  • All The President's Liars: Where the Hell are The Washington Post and NY Times on McClellangate?!:
    Do the investigative reporters at the Washington Post and New York Times fall under the Writers Guild Contract? Are Bernstein and Woodward too busy in makeup? Can the WGA and Producers get together and give satirical news an exemption?

    While the Writers Strike keeps The Daily Show from cleverly pointing out the obvious, The Washington Post and New York Times ignore the obvious altogether.

    We've been lied to by this White House.

    Who says? Scott McClellan, the guy who was paid to lie for the guys who lied in the first place.
    (Dizzy sez: Another case of "Move along, &%$#! Nothing to see here...")
  • Black Friday: What Would Jesus Buy?:
    Yes, this Friday malls across America will open at 5 AM to crowds of deal-hungry, coupon-carrying, insatiable holiday shoppers. For the first time since I can remember, I will not be joining the consumer feeding frenzy. Instead, I will be participating in Buy Nothing Day, a 24-hour shopping fast in celebration of the fact that we (the all-inclusive consumer) don't need more sh*t.

    Buy Nothing Day is an informal day of protest against consumerism organized by Adbusters, a not-for-profit global anti-consumerist organization. The international shopping moratorium has started to gain mainstream recognition as people, my shopaholic self included, realize unrestrained consumption is a major contributor to environmental catastrophe.
    (Dizzy sez: I plan to sleep in and avoid the &%$# rush, this Friday. Heck, I plan to avoid all of the &%$# holiday madness!)
From Think Progress:
  • Bush: Musharraf has not ‘crossed the line.’:
    Last night in an interview with ABC News, President Bush “offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf,” nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule. Bush said that Musharraf hasn’t yet “crossed the line” and insisted Musharraf has “advanced democracy in Pakistan.” Watch it:
    (Dizzy sez: That's &%$# hilarious...isn't it?)
From Crooks and Liars:
  • Before Bush pats himself on the back…:
    Indeed, presidential aides were so proud of themselves yesterday, they insisted that Bush drove the breakthrough experiments by claiming some ambiguous moral standard. “This is very much in accord with the president’s vision from the get-go,” said Karl Zinsmeister, a Bush domestic policy adviser. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that the president’s drawing of lines on cloning and embryo use was a positive factor in making this come to fruition.”

    Look, we should all be really pleased by yesterday’s news, and the scientific advancements offer hope for life-saving medical research. But for the White House to suggest that Bush deserves some kind of credit for the progress is nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true.
    (Dizzy sez: Now the &%$# White House is grasping at &%$# straws to make themselves "look" good! Color me &%$# surprised...)
From International Herald Tribune:
  • Gates again invokes possible military action against Iran:
    WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Missouri: A military attack against Iran remains an option should the Middle East nation continue to pursue its nuclear ambitions, Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested Tuesday.

    "This is not about changing the regime in Iran," Gates told a group of community leaders at a Whiteman Air Force Base lunch. "It's about getting the regime in Iran to change its behavior, and its policies."

    Talk of a possible U.S. attack on Iran has surfaced frequently this year, prompted in some cases by hard-line statements by White House officials. President George W. Bush has said that Iran's continued pursuit of nuclear arms could lead to World War III.
    (Dizzy sez: About now I'm wishing this was just a very bad &%$# movie...)
From The New York Times:
  • Whites Take a Majority on New Orleans’s Council:
    In one of the clearest signs yet of Hurricane Katrina’s lasting demographic impact, the City Council is about to have a white majority for the first time in over two decades, pointing up again the storm’s displacement of thousands of residents, mostly black.
    (Dizzy sez: Seriously, it's hard not to believe in conspiracies when you read things like this. But, does this mean that they'll finally clean up the &%$# mess still left over from Hurricane Katrina?)
From Reason-Hit & Run:
  • I Wanna Defy the Logic of All Texxt Laws*:
    The problem: People talk on cell phones while they're driving. The solution: Ban them from doing it. New problem: People unable to talk on cell phones while driving turn to text messaging. The solution: C'mon, guess.
    (Dizzy sez: Pretty soon, they'll pull you over for &%$# breathing because it's distracting you...maybe they'll tase you for &%$# kicks, too!)
From Daylight Atheism:
  • On Gratitude:
    This Thursday, November 22, is - at least for my American readers - the holiday of Thanksgiving. Despite the religious connotations that have been attached to this day since the beginning, I think this is a good holiday for atheists. It's one of the few whose message can be rendered in entirely secular terms. Thanksgiving as traditionally practiced is a time to come together with family and friends, to enjoy the simple pleasures of life's abundance, and to give thanks for all the good that has come to us. All of these are things that an atheist should be able to do just as well as anyone else.

    Sadly, atheists still face misunderstanding from a hostile religious public. Around this time last year, a Christian visitor left the following comment in the thread "An Atheist Dinner Benediction":

    What's the point in thanking people that you don't know? Will your niceness somehow come back to you by some psychic force of the cosmos?

    An atheist's answer to the latter question is no, of course. We do not give thanks because, by some cosmic law of karma, our gratitude finds its way back to the giver and magically influences their life. Nor do we do it to earn merit points in some unseen deity's gradebook. Instead, we give thanks for the most basic and humanist of reasons: because it teaches us to be mindful of the contributions others have made to ease our lives, and encourages us to show others that same consideration in turn. A person who's aware of how greatly their well-being depends on the good will of others, and whose actions reflect that understanding, is apt to be kinder, more generous and more moral than a person who selfishly and wrongly imagines that they owe nothing to anyone.
    (Dizzy sez: I'll thank the &%$# Flying Spaghetti Monster if I don't burn the &%$# dinner, tomorrow!)
My humble apologies for all the unnecessary censorship, but sometimes you just gotta let the &%$# fur fly. I won't tell you what the &%$# symbols stand for, you'll have to use your own imagination for that &%$#.

Right now, it's time for me to throw a couple of the &%$# cornish game hens in the rotisserie and maybe bake the pumpkin pie so I don't have to &%$# sweat anything but the small stuff.

I realize we got a long &%$# holiday weekend coming up, but don't forget to take care of yourself and even if the tryptophan grabs a hold of you, make sure to make it a great &%$# day, anyway!

(Graciously &%$# crossposted: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)