Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Whoo Hoo! Fame and fortune await!
I’m hit #12 on a Google search of the phrase “turtle market crevoshay”,thanks to my post Sex Shells.
Two people from Venezuela have even visited my humble blog as well!
In other news,
Butter Boy has finally selected a new cell-phone service (he lost his recently, don’t get me started). It only took two weeks and over 16 hours (most on-line) of researching plans to decide on one. He’s a Procrastinating Perfectionist. Takes him a long time to do something, but it needs to be 100% Right when he does take action. He already thinks he picked the wrong phone model and might exchange it…
Can you hear me now? Let it go…
Not like I’m moving any faster on the car front. Think I’m going to buy something cheap and ugly just to get it over with and as soon as it’s paid for I will buy a third and much cooler car.
Going away again for the weekend and will have to farm out the pets once again. They will love it, I’m sure. Mr. Right wants to do some fishing. I have my eye on a mega outlet mall on the way back…Next post might not be until Monday night, if that.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Tis a far, far butter thing I do…
It all started when I made some cookies. This is a bicentennial event, so I pulled out all the stops and actually bought the exact ingredient my friend the baker recommended: Land O’ Lakes margarine.
Well, the recipe called for a stick and a half…meaning I was stuck with half a stick of unused margarine. What to do? I know, I’ll put it here on the BUTTER dish. Why dirty up another little holder?
Despite any claims by Al to the contrary, this was not done with malicious intent. It was only done with the intention to store and use the margarine in an efficient manner.
Well, you’d have thought it was cyanide, the way he carried on….
This is the guy who wouldn’t notice if I got a crew cut and dyed the remaining hair blue.
The man who comes home from work to see a small aircraft protruding from the roof spewing smoke and asks if I’ve fed the dog yet. Forget who else might be in danger, did his precious pup eat? Did I remember a biscuit?
The hunter who can track a deer in the forest for eight miles, but can’t find the peanut butter in the pantry.
Oh, but Mr. Right After I Get Fitted for My Crown could tell I was pulling a fast one.
“Is this margarine?” he thundered. He was fit to be crowned, alright.
That he notices? That? Hellooo… the lights have been dimming since the third red notice from the electric company, but noooo….
I encourage re-butter-al in the comments section below…
Do you think it was the fumes?
ABC News Sep. 27, 2005 - This season has ushered in the warmest Arctic summer in 400 years.
A NASA report to be released this week finds the polar ice pack has shrunk by nearly 30 percent since 1978, and new satellite photos show the melting is speeding up.
Scientists say the Arctic may be caught in a vicious cycle of global warming. As ice melts, there's less white matter to reflect the sun's heat back into space. The dark ocean absorbs more of the sun's heat and that, in turn, melts more of the ice pack.
Typically in the Arctic, any ground deeper than about four feet has always been frozen. But the permafrost is now starting to melt.
Whole villages are tumbling into the ocean, forcing people to relocate -- as well as many animals.
"Yesterday, it's the Arctic, and now suddenly, it's turning into the sub-Arctic!" said biologist George Divoky.
As the sea ice disappears, many polar bears are starving because they must have sea ice on which to hunt.
Yes!!!!!! Another record-breaking summer is on the way!!!!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Repeated paintball attacks on local businesses, staff member’s homes and vehicles caused District 50 officials to (gasp!) cancel a Homecoming pep rally and skit night. This is especially devastating, given that your average vandal has placed such a high value on attending and participating in events designed to promote school spirit and support for athletic teams.
Who howled the loudest? Why the parents, of course. Rushing in to save the day, they secured a nearby banquet hall and let the kids put on festivities there. Local media reports neglect to mention if this hall was rented or donated for the last-minute change in venue.
At any rate, I hope this case is solved, as it would certainly be interesting to see which teens are to blame in the attacks. Ones that attended the off-site skit night thanks to parental intervention? Ones that did not? The answers might surprise us.
The bottom line is parents and administrators are not listening to their youth. The young people of the community have spoken. Cancel the archaic football contests. I’ll bet there is much more adult support (and pressure) for football in the unrealistic pursuit of scholarships and glory-days reminiscing than any student body interest.
Cancel the football game. Let the kids play paintball on the field to their heart’s content. Set up obstacles and play capture the flag. If football is a battle, and chess is a war - paint ball can only be regarded as excellent training for the next Gulf Conflict. It's never too early to prepare the adults of tomorrow for the execution of conflicts started by yesterday’s C students of Yale.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Dear Red Cross:
Here's my donation for hurricane relief. Pick a hurricane. Any hurricane.
At what point do we blame the people relocated to the Astrodome as being storm magnets? When they move to South Dakota and one hits there?
Mr. Right wants to offer the ugly couches to refugees. Great. I'm married to a compassionate conservative. Wait 'til one takes his job.
Gas is predicted to rise to $4 per gallon. What a crock. There is no basis for such an increase, other than greed. Note to self: buy gas station to get wholesale prices
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
It’s officially fall, so now I can be officially depressed until May.
Then I hear the sad news that the name Marshall Field’s will be removed from all stores, including the flagship on State Street in Chicago. Is nothing sacred? Wait; let me go catch a game at U.S. Cellular Field and think about it…
Nothing like a 153-year-old brand name that withstood the Chicago fire going out with a whimper! Some 62 stores will now be dubbed “Macy’s”.
A friend has told me she is cutting up her Field’s charge card, and will not shop at Macy’s*. She plans to open a Nordstrom’s account. I applaud her decision and will do the same--just as soon as I find out if there are any Last Field’s Days Ever sales. Talk about Time is Running Out!
And what of da Mayor’s pronouncement, “…we should never be afraid of change”? If I were O’Hare airport, I’d be sleeping with one eye open….
The too-little-too-late award goes to Frango Mints, which may be returning to Chicago. Macy’s Mints? I think not.
I support Al Ries, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, when he observes:
“I’d rather have a name that no one has heard of with potential rather than a name like Macy’s that everyone has heard of but has no potential. People know about it, but it will never be perceived as a high-end brand.”
What of that gorgeous clock? Are they going to put up a Casio digital?
Will the Walnut Room becomes the Beer Nut room?
Might one-third of the felt elves laid off from Christmas window displays?
Who wants a tacky Macy’s shopping bag?
No more Field Gear? What now, Made by Macy’s?
Why can’t they spend the extra forty-nine cents to keep printing bags and ads that say Marshall Field’s? Will all money saved on standardized advertising be passed to the customer in the form of upscale designer clothes, stupendous service and reasonable prices? Or will it just go to Terry Lundgren’s next bonus check?
Can no compromise be reached? Macy’s Marshall Field’s is unwieldy, but better than nothing. How about fine print saying, “a Federated holding” or something?
Chicago deserves better!
Go to http://www.keepitfields.org/ to voice your displeasure!
This beautiful website shares customer reaction and loyalty to the brand name. Unfortunately, they are no longer taking testimonials. However, it does ask users to pledge they will take their business elsewhere if plans to change the store’s name proceed as planned.
Another tactic is to write Terry direct:
Mr. Terry J. LundgrenChairman, President and CEO
Federated Department Stores, Inc.
7 West Seventh St.Cincinnati, OH 45202
* How unlike KaneCitizen, who doesn’t understand the fuss and noted he only shops at stores with hyphens: Wal-Mart, K-Mart…
Tyco chiefs get at least 8-year terms
By SAMUEL MAULL
The Associated Press
NEW YORK L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco International Ltd., and former Tyco finance chief Mark Swartz were sentenced Monday to up to 25 years in prison for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the company in a case that outraged the public with its tales of executive greed and excess.
(Whatever happened to public stonings? Twenty five years is not enough, don't get me started on what I think of eight! Is Martha sending them a fruit basket and a few tips on how to handle the bighouse? What about seppuku? Doesn't anyone in this country have any conscience or sense of honor?)
The men, who were immediately ordered into custody, will be eligible for parole after serving eight years and four months.
(What? That wasn't worth the cost of a trial!)
Family members wept in the gallery as the sentences were imposed.
(Into their mink-trimmed silk handkerchiefs as they wondered how they will make the payments on the diamond-encrusted toilet seats that match the $6K shower curtain)
Kozlowski was led out of the front of the courtroom in handcuffs as his wife quietly sobbed from a bench three rows back.
State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus ordered Kozlowski and Swartz to pay $134 million in restitution. In addition, Kozlowski was fined $70 million, Swartz $35 million.
The sentences capped a case that exposed the executives' extravagant lifestyle after they pilfered about $600 million from the company, including a $2 million toga birthday party for Kozlowski's wife on a Mediterranean island and an $18 million Manhattan apartment with a $6,000 shower curtain.
(Talk about Bed, Bath and Beyond...)
Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44, were convicted in June after a four-month trial on 22 counts of grand larceny, falsifying business records, securities fraud and conspiracy. It was their second trial; the first ended in mistrial.
(Not every juror could be bought or killed before that decision)
Kozlowski and Swartz are the latest executives sentenced to prison in a wave of white-collar scandals that shook corporate America after thousands of people lost their jobs and pensions, including one-time WorldCom Chairman Bernard Ebbers and Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas.
(The exact people who should be issued rocks...)
At Monday's hearing, Assistant District Attorney Owen Heimer asked the judge to impose the maximum 15 to 30 years, saying Kozlowski "should not be shown any leniency." "He stole. He committed fraud. He committed perjury," Heimer said.
(Anything less than Ol' Sparky is showing leniency.)
But Kozlowski asked the judge to be as "lenient as possible" and to consider "all the positive things I have done in my life."
(Like give some stolen money to a pet charity?)
Swartz also asked forleniency, and his lawyer, Charles A. Stillman, said he was a man of "remarkable decency."
(Excuse me? Did the definition of decency change since I looked last?)
Kozlowski and Swartz were accused of giving themselves more than $150 million in illegal bonuses and forgiving loans to themselves, besides manipulating the company's stock price.
(So they do know Martha...)
The jury deliberated 11 days before returning 22 guilty verdicts out of 23 counts for each defendant. Each was acquitted of a count of falsifying records about company loans for homes in Boca Raton, Fla.
(Jurors refused to comment on the ruling, citing the need to catch a plane to Florida to check out their new digs...)
Kozlowski, employed by Tyco from 1975 until 2002, and Swartz, who joined Tyco in 1991 and left in 2002, testified that they never stole anything from Tyco or received anything from the company to which they were not entitled.
(I deserve a Mediterranean island party from my employer too)
They were also quick to point out that unlike the cases at WorldCom and Enron, Tyco continued to thrive after the scandal.
(Whew! Well that makes it ok)
"Tyco is not Enron," Thomas Curran, a former New York City prosecutor who is now a defense lawyer, said last week. "Tyco is a real company with a real business plan that still employs thousands of people. ... There are no retirees eating cat food because of Dennis Kozlowski."
(Except for that weird guy from shipping...)
Tyco, which has about 250,000 employees and $40 billion in annual revenue, makes electronics and medical supplies and owns the ADT home security business.
(I feel safer just knowing that. I'm sure no funds were diverted from their Frst Response alarm systems. Especially in the New Orleans area.)
Nominally based in Bermuda, its operations headquarters are in West Windsor, N.J.
(See? They only took the offshore money that wasn't being taxed anyways. What's the harm in that?)
Friday, September 16, 2005
Dropped the "kids" off at Nana and Opa's where they will be spoiled. I guarantee after only a day they will come home waddling from all the treats they ingested by 'looking cute'. 'Looking hungry'. 'Looking folorn'. 'Looking bored'. You get the picture.
Grandparents, gotta love em.
* * * * *
Really narrowing in on this 'which car to buy' thing. It's down to three.
Acura? Subaru? Nissan? Stay tuned.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Gosh, I love animal revenge stories. As you may recall, I reported earlier on our abuses of the sea, and here is a beautiful story of payback.
It seems the once-protected California Sea Lions now proliferate and have become a bit of a nuisance.
Tonight, the Harbor Commission will discuss the situation, which took on added urgency after 18 sea lions piled onto a 37-foot sailboat this month and sank it....
...Sea lions have also tormented Monterey, trapping people aboard boats, attacking city workers and defecating and vomiting on docks.
Elsewhere, the animals have attacked swimmers, chomped boogie boards and even yanked people off boats.
Do any of them glow?
From Chicago Tribune News Services:
It's not how sick you are but whether you have health insurance that often determines how quickly you can get urgently needed follow-up care after emergency room treatment, a study has found.
Private insurance gives patients a far better chance of getting appointments within a week of treatment than does Medicaid or no insurance, according to the study of 430 clinics in nine U.S. cities.
The findings shatter the myth that "when people really need care, they get it," said lead author Dr. Brent Asplin, head of emergency medicine at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.
Dr. Karin Rhodes, an emergency physician at the University of Chicago, was co-author. The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
All together now...DUH!!!!
This is difficult for me to write, as what a summer it was!
Now, it’s almost gone.
There’s that slant to the sunlight, the way the sunset
A certain smell. The way the leaves rustle.
Ahead, only gloom.
I’ll miss you, summer of 2005.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Let me tell you a little something about myself…
I love turtles. I don’t know why, except that I’ve always had a fondness for all things reptile (more on that later). I got ‘into’ turtles after meeting Mr. Right and getting a box turtle for a pet. I now have three of them, and can tell you all about their little personalities, likes and dislikes, etc.
Going back even further than my love for turtles is my love for predators. I always watched the nature shows hoping the jaguar’s hunt was successful. T-Rex was my hero (this was long before the scavenger vs. hunter debate reared its ugly head) and of course I rooted for the shark in Jaws. Who didn’t?
You can imagine my dismay when about a year ago I stumbled upon a nature show with some incredible footage of a tiger shark in its natural habitat. Guess what the tiger shark’s favorite food is? You guessed it, sea turtle.
Who to root for? The beautiful, graceful sea turtle? Or the torpedo fast killer? It was disturbing to watch to say the least (more emotional than any of that boo-hoo orphans starving overseas footage) but I understood each animals’ place in the natural scheme of things.
Well, once again I feel conflicted, and once again, a sea turtle is involved.
I most certainly identify myself as a feminist and am opposed to sexual harassment, objectifying women, sexual stereotypes, etc. but if one, just one, tiny helpless baby sea turtle is saved due to the Wildcoast ad campaign, then I’m all for it!
Wildcoast is a San Diego-based environmental group who bought $30,000 worth of Mexican advertising on billboards and busses to get the message out: eating sea turtle eggs does not enhance sexual performance. Millions of sea turtle eggs are deposited on Oaxaca state beaches each year and have long been treasured as a delicacy by humans. Many are eaten by men wishing to appear macho.
From the Wildcoast website:
The campaign follows a spate of high-profile egg raids at turtle nesting grounds in western Mexico.At one six-mile stretch of beach near Petatlán,
110 miles northwest of Acapulco, at least 100,000 eggs have disappeared since
last summer, conservationists say.
Except in the state of Oaxaca, the eggs aren't usually used as food, Zuñiga said.
Instead, they're cracked open, mixed with lime juice and a little chili powder, and swallowed raw two or three at a time. Each egg costs about $1.
It's illegal to consume, sell or even disturb the eggs. But at the Sonora Market in Mexico City, known as the "witches' market" for its herbs, magic candles and folk remedies, everyone knows the dosage: two eggs every three days for a month.
"I've never done it myself," police Officer Jesús Silva said. "But I know people who have taken them, and they say it works better than Cialis."
"Oh, they work. But you can't take them for too long because it's very bad for your body," one herb vendor said.
"Why's that?" he was asked.
"Too much cholesterol," he said.
Fay Crevoshay, a spokeswoman for Wildcoast,called the libidinous effects "a horrible myth." Hundreds of thousands of the eggs disappear down the gullets of hopeful men every year, she said.
"They think of it as a medicine, like Viagra. But Viagra costs 150 pesos (about $14) a pill in Mexico, while the eggs are 30 pesos (about $2.70)," she said.
Wildcoast approached two well-known environmental groups for help with the
campaign but was turned down, said Aida Navarro, director of wildlife protection
programs for Wildcoast. She would not identify them for fear of jeopardizing
"They had this kind of feminist point of view, that we were
denigrating women," Navarro said. "But all companies sell through women, so why
not have a woman carry the message directly to the men who are eating these
Since 2001, Wildcoast also has run an annual campaign against the sale of sea turtle meat during Lent. Roman Catholics abstain from eating meat during the 40 days before Easter, but turtles are considered seafood, not meat.
About two-thirds of the 35,000 sea turtles killed each year in Mexico are eaten during Lent, Crevoshay said.
This year, the group put up billboard ads in Mexicali, La Paz, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Culiacan urging people not to buy the meat.
"Would you eat a panda?" the billboards asked.
The rock group Maná also has taken up the cause of sea turtles. Its Selva Negra foundation runs centers that watch over the nesting beaches.
Wildcoast says Mexicans are slowly becoming more protective of sea
turtles because of such efforts. In the Sonora Market, the lovemaking power of
sea turtle eggs already has its doubters.
"Speaking as a woman, I can tell you they don't work," said Sandra Rodríguez Pérez, 27. Said Oscar Benítez Hernandez, a 31-year-old candle seller: "I tried them, put the lime on it and everything.
"All it gave me was a stomachache."
Face it, the type of man who eats a sea turtle egg as an aphrodisiac will not notice a poster saying ‘Let Turtles Live’ or read a scientific study. But he does notice scantily dressed Playboy (cover, 2003) models.
Dorismar looks great, and maybe she’s a turtle lover too. Supposedly she received no payment for the ads. You go girl. And don’t let anyone give you any grief about being Argentinean. They can use a local girl next year. In fact, have her patrol the nesting grounds in a bikini and a sash that says Viagra, Si! Sea Turtles, No!
(A very tasteful and dignified sash. One that highlights her inner beauty and intelligence. Not to mention matches her stilettos. )
See all three posters at:
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
No, you really have to see the floodwater up close...
Thank Goodness you rushed right over...
Sorry I didn't fill out that Evacuation Help Request Form 34-A-987-67 in triplicate BEFORE the storm...
As soon as I read everyone your press release, the tensions subsided.
We're having a special on DVD players. Great chance to upgrade Air Force One.
I know, I know. Please tell Dick I'm really sorry about his fishing trip.
Oh, sure, I understand. Sometimes reading a book a second time can take even longer as you absorb more nuances...
I agree, Mr. President. Brownie's doing a great job!
Can your dad get me Clinton's autograph?
I'm not stupid. I know there are guns pointed at me. But guess what?
Don't worry, Mr. President. Jenna and Barbara are safe and sound. Not all of Bourbon Street flooded.
*Jump in! Add your captions below!
Monday, September 05, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
The government is withholding more information than ever from the public
and expanding ways of shrouding data, a coalition of watchdog groups reported
Last year, for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, federal agencies
spent a record $148 creating and storing new secrets, the groups said. That's a
$28 jump from 2003 when $120 was spent to keep secrets for every $1 spent
revealing them. In the late 1990s, the ratio was $15-$17 a year to $1, according
to the secrecy report card by OpenTheGovernment.org.
Overall, the government spent $7.2 billion in 2004 stamping 15.6 million
documents "top secret," "secret" or "confidential." That almost doubled the 8.6
million new documents classified as recently as 2001.
Last year, the number of pages declassified declined for the fourth
straight year to 28.4 million. In 2001, 100 million pages were declassified; the
record was 204 million pages in 1997.
These figures cover 41 federal agencies, excluding the CIA, whose
classification totals are secret.The report also noted the growing use of secret
searches, court secrecy, closed meetings by government advisory groups and
patents kept from public view.
So let me guess: a detailed, workable plan for disaster relief in New Orleans existed, it's just that it was marked Top Secret and no one was able to access it...
But that's ok, because George W. says "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
Funny how Michael Brown was appointed Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, despite his dismissal as a horse-show organizer for not following instructions.
As long as you get the important instructions, like who to give campaign contributions to, you'll be set.
No, I'm not speaking of the civil unrest in New Orleans, although that is certainly blog fodder that could keep me busy well into the twenty-second century...
I was referring to gasoline prices. I'm so sick and tired of reading articles about how 'high gas prices are not slowing motorists'. I dispute this assessment, and furthermore, would like to suggest these articles are flawed, premature or blatant lies propagated by the current administration.
For a thoughtful discussion on what can be done about the situation, try starting with this article from the Boston Globe: A Fit of (Oil) Peak.
First off, it will take some time to be able to quantify the consumers that are changing their gas-using habits. It takes time to post the sales of fuel-efficient cars vs. gas-guzzlers, chart the decreased demand of gasoline at higher prices due to consumers' efforts at conservation, and judge it against historic trends.
Secondly, as evidenced in my area, public transportation is not a viable option for many workers. This could take years to change, leaving carpooling the only recourse. Like, wait til 2030. By then, they whole earth will be one big concrete slab. Just the other day, Mr. Right asked me at what point I would take up carpooling. As soon as I feel like risking life and limb to get into a car with you every morning, I replied.
Even with hurricane Katrina shutting down refineries, the panic is mostly one of perception. Only about 11% of our crude was from sources affected by the storm. With the oil reserve, there is no reason to see 11% pump price increases or shortages.
Can it all be a government plot to push through more drilling in national parks and refineries in our back yard? Not as impossible as one might suspect. (Just give me some time and I'll be able to put forth a conspiracy theory about how the current administration was responsible for the storm, as well.)
I for one have not driven this holiday weekend, and am taking a wait-and-see approach to gas prices. The president himself suggested buying gas this weekend only if needed, as some stations are running dry. As usual, it's Marie Antoinette telling us to eat cake.
He has a point, as panic buying is a silly feature of the human psyche. Ace Hardware reports sales of gas cans are up an incredible percentage over this time last year. Can't wait to see how many fires are attributed to this little hoarding scheme. As I mentioned in an earlier post regarding my desire for the car marked with a 'sold' sign, nothing boosts demand like perceived shortage. As an interesting aside, stations traditionally offering the lowest price gas, may now have the highest, and vice versa, due to independents buying on the open market and many large chains using contract pricing. At any rate, stations increasing the price several times a day is just greed. They pay a set rate to fill the tanks, and when the tanker comes for the next refill is the only time the prices should change.
What of the flip side? What if everyone did conserve gas? At what point would the powers-that-be penalize you for it? Taxes create revenue, and in Chicago, the gas is taxed at a very high rate compared to the national average. When would this spill over to increased tax rates to make up the shortfall; whether that is by taxing gas further, or branching out and creating new taxes on water, vegetables, or air? Can the H2Only for Revenue tax be far behind? The Healthy Eating tax? Lord knows vegetarians live longer and deplete social services further than a good old fashioned life-ending heart attack at 52.
Ridiculous? What of the Oregon and Washington proposal of mileage tax? Other states are not far behind. We need to fight these proposals now.
As an aside, I'd like to point out that this is the second large-scale crisis to confront the W. adminstration, which only leads me to envision a self-satisfied Bill Clinton laughing gleefully. I recall a quote after 9/11 in which a Republican reported hearing many citizens say, 'I'm so glad George W. Bush is in office during this trying time.'
To which I reply: those citizens were named Bill and Hillary.
For some insightful posts regarding Hurricane Katrina, politics, movies and culture in general, I'd like to recommend the blog 'News on the March' by KaneCitizen. This well-written, extremely entertaining missive is not to be missed. In fact, I hesitate to endorse it in the fears that all three of my readers (including my mother) will bookmark that site and abandon mine. But one must give credit where it is due, so please check out that corner of the blogosphere as well!
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Hmmm... last I knew, delivering electricity involved throwing a huge breaker switch, not dispatching a diesel-burning truck to my house and unloading it at the curb...
Speak out to your elected officials to protest this hike, which could result in a twenty-percent increase in your electric bill over the next two years!
If needed, I'll begin posting this blog from the public library.
Free Stock Tip: Candles