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Sunday, February 27, 2005
How sad is that?

In honor of the Academy Awards this evening, I have two confessions to make:

  • I haven't seen any of the five films nominated for Best Picture.
  • I've seen all three of the films nominated for Best Animated Feature.

By the way, The Incredibles was, by a nose, indeed the best of the three.

Saturday, February 26, 2005
Is this a turning point?

Via OTB and LGF:

Palestinians expressed anger Saturday at an overnight suicide bombing in Tel Aviv that killed four Israelis and threatened a fragile truce, a departure from former times when they welcomed attacks on their Israeli foes.

Well, this is a first. Palestinians are publicly outraged over a suicide bombing in Israel? I've never thought that a change in Palestinian-Israeli relations would be based on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. It has to come from the Palestinian people themselves, and this is an indication that they've recognized the value of civilized behavior. Maybe the recent elections in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq had something to do with this. Do you think?

Both James and Charles felt the final paragraph of the linked article is a key indicator. I agree.

In contrast to the dozens of previous suicide bombings, no celebrations were held in the West Bank on Saturday and militant groups didn't hang the customary posters of congratulations at the bomber's home.

Maybe we're witnessing the 21st Century version of the Domino Theory.

What do you read?

A little exercise from Rhianna:

Here are the rules:

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet!

So here's my response:

5. = 'block'
Change the display property for the page layer object to block so that it becomes visible.

6. .page { display:none;}
Create a class called page with the display state set to none that will be assigned to all of the page layers so that they're initially not displayed on the page.

7. <a href="javascript:showPage ('page1')" target="_self">Chapter 1</a>
In your HTML, add a link to trigger the showPage() function, passing it the name of the page layer to be displayed.

Yeah, I'm a software geek.

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Terri Schiavo

I must be missing something.

I watched videos of Terri Schiavo interacting and responding to her environment. Explain to me again why her husband wants to starve her to death, and a judge agrees to allow it? Fortunately, the judge has stayed his opinion, and Terri's death sentence, until Friday, February 25th, 2005, to give her family an opportunity to make another legal appeal.

The "Let's Murder Terri" crowd needs to get a grip on reality. If Michael Schiavo wants to move on with his life (he pretty much has, already. I understand that he's has a de facto second wife, and children with that wife), he should move on and let the people who love Terri care for her.

And what's up with the judge in this case? What in the world would convince him that starving a woman to death is the proper action, when she's not vegetative, not in a coma, not on life support (meaning her heart and lungs work fine, with no mechanical intervention), interacts with her family, who wants to keep her alive and care for her? Just because her husband, you know, asked?

As I said, I must be missing something.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
I've switched

It's official: I've set Firefox to be my default browser. I still need to use Internet Explorer on occasion, but Firefox is going to be my main browser.

The vast, vast majority of web pages are well served (no tech pun intended) by Firefox, in my experience. If you haven't switched to Firefox yet, you should.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Another post, but not here

As infrequent as my posting is here, why am I writing posts for someone else? I dunno. David asked me to write a post for him, so I did.

So I encourage you to go read it at In Search of Utopia. And maybe some of David's other stuff, too.

Monday, February 21, 2005
Senator Clinton gets it right

Although I've never blogged much, if anything, about Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY), no one who knows me would be especially surprised to hear me say that I don't think much of her. But I have to give her her due with regard to her comments after returning from her recent trip to Iraq:

"Not one polling place was shut down or overrun and the fact that you have these suicide bombers now, wreaking such hatred and violence while people pray, is to me, an indication of their failure," [Sen Clinton] said.

"The results of the election are a strong rebuke to those who did not believe that the Iraqi people would take this opportunity to demonstrate their own commitment to their own future."

Some of my compatriots on the Right will (and probably already have) snark at her for assuming this position because she views it as politically expedient. I think that tack is small-minded, mean-spirited, and politically counter-productive.

If the Senator and possible 2008 Presidential candidate takes (what I believe to be) the correct position on Iraq, I for one am not going to second-guess her motivations. Quite frankly, I don't care why she made the above statement in favor of our efforts in Iraq. The important point is that she is helping us move the debate to a more productive position, where we can focus on something else, whether that "something else" is some other aspect of Iraq, Social Security reform, or any of the other important issues of the day.

Gloat time is over, folks. President Bush won the election way back in November. The Iraqi elections were successfully held last month. I view all this harping and gloating the same way I view the ridiculous dances when football players get a sack, score a touchdown, etc. You did your job, just what you were supposed to do, and all that dancing just makes you look silly.

Thank you, Sen Clinton. You did your job, and you've come down on the right side of this issue. You're helping us, both Left and Right, move forward in our discussions on the many important topics before us. I hope that your comments will help push the other leaders in your party to accept reality and move forward, rather than trying to find anything that they can use as a tool to attack their political opponents. Many of us on the Right stand willing to engage you on the next issue, now that, to some degree, we've put this one behind us.

The truth can be told!

Angel admits she's a "real conservative!"

I am real conservative.

There, the truth is out. And no carping about selective quoting or providing context or any of that other nonsense. She said what she said, and that's that.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Aubrey sleeping after what was surely a long day

She's sleeping...

Good news!

Two pieces of good news: Survivor Palau starts tonight (well, about half an hour ago), and Jeff will be blogging it again this season.

Great news on both counts. If you haven't read Jeff's Survivor posts, you've been missing out on some great writing.

Oh, and Jeff's been whining for quite some time about not having any money, so he's asking that if you read his Survivor posts, you contribute a dollar for each post via Paypal. Personally, I think it's a scam. I think he's sitting around the club room drinking Scotch whisky and smoking cigars with Armstrong Williams.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
New menu item

Big D over at Texican Tattler points out the latest expansion of Southern haute cuisine.

Heh. Fried Twinkie.

Thursday, February 10, 2005
The pics are in!

These photos are a bit larger than I would normally post on my blog, but considering the subject matter, I thought I'd keep the larger size, just this once.

So I present to you, Aubrey Rene:

Aubrey yawning after a hard day's work

Aubrey recovering from her busy day

Aubrey settles down for a well-deserved nap

Aubrey settles down for a well-deserved nap

Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Welcome aboard, Aubrey Rene!

My second grandchild joined the family at 10:50 EST tonight. She weighed somewhere between eight and eight and a half pounds, unknown length at this point. I'll update with additional information when it becomes available.

Of course, congratulations to Boyd Jr and Missy. Happy day in the Texas Native household!

Update: Aubrey's actual details are 7 lbs 6 oz and 19˝ inches long. Hopefully it won't be too long before I receive some pictures (did you get the hint, Son?).

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Hide those skivvies!

§ 18.2-387.1. Indecent display of underwear.

Any person who, while in a public place, intentionally wears and displays his below-waist undergarments, intended to cover a person's intimate parts, in a lewd or indecent manner, shall be subject to a civil penalty of no more than $50. [Note: "intimate parts" is defined elsewhere as "the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, or buttocks of any person."]

Oh, my! Don't Virginia legislators have more important things to worry about? And it's even worse when you compare what the bill is intended to "correct" with the actual language.

The problem? Teenagers wearing trousers low on their hips while their underwear sticks out the top. This is a problem? Yes, it looks silly, but I think lots of things look silly. And fortunately, there aren't any photos floating around of some of the stupid-looking things I wore as a teenager back in the early 70s.

And this is a problem so serious that it demands that legislators must waste spend their time considering and voting on the bill, and if it passes both the General Assembly and the Senate, that the Governor must consider whether to sign or veto the bill? And if he signs it, law enforcement officers must try to enforce the law? And Commonwealth Attorneys would have to prosecute it?

As you may have guessed, I have my doubts that the "problem" is so severe as to require all this effort by all these people.

And then look at the actual text of the bill: " a lewd or indecent manner." Ignoring the difficulty of proving that this fashion scourge is, in any particular instance, "lewd or indecent," even without performing any research I feel comfortable in stating that the Commonwealth of Virginia already has laws in place which prohibit lewd or indecent conduct.

While there are undoubtedly more asinine bills in existence than this one, I'm not personally familiar with them. Delegate Algie T. Howell, Jr., why are you wasting my money, your time, and Virginia's reputation with a silly, frivolous bill such as this?

And to the rest of the members of the General Assembly who voted for this bill: What were you thinking?

And to the State Senate: put this idiotic bill where it belongs: in the trashcan.

Update: Dr Joyner is glad that our legislators have worked through all the important stuff and are only left with trivialities such as how teenagers dress.

Monday, February 07, 2005
I'm a patriotic crybaby

Over the past couple of decades or so, I've become increasingly emotional when it comes to things patriotic. It started with Taps, the bugle music most notably played at military funerals and memorial services. Whenever I heard that haunting tune, I considered the sacrifices made by my fallen comrade-in-arms, and American society's loss of someone dedicated to protecting it.

Then it started to spread. The Star Spangled Banner, especially in a military setting, started making me think about the country and the principles which we have sworn to support, and the sheer pride of being able to serve them.

Twenty years ago, when I was promoted to Chief Petty Officer, one of the many things I had to memorize for initiation was The Navy Hymn. Coincidentally, around that same time, I became aware that this song is frequently sung at Navy funerals (and will be at my own, if I have my way). Add another one to this list of tunes which are guaranteed to bring a tear to my eye.

Military ceremonies which honor those who have served, both living and dead, started having a similar effect on me. And over the past couple of years, the outpouring of civilian support for our troops has become a very moving experience for me.

So this brings us to yesterday's Superbowl. The on-field pre-game ceremonies, honoring our military heroes past and present choked me up. I tried to sing the National Anthem along with the choirs from the service academies, but found I couldn't croak out the words through my emotion-laden throat.

But the one that absolutely devastated me emotionally was the Anheuser-Busch ad set in an airport, where a small contingent of troops came walking through the terminal. Civilians who noticed their approach broke into spontaneous applause, wordlessly thanking them for the sacrifices they have and will make in support of our country. It makes my heart swell with pride that Americans have such a deep appreciation for our military.

And while I hate to end on a sour note, the "patriotic" commercial that most certainly did not bring a tear to my eye was the Ford SUV ad which used The Star Spangled Banner as the background music to promote their Presidents Day sale. As a long-time Ford owner, I have to say: stop it, Ford. You undermine the sacrifice I and my fellow service members have devoted to our country, as well as our pride in the support we receive from the public.

Anheuser-Busch gets it. Ford doesn't.

Thursday, February 03, 2005
A Marine speaks his mind

From Sharon, we learn about a Marine who enjoys fighting and killing bad people.

"Actually it's quite fun to fight 'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling," said [Marine Lt. Gen. James] Mattis.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said during a panel discussion. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

I suppose the combination of being a Texan and a career military man can skew one's perspective on things. But there's a certain satisfaction to bringing some "range justice" to certain folks.

Remember, "He needed killin'" remains a viable defense for murder in Texas.

Semper Fi, General. You only spoke the truth.


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In loving memory
Dr Edward N Garrett
1925 - 2004

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