King of SCSU Scholars is going on vacation, and he has very kindly allowed me to influence his choice of books to take with. Thanks King!
Growing the World's Cutest Free-Range Kids... and feeding them nothing but crap
King of SCSU Scholars is going on vacation, and he has very kindly allowed me to influence his choice of books to take with. Thanks King!
I recall seeing once a left-wing bumper sticker that said something to the effect of, "It'll be a great day when schools are fully funded and the military has to have a bake sale to buy a bomber." So it came as an interesting surprise to me to read this article (link via Q and O), wherein Al Gore is quoted as being outraged that military families had to hold bake sales to buy body armor for their soldiers in the Sandbox. Evidently the bake sale thing was just an unfounded rumor, but I still think it's ironic that if it had been true, there was a peacenik Democrat complaining to a bunch more peacenik Democrats that the anti-military slogan on a left-wing bumper sticker had actually become fact.
In an earlier post I said that the only thing worse than a terrorist was a whiny terrorist. I was wrong. Worse than a whiny terrorist is a whiny, stupid terrorist. Turns out the same terrorists who were dumb enough to kidnap people from countries who don't have a military presence in Iraq and then demand those countries remove their troops, are now whining because India called them names. Poor widdle terrorists. I mean, what did they ever do to India to deserve being called "bandits"? That is, other than kidnapping three of their citizens and using them as hostages to demand stuff from India...
Favorite Sister-in-Law sends me this link to a baby product that's... well... you just have to see it for yourself.
I really admire those bloggers who go every day to websites of every political stripe and gather material to fisk, because I could never bring myself to do it. I have a very sensitive B.S. detector, and I have too many good things to be doing with my life to waste time ignoring its pinging. When I was an undergrad, I could actually sit through an entire class of politically correct nonsense. Today, if I were to attend the same class I'd stand down the prof in front of the whole class on the first day, and if it weren't a required class I wouldn't come back for the second. I just have no tolerance for nonsense any more.
So, Rush Limbaugh is getting a divorce, and Ann Coulter is single...
News Flash from USS Clueless: you can't always get what you want!
We engineers get told to produce all kinds of things which are viewed as being desirable. But sometimes they are not feasible, and when we try to explain the reasons why, we soon get used to being told, "Don't tell us why you can't do it, tell us how you're going to do it."... We're told to stop thinking about "problems"; we are told that we should refer to them as "opportunities". (One engineering wag responded, "We're surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.")...
That demonstrates another rather bitter engineering aphorism: "Everything is easy for the man who doesn't have to do it himself." He sees something he really wants, and doesn't want to be told that he can't have it, even if it is a fact that he can not have it. He doesn't want to hear "No" even if "No" is the real answer. Engineers are magicians, and we're supposed to make magic happen. We've pulled off so many miracles before, so why not this one?
A lot of people know what they want. This certainly happens in politics: "Win without war." "Get cooperation and support from traditional allies." But they're quite often woefully short on plans. The more idealistic they are, the more likely it is they'll deny that they should even be required to contribute such a plan. Someone else should figure out how to make it happen; the idealist's job is to show us all the real destination.
Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters points out that Kenya's ongoing appeasement of terrorists has not resulted in their getting any respite from the same terrorism that threatens us all. I wonder how many more Kenyas we'll have to see before we get the message: terrorists don't count appeasers as their allies, so there's no point in appeasing them.
Bagel has rolled over from his front to his back! Here is a picture of him laying on his back after rolling:
A pointless question from the Harry-Potterverse: if you can't give a house elf clothes or they'll be freed, who does the laundry in homes wealthy enough to afford house elves?
What follows is a self-pity post, full of complaints about all the things I don't dare complain about because it would just sound like I'm asking people to pity me. I'm not; I'm just venting.
Today at the Gardeners' Market we grossed $61.00. Not too shabby. M wasn't there today (she went to the family weddings in California) and she took her merchandise with her to show the family, so all of that's mine.
Bagel went for his checkup earlier this week and weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 9.5 oz. That's a gain of over 2 pounds in 3 weeks. I think I'm not giving milk, I'm giving half-and-half!
...so get out your hunting rifles, folks!
So you want to be a terrorist. You get a group of your friends together and you go to terrorist school in Afghanistan or wherever it is they're having it now, and learn how to kidnap people and make videotapes of them. You make up a cool terrorist name like "The Holders of the Black Banners" for your group. You buy some duct tape and balaclavas and video cameras and other cool terrorist gear. Then you go and capture you some foreigners, videotape them, and threaten to kill them if their countries of origin don't withdraw from Iraq.
The verdict is in: the World's Cutest Kids have impetigo, not some mutant form of chicken pox. Now not only do I have to listen all day to Tiny Princess complain that Sonshine is re-rewinding Theodore the Friendly Tugboat, I have to keep both of them away from Bagel so that he doesn't contract a deadly strep or staph infection, all the while explaining to them for the millionth time why they are not allowed to play with their friends until their sores get better.
Via Michelle Malkin comes this horrific story of a woman who aborted two of her three babies so that she wouldn't experience a crimp in her lifestyle. It's people like her who give people like me a reason to wish abortion were illegal. I find it particularly appalling that she cut her boyfriend, the babies' father, entirely out of the decision. She talks about getting these babies in the same way one might talk about going to the store and getting a puppy. It was her puppy, and if she wanted the bichon frise, there was nothing he could do about it.
One of the most dramatic and touching stories in the Book of Mormon is the story of the People of Ammon (also known as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies). For those not familiar with the story or who don't have time to read it in Alma chapters 24 through 29, here's the Cliff Notes version:
The only thing worse than a terrorist is a whiny terrorist.
The New York Times published this translation of an article in the French newspaper Le Monde, which tries desperately to paint a very, well, interesting image of the significance of the Harry Potter books. Its author Mr. Yocaris makes some interesting points, but one has to wonder which glasses the guy was reading the book with. For example:
The apprentice sorcerers are also consumers who dream of acquiring all sorts of high-tech magical objects, like high performance wands or the latest brand-name flying brooms, manufactured by multinational corporations. Hogwarts, then, is not only a school, but also a market: subject to an incessant advertising onslaught, the students are never as happy as when they can spend their money in the boutiques near the school. There is all sorts of bartering between students, and the author heavily emphasizes the possibility of social success for young people who enrich themselves thanks to trade in magical products.Evidently Mr. Yocaris failed to notice during his extensive reading of the Potter series:
For example, Bill Weasley, who works for the goblin bank Gringotts, is presented as the opposite of his brother, Percy the bureaucrat. The first is young, dynamic and creative, and wears clothes that "would not have looked out of place at a rock concert"; the second is unintelligent, obtuse, limited and devoted to state regulation, his career's masterpiece being a report on the standards for the thicknesses of cauldrons.Yocaris must have missed the parts where Percy was Head Boy and got a whole bunch of O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s (representing high academic achievement). In fact the major irony in the character of Percy is that being so smart, he is so easily duped into denying reality by the promise of success in working for the (decidedly socialist) Ministry of Magic bureaucracy. If Yocaris wants to hold Percy up as the underdog bureaucrat who is (capitalist portrayals aside) actually quite acute and devoted to something meaningful in life, he ought to read Percy's character a little more carefully first.
The apprentice sorcerers are thus alone in their struggle to survive in a hostile milieu, and the weakest, like Harry's schoolmate Cedric Diggory, are inexorably eliminated.I can't imagine why Yocaris cites Diggory as "the weakest" in the struggle for the Triwizard cup in Goblet of Fire. His selective vision seems to be ignoring the French girl Fleur Delacour, who failed miserably in two out of three tasks. Diggory, by contrast, was winning after the first task, and tied for first place with Harry Potter after the second task. Moreover, Diggory and Potter fight through the third and final task together, ultimately intending to tie for first place. This wonderful cooperative moment is thwarted, however, by the actions of people (notably portrayed as evil) who are more interested in dominating people and don't really seem to care about cooperation, empathy, or other non-capitalist virtues.
The fictional universe of Harry Potter offers a caricature of the excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model: under a veneer of regimentation and traditional rituals, Hogwarts is a pitiless jungle where competition, violence and the cult of winning run riot.I'm with him, right up to the colon. Clearly Hogwarts is supposed to run parallel to the schools that epitomize the "Anglo-Saxon social model", and clearly there are caricatures in the book of the excesses of bureaucracy among other things; but Mr. Yocaris evidently thinks he lives in an advertising-free part of France where people give things away instead of selling them, where bureaucratic hierarchies are by nature non-competitive, and where people pet unicorns underneath happy rainbows for a living. I'm really curious to know where there is a place that isn't "a pitiless jungle", so that I can compare it to either the real world or the Potterverse.
My older two kids have broken out in some extremely scary-looking sores that look at first like normal bug bites, but then erupt into what looks like bug bites that have been scratched till they bled, and eventually turn into oblong open sores about one inch long and half an inch tall-- and then they spread. And I suspect they're contagious-- the neighbor kids have them too. They look scary enough that Favorite Husband rushed Sonshine to the doctor on a Saturday to have them looked at. Unfortunately, the doctor didn't know what they were and gave us a 'scrip for some antibiotics. (Thanks a bunch, Doc, that must be why we pay you the big bucks.)
Steven Den Beste winnows out the specious arguments in the gay marriage debate. I disagree with his conclusion (sort of), but when it comes to narrowing down the argument, he's got it nailed.
Roger Clegg publishes his otherwise-unpublished letter to the editor of the New York Times on the subject of racial classification. There have been some new studies out that show that the "wrong" blacks are benefiting from preferential admissions policies, and Roger puts in his two cents on how one should determine "blackness."
Today at the Gardeners' Market we grossed $99.00, of which a whopping $42 was M's. She sold several of her books and attributes the increased sales to the easels I bought, which allow her to better display her books.
Idaho's law requiring parental consent for a minor's abortion has been turned down by a federal court, on the grounds that the provision for emergency abortions only allows them to be performed without consent in "sudden and unexpected" situations. Funny, I thought "sudden and unexpected" was pretty much the definition of an "emergency". What sort of "emergencies" are not sudden and/or unexpected?
I was waiting to post on the Philippine withdrawal, until I got confirmation that the Filipinos did really intend to pull a Sir Robin and bravely run away. I was hoping that they were just talking up the terrorists, since they had already scheduled their withdrawal in August before the kidnapping.
I'm sitting at home with mastitis, trying to keep Bagel nursing all day and keep Tiny Princess and Sonshine from killing each other, all without getting out of bed. Mostly that consists of letting them watch unlimited movies, because if I try to get them to play in their rooms, they fight, and if I try to get them to play with their friends, they keep on coming home every five minutes and making me let them back in. I swear, though, if we have to watch Theodore The Friendly Tugboat one more time, somebody's going to die...
I just added a blogroll to the right hand side... or at least I think I did...
Tonight's dinner is Seashell Casserole, Sonshine's all-time favorite. This recipe is a three-generation family tradition. My grandmother used to serve it on Saturdays because it can be made ahead and frozen. It is also great to have a few of these on hand for emergencies, like when the Relief Society president calls you up and asks you to bring dinner in to Sister So-And-So whose husband is in the hospital after a tragic lawnmower accident.
Wacky Hermit's Rule #26: If something exists, there exists someone on the Internet who gets his/her jollies off of it.
We asked Bagel, "What's it like to be a baby?"
While at the post office I took the liberty of putting Bagel on the scale. With clothes and a (dry) diaper he weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz., which is 1 lb. 10 oz. more than his birth weight two weeks ago. He is starting to plump up and get some folds. This is very heartening, since he's nursed rather erratically. One day he'll eat like there's no tomorrow, and the next he'll nurse 5 minutes on only one side (owwww.... engorgement...) I haven't been too worried, though; he's been "outputting" a sufficient amount, so I know he has to be "inputting" a sufficient amount as well.
It's really, really hot today and I just can't think.
If other bloggers can get away with blogging about their cats, certainly I can get away with baby-blogging.
I read an article this morning by Julia Black, the maker of the British abortion documentary "My Fetus", on why she made the film. She hopes the film will persuade women to be "pro-choice" like her; "pro-life" activists believe the same film will persuade women to oppose abortion.
Frank J. of IMAO has declared today, his 2nd blogiversary, to be International Link to IMAO Day. I'm still a little cheesed at Frank for not letting women help judge the IMAO T-shirt Babe Contest, but he did answer my questions in his Frank Answers feature, so I'll forgive him this time and link to him.
Doubleday is going to publish the Book of Mormon (and try to sell for $24.95 what anyone can get free for the asking... Good luck...) Evidently they're going to make an edition that's more like the first edition, which is actually a more readable format-- without cross-references, and with paragraphs rather than verses. I wonder if Doubleday is going to keep the verse numbers in there, too (they were not in the first edition).
It's my birthday today, and I'm, uh, 21. Yeah. 21.
Tiny Princess just discovered the other day that her neighbors and playmates are Native Americans. (Their mom is Navajo, if I remember correctly, and their dad is "white".) She told me this morning that her friends and their mom were "Indians" and their dad was "white". But then she came out with a whopper: she said that because of these racial identifications, her friends had to serve their dad. And she said she'd gotten this information from one of the Indian girls herself.
SCSU Scholars has a post on "food deserts"-- areas (gasp) without supermarkets! I just couldn't resist poking the following fun at people who would breathlessly narrate the terrible plight of those who are forced to drive into town to shop:
A fabulous rant for those who, like the author, are sick of seeing movies with bony chicks in leather bras opening up a can of whoop-@$$ on men twice their size who, for no apparent reason, get all beat up.
Sonshine put some spare change in his little wallet and took it with him to the store, just in case they had something that cost less than 20 cents at Sam's Club. He kept dropping his change all through the store, but that was merely annoying.
Kerry has picked the dirty trial lawyer for his running mate. I usually don't call people names like that, but scum like him are the reason why my dad is no longer practicing medicine and my mom, with her heart trouble, has to work to afford a home, and neither of them has any money left to retire on. Somehow I don't think Edwards gives a crap about them and all the people out there like them who had everything they'd worked so hard for taken away from them by malpractice attorneys looking to wring a quick buck out of an innocent OBGYN, just because they can. He has the nerve to complain about the high cost of health care, when it's people like him who are making the costs go up.
I gave out free patriotic ribbon pins at my booth at the Gardeners' Market today. I did the same thing on Memorial Day and was heartened by how many people took the ribbons-- in fact, no one refused one. Today, however, was a different story. A lot of people refused the ribbons, some without even looking at them, and some of those without even being polite and saying "no, thanks".
Well, it was no Memorial Day, but we did just fine. We grossed $73.50. M sold two of her little books, and traded a book and bookmark for a "magic" wand that a guy in a costume wizard hat was selling. The wands were interesting and the guy was very nice, but I don't know why anyone would want one. After all, they don't do real magic.
My town is home to Fireworks West, a company that manufactures (guess what) fireworks. This is no local-yokel firm; they did the fireworks for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. So every year, we are all treated to a twenty-to-thirty-minute fireworks show put on by Fireworks West. It usually takes place a day or two before the actual 4th of July; this year because the 4th is on a Sunday, the show was last night (Friday).