Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hump Day Funny: Ice Cream Gets Even


Where was this course when I was in school?

Courtesy of my lovable fiance:

Who's who of Whoville: Instructor teaches new class using Dr. Seuss' books as required reading

Associate professor of English Philip Nel stands at the front of his classroom with a book in his hand. An illuminated screen with a typed list of eight ways to look at the story glows behind him.

He opens the class for discussion, questioning the students about the themes and motifs of the book. His students begin breaking it down, talking about its ethnic and gender roles, stereotypes, general structure and prose.

The book?

"And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street," by Dr. Seuss.

Nel is the instructor of a new class in the English department devoted completely to the life and works of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. This is the first time in K-State's history the university has offered a class specifically on Dr. Seuss.

One could question how an entire semester could be devoted to the famous children's author, but Nel said it is harder to figure out what not to include.

"There's an enormous amount of material," Nel said. "The real challenge comes in squeezing it all into one semester."

The class doesn't just focus on his books however; it looks into his influences, style and politics.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rejoicing we're not in the old world.

Prince Charles 'has legal right to sleep with Welsh virgins'

Prince Charles has the legal right to sleep with Welsh virgins on their wedding night.

The prince became a Welsh landowner when he purchased the 192-acre Llwynywormwood Estate, in the village of Myddfai, Carmarthenshire, last year, and, under an ancient law, he is entitled to bed local virgins before the groom - unless their new husbands hand over 50p.

The 1833 Topgraphical Dictionary of Wales states: "Landed gentry were entitled to take 10 shillings (50 pence) on the marriage of every freeholder in lieu of the uncivilised feudal custom of a first night's lodging with the bride."

A spokesman for Clarence House has assured the prince's new neighbours that Charles will not be exercising this right.

Local farmer's daughter Emma Thomas, 23, is due to marry Liam Blofield next month.

She told Britain's Daily Star newspaper: "I don't think it is likely. It wouldn't be very PC in this day and age.

"Liam wouldn't be very pleased. I dread to think what he would say to Prince Charles."

The 58-year-old prince and his wife Camilla bought the estate to use as a holiday home.

This atrocity found at, news for the public sector and beyond.

Image courtesy of Caricaturists in the UK.


On Humor


"You know what I like about you? You're not afraid to say what everyone is thinking."


"You know what I like about you? You're a crazy b&*^%!"


A nosebleed in the bathroom after lunch. Guess I'd better lay off the coke for a while huh?


Accounts of Cybercrime

From my favorite news source:

"Wired News has a series starting on internet crime. The first piece they have up covers the story of a cybercrook who specialized in credit card fraud. Caught in a sting operation in November of 2002, the man who identified himself as 'El Mariachi' on message boards would lead a double life for the next two years working for the FBI. As he reported on credit card scammers, dodged his former associates, and stopped criminals from defrauding the 2004 presidential campaign, he also tried to keep his life together. A fascinating tale that looks at the face of modern crime, and crime-stopping techniques."

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Monday, January 29, 2007

What lies beneath.

And other Blizzard Fan Art.


On the occasion of receiving my seventh invitation to the work Superbowl party...

I don't like football. I'm gung ho when USC is playing. I'm so-so at the Superbowl. I'd rather go to my favorite knitting store and celebrate Anti-Superbowl Knitting Sunday.

So when the invitation first went around the office, advertising liquor and a big screen tv, I abstained. Then the emails came a little more frequently.

Today we found out why. The company wants to get a liquor license to be able to serve liquor but they need a minimum of 25 people.

The Catch-22?

If they don't have enough people they can't serve liquor. If they can't serve liquor they definitely won't have any people.

HAHA. I'm glad I'm a sports agnostic.


Monday Funny: The I Heart Gmail Edition

I have been a devoted user of Gmail since it first beta-tested (knowing someone who worked at Google pre-IPO has its perks!) and I love it.

I do however find it amusing that any reference to the spam folder produces endless Google Ads for our friendly potted meat product. Apparently so does UserFriendly.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Said the Bishop to the Actress....*

My only complaints about this weekend so far are that my sweetheart wasn't here with me and the weekend just wasn't dang long enough.

So far the weekend HAS brought:

1. The finish of my entrelac bag. This has been in the works for a while. The colors are leftovers that I had from various projects, all Cascade 220. Since it's a little bright for every day use, I'm planning to use it as a bag to hold my projects. I love how the bottom comes together in a little star. It's a great pattern and was a fun knit. Now I just need to finish the i-cords, felt the work, and then line the bag!

2. A party at Knitmeister S's. We had a delightful time noshing on treats made by various attendess, sipping spirits and laughing a while lot. I heartily enjoyed the pastry squares with melty peanut butter, chocolate and marsmallows! And the plum wine and port were delicious as well.

3. A little bit of homework.

4. A few chores: Dishes, check. Laundry, check. Attempt to contain the yarn explosion. Check.

5. Some new projects. On Friday night I taught myself to crochet. I couldn't wait for February 1, so I cheated on Project Spectrum 2.0 and started a blue charity blanket. Crochet actually does go faster than knitting, and I seem to be catching on, but I'm still a knitter at heart. I also started a pair of cable socks. The yarn is Lorna's Laces in Vera and the needles are size 0. I'm not sure I'll ever finish, since I've had to modify the pattern several times and I have crazy numbers of minuscule stitches, but if I ever do finish they should be lovely.

6. I saw Akeelah and the Bee which was excellent, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I also jumped into 24: Season 4, JACK IS BACK.

7. rant People who leave their laundry in the public driers for more than 15 minutes after the cycle is over should be shot. I don't want to be one of those people who pulls your clean clothes out of the drier and deposits them somewhere in the not so clean laundry room, but we all need the driers. I also don't want to fold your laundry just so that I can get my wet clothes dry sometime this century. Try not being an asshat next time ok? /rant

That's about it for the weekend. Now it's just back to school and work. If only I were independently wealthy.

*For more about the origins of this quote check here.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

And many deceased authors roll over in their graves...

The end is nigh my friends... the end to all great literature.

Text message novel published in Finland

HELSINKI, Finland --A novel whose narrative consists entirely of mobile phone text messages has been published in Finland.

"The Last Messages" tells the story of a fictitious information-technology executive in Finland who resigns from his job and travels throughout Europe and India, keeping in touch with his friends and relatives only through text messages.

His messages, and the replies -- roughly 1,000 altogether -- are listed in chronological order in the 332-page novel written by Finnish author Hannu Luntiala. The texts are rife with grammatical errors and abbreviations commonly used in regular SMS traffic.

"I believe that, at the end of the day, a text message may reveal much more about a person than you would initially think," said Luntiala, who also is head of a company that keeps databases on people living in Finland.

Sari Havukainen, spokeswoman at Finnish publishing house Tammi, said the company is considering translating the book into other languages.

The taciturn Finns, keen on all mobile gadgets, have wholeheartedly accepted text messages as a tool to communicate even in most private matters. Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen recently made tabloid front pages after reportedly having broken up with his girlfriend with a text.

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The Terrible Twos

You would think I'm going to talk about my nephew who turns two next week, but actually I'm going to comment on President Bush's comments that just appeared on the news:

President Bush, on a collision course with Congress over Iraq, said Friday "I'm the decision-maker" about sending more troops to the war.

I'm sorry, but this isn't his own personal sandbox and he's old enough to know better than to throw a temper tantrum because nearly everyone in America disagrees with how he's handling things. And for someone who never even served in a war, he sure is casual about sending more Americans in to clean up his mistakes.

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The worth of your two cents.

In addition to the billions we spend each day on "Bush's War", apparently we're paying more for our pennies than we thought. This is the height of absurdity.

U.S. Criminalizes Coin-Melting: Bad Sign for Dollar?

Your pennies and nickels are now worth more melted down for their metal content than their face value. This has the government worried about more than just the most obvious, publicly stated reason.

On December 13, United States Mint officials said they were making it illegal to melt pennies and nickels and to take large amounts of the coins outside the country. Under the new law, anyone convicted of melting the coins or leaving the country with more than $5 in pennies and nickels or shipping more than $100 worth could be punished with five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Why the drastic steps? “We are taking this action because the nation needs its coinage for commerce,” stated Mint Director Edmund Moy. “We don’t want to see our pennies and nickels melted down so a few individuals can take advantage of the American taxpayer.”

Because of current zinc, copper and nickel prices, pennies and nickels cost the Mint far more than the coins are worth.

For example, as of the December 13 announcement, pennies (which are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper) were worth approximately 1.12 cents. Similarly, nickels, which are 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, were worth 6.99 cents—a whopping 39.8 percent above the nickel’s currency value.

For obvious reasons, when the metal value of a coin exceeds its face value, it makes people wonder if they could make money by selling the coin as scrap metal.

Although melting down U.S. coinage to sell the metal seems unpatriotic and opportunistic to say the least, it is a bit ironic that the Mint is worrying about people taking advantage of the taxpayer—especially since the Mint is now costing taxpayers millions by manufacturing pennies and nickels at a cost far above the value of the coins themselves.

According to the Associated Press, when all production costs are taken into account, the U.S. Mint now spends 1.73 cents to produce each penny and 8.34 cents to produce each nickel.

Therefore, since the Mint produced approximately 7.86 billion pennies and 1.42 billion nickels between January and November, the U.S. Mint itself, by making pennies and nickels that were worth less than their face value, actually cost taxpayers roughly $105 million just in the last 11 months.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Veni. Vidi. Steeki.

I just finished a fabulous knitting book, Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She is author of the delightfully entertaining knitting and humor blog Yarn Harlot.

I REALLY enjoy her. Stephanie just has this way with words. She makes all knitting addictions seem harmless. This book is filled not with patterns or techniques, but amusing stories, touching metaphors and a several good romps with yarn. If you're a lover of fiber, a knitter perpetually interested in honing your craft, and a sophisticate familiar with the many pitfalls that two sticks and a ball of yarn can bring, you'll love this book.

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Directions? Directions are for Wimps.

"Reports about a study that found microwave ovens can be used to sterilize kitchen sponges sent people hurrying to test the idea this week — with sometimes disastrous results. A team at the University of Florida found that two minutes in the microwave at full power could kill a range of bacteria, viruses and parasites on kitchen sponges. They described how they soaked the sponges in wastewater and then zapped them. But several experimenters evidently left out the crucial step of wetting the sponge. "Just wanted you to know that your article on microwaving sponges and scrubbers aroused my interest. However, when I put my sponge/scrubber into the microwave, it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off," one correspondent wrote in an e-mail to Reuters."


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Computer Love

65 Percent of Americans Spend More Time with Their Computer than Their Spouse

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 65 percent of consumers are spending more time with a computer than with their significant other, according to new independent research commissioned by

Conducted by independent research firm Kelton Research, the "Cyber Stress" study confirmed consumers' growing relationship with technology in their everyday lives. In fact, more than 8 out of 10 Americans (84%) say they are more dependent on their home computer now than they were just three years ago.

Like any relationship, the test comes not when things are going well but when times are tough. And unfortunately in the case of their computers, things aren't going so well for Americans.

-- The average consumer has experienced computer troubles eight times - about every four months - over the last three years.
-- The average American is wasting 12 hours per month - the equivalent of half a weekend - due to problems with their home computer.
-- A majority of Americans (52%) describe their most recent experience with a computer problem as one of anger, sadness or alienation.

"We empathize with consumers about the emotional nature of dealing with computer problems. As the leader in computer problem resolution for nearly 10 years, we have a distinct advantage in helping consumers quickly and conveniently solve their frustrating computer problems," said Josh Pickus, CEO of SupportSoft. "For these reasons, we will be launching, a service that speaks to consumers without talking down to them and uses proven, patented technology to resolve their frustrating computer problems - guaranteed."

Considering the large role computers play in people's lives today, experts agree that computer problems can sometimes cause significant emotional distress, similar to what happens when a problem occurs between spouses.

"As computers become increasingly pervasive in our lives, our relationships with them can begin to seem almost as important as a relationship with a significant other. When problems then occur with the computer, it often leaves people feeling frustrated or helpless," says Dr. Robi Ludwig, renowned psychotherapist and host of TLC's reality series "One Week to Save a Marriage." "On my show, I teach couples that they don't have to be an expert in resolving tough marital problems, they simply have to know whom to turn to for support. With the introduction of, consumers can have a trusted advisor to turn to for technology relief when they experience frustrating technology problems."


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Things I Learned/Confirmed While in Kansas

Driving in a snow storm at night is a bit like flying at "warp speed"

Corollary: Karma [Carma?] will take care of the asshat who blasts past you going way too fast for the weather by turning his car into a useless ditch ornament up the road.

When I got in on Saturday night it was snowing like crazy. I'd never been in a snowstorm like that, and it was really terrifying. It took us almost 4 hours to get home and Wes was dead tired when we got there. Luckily, by the next day it had stopped snowing and was just freakishly cold. Today it was 15 degrees. BRRRRR. I remember why I love the west coast.

Kansans are weird.

I think I sort of get what they meant to say here, but it's not exactly optimistic about self improvement is it?

Kansans are weird, part II

I give you a genuine truck full of milk. Ignore the horrible image of me next to the truck. I'm just trying to prove that in a random parking lot, there was a truck, filled with milk. And it was 20 degrees out so the milk was pretty damn well chilled.

Engineers are over-achieving snow man architects.

This cool dude was outside the engineering complex on Sunday. Clearly some engineers decided to outdo themselves. Just for information's sake, I'm a tall drink of 5'4" water. That dude is probably 7 feet.

Size 4 sweaters don't fit grown men. Especially not grown men with birthdays.

Poor guy had to go to classes on his birthday. He did, however, have a long lunch hour so we got to hang out together for a few hours midday. Then his late afternoon lab got canceled so we went for coffee (at a YUMMY independent coffee house) and then had an early dinner at an authentic Thai restaurant.

That a sweater for a toddler isn't as hard as I thought it might be.

Especially not if you have two days to kill in airports, and one day when your guy is in class. This is for my nephew's birthday next month. I made it big intentionally so he can grow into it. Pattern is Ann Norling's #53, top down raglan.

That Stanley Bing is a pretty funny guy.

I bought this little gem for my dad a while back and he loved it. Stanley Bing is sarcastic, hilarious and a shrewd wit. In this novella, he talks about how Rome was the original corporation and that much of today's boardroom antics have their roots in our Roman forefathers. If you like his column in Fortune, this is a must read.

That I am, without a doubt, marrying the most wonderful man in the world.

Whether we're getting tipsy on your mead in a hot tub, doing crosswords in coffee shops, geocaching, listening to your Professor who sounds like Ben Stein, cuddling in the cold weather or plotting the destruction of your mom's cat, I have no doubt that you're my soul mate and the one I want to be with forever. I hope your birthday was wonderful, and I hope we never spend another one apart ever again. You're the BEST baby.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Punched in the stomach.

Today has felt like one punch in the stomach after another.

I've been reading for one of my classes entitled "Competitive Advantage Through People." The basic premise is that in today's knowledge-based economy, people are the most important asset in any business because they carry with them more monetary value in both tacit and explicit knowledge than any phyisical plant, property and equipment can. This isn't exactly new knowledge; companies have pledged for years that "People are most important to us." And yet, most companies don't do a good job of making this more than lip service. The premise of this class is to teach us why and how this important, and how to change how we think about our businesses and our people, now and in the future.

I find these readings horribly depressing.

I don't find them depressing because I think what they say is untrue. I find them depressing because each day I am reminded how UN-valuable my current employers think I am. Or rather, perhaps not think, but demonstrate in their actions.

I have been working as a freelance graphic designer for a theatre company for the past 5 years, since I left full time employment there. I don't do a lot of work for them - a magazine ad or postcard here and there - but it's a nice way to stay in touch with the company, involved in something creative, and a earn little extra spending money. Today I received an email from the new management saying that they wanted all my graphics and templates. Now technically, they own the work I have done, and have every right to ask for the files. However, what they really want is the files so that they can edit them in the future. A clear sign that my talents are no longer valuable or necessary to them.

As you who read my blog know, my boss recently left the company for greener pastures and life since he left has been a little uncertain for me. I am close to graduating with my MBA, though not any closer to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. New management seems to have relegated me further and further into an administrative assistant role. Despite being told that my contributions are valued here, I have seen no actions that would indicate my new bosses are planning any promotion in my position comensurate with my masters level education. My previous boss, though he has praised me as a valuable resource many times, has told me that he is unable to take me with him to his new place of business as there simply aren't any positions open that he can fill.

I found out this afternoon that's not exactly true. He's taking someone with him; it just isn't me.


In a VERY timely (and now much needed) break, I am off for the weekend to help Wes celebrate his 35th birthday. I hope you all enjoy your weekends and that I return in better spirits.


The Age of Reason

Finally someone in a position of power gives voice to what I'm feeling.

Pelosi comments draw White House ire

WASHINGTON - In a critique the White House labeled as "poisonous," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged Friday that President Bush is wading too deeply into Iraq and said it should not be "an obligation of the American people in perpetuity."

Pelosi said Bush "has dug a hole so deep he can't even see the light on this. It's a tragedy. It's a stark blunder."

Democratic support is building around a resolution that would rebuff Bush's plans for more troops to Iraq, and more Republicans are looking for ways to sign on to the measure.

Senate Democrats, backed by two Republicans, unveiled legislation Wednesday that criticized Bush's decision. "It is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq," the nonbinding Senate measure states.

Pelosi's attack came as Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, told a House panel that Bush's plan to deploy 21,500 additional troops to secure Baghdad and Anbar province would delay progress in training Iraqi security forces.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended removing U.S. combat troops by early next year, and changing the U.S. mission from security to training and logistical support of Iraqi troops.

"You delay the date of completion of the training mission. You delay the date of handing responsibility to the Iraqis. You delay the date of departure of U.S. troops" from the region, Hamilton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the buildup.

Bush and senior administration officials have been laboring to limit Republican defections.

Administration supporters have expressed concerns the president faces a bipartisan repudiation of significant proportions.


Grey's Anatomy: Real Life McAngry

Apparently I'm not very up on my gossip. Last night after a night of D&D I went home to crash on the couch and watch my DVR - my favorite show, Grey's Anatomy. During the airing, the commercials and ads I didn't zip through kept mentioning controversey on the set. A quick search of the Internet revealed this not so minor, and not so pretty squabble:

"Grey's" Star Apologizes For Using Slur

"Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington has formally apologized for using the word "faggot" in the Golden Globes press room Monday night.

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance," he said in a statement.

Washington opened old wounds backstage at the Golden Globes when he answered a question about the October on-set argument where he allegedly referred to co-star T.R. Knight using an anti-gay slur.

"No, I did not call T.R. a 'faggot,'" Washington told reporters. "It never happened."

Washington and the cast of the show were in the press room to celebrate their Golden Globe win for best drama series.

"By repeating the word Monday night, I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on 'Grey's Anatomy,'" he said. "I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help."

Washington's apology came shortly after ABC, which airs the popular drama series, issued a statement Thursday saying the network is "greatly dismayed" by the actor's use of the homophobic slur.

The network said it is taking the situation "very seriously," calling Washington's actions "unacceptable" and saying the issue is "being addressed."

In an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday, Knight discussed the controversy, saying the October incident forced him out of the closet and shifted his perspective on the issue because he had never been called that to his face before.

It was then, he told DeGeneres, that he decided to tell People magazine that he is gay. "Everyone heard (the slur), on the set," Knight said. "I have never been called (faggot) to my face," he said. "I could have just let it slide and not said anything. But it became important for me to make the statement."

In regards to the remark Washington made in the press room at the Golden Globes, where he denied using the slur, Knight told DeGeneres, "I don't know what to say, really, about that."

"I don't either, except that we should not say hateful words to one another," DeGeneres said.

According to the New York Daily News, the on-set squabble in October between Dempsey and Washington nearly came to blows about cast members being late for production.

After Dempsey and Washington had words, Washington reportedly fired the slur at Knight, which prompted Dempsey to say, "Pick on someone your own size," according to the National Enquirer.

At the press conference, Washington's comment prompted gasps from the crowd and the rest of the briefing was spent watching Sandra Oh trying to keep Knight from bolting the platform, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The denial also upset co-star Katherine Heigl. At the In Style Warner Brother's party later, she told "Access Hollywood's" Shaun Robinson that Washington was way out of line.

"I'm going to be really honest right now … he needs to just not speak in public, period," Heigl said of Washington. "I'm sorry, that did not need to be said, I'm not OK with it."

I don't know about you, but I'm ok with Dr. Burke being written out of the series right about now.


Really Cool Science

Keeping my with environmentally conscious post of a few days ago, I would like to follow up with this article:

Solar power eliminates utility bills in U.S. home

EAST AMWELL, New Jersey (Reuters) - Michael Strizki heats and cools his house year-round and runs a full range of appliances including such power-guzzlers as a hot tub and a wide-screen TV without paying a penny in utility bills.

His conventional-looking family home in the pinewoods of western New Jersey is the first in the United States to show that a combination of solar and hydrogen power can generate all the electricity needed for a home.

The Hopewell Project, named for a nearby town, comes at a time of increasing concern over U.S. energy security and worries over the effects of burning fossil fuels on the climate.

Strizki runs the 3,000-square-foot house with electricity generated by a 1,000-square-foot roof full of photovoltaic cells on a nearby building, an electrolyzer that uses the solar power to generate hydrogen from water, and a number of hydrogen tanks that store the gas until it is needed by the fuel cell.

In the summer, the solar panels generate 60 percent more electricity than the super-insulated house needs. The excess is stored in the form of hydrogen which is used in the winter -- when the solar panels can't meet all the domestic demand -- to make electricity in the fuel cell. Strizki also uses the hydrogen to power his fuel-cell driven car, which, like the domestic power plant, is pollution-free.

Solar power currently contributes only 0.1 percent of U.S. energy needs but the number of photovoltaic installations grew by 20 percent in 2006, and the cost of making solar panels is dropping by about 7 percent annually, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The New Jersey project, which opened in October 2006 after four years of planning and building, cost around $500,000, some $225,000 of which was provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The state, a leading supporter of renewable energy, aims to have 20 percent of its energy coming from renewables by 2020, and currently has the largest number of solar-power installations of any U.S. state except California.

The project also got equipment and expertise from a number of commercial sponsors including Exide, which donated some $50,000 worth of batteries, and Swageloc, an Ohio company that provided stainless steel piping costing around $28,000. Strizki kicked in about $100,000 of his own money.

While the cost may deter all but wealthy environmentalists from converting their homes, Strizki and his associates stress the project is designed to be replicated and that the price tag on the prototype is a lot higher than imitators would pay. Now that first-time costs of research and design have been met, the price would be about $100,000, Strizki said.

But for Strizki and his colleagues, the house is about a lot more than the bottom line. It's about energy security at a time when the federal government is seeking to reduce dependence on fossil fuels from the Middle East, and it's about sustaining a lifestyle without emitting greenhouse gases.

For the 51-year-old Strizki, the project is his life's work. "I have dedicated my life to making the planet a better place," he said.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hello. My name is Laura and I'm an addict.

I've noticed in the last year or so, an addiction has been creeping up on me slowly. At first I thought I had it under control. I wasn't spending too much, I was enjoying it and finding other people to share my joy with. But then I realized I couldn't not buy it. I couldn't stop looking for it at work, at home, and whenever I had an internet connection. Last night I was just so restless I couldn't sit down and concentrate.

My name is Laura and I'm addicted to knitting.

All of a sudden the world is all patterns and beautiful yarns. I have 12 million ideas going at all times, and I have knitting ADD. I can barely get one project on the needles before I'm working on two more. I need a long knitted sweater coat. Or this Koigu skirt. Or any number of books. Or a spindle and some roving to learn spinning. Or learning to crochet (my New Year's Resolution).

It's like crack. The more time I spend with people I knit, talking over creative ideas and looking at patterns and yarns, the more I need.

So now I've acknowledged that there is a problem. Is there a 12 step program for this?


The Scoop

Since I returned to work on January 2, I've been missing something from my mornings. I couldn't quite figure out what it was until this week. And then I found this article.

Star 98.7 drops morning show

Welcome to week two of 2007. We're still reeling from week one's local radio news that popped louder than a champagne cork on New Year's Eve.

The headliners: KYSR/98.7 FM canceled the Jamie, Jack & Stenchprogram; "El Cucuy"posted bail after being booked on criminal threats charges; KKBT/100.3 FM dropped "The Beat" tagline for "V100"; former KNX/1070 AM newsman and website chronicler of local TV news, Ron Fineman, died.

First up, Star 98.7 FM. Station management – Greg Ashlock and Craig Rossi from Clear Channel Radio in Los Angeles – announced in a joint statement Jan. 2nd that "The Jamie, Jack and Stench morning show will not be returning to the air on Star 98.7.

"In planning for 2007, Star 98.7 management decided that the show is not a long term fit with the music intensive, artist driven direction that began last April with the station's relaunch as 'Today's Music Alternative'.We are very grateful for their years of talented service entertaining Southern California radio listeners. The plan for the future of Star 98.7 mornings is in place and will be announced on-air in the coming week. "

No comment from Jamie White or Mike Roberts(Stench). Jack Heine posted this statement on his website – "Hey, remember me? I was the cream filling in the Jamie, Jack and Stench Oreo. On Jan. 3, 2007 we were let go and will no longer be heard on your morning commute. But I will not stop blogging, so check my blog here at myspace for daily updates…you can keep tabs on Jamie at …Thanks for all the support."

Rossi, Star's vice president and general manager, also e-mailed, "There are people who, because of the timing, will want to connect this change to the incident that happened on Dec. 15 when Bill Handel(KFI/640 AM) entered the Star studios. This has absolutely nothing to do with that incident, for which Bill accepted responsibility. JJ&S did nothing wrong with regards to that situation, in fact, they conducted themselves admirably under the circumstances. The decision to discontinue their show was made weeks prior to that incident."

Jamie, Jack and Stench are still under contract, so it is doubtful we will hear more from them until they are free agents again.

Jamie started at Star in 1998 with partners Frank Kramer and Frosty Stillwell. Danny Bonaduce replaced the fired Frosty and Frank in 1999. He departed in 2005 and entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Board operator Jack and producer Mike Roberts (Stench) joined Jamie as her on-air partners in July of 2005.

The show was noted for its racy talk and frequent on-air tirades against management. The new morning show team is to be announced on air this week, according to Rossi.

First my Country station disappears entirely, now I'm stuck without some humor on my ride in. (insert sarcasm here) Thanks a whole lot ClearChannel. It might be time for Sirius.


The Ultimate Geek Accessory.

Thursday is game day, and every gamer needs a Dice Bag. From left to right: for Blogless Will, myself and Knitmeister S.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hump Day Humor: The Fun at My Own Expense Edition


A Little Monkey (Cleaning) Business

Escaped Chimp Gets Snack, Cleans Bathroom

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- An escaped chimpanzee at the Little Rock Zoo raided a kitchen cupboard and did a little cleaning with a toilet brush before sedatives knocked her out on top of a refrigerator.

The 120-pound primate, Judy, escaped yesterday into a service area when a zookeeper opened a door to her sleeping quarters, unaware the animal was still inside.

As keepers tried to woo Judy back into her cage, she rummaged through a refrigerator where chimp snacks are stored. She opened kitchen cupboards, pulled out juice and soft drinks and took a swig from bottles she managed to open.

Keeper Ann Rademacher says Judy went into the bathroom, picked up a toilet brush and cleaned the toilet. Rademacher says the 37-year-old Judy was a house pet before the zoo acquired her in 1988, so she may have been familiar with housekeeping chores. Judy wrung out a sponge and scrubbed down the fridge.

It took a couple of tries, but the zoo sedated the chimp, who fell asleep on top of the refrigerator with half a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread she had pulled out of the freezer.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

There's Klingons on the West Wing Lawn

In a most hilarious turn, Democratic Representative David Wu had some interesting things to say of the current Vulcan Klingon Republican administration.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

"This president has listened to some people, the so-called Vulcans in the White House, the ideologues. But, you know, unlike the Vulcans in 'Star Trek' who made their decisions based on logic and fact, these guys make it on ideology. These aren't Vulcans. There are Klingons in the White House. But unlike the real Klingons..."

As if that weren't enough, Portland NBC Affiliate WETM reports:

"There are Klingons in the White House...Unlike the real Klingons from Star Trek, these Klingons have never fought a battle of their own," Wu said in reference to the Bush Administration. "These are faux Klingons."

Um yeah. Anyone remember this song?

STAR TREKKIN' (from 06/20/1987)

Star Trekking, across the universe
On the Starship Enterprise, under Captain Kirk
Star Trekking, across the universe
Boldly going forward, 'cause we can't find reverse

Lt. Uhura, report

There's Klingons on the starboard bow
Starboard bow, starboard bow
There's Klingons on the starboard bow
Starboard bow, Jim

Analysis, Mr. Spock

It's life, Jim, but not as we know it
Not as we know it, not as we know it
It's life, Jim, but not as we know it
Not as we know it, Captain

Medical update, Doctor McCoy!

It's worse than that, he's dead, Jim
Dead, Jim. Dead, Jim
It's worse than that, he's dead, Jim
Dead, Jim, Dead

Starship Captain, James T. Kirk

Ha-ha! We come in peace, shoot to kill
Shoot to kill, shoot to kill
We come in peace, shoot to kill
shoot to kill, men

Engine room, Mister Scott

Ye canna change the laws of physics
Laws of physics, laws of physics
Ye canna change the laws of physics
Laws of physics, Jim

Ye canny change the scourge jim oh see you jimmy
Bridge to engine room, warp factor nine
If I give her anymore she'll blow

Star Trekking, across the universe
On the Starship Enterprise, under Captain Kirk
Star Trekking, across the universe
Boldly going forward, 'cause we can't find reverse

Beam me up Scotty. I'm done with the US of A.

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You've Got Mail: An Invitation from Donald "Rosie-is-a-Degenerate" Trump

My MBA classmates and I were discussing the whole Rosie/Donald debacle and I was remarking tonight how interesting it is that one of the world's wealthiest and most successful businessmen is acting like a two-year old with a slightly older vocabulary. What should I spy when I get home but a special envelope, addressed in that fake "handwriting" to ME, from one Mr. Donald Trump, return post to New York City.

My first thought was, "What? Me be on the LA version of The Apprentice? I thought they already filmed that." HAHAHA.

But no.

Instead I was invited to be his "personal guest to hear [his] real Trump story on wealth creation from [his] daughter, Ivanka Trump, and be trained by "4" self-mdade multi-millionaire experts in America." I'm to be his "special VIP guest" and I am receiving "two personal guest tickets and a special gift, a complimentary edition of "TRUMP - Think Like a Billionaire". What's more "the suggested tuition fee of $149 is waived for you."

I have to say, I'm intrigued. I don't want to hear his daughter speak so much as I want to see who else received this special invitation to the "Los Angeles 2007 Creating Wealth Summit." Anyone else? It's February 9 and I've got two tickets. I share if you'll just convince me to go with you!

PS Maybe Ivanka will reveal the secret to Daddy's infamous combover?


A new life goal - Live Long and Peace.

New research says winning a Nobel Prize adds nearly 2 years to your lifespan

New research by the University of Warwick reveals that a Nobel Prize brings more than just cash and kudos - it can also add nearly two years to your life.

The research by Professor Andrew Oswald, an economist at the University of Warwick, and Matthew Rablen, (a former Warwick postgraduate researcher now a government economist), is published this month in a study entitled "Mortality and Immortality".

The researchers carried out their study in order to try to answer a long-standing question for economists and medical researchers as to whether social status alone can affect people's well being and lifespan. Although the existence of some kind of effect is known from studies of monkey packs, in humans it has been difficult up till now to separate any perceived positive effect of "status" from the effect of simple greater wealth that status often brings. Nobel Prize winners were viewed as an ideal group to study as the winners could be seen as having their status suddenly dropped on them. They also come with a ready made control group they can be directly measured against - scientists who were nominated for a Nobel prize but did not actually win one.

The researchers looked at winners and nominees in physics and chemistry between 1901 and 1950 (the full list of nominees are kept secret for 50 years). This gave them 528 male scientists with known biographical details (birth and death dates). They looked at one sex only to avoid differences in life span between sexes. They dropped four from that total who died prematurely for non biological reasons - such as active combat in the First World War. That left 524 scientists, of whom 135 actually won a Nobel Prize.

The average life span for this group was just over 76 years. Winners of the Nobel Prize were found to live 1.4 years longer on average (77.2 years) than those who had "merely" been nominated for a prize (who lived on average for 75.8 years). When the survey was restricted to only comparing winners and nominees from the same country, the longevity gap widened even more by around another two thirds of a year on average.

Professor Oswald said: "Status seems to work a kind of health-giving magic. Once we do the statistical corrections, walking across that platform in Stockholm apparently adds about 2 years to a scientist's life-span. How status does this, we just don't know."

The researchers also looked at the Nobel Prize fund - the real value of which has changed over time. By comparing the possible effects of that variation, they found that the amount of actual prize money won by Nobel prize winners had no effect on their longevity - suggesting that it is the sheer status boost of the award that is important in extending lifespan.

The researchers also looked to see if the number of nominations for a Nobel Prize had any effect as a number of the scientists in the survey had been nominated for the award several times. They found that the number had no effect- actually winning the Nobel Prize was what counted.

This should be easy. Now I just have to win so I can live longer...


Office Humor

"Put the key of despair into the lock of apathy. Turn the knob of mediocrity slowly and open the gates of despondency - welcome to a day in the average office."

A close second:

"If your boss is getting you down, look at him through the prongs of a fork and imagine him in jail."

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Sobering Facts

Last night I sat down and watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth with friends. I had heard from my parents that it was a must-see, but my friends had some skepticism. Overall, it was extremely well done, relying on scientific fact and images that were indisputable. Humans are playing a role in the everchanging environment, and we cannot deny it. The truth is somewhat depressing and bleak.

So I wasn't even surprised this morning to see this tidbit on Slashdot. Although the prospect of new discoveries in geography sounds promising, the sad truth is that we are irrevocably changing the world around us. And it is highly unpredictable what could happen next: either searing heat (global warming) or freezing temperatures (another Ice Age?). Within a relatively short time, the world's oceans could be raised as much as 20 or 25 feet, submerging cities we know today, including parts of Los Angeles.

It is truly scary.

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Monday, January 15, 2007


The twisted cami, she is done. Behold her aqua goodness. She's blocking now... more pics as I wear her.


Day 2 of 3

Well ok, I'm actually posting on day 3 of 3, but I haven't slept yet, so as Wes and I would say, it's not a new day yet!

Today was another great weekend day - oh how I live for those days I don't have to work!

I slept in a bit this morning, got up around 11 and watched some TV while knitting on Wes' second first sock. Around 1pm I went to meet up with friends to see Pan's Labyrinth. It was incredibly violent, but also incredibly enchanting. A huge contrast between the fantasy world of one little girl and the harsh realities of World War II. Not at all what I expected, but I was really glad I saw it.

I came home after that, noshed on some yummy leftovers, finished Wes' sock and watched a movie with him. We saw The Girl Next Door. This wasn't what I expected either, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was a little teeny-bopper, but the plot took some interesting turns, and I really enjoyed it.

Then tonight I worked on the twisty tank.... this is a lousy picture and should just serve as a sneak preview. I'm going to finish up the straps tomorrow and then block it and get some better photos. Also up, some more felting projects, Wes' first second sock and another dvd.

One more day left and I'm going to make the most of it!

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Three Day Weekend - Day 1

Today was a really nice day. I slept in until noon and then headed over to the yarn store to spend some time knitting and just hanging out. I got some work in on the tank top that I'm doing.

Then I met my parents for dinner and a movie. We saw Little Children starring Kate Winslet. At its core it was a movie about people who were unhappy in their lives, and were fighting to find happiness. Kate Winslet was excellent and even though I'm not sure I understand or agree with the ending, it was a good watch.

Afterwards we headed out for Japanese food for dinner (tempura... yum!) and then I chatted with my sweetie. I got home a little after 9 and started another sock for Wes. This was destined to be Sock #2, but the first sock was a little small, so I believe this is going to be number 1 again. Oh well, I'll just have to knit faster!

I also finished a book I was reading: Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassen. This was a crazy read. It wasn't great literature, but it was an excellent page turner. A sort of a murder mystery that spirals faster and faster towards an ending. I don't want to give too much away, but if you're looking for a good read that doesn't require too much thinking, this is definitely it!

That's all for today - it's 1am and I think I need to turn in. See ya on the flip side!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Three Day Knitfest

I'm SO excited for the three day weekend. Not that I didn't just have some time off, but I'm looking forward to an easy going weekend. I have several knitted projects to work on, a good book to finish (book report forthcoming), some movies to see, and some serious catching up on movies and tv.

This is a WIP picture of a tank top I'm working on. Other goals for this weekend include:

1. Second sock for Wes for his birthday
2. Ann Norling Raglan Sweater for my nephew's second birthday



I definitely love my fractals. More amazing art here.


Victoria's Secret: I know it!

Shhhh... this is important, don't let the cat out of the PINK doggie bag.

Victoria's Secret panties are MADE IN JORDAN.

Kinda disappointing that's what the BIG secret is huh?


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Introducing: Zoe the Changeling Sorceress

Stolen from here.


Feeling sneezy?

Skip the Claritin and head straight to your Tiki Head Tissue Dispenser. The Polynesian gods really do think of everything!


New Year, New Game

Well with the new year, we are kicking off a new gaming campaign. Since we've got some new joiners and some returning friends, as well as a new DM, we're starting anew with characters. This is the part I'm supposed to be good at (the description) but truthfully the fiction part of my brain seems to be sort of blocked.

In general, I tend to be a visual person so I began my search today for an image of a changeling sorceress (other terms used: sorceror, witch, crystal ball, celtic cloak, etc.) Truthfully what I'm picturing is a little like Morgain in The Mists of Avalon. Probably not entirely appropriate for the urban city of Sharn, but I'm a romantic.

My new character is named Zoe. She is a sorceress by birth - her mother and grandmother before her were very powerful sorceresses, but sadly both are gone now. She moved to Sharn as a child, sometime after her mother's death, to live with her Aunt Elsbeth who has dabbled a bit in magic but has chosen not to become a sorceress. Zoe is neutrally aligned, soft-spoken and can make herself nearly invisible - her changeling side allows her to simply blend into the background when she so wishes. What she does not realize, however, is that when she has let her guard down, she has such a natural intensity and gift with magic, that she is also unforgettable to those who have seen her true face.

More recently she has spent her time studying under a wizard Galan to learn the art of healing and identifying substances and magic. She is very intuitive, but also enjoys learning and practicing with her mentor. She is in her early to mid-20s now and cannot quite put her finger on this restless feeling that seems to have entered her soul. Little does she know that tonight she will meet several people who will take her on an adventure beyond her imagination.


And the Darwin Awards have another Winner!

Man electrocuted by do-it-yourself mole-killer

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German retiree who wired up a high-voltage cable to try to wipe out the moles digging up his garden killed himself instead, police said Thursday.

Uwe Werner, police spokesman in Stralsund north of Berlin, said the 63-year-old retired construction foreman was found dead in the garden of his weekend house in Zingst next to a 380-volt cable and metal spikes rammed into the ground.

"The moles survived," Werner said, noting the voltage was enough to run a cement mixer or heavy-duty power saw. "It was in any event an unorthodox method to try to get rid of moles."

Score one for the Rodentia.