Friday, November 30, 2007

bible, bible, bible, bible....

Is anyone else out there dumbfounded that time at the last Republican 'debate' was spent on asking the doofuses if they believe that the Bible is 'the word of God'? The only thing worse than that question was the predictable parade of responses that were so patently pandering to the Christianistsas.

I wouldn't mind so much if the logical follow-up occurred (after each old-White-guy had had his say), with the moderator then holding up a Koran and asking 'what do you say to the millions of folks who believe that THIS book is also the Word of God'?

Oh, Lord (so to speak), how I yearn for the day when a presidential candidate is not afraid to say "I respect people of faith, and the strength they derrive from the Bible's message, but, frankly, I suspect that much of organized religion is a major con job, and that believers are SUCKERS."

Yeah, in my dreams.

What passes for political debate in the MSM is utterly pathetic. How can the Professionals in that business look at themselves in the mirror? Why can't everyone perform their work with total integrity and committment to honest quality, like programmers?

By the way, have you rented 'Jesus Camp' yet? You should.

Currently re-reading (3rd time): 'Live From Golgotha,' Gore Vidal's HILARIOUS send-up of religion, advertising, and time-travel sci-fi.

Next book on the pile: 'The Assault on Reason', by Al Gore. I suspect that it will further fuel my indignation (ya think?).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sorry for the Gloom and Doom

Looking over recent posts, I see that I have tended to emphasize the pessimistic side of Life on Earth.

I was going to offer a few encouraging words, to project faith in the Human Spirit to overcome challenges.

History, however, suggests that we are, indeed, screwed. Sorry.

But cheer up, holiday spending appears to be on track.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

it all depends on who gets to write History

yikes - can he possibly get away with this?

Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking. As we are deluged with Christmas advertising, which propagates the illusion of endless First World prosperity, let's read together the first sentence:

Unless the international community agrees to cut carbon emissions by half over the next generation, climate change is likely to cause large-scale human and economic setbacks and irreversible ecological catastrophes, a U.N. report said on Tuesday.

But hey, Obama said something critical about Hillary.

Monday, November 26, 2007

goodbye kitties

The last 2 of our 4 kittens just left. Two of them were picked up yesterday, from our craigslist ad.

We've had these kittens for just under 2 months, and it has been a real kick watching them born and develop into minitature cats, full of energy and playfulness.

We hope that Edie, the mom, will not be too upset. She seemed OK last night, with only half a brood around. It was really sad to see them go, but our furniture was on the verge of immanent destruction.

Now we are back to one middle-aged dog and two adult cats. First the boys grew up and moved out, and now this. Life is just one loss after another.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

T + 3

We survived the Day, working pretty continuously from 8 am until chow-time. Everything went off perfectly - Karen now feels she is the Master (Mistress?) of Turkey-Roasting.

A couple of the guests reported, the next day, that it was the best Thanksgiving dinner they had ever had.

There are still a few leftovers, and we are just beginning to deal with the turkey stock. All in all, worth the efforts, and we even emerged with a much-cleaner house than it was before.

Yesterday was a magnificent pre-Winter day - sunny but cool. We spent many hours raking and cleaning up the yards and beds. Our compost-pile is loaded with leaves and clippings, and ready for the long snooze until next Spring.

Life here, in the waning days of the Age of Petroleum and Abundance, is pretty good. I will miss this.

Next up: Hannukah and Ben's 21st Birthday!

Monday, November 19, 2007


no, not the incessant cold rain of the past three days, but this.

here we go...

first this, then oil, and then it's 1929 all over again!

We'll be able to tell our grandchildren (in a creaky voice), "why I remember when there was such a word as 'petro-dollar'", and they'll look at us with puzzlement.

Oops, I read this 5 minutes after reading the above.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Have you tried OpenDNS?

My geek-friend Dave told me about this last night, surprised that I had not yet heard about it.

Today, I reconfigured my DSL Router to hit their IP addresses for DNS and, by George, it really does noticeably improve Web browsing. Incredible.

T minus 4 and counting

We spent most of the morning moving furniture around, polishing wood, washing windows, setting up tables and chairs, and finalizing the menu and shopping list, in anticipation of 15 people coming for dinner on Thursday.

The stuffing will be corn-bread based, with sausage, tequila-soaked raisins, etc. There will be green beans, the usual cakes and pies, a mountain of mashed potatoes, dry-cured turkey of course, and a couple of cranberry relishes, including the old stand-by: the famous NPR relish, that I've made every year since about 1979.

Karen is genuinely into the ritual of Thanksgiving dinner, and it pleases her to get underway with all the preparations. I am ready for a nap, but I still have to polish more wood, give the dog a bath, and do the grocery shopping this afternoon.

In 30 years, how unbelievable it will seem, that people devoted this much time (and had the opportunity and choices) to plan a meal like this, not to mention simply driving to the store and loading up on all the goodies you can think of.

Unfortunately, I see global catastrophe and human misery in our future - I have no confidence that the powers-that-be will rise to the challenge of managing and minimizing the Transition that is surely coming our way.

Of course, I could be wrong. Wouldn't that be great?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

this is cool

saw a reference to this site on the CBS Evening News.

Incredibly enough, it told me that Dennis reflects 90% of my views, more than any other candidate.

I was surprised that it actually worked.

Gore Vidal endorses Dennis

yea! As everyone here knows, Vidal is my candidate for the greatest American writer of these times (Vonnegut comes in 2nd).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Republican 'survey'

I received this fund-raising solicitation from the National RNC, in the guise of a survey. It was full of pseudo-official bullshit, like the words 'Official Document' and 'Process Immediately'. All the questions have the choices 'Yes', 'No', or 'Undecided' and I am transcribing them VERBATIM:

1. Do you feel voters in Oregon's 1st District support making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent?

2. Do you support the House Democrats' "slow-bleed" strategy to "choke-off" funding for our troops in Iraq, leading to their withdrawal and a perception of American defeat?

3. Should Republicans continue fighting for full implementation of a ballistic missle defense system?

4. Do voters in Oregon's 1st District agree with the Nancy Pelosi Democrat Magority's decision to impose massive tax hikes on the American people?

5. Do you think that House Republicans should continue to push for pro-growth ploicies that create jobs and oppose tax increases that would add a burden to working families and set back our economy?

6. Do you support Congressional Republicans' efforts to decrease domestic government spending in order to reduce the national deficit?

7. Do you support the Democrats' efforts to give federal government bureaucrats complete control of your health care costs and choices?

8. Should Republicans in Congress make expansion of Veterans' benefits a priority?

9. Do you support maintaining anti-terrorism laws that give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the far-reaching powers to track, detain and prosecute terrorists and their accomplices?

10. Should Republicans in the House of Representatives make securing our nation's borders and enforcing our nation's immigration laws, including combating the hiring of illegal workers and ending the "catch and release" policy a top priority?

11. Do you think House Republicans should continue fighting for comprehensive education reform to ensure that every child in America receives a first-rate education?

12. Do you agree that winning back a Republican Mahority in the House of Representatives is essential to stopping the Nancy Pelosi Democrats from raising our taxes, destroying our economy and endangering our homeland?

Who says there are no jobs available for Psych majors?

Friday, November 09, 2007

just saw 'Michael Clayton'

Great film - tense and intelligent, with effective cinematography, a tight script, and believable acting. George Clooney knows what he's doing. Recommended.

amusing video

Al Gore on '30 Rock'. I've never seen the show, but if this is an example of the writing and acting, I should tune in.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

cute kitten photos...

...will NOT be posted here, until I get you to look at this. I had heard about this book a few weeks ago and got it from our library.

Just finished it a couple of days ago, and its effect is still reverberating.

Considering how much time I've been spending the past few months, actively contacting government people to advocate emissions controls, CO2 caps, etc, the arguments advanced by these guys makes all that effort seem misdirected.

The basic argument, to over-simplify, is that Global Climate change is coming and it can't be stopped by current legislative efforts. Rather than visualize humanity retreating to a simpler life and scaled-back economy, the best action would be to accept the inevitability and harness traditional human cleverness (sic) to think and innovate our way into dealing with the changes and ADAPT.

I guess that's easy to say, from someone who lives 400 feet above sea-level. If I were a Floridian or a Pakistani, or a New Yorker, the vision of a 30-foot rise in sea-level might be more difficult to adapt to.

In Holland, they are building floating cities. Think about it.

Now, about the kittens: they are almost a month old, beginning to eat kitty kibble and using the litter-box. They will be ready to find new homes in a couple of weeks. They are truly adorable, and I WILL post some photos soon.

Monday, November 05, 2007

WTF (i.e. HR 1955)??

Just heard about this outrage. Goodbye, human rights in America.

The lights are going out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

no place like home

We are back in sunny, mild Portland, after a week cruising around the Caribbean, sampling the sun, heat, humidity, rain, jungles, caves, third-world sights, and endless buffets, that constitute a Caribbean cruise.

Had a couple of highlights, which I hope to write about at some point. Today, we spent time cleaning the house (our standards are a bit higher than teen-agers), doing laundry (load #3 going now), food shopping, and communing with the animals, who seem pleased to have us back.

Quick shout-out to Joe and Shirley, who met us at the Tampa airport for a too-quick drink and a few laughs, before we resumed our 20-hour travel day, arriving home around 10:30 pm PDT. Here's Joe's post about the visit, complete with photo of the 4 of us.

Just to tantalize you, here is a page describing the cave we visited in Belize. It was truly astonishing.