Same job, different uniform.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Man, You can Win Anything These Days

Our friends in North Idaho sent this. Not only is the video a hoot, amazingly, if they get enough votes, their hospital will WIN an MRI machine. When can we play WinACamry?

"Our local hospital is in a contest to win an MRI machine, which is very much needed in our small community. It takes public voting to determine the winner. You can vote once a day every day until 12/31/07. Please spread the word.

Help us win the MRI by going to this website and voting for Boundary Community Hospital. Go to

Wait for the short video to load, and then you can cast your vote. You can go back to the site every day to vote again.

Thank you for your time."
When I first got this email, the hospital in Bonners Ferry was in fourth place, but now its around eighth , but "if everyone goes to this site and votes once a day we will have a great shot at winning."

They're the only Idaho hospital in the running. Let's help ! Vote, and then post this on your site, if you have one. Click here.

Labels: ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

There and Back Again

I haven't been blogging. You might have noticed.

For about a week, I was busy fighting blog wars here and here. I should have known better. On the one hand the conversation dissolved into accusation and name-calling by a fellow blogger, and on the other, total nonsense.

It was so exhausting, I haven't had the energy to write more.

I learned something about myself and my blogging style, though: I am interested in the exchange of ideas. Numbers can be manipulated. In the end, ideology is what matters.

Get to the brass tax. Try being honest about what abortion is and its implication on the whole of society, not just women. Not satisfied? Let's talk about why caring about only women's health isn't enough. Call me anti-choice, and I'll take it. I believe in denying people certain choices. That's an honest position. Your turn.

Great, you're for universal health care. I don't think it's a wiser, safer, more compassionate path, but that doesn't assume I believe the "market can never fail" or that I am a "Republican schill." Quite the opposite, in fact, since I spent enough time answering phones, assisting on extractions and exchanging hugs with patients at a dental clinic for the uninsured (yeah, I'm proud of it; deal with it) that I began to question the health care system, too. I just don't think the opposite of supporting universal health coverage (coverage, coverage, alright already!) is cruelty.

Eventually I just had to walk away. I couldn't win either one. One, because she wouldn't listen to reason. The other because I wandered off track from my initial comment and should have stopped before the mud-slinging began.

Have you been there?


SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's So Sad to See Families Torn Apart

"Within a year, the ex-beauty shop owner with the hair-trigger temper was behind bars — betrayed by his predecessor, a stand-up guy now sitting down with the FBI."

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Saturday, October 20, 2007

And I like Muenster

And I like Ellen Degeneres. A lot. Even after her ridiculous, if not well-intentioned, celebrity antics this week.

If you haven't heard about it, you can read it here.

But I'll summarize: Ellen adopted a puppy from a non-profit rescue/adoption agency called Mutts and Moms. Said puppy couldn't get along with her cats, even after training. Ellen gave the dog to her hairstylist, a woman with two girls, ages 11 & 10, I believe. The catch? When Ellen adopted the puppy she signed a contract saying she would return the canine to the agency if there ever came a time when she could no longer keep the animal. Someone informed the agency that Ellen had given up the dog, and they showed up on Sunday and removed the dog from the family's home.

Ellen's response? A tearful opening monologue on Tuesday's show, begging the agency to return the dog to the family, as the two little girls are devastated. And did I forget to mention that Mutts and Moms also has a strict policy on not adopting out to families with children under the age of 14?

Now, I want to start by saying that I think Ellen does have the best of intentions in this fight: she wants the dog to be happy and well-taken care of. What bothers me is that by saying that's what she wants (in tears, nonetheless, and on a nationally syndicated talk show), she is implying that the agency does not want the same things for the dog.

But shouldn't one assume that these policies are so strictly enforced for the well-being of the dogs? Why would two women start a non-profit canine adoption agency if they didn't love dogs and didn't want to do their best to find them safe and happy homes?

The two female owners of Mutts and Moms are being unfairly maligned, and Ellen should be ashamed of the way she's handled the situation. The celebrity breaks a signed contract, and somehow the small business owners are the bad guys. It must be intimidating to stand up to one of the most well-liked celebrities in our country, but I applaud Mutts and Moms for standing their ground. They have a business to run, and what sort of message would they be sending to future clients if they allow their rules to be broken by celebrities who bully them with tears?

Sorry, Ellen, but I'm gonna have to chalk this fiasco up to another celebrity thinking they're above the rules.

Labels: , ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I had a minor meltdown this evening. My bi-monthly minor meltdown. Sometimes it is my bi-weekly minor meltdown.

My husband came upstairs and listened to me while I pretended to use words. Then we had a pathetic excuse for a meal--but it was hot and there was pepper so it wasn't a complete wash--went to the Dumb Ox Society, came home and listened to Handel's Messiah while we baked banana bread.

I'm so glad my dad played that album over and over while we were growing up. I know every note.

Banana bread. A Messiah. My husband. Give me one thing more, a grateful heart.

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Parent of the year

File this under "You Gotta Be Freakin' Kidding Me."

For the record, I do not watch "The Girls Next Door" on the E! network. I am, however, a compulsive channel surfer, an often find myself pausing on any number of shows that I arguably should not be watching (but in my defense it's often before I know what they are).

If you don't know -- and I REALLY hope you don't know -- the aforementioned show is of the reality variety. It follows the unfathomably shallow lifestyles of Hugh Heffner's three girlfriends. Sounds brilliant already, right?

As I'm channel surfing the other day, I stop on E! long enough to observe an autograph signing filmed inside a crowded mall. Here, many "GND" fans were gathered to meet and greet the three blondes. Among these were young girls, standing in line with their parents. "Bridgette (sp?) is my favorite!" a girl of about 12 years old beams.

YOUR FAVORITE WHAT?! More importantly, moms, what in the name of all that's good and decent in the world are you thinking? You should not allow your young girls to watch this rubbish, let alone pick a favorite Playmate and collect her autograph!

Am I going crazy? Is this not the most BASIC principle for parents? That principle being: Don't sit down as a family to watch TV programming that is not made for families (including but not limited to shows in which main characters take off their clothes on a regular basis so censors have to blur their private parts) and don't encourage your daughters to put on a pedestal any individual who got to where she is because she took off her clothes (including but not limited to women whose day-to-day existence revolves around primping, shopping and partying).

Well, I've gotten myself all worked up now. I think I'll go vomit again.

Labels: ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I have been quarreling.

At Dakota Women, pro-lifers have been accused of being dishonest about their motivation behind opposing abortion.

As evidence of this dishonesty, the author has linked to this article, that cites this report. (This is only the abstract. You have to register--free--if you want to read the study).

ADDED: I suspect few of my readers are going to read this whole post (not even my adversary at Dakota Women can be bothered to do it). So why don't the rest of you just click on that link above and go read our debate.

Before I proceed, I want to make this very clear: I believe that women have and will continue to have abortions, regardless of its legality. This does not mean that I do not want to reduce the number of abortions, or that I don't care about those women injured by the procedure. But that is not an argument against outlawing abortion on demand.

I hope you can follow along, because this is interesting.

The study in question, authored by Gilda Sedghat at the Guttmacher Institute, (visit their site--I don't have to tell you where they stand on the abortion issue) makes the claim that abortion rates are dropping in countries where the procedure is legalized. It goes beyond its research to assert that the numbers are dropping because abortion is legal in those countries.

Below is their definition of an unsafe abortion. You will see that in nations with restrictive abortion laws every abortion is defined as unsafe. Naturally, then, they can say that restrictive abortion laws lead to unsafe abortions, because they have simply defined it that way.
"Abortions done either by people lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimum medical standards, or both. These include (a) abortions in countries where the law is restrictive and (b) abortions that do not meet legal requirements in countries where the law is not restrictive."
If you don't read anything else, I hope you read that paragraph!

The paragraphs in the block quotes below show that the researchers are using estimated data. A couple points about the data.

First, every time they can they estimate the number of abortions up. Sometimes this is done to an extraordinary degree: for example they estimate Bangladesh stats up by 300%. Because the nations with restrictive laws also tend not to collect abortion data, their estimates influence the statistics from those nations most. So regarding those places with restrictive abortion laws, the researchers have estimated the abortion rate up as high as they can.

They then say that the laws cause the high abortion rates, when it is more likely their estimation methods. One should note that the ideological tendencies of the researchers are obvious, so it is reasonable to doubt their estimations. If I was quoting from a report by LifeNews, pro-choicers would do the same.

"For two-thirds of countries for which official reports were available, and in which abortion is considered safe, the reports were deemed complete and the data were not adjusted. In the remaining countries, the average correction factor was 1•4 (which corresponds to an inflation of the official estimate by 40%). The correction factors ranged from 1•05 (USA) to 3•0 (Bangladesh).

In countries for which surveys showed more abortions than were counted in the official statistics, we deemed the survey estimates to be more complete, since even they are known to undercount abortions.

The findings presented here provide new estimates of abortion incidence at the worldwide and regional levels, which had not been updated since 1995. In the face of a dearth of information for many countries, particularly those in which abortion laws are highly restrictive, this study drew on all available sources of information and used systematic and consistent methods to estimate abortion incidence."
Beyond all this, they do not consider alternative variables. I am not a researcher, and I haven't taken stats, but my husband suggests that a solid research program would collect data on all variables likely to influence abortion rates (of which legality would be one variable. I can think of others). The researcher would then run some sort of statistical analysis to see which variables are statistically significant.

Have these researchers done the statistical analysis requried to make such a broad assumption? If not, even if we accept their numbers, we cannot, as a matter of social science, say that restrictive laws are causing a higher abortion rate. The researchers have assumed this without adequate proof.

Labels: , ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

"We've scored a triple play," Ferguson says, "and two of those plays are chips — computer chips and potato chips."

They figure out what we already knew.


SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Monday, October 15, 2007

Flying The Unfriendly Skies

Can I see a show of hands for those of you who thoroughly enjoy flying with small infants and/or small children? No one?

As we boarded the airplane for our return trip to TX from MN, both Tall, Dark & Handsome and I were stopped by the flight attendent, she who shall not be named, and were asked to reposition our carry on bags. TDH was asked to remove his backpack. "Why?" he inquired. She who shall not be named explained that there is a greater chance for other passengers to get bumped by his backpack when he is wearing it. I was toting Sweet and Creamy (4 month old son) in a front carrier and holding his diaper bag in my right hand. "Ma'am, please keep the bag close to you, so that it doesn't hit any of the passengers." We were unaware that she had spoken to both of us until we were debriefing in DFW airport, taking turns spewing our frustrations over the flight.

She who shall not be named left us alone until about 15 minutes before we landed, when S&C is starting to fuss. First, another flight attendent, a graduate, apparently, of the Delores Umbridge school of communication, asked me if I had a bottle I could give him. Not in a "let me help you" tone of voice, but a "please figure out a way to keep you child quiet" tone. Then she who shall not be named approaches my seat and informs me that I need to take S&C out of the front carrier to comply with regulations. He has been secured there for most of the flight and on other flights, so I said that the other flight attendants must not know this rule because no one has ever said this to me.

I begin taking S&C out of his carrier and of course he dials the fussing up a few notches. I try to breastfeed him, under covering, naturally, but to no avail. He is totally crying now, I'm sweating and very frustrated and up strides she who shall not be named with a piece of paper in her hand. She had the regulation pamphlet and is trying to show me the rule and tell me about the research that supports it. I told her that I didn't need to read it. She then procedes to step to the row behind me and asks if TDH would like to look at it.

COME ON!!! It wasn't as if I refused to take him out. I had. I wanted to ask her to read it to S&C. I'm sure it would have helped him settle down immediately upon reading it. Do you have the regulations in the form of a picture story book for my child to read....maybe a board book? Uhg!!!

I'm all for safety, so maybe she was recommending the safest thing, but I am bothered my the inconsistency of flight attendants. Particularly when I'm stuck with the anal retentive ones.

Also, I'm very appreciative of anyone who will, at the very least, sympathize with the challenge of traveling with young ones. As you can see, it ain't easy.

Labels: ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Can You Identify this Plant?

Last week, we girls and one bouncy babe hit four rummage/antique shops. I'm still cross-eyed. If I never see an antique again that'll, who am I kidding? I'll be back out next weekend.

At one of them, the proprietor had two gorgeous plants, a dying Aloe Vera plant (which I will try to revive) and this one. I asked about them, since they seemed to be included among the furniture for sale. He said he was "trying to give them away."

Do any of my readers know what this one is called?

I'm a long time gone from high school horticulture class.

Labels: ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Nobel Peace Price and What it Isn't

Members of my wonderful family were here this week. The visit was too short, considering it took them three days to drive here, but having them here was like being given a huge, bow-wrapped gift full of everything sweet.

It turned out that this is the week Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I wondered inwardly, "Why?" and felt foolish for not knowing the answer. My sister-in-law even said at one point, "If this doesn't show you what a joke the Prize has become, I don't know what will."

I wondered if we were just being naive or excessively partisan.

After reading the venerable Ken Blanchard's post at South Dakota Politics, I feel vindicated. Or at least better informed.

Aren't you curious? Didn't you scratch your head and wonder where the connection lies? Blanchard gives a devestating explanation.


SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Naked Women Don't Help

In the infancy of this blog, I wrote a post about the problem women pose to politics. Re-reading it now, I'm not sure I was very clear. But the thesis is still true. And these women know it.

They represent members of the new Polish "Women's Party" whose objectives, among others, include a demand for more OBGYNs, free contraception and the "right to pain-free birth." (How the government can provide these things or why they are its responsbility is a puzzle.)

Read the article. If their tactics are unorthodox, there's nothing original about what they're proposing. They feel underrepresented, express a lack of confidence in the men in power and want to escape the "concrete details that trap the suburban housewife, the continual demands on her time."

“The poster is intended to shatter stereotypes in the anachronistic world of politics,” said Ms Gretkowska. “We are beautiful, nude and proud.”

What I fail to understand is how posing nude is going to advance their cause. What stereotypes are they shattering? That women don't have to be naked to get men's attention? Oh, wait.

Is this funny or sad or what?

Labels: ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Friday, October 05, 2007

Heaven on Earth

I just remembered what I dreamt about last night.

It was an epic of a dream. An adventure.

Both THE DOCTOR and Spider Man were in it. They were in danger. I don't know if they made it.

Oh yeah.


SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Good grief! I've Been Tagged with the World's Longest Tag

My sister has tagged me to write an epic about my husband.

Can I pick and choose which questions to answer and which to skip? I'm going to pick and choose. This is me picking and choosing:

1. Who is your man? Himself
2. How long have you been together? Really together or on-again-off-again?
3. How long did you date? See above.
4. How old is your man? 36
7. Who is taller? He is. I never cared about height, but it turns out a tall man is nice, after all.
8. Who sings better? La, la, la, la.
9. Who is smarter? You're kidding, right?
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine.
11. Who does the laundry? See answer to Question 9.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you're talking about the right side of the bed when you're lying down, it's me.
16. Who mows the lawn? He does, good fellow.
17. Who cooks dinner? All the cooking except the grilling. And there's a duck breast soaking in some sort of bloody liquid in the frige right now. I won't be cooking that either.
19. Who pays when you go out? He does. I still like it that he does.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? It depends on who you're asking.
23. Who kissed whom first? He kissed me first.
24. Who asked whom out? See Ms. Lane's answer to this one. It's brilliant!
25. Who proposed? Him of course!
28. Who has more siblings? He does, by scores.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? How do you answer this question? You know who SHOULD. You hope he DOES. You wonder if you fight for the pants. I don't like this question. I don't like pants or wearing them. Down with pants!

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Does this surprise anyone at all?

Senator Craig's self-imposed deadline to resign his seat was September 30. He has not chosen to do so. The reason, he states, is the continuing effort to "clear" his name, which began with a hearing before a markedly skeptical judge. This judge will rule this week whether Craig's case will be reopened, and given that Craig is a lawyer with, one hopes, some understanding of the legal process, the judge will deny the motion. No doubt this will result in an immediate appeal, which will also be denied, followed by another appeal that will be thrown from court so hard it will dent a Subaru station wagon parked at the curb in front of the courthouse. Whereupon he will appeal to the State Supreme Court, which, if it has any sense at all, will refuse to hear it.

By that time, Craig's term will have concluded and he can slink off into the night with his name entirely unrehabilitated and his reputation as a prevaricator and word parser par excellence secured. Unless he chooses to run for re-election, and one can only imagine the fun that will bring about.

The most honorable politician I can point to is Brent Coles, former mayor of Boise. On the day he was indicted (on a ticky-tack charge), Coles resigned his office and the city got on with its business. Contrast that with what Senator Craig is doing now. Stripped of seniority, he is no better than a freshman, and has less credibility.

He thinks he can ride this out now, and he's probably right, but at what cost? Does anyone really believe he can be an effective voice for Idaho?

UPDATE: Wow. There's a surprise. Senator Craig lost his appeal with the Minneapolis judge referenced above, then issued a statement to the effect that he is staying, and anyone who does not like it can...lump it. Somewhere in Boise, you just know that Governor Otter is absolutely infuriated at being played for a sucker. As well he should be. I'm pretty steamed myself.

It became absolutely apparent that he was going to weasel when he went back to the Senate and the story largely died down. The fact that the story lost feet isn't because anyone believes his denials or thinks he was not trolling for boy-toys in the airport potty. Frankly, Craig is such small potatoes (sorry; the pun is apt here) nationally that, in the throes of a presidential election/rugby scrum, media attention on a small state, colorless senator was bound to ebb.

And so he stays. I suppose it could be worse. He said he would not run for re-election, but I haven't read his statement yet. It could say "I have no intention of running for re-election."

Labels: , ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

girlfriday: the courtesy of this return phone call does not, apparently, warrent your courtesy

When someone calls our company and leaves a voicemail, I get an email notification.

Somebody named Joe called. After the beep, he stayed on the phone for half a second, then hung up. Twice.

What if he meant potential business? I was in the mood to help. I called him back.

Me: Hi is this Joe?

Joe: Yes.

Me: This is Kate from Where I work. Were you trying to get a hold of us?

Joe: Oh, I guess you're not really interested in getting my business. You don't answer your phone.

Me: Well, we're not always at our phone, but how can I help you now?

Joe: You're not really that serious. I guess you're not really "the best" as your name implies.

Me: [Almost hang up.]Are you going to be rude or do you want me to help you?

Joe: There's this such-and-such I'm interested in.

Me: Okay, tell me about it.

[Some back and forth.]

Joe: You don't know immediately, and off the top of your head what I'm talking about? [paraphrase]

Me: No, I don't. There are thousands of things like the one you're talking about and we can't keep track of them all.

Joe: I was led to believe otherwise. I thought you would know everything, and at once.[paraphrase]

Me: Are you for real? [Inside voice.]

Joe: Well, maybe I'll have another look. Bye.


SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

girlfriday: while I should be working

I don't get tired of these stories. I really don't.

Not just one, but more than a dozen huge creatures can be seen churning across Lake Kanasi in remote western China, leaving a foamy wake more like an enormous motorboat than a big fish.

Labels: , ,

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati

Monday, October 01, 2007

You're Too Late

You lose.

Some other guy snagged her.

Some guy who knows a good thing; some guy with the guts to act. Let the chips fall where they may.

Not many of those.

I hope a hundred other Nancy Boys are smacking their foreheads now.

If they're not, they didn't deserve her anyway and a pox upon them!

SHARE THIS: Facebook | Stumble It! | | DiggIt! | Technorati