Hasty Ruminations

Speaking out, to remove all doubt. http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stress: Your Body's Way of Messing You Up


The defense Department has an embiggened budget for next year, but the Navy has been told to cut back. Fire 25,000 or so; slow down ship and weapons procurement.

Because the Taliban isn’t using submarines to attack us, unfortunately.

The news today provides one of the first to go: Lisa Nowak, a Navy Captain (O-6, like a full Colonel) who was one of the women to graduate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1985. She went on to test pilot school, post graduate school, marriage, three kids, and a space flight as an astronaut mission specialist.

Oh, and attempted kidnapping and shoddily-alleged murder in a non-romantic love triangle with another astronaut and a woman ten years younger, a Zoomie (sorry, an Air Force officer).

Without this, she was a contender for Admiral. For PR billets, recruiting command and non-operational stuff.

She lists her hobbies as piano playing, bicycling, running, skeet shooting, sailing, gourmet cooking, rubber stamps, gardening, reading and crossword puzzles. Plus being married with three kids.

Stress? Well, for sure, yes. Her whole life focused not on her family, but on a 13-day space shuttle ride where she got to use the robot arm some. There are 100 astronauts in the pool, and very few shuttle flights scheduled before the program (gratefully) goes away in 2010 or so. So, she is done in space. After NASA, she is done in the Navy since she no longer has leadership or war fighting skills. I suspect that her husband lost it when the court sent cops out with a restraining order for Lisa to stay away from the younger Air Force Captain Shipman, prompting thrown dishes and a separation.

We went to the same school, which teaches everyone how to cope with stress, 24/7. She obviously went over the edge. I don’t believe the attempted murder charge for a minute. To me, the only fair charge is assault with a can of Mace. She apparently didn’t even violate the court order, which is valid in Houston, not Orlando. Shipman has now also filed for one in Orlando.

I feel bad for Lisa, and worse for her family.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

In a Nutshell

(Click picture to enlargen).



"Oh, Lord, your sea is so big, and my boat is so small..."

...and slow.

Senator Joe Biden


Just let your kids do whateeeever they want to do...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Read Carefurry


German Police Find 6 Bodies in Chinese Restaurant

Thank goodness, this time the bodies were human.

The last time I saw a headline like this, the bodies belonged to various cats, and they were hanging in the kitchen waiting to join the Moo Goo Gai Pan. Newport, RI, about 1973.

Too cold!


It was -17 °F this morning at the campground.

I took Lacy outside for a quick bathroom break. After 90 seconds of dawdling (I swear, sometimes that doggie wants to read a magazine while she is relieving herself), I had to take her back in, un-relieved, because her ankles and toes no longer bent properly in the cold, and she was awkwardly limping.

If you're listening, Mr. Ex-VP Al Gore, thank you for global warming! Not a second too soon, either.

Now when, exactly, can I expect to FEEL some warming?! And Lacy, too?

Friday, February 02, 2007



Sometimes, the headline says it all; we don't even have to read the article.

Here are some current ones I found:

Check out CNN.com, ABC.com, and CBS.com

“Libby Loses Fight Over White House Tapes” – Man, deja-like-VU.

“Woman Had 93 Pound Tumor; Doctor’s Clueless” – Like “dog bites man”, a clueless Doctor is not news.

'First Gentleman': Mrs. President's Worst Enemy?” - I cannot improve on this one!

Mayor Sorry For Affair With Aide's Wife” – Actually, sorrier that it’s in the news. This is really disturbing, because it is a heterosexual sex scandal – in SAN FRANCISCO! I didn’t think they ALLOWED man-and-woman sex in San Francisco!

Global Warming Likely Our Fault, Scientists Say” – With so much guilt, they must all be Catholics.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Self Inflicted


Apparently under quota for traffic tickets, the local Police Chief wrote a ticket for a guy who passed a stopped, flashing school bus. It cost $235 and included four points on the driver’s license.

The offending guy was the Chief of Police. He said he was driving to work when he got distracted by a truck stopping on one side of the street.

Maybe, stopping for the school bus…

When he realized what he had done, he wrote himself the ticket. His IQ is better, now. Infraction Quota.

The other IQ is a different story.

This story was picked up by the local ABC station. Who told them, I wonder?

This is in Kewaskum WI, a town between Milwaukee and Oshkosh. Maybe this guy is also the Judge, so he could let himself off with a warning; or lock himself up for contempt. It's like a one man band!

The local bank wants the chief to drop by. It’s been a slow month, and if he will only arrest himself for robbery, they could sure use the insurance money.

Jail time would give him a chance to work on that correspondence course to become a lawyer.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Behind the Scenes

This is a picture of Stew Magoo conducting a job interview for a new assistant.

Stew is on the right.

Well, he really is, but we had to crop the picture a little to fit.

You understand.

She: "Excuse me, I am here for the job interview.

He: "OK. You're hired."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Cutting Off Your Nose...

... To Spite Your Own Face

The State of California (Lala Land to you and me) is having a bang-up legislative session this month!

They recently passed a law prohibiting the state from buying electricity from any generating company which isn’t environmentally “like super OK, dude!”.

Now, they have banned the use of perchloroethylene, the most used dry cleaning fluid in the, like, world. It’s gotta be phased out starting next year.

In the electricity thing, it’s a classic case of “Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Own Face”.

In the second case… well, everyone’s clothes will stink since they cannot dry clean them; but if you cut off your nose already, well, no problemmo, dude!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reunited Family, Now Change His Name


St. Louis has had enough bad news, with the kidnapping of teenaged boys. And some good news, with their return. Now here’s a nice story, about a long lost dog who is finally home.

Last Friday, the Barczewski family looked at the skinny, graying Golden Retriever. They were sure he was Cujo. (They call him a Golden, but in the picture he sure looks like a Yellow Labrador Retriever, like Lacy! But, the article said he had to be shaved to remove matted hair, so maybe that's why his hair is so short.)

When he disappeared from their yard in 2000, he was seven years old. But the heart-shaped patch of white hair on his head, the white hair on his toes, and the way he rubbed up against people like a cat when saying hi were sure signs.

Now maybe they should change that unfortunate name!

Read the rest of the story, and the reactions of the two kids in the family,

Friday, January 26, 2007

Good Writing, Part II


I am happy to see that the Kansas City Star still uses articles from reporters who know how to write well. Please see the article below, and then my comments. You may or may not agree with the thoughts in the article; we are looking at writing here.


Durbin calls Cheney 'delusional'
By Margaret Talev
McClatchy Newspapers [Owners of the KC Star]

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney is "delusional" about what's happening in Iraq, the Democrats' top Senate vote-counter said Thursday.

That harsh assessment by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., two days after President Bush sought bipartisan comity in his State of the Union address, underscores how difficult achieving that may be.

Moreover, it illuminates how many in Congress especially blame Cheney for the president's insistence on building up troop levels in Iraq rather than pulling out of the sectarian violence there after nearly four years and redeploying troops to Afghanistan and other terrorist trouble spots.

During the Senate Democratic leadership team's weekly briefing with reporters, Durbin cited a television interview from a day earlier in which Cheney told CNN "there's been a lot of success" in Iraq and rejected the idea that the situation was beyond control.

"To have Vice President Cheney suggest that we have had a series of enormous successes in Iraq is delusional," Durbin said. "I don't understand how he can continue to say those things while the president calls them 'slow failure'."

That's the term President Bush used in a separate television interview earlier this month, saying that's where the situation would be headed unless another 21,500 troops were injected.

Margaret Talev

Margaret Talev works in the Washington DC bureau of McClatchy, which is the second largest owners of newspapers in the country. She has worked for The Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times and The Tampa Tribune.

I think it was well written, and it tells what happened – not what should be, or what could be, but what happened and what is.

That is the same lesson the Star taught to a young cub reporter in the winter of 1917-1918. He wanted either to enlist in the Army for World War I, or to learn to write. His father let him go to the Star instead of to Europe. His name was Ernest Hemingway, and they taught him well.


What do you think?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Read This


Otto Penzler makes reading fun, when he writes like this.


Indulge yourself.


Got some money to burn? BIG money?

Exact seats may vary-locations to be comparable
$7475.00 each

$7590.00 each

$8050.00 each

$8050.00 each

$8050.00 each

$8050.00 each


$8050.00 each

$8340.00 each

$9145.00 each

141 best seat numbers by 142
4 2
$9200.00 each

$9200.00 each


$9555.00 each

4 2
$9775.00 each

4 2
$9775.00 each

6 4 2
$10065.00 each


$10335.00 each


$11445.00 each

$11500.00 each


This is just a sampling of Superbowl ticket prices. Parking across the street will set you back another $100+.

I think I'll watch it at home. Otherwise, I'd miss the commercials.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tarot or Not Tarot

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by... well, the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciously and when you are wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and mathematics, beautifully constructed music, and carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

Which Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, January 22, 2007

State of the Union

Woodrow Wilson broke the tradition.

He delivered his State of the Union messages to Congress in person.

Before that, only Presidents George Washington and John Adams had delivered the report in person. From 1801 to 1912, it was delivered as a written report, without a speech.

If I were in the same amount of trouble that George W. Bush is in, I would return to the written report method this year.

I would make it short. Maybe just bullet points:

  • Iraq - not so good.
  • Rummy - gone.
  • Health care - whoa!
  • Deficit - well, ...
  • Economy - not too bad.

Then, I would get outta town and lay low for a few days.

Oh, My Gosh!

Snow Tow

Remember how John Belushi used to say "Holy Shit-ta!!", in Animal House? That's what this clip is all about.

They LOST Money?!


Apple just announced great Ipod and MAC sales, huge profits and robust forecasts – and their stock went down.


- MAC shipments increased 28 percent to 1.61 million machines last quarter. That was fewer than the 1.75 million computers Wall Street analysts had anticipated. Not what Apple said they’d sell; what guys like Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis, THOUGHT they should make. Strike One.

- Apple said iPod music player shipments will jump 50 percent jump to a record 22.1 million units. Sales for the current second quarter ending in March will be as much as $4.9 billion, Apple said in a statement, shy of the $5.23 billion average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Strike Two.

- Apple forecast profit of as much as 56 cents a share, compared with estimates for 60 cents. Strike Three.

Apple stock shot up 11% last week after the iPhone was announced. Now, it’s dropped 4.5% because of the three strikes.

Note: Apple did great, but sorry; the actual performance did not match overinflated Wall Street estimates. Let’s say, COULD not match.

So that guy Munster raised his price target to $124 from $99 today, saying the stock's decline is a "great buying opportunity.''

It sure is: for him and for his buddies, who made the stock lose value by overinflating expectations so that they could get rich. Maybe we can call that iFraud.

It’s so obvious.

I thought we had the SEC and laws about that…

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Doomsday Clock


The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists started their Doomsday Clock in 1947. It shows how close the world is to nuclear destruction. Sort of.

It started at 7 minutes to midnight in 1947. Now, amidst much fanfare, they just moved the minute hand to five minutes to midnight. During Russia’s development of their nuclear weapons in the 1950’s, it sat at two minutes to midnight. In 1991, it moved back to 17 minutes to midnight when the superpowers agreed on nuke reductions.

Two minutes = sixty years. Uh-huh.

These guys are not exactly tuned in. First of all, half of their audience does not know how to move the hands of a clock; they have always been digital. Why are they using a prop from Back to the Future?

Second, they are now including global warming, tsunamis, and petty dictators in their nuclear worry stew. If I am going to worry about the flesh melting off my bones, I need to focus on The Bomb.

Third is that klunky name. How do we address a letter to them: Dear Mr. Bulletin?!

Steven Hawking spoke at their last meeting, using his Speak-O-Machine. You know, the guy who got black holes all wrong. He said so.

These guys are too shrill, and too flamboyant. I think it would be good to move the Doomsday Clock to midnight, thus blowing up the members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and allowing the rest of us some … rest.