Friday, December 26, 2008

And a Happy New Year

Haven't heard from me much? Too many family issues going on for me to see beyond the immediate and into the world around me. My dad's recovery is going slowly, and with many many many bumps. Taking care of all the stuff, even with help, takes a lot. I'm sure there are things I could say about politicians and the economy and stuff, but all I'm really worried about right now is fitting in responsibilities and a reasonable amount of down time so that I get to keep my sanity.

I wish all of you a happy new year, in case I don't post again in the next few days. Thanks for coming here to see what I'm on about, or what Jazz is on about. We appreciate you caring what we have to say.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Voice Known to Nerds Everywhere

RIP, Majel Roddenberry.
By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press Writer Robert Jablon, Associated Press Writer – Thu Dec 18, 6:15 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Majel Barrett Roddenberry, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry's widow who nurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her home in Bel-Air, said Sean Rossall, a family spokesman.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Gots A Crush on Caroline Kennedy

Unlike the One True Tami, (blessed be Her name) I live in New York, not Jersey. As such, I stand to benefit from the pending appointment of Hillary Clinton to the State Department. I don't mean "benefit" so much in terms of what a great job she'll do in convincing Russia to let us put missile silos on their borders, but more the simple fact that we'll finally get to ship her ass out of my state and off to Washington where she and Bill will doubtless be more comfortable.

But what will Governor David Paterson do about a replacement? I had thought he would make a relatively safe, sane choice and put Nydia Velazquez in the office. Of course, what do I know? I appears that he'll probably award this particular pony to none other than Caroline Kennedy. You need only take one look at the woman and you'll doubtless have the same reaction I did.

Oh. My. God. She's sooooooo pretty! She's like a little piece of the sun, wrapped in a rainbow and brought down to Earth for us to enjoy! And she's a real, honest to God Kennedy, straight from the fount of Camelot. In this era of hope and change, could we ask for a more inspirational, transcendent character to lift our Senatorial politics out of the partisan gutter and on to a higher plain? I think not.

But... But... But...

After hitting my thumb with a hammer a few times to break the spell, I remember to ask a couple of questions. What sort of legislative and governmental experience does she have? Oh. None. I see. Well, at least she is probably a forceful speaker who will press our case in the upper chamber with aplomb. Oh? She's described by many people as "painfully shy" and tends to avoid confrontational situations, you say? Why are we considering her again?

This is a dynasty appointment. We don't need any more dynasties. We need another Kennedy (just for the sake of having a Kennedy) about as much as we need another Bush or another Clinton. Is it so silly to think that maybe we should just put qualified, competent, experienced people in these offices on the rare occasions when we need an appointment instead of an election? And oh, by the way, whoever takes that seat is going to have to stand for reelection in BOTH 2010 and 2012. So the person is going to need to be a seasoned campaigner who may have to face down Rudy Giuliani in a series of debates.

Enough with the dynasties, please. We don't need the same few families controlling the country like it's some sort of monarchy.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled rants.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Newsflash, December 2008

Water is wet, and the US has been in a recession for a year.
The economy slipped into recession in December 2007, the nation's business cycle arbiter declared on Monday, and the downturn could be the worst since World War Two.

The National Bureau of Economic Research said its business cycle dating committee members met by conference call on Friday and concluded that the economic expansion that started in November 2001 had ended. The previous period of economic expansion, which ended in 2001, lasted 10 years.
Gosh, really? I might not have noticed... idiots.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gender Identity Disorder?

Gender Analyzer says this about my blog:

We think is written by a man (68%).

I remain really female, and there is no way Jazz posts often enough to skew the results that much.

I often say that I talk like a truck driver, I guess I mean a *male* truck driver.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unexpected Revelation

A whole lot of people are on Facebook. So far I've been "friended" by people I haven't spoken to since high school, someone I was in Israel with my first year of college, people I speak with all the time, and relatives whom I wish that I spoke with more often. It's very strange. How did I join the party so late on this one?

The saddest part is that I haven't even had time to log on to my own computer this week. I've been keeping up with my phone, but just barely.

Dad status: back in the hospital since very very very early Friday morning. Nothing major is wrong with him, and I'm wondering why the hell they don't release him. Yes, yes, he has some issues, but they're the sort of issues you can treat at home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Whose job is it to take down all those campaign signs littering the sides of the roads?

*Edited for an update: my dad got to go home from the hospital on Sunday evening. He's doing just fine, but I can't figure out when I'm going to be able to take his garbage out, tomorrow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And So It Goes

My dad remains in the hospital, but stable. There's some infection going around, and he's reacted poorly to the dye they use in cardiac catheterization, and they want to de-sensitize him to aspirin (he's been allergic), so he's not home, and it's all a giant pain in the ass.

Today, I am wearing a skirt. Thought I'd pretend I'm a girl.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

An Open Letter

An Open Letter to the people who voted "yes" on Proposition 8 in California:

The Church of Tami no longer recognizes any marriage that makes us feel icky or threatened. I'm going to go ahead and say that's every marriage, current or future, of every person who voted "yes" on Proposition 8.

You are close-minded, fearful bastards. I wish equal prejudice and unwarranted distaste upon you and your so-called "families".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Completely Inappropriate

So I know it's completely inappropriate to talk about your father's heart attack on your blog, but holy crap, you have to talk about it somewhere! I figured if I wrote it out once, I wouldn't be talking about it all day to everyone. I'm probably wrong about that.

My dad thought he had indigestion, or an issue with his blood hemolizing, because he has a couple of blood conditions. It turns out he had a mild heart attack. Crap, that's scary, but my god, it's like a heart attack fixing factory in the hospital we went to. People stacked up like cord wood, coming out on stretchers being told that they can go home tomorrow after angioplasty, and no driving for 2 days!

He was coherent and healthy-looking the whole time, what the hell? I was nervous like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and the cardiologist was all like, Oh, here's a copy of the pictures we took of the inside of his heart. Neat, right?

No. Not neat, terrifying. I don't care if it's commonplace for them, it wasn't commonplace for *us*.

And yes, I voted already. Took the opportunity to cancel out the vote of some good New Jersey republican.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Always Left of Center

Your political compass
Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.36

I was reading Poor Impulse Control today, and she posted about this under the post with the adorable picture of "Panky with Pumpkins". I can't believe how big he is! I can believe that I'm left of center. I really don't have crazy extremist views, I swear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Sure Liberals Do It, Too

But this is a story about asshole Republicans.

Cops for Bush Arrest 'Liberals,' Say Five
JERSEY CITY (CN) - New Jersey police officers arrested five people who were posting political signs, calling them "a bunch of fucking liberals," say the five in Hudson County Court. The cops added, "It's not your day. We like Bush."
After they were arrested and taken to the Kearny City police station, the plaintiffs say, "several police officers continued to chastise plaintiffs for posting political signs and working for 'liberals.'"
After holding them for hours, the plaintiffs say, the cops said they would let them go because one plaintiff "is in the ROTC. He's gonna join the Army. You guys are lucky."
Plaintiffs say they were posting signs legally. They demand punitive damages for false arrest, harassment, malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. They are represented by Mitchell Stein of Parsippany.
Members of my family, please feel free to chuckle at the in-joke. Everyone else, please remember that voting is really important.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mail Bag, October 17th 2008 Edition

I received an email this morning entitled "The effects of the economic downturn in Britain". It contained the following image:

British Economics

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Many a Day Goes By

Made the pomegranate lamb last night, with some risotto on the side. I was going to use shallot in the risotto, but shockingly, I was out, so I just used chopped white onion. I tossed in a couple of cloves of roasted garlic and smooshed them in there, too. Other than that, just some chicken stock, some water, some white wine, & some parmesan cheese. You know, that sounds like a lot when you list it out, but it really wasn't that bad. The secret to good risotto is to get a stove-height stool, so that you're not thinking about sitting down the whole time that you're stirring.

I didn't watch any TV or talk about any politics. Very relaxing. I played a little Rock Band, and found out that I really don't know "Where'd You Go" by the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones well enough to sing it. I'll have to listen to it a couple of times.

My oven was smoking, again. I'll have to clean it this weekend. I so do not want to clean an oven.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday

Thought One: Everyone thinks that their opinion is correct, especially me.

Thought Two: Brooke Burke may have won the battle of the boobs last night, but Kym Johnson is always a competitor. That's some display she puts on.

Thought Three: Will baking bread really be cheaper than buying it already made? I can't tell. I can tell that I really want to make bread with some extra fiber punch and no white sugar, so I guess it's a-baking I shall go. The first loaf of rye bread I tried didn't rise enough, and was way too dense. My second bread attempt was monkey bread from a mix, and that went much better. I managed to be patient enough for it to actually gain the volume it needed, and shaping dough is a skill that I've already acquired. I tried using my mixing paddle, since I don't have a dough hook.

Maybe I should buy a dough hook.

OK, that was a lot of thoughts wrapped up in to one, there.

My house mate is gone for the week. I just keep inviting people over so I can't tell if that would make me lonely or not.

Oh, and Jazz, if people flicked ashes on my rug I'd slap them so freakin' hard that their children would be born dizzy. People need to have some respect for other people's belongings.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I blew Andy Warhol up

Jazz here. I only point this out lest someone think that The One True Tami (blessed be Her name) performed a morally questionable act on a 60's pop star.

When I was younger, I kept a series of those leather bound books full of blank paper where you penned your private thoughts, poems, prose, random drawings and insanity. I was never entirely sure why I did it. I suppose that I thought I would eventually publish some, if not all of the contents. In my youth I suffered from the illusion that everyone would find me simply fascinating if they were only given enough time and exposure to my peculiar and compelling personality. I later went through phases when I became depressed over the world's abject failure to recognize my brilliance followed by consolation and relief over the realization that pretty much everyone found themselves more fabulous than anyone else ever would or could.

It was in one of these dream journals that I penned the following during the late seventies:
If you're going to use a clamshell for an ashtray, always leave some cigarette butts - or at least some ashes - in it. If it's too clean, people will think it's a decoration and not an ashtray and they'll just flick ashes on your rug.
I don't recall what combination of drugs and alcohol were in charge of my synaptic connections when I wrote that, but we were, apparently, making gods out of trash in those days. There's actually some truth in what I wrote there, but in terms of depth or profound meaning, it was somewhat lacking. (And that's being charitable.) Truth there is, but it's a truth only truly useful if you are either so impoverished or fashion challenged that you would actually use clamshells for ashtrays. Even then it only applied to smokers or friends of smokers.

I had a good dozen of them scattered around my apartment.

I was enthralled with Andy Warhol in those days. Of course, I was late to the party as usual. I had only discovered how amazing and enthralling Warhol was long after everyone else. By the time I was on board, the Cool Kids had already moved on to the Next Great Thing and I was left worshiping at the alter of somebody who had long since been proclaimed Yesterday's News. Story of my life, I suppose. I was always the last to discover anything wonderful. The only possible exception might have been Jane's Addiction. I heard them, quite by accident, when they showed up at a bar outside of Chula Vista, got hold of a tape of their early material, and was briefly one of the Cool Kids when "Jane Says" became all the rage for five minutes.

But other than that, I only seemed to catch on to things after they had peaked and then begun to wither. And when I finally caught on, they would seem to disappear. The same thing happened with Warhol. In the end, I'm convinced I blew him up.

Just for the record, though, I never provided him with any oral favors.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nourishing My Soul

You may have noticed that lately I'm not talking about politics, much. I'm still interested, I just can't figure out what I could say, exactly, that could help anyone. Not right now. Muffins, on the other hand, are damn useful.

Saturday morning before the gym I popped in to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, seeing as how I was too lazy to make some myself before it was time to leave the house. While there, I saw that they had pumpkin cream cheese muffins in their case. Oh, man, did they look good, but I couldn't justify 5 bucks and almost 500 calories for something pretty to eat. Hell, I was already paying 2 bucks for coffee - regular coffee.

When I got home, I went online, and found a recipe at It looked pretty good, so I gave it a shot. I changed it up a little, here's exactly how I did it:

SERVES 24 , 24 muffins (I actually made 30 small ones)


* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 3 teaspoons allspice
* 1 pinch ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 cups pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
* 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
* 8 ounces cream cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log.
3. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour (this means that if you take an hour to make up the batter, take the cream cheese out of the freezer, already!).
4. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine (except cream cheese).
6. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full.
7. Unwrap the cream cheese and cut into disks with a sharp knife so that each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down.
8. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!).
9. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.

Recipezaar claims that these are 241 calories each. That's way better than what I would have ingested at Starbucks. Also, I had everything but the cream cheese already in the house, so I wound up spending something like $2.50 out of pocket to make 30 muffins. They're really good, too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Kind of Saturday Night

Saturday night I had friends over and made fondue - the Murray's Cheese version, the recipe for which I can only find on the Rachael Ray magazine site.

3/4 pound Gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 pound Swiss Emmentaler cheese, grated
3/4 pound Appenzeller cheese, grated
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 garlic clove, halved

1 to 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground white pepper
Crusty bread, cubed and skewered

1. In a large bowl, toss the cheeses with the cornstarch. Rub the inside of a 3-quart fondue pot with the garlic; discard.edit: discard the garlic, not the pot. yeesh.
2. In the fondue pot, heat 1 cup wine with the lemon juice over medium-low heat until steaming but not yet simmering. Stir in the cheese mixture, 1 handful at a time, and cook until melted. If the fondue is too thick, gradually stir in up to 1/2 cup more wine. Season to taste with white pepper. Serve with the bread cubes.
I didn't have any white pepper*, and I used a bottle of cherry wheat beer instead of white wine. Also, I tossed a splash of kirsch in with the lemon juice, before the beer. When these guys say large bowl, by the way, they mean LARGE bowl. I grated the cheese in the food processor, and it had to be done in 2 batches.

I used baguette for the crusty bread, and I also provided raw veggies and apple chunks for varied dipping. My housemate kindly chunked up the apples and the veggies into skewerable sizes. There was easily enough to feed 6 hungry people, because 4 hungry people had quite a bit left over.

That is one delicious fondue.

We also played a board game. It sounds very mild mannered, but somehow the last guest (at some point we acquired a 5th) left after 3 in the morning. That's one crazy fondue party, right there.

Bonus tip: don't try and do shots of kirsch, that stuff is harsh.

*I've just remembered that I do have white pepper in the house, and I didn't even look for it, just assuming I didn't. Oh, well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Personal Leanings

Look, I don't like Sarah Palin, and it bothers me. I say things that aren't so politically correct when expressing this opinion. Rather than continue on my bad trend, I thought I'd share something that I read today that sounds a lot more reasonable than I often do.

An article by Jill at The Moderate Voice

It's reasonable. You may not like me any better after reading it, but hey, maybe you'll see what I'm talking about.

And I admit, I haven't been looking at her shoes. I might really like her shoes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Palin Quotes

Actually quotes about Palin.

A friend sent me this link: The 20 Most Obnoxious Anti-Palin Quotes So Far from Right Wing News. Some of them I find amusing, some distressing in their truth, and one or two I think are over the line. Still, I was inspired to write some quotes of my own.

Not, in my opinion, offensive:

Sarah Palin has been quoted as stating that her pregnant teenage daughter has made the right choice in marrying her baby's father and having the baby. I put forth that perhaps having unprotected sex as an unmarried teenager was actually the wrong choice.

Probably offensive:

Sarah Palin named a child with Down's Syndrome "Trig". Do you think that's because he'll never get to the developmental stage where he'll be able to resent it?

Edit: I have decided, upon further reflection, that both my comments are offensive, because they're addressing Palin's family instead of her politics. I stand by my opinion that unprotected teen sex is a bad choice, but I acknowledge that the fact that young Ms. Palin indulged in it is none of my business, at all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Listening In Is Rude

Overheard at work: "When has anyone ever cared so much about the Vice President? Usually they're just a couple of jokers sitting around talking about education reform or whatever - nobody cares. This is one of the most fun elections, ever."

Nobody cares? Did no one care when Geraldine Ferraro was chosen as a running mate? Hmmm, maybe not. I wonder why that might be - oh, wait, I know; it was because she was actually qualified for the job,. Got it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sure is Pretty

OK, Sarah Palin is attractive, and a good speaker.

My mom always said that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Do not worry, friends and family, I'm not a McCain supporter - you don't have to send me scary emails about how she advocated that victims of rape pay for their own forensic testing, or how choosing Palin as a running mate is a direct affront to the Jewish community.

I'm already sure that I'm not voting republican, and stories like this just make me sad, and a little scared. So scared that I thought I'd share them with the 10 people who read my blog... two of whom sent me these stories. Hmmmm.

OK, seriously - crime victims pay for their own investigations? That's so wrong that my head is spinning around over and over and over. The police force and the funding thereof is specifically for that. God, I'm incensed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Cupcake Blogging

Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Down Home Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake" batter + whipped vanilla buttercream frosting + sprinkles = Happy

I think the sprinkles are the secret.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What I Want

I want a government that aligns with my opinions. I want a government that cares about taking care of the needy, without eliminating the ability to earn more than the average as an individual. I want a government that makes laws to ensure people's freedoms, rather than ensure that some people's religious convictions are forced on all people in a terrified attempt to not offend.

I want a government who follows a basic humanistic outlook, that won't try to govern my own choices about my body, that won't continue to pander to the oil companies for personal gain, that has experience helping to make decisions for large groups of people, keeping the good of the many in mind, rather than the good of the few.

I want to be able to vote for candidates that I actually feel represent me, and how I think we should run our country.

I want what I cannot have. I will have to settle.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

OK, so a black President, or a female Vice President. A year of first-first-seconds.

Geraldine Ferraro, we hardly knew ya.

I wonder what all the men who hate the idea of women in political office will do, come election time. I wonder if there are really that many out there. I wouldn't be surprised if they cut their own noses off to spite their faces, though, not after hearing a surprising number of women admit that they supported Hillary based on gender alone.

People make me sad. So sad that I can't even be happy about something that should feel like progress.

It really is progress, though, right?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Haven't Written Anything in a While

I'm wondering if the bankruptcy bill ultimately helped the economy when the credit card companies weren't left holding the *whole* bag when the housing bubble burst. Does that make any sense? Am I just trying desperately to find a reason to like Joe Biden again? Am I fooling myself, and the bankruptcy bill really did screw a lot of people who really needed the help?

I don't know, but that's what I've been thinking about.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Should Have Realized

Of course I should have realized that McCain was good-looking when he was younger, but I was still surprised at the banner ad I saw on Slashdot:

Doesn't he seem taller? I have no idea how that works.

If I Were a Conspiracy Theorist...

... I'd say that high gas prices were put in place by a coalition of environmentalists who want people to start walking more and using public transportation. Forcing us was, it seems, the only way to succeed.

That would be my conspiracy theory. If, you know, I did that kind of thing.

My actual theory is that it's caused by people generally being idiots.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Awesome News on the Tech Front

I can't tell you how many times I've lost an alternator on a car, which, of course means that I've lost the battery, too. This is why I am very happy to have read this:

Team Doubles Efficiency of Thermoelectric Material: Good News for Car Electrics
Scientists at Ohio State University have taken a thermoelectric material that's been used for decades to power deep-space probes, and worked out how to double its efficiency. That's good news: thermoelectrics convert heat directly into electrical energy. By catching exhaust heat, the new material may allow car alternators to be replaced... and that'll push up the efficiency of car engines. The team doped lead telluride with tiny amounts of thallium, which adjusts the crystal structure and increases its heat-electricity conversion efficiency from around 6% to over 10%. Even better, since engineers have years of experience of working with lead telluride, it should be easy to commercialize the product. Environmentalists will have to be pleased, and relax about the high toxicity of thallium, though.
I don't know how long it will take, but I'm pleased as punch that it's coming.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In Case You Want to Buy Me a Present

I want this:

Trap Door Toaster

The Trapdoor Toaster.
This is the toaster that automatically releases perfectly browned toast through an under-mounted trapdoor, eliminating the need to pry bread from hot, clenched guide racks.
Awesome, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Meme I Saw at Girlyshoes

Seen at Girlyshoes, and liked enough to steal:

Here are the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.
My flickr name came up with nothing,
so I used my last name, instead:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Screw South America!

Lots of people talk about wanting free trade with various countries in South America. I have news for you... I not only don't want free trade with South America, I don't even want free travel to South America. Why? Because if you go there, you'll probably die!

A Canadian woman died last year after stepping barefoot on several caterpillars, doctors reported in a teaching case published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The 22-year old woman from Alberta died 10 days after stepping on five caterpillars while on a trip to northeastern Peru.

The woman felt immediate pain in her right foot, which spread to her thigh, and later developed a headache. The pain in her leg was worse when she walked on it.

Arrangements were made to get a South American antivenin treatment to Canada, but it took 48 hours to do so and by that time it was too late for the young woman who died from multi-organ failure three days after being admitted to the hospital.
There you have it. If you travel to South America, venemous caterpillars will bit you and kill you. Go to another country? Hell's Bells, I rarely leave the two block radius where I walk my bassett hound. Trust me, I've lived, at least briefly, on every continent except Antarctica in my time on this planet, and I've never found a better place than planting my fat arse on my couch right here and pecking away at my laptop. I've got 198 channels of cable TV and a very nice BBQ grill out on my deck! Butcherboy delivers steaks to my house!

South America... pfffffft. You can keep it.

Just patting Myself on the Back

OK, when I bought my home, I wondered if it was smart to stay in Franklin Township. Sure, I already knew the commuting distance, and how far away each of my friends were. I knew about the convenient shopping, and the nice park areas. Apparently, Money magazine knows, too:

America's Best Places to Live 2008 (numbers 4 and 5)
When you hear the phrase “primeval old-growth forest,” chances are New Jersey doesn’t spring immediately to mind. But the state known for jokes about its mammoth turnpike does in fact boast such a pristine wilderness: a 65-acre one. In Franklin Township. This surprising 46-square-mile municipality, home to several different villages, also contains a towpath along a 19th-century canal beloved by bikers and runners, and bucolic back roads dotted with colonial houses and working farms.
Damn, my town sounds positively pastoral!

Monday, July 14, 2008

True is True

I say a lot of things, some of them right, some of them wrong. A lot of the things I say, I say because I believe that they're true. I read a line like that from my good friend and sometimes co-blogger Jazz, over on The Moderate Voice, today.
The Loyal Opposition: Over at Hot Air, my friend Ed Morrissey has a completely different take on it and, as usual, we disagree on virtually every point. He makes a fuss over Obama's 16 month estimate, stating that it will take longer just to get all of the equipment out. (And, apparently, if he can't do it in the exact time span of 16 months then the plan is fruitless and Obama should not be trusted with it.) My response to this argument is the same as to people who claim we shouldn't start drilling for more domestic oil resources because it will take seven years before we see any return. If you don't start, you will never finish. Timetables don't have to be written in stone. If it takes longer than sixteen months - be it 24 or 32 or whatever - just get started. The journey of a thousand steps, etc. etc. The goal is what counts, and the way to get out of Iraq is to get out of Iraq.
OK, if he's talking about drilling in Alaska, I can't say that I agree 100% with that, but not for the late-returns reason. I do agree, though, 100% with the truism that if you don't start, you will never finish. I'm on a project right now that I expect to take 3-5 years. "Such a long time!", people exclaim, but that doesn't bother me. In 5 years or so, I will be 5 years older, and I will have finished this project. My alternative choice was to be 5 years older without having finished it. Get it?


Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm Doing Science and I'm Still Alive

OK, things are going on all around me with a speed that is dizzying. I haven't had time to pay attention, because work kind of sucks right now. I hear that Obama is considering a stupid insult of blending religion and state. I hear that Israel and Hamas have a truce going on. I hear that the government is getting stupider about air travel.

They should all just behave like El Al - to everyone - and prejudice wouldn't be an issue. Sure, it's a giant pain in the ass, but El Al never made me take of my shoes.

The one thing I can do while working is listen to music. Jonathan Coulton's song "Still Alive" (the credits song for the video game Portal) is amusing the hell out of me while I'm working, and Bruce Springsteen's "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ" is on constant loop in my car. Some of my favorite lyrics in the world are from that album.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Targeted Advertising

I cannot imagine what made this pop up at the top of my Google Mail inbox. Last email I read was my friend Joanne telling me she was going to take her dad on a "duck tour" when he comes to visit her in Seattle. Does that go with bed-wetting?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Need To...

I need to register to vote, I've changed districts with the move. I am now represented by the dreamy and well-spoken Rush Holt. I'm particularly glad about this because I've never forgiven Pallone for the time that his staff sent a form letter in reply to one of my missives. That's to be expected, sure, but despite the fact that I signed my letter pretty clearly, they sent the response to my parents. One of my parents is dead, but she got an answer from Pallone's office. That still pisses me off.

I know, I know, get a hobby.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

What can I say, I loved him as much as everyone else did.
Should I even link to something about him. Yeah, I guess I should.

Football and baseball were never the same for me after I heard his bit comparing them.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Headline Re-write

They say:

Israel appears to rehearse Iran attack: report
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials say Israel carried out a large military exercise this month that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Citing unidentified American officials, the newspaper said more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters took part in the maneuvers over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in the first week of June.

It said the exercise appeared to be an effort to focus on long-range strikes and illustrates the seriousness with which Israel views Iran's nuclear program.

Know how I would have titled that article? "Israel Develops Problematic Security Leak".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Entitlement - You Don't Have One

Today's headlines from MSNBC tell me that McCain is accusing Obama as being a "typical tax-and-spend Democrat". The article goes on to refute the claim, talking about how Obama's plans may actually save the middle class tax money... whatever.

Do people not understand that in order to spend money, you really should HAVE it first? I ask again the question that I've asked a million times - if we don't tax, where does the money come from?

"Oh, Tami," you whine at me, "I can't afford any more taxes! The world is bleeding me dry!". Well guess what? The world is bleeding me dry, too. I have the strictest budget of my life, now that I have a house, and it's all gone to hell since my gas budget went from $250 a month in March to FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS in June. That's a serious adjustment to make. I did it, but I'm not happy about curbing my very spoiled spending habits.

Still, curb them I have. Do you know why? Because when you don't have the money to pay for things, the responsible thing to do is not to buy them. You can't go without necessities, but maybe we can all take a step back and consider what's a necessity and what's not these days. For example, I do not have movie channels on my cable TV subscription to save a few bucks. Guess what? Even the cable is a luxury. I want social programs, and art grants, and beautiful public parks as much as the next person, maybe more, but someone has to pay for them. Seriously.

The thing that kills me most about the idea of "tax and spend" as an insult, is of course the fact that the other side of the coin isn't "not spend". Oh, no. All the talk of smaller government is bull, we don't have smaller government, we just have a less efficient government who can't help the people. In this age of Republican rule, are we spending less to go with our shiny lower taxes and economic stimulus checks? No, sir, our debt levels are just going up. What am I going to say now, can you guess? I bet you can! The other side of "tax and spend", my friends, is "borrow and spend".

Guess which one I think is worse.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Who Knows One?

OK, so Lautenberg won the NJ Democratic primary yesterday. Good enough, I do like him as a lawmaker, and as long as he remains alert and, um, alive, he's OK with me.

That's the sticky part, though. Last time I checked, the average life expectancy for a male in the US was somewhere around 77 or 78, depending where you look. Also, last time I checked, Lautenberg was 84. His life expectancy is now, um... 0. At that age, and I know I'm being indelicate here, but please forgive me, because I'm just trying to be practical, you can just suddenly die for no reason whatsoever, no warning. You just wear out. I am not wishing this on the Senator, I am just stating what I believe to be true.

So, if the Senator should pass away before the actual election, who gets to be on the ballot? I'll start looking, but if any of you know, please pipe up.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Well Now I'm Pissed

McClellan says in new book that White House used propaganda to sell war
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan writes in a new memoir that the Iraq war was sold to the American people with a sophisticated "political propaganda campaign" led by President Bush and aimed at "manipulating sources of public opinion" and "downplaying the major reason for going to war."
God damn it, he didn't fucking sell it to me.

I was not misled; I was shouting from the trees that they were wrong.
I do not support the concept of this war to this day. Unfortunately, I understand that we are now living with it, and that we need to work within the parameters that we already have, but I never, never, never wanted us to send troops to Iraq. If someone can find me a place where I wrote, "Yes, we should invade a country that hasn't attacked us, that's the best way to move our country forward!" then I will eat my shoes.

Maybe other people bought what Bush was selling, but I did not. My blogging friends did not. The "American People" is not a single, unanimous body.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

I won't look to see the last time I posted. The presidential nominee thing has me feeling apathetic, because my dog in the race was Edwards. He's not there anymore, and I have no idea if either of the two dogs left can hunt. No idea.

I have been working on getting the new house together, and some of the wonderful benefits are that I can have company all the time, and that no one thinks I'm getting in the way of their stamp collection (which is on the kitchen table, of course) if I wish to use the kitchen for baking. Time to experiment!

I made up a no-sugar-added strawberry cake yesterday. It had:

4 egg whites, beaten
24 packets Splenda
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
about 1 cup strawberry puree (6 large strawberries in the food processor)

I put the strawberries in the FP to puree, creamed the Splenda into the butter, whipped the egg whites, and went to sift the baking powder into the flour, when I realized that I had no baking powder. Crap! I ran to the store, knowing that the cake would suffer since I'd already whipped the eggs. Got back, did my sifting. Added the dry ingredients to the butter/Splenda, folded in the egg whites, had a lump that looked like dry bread dough. Not good. The strawberries that I had intended to use as a topping got folded in. Much better! I made 6 mini-bundt cakes. I think if I try this again I'll go 6 egg whites.

I estimate these to be about 300 calories per mini-cake. Maybe more like 305. I could cut the calories significantly if I switched out the butter with Smart Balance.

I'm not a strawberry fan, but apparently if you dilute the flavor enough, I can enjoy them.

So there you go.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Find Your Best Advisor

Barack Obama will face some challenges this fall, no matter how Rosy you may find the outlook for Democrats. And he'll need good advice to make the best plans for success. So who would any Democrat turn to when looking for sage words? Why, Newt Gingrich of course!
Dear Senator Obama,

Your campaign has been brilliant. It has given you more support and more momentum than most analysts expected a year ago. Keeping things simple and vague has worked so far, and it might work all the way to the White House. "Change you can believe in" is a great all-purpose slogan. It allows every person to fill in his or her own interpretation of what it means. In some ways, it's reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's 1976 promise to run "a government as good as the American people."

The challenge you will face in the next few months is stark. Do you want to remain vague? You might win—but you might find that, in winning, you have a "victory of personality" with no real policy consequences. Or do you want to provide specifics? If so, your victory could be a clarion call from the American people to Congress to join you in achieving your goals.

Ok, it may sound a little crazy for a member of the Donkey Tribe to be looking to the former GOP speaker of the house for hints and tips, but Newt's been around the block a few times and may be on to something here. As long as you stay vague and focus on positive imagery like hope and change, you deny your opponent the ammunition he desires to pick apart your platform. And it may just be that this is the kind of campaign you need to get across the finish line in November.

The problem with this, of course, is that you then need to show up in January after the inaugural balls are concluded, the balloons popped and the banners taken down, and actually get to work. And if you surprise a whole bunch of your supporters who thought you would do certain things, your support erodes. Getting into the office in the first place is critical, certainly, but you need to maintain that coalition of support through your term to actually get anything done. Failure to manage that feat leads to a one term president.

So, Senator Obama... don't trust Newt's intentions too much, but you may want to give some thought to that advice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Brief History of Arugula

For those of you wishing to avoid the tags of "limousine liberal" or "latte drinking leftist" or what have you, there are numerous pitfalls in the food and beverage world. Apparently, should you hope to not be lumped in with the "lift your pinkie whilst drinking tea" crowd, you need to add arugula to your list of right wing vulnerability targets. Just ask Ezra Klein.
When did arugula become the new latte? Newsweek is using it as the counterpoint to beer (which, though drunk by hipsters and sold in Trader Joe's, apparently denotes blue collar cred), but does that register with folks? Arugula just looks like...lettuce. I couldn't even identify it offhand. Sushi, frappucinos, "SmartWater" -- all that I could see. But a sort of obscure salad ingredient? That's a more advanced degree in in yuppie than even I have.

Here's what I know about arugula. It doesn't have any double letters in it. (Or so my spell checker tells me.) I'm not sure if I've ever had it. Yet, I've voted for several Democrats over the years, and a number of Republicans, mixed in with various third party candidates and cartoon characters. I kind of like American Prospect commenter Mark F's conundrum.
I live in Worcester, MA. About as blue collar and non-elitist as you get. I had a turkey buger with arugula for lunch on Saturday. To drink I had two Narragansett tall boys. WHO DO I VOTE FOR?

Here's something more official, from your friends at wikipedia.
also known as arugula or rocket, is an edible plant. It is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Jordan and Turkey.[1][2] It is closely related to Eruca vesicaria and included by some botanists in that either as a subspecies E. vesicaria subsp. sativa[3] or not distinguished at all;[4] it can be distinguished from E. vesicaria by its early deciduous sepals.[3]

Now I feel better. Doesn't sound like anything I'd put in my beer.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Misguided, Or Misguiding?

So what do you think makes a person sit around and decide which methods of torture to use? Do you think it's that they have become so divorced from reality that they didn't understand that they're condoning torture, or do you think that they knew exactly what they were doing, and that they're all just a certain kind of (and I HATE using this word) evil?

I don't know, but I know it's a disgrace. Some public noise needs to be made, a lot of public noise. Jane at Firedoglake has a plan, and an easy way to speak up a bit.
"I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved," Bush told ABC News' Martha Raddatz on Friday. "I don't know what's new about that; I'm not so sure what's so startling about that."
He doesn't see what's so startling about that, so now it's up to us to tell him.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm a detective!

The definitions of detective include "fitted for or used in detecting something." This week, though I'm sure The One True Tami (Blessed be Her name)would not approve, I finally took one of the final steps toward becoming a grumpy old man yelling for those damned kids to get off his lawn. I purchased a metal detector. Now all I really need is the cloth cabby hat and the baggy golf shorts in some really blaring colors.

I think there's something inherent in our genetic code that these companies have tapped in to. It's a hobby that I never would have even considered a few years ago, and in fact made fun of. Do I expect to find untold riches and retire to the South of France? Not bloody likely. But there is just something addictive about the idea of wandering around, listening for little beeps in a pair of headphones, and digging down into the earth to see what mysterious objects might lie below us, just out of sight. Could it be a rare old coin? A lost diamond earring? A civil war military artifact? 99 times out of 100 it's going to be a pull tab from a soda can, a beer bottle cap or a rusty old nail.

I took it out into the yard last night for just a few moments and "detected" my very first metallic item from the earth. It was a rusty old bolt of some sort. I don't care. I cleaned it up with a wire brush and I'm going to string it on a chain to hang around my neck. Yeah, there's a fashion statement for ya.

So I wish you all a good weekend and invite you to laugh at me if you will. Oh, and just make sure you stay off my lawn ya little bastards.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More on Negotiating

To clarify further how I feel about negotiating with anti-Israel "government officials" such as Hamas leaders:

If you have a group of people in a position of power that behave as an immovable object regarding unreasonable expectations, you know, like say, blowing the entire country of Israel up because they believe it is an abomination, there are two approaches that I would consider as having a chance of succeeding. The first is to treat the leaders as adults, and to continue trying to discuss things openly, hoping that reason may eventually sink in, and that a more peaceful existence can be achieved. The second is to attempt to kill every single man, woman and child within the belief system you are opposing, not stopping until you have at least decimated their existence. Kill, kill, kill until the devastation overwhelms, and your enemies have no possible resources to use in order to rise up against you.

I don't really believe that either one of these methods can "solve" the Middle East conflicts, I believe that they will exist in form or another until the end of the earth. I think that method two, though, is idiotic, irresponsible towards our fellow humans, and an evolutionary step backwards.

The future has to go forwards, people.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Carter Criticism Connundrum

(via Memorandum)

Carter to meet with Hamas Leader (possibly)

Wow, people judge Jimmy Carter pretty harshly. Personally, I was quite young when the whole Egypt/Israel Camp David peace treaty thing happened, but I remember how happy it made my parents.
“I’m not surprised that Carter would do this, as he has been supporting Palestinian extremism for many years,” said Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a watchdog group.

Carter would be the first Western leader of his stature to meet with the Hamas chief. Though Meshal met with Clinton officials in the 1990s, the Bush administration has sought to isolate Hamas, enforcing rigid sanctions on its government in Gaza and refusing to meet with its leaders unless it recognizes Israel and abandons terror.

“I think this [visit] undermines the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas,” said Emerson. “I think this encourages Europeans to further dilute their sanctions against the Hamas government.”
Really? Carter supports extremism? Why is it that I honestly feel that this guy supports peace above all else? Is it his mild demeanor? His lack of declaring wars? His work to provide housing to low-income families? His willingness to sit down with people who have their thumbs on an entire race of people and can influence their emotions at the drop of a hat to try and convince them that working with the US could help them more than working against it? Am I the only one who thinks he's trying to make things better for everyone? Oh, wait -
But Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a non-profit advocacy group, said Carter's efforts demonstrate he's a true partner in peace.

“I think if true, this report would indicate that President Carter is willing to travel any road in search of peace,” he said. “I think President Carter would only undertake such a mission if he believed that something could be achieved in terms of peace and reconciliation in the region.”

Hooper added that because of Carter's reputation among Palestinians he might be able to bring some pressure to bear.

“Obviously President Carter has a great amount of credibility in the region because of his past efforts seeking peace internationally,” Hooper said.
OK, I agree with the American-Islamic relations guy. I'm pretty sure that I'm an example of a Jewish person who wants good things for Israel. Am I turned around, here, or are people just being inflammatory out of reflex, and hurting themselves?

I think that people need to be working for peace, not supremacy. Maybe that's my problem.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Oprah Exposed!

Right up front, let me just say, if you came to this post looking for naked pictures of Oprah Winfrey, you:

1. Will be vastly disappointed
2. Have some very serious issues and should seek help immediately
3. May have a future with Fox Television

The real story, of course, is that Oprah is doomed. And why? She has been poisoned by the toxic aroma of Barack Obama.
Much hay was made nearly a year ago when Oprah Winfrey announced that she would support — and campaign for — Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. Her effect in boosting support for Obama in early primary and caucus states like Iowa (which he won), New Hampshire (which he lost) and even South Carolina (which he won) is debatable.

But what has received far less attention is the impact Oprah’s endorsement has had on her own popularity... Almost instantly, Oprah’s popularity in America plummeted. An August 2007 CBS News poll showed only 61 percent of Americans were favorably disposed to her — a considerable drop of 13 percentage points from a similar survey conducted just seven months prior.

According to the always non-partisan and never challenged Journal of Convenient Facts for Me, it is clear that virtually everyone in the country hates Barack Obama. In a second, highly scientific poll, my basset hound responded saying, "I'd bite that Obama loving beeyatch if I had half a chance and could get my pudgy arse off this couch." From this it's clear that not only can Obama not be elected president, he will sink the careers of everyone who has ever met him... including the Pope who will be cast down from the Vatican into a pit of burning brimstone prior to November.

Then again, let's just get crazy for a moment and imagine that something else could explain the ratings change for the daytime talk diva. Who makes up Oprah's biggest demographic base? I'll leave you to do the Neilson research yourself if you don't believe me, but it happens to be women. And what group is Hillary Clinton's biggest fan base? (Cue the Jeopardy music.)

So once she endorses Obama, do you suppose that some disgruntled Hillary fans are a bit less enthusiastic about her in this highly charged political environment? History will be the judge. Somehow I don't think Oprah or Obama are going anywhere soon, but then again... what do I know? I believed the story about penguins being able to fly.

Oh Happy Day!

Fafblog is back!

This is because I wore my Fafshirt this weekend, I just know it.
Don't bother me with the fact that they came back before the weekend, I'm not listening.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obsession Continues

While other people, smarter people, maybe even better people (nah!) around the world are thinking globally, I continue to think locally. Really, really locally.

I am so damn happy about the kitchen.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Truth Can Finally Be Told

Otis was right. Penguins really can fly. At least one particular sub-species.
Camera crews discovered a colony of Adélie penguins while filming on King George Island, some 750 miles south of the Falkland Islands. BBC1 viewers will see the penguins not only take flight from the Antarctic wastes, but fly thousands of miles to the Amazonian rainforest to find winter sun.

And there is photographic proof.

Friday, March 28, 2008


There doesn't seem to be much that the media, the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security can agree on these days. But if there's one item at the top of all of their agendas, it's the overwhelming importance of getting out any story that involves nipple rings.
A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.

Hamlin, 37, said she was trying to board a flight from Lubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a Transportation Security Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detector without problems.

The female TSA agent used a handheld detector that beeped when it passed in front of Hamlin's chest, the Dallas-area resident said.

A friend of mine had convinced me to get my nipples pierced back in the nineties. In fact, she convinced me roughly seven times, but only managed to do it after I'd had about seven shots of tequila and, by then, all the piercing places were closed. I'm feeling more and more lucky about that these days. I'm considering going out to the Democratic National Convention this summer, and I'd hate to be caught in some bloody, tearful incident involving needle nose pliers at the boarding gate.

So, for all of you who are now cringing and crossing your arms over your chests, happy Friday!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where Josh and Big Tent Both Get It Wrong

There was a rather controversial post today from one our favorite bloggers, Josh Marshall at TPM, purporting that Hillary Clinton's supporters are trying to game the system outside of the rules to put their candidate over the finish line.

I imagine playing poker around a table with friends. Player A has a Straight Flush; Player B has four of a kind. Then B says well, sure, if you're counting straights, but if we were adding up the numbers rather than going by straights winning, I'd have won.

A similar theory was extolled at KOS. Over at TalkLeft (another excellent blog) Big Tent Democrat retorts that Clinton's strategy is exactly within the rules.
Let's focus on whether the rules allow this. The answer is obviously yes, they do. It seems to me that it is Obama supporters like Markos who are complaining that the rules MAY NOT favor Obama. It is they who are whining that the rules permit Super Delegates to pick a nominee who is not the pledged delegate leader. I do not like the rules either. But for a different reason. They allow Super Delegates to pick a nominee who might not be the popular vote leader.

While I may sound like a tiresome Mike Brady trying to settle a dispute between Greg and Marsha, might I suggest that each of you have many technical points which recommend your theories, but that you are both missing the big picture and getting it completely wrong. The problem here does not lie with the current rule set (which is in desperate need of improvement) or with the party leadership or with the supporters of the two candidates. It is with the two campaigns themselves.

On the one hand, this is the Democratic Party you're talking about, and thwarting the will of the popular vote, the total pledged delegate count, most states won, etc., would send a terrible, fracturing message to the party membership, possibly keeping new, excited voters on the bench in November. On the other hand, the rules are clear and are there for a reason. The super delegates exist for the express purpose of being able to resolve such disputes in their best judgement, so a candidate asking to push the contest to the convention for such a "coup" is completely within their rights and might be putting the decision in the hands of experienced players better suited to reading the tea leaves for the upcoming election.

But none of this addresses the real fault here. First, let me say that we are in no way out of time... yet. Some of the numbers are not yet out of reach for either candidate for all the major metrics being discussed, and allowing Pennsylvania, Oregon, and North Carolina (among others) to have their say will not kill us. However, the longer this drags on past that, the more harm is done. As Ron and I discussed during our interview with Shaun Mullen on today's edition of Mid Stream Radio, time is on McCain's side. A story on St. John McBush's questionable relationship with telecom lobbyists passed almost without notice today. And why would the media bother? Why chase scraps of bread sticks when there are chunks of filet mignon on the table?

The solution to this conundrum can not come from the blogs, the media, the DNC, or even the super delegates. Any forced resolution will come at a higher cost to the party than all of these pretty rationalizations would lead one to believe. It is high time for both of these candidates to act like adults who are committed to the one concept which both of them seem to embrace - that they both wish to see the Democratic party prevail in November. The only viable remedy is for one of these candidates to come out very publicly to their own supporters, well ahead of any type of Waterloo, and say that they will never forget the boundless support of their followers, but that for the good of the party they are going to bow out and support their opponent. This need not be done now, but this pause before the Pennsylvania primary is indeed the time for them both to sit down, look at the numbers, and decide on the parameters which each will accept for moving forward by June at the latest.

What this does is allow both candidates to come together and say, "No. This is most certainly not a case of some anonymous group of party power brokers robbing you of the nation's first [black] - [female] president. It is to our great credit and honor that both have been fairly considered and given this opportunity. It is simply a case of our party coming together to decide that the most electable one of this pair of historic contenders will be the person to defeat John McCain in November."

Anything short of this is nothing less than yet another case of the Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and giving away the White House in an election year where they should have taken it in a walk. There is too much blood in the water for either candidates' supporters to bow down gracefully before a victor anointed by the Powers That Be during the convention. I personally find it difficult to envision a scenario where Hillary Clinton makes this case successfully, given the math, but that could still change in the primary battles next month. Be that as it may, I will gladly take either of them at this point if the other is willing to make that long, hard walk down the hall and do what is in the best interest of the party.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What I know about Purim

I realize that most One True Tami fans (blessed be Her name) are itching to talk about the eagle ray that jumped out of the water and killed some woman in a boat in Florida, and for failing to do this, I humbly apologize. (For the record, I ran into a couple of those bastages when scuba diving off the Florida Keys and had no idea they were so lethal. I should have eaten them when I had the chance. Perhaps the poor woman would be alive today.) However, given the season - both political and religious - there are bigger things afoot which require our attention.

Here's what I know about Purim. Pretty much nothing. I recall reading that it celebrates a narrow escape by the Jewish people from some bad man during biblical times. Apparently it's customary to party down and wear costumes at this time, so perhaps that's why the increasingly senile appearing Sen. John McCain thought that Purim was the Jewish version of Halloween. (Hat tip to Jill from Brilliant at Breakfast.)
McCain made the incorrect statement during a press conference with Defense Minister Ehud Barak after touring the Israeli city of Sderot to view buildings damaged by Hamas rocket fire. McCain was discussing the numerous rock attacks on the city. "Nine hundred rocket attacks in less than three months, an average of one every one to two hours. Obviously this puts an enormous and hard to understand strain on the people here, especially the children. As they celebrate their version of Halloween here, they are somewhere close to a 15-second warning, which is the amount of time they have from the time the rocket is launched to get to safety.

Now, let's face it. McCain is some regular old vanilla dude, much like myself, and it might be considered rather typical that he's no expert on Purim either. But the follow-up to this little gaffe is what I found remarkable. No less an august Jewish personage than Joe Lieberman rushed in to McCain's defense and took credit for the unforced error.
When Sen. Lieberman had a chance to speak at the press conference, he placed the blame of the mistake on himself. "I had a brief exchange with one of the mothers whose children was in there in a costume for Purim," Lieberman, who is Jewish and celebrates the holiday, said. "And it's my fault that I said to Senator McCain that this is the Israeli version of Halloween. It is in the sense because the kids dress up and it's a very happy holiday and actually it is in the sense that the sweets are very important of both holidays."

Now, I'm not Jewish, and neither is McCain. But you might think that Lieberman would have had a clue on Purim. And it's not as if he's lacking experience on the national campaign trail and was unaware how such a mistake could be played in a presidential campaign. He ran for veep himself. But the point is, how likely is it really that Joe Lieberman had no clue about Purim and fed the bad info to McCain? Or was it just his way of falling on his sword for the GOP candidate and was just lying through his teeth?

Didn't he used to be a Democrat?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Does Anybody Else Wonder...

Who client numbers 1-8 are?
People care about scandal more when it's famous people, don't they?

Who are the other people involved? Why don't their lives get blown up on the news, too?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Tami News

I am now officially looking to buy a new home. A small home, a condominium/townhouse-type home.

It needs to be within reasonable commuting distance from Morristown, NJ.

Anyone got any suggestions?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Jewish Google

Yes, my friends. The Century of the fruit bat has truly arrived in style. Here's.... JEWGLE!

Now, you couldn't expect me to stumble across a gem like this without taking it for a test drive, so I typed in "Tami, the one true" to see what sort of results I would get. They included:

Find a Nice Jewish Person - Your mother worries about you -- she just wants you to be happy, and she really does know what's best for you. You can search for tami the one true later...

Call your mother instead of searching the Internet for Tami the one true - These newfangled VOIP services make it so cheap, and she really hasn't heard from you in a while. Would it kill you to pick up the phone and give your mother a call?...

He'Brew, the Chosen Beer - Way more fun than tami the one true -- delicious beer and delicious shtick. L'Chaim!...

You're too thin. Eat something - Soups, smoked fish, bagels -- all strictly kosher....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

All Jews Think Alike

Seriously, people believe that. If they didn't then why would the Jerusalem Post have the headline, 'Jewish vote could swing Ohio primary'.

I'm offended that a Jewish-run newspaper has its nose so far up its own butt that it thinks of Jews as a block rather than individuals. Look at this paragraph:
... said that the intense focus on these issues was also telling about the Jewish community, whose contributions - both in votes and donations to campaigns - represent a far larger amount of candidate support than their actual numbers, some two percent of the country's population.

"The community always had influence beyond [its] numbers and this is another sign of that," he said.
In the past, when I've seen something like that, it has seriously raised my hackles. It makes me wonder who's so afraid of Jewish people that they think that we "buy" votes - that there's even a "we" to do the buying?

Oh, wait, that quote was from Matt Berger, a political reporter with NBC News and the National Journal and former Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent. Mr. Berger also mentions the "Jewish Black" divide, and apparently, he meant for that whole "influence beyond numbers" thing to sound impressive, not "conspiracy theory".

Well, hell.

If the Jews really do control all the world's money, where's *my* share? I have to work for a living, dammit, and I'd *much* rather be in a smoked-fish-filled room somewhere deciding on who the next world leaders should be.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Oscar Redux

Owen Wilson really does have the dreamiest hair ever. Is that color natural?

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Irreverence

This morning I awoke to snow. A ton of freaking snow. "I actually turned around on the highway and went home because the roads were so crappy" snow.

Upon my re-arrival, my father, with whom I share a residence, started talking about last night's democratic debate, and health care, but since I'd seen it, too, I tuned him out and checked my email. That's when I saw this:

Gimme a G

Strapless G string underwear. Now that's a confusing health care issue.

Monday, February 18, 2008

No One Is Ever Safe

Stop fooling yourself, nowhere is safe.
Take an extreme example, the "panic room". What happens if you can't get out? Not safe.

I read an article on the MSNBC site, Vulnerability exposed in today’s open campuses
Still, the freer environment of campuses also can pose security risks, said Ron Stephens, director of the National School Safety Center in California.

"For the most part, college and university campuses are much more wide open to the public," he said. "There's not a lot of screening done for students. There are probably few institutions that screen ... to see if someone coming on campus has a troubled or checkered past.
See right there, that's a bad assumption. People don't have to have troubled or checkered pasts in order to crack up, they just don't. The human psyche isn't a perfect machine where you can take it in for a tune up and figure out what's wearing down, and then replace that part. The crux of the issue is that most of the time, you simply cannot tell. If people could tell, they'd try to fix the problem. They would. And location really matters not at all.
"People go crazy whether it's at a school or at a workplace. ... You can't live your life not going to class," said Barbara Coons, a 21-year-old junior at the University of Pennsylvania.

That may be harder to say on a campus ripped raw by violence.

"My dad was saying last year, 'I'm really glad you go to Northern where stuff like that doesn't happen,'" said Bryce Lack, a 19-year-old NIU student, referring to the Virginia Tech massacre. "You look at everybody differently now."
See, Barbara Coons gets it.

Of course it's harder when you've just been through a tragedy. When you're nerves are rubbed raw by a terrible, violent outburst, nowhere seems safe.

I am reminded, though, of the book (and movie) "The World According to Garp". Garp and his wife are looking at houses with a real estate agent, when a small plane crashes into the home they're considering. Garp immediately declares that he'll take it, because it's been "pre-disastered".

It had a certain odd poetry to it - when something really bad has already happened there, what are the odds of it happening again? It's like lightning striking twice.

Do all the reasonable things that people do, and live a reasonable life, If your nerves are raw because of an unusual traumatic incident, get help. That's what psychologists, counselors and support groups are for.

We have to live our lives as a balance. We should not buy guns as presents from people who talk about how much fun it is to watch children and animals suffer. We should not stay locked indoors 24/7, having contact with the outside world only through our mothers, because mothers are the only people you can trust. We have to live our lives in the middle. Avoid things that are obviously dangerous, but continue to do things that should reasonably be safe. Don't take out a wad of cash and count it at night in a poorly-lit, poorly kept up neighborhood. Lock your door at night. Shop at the mall, go to the library, attend lectures. Take your children to the park, or to national monuments. Live your life, because nobody else can do that for you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

More About My Vacation

He had me with his first song, but with this second song, I knew I'd be looking for more Boothby Graffoe.

Thanks to Polyester Angel who took the video

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Know I'm Slow

I just got around to watching the "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" episode of Torchwood. OK, people were right, it was pretty hot. I really do like that show.

Also last night, I made Alton Brown's pomegranate lamb recipe.

It's the fourth time I've taken the time to make this, and it's always worth it. You have to be careful not to overcook the pomegranate molasses, though, one second it's heavenly deliciousness, and the next it's a bitter waste of time. I've learned a couple of things in making this recipe multiple times:
- 70 minutes isn't enough time to cook the molasses, but 3 hours is too much. Stop before it gets thick enough to be called real molasses.
- I like my lamb cooked to 145 degrees, not 130. I like rare meat, but that was so rare as to be chewy.
- When it's done, it's so incredibly tasty that it's worth whatever exorbitant price you had to pay for pomegranate juice and lamb.

OK, I suppose I could make the juice from scratch for less money, but holy cow, even I'm not that dedicated.

Going home sick makes for better dinner options. My original plan was to have a Healthy Choice frozen dinner.

Last night I was explaining how I'm tired of giving my political opinions. I've stated them all here, over and over, and it's not like they've changed. So today, you get TV and food. This is what it's like in my brain when I put the blinders on. I'll take them off, soon, though.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Going Around

Holy cow, there are a lot of people sick in my office. My boss told me that he's heard that flu shots only prevent the flu 50% of the time.

How come the flu evolves faster than we do?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Office Mates

Today one of my office mates suggested that Edwards would make a good Attorney General.

It was such a novel idea that I had to think about it for a while.

... an Attorney General that I *liked*...


For dinner the first night of the cruise, I had the rack of lamb.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Just Say You Never Met Me

I love cruises. I do. I love music festivals. If you put the two together, I'm a very happy Tami. There's a group called Sixthman that has made me very happy, indeed. There were more shows than I could get to (or get in to). There was a constantly available view of the ocean. Even the weather cooperated 6 days out of 7.

The word is that Sixthman and Barenaked Ladies will be doing another cruise next year. I expect I'll sign on the day they start selling tickets.

I went to a Caribbean beach without getting sunburned, and I've renewed my enthusiasm for the band Harvey Danger.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Why Jazz Sucks

Jazz sucks because I got home yesterday. Even though this is true, I still love him like a guy who lives four hours away by car and has a wife that I love just as much. Maybe I love them like in-laws. Go figure.

Anyway, my vacation was the perfect nerd-rock-girl fantasy cruise.

Ed Robertson of BNL and TOTT

Bad Jazz. No Biscuit

I come before you, hat in hand, to offer my most profuse apologies. And it's not just for carrying around this hat, which I never wear anyway. No... it is for the dereliction of my duties. You see, during this period when The One True Tami (blessed be Her name) is off on a well deserved vacation, being worshipped by bronze skinned young men in banana hammocks and eating banquets fit for Her status, I was supposed to be posting some my meandering thoughts to amuse you. In this, I have failed dismally. I could go into a variety of reasons and excuses, many plausible and some of them possibly even true, but the fact is that I fell asleep at the wheel. I should have been here for you, and I was not. For this I offer my sincere and humble apologies.

With that said, I do want to take a moment to speak to you about the pressing subject of the moment, and that is The High Holy Days.

Depending upon your personal beliefs and implications, you may hear that phrase and be thinking of Christmas, Easter, Passover, Chanukah, Ramadan or Yule. But not me. I'm talking about something more important. More sacred. More ... errr... important. I'm talking about Superbowl Sunday which is now upon us.

Trite, you may ask? Frivolous? Hardly. The importance of this day goes far beyond football. You see, this is a time which comes only once per year when America can put aside its many petty differences. It is a time to abandon the hate some of us may feel for others based on their religion. It's a time to set aside the hate which may consume us over the color of people's skin or the cut of their hair. It's a time to eschew the hatred we might harbor for our fellow man because they are a Democrat or a Republican - a conservative or a liberal - a male or a female.

In short, it's time for us to come together and hate each other for no other reason than whether or not we support the New England Patriots or the New York Giants. And that, my friends, is a hatred which I believe we can all come together on.

Oh... and if any of you support the godless Patriots, you all suck phallus flesh in the ninth circle of hell.

Friday, January 25, 2008

All I Ever Wanted

Yes, vacation mode is in full swing, as I leave you tomorrow for a whole week and a day. Internet access from a cruise ship is insanely expensive, so don't expect nothin'.

Perhaps Jazz will post - I'll ask him. One never knows.

I heard that Kucinich has quit the race this morning. I find myself weirdly detached from the primary process. I know who I want to support, and I understand that said candidate will not get the nomination. Somehow I can't make myself pick a new horse, yet. This whole 2-party system is wearing on me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm All About the Middle East

funny pictures

Why wasn't I reading that every day, already?

author's fun fact: I've actually been swimming in the Sea of Gallilee

Banging My Head Against a Wall

The Mainstream Media Comes Up With an Unoriginal Conclusion
WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.
I feel like they're slapping us in the face.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Weekend Update

Face the who, when, when I what, now?

I had a dinner part Saturday night. I put my pasta dish too close to the broiler when I was trying to crisp the cheese topping and set it on fire.

That's right, this weekend I was a sitcom.

Luckily, it was a very deep, very wet pasta dish, so only the topping was lost. I tell you this, because I know you were worried.

I hear that John Edwards only got 3.75% of the vote in the Nevada primary. What's up with that?

Friday, January 18, 2008

RIP, Bobby Fisher

Chess champion Bobby Fisher has died in Reykjavik, Iceland at the age of 64.
His life in Pictures, from BBC News.
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) _ Bobby Fischer, the reclusive chess genius who became a Cold War hero by dethroning the Soviet world champion in 1972 and later renounced his American citizenship, has died. He was 64.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Artistic Interpretation

Some people have word-a-day calendars. I have Google's Art of the Day. True, it's all churchy-fied, but art is art, and I can appreciate talent no matter what subject it's using to express itself. Well, if we're talking about drawing and painting talent. If talent chose to express itself by pummeling its fists against my face and body, I probably wouldn't appreciate that.

I've lost the point again. OK, today's art, "Esther With the Decree of Destruction" is a Rembrandt depiction of a scene from the book of Esther:

Mordecai: Esther - the government wants us dead. You're hot, go "persuade" the king to change his mind.

(I'm paraphrasing, there, it's obviously not a direct translation).

So the point is that Esther's supposed to be appealing enough that she can "make supplication unto the king", right? And you're telling me that's what Rembrandt found appealing? Not what I would have expected.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

How Do They Do It?

Seriously, there are bloggers out there that have real jobs and blogging is their hobby, and yet they manage to expound on their political opinions every single darn day.

I'm thinking about getting Visual Studio installed on my new work laptop and when I'll have time to get all my laundry done for my upcoming vacation.

Luckily, I'm going on a cruise from Miami to Jamaica, so I don't have to worry about too much crossover between what I'm packing and what I'm wearing on an every-day basis.

It's hard to think about summer clothes in January!

Douglass Adams once wrote that you can only think about 7 things simultaneously. Blogging on political matters seems to be 9 or 10 on my list right now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Primary Fantasies

Yesterday I was talking with my trainer about the Iowa primaries. He said that Edwards was wedging himself in between Hillary and Obama. After I stopped dwelling on the fact that he used one first name and one last name, I wondered out loud about whether or not a major scandal about one of the "big 2" would mean victory for Edwards.

My commenters pretty much all think that Edwards stands no chance at all. What if, though, it was a different contest? What if it was Clinton and Edwards? Or Obama and Edwards? How do you think the percentages of support would fall? I think that Edwards could garner more support than Clinton, but I'm not sure about Obama. Maybe.

Think I'm crazy? Doesn't matter, that's the beauty of pointless speculation.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Completely Non-Political Crap

I know someone who I've called friend for years, now.
She annoys me about 80% of the time. I was hanging on for the 20%.
It's not worth it, any more.
Disengaging sucks. I wanted to quietly drift apart, but she's calling me out.

This is a fight I don't want to have. I just want to step backwards into a more distant relationship. She's not a bad person, I just feel that I don't want to be near her and her frenetic energy very often. In fact, I feel like *I'm* the bad person.


Friday, January 4, 2008

And The Winner Is...


I'm referring, of course, to the "trifecta" game enacted by Jim at skippy the bush kangaroo.

Pygalgia's pick of "Obama, Edwards, Clinton" was right on the money.

I'm personally surprised, but also a bit relieved. I'd rather vote for Edwards or Obama than Clinton. I'd rather vote for Clinton than Huckabee, though. And the truth is, I am in fact slightly fascinated by Clinton. Not as much as Suzette, but a bit.

Too many choices!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

Yup, I was right, I didn't post. I was too busy having a good time away from a keyboard, go figure.

In case anyone was wondering, Ocean City, NJ is a great place to spend New Year's; it was really fun.