"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Have you heard the one...

>> Tuesday, May 31, 2005

There's an old saying, "Where does a bear sleep in the woods?" You can substitute "sleep" with any (usually not family friendly) verb.

But, have you heard this one?
"What does a bear do in your back yard?"
"Anything he wants."

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Karnival of the Kidz #6

>> Monday, May 30, 2005

Here it is, your weekly fix of Kidz. Hosted by Sissy at And What Next.

Next week I am hosting... yikes! Be sure to come and visit, there is no telling just how badly I may screw this up. :) Or maybe it will be outstanding! Guess you'll just have to tune in and find out!

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In Rememberance:

>> Sunday, May 29, 2005

Memorial Day. This is the least I can do. A simple "Thank You" to all who have served, and currently serve, our nation doesn't seem enough.

Please read this: from a Special Forces Alpha Geek. A beautifully written message.

And go here for more information about Memorial Day.

Thanks to VW Bug at One Happy Dog Speaks for letting me swipe these links from her.

And, from us at Iowa Geek to those of you who have served, are serving, or who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we often take for granted: Thank you.

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Geek Fun

>> Saturday, May 28, 2005

Today we took Brenna to her very first Renaissance Festival. She was an angel; smiling for everyone who said hello to her and garnering so many compliments.


Brenna at her first Fest

If you look closely at the blanket you will notice that her name is at the top. Her last name is at the bottom. And the plaid has celtic knots. It was made for Brenna by one of our dear friends. She wove a perfect blend of my Irish and Doug's English heritage into that blanket. I think she did a wonderful job.

Now, I mentioned that Brenna received many compliments, but she was outdone by the pram. So many people complimented us on the buggy. I even had people offer to buy it.


The buggy

My grandmother bought it at an auction about 3 months before I was born. When I had Brenna my mother passed it on to me. It has seen better days and has spent years in a basement. I hope to have some restoration done on it someday, but, for today, it was perfect. I have no idea how old it is; best guess is at least 110 years. It really stood out from all the wagons and strollers.

Now, if we had gone to the festival in our street clothes I'm sure the "normal" stroller would have been just fine. But what fun is that? We dress to fest:


All dressed to fest
I made both my costume and Brenna's. (I should have taken better photos. I'm pretty crafty.) I actually made them to match Doug's jacket. Don't we look like Lord & Lady of the Manor?

And now the Lady of the Manor must sign off. Where is my Lady in Waiting to draw my bath? And the kitchen wench to make my tea? And my laundress? Crap. I guess I must do it all myself....

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Everybody's Doin' It

>> Friday, May 27, 2005

Meritt started it. Stemily goaded me. Mama Duck even gave a sexy nude shot.

So here's mine, kicked up and relaxing. Finally. Last night I swore that I would run one errand and be home the rest of the day. It was a nice thought. Brenna and I spent the morning running seemingly endless errands: the Metro Market for the freshest milk anywhere, WalMart to return a grill, a beauty supply store for mousse (I'm licensed so I get it wholesale), the pharmacy for my let's-not-give-Brenna-a-sibling pills and Brenna's bank to deposit her "cute baby" allowance (the spare change we acquire.) Whew. These tootsies deserve to recline.


Loungin' Feet

Now, I don't want to hear about how all of my toes are longer than my big toe. I already know that, thank you very much. It's almost like I have two extra hands. I can pick things up with those toes... among other tricks. :)

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Car bomb in Spain

I guess rolling over for Al Qaida doesn't keep you safe after all. Seems like an obvious point, but the Spanish voters didn't get it. I wonder if they'll get it now?

I also wonder why many news outlets don't even mention it. CNN and Yahoo were the only sites I found as of the writing of this post. Of course there isn't much news about all US agencies shutting down in Indonesia because of terrorist related activity either.

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Is this week over yet?

>> Thursday, May 26, 2005

I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing this week. Nothing, I tell you. What have I done? I can't even tell you. I know I cared for my nephews two half-days this week. I worked out one morning. Today we took a long bike ride. Two evenings were spent looking at SUVs as we desperately need to replace ours- yesterday.

PS : Mama Duck, didn't you just get a new truck not long ago? An Acura? We drove one of those tonight. Sweet. It is in our top 2.

Ummm, where was I? I know I did some laundry, some dishes, some random cleaning. I'm working on cleaning and (slightly) repairing an antique buggy (stroller) for this weekend. I've been to Target.

And, of course, I've been Mommy.

And I don't feel like I've accomplished a thing. But I'm exhausted, so I must have done something... right?

Tomorrow I am not leaving the house. Well, except for that errand I need to run. And maybe a walk with Brenna & Toby. But, other than that, not leaving.

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Newsweek - Socialist Rag

Pixy Misa's take on the International version of Newsweek

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Jury Duty is OVER

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I was on panel for a criminal case against 2 people today. Assaulting a police officer was the #1 charge for each of them. They each had 3 additional pending charges stemming from the incident. I can't remember what they all were. I was not in the top 25 jurors, and only 1 potential juror was released for cause, so I was saved!

I sat next to a retired Iowa State Patrolman. The judge asked him, in light of his numerous years, whether he could be a fair and impartial juror. He said he thought he could, but nobody would give him the chance. He was NOT released for cause, but he was seated after me (once again keeping him from serving).

Mr Beamish, there was no bailiff in the room. There were police outside the door. I didn't want to be charged with the crime I was there to hear!!!

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Michael Yon, live from Mosul

Michael's post And now, for the rest of the story.... really explained how the major media works in Iraq and why the reporting gets slanted. It's all about the Benjamins.

Be sure to check out his post, The Battle for Mosul: Dispatch II



UPDATE: More from Iraq from Proteus, Sanctuary

Is humiliation the same as torture? It is not -- that's why the words are spelled differently. To get to the heart of the difference, assume you were a prisoner at Abu Graib, and your interrogator started to remove your fingers one by one with bolt cutters. How long would it take you to beg to be posed with women’s panties on your head? Yeah, I thought so.

This is not to excuse in any way the shameful behavior committed there by a few individuals who clearly are not fit to wear the uniform of the United States. They have disgraced us all and done incalculable damage. But if producing humiliation and fear is now to be defined as “torture,” what international human rights organization will be appointed to help the surviving readers of The New York Times?

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Once Upon A Time...

>> Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In a green and sunny land there lived a princess. This princess, being the first child of her parents, was much loved and had all a princess could desire.

Unfortunately the princess was born to "common" folk, not a King and Queen. Not even a Duke and Duchess (although her parents had queried the purchase of such a title.

And, though the common folk knew that most people regarded their darling daughters to be princesses, they also knew that one thing, and one thing only, would truly make her a princess. (No, they did not track down Prince William & truss him up. Although that son of the exiled Prince of Greece is young enough to be a future option.)

So they did what had to be done. They bought her a castle.



The Princess in Her Castle


Back View

At Target, of course. :) Don't you just love the flags? She even has a "palace guard"-- bottom photo at right. It's the fuzzy guy with 4 legs. :)

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Don't fall for it

Like you, I get a lot of email. I usually delete what little spam passes through the spam blocker but I got a message from PayPal. Or at least I initially thought it was from PayPal. Since I use PayPal a lot, I thought I should pay attention. I was tempted to click the handy link they wanted me to use to update my account. But then I thought to myself "Self, that would be stupid."

Take a moment and read my post on computer security from January's archives. One of the tips I gave was to never respond to a request for personal information from email. Always use your own bookmarks and log on to the site normally. What I found out was that my "PayPal" email was a scam. See what a typical scam email looks like.

Now me, being a good little geek, wondered how the (guilty-sommmabeaches) alleged scam artist pulled their con. I right clicked on the message and selected View Source. Naughty, naughty, they are linking to PayPal directly for the logos and other images. They even added a real link to the PayPal FDIC information page. However the link they wanted me to use, the "update my information" link only appeared to go to PayPal. They even had the code to change the status bar to indicate a PayPal domain. It would really send me to "www.paypal.com.cgi-bin.webscr.login.user.id.verify.customer.content.
usa.your.userid1534953948348851.logged.in.com.ssl.true.
getl0cation.directcountry.com".
Notice the first part still says Paypal.com, but there isn't a slash next, it's a period. The portion immediately before the first slash is the domain, in this case it's "directcountry.com". The scammer at directcountry merely set up 20 sub-domains with the intent of fooling the casual user. Pretty tricky stuff.

The lesson I want you to take from this is that email is an untrusted medium. Always go to the source directly. The lesson I'm going to take is how to change the status bar from a hyperlink. Hmmmmm Should I use my knowledge for good or for evil.... <insert Dr. Evil laugh here>

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Lawyers Didn't Want me

>> Monday, May 23, 2005

I went in for jury duty this morning. I haven't had to deal with downtown traffic for 3 years, and I have not been affected by the TONS of construction & road maintenance. But this morning, I got enough downtown driving for the next three years. But that's another story...

I was chosen for a jury panel to hear a civil case regarding personal injury. I didn't make the final jury selection because of one of my answers. Here it is "I tend to form strong opinions very quickly. However, I could be swayed if there was enough contrary information." I was one of the four strikes each lawyer gets before the final eight are selected. All the better for me (and my kids, and Jody & Brenna). I was home by 12:30 PM, and I don't have to report tomorrow. I do, however, have to call after 5 PM tomorrow to see if I will be needed Wednesday.

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Karnival of the Kidz

Venture on over to Practical Penumbra for this weeks' Karnival of the Kids.

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

>> Sunday, May 22, 2005

Today we took Brenna to her first baseball game. Des Moines hosts the Iowa Cubs, the Chicago "Farm Team". As with her first hockey game, my brother Jarod & his girlfriend Amanda joined us.

I'm not a baseball fan; OK, that's an understatement, I really dislike baseball, but the tickets were given to Doug by one of his clients. The tickets were quite good, a field box, fifth row. But it was a hot & sunny day so we moved up to a shady area. Which totally negated the need for the fabulous floppy hat I bought. :) At Target, of course.

I can't say that Brenna was overly impressed. We left during the 5th inning; someone needed a nap. OK, I needed a nap. Too much sun.



Take Me Out to the Ball Game

This coming week I have the distinct privilege of caring for my two heathens, ahem, nephews whilst my sister does her civic duty (i.e. jury duty). She has promised me her stipend of $10/day. Now really, I'd do it for free! HAHAHA... I'll check in when I can.

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Jury Duty Stinks

>> Saturday, May 21, 2005

Yes, I actually have to show up for jury duty Monday morning at what seems to be the butt-crack of dawn these days. 8:00 AM. Which means my saint of a sister has to be at my house no later than 7:15 AM so I can haul myself downtown, find a parking spot in a ramp, and get to the courthouse. Can you tell how excited I am to perform my civic duty?

If I were used to getting myself dressed for work, it would be no problem. However, I usually crawl out of bed anywhere from 6:00-7:00, change the kids, feed the kids, get them dressed, change into workout attire & arrive at the Y around 8:30. This is going to S*U*C*K!

I am sure I am being forced to show up because I was a HUGE B-word to the jury clerk about the whole 'no child care' issue. The $10 a day they are going to pay goes nowhere toward paying for child care. I am lucky Jody agreed to help me out...again!

I am hoping for a speedy release when they see what kind of conservative freak I really am. I will miss you all!

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How Liberal/Consrvative Are You?

Taken from Boudicca who took it from someone else....

I, like Boudicca, felt that the questions were slanted. But the outcome is pretty right on.











Your Political Profile



Overall: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal


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Monsters in my Brain

>> Friday, May 20, 2005

My 3 year old, Carter, has been talking a lot about monsters lately. This morning, he was in the basement with me when Ethan started yelling that he was finished eating his breakfast. I ran up the stairs leaving Carter behind. He was scared to death. He wouldn't even go to the basement door to close it when he got upstairs; I had to do it.

I told him there are no monsters. He said "I have monsters in my brain". This stems from a conversation about 3 weeks ago when I was attemtping (poorly, apparently) to explain that monsters are only in your imagination. Which I translated to "in your head" and he translated to "in my brain". Fantastic. I can't wait 'til he tells a complete stranger he has monsters in his brain.

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Scoreboard

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Score another victory for democracy in the Middle East, Kuwait just granted complete political rights to women.

Let's review the scoreboard.



Meanwhile, the UN is on a roll

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Required reading for today

Mark Steyn - Bolton's sin is telling truth about system



Claudia Rosett on the Islamic response to Newsweek

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Dr Appointment

I was gone from home for several hours this morning. When I arrived home, there was a message on the answering machine regarding an appointment for me with a Doctor I have never heard of tomorrow at 9:00 AM. They left the number and directions to get to the office. So, I called to see what I was supposed to be seen for, since I made no such appointment.

The huffy little woman who took my call looked up MY record and said I made an appointment to see the Doctor about my varicose veins. Someone, who I guarantee is not me, made an appointment to see the Doctor about her varicose veins. And that someone no longer has an appointment, because I cancelled it. WTF? I mean, they ask for your date of birth and verify your address when appointments are made (at least when I call). I'm a little concerned that there's someone out there with my name, address, phone number and insurance info. Definitely disturbing.

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Up Close & Personal

We visited the Blank Park Zoo here in Des Moines a week and a half ago. The zoo is experimenting with the option of visitors purchasing crackers to feed the giraffes.

Because it is "just an idea" we got to do it free. Man, those creatures have long, rough tongues. And, let me tell you, you just don't realize how tall giraffes are until you stand next to one. Seriously, it's head is bigger then Brenna!


Feeding the giraffe

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This Is Compromise

>> Monday, May 16, 2005

Sound the horns and ring the bells! Brenna has begun to nap! Yea!

While I am very happy about her new-found napping abilities, I do have one small problem. She has decided to take her morning nap between 8:30 and 9am. On my schedule that was workout time. Well, no longer. By the time she woke up today we had even missed Baby & Me class.

Why don't I work out later in the day? you ask. It's quite simple, really. The Y doesn't have child care all day. Only a few hours in the morning and evening. And evening is not convenient due to dinner & bed times.

And with Doug's crazy hours lately... Not that I am complaining about that. He's a contractor so all work is good work. His hours aren't conducive to hitting the gym, either.

So, I have begun the search for the perfect home gym. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. We want something that will let us do total body work but doesn't take up too much space. Right now I have looked at Hoist V2 and Bowflex.

Hopefully the weather will straighten up soon and I can get back outdoors to bike and walk with Brenna. We bought a deluxe Burley bike trailer; I can't wait to get out & really use it.

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Newsweek Lied, People Died

Austin Bay has the scoop


Confederate Yankee lets us know what to do in case we come across a free-range reporter

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KOTK #4

Head on over to Boudicca's for this week's Karnival of the Kidz. Lots of good stuff in there today.

My own hectic addition is here.

And Jen has two late postings: Ethan is here and Copycat Carter is here.

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Copycat Carter

>> Sunday, May 15, 2005

Carter will do anything to get his picture taken! He saw me taking pictures of Ethan in my boots & had to get in on the action!


Copycat! Posted by Hello

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Ethan loves my boots

I forgot to put my boots away after I wore them Thursday evening. The pantsless wonder had to try them on & dance.


Hot Baby! Posted by Hello

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Sunday Morning

Doug is still abed and baby is napping beside him. I have been up since 6:30 am. Brenna has been fed & nursed (twice), I have read a magazine and a half, have folded a load of laundry and planned tonight's dinner. (The sun is shining for the first time in a week. We are grilling.)

Merrit seems to be having a rough day. Poor thing. Sometimes I just don't know how she holds it all together. I'm sure that I may "be" her one day. I only hope that I am as good at it.

So many things I should do:

I should dust. I can see marks on the tables in the living room. I hate that.
I should vacuum. Oops, not while people are sleeping. The Kirby is anything but quiet.
I should put away the things that didn't sell from yesterday's garage sale.
I should brush the dog. Hmmm, I may do that.
I should make a pattern for a Renaissance dress for Brenna. Just a simple smock. Yes, we dress for those things. Great fun.
I should get off this computer. Now. Really. I should go. Now.

Tearing... myself... away... NOW!!!

Really gonna do it this time.

Man, I don't want to be productive.

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Healthcare and Climate

>> Saturday, May 14, 2005

Why did I merge two very different topics in a single post? Because both areas suffer from an extreme and overabundance of ideological blather.




Single-Payer Silliness


A Passage to Indian Health Care



Climate Cycle or Climate Psychic?

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History

Robert teaches history



Charles Krauthammer on Social Security

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Hectic KOTK #4 Post

>> Friday, May 13, 2005

Karnival of the Kidz #4. Where did my week go? I have nothing to post!! And no time to do so this weekend before this needs to be submitted. My sister & I will be having a garage sale Saturday. YIKES! I swore I'd never participate in one of those again. Ugh. Never say never, I guess.

Brenna had her 6 month "well baby" checkup this past Wednesday. I am pleased to report that she is incredibly healthy. New stats: 15 lb 13 oz, 26 1/4" long. She had 2 shots and handled them both with barely a wimper.

I hope you enjoy the photos. (of course you will. Noone can resist such a happy baby.)


Smiles & Flowers


My Favorite I was singing "Patty Cake" to her. Makes her smile every time.


So happy!

Can you resist those little toes? I can't. I nibble on them morning & night. SIGH

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My UPS Story

>> Thursday, May 12, 2005

After reading Merrit's UPS story I thought I would share one of my own.

Flash back to spring 1999. I was preparing to take a vacation to the Bahamas with two of my girlfriends. I had ordered some clothes for the escape from the cold Minnesota spring to the sunny Bahama beach.

At this time I owned a house in St Paul with a big fenced in yard. I had two dogs then; Toby, who is still with us, and Titan, my loving Rottie. On the side of the house was a large doggie door.

About a week before the big trip I came home to see clothes strewn all over my yard. I was very confused at first, wondering where my dogs had gotten clothes. Maybe I left the door to the main level of the house open? But they had never chewed clothes before...

Then I saw it: the packing bags from the company I had ordered my beachy clothes from. Those clothes were for my vacation!

I was beyond pissed. I called the UPS toll free number and explained, as calmly as possible, what I found. Let me just say that the people who man the toll free phones are worthless.

The next call I made was to the company I had ordered my clothes from. They were no help. Once the package leaves their warehouse it is not their responsibility.

So, 8am the next morning I was at the local UPS location, torn packages and destroyed clothes in hand.

The lady I dealt with was mortified. They called the delivery driver who said, "I saw the open door (dog door) and thought I would just throw the packages in there." What a genius. I had a "Beware of Dog" sign on my fence. Even if the dogs were inside there is no way he didn't know they were there. I'm sure Titan thought it was a game and came running out as soon as the packages hit the door.

After much arguing and working my way up the UPS ladder they did refund my complete receipt; items and shipping. They also added a note to my address stating that yellow tags should be left if I was not home to accept a package. I was unable to get the replacement items shipped in time for my trip. Of course. Which meant an emergency shopping trip. Before I got my check from UPS. Of course.

I did go on to have a lovely trip. A morning cruise to the Bahamas, 4 days on the beach and an evening cruise back to Florida. Much of the staff on the cruise ship was Latin. My two blond, petite girlfriends were a bit put-off that I got more attention than they did. What can I say; Latin guys like curves. But that's another tale...

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OMG

This morning, Carter is following me around saying "Oh my Gawd" over & over & over. I am not sure what started this bit of craziness, but it's all he has been saying for the last twenty minutes.

I booked our trip to Florida Tuesday evening. We'll be flying direct from Des Moines into Orlando because I found a REALLY great deal on the itty bitty airline we used to fly to Las Vegas. That's about 3 hours from the in-laws, but REALLY, the deal is worth it. Plus, I don't mind driving. So, we're going to sunny Florida in September for a week. It should be HOT and STICKY, but the in-laws have a pool that the kids are very excited to use!

My children have never been on an airplane, and I am pretty sure the 3 year old will ask me about it every day until we leave. Yesterday (all day long) he asked about flying on an airplane. It went a little something like this:

"When are we going to ride on an airplane? "
"Four months from now, that's a long time."
"I want to ride on the airplane today."
"Not today, in four months."
"Tomorrow?"
"No, not tomorrow. In September"
"Next week?"

Ok, I give up!

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Marketing Brilliance

>> Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I'm one of those people. You know the ones; I want the best deal for my husband's hard earned money. I'm not cheap, mind you. I am willing to pay more for a quality product. But I like to check around once in a while to make sure that I'm not paying too much on things like phone service, insurance, satellite, etc.

So, when I received a flier from McLeodUSA offering DSL for $19.95 a month with free router and installation, you know I was all over it.

A little background: We currently use Qwest for our phone service. As do most people in our area. They have a corner on the market. I have been unhappy with Qwest for a myriad of reasons, including, but not limited to, increasing our DSL costs when we were told they would remain unchanged, months of problems cashing our checks when our bank merged with another, bad customer service.

So, today I called McLeod to find out more about this offer. DSL service $19.95 per month; check. Phone number remains the same; check. All fees to switch service and activate waived; check. Free installation & router; check. Plus they will call Qwest so I don't have to deal with them; BIG CHECK.

So, I am all ready to set this up. The guy on the phone askes for our home phone number. I give it to him. And he says:

"I'm sorry, we don't offer DSL in your area."

Then why did you send me a flier?!?! Seriously, don't they research these things before they mail the stuff out?

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The President in Georgia

President Bush spoke in the country of Georgia. Check out the reaction from the Georgians, people who know what real oppression is about.

Be sure to check out the difference between the Messenger in Georgia and how the AP framed the story.

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Karnival of the Kidz #3

>> Monday, May 09, 2005

Everyone head on over to Prochein Amy's place for this week's Karnival of the Kidz.

There are 2 posts on this blog for your viewing pleasure: Happy Mommy's Day from Jen and I'm Ready For My Close-Up, Mr DeMille by me.

Enjoy!

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Thank You, May I Have Another?

Quite often Doug and I are asked when we plan to give Brenna a sister or brother. My response is, "Hey, let me enjoy this one!" or "Why would I risk having another child when I have a perfect baby now?" (OK, perfect except for the napping issue. We are still having problems with that.)

Last night, after my first Mother's Day and spending quite a bit of time gazing at Brenna while she slept, I reflected on my first 6 months of motherhood.

**It amazes me that I can wake every day loving this child more than I did when I went to sleep.

**I am constantly thankful that Doug goes to work evey day and I am able to stay home and raise our daughter.

**I have learned that the happiest place to be is curled up in bed with Doug and Brenna watching an old movie.

**I now know that the happiest feeling in the world is when your child smiles when you enter a room.

And I have come to the conclusion that Brenna might need me to give her a sibling. Otherwise I may overwhelm her with all the love I feel for her. But, if that decision is made, it will be at least another year. Don't rush me; I want to enjoy this one, first!

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Modern American Liberalism

>> Sunday, May 08, 2005

Modern American Liberals do not resemble the liberals that comprised a group of people known as Our Founding Fathers, or even the liberals of the pre and post Civil War period (abolitionist Republicans), or even liberals pre-Vietnam Conflict. For an interesting analysis I'm going to hand you over to:

Confederate Yankee
Among the Left Branch Davidians
Branch Davidians Part II
Branch Davidians Part III
And Part IV


And Political Yen/Yang

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Happy Mommy's Day

I have always wondered just when all of the following would start:

Are we there yet?

He's looking at me.

He's touching me.

He's following me.

The answer is 3 years old.

Even when they are driving me absolutely nutty with the chatter and complaints and questions, they are my little angels.


Botanical Center Posted by Hello

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And a good time was had by all....

Well, I hope so, anyway. Yesterday we had our first party of the season. Doug really enjoys having people over, and so do I. We grilled, I made salads and dips and sweet treats.

It's Mother's Day. I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but Doug and I aren't really "It's a holiday I must give a gift" people. I'd rather get flowers and jewelry "just because" than because the calendar says I must. Doug did get me a card; he's not a complete cad.

Earlier this week I got the HP PSC 1610 All in One, something I wanted. I used the Mother's Day angle to get it:
Me: Hon, I want a photo printer.
Doug: Our printer prints good photos.
Me: Yeah, but I want a really nice photo printer. And this one scans- I could really use a scanner. Besides, it's almost Mother's Day, this could be my present.
Doug: OK.
Actually, I didn't even have to work that hard. Which is why we aren't really gift-y people. We will have to become so as Brenna gets older. At least a little bit.

I love a party that you can clean up most of the mess in under half an hour;, i.e. paper plates and cans of beverages. But I did bake a few things, and those dishes don't clean themselves. So I am going to do those and leave you with a favorite recipe of mine: Baked Triple Veggie Dip. YUMMY!!!

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Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day to all you moms reading this blog! Now go spend time with your family.

And to the true treasure in my life, Happy First Mother's Day to you Jody. I love you more today than yesterday; I'll love you more tomorrow. Thanks for making my life, my world, my dreams, whole.

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American Soldiers in Iraq

>> Friday, May 06, 2005

Like Jerry, I can't find any words that need to be said. Read The Battle For Mosul and Little Girl.

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Just can't win

Cleaner air is causing global warming. Or is it increased solar activity? Or solar flares? Or....

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Jihad

>> Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Jihad that started it all. It starts out slow, unless you really know your history, but read it to understand Jihad.

Part 2 here

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Hand in hand

I have a couple of things I'd like to share with you that are somewhat joined.

Coyote Blog compares teachers' salaries with other white collar workers


David Gelernter discusses the The 'We're Smart, You're Dumb' Principle

Feel free to discuss...

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I'm Ready for my Close-up, Mr. DeMille

>> Wednesday, May 04, 2005

This photo was truly a family effort. My sister, my brother & his wife and I took all the kids to the Botanical Center. Jen took this incredible photo of Brenna and my SIL did a bit of editing to it.

I think it is just an amazing photo of her.


Little Princess

It's the eyes, I think. Every time people stop us they comment on her eyes. She's not afraid to look you straight in the eye and tell you how it is. Really, she's not.

And, as an added bonus:


Brenna & Me

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Quotes about Congress

Still relavant today:


  • "We'd all like to vote for the best man but he's never a candidate." --Kin Hummbard

  • "When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'guilty'." --Theodore Roosevelt

  • "Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens -- and then everybody disagrees." --Boris Marshalov

  • "We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex -- but Congress can." --Cullen Hightower

  • "In your country club, your church, and business, about fifteen percent of the people are screwballs, lightweights, and boobs, and you would not want those people unrepresented in Congress." --Alan Simpson

  • "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." --Will Rogers

  • "Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything." --Frank Dane



The Washington Times on a certain Senator.

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Toby and the Cop

>> Tuesday, May 03, 2005

We have a large dog. He is a St Bernard/Great Pyranees mix.

Toby is very protective of our little family. When someone new is near, he barks. When the kids across the street tease him, he barks. When a dog is close, he barks. Now, I will admit that this can be annoying. But we try our best to curb this and bring him in when it begins. We do not leave him outside for extended periods of time when noone is home.

Which brings me to today; Brenna was napping (YEA! Only 15 minutes of gut-wrenching sobbing) and I was outside (with the monitor) putting her carseat in the truck. Toby was with me. A police car had stopped across the street. The policeman got out of the car and Toby barked. When the policeman came back to his car Toby barked. So the policeman decided, in his infinate wisdom, to come and stand at the end of our driveway. So, Toby continued to bark.

I stop what I am doing and ask the cop if there is anything he needs. He tells me that my dog is "a nuisance" and he barks too much. I reply that my dog only barks at strangers and if he would leave my dog would stop barking. He tells me, again, that my dog's barking is a public nuisance and writes a warning. On this warning it says "Dog barked continually at officer."

Well, DUH! He doesn't know you, you are approaching him and he can sense your body language, and he can sense mine. Of course he's going to bark. And, buddy, if you had laid a hand on me he probably would have ripped into you, too.

Seriously. What did this genius expect a dog to do?

So, I now have a "nuisance warning" on my dog. "No action will be taken" unless a complaint is issued. But, I am sure I am on someone's list. I can just see this cop cruising my house 5 times a day, waiting for my dog to bark.

Crap. I'm gonna have to get a bark collar if he wants to be outside for any length of time. Freakin' dog hating cops.

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Gee, my college days were boring

Students nowadays are much more...mmm...err...

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More problems for the Canadian PM

Via Vodka Pundit, the Paul Marin, now Prime Minister of Canada was bribed by Saddam prior to taking office. That explains a lot.

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Stir Crazy Kids

For the past 2 weeks, the weather has been too cold & rainy to play outside. My boys are going nuts! I am begged to go out & play with bubbles, go to the park, go for a walk....It's supposed to be 60ish this afternoon, so maybe we will do all of the above after naptime.

Speaking of naptime, I need a nap today, too. Hubby is on call this week, so computer operators call him if any of the nightly programs fail for any reason. The first call came at 1:09 AM, and I had to nudge him to answer the cell phone. So, I was awake for a while. I'm not sure when the second call came in, but it woke me for a while, too.

Potty training update: Big Boy has 'earned' 6 pieces of tractor machinery (about the size of Matchbox cars) so far. He gets one each time he goes #2 on the potty. And I'm adding some prune juice to his Sunny Delight every day, so he can't wait too long to go...I'm tricky! He sometimes goes every day, but at least every other day. It's getting better!

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Economic Reporting

If it bleeds, it leads (unless a Democrat is president). If it doesn't bleed and a Republican is in the White House, bury it...

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Karnival of the Kidz

>> Monday, May 02, 2005

Hosted this week by Whimsey Capricious, I hereby send you to Karnival of the Kidz.

I get my new scanner/printer by next week, but until then you must make yourself happy with Brenna. Today I take you back in time, to 6 months ago, when our lovely lady was born...

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Gifts

>> Sunday, May 01, 2005

Today we went to a birthday party at Doug's cousin's home. Much of Doug's family lives about 1 1/2 hours north east of us and these parties are held monthly. (We don't go every month.)

Each month the maternal side of his family gathers to celebrate all the birthdays occurring that month. This is a large family; at least 2 birthdays per month. Now, the title of this post is "Gifts" so I am sure you know what comes next. The tradition in his family is for everyone to give a gift to every birthday celebrant. A gift averaging $20.

Now, as you can imagine, this gets expensive. Today was 3 gifts; one for a 1 year old, the other 2 for adults. Usually, for anyone over 15, we purchase gift cards. Because, honestly, what can you get someone for $20 that they really want or need? A CD? Only if you know their musical tastes and know they don't have it. Same for a video game. And I'm not about to buy clothes for another adult. A gift card, although impersonal, always fits.

In my family we don't have traditions like this. When my family gathers it is for holidays; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter.

I don't fully understand the need to give gifts. Especially gifts that are not in the recipient's taste or style. It's not that I don't appreciate the thought, but if I really need or want something I buy it. And if it is expensive I have Doug buy it for me. :)

But I have strayed. Where was I? Ah, yes; the need to give gifts. I'm not sure I get it. Maybe it's because I'm not a person who likes "things". Knick-knacks aren't my style. I prefer to pick out my own art. And my own clothes. And if you can buy me a set of pans for under $20, don't.

I'm not offended by gift cards. Like I said, they always fit. Restuarant, good. Target, good. B&B, very good. This, of course, is not what we receive. BTW, I am not complaining. Really. I only wish there was a way to say, without offending the giver, that, unless you know I want them, please refrain from giving me porcelain bunnies or suede shirts. I would prefer to not receive a gift. Honestly. A card will do nicely, thank you. And if it contains cash, all the better. :)

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