Friday, June 29, 2007

Rate your blog - too fun!

Check out Mingle2 - What's My Blog Rated?

I got a G rating. (It seems it just checks the front page.)

Most of the blogs I read are NC-17, which is just funny. It's because talking about suicide bombing or killing terrorists or using the word sex or gay or lesbian or death... it's hard to talk about anything.

Even NeoNeocon got an R rating. Althouse got NC-17. Instapundit got an R rating. Blackfive, a milblog that makes a point of trying to stay work and family safe, got an R rating, Wizbang got NC-17 and GayPatriot, for repeatedly using the word "gay" also got NC-17. Tim Blair got a very sedate PG-13. Sake White got an R.

Mario Burgos got a G rating, like I did. ;-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quote of the Day

Or maybe the year.

The Democrats are the Barbie Dolls of National Security: "War is hard".

How to mix Orange Kool-Aid

This is probably the only handy household tip I know.

To mix orange Kool-Aid without getting little orange chunks floating on the top, mix the Kool-Aid powder with the sugar before adding the water.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lifestyle change?

Well, I'm trying anyway. Trying to be more active.

I've got a nice sunburn from working outside today but now I can't remember what I did. I watered some plants that I planted yesterday. Oh, I planted a couple peppers and watermelon plants I bought yesterday and watered those too. Fed the chickens. Picked the eggs. Then I repotted one of my aloe plants that had bloomed... Oh, I have a picture of that. (Those are the tomatoes I planted last week.) I wish the color on the flowers showed better because it's my favorite color. If I could put it on walls I would. Peach, ivory and mint?

The aloe had a couple of little off-shoots so I ran to the hardware store and bought the two little pots that I'd put back on the shelf yesterday because I didn't need them. Then I planted caladium bulbs that have been waiting for a few months... SAM's Club size... box of 50. So I had to go out and dig a spot for all of the ones I still had left, all 47 that I didn't put in pots.

It was still nice outside and I didn't want to come in here to sit on my butt in front of the computer so I dug up a clump of tulip bulbs and replanted them with enough extra to add new clumps of that type in two more places in my garden. Somewhere I have a picture of them too. I'll bet it gets stuck at the top of this post when I load it.

Yup, the tulips are at the top, aloe at the bottom. And who knows where the text will go when I hit "publish post."

Pretty Chickie

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dialog vs. Fighting

Just a quick thought before I go to bed so all my muscles can seize up before morning... karate tonight was a bear. Or I suppose it was a dragon. Our school does animal forms, soft style katas that are performed with one or two other people doing one or two other forms. Tonight I worked on dragon. On the first posture of dragon. And then I did the first posture again. And again. And again. It's sort of hard to adjust your balance to take into account a "tail" that isn't there and I kept settling forward too much. So I did the first posture again.


I was surfing through blogs a bit and a couple of references to dialog, or promoting dialog, stuck in my head just in a general way related to martial arts.

Simply put... dialog and fighting aren't and should never be considered opposites or in conflict with each other. Being willing to fight and being willing to talk are entirely compatible.

In fact, I'd say that was the only really healthy way to look at the two things. My teacher is clear that fights should be avoided, that our sense of our own dignity should never be allowed to be an issue. As he says, we aren't responsible for the other person's insecurities.

I've had higher level students ask the "trick" question, if so-and-so fought so-and-so, who would win? The right answer is "no one."

But I disagree. We don't train to fight if fighting is losing. Otherwise we'd have the same result as no training at all... if a fight started we'd lose. We could do some other activity to hone our bodies and enrich our minds and discipline. But we train to fight. There must be value in it.

It's just that the value isn't in hurting other people. We are trained to prefer dialog, to use our skill to avoid hostile situations and diffuse hostile situations. Nothing about learning physical self-defense takes away from a quick mind and an ability to talk our way out of problems, to calm a situation... because it's *all* self-defense. The talking and the fighting are THE VERY SAME THING. The same purpose and the same value.

Consider the limits if someone allowed herself only one of those options. How foolish that would be.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Costa Rica pictures

I realized I hadn't posted any pictures from my trip to Costa Rica in February.

This is the zip-line day trip. It was hard to get pictures because we went from one cable to the next so quickly.

My turn is next.

The tree this platform was on was covered with orchid plants, none of them in bloom of course! Winter seemed to be the dry season and even some of the trees were dormant.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Oh, the pain...

I planted 30 tomato plants yesterday. No, I don't need that many and I don't have room for them either. I put them way too close together. I've got some red plastic mulch to put under them that's supposed to improve yield. We shall see.

This year I ordered heirloom varieties from Tomato Bob and started seeds. I tried to get all the shortest season varieties because our growing season here is so short and our nights are so cold. We're at 6800 feet, after all. So I picked a whole bunch of varieties I've never tried before to see which ones do well. And then Tomato Bob, bless his heart, sent me extra sample varieties because he obviously thought that 13 tomato varieties wasn't nearly enough for one person! So I planted two of each variety which makes 30.

And two egg plants.

I'm in pain. Digging always puts my hips out. What's up with that? By afternoon I could hardly sit down or stand up again. Better than usual though, the pain only lasted while I got stiff in the afternoon. I was still muscle sore this morning though, and some of the twisting at karate was hard. I think the karate has helped though, because ever since I was pregnant with our third child my right hip will go out from digging or vacuuming and I'll have sharp, shooting pain for at least three days. One day, sore in both hips, seems a great improvement.

Bumper Stickers

We're trying to get my son employed so we stopped by a place he'd applied for a dishwasher job.

Bumper stickers on cars in the parking lot....


My husband looked at it, humphed, said, "That would be nice wouldn't it."

On another car....

"Teach Science in Science Class"

I sort of humphed, said, "That would be nice, too."

But somehow I don't think the person with the bumpersticker was thinking of global warming.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fixing Education

I tend to think that pushing education issues to the Federal level is the wrong thing to do all around. No doubt some funding is nice, but just about anything done works to take away the ability to make decisions on a local level. And *all* education problems are local.

I'd say all solutions are local as well.

What I'd like most is to see is the promotion of choice, alternatives, and local control.

As for those who don't graduate. I tend to think that most people have a reasonably good grasp on the facts of their own lives. Making it *much* easier for people to *both* leave school and return to school and the school environment (the equivalent of Students Older Than Average in colleges, who participate in campus life as much as anyone else) and the availability of technical education in a *non* high school type environment for students who think school is lame and just want to start working, would be a good idea.

But we've decided that all young people must endure (and I use the word "endure" on purpose) the same education in the same sequence with the same overall goal.

Can you *really* say that the students who feel that they are wasting their time in high school are wrong about that? We can be sad that their time is wasted and wish that they were motivated and getting something out of it, but they *aren't*.


Why is "red meat" an insult?

New Nephew!

My baby sister had a baby boy yesterday!

I can't wait for pictures. Granted, they'll look like all baby pictures which all look the same, but I'll know who it is. :-)

My kids now have 6 first cousins. All boys.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

GDP map per US state

h/t to QandO.

This map shows US states renamed with a country that has a comparable GDP.

Very funny, to me at least, Minnesota is Norway!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Green this year

Friday, June 08, 2007

Spear chucker

The political world is aflutter after a party insider referred to Senator McBane, known for his ability to get wind energy bills passed as a "greaser."

"He's a greaser for the wind lobby," the man said, "No doubt about it."

(The only problem with this analogy is that far *far* more people have ever heard the word "greaser" used for Hispanics than have ever heard the word "spear chucker". Though it seems that we must now be responsible for what we have never heard or thought before. It's not our own thought crimes that matter but the thought crimes of others.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

This is what I want...

I was complaining about stupid characters a couple posts back. Some authors do a great job but some are so annoying. The one book I tried to read started with a couple who were kidnapped and the employees of the super-dooper super-secret security-mercenary agency having traumas. The men were all worried about how their new wives would react to them going on the rescue missions and the secretary was sniffing and crying. And then the heroine was introduced, super strong and capable, a regular Amazon. (I gave up reading it soon after.)

Well, I found a perfect example of what I want.
Hayden's wife of 42 years, Katie, who was also on the flight, was less impressed. Even as her husband struggled with the agitated passenger, she barely looked up from "The Richest Man in Babylon," the book she was reading.

"The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading," Katie Hayden said. "Bob's been shot at. He's been stabbed. He's taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody's neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn't know how the book would end."

This is wonderful. Katie is my hero.

h/t Blackfive.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jeff and Puffy Head

The other roosters beat Jeff up so Jeff and Puffy Head live in their own little pen.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

And this!

So I read the *very next paragraph* and....

"In his experience, the military molded women into a male image in order to help them survive. The military was unforgiving if someone -- man or woman -- showed vulnerability of any kind,"

I *seriously* doubt I'm going to be able to read this.

I'm supposed to be writing

I was going to do a month long script-writing thing but some friends (my teen daughter's girl scout troops and related adult persons) are doing a month novel thing. So...

I'm supposed to be writing.

Instead I've been reading. Went to the library and grabbed a bunch of paperbacks. I was looking at them and putting them back and suddenly realized that was silly. I wasn't spending money if I picked up a book I didn't like, I wouldn't be forced to read any all the way through, and it didn't matter if I brought them back again without reading them at all... so I just picked some.

I joke about how reading bad books inspires me to write.

I'm not certain anymore that it's a joke.

The first thin little category romance had a nice little mystery plot. The heroine even had a nice little "finding herself" progression... but oh how I wanted to take those things and write the book over with a heroine who wasn't a moron and a hero who didn't think like a woman!

The second, slightly thicker, category romance was actually half-way decent.

The third was funny and had some really nice stuff but the "cop work" was thin and the heroine suddenly developed a debilitating self-hatred that kept her from the wonderful hero. Stupidity is stupid! How hard can it be for authors to figure this out?

So I'm moving up in thickness... oh, this one is a "two in one" reprint of a relatively famous author's favorite books. Ought to be good. *Ought* to be. I'm saying right now, I'm not finishing this one. It's the same sub-genre as Suzanne Brockmann (who is *fabulous*) but it's simply horrible. There is a kidnapping and "mercenaries" who have to rescue the kidnapees from a drug lord. And sexy Recon Marines and brave, powerful, women. Who are stupid.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Firstly, no one can go on the mission because they are all from previous books and newly married or close to it and their wives would fuss. Then the Marine shows up and he's a bombastic jerk and everyone is like, sure, we trust you to go rescue them and the only person we can find to go with you is a woman. And she's great, of course. And the Marine is bombastic jerk. And the first thing the woman does is accuse him of being PC and diplomatic.

And the worst thing about writing this down is that I'm developing a masochistic urge to read farther and see if it keeps on just as bad.

Or maybe I should just open my word processor and write because, dangit, I can do better than this. I really can.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Other ambiguous colors

These are a pale blue with yellow-tan edges and a dark blue beard. They are quite fascinating close up but at a distance the color just washes out.

They are vigorous and bloom bang-busters though.

And they smell nice.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fred Thompson IS Chuck Norris

Native Cactus - Echinocereus viridiflorus

Green flowered hedgehog growing wild.

Okay, I moved it but it *was* wild just a few feet over.

They make us blond nordic types feel frumpy...

I read on a Kurd blog sometime around the series of national elections in Iraq that in some parts of Kurdistan women outnumbered men by something like three to two because Saddam had killed so very many of the men. The point of pointing that out was that the vast majority of those voting would be (or could be) women.

h/t Instapundit, of course. I should be keeping an eye on Gateway Pundit myself, but there you go.

So check out what the Kurdish women are up to lately.