A simple girl in a complex world

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Has No One Figured This Out?

Three weeks ago, Kraft Foods decided to throw its imaginary gauntlet into the ring of the War on Fat.

My beloved had one humorous thought about it. I have one more.

You know that little nutrition label on every package of processed food? Yeah - the one that says there are four or however many servings in the frozen pizza. Well, Billy, with our magic ink, we can make that same-sized pizza pie (or less, as Brian points out) into SIX lovely servings by using the tools of 4th grade math! Yes, indeed. Lower the ounces/grams in a serving, and you lower the calories.

Nice, eh? We'll all be eating things by the 3/4 ounce now.


Oracle - in the Dark?

I found this article about Oracle and sexual harrassment especially interesting. I'll just give you the high points; you can read the whole thing.
    PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - An Indian programmer at Oracle Corp. (ORCL.O) has sued her Indian male supervisor and the world's No. 2 software maker for sexual harassment, claiming the man forced her into sex by telling her she needed to "learn the art of pleasing the American manager."
Hmm, I just turn my work in on time.

    In the lawsuit filed July 18 in California's Alameda County Superior Court, the plaintiff charged that her supervisor, Mahesh Anand, forced her to perform oral sex in Oracle's San Mateo, California offices, in his car and at her home when her husband was away. Anand has since left the company.
Wow, that's at least three occasions, no?

And the kicker.

    The lawsuit said that Oracle knew or should have known of the different cultural and legal context in which Anand was used to working in India, where managers can often exert unfettered power over their female subordinates.
Um, no. What could Oracle have done, anyway? If it, as an entity, was unaware of said manager's particular behavior, what could it have done?

Oh, I get it. Predict the future and stop it from happening. Oracle...yeah.

My bad.



Friday, July 25, 2003

Tim Blair Can Have the PETA Post

Paul McCartney has joined the PETA onslaught on KFC! I got no fewer than three Yahoo alerts on this yesterday but still didn't deem it worthy of blog note.

I like Tim Blair's take on it, though, so I'll share that.



Thursday, July 24, 2003

Link Unto Others...

Okay, Gerwitz. Thu it is.

Thank you, Scott Ott of Scrappleface With headlines like "Survey: Many Germans Believe U.S. Sponsored Hitler" and "Uday's Suicide May Violate International Law" and "Bill Clinton Declares California Residency," how can you go wrong?

Here, from Balloon-Juice, I offer the strangest floatation device I've seen in, well, a while.

Jonah Goldberg of the NRO adequately summarizes the Berkley attack on conservatives. (Link via The Weigh In, as I had not yet seen this).


Robert Clinton Cope III, July 10, 1972 - July 24, 1994

three bags of soybeans from an unsecure load.
a hill in somewhere, ohio. four cars. two pickups.
one drunk driver. one teaspoonful of fate (heaping).
mix. did you lose adhesion with the road, sir?
hell, yes.

this recipe: one 22 year-old man. one tree -- and
mr. sandman. we buried you the day before
my 22nd birthday. your parents reminded me how much
i loved you. one teaspoonful of fate snagged a
memory: heather, keep me company so i
don't fall asleep. we traveled too many roads.

one month later i turn at your voice. it is
only my creation. i was your orchestra when
you performed. human pride drove that two-year wedge --
not everyone can handle cancer; i sure as hell
can't deal with death, but i would've said appropriate
goodbyes. you were blond this year -- a stranger when
they closed your lid.

i seek tennyson for comfort but not crossing the bar.
instead i remember how you always laughed at my
silly-girl recitative: i babble on the pebbles.
for follows:

and out again i curve and flow
to join the brimming river.
for men may come and men may go --
but i go on forever.

one cup of regret.
eight ounces of swallowed pride.



Wednesday, July 23, 2003

PETA PETA PETA (pander pander pander)

I have no fewer than THREE things to post about PETA today. I've been getting behind, you see.

1) First, I visted Boycott Hollywood today, and, much to my delight, there was a PETA-applicable post. In PETA Goes to the Movies, Reilly writes about Legally Blonde 2 (a movie I will not see) and Reese Witherspoon's character's interaction with the organization.

As he's discussing this, he's offering his own commentary. My favorite is a quote that Reilly lifted from Frontpage Magazine.
    If we really believe that animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then of course we're going to be blowing things up and smashing windows." Such violence, he adds, is "a great way to bring about animal liberation. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows."
This is PETA's director Bruce Friedrich speaking. He's throwing the bricks through windows so the animals don't have to. And, if plantlife is threatened, the most logical next step would be sabotaging water fountains on streets that begin with the letter "R," right? I mean, however did I miss Friedrich's leap of logic there. Of course! Perhaps I need to enroll in a remedial logic program.

2) I'm actually surprised PETA isn't smashing windows over this article about Alec Baldwin and his "Meet your Meat" video. There's a rather sizeable error. Bad Baldwin.
    In a letter to journalists, Baldwin said the film "documents the routine and horrific abuses that animals raised and killed for food endure and makes the case for Americans to adopt a vegetarian diet and enact humane legislation to weed out the worst abuses."
Um, Alec. It's VEGAN, not vegetarian. PETA doesn't endorse your three-egg omelet with cheese.

3) And, finally, I'll let this one speak for itself. A woman changed her named to GoVeg.com.


Look, Ma (er, Hans), Hand-Built RSS

So, Blogger, you think you're so smart, eh? No RSS feeds for the masses. Well, I have ten fingers, and I can type (could code this into an automatic thing, too, if I were not so lazy and hosted this elsewhere). Behold the Clunky RSS!

My boss made me do it. Really.



Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Damned Kids, Get Offa My Lawn

Hans points us all to this illogical stockpot full of spurious assertion stew by, sadly, a conservative in Illinois. I know, I know, you say - is it possible for conservatives to argue illogically? Yes, sadly, it is.

Joyce Morrison is pissed. She's pissed that the highways of Illinois (HER highways, dammit) are sometimes populated with, gasp, CYCLISTS! Let's give her a moment in the sun, here, ladies and gentlemen, before we break down to a proper paragraph-level fisking.

    OPINION -- Beware of bicycles - they could be hazardous to your health.

    There are 55 bicycle trails in Illinois.

    In fact, within "bicycle distance" of where we live is the Chain of Rocks bridge. This bridge crosses the Mississippi River, which connects the Illinois bicycle trail beginning at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois, to the well-known Katy Trail in Missouri. The Chain of Rocks Bridge was recently renovated especially for pedestrians and bicycles and was paid for by we the taxpayers.

    With that wonderful recreational provision, why would 4,500 bikers (mainly from St. Louis) choose to make a 100 mile bike ride on roads already heavy with tourist traffic that are two lane, curvy, hilly roads under construction?
Okay. There's the argument. With all o' those trails, why are you on the roads? First, Trailnet sponsors road rides. You know, sponsor, with cars driving by periodically checking on the riders to ensure they are all right. Second, because roads are for bicycles, also. Third, what, silly, do you think all FIFTY-FIVE of those bicycle trails are accessible by every citizen of Illinois/Missouri at all times? Um, might I remind you that Illinois is a STATE. It is a state of 57,918 sq.mi. You do the math.

    That is what Derry Brownfield of the Common Sense Coalition would call "ignorance gone to seed."
Can we examine this? Ignorance means "lack of awareness." Ignorance: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed. Joyce, silly, ignorance is YOURS. Claim it. Because you draw some pretty broad-stemming conclusions based on something you've OBVIOUSLY NOT DONE. (More soon...suspense.).

    Last Sunday on our way to church, we had the "privilege" of having our patience tested. We were behind one batch of these bikers going up a normally busy road with a steep winding hill, blind curves, no road shoulder. And these bikers were not about to budge out of the way. To top it off, the road was freshly milled in preparation for a new surface.

    To see these two wheelers peddling up the hill with rear ends stuck in the air in tight fitting britches is a humorous sight. But it wouldn’t have been funny to have seen one stretched out along the road with tire marks across him. These Sunday road warriors were literally risking their lives to prove they had the right.
Joyce, honey. Tight-fitting britches. That's a compound modifier. Please get it right; you're the professional writer. And, please allow me to explain. Those tight-fitting britches save a cyclist's skin from blistering/chafing - all of those unplesantries from extended periods of exercise. And, humorous? Strange, maybe. In a country where most people can't fit their fat asses INTO these "tight fitting britches" (sic), I bet it is funny. Joyce, you're making fun of what you do not know. How...six year-oldish.

    We were in our car. We had our seat belts on as required by the law - our insurance and license fees were paid. We had paid fuel tax when we purchased our gasoline. Now wouldn’t you think that would give us a bit of a priority?

    What was that biker’s investment that would give him the right to go down the middle of the highway? Bikers have no license, no vehicle insurance, no seat belts, no fuel tax. They are not making any contribution into the local economy in the way of tourism dollars. They had their own manned rest stops that furnished them with food and water, and they certainly can’t pack home much from the local shops on the back of their bikes or in those tight britches.
Waaaaaa! Fuel tax? I don't get it. Please explain. How is it again that bicycles and riders, weighing very little, tear up the road to the point that it requires maintenance? And, at least last week, fuel tax was for, um, FUEL? Forgive me, I promise this is as left-wing as I'll ever sound, but, really, people, logic. Joyce would have us believe that none of these cyclists pay fuel tax. Um, no.

And "they are not making any contribution into the local economy by way of tourism dollars." Okay, brace yourselves. On July 4th of this year, I had the pleasure of riding in and around Millstadt, IL. I was enraptured by the small town that reminded me much of the town in which I grew up - so much so that I plan to return and visit its Bed and Breakfast someday. People were home, largely because of the holiday, and many stopped to wave at our posse of four. Drivers honked and waved (oh, yes, without fingers extended). Our cycling group communicated, falling into single file at first sign (visual or aural) of a car. We visited the town store and purchased food and beverages.

So, Joyce, how is it that you KNOW all of these things - no contribution into the local economy. Obviously, you would not have proffered forth such a strong statement without, GASP, proof or firsthand knowledge.

    Maybe we should blame the route sponsor and not the bike rider for being guilty of this stupidity, but if these people cared about their lives, they should have just said "no - I won’t go on this unsafe route." Whatever spared someone from being run over - or these bicyclers causing a vehicle to have an accident - must have been God’s hand of protection, because it wasn’t their common sense.

    For a number of years bikers have made riding on our twisting, dangerous roads, putting themselves and others at risk, a common weekend occurrence in our area.
Okay, a route with construction - eek. I would not do that. So I'll yield you a point. Score one for Joyce. But you get a minus one for throwing God into the equation. Tsk. And, you know, if the roads are so dangerous, perhaps you should consider an alternate route. Just caution speaking.

    Bikers have the reputation of having an attitude of superiority and are not popular in rural communities. Many are very rude. They choose to take the middle of the highway as their right-of-way, disregarding local residents who are trying to get to their destinations... and they refuse to budge. They appear to be saying, "I just dare you." They readily ask for help when they have a problem but show little appreciation.
Haven't I addressed this "not popular in rural communities" theme? I think so. Maybe my tight-fitting britches make me cuter than you.

    They demand the government to provide and pay for their "entertainment and recreation." The government must provide parks, paths, scenic areas, fishing and boating opportunities, tourism, and all kinds of free outings. To accommodate these provisions, the property is many times taken from private property owners to make public areas. Then, these "recreational demanders" choose not to use those areas but to infiltrate areas not intended for their use.
Wow - there's a stretch, from cycling to FISHING. I knew we could get there. Come on, everyone, repeat after me. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. So THAT's what this is about. You know, Joyce. I didn't ask for the parks, but since they're there, and, as you have so aptly stated, and they're FREE, WHY NOT USE THEM? Oh, wait, I haven't demanded anything...what should I demand so Joyce can have another point?

    I don’t know about you, but our recreation and exercise is not paid for. For one thing, we have little time for recreation these days trying to earn enough to pay the taxes that pay for bike trails which bikers choose to avoid. Our exercise comes from our work.
Journalism...exercise. Uh, no. Minus one for Joyce. Oh, and if you're lacking for recreation, try working smarter and not harder. I know some great trails if you want to start an exercise program.

    Are these groups really into recreation and exercise, or are they being mentally trained for the Sustainable Communities where bicycles will be a way of life?
What the hell? I own a bike; therefore I'm a hippy? Amazing.

It goes in crazy directions from here. If I gave this to a fifth-grader and said, "find the main idea," I think the only possible response is, "wow, this woman hates bicycles and doesn't know much about them."

She concludes.

    Bicycles have been around for a long time and brought joy to many. If used responsibly, a bicycle is a wonderful source of exercise and recreation. But are we being prepared to be forced to use bicycles for our major mode of transportation? Could it be this activity is purposely being placed into an elitist status with no restrictions and licensing in an effort to lure people into this mental mode?

    If you are a biker, please ride responsibly on a trail that has been provided for your entertainment, and for your own safety and the safety of others, please keep off the highways.

Joyce. Shut your seed-cracking beak.


GMOs - An Update of My Reading

I finished Eating in the Dark and quickly picked up Pandora's Picnic Basket: The Potential and Hazards of Genetically Modified Foods, which I like a lot better. The author has managed to crack me up twice in 12 pages. Not a bad start.

I'm pointing you to page 6 of the book because of the top paragraph. I'll quote.

    Recent surveys show many people simply don't have the basic understanding of genetics required to engage in informed debate. For example, only 40% of respondents in the UK correctly recognize that ordinary, non-GM tomatoes contain genes.
Okay, I think it was the "correctly recognize" language, but I just lost it and burst out laughing.

I get the sense this guy is going to carry a light "what idiots" tone throughout the book, and I'm going to enjoy that very, very much.



Monday, July 21, 2003

About the Kobe Bryant Thing (Very Briefly).

I give you lyrics from Dog's Eye View, a song called Bulletproof and Bleeding:
    Everybody loves the man on a cliff
    Some hope for heroes
    Most of us beg for blood

    We all stay to see if he falls
    No one stays to pick him up
    Much too busy for his rapture
    We can catch it on the news tonight instead, yea
So, now, do all you hypocritical adulterers feel better about yourselves? Surveys state there are a large number of you.

Part two:

More lyrics - just for fun. Harry Connick, Jr. Also fitting. From Last Payday:
    That line about luck just can`t be bought
    You`re always lucky `til you get caught
    Trouble will find you, no need to look
    And luck won`t help when they close the book
It's all about the consequences, man, personal and financial. Shoulda thought of that; everything carries a price.



Sunday, July 20, 2003

Glad We Got This Guy!

An obvious menace to society, Angel Melendez, a street musician, was sent to JAIL for having an "uncontained kitten" in his company. Fear it. The kitten went to jail, too.

Obviously, this is a crackdown on possible terrorism; the new exploding kittens (activated for possible destruction only when not leashed or crated) look very much like REAL kittens.

Ticket? Maybe. JAIL? Fear it.