A simple girl in a complex world

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Look Ma, a Use for Ankle Weights

So, with my restlessness of being home today, I decided to put the home gym to use. I'm so thankful for it.

I did a full body workout today. I learned/reminded myself of a few things.

  1. Plate mates rock.
  2. I don't do concentration curls correctly. Gotta fix that.
  3. Doing crunches while experiencing a rolling stomach: bad.
  4. There IS a use for the ankle weights my mother got me at a garage sale.
Yes, there are four ankle weights on my leg for a grand total of 20 pounds. If I could fit 6, all the better. The lower pair are the garage sale variety - a bit harsh on the leg since the strap cuts in. The other pair I got while I was in college, thinking that leg lifts with 5 lbs would make my legs more shapely. Ha. I have learned the ways of squat, lunge, press, cables, and cycle.

And now I have an improvised home variety for those rare occasions, like today, when I cannot wear shoes and transport myself to the gym. The bad toe/foot is the other. I made sure to hide its maladies from this post.

After lifting this evening, I perused the blogosphere via my blogroll, and I found this beauty.

As I commented there: 1, ow, and 2, what a funny link. Worth visiting.


Not Quite the Darwin Awards; Still, Mind-Baffling Reality

So, here's a good idea. You're in love with your friend's wife. So you kill your friend. Simple, right?

    Miller, 49, of De Soto, said he fatally shot Larry Holman at the request of Holman's wife, Tammy. Miller said he was in love with Tammy Holman and had hoped to move in with her and her children, then ages 10 and 12.
Ooh, look, mommy. A new daddy! Where'd the old one go?

    Miller told Judge Jeff Schaeperkoetter that he had been emotionally disturbed and medicated at the time of the killing and was unable to refuse Tammy Holman's demands that he kill her husband.

    "I wish I had been strong enough to turn her in as a cheating wife, but I couldn't," Miller said. "Every time I tried, she talked me out of it." Miller said he and Tammy Holman planned the killing during hunting season to make the death appear to be a deer-hunting accident. That's a claim she denies.
Hmm, I'm emotionally disturbed right now. Perhaps my spouse should hide? Unable to refuse. I, um, see. So, essentially, you're a weak-minded fool with the mental processing power of a syringe filled with a five-day-old unused tetanus shot. Please write that 100 times on the chalkboard, and then you can go home. This obviously is not your fault, right? The courts say, "our bad." And that's your punishment.

Of course, the courts didn't say "our bad." They put the man in prison. They also imprisoned the woman.


Thelma and Louise Meet To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

Because no one was injured, this is the local ha-ha of the day.

    Two men in women's clothes held up a credit union employee in north St. Louis County on Friday morning, forced her into the building and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

    The robbery happened just before 8 a.m. at Vantage Credit Union, 11654 West Florissant Road. Two men wearing wigs, baggy dresses and aprons - like those worn by hotel housekeepers - were hiding behind a garbage bin, police said. They sprung out on the first employee to arrive for work and forced her inside at gunpoint.

PETA Party

I found this on Consumer Freedom.

Ha ha ha ha. What if you threw a party, and nobody showed up? Guess this is that. What'd PETA have to say?

    U.S. Marine Cpl. Ravi Chand, who just returned from his tour of duty in Iraq, has rejoined his old "unit" at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but he’s not through fighting the war on terror just yet. Cpl. Chand, who saw combat in Iraq and stuck to his pure vegetarian diet throughout the war, will lead a demonstration in front of the White House, highlighted by PETA members dressed as an oversized knife and fork and holding signs reading, "President Bush: Found Your WMD—Meat’s the Biggest Killer of All," to make the point that eating meat kills far more Americans each year than war or other weapons, in addition to terrorizing and killing billions of animals.
In my mind: "What?" says Cpl. Chand, "What's a vulture? What are lions, tigers, and bears, oh my? Animals wouldn't...kill each other, would they?" Hey, dude. You know what I have to say? Food chain. F-O-O-D C-H-A-I-N.


Disappointment Afoot

I'll quote Dante from Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to BE here today."

By this I mean home.

Today is the MS 150. In Columbia, MO, not St. Louis. I'm in St. Louis. Home.

This post will get really personal. I don't often do that, and I probably won't do that again until November 1, 2003. If it's too much or uninteresting, well, there are other things noted below, or you could go reread the PETA post that will eventually be above this. Or the Blogger/Blogspot rant that will shortly follow that.

Yesterday was Friday, the day before the event. I had planned to leave work between 12:30 and 1:30 to go home, pack, get bike (can't forget the bike), grab all other necessities, and head out to Columbia for the MS 150. I was nervous/excited. Okay, I was nearly manic.

At about 9:15, I walked over to Starbucks with a bunch of the guys from work, three of whom are on my MS 150 team, so we talked about the ensuing ride a bit. We returned to work at about 9:30. I had noticed a twinge in my middle toe on my left foot about halfway back from Starbucks.

My toes are really close together, and if I don't really keep abreast of the toenail length, occasionally one toenail will cut into its adjacent toe, sometimes drawing blood. I took off the shoe and sock to check on it. The little guy was painful to the touch - seemed to be the case, but no blood yet. Having no clippers on hand, and wanting to make sure it didn't get any worse, I did what I thought to be the wisest thing. I bit the edge off so it would not exacerbate the irritated part. Once, in June, I thought I'd be really wise and just tear off the offending part of the toenail. I got the WHOLE toenail, so I decided not to try to do that again.

Time passes. I'm working. At about 10:30, the thing is throbbing. I mention this in mild complaint fashion to my coworkers. Hans stops by and mentions that I might want to stop at Walgreen's to get a cushion for it so that the 5 - 6 hours of cycling on Saturday doesn't irritate it too much for me to function as a cyclist on Sunday.

By 11:30, the pain has doubled. I take off the sock and shoe yet again and pronounce myself with a toe infection. I call the doctor, wise woman that I am. Luckily, the nurse practitioner can see me today - at 1:30.

I eat lunch - read the blogs of all of you good people who occasionally stop by to see mine. That takes my mind off it some. I get up to wash my salad bowl, and by this point, I really can't walk without torturous pain. I freak out accordingly, take my cell phone outside, and try to call Brian.

Who just happens to be at lunch. (Imagine that - it's lunchtime). I call my mother because she always helps. Between limping/pacing and talking to her, I pass the time between lunch and the appointment. Brian also returns my call.

I drive to the appointment (yes, across the street). After about a fifteen-minute wait, I'm deposited in the little doctor's room, and I remove my sock and shoe and prop up my ailing toe.

Said ailing toe is red, inflamed, swollen, and there's a pencil-width line of what I perceived to be infection that runs from the toe 3/4 of the way up to my ankle.

Whoa, okay. No wonder that hurt. Thing is, this manifested itself in the period between 9:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Very scary, and of course, a very disheartening sight considering my weekend plans.

I unfortunately have a nice long wait for the nurse practitioner, or at least it seemed. I call my mother again and have a "feel sorry for self" session. The NP arrives. She frowns at my foot. I fill her in between gasps of tears that I'm supposed to ride the MS 150 this weekend. She's not a cyclist I learn later (most people probably aren't), and probably didn't understand, but she can tell I'm certainly upset, and it ain't about the pain.

She asks for the chronicle of events. So I give it, matter of fact. 9:30 onset, 1:45 (probably now 2:00 p.m., this is how it looks). I explain the part about the toenail problem I have - the cutting thing, and I mention biting off the end of the toenail. She completely loses control with laughter. This is contagious. I start laughing too, not sure why she's laughing. She said, "you can put your foot to your mouth?" I said, "well, yeah" and then demonstrated by bringing a leg up and setting my foot to my cheek. Which made her laugh even harder. So, a moment of levity. I guess everybody can't do that.

She leaves me be again to find my doctor.

The time alone sets the emotional roller coaster in motion. I am supposed to be the person to collect our jerseys and ferry them over to some of the guys at their hotel. I call Hans and attempt (in snivelling fashion) to explain that I'm not a likely candidate for this task any longer. Not sure how much of the info I actually got to him because the doctor arrived and I pretty much abruptly terminated the phone call.

The doctor is my normal doctor, so he has a general feel for my personality and my training, and I've probably mentioned the cycling to him. I explain the event of this weekend. He frowns.

He said, "do you clip in?" I said, "yeah." He frowns again.

He gives my foot that doctorly stare and judgment, "mmmHmmm." He then pronounces it a strep infection and then proceeds to give me a set of instructions that he repeats no fewer than three times.

  1. This is a very virulent infection. I am going to give you the strongest antibiotic there is in pill form. Take this every 12 hours. It will kill ALL of the bacteria in your body.
  2. If the infection increases, go to the hospital for IV antibiotics. (He repeats #1, so I really get this more like 6 times instead of 3).
  3. You can ride. It will hurt horribly. You won't worsen it by riding. However, the antibiotics will give you diarrhea, which should dissipate by Sunday.
  4. (Repeat #2).
Well, that's a lot of information to take in. I'm sure that's why he repeated it so many times. I sit in the office waffling. The nurse practitioner leaves and retrieves the medicine, Augmentin XR, which is amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium. 1000 mg per dose, twice a day.

2 grams a day.

I eventually gather my new medicine and limp out. The drive home produces a tug-of-war match in my head between Reason and Emotion. They're both pretty battered right now. Reason agrees with the nurse practitioner and Brian, who want me to stay home and ensure I get better. Emotion keeps calling me a wimp and a loser for even attempting to listen to Reason. See, I don't have the devil and the angel on the shoulder. I have Reason and Emotion. Good enough, I guess.

I return home and take the medicine with food, as instructed. And then I decide to be cycling Cinderella. My bike shoes are lying by the couch. I slip them on. I stand. No way. There's absolutely no way.

150 miles will take me between 10 and 12 hours of actual cycling time to do. At a cadence (RPM) of, oh, say 90, that's...5400 cycles per hour, meaning at least 54000 revolutions. Jabbing pain with each.

So, no MS 150 - the compromise possibility is an MS 75. I tell myself this as I call my friend Susan, whose husband is the captain of the team. Susan, I'm not going to be there. Here's why. This finally sinks in, and she takes the jersey distribution responsibility off my hands. I feel like a wimpy heel.

I next call Sheryl, wife of Adam, at whose home I am slated to crash for the next two days. I explain the predicament. I let Emotion have the phone for about 3 minutes during that explanation. She says to me, "Take pictures. Put them on your blog." I get a good laugh out of that. And do what she says.

I'm kind enough to not post them in the main spot, but if you're my mother, curious, or have already pronounced me a wimp, you may want to visit footpics. I have yesterday's and today's up. The pictures serve as fantastic objective evidence when I need to stop beating myself up.

The other funny and rational thing I did was take a black Sharpie and mark the point on my ankle past which the infection cannot go without necessitating a trip to the friendly local hospital. Thankfully, it does not seem to be spreading. The redness from it is a bit wider in my foot near the toe, and my toe is forming a pus bomb (yucky, I know) in the middle on the side/top that's about as wide/tall as a thumbtack.

What now? Research. I got online and looked up strep infections that were not of the throat. I found that Ed Belfour, goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, missed at least a game for a strep-infected thumb. I felt a bit better. Hockey players don't miss games very often.

So, terrible timing = no MS 150. Only good news? It didn't happen today. If it had happened today, I probably would have ridden through the pain, had a horrible time, and had the infection crawling into my leg instead of merely my foot. And, there's a century planned for the end of the month. It'll take the place symbolically of this ride. It's the best I can do.

More good news? If Blogger ever comes back, more blogging. And I get to keep my foot.



Thursday, September 04, 2003

So Am I Jane?


What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla



My post is up on Voices.

The site is really starting to take shape. Michele wrote that she had over 100 remaining to review. I found this at Electric Venom, and it's quite amazing. I'm sure Kate's post will be up soon, but you can catch it before having to weed through the minions on Michele's site.


Extending Metaphors

If Johnny Depp says that America is a puppy (I'll spare the adjectives that make his statement more asinine), and Glenn Reynolds blends puppies into energy shakes...

Maybe we should all move to France in fear of our lives? Maybe Depp meant that we are MANY puppies (individuals as puppies?) and are therefore safe?

Someone should call Depp and ask. I'm a bit worried.



Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Spoons Shocks Me

I was doing my early morning before-work reading today, and I happened upon this on Spoons' website.

I'll cut to the scary part: (quoting a quote)

    The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced the weapon to the Blue Island Gun Shop, which received the gun from the manufacturer in 1966 and sold it to Milton R. Beuck. The last official record of the gun was 1983, when Beuck registered it legally in Chicago. [Before the Chicago gun ordinance went into effect later that same year--Ed.]

    Beuck told police he had sold it to a Chicago police officer, identified by sources as Schott, at a bar in 1994, Bayless said. The police officer sold the gun to a second officer sometime between 1994 and 1997, according to a friend of the first officer. The second officer died in 2002 and it is unclear what became of the gun, Bayless said.

    "It was not registered and it should have been," he said.

    On Thursday, police charged Beuck, who is 58 and homeless, with a misdemeanor for failing to keep records of the gun, authorities said. In Bond Court Friday, Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman ordered him held on $100,000 bond and assigned him to the Cermak Hospital division of Cook County Jail.

    The high bond was ordered because of the seriousness of the eventual crime in which the gun was used and because there was an outstanding drunken driving warrant for Beuck, said Jerry Lawrence, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

    There is an 18-month statute of limitations on the misdemeanor charge, Lawrence said, but because the law requires a gun owner to maintain records for 10 years, Beuck was currently violating the law by not maintaining a record of the 1994 sale through next year.
Wow, you know. Keep those records on you at all times if you have the misfortune of becoming homeless. We, of course, don't know the circumstances of Beuck's homelessness, but still. 100k bail.

There is the issue of a 1995 warrant for a DUI. How much bail goes where, dunno. The figure just shocked me. I'd like to know the allocation.


Carnival of the Vanities

Carnival #50 is up at Rhetorica.net.

Brian and I both have pieces in this one, so do please visit.

I've not read everything yet, but here are some of my favorite posts thus far:

Cascading Failures and Politics - as found on a Voyage to Arcturus.

Preemptive Health Care (or run a mile) - brought to you by uncategorical.

(I mean, yeah. Wonder how I'd do on my mile. It'd be humbling, I'm sure. Cycling's different than running.)

On Sensible Forest Management - I read every word. In a roundabout way, this is at 4 Right Wing Wackos.

And, of course, Brian's post about Cascading System Failure.

Maybe I'll update this, too, with some more. Many Instablender lies to be found on this week's Carnival, too.


Johnny Depp, Come on Down

Johnny "Mouth Should Be Taped" Depp made some interesting comments recently, and they hit the news today. I was going to give my thoughts, but I find others have done a far better job than the post that I envisioned, so here's some linkage.

Rachel Lucas gives you the whole "news" story and then some goodies.

And, Big Arm Woman gives us 67 cents worth as well. My favorite part?

    I'm conflicted about the Deppster. I usually enjoy his movies, because he's very good at being someone else. I like the Else-Depp, and would be perfectly content to forget the Real-Depp, particularly when, every time he opens his mouth, something banal or inane or childish comes out. I mean, really, Johnny--"a dumb puppy?"
As I find more, I'll post more. This'll be the hot item for the day, I'm sure.

UPDATE: Deppreciated!

Venemous Kate's take.

Tim Blair's thoughts.



Yes, really. I went and got some because I didn't want to code my own. So, there you have it.



Tuesday, September 02, 2003

PETA suing you today? PETA harassing you tomorrow

Wow, no one saw the PETA post coming today, eh? Hah.

Yum! Brands caved. Yes, that's right. KFC gave in to the harassment, which bodes well for PETA and its nutbars everywhere. There's no room for debate and disagreement - only discord and celebrity-backed over-the-top obnoxious campaigns that malign facts everywhere, regardless of any veracity in PETA's claims.

I've posted on this before, not the lawsuit specifically, but of PETA's KFC badgering. So what's new here?

    PETA's suit, targeting KFC's Web site and consumer hotline, claimed KFC disseminated false information. According to PETA, KFC agreed to remove certain claims from its Web site and from the script that customer-service operators use when consumers called with concerns or questions.

    KFC phone operators will now say: "KFC disagrees with PETA's claims. KFC believes that animals should be treated humanely. For this reason, KFC has established animal welfare guidelines for vendors who supply KFC restaurants with chicken," according to Yum documents provided to PETA.

    Earlier, PETA said, the company told callers that PETA's claims are "untrue," and that chickens raised for KFC suffer no pain or injuries.
Okay, KFC. I agree that was just a small change, but what you have set now is a precedent. PETA. Will. Not. Stop. The next attack will be some permutation of this one; perhaps the thinktank that fosters PETA's "outreach" will deliver something with more glitz next time. Chrissy Hynde may haunt every store in the US soon. "Gonna make you notice." Paul McCartney can sing "Freedom" to the chickens. Say, you know, there was a skit on Saturday Night Live that basically covered this topic - it was a show opener back in the early 90's, my college days. A bunch of celebrities got together and cut a single much like "We are the World" to benefit the free-range chickens. Lyrics from said work include

    Mister Farmer, take that feed
    To the chicken's throa-oat.
    To the chicken's throa-oat!
    Let's build a world
    where cages don't exist.
    Tell the children
    To tell the world
    To tell the chickens that we are on our way!
(Courtesy of a good soul at Bully Magazine)

Yep, really. I through my extensive Google research have discovered that this very skit is on the Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Music Performances and Sketches, Disk 4. And now I want it, of course.

Ahem. <seriousAgain>Remember, though, the single point of the winding post: There's no room for KFC in a vegan world.</seriousAgain>


Filthy Lie™ #2

As I was walking up to the local GNC, I noticed a familiar child's bike parked against the exterior, near the door. There were three other autos in the parking lot - not very busy for a Tuesday evening. Thinking little of it beyond that, I entered the store and commenced shopping for edible supplies for this week's upcoming MS 150.

The counter clerk was thoroughly engrossed in a dance demonstration given by this man with crazy hair who looked a lot like Richard Simmons from the distance of the entrance. Richard seemed to be demonstrating some wildly energetic dance for this clerk. He had a small posse of the Simmons dance troupe with him, too!

What would Richard Simmons be doing in the Maryland Heights GNC? Why this creepy and frenetic dance? As the man turned away from the clerk, though, I could see he was only similar to Richard Simmons. The clerk dismissed him with a "Thanks, Mr. Simmons...and ladies. We'll restock the shelves with your product." Puzzled, I took a closer look. Two others were in the store with me, and though they appeared to be perusing shark cartilage and Vitamin B Complex jars respectively, I could see that they were both intrigued. Each held a miniature secret camera, too.

The aerobic dance leader was none other than Glenn Reynolds sporting a Richard Simmons wig! I gasped. "What are YOU doing here, bike stealer," I steamed. "Oh," he stated, "I'm marketing my new exercise video, "Puppy Shakes!"

He held up the cover, which was a bright purple, and, indeed, in a font resembling lightning, the words "Puppy Shakes!" graced the cover and overlaid the picture of a young, feisty golden retriever pup in mid motion.

"He was one of the originals for, you know, the prototype," sneered Glenn.

The dance troupe filched some Luna bars, exited the building, and hopped into a lime green Volkswagen bus. They sped away.

"You cannot do this," I spat. "Oh, but I can," said he. "The video, alongside my uh, protein-filled supplement shake should provide diet participants with an amazing amount of energy and the appropriate, uh, blend of all major nutrients. And those who drink from this particular fountain of youth will become my mindless instaminions," he scoffed maniacally. "You saw my troupe."

I decided to garner as much information as possible. "I see you got a new bell for your bike." "Oh, that old thing," dismissed Professor Reynolds.

That tack was obviously not working, so I asked the obvious, "Where is the REAL Richard Simmons?"

"Hmm? Oh, Richard Simmons. He's had one too many puppies to drink, I fear. He's working on a deal with Slim Fast to help reformulate their shakes. That should help us reach the rest of the population."

I was quiet for too long. Simmons/Reynolds, apparently sensing this was the time to leave, and knowing no one would believe me when I shared this ghastly tale, screeched past me through the door, hopped on his bike, sounded the bell twice, and was gone.

And so, folks, be wary. The plan is far greater and all encompassing than we had originally feared. But the Alliance will prevail. If you see Richard Simmons in public, pull off his wig. If it doesn't move, run away in a hasty fashion. If you succeed in removing it, though, expose the Instapundit.

My fellow GNC attendees gave me PHOTOSHOPIC (er, photographic) evidence! I had to pay them, though, to corroborate my story, er, Filthy Lie™.



Monday, September 01, 2003

Hey, Wait a Minute

My main page is only showing yesterday and today. I'd suppose that's due to all that posting I've done today.

Still, there's a lot of good stuff from last week and...well, Saturday. So I'll link to it for your ease of use.


Voices - from A Small Victory

This is the post I submitted to Voices, which is Michele's project from A Small Victory

I encourage you to also write something and submit it.


As days begin, this was Anyday™. I was running a bit later to work than is usual - no idea why now. I stopped for a bagel at the local grocery, and as I was in my car and exiting the parking lot, KMOX, St. Louis' most popular morning talk radio, interrupted normal programming and reported that a plane had struck a high floor of one of the World Trade Center's towers.

And regular programming recommenced.

A normal, sheltered American, I had a few sad moments of "what a horrible accident," and I continued my drive to work.

Something - I can't recall what - perhaps news from a coworker arriving later than I - prompted me to try to reach CNN.com; I could not. I believe at this time we learned that the "plane" to strike the World Trade Center was not a small, single-engine plane but rather a full-sized passenger jet.

We began to flock toward televisions - there are three large TVs throughout the office. At this point, there was constant coverage of the first attack. I got the news to date and tried to return to work. When the second plane hit the second tower, I believe everyone knew that this was planned. Work was out of the question.

We sat transfixed in the large conference room - transfixed because we had to be, because we were so summarily appalled and shocked that someone, some entity, some group would do such a horrible thing. I called my client, who resides in New Jersey but has many ties in New York. His brother was in one of the towers.

I returned to the large conference room, and, in the course of the next hour, I saw both towers collapse real time. And then, of course, I saw them collapse over and over and over again. Still determined, I tried again to return to work. And then the third plane hit the Pentagon.

At this point, it becomes "what next?" I fully believe that this was nowhere as bad as it could have been. But there was no relief anywhere - none in the faces of the newscasters who must've known they'd see no sleep for quite some time and that they were tasked in serving the horrible truth to the watching masses; none in the faces of my shocked, stunned coworkers, many of whom had young children who would require quite an explanation of certainly inexplicable things; none for me either, for the stories of individuals began to trickle through the news. The man and woman, holding hands, who chose falling to death rather than burning. People who were passengers on each of the doomed planes. Mothers, fathers, children, infants. Dead. Dying.

The rest of the day is a blur of rewind-play-rewind-play of the footage. On the way home, I stopped at the grocery store where I had purchased my bagel breakfast. There were already volunteers collecting money. I gave.

Once home, I, like everyone else, called friends and relatives to ensure we were all living on the same world, and that sanity still existed - something no one would have questioned 12 hours earlier. I spent the rest of the evening flipping through cable news channels as the news started to repeat itself. More rewind-play, but more personal anecdotes as well.

And then the hopeful search for anyone who might have survived in the rubble and aftermath. The days and weeks blur from here. Cantor Fitzgerald. Televised funerals. The pictures of ash. The weekly news magazines and their coverage. Courageous rescue attempts. Clearing of debris. Interviews of the families of the victims. The comparison to Pearl Harbor.

As time passes, September 11, 2001, stands as a day everyone remembers practically hour by hour. My client's brother escaped before the towers fell. I know no one personally who perished in the attacks, but as I talk with varying people, it's very apparent that I'm only separated by a degree at most. The business trip I recently attended highlighted that.

Very briefly, one man mentioned that his wife's best friend was on one of the planes that crashed into the towers. Another man was slated to give a talk on a high floor of one of the towers on September 11th. Shortly before the event, he cancelled due to lack of interest. The people who attended the event are no more.

Most strikingly, though, is the story of a young female Indian database administrator who was listed as missing after the attacks. According to my friend who knew her, months later her husband was convinced she'd be found "anytime now." They had a young child.

Of course, there's the "how dare they" question we all ask of the terrorists. These people who are victims did nothing but merely live their American lives in America; what else would you expect? And then there are the "nostalgia" experts who profit from the tragedy. There are the lawsuits, the criticism of the evacuation misjudgments. But how could anyone have known the true ultimate horrific consequence of these terrorists?

I don't truly believe we know yet.

Life as we know it began to resume. St. Louisans flew their mighty flags and painted them on their cars. Baseball, which was put on quite a hiatus, recommenced. Brian and I had tickets with some of Brian's friends to that evening's Cardinal's game. We sang "America the Beautiful." Jack Buck read a poem.

At Creve Coeur Park, the flag hung half mast for a full month - at work as well. In October, at the St. Louis Blues' opening game, Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless the USA." We attacked Afghanistan; we triumphed. Time passed. We attacked Iraq and deposed its dictator. We slew his evil sons.

The future spreads its threads day by day. The course of American history was irrevocably altered on September 11, 2001. I pray there will be nothing to replace it as the most shocking, course-changing day in American history. I also pray that none of you forgets what this country offers us, as individuals, and that freedom, sadly comes with a price.

We are free.


Tim Blair on Hamas - Appropriately Wry

New Hamas, Now 25% Unfriendlier

His words:

    The formerly moderate Palestinian fellowship collective known as Hamas has become radicalised, according to The Guardian:

    The death of Abu Shenab has radicalised Hamas.

    I guess that’s the end of civilised negotiation, then.

    UPDATE. Another Hamas activist has been killed, reports AFP. The War on Activism continues.
So wry. So wry.


Cycling Races in the Rain

The RiverfontTimes has an article this week about the Gateway Cup, that took place this weekend in St. Louis.

I'm sure that was a grand time; it rained almost the entire weekend except for parts of Saturday. I'm sure that adds an element to the torture, described in the last paragraph.

    For, as the very best in the sport often claim, road racing is predicated on suffering. Not just "pain" or "sacrifice," but Suffering with a capital "S," from physical exertion and the occasional crash. In his letter to race participants, grand-poobah Cup organizer Tim Ranek writes, "I hope to have even more St. Louisans come out and watch you all hurt yourself. That is the fun of cycling." Consider starting the Labor Day weekend on Friday night at a Lafayette Square beer garden, watching gaunt athletes suffer at 40 mph in surreal backlighting, amidst thousands of other fans.
I think I'll skip racing for a few more years.


Udderly Disgusting

Carbonated Milk



It's Monday night. I want to poke fun at a website. Hmm. Netrition!

Okay. Load it. Read along with me.

RED KAT! Oh, baby. A libido boooooooster. Keeping you busy until the roooooster calls your name. (Okay, it doesn't say THAT).

    The effects of Sclaremax, the other ingredient in RED KAT, include its antithrombotic and antidepressant effects, as well as its stimulating effect on luteinizing hormone, via cyclic AMP, resulting in the production of Testosterone (in males).
Is that in English? I recognize "Testosterone." I guess that's what's important. Oh, and antidepressant. I have couth, so I'll save the cat puns for your imagination.
And then what? Skulpt! Topical Fat Loss Spray. Just don't confuse it with Pam! or Mazola! cooking sprays. I shudder to think. What's its description have to say?

    Skulpt from Ergopharm is a Topical Fat Loss Spray developed by Patrick Arnold. It contains the best available ingredients and penetration enhancers designed to deliver the active ingredients through the skin and into the subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue, where they will then act to break down and remove the fat (a process called "lipolysis").
Uh huh. Fat! I know that word. And "remove." Ah, it must work.

I'll skip the CarbSlim Bites - rather innocuous. No, actually, I won't. What are IMPACT carbs? Really, I want to know. Looking for an unbiased source...nope. I can't find a thing that's not pushing a product. I'm going to guess it has to do with perceived sugar in the bloodstream. It's a guess, though.

This stuff just cracks me. I mean, I just want some Luna bars. Really. Where are the Luna bars? These people are pushing "low carb" as nutrition. Fat/carb blockers as "nutrition." I guess if you can sell it, sell it. But, wow.



U.S. Pedestrians, Cyclists Tempting Fate -- or Worse
(Both pursuits are much safer in Europe, new research says)

This is a story that begins with a personal anecdote about a dude named John Pucher, who walks everywhere. He's never been injured, but this is surprising since he's been walking everywhere for 29 years.

<scathingOverGeneralization>Because scientists seem to have infinite time and infinte interest in the most banal of things</scathingOverGeneralization>, Pucher and his colleague Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission in Brussels did a happyfunlittle study.

    Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra of the European Commission in Brussels found that cyclists and pedestrians in the United States were two to six times more likely to be killed than their German or Dutch counterparts. Per kilometer traveled, U.S. pedestrians were 23 times more likely to get killed than the occupants of a car, while bicyclists were 12 times more likely to be killed.

    In the United States in 2000, 662,000 bicyclists and 191,000 pedestrians ended up in emergency rooms. And 740 of those cyclists and 4,598 pedestrians died.

    "The main point of the article is that it is much, much more dangerous here in the United States to walk and cycle than it is in Europe," says Pucher, a professor of urban planning and transportation at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "The conclusion was that there are a lot of things we could do to make walking and cycling safer."

    "The results are shocking," says Michael Greenberg, associate editor of the American Journal of Public Health, and an associate dean at Rutgers.
See, mom. I'm safer on da bike than I am in da tennis shoes.

What could we Americans do to address "the problem"?

    Americans, who are suffering from an unprecedented obesity epidemic, tend to drive to a destination even though 41 percent of all trips in 2001 were shorter than two miles and 28 percent were less than one mile. While walking and cycling account for less than one-tenth of all urban trips in the United States, they account for one-third of all such trips in Germany and for half the trips in the Netherlands.

    And as more Europeans have embraced bicycling and walking, the activities have become safer, with fatalities declining since the mid-1970s.

    Not coincidentally, Europeans are also thinner and fitter than their highway-happy American counterparts, with lower rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

    What can be done about what the authors call the "appallingly unsafe, unpleasant, and inconvenient conditions faced by pedestrians and bicyclists in most American cities"? A few European-style adjustments, all of them eminently doable, might persuade Americans to leave their cars in the garage more often.

    "We could have better sidewalks, auto-free zones, more bike paths," Pucher says. "We could have walking and cycling education programs in the schools. We could introduce driver training programs that make the motorist more sensitive to the dangers involved."

    Other options already available in Europe include "traffic calming" of residential neighborhoods (such as speed bumps and curves); extensive auto-free zones in city centers; the introduction of "bicycle streets" where cyclists have the right of way over cars; bike systems that serve practical destinations, not just recreational attractions; and better enforcement of traffic regulations.
And in case you weren't convinced, Mom:

    But don't wait for the United States to catch up with Europe before you start walking and pedaling. One study found the health benefits from cycling exceeded the risks 10-to-1. Even though it's far more dangerous to bike or walk in the United States, the probability of getting killed is still exceedingly low.
The probability of "getting killed." Heh. Strange turn of phrase. Like "got pregnant" and "getting/got married." Got born?

Anyway, I made my point (and pretty much quoted the whole article). I should go on to the next topic.


Blogroll Changes, Yet Again

I can't seem to quit, can I? I've added The Puppy Blender, The Lemon, Suburban Blight, and Meryl Yourish all to the main blogroll today.

Mom, skip Yourish for a week. She has a picture of (and a story about) an S-word. It should be off her front page soon.

I made a second list of blogs from the Alliance. I haven't linked everyone. Discriminating soul that I am, I have only about 60 - 70% of everyone. Main criteria?

  1. No unjustified (gratuitous) use of the f-word. Its overuse makes me yawn. We're writing because we're writers and possess a level of skill above Mr. or Ms. Everyday. We should refrain from speaking in those individuals' voices without reason.
  2. Good writing style and thought process.
  3. Enough/oft-updated content.
So, that's my deal. I made one exception to #1 for the Emperorr. He is, after all, the Emperor. Heh.


The Lemon, Again

Thanks to Harvey of Bad Money for pointing out that The Lemon is yet again updated. Shamus is a riot - he's blogrolled.

I'm a Lemontarian, too.


Quizilla Again

I took one more today:

You're a sphinx. You're one smart cookie, but
possibly a sociopath, seeing as you kill anyone
who can't answer your riddles correctly. The tv
show "who wants to be a millionaire"
would be much more interesting with you as the

which monster from classical mythology are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


Cul-de-sac - the not-covered-in-rain variety

That's what I'm staring at now - rainy Labor Day Monday. No cycling today. My Esteemed Spouse has a blog entry highlighted by Suburban Blight's Cul-de-sac. I hadn't heard of this, but I see now I have a lot of reading before me.

So should you.



Sunday, August 31, 2003


Yeah, I spent some time on the site finally. I'm probably not done - think the angelweave graphic is just a bit too big, and perhaps the color scheme can be further enhanced. I'm not so good with graphics, so you see the extent of my ability there.

Any suggestions? Please drop me a line.



The Meatriarchy lives up to its name!

This is a lengthy post about Toronto-area (and other) Ribfests. I was hungry when I was done reading.


So Where's the Line?

I think this is a common difficult concept to grasp for everyone on just about every issue. I also think that Eugene Volokh does a nice job of actually examining the spectrum in regard to the Najaf bombing.


The Lemon - August 20, 2003

I found this linked on One Little Victory, and though it took forever to load on my poor dial-up connection, it was well worth the wait.

The Lifecycle of a News Story



As seen on Little Miss Atilla - What herb are you?


What herb are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmph. No wonder I'm so unloved ;)