Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sign your life away

— Listen, we’ve got global warming.
— Mmm.
— So will you sign on to this protocol?
— Nah. Gutting American industry doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.
— But the world is going to end in ten years.
— So how will not opening a few new car factories help? And wouldn’t this protocol encourage our chief competitors to open their own new factories while we’re hamstrung here?
— Because it will. Sign here, please.
— I don’t think that’s good policy.
— Listen. Why do you hate science?
— I don’t hate s—
— You’re a crazy Christian, aren’t you?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh, my hair's getting good in the ..front!

I know this is old, but worth viewing again, for all you Frank Zappa fans (he ruined my youth, I'm glad he's dead). The Edwards combover.

And more on his (not Mc)mansion from Dean Barnett, Red Sox fan.


John Edwards has had built a new house for his family. More power to him. It probably provided jobs for lots of locals, and there are plenty of trees to go around. But it makes his two Americas schtick a little suspect. It will be the highest-assessed house in Orange County, South Carolina. Go get 'im, Barack.

Monday, January 29, 2007

We might be in trouble.

You have probably seen the messages on the Blogger log-in page about the "new" and supposedly better version of Blogger that requires users to move their blogs and establish a new Google account. I've been ignoring them because I don't want to be a guinea pig for something that doesn't have all the bugs worked out of it yet (and this apparently doesn't) and because I have enough to think about without going through the hassle of moving the blog -- especially since it's a team blog, which evidently presents special problems.

However, Blogger, in its infinite wisdom, has apparently started forcing some of its bloggers to move. See here. So far, they apparently haven't selected us -- but at some point, they might. I am worried about losing our two years of archives if this doesn't go right, and the whole thing really annoys me. But I am afraid I am going to have to look into doing this so that we'll be ready if we have to. I will let you all know what I figure out.

Does anybody know how to save the blog archives somewhere else, in some other form, in case Blogger does lose or destroy them somehow? James, might you have any thoughts on this?

I don't know how to create a hyperlink, but...,0,6868447.story?coll=ny-region-apconnecticut


Friday, January 26, 2007

Barack's a (Gasp!) Smoker!

I like him better already. It certainly explains his gaunt appearance. Maybe he can do for smoking what Bill CLinton did for mentor-mentee sexual exploitation (It's OK after all!).

Apparently, if he quits, it might destroy the voice that has the Dems swooning.

Lileks is on it:

Obama is a smoker. Who knew? I like the way this story raises the issue – they’re concerned about the effect on his voice if he stops smoking, don’t you see. Hah! I’m waiting for the candid shot of Obama having a smoke – if he’s in a good suit, giving off that Rat Pack vibe, it’ll set the anti-smoking cause back ten years. It's he's wearing a fedora, which would add a jazzman / forties twist, I see a fifty-state sweep. Or maybe not. Given how cigarette smoking has become a moral issue, it’ll be interesting to see how this gets played. A humanizing frailty? A surprising character flaw? DID HE SMOKE AROUND CHILDREN? Doesn't matter; the more I look at this fellow, the more I see a fifty state sweep.

Happy birthday, Caleb!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bad, Bad Discount Retailers

Yesterday, Mom bought a nice little stainless steel thermos for $9.95 at a discount retailer who shall remain nameless. We then went to Barnes and Noble, a store of some sophistication. (Chuck Schumer is coming to speak on the subject, "How Great I Am!" which is the same subject he spoke on at my graduation from M'ville. I guess he's gonna throw some stuff in about the vanishing middle class, too, who, far as I can tell from our shopping trip yesterday, has all vanished to the plethora of middle-class shopping stores on Commercial Drive.)) There, on display, was THE EXACT SAME THERMOS for $19.95! We were so incensed we marched back to the nameless discount retailer, waved the thermos in their faces and demanded to know who the hell they thought they were, selling this thermos so cheap. We told them they should sell everything for twice as much and then maybe they'd be able to pay their employees decent wages, give them full one-hour paid lunch breaks, and full-coverage medical insurance for their families. We told them we were tired of being ripped off and taken advantage of. They told us they were sorry we were unhappy with the price of their merchandise and cheerfully gave us a refund.

We then went back to B and N and bought the thermos for a reasonable price. We offered, actually, to pay even more if, say, one of them needed a lunch break, but they said $19.95 was fine and they weren't like a certain nameless discount retailer who rips everybody off.

What a great day!


There was a lovely lady from New York,
Who mark'd the day of her stork.
All day she had fun (Football! Manhattans!),
With her son of a gun,
And when it was done said, "I'm corked!"

Hey, you kids, I hope you have your Murphy calendars hanging in your rooms.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Jack Bauer, Season One

Pretty cheap, on ebay. I can alternate episodes with Ill creatures Great and Small. Somebody else will have to carry on with this blog. I'll be busy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Speaking of Farming

Guess who has the letter of the week in Mark Steyn's mailbox? Go Look. It was written in response to this column.

Mark Steyn is the author or "America Alone-The end of the world as we know it" which I received for Christmas, and which I couldn't put down.

New Dairy Product

Click Here. Sounds yummy.

In addition to dioxins and preservatives and antibiotics and gorebal warming and irradiated food and hospitals and giant multinational corporations, dairy products are killing us, too. (Not to mention menthane from cows' digestive systems contributing to gorebal warming). The Physician's Committee for Spreading Really Hysterical Fantasies insists that it is dairy products that are causing the obesity epidemic. Does it matter that 100 years ago per capita consumption of dairy products was higher than it is now, and that as per capita consumption has declined, obesity has increased? No, it doesn't, because there MUST be something wrong with eating dairy products. I mean, they cause mucus. And mucus can't be good, right? And they hook the cows up to machines and suck the milk out of them. Right?

Hm. A permanent cure for obesity would be widespread organic farming. Also it would help reduce the surplus of wildlife habitat.

I'm accepting donations of oral painkillers if anyone has them. If not, I'm going to sever my arm at the shoulder.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Peace and quiet

And orderliness, and such. The last of the Murphy children has returned to college, and we are returnng to the life we switched to in September. It's OK. Pretty good, even.

But, I really enjoyed the company of the three of you while you were here. Also, of the BFs and GFs, and assorted hoonie-moonies. Come anytime and bring your friends. Gladden the hearts of your parents.

My father relished his life when his kids had grown. While we were kids, life was a lot of work and worry for him. But when we were grown, he loved having his children and grandchildren visit. Brian and I often stopped in Conway in the evening after building houses in the valley. We'd sit at the picnic table in the back yard and have a Manhattan. (While I neglected my own family in Ashfield.) Dad loved it. Now, I am my father.

I shoulda known this would happen.

Marriage is like a Fireplace

You can let it go out, or you can add wood.

LILEKS. Speaking truth to power.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Boneless Wonders

"I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as 'The Boneless Wonder.' My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralizing and revolting for my youthful eye, and I have waited 50 years to see The Boneless Wonder--sitting on the Treasury Bench."
--Winston Churchill, January 28, 1931, in the House of Commons, referring to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald

Click Here.

Gorebal Warming in California

It's freezing the oranges in the orange groves. We're doomed.

Friday, January 12, 2007

What a difference a year makes!

Almost exactly one year ago today, Dad posted this:

"Friday, January 13, 2006


Will Caleb get into vet school?

Will Luke, who has been accepted at University of Rochester with a Rhees scholarship, get accepted into Naval ROTC?

Will Cassie be going on a cruise in February?

If you know the answer to any of these questions, please let me know. The suspense is bad for my arthritis."

Well, I may have missed out on the cruise, but a year later, Luke is in ROTC, Caleb is in vet school, and both of them are prospering. Caleb got some wonderful news today. He learned that he is one of this year's recipients of an Opportunity Scholarship from the Veterinary School. There's an article about the Opportunity Scholarship fund here. This is a shorter description of the scholarship from the vet school web site:

"Established in 1998, the mission of the Opportunity Scholarship Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is to foster scholarship support and mentoring opportunities for future veterinarians trained at Penn. Incoming first-year students compete for a $10,000 award ($2,500 each year) and the opportunity to mentor with a practicing veterinarian or faculty person. Donors have the satisfaction of honoring a friend, relative or a family name, while at the same time investing in the future of the School and the profession."

Congratulations, Caleb, on getting off to such a great start!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Irradiate food.

CLick here. I know this kind of thing just bugs (pun intended) the natural granola types. It's why I call organic food "Food for the Scientifically Challenged".

Friday, January 05, 2007


"There's a lot to be said for a great nation that understands its greatness is not an accident and that therefore it should spread the secrets of its success around; conversely, there's not much to be said for a great nation that chooses to hobble itself by pretending it's merely one vote among co-equals on international bodies manned by Cuba and Sudan--the transnational version of "affirmative action"...

Mark Steyn in "America Alone"

Heh. Heh-heh.

Gorebal warming.

Hehe. Hehehehe.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Really interesting energy news

Here. The people who save the planet will be entrepreneurs, capitalists, engineers and scientists.

Then there's this. This Matthew Simmons guy thinks we can run out of oil instantaneously. Whoops! That was the last drop? At least the article is fairly even-handed, for National People's Radio.

Don't Miss

Dave Barry's Year in Review. Barry is even-handed. Except for his treatment of Bode Miller. An excerpt:

In other political developments, Sen. Barack Obama, looking back on a career in the U.S. Senate that spans nearly 20 months, allows as how he might be ready to move on to the presidency. Obamamania sweeps the nation as millions of voters find themselves deeply impressed by Obama's views, and the fact that he was on "Oprah." In a gracious gesture from a potential 2008 rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton sends Obama a good-luck card, which is stapled to the head of a horse.

As the election approaches, polls show that the Democrats have a good chance to regain control of Congress. But then disaster strikes in the form of John "Mister Laffs" Kerry, who, addressing a college audience, attempts to tell a joke, which is like a fish attempting to play the piano. This has major repercussions in ... NOVEMBER ... when Kerry's "joke" causes widespread outrage, prompting Kerry, with typical humility, to insist that it was obviously humorous, and anybody who disagrees is an idiot. Kerry is finally subdued by Democratic strategists armed with duct tape, but not before many political analysts see a tightening of the race to control Congress.

As the campaign lumbers to the finish line, the Republicans desperately hope that the voters will not notice that they — once the party of small government — have turned into the party of war-bungling, corruption-tolerating, pork-spewing power-lusting toads, while the Democrats desperately hope that the voters will not notice that they are still, basically, the Democrats.

The first major casualty of the GOP defeat is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who, the day after the election, is invited to go quail hunting with the vice president. He is never seen again. As Rumsfeld's replacement, the president nominates — in what is widely seen as a change in direction on Iraq — Barbra Streisand.

In other celebrity news, Michael Richards, a graduate of the Mel Gibson School of Standup, responds to a comedy-club heckler by unleashing a racist tirade so vile that even John Kerry realizes it is not funny. A chastened Richards apologizes for his behavior, citing, by way of explanation, the fact that he is a moron.

My First Day Without You

This mornin' it was over you don't love me anymore
All I can do is sit and stare as you walk out the door
It's hard for me to realize this time you're really gone
But I guess I must admit it I've never been this much alone

Tomorrow I suppose the sun will shine bright on my door
It's hard for me to realize the sun shines anymore
I'm sure that time will ease the pain and I can smile again
But today I'm left to be alone, the nighttime is my friend.

Adapted, slightly, from Red Steagall's "My First Night Without You"