Sunday, February 25, 2007

Breaking News

Bush: I'll Bring Troops Home on JetBlue

No Exact Timetable, President Says

Under increased pressure to announce an exit strategy from Iraq, President George W. Bush revealed plans today to bring U.S. troops home on the budget airlines JetBlue.

Mr. Bush received praise for his decision to withdraw American troops, but his choice of JetBlue to transport them raised more than a few eyebrows.

According to most official estimates, with its recent spate of scheduling problems and flight delays, JetBlue could take up to seven years to bring U.S. troops home, and possibly ten years in the event of inclement weather.

But at a press conference at the White House today, the president argued that the selection of Jet Blue was "crucial" to the success of his latest exit strategy.

"Setting an exact timetable for a withdrawal from Iraq would be playing right into the enemy's hands," Mr. Bush said. "By going with JetBlue, our enemy will have no idea when we're leaving."

To emphasizes his point, Mr. Bush added, "And neither will we."

Across Iraq, U.S. GIs were hopeful that the news about JetBlue meant that they would be home by Christmas, or at least by Easter 2012.

At JetBlue headquarters in Forest Hills, New York, CEO David Neeleman said that it was "flattering" to be chosen to play such a critical role in President Bush's new exit strategy, but wondered if his embattled airlines has what it takes to bring troops home from Iraq.

"We're still having a hard time getting people home to Fort Myers," Mr. Neeleman said.

Elsewhere, Britain and Denmark announced that they were joining "The Coalition of the Leaving."

snark news service

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Work invades life.

Health issues still waiting for biopsy.

Beanie pictures have to wait til I go visit her for her birthday.

Work: a high class problem, in that I have been exceptionally busy. All good. New clients, returning clients, and interesting vacation plans for all. Young honeymooners on a budget, and I am happy to be able to help them. Africa trips. Intersting Australia & New Zealand trips. Great cruises.

And then my work computer crashed. Yes. Died, but was brought back to life yesterday and turned on its side. Don't send flowers, send backup discs.

Health: Grrrrrr.

Beanie: She is so chatty - she can say all kinds of two syllable words, like bubble, doggie, cookie, Ah-m, Nemo, but she can't (or won't) say things like fish. No, she says ball, and NO, and hi, and bye. She has about 80 words, the rest is her special language, but she is quite the personality. Three weeks til I see her next. I will take hundreds of photos.

And that is why I haven't been posting much, or visiting at all. Actually, the health is getting me down. I need the biopsy before meds can be perscribed, and the biopsy is still not scheduled. I begin nagging on Monday. I have definately got PBC, which can be treated after this biopsy; and Fibromyalgia, which just gets managed by diet and exercise; and the arthritis in my back has progressed from mild to moderate.


I will be better about visiting, I swear.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

I'm not a baby, I'm a toddler. I'm almost two. My gramma Ah-m still calls me baby but I am a big girl now. She doesn't have new pictures because my mommy forgets to email them. She will take lots of pictures when she comes to visit me. We talked on the phone this week. We sang the Ah-m song, I helped. And I told her gsehomreare doggie doggie doggie ah-m, which means "I love you Gramma, and I can't wait to see you." Then when I was done, I said "Go Away" which means I was done talking on the phone, and I climbed off the couch and went away.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tech Support

TECH. SUPPORT: Yes, how can I help you?

CUSTOMER: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install
Love. Can you guide me through the process?

TECH. SUPPORT: Yes, I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

CUSTOMER: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What
do I do first?

TECH. SUPPORT: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located
your Heart?

CUSTOMER: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is
it okay to install Love while they are running?

TECH. SUPPORT: What programs are running?

CUSTOMER: Let's see... I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge, and
Resentment running right now.

TECH. SUPPORT: No problem. Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from
your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent
memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will
eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called
High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and
Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly
installed. Can you turn those off?

CUSTOMER: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

TECH. SUPPORT: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke
Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and
Resentment have been completely erased.

CUSTOMER: Okay... done! Love has started installing itself. Is that

TECH. SUPPORT: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program.
You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the

CUSTOMER: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error.
Program not run on external components." What should I do?

TECH. SUPPORT: Don't worry. It means that the Love program is set up
to run on Internal Hearts but has not yet been run on your Heart. In
non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before
you can Love others.

CUSTOMER: So, what should I do?

TECH. SUPPORT: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following
files: Forgive Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge Your

CUSTOMER: Okay... done!

TECH. SUPPORT: Now, copy them to the "My Heart" directory. The system
will override any conflicting files and begin patching faulty
programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all
directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely
gone and never comes back.

CUSTOMER: Got it. Hey! My Heart is filling up with new files. Smile
is playing on my monitor, and Peace and Contentment are copying
themselves all over my Heart. Is this normal?

TECH. SUPPORT: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually
everything gets it at the proper time so that Love is installed and
running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure
to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in
turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What am I willing to give up?

David Morris has a powerful article at Alternet which talks about George Monbiot's new book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, due out in July of 2007. Referring to Al Gore as our generation's Paul Revere, he says that Monbiot picks up where Al Gore leaves off - offering real, hard core solutions to change. Monbiot's solutions require real sacrifice - and at a level most Americans probably are unwilling to make.

Monbiot writes: "We wish our governments to pretend to act. We get the moral satisfaction of saying what we know to be right, without the discomfort of doing it." I read this and got an uneasy feeling - does this indeed describe me? My generation? Otherwise, wouldn't I be putting myself on the front line, running for office and trying to actually implement change?

Mr. Morris writes: "By claiming we can solve the problem of climate change painlessly, environmentalists confuse us. They offer stark and rigorous presentations terrifying us about the near-term, dire consequences of global warming. And then they offer generalized, almost blithe assurances about how we can avoid these dire consequences without great sacrifice. We are horrified and soothed at the same time. It's a dangerous strategy. Many who focus on the catastrophic present-day images of An Inconvenient Truth believe we have gone beyond the point of no return, which leads to cynicism and passivity. Those who are spurred to action believe that buying a hybrid car or taking an eco-vacation will address the problem." (emphasis mine.)

I am a Hybrid car driver; I focus on eco-vacations; I use responsible light bulbs; I recycle. I do all kinds of little things, and feel really uncomfortable about my "moral superiority." Because I fly. I take several long distance flights each year. I drive to and from work, when I know that I can work from home - this is an issue with my employer, who seems to want me in the office rather than working remotely. I shop. I use my car a lot. I am more than troubled by this, I am actually terrified about my contribution to global warming.

Morris writes again: "Monbiot launches his investigation by asking a crucial question rarely discussed by Al Gore and other U.S. environmentalists: How does the responsibility of the world's largest polluters differ from that of the rest of the world? The average American generates more than 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions as does the average Chinese, and perhaps 30 times more than the average citizen of Bangladesh. (The gluttony of the average citizen of the UK is not far below that of the average American)."

On Gore's website, I've taken the test about my footprint. I am average for America. This puts me at 10 times the emissions of the average Chinese person.

Morbiot's book is written for people who already believe that Global Warming is a crisis; it is not written for those people who have their head in the sand and think this is a bunch of hooey. I haven't yet read it, as it is not out until July, but just from Morris's article, I am aware of the sacrifices I have to make - and again, I ask: am I willing to make them?

I am not willing to not have access to my grand daughter. Does this mean I have to move back to Chicago? I am willing to drive less. What else am I willing to do? On another post, another blogger pointed out that the meat and poultry industry are major polluters - am I willing to become a vegetarian? What am I willing to do? What are you willing to do?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

I'm almost two, and I can say "NO". Sometimes I say it when I mean yes. Sometimes I say it when I mean doggie. Sometimes I say it when I mean no. Like now. NO, I don't want to leave doggie's bed.

I also say bubble, because I like to play with my bubbles. They always pop when I touch them. Gramma Ah-m is coming to my house for my 2nd birthday.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I'm impatient. I lack patience. I hate to wait. And, as my kids like to point out, I have a knack for being repetative. However. I am impatient.

Right now, I am waiting to get a biopsy scheduled, and you'd think it would take an act of Congress for this hospital to get off the dime and schedule it. I've been waiting for almost two weeks now. Until biopsy is done, the doctor can't perscribe anything for PBC as we don't know appropriate dosage. In the meantime, I've been responding badly to the weather, nausea and, new symptom, severe dizziness. It makes it difficult to be consistent blogging - I find it difficult to visit other blogs because my concentration sucks. I find it difficult to even keep up with my own blog. And, worse, it is difficult to concentrate at work and the result is I missed a deadline for some clients for a shore excursion that is now sold out - and there is potential hell to pay.

So I am stressed out because of this, and that makes all the above even worse. So I become even more impatient. So I feel like this:

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bears Mania - Superbowl Sunday

My friend Paul, in Chicago, sent me these photos of Bears mania which he took last night in sub-zero temperatures (and minus 25 degrees wind chill) at a
sacrifice of one nose, a pinkie, two toes and one-and-a-half cojones. He is a trooper. Sorry, but he did not get shots of: bridge-tenders' windows lighted
in alternating blue and orange along the Chicago River, the giant
dinosaur wearing a humongous Urlacher jersey, the Picasso in a Bears
hat and Bears colors ringing the Merchandise Mart.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Our man-made catastrophe

According to the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, global warming is "very likely" caused by human activities and has become a runaway train that cannot be stopped.

In a report that was leaked to the press a full 8 hours before it was to be published, the IPCC said that temperatures will rise 3.2 to 7.8 degrees by 2100. It also projects that sea levels will rise between 7 and 23 inches over the century, probably more given the rate of the ice melt from Greenland, and the Larson B ice shelf in Antarctica.

This particular report is a scientific document that doesn't offer solutions. Those are to come in another document to be released later this year. But if you have seen An Inconvenient Truth, you know there are solutions.

There is a virtual march to end global warming that can connect you with others who are working at home to become carbon neutral. Reduce your impact: turn off lights at home; recycle; use renewable energy sources. There are things we can do as individuals. We can also demand our local governments to take action.

The obvious solution would be to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, by reducing the use of fossil fuels in automobiles, factories and power plants. In California, the "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act" would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs. The bill, introduced on January 31st by California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, would make California the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs as part of California's groundbreaking initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was designed to reduce such emissions, but some major countries, including the United States, China and India, have no defined targets. President Bush withdrew the U.S. from the protocol in 2001, arguing that it was an "economic straitjacket" and that it failed to set standards for developing nations. The U.S. can, and must, do better. If we cannot get our Federal Government to step up and make change, then other states must follow California's lead. And we, as individuals, must be the change we want to see in the world.

Never, never give up hope; never, never, fail to act.

The Day Before Super Bowl Sunday

Even the lions in front of The Art Institute of Chicago are Chicago Bears Fans. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is where I got my BFA. We didn't have a football team, other than The Bears, so this makes perfect sense to me.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

My mommy took me to a place where they have lots of fun things to do for kids. This is the snowball tent where I got to play with snowballs that don't melt and aren't cold and I don't have to get all stuffed into a snow suit. It was fun.

I love my doggie so much and I love to play in her bed and pretend it is my bed instead of her bed. I like to take out her toys and put in my toys. I like to make a big mess and then I straighten it all out and make it organized and then I do it again. I like to climb on my doggie too. She's really old but she lets me do it anyway. She's almost 12. I love my doggie.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rest in Peace, Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins died Wednesday, January 31, 2007, from Breast Cancer.

"The poor man who is currently our president has reached such a point of befuddlement that he thinks stem cell research is the same as taking human lives, but that 40,000 dead Iraqi civilians are progress toward democracy." Molly Ivins, July 2006

Dear Donnie McDaniel

Devin Hester, six kickoff returns in the regular season. I'm just saying.