Friday, June 30, 2006

Squirrels can't swim...

...and other random observations.

Well, the birth of my third child will be occuring sometime soon. Two weeks until my lovely wife's due date. That means it could happen pretty much anytime in the next three or so weeks. I'm not entirely ready, but I'm not sure I ever will be. Too many things at work need to be put in order - I don't suppose it would be fair to ask my wife to keep her legs crossed for another month or two, would it?

At least I'm on track for getting the painting etc. of our spare bedroom done within the next few days. It's actually going to be my (current) youngest, J's new room, with her old room becoming the nursery. We'd better have a girl - the nursery-to-be is currently pink...

One thing I need to do this weekend is install a ceiling fan in J's new room. I've done this before. Three times in fact. Most important thing is to remember to turn off the electricity. That's not a mistake you'll make twice. I hope.*

I'll bet at this point you're wondering about the squirrel. We found one yesterday in the kids' inflatable pool in the back yard. This one clearly couldn't swim. I guess the more correct description is that he is an ex-squirrel. He has ceased to be. I'm not sure how he got in there in the first place. I suspect he was teenager, egged on by other teenage squirrels.

Squirrel 1: "Go on. Jump in! It's not that deep."
Squirrel 2: "Yeah, Bob. Do it! Bet ya can't make it to the other side!"
Bob the Squirrel: "Well, I don't know..."
Squirrel 1: "What are ya, some kind of wussy chipmunk?"
Squirrel 2: "Yeah Bob, I double dog dare you. Jump!"
Squirrels 1 & 2: "Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!"


Squirrel 2: "You go, Bob! You the squirrel!"

Long pause...

Squirrel 1: "Well whaddya know. I guess it's deeper than it looked."

Short pause...

Squirrel 2: "I know where Bob has his stash of nuts. I don't guess he needs them now..."
Squirrel 1: "Right... Off we go then."

* Only joking. I've remembered to turn off the power every time. So far. That I can remember.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Use a laptop on your lap?

Or on a plane? Is it a Dell? Hmmmmmm....

Sorry Doc Stymie. I just couldn't resist.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Big Brother Governer

Our state governer, Ernie Fletcher, has got himself into a lot of hot water recently. This has led to a lot of criticism in the press, particularly in blogs. His response? Today he's had the most vocal blog-critics blocked on state computers... To make matters worse, the agency responsible is claiming ignorance of the blocks. Fletcher has lost his mind if he thinks he can get away with this!

A big thanks to Doc Stymie for alerting me to this.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ponder this...

Now if I were a hacker, which I'm not and I certainly don't condone that sort of behavior*, I might view this as a sort of challenge...

* I once had a Unix workstation hacked. Took me a long time to clean up the damage and get things back to normal. Bad people, those hackers.

2500 and counting...

There have now been 2500 US military deaths in Iraq. The Pentagon's response? The death rate is much lower than it was in Vietnam or Korea... Oh. I guess that makes it alright then.

And the White House's response? I'll let you look at my good friend Doc Stymie's comments on that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Republicans are hunting Big Bird...again

Unbelievably the Republicans in Congress have decided to impose massive cuts in funding for PBS and NPR, this country's public television and radio services respectively. PBS produces children's shows such as Sesame Street and Clifford the Big Red Dog. When we let our children watch television we prefer them to watch the PBS children's shows rather than the dross put out by the commercial networks. Furthermore, PBS has some of the best, most educational, computer games around on their web site. The cuts the Republicans are proposing would directly effect such educational efforts.

Congress tried something like this last year and failed because of a massive public outcry. This all comes about because of a perceived liberal slant in the public media. Basically the Republicans don't like being made to look bad. What they don't seem to understand is that they look bad in ALL media outlets, including on the right-wing Fox network... And to say funding public broadcasting costs funding for health and welfare programs is nonsense. The public broadcasting budget is a miniscule part of the Federal budget. How about they go after the massive amounts of pork they introduce into the budget every year?

If you're in the US and want to tell Congress to keep their hands off PBS and NPR, you can sign an electronic petition at

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Odds and ends

The country is embroiled in a war, we have a record deficit, gas prices are high* and going higher, global warming is accelerating, a new hurricane season is about to start and New Orleans is still a mess... And Bush? He's worried about gays getting married. Obviously the most important thing to worry about right now, right? Thank goodness some people in the senate still possess some sense...

On a completely unrelated note, we had an interesting evening a few nights ago. We've been having some nice Spring weather recently, so we've been keeping the windows and doors open. We have a screened-in back porch. The screen door on the porch has a hole or two in it (we've been meaning to replace the door - it's old and warped). Anyway, my beautiful wife and I were sitting in the living room that evening. From the couch you can see through the dining room into part of the kitchen. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, looked up and there was a raccoon in the kitchen staring back at me... Thankfully he didn't like what he saw and took off out the back and through a hole in the screen door. Needless to say the holes are now patched. Boarded up, in fact.

And finally, John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister, has clearly been spending too much time in the sun... How else can you explain such a ridiculous idea? If there was ever a country ideal for renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, Australia is it.

* "High" by US standards. Not so high compared to everyone else of course...