Saturday, July 02, 2005

Are you watching Live 8?

Ask the G8 leaders to help make poverty history! Watch the concerts and add your voice! 1:40 PM Update: Paste this link into media player if you have problems...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Did anyone else notice that these cities are home to the states 3 Universities?

Arizona is home to three of the country's better cities in which to live and work, according to Forbes Magazine. [The Business Journal of Phoenix]

Worth a read...

Bet you didn't know the oldest continually inhabited community in the country was in Arizona! (It's not Hotevilla, but it's close to Hotevilla.)
In the small village of Hotevilla, which boasts some of the longest continuously inhabited structures in the United States, a new house has been built. Understanding culture, law key to construction on reservation [ | news]

This is very cool...

What if your car could communicate with the highway and alert you that there's a red light ahead? Or maybe turn the light green as you approach? [ | news]

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

12-hours... not nearly enough

You can barely scratch the surface... hell the participants probably didn't even get hungry during the program.
Fifty Arizona State University students took part in Camp Refugee, a 12-hour overnight program at ASU designed to bring attention to the realities of refugee life in countries like Cambodia, Somalia and Sudan. [ | news]

This is the kind of thing that should never happen...

It's bad for the Army, it's bad for the country, and most of all it's bad for the cause to which he gave his life!
The Army investigator who looked into the death of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman found that he was killed by his fellow Rangers in an act of "gross negligence," but officials decided not to inform Tillman's family or the public until weeks after a nationally televised memorial service. * Pat Tillman special tribute page [ | news]

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This is such a great idea...

Especially for those people like our state legislators who have a second home in the cooler parts of the state where they can spend as much time as possible during the heat of the summer and save 10 cents a gallon while doing it!
Lawmakers are looking to give Arizona drivers some relief from high fuel prices this summer with a 10-cent-per-gallon rebate on gas taxes. [ | news]

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

How about a simple pot of Pinto Beans for this week's Recipe Carnival

With all of the Mexican food recipes I've done so far, I thought I should add this as a side dish. Cooking a good pot of beans is not as simple as you may expect, there are some important things to consider such as sorting out the discolored or broken beans, the freshness of the beans, when to add salt, and soaking the beans before cooking. Here's how I do it...
  • pinto beans
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • water
  • salt
  1. sort out broken and discolored beans and any rocks that may be packaged with them
  2. rinse in a colander under cold running water
  3. in a pressure cooker, cover beans with at least an inch and a half to two inches of water and bring up to pressure
  4. turn off the heat, let the pressure subside, and re-rinse the beans in the colander (optionally, you could soak the beans over night in cold water)
  5. add the beans back to the pressure cooker and cover with at least an inch and a half to two inches of water
  6. add garlic cloves
  7. bring up to pressure and cook for 40 to 50 minutes at pressure
  8. turn off the heat, let the pressure subside
  9. salt to taste after beans are done cooking(Salt will harden the beans during cooking)
Traditionally, lard would be added while cooking, but I think they come out great with just the garlic. For a little variation try adding salsa or green or red chili when serving. Additionally, you can mash them and re-fry them (to reduce the liquid present) for burritos. Enjoy!

Previous entries:
Welsh Pancakes
Pan Fried Steak with Red Wine Reduction
Hot Peanut Chicken Stir Fry
Uncle Dave's Green Chili Stew
Corned Beef from Scratch
Canton Beef and vegetable soup
Enchilada Pie
Taco Tangle's

Friday, April 15, 2005

A brief interlude...

I was getting gas after dinner this evening... What do you think of the view? Posted by Hello

What I'm reading...

I highly recommend this book... Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This is pretty funny...

Three species of 'Slime Mold beetles'!
Reuters - President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can now also be called bushi, cheneyi and rumsfeldi, or simply slime-mold beetles. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Comming to you live and with broadband ;-)

This is pretty cool!
The never-ending roller coaster of emotions for the parents of deceased war hero Lori Piestewa has reached a new high.  Extreme Makeover touched by Gilbert girl's selflessness * Mom, Hopi, hero: Piestewa an icon [ | news]

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I love getting comments like this one!

This was from the Taco Tangle recipe
We made these for lunch today and everyone loved them! I even found the El Pato sauce at the grocery store here in Georgia. Thanks for a quick, easy, and very tasty recipe. [Comments for drublin00 -]


The Valley is gearing up for playoff NBA action, and the Phoenix Suns are now selling first-round NBA playoffs tickets. [Latest news from The Business Journal of Phoenix]

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I'm back...

Just in the nick of time too... does anyone else find it odd that armed guards would not have permission to shoot to kill? What's the point of being armed if your not allowed to shoot?

Kinda reminds me of Barney Fife and the one bullet he kept in his pocket!
The Arizona Legislature sent Gov. Janet Napolitano a bill that would authorize private security guards to shoot and kill to protect the Palo Verde nuclear plant. [ | news]

Thursday, March 17, 2005

This is worth a read

These kids did some impressive stuff!
One 14-year-old researcher discovered contamination in water at a local school and a city park. Another built his own radio - and it outperformed a store model. Those are just a couple of the [Tucson Region]

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Monday, March 14, 2005

7.5 inches of snow today... 75 degrees warm two days ago! Posted by Hello

I'm a little behind in my blogging...

The other day I blogged about the outdoor work I was doing. Just Saturday the temperature was in the mid 70's. Today it snowed all day; I measured 7.5 inches this afternoon (picture to follow). Tonight the sky is clear and the temperature has already dropped to about 24 degrees.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Nothing like a hard day's work...

Today I spent most of the day outside working on a project I've been putting off for over a year. I started with a shovel and ended up using a pry bar, a hydraulic jack, and a sledge hammer. In the process I managed to get a bit of sunburn, but that will be nothing compared to how sore I'm going to be. It's been years since I've swung a sledge hammer and I can only imagine where it's going to hurt.

In other news, I had the best dinner I've had in a long time. New York strip steak grilled with asparagus, bell pepper, and green onions. To round out the meal a white wine risotto and a nice tossed salad.

After working so hard today, I plan to take tomorrow easy and read The De Vinci Code.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

This Weeks Carnival of Recipies... Meatloaf like my Mother makes

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 package of saltine crackers crumbled fine (1/2 the tube of crackers that come in a big box- use more if you like)
  • 1/2 bellpepper chopped fine
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper
  1. combine beef, egg, crackers, bellpepper, onion, salt, pepper, and one of the cans of tomato sauce by hand in a bowl
  2. spray your pan with cooking spray and form loaf into pan (I have a pyrex bread pan I like to use)
  3. bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes
  4. pour remaining can of tomato sauce over the top
  5. bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes
For variations try adding some Italian Sausage to the mixture or studding the loaf with garlic cloves.

In a pinch you can substitute:
  • onion flakes or powder for the onion
  • a teaspoon of cayenne pepper sauce for the bellpepper
  • thoroughly blend a can of tomatoes with the juice instead of tomato sauce
  • any bread crumb will work instead of the saltines

The greatest innovations of the 20th Century

I've seen many articles on the greatest innovations of the past Centuryand I've yet to see one that really hit's the mark. They always pick things like the personal computer or the airplane, but these are extraneous things, they dont affect the day to day life of everyman. I think the greatest innovation was the modern washer and dryer for clothes. When it comes down to my day to day life computers don't make the difference that a washer and dryer do. You see I'll work 8 hours a day 5 days a week with or without a computerand I can travel when I have to by some means other than flying. In my day to day life those things are optional, but I'd sure hate to lose an entire day every week to washing my clothes, especiallywhen I can fit that activity into one of those 8 hour work days and spend the weekends doing something I want to do rather than toiling over laundry.

If you watch PBS regularly you've surely caught one of the shows where a family or group of familys attempts to live life like people did in various time periods. There was The 1900 House, Frontier House, Colonial House, and the latest Texas Ranch House (you can apply to appear on this show). If there is one thing that these shows have in common it is to drive home the fact that the modern washer and dryer are two of the greatest inventions of the past century. Think about it, we've gone from pounding our clothes on rocks in a stream and scrubbing them by hand with a brush to basically putting them in a machine for a while and then transferringthem to another machine for a while and then putting them away. I can't imagine a greater time saving device for our day to day lives. Some will still arguethat computers were the real breakthrough, and while I would agree that for business they are when it comes to my day to day life, give me the washer and dryer.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Dean asks a very important question...

The question is: do we as a society believe that if someone works 40 hours per week, that should be enough to live on? If we do believe that, we need to set our minimum wage laws in such a manner that this is reflected.[Dean's World]
I believe that a person working full time should be able to live on the wage they recieve for that work.

Taking a bit of a break

I'm going to be taking a bit of a break, that doesn't mean I won't be posting. I'll just be posting less for the near future. I'm going to post at least once per day, but I will try for 3 or 4 per day.

Friday, March 04, 2005

This is such an excellent post...

I've said before that Pure Land Mountain is an awsome blog, this proves it...


Last weekend, along our serendipitous wanderings (serendipity in fact being the main point of such excursions) in search - as herein chronicled earlier - of the renowned pond that as near as we could tell is nowhere near its location, we stopped at a local sake brewery up the road a ways in "Irish village," as it is called - for its puzzling rural Japanese village love of Ireland and the presence of a delightful "Gulliver's Village" up there in the low hills.

One day I will get to the bottom of why it is called Irish Village - I have to find the pond first - so many things on that loooong list - but to my present point: as we meandered down the narrow village road I saw a sugidama (sugi: cedar; dama: ball) hung outside the door of a local sake brewery I hadn't noticed before....[Pure Land Mountain]

Carnival time...

This Week's CARNIVAL OF THE RECIPES is up, it's number 29!

You can check out my contribution here.

This is exactly what the test is supposed to do...

To me this is a sign of a valid test. The idea of a good test is to separate out the entire population of students, to discriminate their abilities. The fact that only a small percentage of students at University High School 'exceeded' is good news. Remember this is a school full of high-performing students, but by no means is this a school full of high-performing math students- nor should it be.
Educators, students and parents at University High School are challenging the validity of the AIMS test after a relatively low number of students at the high-performing school exceeded the state's [Tucson Region]

This looks like a good idea...

Naming another building, street or square after civil rights leader Cesar Chavez doesn't give him the honor he deserves, Valley leaders said. Instead, thousands of residents and schoolchildren here and in Yuma will learn how to become community servants, like Chavez. [ | news]

I am against this...

School vouchers are part of the mechanism being used to tear down public education. I agree that our education system has problems, but I don't think that destroying it is the answer.
With charter schools and open enrollment under their belts, Republicans now are targeting their biggest prize in the school choice movement: letting parents receive public dollars to send their kids to private schools. [ | news]
Update: Per Joe Thomas: "If you are against this, call your local legislators THIS week. They will be voting on vouchers in the next two weeks. Vouchers are a tool of segregation. I have a lot of info at my site. Check it out. Pass it along."

They should have televised this...

I hope someone made a documentary...
The top two law enforcement officers of Arizona and Utah tried Thursday night to explain to a crowded town hall meeting what they could and couldn't do about the nation's largest polygamous community. One suggestion: Decriminalize polygamy [ | news]

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Martha Stewart Leaving (prison)

Worth the read... I love Dylan's music!

Be careful what you wish for, the cliche goes. Having aspired from early youth to become stars, people who achieve that status suddenly find themselves imprisoned, unable to walk down the street without being importuned by strangers. The higher their name floats, the greater the levy imposed, the less of ordinary life they can enjoy. In his memoir, Bob Dylan never precisely articulates the ambition that brought him to New York City from northern Minnesota in 1961, maybe because it felt improbable even to him at the time. Nominally, he was angling for Leading Young Folksinger, which was a plausible goal then, when every college town had three or four coffeehouses and each one had its Hootenanny night, and when performers who wowed the crowds on that circuit went on to make records that sometimes sold in the thousands. But from the beginning Dylan had his sights set much higher: the world, glory, eternity - ambitions laughably incommensurate with the modest confines of American folk music. He got his wish, in spades. He achieved Leading Young Folksinger status almost immediately, then was quickly promoted to poet, oracle, conscience of his generation, and, in a lateral move, pop star.

Luc Sante, chronicling Dylan, over at the NYRB.


If this doesn't signal huge problems with the NHL I don't know what would...

AP - An investment firm and a sports advisory company reportedly made a joint proposal to buy all 30 NHL teams for as much as $3.5 billion. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

It's funny to read stories like this one...

My parents live in Winslow and they didn't feel a thing. Of course that could be because of their ultra cool TempurPedic bed with the NASA developed memory foam!
Nature came knocking early Wednesday morning at Guili Gillman's home. "All of a sudden the house started to shake," she told the Arizona Daily Sun. [Arizona -]

The companies that get the Medicade money don't like the budget cuts... Now that is a surprise!

Top Arizona hospital companies and health care industry groups are joining the heavyweight AARP seniors group in opposing proposed Bush administration cuts to Medicaid. [Latest news from The Business Journal of Phoenix]

Here we go again...

Hopefully this won't last more than a couple of days!
Grab all of the sun you can Thursday and Friday, because there are storm clouds looming. [ | news]

It's like 3 years from now and I want to know when tickets go on sale!

The 2008 Arizona Super Bowl has a new leader and a date for the NFL championship game. The title game at the Arizona Cardinals new stadium - currently under construction in Glendale - will be played Feb. 3, 2008. Longtime Valley resident Debbie Wardrop, who since 1999 has served as NFL director of special events, will become the host committee's chief executive officer. [ | news]


US adventurer Steve Fossett soars into the record books as the first person to fly solo, non-stop around the globe. [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

This is not a good sign... - In what could be a troubling sign for the military, the active-duty Army missed its February recruiting goal by more than 27%. It was the first time in almost five years that the Army has failed to meet a monthly target. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]

I havn't seen much blogging on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer...

So I thought I'd do a little, within the last 5 minutes, the Global Flyer was here:

You can also check out the live video feeds:
Mission Control Feed Live video, no audio.
Press Briefing Room Live video, some audio.
Mixed Feed A mix of available footage including live cockpit video.

This is a test post

ignore it

I'd do this even if it wasn't baseball spring training time...

The sound of ''Play ball!'' is music to the ears of baseball fans, but it's a curse to some West Valley residents bracing for another season of gridlock on West Bell Road. [ | news]

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Possible headlines for tomorrow...

Based on this headline...
Steve Fossett crashes the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer just before re-entering the United States just south of Los Angeles.

Steve Fossett crashes the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in western United States just short of round the world goal.

Steve Fossett sets the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer down early in western United States just short of round the world goal.

Steve Fossett lands in history books; the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer has completed it's nonstop round the world flight.

Check his current location, click here.

This is funny...

Lets take a look at spin...
So I log on and check the NYT website after work and am greeted with this headline: "New Poll Finds Bush Priorities Are Out of Step With Americans." I've been doing this too long, so my instinctual reaction is to stifle a giggle and burrow into the piece to spot the transparent spin (and isn't it Bashar who is "out of step" these days? Didn't anyone tell the Times?). It wasn't hard (to find the spin, that is): [THE BELGRAVIA DISPATCH]
Now read this...
From a NYTimes Poll in tomorrow's paper:

Four months after Mr. Bush won a solid re-election over Senator John Kerry, 63 percent of respondents say the president has different priorities on domestic issues than most Americans. Asked to choose among five domestic issues facing the country, respondents rated Social Security third, behind jobs and health care. And nearly 50 percent said Democrats were more likely to make the right decisions about Social Security, compared with 31 percent who said the same thing about Republicans. [Daily Kos]

Now check out the article both of these posts are referring to.

Dear God, please let this be true!


"Gianni Versace's latest book Men Without Ties is a runaway success. And now, at the most progressive corporations of New York, Paris, and London, it is quite permissible for men to appear dressed for business with no trace of silk, rayon, or polyester about their necks. What has come undone? Why, after an unprecedented two-thousand year reign, has the most useless, and yet the most fussed over, element of male attire gradually begun to whither in importance?"

A Loosening of Ties

By Willy J. Spat [Pure Land Mountain]
Let the tie go the way of the dodo!

Apparently, the problems solutions may be caught up in politics elsewhere...

I've spent the last 40 minutes looking for an article related to a report on the news tonight, I couldn't find it. Basically they showed a comparison of budget allocation from Homeland Defense to various states... The troubling thing was that Missouri gets more than twice what Arizona is getting. What is there in Missouri that requires more funding then the most porous piece of boarder with Mexico?


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A British computer specialist tried to set up a terrorist training camp in Arizona, where he met with Islamic radicals who claimed ties to Osama bin Laden (news - web sites), a government attorney alleged Wednesday.

Babar Ahmad, who is being held in London on charges he ran terrorist fund-raising Web sites, met in Phoenix in 1998 with Yaser Al Jhani, a member of the Islamic mujahedeen militia, and others who claimed to have access to bin Laden, said John Hardy, a British lawyer representing the U.S. government.

"He expressed an interest in developing a training system in Arizona," Hardy told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from London. "That is, a training system, in effect for the mujahedeen to visit and train to fight abroad."

Apparently, there are a lot of problems in Arizona.


I'll keep looking for the article and update if I find it.

After all of the mining accidents the past few months, this could be politically motivated?

AP - A cache of explosives at the home of a coal mine manager blew up in a town in northern China, killing him and at least 20 children at a nearby grade school, news reports said Thursday. [Yahoo! News: Most Emailed]

Could Kurt Warner be an Arizona Cardinal?

Stay tuned, he's in town for a visit... I actually like the idea of him with the Cardinals!

This brings up a valid point!

This bill is very close to a vote. It will make relief money from the U.S. contingent on the recipient country's adoption of laws that prohibit sexual exploitation of minors.

Which I think is fine, but it also calls for a ban on adult prostitution, which is legal in parts of Nevada. Why make the rest of the world live up to standards that our own don't live up to?

Kolbe is a cosponsor.

[Arizona Congress Watch]

This breaks my heart too...

When I was a little kid I had a cousin who joined the Navy. He was assigned to the Enterprise which had F-14's. It was the first combat aircraft I took an interest in because of that. I still think it's movable wings make it the coolest fighter ever!
Some tech gets older and it has to be retired, I know it's true, but it can still be depressing. This story on the retiring of F-14s effects me so. I remember traveling to San Deigo and seeing them fly across the sky. I remember Top Gun and a buddy and I wanting to be pilots someday, though honestly I always liked the F/A-18 Hornet better. I took another path and never felt a loss after my high school days, I had too many good friends and great experiences to ever regret the choices I made. But the Tomcat has so much character I won't help but miss it. It's the gentle reminder of other dreams of an earlier day.

Goodbye dear Tomcat. [Bear Droppings]

The Phoenix Weblogger Meetup Group

The Phoenix Weblogger Meetup Group

Fuel Motorsports Cafe
2827 E. Bell
Phoenix AZ 85032

Get Directions To This Event

Come on out and meet some other area bloggers!

Add This Event To Your Calendar
(iCalendar Format)

Weblogger Meetups

[Listening to: Train Travelin' (with The Del McCoury Band) - Dierks Bentley - Dierks Bentley (04:41)]
[verns blog]

We used to joke with our high school math teacher

We would joke that he smoked chalk and snorted chalk dust (he was a smoker and he always managed to get chalk dust on his face during the day). It was funny, but this is not...
A Mesa junior high school teacher who was behaving erratically at school has been arrested for possession of cocaine and driving under the influence of drugs. [ | news]

This is a big surprise... NOT!

Imagine people who live in poverty and high unemployment are willing to come and work. Who would have ever thought people would be willing to do that?
WASHINGTON - A survey of mostly undocumented Mexican immigrants found that a majority want to stay in the country permanently, but many more would be interested in signing up for temporary work permits even if it requires them to eventually return to Mexico.* Immigrant activists upset over Utah 'driver privilege' bill * More on border issues [ | news]
The problem is that those who hire undocumented workers would have to deal with documented workers. This would make it harder to exploit their labor and cost the employers more than the current system of minimal enforcement costs.

I should be outside...

I'll blog more later!
Aaaahhhh. Springtime in the desert. [ | news]

If you don't ususally watch CBS news, tonight will be a good time to make an exception...

They seem to have the inside line on this investigation.
AP - Audio tapes released Tuesday indicate at least 1,500 conversations in which traders employed by disgraced energy company Enron Corp. engaged in or discussed violations of federal regulations, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staffer said in testimony. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]

Recipe Carnival time again... this week Enchilada Pie

A couple of weeks ago Caltechgirl did a recipe called Mom's Enchilada Casseroll, there are several variations of this that have been in my family for generations. The basic recipe is the same, only the sauce is different. This week I'll build on Caltechgirl's recipe with a variation done entirely from scratch and I'll show a couple of shortcuts.

First here's her recipe:
Here's this week's entry for the Carnival of the Recipes. The CaltechMom has made this to rave reviews.

Enchilada Casserole
12-15 corn tortillas, depending on size
1 lb hamburger
1/2 medium onion
Spices to taste
3-4 cups of your favorite Green Chili sauce (Mom uses Stokey's chili sauce with pork) *
Shredded Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
2. fry tortillas until soft, drain on paper towels**
3. slice onions to your taste, fry with hamburger and spices to your taste. Don't add chili powder unless your chili sauce is too weak!
4. add 1-1.5 cup of chili sauce to meat mixture, heat through
5. Layer tortillas, then meat mixture, then cheese in a 9x13 baking dish as a lasagna. Usually makes 2 layers in a 9x13, more in a smaller dish.
6. Cover top layer of cheese with more tortillas, pour rest of chili sauce over the top, sprinkle cheese over all.
7. Bake 30-40 minutes in 350 deg F oven, or until hot.
*My first sauce variation is done entirely from scratch:
  • 1/3 cup Crisco Shortning (feel free to substitute canola oil.. I do!)
  • 4 teaspoons hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional-careful My mom is not a fan of cumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 15 ounce cans water
  1. melt shortening (or heat oil) in a large sauce pan over medium heat (see next step for why this is important)
  2. add chili powder (this will release essential oils from the chili, be careful about breathing any fumes or smoke from this step)
  3. add flour till thick but bubbly, cook 1-2 minutes over medium heat
  4. add remaining dry ingredients and stir well
  5. add tomato sauce and water
  6. mix and bring to a simmer stirring frequently until thickened
  7. simmer up to one hour
This makes a great red chili sauce for enchiladas, burritos, and of course enchilada casseroll.

*Rather then going through the chili extraction described above, you can use a frozen chili puree from your local supermarket. Our family preference is Eva's Blue Ribbon from an IGA market in Belen, New Mexico (I have an aunt who lives there and brings us all chili a couple of times a year), but you can use any brand as long as it's uncooked. Depending on the puree you may need to season with salt or garlic salt.

Basically you just want to thicken the puree into a gravy like consistency. I do this by heating flour and canola oil in a sauce pan to create a rue and then add the puree and simmer until thickened. My Uncle Dave does the same thing but he uses bacon drippings instead of or in combination with the canola oil.

**To further simplify the recipe, you can skip frying the tortillas. It isn't really necessary as you'll hardly notice any difference in the finished product.

Previous entries:
Welsh Pancakes
Pan Fried Steak with Red Wine Reduction
Hot Peanut Chicken Stir Fry
Uncle Dave's Green Chili Stew
Corned Beef from Scratch
Canton Beef and vegetable soup


When four of Britain's most famous musicians were guests at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, the Queen didn't recognize them and had to ask, "And what do you do?" Brian May, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck were surprised when, after learning that they were all noted guitar players, Her Highness produced a vintage 1954 Fender Stratocaster and joined in on an impromptu 40-minute jam session. Source
[Regurgitated News]


Human Rights Watch says a Sudanese militia leader in Darfur has revealed his forces took government orders. [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

This goes hand in hand with my last post...

INTERESTING INTERVIEW ON LEBANON AND SYRIA with Syrian opposition figure Farid Ghadry.

UPDATE: Three years ago, I wrote on preference cascades, and concluded:

This illustrates, in a mild way, the reason why totalitarian regimes collapse so suddenly. . . . Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don't realize the extent to which their fellow-citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it - but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

This works until something breaks the spell, and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers - or even to the citizens themselves. Claims after the fact that many people who seemed like loyal apparatchiks really loathed the regime are often self-serving, of course. But they're also often true: Even if one loathes the regime, few people have the force of will to stage one-man revolutions, and when preferences are sufficiently falsified, each dissident may feel that he or she is the only one, or at least part of a minority too small to make any difference.

One interesting question is whether a lot of the hardline Arab states are like this. Places like Iraq, Syria, or Saudi Arabia spend a lot of time telling their citizens that everyone feels a particular way, and punishing those who dare to differ, which has the effect of encouraging people to falsify their preferences. But who knows? Given the right trigger, those brittle authoritarian regimes might collapse overnight, with most of the population swearing - with all apparent sincerity - that it had never supported them, or their anti-Western policies, at all.

Is this what's happening? I certainly hope so.


This is an interesting read...

Political Scientist: "This is the way the world works."

Poli-Sci geeks will want to make note of this. Political scientist R.J. Rummel notes that we shold not be shocked that we suddenly see breakouts of democracy all over the Middle East.

This is the way the world works. It is a process of things being in equilibrium, an equilibrium that increasingly is out of balance with the underling reality, then a sudden breakdown in the equilibrium caused by some trigger, and a jump to new equilibrium better fitting reality. This also gets increasingly out of balance, breaks down, and another new equilibrium is created, and this over and over ad infinitum.

He compares it to the shifting pressures of tectonic plates, in which tensions build up and then finally snap to a new position, causing earthquakes. Political change works much the same way in his view, and he gives the following illustration:

For his full article on the subject, CLICK HERE. If you're mathematically inclined, you'll probably even more enjoy his paper entitled A CATASTROPHE THEORY MODEL OF THE CONFLICT HELIX, WITH TESTS. Since I don't know calculus I don't understand the math, but I'll bet some of you would.

Somehow when reading it it brought to mind Isaac Asimov's concept of "psychohistory."

[Dean's World]

If I was one of the people who complained about being called, do I get a cut of the fine?

A local firm may have pushed the term "toll call" to new limits. [Latest news from The Business Journal of Phoenix]
I didn't think so!

Arizona was a little shakey this morning...

A light earthquake struck northern Arizona Wednesday morning. People more than 100 miles away reported feeling the tremor. [ | news]

A little humor from the Monkey Cage

If I were a lumberjack before I cut down each tree I would say to it "Let me AXE you something"
You know not to fold, spindle or mutilate - but if someone told you that you HAD to spindle something would you even know where to begin?
Remember when we were kids and a "firewall" was part of a car?
So what IS Victoria's Secret anyway?
I found myself waving to a Budweiser truck rolling down the highway as if he were a long lost friend - and then a thought crossed my mind: "I MIGHT be a redneck..."
Sure they TELL YOU that they like someone who "can think on their feet" at interviews - that's what they SAY - but later they'll fire you for never being at your desk or at work.
[The Monkey Cage]

Fossett plane bid in fuel worry

Steve Fossett's attempt to fly solo, non-stop around the globe without re-fuelling is in trouble. [BBC News | Science/Nature | World Edition]

This is stupid...

Some how I don't think this is the intent of the bill...
PHOENIX - The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to let people carry weapons - including guns, grenades, rockets, mines and sawed-off shotguns - into schools, polling places and nuclear plants [Tucson Region]
Of course the way schools are today, it might not be a bad idea! Columbine would never have happened if the library had been mined and the teachers had all had grenades!

Not everyone in Arizona is upset about the boarder situation...

But, this goes too far!
NORTHERN SONORA - In the afternoon lines of migrants can be seen moving like long dark centipedes, inching their way north along the desert floor. They stick to the washes and brushy hillsides that [Tucson Region]

This will end up being worthless...

I don't know about you, but I never had access to a vending machine in school until High School. There may have been a soda machine in Jr High, but I really don't recall. The point is, the only vending machines I remember from elementry school were in the teachers lounge and off limits to students. If schools are still like that then this bill will be meaningless.
A bill that would ban candy and soft-drink sales during the day at public schools likely will get watered down to exclude high schools when it goes before the state House of Representatives later this week. [ | news]

There is no doubt that the Mason Jar needed to be remodeled...

I just didn't expect it to change this much!
The Mason Jar, a bastion of hard rock, punk and, more recently, hip-hop in Phoenix for more than two decades, has temporarily closed for remodeling and will reopen as a gay bar, according to the owner of the property. [ | news]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Why is this odd?

Why is it so hard to comprehend that some people support the right to bare arms but do not support the right to own a semiautomatic assult weapon that can easily be converted to fully automatic?


A Springfield woman who began lobbying against gun violence after her son was shot to death in 2002 was arrested last week when police allegedly found an illegal gun and drugs in her home. . . .

Since her son's death, Stevens has become involved in the anti-gun-violence movement. She helped establish and is president of a Springfield chapter of the Million Mom March, an organization that aims to prevent gun violence.

Last fall, she appeared with other anti-gun advocates at a Statehouse news conference to urge federal officials to renew a ban against semiautomatic assault weapons.



If a special exemption is needed...

Then the whole thing probably has problems!
AP - The Senate on Tuesday adopted a GOP-authored plan aimed at shielding active-duty military personnel and some veterans from key proposed changes in bankruptcy laws that would make it harder to shed debts. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

Darfur still a topic of blogs...


WASHINGTON, Sudan's government and the militia it supports persist in committing atrocities in the Darfur region despite repeated promises to end brutal abuses and killings, the U.S. State Department says.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed over the past two years, many as a result of disease and hunger, and more than 1.8 million displaced from Darfur in fighting which the United States has called genocide.

"Despite the government's repeated commitments to refrain from further violence in Darfur, the atrocities continued," said the State Department's annual report of human rights abuses worldwide, published Monday.

Last year, then Secretary of State Colin Powell concluded genocide was being committed against the people of Darfur and that Sudan's government and the Janjaweed militia bore responsibility.

The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against Sudan but China and Russia have opposed such penalties, particularly on oil.

The full report is here. The section on Sudan and Darfur is here.


This is worth a read...

This month may turn out to be a late Christmas for credit card companies if the Republican supported bankruptcy bill passes Congress. The bill would force middle-class workers to pay some of the debt they owe even after they go bankrupt. You could make a good case for this bill if it were narrowly focused on those who truly abuse bankruptcy laws. Instead, the bill sweeps away protections for worthy and unworthy debtors alike. This will make it much tougher for those who fall on hard times to escape burdens they confront through little fault of their own.
[The Proponent of Reason]

Geek alert...

This sounds pretty cool! Speaking of Gmail, I have about 50 invites to give away... Email me your name an a return email address if your interested (my address is in the sidebar).

This sounds like a good way to put my unused Gmail account to good use.

 From Engadget: Use your Gmail account as a personal file server.

This is a fairly simple and useful trick to score yourself a gigabyte's worth of free online file storage. If you already have a Gmail account, you can use it as a central file server that is accessible from anywhere you can access Gmail. If you don't have a Gmail accountÂ… read on.

We're going to install a shell extension that will allow you to mount your Gmail account as a virtual drive on your desktop, so you can perform basic file manipulation operations without having to go through the web-based interface. Drag and drop, batch copy, create folders and delete files as you normally would in Windows Explorer, and be able to access your virtual drive from virtually anywhere.

[J-Walk Blog]


 Posted by Hello

BTK dude:

 Posted by Hello

The prosecution rests.

CWCID: A devoted TigerHawk reader. [TigerHawk]

You better believe it!

Take a look at the stats for my blog.
TechWeb - Mozilla's Firefox keeps chipping away at Microsoft's massive lead in browser usage. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]

I'm not sure how to react to this...

At least they are not trying to build a new stadium or anything stupid like that.
AP - After four years of negotiations, the Chicago Cubs and the city agreed on a plan to add 1,790 seats to Wrigley Field, the National League's oldest ballpark. [Yahoo! News: Most Emailed]

I want to do this too!

This looks AWESOME!!!

Boomer Shoot!

Interested in the newest and most extreme in extreme sports?

Have a real blast with guns and explosives!

This is the net home of the Palouse Practical Shooters Boomershoot.  This is a long range, high-power, precision rifle shooting event with high explosive, reactive targets up to 700 yards away.   As if you needed one -- this is a great excuse to visit Idaho.

How cool is this?!? You combine the best of shooting guns with blowing shit up!!!

The only thing better would be to have vats of testosterone you could just drink, and plenty of liquor to mix in!!!

[Listening to: Fly into Love - Charly McClain - Biggest Hits (03:16)]
[verns blog]

This sounds cool...

Avid warplane watchers shouldn't wonder whether they're in a time warp this weekend. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will be hosting vintage aircraft training for future air shows. A mixture of both [Tucson Region]

What would happen if all teachers did this?

People have no idea how much time classroom teachers put into things like this!
AP - Berkeley students aren't getting written homework assignments because teachers are refusing to grade work on their own time after two years with no pay raise. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]
TigerHawk disagrees...
You're thinking, "he's not going to rag on teachers, is he?" Yes he is! Not all teachers, but teachers who make this argument: Berkeley students aren't getting written homework assignments because teachers are refusing to grade work on their own time after two years with no pay raise. So far, a black history event had to be canceled and parents had to staff a middle-school science fair because

To me, this says were not prioritizing our money correctly...

The US has one of the highest rates of relative child poverty among the world's wealthiest states, a UN report says. [BBC News | World | UK Edition]

My sister isn't going to like this...

Throw out all your old NAU sweatshirts, blue and gold are gone, blue and sage are the new colors!
FLAGSTAFF - Northern Arizona University unveiled a new logo and new colors Thursday, the beginning of the most aggressive marketing campaign in the school's history. [ | news]

Monday, February 28, 2005

Staying dolphin free is not enough...

When you buy your tuna now, you need to know how it was caught?


"Albacore tuna, according to recent testing by the FDA, contains 3 times as much mercury as does chunk light. You should avoid albacore tuna if you wish to keep your blood mercury level low. There are exceptions, however. Some companies sell albacore that is troll-caught. These fish are younger and therefore contain lower levels of mercury. According to a recent study from Oregon State University, troll-caught albacore mercury levels are similar to chunk light levels (on average 0.14 parts per million as compared with 0.358 parts per million for older longline-caught albacore). Data for troll-caught fish in the mercury calculator is from the OSU study. Cans of chunk light tuna typically contain skipjack tuna which is a smaller species of fish and therefore contains lower mercury levels (on average. 0.123 parts per million). You can compare the mercury levels between the two in the mercury calculator above."

via Calorie Restriction Society newsletter

Related waves
[Pure Land Mountain]

Speaking of Social Security...

Funny how TIME magazine picks up a story that the Republic (and all other local media, save for ASU's State Press) did not:

At a town-hall gathering at the Madison #1 Middle School in Phoenix, Ariz., G.O.P. lawmaker John Shadegg faced a crowd of 280 people, 30% of whom by his estimate were there to voice angry opposition to tinkering with Social Security. "They rushed to the microphones," says Shadegg.

We knew about the town hall before it took place because Mr. L, my co-conspirator, subscribes to Republican email blasts. You didn't know about it beforehand because Shadegg's people didn't tell the media. Read between the lines -- they wanted supporters there, not doubters.

Still, the doubters came. Nice work.

[Arizona Congress Watch]

Thought I should pass this along...

Sign up to attend a large rally for Social Security at the Phoenix Civic Plaza at 10 AM on Saturday, March 5. Congressman Grijalva is organizing buses from Tucon to this event. Organizers are trying to arrange a bus to the event. Congressman Grijalva will [Blog For Arizona]

This is a warning to all you women that expect to out live your husbands...

You still have a margin of 5 years, but it's shrinking...
AP - Declines in death rates from most major causes — including heart disease and cancer — have pushed Americans' life expectancy to a record 77.6 years. Women are still living longer than men, but the gap is narrowing. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

A virdict for freedom?

I think so. No matter your view if you are an American you should stand up and cheer this decision that says that as a citizen you must be given certain rights and due process.

You, as a citizen, cannot be held for an indeterminate amount of time with out being charged with a crime. Now I hope the administration will do the right thing and charge this man with a crime (or let him go if they don't have the evidence).
AP - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Monday to either charge terrorism suspect Jose Padilla with a crime or release him after more than 2 1/2 years in custody. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

Now we can get an insurance card that really does something!

AFP - A Japanese firm has developed a plastic chip half the size of a business card which it said could detect a number of diseases, including cancer, within 30 minutes. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]

I've always suspected...

That those at the top didn't really know what they were dealing with or how it worked. Now we have proof that CEO's are over paid!
The former WorldCom chief executive said that he knew little about the technology that WorldCom sold and even less about the company's accounting. [NYT > Home Page]

Someone plug the gravity leak!

Perhaps this wasn't really discovered? - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Scientists may not have to go over to the dark side to explain the fate of the universe. [Yahoo! News: Most Emailed]

Rabbit, another "White Meat?"

AP - Rabbit farms are multiplying rapidly across the South, but their products aren't necessarily destined to be sold as Easter bunnies. [Yahoo! News: Most Emailed]

Jef Raskin, Macintosh Creator, Dies at 61

Thought I should mention this...
Jef Raskin, the lead designer of the first Macintosh computer and a pioneer in the development of user interfaces, died Saturday at age 61. He had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, his family says in a statement.

Raskin joined Apple Computer in 1978 as employee number 31 and headed the company's Macintosh development team from its founding in 1982. He named the project after his favorite type of apple, changing the spelling for copyright reasons.

He is credited with significantly advancing the design of user interfaces, which in the early 1980s were largely text-based and required users to memorize complex commands. Raskin convinced his peers at Apple that to reach a wider audience, the Macintosh needed an interface that was elegant and easy to use.

"Up to that time, at Apple and most other manufacturers, the concept was to provide the latest and most powerful hardware, and let the users and third-party software vendors figure out how to make it usable," he wrote later on his Web site.

Raskin left Apple in 1982, two years before the Macintosh went on sale, but he continued to influence the design of computers through his writing, lectures,and consulting work. Soon after leaving the company he founded Information Appliance, where he designed the Canon Cat computer for Canon USA, although the product was not a commercial success.

His consulting clients have included Intel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and many other big names in computing. In 2000 he published a book, "The Humane Interface," that is widely assigned at universities.

Recent Projects

Raskin was currently at work on a project called Archy, where he hoped to put many of the ideas expressed in his book into software. Archy uses simple commands for common operations in word processing and e-mail, but "doesn't work like anything else on this or nearby planets," meaning users wouldhave to learn it from scratch, he wrote on his Web site.

His son, Aza Raskin, will continue to develop the project, a preview version of which is due out later this year, his family says in the statement.

Raskin's interests were not restricted to computers: He taught the recorder, harpsichord, and music theory at San Francisco Community College in the 1970s, and his family described him as an orchestral soloist and composer. He also founded a company that designed and sold radio-controlled model aircraft.

Along with Aza, he is survived by his wife, Linda Blum, and his other children, Aviva and Aenea. Raskin lived most recently in Pacifica, California.

More information about Jef Raskin is available at his Web site,
More information about Archy is at
[Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

Is anyone else having flashbacks to the end of the cold war?

Lebanon's prime minister says he and his government are quitting amid pressure from opposition and protesters. [BBC News | World | UK Edition]


Microsoft's Bill Gates criticized the American school system on Saturday, saying that they do a poor job of educating students. Gates added that one of the major problems with today's high schools is that the technology they use is obsolete. Hmm... could that possibly be because operating systems and applications like Microsoft Office are so goddamn expensive? Source
[Regurgitated News]

I don't know if I agree, but I've never heard this said before...

This is your must-read blog post, over at An Old Soul:
Read this entire speech, given back in 1997 by David Stratman, and then you can decide whether to be blown away or hide your head in the sand.

Stratman dared to pull all the pieces together about what's going on in public education policy almost 8 years ago. I think the whole picture he paints makes complete sense as we see that some of the strongest cheerleading and unconditional love for NCLB comes from the corporate Dems, the DLC.

The reason that public education is under attack is this: our young people have more talent and intelligence and ability than the corporate system can ever use, and higher dreams and aspirations than it can ever fulfill. To force young people to accept less fulfilling lives in a more unequal, less democratic society, the expectations and self-confidence of millions of them must be crushed. Their expectations must be downsized and their sense of themselves restructured to fit into the new corporate order, in which a relative few reap the rewards of corporate success-defined in terms of huge salaries and incredible stock options-and the many lead diminished lives of poverty and insecurity.

If my analysis is correct, it means that you - public educators, every person in this room, and all the staff and colleagues you have worked with these many years - you are under attack not because you have failed - which is what the media and the politicians like to tell you. You are under attack because you have succeeded-in raising expectations which the corporate system cannot fulfill.
There is a world of difference between raising our "expectations" for students and raising "standards." Raising our expectations means raising our belief in students' ability to succeed and insuring that all the resources are there to see that they do. Raising standards means erecting new hoops for them to jump through.

I think this goes back to what BushCo said in a debate once, another era ago: NCLB is a jobs program to better prepare workers for the 21st century jobs. Yes, I see, I see.

It's to better prepare us to work at all those slave drudgery jobs, so that we the sheeple will unquestioningly live our lives of insecurity and poverty for generations to come.

It has the ring of truth, doesn't it? [The Sideshow]

If you haven't seen this yet, check it out... LOL

Health Care Guidelines for Michael Jackson: "Health Care Guidelines for Michael Jackson After Michael Jackson halted jury selection for his child molestation trial to be treated for the flu, a hospital memo was discovered detailing the guidelines for his care."

Bblog has a nice piece on historic Phoenix canals...

This just makes me want to learn more!

Saturday I went to take a tour of the Park of Four Waters at the Pueblo Grande Museum. The site, located perhaps a half mile south of the museum, isn't open to the public except for one guided tour on the last Saturday of the month when it's cool. I've wanted to attend one of these tours for the last several months but something always came up. I'm glad that I finally went because it was quite a memorable experience.

I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to history: I can get really excited about very mundane things. For example, I've spent twenty minutes looking at and contemplating head of the Old Crosscut Canal that joins the Grand and Arizona Canals. I studied it from a variety of angles, took in the adjoining land, and imagined the people designing, building, and maintaining it. I then spent several hours researching this one particular canal. Water is such a vital part of Phoenix history that I bristle when people act like it's unlimited or can't appreciate the struggle that the early settlers went through to make the desert hospitable.

The Park of Four Waters is a small section of land where two ancient Hohokam canals are preserved. The Hohokam dug approximately 500 miles of canals. Their extensive canal system inspired Phoenix founder Jack Swilling to start his own canal project to irrigate the Salt River Valley. The canal he dug with his employees—known as the Swilling Ditch or the Town Ditch after he left Phoenix—is located not far from this place underneath one of Sky Harbor's runways. This, and the fact that many of Phoenix's early canals were made from widening and deepening Hohokam ones, is a testament to the sagacity of that ancient people.

The two canals we saw were actually considered two channels of a single canal. One channel was cut like a V so that water would flow faster and farther; the other was cut like a semicircle, which kept the water moving rather slowly so that it wouldn't decimate lateral canals. One wouldn't be faulted for missing the significance of these two ditches since they looked like rolling hills. The fact that they have lasted for at least 600 years in much the same condition was awesome.

Near these two Hohokam canals was a modern canal of uncertain origin that looked to join the Grand at the point of the Old Crosscut. It was fairly wide and deep but entirely made out of concrete. It followed the same line as the Old Crosscut would have if you continued it down to the Salt River bank, but the Old Crosscut would never have followed that route since it strictly joined two canals. That's why I'm not sure of when it was made, what it was called, or even who built it.

Its origin is suspect because it was likely built by the Salt River Project though it would have gone right through the Tovrea stockyards and could have been a private canal. This, of course, merits further research. I will also post a gallery of the hundred or so pictures I took since the Web is a veritable desert when it comes to the Park of Four Waters.


Corperate blackmail!

Semiconductor kingpin Intel Corp. is sending a not-so-subtle ultimatum to state lawmakers: Give the company a tax break or risk losing out on the chance for a $4 billion production expansion at its Chandler campus.
I think more than a chance would be necessary before any consideration should be made.
Intel, other technology advocates and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council are pushing hard for a change to the state's tax code that would result in a $100 million break for large manufacturers.

The Silicon Valley-based chip-maker, as well as defense and electronics firms, would benefit from the so-called "sales factor." That tax cut would benefit large manufacturers by allowing them to calculate their corporate income taxes based on in-state sales instead of the current, more expensive formula that also takes into account property and payrolls.
What does the state get out of this deal?
Intel is considering its Chandler semiconductor plant for a $2 billion to $4 billion expansion that could result in 500 new high-tech jobs. The lure of that expansion is being dangled in front of state lawmakers who have failed to pass sales factor proposals in recent years.

Critics argue that the sales factor is corporate welfare that does not offer the economic development or job stimulus promised by supporters.

They point to sales factor states such as Illinois, Missouri, Massachusetts and Iowa, which have lost manufacturing jobs in recent years to offshoring and corporate consolidations despite having the business tax benefit.
According to this, the state gets nothing.
Elizabeth Hudgins, vice president of the Children's Action Alliance, said the sales factor's $100 million price tag would jeopardize spending on key programs related to health care and child abuse prevention.

"It's very expensive, and this is a state with a plethora of neglected priorities." Hudgins said.

Michael Mazerov, an economist and tax expert with the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, contends the sales factor is not a big determinant in company site selection and has not resulted in manufacturing or high-tech jobs gains in the states where it has been enacted.

Mazerov said state and local taxes make up only about 2 percent of corporate expenses and income levies only 10 percent of that total. [Arizona - BizJournal]
It looks like this is part of a larger agenda and not related to the decision to expand here.

I don't understand this...

They started building this freeway over 20 years ago, shouldn't they have gotten permission then?
Gila River Indian Community members may vote as early as spring on whether they would allow the South Mountain Freeway (Loop 202) to be built there. [ | news]

Winslow wins 7th state title under Don Petranovich in 12 tries since 1977

Winslow High School has won a second 3A state title in a row. Coach Don Petranovich has won his 7th in 12 tries since he began coaching at Winslow in 1977 (he didn't coach the entire 1986 season for health reasons).
Winslow game plan turns Seton inside-out
The Winslow girls basketball team repeated as Class 3A state champion with little trouble Saturday night thanks to a two-pronged strategy that it executed nearly to perfection.

Winslow beat Chandler Seton Catholic 61-35 at Glendale Arena.
The size of the victory is a testament to the level of competition in the northern conferences and what a team effort can do when playing against "...the greatest player that ever played in Arizona history," (Seton coach Karen Self referring to Christina Wirth).

Among Petranovich's impressive accomplishments are having participated in the most well attended games in Arizona history. The largest crowd was an impressive 16,010 at America West Arena for the 2000 semifinal against Monument Valley which also happens to be tied with the best attended Boys Basket ball games of all time the 1996 5A and 2000 3A Championships. The championship brings Petranovich's career to 648 wins with 133 losses.

Another good Idea!

When I saw the headline for this article, I was ready to be upset and go into a rant. "This was never listed as a possibility on the literature for the transportation bill we voted on las fall. If it had been I would not have voted for it."

Turns out that that is not what this is. This is the passing of savings from a simplification of administration to the public. My favorite part of this is the change from $1.25 to $1 for the bus fare. In a place where no change is made it's a good idea to keep the fare from requiring change!

There is more to this but, you'll have to read the article.
Valley Metro may cut bus fares
Prices on everything from food to fuel seem to go in only one direction: up. [ | news]

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Has it been 10 years?

I went online with Netscape 1.0 in the fall of 1994 on a p486-50 machine with a 350 Megabyte hard drive, 16 Megs of memory, and a 16.6 modem. I had a 17 inch monitor that was the envy of everyone in the dorms! I started using Yahoo in 2005 and I still remember the Snowball Cam, the Coffee Pot Cam and U-Roulette...
AP - Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo parlayed Yahoo Inc. from a college hobby into a full-time job 10 years ago, but the Internet icon was never quite comfortable with the happy-go-lucky mood of the dot-com boom. [Yahoo! News: Reader Ratings]
Times have changed, but the net is slower than ever! I want my gopher server back!

Dude, check out this Benson

Arizona is not one of them...

Arizona has decided to go the other direction and has started by trying to remove passing the AIMS test from the graduation requirement.
AP - A coalition of states confirmed plans Sunday to require tougher high school courses and diploma requirements, changes that could affect one in three students. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

I was going to write about this but it's just too confusing...

Tracking what happened to $175,000 contributed by two Indian tribes to a political group called CREA leads from a disgraced lobbyist to an elusive environmental organization spawned by Gale Norton before she became Secretary of the Interior. [ | news]

Lisa at the London Fog took a post I did yesterday and ran with it...

It's worth the time to read so read the original here and then go check it out...
Pssssst - I will give you a $100 for a gram of salt!
A consumer group sued the federal government on Thursday, saying that salt is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that regulators have done too little to control salt in food....
Hat tip: AZ Perspective and Junk. [The London Fog]

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Gates, first hand accounts from Citygurl [HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOE?] and Jon Mandle [Crooked Timber]

gates 7
Originally uploaded by citay-gurl.

Let's talk about The Gates. I was reserving judgment until I actually saw them myself, and I know it's ridiculous that it took me two weeks to actually go see them, particularly because I live two blocks away from central park. So today, my first free day in a long long time, I decided that the only things on my list of 'things to do' would be to go see The Gates.
And of course take some photos.

Some background for you art enthusiasts (I stole this from here):
Christo and Jeanne-Claude developed the concept for The Gates in 1979. On January 22, 2003, the City granted permission to the artists to realize their vision. They paid for the whole thing themselves.

There are 7,500 gates, 16 feet high with a width varying from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet will line 23 miles of footpaths in the park.

The free-hanging, saffron-colored fabric panels will be suspended from the top of each gate and hang down to 7 feet above the ground.

The Gates will create a visual golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees, highlighting the shapes of the footpaths.

The luminous moving fabric will underline the organic and serpentine design of the walkways, while the rectangular poles will be a reminder of the grid pattern of the City blocks around the park.

Now, there was a lot of hype about this and I was skeptical, but I had to see for myself…I was not disappointed, it's really damn cool. I know the park like the back of my hand and walking through it today was a completely new experience.

Here is a link to their other work:, they really have done some enormous astounding things. I am their newest and biggest fan. I only wish I got to see The Umbrellas in person.

Here is a link to my photos (these and a few more) below; these aren't the best photos out there of The Gates by any stretch of the imagination, but if you want 'em, go for it.
my photos. [HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOE?]
Additional Photo's from Citygurl:
gates 4
gates 5
gates 6

Additional thumbs up from Jon at Crooked Timber (excerpt, click the link at the end to see his pictures and read the rest):
Count me as a moderate supporter. It’s hard to talk about The Gates – the Christo and Jeanne-Claude installation in Central Park – without sounding pretentious. Like this: “Our memories of this experience are how the artwork changes us — perhaps the most powerful force of art, that the changes made are not in the site, but in us.” I can’t really say that I’m so different than I was a week ago. Sure, I guess they made me think, but that’s something I try to do anyway.... [Crooked Timber]

Expect another "Mexico is safe for tourists" article in the coming week...

Reuters - The burned body of an unidentified person showing signs of torture was found in Cancun, the latest in a series of gruesome murders that have plagued the popular Mexican holiday resort in recent months. [Yahoo! News: Most Viewed]

Murder soap opera surrounding Tucson's Dr. Stidham continues

The defense attorney for Bradley Schwartz, the doctor accused of hiring a hit man to kill his former medical partner, is indicating he may ask a judge to throw out the indictment against Schwartz.

A motion filed in Pima County Superior Court this week suggests that attorney-client privilege should have protected Schwartz from being incriminated by statements of a former girlfriend.[Tucson Region]
My Last Related Post:
The murder investigation saga of Dr. Stidham continues: 4 more county lawyers leaving

Related Articles:
3 prosecutors' hearings public
Fired officer withheld, leaked info, reports say
Dispatcher accused Hunt of harassment
Pinal to prosecute Schwartz, Bigger
Suspect in murder had been potential witness for county
Stidham case leads city move to fire cop
Hit-man tip came through cop
Suspended aide at odds with LaWall

Something to think about

From KVOA in Tucson:

Easter is America's second-largest candy selling holiday, but, before you bite the ear off your bunny, Southern Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, says consider, "The labor that produces this is child labor and, many times, exploited child labor."

Chocolate comes from cocoa and 70% of cocoa comes from West Africa, which critics say uses young slave labor to harvest it.

Grijalva says, "I think it is atrocious."

He won't be buying chocolate this Easter.

Suddenly, I have an image of Rush Limbaugh starting an obnoxious "eat a candybar to upset a candyass" campaign. But I'm glad Grijalva is using his position to raise awareness. Child exploitation is a huge problem that is overlooked and underreported.

[Arizona Congress Watch]

Keys and cherry trees is a good read

Keys and cherry trees
Maybe it's our cynical age. Maybe I'm just getting cranky, or at least crankier. But I find myself less and less sure of things as I get older. More suspicious of those who are sure, who claim some special pipeline to God. And a lot less surprised when something I've known and taken for granted forever turns out not to be true.... [Disorderly Content]

Why not start a Meme

Follow the instructions below and record what you find in the comment section.
1.Grab the nearest book.
2.Open the book to page 123.
3.Find the fifth sentence.
4.Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5.Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

From Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework:
"A second color can be easily introduced into either pattern by alternating the color of yarn used for the rows."

via Blog d'Elisson via Goose
[LIFE... or something like it]
I'll start it off (I can't believe this is the closest book, I need to clean off my desk!).

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus from Volume 2 of the Harvard Classics
"Short indeed is the time of your habitation therein, and easy to those that are thus minded."


I found this at cbeck's and had to share it. Sorry, but I thought anything this funny was too good to leave on just one site.
Oil Change instructions for Women:
1) Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since the last oil change.

2) Drink a cup of coffee.

3) 15 minutes later, write a cheque and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.
Money spent: Oil Change -$20.00, Coffee -$1.00, Total - $21.00.

Oil Change instructions for Men:
1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a cheque for $50.00.

2) Stop by 7 - 11 and buy a case of beer, write a cheque for $20.00, drive home.

[it just get's funnier from here]...
[Wasted Days, Wasted Nites]

I'll have to check this out...

I've been a fan of Steve Earle since I played his music on a little AM country station in my High School days. If you're not familiar with him, its not surprising. He has been on the edge of stardom for decades but because of drugs and other problems he never quite made it all the way. He's played with the likes of Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Townes Van Zandt. If you have heard of him it's problably because of the song Copperhead Road.

I didn't know Steve Earle's younger sister was a recording artist.

Check out Stacey Earle at eMusic:

I like!

And here's her Web site.

[J-Walk Blog]