Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apple's latest invention

Thanks to my friend, Mala, for the find.
I wonder what the toilet does differently if you press Number 1 or 2?
Clearly this is just a prototype. The final version will allow you to cradle your own iPod in the top of the tank and watch videos or listen to your favorite music while you're doing your business. Version 2 is reported to have speakers so that you can also connect your iPhone and can conduct your other "business" at the same time, hands free.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just impossible NOT TO post...

Thanks again to e of Gurly Life fame for this astoundingly funny yet incredibly worrisome clip...

I'm glad to see, from some polls I saw today, that people are finally getting the message about this chick.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Clusterf&*k to the poorhouse

Thanks to my friend, e, from The Gurly Life for this snippet of genius from John Stewart last night. It was too good not to post here too.


Another great find, this time from Dooce.com from her post investigating why on earth Sarah Palin qualifies for VP of our country. This is OUTSTANDINGLY bad.

Based upon Failin's definition of "foreign policy experience", 90% of Europe and Africa is just as qualified (in fact MORE qualified) to be VP of the USA as she is, because many countries in Europe and Africa border (SHOCK! HORROR!) two or more countries!

You know, you can see France, Belgium, and Norway on a good day from various spots in the U.K., I think I should call Obama now and tell him he's made a big mistake with that Biden fellow. I am obviously eminently more qualified.

Anyway, enjoy... in horror and then read this hilarious commentary from The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-seitzman/sarah-palin-naked_b_125861.html. Ok, so it's a bit raw, insulting, and definitely comes from one of us devoted lefties but, c'mon, it's funny.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Should have kept my mouth shut

No sooner did I blog about having nothing to blog about that I get something to blog about that I'd rather not have to.

My wallet (or for those of you in the UK, purse - yes, Yanks, purse is a bag and wallet is a purse...got it?) has disappeared. Lost, stolen, I don't know. I just went to grab it out of my purse (bag) today and it wasn't there. I last had it Tuesday but haven't used it since. I think it may have got lost/taken when Dad and I had dinner at the English pub down the street last night. I couldn't find my keys (pregnancy brain) and was emptying the contents of my purse (bag) out onto the table to locate them. It could have been that I emptied out my wallet (purse) and, because the light was dim (or because I am currently experiencing mental "dimness") didn't see it or put it back in. I don't remember taking it out or putting it back in, so I guess anything is possible. It may not have even been there at that time, it could have been swiped out of my bag before then - although I find that highly unlikely given the fact that I can barely find and remove stuff from my purse (bag) and I never let it out of my sight.

I called and personally visited the pub and nobody has handed it in, neither is it stuck behind or underneath something near where we were sitting. I even did a quick search of the bushes around the pub to see if an opportunist nabbed the cash and threw the rest away. Nuttin'

Thus began the nightmare of my afternoon: cancelling debit cards and credit cards, trying to remember what the hell was in the damn thing in the first place (which is quite a feat given I can't remember what happened to the item itself), putting fraud alerts on my credit, and heading off to the DMV in my lunch hour to apply for a new license.

Fortunately, it seems that no fraudulent charges have been made as yet. That's the good news. The bad news is that the cash that was in my wallet (purse) is obviously a goner. I don't remember exactly how much was in there but I would say $200+. I don't normally carry around that much cash (normally you'll be lucky to find $5 and some spare change) but someone had reimbursed me for something I had paid for on their behalf and had been too lazy to deposit the cash in the bank yet. Of course. Sods law, as we like to say in ole Blighty.

Also gone for good are the treasured family pics I keep close to me and a ton of retail and other membership cards, most of which I probably won't miss until I need to use them 6 months from now.

I am resolved to changing out my current purse (bag) for another. This one is really cute (I get tons of compliments on it) but, as has become obvious from this debacle, it doesn't have the appropriately sized or located pockets to keep things in order, resulting in me fishing down into it's depths to find even the most basic of items. It's not like there's even that much in there - make-up, business cards, wallet (purse), phone. But still, somehow, finding anything is a hassle. Hence the keys and then the wallet (purse) - I think I also remember thinking I'd left my phone in the car at one point just an hour earlier but then found it tucked in a corner at the bottom of the bag. So, I think you get my point and I can rest my case.

Lesson learned. Brain crap. Bag crap. Fix bag and hopefully won't need brain so much.

I'm beginning to think I don't matter...

Has the existential "me" already disappeared into the role of "mother"? I wonder this because, ever since I started my pregnancy blog, I seem to be only getting comments on that blog. Meanwhile, this blog seems to have been largely ignored.

Am I already to be defined by my parenting status? I sure hope not.

Granted, posts of late on this blog have been pretty political but it IS, after all, just 40 days until the election and I just can't help myself. However, I do welcome opposing viewpoints for a good debate. Note: although pregnant I can still debate. Can't drink martinis but can still debate. Just thought I'd make that clear.

Either way, I wish I had something else to blog about. Being pregnant, nauseous, exhausted, and generally sick of the computer screen by 5pm every day does not bode well for (a) exciting exploits to blog about or (b) creative and witty journaling vis a vie this blog.

The only "current" news is that my Dad is in town for a couple of weeks, working on my parent's new house just down the street. He works on the house during the day, I work here at home, and we meet up at lunch and dinner times to feed my ever-growling belly. In fact, about the only thing that changes daily is my diet and which restaurants I should frequent today for my meals. Today I rather fancy a Roast Beef sandwich from Rim's Deli, just down the street from me....

Well, that did it. Now I'm hungry. Off to snack...

Please comment to let me know you're alive.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Planning my defense

Several weeks ago I put my Obama/Biden sign in my front yard. This caused quite a stir in the immediate vicinity of our house since we are surrounded by ... shock, horror...Republicans. Particularly, our next door neighbor is one of those blind, blinkered Republicans who believes crazy right-wing propaganda like Obama is a Muslim, Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11, teachers are overpaid and underworked, and all Americans are really covered by health insurance - just head into the emergency room.

Yeah, ahem.

It's pointless to even try to debate with this individual (believe me, I've tried in a calm and well-mannered way) because it's like trying to debate against someone who is deeply religious: there is no rationality, logic or proof behind what they believe, they just take it on blind faith because it was written somewhere. Sorry, I don't meant to demean religion, I understand the nature of faith is to believe that which you can't see or prove, but honestly where I have the problem is when the same mentality is applied to the running of our country.

Anyway, this same next door neighbor threatened to steal our sign. (Half jokingly, of course.) So, I bought two and threatened to place the spare in his front yard (concreted in the ground if necessary) if he did so. Now, his next desperate trick on the way down in the polls is to come up with a sign that looks just like mine but says: NObama. Ooooooooooooo, how CREATIVE. I'm scared. We're so going to lose if the right keeps this innovative thinking up. Yes, I am mocking and taunting him and yes, Hubby and I do it to his face also. (Half jokingly, of course.)

I'm not sure if he's going to go through with his little sign but he showed us a Photoshopped 8.5x11 example the other day and, knowing him, he may just get it custom made. So, since then, I've been planning my defense. Today, I found just the web site to help me should I need additional weapons...


I can't seem to copy and paste some of the signs on the site, so you'll have to go there to see them for yourself, but here is the text from some of my favorites. Let me know if you have some of your own:

Continue the pain

Whats her name


No Way
No How
No McCain

... and the one that just tugs at , and my win, my heart:

I'm not against Republicans. I'm against duplicity, depression, ignorance, and bigotry.

I do like a lot of the others (ie: John McCain for Retirement) but would prefer to stay away from insulting someone personally or being ageist because those who sling mud lose ground or, more aptly, are usually Republicans. I never call names in an argument. Seriously, ask my husband. I'm all calm and logic. Sarcastic, biting, below-the-belt, logic but never a name called.

One thing I should add to redeem my neighborhood is that, at our recent neighborhood garage sale, I had more comments about my sign than about what we were selling. Yes, good comments: "I like your sign," "Where did you get your sign?", "Thanks for putting up that sign," etc... There were probably 20 people who stopped to talk about how they were perplexed by the polls and couldn't understand how any right-minded human could vote for McCain. I'm sure there were just as many Republicans who decided to keep their mouth shut (smart folk) but there were two women who just couldn't resist. I was waiting for 'them' all day, so I was well prepared...

WOMAN 1: "Can I take your sign?"
ME: "Haha. If I only had a dollar for every time someone asked me that today, I would have been able to close up shop a couple hours ago. I do have another one in the house if you really want it."
WOMAN 1: "No, I didn't want it for myself. I just wanted to take it down."
ME: "Oh, I see. Well, you're the only one today."
WOMAN 2: (From somewhere else in my driveway, no doubt debating over whether 50c was too expensive for a $60, barely used, purse.) "No she's not. You've got another one here."
ME: "Well, that's two out of about twenty today. I'm happy with those odds."
WOMAN 1: "Well, you should come to our neighborhood."
ME: (Laughing.) "Uh, no thanks."

They didn't buy anything but that's ok, we made $250 anyway and could have sold another $100 in signs if I'd thought of it ahead of time.

Finally, America begins to come to its senses...

Economic Woes Edge Obama Over McCain
Stephanopoulos: No Candidate With More Than 50% Support in Sept. Has Lost Presidential Race Since '48

By JENNIFER PARKER Sept. 24, 2008 —

The economic turmoil on Wall Street and fear among voters about the nation's economy has boosted Democrat Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, giving him his first clear lead over Republican John McCain in the presidential race.

Obama now leads McCain among likely voters by 52 percent to 43 percent, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

That is a significant swing from the most recent ABC/Washington Post poll earlier this month that gave McCain a slight 49-47 point edge.

"It is all about the economy," ABC's chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos told "Good Morning America" today. "People are angry and shocked and worried about the economy and that is all helping Barack Obama right now."

The latest poll finding marks the first time that the Illinois senator has surpassed 50 percent support among likely voters in the presidential campaign -- a key coup for the Democratic candidate.

"You have to go back to 1948 for the last time when a candidate having this kind of a lead in late September lost," Stephanopoulos said.

Neither of the last two Democratic nominees, former Vice President Al Gore in 2000 or Sen. John Kerry in 2004, broke the 50 percent mark in pre-election ABC News/Washington Post polls.

Obama has squashed McCain's convention gains by convincing voters that he can better address the nation's economic crisis and is more in tune with the economic troubles voters now face.

An earlier ABC News/Washington Post poll on Sept. 7 found that on trust to handle the nation's economy, Obama led McCain by about five percentage points.

"Now it's up to a 14-point lead for Obama on trust to handle the economy," Stephanopoulos said.
On the question of which candidate voters feel understands the Americans economic problems better, Obama now has a 24 percentage point lead over the Arizona senator.

"Barack Obama is blowing away John McCain on that point," Stephanopoulos added. "They say he gets it."

Two weeks ago, McCain came out of the Republican Party convention with his new running mate, Sarah Palin, at his side along with a substantial advantage among white voters and newfound strength among white women voters.

However the latest ABC/Post poll finds Obama has narrowed the gap to within five percentage points among white voters overall, and the two candidates now run about even among white women.

"He's only getting 77 percent of Hillary Clinton voters, but he's doing far better with Democrats overall getting 88 percent of Democrats," Stephanopoulos said.

The poll also found the governor of Alaska has some of her luster among voters.

"There was a big Sarah Palin effect coming out of the Republican convention," Stephanopoulos said. "She had high favorable ratings. She's coming back down to earth a little bit. Her favorable rating has gone from 58 [percent] on Sept. 7 down to 52 percent now, so a little bit of a deflation there."

The ages of the presidential candidates have also become an issue for voters, according to the ABC/Post poll. McCain is 72 while Obama is 47.

"More and more people are worried about age," Stephanopoulos said. "Forty-eight percent of voters say they see that age is an issue. And if you think age is an issue, those 48 percent of voters, they break heavily for Barack Obama by 30 points."

Obama and McCain face a key test this week on how they handle the administration's proposed $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street.

Both presidential candidates agree that the administration's plan should include caps on executive compensation, or golden parachutes. But it is McCain who may ultimately hold the fate of the massive bailout plan in his hands.

"The big factor may be John McCain. I was talking to top Republicans and Democrats yesterday, they both say that if John McCain doesn't vote for this package, it is going to go down," Stephanopoulos said.

"So he is facing a huge choice, a huge gamble also for McCain," he added.

"McCain aides say he hasn't made up his mind yet. He's laid out his own conditions as well but they want him to be seen and he wants to be seen as a champion of the little guy," Stephanopoulos said.

"The Democrats say they're not going to give John McCain a free chance to break away from President Bush," Stephanopoulos said. "The Republican members of Congress say that if he votes 'no' that they're not going to be at odds with him."

Stephanopoulos said the Bush administration's massive $700 billion Wall Street bailout package isn't a done deal on Capitol Hill. Administration officials are pressing to get the bill passed by this weekend.

"Top officials tell me in Congress that 'It's not soup yet.' There is no deal yet. They're pushing to improve, they say, improve the bailout plan saying it has to do something to constrain executive compensation. Something to give taxpayers equity in this deal. Something to help homeowners facing foreclosure," he said.

"It's tough to see right now. There is still a lot of negotiating going on right now," Stephanopoulos said.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A little something some of you may not know about

To get in on the secret, there's another blog for you to check-out here: www.travelvixenbaby.blogspot.com.
You've got approximately 9 weeks of blogs to catch-up on... so better get started now!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lies, all lies

And what's crazier, I'm watching CNN and the word is that neither McCain nor Palin are planning on telling the truth because it draws crowds. What is up with a society where we'd rather flock to a campaign based on lies?

How can you vote for someone who claims be on a "Straight Talk Express" when his idea of changing this country is 'debating' about lipstick and Paris Hilton and picking a running mate who was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it and whose sum foreign policy expertise is seeing Russia from her home state????

McCain, Palin defiant in 'lies' storm

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin stand accused Monday of trying to "lie" their way into the White House with discredited claims and advertising -- and it's not just outgunned Democrats crying foul.

Non-partisan fact-check operations, newspapers and opinion columnists are also charging McCain, once a darling of the press, of cloaking the election in sleaze and unfairly smearing Democrat Barack Obama.

With the United States locked in two foreign wars, punished by its thirst for Middle Eastern oil and with the economy plummeting, the race was consumed for two days last week by McCain camp claims Obama called Palin a "pig."

US election campaigns and hardball advertising always push the limits of truth and often amount to outright distortion -- the Obama camp has not hesitated to blur McCain's record too.

Campaigns and experts usually steer clear of blatantly accusing a candidate of lying, but the term is being bandied about following McCain's latest hard-hitting assault on Obama's character and defense of Palin's record.

Last week, the McCain campaign accused Obama of wanting to teach sex education in kindergarten. In reality, the bill he voted for as an Illinois lawmaker mandated warnings for young children about sexual predators.

Palin was accused of saying she visited Alaskan troops in Iraq when it emerged her trip was to an Iraq/Kuwaiti border post.

She is also taking heat for repeatedly saying she blocked a notorious multi-million dollar project to build a bridge to a sparsely-inhabited island in her state which she initially backed and of not fully returning all the federal dollars doled out for it.

"Generally those come out as outright lies, not just not incorrect," said Larry Powell, a professor of communications of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The McCain camp is also now being accused in news reports of embellishing attendance figures at campaign rallies.

The Obama camp derided the volley of accusations as "disgusting lies" and questioned McCain's honor.

Newspapers and independent fact-checking groups also accused Republicans of peddling untruths.

"The claim is simply false," said FactCheck.org of the sex education ad.

The St Petersburg Times complained: "McCain's straight talk has become a toxic mix of lies and double-speak.

"It is leaving a permanent stain on his reputation for integrity."

Republicans, like President George W. Bush's guru Karl Rove, have been playing hard knocks-style politics for more than 20 years, often taking a Democrat's perceived strength and turning it into a liability.

Ironically, McCain was a victim of such treatment, bowed out embittered by the 2000 primary campaign against Bush and apparently not willing to take the high road again.

Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota Sunday said Democrats were descending into "hysteria." Another top McCain aide Carly Fiorina said McCain's foes were panicking and accused them of unfairly exploiting McCain's age.

McCain himself denied on Friday that his attacks were rooted in untruth. "Actually, they are not lies," McCain said on the ABC show "The View." "This is a tough campaign."

Whatever its morality, the final judgement on McCain's strategy will be dictated by whether it works.

An earlier negative barrage that branded Obama an empty "celebrity" seemed to jolt the Democrat last month, changing a race McCain appeared to be losing.

Latest broadsides slowed Obama again: for every hour he spends defending himself, he is not talking about the failing economy or comparing McCain to Bush.

"They are trying to put Obama on the defensive... to make a whiner out of him," said Powell.
Latest polls give McCain a slight edge, but can a scorched earth policy work all the way through to November 4?

"If that is the only thing they are doing, then they would be in serious trouble," said Kathleen Kendall, a communications professor at the University of Maryland.

"A lot of things are happening at once," she said, mentioning positive advertisements the campaign is running and speeches by McCain on issues. Palin is also reinvigorating Republicans.
Obama's response is also critical.

"I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage," he said before launching a fight-back.

But he does not seem comfortable in the political gutter.

"He doesn't want to go as sulphorously negative as his opponents are if he can avoid it," said Bruce Buchanan, of the University of Texas at Austin.

McCain's aides are like "guerrilla fighters fighting those who are following Marquis of Queensbury rules," he said.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

As we remember 9/11...

...let's also not forget the soldiers and civilians who have died in an ill-conceived war that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and that has distracted our attention and resources from finding and bringing to justice the very people who killed almost 3,000 people 7 years ago today.

Let's remember that it was George Bush that made these decisions, that lied to our country, and manipulated intelligence to his own devices. Let's also remember that John McCain is, it turns out, little different to Bush and would make the same wrong-headed decisions all over again.

Let's elect Barack Obama.
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