The Golden Rule for OSHA & FDA audits: If the inspector takes a picture of something, you do too.
Apparently the St. paul police have figured this out, in the obviously media feeding frenzy available. In video posted by MPR from another media outlet, at the end of the "police are oppressing us" images, there's a StPl policeman with what appears to be a video camera.
I realized that I invited everyone to come visit for this display of civic freedom and oppression. Don't. Apparently there's a "no fly" zone from now until the 5th over this entire corner of Minnesota. How the hell are the delegates getting in? Carpooling from Madison and Duluth?
Jumbotron: "The Jumbotron will be a huge embarrassment for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as it will be located just a few hundred yards from convention delegates, VIPs and the international media." (from True Blue Minnesota).
They just won a judicial injuction ... "... ruled from the bench this afternoon that the Capitol Area Architecture and Planning Board can't enforce its decision [to prevent] True Blue Minnesota [from putting] up a big digital billboard flashing anti-war and other political messages."
"We were going to plug the thing in anyway," said Mannillo, when the hearing was over. "We'll be up and running by the time the convention opens."
I went to their website True Blue Minnesota videos Holy cow! check out the "Iraqi Speed Bump" 11 seconds. Holy Cow. Tell me your stuff is that good, Kevin.
The St. Paul & Minneapolis Police got the convention off to a good start early this morning, making at least 4 raids on "anarchists" 2 days before the party begins.
The flashing digital billboard folks wanted to be in front of international media? The only serious media covering the raid (linked above) were: Minnesota Public Radio and ...... Al Jazeera.
Yup, 3 posts in 1 day. This doesn't even qualify (much) as procrastination. Well, maybe it does.
I have a big presentation tomorrow morning at Honeywell. My internship ends on Friday. I get Labor Day, and then school resumes on Tuesday. I've got classes on epidemiology (infestion disease statistics), ethics, something about 'risk based decision making', and my thesis research. Oh, an apparently the course which equals my internship, which I forgot to register for. At least this way it's being paid for NIOSH, rather than my husband.
Our power just went out. Apparently Mother Nature is trying to catch up with our drought and dump it all tonight. One of those gung-ho Midwest storms, complete with tons of lightning. Thank goodness for the battery in my laptop.
My term paper about the methods of analysis of radioactive fallout from the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl is what I'm procrastinating about. And the final exam for the class.
Gregor's vocabulary is pretty small still. However, his newest word is Mull [trash]. He now has a stuffed weasel (ferret?); it was an inadvertant, spontaneous purchase at Ikea. I was pushing him around in the shopping car, and had to go through the Ikea-Kids department. He grabbed the ferret out of its bin. Soft, cute, he grabbed it and held it in his arms with a big smile. Great. Sure, he can hang onto it while I go compare prices for bedframes. About 15 minutes later, I realize the error of my decision: one ought never let a teething child have a soft cuddly toy which doesn't belong to him. The animal's tail was thoroughly wet from being chewed upon. Ah, well, at least it was only $7.95. And he still likes it.
Power back on.
Michael's German is getting rapidly better. He's still obsessed with Cars. Temper tantrums are becoming a bit tiresome.
Well, I suppose I ought to stop the not-quite-procrastinating and review the material for my presentation tomorrow. And find some nice clothes to wear for it.
If you're reading this, it's at least 8 a.m. CST. Cross your fingers that my presentation goes well.
Peter & I were discussing lord knows what the other day, and got onto the topic of acting in films. We tend to have rather ... um... divergent tastes. I really liked Iron Man. Peter wouldn't watch it if it was on the TV here. We both particularly like the scene "the dirtiest toilet in Scotland" with Ewan McGregor.
Our darling son #2 is soooo helpful. There had been a minor little accident of biological proportions from son #1. I put the consequent dirty underwear in the toilet bowl to let them soak the ... um... off. We had dinner. Gregor finished early & got down from the table. He went downstairs to play. Right? Flush ..........
Of course, the toilet stopped working.
Hola toilet plunger. plunger? yooo hoooo... no idea where it is. Great shades of Trainspotting, I tried to get them out. Thankfully, not head first.
Zoom out to Target. Buy new plunger. Go home. Plunge.
Totally loving MPR's coverage of the DNC. One of the political bloggers on their staff - the chief news editor or somesuch - posted a question about whether the Clinton delegates ought to cast their votes for Obama. His point was that reading her speech was much more moving and clearly better written than listening to her deliver it. (it was a blanket statement, not just pointed at her.) It was something we had been discussing in passing a day or so ago. I posted the following on his blog.
"How can you not cast that vote?"
If I was delegated to vote for her, I would. Period. For the primary reason critical to our democracy, I pledged to do so. I keep my word, as I would hope the politicians I elect would also do so. (ha!)
Second, and perhaps the vicious little voice in my head: Obama doesn't *have* to get the nomination. If more of the delegates vote for Clinton, she would get it. After all, if I *really* wanted her to get it, why not give it the last try? The convention is the true and final doorway to November 6, not the primaries.
Today the conventions have become an idol worshiping festival. Her delegates ought to vote for her, if they are committed to do so. It might bring the conventions back to having a real function. (might or might not be good, but it would be more than a love-fest in Denver).
My grandmother was 13 when women were granted the right to vote. I was born 42 years ago, long enough that I remember Geraldine Ferraro being selected to run as VP. I was 18 in 1984, when she was on the ticket. I didn't have to imagine: I cast my first presidential vote for a ticket with a woman.
And why have I never heard Ferraro mentioned in this race? Not to be too cynical, but is it because it might detract from H.Clinton's "first woman ever" mantra? Clinton's supporters are offended that Obama didn't "respect her enough"? I am offended that I never heard her mention Geraldine Ferraro's accomplishments, even if it was only mentioning that her laying one more brick on the path that Clinton could follow to the Big Ticket. Somewhere amidst the idolatrous "18 million cracks" hooey. Hey, Ferraro was even from NY. She served as an ambassador to B.Clinton. It's not like H.Clinton wouldn't know who she was.
If I had been in Clinton's position yesterday, I would not have let go of my delegates until after the first vote. Partially, simply because I didn't have to. Partially to make my final stamp: see what I have done. And, partially, so that my delegates could concretely see what *they*, as delegates, had accomplished (to make them less divisive after the convention).
If you're reading speeches, try the Montana governor (whose name eludes me). *He* was a great speaker last night.
The word patriotic should be struck from the (American) English language.
I'm so completely sick & tired of this word being bandied about as some sort of touchstone to demand immediate and abject acceptance of whatever harebrained dumb-fuck opinion is being offered.
"Some authors ... argue that patriotism is distinguished from nationalism by its lack of aggression or hatred for others..." obviously these are authors who've never visited the USA recently.
The Correlates of War project found some correlation between War propensity and patriotism. Yup, the 'my country, right or wrong' - which in reality means "my country, but only if I get it my way, and if everyone else likes my way".
I guess I totally fail to be a patriot. As long as my kids get a good education, the roads are maintained in good working order, the level of crime is manageable, and the politicians aren't totally gutting my financial input to the country, ... oh, I guess none of that's happening anyway. I really don't give a damn what we call it.
"I'm proud to be an American" ... yeah?
So what have you done about it recently that would make me want to be American?
Despite what I might or might not thing of Pawlenty, or the DNC, I completely fail to believe - as stated in this DNC press release - that the governor has any obligation, where he "failed to take adequate action to help Americans in jeopardy of losing their homes".
I thought I was supposed to be a responsible adult? I didn't take out a debt I couldn't pay. Do you want to fix the housing crisis...? Let the housing crisis fix itself. Sit back and watch the homes foreclose.
What else is going to convince people to be better stewards of their own money? This Interventionist attitude treats us like we're 6 years old and can just rely on Mommy to bail us out, after choosing a toy we can't really afford.
Like the Governor is supposed to be responsible for holding my hand to make sure my mortgage is paid?
Will Governor Tim Pawlenty become our nation's next vice president? It's hard to keep track of all the many factors at play. Each week, the VP Pawlenty Meter (TM) provides an odds sheet to ensure you make your best bet.
OK, first a confession: We have no inside dope, so we don't really know for sure that Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty will be chosen by McCain this week. Which means we may very well look just as foolish as the rest of the media when they were prematurely forecasting Obama's pick. But the stars are certainly seeming to line up in his favor. - City Pages
Minnesotans are struggling between paying attention to the Fried Food on a Stick at the State Fair this week, or wondering if the Gov will be the Veep. (BTW - the paper has a horrid photo of him, he really doesn't look that dorky.) I think the Fair's winning. After all, we won't really be able to avoid the whole thing by Monday, when the Axis of Evil invades our fair cities.
Millionaire vs. Meth Wow. Airing on prime time in the Big Sky country. The video clip appearing when you click on the link is the most .... um, just the most.
Tie vote for Most Creepy - and probably most likely to effect teenaged girls just developing their sexuality. Top of page: "Sisters"
The Montana Meth Project today [sic] unveiled its new advertising campaign, including a series of television ads directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Oscar-nominated director and producer whose works include “Babel,” “21 Grams,” and “Amores Perros.”
Want good ads? Don't hire the schoolhouse rock crew.
1,500,000 people at the State Fair ** 7,000 applications for 3,000 workers 2,714 4-H animal exhibitors, of which are: 580 beef 283 rabbits 280 poultry 267 goats 471 dairy animals 381 sheep 453 swine 450 different foods for sale 63 of which are sold on a stick 4 sold by the bucket 50 games on the midway 5,000 entries in the Creative Activities, of which there are 19 categories for cookies 6 categories for scrapbooking 11 categories for competitive stamp collecting 4 sheep which will eat radio microphone if opportunity presents 10 times per day ask 4-H ers to sweep cattle barn 14 4-H ers seen texting and sweeping 200 animals will be born at the fair Misidentification of animals by parents to their children: 3 identified lambs as "goats" 5 identified turkeys as "geese" 1 identified a duck as a "pelican"
only 12 days to get all of this in!
**This year, I guess it will be 1,499,996 people in attendance, since the 4 of us won't be going.
4th July had sparklers with some of the neighborhood kids.
Gregor's godfather, Joachim, visited us earlier this month. If you were there, you might remember him as the organist for our wedding in Gladbeck. We had fun at the park. Entirely missed the drive-by shooting that happened less than 100 yards from where we were.
We repeated last Summer's visit to Valley Fair. This time, Gregor was large enough to ride in some of the kiddie rides. Peter also took him on one of the big-people rides.
In the front row of the roller coaster. I think this was Michael's favorite ride. The ride (The Mild Thing) gave the kids 3 round trips. After each time around, the cars came to a complete stop, and each kid had to give a thumbs-up to indicate that they still wanted to ride. Occasionally a kid went around once, realized they didn't want it, and could easily get off. Michael, as seen in the photo, wasn't even waiting for the trip to stop or be asked if he wanted to keep going. As soon as it hit the turn into the station, his thumb was sticking right up. As he repeatedly cried throughout the day "more! more! more!"
Our little adrenalin junkie. Right most with blue hat.
Sunday afternoon: Falafel & Mr. Giraffe
At GAI Familientag / Family Day. It was a celebration held by the Germanic American Institute, which runs the German immersion schools (2 preschools & K-8). Michael is going to the Kinderstube (preschool). His German has been getting markedly better in the past 3 months. It is more often complete sentences. And it's separating from English a bit more. This evening, he was speaking with Peter on the phone, and when Peter didn't understand the German, Michael repeated himself in English. Papa, ich will dich nicht da bleiben. I don't want you to stay there.
It's been great for Michael making new friends. He is sad that a couple of his new friends are leaving in a couple weeks to go to kindergarden. He wants to go with them. Since they're going to the German kindergarden, we're hoping that he can, indeed, go. We are struggling with getting him to understand that he can't go right now with them. "you need to wait until next September" just isn't really temporally comprehensible to a 4 year old.
In the clip, this is a group of children from Michael's class & his favorite teacher, Frau Anna. The audio is poor. Poor to mediocre video.
While looking for something else on the archdiocese's website, I noticed they have movie reviews. No doubt for Good Catholics who don't want to be morally offended. Because Roger Ebert is probably too much of a heretic. So, their ratings are:
A-I General audience
A-II Adults & Adolescents
so far, so good. better than some random -13 age.
actually, I'm finding this pretty good (as a system, not nescessarily how they are applying it)
L Limited audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling
fair enough, just because it's 'adult' doesn't mean I want to watch slasher films
O Morally offensive
So, how is this system applied?
L - a strong caution must be raised about the underlying "anything-goes-for-love" message and several other problematic elements. Overall freewheeling morality, light sexual references and innuendo, casual treatment of marriage, divorce and nonmarital relations, some vulgar gestures, brief rear-nudity sight gag, an anti-Catholic remark and a few crass words. [Mama Mia!]
A-III Brief, nongraphic adulterous sexual activity, much rough and crude language and sexual references [Days & Clouds - another 'if it's got subtitles we don't apply the rules equally]
O - Tropic Thunder Pineapple Express Step Brothers The Wackiness Wanted The Love Guru Sex and the City
This is identical to the banner hanging across the front of the Dorothy Day Center. The Monument to Poverty across the street from the soon-to-be-consecrated Temple of Evil in St. Paul.
i.e., the central homeless shelter is directly across the street from the Xcel Energy Center.
Apparently it caused quite a little stir when the Powers That Be realized that their Only Secret Service Pre-Approval Security Zone includes the homeless shelter. And we all know what sort of rock-throwing suicide-bombing terrorists those homeless folks are.
And, yes, it was strongly suggested to shut down the shelter for the duration of the convention. A fact greeted by shocked silence, swiftly followed by a hue and cry. Did the idiots actually think the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of one of the most liberal metropolitan areas would go quietly into the night at such stupid suggestion as this?
Not only are they staying open, they are expanding services and bed space.
Sometimes I wonder if still photography doesn't have more impact than film. Moving pictures certainly have the power of making it seem more 'real' (although my brother assures me that nothing you see on the screen is actually real). Only photographs give the opportunity to simply gaze up on an unchanging image.
Old enough to have seen this over and over. and again. and again. ...
Is he even old enough to buy beer?
Leaves me thinking of the Gaming Guys. And spending a weekend up in Cadillac w/ the Michigan National Guard wargaming with Charlie Company. I see these photos and can only see the faces of the men I knew there.
My hard drive suffered, died, and was buried. Unfortunately, there will be no 3rd day resurrection.
I'm not sure if I'm more devastated about losing 9 months of academic work or 9 months of family photos or 9 months of financial records; writing that long story; poetry I copied; a few novels I bought electronically; several downloaded music albums
Great - so Apple fixed the cracked cover on my keyboard, cleaned my screen, generally cleaned the dust bunnies out, and I've got the new wiz-bang ops. sys. Great, whoppitity-do. Where's my shopping list? Where's that list of legislators I was going to write? That stupendous photo from Earth Day 1970? The 2 months worth of work for my term paper? Countless hours of organizing things for class and home?
If there was anything I was going to send you ... I won't. That great photo of the boys? Not that either.
How many different times in one article can someone espouse the idea that 'what goes on within a marriage is no one's business', swiftly followed by '... then we have a right to know'?
Who the hell cares who he was sleeping with? Is his dick on GPS (Global Positioning system)? Or maybe a VPS (vaginal positioning system)?
Why is staying married after an affair/marital infidelity/screwing around so utterly incomprehensible? Just because divorce is easy to do, does it need to be easy to choose? Who are we to judge her decisions? Maybe she just doesn't care that much if he is playing hide the wiener with someone else? Maybe he sucks in bed, and she's glad to have a break. Maybe she's got a boy-toy on the side and is gleefully laughing at the media attention being drawn away from her own vices?
I really don't care if the president is screwing around on his/her spouse. Does this display grave moral defect? Sure. So does eliminating social security. So does invading Iraq on inadequate grounds. So does tax breaks for the rich...
And you know what?
All of those other things screw the poor, screw the many, screw the powerless. These screw me, without my consent.
Let him go screw anyone he wants, individually. It will be a welcome break from the entire government trying to rape my sanity and pocketbook.
Why attribute her actions as a "lioness defending her cubs"? Why not simply assume that she made an adult decision to stay married to him?
People don't want to believe this. The masses would rather believe that there is an absolutist right/wrong, black/white. They don't want to take the time to attribute deeper motives than some biological pre-programed instinct. They want to believe that She Couldn't Help Herself. You women want to be treated like you've got brains, and not just ovaries? Assume that she made a choice of her own free will, whether or not you understand or approve of it. That's women's lib.
Minnesota's on-going contribution to our nation's high standards of education and culture. "Russ Winter, of Janesville, Minn., was runner-up last week in the detective division of San Jose State University's 26th annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for writing an opening sentence to a nonexistent novel." -Mpls Strib
While his was amusing, the Grand Prize winner was truly momentous.
Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.'
and who thought north Jersey couldn't be romantic?
4th year in a row, Minnesota has the highest average ACT in the country. Of course, no one in the local media mentioned where (geographically within Minn.) those test scores were the highest. The western 'burbs, where the highest $ is? I'd be more interested in how the scores were distributed across various factors: local average income, local per capita spending on schools, in the Twin Cities or out, &c.
I expect the Republican Idiots in St. Paul to abruptly use this as justification for cutting or eliminating early childhood education (which is stunningly huge here). Ignoring the fact that these past 4 years of results are the result of having the ECFE in place.
I was eagerly anticipating what the media was going to report about this ... I was perfectly willing to believe they had the wrong person. After all, other innocent people have gone to jail. Is this the epitome of "trial by the media" or what? After reading this, I find it even more ludicrous that the gov't claimed "there was no evidence that anyone else was involved." That is simply, patently false. What do they call the other two people who were splashed across the media, as being under serious suspicion? How about Steven Hathill, whom the gov't is paying $6 million for damages after John the Fuckhead Ashcroft blabbed his name as a suspect? Or the other fellow who wasn't an American citizen?
I dealt with people from USAMRIID. I've even visited it, and seen their gung-ho biological containment labs. [pretty cool, considering they're retrofitted into a 1950s building]. I dealt with anthrax at my job.
Okay, to put this all in perspective: at my last (unspecified) place of employment, where we had lots and lots of anthrax, I was the person responsible for all transfers of the material to any other agency. I got questioned by the FBI about this, in the aftermath of the anthrax letters. I had to cope with a consultant (of an unspecified agency) who showed up at work, and informed me that he had taken a couple of vials of viable anthrax bacteria with him, on a plane, from our labs to his employer in another state. This happened *after* the bioterrorism attacks. I don't think anything in my entire professional career has struck me so totally dumb. I spent the rest of the week straightening out this farce with the relevant federal authorities, who are supposed to be notified prior to a shipment, which is supposed to only happen with other licensed labs. Which he wasn't. All through this, and the total wrath of God never fell on him. I called and strongly suggested to the relevant federal authorities that they ought to do so. Nope. On a plane!! And he was so "I'm macho, look what I did" about it. The look on his face after I suggested he accompany me to the company president's office was no quite so macho. A rare point of walking up to the Big Man's door, and simply announcing to his secretary 'I needed to see him right now and I'll wait'.
So, you can bank on it: any total idiot could get away with stealing the stuff. It wouldn't require a highly educated scientist.
Just in case you are fond of reading conspiracy theory websites/blogs, feel free to go there, rather than my professional irritation. In the AP & Reuters' articles, the following statements were made. Unfortunately, my personal opinions weren't. :)
a) vaccinated for anthrax & yellow fever He was required to get this simply because of his job requirements. I'm not guessing here; the gov't has the same requirements my employer did. I got vaccinated for it (anthrax), too, for the same reasons as Ivins.
vaccinations were "several weeks before the first anthrax-laced envelope" Annual booster shots are required for this; and for someone who's never gotten vaccinated, it would take a lot longer for the immunization to fully take effect (18 months, actually). Not to mention, Ivins would have had to been growing the stuff for much longer than "early September". Ivins would also have been getting vaccinated for anthrax for years. As no one has accused him of stupidity, it's safe to conclude that he knew this. This is one point which is completely, 100% total fear-mongering. Anyone working with virulent B. anthracis who has the opportunity would get vaccinated against it.
If this vaccination is so suspicious, why aren't they looking for yellow fever organisms, as well?
b) "adequate explanation for his late laboratory work hours around the time of the attacks" Can you seriously provide "adequate" information about what you were doing 7 years ago at work?
c) "sought to frame unnamed co-workers" - does this mean he simply stated who else had access to the material, and could have been guilty? FBI: Who else might have done this? Answer: Jane Doe
... sounds quite a bit different than
FBI: "Good Morning" Answer: "pssst, hey, you should go look at her, she's here late all the time and hates Bush".
d) "the genetic parent to the powder involved" - to me, this does not mean "same as" or "identical to" e) "sole custodian of" doesn't sound like "only person who could had access to"
f) "taking 22 swabs of vacuum filters and radiators and seizing dozens of items" - no where do the words which tested positive for B. anthracis appear in this sentence.
g) Items seized: "among them were video cassettes, family photos, information about guns and a copy of The Plague by Albert Camus" Yeah, cause sure as shit, owning a gun makes you a bioterrorist (like all those lunatics in Idaho, where anthrax is easily found in ordinary soil, while they're out shooting shit). And the Ivins family photos are certainly critical to establishing whether or not he was growing this crap in his basement. h) The Plague? Some 1940s novel set in Africa? How about Preston's The Hot Zone, a non-fiction book, set in his own place of work? How about Miller's The Coming Plauge, about epidemic possibilities across the globe today? But most particuarly, I'm curious to know if he had a copy of Alibek's Biohazard, yet another non-fiction description about the development of Soviet anthrax warfare projects in the 1990s? Especially since I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Ivins knew Alibek personally. [ ... all 3 are, by the way, great books ... maybe I'd better get rid of all of the books on bioterrorism in the house. And, yes, I have several, but not Camus ...]
i) "affidavit filed by Charles B. Wickersham, a postal inspector, the scientist told an unnamed co-worker" - and just how does a postal inspector come into any knowledge about what some other dude at USAMRIID thinks about the deceased? If it is such credible information, why don't they have an affidavit from the co-worker?
j) "The FBI's investigation had dragged on for years, tarnishing the reputation of the agency in the process." Well, no shit, Sherlock.
k) "tracing back to Ivins' lab the type of envelopes used" tracking back to his lab = Government purchase order for the office supplies = no one else at Ft. Detrick with access to the laboratories could possibly have had the same envelopes = it was the cheapest thing the gov't could buy = I could probably buy it at some dime store.
as an editorial note, having just cleaned up the grammar/spelling & applied my Professional Appropriateness Language Function (apologies to all, if you read this earlier and were put off). I don't mind using crass language for effect, but I do avoid it at work or in professional endeavors. This blog isn't my professional work, and the "turn off coarse language" option didn't get selected.