Thursday, February 28, 2008

Work work work

Stuck at work trying to meet a deadline on a project that doubled in size due to re-works (not my fault) but the deadline, of course, did not extend out proportionally to the extra tasks. So here I am listening to Project Pitchfork, Disturbed and Vienna Teng on my iPod, and taking a moment to vent while I have a batch operation running. This 13 14.5 hour work day thing is over rated.

Last night while I was stuck here (only 12 hour day yesterday) there was someone else on the same floor of the building blaring Neil Diamond from her cd player. She seems not to be here tonight, or else she brought headphones. The woman in the next cube over is still here, too, though. Night time in a cube farm. It's a different landscape when most of it's denizens have gone home.

On the up-side, the snow outside is supposed to stop soon, and the plows should have made everything much tidier by the time I get out of here.

Batch process done. Another hour or so and I might be able to go home.

As I wrap this post up, The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum) by Fun Boy Three has just begun to play. Appropriate for this project. Yup.

Aside from the waterboarding...

Today's LFG comic was particularly good, IMHO.

Richard (the warlock) is appallingly awful as usual, but in such an entertaining way (also as usual). He's my favorite character, by far.

Maybe the subtle jab at the current administration's wishy-washy stand on waterboarding (i.e. is it still torture when it's not being done to Mike McConnell?) is funnier to me than usual because I don't expect it in this kind of comic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Off the top of my head -- 10 celebrity men with extra sexy voices, IMHO.
(In no particular order)
  • Peter Woodward
  • Patrick Stewart
  • Liam Neeson
  • Derek Jacobi
  • Christopher Lee
  • Jeremy Irons
  • George Takei
  • Alan Rickman
  • Johnny Depp
  • Boris Karloff
Can't leave Boris off just because he's passed beyond the veil. His voice lives on in his movies.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Social Gamers

There's no place like home
Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
Played some World of Warcraft with my Mister and our friends this weekend. We ran some dungeons with our 60-somethings, did some daily questing with our 70's, and even spent time on our newbie alts.

Who says gamers aren't social?

Some of our guild-mates, the people we play with regularly, have known each other in "real life" since childhood. One is a friend of mine from many years ago, who now lives 2,000 miles away.

Dungeon crawls with a group at high levels in a game like WoW take a lot of coordinated teamwork and problem solving to go smoothly. We use microphones to chat with one another as we play, which is more efficient and usually more fun than only using only text chat. Now that there's a voice chat feature built into WoW, it's easier than ever to plan our next move, help each other complete quests, or discuss which movie should have won at the Oscars.

While we still use mostly text chat when we play in "pick up groups" (aka PUGs) with people we don't know, when we play with our guildies, we almost always have voice chat on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hit song created by a virtual committee

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame posted on his blog about how random song lyrics seem to be, and inspired his readers. One thing led to another, and with the help of the band RIVO DREI the song "She Amazed Me" was born, followed by this music video by another blog reader. I love the idea, and the song's actually pretty catchy.

I can't hear rocks, either. I wonder if I've got a frog in my ear and don't know it?

Lyrics and more details here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And now a public service announcement...

Public Service Announcement
More like this on

LOLcats FTW!

It's a beautiful day today! Sun shining, it's warmed up to 31°F (-1°C), and I just got back from having lunch with friends. Must go back outside and enjoy the weather. More time on the interweb later, after breathing unfrozen outdoors air for a little bit. And quilting. And practicing my Qigong. And otherwise having energy mid-day for the first time in ages.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Newt Day!

Yes, it seems unlikely, but by my calculations Newt Day has reached the 15 year mark, which is worth just a little more attention than we usually give it. So, for a Leave It To Me challenge at TWTME I just couldn't resist doing a newt related image.

And I say to the lowly newt: Woot woot!

4 out of 5 Pirates and Pastafarians I've polled about Newt Day approve of this holiday for their compatriots who celebrate holidays.
(Poll was not even vaguely scientific)

Disclaimer: This holiday is not acknowledged by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (but a couple of us think it should be). No newts were harmed in bringing you this holiday. Some restrictions may apply. Newts may not be available nor interested in sharing the holiday in your area. Not affiliated with that other popular holiday that also falls on February 14th. No cherubs, cards, roses, chocolate or sparklies necessary to celebrate.

The original background photo belongs to ☼ Helder.
The original newt can be seen here on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website,
and is listed as public domain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yay Dogs

I went to get an acupuncture treatment today after work. Never can quite believe how good I feel afterwards. Then I came home and logged back in to do some more work from home. Trying to put the project that wouldn't die behind me. Got as much done as I could before the server I needed to work on stopped responding, and I had to give up for the night.

Now, a tasty beer in hand, I'm watching last night's Westminster Dog Show (opening evening) on DVR. Such an amazing parade of beautiful beasties.

The kitties are unimpressed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

We must renew our commitment to our veterans...

We must renew our commitment to our veterans.
Even as our overseas commitments stretch our military to its limits, many who claim that Democrats don’t “support our troops” are consistently failing to support our veterans. President Bush has sent budgets to Congress that actually contain cuts to veterans’ health care. Republicans in Congress tried last year to cut in half research into traumatic brain injury – the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have to do better for the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States into battle.

~Al Franken

Read more about Al Franken's stand on the issues, and his proposals for bringing about much needed change on

He's running for US Senate here in Minnesota, and I am positively inspired by his sincerity. He always shown he's willing to openly discuss the elephant in the proverbial livingroom, and that's just what we need more of right now. He loves our country, and loves our troops, and loves his home state of Minnesota. And more to the point, he has the cojones to get the job done.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's a beautiful day

Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
It's a beautiful, bright, sunny day. To look out the window it looks like it would be a perfect day to go out and practice my archery. But it's -7°F (-22°C) out there, with a wind chill of -28°F (-33°C).

There were a couple of squirrels sitting on our front deck, checking out the feeding dish and looking hopeful. The deck is a dark gray, and the direct sunlight on the boards makes them wonderfully warm even in this kind of cold. So I suspect it was warming their fuzzy little coats, too.

In fact, the surface of the deck is warm enough that when I went out to fill the feeder for the squirrels I was able to do so barefoot. The air was cold enough to freeze the inside of my nose almost instantly. But my toesies were plenty warm.

So, no archery today, and probably not for some time yet.

But my Honey is home from his trip. The squirrel bowl is full and the squirrels are going to town on the goodies in it. The cats enjoyed today's episode of rodent action on the cat-tv (window) before finding comfy spots for their afternoon naps. My Mister is baking bread and filling the house with baking smells. We'll spend some time playing WoW together, and then I'll probably knit and catch up on some of the documentaries I've saved on our DVR.

Yup. It's a beautiful day.


Originally uploaded by Pockafwye
What fun!

I just found out that my photo of young rice sprouts was blogged on the official flickr Blog as part of the February 4, 2008 post on the beauty of groups of ojects, En Masse.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Home again

My Mister has been off carousing and visiting family in Las Vegas for several days, and he's coming home tonight.

The cats, the rats and I have all missed him, so we'll all be very glad to have him home again. Not sure he's going to be thrilled with coming home to wind chill values between -13 and -23°F after the mild weather in Vegas. It was relatively warm here (in the high 20's F) when he left. But that's what you get when you live in Minnesota.

I understand he got to meet some poker pros, like "The Professor" Howard Lederer, and has become good buddies with the family dog at my sister-in-law's house. Good thing he didn't drive there or he'd likely come home with the pupper. He sent this photo of her, taken with his cameraphone.

Friday, February 8, 2008

sleep, sleep and more sleep

My Mister
My Mister
I had most of today off today, as a scheduled day off. I needed to catch up on some rest. My lymphedema had flared up with a vengeance, and I'm starting to find that more sleep equals less puffing. With that in mind, I decided that today I'd let myself sleep as long as my system wanted to. I did wake up a few times to answer the phone fairly early. But I each time I got off the phone I'd lay back down to see if I'd drop back into sleep, or if I was really ready to be awake.

So, when I finally woke up and felt refreshed, it had been 15 hours of sleep. My foot was completely de-puffed. The cats were sitting around staring at me, apparently annoyed by the change in my schedule. (They're such creatures of habit.)

So now that I'm caught up, the plan is to get back onto my schedule again.

I spent a little time this afternoon playing with Photoshop. The photo in this post is the result.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A lively discussion over at WWdN: In Exile

I've been participating in a lively political discussion over at WWdN: In Exile. Part of Wil's original post is quoted below.
It's going to be a huge challenge for our next president to heal this nation, and end the Culture of Fear that's been created by the Bush Administration. I believe that Barack Obama is the best candidate to do that, and I was proud to vote for him today. ~Wil Wheaton
In response to a commenter with the screen name 1BigBank who stated that the Democratic party can't win because of the high proportion of small minded, bigoted people in this country (his full post is here) I posted the following:

@1BigBank: We, as the people of the USA, get to decide what the country is or is not ready for. If Obama or Hillary gets out the vote more effectively than those who have such racist or sexist political views do, we win and they have to become ready pronto. We are only defeated before we begin if we allow ourselves to buy into the "not ready" line and refuse to vote our conscience based on their bigotry.

We may have a long way to go yet for true equality and a level playing field, but we've come long way from where we were.

If we had waited for the country to have been "ready" for the US to accept civil rights such as women's suffrage or African Americans being allowed to integrate with whites, these things would never have happened. They happened because those who were right mobilized their political power to get the right things done, and because of visionary leaders who defied conventional wisdom about what the masses could accept.

I believe this. It's not just pretty words for me. And this year I see such enthusiasm for the Democratic party that I think we have what it takes to make good things happen. I hope that more people can find their hope restored by the swell of support for both Clinton and Obama, and that their hope can inspire others. We can turn things around. We can win the presidency back from the far Right.

In the words of Barack Obama, "Yes we can".

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Caucus night

Super Tuesday 2008.

We live in Minnesota where delegates for presidential candidates are selected by caucus. My Mister and I went to our DFL Party precinct caucus in support of Barack Obama. It's late, but I wanted to jot down my impression of the event before turning in for the evening.

People caucusing for the Democratic candidates had the option to arrive at the appointed hour, cast their ballot for presidential candidate, and then leave. And many people did do just that. By the time we arrived they had run out of the official registration sheets, and were making due with additional pads of paper. The Chair from another precinct came by to see if we had any extra forms or pens (they were in another room of the same building), so apparently other precincts were also unprepared for the numbers of people who showed up.

We chose to remain to participate in the rest of the evening's proceedings. The room was full, so many people remained standing from just before 7:00 PM to shortly after 8:00 PM. There were people of all ages there, many of whom (like us) were caucusing for the first time. Our precinct is fairly ethnically diverse (for Minnesota) and I'm glad to say the people in the room seemed to be a decent cross section of the local population.

My Honey and I opted to become district delegates. Our precinct is allowed 30 delegates, and 32 people nominated themselves. Two of them volunteered to be alternate delegates instead, so the numbers worked themselves out such that the nominations did not need to come to a vote. So March 15th, my Honey and I will be attending the county-unit convention as precinct delegates.

In addition to choosing delegates for the county convention, resolutions were raised, debated and voted upon to be sent on for consideration in the party platform for 2008. The vote breakdown among those 141 people was:

John Edwards 1
Hillary Clinton 34
Barack Obama 106

Of the 141 people who came to vote for a presidential candidate, 50 remained behind for the rest of the event, which I understand is roughly 5 times the number who usually choose to participate in this particular precinct.

We held a straw poll among those remaining 50 people to determine how support for the candidates for Senate broke down. Those (non-binding) votes were:

Al Franken 28
Mike Ciresi 6
Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer 3
Undecided 13

Among the resolutions that were voted upon there were several regarding support for affordable health care, one opposed to profiteering by corporations in industries that are part of the country's infrastructure (oil, telecom, etc.) and two on the topic of education.

Resolution-wise, the most notable, IMHO, was one stating the precinct's position against any attempt to alter the state constitution to discriminate against GLBT couples. There have been recent attempts by the conservative politicians in Minnesota to add an amendment to our constitution banning same-sex marriage, and the issue is likely to come up again with the next legislative session. They've been unsuccessful so far. And I'm happy to report that this particular resolution passed unanimously, so our opposition to such amendments has gone on record.

So as I wrap this up, Minnesota has reported results of 67% of the vote going to Obama. Hillary is still ahead in nation-wide results, but not so far ahead that it's definitely over. My Mister and I are holding out hope that when they divvy up the delegates and the Super Delegates make their commitments Obama can still pull out a win.

See more of my photos and additional comments on the caucus in my flickr photos.

Monday, February 4, 2008

People are scary

So I was watching the news tonight on BBC America to see what our primary elections look like to other folks, and I just about choked on my beverage.

They showed a radio talk show host taking calls from his listeners, and a lady was calling in to complain about McCain's policies. Specifically, she complained about his being against torture. She then, in a civilized tone of voice said, "I'm pro-torture."

First of all, well DUH, McCain is against torture. I mean, come on lady, the man was a prisoner of war and on the receiving end of torture. And how can a person in a country that takes pride in words like "freedom" and "justice" wrap her mouth around words like, "I'm pro-torture." I assume to people like that "justice" is only valuable when it's applied to people of their choosing.


Ick ick ick ick...

Liberty_Tapped.jpgDid we ever have just a little bit of moral high ground to stand on? Can we have it back, please?

Does that anonymous woman realize that by advocating torture, she's giving up any right to be outraged if torture is used on our own people? I have family in the military. Are they worth protecting, even if she thinks torture might be useful? Which, I do not believe it is. But even if it were useful, is it worth that risk? That sacrifice? What about civilians traveling abroad? Where does the line get drawn?

I mentioned it to my friend, Tym, and he said, "People are scary."

That sums it up for me right now.

This is one of the big reasons I'm going to vote in the caucus tomorrow. This is a real part of why I'm voting for Barack Obama and Al Franken.

* * *
Our biggest problem with the Bush administration is that for us it's déjà vu all over again. We spent six years watching the man as governor of Texas, the basis for our 1999 book, Shrub. We were tempted to begin this book by observing, "If y'all had've read the first book we wouldn't've had to write this one." Cooler heads prevailed.
From Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America
By Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video

I believe that a leader like Barack Obama could help us regain some of our lost respect in the world. If you're an undecided voter in the US, and your state is casting it's ballots on Super Tuesday, please watch this video. And consider giving Obama your vote.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Peter Woodward Photo Collective

My friend, who's flickr id is Scandaldancer, came up with the brilliant idea of putting together the first (and only that I know of) flickr pool in honor of Peter Woodward. The pool is called the Peter Woodward Photo Collective. We're co-admins, but she did much of the work behind the scenes to get the pool up and running.

The above photo is from the pool's first member, Zero G.

It's been fun flitting through searches on flickr and my already found favorites to find photos to invite to the pool.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Seen on CNN via Ann Coulter would support Hillary over McCain

In the latest sign that a conservative backlash is starting to build against John McCain, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said Thursday she is prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton over the Arizona senator in a general election match up.
Here is a link to the rest of the article. Dear FSM, did I just recommend a news article about Coulter?

My good friend, K, suggested that this may be one of the first signs of the coming of the Apocalypse. Just one more good reason to vote for Obama.

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