Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I think that this is a great idea and am eager to participate. My first selections are already started. I have even selected a graphic to be used for my Blog-It-Forward posts! Thanks Dave! This is a wonderful idea!
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I am very happy to be able to finally congratulate Rainy Pete and his wife on the birth of their new wee one!!!
Rainy Pete and his better half on the birth of their son Jakob!
When checking out the usual blogs that I link to and read, I came across one that really amused me. Appreciate The Cheese has a link on his August 24th post with the title Scratch. It's just one of those things that is dumb but makes you chuckle. Someone got creative, and it is worth checking out!
Friday, August 26, 2005
1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at?
2. How much cash do you have on you right now?
3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?
4. Favorite plant?
Orchids... most varieties
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
6. What is your main ring tone on your phone?
Mozart Piano Sonata
7. What shirt are you wearing?
blue PJ top
8. Do you "label" yourself?
9. Name brand of your shoes currently wearing?
10. Do you prefer a bright or dark room?
Bright during the day, dark at night
11. What did you have for breakfast?
Grape Nuts with milk and 2 cups of hot tea
12. Since question 12 is weirdly missing, make some shit up.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Trying to get to sleep while our Siamese cat kept walking across me on the bed
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?
"How's it going?"
15. Do you ever click on "Pop Ups" or Banners?
16. What's an expression that you say a lot?
17. Who told you they loved you last?
My youngest daughter
18. Last furry thing you touched?
My big, fat, white cat, Scud
19. How many hours a week do you work?
35 on the clock at work... at home it varies
20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
None! I now have a digital camera... I love it!!!
21. Favorite age you have been so far?
Around 25 to 30
22. Your worst enemy?
23. What is your current desk top picture?
Picture a keyboard, a couple piles of papers, some books, a bottle of water, and a few catalogs. The "wallpaper" on my desk top is a picture of my 4 "kids" in a funny pose.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
See ya tomorrow
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to go back in time and fix all your mistakes which would you choose?
Hmmmmm... that is a hard one. It's not that I would necessarily want to choose the money... it's just that if I were to go back and fix my mistakes, I might have missed out on some other good things... and what other mistakes would I make instead? I think that I would rather have the life that I know than one that could possibly turn out worse!
Questions by Stacy the Peanut Queen, answers by Rhodent
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
One of our local priests died this weekend from a massive stroke. It was a shock because he was so young...
He was a smoker. If you are still doing this...
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Cheer up JPR. Things could be worse. Your car could break down.
To continue... "JPR" was complaining about his cubicle. It was actually a clever post. He is such a clever young man. My question to him was this: "But do you have a window?" If you have a window, it's not that bad. I do NOT have a window. I am the only one at work who does not have a window. Even the maintenance office has a window. The storage building has several windows. The front desk receptionist has several windows. The youth minister who is never in his office has a window. What do I have you ask? I have a set of black and dark brown mismatched file cabinets and a rusty old green safe. I put a red bow on the handle of the safe. Yes. That helps a lot.
"JPR" does not always spend all day in his cubicle. Sometimes he get to out to the testing pad and watch very expensive jet engines blow up. It's not his fault they blow up. It is usually because someone has assembled somethingy incorrectly or put a screw in the wrong place or something. But at least he gets out of his cubicle. And you have to admit that blowing up a jet engine can get a little exciting. I wouldn't mind blowing something up... except for the noise. I don't think my nerves could handle the noise.
So "JPR"... think of you dear old mom and her red bow the next time you get down in the dumps. Things could be worse... they could send you to the desert in Arizona to blow up your engines! I'll bet they even have beige cubicles in the desert in Arizona.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Not only was today tedious and long and I'm a bit down, but it was definitely a bad hair day for me! I also really need a haircut and a good camouflage treatment! Things could be worse, but knowing that doesn't seem to help.
Tomorrow is Wednesday. That means that Thursday and another "Girls' Night Out" is one day closer. That also means that Friday is closer. I need to come up with something exciting to do for Friday night. I've got a couple of days to think about it. Suggestions?
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
There once was an Aussie named Shane
Three mice he decided to train
It was quite an art
In the tub they did start
But I question if he’s at all sane
Chopsticks, Bunsen and Harry
Little mice who all seemed quite merry
Some surfboards Shane made
And how his mice played
Then their routines did Shane start to vary
Shane stuck to their training routine
On their surfboards they might then be seen
Was their training enough?
Would the waves be too rough?
Was he pushing and being too mean?
On a day that the weather seemed nice
To the ocean Shane took his three mice
The waves became real
The mice all surfed with zeal
Through the waves, on their boards they did slice
Now they’re famous all over the world
They were seen where the big waves were curled
They were there with the rest
Hanging ten with the best
And not one of them has ever hurled!
Saturday, August 13, 2005
CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia -- land of sun, sand and ... surfing mice?
Australian Shane Willmott is training three mice, named Harry, Chopsticks and Bunsen, to surf small waves on tiny mouse-size surf boards at beaches on the country's Gold Coast. The mice are put through rigorous bathtub training and then some have their fur dyed when it is time to hit the beach.
"Usually if he is surfing big waves, I usually color his hair up. Because he's white, when he gets in the whitewash it's hard to find him," Willmott told Australian television.
Despite Willmott's training, Harry, Chopsticks and Bunsen -- who live in miniature custom-made villas and own specially made jet skis -- are proving no threat to world champion Kelly Slater just yet.
Friday, August 12, 2005
I miss Warren Sapp. Yes, I know he was a real bad boy, but he was always full of surprises and kept things interesting. I missed Mike Alstott when he was out, and he hasn't played quite the same since he has been back. John Lynch was a class act, and I will miss him too... as well as some of the other players that have moved on to other teams or retired.
John Gruden has hopefully made some good choices for this year's players. Time will tell. I am hoping for an exciting season... maybe not the Superbowl but at least a good showing into the playoffs!
Who are your favorite teams? Even if you are not from the States, do you follow American football? "JPR" are you still gonna root for the Bucs?
Thursday, August 11, 2005
We ate at Chili's, and I tried their Caribbean Chicken Salad for the first time... it was yummy! We didn't have desert at Chili's or the mall, but Himself had been to the store and bought us some Klondike ice cream bars. Mmmmm good. I think that I will become a regular at the Girls' Night Out, so you might see Thursday evening posts a bit abbreviated... or maybe I will have more material for my posts!
But now I have to come down off of my high and do some laundry so I have some clothes to wear tomorrow. Work happens and life goes on...
Monday, August 08, 2005
I try to keep my posts non-political for the most part. It has been just over a week since I last ranted and raved about something and here I go again! However, I read something in the paper today(St. Petersburg Times) that has me quite angry. At first it may not seem so important, but if you read the article (which I have copied below) and think about the implications, you will probably get as angry as I am currently.
Please read the article below. Think about the implications of limiting direct public access to information from a government agency that we as taxpayers support being limited so that you only have access to the information by receiving it filtered through private companies. Look at the fact that the Senator who is sponsoring this bill is trying to get re-elected in a state that has more that a few of these companies. I support private enterprise, but why would I want the information I now have access to quickly online to become only available through a private company? Will the information be as timely? Will the information be everything that I have access to now?
Will bill darken weather sites?
By TOM ZUCCO, Times Staff Writer
Critics say the bill would force a government agency to disseminate much of its data only to private companies.
Published August 8, 2005
Chuck Husick talks about NOAA as if it's a person, someone sitting out in cyberspace, always ready to help, no questions asked.
Several times a day, and sometimes more, Husick, who flies airplanes, owns a sailboat, and lives near the water at Tierra Verde, visits the federal agency's Web site to get everything from weather reports to tide charts.
Like tens of thousands of other Floridians who rode out four hurricanes last year, and who are bracing themselves for an even more active season this year, Husick, 72, relies almost entirely on Web sites run by the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service, and their parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA.
But Husick and many others worry all that could change, thanks to someone who lives in a state hurricanes rarely reach.
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., the Senate's third-ranking Republican, introduced a bill in April titled the National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005. According to the bill's wording, it would "clarify the duties and responsibilities" of NOAA and the NWS, and "protect life and property."
Santorum has said the bill's intention is to keep NOAA from competing with private companies. The main task of the weather service, he said, is to provide public alerts for emergency conditions such as tornadoes and severe weather, which the bill would require the agency to continue.
But critics say the bill would force NOAA to disseminate much of its data, which is collected at taxpayer expense, only to private companies. The result, they say, would be that the government's ad-free Web sites would go dark.
As proof, they point to a key sentence in the bill involving the cabinet post that oversees NOAA:
"The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service that is or could be provided by the private sector."
That, say opponents of the bill, is akin to telling the U.S. Postal Service that Federal Express and UPS would have exclusive use of all the government's package delivery equipment, and that the post office could only deliver packages if it didn't interfere with the private companies.
Opponents of the bill are also quick to point out that 14 private weather forecasting companies, including AccuWeather, one of the biggest players in the field, have their headquarters in Santorum's home state.
The bill did not get a hearing before the summer recess, but it is still pending before the Senate Commerce Committee and may find its way to the floor of the Senate after Congress reconvenes Sept. 6.
In the meantime, the battle lines have not been drawn.
They've been dredged.
"There's been a general attack on the bill to make it look like something it isn't," said Barry Myers, AccuWeather's executive vice president. "This would do more for the state of Florida than what's ever been done by NOAA or the NWS."
Santorum's office did not respond to interview requests, but Myers argued that the bill would not only put weather information in the public's hands more quickly than it does now, it would put more information on the government Web sites.
"It's totally false," Myers added, "that we want these sites to go away."
But a growing number of people outside the weather business, including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, don't buy that. Nelson wrote a letter urging President Bush to oppose the legislation.
"Senator Nelson can understand the balance there has to be between not allowing government services to undermine private industry," said Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin. "But in this case, Santorum wants to shut down the Web sites and keep all the information NOAA collects private and available only to those few companies.
"The bottom line question is whether this is in the public interest. It's one thing to be supportive of the employers in your state.
"It's another to carry their water."
* * *
One thing neither side is debating is NOAA's relevance. During the peak of the 2004 hurricane season, from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, NOAA had 9-billion hits on its Web sites.
A NOAA spokeswoman didn't know how many of those hits came from Florida. But she did say people living in areas affected by severe weather usually account for most of the Internet traffic.
For years, the government weather service has coexisted with the weather-packaging companies. But NOAA, with its arsenal of satellites, aircraft, weather balloons, weather buoys and ground sites, has always had a huge advantage.
The private forecasting companies take the raw data from the government agencies and, among other services, turn it into the maps and graphs they sell to newspapers and TV stations. The St. Petersburg Times gets its daily weather maps from one such company, Weather Central Inc., based in Madison, Wis.
That relationship changed last December when, acting on the recommendation of the National Research Council, NOAA rewrote its regulations.
In place since 1991, the old policy banned NOAA from offering any services already being provided by private businesses or which they might someday decide to offer.
Citing advancements in computer graphics and software that have allowed NOAA to do its job better, the new policy rejects the outright ban as too rigid. Instead it requires NOAA give "due consideration" to what private companies are doing before the weather service modifies its own distribution of material.
That sparked immediate protests from officials at the private companies, who think they now face unfair competition from the weather service.
And three months later, it brought Santorum into the fray.
Santorum is no stranger to Florida. On March 29, while on a fundraising swing through the state, he stopped at Terri Schiavo's Pinellas Park hospice to pray with her parents and appear on national TV.
He faces a tough re-election fight next year, and his office acknowledges the bill is in part an attempt to protect the weather companies based in his home state.
"This is about job retention in Pennsylvania," Santorum spokeswoman Chrissy Shott told the Associated Press shortly after the bill was introduced.
But Myers, AccuWeather's vice president, said the bill has become overly politicized, and that much of the negative sentiment is based on misinformation originated from the NWS union.
"We know the weather service and their union has taken the stand to do whatever they can to get as much public recognition to support their own budget," Myers said. "They want to increase the number of jobs at the weather service and get in front of as many people as possible.
"Our industry can't exist without that data being made available. All we're asking for is the same right the public has."
But the issue, Myers said, goes beyond politics. He also criticized the way NOAA and its agencies do their job.
"During Charley, (National Hurricane Center director) Max Mayfield came on the air on local TV and said the storm had intensified from a Category 2 to a 4," Myers said.
"We started to wonder how is it that the head of hurricane center went on TV to make an announcement of intensification, which was information that no one else had and didn't show up on their Web site until 15 or 20 minutes after he was on TV.
"So adding preparation time, that's about 45 minutes of critical time that was lost so that the National Hurricane Center could break the story. That is playing with people's lives. The Santorum bill would never again allow that to happen."
What the private companies are asking for, Myers said, is nothing special.
"We can make money and have a business based upon doing a better job than the government or anyone else," he said. "We don't need special favors and ask for none."
* * *
Larry Gispert has been directing Hillsborough County's Office of Emergency Management for the past 12 years. He said he has nothing against private weather companies and the job they do.
"But I'm against this," he said last week. "He (Santorum) wants to privatize weather, and I need my weather unfiltered regardless of profit. It's painfully obvious this comes from a state that will benefit greatly if this bill is passed."
But of far greater importance to Gispert is the public safety of the 1.1-million residents of his county.
"If part of getting you to evacuate is to have you feel comfortable going to a Web site to verify what I'm saying on TV or the radio, I'm all for it," he said. "Many adults don't normally believe a single source, and one of the things they do is surf the Net.
"And everybody who has a computer has NOAA or the NWS bookmarked."
Gispert is also concerned that private companies don't have the billion-dollar infrastructure NOAA has.
And he worries the subtle but strong sense of obligation government forecasters have might be compromised.
"When I call the National Weather Service in Ruskin and they tell me what's going on," Gispert said, "it's not because they're making a profit. It's because they're a government servant just like I am. It's unfiltered.
"Is AccuWeather going to help me? I don't think so."
Another question has to do with the free flow of information, and whether the bill would help people who just want their weather, no strings attached.
"We've never had weather information of the variety and quality we have now from the government weather service," Husick of Tierra Verde said. "I looked at the commercial servers. They generally do a good job. But it's largely theatrics and endless commercials, because they're trying to attract the viewing public.
"But would you be able to rely on their information?
"And do you want to put up with pop-up ads?"[Last modified August 8, 2005, 02:45:2
Sunday, August 07, 2005
I have three things that I want to accomplish today... I want to do one load of laundry so that I have something to wear to work tomorrow, I want to go to look at cars for a bit, and mostly, I want to spend much of the day reading the new Harry Potter book. I really love having reading time and a book that is fun to read. So, even if I don't' get both of the other things done (I can always scrape something out of my closet to wear) I will make sure that I get some reading time fit into the day. The sun is currently out, so I may even get into the pool for a bit today.
I love days like this!
P.S. Please say some prayers for Alisa of Random Postings... she is going through some rough things in her life right now.
P. P. S. It booming outside again... no pool and maybe no car shopping. I guess I'll just have to force myself to read all afternoon. Yay!
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
It started when Himself rented a haul truck to get rid of some old fence materials and a few other pieces of junk that had been piling up in the back yard. I was at work at the time the truck was delivered and came home to the young mom across the street and the next door teacher helping Himself load up the truck. Some of those things were very heavy! They were then able to put some of their own junk in the truck to be hauled off. Afterwards, we all got together for a cookout on our back porch and a swim in the pool. That was just the beginning...
While we were all sitting around eating, the worker bees got to talking about replacing old fencing. The decision was made to measure for what was needed and order together so that it would be cheaper and delivered at the same time. They would all get together and help each other. Great plan!
Some more neighbor helping neighbor... The next night, the mom (Amy) from across the street called and asked me to come over and look at a strange rash on her baby's leg... she now knew me well enough to be comfortable in asking. As it turned out, Amy had to take the baby to the hospital emergency room, and I babysat with her little boy since her husband (policeman) was working until her dad could get there to take over.
The fence sections arrived and the plans were made. My son Matt came home for the weekend (actually, he was only able to get here for Sunday). Fence sections were moved to the appropriate yards and a fence hole digger was rented. Another neighbor loaned us a gadget on wheels that made moving the fence sections to their eventual positions much easier. Holes were dug, fence sections were put in place and held by a couple of screws while other sections were put in place. One yard almost done (single teacher). Our yard was worked on next before we all got together across the street for a picnic on their back porch and a swim in their pool. WE all chipped in with the food. Today, Himself lent a hand across the street to help them get started on their fence before doing some more work on ours. I think that they will all work together tonight when it is a bit cooler.
All in all, we have become better neighbors and friends all due to some old junky fence sections that needed to go. This is much better than the friendly acquaintances we all were before. Linda (single teacher) has even volunteered to help with the painting trim work on our house on the back and side that still needs to be finished.