Nuke’s Eighth Annual Bloggapalooza

Eight years ago, on the night of the MLB All-Star Game, Nuke’s News and Views was launched amid the hoopla and excitement that has accompanied the beginning of any great episode in modern history.

 

_eightfingers.jpgIt was decided that this blog would be unlike any other blog in the interwebs: a place where rational minds could meet to discuss the weighty issues of the day, politics, religion, poetry, and college football.

 

Have we succeeded?  The simple fact that the lights are still on and we are still here speaks volumes.  Just take a look at the “Reciprocated links” in the right-hand sidebar.  I’ve marked those blogs which are still active with an (a).  Many good blogs have fallen by the wayside.  They got tired, moved on, had major life changes that required that they no longer devote time to the website, passed away, or just said forget about it — I’m not making any difference anyway; and closed up shop.

 

So, please allow me a moment of self-congratulatory indulgence:  we’re still talking about the issues of the day, politics, religion, and college football.  But, we haven’t been without our share of changes.  Our resident poets, Murder of Ravens and Beto Ochoa have moved on.  And the Blog Artiste, Vimto, still drops by occasionally, but hasn’t had the opportunity to continue with his fine work as a political cartoonist.  I don’t know if I told y’all, but a few Christmases ago, Vimto sent me several of his original cartoon pieces that currently occupy a prominent spot on my office wall.  I hope I have not failed to thank you sufficiently for these treasured pieces, old friend.  And, our resident legal beagle, Theobromophile, has no doubt finished her Law School studies, and is waist deep in the pre-partnership legal jungle of generating billable hours.  She stopped by to comment recently, and it was certainly a pleasant surprise.  Good luck to you, Theo.  All the best.

 

The Swampess, and Robert D. are still hanging in there.  Nobody does a Global Warming putdown better than Robert D.  I mean it:  Nobody.   And Swampwoman, well what can I say.  I think she’s the finest writer we’ve ever had at Nuke’s.  You know, some people just have a way of putting on paper, digitally or otherwise, exactly what they are thinking, in a way that is entertaining, informative, succinct, and Southern.  That describes Swampwoman to a T.  I thank y’all for all your contributions these last 8 years at Nuke’s Popcorn Stand.

 

And my oldest of Blog Amigos, no2liberals, has hung with me for the entire Octo-Adventure.  Thanks, Bud.  You’re the best.  I hope OU and MSU meet in the 2015 Championship game.  Since that game will be held at AT&T in Arlington, you can bet we will both be there.  In fact, I plan on crashing over at his crib for Championship Weekend.

 

Most of all, thanks to our readers.  Without you, it would get mighty lonesome.

 

Here’s to the next 8.

 

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Why Won’t My Keyboard Button Thingamajig Work?

SwampMan was complaining loudly to himself. “This button USED to work, but NOOOOOOO. It doesn’t work now. It hasn’t worked for a long time through different computers, and I’d like to know why the hell not!” STABSTABSTABSTABSTAB at the button because physical abuse always makes electronic things work.

“Did you look it up online?” I asked, rudely interrupting his soliloquy cuss session.

“No. What good would that do? It has been a long time since that thing worked.”

“So I heard. Is it your new keyboard?”

“No, damnit. The button hasn’t worked for YEARS. This is a new keyboard.”

“So, what version of Windows you got?”

“Windows XP.”

Ah, yes. He’d ordered a refurbished computer for his shop because he wanted to keep XP; his house computer also has XP. It makes moving things back and forth easier. I’d been typing into the search engine while we were speaking and had the answer in about ten seconds. “Well, there’s your problem right here. That button doesn’t work directly with XP.”

SwampMan muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “bullshit”.

“Humor me. Hit the button, then press start, then all programs, then accessories….”

He stabbed the keys with unnecessary vigor following my directions, then there was a muttered “Well I’ll be a (very rude and offensive expletive)!”

Ah, apparently we were successful in our endeavor.

“Isn’t it interesting”, I continued, “what we find out if we actually look it up?”

More muttered rude words. Not to worry, though. Tomorrow he’ll probably be saying something like “Isn’t it INTERESTING how much money we can save if we do not hit things with a hammer when they malfunction?” to me, unless he recalls in time that his knees have been malfunctioning for years.

Ah, well. He may still be a little aggravated at me from earlier today. He was worrying aloud about the CNC not working with the new (refurbished) computer, mentioned how he had checked settings several times, and was just about to start checking all his connections to make sure he had power to all of them.

“Oh!” I remarked helpfully, although he had not asked for any. “Did you check to see if you have enough RAM?”

He actually rolled his eyes at me. “What, do you think I’m stupid? Of COURSE!”

“Did you reconnect everything to see if it worked with the old computer again after you got everything disconnected and reconnected to the new computer and it didn’t work?” I’m definitely not a repairman, and I am lazy, so I like to make sure that what I’m putting forth a lot of effort and brainwork into is actually the problem.

He blinked. “Well, no….”

“It’s just me, but I’d like to make sure that the computer or a cable isn’t the problem first before I go tearing things down.” SwampMan likes to tear things down. Well, so do I, but all that is left are teensy little molecule-sized pieces when I do it. He actually takes things apart and puts them back together in working condition, and I just gaze at him adoringly because he’s my hero.

“I never even thought of THAT because everything is supposed to be new. Good idea!”

It turned out that it was a dead parallel port in the refurbished computer. SwampMan throws NOTHING away because he may need it someday. He’s got eight or so old computers sitting around to strip parts out of. He’s very happy that he gets to tear down things after all.

Against all Odds

I wanted to share a story from one of our Contributors, Swampwoman. She and her husband are educators in the state of Florida. It’s obvious from reading their story that they are very interested in providing opportunities for their students to learn, even when others have given up on them. (courtesy GCP)

SwampMan and I had worried about what had happened to a former student for years. As a child, he’d been subjected to the most horrific physical and sexual abuse at the hands of those who should have protected him. His mom, also a victim, was helpless to protect him, herself, or the younger ones. As he grew older, he was small and thin and could go into rages when provoked. He was bullied/provoked relentlessly in school and fought back violently. He was often in trouble.

He was an ESE student. I helped him with his reading. I thought he was brilliant and creative and told him so frequently. He had a gift for writing and WHAT an imagination! My heart ached for the gentle, sensitive young man I could catch glimpses of underneath the sullen, combative exterior of a middle schooler that should be in high school.

SwampMan REALLY worried about him. He tutored him. He listened to his problems. He did not report things that probably would have gotten him arrested, suspended, and some mandatory jail time, preferring to handle it himself and talk with the young man.

Then something really bad happened and he was removed from his home and school. We didn’t know where he had been placed or what had happened to him until he graduated, then he came back to the school and told SwampMan how he was a better dad to him than his dad had ever been.

We saw him this evening at a fast food establishment. He came to our table to tell us how much we meant to him. He brought his manager out and told her how we never stopped believing in him. He showed us his car, and told us how proud he had been to cook our food. We are so proud of him!

So many kids that we’ve known with backgrounds like his are dead or in prison. We’ve so happy that he’s getting along fine, even in this crappy economy, holding a job, and being a productive member of society. The slight young man is now a well-muscled, confident, handsome man.

Well done.

So, We Took the Grandsons to Red Lobster

SwampMan decided, since he was going into surgery Monday and would not be visiting restaurants for awhile, that he wanted to go to Red Lobster. Besides, he had been laboring mightily over my van (still not in actual operating condition) in 102-degree record heat, and he needed a reward. It was 3:00. We absolutely positively had to get the kids no later than 5:00 so Daddy could meet his unit to go off for two weeks with the National Guard. Mommy was at work on the other side of town, so Daddy absolutely relied on us. We were on the road, but still were 30 minutes away from Red Lobster. We were 45 minutes away from grandchildren.

SwampMan had asked me, before we left, where I wanted to eat. “Anywhere you want!” Okay, so I figured somewhere quick where we could drive through and get our food (grin) on the way to get the kids. “NO! I want to eat somewhere YOU want where we actually get to SIT DOWN and have people wait on us!”

“Okay, fine. How about Sonny’s BBQ?” They’re fast, good, and relatively inexpensive.

“I thought you liked Longhorn. You wanna go to Longhorn Steakhouse?”

“Uh, sure. I’ll go, if you think we have time.”

“Well, I don’t want to go there. I want the garlic crab and shrimp pasta at Red Lobster.”

It is a good thing that mentally banging a head on the wall doesn’t leave marks!

I pointed out to SwampMan that unless we could get in, order, eat our food, and get out of Red Lobster in 30 minutes (HA!), we were going to be really pushing the time on picking up the grandkids. “But I WANT Red Lobster!” “Well, we’ll just take the kids with us!” says I, ever the optimist. SwampMan was somewhat more sceptical but his Red Lobster craving was not to be denied. He agreed, reluctantly, to pick up the kids first, expressing his hope out loud to God that he wasn’t screwing up.

MeeMaw told the grandkids that we were going to go to a restaurant where they got to go inside and sit down and people ask them what they want to eat. Papa asked them if they remembered going to a restaurant where somebody asked them what they want. “SURE!” said Jacob. “McDonald’s!” Heh. Papa explained that this was a seafood restaurant. “Do you know what that is?” “Do they have shrimp?” asked Jacob. “YES!” “Good, cuz I looooove shrimp!” Dylan said that he did not like shrimp. Papa said that they also have fish. Dylan said that he didn’t like fish, either, with a challenging stare at Papa which, since Papa was driving, he fortunately did not see. Dylan had not had his nap so he was a leeeetle bit grumpy. He soon fell asleep.

When we arrived, I woke him and gave him an abbreviated set of MeeMaw’s Rules, which consisted of sitting quietly with feet under table, bottom in chair, and no loud talking.

When we got inside and were looking over the menu, I found that I had left a few things off of MeeMaw’s Rules. Things like no enumerating every place where he had ever pooped in the potty at in his loud, carrying voice. Things like no burping loudly at the table. The Rules were quickly amended on the spot. “I have to PEEPEE in the potty!”

The very nice and pretty young lady that waited our table brought crayons. Dylan decided to draw poop since MeeMaw wouldn’t let him discuss it. I made Jacob’s shrimp order (with fries!) for him. He asked if he could have chocolate milk. The young lady assured him she would mix some up personally for him. Dylan said he wanted chocolate milk, too, and wice. “Do you want chicken with your rice?” I asked. “No. Just wice.” “How about fish?” “NO! Just wice!” The sweet and pretty waitress asked him if he wanted macaroni with his rice. “Yes! And I HAVE TO POOPOO IN THE POTTY!” Jacob accompanied us. SwampMan and I got our salads. I ate a few bites of salad. Jacob colored quietly. Dylan announced “I don’t wike sawad!” Our appetizer came. Jacob colored quietly. Dylan smelled it. “I don’t wike it! Where’s my wice?” “They’re cooking your wi–uh, rice.” “It takes a long time to cook wice?” “Yes, yes it does.” Dylan told me that he liked wice. And noodles. And cheeseburgers. And boogers. Another rule: No eating boogers. I hurriedly snarfed down a couple pieces of my appetizer. “I have to PEEPEE IN THE POTTY!” We went potty again. When we came back, SwampMan had eaten my appetizer. I told him next time, he goes on the potty run. He declined. He said if I had wanted my appetizer, I should have put it all on my plate. I pointed out that I didn’t have a chance! He said that was no excuse. The cheese biscuits were delivered. Jacob didn’t want one. I gave one to Dylan. He smelled it. He licked it. I firmly told him we do not lick biscuits, we eat them, and tore off a piece. He liked it! He then told me he needed a knife to cut it. I told him there was no way that MeeMaw was going to allow him to have a knife. Ever. “I can cut it with my hands?” “Yes!” “Okay.”

Our food came. Jacob pronounced his fries and popcorn delicious. Dylan looked at his food. “I don’t wike macawoni!” he declared. What a surprise! He looked suspiciously at his wild rice pilaf. “Somebody put SAWAD in my WICE!” There were teensy chopped carrot pieces in there. And a little greenery sprinkled over the top. *sigh* “Just pick out the salad and eat your rice!” He did. He ate half the rice and half a cheese biscuit. “Meemaw, I finished!” Meemaw was shoveling in food at a frantic pace while Papa had a leisurely lunch/dinner. “Well, you will need to sit quietly while Meemaw finishes!” I have to PEEPEE IN THE POTTY, MEEMAW! “We will go peepee when Meemaw eats her food.” Papa was over on the other side of the table murmuring “never again!” to himself. I told the boys how well behaved they were and how proud I was of them. THEY didn’t eat my appetizer while I was taking the boys to the bathroom. The very nice lady bagged up our leftovers while I was escorting boys to the bathroom again.

It only took us an hour and a half in Red Lobster. It just felt like an eternity!

Duval County, Florida, Deports Illegals From Around the World

Illegal Immigrants Deported from Duval County between 10/28/08 and 7/14/10.

Click to enlarge.

I’d like to point out that Duval County, Florida, has been quietly deporting people that have criminal offenses for two years. So, is enforcement of immigration laws racist? Well, look at the picture. While Mexico had the single largest number of illegals sent back to Mexico, they are from all OVER the globe. Yep, Sheriff John has deported people to Asia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Canada!

This worldwide deportation has occurred from just ONE COUNTY in Florida and this is just the people that were caught for minor (and major) criminal offenses. Think about the magnitude of the problem that is currently being ignored by the Federal Government!

Sunday Morning Gospel

Okay, Johnny Cash ain’t exactly gospel, but I like it, and it’s MY POST. So there.

Be sure to post your favorites unless you’re a Godless heathen.

Friday Night Classical Music Thread

I Write Like Who? Say What?

Omnivoracious has a link to “I Write Like“, which is a text analyzer site where you cut and paste in your own text, and the site tells you which famous author your writing resembles.

Hunh. I decided to take it out for a whirl. The first bit of text that I cut and pasted told me that I wrote like Kurt Vonnegut. The second bit of text that I cut and pasted told me that I wrote like Dan Brown. The third and fourth bits of text that I cut and pasted told me that I wrote like other male authors.

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I suppose that I don’t use enough flowery adjectives to rate as a female. Should I get a DNA test? I thought giving birth was pretty powerful proof of being a genetic female, but could I be wrong?

So take the text test and find your writing style (and gender). If any of y’all get Elizabeth Peters or Janet Evanovich, I’m going to be pissed.

And You Think Your Job Sucks?

When I got the call from the school system for a temporary 1-year job, I was strongly inclined to decline. Did I say strongly? Perhaps that word is not emphatic enough. I dearly wanted to scream “Oh, HELL, NO!” and slam the phone down, but SwampMan had strongly counseled me that he was not at all happy about my decision to go into business with my ex-daughter-in-law doing children’s rooms. He had a point in that in the middle of a bad recession/beginning of a depression like this, there are not many people thinking about paying for people to decorate their children’s rooms, so just get over it.

So, I didn’t follow my first inclination of slamming down the telephone and running and hiding under the bed so they couldn’t come find me. I called SwampMan (big mistake) and told him about the job offer and my reservations about it.

“TAKE IT.”

“This is going to be a *very* bad job. Any time the ratio of staff to students is less than 1:10, that is a bad, bad sign. Here, the ratio is damn near 1:1.”

“Quit whining and take it. They’re in what, 4th or 5th grade? How bad could THAT be? Besides, what other paying jobs are available?”

How bad could it be? Maybe he was right. Maybe they were all little angels that just needed 1:1 staffing because…..umm……well, I couldn’t think of a good reason. I already knew from last year’s foray into kindergarten that children are highly protected but the staff is on their own. And there will be hell to pay if any of the little darlings that are attacking tooth and nail sustain a bruise while they make spirited attempts to break somebody’s finger. If there is an effective technique to ensure compliance, we can’t use it. If the children are out of control, then it is our fault and we did something wrong, and we better search our conscience for what it was.

Children, especially children that have cognitive problems, are very quick to learn that they can run wild and act like fools and kick and hit and spit and bite and the teachers cannot do anything about it.

I was, therefore, not terribly surprised on the first day when I was slapped, pinched hard twice, had a toy shovel of sand thrown in my face on the playground, and turned around just in time to catch a chair that was aimed at my head, thrown by a little cherub in time out who had no earthly reason to throw it at me except I was in her line of sight and had my head turned away.

I told SwampMan that I was going to be in the ER before the week was out because ALL the children bit, hit, scratched, and threw heavy objects with intent to harm. When they are not trying to harm each other, they try to hurt us and, in fact, we are the preferential targets because they know that their classmates will kick, hit, scratch, bite and throw chairs BACK. We cannot. He did not believe it.

The second day, I was standing beside a student when his crayons were flung violently across the room. When I reflexively looked over to see if anybody had been hurt by flying crayons, Cujo the crayon thrower latched onto my arm and bit the crap out of it, removing a chunk of skin and some flesh, grinding in his rabbit sharp teeth and powerful jaws in order to do the most damage. I waited until he finished, then I spun him around and pinned his arms behind his back to keep from getting pummeled and bitten further and waited out the kicking over of desks, shelves, anything within reach of his feet, and the backwards head butting that ensued. After the brief period of insane rage had passed, he was back to normal. I went to the office for wound dressing so I wouldn’t bleed all over the classroom.

Later that day, I was back in the office for another wound dressing for a more severe bite. This one necessitated a trip to an ER clinic after work where I was asked the breed of the dog that bit me.

The next day was fairly uneventful with just routine scratching, pinching and kicking incidents for me. Another woman was head butted in the face and cut the inside of her lips on her teeth. There was not a lot of learning going on, but no major mayhem, either (which erupts when the kids are pressed to do anything) for which I was happy. I *say* no major mayhem; the woman with the cut lip was definitely injured but no teeth were knocked loose which, in our class, was considered a good day.

On Friday, the day started out with another rage incident in which I prevented “my” student from maiming another much smaller student, a girl, who had apparently touched her foot against his under the table. The first I knew that anything was amiss was when his milk was thrown violently across the room and I had a heavy metal chair thrown at my head (ha, missed!) and again savagely bitten up and down my arm (this time I had padding on my arms because they were still oozing and swollen from the last bites). He managed to bite through in one spot near my wrist drawing quite a bit of blood that soaked through the padding, kicked, and, when I had him stretched out with his arms behind his back so that he could no longer reach me with teeth, fists, or feet, sustained repeated head butts to the chest. (Shopping note: I need to buy *very* heavily padded bras instead of the athletic variety. I have bruises y’all wouldn’t believe! You know everybody’s going to be talkin’ ’bout how I done went and got a boob job if I suddenly turn up in a double D size and how the schools must be paying their employees waaaay too much. The reality is that I can barely afford livestock feed, gas, and groceries on my salary.) SwampMan tells me I’m working for the insurance. I told him I wouldn’t need the insurance if I weren’t working!

I will count any day as successful now when I don’t have to report to the ER. Another woman in class had the misfortune to be working with one student when another tapped her for attention. When she turned, she was headbutted in the nose and had to be driven to the emergency clinic for a possible broken nose.

Why are the kids so frustrated? Well, they have severe communication problems. (They either can’t talk at all, babble things that make no sense, or only have the capacity for 1 or 2 word sentences, the vocabularly of an 18-month-old child.) When they want something and we don’t understand what it is, they attack. When they are mad at another kid, they attack. If their mom packed something in their lunch they didn’t want, they attack. Often we don’t know why for there are no antecendents for this behavior that we know of and for every incident, we have to painstakingly go back and try to find why. (As you may have guessed, there is a LOT of paperwork.) Maybe they have a tummy ache. We just don’t know. These are children that are happy and smiling one instant and biting the crap out of somebody (me) the next.

I have to be constantly on my guard because the child I’m assigned to is, in my estimation, quite capable of severely injuring one of the students (or other adults) in one of his rages. I guesstimate his weight at @ 150 lbs., and it is quite difficult to get him under control without causing him pain or leaving bruises. When he comes back to his senses, he cries when he sees my bleeding wounds, says “bite” pointing to my wound(s), and hangs his head, tears streaming down his face, and then kisses the booboo, hugs me, and asks “better?” anxiously. Of course I hug him and reassure him that I am just fine now and that the kiss fixed me right up but if he feels mad, he needs to go off by himself or tell me “mad” or show me “mad face” instead of biting.

I’m considering getting leather or metal wrist guards and kevlar carving gloves because he’s avoiding the padding now and trying to take out the fingers and wrists.

Pelosi: Liar or incompetent

Nancy Pelosi’s nationally televised press conference/meltdown this morning raised more questions than it answered.

In our discussion that followed in the previous thread, Swampie asked an important question:

Is Nancy Pelosi lying about the CIA briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques, or is she so dim that she really didn’t understand what was being said in the briefings. I suppose there is a third alternative, that she could be telling the truth. Frankly, I can’t imagine that anyone who watched her performance would come to that conclusion.

So, let’s put it to our readers. What do y’all think?

Narco thugs look to Central America for arms

So much for the latest anti-gun meme, from A1A South

WHAT? You mean that narco trafficers can’t get those items in local gun stores across the border in Arizona, California, and Tejas? Well, not hardly.

The Feb. 21 attack on police headquarters in coastal Zihuatanejo, which injured four people, fit a disturbing trend of Mexico’s drug wars. Traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their arsenals.

Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semi-automatic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Quick.  Look surprised.

Emmmmm, breakfast!

SwampMan is a grits purist, so he didn’t want to have anything to do with the garlic grits with green chilis and with a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese mixed in after it was cooked that I made for MY breakfast  (along with left over mustard greens and pork chops with hot sauce), so I was under orders to fix him some plain ol’ grits for breakfast.

PLAIN grits? Where’s the artistry (and taste) in THAT? I couldn’t help myself. I added a lil’ garlic for taste, but (sigh) nothing for color. He does not like broccoli and cheese grits. He does not like chopped ‘maters and onions and bacon and cheese grits.

He has a tendency to look all squinty-eyed when I make cornbread and demand “what did you put in it THIS TIME?” before he’ll try that, too.

Last Lamb of the Season (Knock on Wood)

SwampMan gently woke me this morning by picking up my foot and shaking my whole leg like a pit bull would shake one of those lil’ sissy dawgs. I startled awake. He’s lucky there wasn’t a gun within reach.“The alarm didn’t go off, we’re LATE!” he announced as he headed off to take a shower.

Using some language my momma would have washed my mouth out for, I grabbed various articles of clothing and dashed outside to do the feeding. Then I dashed back inside and got a jacket. It was DAMN cold out there, and was still sprinkling from an overnight rain. DAMN.

Sploshing through the mud, all the sheep were out in the pasture raising three kinds of hell complaining about being out in the rain, and how come breakfast was late? Were they all out there just to raise hell at me? Then I heard the unmistakable high-pitched “maaaaaaaa” of a newborn. DAMN!

I dumped the grain for Breeze, gave her a quick pat on the neck, and ran for the sheep barn where the first time momma was drying her newborn. As soon as I set foot in the barn, the other sheep crowded in there, and the lambs started playing tag, dashing around and confusing the new momma and baby. DAMN!

I went out to feed the sheep in the trough in the pasture, and the overnight rain had swollen the little stream through the alleyway into a nice little obstacle that the adult ewes ”thought” they could jump over. Well, they were half right. It was a procession of LEAP! (SPLASH!) Cascade of cold mudwater sprays SwampWoman. DAMN! Leap (splash) DAMN!

The lambs arced into the air like little footballs being thrown into the end zone and mostly made it across. At least the ones that didn’t make it only got me wet from the knees down.

Hurriedly dumping out the feed, I rushed back to the new momma, dumped a little grain for her to distract her, caught her lamb, then tried to entice her out which she was amenable to doing just as soon as she damn well finished eating, thank you VERY much. By the time she had finished inhaling her feed, the other sheep were back in the barn jostling for the last corn kernels, and then momma started running around like only a demented new mother sheep can, chasing all the other lambs while ignoring the one maaaaaaaing in my arms. (I had to leave for work in 5 minutes at that point.) DAMN!

I finally got mom and baby in the pen, some fresh hay for mom, a nice fresh bucket of water for mom, and then took off at a run for the house just as fast as a middle-aged weight challenged woman in big rubber boots can run through ankle deep mud and water.

No time for a shower. I didn’t really have time to change into clean, dry clothes and wash the amniotic fluid smell off my arms and hands, but I did that anyway, and then off to work.

I couldn’t be late for proctoring the Florida FCAT math test! The FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test) is the test that tells how successfully educators have managed to stuff knowledge into resistant brains. The school grade depends on it. School funding depends on it. Teachers’ jobs depend on it. Administrators’ jobs depend on it. Then, when I see a student later and casually remark “hey, I’m sure you did well”, and he says “I HATE stupid tests! I Christmas treed it!” it takes all of my willpower to keep from tackling him while screaming “You WILL pass that FCAT or DIE TRYING! Do you UNDERSTAND ME?”

Anyway, after the tests were proctored and the kids (not the cute little cuddly kind, but the tattoed, pierced, and/or pregnant high school kind) were off to lunch, I had the leisure to wonder how well I really searched that barn. Was it a single lamb, or was there another one hidden there in the pre-dawn darkness sleeping that I hadn’t found? DAMN!

I tore out of there in the truck right at 3:00 with no regard whatsoever for speed limits (which are set by the state for people that can’t drive) and searched the barn. No newborn lamb body for me to feel guilty over.

I think I’ll go to bed now.

“She Acts Like I’m SOOOO Stupid, but I’m NOT!”

The teenaged girl at the cash register with the bi-color bleached blonde and brown hair in a hairstyle that looked as if it had been gnawed by pissed-off rats asked the other worker behind the counter making sandwiches “What’s this?”

“BMT, double meat.”

“Six inch or 12 inch?”

“Twelve inch.”

Doubtfully, she said “It doesn’t LOOK like a 12-inch.”

“That’s because it’s a 6-inch, you dip!”

She looked up at me out of lovely blue eyes, and said “She acts like I’m soooooo stupid, but I’m NOT.” 

She handed me a $5 bill, a quarter, a nickel, and a dime.  “Here’s your change, $5.20.  You have a nice night!”

Global Warming Increases Hurricanes. Or Does It……..

Will global warming increase hurricane activity? Two studies published in the last week arrived at opposite conclusions.
Well Imagine that, two studies don’t agree. Let’s take a look at what they say, and who studied what.

A link between warmer sea surface temperatures and increased North Atlantic hurricane activity “has been quantified for the first time,” according to a study by University College London researchers that was published in Nature (Jan. 30). They claim to have associated a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in sea surface warming with a 40 percent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity during 1996-2005 as compared to the average activity during 1950-2000.

“The scientists who have linked global warming to stronger storms said the study makes sense, and is, if anything, just repeating and refining what they have already said,” the Associated Press reported (Jan. 30).

But the study result isn’t surprising considering it was derived from a computer model that included only two variables — sea surface temperature and atmospheric wind field — which the researchers claim explain about 75 percent of the variance in Atlantic hurricane activity between 1965-2005. They claim to have teased out the association between sea surface temperature and hurricane activity by statistically removing the influence of wind from the model.

University College London. Strike one.

The scientists who have linked global warming to stronger storms said the study makes sense. Strike two

The study only included two out of at least five variables. Strike three.

The other side.

The other hurricane study, published in Geophysical Research Letters (Jan. 23) and not widely reported by the media, comes from climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NOAA researchers compared sea surface temperatures with hurricanes that made U.S. landfall — the most reliable hurricane measurement over the long-term, according to the researchers. They found a slight decrease in the trend of landfalling hurricanes with warmer sea surface temperatures.

“This paper uses observational data to demonstrate that the attribution of the recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity to global warming is premature and that global warming may decrease the likelihood of hurricanes making landfall in the United States,” the researchers concluded.

As leading hurricane forecaster William Gray of Colorado State University put it, “Meteorologists who study tropical cyclones have no valid physical theory as to why hurricane frequency or intensity would necessarily be altered by small amounts (plus/minus 0.5 degrees Centigrade) of global mean temperature change.”

Here’s two points in the first sentence.

Not widely reported, and it comes from NOAA. (not known for being against the global warming BS)

They found a slight decrease in hurricanes with the warmer temps.

And a leading hurricane forecaster, William Gray, says there is no valid reason as to why .05 degrees centigrade would have any effect.

Here’s some more on this.

And, of course, Al Gore learned this lesson the hard way. His attempt in “An Inconvenient Truth” to link manmade greenhouse gas emissions with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy was sound[ly] rejected by a British High Court judge who succinctly ruled that, “In scene 12 Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans is ascribed to global warming. It is common ground that there is insufficient evidence to show that.”

Poor Algore, wrong again. And we even get John McCain to admit to pandering to the global warming crowd.

As Sen. John McCain emerged from the Florida Republican primary as the Republican front runner, Politico.com observed that “After hitting it in most every appearance he made in New Hampshire and Michigan, John McCain now rarely brings up the topic of global warming.” In talking to reporters after a campaign event in West Palm Beach, McCain said, “I try to bring it up in areas that I think that it is of great import to people.”

And they even mention SwampWoman’s opinion. (I hope it’s her opinion)

Given the scientific evidence, it’s quite easy to understand why Floridians might not think that alleged global warming-hurricane link is of great import.

Source

Putting a light bulb on the water pump

SwampWoman writes at Red Nation

The temperature is plummeting in Florida, which has already caused a state of emergency for the people that supply fresh fruits and vegetables to the nation. Even though the temperature here in NE Florida is still 39 degrees at 4 p.m., the wind chill is in the 20s.I asked SwampMan while we were in town if we needed to get light bulbs for the pump houses (two). He assured me that he had a plentiful supply of incandescent bulbs that should provide enough heat to keep the pumps from freezing. Shortly after we arrived home, he stuck his head in the office door and asked what I had done with his light bulbs.

“Huh?”

“My light bulbs are gone. What did you do with them?”

I use the screw-in type of fluorescent bulbs throughout the house in lamps, closets, outside lighting on the porch, and even in the barn because I’m too lazy to drag out the ladder and change light bulbs every few months they’re more energy efficient.

“I don’t even go into your shop. It is nasty with (shudder) large bugs in there. Ewwwww.”

“Well, SOMEBODY took the lightbulbs AND the trouble lights I used to put on the pumps.” This was said with a dark accusatory look at me, as though I had sold his lamps and bulbs on E-bay when he wasn’t looking (not a bad idea, come to think of it).

Well, at least I can still go to town and get some incandescent light bulbs to keep the pumps from freezing tonight. Since our elected village idiots officials have made various incandescent bulbs illegal over the next few years, I suppose then I’ll have to put a politician in the pump houses to keep the pumps from freezing. I’m not sure I have enough composting space for the bullsh** that would accumulate, though.

Flirtin’ with Disaster……The Monday Open

SwampWoman weighs in on the virtues of scythes, e-bay, weed-cutting, and marital bliss……..

scythe.jpgI told SwampMan that I wanted a scythe. I sent him a link to Lehman’s where I could get a grass blade or a brush blade, and a European or American handle. “So tell me, WHAT are you planning to do with a scythe?” “I’m planning on finally getting some of this grass cut!” “I’ll cut the grass!” “Right.” He tried again. “You know, somebody your age should probably NOT be out swinging a scythe…..” Dead silence. “What. Did. You. Just. Say.” “You might cut your leg off!” Louder pitch. “Did. You. Just. Say. I. Was. Too. Old?”

SwampMan does cut the grass. When it suits him. Which is not nearly as often as it suits me. In order to keep me from going out and mowing the grass myself, he removes lawnmower parts when he is finished so that it can’t be started. At this juncture, since a good deal of the grass to be cut has a few inches of water on it, the point is moot.

I also sent him a link to a company in Austria that has been making scythes a few hundred years, and custom makes them according to a person’s armspan and length of shoulder to ground. SwampMan read the prices and squealed like a little child. (So SwampWoman, you may ask, why didn’t you buy it yourself then? Shut up, I have a crappy job and am out of money until mid month.)

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis“Sooooo, did you even LOOK on E-Bay for something less expensive first?” “Uh, NO.” So, SwampMan went to E-Bay, found a scythe that had been used hard and then left to rust for about 30 years and was in a state of disrepair. The blade had been resharpened almost to nonexistence. It was probably only good as a wall decoration at Cracker Barrel. “HEY! Check this out!” I looked dubiously at the picture. “One of the handles is missing, and I don’t think the blade is any good.” “But look, it’s only $12.00!” “And the shipping is?” SwampMan bid, and was promptly outbid by the automated process somebody had put in. He bid another $5.00 and was promptly outbid again. He put in $20, and was outbid. I urged caution. “No, trust me, I’m just trying to get this guy a good price on this thing. Somebody obviously wants it really bad. It’s a good deed.” I pointed out that the scythe was probably not useable and would just be another piece of junk around the house as if we didn’t have enough of THAT already. “Nah, this other guy really wants it. I’ll just put in one more bid, and that will be IT.” He did. He was promptly the high bidder. “SUCKER!” “There are 9 hours left. Somebody will probably outbid me. I hope.”

So, I will be expecting a worn out scythe to be arriving via UPS some time this week. I’ll look for some wall space to free up.

Free Speech Friday

Late night observations from SwampWoman…….

ballpark.jpgI was out in my usual (futile) attempt to one day be mistaken for an anorexic tonight at the track. At 8 p.m., the air was a heavy humid blanket and the temperature was still above 90.In the next field over, the county’s most affluent town and a little rougher town from outside the county were playing a baseball game complete with lights for when the sun set and a good sound system that carried the announcements over to me.

The sea breeze started to stir and with it thunderclouds started to build and rumble to themselves off in the distance, and then I heard the crack of the bat and the announcer say “The score is 4-0 with zero outs and the bases loaded.” I gave up on exercise at that point and instead ambled over to watch the game as the sun set.

Watching a summer baseball game in a small town as the evening cools, eating a hot dog dripping mustard and relish (dripping down my T-shirt in this case)from the concession stand and washing it down with a can of Coke that had been cooling in a tub of ice, cheering wildly for all the players in the mostly empty bleachers because most of the people watching the game were sitting on the back of their pickup trucks…it was a couple hours of sheer enjoyment.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisThis is the World Famous Friday Open Thread: a Free Speech zone.
Please post your comments, thoughts, observations, links, shout-outs, track-backs, questions, rants, and other items of interest.

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Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, The Virtuous Republic, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, DeMediacratic Nation, 123beta, Jeanette’s Celebrity Corner, Right Truth, Big Dog’s Weblog, Maggie’s Notebook, The Pet Haven Blog, Webloggin, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, Leaning Straight Up, Cao’s Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Allie Is Wired, Right Celebrity, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein… has no mercy, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, High Desert Wanderer, Right Voices, and Church and State, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Break out the sackcloth and ashes

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisIt’s dead, Jim. Again.

Cloture on the immigration bill failed 46-53.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, House Speaker Pelosi made the following statement, noteworthy only for its breathtaking arrogance and hebetude :

“Today, Republicans in the Senate had an historic chance to act in the interests of the American people, but chose not to.”

Umm-kay Miz Pelosi. Three out of four Americans opposed this bill. Three quarters! almost as many as opposed your trip to Syria. According to you and your ilk, the tail is supposed to wag the dog.

SwampWoman provided us with live-blogging of the voting:

10:04 – Cloture vote begins. Does Reid have a couple of Democrats ready to switch from Nay to Yea? He’ll need them.

10:11 – Webb votes against cloture, and I count 22 so far overall against, with 20 for.

10:15 – Landrieu votes no, another Democrat against, although that’s not a switch. Rockefeller stayed as a no, as well.

10:19 – Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin voted against cloture, as did Nelson of Nebraska. Robert Byrd stayed a No, while Olympia Snowe stayed an Aye. Mark Pryor voted against cloture. Sam Brownback switched to No — very interesting.

10:20 – Norm Coleman voted against cloture. Wow.

10:26 – A majority, 53 Senators, have rejected cloture. It’s dead … again.

And now, please stand for the closing hymn and then we will proceed to cemetery….

heh.

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Trackposted to David Drake, Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Perri Nelson’s Website, AZAMATTEROFACT, DeMediacratic Nation, Right Truth, Big Dog’s Weblog, Stuck On Stupid, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Pursuing Holiness, Right Celebrity, Wake Up America, stikNstein… has no mercy, The World According to Carl, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, High Desert Wanderer, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Sunday Open Thread

“Well, my plans of a day of some leisurely housecleaning interspersed with blogging and ironing followed by building an armature for a concrete sculpture were interrupted by a joyous cry of “Grammaw!” from the little 5-year-old blond-haired cherub. She watched me de-mold the planter I made last night and pronounced it very beautiful, while son was raising an eyebrow and laughing at me because of my high tech tools (a rock, a plastic knife, and a plastic bowl).He brought me some rooted cuttings, too. “Thank you! Er, what are they?” “Damnit, mama, those are hydrangeas!” “Oh, right! Would you like me to plant them first, or just go ahead and kill them now?” Some people have a gift with plants. I am not one of those people, although I try, and I never remember the names of the things I planted. He asked me if he could have some cuttings off the ligustrum. “Um, sure. Which one is that?” “MAMA!” Well, I’ve always been more interested in animal propogation than plant propogation.” — SW

This is the Sunday Open Thread. Please post your comments, greetings, thoughts, whimsies, links, sausages, or whatever you find to be worth posting. [note: this is a carbon-credit free zone]

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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