Location: Minnesota, United States
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Friday, October 29, 2004

Justice Department decides Geneva doesn't apply

Seriously. Who gives a shit about the legality of mistreating prisoners? How about the morality of it? Do we really want to trust this administration to conduct questioning in the dark?

Expelled? Really?

Um, could a public high school really expel someone for wearing items related to one presidential candidate and also allow another opponent to speak at the school? And, if the superintendent of the school is a huge Bush supporter, could she decide to expel a student for wearing a Kerry button even when George W. wasn't on the premises?

Here's what happens when someone tries to contact Rachel Schultz, the superintendent of the Wisconsin/Richland Center school district where this threat was supposedly made.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Eryn bit me


Yesterday, at Home Depot while looking for blinds for the master bedroom. No indication as to why, no apparent need for anything (not hungry, not frustrated, not bored, not angry...what was she, curious?)

(Lovely) Photo is about four hours after the fact.

What Not To Wear

(when planning a full day of walking around downtown Chicago). Correct answer: aged, worn-down shoes with a significant (if chunky) heel, where your only defense for choosing them is that you "wore them throughout pregnancy, and did fine."

One of my most brilliant moments, just ask Scooter.

The result? Blistered feet, messed up knees (still, over a week later), knotted calf muscles, and a lot of time spent on Magnificant Mile trying to find a pair of shoes that (1) were fit for walking, (2) matched what I was wearing...sort of, and (3) didn't cost $800. I could have gone with rhinestone-encrusted spike heels, but chose instead a pair of shoes that are at least not hideous and that cost about $70. Ouch.

Stupid shoes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Down is Up is Down

We know they have WMD. They are North, South, West, and East of everywhere. We found WMD. We know we didn't find any, and we know that's because they didn't have them. Just because they're shooting at us doesn't mean they don't welcome us as liberators. Condi said Colin said Bush said this would be an easy win, so it's going well. It is! It's going so well! John Kerry is a Catholic! Iraq will have elections in January, as long as the girlie men voters aren't scared of terrorist atatcks on the polling stations. John Kerry is a flip-flopper! Saddam was responsible for 9/11. Osama bin Laden doesn't matter. Osama is important. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. John Kerry is a Catholic filp-flopper!

My head freakin' hurts.

Excerpted from Thomas F. Schaller in the Gadflyer:

Finally, I believe a white man of privilege who was accepted to Yale University despite a middling performance in prep school; was accepted to Harvard Business School despite a middling performance at Yale; was admitted to the Texas Air National Guard despite no flight background and an entrance exam score in the bottom quartile; was given funds by Osama bin Laden's father to start a failed oil company; and was chosen to serve as Texas governor and 43rd President of the United States despite a lifelong record of mediocrity, is a man with the moral authority to criticize affirmative action as a policy that gives opportunities to the undeserving.

Make no mistake: I believe that President Bush, just as he promised he would, has restored honor and integrity to the White House and united us as Americans.

How not to be seen

...stealing a Kerry sign.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Big city scary

Laurie, Mark, Scott, and the kids and I were at a neighborhood bar/restaurant called Norton's last night for dinner, and I couldn't find Eryn's sippy cup, so I went to the car to try to find it. As I passed the far side of the building next to the one we were in, for some reason I turned around and looked behind me. Something caught my eye in an upper floor window, but it didn't register right away, so I had to turn around again to get another look. It turned out to be exactly what I'd thought I"d seen: a man dressed all in black and wearing a black ski mask. To make it weirder, this time, he jumped up to pull down the shade over the window; it was very clear he'd seen me see him, and thought it was time to close the shade. Huh, I thought, that seems odd. So I went back into the restaurant and told the others about what I'd seen, and consulted them about whether it seemed like I ought to be calling 911. I was about to call, and then realized my phone was in the car, so Mark had the owner of the place call. A few minutes later, a patrol caar pulled up outside Norton's, and the officer came inside looking for me. I told him what I'd seen, while the other patrons looked on (presumably wondering what this non-regular was doing talking to a cop so soon after entering the bar), and he went off to investigate.

Before the officer could make it next door, two men in their twenties met him half-way, and they had an animated discussion during which the officer gestured in my direction (we were seated near the front window...for all I know, he was gesturing at Norton's in general). hey all smiled at one another and went next door. When the officer came back, he was grinning broadly. I went back into the entryway with him (Norton's is loud), remarking as we went "you're laughing." He answered, still laughing, "No, this is good, this is good." Here's what he said:

The two men were fully "decked out" in black, including ski/face masks, and they had what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles. They actually shot plastic pellets, (he had sone in his pocket and showed them to me), and they were capable of realistic-sounding semi-automatic fire. I asked if they were just "screwing around," and he said that's exactly what they were doing, and that they'd told him when they saw the squad pull up, they knew they were in trouble. They came outside to meet the officer to prevent him from "smoking" them, because the rifles were so realistic looking. (A real possibility, according to the officer, as he couldn't tell the difference between their guns and real ones from a few feet away, and he happened to be the lead for the area SWAT team.) IN the end, the officer said it was a good call, and he was glad we called it in. Then he said "You don't seem scared." I said the first thing that came to me: "I'm a social worker." He liked that answer, told me my kid was cute, and was on his way, still grinning.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Say cheese!

When Eryn made this creation using a hunk of sharp cheddar on the glass door to the porch,

I thought she might be on the cusp of a new form of art. Sadly, I was wrong. At least, it isn't a completely new medium, as cheese has made its way even into the realm of politics.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Maybe GWB dislikes this guy

There's been a good deal of speculation about who it is that Bush regrets having appointed. Atrios recently noted that it couldn't be Tenet, because he wasn't an appointee. I nominate Mark Groombridge (special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security--an expert on China and trade) as one of the appointees GW regrets, as he just can't be that happy with any of the Log Cabin Republicans.

I went to high school with Mark, but don't know him now. He's arguably one of the brightest people I've known, and I expect that would give GW another reason to dislike him. He won't vote for him (at least, the LCR took a public stand against him), he's gay, and he's smarter than GW.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The liberal media must have Photoshopped this

...because Cheney doesn't lie.

Ah, let me think...no

This is Brit Hume's Grapevine lead-in at Fox News:

"Did Bush lose first debate to Kerry because he was overprepared?"

...Are employees of Fox News allowed to admit Bush lost the first debate?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Roto Rooter

I was on Hwy 100 yesterday and for a while was driving behind a Roto Rooter van with a Bush-Cheney sticker in its window. It set me to a-wonderin': does Roto Rooter endorse a candidate? Does its execs give money to the Republican Party? Or do individual drivers decide what goes on their vans? Then I remembered that each Rooter person is an independent, so I guess they can put anything they want on their vans (seems like a bad plan, though, because the vans all bear the same name...it's not like this one said "Bill's Roto Rooter" on it.) So, it wasn't a company endorsement. It is, however, amusing to me that this guy was driving around advertising both GWB and the unmucking of pipes.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Expedition to Kids' Hair

Eryn was turning into a feral child:

So we trekked to Kids' Hair in Eagan.

Eryn decided she wanted to walk into the shop herself, but then paced around in tight circles in the parking lot, apparently apprehensive about her first haircut. I had to pick her up, which inspired much screaming, so I got us to the sidewalk quickly and set her down, which inspired more screaming. I figured the haircut was going to be a major struggle, but all the stylist had to do to distract her from the kid table with paper and crayons in the entryway was to ask her if she wanted to watch Elmo. Eryn grinned and repeated "El! El!" and happily trotted off and let this woman she'd never met lift her into the chair and fasten her in...all on the promise of Elmo. (The video wasn't even playing yet.)

Her hair was sprayed down and the first lock taken off before she really noticed, she was so engaged in Elmocize.

Eryn got bored when Zoe Monster took over the exercise routine, but by then the haircut was almost finished:

She wasn't sure what she thought of blowdrying...

...but then she remembered the crayon she'd pilfered from the table, and it was all okay.

When she was finished, she got to check herself out in the mirror...

...and scowled because she was sure Daddy would make fun of her cool ponytail.

The moment she was out of the chair, she forgot all about Daddy's ridiculous opinion and Elmo's exercise routine and made a beeline back to the coloring table.

Then she remembered the ponytail and wondered again what Daddy would say.

I had to bribe her with Fruit Snacks ("Nack! Nack!") to get her to put down the crayons and come with me to the car.