Location: Minnesota, United States
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Thursday, July 28, 2005


(Click for larger version.)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fascinating Chain

What would one use to rob it? And once one had acquired the weapon of his/her heart's desire, would he/she be required to wear these shorts while brandishing it?

And, if the ATF were a convenience store, could I get supplies to accomplish this lofty goal?

I have a question. How would nuking the moon further world peace? Are the mooninites hiding weapons of mass destruction there? Would the sudden randomness of tides incite mass cooperation? We have to destroy something, so let's make it the moon instead of the Middle East?

I found this supplier of wingnut rhetoric-sporting t-shirts while popping through the list of blogspot bloggers who live in Eagan. "Beer and Skittles." Hm, I thought...might be amusing. Kate lists Fox News and the Drudge Report as her top two news sources. Gosh, I hope she lives nearby. We could be BFF!

Tips for Parents (or: God Has Time for That?)

Recently at Blackhawk park, I overheard one of the women there with her kids talking to a group f women about trying a tactic about which she'd read in a parenting magazine, designed to get kids to carry their clean clothing from the laundry to their rooms: you get each kid her/his own plastic storage container, put the clean, folded laundry into the appropriate container, and have the kids do the rest. This woman complained that the kids didn't like to do this, because the containers were too hard to carry up the steps. Then she had a moment of divine inspiration: handled paper grocery bags! She said the kids love it. When the other moms in the group expressed wonder at her ingenuity, she became modest and said "God really blessed me with this idea." She was completely serious. I think God may also give her gardening tips and advice regarding car maintenance.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

You Can Keep Kentucky

This is too good not to promote. You can go to the original, but I'm reproducing the entire post here:

Letter to Red States

Dear Red States,
We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and antiwar, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high-tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, CalTech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11, and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties. By the way, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

So there.

Author Unknown in New California

My concern would be Dear Leader's control of military resources. Clearly he won't hesitate to use them against those enemies - foreign or domestic - who refuse to support his chicanery. Perhaps, however, as a commenter on the post where BitchPh.D. reproduces the above letter points out, we can count on the Red States' being so exaltant about having most of the NASCAR hoopla all to themselves, they won't be willing to mobilize and force us to (re)assume financial responsibility for their well being.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Friday, July 15, 2005

Finito! Finis! Done!

Here's how it looked originally (photo two years ago, about seven months after we bought the house):

And, just to remind Minnesotans of what's coming, here it was this past March:

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Toddler Art

Eryn is figuring out Paint:


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More of the Deck

Is sealed, but not without more annoying, if unintentional, behavior from me.

Trip to Home Depot with Eryn:
(1) Much begging to ride on the John Deere lawn tractors "for a minute"
(2) Much "driving" of said tractors
(3) I lose the magnetic sunglass clips for my glasses
(4) Lots of "we need to go this way, Honey"
(5) Get new gallon of sealant and bendy attachment for Dad's power painter
(6) More begging to ride the tractors
(7) Pay for stuff
(8) Realize I've lost my sunglass clips
(9) Search for and ask about sunglass clips
(10) More begging re: tractors
(11) Get home, realize Dad had the bendy attachment in the Wagner box already
(12) Work on deck, discover it's as fast to brush on the sealant, while power painter wastes a bunch of sealant.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Deck (Help Me, the Deck)

So yesterday I thought it would take me four or five hours to use Brightener and Cleaner on the whole deck - latticework and stairs included. Um, no. It was more like nine hours, and four years subtracted from the end of my life. Then today I thought it would take me between seven and nine hours to put the tinted sealant on the whole works. I don't know why, after yesterday, I trusted my powers of estimation. I started at 7:30 (setup and pounding down the nails driven upward by wear and winter weather) and stopped at about 5:30. Notice I said stopped.
The photo at left is the stairs, before.

The photo at right is the stairs, after about six hours of work on just them:

The photos below are the latticework, before and after. Why so long? I thought I'd be using my dad's power painter a lot more than I did. It turns out that while it is exceptionally helpful in speeding up things like lattice and other vertical surfaces, it's not much good for horizontal ones. Tomorrow, I invest in the attachment that makes it work better for things like...decks.


Thursday, July 07, 2005


...to hear from Allison, post-bombings in London, to make sure she, Ceri, and Amelie are all right. They're there for a family wedding, and we've not been able to contact them yet. I'm sure they're fine, but it still makes me nervous.

UPDATE: Heard from Allison, all is well.