Monday, April 30, 2007

Stephanie Miller on MSNBC Morning Show


Monday thru Wednesday, the gorgeous radio jockette and comedienne Stephanie Miller is sitting in the MSNBC slot vacated by Don Imus. I listened to part of the show this morning on the local Air America radio station (AM 940) and it sounded like they were getting into their usual groove, albeit recovering from some jet lag in addition to their usual hangovers*. From what I read afterward about the show (e.g., review by KOS), they did a great job. I wish I could have seen it. Tomorrow I'm going to tape it while I'm at work.

The "Stephanie Miller Show" runs from 9 to 12 EST on AM 940. Stephanie normally tapes it in LA from 6 to 9 PST, so she and the crew (Jim Ward and Chris Lavoie) have to go to bed at "stupid o'clock" and get up at "insane o'clock" (or vice versa) in California. They're taping at MSNBC live in New Jersey from 6 to 9 AM.

I don't think she's really angling to take over the MSNBC show -- she's got an already successful radio show. But if that's what she wants to do (and is offered the job), I think she'd do it swimmingly and be a great addition to TV. (She's done TV before, so she's no amateur.) Plus, she'd be doing an invaluable service to a wider public--having people laugh and perhaps think at the same time.
____________________
*this is part of the shtick

Sunday Night


Watched George Tenet on "60 Minutes." Not impressed with his performance. Whatever he may say, he was playing along with the Bushies on Iraq. Plus, 9/11 happened on his watch and Bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora.

Got a lot done around here today, so I must be feeling OK.

Lucy is sitting in one of the wrecked bougainvilleas on the terrace. They've been ravaged by caterpillars and who knows what else. I've got to find them a better home, one with birds and lizards that'll go after the bugs.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Intrigued

By this post by the South Beach Bum. I too was raised as a Methodist (as was Hillary, by the way). My great-great grandfather (on my mother's side) was a Methodist minister in Tampa. We even have (somewhere) a photo of him sitting up in his pulpit surrounded by lilies.

You may read (if you dare) the Wikipedia entry on this religion. Suffice it to say, it's a more humble offshoot of the Church of England with a traditionally more progressive bent. (I think now, however, the Church of England is probably more progressive, with the Methodists, at least in the U.S., being overrun by the anti-gay contingent--which it seems what religion in the U.S. in general has boiled down to; the religious types don't stand for much else nowadays.) At any rate, I no longer practice any religion. I'm free at last! And I was a good Methodist once upon a time.

This Cold

I've looked over the previous posts and see I keep saying I'm feeling better. I just want to feel well again. I can't stand being sick. The truth is, I am feeling progressively better. But it's like two steps forward and one step back.

Thoughts on Hillary, Etc.

I don't put a lot of stock in Hillary Clinton's account of her vote to let Bush start up his Iraq war. Even I was able to gather enough information at the time to know that the Iraq war was hatched before 9/11 and was a bad idea. My own Senator at the time, Bob Graham, saw that this was a Pandora's Box and a ruse borne out of a familial grudge match Bush had against Saddam Hussein ("he tried to kill my dad"). Even Bush's dad thought it was a bad idea.

I'd vote for Hillary for president nonetheless, despite her political calculations regarding the Iraq war. I think she'd be a good president, especially when it comes to creating a national health care system (about which she knows a lot). I still think, however, John Edwards has the best ideas on that.

Presently we have a system with multiple companies driven by multiple bureaucracies, where money can be made (profit being the motive, rather than making people well) only by excluding people who really need health care. Americans need more than what the health insurance companies can afford. Get rid of all that bureaucracy and all those expensive CEOs, and give the American people the health care they need, and which most civilized countries already enjoy. Let's get with it.

Sat. Nite

I'm actually feeling better tonight (and it's not just the rum 'n' Cokes). Not back to "normal" but better.

B. went to a baby shower or something after work.

Watched a program on the History Channel tonight about Gen. Sherman's role in the American Civil War. Very interesting. Here's how Spain dealt with the abolition of slavery in Cuba.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bushes Delusional

I've always said I didn't think Cheney was delusional -- he's just a liar. President Bush, however, is undoubtedly delusional. And Laura is his enabler.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Night - Suicide or Murder?

Just finished watching The Riches. Ho-hum. Cold is still there but I feel much, much better. B. is doing better also. He's got today and tomorrow off from work.

This morning, when I exited the front of the building on my way to the bus stop, there were two "Crime Scene" vans parked in (and blocking) the driveway leading out of the parking garage. Crime Scene people were milling about, along with the president of the condominium association. I spotted some police tape by the fire escape, at the base of which one the Crime Scene ladies was peering beneath what looked like a rumpled plastic sheet.

My first thought was that a pedestrian had been killed by one of the condominium residents tearing out of the parking garage on her way to work. The driveway parallels a sidewalk along Biscayne, where there's a bus stop, and sometimes people waiting for the bus stand in or along the driveway, or people getting off a bus take a short cut across the driveway heading west. In any case, the driveway is an extremely dangerous place to be, and I've often thought the building should post signs there warning people of the danger of trespassing. (Then I thought, if you put a sign there, the kids will take it as a challenge and start playing chicken in the driveway.)

Finally I asked the condo association president what was going on, and he said someone had committed suicide by jumping from the building. B. later learned by the grapevine (however reliable that is) that one of the residents had been depressed and had jumped from his window, after telling his wife and his psychiatrist that he wanted to commit suicide. (That was after we heard by the grapevine that the guy had been pushed out the window, which didn't seem plausible, but then you never know.)

Living in a tall building is like having a gun. If life becomes unbearable, ending it all can be a snap. With the ease of pulling the trigger of a pistol, you can jump off the balcony or out the window. (In The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving tells us to "keep passing the open windows.") I've been depressed before. That's why I don't have a gun and live one floor up from (and facing) the pool deck. If I jump out a window, I might break something but that's about it. Meanwhile I can be working in the kitchen and still be able to enjoy the palms swaying outside on the deck, not to mention the never-ending parade of half-naked bodies in and around the pool.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Cold

Doing much better, thank you. B. is also doing better, but he still can't taste food. (I can now, somewhat.) For lunch today, I roasted a 4+ lb. chicken and served it with an Uncle Ben's wild rice dish and mixed vegetables. B. acknowledged the chicken was tender but he didn't taste anything. Still, he had two helpings of everything.

B. came home early again tonight from work (wasn't busy anyway). My nose has almost healed from the constant blowing and is almost back to normal.

Maureen Dowd

I hear she's up to her old tricks again, devoting a column to John Edwards' haircuts. I don't even waste my time reading her stupid stuff anymore.

I think John Aravosis is crazy to suck up to her, but maybe he doesn't realize the damage she's done in the past. Also, he's in close proximity with her there in D.C. Maureen Dowd may be nice at parties but she's a vacuous twit who does nothing for the good of the country. By making fun of Al Gore, I'm sure she played a part in getting George Bush elected. I hope John gets wise.

Even More

Our great American democracy deserves (and requires) more in a president than some querulous spoiled brat who thinks he was chosen by God to lead the country and that everything he does is therefore above criticism. I truly think that Hell was conceived with people like George Bush (and Dick Cheney) in mind. (They say the path to Hell is paved with good intentions, but in this case the path to Hell is paved with outright deceptions.)

I truly would rather have a president who uses his (or her) brain to think about the welfare of the country than one who is engaged in a constant conversation with an invisible being of disputed existence. That George Bush fashions himself to be a better leader than Winston Churchill because Churchill was an agnostic (and not a "person of faith") is, I think, almost insane. (In my opinion, having internalized conversations with invisible beings of disputed existence borders on the insane.) I'd rather have an agnostic or atheist leader any day. I expect a president's brain power to be dedicated to the country he (or she) is supposed to be leading, rather than to mythical deity.

More on New Iraq Team, Etc.

Too bad George can't turn back the clock. With this ace team he supposedly has now, he could have concentrated our energies on truly combating terrorism and making the world a safer place, instead of invading Iraq and turning it into Terror U (the handwriting was on the wall) and letting the perpetrators of the 9/11 tragedy go forth and multiply. Unfortunately, all Bush can really do now is try to control the damage he's done and drag things out till he leaves office and the next president owns this abortion, while in the meantime our soldiers and Iraqi citizens continue to die in the never-ending violence. (Maybe building a wall in Baghdad will help?)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Query Letter

How's this? (To be incorporated into new query letters, which start out describing the piece as satire.) (Subject to revision, of course.)

How's this for a tantalizing back cover blurb?

Cataclysmic forces of nature wreak havoc along the southeastern Continental Shelf, as a chunk of land mass dislodges and migrates southward, colliding into a sleepy Caribbean island. Profound social upheaval quickly follows. Twenty years later, Jack Black (not the actor) ventures to the island on a whim and soon finds himself trapped in a deathly web of political intrigue. Jack's neighbor Jerry suffers his own "reversal": Having volunteered for the control group in the trial of an experimental drug designed to cure homosexuality, the young homophobic attorney, staunch devotee of "natural law," finds himself rapidly (and irreversibly) turning gay.

Other memorable characters include Carson Jones, the department store heiress. Knocked in the head during the original cataclysm, she spends the next twenty years as a bag lady on the streets, suffering from amnesia. Eventually she recovers and becomes a famous Broadway actress. (In a way, though, she remains "homeless," choosing to live only in hotels.) Perhaps most memorable of all are the descriptions of the hurricane that ultimately ravages the island and changes everyone's lives, based in part on the author's own unique experiences in his native South Florida.

A veritable sampler of the author's virtuosity at narration, the first half of the book is revealed through passages from a diary Jack has been writing on his laptop computer, cleverly interwoven with omniscient narration in real time. A short prologue is rendered in humorous Rap couplets. Certainly a must-read for the literate--and anyone else just looking for a good, fun piece of fiction.

"New Iraq Team Brings a Fresh Look to War"

(From AP.) Some headline, huh? Like "springtime fresh"? Or "new and improved"?

(I think they mean a fresh look at war, but I may be wrong.) There's nothing really new (or fresh) in this article but it does serve to summarize Bush's new plan for Iraq, part of the purpose of which is to win back public support for his war. I think the public is by now impervious to any further attempts to make this bloody mess look like a winner. Yet it appears the right people are finally in charge.

[Bush's] new crop of Iraq leaders bypasses ideologues and loyalists in favor of professionals with previous experience in Iraq and war zones. [Professionals in government? What a concept!]

"None of them are particularly ideological or were associated with the original public push for the war," said Kurt Campbell, chief executive officer of the nonpartisan, centrist Center for a New American Security. The new leaders "are probably quietly appalled that we find ourselves in the situation that we do in Iraq," Campbell said. . . .

All share a reputation for shrewdness and pragmatism. Their writings and resumes suggest they will make the best of a five-year-old war that has not gone as planned, with an eye to getting U.S. forces and advisers out as fast as possible.

Crocker [the new ambassador to Iraq] is one of the State Department's most experienced Middle East experts and has worked for both Republican and Democratic presidents. He reportedly warned then-Secretary of State Colin Powell before the 2003 invasion that toppling Saddam Hussein would lift the lid on sectarian violence in Iraq. . . .

Sounds like if we'd listened to these guys in the beginning, the war wouldn't have happened. So it looks like Bush has gotten it all backwards. No real surprise there (to my mind, at least).

TGIF

I'm glad to report that my cold is subsiding. Meanwhile, B. caught it and tonight they sent him home from the restaurant since he was sneezing. I've got us pumped up with Mucinex and Vitamin C. I also gave B. an antihistamine and decongestant and he got tired and went to bed early (for him). I'm still not in the pink but feeling much better. Also, I did go to the gym three times this week despite the cold. I'll probably go to bed early (for me) too. Right now I'm having a cocktail and, thankfully, not sneezing or blowing my nose any longer, although my nose is still very tender.

Watching "Paula's Party" (all about hot 'n' spicy). I really love Paula and her outrageous Southern drawl, but the best thing about the show is always the sex, never mind the food.

It's been a month since I sent off four query emails to literary agents regarding a writing project. I immediately received a rejection from one but haven't heard back from the other three. I figure I'll go the email route first since that makes the most sense to me. Some agents still refuse to accept email queries. I don't know why, since that's the technology we have now. Tomorrow I'll try to compose another query letter regarding a different finished project and send that off. I'll send it first to the people I already wrote to, let them know I've got more than one thing to offer.

I was never good at self-promotion (my mother even said that when I was a kid). That's why I'm looking for an agent. But it appears the agents won't even bother with you if you can't write a sizzling hot paean to your gifts. I'm trying my best, although it's not me. I'm just not an egotistical or prideful or pushy or own-horn-tooting type person. In my fiction writing, I actually get my greatest kicks out of lampooning the cocky, brazen asshole who in his overweening pride goes down (like George W. Bush.) I'm a Classicist at heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"BOOZING KATIE COLLAPSES! ...AFTER SHOCKING RAMPAGE"


I had to buy the National Enquirer to read the story. Maybe once every 10 years or so I'll buy an Enquirer, not that I have anything against reading it. (I tried to find the story on the Enquirer website, but it wasn't there.) (At check-out at the grocery store tonight, I was shocked (!) to find out the magazine now costs over $3.)

I generally like Katie Couric, and I still watch her on the CBS Evening News. I catch the Today Show briefly in the morning while I'm getting ready for work. For a while I watched Good Morning America but eventually I could no longer stomach the smarmy Diane Sawyer.

According to the April 23 Enquirer, Katie has a new boyfriend 17 years her junior (she's 50, he's 33), although she continues to "see other men, according to a friend." The new boyfriend's name is Brooks L. Perlin, a financial analyst and former triathlete. Go, Katie.

Despite those other dates, people close to Katie expect her to become engaged to Brooks. She even allows him to sleep over at the luxury apartment she shares with her two daughters, Ellie, 15, and 11-year-old Carrie.

The "boozing" incident happened in Miami, when she and Brooks were down for the Super Bowl. After the game, at which they sat "at least one seat" apart from one another so as to avoid being photographed together (at Katie's insistence, the source said), they went to a party thrown by CBS.

Katie had been boozing, and she took a limo back to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel where she was staying.

"But when she got up to her floor, she was a mess. She was crying so hard that her mascara was streaming down her face.

"She began banging on the room of another staffer, asking to be let in so she could talk.

"It turned out Katie was upset that Brooks hadn't come back to the hotel with her. They had separate rooms, but Katie had no intention of sleeping by herself.

"She claimed that Brooks had spent too much time talking to her female colleagues at the party."

After threatening to cancel his room at the hotel, Katie and Brooks apparently made up. The next day they were "seen walking around the hotel together. And now Katie is even more determined to make the relationship work," the source said.

Meanwhile at CBS Evening News, where ratings are down, Katie is drawing a younger audience and has the full confidence of the network, according to the story. I'll keep watching it myself, despite Katie's almost unforgivable interview (on 60 Minutes) with John and Elizabeth Edwards. Katie implied that Edwards was being selfish to pursue his run for president in the face of his wife's illness. Well, Katie didn't quit working when her husband had colon cancer (to which he eventually succumbed). Also, Elizabeth is gung ho about staying in the race. There's something to be said about the need to carry on a normal life even when the chips are down.

Meanwhile here at home, my cold isn't getting any better and today I could barely taste my food. I expect it to last a while.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Catching a Cold

I seem to recall someone sneezing in my direction the other day while I was on the bus and thinking O shit. I haven't had a cold in a couple of years. (I see that my Mucinex expired in June, 2006.)

Cats Get Dressed Up for Night Out




Sunday, April 15, 2007

Late Saturday Night/Early Sunday Morning

Drinking some rum with Publix diet black cherry soda tonight. Interesting. (I prefer the Publix diet caffeine-free cola but they didn't have any when I was at the store earlier.)

Yes, I must confess, sometimes I do my bogging under the influence and sometimes I say dumb things that I regret in the morning. Sorry. I guess I am not alone, however. My friend The South Beach Bum is also guilty of "B.U.I." By the way, I don't know what he's so depressed about. He should read The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. (It's all about tuberculosis before there was a cure for it, and it's very long. You're practically dead yourself by the time you get through it, but then you revive.)

Getting back into the swing of things after our visit to Homosassa Springs last weekend. I hadn't seen my father in about five years, since he and his wife moved there. (Time really flew.) Homosassa Springs is pretty much off the beaten path but is home to a lot of retirees and also a wonderful state park that used to be a privately owned tourist attraction. Natural springs well up to create the Homosassa River, which flows westward into the Gulf of Mexico. The park still contains a hippopotamus ("Lucifer") from its tourist-attraction days. It's also a haven for manatees and a variety of native flora and other fauna, many of which are handicapped but live out their lives well cared for in a comfortable state of captivity.

Aside from visiting my father and the park and eating excellent, inexpensive food, there wasn't that much to do. Thank God we had a rental car. Two nights we drove up to the mall in Crystal River to catch a movie. We saw an incredibly bad movie ("The Reaping") with Hillary Swank and an excellent movie ("Premonition") with Sandra Bullock. I bought the tickets for "Premonition" and was somewhat surprised that they gave me the senior discount for two tickets. Hey, I'm not a senior yet (not even close), but I'm not complaining about the cheap tickets.

On Sunday, we drove 10 miles or so west to a beach on the Gulf coast. B. had never seen the Gulf of Mexico. By then, the weather had turned nasty -- cold and wet. At the beach, it was windy too. We were both glad to get out of there and return to civilization along State Road 19. The terrain to and from was also pretty desolate, but a few people must love it, since they live there.

My father had picked us up from the Tampa airport when we arrived on Thursday, but I drove the car back to the airport on Monday. We took State Road 19 south, stopping off at Tarpon Springs (the sponge capital of the world) along the way. I'd been to Tarpon Springs as a child but B. had never seen it. We parked the car and walked around in the drizzle.

I upgraded our tickets to first class for the flight home, but unfortunately the ride was so bumpy (aside from being short) that we weren't able to get any freebies. The seats at least were comfortable.

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Thoughts

Regarding Andrew Sullivan's debate with Sam Harris over religion, I thought this was interesting. From one of Andrew Sullivan's readers:

Sometimes, instead of finding answers, we just have to live the questions. And we do. We all do. Every day. This is the real world and our experience of it: no matter how much we know, most of the important stuff is steeped in mystery. Strange that some athiests [sic], who fashion themselves realists, cannot accept that simple reality.

Andrew's response was:

This reality is, in my view, the core basis of all true religious faith and the only solid philosophical foundation for political conservatism. It's also why I find agnosticism far more persuasive than atheism.

So we are not to find answers? What does "live the questions" mean, and how is it that "we all do"? "[M]ost of the important stuff is steeped in mystery"?

Religion is about more than mystery. Religion demands social responsibility. There's nothing mysterious about -- say -- the Ten Commandments.

Andrew Sullivan puts a lot of stock in political conservatism. He's staked his career on it. He's written a book about it. That's his agenda. He believes that political conservatism is the only way to go. We are not to seek answers. We are to accept the status quo. We are to gaze in awe as things happen around us. We're just supposed to sit back and watch. I think not.

Life in a democracy, in which the people rule by way of laws, requires constant vigilance on the part of all citizens lest our laws and institutions be subverted by the enemies of democracy, such as the theocrats and the plutocrats, or we get dragged into some disastrous, unnecessary war on the basis of lies.

I don't think Andrew Sullivan is a bad person, and he's certainly not stupid. (He's coming around, after all.) The motto on his blog reads -- a quote from George Orwell: "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." Maybe he doesn't struggle quite enough. He's just now beginning to see what the conservative movement in this country is all about -- and he doesn't like it -- and he's been in the U.S. how long? (Since 1984?)

I'll leave it to others to keep after Andrew Sullivan in his constant struggle. There's one blogger who does it 24/7. See Bootstrapping Andrew Sullivan. He's also gay, by the way.

I've not read Sullivan's book "The Conservative Soul (How We Lost It; How to Get It Back)" nor do I have any desire to. I've read some of the customers' reviews on Amazon, however, and they are quite elucidating. From E. David Swan, South Euclid, Ohio:

The point where Mr. Sullivan lost me was in his distinction between true Conservatives and radicalized Conservatives. He writes, `It [conservativism] never seeks to return to a golden age or a distant past[.]' Really? Returning to the past is generally one of, if not THE defining feature of Conservativism. The author might want to read `The Conservative Mind' by Russell Kirk or `The Conservative Intellectual Movement' by George H. Nash to see an endless parade of Conservative intellectuals pining for some bygone era. Later, the author states that, "...Conservativism's great philosophical advantage over liberalism [is that] it can be more flexible." William F. Buckley famously stated that Conservatives [sic] `stands athwart history, yelling Stop'. Conservatives have stood in the way of civil rights, woman's suffrage and now gay rights. To a Conservative the American family is mom, dad and 2.2 children. Understanding of right and wrong can only be derived from Judeo-Christians teachings and moral relativity is the bane of an ethical society. Sounds about as flexible as a brick. One final jaw dropper is Mr. Sullivan's claim that `Conservatives, after all, hate war.' Somehow I think that the modern Conservative movement has completely left Andrew Sullivan behind. He considers neither religious fundamentalist nor libertarians to be true Conservatives when in fact they are the base.

Another argument that the author uses is that George W. Bush isn't a true conservative but this leads back to the question of what a true Conservative is. John Dean and Bruce Bartlett both used this same tactic. My opinion is that George W. Bush is the reductio ad absurdum of Conservativism. Bush is anti-intellectual, pro defense spending and singularly obsessed with lowering taxes. He also shares the paleo-conservatives love of religion as a panacea for society's moral failings. No man could possibly meet all definitions of a Conservative because many are mutually exclusive. The problem with Bush is that he is a classic ideologue who surrounds himself with like minded ideologues. Even Reagan who was the prototypical Conservative was pragmatic enough to raise taxes when it needed to be done. Bush on the other hand would stick to his agenda until the world came crashing down in a smoldering heap. This doesn't make him non-Conservative[;] it just makes him inflexible.

E. Gow, of Seattle, Washington, writes:

Sullivan's definition of conservatism is the defense of all the things that make Andrew Sullivan happy, such as gay marriage, worshipping Reagan and Thatcher, and most of all, having everybody defend his property rights while expecting nothing in return. Perhaps when he finally understands Hobbes[*] he'll recognize that he's not really a conservative and that all those things he so thoroughly derides in this book are the essence of American conservatism.

_________________

[*] [H]e fails to understand Hobbes' central point, that property rights are the result of government[,] not the basis for it. Hobbes' message is that without the cooperation of your society, "your" property is only that which you can physically defend.

And these comments are from readers who rated the book highly.

I have one last thought, something God says in the "Prologue in Heaven" to Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Faust I: "Ein guter Mensch in seinem dunklen Drange/ist sich des rechten Weges wohl bewuƟt." "A good man in his mysterious yearning/is well aware of the right way." Or, perhaps more poetically rendered (by Walter Kaufmann): "A good man in his darkling aspiration/ Remembers the right road throughout his quest."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Home Again

Glad to be back.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thought on Something from Andrew Sullivan's Blog

I thought this was interesting. I think it's telling about Andrew Sullivan that he should put that on his blog.

Andrew is now backing off from many of his former positions and getting more in line with Europe's (and that of the progressives here) take on things, but the damage that he encouraged (like mindless war and death) is already done. Up till now, he's been mostly a tool of the right wing.

It's interesting to watch Andrew Sullivan twist in the wind, but meanwhile we have to get back to the enlightened principles from which this country was born, and reject the tyrannical tendencies of the religionists and the laissez-faire capitalists and their crony culture of greed, corruption and incompetence.

On Vacation Till Monday Nite

B. and I are off to visit my 85-year-old dad in Homosassa. He doesn't look a day over 50 (I say that though I haven't seen him in six years).

Will give you a full report, with pictures, when we return. I've never been to Homosassa but it looks like a good place to relax. We'll be renting a car, too, to help us get around and soak up the local color.

Hypocritical Dirty Tricks by Republicans

Regarding Pelosi's visit to Syria. So what's new?

The media are mindlessly regurgitating the Republican talking points on this one. Unprofessional fucks. They make me crazy sometimes.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quote of the Day

"He is president of the United States, not king of the United States."

--Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid

"Worrisome" Hurricane Season Predicted


They got it wrong last year, so let's see what happens this year.

CBS Evening News reported from today's National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans. America's best known forecaster, Dr. Bill Gray, predicted an "active season", with a 74% chance of a major hurricane strike along the east coast, vs. 52% typically. Seventeen named storms are forecast for 2007.

Five major storms were predicted for last year while only two developed, and none hit the U.S.

Said CBS hurricane consultant Bryan Norcross: "Every weather forecaster of any kind is wrong sometimes, but I wouldn't bet against Dr.Gray."

Meanwhile, we've got our as yet untested shutters here.*

_____________

* Actually, we keep the one on our bedroom window closed to help keep the light out. It works very well for that.

This Looks Really Bad

NYT: "A new generation of leaders has emerged under Osama bin Laden to cement control over the network’s operations, U.S. officials said."

Experts say they still see Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia as largely independent of Al Qaeda’s hub in Pakistan but that they believe the fighting in Iraq will produce future Qaeda leaders. . .

Invading Iraq = stupid.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Heading to Homosassa

To visit my dad. We'll be gone for five days--a long weekend. Flying into TPA (an hour's flight) and Dad will pick us up. I've not seen him since he and his wife retired to Homosassa, north of Tampa, about six years ago. (Time flies.)
We'll be staying here, at the Bella Oasis Hotel & Spa, next to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The hotel's got a bistro and lounge, too ("Schtippy Chippola's"). Looking forward to our visit.

(Where are all the people?!)

Monday's Krugman

The title says it all: "Distract and Disenfranchise". After watching Bush get into office and then seeing what he's done (and undone) since he's been there, I've reached the conclusion that, since the Republicans really have nothing good to offer the vast majority of Americans, the only way they can get into office (and possibly stay there) is by deceiving people about what they're up to ("Clear Skies" anyone? Invading Iraq for what?) while at the same time going about disenfranchising those who would surely vote against them.

Remember that disenfranchisement in the form of the 2000 Florida “felon purge,” which struck many legitimate voters from the rolls, put Mr. Bush in the White House in the first place. And disenfranchisement seems to be what much of the politicization of the Justice Department was about. . . .

The Importance of Sunscreen

Of course it's always advisable to wear a sunscreen when recreating outside in the Florida sun. (My own grandmother died of malignant melanoma here in Miami at the age of 55--quite young.) I myself always use a sunscreen and wear a cap when I'm out in the sun. Melanoma is a very deadly form of skin cancer. Also, the sun has aged many a fag before his time.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sunday


Our street is becoming more upscale. You should see this lit up at night! (Marina with stacked boats at right.)

The view south from one of the bridges on the path between 135th Street and FIU

Another view (looks pretty healthy to me)

Biscayne Boulevard looking north from Keystone Plaza. (The old Sugars was just up the street on the right.)

Yellow tabibuia, an indigenous tree, in bloom

Another tabibuia at Keystone Plaza

Marina

Starbucks at Keystone Plaza