Sunday, July 31, 2005

Attention home schoolers

Walden media has lots of stuff up for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, including educator downloads...

Origami Amarillo

Davinci code diary of McKellan

Now, if you REALLY want to get into something anti Catholic (I mean, the Church is the baddy in the book), read the DaVinci code...

Of course, from the historial perspective, Dan Brown is bonkers (I did study quite a bit of ancient history in college) but then, believing a person is God incarnated who was born in stable instead of a palace is probably bonkers too...again, the DaVinci code mindset is gnosticism, the idea that Jesus was an avantar, and that for this reason his descendants, i.e. the house of the French kings, has the right to rule the rest of us because they inherited his holy blood...hello...are we now back to "the divine right of kings"?

On the other hand, if you read it, like most of us, as merely another potboiler to waste time while waiting for our airplane to leave, or on the beach, then no problem....

Well, anyway, Ian McKellan is continueing his journal on line, so if you want the goods into how they are making the movie, check out his site.

Today's diary describes the chateau they are using for the Chateau Villette...and his descriptions are very good...

NYT found someone who likes Harry Potter

And, if you read all the hype about the present pope warning about HP, I followed the links...turns out that in a 1998 interview (In German HERE...can't find it in English) with someone else, a sociologist named Gabriele Kuby, who claims in a letter to her, that he had voiced some misgivings...

As I told my stepgrandchildren, the "problem" is that it has a worldview where humans, if they use certain manipulations, can get supernatural powers...and Rowlings actually uses spells that are found in witchcraft books in her books...

Now, if you look at Harry as fantasy, "real" like Superman, or Spiderman, then it is a good book, both well written, exciting, and with a world view of good vs evil that allows children to identify with a person similar to themselves who can fight for the good.

But if you see Potter as "reality", it shows a gnosticism world view: Certain people are powerful, the "higher power" means power to manipulate nature and others, the person to be admired is one with such power, and it is okay to manipulate spirits and powers on the other side to get such power yourself.

So there IS a problem...but as my kids always told me: MOM, we know the difference between reality and fantasy, do you think we are stupid?

As for Tolkien, the entire point of LOTR is that humans DO NOT have such power, and if you seek power beyond your fate, you end up being corrupted to evil...

Joke of the day

The radio and TV stations are full of talk about GMA aka gloria and ChaCha: should we have a Con Ass or stay the same?

So nothing new here.

However, from the MB editorial page religious columnn, here is the joke of the day:

JOKE OF THE DAY. A Japanese tourist was riding around Manila on a taxi. He said: "This is Toyota… Made in Japan. Very fast." Seeing a car passed by, he remarked: "Ah, that’s Mitsubishi… Made in Japan. Very fast." Then as a motorcycle sped by, he said: "That’s Honda bike… Made in Japan. Very fast."

Reaching his destination, the Japanese was flabbergasted to see the exorbitant fare. "Why fare so high?" the passenger ranted.

Driver replied: "Taxi meter, made in Japan. Very fast!"

Recipe thread

Instapundit links to Daily Pundit, who has a Sunday morning recipe thread.

My recipe of the day is: Go to PizzaHut...or to Jolibeee...

Here in the Philippines, Pizza hut serves chicken, and Kentucky fried Chicken serves...Pinoy spaghetti (think of tomato sauce without oregano, and with three tablespoons of sugar added, with American cheeze on top, and the noodles not AlDente but soggy, and you will get an idea of how it tastes...sort of similar to the bland spaghettios that we serve kids, except sweeter)....

Estrogen causes cancer...DUH

Years and years ago, before the sexual revolution, we knew that women who were fat and didn't ovulate had a higher risk of endometrial cancer and breast cancer...

And we knew that progesterone caused breast lumps....and Depo Provera was kept off the American market for 15 years NOT because of an evil "anti abortion" lobby, but because progesterone was well known to cause breast cancer in animals.

Now we are hearing that (SHHH) hormones increase cancer...duh.

Well, the increase is small, and has to be placed against the great decrease in hip fractures and chronic back pain from osteoporosis...

As for the "heart disease"...please. Like Vioxx, it increases blood take an Aspirin, to counteract it.

Now, the big headlines hiss at hormone replacement therapy...but no one wants to say: BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.

And, of course, no one wants to mention that promiscuity, caused by birth control pills, ALSO has been known to increase cancer of the cervix....since 1911...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Attention artists

Don't ask me what these things are about, but I want the Dustbuster to clean my floors...

The Carnival of the recipes

Feisty Repartee has it this week...

Bon Appetit!

Monolo say: The Horror! the Horror!

No, it's not a photo of Donald Trump...

Gloria: CHA CHA to CON ASS

The wags have called noted that Gloria's Call to CHArter CHAnge is now called CON ASS for Constitutional Assembly...

Forbes notes she is the 4th most powerful woman in the world, but she is losing popularity polls here: NewsAsia says 2/3 want her to leave in one poll, but a MB poll of Manila shows only 41 percent want her to the "bean poll" shows about 75percent want her to leave, and I suspect if the poll was held in the Palenke rather than in the upscale supermarket it would be higher...

In the meanwhile, we have a Dengue fever outbreak in N.E., and they are spraying the open sewer drainage ditches...
Finally, I suspect the NYTimes won't have editorials like THIS on it's editorial page:

TWO parish priests were discussing about how they share the Sunday collection with their assistant priests. "That’s easy," the younger priest said. "For me, I draw a big circle on the floor. I toss all the monies up in the air and what fall inside is mine; what fall outside goes to my assistant." With a big circle, obviously only a few fall outside!

"And you?" asked the younger one, "How do you share your collection?" "My system is simpler but more effective," bragged the older priest. "I simply toss up all the monies in the air. What goes up is for my assistant, and what comes down is for me."

Milblogs v Stanford

A couple days ago, I blasted this prof for being clueless...probably because he teaches at Stanford.

Now,I was only NG, and the only war experience I had was two revolutions when I was a missionary, so that doesn't count...

And I'm sure the NYTimes, in it's wisdom, won't print my letter pointing out that the problem was that elites are too hoity toity to get their hands dirty by joining the service and that too many look down on those of us who do...

However, in this day of blogs, you don't need to be filtered out by the hoity the Milblogs are blasting him

Here is Blackfive (paratrooper of love):

Mercenary Army Or Pompous Academia?

This NY Times op-ed is really another indicator of academia's distance from main-stream American society.

(the rest is unprintable).

Here is Citizen Smash (previous name:Lt Smash when he blogged from the front lines):

In a nutshell, Kennedy is calling for a return of the draft or some other form of compulsary national service. This, according to him, would help to "ensure that the civilian and military sectors do not become dangerously separate spheres."

I've got a better idea for Mr. Kennedy: climb down from your Ivory Tower in Stanford and go and meet some real citizen-warriors. And while you're at it, you might want to apologize for calling us "Hessians." You might find, Professor that we're not a bunch of ignorant thugs.

And some of us even know a thing or two about American history.

And here is Grayhawk of the Mudville Gazette...

All of these blogs have discussions after them.

But the best link is from this Navy Seal:

I can't think of a single point in history where our
forces were of the
correct size, the correct composition, correctly
deployed, and
appropriately trained all at the same time. Pick a
war, any war. (For
that matter, pick any period of peace.) Then dig up as
many official and
unofficial historical documents, reports,
reconstructions, and
commentaries as you can. For every unbiased account
you uncover, you'll
find three commentaries by revisionist historians who
cannot wait to
tell you how badly the U.S. military bungled things.
To hear the
naysayers tell it, we could take lessons in
organization and leadership
from the Keystone Cops.

We really only have one defense against this sort of

I'd like to close with an invitation to those
journalists, analysts,
experts, and politicians who sit up at night dreaming
up new ways to
criticize our armed forces. The next time you see a
man or woman in
uniform, stop for ten seconds and reflect upon how
much you owe that
person, and his or her fellow Sailors, Marines,
Soldiers, and Airmen.

Then say, "Thank you." I'm betting you won't even have
to explain the
reason. Our Service members are not blind or stupid.
They know what
they're risking. They know what they're sacrificing.
They've weighed
their wants, their needs, and their personal safety
against the needs of
their nation, and made the decision to serve. They
know that they
deserve our gratitude, even if they rarely receive it.

Two words -- that's all I ask. "Thank you." If that's
too hard, if you
can't bring yourself to acknowledge the dedication,
sincerity and
sacrifice of your defenders, then I have a backup plan
for you. Put on
a uniform and show us how to do it right.

Why do you stay up so late?

(headsup from boingboing)

Friday, July 29, 2005

No "right to life"

In this british case, the patient doesn't have the RIGHT not to be starved to death by removing a feeding tube...the British courts say it's the doctor's right to decide....

The 45-year-old is suffering the degenerative brain condition cerebellar ataxia.

He feared GMC rules on artificial nutrition might allow his wishes to be overruled.

Since I have treated several patients with cerebellar ataxia, this is see they lose coordination/ability to swallow and speak but are normal in their mental abilities...

Stinky cheese alert...

For all of you who drink Aqua de Laguna de Erie, try eating this...

The road to serfdom

One of the classic books of economics is Hayek's road to serfdom.

For the learning impaired, is now in Comic book form...

Now, if they only could make Adam Smith into a comic I could read that book too...

Via Dappled things...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

New treatment for chronic sinusitis

Aslan update


Yes, I know some of the stuff is on PJ's King Kong...but you can go to two movies a years, you know....

Photo change

I changed the photo on my blog from "busy at work" photo to "enjoying retirement" photo.

Of course, that photo is ten years old when I was thirty pounds lighter, and my honey still had some hair...

Asian flu alert

Winds of Change blog has a discussion on Asian flu and it's implications...

There is a big worry in Asia about this, so far mainly that it is ruining the chicken industry (not to mention that it is endangering our fighting cocks)...


However, the real danger is if pig flu gets mixed with this bird flu. You see, most influenza epidemics start with pig influenza jumping to humans. There has been some cases of humans catching bird flu, but so far no hybrid of birdflu/human flu which could spread into an epidemic similar to the 1918 pandemic.

I believe the 1918 pandemic turned out to be pig flu, (I'm audioreading a book on it now, but the information keeps changing).

Oh well, since we already have to worry about Dengue fever, diarrhea, food poisoning, red tide, and other normal infections that go around in the Philippines, the possibility of bird flu is just one more thing...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


English Patis has the easy recipe, if you don't have banana leaves.

Posted by Picasa
old photo

Posted by Picasa

Attention theives

Please don't drink the artwork
I post these photos not to show off our business, but to show how people in rural Philippines can make a living without going to the big city.

Posted by Picasa
this is glued on here...

Posted by Picasa
Boxes also are being made this time

Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa
Making Christmas ornaments

Posted by Picasa

Cha cha Gloria take two

Gloria changes the subject from impeachment to CHArter CHAnge...

Mrs Arroyo's speech came as opponents filed an impeachment motion over claims she interfered in 2004 elections.

The president said the country's economy showed promise, but its style of governance was holding it back.

"Our political system has now become a hindrance to our national progress," she said in a 20-minute speech.


Pineapple recipe

I rarely post recipes on my new blog because I no longer cook.

However, a google search for a pineapple recipe brought up this link, on my old blog...

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pineapple cures cancer

Pineapple stem may combat cancer
Extract contains bioactive chemicals
Two molecules isolated from an extract of crushed pineapple stems have shown promise in fighting cancer growth.

One molecule called CCS blocks a protein called Ras, which is defective in approximately 30% of all cancers.

The other, called CCZ, stimulates the body's own immune system to target and kill cancer cells.

GLoria plays the CHA CHA

Not enough votes to impeach...

So for the big state of the nation address yesterday, she played the chacha card: She proposed Charter reform, aka Chacha in the usual Filippino way of making nicknames for everything.

Smart move. Now, instead of discussing the tapes of her trying to steal the election, we will have a loud and roudy discussion about whether to change the constitution to a parliementary system, which she notes is used by many nearby nations. (most of them ex british colonies).

Good news: It will enable presidents to be removed more easily.

Bad news: remember Italy, with it's "government of the month club".


Quote for today

Since I am busy ranting, here is the quote for the day, via dappled things:

...A joyfulness based on willful blindness to the horrors of history would ultimately be a lie or a fiction, a kind of withdrawal.

But the converse is also true. Those who have lost the capacity to see that even in an evil world the Creator still shines through are at the bottom no longer capable of existing. They become cynical, or they have to say farewell to life altogether.

In this sense, the two things belong together: the refusal to evade the abysses of history and of man's existence, and then the insight that faith gives us that the good is present, even if we aren't always able to connect the two things. Particularly when one has to resist evil it's all the more important not to fall into the gloomy moralism that doesn't allow itself any joy but really to see how much beauty there is, too, and to draw from it the strength needed to resist what destroys joy....

B16 aka the vatican rottweiler

Clueless NYTimes

A couple months ago, NYTimes editor Brooks wrote an editorial saying that the reason "WE" have a "love hate" relationship with the armed services is that "we" sometimes envy/worry because "we" did not join (essentially to try one's manhood in battle, or volunteer for something dangerous, if I remember it correctly).

And a couple weeks back, Tina Brown in the WaPost lamented that she lived in Manhattan to be away from "christians" but in Washington she had to put up with these inferior types.

Now Professor Kennedy essentially assumes the same thing: that since "we" i.e. read the elite of Manhattan, don't know anyone in the army/navy/marines/national guard because we are lazy and selfish, then ergo the army is merely outsiders and mercenries...

Some will find it offensive to call today's armed forces a "mercenary army," but our troops are emphatically not the kind of citizen-soldiers that we fielded two generations ago - drawn from all ranks of society without respect to background or privilege or education, and mobilized on such a scale that civilian society's deep and durable consent to the resort to arms was absolutely necessary.

Leaving questions of equity aside, it cannot be wise for a democracy to let such an important function grow so far removed from popular participation and accountability.

Sorry, professor, but just because you don't have the courage or guts to serve your country doesn't mean that it is the army's fault...the fault is in elites so pampered that they think the country owes them a living, and that the dirty jobs like nursing/ garbage collection/water utilities/ policemen/ firemen are something out there manned by "the other", subhumans who never would be invited to your party...

But outside of Manhattan's elites, many of us know people in the armed services, and indeed, as a retired officer in the NG, I can point out that I joined for patriotic reasons, because I felt I "owed" the country a part of my talents that could be needed in times of war or local disaster.

Speak for yourself, professor. Just because you are a snob with limited experience doesn't mean the rest of us are insular people like you...


Now for some humor from ARRGH via GruntDoc:

Military Terms and Translations
Army Navy/USMC Air Force
Latrine Head Powder Room
Cot Rack A Single with ruffle and duvet
Mess Hall Chow Hall Cafe'
BDU's Utilities Casual Wear
Private Seaman Bobby or Jimmy
Sergeant Chief Bob or Jim
Colonel Captain / Skipper Robert or James
Article 15 Captain's Mast/Office Hrs Time Out
Barracks Billets Dormitory
Underwear Skivvies Lingerie
Put in confinement facility Thrown in the Brig Grounded


It's all Bush's fault

If he had signed Kyoto, we wouldn't be traveling thru galactic clouds...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Wordsworth by McKellan

The Beeb aka BBC has had lots of programs on line...their Beethoven symphony downloads were free and a big hit. But you can also listen to it on line on demand.

Here, via Ian McK's web page, is the link for his reading of Wordsworth poems...

Alas, the only Wordsworth that I really know is THIS ONE

Hokey Smokes...It's ROCKY & BULWINKLE (And Their Friends)!!!

First the virgin on french toast, now THIS

again, the old oligarch noted it...

Cuddly panda link for today

Via the old oligarch...

Gloria still holding on


Everyone is holding their breath today.

Gloria gives the state of the nation address, and if she does it well, she'll stay in, if not, she's out.

She's still imitating Clinton: I'm the best one for the job and therefore I owe it to the country not to resign...

Since the VP has no fancy degrees, she is hoping that will stop impeachment, although they are trying to impeach him too.

Ramos backs Gloria, but is suggesting that if they want to change presidents every two years, they should have a charter change (i.e. change the constitution again). In typical Filippino fashion, the wags call this "CHA CHA"...

The other thing people are waiting for is to see how big the demonstration today in Manila will be.

For what it's worth, the "bean count" at the local grocery store is three to one against her...but then we tend to be against Manila elites.

Attention Arhnold

And sometimes they wake up....

Sarah, who 20 years ago was run down by a drunk driver, the impact throwing her into the path of a second car that slammed her forehead and left her so damaged nobody understood how her body survived, let alone her mind.

Sarah. They didn't know that as she lay in that bed, with her mouth gaping, face wretched in a silent agony, body atrophying, feet gnarling, fists clenched across her chest, tight, as if she were afraid, big, blue eyes staring out like she was trapped . . . They didn't know that as she lay there, something in her brain was mending.

People came and people went. Some grew up and some grew old. Some gave up and went away, guiltily diving into their own lives as Sarah Scantlin lay in that bed. Never believing she would do anything more than lie there and stare into oblivion, or wherever it is that brain-damaged people go, hovering between now and then, nowhere and somewhere, just out of reach.

Then six months ago, Sarah came back.

Sarah spoke.

I was working in New Mexico when Catherine Whitebull work up after being comatose for 12 years...
Some of our nurses were from her Pueblo...they said she woke up because the week before, her family held a novena to the Indian saint Kateri....

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Attention Scarlett O'Hara

You are back in fashion...

Manolo says, Ayyyyy! Help! I’m caught in the curtains again!

The trouble with Tribbles

LONDON Jul 21, 2005 — An animal welfare group confiscated 550 gerbils that had been kept in stacked containers in a small house in southern England, and asked the British public for help in caring for the animals.

The gerbils were found in a variety of cages and makeshift containers, including badly ventilated wine boxes, stacked to heights of more than 6 feet throughout the one-bedroom home in Portsmouth, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"The hallway was full, and there were about 35 containers in the bathroom alone," group inspector Mick Garrity said. "The male and female gerbils had not been separated, so they were continuing to just breed and breed."...

Crummy church signs

An entire blog....about church signs (via somehavehats, via Evetushnet etc)

Usually Catholic churches don't have signs...often they don't even post the schedule of services...

Here in the Philippines, if you see a beautiful church, with a neatly clipped lawn, it's an LDS church...if you see a huge monolithic church with semi clean grounds, it's Iglesia de Cristo..

If you see a greyish church that needs a paint job with a fading, chipped statue of a saint, and lots of wilted flowers, paper all over, and fading banners, it's probably Catholic.

toolbar update

One of these days I'll have to update my link page...

First, Father Sibley retires, now Professor Etzioni is hanging up his pajamas....

Oh well...

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Everyone here is holding their breath.

The consensus is that Gloria is not quite bad enough to get rid of, and she still has support, so cool it.

However, she gives the SONA (state of the nation report) on Monday, and everyone is waiting for this. If she has good plans, not just reshuffling same old people, she might pull a Clinton and get away with it.
If not, the opposition's knives are out.
What also might make a difference is that Monday is now a holiday. Everyone expects huge demonstrations, and since students and workers have off from school, everyone is placing bets on what happens.
So we made our weekly delivery of "ribbons" and Christmas balls today instead of next Tuesday, just in case.

bird flu alert

another bird flu alert...

Only a few cases spread to humans so far, but Asia is worried...especially after the SARS epidemic...
One reason is that the ghost of the 1918 epidemic is still remembered.
The other reason is that China covered up SARS. and there is a worry we wouldn't know about an epidemic there until it was too late.
that blog has lots of information, including THIS
The usually far left political agenda is pretty well left out of this, except for laments about there being too many Chinese and too many chinese pigs, and those damn Asians are now so rich they travel too much...'s in chickens...and ducks...and geese...

Carnival of the recipes is up

At the Glittering Eye...bon appetit!

Friday, July 22, 2005


Timewaster of the day (this and previous from Dave Barry)

Attention Thieves

You can run but you can't hide from CSI.

Moon show

Via davebarry....

Don't open at work...

Another reason to stay dirty

We call dead people

Or, if you send them a dollar, they won't.

The organization said the $1 fee was for credit card verification, and was designed to prevent fraud.

wait a second: The "stop bugging me" registry is free, and you don't have to have them check your credit cards...why not just pretend you are dead and email them?

Their logic is that people might put you on the list when you don't want to be on the list....

HELLO...I don't know anyone who likes to be called up in the middle of supper to sell them magazines....

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Well, at least this test is correct

I am 59% Asshole/Bitch.
Sort of Assholy or Bitchy!
I am abrasive, some people really hate me, but there may be a group of other tight knit assholes and bitches that I can hang out with and get me. Everybody else? Fuck ‘em.

Naaah, man, I was too poor to be a hippie

I am 34% Hippie.
Wanna Be Hippie!
I need to step away from the tie-dye. I smell too good to be a hippie and my dad is probably a cop. Being a hippie is not a fashion craze, man. It was a way of life, in the 60’s, man.

Beam Scotty up, Lord

And sympathy to his family...did you know he had a child at age 80...

Update: Did you know he was with the Canadians at Juno beach on D-Day? (quick: Name a "modern" actor who is a veteran....thinking ....thinking....)

And his ashes will be sent into space...


Jib Jab!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's official


Benedict XVI said that it is "almost a necessity" in "the world in which we live … to regain one's strength of body and spirit, especially for those who live in the city, where the conditions of life, often feverish, leave little room for silence, reflection and relaxed contact with nature."

Holidays, in fact, offer more time to dedicate "to prayer, reading and meditation on the profound meaning of life, in the peaceful context of one's family and loved ones," he said.

It is a time which "offers the unique opportunity to pause before the thought-provoking spectacles of nature, a wonderful 'book' within reach of everyone, adults and children," the Pope continued.

In fact, in "contact with nature, a person rediscovers his correct dimension, rediscovers himself as a creature, small but at the same time unique, with a 'capacity for God' because interiorly he is open to the Infinite," he added.

The person, "driven by his heartfelt urgent search for meaning, … perceives in the surrounding world the mark of goodness and Divine Providence and opens almost naturally to praise and prayer," said Benedict XVI.

I have told lots of patients this, but usually they don't go until they get very sick, and have to go on vacation...heck, I often put off vacations until I got pneumonia or bronchitis and had to take off...of course, now I'm retired an on permanant vacation...not..


Chocolate lowers blood pressure and increases insulin sensitivity.

They don't say anything in this short article, but the major cause of Diabetes type II is the body has less sensitivity to insulin...

SYNDROME X or Metabolic syndrome
is decreased sensitivity to insulin, and increase in tendency toward obesity...then you get high blood pressure, either from obesity or from the diabetic kidney damage.

There are other herbs that do this, but don't have the links right now...

It's probably genetic...and I always figured it meant that in times of famine, these people would conserve calories and live instead of dying of starvation...

An interesting fact is that when you see this in American Indians (where it is very very common) you also see Acanthosis nigricans...AKA dirty neck syndrome. Indeed, if you see a huge Indian with a grey neck, check his or her blood sugar... and if you see it in a Non Indian, worry about cancer (unless they are an Okie: most of our people have Native American ancestors).


Acanthosis nigricans. A diffuse hyperplasia of the spinous layer of the skin, acanthosis nigricans is recognized clinically by areas of hyperpigmented and at times hyperkeratotic, velvety plaques, typically in a symmetrical distribution. The frequently involved areas include the locations prone to intertrigo, such as the axillae, groin, and intergluteal fold, as well as the neck and antecubital and popliteal fossae (see photo below).


Nope, no bird flu

Here is the big worry about bird flu: The ducks will migrate here from China.

However, the latest report is that the reported cases in the Philippines were not bird flu...however, it's a matter of time.

There goes the chicken farm.

Of course, if you are into horror stories, worry about it spreading and causing a human epidemic, similar to the 1918 flu epidemic...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Monster Garage?

Last week, Monster Garage had Jesse and friends making a "wedding chapel" car, complete with organ...
Now I read this (See Link).

Happy wishes to them all.

Sandra has a warm spot in my heart for her million dollar gift to tsunami victims...

How to talk like a Pirate

However, for Alice and for Luke, the G rated version is HERE

A Children's Pirate Shanty
by Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers
(can be sung to the tune of Monty Python's "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK" - or make up your own!)

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

Yo Ho, my friends I have a tale
of treasure, plunder, sea and sail
my story's bigger than a whale
it gets so deep, ye'll have to bail.

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

I like to fish, I like to fight
I like to stay up half the night
When I say "starboard" ye go right!
Me ma, she says, "Ye look a fright!"

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

I've got no hand but that's me hook!
I pillage stuff but I'm no crook.
Me booty's in this chest I took.
They'll write about me in a book!

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

And that's all there is to this song.
I hope it hasn't been too long.
A pirate's life might just be wrong
So grow up nice and big and strong!

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

Dave Barry started all of this (blog link at left)...

Pirate alert

"talk like a pirate day"... is coming in September

but if you want to be the best dressed Pirate, try this:

Manolo says, the lazy eye, it is this season’s black!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Underground Oklahoma City?!

I love stories about paved over streets (underground Atlanta) and other underground larbyrinths...

Here is a story of one under Oklahoma city...from Dustbury Blog...


No one knows for sure, but the first Chinese immigrant probably came to Oklahoma City with the construction of the railroad or at the time of the Land Run. We do know that when the first city directory was published in 1890, there were five Chinese listed (Sam Chong, Hong Kee, Ming Lee, Sing Lee, and Wah Hop). These enterprising men most likely had come to the United States before the Exclusion Act and had been able to secure resident status. It is safe to assume that there were more than just these five Chinese in the city. However, later census records for 1900, 1910, and 1920 consistently list only a handful of Chinese in Oklahoma City.
As important as the Shirk expedition was, its discovery merely serves to confirm for later generations that such a place existed - it was unable to really illustrate for us what life was like inside the subterranean town. Few non-Chinese ever ventured into the catacombs, but we do have some records of people who did. In 1921 the Oklahoma Department of Health began a campaign to improve sanitation and living conditions in the state´s boarding houses, restaurants, grocery stores and the like. So in January, state health inspectors swarmed over eighty locations in Oklahoma City - six inspectors and one sheriff went underground. The inspectors were doubly amazed when they entered the subterranean village via a blue door in the alley off Robinson between Grand (Sheridan) and California - they did not expect the underground area to be so extensive nor did they expect it to be so clean.

And you thought Okies were merely cowboys and Indians...

Which middle earth character are you?

In the sci fi character quiz (posted a few months ago), I was Galadriel, but in this one I'm Butterburr...go figure

Ukelele time

They now come with USB ports.

This and the previous link are from boing Boing.

Dead seabirds

There is a die-off of sea birds...blamed, of course, on global warming.

But I am puzzled at this comment:

For reasons that mystify scientists, ocean temperatures are rising, which is killing off the plankton. As a result, animals higher on the food chain are facing mass starvation. Picture 9"Something big is going on out there," said Julia Parrish, an associate professor in the School of Aquatic Fisheries and Sciences at the University of Washington. "I'm left with no obvious smoking gun, but birds are a good signal because they feed high up on the food chain."

This spring, scientists reported a record number of dead seabirds washed up on beaches along the Pacific Coast, from central California to British Columbia.

UMMM:FELLAS: try West Nile Virus...our crows in Oklahoma died off from that, and it is now in Oregon...

If it was LACK of food, they would stop reproducing, and the birds you find would should I say this...THIN.

I mean, didn't you guys bother to do an autopsy? Viral cultures? Checking for environmental poisons like red tide?WHAT KIND OF SCIENTIST ARE YOU THAT CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT THE BIRDS TO SEE IF THEY STARVED OR DIED FAT?

If you see healthy birds that just drop dead in large numbers, think of an epidemic, and West Nile virus hit California two years ago...starvation deaths come a few at a time, and the first sign is that the birds don't reproduce, so you have a drop in bird numbers, not dead birds.

But of course, if it was WNVirus, you couldn't blame it on evil Bush causing global warming...and we all know that it's all his fault...

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Gloria holds a ralley

Beeb report is HERE

I agree with the BEEB: People are mad, but not mad enough...she'll probably get out of this one...

A stewardess reverberated a lollipop

and other useless triva at link

time waster for today

Dame Cecily died

Doctor Cecily Saunders, the founder of the Hospice movement has died.

Sometimes even the smallest hands can change the world...

More worries about hospital terrorism

...The incident at Newton occurred March 27, Easter Sunday, around 4:45 p.m. when three men of "Middle Eastern appearance" identified themselves as doctors and requested a tour of the hospital and emergency department, which recently had expanded. The individuals also asked questions about the facility's bed capacity, services and hospital directory, speaking fluent English.

A security guard asked them for identification, which they could not produce, according to Sean O'Rourke, chief operating officer for Newton Memorial. The guard instructed the men to call back during business hours and they left...

Incidents similar to the ones in New Jersey have occurred at three hospitals in Boston, Detroit and Los Angeles, from late February to mid-March.

"Everybody's antenna is up and they are watching for stuff," said Stuart Weiss, director of the Center for Healthcare Preparedness for the Saint Barnabas Healthcare System...

A suicide bomber in a hospital would kill many (indeed, recently a woman with a suicide bomb was arrested in Israel, on the way to kill people at a hospital). But there are also worries about stealing Radium and other radioactive elements used to treat cancer to use in a dirty bomb. (the stealing of bacteria is not at issue: You could find more anthrax in a barnyard in Oklahoma than in a New Jersey Lab).

And there has been poorly reported terrorist incidents against medical research facilities


Poorly reported because animal rights activists are often funded from PETA and other groups dearly beloved by Hollywood elites...

So one must applaud this expose in the Wa Post, which describes not only the attack, but the media manipulation by the attackers, who were given sympathetic press...

Harry Potter! Harry Potter!

NYTimes reviewer says thumbs up

Saturday, July 16, 2005

good morning

Posted by Picasa


No, not me, the TV show...AXN asia has it on, a year behind (We just saw the episode on Hurley last night).

And they are doing a LOST Marathon I can catch up with the early shows I missed.

AXN also has CSI, although I find it a bit gorey, even for crime show buffs like me...they have all three shows on at different times.

And I hear Desperate Housewives will be shown on one of the local networks.

Well, it beats watching b movies on HBO Asia, although I must admit sometimes Cinemax has academy award winning movies. Yesterday they showed "GIANT"...for you trivia buffs, it starred Elizabeth Taylor.

Bad news: Chicken flu is here

This is sure to devastate our chicken industry further...

The local chicken industry was already decimated by cheap imports from Thailand and Viet Nam, which were hit by the flu earlier this year. However, it has now been found in the Philippines, probably spread thru migrating fowl...

and the public is told it's okay to eat the meat if it is
cooked...a fact that is confirmed catch it from feces...but no answer if farmers who use chicken manure to fertilize the fields are at risk...and we have just finished mixing chicken manure into our fields and have planted the rice...

One more thing to worry about, after diarrhea (which is going around) and influenza (which we had) and Dengue fever...

The carnival of the recipes is up

Bon appetit


I'm sure all of you stood in line to buy Harry Potter's new book...

Ah, but if this is correct, it may not only delight your kids, but teach them history.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005


In pictures: Microscopic medicine
Hayfever misery

A mast cell stimulated by pollen to release histamine, the agent which irritates the respiratory tract, and causes hayfever. The image, by the University of Edinburgh, is part of the The 2005 Biomedical Image Awards exhibition at the Wellcome Trust in London.

check link for more exciting photos

Gloria still around

Despite the big rally in Makati yesterday, Gloria is playing the Clinton card and refuses to resign...

And according to this, the Vatican told the bishops to stay out of politics. LINK... however, yesterday's Manila bulletin had three editorials telling people that the bishops said Gloria should stay, so opposing her was opposing the church.

Politics politics.

Actually Bishops need to be involved when moral issues are at hand...but when EVERYONE steals votes, to take sides is merely political...and as the second editorial points out, there are people on both sides...

And we hear that the bureaucrats and cabinet officials that were forced to resign are mad at Gloria politicizing the apolitical bureaurocracy...i.e. the officials who serve no matter who is in office now are being treated as political appointees (yes, some are appointees, but they are not really political types). This is not a good sign.

Gateway pundit has the story and links to THIS web page for more information...

And, for your listening pleasure, if you don't have a kiosk nearby selling Gloria's tape (next to pirated CDs and the latest films), PCIJ has the transcript on line. LINK

Around here it is quiet, for two reasons.

One, it is the start of planting season, so everyone is busy.
Two: they figure everyone is a crook, so what else is new?

As I have said before, politics here is like being in Chicago....

Calling E.D. Hll...calling E.D. Hill

I have decided that the answer to "why do they hate us" is..E.D. Hill...aka E.D. Doherty and a bunch of other names (she used to broadcast from Pittsburgh and was known as

In the US, we were so far in rural areas that local channels were fuzzy, so we had a satellite dish. And in the morning, while dressing, we would watch the antics of ED Hill and friends playing the Three Musketeers or the three stooges. You had the dumb weatherman, the dumb jock, and the ditzy blond.

So when Henry Kissenger was on to be interviewed, you would have some very piercing questions, and then at the end of the interview he would be asked who his favorite rock star was.

But the best part is that, unlike Katy Couric, they didn't take themselves seriously. They didn't pretend they were GOd's gift to mankind to find THE GREAT TRUTH. They mainly entertained, and sometimes you learned something important.

Now I live in the Philippines, and our local cable has CNN international, based in Hong Kong, which is essentially BBC lite, and an Asian news channel from Singapore (we also get Japanese news, but alas it is often in Japanese).

When the Pope died, I got so tired of Christienne Amanpour complaining about the Pope, and all the feminist ex nuns complaining about how terrible he was, that I watched the funeral on the Asian channel.

So after the London Bombing, CNNI was full of Arabs saying they were experts who explained it was all the evil bush/evil blair's fault for being in Iraq...all those civilians killed in Fallujah...blah blah's the Jews fault...blah blah...

And not once did the interviewer interrupt or ask even a softball question let alone a hard question.

One longed for the wide eyed ditzy E.D. to be there, pretending she was naive and really wanted to know, and ask a bombshell like: Well, why wasn't the "arab street" upset when Saddam killed 40 thousand in Basra? If terrorism was due to Iraq, why did the Bali bombers say they did it to revenge the Aussies helping East Timor? Or maybe even the bombshell of the week: Do you think the reason for the hatred is because the radicals in the mosques are preaching jihad? And that these radical Immans were trained by Saudi money?

Nope, can't have things put into perspective...

But maybe sometimes CNNI forgets the party line....the Beeb did: for a few days after the London bombing, they actually called the terrorists "terrorists" judgemental.

And yesterday, CNNI made the mistake of asking an Indian from the Asian Pacific Foundation to discuss the problem...and he put the London bombing as being similar to a recent homicide bombing in Kashmir...


Ah, guess you didn't hear about that, or the dirty little fact that the country (outside Iraq) with the most people killed by terrorist bombings of civilians was....India.

India is the country with the second largest Muslim population in the world, and is afraid of the radical Immans from Pakistan and Saudi arabia igniting religious hatred between Muslims and Hindus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lolo visiting the chicken farm. Our son ran it but now it has a tenant. the buildings in the back are chicken houses.

Posted by Picasa
They still use water buffalo, but many people now use hand plows like this..handplows and modern hybrids have increased the crops

Posted by Picasa
the fields have been plowed and fertilized, and are ready for the planting

Posted by Picasa
Rub showing off her corn crop.

Posted by Picasa

Blast lung

Many of the casulaties from the London bombing suffered blast lung, and now the CDC now has a pdf file up for diagnosing and treating blast lung...

Blast lung injury (BLI) presents unique triage, diagnostic, and management challenges and is a direct consequence of the blast wave from high explosive detonations upon the body. BLI is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for blast victims both at the scene and among initial survivors. The blast wave’s impact upon the lung results in tearing, hemorrhage, contusion, and edema with resultant ventilation-perfusion mismatch. BLI is a clinical diagnosis and is characterized by respiratory difficulty and hypoxia, which may occur without obvious external injury to the chest.

Current patterns in worldwide terrorist activity have increased the potential for casualties related to explosions, yet few civilian health care providers in the United States have experience treating patients with explosion-related injuries. Emergency care providers are urged to learn more about the physics of explosions and other types of injuries that can result. Basic clinical information is provided here to inform practitioners of the presentation, evaluation, management, and outcomes of BLIs. Please see the reference list below for more information about how to treat injuries from explosions.

The white plague

Describes outpatient treatment of TB, mainly among immigrants.

However, most of us who worked with the Indian Health Service saw TB, new or old cases...

The REAL danger is not TB per se, but undiagnosed TB, and the dirty little fact that if you have HIV and TB, you never will be cured...leading to more drug resistance.

In the past, if you had TB you were kept out of the USA-- immigrants were screened. However, with the large number of illegal aliens, no one knows who has tb-- and lots of them work in the food or service industries, where they could spread it to others...

Quote for the day

"Friar Carter gave a pretty stirring little sermon, based on Rogation Days (next Mon - Wed) in which he suggested we were all a lot of untutored robots for not saying Grace; and did not suggest but categorically pronounced Oxford to deserve to be wiped out with fire and blood in the wrath of God for the abominations and wickedness there perpetrated. We all woke up. I am afraid it is all too horribly true.

But I wonder if it is specially true now? A small knowledge of history depresses one with the sense of the everlasting mass and weight of human iniquity: old, old, dreary, endless repetitive unchanging incurable wickedness. All towns, all villages, all habitations of men--sinks! And at the same time one knows that there is always good: much more hidden, much less clearly discerned, seldom breaking out into recognizable, visible, beauties of word or deed or face--not even when in fact sanctity, far greater than the visible advertised wickedness, is really there."

J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter to Christopher Tolkien - May 14, 1944

reset your watches!

It's going to be a LOOONG year

Charleton Heston call your office

Notice they did not use orangatang stem cells to implant in chimps? The dirty little secret is that there are so many 'unwanted" human embryos out there, not to mention an active commerce in selling aborted fetuses, that selling them is going to make millions...only ethics stand in the way...

Monday, July 11, 2005

good news for today

link two

has a webcam...scroll down to the end of the link.

Narnia pictures

are up at Ain't it cool news...

The seven deadly sins explained....

x rated gummi bears on a Catholic blog...who woulda thought
AGGGGHHHH...the corn is covered with ants and aphids...quick, where is my hairspray?

Posted by Picasa

Hating Harry Potter

It' not just for fundamentalist wackos anymore...

But at least fundamentalist wackos have a logical reason to hate Harry (they think he promotes witchcraft)...this bozo thinks...well, I'm not sure why she hates Harry...except for noting the story "is stupid if you are over 13", she has no logical reason at all...merely namecalling.

As for "Finding Nemo" to be for toddlers, sorry honey. The beauty of the cinematography alone is a good enough reason to watch that film...but the story, which is full of humor, has a timeless theme: a father seeking a lost son...

But her problem is not really with Potter, but with the inability to see how man shapes reality by writing fantasy...

"I'm sorry you were born too late for J.K. Rowling, but you had your C.S. Lewis and E.B. White and J.R.R. Tolkien. Isn't it a clue that you should be ashamed of reading these books past puberty when the adults who write them are hiding their first names?...
When we share our entertainment palette with the Wiggles set...we deny an attempt to understand human emotion."

Or is it because human emotion is best expressed in symbolic stories?

Oh no! not Fluffy!

Actually, those of us who worked in the Indian Health Service knew there would be a couple cases of bubonic plague every year...usually in hunters.

Tony Hillerman even has a "Jim Chee" mystery written with plague infested prarie dogs as the centr of the plot.

But now it is in cats...and maybe in fleas.

YUM...vat grown chicken meat

Put your hands up....

As seen on Jay Leno

Clueless Hollywood?

Mystery writer Roger L Simon wonders....

And Drudge notes that Tom Cruise WOTW has been beaten at the boxoffice because of a film on....penguin migrations...

(must be an x rated penguin movie...or maybe the penguins are more charismatic than "I love myself" Tom...)...

Of course, here the films on HBO asia are cruddy stuff...I'll channel surf and see the same old "meaningful glances" or car crashes when I pass by (HBO and Cinemax are between Discovery and Disney channels here)...

and the new movies are pirated and sold on the street by vendors...and you will find Tom's latest bomb right next to Gloria's CD of "how to steal an election"...

ah, the free market.


Update: Now even the LATimes is noticing the bias is hurting the box office.......

Sunday, July 10, 2005

the carnival of the recipes for this week

Ramos to Gloria: Get your act together

He's right. we have the human resources to be another Singapore...but because of all the corruption, most of our hard workers have to go overseas to work.

Coup in the works?

Gateway pundit has a summary of the news...

Cory says stay, but Ramos says go....

Translation: Elites say stay, so they can stay in power...

Ramos is (Protestant) middle class...and like my husband (catholic middle class) says she should go...

However, no matter what, we live up country and will only hear about it when it is on CBN or another local network...

Hmmm...a friend in the news

When I worked in Zimbabwe, Sister Patricia was our public health nurse, i.e. who ran the baby clinics and nutrition clinic.

Well, her HIV clinic was torn down by Mugabe in his "Operation clean out trashy people" version of Krystalnacht.

Zimpundit has the entire story at the link.

Write a letter to your local paper if you have the chance...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Terror? we don't have no stinking terrorists...

London hit by some bombs...big news all over CNN...hope our relatives there are okay.

But in the Philippines, same old news.

A ferry hit by a fire LINK... luckily, we didn't have 200 dead as happens at least once a year. The last one that killed a bunch of people was blamed on terrorists setting off a bomb, but since the fire started in the kitchen, it was probably just an accident...

Another provincial vice mayor killed LINK... another killing yesterday nearer to here, of a barangay official...however, it's not Alquada, but either the local communists (usually because they weren't bribed) or a personal feud....nope, no terrorism here, folks.

And, of course, Gloria still won't resign...LINK

And how is YOUR day?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Newspaper for Latinophiles

(Via Ragemonkey: don't say we Okies have no culture)

I see fat people.....

Lileks mentioned he visited this museum..

Ah, for the good old days when fat was beautiful...

Africa and Economics 101

I agree with most of this...

But in times of drought, like is occuring in much of East and south africa right now, the food aid is needed...
I have Irish blood, and remember one reason for the starvation was the opposition to importing grain that would undermine the grain growing economy in England and Ireland (indeed, Ireland EXPORTED grain during the famine)

the problem is feeding starving people, and it is a major tradgedy that people like Mugabe estroyed the economy by his socialistic economics (threw out all the white farms that produced the surplus that fed the cities-- if this sounds familiar, the Russians had the same problem after throwing out the kulaks, and the Chinese with their great leap forward)...

In addition, Mugabe is insisting that all food be distributed thru his government, allowing him to stop food aid to his political enemies (similar aid diversion occured in Ethiopia, and is occuring in North Korea)..

Yesterday, Nicolas Kristoff suggested sending money via NGO's and churches instead.


I have lots more on this depressing subject on my "evil Mugabe" blog...(link at right).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Richard Feynman

I have been a fan of Feynman since I read his non fiction book "Surely you must be joking Mr Feynman"...

But my favorite story is the PBS show where he and a student decide to investigate something obscure, just for the fun of it, and they decided to find out stuff on Tuva...

Oh yes, and he won a Nobel prize in Physics...

So, via Instapundit, here are links for Feynman quotes.


So I have just one wish for you--the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described,
and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your
integrity. May you have that freedom.

- Richard Feynman

Food blog take three: Pilgrim's pots and pans

has lots of yummie recipes too.

Here is the link for a typical Filippino soup: Mung bean soup.

Sabo Balatung: Mung Bean Soup

1 cup dry uncooked green mung bean (Vigna radiata)
1/2 cup shrimps, shelled (or pork) (and/or)
1/2 cup bagoong (salted shrimp fry paste)
(or you can substitute pork strips or flaked fish)
1 cup chicharon (pork rind/cracklings)
2 tbsp. garlic, finely crushed
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 bunches chives, minced
1 tsp. lard or cooking oil
salt to taste
2-3 cups of water

For the rest of the recipe, go to the link.

One difference, is that she seives her mung beans, and we don't...

As for bagoong, it is femented fairy shrimp...although there are other bagoongs made of fish.
It is a condiment used to flavour different recipes...for the shrimp bagoong, the fishermen catch the tiny shrimp (about the size of a grain of rice) in a fine net, and then they ferment it. Usually it turns a purplish pink. You add it to recipes or to vinegar, or with tomato/green mango/onions etc. as a condiment. It looks like flaky pink stuff when mixed, but don't look to closely at it, because you will see tiny black specks similar to pepper in it...that's the shrimp's eyes...

My rule is never eat anything that is staring back at you, but in the Philippines, we eat fisheads and the entire shrimp and crabs... so I am getting used to fisheyeballs staring at me.

Food blog: Our kitchen

LINK she has the links to the Manila bulletin articles at this link.

Foodblogging: English Patis

For your holiday enjoyment, some links to Filippino food blogs.

The local Manila Bulletin had an article about them, but I couldn't find it on line.
The blogs are from overseas Filippinos, but they have lots of recipes.

English Patis
is in the UK and today's recipe is Bruschetta.

However, a more typical Filippino recipe is this:
Chicken Caldereta

1 kg chicken - cut into serving sizes
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns - lightly cracked with mortar and pestle
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 medium onion - chopped
oil for frying
500 gm passata (tomato sauce)
1/4 cup coarse grained liver pate (or mashed cooked liver or 85gm can of liver spread)
125 gm chorizo - chopped into 1/2-inch slices [optional]
1/2 bell pepper - seeded and sliced
1 green or red fresh chilli [optional]
hot chilli sauce (or Tabasco)
1/3 cup bottled olives - drained [optional]
1/3 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
250 gm potatoes - peeled and quartered
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  1. Mix vinegar, salt, garlic, and peppercorns in a bowl. Add chicken pieces, mix well. Marinate chicken for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a big pot, heat oil for frying. Drain chicken from marinade and brown briefly in the oil in batches. Set aside.
  3. Remove oil from the pot but leave about 2 Tbsp. Heat up again and saute the onion on medium heat until soft and translucent (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. Scoop out the garlic and peppercorns from the marinade and add to the onion. Saute for a few minutes.
  5. Add in the browned chicken, stir for a minute.
  6. Add the rest of the marinade, stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in the passata and bell pepper. Bring to boil then turn down the heat.
  8. Add the chorizo and fresh chilli (if using). Simmer until meat is almost done.
  9. Stir in the liver pate and mix well to combine.
  10. Add potatoes and peas. Simmer until potatoes are cooked.
  11. Add grated cheese, mix well until cheese has melted.
  12. Taste sauce and correct seasonings adding hot chilli sauce if preferred.
  13. Add olives just before removing from heat. Serve warm.
To Be continued...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Rebel yells, greeks, and independence day

Actually, although the Cherokee and most Okies were Rebs (there was even a Conferderate General who was a Cherokee)...., I come from Osage County, and the Osage were anti slavery and supported the north...

Here is the rebel yell: Alas, you have to buy the $27 dollar book to get it free...but I'm sure someone will place it on the internet...

1.Specially recorded for this promotion. An audio CD of the only recording by a living Confederate veteran giving the famous rebel yell technologically multiplied in the laboratories of Printpoint Inc. in New York, to emulate a Confederate company of troops advancing on a Union line. The original recording by WBT, Charlotte, NC in the early Twentieth Century featured Pvt. Thomas N. Alexander of the 37th North Carolina Regt.. Pvt. Alexander made the only known recording of this famous battle yell by an authentic Confederate soldier. This simulation of a company’s battle charge is the only recording of its kind in the world today. Sponsored by the History Publishing Company, LLc. Value: Priceless

however, I wonder about the ones who write up the books, because as I scroll down I read:
12.For this promotion. The Anabasis by Xenephon. The first “war correspondent,” sets the pattern for war correspondents in later years including the Special Correspondents of the Civil War. Xenephon marched with the Spartan army to Persia to aid Cyrus in his quest to gain the throne in 400 B.C. The Anabasis is the classic account of that military campaign. The e-book. Value: $29.00


It wasn't a Spartan was a bunch of mercenaries, and Xenophon was an Athenian who went along for the fun of it...and it wasn't the great Cyrus, but Cyrus the Younger trying to steal back the thone from his brother...and the book wasn't about the military campaign, except in the first chapters.

You see, the first battle was in Babylon, and Cyrus younger got killed.
This stranded the mercenaries...who were up to be hired by the winners.

So when the Persians asked their officers to come in and parlay without taking their arms, the officers went...and promptly got killed.
Then the Persians told the lower soldiers to hand in their arms...expecting them to be demoralized and leaderless.

But the Greeks figured they'd be killed. So instead of giving up their arms, they promptly voted in new officers, including Xenophon, and told the Persians: Screw you, we're going home...and if you want our swords you can take them from our cold dead hands...

And so the Greeks marched home...1000 miles, and most of them actually survived the trip...


LINK to book

Hmm...makes you wonder if Xenophon was from Texas...or Sweeden...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Gloria's constitutional crisis

President Arroyo is in deep doo doo...
Remember I blogged that telephone conversations on CD's were being sold by street vendors? The taped conversations were about stealing elections...

So taking a clue from her fellow classmate at Georgetown, she has "apologized"...

In the meanwhile her relatives have been getting bribes. Last week, she said her husband was going abroad until things cleared the papers say he'll be back next week, it was a vacation. And she is reshuffling her cabinet...musical chairs of the same politicians ....

Some mild demonstrations, and the country is split on whether or not she should resign.
Corie and the bishops say: Pray...
Well, that would help.

However, what helps the most is the knowledge that the guy who would replace her is just as crooked as she is.
In the Philippines, it's like Chicago pick the best crook for the job.

Gloria got in by throwing out the last president, the film actor (nickname Erap) for takng too many bribes.
Erap was hugely popular with the non elite, who didn't care if he took some bribes, because they knew all politicians stole...and at least he knew people outside of the Manila power structure...

She was vice president, and swore when they impeached Erap that she wouldn't run for president, but of course she did...

And now she is being shown to be just as corrupt as Erap...or at least her husband.

Too bad. Her father and grandparents had poor people in mind, but she was brought up as a debutant who went to the US elite colleges, including her knowledge of poverty is limited to her BA in economics.

X men: future of utopia

There are all sorts of futuristic fantasies about making supermen etc...

Here is a book reviewed by the NYTimes on how science might indeed make such things real...

Leon Kass has a book "Beyond therapy: Biotechnology and the pursuit of happiness"'s on line but alas I can't get the link from the Philippines...

Everyone thinks of "Brave new world"...but I always think of Cordwainer Smith and his underpeople...the temptation to make life utopia by having chimera do all your work is the real temptation...and chimera, unlike illegals or the "delta" men might not get the idea they have human rights (although in Smith's story the dead lady of Clown town, that's exactly what happens)...

On the other hand, one thinks of enhancing humans like Heinlein's lady Friday...who , after 300 pages of adventures, smuggling, fighting, and hopping in and out of various beds, finds her true happiness in an extended marriage as a farm wife...fully accepted as a human being...

Hmm...sounds like the theme of X men...


Attention X3 fans

Interview with producer Ralph Winter

Quiz time

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal






Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with

Carnival of the recipes


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Church jokes

My brother, Col. Thermal Updraft, sent me the following jokes:


Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?"

"Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life."

The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why is the groom wearing black?"


A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!"

While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again. As she ran she once again began to pray, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But please don't shove me either!"

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50."

The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100."

The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!"


An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, "They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead.


A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?"
He said, "Call for backup."


A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem.

A small child replied: "They couldn't get a baby sitter."


A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to
treat our brothers and sisters?"

Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."


At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.

Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said,"Johnny, what is the matter?"

Little Johnny responded, "I have pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife."


Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, "What do you think about all this Satan stuff?"

The other boy replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing!

Tom Cruise go away take two

The Manolo hates Tom Cruise too (check link for photo)

Go away Tom Cruise! The Manolo he is now officially weary of your hyperactive-chimpanzee-on-meth antics.

No more Tom Cruise! No more Cruise pictures! No more Cruise news! No more Death Grip of Super Masculinity at the blog of the Manolo! Please for the love of all that is holy go away.


(via boingboing)

My husband wants the badonkadonk mouse... I told him no way...

Happy Independence day!

(via BoingBoing) Bill Tapia is a very young 98 years.

But if you prefer banjos to ukes, here is a link to podcast lession LINK

Harry Potter!

Speaking of Charles Bronson

Don't mess with the Swede

Tom Cruise as dockworker?

One of the problems with Tom Cruise is that he is NOT a great actor...
He is full of charisma, of course.
So when he leers and plays a vampire or a hotshot pilot, we believe him.
But too often, when he "acts" you think: "What a good actor"...

Michale Caine (who is in every movie known to mankind) once said: If you say: What a good actor, you are seeing the actor. If you see only the character, you are seeing a great actor.

So seeing Daniel day Lewis playing Christy Brown with Cerebral palsy, you say: What a good actor.
But if you see Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, you see a person with autism, not Dustin Hoffman. A great actor.

Tom Cruise is just not believable as a dockworker. He is too pretty. If he worked outside for ten years, he'd have bad skin, not the smooth skin of Hollywood. If he worked 12 hour days, he'd be paunchy from eating submarines or hamburgers and fries, for there is little time to sit down for a "real" meal, and you are just too tired to work out to get nice muscles.

This is not the first time Cruise was miscast. He was in one film about an Irishman and a British lady that ended up in Oklahoma...but the whole point was that she was older, and bossed him way Cruise was the big handsome and somewhat inarticulate teenager of the film.

It's not as if there are no "working class heroes" in Hollywood...but I guess Sean Astin and Nicolas Cage or even Toby McGuire weren't available... in "old" hollywood, working class heroes actually had worked for a living: Think Charles Bronson (coal miner) or Clark Gable (steel worker). But at least Astin and Cage, who are hollywood brats, can act.

Or maybe Spielburg was so starstruck with the possibility that Cruise would star, he didn't bother to see if the part was miscast.