Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 25th, 2006

Another message for Maureen

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I find that I cannot read Maureen Dowd’s denunciations of Bush, however richly they are deserved, without becoming angry at her role in Bush’s election. Tonight’s email to her:

Another great column pointing out what a failure Bush has been as a President, and how he has learned nothing. But what have you learned? Have you had an instant’s regret for your systematic attacks on Al Gore during the 2000 Presidential campaign, when it seemed as if your only goal was to ensure that the US got Bush for a President instead of Gore? Do you even recall how, week after week, you belittled and mocked Gore—the “earth tones” canard? the “inventing the Internet” canard? Whatever you could lay your hands on or make up, you threw against Gore. And now you expect us to forget all that—as you apparently have—and accept your denunciations of Bush? What sort of person are you, Ms. Dowd? The same sort as Bush: never acknowledge error, never apologize, never back down…

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 8:53 pm

Katie, taking her ease

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Katie taking her ease

Katie the Canadian Kitty enjoys relaxing. I’ve noticed this same behavior in other cats. Katie’s a moggie, but a most happy moggie: good home, interesting surroundings, tolerant humans—life is good. Of course, often—when you’ve just gotten totally relaxed—something very interesting runs by, or makes a little rustling noise…

You will note that Katie, like Sophie, has googly eyes.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Cats, Katie

Big response

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This post continues to draw an amazing number of hits a day. And, from the comments, the problem may be widespread. I’m not using any of the key terms from the post because I don’t want to confuse Google searches, but I’m amazed at how frequently people come to the blog to read that post.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 11:06 am

DHS working to ruin lives

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Via Boing Boing, this story on how innocent people are being placed on terrorist watch lists to meet quotas imposed on air marshalls:

You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they’re reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they’re required to submit at least one report a month. If they don’t, there’s no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

“Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft … and they did nothing wrong,” said one federal air marshal. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 9:43 am

Looting the country

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Looking at what’s happening to the US, such things as making it easier to (illegally) avoid paying estate taxes, outright tax cuts for the wealthiest, continually growing national debt, politicians (mostly GOP, as it happens, but William Jefferson, too) selling their influence (like Duke Cunningham, for one: now convicted and cooperating), Congressmen (like Denny Hastert) using their office to enrich themselves, Congressional abdication of oversight and cover-ups of scandals—it all comes down to this:

The country is being looted.

Dennis Kozlowski did it at Tyco, Conrad Black did it at Hollinger International, Bernie Ebbers did it at World Com, Jeff Skilling did it at Enron, John Rigas did it at Adelphia Communications—the list goes on, with many still unnamed. Billions have vanished in Iraq, and only a few companies have been prosecuted, and somehow the idea is about that it’s okay to get rich by any means at all.

And that’s what we see happening to the US: even as Congress refuses to raise the minimum wage (while awarding itself handsome yearly raises), even as Congress shifts the burden of taxation off the wealthy to the rest of us, our country is being looted. Its power and assets are being used to make a few quite wealthy. And little is being done to put a stop to it.

Bush once famously said, “This is an impressive crowd—the haves and the have-mores. (Laughter) Some people call you the elite. I call you my base. (Laughter)”

The laughter rings hollow now, for most of us.

UPDATE: Looting the US continues apace.

UPDATE 2: Energy firms got a $14.5 billion tax break, and oil companies are reporting record incomes—up 65% in some cases.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 9:24 am

MeFi Projects

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This is cool: I described my “project” of shaving with a safety razor in MetaFilter Projects and I’ve gotten 9 votes (to date)! I’m chuffed. One more vote and I’m at double digits. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 8:59 am

Posted in Shaving

A tale of two fans

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It was the best of fans, it was the worst of fans, and I had both: one was a Costco-purchased Windmere floor fan with remote control—a very nice feature that allowed me to select one of the three speeds, toggle “breeze” setting (continually varying speed) and oscillation, and turn the fan off or on. BUT: it had plastic blades, and in time the blades gradually straightened themselves until the fan could be running at top speed and, standing directly in front of it at a distance of 12″, you could feel nothing: no air moved, just the blades whirling around.

The other was a small Vornado with continuous speed adjustment (but no remote) that sat on the floor and moved air like a champ.

With a hot spell here in Monterey (now thankfully abated), I was moving the Vornado from room to room, until finally I cracked and ordered another. Luckily, Vornado is having a sale and I got this floor model with continuous speed adjustment for 28% off—and free shipping and no sales tax.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 8:42 am

Posted in Daily life

WordPress vs. Blogger, III

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I have two previous posts on the superiority of WordPress vs. Blogger, here and here. (My first blog was on Blogger.) Here’s another: the search facility.

For all that Blogger is owned and run by Google, the search capability is pathetic—totally hit or miss, and very definitely mostly miss. For example, I have a post on how to make a true Martini. It was one of the first posts on the old blog and also on this blog. (It’s something very important to know, right?) Even though the post on both blogs is titled “The Martini,” a search on the blogspot blog always comes up empty-handed, whereas the WordPress search finds it instantly. In fact, the WordPress search is good.

I continually am thankful that I bit the bullet and moved over to WordPress.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 8:22 am

Posted in WordPress

Moss Scuttle, first use

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This morning inaugurated the Moss Scuttle. Overall impression: beautiful addition to the shaving kit, and works well to keep lather warm. I got the Large, and the Small would have definitely been too small. Even the large is close quarters for my current lathering technique, but I’ll adapt.

One enchancement that you might want to request if you should have a scuttle made for you: a tiny hole, toothpick size, at the top of the handle, to admit air when the bottom compartment is emptied of water. The scuttle is all one piece (the top bowl sealed to the bottom), and the water glugs out of the bottom somewhat slowly when it’s emptied rather than flowing freely. UPDATE: Note from Sara Bonnyman:

It is not impossible to put a hole in a scuttle, however it is a potter’s nightmare. With clay shrinkage and flowing glazes at the high temperatures I use..almost 2300 degrees F a hole would make a real complication. I have been severely raked over the coals by other scuttle buyers because the scuttles weren’t all perfectly I started caulking them, that lasted no more than a day because then I got complaints about that too. The scuttles as they are presently, seem to be making almost everybody happy, which is my goal, you shavers are a tough crowd.

Another Scuttle user suggested that simply holding the scuttle sideways to drain it would work—and it does.

The components of this morning’s shave beyond the Moss Scuttle: Vision razor, Feather blade, Taylor’s Avocado shaving cream, Saint Charles Shave Bay Rum aftershave balm.

PS: I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking of additions to the master post on shaving and finally, unable to sleep, got up and added them. When, I wonder, will that post be stable? (I suppose when I stop learning new things about shaving.)

UPDATE: The guys at Badger & Blade suggest using the Moss Scuttle purely as a brush/lather warmer, using something larger for a lathering bowl. In that case, the Small scuttle would work nicely.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 8:11 am

Posted in Shaving

Katie, pondering the pond

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Katie at the pond

Here, as promised, is another photo of Katie the Canadian Kitty. She’s at the pond built by my brother-in-law. They all live together on Salt Spring Island, and Katie regularly hunts small and timid woodland creatures around the house—life is tough.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2006 at 3:28 am

Posted in Cats, Katie

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