Book Ratings

Book ratings explained:

* I didn't like it | ** It was OK | *** I liked it | **** I really liked it | ***** I loved it

Saturday, December 31, 2005

What do you get after a rainstorm?

A Rainbow!

She's home and none the worse for wear.

~ happy dance, happy dance ~

Happy Hogmanay, everyone!
Hogmanay \hog-muh-NAY; HOG-muh-nay\, noun:
The name, in Scotland, for New Year's Eve, on which children go about singing and asking for gifts; also, a gift, cake, or treat given on New Year's Eve.

The origin of the word Hogmanay is unknown.

Friday, December 30, 2005

I can't believe I forgot

Yesterday was the Best Friend's 25th wedding anniversary and I completely forgot about it. I've been so distracted about the cat and so into re-reading George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire that it just totally slipped my mind.

There's no excuse. I shall go flagellate myself . . . as soon as I finish reading this chapter . . . and maybe the next . . . ooh, but there's a Jaime chapter coming up so I have to read through that one . . .


Still no joy

On the missing cat front, that is. There is still no sign of Rainbow.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rainbow still missing

There's still no sign of her. I have no idea where she goes off to when she gets out of the house. At least we're having warmish weather so she won't freeze being out. I do worry about traffic, though, since I live near some busy streets.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Rainbow is missing again

I woke up about 9-ish this morning to discover the dining room window had been broken out and two cats were missing. Mouse dutifully came home after I'd thrown on some clothes and had gone outside rattling the food bag, but Rainbow is still missing. Given the distance the screen and the broken glass had scattered out, I'd say one of the cats decided she wanted outside enough to crash through the closed window. I didn't find any cuts on Mouse and I didn't find any trace of blood on the ground, so I don't know if Rainbow is the one who broke the window, although I suspect her to be the one since she has a little more mass than Mouse does, and I don't know if she's hurt. With any luck, Rainbow will come wandering home in a day or two like she did the last time she got out.

Right now I have a box in front of the broken pane and a chair holding the box in place so the other cats can't get out. I'm not sure when I can get someone in to make repairs.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

What's your (other) elf name?

Your Elf Name Is...

Holly Hot Chocolate

Nobody say a word!

Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

iWon News | Judge Rules Against Pa. Biology Curriculum


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching "intelligent design" in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

The ruling was a major setback to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging battles in Georgia and Kansas. Intelligent design holds that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by some kind of higher force.

Jones decried the "breathtaking inanity" of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion.

A six-week trial over the issue yielded "overwhelming evidence" establishing that intelligent design "is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory," said Jones, a Republican and a churchgoer appointed to the federal bench three years ago.

The school system said it will probably not appeal the ruling, because several members who backed intelligent design were ousted in November's elections and replaced with a new slate opposed to the policy.

During the trial, the board argued that it was trying improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection.

The policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade lessons on evolution. The statement said Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It referred students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People."

But the judge said: "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom."

In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require public schools to balance evolution lessons by teaching creationism.

Eric Rothschild, an attorney for the families who challenged the policy, called the ruling "a real vindication for the parents who had the courage to stand up and say there was something wrong in their school district."

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which represented the school district and describes its mission as defending the religious freedom of Christians, said the ruling appeared to be "an ad hominem attack on scientists who happen to believe in God."

It was the latest chapter in a debate over the teaching of evolution dating back to the Scopes trial, in which Tennessee biology teacher John T. Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law against teaching evolution.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Georgia heard arguments over whether a suburban Atlanta school district had the right to put stickers on biology textbooks describing evolution as a theory, not fact. A federal judge last January ordered the stickers removed.

In November, state education officials in Kansas adopted new classroom science standards that call the theory of evolution into question.

President Bush also weighed in on the issue of intelligent design recently, saying schools should present the concept when teaching about the origins of life.

In his ruling, Jones said that while intelligent design, or ID, arguments "may be true, a proposition on which the court takes no position, ID is not science." Among other things, the judge said intelligent design "violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation"; it relies on "flawed and illogical" arguments; and its attacks on evolution "have been refuted by the scientific community."

"The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources," he wrote.

The judge also said: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."

Former school board member William Buckingham, who advanced the policy, said from his new home in Mount Airy, N.C., that he still feels the board did the right thing.

"I'm still waiting for a judge or anyone to show me anywhere in the Constitution where there's a separation of church and state," he said. "We didn't lose; we were robbed."

The controversy divided Dover and surrounding Dover Township, a rural area of nearly 20,000 residents about 20 miles south of Harrisburg. It galvanized voters in the Nov. 8 school board election to oust several members who supported the policy.

The new school board president, Bernadette Reinking, said the board intends to remove intelligent design from the science curriculum and place it in an elective social studies class. "As far as I can tell you, there is no intent to appeal," she said.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I hab a code in my nodz

I woke up feeling very icky this morning and the ickiness has not gone away. It's not a bad icky. Just very annoying 'cause my nose keeps running and my lips are chapped 'cause I have to breathe thru my mouth.

Why do I always get sick over the weekends? Why can't I get sick on a Tuesday, say, so I can stay home from work?

Oh, well. I had fun at breakfast and I have another sock done and I've actually been paid to make a pair of socks for one of the Prodigal's friends. Things is good.

I braved the cold for breakfast

I went out in the cold and wet to have breakfast, at IHOP of course, with Raelerin and her hubby. She calls him Alberilin but I like to think of him as Garth. (Don't worry about it. This is another D&D reference. And a really twisted one to boot since Alberilin is Raelerin's father and Seitherin has nothing to do with Garth.) We had a very lovely visit. It was nice to see Garth a.k.a. Alberilin again. I hadn't actually seen him to talk to in a couple of years even tho' Raelerin and I have taken to meeting for lunch or breakfast every couple of weeks or so.

Sometimes I miss playing D&D on Sunday afternoons.

Friday, December 16, 2005

One by one, they come to nap

This time I caught Rainbow trying to get a little shut-eye on the sofa. She popped her head up when she heard me coming, but she couldn't be bothered to move and went back to sleep after I snapped her.

Rainbow trying to nap on the sofa

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Wurst Haus is back!

Sort of. Quite a few years ago, the best restaurant in town was a German deli and restaurant called the Wurst Haus. It was owned by a German couple who used their own recipes for the food. The atmosphere was wonderful. The people were great. The food was as close to perfect as you can get. Needless to say, my ex, son and I were regulars.

But then Bernie and Marlies decided to retire and their daughter took over. And things slowly got not quite as wonderful, not quite as great, and definitely not near perfect. Eventually the restaurant was sold to someone who obviously didn't have a clue why the place was the most popular eatery in town. Things went from not quite so good to worse and the restaurant finally shut down.

There was much sadness in the hearts of people who loved Bernie's food.

And then last Friday night I cut through town to pick up some nachos on my way home from work, and what do I spot on the corner of This Way and That Way? The Wurst Haus. I was leery about trying it out. A friend's husband ran a check to see who filed the DBA and it was someone neither of us had heard of. We knew it wasn't the last person who had the original restaurant, but still . . .

Anywho, a lunch date I had today had to be postponed until tomorrow so I decided to live dangerously and try the Wurst Haus out. It was almost like going home again.

The man who owns it used to work as a chef for Bernie. He wanted to open a restaurant in town, so he asked Bernie if he could open the Wurst Haus again. Bernie agreed. Not only does the restaurant have the same name, it has the same menu and the food is made using Bernie's recipes.

I had Wiener Schnitzel, Blaukraut, Bratkartoffeln, and green peas (Schoten?) with a plate of lentil soup (Linsensuppe?) before and Apfelstrudel after. The only thing missing was the Bier, but they still haven't gotten their liquor license so that will have to wait a bit.

I'm stuffed and happy. This is a good Christmas present.

The Prodigal Son has a job

He's working as a carpenter's helper. He started on Tuesday. He's working for a home builder. Right now they're working on a house somewhere up Galveston way so he's got a long drive twice a day same as I do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Strange new object found at edge of Solar System

Buffy, the Theory Slayer . . . giggle.


tmesis \TMEE-sis\, noun:
In grammar and rhetoric, the separation of the parts of a compound word, now generally done for humorous effect; for example, "what place soever" instead of "whatsoever place," or "abso-bloody-lutely."

Tmesis is from Greek tmesis, "a cutting," from temnein, "to cut."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Three months today

It's my three month anniversary at work today. I didn't even realize it until I was on my way home.

I've been busy at work so I've been really tired when I get home. I've been relaxing by reading. And that's what I'm about to go do. But first I will fix myself a bowl of lentil soup for supper. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home tonight and picked up a couple cans of Progresso lentil soup. It's not as good as mine when I make it, but it will do in a pinch.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Frozen through

Even though it's in the mid 40s outside and the low 70s inside, I'm frozen solid. There was no heat in the office today - at least, that's what it felt like - and I am cold from the inside out. I had the heater in my car set to broil on the way home, but it didn't thaw me out. I'm going to have to fix myself a nice scalding hot cup of tea and snuggle under my blanket just to take the edge off the chill. Thank goodness I have a loverly pair of woolen socks to keep my toes toasty.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's cold!

Somebody turn the heat back on. It's in the upper 30s but it feels colder because there is a wind blowing. I guess winter has well and truly decided to come.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ranch crackers

This is a nifty little recipe for ranch flavored saltine crackers. It works best if you make it late in the evening so you can let the mess stand over night.

1 1/4 cup Cannola oil
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 box (4 packs) of saltine crackers

Blend the first three ingredients in a lidded bowl large enough to hold the crackers.

Add the crackers and shake until the crackers are covered in the mess.

Shake a couple of times more before you go to bed then let the mess stand overnight.


logorrhea \law-guh-REE-uh\, noun:
Excessive talkativeness or wordiness.

Logorrhea is derived from Greek logos, "word" + rhein, "to flow."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Oh, how funny

You Are "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth"

Gee, if I could only
Have my two front teeth,
Then I could wish you
"Merry Christmas."

At Christmas, you are a happy soul who's easy to please.
You're biggest concern is making those around you smile.

Whenever I'm asked what I want for Christmas, guess what my answer is?

Dead Man's Chest

This is the trailer for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out this summer. It looks majorly fun.

Tis the season

Cool Christmas Light Display and the music isn't bad either.