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Steve Wants Advice About His Huge Hog -lauraw November 30, 2006

Posted by anycomments in AA - Uncategorized.
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Those of you with experience roasting 100+ lb. hogs on a spit, please put him some knowledge.

 I wish I had this guy’s problems. Anyhoo.

Den Beste has already voiced his opinion on the weighty subject of containing the stuffing. I’m not sure about it, though.

I don’t think I’d eat any pork skin cracklings that came in contact with chickenwire (galvanized, right?), especially since these pigs are usually deeply marinated with a lot of acidic citrus that I think would react badly with the metal coating. And you know, the skin is such a treat.

There is still the matter of a suitable cheap motor and rig-up for turning the spit.

UPDATE: Forgot to tell you; Hog On Ice is an owner-moderated site. He has had some hellacious troll issues in the past. Your comments won’t show up until he checks them through.

A Guy From Fwance Gets Lucky November 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.
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My favorite Spur, point guard Tony Parker,  is getting hitched.

San Antonio's Darlings

Eva is kind of a fixture at Spurs games.  They are such a cute couple.  I’m getting all misty.

NEW YORK – Her marriage didn’t work out on “Desperate Housewives,” but things are looking rosy in real life for Eva Longoria.  She’s engaged to her beau, basketball star Tony Parker.

“Tony flew into Los Angeles last night after his game and surprised Eva at her home as she got off work,” Longoria’s spokeswoman, Liza Anderson, told The Associated Press on Thursday via e-mail.

“The proposal was romantic and perfect. The couple plans to wed in France in the summer of 2007 in what they describe as a big, happy ceremony with lots of family and friends.”

Desperate no more: Eva Longoria engaged

Updated — Computers Rank Travelers For Terrorism Risk November 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in Terrorist Hemorrhoids.
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By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN, Associated Press Writer

18 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – For the past four years, without public notice, federal agents have assigned millions of Americans and other international travelers computer-generated scores assessing the risk they pose of being terrorists or criminals. The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments. And the government intends to keep them on file for 40 years.

Great!  Glad to know my tax dollars are doing something useful. 

Earlier in November, the government disclosed the existence and details of the Automated Targeting System (ATS) for the first time in the Federal Register. Privacy and civil liberties lawyers, congressional aides and even law enforcement officers said they thought the ATS had been applied only to cargo.

The scores are assigned to people entering and leaving the United States after computers assess their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meals they ordered.

This means you should eat pork products when flying if you don’t want your luggage searched.   Better still, get online and request a kosher meal.

The Homeland Security Department notice called it “one of the most advanced targeting systems in the world” and said U.S. ability to spot criminals and other security threats “would be critically impaired without access to this data.”

All of this would be unnecessary if we let those DHS guys at the airport use some common sense and hassle the swarthy looking dudes with shifty eyes, passports from Muslim countries, and/or names like Abdullah.  But noooooo, that’s “racial profiling” and it discriminates  against the Religion of Peace.  So now we have spent a bazillion dollars on a computer system that accomplishes the same thing.

Still, privacy advocates view ATS with alarm. “It’s probably the most invasive system the government has yet deployed in terms of the number of people affected,” David Sobel, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group devoted to electronic data issues, said in an interview.

You say that like it’s a bad thing, David. 

A similar DHS data-mining project for domestic air travelers — now known as Secure Flight — caused a furor two years ago in Congress, which has barred its implementation until it can pass 10 tests for accuracy and privacy protection.

OK, I appreciate that Congress is concerned about privacy issues.  Really I do.  But let’s face it, if we are going to win the GWOT, we have to play to our strong suit, and the arsenal of highly sophisticated data mining technology at our disposal is exactly that.

Government rates travelers for terrorism


This story is getting bigger.  The whining and gnashing of teeth by various constituencies that reflexively oppose the rational use of data mining technology by law enforcement agencies has begun.

U.S. Terror Ratings Draw Outrage.

Woman sentenced for condom explosives November 30, 2006

Posted by skinbad in Ducks, Terrorist Hemorrhoids.
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BOSTON (AP) — A former strip club waitress was sentenced Wednesday to five years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to mailing threatening letters and flammable material, including condoms filled with a potentially explosive mixture, court documents said.

This happened in Boston. Maybe we have a lead on Ace’s disappearance. None of the condoms exploded.

No mention regarding whether any went off.

Not my usual sort of post November 30, 2006

Posted by composmentis in AA - Uncategorized.
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I’m probably not as well read as some of you, but I’m sure I’ve done my share.  Of all the books, blogs, and articles I’ve read, only two works have made me cry.  I don’t mean bring a tear to my eye cry. I mean full on, tears streaming down my face, gotta blow my nose because I’m a big girl cry.

The first is a specific part in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. If you haven’t read the book but think you will, you might want to stop reading until after the break because I’m going to bring up a bit of a spoiler.

Reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I began to tear up at the beginning of Chapter 26 and, by the end, when Little Eva had passed, I was sobbing.

The child lay panting on her pillows, as one exhausted,—the large clear eyes rolled up and fixed. Ah, what said those eyes, that spoke so much of heaven! Earth was past,—and earthly pain; but so solemn, so mysterious, was the triumphant brightness of that face, that it checked even the sobs of sorrow. They pressed around her, in breathless stillness. “Eva,” said St. Clare, gently.She did not hear.

“O, Eva, tell us what you see! What is it?” said her father.

A bright, a glorious smile passed over her face, and she said, brokenly,—”O! love,—joy,—peace!” gave one sigh and passed from death unto life!

“Farewell, beloved child! the bright, eternal doors have closed after thee; we shall see thy sweet face no more. O, woe for them who watched thy entrance into heaven, when they shall wake and find only the cold gray sky of daily life, and thou gone forever!”

Part of it is because I have two daughters of my own, one whom is around the same age as the girl in the book and I cannot fathom the unbearable anguish I would feel if she were gone. Yet, the thing that I believe gets me most is the joy Eva so fully expressed at fully feeling God’s loving presence and entering His kingdom.


Dirty Little Secret–I’m a BYU Football Fan November 29, 2006

Posted by skinbad in Personal Experiences, Sports.
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Fair warning: This is about football.

In an email, R.G. asked me if last Saturday’s BYU vs. Utah game turned out the way I hoped (BYU win, 33-31). I think it did. Honestly, I would have been OK if BYU stomped them as they have done to the rest of their conference opponents this year. I grew up in Salt Lake and graduated from the U (also, later graduated from BYU, but never lived in Provo) but I liked watching BYU do well even though I really didn’t admit that to friends or family. BYU has their share of holier-than-thou fans and a lot of Mormons love to see them get stomped. BYU/Utah is always the last conference game of the year and it is a very intense rivalry. FYI, Provo is about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City and is demographically much more Mormon and conservative. Why did I like BYU? They were always on (LDS church owned KSL TV), they scored a ton of points, they were fun to watch, the players were mostly white Mormons (which, for some strange reason, made them something I could identify with), and they won a lot of games. (more…)

Eye candy for sale November 29, 2006

Posted by kevlarchick in Philosophy.
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This yummy item is up for auction

Only 8 hours left to bid.  I’m taking up a collection on behalf of the Kevlarchick Foundation.   Give generously to this worthy cause! 

The Crap Tree November 28, 2006

Posted by Michael in Websites.
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My first real introduction to Dave in Texas was a link in a comment thread at Ace of Spades HQ to a guest post he had written at A Small Victory (now defunct).  It was called The Crap Tree, which Dave has now republished on his blog.  It’s a gem.  If you’re in the mood for some Christmas spirit, go take a look.

Church In Rome Offers Solution to Smog November 28, 2006

Posted by Michael in Science.
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In much of the world, especially developing countries, urban centers are choking to death on smog.  If you have travelled to Seoul or São Paulo or Mexico City, you have experienced a grim reality —  the air is frequently poisonous.

A church in Rome, designed to maintain it’s stark white appearance, has fortuitously offered a ray of hope.  It turns out that the cement surface includes a compound that eats smog.

Smog Eating Church 


The 100 top TV catchphrases? D’oh! November 28, 2006

Posted by Retired Geezer in Gardening.
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Holy (whatever), Batman!

The TV Land cable network has compiled a list of the 100 greatest catchphrases in TV, from the serious — Walter Cronkite’s nightly signoff “And that’s the way it is” — to the silly: “We are two wild and crazy guys!”

I worked nights for 30 years so I never saw a lot of those shows that the quotes come from.

The network will air a countdown special, “The 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catch Phrases,” over five days starting December 11.

Oh sure, I’ve *heard* most of them, I just didn’t realize they were quotes from TV.

What catchphrases do *you* use?
The 100 top TV catchphrases? D’oh! – CNN.com

Flying Squirrels -lauraw November 28, 2006

Posted by anycomments in Ducks, Economics, Gardening, Terrorist Hemorrhoids.
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cuter than bats

We noticed these critters soaring into our locust tree one snowy night several years ago. We had come home at 11 PM after a late dinner out, and I decided to fill the birdfeeders to save time in the morning.

A few minutes later, was having a nightcap and staring into the gloom, and something whizzed by. And again. Again…it took us a while to figure out what they were.

I thought at first they had to be some kind of nocturnal bird because some of them flew in from trees fifty+ yards away. I know they’re technically gliding, but you have got to see it to understand why they’re called flying squirrels. They can change direction in air, and they tend to pull up sharply as they approach the tree they’re landing on.

 Anyway, we’ve been feeding them at night ever since.

Owl snack

Can’t stress enough how hard it is to get a picture of these critters. They move like greased lightning among the branches, always swiveling and leaping. Almost machine-like in their speed. And, of course, it is pitch black outside so you have to be right on with the flash.

We cut that tree down recently, so hubby nailed a basket to a big maple tree out back and that is the new peanut place.

They congregate in the pines at dusk and scold me until they see me walk out with the cup of peanuts. High pitched squeaks coming from everywhere. The little ratones have got me trained.

Pamela Anderson – Kid Rock Marriage Crashes November 27, 2006

Posted by Michael in Ducks, Science, Sports.
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Along with people of good will everywhere, I celebrated their marriage, and toasted their future of marital bliss with a post at Ace of Spades HQ.

Can anyone deny that this seemed to be a marriage made in heaven?  They seemed to be so perfect together, the quintessential American couple, the very embodiment of the “family values” that have made this nation great.

Pam and Kid

I am devastated, devastated  I say,  by the news that the sacred union of this modern-day Cinderella and Prince Charming has not worked out.

20 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES – Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock each filed divorce papers Monday seeking to end their marriage of less than four months. Anderson’s representative would not comment on the reason or any particulars of the divorce. Anderson and Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, each cited “irreconcilable differences” in their divorce filings in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

“Yes, it’s true,” Anderson wrote in a brief statement on her Web site. “Unfortunately impossible.”

A message left with Ritchie’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.

The relationship between Anderson, 39, and Ritchie, 35, has been a turbulent one since they became engaged in 2002. They broke up the following year, but later reunited and held several wedding ceremonies over the summer.

Nooooooooooooo!!!  Say it ain’t so!!!

What can we believe in any more?

I guess there’s always Yoko Ono, and the Quest For World Peace.

 AP – Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock To Divorce