August 03, 2005
At leat it wasn't rated G
My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?
(h/t Jay Solo)
August 05, 2005
I hate to break it to you...
but Communism is no picnic.
"Cuba is not a bad place. You Right Wing "Christians" think that everyone should have a "Father Knows Best" lifestyle and live the "American Dream". Communism when governed properly helps keep people from doing what Enron did. Without Capitalism, Bush would not be killing innocent people in Iraq. There would have been no slavery in America. There would be no sweatshops. There would be no more street gangs. The Mafia would not exist. Capitalism results in greedy people killing and enslaving people and polluting the environment."
was posted here earlier today. Anyone else want to explain exactly what is so great about cagastro's Cuba that people are willing to risk their lives every day to literally swim 90 miles to come to the US?
Not to mention that this is a circular argument. Communism by definition doesn't need to be governed. If everyone is equal, no one is more equal than anyone else, right?
Ok, so I am Right Wing. And I am a Christian. So what? Does that make me any better or worse than you? I don't think so. But don't pigeonhole me. As for what I think about lifestyles see here.
As for Iraq, when did Bush take a gun over there and kill people? Maybe that fake turkey gave some people food poisoning, but let's call a spade a spade shall we? The majority of innocent people dying in Iraq right now are young American men and women who are trying to rebuild what 30+ years of despotism has ruined. The majority of deaths that have occurred in the months that we've been in Iraq have been caused by non-Iraqi terrorists, people who are trying to disrupt the peace that the Coalition is trying to provide for the people of Iraq.
Now, as to your misguided theories on Capitalism. First of all, the Mafia existed long before Adam Smith, and it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with Power. Street Gangs aren't about money, they're about protection and power. Iraq isn't about money. If it was, gas prices would be at an all time low.
See, your problem really isn't with President Bush, or Enron, or the Mafia. It's with what you view as the inequitable distribution of power in the world, and I hate to say it, but money and power go together see, they're a matched set. And frankly as long as money and power exist, they will be distributed inequitably simply because there will always be someone who is dissatisfied with their share. That's sometimes called greed, but it's also called ambition.
Which brings me to the American Dream. The American Dream is simply an ambition to enjoy the better things that more education and more money can give you. I don't have a problem with that. Either you do, or you have a serious lack of ambition.
Finally, you're right you know. Cuba isn't a bad place. It's a beautiful place with extraordinarily loving and giving people with a rich heritage and ambition for themselves and their children. Cuba is great, castro and his regime are bad.
While we're on the subject
Go here to help our friends at Babalu strengthen the Cuban people to make a change in their leadership!
To the folks on the island, I want you to say these three simple words: repeat them, believe them. Don't just say them. All of you on the island have to understand that despite the CDRs, despite the lack of electricity, despite the lack of fresh milk for your babies, despite the all of these things, you are still human beings, you have dignity and worth, you are God’s children like the rest of us. And when the frustration is too much, you have to rise up and yell, ¡Ya no mas! -- "I've had enough!"
Everything around us, that is created by man, was once just a thought. The power of the mind to create reality is beyond dispute. These words can empower the people of Cuba with the spirit of liberty. Despite all that the government can do to them, they can still say them and they can still think them. I hope they pass the meme along, paint the words on buildings, write them on the sidewalk, write them in their ration books. All they have to do is to believe them.
“I’ve had enough.”
Ya no mas.
(h/t: Mikey and Ith)
That does it.
This is why I will never be convinced that homeschooling is any better than public school for most kids.
(h/t Leopold "Butters" Stotch)
August 06, 2005
You Are Boy Shorts!You're stylish, trendy, but not over the top. You know how to look good - without looking like you're trying too hard. Men think that you're cute, friendly, and approachable. And you've got a spunky, fiesty side that comes out after a while!
What Kind of Panties Are You? Take This Quiz :-)
(h/t TNT aka Mrs. Harvey)
My mood, summarized
Never let it be said that the Barenaked Ladies are anything other than lyrical geniuses. Also, perhaps Canada's best export after Hockey.
Their song, Never is Enough fits me to a tee these days. Especially the end of verse 4:
You get your ph.d.
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy’s
And are honored with employee of the month
Anybody know anyone who wants to hire a freshly minted PhD with some actual skills?
I've been waiting for this
Two straight men are pushing the limits of Canada's same-sex marriage act. According to this Toronto Sun article:
Bill Dalrymple, 56, and best friend Bryan Pinn, 65, have decided to take the plunge and try out the new same-sex marriage legislation with a twist -- they're straight men.
"I think it's a hoot," Pinn said.
The proposal came last Monday on the patio of a Toronto bar amid shock and laughter from their friends. But the two -- both of whom were previously married and both of whom are still looking for a good woman to love -- insist that after the humour subsided, a real issue lies at the heart of it all.
"There are significant tax implications that we don't think the government has thought through," Pinn said.
Dalrymple has been to see a lawyer already and there are no laws in marriage that define sexual preference.
Ever since this debate started several years ago, this exact situation has been the pink elephant in the room. Will legislators seek to ban "marriages" that have nothing to do with sex or sexual orientation, but that simply seek the various tax and legal advantages that the estate of matrimony provides? How could these opportunistic unions be fairly blocked?
I can just see the Gay Elite blowing a gasket over this one, can't you? Same-sex marriage is an advantage for the gay community, after all. An equality step, if you will. And the "Breeders" are taking advantage of it. "That's not fair!" some will whine. I hate to say it, but you all set up this mess. It's your catch-22. Unless you let the government into people's bedrooms there's no way to tell if Bryan and Bill are lovers or just friends. Hell, I'd suspect that a lot of marriages, gay and straight would look more like friends than lovers in the bedroom...
You can't say that a same-sex marriage is null if one of the parties was previously married, a lot of gay folks have been married because of societal pressure. You can't say that if someone has parented a child the marriage is null, either, because gays of both genders participate genetically in the conception of their children.
I don't think there's a way to allow same-sex marriage without allowing Bryan and Bill to wed too.
A personal example: I have two good friends that I will refer to as A and B. A and B are the best of friends and were roomies all through college and through much of graduate school. During the 6 or so years that they shared accomodations, they acquired a number of joint things, including Costco cards and a shared phone plan. But I digress. It was a frequent joke that their families thought they were "together" since neither had much luck with guys at the time and well, they were pretty inseperable. How hard would it have been for A and B to get some nice tax breaks during the years they shared an address and a phone number but not a bed?
Although I suppose there might have been a fair bit of paperwork to deal with when one of them got married last spring.....
The reaction has already started. The article also quotes a gay activist who says:
"Generally speaking, marriage should be for love," he said. "People who don't marry for love will find themselves in trouble."
Straight people don't even get married for love all the time. What makes this guy think that same-sex marriage should be held to a higher standard????
So, what's your take? Do you think that a significant number of people are going to take advantage of this "loophole" in Canada's law? What about here in the US, where registered domestic partners have certain rights in some states?
Oh, and BTW, I'm all for same-sex marriage. I just don't like what I expect will be the hypocritical response of the gay movement to this....
(h/t Kate posting at OTB)
August 09, 2005
The crew of STS-114 arrived safely at Edwards AFB in Mojave aboard an intact shuttle Discovery shortly after 5 am PDT.
I was awake, of course, watching it on TV and with the NASA feed on the computer. If you were asleep or otherwise engaged, the NASA video is here.
I didn't need to be. The sonic boom was all the news I needed.... Here in Pasadena it was like a long boom of rolling thunder, which of course reminded me of summer nights in Carolina.... Almost like a welcome home to me too!
After the last two and a half years, this was the best picture of the day:
Job well done, folks. Now let's hope that we'll see Atlantis fly again in November.
August 16, 2005
Opening up a can...
I guess I'll enjoy my Hurricanes logo while it lasts.....
It's been a while...
so here are some posts that I thought were interesting/noteworthy/funny as hell over the last few weeks..... Check out some blogs you may not have read before...
Baldilocks takes on the uber clueless folks at PETA who STILL can't get it through their heads that maybe it might be wrong to equate animal cruelty and slavery.....
Speaking of jobs, Smiling Dynamite (aka Mrs. Bad Example) has the blondest co-worker EVER
Also, Don't forget to check out this week's Cotillion.
The Fusileers are back, and this time we're looking for a few good $$s.
If you haven't seen this elsewhere, take a moment to read about Project Valour- IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops), which helps to provide voice-activated software and laptops for soldiers who have lost the use of their arms and hands, to help them communicate with their loved ones.
Go here to read more about this project, which is being sponsored by Soldier's Angels, a terrific group that is dedicated to making sure every US soldier feels loved and cared for. Go here to contribute.
Come on now, surely you can spare a couple of bucks, right?
This button will be up on the sidebar... feel free to click and donate, even after this post has gone away.....
while I have internet access, I've updated the blogroll. All the links should actually work now....
August 18, 2005
Feeling somewhat accomplished again
1. I can get my rent paid for September and October despite being jobless.
2. I FINALLY got an email back from someone I submitted an application to. YES! Of course, they just wanted my CV for their files, but at least it was a response!
3. I applied for an administrative job at my alma mater and I'm really proud of the cover letter I wrote, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one will come through even if the others don't.
4. I have 3 applications ready to be printed up and go out in the mail. I just need to drop by and pick up my Caltech transcripts from the registrar's office.
On another note, don't you hate it when you think of something you want to blog about, something that really drives you batsh*t and then when you actually sit down in front of the computer so much else has happened that you have COMPLETELY forgotten what it was that you wanted to write about? Arrgh!
Oh yeah, and click the button on the left to donate to Project Valour-IT.
I just realized what one of the things I wanted to talk about was: that vile Sheehan woman. Her son died right next to my b-i-l. They were friends. More on that later when I can "use my words".
But there was something else less vitriolic that I wanted to write about too... Oh well. Must be old age creeping up on me....
Holy Crap, a recipe!
I know, I know, it's been a while, so here's a tried-and-true one I stole from Caltech Mom...
CaltechMom's Super Duper Zucchini
6-8 thin Zucchini (or Italian Squash, if you prefer, the long, green ones. Thinner squash are more tender), ends removed, sliced lengthwise (yes, long skinny pieces)
Olive Oil for frying
1 can plain tomato sauce (the 4-6 oz can)
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
2. Rinse and trim squash and slice lengthwise into thin strips.
3. Fry strips in olive oil and place on paper towels to drain
4. Layer squash strips in the bottom of a medium baking dish (should give 3-4 layers, depending on the size of the dish)
5. When all strips are placed in the dish, pour tomato sauce over the top, top with shredded cheese
6. Put baking dish in oven for 30 minutes
Serves 2-3 as a main dish, 4-6 as a side.
Today's must read...
Remember what I said about wanting to post something about that vile Sheehan woman? Ronald Griffin says it for me, and far more eloquently than I ever could.
Mr. Griffin is the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.
In today's WSJ, Mr. Griffin writes:
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?
I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title.
Although we all walk the same sad road of sorrow and agony, we walk it as individuals with all the refreshing uniqueness of our own thoughts shaped in large measure by the life and death of our own fallen hero. Over the past few days I have reached out to other parents and loved ones of fallen heroes in an attempt to find out their reactions to all the attention Mrs. Sheehan has attracted. What emerges from those conversations is an empathy for Mrs. Sheehan's suffering but a fundamental disagreement with her politics.
Karen Long is the mother of Spc. Zachariah Long, who died with my son Kyle on May 30, 2003. Zack and Kyle were inseparable friends as only soldiers can be, and Karen and I have become inseparable friends since their deaths. Karen's view is that what Mrs. Sheehan is doing she has every right to do, but she is dishonoring all soldiers, including Karen's son, Zack. Karen cannot comprehend why Mrs. Sheehan cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that her own son, Casey, was a soldier like Zack who had a mission to complete. Karen will tell you over and over again that Zack is not here and no one, but no one will dishonor her son.
We refuse to allow Cindy Sheehan to speak for all of us. Instead, we ask you to learn the individual stories. They are glorious. Honor their memories.
Honor their service. Never dishonor them by giving in. They never did.
Read the whole thing.
August 19, 2005
The 1st anniversary Carnival of the Recipes is at the home of SWWBO, the creator of CotR. Unless I hear otherwise, I believe the Carnival moves here next week, so get those recipes in early!
If you're in the mood for some cheesy fun this weekend, Acidman has a list of some great B movies you should check out (I particularly like Evil Dead II and Rocky Horror om that list)
That's it for now.
What curse word are you?
Your word is FUCK. You like to come across as rude
and rebellious, and often you do. You also are
intelligent and maybe surprisingly sensitive,
though God help anyone who said that in front
of your friends.
Which Swear (Curse) Word Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
In honor of this momentous result, an oldie but a goodie for your listening pleasure...(right click and save, please!)
(h/t Kate (who evidently is shit although I don't think so!))
Expect some weirdness
I reset the timestamp for the blog to Pacific time.....
Put it on ICE
Have you heard about the new sensation sweeping the nation?
ICE is a British program that can help emergency workers save your life and notify your loved ones in the event that you are unconscious and/or unable to communicate with them. ICE stands for "In Case of Emergency", and can signal emergency workers that a particular person or persons should be notified.
EMTs here in the US report that it can make a huge difference, especially for people with medical conditions or allergies....
Here's how it works: Store the number or numbers of people who can give emergency workers information about your medical history under the name "ICE". Depending on how your phone works, you can store multiple numbers under the name or store multiple numbers as ICE1, ICE2, etc.
Why haven't you done it already????
I am officially Dr. Caltechgirl. This was posted yesterday!
43,000 and Counting
Sissy of And What Next... was visitor #43,000!
I added the category archive links..... more minor tweaking to come.
Some of you should appreciate the humor behind the latest character......
August 20, 2005
You're not blind, you've just got blood in your eyes.
(h/t Margi, aka Mr. Orange....)
An apparent paradox
Why in the hell is milk so much more expensive in CA (a state known for its dairy products) than in NC (a state that makes smokes and pork)???
I mean WTF???
It is nice however that the beautiful, cheap produce MORE than makes up for it....
August 21, 2005
Today's must read
In this week's piece, Patterico takes on the Times' coverage of Cindy Sheehan and points out the blatant omissions in the Times' version of the story, and the questions it raises about journalistic objectivity and an editor's responsibility to present all of the facts in the case, no matter whether or not they agree with them.
Patrick writes, in part:
...in its apparent zeal to portray Sheehan as the Rosa Parks of the antiwar movement, the Los Angeles Times has omitted facts and perspectives that might undercut her message or explain the president's reluctance to meet with her again.
For example, The Times uncritically reported Sheehan's claim that the president had behaved callously in a June 2004 meeting with her and her husband, refusing to look at pictures of Casey or listen to stories about him. The Times claimed without qualification that Sheehan "came away from that meeting dissatisfied and angry."
But the article failed to mention that Sheehan had previously described Bush as sincere and sympathetic in the meeting. According to an interview with her hometown paper, the Vacaville Reporter, Sheehan had said that although she was upset about the war, she decided not to confront the president — who clearly left a favorable impression: "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis…. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."
Rational people can disagree whether the war in Iraq is justified. But a newspaper's job is to report all relevant facts and present different perspectives, not just those that suit one particular viewpoint.
By that measure, The Times has woefully failed its readers with its one-sided coverage of the Cindy Sheehan story.
I am #2 on Yahoo! search for this.
Can't you just see some pathetic, socially challenged 12 year old looking this one up on the sly?
BTW, little man, the answer is having sex with her.......
1. I am like the queen of hospitality. I guess it's the Armenian in me. If you come into my house expect to be served a drink and any kind of food you want in the house. Put your feet up, watch my TV, use my phone, whatever. It may not be the tidiest house on the block, but I can guarantee that you'll feel at home. If you're not comfortable in my home, that makes me sick. It's more important to me that you enjoy yourself than that the house is spotless. However, I expect to be treated the same way in the homes of my friends, and I can get a little irritated if I'm cheaped out on. Especially by someone who has been in MY home many, many times. That makes me feel freakin' used, you know? It really bugs the crap out of me.
2. I tend to get really into the good stuff going on in my friends' lives. Getting married? Expect a big shower and shopping trips and all kinds of help putting everything together. Having a baby? Expect to be deluged with booties and blankets and me asking how you're doing. Having a birthday? At the least a card or email, and if you're in the same town, dinner and a cake. In our lab at UNC, I was known as the one who collected the $$, did the shopping, and organized the party whenever someone got married, graduated, or had a baby. And it was fun. I love doing fun things like that.
3. Here's a weird one: I CAN NOT stand the sound of people chewing. I mean even polite mouth-closed eating. If I'm eating too, it's totally ok, but if DH is sitting next to me snacking while I work, it drives me batshit. I always make him go away to eat. Most other little noises don't even faze me, but chewing can make me retch. Go fig.
4. Like Michele, I have to be covered when I sleep. This doesn't mean PJs necessarily, but I have to at least have a sheet over me or I can't sleep. I think this comes from sleeping directly under a front-facing window growing up. It kind of drives DH crazy. The rheumatoid arthritis has actually made this one worse, since I get weird chills now if I get a draft under the covers.
5. I abhor talking to strangers. I hate using the phone, even to call for pizza. I hate answering the phone and I hate calling anywhere where I don't personally know who I am talking to. Even if I know you and I've never spoken to you over the phone before, I hate calling. (take note those bloggers whose phone #'s I have.... ) I hate drive-through windows, too. It was YEARS after I learned to drive before I went through a drive-through. I can be quite social at a party, and I am more than willing to get up in front of a room full of people and give a presentation, but the phone and the drive through, no way. As an extension of this, I also hate going ANYWHERE alone. ANYWHERE. For years I wouldn't even go to the grocery store alone. Being an army wife with a husband stationed 1200 miles away for 3 years changed that, but I still HATE going anywhere alone and I won't if I can help it. It makes me feel strange and vulnerable.
6. I get really antsy when I ride in the front seat while someone else drives. Especially if I think they're too close to the car in front. Super- especially while braking hard. I've been in 2 serious car crashes (wasn't hurt in either one -- props to Chrysler for making Neons so awesome in a crash), and both of them were front end collisions on my end. So if I'm in your car and I tell you to slow down or stop, just ignore me unless I see something in front of you that you don't.
7. (Bonus round) Quickies:
**Must. Have. Remote. (DH and I each have one for the bedroom TV)
**I Hate predictable situations in movies and TV. It's not funny and it makes me cringe.
**Oh yeah, and TP goes under, not over.
August 22, 2005
Fusileer reporting for duty
Have you contributed to Project Valour- IT yet? If not, click here or on the button on the left to make a donation. Every little bit helps!
What I hope will be my LAST post on the Sheehan mess
I was inspired to write this by the words of a commenter calling himself File Closer on this post at protein wisdom, in response to a previous comment by someone calling himself "patton". File Closer was there in Iraq, in an artillery unit attached to Casey Sheehan's battery. He has some choice words for the left. Go read his words. I'll wait
As some of you may have noticed, the moonbats have got it under their tin hats that the BEST argument in favor of Cindy Sheehan and her position is this: you have no right to talk if you haven't been there. Put up or shut up.
Basically, these maroons are throwing the word "chickenhawk" around a lot and claiming that supporting a war that you have not fought in is morally bankrupt.
Ahh, the irony there.....
Anyway this is sooo wrong on so MANY fronts, so I apologize if what follows isn't a smooth piece of writing.
First, serving this country in wartime means a HELL of a lot more than calling 1-800-GO-ARMY (as was suggested by commenter patton at protein wisdom). For every young man or woman who raises their hand and swears to defend this country against all enemies, even at the cost of their life, there are dozens of family members, friends, and coworkers who sacrifice their lives and plans because someone they care about is miles away, doing a very important job. Beyond this there are the thousands of folks who volunteer their time to run a USO room at the local airport, make sure soldiers get care packages, or just take a moment to say "Thank you" to a vet of ANY war. All of these people are serving in their own ways, some at more personal risk than others.
I've been there, you know. I know what it's like. Luckily, my own DH was never deployed overseas, but that was sheer luck and timing. DH was a mechanic in a sister unit to Casey Sheehan's. If he hadn't been discharged, he would have been there too. My BIL was in the SAME unit as Casey Sheehan. He was there. As a family, we serve this country together by supporting our loved troops and putting our lives with them on hold until they get back. It's about unselfishness, putting your nation's needs ahead of your own.
Next, it's a logical fallacy to say that someone CAN NOT have a valid opinion on something they haven't experienced. By that same token, moonies, you need to give up your opinions on Gay Rights (unless you are homosexual) or Abortion rights (unless you have had one). Oh wait, that's not fair, huh? I call BS. It's the same argument. Put up or shut up, right? Except that there's no cute phone number to become gay or have an abortion (or tp get a uterus for the guys, for that matter).
I want to close by reminding people about what happened the day Casey Sheehan died. C 1-82 1CD (C battery of the 1st batallion 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division) was on a rescue mission in Sadr City, just 1 week into their time in Iraq. They were new in country, new to real battle, and definitely not trained for this. This platoon from C 1-82 are MECHANICS for God's sake. They spend every day fixing diesel engines on tanks and artillery. Yet these very brave young men went in to do their duty and resuce their comrades, and they were pinned down by RPGs in an ambush attack by insurgents. Seven men died that day, not just Casey Sheehan. It would have been 8, except that my BIL was shot in his Kevlar vest and went home with a nasty bruise instead of a coffin.
When we talk about SPC Casey Sheehan, we need to remember SGT Eddie Chen, SPC Israel Garza, CPL Forest Jostes, SPC Stephen Hiller, SPC Robert Arsiaga, and SPC Ahmed Cason as well.
More weird Googling
I'm #4 for "courttv goddess trolls"
Of course XRLQ is #1.....
That would explain it....
Demonic Possession Detected!
It's not PMS or wacky hormones. It's full on demon posession!
(h/t Michele and her demon possessor, Leonard)
Don't Piss off my Husband
I love my honey. One of the best things about him is that he is the one who is slow to anger, thinks about what he wants to say, and rarely gets into a huff.
He's working up to a fit right about now. After being busy with school and such, he's finally getting caught up on the news.
I know most people are getting tired of the Sheehan story, but what he's going to have to say will probably be worth reading. Look for it in the next couple of days....
I think this has gotten personal.....
Instalanche it ain't...
But somehow I made TTLB's top posts today! Three cheers for quirkiness.
Here's the proof....
August 23, 2005
we're back up
Here's Pixy's explanation:
A combination of blog-spam, an ineffective denial of service attack, an inadvertant denial of service attack, and possibly other factors, managed to slow the server down to the point that it might as well not have been there for that past few hours.
While I was asleep. The one time each month I'm not logged in, and that's when it has to happen. Mad
Sorry about that, folks. We're back on the air and I'm working to make sure it doesn't happen again."
UPDATE: Trackbacks are off for a while due to the issues we had this morning that appear to be continuing. If you link me, drop me an email or leave a comment!
A project you can get behind
Dean tells the story of William Ziegenfuss, father of CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, and an all-around American hero, from his days serving his country in Vietnam to his decades-long battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, almost certainly caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
Bill Ziegenfuss was the inspiration for Project Valour-IT and it is carried out in his memory.
Today's must read
Crap-Master Laurence really hits it out of the park with this piece on having the courage to be a great American.
Comparing certain famous right-wing politicos to the Hollywood Political Intelligentsia, Laurence says:
Barbara Streisand has sold many times more albums than Sonny Bono. She's won Grammys and Oscars for her compositions where Bono had an empty shelf. But Sonny Bono is more of an American, in my opinion, than Barbara Streisand. He complained, he rolled up his sleeves, he got elected, and he did something about it on behalf of the people who elected him.
Barbara Streisand may not have brought in more box office than Arnold, but she's got Emmys and Oscars and Golden Globes out the wazoo for her performances on screen, silver and small, where Arnold only had joke MTV awards. But Arnold is more of an American, in my opinion, than Barbara Streisand. He complained, he rolled up his sleeves, he got elected, and he did something about it on behalf of the people who elected him.
Courage isn't running for office to see how many people who will vote for you. It's having the guts to run even though there's people who will vote against you and still serving the entire public to what you pray is the best of your ability.
Let me know when Barbara runs for something. Let me know when Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Alec Baldwin, and the rest of the celebrity punditsphere run for office.
August 24, 2005
Hot Sh*t we're back! At least for the time being....
And it doesn't look like I've lost much if anything...
Pixy is a god.
August 25, 2005
Review- Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Well, ok this isn't strictly a review, but here goes.
Eldest, the second book in Paolini's Inheritance trilogy just came out and I picked it up yesterday. It took me all day to finish it because the thing was Harry-Potter sized. Almost 700 pages (the book is across the room, or I'd give you the exact number.... but I distinctly remember seeing page 666...).
It's very similar in style and tone to Eragon, it's predecessor. One difference is that since much of the plot of Eldest revolves around Eragon's time in the company of elves MANY MANY new words in the ancient dialect are presented, and although there is a glossary in the back, it's kind of a pain in the ass to have to flip back and forth to figure out what's being said in some cases.
Like Eragon, Eldest is also clearly a product of a modern writer. The influence of Tolkien and Lucas remains strong. In the case of Tolkien, his influence is clear in the races of elves and dwarves, their language and culture, their interaction. Although I must say that it's kind of unnerving to read words in "elvish" that should be "dwarvish" (if you're used to Tolkien). As for the influence of George Lucas, let's just say the kid really SHOULD get out more. More on this below the fold (SPOILERS, mostly from Eragon, but key ones from Eldest, too)Read More "Review- Eldest by Christopher Paolini" »
If you've never read Eragon, let me give you a summary:
An orphan boy raised on a farm by his uncle meets his destiny when he finds something precious in the forest. His find turns out to be a dragon egg, revealing his destiny as the last of the Riders, the ancient group of men, elves, and dragons that until recently had served as the protectors of Alagaesia, their homeland. Too soon, the Emperor Galbatorix discovers that Eragon has a dragon egg and sends assassins after him. They kill his uncle and burn the farm, but Eragon escapes, under the guidance of a mysterious old man named Brom, who we later discover is a former Rider in exile. Under Brom's tutelage he receives a magnificent gift: his father's sword (ok, this is sort of a cheat, you find out who Eragon's father was in Eldest, but you probably were thinking it, right??) Meanwhile, Eragon has begun having visions of a beautiful dark haired woman...
Is this starting to sound familiar? Not yet? Ok, here's more.
Eragon and Brom track the assassins across Alagaesia, discovering their lair and then preparing for battle. At this time they meet a mercenary named Murtagh who agrees to help in their quest. They are attacked by the assassins, and Brom dies. Eragon is imprisoned. He uses his powers as a Rider to break out (with some help from Murtagh and Saphira, his dragon) and at the same time rescues the beautiful woman, an elf princess, who was also imprisoned there. Upon leaving the prison, Eragon, Murtagh, Saphira, and the elf fly to the hidden encampment of the Varden, the rebellion against the Empire. Once there, the elf, Arya, is healed, and Eragon learns that Murtagh is in reality the son of the main servant of the Emperor, a former Rider called Morzan. Morzan had been the emperor's closest ally and chief enforcer, and when Murtagh refused to serve him and fled, the Emperor began chasing him too.
Sound familiar yet? It should. Because it's also the plot of Star Wars Ep IV A New Hope. Farm Boy orphan has a chance encounter with his destiny that brings him into a new relationship with a crazy old man he has known all his life and destroys the family's farm in flames. He has a vision (robot-provided) of a beautiful dark-haired woman in trouble. The old man gives him his father's sword, and they depart together to thwart the Emperor's plans. They meet up with a mercenary who helps them for reasons of his own, and eventually they save the dark-haired princess. The old man is killed in order that the young man might complete the quest which they never were destined to complete together. The boy and the mercenary and the Princess fly to the Rebellion, where they play a crucial role in defeating the armies of the Emperor.
The only difference is that you don't learn that Eragon REALLY IS Luke Skywalker until the end of book 2, when his brother reveals his true identity.
Eldest picks up where Eragon leaves off. And it too is clearly Star Wars inspired. After picking up the pieces of the great battle and fighting again with the remnants of the Emperor's forces, Eragon and Saphira journey to the land of the elves so that Eragon may be instructed by Togoro Ikonoka, "the cripple who was whole", an ancient, wizened elf Rider. Much of the book focuses on Eragon's training under the old elf and his struggle to maintain focus despite the fact that he is in love with the elf princess. When Eragon leaves to face battle with the rebellion, he promises to return to complete his training...
On the battle field, he meets Murtagh, whom he has long thought dead in battle, and Murtagh reveals that he too is a Rider, has been seduced by the Emperor, and is also Eragon's older brother. Eragon uses the good left in Murtagh to talk him into a temporary truce between them, but Murtagh takes Eragon's sword as his rightful inheritance as the eldest.
(Luke confronts Vader, they fight, they talk, Vader takes Luke's hand off and he loses his sword... Vader leaves him to die. Except that Vader in this case is also Han Solo.....)
Another great portion of the book follows what happens in Carvahall, Paolini's Tattooine. After Eragon flees, the Emperor continues to beseige the village with soldiers and assassins, and Eragon's cousin, Roran, who was away when his Father was killed, leads them in battle, and then away from the town in a desperate attempt to avoid being turned into slaves after his true love is kidnapped by the assassins.
Roran and company arrive just in time for the battle. Roran in fact plays a crucial part in the Rebellion's victory in that he kills the Twins, magicians who betrayed the alliance to the Emperor, kidnapped Murtagh, and killed the former leader of the group, Ajihad.
You can probably figure out the rest if you've ever seen Empire Strikes Back.
Overall, the book was great, but Paolini suffers from that malady common to young writers in that hs is not yet a master of subtlety. For example, in Eragon, the witch Angela reads Eragon's fortune and tells him that he will love a Princess and be betrayed by a family member. It doesn't take many brains to figure out that Arya (the elf) is a princess and that Murtagh will turn out to be his brother and betray. It was also no shock that the Twins were allied with the Emperor. Their deeds were just too obvious. Combine that with the straight-up copycat plot , and the whole story is largely predictable.
Not that that's really a bad thing. I'm hoping for the super-happy Return of the Jedi ending, complete with fireworks and the Ewok song.
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Do you read Michael Yon?
If you don't you should.
Just a reminder
Carnival of the Recipes will be HERE tomorrow, so get those recipes in!
Soldier's Angels has managed to raise over $7500 already! That's thanks to all of you who've contributed. But our goal is $600,000 to fully implement Project Valour-IT in ALL military hospitals, so we have a long way to go.
Here's a Project Valour-IT update at Cool Blue Blog....
I have succumbed
I now have google talk. Citgirl99 if any of you want to chat....
Problem is, you need a google account, which of course you can only get by invite.
I have several since I have a number of personal gmail accounts, so if you want an invite, drop me a comment**
**if you are a random person that I've never seen on here before, tough luck. Invites go to regular commenters/bloggers first....
The posts are longer than the blogroll!
August 26, 2005
Carnival of the Recipes #54
Welcome to this year's Back-to-School Carnival of the Recipes! A great menu of recipes for kids of all ages!**
** this in no way implies that kids of any particular age will enjoy any particular recipe...
Easy Pain Perdu French Toast from Rob at Easy Eats
Elementary School (sides and sauces):
Kindergarten: Happy Cilantro Sour Cream from Jami Leigh
1st Grade: Yummy Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette from Heather at Angelweave
2nd Grade: The Best Homemade Fat-Free Caesar Dressing from Shawn of Everything and Nothing
3rd Grade: Spice Mixes from Dave at The Glittering Eye
4th Grade: Salsa the first of two recipes from David of third world county
5th Grade: Fresh Peach Salsa from Marsha of A Weight Lifted
6th Grade: Freezer Coleslaw from Michele of Meanderings
Middle School (Can be either a side or an entree):
7th Grade: Fried Tofu with Spicy Sauce from Romeocat at CatHouse Chat
8th Grade: Hummus from Army Wife, Toddler Mom
High School (Entrees):
9th Grade, Spicy Foods 101:
First up, a holdover from last week, a second recipe from Shawn of Everything and Nothing, Jambalaya Grits
Next, Chicken in Peanut Curry Sauce from Aussie Wife Amanda
Also, Mapo Tofu Done Right from Kevin at Technogypsy
10th grade: Eggs and Cheese
First, Spicy Egg Sandwich from VA Republic Man at Flaming Duck
Next, Quiche from Taleena at Sun Comprehending Glass
Cheese Stuffed Chicken Rolls (for the Microwave, an easy 'A' recipe!) from Owlish of Owlish Mutterings
and finally, for all you cheeseheads who hate that Lasagna involves tomato sauce (duh, it spoils the cheese) Mike of Meeting Ozarkland presents his recipe for White Lasagna
11th Grade: Tomatoes and more Tomatoes
Just two dishes, what a slacker year.....
First, Stuffed Tomatoes from Kevin of Seriously Good, just like Mom used to make!
Next, Miss O'Hara presents Spaghetti Squash with Romas, Sundried Tomato Pesto, and Pine Nuts.
Senior Year: Fish and and Not Fish
First up, Pecan-Crusted Snapper from Allan of Allan Thinks
Next, Perche de Cresson (Perch with Watercress), the first of two submissions from Mensa Barbie
Finally, Couscous meal, a yummy combo of couscous and meat from B Durbin at Booklore.
Did you graduate?? You did? Good. You can have dessert, assuming you get that far.....
But first College, and what would college be without booze? Here are three great recipes GUARANTEED to put you in that festive party mood:
Hurricanes (how time-appropriate!) from Daisy Mae at Dubious Wonder
Making The Perfect Martini from triticale
and last but not least, Death By Chocolate from Two Dogs of Mean Ol' Meany. Definitely one of MY favorites from college!
And finally, Graduate School: Dessert.
Hey, I just finished Grad School, and let me tell you, this is the only way it will EVER be sweet.....
First up, Lemon Cheese Bars from Donna B of Pajama Pundits. So bad yet sooo good.
Next, Easy Maple Cake from Cafe Oregano
For those of you with lots of fruit coming in, Punctilious of Blog O'Ram has a plan to make small batches of preserves. Yum!
Aeryk of Geek Can Cook brings you the Perfect Creme Brulee.
From Tinker at The Secret Life of Shoes comes (what else??) Shoe Fly Pie
A second recipe from Mensa Barbie, Raspberry Pomme, which looks to be a yummy fruit tart flavored with Grand Marnier
Cookies from Jay Solo of Accidental Verbosity: Cereal Flake Cakes
From Physics Geek, Pumpkin Pie with Cheese Crust
and finally, not the icing on the cake, but certainly the sauce on the ice cream, Best Ever Hot Fudge from Elisson at Blog d'Elisson
LATE FOR SCHOOL: Laurence Simon has a list of all of his recipes posted here.
That's the lot. You all get your honorary PhD in Yumminess! Thanks to all the authors for submitting recipes and of course, to Beth for keeping the Carnival of the Recipes going!
If you're new to my little corner of the blogosphere, stick around, read a bit, and if you like what you see, drop in again!
UPDATE: Haloscan is giving me hell for too many trackbacks, so if you didn't get one, please hang on, and I'll get to them tomorrow when it will let me try again...
Way To Go!
Chris Muir's Day by Day honors Project Valour-IT today:
Drop by the URL above, and make a donation, or just hit the Project Valour-IT button on the left!
Props for investigative blogging!
Rob of Say Anything blog, and also a guest at Wizbang! has been looking into this story. I first saw this story at Ilyka's, where she asks if these criminals will be charged with a hate crime (3 blacks attacked 2 whites) but guesses not....
Seems 2 OIF veterans (not sure whether this is true, but they are soldiers) were at a bar in Seattle with some dates when 3 black men allegedly groped their girlfriends. Being honorable men, the soldiers stood up for the girls, and a melee broke out. If you clicked the link above, you saw how brutal the beat down was.
In viewing this video, Rob noticed a number of similarities between it and videos for sale at realfight.com (no link, I'm not supporting these bastards), which someone sent him the link to. This website specializes in selling tapes of live ghetto fights, and gee, wouldn't you know, has a contact number in SEATTLE, and an address (which may be fake) near the scene of the fight....
While this is all speculation, Rob has already notified the Seattle PD and KOMO-TV, the station that ran the beating video in hopes of helping to capture suspects, that there may be a connection.
Yeah, it's far-fetched, but like Rob, I have to ask, If this was a random fight, and not a set up, how could the camera guy walk right into the middle of the fight and not get a punch thrown at him? If I was in a fight and somebody started taping me, I sure as hell would knock the crap out of him and get the film or memory stick. And why were there 3 actual video cameras at the scene? Camera phones I can see, but who in hell randomly takes their video camera to the club? Something doesn't add up.
Read the whole thing, and don't miss the comments!
Jay writes that bloggers all seem to share phone phobia as one of their quirks. Yet we're all big email (and to some extent chat) fans.
I think that has to do with the difference in immediacy between a phone call and email/chat. When you're on the phone, you have to interact, you have to respond. Over email or chat, you can choose to respond when you want, if at all. Over email, you can evaluate the message and the sender more carefully than in a phone conversation (this applies more to talking with people you're not comfortable with) and couch your response more appropriately.
What do you think about that? Do you like email or the phone better? What about chat vs the phone?
Thank me for sharing...
This post from Contagion reminded me of a story that's made the rounds in our family.
In the early sixties, my dad's best friend was a teacher and coach, and he took a job for a year or two at a college just outside of Portland, OR. A few months after he moved up there, Dad decided to visit.
Now Dad's friend lived in a house that was surrounded by brush and trees, but supposedly there was a lawn in the middle of all that.
When Dad arrived at the house, after driving 15 hours to Portland, he was greeted by this mess.... After a few hours rest, the 2 of them rented a heavy-duty lawn mower and attacked. Everything was going along smoothly until...THUMP. Dad looked up to find a tree in front of him. A somewhat mature tree with at least a couple of years' growth that had been hidden in the high grass. Ok, he thought, I'll just mow around it.... until THUMP.
Yep, you guessed it. Another tree. About the same size. All in all they found 7 actual trees hidden in the grass and took out as many or more that were just starting to root.
Eventually, they took those trees out too, but I never heard that they fought back or died in a pulsating pile......
Almost 2 years after landing on the Martian surface and unfurling its solar panels, the rover Spirit is now poised atop the highest point on the nearby Martian plain.
"When we started the mission, if anyone had told us that we would not only drive all the way over to the Columbia Hills, but also drive to the highest point there, I think we would not have really believed it," [team scientist William]Farrand told Space.com.
Farrand said that a lot of credit goes to the rover planners — the engineers who plot out the drives and movements of the instrument-tipped mechanical arm carried by each of the Mars rovers.
"They’ve done a fabulous job with both rovers and getting Spirit to the ‘top of the hill’ is an amazing accomplishment," Farrand added.
Amazing. Read the whole article.
(h/t Jack of Random Fate)
Of course it was FoxNews....
I haven't seen much coverage of this on the 'Net.
This couple's house was misidentified as a terrorist hideout because a possible terrorist used to live there....
August 27, 2005
So what's up?
It's Saturday night. For me that means football (Go Broncos!!!) and (Deb and Margi close your eyes...) crocheting. Trying out a new blanket pattern. (Ok, you can open them now) and of course soaking up the air con.
So, what are you all up to? Why are you web surfing instead of out doing something?
August 28, 2005
Definitely a 2 drawer...
a four drawer would be too tall....
|I am: |
a file cabinetReams and reams of information that just might need to be retrieved and looked up some day, stored in a convenient low-tech form that everybody can read or produce easily.
August 29, 2005
Everyone and their aunt is blogging the hurricane, which is the closest I get to round-the-clock coverage without cable....
The best on the web?
--Live coverage from NOLA CBS affiliate WWL here (click on live coverage link)
--Irish Trojan Brendan Loy has comprehensive updates
Not that I'm a fan of most of the Slate babble, but you just gotta love it when you get a mention ABOVE THE PUPPY BLENDER!!!!!!
Oh Hell yeah!
I love Tommy Lasorda
He had the nuts to sing the Dodgers' version of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" tonight at Wrigley Field as the Dodgers beat the snot out of the Cubbies....
You see, the lyrics of this particular version include "Root Root Root for the Dodgers".....
Too bad I can't find a link to the video....
My personal favorite version of the song, goes a little like this:
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and Dodger Dogs
I don't care if I never come back
'Cause it's root, root, root for the Dodgers
If they don't win it's 'cause they SUCK
And it's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out at the old ball game!
Yeah, I know, it's rhyme-challenged, but it sounds damn good at top volume in chorus from the upper deck at Chavez Ravine.....
August 30, 2005
More on Katrina
The story from New Orleans continues to get worse. Levees along Lake Ponchartrain are breaking and worsening the flooding in areas of the city (like the French Quarter) that were dry are filling up.....
WWL is liveblogging the updates, the best news is here.
Thanks, Brendan for keeping us all up to date!
Of course now is the time to start helping out all of the people who lost their homes and loved ones. Go here for a list of charities mobilizing for the relief effort already. Thanks, Lee Ann.
More lists of charities are out there. Here's another comprehensive list
This is BAD
Jefferson Parish has just decreed martial law, and residents will be kept out for 1 week, when they can return for clothes and essentials, and then MAY NOT RETURN FOR 1 MONTH.
Jefferson Parish is the home of several MAJOR NOLA suburbs, and all of its residents will now be homeless for at least FIVE weeks.
Five weeks. That's October 6th folks.
Two weeks after I arrived in NC Hurricane Dennis plowed ashore. Two weeks later a monster Cat 4 called Floyd churned right up the same pathway.
Princeville, NC and much of the area we call "down east", the east-central portion of the state were completely obliterated.
Princeville went from a thriving, historic town to row upon row of trailers provided by FEMA. Fewer than 100,000 people lived in that area and getting everything rebuilt took more than 4 years. I can only imagine what this will mean for a city like New Orleans.... what can be done for SO MANY people....
Housing and economic concerns will drive those who can afford it away from the city, which can only increase the problems of poverty and despair in the urban center. New Orleans is already among the US' poorest cities.
Five weeks is a minimal estimate. And what happens if a second storm comes?
I feel lucky to have been able to visit New Orleans two years ago. It was always on our list that DH and I would go there together someday and explore the city, go to the zoo (which used to be fantastic, you could ride a riverboat there), listen to some Jazz. Now I wonder if that will ever happen. My impression of New Orleans was a city of conflicts and compromises, radical urban poverty side by side with genteel historic homes. Small artisans' shops and big tourist traps. An easy city to walk around. Lots of things to see and do, and some amazing restaurants.
It is my hope that this will be again, and that won't take long, either.
While I'm on the subject...
Where the Hell is Hollywood?
It took maybe 5 minutes after 9/11 for all of these bleeding heart @sswipes to get on TV and try to help. They'll raise money for starving african children but not one damn dime for our own poor kids so far. It's been 24 hours. I know they're showing the NOLA devastation out here in LaLa Land on the news, so what's up, folks?
Even stars that are linked with New Orleans, the Gulfcoast, or Louisiana, are still mum on the subject. A quick perusal of their websites (these are examples) shows that no one has yet even put up a link to relief efforts.
We're watching you, Hollywood hypocrites!
If you have any examples of Hollywood folks responding to this crisis, leave the link below.....
According to Brendan, CNN is now reporting that all people being rescued are being taken to the Superdome, and since the water continues to rise, people are going to be evacuated from the Superdome soon.
Airlift of 30,000 refugees is about to commence.
The water is still rising all over NO. The cop on WWL right now sounds scared.
WWL is reporting that they just received word that a NOPD officer has been shot by a looter robbing a gas station in Algiers......
This is bad. First reports are that the cop was shot in the back of the head. Hospitals are closed. Roads are impassable.
NOT about Katrina
for a change....
Two House eps. on tonight, including my favorite at 9pm. Three Stories is the episode that tells the story of House and Stacy, and how he lost most of the use of his leg.....
BTW Season 1 of House was released on DVD today!
August 31, 2005
Tomorrow is Blog for Katrina Day
Not Exactly Rocket Science is participating tomorrow, and is pleased to recommend the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), a fine charity that we've been supporting all of our lives over here. UMCOR is unique in that it's major distribution center is already in the area, so they're able to mobilize quickly. Also, since UMCOR is a subsidiary of the United Methodist Church, 100% of your donation goes directly to the area you choose.
Shakey Pete of the Shootin' Shack suffered what appears to have been a stroke earlier this week, and is in the hospital. If you pray, pray for a full and speedy recovery.
Go over to Pete's and drop him a cheery note, or just a smokin' piece of Gun pROn, it'll do him a world of good....
Here you go Pete! Oh yeah!
Today's must read
Gracie, posting at Da Goddess's site says somethings that I've been thinking about lately. All the people who are stranded because they had no means to leave or underestimated the storm. They're sitting out there now, waiting to be rescued, or expecting their services to come back because they can't get any news from the areas hardest hit.
All I could think of was how arrogant those people were to expect that they could ride it out and then expect our public agencies to come and rescue them. Having lived in the south for an extended period of time, I feel comfortable in my "right" to say how things are there. The south is unlike anywhere else. The entitlement mindset is dominant. It's everywhere. The whole "you owe me" lifestyle is alive and well down there and it's as disgusting as you'd think. I saw it first hand everywhere I went. Sure, there are hard working, honest and decent folks, but there are an awful lot of people who go around with a tremendous chip on their shoulder for things that happened long before our grandparents were born and that we cannot undo today. The attitude extends to all people, not just those of a particular race or color. It is one of the biggest reasons I left the south. So with that in mind, as I said, I got angrier and angrier watching those helpless people be plucked one by one from their rooftops. I thought of how much danger the rescuers were in and how if these people had just done what they were ordered to do (LEAVE), they wouldn't be where they are.
I mentioned this last night at dinner to my Mom. She stopped me cold with these words. "Don't you remember what poverty looks like? Don't you remember all those stories you told me about people who were so downtrodden and unable to care for themselves because there are no jobs and no way to get to the cities where there are jobs? Don't you remember how you told me of their lack of what we consider basic essentials such as running water (yes, seriously...there are many without it in the rural areas), transportation and even a sound roof over their heads? Those people did not ignore orders...they could not obey them. They had NO WAY to get out. No money to get out. No car, no gas, nothing. Some may not have known what was coming. They stayed because they had no choice." Ouch. She's right. Not for everyone, but for many...I'd say a majority of those who stayed...they had no choice.
Coming full circle back to my friends who DID have a choice and chose to stay. I didn't sleep Monday night and was unable to eat for most of yesterday until the phone rang and finally, it was them. My relief at hearing her sweet voice was almost trumped by my anger with them for the foolishness that they showed. She assured me that while things are bad..really really bad, they're ok. Their house is untouched...and in fact, every inch of where she prayerwalked is also almost entirely damage free. A stray branch here and there but no catastrophic damage. Less than 10 feet from where she stopped...devastation. They have no water, no food and no power, but they're ok. She told me that from what she could see, Katrina was simply overhyped...so I had to tell her the truth. The stunned silence and sound of weeping confirmed what I already knew of my beautiful friend...she had no idea.
Read the whole thing here.
I remember the ice storm in NC. We had no power, and there were trees and power lines across our street for days. We had no idea whether the road to town was open or closed, what the rest of the area looked like, or even how much would have to be repaired before we got our power back..... I know that people in lesser hit areas are probably patting themselves on the back and just waiting for the power truck because they have no TV or radio, no newspaper, phone, or internet. They have no idea that even though they still have a house, they should probably evacuate....
Somebody's actually doing something
Someone famous that is, but this guy is SO not a hollywood type....
WKIT-FM 100.3 here in Bangor, Maine is a radio station owned by Stephen and Tabitha King. They're holding a pay for play day on the station - call with a request and a pledge, and they'll play any song you desire. All donations are going to the American Red Cross, with the Kings matching all donations dollar for dollar.
He may be a liberal nut job, but at least Steve King is a real person with a real heart. The radio station's website is here, although they don't have any links to the pay-for-play day. However, the phone # is there if you'd like to participate....
UPDATE: BET is also on the ball. The BET network is hosting a telethon to aid Katrina's victims on Friday, September 9th, one week from Friday. Their webpage also lists many links for place to donate, get help, find relatives, etc.
Way to go BET!