Thursday, August 31, 2006

Cookie costs cop job

You have to feel sorry for this guy. Jonathon Smith, a three-year officer with the Spokane PD, quit his job rather than be fired after two fellow officers observed him purchasing and consuming a cookie allegedly laced with pot at a rock concert. Note that they were all off duty at the time.

But here's the really outrageous part of the story.
Meidl and Dashiell, who said they were offered the cookies at $1 each but didn't buy any, contacted Nicks at home and wound up working with Grant County sheriff's deputies in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of Steven Cory Mack, 26, of Bothell, for investigation of delivery of marijuana.

Investigators found 2.8 grams of marijuana in a search of Mack's seized 1999 Chevrolet Blazer, along with $300 in $1 dollar bills and a plastic container with crumbs inside, Deputy John Turley said.
There's those forfeiture laws again. They seized the kid's car without proving the crime first, and will keep it based on enough pot for, at most, a couple of joints and some cookie crumbs. Does anybody seriously believe this kid is making a living on selling cookies? The cop meanwhile won't be charged with a drug crime because they can't prove the cookies really were laced with pot.

The cops who ratted Smith out, call him stupid for buying the cookie in the first place. Seems to me they have it ass backwards. What's stupid is ruining a career and wasting the taxpayer's money on busting a citizen for a dried plant in an amount that would barely fill a thimble.

Meanwhile, somebody send Jon Smith an application for LEAP. He's a prime candidate for membership.

Media Bytes

It's a dreary rainy day and I'm unexpectedly working later but here's a few quick bytes to amuse you while I muster up some new content.

Mark Fiore: The United States of Incarceration.

SSDP presents Snakes: The Muthaf*ckin Anti-Drug

Some rather impressive Christian Sand sculptures.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Close call

I haven't been able to reach Ortega to tell him he could have the Ford. I finally gave up after three tries. He finally showed up today and said he would come Friday to get it. Meanwhile, a cold front is sweeping through, spawning some big honking thunderstorms, with more big rain to follow from Ernesto -- who apparently decided to skip Florida and visit here instead. Must be serious. The governor came on TV and told everybody to buy water.

So I'm watching the weather maps and thinking I should move the Ford out from the under the trees, prone as they are to dropping a few limbs in wet weather. I looked out the window to see I was right. That one missed but I'm betting at least one big one will come crashing down on that parking space in the next two days. I pulled the Ford out into the one tiny open spot on the driveway and am hoping for the best.

Jersey Boy

I just went on a six hour coffee date that ended with dinner. Funny, it didn't seem that long when it was happening. John has turned out to be a great conversationalist -- when I let him get a word in edgewise. Those of you who know and love me, will appreciate how difficult that can be when I get on a roll. I'm amazed he keeps coming back for more of my endless stories. But return he does.

He's an intrepid one for sure. He's even been reading my archives from the beginning. It's almost scary. Right now he knows more about me than I remember myself. And he reads the current stuff on all three of my blogs. And he still wants to hang out with me. Go figure. I can't deny it makes me a little nervous that this is going so well -- nothing good in my life has come easily -- but then again, what's not to like about a guy who reads your work -- and likes it?

In any event it feels fated somehow. We were meant to meet. It was all so serendipitous. The only reason I checked Craig's List is because of a post I read on another blog about how awful the personal ads are. I thought I was going to do a post about that too, but ended up answering John's ad instead. John posted the ad on a whim practically at the moment I was reading them. He just happened to move into this little town for no apparent reason... It's like the stars lined up to make this happen.

And it seems that Acidman, rest his soul, was right. This blogging thing really is a dating aid. John already knows so much about me, (and believe me when I tell you there's a lot of blogging while intoxicated in those archives), that I can't possibly hide my flaws. So it's like we skipped the whole awkward getting to know you part and moved right into easy companionship. It just feels comfortable to spend time with him.

Now I know my long time friends are thinking my judgment in men has been less than stellar over the years, and you're right, but this one really is a nice guy. I like him a lot and you know what's really funny? He's got great farookin hair. As good as Parkway Jim's. Must be a Jersey thing.

If I really manage to drag myself away from the computer early enough tomorrow morning to take a walk with him, I might take some pictures.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Daily Outrage

Radley's got the SWAT team outrage of the day and it's a two-fer. Two families with young children, were awakened in early hour raids by NYPD SWAT warriors. The police broke down their doors, slashed their furniture, trashed the children's rooms, dumped their dry goods all over the kitchen and punched holes in the walls. They didn't clean it up afterwards.

Total haul? One half a marijuana joint in an ashtray. No drugs whatsoever from the other apartment. This is what your billions of tax dollars are going for folks. Does the NYPD really need to break down doors and rip sleeping children from their beds to make a bust for less than a gram of pot? Worse yet, there have been 300 complaints this year made about mistaken searches, most often caused by a bad informant or sloppily executed warrants. Only 15 have been found improper by internal investigations.

Radley explains why they get off and why they continue to get away with this level of overkill in the war on some drugs. Read his post and then remember, if we legalized drugs, these raids wouldn't be necessary either. And maybe a few more kids would grow up to believe the police are their friends, instead of agents of terror.

And if you're not outraged enough by that, check out the woman who was "accidentally" killed after she bought a couple of pain pills from a nursing home resident. You have to ask why they need to draw guns in a case like this. Don't you think a simple, "ma'am you're under arrest," would have sufficed?

Marijuana on Montana ballot

Supporters gathered almost twice as many signatures as needed to put a marijuana initiative on the Montana ballot.
If enough voters support Initiative 2 in November's general election, the measure would lean on local law enforcement to make “citations, arrests, property seizures and prosecutions for adult marijuana offenses Missoula County's lowest law enforcement priority,” according to the proposal.
The cops who make their living off the the prohibition are not impressed.
“Personally, I think it's a joke,” said Detective Tom Lewis with Missoula's office of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. “Most misdemeanor possession cases arise from traffic stops or arrests on other warrants. We're not out there looking for it, but a lot of people have marijuana in their pockets. Across the United States, marijuana is the drug of choice. We see more marijuana than anything.”
Well here's a clue buddy. If the initiative passes, you can just ignore the weed in their pockets.

Considering, "Montana spends more than $9 million every year enforcing marijuana laws" while "data from the Montana Board of Crime Control show that less than one-third of the rapes reported in Missoula County last year led to an arrest, and only 8 percent of burglaries led to an arrest," maybe law enforcement could change their priorities and start solving real crimes instead.

May I have a blogroll please

Well, I got up early today intending to get some blogging done but of course, Blogger was down. I'm telling you, it doesn't pay to try to be efficient. It seems to be up for the moment though, so I took the opportunity to add a couple of blogs to my New Finds category.

If you haven't already checked them out when I'm introduced them earlier, click over and say hey to the charming Bostick and the lovely and irrepressible Tits McGee.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Prohibition poisons the land

This SF Gate article is making the rounds today. I picked it up
at the newly revamped DRCNet
. Just another eradication story in a way but here's the really irritating quotes:
One dilemma "that is really throwing us," Ferry said, is the wide-scale acceptance of medical marijuana and the perception that casual marijuana use hurts nothing.

But if marijuana smokers saw the carcasses of deer, squirrels, songbirds, owls and other wildlife shot or poisoned at the illegal groves, as Ferry has, perhaps they would understand the price wildlife pays for their next toke.
Sounds suspiciously like the argument that marijuana funds terrorists. Why don't these guys get it? It's the prohibition that causes the damage. As David Borden points out in his blog, if they were growing tomatoes instead, the damage would be the same. If we had legally sanctioned grows, they wouldn't be tearing up the national forests to cultivate it. They would be leasing farm land. And generating tax income instead of costing us billions of tax dollars in eradication costs.

DEA fights for job security in Colorado

If this is legal, it shouldn't be. The DEA is actively recruiting for a campaign manager in Colorado to defeat a citizen's initative on the ballot that would legalize possesion of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults. The DEA claims to be using private money to fund the drive, but the recruitment letter is being sent out via DEA servers. So essentially, federal resources the taxpayers are funding, are being used to cloud a state's issue and to pervert the will of the people of Colorado.
The DEA schmuck spokesperson says, "The American taxpayer does have a right to have the people they've paid to become experts in this business tell them what this is going to do," he said. "They should benefit from this expertise."
Translation: If this measure passes my job is threatened. Their expertise is supposed to be used to eliminate drug abuse, something if they have failed to do in over fifty years. Their self justifying propaganda is already being promoted all over creation at great expense to the taxpayer. They don't need the extra exposure. Besides, shouldn't they be spending their time chasing down cartels instead of interfering with the electoral process?

The consensus opinion is the DEA is not violating the Hatch Act, mainly because it doesn't address the situation. Maybe it doesn't but surely there are rules of ethics that it does violate. The DEA has a vested interest in keeping drugs illegal and thus has a distinct conflict of interest.

And if there really is no law, in this nation that is already rife with thousands of laws no one understands, then there should be one that doesn't allow a federal agency to interfere in the process of local and state politics.

Feels like Sunday

Well, it's my customary lazy, glazed over decompression day after a brutal work rotation. There's nothing I have to do today and I intend to do exactly that -- nothing. I didn't make it the coma guy show so now I'll never know if Armaggedon happened. I didn't get far into the Emmys either before I passed out for ten glorius hours.

Is it me or do the Emmys stink now? Something about seeing Barry Manilow serenading Dick Clark turned my stomach. Don't get me wrong, I used to like Dick Clark but he still looks so much the same that it's become ghoulish. I mean, does the guy have a portrait in his attic or what? (gratituious Dorian Gray reference - I love working that in) And whoever dressed Candance Bergen deserves to be dragged off and shot. She looked like one of those covers old ladies crochet to cover up the spare toilet paper rolls.

I managed to get through the tribute to Aaron Spelling before I lost consciousness. That was actually pretty good. I was surprised to see how many of his shows I watched regularly. He lost me around the time he started doing the Beverly Hills brats shows but I loved the orginal Charlie's Angels. Adored the Love Boat. Fantasy Island? I loved me some Ricardo Montablan. I even got hooked on Dynasty.

He was truly the king of escapist entertainment. We could use more programming that leaves you feeling that good at the end of the shows. What do we get now? Reality TV. Yuck. How depressing is that? No wonder everybody is on Prozac these days.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Time won't let me...

I'm alive but unable to complete sentences at the moment. I'm going to go watch the Emmys and hope to stay awake long enough to make it the season finale of the that show with the coma guy that sees the future when he touches stuff. (Yeah I know it's a dumb show but I like it.)

Shit, they just gave an Emmy to Barry freaking Manilow over Stephen Colbert? What's up with that? I didn't even know he was still performing. I have to go see this. I'll be back in the morning.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

News and a snooze

I'm home at a decent hour but I'm at the blithering stage of exhaustion. I have to get up at 5:00 tomorrow, so this is all you get tonight.

Stop the Drug War has a snazzy new look and improved format. I like it. They're moving to a blogging platform and will be updating daily. But not to worry, The weekly Drug War Chronicle remains a feature.

Check it out. They have a lot of new stuff. Plus all the news you want to read and they even started a My Space page. They have 1,800 friends right out of the gate. I don't know much about that place, but I think that's a rather brilliant start.

Looks like hours of fun to me. I'm looking forward to checking it out myself, on the off chance that I'm going to live through the next 24 hours. The war on some drugs never sleeps, but I have to, so I'm taking a pill and going to bed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Wasted - Your tax dollars

What a day. I just got home and I'm brain dead. If I live through the next two days, I can survive anything. Worse yet, it's a nice night and I was looking forward to opening the doors and getting some air but when I got here, the entire neighborhood smelled like airplane glue. The kids next door who work on cars are apparently painting their latest acquisition. You don't even want to be in the yard at the moment. I had to turn on the AC.

So, I'm giving it up for the night but I'll leave you with this hot item just in, thanks to relentless reformer, Doug McVay. The GAO just issued a report on the ONDCP's lamebrained anti-drug ad campaigns. Highlights are available here or you can read the full report archived here.

Short version: The campaign was a failure and wasted multi-millions of your tax dollars. It charged up some parents to talk to their kids about drugs but it had virtually no effect on teenage drug use other than in some cases, to actually cause drug use because the ads gave the kids the idea that taking drugs is cool.

Who are they calling a midget?

Geez, didn't I read last week they were going to add a couple of planets to the solar system? So what's the deal with kicking poor little Pluto out of it? So its orbit is little off kilter. Hell, so is mine. Are they going to kick me out of the human race? I'm guessing these scientists were arguing about how to classify the planets they wanted to add and in the end decided to can Pluto under their new definitions.

I've always loved that planet. Besides being named after Mickey Mouse's dog, that little plucky piece of rock hanging on at the verge of the galaxy was pretty big news when they first found it. Now they have all these fancy spaceships and telescopes so it doesn't rate anymore? Progress can be such a drag sometimes.

Today's maxim

Well, I can't catch a break. Blogger seems to be as cranky as I am this morning so I'm passing on this from a chain email I just got from my friend in Noho. I have to tell you, I hate chain emails and I usually just break the chain but this bit seemed to fit my day.

Going with the flow -- or not

What is it about cops and traffic jams? Is there one recorded instance in the history of mankind where a cop actually cleared one? I swear, it just makes it worse. I know it does in fact, because I've also been stuck on that road when there were no cops and people figured it out faster on their own. Worse yet, there were three cops on this detail so there was three times the chaos. One at each driveway and one stopping traffic on the main drag. Glad I wasn't going the other way. It looked to be a two mile long jam.

Now I should have known better than to go down the high school road this morning in the first place. I know it's a zoo, but I was so tired I forgot school started. (And what's up with starting school in the middle of summer anyway? ) Well I paid the price for my inattention in ten extra minutes of aggravation. Thankfully I had gotten an early start so no harm done except to my nerves when I was already cranky from sleep deprivation. In any event, you can be sure I won't make that mistake again for a long time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I used to have a life

Sorry kids. I just got home a little while ago and after a 16 hour day, I'm fried to a crisp. Three more days of this rotation and I think it's going to get better but I can't even see the screen, must less blog tonight.

I'll come back here first tomorrow on my morning break. See you then.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pain doc's conviction overturned

Here's some really good news for a change. The conviction of pain management physician William E. Hurwitz was overturned on appeal yesterday. The appeals court ruled the lower court judge gave improper directions to the jury.

He'll have to go through a whole new trial again, but if he's allowed to use the good faith, best medical practices defense I think he stands a good chance of winning. Of course, his life is already ruined but if he prevails on the retrial it will be a big step forward for the practice of pain management. It might just keep a few practitioners in the specialty. God knows there's not nearly enough doctors as it is to treat Americans who suffer chronic pain.

[hat tip Preston Peet]

Bambi and Thumper

Talk about your cute overload. I just got this in my email and had to pass at least one of the photos on. Doesn't it remind you of the movie? I love this stuff.

Time flies

Well I'm not getting quite as long a break this morning as I expected but this is a long term schedule change so eventually I'll really have a couple of hours blogging time on my work mornings for the foreseeable future. I did manage to get a decent amount of sleep last night though, so I should be blogging tonight if not sooner.

Meanwhile my new Joisey friend gave me the nicest compliment on the phone last night. He said I was good for his grey matter. I don't think anyone has ever said that to me before. Usually they complain that I talk too much...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Goodnight Irene

I'm back on the work rotation and I got on such bad schedule last week that I only had five hours of sleep last night so I'm just brain dead. Funny, I thought when you get old, you're supposed to need less sleep. I seem to need more these days.

Anyway, I have a funny schedule tomorrow and will have a couple of hours free in the morning, so I'll be back then. You all have a good night.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bad Timing

It's official. Nothing short of small miracle will get me to the blogmeet in Helen. I'm scheduled to work. Of course, as usual I have the weekend before and after off. Story of my life. Early or late, never quite on time.

[graphic stolen from here]

All your money belongs to us.....

Radley Balko has the goods on the latest forfeiture outrage of the day. I have nothing to add to his commentary except this poor guy lost his life savings in a bogus case and his only crime was being Hispanic.

The forfeiture laws are one of the most destructive and boneheaded tactics of the war on some drugs. The property is guilty until proven innocent and it can happen to anyone. These laws need to be rescinded. They're an open invitation to abuse.

And for those of you who couldn't view this from the site, Radley found the LEAP video on YouTube. If you haven't watched it yet, it's 15 minutes well spent.

Wish me luck

Okay folks, I'm off to meet my mystery date for coffee. We talked on the phone for an hour yesterday. He's got a Joisey accent. I like that. I'm feeling amazing calm. I think it's going to be okay.

Update: Okay, you can put away your guns folks. I just got back and he's a very nice guy. The coffee date turned out to be a four and a half hour sojourn. I even got in his car and went to the big town for lunch with him. He's a great companion. He knows about computers, he's actually interested in blogs and he talks politics. The time just flew by and there was none of that first meeting awkwardness. Maybe it was just the northern accent, but I felt like I've known him for years. I think we'll see each other again.

Meanwhile, I'm off to wash my car. I'll be back.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chit chat

Well for the second time in two months, I joined an online chat tonight. I'm too old and techno-inept for this stuff really, but I'm getting better at it. I've discovered the trick is to type your responses while you read the screen. Of course, I'm such a lousy typist that I miss a lot when I look at the keyboard.

Nonetheless I had a jolly time at Erin's place. The cam thing wasn't working in my browser so I only could hear the occassional whoop from the video, but I enjoyed the company of our hilarious hostess and her charming friends nonetheless, including the most amusing Bostick. He's just getting started so click over and say hello.

Prohibition creates terrorists

The DEA is spending all this money and energy trying to convince us that drugs cause terrorism but there's no clearer proof than this that the opposite is true. Take a look at Afghanistan where the Taliban is now said to "be stronger than they have been since before the fall of the Taleban administration in 2001." The key quote:
Some say the Taleban's current strength stems partly from their intimidation of the local population, but also from the fact they can pay young Afghan men more than the Afghan army can pay them.

"It certainly includes small landowners who are concerned about losing their capacity to grow opium poppies because of the eradication campaigns that are on."

The Taleban's offers to protect farmers from eradication campaigns will have boosted their popularity in major poppy-growing provinces like Helmand.
These people are living in the Stone Age and barely scratching out an existence in a country destroyed by years of war. If the choice was between your family starving and growing poppies -- what would you do?

Legalize drugs -- cut crime

This is a surprising good op-ed by Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, not normally a friend of the reform movement since their livelihood depends on a continutation of the problems of drug abuse. So I'm going to ignore the early somewhat misleading stats that fail to address the role of alchohol abuse in violent crime.

Later in the piece she suggests we treat the addict and cut the crime rate. The money quotes:
In a Delaware work-release research study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, those who participated in prison-based treatment -- followed by ongoing post-release care -- were seven times more likely to be drug-free and three times more likely to be arrest-free after three years than those who received no treatment. Other studies report similar findings. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that substance-abuse treatment cuts drug abuse in half and reduces criminal activity by as much as 80 percent. [...]

Some courts and communities have also resisted offering comprehensive treatment because of fears of high costs. But recent studies show it is actually less expensive for communities to treat drug-abusing offenders than to let them sit in jail or prison. It is estimated that every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of $4 to $7 in reduced drug-related crimes. Savings for some outpatient programs can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.
It's a small step to take that logic further and see the savings if we could eliminate the law enforcement costs of prohibition and pour all that money into education and treatment.

Redistributing the black market

Suspected drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Felix pleaded not guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges Thursday.

The predictable quotes:
"There is no discernible leader left to fill the void" in the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel, said John Fernandes, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's San Diego office. "I don't consider this organization disrupted. I consider this organization defunct."

In Mexico, Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca (is that Spanish for empty headed) said Thursday that the arrest "totally devastated" the cartel.
Even if that's true, so what? You really think all those billions of dollars worth of orders on this side of the border are just going to go unfilled because the other two cartels won't recognize a good business opportunity when they see one?

Quick hits

The commentary is little hard to follow but the simulation rocks. What if a giant asteroid hit the earth?

Awesome flash animation.

The 60s live in Vermont. The nudists are taking over Brattleboro.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Think before you click

Ah, the things you'll find at Drudge. For instance, Email can be dangerous to your stealth. One wrong slip of the mouse and suddenly the whole world knows wearing that saran wrap dress didn't have the desired effect on the hubby's little willie.

Dark Anniversary

I had the good fortune to spend ten days in Mexico with Gary Webb a few years ago as part of a journalism school. He was a quiet and unassuming guy and I learned about a lot about journalism from him. I can't say I knew him well, but I cried when he died.

Today is the tenth anniversary of Gary Webb's landmark series, The Dark Alliance, that exposed the link between the CIA and Nicaragua's Contras to the crack cocaine epidemic that ripped through South Los Angeles in the 1980s. Webb lost his career and ultimately his life over that story and suffered much undeserved ridicule for something he never said but was widely attributed to him by those who apparently never read the series. He never said the CIA deliberately created the crack "epidemic" that swept the country at the time. And he never received enough credit for the claims he did make that turned out to be true. The CIA knowingly dealt with drug dealers in the course of the Iran-Contra war and allowed the crack to enter the country unfettered.

Perhaps we can take some comfort from Gary's tragic history in that it points out the MSM has always been part of the establishment and will protect their government sources over informing the people of government abuses. The lesson being, although the press has failed to protect us from the excesses of our government today, we never really could count on them to do so anyway. But for myself, it's just a sad reminder of what could have been.

You have to wonder, if the blogs and the power of the internets they harnessed had been around then, whether his story would have had a happier ending.

What a drag it is getting old.....

Things are different today... for the Rolling Stones. It's sad really. After almost a half a century of record breaking tours, their latest gig in England is suffering from a distinct lack of ticket sales. There are hundreds of unsold tickets and offers on Ebay are stalled at as little as one penny. Could it be time for our favorite senior citizen rockers to hang up the spandex and retire?

Friday, August 18, 2006

A passing moment....

I was having kind of a bad day. Everything I needed to do was stalled for one reason or another. I didn't get out to check the mail until about 6:00. As I was coming into the driveway I saw three deer.

They appeared out of nowhere. I saw the flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye. They were all the way by the road at the far end of the neighbor's yard. I know they weren't coming down the road seconds before.

The leader, a young buck with a nice little set of antlers coming in, stopped and looked at me. His eye glittered in the late sun. He held my gaze for a long moment adn then tossed his head and bounded off with his harem of two does following.

I didn't take three steps when something fluttered at my feet. It was a beautiful blue butterfly just sitting there on the ground, slowly flapping its wings. At first I thought the ants had it. They were streaming around it and it looked stunned. I considered trying to rescue it but it fluttered a few inches away at the thought and still it sat and preened like a peacock.

It opened its wings almost flat to the ground and held them for long seconds. I was mesmerized. It let me bend in low to get a good look at its markings. I finally couldn't bear it any longer and decided to try for the camera. I asked it nicely to wait for me. It didn't. But I was glad because that meant it could still fly.

When I came back inside, the phone was ringing..... and everything changed.

Blog hopping

I've barely read the drug policy blogs in over a month so I'm horribly remiss in doing a roundup. The intrepids have been busy while I've been slacking off though, so it looks like it will take more than one post.

Thehim at ReLoad has an interesting look at how the medical marijuana laws work and don't work in Washington state. They're doing some good work there but sadly, the war on sick people continues even in the enlightened places.

Scott at Grits for Breakfast never takes a break and has a long and fascinating series of posts on a new case in Texas. It appears that the atrocities of informant based prosecutions didn't die, as we had hoped, with Tulia. Scroll down to the beginning and read up. [Update: I'm so out of touch I didn't notice it was Alan Bean guest posting at Grits. Scott has been on a month long break and is just back.]

The D'Alliance has also been rolling along. There's a lot there but don't miss their rundown on the criminal negligence of the law enforcement authorities in New Orleans during Katrina. Somebody should be prosecuted for the callous abandonment of those prisoners who were caught in that flood. We're talking about people incarcerated in the local jails for minor infractions mostly, like public drunkeness, who were left to die in locked cells.

On a lighter note, if you don't suffer from vertigo, try out the electronic hallucinogenic there. It was pretty cool and the effects only last a minute.

Finally, Pete at Drug WarRant is tearing it up with the DEA. This is a big and inspiring project from our reformer who apparently never sleeps but the short version is the Traveling Prohibitionist Propaganda Show,complete with 3-D disinformational displays, came to Pete's home turf, The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

Pete, along with SSDP, are countering with their own informational campaign, handing out flyers in front of the museum. Or trying to. It's a big story and they're received a lot of press. Your best bet is start at the top and keep scrolling to get the all the details. At the very least, read about his day at the Museum. The Museum is not amused.

And while you're there he has the latest news on the Afghani poppy production which is hitting record levels.

And this heartbreaking post is worth clicking for the photo alone. In the latest on the Plan Colombia front, the White House finally pushed their insane eradication program through. I suspect its codename is Spray Paradise and it's destroying the pristine national forests of the country.

What a crime. Once it's gone, you can't get it back and it won't even make a ripple in the drug supply on the streets.

Rising to the challenge

I've been wanting to join the fun at the 100 word challenge for a while now. I still haven't figured out how to record my own story but I had a inspiration for the challenge words so I figure I'll give the midget a crack at it this week. Here's my entry.
Rooster Cockburn was the winningest player on the banty weight circuit.

Now in the tenth round of the big match, his mystery opponent swaggered around the ring, taunting him to bring it on. Rooster charged.

“Nobody beats The Cock,” he snarled as he swung the hooded beast over his head.

The crack when his foe’s crotch struck his temple was audible to the gasping fans in the front row. Rooster was down. Lying on the mat, he could dimly see his own blood glittering on his adversary’s cast iron codpiece.

The victor unmasked and crowed.

"Hah! Nobody beats Hernia Harry."
Theoretically, it will magically appear tomorrow on the podcast and it's a contest, so head over there then and vote for your favorite, which doesn't necessarily have to be me. The competition is always stiff.

My kind of cops

I never in a million years thought I would be promoting cops but these folks aren't just any cops. Neither are they disgruntled or disgraced former officers with a beef against their departments. They are mostly retired high level officers -- police chiefs, undercover agents, judges, and even a former mayor and a former ranking member of Scotland Yard. It's through their work as warriors on the front lines of the war on some drugs that they came to realize, not only the futility of the goals of this war but also the socially destructive nature of it's tactics.

No other organization speaks more eloquently against prohibition and on behalf of legalization. If you're not convinced that legalization is the answer, watch the video. And even if you are convinced, watch it anyway and please bring it to the attention of anyone you know who thinks the war on some drugs can actually be won. The only way to end this insane waste of $69 billion a year on a failed policy is to make prohibition an issue in the political arena. We need to convince our politicians that a vote for legalization will translate into a win at the ballot box.

Even if you don't consume drugs yourself, those are your tax dollars being spent on a lost war instead of schools and municipal services that benefit your families. No one can afford to sit on the sidelines any longer.

For myself, I've fallen far short of the promise I made a year and half ago to help LEAP with media outreach, a situtation I hope to rectify in the near future. So with that in mind, let me urge you to watch this short promotional video for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and spread the word by passing this link on to your friends and family. Together, this is one war we can bring to peaceful conclusion.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Got your number

I stole this one from the lovely Lisa. Except for the lust for material goods part, I thought it was pretty accurate. Click here to play along. Here's mine:

Your number is: 11

The characteristics of #11 are: High spiritual plane, intuitive, illumination, idealist, a dreamer.

The expression or destiny for #11:

Your Expression number is 11. The number 11 is the first of the master numbers. It is associated with idealistic concepts and rather spiritual issues. Accordingly, it is a number with potentials that are somewhat more difficult to live up to. You have the capacity to be inspirational, and the ability to lead merely by your own example. An inborn inner strength and awareness can make you an excellent teacher, social worker, philosopher, or advisor. No matter what area of work you pursue, you are very aware and sensitive to the highest sense of your environment. Your intuition is very strong; in fact, many psychic people and those involved in occult studies have the number 11 expression. You possess a good mind with keen analytical ability. Because of this you can probably succeed in most lines of work, however, you will do better and be happier outside of the business world. Oddly enough, even here you generally succeed, owing to your often original and unusual approach. Nonetheless, you are more content working with your ideals, rather than dollars and cents.

The positive aspect of the number 11 expression is an always idealistic attitude. Your thinking is long term, and you are able to grasp the far-reaching effects of actions and plans. You are disappointed by the shortsighted views of many of your contemporaries. You are deeply concerned and supportive of art, music, or of beauty in any form.

The negative attitudes associated with the number 11 expression include a continuous sense of nervous tension; you may be too sensitive and temperamental. You tend to dream a lot and may be more of a dreamer than a doer. Fantasy and reality sometimes become intermingled and you are sometimes very impractical. You tend to want to spread the illumination of your knowledge to others irrespective of their desire or need.

Your Soul Urge number is: 8

A Soul Urge number of 8 means:

With an 8 soul urge, you have a natural flair for big business and the challenges imposed by the commercial world. Power, status and success are very important to you. You have strong urges to supervise, organize and lead. Material desires are also very pronounced. You have good executive abilities, and with these, confidence, energy and ambition.

Your mind is analytical and judgment sound; you're a good judge of material values and also human character. Self-controlled, you rarely let emotions cloud judgment. You are somewhat of an organizer at heart, and you like to keep those beneath you organized and on a proper track. This is a personality that wants to lead, not follow. You want to be known for your planning ability and solid judgment.
The negative aspects of the 8 soul urge are the often dominating and exacting attitude. You may have a tendency to be very rigid, sometimes stubborn.

Your Inner Dream number is: 3

An Inner Dream number of 3 means:

You dream of artistic expression; writing, painting, music. You would seek to more freely express your inner feeling and obtain more enjoyment from life. You also dream of being more popular, likable, and appreciated.

Happy Airborne Day

I'm a day late but a hat tip to all our daring paratroopers and all the skydivers who jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Lil Toni has the post and the ultimate video for the occassion. Click over and check it out.

You know I've jumped a few planes myself and I've probably seen a thousand skydiving videos in my lifetime but I have never seen a static line jump before. Pretty amazing. They jump out in full gear doing Hueys. Who knew?

And the shopping gods smiled...

I dragged myself out yesterday afternoon in the bleak and cloudy weather to get the car squared away. It's funny, I have such a phobia about dealing with the DMV that my heart was pounding while I was waiting in line. I mean I was thirty seconds away from a panic attack for no apparent reason other than having to deal with the bureaucracy. Guess it comes from years of bad experiences in Mass and the three tries it took to bring enough paperwork to get my driver's license here. But I sailed in and out in ten minutes.

The DMV is in a little mall here and I almost left immediately after. I was determined to do some shopping and having been at this mall a couple of times, I didn't think there were any stores there I wanted to go to. I was halfway to my car and realized I should use the ladies room before I moved down the road, because I knew they had one there. Funny how life works. Somehow I walked right by it and discovered a shoe store having a huge sale at the end of the mall. Shoes were high on my list since I had thrown out just about everything when I left Noho.

Now I hate shoe shopping more than any other kind. My feet are just odd and I have to try on the shoes to figure out if they're going to fit. Plus depending on the cut of the shoe, my size ranges across several different combinations. Well, it was like a miracle. I walked out with five pairs of shoes for exactly a hundred bucks and change. I found two pairs of dressy slides, a pair of everyday sandals, a new pair of Keds (they're for kids you know) and my best find, a sweet pair of Clark's clogs for the fall. I'm all set except for a pair of hiking boots for the winter and I can put that off for a long time. Never in my life have I found five pairs of shoes on sale on the same day. Felt like I hit the lottery.

I walked out of there singing with joy. Even better, the sun broke out on the way home and the weather has been gorgeous here ever since. Sometimes, life can be so good.

Delayed posting

I'm off to work for a few hours. I'll be back.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tunnel mastermind busted

You remember that tunnel that was busted back in January under the Mexico-US border? Well it appears they just busted the guy they claim is responsible for digging it. Federal drug agents arrested Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix while he was deep sea fishing off the Baja.
The law enforcement official said two suspected assassins for the gang were among the eight adults and three juveniles on the sport fishing boat, the Dock Holiday. [...]

The Arellano-Felix gang is one of the three large Mexican drug cartels, along with the Gulf Cartel and the Federacion.
The investigation has been going on for 14 months. It looks like someone was finally tempted by the $5 million reward. For what good it's going to do.

Don't get me wrong. It's a violent cartel and it's good that they busted it but it won't make a dent in the trafficking. It won't take ten minutes for somebody to jump in to fill that breach and it will just make the remaining cartels that much stronger. Mu guess is the violence in Mexico will get worse as the dealers battle for the new turf. Plus, add the reward to the hundreds of thousands they likely spent on the investigation and you're still not getting a good return for your tax dollars.

I'll say it again. The only way to take down these cartels permanently is to legalize the drugs and take their market away.

True confessions

Well, I'm scaring myself silly but I did something really crazy last night. I answered two personal ads from Craig's List. I got replies from both. They both seem very nice but I find the whole concept of meeting people through personals so oddly foreign that I'm feeling a little panic stricken about following through.

What say you friends? Am I crazy to do this? Is it too dangerous? I hear success stories about these things but reading about the guy in Michigan who was charged with drugging and raping a person he met on My Space or Your Face or whatever one of those social networks is not allaying my nerves.

I need a new store

So now that I have a reliable car again, I decided to try a new grocery store that's further from my house. I saw in their circular they had organic food so I was hoping they also had a better produce section now that I'm trying to eat healthy and have actually been cooking meals instead of nuking frozen dinners. What a horror show it turned out to be.

The store was as dimly lit as bodega and filthy. The produce section was permeated by the smell of rotting vegetables and after cruising the entire place, I discovered exactly five items that were organic. Four different canned goods and they do sell organic milk, not that you would want to buy it from the sticky looking dairy section. I bought one can of organic beans there and came home and washed the can. I ended up having to go to my regular store, which now looks infinitely more appealling, and as an added bonus they had some zucchini that was fresh enough to be worth purchasing.

It's so ironic to be living in the country and be unable to find decent produce. I'm telling you it's hard to eat healthy in the south. No wonder there are so many really obese people.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Strange day

Geez, I'm just useless on my first day off after a long work run. I slept in until almost 10:00 this morning. I must have been really sleep deprived because I had intense dreams all night. I haven't had dreams like this since I stopped doing cognizant dreaming a few years ago. I scared the bejusus out of myself when it started working.

You can perform conscious acts in your dreams you know, but the results are not for the faint hearted. And it really weirds me out when I see the same characters in my dreams today that I saw in those days. I was dreaming that I was locked out of my house and wandering around this strange condo complex trying to find my way home when a cab driver showed up that I recognized. That's what finally woke me up.

And it's been a strange morning besides. I never get visitors here. After almost a year and a half, I still only know a few people in town and they don't visit. But this morning, I'm ditzing around on the net and the house is mess from the hit and run lifestyle of the work week, and I had two visitors knocking on my door within 20 minutes. Needless to say, like any self-respecting blogger, I'm in my nightgown, which leaves little to the imagination, so I'm throwing on a sweater in 80 degree heat to answer the door, which is wide open anyway and my hair is mess as only my hair can be.

First Ortega, my lawn guy, showed up. He really wants to buy my Ford for $500. I hadn't even had my coffee yet, so I didn't give him an answer. Hell, I couldn't make complete sentences. I could probably get a couple hundred more for it but now that I'm reaching a functional level of consciousness I'm thinking I should just sell it to him. He wants it for his daughter. I really like the guy, he works hard and I won't have to hassle with selling it to a stranger. Besides, I paid about $6,000 for it, drove it for six years and only put a few hundred into repairs so I got my money's worth out of it and it would be good karma to give someone a good deal for it. Especially since I got my new car for free.

My next visitor was much more surprising. It was Christine, the old lady that I rescued when she fell out of her SUV a couple of weeks ago. I didn't even recognize her. She looked great today and she looked smaller than she did when she was lying on her driveway and I was contemplating how I was going to pick her up. Fast healer that one. You could barely tell she had been that banged up. She told me she used honey on her wounds to help them heal. I love the old folk remedies.

I didn't invite her in, but she was on her way to her brother's house to cook for him or something anyway. Bless her heart, she's 69 years old. I think she may turn out to be my first friend in the neighborhood. I love old ladies. Especially fesity ones.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Aw, isn't she special...

Looking for a date? Well you can forget Ms. Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey. The self absorbed bitch thinks she's just too good for you and advises you lower your standards and settle for some fat ugly loser who is not her. After all she has an 86% approval rating at hotornot. I don't know what that is but if you have to ask, you're not hot. And who wouldn't want to date a broad with OCD who alphabetizes her 2000+ interests?

All you married guys go kiss your wives and thank the Goddess you don't have to jump into the dating pool with a blood sucking barracuda like that.

Mexico's Internal Drug War

I'm still working today so just a quick link to this Power and Interest News Report on the drug trade in Mexico. They don't generally cover drugs but their reports on international politics are well researched and generally viewpoint neutral. The report illustrates why the war on some drugs will never be won. Read in full for yourself, but here's a key point.
The necessary involvement of police officials at the local, state, and national levels, and the Mexican military, complicates the battle over turf. Corruption pollutes well intentioned policemen and soldiers. The law of "plata o plomo," a choice between accepting a job on a criminal payroll or accepting a bullet in the head, perennially compromises members of the Mexican security forces at all levels.

Due to constant demand for cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines, ecstasy, and other drugs, the Mexican criminal enterprise earns over US$50 billion a year. A considerable amount of this money makes its way back to Colombia to purchase pure cocaine and heroin. Millions of dollars a year land in the hands of policemen, intelligence agents, mayors, port masters, pilots, and many other officials who face the infamous "plata o plomo" decision.
There is no real choice between death and corruption, especially when corruption pays so well. The piece also outlines the current players and notes that the much touted bust of one the major cartels only made the turf wars between the remaining two power players worse. Meanwhile, people are dying for a "war" that can never be won and governments are being taken over from the inside by the cartels. I remind you once again, that legalization could change this dynamic.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Aircraft Blogging

It's been a while since I posted any airplanes, so thanks to Catfish who gets the best photos, I'm going to post a double today.

This one is from Oshkosh. Always wanted to go to that show but I never made it. I don't know what kind of airplane this is but it's a sweet little bi-plane and I just love those wheel pants. Some women get off on movie stars, but this is kind of picture that gets me hot.

This is just stunning. I believe those must be the Blue Angels appearing at this air show. I would have loved to take a ride on that run. Not much chance in a one seater though and I'd never in a million years be able to learn to fly it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Disater narrowly averted

I have to get up so early that I'm off to spend the night up on the hill in order to get a little more sleep tomorrow, so this is it for tonight. I have to sell this car before a really big branch comes crashing down on it.

I came home to find this one, and the picture doesn't really do it justice, having just glanced off the roof if the debris is any indication. No apparent damage, but next time I might not be so lucky.

Quick Hits

I'm working today so just a couple of quick links this morning.

This is what drives me crazy about Mark Kleiman. He admits that the war on some drugs is a failure and often comes out on the side of sensible drug policy but is adamantly against legalization as a remedy. He claims it will increase the levels of drug abuse, almost instantly.

Now Kleiman is really smart guy and I'm sure he has seen the evidence that this doesn't happen in places where drugs are legal or quasi-legal. I can't help but think his judgment is colored by the fact that he makes money on the prohibition side of the war. Otherwise how to explain that he's only willing to perhaps reduce the LEO resources in the WoSD but not eliminate the whole failed program. And as I recall he wasn't disturbed about the idea of turning kids into unfeeling zombies vaccinating young children to prevent future drug use.

Still it's worth reading the short piece at the link. He does give Radley's new white paper a good review.

Little wing

I pointed you to the caterpillar last week and now the monarch hatches. Incredible stuff. I didn't know the butterfly inflates it wings with fluids when it hatches. I wish there was video instead of just stills.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Land of the lost

Okay, it's official. I'm not going to get anything of substance done today. Well except vacuum my living room and then I have to go to bed to make it through the day tomorrow. So here's some silly computer error messages that Catfish sent me.

I really loathe that auto update one. It's such a persistent little bastid. Every time it pops up I wish I gnu more about computers.

Blast from the past

It's a been a long week and it's my one day off. I've got four more early calls coming up and at least two of them will be for six farookin' thirty in the morning. Not my best time of day folks. I should be taking this time to blog up a storm and put a few in the hold file for a quick post when I can't see the screen anymore but what am I doing instead? Reading other blogs. Worse yet, reading blogs that aren't even on my blogroll. I'm telling you it's pathetic how good I am at avoidance.

Still, it's not an entirely wasted morning when you discover a blog called Tits McGee and she posts a picture of the rug from the old Baystate Hotel in lovely downtown Noho. Ah, the memories.

I worked in the bar downstairs for a couple of years and I drank in that bar for over a decade but I only went upstairs maybe three times in all those years. Ronnie had turned it into a rooming house of sorts and the tenants were, shall we say, characters. Mostly the kind of guys you saw on the street, wearing the same clothes every day that clearly hadn't been washed since Lyndon Johnson was president, begging for change. The way they smelled, one figured it was about that long since they took a bath too, but you could hardly blame them when there was only one working shared bathroom on three floors and Ronnie wasn't one to spend money frivolously on cleaning services.

Occassionally though a passing traveler of some cleanliness would stay for a week or two while in transit. It was one of those who first tempted me upstairs with a promise of some one-hit pot that would knock my socks off.

The Baystate was once a high class joint back when the boys from Harvard would dress up in their Sunday best and arrived by train in Noho to woo the lovely Smithies down by the pond on campus. By the time Ronnie got it, she was more like a worn out call girl who was reduced to taking ten dollar tricks in the alley. Still the grand sweeping staircase, retained that promise of something special at the top of those winding stairs.

Try to imagine, arriving on the landing and casting your eyes down long, seemingly endless halls covered in that carpeting. The one hit pot was a disappointment. I didn't lose my socks. But the vision of that carpet has stuck with me all these years later, like a bad acid flashback. The worst part was -- I kind of liked it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Eradication season

I usually do a rant or two about the waste of law enforcement resources on eradicating marijuana this time of year, but I don't have the time or the energy for it this week, even though I've seen a few pieces worth remarking on. However, this item caught my eye tonight. I'll skip over the usual overvaluing of the bust, and just say, this guy was either really stupid or really ballsy. I mean they do say the best place to hide something is in plain sight, but this guy took it a little too literally. Growing 20 plants in full view of the Stop & Shop parking lot is just asking for trouble.

Summertime blues

Sorry I disappeared yesterday. I came home late with a blinding headache and went straight to bed. Haven't been able to shake it all day today either and it's been another long one, but I found out I don't have to work tomorrow so I'm going to go check my email and I should be back with something of vague interest in a while.

Oh good. Blogger is down for maintainence. Guess I'll be back if they go back up.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Meme of the day

I'm on a brutal schedule this week so it will be evening blogging for the next few days but here's a quick meme that's been making the rounds. I found it rather eerily accurate.

Your Birthdate: January 9

You are a born idealist, with more pet causes than you can count.
You prefer be around others, both when working and while relaxing.
Generous and giving, you believe you can change the world one person at a time.
You're open minded and tolerant. People feel like they can tell you anything.

Your strength: Your go-with-the-flow flexibility

Your weakness: Your flair for the over dramatic

Your power color: Pine green

Your power symbol: Circle

Your power month: September

[via Chablis]

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Comment on Cannabis

I've "known" Treva for a long time. I believe we met in the jungle of the GNN forums and she was kind enough to help me get started with html way back when I didn't a closing tag from a price tag. She has an interesting thread going on right now on marijuana. Some of the comments could use some refuting but the one by Libertine could have been written by anyone in LEAP.

I was too whipped tonight to leave much of a comment and I have early call all week but check it out and leave yours.

Truth in Advertising

A news site in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, is conducting an unscientific poll asking which political party supporters make the best lovers. Much to their surprise, but not to mine, the Marijuana Party is taking more than half the popular vote. Nobody else is even coming close.

They're currently at almost 61%. You have until midnight tonight to cast your vote. Click here and scroll down to the bottom right corner.

NYC cops caught profling poor pot smokers

Anyone who doubts the war on some drugs is racist should read this report in the Harm Reduction Journal on NYC policing practices. Public marijuana smoking arrests went from being concentrated mainly in lower Manhattan, to a widespread dispersal throughout the city, with arrests mainly in poor black and Hispanic boroughs.

Not to mention, as JackL tells me, it used to get a court "appearance ticket" as a non-criminal "violation" under state law, "decriminalized" in 1976. Now it results in an arrest and overnight jailing with a sentence after some more hours wasted in court with a minor fine and time served.

What a waste of the taxpayer's money. Issusing a ticket costs a lot less. And the cops and the bureaucrats of course deny profiling.
"The study distorts reality to prop up a thinly disguised manifesto for marijuana legalization," Browne charged. "More arrests of all kinds take place in areas with more crime," he said.
That last is true enough but while they're wasting time processing easy pot busts, violent crimes aren't being solved. It's a hard sell as public safety and as the study points out, it only inflames racial tensions in the city.

Monday, August 07, 2006

You oughta be in pictures

I have way too much housework to do. I'm not going to make it to the registry today so here's a fun little item, via my old co-blogger at the DetNews, Nancy Nall's blog. I'm not sure what the purpose of this site is, but they have this fun demo that compares your face with a database of famous people and decides who you look like.

Clearly it's not that accurate because my results were rather good. I got Clara Bow, Estee Lauder, Greta Garbo and Helen Hunt.

Try it out. Who do you look like?

Must read of the day for reformers

Jeralyn posts about an Aspen sheriff who "gets" the failures of the war on some drugs and about the dirty tricks his political opponent -- who doesn't get it -- is playing against him in his reelection campaign.

Doombah Hamsterhump

That's my other name. To figure out yours, click here. It's easy. And while you're there check out Hujonwi's answers to the meme of fives. He's got the best ones of any I've seen so far.

On a different note, I was just thinking about this the other day. How we all survived our childhoods without a nanny government telling us what to do. Branden posts a good viral email that reminds Those Born Between 1930 And 1979 just how good we had it.

And now, I've got to clean this house and maybe try to get to the DMV and switch my registration over. I'll be back sometime.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Drug war fact of the day

From Jim Hightower on the Government's Sick War on Marijuana.
Meanwhile, the holy warriors have become more fanatical and thuggish than ever. A marijuana arrest is made every 41 seconds in America - nine out of ten of them for mere possession. In 2004, 772,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges - more than for all violent crimes combined. And 40,000 Americans are in prison today for this victimless crime - more than the entire prison populations of eight European countries.
Hightower has a big following. It's good to have him on our side.


It seems to be wildlife Sunday here. Check out these amazing shots of a Monarch caterpillar forming its chrysalis. You have to do the clicky thing to enlarge them to get the full effect.

I've never seen it happen before. I hope she gets the butterfly emerging too. That would be really cool.

UPDATE: Speaking of really cool, thank goodness Kees didn't listen to his mom when she told him not to play with his food. Who knew he was such an artist?

Another one bites the dust....

I hate when this happens and for some reason I can't leave a comment at Freedom Sight. I understand completely how you can burnout on bad news, but I'm still sad Jed I taking a hiatus. I'll miss him. I'm hoping it's a false alarm.


I couldn't find the original article on this, but here's a short video report. I can't believe anyone would really sell pot on Craig's List but it seems to be true. The video is worth watching though, just for the prohib bureaucrat. He looks like he's zoned out on pharmas to me.

Love makes a family

I love these things. My cousin sent me this.

In a California zoo, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to pregnancy complications, the cubs were born prematurely and died shortly after birth.

Mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically fine. The vets felt that the loss of her litter had caused her to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if she could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.After checking with many other zoos, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the tiger mother. The vets decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment.

Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only "orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of wiener pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger. The results . . .

UPDATE: Oops. Thanks to Karen for uncovering the facts here. Snopes says the photos are real but the story is a fake. But hey the pictures are still cute.

Referral of the day

I came in at #4 for "gay nude beach trip philly." I bet that was quite a trip.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

May I have a blogroll please

Well I added a new category to the blogroll because I can't quite figure out where to put these two, and it will a be a good place to put new blogs until I redo the template someday. So say hello to Rantin Ron who hails from the NC mountains. He's one heck of a story teller, but don't take my word for it, check out The Electric Beagles and Chapter One of The Double L Club.

I told you about Erin O'Brien already. She's destined to become a regular read. And I put in a plug at the top for my sister's real estate gig. If you're looking for Western NC real estate, here's the place to start.

Five easy pieces

The lovely, good witch Maeve has tagged me with a meme. I've never been tagged before, I kind of feel like I'm wearing a scarlet letter but since I've been sitting here for hours trying to think of something I feel like blogging about, this seems like a good place to start today. So here goes....

Five items in my closet

1.The baseball hat I bought in San Diego for my Dad five years ago and never remember to bring when I visit.

2. C arefully swathed in plastic, an orginal chalk drawing of a sexy mermaid, done by my dear friend Mark Bode, that I never got around to framing.

3. My "train set" luggage, two round cases that don't hold much but look so cool when you're traveling.

4. A guitar.

5. Tweetie bird flip-flops.

Five things in my freezer

1. A big bag of ice

2. A box of baking soda

3. A box of frozen spinach

4. Frozen dinners

5. About to add a bottle of Bombay gin. (the original pagan recipe - not the Sapphire)

Five Things in my car

1.Roll of paper towels

2. Fleece sweatshirt

3. Kleenex

4. Maps

5. One of those silver sunscreen things

I'd note that I just got the car and haven't had time to junk it up yet.

I don't know who to tag, so I'm going to ask my sister (and anyone else who would like to play) to leave their answer in the comments.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Passenger charged with drunk driving

It's hard to believe this case has moved so far through the court system. The driver of a car passed a roadside sobriety testso the cops arrested the passenger for a DUI because he said he had held the steering wheel for a minute while the driver was eating a sandwich.

Okay, so the driver did have a sandwich in his hands when the cop got to the car. And the car may well have served for moment but it didn't crash, they didn't hit anybody and the cop didn't actually see the drunk passenger hold the steering wheel. The first judge refused to sign off on the arrest warrant, but the cops got to pitch it to another judge who agreed to issue the warrant.
"At this point, it got past the (district judge). The trooper thought there was probable cause to arrest the passenger. And while it seems silly to some people, you have a highly intoxicated person at least steering the vehicle in ... an erratic manner," Sibert said.
Silly hardly seems to cover it. What the hell are they doing wasting the taxpayer's money on this when there's surely drunks who are actually driving their cars still out there, who will go undetected, while the cops are busy pursuing passengers.

Radley is right, it's not just a war on some drugs anymore. The prohibitionists are now targeting booze as well.

Don't blame the cannabis

Whatever this guy was taking, it sure wasn't marijuana.
HIGHLAND MILLS, N.Y. - Robert Ferranti probably has more than the usual regrets of someone found rolling around naked on a neighborhood street, babbling, immune to pepper spray and accused of punching a police officer.
Sounds like he might have using salvia to me, from what I've heard about its effects. Or just shit-faced drunk. Unfortunately, he was involved in a marijuana growing operation that was busted when the police did a follow-up visit on him. He lived in the grow house and when the cops came to the door, the smell was overwhelming.

It's guys like this that give potheads a bad name. People are going to assume he was so incoherent because of the weed. Damn shame.


I was blocked out of Blogger at home so I'm just trying to fix it from here. I'm working at the moment but I should be home later this afternoon. Check back later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Change is good

I spent the day doing car stuff and helping the family out. Seemed the least I could do since they gave me the car for free. I drove the old Ford for the last time tonight. I was feeling a little sad about it until the damn stalling thing started to happen on the way home. I'm going to miss the room and the auto transmission but it will be nice to have a car that I can depend on again. I'll be able to go to the big city once in while without freaking out about breaking down.

Meanwhile, in another technological breakthrough, I successfully completed a call on the cell phone today. What's it been? Maybe three weeks since I got the phone? This is speedy for me. I managed to remember to turn it on this morning and I got a call on it from the family this afternoon. My ring tone is some kind of song. I was in the other room when the call came in and it took a while to figure that it was my phone singing. Of course by the time I dug it out of my bag it was too late to answer it so I had to call back.

I discovered I have messages too, but I haven't figured out to retreive those yet. Maybe I'll try to set up my mailbox tomorrow at the doctor's office. I figure I'll have some down time between the blood draw and the appointment. But if that seems too ambitious, maybe I'll try to figure out how the camera works instead. That would make me feel pretty techno-buff.

Thank a soldier today

I know a lot of you didn't participate in the card drive for the Fourth of July. I understand it's not easy to get it together to buy and write them out and then get to the post office, however, via Mom is Nutz - Freebie Friday, I found a simple and fast way to thank a soldier with a free card.

You pick the card from a selection of drawings done by children, click on the greeting you want to leave inside, (there's a wide choice of sentiments), sign your name and click. A printed card will be sent to a deployed soldier. So no excuses, especially those of you who support the war, click over right now and send one. And if you like free stuff, click Mom's link for a long list of other free items you can order by internet.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Unexpected visitors
Imagine my surprise when I walked out on the screen porch and saw these two nibbling at my neighbors shrubbery. The photos aren't great. I might have done better, I was being very stealthy, but I managed to walk through a spider web and in the 30 seconds I spent freaking out and checking to see if I had a spider on me, the deer noticed and took off. Still, for me, this counts as excitement, which is just about as much as I can take on this 100 degree day. Geez, but the air is unbreathable out there. I'm thinking I should put out a tub of water for the birds. They're looking really parched, hopping around the yard panting, with their little beaks open.

The Agitator

I've been remiss in visiting Radley lately. He, as always, has a bunch of interesting posts. Don't miss the latest news on Anthony Diotaiuto, the 23 year old bartender that was killed in a botched SWAT team raid on his apartment over a couple of ounces of pot. All this time has passed and the family still has no answers to why this happened.

Radley also posts an interesting email from Norm Stamper in regards to SWAT teams. I agree with both of them. SWAT teams have their purpose and in instances of imminent public harm, they should be deployed, but to use them for the most ordinary of drug busts is to invite disaster, as Radley's new white paper details all too depressingly well.

Aria you ready for this?

Thehim at Reload catches the latest trend in Berlin. A new opera being staged in the city will feature actors smoking marijuana on stage and audience participation is encouraged in order to enjoy the full import of the piece. The opera company figures they will be covered by artistic license. They may well be. Although public cannabis consumption is frowned upon, its personal use is treated casually by the German authorities. They say they've given up on busting small time consumers and people growing a plant or two on their balconies. The opera company views this as a test case. Hope they pass it.

And while you're at ReLoad, scroll down to read some of the other posts. Thehim has got some really interesting events to report on. He was even given press credentials for one of them. (I wonder why no one offers me a press card?)

And of course while you're there, don't forget to play a quick game of Zonk. I've been sucking at it lately, but it's still fun, even if you lose.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How humid is it?

I have the AC on. When I just stepped outside for a moment, my glasses fogged up.

Name that nail polish

I managed to email Starburst today. It took three times before it would take my message. I had to take out all the extraneous punctuation that I love to use in order to get it sent. Then I thought I would jump right in and contact OPI about naming the nail polish after Rob Smith. I was trying to figure out how to pitch it so I did some more research on the company. I might note I discovered that there a consumer action against them for using some kind of really toxic ingredients in the US manufacture that they don't use for their European version because they're outlawed there, but I decided to let that rest and just concentrate on the name problem.

Actually the names arise out of an interesting process. The VP, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, who happens to be the sister-in-law of the owner, creates the names of the new lines with a handful of other company insiders. They generally introduce a new line with a geographic theme and they love to use puns. They're also are open to long names, such as their long time favorite -- I'm not really a waitress -- a red which was part of their Hollywood themed line.

I ended not contacting them yet. While I still think it's useful to email them, I think we need to follow up with a written letter to Suzi at this mailing address:

13034 Saticoy Street
N. Hollywood, CA 91605
TEL:818.759.2400 in CA

And I think we'll have a better chance of success if we also suggest a theme for a whole new line of polish. I suppose we could go with a Savannah theme but I'm wondering if there's a way to pitch it as a Blogtopia theme. Maybe we could all get a color named after us...

In any event, I'm going to think about it a little longer before I write them. My muse is not with me today and I'm convinced if we could come up with some pun-ny names for a whole line of colors, we might just pull this off.

People are strange...

It's been one of those days. I was trying to sleep in after my horrific day yesterday but my doctor's office called me this morning -- twice -- before 8:20. Bad enough they had two different people call me within 15 minutes of each other at that ungodly hour on my day off, but worse, they we calling to tell me there's nothing wrong with me. I mean bejus, if you're going to wake me up at least do it because I'm in imminent of danger of dropping dead. Otherwise, let me sleep dammit.

After the second call I was too irritated to go back to bed and I've been out of sorts all day. I never quite wake up fully when I'm interrupted from a dream. Not to mention, it's hotter than Hades today and the air is not fit for breathing. I managed to drag myself outside to get the mail and retreive my garbage can and that was enough outdoor time for me.

It wasn't a total loss though. I spent the day at the computer and my little bird friend has been pecking away at the spider's stash outside my window off and on all day. Of course as soon as I lifted the blinds to try to get a shot of him, he took one look from the branch of the bush and disappeared. Camera shy I guess.

And I got a surprise phone call from my friend Dave in Key Largo that sends me the tapes of old time music. The conversation was a bit odd but it was nice to hear from him. Which reminds me, I suppose I should email my ex, who recently invited me to visit his new house in Atlanta and figure out if I'm going to take him up on the offer. It would be really good for me to get out of town but you know how it is -- these things can get so complicated. Sometimes it just feels easier to be a hermit.

The collector

Some people collect stamps, some prefer to go for the more estoeric and collect empty heroin bags. Personally I've always found branding of illegal drugs fascinating. I don't know much about the powder drugs but I remember buying ounces of hash in the 60s that was packaged in muslin sacks with printed logos. As I recall my all time favorite was the Red Lady. That was some good hash. A thick reddish brick that resembled sandstone and crumbled up really easily.

So I can relate to Clayton Patterson's attraction to the smack bags and appreciate that he's preserving a little bit of history that might otherwise go unchronicled. I hope he manages to put together the book. Not that I would buy it necessarily, but I wouldn't mind having a look at it.