Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Low Energy

I don't know why I'm so in the dumps this week. As the work rotation goes it's been a pretty easy one and the weather has been fabulous but I just can't beat this exhaustion. I think I never recovered from last week because I only got three days off before it all started again. Anyway I have three days off again starting on Friday so I hope I can recover some energy then.

Meanwhile, I haven't done anything particularly interesting and I've been too down to deal with the drug war. There's a lot a going on in that arena but I trust my drug war readers are visiting the reliable bloggers on the blogroll to get that news. I haven't visted anyone on the blogroll for weeks myself. If it's any comfort to anyone, I miss you all like crazy and one of these days I'm going to take a day off from blogging just to make the rounds.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Effin' Blogger - redux

I'm totally depressed about having to switch this blog. My other one is mostly fine because it's a newer template but this template is now such a mess I don't know how I'm ever going to fix it. I barely have time to post, much less figure out what's wrong and try to figure out the html to make it better. I'm told it's not hard to import to Wordpress and the old blog could really use a facelift but I don't know.

This blog is like a comfortable pair of blue jeans to me. You know that one pair that really fits just right and you feel great when you wear them? I usually wear those till they literally fall off me. I'm not big on major changes. I'm wondering if I could just change the template instead. In the old version, it meant losing everything in the all blog. If they fixed that in this new version, I'd forgive Blogger for making me switch.


Shooting the breeze

Well I spent two days immersing myself the black gun culture after I put my foot into the Zumbo thing. I learned a little bit about guns and a lot about angry gun owners. I also learned the NRA doesn't really encompass the gun community, which suffers from a sectarianism that surprised me. But I had a really interesting conversation with Kevin at The Smallest Minority out of the deal and I'm happy to report that at least some of people who fueled the blogswarm initially seem to have found some humanity and are feeling some small regret about taking down that poor old hunting guy.

It appears the conversation isn't quite over though. I'm still getting comments on the first post with excuses for their cruel conduct that makes me want to lecture these guys. I have to think about how to say it in as little words as possible. I don't want to open up another fight and if it goes on much longer, I'll get pissed off and say something to piss them off and then I'll get Zumboed, which this commenter tells me is the new threat, replacing Dixie Chicked or something like that.

I'm sure those of you who know me, and know my politics and have witnessed my caustic wit, will understand my caution. I'm thinking I probably don't want to piss off a couple of thousand guys who own semi-automatic rifles.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Effing ratsin-fratsin Blogger

It finally made me switch and you can't access the archives from the home page anymore. The good news is the posts are still there but it appears I'll probably have to republish the effers one at a time since I don't see any option to republish the blog in its entirety anymore. I've got almost 3000 posts on this thing. Not to mention the template is all screwed up but that happened before the switch.

I swear, if I knew how to import the bugger, I'm so pissed I would switch to my own domain right now.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Am I wrong or are these people effing crazy?

I don't cross reference my two blogs much here and I almost hestitate to do it now but this is something that lurks in the background always. You know I'm pretty much a leftie when it comes to politics but I'm a strong advocate for the right to bear arms, which often puts me into opposition with those on my side of the fence. I usually just avoid the issue, but reading about Zumbo this morning really set me off and I wrote this post in response.

I know I have, or at least I used to have, a lot of readers who are gun owners. If any of you are still left after I've shamelessly neglected this blog for so long, I really want to know if I'm off base on criticizing the hysterical hordes of assault weapon owners that destroyed this guy's career over one farookin remark.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fire Down Below

The ambulance passes by my house about once a week. I figure there's somebody who's really sick down the road. But it's not often we get fire trucks. Still, a lot of people burn brush in their yards around here and they do come by ocassionally, so I didn't think much of it when the first two came by. But then ten minutes later a truck came from the next town and I saw smoke so I went out to investigate.

Of course I was still in my pjs when it happened and it was a small fire so by the time I got dressed it was over. It appears that somebody burned their kitchen out but the house looked pretty intact. The one corner was pretty badly burned. You could see the charring on the brick where the flames had busted through the window. I didn't take a picture of it because the elderly woman who apparently lives there was crying in the driveway and I didn't want to have to talk to the two gossipy looking women who were standing in the road gawking at the damage.

It was cold day. The sun was great but the wind turned to the north again and felt icy. And the gusts were really mean, beating down on me as I trundled back up the hill. Still the crocuses are up and you can feel the sun winning the battle against winter. It helps. This is the time of year I really appreciate living in the south.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm free, to do what I want....

The good news is the week from hell is over. I put in about 90+ hours over the last seven days on too little sleep but it's done. The bad news is I only get three and a half days off. I'll need most of that time just to recover. The good news is the calls won't be so early and two of the next four are late morning so it will feel easy compared to this past week. And the weather turned.

I don't even want to tell my friends up north how beautiful it was here today. I figure it had to be 70 and it doesn't get dark until after 6:00 now. It helps but I'm still burned to a crisp at the moment. I can barely make sentences so I'm going to go watch Nashville Star which I guess is the country music version of Idol. They're down to the last four finalists. I hope I stay awake long enough to find out who wins.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Counting the hours

Well, I'm still crawling through this rotation. Yesterday was brutal, I barely got a break and I don't expect the next two to get any better. But on the bright side, the weather has finally turned. The tang of arctic air has disappeared from the wind and instead we're feeling tropical breezes again. I left the house before dawn this morning in just my fleece.

Today is supposed to be cloudy but they're predicting 70s and sunshine tomorrow and nothing freezing for the foreseeable future. One hopes, it will follow the pattern of the last couple of years and spring has really arrived. I'm certainly ready for it. The last cold snap was hell on my knees and they haven't troubled me since I arrived here.

My daffodils survived the cold snap too and were looking pretty happy in the headlights as I left the house but otherwise, I have nothing of interest to tell you since I can't talk about my work. I'm about to plow into my email though, so I hope I'll have time to at least post some quick hits on what's going on in the drug war before the bedlam starts around here. Otherwise, I'll be back when I can get here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Unavoidable delays

Sorry I disappeared yesterday. I was so tired that it took me an hour to write an ten minute post in response to this wingnut who called me a monumental idiot. I just burned out and went to bed and today is likely to be a long one with few breaks so I don't know when I'll be able to post. If I get a break this afternoon, I'll come back here first though.

Otherwise, please bear with me my dear readers. I'm got three more days of this, including today, and then my schedule should get more reasonable again and I'll be posting more regularly. Meanwhile, if you've sent me email tips, forgive me for not reading them yet. My unread email is so overwhelming at this point that I'm afraid to even open the program and see how far behind I am.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Need a new home

I've been obsessing about moving out of this house. There's a lot of things I love about it but the mold is just too much. I'm never going to really move in here. I've been diligently searching the listings for three weeks now. Quite a chore since I expanded my search area. I even did a drive by of a couple of places in town.

The cheap duplex in the "old schoolhouse" was across the street from a Baptist church that looked sort of like a jail and the the duplex looked like a barracks. Huge yard that the landlord, who I assume might be the church, maintains. Unfortunately the neighborhood looked about as unfriendly as the house. It's funny because two blocks away, the neighborhoods are very nice. It's amazing how you cross one street and it's so abruptly seedy.

I'm seriously considering moving into one of these huge characterless apartment complexes. They actually one nice one just outside of town. It's so really not my kind of gig but for my current lifestyle it makes sense and the place is pretty new so the apartments won't be beat up yet. There's a lot of amenties I'll never use from the dishwasher in the apartment to the exercise room in the clubhouse but it does have a nice pool so it would some incentive to exercise this summer.

I don't know what to do really. I drove around the complex and it looked respectable enough. The grounds were well kept and the balconies are a decent size. If they have highspeed internet I'm going to at least look at an apartment and think about it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream...

Sorry kids. I couldn't fall asleep last night and I'm so ripping whipped that I can't even see the screen to look at the emails I haven't read in two days, which is about 8 pages worth, and I have yet another early call. I need to sleep long enough to have some dreams. I'll be back.

[Graphic gratitude]

Friday, February 16, 2007

You buy your ticket, you take your chance

It's Friday but I just started a new rotation so it feels like a Monday to me. I did a 14 hour day on 5 hours of sleep and I'm looking at six more shifts just like it so just a quick passing thought tonight. The big snowstorm on Valentine's Day pissed a lot of air travellers off and I see those people who were stuck on that airplane for somewhere between 8-11 hours are still making news today. This is news?

It's winter. It snows. You might get stuck somewhere. Believe me I know how much it sucks to be on a airplane that's not moving for eight hours. It happened to me in Brussels. I was on my way home after a three week trip and the plane lifted off and immediately landed again. Something fell off the plane and they had to fix it. We spent at least 8 hours on the tarmac. It was a smoking flight but there was a real New York couple on the plane who raised a big stink about being sold a non-smoking ticket so after about four hours, they stopped letting people smoke.

After 6 hours, a low level of grumbling broke out and resonated through the plane. It was big one. It had middle seats besides three on either side. The flight attendants broke out copious amounts of champagne. Most of the passengers fell asleep within 30 minutes. And still we sat there and they didn't open any doors. It was April.

I was sitting near the jump seat for the flight attendant. She was tiny little oriental woman. She didn't have any champagne and she knew what was going on with the broken stuff. I'll never forget the look on her face when we finally took off. I have never seen such a look of abject terror in my life. I was drunk enough not to care.

Needless to say, we survived. But we didn't make the news and nobody suggested we should draft a farookin passengers bill of rights over it. I swear the world has gone crazy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Adventures in shopping

I was supposed to have lunch and go look at the Kroegers I found with John today but neither of us felt up to the outing so I ended up going down alone later in the day. This is what I call entertainment these days. I hate grocery shopping but I don't mind it the first time I go to a new store. It appeals to the sleuth in me and I'm always looking for those elusive items that are hard to find in the south. I like a new hunting ground.

I'm giving the store a mixed review. It was big but the aisles were narrow, especially with the huge carriages, they weren't particularly well organized and they had a limited choice in the fast food and single serving kind of stuff I'm interested in and their everyday prices were a lot higher than the Food Lion down the road. And although it wasn't dirty, it was untidy. The deli section was disappointing. I find it difficult to buy meat in crowded grocery where no one is waiting in line to get it. The seafood guy was doing a good trade but I don't know why. It stank of old fish.

It did have a lot of pluses though. The people who shop there are interesting. It was a very diverse crowd. They range from college kids to middle class families to old black guys who can hardly negotiate the aisles. A lot of middle aged single people. One guy about my age asked me where to find the fruit roll-ups. It was hard to imagine that I looked like someone who would know as I cruised down the aisle merrily crashing into people and carts as I was scanning the shelves. I told him to look around where they keep granola bars but I was proably wrong. How would I know? I've never eaten a fruit rollup much less buy one.

The store brand is really cheap and so are the sale items. The produce section was good. Great bakery with some interesting breads. Huge beer and wine section. I snagged a six pack of Saranac pale ale for under six bucks. I had a lot of choices in the six dollar range, which is a bargain down here, but I went for the Saranac because it reminded me of Noho and I'm missing my old friends this week. I've been dreaming about them.

They sell sparkle water, not to be taken for granted in the south. It's hard to get. I thought they didn't carry it but I finally found it in a little corner in the magazine section. And it's cheap. Major points for that. I drink a lot of sparkle water. But, the biggest plus is they sell the kind of hair conditioner I use. I've been using Nexxus Humectress for 15 years and it's really hard to find. Not only do they carry it, it cost three bucks less than I ever paid for it, anywhere in the country. It's always 16 bucks.

I so love a bargain. It made it worth the ride and it was good to get out of this little town. It's pathetic that I've become so insular here that a fifteen minute trip to a strip mall has become a major outing for me. Meanwhile, I'm on early call tomorrow and it's likely to be a long day so expect me when you see me.

Today's spam

I need to go out for a couple of hours but here's today's spam poem.
As he essence

He objectivity an postdoctoral
A tiny flame appeared.
her fiesta so congenial
An dispensable of cardiovascular
But monetarism of nu
Go porcelain my substantiate
Yeah, I know it's not art, but I've having fun with it and I've read poetry that makes less sense to me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

That tricksy Blogger

Blogger is getting really aggressive about getting you to switch over to the new version. Their latest trick is give you a sign-in screen instead of your dashboard when you try to access your inner blog. Now that just pisses me off. I don't mind being reminded occassionally but if you try to force me to do something, I'm so stubborn I won't do it just on principle.

So far I'm winning the battle. I discovered if you close it out a couple of times, it relents and lets you back into your old blogger platform. I'm sure that won't last forever and eventually they'll come up with some really evil plan to punish me for it, but for now I'm still sticking to the tried and true.

I only have eyes for you

Happy Valentine's Day my dears. Since I don't have a sweetie, I'm giving you, my cherished readers, this poem. I think I'm going to start a new recurring meme with this one.

I get a ton of spam. My filters catch most of it but in Yahoo I have to check the folder because it filters out stuff I want. I probably get a couple of hundred a day but it's quick to scan through the headings and rescue the few things I want to keep. I'm often struck by the creativity of the titles though and have thinking about something to do with them. And then it struck me. Along the lines of that magnetic poetry that was so popular for a long time, I give you the first in an ongoing series of spam poetry.
Hey... I was just on cam
Thanks for Looking Me UP
cassandra maintain
Or in athens , males combative
paz sough
look and the workers together (and save that will do: ye shall also
If you have sweetie, enjoy the holiday. If, like me, you're alone in the world - eh, it's just another day. Avoid restaurants and celebrate the anniversary of the Valentine Day Massacre instead with some bootleg booze or the contraband of your choice.

[Graphic gratitude. Check out this link. He has a lot of great valentines there. I could hardly choose but I picked this one because it looked so much like a certain Straight White Guy]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

UMASS to grow pot?

I thought I posted this last night but it appears I forgot to and deleted the draft by mistake. I hate when that happens. Anyway, UMASS professor Lyle Craker has been trying to get a license to grow research grade marijuana for scientific purposes since 2001. Yesterday a federal judge issued a favorable opinion.
The administrative law judge, Mary Ellen Bittner, concluded Monday that granting Craker's application would be in the public interest. Among the reasons she cited were inadequate competition and an inadequate supply of marijuana for research purposes.
The decision, (available in pdf here), is nonbinding and the chief prohib Karen Tandy of the DEA has the final say but the decision should at least make it more difficult for Tandy to deny the application.

Craker said, "I hope that Administrator Tandy abides by the decision and grants me the opportunity to do my job unimpeded by drug war politics." I hope so too but I wouldn't suggest holding your breath waiting. Nonetheless, it's a victory for those whose suffering could be alleviated by medical marijuana. [hat tip JackL]

New study supports medical marijuana

The DEA is getting it from all sides this week.
AIDS patients suffering from debilitating nerve pain got as much or more relief by smoking marijuana as they would typically get from prescription drugs -- and with fewer side effects -- according to a study conducted under rigorously controlled conditions with government-grown pot.
It was only a five day study with a small sample group of 50 AIDS patients but doctors and medmar advocates said the findings published in the journal Neurology, offer strong evidence that the DEA's classification of cannabis as having "no currently accepted medical use" is outdated. I hope Congress is paying attention.

I loved the control methods.
Then, for five days, patients lit up at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. using a calibrated puff method that calls for inhaling for five seconds, holding one's breath for 10, then waiting 45 seconds before the next.

The cigarettes were kept frozen and locked in a safe, then thawed and humidified one day before use. Cigarette butts and other debris were collected, weighed and returned to the safe to ensure no diversion for recreational purposes.
It's useful to note that the study used the schwag that the University of Mississippi provides. If that stuff worked, think about what real pot could do for the suffering of the terminally ill.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spring ahead

I've been battling a horrible sinus headache for two days now so I didn't get out for a walk today as I had hoped I would. It did get sort of warm for a little while and it's going to get colder again tomorrow so I was really sorry to miss it. I made do by making three trips back and forth down the driveway to get the trash and the recycling to the curb.

But good news for my dear friends in the frozen north. Take heart, spring really is on the way. The geese are moving through again and I got my first flock of robins in the yard today. Even here they're the first sign. I figure they'll hang around for about three weeks and start heading north bringing the warm weather with them.

Tucker Carlson takes down Souder

Life is funny. A couple of weeks ago, I was dissing Tucker for being a total jerk to some kid blogger but today I'm applauding him for his interview with has been drug war lord of Congress, Mark Souder, about Bush's request for millions for the stupid anti-drug commercials. You have to watchthe video. It's priceless.

I don't really know who Tucker is, I'm told he's a baby neo-con who shills for the White House, so I was really surprised that the interview was so good. He raked Souder over and Tucker's closing question was a knockout. He asked Souder how many marijuana overdoses there were last year. And he pressed the point when Souder tried to dance around it and claim that all pot smokers do multiple drugs. And he actually told Souder he was wrong. It was so enjoyable, I watched it twice.

In a related story, Bill Piper of DPA takes on John Walters, who was shilling in the newspapers for prohibition funding, and sheds some much needed light on Walters' deceits.

Never get NeverGetBusted

Whoa baby. Barry Cooper has his Fruit of the Looms in a twist. Someone forwarded Loretta a copy of his email dissing her review. Click over for the whole thing and read the comments too, but let me give you the money grafs here.
My wife is good at discerning woman and states Loretta is a failed politician who is jealous of my work. I have to agree. Loretta's review so far is the ONLY negative review we have gotten outof 102 reviews. Maybe this is why she never gets voted to office...she has a few followers but can't get past anybody accomplishing more than her.

My wife and office manager, another wise woman, thinks Loretta is not comfortable being a woman and wrongly attacks strong men. We have dealt with people like this before.

Myself, NEVERGETBUSTED and numerous attorneys will be releasing our plan soon. It would be nice to have Loretta repent and join us in the fight but she would need some serious training from my wife and ourcompany before being allowd to even answer a phone.

...She has other agendas beside ending the war.
What a lunatic. The man is obviously seriously crazy and you definitely do not want to be giving your contact information for any reason whatsoever. He couldn't be more wrong about Loretta, his remarks are just plain creepy and I'm thinking his well trained wife may be one of his drug dogs by the way he describes her.

As for Loretta's agenda, yeah it's bigger than just marijuana. She also advocates for prisoner's rights, sentencing reform and civil rights in general. Cooper's big "plan" whatever it is his twisted mind, is clearly to make a lot of money - for himself.

In a followup post, Loretta received a listserv email from the guy in which he apologizes profusely for sending out the dvds with the name of the video on the envelope. He blames the distribution company but it's clear to me that he either didn't notice the problem until Loretta posted or more likely he set it up that way to give his URL more visibility. I've done mailings through distributors before. They always send proofs before they run the printing job.

Hilariously, he signs his emails, as CEO/NeverGetBusted - The Most Trusted Name in Anti-Prohibition. I think the printer got that wrong too. I think that should have been Mis-trusted. At best the guy is an insane creep. At worst, he really is still a narc. He made a disturbing comment about his customer base being mainstream consumers and not drug users. Just how would he know that unless he say, had access to the DEA's datamining stats?

I don't have any proofs here. It's just a gut feeling, but if you want good advice on your rights go to Flex Your Rights for their video and stay as far away from Barry Cooper and his bogus product as you can.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Question of the week

How do light bulbs unscrew themselves? This can't be only be happening to me. My lamps are really old and rickety for the most part but I don't think that's the reason that I have to retighten the bulbs every once in while. Sometimes I think the bulb is out and discover it's just not twisted in far enough. And today I changed a bulb that did burn out but it was only one twist away from unscrewing itself and leaping to the floor.

Are my lightbulbs just suicidal or is there a scientific explanation for this do you think?

Ladies undies and the cost to incarcerate potheads

My dear friend Jules Siegel resurrected his blog, Newsroom-I. It's looking pretty spiffy over there and he's posting some great stuff. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, check out his post on the latest lingerie for the technogeek girl in your life. And he's got lots of other technotalk for the technosmart readers so scroll around.

Jules also points us to this excellent piece by veteran reformer Paul Armentano in Alternet. The latest figures are in and show "nearly 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges in 2005. Multiplying these totals by U.S. DOJ prison expenditure data reveals that taxpayers are spending more than $1 billion annually to imprison pot offenders."
The new report is noteworthy because it undermines the common claim from law enforcement officers and bureaucrats, specifically White House drug czar John Walters, that few, if any, Americans are incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. In reality, nearly 1 out of 8 U.S. drug prisoners are locked up for pot.

Of course, several hundred thousand more Americans are arrested each year for violating marijuana laws, costing taxpayers another $8 billion dollars annually in criminal justice costs.
Think about that for a minute. Nine billion dollars a year to arrest, prosecute and imprison mainly harmless potheads. How insane is that?

Never Get Busted?

The reviews on the video set the ex-cop Barry Cooper is selling about how to avoid getting arrested for pot are coming in. First up is Mark Draughn at Windy Pundit who provides a non-consumer's overview of Volume One and thought it was pretty good but probably not worth the money.

He points us to Loretta Nall's take. She gives a detailed rundown of the content and says the video stinks and is clearly not worth the money. She also points out, right off the bat any guarantee Cooper made about your privacy is negated by the fact that the video arrives in a envelope clearly marked with the name of the product.

Flex Your Rights who are the real authorities on Fourth Amendment protection and whose video Busted I highly recommend as an invaluable tool for marijuana transporters, exposes the dangerous flaws in Cooper's advice on consent to search.

Pete at Drug WarRant didn't see it but points us to a new blogger on me, Tanya, who thinks Cooper is probably still a narc. I've thought that from the beginning and I'm glad that I didn't spend 25 bucks to find out the man is a fraud.

Thanks to those who put out the cash so we didn't have to and as Loretta suggests, if you were tempted to throw away your money on this video, donate it one of the many worthy reform organizations that are working to end the prohibition instead of giving it to this snake-oil salesman whom apparently I judged correctly as merely seeking to make a profit from maintaining prohibition.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

If I need help, I'll ask for it

I've off kilter all day. I didn't get to bed until after 4:00am last night and somebody -- who shall remain unnamed -- called me at 9:00 farookin am this morning knowing full well I would be asleep. I of course didn't answer the phone but I didn't really get back into a good sleep mode and didn't finish my dreaming again. I still got some stuff done but I would have more productive if I had been able to follow my natural rhythm instead of being so rudely awakened by someone who damn well knows my rule but wants to "help" me get on a better schedule. Needless to say, I've a been a little cranky about it all day.

Anyway, I didn't do anything interesting so I'll tell you one more weird thing about me. I like to drink beer and coffee at the same time. When I get too hyped on the caffeine, I drink some beer to mellow out. When I start to crash from the beer, I drink the coffee to perk up again. It works sort of like the mushroom in Alice in Wonderland. If you balance it right, you end up in a state of mellow alertness.

Hey, it works for me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Lazy day

As predicted, I barely moved but it was not a restful day. There was a big Friday news dump so I did a lot of reading and a lot of poliblogging but there are still a half dozen stories I don't have the time or the energy to blog about that I hate to see fall through the cracks. That's the trouble with the news today. There's too damn much of it. And I haven't answered my comments yet. Politic punditry is not a relaxing hobby. There are days I wish I had taken up knitting instead.

Meanwhile, it was cold outside. I didn't even make it to the mailbox today but I did get the recycling out and stood around watching the birds for a while. There was a new call in the usual cacophony and I was trying to get a look at him but he was deep in the holly tree and didn't come into view. It was a really loud call that sounded like a squeaky swing set, the old fashioned metal kind I had as a kid.

I've heard it before up north, but never so close. It was so loud, it sounded like he should have been sitting on the ledge right next to me. I've been wondering all day what sort of bird he might be.

[graphic gratitude]

Drug war hits

This will be old news to the drug reformers who visit here but it's still mentioning that one of the cops who was involved in the death of the Atlanta granny may be charged with murder. I think it's a good thing he'll be held accountable but I hope this doesn't take the heat off the greater investigation into the no-knock, low-knock warrants.

On a happier note, a beneficial side effect of the Democratic sweep in Congress is that Dennis Kucinich is now in charge of the committee that oversees drug policy.
This subcommittee replaces the now-defunct Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources subcommittee, which was headed up by staunch drug warrior, Rep. Mark Souder ( R-IN ). Kucinich will assume many of his oversight duties, including policy oversight of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and appointed Drug Czar John Walters. One commentator on crowed that "the responsibility of overseeing the ONDCP has effectively been transferred from Congress's most reckless drug warrior to its most outspoken drug policy reformer" [his emphasis].
I'm not much for schadenfreude but I have to admit that no matter what happens with this, I'm really glad to see that smug little prig Souder get kicked off his lofty perch as chief Congressional prohibitionist. And I have great hope that Kucinich could actually instill some common sense into the funding process at least.

The administration must think so as well. Bush himself made an appearance to ask for 31% increase in funding for anti-drug ads in his budget proposal. One would hope the Congressmen will have read the internal audit that showed the ads were not only ineffective but in fact counterproductive and contributed to an increase in teens' use of marijuana.

The White House apparently hopes to sidestep those incovenient statistics by changing its focus to meth as is made clear by Souder's remarks to the press. Why they think anti-meth ads wouldn't have the same dismal result is unclear.


My house is a bloody mess. The chances are less than zero I'll be cleaning it today. It's a crash day for me. After 8 days of bulling through that horrendous work rotation, I slept for 11 hours and I'll be fighting the grog from too much sleep all day. I don't acheive consciousness levels on a good day for at least a couple of hours after I wake up. Today I'll probably never attain full altitude. The aches and pains from the exhaustion I ignored for a week, because I had no choice, finally manifests when I have time off. Especially since I'm actually looking at whole week of free time. And I'm still trying to shake off the lingering effects of my crazy dreams.

I always dream hard after I've been sleep deprived. Sometimes they remain more vivid, but I don't remember them much today. It's a more of sense of unease in my subconscious that isn't quite resolved. The only scece is remember well is the last one before I woke up. I had a basket of laundry and I was walking up a empty highway. There were black helicopters buzzing me, coming in low right over my head. For some reason, I went into a brick apartment house, entering a second floor apartment with a door that opened just wide enough to let me get in. There were supposed to stairs to let me get outside again, but instead I found a high balcony. When I went back inside the apartment, the owner was there. He was Asian. I didn't know him but he knew me. He told me to go back out the other door but this time it didn't open wide enough to let me out. He said that it was supposed to be that way because of the bulging brick wall that was squeezing the door frame. At that point I woke up with the sense that I had missed something important.

Who knows what it all means? I certainly don't, but the reality is I'm moving slow and I've neglected all my blogs in the last couple of days so I expect I'll be plugging away here in front of the screen until midnight or so trying to catch up on the news. I'll be back later with a couple of interesting developments on the drug war.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What I Learned Today

Even if you don't use your cell phone at all, it dies if you don't recharge it. Now this may seem obvious to those of you who have using the little buggers for the last ten years but I was very surprised to pull it out to check the time and discover a blank screen.

What a PITA. It reminds me of those electronic pets that were popular many years ago. I forget what their name was, but I remember everybody but me had one, and you had to feed them and take care of them or they would die an electronic death. I never understood why anyone would think entering data into a little box would be fun, although I guess it served a purpose in illustrating how much work a real pet is. I hoped if people failed to keep their virtual pets alive they would realize they shouldn't get a real one. In any event, I'm disconcerted to discover my phone needs an electronic pet level of attention.

Meanwhile, it's been a very long week of 14 hour days and I have to crawl through one more before I get some time off, but I think I'm looking at a six day stretch so bear with me my dears. I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weird meme

Oh yikes. I've been tagged by RSM of When the Smoke Clears. I usually hate being tagged but I like that it was RSM who tagged me, and it comes at an opportune moment. I'm on long week of early calls and this is an easy meme for me.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. I still think about Rob Smith a lot. I often see a news item and remember how much Acidman would have loved that. It's like his memory won't fade.

2. I used to love to drive for long distances. Now I hate to get on the highway.

3. I can't parallel park.

4. I'm extraordinarily fond of a large number of right wing bloggers. In any given week, I read more right wing blogs than left.

5. I have a weakness for men who wear bowties.

6. I know one of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's sons. He was adopted as a small child and has a different name. He's a very nice man.
Tagging six people is more of a challenge. This meme has been going around for a long time and I can't remember who's already done it, but I can think of 3 blogs among the usual suspects where I haven't seen it and would like to, so I'm going to tag Hujonwi, Catfish and Stevie.

Otherwise, it's time to send this meme into greater Blogtopia so I'm tagging the first ones in English that come up on the next blog button. Starting with Naughty Girls. It seems unlikely they'll play but somehow this couldn't be a better link for a Rumblers meme. The boys will love this one.

Continuing on, I'm tagging Capable Garnet from Washington State, who gets some pretty funny memos at work and Tabitha Hooker of Alaska who kinda hit a moose this week.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Colts win - I missed it

I spaced it out after half time and didn't watch any more ads. I answered a few emails and went to bed for this insanely early call. No idea how posting is going to go today. I got about five hours of actual sleep again and it's going to be another long one. But anyway, is it me or was the Superbowl more interesting than usual this year? And anybody have a favorite commercial I should check out on the website? I understand you can see them all at the Superbowl's page.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

I'm didn't get home from work until the end of the first quarter but I see it's a more interesting game than usual. Something actually happened in the first quarter. But since I don't understand anything but touchdowns, I'm just listening to it and only watching the replays of the touchdowns and the commercials. I never live blog but since I'm too brain dead to tell my best Superbowl story and can't talk about my job, I thought I'd give the commercials a try. I'll update as I can.

Chevy commercial with all the singing was pretty good.

Bud Light language school not so much and the stereotypes are going to offend somebody.

Doritos - I didn't get it but maybe you had to know who the guy sitting with Oprah was to get the joke. At least I think that was Oprah.

Go Daddy was cute. I liked it but wasn't knocked out.

Coke - Weird. I didn't get what the message was but I liked the computers graphics.

CBS - I laughed at that one. I rarely watch the "most watched network." I was interested to find out I could see fresh episodes of CSI there. I occassionally feel like watching that but I usually catch a rerun on some cable station late at night.

Budweiser ad with the cute dogs was a winner. Great remix of the Lady and the Tramp love story. Loved it.

Chevy ad with the naked guys was a loser. Too weird and I could have happily lived my life without seeing that skinny old guy.

Bud Light slap ad. Hated it. It was stupid, not at all funny and encourages bad behavior.

Heart at Risk Clever but really weird. I didn't like it but I thought the ending was good.

Coke bottle history lesson was sort of interesting, sort of boring. It didn't quite work.

GM robot was cute but the whole ET schtick is little stale. Liked it but it didn't knock me out.

And it's halftime. I didn't know Prince was playing. I'm going to go watch it.

Halftime show was a little disappointing but the special effects were cool and I thought they all did a manful job in the rain. Prince looks exactly the same in a Dick Clark sort of way. I thought that was weird. So back to the commercials.

Sprint - hate the company, didn't love the ad but the Connective Dysfunction appealed to the wanna be geek in me and made me laugh.

Nothing happening of any import

Sorry I didn't make it back here yesterday. I really had nothing to say. I slept in till almost noon and spent the afternoon blogging politics. Not a hobby I recommend. After reading about politicians for too many hours, you really just want to sleep and hope they're gone in the morning. Of course they never are and the morning comes all too soon.

Needless to say, it was hard to fall asleep last night because I got up so late. It's seems unlikely that will a problem tonight as I was up before dawn again and it's likely to be a long day on only five hours of sleep. It's going to be a long month for me. My work schedule is just brutal and I won't have as much time off as usual. Man, I'm getting too old to keep these kind of hours.

And it's bloody cold. The weather forecast did not cheer me up. It's going to be very winterlike for at least the next week. It's a funny thing. You would think coming from the north that the relatively milder winter wouldn't be so bad but I seem to have lost my cold tolerance altogether which seems to be a common occurrence among transplants here. I was talking to a woman who moved here recently from Nova Scotia and she has the same problem. We were both bundled up while some of the locals walk around in shorts and sandals.

But I should stop whining. I'm still warmer than I used to be in the winter and the light is better here. We get about an hour more at the end of the day so it's not dark until 6:00ish and my energy levels are definitely improving with the increased light. Hope you all have a good day and I'll be back when I get back. I'm sure how the day is going to shake out.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Groundhog's Day

I meant to get here earlier but I inadvertently got embroiled in a little blog drama at The Impolitic. It's crazy really that I'm put in a postion to defend a blogger I rarely read and often disagree with, but this is about manners, not about content. But enough of that, it's Groundhog's Day.

One of my favorite holidays. You don't have to do anything but check the weather. I don't know that we have them here but if we do, the groundhog didn't see his shadow here today. It was deadly dark when I woke up and it was gray and wet all day. I'm looking for an early spring. It's cold here but it already feels like it's moderating again. When the full moon wanes, I think the winter will go with it.

I'm still way sleep deprived so I'm off to bed but I have tomorrow off so I'll be back, but not too early. I am so sleeping in. Hope you all had a cloudy morning as well and are looking forward to an early spring.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Now I lay me down to sleep...

I haven't had any appreciable sleep in three days and I'm back on the work rotation with another insanely early call tomorrow so I'm packing it in for the night but here's the highlights of my day.

It sort of snowed this afternoon. It wasn't enough to even make a midget, snow midget and the rain was cold so I didn't bother to go out and take a picture. I did manage to get out of the house and out of town yesterday though. John and I finally managed to connect after not seeing each other for weeks and he took me out for a fabulous lunch at an Indian restaurant in the big city. Strange location but good food. Why is it that the best Indian restaurants are always in really weird half dead shopping centers?

Meanwhile, my stove went crazy again a couple of days ago and started beeping. It was getting pretty bad and I thought that this time for sure I would have to try to unplug the sucker to get some sleep but I think I managed to break the beeper, or at least get it stuck somehow. I really punched -- and I do mean punched -- in a whole big combo of buttons the last time and I thought I heard a short of buzzing death rattle. When I came home from shopping, it was flashing the code but it wasn't making any noise.

I decided to leave well enough alone, and didn't turn the clock back on. Now instead of a clock, I have this little code flashing on the display. F 1. E 2. F 1. E 2 on into infinitum. I don't care as long as it's silent. I figure I'm good until the next power outage.