The futre (and past) of the GOP

During lunch I picked up NRDC’s OnEarth magazine because there was an article about John McCain and Global Warming. I find that I’m often in agreement with John McCain on very general terms, and he’s a very intelligent and humorous interviewee. I was pleased to read that he’s introducing a new global warming bill, even more aggressive than Lieberman’s recent failed bill. That’s quite a feat – especially for a Republican. But he’s up to the challenge, and knows it won’t be easy.

The article alludes to a strong Teddy Roosevelt connection, which is fine by me. TR left quite a legacy, and I’m quite fond of him. I’m all for McCain as the future of the Republican party. Hell, with comments like “it’s the No Lobbyist Left Behind Act” in reference to his own party’s Energy Bill, I hope he’s the future.

Oh, and there was some information on getting off junk-mail (postal, not e- ) lists:

To all the pety thieves..

My sister had all her camera equipment and music stolen recently. There were other small things stolen, but two of her most prized possessions, her professional Nikon camera and her bounty of CDs, were the biggest loss. The culprits are still at large, though their identity known. Insurance will replace the stolen goods, but the agent warned the agency would promptly drop the policy or raise premiums to regain the cost of the possessions quickly. Ah… piece of mind.

Ultimately, she decided not to make a claim on the stolen items. The thieves won, the insurance company won, and the wall of cynicism in our lives has had several more bricks added to it. Some solace can be had through caustic remarks.

My dad’s contribution:
“To the thieves; You can take my possessions, but not my soul. I can replace my possessions, but you can never replace your soul.”

We’ve all been slighted in some way, and its amazing how powerless it makes you feel. I really hope there is Karma, though it sounds like one of the culprit’s may already be booked paying off other karmic debts. Its f*ckers like these that give Yakima a bad name.

Tyranny of the Bedroom Linen

Tyranny of bedroom linen. Its probably a problem in many homes. I’m just perplexed at the constant need for change in decor when all I want is to be moderately comfortable with livable temperature.

My mom made me a comforter out of 200 weight polar fleece that I’ve had since high school. It was perfect in the spring/summer/fall, and adding a wool blanket underneath provided the additional insulation during the winter.

Like most of my belongings, its a very functional, utilitarian item. It isn’t meant to be attractive unless you’re the kind of person who is drawn to utility as a style.

Old Blue

After Michelle and I were married, we started using a down comforter. It was great during the winter, but a little warm for the spring, summer, and fall. Michelle, who is always cold, needed additional blankets during the winter.

It took some time to agree upon a duvet cover, and the denim was both attractive and provided some utility (resistant to dog puncture). But its kind of dark, and blue isn’t everyone’s favorite color (losers).

Denim Blue

For Christmas this last year, Kathy made us a beautiful quilted comforter. Its absolutely gorgeous, and looks great in our room. The colors please both Michelle and me, but during the coldness of winter (we only heat to 62F), additional blankets were needed.

Now that spring is here, its the right weight without any extra blankets. Which is why I was surprised to come home one day to find the down comforter back on.

Kathy's Quilt

It turns out that one comforter is too fall/winter, despite looking good and being the appropriate weight for spring/summer. The Spring duvet cover may look more like spring, but I’m sweating like a cell mate on death row in my sleep. And its not even summer yet!

The tyranny part is that my sleeping comfort is completely at someone else’s whim. Not only that, but the reasons for the changes are rarely about utility – something I can understand.


When ideology clouds science

Scientific American has a letter from the editors about the Bush White House and its man-handling of scientific data in its decision making. Many have already pointed out the lack of, well, credibility of recent EPA, White House, Defense, Agricultural, (on and on) decisions and announcements of late, but they lacked a poignant parallel story. The editors point out Lysenkoism, a distorted theory forwarded by the Soviet Union, and how the adoption of the theory for ideological reasons essentially retarded scientific advancement in agriculture for decades.

This ideologically biased selection is what drives things like the Clear Skies initiative, which lowers environmental protections despite thorough studies that show its effects upon human and environmental health.

I would prefer that the administration would simply say – “look, we don’t give a shit about your children, the apocalypse is coming, so it won’t matter. Just let us make our money at the temporary expense of you and your family.”

Ironically, it’ll be quite difficult for them to enter heaven if I remember my camel through the eye of a needle parable correctly. But then again, I suppose you can buy your own heaven. One without all those asthma patients.

Riblet Taco

One of the many surprising combinations that comes out of limited food options is today’s lunch – a garden-burger bbq riblet with mozzarella cheese served on a soft taco shell. It was pretty good. I’m sure the dietary value was minimal though.

What other past concoctions have there been? spaghetti-pita sandwich, peanut butter-salami-green onion on a soft taco shell, madras lentils on a soft taco shell, cream cheese and grape jelly on a soft taco shell, hot-dog in a taco shell with red chili sauce. Yes – it seems that the source of gustatory innovation is round bread.

Earth Day 2004

Happy Earth Day 2004. I’ve recreated the logo I have on a t-shirt from Campmor. I’ve had it a long time. I really like it. The message is simple, and I do not consider it blasphemous. Its certainly more appropriate than putting “In God we trust” on money. Two things that really should be separate – one’s relationship with the divine, and one’s relationship with money.

Nature is also divine, but that isn’t enough to save it. The aforementioned connection is quite powerful, which is why we’ve seen the reduction of environmental standards over the years. Many of which are as old as Earth Day itself. Fortunately there are plenty of people who understand the spiritual significance of nature, and are making an effort to remind us why we have environmental protections.

More “Snuff Films for Ethnobotanists”

This fits into my “Snuff Films for Ethnobotanists” collection. Its a collection of images depicting violent power struggles between invasive plant species. Today’s image is a Dandelion seed head that is being choked by a growth of bindweed. I found it just down the street while walking Barley the other morning.

The relationship in this picture is much more blatant that some of the other images, which are more difficult to identify because of the prevalence of chlorophyl. Not to mention the poor planning in shooting the images. Regardless, they all look green!

I feel like I’m seeing more and more invasive plant species around the neighborhood this year. I’m not sure if I’m just noticing it for the first time with the eyes of a gardener, or if the noxious plants are worse this year. Anyone else notice any differences?

Dandelion v. Bindweed

Big Town, Shut Down

While returning from grocery shopping today, I passed by Michelle and my personal sandwich shop, Big Town Hero. I was shocked to see that the location had closed and the signage was completely gone! Sure, there are other locations, but this was the one we ate at while looking at moving to Portland, and during the first couple years of law school. Heck, I’m only two sandwiches short of a free sub.

The manager to the store was great. He ran a tight ship, and the ingredients were always good. Every time he was in the store, the sandwiches were at their best. Some times, when it was just the Wilson High squad, they were lacking, but still adequate. Their “the Italian” quickly became my favorite, surpassing other chain sandwiches like The Little King, Port of Subs, The Sub Shop, and Blimpies.

Its a sad loss, and I blame the other franchise owners for crowding his location. I don’t blame the Subway across the street, because it sucks. Lets just say there are reasons you can have a subway inside a gas station.

Sandwiches are my favorite type of food. The variety of potential ingredients makes for an immense range of gustatory experiences. I’ll deeply miss the location, and don’t know where else to go yet.