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Scurrilous rumors

No, I don't like the stuff. Not at all. The rest of the post is true, but not the banana pudding part.

I just don't get why Wind Rider likes to start rumors about me. It's not like he's some others I could mention (but won't). Plus, he's within driving distance, I know where he lives, and I can smack him upside the head anytime I feel like actually going to the effort.

Go figure. | |



First post on the new Vaio

It took us longer to configure my wireless ethernet card than it did to switch hard drives. But I'm posting this on my laptop, the one with a slightly inferior video card (but otherwise superior everything else), and Wind Rider is swearing in the chair next to me over something he's reading on someone else's blog.

Wow, side-by-side blogging. What a concept.

I have to learn to use the dash key again. Look! ---- Look! Sixes! 6666666!!!!

I am so easily amused.

Oh, and by the way: Go see the Chronicles of Riddick. Best SF action flick I've seen since Aliens. | |



It's finally here

The UPS driver arrived about half an hour ago, and my new/old VAIO is here. The former owner kept it in pristine shape. Wow, I feel like it's 1999 all over again.

Off to Wind Rider's tomorrow to get this hard drive put into the other machine, and to take in dinner and a movie. Can't wait to be able to see pictures clearly again. And to have my mobility back.

It just may be time to start that wireless hub I've been thinking about, too.

I'm going to dedicate my first new-VAIO post to Marek, the Timekeeper, and Chaz. Oh, and Eric A. Thanks for the donations, folks! (Go read their blogs.) | |

Smash the palestinian state

Michael Totten posted the same picture I did, the one Zombie took at an anti-Israel protest several weeks ago. (Mirror sites, one, two.) There's an argument raging in his comments, now over 255 posts long, about whether or not the phrase "Smash the Jewish state" is racist, or even bigoted.

So I thought I'd solve the argument in one word. Substitute "palestinian" for "Jewish," and tell me you think the sign is not racist.

Imshin has posted on the subject as well:

Smash the Jewish State. Smash the Jews in it. Smash my nine-year-old daughter. Smash her little collection of Bratz dolls, lovingly collected one by one. Smash our three-month-old kitten. Smash my great grandmother’s Shabbat candlesticks. Smash Ronit’s new baby with her dark skin and bright eyes, suckling milk from her mother’s breast in the shade of the tree. Smash Doctor Assuline, who helped bring her into this world. Smash Luda, who washed the room after mother and daughter had been wheeled away, and Hameed, who built the crib her parents bought for her when they brought her home from the hospital.

Smash the memory of my dead classmate, look-alike of one hate-filled American protester.

What did we do to this tidy, organized, serious man to make him hate us so much that he wants to smash us?

I suppose he will tell you he isn’t an anti-Semite.

He will, Imshin, and so will thousands of people who support his views. Or pretend that they don't. Like the ones in Michael Totten's comment thread.

But we know better. Substitute one word in that sign, and all of its hatred and ugliness is revealed.

Look again at this picture. It is hateful, and the man who made that sign is a Jew-hater. Make no excuses for him. He deserves none. As for those who are making excuses for him—well. Just change one word in that sign, and try to defend it as non-hateful. | |

WMDs found in Richmond

Weapons of mass destruction are being used in Richmond. Evidence of the use of chemical weapons has been described previously, most recently here.

Well, they were used again last night and today. The ants are back, and this time, it's personal. Okay, not really, but hey, that old Jaws tagline was always a hoot to make fun of. Because, like, sharks know that you killed their babies, and they're going to track you down even though you moved thousands of miles away from the New England coast onto a beautiful tropic island (or maybe it was California; it's been a long time since I've seen it, though thinking about it, if I wanted to get away from a shark, the last place I would want to go is a coastal community or an effing island).

I'm rather puzzled because it seems like they're coming out of my sink. I did see one ant on the outside of the kitchen window when I went to spray last night, but they seem to be coming out of my drain. Even more disturbing, I keep seeing really tiny ants, like they've just hatched or something. So on top of using the various ammonia-based cleansers to destroy the ants, I poured bleach down the sink and let it sit for a while. I'm going to stop at Lowe's and get some Terro spray, as was advised previously, and apply that to the outside of my kitchen.

Damned ants. I was talking to Sarah G. last night, and our conversation ended like this: "Shit! The ants are back! Gotta go!"

I hate bugs. | |



Today's moment of kitty zen

I caught this shot of Gracie during one of our evening rituals. Her absolute favorite toy is the type of chain you use for company ID cards. I had a bunch of them some time ago, but they disappeared. I found them a few weeks ago. Now, every night, Gracie leaps onto the bed and waits expectantly for our evening game: The Chasing of the Chain. She looks annoyed in this picture, but she's not. She's having a blast.

Gracie and her chain

It's one of the few things that Gracie likes that Tig doesn't pull a "Me, too!" with. He just lies by the bed and waits until I'm done playing with Gracie, though he sometimes leaps onto the bed and ruins the game.

She's bored stiff right now, what with her refusing to go outside because it's wet and steamy and miserable out. I think I'll head upstairs and play. | |

Israel in the news

Palestinian girls know what to get their fathers for Father' Day: Matching bomb belts.

...two girls, Majda Kohon, 14, and Assil al-Hindi, 15, suspected of planning a terror attack. They were arrested in Nablus along with their fathers. Israel Radio reported one of the girls had recruited the other to carry out a suicide bombing.

Once more, this will be ignored by the world media. An Israeli soldier causes a palestinian child to stub its toe, and you get 1500 stories in the world press berating Israel. The pals continuously try to use children as human bombs, and the world reacts with: Silence.

Then again, the world ignores facts like these, too:

Five suicide bombings have been thwarted since the beginning of the month, and 60 since the beginning of the year, security officials said Thursday.

That's from a week ago. But rest assured, if the pals do manage a successful attack, the world press will include in each of their articles "breaking a period of quiet" or call it a "lull."

It isn't a "lull." It isn't a "period of quiet." It's successful defense against near-daily attempts to murder innocents.

Could it finally be? Terrorists choosing another target?

In a surprise move, Islamic Jihad on Wednesday issued a warning to Egypt against playing a security role in the Gaza Strip after the planned Israeli withdrawal.

[...] Sources in Gaza City said that Abdullah Shami, the leader of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, sent a letter to the Egyptian government earlier this week in which he accused it of agreeing to play a security role to safeguard Israel's interests.

They said the Egyptians were "furious" with the letter, which included a clear threat to to refrain from sending security advisers to Gaza.

Cool! Let's you and him fight.

This one's bound to piss off most of the world:

Whatever painful concessions Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may decide to make in the quest for peace, Jerusalem will not be one of them. Jerusalem will remain the undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish people, Sharon pledged on Wednesday evening at the dedication ceremony of the capital's Menachem Begin Heritage Center.

But not me. I say right on, Arik.

More statistics on stopped attacks:

A mega-terror attack that was to have been carried out by six Hamas bombers was thwarted when the participants were apprehended with explosives while trying to get into Israel through the Karni border crossing, OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen Aharon Ze'evi Farkash informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

[...] Since January, 72 planned suicide bomb attacks have been foiled, and 42 would-be bombers were arrested, he said. Farkash said 10 attacks were carried out.

The UN blasted Israel for flying over Lebanese airspace.

The United Nations on Tuesday called on Israel to stop flying its warplanes over Lebanon, saying violations of the Blue Line frontier which separates the countries could inflame tensions, Reuters reported.

''Regrettably, Israeli air violations of the Blue Line are continuing to take place,'' U N Secretary General Kofi Annan's personal representative for southern Lebanon (PRSG) Staffan De Mistura said in a statement.

''These persistent Israeli overflights contribute to the raising of tension.'' He said 11 air violations, involving 33 aircraft, were recorded on June 11.

No word from the UN on rockets being shot from Lebanon into Israel. Not that I expect it.

Last, but not least, a description of one of the latest thwarted attacks:

IDF troops on Tuesday thwarted a car-bomb attack on the Karni-Netzrim Route in the Gaza Strip.

At around 11 a.m. soldiers from the Shimshon Battalion spotted a car traveling towards the road where Palestinian vehicles are banned. Soldiers called on the driver to stop and then opened fire when he failed to do so.

A tank stationed at the position also fired a shell at the vehicle, which then ran into an earthen embankment that had been prepared previously to prevent such vehicle infiltrations. Shortly afterwards there was a massive explosion.

Check out the link. It has pictures. The PA supposedly took the driver into custody. Probably slapped him on the back and gave him money for another bomb. | |, or; You get what you pay for

Yeah, Dave Winer is an ass. He's been an ass since before I first started reading him. He continues to be an ass by suddenly dumping 3,000 weblogs without any notice. But on the other hand, I have to say that people expecting other people to give them free services just because they're internet services really need to rethink things.

For instance, I just upgraded my Haloscan comments to their premium service. Didn't cost much at all—they'll do it for twelve bucks a year. And I really like the upgrade. I can delete comments from within the box now, and do a host of other things (even change the format, which I will, give me time).

The other thing that users should have been doing is backing up their own data. I still haven't decided on a content management system for this website yet. I'm still doing it the old-fashioned way, building my own HTML. But even if I move to Wordpress or MT, I'll still be creating these posts either in Word or in Dreamweaver (probably the latter), so I don't have to trust a flatfile database not to corrupt my files.

I keep reading about people who are "devastated" that their blogs are gone. Well, that's something else entirely. If this blog disappeared tomorrow, I'd miss it immensely, but I think I'd just forge ahead, just as all of you would do if I stopped posting tomorrow.

No, I'm not going to stop posting tomorrow. Don't sweat it. | |



And the rain rain rain came down down down

We have a deluge going on. It's in its second hour. Tig has been in and out and in and out and in and out. He doesn't mind the rain, because he's a Maine Coon Cat, which means the water simply beads up on his fur, and he shakes it off when he comes inside. Or he would, if we hadn't started a routine some time ago: When he comes in from the rain, I use a dishtowel or paper towel and effectively pet him with the towel, which serves the dual purpose of drying him off and, well, petting him. He now actually demands the rubdown if I don't snap to the second he gets in the door. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's just been going out long enough to get his coat wet so he can come back inside and get his towel petdown. I think he likes it nearly as much as being brushed, which he loves.

Anyway. I'm quite tired. I went climbing with Sorena and Heidi. Well, I belayed them, they climbed. After they left the gym, I climbed with one of the best climbers thesre. This guy warms up on a 5.11. The routes only go to 5.13. It was more than a little humbling, as I'm pretty much a 5.8 climber only just beginning to hit the 5.9s. But I learned a lot climbing with him, and got some pretty nice compliments as well. The walls were way low today—the fear of heights didn't kick in more than a few seconds, then disappeared completely.

Time to go check on the state of the pantyhose and outfit for the interview tomorrow. Never leave these things to the last minute. Oh, time to print out the resume, too. I wonder if I still have that good resume paper sitting around somewhere?

I pushed the interview back an hour. Tomorrow's the day I pick up Ben W. and give him his Jeep ride. I think I need an extra hour to get back, put the windows on the Jeep, and get the windblown look out of my hair.

By the way, when I get back up to speed, I think I'll make fun of DaninVan a lot more. Because he's simply asking for it. To the moon, Alice. To the moon. | |


Sorry, folks, but I've got a full plate right now, which includes a job interview tomorrow (good company, great prospects, cross your fingers), so things are going to be a bit slow today.

I hate posting about light posting, but there you have it.

Dan, you are so dead for insulting my copy editing skills (comments from the post before last, if you're interested). All I did was cut and paste. Blame the Jerusalem Post's copy editor for that screwup.

I'm not perfect, but I'm nearly so. You have to hunt mighty hard to find a typo on these pages.

And on that note: Back soon. | |



In my life

I'd been having email trouble again due to my procrastination about getting Mozilla and another email client installed. Fixed the problem, finally, with a simple compaction of the folders (thanks so much to a tip from the Mozilla FAQ... waitaminute, the TOOLS menu!). So I can access my email again and don't have to lose a year and a half worth of old messages, though I probably should. Somehow, email files get really huge. The one for my synagogue newsletter was over 150 megs. Gone now, the space freed up for more stuff for me.

My new/old Sony Vaio is arriving sometime this week. If it hits town before Thursday, I'll pick it up myself. Otherwise, I have to wait for UPS to deliver it. So far, the tracking number reports it "in the UPS system." Okay. Whatever.

Part of the posting slowdown involves the new job. I now work seven days a week, what with my part-time weekend job at the climbing gym and my part-time weekday job that I picked up recently. And may I say that working seven days a week sucks great big hairy moose—I'll stop there. But a Princeton graduate taught me that one. They have more educated swears, I suppose.

Anyway. What I really ought to do is get a part-time job copy editing again, so I can work at home. And make more money. Perhaps I'll ask Glenn to put up a help-wanted ad for me. It seems to work for everyone else he tries to get a job via the blogosphere.

Tig is going for the record: How many days in a row can he throw up in more than one place? I mean, last night, just before bedtime, I discovered (sigh) he'd done it in the bed. The bed that I'd just washed everything from. Sheets, pillowcases, blankets, mattress pad—he got everything but the blanket. Stupid longhaired cat.

Saturday night was so slow at the gym, that I was belaying a member for free (and yes, the word is belaying, and it means "to anchor a rock climber," not something dirty, so stop thinking those dirty thoughts), and since it's only fair, he asked me if I wanted to climb. Boss said okay, but I wasn't wearing climbing shoes, so I climbed a couple of the party routes that I put kids on every day, including the fifty footer. I felt less anxious than usual about being that high up, and even looked down at Brett. Boy, was he tiny from five stories up.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Sorena and Heidi at the gym. Sorena got into the next step up in the Richmond youth concert orchestra, and she's quite young for the grade she made, so we're celebrating. I'm hoping someone else will be there that I can hop on with, as I want to climb, not just belay. I do that all weekend, thank you.

I really want to start a segment for women only, where I can talk about things like, say, cramps without getting the inevitable jokes from the guys. I mean, really, I need a place to say something like this: The only thing worse than having a stomach problem on the same day you get your worst cramps is having to wear a climbing harness that happens to wrap snugly around every single part of you that hurts. Can you say, "Thank God for Advil"? I knew you could.

Got a letter from a Holocaust denier. Thinking of answering it on the blog. We shall see.

I am a reference in a nonfiction book. I find this fact to be incredibly neat. I'll post about it very soon.

In spite of the crime going on around here, I'm taking the top off the Jeep tonight. Ben W. won his 100 points fair and square, and I promised him a ride in the Jeep. Plus, well, I really want to ride with the top down again. It is truly wonderful to be able to see the moon over your head while you're driving. | |

News roundup

The UN got strong-armed by palestinian terrorists. So they stopped working on rebuilding Jenin.

The United Nations decided over the weekend to suspend its construction project in the Jenin refugee camp after Palestinian gunmen threatened crews rebuilding houses destroyed during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

Five men armed with M-16 rifles raided the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) offices in the camp on Friday to protest that the new houses were two small. The gunmen threatened to harm the UN staff if their demands for larger houses were not met.

Fifty-six years of UNRWA handouts has caused a bit of an entitlement complex, methinks.

Hamas says it won't stop terror attacks even after Israel withdraws from Gaza. Hands up, anyone who is shocked by this news. However, that didn't stop Muhammad Dahlan from inviting Hamas and Islamic Jihad to join the PA's security forces. Those will be some security forces. "Stop, or I'll blow us both up!"

Former Gaza Strip security chief Muhammad Dahlan has invited Hamas and Islamic Jihad members to join the Palestinian Authority security forces, on condition they declare that they have left the movements and are part of the national leadership, Dahlan told The Jerusalem Post.

PA Chairman Yasser Arafat has asked Dahlan to help him prepare Gaza for a PA takeover following an IDF withdrawal. Egypt, Israel, and the US have made it clear they want him to play a major role, and Arafat knows he needs Dahlan's help to take control of Gaza, a PA source said.

Should any Hamas or Islamic Jihad member who joins the security forces leak information to the extremist factions, the PA reserves the right to try them without interference.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have not yet accepted the terms.

Big surprise there. Well, we can always hope for war to break out between the various factions. That would save the IDF the trouble It's obvious that Arafat is working hard to prevent civil war from happening. It remains to be seen how powerful his grip still is. If his enemies sense weakness, watch for all hell to break loose.

More Jew-hatred from Muslims, in an article declaring a fatwa on various palestinian companies that are importing cement from Egypt for use on the security fence:

The council issued a fatwa [religious decree] ruling that any Palestinian who assists in the construction of the "racist separation wall" is an apostate and infidel. It called on Muslims to boycott all those whose names had been linked to the case and to chase them away from their homes.

"The act of building the racist wall is a sin," said a statement issued by the council. "This is an act of infidelity and those involved should be exposed. They are not entitled to burial in a Muslim cemetery, their wives are forbidden to them and free to marry someone else, and they must leave our blessed homeland because they are helping in the Judaization of the Holy Land."

The "Judaization" of the Holy Land. Hey, asshats: The reason it's holy in the first place is because of the Jews. You know, Judaism? The religion from which Muhammad cribbed most of his rules?

The only thing worse than an idiot is a bigoted idiot.

And to close on a positive note, Herb Keinon says there is growing international pressure on Arafat to reform.

The international community is sending clear messages to the Palestinian Authority that if it wants help to rebuild Gaza after Israel withdraws, it must strip PA Chairman Yasser Arafat of much of his power and streamline the security services under an empowered interior minister, Israel diplomatic officials said Saturday.

These demands, according to the Israeli officials, were behind a meeting between PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and the heads of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the various Palestinian security branches during a rare visit by Qurei to Gaza on Saturday.

We'll see. The international community also happens to be the same community that refuses to acknowledge evidence of Arafat's complicity in stealing billions from them, and in terror attacks. So take this analysis with a grain of salt.

| |



The pressure is working

Reuters has a lengthy article about the poor, poor palestinian tunnel builders in Gaza who are being turned on by their own people now.

"Many people now oppose our work. I know of cases where people have noticed others digging a tunnel and they have assaulted them," said Mustafa, a veteran Rafah tunnel builder who declined to give his family name.

Residents have staged no public protests against the tunnel networks for fear of seeming disloyal to the uprising in Rafah, which is dominated by militant factions.

But the tunnel issue has become the talk of the town, with many residents privately urging tunnel builders to cease, and threatening them and their families if they do not.

The backlash has grown since a six-day Israeli siege of Rafah in May that killed 42 people, militants and civilians alike, and displaced hundreds after a spate of demolitions.

Some tunnels have been blocked off by irate residents concerned their adjacent homes might be bulldozed or blown up during the next Israeli army sweep.

Of course it's your typically biased al-Reuters piece. And most puzzling of all, it's in the "Life and Leisure" section. Reuters really is effed up if they think that this article belongs in the same area as articles on how to grow a better garden. But then, they put an article on Iraqi plastic surgeons restoring the ears of deserting soldiers whose ears were cut off on Saddam's orders in the same section. Sure. Arms-smuggling tunnel builders and men whose ears were lopped off for not wanting to serve in a brutal dictator's army—those are the profiles I expect to see in my local paper's Leisure section.

Not. | |


Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary is also a good bet if you've never been here before.