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The cat that walks by himself

I have taught Tig to stand up on his hind legs on command, for the simple reward of a bellyrub (which is all he really wants for it). Little did I know that it would lead to his sleepwalking.

Tig walks in his sleep

What have I done?

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The T-word, revisited

The BBC has stripped the words "terror" and "terrorist" from their website reports of the bombings in London. (Hat tip: Gerry.)

Apparently, the bombings are now just "bomb attacks," as if the bombs simply decided to attack London commuters without any help from terrorists. In 24 hours, the BBC has determined that terrorism is not an effective description for the actions that caused the deaths of more than 50 people.

The defining-down of deviancy, to use Patrick Moynihan's apt phrase, continues. Yesterday, these words were on the BBC website:

See scenes across London after the terror attacks

What happened
How the key incidents unfolded on London's day of terror

Today, it is this:

In detail: What happened
Four explosions ripped across central London on Thursday 7 July, killing more than 50 people and injuring 700. This guide explains how the key incidents unfolded.

And the lead to the story, which yesterday read:

A series of explosions has ripped across central London, killing at least 37 people and injuring many hundreds more.

In what appears to have been a co-ordinated terrorist attack, there were blasts on three Underground trains and a bus, as the morning rush hour drew to a close.

Now reads:

Four explosions ripped across central London on Thursday, killing more than 50 people and injuring 700.

The co-ordinated attack hit three Underground trains and a bus, as the morning's rush hour drew to a close.

You can find the word terror a few times on the main page, but it's mostly in reference to people's reactions or in quotes by world leaders. The bombings, apparently, are no longer a terror attack—according to the BBC.

This is the attitude that must be changed. Four bombs planted on three subway trains and a bus—by terrorists—that murdered over 50 people and wounded hundreds are not just "attacks." They are terror attacks, and they are meant to terrorize the people of England into doing what Al Qaeda wants.

The BBC does not serve its public by stripping the word "terrorist" out of its news reports. The BBC joins the group of idiots that thinks terrorists can be reasoned with—if we acknowledge that they're not terrorists, and just figure out what they want, we can make them stop.

Amir Taheri wrote about that very subject yesterday:

Moments after yesterday’s attacks my telephone was buzzing with requests for interviews with one recurring question: but what do they want? That reminded me of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film-maker, who was shot by an Islamist assassin on his way to work in Amsterdam last November. According to witnesses, Van Gogh begged for mercy and tried to reason with his assailant. “Surely we can discuss this,” he kept saying as the shots kept coming. “Let us talk it over.”

Van Gogh, who had angered Islamists with his documentary about the mistreatment of women in Islam, was reacting like BBC reporters did yesterday, assuming that the man who was killing him may have some reasonable demands which could be discussed in a calm, democratic atmosphere.

But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.

Not calling them terrorists is not just a disservice to the British public. It is simply wrong.

Welcome, new readers: There's more to the blog than this post; scroll up and down for last week's post. And check out my main page for the latest in outrage and a plot to destroy the moon. (We like the moon!) Then there's The Jewish View, my new group blog for Jews, news, and views.

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The T-word

My site traffic was up more than twenty percent yesterday. I can't find any major links. Thursday is not a busy day. As far as I can tell, the extra twenty percent were simply curiosity seekers. I assume you all want to know what I think about the London bombings. Well, first let me present an email from Alex Bensky:

Gee, Meryl, I'm confused. Maybe you can offer some clarity. I have noticed that the BBC, Reuters, and almost everyone else refer to the bombers in London as "terrorists." Not, you may note, "fighters" or "militants" or even "activists," but simply "terrorists."

Yet people who commit the same acts against Israelis or Jews are usually called "militants." I haven't got the vaguest idea why this is. Well, OK, I do, but you know I'm hopelessly cynical and I'm sure a more generous-minded person could figure this out.

This isn't the first time he's sent me an email like the above. We think alike, Alex and I. Some of you may have noticed that when a terrorist bomb goes off anywhere in Israel, the perpetrators are not called terrorists. Likewise, when a terrorist blows up a bomb in Iraq, even though children and other innocents are murdered, the bombers are not called terrorists. They are "insurgents." I find both of these cases highly offensive. But in this case, the offenses are just beginning.

The T-word came into play in many places today where it usually does not appear. First, the BBC:

A series of explosions has ripped across central London, killing at least 37 people and injuring many hundreds more.

In what appears to have been a co-ordinated terrorist attack, there were blasts on three Underground trains and a bus, as the morning rush hour drew to a close.

Oh, it was like pulling teeth to get the BBC to use the T-word, but use it they did. Several times.

See scenes across London after the terror attacks

What happened
How the key incidents unfolded on London's day of terror

The New York Times had no trouble using the T-word, either.

LONDON, July 7 - Bomb explosions tore through three subway trains and a red-painted double-decker bus in a coordinated terror attack during London's morning rush hour on Thursday, killing at least 37 people, wounding about 700 and leaving the city stunned and bloodied but oddly stoic.

Nor did the AP.

London Terror Bombings Kill 37, Wound 700
LONDON (AP) - Terror struck in the heart of London on Thursday as explosions ripped through three subway trains and blasted the roof off a crowded red double-decker bus. At least 37 people were killed and more than 700 wounded in the deadliest attack on the city since the blitz in World War II.

[...] Police said there had been no warning and that the blasts at three subway stations went off within 26 minutes, starting at 8:51 a.m. in an Underground train just outside the financial district. Authorities initially blamed a power surge but realized it was a terror attack after the bus bombing near the British Museum at 9:47 a.m. - less than an hour after the first explosion.

Unlike Alex, I couldn't find Reuters using the T-word in its reporting. I could, however, find this eight paragraphs into a Reuters article on world opinion on the terrorist attack:

Iran and Syria, both on Washington's list of states sponsoring terrorism, joined an unbroken chorus of condemnation, as did the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah guerrillas.

Later in the article, there is a quote about terror from a Lebanese. The Lebanese have apparently been suffering from terror attacks for thirty years. The quote was the least offensive in a reprehensible report of reactions from the Middle East. (There is no quote from Hizollah in the article; it is referenced only in that paragraph.)

The bombs drew shock and sympathy from Middle Eastern capitals, some of them all too familiar with street bloodshed.

"We've been experiencing terrorism for 30 years," Samira Murr, a Lebanese teacher in her 50s, said in Beirut. "It's like the Madrid bombings, like the 9/11 attacks. We feel we are not safe anywhere in the world any more."

Right. Because Lebanese have been targeted by terrorists the world over. Oh, no, my bad. Those would be Israelis. And Jews in Argentina, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and—well, you get the idea.

Reuters quotes the state that gave us Al-Qaeda.

"It is a heinous act," Saudi Arabia's Social Affairs Minister Abdulmohsen Al-Akkas said.

The Saudis should know.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad condemned "these detested acts," while Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said the bombings showed "the need to stand up to the evil of terrorism in any country, as we are doing now in Iraq."

Then they quote the state that gives us the Damascus office of many terrorist groups, as well as the training ground for murderers to enter Iraq. Reuters interposes a terror-enabling head of state, Baby Assad, with a man who actually calls a terrorist a terrorist—the prime minister of Iraq. But Reuters must sink even lower. First, they want to make the palestinians look good.

"We condemn with the strongest possible terms these explosions, and convey our sincere condolences to the British people and government," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Then, they want to make the Israelis look bad.

Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom sought to compare the attacks with his country's struggle against Palestinian militants who have used suicide bombings against civilians.

Because bombings against civilians have absolutely nothing in common with, say, bombings against civilians. Terrorism has nothing do to with terrorism. Well, unless you invoke the Exception Clause.

"This attack shows us once again that terrorism is not Israel's problem only," he said.

Nothing wrong with that. Unless you're Reuters, apparently.

But give Reuters a minute. They haven't sunk as low as they could possibly sink, yet.

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, responsible for many suicide attacks on Israelis, condemned the London bombings.

"Targeting civilians in their transport means and lives is denounced and rejected," Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of the group's political bureau told Reuters in Damascus by telephone.

I am utterly without a sane comment to this. Reuters is quoting Hamas—effing Hamas, whom they identify as suicide bombers—as condemning the bombing of civilians on buses. Take a quick look here at the number Hamas bombing attacks of civilians on buses.

Oh, I know that Hamas insists there are no civilians in Israel, but still—Reuters quoted them. And sent that quote around the world on its wire services.

When I get home from work tonight, I will search Google News for that quote, and see how many newspapers picked it up.

I feel terribly for our British friends. But I maintain that Al Qaeda has been directly influenced by the world's refusal to call palestinian terrorism what it is: Terrorism. Bombings in Israel have been shown to work, especially in the area of public relations. Yasser Arafat, mass murderer of Jews, was fêted the world over and actually won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Europeans are secretly (openly, now) dealing with Hamas. They refuse to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

As long as the world allows certain groups to use terror as a weapon and go unpunished for it, any group that wishes to do the same will continue to do so.

Until the world recognizes all terror for what it is—and that includes terrorism in Iraq, and especially terrorism in Israel—the terror groups will keep bombing civilians.

Let's stop ignoring the T-word, and call a terrorist a terrorist, and a terror attack a terror attack—no matter where it occurs.

Welcome, new readers: There's more to the blog than this post; scroll up and down for last week's post. And check out my main page for the latest in outrage and a plot to destroy the moon. (We like the moon!) Then there's The Jewish View, my new group blog for Jews, news, and views.

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My heart goes out to the victims of today's terrorist attacks.

Al Qaeda and its ilk are a cancer on humanity that needs to be removed.

I was out all day, though I heard about the attacks this morning. There's almost nothing else I can say.


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Engrish spam

Every so often, I get a piece of spam that's utterly charming. Even though I have no intention of responding, I love the mangling of the language extant in this piece.

Dear ,

We are very glad to know you from Internet,
We are an advertisement making factory in Shenzhen of China,
We hope to detail our services to you,
and look forward to mutual cooperation between us.

I would very much like you to detail your services and also look forward to mutual cooperation.

Speciality of our factory:
1. Color poster by spray
Including all kinds of poster, Outdoor and indoor banners, Exhibition apparatus, Stickers, Light slices, Exhibition boards of foam, Transparent slices and more..

Interesting. I wonder what "Light slices" might be? And why would I want "transparent slices"? Nobody would be able to see them.

2. Color items by printing
Including all kinds of paper printing, Catalogues, Handbags, Cards, Boxes, Stick papers, Hanging brands, Document pouches, Envelopes, Letter paper, Carbon paper and more.

Stick papers! They sell stick papers! Well, all right! No more sticks, no more papers. Now, you can have stick papers!

If you have products to need producing or cost accounting, please tell us the name of product, size, quantity,
the color, the material, the basic design, use occasion and method, etc..

I may have products to need producing someday. One never knows. I shall keep you in mind.

The trade is very convenient, If you are in Hong Kong,
We have account No. in Hong Kong, and can deliver after payments,
For other overseas buyers, You can handle remittance through "Western Union" at "",
The goods can entrust the Express delivery company to send to your office.

You know, it's good to know there's someone out there that the goods can entrust. Those goods are extremely mistrustful, having been screwed over by who knows how many delivery companies.

Thanks and best wishes,

Isn't that sweet? Best wishes to you, too.

AD Factory of Shenzhen

Leo? I think it's more like Lao or Li or even Lo, but not Leo. Leo isn't a Chinese name, is it?

Anyway. Like I said, every once in a while, I get a spam that makes me smile instead of grimace, and this was one of them.

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Israel news roundup

Another day, another church divestment: The United Council of Churches (who?) voted to use "economic leverage" to bring peace. Because, y'know, Caterpillar has suffered so badly from the divestment that its stock is at its highest levels in years. The UCC has also declared that the wall must come down.

"The wall has devastating effects on the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians," Makari said. "It prevents the opportunity for interaction for people who desperately want there to be peace."

David Elcott, the American Jewish Committee's U.S. Director of Interreligious Affairs, criticized the measure.

"We understand Christian concerns about a wall, but we believe that saving human lives is more significant than property," he said. "That wall has saved the lives of Jews, Christians and Muslims."

Yes, and the statistics prove it. Suicide bombings are way down since the wall went up. But let's look at the UCC news release:

During debate, delegates rejected an amendment that would have suggested that Israel move the wall to its own territory. Though acknowledging that Israelis have a right to protect themselves from terror, the nearly 1000 Synod delegates felt that Biblical teaching in Ephesians 2 describes God’s spirit of reconciliation: dividing walls — and the hostility between people — are to be broken down.

News flash, kiddies: Most Israelis are Jewish. Try to find us some references in the Torah, willya? Not that I think you will, nor that I care if you do, but hey—it'd be nice, for a change. And, oh yeah—the wall isn't coming down anytime soon.

More, more, we want more! The PA is raising a new propaganda point. Five bucks says the world picks up on it and takes their side.

Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Mohammed Dahalan, in charge of coordinating disengagement with Israel, has raised questions on the status of the current Gaza Strip border demarcations, according to National Security Council chief Giora Eiland.

[...] According to Eiland, in talks with Israeli counterparts, Dahalan claimed the northern Gaza border had been moved 2 km to the south, and the Palestinians were demanding that it be recognized as such according to 1949 armistice lines.

But Eiland insisted Israel had made it "clear" to the Palestinians that the Gaza border recognized by Israel was set with Egypt in 1950 in a protocol with a map, and the same border was reconfirmed in 1994 under the Oslo accords. He said that the protocol had recognized a land swap in which the territory of the strip had been moved south by 2 km but had also moved to the east.

They're looking for a new Shebaa Farms so they can claim falsely that Israel isn't sticking to previous agreements. Let's see how many mainstream media outlets start picking this one up.

What cease-fire? Let's see. Mortars shelling Israeli civilians, check. Kassam rockets fired at towns inside of Israel, check. Shots fired at IDF soldiers, check. Yep, the cease-fire is holding. The IDF has ceased firing at the terrorists.

A first step? So the question is, is this the first step in an Egyptian plan to remilitarize the Sinai and have weapons pointed toward Israel again? Or is it simply a necessary part of patrolling Gaza?

Israel has agreed to allow Egypt to place a movable military port on the El Arish coast in the northern Sinai for the use of guard boats meant to prevent weapons smuggling.

Israel is demanding that Egypt take responsibility for preventing arms smuggling between Egypt and Gaza.

The port deal is part of a draft agreement between the two countries that would see Egyptian forces deployed along the Philadelphi route on the Gaza-Egypt border.

The "portable pier," as the port is being called in a compromise term, can be dismantled and so is not considered a permanent port, to which the Israeli negotiation team had objected.

Color me skeptical. Egypt is making noises like it wants to put army bases in the Sinai, which is strictly forbidden by the 1973 treaty.

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No boys allowed

So what do you think of the girls' decorations for the Fourth?

Yep, those are tiny American flags on their thumbs and toenails. Oh, they don't have thirteen stripes and fifty stars, but the spirit is there.

Here are the owners of the toes.

They are modeling the shirts that they tie-dyed red, white and blue earlier in the day. Sorena (center) likes to go all-out for things like birthdays and holidays. This was both, come to think of it, though we didn't make Uncle Sam a cake.

We had a lovely time. No boys came along (the fireworks were too late for G., who had to work early the next morning) and none are allowed on the Busch Gardens trip we're taking on Thursday. Just Heidi, me, Sorena, and her two friends.

I wonder how much longer they're going to allow Heidi and me to hang with them. They're nearly at that age. Well, come to think of it, then Heidi and I get to go places without kids trailing after us. Hm. There are rewards.

I like hanging with the kids. They're fun. Of course, they're now asking questions when Heidi and I blithely go about our conversations like we always have. Used to be the kids ignored us and did their own things; now they want to know who we're talking about and why our voices suddenly got lower and what don't we want them to hear. Okay, I'm lying; I'm so used to them not paying attention that I don't bother to lower my voice when Heidi and I start talking about something that might be a bit beyond their level. Gonna have to get used to their actually listening now. Last night, I told them some of the rules of dating I've developed over the years. The one that amused them: Never, ever date a man whose name rhymes with "forest." That's because a guy named Orist (some kind of Slovakian name) dumped a good friend of mine in the worst way she'd ever been dumped, and it devasted her for ages, and she needed something to cheer her up. The rule did make her smile then, and for a long time after.

I haven't told them my Hemingway rule yet. They're too young for it. It's this: Never date a man who admires Ernest Hemingway not because of his writing talent, but for the way he killed himself. I will say in my defense that he did not tell me this until after we'd been dating, and I was looking for a way out due to his erratic behavior. I broke up with him shortly after learning about his fixation with suicide and shotguns, and maybe someday I'll tell you about the suicide message he left on my answering machine, my response to him, and the days of near-stalking afterwards. I am not up for that today.

But damn, I'm never dating another man who even remotely worships Hemingway's way of death. I may never date another man who even likes Hemingway. I can't stand the man, myself. Most overrated author of the twentieth century, if you ask me.

He'd probably have hated being with Heidi and me and the girls on the Fourth. But we had a great time.

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Dude looks like a rabbi

So like, I was reading this post about this neo-Nazi rally the other week, and, like, this dude is quoting some rabbi dude, and I looked at the link, and like, the dude isn't a rabbi, so I was like, "Dude, that dude isn't a rabbi, and, like, dude, he isn't even Jewish." And Wind Rider was like, "Like, he was there, and he was talking, and he had all these other people around him who were wearing Jewish hats, so like, shut up." And I was like, "Dude, he's not a rabbi, and they're not Jews. They're fakes, man.*" And he was like, "Shut UP. They're Jews, and he's a rabbi, and you're not being germane to the point." And I was like, "Man, I ain't German, and they ain't Jews, and, like, you were the one who made him the main spokesman in your post," and he was like, "I SAID SHUT UP, BITCH, THEY'RE JEWS! AND YOU'RE TANGENTIAL TO THE POINT" and I was like, whoa, I've never been in Tangential before, do they have decent waves?

So, like, I was like keeping all my stuff in email, except for like this one comment that said the dude wasn't a rabbi, and like, Wind Rider starts quoting my email all in public, and says something stupid about KFC (not kosher, but mmm, KFC), and I'm like, "Dude, you shouldn't be bringing this into public view," and he's like, "You deserved it. You shouldn't have told me what to think," and I'm like, "Dude, all I did was point out to you that the dude isn't a rabbi," and he was like, "IN YOUR OPINION! SHUT! UP! BITCH! STOP TRYING TO TELL ME WHAT TO POST!" and like, except on the KFC post, he closed down comments, and like, if I could, it'd be first, "Dude, according to Jewish law, the dude isn't a rabbi or a Jew," and then second, "Dude, WTF is your problem, did something, like, crawl up your ass and die?"

So like, the SR database died, and I was like, well, that's funny, even G-d is pissed off about the fake rabbi, and he was like, "SHUT! UP! BITCH!" and I was like, it was a joke. And he was all, "NOT FUNNY!" and posted something else about my shutting up or else, so I was all, time to leave, buh-bye! and he was all, "BITCH! I'LL TELL YOU WHEN YOU CAN LEAVE! BIGOT! FALWELL! SAUDI ARABIA! LAST WORD!!" and I was like, "What?" 'Cause like, I don't really get that part. But I was all, whoa, this dude has lost it, just back away slowly. But, like, now it's been a few days, and I'm like, whoa, dude took my email and posted it in public, dude thinks it's okay to insult me if he doesn't use my name, and dude thinks I'm just gonna lie back and take it.





(Like, yeah, those three words are s'posed to remind you of three other words in a comment somewhere, so, like, no, you're not having flashbacks.)

So, like, the dude isn't a rabbi. He's a fraud. And, like, you can't close down comments on this post, dude, so like, stick that in your KFC and eat it.

*Note: There is absolutely no way an Orthodox Jew would be at a that rally on Shabbat. No. Effing. Way. All those people wearing kippas were most likely his church group, which was joined by "six other church groups"—in his own words. Next time, try reading the articles you link.

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Other people's words

Ilyka is on an absolute roll. I like this post on Karl Rove and the Dems, and am utterly afraid to ask how long it took her to write it. All those links! Yeesh. But my favorite of hers: This one had me laughing out loud. Sorry, can't mention the content without upsetting delicate sensibilities. Just go. Oh, yeah, I really liked that one. (And the comment and response from Ilyka is priceless.)

Then there's this:

You know how the explanation Tolkien gave for the origin of the Orcs was that Melkor perverted a bunch of elves and then bred them, being unable to create any life of his own? That is the Dallas tamale, right there. It is the Orc of the tamale kingdom. It is sad. I gave up ever ordering tamales in Dallas because even to look at one made me cry.

When she can make you laugh over a food post that you're not really interested in in the first place, she is good. The only tamales I ever liked were made by my aunt's Mexican stepdaughter. Come to think of it, that was the only Mexican food I ever liked.

Hubris has the final chapter in Roadhouse Revisited, and it is rather ironic that while I was chatting with Lair Simon, Roadhouse was on TNT or TBS or one of those Turner stations, and even with the sound off, I was howling with laughter at how bad it was. Hubris also manages to go after Tom Cruise and Lindsay Lohan, while taking a great swipe at the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor. Oh, and thanks a lot for that non-worksafe title that I found while surfing during a slow time at work. Yeah, trying to get a job while temping and being snagged with that particular piece. If I don't get this job, Hubris, I'm comin' for you.

I'll be back soon with some of my own words, and some of the major media's. In the meantime, since I got out of work early, I'm also posting at The Jewish View. Face it, folks, I'm going to move most of the cut-and-paste Jew news over there, not here. Put it on your blogroll and RSS feeds. Don't worry. The essays will be here, too.

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The reason for it all: A Glorious Fourth

Every year, this goes up on my weblog on this day:

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You can read the rest of it here.

Let there be fireworks, and bells tolling, and celebrations throughout the land. And if you didn't already know this, the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from Leviticus.

"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof - Lev. XXV, v. x. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania [sic] for the State House in Philada."

I read somewhere that The Founders were strongly influenced by Jewish law when they were setting up ours. I'd love to be able to source that.

In any case, have a glorious Fourth. I will be spending it with Heidi and family and friends, topped off, of course, by fireworks at Fort Lee. Here are last year's pictures . I'll get some more today and have them up later in the week.

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On this Fourth of July...

Let's all be glad we're not French fact-checkers. Via Charles.

The most recent senator to test his luck and fail, of course, was John Kerry, who continues to keep his name in the news as he bides his time waiting for the 2008 race, sponsoring legislation on health care for children, and issuing pronouncements against US Iraq policy in newspapers and from the Senate floor, as the [sic]did this week.

Governors have had much better luck in winning the Oval Office which has given several chiefs executives from various US states to weigh their chances in 2008. Chief among them is actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, currently head of California’s state government.

Gee, that European education really is superior to our lowly American education, where any American can tell you that Arnold, a native Austrian, is ineligible to run for President. According to that silly little document known as our Constitution.

So much for four layers of editing and fact-checking, too.

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Mid-weekend report

Yesterday at the G.'s was a fun and tiring day. We went bowling—Larry, Sarah, all four of the kids, and me. Y'know, they've really changed bowling since I was a kid. Remember getting gutter ball after gutter ball when you were six? Well, now they have these bumpers that they pull up, so that if a kid wants to make a gutter ball, he's got to really work at it. And they have a ramp for toddlers. You help them carry the ball, put it on top of the toddler-height ramp, and watch them roll the ball down. And knock down pins.

The upshot of all these changes? Let's see. I haven't bowled in about a year or two. Sarah is an indifferent (and happy about it) bowler. Larry is badly out of practice.

Rebecca, their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, kicked our asses. Well, except Larry pulled out a few extra pins in the last frames of the last game, and wound up ahead by seven pins.

A three-year-old kicked my ass in bowling.

I would hang my head in shame, but, well, I'm not ashamed. It was fun. So were the fireworks sparklers we lit off last night. The agenda for the day: Over to Heidi's for dinner and, and tomorrow, the Fourth of July stuff commences in full. Or I might sit by the pool with Margo later. Or we may hit the movies. Not quite sure yet.

Blogging is really not high on the agenda.

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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.