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    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    A real person's experiences with Dr. Tiller

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=22002


    Late Term Abortions happen because they are medically necessary. Being against medical necessity is not being "Pro-Life" it is being "Pro-Matricide" and "Pro-leaving the woman's other kids (if any) orphans" and "Pro-Widower-making."

    Right Wing Terrorism...again....

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/31/kansas.doctor.killed/index.html

    Inevitably the wingnuts will come out and call this act unChristian....but we know they are cheering inside.

    Agree with the right wing or get shot, bombed, maimed, or whatever else they are doing.

    Saturday, May 30, 2009

    The "Other Side" of the gay marriage debate

    I am generally tolerant of the gray areas in life. I understand that although I do not choose to carry a gun and I don't hunt (because I am not enough of a good shot to take an animal down cleanly...I will fish, because that I can do cleanly) that people owning guns are not evil or wrong and I support their right to do so. (I don't support the right of everyone to own a major assault rifle, however.)

    I understand that although *I* would not have an abortion if I suddenly became pregnant (which would be a literal miracle) I certainly support it in others... it's between a woman and her mate, her doctor and her beliefs.

    Gay marriage, however, is not a two-sided issue.

    Either you are *for* people having the right to choose who they spend their life with, who they leave their property to after death, who they have visit them in the hospital and who their kids are taken care of by or you're a bigot.

    Civil marriage, the recognition of a partnership by the state for the purposes of legal protection of property and privacy, is not a religious thing, it has not been a religious thing for centuries, and having it happen to gays (or, for that matter, to plural marriage between consenting adults) does not threaten any religious ceremony. Calling it marriage does not threaten what you call marriage, no more so than all the hundreds of other times the word is used for things other than heterosexual marriage.

    If your church opposes divorce, or marriage after divorce, and does not speak out against it being legal- YOUR CHURCH HAS NO BUSINESS DISCUSSING GAY MARRIAGE... Sure, you can talk about it all you want, but you are hypocrites, and should be ignored.

    If your church views marriage between people of their church and outside of their church as "not a real marriage" and does not speak out against it being legal- YOUR CHURCH, TOO, HAS NO BUSINESS DISCUSSING GAY MARRIAGE. You, too, are hypocrites, and should be ignored.

    If your church has ever refused to recognize a federal governing body because that governing body told you who you could marry- YOUR CHURCH HAS NO BUSINESS DISCUSSING GAY MARRIAGE. (I'm looking at YOU, CLDS.)

    If your church thinks marriage is a sacred right bestowed by a god and has never protested justices of the peace, weddings solemnized by atheists, weddings performed by ship's captains, Elvii and other non-priests- YOUR CHURCH HAS NO BUSINESS DISCUSSING GAY MARRIAGE. You can't suddenly be not okay with non-priests celebrating marriages you don't agree with.

    There is no "other side" of the marriage "debate"... You are either *for* the rights of people and churches to determine for themselves who they enter into a non-religious legal contract (state recognized marriage) with OR YOU ARE A BIGOT.

    Churches currently can refuse to marry whoever they want on bases rational people might find stupid... they might oppose marrying two people of different faiths together, two people of different colors, two people of different sociaoecomonic status, or members of different churches... AND THIS IS FINE because church marriage and state marriage are not the same thing.... people can always be married by a church that does not hold such prejudices, or by a justice of the peace or secular ceremony...

    To refuse to allow gay people the right of SECULAR, STATE MARRIAGE on the basis of your religious prejudices, when you do nothing to stop other people you disagree with from marrying makes you a hypocrite, and a bigot, and worthy of nothing more than being ignored.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Stupid Justices in California

    Congratulations: You're Alabama in 1960. Happy?

    Revision: Actually, you're Alabama in 1901, which "Declared that the legislature could never pass any law authorizing or legalizing "any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a Negro."

    You disgust me, and I hope you secede from the union and stay gone.

    Monday, May 25, 2009

    In all honesty...

    Tomorrow, assuming the universe is ready to correct the vacuum and fix the problem, the California courts will rule the unconstitutional Prop 8 to be unconstitutional.

    Me, I'm terrified of right wing terrorists blowing things up or shooting at us in response to this.

    While the prosaic, games theory understanding part of me is resigned to the fact that a violent crazy right wing backlash will result in more gay rights in less time (with a higher body count) I'd rather we took the slow route of legal change than the fast route of gay bodies ending up stacked up like cordwood until the stupid half of America came to the realization that being on the side of mass murderers and terrorists was bad.

    Like Rick Perlstein in his 2007 article about right wing violence I, too, remember the Right-Wing lead-up to Oklahoma City, and in particular Liddy's alleged joking about shooting the ATF agents in the head. Since his 2007 article, however, the vitriol of the right has gotten more insane, and I am terrified that the setting aside of a unconstitutional ban will drive these people over the edge, and lead to death.

    It's not right that America should be held hostage to the fears that our right wing will turn violent, but the fears are founded, as history as shown, and I'm afraid the fact that the young people of America are (quite intelligently) on the correct side of the history, that DADT is going to go the way of the Dodo and that gay marriage is an eventual DONE DEAL is going to push these people over the edge...

    Add to it the simple fact that *most* of these crazy right wingers follow a bizarre end times pastiche of Christianity that teaches that only those who fight against the antichrist after the rapture will be saved, and I'm certain we will hear the crazies say that the rapture already happened (and, like, 5 people were taken) or that their new version of the Bible puts the rapture after tribulation, or their souls are already raptured, or something stupid, and you've got scary people on a mission from god against the Satan of the US government....

    You know, the same people who hijacked those planes...

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Why I am up at this hour.

    Almost exactly 24 hours ago I was passing a restless night before hearing the results of the hearing, tossing and turning and fighting off a terrible upset stomach. At approximately 3am, still second guessing every word I said to the judge (and in no way expecting to find out the results [by normal mail!] the next day!), I stumbled out of bed to take a benedryl and on my way back managed to trip upon a mechanical pencil.

    The mechanical pencil managed to lodge about 1.25 inches into my foot, at the heel against the arch of my foot...

    It left a 1/4 inch diameter hole in the bottom of my foot which initially bled out profusely.

    While not a terribly significant injury, having missed any joints or tendons, it hurts like hell, and is keeping me awake.

    So if, gentle reader, you sent me an email at 11pm and got a reply at 2:38, you know why.

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    I am officially a statistic: Another "first time unemployed" American.

    My weekly unemployment benefits are only a few dollars less than my pay, so we should be able to exist while I look for another position.

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    This is why this country is not safe.

    As part of my job I was required to be certified to handle radioactive materials.
    YESTERDAY my former employer contacted me to tell me they'd revoked this license (and didn't know who in public safety had deactivated my IDs.)

    That was nearly three months in which I, a disgruntled employee with an active fight for unemployment benefits leading to COURT, had (illegal) access to radioactive materials.

    Thankfully I never took advantage of my access and ACCESSED THOSE MATERIALS.

    ...and that's not mentioning that the majority of post-docs at my former facility are not US citizens and often come from countries who would pay well for such materials...

    Yes, I was screened by the DOD before being granted that access, but a lesser woman than I might've lost it after 3.5 years with Doctor Passive Aggressive.

    My unemployment hearing.

    As some of you know, my passive-aggressive boss eventually led to my quitting because my job made me insane. I had hypertension (for the first time in my life,) stress-related amenorrhea, I went from 2-3 migraines a year to 3-5 migraines A week and was dealing with a buttload of protestant work-ethic guilt that I could not get it all done.

    Today was the day I got to tell a judge that I left my job for my safety and because my health was at risk. When I got to the hearing 30 minutes early the door was locked. We wandered around, and then they opened the door. After the secretary went missing and returned I got a chance to evaluate my file and low and behold my former employer now does not contest my unemployment claim...they agree my boss made me nuts.

    I met with the judge, discussed the hell I've been through and worse, because I was required to, and the judge, I am told, will render a decision in a few days... A FEW DAYS?

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Beautiful Ribes in the Garden

    None ripe yet...but with 80 degrees and sunny here I expect them to ripen fast. Most of these are fuzzy because I had a hard time getting them lit to picture (ribes appear under leaves.)


    Blackcurrants. Notice the Aphid damage on the leaves. It's just starting to not be too cold for non-native ladybugs, and more appear everyday.


    White Currants. None of my reds flowered this year.



    Some Gooseberries. I have about five individual berries of Hinnomaki Red and four of Invicta on my 1-year old bushes.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    The American Military can fight terror, but are too wimpy to handle teh gays...

    Labgrrl has a cousin who is a very photogenic marine, and she's shared the picture on enough occasions to know he exudes the sort of "all-american" blond haired blue eyed (IIRC, his eyes are green or hazel, but same diff) anglo-saxon tall thin testosteroney je ne sais quoi which, if put in a red and black uniform instead of camo, would scream something about Hitler youth and Super Soldiers...

    Forget, for a moment, that when I was 12 and he was 8 I used to pound on him, he grew up tall and Mariney and I didn't grow much more vertically after 12...

    Anyways, I am insulted, on his behalf, that Obama does not believe that this straight all-American guy who instills loyalty in the men under his command can handle having a gay person in the military without quaking in his jump boots.

    My cousin 'ain't' no precious snowflake, who is gonna melt if he knows one of his men (or women) is gay. He's too worried about them getting their arms and legs blown off to worry about who they might blow on the homefront.

    Obama: End don't ask don't tell. This is why you *didn't* win the primary here, because we knew you were a peacemaker, and while that's great, you need to stop disrespecting the world's best military.... they can handle 'teh gayz.' They are big boys (and grrls) and can tie their own boots and everything.

    WORSE, most of these people are coming home to a place where being afraid of 'teh gayz' is doing them a disservice. In many states, discriminating against gays in the workplace is against the law. Elsewhere, the type of fear and loathing that we can expect from people who've been told teh gayz are so sscwary we can't let the marines handle them isn't illegal but still is going to get you fired.

    Those few soldiers who are such precious snowflakes that teh gayz are going to make them get all scwared and have to weave the militwary because they are afwaid are the people we DON'T NEED in the armed forces.

    However, give our military some credit- they aren't cowards...they can handle gay people...seriously...putting a rifle in someone's hand tends to make them grow up fast... we don't need to worry that they aren't man enough to handle men who...handle men...

    Again: THE PRECIOUS SNOWFLAKES in the military who can't handle gays in the military are not the people we need in the military, as they don't have the literal (or in the case of our grrl soldiers, figurative) balls to be proper soldiers... Give a speech, 'bama, where you tell the snowflakes you understand if they can't handle teh gayz and you'll grant them dishonorable discharges without delay... We're the home of the BRAVE, not the bwave, and we don't want cowards representing us, anyways.

    from 10/2008 grrl scientist (no relation) and pictures of barn swallow mourning mate

    http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2008/10/one_of_lifes_tiny_dramas.php

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Eugene Robinson poised to be called a hater, I'm sure, for saying the same exact thing I've said dozens of times....

    http://www.buffalonews.com/248/story/672146.html

    "Believe it or not, often I can see the other side of an argument. I know that tough gun control laws save lives and make our communities safer, for example, but I also see clarity in the Second Amendment. I support affirmative action, but I realize that providing opportunity to some worthy individuals can mean denying opportunity to others. Thinking about some issues involves discerning among subtly graded shades of gray.

    On some issues, though, I really don’t see anything but black and white. Among them is the “question” of granting full equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans, which really isn’t a question at all. It’s a long-overdue imperative, one that the nation is finally beginning to acknowledge. "



    Oh, Gene Jeanie, don't you know that if you see it as black and white, you're a hater?

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Reviving that "old time lawn" Dutch clover

    In Western and Central New York, although the temperatures are drastically different we do have something in common: Alkaline, Nitrogen-poor soil over claypan (A solid 6-18inch layer of clay) and significant winter snow.

    When I was a small child we still planted lawn mixtures that were approximately 50% dutch white clover (Trifolium repens) in these places. Dutch white clover breaks up the soil, fixes nitrogen (allowing the other seeds to grow) and slowly aerates and breaks down the bits of claypan that the freeze-thaw cycle brings to the surface, particularly if followed by heavy rains, a common thing in Syracuse. This leads to what is called "lawn cracking" but is nothing more than the thin topsoil washing away from the thatch of grass, leaving dead grass atop pure clay. You can make pots from this clay...we did so as children at summer camp, baking it in campfires.

    The use of clover as a lawn cover had fallen out of favor in the United States beginning in the 1950s, but you still saw it in Syracuse, and to a lesser extent Buffalo, for the same reason you still see gorgeous Art-Deco and "modern" (in the 1950s) buildings: There was never a boom that lead to these buildings being replaced for "progress" and being Yankees, especially in Central New York, there was no need to fix "what ain't broken.) (Buffalo CNY expat Yankees are all from Onondaga, Oswego and Madison Counties, and came here for the comparatively better employment...there are buttloads of them, many, like myself, who lived in Major metropoli [in my case Philadelphia] before deciding that they'd rather be unemployed than live with insane people.) ...As bizarre as it is to say, Buffalonians are much more culturally a mixture of midwestern and Torontonian, and my friends and neighbors from New England find the same cultural clashes with them here. Beef on Weck? Loganberry? Vernors? Genny Cream Ale? SHUDDER.

    In fact, my Push Reel Mower and my Clover lawn are both things people I grew up with see as just plain smart (If it ain't broke, keep using it!)and my non-yankee neighbors see as eccentric. They ask me where I got the mower like I bought it at an antique store (I got it at Valu, which can barely keep them in stock here, and have them waitlisted east of Rochester) and how the clover "works" like it's some kind of exotic plant.

    Clover started in my backyard when we pulled all the perennials (most of them diseased) from a "garden" the previous tenant had started in the back 40, herein defined as "the last 40 feet of the yard, which does not become a swamp in the spring.) The bare soil and rocks of the area was surrounded by a lawn mixture of about 10% clover, about 50% grasses and about 40% weeds, in this area of the lawn mostly dandelion.

    By this spring, the former "garden" was covered completely with white clover, and what's more, the clover had managed to seed outward, changing our lawn from 10% clover to about 50% clover in the process. We quickly noticed that where there was CLOVER there were no DANDELIONS, and where there was clover the invasive Japanese knotweed was not attempting to spread, so Phoe and I went looking for the clover-containing grass seed we both knew as children....

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

    In most (urban) hardware stores you can get weed killers that will end clover, grass seed GUARANTEED TO BE FREE OF CLOVER and "clover" plants that aren't clover at all.

    We had to *order* our dutch white clover, to fill in the spots previous gardening had left bare, we purchased it from a seed store. Now my backyard, where the clover is taking over, is lush, green, gorgeous and level, even though the ground beneath it is not.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Someone ELSE has a Foucault:

    funny pictures of cats with captions
    see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    My kitty climbed a tree and leapt off from a 12ft high branch to show he could yesterday.


    Here's Foucault the one eyed cat being bored (ie: Not destroying the world):

    Saturday, May 9, 2009

    Urban apples save the world.

    The city of Buffalo is in a unique position right now- it needs to plant trees to restore the canopy after the disastrous storm a few years back officially called "Lake Storm Aphid" but better known as The October Surprise Storm, The Friday the 13th Storm, the Columbus Day Massacre and my personal favorite: Arborgeddon.

    There are a couple of problems with planting trees, as far as the city is concerned. The most obvious one is money, in that the city frankly, doesn't have any. The next is stupid rules, which keep the people from planting their own street trees: Technically, the land between the sidewalk and the street belongs to the city, and you have to get their say-so before you can plant a tree. Thus planting a tree is a problem, and you wait, like my neighbor across the street, for years for a "replacement tree" and it never happens. Many people, like me, give up on the street tree and get themselves a lawn tree. I actually have a tree in the center of my lawn and three against my house, all varieties that stop at about 8ft tall and tolerate shade, existing somewhere between "bush" and tree....but, anyways, stupid tree rules...

    The next problem is that people are under the impression that large street trees lower the value of their property, or that the tree is going to fall on their house or car. The first is stupidity, as studies show that trees increase property value. The second, here in Buffalo, is not a completely wrong prospect, as Lake Storm Aphid and several windstorms later (after trees were already damaged) *did* result in trees dropping on houses and cars... especially in areas like my neighborhood of Riverside, where most of the street trees are brittle silver maples (the one in my backyard, damaged by the storm but not badly, appears to be a freeman maple, and we've started collecting volunteer seedlings from it with unusually colored leaves in the hopes of being able to give them away to people who'd like to plant maples, since they are the offspring of a tree that survived the storm almost unscathed.) We can reduce house and car damage by planting the right trees.

    The rules for street trees, generally defined as trees between the sidewalk and the street are that the trees need to be planted in spaces wider than 14 inches and:

    (b) Street trees must have strong, straight trunks, and the head (crown) of the
    tree must be at least six feet above the ground.
    (8) Trees that are normally brittle, short lived, rapid growing or fibrous rooted shall
    not be planted as street trees. The Commissioner of Human Services, Parks and Recreation
    shall maintain annually updated lists of acceptable trees for various types of plantings, taking
    into account maintenance concerns, costs, habitat concerns and the desirability of using native
    species. The Commissioner shall make copies of lists of acceptable trees available upon
    request.


    There are four major species of trees that Buffalo should invest in:

    Butternuts: The Butternut tree should be placed in areas where there are strong group support mechanisms for evaluating and detecting Butternut Canker. Saplings from suspected resistant cultivars should be used and these trees should be placed in locations where they will be maintained and treated. Surviving Butternut Canker will require genetic DIVERSITY of Butternut trees, so the saplings should be acquired from many different locations.

    To encourage new growth of butternut, and to make additional trees available, new trees should be started periodically from the nuts of the street trees, which will allow more variation and a higher likelihood of finding a completely resistant cultivar. If the city of Buffalo was to discover a resistant cultivar from this process the city could well patent the thing and make money. People ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA would like to replant our native butternut forests.

    Also, butternuts, being in the walnut family, tend to restrict the growth of things under the trees...no massive city weeds on vacant lots. If the city was smart enough to pair butternut planting with tigerlilies or our native viola canadensis they'd elminate street weeds altogether and create a refined and repeating look to the area. Good places for butternuts would be along the edges of parks and properties such as our college campuses where we could easily get volunteers to search for canker.

    People who are afraid of rats liking fruit and nut trees can rest easily knowing the tough butternut is too difficult for most rats to bother with, and they'd rather eat our garbage, anyways.

    ELMS:
    Dutch-elm resistant cultivars can be grown in a large area along streets, using different cultivars to encourage hybridization of resistant species. Like the Butternut, if the city were to discover a silver-bullet elm from this, again, the city could make money. Since the resistant cultivars have a longer history of being grown than the Butternuts they could be evaluated much less often, and the city could just pull the plug on ones that were ill and replace them from our home-grown hybrids.

    AMERICAN CHESTNUTS
    Like the Elms, American Chestnuts have been pretty much eliminated as a street tree because of disease. Also like Elms, resistant cultivars exist and can be planted and hybridized. American Chestnuts, however, can grow to 100ft, and should only be considered as a street tree on large, wide streets where they aren't going to completely shadow the street. You've got Bailey, Main, parts of Walden, Genessee and Sheridan, for example.

    APPLES:
    Everywhere else, and there is a LOT of everywhere else, Buffalo should consider investing in apples and apple pollinators, such as crab apples and the native "apple crab." Make a variety of apple trees available for people to choose from on planting day (perhaps making a questionnaire available) and plant ENTIRE STREETS at a time. Apple trees live naturally in our area as well as being cultivated.

    Apple trees are usually under 30ft in height when mature, and many varieties top out at 15. We can use shorter species on lots with low-hanging lines and in areas like Riverside, where few buildings top 30ft, we can use the natural upper limit of these trees to stop the phenomenon of trees cracking "at the roofline" during windstorms. This will also allow our few remaining landmark trees to remain landmark trees, and reduce the fear people have of trees falling on their houses and causing damage...reducing the number of idiots who "accidentally" kill street trees they consider undesirable.

    Apple trees are tolerant of bad soil, put up with some salt, and have branches adapted to holding heavy clusters of fruit in the wind. This adaptation means that, like willows, they bend, rather than break, in scenarios like Lake Storm Aphid.

    Homeowners would have the choice, before planting day, of selecting from a bunch of cultivars or saying "let the city decide." Likewise, people could choose between one or two tree plantings for most lots. An education campaign could be launched explaining which trees were best for areas with common on-street parking (small fruited crabs) and places where the residents want to commit to picking the variety of their choice and picking them up if they make a mess.

    Large scale urban culture of apple trees allows for the residents to have an understanding of how trees work, where fruit comes from and the rest, presents an opportunity for Buffalo to have an "apple blossom event" every year and with the simple establishment of a prize for the best apple tree could result in people being pro-active against diseases. MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOWEVER, our city would be providing support for the bee and butterfly/moth pollinators that our state's huge fruit producing region NEEDS to survive.
    We could be a sentinel location for the movement of diseases (catching them here first) and have a strong, healthy identity as a place where the people are sufficient, surrounded by beauty, and working with the land, instead of against it.

    Friday, May 8, 2009

    For other sony people, I needed to embed this

    In honor of my broken vaio:





    Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work

    Yup, it's the hardware.

    Can't recover, can't load windows, gets hot hot hot.

    Now, to get the warranty honored....

    Yuppers, not vista

    It seems to be a hardware problem. I'm trying to restore the system anyways, but this is why I bought the extended warranty, and WHY I do weekly backups and the like.

    I may have to limp along with my 6 year old thinkpad at this point. WAHH!!!

    Just a quick FYI

    I am having a BSOD day on my laptop. I'll probably spend a chunk of the day fixing my computer.

    This is the first, and only, time I've had any trouble with Vista. Over all, I've found it to be a very stable OS- other people's experiences be damned.

    Frankly, I don't even think this is a Vista problem, but I've got to figure out what the problem is. Most likely, based on the fact that I have a 17 year old, something got uploaded that should not have.

    As I go through the diagnostics and fix this all, I've got to say I'm damned impressed with the VAIO recovery tools.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    GOSH DARN IT!!!!!

    While putting up the trellis for the tomatoes I managed to step in a previously undiscovered hole from Ulysses the cat (he digs them while he hunts moles) and go down sideways on my ankle. Since I am now without health insurance, I will have to hope and pray this is not a serious injury and treat it at home.

    If I'd been wearing one of my 16 pairs of chucks, this would not have happened, as the reason I *started* wearing them was that the extra support on my weak ankles stops me from falling down when I step on an uneven surface.

    BUT, I was, instead, wearing Birkenstocks, with no support in the ankle, went down tumbling (and fell really well, all things considered) and twisted my ankle sideways. I immediately took some ibuprofen, but the amount of swelling indicates a minor sprain.

    I should probably get an x-ray, but I won't be, because I can't afford it.

    YOU KNOW, when republicans complain that universal health care will mean waiting in lines, I've got to say waiting in line would be preferable to NO CARE AT ALL.

    Just when I've recovered from a bajillion stress related ailments, I damage myself and get a migraine in so short a timeframe.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Three words that no one should ever have to face together...& TMI

    Orgasm. Induced. Migraine.

    That's it. There is no post to follow it...just, you know, What kinda god came up with postcoital cephalgia?