Origins of the swine flu


Made you laugh!

I know this is serious business, we’re up to our armpits in alerts at work.  The California Health Alert Network actually called my home phone last night.  10:30 on a Sunday night.  It was so exciting!

Or not, it was just a recording telling me to go look at my email.  They’d bumped up the alert status.  Still, it gave me a thrill to be part of it.

Various vexations in Virginia

I have my hotel room window Wide Open – haven’t been in a hotel room with a suicide window in a long time.  I’ve kept it open most of the time I’m here.  This morning I’ve been hearing loud calls from big Canadian geese circling the buildings.  They act like they lost something, keep coming back looking for it.  Their calls draw me to the window every time.  I hang out the window and call back to them, just in case it’s me they’re looking for.  I should put some clothes on.

I’m packing up; we’re leaving at 11 but I thought I’d get some hotel bashing in first.  The room, particularly the bathroom, smells like a #hobovagina (and did before I went in there!) and the carpet reeeeeallly needs to be cleaned.  My shower curtain rod was only connected on one end so I could theoretically have aimed the water toward the sink and still been covered.  Free coffee downstairs all the time and it’s drinkable.  Cookies sometimes, too, which I have been working (mostly successfully) to avoid. Staff has all been trained to say “Hi!” in a sprightly manner when you’re concentrating on something else (like all the coffee you’re hijacking to your room) and each time it makes me jump.  Good job!  

They have in-room exercise kits, that was cool! Mostly cool because their little gym is 80 degrees and moist from the pool.  No fans.  Makes working out in there more or less impossible if you need any degree of comfort while you do it.  The in-room kit has an 8 lb ball with handles, a yoga block and mat, and some handweights.  Should have a jump rope, too, but maybe that would be too noisy.  Anyway, I can do a little muscle work in-room and a little yoga and my various stretching things so it’s not all bad.  Downstairs they have a nice little pool replete with jr lifeguard.  I went down there and did some water aerobics, that was fun except for the chlorine OD.  It’s always something.

I have many bad things to say about the training we received here, but I’ll save that for another post.  I’ve got to get packing. Literally.

It’s all about perspective

Every now and again I really GET this.  The rest of the time I spend wallowing in my inadequacies.  It’s a little better now that I’m older and don’t give a shit about that many things anymore.   I’m more apt to say “Fuck You, then” to someone I’ve disappointed than “Sorry” and I think that’s probably a good thing as I am discovering it isn’t really my job to keep the whole world happy.

Better late than never, eh?

This is from Cathy Thorne’s EveryDay People – she’s got a newsletter and sends these cute comics out occasionally (not often enough!) on a wide variety of topics which she nails more often than not.

Flower shoot


It was nice today, starting to warm up finally.  I took some more pictures.  Why do I bother?  Because … the iris will die off in a couple of weeks and that will be that for another year.  So even some bad pictures are better than no pictures.

If you click the pic above, it should take you to the picasa web album with a few more spring pics.



Birthday 2009, with Andrew and pre-sushi.


Me and Bob, with my eyes closed AS USUALY.  That would be sake in front of us.  Mmmmm, booze.   Looks like I should be using the redeye setting on the camera, eh?  Yeah.  I have passed on my picture taking skills to my son.

At least he can focus. 🙂

One smart dog

Sissy came in this morning and stood by the bed, flapping her ears and jingling her collar furiously.  This is how she wakes us up.   It’s loud.

I said,  “Sissy, it’s only 5:27,  it’s my birthday and I want some more sleep.  Come back in an hour.”

She dutifully went back to her bed, I went back to sleep, and pretty soon I hear the ears and tags.  And what time do you think it was?  6:27.   Yes.  One hour exactly.

I know Sissy understands English pretty well, but who knew she could tell time?  Wow.  It’s probably because the bedroom clocks are digital.  That makes it easier.   🙂



Besides being a completely transparent way to tell people that it’s my birthday today, it’s a true story.  That’s Sissy on the right.  She’s half pit bull, half lab.  A wonderful dog after she got past her teenage rebel years.

I like their attitude

Mob of Britons blocks Google-cam

Posted: 03 Apr 2009 02:33 PM PDT

The thing that amazes me about my homeland isn’t its willingness to live under state surveillance, but the way we freak out whenever anyone else uses cameras in public. “I was determined to make a stand,” said one local, who helped block a Google Street View car from heading into a Buckinghamshire village.

My dad, who lives just an hour away from Broughton, suggests that the key to understanding this apparent paradox is in the amused contempt that many Britons have for politics. It’s not that they’re sheep: they just think that no matter what powers are given to the police, freedom is guaranteed by the fundamental incompetence of British police. We trust the authorities because the authorities are too stupid and useless to harm us.

This is why Britons will ignore CCTV cameras, but scream bloody murder at Google.


This is from BoingBoing, which you already figured out if you clicked the link.  I follow Rob, he’s rather amusing.