A tree toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed tree toad
But a three-toed toad was she.
The two-toed tree toad tried to win
The three-toed she-toad's heart,
For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree toad trod.
But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain.
He couldn't please her whim.
From her tree toad bower
With her three-toed power
The she-toad vetoed him.
[More great tongue twisters here]
It's going to be a quiet day in the office. My boss is gone for the rest of the week. Before she left, she e-mailed me directions for a few smallish projects. One task will require the help of an IT guru. Unfortunately, the main Guru and his Accolyte both transferred to other agencies last month, leaving us with a new computer technology student who only shows up every few days. Hmm. Challenging.
I hope I can locate this kid today, because without the boss's projects, I would have nothing work-related to do. Seriously. Nothing! This morning, I brought disks in from home, so I can back up personal files I have placed on the office server. That's how "down" this season's downtime has become.
Of course, I do have a certain amount of industry reading material to catch up on. I have my backup file project. The office
xmas nonspecific holiday decorations need to be taken down soon. And, well, you people require lots of attention.
What do you folks do around the office, when you're between big projects? Besides blog, I mean?
The SF Chronicle is also wondering if a Sumatra-style tsunami could hit the Bay Area.
If a magnitude 9.0 shallow earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest today, it "would most probably generate a large local tsunami that would attack Oregon, Washington, (California and Canada) within minutes to an hour," said a leading tsunami scientist, Laura Kong, of UNESCO's International Tsunami Information Centre in Honolulu.
Whatever triggers a future tsunami, Californians need to remember at least one thing, says Richard Eisner, coastal administrative chief for the state Office of Emergency Services:
"If you are on the beach and feel an earthquake that lasts more than 15 to 20 seconds, and you have difficulty standing, you should immediately evacuate to high ground. Don't wait for notification (of a tsunami) because you might have only 10 to 15 minutes (before the tsunami strikes."
Yeah, Anthony, I know Sacramento would be too far away for surfing on tsunami waves. I was just curious.
Since the length of the day can be measured with an accuracy of about 20 microseconds, this model predicts that the change in the length-of-day caused by the earthquake is much too small to be observed.
So apparantly there was a wobble, but it was infinitesmally small. It's the local geography that's the worrisome thing. Another rep from the USGS was quoted as saying that " [S]ome harbours and port facilities may have been raised, lowered, or damaged such that they cannot readily be used in relief efforts."
Litigation continues in the Wal*Mart case I cited earlier.
Wal-Mart sued the city on the state level for not following state environmental guidelines before passing the ordinance. The court favored Turlock in a decision last week.
Wal-Mart is suing the city on the federal level for unfairly singling out their corporation because it is not a California organization. Wal-Mart will wait until the court decision before deciding if a Supercenter is feasible near but not in Turlock.
Now that they lost at the state level, they're continuing the fight at the federal level. I can only imagine that if Wal*Mart loses the federal suit, it will try and get NATO involved next.
Took a drive down the highway on my day off today to see my mom, because, you know, she's my mother and I love her very much and because I accidentally left my purse at her house Saturday. She made lunch and caught me up on all the news I missed on Christmas day. Afterward, we went shopping for a few, highly select post-season bargains like wrapping paper. Then we hit ... Ross.
Does everybody have an area Ross
bottom of the barrel discount clothing store? This is not a store for the faint of heart, those with poor health, or those in a hurry. Long ago, when humans wandered hither and yon in nomadic tribes, the women had the job of gathering foods, herbs, etc. My belief is, we retained this useful knack into modern times. And we shop skanky stores like Ross because they help us keep this skill finely honed.
My job today was to help my mother a two-piece tracksuit. The finalist pieces were in widely-dispursed sections of the store, which required a lot of search time. Ross, the store itself, was a particularly challenging place because none of the effin' clothing was in its normal section. It was a ruddy mess in there. Xmas must've knocked that store flat.
The world of women's clothing is like a jungle, my friends, fraught with fashion danger. That's my best description of the problem in a nutshell. There must be tremendous pressure among second-level designers - those who design every day wear for us non-supermodels - to come up with new looks that will sell. Look what some desperate clothing designer did, on purpose:
Here we see a ladies blouse, my size, in a nice stripe, seemingly perfect for spring. But then, turn it around and -
Gaaah! A fabric flower, smack on the left boob! What the hell is that about?
There were many such booby-traps ::snort:: today. But we fared well with my mom's new tracksuit, thanks to those ol' primordial gathering skills.
Why did I have to learn the hard way that crab enchiladas and margueritas give you terrible, gut-wrenching indigestion?
You'd think that would be the kind of conclusion I'd already extrapolated from a lifetime of Mexican food legends.
From The Gooch:
As a newbie to the Christmas tradition, I, for the life of me, will never understand the logic behind the concept where you, as a parent, drive yourself to the brink of absolute destitution buying gifts for your children and then, BY DESIGN, receive absolutely zero credit for your generosity and instead intentionally convince your kids that the presents under the tree were brought by a mythical fat old man in a red suit who had them manufactured in the North Pole. No offense, but that’s just stupid.
(Was just going to leave you with this guy's funny observation. But it's the middle of the night and I can't sleep, so hang on for a Story.)
Two years ago, right before Christmas, our daughter confronted her dad and demanded to be told the unvarnished Truth About Santa. Unprepared with a backup prevarication, there was nothing he could do but comply. A few minutes later I walked in the door to a tearful 5 year-old with a whole. Lot. To say.
"Daddy says dere's no such thing as Santa! I asked him! I said 'Is dere such thing as Santa', an' he said no! An' you know what else? The Starlight Fairy Barbie I got last year? From Santa? Dat was you! An' you know what else? You know the stockings? The stockings have stuff in dem? Dat was Daddy, an' dat was you! An' you know what else? ..."
Horrible, horrible. Poor BB joined me in the living room, with a funny look of remorse and irony. It probably mirrored my own look at that moment. We always meant to talk about Santa Claus figuratively, I swear we did, but it was so hard to when kids are so literal-minded. My husband and I are simple creatures. We caved. And now we were being brought up on charges.
So BB and Bunny and I had a short series of talks over the next few days. I think she came away with this: There's this great story, a story we all know, which is about giving, receiving, surprises, love, and family togetherness. And every year, people pretend like they're characters in the story. And that's why kids think at first that there's really a Santa. When the kids are older, they give gifts that they make themselves, and they find out they get to act just like Santa, too.
You buy that? Is that a better deal? No way, Mom. Not by a long shot. Well, it's all I got, kid.
One good thing: she was relieved to learn that no big, bearded stranger breaks into the house once a year. Even if he does leave gifts, Bunny told us, she always thought that was just creepy.
This season, when she saw gift tags that said "to the family from Santa", in what was obviously my writing and my wrapping paper, Bunny would sometimes huff in this righteous way, like she was getting ready to correct my grammar. And she barely missed a chance to sit on Santa's lap on an outing with her crew - some lucky mall employee out there has no idea how close he came to having to participate in an impromptu Socratic discussion. It'll take a few more years for the "spirit of Christmas" concept to be well-accepted.
| You scored as Dry Clean Only. What are you doing in with the rest of the clothes? Get out! Although I respect your uniqueness, I do not believe you should be in my laundry basket. We can still be friends.|
Should I wash you with the lights or darks?
created with QuizFarm.com
I really like a funny quiz where I can't guess the results.
I wouldn't miss downtown Sacramento on Christmas eve for anything. It's a ghost town. Only about a tenth of us are here, walking down the sidewalk or cruising the deserted streets. We who are left take things a little slower. We look around a little more. We smile when we catch each other's eye. It's so peaceful and quiet outside today.
In the lobby of my building, I impulsively decide to order a hot chocolate from the coffee kiosk. I strike up a conversation with a woman I've never met. She says she is also happy to be here this morning. "I like it as quiet as possible so I can get my stats done." Inwardly, I boggle at someone who likes stats so much, she does it for a living. Most of us remember that I got a B in Statistics last spring, and counted myself extremely lucky at that.
After she leaves, I celebrate the genius of my new acquaintance by blindly ordering whatever she just did. It turned out to be a white mocha, with peppermint. Sweeter than hot chocolate, if you can imagine. I don't recommend it. Goes to show, it never pays to worship other people.
We'd better stick to "Die Hard" this year for traditional Xmas fare. I'm sure I can't watch It's a Wonderful Life anytime soon, after this decadent article on why Pottersville is better than stuffy ol' Bedford Falls.
By contrast, Pottersville offers a rich variety of nightlife and entertainment. There is something for every taste and every budget. Pool and billiards sharpen hand-eye coordination. Dime-a-dance joints promote bonhomie. Prize fights and strip clubs provide weary citizens with much-needed catharsis. And a pawnshop makes it possible for those temporarily short on funds to participate in the full range of the community's activities.
Geez, it sure is festive around here. Even my home page isn't immune.
Is it me, or has Google finally and utterly gone waay overboard on logo cuteness?
Perhaps it has. Or maybe the seasonal spirit, like all this damn office chocolate, is starting to make my very teeth ache.
Happily, I have two things of a semi-festive nature to look forward to tonight. BB and I are going on a date (an actual date!), followed by the annual viewing of our favorite Christmas movie.
The city of Turlock, California rejected a bid by Wal*Mart to open one of their supercenters in town. Turlock, for the record, already has a regular-sized Wal*Mart, which does really well, so it's not like they're unreasonably blocking the world's largest retailer from operating in the city at all.
But the city council had done its research prior to Wal*Mart's bid, and discovered that whenever the big box store opens in a town, four or five regular-sized grocery stores go out of business, contributing to urban blight. Not to mention the fact that the current Wal*Mart/Safeway shopping center in Turlock, which is a quarter-mile from the proposed site, would have promptly closed, and thus a whole shopping center would have gone to waste.
So Turlock decided to pass an ordinance, banning big box stores altogether. They were entirely within their legal right to do that; and Wal*Mart should have just written off Turlock as a wash, and approached a neighboring town.
Instead, they sued the city. Wal*Mart maintained that Turlock was legally obliged to do an environmental impact report before making an ordinance like that, and that it unfairly limited competition.
Fortunately, the judge in the case disagreed with Wal*Mart.
Judge Roger Beauchesne re-jected Wal-Mart's claim that the ban illegally interfered with retail competition. The judge said the stated goals of the nearly year-old ban — preventing traffic jams and protecting neighborhood grocers — were "reasonably related to the public welfare."
The thing that has pissed me off about this case is the lawsuit. It seemed purely punative. A city has the right to pass ordinances that carry out the General Plan. Wal*Mart, in my opinion, just tried to put the hurt on Turlock and to send a message to smaller towns: don't stand in our way or it'll cost you tens of thousands in legal fees. Turlock could (barely) afford to call the bluff, but what about the next dissenting town?
From the random acts of kindness dept: I had just started to feed the parking meter this morning, when a public works van pulled up. A smiling guy stepped out. "Hold it. Let me just check this meter for you." He opened the meter, returned a quarter to me, and did some trick with a dial inside. "Oh, you see there - could be a problem - now the meter is at zero again - and you get a parking ticket." But when he closed up the meter, the dial was cranked to ten hours. He had given me a day's parking for free. "Boy, it's a good thing you happened along," I joked. He hopped back in the van and sped away.
"I was led down a dark hallway. I found myself in a large room filled with rows of chairs all facing in the same direction," Wilson said. "I sat down, and I was subjected to a series of horrendously overwrought images. I was powerless to stop them. I cried out, but I was silenced by those around me and forced to watch for what seemed like hours."
After several days spent with the song "Think Of Me" playing over and over again in his head, Wilson sought psychiatric treatment.