...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

March 30, 2004

Ride Through Chernobyl

Via Anne SFTH's recommendation, i checked out this website/photo essay by a Ukrainian chick who toured the ghost town of Chernobyl on her motorcycle.

It takes a few minutes to go through all the photos, but they're fascinating and definitely worth your time. Her prose is cool too, she writes with a charming accent:

Motorcycling is a great hobby of mine. I ride all my life and I owned different bikes and I ended with big kawasaki ninja. This motorbike has matured 147 horse powers, some serious bark, it is that fast like a bullet and comfortable for a long trips. I travel a lot and my favorite destination lead through so called Chernobyl 'dead zone' It is 130kms from my home. Why favourite? because one can ride there for hours and not meet any single car and not to see any single soul. People left and nature is blooming, there are beautiful places, woods, lakes. Roads haven't been built or repaired since 80th but in places where they haven't been ridden by trucks or army technics, they stay in the same condition as 20 years ago. Time do not ruin roads.
Haunting photographs and lots of information that i didn't know. (i was nine when the disaster happened.) She uses the European method of writing numbers, which threw me at first. For instance, she says that the "radiation will stay in Chernobil area for the next 48.000 years." i thought forty-eight years, that's all? Then i realized, she was saying forty-eight thousand years!

Truly amazing, and so sad. Chernobyl is like Pompeii. It's a time capsule, but more than just a capsule of the Eighties, Chernobyl is a snapshot of the Soviet Union. It's all that remains of a society that no longer exists. There's Elena, on a big Kawasaki Ninja, visiting the Soviet factory that once made the dream bike of Soviet teenagers in the 1980's: a top-of-the-line scooter with only 26 horsepower. So much has changed.

Posted by annika at 07:57 PM | Comments (27)

A Full Broadside, No Hits

Interesting USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll results yesterday. Some mixed results, but clearly, the poll trends toward Bush. i'm left wondering how such a thing is possible in the face of the full court press being made by Don Hewitt and others of his ilk.

(i know, i'm mixing sports and naval metaphors.)

Question 2 asks:

If Massachusetts Senator John Kerry were the Democratic Party's candidate and George W. Bush were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for?
Bush's March 5-7 number was 44%. Despite Dick Clark, Bush's number has risen to 51%! Kerry's dropped from 52% to 47% during the same period. Those numbers were for likely voters. Kerry's drop was similar in the registered voter and national adult categories, while Bush's gains were more modest.

On overall job approval and Iraq, the presidents numbers are creeping back up. The only hint that anyone's been listening to Dick Clark is that Bush's numbers on terrorism were down 7% since March 5-7.

Has the Clark strategy been ineffective? Will the Democrats run out of new ways to smear Bush before the summer is over? When they run out of ways to distract the public from just how bad a candidate they've chosen, look out below!

Posted by annika at 04:12 PM | Comments (5)

March 29, 2004

20 Questions For Kerry

The Smarter Cop poses 20 questions he (and i) would like to hear Kerry answer. Some excerpts:

1. How common was it to get 3 purple hearts in just three months?

. . .

6. Will you essentially let Iran have their way, in return for their endorsement?

7. Exactly how do you relate to the lower- and middle-classes from your $4.9 million dollar Idaho compound, in which is a great room containing a 15th century English barn imported and reconstructed beam-by-beam by a British carpenter?

. . .

9. If Howard Dean himself claimed that you were a 'man of no principle', and he now endorses you, which one of you is without principle now?

. . .

12. When was the last time you were present in the Senate for two votes in a row?

. . .

18. As a professing Catholic, how do you reconcile with your faith that not only do you support a woman's 'right to choose', but you actually suggest that abortion is something we should be 'proud of'?

19. Is Israel's security fence a legitimate act of self defense or a barrier to peace (since you claimed both things at different times)?

20. If mere negotiation caused Libya to give up its weapons of mass destruction, why wasn't it done on Bill Clinton's watch?

[links omitted]

Link via doubleplusgood.

Posted by annika at 01:07 PM | Comments (4)

March 28, 2004


Correct me if i'm wrong but does the caption make sense with this picture?

If that's a nuclear power plant, i think that would be steam coming out of the cooling towers.

Last i heard, water vapor was not a greenhouse gas.

This is simply further proof that all journalists are idiots.

Update: Okay, i stand corrected. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and as Pixy Misa and Mythilt pointed out, a very significant one. In fact, according to this web page, water vapor is bad, while clouds are good.

Does this mean that i owe all journalists an apology? Fuck no, they're still idiots.

Update 2: i was going to have some hot tea this afternoon, but i decided against it. i was afraid the steam from the hot water might contribute to global warming. Sheesh!

Posted by annika at 06:32 PM | Comments (14)

annika's Secret Fantasy Baseball Player Ranking System

i can't wait for baseball season to begin. One reason is my new, as yet untested, secret fantasy baseball player ranking system. After two sub-par finishes in Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues, i have decided on a more scientific approach. Okay, quasi-scientific. i don't have enough free time to develop a really scientific system.

Because i love you, i'm going to let you in on it. The system is based on the fact that the Yahoo! public leagues rely on only five offensive* stats: batting average, runs, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases. The fantasy baseball guides out there (i'm using Lindy's) have their own ranking systems that take into account additional stats that are irrelevant to the Yahoo! leagues. Therefore i didn't think the comprehensive rankings should be trusted to pick the most useful players according to the more limited Yahoo! categories.

Another important point, of which all fantasy baseball players are aware, is that you are forced to pick players from each position category. Catchers are, by nature of their position, going to produce lower stats in the five categories, than say outfielders. Unless you get someone like Pudge, but there's only one Pudge. Still, you are forced to fill one spot on your lineup with a catcher, and there are only a few quality catchers out there.

If there are 12 teams in the league, chances are i'm not going to get Pudge. Some other fool is going to try to draft him in the first round, so i'd never put him on my list. i need to figure out a way to pick the best player with regard to the five categories, but a player that the other league members might overlook.

For example, here's how the Lindy's guide ranks catchers:

  1. Mike Piazza

  2. Javy Lopez

  3. Jorge Posada

  4. Ivan Rodriguez

  5. Mike Lieberthal

  6. Jason Varitek

  7. A.J. Pierzynski

  8. Jason Kendall

  9. Ramon Hernandez

  10. Bengie Molina

  11. Paul Lo Duca

  12. Charles Johnson

  13. Benito Santiago

  14. Jason LaRue

  15. Toby Hall
According to my quasi-scientific system, here's how i would rank the catchers:
  1. Ivan Rodriguez

  2. Jason Varitek

  3. A.J. Pierzynski

  4. Javy Lopez

  5. Jorge Posada

  6. Mike Lieberthal

  7. Jason Kendall

  8. Ramon Hernandez

  9. Benito Santiago

  10. Bengie Molina

  11. Jason LaRue

  12. Paul Lo Duca

  13. Greg Myers

  14. Charles Johnson

  15. Mike Piazza
You can see that my system drops Piazza from first to fifteenth, which might seem incredible to you. First off, i've never been a big Piazza fan. As a baseball player, he's selfish, he's not a leader, and he seems aloof and disinterested most of the time, unless somone's chucking a bat at him. As far as stats go, he just didn't do it last year. Sure, i'll admit Mike was injured and missed three months. If he returns to form, he'll probably be a great fantasy pick. But my system has no sympathy for injuries; that's the "scientific" part of my quasi-scientific system. Anyways, let the crowd go after Pudge and Piazza, i'm looking for the dark horses.

What i do first is determine the top ten players in each statistical category. i do it a little different than most statistical tables, so my list yields a few more players when there's a tie. Normally, the statistical tables will count each tied player towards the total ten in the top ten. So you'll might see numbering like: 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 10. Since i don't care how many guys are on the list, as long as their stats are in the top ten, i won't skip over numbers like that. Thus, if there's any ties, my list would include guys who might be lower on another statistical list. Using the example above, my list might look like this: 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, and so on. Using my system, the tenth player on ESPN's or Lindy's list would be the sixth player on my list in the above example.

i do this ranking for each offensive category that Yahoo! uses. This way, i can see if a player will help me in stolen bases for example, even if his sucky stats in other categories make him less desirable in non-Yahoo! leagues. i don't really care about a guy's on base percentage or his total hits, since Yahoo! doesn't use them.

Once i find the top ten stats for each category i assign a cutoff number, which is the tenth stat in the list. For instance, the tenth highest amount of runs by a catcher (using my top ten list) was 52, by Cincinatti's Jason LaRue. Then i go through the list of all players in a specific position and assign a point to any player who's stat for that category is in the top ten for other players within that position. (It does no good to rank, say catchers against outfielders on stolen bases; you'd never see a catcher in the top ten.) Therefore, i would give one point to all catchers with 52 or more runs.

Once i go through all five stats, on all players in a position, i get a number ranging from zero to five. Additionally, i'll give a break to guys who are close to the top ten in a certain category, or who did poorly due to injury, yet had a good 2002 season. Instead of a point for that particular stat, i'll give those guys a "+." If a player has a plus, he will automatically move to the top of the list for players with his 1-5 point total. For instance, Mike Piazza got only one point from my system (his batting average was in the top ten for catchers last year), but i gave him a "+" in three other categories because of his past performances. That put him at the top of all the other “one point” guys on my list.

Here's my catcher's list with my point system attached:

  1. Ivan Rodriguez (5)

  2. Jason Varitek (5)

  3. A.J. Pierzynski (4+)

  4. Javy Lopez (4)

  5. Jorge Posada (4)

  6. Mike Lieberthal (4)

  7. Jason Kendall (4)

  8. Ramon Hernandez (4)

  9. Benito Santiago (3+)

  10. Bengie Molina (3)

  11. Jason LaRue (3)

  12. Paul Lo Duca (2+)

  13. Greg Myers (2+)

  14. Charles Johnson (2)

  15. Mike Piazza (1+)
After assigning pluses, i rank guys with the same amount of annika points by their ranking according to Lindy's.

There's still some brainwork that needs to be done. That's the "quasi" part of the quasi-scientific system. For instance, what do i do with Atlanta's catchers, Eddie Perez and Johnny Estrada? Eddie is ranked higher than Johnny on my system, but Johnny is expected to be in the starting lineup this season. Obviously i'd want Johnny rather than Eddie, since he'll have more at bats. That's where my system needs some tinkering.

Another potential flaw is that my system relies on the previous year as a predictor of future performance perhaps too heavily. The sophmore slump isn’t taken into account, nor are potentially good rookies or veterans who are on the downhill side of their careers. i try to minimize this by adding or withholding a “+” when the opportunity exists.

But all in all, i think my secret system is good for identifying the dark horses among the rankings put out by the magazines and websites. It's time consuming to go through all the positions and assign points, then rank them. i've been doing it little by little for the past few weeks, during my breaks at work.

i think i'll put Jason Varitek or A.J. Pierzynski at the top of my draft list as catcher, since they seem to have been under-rated by both Lindy's and Yahoo!'s ranking systems. Actually, i had A.J. on my last two fantasy teams and he's always been good to me. Now that he's on the Giants, i have another reason to like him.

On the other hand, Varitek is a solid player on an American League team that will be a contender again next year. His power numbers are better than A.J.'s but his batting average is not as good. They each crossed the plate 63 times. Tough choice; i can't decide yet. Tune in later if you're curious. i'll post a link to my team on the sidebar, like i did last year.

* i haven't used my system for pitchers, but the same concept should probably work on them, with a few adjustments to distinguish the value of relievers as opposed to starters.

Posted by annika at 10:43 AM | Comments (13)

March 27, 2004

Vote For Your Favorite Democrat

Accidental Verbosity is running a couple of polls. This poll is an easy choice for me. i'd feel comfortable with my choice as president even today. In fact, if my choice were running against Bush, i'd vote democrat.

i bet you can guess who i'm talking about easily, because he's probably your choice too.

The other poll is harder; i don't like any of the losers on the list.

Posted by annika at 07:30 PM | Comments (3)

March 26, 2004

Maybe It's Not Right To Laugh, But...

What makes Anna grimace?


Besides the fact that she couldn't hack it as a pro, now there's this.

Posted by annika at 04:20 PM | Comments (9)

More Proof That Europe Is Going Kaput

i can't even bring myself to blog about it. It's simply too disgusting. Just read it here.

i'm almost certain my brother has been to this doctor.

The shit you find on Ananova! i'm tellin' you.

Posted by annika at 04:15 PM | Comments (4)

A Four Legged Hero

From CPT Patti, this story:

AN ARMY sniffer dog was the target of an ASSASSINATION bid by Iraqi guerillas because he found so many weapons.

Hero Blaze, an English springer spaniel, was marked down for a 'hit' after nosing out huge caches of guns, ammo and explosives.

A contract was put on Blaze's head by militia men loyal to toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. And a hitman struck as the dog was searching a roadside in Az Zubayr, south-west of the city of Basra.

The would-be killer came roaring up in a car, deliberately swerved and ran over Blaze who was wearing a fluorescent harness and could be clearly seen. The attacker then sped off.

Blaze's handler, Lance Corporal Steve Dineley, watched in horror as the dog disappeared under the car. Amazingly he escaped with only bruises and cuts.

Full story here.

Posted by annika at 09:29 AM | Comments (9)

March 25, 2004

Dick Clark Flap, Ho Hum

i'm really not paying attention to the whole Dick Clark snipe-fest. It's all politically motivated finger pointing. On all sides. No one wants to admit that there's blame enough to go around for 9/11.

As far as i'm concerned, they all fucked up, each in their own way, and each to varying degrees. i'm talking about Bush, Clinton, Cheney, Clark, Allbrite, Reno, Tenet, Woolsey, Kerry, Monica, Woodward and Bernstein, Buddy, Barney and probably Socks the cat, too. They all could have done more, i'm sure.


Consider Socks. With all this info floating around about Al Qaeda back in the 90's, why didn't Socks hear anything? Wasn't he listening? Cats have much better hearing than people, and they're lower to the ground, too. And if he did know something, why didn't he tell anyone? It boggles the mind.

Seriously, all this finger pointing is pointless and counter productive. The question is: who has the best plan going forward? Which side in this debate is going to best prevent future terrorist attacks? These commission hearings (and their associated ephemera: the books, 60 Minutes, Larry King and the like) are not helping our fight. In my opinion; the debate has devolved into a political mutual masturbation society. Who can jerk the public off most effectively? That's why i've lost interest.

i think a recent quote by Jonah Goldberg amounts to the best bottom line take on this whole Dick Clark brouhaha:

For a whole bunch of reasons — the Florida recount, Howard Dean's influence on the Democratic party, the failure to find WMDs, etc. — the foreign-policy debate is no longer a debate over facts, it's a debate over motives.

One side simply believes, as a matter of theology, that Bush couldn't possibly have had sincere motives for war. It had to be a 'lie,' in the words of Ted Kennedy, 'made up in Texas.'

The other side, my side, finds such an analysis so irrational, so hateful and so profoundly dangerous to America that it becomes difficult not to wonder if such people hate George Bush more than they fear terrorists or love America.

Sheesh. My solution? Everyone admit some fault, big group hug, roll up sleeves, then go back to kicking ass on the badguys.

Posted by annika at 04:51 PM | Comments (6)

Anita Blake Book, First Impressions

i've been reading Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton, which is one of her Anita Blake, vampire hunter books. It's like an adult version of Buffy. So far it's okay. i'm about a quarter through it.

The heroine is tough talking, always insists on the last word and kicks a lot of ass. The writing is technically proficient, but Ms. Hamilton does have a few annoying habits. For instance she always describes what every character is wearing in every scene.

In the case of her male characters, every single one of them has long hair. They all like to go around showing off their torsos, either in see through shirts or simply bare-chested. Hamilton always takes the time to describe what their stomach muscles are doing. i'm like, okay i get it already, they're in shape. The author seems fixated on a very specific type.

Also, the aforementioned protagonist is kind of a bitch. Someday i'd like to see a kick-ass girl heroine who's not also a ball buster. Can't a girl be nice and still be tough when she needs to be? If and when i finally write my sci-fi police woman book, that's how my lead character will be.

Posted by annika at 01:07 PM | Comments (6)

Santa Monica Bans Beach Smoking

No more smoking at the closest beach to my house (unless you have a doctor's note, i would guess).

Even as a smoker, i still have to ask: Who wants to smoke at the beach anyway? It's hard to light up and even a small breeze will make the cig burn so fast it's gone before you know it. i tend to smoke less when i'm out in the hot sun anyways. i also feel guilty just sticking the butt in the sand like so many people do.

i got the link from L.A. Observed. There's a couple of comments from people calling this new law "fascist." Then there's an interesting rebuttal chiding those commenters for not understanding the import of the word "fascist." Interesting, if somewhat vitriolic.

i generally don't get too worked up over anti-smoking laws. Some people claim that if we smokers want to do something harmful, we should be able to do it. They also claim that second hand smoke is harmless. But i know i shouldn't be smoking and if a law makes it inconvenient for me to continue a dangerous habit, i think that's a good thing. And as for second hand smoke being harmless, that's an argument that seems to go against common sense. Why not err on the side of safety?

Still, banning smoking on the beach seems a bit much. The only logical justifications would seem to be 1) anti-litter, 2) encouraging quitting and 3) minimizing children's exposure to viewing people with cigarettes. Those are thin justifications, but hey, like i said, it's a bad habit so i'm not gonna get too upset about it.

Posted by annika at 10:00 AM | Comments (21)

March 23, 2004

Some Good News From Spain

Although the Socialists are cutting and running from Iraq (even though that's the best place to kill Al Qaeda types these days), they might increase their commitment to Afghanistan, which is welcome news.

Also, Spain's new PM believes in cutting taxes and laissez faire economics.

Here are some of the economic promises on which Zapatero's Socialist Workers Party campaigned: lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 30 percent, cutting income taxes, and reducing the value-added tax. Oh, and they're going to balance the budget and control inflation. The man expected to be the Socialist finance minister, Miguel Sebastian, is a U.S.-educated economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He's promising to put his faith in the Invisible Hand. 'There will be a strict separation between politics and business,' he told the Financial Times. 'We will be a market-friendly government.'
i'm not as optimistic about Zapatero as the Slate columnist, but i'll admit this news takes some of the sting out of the recent election results.

Slate link via Michael J. Totten via Ipse Dixit.

Posted by annika at 08:40 PM | Comments (5)


Why is this person not lying on the ground, unconscious, with multiple compound fractures and no teeth?

This shit pisses me off.

Posted by annika at 08:11 PM | Comments (9)

Just Came To Read The Meter

No time to do the old blog thing, that is. i'd like to bash Dick Clark, but why don't y'all just pop on over to Strange Women and read the post about some of Clark's hare-brainedness, and the one about Jack Straw dissing Clinton obliquely, while dissing the Spanish not so obliquely.

Posted by annika at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)

March 21, 2004

Results Of Linda’s Trial

Last week i wrote about the trial i was helping my friend Linda with. She represented the defendant and made her closing argument on Friday. The jury came back after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

The jury found our client negligent, but only awarded $1800 to the injured plaintiff, the amount of her medical bills. The jury unanimously awarded nothing to the wife for pain and suffering and nothing to the husband for loss of consortium.

The jury’s verdict was substantially below Linda’s last offer before trial. i could tell by the look on the plaintiffs’ faces as they walked out of the courtroom on Friday that they regretted not taking the pre-trial offer.

We suspect that the jury did not like the way the plaintiffs were making a mountain out of a molehill, especially in regard to the loss of consortium claim. Linda tells me that it's very hard for plaintiff attorneys to get good verdicts on cases that only involve minor muscle strains. The more money the plaintiffs ask for, the less the jury seems to like them, she says.

i was impressed with Linda’s skill as a cross-examiner and her eloquent closing argument. This was only her third trial, but i’d never have known it by watching her. Of course it’s the first real trial i’ve ever seen, but i thought the plaintiffs’ attorney was far less prepared than Linda.

i told Linda how great i thought she had been, but she was characteristically humble. “The facts won this case, not me,” she said.

“But you were so much better than the other lawyer,” i said. “You laid some traps for him that he had no idea how to get out of.” That was true, Linda got the plaintiff’s doctor to admit to a couple of innocuous facts during cross-examination and then during closing she sprung the trap by using those facts in a way that the other attorney had not anticipated. He didn’t see her argument coming and so he had no answer to it in his rebuttal. It was beautiful.

Linda has less of an ego than any lawyer i’ve ever met. She simply refused to take credit for her trial victory. She thanked me profusely for my help, even though the judge denied both of the motions in limine that i wrote.

Friday, after work, Linda and i met up with our other team members, Grace, Paul, Patricia and Kathy for a round of Guinnesses. Finally, we got Linda to admit that she was good.

“Well, if there’s one thing I did do well,” she said, “it’s that i didn’t let [the plaintiffs’ attorney] get away with any mistakes.”

i agreed. She really exploited every weakness in the plaintiffs’ case, including some weaknesses that i didn’t see at first. Linda had this way of taking the arguments that the other guy thought were very clever and turning them around to use against him. i don’t know how she did it, but if i ever make it through law school, i want her to teach me.

Posted by annika at 07:41 PM | Comments (14)

Left Of Center With A Sense Of Humor

It is refreshing when a leftie isn't so damn angry that he still retains a sense of humor. OLDCATMAN is one, and his newest blog is quite funny. He's retained the allcaps, but thankfully he's toned down the font size for more pleasant reading. i loved this graphic:


LOL, i'd love to see that kind of ballot in November! Thanks, OLDCATMAN.

Posted by annika at 09:27 AM | Comments (3)

Sunday Morning Weapons Trivia

Trivia Question: In the name of the famous British submachine gun of WWII, what does "STEN" stand for?

Check out this very interesting and informative site for the answer.

Posted by annika at 09:04 AM | Comments (11)

March 20, 2004

Andrew Sullivan Mobies Himself

It's funny. i first learned about the verb "to Moby" by reading Andrew Sullivan.

As i understand it, Mobying is when someone posts something on a conservative forum, pretending to be a conservative, but saying liberal things in order to confuse and promote disillusionment among conservative voters.

Like for instance, this recent Andrew Sullivan post, where he actually suggests that John Kerry might be obliged to be strong in the War on Terror, simply because he's a Democrat. (An interesting theory, which requires one to ignore our last two Democratic presidents in order to keep from laughing uncontrollably at it.)

Says Andrew Sullivan:

Sometimes, a Democrat has to be tougher than a Republican in this area - if only to credentialize himself. I can certainly conceive of Richard Holbrooke being a tougher secretary of state than Colin Powell. I'm not yet convinced and want to hear much more from Kerry. But I'm persuadable.
Sullivan just lost a lot of credibility in my book with that statement. There is no way in hell that Kerry would not be a complete disaster on any national security issue you can name. The man hates the military and they hate him. He's made a career out of undermining and betraying our Armed Forces and our Intelligence Services. And Sullivan is "persuadable" on this? i think AS has let his anger over the Marriage Amendment thing cloud his judgment and common sense.

Posted by annika at 05:35 PM | Comments (6)

Ha Ha Ha Roll Tide!

Ha Ha Ha Ha!

Bye bye Stanford, you were so overrated!

i love it. Oh baby, ain't second round upsets a bitch?!

Now that the season's over for him, maybe Josh Childress is free to go make the next House Party movie.

Woooo hoooo!

Posted by annika at 05:17 PM | Comments (6)

Kerry Insults The Help

i told you Kerry would self-destruct. The process has already begun. The polls may not show it now, or ever, but Kerry keeps making the type of blunders that will not endear him to the undecideds.

From the New York Times:

On his first full day off . . . Mr. Kerry awoke determined to hit the slopes of Mount Baldy.

. . . [A] reporter and a camera crew were allowed to follow along on skis — just in time to see Mr. Kerry taken out by one of the Secret Service men, who had inadvertently moved into his path, sending him into the snow.

When asked about the mishap a moment later, he said sharply, 'I don't fall down,' then used an expletive to describe the agent who 'knocked me over.'

The incident occurred near the summit. No one was hurt, and Mr. Kerry came careering down the mountain moments later, a look of intensity on his face, his lanky frame bent low to the ground.

His actual words were: “I don't fall down, . . . son of a bitch knocked me over."

If character counts, can we really count on this character? What an asshole.

Ass . . . hole.

A smart pro quarterback will always remember to lavish expensive gifts on his offensive line whenever he can. Then there are the idiot quarterbacks who blame their offensive line when things go wrong. Those QB's don't last long. The lesson is, be good to the guys who are there to save your ass. Be very good to them.

Kerry is not only an asshole, he's an idiot. You don't insult someone who's job is to take your bullet.

Moxie makes a great point:

Last summer President Bush fell off a Segway -- on a mode of transport in which it was allegedly impossible to do so. He didn't turn it on first to activate the gyroscopes, but he never blamed anyone. He also managed to leap to safety, landing on his feet.

This is a fundamental difference between John FrankenKerry [link omitted] and George W. Bush.

One takes his blunder in stride and the other points fingers, verbally disrespects someone who protects him all while displaying clear signs of schizophrenia. Some delusions of grandeur . . .

And what’s up with the snowboarding? Are we going to see Kerry on a skateboard next? Talk about self-conscious pandering. This guy’s ridiculous.

Hugh Hewitt linked to a story about asshole Kerry's shopping trip photo-op.:

The Massachusetts senator and his daughter Vanessa, 27, were escorted from their stately red brick townhouse in Beacon Hill to a nearby Borders bookstore by a seven-car motorcade — two police cars, three SUVs loaded with Secret Service agents and two minivans stuffed with reporters.
A carefully planned photo-op.
[A] gaggle of reporters tailed the senator on his round of errands, just in case he made news.

They were on hand as Kerry perused the history section at Borders, picked up his bicycle from a repair shop and even when he bought a jockstrap, among other items, at a local sporting goods shop.

He bought a jockstrap during a photo-op?!
At Borders, he pulled several books off the shelves - including weighty tomes such as 'The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality' by Brian Greene and Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin, slinging them under his arm as he wandered around the store.
Carefully chosen by his handlers because of their titles, which in combination suggest erudition and intellectual curiosity, despite the fact that he will never have time to read these thick books.*
At one point, Kerry asked store manager Don Durica if he had a copy of David Cay Johnston's 'Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich - and Cheat Everybody Else.' The book was quickly procured.
Of course it was, i’m sure asshole Kerry’s handlers called ahead of time to make sure it was there.
As Kerry left - with seven books, including such titles as 'Middlesex,' 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' and 'Charlie Wilson's War' - Durica thanked him profusely for stopping by.
Again, books chosen for their publicity value. i can almost picture how the pre-shopping trip strategy session went.
“Sir, I recommend you buy these two books. Middlesex is very popular with your young single female base and that book by the Spanish guy is always assigned in every college lit class. Plus it’s on Oprah’s club.”

“Well bring em on, then!”

The last book, Charlie Wilson's War, was probably chosen to appeal to the Democratic anti-war base. The ones who can read, that is.

Then JFK and his entourage bounced on over to the sporting goods store, where . . .

the candidate bought a pair of running shorts, some tennis balls and the athletic supporter.
<sarcasm>Oh wait a minute, i take it back. If Kerry bought some tennis balls and a jockstrap and in such a public way, he must really have a big set of genitals. i think i’ll vote for him.</sarcasm>

Duhh. His handlers must be ridiculously clueless.

* Actually, Al Gore's favorite book, Stendahl's Le Rouge et le Noir, reminds me a lot of John Kerry. It's about a cynical, arrogant, ambitious, gold-digging, amoral French prick.

Posted by annika at 10:24 AM | Comments (3)

i Was Hoping For Iron Man, But...

Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

Holy Prime Directive, you're Robocop!

Well, you're neither colossal, nor technically a robot, but your arthritic lurching and dubious morals have found their way into the hearts of futuristic rebels and children everywhere. You walk through fire, catch bullets from the air, and you never, ever smile. Combine this with an abstract, almost random concept of duty and honour, and you have a police officer one cannot fail to adore.

Thank you, Robocop.

Got this one offa Uncle Screwtape knows best.

More: This quiz is actually very thought provoking. i started wondering: what are the qualities i would look for in an ideal colossal death robot. i think they would be the following:

  1. benevolence;

  2. indestructibility;

  3. gigantic size;

  4. loyalty;

  5. a silvery exterior.
You'll notice that i didn't include intelligence on the list. Intelligence is for androids. I think benevolence is the most important quality for a colossal death robot. i mean, what good is a colossal death robot if it's just going to go around killing the wrong people and destroying things that you need? Loyalty is also very important. That was Iron Man's flaw. Although he was benevolent at one time, he became a big problem when he decided to "kill the people he once saved." A silvery exterior is also important, aesthetically. i know some people like gold robots, but really, how intimidating was C3P0? Silver is the best color for a colossal death robot, in my opinion.

Posted by annika at 09:56 AM | Comments (7)

March 18, 2004

Lying Sack Of Shit Professor

Sorry, that's how i feel about lying sack of shit "professor" Kerri Dunn of Claremont McKenna College. CMC is a local, highly rated university, which now has a bit of a credibility issue, thanks to "professor" Dunn.

Dunn claimed that her car had been vandalized while she was speaking at an on campus event about hate crimes.

The windows were broken, the tires were slashed, and the body of the vehicle was spray painted with various racial and homophobic epithets.
A big brouhaha ensued, the police and the FBI were called in to investigate, CMC was closed down along with the other four sister schools of the Claremont Colleges. People ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, wailing about a "crisis" of hate crimes.

Then it was revealed that lying sack of shit professor vandalized her own car and made a fraudulent police report about the incident. This Powerline essay contains the best blog coverage of this outrage, with pictures of the loser. Infinite Monkeys' commentary is also a must read. Ben's money quote is this:

Understand . . . that there really is a war of ideas being waged in the United States and around the world today. The self-styled forces of 'progress' believe that justice is on their side. And they'll lie and cheat to make damned certain of it.
People like Dunn believe that the ends justify the means. They're so convinced that they have to take action on their pet causes, raise consciousness, fight the fight, that they end up shooting themselves in the foot by their own lack of morals and ethics.

Legitimate hate crimes do occur. Now this bitch just singlehandedly cast a shadow of doubt on all such future incidents, legit or otherwise. i wonder if the KKK and various neo-nazi groups will be sending her a thank you note. They should, she's done them quite a favor.

Posted by annika at 07:39 PM | Comments (16)

March 17, 2004

Loss Of Consortium

i've been silent this week because i'm helping Linda out on a trial. This basically means that i either sit in the audience and run errands for her, or do research and write little motions back at the office. Which is why i'm here tonight and not out drinking on St. Patrick's Day.

The trial is quite interesting. Hard to predict how it's going so far. Both sides are scoring points and the jury is hard to read.

The plaintiffs' case includes a claim for loss of consortium. In case you don't know, this is a claim that can be made when one spouse is injured and the other non-injured spouse says they lost out on sex, affection, love, help around the house and other stuff like that. We represent the defendants.

What i want to know, just out of curiosity, is what you folks think about that type of a lawsuit. In Linda's case, one plaintiff received some minor injuries: sore back, sore neck, etc., which went away with some physical therapy after two or three months. During those two or three months, the husband complained that they weren't able to have sex their usual two times per week, and the wife couldn't help around the house as much. They're both in their late thirties and they've been married 14 years.

Assuming that the defendants were negligent for causing the wife's minor injuries, what would you do about the husband's claim if you were on the jury?

Posted by annika at 07:36 PM | Comments (33)

March 15, 2004

Spain 3, A Rhetorical Question

Spanish troops did not fight alongside the US in the recent war. They only helped us afterwards. Their contribution of 1300 soldiers to the post war occupation is much less than the contributions of Italy (3000), Poland (2500), and Great Britain (8220). Roughly equal to Spain's were the contributions of The Netherlands (1300) and the Ukraine (1650) to the occupation forces.

So why Spain? Why were they chosen for the first big hit? (After Bali, of course, who sent no troops.)

You might say it's because the attack was timed to coincide with the election. i don't believe it. Not with the numerological significance of 911 days after 9/11, on 3/11. i think people are giving the bastards too much credit by assuming they planned to affect the political process.

These terrorist assholes are superstitious, backward and politically unsophisticated. But numbers and dates of historical significance are very important to these pigs. They think they're students of history. They think they understand history. We all know they have long memories. 9/11 apparently has some centuries old significance to them.

This is why i think Spain was chosen for this first big time European attack. It really had little to do with Iraq, despite what the pigs said in their video, and despite what the majority of Spanish voters seemed to think. Spain was at the top of the bastards' list because of the Crusades, and Andalusia, and Ferdinand and Isabella. Long before we went into Iraq, Osama was making repeated references to the loss of Spain by the Moors. They're obsessed with Andalusia, because it was the height of their once great civilization, and a symbol of how far they've fallen.

If the 3/11 attack was solely a retaliation for cooperation in Iraq, why not hit London first? Why not hit Italy or Poland first. It wouldn't have been that hard to hit the Dutch or the Ukranians before Spain. Why go after the country that's number six on the coalition list when there's other easy targets with more "culpability" in the war?

Because the terrorists are pissed off at Spain for a lot more than just having been our friends. They hate Spain for the Reconquista. They will always hate Spain, until it's theirs again.

So if the Spanish socialists and those who voted for them think they can escape future attacks by pulling out of Iraq . . . i'm not so sure. The only way they (or any of us, really) can be safe is to convert now and become an islamic dictatorship under sharia law. That's not my opinion, it's what the terrorists themselves have been saying they want.

Posted by annika at 09:42 PM | Comments (21)

Where i Live

Yah, another quiz. Find out where you live in Politopia.

North-You are a Northerner-a free marketeer-which means that you advocate a diminished role for the government in the economic realm. You are more or less pleased with the government's role in the personal realm.
i think some of the quiz questions could be phrased better, it does tend to skew towards the center. Also some important issues were not even included, i.e. gun rights, abortion.

Got it offa doubleplusgood.

Posted by annika at 01:50 PM | Comments (11)

Spain 2

My head hurts a bit this morning form a few too many bottles of Pacifico last night. i'm reading stuff on the internet instead of getting to work. There seems to be a lack of good analysis on the Spain thing, which i can understand; i myself can't seem to put together a coherent post on it. The lefties are having no problems though. Guys like fisk are positively gleeful. On the right, NRO is more subdued.

Lesson: terrorism can work. Prediction: therefore expect more of it. Expect more terrorism aimed at the United Kingdom, against Australia, against Poland, and – ultimately – against the United States. For the terrorists must now wonder: If murder can influence elections in Spain – why not in the United States?

In the United States, the terrorists have to make a very fine calculation: Which would hurt President Bush, their supereme enemy, more – to attack or not to attack?

i think we can expect attacks in GB, perhaps Australia. And i wouldn't want to be anywhere near Pakistan the next time they have an election. i don't think the bastards have the guts or the resources to infiltrate Poland. What about here? After 3/11, i would be very surprised if there were not some attempt to influence our own election with an attack a few days before November second. Would it have the desired effect? At this point, i wouldn't even want to guess.

Update: Thank God for the Australians, though.

Posted by annika at 09:40 AM | Comments (3)

March 14, 2004


Very depressed today. Looking at lefty blogs will do that to me. Also trying to figure out what the Spain election means.

Everything i try to type about the Spanish election ends up looking trite, so i backspace it out. i guess i'm just not in the mood. In lieu of my own thoughts, here's what i found at Iberian Notes:

What happened? It's clear: the people of Spain are not willing to risk standing up to domestic or international terrorism and would prefer to appease the terrorists in hopes that they will be left alone in the future. . . . A victory for appeasement. A victory for cowardice. The Spanish people demonstrated today that they have no courage.
Harsh words? Hell, i don't know. If somebody punches you in the nose because they don't like your friend, do you sit there and say, "well maybe my friend is kind of a jerk?" It won't change the fact that your nose is still bleeding. Hell, i say when someone punches you, it's time to go get some payback. But then, i'm an American.

Too many innocent people died Thursday, but the most Spain will do to right that wrong is maybe throw a handful of conspirators in jail. And hope the terrorists don't blow something else up in retaliation for their friends' incarceration. Meanwhile, we have one less ally as we do the hard, hard work of bringing fundamental change to the region that produces such murderers, so things like this will stop happening.

Posted by annika at 11:16 PM | Comments (11)

March 12, 2004

Another Swedish Worry?

Remember my recent post on Swedish uranium? Here's another tentative Swedish connection. i'm not quite sure what to make of it.

According to the Czech Republic news agency, CTK, Czech police seized "hundreds of tons of imported, military-grade plastic explosives and detained two men on weapon-trafficking charges on March 10." The police, no doubt sensitive to protocol, failed to identify the country from which the shipments originated but a Czech newspaper spilled the beans: The country is Sweden and the shipment was 328 tons of explosives. 328 tons! Might have blown up all of Madrid for all I know.
Now, to be fair, i have seen no reported link between any Swedish plastic explosives and the Madrid bombings. In fact, the explosives used in yesterday's bombings was TNT based, if i'm not mistaken. Correct me if i'm wrong, but plastic explosive is nitroglycerine, is it not? Anyways, it worries me that i'm seeing Sweden's name pop up twice in one week in connection with terrorism.

Link via Little Green Footballs.

Posted by annika at 09:36 AM | Comments (5)

i'd Pull Her Fucking Hair Out And Kick Her In The Ass

This fucking bitch wouldn't be smiling if i ever got hold of her.

Posted by annika at 09:27 AM | Comments (8)

March 11, 2004

Hollow Words

I was saddened and outraged by the news of the terrible attacks in Madrid this morning. I am horrified at the large number of dead and injured.
--German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

In these horrifying circumstances, I extend in my name and in the name of the French people, my most sincere condolences.
--French President Jacques Chirac

An end must be put to this. As never before, it is vital to unite forces of the entire world community against terror.
--Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Holy Father reiterates his firm and absolute disapproval of such actions that offend God, violate the fundamental right to life and undermine peaceful coexistence.
--Vatican on behalf of Pope John Paul II

Posted by annika at 11:55 PM | Comments (13)

Al Qaeda Fucks Up My Vacation Plans

Betty and i were in Spain two years ago. i fell in love with the country and the people. Betty's family on her mother's side is Spanish. Ever since then we've been saving to go back. This was supposed to be the year. We were a little worried about terrorism back in 2002, but our worries turned out to be unfounded. Oh there were a few car bombings in Seville for the WTA meeting a few weeks before we arrived, but nothing on the scale of this morning's train bombings.

In 2002, we rode the AVE high speed train from Seville to Madrid. It was one of the most pleasant train rides i've ever had, and we met some really cool people. i remember disembarking at the Atocha Station, which was one of the targets hit this morning. i feel so sad for the people of Madrid. During our visit, we were both impressed by how friendly, not to mention attractive, everybody was. This attack makes me sick.


i could be wrong, but i personally believe this was done by muslim terrorists, if not Al Qaeda itself. The Spanish government initially said that the explosives were the same type used by ETA. But that doesn't convince me. Naturally, Al Qaeda would use the same type, they probably obtained the explosives from the same black market source. And they've been itching to get back at Spain ever since Boabdil got kicked out of Granada back in 1492.

Although the UN was quick to blame ETA, this AJC.com article leads me to believe that the m.o. of this attack is not at all consistent with ETA's style. For instance:

[I]f ETA did conduct such a large and wholesale attack in its quest for independence of the Basque region in Spain and France, it would represent a major shift in its tactics.

'It does not compare with anything they have done . . . This kind of indiscriminate killing is totally unlike them so far,' said Joseba Zulaika, a professor and director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada at Reno.

. . .

Zulaika said the group's attacks have usually been marked by advance warning and that the separatists were critical of police in 1987 for what they said was failure to warn the public of a bomb ETA had planted in Barcelona.

(Madrid blogger John still holds that ETA was responsible. His excellent blog, Iberian Notes, is the place to go for news on this tragedy.)

There have already been large anti-ETA demonstrations across Spain, just as there were a few years ago after one of the last ETA attacks.

The Spanish Government has been a solid ally of this country, while it's people have been somewhat more critical of us. If it turns out that this was an islamic terrorist bombing, perhaps they will realize that being anti-US is no protection from these subhuman bastards who simply enjoy killing.

Update: John makes a strong case for ETA as the culprit. The comment thread here is quite interesting.

Update 2: Spanish Prime Minister Aznar still thinks it was ETA. But remember, Aznar was very tough on ETA, and in fact survived an assassination attempt by them. There's an election this weekend and if the bombers were ETA, Aznar's party would benefit. However, if the attackers were Al Qaeda, Aznar's party might not benefit, since he has been severely criticized for his support of the US in the Iraq war.

Posted by annika at 06:47 PM | Comments (9)

Lileks' Perspective

Because he puts it much better than i could, here is Lileks' take on the question of which side is taking the high road and which side the low road in this election.

People say all sorts of things in elections. The underlings and infantry fire the cheap shots, and let the big dogs lope along the high road. But when the top officials of the party start slinging the slander, we’ve entered a different era. And no one seems to notice, because the story becomes the charge, not the nature of the accusation.

Accusing one’s opponent of treason is a personal attack. Al Gore accused Bush of 'betraying this country.' Reasonable people could say he misled the country, or misruled the country, and make the argument to support the assertion, but 'betrayed' is a word that has a special quality when talking about the President of the United States. I’ve heard General Wesley Clark question the President’s patriotism, and insist that his religious beliefs were misguided, because the Democratic Party is the party that truly hews to Christian doctrines. . . . And of course we heard Governor Dean insert the 'Bush was warned' meme into the body politic.

There’s nothing comparable on the other side. Nothing. I mean, the Bush team runs an ad that has a second of 9/11 footage, and his opponents pitch a carefully staged fit – because that’s all they have.

i agree. it's the Democrats who've sunk to "Willie Horton" style campaigning, and they've been doing it for months, unopposed.

Posted by annika at 10:58 AM | Comments (4)

Damn, i Opened Another Trick Spam E-mail By Mistake


This one contained an ad for some car dealer, and the following strange message:

I am a single serving friend. My job was to apply the formula. How embarrassing. There were many examples of animals all around.

(I'm loving the way you walk with me so quietly, contentedly.) I can never describe the walk back to my truck. The continuation of our species matters more than you can imagine. It is the single most important thing we can do. That could well be the answer.

My job was to apply the formula. I wished so deeply for the change to come about. I wished so deeply for the change to come about. I'll tell you what happened next.

Love, and hate, are powerful emotions. Don't do that, the cat pointed out. But under the circumstances, I'd do it again. I'm cold, you said, staring at the continuation we had to feel through yesterday. A house full of condiments and no food.

Weird, eh?

Posted by annika at 12:09 AM | Comments (3)

March 10, 2004

Disgusted By Kerry

i'm so disgusted by John Kerry. Four years ago i never would have believed that the Democrats could produce a candidate with less character than Al Gore. But John Kerry makes Gore Look like George Washington. i truly believe Kerry is more dishonorable than Bill or even Hillery Clinton. He's a disgrace.

Just as it happened with Al Gore, at some point the media will not be able to cover for him anymore. His deficiencies will reach a critical mass and he will self destruct. i think it's sad. Edwards would have been so much better for the Democratic Party, but they've made their bed now. They're so consumed with their irrational Bush hatred, that they had to choose a hater, rather than Edwards, who actually had a positive message.

Captain's Quarters is all over Kerry's latest gaffe:

Senator John Kerry revealed an ugly and poorly controlled side of himself when he thought he was off-mike this afternoon while speaking with AFL-CIO union workers in Chicago:
'. . . "Keep smiling," one man said to him.

Kerry responded, "Oh yeah, don't worry man. We're going to keep pounding, let me tell you -- we're just beginning to fight here. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group of people I've ever seen."'

Simply appalling. . . . you can see a Kerry aide hurriedly trying to disconnect the microphone, to no avail, which leads me to wonder what else John Kerry says when he thinks the mikes are off.
As is Hugh Hewitt:
Kerry obviously meant the president, the vice president, Karl Rove and the president's re-election campaign. . . .

Now the media needs to call him on it. What's the evidence for 'crooked,' for 'lying?' What's he mean, and in detail. You don't get to walk away from such outrageous charges with a laugh and a wave. Kerry was a defender of Clinton, recall, a president demonstrated to be a liar and crooked. . . . But Bush-Cheney are worse than Clinton in Kerry's world. The president let slip once in 2000 what he thought of New York Times' reporter Adam Clymer, and the world collapsed on him. Kerry's charge is so much more serious that it defies comparison.

i've heard the actual tape of the slander many times today. It's obvious he was calling the President and the administration a bunch of crooks and a liars. i know he's not the only one saying that, but as a presidential candidate, it’s inexcusable to say those things in public. The big problem i have is that he said it out in the open, when he knew he could be overheard. That shows an astounding lack of judgment. But then, exhibiting a lack of judgment has never been out of character for Kerry.

When Bush made his Adam Clymer comment, at least he was saying it to an aide, not a member of the public. Kerry was walking along a receiving line, shaking hands with the public, when he slandered the president.

You've seen these events on CSPAN. A candidate spends maybe a half hour shaking hands with total strangers, trying to be friendly and trying to make everyone think that he really cares who's hand he’s shaking. It’s repetitive business, so they always have their standard canned comments, which they repeat at every receiving line.

Usually the canned comments are along the lines of "Nice to see you . . ." "How you doing . . ." or "It's great to be here . . ." When Kerry says "We're going to keep pounding . . . we're just beginning to fight here," i imagine those are phrases he's said hundreds of times at hundreds of different events.

Which leads me to question whether Kerry also repeats, soto voce, that "These guys are the most crooked . . . lying group of people I've ever seen" every time he shakes hands at an event.

What's even more disgraceful is that the guy is a coward. Since he's not fooling anybody when his lackeys at Reuters and AP try to cover for him, why not admit the truth and say: "Yes, I’m talking about this administration!" That would certainly appeal to his base, proving his right to take over Dean's spot as chief hate-monger. Instead, by backing down from the obvious intent of his remark, he makes himself look weak on the single most important issue to his base: Bush hatred.

Kerry wants it both ways. He wants to energize his live crowds by letting them know he's just as irrationally mean and hate-filled as they are. At the same time, he wants to appear civilized and centrist when he's on camera, to appeal to the swing voters who don't normally attend political rallies.

Here's more proof of Kerry's two-faced approach:

The East Bay for Kerry / MoveOn House party on December 7th combined the forces of two grass-roots organizations based in San Francisco East Bay Area. . . .

When Teresa Heinz-Kerry arrived, she handed me a pin that read in the center: 'Asses of Evil' with 'Bush', 'Cheney', 'Rumsfeld' and 'Ashcroft' surrounding it.

Those Democrats got a lot of class, don't they? That bit of info is from the Kerry for President blog, too.

The candidate's wife is perfectly comfortable calling the President of the United States "evil" and an "ass," along with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General. Then the candidate himself expects us to ignore our own ears and believe that he wasn't calling the President of the United States "crooked" and a "liar."

(It reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Side Show Bob was up for parole and the parole board asked him why he was wearing a t-shirt that said "Die Bart Die" on it and he said, "Oh, it's not what you think, that's German for 'The Bart, the.'")

Al Gore had his problems, personality-wise, but he was never this bad. When Kerry loses in November, without a Florida or a Nader as excuses, will the Democrats be honest enought to realize that they have only themselves to blame? i doubt it.

Posted by annika at 06:22 PM | Comments (19)

annika's Ego

The whole point of announcing my Blog-versary was to get nice comments and posts like this one.

Did i mention my birthday's coming up?

Posted by annika at 10:50 AM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2004

Hey, i Made It To One Year!

Today is my one year blog-versary. Gary, the proprietor of Soul Parking, introduced me to blogging back in 2002. i posted a few poems and a couple of journal entries there before i discovered Glogger quite by accident. It was one year ago today that i posted my first Glogger post on a site entitled: annika's journal and poetry. Now here i am, 674 posts later, and what have i got?

  • A total of 177,805 words ± a few dozen;

  • 62,901 hits and 2719 comments;

  • 5086 occurrences of the pronoun "i" in lower case, of course;

  • 167 utterances of the word "fuck" in all its glorious varieties;

  • 58 "shits", 42 "hells" and 14 "damns;"

  • i also overused the word "probably" 97 times;

  • The word "love" was used 107 times;

  • My favorite verb "was" was overused an embarrassing 1513 times. My Freshman English teacher would be so disappointed.
Major highlights from my short blog life would have to include:A confession: For most of the last six months, i had secretly toyed with the idea of quitting on my one year blog-versary. i would have done it too, had it not been for Pixy Misa who rescued me from Glogger. Switching to Movable Type from Glogspot is like trading a Yugo in for a Lexus. i'll keep doing this as long as it's fun, and thanks to Munuviana, it's still a lot of fun.

Posted by annika at 12:00 AM | Comments (23)

March 08, 2004

Who Needs Psychotherapy When i Can Use All These Internet Quizzes To Explore My Personality?

No, really.

What book am i?


You're Dune!

by Frank Herbert

You have control over a great wealth of resources, but no one wants to let you have them. You've decided to try to defend yourself, but it may take eons before you really get back what you feel you deserve. Meanwhile you have a cult-like following of minions waiting for your life to progress. This would all be even more exciting if you could just get the sand out of your eyes.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
i'm Dune eh? Never read it. Crappy movie, though. What's up with Kyle MacLachlan's chin anyways?

i got this quiz offa Thoroughly Modern Monyca. i just stumbled onto her site and i like it. i'd congratulate Monyca on being sworn in to the New York Bar, but her blog has no comments. i decided to blogroll her, since there's not enough lawyers on my blogroll. (i'm being facetious, of course. There's seven on there that i know of, not counting Publicola, who probably should be a lawyer.)

Posted by annika at 06:00 PM | Comments (9)

March 07, 2004

Nuff Said


Got this offa Sarah's blog.

Posted by annika at 10:34 PM | Comments (3)

Swedish Uranium Missing?

News from the Norwegian site, Aftenposten:

Large amounts of uranium may have gone missing from a nuclear technology company in Sweden. The American Central Intelligence Agency fears a worst-case scenario where the material has already fallen into terrorist hands . . . .
Scary indeed. How can anyone be certain that this is not the only nuclear facility in the world that has lax security?
Swedish authorities raided Ranstad Mineral several times and shut the company down on the grounds of deficient security.
It gets worse:
[A] CIA operative claims to know that the little Swedish company has educated Syrian nuclear physicists in the treatment of uranium. He also has information that a Swedish consultancy has sold nuclear equipment to Syria that can be used in the treatment of radioactive material.
This is the type of thing that, to me, makes the whole "where are the WMDs?" discussion irrelevant. Say there weren't any WMDs, and there wasn't any war. Then the inspectors go in, verify that Iraq's clean, and then Saddam kicks them out. What then would have stopped him from buying all he wanted on the blackmarket? He wouldn't need to call North Korea, apparently there's a couple of tall blonde guys selling the shit out of the back of their Volvo!

Link spotted on Scandinavia's Cross.

Posted by annika at 10:18 PM | Comments (3)

i Am Obi-Wan

If I were a Star Wars character, I would be:
Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Take the
"Which Star Wars Character Am I?" Quiz
by Always Two There Are

Got this from Tiger.

Posted by annika at 09:43 PM | Comments (4)

March 05, 2004

Match The Idiotic Quote With The Idiotic Celebrity

Here's a fun diversion. Try to match the following idiotic statements with the appropriate idiotic celebrity:

  1. Sometimes it's cool to make mistakes.

  2. [He] hates my indecisiveness when it comes to making decisions.

  3. God, I didn't see the pool. Why does he have a pool there?

  4. When I use those paints there's pure irony, because my paintings are always very dark. It makes them even more meaningful. And my favourite colour to paint with is pink. That's quite odd.

  5. You're scary and I feel really dark when I'm around you.

  6. Thank you Brazil!
Answers in extended entry:


  1. American Skankwoman.

  2. America's #1 Sweedheart.

  3. Whore to the Hilton fortune.

  4. Freako sicko.

  5. American Skankwoman I. (Referring to American Skankwoman II.)

  6. No talent has been. (She said this after finishing a concert in Peru.)

Posted by annika at 12:55 AM | Comments (8)

March 04, 2004

Trivia Questions Still Needed

i did my best to come up with some questions for Stephen Macklin and Tuning Spork to ask each other during their trivia contest tomorrow. They still need more. It's time consuming, but kinda fun. There's only one day left, so if you want to participate, see here for instructions on how to submit questions.

Posted by annika at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2004

The Spamosphere Thinks i'm Gay?

Weird. i got two spam e-mails today that i inadvertently opened because of their faux personal subject lines. Someone in the spamosphere apparently thinks i like girls.

E-mail number one says:

I work as a massage therapist. I just recently had my initiation into the bisexual world and I totally appreciate it. I still love a good guy too but I am very eager to get to know otherbisexual girls. I am very friendly, very fit and very fun. I love just about anything outdoors but can spend hours and hours in bed. I love being with girls and guys alike. I am looking for a very sensual person. If this sounds good to you then maybe I am your girl.

Love Rebecca

She sounds great, doesn't she? Too bad i don't like girls. Not that there's anything wrong with that. i think a massage therapy background is an excellent qualification for any significant other.

The next one was a bit more vague.

I am an outgoing, sporty woman who enjoys trying fresh things. I love to have a good time, and I love meeting men. I usually don't have a 'type' of guy. I can have fun with anyone.

So... I can't wait to talk with you!


Now this chick seems more my type. i too, love meeting men and having a good time. But still, i don't happen to like girls. Plus, neither of them sent me a picture.

The reason i know they were spam was because the end of the e-mail was a list of random words like:

. . . reply kiosk north tacit false youth fader bluey credo whale . . .
But i thought the final three random words were quite funny:
polka naked spent canon.
Now there's an image i wish hadn't popped into my head.

Posted by annika at 06:31 PM | Comments (1)

Anyone Who Is Reading The Gulag Deserves A Link

i need to give a shout out to Sarah, who just transferred her excellent blog from Glogger to Munuviana. i love her writing. Her husband just deployed to Iraq and she's done some wonderful posts on that in her old blog. She's also ambitious enough to be reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, a huge tome which is on my "to be read if i'm ever laid up in the hospital for a few months" list, right below Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Wow.

Also, the elder statesman of Munuviana, Ted of Rocket Jones, posted the latest installment in his series of Air Force memoirs, "Air Force Blue."

Posted by annika at 03:39 PM | Comments (5)

Another Passion Review

Do read Matt's comments on his viewing of The Passion. It's a personal angle i hadn't considered, but one i think is very true.

Somehow, despite knowledge of what Jesus did for me, I've never felt the sacrifice on an emotional level--certainly not to the degree that seems appropriate, given the magnitude of His suffering and its eternal implications for mankind. It's never been as real to me as something that I'd experienced personally. Tonight, though, it was different.
Glogspot permalink problem, scroll down, you know the drill.

More: Here's another very thoughtful review by blog-friend Desert Cat. It's Glogger again, so scroll past the Safire related post to his March 2 entry entitled "The Passion."

Posted by annika at 11:26 AM | Comments (3)

March 02, 2004

These Newfangled Voting Methods Suck

Do you remember that kid in school who always ruined everyone's fun by complaining to the teacher. Some idiots ruined a good thing by complaining that the old, time tested punch card voting system was no good.

Now look at all the problems.

And too much money has been invested in the new systems to just throw them out. i voted with the new "felt tip pen" method in L.A. County and i didn't like it one bit. It seems to me there's more of a chance of stray marks than with the old system. The hole in the plastic template didn't line up exactly with the circle on the ballot, making me paranoid that the circle was not being filled in entirely. Voting took twice as long for me as it used to.

But then Democrats want it this way. It makes it so much easier to cry foul if an election doesn't go like they want it.

Posted by annika at 09:37 AM | Comments (13)

Pay It Forward

You all may remember that Serenity recently moved to Houston. Well, she just broke her ankle and is without insurance because she hasn't been at her job long enough for her benefits to accrue. That completely sucks. A lot of bloggers have put out the call for help. i myself want to add my voice to that call, because i've enjoyed Serenity's blog for as long as i've been in the blogosphere. She really is one of the best and i hate to see such bad luck befall her. Your prayers or any kind of assistance would be a nice thing to do for her. There is a Paypal link on her sidebar. Get well soon, Serenity.

More: Lorie is also dealing with a tragic event. Her sister was in a bad car accident and was very seriously injured. Please remember her in your prayers too.

What's going on?

Posted by annika at 12:02 AM | Comments (3)

March 01, 2004

So Much To Read, So Little Time

i received quite a few surprise gifts today. And my birthday isn't for another month yet! i'm amazed that people have been so nice to me, i'm so stunned.

First, i got a great DVD. i had been working my way through the first and second seasons of Star Trek, the Next Generation, which my parents gave me for Christmas. i'm trying to watch an episode a day. (Season two is vastly better than season one, by the way.) But tomorrow night i will take a break and watch The Last of the Mohicans, certainly one of the best movies of the nineties. History and Romance. How could it get any better than that?

Also, i received the newly paperbacked final volume in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy, a series of erotic fantasy novels that i have become obsessed with lately. i can't wait to dive into that book, i've been in withdrawal since i finished the last one. This book came with a Laurell K. Hamilton vampire novel, which looks scary, but i'll give it a try.

And someone was kind enough to send me a film script, which i'm excited to read. i have no idea what it's about, but i like it like that. Sometimes when i'm in a bookstore, i'll select a new book by picking a random number and counting down the shelf, so i pick something i have no expectations about.

i'm also in the middle of a couple of cop books, which are part of my research for my sci-fi novel. You know, the one i keep talking about but never actually work on. The cop books are pretty good and i'm learning a lot. i realize now that if i had finished my book without doing any research, it would have really sucked. Now i'm getting loads of new ideas.

Posted by annika at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

annika's Advice For California Voters

Hey all you California voters. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday! Now that California has changed it's primary election date from June to March, we get to take part in the festivities. Not only that, but we all get to use newfangled "modern" voting methods. Like here in L.A. County, where we'll be using a pen and paper. That's progress!

Here are my instructions for tomorrow's vote. Feel free to print out this post and take it into the booth with you.

President of the United States: If you're a Republican, as i am, vote for George W. Bush. He's the only one on there, so that should be easy. If you're a Democrat, vote for John Edwards. i would, if i were a Democrat.

United States Senator: Republicans, vote for Bill Jones. Democrats, i don't know what to tell you. Since Barbra Boxer is your only choice, leave it blank.

United States Representatives, State Senators, State Assemblymen: You're on your own with those.

Judges: Vote for judges with the most republican sounding occupations, like "criminal prosecutor," "police sergeant" or "victim's rights advocate." Stay away from any civil attorneys and professors.

Los Angeles County District Attorney: After Reiner and Garcetti, hell, anybody looks good. Vote for the incumbent DA, Steve Cooley.

Proposition 55: Yet another school bond. This time it's for kindergarten all the way through college. Twelve billion dollars for the same old shit they hit us up for every year: repair old schools, relieve overcrowding, build new classrooms, yada yada yada. i'd be more sympathetic if i didn't see a school bond measure on every single election ballot. This one is huge, though. Arnold is begging us to pass Prop 57, which is a 15 billion dollar bond just to pay the bills. There's no way we can afford another 12 billion on top of that. And anyways, i always vote no on all bond issues (except prison bonds). Vote no.

Proposition 56: This one makes me laugh. Currently our legislature must have a two thirds majority vote before they can raise our taxes. It's one of the bedrock requirements of the tax reforms enacted in the 70's. And the liberals hate it. Prop 56 will lower the two thirds requirement to 55%. Are they nuts? There's no way i wanna make it easier for the California Legislature to continue their spending spree. Vote hell no.

Proposition 57: This is Arnold's baby. He didn't have the guts to fix our budget the way McClintock suggested, with hard cuts, workers' compensation reform and tax relief. So Arnold decided we needed to borrow a little money instead. "Little" in this case is the aforementioned fifteen billion dollars. Well, i voted for Arnold because i wanted to see some drastic spending cuts made. He warns us that if Prop 57 does not pass, he will be forced to make "Armageddon" spending cuts. Yeah! That's music to my ears! Tough love, baby! Vote an emphatic no!

Proposition 58: This is the California Balanced Budget Act, version 2.0. It seems we passed what we thought was a balanced budget proposition a few years ago, but it didn't work. So this is the newer version, with new patches and updates. Hopefully it will work better than the latest Windows updates. Vote yes.

Posted by annika at 08:19 PM | Comments (2)