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Today I got into, and zipped up, the smallest pair. I was surprised to check the label and see that they're nominally the same size as the mediums, but they're decidedly tighter. Could it be that they'll relax and truly be another "size medium"?

I think I may have a couple pairs of thinner trousers packed away in Anderson House -- ones that I put away in the late 90s when it was obvious that the perimenopausal weight trend was upwards.

If not, there's always the tape measure. Which says, by the way, that I've lost four inches off the hips, three inches off the thighs, five inches off the waist, and maybe an inch off the chest. If I snug up the tape measure, I'm within spitting distance of having the first digit of the waist measurement be a 2.

Tomorrow is our election and I believe I'm with that tearful four-year-old who sniffled that she was "tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney." I've reached a point that the clever LOLcats-style graphics on Teh Facebooks annoy me whether they tickle my isms or not.
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During the last U.S. presidential election season, I lost a couple of LJ friends of the liberal persuasion in the course of heated debates -- one by his choice, one by mine.

This year I am determined that this is not going to happen, partly by refraining from airing my political views on Teh Internets.

I read something somewhere (FB, I think) in which someone commented to the effect that "your snarky political observations aren't going to convert me; they may momentarily make you feel gleeful but they will essentially lower my opinion of you." That resonated. Boy did it resonate.

Yesterday I had jury duty and missed my daily afternoon dose of caffeine. I fell into bed before the thrilling conclusion of the Team Blue convention, even as I had during the thrilling conclusion of the Team Red convention.

Yesterday being jury duty day, all the bike ride I got was about 2.5 miles to and from the Criminal Justice Center, plus a short walk on my lunch break, plus my sit-ups when I got home. I upped the ante on the sit-ups by extending my legs fully rather than bending at the knee. I have limited patience for exercises and would resent time spent doing more than 30 of the wretched things. Tomorrow is reference jeans day and I'm looking forward to seeing a little bit of progress after another perfect week of following the Weight Watchers program on my own and getting the requisite 28 points of exercise.

On, and plant news for [livejournal.com profile] clindau -- I stopped counting Schlumbergera seedlings when I got to 20. I wish I had equally good news for [livejournal.com profile] halfmoon_mollie, but all the willow wands I started at the time I started hers have gone belly up, including hers. I'll start one again in the spring, or possibly ship you an unrooted wand in Feb, which you can place in water in a sunny windowsill, if you have one to spare (do you?). I brought in some willow cuttings one February and they were beautifully leafy by the Flower Show and had rooted heroically as well. I think that [livejournal.com profile] kightp took one home with her, and possibly [livejournal.com profile] karenkay and [livejournal.com profile] clindau as well.
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I really don't think that any entities are inherently Too Big To Fail, but there are two right now that I would prefer to see no more wounded than they already are:

  1. British Petroleum. Yes, they need to man up and do everything in their power and then some to clean up the mess they made. But please consider the fact that the company has lost more than 1/3 of its value since the spill. If investors keep fleeing, we may find the cupboard is bare when we go looking for restitution money.

  2. Barack Obama. I will be very happy to see him be a one term president and then go on to the job I suspect he's wanted all along -- a high level functionary at the U.N. But despite my personal opinions of the guy, we are facing any number of bad actors abroad who aren't interested in sitting down at the campfire and singing kumbaya. The last thing we need is a president who is seen as commanding no power and no respect at home. (Or to put it in psychobabble terms...when a parent is perceived as distracted or upset, the kids become fundamentally uneasy and start acting out. In certain real senses America has been the world's paterfamilias for many decades. Now dad is worried about some other stuff and the kids are reacting.)
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Hippeastrum gervase
2010-03-24_02hippeastrum
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
...was actually taken yesterday afternoon, as I marveled at the way the center band on one of these tepals looks like satin. I did a bit of reading on Teh Google about this variety, 'gervase,' and found that one of its characteristics is variability from flower to flower and even from tepal to tepal.

In other gardening news, we policed the back area a little more last night, and I potted up 30 hippeastrum bulbs from the Class of 2009. I found an online forum of enthusiastic hippeastrum propagators, who identified my first one as Fairy Tale, although it will always be Trader Joe to me...

Over on Facebook, I found there were a couple of folks whose political commentary could wind me up -- as much by the underlying tone of "I am a philosopher-king setting you peasants straight" as anything else. Two tenured professors, one neighbor. They're entitled to their views of course, but I really don't want to read them along with my morning coffee. Since FB doesn't allow the same kind of friends filters that LJ does, I simply unfriended them.

Some days I wonder how many folks on LJ have filtered me out.... but that's okay. One of the nice things about LJ is that you can filter someone out when they're on a tear and unfilter them when all they're doing is posting about their flowers.

Speaking of which, there are five flowers in bloom at once on my Nopalxochia, with twice that many behind them in the pipeline. I think last year I had five flowers in total!
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Consider this a bookmark because I'll want to go back to it later.

I am resigned to weeks of teh gloat from folks who are happy that the health care bill has been passed. As a healthy person with good genes, I'm not as likely to be affected by the rationing that's almost certainly coming down the pike very soon. As someone on the hypertension and high cholesterol borderline as recently redefined, I am intrigued by the contention in this entry that controlling both in older folks doesn't do squat for reducing the possibility of stroke or heart attack. I expect to die in my bed, with minimal medical intervention, after a long and cantankerous life.

But it won't be as affluent a life, because someone has to pay for this, and that someone is eventually going to be me. And the cost to the health of the body politic remains to be seen.

http://hugh-mannity.livejournal.com/845384.html

EDIT: And another one:
http://unixronin.livejournal.com/733665.html
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Toxic enough, it appears, that Putin thought that Russia and China could join forces to bring down the American economic system. Be very afraid...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=afbSjYv3v814
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And pretty much the way I feel, so I want to be able to find this later:

"Government in general can never be trusted: that is one of the reasons why the US constitution is such a subversive document. It says that people can criticize the government, that the government can't disarm them, that the government has only those rights explicitly given to them and all other rights belong to the people, not the government.

"... the US Constitution is the most subversive document ever published. With it, citizens can deny tyrants and the corrupt from taking over the system, and the system of checks and balances has, as we've recently seen, even worked when only one part of the system refuses to countenance the sins of the other two."

I haven't read the whole thing yet, so I don't vouch for every word at the link. But I want to be able to come back to it if I can't find the link later.

http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2010/01/syzygy.html
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2010-01-19_01mummertroll
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Like many others, I've been following the Massachusetts campaign. I was prepared for the Republican challenger to lose, or for it to be a squeaker, with another long drawn-out Minnesota-like recount. I was not prepared to learn, when I came upstairs to check the progress of the election returns, that Martha Coakley had conceded less than an hour after the polls closed.

Although Scott Brown's victory aligns with my politics, I'm not inclined to do any victory dances until both parties start moving away from the "aristocracy of pull" model -- where you can't tell the legislators from the lobbyists without a score card, and where the coin of the realm is campaign contributions, special exemptions, and pork.


EDIT: The picture makes no editorial statement. I just liked the odd couple.
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I have to say it: when Maureen Dowd ends a column with the line "heck of a job, Barry" I'm pretty sure the honeymoon is over.
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Does anyone think it's a good idea to let folks set fire to bombs in aircraft as they approach Detroit? Or anywhere else?

After our government failed us on this one, ordinary passengers disabled the little creep.So how come we're paying vast sums of money to a federal government that can't keep violent Islamist nutballs off our aircraft?
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Intelligence officials were aware of Hasan's efforts to contact Al Qaeda

Joe Lieberman is calling it potential terrorism. Does it matter whether he actually made the contact with Al Qaeda? Freelance terrorists shoot you just as dead as formally affiliated ones...

(Snarky side thought. How humiliating it will be for him to come out of his coma and discover he was taken down by a teeny-tiny woman.)
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Want to train your health care employees with federal funds from the bill? They'll have to be unionized. And more at the link:

http://biggovernment.com/2009/09/10/and-you-thought-this-was-all-about-health-care/

This isn't about health care. It's about power.
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Finally. A Democrat I can admire.
http://www.threedonia.com/archives/3360

h/t Instapundit -- who else?
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I wrote April 15 tea party letters to Messrs. Obama, Biden, Reid, Specter, etc., etc., oh and Mrs. Pelosi.

Yesterday's mail brought me the first response. Five paragraphs of ten point type from Mr. Biden addressed to "Dear Laura." Along about the end of paragraph four, he tells me that he's heading a Middle Class Task Force to help people like me. I want to say, like Max Bialystock to the Little Old Lady Chorus at his trial: Please. Don't help me.

Last night I dreamed I was having a family reunion and Joe Biden crashed the party. He just kept talking and talking and I couldn't shut him up.
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This is politics. But I would ask folks on my f-list whose political views tend not to synch with mine to read this and contemplate how you might like such an initiative if, say, it were employed in support of repealing Rove v. Wade, or protecting the Defense of Marriage Act, or any of the other things you (quite rightly) loathe about the unhinged right. Or even if it were employed in support of deregulating one or more of our industries.

Because if the Obama administration creates this, and if the Obama administration is voted out, a really dangerous precedent has been set:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/pcourrielche/2009/08/25/the-national-endowment-for-the-art-of-persuasion-patrick-courrielche/#more-209182

Edit: another take from The Volokh Conspiracy:
http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_08_23-2009_08_29.shtml#1251360555
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Tossed out without endorsement. The text makes it clear which side the author is on. I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about the data.

http://graefcrystal.com/images/CRYS_REP_HLTH_INS_8_12_09.pdf
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All the old heads of LJ will recall Nat Henthoff as a fearless voice speaking truth to power for more than five decades -- notably at the Village Voice. Henthoff has been around the barn a few times and knows that the evil in a bill is rarely in the text but in the latitude it gives the bureaucrats. And Henthoff -- who stood up to the likes of J. Edgar Hoover -- is now afraid of the Obamacare bill. Skip it if you like, but I think all the Old Lefties on my f-list ought to read it:

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff081909.php3
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"See, with the exception of those in the military, the young can’t prioritize for crap. Old folks, however, always show up for the things that matter: church, world wars, dinner (sometimes early). Meanwhile all those youngsters enamored by hope and change didn’t think beyond the bumper sticker – for it’s just too boring to question whether the government might turn your hospital into a post office with bed pans."

The older we get, the larger that issue of "Post Office with bed pans" looms for us, I think.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/ggutfeld/2009/08/17/daily-gut-thank-you-old-people/
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The text of the House's health care bill, all 1018 pages of it. At the moment, I am really really annoyed that there are no cross-references, nor links to other statutes incorporated by reference. This is not a user-friendly document. Thank you, docs.house.gov, for helping me become an informed citizen.

I am not reassured by what I've read so far. I see far-reaching powers assigned to a Commissioner, including the power to grant exemptions, and abundant opportunities for graft, bribery, and general mischief.

Or, as the poet says, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Edit: and the Commissioner will head up the Health Choices Administration.

Edit II: Someone educate me. Does "with the advice and consent of the Senate" mean the Senate can hold up an appointment?

*Guffaw!*

Aug. 8th, 2009 02:33 pm
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I think this cartoon sums up most Republicans' attitude to the Nirthers perfectly:

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