Archive for April, 2009

Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project

I hope that all the people that have died to keep our country great haven’t died in vain.

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What the Younger Generation Thinks About the “Green” Agenda

SwampMan was in school today cleaning polyurethane from paintbrushes. One of his students walked up and asked him why he wasn’t using mineral spirits.

SwampMan explained to the student that there were some mineral spirits in the formulation but that it had been engineered to be less toxic and better for the environment.

The student asked “Does that mean that this product is “green”?”

SwampMan thought about it and said “Yeah, I guess it is!”

“Green is SO gay!” proclaimed the student as he walked away.

SwampMan needs to ask what the kids think about climate change and Al Gore.

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Going to the Doctor With a URI During a New Virus Event

I went to the doc to be declared swine-flu free today because I work with children and, as you parents know, you would probably be a lil’ worried about your child being in the same room as a cougher at this point in time.

The protocol was a bit different for my visit today. The front door had a huge sign on that said that anybody with signs and symptoms of a URI or flu including but not limited to vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, temperature, and coughing had to use a side entrance. There I was questioned as to whether I or my family members had been out of the country in the past 10 days. I replied that I hadn’t even been out of the county and I just had a cold but wanted that verified before I returned to work and scared parents.

Since I hadn’t been out of the country, I was able to be led to the examining room via the filing room. Somebody that had been out of the country had to come in the back door and would be issued a N95 mask before entering.

The doc quickly assured me that I had a cold which I already knew. I just wanted the note certifying me to be swine-flu free, plus it was a great opportunity for me to report on the precautions being taken at doctors’ offices in Florida.

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I Accidentally Watched Obama Press Conference on Chrysler Today

I watched Obama’s press conference today, and I have to say that watching the CONSTANT left-right-left-right eye motions as he read the teleprompter was enough to make an already ill person even sicker. What made it even worse was the disjointed manner in which he uttered his sentences. The swish-swish-swish of the eyes combined with the non-fluent delivery of the speech was quite annoying. The appearance is that of a poor reader.

Yada yada yada Fiat has great technology. Yada yada there are some eeeevil speculators who actually wanted to get their money back. Obama appeared to be quite put out that some debt owners didn’t want to roll over and play dead. How dare they defy Obama! After all, Daimler and major banks calmly acquiesced to being screwed, so just who do they think they are? DAMN those speculators who thought that they were investing in a sound company! He’s taking Chrysler into bankruptcy so you evil speculators will get nothing. NOTHING! Bwahahahaha.

Oh, and Fiat is going to be building cars (with their advanced technology)that we’re all going to want to buy? If they are, then why aren’t we already buying them? After all, we’re buying cars from every place else. Let’s just say that I’m doubtful about the Fiat/Chrysler merge. Obama hopes that we’ll buy an AMERICAN car when we buy our next vehicle. Maybe he ought to inform his huge STAFF that mostly drive imports.

All you horrible little individual mom and pop proprietorships out there that had the temerity to believe that you had a shot at the American dream through owning your own business can just kiss your small town dealerships goodbye. Obama knows that the way to help revive car sales is to have fewer dealerships and make the vehicles more difficult to buy! You small town businesses OBVIOUSLY didn’t funnel enough millions into his campaign funds.

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More Flu-Like Illnesses Reported After Trip to Disney World

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — More people who recently visited Disney World are reporting flu like symptoms. Sixteen to eighteen high school students from Greenville, South Carolina, who went to Disney last week, are now sick.

Eyewitness News spoke with the Greenville County Schools Superintendant who said the school they attend, Mauldin High School, will be closed Thursday for a special, precautionary cleaning.

School officials are still waiting on test results to see if they have Swine Flu.

Ugh. The only bright spot we still have in the economy has been tourism.

Update: Central Florida health officer says “it’s already here!”

“So this it, folks, it’s already here. I can’t confirm that with a laboratory test right now, but I’m telling you it’s here in our community and it can spread. Anyone who is sick must be seen and be treated,” Dr. Sherin said Thursday morning.

Dr. Sherin has asked the Emergency Operations Center to open to begin dealing with what he says is an imminent flu pandemic in Orange County and throughout the world. He also praised the Orange County Health Department staff for their tireless work over the past few days.

“They’ve been collecting dozens of samples throughout this community. Some of those samples, and it’s more than a handful, are highly suspicious for swine flu,” Dr. Sherin said.

I’m watching a live press conference in Orange County, and the Orange County folks point out that there’s quite a bit of normal influenza activity circulating, and this may very well be your normal influenza outbreak and not have anything to do with the new virus.

In the news conference, the spokesperson is saying that Disney is better than anyone else in the world at protecting from infective diseases. He reminds us that every large corporation (including Disney) has a plan for pandemic flu and have implemented it. Another person points out that during a regular flu event, the room is completely sanitized when the person occupying it leaves.

Dang. Perhaps I better stay at a Disney hotel when I go to Orlando!

The Orange County official says that they have tested a lot of people in the past week–they believe that 99% will be normal flu activity. They expect that there are also cases of the new flu virus that will show up on testing. What is interesting is that they are working under the premise that the virus is already in the area, even though there have not been any confirmed cases in Florida as yet.

Oh, snap, I typed too soon:

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Florida’s Health Secretary said 3 swine flu samples have been sent to the CDC for further testing.

Health Secretary Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros did not go into details about those samples–for confidentiality purposes–but she said the cases are from Broward, Lee and Orange Counties. She included that the three suspected cases are being kept out of the public. Until those results come back, there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Florida.

Health officials cautioned Floridians not to panic; however, everyone is supposed to take extra hygiene precautions including washing hands frequently, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying home if you don’t feel well.

Governor Charlie Crist said he would keep us abreast of any emergency orders or statewide requests for Tamiflu, the antibiotic for swine flu.

Well. They don’t send negative samples to the CDC for further testing.

Georgia just had it’s first confirmed case of H1N1. A woman from out of state that had traveled to Mexico a month ago came down with the illness.

Update: SC School with kids sick after trip to Disney has closed out of an abundance of caution.

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Joe Biden Tells Americans to Avoid Mass Transit

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states and forced school closures amid confirmation of the first U.S. death.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” Biden said when asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.

Biden made his comments during a brief interview on NBC’s “Today” show during an interview with Matt Lauer.

“I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico, it’s you’re in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. ”

The vice president also implied that schools should be closed as the threat of swine flu increases.

“If you’re out in the middle of a field and someone sneezes that’s one thing. If you’re in a closed aircraft or a closed container or closed car or closed classroom it’s a different thing.”

Of course, his office had to later clarify his remarks because (they said) he only wants SICK people to stay off mass transportation. And he only wants his family members to avoid mass transportation if they are sick (presumably with H1N1) and traveling.

Oh, well. I thought it was funny. Now if I can just find that DAMNED remote so that I can get the television channel changed off of NBC! DAMN! I watch the local NBC affiliate in the morning for the weather and traffic before I head out and I can’t find the freakin’ remote.


Anyway, I believe Joe Biden meant exactly what he said to begin with. You can be shedding virus while asymptomatic.

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Escape Artist Puppy Strikes Again

Since I was feeling a bit under the weather last night and didn’t want to pass on my incubating virus to SwampMan, I spent the night in my beloved La-Z-Boy recliner. I was awakened by a scrabbling noise.

Sam the Bad Puppy was climbing back onto the porch through another ripped out screen. Perhaps he thought I wouldn’t notice the new ripped out screen when I left for work in the morning, particularly if he was on the porch. I put him in the (small) kennel, the only one that can contain him, but which he escaped from previously. I *thought* that going around the perimeter of the kennel with nylon rope and securing the bottom of the chain link more securely to the frame might deter Houdini.

So, when I stepped off the porch with the bottles to feed the lamb this morning and was exuberantly greeted by Sam and noted that not only had he escaped from confinement, he’d carried out his favorite toy with him as well, I was not happy. He, on the other hand, was so proud of himself he could hardly stand it. He’d gotten through this incredible obstacle course to reunite with his alpha bitch and wasn’t I proud of him? And he brought the pull toy, too! Ready to play?

“Puppy, we need to have us a lil’ talk”, I told him as I went out to feed the lamb.

I went inside to call in sick at work, then outside to check the damage to the kennel. I really didn’t feel up to this. And Sam was gone.

Now, having the puppy escaping out of the yard is bad. The street is pretty busy in the predawn hours and the traffic flies by at speeds far in excess of the 30 mph speed limit. A black dog who doesn’t know about traffic could become a flat dog in a hurry. Children would be gathering at school bus stops, and Sam is an 80 lb. puppy that wants to play. People here have livestock and, if he gets in their pasture, he will be shot. I know, because if I didn’t “know” him, I would shoot him if he got into my pasture. I also know that just because he shares his doghouse with a hen on a nest doesn’t mean that he would treat stranger chickens that aren’t “his” with respect.

SwampMan walked outside in his underwear because he heard me calling “SAM coughcoughcough damnit to hell SAM coughcoughcoughwheeze” LET’S GO!”

I told him his puppy Sam was missing. He reacted by getting into the shower and getting ready for work. A half an hour later, after I had located bad puppy and Odie at an area pond having a swim, he casually ventured outside to ask if I’d located the miscreants yet. When I pointed out the mud-covered pup that was lying in my former flower garden acting somewhat penitent, he scolded puppy by saying something like “oooooooh, him’s a bad boy, huh? Wuzzims a bad boy? Did hims have a nice swim?” Yeah, hims is lucky his escape artist ass didn’t get eaten by an alligator (but it was a little chilly this morning) or hit by a car or shot by somebody with livestock.

So, Sam is back in confinement (for the moment). The escape route was clear because the nylon rope was chewed through and the chain link was pushed up. I used metal fence clips to secure it this time.

I hope he stays there long enough for me to get a nap.

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Home For the Day with Cough, Sore Throat, and Stuffy Nose

Working my first year in an elementary school after not being exposed to tiny germ factories (except for the grandchildren) for several years ensures that I get a cough, sore throat, and runny nose on a monthly basis.

Waking up this morning with the hacking cough symptom of an upper URI, therefore, came as no surprise. I’d been incubating it for several days, feeling tired with a scratchy throat. There are several students hacking with a spring cold and, no matter how vigorously one applies the hand sanitizer and washes with antibacterial soap, there’s not a lot of protection when little tiny people cough right in my face when I bend over to help them with a horribly complicated counting problem involving coins (dimes, nickels, pennies and quarters, oh noooooo) or the proper way to write a lowercase “u”.

I think I know where the virus that I’m carrying came from, and I don’t feel acutely ill. On the other hand, it could have come from somebody at Wal-Mart, a fast food emporium, or the bank or post office. Whatever the origin, I do not think that the parents of students would feel very reassured of their child’s safety if I were caught with a coughing paroxysm as they came by to pick up their child. Other staff probably wouldn’t feel very happy, either. So, I decided to stay home.

On the other hand, with the budget problems, the schools can’t really afford to hire substitutes to cover everybody that comes down with a URI during the course of the school year, so there are plenty of staff that come to work sick. I’ve done it. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t still have sick time left to take! If I don’t come down with any other symptoms (like sudden death?) aside from the urge to go take a nap and that aggravating cough, I’ll return to work tomorrow.

If there WERE to be a person that would contract the new flu, it would be me, given my propensity to turn up with every freakin’ URI that has ever passed or considered passing through the school system.

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If I Were a Shareholder of Bank of America, I’d Be Joining a Lawsuit

From Forbes comes more information about how the Feds and the Bank of America chairman’s colluded in a scheme to defraud the BoA shareholders:

None of the details revealed by Lewis’ testimony to Cuomo’s office–all substantive matters that would have been of keen importance to shareholders of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America–were ever made public before the deal went through on Dec. 31. That is a shocking violation of the requirement to inform shareholders of any material matters that could impact their vote or holding of shares in either company. This nondisclosure of market sensitive information means all the trading between Dec. 15 and April 22–tens of millions of shares of the largest U.S. bank–was executed on the basis of withheld information. This is a shocking violation of 75 years of securities regulation.

Incredibly, the SEC was never informed of any of this: that Merrill was about to report a huge $15 billion loss, that Lewis wanted to kill the deal, that Paulson told Lewis that Bernanke had instructed him to fire Lewis and dismantle his entire board if he refused to go through with the merger. It’s not exactly clear what authority Paulson and Bernanke were going to use to replace Lewis and his board–powers they might assume in a pending systemic breakdown?

“Notably, during Bank of America’s important communications with federal banking officials in late December 2008, the lone federal agency charged with protecting investor interests, the Securities and Exchange Commission, appears to have been kept in the dark,” states Cuomo’s letter to congressional leaders. “Indeed, Secretary Paulson informed this office that he did not keep the SEC chairman in the loop during the discussions and negotiations with Bank of America in December 2008.” In other words, Paulson’s disdain for SEC Chairman Christopher Cox meant that the Treasury was operating in an autonomous, somewhat high-handed fashion.

I would be shocked, shocked about this revelation if I hadn’t already heard about it in financial blogs like the Market Ticker.

I am not shocked about anything the government is doing at the moment. They ALL need to go.

Barney Frank says that Lewis acted correctly in screwing the shareholders. Screwing the shareholders is something that Barney Frank knows all about.

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California Politicians Take Stupidity to a Whole New Level

Via Watts Up With That:

These words are from Congressman Henry Waxman who probably couldn’t find his ass with both hands, an anatomy book with pictures, and help from a Congressional committee:

“We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

What is really frightening is that these cretins, these absolute idiots are going to be placing a HUGE tax increase on the American public. This needs to be stopped NOW.

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