Archive for February, 2010

Hitler Bets Against Goldman Sachs

Heh. Found at the ever edifying Market Ticker.

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Cold Weather Survivors (So Far)

Four more ducklings had been hatched out between the cold snaps and were being carefully protected by their momma as they swam around in puddles. Unfortunately, the cold snap returned with temperatures plunging into the 20s overnight Thursday with a cold wind blowing.

Friday morning, I did not see the ducklings. Friday afternoon, no ducklings playing in the water. Saturday morning, there they are! I immediately ran outside to throw feed to them; they ran toward me as well, with mommy duck speaking sharply to them about getting too close to strangers. They stopped, and waited for feed like polite little ducklings at a safe distance. Momma duck must have moved them to a more sheltered location during the coldest weather.

During the past week, I found and rescued two little ducklings with no parental duck in attendance, brought them inside, and put them in the brooder with the older ducklings that were easily twice their size. Older chicks would have killed the younger chicks. The older ducklings are caring for their smaller adopted siblings. I originally thought that they may be siblings to the four (originally five) ducklings, but when I saw all four of the ducklings (who had grown quite a bit) with their momma duck, it was apparent that these were from a different nest. Momma duck may have taken them in but these would have been quickly lost as they couldn’t have kept up with her ducklings.

I now have two male ducklings and two female ducklings in the brooder in the office. I had planned on transitioning them to an outside pen if the weather were warm enough this weekend (it isn’t). With the new ducklings, though, I may have to keep them inside a bit longer. Instead of paper litter, they’re on a thick bed of sand to catch the watery droppings.

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Magnitude 8.8 Earthquake in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) – A massive magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck south-central Chile early on Saturday, killing at least 47 people, knocking down buildings and triggering a tsunami.

Lots of big aftershocks for those people that are trapped in collapsed buildings.

A contribution to your chosen charitable agencies that are in that area would be in order.

Per the USGS, this earthquake will be listed in the top ten earthquakes of all time.

•1960 05 22 – Chile – M 9.5
•1964 03 28 – Prince William Sound, Alaska – M 9.2
•2004 12 26 – Sumatra-Andaman Islands – M 9.1
•1952 11 04 – Kamchatka – M 9.0
•1868 08 13 – Arica, Peru (now Chile) – M 9.0
•1700 01 26 – Cascadia Subduction Zone – M 9.0
•1906 01 31 – Off the Coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador – M 8.8
•1965 02 04 – Rat Islands, Alaska – M 8.7
•1755 11 01 – Lisbon, Portugal – M 8.7
•1730 07 08 – Valparasio, Chile – M 8.7

I wonder how this is going to affect the ongoing eruption at Chaiten (and activity at Llaima) and the visitors/thrillseekers?

Per the Volcanism Blog:

This reminder that Chaitén remains dangerous may have been at least partly provoked by an influx of tourists, both Chilean and foreign, to the area. The officially abandoned town of Chaitén seems to have been playing host to large numbers of visitors. ‘All the [tourist] cabins are open, and other hotels as well. It’s surprising how many gringos are walking the streets’, says one local. Another dismisses the red alert warning as ‘a lie told by the Government … there has been no shaking, and there is nothing stopping people coming’. The pressure group ‘Hijos y Amigos de Chaitén’ (sons and friends of Chaitén) also attacked the Government for issuing the warnings: ‘The situation is completely normal today. There are no tremors, no fumaroles, ONEMI is lying’, says the group’s chairwoman, Rita Gutiérrez. Local councillor Bernardo Riquelme claims that a group of tourists have recently climbed the volcano and encountered neither tremors nor emissions. La Tercera reports that visitors to Chaitén are up by 50% on this time last year: ‘There is no light and no drinking water, but this does not prevent the flow of visitors that has increased in the last few months’.

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Burnin’ the Midnight–er, Something

SwampMan and I have been doing a lot of running around town after work picking up stuff for (his) work, usually getting in just in time to go to sleep (him), and feed an hour or two before going to sleep (me). The livestock aren’t suffering from neglect but I HAVE forgotten to give puppy his heartworm tablet. D’OH! I forgot to renew my vehicle tag, too, but I still have a few more days before I become a flaming scofflaw. So, how am I juggling all this crap?

Uh, don’t look at the state of my house. The vacuum cleaner thinks it has been abandoned. The mop is crying out for water. I think I’ve created life in the back of the refrigerator, and I’m kinda skeered to open the door. If a guest would be foolish brave enough to enter the living room, they would have to wait until I removed the underwear waiting to be folded from the sofa before they could be seated. Since we haven’t been home TO fold the underwear, though, that hasn’t been an issue. Yet. The Church People have been dropping by to visit me to check on the state of my soul (kinda murky around the edges, thanks for your concern!) and have (luckily?) missed seeing me. I hope they can continue to miss me until I can wrestle the laundry monster under control, and then maybe slay some dust bunnies.

SwampMan doesn’t feel that anybody should be poking their noses into his bidness anyway, and he doesn’t even bother to answer the door, let alone invite visitors inside. Visitors would be lucky if he were even WEARING underwear after his shower on account of the underwear (and probably the towels as well) would be in on that sofa with the guests. (Damnit, SwampMan, quit dripping on the carpet! Oh, now, look at that. The Church Ladies knocked the gate down on their way out the driveway!) He, of course, feels no sense of embarrassment because he’s been too busy to clean the house. He has delegated that part of married life to me. Along with cooking, routine house maintenance like painting, raking, trimming, planting, pet care, livestock care, etc.

I am TIRED. I’m going to have to cut back on either the livestock, the hobbies, helping SwampMan, or work. Cutting back on work seems like the thing to do but that’s only because I have a new egg-sized purple bruise/welt on my brachioradialis from a bite, as well as a bite on my trapezius. SwampMan points out that, if I were to stop working in the school system, I would no longer have insurance, and I’m not a spring chicken. (Hmmmmm. Better not kill SwampMan as his salary is much higher than mine….) I point out to SwampMan that if I were not working in the school system, I wouldn’t NEED insurance!

Maybe I could start a new magazine called “Bad Housekeeping” in the meantime as our house will continue to suffer with empty promises of a deep cleaning that will happen one day. Eventually. Maybe. Sometime after the potatoes have been planted (which may not happen until next winter because the garden has been too wet to plant potatoes this winter). So, anybody out there want to make a true confession about how long it has been since the sills were cleaned of stray fly legs, and what year the fridge was last cleaned? Yeah, me neither.

Beside the comfy chair, waiting to be read:  Obamanomics by Timothy Carney,  Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men, a couple of E-business books, an exercise book (sigh), J.A. Jance’s Trial by Fire , U.S. Army Survival Handbook, and James Wesley Rawles’  How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It.

It’s time to jump into the shower (5 a.m. comes waaaaay too damn early) and then read heartwarming stories of survival about bludgeoning the neighbors with rocks or stabbing them with pointy sticks. Just kidding, neighbors! We don’t have any rocks! We’d have to use chunks of concrete if we wanted to get an aerobic workout; otherwise, we’d use shotguns.

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Time for Bluegrass!

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Let the Weekend Begin!

SwampMan and I will enjoy a quiet drink….

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Woohooo! It’s Friday!

It would be better, of course, if it were a payday, but WTH. I’ll celebrate anyway.

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Odie Is Getting Feebler By the Day

Old Odie is getting feebler by the day. He’s completely deaf and blind now. I’ll find him in the garage, his head pushed into a space that his body is blocked from following, just standing there waiting patiently for somebody to come help him out. He can still find his secret passageways out of the fence but can no longer find his way back in. I keep him on the (screened) porch and in the garage when I’m not home because I fear that he will wander outside the fence and find his way to the street where he’ll be hit by a car he can no longer see or hear.

He is heartbroken that I won’t take him out with me to do all the feeding anymore but he got under the mare’s feet last time and got stepped on. For his own safety, he has to stay behind, yelping with a questioning tone in his voice until I return and he can follow me out to feed the chickens.

What am I going to do when Odie leaves me for good? Probably the same thing I did when my other good boys (and good girls) have left me in the past. Mourn for them and carry their memory with me. There will never be another gentle Odie.

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I am SOOOO Tired of Cold and Mud

I hope being tired of cold and mud doesn’t come back and bite me in the butt in, say, July while our property burns in 100-degree temperatures during a drought, but DAMN.

I blame the cold, gray days and the mud for the tall hot pink and white polka-dotted mud boots that I picked up on a whim from Target. Or maybe it was the two Margarita lunch that influenced my buying habits…..

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Big Surprise (Not). Amy Bishop Was a PITA Neighbor, Too.


The accounts of longtime neighborhood residents, combined with a stack of police reports provided to the Globe by the Ipswich Police Department, paint a picture of conflict between the Bishop/Anderson family and others in town.

Bishop, who was referred to as Amy Anderson at the time, called 911 regularly during her short time living in this North Shore community. She reported several neighborhood kids to the police for “disturbing the peace” by riding their dirt bikes and motorized scooters in the neighborhood after school. Police repeatedly informed her and her husband that kids are allowed to ride their bikes and scooters during the afternoon hours, especially on their own property.

Bishop called police at least five times about neighborhood children making noise after they got home from school. On July 3, 2001, she complained that the noise from motorized scooters and motor bikes was bothering her. On April 12, 2002, she complained that children were riding dirt bikes in the woods around the neighborhood. On April 27, 2003, she called police again about kids riding bikes in the neighborhood.
On June 25, 2000, during another complaint about kids making noise, Bishop reportedly told police that her dispute with one of the children’s parents may “come to blows.”

Joey Lafoe, now 18 and a senior at Ipswich High School, was the target of Bishop’s police reports several times for riding around on his dirt bike and motorized scooter.

“They used to videotape us driving our dirt bikes, and they used to call the cops on us saying that our dirt bikes kept them up — at 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon,” Lafoe said. “The cops said we could go until 8 o’clock.”

He summed the family up in one word:

“Strange,” Lafoe said.

Ipswich Police Officer Michael Thomas remembers responding to several 911 calls at the Anderson/Bishop house, calling the family “regular customers.”

“I do remember them. Some of their complaints were legitimate, but it just gets to a point there was never enough we could do for them.”

Thomas said that the family would get angry with police, especially when they said they were told that police couldn’t put a stop to kids playing basketball or riding dirt bikes in the neighborhood because it wasn’t illegal.

Bishop once stopped a local ice cream truck from coming into their neighborhood. According to WBZ-1030 radio, she said it because her own kids were lactose intolerant, and she didn’t think it was fair that her kids couldn’t have ice cream.

“That’s who it was!” Lafoe said. “When we were younger the ice cream truck just stopped coming around. That’s strange.”

Guess those children legally playing on their property were lucky she didn’t blow them away, too. And check out the ice cream ban! Because her children were supposedly lactose intolerant, everybody else was blocked from ice cream truck access. Typical freaking liberal.

I sincerely hope that somebody is checking out the childrens’ living situation. She was trying to keep everybody else’s children in her neighborhood from playing, so what must her childrens’ lives have been like? Don’t tell me daddy is normal when he lived with a fruitcake like that.

H/T RickZ from GCP.

Sucks to be in the same restaurant with the beeyatch, too:


In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant.

When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling “I am Dr. Amy Bishop.”

Bishop received probation and prosecutors recommended that she be sent to anger management classes, though it is unclear from court documents whether a judge ever sent her there.

The woman, identified in court documents as Michelle Gjika, declined to comment, saying only “It’s not something I want to relive.”

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