Thursday, June 28, 2007

Learn something new every day

From time to time, we see opossums around here. Today's Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about the gentle but misunderstood little critters.

I was bemused when I read this passage:

When threatened, the animal can look awfully mean, but it's all a big show. Opossums don't run or bite well. They're not very coordinated and, in Simon's words, they're not the most intellectual of creatures.

If the baring-teeth-and-hissing drama doesn't work, they feign death by entering a temporary coma. This strategy doesn't fool dogs and other large predators, according to Mary Cummins, a Los Angeles-based licensed wildlife rehabilitator and educator. She takes in 600 injured or orphaned opossums each year.

So, neither dogs nor my nine year-old are fooled by the "playing possum" trick .. but I was.

That's just a little embarrassing!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Therapeutic Recreation

Look what I did today!

For those of you who don't know me in real life, I painted the bird feeder to look just like my house. That's supposed to be lavendar beside the door.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

La La La La I can't hear you!

I see, out of the corner of my eye, that some hacker claims to have uncovered the ending of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

If this is true, then you, Mr/Ms Hacker, are also an asshole of the highest order. You probably belong to Slytherin house.

I am a loud, proud, unrepentent Harry Potter fan. I have been looking forward to the release of HPATDH for two years now. Those sweet people at, aided and abetted by the fine folks of the USPS, will bring HPATDH to my door on July 13th. As I am working night shifts on the 13th and the 14th, I may not be able to finish JK Rowling's opus until the 15th or so. In the interim, I do not want to see, hear, or think about any spoilers.

Hacker dude, I wish I could turn you into a toad!

Edited to add:
Oops! I guess I'm in a state of perpetual sleep deprivation these days!
HPATDH will be delivered to my house on 21 July. I'm working three night shifts that weekend, so I probably won't finish it until the 23rd or 24th of July.

An open letter to the administrators of the VA hospital in Iron Mountain, MI:

It has been brought to my attention that you are refusing to play along with the state Governor's order that flags be lowered to half mast for 24 hours following the death of a Michigan soldier killed in the line of duty.

The New York Times reports that:

The Stars and Stripes in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge here flies at half-staff because Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm issued a statewide order to lower the flag for 24 hours to honor a Michigan soldier killed in Iraq.

Just blocks away, however, at the veterans’ hospital run by federal officials who say they do not answer to the governor the flag flutters at full staff.

You, the powers that be at the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain, are assholes.

You are assholes of the highest order.

You are assholes who are so blindingly stupid that you are willing to further blacken the eye of the VA for the sake of standing your regulation-bound ground.

Lower the flag. Show some respect to your patients.

That is all. Carry on.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good morning!

It is 0532. I just stepped out on the porch to do a few sun salutations and greet this beautiful solstice morning. Mere yards away, a deer crossed the road. The sun's first rays danced over her graceful back.

I'm enjoying a fresh cup of coffee before I leave for work.

Happy Solstice, and Namaste.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

And the witch hunt continues

For five days after Hurricane Katrina, the staff who remained to tend to the patients of Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans toiled under unimaginably harsh conditions. There was no electricity, no water, and no communication about when, if ever, relief would arrive. The temperature soared into the triple digits. Gunshots rang out in the flooded streets below.

Thirty four patients perished at Memorial Medical Center at that time.

Nearly a year after the storm, Dr. Anna Pou, Cheri Landry, RN, and Lori Budo, RN, were arrested, accused of second degree murder in the deaths of four of those patients. Attorney General Charles Foti alleges that they administered lethal doses of Morphine and Versed, with the intent to kill. All have proclaimed their innocence. None have actually been charged. Their personal and professional lives have been turned upside down.

Nearly a year after the arrests, Cheri Landry and Lori Budo have been offered immunity in exchange for their grand jury testimony against Dr. Pou.

Despite my relatively impressive academic background, and despite having been a charge nurse in a Louisiana hospital that lies on a hurricane evacuation route, I would have been completely overwhelmed by the situation at Memorial Medical Center. I have absolutely no idea what I would have done, in those circumstances, for those critically ill patients.

I do not know what actually transpired at that hospital.

I do know that if I was a critically ill patient, stranded by my own government's ineptitude, I'd be praying for a little morphine.

Contributions to Dr. Anna Pou's legal defense fund can be made here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What a surprise.

Via Bloomberg News:

The U.S. and Russia have agreed to dismantle the U.N. agency that searched Iraq for weapons of mass destruction and affirm that Saddam Hussein's government had no such arms at the time of the American invasion in March 2003.

Three thousand, five hundred, and twenty nine, and counting, sacrificed at the wrong altar.

.. affirm that Saddam Hussein's government had no such arms at the time of the American invasion in March 2003.

Do you feel safer, America? Do you care?

.. no such arms at the time ..

To those of you out there, who still willingly gulp Neo-Con Kool-Aid: It's time to pony up. Go and visit your local Army recruiter. Strap on some combat boots, and take your turn in the desert.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Afternoon at the beach

Grass Point State Park, 9 June 2007