Monday, May 31, 2004

U Heights Neighborhood Spared 

Twisters missed our home for the second time in two years last night. A large funnel cloud went 1/2 a mile northwest of the University Heights neighborhood damaging structures from highway 37 and I-465 (the Flying J Truck Stop) on up to the NE side. It skirted Garfield Park and disabled several businesses along Troy Avenue. On Keystone Avenue two miles NW the tornado ripped the roof off a nursing home. Go to this site and click on the photo gallery to see some damage near us, plus some of the really bad stuff in Marengo.

Pat GArvey reported that right after the 180 lap at the Indy 500, Mr. Rice was called the winner in his Rayhall(sp) Letterman car. Tom Carnagie then told everyone in the track to please get the heck out of the speedway and go hide. A 'nader was a coming.

And the Pacers lost.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Mayberry Machiavellis  

Yes, though he has the charisma of a doorknob-
Read Al's speech sponsored by MoveOn PAC.
Let's move on.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Another interesting story about the intelligence of corvids.

New Sexy Gas Tax 

You can argue there were or weren't WMDs in Iraq. You can question whether Saddam was behind 9/11. You can even argue the US is there to free the Iraqis from a cruel master. True, Saddam was horrible. But North Korea and Burma have leaders that are equally despotic. Horrors that equal those in Iraq are happening today in Africa. And China continues to limit freedoms, yet we are not there to free those people or protect them from their own governments. As I have said all of the above may be argued.But you cannot question the strategic importance that Iraq plays in the world oil market.

Iraq was a threat to our rich and non-democratic Saudi friends. Iraq has important oil reserves that were probably not going to be shared with the US and Britain, at least while under Saddam. Iraq sits in the middle of the whole of the middle east, lending the country its importance in oil production and transport.

So when we get a president and a vice president that are so tied up with the world oil industry, we get leadership that has at its top priority protecting our oil supply. Whatever that takes. Bush/Cheney know how much we are currently dependant on oil. A loss of supply will cause 'stagflation'. Job loss, loss of income, loss of cred worldwide.

Bush/Cheney, good Republicans, have an ideology that limits their options. They do not believe in policy or laws that control the demand side of the market. Consumers make choices. Buy this or buy that. The government should not be involved with consumers buying decisions. The only thing Bush/Cheney can do is to guarantee that the oil keeps coming either from new sources or by protecting our current ones. So here we are in Iraq, just as we have been in the past with the Saudis. Or Texas(laugh laugh).

Actually what I said above isn't completely true about Republicans. Republicans will limit or tax consumers when morality or health is involved. Drugs, pornography or liquor
all involve moral questions. Should they be sold. Should we not ban or tax them. We limit these items because that is morally right and its good for our country.

Our gross use of petroleum is immoral, so why are we not trying to limit our dependance on it. Our abuse of oil leads to health problems of our people and our land. We are willing to spill oil on our coasts and tear up land to find oil. Hooked on oil, our country must get in bed with corrupt governments. Such an addiction requires us to do backbends on our beliefs in democracy. As long as the oil flows, dictators have a free reign. Our soldiers must be put in harms way to protect our mainline.

There is a simple way to wean us from this addiction. A gas tax. Both Dick Cheney and John Kerry have supported the idea in the past. A variety of both conservatives and liberals suggested it. Charge a higher tax on gas, and consumers will find ways to reduce their use. We can even limit the impact this tax has on the economy by lowering other taxes as we raise the gas tax. The president is in the best seat to make this decision. During both recent wars, he has not asked our citizens to do without anything. Now Bush has the chance to show the world we are willing to make real changes, to make our country stronger, and cut our dependence on OPEC.

Below I stole a paragraph from a recent Economist editorial.

"When the price (of oil) does next subside, and the opportunity again arises to use taxes to weaken OPEC by discouraging western consumption of oil, America's government, especially, might bear this in mind. The Economist, May 20th 2004
From The Economist print edition

Keeping You Informed on Wander Indiana 

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Muncie has banned Confederate battle flags from a campground, prompting a fight between city officials and some campers.

The city created the new rules at Prairie Creek Reservoir, which it owns, in response to complaints that the campground has become a taxpayer-subsidized, semi-permanent trailer park nicknamed "Springerville" after the Jerry Springer television show.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Spring is Summer 

Southside Indianapolis

No Cicadas yet. But in our backyard right outside our living room window,
the tiny but decorative Northern Parula was looking for insects in our small locust tree.

That locust is always a good bet for birds.


We tried out my birthday present from Abby yesterday. 10' Intex Easy - Set Pool. All I can say is Yippee. Pool has a filter, solar cover, and can be chlorinated. Thirty inches deep, you can float in it.

Summer fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Nuge heads to Frisco 

Ted Nugent is in San Francisco. On reports (see link) a deer has crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, the Nuge has put on his safari gear and is in the Bay area to show the locals what deer are for.

"I just got this new ExoMAX crossbow for my birthday. Considering firearms not appropo for use on the Presidio golf course, I am gonna show the Bay Area vegheads how to take Bambi like the Indians did -- Bow & Arrow," said Nugent.

Former Rockstar and Talkshow Pundit Nugent ran into trouble when he went down to San Francisco City Hall to get a hunting license.

City clerk Marnie Hoytzin said "Mr. Nugent came in wearing some kind of strange safari gear. I noticed him right away. He was mumbling to himself kinda playing air guitar. He seemed polite. I must have misunderstood him. I thought he said he wanted a license to marry a queer."

"When I gave him the marriage license and asked him if the gentleman behind him was his life partner he became outraged. Yelling something about already being married. I said of course that's not possible; polygamy is still against the law."

Hoytzin added "He stormed out screaming he'll never leave his Wang Dang Sweet Poontang, and telling me I can go get Cat Scratch Fever. Then he bared his teeth at me and sprang through the metal detector and out of the lobby. Can you believe that?"

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Amy H has told me this sad news about her long time companion Edwina:

After a 6 week battle trying to control Ed's kidney
failure, I had to have her put to sleep on Monday.
She was 2 weeks shy of her 16th birthday. I feel like
I lost my best friend.


Not much can I add to that. Its a tough decision. It can leave you cold.
My thoughts are with you Amy.

Photo & Video & Links on the Left Work 

What the world needs most 

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Monday, May 17, 2004

National Bike to Work Week 

And National Bike Month.

Take advantage of the great weather and give those wheels a whirl.
Take a load off your car, get some exercise.

Someone recently emailed me one of those forwarded pass-on type email messages. It was saying May 19th should be National Do Not Buy Gas Day. Their idea is that we all don't buy gas that day we would teach the oil companies a lesson. A coworker said that sounded dumb. If people don't change their driving habits they would still have to buy gas the next day.

What you can do to really make a difference, making our country stronger, reducing our trade deficit, and not providing funds to terrorist nations (Saudi Arabia) is to reduce fuel consumption.

While riding a bike is great, some cannot make use of that form of transportation. You can walk, take the bus, carpool. Combine trips so you run all of your errands at once, reducing car trips. I am sure you can think up a few more creative ways not to drive.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Time to Impeach 

What is going on in Iraq is wrong. It is sickening. And the problem is not tied to individual officers and soldiers. It is tied to how this war has been ran from the beginning.

George Bush and Dick Cheney went out of their way to make people believe the terrorists that caused 9/11 are connected and were funded by Saddam. That is a complete lie.

George Bush and Dick Cheney looked long and hard trying to make the case that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. There weren't any.

The President claims he is behind our troops 100%. Unfortunately he, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld underfunded the war, disregarding Pentagon generals who said the US Military would need money and more soldiers to reach our goals in Iraq.

Hundreds of American soldiers have died and thousands injured because Bush tried to do this on the cheap. The prison abuse in Iraq is a direct result of Bush's incompetence.

Four years ago Bill Clinton was nearly impeached because of the shame he brought on the country because he was cheating on his wife in the White House. Today George Bush has said these prison abuses have brought shame on our country. What Bush has wrought is considerably more harmful to our nation than Clinton's infidelity.

Impeach Bush.

The previous blog linked to pictures from a slaughterhouse, and after looking at them I realized they didn't really bother me. I know that porkchop was carved from the carcass of a large dead animal, and it had to be slaughtered and bled out. The aspect of meat eating that does disturb me is the animal's life prior to slaughter. Most of our food animals in the United States lead short unpleasant lives crammed into cages or pens inside huge factory farms, all in the name of quick growth and profit for the "farmer"(corporate entity).
In Germany, farmers are required to provide chew toys to hogs to help with the boredom of confinement. In England law mandates that farmers have some kind of contact with the hog daily- just a couple of pats on the rump or a scratch behind the ear improves quality of life. In America, thanks to the Slow Food movement and animal rights activists, some meat animal producers are raising small sustainable herds, allowing the creatures to live outdoors, grazing and rooting at will. People pay higher prices for the end product, but the quality of the animal's life is evident in its meat.
We try to buy from 4-H animals or small producers when we can. We also eat less meat. I would like to reduce our meat-eating even more...but I doubt I could give it up altogether.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Found this great Meatshop Site. May be considered graphic by some. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Everyone say Hey and Happy Birthday to my lad as he turns that magical age of 38!!! Jeep, we sing your praises and shower you in chocolate-covered corn-nuts and deconstructed clam chowder!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I just received the following letter in regards to my complaint to an Atlanta radio station that aired a show that bashed bicyclists and even promoted running them off the road and into trees. The League of American Bicyclists has a link that explains more.

Dear Mr. G,

Thank you for writing to me regarding the comments made on the Friday, April 23 Don Miller Morning Show on WNNX (99X) concerning cyclists in the Atlanta area.

Susquehanna Radio Corp. has a long and proud history of responsible programming in each of its markets. Neither the company nor any of its stations would ever encourage or support comments which would advocate hostile behavior toward cyclists. To the contrary, Susquehanna stations have supported cyclists in numerous ways, including a major promotion orchestrated several years ago by 99X for the Atlanta Bike Path at Stone Mountain Park.

The remarks to which you refer occurred during a discussion of traffic congestion in Atlanta. They were an unfortunate and ill advised attempt at humor and sarcasm, and both the hosts and management immediately recognized that they could be misconstrued. With this in mind, the following actions have already been taken:

1) The hosts responsible for the segment have been disciplined, and an on-air explanation and apology were made the following week. This apology was designed to ensure that listeners understood that the hosts were in no way advocating causing harm to cyclists.

2) All of our Senior Managers, have been apprised of the issues raised by this incident and directed to convey to the individual stations that such material will not be tolerated on our stations.

3) Our Senior Vice President/Programming has been directed to review this matter with the Program Directors of each station, making them aware of the potential danger of such content, the importance of preventing it from airing on any of our stations, and the potential consequences for lack of adherence to this direction.

4) A meeting was held on Friday, May 7, 2004 at WNNX with members of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, during which additional outreach and support options were discussed, in an effort to further educate and sensitize our listeners concerning responsible behavior by and toward cyclists. This discussion included promotional, public service and public affairs opportunities.

Please understand that Susquehanna Radio Corp. takes this matter seriously and will not tolerate advocacy of any behavior or content that could jeopardize the safety of cyclists. It is our hope that these measures will serve to properly and directly address the incident in question, prevent a similar occurrence in the future, and provide an opportunity for advancing the cause of safe cycling.

Again thank you for your input and concern.


Peter P. Brubaker
Susquehanna Media Co.
717 852-2302

>>> < > 05/10/04 04:08PM >>>
Dear Mr. Peter Brubaker:
I am writing to urge you to issue a clear statement to your radio station managers that Susquehanna Radio Corporation does not support or condone anti-cyclist messages, particularly those that encourage or condone physical harm or abusive and intolerant behavior towards bicyclists.

Recent broadcasts by presenters on your and other networks specifically the Don Miller morning show on WNNX-FM on Friday, April 23rd - cross the line of what is acceptable and responsible broadcasting. I understand that radio talk show hosts are deliberately provocative and employ a variety of techniques to gain attention, notoriety, and of course listeners. Humor, sarcasm, irony and other approaches all have their place in keeping listeners tuned in and entertained. Suggesting, condoning or even making light of forcing cyclists off the road does not have a place in broadcasts from your or other radio stations.

Equally, deliberately countermanding traffic laws and telling cyclists to get off the road and onto the sidewalk "where they belong" is misleading and potentially dangerous advice. Comments such as "don't ride in traffic", and "ride in the dirt where you belong" quickly lose any humor or irony when yelled out by drivers emboldened by hearing this attitude repeatedly supported, condoned and encouraged by radio talk show hosts and their listeners.

Therefore, I urge you take the following steps:

a) issue a statement to your station managers expressing your lack of tolerance for inappropriate content regarding bicycling and the safety of bicyclists;

b) request an on-air apology from the Don Miller show presenters, together with a correction of their misleading and potentially dangerous "advice" for cyclists to get off the road.

c) Air a series of public service announcements explaining the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists and motorists as they interact on the roadway.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.



Cicadas: Check out this map to see when they'll hit.
Brood X, Gen X, will be hitting over the next couple of weeks.
They may ruin your outdoor wedding.

Monday, May 10, 2004

This site contains instant e-letters you can send to the President and other key players to let your feelings about a woman's rights be known. It's a very useful site if you are like me- very concerned but too lazy to write on your own. It only takes a minute.www.nfprha.org

Some clarification: Emergency Contraception is Contraception.

"Can emergency contraceptive pills cause an abortion?

No. Emergency contraceptive pills work to prevent pregnancy -- they cannot interrupt or disrupt an established pregnancy.[vi] In fact, emergency contraception reduces the need for abortion. The medical community defines pregnancy as beginning with the successful implantation of a fertilized egg.[vii] Emergency contraception works to prevent pregnancy before implantation. Emergency contraceptive pills will not harm a woman or her fetus if she is already pregnant."

For more on what the FDA plans to deny American women, see http://www.nfprha.org/pac/factsheets/ecps.asp!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Federal drug regulators yesterday rejected a drug maker's application to sell a morning-after pill over the counter because of concerns about whether young girls would be able to use it safely.

"The FDA has done a terrible disservice to the public with this decision and continues to manifest a pattern of disregard for science from the current administration. There is unprecedented support for over-the-counter access to emergency contraception among the medical community and the public," says Felicia Stewart, MD, ARHP board member and co-director of the Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy at UCSF. "The medical evidence overwhelmingly shows Plan B is safe, effective, and appropriate for OTC use by women of all ages. This product's potential to reduce unintended pregnancy offers a significant public health benefit."

"Studies show that greater access to emergency contraception makes it more likely young women will use it early, when it works best. Research also shows that teenagers understand EC is a back-up option. Having it on hand does not increase the chances they'll have unprotected sex or use their regular birth control method less often."

"There's also no evidence that use of EC is associated with an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections. At the same time, researchers and medical professionals have long documented the potentially harmful impact an unintended pregnancy can have on teenagers,
their families, and their future."

Emergency Contraception (here the drug Plan B) has been used in Europe, tested extensively here, and ok'd by the FDA's own council. But because some conservatives are uncomfortable with ANY type of contraceptive, the Bush administration is delaying a very safe over-the-counter contraceptive to American woman. So it appears the Bush Administration will continue to discount valid science to promote their vacant conservative agenda. An agenda that includes being both anti-abortion and also anti-contraceptive. A vote for Bush is a vote for NO CHOICE: have babies; stay home; be illiterate; die young.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Has it really been five years since Phil Wingert died?
In May 1999, we had been in our new home for about nine months. Hodgkin's Disease was still a couple years away from our lives. I had been on my job at University Place Conference Center at IUPUI for just a month.

My sisters were still just daughters, and not moms. Hunter Wallace was just a newborn.
Ivy Cook was six months old.

Pat Garvey had not moved to San Diego. The economy was still rolling along. There was no terrorism problem that we were aware of. Clinton was still president.

In late April several of us including John Mynhier (nee Stoelting) stayed at Border's Ridge on a borrow pit in southwestern Indiana. Before we came home that Sunday, Phil and John, Abby and myself went for a hike. We dug up a some wild plants to replant at our new home. These plants come up every spring and remind me Phil.

Now the Wild Ginger, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit and the Mayapples are out. The Bloodroot is the best it has ever been.

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