Published on March 18 2008

Continuing on the "cellphone" thread, I need to explain something. If I'm not answering your calls, there's a very good reason. It's not that I'm ignoring you. I can't figure out how. Centro™ smartphone Oh dear. This thing has the internets built in, and a phone that announces it's smarter than I is just a teensy kick to my technologically-challenged ego. And I still can't answer it when it rings.

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Published on March 9 2008

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Published on March 8 2008

LifeGem Home - Memorial Diamonds created from a lock of hair or cremated remains / ashes / cremation
The LifeGem ® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life. Love. Life’s single greatest risk. Life’s single greatest reward. Love captures your heart in a second and holds it for eternity. You have experienced a love without equal. You have had someone truly special in your life and mere words simply will not do.

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Published on March 7 2008

Checking in [again] on the just-finished class to see if grades are in, I find this on the front page/ announcements section:
The best term paper this term, and perhaps the best I have ever gotten for MH 403, was by [yours truly] on American domestic life in the Cold War. She drew my attention to literature I was not familiar with including at least one article which I will use in future versions of this course. She showed how Americans reacted to the bomb and how that changed over time, how Americans were mobilized and mobilized themselves, how the ideology and circumstances of the Cold War shaped family values.
I'm just shaking here; I cn baerly type. I could have flunked the course and still been excited!!

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Published on March 6 2008

Life in Wisconsin just took a break for the press conference, carried live on probably every single station in the state. Those of us who weren't already crying in our cheese curds shed a few during Favre's emotional goodbye. It sure was a fun run, wasn't it?

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Published on March 5 2008

Along with all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over yesterday's tragedy... wasn't there a Presidential Primary somewhere yesterday? Not that you'd know it by listening/ watching news reports in our great Dairy State.....

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Published on March 4 2008

Those of us in Cheese-land are calling everyone we know seeking consolation. I even woke up a friend in California to break the sad news. Her response? Completely out of character. Also completely unprintable on a family website. So. Trying to heal my broken heart, still reeling from the terrible tragic news of the morning, I opened my email to find a link from buddy Syl. Go ahead. I dare you to not laugh along with the guy in the middle. Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck.

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Published on March 4 2008

He can't. He just CAN'T. The 'sconsin winters just got very much longer, without our favorite adopted son. He was always just so. damn. much. FUN. to watch, even if it was sometimes with hands covering our eyes.... Brett, it's been a joy. You always looked like you were having such a good time; and so did your fans. We're going to miss #4. Packers QB Brett Favre will retire after 17 NFL seasons -- chicagotribune.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Brett Favre has decided to retire from the NFL after 17 seasons. FOX Sports first reported Tuesday that the Green Bay Packers quarterback informed the team in the last few days. ESPN.com said that according to Favres agent the quarterback told coach Mike McCarthy of his decision. The team did not immediately confirm or deny the report. An assistant to Packers general manager Ted Thompson said he was in meetings all day but would release a statement later Tuesday morning.
[UPDATE] Fox Sports is reporting it as true, too.

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Published on March 3 2008

Stumping for Clinton, Steinem Says McCain's P.O.W. Cred Is Overrated
AUSTIN, Texas—Feminist icon Gloria Steinem took to the stump on Hillary Clinton’s behalf here last night and quickly proved that she has lost none of her taste for provocation. From the stage, the 73-year-old seemed to denigrate the importance of John McCain’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In an interview with the Observer afterward, she suggested that Barack Obama benefits—and Clinton suffers—because Americans view racism more seriously than sexism. Steinem also told the crowd that one reason to back Clinton was because “she actually enjoys conflict.” And she claimed that if Clinton’s experience as First Lady were taken seriously in relation to her White House bid, people might “finally admit that, say, being a secretary is the best way to learn your boss’s job and take it over.”
I don't even know what to say. This is just so wrong on so many levels. Racism is suddenly in competition with sexism? WTF? Hmmmm, it's the ultimate question of identity politics-- which is worse, misogyny or racism? Am I supposed to pick a candidate based on who has the better "victim qualifications"? I keep thinking that I should choose based on who I believe has the better foreign and domestic policies, the person who I think can do the best job... and here we are, back at Victimhood 101. Second... "Hillary 'enjoys conflict' "??? Yeah, let's wave the hormonal fluctuation flag and talk about the female being the more dangerous of the species-- whether or not any of that is a factor, wouldn't it make much more sense to pick a candidate who knows how to pick and choose the conflicts worth fighting? Thirdly... this election isn't an episode from "9 to 5". While it's always nice to see the poor harassed secretary tie the boss up, it doesn't mean she has the qualifications to "run the company"!! Then again, we have the fact that Gloria considers Clinton the little secretary. Yeah, the law degree, the political experience doesn't mean diddly. In the end, she's just a "secretary". Jesus. But no, Gloria keeps going. Right downhill.
Steinem raised McCain’s Vietnam imprisonment as she sought to highlight an alleged gender-based media bias against Clinton. “Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], ‘What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years?’” Steinem said, to laughter from the audience. McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five-and-a-half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, “I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I don’t think so.” Steinem’s broader argument was that the media and the political world are too admiring of militarism in all its guises.
My jaw just dropped. Especially reading that the audience "laughed". I can't say that being a POW and a torture survivor qualifies McCain to be President, any more than I can say being a survivor of a publicly humiliating infidelity qualifies Clinton, although I know which I personally would rather be. The thing that speaks volumes to me about McCain's POW experience, however, is his refusal to be released before his men. That, whether loyalty or duty or whatever the reason, is the difference. It's what qualifies him to be a leader. It sure isn't something for a *remarkably* well-preserved 73 year old to feign "bewilderment" over. Wouldn't it be ironic if Gloria Steinem, one of the pioneers of the Feminist movement, helped personally to sink the campaign of the first woman to run for the highest elected office in this country? Gotta give Clinton a little credit for showing some class in distancing herself from Steinem's idiocy, though:
UPDATE: The Clinton campaign sends over the following statement from Howard Wolfson: "Senator Clinton has repeatedly praised Senator McCain's courage and service to our country. These comments certainly do not represent her thinking in any way. Senator Clinton intends to have a respectful debate with Senator McCain on the issues."

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Published on March 1 2008

....what seems like about 359 to go. Another class in the can. The grade panic will now begin. [Cue Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"] or [Tom Petty "The Wa-a-a-a-i-ting is the Hardest Part"] Up next (on Monday, for cryin' out loud! Where's MY spring break?!?):
SS401 Comparative Foreign Policy 3 Semester Hours Course Description An analysis of the foreign policy and policy-making process in various regions of the world. Specific case studies allow the student to assess national priorities and ideological commitments in the post-Cold War era.
Kewl.

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