Friday, February 13, 2009

A Pox on Friday the 13th -OR- Sunshine Buddies Save the Day!

My "Sunshine Buddy" and his little buddy companion have arrived!

Here Sunshine Buddy and his little buddy companion sit on my keyboard, (thankfully) interrupting what had been a negative blog entry.

################

They were presents from my Blogger Buddy Bryan.

Thank you, Bryan!

This is a picture of Bryan I absconded with from his blog and posted without asking. I believe it was taken in Jan. 2008.

I'm not really sure what these little guys are actually called since they are made China in by a Japanese company (Tomy) and none of the instructions or descriptions in or on the box are in English.

The only English letters spell out "Nohohon Zoku" and then it says "Grapefruit Type," whatever that means.

Sunshine Buddies and Flippo my plush hippo.

In the spirit of all these sunny good feelings (and remember that I tend to like rain), I am reluctant to post my previous entry, but since I already wrote it, here goes ...

###########

Friday the 13th and I'm not very happy this day...

First, this contracting job is turning out to be pure crap.

My boss has been out all week and is ignoring emails and phone calls, although I turned in a major report at 4AM Wednesday, although I was sick. That is a $1200 project, and if they try to diddle me out of that, I will sue in a heartbeat.

In the meantime, I've been asked to do three more tasks, two of which are nuclear industry related. One task is supposedly "follow up" and therefore "for free" (OK, see what quality you get).

Another is worth $800, but is one of those impossible that requires tons of good will on the part of others to answer intrusive questions even while lying to them about who we represent (a lie of omission by not telling).

I don't think this contracting thing is going to work out. I may just quit it outright after demanding my $1200. I wrote a 34 page report (somewhat over the length requirement) on nuclear industry safety culture, esp. as concerns power plant licensees.

Anyway, I have a cushion of money to last for about another 5 to 6 months. Thereafter, if necessary, I'll just (finally) leave D.C. if necessary.

#########

Secondly, I'm still suffering from the flu, and I've medicated myself up again tonight with Sudafed, Tylenol, and a bit of DayQuil from earlier. I don't want to add NyQuil to the Sudafed, as I'll be whacked out for 12 hours, although truth to tell, I like being whacked out. I look like hell right now.

However, I am going to try to meet the others later at BB or wherever. I've been inside almost all week, though I did make it to campus yesterday.

#########

Pearls Before Swine (Feb. 11, 2009)

Click for larger version. I hope everyone gets the "swine flu" reference to Pig. Very funny.

###########

As for my classes, I am probably going to drop one of them -- the "global inequality" one -- except I have to do it so that I actually keep a "W" grade (as in "withdraw") rather than a retroactive nothing grade (just a blank) since the latter would jeopardize my student loan status for the year.

The professor in this class is one of these big name political - academic World Bank types who really has no use for most of his/her students and ignores emails and phone calls. S/he is the kind of professor who makes students purchase his/her own book, even as there is a ridiculous amount of other readings (hundreds of pages a week), none of which I ever do.

As it is, the class is a totally superfluous one for me, as was this year in general, as I'm well over my required credit limit and I have all my course and elective requirements. I only stayed in an extra year for the student loan refund money. It made sense to do this. I'd be in florescent-lit cubicle hellish agony right now had I not done it.

If all goes well, I should have my THIRD masters degree by May.

###########


Click for larger version

###########

Boxing Day?

It looks like Kristof is probably going to go back to Europe (Poland) in a few weeks, and this time for good. His immigration is caught up on a labor certificate administrative delay at the Department of Labor that is no fault of his own.

Without going into it, he may have to contact Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office. I dreamed last night he had to contact Sen. Barbara Boxer's office, though she is in California, and we were in some weird, cliff-side monastical castle by the sea. There is more than a little symbolism in that, incl. double and triple entendres with that name, which I'll explain to him later.

############

My water was out briefly but now it's back on. I hate when the water goes out.

############

Valentine's Day and Nearly 40-Year Old Bitterness

This time of year around Valentine's Day is always shitty, even though I sort of like winter (summers in D.C. are usually atrocious). And it's not just because I'm invariably alone with no one in my life on this "lover's holiday."

Nine years ago I nearly died from a gum infection. It was right around Valentine's Day. Four years ago I sent a present to Mr. Sirius, but that was more a mistake than anything else.

###########

Pearls Before Swine (Feb. 13, 2009)

Click for larger version.

##########

Some political commentary / imagery ...

Ha ha

#############

Speaking of dead ...

Are Major U.S. Banks 'Like Dead Men Walking'?

This story in The New York Times is worth a read.

Of course, 'nationalizing' them is a 'Socialist' dirty word, so instead we'll just keep shoveling money at them -- sans oversight -- until the Treasury is bankrupt. That's the GOP way.

#############

Calling Dr. Krugman ...

Another excellent Paul Krugman New York Times column concerning the stimulus bill and GOP Depression-craving, neo-Confederate insanity ...


Excerpt:

"One might have expected Republicans to act at least slightly chastened in these early days of the Obama administration, given both their drubbing in the last two elections and the economic debacle of the past eight years.

But it’s now clear that the party’s commitment to deep voodoo -- enforced, in part, by pressure groups that stand ready to run primary challengers against heretics -- is as strong as ever. In both the House and the Senate, the vast majority of Republicans rallied behind the idea that the appropriate response to the abject failure of the Bush administration’s tax cuts is more Bush-style tax cuts.

And the rhetorical response of conservatives to the stimulus plan -- which will, it’s worth bearing in mind, cost substantially less than either the Bush administration’s $2 trillion in tax cuts or the $1 trillion and counting spent in Iraq -- has bordered on the deranged.

It’s 'generational theft,' said Senator John McCain, just a few days after voting for tax cuts that would, over the next decade, have cost about four times as much.

It’s 'destroying my daughters’ future. It is like sitting there watching my house ransacked by a gang of thugs,' said Arnold Kling of the Cato Institute.

And the ugliness of the political debate matters because it raises doubts about the Obama admin - istration’s ability to come back for more if, as seems likely, the stimulus bill proves inadequate.

For while Mr. Obama got more or less what he asked for, he almost certainly didn’t ask for enough. We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm.."

Full column link here

############

Oklahoma Legislature Begins Annual Circus Side Show

by Richard L. Fricker
Full column here

Yes, that is a sideways county map of Oklahomo Oklahoma

Excerpt:

"The opening of the Oklahoma Legislature kicks off the yearly buffoon competition wherein various legislators vie for the opportunity to portray Oklahoma to the nation as filled with slack-jawed people in clown suits, Bible in one hand, gun in the other followed by a pit bull and a barefoot pregnant teenage wife wearing a Jim Inhofe t-shirt."

Ha ha

"The frontrunner thus far? Rep. J. Michael Ritze, D.O., R-Broken Arrow, wants to erect an obelisk of the Ten Commandments on the Capitol lawn..."

###########

A God's Eye View...

Note a few things in this schematic representation of our Milky Way Galaxy: 1. The Milky Way is actually probably a "barred spiral" rather than a classic spiral (pinwheel) galaxy; 2. the Sun is in the Orion Arm, a.k.a. "the Local Arm"; and 3. The "Milky Way" smear of light that is the combined distant starlight of untold millions of stars that we see (in very dark, clear sky conditions) may in fact be less the center of the Galaxy (i.e. the central Galactic Bulge) itself than the next inner spiral arms (Sagittarius, Scutum-Crux, and Norma).

#########

So I am scheduled to go to south Florida next Saturday (Feb. 21st) and return on Wednesday (Feb. 25th). It is a trip with Gary, LP, and Brian K. (from NYC). We're flying to Fort Lauderdale and staying, variously, in a beach side hotel or at Gary's landlord's condo in Boca Raton.

I won't be seeing my dad approx. 200 miles north of there in Flagler Beach.

##########

I think that's all for now.

I'll refrain from any weather talk since we don't really get weather in D.C., in winter, and besides, I'm feeling all sunshiny with my Sunshine Buddies. I've already fallen in love with them.

Thank you again, Bryan.

Time to update my other blog.

--Regulus

12 comments:

fifi said...

Hope you feel better soon...
Good luck with the classes, I am sure you could pass them with no effort at all.

those little buddies are very sweet.

Regulus said...

Thank you, Fifi.

So it turns out they are Nohohon Zoku, which is Japanese for "carefree family," although they are called "Sunshine Buddies" in English speaking countries where they are sold.

So how are you doing? You've been blog quiet this week.

Are the fires under control? There have not been as many terrible news reports in the last couple of days.

Bryan said...

His head is supposed to move, he's solar powered. Much cuter than I thought! I want one now!

Told you blogger ate many of my pictures. I can't believe so many of them are gone. I still have them all somewhere. *sigh* There must have been a better one of me on there at one point.

That is sort of how I look on any normal day though. Hmmm, you could have used this one where I have blue hair. I'm not too scary there... or maybe the one from when when I was in the mental hospital.

It was nice to talk to you. ((hug))

Anonymous said...

Today is Friday the 13th & tomorrow is valentines day. last year my divorce was final on Valentines daY, this year I am going to the Valentines Ball (yes our little town has one, all the mucky mucks must attend). Alas, i do not have a date, I am going as a volunteer...manning the ticket booth, civic minded soul that i am. (the Money raised is being contributed to the Community pool fund) I have to wear a fancy dress, which I had to buy & I hate already. One consolation, unlike the other old maids, at least I can look busy behind the ticket table when all the couples are dancing.

Regulus said...

Bryan,

Yes, his head is supposed to move, but my apt. tends to be on the dark side, so the little solar photovoltaic strip may not be having a chance to work.

I don't have any pics of when I was in the psych hospital at Shady Grove (Gaithersburg, Md.) in 1992.

Rita -- Take those two interestingly juxtaposed dates on the one year anniversary of your divorce/liberation into your new life as a positive sign.

How did the Valentine's Day ball go? Take some pictures and post them.

Bryan said...

photovoltaic? You're such a bright man! (ha ha!) That's why I like you.

My sister took that pic. We got pics of the room too. Sneaky us.

I even stole one of the blankets from the bed.

fifi said...

I have been very preoccupied with the couple of enormously upsetting and tragic life events that have just occurred, neither of which I will blog about just yet, if ever. But I have been reading. And just trying to think of an appropriate topic to blog about.

Regulus said...

Fifi -- Only blog when you are feeling up to it with a topic that you want to write about. We'll be here to read it. Your fan club isn't going anywhere!

Bryan said...

I second that. I'm an official memder of The Fifi Fan Club, I'm not quitting.... just ask Regulus! I'm in his fan club. Poor guy is stuck with me now!

Now I have to make a Reglus shirt!

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regulus said...

I consider myself extra double blessed with Bryan, esp. when his comments are extra doubled. Ha ha

Bryan said...

You know darned well I didn't do that on purpose! **blows kisses**

Apparently there will be a new creature in my life. Look how tiny it is! It didn't want to get off me, poor thing was cold. I didn't want to give him up either. He fits in the palm of my hand.

That's Samson. Dad's new baby. It doesn't have hair on it's head. It still has a smooshy soft head like a human newborn does!

I did yell at Dad. What the hell is wrong with you?!?!!! Puppy dogs. I can enjoy his without the responsibilties. At least he wasn't my birthday present.... That was more practical. Sort of. See my blog for that.