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That I LOVE Whole Foods Markets? I do... I'm totally ready to play Evil Mastermind of the Universe™ and transport one right into my local area...
I stopped by one today - the newly opened store in Orlando at the corner of Sand Lake Blvd., and Turkey Lake Dr. I had Daddy with me, and Mavis, the lady who watches over him during the week, and they were completely blown away by the awesomeness that is Whole Foods Market.
I got bonito flakes and konbu so I can make my own dashi stock, I got a pound and a half of absolutely DIVINE swordfish steak, I got some really superior olives (some stuffed with feta and some with jalapenos) from the olive bar, and basically wandered around the whole store wiping drool off my chin.
I also love Fresh Market, and on my way home this weekend, I'm going to stop in at the Greensboro store (it's the closest to home, and it's on the way back, and it's excellent - but it's not quite Whole Foods). I'll pick up a whole load of sworfish steaks, bring them home, and freeze them. Well, I'll freeze all but the one pound that I'm going to marinate in chili oil, garlic, ginger, cilantro, jalapenos, and Caribbean Jerk seasoning before I do an extremely quick sear on the grill... [photo link]
And yeah, if I remember, I'll blog the whole thing so you can join me in the drool-fest! ;-)
... and linked by the Instapundit.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Messrs. Bowen and Coles, who last year formed a company called Virginia Uranium, are asking the state to determine whether mining uranium really is a hazard and, if not, to lift the ban. But they've run into a brick wall of environmental activists who raise the specter of nuclear contamination and who are determined to prevent scientific studies of the issue.
The Piedmont Environmental Council is one of the leading opponents. It warns of the "enormous quantities of radioactive waste" produced by uranium mining.
Jack Dunavant, head of the Southside Concerned Citizens in nearby Halifax County, is another outspoken critic. He paints a picture of environmental apocalypse. "There will be a dead zone within a 30 mile radius of the mine," he says with a courtly drawl. "Nothing will grow. Animals will die. The radiation genetically alters tissue. Animals will not be able to reproduce. We'll see malformed fetuses."
Yet it is not as if we have no experience with uranium mining, which is in fact relatively harmless. Handled properly, the yellowcake that is extracted is no more hazardous than regular household chemicals (and unlike coal, it won't smolder and combust).
James Kelly, who directed the nuclear engineering program at the University of Virginia for many years, says that fears about uranium mining are wildly overblown. "It's an aesthetic nightmare, but otherwise safe in terms of releasing any significant radioactivity or pollution," he told me. "It would be ugly to look at, but from the perspective of any hazard I wouldn't mind if they mined across the street from me."
From what I've seen, Mr. Dunavant and the SCCC are prone to this type of hyperbole and scare-mongering. If he and the SCCC are so convinced that the science will prove that uranium mining will be so harmful, then they should feel quite happy allowing the study on the impact of uranium mining. After all, if the science is in their corner, then their assertions will be validated, won't they?
But they are so wrapped up in their NIMBY attitude that they ignore the great need that America has for domestic sources of all types of energy, and will not even allow the study to be done.
... I just hope they keep really high standards for their experts, and are very careful to keep ad hominem attacks and rambling out of the head-to-head debates.
Opposing views finds experts and associations willing to argue one side or the other, and sometimes multiple experts weigh in on a single topic. Each argument is broken down into a list of simple points with a headline that readers can click on to go deeper. The experts can argue each point, and embed supporting videos and links. Readers can add their own arguments in comments and vote on who they think is winning the debate. (The best comments can be elevated to the starting page of each debate by the experts).
In the end, fine hopes to create an information-rich site that ranks highly on Google for each topic. In that sense he is competing with About.com, Helium, and even Wikipedia and Google’s newly-launched Knol. The debate format ensures that the content will change constantly, and the participating experts and associations will lend their (link) authority to the site.
I like this idea a lot! I do like to know both sides of an issue, but I don't like it when an "expert" gets so wrapped up in his or her own opinion that they can't simply lay out their position in a calm, rational and gracious manner. I really hope that Opposing Views manages to promote this sort of civilized and logical debate, and doesn't allow things to degenerate into sniping and one-up-manship. I'm also wondering how they'll moderate and manage comments; posts/articles on controversial topics often have comment sections infested with trolls, idiots, and petty wanna-bes, which wouldn't be good for the tone of the whole site (IMHO).
But, if it's careful, OV could become a clearinghouse for good, solid research into the basics of many issues.
Good luck, guys!
UPDATE: Their Civility 101 page looks very encouraging, however!
... and feeling sick as a dog [pout]. I started feeling sick on Friday, a little bit congested in my chest, but it's turned into a definite sinus (plus whatever else) infection. You know, all in all, I'd rather be sick in Hawaii...
Anyway, so I'm going to try to get a doctor's appointment today (hopefully) or tomorrow (more likely). In the meantime, I've got to make a grocery run and do some back-from-vacation house cleaning, and in between I'm going to suck down water and restrestrest.
Gah. I hate being sick...
I'm sure that when Tony Snow passed into eternity, he was greeted with those words from his Savior.
I am thankful that I went over to the Corner today and linked out to Kathryn Jean Lopez's article about Tony's funeral yesterday. She quoted from President Bush's eulogy which ended with this paragraph:
And so today we send this man of faith and character and joy on his final journey. Tony Snow has left the City of Washington for the City of God. May he find eternal rest in the arms of his Savior. And may the Author of all creation watch over his family and all those who loved him, admired him, and will always cherish his memory.
In an environment where man and manhood are often subject to derision, it’s important to celebrate good men who aren’t afraid to recognize there’s a power greater than their own. It’s important to celebrate good men who know the right order of things. It’s important to celebrate good men who have some clue as to what to do with a charge like King David’s; they know that ultimately it’s the charge of another King, who promises more than any presidential candidate — even Barack Obama! — can. And their examples are living moral compasses in a confusing world.
And Snow, like Bush, wasn’t holier than thou about it. They’re but men — that’s the point — and they’re men who love life, love love, love fun. They’re men not threatened by tears, especially if the topic is family, but with no interest in being feminized. Tony’s brother Jim said of their childhood, Tony was evidence that “you can get into a little trouble and still turn out okay.” What a relief to boys the world over. When the time came to put away childish things, we all saw Tony Snow as a protector (in a national sense, even) and provider (why he left the White House, to make sure he could give his family everything he could before he had to go obediently serve Him who promises “better…bigger” for eternity).
The president said: “Tony Snow has left the City of Washington for the City of God.” As he made his way elsewhere, he left behind an inspiring example of commitment to the eternal. May we all keep our hearts open enough so that light from the City of God can shine in, even on the chaos of life on the Potomac.
Better hurry, 'cause he's all gone for free-view on Sunday the 20th...
Joss Whedon, of Buffy and Firefly fame (to name two), has done this for kicks and profit, and it's rather surreal... But I love it! It's too funny, and just odd... I guess I need to gratify my inner geek!
So, go check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog NOW!
- and it was lovely! Mauna Kea and Hualalai were clear and standing in a cornflower blue sky, with Mauna Loa looming in the background. Kohala had already gathered her drape of clouds, so we couldn't see her, unfortunately.
We went to Anaeho'omalu Bay (Ah-nye-ho-oh-mah-loo or "A-bay") and paddled out to a mooring in the Diveyak the Beloved Husband bought a couple of years ago. I confess that I was initially a bit skeptical, but it's a wonderful product. There's room for two people and all their scuba gear, it's tough and maneuverable while remaining light and transportable.
As a matter of fact, it's so transportable that we can get it in one of the old flight bags my husband has and the airlines will accept it as luggage, since it's under 50 pounds. Well, it's just under, but that counts! We've decided that it will definitely be worth paying extra baggage costs, if necessary, in the future when we return to Hawai'i. It certainly saves us a HUGE amount in dive-boat money, because a two tank dive off of one of the dive shops' boats can be $150 a person *gasp!*
Anyway, we had a lovely time, although I didn't see any of my beloved Domino Damsels (or, "three-spot dascyllus")- but only the mature version was present. My favorite guys have three very distinct spots and are the juvenile form. As they get older, it's almost like the spots enlarge until their sides are pretty much all white. Nevertheless, I love 'em - they remind me of Trojan Horses, with their "manes" all roached and crested... Here are some more good images for you to check out.
So, although my Beloved had to go up and get the camera he'd forgotten on the Diveyak, we do have some pictures of me underwater. Of course, I'm only going to post the most flattering.... *snicker*
Good boy! Glad to see you express these sentiments, President Bush:
As Cassy Fiano, over at Wizbang, says:
This sums up, in a nutshell, the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans usually believe that Americans are smart enough to run their own lives; Democrats don't. Republicans usually think that Americans deserve to keep their own money; Democrats don't. Republicans usually think that Americans will lead their lives perfectly fine without government intervention; Democrats don't.
Which is why, although I'm disenchanted with the majority of Republicans in office these days, I could never, ever, EVER be a nanny-state-we-know-better-than-you-give-us-your-money-so-the-government-can-help-you DemocRAT.
UPDATE: *sigh* And the picture cannot do the sunset justice, of course...
God is, indeed, GOOD!
UPDATE: Decided to go simple tonight - the spice is a Caribbean Jerk mix, with some olive oil to help it sink in and to make sure it doesn't stick. We'll have a simple salad and some brown rice with it.
Speaking of brown rice, I got a whole bag of some short-grain brown rice that is just YUMMY!!! I'm going to quit getting the long grain brown rice, I think... But that means more trips to the organic store - oh, darn! [/sarc]
UPDATE: The Munchkin has definitely gone into the major-aversion-to-being-photographed phase - my Beloved said that her expression when she realized I was going to take a picture was priceless... Unfortunately, the camera on my phone has a delay in the shutter [pout]
But right here, she was well on her way to a hasty exit-stage-left!!!
...apparently has a new site where they're
...seeking your input as we develop the policies and principles upon which we should stand for the next four years. On this website, you can share your thoughts, participate in polls, and communicate directly with the policymakers who will be shaping the party's agenda. All comments and feedback will be reviewed and taken into full consideration as we prepare for our convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Dudes, let me put it this way: After four (I'm being kind) years of ignoring your base, irresponsible spending, endorsing government bloat, providing examples of poor character, pandering to illegal immigrants, waffling on national defense, refusing to repudiate earmarks, and surrendering your pale and pasty underbellies to the DemoRATS, do you really think that *I'll* believe you're going to listen to me
three (whups, OK, FOUR) months before the general election????
You really do think we're idiots, don't you?
Ive already said that I'm not a Republican anymore, although I will modify that post to state that I'm a Conservative Christian rather than a Christian Conservative (with a nod to Jim Bowden for the proper emphasis). The traditional foundations of the Republican Party are worthy of my support and admiration - it's just that I don't see many Republicans actually following them anymore.
In case you missed it, I don't believe you, and I don't believe you're going to actually listen to the people who are the heart of the party. When I see you actually promoting and pursuing small government, low taxes, fiscal responsibility, personal integrity, and American sovereignty, then we can talk.
But until then, you can park it where the sun don't shine - and if you think that's rude, well, go on over to Misha's place and read a bit. You'll realize that I'm being very gracious.
Well, the luau was Wednesday night (the 9th), and on Thursday night, we went diving. Well, as I said, I actually only snorkeled (drat this cough!), but then I've never been a real fan of night dives. However, the video footage my Beloved brought back make me VERY tempted to try this again this week (assuming my cough clears up).
Now, for you to enjoy the Aloha goodness of video and pictures, you're going to have to go below the fold...
I've been having issues with uploading stuff from the room's internet connection (GMail in particular is being pissy), but I finally managed to get this video mashup onto YouTube:
I've also got some AWESOME video from Thursday night's Manta Ray dive, but the Beloved Husband's camera recorded them in QuickTime format, and I've been using Windows Movie Maker - and we all know how much Windows loves Apple [rolls eyes]! Can any one give me some suggestions?
No due process, no warrant, no just cause, no accountability.
I'm very glad I wasn't there.
But folks, this is why we have the Second Amendment, this is why it is an individual right: because men are not angels, and governments turn too easily into police states. The New Orleans area got a small taste of what it's like to live in a police state when their guns were being taken without reason and when the police had no desire to obey the law - or wanted to obey unconstitutional laws.
When the police act like thugs, when law-abiding citizens are treated like criminals, that's when the Second Amendment stands in the way. That's when we return to the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. [emph. mine.]
Kittipurrs to the Puppy Blender for the video.
Oh, what news to wake up to... Mr. Snow was a gentleman of grace, courage, wit and humor, and I mourn with his family. One of my friends, GM Roper, went through lung cancer a few years ago, and Tony wrote him a personal note - and for that alone, I would love and miss him.
I pray peace for his family and that they would find comfort in knowing that Tony was loved by many, and that we are sending our love and prayers heavenward on their behalf.
Last night's manta dive (well, snorkel for me) was AWESOME!!!! The Scuba Shack did it up right, and I think we had the best and brightest lights of the nine or ten boats what were moored there. Anyway, the Beloved Husband got some great video with his little camera, and I'm going to stitch them together and post them on YouTube later tonight.
Right now, we're up earlyearlyearly to drive over to Waipio and ride down to the Falls - yeah, I'll take pics... And even post them, I promise!
So, for all you people on the East Coast, check back in tomorrow morning for some yummy Hawaiian fun!
Time to go holoholo!
UPDATE: Oh, and here's a little teaser from last night -
Oh, we're goin' to a hukilau...
Pics will be up later. I think.... *snicker*
I don't use my AmEx much - mainly when I'm traveling, and I haven't been on the go that much. However, we're here in Hawaii at the moment, so of course I'm having a bit of fun and using my card. The other day, I charged several items (new earrings for the Munchkin, now that her "training earrings" have done their job), so AmEx notices that "Hm. We know she doesn't live in Hawaii..." and puts a possible fraud caution on my account.
Yesterday, when I was flitting about in ecstacy at Mounatin Thunder Coffee - which is sublime, I tell you! I didn't use cream, and only put in one sugar - AmEx wasn't allowing the charge to go through, because they were concerned someone had grabbed my card. Not a problem; I switched to another card and went away, happy as a clam.
This morning (well, afternoon for y'all on the East Coast), I called them up to let them know that everything was copacetic, and got a lovely lady who took care of everything and went out of her way to wish us a "happy vacation." Very good customer service, and in this day and age of rampant fraud, I am very glad that they're doing their best to protect their customers!
BTW, Mountain Thunder Coffee is Worth. Every. Penny! As I said, I only used one sugar - and normally my coffee is very pale and sweet. It's smooth with no bitterness, and doesn't have that almost-burned aftertaste which so many coffees do. They serve the Kona Private Reserve (Vienna Roast) at their shop, which is what I would reccommend for you to try. They roast their beans very close to their shipping date, and package them in nitrogen (? I think that's what they said) so they stay beautifully fresh.
--- I posted this last year from the year before, and it was well received. And so I post it again in hope that it lifts up someone's spirit and reminds them of the foundation of this great country on its birthday. Here is the wonderful mix that Alton, made for me two years ago. He'd asked me to record this post, and then he added music. Listen or read - but enjoy either way!
04 July, 2008 - I've made some minor edits, so the audio version won't match exactly with this written version. Have a blessed and safe celebration of our Independence!
Two hundred thirty two years ago, a group of men - men of influence, wisdom, and courage - gathered together to sign a Document and birth a Nation:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
And so began the war for our Independence, a war where we threw off the stifling apron-strings of our Mother, Britain, and began our journey of discovery. The War was long, and fraught with set-backs, disasters, tremendous hardship, and discouragement. But through it all, one man held true to the ideal and fought with dogged determination to keep his army and his new country from giving in.
General George Washington. He was not necessarily a brilliant man, but he was honorable and resolute. He had been given the duty of defeating the British and winning the War, and he pursued his orders with unflinching persistence.
And in October of 1781, the British General, Cornwallis, surrendered at Yorktown, VA.
The United States of America was free.
But freedom doesn't come easily. The States had adopted the Articles of Confederation in early 1781. The Articles gave the States many sovereign powers, and any changes to the Articles had to be approved by nine of the thirteen States. Federal power was practically non-existent: it couldn't raise taxes, it couldn't regulate trade, it couldn't stop States from printing their own money.
With authority to act scattered throughout the States, and an anemic central government, America threatened to dissolve into a group of bickering little provinces. The States had their own armies, their own international ambassadors, they argued over interstate trade, the justice system left quite a bit to be desired. In other words, it was a bit of a mess!
In 1786, after much unrest and disputes among the States, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton petitioned that the Constitutional Convention convene to write a new Constitution which would strengthen and unify our young Nation. The man the Convention elected to preside over this process was none other than George Washington, the man all Americans look on as our First Father. General Washington was reluctant - he had recently lost his brother, and he preferred to remain at Mount Vernon, managing his lands. Finally, however, he accepted the duty, and made his way to Pennsylvania.
Under his calm influence, eventually each of the States made compromises and came to agreements, negotiated the power of the Federal Government and State Governments, outlined the authorities of the branches of the Federal Government, and placed the ultimate power of Government firmly in the hands of the People. The first draft was accepted in August of 1787 after months of wrangling and debating. Five weeks later, on September 17th, the convention dismissed, and the Constitution went to the States for ratification. It wasn't until July of 1788 that the Convention received word that the ninth State, South Carolina had ratified the Constitution.
Finally, enough States had accepted the Constitution to begin to implement its laws. Of course, there was further debate about the Bill of Rights, which were passed by a total of three quarters of the States by late 1791, but now America had her "supreme Law of the Land," which began:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Thus we began to work out this fine balance between the Power and Authority of the People, and that of the Government. Men and women have stepped up to serve our country in war and in peace throughout our 230-year history. Elected officials, military, police, firemen, medical personnel, charity organizations, human rights groups, and so many more have furthered the cause of Freedom and Liberty in our country.
But for me, no group deserves our honor and our respect more than the men and women who serve her in our Armed Forces. Each man and woman who enters the military takes this oath:
...I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same...
Our men and women do not swear to a particular leader. They are not members of a cult of personality. They swear to uphold the Law, and the Supreme Law of the United States of America is the Constitution. At this time, they are engaged in combat against an enemy that hates everything America stands for, and unfortunately, some of those enemies are here at home. As civilian citizens, we owe it to them to honor their service and to protect the freedom, independence and dedication to duty which our Founders bequeathed to us.
Freedom isn't free, and the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the Fourth of July means to me. "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," "We the People," and "I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same." I would hope that each citizen of this beloved country would rededicate themselves to the principles of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and work together to keep America strong and just.
Happy 232nd birthday, America! I love you dearly, and pray that God will continue to bless and guide you. I pray that you will always be that "shining city on the hill," a light and example to the rest of the world of Freedom and Liberty.
UPDATE: Here are some other extremely worthy posts to read -
Don S. Davis, the actor who played General Hammond on Stargate SG-1 for seven years just died.
I always loved his character; Gen. Hammond was a tough guy who loved and took care of his people - and he had a subtle and precise sense of humor. Just as much as Richard Dean Anderson's character, Col. Jack O'Neill, shaped the series, so did Gen. Hammond - and Mr. Davis played him with great skill and grace.
My heart and prayers go out to his family.
Curled up on a quilt with a book and a cat - oh, yeah, she's got my genes, that's for sure!
*sigh* Life must be soooo hard for her! LOL
BTW, that's a whole cloth quilt I did on a peach sateen about seven years ago. I had a lot of fun doing it (probably ought to do another), although the "blank canvas" was occasionally a bit intimidating. Hm. I have more sateen fabric; I could make up a simple Amish-style quilt top and do another quilt focus on quilting technique [ponder, ponder, ponder]...
Yeah, yeah, haven't been posting, yadda, yadda... I've been crazy busy doing other things - cleaning house, tormenting child, snuggling husband, baking bread, quiltingquiltingquilting...
Last week I did two paying quilts on Noelani (my APQS Millennium), and really noticed that she was complaining a bit. Now, this is not surprising; I've had her for almost eight years, and she's never been sent in for service. She's been a real trooper - always saves me when I pull some boneheaded maneuver, and just takes up the slack as pretty as you please. But, she's a little tired and therefore a wee bit cranky. Her needle will run on with single stitches after I've signaled a stop, and she's got a few other issues which tell me it's time for her to get a nice little vacation at APQS's service spa.
So, Sunday, I took her off the table
As you see, her front handles are off in this picture - I also had to take off her rear handles, her light, and the two roller bars (you can see one under the Ziploc bag) so she could fit back in her crate. Waaaay in the back, you can see the rolling carriage which bolts her to the table (above the JoAnn's Fabric bag), and the Beloved Husband took off the stitch regulator box (you can kinda see the wires there where the carriage meets the sewing table) to send in, too.
Now she's all packed up and fastened in, and her UPS limo will arrive today or tomorrow to whisk her away to the APQS factory, where they'll give her a good massage, a facial, and a nice relaxing time of rest and rejuvenation...
OK, Noelani, enjoy your trip - I know the "spa" will treat you well, and send you back all bright and shiney, ready to get to work for me! ;-)