Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kodo; Taiko, Japanese Drums

What a drive home from work Tues night. I stepped out of the office into a whole lot of smoke. Visibility was down to at least 1/2 mile. Some people were driving with their headlights on. It's hard to believe all that smoke came from Newton and Johnson counties. I hate it when they do control burns.
Fortunately the smoke cleared by the time I left for the Walton Arts Center. I saw a performance of Kodo, performers of the taiko (Japanese drum) The performers were not just playing drums, they were gymnasts, dancers, and in a couple of skits, comedians. It was a fantastic performance, nearly 2 hours of drums, large and small. As I stepped out of the Arts Center, I could still feel the drums humming through my body.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

LGF, More Fun than the Oscars

Forget the Oscars! Get thee to LGF! Charles has been having fun with the "Diggbats". You need to scroll through LGF's earlier posts to get the story, but you can jump into this post and this post to get the gist of it.
I wonder if those twits realize that Charles doesn't care about his blog getting to the top of Digg. He's having too much fun exposing the hypocrisy of the liberal moonbats.

The Second Bloom

The second bloom on my orchid opened up. I just wish I knew what I did right to get this to bloom. I'd sure like to get it to bloom more often. I'll have to do some research on getting orchids to bloom. I really hadn't intended to get involved in orchids. I purchased this one for $12 at an orchid show. Pretty good price for an orchid. I thought if I killed it I wouldn't be out much money. Now that it's still living and blooming, I'll have to invest a little more time into it.

Animal Poop, Endangering the World

I just laughed when I saw this ad from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP). So, they are really worried about little old Fido pooping outdoors. I wonder, what about all those other creatures of the forest. Heck, there must be millions of animals out there just pooping all over the forest. Quick, some one must tell the IRWP about all those animals pooping up the place. God knows how many tons of animal waste are being washed into our streams and rivers. Some one needs to be out there cleaning up all that poop. Heavens! Animals pooping for millions of years in the forests, fields and rivers. It's more disastrous than global warming!

Arkansas, Taxing the Internet

Passing it's way through the legislature is a bill, SB 280, that will allow Arkansas to collect taxes on Internet transactions made by Arkansans. This bill will make Arkansas a full participant of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement which went into effect October 2005. Arkansas will join 15 other states in collecting taxes from Internet purchases.
I remember when our Governor campaigned on getting more businesses into Arkansas. This bill is a really good way to make sure businesses leave. Heck, if my business was using the Internet for most of my sales, I'd leave for a state that wasn't making me collect it for 15 other states. It would have been a whole lot smart if Arkansas was declared a Internet tax free state. Those businesses with a strong Internet presence would move to Arkansas. They in turn would employ Arkansans and generate more payroll, sales, and property taxes. Unfortunately, one cannot accuse the present Governor and Legislature of being visionary.
I can tell you this, I'm not shopping in those states that are collecting taxes. Arkansas will not be collecting any sales tax from my Internet purchases.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bows, Dental Visit

Bows went to the vet Monday to get her teeth cleaned. They put her out to clean them and usually by the time I pick her up she's still a bit woozy. Not this time! They must have cleaned her teeth early in the morning because she was alert. In fact, she was really mad.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

HPV, Gardasil Update

Merck has decided to stop it's lobbying efforts for making the HPV vaccine mandatory. It seems that Merck was facing a growing backlash among parents, physicians and consumer advocates.
I should would like to know who in Merck decided to channel money to state legislators in hopes of getting it mandated. This vaccine has been in the health news for several years and there were already groups that opposed it for young girls. Maybe Merck didn't realize how many people were concerned about the vaccine. Maybe they really didn't care about them since it seemed that it was mostly those darn "conservative people". It any case, Merck bungled this really badly. On the brighter side, Merck's mistake has brought HPV, cervical cancer and pap smears to the front pages of newspapers and network news.

It Must be a Conspiracy

It's still happening. My appliances are breaking down. This time it's the dryer. Man, I hope everything isn't going to break down all at once. I just hope that the appliances I have fixed don't start breaking down again. It sure would be nice to have those appliances everyone brags about owning. You know, the ones that last 30 years.

I'm still waiting to get my truck fixed from the accident in December. The body shop needed to order a part. They said it would take them 3 days to repair it. I'll have to get me a rental. Sigh!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Devils Den Falls in Winter

Yesterday was such a beautiful day! While it was cold in the morning, the sun was out and it looked gorgeous. With all the rain and the freezing temperatures we've had, I knew I just had to go to Devils Den to look at the falls. I took Trixie and Casey and we head out for a little hiking. It was as beautiful as I thought it would be. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Orchid is Blooming

I am so proud of myself! I finally grew an orchid. I have been taking care of this one for several years and I finally have it blooming. This is Doritaenopsis, Taida Auckland.

Mamma Mia at Fayetteville

Oh Wow! I had a blast last night. I went to see Mamma Mia at the Walton Arts Center last night. It was so much fun! Of course, all the songs being from Abba, it was a trip down memory lane. At intermission a friend and I were remarking how much better the music was in the 70's and 80's. Boy, did we sound like a pair of old fogies! Laurie Wells, Lisa Mandel and Laura Ware (playing Donna and her old friends) were absolutely fantastic and funny.
Highlights of the show were the ensemble guys dancing in scuba gear with flippers , the girls mentioned above donning white spandex outfits with silver platform boots (a-la Elvis) singing “Super Trouper" and the same trio singing “Dancing Queen”. While the audience was giving the play a standing ovation, the cast came out and finished with an encores of “Mamma Mia,” “ Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo.” Many of the audience , including I, sang and danced along with them. On the drive home I was singing "Dancing Queen". Heck, I've been humming it all day. It'll be in my brain for a few days.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Global Warming in Arkansas

The global warming fraud is coming to Arkansas. The global-warming debate is now moving beyond political rhetoric to questions of economic reality.
A grass-roots activist group announced Tuesday that it’s seeking the establishment of a state task force on global warming,

You better hold on to your wallet, because these guys are going after businesses to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. If they succeed, businesses are either going to pass the cost on to the consumer or go to another state where they don't have to pay to reduce CO2. The Arkansas Legislature might want to think about this very carefully. Politicians keep talking about getting businesses to come to Arkansas and making sure that businesses stay here. If they are really serious about that they need to stop putting in obstacles.

Walking the Dog

Casey has been really curious about this machine in the bedroom. He's been watching me walk on it. I figured, why not get him on the treadmill. He was hesitant at first, but he's gradually walking longer on it. At least he's not afraid of it. I still have to hold on to his short leash, but I may eventually be able to get him to walk by himself.

More dogs at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Newspaper Kitty

I decided to subscribe to a newspaper for a few months. I like reading the paper, but I often don't have time to read all of it. I was going to try it out for a few months and see how well I do. Eli has decided he really loves the newspaper. He's having fun sitting on it while I'm trying to read it. I've smarten up and threw a few pages on the floor for him to play with.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gov. Beebe Signs Grocery Tax

You know, this really, really hurts. That a Democrat is the one cutting taxes. Sheeshh, is the world coming to the end?
Gov. Mike Beebe enacted the largest tax cut in Arkansas history and turned one of his campaign promises into a reality Thursday, signing into law a 50 percent cut in the sales tax on groceries

Oh, and this is rich.
Beebe also declined to respond to former Gov. Mike Huckabee's statement a day earlier that he helped with the tax cut by managing the state budget and by calling for tax relief in his final month in office.

Huckabee could have cut the tax while he was in office. He could have shown the leadership President Bush had and cut the taxes years ago. "Managing the budget" indeed! That just frosts me. The Arkansas GOP really needs to get it's act together. I sure hope they aren't going to rely on Huckabee in the coming years. Man, what an albatross.

Congratulations to Mike Beebe. You did what you said you would. You must forgive me, I still have a really hard time accepting the fact that a Democrat cut taxes.

Peanut Butter

I didn't realize how many people had peanut butter tucked in their desk at work. They dragged the jars out since news had come out about the salmonella contamination. One of my co-workers had already eaten half the jar. Yup, he's alright. No peanut butter for me. It gives me gas and I burp up peanut butter hours after eating it. Nasty!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's a Boulevard!

The Fayetteville Street Committee deserves a big ol' kiss and a Thank You! They voted to make Rupple Road a boulevard from Persimmon to Wedington Ave. This essentially establishes the whole concept of Rupple Road as a boulevard from 6th Street to Van Ashe in the future. This is very visionary of the committee and makes sure that years from now they won't have to come back and "fix it".
Presented at the Street Committee was several concepts concerning the traffic on the Fulbright Expressway, College Ave and Joyce Street (Fayetteville Expressway Economic Corridor). It was very interesting and the graphics they used ware nifty. If you get a chance, check out the committee meeting on the government Channel. The engineering firm will be back in a few months with more data. Of course, the proposals are expensive and they all won't be implemented any time soon. Both newspapers covered the meeting and reported on just presentation by the engineering firm. See here and here.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More on the HPV Vaccine

I'm really glad to see that the discussion on the HPV vaccine continues. Real Clear Politics has a very nice round-up on it.

While I disagree with what Governor Perry has done, I really thank him for the controversy which puts HPV in the news. Whether or not the publicity has women getting a vaccine isn't an issue for me, what I'm glad to see is more people getting educated about cervical cancer. I hope that more women go and have a pap smear done. That yearly pap smear will do a whole lot more good for women then that vaccine.
Another post by RCP quotes an email from a physician
Gardasil will not do away with yearly Pap tests for women. It will not meaningfully reduce healthcare costs, in my estimate. Cervix cancer is readily prevented by straightforward treatment of early Pap abnormalities which may over years evolve into cancer if left untreated.
Gardasil's long term safety is unknown, yet we see a stampede to immunize middle school girls with it. Do you remember the swine flu crisis? Those immunizations caused an outbreak of Guillan-Barre syndrome, a debilitating neurologic disorder. There never was a swine flu epidemic in the non-immunized!
Merck will profit from Gardasil, but women's' health will not.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Interesting editorial about the cost effectiveness of the vaccine by Linda Seebach (via Instapudit)
We're not minimizing the impact of those deaths. But on average the cost of preventing each one will be more than $300,000, by back-of-the-envelope figures. (The comparisono is hardly exact, but the cost for detecting each colon cancer and prostate cancer is a few thousand dollars.)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cat Fight!

Eli and Bows are at each others throats. Bows has been in a bad mood and has been hissing and swatting at everyone. I think Eli has had enough of it and decided to get her back.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Casey Romping in the Snow

It is so much fun to run around in the snow. I just wish I can find those rabbits. I know they are here, I can smell them.

More dogs at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Thursday, February 08, 2007

John Edwards' Bloggers

Yes, Amanda Marcotte's and Melissa McEwan's posts are really offensive and I would never go out of my way to read them. I, however, don't want John Edwards to fire them. I have read and seen some really hilarious parodies about them. If Edwards got rid of them we wouldn't have anyone to make fun off. Let's enjoy them for awhile. Even though Edwards has got them to promise to behave, I bet they'll eventually let loose.

The Edwards Diaries
The Pandagon Papers
Censored Michelle Malkin here and here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Arkansas, ERA (Gay Rights) Defeated

Congratulations to our Rep. Lindsley Smith who managed to bring Phyllis Schlafly out to Arkansas. Phyllis testified against the ERA as she has done in the past. She stripped away the layer of lies that the liberals have wrapped around the ERA. Not only did the ERA fail to pass committee, 20 of the original sponsors removed their names from the amendment. Great job to everyone who contacted their legislators and gave them an education. See Phyllis Schlafly here. More on the ERA from Arkansas Family Coalition and Arkansas Watch.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Arkansas, The HPV Vaccine

Should the HPV vaccine be made mandatory for girls ages 9 to 12? Fortunately Dr. Jim Phillips of the state Health Division said no.
The state Health Division has decided not to request that the Board of Health include a new vaccine guarding against human papillomavirus, or HPV, in its list of required vaccines for children.

Arkansas is one of many states which are making decisions whether to make it mandatory or voluntary. There are some controversies about the vaccine.
Dr. Jim Phillips, the divisionÂ’s director of infectious disease, said officials worry that requiring the HPV vaccine could cause more parents to refuse to immunize their children.
"As you're aware, parents taking the exemption from immunizations has been skyrocketing over the last several years," he told members of the state Board of Health, "and with this vaccine, it's associated with the three-letter word ' sex. '"

Dr Phillips is right. The ages that Merck (manufactures the vaccine, Gardisil) is targeting are 9 to 12 year olds. Some parents don't want to vaccinate their child because it would create a false sense of security that she would be "protected" from a sexually transmitted virus. Their fear would be that she would be more likely to be promiscuous.

Another issue is the resentment of the government interfering once again in their daughter's healthcare. Parents are already seething about their rights when it comes to abortions.

I think that the vaccine should be promoted and the public educated more about HPV, cervical cancer and Pap smears. I don't think that the vaccine should be mandatory. HPV is a sexually trasmitted virus. It isn't a communicable disease like measles, mumps, polio ect. that we make vaccinations mandatory. Cervical cancer caused by HPV can easily be avoided by limiting yourself to one sexual partner.

One thing I'm not happy about is the way Merck it trying to get the states to make it mandatory. Merck stands to make a bundle off of this vaccine. Gardasil is one of the most expensive vaccines marketed. It requires 3 vaccinations at about $120 a pop. Merck's methods has already gotten the Governor of Texas in a bit of trouble.
Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry's former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.
The governor also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign.

While Texas has made it mandatory other states aren't because the cost is too high and many doctors won't be reimbursement adequately.
But in the real world, Gardasil is getting used less than doctors would like. Pediatricians and gynecologists from Arizona to New York are refusing to stock Gardasil because of its $360 price for the three doses required and "totally inadequate" reimbursement from most insurers.
Pediatricians, in particular, are rebelling, fed up after years of declining insurance reimbursement for vaccines, an explosion of new vaccines and fast-escalating vaccine prices.

I guess the market will decide how successful Merck is in getting people vaccinated. People who truly fear getting cervical cancer will get the vaccine at any cost. When I look at how casual people are about sex in light of getting other sexually trasmitted diseases (HIV, chlamydia, gnonorrhea, herpes ect.) I'm thinking a lot a women won't be getting the vaccine.

Fayetteville, Still Waiting Rupple Road Decision

Boy, I was really disappointed that the Street Committee didn't make a decision yet on making Rupple Road a boulevard or a 4-lane road. I did make an appeal to the committee to make it a boulevard. As I told them, I am tired of hearing the phase "I wish we would have." Rupple Road is a great opportunity to have a road made correctly from the start. At lot of the developers working on Rupple Road are using ideas from the 2025 Plan and making Rupple a boulevard falls beautifully within the Plan.

I do know that making Rupple a boulevard will be more expensive but it would be a lot more expensive to fix it in the future. Just look at what they now want to do on College Ave and the Fulbright Expressway/NWA Mall. There will be a presentation next week on the Fulbright/NWA Mall (Fayetteville Expressway Economic Corridor Project). How many millions of dollars will that alone cost? The Zion Road widening conceptual drawing was presented last night, 2 million dollars; Mount Comfort/Salem/Deane Solomon intersection, over a million dollars. When you take a look at where the transportation money is being spent now, it's on widening existing streets.

It finally time for Fayetteville to build one of its major streets right the first time. Years from now, if Rupple Road isn't a boulevard and someone says "I wish we would have", I am going to give that person a big wack across the head.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cold Weekend

Brrr! It's a cold weekend! There's still snow on the ground. Mmmm, it's staying around a lot longer than usual. It's been so cold it hasn't been melting very fast. But hey, I got a chance to take the dogs out and play in the snow. There were some of us who didn't take snow days like the rest of the wussies. Ok, Ok, just kidding!

Any way, I stayed inside most of the weekend, and actually got some things done from the "list". I even got my taxes done, which was a really good thing, because I got a nice refund coming. So, I went ahead and spent it. Sears was having a sale on some of its treadmills and I got this. Now, I just hope I actually use it and not just hang clothes on it. The salesman said it should take about ½ hour to put it together. Yeah, riight! It took me a little bit longer. My goal is to use it while I'm watching TV. Any program I want to watch I have to at least walk 15 minutes of it. It'll be interesting to see if I actually do it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

White Stuff!

Tigger really doesn't like walking in the snow, hence his walking along the edge of the house. He does appear to be intriged about the snow falling from the sky.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Playing in the Snow

We got several inches of snow Wednesday and Trixie and Casey are checking it out. Casey has really been enjoying the snow. We've been playing around in it a bit. It's too bad I didn't get a snow day Thursday. It would have been nice to take a hike in the woods.

More dogs at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Noble Peace Prize for the Bore?

Ok, it's really Al Gore, but Bore is a bit more descriptive. It's really no surprise that Gore got nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. If he really wants to make sure he gets it, he just has to do what former President Jimmy Carter is doing, Jew Bash. Man, that will definitely get him the Prize.
The Landmark Legal Foundation has nominated Rush Limbaugh for 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Boy, why did they even bother to waste their time. The Prize committee is probably just laughing their heads off at that. There's no way they are going to give Rush that prize.