Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Good News

The results of my blood tests are in -- no gestational diabetes.

Whew!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Hard times lead to fewer male babies

From Babycenter.com:
TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) — Males may be the stronger sex, but females rule the roost when it comes to numbers and new research is providing some possible insight into why.

Nearly two centuries of Swedish genealogy records suggest that pregnant women are more likely to spontaneously abort male fetuses and embryos during times of stress. The resulting generations of children are stronger and actually live longer than those born during good times, the researchers contend.

Scientists have known for decades that male fetuses have a more difficult time surviving pregnancy than females. And pregnant women tend to produce more female children during times of stress, such as a famine.
Interesting tidbit.

Read more

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Maternity Clothes That Suck

One upside to not having gained the 15-20 pounds I should’ve by now is that I haven’t grown out of any of the suits I wear to work. I bought a winter coat that is two sizes too big back in December in anticipation of ballooning up, but it wasn’t necessary. I wear it anyway, though.

It’s a good thing that I can still wear these suits because NOBODY MAKES BUSINESS ATTIRE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN.*

You can find plenty of jeans and t-shirts, but God help you if you work in a professional environment. And if you were a size fourteen or over to begin with, you can’t find even the casual stuff.

I’ve posted some pictures of what the designers consider to be sensible maternity wear.

Gotta love that tie-died poncho!

*I found one site that has one suit that you could wear in a professional environment. There's a definite opportunity here for someone to make a lot of money if they could fill this vacuum.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Belly-Envy

For the first time in my life, I’m concerned that I’m not gaining enough weight. Believe me, this has never been a problem. But as of my last pre-natal appointment two weeks ago, I had gained a net of only four pounds since July. I actually lost weight at one point, despite the fact that I went on two cruises during that time period and the free food tends to make one pack on some pounds.

I’m not quite sure why I’m not gaining the proper amount of weight. I think I’m at least eating the same amount of food (and I was steadily gaining weight before) and didn’t have a morning sickness problem. The doctor said not to worry about it, but I’m worried about it anyway.

Another problem with not getting classically round? I just look extra fat as opposed to pregnant, so people aren’t graciously giving up seats for me on the subway and they glare when I try to squeeze into a seat next to them. :(

Friday, January 27, 2006

BSG: Black Market

Since it worked two weeks ago, they decided to do it again. The episode opens with Apollo in a life and death situation then the rest of the episode is a flashback to how he got into the situation. The episode centers on how the non-military half of the fleet lives, but since the POV is Apollo’s, we’re still not getting the full story.

As is to be expected, there are supply shortages in the fleet, and a black market has emerged to meet the people’s needs. Laura wants it stopped. Predictable conflicts of interest follow.

Things I Liked:

  • If you still weren’t sure that this Apollo has nothing to do with the original Apollo, the fact that Lee regularly visits a prostitute who has a young child should settle that debate.

  • Lee really sucks with kids. I can’t believe he gave that ugly-ass Raggedy Ann doll to the prostitute’s daughter. Of course she was scared.

  • Lee seems to be unaware of what a freaking hypocrite he is. It’s okay for him to buy black market medicine for his ho, but if Tigh wants booze or Baltar wants cigars, they’re evil.

  • Lee has several flashbacks that involve some blond chick he had an argument with. From the looks of things, he broke up with her and she may have been pregnant. Yet another indication that Lee is a sleaze. Maybe Baltar isn’t the biggest cad on Galactica, eh?

  • Zarek shows up to give Apollo some advice. It’s always cool to see him. And at the end of the show, it looks like he will fill the power vacuum opened up by Apollo’s assassination of the black market leader.

  • Lee’s prostitute turns down his offer to come back to the Galactica. She’s tired of playing the role of the girl he kicked to the curb on Caprica. Good for her -- he’d have ditched her sooner rather than later anyway.

Things I Didn’t Like:
  • Cain’s second in command got killed moments into the show. Waste of a potentially interesting character. Same with Bill Duke's black market character.

  • Lee is asked to investigate the murder. He’s a pilot and a detective. I hate that kind of weak storytelling.

  • Dee continues to flirt with Lee, then goes back to flirting with Billy. Is that all she’s going to be used for in this series now?

  • Laura is totally healthy. Come on.

  • How come it’s okay for Apollo to blow away the black market dude? He can’t even call it self defense.

  • After Lee shoots the guy, he tells the guy’s henchmen that he’s not shutting down the black market. He wants them to continue serving the fleet and they’re not to hold back supplies or harm children. Talk about mixed signals. Furthermore, exactly how is he going to enforce that?

Fears:
  • I don’t want them to be like Star Trek, and I don't want to see any aliens, but are they going to land on any planets at all this season?

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- where are they? Is the fleet going in any particular direction?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Prenatal Education System

I’m sure you’ve all heard reports about babies that develop into geniuses because their mothers played Mozart CDs for them or read novels to them while they were still in the womb?

Well, I feel stupid and self-conscious doing that, but my child will have to compete for a spot in preschool against those kids, so, dammit, I have to do something.

I bought this thing called BabyPlus, which advertises itself as a “prenatal education system.”

This is the product description from their site:

BabyPlus is an audio device that introduces patterns of sound to prenatal children in the only language they understand—the maternal heartbeat. As a baby discriminates the heartbeat sounds of BabyPlus from those of the mother, learning has begun and the child’s brain has been activated in a way never before possible.

Basically you strap an electronic device in a fanny pack to your belly (stop laughing) and it plays sounds.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. But it probably won’t cause damage (I hope). I mean, read this glowing testimonial from Amazon.com:

I began using the system when I was 18 weeks pregnant but could not keep up the schedule with a fast pace career. I stopped when I was about 31 weeks. I thought that my efforts went down the drain and did not try to look for any benefits from BabyPlus. However, when I went back to the testimonials to compare I realized that my son has accomplished many of the same feats other BabyPlus babies have. I cannot believe that only 13 weeks of using this system had such a positive impact on my son's development. He never had colic, has been extremely happy and expressive since he was born, laughs as if it's rolling from his toes since he was 4 months, latched on immediately after birth and today has a vocabulary of about 50 words, not including animal sounds he can make or hand gestures he's memorized for his favorites songs. I highly recommend this product!

Great, huh!

I’ll let you know in a couple months if product has had any positive effect.



Technorati tags: |

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A different kind of children's book

This is too funny.

I thought it was a spoof, but it may be a real book.





LOL! How obnoxious!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tagged... again

I’ve been tagged by Jon, The Intergalactic Gladiator. Actually he tagged Captain Typho, but I’ll do this here.

Four Jobs You’ve Had in Your Life
  • Internet Specialist

  • Graphic Designer

  • Journalist/Photojournalist

  • Production Artist


Four Places You’ve Lived
  • Brooklyn, NY

  • Burlington, VT

  • Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

  • Cambridge, MA


Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
  • Battlestar Galactica

  • Lost

  • Prison Break

  • Sleeper Cell


Four Places You’ve Been on Vacation
  • Ketchikan, Alaska

  • Inverness, Scotland

  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

  • Casablanca, Morocco


Four Blogs You Visit Daily


Four of Your Favorite Foods
  • Paella

  • Crab Cakes

  • Pecan Pie

  • Lobster


Four Places You’d Rather Be
  • Home

  • Home

  • Home

  • You get the picture.


Four Albums You Can’t Live Without
(Okay, this isn’t really true -- I don’t really adore these albums, but I have in the past)


Four Vehicles You’ve Owned
  • Kia Sorento

  • Chevy Blazer

  • Hyundai Sonata

  • Toyota Tercel


Four People to Be Tagged
  • I’ll spare you guys. If you really want to be tagged, let me know!

Monday, January 23, 2006

W.Va. Senate Passes New Mine Safety Rules

From The Guardian:
The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed legislation Monday that would require mines to use electronic devices to track trapped miners and stockpile oxygen to keep them alive until help arrives.
It only took 14 deaths in three weeks.

Read more.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Habits Meme

This is a meme I created using some questions from the book 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone by Barbara Ann Kipfer.


Habits

What is consistently in your garbage?

Vegetables. I never finish them.

Do you have phobias?

I’m scared of heights.

Do you snore?

Yeah. I’ve been told I talk in my sleep too. Sheesh. :(

What are you obsessive about, and why?

I hate when people move my stuff. I feel violated when that happens. It makes me feel like nothing belongs to me.

Of you were in prison, what would you do with your time?

I’d like to be put in solitary confinement so that I could write a novel.

How much water do you drink every day?

Not enough -- maybe 12-16 ounces.

Do you put your right or left sock on first?

The left, I think. How weird!

Do you set your watch exactly, ahead or behind?

Two minutes ahead.

What do you often dream of?

I often dream of being on the subway.

In what order do you put on your clothes?

Panties, bra, socks, pants, blouse, jacket. I never realized I had a particular order.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Baby Pool Update

So far 16 people have voted in my baby pool. Here’s how the poll is going:

Gender: 69% think the baby will be a boy.
Weight: Guesses are coming in at 7+ pounds.
Length: Guesses are coming in at 20+ inches.
Birth Date: April 10 is the median.

As for the names, Bryce is leading for boys and Francesca is leading for girls.

If you haven’t already voted, the polls are still open! :)

Click here to log your guesses.

Friday, January 20, 2006

BSG: Epiphanies

189 days have passed since Laura received the report from her doctor on Caprica that she had terminal breast cancer. In the present, on the Galactica, she is being rushed to the intensive care unit on a stretcher as she enters her final hours.

This episode, like many Galactica episodes, makes effective use of flashbacks. Laura, as she weaves in and out of consciousness, is drawn back to the scenes of her life on Caprica, where she served as the Secretary of Education under President Adar. From the flashbacks we see where Laura got some of her negotiating skills (settling a teachers’ strike), but more interestingly we see that she and Adar were having an affair. We discover that Laura happened to be in the same plaza as Baltar and Number Six on the day of the Cylon attack -- and she subconsciously remembers seeing their little tryst.

As Laura lays dying in ICU, other things are going on. Newbie pilot Kat (who is becoming increasingly arrogant) bitches with Starbuck, but the two are forced to table their arguing when it becomes apparent that their Vipers have been sabotaged. This uncovers an entire “peace” movement comprised of people who feel that surrender to the Cylons is the best option. To demonstrate they mean business, they plant bombs and damage the Tylium factory, leaving the fleet once again low on fuel and vulnerable to attack. The Cylon sympathizers have a headquarters on the Cloud Nine ship and Baltar discovers that they’ve taken in Gina, the Cylon clone who murdered Admiral Cain (but they don’t know her true identity).

Laura, in a lucid moment, gathers Adama, Baltar and Doc Cottle by her bedside and tells them that Sharon’s pregnancy must be terminated for the good of the fleet. Her decision is prompted by Cottle’s report on blood abnormalities in the fetus. Adama has no problem with complying, but Baltar argues against it.

Helo is, predictably, enraged when the Marines come for Sharon and drag her kicking and screaming to medical where the staff is ready to do the abortion. Baltar, however, appears and neatly solves two problems by revealing that he’s discovered that the Cylon-human fetus’s blood has the ability to cure cancer.

How convenient!

He simply extracts fetal blood from Sharon’s womb, injects it into Laura and, voila! Laura’s cancer is completely gone within hours.

Things I Liked:
  • Laura’s look of horror when she woke up and looked at Baltar, who she now knows for sure is intimately connected with the Cylons.

  • Baltar is unbelievable pissed when he reads the letter Laura left him in the event of her death. Everything she said about his character was true.

  • Gina rejects Baltar’s advances and gives him a bloody lip.

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • I can’t believe that anyone would believe they can sue for peace with the Cylons. If you look at the original mini-series you’ll see that that was tried the day they bombed the Colonies. It didn’t work then, why would it work now?

  • Simply injecting a couple cc’s of Cylon-hybrid blood into Laura repaired all of the cells in her body that were ravaged by cancer? That’s weak sci-fi science at its best.

  • How come there was no mention of whether Baltar was ever questioned about the Cylon that escaped and killed Cain? No one cares about that? He’s not being held responsible for Gina’s escape?

  • There was no mention of how the crew of the Pegasus is adapting to being under Adama’s command.

Fears:

  • There’s more bad science to come.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Weird Recalls

I subscribe to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall email. Almost every week a couple products will get recalled, usually because they pose a choking hazard for a child, or they cause fires.

Then sometimes you get the bizarre recalls, like this one.
Mizuno USA, Inc. Recalls "Gamer" Baseball Gloves Due to Chance of Infection in At-Risk Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product:
Mizuno "Gamer" Baseball Gloves

Hazard:
These gloves could contain aspergillus mold. Such mold usually does not affect healthy individuals, but could cause respiratory or other infections in individuals with chronic health problems or in individuals who have impaired immune systems.

Remedy:
Consumers should stop using the gloves and contact Mizuno USA, Inc. for information on how to receive a free replacement baseball glove.
WHAT??

How did they even discover this? EEEUUW!

Full press release here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Gestational Diabetes

The obstetrician called to say that the blood test I took on Monday shows that my blood sugar is high and I may have gestational diabetes. I have to take a three-hour glucose tolerance test next Monday.

I can’t say I’m surprised. I was kinda expecting this to happen. :(

Anyway, I’m doing some research on this.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ripped Off

I was ripped off today at the doctor’s office.

No, I’m not talking about the high cost of medical care.

Someone literally stole my money!

I took off the ID holder I wear around my neck and gave it to my mom to hold (yeah, that was a BIG mistake right there) while I was getting a diagnostic test. I step out of the room to use the restroom and when I come back, mom’s left the room. I ask for my ID holder. She can’t find it. We search her pockets, we search her bag, we search the bathroom, we search the examination room, we search the garbage -- no ID holder.

My money, two ATM cards, an American Express card, my license and registration, my medical insurance card, my TransitCheck subway card and over $100, all gone.

I’m pissed. She’s blaming me. She can’t handle all this stuff, she says.

Wow, it’s too much to ask your mother to hold your ID for two minutes?? I’m thinking to myself, Down the road, do I dare leave this woman alone with an infant child? Will I be able to take a shower, much less go to work?

We alert the manager of the office and the office workers and technicians look for the missing ID holder half-heartedly.

Nothing.

I wait in the waiting room and think about all the bullshit I’m going to have to go through to get all the cards and IDs replaced.

Time passes as I wait for the3D ultrasound technician to see me. Finally I go into another examination room to have the 3D ultrasound done. Halfway through there’s a knock on the door. Mysteriously, two hours after the ID holder disappeared, it has shown up in the middle of the floor near the reception desk. This is the area inside the door that leads to the examination rooms, not in the waiting room area. We walked up and down that hallway when we were looking for the ID holder, so how did it just magically get there hours later?

The money’s gone, but the cards are all there.

So what am I supposed to think?

Either a pregnant thieving patient strolled by the room (that my mother left without checking to see that she had everything) saw the ID holder, grabbed it, took the money and had the presence of mind to dump it near the receptionists before waddling her ass to her car... or a thieving technician did the deed between doing ultrasounds.

It’s grimy either way.

Unbelievable.

Note to self: Don’t EVER let mom hold your ID again.

Side note: The baby was very uncooperative during the 3D ultrasound. I hoped to get some nice facial pictures, but the baby kept pushing his/her face up against the placenta and we couldn’t get a good frontal shot. From the profile shots, the baby looked like he/she was pouting, which was amusing. The baby was swallowing too, which was fascinating to watch.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Portfolio

I’ve finally gotten around to putting together my online portfolio. It’s only taken about 11 years!

I’ve spent the last few hours configuring the site and uploading images. You can see the work in progress at pessoagallery.com/art.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

How Evil Are You?

So how come I came out as an "evil princess" when did that other quiz?


How evil are you?

Friday, January 13, 2006

BSG: Resurrection Ship, Part 2

The episode starts with Lee floating on his back in a lake. It’s a peaceful scene, but there’s a falseness to it and an underlying tension which blossoms into full-blown tension when the scene morphs into an image of space. A battle rages silently in the background while Lee in a spacesuit and strapped to a chair, drifts helplessly away.

The opening scene sets the tone for the episode since the all-out space battle, which would be the crux of a “normal” Science-Fiction show, is essentially meaningless. It’s everything else that really matters -- the parallel assassination plots scheduled to take place when the battle against the Cylons is done, Tyrol and Helo awaiting their execution, an increasingly ill Laura and Baltar’s attempts to break through to the wounded Cylon, Gina.

Things I Liked:

  • The viciousness of the Pegasus’s crew may start at the top with Cain, but it filters down even to the lowest levels. A couple of specialists, angered that the executions of Tyrol and Helo have been put on hold, take it upon themselves to give the prisoners a “blanket party.” The culture of violence on that ship is pervasive and it remains to be seen if it can be changed.

  • The XO of the Pegasus stops the beating of the two men, but he does so with little emotion. He has no sympathy for two men who killed an officer who in his opinion was doing nothing wrong. As he puts it, “You can’t rape a machine.”

  • Cain seems to have a genuine desire to mentor Starbuck.

  • The way the battle between the two battlestars and the basestars was filmed was stunning, even though it was strictly background material.

  • The decision of both commanders not to go through with their original assassination plans is handled well. Each has different reasons -- Adama doesn’t go through with it because an assassination (to him) would prove the Cylons are right about humanity no deserving to live. Cain stands down because... Well, it’s not clear. Perhaps because she saw that Kara didn’t want to kill her.

  • Cain goes out well.

  • Laura promotes Adama to Admiral.

Things I Didn’t Like:
  • When Apollo is ejected from the destroyed stealth ship, he discovers a hole in his suit. At first he tries to cover it with his hand (bad science alert), but then he exposes the hole and waits to die. I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Why is he suicidal all of a sudden? And more importantly, why wasn’t some effort made to make this act the meaningful?

  • How come Baltar isn’t in trouble for letting Gina escape and kill Cain? Or does that come in the next episode?

Fears:
  • What’s up with Dualla sneaking around the pilots’ quarters and listening in on Kara and Lee having a private talk? She’s got the Jones for him now? Please.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Arnold's Lip


Eeuuw!

Arnold busted his lip while riding a motorcycle (without a license) over the weekend.

He's not being fined for driving without a license, of course. Big surprise there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Girl Gets Bird Flu After Kissing Chicken

From AP:
Sumeyya Mamuk considered the chickens in her backyard to be beloved pets. The 8-year-old girl fed them, petted them and took care of them. When they started to get sick and die, she hugged them and tenderly kissed them goodbye. The next morning, her face and eyes were swollen and she had a high fever. Her father took her to a hospital, and five days later she was confirmed to have the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.
Ugh.

Read more…

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sensitive Java Junkies

I came across a post by an ex-coffee drinker and its comical responses in a Monster.com blog.

Dang!

People are so freaking sensitive! All the guy said was that he’d given up coffee and if others wanted help doing the same, here’s a link. Naturally, a bunch of people took offense, thereby unwittingly showing that they are indeed addicts. LOL!

Some quotes:

While I'm a live-and-let-live type who respects anyone who desires a caffeine-free lifestyle, I plan to be drinking 5-6 cups of coffee a day until I die at 109, having left a request for a quart of primo espresso to be poured over my grave as a final salute…

I drink 5 - 6 cups a day and have found no ill affect from it and enjoy drinking it. For those that have found they feel better or have a positive personality change because of quitting their coffee in take then I am happy for them. I met my wife before I drank coffee and she never noticed any attitude changes due to my coffee consumption since then…

i feel that i could have a lot worse habits than drinking coffee. i dont smoke or drink so i think coffee is not so bad plus it gets me a quick start on things in my daily life that needs done…

Thank God I don’t drink coffee. :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Sexy Name Decoder

I got this link from Wedge’s site.

LOL!


Marvelous Ideal Cutie Hungering for Erotic Loving and Lustful Embraces


And my monster name:

Person-Eating Scientist-Snatching Ogre from the Abbey

Sunday, January 08, 2006

BSG: Resurrection Ship

Season 2.1 starts off where season 2.0 left off. Helo and Tyrol have been scheduled for execution and Adama isn’t having that. He sends his fighters out to engage the Pegasus and Admiral Cain sends hers. There is a tense, confusing standoff as the fighters from both ships fly around avoiding each other because no one wants to be the first to pull the trigger.

The standoff ends when Kara, who has taken the Blackbird stealth ship into the heart of the Cylon fleet, misleads the Pegasus into thinking (briefly) that the Cylons have landed in their midst. She then uses the opportunity to beam back photos of her recon mission to Cain, who is impressed enough by the intel (and Kara’s balls) that she agrees to a temporary truce.

The rest of the episode has Cain and Adama in a mediated meeting with the president in which they agree (on the surface) to cooperate in order to coordinate an attack on the Cylon fleet. Baltar gets the abused Number Six clone on the Pegasus, Gina, to interpret Kara’s shots. She ID’s the mystery ship everyone is interested in as the “Resurrection Ship,” which is a facility stockpiled with clones waiting to have the consciousnesses of “dead” Cylons downloaded into them. The Colonials theorize that destroying this ship could make the Cylons back off. They would lose their safety net and be truly “dead.”

Things I Liked:

  • Baltar was the conduit for useful information and he didn’t act crazy. That’s a major achievement for him.

  • Laura and Adama have bonded again, which is nice.

  • Laura is getting tough again -- it’s she who tells Adama straight up that he needs to kill Cain.

  • More of the backstory of the Pegasus is revealed.

  • Kara got promoted to CAG -- and Lee now works for her.

  • No Billy, no Dualla!

  • The parallel plans for assassination cooked up by both Cain and Adama at the end of the show were great.

Things I Didn’t Like:
  • No real problems with this episode, except that they’re making Cain too much of a one-dimensional villain. She has absolutely no redeeming qualities. The backstory info in this episode reveals that she cannibalized the civilian ships that looked to the Pegasus for protection and had civilians shot who resisted being separated from their families.

Fears:
  • Baltar has to somehow thwart the destruction of the Resurrection ship.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sony's graffiti murals

From Newsday:

A new Sony campaign that uses graffiti murals painted on building walls around the city has drawn the ire of a councilman who says the corporate giant is condoning vandalism."It's an example of another irresponsible corporation that's trying to make money by promoting criminal activity," said Queens councilman Peter Vallone Jr.

The six murals around the city depict kids dressed in baggy clothes cradling, straddling and riding Sony's PlayStation Portable, a handheld device that plays video games, movies and music.
I've seen the murals, and while I think they're cute, I can easily see how a kid might think they're "real" and feel compelled to tag the same wall with their own scrawl.

Read more...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Whatever happened to...?

On my way home I was listening to my iPod. I don’t know who’s popular anymore -- I stopped listening to the radio around 1991 and I don’t watch BET or MTV. The playlists on my iPod are strictly old school. I couldn’t help but wonder about the fate of some of these artists.

Whatever happened to:

Ashford & Simpson



Jeffrey Osborne



Patti Austin



Peabo Bryson



Rene & Angela



Surface

Thursday, January 05, 2006

West Virginia Mining Tragedy

Where to begin on this one?

Background – On Monday there was an explosion in a mine in West Virginia and thirteen miners were trapped. Late Tuesday night it was reported that twelve miners were found alive and one was dead. But by about 3 a.m. Wednesday, the numbers were reversed – twelve were dead and one was alive in critical condition. Unfortunately the families and the media both had the wrong information for hours. The worst part was that newspapers all over the country had headlines Wednesday morning proclaiming the miracle of finding the miners alive, hours after we all knew that a terrible mistake had been made. The papers had gone to press around midnight and it was too late to recall them.

First of all, I guess I’m very na├»ve. I didn’t know we still had people working in mines in this country. I guess I thought robots did the dangerous work now or humans controlled drills from afar. Why is it still necessary for people to work in mines? Are these people paid enough for the risks they are taking?

Second, this mining company where the accident took place was cited for major safety violations as late as three weeks ago! Why was the mine still operational?

Lastly, 45 minutes after it was mistakenly reported that the miners were found alive, the company knew that it had made a mistake. Why did it take three hours before they finally bothered to tell the men’s families the truth?

In the coming weeks I’m sure the mining company will be sued. And of course the mining company will try to say that the men who died caused the accident.

We’re off to a great start in 2006 as far as corporate responsibility goes, I see.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It doesn't get pettier than this

From the New York Times:
"Good Night, and Good Luck," the movie about Edward R. Murrow's battle to expose the demagoguery of Joseph R. McCarthy, has received both critical and popular acclaim. But the movie has its fervent detractors - and they aren't people nostalgic for the days of backyard fallout shelters. They are typographers and graphic designers. Their charge: typographical inaccuracy.

It appears that the CBS News sign, prominently displayed in the film's carefully reconstructed New York newsroom, uses the typeface Helvetica. But Helvetica was not designed until 1957, the year McCarthy died. The movie takes place in the early 1950's.
Wow. And I thought I was anal.

Read more...

(You need to log in to the NY Times site to read the article.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Baby Pool!

I've started a baby pool!

(I know y’all are going to get tired of me and this topic, but this is new to me.)

Participation in the baby pool is easy. Go to ExpectNet.com and login to the game named pessoa (all lower case). You don't need to register to participate.

On the game page enter your name and your guesses for the baby's gender, weight, length and birthday.

The due date is April 11, but due dates are only estimates.

While you're there, cast your vote in the baby name polls I've set up.

Thanks!



Monday, January 02, 2006

Cribs

Today my mom and I started buying the first of many items for the nursery.

Back in October we started began out items at Babies R Us, but I wanted to wait a bit before the buying started. Using two books -- Baby Bargains and Consumer Reports Best Baby Products -- I put together a registry online at Amazon.com -- registry number #90725519, if you’re interested. ;)

I visited the local Babies R Us store at the Gateway mall in Brooklyn around Christmas and had a really negative experience with the associate at the registry desk. Despite the fact that I got her manager on her and my dealings with the other associates were fine after that, my opinion of the store in general soured. The selection of items was broad, but I didn’t see the crib style I wanted. I didn’t see the glider (that’s a type of rocking chair used for nursing) I wanted.

In other words, I wasn’t feeling it.

Last Friday on my day off I decided to broaden my search. We visited five specialty stores -- one in Brooklyn and four in Manhattan. We saw a bewildering array of cribs ranging in price from $199 to over $1000.

There were too many options! Each crib looked better than the last!

I liked the Pali cribs, the Sorelle cribs, the Berg cribs, etc. And Buy Buy Baby had almost 30 Dutailier gliders on display so I sat in one after another until I zeroed in on the features I wanted.

I finally decided to get a Ragazzi Cooperton crib, the baby changing station, a mattress and a glider with matching Ottoman at a place called Schneider’s.

Those five items totaled about $2,500.

WHOA!

And I have 91 more items on my registry!

On the plus side, I knocked off four of the most expensive items today with the purchase of the crib, changing station, glider and Ottoman.

The next most expensive items will be the electronic breast pump (though somehow I know the baby won’t “latch on” and will end up on formula), the travel system (combo infant carrier and stroller), the bedding and the playard (combination bassinet/play pen)

After that there are a bunch of things that cost under a hundred dollars that will quickly add up -- baby clothes, a gate, a nursery monitor, a sling carrier, bottles, bath tub, and, of course, educational toys.

And so it begins.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Predictions for 2006 (2)

These are my personal predictions for 2006.

  • Entertainment: I will not go anywhere. I will not finish a single novel. I will, however, watch Battlestar Galactica, Lost and Prison Break on TV.

  • Finance: I will make less money than I did in 2005.

  • Natural Disasters: I will slip and bust my ass in the snow.

  • Technology: I will upgrade my computer, though I have no need to.

  • Health: I will not do a single minute of formal exercise.