Hartsongs <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Washington state lawmakers are having a hard time making ends meet with their five and six figure incomes, and will be getting a 2.5% raise. During the same session they struggled with the request for raises for Home Care Workers, (making all of $7.86 / hour) and decided the state couldn't possibly come up with the funding to do so, we got the news of these raises. While the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials in Olympia has the authority to grant these raises, legislators have testified at their hearings that they 'deserve' them, some adding that this is not the time.

Here is a chart that shows where the money goes.

Governor Locke and a few others plan to donate their raises to charity.

How about putting them in a fund for those Home Care Workers or local schools?

I saw it in the 'Sun', so it must be so. Actually, there was a spot on the news the other day about a local woman who died after working in her garden. Unfortunately, her doctor thought she had the flu, when in fact, it was Legionnaire's Disease that she had contracted from potting soil.

As a safety precaution:
open potting mix bags with care to avoid inhaling airborne potting mix

moisten the contents of the bag on opening make a small opening and insert a garden hose to dampen the potting mix

wear gloves to avoid transferring potting mix from hand to mouth,

always wash hands after handling potting mix, even if gloves have been worn,

and take the same precautions when handling soil, peat, mulch and garden composts.

(From King County Public Health )

This article from The Health Insurance Fund of Australia, lists some of the symptoms associated with the disease.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

The Hartford Courant

Turns out it was just hours after Bush spoke at a graduation ceremony in New London.

A bomb just exploded in the mail room @ the Yale Law Library.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Perhaps a bit of political presure will get the aid where it needs to go. Children are picking up mortars to sell so their families can have money to buy food. Write to your representatives. Aid & Development: Child deaths in Iraqi ammunition dumps is no surprise

Salam Pax has an interesting post on his journey with Raed and the CIVIC team.
The pictures aren't showing up on his website, but if you go to Electronic Iraq, you will find them there. I chuckled when I saw their description of Salam as 'Iraq's Scarlet Pimpernel of Bloggers'.

Sadly, the aid that is supposed to be going to families is being sold, rather than going to those who need it.

Monday, May 19, 2003

"It is the right thing to do " " US Senator Patrick Leahy, (D-VT)

Is Big Brother watching you? "Last week, in an effort to increase satellite intelligence coverage of high-priority targets, President Bush ordered spy agencies to begin buying as much imagery as possible from private companies."

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Mole Hunter

She was a black blur, frantically dashing through the parking lot of the grocery store, circling round and about in her desperate attempt to locate a particularly evasive automobile. After several minutes she forlornly moved to the edge of the parking lot and waited expectantly, hoping each car that passed was the one she was looking for, but to no avail.

I thought perhaps she had followed an employee to work, so I went back into the store, only to find she didn’t belong to anyone there. She was in the same position, watching hopefully, when I returned, and I moved my car over near her. She gave me a brief glance, and then resumed her vigil.

I opened my door and began talking to her. After several minutes she inched closer to me and briefly sniffed my hand, but remained on the lookout. After another fifteen minutes, she apparently decided the car wouldn’t be returning, edged closer to my car, studied the back seat and climbed in; still with a watchful eye.

I ran an ad in the paper for several weeks, checked for a microchip, and put her picture up on the bulletin board at the grocery store, with no response.

She’s still here. Going back through some old papers, I did see an ad for a dog matching her description in the ‘Free Pets’ section…

For the first week she was great. Then I realized why she had been dumped when I returned home one day to a complete disaster area! She had ransacked the garbage and the laundry hamper; she had strewn a wall to wall carpet of trash and dirty clothes.

From the guilty look she gave me when I walked in, I know she knew she had done something wrong. I beg to differ with those who say that a dog doesn’t realize their behavior was wrong after the fact.

So began the campaign to keep her confined while I was out. Lacking a crate, I placed a board against the hallway door, which she jumped as soon as I left the house. Not having anything higher, I resorted to adding a card table on top of a wooden bench with a terrarium for ballast, and even at that, she managed to worm her way out. I ended up having to sneak back into the house and take her back to her pen twice, telling her how unhappy I was, and for her to stay. She is eager to please, and I can now leave her there with just the board in place.

The backyard is another story. From flower pots to rocks, she has traipsed off and chewed any moveable object that happens to be in the yard, above or below ground.

There was a time when my yard was ‘mole free’. Back in the day when my cat, Caruso, was around, I had no problem with them. After he died, they took up residence with a vengeance.

Now, it seems, they have met their match with the arrival of Shadow. Not only does she dig at the site of the molehill, she unearths the length of the tunnels. She has brought several to the back porch, like a cat depositing a mouse as a gift. My backyard is a shambles; it seems as soon as I refill one hole, she unearths another. While I had been considering doing some landscaping, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

One day, she began digging next to the garage, and I thought she was going for another mole. (When I see her digging, I tell her to stop, which she does; until I’m out of sight.) The next day, I found she had resumed her dig, delving down about three feet deep. When she saw me, she ran to her archeological find and began running happily around the yard, showing me the worn, old, deflated rubber ball that had been buried for who knows how many years.

Shadow, it seems, would be an ideal dog for Search and Rescue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Isabella, of has 'She's a Flight Risk', has moved.

Monday, May 12, 2003

A report that Saddam Hussein is planning for guerilla warfare to begin on July 17th, with 40,000 fighters. July 17th is Iraq National Day.

Prof. Joe Cummins, of the Centre for Research on Globalization, wonders if SARS is the result of genetic manipulation.

Just a thought...the SARS virus has been linked to the Corona virus; could there be a link with the propensity in Asia for a diet of dogs and cats?

Why does a container of bouillon cubes have a 'shaker' side?

The news has been rampant with reports of the Simulated Terror Attacks, an exercise to measure the readiness of emergency response teams. Wouldn't it be better to suprise the teams, rather than having everyone sitting around waiting for the phone call? Let's see how they react when it comes out of the blue, with no foreknowledge of the event.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Study: 'Language police' ... So much for free speech.

Are we suprised? "A subsidiary of Halliburton", which was headed by Mr Cheney for five years until 2000, was handed a much larger role in post-war Iraq than previously believed."

Salam Pax, what would we do without you? Salam reports: "Until now they have around 5000 injuries and deaths in Baghdad" This conflicts with the minimal reports that I have seen. Even at Iraq Body Count seems low in comparison. I found this site, last updated 4/28, that gives sme interesting links.

Rumsfel rivals the CIA?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Good News! Salam Pax is safe & there us an update on his site: "Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don’t let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don’t think about your “imminent liberation” anymore."

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Matters of life or death

NEWS.scotsman.com - War with Iraq - Saddam tired and uncertain in video of last known official speech

Speaking of McCarthy...

Will it ever end?

Monday, May 05, 2003

According to this report, 'Hospital records indicate at least 6800 civilians were wounded'.The Mercury: 1300 civilians killed in Iraqi war: report [04may03]

It is discouraging that relations between the U.S. and Canada are at risk. Can we afford to lose a good ally? Will they be placed on the list of 'rogue' nations?

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Remember These Children Memorial

A scanned image of an FBI flyer that states a 'defender' of the US Constitution is a terrorist...hmmm.

At it again...Israeli troops busy taking innocent lives."We were very visible to the troops, with a white flag and 'TV' markings on our vests, but still the troops opened fire, hitting James Miller,"

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