Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Oh Danny Boy

Oh Danny Boy, the Blogs, the Blogs, they nailed ye,
Your story on false documents relied.
Your ratings shot, your reputation’s failed ye,
‘Tis you, ‘tis you, must go because ye lied.

But you hang on, though no one now believes you,
Old records typed in far too new a font.
You tell us we can still believe their substance:
Oh Danny Boy, your little ploy, ain’t what we want.

But when ye go, ye swore ye’d take Bush with ye,
His image soiled by mud that you had slung.
Though he prevailed, ye’d not concede his victory,
Refused to call the states that he had won.

Now CBS must face the music with ye,
Your Sixty Minutes is going to expire.
Your anchor job is looking kind of shaky,
Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Boy, ye should retire.

(Originally Posted at 1:58 PM, November 9, 2004)

Thanks for the Memory to Ace of Spades HQ.

'Nuff Said.

Did I Mention That Dolphins Are My Favorite Animals?

Thanks for the Memory to Vic at Darth Apathy for one more reason why:

Dolphins defend swimmers from shark

From correspondents in Whangarei, New Zealand
November 23, 2004

A GROUP of swimmers has told how a pod of dolphins protected them from a great white shark off the north-eastern coast of New Zealand.

Flipper ... the aquatic mammal star of the TV series would have been pround of the dolphins' heroic actions in New Zealand.

Rob Howes and three other lifeguards were on a training swim about 100m offshore at Ocean Beach near Whangarei when the dolphins raced in and herded the group together.

"They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us," Mr Howes said.

When he tried to drift away from the group, two of the bigger dolphins herded him back.

He then saw why. A 3m great white shark was cruising toward the group about two metres below the surface.

"I just recoiled. It was only about two metres away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face," he said, adding he then realised the dolphins had moved in to protect the swimmers.

The group were surrounded by the dolphins for 40 minutes before they were able to reach the shore.

Another lifeguard, Matt Fleet, was patrolling nearby in a rescue boat when he saw the dolphins' unusual behaviour.

When he dived out of the boat to join the group he also saw the great white.

Fleet said he was keen to get out of the water after the sighting, but didn't panic.

"I just kept looking around to see where it was."

The incident happened about three weeks ago, but Mr Howes and Mr Fleet said they had kept the story to themselves until they had a chance to catch up and confirm what they had seen.

Auckland University marine mammal research scientist Doctor Rochelle Constantine said dolphins were normally vigilant in the presence of sharks.

I've always had a soft spot for the Delphinids, especially true Dolphins, but including Orcas. In fact, in general I appreciate the pack hunters, though again, Dolhpins (and wolves) are at the top of my list. This just reinforces that fondness.

Holiday Traditions

Most of us grew up with certain traditions, or at the very least (and not always happiest), recurring Holiday themes. When you get married, you bring some with you, you learn some of your spouses, you compromise between the two lists, and you create a few new ones of your own.

One non-traditional, "recurring holiday theme" that I have become adamantly loathe to is the ever-creeping earlier and earlier commercialization of the holidays. earlier this year I blogged on Christmas decorations being in Ross as a sign of the Earth's impending demise. I just detest it. One of the reasons I moved back to Oregon was because I hated living somewhere with one single, albeit sunny, season. I LIKE seasons, whether sports, hunting, or cliatic. I like holidays associated with seasons, and I like to observe them IN their respective seasons. It helps mark the passing of time, it makes each season, each year, more meaningful. My twelve years in San Diego are a blur, with few seasonal changes to act as chronological landmarks. So I am resistant to the idea of observing Christmas until I have finished onserving Thanksgiving, let alone Labor Day!

But the feared redhead and I have established one holiday tradition that forces me to bend this rule, and in this case, I believe it's worth it. Every yuear, we assemble at least one shoebox, preferrably two, for Operation Christmas Child. This is a project of Samaritan's Purse, a Christian mercy organization run by Franklin Graham (Billy's son). They do awesome work. The way OCC works is that you take a shoebox (we buy one of the plastic ones from Target, that way the box itself is still useful after the project), and fill it with toys, candy, and toiletry items for a child. You specify the gender and age group for which you fallied the box, and drop it off at a participating location (usually chrches). The boxes are packed and shipped all over the world -- Mexico, Afghanistan, Iraq, all over Asia and Africa, Latin America, even reservations here in the US. The children receive them at Christmas on behalf of the donor and God (no bones about it, it's a Christian charity). Anyone who has read my blog knows I'm as enthusiastic about private charity as I am skeptical of government largess.

In order to get them to the kids by Christmas, they have to be assembled and dropped off the weekend before Thanksgiving. So I have to make an exception and think about Christmas before the Friday after Thanksgiving. But again, for the good this does, it's worth it. That lesson was driven home this year, when our finances prevented us from participating until the last minute. We'll have to ship the box to OCC headquarters in North Carolina since we missed the drop cutoff.

But even the extra postage is well spent.