November 30, 2004


This blog will be hitting 100,000 readers (per SiteMeter) in two weeks or so, unless my readership declines sharply and then it will take longer.

In honor of this big round number, I'll have my own little Weblog Awards...there will be winners in such exciting categories as "Best Pinger" and "Blogchild of the Year".

Also, if you refer the 100,000th visitor, you can win an exciting prize...I'm thinking a choice between a book of quotes and something yet to be determined. (If Google or some other search engine refers the 100,000th visitor, I'll award the prize to the first referrer* after the 100,000 mark.)

In the meantime, I'll try to post something worth reading around here. Yay!

* Interested in claiming the prize.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:25 PM | Comments (3)

*Presidential Fun Fact

Maybe it was a military thing, but George Washington was very concerned with his appearance. His wig was powdered and his boots were polished multiple times a day. When he traveled, he kept a clean set of clothing with him so he could change just before arriving at his destination.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:07 PM | Comments (1)

*Quote for the Day

"The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films."

-Paul Newman

Posted by Jennifer at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2004

*Who Knew Penn Was an Egomaniac?

William Penn has cursed Philadelphia sports.

We all have to explain our pain somehow, I guess.

Posted by Jennifer at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

Quote for a Monday

"Well, it's not the men in your life that counts, it's the life in your men."

-Mae West's character in I'm No Angel

Posted by Jennifer at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2004

Quote for a Weekend

"Constantly talking is not necessarily communicating."

-Jim Carrey's character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Posted by Jennifer at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

November 17, 2004

*GMail is Creeping Me Out

Okay, so I knew that gmail promised "targeted ads"...but it's a little creepy. In various e-mails about blogs, I've gotten ads for different blogging tools. In an e-mail from the lovely SarahK, in which she mentioned her nearsightedness, I got ads for Lasik surgery.

I realize this is all computer-generated, but it's like...they're watching me.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:36 PM | Comments (5)

November 16, 2004

*Ask Jen: Walk the Plank Edition

Tim wants to know "about the history of Jolly Roger."

Well, as everyone knows, the Jolly Roger is the pirate with a white skull and crossbones. Every pirate ship had one, bought from Flags-R-Us, and if they didn't have one, the Democratic Order of Pirates made them walk the plank, me hearties.

Sorry, slipped into Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Day-speak for a moment.

The truth is, the Jolly Roger as we know it is probably more of a Hollywood creation than anything. All pirate ships had their own flag--some with skull and crossbones, some with crossed swords, some with whatever other frightening imagery they came up with. And the flags came in different colors, too. It is possible that "Jolly Roger" is derived from "joli rouge"...French for "pretty red".

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:15 PM | Comments (3)

The Sound of Silence

Gonna be a slow morning around here unless y'all have a comments-party. I'll be offline until this which point I'll hopefully have a semi-decent post to counteract all the garbage I've posted lately.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:39 AM | Comments (14)

November 15, 2004

Quote for Monday

"I didn't know he was a genius. Frankly, I didn't know what the hell he was."

-Leah Adler, mother of Steven Spielberg

Posted by Jennifer at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2004


I'm a slacker lately, I admit it. Been offline most of the day today, but had to hop back on to check out the Scott Peterson verdict. He's going to have a rough time of it in prison, I think.

I'll try to get my act together for posting next and at Random Fate, where I'll be guest-hostingblogging while Jack runs around Paris. (He wisely did not give me access to his templates.)

Posted by Jennifer at 03:36 PM | Comments (1)

Quote for a Friday

In the "you probably had to be there department"...

"I miss Iggy (pet iguana, now deceased). He needs to come back. He's my best friend."

-Jen's niece, in forlorn and pathetic tones.

"Stop laughing, Jennifer!"

-Jen's niece, shortly after the first quote.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:44 AM | Comments (4)

November 11, 2004

Veterans' Day

To those who fought for my freedom: Thank you.

To those who fight for my freedom: Thank you.

To those who have died for my freedom: Thank you.

To the families of all the men and women mentioned above: Thank you.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:18 AM | Comments (3)

November 10, 2004

Arafat Dead

After all the "he's dead"/"he's awake and smiling" conflicting reports, the official word is just...anti-climactic. I suppose since I believed the "he's dead" crowd, that's to be expected.

It will be interesting to see how things shake out, that's for sure. Perhaps it is wishful thinking that the Palestinians will get new leadership with a real interest in peace with Israel.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

American Women Suck, Part Deux

In the comments to this throwaway post, my new friend Glenn left the following comments:

You moronic men keep thinking American women are "fairer" sex, as they curse like sailors. And "weaker" as they drown thier 5 children in bathtubs. You CAN beleive they are more manipulative and calculating as they rake your mindless rump over the coals in divorce court. Remember, the numbers dont lie. And the numbers say the divorce rate is speeding towards 70%, and 2 out of 3 divorces are initiated guessed it...the western female! Now bend over and be a good little gelding slave, buy that ring. And pay the price. Or, for those with a brain, go to Russia or South America and find a real woman that is worthy of marriage. Toss the western females in the trash with the rest of the garbage.

Feel better now, pigeon? (Oh, and you may want to review the "i before e" rule from your English as a second language course.)

Anyway, in my own defense, I don't swear that fucking much and I've never drowned anyone. I don't even have kids. Anymore.

But seriously, all the divorces I am close enough to know such things have been initiated by the wife*, including two marriages over 25 years in length. The whole thing is rather depressing, really, and one of the reasons I have been (perhaps overly) cautious in the commitment department myself at times.

* But one was battered, so we'll consider that one fully justified.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:02 PM | Comments (6)

November 09, 2004

*Quote for a Tuesday

"A man is given the choice between loving women and understanding them."

-Ninon de Lenclos

Posted by Jennifer at 08:18 AM | Comments (2)

November 08, 2004

*Quote for a Monday

"Since others have to tolerate my weaknesses, it is only fair that I should tolerate theirs."

-William Allen White

Posted by Jennifer at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2004

*Quote for a Thursday

"When half the men become fond of doing a thing, the other half prohibit it by law."

-Ed Howe

Posted by Jennifer at 06:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2004

*Ask Jen: Aerodynamic Lift Edition

Reader Stephanie writes, "My high school gym teacher says throwing a discus into the wind makes it go farther. Is he right?"

Well, as anyone who knows me can attest, physics is my real area of expertise.* Your teacher is right, because even though throwing the discus into the wind results in drag, it also gets an aerodynamic lift from the pressure differences on the top and bottom of the discus, which makes it fly for a longer period of time--and thus a greater distance as well.

* This is a blatant, big fat lie, but I did actually know the answer to this question. Yay, gym class! And if any of the real physicist types care to expound/clarify/correct in the comments, feel free.

Do you have a question for me? You can e-mail it. If I know the answer, I'll answer it. If I don't, I might make something up.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:23 PM | Comments (12)

November 02, 2004


I love Wisconsin. After all, I was born there. I have gazillions of relatives living there. I try to visit at least once a year.

From what I understand (you can't prove I'm watching the cable news channels), Wisconsin is getting a lot of airtime in the news right now.

So in the extended, something my daddy (also a native Wisconsinite) forwarded to me today that Wisconsin types may appreciate. (That's you, Harvey.)

Jeff Foxworthy on Wisconsin

If you consider it a sport to gather your food
by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all
day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in

If you have ever refused to buy something
because it's "too spendy",you might live in Wisconsin.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through
March, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of
the year, you might live in Wisconsin.

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and
they don't work there, you might live in Wisconsin.

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle
of his forehead, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you may not have actually eaten it, but you
have heard of Lutefisk, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same
time, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have either a pet or a child named
"Brett", you might live in Wisconsin.

If your town has an equal number of bars and
churches, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation
with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in

If you know how to say Oconomowoc, Waukesha,
Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in Wisconsin.

If every time you see moonlight on a lake, you think of a dancing
bear,and you sing gently, "From the land of sky-blue
waters, might live in Wisconsin.


1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

2. "Vacation" means going up north past Hwy 8 for the weekend.

3. You measure distance in hours.

4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and
back again.

6. Your whole family wears Packer Green to church on Sunday.

7. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging
blizzard, without flinching.

8. You see people wearing camouflage at social events. (including

9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

10. You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.

11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend
knows how to use them.

12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's
Fleet Farm at any given time.

13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled
with snow.

15. You refer to the Packers as "we."

16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and
road construction.

17. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

18. You have no problem pronouncing Lac Du Flambeau.

19. You consider Minneapolis exotic.

20. You know how to polka.

21. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to
your blue spruce.

22. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.

23. Down South to you means Iowa.

24. A brat is something you eat.

25. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.

26. You go out to fish fry every Friday

27. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

28. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

29. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."

30. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to
all your Wisconsin friends.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:50 PM | Comments (7)

*Good Morning, America

If you're an American and you have an opinion, let it be heard whether you're in a swing state or not. VOTE.

Posted by Jennifer at 06:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2004

*Electoral College

Confused about the Electoral College? This article breaks it down for you.

Posted by Jennifer at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

*Quick Reaction

One of the differences between Judaism and Christianity is the missionary position. Ahem. Let me rephrase that. Christians love to send missionaries all over the world, helping people and spreading the word of Christ. "Hey, look at this shiny new way we have of doing things. You'll love it. Come on over to the house later, we're having pie and discussing our Lord and Savior. Bring the kids."

Judaism isn't so big on recruitment. "We're happy over here doing things the way we've done them for thousands of years. We'll mind our own business and let you go about yours. Just don't try to kill us and we'll get along fine."

Democracy as DMo sees it is like the Christians up in the first paragraph. But the thing is, not everyone wants to do things our way. Some of them aren't ready for it. Tradition is a powerful thing. Look at Great Britain. The royal family has no real useful function, but people like having them around. They're symbolic. They're so closely tied to the country's image that you can't really picture an England without its royalty. "England with no queen? What's the point?" There is talk about ending the monarchy, and it will eventually happen, but that change will evolve as it's ready.

If democracy is as great as we think it is (and I include myself in that "we"), it will spread as it's ready. Sometimes quickly and violently, sometimes slowly evolving over time, but always at the pace the people are prepared for...we just need to be patient. When you force it, you suffer backlash from those in power who will be replaced.

We could fly into Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro tomorrow. Does that mean we should do it? Or should we wait until the old man finally kicks the bucket and see how things play out down there? In other words, do we let time run its course?

There are instances when we can argue there is a moral obligation to help those in need...Sudan comes to mind. But I don't remember hearing that argument before we went into Iraq or Afghanistan. We went into Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban, who were harboring Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. Freeing the people from Taliban rule was just an extra bonus. We went into Iraq because Saddam Hussein reportedly had weapons of mass destruction and posed an immediate danger to us.

American foreign policy should obviously favor and promote democracy, but not through force as DMo seems to propose. Our military is there to protect us and protect our interests. Is it in our best interest for the whole world to be democratic? Yes. Is it in our best interest to overthrow leaders we don't like? No. What? NO. You can't run around overthrowing governments unless you have a REALLY GOOD REASON. We do need some degree of cooperation from the rest of the world. Could China look at us and decide our power needs to be checked? Could an alliance of smaller nations? We're powerful, but we're not unstoppable. Our military force should be used when we (or our friends) are in danger and not as a tool to forcibly spread democracy.

"Just don't try to kill us and we'll get along fine."

Posted by Jennifer at 02:30 PM | Comments (13)

*One Vote

In 1842, Indiana farmhand Henry Shoemaker promised Madison Marsh that he would vote for him in the race for state representative. When election day rolled around, Shoemaker was so busy at work that he almost forgot to vote. Luckily, he made it to the polls on time, and cast his vote. None of the tickets had all the candidates he wanted to vote for, however, and he took out his knife to cut out the appropriate names. However, the election inspector declared Shoemaker's ballot invalid.

Once the votes were tallied, the state representative's seat was tied. Shoemaker's ballot became subject of debate and hearings, and was finally counted, winning the race for Marsh by one vote.

A few months later, the newly elected Marsh and his fellow state legislators had to elect someone to be one of Indiana's U.S. senators. The first five votes amongst the legislators resulted in ties. Finally Marsh changed his vote on the sixth ballot, and elected Edward Hannegan to the U.S. Senate by one vote.

In 1846, the Senate was deeply divided over whether the United States should declare war on Mexico. The Senate vote was tied, but Senator Hannegan was not present. He was contacted and cast his vote for the war. The United States declared war on Mexico because of that one vote.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:53 PM | Comments (1)