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Journal Journal: Fender Bender (not mine) 2

I witnessed a fender bender yesterday
I left my name and number for the two drivers - no one else stopped out of the 30 or so cars in the vicinity, including one within 4 feet of the accident
no one was injured, but I'm surprised the driver at aparent fault didn't have a heart attack - he was like 85
this couple were literally "Sunday drivers" aparently coming home from church
the guy said he hadn't had an accident in 20 years
he complained that drivers don't brake to let other drivers make turns anymore
they were hit making a left hand turn through a long line of stopped traffic when they crossed throught the right-turn only lane than wasn't stopped

Here's what I recall in case I need to refresh my memory later:

At about 12:25 PM Sunday December 10th, 2006 I was driving my family Eastbound on MD 410 approaching the onramp for the Baltimore Washington Parkway (satellite view). The traffic on 410 going straight was backed up because of a red light at the 410 overpass, but the right turn only lane was clear. I was in the right most of the straight lanes. From what I could tell the traffic in the straight lanes had left a gap for traffic entering/leaving Eastpine Dr. which was two car lengths in front of me. A red car approaching westbound on 410 saw this gap and made a left hand turn across the eastbound lanes. Just as it was crossing the Right Turn only lane, a black car drove past me and hit head on into the right rear door of the red car. The light at BWP/295 changed and the other cars in the area all proceeded on their way. The two cars directly involved both drove a short way onto Eastpine and parked, as did I.

After ensuring that both drivers and the passenger in the red car were not injured, I offered use of my cell phone which was declined, then I provided my name and phone number to the drivers and noted the time, location, and license plates of the cars involved.



Journal Journal: The wrong kind of swinging at the playground 2

We had an interesting experience today taking my kids, wife, and 72 year old mother to the new playground where my youngest daughter and I planted a tree last weekend. A man in the driver seat of a fairly new LARGE SUV, (the real working kind, not a family type one) was aparently receiving oral favors from a woman standing outside the truck, this was going on in clear view of the playground. Well, somewhat clear view, you couldn't see what the woman was doing with her face in the man's lap, only that her face was in his lap, and that he seemed very happy. My wife noticed first and pointed the situation out to me so we could try get the rest of the family to the playground and absorbed so they wouldn't notice.

I found a corner of the playground away from my mother and kids and called the local police tip line, but as the park which has recently been annexed by the city I live in, hasn't officially been become part of the city yet, they transferred me to the county police. After being on hold for at least 5 minutes, they finally took my report. About 10 minutes later the county cop cars started rolling in, no lights or sirens or anything, and at an appropriate casual parking lot speed, eventually totalling at least six cars. At this we walked past the scene toward the duck pond. I couldn't follow everything that happened from there, but I think they got off (no pun intended) with just a stern warning, as the aparent activity had ended at some point between me hanging up and the police arriving. By the time we went back to our car, the SUV was gone, and there were only two cop cars left,

Later my mother wondered outloud what all yhe cops were there for. So I'm pretty sure she never picked up on the original activity.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pure Nerd 7

            Pure Nerd

            82 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 43% Dork

            For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

      My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness You scored higher than 99% on geekosity You scored higher than 99% on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Journal Journal: Once Upon A Time 1

My now 5.25 yr old daughter used to think that Fairy Tales began with the words "On A 'Possum Time" which was a source of never-ending heart-melting cuteness to my wife and I.

Today my now 2.6 yr old daughter picked up a book and told me it was a "What About A Dime" story.

Please send over a box of paper towels to wipe up my melted heart from the floor.

Wireless Networking

Journal Journal: Your Tax Dollars Being Thrown in the Garbage 4

This slipped under the radar of the media that at least I follow, tho aparently at least one diarist at DailyKos picked up on it. Gee, I don't know why it's not getting more coverage in the MSM.


Journal Journal: is back up 2

Also, desperate for story submissions - so post some if you've got any ideas.

To my aparent heavily Libertarian-skewed readership here on SlashDot - now is your chance to build the "New" Plastic as a Libertarian haven. It already has a former Libertarian politician as a prominant contributor, so their is at least a core audince audience on which to build.


Journal Journal: Partial Info on DELL Battery Recall 1

Because the wire services aren't reporting any details on this - here is what is available from one subscription based news site accessible (at least currently) via bugmenot -

The recalled batteries were sold with the following Dell notebook computers: Dell Latitude(TM) D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810; Inspiron(TM) 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400, E1705; and Dell Precision(TM) M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPS(TM), XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710. The batteries were also sold separately, including in response to service calls. "Dell" and one of the following are printed on the batteries: "Made in Japan" or "Made in China" or "Battery Cell Made in Japan Assembled in China." The identification number for each battery appears on a white sticker. Customers should have this number available when they contact Dell to determine if their battery is part of the recall. Dell sold or provided these batteries with the notebook computers, as part of a service replacement, and as individual units from April 1, 2004, through July 18, 2006. The computers with these batteries sold for between $500 and $2,850 (US) and individual batteries sold for between $60 and $180 (US). Customers should contact Dell to determine if their notebook computer battery is part of this recall. Please visit the firm's Web site at beginning at 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time Aug. 15 or call toll-free at 1-866-342-0011, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Customers may continue to use the notebook computers safely by turning the system off, ejecting the battery, and using the AC adapter and power cord to power the system until the replacement battery is received. Customers can also write to: Dell Inc., Attn: Battery Recall, 9701 Metric Blvd., Austin, Texas 78758.

Wireless Networking

Journal Journal: Save NPR and PBS (again) 11

The following was sent out by


Everyone expected House Republicans to give up efforts to kill NPR and PBS after a massive public outcry stopped them last year. But they've just voted to eliminate funding for NPR and PBS--unbelievably, starting with programs like "Sesame Street."

Public broadcasting would lose nearly a quarter of its federal funding this year. Even worse, all funding would be eliminated in two years--threatening one of the last remaining sources of watchdog journalism.

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS again this year:

Last year, millions of us took action to save NPR and PBS, and Congress listened. We can do it again if enough of us sign the petition in time.

This would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting. The Boston Globe reports the cuts "could force the elimination of some popular PBS and NPR programs." NPR's president expects rural public radio stations may be forced to shut down.

The House and Senate are deciding if public broadcasting will survive, and they need to hear from viewers like you. Sign the petition at:


P.S. Read the Boston Globe story on the threat to NPR and PBS at:

Puzzle Games (Games)

Journal Journal: How messed up will my back be next week? 1

So I've been living with a minor sciatica condition for about adecade now with occasional flare-ups when it would slightly worse, but only one time was it really debilitating.

So the other day when i was having a lot of back pain while driving i thought that was what i was dealing with. however, as it got worse and could no longer sit or lay down at all except flat on my back i deicded I needed a "professional" opinion. I got a referral from primary care dr. to see a chiropractor and that went well. They told me the problem is not my sciatica this time but my sacro-illiac joint. they got me started on a course of PT that seemed to be helping, but as i was running out of leftover Vicodin from broken shoulder a year ago, I had to go see my Primary Care Dr. to have him look at it as well. He had the same diagniosis but was concerned about numbness in my foot. So he sent me to get X-ays and an (my first ever) MRI. Those showed that I also have a bulging disc in my lower back.

Despite all these problems, I was making progress in PT and finding it easier to get comfortable to sleep at night. But then something happened this morning, incredible shooting pain from my hip - bad enough that hopped my bed, crunched down a vicodin, and sprwaled out on the bed until it took effect.

So here I am, I don't expect to be going anywhere soon, i can't really walk and taking the vicodin, the psin is somewhat bearable.

updates to follow


Journal Journal: Home grown terrorism strikes UNC-CH Campus 1

A 23 year-old 2005 Psychology graduate from UNC Chapel Hill returned to campus earlier today, but not to attend the homecoming dance or basketball game. Local television is reporting that Mohammed Reva Taheriazar rented the largest SUV he could get his hands on then deliberately plowed into a group of UNC students on campus "retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world."

Ironically, it appears that this guy is the co-author of a paper on cultural sensitivity in educational institutions


        UNDERSTANDING MEDIATING FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURALLY SENSITIVE SCHOOL BASED PREVENTIVE INTERVENTIONS FOR LATINO IMMIGRANT STUDENTS.. Elvia Y. Valencia1, Valerie Johnson1, Robert J. Pandina1, Marco Zarate2, Mohammed R. Taheriazar3, 1Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Center of Alcohol Studies, Piscataway, NJ United States; 2North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, Apex, NC United States; 3University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC United States
              Latino immigrant adolescents face unique challenges in adapting to a new country, culture, language and educational system. These unique challenges might impact each child differently depending upon their gender, country of orignin, length of tenure in the United States, degree of parental involvement and perceived parental support, as well as other mediating factors. It is important to better understand the risk and protective factors associated with these adolescents school-engagement and how these protections might affect their academic aspirations. In order to develop more culturally sensitive programs that meet the unique needs of this population, it is desirable to enhance not only their levels of academic achievement but their levels of psychological functioning and school engagement.
                As part of this research study, 275 students participating in the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals (NCSHP) 2004 Education Summit completed an open ended questionnaire addressing questions of their school engagement, perceived parental involvement, academic goals, and perceptions about why students might drop out of school. Open ended measures were categorized using Grounded Theory and Constant Comparisons methods (Strauss and Corbin 1990) from the data obtained in the 2003 NCSHP Educational Summit. These categories were used to create a coding template for quantitative analysis of the 2004 Summit measures.
              Subjects were 53% female and 43% male, junior high and high school students, the highest proportion (68%) being of Mexican decent. Analyses revealed that 69% have been in the US for fewer than 5 years.
              Questions addressed in this study include: How does acculturation level, country of origin, age, and gender influence perceptions including educational needs, reasons for school drop out, and perceived parental support. How do age, gender, acculturation level, and perceived parental involvement affect school engagement and academic aspirations? The associations among these factors are explored and discussed. In adition, implications these findings hold for planning prevention activities for Latino junior high and high school students will be discussed.
                Strauss, A. and J. Corbin (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA, Sage Publications.


Journal Journal: Schaefer Needs to Resign for the Good of MD and His Party 4

MD is cursed with an extremely powerful former Democratic Governor who on a whim decided he wanted to keep working, so he ran and easily won (based on his strong performance as Governor) the job of State Comptroller. Ever since he has run the office as his own personal fiefdom - making life miserable for subsequent Governors of both parties.

Well, aparently being the second most powerful politician in MD state government is not enough for this guys ego, and he needs to have it 'stroked' some more by having buxom female staffers cater to his sexual whims. This manifested itself yesterday when he commanded a junior female member of Governor Ehrlich's staff shake her booty for him while at meeting in Annapolis.

When asked to explain his request to have the staffer return to the table then rewalk to the door so he could again 'observe her walk' he was not only unapologetic, but confrontational - saying he was the one who should be offended for even being questioned about his actions he said "She's a pretty little girl." She "ought to be damn happy that I observed her going out the door."

Look, as a male, I understand every healthy male leers at least occasionally, that whole industries if not societies and cultures are built on this. But when it's a man in a position of authority and the object of the leering is a subordinate, the man must restrain himself, and if caught be ashamed and apologetic.

This guy should never have returned to politics as his retirement career, and it's clear now that he is past his expiration date. I hope that every Democrat in the state - especially those currently holding political office, and those seeking political office - calls this guy's office and asks for his immediate resignation. He was given a chance to apologize and used it only to further sexually harrass the staffer - so now it's time to go.


Journal Journal: Pamela Pitzer Willeford Bio 1

Just using this as a holding area to piece together what's available on the web about Willeford, I'll probably try to work it into a Wiki page if this story has any kids of legs at all. That said - only constructive comments or suggestions for additions please.


Hometown: Breckenridge, TX

Family: Husband - George ("Guests who stayed overnight at the White House between June 2002 and December 2003....George and Pam Willeford"* ; "is married to Austin physician Dr. George Willeford, III." * ; "her husband, Dr. George Willeford, III, a gastroenterologist in Austin." *)
Daughter: Emily Ann (class of 1995 St. Stephen's Episcopal School; class of 1999 Davidson College) (July 2005 - Present: FCC's Whitehouse Office tasked with intergovernmental relations. For one month last summer she held the title "Special Advisor for International Issues and Deputy Chief of Staff for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, previously she worked Martin as Special Assistant for Legislative and Public Affairs from November 2001 until June 2005; and she worked at the National Economic Council in the White House Office before joining Martin's staff in November of 2001. Before that, she worked as a paid Legal Assistant on the Bush Cheney 2000 election campaign.
Daughter: Nancy Kathryn (Kate) (class of 1998 St. Stephen's Episcopal School; class of 2002 Vanderbilt University); Walter C. Wattles Fellow at Lloyd's of London 2002-2003. (She definately is the hottie of the two daughters. Good pic of her with her mother here, no other professional information on her though, a few Google hits for a Kathryn Willeford turned out to be someone else)

Fall 2003 - Present: U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland ("nominated by President George W. Bush on July 30, 2003," *; "Appointment: Oct 7, 2003; Presentation of Credentials: Nov 25, 2003" *)
2002 - January? 2003: Chair of TX Gov. Rick Perry's 2003 Innauguration ("The 2003 Texas Inaugural Committee, in a self-proclaimed spirit of openness, released a list of contributors with their pledge amounts before the June 30 disclosure deadline. Pam Willeford, inaugural committee chairwoman, said Perry and Dewhurst requested that no state funds be used to pay for the inauguration. The move was little more than a gesture, however, because the state sets aside only $100,000 -- less than 10 percent of the actual bill for the inauguration -- to help pay for the swearing-in ceremony." She previously Co-Chaired Bush's 1999 Gubernatorial Innauguration* & **)
"served for eight years on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board" *

Campaign Contributions:
"Willeford and her immediate family contributed a total of $23,200 to Republicans during the 2000, 2002 and 2004 election cycles, including $7,000 to the Bush campaigns and an additional $500 to the Bush-Cheney recount fund established after the 2000 election." * - Center for Responsive Politics

Prior connections with Cheney:
She hosted a reception in Cheney's honor during the 2004 Davos conference.

UPDATE 1:25 AM: After working on this for about two hours, I see that the Dallas Morning News story says her husband was hunting on the same ranch that day, just a mile away. Presumably this means it would have been kind of dificult for tricky Dicky to practice a little bed-hopping over the weekend. So, I'm suspending this until further developments arise.


Journal Journal: Bush Literally Stealing From Orphans & Widows 15

I had already heard on Air America that Bush's latest budget proposed eliminating the vestigial $255 "death benefit" from Social Security(one commentator noted the irony of cutting this while at the same time wanting to make the elimination of the Inheritance Tax (which the GOP incorrectly call the "Death Tax" - a levy that soley effects the estates of multimillionaires). Well today I see that is not the only cut he has planned for Social Security, he also plans to eliminate survivor benefits for teenagers that drop out of school.

Long-time readers of this journal might be aware that we have close friends who lost the father/husband in their family about two years ago. Such a loss has long-term emotional effects on kids, emotional effects that may contribute to problems in school. The thirteen-year-old daughter in this family is currently having some academic problems, and I don't know if she will be able to stay in school through graduation. So this change could have a direct effect on them.

I also find it yet another ironic proposal from the President that brought us "No Child Left Behind" because it seems directly targetted to leave behind some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

Wireless Networking

Journal Journal: My call got through to the Stephanie Miller Show 1

I had an idea this morning regarding "human-animal hybrids" so I called it into the Stephanie Miller Show.

Here was my question/comment:

I'm wondering if the Human-Animal Hybrid thing is a backdoor way to kill stem-cell research as the only approved stem-cells are grown with mouse cells and therefor could be considered "human-animal hybrids."

Stephanie's response was something about Bush's record on anything science related, then a question about the noise on the phone which I said was my kids watching Barney - possibly a dinosaur-animal hybrid. (I meant to say human-dinosaur hybrid, but oh well.

I forgot to set my computer to record the live stream, but I may be able to get it tonight when it is re-broadcast on an Arizona station, but it's possible that station has dropped its Progressive Talk Radio format.

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