Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Catch-up Time

Well, a lot has happened since I last blogged at youse all. Let's recap (in no particular order):

1. P
resident Bush continued to lie to the American public when, in his Sunday night TV appearance he once again skirted the truth about social security and his role in keeping oil prices at an all time high. Specifically, the Bungler In Chief is still claiming, and the "liberal" press is still letting the excrement get away with saying that social security will be bankrupt by the year 2041 when anyone who can read the Congressional Budget Office report will find that their projections find that the program will remain solvent well past that date. Indeed, the program will continue to fully fund beneficiaries until the year 2052, and after that point, if the system is left alone, recipients will still get 74% of the benefits due. He never addressed the costs of transitioning from the current system to his private/personal fund fantasy (estimated to run anywhere from 5 to 15 trillion dollars over twenty years). And don't get me started on the hand-holding smirkfest our esteemed leader shared with the Saudi Crown Prince at the Crawford ranch...

2. Some dippy bitch in Georgia got cold feet as her wedding day approached and went on a walkabout (or a bus-about) to New Mexico. Sure thing Nancy Grace guaranteed that her fiance was responsible for her disappearance. No mention yet about what condiments Ms. Grace used to ease the taste of the words she had to eat (if indeed she has the good sense to ackshully eat them) when the reluctant bride re-emerged, safe and unsound.

3. A new type of dinosaur was found among some fossils in the Utah's Cedar Mountain Formation, in what is certain to make the flat-earthers in Kansas dig their heels in even further when they "debate" the merits of continuing to teach evolution in their state's public schools. Apparently a group of feathered, rotund, sickle-clawed creatures called Falcarius utahensis that date to 130 million years ago were found in a two-acre area of the formation. I'm not a professional paleontologist, but I recall several stories in recent times that make a case for some dinosaurs evolving feathers. These animals apparently took the path that led to today's birds, while others remained on the paths with which we are familiar (lizards, crocodiles, alligators, Komodo dragons, etc.). Anyway, I'm sure that a little thing like more evidence in support of evolution isn't going to let that stop the trolls on their quest to dumb down their own children.

4. A woman whom I interviewed for a position with my company back in late January was finally, and mercifully hired to provide local support to the North Ryde, NSW, Australia support center (ah the wonders of the corporate bureaucracy). I had the pleasure of having met her and several other impressive candidates during my three-week stay. She came here to the US corporate headquarters for a week of training, and goes to our Cork, Ireland support center for more of the same next week before heading back to Australia. The support center is located in the Macquarie University Technology Park on the sprawling Macquarie University campus. I'd like to thank the staff of the Stamford Grand Hotel on the corner of Epping and Herring Road for their hospitality to a yank on his first trip Down Under. And to Prabhat, Gordon, Malcolm, Alyson and Judith - it is still cold here in the Northeast!!!

North Ryde is about a 30-minute drive west of Sydney. In addition to the many fine individuals I met in the support center, I met a wide variety of people from all over the world. Sydney harbor is beautiful, and the area around Circular Quay bustles with activity. In the nearby Kings Cross section, there are plenty of places to go such as the Royal Botanical Garden, the Natural History Museum and a beautiful park in which to relax. I also managed to make it to the country to the Blue Hills, a scenic, rolling area of striking beauty which is a hikers paradise.

Apart from having to drive on the left side of the streets, and looking at an unfamiliar night sky (complete with the famed Southern Cross) I think I adapted quite well to the 85-90 degree temps during my short escape from the New England winter. I got to mingle with some of the locals over a few Victoria Bitters as we watched Lleyton Hewitt's unsuccessful run at the Australian Open, and saw a one-day cricket match that pitted the Aussies against Pakistan
(the score was something like 279-214 in favor of Australia if memory serves). All in all I had a terrific time and I hope to get back there again soon (not so subtle hint to the boss...).

5. The terrific Daily Howler web site has been beating the Thanksgiving stuffing out of Ann Coulter for most of the time I was away, and deservedly so. She is insane. I highly recommend checking out their recent posts that point out just what a cheap, vengeful hack she is. TIME magazine should be ashamed of themselves for devoting perfectly good cover space and the room to publish her idiotic rants.

6. Thanks to ken kaniff, Connecticut's most wanted gangsta, for commenting on my recent post about the newly enacted High Noon Law in Florida. Your criticism is noted and for the most part is vaild, but I stand by my assertion that we may yet see the kind of incidents that this law was not intended to encompass. But I hope I am wrong.

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