Don’t cry, baby

Originally uploaded by JaciVico

(Crossposted from here>)
From The Guardian:

At this time many people were abducted by Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces in a systematic operation involving regular interrogations by individuals believed to be members of the FBI and CIA. Ultimately more than 100 individuals were “disappeared” to prisons in locations including Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Guantánamo Bay.


“By its own admission, the US government is currently detaining at least 26,000 people without trial in secret prisons, and information suggests up to 80,000 have been ‘through the system’ since 2001. The US government must show a commitment to rights and basic humanity by immediately revealing who these people are, where they are, and what has been done to them.”

Honestly. Tell me. I am paying taxes so people can be abducted and held without trial in a prison ship? How many of these people were SOLD into detention?

The only thing that would make me proud of being an American is sending the architects of this travesty to the Hague.

My patriotism has already been dismissed by some on the Right because I not only vote Blue, I’ve voted Green. My pride in this country has taken a severe beating–Until people are held accountable for what they have done I do not think it is possible to be proud to be an American and do one’s patriotic duty and Question the Government.

I love my country–Right now I am not proud of it.

This Finger goes out to those who have done unspeakable things in the name of my country.

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All right. I am officially sick of this “man cave” shit.

Apparently, since, y’know, there’s nothing else going on in the world, CNN has decided to pick up on the latest trend in home decorating – man caves, mantuaries, mantown, whatever the hell you’d like to call it, it’s the place in the house where the poor, beleaguered husband can go to be surrounded by his manly things and be free of his nagging harpy of a wife for a while.

No, I’m not exaggerating here. Go on, have a look.

The article is entitled “Why he needs a room of his own. The first bullet point is, “Man caves are a place for what a man’s gotta do.”

What, exactly, does a man gotta do?

I understand the importance of having your own space, a place for your things where you aren’t tripping over your significant other all the time. When we bought our house, we liked having three bedrooms so we each could have our own offices, our own spaces. Now that my husband has started the process of moving his office down to the basement (because it’s so much cooler in the summer), we’ve jokingly called it The Lair.

However, it’s being done for practical purposes, not so he can get away from the shrew upstairs. At no time have I ever felt like there’s a “No Girls Allowed” sign on the door, or as though I can’t go downstairs to talk to him, like the rules for these man caves seem to imply.

Jill Scully, 31, of Pescadero, California, doesn’t sneak up on fiancé Nicholas Woodman, 32, in his lair, a barn outfitted with $13,000 of race car simulation equipment.

Nicholas, an amateur club circuit racer and owner of a digital sports camera company, takes the jostling driver’s seat for hours on end — helmet on, lights off, surround sound blaring. Interrupting her fiancé might make him “crash,” so Jill, who helps run Nicholas’ company, waits until the end of the “race” before announcing herself.

“This deal conveniently ensures I have to be a spectator for a good half hour until his race comes to a close and I can interrupt,” she says.

I’m not sure how anything about this is “convenient.” This woman has to stand and watch what her husband’s doing, and be quiet until he’s ready to acknowledge her. I can understand not interrupting for a few minutes – we both play World of Warcraft, and there have been times when one of us has been in the middle of a boss fight when the other wanders in to ask a question. So, sure, waiting a few minutes to ask if he’s seen the car keys or if I remembered to add something to the Netflix queue is fine. But there’s always at least the acknowledgement that the other person is in the room – most of the time, the headset will come right off so whoever needs to ask a question can get an answer.

Having to shut up and wait, though? For a half hour? That’s ridiculous. And why does she have to be a spectator? Why not just go away and do her own thing, if she’s being ignored anyway? It certainly seems as though his time is more important than hers, if she has to stand there and wait. How is that a relationship between equals?

The whole presentation is simply insulting – that men need this place to get away from it all – the kids, the in-laws, the wife. The only mention of a reciprocal situation comes from (surprise) the marriage counselor: “‘My wife has a lot of quilting and sewing stuff in her office and she likes to sew and not be bothered,’ Brody says. ‘I think we all have that need.'”

It’s one thing to have separate spaces, but the whole idea of “mantown” borders on being insulting to the women in these relationships, no matter how CNN tries to spin it. The women quoted all have positive things to say, but the subtext makes my skin crawl.

So, here’s my first mooninite finger in a long time, pointed right at the mancaves.

Priming a Major Rant

May 7, 2008

I would like to know who are the “Disaffected Democrats” that are worried about a prolonged primary. So far, I’ve only heard about it from pundits (usually right leaning people) and the occasional NPR host. Honestly, I have not seen or heard one legitimate Dem saying, “I’m not voting, this process is going on too long.”

I see Fox News creating and milking it. I don’t see it being a real phenomenon.

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From my Mom, with Love

Originally uploaded by officergleason

Mr. McCain, Mrs. Clinton:

Your gas tax ideas are simply pandering to people’s energy concerns. Why can’t either of work on real policy, not on irresponsible, completely foolish, pandering?

For this, I give you my mother’s salute. From my Car.

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May 5, 2008

BlogHer nominations are open. I, being biased, nominated Shannon.

If it was simple bias, I’d leave it at that. It is not simple. Her blogging and her beliefs have inspired and challenged me. I don’t say it often enough, so I nominated her for BlogHer. While normally I would nominate others (like my consiglieri or AG) I am sticking to one nomination this year, as Shannon has inspired me more than any other blogger out there.

More than Chuck or Cobag, even.

PRK and me!

February 2, 2008

This is going to be a rather lengthy post with lots of detail but at the moment it’s cathartic so bare with me.

 Alright so about 24 years ago when a friends older brother had corrective vision surgery the seed was implanted in my brain.  I’ve revisited the topic many a times in my head keeping up with developments as time has gone on.  About six years ago I decided on a whim to go to one of the McDonalds of laser surgery to check if I could have Lasik done.  Genetically both my mom and dad have thin corneas so it seemed remote but worth a shot.  Shockingly even though I consider them to be like breast implant clinics, they turned me down.  They could do it but not to 20/20 vision and refunded a small deposit.

 So two years ago the FDA approved corneal implants (designed for people really who had cateracs with 10.5+ diopter myopia or so their site says).  I’d done some research and I knew whick doctor I’d have check my eyes once again.  I went through the customary lets check your eyes exam albeit technology has come a long way since my last one.  Sat down and talked numbers the girst of it 5.25 diopters of myopia on both eyes no astigmatism and a dim light pupil size of 7mm.  He said I could actually have Lasik, PRK and that the corneal implants at my age with my script would be a rather aggresive treatment.  Food for thought really but then some more numbers I have a corneal thickness of 480 microns.  The minimum amount you want remaining after Lasik is 250 microns.  With the flap and removable I would end up with a conservative 275.  And closer to 330 with PRK.

So some thought here and decided to finally take the leap and schedule PRK surgery (both eyes) on January 24th.  I am not advocating anything but any one who wants to have vision correction surgery, forget what the doc tells you, do research, long and hard research prior to comitting to anything.  Any ways PRK vs Lasik.  It’s really a short heal time with a flap incision of about 90-110 microns on your eye that will never fully heal.  Versus PRK which is a removal of the epithelial (about 30-40 microns) which does grow back but you run into longer healing and possible infection issues.  These are the short term risks there are many other long term risks I wont get into with both procedures.  With my corneal thickness it seemed like a no brainer as far as which to me.

A slight sleepless night prior, anxiety most likely either that or I just don’t really sleep well any way.  I’ll give you a brief run down of what that surgery is like:

  1. Lots of checking double checking of prescription levels.
  2. Pictures taken of eye during normal dilation
  3. Valium (small dosage) administered
  4. Dilation drops and more checking of prescription levels, permanent marker used to give reference points on the eye
  5. Manual checking of prescription (this might be out of sequence but it was in there).  This is the 1 or 2 test.
  6. All this takes about an hour
  7. Brought into surgery room (it has video cameras should any one wish to watch from the outside)
  8. Right eye sealed up with some pads
  9. Numbing drops applied
  10. Retractor clamp to keep eye open
  11. More drops of unknown nature applied
  12. Scrubbing with what felt to be a q-tip (this removes the epitheleal and smooths it for the laser)
  13. Stare at the red light, nasty hair burning smell, 1 minute laser time.
  14. More drops that are timed before removal (30 seconds would be my guess)
  15. Icy cold saline type wash over the eyes.
  16. Place a bandage contact in (this stayed in for 5 days)
  17. Repeat for other eye.
  18. All this took about 15 minutes

So if you read all the propaganda about healing times, you should be functionally seeing in about 4-5 days with PRK and 1-2 days with Lasik.  Now if functionally seeing means no pain, you can read a computer screen, sun light doesn’t scorch your eyes and the world seems to be bathed in fog where everything is a blurr.  Then yes the standard lasik, PRK propaganda does not lie.  Now every one has different pain levels, healing rates and so on.  I figured I was probably one of those extreme cases.  A few people thought ZOMG can’t see 20/20 after two days this has gone totally wrong!  I knew this would take awhile to heal and this would be more painful but I’ll give a bit of a reality check to the propaganda nazi’s out there.

it seems most people I have spoken to, read and so on experienced similar / some times worst / some times a bit better recovery periods.  I’d say I am dead median at the moment (although this is only my 9th day post op).  The pain for the first 3 days was intense.  It’s described as having sand in your eye.  I think we all know what this feels like, but it’s a rough reference point, since it’s a constant piece of sand in your eye that you cannot wipe or sooth away combined with intense light sensitivity.  Enough so your eyes just want to clamp shut.  This was greatly alleviated for me when the contac badage was removed and while I could see pretty clearly by the 5th day with the contac in (it smooths your cornea as well as protects it) once it was removed I lost the foggyness but my vision went to shit.

Most people I’ve talked to and I can count my self here felt that it was 2 weeks before they could function (and this is to the point where they could read a computer screen, drive…you know function).  It’s a very slow process for this and while at the moment I’m taking shortcuts so I can work (like getting cheapy reading glasses and bumping my fonts to as high as they can go).  It feels like an eternity.  Wish me luck as this can take up to a year to get back to normal (assuming no complications), I’ll take the usual 3 months though, please?

So this finger is to any one who has ever uttered the words, “no big deal!, was fine the next day, it doesn’t hurt a bit” and to any one who write marketing shit for the Laser dudes of the world.  One I know it’s a lie! (ok maybe it wasn’t for you but any ways ) and two if any one reading this desides to have eye surgery alot more than a week for recovery.  You might not need it but it sucks if you do.  Personally I’d say 2 weeks vacay minimum just to be safe.

Who Will Speak Up?

November 21, 2007

I don’t have words to adequately describe how sick this makes me feel. A 19-year-old woman was raped by seven men, and because she was with an “unrelated male” at the time, she’s being whipped and sent to jail. Initially, she was sentenced to 90 lashes, but because she spoke out, it’s been upped to 200.

And our state department has “expressed astonishment” but nothing stronger, and their “astonishment” wasn’t even expressed to Saudi officials. So, wait, it’s okay for politicians to go into a frenzy when Barack Obama doesn’t wear an American flag on his lapel, as though that proves that he hates America, yet this elicits… the equivalent of shaking a finger in admonishment – “Naughty, naughty!”

The only person I can see who’s gone on record so far with anything stronger is leaving her job in 2008. takes out an ad about Gen. David Petraeus, and we get a Congressional resolution to denounce it.

It will be interesting to see if any of our current candidates or leaders have anything to say about this as the day goes on. Somehow, I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much ignored, and will fall off of the news sites in lieu of celebrity scandals and Thanksgiving travel stories.

Aside from writing letters to my representatives, I’m not sure what else I can do, aside from a donation to Amnesty International. Suggestions welcome.

I found the pin thing and the Betray Us kerfluffle idiotic and time-wasting enough as it was. Set beside this – which (dear god, I hope they prove me wrong here) I think will get downplayed because we want Saudi Arabia to co-sponsor a conference aimed at getting Israel and Palestine to have peace talks – those past things are all the more stupid.

This is something to get angry about.

The politics of pile on.

November 2, 2007

Granted I have seen some idiotic things in my time but this might be one poly sci experiment gone awry. 

On the specific issue, I think documenting illegal aliens in NY (hell any state) is a good thing.  For a variety of reasons primarily that it lets you know “theoretical” costs associated with it.  If your census population is say 30 million but your actual population is 40, well you might want to set up more hospitals, fire houses, police.  You know the public service stuff that makes cities and municipalities work without devolving into chaos when the shit hits the fan.

Any ways, this finger is not to that.  I think it’s actually a common sense issue if you remove the whole “ZOMG aliens!” political spin from it.  Hell if people who pass through JFK who are not US citizens are mandatorily finger printed, documenting and in exchange issuing a drivers liscense for aquiesing is not such a bad idea.  You could probably even sell most hard core republicans on it, it’s a state mandate and it helps you keep track of the boogie man.  Conversely the democrats should jump at it as well.  Theoretical redistricting, more federal monies and so on and could try to grow the program into a federal beaurocracy over time.  Win Win!

So with that said Hillary, what are you thinking?

While I think most of her ideas are bat shit crazy and since she does have a habit of not actually saying anything (not just her).  I’m not sure what she would hope to accomplish to bringing out the Boys vs Girls debate.  In my mind it puts into play the whole concept of wait she does have boobs and perhaps all those mythical stereotypes might be true!  She didn’t cave this time!  As a long standing only male in a household full of women I’m offended for my daughter and wife. 

Semi random thought of the day~


Seriously, fuck this noise.

October 31, 2007

Did you know that Al Qaeda is behind the California wildfires?

It is more or less beyond my powers of communication to express the utter absurdity of this “news” story, and my disdain for the morally bankrupt originators thereof – but I’m going to do my damndest, because I really need to give more Fingers and it seems I can only do it when I’m angry. As it should be!

The connection here is so utterly tenuous as to be nonexistent. To quote directly from the report, “police officers in a hovering helicopter saw a guy starting one of these fires.” A guy. A guy. And then these vague reports of an “al Qaeda detainee” warning of possible fire-starting as a terror tactic. Four years ago. Mentioning four states that distinctly were not California.

Let’s give Fox “News” the benefit of the doubt here – assume that this memo was in fact relevant and extant. Assume that “a guy” started at least one of these fires. At what fucking point does this become a newsworthy conclusion? This is speculation at best, and stinks to high heaven of the fear-mongering that the American right has adopted as their standard of operation.

Frightened people think with their skins, and that suits a certain cross-section of the political machine just fine. Fox “News” wants you to be afraid. “Fox News” has the culprit* for every disaste. Fox “News” will happily tell you that 2 + 2 = terrorism. Because if you live in a universe where Islamofascism is at the root of every evil, then Rudy Giuliani starts to make a little bit of sense. And that, this fine Hallow’s Eve, is something to be afraid of.

So here’s a big heavy metal Finger to nonsensical fear and those who would make it the currency of our nation. We don’t need that shit.

*From Achewood by Chris Onstad. Art used without permission.