Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Start Spreading the News.....
So....To help out my co-host and partner in crime, I am posting a shout out to the July Balto Blogger Happy Hour. Here are the details yo.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 26

WHERE: Nick's Fish House Some of you may remember it as the old Deadeye Saloon (yeah, yeah, I'm old - get over it.) All the info you could possibly need is on their website.

TIME: 5:30 - as long as it takes people to get drunk and hook up (although I think you folks have reached maximum coupling already). "What happens at Happy Hour - STAYS at Happy Hour." Unless of course, you know, you have a blog, and then, I mean, the whole world gets to know what you did on Tuesday night and who you did it with/to.

Please e-mail myself or Zenchick so we have a rough idea of how many are coming and warn the restaurant. We will do our best to mark the location so that this tragedy never happens again.

posted by Broadsheet @ 7:05 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Let's see.....Events in my honor this week....

Going away dinner hosted by a favorite physician colleague? Check!

Potluck luncheon by my staff? Check!

Breakfast party at my satellite clinic? Check!

Luncheon with some favorite colleagues and co-workers? Check!

Official "Goodbye" reception with speeches, presents, food, wine and cake? Check!

Big party tomorrow night, organized by the biggest prankster I know (yes, I am afraid), of which I am not privy to any details other than being told to wear something "you can dance in". Check!

How to handle being more popular than a prostitute in a logging camp? Easy. By remembering the time I was trying to impress a guy at a summer picnic and turned around and stepped off the edge of a pier into a lake, fully clothed, while flirting with him.

Yeah - I'm cool.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:03 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Blame it on Boston
I can't even believe that Rick Santorum actually SAID something this ludicrous! What? So now pedophile priests are victims too?? I'm embarrassed to be from PA.
“It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.”

Okay, okay, he just compared “alternative lifestyles” to pedophilia. And he said the media and university professors are to blame for encouraging this type of child abuse. This guy is unbelievable. The only thing more unbelievable is that a state like Pennsylvania would even consider re-electing this guy.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:30 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
The Corruption of Public Broadcasting
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:24 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Bride calls off wedding, throws party for the homeless
Just a tad classier than running away, claiming to be abducted, generating a nation wide search followed by nationwide media frenzy, going to rehab, and then selling your story for $500,000 huh?
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:18 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Brilliant Button Maker
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:41 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Canadian MPs back gay marriages
So close and yet so very far away.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:01 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Arroyo's husband 'to move abroad'
Hmmmm, maybe Hillary can take a lesson from this! Husbands in exile - they could start their own club.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:38 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
La Dolce Vita
On Sunday, I sent a text message to my best friend in London to see if she was back from vacation. She had gone to Tuscany the week before and I wanted to see how she was doing.

ME: R U Back yet?

HER: Am still in Italy. We R on hotel patio sipping 2 different Brunellos. Staying in Montepluciano. Having lots of fun.

ME: Bitch
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:11 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Where the British May Reign but the Monkeys Rule
Sorry. I suppose I could post pithy opinions about the recent SCOTUS rulings, Durbin's gaffes, the "last throes of Iraqi insurgency" which seems somehow to be kicking our butts into the next decade if Rumsfeld is to be believed, or tell you what I really think about Karl Rove, but - nahhhh. Barbary apes are where it's at this summer, and besides, how can you resist a hed like that?
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:35 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, June 27, 2005
Rookie Season
As I mentioned to someone earlier today, most hospitals' fiscal year tends to begin on July 1. Particularly teaching hospitals. July 1 is also the traditional beginning of the academic year, and with it, hospitals receive a whole new crop of interns (1 yr. rotation - fresh out of med school), residents (3 yr. training stint), and fellows (post doctoral specialty training). During these phases, it's not unusual for these "doctors in training" to change hospitals two or three times in their quest to become an independent M.D.

As with trying to get oriented to any new job, these poor folks not only need to find the copier, but they are bombarded and overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to order tests, get lab results, access reports and the results from those tests, determine where to scam free food at all hours of the night and day, and basically, just find the restroom and survive. Oh, and they are doctors too. Did I mention that??

Second and 3rd year residents and fellows have game, but interns and new residents?? Interns are straight out of medical school. They are 23 or 24 years old and chances are very good that they have never touched an actual patient aside from perhaps taking a patient's history, temperature, or blood pressure under strict supervision. But, they have lots of book learning crammed in their brains, just ready to unleash on the first unsuspecting patient who will be THE enigma of diagnostic medicine, a real puzzle, one which they alone will solve, and become instantly famous for their cunning diagnostic instincts. It's called "looking for zebras". Instead, most patients are simply your run of the mill horse, and not a Thoroughbred either.

In many smaller teaching hospitals, these rookies are increasingly made up of foreign medical graduates. These are generally bright, well trained kids who graduated at the top of their class. They've had to prove some level of English competency (usually through a series of standardized tests which really can't judge fluency, let alone comprehension and diction), but think about it: coming to the US and being immersed into a system that literally thrives on archaic jargon and acronyms (watch "ER" lately?), has it's own code of ethics, culture and rules, and it's a wonder any of them survive. Native speakers of the English language are mystified by the whole thing - what chance do they have?

So. What I'm trying to say here is: Give the healthcare system a wide berth for the first couple of weeks in July if you have a choice in the matter, unless you have an appointment with your regular physician. Especially the Emergency Rooms. We have very strict training, quality assurance, oversight and orientation protocols to make sure no one gets hurt. I'm just telling you, there is truly a first time for everything. Especially if you're a physician. Whether it's stitching a cut, performing a spinal tap, or inserting a chest tube; you might not like to be the guinea pig.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:31 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Family Alters Photo of Missing Child to Get More Help
OK, this has gotten way, way, way out of hand. Especially when you read the callous comments of the CNN producer.
It turns out that Francine's family had doctored the photo released to police and the media in order to make her "more appealing" and spur a wider rescue effort. In the picture, she is a perky, cute blonde girl somewhat resembling Lindsay Lohan.

"In actuality, Francine is neither perky nor blonde," said a grim-faced Perry. "In fact, her picture is mainly a testament to her father's skills with Photoshop."

Media networks are squirming, faced with the fact they cannot avoid airing pictures of the girl after the intensive media coverage of the search all last week.

"This is supposed to be the windfall time; the triumphant return of a photogenic kidnapping victim plays great with the 18-35 viewing audience, and can boost advertising revenues for months with follow-up stories on her return to normal life," said Stacy Umbridge, a producer at CNN. "For crying out loud. The girl's got a gap between her front teeth big enough to drive a car through."
UPDATE: PUNK'D Thanks to Snay for the "should have done more homework before posting lesson". This is how internet rumors and urban legends get started. When people start believing what they read in "The Onion" and "News of the weird". A sucker was born at 11:15 PM.

That said - it IS a good piece of satire.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:48 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Doctors 'find dead foetus in boy'
OK, I work in the health care industry, have witnessed a LOT of unusual and freakish things, but this is a topper. To go 16 years with this?? I have heard of tumors composed of skin, nails, hair, etc., which mimic or parallel this condition, but not a fully formed fetus. Ick. Poor kid is gonna need some therapy for this one.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:42 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Bobble Ankle??
Can I just say - ewwww??
Handing out bloody socks seemed like a bad idea for a ballpark promotion, so the Brockton Rox minor league team devised a much more sanitary way to pay tribute to the World Series heroics of Red Sox ace Curt Schilling.

The first 1,000 fans at Saturday night's Rox game were to each get a free "Bobble Ankle," a Schilling-shaped doll with a flimsy ankle instead of a bobbing head.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:23 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Tag you're it....
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's a beautiful summer day outside, but I just got home from running the usual Saturday errands (dry cleaner, car wash, grocery store, recycling, post office...the "glamour" rounds), and I'm making some ice tea and checking in before I head outside to do some gardening, mow the yard, and tidy up the table and chairs so we can sit outside and enjoy breakfast on the deck tomorrow morning. My sister and her kids are here this weekend. They went to a picnic in DC today, but I get to take them to the new water park at Six Flags tomorrow!

In other news, I've been tagged by Neckbone .

List your current six favorite songs, then pick six other people to do the same. Thank God it isn't six all time favorites...

Okay, here goes. Currently making the rounds on my iPod are:

1. "3rd Base, Dodger Stadium" - Ry Cooder
2. "What a Difference a Day Made" - Jaimie Cullum
3. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Elvis Costello
4. "Devils and Dust" - Springsteen
5. "The Girl in the Other Room" - Diana Krall
6. "Every Man I know is Either Married, Gay, or Dead" - Kacey Jones (thanks Diane!)

I tag:

Steve - and they can't ALL be from the new album ;-)
Maktaaq, cause there's got to be a good Romanian love song or two I haven't heard!

PS Thanks Snay, can't count: Let's see what
Neckbone's better half has to add to the list!
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:29 PM   7 Editorial Opinions
Cumming, the Fragrance
JUST what I wanted! A men's fragrance that smells like Scotch and cigars..... errr, no. Thank you. Nor do I want it to smell like the double entendre it references.

However, the fact that there is a men's fragrance out there created by a gay Scotsman, leaves me hope for the launch of "Gray" someday soon. Perhaps it could smell like a gray day on heather covered Scottish moores - that wouldn't be so bad.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:37 AM   9 Editorial Opinions
Public Broadcasting Chief Is Named, Raising Concerns
The house may not have cut funding to PBS and NPR, but the ruling party has managed to insert their control in other ways.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting on Thursday appointed Patricia S. Harrison, a former co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, to be its next president and chief executive.

In acting, the corporation board brushed aside concerns from many public television and radio stations and Democratic lawmakers that choosing Ms. Harrison threatened to inject partisanship into an organization that is supposed to shield public broadcasting from political pressures.
Now to be fair, if they had named a Democrat to this post, the backlash would have been even greater, but this is clearly sending a message to PBS to clean up its supposedly liberally biased ways.

This should be interesting......

I'll bet this signals the end of this guy
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:19 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Guidant Says Flaw Is Found in More Types of Heart Units
The NYT is reporting that Guidant's most advanced heart devices are being recalled.

Meanwhile, over at the Huffington Post, they are reporting that Dick Cheney has checked into a hospital in Vail, CO.

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:59 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
One high school — 44 valedictorians
I'm sorry, but when 10% of the senior class are valedictorians, you've got a serious grade inflation issue, and you probably aren't challenging your brightest students. I graduated in a class of 1,100 students, and there was only one valedictorian.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:35 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, June 24, 2005
If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck.....
Quack. Quack, quack, quack.

I'm having a feeling that I don't think I've had in some 25 years. It's the "end of school" feeling. Remember? When the weather gets nice, and there were only 2 weeks of school left, and you know how your grades were going to turn out, so it mattered not a bit whether you studied, let alone showed up for class? When every evening you took home a big backpack full of stuff from your locker, so that it was cleaned out before the end of the semester? A sense of impending freedom and endless possibilities for the summer ahead? Yeah - it's like that....

Instead of skipping lunch or grabbing a sandwich at my desk, I'm suddenly free to go off campus to meet a friend or colleague and linger over a nice lunch by the water for 2 hours. Instead of coming in at 7:00 - 7:30, I stroll in around 8:30-8:45 and leave at 5:30 instead of 6:00 or 7:00.... People drop into my office unannounced to reminisce and wish me well. I suddenly seem to be taking home gifts tucked in with the photos on my desk, the pictures and diplomas on my wall, and the books on the shelves. I took home a box of books and binders every evening last week, and the shelves are looking a bit bare. I can see the surface of the conference table in my office and my desk instead of the "vertical files" I had placed in piles.

All in all, it's winding down.... And like the last day of high school, where it's hard to say goodbye to all your friends, you know the close ones will always stay in touch, and that it's time to move on. It's a good feeling.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:00 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
House Won't Cut Public Broadcasting Funds
Even Oscar the Grouch has to be happy about this news!
The 284-140 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting,...
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:06 AM   7 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, June 23, 2005
It's A Good Thing (??)
Martha! the musical.

"...A festive bounty of potpourri... Martha, you're so seasonal, Martha with cheese artisinal..."

Listen to the opening song.

(Oh, and big hat tip to Sully.)
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:12 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Breaking News??
So....Gawker is reporting a rumor that TomKat and their respective parents /families are in NYC this evening and that there has been a last minute request to a Federal District Court Judge for a wedding from The Late Show with David Letterman, AND that Tom is a guest star on this evening's show?? Stay tuned.

Note: If false, this post will self destruct in 9 hours......

Note to self: Who do I care????

UPDATE: Publicity stunt by Letterman. Cruise still completely nuts in a scary, stalker, Svengali, kind of way.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:00 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Go. Buy. Now
Ry Cooder: Chavez Ravine

"3rd Base, Dodger's Stadium"

nuff said
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:20 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Whale Burger Goes On Sale In Japan Amid Growing Criticism
Neckbone, your powers of psychic prediction are amazing!
"Oh said that the whale for the burger is cooked in such a way that "it tastes like beef and tuna, and since it is deep fried it has no odor."
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:16 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Eco-raffle under fire for Hummer prize
Those crazy Canuks. A Rotary Club in Canada is raffling off a Hummer to raise money for an eco-center to promote "environmental awareness".

Guess they're not very aware of what a stupid idea this is?
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:45 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
More good news
Neckbone was challenged to find a heartwarming story of good news today, which he did when the Boy Scout in Utah was found alive after four days in the wilderness.

But did you see this story? Strange, but apparently, true?
A 12-year-old Ethiopian girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors...

....."They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:37 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Girl, 14, Accused Of Robbing Pizza Delivery Driver At Gunpoint
Ummm, since when does the media publish not only a juvenile suspect's name, but also her mugshot? What happened to protecting the identity of a minor charged with a crime?

In other news, be careful out there Snay!
According to the bureau of labor statistics, driver-sales type work, such as pizza delivery, is the fifth most deadly occupation when you combine traffic fatalities and homicides.

The bureau says it's a job more deadly than roofing, electrical power installation, farm work, and construction work.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:18 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Somebody hand me a tissue....

Our Chief Financial Officer has been my mentor, surrogate Dad, and dear friend for over 14 years. He was my CFO at my previous post in Philly, and is largely responsible for recruiting me to Baltimore. He has always shown a special interest in my career, but more importantly, in me as an individual, and I am very, very fond of him. His support and counsel were crucial to me during the last 2 months or so, and a personal recommendation from him sure didn't hurt my chances with the new position to be sure!

I just got the nicest letter a person can receive from him on the occasion of my leaving this position. It is perfect in both tone and content, and it's one of those letters that I will cherish forever. I'm almost tempted to frame it, except for the fact that it's personal in parts, and then there's the fact that I cry every time I read it.

Announcements went out today for the inevitable going away reception next week. I was hoping to avoid one in favor of a Happy Hour for close colleagues at a local watering hole, but I guess I'm going to have to grin and bear it. The Happy Hour thing will happen regardless.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:13 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
So, I stopped by the BMW dealership on Saturday to check out a car I had seen advertised. There was a group of salesmen in the showroom, just standing there waiting to swoop in on the next person through the door. They reminded me of a line of cab drivers who politely take turns picking up fares.

An older gentleman breaks loose from the pack (I guess it was his turn) and heads right at me. Silver hair, elegant shirt, French cuffs, lots of bling - you know the type. Before he even reaches me, I hear the following: "So, what can I do for you today little lady?"

Stunned, I'm thinking; 'well you might want to consider taking back that last statement and rewind to baseline if you have any hope in hell of selling me anything.' I mean, "LITTLE LADY"??!! Somehow the notion of being a successful salesman for a luxury car dealer does not include calling your female clients "Little Lady" (not to mention the fact that I'm perhaps the antithesis of little lady to begin with).

They say people form their first impressions within about 60 seconds. This guy managed to crash and burn on take off.

Didn't buy a car - obviously.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:48 AM   6 Editorial Opinions
Too easy
And in today's second story about unfortunate names, a homeless shelter called The Glory Hole has to stop serving bear meat.

Yeah - I don't know what to say either. Talk amongst yourselves......

HT: Fark
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:41 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Philippines' Cardinal Sin is dead
This, of course is sad, but did anyone else giggle out loud that there is a Catholic cardinal named "Sin"?
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:37 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, June 20, 2005
Into Orbit (Maybe Beyond) on Wings of Giant Solar Sails
In an expanded and slightly different update from a post earlier today, we have the announcement that the Planetary Society, (I'm sorry, but this just sounds like a bunch of people in tin foil hats) is launching a satellite designed to utilize the solar winds: Giant Solar Sails
Solar sailing uses light instead of wind. The idea is that photons - the particles that make up light - have enough energy and momentum to exert a tiny force when they hit the sail and light is reflected. Over time, this steady, infinitesimal force drives the space sailing vehicle.

Update: Ooops - Houston, we have a problem....
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:50 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
More unique Jewelry
A few days ago, I posted about odd and tasteless taxidermy projects, but I wonder about the odd and tasteless Barbie accesories. I'm not sure which one is more nauseating, or which one is just plain more cool... Such is the dilemma that is my life.

HT: boingboing
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:40 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
News Aggravator
Does anyone else enjoy sporadic deja' vu moments thanks to their news aggregator? I use Bloglines like a lot of other people, but every now and then, and for no particular reason that I can discern, it rather randomly spits back old posts and articles. Today it was a post on a blog I like about an adventure to a sushi restaurant in San Francisco. While hilarious, it seemed terribly familiar. "Wasn't he just in San Francisco like a month or so ago?" I thought to myself. I checked the posting date, and sure enough, May 19, 2005.

Next thing you know, about 3 months from now, it will proudly announce Michael Jackson's acquittal.

I wish it would quit doing that. I have a hard enough time keeping track of the past and present without a news aggregator playing mind games with me.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:16 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
The answer is blowin in the wind.....
Oil nearing $60 a barrel. This is really worrisome, and apart from the fears regarding Nigeria, I was struck by the quote that "Experts say prices will continue rising because of a lack of refining capacity." So if capacity is being limited by production, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to help create new refinery capacity?

This is one of the reasons I'm anxious to visit the Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village when I'm up there in 2 weeks. Yeah - I know, it's a geeky thing to want to see on vacation, but this is the future folks. If we can't reduce our dependency on oil, we're facing almost certain economic and environmental collapse in many nations worldwide in the not so distant future.

I think there is a huge opportunity in wind farms, and from Britain, to Nantucket, there are wind farms popping up all over the world.

Check it out and get involved.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:30 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Wimbledon referee makes a noise over grunting
The fact that this is a legitimate news story defies imagination.
One of the loudest of the modern grunters is defending women's champion Maria Sharapova, who, according to the paper, makes a 100-decibel grunt, roughly the same volume as small aircraft landing nearby.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:36 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Bar of soap sells for $18,000
I can't begin to describe how many things are wrong with this.
Perhaps the oddest piece of work at Art Basel is a bar of soap, displayed on a square of black velvet, purportedly made from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fat, removed during liposuction.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:15 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Molester Suspected in 36,000 Abuse Cases
I guess it's no wonder they can't convict Michael Jackson, when guys like this are out there.
Despite being arrested at least nine times for molesting boys, Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller managed to avoid lengthy prison terms, coach youth football, move in with another convicted sex offender — and be named by authorities as one of the most prolific child molesters in history.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:09 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Nurses 'quitting to afford homes'
Nurses in the UK are quitting to afford homes'. Maybe it's so they can stop wearing ridiculous ornaments on their breasts.

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:00 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Save Mukhtaran Bibi
Tom Watson has posted an excellent follow up piece on Mukhtaran Bibi, the Pakistani Women's Rights symbol who is being harrassed and detained by the Pakistani government when she was invited to come to the US to speak on Women's Rights issues. Read the other posts on this topic at his blog. Good work!
Since Wednesday, more than 80 bloggers – bigshots and small fry alike – have posted articles on Mukhtar Mai’s plight. Many have written to Congress, the Administration, and to the Pakistani embassy in Washington. Amnesty International got involved. CNN did a piece. The State Department protested to the Pakistani government. The travel restrictions were lifted – or so it seemed for a few hours; later, we learned that her passport had been taken.

Word continues to spread, amazing proof that committed people sitting behind keyboards all over the world can actually make a major difference. We need to do more. We need to create a louder, more intrusive, more annoying racket. We need the President and Secretary of State to speak. So please join the cause. Every blog helps. It really does.

Read Tom's post and send some e-mail. Get out there and yell a little - it's working!!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:29 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, June 17, 2005
Guidant Will Recall Thousands of Defibrillators
Apparently, I am getting out of the cardiology world at just the right time!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:53 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Belated Happy Hour Post
OK, thanks to peer pressure, I will admit to having had a good time on Wednesday evening at the June blogger happy hour. Perhaps even a very good time. Those mojitos were mighty tasty and pitchers of them seemed to appear and disappear with alarming frequency. Most of the usual suspects were in attendance, with the glaring exception of Snay, who was busy trying to make a living.

Got to spend quality time with Neckbone and his lovely wife, Ice Queenie. Welcome to Baltimore! You're a terrific addition to our happy little group, and I hope we get to see much more of you!

Kmart, you crack me up, and ACW, I can't remember the last time I had such an animated discussion regarding the finer points of women's sex toys. ACWF is a lucky lady (I'm sure there's a compliment in there if you look hard enough).

The Happy Couple were there (cool fishnets!), oh, and so were this Happy Couple #2, who I believe are actually Happy Couple #1 in terms of the number of hookups the Baltimore blogger community has spawned. It's scary I tell you. You people are like rabbits.

Supafine took a rare evening away from motherhood to attend and take some terrific photos, and I only just found out about this poor fellow who apparently was there the whole time, but missed us!

See you guys next month! Whose hosting??
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:23 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Charleston - My Favorite Things
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a gift certificate from my favorite wine store, for dinner for two at Charleston, which is arguably Baltimore's best restaurant. The gift certificate is for Chef Cindy Wolf's tasting menu, which looks to be positively decadent. So, what better use for a gift certificate than to celebrate a new job?

After a week of sweltering heat, today is gorgeous and cooler, so this evening should be lovely. I invited my friend John to join me. John has provided an absolute bedrock of support and encouragement throughout the job interview process, including providing a wonderful reference on my behalf, keeping my confidence, and as a colleague and dear friend, completely understands what this opportunity means for me.

Looking forward to it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:16 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, June 16, 2005
'You've got to find what you love,'
Now THIS is a commencement speech!! In fact, I liked this so much, I think I'm going to print it out, laminate it, and stick it in the top desk drawer at my new job to remind me why I'm there and to not take it for granted.
You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:00 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Cutest thing EVER
Meet Kiana a 2 month old baby sea otter rescued in Alaska and being raised at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. All together now: AWWWWW

posted by Broadsheet @ 4:21 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Gender Bender
A crab captured near the mouth of the nearby Rappahannock River is found to be half male and half female.
When Johnson called scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, they were just as amazed at the crab, which they call a "bilateral gynandromorph" because its gender is literally split down the middle.

For a more scientific explanation of this phenomenon, click here
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:33 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Sensenbrenner Wants Dictator for Life in the USA
Sometimes, I'm really glad I don't live in Wisconsin anymore.
Sensenbrenner, architect of the National ID requirements, which are a violation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, is also a prime supporter of the repeal of the Bill of Rights using the USA PATRIOT Act.
Now he's trying to repeal the 22nd ammendment which limits presidential terms in office....... Nice.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:26 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Jackson 'to change his lifestyle'
Gee -you THINK??!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:58 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Rape victim demands her 'freedom'
This story about Mukhtar Babi is just appalling. For a woman to have endured what she has, and then worked to set up schools, better her community, and stand up for women's rights, onlyto be harassed, and as late as last week, kidnapped, by local police, is an outrage. She's too well known for Musharraf to get away with this. Human rights observers will be all over this one.

Nick Kristoff has a really good Op/Ed piece in this morning's NYT. And another editorial backs it up here.

Yes - you SHOULD be outraged.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:25 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Dangerrrr: cats could alter your personality
This story is a gentle ribbing to his post about "going soft" on kittens all of a sudden (just ignore all of the jokes that this post infers). ;-)

I mean, the mere idea that cats could alter your personality - well - how dare they??? Surely it's a disease.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:11 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Save NPR and PBS
Please click the link to sign the petition to save NPR and PBS. Better yet, send in a check!
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:34 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
There are two burly Secret Service men with ear pieces (and presumably guns, judging by the bulge in their jackets), standing outside my office and our testing area with their arms crossed. I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:48 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Staff meeting
Well, it's only 8:30 in the morning and my makeup is ruined for the day.

I just came from the weekly meeting with my staff where I dropped the bomb to over 50 people that I am leaving. Stunned silence. Mouths open. I had quietly tried to get around to the physicians and other people I am closest to late yesterday afternoon to tell them in person. This was not news that I wanted people that I care for, learning via a broadcast email or in the hallway. I asked for them to keep my confidence until I had a chance to tell the majority of the staff this morning, and I broke the news to my satellite clinics over the phone yesterday. So now it's public knowledge and the broadcast email can go out.

I managed to keep it together in the meeting, and through a round of hugs and well wishes, but I had to come in my office, close the door and have a good sniffle afterwards. This is gonna hurt.

Apparently, the news also broke at my new job yesterday that I had formally accepted their offer. I got a sprinkling of emails from people I had interviewed with expressing their delight in my coming to work there. It's nice to feel wanted.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:27 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
Monday, June 13, 2005
Gay Tornados
The world's first gay tornado.

Sorry! I had to. My high school mascot was the "Butler Tornado".

HT: Fark
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:39 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Vacation, all I ever wanted.....(redux)
Here we go again.....

I've never really been much of a beach person. By that, I mean laying on a beach all day doing nothing. Brilliant activity for a day or so to be sure, but then I need to DO something. I am however, very fond of beaches themselves and the sea (I wanted to be a marine biologist as a kid), and I'm even fonder of islands. The more remote, the better.

The most remote island vacation I've ever taken without doubt, was with my Dutch roommate from graduate school and her husband and kids to Vlieland, an absolutely magical barrier island in the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. No cars, just bicycles, wild Friesan ponies, and sleepy little dune cottages. A pony with a cart even delivers your luggage from the ferry and your groceries! The place is heaven on earth when combined with dear friends - quite literally.

In July, the Caribbean and Mexico lose all their appeal for me. Especially when I left work this evening and the temp was reading 102'F! I love the Caribbean as an escape from Baltimore winters, but in July?? Not so much.

So, with that in mind, I had to pick another island for a five night getaway before the new job starts. So here's the itinerary. You might think it a bit odd, but I have always wanted to visit this place, and the weather is only right for that about 12 weeks a year:

Only July 2, I am flying to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I will rent a car, and check in to a historic Bed and Breakfast on the coast. From there, I can explore the Bay of Fundy, and maybe even ride the tidal bores of the world's highest tide. The next day, I will explore the Cape Breton coastline before taking the ferry from Caribou to Prince Edward Island. Here, I have booked three nights in the adorable Bayberry Cliff Inn, where my Swiss host, Katharina, will lend me her bicycle for touring, and I have my own private deck looking out over the sea cliffs. From here, I intend to bicycle to as many of the island's lighthouses as I can manage, and to take a day sail from Cardigan. I suspect there will be a few lobster rolls and lobster dinners as well!

After three nights, I will drive back to Nova Scotia via the 8.1 mile long Confederation Bridge, tour some more, and eventually end up back in Halifax for my flight home. Five nights, six days, = perfect.

I can't imagine being able to set this itinerary up, and book places to stay ala carte, without the internet. It was fun doing it myself, and without a travel agent. The Maritime Province is a part of North America I have always been curious about (especially since reading Annie Proulx's "The Shipping News" years ago, and the " Anne of Green Gables" series as a little girl. Can't wait to go!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:07 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
The Missing Link
By some stupid mistake on my part, I managed to delete two posts this morning when I was just trying to edit them. I was in a super rush to get to work this morning, and it was also trash and recycling day, so I had to get all the blue plastic bags to the curb in time for the truck to rumble by.

Anyhow...the one post was a rant to the evil male aristocracy at Royal Caribbean Cruise lines for their misguided notions about forcing people who happen to enjoy traveling alone to pay three times the price of a couple for the same services.

It was a rant, and you can all do without it. The second post was a description of the lovely little getaway I planned instead of the cruise. Sadly, it was very link laden and will take some time to reconstruct (which I don't have any of today!) so I'll put Humpty Dumpty back together again this evening.

In other news - it is absolutely bloody hot out! 91 degrees with a heat index of 98!! And it's only June 13th.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:11 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Our Moral and Ethical Obligation to Stop the Genocide in the Sudan
Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott suggests a way to end the Darfur genocide. Of any member of Congress, he's got the dossier to back this up - he should use his background to front this issue as much as possible. Not only is McDermott a physician, he served as a Foreign Service medical officer based in Zaire, providing psychiatric services to Foreign Service, AID, and Peace Corps personnel in sub-Saharan Africa. He also founded and chairs the Congressional Task Force on International HIV/AIDS. Add to that the fact that he is the co-author of National Health Care legislation, and that he is leading the fight in the House of Representatives to guarantee all Americans comprehensive health care coverage, and that makes him my hero.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:08 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
What Women Want: More Horses
Damn, not only am I at risk for becoming a demographic, I'm also in danger of becoming a cliche'...

I test drove both the BMW 325xi and the Audi A4 yesterday, and I LIKED THEM......
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:36 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, June 11, 2005
So, I'm surfing the net looking for a 5 night getaway in a few weeks to relax before I start the new job. I find a 5 night cruise out of Baltimore to Bermuda for a little less than $1,000 (all meals, etc..included) with an ocean view cabin! Yay! As soon as I click on "#of passengers = 1", the price jumps from $1,000 to $3,000!

Look - I don't have a problem paying a "single supplement" on vacations, I've been doing it for years, but I do have a problem paying triple the price!

I called the cruise line and asked if I could simply buy two tickets and save myself a $1,000. The answer? "NO". If I were to show up at the ship without another person along, they would charge me another $1,000 to get on board.

So, unless anyone out there wants to take a 5 night cruise to Bermuda the first week of July, I'm gonna have to look for another vacation. Sheesh!

UPDATE: This whole thing got me so worked up, that I really want to diss the cruise line. The COMPANY POLICY for Royal Carribean cruises, is that a single person buying a ticket, pay 200% the standard per person rate for double occupancy. Listen, I don't WANT to go on a "singles cruise". I simply want to go away BY MYSELF and relax for a few days. How hard should that be? And more to the point, WHY should I be discriminated against for it? I'm used to paying full price for a hotel room designated for two people - no biggie - I get it, but 200%???!! They might as well hang a sign on the door that single people need not apply. Do me a favor and boycott them.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:48 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Microsoft bans 'democracy' for China web users
Wow - this is scary. Microsoft has a free internet portal for setting up a blog. The Chinese version has been altered in the following manner:
Attempts to input words in Chinese such as "democracy" prompted an error message from the site: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item." Other phrases banned included the Chinese for "demonstration", "democratic movement" and "Taiwan independence".
This comes on the heels of the news that China is requiring all bloggers to register their sites with the government so that they can be monitored for "appropriate content". i.e. if anything is deemed politically offensive, the site will be shut down.

I realize that the Chinese internet market represents a huge financial opportunity for MSN, and that they are required to abide by the rules and regulations of the governments of the countries in which they operate, but perhaps boycotting the Chinese and not providing services for this type of behaviour would send a message?
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:54 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, June 10, 2005
The times, they are a changing
I quit my job today.

Yep - you read that right. Many of you know that I have been quietly interviewing for a new job the last few weeks / months, and after lots of meetings and lots of waiting, I received a formal offer on Tuesday, which, after some negotiating, we were able to reach agreement on terms, and I couldn't be happier.

At least, I THOUGHT I couldn't be happier. I've been here 10 years, and when the reality of telling people who are close to me, and more importantly, who had NO IDEA I was even considering such a thing hit home, the look of surprise and and shock on their faces was almost more than I could bear. I have a feeling that I'm going to go through a lot of tissue in the next few weeks as I say goodbye to many, many dear friends and colleagues. I already got a bit weepy with two of my doctors today, and that was before I even told my boss. So far, I've told only a dozen or so people, and I did formally resign my position effective July 1 to my boss, but I will publicly announce it on Tuesday at my staff meeting, and keeping my act together in front of them will be no easy task. I've asked my Chairman not to send out the mass email announcing my departure until I had gotten a chance to inform my staff, and close colleagues, in person.

So, the process is begun, and it cannot be stopped. I cannot take it back. Tonight I am going home to try and get my mind around everything I have to do in the next three weeks to leave this place in better shape than I found it, and to hopefully purchase tickets on-line to some remote island resort for a few days of total rest before I report to duty on July 11.

And tomorrow, I am going car shopping.... :-)

I try not to post specifically about work, or the people that I work with, so I won't go into detail about the new job here except to say that it is a wonderful, unexpected opportunity, and the chance to really develop something and put my mark on it. It's a chance to be a much bigger fish in a slightly smaller pond, to learn new things, to prove myself, and the best part of all, is that it's right here in Baltimore. I had always feared the fact that there are so few jobs at my level in this town, that in order to move up, I'd almost certainly be forced to move out of Baltimore. But by sheer luck, the best opportunity I could hope for fell in my lap, and I picked it up.

If there is any bad news in all of this, it will be that this blog will undoubtedly suffer from the pressure of a new job which is likely to consume me for the foreseeable future. I really appreciate the outlet it affords me, and I've met some terrific people through it (and you know who you are!), so I'll try to keep it up as best I can.

In other news, stay tuned for party information, because I am not going out of here without a celebration!!! I will be buying a round of drinks at the Baltimore Blogger Happy Hour next week - so come and get it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:55 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Michael Jackson: Does anyone care?
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:52 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Fashion Statement Accessories
My friend Andrew and I have a longstanding tradition / competition that whenever one of us goes on vacation, the goal is to purchase the tackiest, ugliest, tsatske souvenir that you can possibly find for less than $10 as a gift for each other. In fact, the cheaper and grosser the better. As a result, each of us has quite a little collection of stuff from around the world that belongs in a Ripley's Museum. So....When I was in New Orleans last month, it was none too difficult to buy Andrew his souvenir in the French Quarter, where I found such a wealth of ugly tsatske on the cheap, that decisions were hard to make. After much careful deliberation, I came home and presented him with an alligator foot key ring for a mere $.99. So, with that in mind, check this out, because it takes "ewwww" to a whole new level.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:21 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Rochester Man Corners Deer, Then Sits On It
Deer Sitting. Look for it in the 2012 Olympics as a exhibition sport.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:09 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Chinese Whispers
I had clipped a couple of articles about the Chinese government's efforts to require all bloggers to register with the government, or risk being shut down, and was all set to blog this at length. But once again, great minds think alike, and he explores the issue far more elegantly and in much greater context than I could have managed given the time. So - head over to Chinese Whispers at, and read the whole thing.
To believe that the democratizing spread of technology that facilitates mass information access can be halted, Canute-like, simply by employing vast numbers of people to monitor online activity (who might themselves otherwise be "outside the tent"), or requiring an ID card to use a public terminal, or simply pulling the plug on opinions you don't like, is surely--in the digital age--a mark of institutional naïveté.
And thanks for making my post easy Steve!
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:26 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Could blogs become the fifth estate?
This article raises a very relevant idea, and amplifies the premise of my friend Steve, who writes about this very issue in his monthly column at this week.

I'm finding this whole aspect of the Blogosphere (and yes, I capitalized that as a proper noun for a reason), completely fascinating. To think that any person with some computer access, literacy, (and yes, I realize that there are inherent access and social / economic class issues associated with that statement, but they are becoming less and less) and an opinion to share - can readily PUBLISH ideas, thoughts and statements to the Internet for all to read, and share they shall.
Pew Internet & American Life Project have conducted the first in-depth academic study of 40 of the biggest and most respected political blogs and the extent to which they influence and are influenced by other media.

"We tracked not just the political blogs but also what the US mass media was saying and what general internet chatrooms were saying," explains Michael Cornfield, the senior research consultant on the project, named Buzz, Blogs and Beyond.

Its results show that bloggers are generally following another agenda, whether that of a political party or another medium, but also highlights the extent to which they can now influence the mainstream media on certain topics. "Sometimes blogs lead and can be very influential and other times they're followers," he says. While it remains too early to tell how the medium will develop, he says, the report offers an intriguing glimpse of how bloggers are starting to shape the US news agenda.
Read both articles - they are VERY good.

This is SO cool. As I mentioned in an earlier post today, I'm hoping that this blog and others like it in Baltimore, will join me in using our blogs to support and campaign on behalf of local up and coming politicians like Peter Bielenson.

There is an issue before the FEC to regulate blogs when they do things like this. If they decide to charge me for supporting a candidate? Fine. I'll simply revert to private email for this particular issue, or posting on public message forums locally. E-mail is private, comments and postings on other websites are "commentary", and the impact of the internet on political campaigns will continue. Not even a hiccup - in this case.

Is this fun or what?
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:40 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
And Here's To You Mrs. Robinson
I heard this on the news this evening on the way home from a celebratory dinner with a friend (which I will post about later when the news we were celebrating is truly official and public), and was suddenly reminded about the urgency to celebrate your friends and family, and to tell them how much they mean to you. I think this will be a recurring theme for me in the coming six weeks or so. Anne Bancroft was a class act. I loved her in "Charing Cross Road", and her happy, long marriage to a guy like Mel Brooks is simply a portrait of contrast and compliments in the best sense of those words. My heartfelt sympathies to you Mr. Brooks on the loss of your loving and talented wife, and more importantly, your best friend.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:13 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Beilenson resigning post to run for House
This is great news! Let this blog be the first official campaign endorsement for Peter. Peter is my neighbor and colleague and has done a terrific job as the city's Health Commissioner for more than a decade. I think he would make an outstanding Congressman, and it would be great to have a physician with his expertise in public health and health policy in the role.

You can bet I'll get involved with his campaign - watch this site....
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:40 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
This Old Cub
Great inspriational story, but it seems like a lot of effort just to watch the Cubbies lose.
This has been the life of Bill Holden since Jan. 11, when, motivated by the story of Ron Santo, he hopped on a highway in Prescott Valley, Ariz., and headed for Wrigley Field with two goals: to raise $250,000 for juvenile diabetes and to arrive in time for the Cubs' July 1 game against the Nationals. (Today, Monday, June 6, he's in Springfield, IL, on his way to Lincoln, IL. About 240 miles still to go.)

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:31 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Darwin family repeat flower count
What a neat way to celebrate your family's heritage!
The descendants of Charles Darwin are retracing his footsteps by surveying wild flowers in the meadows around his former home at Down House, in Kent. ....Now, three generations of the Darwin family - aged from 21 months to 78 years - have begun a repeat survey. .....It should show how flowering plants have changed over the past 150 years.

The descendants are Erasmus Darwin (great grandson), Randal Keynes (great, great grandson), Sarah Darwin (great, great granddaughter), Chris Darwin (great, great grandson), Allegra Darwin (great, great, great, granddaughter) and Leo Darwin Vogel (great, great, great grandson).

posted by Broadsheet @ 9:21 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, June 06, 2005
Self Competing is Self Defeating
So dear reader, I have this silly little self competition I go through every year, but I believe it's beginning to approach OCD status. The game goes something like this: I turn off the heat pump at the first sign of warmer weather, and then see how long I can go before succumbing to the seduction that is air conditioning.

I had a personal best this year in terms of the length of time I resisted temptation thanks to the cold, rainy spring coupled with a stretch of really beautiful weather here and there. So, I turned off the heat at the end of March, and despite a few really cold nights in early April where I did light a fire and threw a few extra blankets on the bed, the heat pump has stayed off - until last night.

I worked in the garden most of the day yesterday (the flowers look great!) and by 5:00 PM, I was a dirty, sweaty mess. I had made sure I stayed well hydrated thanks to a gallon of mint ice tea, but I was really overheated. I took a cool shower, but I simply couldn't cool off properly in the humidity, and I'm one of those people whose face glows BRIGHT red when they get overheated. So, I made a note on the calendar, and finally turned on the AC.

About an hour later, feeling much better, I went downstairs to the laundry room to throw a load of clothes and towels in the washer, and stepped into a pool of water! WTF? A quick check showed that the drainage pipe from the heat pump, had become dislodged from the drain into the sump pump, and was simply draining all the air conditioner's condensation onto the laundry room floor from the utility room. Luckily, it was a quick fix to redirect the drainage, I just had to mop up the vinyl flooring, and nothing had seeped out into the carpeted areas of the basement, but BOY! Am I glad I decided to put in a load of laundry when I did or my entire basement would have flooded by the time I got home this evening.

Given the fact that it's 91 degrees out right now, I'm thinking the AC stays on for now, but I miss having all the windows open.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:25 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Octogenarian Nabbed in Prostitution Ring
This just proves, you're only as old as you feel.
Police made a surprising discovery when they busted the alleged madam of a prostitution ring called "August Playmates": The woman running the show was an 80-year-old grandmother. .....Police say Tursi told them she needed money to subsidize her Social Security checks.

posted by Broadsheet @ 11:35 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, June 05, 2005
U.S. Challenged to Increase Aid to Africa
Unfortunately, Emperor Chimpy believes that increased aid to Africa "Doesn't fit our budgetary process".

While the United States is still the single largest donor, giving about a quarter of the total, it is next to last in the share of national income it gives - 16 cents of each $100. On average, major European nations give more than twice as much - 36 cents of each $100. And they plan to raise that level to 51 cents of $100 by 2010.

In Europe, the issue of African poverty has greater traction than in the United States because of its historical links to Africa as colonial powers, the clout of nonprofit groups like Oxfam, and the proximity of Africa, which makes the prospect of African poverty and social breakdown a security threat.
In other words, out of sight, out of mind for the US, where it's all too easy to let other nation's give more aid, while we spend billions on an unjustified war. Meanwhile, another genocide is occurring and no one is doing anything to stop it.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:59 AM   2 Editorial Opinions
This blog post by PZ Meyers, systematically takes apart, point, by ludicrous point, an article by William D. Rubenstein on the "Theory" of Evolution, and is an absolute pleasure to read.
Rubinstein should be deeply embarrassed to have babbled on so about a subject on which he obviously knows nothing, and did not even trouble himself to take so much as a superficial look at what actual biologists say on the subject. After reading the pretentious introduction to his ignorant bilge, though, I suspect he is unfamiliar with the idea of shame.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:33 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Titan Arum: June 2005 Blooming
This awful, stinking, "Corpse Flower", Titan Arum is set to begin blooming at my alma mater, and is on pace to set a world's record.
The current world record, set in 2003 at the Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany, stands just an inch short of nine feet.

Although the big flowers are noted for being rare and, supposedly, difficult to cultivate, this latest blossom is the fourth corpse flower to bloom at UW-Madison in the past five years. To date, an estimated 64 cultivated titan arum blossoms have occurred since 1889 when the first such bloom caused a sensation at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England.

The fully open inflorescence emits a repulsive, "rotting-fish-with-burnt-sugar" scent. The odor, strongest at night, is to attract pollinators, which in Titan's Sumatran home are mainly carrion beetles and flesh flies. Most fly- and beetle-pollinated "carrion" flowers are similarly colored and perfumed. There have been less than 17 successfull bloomings in the US.

Photos by Jeff Miller, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:58 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Logo on Life Support
On the way to the Wine Market on Fort Avenue for dinner the other night (which totally ROCKS by the way!), we drove by the Merritt Athletic Cub, which has this enormous logo painted on the side of the building:

I mentioned to Mark, that if the logo is supposed to promote a healthy heart, they should rethink the design, because if the depiction of the EKG tracing is to be believed - that person should be on life support. That is the worst EKG I have ever seen. The person is having an infarct for heaven's sake!
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:38 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Friday, June 03, 2005
Traveling and the $25 Beer
Author's note: I swear that everything depicted here actually happened. This is a post I wrote before I had the blog. A year ago last weekend, I went to visit friends in the Boston area. This is the saga of that unfortunate travel adventure.
Linda's original weekend itinerary:


3:15 leave Baltimore

4:30 arrive Boston: S. To pick me up and take me to their fabulous summer house in Gloucester with J. For a fun filled weekend of exploring, hanging out, gabbing, dining, and antiquing. I haven't seen them since they moved from Bolton Hill back to Conneticut.


S. To drop me off in Boston on his way to Conneticut for work on Monday. J. To stay behind at the Gloucester house to finish a design project.

5:15 leave Boston:

7:00 arrive Baltimore

Linda's actual itinerary:


3:15 leave Baltimore

4:30 arrive Boston: S. Picks me up and takes me to their fabulous summer house in Gloucester with J. For a fun filled weekend of exploring, dining, gabbing and antiquing. There was a glorious sunset "Happy Hour" on the beach at the Annisquam lighthouse, followed by a lovely dinner with friends in Gloucester. At about 11:00, the weather goes all "Perfect Storm" on us for the remainder of the weekend. Thunder, lightning, downpours and torrential rains. We talked a lot, read old / new Vanity Fairs and newspapers and went to lots of antique and old book stores in Rockport and Essex. Saturday evening we sat around after dinner and bashed the Bush administration, while answering life's questions and solving the world's problems over many glasses of wine. The high temp for the weekend was 48.


S. Drops me off at Logan at 3:00 on his way to CT for work on Monday. Very sad to say good bye - will miss them.

5:15 - Original flight was cancelled due to the bad weather. No seats on this flight. Two more flights that evening to try and get on. I am now officially "standby".

7:15 - Full flight. It's only now that I realize that every single college in the Boston metro area (and there are literally dozens) had graduation ceremonies this weekend, and all flights out of Boston to just about anywhere are overbooked with college students and their families. I locate the airport Houlihan's and have a stale sandwich and a beer for a mere $25 while waiting for the last chance out that night.

8:30 - Full flight. Last chance out now gone. Make a guilty phone call to J. and ask him to pick me up in Peabody at the bus shuttle and take me back to Gloucester for the night. The Airline people tell me not to try flying out till the 1:00 PM flight Monday since all morning flights are already overbooked.

10:00 - Arrive back in Gloucester at the "Little House" with J. after a stop at Walgreen's for essentials since my luggage went on ahead to Baltimore without me. How efficient of them!

10:15 - Down a stiff vodka tonic(s).

11:00 - Send e-mail / voice mails to office telling them I would not be in till early afternoon. Cancel all appointments before 3:00.

Borrow T-shirt from J. to sleep in and wash yesterday's clothes.


Make due with Walgreen's overnight items. Saving grace - gay men have exceptionally good bath and hair care products - actually much better than I am used to, so I had plenty of wonderful, nice smelling things to choose from. Looked, felt and smelled a lot better than if I had spent the night in the airport lounge or hotel.

10:30 - Leave once again for airport shuttle at Peabody, but very glad to have spent some more time with J. Will miss them terribly.

12:00 - Arrive Logan for 1:00 flight. Discover I am #21 on standby for a flight with 7 empty seats.

12:01 - Too early for stiff vodka tonic.

1:00 - Airline guarantees me a seat on the 9:05 PM flight that evening. I try to subdue my enthusiasm at this boundless good news.

1:15 - Airline graciously offers to fly me to their hub in Atlanta where I can then "standby" for flights back to Baltimore. Theory being - more flights. Reality being - I'd still get home at 11:00 PM.

1:30 - Decide to have lunch and weigh my options. Exceptionally bad Chicken Caesar Salad and a beer for $25 (why does everything cost $25??? I sense Right Wingers are behind it all). Call Andrew on the cell and have him act as my long distance travel agent on the internet to evaluate options:

Option #1: Take the "T" downtown and shop / sightsee. Make a day of it!! Carpe diem!! Downside - Perfect Storm still howling outside. Umbrella is in luggage, luggage is in Baltimore. New umbrella costs $25 - ( see what I mean???)

Option #2 - Buy a one way ticket on another airline.
Downside - Cheapest ticket is $370 one way and still only gets me home 2 hours earlier.

Option #3 - Rent a car and drive / take the train
Downside - Still arrive at about the same time plus the cost and hassle.

Option #4 - Take a one hour shuttle bus to Providence Airport and get a seat on a Southwest Airlines flight to BWI!! Be home for dinner!

3:30 - Board shuttle bus ($20) to Providence. ETA 4:30. Book a ticket on flight leaving at 5:20 ($80). Woman across the aisle from me is still landing from a trip - and it wasn't a plane ride. Strange noises, smells and sudden movements emanate from her. I fall asleep on bus (priceless).

4:30 - Awake to see the Boston skyline (??). Not Happy. Not Happy in the extreme. We are dead in rush hour traffic trying to get past a car-BQ on I-95 just past the Big Dig. Call airline and change flight to 6:15.

5:30 - Finally arrive at Satan's bus depot outside of Hades / Providence (actually closer to Pawtucket and still 30 minutes from the airport). Discover that a taxi will cost $40, but there is yet another bus that will take me to the airport itself for $8 - at 6:00. Call and reschedule flight for the third time to 7:05.

7:00 - Running through airport ala that guy that got off on murder charges because...(oh - you know who I mean - don't get me started) to make flight. Last one on board, get seat in the back of the plane. Excitedly call J., S. and Andrew to tell them I am finally on an actual plane heading south!!!!

7:25 - Pull away from terminal

7:45 - Pilot informs us that there is heavy air traffic due to weather and we are waiting.

8:00 - Pilot turns off the seat belt sign, idles engine and asks us to be patient by offering a round of drinks. Luckily I am sitting in the back next to the galley and quickly make friends with the cute boy airline attendant who fixes me up with all the little bottles of booze that I want, but which will never be enough to erase this day from my life.

9:00 - All southbound flights on the Eastern Seaboard are delayed indefinitely due to weather and we return to the gate and deplane. All food service and bars are closed. The little bottles are empty :-(

Cell phone now dead from killing time by calling friends all day and using all excess free minutes. Charger in luggage. Luggage in Baltimore. Cry.

11:15 - Reboard plane!!!!

11:45 - Take off!!!!

12:50 - Arrive BWI. Find luggage that arrived yesterday in Air Tran office (which is at the EXACT opposite end of the airport from Southwest baggage).

1:15 - Board shuttle bus to extended parking.

1:25 - Car is parked next to wooded area under large parking lot light and is covered in cicadas, as is the ground around car. Crunch through cicadas and brush them off car as they land in hair and on clothes. Large ICK factor, and am near tears from exhaustion.

1:50 - Arrive home

2:00 am - 47 hours after I started trying to come home - I get to bed. Fall asleep with clothes on.

Resolution #1: I will never again wear the shirt I had on yesterday.

Resolution #2: As Scarlett O'Hara would say "as God is my witness - I will never fly standby again!"
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:02 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Friday Cat Blogging!
OK, so it's really Friday kitten blogging. I haven't blogged cats in a while, but these cute guest stars showed up in my e-mail from a friend. Meet Bruce and Lucinda, AKA the Boss and Lulu. They live in London with their new Mom, Jac, and her 3 kids.

bruce and lucinda
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:30 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Take Action: Support Ford Motor Company
I blogged about this yesterday, but it certainly seems timely in the face of this Take Action request from the Human Rights Campaign today. Please offer your support. I can tell you from previous campaigns, that you won't be bombarded with e-mails, calls for donations, or letters. It's a great feeling and a good cause. Please support it if you feel likewise. (Disclaimer - I am not a fan of Ford cars per se, since or ever, but this is a class act. It may not make me more likely to purchase a vehicle, but it leaves a real warm spot and I might be inclined to buy some more stock). If you don't feel likewise, go read someone else's blog.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:35 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Trucker Bombs
I can honestly say I had never, ever heard of this before I read the article. And honestly, I wish I hadn't.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:20 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Rod Stewart is going to be a Dad again at age 60? This trumps the old urban legend, but still.....ewwwww.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:56 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Driving Excitement
Volvo has a new line of ads out promoting the safety features of their sedans to families. The twist is that they are openly (and refreshingly, I might add), promoting them to gay and lesbian families.
Volvo's print campaign for the XC90 shows two men and a baby, and a women embracing her pregnant partner, with the headline, "Whether you're starting a family or creating one as you go." Another image shows two men warmly embracing their Yorkie, pictured with the C70 sedan.

The text reads, "Some families are carefully planned. Others, you just meet along the way. Whoever makes up your family, think about making Volvo a part of it." The ad also says Volvo will donate $500 to the Human Rights Campaign when a vehicle is purchased or leased.
I think this is great, and I especially like the ad that they ran in the Sydney Mardi Gras brochure:

I think it takes real guts for Volvo to do something this direct in its marketing campaign - especially in light of the conservative Christian right we have in this misguided country. As a straight woman - I have to admit I like the ad above as much as the next guy ;-)

UPDATE: I should have known. I posted this an hour ago, only to read just now that the American Family Association is boycotting Ford (owner of Volvo) in opposition to these ads. Don't you people have anything better to do?? No use in my getting all upset, Paul Feig over at the Huffington Post blasts them for me.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:05 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Parliament's website under fire
Hmmm, if they think the UK's Parliament website is bad, they should check out the unavigable House of Representatives website, or the web site for the US Senate. They seem to be good for giving basic information about how to contact your Representative / Senator (although I doubt that the e-mail reaches them directly except in a very few cases), and to give a schedule of what's going on, but they aren't very interactive or educational.

I do think it's interesting however, that Governments are now being viewed and criticized for the quality of their internet presence as well as their physical presence. The Web has certainly changed the playing field and requires Governments to be more immediate, more virtual, and more accessible to the public and its constituents.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:11 PM   0 Editorial Opinions

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