Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Friday, March 31, 2006
Welcome to Angie's List
A colleague at work turned me on to this. It's the Zagat's guide to home improvement. Check it out and sign up while it's still free! Angie's List: The Best Source for Local Home Improvement Contractors!
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:16 PM   6 Editorial Opinions
'Mind control' over muscle power
Hmmm, so THINKING about your muscles can improve them, but having a bunch of people praying for you when you've had heart surgery?? Not so much.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:28 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Thelma and Louise
I think Representative Cynthia McKinney should arrange a play date with Naomi Campbell. They should probably wear helmets and body armor though....
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:54 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Husband On Strike
Yes, there is now a blog for every one and every reason.

Check out James over at Husband On Strike.

HT: Fark
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:15 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
What does it take to get a contractor to show up on time - or at all for that matter???

I realize this is a rhetorical question and one of life's great mysteries, kind of like missing socks from the dryer, or the single shoe lying along the side of the road. I mean, how many millions of sneakers jump to their lonely roadside deaths out of car windows every year? But seriously - why do they have to make it so hard to get even the simplest jobs done on your house??

Contractor #1: Called me at work twice to arrange an appointment for an estimate. We agreed on 8:00 AM this morning, and I was clear that I needed to leave for work by 8:30 for a 9:00 meeting. I was also clear that he could call me anytime if he had trouble with the directions, since my address can be a little tricky to find. Lucky me got to have an extra cup of coffee and watch GMA for a half hour while I waited. No show. No call.

Contractor #2: Also called me at work twice, and promised he would call back within 24 hours to confirm a day and time to stop by. That was 48 hours ago.

Contractor #3: Has said he will call me on Sunday morning and let me know when he can stop by later that day.

I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:17 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Buy Broadsheet a Drink
April Blogger Happy Hour!!

When - Tuesday, April 11, 6:00 PM

Where - The grotto bar at Brewers Art

Why - It's Broadsheet's B-day!! Help me celebrate another year on the dark side of 40 (we're not saying how many exactly).

Who - Anybody reading this. Campbell - I know you're in London, but you can just send me a check for the Manhattans sweetie.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:35 PM   9 Editorial Opinions
Surprising Expiration Dates
It is a real and true miracle that I am not DEAD if this list is accurate. There are things in my fridge and freezer that I've had since I moved into my house - 7 years ago.

Steak Sauce - 33 months. Why 33??? Why not 36? Salad Dressing - 9 months opened? Ooooh boy, I should have come down with salmonella by now. And someone explain to me how Windex expires after 2 years? For those of us who only clean their windows once a year if we're lucky, this is hard to take.

Guess I better clean out the fridge this weekend. The bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup I've had in there since my brother visited could go to kindergarten next year.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:42 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Amber Alert!
Charles Taylor missing from his Nigerian compound.

Keep your eyes open for this guy:
Mr. Taylor was indicted on 17 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, concerning his alleged backing for Sierra Leone's rebels, shortly before stepping down in 2003.
President Obasanjo, who is travelling to the US to meet President George W Bush in Washington on Wednesday, is gonna have some 'splainin to do!

UPDATE: Apparently, they found Mr. Taylor trying to cross the border into Cameroon in a Range Rover with Diplomatic Tags. Discreet, no? Now, he's Liberia's problem. Again.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:42 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 27, 2006
The Great Wall of China
At least, that's what I'm calling it from a financial perspective.

I have a six foot tall, free standing, ivy covered, brick garden wall out back that is all that separates my house and garden from the mean streets of Bolton Hill. I also have a ferociously healthy, 14 year old Siberian Elm tree planted about 3 feet from said wall, and over the years, its roots have caused the wall to slowly tilt outward. The degree of tilt is now about 6 inches off center, it has pulled the privacy fence I share with my neighbor apart, and it is in danger of someday toppling out onto my parking pad. Part of me wishes that it would. My home owner's insurance would then cover the cost of replacing it, and my car.

Reality is that I have to replace the damn thing. $$$$$$$

If you have any recent experience with such a project, or if you know a good masonry contractor - send 'em my way.

And that trip I was gonna take to Paris this fall to visit a friend? I'm doubting it.

Ahhhh - the joys of Home Ownership.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:39 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 24, 2006
Visiting Editors
I'm starting to feel human again thanks to Alleve Cold and Sinus tabs (I swear - they are the only thing that work for me), and lots of Diet Coke. Just in time too, cause the publishers (aka parents) of Broadsheet arrive this evening for the weekend.

Just got back from the store and picked up some nice salmon and asparagus. I also found fresh fiddleheads, and morels!! So for dinner, I'm going to make a fiddlehead, morel, and crayfish ragout with salmon fillets, and roast the asparagus with some lemon zest and fresh parm. Picked up some purple potatoes for color - will probably just mash them.

Not sure what all we'll do this weekend. Depends on the weather mostly. Restaurant recommendations welcome! I have a black tie benefit gala to attend at the Hippodrome tomorrow evening. Mom and Dad are my date.

Blogging will be light this weekend - have a good one everybody!

And a big Happy Birthday shoutout to my buddy Steve over in London, who blogs less than this guy lately. Luckily, he writes more often than he blogs, and you can catch his articles over at Forbes.
Don't worry Steve, I won't list your age......
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:54 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Take two
Came home last night from Towson Town Center, (where I underwent a nightmare experience trying to find formal wear, shoes and jewelry for a charity fundraiser event this weekend, when I really just wanted to be home in my flannel PJs sipping tea), to find Hollywood camped out on my street again. The cops even asked me for ID before they let me pull into the alleyway and my parking spot.

I thought it might be a crew shooting scenes for The Wire, a pretty common occurrence in Baltimore, at least in the drug neighborhoods, less so in Bolton Hill. I asked one of the crew, who was busy handling the tether on one of the light balloons, what was going on. He said they are filming a pilot episode for a new ABC Drama called "20 Questions". A little Googling tells me that Actor John Heard has been tapped as one of the leads. I met John Heard while Christmas shopping at Smith and Hawken about 8 years ago when Homicide was filming in Baltimore. Ended up having coffee with him. This was right before he was arrested for stalking his ex girlfriend Melissa Leo. Nice.

Ennneeee-way, back to "Twenty Questions". It's being produced by Touchstone TV, and centers on a young State Department employee played by Jesse Bradford who stumbles onto a international conspiracy which threatens the U.S. It also stars Ben Shenkman. Apparently, Bolton Hill will once again stand in as Georgetown. The crew member thought that the house on my corner was going to be the house for one of the key characters in the series. If that's so, I suppose I can get used to further disruptions of parking, and set lighting cables strewn in my alley.

Stay tuned.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:35 AM   4 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
One Mississippi....
Last Mississippi post - promise.

We flew in last Friday on what was to be the only nice day of the trip. It was a glorious spring day, and you could see the green tint of the landscape with spots of white flowers in all the trees. It was interesting to see all the damage from Hurricane Katrina flying into the Jackson area. Parts of the area looked like scenes from the Mt. St. Helen's eruption where trees were all blown down like little toothpicks in the same direction. Vast tracts of them.

Mississippi is host to a huge chicken farming industry. Most of these birds are raised in long, low lying, tin sheds that are each about 100 yards long. You can see them glinting in the sun and dotting the flat landscape in groups of 2, 3, and 5 or more everywhere you look. Here and there, they had been crumpled like pieces of aluminum foil.

There were plenty of blue tarps on roofs, evidence of recently replaced roofs, new construction, huge debris piles, obvious recent damage to the older trees in town, the State Fairgrounds next to the downtown area had a lot of damage, and the Capitol Museum was still closed because it's roof had been badly damaged.

Jackson, Mississippi is 150 miles INLAND from New Orleans.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:07 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Public Service Announcement
  • Commercials for Ambien, Lunesta, cheap insurance hawked by has beens (cough, Robert Wagner, cough), ads for anything made by Ron Popeil, and ads for motorized wheelchairs.
  • Old Conan O'brien episodes, news by anchors you've never seen or heard of, infomercials, re-runs of "Home Improvement", and "Inside Edition".
  • Kleenex, hacking up a lung or two, breathing through your mouth, Nyquil, and wishing you could unzip your skin and take it off to stop the itching.

Those are pretty much the only things going on at 3:45 AM, so you're not missing anything. Go back to sleep.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:59 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Madcap Recap
Warning - I have come down with a vicious cold. Hit the wall at work today with a 100+ degree fever at about 2:00 and came home from work, took meds, and crashed. So....seeing as I feel like S---t, this will be a slightly abbreviated recap, but I think you'll get the jist of it.

Needless to say - we had a blast. This has become the nation's fourth largest St. Patrick's Day parade after New York, Chicago, and believe it or not - Savanah, Georgia. The weather was positively horrible all weekend long with the exception of the parade itself on Saturday. "It never rains on the Sweet Potato Queens". Despite the weather, more than 60,000 people turned out for the parade - MANY of them displaced New Orleanites missing their Mardi Gras celebration of a few weeks ago. I brought home a shopping bag full of beads - that may have something to do with my cold ;) Seriously, the cold, rainy weather, and my complete lack of advance planning for it is the probable culprit for the cold (well, that and hanging out with a couple thousand other people and sharing a hotel room with other women). A full set of pictures can be found here. Those of you looking for embarrassing photos of me will be disappointed - it's the internet silly.

Oddly enough, with all the women down there making complete and total fools of themselves all weekend, the standouts in the crowd were the "men". You'll understand why I'm using quotation marks in a minute. The entire weekend was a gay man's wet dream. First, let me introduce you to Head Wannabee George, whom we met at the Ball on Friday night. They had stripper poles set up at Hal and Mal's so you could get your funk on. George put the women to shame:

then, a quick change of costume the next day as the Head Wannabee, and here he is tossing me beads (the higher the hair, the closer to God):

But give that man a pole, and he was back at it again after the parade :
He finally settled down a little for brunch on Sunday by choosing more conservative attire:

Trust me, we couldn't hold a candle to his energy or his outfits. But believe it or not, he was not the most outrageous one there. That had to be his/her - Royal Highness (literally) - Nuclia Waste. We never dreamed we were hanging out with celebrity. The theme of the parade was the "Cat in the (Chef's) Hat to honor Cat Cora, a native of Jackson and star of Iron Chef America on the Food Network. Anyway, that's only as an explanation of Nuclia's three fried egg breasts.

In real life, Nuclia is a very down to earth, warm and funny guy.
Posted by Picasa

Anyway, go amuse yourself with the rest of the photos. I have to take more Nyquil and go to bed. I maxed out my upload limit on Flickr with this set, so I still have all the float pics, many of which were very sly and sometimes angry statements directed at FEMA. Good stuff.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:20 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Blogger Coffee
I saw this posted over at Business Week, and thought it was a great entrepreneurial idea. A coffee aimed specifically at the estimated 60-100 million blogs out there. powered by Boca Java. If there can be a Starbucks on every corner, why not on every blog? They may be on to something - especially if they limit it to the blogosphere where it can retain some elusiveness and an element of "cool".
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:56 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 20, 2006
A Parade Haiku
St. Paddy's parade!

Tiaras, boas, and wigs

No one is wearing panties

posted by Broadsheet @ 10:49 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 19, 2006
It shouldn't be this hard...
The first thing we noticed about Jackson's downtown metro area, beyond the gleaming Capitol dome, the southern charm, parks, statues, City Hall, Courthouse, and office buildings, was its complete and total dearth of people and any retail services to support them. We're talking the Twilight Zone. There are no shops, no restaurants, NO STARBUCKS!! This is the state effin capital of Mississippi for eff's sake - perhaps the last state in the union where there are no Starbucks within city limits. Not to mention: no drug store, retail shops, convienence stores, liquor stores, or any other fast food outlet in the major downtown area (about 6 blocks by 10 blocks). All the retail shops and services are located out along the major interstate - I-55.

This is too bad for a few reasons. One, Jackson is a nice, quintessentially Southern, town. Boring as hell (aside from the Mardi Gras like atmosphere of this weekend), but nice.

So...after all the festivities of the past few days (I'll get there - trust me - I have to work on the photos), and because the weather is cold, dark, windy and stormy today, we are in the position of being able to choose a nice restaurant this evening, wear "normal" clothes (and panties even) and enjoy a nice night out.

Easier said than done.....

We polled a number of people at the Museum of Art today for good restaurant recommendation within walking distance of our hotel (the Marriott, 2 blocks from the Capitol Building, and to which I have to give very good ratings - lovely service, rooms and staff - 2 thumbs up all around). We were usually met with "Hal and Mal's" of course! - where we've LIVED for the last few days, and which has provided most of our meals and entertainment in abundance, or "the Marriot's restaurant is decent". True dat.

So, I Googled "Jackson, MS Restaurants", and was left with a handful of choices, none of which were close or attractive. Most of the 15 hits were chains or casual eatery's, many of which are closed on Sunday. So, I figured, let's check Zagat's for a recommendation - we could do worse - right?

There are no Mississippi Zagat rated restaurants.
Not a single one. It's as if the state does not exist in culinary terms, which is totally sad, because of course they do!

After much internet searching and looking in the Yellow Pages and other internet sites, we plan on trying Que Se'ra, Se'ra this evening (I can't link to them since they don't have web site).

Wish us luck.

UPDATE: When we chose a restaurant, especially one that was supposed to be one of the better /best ones in Jackson, I half expected a printed menu. Well, it was printed all right - the menu WAS the placemat. I kid you not. The food was decent. Service was good, and as always, on a vacation such as this....the company was PERFECT and nothing else really mattered. They closed the doors behind us (it was only 9:00 on Sunday night - cut me a break).
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:10 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Metaphor for my day....
So, on the way to the parade this morning, just outside our hotel, we encountered this lovely woman, her daughter, and the little girl's miniature horse - not a pony - a full grown horse. They were sweet, innocent, and captivating, so I took their photo:


Little did I know, that this poor little horse was about to be corrupted and dragged down into the same debauchery and deviation that the rest of us were to experience as the day progressed.....

Stay tuned for the "human" version of this transformation.....
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:43 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 17, 2006
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
For a second, I thought perhaps that Jackson, MI was the hometown of Don Knotts, and they were paying tribute to his recent passing. But no. Chicago had their cows, Baltimore had their fish and then there were last summer's crabs, but Jackson, Mississippi, is home to "catfish art".

Jackson Catfish 1

After getting in and getting lunch, the girls and I wondered around downtown checking out the courthouse, City Hall, and the State Capitol building. Jackson's a nice town. Small, but nice. Oddly, there wasn't a soul around. A beautiful, warm, spring Friday, and less than a handful of state employees walking around the park, and no sign of the few hundred crazy women we saw arriving at the airport with their tiarras, beads, and sparkly T-shirts partying like they were headed to Mardi Gras (that was 2 weeks ago ladies). Anyway, the hotel is lovely, the bar is set up, we're taking naps and getting ready to hit the town later on for the Sweet Potato Queen Ball this evening.
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:25 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The Wearing of the Green
While you all enjoy being an Irishman for a day tomorrow, (except of course, for the gentleman over at, who is, pardon the pun, the real McCoy), I will be wearing green of a slightly different variety when I fly to Jackson, Mississippi (who knew it was a hotbed of St. Paddy's Day fun??), to attend the 2006 St. Paddy's Day parade sponsored by the loonies at Hal and Mal's to honor the lovely ladies known as the Sweet Potato Queens. This event attracts more than 50,000 bawdy women a year and includes a Ball tomorrow night, and an after parade street party with bands on Saturday. I've got three BFF that have graciously agreed to accompany me on what is sure to be one of the best "Girl's Weekend" trips we've ever taken - and we've taken some good ones! Feather boas and tiaras have been purchased, assorted costumes and accessories are packed, and the laptop is going too - so there may be blogging. In the meantime, I'm practicing my Queen Elizabeth wave.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:43 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Just a matter of time......
Everyone knew the levees in New Orleans would someday fail, and yet nothing proactive was ever done to prevent it. They procrastinated behind budget shortfalls until it was too late, and are now faced with the largest reconstruction in the Nation's history since the Civil War.

Now we have an even more obvious situation, spring tornadoes are already starting to wreak havoc, and hurricane season starts in less than 3 months. Think anyone is going to proactively do anything about this?
In its rush to provide shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a pressing new Gulf Coast hazard: nearly 90,000 lightweight trailers in an area prone to flooding, tornadoes and, of course, hurricanes.

"They're campers," Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi told a Senate committee this month. "They're not designed to be used as housing for a family for months, much less years. The trailers don't provide even the most basic protection from high winds or severe thunderstorms, much less tornadoes or hurricanes."
Hello? Anyone listening?
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:25 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Autistic Basketball Phenom
You know, I teared up over this story as much as the next person, but I have to admit I agree with Wonkette on this one. First of all, the kid is entitled to all the fame and glory he deserves. But, the real heroes are his coach, for putting him in the game in the first place, and his teammates, many of whom were playing their last games as seniors and were looking to score as many points as possible, but who, as a group, passed the ball to Jason to allow him his time in the spotlight. But Wonkette gets to the real issue in this story - especially when the President opted for a photo-op with Jason today in Rochester, NY.
Of course, across the nation, special-education students are expected to perform to the level of their mainstream peers on standardized tests that are tied to No Child Left Behind funding, and, when they fail to do so, those schools are punished. But I guess that's another story.
Yeah - another story entirely.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:22 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Discouraging News from Baghdad
This in my email today from my friends at the US Embassy in Baghdad:

Things here are every bit as bad as you see in the news. Bob (who looks terribly tired in this interview and that's also as bad as it looks) is extremely discouraged - this may be the last TV interview he does. It is far too difficult for him to retain any kind of intellectual integrity while trying to find something positive to say about the mess we're in.

We are safe in the IZ which remains quiet, but Bob and I both ask for your prayers for our Iraqi friends, colleagues, and all the good people trying to do the right thing here in Iraq. I trust all of this is in God's perfect plan; it certainly wasn't ours.
The link she sent for the interview won't work, and I don't know the source of the feed. I'll try and get a transcript of the interview. Thankfully, their 2 year tour of duty will be up in July and they will be moving to a new State Dept. post - hopefully with the title "Ambassador" attached this time - he's earned it! I know that they will both have mixed feelings about leaving a job uncompleted, and a sadness with the inability to complete that job to the best of their capabilities, but I also know how hard they have worked over there, and NO ONE tried harder to resolve the mess than they did. Perhaps that's the most discouraging thing of all. If someone as committed and talented as Bob can't make a difference, I'm pretty sure it's a lost cause. But then, we already knew that didn't we?
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:33 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
E-Mail Casts Doubt on DP World's Plans
Don't say I didn't warn you. Transfer Fully, is about to become the "depends on what your definition of is, is", phrase of the year. They carefully chose the most open ended, ambiguous statement they could in unwinding the deal.

Stay tuned. This is far from over.
posted by Broadsheet @ 1:25 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Driving to work this morning reminded me of those old sepia postcards that were hand painted with little bits of color. Dots of bright green, white, and yellow tipped everything, everywhere. Forsythia exploding overnight. Magnolia trees bursting with pinks and purples. Cherry trees just starting to sprout their pink pom poms of flowers. Bright red buds tipping the ends of branches like glowing embers.

I had my car washed on Saturday, and this morning it was covered in a combination of tree sap, seed coverings, pollen, and the by products of what I can only assume was a rather large bird who had eaten too much Thai food. It's filthy again, despite the fact that it rained last night.

I hope it doesn't snow on Friday like they're predicting. That would just be a cruel joke at this point.

Oh - and Happy Pi Day!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:34 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 13, 2006
Spring Is Near, but the Traditional Welcoming Kites of Lahore Are Grounded
I've always been fascinated by the Kite Festival of Lahore. Kind of like the running of the bulls in Pamploma, or the Tomato Festival in Spain, it is a centuries old tradition unique to Lahore. Not this year apparently.
But adults and children love to indulge in kite duels, and that is where the danger lies. For duels, the kites are flown on a thin wire or on a thick string coated with glass or chemicals, to better attack opponent's kites.

Stray kites can and do drag their strings unpredictably, tangling around a human neck or limb and cutting it.
After a spate of injuries and deaths, including those of some small children, the famous Kite Festival of Lahore has been cancelled.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:59 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
A War of Words Over Catalonia Sets Off a War of Wine
Huh. When I went home over Christmas, I brought dozens of live oysters and a couple of bottles of really, really good Cava sparkling wine to go with them on Christmas Eve. I had no idea at the time that we were drinking such a politically sensitive wine. I can tell you it was really terrific with oysters on the half shell however.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:52 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Well, THAT was certainly different...
OK, OK, I wasn't gonna blog till tomorrow, but it's not every day that a Scottish piper in full kilt regalia stands at the end of your driveway belting out Highland music on bagpipes.

I'm just sayin.
posted by Broadsheet @ 3:58 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Weekend Hiatus
Oh man - slept with the windows open last night, and it's beautiful, cool and sunny this morning! This blog is officially on hiatus till Monday due to an extreme outbreak of beautiful weather. And if for some strange reason you're actually reading this - get off the computer and go outside!
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:13 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 10, 2006
Spring Fever
Friday afternoon and 75 degrees!!! Time to go home, fling open the windows, light the grill, and enjoy Spring.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, so I suspect some spring cleaning is in order: a trip to the dump for old screens and other junk that's been languishing in my basement all winter; washing windows; airing out the comforter; cleaning up the yard and deck; washing the car; and maybe even getting a pot of tulips or two....

Whatever your plans are for the weekend - enjoy the weather!
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:30 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
Give me spirit fingers dammit!!
If you aren't already reading this Hong Kong blog - you should be - it's my favorite fashion / culture snark spot on the web. Today's post was priceless.

She always seemed like the type of wine-taster who swallowed.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:00 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Medical Connectivity Consulting
Interesting post about rumors regarding the heavily hyped Microsoft Origami product unveiled at CeBIT in Germany yesterday.

If it works well - there could be huge applications for this in medicine.

More news about Origami here and here
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:19 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Food loop!
A new kitchen gadget!! I gotta get me some foodloops!!
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:45 AM   3 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 09, 2006
UAE to transfer port operations to U.S. 'entity'
Anyone care to wager whether the U.S. 'entity' is polite terminology for "Haliburton"???

Just don't be surprised when it happens - OK?
posted by Broadsheet @ 5:06 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Oh, this is just PAINFULLY unfair!!! After making a group decision that it was probably best to skip the New Orleans Jazzfest this year because (a) the racetrack complex was under water for 8 weeks, (b) there wouldn't be adequate / affordable hotels or housing available, and (c) it was "too soon", - they release Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Band as headliners, not to mention:

Fats Domino, Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, Yolanda Adams, Herbie Hancock, La India, The Meters, Allen Toussaint w/ Elvis Costello, Etta James, Ani DiFranco, Keb' Mo, Pete Fountain, and many, many more.

posted by Broadsheet @ 4:57 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
International Women's Day
I was too busy managing a couple hundred employees, and making up for missing a day of work for jury duty yesterday, to properly recognize International Women's Day today.

Neither of these things were activities which I would have ever been able to enjoy or even experience, had it not been for the Women's Right's movement, Women's Suffrage, etc... Or simply for all the strong women who went before me.

To all of these women, and to all the incredibly brave women around the world for whom everyday is still a very real struggle, today is a day of quiet protest. Today is especially important to those women who live in societies that condone or enforce abuse, violence, intolerance, and cruelty in their every day life. We are your sisters in this day, and always.

Please use today, and everyday, to make a difference for women everywhere, especially the women in your life. We are everyone and everywhere. We are your grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, neighbor, or coworker. All the women that inspire you, and all the strong women in your life that enrich you.

We've come a long way baby - but we have a long way to go.

SO: Donate. Act. Speak out. Support your women with money, time, or activism. But please don't lose this day in the depth of all the other worthy causes out there right now.

And by all means - do not EVER, EVER go to South Dakota
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:12 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Evil...just evil
Well, they've just dismissed us, so I'm free from jury duty for another year.

In what was an evil, Machiavellian twist of unwitting dark humor, once the movie "Hitch" was over, they showed this movie....

It was like nails on a chalkboard....

Now I have to fight rush hour traffic to go into work. Yep - you read that right. It's 5:00 and I'm GOING to work. We have a Faculty dinner meeting tonight. Yay.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:58 PM   4 Editorial Opinions
And we find the defendant.....
Guess I'll never know. They tossed me back. The quiet room was packed, so now I'm stuck on the second and a half floor of the courthouse in a waiting room crammed in under the rafters with about 250 people watching "Hitch". This is one of the longest days of my life.....

The case I was sent to was an Appeals case for a Worker's Comp. claim by a metermaid who was appealing a denial of a back injury claim against the Mayor's office. Interestingly, they ultimately chose 6 women (3 black, 3 white) and one black alternate male juror. I have no idea why they didn't choose me, but I'm certainly happy to be a reject in this case. Could have simply been a numbers game.

Why they are keeping us at 2:45, when we are supposed to be dismissed at 4:30 is beyond me.

And in other news - I slept like a ROCK on the new mattress last night. Best $$$ I ever spent. I may have to get cable in the bedroom......
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:40 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
May it please the court....
Greetings from juror #653. I got set up on a wi-fi connection, have my iPod going, and am just waiting to be called to a courtroom. It takes most of the morning for them just to process and pay ($15) everyone. I can't imagine a worse job than being clerk of courts. How utterly boring to check names off a roster and dole out bills all day long.

$15 doesn't go very far. $12 for parking and $6.95 for the day pass on the courthouse wi-fi network, and I'm allready in the hole, and we haven't even gone to lunch yet.

The variety of people in the pool is stunning. Black (predominantly), white, young, old, gay, straight, even an ugly trannie or two. Kind of scary to think that this is a jury of peers.

The courthouse was built in the late 1800's and sure looks like it. The public areas are grand and marble, but the offices have been retrofitted with shabby, leftover furniture, outdated plumbing (from the 20's or 30's at least), and really, really, bad flourescent lighting. I tried to get a Diet Coke out of the vending machine and it provided me with some sort of neon yellowish energy drink instead. Yay.

Some people treat today as a Holiday from work. Reading, talking (loudly - mostly the older ladies who see this as a social event), and laughing. Others, like me, are annoyed by the utter inconvenience of the whole ordeal and escaped to the "quiet" room which thankfully has some tables to work on, and people are, for the most part, either working on their laptops like me, or are sleeping.

The collection of Baltimore City Parade posters dates back to the 60's and 70's, and the badly faded art posters from the Baltimore Museum of Art, just make it that more depressing.

They just called my number - got to go serve.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:36 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Monday, March 06, 2006
Jury Duty
For me. Again. Tomorrow.

This will be my fourth appearance in the courts of Baltimore City in as many years. Each time, I have been selected as a juror on the first go around, and all but once, I was then dismissed by either the Defense or Prosecuting Attorney after being selected.

All it takes to be selected is to know absolutely nothing about the case or the people involved and be confident that you could make an unbiased decision based on the evidence presented. Once they seat twelve folks that can do this, the Attorneys then have a chance to review the jury "mix" and request changes. All they are told about you is your age, occupation, and years of education. Using that, the attorneys then play with age, race, gender and educational mix until they get a panel that they feel will be fair and sympathetic to their case. So, 2 out of 3 times, I wasn't the right cuppa for one attorney or another. One was a murder case that lasted 10 days, so I was just as happy to be dismissed.

Last year was a car theft case against a 19 year old punk. I was made jury foreman by the judge for some inexplicable reason, and the case took 2 days because we didn't get started until after 4:00 PM the first day, and then there were three separate charges to consider. The State's prosecuting attorney was a 20 something Ally Macbeal right out of law school with an older lawyer coaching her. She completely failed to make the case for the State despite the fact that this kid contradicted himself on the stand repeatedly, and she failed to follow up on any salient line of questioning. It was as if she had a list of ten questions to ask him, and regardless of his answers, those were the only ten questions she was going to ask. In the jury room, we all agreed on the first round of voting that the kid was clearly guilty, his story simply didn't add up, but the problem was that the attorney utterly failed to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. She simply did not give us enough to convict on, and we had to vote not guilty in accordance with the law. When the verdict was read, this kid smiled and pumped his fist like a football player making a touchdown, and was clearly relieved he got away with it. Luckily for us, they took him straight back to jail because he was facing other charges in another case.

Afterwards, Ally Macbeal came to speak with us for feedback for her training, and we told her, question by question, where she went wrong and where she missed giving us the evidence we needed to convict. I'm sure she learned from it, but sheesh! We don't "practice" like that in medicine with interns and residents. Unless they consider prosecuting car theft cases like putting in an IV or a catheter, which, come to think of it - they probably do.

According to the Court House web site, they now have wi-fi in the juror waiting area, so expect some jury simul-blogging if I can get a connection and don't have to go into a courtroom right away.
posted by Broadsheet @ 6:16 PM   3 Editorial Opinions
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Hiring, theft charges close prominent city restaurant
I was so shocked to hear that Kawasaki's had been shut down, and I'm even more than a little surprised that I seem to be the first Baltimore blogger to talk about it. Come on people - it's the best sushi in the city! While the charges are serious and disturbing,I hope they find a way to make things right and reopen. I also hope that they are not making an example of Kawasaki to the detriment of other restaurants in the city who employ the same practices when it comes to undocumented workers.

They've apparently closed the Kawasaki sushi lunch place at Johns Hopkins Hospital as well. The gentleman that ran that location always greeted me by name when I stopped in, and always made sure he had an extra "Crunchy roll" with eel and spicy sauce for me. I was a regular, and he treated me as such with kindness, graciousness and good customer service. He also took enormous pride in getting that little lunch counter set up and running smoothly. I hope he's OK.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:02 PM   5 Editorial Opinions
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Sleep tight
It's being delivered Monday evening. Decision made.
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:10 PM   2 Editorial Opinions
So much for freedom of religion
A link from an article on Boing Boing tells about a soldier killed in Iraq and buried in a military cemetery, but the government refuses to recognize his faith.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and its National Cemetery Administration prohibit graphics on government-furnished headstones or markers other than those they have approved as "emblems of belief." More than 30 such emblems are allowed on gravestones and makers in veterans cemeteries, from the Christian cross to the Buddhist wheel of righteousness. A symbol exists for atheists too.
Funny, they'll recognize a complete lack of faith (as they should), but not this one? An another reader brings up a good point - what about the Mason's and Orders of the Eastern Star symbols? Are they considered religious symbols?
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:11 AM   0 Editorial Opinions
Noodle Prices Rise, Along With Chinese Tempers
And you thought rising gas prices were a major problem to the economy?? I give you China's Noodle Wars. Complete with noodle cartels, price gouging, and price fixing!
Then a day after the increase in Anning, The Western Economic Daily broke a major scandal: "The Beef Noodle Price Hike, a Price-Fixing Scheme." The paper documented a coordinated pricing scheme, led by a small group of noodle shop owners, who had made threats against any owners who resisted.
In fact, read the article and substitute "gasoline" for "noodles" and it's pretty funny.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:02 AM   1 Editorial Opinions
Friday, March 03, 2006
Update on FSMG
I missed this article that has the backstory on a photo I posted back in January. I love this guy!
Corbin, 34, is much like his hero, Henderson. He, too, has a undergrad degree in physics and said he has published research papers on "vision optics and science" for the University of California-Santa Cruz, his alma mater.

He also fancies himself an amateur pirate like Henderson.

Corbin considers himself a "hippie at heart" and is now gearing up to pursue a graduate degree in environmental engineering.
Visit his website
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:34 PM   0 Editorial Opinions
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Caption Challenge!
Give us your best caption for this photo. He just looks so ridiculous - it cracked me up!

I don't know why the American people are giving you such a hard time over your ports being controlled by Dubai, you've outsourced everything else to us!
posted by Broadsheet @ 12:02 PM   1 Editorial Opinions
Video Shows Bush Was Warned Before Katrina
And he wonders why his approval rating is at an all time low??
Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

The footage -- along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press -- show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:39 AM   0 Editorial Opinions

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