Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dear Bloggie Friends

I tried blogging once a week, which isn't too difficult, but it's impossible to keep up with all the wonderful bloglets you post all week long - that needs daily attention, and I'm just going to have to give this up for an indefinite period. There's so much to read and ponder from each of you, and so much to say about what's going on here in our corner of the blogosphere. Once a week doesn't do it justice.

I need to devote much more time to my historical novel. Maybe I'm just bad at time management, but I know I'm spending more time blogging than writing and editing. I feel the clock ticking and I want to get this MS in the best shape I can. I'm 58 years old. My mother died at 63, my father at 65, my brother at 49. No, I don't feel impending doom or anything, it's just that I know the only way to finish polishing this manuscript is to get it done, now - not "someday."

I believe in this story. It's a good one. I want to tell it in the best way I possibly can, the way it deserves. That means spending a lot of time learning the craft of writing, which I've been doing. The more I've learned, the more I realize the need for serious editing and rewrites. Also, after meeting today with the critique group at our local Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, it may be that this novel is more suited to the adult market than the Young Adult. I've wondered about that before, but after talking with people today - people who have had dozens of books published - I finally feel free to write the story in a different genre.

I love you guys - you know that, right? But I can't promise to visit as often, and it pains me because I know I'll be missing out on some very tasty bloggie bits.

So, Chapterhouse won't be active for a while. I don't know how long. I'll leave this up, though. If you want to email, please do! My addy is on the Profile page.

((HUGS)) to all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh Noes!

In another a rare fit of stupidy, I switched my comments thingy over to Haloscan, completely forgetting that it would wipe out all my precious Blogger comments! Woe is me. Woe, I say, and thrice woe! I was only trying to get rid of evil spammers, not all of your wonderful, sweet, precious comments.

I sorry. Please comment me. Please? I won't disappear them no more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This Week on Chapterhouse

This just in:

Cindy McCain's Old family recipe


1/2 dozen crow breasts
1 qt. sauerkraut
1/2 dozen strips bacon
1/3 c. chopped onion

In skillet brown the crow breasts, then place them on a 1 1/2" layer of sauerkraut in bottom of a casserole. Cover each piece of meat with a strip of bacon and sprinkle the onion over them. Cover the breast with another layer of sauerkraut and pour sauerkraut juice over it. Bake two hours in oven heated to 350 degrees.

The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?

This headline sounds hokey, doesn't it? Like a scam, like someone's trying to bilk people out of money for yet another phony "cure" for cancer. Look again. This could be the real deal. They're not even asking for your money.
(as seen on 60 Minutes)

This weeks gifts:

These are for YOU! All of you! I went on a little virtual spending spree. With 3 trillion dollars!

Candace bought the following gifts for you at, the web site that gives you 3 trillion dollars - the money American tax-payers are spending on the Iraq war - and use it in a virtual shopping spree for your friends and family.

And, so can you! You could give all of this,

...or you can spend the money occupying Iraq and killing over a million people!

Universal Health Care for Every American (300 million of us)
1 purchased for $920,100,000,000.00 each

1 purchased for $1,000,000.00 each

therapeutic healing for veterans
1 purchased for $104,000.00 each

End the Animal Shelter issues in this country and neuter all homeless animals
1 purchased for $20,000,000,000.00 each

cure for alzhiemers
1 purchased for $3,000,000.00 each

Reform penal system - rehabilitation instead of retribution
1 purchased for $1,000,000,000,000.00 each

1 purchased for $1,000,000,000,000.00 each

Restore Habeas Corpus for All
1 purchased for $1,500,000,000.00 each

Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine
1 purchased for $50,000,000.00 each

Reinstate the Constitution
1 purchased for $50,000,000.00 each

Plant 1,000,000 trees
1 purchased for $10,000,000.00 each

Permanent Vacation
1 purchased for $30,000,000.00 each
(this is for me)

New Clothing, Shoes, Coats, and School Supplies for Ten Million Children
1 purchased for $10,000,000,000.00 each

God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (for every household on the planet)
1 purchased for $27,151,600,000.00 each

Free, Fair, and Unbiased Media
1 purchased for $2,500,000.00 each

US Constitution, Pocket-Sized Edition, in 50K lots
1 purchased for $33,250.00 each

Apple MacBook Air MB003LL/A 13.3" Laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive)
1 purchased for $1,794.00 each
(um, okay, this one's actually for me, too)

Non-Violent Leadership Training (1 yr) for 10 Million Leaders
1 purchased for $300,000.00 each

A Brand New House for my family & other relatives
1 purchased for $20,000,000.00 each
(also for me)

1 purchased for $20,000.00 each
(for me)


What will you put in YOUR shopping cart? (you can even suggest items of your own)
There's been so much talk about this week's debate between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama, I thought you might enjoy imagining these questions being asked of Sen. McCain:

10 Debate Questions John McCain will never be asked

1. Do you agree with Pastor John Hagee that war with Iran is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy?
In February, you shared a stage with Pastor John Hagee and said you were "very proud" to have his endorsement. You also called the Reverend Rod Parsley, a man who said of Islam "America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed", your "spiritual guide." Do you believe America's mission is to destroy Islam? Do you join Pastor Hagee in believing the United States must attack Iran to fulfill the biblical prophecy of Armageddon in Israel in which 144,000 Jews will be converted to Christianity and the rest killed? Is that why you joked about "bomb bomb Iran?" If not, why will you not renounce the support of Hagee and Parsley?

2. Doesn't your legendary temper make you too dangerous to be trusted with the presidency of the United States?
Your anger, even toward friends and allies, is legendary. You purportedly dropped the F-Bomb on your own GOP colleagues John Cornyn and Chuck Grassley. In the book, The Real McCain, author Cliff Schechter claims you got into a fist-fight with your fellow Arizona Republican Rick Renzi. Allegedly, you even publicly used a crude term, one which decorum and the FCC prohibit us from even saying on the air, to describe your own wife. Which if any of these episodes is untrue? Don't your anger management problems make you too dangerously unstable to be president of the United States?

3. Doesn't your confusion regarding basic facts about the war in Iraq, including repeatedly citing a nonexistent Al Qaeda-Iran alliance, make you unfit for command?
On four occasions in one month, you confused friend and foe in Iraq by describing Sunni Al Qaeda as being backed by Shiite Iran. Then you showed a misunderstanding of the U.S. chain of command when you claimed you would not back shifting forces from Iraq to Afghanistan "unless Gen. [David] Petraeus said that he felt that the situation called for that," a decision which Petraeus himself told you and your Senate colleagues only the week before rests not with him but with his superiors. Doesn't your lack of understanding and judgment when it comes to basic facts of America's national security disqualify you as commander-in-chief?

4. Given your past adultery, should Americans consider you a moral exemplar of family values?
You are the nominee of a Republican Party which claims to support so-called "family values." Yet you commenced an adulterous relationship with your current wife Cindy months before the dissolution of your previous marriage to your first wife Carol. Should Americans consider you to be a moral exemplar of family values?

5. Doesn't your flip-flop on Jerry Falwell being an "agent of intolerance" show your opportunistic pandering to the religious right?
In 2000, you famously called the late Jerry Falwell "an agent of intolerance," a statement which may have cost you the decisive South Carolina primary. But as you ramped up your next presidential run in 2006, you embraced Falwell and gave the commencement address at his Liberty University. When Tim Russert asked that spring if you still considered him an agent of intolerance, you said, "'no, I don't." Why shouldn't the American people consider you a flip-flopping opportunist who cynically courted the religious right to further your 2008 presidential ambitions?

6. Given your wealth and privileged upbringing, aren't you - and not Barack Obama - the elitist?
You have called Barack Obama an elitist. Yet you recently returned to your exclusive private high school, one which now costs over $38,000 a year to attend. Your wife is the heiress to a beer distribution company, reputedly owns 8 homes and has a net worth well over $100 million. Your children all attended private schools, academies which also happened to be the primary beneficiaries of funds from your supposed charitable foundation. Shouldn't the American people in fact view you as the elitist, and a hypocritical one at that?

7. What is your religion, really? And has the answer in the past changed as the South Carolina primary approached?
I want to ask about your seemingly ever-changing religious beliefs. In June 2007, McClatchy reported, "McCain still calls himself an Episcopalian." In August 2007, as ABC reported, your campaign staff identified you as "Episcopalian" in a questionnaire prepared for ABC News' August 5 debate. But as the primary in evangelical-rich South Carolina neared, in September 2007 you said of your religious faith, "It plays a role in my life. By the way, I'm not Episcopalian. I'm Baptist." But in March 2008, Pastor Dan Yeary of your North Phoenix Baptist Church refused to comment on why you have refused to finally undergo a baptism ceremony. Congressional directories still list you as an Episcopalian. In the past, you've said, "When I'm asked about it, I'll be glad to discuss it." So what is your religion? And couldn't Americans be forgiven for assuming your changing faith is tied to your changing political needs?

8. Didn't President Bush betray you with his signing statement on the Detainee Treatment Act? You claim to be against torture, but aren't you a hypocrite for voting "no" on the Senate waterboaring ban?
You've said that "we can't torture or treat inhumanely suspected terrorists we have captured". And in December 2005, you famously reached a compromise with President Bush on the Detainee Torture Act banning cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees. But just two weeks later, President Bush issued a signing statement making it clear he would ignore the compromise you just reached. Then in February 2007, you voted "no" on a Senate bill banning waterboarding. Isn't it fair to say President Bush betrayed you with his December 30, 2005 signing statement? And isn't it fair to say you caved to the right-wing of your party on the issue in order to win the Republican nomination?

9. Why did you flip-flop on the Bush tax cuts you twice opposed? Why do you now support making them permanent for the wealthiest Americans who need them least?
You twice voted against the Bush tax cuts. Now you support making them permanent. In 2001, you said, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief." Now, according to the Center for American Progress, your tax plan would cost more than $2 trillion over the next decade and "would predominantly benefit the most fortunate taxpayers, offering two new massive tax cuts for corporations and delivering 58 percent of its benefits to the top 1 percent of taxpayers." Isn't it true that you flip-flopped on the Bush tax cuts? Isn't it fair to say that you now favor a massive expansion of the federal budget deficit in order to fund a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans who need it least?

10. With the economy tanking, shouldn't Americans be concerned over your past statements that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should?"
Americans consistently report that the economy is the issue that concerns them most. Yet more than once, you proclaimed your ignorance when it comes to the economy. In November 2005, you told the Wall Street Journal, "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Then in December 2007, you admitted, "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." Shouldn't the American be worried about President McCain's ability to lead the United States out of recession? Given your past statements, shouldn't the American reject out of hand your claim that "I know the economy better than Senator Clinton and Senator Obama do?"

Happy weekend!

Friday, April 11, 2008

This Week on Chapterhouse

You know, atheists really are in the last closet.

Rep. Monique Davis of Illinois, a (say it isn't so!) Democrat,* opines that atheism is dangerous, so dangerous that children shouldn't even know it exists. This YouTube clip starts with Keith Olbermann's Worst Person of the World segment, followed by Rob Sherman's comments, and concludes with the audio of Rep. Davis's tirade.

"Get out of that seat!" she yells at Rob Sherman, an atheist activist, actually ordering him to stop testifying. Can you imagine the outcry if she had said the same thing to a Baptist preacher? A Rabbi? A Muslim?

(click to embiggen)

*it's even more disappointing to hear such bigotry coming from a Black woman.

Speaking of race, Stuff White People Like is one of the funniest (and most uncomfy) sites I've ever run across!

I mean, how white can you get:

“Wil Shipley, a Seattle software developer, uses his iPhone at the Whole Foods fish counter to check websites for updates on which seafood is the most environmentally correct to purchase. He quizzes the staff on where and how a fish was caught. Because he carries the Internet with him, “I can be super-picky,” he said.”

Fellow Anglophiles Pooks and Grace, the artist, were over yesterday to watch The Barchester Chronicles DVD Tomcat gave me for my birthday in January. Just look at the young Alan Rickman, here in his breakthrough role as "the odious Obadiah Slope."

Isn't he hawt? (not, of course, that that was the reason we wanted to see this.) As Pooks would say, "Squee!"
This week's gifts:

For Dan:

Check out Disapproving Rabbits!

And for Garnie (Abbey), because she needs a new calendar she'll pay attention to!

The writers' meeting this week was excellent. We have two great new members (from Pooks' class-always the best source). Both are writing Sci-Fi novels. One of the original members started a new project, an erotic techno-thriller. I don't think attendance will be a problem.


Until next week! (((HUGS)))

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do yourselves a favor

Do yourselves a favor and read Hoss's b**g today. (Hell, read it every day - it's great.) But today there's advice on dieting, on what to do if there's no lock on the restroom door, and - oh yeah, a little soft pRon.

[stepping quickly aside to avoid being trampled while everyone rushes over to Hoss's place...]

You're welcome.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

This Week on Chapterhouse

I know, I know - last Saturday I said I would only post once a week, and then I put up two more posts. This is what happens when you try to go cold turkey, people. I'll try to stick with the plan this week.


Chapterhouse was given the coveted Excellence Award by Let's Talk God! How cool is that?

Thanks very much, Larry!
Speaking of awards:
The Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco
came up with an ingenious way to memorialize Dubya's presidency. They are collecting signatures to place this on their November ballot:

"Should the City and County of San Francisco rename the
Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility
The George W. Bush Sewage Plant?"

Click on the word "honorable" in the sentence, "... eight years of honorable service ..." when you go to their site. It takes you to The 14 Points of Fascism, which is rather terrifying, in case you haven't seen it before.

Why didn't I think of this back when I was battling the Book of the Month Club because they kept billing me for books I never ordered, even though I had backup emails showing I had declined their selection(s) IN a timely manner? I could have mailed them bricks every time they sent me a bill! Hey, maybe it's not too late.
Last week I had a gift for Randal. This week, let's see ...

How about this for 1138:

I'll miss Clarke, too. Now I really wish I hadn't put so many books in storage.
(Keep scrolling down, 1138 - there's another gift for you.)

And this one's for Snave's noted Feces in the News feature:

You're welcome.

Finally, this one is for both 1138 and Mandlebrot's Chaos, should they choose to use it:

Can't we all just get along?
As far as writing goes:

This week, I've done more research, rearranged the sequence of several events in my post-war Japan novel, written one new scene and made notes for two more, plus created a storyboard:


This Week's Word to the Wise:
Never forget the immortal words of renowned commenter Richard:


Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

13 Minutes

Take just 13 minutes to watch this amazing video. It will uplift you for the rest of the day. Maybe forever.

from The Daily Kos.