NASA scientist says the White House would like for him to be quiet about global warming

“Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him”:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/science/earth/29climate.html?_r=1 [NY Times story]

“Climate expert says NASA bids to muzzle him”:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060128/sc_nm/environment_nasa_dc [Reuters summary of NYT story]

bq. “But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide.”

Hansen is one of the scientists who are saying now that global warming must be reversed in the next decade or it will become irreversible. He released data in mid-December showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in a century.

“Goddard Institute For Space Studies”:http://www.giss.nasa.gov/

reclaiming the long neglected

the weather was perfect today and for once, i made good use of the daylight hours. the yard got many hours of attention and i even gave the spacepod a bit of a wash– just enough to get the first layer of dirt off.

the side yard by the kitchen got a lot of attention today. this is a functional area that the previous owner of my house never worked on, so it’s not in the kind of condition it should be. i think for the first year or so that i lived here i didn’t realize there is a concrete pad next to the stoop, because it was buried in dirt, leaves, and ivy. today i removed all of that with a rake, shovel, and broom. nice. i cleared all the yard debris out of the whole side yard area and cut back the trees that grow in from my neighbor’s yard.

while taking a break, sitting on the stoop, i contemplated this area. with all the debris cleared away, i suddenly saw that if i get rid of the rotting firewood pile, i’ll have a really nice little niche where i could put a tool shed and a compost bin. that would be sweet.

after all my work, i now have a huge pile of brush from all the trimming and pruning that i’ve done. there’s a huge log that came down in the back yard, and of course the horrible firewood that’s too damp to burn. i started thinking that maybe i should try renting a chipper-shredder. i could probably get the city to come pick up all this stuff, but i’d rather keep the nutrients in the yard. i bet shredded wood would be good for the soil.

giving spacepod a quick wash at sam’s on a saturday afternoon when people are just about waiting in line to get a wash stall was like giving the aegean stables a sponge bath. let’s just say he’s not exactly show car clean. i was dismayed to see bubbling and peeling paint on his front fender. i think that was where a rushed body shop job may have occured. at least it’s plastic so it won’t rust.

now my foot kinda hurts from all the exertion, but i’m hoping i’ll still be up for doing lots of van sanding tomorrow. it’s supposed to be a little rainy and that seems like a good rainy day activity.

radioactive kitty

this afternoon, my vet called to give me some test results for moses. he has “hyperthyroid.”:http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/health/hyperthyroidism.html

it’s serious, but there is very good treatment available in our area, and we’ve caught it early.

that’s not to say i didn’t spend the afternoon in my office with the door shut and the kleenex box next to me, wishing desperately to go home and hug him.

the treatment is expensive, and a little scary– i definitely have a few more questions for my vet– but almost magical in the way it works, from what i have read. they give a single injection of a radioactive isotope at a special treatment center. the isotope is absorbed only by the “bad” thyroid cells, no matter where they are in the body, and it kills only those cells. the healthy thyroid cells are unharmed and eventually regenerate. a single treatement cures most cases.

the side effect is that my cat will actually be radioactive.

he has to stay in the treatment center, which is set up to handle radioactive material (and cats), for several days. i won’t be able to visit him during this time.

the big question i have right now is, of course: won’t my cat get cancer from this?? secondary questions like, “will he glow?” i suppose i can save for later.

anyway, i do find this upsetting, although as my vet said, if he’s going to have a problem at this stage, this is the problem to have. and i’m very glad that i’m at a stage in my life where i can provide an expensive treatement for him without it being a real problem.

anyway. go moseman go.

another new one

woke up unnaturally early today, went out and got jesus chicken for breakfast. headed over to whole foods to do a little shopping, and had to wait in my car for a little while for the store to open.

a sleek silver minivan pulled up and parked next to me. the woman inside was talking animatedly on a cellphone.

the doors to the store opened, so i started gathering my things. out of the corner of my eye, i could see the woman get out of her van, and pause as the writing on the spacepod caught her interest. i could tell that as soon as i got out of the car, we were going to have The Conversation. i resigned myself to it.

The Conversation went as usual, until the very end. she asked, as most people do, “Where do you get it?” “An Exxon station on Duke Street.”

Her face fell. “Oh.” and then she said, “Well, I mean, it’s just a bummer to support Exxon.” Seeing that this wasn’t going over well with me, she added, apologetically, “For me.” I grimaced a little smile, and walked away.

Coming back out of the store, I looked at that minivan. Most of you will not be surprised to learn that I have some idea of the fuel mileage rating of this particular vehicle.

I wish I’d said to her, “It must be a bummer, for you, to get 17mpg.”

Seriously, is there a petroleum company that _is_ worth supporting? I don’t want to buy any more product from oil companies than I have to. That’s one of the many reasons I drive a car that gets more than _twice_ the fuel mileage of her minivan.

I realize there may be reasons to drive a minivan that can’t be covered by, say, a Prius, a Highlander or an Escape hybrid SUV, or a Passat TDI wagon, but that doesn’t give her room to be smug.

I really do think it may be time to remove the lettering from my car.

“Nobody goes there, it’s too crowded.”

twice this week i have gone to federal intending to dine. both times there were no tables and we had to leave. the first time was the usual monday evening post-xdu board meeting time, a time when finding a table is usually not a big deal.

WTF?

so, as d. and s. and i repaired to the new asian bistro at american tabacco last night (tom yum style is yummy!), we decided it’s time we broke out our stories about how YOU SHOULDN’T GO TO FEDERAL.

here’s my story: the rubber band in my hamburger. yes, one night, there was a large, purple rubber band nestled in the greens atop my hamburger, coated lightly in dijon mustard. ewwww.

DON’T GO TO FEDERAL.

what i really want to do on my birthday

so, this saturday is my birthday, and i couldn’t find something fun going on to do, like that year that a bunch of us went to see “bubba ho tep”, now that was good times.

so the boy is coming down from up north and he’s going to take me to dinner, which will be real nice and all.

but i tell ya, if we lived on the west coast, “this”:http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/16/srl_returns_to_los_a.html is surely what i’d be doing on saturday.

kitchen roundup

i woke up this morning feeling awful. started to go to work. had a flat. came home, called AAA. called in sick. slept all day.

so, the kitchen. although i’m not finished with it, i probably won’t make any major changes for the rest of the month. the next major things coming up are chairs, which will be a lot of money, and some pots and pans that probably won’t be cheap, either.

i thought i’d post a list of the things that have, so far, made the biggest improvements in the kitchen.

* the lighting. it’s unreal the difference this has made, and it was so very cheap and easy.

* re-organizing appliance and cookware storage. there’s still more to do, but what i have done so far has improved the function of the kitchen immensely. the goal was to free up my counter space.

* improving cookware and utensils. after years of improvising, having the right tools for the job, and having them be good quality and clean, makes me want to cook again. i no longer fear recipes that call for the zest of a lemon, because with my microplane, i can conquer any zesting task!

the new tools that i use most often are my nonstick skillets (not surprisingly) and my microplanes. incredibly, there is a grating task in basically every recipe i make– how i got along without one before is beyond me. i guess i just avoided all recipes with zest in them!

watching “cooking shows”:http://www.foodnetwork.com/ regularly has also made a big difference for me. if i see someone make a recipe i think i’d like, i go to the web site and print it off immediately. that way, it’s easy to remember that i wanted to make it. i prefer the shows where people make food that normal humans would actually eat, not the rock star stuff like Iron Chef (although Iron Chef is quite entertaining– i just never get any good ideas from it). Top on my list are 30 Minute Meals (yes, she’s annoying, but the food is quite tasty); Everyday Italian, and, on christa’s suggestion, Good Deal with Dave Lieberman.

I have developed lust in my heart for a truly frivolous appliance: a “panini grill.”:http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=186402 i think it was watching Giada DeLaurentiis make a pound cake/nutella/strawberry panini that did it. gawd.