Saturday, December 15, 2007
The geologists should also get up in arms about this, since these are young earth creationists.
The whole article was pretty disturbing -- here are a couple of points that were particularly so.
This first one is pretty scary -- the possibility that the graduates of this Institute could be unleashed on the public schools.
"Patricia Nason, the institute's department chairwoman for science education, said most of the institute's students end up teaching at private Christian schools. But, she said, they learn about evolution and are qualified to teach in public schools."
Of course they want "academic" freedom for themselves, but they aren't willing to give any:
"It is ... expected that faculty members as teachers, scholars, and citizens, will further the ministry of the Institute through their life example and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. Acceptance to this limitation of academic freedom is reaffirmed with each annual contract."
Click on the title of this post for the rest of the story, "Creationist institute seeks certificate to operate master's program in Texas Christian facility teaches science from biblical perspective."
Going back to Colorado for retirement is looking more and more attractive, but then of course we'd end up right in the midst of the evangelical cluster economy (Focus on the Family, The Navigators, Young Life, New Life Church, etc.) Yikes -- there's no escape!
Friday, December 14, 2007
"The concern was, should these sorts of things be on the TEA e-mail?
Maybe this was my sensitivity from working on the federal level. I
looked at it and said, “This could be political.” My goal was to make
sure the right people looked at this.
I realize that people have their opinions. If you want to do that, Yahoo is free. Get a Yahoo account."
"I still think the e-mail by Comer left the agency exposed. The whole
situation has been a little disturbing to me. Maybe I should have seen
the political side of it."
So which is it?? -- she thought "This could be political" or "Maybe I should have seen the political side of it."
************ ********* ****
I sent this comment in response to the article:
Why should the sending of this message from Comer’s work email be inappropriate?
Barbara Forrest was a witness at the Dover, PA, trial.
The Dover school board had injected the religious concept of intelligent design into the high school biology classes.
There are members of the SBOE who would like to do the same in Texas.
Attending the Forrest lecture should have been mandatory for all
SBOE members so that they could have some idea of what they were
getting into. I’m appalled and dismayed that they didn’t have the
curiosity to attend, and that Reynolds thinks there is anything wrong
with a Science Director informing various populations about a lecture
on a science issue.
The Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial cost the school district over $1,000,000, as they were ordered to pay the plaintiff’s fees.
Can you imagine the cost to the State of Texas to go through such a
trial on a state level? Can you imagine the cost to the State of Texas
as scientists, biotech businesses and concerns, etc. avoid a state with
such a hostile environment to science?
Chris Comer should be lauded for trying to save the State of Texas a vast amount of money, time, and prestige.
Friday, October 12, 2007
SRI (his initials -- is that cool or what): It just changed rotation.
me: I didn't see it change. Colleen and I were looking at it at the same time,
and she saw it change and I didn't.
SRI: Is she actually changing directions, or is it just me?
me: Did you hear what I said? If you see it go one way, and I see it go the
other, what does that tell you?
SRI: That you're wrong.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This afternoon we went to visit -- since he's no longer hooked up to 2 or 3 IVs and a catheter, we were able to visit with him in an examination room. I didn't get to see him in his little "wife-beater" t-shirt (I hate that term, but they put a little sleeveless t-shirt on him for a couple of days to keep him from getting at the stitches. Scott said he looked so humiliated -- "Here I am a fine tuxedo cat, and they put me in THAT?!")
I said something about when he could go home and the tech said, "He IS going home tomorrow!" The other tech (Brian?) came in to show us how to feed him. Since he's not wanting to eat on his own yet, he has to be fed 4 times a day through a feeding tube. It's actually a bit easier than I anticipated -- the important thing is to make sure the canned cat food and water is well blended so there are no lumps, and then make sure that you aren't pushing the food through the syringe too fast -- else he'll vomit. Then you have to put 5cc of water in another syringe through his feeding tube to flush the food out.
We're hoping that having him home will calm him down so he'll feel more like eating. When we'd take the cats to the ranch, they would often not eat the first day, and eat very little on subsequent days, until we got back home.
Some of his stitches could come out now -- the others will have to wait a few more days. He'll also need to have his pills crushed and dissolved in water and then administered through the feeding tube.
We're turning the cave (our den -- it has two rock walls) into the infirmary. It has a door to the rest of the house, so we can keep the other 2 cats away from him. There are two french doors so he can have a nice view of the back yard, and even get some son if he'd like (and the rest of the room has a couple of dark corners if he prefers that.) He probably won't be able to negotiate the litter box for a while, so we'll line his space with these pads that are made from diaper material. He won't be moving far for a while, so this should be a nice room for his recuperation.
When the vet tech took him back to his cage, he actually looked at us like he knew who we were -- "Halp! Don't want! Taek me home!" (I have mastered cat macro or lolcat language.)
We're keeping our fingers crossed, but he might actually make it -- he's through the worst of it, anyway.
Monday, August 27, 2007
We're crossing our fingers and sending him thoughts of mice and butterflies.
The other cats seem to miss him -- he loves to groom the other two (Saki & Yuki.) Saki is not so fond of Yuki, since he stabbed her a few years ago, and she had an infection that required a trip to the vet. Genji is really the peacemaker among the three.
Well, we hope we have better news with the next update.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I tried to interest him in some food -- he didn't want to eat yet, but both times he actually pushed himself up on his front legs and sat up for a bit. We petted, combed and stroked him and told him what a wonderful cat he was. He seemed pretty tired, so we left after about half an hour. We did take a couple of pictures of him -- the wounds are just horrible, but I felt it was important to document them.
There are no visiting hours on Sunday, so I hope that he's better on Monday. He's got to start eating on his own before he can come home.
Friday, August 24, 2007
He was sitting up a little more and was holding his head up longer. I tried to feed him some of the yummy sardines in aspic provided by the critical care center, but that seemed to trigger a hiccuping response. Dr. Armstrong said that he was doing much better, but he would still need at least another week in the hospital. We can visit Saturday morning, but not Sunday.
I scratched under his little chin (kinda hard to do with that big collar around his neck), and he purred for the first time in a week. His eyes are much brighter, too.
Scott came in after I'd been there about ten minutes. He had some quality time with Genji, but then the tattooed technician (I need to find out their names) said that we'd have to leave since an emergency case was coming in.
I left a note for the woman who owns the dogs -- she's been coming by almost every day to check on his progress. She is obviously deeply concerned, and I'm having a hard time reconciling this caring person with the kind of vicious dogs she has. We're really in a quandry, too -- we want compensation for all the vet bills, but we also don't want this dog/these dogs in our neighborhood any more. I would feel just awful if I didn't do anything and the dogs hurt another being -- critter or child. I think the bills are actually now moving out of the realm of small claims court, which complicates things, I'm sure.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We decided to see how Monday went. We visited him and he meowed a few times, but didn't really get up -- although he tried to jump out of the kennel! On Tuesday he was a little worse, and didn't stay awake very long. I wasn't able to get away from the office on Wednesday, but Scott said he was about the same as Tuesday and he did try to knead Scott's arm a little. They said there was a little fluid in his lungs and some necrotic tissue somewhere.
This morning the vet called around 10 a.m. We were expecting her to say that he'd died during the night, but she said he was slightly better, and she was very guardedly optimistic. He still isn't eating, and she said he'll need at least another week in the hospital (assuming things don't get worse.)
I'm taking off work a bit early today to go visit the little guy -- it seems to cheer him up to see us, and I think it will cheer us up to see him doing better.
Monday, August 20, 2007
About 1 a.m. Saturday morning, Scott heard an awful sound and ran outside to find a guy pulling two dogs off our tuxedo cat, Genji in our yard. Scott rushed him to the vet, and he had to have a rear leg amputated. There didn't seem to be any internal organ damage (thank Bast), but when they did an x-ray Saturday afternoon, they found that his bladder had migrated out of the abdominal cavity (there may have been a tear in the muscle, and when the leg was removed, the pressure keeping the bladder in may have been released, allowing the bladder to move.)
They had to do another operation to fix that (they said it was a relatively simple procedure) and also to do a small repair to the muscle of his remaining rear leg. His tail isn't moving they way they'd like it, but that could just be all the anesthesia, and hopefully not nerve damage.
Scott said the guy with the dogs said they would pay for the vet, (they live on our street, 1 block away) and Saturday morning the woman who owned them came by to apologize and again offered to pay for the vet. She said they are kept in her back yard, but escaped. Scott gave me a description of them, and one of them sounds like this dog who was running loose a few months ago who ran toward me growling and snarling fiercely when I stepped onto our carport -- I had to run back into the yard and close the gate and wait until he ran off -- now I feel dumb for not following up on it, but it was something that I'd forgotten by the end of the day. I need to go see if that is the same dog, because if it is, I think the neighborhood has a problem. Scott said that one of the dogs(the one that looks like the one I saw earlier) growled and snarled at HIM when he was trying to help Genji -- in our own yard.
We moved him to a critical care facility (just a couple of blocks from our home), where we were told that the prognosis for such an injury really isn't very good, but if he can make it through the next 48 - 72 hours, he'll most likely recover. When we saw him during visiting hours, he wasn't very responsive at first, but then he put his head up, and he tried to jump out of the kennel. His eyes looked much better than yesterday, as he didn't have that glazed over look, and it seemed that he knew who we were. He was pretty vocal, and it sounded more like, "Please get me out of here!" than "I'm in horrible pain," although I'm sure he is in awful pain. We'll get an update on his condition in the morning.
Even though the dog owners said they'd pay, we're not going to count on it until it happens. (They may not feel like it when we report the dog -- the Austin code has a provision that a dog that has killed or seriously maimed another pet cannot be kept in the city (unless the injured pet was in violation of the code, which I don't think Genji was.) We really anguished over this, since it's such a lot of money, but I really don't want that dog in the neighborhood where he might get out again to injure another pet or even a child.
When Genji was seriously ill with pancreatitis in 1999, we called him "rent payment" when we got the bill. When we got the bill for Saki's trip to the emergency vet earlier this summer (she's fine, now), we called her "mortgage payment. His new nicknames have been escalating now -- we're on "engagement ring," "small used car,"and we may end up with "house down payment" before we're through with this.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
When I say "We," I mean "Mostly Scott!"
We are tearing out our lawn and turning it into a small prairie. The Indian Blanket and coreopsis grew about 3 feet higher than we anticipated due to the rich soil. The plants in the back of this group are over 6 feet tall now.
EDIT: July 20, 2007
The work of Lady Bird Johnson has inspired the design of our yard. Wildflowers aren't just for the highways, y'all!
Friday, March 16, 2007
For some reason, this title bothers me. I can't help but imagine being poked in the side by a particularly insistent acute angle.
Friday, March 02, 2007
After reading the section on kangaroos, I found that my background in biology and anthropology has most likely disqualified me as a career as a baraminologist:
"According to the origins model used by creation scientists, modern kangaroos, like all modern animals, originated in the Middle East and are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood. It has not yet been determined by baraminologists whether kangaroos form a holobaramin with the wallaby, tree-kangaroo, wallaroo, pademelon and quokka, or if all these species are in fact apobaraminic or polybaraminic.
Also according to creation science, after the Flood, kangaroos bred from the Ark passengers migrated to Australia. There is debate whether this migration happened over land -- as Australia was still for a time connected to the Middle East before the supercontinent of Pangea broke apart -- or if they rafted on mats of vegetation torn up by the receding flood waters."
Friday, February 09, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Disorderly Conduct: A UT student reported being approached by an unknown female twice over the course of two days. The student stated that during a recruiting drive, the unknown female began talking to him, then placed her hands on his shoulder continually while they talked about the student organization. The next day, the female attempted to kiss his hands and cheek. The student became offended and told her to stop. After being told to stop the female placed her head within several inches of the student's nether region and explained to him that she would love to hum the National Anthem with a certain part of his body in her mouth. The subject stood up and began showing nude pictures of herself to other students that were standing around watching the events unfold. The unknown female was told to leave. The unknown female began screaming and yelling obscenities, then left the area. The unknown female was described as: White female, 5' 04', slender build, shaved head, and last seen wearing a white dress with multi-colored dots, a long black dress with a fur collar, and a pink hat. Occurred on: 02-02-07, at 1:05 PM.
In anticipation of Valentine's Day, this tale of "wooing":
JESTER WEST DORMITORY
Public Intoxication: UT Police Officers responded to a suspicious person that was harassing one of the residents and was refusing to leave the dormitory. During the investigation, the officers located the subject and observed that the subject was crying. The subject explained that he had broken up with his girlfriend and had driven to Austin to "woo her back." Officers detected a very strong odor of alcohol on the subject's breath and noted ththathat the subject needed the support of the surrounding walls to maintain his balance. As the investigation continued, the subject displayed several clues that indicated he was intoxicated. The subject was taken into custody for Public Intoxication. The subject was being transported to Central Booking. Occurred on: 2-03-07, at 3:10 AM.
This one had better not be one of "my" students (I know some have classes/labs there):
J.J. JAKE PICKLE RESEARCH CENTER
Harassment: A UT student approached the main gate leading onto the research campus and was granted access. Following established protocol, the student was required to sign in. The subject drew his rendition of the male genitalia on the signature line then handed the clipboard back to the UT guard. The guard saw the rendition and was offended. During the investigation, the student explained that he was "just trying to be funny." The staff member declined to file charges, but wanted the student referred to the Dean of Students Office. Occurred on: 02-03-07, at 2:29 AM.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
What a wit she was -- she gave us "Shrub" for goodness sake -- and how fitting a moniker that is.
We lived in the same part of town, and would see her on occasion in Shady Grove or Magnolia, two neighborhood restaurants. We restrained ourselves from running over and asking her to autograph our Texas Observers, but I doubt she would have minded had we done so.
Here are a few quotes, in case you have managed to have missed her wit:
"It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America."
"In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose."
"...Phil Gramm, the senator from Enron..."
"I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle."
and from her last column: "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders and we need to raise hell."
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
I think this was taken by someone I work with. And if not, it still looks exactly like our yard earlier this week.
The city of Austin was pretty much closed down for two days -- so I was looking forward to watching "The Peoples' Court" with Judge Marilyn Milian, but NOOOOO! KXAN had to preempt it both days with their stupid weather report. Those meteorologists have been insufferable since they got their NEXRAD and Doppler systems -- "Oh, look, it's raining on 12th street, and it is heading toward your neighborhood and will be there in 15-20 minutes."
I don't mind being warned about possible weather danger, but do they really need to take an entire hour at 4 p.m.?