Fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy

Venezuela chastises U.S. for its handling of Posada. CIA-sponsored terrorist gets bail and house detention, while Arab men caught up in the eternal "war on terror" are jailed indefinitely without charges and flown secretly to other countries to be tortured.

Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American States accused Washington on Wednesday of protecting alleged terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, drawing a sharp reply from the lead U.S. diplomat at the session.

Nelson Pineda, Venezuela's envoy to the OAS, said Posada is believed to have ''planned or carried out'' terrorist acts in 20 of the hemisphere's 35 nations, including Cuba, Venezuela and the United States.

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments

This is for the people of the sun

Back from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo this afternoon. Had a 3-hour delay getting out of Houston due to ridiculous amounts of fog but thankfully no problems returning. ZIH is a tiny airport where you walk out on the airfield, and checked baggage has to be inspected manually since they don't have a huge million dollar X-ray machine at their disposal. Gotta lay off the meat consumption for a bit. Yikes. Lots of sun, sand, and skin as well as friendly Mexicans. The Spanish lessons were very useful, and now I am inspired to practice it back here whenever I get a chance. Time to play with attention-starved kitties.

Interestingly, T-Mobile prepaid works fine in Ixtapa (picked up MX MoviStar network) although I doubt that inbound calls will ring through.  Roaming rates apply, however, and the cost of a 1-minute call is $1.49.

Filed under: Travel No Comments

I got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane

Woke up at 2:30 am today. I had actually dreamt about a gargantuan nest egg, which left me thinking about all the things I have in store for the next big experiment: retirement. Books I want to write and other grand aspirations. Usually, dry itchy skin wakes me up in the middle of the night. In this case, I was sitting on $2B (maybe it was just $2M) of unrealized capital gains.

So I'm thinking in bed, and this, of course, is never conducive to falling asleep. One of the consultants I work with is fond of saying, "There's plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead." My unspoken retort to this is, "If I don't get enough sleep, I'll go to an early grave." This guy gets up insanely early to run, and he completed a marathon not long ago. Two of my less athletic colleagues, on the other hand, regularly get to work at 6:00 am, and I get the impression that they get 5-6 hours of sleep. I'm convinced I can pull that off, too. I get up just after 3:00, and incredibly, BK is already up and hunting what turns out to be a small roach. Squish. Brushed and spent quality time with both cats. The best way to start the day. Gonna do an early morning workout (possibly the first one in a year as I had to switch to evening exercise when I started this job) and then make breakfast. Maybe get some reading in. Then hit the grocery store for fruit and yogurt before getting into the office super early. 3:40. Time for push-ups.

Whoa. Been composing comments on news blogs, and it is now well after 5:00. Guess I'll skip reading a book this morning. Less than 5 hours of sleep for me. Should be an interesting day.

Filed under: Pets, Sleep/Dreams 2 Comments

Immoral war

Guantánamo Detainees Stage Hunger Strike. Still a disgrace to our country and the principles on which it was founded.

Because reporters are prevented from speaking with detainees or visiting most of their cell blocks, it is difficult to verify the conflicting accounts.

Hunger strikes have been part of life at Guantánamo almost since the detention center opened in January 2002.

Army Is Cracking Down on Deserters. Chopping off your finger to quit is a good sign that this may not be the best career choice.

Army prosecutions of desertion and other unauthorized absences have risen sharply in the last four years, resulting in thousands more negative discharges and prison time for both junior soldiers and combat-tested veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army records show.

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The danger of paperless credit card statements

A while back, one of the credit card companies offered a small reward for switching to paperless statements. Looking forward to sparing a few trees while easily storing statements electronically instead of scanning them, I accepted the offer. Driven by that same desire to be environment-friendly, I later repeated this for my main card. Fortunately, I review payments in Quicken regularly because this month I nearly forgot to pay a large bill. That is not like me at all, but I quickly realized how this happened. When the last monthly statement reminder arrived in email, I stashed it in my to-do folder and promptly forgot about it. Given that most people are not nearly so organized, I couldn't help suspecting that an increase in late payments (and fees) is an intentional benefit of offering paperless statements.