Thoughts Gallery June 2002
June 1
Image of the Day
Kris, Erin, and I hauled a truck load of rocks from Georgetown down to my property.  Hopefully we gathered enough to finish the koi pond we are going to build. The soil is full or small rocks and roots so the digging process will take some time in this dry, hard soil.
June 2
Image of the Day
Nothing is better on a nice hot day, than relaxing in the cold water of a pool.  After cleaning the Erin's parents pool of sawdust for a few minutes we relaxed until fully prunned. 
Hmmm... now which point of this building do we want to protect from people.  Well now we know what the aerial view of this would look like if someone other than the press were allowed to fly over.
June 3
Image of the Day
Saw the movie 'Sum of All Fears' tongiht, after eating a nice relaxing dinner of mexican food at Trudy's with Erin.  The plot line was interactive with a healthy mix of character development.  Although the aftermath scenes of the nuclear bomb explosion left much to be desired.  There was only one main animation scenes showing the effects, with a minor animated aftermath scene.  I found the overexposed effects and screen shots with dust and smoke lacking to depict a nuclear bomb explosion. In the end I would have to rate this movie a 8/10.
June 4
Image of the Day
I met with my structural engineer today to asses getting a revised letter guaranteeing the slab to cover the cantalever and additional third story weight load.  Everything calculated out correctly and hopefully this will be enough to make the city  inspectors happy.
June 5
My Dream Castle
June 6
Image of the Day
Nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn to meet an appointment to find out it has changed.  The cable people have a shorter time block though, they can tell me (1pm-5pm) verses an all day open call for the city inspectors.
June 7
Image of the Day
"Bruce," a giant goldfish, also known as a Red Oranda, which currently measures 40 cms (15.7 inches), is lifted at a fish farm in China's southern city of Dongguan.  Bruce, as big as a domestic cat, has clinched a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest goldfish and is about to take up ambassadorial duties, his Hong Kong breeder said.
June 8
Image of the Day
Today I secured some of the wiring and cabling around the house. Visited Home Depot to make a list of items I need to get for all the plumbing issues.
June 9
Image of the Day
Erin & I spent a few hours today in the extrememly humid, and hot weather digging up the new sewage line. We uncovered about half the line, a few feet on either side of all the joints.  We ended up exhausted from digging in the wet mud from the rains the previous night  I finished covering the pipes with insulation that were on an outside wall, and placed the water heater cent seal in place.  Hopefully things will go well with the inspection tomorrow.
June 10
Image of the Day
The inspector came and went and we had a different inspector this time.  He wants the entire sewage line digged up completely.  Hopefully things will go better with the next inspection.
June 11
Image of the Day
My office had some free bbq for lunch today.  We helped the downtown Pokejo's get twice the space for the same amount of rent. Nothing like the aromas of freshly cooked meat in you office all afternoon. We claimed one of Ashley's dogs after they chewed a hole in her A/C ducts underneath her house.  We have named him nacho, for his looks and orange and brown stripped coat.  They slept inside overnight, and kept us up all night. 
June 12
Image of the Day
My contractor Jerry and two of his assistants showed up to work this morning.  I didn't know whether I was dreaming or to handcuff him to my house to keep him working.  During my lunchbreak back at my duplex I talked with the new framers some to see their labor costs and check on the developments. Hopefully the dogs won't mind some cooler space in the utility room while the facia is getting replaced.
June 13
Image of the Day
As I spent the afternoon in my house backing from the lack of air conditioning, I was amased to see how well paid unknowledgeable people are.  I had more electrical knowledge than this air conditioner repairman.  The repairman spent 7 hours working on my unit and left with it still not working.  The framers didn't show up today.  I think they broke their compressor yesterday in their haste to get off work for the day.  The inspector failed the site again, I'm going to call him to discover how to resolve some of these issues.
British Satellite Enthusiast Watches NATO Spy Pix 
LONDON - A British satellite enthusiast has discovered that anyone can tune in live to U.S. spy plane photo transmissions over the Balkans. John Locker said the freely available pictures by both manned spy planes and drones can pinpoint a location to within six feet.  "It's frightening -- I am amazed," he told Reuters on Thursday. "Even before September 11, this is not the sort of stuff that should be shown openly." 
        Locker said he had spent the last seven months alerting NATO and U.S. military commanders about the free availability of the pictures but just met with the answer: "So What?"  NATO said it was not concerned about any possible security breaches but American officials said plans were in hand to encrypt the data. Locker, who picked up the broadcast from the Telstar satellite over Brazil at home on his satellite dish, stressed he was not tapping into anything.  "This is not an intercept," he said. "I am not a hacker -- this is free to air programming." "I would question if this could put troops at risk on the ground. Those pictures are within real time of three seconds," he said. "It is just stunning."  He said pictures he has seen covered military exercises on the ground in Macedonia and further north in the Sarajevo area in Bosnia.  Clearly visible were troops on the ground, armored personnel carriers and a helicopter whizzing underneath the camera. 
        Viewers tuning into the satellite this week were reported to have been able to watch a security alert around the U.S. Army's headquarters at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. Last week, the spy plane provided airborne surveillance for a heavily protected patrol on the Macedonian- Kosovo border near Skopje. Locker said: "What I suspect is that they are using military satellite capacity for Afghanistanas their top priority. As that capacity runs out, they may be using a commercial satellite as a backup." Locker is a freelance journalist who writes for satellite communications magazines. 
        "We can see dozens of satellites in the sky," he said. "This just happened to pop up on one of the satellites last November. It appeared to me to be of military origin." The pictures have been broadcast through a satellite over Brazil. Clips from the feed, which are not encrypted, have been transmitted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on their Web site, 
        Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon ( news - web sites)'s Defense Policy Board, told the BBC plans were now in hand to encrypt the data.  "We have discovered in the period since September 11 how important this sort of real-time intelligence is," he said. "Now we are making much better use of this kind of information and it will make sense to encrypt it in the future."  "There are plans to encrypt this data." Asked to comment on the broadcasts, a NATO spokesman in Brussels told Reuters: "This is a U.S. issue. We are aware of it but it is not new. 
        "It was a decision made by the United States to treat this imagery as unclassified material and to put it on a commercial satellite...This is a decision they made and we are content that they are following appropriate levels of security."  Major Bill Bigelow, a spokesman for the U.S. European Command in Germany, said the images did not constitute intelligence. "Raw information such as that video does not mean intelligence," he said. "Intelligence means analysis of data that comes from many different sources." 
June 14
Image of the Day
My electrician came by this morning and we fixed the air conditioner, I could be a electrician apprentice. 
Bush's Police State Kicks Into Gear 
NEW YORK - It can happen to you.  The jackbooted thugs can arrest you without bothering to accuse you of a crime. They can deprive you
of the right to make a phone call, to receive a visit from your family, or even to see a lawyer. It doesn't matter if you're innocent or not; our state-sanctioned terrorists can keep you locked up in prison for the
rest of your life without ever granting you your day in court. 
       But you're an American citizen, you protest. It makes no difference whatsoever-you have no rights.  After cynically using the September 11th attacks as a pretext to eradicate one civil liberty after another,
the Bush Administration has finally taken away the single most essential freedom of an American citizen: the right to due process before a jury of his peers. Classifying 31-year-old Chicagoan Jose Padilla as an Al Qaeda associate and enemy combatant, Attorney General John Ashcroft authorized his transfer from a federal courthouse in New York City, where he had been held as a "material witness" on a customs violation since May 8th, to indefinite military detention at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station in South Carolina. 
        Though not legally charged, Padilla, who changed his name to Abdullah al-Mujahir after converting to Islam, is accused of planning to build and detonate a non-nuclear "dirty" radioactive bomb, possibly in
Washington, D.C. Government officials concede that they have no physical evidence against Padilla-bomb components, manuals, etc.-. Their case, they admit, relies primarily on information from star canary Abu Zubaydah, an unsavory Al Qaeda operative whose Guantánamo debriefing sparked last month's flurry of warnings from Tom Ridge. Justice Department officials, an anonymous official told The New York Times on June 12th, "concluded that they could not bring a winnable court prosecution, largely because the evidence against [Padilla] was derived from intelligence sources and other witnesses the government cannot or will not produce in court." So much for the right to face your accuser. 
        Padilla theoretically faces prosecution under a military tribunal. (Back in November, Bush had promised that tribunals would only be used against foreigners.) But Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that even such kangaroo court justice is probably a long way off: "We're not interested in trying him at this moment." Some officials say that detainees like Padilla and those being held in the Guantánamo dog pens need not be tried until the end of the "war on terror"-which could, according to Bush himself, go on forever. 
        America may well be a safer place because Jose Padilla has been "disappeared," in the lexicon of Latin American death squads. But the manner in which this American has been stripped of his citizenship rights-to a lawyer, to a speedy trial, to apply for bail-is reminiscent of such totalitarian states as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. What the Bushies are doing to Padilla is an outrage-and it could happen to any of us. 
        The legal basis for this action is a twisted joke. "Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts, are enemy belligerents," ruled the Supreme Court in a precedent-setting case in 1942. The United States, however, is not at war. Congress has not declared war against the Taliban or anyone else. And while Padilla may indeed have plotted hostile acts at the behest of Al Qaeda, no one accuses him of belonging to the Taliban army. How could they? The Bushies denied P.O.W. status under the Geneva
conventions to Guantánamo inmates by arguing that the Taliban never had an army. 
        The war on terror, like the war on drugs, isn't a state of combat. It's an advertising slogan. The bombing campaign against Afghanistan is, at most, a police action. And while there are undoubtedly organizations like Al Qaeda that hate the U.S. and mean harm to Americans, there is no legal basis for denaturalizing Americans merely because they're accused of belonging to such groups. 
        Ironically, this vile assault on essential American rights comes on the heels of what seems to be a previous Bush Administration abuse of Padilla's rights-he was jailed in New York for a month without being charged with a crime. Ruling in a different case, New York federal judge Shira Scheindlin recently wrote that "Relying on the material witness statute to detain people who are presumed innocent under our Constitution in order to prevent potential crimes is an illegitimate use of the statute." That ruling may have inspired Padilla's transfer to the South Carolina military lock-up. 
        You're probably not all that troubled about what happened to Padilla. You haven't hung out with Islamic extremists, boned up on your bomb-making skills or fantasized about Chernobylizing the Washington Mall. But don't forget: a court of law hasn't proved that Jose Padilla did either. And if George W. Bush has his way, it never will. 
June 15
Image of the Day
Alaska, No Longer So Frigid, Starts to Crack, Burn and Sag 
ANCHOR POINT, Alaska, To live in Alaska when the average temperature has risen about seven degrees over the last 30 years means learning to cope with a landscape that can sink, catch fire or
break apart in the turn of a season.  In the village of Shishmaref, on the Chukchi Sea just south of the Arctic Circle, it means high water eating away so many houses and buildings that people will vote next month on moving the entire village inland. 
        In Barrow, the northernmost city in North America, it means coping with mosquitoes in a place where they once were nonexistent, and rescuing hunters trapped on breakaway ice at a time of year when such things once were unheard of. From Fairbanks to the north, where wildfires have been burning off and on since mid-May, it means living with hydraulic jacks to keep houses from slouching and buckling on foundations that used to be frozen all year. Permafrost, they say, is no longer permanent. 
        Here on the Kenai Peninsula, a recreation wonderland a few hours' drive from Anchorage, it means living in a four-million-acre spruce forest that has been killed by beetles, the largest loss of trees to insects ever recorded in North America, federal officials say. Government scientists tied the event to rising temperatures, which allow the beetles to reproduce at twice their normal rate. 
        In Alaska, rising temperatures, whether caused by greenhouse gas emissions or nature in a prolonged mood swing, are not a topic of debate or an abstraction. Mean temperatures have risen by 5 degrees in summer and 10 degrees in winter since the 1970's, federal officials say. These problems will cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars, he said. Scientists have been charting shrinking glaciers and warming seas in Alaska for some time. But only recently have experts started to focus on what the warming means to the people who live in Alaska. 
        The social costs of higher temperatures have been mostly negative, people here say. The Bush administration report, which was drafted by the Environmental Protection Agency, also found few positives to Alaska's thermal rise. But it said climate change would bring a longer growing season and open ice-free seas in the Arctic for shipping. "There can no longer be any doubt that major changes in the climate have occurred in recent decades in the region, with visible and measurable consequences," the government concluded in the report to the United Nations last month.
        It does not take much to find those consequences in a state with 40 percent of the nation's surface water and 63 percent of its wetlands.
Here on the Kenai Peninsula, a forest nearly twice the size of Yellowstone National Park is in the last phases of a graphic death. Century-old spruce trees stand silvered and cinnamon-colored as they bleed sap. A sign at Anchor River Recreation Area near this little town poses a question many tourists have been asking, "What's up with all the dead spruce trees on the Kenai Peninsula?" The population of spruce bark beetles, which have long fed on these evergreen trees, exploded as temperatures rose, foresters now say. 
        Mr. Perletti, an insurance agent, said some insurers no longer sold fire policies to Kenai Peninsula homeowners in some areas surrounded by dead spruce. Other forests, farther north, appear to be sinking or drowning as melting permafrost forces water up. Alaskans have taken to calling the phenomenon "drunken trees."  For villages that hug the shores of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, melting ice is the enemy. Sea ice off the Alaskan coast has retreated by 14 percent since 1978, and thinned by 40 percent since the mid-1960's, the federal report says. Climate models predict that Alaska temperatures will continue to rise over this century, by up to 18 degrees. 
        The people who manage the state's largest piece of infrastructure the 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline have also had to adjust to rising temperatures. Engineers responsible for the pipeline, which
carries about a million barrels of oil a day and generates 17 percent of the nation's oil production, have grown increasingly concerned that melting permafrost could make unstable the 400 or so miles of pipeline above ground. As a result, new supports have been put in, some moored more than 70-feet underground. North of Fairbanks, roads have buckled, telephone poles have started to tilt, and homeowners have learned to live in houses that are more than a few bubbles off plumb. Everyone, it seems, has a story.  "We're experiencing indisputable climate warming. The positive changes from this take a long time, but the negative changes are happening real fast."
June 16
Image of the Day
Erin and I spent the day over in Houston.  We drove over there to see my parents for father's day and my mothers's birthday on saturday.  We exchanged presents, as my birthday is approaching in a few days on the 19th.  After eating to full meals, I returned home stuffed and with a big bag of pumpkin cookies to enjoy.  My spoils also included a huge picture frmae wall that my dad didn't want from last christmas, he wouldn't even let me take it out of the box to show it to him.
Man Raises Tiny Cows as Pets 
ROCKWELL, Iowa - Dustin Pillard is betting his farm on compact cows. Pillard has 50 tiny cows on his northern Iowa farm, all about 3 feet tall. He's hoping they'll catch on as pets, and so far inquiries have come in from as far as Europe, Mexico and Argentina. "I like them," said Pillard, 30. "If nobody else does, that doesn't really bother me. We're breeding just for the novelty end of it." The smallest full-grown animal is a 3-year-old bull that's 33 inches tall and weighs 320 pounds. The largest, a mature bull, is 35 inches tall and 400 pounds. Pillard thinks interest for the cattle, which start at about $1,000, is growing. And the more people know, the more interest he sees. "If they saw a rodeo bull that was only three feet tall, I'd think they'd have to have one. That's our hope, anyway."
June 17
Image of the Day
Snake handler Peter Morningstar has his brow bitten by a 7 kilogram (15.5 pound), 3 meter (10 feet) long carpet snake during a photo shoot for a newspaper in Brisbane, Australia,  after Morningstar removed the snake from a roof of a house. Reptile lover Morningstar has been bitten by non-venomous snakes before and this time the snake bit off more than it could chew leaving only small puncture marks on Morningstar's face. 
June 18
Image of the Day
The framers returned to work again today. They finished the front roof overhang, the toe kicks for both landing areas, frames off the kitchen A/C duct work, and secured some studs in the landing area of the second floor.  Meanwhile the A/C installers relocated the heater exhaust vent over 4 feet, so it is not 9 feet away from the vertical wall to please the inspector.
I woke up this morning feeling the same age, not to old, not to young. Today I turned 26, a fifth of the way through life.  I met with Jerry this morning to walk the roof and estimate how much needed to be fixed. We estimates about 400 SF needs to be redone based on soft spots and creases in the shingles.  I woke up today and received my first gift, a nice little soccer ball for my car.  I got eight different slices of cake at work, as to give me a variety of non-chocolate cakes to choose from, in addition to a cute card and a $100 bill.  I finally unpacked the presents from my parents last weekend from the car.  Erin gave me a birdhouse condo I've had my eyes on for a while, but would always admire from a distance.  She painted each birdhouse seperatly and names a few of them.  I was treated to a nice steak at Texas Land & Cattle with some friends and family. Here's the beach I wish I could have been at instead of being up at work.  Instead all I had was my hawaiian shirt.
June 20
Image of the Day
The framers installed the french doors today and one of the roof turbines.  My boss's birthday was today, so we took Doug to PfChang's for lunch.  We had CCI buy him a sony digital camcorder that was like $1400, gotto love those corporate write-offs.
This was part of the entertainment Memorial Day weekend in Devil's Cove on Lake Travis. The kid forgot to put the plug in, once he realized that his boat had taken on a lot of water, he panicked, his friends untied the boat, he started it, gunned it, rammed another boat, knocked a hole in his hull and it sunk so fast by the time we got to the camera this is all that was left. A little more drama unfolded when they attempted to tie the sinking boat to another boat to keep it from going all the way down. We just about got to see 2 boats bite it. They feverishly cut the rope with a knife when they discovered the one was just going to get drug down with the other. As rumor has it, insurance is calling it driver error and will not cover the $100,000 35 ft Baja boat and to put icing on the cake, he is being fined $1000 to $10000 a day that the boat sits on the bottom of the lake. Poor Bastard! 
June 21
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Where will the sell off this character icon to. I wonder what he will be selling next time we seen him in ads.  Spent a relaxing evening at home, fell asleep watching a movie in bed.
June 22 
Image of the Day
Kris, Erin, and I saw the movie Minority Report this evening...  Theatre seats seem to be so different in each theatre.  Theese seats were to close together and didn't recline, so you  were almost stepping on the person below you when sitting.  I like the detailed plotline of the movie, although it reminded me of the movie Blade.  Similiar concepts of some of the action scenes and choreography.  Still I would rate this movie a 9/10 for it's unique storyline and twists throughout the movie. However the longers previews and full-length advertisements before a movie are starting to detract from the overall movie experience.
June 23
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Kris, Erin , and I spent several hours today digging up the new sewage line that runs through both back yards.  After about 3 hours of digging we were exhausted.  I bought 10 italian cypress trees to plant along the property line adjacent to the 6-plex in the Unit A backyard. Eventually they should grow tall enough to act as a barrier and make the view a little more appealing.  We put the new hardware on the french doors that were installed last week. To relax in the evening we saw the new Disney movie Lilo & Stitch.  I was suprised that Disney would make sucha a movie.  It had a non-traditional storyline and would rate it a 8.5/10.  The use of watercolors, looks more realistic in scenes than just simple computer animation.
June 24
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Scholars Expect Pledge Ruling Reversal
SAN FRANCISCO- A federal appeals court panel drew outrage from across the political spectrum by ruling that it is
unconstitutuional for classrooms to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but the decision may not last for long. Some legal scholars say the ruling will likely either be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court or reversed by the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
        Wednesday's ruling was in response to an atheist's bid to keep his second-grade daughter from being exposed to religion in school. In a 2-1 decision in favor of Michael Newdow, the panel took issue with the words "under God" in the pledge.
Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin said leading schoolchildren in a pledge that says the United States is "one nation under God" is as objectionable as making them say "we are a nation `under Jesus,' a nation `under Vishnu,' a nation `under Zeus,' or a nation `under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion."
        President Bush found the ruling "ridiculous." Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., called it "just nuts." Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said it was "political correctness run amok."  "The Supreme Court itself begins each of its sessions with the phrase `God save the United States and this honorable court,'" said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. "The Declaration of Independence refers to God or to the Creator four different times. Congress begins each session of the Congress each day with a prayer, and of course our currency says, `In God We Trust."
               The panel said President Eisenhower alluded to the religious aspects of the pledge on June 14, 1954, when he signed the insertion of the phrase "under God" into law.  "Millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty," Eisenhower said.
               Dissenting Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez, appointed by the first President Bush, chided the decision by Goodwin, a Nixon appointee, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Carter. Under "Newdow's theory of our Constitution, accepted by my colleagues today, we will soon find ourselves prohibited from using our album of patriotic songs in many public settings," Fernandez wrote.   '"God Bless America' and 'America the Beautiful' will be gone for sure, and while use of the first and second stanzas of the 'Star Spangled Banner' will still be permissible, we will be precluded from straying into the third," he added. Fernandez said the same logic would apply to using "In God We Trust" on the nation's currency.
               Bond, the Missouri senator, had similar complaints.  "Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves. This is the worst kind of political correctness run amok," Bond said. "What's next? Will the courts now strip 'so help me God' from the pledge taken by new presidents?"  Congress approved the change to the pledge at the height of the Cold War after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic men's service organization. Americans deluged Congress with mail supporting the change, and religious leaders said the United States' pledge should be different from that of communist countries.
               The court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has said students cannot hold religious invocations at graduations and cannot be compelled to recite the pledge. But the appeals panel went a step further, ruling the Constitution protects students who don't believe in a monotheistic deity from even having to make an "unacceptable choice between participating and protesting."  The government had argued that the religious content of "one nation under God" is minimal, but the appellate court said the phrase can reasonably be seen by atheists or believers in certain non-Judeo-Christian religions as an attempt "to enforce a `religious orthodoxy' of monotheism."
               In other school-related religious cases, the high court has said that schools cannot post the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. In March, a federal appeals court ruled that Ohio's motto, "With God, all things are possible," is constitutional and is not an endorsement of Christianity even though it quotes the words of Jesus.
June 25
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It turns out I will have to replace a big section of the rear second roof in order to get rid of the leaks I've been having whenever it rains. I have to fix a broken window in the front on my house that was accidently broken. 
Farmers decorate square-shaped watermelons with ribbons before shipping them to an agricultural cooperative in Zentsuji, western Japan.  The watermelons, developed to save spapce in refrigerators, are priced at a whopping 10,000 yen (US$80) each. Some 450 to 500 watermelons will be sent to department stores and other places in Tokyo and Osaka - for display rather than eating.
June 26
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We received some much needed rains this evening, as we are 10" beihind in rain for the year.
Baby born next to cash registers at Wal-Mart 
ALBANY, Georgia - Shenna Williams was feeling labor pains, but she and her mother thought they had plenty of time to buy a disposable camera at Wal-Mart before going to the hospital.
While her mother, Katherine Williams, was in the store looking for the camera, Shenna's pain increased. "I heard someone scream out. I said 'Lord, that's my child,'" Katherine Williams .
By the time she reached the front of the store, her daughter was on a bench by the cash registers preparing for birth.
Shenna said she managed to stay calm. "I just thought, 'I'm fixin' to be a mama now, I can't be scared,'" she said. Michael Jerrod Williams was born at 6:15 a.m. Saturday and greeted by shoppers and store employees. Several recorded the event with disposable cameras.  "It's still all everybody's talking about," assistant manager Retha Simpson said. "Especially the ones that were working and saw the actual birth. It's still big news." The store donated gifts, and Shenna named night manager Adrian Wright as godfather.
June 27
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I signed away another piece of myself to get the roof fixed today.  I've switches to dealing directly with the framers and cutting my previous framing contractor Jerry out of the loop as much as possible.  He essenitally just provides some of the materials and labor costs to the new framing crew.  After watching the home improvements shows on tv, it seems like an unfortunate appropriate task. 
A melted car in the community of Overgaard, Arizona sits abandoned, after the Rodeo-Chediski wildfire swept through the town. Firefighters said weather was the wild card as they struggled to corral a massive blaze that has scorched hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) of land and threatens this small mountain community.
June 28
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Hmmm.... well here's the target individuals for the terrosists we here so much about these days.  We had our annual investor party tonight as Demi-Epicurious.  This was a much better environment than Sullivan's, although the new restaurant staff are still getting organized.  Afterwards Erin's car broke down several times. Our intern ryan jumped the car and we made it over to congress and cesar chavez before it died again.  Afer watching a horse carriage pass us, and getting a bus honking at us, Erin's parents towed us to a parking lot so we could go buy a battery.  The car was running enough to drive it to the Ford dealership to trade in for a Ford Explorer, for which papers we had signed ealier in the day.
G8 leaders pose at Kananaskis, Canada June 26, 2002. Left to right are Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, U.S. President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of the EU Council and European Commission President Romano Prodi.
June 29
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Breed of Fish Able to Live on Land
There's a breed fish that has wildlife officials in our area concerned.  This fish is something out of science fiction, with a hungry appetite, sharp teeth, and the ability to live on land.  Anglers say the species from China may look cute when they're young, but the Northern Snakehead, also known as Frankenfish, is a breed that grows up to three feet long, sprouts extended fins and waddles away, living out of water for up to three days.  
      You might call it a real-life Jaws, only smaller. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is on the hunt for a Chinese Northern Snakehead fish. We're told it's a freakish, non-stop eating machine. It has officials making some dire predictions if it's not killed first.  The hunting ground is a pond in Anne Arundel County. In fact, wanted posters have gone up for the dreaded fish, which can get across land with its fins, and even live out of water.  The Chinese Northern Snakehead is as long as an adult arm. It has the head of a snake, and the jaws of a piranha. Somewhere out there in a pond in Crofton, Maryland that looks like the setting from The Creature from the Black
 Lagoon is a monster fish from another land. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants the Snakehead or Snakeheads dead not alive.
                    "It's out there, it's eating fish. We don't know how that will disturb the ecosystem," says Jill Stevenson of the Maryland DNR. The Chinese Snakehead's African cousins are popular with aquarium fans. A rudimentary lung allows them to breathe air. They can actually crawl on land for three or four days, and the big ones have voracious appetites.  Pet store employee Matt Tyler says, "They're pretty nasty. We sell large feeder goldfish for them, and people feed them 20 at a time."   The biggest fear for biologists is that there is more than one snakehead out there. The fear is they'll breed and crawl into the nearby Little Patient River and onto the Chesapeake Bay doing all kinds of
damage along the way.  Biologists suspect the Snakehead is a refugee from an Asian food market. The fish is reportedly a delicacy in many Asian countries. The nation's most respected Biologist on the species is recommending the entire pond be poisoned, killing everything in it to keep the Snakehead from spreading. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it will only do that as a last resort
June 30
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The Israeli army has released a photograph of a toddler dressed as a suicide bomber that it says was discovered in a Palestinian militant's house in the West Bank city of Hebron. The authenticity of the photograph could not be verified, but its publication in Israeli newspapers triggered a new war of words between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.