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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


moonbat150


Home of the Barking Moonbat


 

Saturday, March 12, 2005

laniF repaP: mA I yM s'rehtorB repeeK?

Written backward to safeguard from marauding stneduts.

ecruoS slairetam os raf, srehto ot eb decnuonna yb dim-lirpA:
gniK rehsiF
A tsedoM lasoporP
owT eerf eciohc

Read

1. Seeing the Forest has excellent commentary on Kristoff's so-called critique of The Death of Environmentalism. The essay itself is quite good and very readable, which not all environmental works are. And Seeing the Forest's commntary is short, but on point.

Good for helping focus, esp. for those of us inclined to environmentalism. Which everyone should be, especially at this point in time.

2. Another must-read: Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged News. Kosmopolitans are preparing for action.

Day Ten (?), Garden Journal 2005, con't.

Planted today:

Hyssop
Sage
Creeping Thyme
Passion Flower (using seeds I collected from the naturalized passion flower all over my property)
Narajilla (a stretch, but maybe . . . although probably not, as we freeze in winter)
Edible chrysanthemum
Parsley
Borage

Tonight I start soaking edible nasturtiums, tri-color pole beans, loofah, chard and peas.

Tomorrow, I'll plant some more tomato varieties including Black Tula, Aunt Gertie's and Snowy White Cherry.

This will be the first time in several years I don't plant echinacea. I did plant some yellow coneflowers, but not the same thing! It's possible I may be seeing some of the echinacea the bunny ate (grrrrr) coming back. But maybe not. In any case, I'm going to have to wait til next year to start it again, as I already have too, too much started already and not enough garden patches ready. The excess plants, I may pot up and try to sell at a store down the road. Maybe.

But maybe not.

Day Ten (?), Garden Journal 2005

God, I'm just freaking exhausted again. I was unable to sleep last night thanks to my sleeping spree Thursday night. Now I remember why I don't oversleep.

Okay, so yesterday I planted a lantana montevidensis (?) out front in the old military ammunition box that I painted a year ago much to the horror of my cowboy neighbors. The box has three sections and is the only thing I felt safe putting mint into (given how invasive the stuff is). I had pinks from my granny's garden in the middle section but pulled them because the mint's sure enough spreading.

Someone gave me the lantana months ago. It's a different variety than I'm used to --- usually I don't like the stuff because it's so freaking invasive, as bad as mint. But supposedly this variety spreads only minimally. Plus it has lovely purple flowers, unlike the red and yellow flowers of the ordinary lantana.

I also moved my giant Boston ferns outside onto the front porch which, like most everything else I do, caused shockwaves of horror through the community (what the hell??? what the hell else does that woman have in there???).

Although the guy at the feedstore informed me yesterday that people think I'm A-Okay. From the sounds of it, if they didn't, I would have been robbed and stolen and thieved blind and harrassed and shot at and generally driven half mad til they got me out of here. You got to remember, they're all related to the sheriff and I'm not.

Actually, from what I can gather, the rumor is I'm a pothead. :=D Which I'm not. Although truth is, as far as I can figure, most everyone else here is. I'm pretty sure they think I'm a pothead because I'm such a space case. Which makes me easily startled. I think what sealed my fate in terms of my reputation was when the first round of runaway chickens were here and I was walking around front while some neighbors were driving by and I ran right into a big old rooster which caused me to scream and jump straight up in the air (as did the rooster) which led to all the neighbors laughing at me.

Didn't help that these same neighbors who are very chatty also saw me do the same thing only a few months earlier at my first sight of a big old leopard toad.

I did a bunch more gardening stuff yesterday but I can't remember any of it, thanks to my pitiful lack of sleep last night.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Debt purgatory for life

A Kosmopolitan has posted the transcript from today's The Wall Street Journal This Morning here. Note that he's done so with the permission of WSJ, so it's doubtful you'll find this anywhere else.

The transcript concerns the effects of the bankruptcy bill, and includes some pretty grim warnings and predictions:


[...] Under this new bill, about 80 percent [of bankruptcies] will be Chapter 13's, where people would be strung along in what I call debt purgatory for the rest of their lives.

[...]

you're paying your debts for a very long period of time. You're not being relieved of them, you're just stretching out over a long period of time how you repay them.

[...]

about 90 percent of bankruptcy filings result from either large medical bills, divorce or loss of a job


There are other links at this post to the stories in NYT and elsewhere which decry the disaster this bill is.

Let me tell you a personal story which ought to give you some idea of why you should be scared out of your gourd by what's going on with the economy and with all this legislation.

My sister and I sold a house we co-owned last fall. I essentially forced her to sell because I was (and am) so freaked out by the economy and the political landscape.

The fellow who bought the house was (heavy emphasis on was) a millionaire. Transplant rom Dallas, doing some real estate speculating in Oklahoma. I figured he was well set to take the house on, although I knew it was one of three he'd bought over the past two years. I figured he could handle the taxes, which now (thanks to Bushonomics) are around $3K for the house, that he could handle the repairs, etc.

Apparently not. Because the market has gotten so bad, he's not even trying to sell it. Insead, he's trying to rent (which ain't gonna happen, I can promise you). He made it through not even 1/4 of the renovations on the place and ran out of money.

A millionaire with the line of credit from hell has run out of money.

You're not seeing this kind of stuff in the MSM. But it's a sign, a bad one.

And the bankruptcy and other legislation is for the sole purpose of CC companies and similar protecting their asses when it all caves in.

People, cut up those credit cards, get your debt paid, whatever. I just went today and started the process of protecting my place through Homestead Exemption. If you have those kinds of options available, do it NOW.

And buy seeds. Now. Before they, too, become priced like gold.

Sleep, Finance, Household Repair

Today is the first day of Spring Break, at least for me.

I celebrated by collapsing sometime around 7-8 p.m. last night and waking up just an hour or so ago. I'm a heavily sleep dependent person --- always have been, likely always will be. And I was starting to get pretty exhausted, which I was starting to take out on my negligent students, which is, of course, somewhat of a no no at least in professional circles. "If you haven't been here all semester, you need to drop the class now" which led to one girl bursting into hysterical sobbing and wailing for the rest of class. "Those of you who've been going to the computer labs 30 minutes before class to churn out your assignments need to be aware there's a real horse race going in this class and you're getting left behind in the dust" which caused all kinds of frantic outbursts and denials and protests from the very students doing this.

Etc.

Our campus is small and I went straight to my boss and told her I was doing this and she was thrilled. Which was a relief but didn't particularly salve my guilty conscience, given my optimistic nature and my sick belief that life is more like a path through dancing daisies and singing cows than the vale of tears which of course is why I'm always being accused of not being a very realistic person.

One reason I like teaching at this place is because it's like a private college for poorly educated rural kids, and I'm not particularly bound by all the rules and regulations and red tape and all that of the huge schools. Still, it's always difficult for me to tell students how the cow ate the cabbage.

The break will be spent on financial stuff and repairing that *&%) leak in the one bathroom and shit, I hate calling plumbers esp. since the only advice I've gotten from locals is it's a potluck, they're all pretty good but don't call Kenzie, he'll take your money and you'll never see him again!

And of course sleeping and reading and building gardens and maybe even taking my little power saw and cutting down some trees which ought to cause complete outrage in a community where no one worth their salt ever leaves the house without tossing a chainsaw or two in the back of the truck.

Someday I'll tell you all about the time a big wind blew through and knocked over one of my giant hickories into the middle of the road which caused the first traffic jam in the history of the community --- five freaking trucks backed up out front --- especially as the outlet for the road a curvy mile or so down was also blocked off by a tree blown over by the big wind. The situation was solved within moments as two guys jumped out of their respective trucks with chainsaws and promptly cut that sucker up and another guy showed up with a huge trailer to haul that nice hickory off til I realized what he was doing and he stopped. There's a reason that bozo is considered the richest guy around. I then paid the guys with the chainsaws for their efforts with nice loads of hickory wood and the rest of the wood was traded for various things over the next year.

I'm so glad it's spring.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Schiavo, again

You know, I'm writing about Near Death Experiences in part because I find them fascinating and have some personal experience with them.

I'm also writing about them because I'm sick to death (?) of living in a culture which is so death-phobic that it denies the existence or possibility of death in every possible way.

And I believe this death-phobia is one of the primary motivations for our gross neglect of the elderly and the very young, our refusal to face the facts about Iraq, our determination to remain Ever Young, our dreary obsession with gratuitous violence and blood and guts via film and video and game and whatever, our bizarre healthcare system, etc etc etc etc.

I also believe this death-phobia leads us to perpetuate some of the grossest cruelties and inhumanities and injustices imaginable, including the refusal to allow Terri Schiavo to simply die.

Whatever, the debate over Terri Schiavo is heating up again, and fortunately, there's some fairly intelligent discussion out there about it, including a rundown on the supposed *doctors* hired by Schiavo's parents to keep her alive. Working from this post at Alas, a Blog, Majikthise (again) grabs the ball and runs with it.

If you have any interest in this case, read this. I knew the *doctors* involved were pretty iffy, but this is the first time I've seen the evidence all in one place. Check it out.

Iron Blog

Majikthise vs. The Between on "Objective Journalism".

Check it out. Two completely different writing styles, both well worth reading.

Day Eight, Garden Journal 2005

DANG!!!! EVERYTHING'S SPROUTING!

Looks like it's going to be a bumper crop year. I've never had 100% germination before. Says quite a bit for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and NoThyme.

And I took cuttings off the peculiar bamboo-like gigantic plants that have beautiful purple flowers that the hummingbirds and honeybees love. And they're growing roots. That's a relief. Looks like I can just repropagate them every year, instead of dragging around those (&%%&& gigantic 75 pound + pots they're in.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Near Death Experiences, Part IV

When my father was dying, there was very manner of ghost and goblin and corpse lying about hither and yon, sitting in chairs, going through the closets, whatever. Now I didn't see them, but my dad would tell me about them and motion with his eyes their exact location.

"There's a dead body over there."

"Oh my! Where?" I would ask.

He'd motion with his eyes and I'd peek over into the corner. Of course, I'd see nothing but my dad would give a knowing nod.

Every once in a while, I'd ask who they were. "Who is it, do you know?" And he'd never answer, always shrugging instead, trying to pretend he wasn't the least bit interested in the dead body. But he always was and I'd catch him keeping a close eye on the body or bodies while pretending to do something else.

I first realized we were headed into the realm of Dying one afternoon in mid-September. I'd spent the day teaching and doing coursework for that (&%$%*&^ PhD (may those people NOT rest in peace). I was commuting a 90 mile trup each way, so I could also take care of my dad, and I'd just driven in. The news that day was mixed. My dad had finally quit speaking Spanish, much to everyone's relief. Unfortunately, he'd switched to German which he actually knew (unlike Spanish).

See, both of my grandmothers were very fond of marriage and had a number of husbands. One was German, although we were carefully instructed to call him Pennsylvania Dutch.

It was from this grandfather that my dad learned German.

Mind you, I don't know a word of German. Well, a little. But nothing to write home about.

In any case, I showed up at the hospital and everyone was happy that he'd finally stopped speaking Spanish (???), but the nurses pulled me aside and warned me that, although he was no longer speaking Spanish, he was now speaking gibberish.

I went to his bed and sat down next to him. He greeted me in German and began reciting poetry in German. Needless to say, I didn't understand a word but I was able to excuse myself for a moment ("can you hang on for just one second, I have to go pee!" I think was the excuse), and I slipped out to the nurses' station to inform them that no, it's not gibberish, it's German.

Which as far as they were concerned was the same as gibberish.

I was really enjoying the German. He was telling stories and reciting poetry and making scientific sounding exclamations.

Then suddenly he whispered for me to look! and motioned with his eyes to the end of the bed.

I looked. I saw nothing. But I said "Aha! Hmmm. Well, what about that!"

He whispered "There's a troll down there!" and gave me that knowing look.

I don't remember much more of that evening except that he was being exceptionally charming and entertaining, but was leery of the troll.

Some hours later, the real descent began.

It wasn't that he was in pain. It wasn't that anything physical really happened to him.

But it was as if this carefully constructed equilibrium he'd been able to maintain suddenly went haywire. It was like watching someone being sucked into an invisible whirlpool, except that they weren't actually spinning --- but that's the only way I know to describe it.

He had a few moments of clarity before he went, and was screaming at me "Are you going to be okay?" I said yes, yes, I'm going to be okay. "Are you girls going to be okay?" Yes, yes, we'll be okay, don't worry about us, just do what you need to do.

The troll was the first sign. After this point, there wasn't a day that passed that the dead weren't among us. Sometimes, it was the Shawnee. Sometimes, it was his sister and his little brother who'd died years and years before. Every once in a while, his mother was there. And all kinds of old friends, long departed, were dropping by.

My mother was never clearly identified as one of the visitors. But my parents were profoundly private people. So it's my suspicion she was there and my dad simply considered it none of our business.

These kinds of experiences are common among the dying and have even been named Near Death Awareness. I am profoundly grateful we never tried to shut him up or get his mind off all the bodies and ghosts and goblins. He would switch easily between us and them, and i could usually tell what they were doing by where my dad's eyes were.

Day Seven, Garden Journal 2005

The Lion's Ear and Sorrel are already sprouting.

Monday --- or was it Tuesday? --- I started Heavenly Blue Morning Glories (old seeds, so not sure they'll come up) and Marvel of Peru. The Birdhouse Gourds are still soaking, and I'll start soaking the nasturtiums, loofah and pole beans tonight.

The new grape vines are budding. Yikes! Because it's still too early to plant them! And the new elderberries have bushed out like no one's business. Our last freeze date isn't until April, but it should be safe to put them out in a couple of weeks.

I went ahead and created entryway pots (for the front walk that I built out of bricks and pavers when I first moved in) with the yellow tea rose I got on sale a year ago and some jasmine. Both pots also got pinks --- I have tons of pinks that came originally from one of my grandmother's gardens. Cool, huh! And sage.

The jasmine will go in the ground as soon as I get new fencing --- I'll be putting a trellis over the front gate, and plant the jasmine there to grow over the trellis.

Also got the strawberries planted in large pots, and have been preparing their outdoor bed --- it needs a LOT of work, as last year's crop pretty well wore that soil out.

The Bloodsuckers

To the question [Would] the private accounts and annuities under Bush's... Social Security privatization plan {...} be vulnerable to attachment by creditors, thereby opening up a new source of equity to the credit card industry, after they have sucked out all your blood?

The answer appears to be yes.

And I wouldn't be so sure about your nice little 401(k)s, people.

Welcome to the Owned by the Credit Card Industry Society.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tuesday Afternoon Snark

I followed a link on another site (Pandagon --- sorry, but I'm too freaking lazy to get the URL for you people) to a rant by a seeming professor on the disturbing habit his students have of running out to potty (or whatever) during class.

The professor was appalled by the lack of "whatever" which has led to this epidemic of students having to tinkle, (or whatever).

My feelings on the subject: if all my students would simply go potty and never return, I wouldn't have to do any ($%^^& grading.

Let 'em potty. In fact, if they don't go potty on their own, I may just kick all of them out. And I certainly don't want them returning.

On a similar note, I participated in a survey yesterday about my "feelings" about student plagiarism. Except plagiarism was phrased as "textual" ownership". Gag.

The survey droned on about threshholds and crossing them and the "opportunities" presented by plagiarism and "plagiarism" as inevitable in the course of "learning" and "immanence" and whatnot.

Excuse me? When was the last time any of these people were actually in FRONT a classroom populated by actual students?

And how the hell does all this psychologizing address the very real phenomenon of students downloading entire essays from the internet?

I made the mistake of taking a few grad level courses in education during my PhD program. I came as close as I've ever come to just shooting myself. It was as bad as this, with one exception: the professor who informed us at the end of the semester that virtually all the theorists we had read had NEVER TAUGHT A DAY IN THEIR LIVES.

I am sick to death of people who have NEVER even BEEN in front of a classroom or TRIED to actually HELP students to learn coming up with all their precious theories and delicate sensitivities and poo-pooing psychologies.

I dare them to come into a class and psychologize the discovery that a good quarter of papers done as a major assignment had been downloaded directly from the Internet.

These jackasses wouldn't last a day.

Call it the Sharecropper Society, the Debt-Peonage Society, Whatever

Warren Buffet sounded the alarm a few days ago, and now Krugman adds his two cents in this NYT op-ed.

Really, people, if you haven't cut up the credit cards, you're just asking for trouble. Krugman notes the bankruptcy bill was written by and for credit card people --- I suppose, however, if that doesn't send up warning flares for you, nothing will.

The bill also raises the bar on bankruptcies, although the majority of bankruptcies arise from personal misfortune.

You know, I'm really disgusted by the support these measures are getting not only from the wingnuts, but from doctors. I was lurking on some medical blogs over the weekend, and there were all kinds of sneering attitudes toward those stupid enough to come down with debilitating illness or have a child with one. I also know a number of doctors in this state voted for Bush, simply because they're all in such a tizzy over the possibility that they might have to deal with the misfortunes of other without the screening of thir accountants.

My dad was a doctor. But he never flapped into the realm of self-satisfied "well, it's their own fault if they're too stupid to not have good insurance or to get sick". In fact, due to his own medical conditions (early heart attack and blind in one eye), he never really hit the jackpot like the caricatured doctors of film and legend, and had a pretty good personal understanding of what it's like to be poor and sick. I also remember numerous instances of him leaving the house because someone had cut their arm off or someone down the street had fallen down the stairs or someone over there had contracted meningitis or whatever.

He didn't call his accountant first. He also relied on his own knowledge. And he never believed the drug companies. Unheard of! No doubt, the current batch of doctors would have him branded heretic and tossed from the AMA.

So I'm biased by a belief that we should not be penalized by the chance misfortunes of life. Furthermore, people who decide to become doctors choose a life of service to others, which includes a willingness to look misfortune straight in the eye, without the assistance of their accountants and lawyers.

Don't like that idea? Think being a doctor means getting to buy that $300,000 flat at the age of 28? My, how far we have fallen in such a very short time.

Finally, my entire family was thrown for a loop a year or so ago by the discovery that one of my nieces has a genetic disorder classified as "rare and expensive" --- it has to do with her body's ability to synthesize certain aminos. She's already racked up a good $100K or so in medical bills, and gets to start her life in the most financially precarious position imaginable in this country. The likelihood is she will go through repeated hospitalizations and her chances of requiring a kidney transplant are very high.

Is this her fault? We never even knew we were carriers for this disorder. So she should be penalized for knowledge we never had, for daring to have been born less than perfect?

She should become the prey of usurers??

[...] over the past three decades the lives of ordinary Americans have become steadily less secure, and their chances of plunging from the middle class into acute poverty ever larger. Job stability has declined; spells of unemployment, when they happen, last longer; fewer workers receive health insurance from their employers; fewer workers have guaranteed pensions.

Some of these changes are the result of a changing economy. But the underlying economic trends have been reinforced by an ideologically driven effort to strip away the protections the government used to provide.

[...]

Warren Buffett recently made headlines by saying America is more likely to turn into a "sharecroppers' society" than an "ownership society." But I think the right term is a "debt peonage" society - after the system, prevalent in the post-Civil War South, in which debtors were forced to work for their creditors. The bankruptcy bill won't get us back to those bad old days all by itself, but it's a significant step in that direction.


Shame on everyone supporting these changes. And that includes you, doctors!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Award Winning Monday Night Snarking

The Best Snark of the Evening



From Clairetoothloose:
Just a little ho hum in Oklahoma Blog Land. The best thing by far was the story over at Library Stories about the Seattle Library. Over at Dustbury if you go down to the thing he posted called More in Store I asked him how
to pronounce de rigueur and he cleared that up for me. It's really amazing how many people in Oklahoma know their french. And how much they know about the french. Hence, all the french jokes and joking about Europeans because, truly, I've always noticed how, I guess the word is "cosmopolitan" and "refined" Oklahomans are. And, I, frankly, don't think this is brought up enough. Happily, we have people like the guy over at UnixDude who brings this home, fast and furious as he says something today about a "steaming pile of euroweenie babble" and wants me to go read something, but, sadly, I don't want to go anywhere he's going. I'd like to thank him/her anyway for the delightful picture on top of his thing of the cowboy who has just tied up the donkey with rope and looks like he's going to hit him with the letter W that must stand for something but I can't think what. He also talks about something his Aunt Minnie just sent him, which I read part of but didn't find particularly interesting. Something about something about The Bill of Rights which I didn't really want to read, fearful that it might segue into something about Freedom of Speech. It's hard to imagine that there might be someone left who hasn't figured out that The Bill of Rights applies in special cases and not in others (usually having something to do with the amount of money you have ask the Indians and people related to people who used to be owned by other people and worked on plantations) and that Freedom of Speech would apply to certain people but evidently not to the Vice President of the United States who evidently can say an awfully bad word on the Senate Floor and later remark on television that he felt better for it. I'm not sure, but that leads me to believe that certain people who don't have power and/or money have to be more careful in their speech than people who don't have power and/or money. This gets very close to that thing that says These are the Golden Rules. Those who have the Gold make the Rules. I'm having a hard time with why some people hold the Bill of Rights and the Constitution sacred when it would seem they are suspended and manipulated from time to time and whenever an explanation has been given to me (when I used to inquire about that with a naive question like, I thought Congress had to declare war?, or I thought somebody said all men are created equal?) has never been particularly satisfying. That's why I, like Ferdinand, sit under a tree and smell the flowers, sad that people refer to The Founding Fathers when need be, but ignore them at other times willy nilly, just like that. Sad, but happy, knowing that the word for flower is fleur in French (a lovely sounding word I just love saying, just like Mr. Cheney has his f word I have mine), and happy that some people think that french fries actually have something to do with something French and happy that Renoir isn't here to see this and happy that someone who leads our country hasn't (yet) started commenting on Renoir, Monet, Cezanne and perhaps my favorite, Pissaro. Happy that Monet had that wonderful house, wonderful garden and He(that's a reverential He reserved for Monet) didn't have to explain why he painted waterlillies to someone who makes fun of the French, calls his(not Monet's) Secretary of State, "Condi" and, I believe, nicknamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pootie Poo.

Near Death Experiences: Memo

My copy of Tibetan Book of the Dead arrived today, along with a companion book, Luminous Emptiness.

As soon as I feel like I have some idea what they're talking about, I'll be back to posting about NDEs --- as well as Nearing Death Awareness, which I only first heard about a day or so ago. I went through a couple of months of Nearing Death Awareness with my dad.

I also want to point out I'm doodling around with the blogroll. In essence, anyone who gets more than 100,000 hits a day is getting the boot --- which means Kos and Talking Points Memo are now gone. :=D I haven't stopped reading them, it's just time to use their space for new blogs.

I'm adding some more obscure blogs, as well, and some new ones, like NewsRant, a new blog by journalism profs at OU, and The Next Hurrah by Kos regular front-pagers Meteor Blades, Plutonium Page and others.

So ... so there's that. I'm off to read for the night.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

And then of course, there's that little problem of the war room

If you don't know about this, check it out. Bush has set up a warm room for Social Security, and it's in the Treasury Department.

We are so fucked. We are so completely fucked. They're determined to bankrupt us.

Buy seeds, people.

Warren Buffet's naipotsyD Vision: Sharecropper Society

Sorry for backward words but I'm still hiding from students.

In today's Herald-Times, Buffet lays it on the line:

"There are deep-rooted structural problems that will cause America to continue to run a huge current-account deficit unless trade policies either change materially or the dollar declines to a degree that could prove unsettling to financial markets," he said.

If nothing is done, he said, the United States will continue to transfer ownership of assets to foreigners to finance American overconsumption. Americans, he said, will eventually "chafe at the idea of perpetually paying tribute to their creditors and owners abroad."

"A country that is now aspiring to an 'Ownership Society' will not find happiness in - and I'll use hyperbole here for emphasis - a 'Sharecropper's Society.' But that's precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us."


One of the most troubling issues is just how much of this is beyond our control. So, as individuals, we're going to have to do CYA.

Cut up those credit cards, people!

Asperger's

For years, I've thought my entire family had Asperger's.

I've thought this because we are all so embarrassingly naive --- we also all have very strange and extreme talents in very particular areas, and are obsessive about whatever we do, tending to get completely lost.

We're terrible space cases. All of us. The classic Absent Minded Professor types.

Complicating matters is that we all are hypersensitive --- my eyesight, for example, is that kind where I can see closer and further than most people (making me a good Indian scout). We have a number of food insensitivities and odd intolerances and allergies. We're all on weird diets --- I'm combo no wheat - low carb, while my oldest brother is no wheat, no eggs, no nuts or strawberries, etc. Etc. Etc.

My sister, who actually knows about these things because of her work, has tried many times to tell me we're not --- we're odd and definitely space cases and naifs, but not Asperger's.

In any case, while reading about Asperger's on another site, I found a quiz which tests for basic attributes of Asperger's.

From the site, this warning: The characteristics portrayed in these questions are some that a person on the autistic spectrum MAY have. No one has all of them. You can also have some of them without being autistic. Many are shared with those who have, for example, TS, ADHD or dyslexia - or who are just sensitive, creative or original in general.

I failed the test. I'm not Asperger's and scored so far below the cut-off that it's not even a possibility. I'm much too social and empathetic, much too messy and much too opposed to regimentation.

It's an interesting test, however, and provides a tiny opportunity to look into the life of someone with Asperger's.