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13 March 2000

#5: It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.
-- from RFC1925: "The Twelve Networking Truths", seen recently on Camworld. (See also: Microsoft Exchange)

News for people who have dogs or may be thinking of getting one: Local multinational Ralston Purina has produced litter pans for dogs called "secondnature", coming to stores in May.

  • Litter pans [or boxes] aren't just for cats anymore [sic] [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
    Although the system is not meant to take the place of outdoor exercise, the fact that it can eliminate the need for regular outdoor bathroom breaks opens up all kinds of possibilities, [Purina's head animal trainer Char] Bebiak says. "People who couldn't own dogs before -- senior citizens who aren't as mobile as they once were, people who live in high-rise buildings or in upstairs apartments with a lot of steps to climb -- now can."

    She says that breeders like the litter system, and animal shelters have expressed an interest.

  • OK, here's the scoop on kitty litter for dogs [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
    It's for puppies and dogs under 35 pounds, especially those who live in cities.

    Litter pans will retail for $8 to $20 depending on size (toy, for dogs up to 6 pounds; miniature, for dogs 6 to 16 pounds; standard, for puppies and dogs up to 35 pounds). Litter will be available in 12-pound bags for about $5 and in 25-pound bags for about $10.

This story took up most of the front page of the Post-Dispatch's Everyday (lifestyle, that is) section. Quite the free-advertising coup, eh?

But, so far I haven't found any mention of secondnature (a very 1999-style product name, wouldn't you say?) on Purina's site (and their search facility is broken today...). Gotta work on that marketing coordination...

Purina also has a pretty good site designed to help you pick a dog breed based on size, ease of training, how much exercise it needs, protectiveness, etc.:

If you've received a chain e-mail about surviving a heart attack while alone by coughing regularly(!) (or even if you haven't), you're advised to check this out:

  • How to Survive a Heart Attack []
    The source of information for this article was attributed to ViaHealth Rochester General Hospital. ... We can find no record this was produced by Rochester General Hospital. Furthermore, the medical information listed in the article can not be verified by the medical literature.

It also includes some real advice on what to do if you're having a heart attack.

Well, in the Missouri primary election last week my voting logic went much like michael d. ivey's (March 7 entry):

i ranked the four real candidates, and it looked like this:
  1. bradley
  2. mccain
  3. gore
  4. bush
based on this, i came up the following potential outcomes based on voting for a particular candidate.
  • bush: come november, it's gore-bush. gore wins, which isn't that bad, but i have a vote for bush forever on my conscience.
  • gore: come november, it's gore-bush. gore wins, which isn't that bad, but i have a vote for gore forever on my conscience.
  • bradley: come november, it may actually be bradley-bush. bush would win. might as well not bother getting up in the morning.
  • mccain: come november, it might be mccain-gore. and either way, it's a favorable outcome. the worst that happens is that gore wins, and the best is that mccain does. plus, there may be an interesting campaign.

So I, and at least two other friends I talked to afterwards, voted McCain. So, Bush only won Missouri by 107,450 votes [CNN] instead of 107,453. Oy.

So, now we're down to the really annoying choice I was dreading between Bush and Gore. Neither of these men deserves to be elected president.

The obvious prediction is, smart & lying & smarmy will beat inept & lying & smirky, so it'll be President Gore. Sigh.

Are there any other good candidates out there to back? Anyone? Please? If nothing else, I'd love to be able to vote 'none of the above':

Such an option would prevent politicians from claiming that they've received a mandate when they've really only depressed voter turnout far enough so they could win. (California rejected the proposition [SJ Merc]...oh well.)

McCain wrapups & postmortems:

  • McCain's withdrawal speech [McCain2000]
    As I said throughout the campaign, what is good for my country, is good for my party. Should our party ever abandon this principle, the American people will rightly abandon us, and we will surely slip into the mists of history, deserving the allegiance of none.

  • He'll be back [Salon]
    Suspending his campaign rather than ending it will allow McCain to not only garner federal matching campaign funds to retire any debt, but also to retain control of his delegates -- thus ensuring a presence at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia this summer, and an ability to force a vote on platform issues.

    At the end of his internal and external deliberations, he concluded he had done it his way -- and though he has a few regrets, they are too few to mention.

    On Tuesday, as the results became apparent, NBC's [Maria] Shriver parachuted into his hotel at the Beverly Hilton and demanded an interview. ... According to several witnesses, Shriver got to McCain after his advance man, Lanny Wiles, blocked her path. ... In the process, Shriver's soundman and cameraman accidentally banged their equipment into Bridget McCain, the senator's adopted 8-year-old daughter. Cindy McCain yelled at Shriver. McCain -- caught on camera -- snapped at her to get out of his way. Shriver got great footage -- the irritable, mercurial, bitter McCain getting angry for no discernible reason.

  • The Ride of His Political Life [Washington Post]
    The [Virginia Beach] speech galvanized Christian conservatives, who turned out in large numbers to repel the McCain insurgency in later primaries. But McCain and his aides said they had no regrets about laying down that challenge to the religious right.

    "This is one you had to say," McCain remarked later. To have waited to say what he really believed would have opened him up to charges of hypocrisy, he said.

I really hope McCain doesn't take the VP slot on the ticket if it's offered. That would just be sad. He's said repeatedly that he wouldn't, and I hope he sticks by that.

Documentation of some of the crap Bush pulled:

  • Cancerous Campaigning [Washington Post]
    [Bush's radio] ads denounce John McCain for voting against research funds for breast cancer. But when Mr. Bush was asked if he personally believed that Mr. McCain opposed breast cancer research, he responded, "No, I don't believe that." ... Mr. Bush's admission that even he does not believe his own misinformation shows that individual candidates remain capable of disturbing cynicism.

    The ad says nothing about the reason for Mr. McCain's opposition to some projects: that they did not go through the normal appropriations review process.

Plenty for today, eh? Back later this week, hopefully.

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