Taken in my back yard with a “potato”*. At least one lantana is starting to bloom, which means the hummingbird and butterfly buffet will soon be in full swing.

In Closing: Why doesn’t Johnny just go to broadway and get it over with?; Save Our Post Office; Wingnut screaming about how if we had Russian wiretap laws we could have prevented Boston in 3…2…1…; there just has to be a middle ground between “college for all” (value of a degree for none) and “you are clearly doomed to menial labor because of your race/ethnicity/gender”; the monolithic “left“; dumbass; Compare and Contrast.

* Derogatory term for certain cell phone cameras.

Spring Cleaning Time!

One of the things I like about being involved with projects like Life Well Lived is that it forces me to stretch a little bit out of my comfort zone and write about rather irregular topics: things I otherwise would never dream of writing about. So today’s post won’t be about economics or politics or strange stuff from the news or even funny pictures. Today I’ll be answering a serious question:

What are your favorite spring cleaning tips? Do you have any to add to Alicia’s 10-minutes-or-less list?

Ok, Who’s Alicia? Fair question. Alicia wrote this post on 10 Minute Spring Cleaning Tips. She’s got some interesting points that might work well for a family, but probably aren’t as helpful to people who live alone (or just plain end up doing all the housework themselves for whatever reason).

Ironically, guests at my office meeting this week included a cleaning company, whose advice for Spring Cleaning was simple: Hire us!

Now it’s worth confessing that I don’t do Spring Cleaning beyond opening windows whenever the weather is nice. Nope. The one thing I do that comes close is “Oh nuts we have guests who will be staying with us” cleaning. This involves making sure the guest room is clean with fresh sheets on the bed, putting out towels where guests cannot help but find them, and making sure that bathrooms are squeaky-clean.

I just simply don’t think that saving up the cleaning for Spring is a good idea. Most of the stuff that falls onto the list are things we should be attending to regularly in small doses rather than one marathon session. Sure, sometimes clutter builds up and needs to be swept away. “I can’t find a damn thing in this drawer” is a better excuse to clean a junk drawer than “It’s SPRINGTIME!!” Sane people clean out the fridge when they get home from the grocery store with more stuff, because otherwise the new stuff won’t fit! Sure, sometimes something falls through the cracks and gets forgotten. There’s no need to wait until Spring to take care of it.

In short, if you spent 10 minutes a day doing cleaning and maintenance around your home, you won’t have to make a big deal out of Spring Cleaning: it will already be done.

Shorties Row

Follow Up on Sexting Case: Remember a while back we learned about a Pennsylvania prosecutor who decided to prosecute girls whose pictures had been taken unless they submitted to a re-education class on what it means to be a girl? A judge has ruled that the parents have the right to block the prosecution. No ruling on the fundamental Constitutional issue of not letting anybody see the evidence.

Stick a fork in the airlines, they’re done: TSA official has gone on the record that full body scans will very likely become mandatory for airline passengers, despite the fact that the scanners don’t really do half of what they would like us to think they do towards deterring — let alone preventing — terrorism. That’s over and above the health and privacy issues. Heck, if they want to strip search everybody, just be honest about it.

In Memoriam: There will be a memorial garden in honor of the pets killed by tainted food. Scroll down for information and links on how to donate.

Why do we need Health Insurance Reform to stop this crap?: Fortis (and probably other insurers that just haven’t been caught yet) has been actively trying to find ways to cancel the policies of HIV positive customers. Stopping recission and punitive cancellation should be a simple, 3-5 page bill that should have unanimous support in both houses of Congress (or else), but no! They want to pass a monster-behemoth bill that nobody has read that’s loaded with oodles of political favors.

Hey Mister, Wanna Buy a Factory?: Factory utilization is near an all time low. This means we have lots of currently unused capacity. Pair that with the current unemployment rate and it sounds like an opportunity to make some stuff and get the economy going again. Maybe you could even get a piece of that new $38,000,000,000 jobs bill to do it.

Modest, by Billionaire Standards: Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, makes do in a 5000 square foot home.

Oh, you knew I couldn’t resist giving you some obligatory Health Insurance Reform items: Susie Madrak got to interview Michael Moore, and here’s part of what he had to say. Ok, the bill is supposed to cost roughly $940,000,000,000, but it’s supposed to save $1,300,000,000,000. Did the progressives win anything here? Enh, a little. This is why buying your abortion coverage separately is a terrible idea for every woman. Well, actually it’s only one of several reasons. And thankfully, Grayson’s Medicare-for-Anybody bill is up to 75 co-sponsors. I love the fact that it’s short, and politically difficult to stand against. It gives me hope that some things can be fixed with this turd in the punchbowl of a bill after it gets passed.

Where Health Care Meets the Scandal of the Day: Senator John Ensign’s office “organized a telephone call Wednesday night to thousands of Southern Nevadans represented by Rep. Dina Titus, where he spoke out against the pending health care reform bill and urged his audience to call her about it.” A local political scientist called the move “clumsy”. Rep. Titus, if you hadn’t guessed, is a Democrat, newly elected in 2008. Now, the interesting thing about this is that today, Senator Ensign got subpoenaed by the Department of Justice. Oh, and his wife. His Chief of Staff. His political advisor. A few local businesses. Probably the local power company. And a veritable “who’s who” of local political rainmakers. And they don’t just want stacks of documents, they want people to appear before the Grand Jury at the end of the month.

No Child Left Behind: What the heck went wrong? I mean, other than “better” as a standard, and rules designed to make even good schools fail.

You mean they want the banks to pay up? Crazy Talk!: It so happens that 82 of the roughly 700 banks that got TARP funds aren’t paying the dividends they owe the Feds.

And now, a moment of Spring: how to tell if last year’s seeds are still good.