Spain on maximum alert

Spain’s security forces are on maximum alert for the 50th anniversary of the armed Basque group ETA, blamed for bombings that killed two police officers and injured scores of people this week.

ETA was founded on July 31, 1959, and has killed more than 825 people since beginning its violent campaign for an independent Basque state in 1968.

Spanish authorities closed all ports and airports on the island, a popular holiday destination, for several hours after the booby-trap bomb detonated under the officers’ vehicle outside a barracks in the coastal town of Palmanova. Carlos Saenz de Tejada Garcia and Diego Salva Lesaun were killed yesterday by ETA.
The attack in Mallorca came a day after 64 people were wounded in a car bomb outside a police barracks in northern Spain which authorities blamed on ETA.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday that security forces are ordered “to be on maximum alert … to increase even more their efforts and to protect themselves from these vile murderers.”

Spain ETA Explosion

Appraisals

Another fiscal year ended May 31’st and I had to appraise my work and to receive appraisal from my superior. I am constantly appraising my work, not on a daily basis but quite often. But when you have to really put it on paper, that’s when you realize you’ve done a hell of a lot. And when you have the confirmation from someone who is monitoring your activity that, indeed, you’ve done a great job, that’s really rewarding.
My overall rating is Exceeds Expectations. Outstanding would be “too” perfect and there is no such thing, as it could imply a lot of other things, like salary raise or promotion. Besides, there is always room for improvement.

Car bomb in Spain destroys police barracks

A powerful car bomb destroyed a police barracks housing officers and their families in northern Spain today, injuring about 60 people and causing major damage in the surrounding area. The attack was blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA.
ETA did not phone in a warning as it typically does before most attacks, so authorities had no time to evacuate the 14-story building in Burgos.
There were around 120 people in the barracks and surrounding buildings, a third of them children, when the explosion went off at 4 a.m.
Officials expressed surprise no one was killed in the blast, which blew off much of the barracks’ facade. Nearby residential dwellings had their windows and some walls blown in by the force of the explosion.
The bomb left a crater that filled with water from broken underground pipes and hurled the van that carried it about 230 feet (70 meters) away.

ETA has killed more than 825 people since it launched a campaign in 1968 for an independent homeland in Basque region of northern Spain.

Burgos, a regional capital, contains a historic city center and major tourist attractions in a province bordering the Basque region.

It was ETA’s eighth attack this year, further proof the militant group is still an active force despite major police crackdowns in Spain and France. Spain’s government claims after each ETA arrest, including those of many leaders, that the group has been decapitated, but the attacks have continued.

Spain Car Bomb

Family finds missing dog 10 months after Hurricane Ike

Daizy, a 4-year-old Blue Lacy, is a survivor. For 10 months after Hurricane Ike, she was missing. Now, she’s home again with the Bauer family in Clear Lake.
The hurricane blew down Joe and Kathy Bauer’s back fence, so they took Daizy and her Blue Lacy companion, Hank, to the Pet Palace in Webster for boarding until they could get the fence repaired.
“We ended up getting a call at 10 a.m. saying the dogs were gone. Both of ‘em,” said Joe Bauer.

The owners of the Pet Palace tell 11 News the two dogs dislocated a metal guillotine-style doggy door, worked their way through the initial set of gates of their outside run, then destroyed a section of chain link gate in the facility’s inner yard. They escaped through a 4- to 6-foot iron fence at the perimeter of the Pet Palace property.

They found Hank that same day wandering in a wooded area behind the boarding kennel, but Daizy was gone.

“The kids would ask when it was freezing cold, when we had the snow, when we had thunderstorms, they would say, ‘Where is Daizy? What do you think she’s doing? Is she OK?’” said Bauer.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of her thinking we abandoned her,” said Kathy Bauer. “I just couldn’t live with that.”

They traveled throughout the Clear Lake, Webster and Pasadena areas responding to reports of possible sightings. But for 10 months, Daizy stayed missing.

Last week, the family received the news they had been waiting for. Two of the Bauers’ friends said they were positive they’d seen Daizy wandering in a wooded area along a power line easement in Webster, less than a mile away from the kennel where she was last seen, back in September.

With Hank leading the way, Joe went searching for Daizy and found her, just as their friends had promised. But after months on her own, apparently fending for herself, she was too skittish and nervously ran away.

Last Thursday night, Kathy made the trip with them. Neighbors reported seeing the dog emerge late at night from the wooded area through a break in a fence at the end of a cul-de-sac. Neighbors had become accustomed to leaving food out for her. She would make her rounds then disappear back into the woods at daybreak.
This time, Kathy called to Daizy and gave their familiar family whistle. The dog bolted right toward her.

“She sat and lifted her paw for a handshake like she always would. Then she started whimpering,” said Kathy, who admitted she was whimpering a bit, too.

“I was in the middle of the street at 11:45 at night crying and thanking the Lord. It was a wonderful, wonderful reunion.”

The Blue Lacy is the official state dog breed of Texas. The breed was developed in the Texas Hill Country and is reportedly a mix of Greyhound, scent hound and coyote. It’s a breed that dog experts predict would be able to fend well for itself if lost or abandoned. And now, although still at times a bit shy and nervous around strangers after her 10 month solo ordeal, Daizy is back at home with the rest of the Bauer pack.

“When you have a bond with an animal like that and you know how strong-willed she is, you just don’t give up,” said Kathy.

Iron Man 2

Filming for Iron Man 2 finished last week but thousands of fans got their first sneak peek at the star-studded new cast members this weekend at the Comic-Con convention.

Ten months before “Iron Man 2” hits movie theaters in May 2010, fans saw Robert Downey Jr.’s industrialist-turned-playboy superhero Tony Stark working alone and considering another request to join forces with Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

In the brief footage, Mickey Rourke (villain Ivan Vanko/Whiplash) shows off his electrical suit with dual whiplash action, Don Cheadle employs a quick quip to address the change of actors for Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, and a red-haired Scarlett Johansson brings Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) to life.

“Iron Man” turned Downey Jr. into an unexpected action movie hero in 2008 and made an impressive $585 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of the most successful Marvel comics film franchises.

I liked the first part. The special effects are phenomenal.
We used to have a poster of Iron Man in the office, as Oracle was co-promoting the movie.

http://www.oracle.com/marvel/index.html

My Sister’s Keeper

The subject is interesting but dangerous. I mean, OK, you would do anything to save you child. Anything but within some limits. The science has come a long way but there’s another aspect to keep in mind, humanity. You cannot think about the possibility to “produce” another child in a test-tube that would be a perfect match as a donor for the kid with leukemia. Sara (Cameron Diaz) will try anything to save Kate, and she has a new baby Anna, to be used as a donor for Kate. The first thing they use is blood from the umbilical cord for Kate. As years go on, the doctors must take bone marrow from Anna to give to Kate. At age 11, the next thing Anna must give to her sister is a kidney. Anna has had enough of all of these medical procedures, and she decides to sue her parents for medical emancipation and the right to decide how her body will be used. The whole family is being torn apart by Anna’s decision because everyone knows what will happen to Kate if she doesn’t get a new kidney.
But Anna, she is a child also and she is healthy. You cannot think of her as an walking organ base only. She is not marginalized or something like that, but I have a problem with the “project” from the start.
Suffering Kate confesses to Anna, “I’m sorry I let them hurt you… I was supposed to protect you.”
Cameron Diaz takes a serious turn with this role. Jason Patric is the open and understanding father and Alec Baldwin is good comic relief, playing a lawyer so cocky, he sued God.

My new HP HDX 16t

September 5’th is the day I’ll see my brand new customizable notebook. We will meet in New York and I will instantly fall in love with it. It’s in the making right know but it will be there waiting when I’ll set foot in JFK. I will let it in his box for some hours as I plan to take over the streets of Manhattan from the first night.
I am posting some pics, took by other owners until I come back, but not alone…

hp

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