We have cable again! I learned something from the cable guy today, the wisdom of whom I shall pass along to you. You know those coaxial cables that come with VCRs (the black ones) that you don’t need to screw in, you just push in? They have weak shielding that allows interference on channels 17-22 (the frequency of which is used for ambulances and police). So if you like your channels clean, don’t use them.

Did anybody see that weak, alarmist news article in the past 10 days or so about the return of bedbugs?

Speaking of news: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California proposed cutbacks in therapy for the mentally disabled and in AIDS and poverty programs. Administration officials let it be known that President Bush has decided to back down and repeal his illegal tariffs on foreign steel in order to avoid a trade war with Europe and Japan. President Bush showed up in Iraq for Thanksgiving wearing an Army tracksuit; Bush stayed in the country for two and a half hours, the same amount of time spent by President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam, in 1966. It was revealed that the Queen of England often eats cornflakes for breakfast out of a Tupperware container and that Prince Andrew loves to play jokes on the servants, especially by hiding a puppet called Monkey in a different place every day. U.S. forces fought a major battle with guerrillas in Samarra and killed up to 54 Iraqis; American officials said the casualties were members of the Fedayeen but local residents said that most were civilians who fought back in self-defense. Neil Bush, the president’s brother, has admitted to enjoying the sexual favors of strange women who simply knocked on his door while he was visiting Thailand; Bush said he didn’t know whether the women were prostitutes but noted that they did not ask for money. Georgia’s new rulers, who overthrew Eduard Shevardnadze because they were tired of living in one of the most corrupt nations on earth, began hiring their friends and relatives for important government positions. The Bush Administration approved a research project to develop low-yield bunker-busting nuclear weapons, or “mini-nukes.” American security consultants were using Iraqi guerrillas to test nonstandard “limited-penetration” ammunition that punctures steel but shatters when it hits “soft targets” and creates untreatable wounds. Advanced Digital Solutions announced that it has developed a system to use subdermal implants to make credit-card payments using radio frequency identification, or RFID. Privacy advocates were not amused: “If we establish a robust credit-card network based on RFID chips implanted under the skin,” said one, “we are also creating the infrastructure for potential government surveillance.” A Wal-Mart shopper in Orange City, Florida, was trampled and knocked unconscious during a stampede at a Wal-Mart Supercenter; the stampede occurred at the 6 a.m. opening of a big sale. The victim, who was first in line, was found clutching a DVD player. [The sale offered $29 DVD players. One of the stampeders was heard to say “I’d kill for one of these!”-T] Astronauts on board the international space station reported hearing a weird noise, and scientists figured out how to make trees grow faster. Researchers in Australia were preparing to test a new ultra-convenient female contraceptive spray, and infectious-disease experts suggested that Alexander the Great died of West Nile fever. A serial horse rapist was on the loose in Bigfork, Montana.

Where is Georgia (the country)?