Monday, December 22, 2008

The (not so) Many Faces of Josh


These pictures are the collage of my 9 year old Josh. This is the closest I can find to Josh actually smiling a little more naturally. Most often, when the camera shows up, he puts on a smile, but it looks much more like a grimmace. His looks seem to be more like his grandpa, my dad. The big huge Adam's apple that shows ever so prominently, only furthers his likeness to grandpa. So does the appearance here, of him spacing off slightly.



And here, you'll notice that the expression on his face didn't change much. It seems as though he came out of "space world" and is actually looking at the camera. But hey, no grimmace! YAY! Now if I can just get him to stay out of space world in school we won't get notes from his teacher saying he is missing a work packet! He tends to excel at those subjects he likes, the rest be damned. Who knows, he may be the world's greatest idea man later in life, so it may not be an issue!



And this look here is Classic Josh. He too has a great vibrancy for life. This smile might mean he is happy, he might be amused, or he is contemplating attacking me. And trust me...it appears to be a glare off his glasses, but that is most definitely an excited twinkle from his eye.
It used to be easy to manhandle him with one arm when he gets the itch to tangle with me. However he is getting stronger by the day. It now takes both hands to contain this package of pure energy. I'm still working on the focusing thing. He flails wildly, occasionally landing a good solid hit on me when we wrestle, but due to his lack of focus, and want to jump and twist around like some sort of cartoon ninja on crack, I still have the upperhand overall. I only pray I can keep it....otherwise "Evil Buggy" will plot my demise and Josh will execute the plan. Well, maybe. Josh is stubborn like his mother and I both, yes he got it from both sides, so it actually quadrupled its effects. Josh likes to be the leader, whether he has any knowledge or credibility amongst whoever he is with at any given time. So he may just be the one to plot it, and use Buggy to help him hide my body, if only to be the leadership of everything in his realm!

The Many Faces Of Buggy


The true face of Corwyn, aka Buggy, once his mother leaves the house. I think at times, this boy was brought into the world with one sole purpose: To love his mommy, lavish her with praise randomly, take her side no matter what, and to make my life way more, how should I put it...it interesting. This face is known officially as "Evil Buggy". He is surely plotting something right now.


Here is the Buggy that most people see. Cute, innocent, and a normal going-on-5-year-old. He has a huge vibrancy for life and learning how to do things. Then everyone leaves and he is left alone with me....as if on cue, return to the first picture. It would be comical to me, except for the fact that I fear for my life. The boy has a penchant for licking me as a fighting mechanism. He once left peanut butter on my arm as a reminder that he owns me, and that his tongue is a peanut butter magnet. This picture is also known as "Normal Buggy".



And then you have this look. I'm not even sure how to explain this one. It has differnet meanings. The first and foremost is probably "look, my eyeballs are big!!"
The second is probably the look he gives his mother after she hears me shrieking like a girl in response to his disgusting lickathons on me. As if he is saying "What? I don't know what Daddy is talking about. You mean licking is not good? Look, I'm not even 5 yet...and I'm cute. Feed me!" Clearly he is just using this in his arsenal of childhood to throw people off his real path (see picture 1). I really feel I better put the message out into the world, before he devises new ways to torture, and eventually, eradicate me from the living.

Seriously though, Corwyn is a very photogenic child, and he knows it. As soon as a camera shows up, he is always finding a way to entertain the viewer of the ensuing photo. AND....his birthday is December 24th. Your poll question here is: Do I gip him for his birthday or Christmas? LMAO

Monday, December 8, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged by Helen Losse

RULE ONE, I have to grab one of the books closest to me, go to page 56, type the fifth line and the next two to five lines that follow.

RULE TWO, I have to pick five people who love books and who could receive the Bookworm award with honor.

**

...when he was hired that he did not particularly care about having a regular day off as long as he had permission to attend all public hangings. It was common to see Ayer and his wife and girls riding along the center strip of Commonwealth Avenue. Ayer rode until he was well into his nineties and thought nothing of chopping wood for exercise.

From the Book, Patton: A Genius For War, p. 56

I will tag Godfather, SWFreedomlover, Jed Burns, Brother Peacemaker, Scott Erb

Saturday, December 6, 2008

TRUE AMERICAN HERO COMES HOME!!

Walking Arsenal of Kung Fu Death Arrives!!


Well, its been 22 years in the making, and the dream has finally come to fruition!



That's right, GI JOE has arrived to the Mookified Compound! And not just any GI JOE, But....



Yes, that's right! The awesomeness of Kung Fu Grip!!! The specs on this awesome warriorare as follows
Code Name: Desert Wolf
Special Training: Desert Survival Techniques
Weapons Proficiency: Long Range Rifle, Grenade Launcher
Tactics: Desert Camouflage
Background: Covert Operations in arid regions around the world.

So yes, now, THANK YOU TO BARB, AKA QUEEN ESTHA OF DELVANIA....I now have my very own, very much coveted, GI Joe (with the kung fu grip). It's pure awesomeness even excited my two boys who quickly latched onto the ACTION FIGURE (not a friggin doll) with their eyes. They were quickly informed that the GI JOE (with the kung fu grip) is DADDY'S!!!

It took a LOT of work to get these pictures, as my wife is the camera proficient one in the family, and the only one who knows how to transfer the pictures to the computer, edit them, and all that good stuff. She threatened to not take the pictures or upload them into the computer, if she ever had to hear me whine again about my GI JOE (with the kung fu grip). Eventually she capitulated. I'd like to think that my using the blog as propoganda against her, showing her to be a real American Hero-hating, terrorist sympathizer was what tipped the scales, but I'm sure she'd disagree. But I now have to be careful about ever mentioning GI JOE (with the kung fu grip) around her....she just may decide to kidnap this elite warrior and make him disappear forever. I don't think she's aware of his awesome arsenal of weapons he has at hand, as well as the power of the mighty kung fu grip he comes equipped with. But, I don't want to tempt fate. But YOU CAN!!!! Comment the crap out of this blog, repeatedly mentioning GI JOE (with the kung fu grip), as well as comment bomb her with mention of it.....yes, a multi front war of electronic information (type and photos) would be a true show of support to GI JOOOOEEEE- AMERICAN HEROOOOO!

Friday, December 5, 2008

An Update From The Colonel




From The Desk Of:

Col. Beauregard Sterling Lovell, Mookified Army, Feline Brigade, Commanding

Well, it has been awhile since we last updated all you humans on the state of affairs within the feline world. We have, as most of you know, completely and totally eradicated the terrorist fleas in our protracted War On Pests ('07-'08)

With the weather getting colder by the minute, our other small enemy forces have died off. Besides that, catching flies and eating them became a rather dull activity to pass the time.

Christmas is coming up and the General's wife put up the annual Christmas tree, complete with their stupid decorations. I like to call this thing, The Curiosity That Almost Killed The Cat. I have successfully attacked candy canes and random artificial tree branches, and managed to escape prior to a swift death blow from the wife.

Fecal matter manufacturing production rates have gone down for unknown reasons. We have engaged ourselves in a fiber intake exercise by eating cardboard boxes, random pieces of paper, and other such items in order to keep the General from getting into a slower relaxed routine when it comes to cleaning my catbox out. Recently, the General's youngest son, Private Bug The Terrible had out a Santa Clause Coloring Book. I ate part of it, right along the spine, essentially dissembling the books structural integrity. Served the little punk right. He's always harassing me anyways.

After many instances of psychosis from the child factors running rampantly about the place, I have taken to luring the general and his wife into a false sense of security. I cuddle up on their lap and act all loving with them. This lets down their guard for when I choose to sneak attack them and bite their toes, or attack loose pieces of their clothing. It really is entertaining. And since they wont let me outside to wage preemptive war against other undesirables such as the rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and birds, this is really my only option.

They have banned me from my practice of patrolling the perimeter of the upstairs neighbors' deck, and running rampantly through the hallways awaiting some poor unsuspecting child to let me sneak out the door when they come in. It really is a shame, and they will pay for this eventually. I do know where they sleep, afterall.

I have learned how to manipulate the General as it is, for my own amusement. It seems one of his previous cats used to make him escort the cat to the food dish and pet him in order to coax eating. I could eat on my own, but it sure is funny making the General cater to my wants, and walk me to an obviously full food dish. It really irritates him, which pleases me of course.

Nothing else to report at this time.

Sincerely,

Col. B.S. Lovell

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Thought On God

This could also be titled, "Man's Thinking On How To Operate With God"

I'm pretty sure more people than just myself have noticed, the bathroom can also be called the Reading Room. Don't worry, that's as graphic as it gets. The current book sitting in the bathroom is titled An Enemy Called Average by John L. Mason. It's basically one of those self help/positivity books written by a christian author. Overall, it serves its purpose, but I noticed in one of the mutliple short chapters covered in this book, a list on how to attain godly wisdom.

Most of them are pretty standard: Please God, Follow his ways, look to Him, Pray, etc etc. But to top the list I noticed something I found contradictorily odd. FEAR GOD!

Many churches I have been in attendance of at one time or another, tell me that God is good, and that all things good come from God. That negative things in our life are a result of our humanness, or influences of Satan. Fear appears to be a pretty big negative thing, and it is something that oftentimes holds us back.
God commanded us to move forward, to take dominion over the earth.

Many issues I have had with the churches, are that many of them are just loaded with certain human oddities, do this, don't do that. If you did what you werent supposed to do, confess to another guy and he can wipe it out for you, but if you dont, somehow you arent as good a member of the church as those who do, and so on and so forth. The basic core message we are taught as kids in Sunday School is that God is good, He is our God, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and if we believe that, we're good as gold and looking forward to our trip to Heaven. As we get older, suddenly a whole litany of rules and regulations get introduced to us, through whatever church we attend, and how these are how we should act to be a good christian.

Anyways, I'm rambling... So if God is good, and fear is bad, why would I combine the two? Why should I fear Goodness? If its good, I should like it and embrace it. If its bad I should shun it. At least this is the message I have gotten from multiple sources. Maybe I'm just not understanding things clearly. If I am gripped with fear of goodness, what motivation is this move forward and accept all that God has to offer me? Do good unto others is big teaching, but the whole message of "fear God" now suddenly adds an addendum to this: Do good unto others, ...OR ELSE!

It all seems to be one big mess to me. Do I operate with love in my heart, or fear? Courage or trepidation? Strength or weakness?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Will This Be The Year?

So, coming up shortly is my 29th Christmas on this here planet. It is also the 22nd Christmas since I first asked for the GI Joe with the Kung-Fu grip. So far I have found myself highly disappointed 21 times. Clearly my family hates me and is wholly against my wishes.

For years I have asked for just such an item, and for years I have been denied. For years I received the bane of all Christmas gifts, socks and underwear. Except for the time in college, when my laundry budget decreed that more socks and underwear were necessary to avoid having to spend precious beer money on such trivial things like clean clothes. The one time I need them to gift me such things, they take that which I coveted, and withhold it. Seriously, as a 19-20 year old, this was one of the most serious issues of my daily life for which I had to live with.

Now back to the issue of the GI JOE (with the kungfu grip--can't forget that very important attribute). I have received huge models of firetrucks with working ladders (not asked for), stuffed animals (not asked for) and multiple other items that left me with the profound thought of "Where in the $%^! is my @%@#$%@% GI JOE (with the kungfu grip)?!?!?!?"

Clearly, this is one of the core issues that has left me mentally unstable over the years. The lack of GI JOE (with teh kungfu grip)is representative of the Freudian nature of my relationship with my parents. That, and not writing out a check to whereever when I deemed it was necessary to eat out at a restuarant. Clearly, they are responsible for all my worldly woes, and I'll not have any of you taking hteir side. I will just as easily result to sticking my fingers in my ears and "lalalalala"-ing you until you shut up with all that noise.

So, I am hoping this year is the year, in which my life's dream may be redeemed. Obviously I will stagnate indefinitely until such wrongs are righted. I could lose my car, go homeless, and contract some wierd venereal disease only known to certain places of disrepute in southeast Asia, and be fine, as long as I have my GI JOE (with the kungfu grip).

NOTE: To any of you ready to comment about being loved by God, and that gifts aren't the reason for the season...Yes we all get that, however this was a test of the Emergency Sarcasm Warning System. It was only a test, had the real sarcasm shown its face, you'd be crying in your soup right now with my biting words and indignant attitude about it all. And if you don't have any soup to cry in on such occasions, one bowl may be provided to you at no cost.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Son Follows the Footsteps of Celebrity Justice




Above you will see my youngest son, Corwyn, who will be 5 on Christmas Eve. If you look at his forehead, you will see a very large goose egg he received Sunday morning.
He is smiling here, but shortly after receiving his medal of boyhood, he was a soggy crying mess, in much need of his mother.

I had come home from work, and the boys were watching a movie in the living room. I went back to my bedroom to change out of my uniform and exchange communications with the wife. I heard the boys start horsing around. I am not one to tell them to stop their wrestling, as I encourage them to experience their boyish nature, within limits anyways, and have even been known to encourage it in a not so subtle manner.
Well I never heard the thump, but I surely heard the wailing crying, along with the older brother calling behind him "I'm sorry...I said I was sorry."

I'm really beginning to get irritated with the word "sorry". The oldest, Josh (age 9 1/2), has been using this word A LOT lately. Way more than he should be.

Anyways, Corwyn comes busting in the room, bawling his eyes out, and a noticeable lump on his forehead. He was obviously to shaken up to tell us what was going on besides something about "Josh threw me (unintelligible)"
Josh immediately went into his repeated incantations of "I said I was sorry." Apparently in his mind, this makes everything all better automatically. Kind of like celebrities these days. No matter what you do, say you're sorry and go to rehab, and everything will be okay!

When asked what Corwyn hit his head on, Josh started off with some story, surely trying to find a way to spin it as he spoke to make hiself seem in a slightly better light than reality might suggest. For those of you who know me well...I don't like a sotry when I'm asking a question that only requires one word to be answered. Amazingly enough, even my wife got irritated with his not answering the questions as directly and efficiently as possible. I say amazingly, because she is just as, if not more guilty of the narrative story to any question, even a 'yes or no' typer question. I'm pretty sure Josh got his way of answering questions from her. I'm convinced its genetically passed on. After finding out that Corwyn hit the wooden chair in our living room, then we got the fuller story. Just so you know, I'm fine with the filler material, AFTER my question is answered! Anyways Josh told us they were wrestling and he sort of threw Corwyn into the chair where he smacked his head, but (wait for it)..."I already told him I was sorry." He said it so matter-of-factly, as though that mere statement was the solution to his very recent fuax pas. (He even used it as an excuse for a friend who had kicked him off a slide the other day, finishing off with, "but he said he was sorry, so its okay.") He was sent to his room, after being assured that uttering a saying wasn't the key to ending his problems.

While I applaud him taking a lick like a man, and not making too big a deal out of that physical malady, I think somewhere along the line, he was convinced that apologies solved everything to the point of no further consequences. Worse, I can't even figure out where he learned that from, because it surely didn't come from his mother or me, and I don't recall him watching any TV programming with that kind of message in it.

If you wonder why their isn't a picture of Josh in this post, well, it's because after apologizing, we quickly sent him off to rehab. He should be back in 6 weeks! We're just sooooo proud.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Definitely Not Camera Shy!

Corwyn, this last 4th of July in front of the parade route, in my old hometown of Sac City, Iowa. This pose seems to be a common theme for him. He is, in his mind at least, either the the strongest guy he knows by far, or a superhero. Either way, his sights are set high, and he will not be deterred. I suffer a great many injuries from his super kid-claw attack mode.

In my Florida trip posting, you have already seen my photogenic poses in stupid cowboy hats, so now here's my idea of entertaining photography...obligatory dog pooping in action photos. Yes, Pure Art, I expect all the publications and academies to send me invitations to show my great work, and give me awards!

And here is Josh, as always being his adventurous little self. Anything to satisfy his need to express his boyishness, and also make his Nana cringe with fear that her poor little grandson might seriously injure himself. Obviously a direct take off his old man, who spent years forcing grey hairs to grow onto Nana's head!

It almost looks like Josh is preparing to toss Corwyn into the resevoir. Many days, I would love to be in a position to make this happen, if for nothing other than my own amusement. The only thing that is stopping me, is that I don't like the idea of getting myself into the cold water when I have to rescue them from the shallow, muddy and murky water of Maffitt Resevoir.

And lastly, THIS would have been the perfect opportunity to do so. They never would have seen it coming!

I tried to find some poser shots of my wife, but either she is far too innocent or just too sly to get caught acting like a goofball on camera. Or, she has hidden such photographs so well that my computer illiterate mind can't work well enough to find the incriminating photos!

Big Brother Coming to a Neighborhood Bake Sale Near You

Thanks to Linda WHOOPS...I mean LYNDA (sorry) at What Is Going On? for reprinting this, and to Sandy at the Junkfood Science blog, for providing this to us:

It’s already being called Posole-gate.

“The more we look to the government to protect us, the more freedoms we lose,” said one resident. This became a reality today when government health officials went after an 84-year old tradition and told the nuns at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that their church dinner of homemade posole, tamales and biscochitos was against the law. Every December 14th, after the Our Lady of Guadalupe procession, church ladies have served traditional posole and biscochitos for parishioners and the public. The Environment Health Department, however, determined the potluck was a threat to public safety and a violation of the city’s food ordinance.

“Our concern here is only about public safety,” John Soladay, Albuquerque’s environmental health director, told the Albuquerque Journal. Homemade food doesn’t comply with city law, which is intended to protect the public from contaminated food, he said. It’s no different from homemade cupcakes and cookies, nachos and popcorn no longer being allowed in schools because they might put children at risk of foodborne illnesses.

I wasn’t aware that there have been far too many people poisoned, made ill, by participating in Community Pot-Luck style meals.

Schools and churches and community centers of all kinds have been holding/hosting pot-luck dinners, bake sales, picnics for decades………..all of them open to the public. I’ve never seen any news reports of outbreaks of illness because of this. The only stories like it I’ve seen have been from cruise ships/restaurants/produce we buy in the stores!!!

According to the story in the Albuquerque Journal a city official states:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No Home Cookin’ at Festival

COPYRIGHT:Copyright 2008 Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck
Journal Staff Writer

A city official said Tuesday that because the event is open to the public, the church must abide by city laws for food handling and distribution.

“Our concern here is only about public safety,” said John Soladay, Albuquerque’s environmental health director.

City law “stipulates that food prepared for distribution to the public must be prepared in an approved kitchen,” he said. “Food prepared at home does not meet that criteria.”

The city ordinance is intended to protect the public from contaminated food, he said.

So, food prepared at home doesn’t meet the cities safety standards? Then why are people allowed to poison themselves? I mean if you don’t trust the people to cook for their friends and neighbors for a block party, then why trust them to cook for themselves?


All this “safety” nonsense is going way too far now if you ask me. This festival has been held for more that three-quarters of a century and NOW the city wants to pull this crap? Talk about government going too far. It’s enough to make me want to cook up a storm and offer the food on my front lawn to anyone who passes by!!

What’s next? Can’t feed your guests because you might have contaminated food? Well guess what? THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THE CHEMICALLY LADEN FOOD IN THE STORES IS ANY SAFER!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Entitlement? Yeah, Right.

Great Posting I stole..Hat Tip to The Godfather of theslowbleed.com for this great article:

I am amazed at the attitudes of people making their way into the workforce today. Frankly, given the current state of the economy I would expect people to be a bit more humble in their job demands.

I spoke with someone the other day that brought up the big “e” word…Entitlement. He actually felt since he finished college he was entitled to a good job with significant benefits.

I think the only people “entitled” to anything are royalty. Years of inbreeding, a careful selection of marriages, and century old rules could make one entitled to be king.

For example, I believe if 6,492 key people simultaneously disappear off the face of the earth I get to be a prince or something in Wales – I am entitled. If just one less person (6,491) disappears; I get a big cup of jack.

Let me see if I can clear up this misnomer for the newcomers to the job force. Here is a list of things you are entitled to and here is a list of things that you are not entitled to. Ready? Here we go…

A. List of things you are entitled to:



B. List of things you are not entitled to (otherwise knows as stuff you will just have to work for):

Everything not in list “A”



Any questions?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some Good Advice Kids (and some adults) Should Wise Up To

Love him or hate him, Bill Gates sure hits the nail on the head with this! He recently gave a speech at a high school about eleven things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically-correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair -- get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you can feel good about yourself.


Rule 3 : You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.


Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.


Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.


Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.


Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. Some schools have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.


Rule 10: Television is not real l ife . In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.


Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you will end up working for one.

If you can understand these words, thank a teacher! Most of all, thank a veteran for keeping our country free so this can be said without having to die for it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Oldest Argument

THE OLDEST ARGUMENT:

> "Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ."
> The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks
> one of his new students to stand.
> "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"
> "Yes sir," the student says.
> "So you believe in God?"
> "Absolutely."
> "Is God good?"
> "Sure! God's good."
> "Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"
> "Yes."
> "Are you good or evil?"
> "The Bible says I'm evil."
> The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a
> moment.
> "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can
> cure him. You can do it… Would you help him? Would you try?"
> "Yes sir, I would."
> "So you're good...!"
> "I wouldn't say that."
> "But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could.
> Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."
> The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does
> he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to
> Jesus to heal him How is this Jesus good? Hmmm?
> Can you answer that one?"
> The student remains silent.
> "No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water from
> a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.
> "Let's start again, young fella Is God good?"
> "Er...yes," the student says.
> "Is Satan good?"
> The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."
> "Then where does Satan come from?"
> The student: "From... God…"
> "That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in
> this world?"
> "Yes, sir."
> "Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"
> "Yes."
> "So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created everything,
> then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle
> that our works define who we are, then God is evil."
> Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: "Is there
> sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do
> they exist in this world?"
> The student: "Yes."
> "So who created them?"
> The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question.
> "Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks
> away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.
> "Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you believe in Jesus
> Christ, son?"
> The student's voice is confident: "Yes, professor, I do."
> The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to
> identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"
> "No sir. I've never seen Him!"
> "Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"
> "No, sir, I have not."
> "Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your
> Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for
> that matter?"
> "No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."
> "Yet you still believe in him?"
> "Yes."
> "According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
> science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"
> "Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."
> "Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science has
> with God. There is no evidence, only faith."
> The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his
> own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"
> "Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."
> "And is there such a thing as cold?"
> "Yes, son, there's cold too."
> "No sir, there isn't."
> The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room
> suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.
> "You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited
> heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything
> called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we
> can't go any further after that.
> There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than
> the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when
> it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or
> transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You
> see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot
> measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy.
> Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."
> Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding
> like a hammer.
> "What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"
> "Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it
> isn't darkness?"
> "You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of
> something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing
> light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called
> darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality,
> darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker,
> wouldn't you?"
> The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be
> a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"
> "Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start
> with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."
> The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you
> explain how?"
> "You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You
> argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You
> are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can
> measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and
> magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view
> death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot
> exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the
> absence of it..."
> "Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from
> a monkey?"
> "If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes,
> of course I do."
> "Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"
> The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where
> the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.
> "Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot
> even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching
> your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?"
> The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has
> subsided.
> "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me
> give you an example of what I mean."
> The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has
> ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter.
> "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the
> professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain?
> No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of
> empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain,
> with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how can we
> trust your lectures, sir?"
> Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face
> unreadable.
> Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess you'll
> have to take them on faith."
> "Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,"
> the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?"
> Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see it
> everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man.
> It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.
> These manifestations are nothing else but evil."
> To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does
> not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.
> It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe
> the absence of God.
> God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does
> not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when
> there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
> The professor sat down.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day In America

After so many years, so many trials and tribulations we as a country have faced, America again has conquered another historic moment.

I went to bed last night at about 6:30, and was awakened by my alarm clock at 11:00pm to begin my night of work. My wife was just coming in to make sure I got up, so she could go to bed without being interrupted by my alarm clock. She looked me dead in the eye and with a hint of resignation combined with her being tired, said, "We just elected Obama as our next President." So we have now placed a clearly visible minority in the highest executive office in the land.

Both of us had cast our votes for McCain. Well, I did anyways, and assume she did as well, as she was not most vocally not puling for Obama. I admit a slight sense of disappointment when I heard the results, but was not really surprised.

While I do not agree with Senator Obama's politics, it appears an overwhelming majority of Americans did, and voiced their opinion through their vote yesterday. So from here on out, I guess we pray for a good solid leadership from an Obama administration, as well as our legislature. I pray that all the talk of Hope and Change weren't just the normal political rhetoric used to get elected. I'd like to hope that some of his politics were just that, and he becomes a little more moderate than his reputation, in an effort to unite a clearly and definitely divided country (in the political sense). I hope that he makes honest efforts to reach across the aisle, and not use a strong democratic majority across the board to shove all his programs down our throat, without regard to our wants or needs as a country.

So I'll keep a little hope of my own, that he does the job well.

Most of all, I'm just glad that my phone won't be blown up with robocalls, and my mailbox filled with a million political fliers every day (yes I exaggerated- it was only 1/2 million per day). At least not until January, when the batch of politicians vying for the 2010 midterm elections start their campaigning. God help us all. So to the Obama's, their supporters, and those who worked hard to take the campaign from 0 to the Presidency...Congratulations.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To Steal The Title From Shirley: I Voted Today

So today, I voted. And this time, I was actually ON the ist of area registered voters, unlike the 2006 midterm elections, which somehow found my records nonexistent, despite previously voting in '04, and having changed nothing about any of my statuses (Statii??) I don't know with how much knowledge or a clear conscience I voted.
As far as the clear conscience goes, neither major party presidential candidate really got me too fired up. So I voted for the one who would keep government's infringement on me to a lesser level. For those of you who don't know who that is, it would be one Senator John McCain.

Other than that we had a slew of representatives for state and federal congressional seats. With those people, I at least knew something about them (with a little additional help from robocalls). With a local representative for my district, I voted the republican side, only because the democratic candidate had 2 mailers in my mailbox, EVERY-motherloving-DAY! Every day, 2 separate mailers...are you friggin kidding me??? He was mayor of a neighboring suburb, and boasted a balanced budget, and I found out one reason was by consistently and successfully raising property taxes without fail for his small suburban empire. Apparently, spending money is something he didn't have too many qualms about. The other guy sent out some, and yes, they did almost reach the ridiculous level in the last 2 weeks, but nowhere in the same universe for the entire campaign. The republican's fliers always stated statistics. The democrat's fliers spouted some statistics, usually related to the great things he did (like keep a balanced budget), and the 2nd flier usually spouted how evil the republican candidates ideas were.
There was one state representative running for office, somewhere here in Iowa, as a democrat, which I had seen advertised on our local tv stations. I liked his positions, however, upon looking over my ballot, he must've been representing another district altogether.

Anyways, the rest of the ballot consisted of judges we voted on to retain or not, some hospital trustee positions, county commisioner, and a few other oddball offices. I have to say, I have yet to have even heard of a single one of these people. So pretty much all the judges got retained on my ballot, and the other offices, if I could only pick so many was a big fat case of "eeny-meeny-miny-mo". Yes, I know, scientific analyses of the candidates at the polling place, right? I had contemplated writing myself in on some of these, but I figured my popularity off-line isn't nearly as high as it is on the internet...

SO yeah, it was pretty easy, as there wasn't exactly a line, and I got myself and my youngest in-and-out of that place pretty quickly. So let me know how your experience went, if you care to share.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The things my kid says and does

Okay, so I have determined, without a shadow of a doubt, that my youngest child is quite weird. I'd like to push that credit elsewhere, but for anyone who knows me, knows better.

First of all, when going to the bathroom, he likes to have his privacy. And yet, he expects full access when other people are in the bathroom. The other day, he decides to walk in while I'm in there. He just stands next to me (I'll try not to get too graphic) and makes the observation, "Yours is bigger than Josh's (my 9 year old)." It was odd to hear that, and I'm exhilirated to know that I'm more advanced in that particular area than a 9 year old kid to be sure, but at the same time, his deadpan delivery being so matter of fact made it hard for me to keep from laughing. It was as if, this is just one of those common conversation pieces, like he was just saying hello, or something.

When wrestling around, he has gotten the idea that if he can pull his opponents' pants down, he'll win the fight for sure. When he runs at me, and I palm his face to hold him away, he has taken to sticking out his tongue and licking my hand. Apparently, his arsenal of natural fighting tools is much more devastating in his own mind as compared to reality.
If the wrestling involves both him and his brother, Josh, along with me, he has no problem asking for help when Josh or I get him into a bind. But, immediately after getting help, he has no issue attacking his immediate previous beenfactor. The child soesn't seem to understand alliances. Unless it is between me and his mom. In which case, no matter who's right, or winning, they take her side. I've heard them thank her for something I provided. If I speak up to take the credit, rightfully so, I am informed immediately by either one or both of them that "NO, Mommy did/got it for us."
I guess I'm just the Dad. I'm only important when they decide it to be so.

When trying to amuse neighbors outside as they walk to or from their cars, Corwyn has a range of activities he employs. Sometimes, its just mindless chatter of thoughts that enter his mind at random. Other times its singing, or dancing around in front of them. However lately, he will act like he is punching himself in the head, and fall over..or more violently, he will punch himself in the beans, and then double over groaning, yet watches for observable reactions. The kid is just plain goofy, and self destructive, all for a little attention. He once entertained some traveling magazine sales people by using his head as a wrecking ball on our steel file cabinet, hitting it as hard as he could, and then looking up at them smiling. One girl made the mistake of exclaiming horror that he just hit himself, and then asked if he was alright. His Response: He grinned even bigger and slammed his head back into the file cabinet.

He has also taken to proclaiming a certain sense of authority. When told to sit in his chair and finish his sandwich at lunchtime, he will have none of it, and repeat the command back with a big emphasis on me...as in "YOU sit in YOUR chair and finish YOUR sandwich." Whether or not I have a sandwich is immaterial to him. He has decided that, until he's found the end of my rope of patience with him, that he is the ultimate authority in his small world.

He also tends to blend the past and present when it fits his wants and needs. If having been given permission to go to the neighbor's house to visit their little girl on one day, that permission applies for all future instances as well. If his mother let him have something for one of her snackfoods last night, if he asks for it today, he expects it to be given to him. Telling him that the snack is his mother's, and I can't say yes or no, so he has to wait for his mom...he wil retort with "Mom already said yes I could have it."

Corwyn is definitely one bold little boy. I'm not sure how Josh will be when he is a teenager, but I have a feeling that if Corwyn and I have a disagreement, as all teenagers and their dad's have at some point or another, it might get pretty interesting. I only hope he can't physically dominate his old man at that point.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Triumphal Idiot Shines Through

So, as most of you know, I recently bought myself a next to new used car, after the other one crapped out on me 1 week before the final payment. Anyways, everything was great until the other day when I left to go to work. It was the first time I had encountered rain in my personal vehicle since we bought it. I flipped the little dial to set the speed on the windshield wipers....NOTHING!! Can you believe that...a week into having the car and the friggin wipers don't work!!! Well, that's just great. Fortunately, I could push the lever down for singular wipings away of the rain on the mist setting. The wipers even worked when I hit the button to clean the windshield off. But to just set the wiper speed and go....not happening.

So, this morning, I get up early to take my wife to work, followed by a trip to the service shop to have what appears to be a bad wire replaced. The youngest boy and I get there....int he pouring rain, mixed with freezing rain particles (you gotta love Iowa weather, the sun was out yesterday afternoon!)

I get into the shop and explain to their manager what the issue is, and he has a technician come and take a look. It turns out, within 30 seconds no less, that I am a dumb friggin idiot on a colossal scale. That little lever I push down to mist, that I told you about? Yeah, apparently it can also be pushed upward to a couple of speed settings. The little dial I was turning just sets the intermittent speeds ONCE THE WIPERS ARE ACTIVATED!!!

Yeah, so that was a waste of gas...thank God prices have come down on that stuff. So instead of the usual one trip to her work, and the trip home, I have now committed myself to 2 trips each way today, AND...AND, the inner idiot within me made a grand and triumphal appearance, to help grace you readers and the rest of my localized world with his presence. Now, I have to do something to redeem my manliness, in an effort to keep my Man-Card. It's raining out, so maybe I'll find a frog or toad and tear it limb from limb with juvenile male destructiveness.

I hate admitting faults of mine, but my level of personal honesty precludes me from hiding it for too very long. And now that I have also told my wife, she responded with hearty guffaws directed at my idiocy. I'm pretty sure the next time I try to assure her of just how awesome of a man I am, I'll be reminded of this rather quickly. Apparently she doesn't like it when I get a little too big for my britches!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Godfather Sends A Message!

going back to an earlier post about meeting up with the Godfather: Here

He has fired back....It's a great comment, so please read and....enjoy. The Godfather is watching you right now....and if you gotta problem with that you can see him at www.theslowbleed.com, or by clicking here

Here's his comment, if you're too lazy to click back to the original:

According to recordings, here is what was actually said during the lunch in question…

Godfather: Why did you go to St. Augustine, FL? Why didn't you come to me first?
Mookie: What do you want of me? Tell me anything, but do what I beg you to do.
Godfather: What is that?
[Mookie gets up and whispers in the Don's ear]
Godfather: That I cannot do.
Mookie: I'll give you anything you ask.
Godfather: We've known each other for many months but this is the first time you've ever come to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though you are a fellow blogger. But, let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship and you were afraid to be in my debt.
Mookie: I didn't want to get into trouble.
Godfather: I understand. You found paradise in the northern part of America. You had a good readership, made a good living, the police protected you and there were search engines and you didn't need a friend like me. But, now you come to me and you say "Godfather, give me web traffic." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Godfather. Instead, you come into my house and eat my ribs.
Mookie: I ask you for justice.
Godfather: That is not justice; your wife is also eating ribs.
Mookie: Let them suffer then. As she suffers. How much shall I pay you?
Godfather: Mookie. Mookie. What have I ever done to make you to treat me so disrespectfully? If you had come to me in friendship then your blog site would not be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies then they would become my enemies. And then, they would fear you.
Mookie: Be my friend... Godfather.
[kisses Godfather's ring]
Godfather: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me; an additional link to my blog perhaps. But, until that day, accept this justice as a gift.
Mookie: Grazie, Godfather.
Godfather: Bene.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Woman With Fastest Time Doesn't Win???

Catching a few random headlines, I spotted this article online via the San Francisco Chronicle by C.W. Nevius:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were over 20,000 competitors in Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. And 24-year-old Arien O'Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women.

But she didn't win.

It doesn't get much simpler than a footrace. All it takes is a starting line, a finish line and a clock. You fire the gun and the first person to the end of the course is the winner.

However, as the marathon officials said to O'Connell - not so fast.

While O'Connell had the greatest run of her life and covered the course faster than any woman, she was told she couldn't be declared the winner because she didn't run with the "elite" group who were given a 20-minute head start.

So what could have been a lovely Cinderella story about a young woman rising above her expectations in a race that bills itself as all about empowering women turned into a strict the-rules-are-the-rules edict. That's not the image we're trying to promote here.

San Francisco has become one of those destination locations for the new breed of distance runner. Between the San Francisco Marathon in July and the Nike race - billed as the largest women's marathon in the world - over 40,000 runners will visit this year.

It is great that these events are held here, but they are also representing the city. What we are hoping is that they leave town talking about the terrific location, the great restaurants and the perfectly organized event. Instead, we look like we don't know how to operate a stopwatch.

"That's pretty weak," said Jon Hendershott, associate editor of the authoritative Track and Field News magazine, based in Mountain View. "Think of the PR they could have had with this girl coming out of nowhere. It sounds like they got caught totally off guard."

O'Connell, who describes herself as "a pretty good runner," had never managed to break three hours in five previous marathons. But as soon as she started at 7 a.m. Sunday, she knew it was her day. In fact, when she crossed the finish line 26.2 miles later, her time of 2:55:11 was so unexpectedly fast that she burst into tears.

"I ran my best time by like 12 minutes, which is insane," she said.

At the awards ceremony, the O'Connell clan looked on as the top times were announced and the "elite" female runners stepped forward to accept their trophies.

"They called out the third-place time and I thought, 'I was faster than that,' " she said. "Then they called out the second-place time and I was faster than that. And then they called out the first-place time (3:06), and I said, 'Heck, I'm faster than her first-place time, too.' "

Just to make sure, O'Connell strolled over to a results station and asked a race official to call up her time on the computer. There it was, some 11 minutes faster than the official winner.

"They were just flabbergasted," O'Connell said. "I don't think it ever crossed their minds."

No one seemed exactly sure what to do. The trophies had already been handed out and the official results announced. Now organizers seem to be hoping it will all go away.

"At this point," Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez said Monday, "we've declared our winner."

O'Connell said some race officials actually implied she'd messed up the seeding by not declaring herself an "elite" runner.

"If you're feeling like you're going to be a leader," race producer Dan Hirsch said Monday, "you should be in the elite pack."

So this is her fault? O'Connell was just being modest.

"I'm a good, solid runner," she said. "I never considered myself elite."

Jim Estes, associate director of the long-distance running program for USA Track and Field, did his best to explain the ruling. He's had some practice with the issue. The Sunday before last, at the Chicago Marathon, a Kenyan named Wesley Korir pulled off a similar surprise, finishing fourth even though he wasn't in the elite group and started five minutes after the top runners.

In that situation, and in this one, Estes made the same ruling: It didn't count. O'Connell wasn't declared the winner and Korir didn't collect fourth-place prize money.

"The theory is that, because they had separate starts, they weren't in the same race," Estes said. "The woman who is winning the elite field doesn't have the opportunity to know she was racing someone else."

Estes admits that giving the elite runners a sizable head start may not be the best policy.

"These are things this race and other races need to look at," Estes said. "It comes down to what a race is, and who is racing who."

Nonsense, said Track and Field News' Hendershott. He said O'Connell took her best shot, ran the fastest and should have won.

"What's she supposed to do, lay back because she's not an elite runner?" he asked. "If the elites are going to lay back, that's their fault."

As for O'Connell, she's not bitter. After all, she got her best time ever, had a nice weekend in San Francisco and comes home with a story.

But she didn't win. Maybe the best way to explain that is to say it is just another case of the elites in San Francisco giving the city a bad name.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My only question that I can honestly ask is: WTF?!?!?!?!?

Halfway To A Good Chunk Of Change


So here it is, payday, which means I havent had any money since 12 days ago, and I'm 2 days away from having no money again. So, what do I do? After dumping the check in the bank, I stop at the nearby McDonalds to get lunch for me and the youngest. Cheap Happy Meal Toys subdue him, along with greasy empty calories provided by the chicken Mcnuggets, and I get my occasional Big Mac.
Well, currently they are playing the Peel Off Monopoly Game. Usually I just grab the pieces to see if I can get a free cheeseburger or fries or something, but I noticed this time around that as usual I get one-half of the "big prize" pieces. This time I have "Park Place". Combined with "Boardwalk", this is worth the $1 million prize.
So, now all I have to do is find the person with the magical other half to my little prize piece. So, if you find it, LET ME KNOW....I'm willing to give my half up for a meager $250,000. If you hook me up with the person who does have it, we'll discuss the finders fee you'd be eligible for.
Yes, I know....I am shallow enough to go for free contest money through my favorite fast food joint's prize pool!

Pre-Florida Meeting

And so it was, I had the pleasure, upon landing in Florida, of meeting our fellow blogger, The Godfather, from theslowbleed.com

Being a Godfather, of course he met with my wife and I at the Italian version of Applebees, Tony Roma's. WE had a good conversation over a midafternoon meal, before my wife and I departed in our rental to go to St Augustine for my sister's wedding. The first thing I noticed about The Godfather, is that he didn't look like he does in his little comment picture on the blogs. In truth, for those who are curious, here is the "real" Godfather's picture:



As a responsible blogger who feels the need to expose the truth in less than newsworthy headlines, I felt it necessary to make sure you all knew exactly who the Godfather is, so you'll know him when you see him. You'll also need to take note about what he ordered. The Ribs!!!! And not only the ribs, but with a wink and a nod to the waitress. Being such a great investigative force, and having seen fictional and nonfictional mob accounts, I knew what his real meal was. Ribs!! Yes, and not just your normal restuarant prepared ribs, but judging by the size, I'd say he ate the ribs of his enemy's newborn child. He was clearly sending me a message. I was on his turf, and we didn't want me to mistake his friendliness for weakness. That if I crossed him, the next meal on his plate would be my kid's ribs. Interestingly enough, my wife also ordered the ribs. I can't help but think my wife ingested the ribs of the Godfather's nemesis, in some sort of way of making her an unknowing accomplice, thus buying our silence.

Of course, now having met this man, and exposing the truth behind him, I will be out on the lamb. For he will come for me, albeit too late, as he has been outed!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Debate Analysis- 3 Days Later

This last Wednesday night I saw the first 2/3 of the presidential debate (the first one I've actually watched, and more geared toward doemstic policy) before my wife distracted me with what she likes to call better action than politics, which she hates.
(3 points for the wife)

First off, IF this was my first exposure to the whole campaign, and I came in totally ignorant of everything, Obama won the debate, and I would definitely be voting for him over McCain.
(1 point Obama)

My take on the negative campaigning question, I had issue with both of them. Neither really answered. Obama tip-toed around the question, while McCain expressed disgust with negativity while simultaneously throwing in a few negative sounding jabs at the democrats.
(0 points)

On the economy, Obama sounded really great. McCain's plan was pretty sound on the surface. However its amazing to me that the moderator showed results of both plans adding about $200 billion to the deficit annually. Obama later retorted something to the effect of all independent organizations showed his plan to be perfectly sound and on target (I dont have the exact words, so don't quote me). McCain wasn't exactly on target either, but I think he had a greater grasp on the simple math...added to the fact that he supports line-item vetos, which would greatly help to reduce useless expenditures. Obama said programs would need to be cut in order to make room for some of his programs. I get that, however, his plan still leaves way too much taxation on the group that will provide more tax money either directly, or through new jobs that provide for more taxes through those people. Everytime in history has shown unfair taxation on the producers has resulted in less overall tax rolls.
So just what is Obama going to cut???
I do agree with Obama on working the tax code to encourage American companies to bring their production back home, while discouraging further outsourcing of manufacturing jobs.
(draw- 1 point each)

On energy policy, both had great ideas. Obama is still pondering the whole drilling issue, while McCain is ready to act. I score McCain that point. No matter what we do, we have to utilize all options, not just drilling, and not just anti drilling. As cheap as it makes gas in Iowa, the ethanol mandate needs to go, along with their subsidies. Obama made a point about the oil cmpanies having 68million undrilled acres of land they have leased,where they COULD get oil. The problem with that is, IS THERE ACTUALLY ANY OIL THERE? I'm in favor of them "using it or losing it", but I think we ought to concentrate efforts of drilling where we KNOW its at. I think Obama is, while not saying it, against going that direction. (1 point McCain.
)

On healthcare, I think both candidates have great ideas, and some not so great ideas, but both fall short.
(0 points)

So tallying it up, Obama and McCain score 2 points in my book each. My wife gets her 3 points...so she wins....but I'm biased and she's not running or elegible for the office. Pure scoring would show Obama as the winner of this debate. So given the draw, in my books, the debate goes to McCain for not totally flubbing this one up. Noone expected him to be anywhere near close, at least not according to main stream media outlets, and even a lot of conservative media outlets. He held his own, despite poor coaching from the leadership of the GOP.


Both candidates stuck almost squarely to their side of the aisles arguments. Obama talks about reaching across the aisle, but his words arent as loud as his voting history. He's going to have to adopt a few conservative perspectives to get all those things done he says he will, unless of course the DNC achieves filibuster proof control of Congress. McCain talks about issues, but his words give way in favor of hard-right perspectives on what should be said and done. While associations with certain people can come into question and are important, along with judgement calls on things, the issues based solely on provable facts are the only real strength of a republican platform. Unfortunately the republicans always fall short on following a real gameplan.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Candidate Popularity, or Lack Thereof

THIS IS A REPRINT FROM MY JUVENILE MYSPACE BLOG:


Okay, so this 2nd and final entry for Open Forum this week again comes from Stoner.

For any who may have followed his blog since the beginning of the campaign season know he was a pretty big Joe Biden fan. Joe Biden received little support in Iowa, and subsequently dropped out of the race to avid wasting money elsewhere. Who knows how he would've done elsewhere. Biden, despite his reputation as a longwinded blowhard, has smalltown working class roots that should identify with Iowans, but apparently this go around, it failed to garner much attention.

So he wants to know: How come hardly anyone gave two hoots about Joe Biden until he became Obama's running mate? If it's not just because he's joined forces with Obama, as I suspect, then what is it that changed? And what if the ticket positions were flipped?

My take is not so much that they are caring so much about Joe himself, but rather the fact that he is on the Obama ticket. Generally speaking, a vice presidential candidate will always garner more popularity and support because they are with the overall popular candidate of that party. Take for instance, Sarah Palin. Until she was announced as McCain's running mate, 90% (a low estimate, I'm sure) of Americans, nevermind conservatives, even knew who she was, nevermind care.

If the ticket positions were flipped, well Joe would obviously have popular support of the party and its voter base. How Obama did previously, his popularity would soar as the new VP pick. Plus, when it comes to garnering minority support, Obama would be the obvious choice...even though 90% of minorities vote for the democrat anyways. But with the choice of Biden by Obama, it is helping to gain some of the older more traditionalist white voters to support the Obama ticket. Had Obama picked someone like say Jesse Jackson, or his friend Deval Patrick, he would have lost a lot of support he enjoys today over McCain, by demographics alone.

READERS.....Your thoughts???

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FINALLY, THE MOOK HAS COME BACK TO DRIVERDOM!

Okay, so that kind of tagline works better when The Rock would say it (as opposed to my typing it)...but hey, I'm giddy as a schoolgirl right now!
After almost two weeks of an emotional rollercoaster, I finally found someone to work with me, and it wasn't one of those "crappy car ride" places that give you an old car that wont make the distance of the loan without having the majority of things replaced first.
It was a used car place as part of a larger dealer in the area. So, instead of being the proud owner of an 8 year old Buick Regal that lies dead at a repair shop, I now am the proud owner of a 2007 Saturn Aura with the low (lowest on any vehicle i've ever owned) 47,500 miles on it.
The salesman, Brian, and his manager really worked out a great deal, dropping their price and agreeing to a few other terms of mine to make sure that I got the vehicle I wanted, and drive off with. I have longer loan terms of 6 years, but it puts my payments at about $310 a month, which will be paid off much quicker than 6 years, but its nice to have low payments.
The only real downside to it all is my insurance. By transferring my same full coverage over to this newer vehicle, it wiped out the discount I got just this month for having a perfect driving record and no claims. I was paying $75/mo, and had it slashed to $45/mo....now I'm going back up to $77. Oh well, it isnt totally horrible, and...I HAVE A NEW CAR...no more asking for rides to work for me, no more of my wife having to work only the schedule of her ride....and of course, it's silly, but I have the whole prideful thing of knowing that I am the man of the family who "takes care of things."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Florida Trip Part 3!! Out on the town!

This is the entrance to the Huguenot Cemetary, which is located right outside the original city gates to St. Augustine. Apparently, its current location is backed up, at least the walls of it, from where a road traverses between the cemetary and city gates. I guess a lot of the old town is basically sitting atop many graves.

Well, I found the way-too-small straw coyboy hat, but the place lacked a pair of six shooters, so the plastic fake swords still in plastic wrapping had to do...Giddy Up!

Apparently the camera has a way of finding me wearing a stupid hat. I saw many hats, but none worth buying as it seems that I am just not a hat person. Especially not at "touristy" prices.

And these last two are basically just a look down a couple streets in the old historic downtown St Augustine. I believe this first one is down St George. Avenue (or street or road, or whatever)...it's lined with many novelty shops and eateries. I'm pretty sure I ate at least 80 pounds of food while down here, as it seems I spent more time with food in my mouth than not. Guess that's one way to shut me up!

I think this is the main road along the downtown on the north end....I forget the name...I didnt eat on this street, so its really unimportant.

Florida Trip Part 2

So here's the wedding party. Although you can't see the Maid of Honor in this one, you'll see her in the next one. The wedding was done on a bridge within the Lightner's central courtyard. Meanwhile, in the water below, fish swam about and to the amusement of the bridesmaids, farting sounds came from the water. Exactly what happened is not known, but the farting fishes sounded good enough to me. I guess it was rather hard for the bridesmaids to contain laughter. They did however do a pretty good job considering the great humor of the pastor, as he switched back and forth between praise and condolence for my brother-in-law. Add that to the fact that my sister and her new husband seemed to be in a nervous fit of giggles. Having been through a wedding before, I can understand...although I'm sure my mother never threatened Victor prior to the nuptials as my mother-in-law did.

And here is a shot of all 3 bridesmaids, including the maid of honor on the right (your right, not theirs). Lovely girls, but since they are my sister's friends and we all grew up together, I stand by the fact that they MUST have cooties. My research shows that dressing them up doesn't change this fact.

And here is the required shot of the bride and groom cutting the cake....

....and here's the cake prior to the moment of desecration being performed in the above picture. Oh sweet confectionate of sugar and flour and sugar and eggs, and sugar....I'll miss you. I loved you, but I couldn't stop them from cutting you into little pieces...

And of course, here's the obligatory picture of the wedding bouquet....stupid flowers. Obviously my wife tooks these pictures. And I base this on A- the pictures are good, and B- I wouldn't take a picture of these flowers. I would've preferred to take a picture of me in superhero action. The girls left the veil in one of the rooms at our hotel. Luckily Dani and I, along with my parents, hadnt left yet. I took control of the situation and managed to make sure the hotel let me into the other room to procure the veil and quite possibly ensure at least one occasion in my life in which my sister was truly indebted to me. I'm sure that indebtedness wore off on her part within 24 hours... (If you want to see how a hero dresses, when he's out in disguise from his usual lounging in pj bottoms and a tshirt, see the picture of me and my wife on the right hand side of this blog, taken on the balcony of The Reef during the reception)

Florida Trip - Part One

So, here's the view from our room at the Hampton Inn, which was graciously comped by my sister, Becky, and her husband, Victor. Just beyond those trees and 2 buildings after that is Vilano Beach and the Atlantic Ocean (a mere 100 yards away).

And here is the reason we were down in Florida...Becky and Vic right after their ceremony at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine.

....and again at the Reef Restuarant, where they held a very nice, very lowkey reception. I wish my wife had taken pictures of the food...it was great!! I had the Chicken di Parma...YUM!

That's right, take it in. LITERALLY, the ONLY time I have ever seen my dad in a tuxedo. And I'm sure he will assure you if you ask, that this is also the LAST time you will see him in a tuxedo.

And here is Vilano Beach, taken our last day in St Augustine before checking out of our hotel on Sunday morning.

More photos to follow soon!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A quick note on my return- AN UPDATE

As some of you either already knew, or noticed, I have been away for a few days. I took a trip to Florida to see my sister get married. We arrived back home early this morning. The trip went well, but the return home not so much. MY car broke down in the middle of nowhere loaded with luggage and my family about 80 miles from home on I-35.
Thank God for my dad, who came to rescue us after a long day himself and having to travel through constant rain and get us home in the wee hours of the morning. So, I just wanted to let you all know, the next couple days may not see much activity from my end. I have to get things in order with my sole vehicle, and after that, I have to get the pictures together so that I can write an appropriate blog post down.

See you then!

AN UPDATE SINCE I ORIGINALLY POSTED THIS----Got news from the car guys $438.12 later that the engine is done, as a rod and its bearings decided to throw themselves right out the engine block and the oil pan as well....additional costs to replace estimated minimum at $3441.16 (all of which I don't have, as the warranty ran out about 18,000 miles ago). Our local bank has pretty much told us no go on a loan to get it up and running. So without a single vehicle operating for the family, we will have to quickly hunt down all our options to secure a good running vehicle, so I guess despite our LAST payment being in one week for that one, I shall have to take on new payments for a vehicle one way or another. I know everything will work out in the end, but sometimes I wonder just how much stress God thinks I can handle without breaking....(I may have to go into AVON sales..LOL)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Senate Passes Bailout version #2

So the senate has passed a new version of the bailout bill. With some new little perks, most of which still do not benefit those who will spend their lives footing the bill to save those who couldn't fix their own problems.

See my last posting to know my view on pretty much any bailout bill. Borrowing nonexistent money at a huge cost to clear up the books of lost money so that these already powerful people who have plenty of their own personal money can get a little more of each.

Inevitably I see some version of a bailout bill passing, but its satill a bunch of money being thrown to cover up a problem without actually taking care of the root problems, just the results. Many countries have been advised by us before to let the markets correct themselves, and keep government out of it. But, as usual our government couldn't contemplate such a concept for us, the ones who should matter a little more considering our overall wealth and power throughout the world. Instead, we'll go against our own advice, and use the problematic people to oversee how to fix all our woes, which they helped to create in the first place, to an even larger degree than all the other countries we advised before.

I heard someone mention, I think it was Glenn Beck (whether they were his words, or quoting someone else), that Oct 29, 1929 wasn't the Great Depression, but was an anomaly that would;ve corrected itself and registered as a minor economic blip in the course of our history, but that the Great Depression actually happened because of all the well-intentioned government programs set up and designed to "rescue" our economy. Too bad that 10 years into the programs our country still saw 20% unemployment....so much for a good rescue. Why is it I see the same (while maybe not 20% unemployment)type of recovery this time around if our own leaders in the government can't keep their mittens out of this proverbial oven?

And one more question- aren't there 100 senators in the senate??? With a total tally of 99 votes going yay or nay, who didnt vote (or just vote themselves present)?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Again The Bailout Fails

The first two words that come to mind when I saw the news that a weekend worked bill to push forward with a $700 billion bailout failed:

THANK GOD!

Now I'm no financial expert for sure (I've seen my credit report showing past incidences to back up this statement), but I do know a couple things. Between big government and big business cooperating with each other to cook books and speculate on financial possibilities without a true guarantee, we got ourselves into the biggest economic disaster of my lifetime, if not the history of our country, save the Great Depression.
And now, we have the government and big business cooperating with each other, AGAIN, to use a lot of the same basic principles and ideas to fix the problem they created.

Obviously, as a country, economically we are quickly preparing to fall down the rabbit hole. Whether or not we get this bailout plan urged by certain financial related industries and our current White House administration, that rabbit hole is approaching awfully quickly, and we're going to meet it regardless.

So let me get this right...we can let the chips fall and businesses fail, and things go to hell in a handbasket, OR we can make more chips, save these poorly run businesses and still go to hell in a handbasket. Given interest rates on loans produced through newly printed, and foreign entities loans that will take that $700 billion and turn it into most likely a minimum of $3 Trillion when all is said and done. We already have multiple books on the government's end of things that have us anywhere from $9.5 trillion to $54 Trillion dollars in debt. So what's another $700 billion, right? Yeah, someone has to learn to say no. Someone has to learn to tell the people that the buck is literally stopping with all of us, right here, right now. We're going to have to suffer a little bit. We're going to actually have to consider doing without. Now I know that many in my generation and some in the preceeding generation have little idea what this concept is, but now is the time to learn the lesson.
No more pet projects, no more bailing out consistently failing businesses. No more rewarding guys responsible for getting the domino effect started leading to the crippling of entire economic industrial sectors.

Even in this bailout debate, we have politicians working hard to blame the other side. And to a point there are members of all sides to blame for where we are now. There are members of the general population who bought into the lies who are now responsible for where we are now, biting off more than they could chew with no idea how to pay for it. Many of these politicians still admit that they have no idea how well this bailout will work if passed. So we get these guys and gals together to give spending authority to one guy, with little to no oversight, to the tune of $700 billion (with authority to expand it if he feels necessary?), while having no idea what effect it will have??
That seems pretty stupid to me. Especially if we can let everything fail, learn a lesson, and figure out how to correct it naturally through our market forces and American ingenuity that has gotten us this far over the last 232 years, without spending the hundreds of billions (leading to trillions when we pay it off), that we'll spend the next few generations (if we're lucky, that'll be all) trying to get back.
So to Congress, Bush, Bernanke, and Paulson..thanks but no thanks.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quotes For The Week (29SEP-03OCT2008)

WEll, since I've slacked off on this feature for the past couple weeks, I figure I better throw something in before my long awaited trip to Florida for my sister's wedding. So this week, I'll use a few quotes from some of the bloggers I follow, rather than fromt he book of quotes I normally use.


"Through meditation we can let the words of Jesus descend from our minds into our hearts and create there a dwelling place for the Spirit. Whatever we do and wherever we go, let us stay close to the words of Jesus. They are words of eternal life."

----Helen Losse of Windows Toward The World (From her blog entry "Meditation" 21sep08)



"Tonight I am suffering because I ate too many onions. The old stomach cannot take them as well as it used to."

----Renaissance Guy of Significant Pursuit (From his blog entry "What To Do With My Beard" 29sep08)


"I should never check the news on the weekend…"

----The Godfather of Theslowbleed.com (from his blog entry "Weekend Update: Bush Gets $634B…and It Is NOT Bailout Money…" 28sep08)


"All the soda you want.. for free. This place is great."

----Jay Burns of All In (from his blog entry "The ATM is CLOSED!" 23sep08)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

DARTH BARACK!!!

Funny video I stumbled upon!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Rrrrreessst of the Story

This is from an article out of National Review Online sent to me by a blogger from a different forum.


Six Points to Consider When Reading About Wasilla's Policy on Rape Kits

A few points to consider when you hear about the town of Wasilla, and its egregious former policy of charging rape victims for rape kits, a topic USA Today examined today.

1. It is indeed a terrible policy to charge a rape victim for the cost of collecting evidence to prosecute. But these charges occur, even in places where the law theoretically bans it. According to a 2008 U.S. News and World Report article, some Illinois rape victims are still being charged for the rape kits.

The state seemed to address this in a 2001 law, but it would seem that as usual, passing a law and getting a bureaucracy to comply are two different things.

2. Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella told USA Today in an e-mail that the governor "does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test." Her critics can legitimately ask why, as mayor, she didn’t overrule her police chief. But they cannot charge that she supported the policy. In fact, there is not yet any evidence that Palin was aware of this policy.

3. The Police Chief of Wasilla who oversaw this policy may have been wrong to argue that the government should not cover the cost of the tests, but note that he did not want the victim to pay; he wanted to charge the perpetrators the cost.

Ultimately it is the criminal who should bear the burden of the added costs, Fannon said.

The forensic exam is just one part of the equation. Id like to see the courts make these people pay restitution for these things, Fannon said.

Fannon said he intends to include the cost of exams required to collect evidence in a restitution request as a part of a criminals sentencing.

4. An aide to a Democratic state legislator tells USA Today that women in Wasilla did pay out of pocket for their rape kits. According to available FBI statistics, there were five rapes in Wasilla during the three years that they have online records for. The newspaper does the town a disservice by citing the statewide numbers and saying the state has the highest rate of rapes per person.

5. Starting next year, federal law will ban the practice of refusing "to cover the estimated $800 cost of a forensic rape exam unless the victim files a police report." That is the policy in "many" jurisdictions, according to the AP.

6. Let’s concede the worst, which was that this was an unforgivably stupid policy, and that Palin should have overturned it during her tenure. I’ll let Obama fans explain why that error in judgment is superior to voting "present" when dealing with "a bill permitting the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to report suspected child abuse while protecting the identity of the facility or person providing the information."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pro Football and Fan Disconnect

So, I'm a huge football fan. I've been watching it as far back as I can remember (no, not just three weeks ago). I started off my football days a San Francisco 49ers fan, probably because that was my dad's team (and most of his family for that matter, except his rogue sister Janet, who has relentless hung onto her Oakland teams), and remain so to this day. From the hayday of the 80s to the lower echelons of hell that my team likes to perform in now.

My view of football has changed in little ways over the years, but fundamentally the game remains my favorite overall. When I was young, for the most part your team remained the same, minus the retiring players, plus the incoming rookies. Free Agency was a newer concept. Now instead of playing for your team and your teammates, it seems that many play for the amount of dollar bills they can get. Sure, some want to, and will remain with their team regardless of other offers, and will retire from the game with the same team that drafted them, wihtout ever being traded off. I have even heard of some players voluntarily taking pay cuts to remain with their team, and/or to allow another player to come into the organization, all to satisfy this salary cap imposed on teams (which I have no problem with). But many these days will haggle over the difference of a couple million dollars over a couple years. Player A wants a contract that gives him $11million over 4 years. The Owner says "we'll give you $8million over 5 years." And somehow, this can be a bone of contention that causes the player to stay away from training camp, preseason practices and all that is involved.

Maybe I'm missing some bigger picture here, but it's $3million dollars difference. Personally, once I've hit the $5million dollar mark in life, I'd be pretty friggin happy for life. Yeah, I know what some of you are saying..."The contracts aren't guaranteed, if he gets hurt he loses out on the rest", or "$3million is a LOT of money."
And you'd be right on both counts. But while your career may be shorter, and you may take a lot of abuse over that time, any player that plays 5 years in general has made way more than your average person will in 40 years. I even understand that Player A saw that Player B for some other team, who isn't even as good as him, got a LOT more money, and he thinks he deserves as much. Whatever happened to the love of the game? I think the league minimum for a drafted rookie is in the $300,000+ range. Hell, I'd play an entire career on that salary if I were blessed with enough size and talent to play at such a level, but that's just me. I just like to play, compete and win. Because in the end, to me, winning is the whole point. Getting to gloat afterwards is of course part of the prize, which I am guilty of to many faults. (ask my wife, sister, pretty much anyone who has ever competed against me in anything)

These days, however, your team looks different, save a few key players, every single year. Your guy switches teams, now what do you do? Root for your favorite player or your favorite team?
And it comes from all sides, to be honest, when it comes to being a loyal fan to your team. The owners jack up ticket prices, vending prices, and everything else, making it harder to go see your team play, if your in or near one of the market cities. You have whiny millionaires who demand being traded, or made their bonuses and quit putting forth an absolute 100% effort every play of every game. And now, the next thing that has hit the big time, that puts fans themselves at fault:

FANTASY FOOTBALL!
You have people now who participate in these leagues (sometimes multiple simultaneously) religiously. I played last year, and it created some disconnect from following my team specifically. Yes, it gave me a sense of control when it comes to managing a team, but I found myself hoping this guy or that guy had a great game, even if they were playing against my team that week. I was no longer following my team, but rather a bunch of individual players that I had at my disposal. (on a personal note: out of 5 guys, I placed last...my guys underperformed when I had them starting, when I switched things up, they suddenly did well...good thing I didnt havemoney riding on it!)

SO this year, I decided to opt out of any fantasy league. Given the poor performance of my team over the last few years (more like 9 years), and the fact that they are on the west coast and I am located in the midwest, I don't see them on tv as much, so I have to follow the team through the box scores in the paper, or highlights on tv. But I have found myself following them a little better this year, despite all that, and the fact that with my current job, it intereferes with my sleep time on the weekends. GRRRRR.
I can only hope that they will again become a cohesive team that can rise out of the proverbial ashes and ascend to greatness once again. Then maybe they'll get more tv play, and then I can justify losing a little sleep to see them play.

Anyways, I'm all over the place with this post, so I'll continue with this directionless rant with a couple more things. Given the differences in the two levels, I have come to prefer the more pure sport of football at the college level over the money grubbers in the pros. A certain local state favorite in college play, the Iowa Hawkeyes, however are threatening to ruin that as well. The advent of the new BigTen Network which now shows there games, and has caused me to not see them on NETWORK TV has pissed me off as well. Why should I pay $40 or whatever it is to get cable, just to watch one channel during football season?

Football used to be a sport, but as with everything else, it is becoming more business than anything. And to me, that is the biggest ruination of the game. But, I shall forever remain a football fan, and shall continue to love my 49ers, even if they suck for the rest of eternity.