Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day


Despite feeling all full of myself because of my recent headache, there needs to be some respect paid, albeit late in the day.

Anthony, one of my father's 3 older brothers, was called to service in March of 1942, just less than 3 months after Pearl Harbor. He served the Air Force in crash recovery, piloting a PT boat, recovering the many who were downed during the battle of Midway.

Unlike the average GI who served about 2 years (with furloughs), Tony served the US Air Force 3 years and almost 10 months; no breaks, no furloughs.

A year later, Gasper - my father's oldest brother - was drafted. He first guarded German POWs as an MP and later served as a medic, providing triage in France.

My father and his other older brother, Vincent, had poor eyesight and were not eligible for the draft. They, like the majority of others, fought the war on the homefront, with war bonds, scrap drives, and victory gardens.

6 or so years later, John, my father's brother-in-law, spent years defending liberty in Korea.

To these men, and to the countless others who have served this nations military, and especially to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I salute you. My uncles all came home, and it was just last month we said our last farewell to Gasper, but the work they performed should never be forgotten.

The WWII monument came not a day too late, although I do wish Uncle Gap could have lived to see it.

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Friday, May 28, 2004

What Holy Grail Character are you?



beveyere
My liege!



Thanks to Gilly, who also Beveyere!




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Thursday, May 27, 2004

The countdown begins

For the sake of some clarity to those readers who do not personally know me,

 

I work for an IT company that specializes in DoD work.  We’ve been sub’d (subcontracted) to a primary contractor (a rather large company that many in the IT field would recognize but will remain nameless) that is tasked with logistics modernization project for the DoD.   The current project is in its 4th year; before that I worked for 6 years on a project that is now in its sunset phase.

 

This new project ought to have been timed properly to grab most of the people from the old project to save the jobs, both prime and subs.

 

Why a sub?  The DoD likes to spread its cash around, and prime contractors prefer the option of dropping subs if necessary.  My company was a partner contractor, which means we were one of the first hired and one of the last ones to be cut as the old project wound down.   Most of us should have been saved by the new contract, but that was not the case, as I am the only one from my company here.   Many of my colleagues from the prime company lost their jobs last year as the other project began to fold its tent.  One would have thought that my position was saved because I delivered skills that were needed.  Perhaps not.

 

Apparently, instead of waiting for the end of the fiscal year (when most job cuts occur), I’m being RIF’d (reduction in force – DoD speak) in just over two weeks.  No one has been named to replace me, but I am tasked to ensure my documentation is all up to date.

 

Great… not only is my job seemingly finished, but I get to make it easy for the next guy.

 

I am working on finding another slot I am qualified for within this project, failing that I can have my company place me elsewhere, but there are only a few projects near to the Northeast.   I need this company, the one I work for; I need the benefits.  I am making it on one salary because of it, but ‘making it’ means month to month, while waiting for the insurance reimbursements.

 

Things have to break my way for once, one of these days….

 

 

 

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Real Life



Join this Blog as he deals with the news that he will be laid off his job of over 7 years on June 18th.

More news as matters warrant...




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U.S. Warns Of Al Qaeda Threat This Summer


Nobody asked me, but...: "Let's have a dialog about terror and elections...
People need to think and discuss NOW what the US would do should the terrorists manage another strike on the US days before the November elections. We need to decide now without the pressure of the attack weighing on us."


I wrote the above days after the Spain train bombing. It bears repeating here; we need to decided what we as a nation will do if there is a bombing in the days before the election. Lets not wait for a panic, but set firmly we will NOT be swayed by the terrorists. We can not waver.

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Ya gotta believe!


It's way to early to think about anything post-season in baseball, but Gothamist has a feeling that Mets fans are starting to believe. After winning 9 of 12, the Mets are one game over .500, which is nothing to be proud of. Then again, have the Mets had anything to be proud of in recent years? Their 5-0 win last night (box score) against the Phillies is a step in the right direction. During the next 12 days, the Mets have 11 more games against the Phillies and Marlins that will temporarily shape the NL East. Some might say the Mets are the hottest team outside Cincinnati.


More at Gothamist ... ya gotta believe....

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Summer approaches


Better be prepared for the poolside, the beach or other outdoor activities... get these for your feet.

Wink and a nod to Exit Zero.

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Liberals: what say you about this?

United Nations peacekeeping troops are sexually exploiting teenage rape victims fleeing war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to an investigation by the The Independent newspaper of London.

Many of the girls, as young as 13, are mothers who give up their bodies to the U.N. soldiers in exchange for food to feed their hungry children.

WND


Sen. Kerry and others want the matter in Iraq turned over to the United Nations; tell me, is
this the kind of abuse we want to see happening in Iraq?

The world virtually condemned (paging Sen. Kennedy) the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, why is the media and the world comparatively silent about this?

Come on, Liberals, defend the criticism of the Abu Ghraib while condoning this behavior; I dare you.


Thanks to Reality Hammer

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Total Eclipse


Kevin Schmidt at onedwarf.com at how the Left seems so full of contempt and hatred that they're blocking out the sun.

Whereas Hunter S. Thompson seems convinced the abuse at Abu Ghraib exceeds the literal torture and mutilation inflicted by the Nazi's, Kevin makes the following comparison:

Let's see, underwear on a prisoners head, human skin lampshade, I'm not to sure about you, but I think that comparison is about a fair as comparing Ted Kennedy's liver to a healthy one. There just isn't any comparison. While the guy with underwear on his head is embarrassed, at least his hide isn't being used to keep Ilse's steaming bowl of sauerkraut from scoring Grandma Koch's antique table.


So long as the Congress and the media keep treating the abuse and the Holocaust as one in the same, this insult to the Nazi victims will continue.

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What? You're successful? That's against the law!

"There is a simple reality here," Mr. Spitzer said. "Mr. Grasso was paid too much. He has the money in his checking account and he has an obligation to return it." Mr. Spitzer reiterated his assertions that Mr. Grasso's pay was unreasonable for the head of a quasi-public institution like the stock exchange. Mr. Grasso's total compensation was actually close to $200 million, Mr. Spitzer noted, including an additional $48 million in future compensation that Mr. Grasso agreed to forgo when he left the exchange.  NY Times.

 

So says NYS Attorney General Eliot Spitzer concerning the compensation package of Richard Grasso, now former chairman of the NY Stock Exchange.  Not unlike the public assaults in the media of former GE Chairman Jack Welsh, Mr. Grasso’s biggest crime is that he was successful.  He did not deal in illegal drugs, gun running, prostitution, gambling or any vice.   He built the NYSE up many times its former size and he did so by having worked in the Exchange since he was a hired as a mail boy.

 

Let’s not forget the instrumental role he took to restart the Market 3 days after the brutal attack inflicted upon lower Manhattan on Sept. 11th; that was not a trivial task.  

 

If the board of directors of any corporation approves a compensation package for its executives, then the Board must and will answer to the shareholders.  They should decide if Mr. Grasso was paid too much (or, conversely, whether the other board members were paid too little!),  This idea of ‘giving back’ or forgoing future compensations is a dangerous road; unless we can apply it evenhandedly, such as to politicians who campaigned one way and voted another… but that’ll never fly, will it?  No, the ‘shareholders’ in that case will take the pol to task, as should the NYSE shareholders in Mr. Grasso’s case.

 

It is not yet a crime to be rich and successful, but if people like Attny Spitzer get their way, it may well be so one day.

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MoveOn can't get over it

One of my daily reads (and occasional debate blogger) is Kathleen at ~ unsettled ~, and as we have debated in the past it’s not a surprise she is featuring a MoveOn.org bumper sticker proclaiming “Nothing Accomplished – defeat Bush in 04”

 

This kind of rhetoric will prove unsuccessful for supporters of either Sen. Kerry or Ralph Nader (and let’s just leave it with those two, for there are no other viable candidates on anyone’s radar).  This may drum up the base, but will do little for the great unwashed: the 20% or so who are always in that vast ‘undecided’ camp.  These people would have to be completely ignorant of current events if they were to conclude that nothing has been accomplished in the last 3 and half years.

 

  • Solid economic recovery in the wake of a recession and an unmitigated act of war which undermined a number of different industries in the country
  • A complete revamping of the intelligence community, which has been more than at least ‘partially’ responsible for the prevention of the much anticipated ‘other shoe to drop’ from Al Qaeda and their allies
  • A disruption of Al Qaeda operations worldwide; they may not be eliminated, but they are hardly as robust as they once were
  • The liberation of some 20-40 million people, and two footprints of democracy in a world where freedom was a undefined word to the masses
  • The eradication of a loose cannon, namely Saddam Hussein, a long time foe to the Western world, who repeated ignored the world’s demands for accountability, and who conspired with others while his people went unfed.   And yes, as the UN, France, Russia, UK and US intel has shown, he had WMDs which will be further uncovered
  • Education reforms made with bipartisan endorsement, brining about real changes and benefits to all students
  • Across-the-board tax cuts for all Americans, leading to a rise in revenues to the treasury, job creation, and business growth, and related prosperity

 

If critics of the President merely said ‘we want Bush out, vote for Candidate X’ that would be closer to the truth than to suggest ‘nothing’ positive has been accomplished.

 

 

 

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Yes, I know

Yes, I know I promised new comments capability.

 

Yes, I know I promised new templates.

 

Yes, I know I’ve done more linking that my own commentary, which is what this Blog started out as.  I recognize it all; 

 

I’ve been busy, but I’m getting there..

 

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Hot Hot Hot

Today is a gorgeous day; a pity I can’t enjoy it.  If I had my druthers, I’d live in a warmer climate (although preferably less humid).   The Northeast gives a great taste of both extremes of the seasons, so at least it isn’t dull.

 

President Bush will give a speech tonight regarding the transition of power at the end of June.  Critics all along have called for a delay in this deadline whenever something tragic was reported; as if to say ‘What?  Another car bomb?  Better delay the handover… THAT will make things right!”   When all along, a delay in the hand over is precisely what the enemy of liberty in Iraq wants.

 

The enemy – be it Hussein hold-out, Al Qaeda, or general terrorist wanna-be – fears the handover of power to a Sovereign Iraqi government.  If the hand-over is delayed, they can see “See?? The Americans are an occupying force” and thus pressure those who have a weakened resolve after years of tyranny.

 

No; the hand-over must happen on time; earlier if at all possible, but not a day late.

 

 

In Iraq today, hundreds of school buses went around with their charges, as US Military patrolled the streets.  Shops opened for business.  Women went about their business, both domestically oriented and others in the new born government or business.  Still think there are things not worth fighting for?  If we stay the course, a generation will be raised knowing the difference between tyranny and freedom.  THAT translates to a safer world, and a safer USA.

 

In the US today, 1.1 million workers went to work today that weren’t employed just 10 months ago.    Is the economy running as hot as it was 4 years ago?  No; but that was the year Fed Chairman Greenspan warned of coming bubble burst, and he was right.   First come the jobs, then the 401(k)s will begin to rise again.  All things in good time; wait and see.

 

Yes, it’s a gorgeous day, in many, many ways.

 

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Sen. John F. Kerry: A Class Act


Lets do a quick run-down of John Kerry's character:

  • He has no respect for his political opponent.

  • He likes to curse during magazine interviews.

  • His wife likes to hand out Asses of Evil buttons bearing the likeness of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft on them.

  • He refers to his security detail as 'sons of bitches' when they get in his way.

  • Yeah, this is the kind of guy I want running my country.

    Thanks to Rob at Say Anything

    I can add my points concerning the Sneator's complete lack of any articulated policy for what he would do as President, the utter contempt he's raised with many Vietnam veterans, but I think Rob's comments stand on their own.

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    The first to jump ship


    First on-air personality, that is...

    Randi Rhodes announced today that she is quitting Air America. Rhodes made the surprise announcement in a prepared statement at the opening of today's broadcast of the Randi Rhodes Show.

    On a related note the Arbitron ratings came out (for New York only) and it is not pretty. Air America on WLIB came in ranked #24 between #23 Mexican Radio and #25 Wall of Voodoo. "

    Courtesy of The National Debate:

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    Friday, May 21, 2004

    Friday's Feast


    C'mon.. you know you want to join in!


    Appetizer
    What time do you usually wake up each day? If you could choose your wake-up time, when would it be?
    Generally, I'm in the shower by 3:30 AM. On weekends I sleep in until (gasp) 6:30 or so. My preferred wake-up time? Anything past 9:00 AM.
    Soup
    When was the last time you bought groceries? What store did you go to? Name 3 things you purchased.
    This isn't hard. Wednesday night; Wegmans (which has to be one of the best supermarkets ever), cat food, milk, deli meat, and other items.
    Salad
    How many books have you read so far this year? Which was your favorite and why?
    Well... I haven't had time to read any novels or the like for quite sometime. So I'll skip the salad course.

    Main Course
    What is something you consider to be very elegant? In particular, what about that item/place/person conjures up the feeling of elegance?
    Any woman dressed for an elegant occasion, a tuxedo. I wear tie/jackets often, so I need something to elevate what some others might call elegant.
    Dessert
    Who taught you how to drive?
    Mom, and she somehow survived to tell about it.





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    Race card dealt early



    We have 165 days to go before the election, and it seems apparent Missouri Democrats wanted to get out their message early...


    Click for a hi-res
    Thanks to Hannity.com


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    Death watch for AirAmerica



    The National Debate on AirAmerica:

    The Air America Death Watch is in full swing. Since launching 51 days ago, the company has terminated almost its entire senior management, missed payroll, lost stations in two of its five original markets and racked up millions in unpaid debt including paychecks owed to former employees in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. The original investors have lined up Rob Glaser of Real Networks in a last ditch effort to raise $8 million to save the fledgling liberal radio network.

    As executives flee the sinking ship, Air America has quitely removed their list of company executives from its web site and stopped issuing press releases. As a public service, The National Debate provides an up-to-date scorecard since the liberal talk radio "network" was first announced early last year: coming and goings and who is still left.


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

    Feb. 2003 - Sheldon and Anita Drobny Announce launch of AnShell Media to create a liberal talk radio network.

    Dec. 2003 - Sheldon and Anita Drobny Sell AnShell Media To Evan Cohen and Mark Walsh; company renamed Progress Media; network to be called "Central Air" Radio Network, Evan Cohen named as Chairman, Mark Walsh named CEO.

    Jan. 2004 - Progress Media signs Al Franken and Robert F. Kennedy to host shows, additional signings follow including Janeane Garafolo, Chuck D., and Randi Rhodes. Lizz Winstead joins on the production side.

    Mar. 31, 2004 - Air America Launches with stations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Bernadino, and Portland, with a staff of about 100 employees

    Apr. 14, 2004 - Air America Stop Broadcasting in Chicago and Los Angeles over Billing Dispute

    Apr. 14, 2004 - Air America Stop Broadcasting in Los Angeles over Billing Dispute

    Apr. 20, 2004 - Air America Temporarily Resumes Broadcasting in Chicago after resolving Billing Dispute and get a 10 day reprieve.

    Apr. 26, 2004 - VP, Operations and Programming David Logan Terminated

    Apr. 26, 2004 - Co-founder & CEO Mark Walsh Terminated

    Apr. 30, 2004 - Air America Stops Broadcasting in Chicago

    May 5, 2004 - Air America Fails to Meet Payroll for All Employees

    May 6, 2004 - Chairman Evan Cohen Terminated

    May 6, 2004 - Vice Chairman Rex Sorensen Terminated

    May 12, 2004 - Entire Los Angeles Salesforce and staff Terminated Without Pay (11 people)

    May 12, 2004 - Entire Chicago Salesforce and staff Terminated Without Pay (7 people)

    May 12, 2004 - Entire San Francisco Salesforce and staff Terminated Without Pay (3 people)

    May 14, 2004 - Investor Doug Kreeger named as interim CEO

    May 20, 2004 - Sheldon and Anita Drobny Announce Interest to Acquire Progressive Media in bid to Save Air America Radio

    May 21, 2004 - Rob Glaser of Real Networks partner with Sheldon and Anita Drobny to committ toinvest in Air America Radio and help praise $8 million to pay unpaid debts (pay roll to staff in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco) and fund ongoing operations.


    Observations:
  • As I stated before, it takes more than a name to make it in radio (sorry, Mr. Franken), it takes talent and content people are willing to pay for (a la sponsers). With the dominance of left-wing views in TV, print and NPR, did they really think there was room for Mr. Franken and his ego?

  • QUESTION: If you stop sending out press releases, do you say so with a press release??




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    Cosby on Today's Culture



    Rob notes the comments made by Bill Cosby, and while I doubt few in the audience enjoyed hearing the Cos say them, I wonder if any doubted he was right?


    From the NY Daily News:

    Bill Cosby's remarks Monday night at a D.C. gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
    Cosby, who was honored for his massive donations to black colleges, had organizers gasping when he contrasted the '60s civil-rights pioneers with some of today's African-Americans.

    "These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around," he declared. "The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.'

    "I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is' ... You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!"

    Turning to criminal justice, he said, "These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, saying, 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"

    Cosby makes some valid points. Too often black culture is defined by professional atheletes and rappers when, in reality, these people have very little in common with the average black person.

    I've been a fan of Bill Cosby since I was kid. Long before I memorized George Carlin's 7 Dirty Words (much to my parents chargrin), I had Noah down pat. And Buck-Buck. And countless other bits by the Cos.

    Later in life I became dismayed that his politics were so wildly out of line with mine (his
    very public support of Tawana Brawley, for example). Years ago I would have never pegged him to make these comments as he did; perhaps with the passage of time and the senseless murder of his son, he's become more traditional in his viewpoints.


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    Overheard at work

    She: Where are you going for dinner?

    He: Either the seafood place or the steak house.  Can’t decide which I want to pick.

    He2: Well you get to pick your lobster if you go seafood.

    He: Wouldn’t it be great if you could do the same thing with steak?  I want that cow over there, no no, the brown one, the one that looks like it hasn’t a care in the world!

     

     

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    Tackling tough subject

    Critics worries that Doonesbury would have a problem dealing with B.D.’s loss of his left leg. I think this shows Trudeau (with whom I have very few agreements with regarding politics) has handled the issue tastefully:




    Doonesbury.com




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    Thursday, May 20, 2004

    An answer to a ponderous question


    Here’s some fun. Go to McDonalds (or Wendy’s or BK – this might work there as well) and note the price of a hamburger. Unless you’re on the Turnpike or in Times Square, odds are the price is $.89. Check the cheeseburger price, and you’ll likely see it for $.99. Prices may vary, and you might see $1.10/$1.20 but you will very likely see a $.10 spread in the price.

    Now an outfit like McDonalds buys enough tonnage of cheese each year that a dime for a slice of American sounds rudely overpriced, but for the purposes of this discussion we’ll accept it for now

    Now check the price of a Hamburger Happy Meal.

    In So. Jersey, near where I work, they go for $1.99.

    A Cheeseburger Happy Meal sell for $2.49.

    Excuse me? How did that dime piece of cheese leap to $.50??

    Ask the managers on duty and you’ll likely be amused at their responses. I’ve done this before, and usually the response involves a blank stare at the menu board followed by an “um….. well, um, the prices aren’t set by the night managers” or some other dodge. I’m convinced half of them are as curious as I am but won’t admit it.

    Monday’s managerial response was no different. As I left with my Happy Meal secured in hand (the burger and fries were for me, truth be told; the pocket-sized NASCAR video game is for my oldest son). As I left I saw a smart looking sign offering the franchise owners phone number. So I called, expecting nothing more than an opportunity to leave voice mail, and I wasn’t disappointed.

    However, today I got an unexpected phone call, from Michelle Clark, one of the owners of that restaurant. She explained that they get this question once or twice each year, and this was her first call this year. As the story goes, McD’s once had a national advertisement that the price for Happy Meals started at $1.99; the corporate offices made no mention of the cheeseburger pricing, leaving it up to the individual owners. She’s still abiding by the corporate promotion (long since expired), but I couldn’t convince her to knock off $.40 off the price of a cheeseburger meal.

    Logically, it tracks until you consider the price of a regular burger vs. regular cheeseburger. Had I pressed her, I imagine that was a promotion as well.


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    50 questions



    It's hardly an original theme, but this time the questions come pre-written. Consider it an extension of Help>About Charlie....

    Credit to Jen for swiping this idea first.


    1. Your name spelled backwards.
    Let's see... Eilrahc. Selrahc. Kcuhc. Selrahc has a nice ring to it...

    2. Where were your parents born?
    Queens, NYC

    3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
    An app recommended by Lockergnome

    4. What's your favorite restaurant?
    Hmmm.. Bridies on Northern Blvd in Flushing, NY, had to be one of the finest Irish pubs ever. After over a dozen years it's changed hands and names, and I haven't been there yet, so I can't speak for it today. Giardino's in Moorestown, PA is the best Italian restaruants this side of Little Italy.

    5. Last time you swam in a pool?
    Hmmmmm... this is one of those questions I'd rather not answer. Oh hell, you wouldn't know me if you bumped into me, right? To borrow a line from Douglas Adams, I tread water in much the same way that bricks do not.

    6. Have you ever been in a school play?
    School play? There was some sort of stage show I recall being in way back in the 2nd grade. After college I did a few years of Community Theater, oddly enough the same show in two different towns: L'il Abner. Chorus for the first time, the ever reliable Available Jones second time around. After that I did some stage work, but nothing else.

    7. How many kids do you want?
    Reminds me of a Steven Wright line: At the movie theater, the sign says Adults: $8.50, Children $6.50. I said 'Give me two girls, one boy...'
    My much better half and I have two children and I doubt severely if we're going to have any more.

    8. Type of music you dislike most?
    There isn't any I dislike. Oh wait! Some people call disco, rap and country 'music'. Few and far between rap songs I can tolerate, and while there are a couple of country songs to which I actually know the lyrics, I wouldn't mind not hearing any ever again.

    9. Are you registered to vote?
    Going on 22 years

    10. Do you have a car?
    "I don't own them, my family does."
    Four. '01 RAV4 (wife's), '94 LeSabre, '94 Blazer, '90 Corolla.
    Both Toyotas were original purchases, and the Corolla is now up at 319,600 miles, so its not even worth trading in.

    11. Have you ever ridden on a moped?
    No, but I have two in my shed! Gas tanks rusted out. Don't ask.

    12. Ever prank call anybody?
    There was an incident with a buddy named Mark, but that had to be about 30 years ago.

    13. Ever get a parking ticket?
    Does one that was dismissed count?

    14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
    If I could satisfactorily say for myself that all saftey precautions are in place, then yes to both. Co-workers here spoke of a group dare they shared a few summers ago involving a tandem sky-dive jump with a skilled instructor (I think it ran about $100). Since hearing about it I've wondered what the thrill feels like; of course, being the parent, husband and breadwinner means silly thrills have pretty much passed me by.

    15. Furthest place you ever traveled?
    London. (Yes, I know that was Jen's answer, but it's the truth)

    16. Do you have a garden?
    Do *I*? No. Much-better-half tends to annuals and the like each year.

    17. What's the size of your bed?
    Queen.

    18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?
    First stanza? Sure! Beyond that, no; I recall reading the rest of the song was very rude to the Brits. One might even say 'humiliating'...

    19. Bath or Shower, morning or night?
    Shower. Definitely a morning shower person, but also after workouts which are always at night.

    20. Best movie you've seen in the past 4 months?
    Hmmmm. tough one. Haven't seen a first-run in about a year (Nemo, at a drive-in), and before that it was 8 years. Can't recall the last Netflix I watched either.

    21. What's the next movie you want to see?
    See #20.

    22. Chips or popcorn?
    Popcorn, but only if not microwave; have yet to find one that rivals oil/air-popped. Corn chips are great, especailly with good, hot salsa.

    23. Have you ever broken any hearts?
    I dropped a box of Valentines candies once...
    Have I knowingly done so? No.

    24. Premarital sex?
    Too late; I am married already. But I am flattered you asked.

    25. Are you a good cook?
    I am an expert at blackened chicken, blackened beef, pretty much BLACKENED anything...

    26. Orange or Apple juice
    Orange (vodka optional).

    27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you go to?
    My parents and assorted family; see here. And it was at Giardinos as a matter of fact

    28. Favorite type of drink?
    Milk

    29. Best thing in the world?
    Best 'thing'? I don't know. How about Liquid Prell or Saran Wrap? Best person? My much-better-half.

    30. Have you ever broken a bone?
    A green-twig fracture of left radius when I was about 14. While bike riding I swerved a pot hole and hit a car (it was parked)

    31. Have you ever won a trophy?
    Something as a kid. May have been Boy Scout related.

    32. What is your favorite board game?
    Chess

    33. What is your dream car?
    I'd enjoy a Hummer.

    34. Ever order an article from an infomercial?
    Never lasted more than 3 minutes watching one, even at 2 AM. We do own the Johnny Carson collection, so I imagine she has.

    35. Coke or Pepsi?
    Can't understand why anyone drinks Pepsi... and Diet Pepsi tastes like medicine, only worse.

    36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work?
    A standard issue sky-blue suit jacket for a bank teller's job. After a year, we were encouraged to wear our own (and there was much rejoicing).

    37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy?
    I guess 81mg aspirin from the supermarket's pharmacy aisle counts?

    38. Who are you going to marry?
    Consider myself pretty damned lucky to be married now.

    39. Who would you like to meet?
    I'd rather hang with old friends I don't see then wonder what people I don't know are like.

    40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
    Is there any other?

    41. What features do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?
    Smile, eyes.

    42. Where would you go for a romantic evening?
    Anywhere she wants. Default: quiet restaurant.

    43. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
    Dress: two pair (Black),
    Casual: two pair In both cases one pair is the 'old' pair

    44. Last song stuck in your head?
    La Sagrada Familia: The Alan Parsons Project

    45. Any pets?
    Sadly, yes. A cat.

    46. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character?
    Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not.

    47. What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
    Any given thing I do now, only better.

    48. What do you do when you are bored?
    Bloglines, attempt something witty or intelligent on my own Blog.

    49. What is one thing you would want someone to appreciate about you?
    My modesty. No, that's a joke.
    Take me for what I am.

    50. What is one thing you are grateful for today?
    Modern medicine in a free society; That my loved ones got the medical care they needed here where such is often taken for granted by far too many.





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    Still here...



    ...altho its hard to prove it. In my 'required' reading list there are over 200 blog entries I haven't gotten to. I started yesterday and found one meme to repost, ostensibly because it'll give me an excuse to post something.




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    Wednesday, May 19, 2004

    Quick hits

    Have been away from the Blog and Bloglines for too long this week, so my required daily reading is far behind. If these have been covered already elsewhere, forgive the redundancy:


    * May 19 Gas Out: If Blog readers such as yourself can't get a grasp on the laws of supply and demand, you'd better take Eco 1001. Refineries are running at 96% capacity (for those who have trouble with numbers: imagine 25 refineries in the country; 24 are running full-tilt). There's nothing this Administration can do to affect the wholesale price of gas. Even if OPEC slashed barrel prices (and there's little reason for them to do so), the overall price wouldn't drop that far here, because we all love to drive (and why not). AAA reports more drivers will be on the road this Memorial Day than in years passed. Supply and demand, you can't ignore it, and a one-day gas-out is meaningless, as we're all going to buy that gas tomorrow. You want cheaper gas? Lets lobby congress to repeal the GORE TAX: that's the federal gas tax that was levied after the Senate was deadlocked 50-50 in 1999, and then VP Gore cast the deciding vote. *THAT* would affect everyone's bottom line immediately.

    * Fond memories of Tony Randall. I remember seeing an interview with he and Jack Klugman. Mr. Randall recounted a tale wherein he was seeking money for his then fledgling theater company. He hosted a celebrity auction, and among the items offered, there was Jack Klugman's Emmy award from The Odd Couple (an all time TV fav of this Blog, incidentally). Tony Randall secretly bid for and eventually won the Emmy, and then presented it back to his friend, Jack. That one friend would donate his prize, only to have the other friend win it back for him demonstrates their true friendship.

    * Sarin and Mustard Gas: anyone who believes this ALL we're going to find in Iraq must believe a one-day gas out will work.

    * Someone asked about my plumbing; details to follow.


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    Monday, May 17, 2004

    Give me a bud and a slice, and leave me alone


    No time to Blog this weekend, or today (save this). Haven't read my must-read list since Friday. Have been working on an average of 5 hours sleep for many months, looks like I'm going to have to learn to live on less.


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    Friday, May 14, 2004

    Say Thanks


    Armed Forces Day: "The heritage of freedom must
    be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not
    suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not
    selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance,
    not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms." --General
    Omar N. Bradley, Armed Forced Day, 1950.

    Saturday, 15 May, is Armed Forces Day -- that day first set aside
    in 1949 by President Harry Truman to recognize the unification of
    the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense and to acknowledge
    the extraordinary dedication of Americans in uniform standing
    ready in harm's way at home and around the world. In the words
    of President Dwight Eisenhower, "It is fitting and proper that we
    devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose
    constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding
    the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world."
    To all our fellow Patriots in uniform, we offer our heartfelt
    gratitude for your sacrifice and prayers for your safety.

    Please take a moment to thank our men and women in uniform! Sign
    an Open Letter in Support of America's Armed Forces. Link to --
    http://patriotpetitions.us/USMIL
    (If you don't have Web access, please send a blank e-mail to:



    (Circulation of this service is sponsored by The Federalist,
    the most widely read conservative e-journal on the Internet.
    If you have not already joined the ranks of Patriots receiving
    The Federalist, we encourage you to do so. This highly acclaimed
    conservative digest of news, policy and opinion will be delivered
    FREE by e-mail to your inbox each week. Simply link to --
    http://.federalist.com/subscribe/patriots.aspIf you don't have
    Web access, send a blank e-mail to
    and you will be subscribed automatically.)

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    Harry S. Truman (R)

    Here, in a nutshell, is why, had the Democrats nominated Lieberman, a Democrat would have had a solid chance to win my vote for the Presidency for the first time in my life: On the stuff that really matters, he gets it:

    First, we must aggressively and thoroughly investigate what was happening at Abu Ghraib prison and at every other American military prison. We must hold accountable anyone who was responsible for wrongdoing, which requires that we undertake the most independent and unfettered investigation possible....

    This investigation, and the justice it produces, should make clear to us and the world that we Americans will not tolerate such inhumanity, even in the treatment of those who are themselves wantonly inhumane to us. The beheading of Nick Berg just because he was an American made painfully clear how little our enemies value life. Prison abuse must not blur the enormous moral differences between us and those we fight in Iraq, and in the world-wide war on terrorism.

    And that leads to my second conclusion. We cannot allow the prison scandal in Iraq to diminish our own American sense of national honor and purpose, or further erode support for our just and necessary cause in Iraq. American opponents of the war may try to do the latter, while foreign critics and enemies of the United States will try to do the former. The misdeeds of a few do not alter the character of our nation or the honor of the many who serve in our defense - and the world's - every day. Winning the war we are now fighting in Iraq against Saddam loyalists and jihadist terrorists remains critical to the security of the American people, the freedom of the Iraqi people, and the hopes of all the Middle East for stability and peace. [ Emphasis added.]

    Regrettably, the fact that he expresses such sentiments guaranteed he never had even the remotest chance of winning his party's nomination. Which is tragic.

    I've long wished Sen. Lieberman would be paid the respect he is due by his party. I may not agree on all of the good senator's views, especially on domestic policy, but he knows a thing or two about foreign policy.

    Hat tip to Ipse Dixit

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    Facial Flex Facial Exercise and Toning Kit

    At about 3:30 AM this morning I saw this product being demonstrated on QVC. May I simply say I've never seen anything quite as odd as this??? Watching the female model with this device in her mouth, watching it stretch her mouth in various ways made me wonder if I weer instead watching an old SNL bit.

    The photos on the site aren't as impressive as the TV demonstration, but if you click on the MANUAL button you'll see instructions that have a crude image of what I am talking about.

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    A Nation's Strength


    Michele earns another post; two in fact. Not only are her own words worhty of a "daily read" status, she knows when to reference other works to make her points.


    "A NATION'S STRENGTH
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    What makes a nation's pillars high
    And it's foundations strong?
    What makes it mighty to defy
    The foes that round it throng?
    It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
    Go down in battle shock;
    Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
    Not on abiding rock.
    Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
    Of empires passed away;
    The blood has turned their stones to rust,
    Their glory to decay.
    And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
    Has seemed to nations sweet;
    But God has struck its luster down
    In ashes at his feet.
    Not gold but only men can make
    A people great and strong;
    Men who for truth and honor's sake
    Stand fast and suffer long.
    Brave men who work while others sleep,
    Who dare while others fly...
    They build a nation's pillars deep
    And lift them to the sky."

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    Farewell, Dr. Craine

    Last night was the latest series finale', that of FRAISER. Dr. Craine has been a staple in our lives for over 20 years now, and the last show of the series left on notes worthy of it's 11 year run.

    Another relationship ending for Fraiser -- seemingly ending, of course, because all of the previews led us to believe he would find his one, true love ... or would he?? -- another grand party thrown by Fraiser and his brother Niles that ends in near disaster, another visit from his incorrigible agent Bebe, a masterful mistake made by the cast (that of Fraiser's illness) and a wonderful final story for all of the characters. Even Eddie had a key role!

    I confess that my much-better-half almost had me convinced in the final 3 minutes that he was going to SF and that his love-of-his-life would be the brunette he flew along aside. Fraiser had often ended the show with a surprise, and the finale was no different. In fact, my much-better-half was so convinced the brunette was 'the one' that she didn't even hear the flight attendant announce 'welcome to Chicago' when she said to me 'I told you it was the brunette.' For what it's worth, I am glad he moved east.

    The last scene in the apartment, the final on-air goodbye, these scenes were impeccably written, a real tribute to the show and to the actors. This Blog admits he felt as if he was loosing a friend when the family said their good-byes.

    I will miss the witty humor and well-written story lines (like Niles, especially those over coffee). Like M*A*S*H, Cheers, and Friends, Fraiser will live on indefinitely; not the same as the evolving stories when the shows were new, but at least a frozen look back to their greatness.

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    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    Local, National Journalists Question Political Motives in Limbaugh Investigation

    While editorial writers and columnists at The Palm Beach Post search for new ways to bash Rush Limbaugh and discredit him - most recently by taking his comments about the Iraqi prisoner issue out of context and then using those distorted quotes as a means to justify the investigation of Mr. Limbaugh by Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer - a number of prominent national and local journalists, commentators and editorial writers have questioned or charged that the investigation of Rush Limbaugh by Mr. Krischer is politically motivated. We believe that readers of the The Palm Beach Post deserve to see this, more widely-held, point of view. Following is the latest such opinion from the May 9, 2004 Washington Times.

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    Flats are never fun...


    Flat tires are never fun, but they are even worse at 4:15 AM.

    Fortunately I realized the deflation because my steering wheel was gradually going off-center. I wasn't yet on a highway, and a nearby gas station provided shelter from the rain (they weren't open yet). Less than 25 minutes later I was back up and running, but it really causes bad karma to begin the day with such a start.





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    Elementary, my dear Sen. Kerry

    National Review Online on Sen. Kerry's "Service for College" initiative:

    Contrary to popular belief, the evidence indicates that the cost of tuition prevents very few students from pursuing a college degree. The problem isn't that students can't afford college - it's that not enough students possess the academic qualifications necessary even to apply. This cannot be fixed through better financing for tuition: It requires reforming K-12 education.


    Despite what some pols will have you believe, not everyone is destined for a college education. However, we must not skimp on primary and high schools.



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    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    Response to Bad: Strengthen Good



    Michele has asked a favor of me, and I am only too happy to oblige:


    Command Post had this to say last evening last night:

    We were shocked by the evil we've seen recently. Our response is to help strengthen something that is good: We're trying to raise $10,000 in three days to send a family of 13 special needs children to college. Go here to read more and to strengthen something good.


    Please read Alan's whole post. The point is this: we can react to bad by doing good and that good does not necessarily have to be directly related to the bad.

    The Tom Family Education Fund is a non-partisan, non-political charity. We are doing this because sometimes good things need to be done. I call it karma, you call it what you will.

    I am not asking for a donation from any of you, I am just asking that you link this, spread the word and spread the good karma around.

    I don't know about you, but sometimes the news leaves me feeling helpless. So let's do where we can, what we can to make this world a better place.

    I'll end the schmaltz here. Thank you in advance for your help.



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    Hate Radio


    Rob at Say Anything weighs in on Hate Radio:


    "Air America continues its descent into non-relevance. Now one of its hosts is calling for the assassination of President Bush.

    Yesterday on her Air America radio show, Randi Rhodes said that's exactly what should be done to President Bush. Rhodes commented that Bush was like Fredo Corleone and that either Poppy or Jeb should take W. out for a fishing trip and blow him away.

    After imitating the sound of gun going off Rhodes said, 'Works for me.' Nice.


    Nice indeed.

    There's no excuse for this kind of behavior. I don't care if its Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or anybody else."


    Rob sources the quotes and provides links to the sound files. For the record, this Blog has never heard either Rush Limbaugh nor Sean Hannity ever advocate violence against their political opponents.

    But then again, it's the Right that are always tarred with the brush of 'hate monger', isn't it?

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    More spin, set straight




    This speaks for itself, especially in light of the true barbaric act shown yesterday.

    Day By Day is another must-read daily. Perhaps I ought to refine my Bloglist and separate the 'must reads' from the 'distinctive' list...

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    A Partisan Beheading?


    Wizbang took a good, hard look at the Blogosphere and came to a startling conclusion:

    "Not a single lefty site linked to the video. I was struck by one thing surfing lefty sites. The anger and animosity for the beheading was not aimed at the guy with the knife but at George Bush.

    So I went and looked at right wing sites..."



    So there you have it... A partisan beheading. If the lefties even mentioned it, they downplayed it and could only muster a sense of outrage at George Bush. The folks on the right were far more outraged and actually pointed their outrage at the murderers.

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    Insane Spins


    Read of the day, courtesy of www.AndrewSullivan.com:

    "AN INSANE SPIN: How are the media this stupid? AOL headlines: 'Abuse Scandal's Deadly Fallout' referring to the hideous beheading of Nick Berg. Or this idiocy: 'American Beheaded for Abuse.' Do these people have no memories? This is al Qaeda. "

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    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    On Abu Ghraib


    Michele once again earns a 'must read' notation, leaving me to wonder why she isn't PAID to write. Just as 'Carl from Oyster Bay', a one time denizen of talk radio, rode his way to become the prominent commentator Carl Limbacher Jr. , I predict great things in her future.

    Regarding Abu Ghraib, Michele writes:

    Here's how to tell the difference between moderates (be they Republican or Democrat or otherwise) and those on the fringes of everything:
    The left fringe people are dancing in the streets, raising their arms in jubilation because this whole torture scandal means bigger numbers for Kerry. They are calling for impeachment and calling for heads rather than trying to find a way to fix this thing or punish the actual perpetrators, who are, last I checked, adults and responsible for their own actions. Well, what do you expect from the same group of people who think it's McDonald's fault that people are fat? They are comparing Bush to Hitler and Abu Ghraib to Auschwitz and using the word massacre wantonly. Above all, Abu Ghraib is a victory for them. Even though they won't come out and say it, it's in their words and phrases.
    The right fringe are justifying Abu Ghraib. They compare the prison with that of Saddam's prisons. They compare it to frat parties and juvenile stunts. They make claims of stress and poor guidance. They dismiss the use of the word torture and make light of the situation by cracking bad jokes about Iraqi prisoners. Some even cheer the abuse. They also see this as a loss; not a loss for America's fight to maintain it's good name, not as a loss for Iraqi dignity and American pride, not as a loss for the war we are waging against evil in the Middle East; no, they see it as a November loss.


    She later goes on to remind us about Rush Limbaugh's comparison of these abuses to a frat initiation, and at the time, I agreed with Rush. Naked pyramids and people donning hoods is hardly 'torture'. We are in a war, and its highly likely these same prisoners would cut off the extremities of the US Soldiers IF they had the chance. I do not condone unbridled torture, but if humiliation of a few (and the photos thereof) leads to a dozen giving vital information, then I say go ahead.

    There are reports of photos (be they digital or other media) showing prisoners being sodomized. This, to me, is unacceptable unless we're talking about the kind of prisoners who would just as soon stand behind an innocent woman or child and fire at US troops. Humiliation, even as perverse as this sounds, is too good for those fiends.
    If there are people who are not horrified and outraged by the Abu Ghraib stories, I do not know them. Nor do I want to. I expect that every American should right now be feeling a bit of shame or embarrassment to go along with their anger and shock.

    Horrified? I am afraid not. Angered, perhaps, but certainly not horrified --especially not with the evidence at hand. Humiliating a soldier is certainly far better than mutilation. Sen. McCain spoke at length against these abuses, but I wonder if his 6 years of beatings and captivity would have been better served if he was merely 'humiliated'.
    Regardless of my minor points of disagreements, I do recommend your Michele's piece, and encourage you to make her blog a daily read.


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    Telephone Etiquette (or lack thereof)


    ME: Hello, may I speak to Ms. Bernadette D.....?
    She: Ms. D...... is not in right now, may I ask what this is in reference to?
    Me: I left her voice mail this morning regarding a letter she sent me concerning account #1234....
    She: Ms. D.... will be back this afternoon; do wish to call her back or shall I take another message?
    Me: What time will she be back?
    She: Um, I don't really know... so, um....
    Me: Well, since I can't tell when I should call her back, perhaps I should leave another message.
    She: Oh, well you can keep trying all afternoon if you like!
    Me: Ummmmm.. no.


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    War Crimes



    Sen Kerry keeps it real

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    Radio Daze

    In my recent posts I spoke of a late night drive on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Late night. early morning, whatever.

    To keep my eyes on the road (and hands up on the wheel) I relied on WaWa coffee and the radio. In the last few years I've become quite comfortable with talk radio, especially since I have become so bored with what passes for 'Rock N Roll', especially commercially. (music should and will be a post in and of itself, but not now)

    At about 1:00 AM I started scanning the frequency and made the following observations:

  • If you think talk radio is dominated by Conservatives, you haven't listened at night
  • Possible exception: Midnight Trucking Radio Network; I heard a balanced debate of the whole Abu Ghraib situation, including excerpts of the Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article that was all the buzz on Monday.
  • Art Bell is on nearly every other station
  • While I can understand the marketing value of Radio Disney, exactly how many in their target demographic listed a 1:00AM?? Sure, its automated then (if not most of the day already), and it better to play taped content than have dead-air, but playing a tape of kids talking about mom's day? At 1:30?

    That's the take on the state of AM radio in the Philadelphia market.

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  • Soggy continued....


    Back here I spoke of my leaking hot water heater...

    The leak was not in the hot water heater itself, but in the cold water line. The plumber's diagnosis is my water has high-acidity level. So on top of the $1200 for the hot water heater and pressure tank (we have a well, in case you wonder why the pressure tank), add another $1200 for an acid neutralizer. Oh, and if the water tests to be hard BECAUSE it's acid-neutralized, add another grand for water softener.

    Mind you, this won't reverse any corroded pipe (from 15 years of acidic water) from ever leaking, this will just eliminate the acid content going forward. So he's testing the water tomorrow to determine IF it needs a softener, and maybe Thursday I'll be home as he guts my water system.

    Then he tells me that soft water may necessitate the use of skin cream and the like, since soft water washes away the normal skin oils. For starters, I have never had to worry about abundant dry skin (especially on my face), but somehow while I think this is the least of my worries, I am beginning to long for the taste of NYC tap water from the Catskill Mountains once again...

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    Monday, May 10, 2004

    clean and green

    The Penn. Turnpike at 1.30 am is remarkably empty in both directions. So is the radio but thats too much to mo-Blog. More later...

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    Sunday, May 09, 2004

    Carmelita


    I hear mariachi static on my radio
    And the tubes, they glow in the dark
    I'm there with you in Ensenada
    And I'm here in Echo Park

    Carmelita, hold me tighter
    I think I'm sinkin' down
    And I'm all strung out on heroine
    On the outskirts of town

    I pawned my Smith-Corona
    And I went to meet my man
    He hangs out down on Alvarado Street
    By the Pioneer Chicken Stand

    Carmelita, hold me tighter
    I think I'm sinkin' down
    And I'm all strung out on heroine
    On the outskirts of town

    Well, I'm sittin' here playin' solitare
    With my pearl-handled deck
    The county won't give me no more methadone
    And they've cut off your welfare check

    Carmelita, hold me tighter
    I think I'm sinkin' down
    And I'm all strung out on heroine
    On the outskirts of town



    Sunday nite and working late.... think that has anything to do with my mood? And I prefer the Warren Zevon version best.

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    Alan King, RIP

    PoliBlog: Alan King, RIP: "Alan King, RIP

    Comic Legend Alan King Dies at 76
    Alan King, whose tirades against everyday suburban life grew into a long comedy career in nightclubs and television that he later expanded to Broadway and character roles in movies, died Sunday at the age of 76."

    I heard this news today at about 3:30. Another legend has passed, I am sorry to say. Among his bits, outside of his rants on suburbia, involved a stay he had in the hospital, an obnoxious nurse, and a glass of apple juice. I cannot do it justice, but trust me, if you see any retrospect on him, do watch it.

    Another bit he mastered was making the audience roll as he read from the phone book.

    Heaven, once again, is a little funnier tonight.

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    YAY!! BLOGGER NOW WITH COMMENTS



    I just checked my Blogger Dashboard and found COMMENTS. The 4 of you who regularly read my rants (and to whom I am indebted) know this has been a pain for some months.

    Stay tuned for a post covering the switch over...




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    Soggy Mother's Day Weekend



    Saturday was my oldest son's First Holy Communion. My folks were coming in from NYC for the day. But in the last few months Mom made the decision that she ought not make long distance trips anymore (and no one argues with her). So my brother Ed offered to drive them.

    By the time we were through planning, the small intimate family party turned into restaurant reservations for 14. Fine.

    At this point let me jump to the end of the story and point out my son's First Communion was wonderful, and he looked so prim and proper. For his part, the day was perfect; the thunder storm warnings were all wrong, and the sun shone brightly so he had a great day.

    6:00 AM Saturday morning... why is the downstairs carpet a dark color?

    Oh look! the hot water heater is leaking.

    And my folks, who haven't been to my house in 3 years, are due in 5 hours.

    For the second time in as many months, one of my pipes have developed a leak. A pin hole leak, in an otherwise normal pipe, that isn't particularly stressed in anyway.

    This leak, like the last one (bathroom sink) is on the other side of the valve, so I stopped the spray and the damage was, thankfully, a little more than a half-bucket worth of water on a concrete floor in a closet/crawl space; no real damage. Had the leak gone missed before being out all day, well... I fixed the last leak in no time, but the question bugs me that two copper pipes developed leaks, thankfully NOT behind any walls, but what happens the next time a leak develops and it IS behind a wall?

    Of course, the hot water heater stopped being useful at this point. Called my plumber (after 9AM) and said 'you're either glad I found you because of all the business you're getting, or sorry.' The hot water heater and the pressure tank were *supposed* to be replaced over a year ago (I got busy back then) so Monday he's coming to see if he can patch the problem. If so, we'll schedule the replacements within the month. If he can't, well I may be out an extra day or too.

    We're without hot water (we all showered yesterday before I cut the water -- and I'm not that ripe yet), so my much-better-half and the boys spent time at her sisters. And I am in the office tonight grabbing a bunch of hours, going home late, and getting up in time for the plumber at 8:00.


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    Friday, May 07, 2004

    Salad Blogging like no other



    I don't
    do seafood, and I prefer McD's and Wendy's over Burger King any day. That much said, no one reviews a salad quiet like Michele. Follow her adventure in dining as she dares to sample a BK Salad:

    Next up was the shrimp. At Burger King, they don't just toss a bunch of shrimp onto your salad. No, it comes separately. You know those bags you get from a Chinese restaurant when you order beef sticks (what? you never ordered beef sticks before?), the kind with the foil on the inside? Yes, a bag-o-shrimp. Said shrimp were swimming in some kind of murky brown mixture that upon first glance looked like sludge, but ended up having a much lighter appearance than first thought once the shrimp were removed from their keep-it-warm container. Now came the important part: the smell test.

    I don't like my shrimp to smell too...shrimpy. Or fishy. There is no bigger food turnoff than trying to eat something that smells like Christina Agueleria's crotch. Not that I've smelled it. I just heard.

    Talk about TMI!

    Will the salad satisfy her hunger? What is that stuff the shrimp were swiming in? And why was the air conditioning set so cold? You can find out and have it your way by reading the rest of her review here.



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    President Bush is Love




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    Lying Liar


    Pretty bad, especially after the NYT went to bat for him....


    Moore admits Disney 'ban' was a stunt
    Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.

    The admission, during an interview with CNN, undermined Moore's claim that Disney was trying to sabotage the US release of Fahrenheit 911 just days before its world premiere at the Cannes film festival."


    Thanks to Florida Cracker:

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    Thursday, May 06, 2004

    Ted Rall squares off against Sean Hannity on the radio now. And Hannity is cleaning his clock...

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    On the passing of FRIENDS



    Tonight is the final FRIENDS, at least as a first-run, because the re-runs will be forever running in syndication. I have had sort of a love-hate thing going on with Friends over the last 10 years, going from it being must-see (as NBC would have me saying it) to realizing I had missed entire seasons and hadn't realized it. While I've tried to watch the current season, I know I've missed more than a dozen. Out of a 26 week series, that's a lot. A tip of the hat to TV Land for their special recognition of the last Friends: they will suspend their programming and instead show a live shot of their own crew watching the finale.

    But I will watch the finale', watch what happens to Rachael & Ross, and make a note of the passing of another era in television programming. Other such hallmarks in my mind include the final Mary Tyler Moore Show (yep, I saw it first-run), the final Barney Miller, the last M*A*S*H, the final Cheers, the final ride of Captain Picard on Star Trek, the last Newhart (and yes, I am old enough to have appreciated the last scene) and of course, the final Seinfeld. Since Cheers, each of these shows seem to outdo the last with their finale' promotions.

    The NBC news department, itself, jumped the shark last night, and not for the first time. Dedicating a special for Friends? Fine. Taking two of the anchors who try and try and try to convince us all they're serious news journalists, and then putting the special under the masthead of the DATELINE newsmagazine? Definitively bad form.

    We're always told how top-shelf Katie and Matt are, how they're serious news journalists. Then they do this show. Next week we're supposed to take them seriously when they interview a US Senator or foreign prime minister? Please. And the credibility of the Dateline product takes a hit because of the focus on Friends.

    Yes, there's hard news and soft news, and the passing of Friends is definitely news, but definitely soft. What would have been more appropriate for that duo would have been a TODAY SHOW PRIME TIME SPECIAL, which would at least have saved some of NBC News' face. There's a reason why Tom Brokaw won't speak of Friends much more than in passing, and it's not because he's a grumpy person, but because it doesn't belong in the nightly news.

    But Katie and Matt will keep smiling, and the line between hard and soft news will keep blurring. And NBC News will keep wondering why they are losing viewers year after year.

    But hey! NBC has the residuals of Friends, so it's not all bad.




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    Who knew?


    Who knew that each year, dozens of high school students in locker rooms send their towels moving at over MACH-1??

    How fast does a whip go when it is snapped?: "Dear Yahoo!:
    How fast does a whip go when it is snapped?
    Justin
    Lexington, North Carolina

    Dear Justin:

    A whip's tip travels over 1,400 feet per second when the whip is cracked -- much faster than the speed of sound, which is about 1,230 feet per second. Thus, the crack of a whip is actually a small sonic boom. The 'crack' is the sound of air rushing back into the small vacuum created by the whip's cracker.

    How do whips manage to achieve this velocity? As NewScientist.com explains, good whips gradually taper from handle to tip. A smart flick of the wrist sends a wave down the length of the whip. As roughly the same amount of energy acts on a progressively tapered (and smaller) mass, its velocity increases.

    Why? Because of the first law of thermodynamics. The conservation of energy principle states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant, regardless of changes within the system.

    The whip is an isolated system. Since the 'whip-snap energy' in this case is a function of mass and velocity: As the mass of the tapered whip decreases, the velocity of the snap increases. Believe it or not, the same theory applies to snapped towels. "

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    Concerning the humiliation of the POWs

    OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan: "Because we are a free-press, free-expression nation in the media age, we tell the world our sins. Many will not receive the latest in a way that involves jumping up and down and exclaiming, 'See the fruits of free inquiry, what a country!' Publication of the photos and reports we've seen so far inflames our enemies in a time of active war. This is a danger to us. At some point down the road some terrorist will testify that it was the picture of his masked and naked countrymen posing behind them that sealed his commitment to jihad. And yet there is no way around this. In fact this scandal is like a little metaphor for the Iraq experience itself: Whatever your opinion was, there's now no way round it but through it.

    The best we can do is what we've done and had no choice but to do: Reveal these things for all the world to see. Redress, reform, repair, reprimand and remove. "


    ... more...

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    Mommy, why did the other girls in the locker room laugh at me??

    "Fruit of the Loom makes boys' underwear with pictures of cartoon characters on them. They are sold under the name 'Funpals.' For the girls' version, they have chosen the unfortunate name 'FunGals'.

    Granted, they have at least capitalized that middle 'G' in the logo, but even the Fruit of the Loom website lists the item in all-caps as 'FUNGALS.'"

    This Is Broken - Fruit of the Loom underwear name:

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    If you're interested in seeing a periodical cicada emergence...


    KC Lemson alerts us to this periodic menance:

    Then now is the time! Party on, scientists. Have fun looking up a chart of when the 13 and 17 year broods will next sprout in each state. There's fifteen states that will need to be on the lookout for cicadas carrying signs that say “DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA and WVA in 2004!“. Dude.

    I remember the huge brood from when I was a kid in Illinois (although I can't remember which year it was). They were everywhere. It was... gross. Now, I've spent a fair amount of time around flying cockroaches in my life, and being around just one of those wasn't a terribly enjoyable experience. When faced with the bajillion cicadas covering just about every surface... eesh.

    As a friend of mine from the same general area said: “In 8th grade, instead of going to Washington, DC, or Springfield... we went to Lincoln Park Zoo.”


    Oh boy! I can hardly wait (not)

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    Geneva Convention relative to POWs


    Kathleen reminds us of what the Geneva Convention says with regards to POWS, and it is indeed important to read:


    "Geneva Convention Relative To The Treatment Of Prisoners Of War
    Article 12

    Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power, but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them. Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them.
    ...more...

    As disgraceful as was the behavior of these dozen or so soldiers, I thank God their behavior didn't even come close to the level of abuse those contractors faced when they were mutilated, and dragged through the streets, not to mention the dispicable acts Jessica Lynch was said to have suffered (I suppose those fiends never read the Geneva code at all).

    A pity the general outrage of the US media and that of certain politicians seems more intense this week then it was for those other incidents.

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