Ain't it a bitch when words come back to haunt people?
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I took a bunch of pictures. You can see them on my MySpace page along with my favorite songs and movies and things that other people created but I use to express my individualism. - Stewie
NOTE: I'm on a roll here this evening, so this is quite long. ..
So the years are rolling byChecking in with the United desk, it seems my poor bag never made it to my connecting flight, but would be on the next one, arriving in just under 2 hours.
Snotty boys with lipstick on
Were really flying high
And then they got that Disco thing
And New Wave came along
And all of a sudden I thought the time
Had come for that old song
We used to play in Joe’s garage
And if I am not wrong
You could soon be dancing to
THE WHITE ZONE IS FOR LOADING AND UNLOADING ONLY
IF YOU GOTTA LOAD OR UNLOAD, GO TO THE WHITE ZONE….
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 02:04
Yesterday was Science Experiment day in my house. Our 10 year old had a science experiment to do for school, and I usually get a lesson or three to work with him on the weekends. Now there are those who would complain that we did ‘school’ on a weekend, or worse yet a holiday weekend, but that’s the nature of a Virtual Charter School; he gets ‘off’ from school work on other days to suit his schedule (and mom’s). Plus, in our local school district, there are no classes today at all… it is the beginning of deer season, so that’s a good apparently a reason as any for them to give everyone a 5 day weekend.
The experiment dealt with predicting the results of mixing different solutes with different solvents. So we lined the bathroom sink with 12, 7 oz plastic cups, gathered the necessary ingredients and got busy.
Included in the solvents list were:
In the solutes list were the following:
Now in some homes, all of these items would be easy to locate. We had problems finding, of all things, sugar. I don’t use it in coffee. My much-better-half hasn’t started her holiday cooking yet, and she uses Splenda for her coffee. I was about to run to the local WaWa for a cup of coffee (and lots of sugar packs) when a 5 lb bag was found in the pantry. Who’d ever guess something so basic would be in question?
Naturally, there was sufficient evidence of the solutes either dissolving or not in the various solutions. And I was please to see the instructions had my son mixing the baking soda with the vinegar last, causing the much enjoyed fizzle to round off the experiment.
This reminded me of this holiday post made last year. As we are officially on the road to Christmas, I thought I’d link to it here.
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Anyone who even mildly saw the news this week knows something about the accident at the MACY*S Thanksgiving Parade involving the M&M Balloon. While this blog is genuinely pleased no one was severely injured, and while I feel certain the family of the two girls will be getting a boat-load of MACY*S gift cards -- especially since they've publicly stated their disinclination to sue anyone -- a few things on my mind bear mentioning.
OK, we all know about the accident in 1997 when a woman was put into a coma by The Cat in the Hat, and since then wind speeds have been monitored before the parade. Fine. But since Thursday, there has been more calls to review the height of these balloons. Why? Before 1997, they flew some 30' in the air, now they're much closer to the ground. My almost-3-year-old could barely see Super Grover's face, because the huge inflatable was almost nose-down into the street. If the balloons are flying HIGHER, and a gust of wind does hit them, wouldn't the height add more of buffer between them and the street lamps?
NBC took a hit because Katie, Matt and Al failed to report on the accident, and instead went to tape of LAST years parade for the M&M balloon. Why does this surprise anyone? EVERYONE knows those three aren't news-reporters, but rather entertainment reporters.
Well, perhaps everyone knows that... except them. How can you interview a head of state one segment and then show me how 'asparagus can be fun' in the next and call yourselves serious news reporters?
ANSWER: You can't. Overall, I am glad they didn't interrupt my children's view of the parade for the accident, as sad as it was. Why spoil it for all the kids in the country, just because the accident happened.
Besides, M&M is a big advertiser on NBC. Now if it had been BOB THE BUILDER, a property of CBS/VIACOM, you just known they would have cut away to show the injuries...
UPDATE: Adding insult to injuries, according to NY Daily News, no one at NBC took the time to inform either Ms. Couric or Mr. Laurer of the incident right away (emphasis added by me):
Couric didn't learn about the accident until she was off the air, and Lauer apparently found out when he got home.
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 15:25
What a week.
This was the post promised earlier in the week listing the things for which I was thankful this time of year. I got so busy, as is becoming common, that I never got a chance to post it.
I am, of course, thankful to be so busy at work. Over the summer I was given added responsibility, which means added work, but also means a suitable bump in pay. While the extra work means I often have less Blog time, the benefit outweigh that annoyance, and are certainly worth being grateful.
Some readers will know I am grateful that no one in the fam is seriously ill or otherwise hospitalized. In the past, that wasn’t the case but we’ve dodged any such bullet for almost 3 years now, and that’s worth being thankful.
We’re all in relative peace. Many readers know immediate or extended family members who are in the Service. My nephew is in the Air Force Academy, and while not in any direct harms way, will eventually be eligible. I know many people from my employment who are a Reservist, National Guard, and a few Active Duty in the various Services. Without their dedication and sacrifices, along with countless others now and in the past, none of the luxuries of freedom we all enjoy would be possible. Take this blog, for example.
Next week, this humble correspondent will be on the road. Heading westward, I’ll detail the destination at a later date, but I’m bound to have time on my hands I wouldn’t otherwise have being the normal, family man I am all other weeknights.
This trip was tentatively planned over the summer before the ‘customer’ needlessly delayed the schedule. In the meantime, my team conducted over 2 dozen similar upgrades, all remotely, and all without any major issue. I personally conducted 6 of them, so it was a little surprising the ‘customer’ insisted on someone coming out to their site to perform the process in person. But hey, if they want to pay my per diem, I’ll pack my bags.
I enjoy the occasional business trip. In years past, I used to travel up to 80% of the time, so I got used to and enjoyed the perks. My last trip was back in January, so it’s good time to go again… and this will practically ensure I won’t have to travel again before Spring.
Look at that! Something else to be thankful!
Of course, no list would be complete without acknowledging my much-better-half, who still puts up with me for reasons I still can fathom. And who could forget the two boys we have.
Several people who put up with me as friends bear mentioning, some of whom read this blog,
And of course, I am thankful for those of you who keep coming back to this blog and logging a count. TrueFresco will soon remove their free referrer log service (found on the bottom right of this page, so repeat visitors may not be so vividly seen, unless I decide to pony up their annual fee (We’ll have to wait and see how cheap I really am). However, without you readers, this would be nothing more than the musings I speak aloud in my car on my commute, and that’s what makes this special. And again, that’s something for which I am grateful.
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 09:57
CNN MARKS CHENEY: NETWORK FLASHES 'X' OVER VP'S FACE DURING LIVE SPEECHI personally believe there's additional text or other graphics that obscure the routine caption at the bottom of the screen; working from this still alone I can't say what it is, but the text in the background is distorted.
At 11:04:45 AM ET Monday CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney's speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington -- when a large black 'X' repeatedly flashed over the vice president's face!
The 'X' over Cheney's face appeared each time less than a second, creating an odd subliminal effect.
As this DRUDGE REPORT screen capture reveals, while one 'X' flashed over Cheney's face CNN ran a headline at the bottom of its screen: "CHENEY: I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS WRONG TO CRITICIZE."
One top White House source expressed concern about what was aired over CNN.
"Is someone in Atlanta trying to tell us something?"
A CNN spokesman did not return repeated calls late Monday night.
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 22:29
This, then, is Thanksgiving Week... and in the last 24 hours I've read a few different pieces on the pros and cons of the origins of the holiday. I may get around making my own comments about that topic this week, but in the meantime, I am opening the thread:
What are you thankful for this time of year?
Failing an answer, why not?
I'll make my posting by end of week... and I look forward to reading your responses!
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 12:45
An old friend told me today that her parents, married 47 years, are getting a divorce.
How the hell does that work? They're both good, decent people -- no accusations of abuse or drugs or the like.
How do you go 47 years and say You know what? I want out!
Doesn't make sense.
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 09:33
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 10:20
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People ask why we went to war. Ask any of the majority in Congress why: the reasons are spelled out clearly, and can be found at MarkLevinFan, who excerpts a piece by Mark Levin from National Review Online. An excerpt of the resolution (emphasis of key passages by this humble poster):
Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;
Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;
Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;
Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;
Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to `work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge’ posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,’ while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable’;
Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to —
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that —
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq;
MarkLevinFan has more of the resolution, but the majority of both houses (296-133 in the House; 77-23 in the Senate) clearly saw the threat.
Let's agree on something, once and for all.
Age 18 is the age of majority. You can vote at 18. You can enter in contracts at 18. You can get married in any state in the union.
Of course, I have it easier: my much-better-half and I have two boys...
As for Kara's fate, I do sincerely hope the thug Ludwig took her away at gunpoint. But if she had anything to do with her parents' murder, she should go to jail.Sphere: Related Content
Sean at Everything I Know Is Wrong captured my sentiments exactly when he posted about Dr. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, gave deciedly vauge answers to what the DNC says their party stands for.
I howled so much at Dr. Dean's dance, I had to watch the re-run of Meet The Press Sunday night.
MR. RUSSERT: But is it enough for you to say to the country, "Trust us, the other guy's no good. We'll do better, but we're not going to tell you specifically how we're going to deal with Iraq."As I have said before, the Democrats have got to offer the people something more than 'George Bush and the Republicans are no good', and to date they haven't offered the voters even a crumb of an agenda. Continued...
DR. DEAN: We will. When the time comes, we will do that.
MR. RUSSERT: When's the time going to come?
DR. DEAN: The time is fast-approaching. And I outlined the broad outlines of our agenda. We're going to have specific plans in all of these areas.
MR. RUSSERT: This year?
DR. DEAN: In 2006.
Reality Hammer engaged his readers in a debate on the last week’s ballot issue in San Francisco that states colleges are permitted to ban military recruiters from its campuses. Bill O’Reilly generated a lot of heat on this issue, merely because he used his radio show in a satirical manner that enraged some liberals (hear the complete piece here).
This harkens back to the days of spitting on the military vets coming home from Viet Nam, in that the military is somehow evil and doesn’t deserve to step foot on any college campus.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Read More...If, for a moment, it could be assumed the military’s role in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world is somehow wrong or evil, that’s not the military’s fault, but rather the fault of the President and of Congress. Denying access to the military merely gives that many students LESS opportunity to learn of the very good things the military can provide.
Is there danger in the military? Sure there is; no one doubts that. But to deny them access to prime candidates for a career is wrong for both the military and the students. And in this case, in particular, what's wrong for the military can be very wrong for the nation.
And if that’s what the voters want, they should have it. But at the same time, the Federal Government is under no obligation to provide those same schools (or students) with any FEDERAL MONEY.
Case in point is Hillsdale College in Michigan has categorically refused any federal funding, in that they can provide a curriculum that is not based or controlled by the government. Students who attend cannot use any federally funded financial aid, and as such they can provide their non-liberal Liberal Arts degree (with some impressive results).
(Hillsdale also publishes the IMPRIMIS speech digest, a must read in the household of this humble-blog).
So as Hillsdale refuses government aid, and are not bound by government rules, so should San Francisco colleges who deny the military recruiters not be bound by federal funding.
It’s only fair.
Time for some griping:
I have no less than three posts regarding current and recent news events... will get to them (hopefully) while they are still relevant...Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 07:23
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 14:13
What does one do if one cannot find sleep, even when it seems to be so rare other times?
You surf the XM Radio channels at AOL Music. And even with the vast selection, only one song struck a chord with me this morning...
Thursday night is Cub Scout night... our weekly meeting.
In the past I've related my experience as a Cub Scout Leader, now with
a group of 10 Webelos, including my son. Tonight, another
installment... But first, a quiz
Q: What national holiday is tomorrow???
A: I don't know... there's a holiday tomorrow?
That was the answer I received from 8 of the 10 boys, ages 9-10 years
old. Of the two that got it right, one has a sister who is a Marine,
so he knows well about the works of Veterans and those presently
The other boy, my son, learned the importance of Veteran's Day years
ago, and had it reinforced each year.
In fact, 4 of the 10 boys have been in our Patrol anywhere from 1 to 3
years.... they all remembered when I told them the answer, with one
going so far to say he remembered when I spoke about it last year.
And my son? He had an additional lesson in his school this week...
unlike his peers in Cub Scouts, his school covers Veterans Day and all
Unlike his peers, his is a Virtual Charter School, with my
much-better-half at the helm.
After learning for certain one thing they don't evidentally teach in
schools today, the question that begs to be asked: what exactly do
On the occasion of Veterans Day, I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have served.
I've never served in the military, but I've worked for Defense Contractors for the last +9 years; not sure if that fits the definition of irony or not. However, I don't feel particularly guilty about that; anyone who knows me in person can probably guess I may have very likely been passed over for induction. This much I have told to a number of veterans with whom I worked with in the Defense Contracting area, and no one has disagreed with me.
Regardless, had I been drafted (assuming, of course, there was a active draft provision, I was old enough, etc.) I would have likely burst out laughing the first time I was told to 'drop and give me 20', knowing well that would probably be the last time I ever laughed in uniform. In the end, I would have made a good ol' fashioned 'dog faced' grunt, I would have done my duty and that would be it; I have no delusions of grandeur that I could be officer material.
Those same colleagues who know me, when they heard me say this, chuckled appreciatively and agreed.
In college, I saw students in ROTC, and while others found it easy to joke about, insult, or in other ways disrespect them, I knew they had more courage than the rest to wear their uniforms on campus, in spite of the narrow minds around them.
Back in May '04, on the occasions of Memorial Day and the opening of the WWII Memorial I wrote a piece dedicated to my uncles:
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 US 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 for 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.
Six 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 in Spring of '04 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.
The men and women of the US Military -- and their families -- have given in ways that only they can understand. We, who have never served, and can not fully comprehend, are asked to do nothing more but to remember, and to respect their sacrifices. Anyone who attempt to denigrate or insult those soldiers, in peace or in war, deserve the disdain of the rest of us.
As George Orwell wrote, "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
As a side note, Happy Birthday US Marine Corps! HUH!!!
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Thank God for the brave members of the United States Armed Forces.
OK, people who work out, I need your input.
For over 2 years now I've practiced Karate -- Tae Kwon Do,
specifically. My master is 6th Dan, and he gives a helluva workout.
No less than 2x each week, I engage in about 20 minutes of cardio,
followed by 10-15 minutes of various stretching, and the hour is
topped off with either sparring or other cardio drills.
The end of nearly every class finds me with pulled muscles, limping,
or some combination of the two. On top of which, every morning after
I have to pull my ass out of bed with a lot of effort.
If this is the best shape I've ever been in throughout my life (and
believe me, it is), when does the payoff of 'being in shape' ever come
Or is it simply a case that I started far too late in life to
appreciate any of these benefits??
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 22:42
Things have been busy for me of late, mostly at work. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily. But there are a few stories worth noting this morning and over my 3rd cup of coffee (or is it #4?) I’ll share my views (because I know you’re all waiting with antici…pation for my new posts).
By the way… why is gas priced to nine-tenths of a cent??
1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents 17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin More than 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered
Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and "conventional" sarin
Do you still believe in the spin that President Bush lied?
Three times last night I attempted this post, but Blogger ate each one. Today (Monday) I am trying for four. I posted a piece of this via mail-to-Blogger, because I wanted something to record what happened, but couldn’t sit through a fourth posting. I never did save the text to a file any of those third times, because of the free flowing of ideas that came out. This song by Bruce Springsteen has been rolling around my head ever since the incident I am about to describe.
Last night I was out driving
Coming home at the end of the working day
I was riding alone through the drizzling rain
On a deserted stretch of a county two-lane
When I came upon a wreck on the highway
There was blood and glass all over
And there was nobody there but me
As the rain tumbled down hard and cold
I seen a young man lying by the side of the road
He cried Mister, won't you help me please
"Is he alive?"I knelt next to him... a guy maybe in his later 30's.
"The people here say he isn't." I was still about 20' away, heading towards him.
"You have to be sure... is he breathing?"
"His pupils have burst. Both of them. His body is twisted... no, he's not breathing. He's gone."
"Was he wearing a helmet?"
I said "If he was it's nowhere to be found."
"Did anyone see the pick up? A license plate?"
I asked the small crowd of people. "Sure!" one guy answered. "It's over there.... he flipped it."
The accident occurred in front of a strip mall, of which the gas station was on its corner. The truck careened across the grassy area that separates the parking lot from the road. It came to rest at the entrance road at the far end of the parking lot, hitting a boulder that was left for no particular reason along side the access road. The Trooper asked me to check out the truck.
What the Hell, right?
I get there and find a person who apparently is an EMT, tending to two people from the truck. One victim held a balled-up shirt to his head. The other person tried to sit still as the EMT checked his pupils with a flashlight. I tell him I am on the phone with State Police, and the EMT tells me there are two wounded here and one deceased, he says as he motions towards the wreck of the truck. Sensing he must know what he's talking about, as I assumed he was an EMT, I declined to check the cab to be sure.
The Trooper was grateful for my relaying of information. By now, the local volunteer ALS/EMT has rolled up, and the fire truck behind it. I tell the Trooper I am going back to my family now, since I am about 100 yards away from them now.
An ambulance finally came and took him to Riverside
I watched as they drove him away
And I thought of a girlfriend or a young wife
And a state trooper knocking in the middle of the night
To say your baby died in a wreck on the highway
Sometimes I sit up in the darkness
And I watch my baby as she sleeps
Then I climb in bed and I hold her tight
I just lay there awake in the middle of the night
Thinking About the wreck on the highway
I got back into the car, and my oldest asked "Daddy, is that person going to be ok?"
"No. He's not."
What a crappy way to end a trip to Grandma's house on your 10th birthday.
UPDATE: Local news says only one deceased... I suppose I misunderstood the EMT when he montioned towards the truck, which is pictured here:Sphere: Related Content
Starting next year, I will have a sign posted detailing the rules I will use for Trick or Treater’s. They are simple rules, but ones I think are open minded and are a benefit for all.
Overall, it was a quiet night. And other than the two groups of foul-mouthed kids, I affirm that I did not criticize a single kid (er, at least to their face). Usually we’re good for +/- 120 or so kids; I’d estimate we got about 60… and last night was clear with mild temperatures.
Posted by Charlie on the PA Turnpike at 10:57