Thursday, May 31, 2007

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I look at you all
see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

This Beatle song -- written by George Harrison with lead guitar by Eric Clapton -- is the one song that made me want to learn to play guitar. Something got this song into my head this morning. The lyrics are every bit as good as the guitar solo.

In the 6th grade I took lessons, with home assistance from my oldest brother (who was in a band and who promised me a bass guitar once I mastered an acoustic).

Every chance I had, I worked on chords.

I don't know why nobody told you
how to unfold you love
I don't know how someone controlled you
they bought and sold you.
Sore fingers were part of the game of course. But after 3 months of not being able to get a simple tune, frustration led to anger, and I gave it up. Next school year I was back at it again. This time for about 6 months.

And again the year later. It wasn't sticking with me... I was determined, but playing guitar was not in me.
I look at the world
and I notice it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know how you were diverted
you were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
no one alerted you...
In high school I joined the Concert Band. No, no guitars, but my other brother played the flute, and I had my eye set on being the next Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame). They gave me a trombone. Yeah, that's what I said....

2 years later I ditched it; I never needed to look cool, nor could I ever achieve cool in my day but come on: how could anyone look anything remotely cool carrying a trombone case?
I look at you all
see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all ...
Still my guitar gently weeps
College brought me the only music I was any good at: Campus Radio. I certainly couldn't then nor can today) make music, but I did a decent job playing it.




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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Clap hands! It's performance review time

Ah, yes, Spring is in the air. That means it's time for Performance Evaluation (cue theme music):

This is time when we, the employees, begin to prepare our Self Appraisal of our own performance. A bit like asking a convict when he thinks he should be paroled, ya know?

Then we submit our Appraisals to our direct manager, who will (undoubtedly) disregard most anything we wrote (perhaps with the exception of our name) and substitute his/her own imagined idea of what we, the employee, has done in the last year.

Then upper management will assign some arbitrary weight to our various review line items, in order to justify the salary increase that fits within their already predetermined budget allotment.

Can you tell I can wait?

I'm pretty easy going, review-wise. My first review here was after about 7 months. So the Project Leader had a comparatively narrow scope to base his review of me. Of course, in those days I was the darling SME (Subject Matter Expert) of the project. My review was good... not terribly terrific, but nothing I would argue with.

A year later, the Project Leader completed my second review. It was up in a few areas; again, nothing amazingly fantastic, but nothing I would consider worth debating. A few tenths of a point here or there wouldn't have put me into a different adjustment bracket, so let them lie.

In the last year, I was put in charge of a major project, then moved to lead an even larger project. The second project came in on time and with no dings of any sort (the second project came off well, also, but my contributions were too early in the planning and execution stages to make that much of an impact). Along the way, I also did work on an entirely different project for a few weeks (a fine display of versatility).

I also encountered a change of Project Leadership, as the PL for the first 2 reviews was promoted, and in his place was named 2 men who share the responsibilities. It is here that I am concerned about my review. Ideally, with the examples of added responsibility, and the successful deployments under my belt, there's no place for my review to go but up. However, having been in the position of administering Performance Reviews, myself (some 20 years ago to a bunch of Bank Tellers), I know well the struggles involved in handling reviews for groups of people.

With that noted, I am hopeful I can dissuade any attempt to flatten the curve on my review; that would likely be a first-choice of my Project Leads, since it assumes a status quo as a good thing, for everyone. I look good, they think, and so do they.

Well, I intend to look even better. Nothing more than I deserve, mind you, but certainly better than status quo.

Stay tuned...




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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When the locals joke about themselves...

When locals joke about themselves, you know there's a grain of truth in there somewhere.

Sunday's Pocono Record, a local newspaper, lists 100 Days of Summer Fun for the region, including - and I am not making this up - the following riddle:

August 26 Opening day of the West End Fair. The yearly joke: "What has 18 teeth and 88 legs?
The yearly answer: "The funnel cake line at the West End Fair!"

For more fun this summer, read on:

MAY
  • 27 The Irish and Celtic Music Festival winds down today at Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Blakeslee. There will be three stages of Irish music by guys with names like Seamus, Birnam and Timlin.
  • 28 The annual Memorial Day Parade winds through East Stroudsburg and Stroudsburg today. Also, the bridge that gaps the two together — the Interborough Bridge — formally will be renamed Veterans Memorial Bridge.
  • 29 The Summer of Sequels continues. Maybe the crowds will have died down by now if you want to catch a matinee of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Shrek 3" or "Spider-Man 3."
  • 30 This is National Hiking Week, so take a long walk on a long trail.
  • 31 Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in South Stroudsburg holds its annual spring food festival starting today and running though June 3.


JUNE
  • 1 The history of jazz in Delaware Water Gap is a thing of legend. It continues tonight when David "Fathead" Newman comes to the Deer Head Inn.
  • 2 The Levee Loop in East Stroudsburg and Stroudsburg will hold a 4.5-mile run along the proposed trail, with proceeds going to the trail construction.
  • 3 If you've always wanted to fish but never wanted to spend money on a license, you're in luck. Today is one of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's two "Fish for Free" days.
  • 4 If you hate crowds on the golf course, Monday is the day when golf courses receive the least amount of tee times — if you can find your way out of work for a couple hours.
  • 5 OK, hiking week is over. Now you can use some of those trails to go mountain biking.
  • 6 Did you know the Tannersville Cranberry Bog used to be a glacial lake? Go see what's left on the 775-acre nature preserve.
  • 7 You're still curious, admit it. You can try out Great Wolf Lodge's waterpark through June 14 by buying a $20 day pass from United Way of Monroe County.
  • 8 If you're more for outdoor water parks, it's opening day at Camelbeach, buy one admission, get one free.
  • 9 Dave Mason, a founding member of Traffic, will perform live at the Milford Music Festival. The weekend show is held at Ann Street Park and features another dozen or so performers. The festival is free to the public.
  • 10 There's this little thing called NASCAR. They have this quiet little race up there in Long Pond. You may have heard of it — it's called the Pocono 500. If not, hey, maybe you might want to check it out. If you can get five miles near the place, that is.
  • 11 Oops, we forgot about the Strawberry Festival at Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg June 8 to 10. Luckily, the local wine makers are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
  • 12 We'll find out how much America can tolerate penguins when the animated movie "Surf's Up" releases in theaters this week.
  • 13 The summer TV schedule is littered with repeats and also-rans. The exception starts tonight, with the premiere of the fourth season of the Denis Leary firefighter drama "Rescue Me." Topping last year's mind-blowing season will be nearly impossible — but it'll be fun to see if it can.
  • 14 Art After Dark in Milford is a come-as-you-are event in Milford with late hours at local galleries and shops.
  • 15 There have to be at least a dozen miniature golf courses in the Poconos — try one of them out.
  • 16 Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts starts its first full, debt-free season with jazz legend Wynton Marsalis opening the performances.
  • 17 Bass fishing season opened on June 16. Just in time for Father's Day.
  • 18 Strawberries are in bloom, but buying them is too easy. Find a strawberry farm and pick them yourself.19 Jack White apparently has tired of side projects. He gets back together with his sister to release the sixth album by The White Stripes, "Icky Thump." Everyone enjoyed the Racantours, but it's about time. Bon Jovi, Chemical Brothers and (ugh) Mandy Moore also have new albums out today.
  • 20 Learn to quilt at Quiet Valley Historical Farm (classes each Wednesday).
  • 21 Longest day of the year — enjoy it.
  • 22 Kunkletown Fire Co. Carnival runs June 20 to 23.
  • 23 The two-day, 17th annual Great Tastes of Pennsylvania Wine and Food Festival at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony features almost 30 wineries offering samples. Umm, better bring a designated driver who can check out the craft vendors, sample the cuisine and listen to the live music.
  • 24 Columcille Megalith Park and Celtic Art Center in Bangor is holding its summer solstice event.
  • 25 One thing where the price of gas doesn't apply — go-carts.
  • 26 The Delaware River Sojourn — a paddling trek from the top of the river to the Atlantic Ocean — passes through our region today from Bushkill to Shawnee. You don't have to make the whole trip; you can just ride the local leg.
  • 27 Yippie kay — OW, MY BACK! Is Lt. John McClane still spry enough to take on a group of terrorist computer hackers? Find out when the fourth Die Hard movie — "Live Free or Die Hard" — opens in theaters everywhere today.
  • 28 The Beastie Boys are back! The Beastie Boys are back! New album, "The Mix-Up," dropped on June 26.
  • 29 Where were you last year on this date? If you live in Delaware Water Gap, then you were probably underwater. It's the first anniversary of one of the worst floods in recorded Monroe County history, so why not practice for the next one by taking a canoe ride down the Delaware River?
  • 30 Well, as long as there is no flood, Delaware Water Gap will hold its annual Founder's Day celebration today, featuring art shows, an antique car exhibition and music.

JULY
  • 1 Pocono Mountain Arts Council will hold the Mary Louis Waygood event — a fine arts and crafts sale at Mountaintop Lodge in Pocono Pines.
  • 2 The Crossings in Tannersville is having its July 4 sale. Gold card holders beware.
  • 3 If the crowds are too much there, window shop in downtown Stroudsburg or on Crystal Street in East Stroudsburg.
  • 4 Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg hosts the American Freedom Festival, Monroe County's biggest Fourth of July celebration. Not surprisingly, there will be fireworks.
  • 5 Yeah, we know, it's tough to find time to play 18 holes these days. So hit the driving range, grab a small bucket and make the time.
  • 6 Look who's back! The Triple-A franchise of the Philadelphia Phillies — the Ottawa Lynx — returns to its former home in Moosic to take on the new occupants of PNC Field, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
  • 7 He's a toker, he's a smoker, and he's apparently never going to stop touring. The Steve Miller Band is at Mountain Laurel tonight.
  • 8 The second day of Shawnee Place's Kid'z Fest is on tap today. Perhaps they'll teach these kid'z proper spelling and punctuation.9 I scream, you scream ... you know the rest. Grab a cone.
  • 10 Don't feel bad if you think you've stepped into a time machine when you see who has albums coming out today. Smashing Pumpkins, Crowded House, Bad Religion, They Might Be Giants and Buffalo Tom all have new albums due today. If you actually want something hot and new, Common releases his latest CD, "Finding Forever," today.
  • 11 The worst day of the sports year, the only day with no game in MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL.
  • 12 "Transformers" finally is out in theaters. No truth to the rumor that producer Jerry Bruckheimer plans a Gobots movie.
  • 13 Who knows if Michael Scott and "The Office" staff will be there on another booze cruise, but take a day off with a picnic, some boating and a swim at Lake Wallenpaupack.
  • 14 Day 50 of the 100 days. Make sure you're getting some relaxing in.
  • 15 New restaurants pop up around here like crazy. Try one.
  • 16 But there are also restaurants decades old you drive by and haven't tried yet. Try one of those, too.
  • 17 By now, it's probably too hot. Stay indoors and go to a local spa to be pampered.
  • 18 There's a case to be made that tonight's Mountain Laurel show — the Goo Goo Dolls with Lifehouse — is the biggest pop music name in the center's history. Judge for yourself.
  • 19 "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" opens at Shawnee Playhouse on July 14 and runs through Sept. 2. Don't worry — Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton won't be allowed in the building.
  • 20 Play hooky. Tell your boss we said it's OK.
  • 21 At 12:01 a.m. today, fans will get the chance to find out who lives and who dies in the Harry Potter saga. The seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," is due in stores.
  • 22 In case you're in the wait-'til-the-movie crowd, the fifth Harry Potter installment — "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" — is in theaters starting July 13.
  • 23 Grab a flashlight and a net. Pocono Environmental Education Center is offering a frog hunt from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
  • 24 Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams graces the Mountain Laurel stage. Not to be missed if you're a fan of pop music the way it should be.
  • 25 The 81st Pocono Mountain Carnival continues tonight at the fairgrounds in Mount Pocono with fireworks.
  • 26 No less than three local bands will be featured on the punk festival Vans Warped Tour when it pulls into the Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain in Scranton this year.
  • 27 Believe it or not, Bushkill Falls has been open for 103 years. And it's still something you have to see.
  • 28 The Pocono Blues Festival at Jack Frost Big Boulder kicks into high gear, with about 25 acts taking the stages during the three-day event.
  • 29 Can't find that old A-ha album? Looking for the perfect lawn ornament to go with the kindly heavyset woman bending over? Don't have enough junk? The Pocono Bazaar in Marshalls Creek and Blue Ridge Flea Market in Saylorsburg are probably the places for you. They're open during the day on weekends.
  • 30 The devil went down to ... Stroudsburg? The Charlie Daniels Band is at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg tonight.
  • 31 Cool off in the public pools at Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg or at Stroudsburg High School.


AUGUST
  • 1 The hills are alive at Pocono Playhouse through Aug. 12 with its presentation of "The Sound of Music."
  • 2 Chances are there won't be anything in the Pocono Film Festival quite like "The Sound of Music." For many of us, that's a good thing. It runs through Aug. 4 at Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort.
  • 3 He's not just an actor. Did you ever think you'd hear anyone say that about Ludacris? The crunk superstar is one of the dozens of highlight acts at Musikfest 2007 in Bethlehem. Other acts for the Aug. 3-12 week-long music fair include Black Crowes, Patti LaBelle, the Yardbirds, Joe Walsh and Big & Rich.
  • 4 Delaware Water Gap will hold Soap Box Derby racing today.
  • 5 NASCAR is back, and not a second too soon to make weekday rush-hour traffic look like a Sunday drive on a country road. The Pennsylvania 500 is the second race of the year, and if you are new to the area, take a tip. Add a half-hour to each of your local trips, whether it be to the grocery store or your neighborhood bar. Just about everything is packed with touristy NASCAR lovers. Instead of getting angry, just be prepared.
  • 6 In case you always wanted to learn how to fly a plane or helicopter, Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport has schools for both.
  • 7 Rather stay on the ground but love the planes? Check out the remote-controlled planes at Hialeah Air Park in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
  • 8 Your guess is as good as ours. A movie send-up of "Underdog" will be in theaters, with an actual dog playing the live-action role. We're speechless.
  • 9 It's the battle of the county fairs! The 145th annual Wayne County Fair runs Aug. 3-11, and the Carbon County Fair runs Aug. 8-12.
  • 10 St. Matthew's annual block party kicks off at the parish on Brown Street in East Stroudsburg and lasts through the weekend.
  • 11 What do you get for the dead guy who's got everything? Grey Towers in Milford is holding a surprise birthday party for former Gov. Gifford Pinchot during the annual Festival of Wood.
  • 12 Wing it today at Fernwood Hotel and Resort in Bushkill for the 12th annual Pocono Wing Off.
  • 13 Shoot your buddies at one of the local paintball arenas.14 Water Gap Trolley Tours offers (what else?) trolley tours of the borough and surrounding region, including a run through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
  • 15 Pocono Environmental Education Center's monthly Wednesday Walks series continues today at 10 a.m.
  • 16 Every Thursday night during the summer, Barley Creek Brewing Co. in Tannersville offers its Putts and Pints Putting Tournament. BYOP — bring your own putter.
  • 17 It's 5 o'clock on a Friday — do you know where your happy hour is?
  • 18 Seminal jam banders Allman Brothers Band and Bob Weir and RatDog stop by at the Mountain Laurel Center. And, umm, yeah, there will be cops in the parking lot, people.
  • 19 Give new meaning to the words "Sunday drive." Find a country road you've never been on before and just drive as far as you can. You never know what you'll find.
  • 20 Chances are that on your way home from work today you're going to pass a farmstand on the road. Stop and buy something.
  • 21 With just two weeks or so until school starts again, you better get your brain in shape, kids. Visit any one of the five Monroe County libraries.
  • 22 Take time to learn about time in the historic Stroud Mansion in Stroudsburg.
  • 23 It's not garbage picking. It's called "yard sale-ing." Big difference. Try it this weekend.
  • 24 Who knows how long we'll be able to watch bald eagles? While we can, head over to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and find some.
  • 25 Pocono State Crafts Festival kicks off its two-day event at Shawnee Ski Area today.
  • 26 Opening day of the West End Fair. The yearly joke: "What has 18 teeth and 88 legs?The yearly answer: "The funnel cake line at the West End Fair!"
  • 27 OK, that was an old one. But go back to the fair today — you know you want to.
  • 28 The New York Mets are in Philadelphia to play the Phils, and the Yankees are in the Bronx to play the Boston Red Sox. Take your pick, local baseball fans.
  • 29 Hinder and Papa Roach highlight the Bad Boys of Rock Tour coming to the 155th Allentown Fair. The American Idols tour is Sept. 1.
  • 30 Forget eBay — see what kind of treasures can be found at some antique stores.
  • 31 You've gone nearly the whole summer without taking a picnic. Rectify that today.


SEPTEMBER
  • 1 Don't get them wrong — downtown Stroudsburg officials loved having the Pocono Garlic Festival (see Sept. 2). But they think they've got a winner in StroudFest '07, a new music festival to take garlic's place.
  • 2 The Pocono Garlic Festival gets a new home and a new schedule. This is the first year it will be open for two days — Saturday and Sunday instead of just Saturday — and it moves to Shawnee Mountain. But guess what they still have? That's right — GARLIC!
  • 3 Take a break and enjoy the scenery. It's a long time to next Memorial Day.


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Virtual Monday, I hate my ISP, and other crap

Welcome to a Virtual Monday... hope your weekend was reflective on those who gave it all in defense of freedom, and fun at the same time.
  • My ISP sucks. Or maybe its the phone company. Whatever; they suck. Another complaint against monopolies. Since last night I've been unable to get a connection for more than a few minutes. And this is the week my kid submits his final work products for school. Terrific... I need to bite the bullet and go cable, but that's going to mean upgrading to digital cable. I'm convinced the crappy DSL service is a ploy to get everyone to buy extra channels that few people watch. Stupid rural monopoly.
  • Rosie O'Donnell: I've not said much here about The View, largely because the few times I ever watched it I could easily dismiss the premise as being a chick-coffee-clatch. Not that women dishing isn't worthy of comment, but that it's completely out of my league. However, I believe Rosie's departure is about time. The last thing Barbara Walters needs is to have her career capped with Rosie causing her show's cancellation. Ask your former colleague, Dan Rather, what it means to go out in disgrace.
  • Cindy Sheehan has left the building. Well, not quite. The DrudgeReport linked to the left-wing DailyKos which has Ms. Sheehan bowing out of the fight. About time, if you ask me. As I've said in the past, I felt for her over the loss of her son in battle. The fact is she became a tool of the Left, until they realized what most on the Right knew all along: she was unhinged and irrational. To the family of Ms. Sheehan: please, get her help.
  • Have you called Congress about this horrible immigration bill? You have to make your voice heard if you want to prevent the immediate legalization of millions who have broken the law. Call now!


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Friday, May 25, 2007

Have you called your Congressional Representatives yet?

Have you called your Senators and your House members yet?? Have you told the to vote NO for this foolish Immigration Bill?

Do you realize that once this bill is passed, it will be practically impossible to deport ANYONE, since everyone will be, by default, covered by this law?

Yesterday I heard Sen. John McCain explain a main reason this bill is necessary: because those 6 who wanted to kill our troops at Fort Dix need to be stopped.

Huh?

All this bill will do is make those 6 LEGAL. It won't make them 'go away.'

Stop this bill. Stop the assault on our laws. Advocate for a stronger border. Save our country.

Call the Congress: 202-224-3121

Now.




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Have A Froopy Towel Day!



Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)

h/t The Leather Penguin



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Thursday, May 24, 2007

2008 GOP Straw Poll - May 2007 Edition


C'mon, you know you want to participate. But be honest!

H/T Blogs for Bush

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

24 recap

I promised a wrap up of 24:

  • Josh shot grandpa in the shoulder. Now this can be fatal - just ask Curtis (oh, wait: he's dead) but this is Phil Bauer we're talking about. In the time it took Jack to climb up the tower, he could have fallen into the water craft. And since Cheng gave him the component ...
  • Russian President Suvarov: Meester Vice President: My generals and I have watched the satellite feed, and have seen the platform deeestroyed. The fact that we also saw a helicopter take off from the platform is of no concern to us at all.
  • Doesn't a Secretary of Defense - retired or otherwise - rate a home security system or body guard?
  • When I saw Milo's brother, I thought at first it was the return (from the dead) of Tony. The brother will be back; he has the hots for Nadia.
  • OK, survey: who here knew Chloe was preggers the minute she started feeling ill? I know I did. Back in the days I used to watch ER, they had numerous episodes where the staff were running to a nursery; I hope they don't try that here, but I hope Chloe returns!
  • What? Jack captures the man who tortured him for 2 years. No payback???
I still say the season didn't suck. It was as kick-ass as seasons before, but it wasn't a disappointment either.

Now I have nothing worthwhile to watch... until January... day 7.

(P.S. I am starting to hate Opera; I keyed this in Opera and hit PUBLISH. Poof! it was gone. This time its in FF)



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Monday, May 21, 2007

Amnesty by any other name

Amended and bumped to the top...

The immigration reform bill - a laughable term if I ever heard one - is a huge assault on the laws and citizens of this nation. It is an affront to all who have come here before, legally.


I've taken the time to read as much as I can about the bill, and I am certain of my stance.

  • If the people came to this country illegally to begin with, why will they come forward to PAY $5000 in order to comply with the new law?
  • What if these people - who, by definition, are being paid less than minimum wage because they're illegally here - can't afford the $5000?
  • Under the terms of this bill, the people must return home and then re-enter. HUH! So why can't we simply deport them and let them enter under the existing rules?
You want reform? Try this:
  • Secure the border. Now. Lets see the National Guard on BOTH the north and south borders.
  • Revise the current immigration laws: it ought not take YEARS to come here legally. And the first people to get the benefit of these laws are THOSE WHO ARE IN LINE ALREADY, who have played by the rules.

At the end of 2006, the House GOP prevented a bogus immigration reform bill from passing. For their dedication, they were rewarded with being turned out of office. The GOP has to stand strong again, in spite of their losses, to ensure this bill does not pass. President Bush, as much as I support him in global defense, is wrong about this issue.

It must not pass!




Tammy Bruce raises my spirits with this post, including a link to the Washington Times that reads, in part:
Fewer than 20 senators are publicly committed to supporting the immigration deal announced last week.

Nearly 40 senators have already said they oppose or have serious concerns about the measure, underscoring how difficult it will be for President Bush and his allies to craft a coalition that can pass the bill.
Usually, when a bill pisses off both sides, it is often a good thing that no one wants to admit to liking. But this bill is pure bilge: I am not surprised at crap from Sen. Kennedy, but I am disappointed in President Bush.

Read the bill for yourself, in an well laid-out fashion, at The Truth Laid Bear.



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24: Day 6 is almost over

You can call me a Jack Bauer toady, sycophant lackey, but I don't think this season sucked. I know, a lot of critics have panned the season, true. And the ratings took a hit. But the show still held surprises and twists for me.

A few points on this day:

  • So I was right and was wrong: I had predicted that Jack's dad would return, and then concluded I was wrong. Turns out, he did come back, and wants his grandson in exchange for preventing WW-III. Not too shabby.
  • Throughout this season, I found it disappointing that too little time was spent on the effects of torture on Jack. Maybe a few flashbacks would have helped. A brief glimpse of compassion early on in the day, and he came back 100% after that. I don't want to see a sniveling Jack Bauer, but he came back too soon, I think.
  • The final show-down with Fayed was too ... neat. I have expected to see Jack somehow become his prisoner again, with him getting the upper hand again on Fayed, before he had to 'say hello to his brother.'
  • Morris had a chance to redeem himself, and it was good to see. Hopefully he'll get over his self-loathing now. I dunno; having someone drill into my shoulder-blade with a Craftsman 1/2" would make me rather compliant to their wishes, too.
  • In the preview for tonight's 2-hour finale, we see Morris holding the limp body of Chloe; I do hope this isn't her final bow.

Amazingly, I won't see the finale tonight. Monday's are routinely my TKD night, and my class ends at 8PM. So I am burning it to DVD and will either stay up late or catch tomorrow morning. Here's hoping for a kick-ass finale.

Once again I am at a loss for TV after tonight... nothing holds my attention much any more. The word is Fox has signed for 2 more days, and there's still talk about a movie.... which I can't fathom being very good compared to the series. Time will tell.



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Sandy Berger conceeds guilt, dodges bullet

Byron York wrote of the concluding investigation of Sandy Berger on National Review Online :

There’s been some confusion in the last few days about the latest development in the classified-documents-theft-and-destruction case of former Clinton national-security adviser Samuel Berger. When Berger announced that he had agreed to give up his law license, some readers wondered, perhaps hopefully, whether that meant the Justice Department was still pursuing the case — prosecutors still have the right to subject Berger to a polygraph examination, even after his guilty plea, $50,000 fine, agreement to perform community service, and three-year ban on handling classified material — or that perhaps Berger was under some sort of pressure from congressional investigators.

The answers are no and no. Berger’s voluntary disbarment has nothing to do with the Justice Department or Capitol Hill. It is entirely the result of Berger’s desire to head off an investigation by the District of Columbia Bar. By giving up his license voluntarily, before an investigation was set to begin, Berger effectively closed another probe into his activities.
So a man who reached the height of infamy by stealing classified documents (yes, stealing: how many times have you unknowingly shoved stuff in your underwear?), who then proceeded to stash these ill-gotten items in a most precarious location (hidden under a construction trailer!). It is not a hard leap to assume he was leaving these documents for another to find.

Regardless of those facts, the Justice Department seemed to go easy on him last year. A minor monetary penalty, and community service. Big whoop. The man is still entitled to his security clearance, which is an affront to those of us who HAVE clearance and know the importance of it.

As Mr. York says, Mr. Berger concedes his guilt:
[All] we have is the report sent from the DC Bar to the Court of Appeals recommending that the court accept Berger’s agreement to give up his license. It is a brief document, but it does say that Berger is “aware that there is currently pending an investigation into, or a proceeding involving, allegations of misconduct”; that he “acknowledges that the material facts upon which the allegations of misconduct are predicated are true”; and that he “knows that if disciplinary proceedings based on the alleged misconduct were brought, [he] could not successfully defend against them.”
Not bad; get caught stealing and destroying classified information (possibly to hide the sins of his former boss?) and get off easy. He played the system, and found a convenient loophole.

Another opportunity missed by last year's Congress. Heaven knows, the current Congress won't pursue this matter, either!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Busy night

Trying to install a non-visual desktop assistant (NVDA) on my father's PC. A pity he's in NYC and I'm in PA.... using RealVNC, I have installed the program, but the keystrokes to make it function aren't going through VNC.

While he's playing with it, I realized the comments were turned off my SANE LIBERAL post. Unless I say specifically otherwise, I'll always have comments turned on. So if you see a post that denies your comments, let me know!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

A Sane Liberal


TC the Leather Penguin links to a piece by former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, whom I often refer to (and with all due respect to Rudolph Giuliani), NYC Mayor for Life.

A reader of Mr. Koch's wrote Maybe it’s time you state what you mean by calling yourself ‘liberal’ in the year 2007, when most of your opinions appear ‘conservative.’ Mr. Koch replied with the following:

“It is a question that I am glad you asked. My positions are based on common sense—hence, the descriptive words “liberal with sanity.” My liberal policy positions are highlighted by my support in 1962 when running for the Assembly, and to date on three major issues: legalizing abortion, divorce and sodomy. How many people do you know who, in 1962 while running for office, advocated the right of abortion, divorce on grounds other than adultery and ending the sodomy laws used to keep homosexual acts criminal?

“I continued my same social thinking as a member of Congress, and in my fifth term in the 17th Congressional District (Silk Stocking district), I received 78 percent of the vote. I got the same 78 percent as mayor in my third term. This all happened in the—then and now—hugely liberal city of New York.

“My views on policy positions have not changed substantially over the years, except that I became more conservative in money matters as a result of being mayor. I do not believe you spend money that you don’t have in support of programs that may be impeccable.

“Some opponents refer to me as conservative, objecting to my support of the death penalty which I have supported in all of my years in public service and which I defend as liberal. If you believe, as I do, that it defends society and its values, why allow conservatives to claim it as theirs? More than 60 percent of the nation supports the death penalty. Many now think it is conservative to support the war against Islamic terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere. I think defending Western civilization from the attack upon it by the radical Islamic right is liberal.

“I am delighted that you provided me with the opportunity to explain my position. In short, I am a liberal in the mold of Scoop Jackson, Hubert Humphrey and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Like Jackson, I believe in a strong military defense. Like Humphrey, I oppose racial, religious and gender quotas. Like Moynihan, I oppose partial-birth abortion. All the best.”

Ed Koch once campaigned for election saying If you agree with 7 out 11 things I say, you should vote for me. If you agree with 11 out of 11 things I say, you should have your head examined! I've always admired the common-sense approach Mr. Koch took on a many issues.

Like TC, I find Ed Koch to be a sane Liberal.


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thoughts that collide

Was just outside chatting with a neighbor. In the 17 or so years I've lived here, she and her husband are the two people I know the most. We speak to the neighbors across the street, and know the folks next to us, but we never really speak with them more than a few times a year. This gal, the I chatted with, have extended discussions about once a month or so.

We're polar opposites in regards to politics, and while we spar on major issues, we don't get nasty about it. She collects honey from her own bees, taps trees for sap, and is proud to say her sewing machine has a foot-pedal crank.

I possess none of those abilities or qualities. But she is still intriguing to speak with.

Tonight she had two different thoughts that collide in a big way.

We talked about Christian Fundamentalists. She tried to say she included all Fundamentalists of all persuasions, but kept coming back Christians. She complained about how they're always complaining about being persecuted for their beliefs, how she wished they would all shut up and leave everyone else alone. I interjected I felt the same way about the Muslims who complained they were being singled out, like the Flying Imans , whom I had to describe to her because she had never heard of the controversy (she's a big fan of NPR; did they not cover the story I wondered?). She agreed, and then went back to the Christians; she explained that many in her family were 'born again', so this probably has a lot to do with displeasure of them

We then talked about the rising crime incidents in our community. This set her off in another direction. Last week, her 25 year old son came home from work and after eating, decided to walk through our development after 11 PM. Nothing wrong with that. He came upon a State Trooper who was investigation a theft of a generator from a shed. The Trooper called him over, and demanded he identify himself. Now the guy did nothing wrong, and according to his mother, was wearing light colored clothing (not likely the color of choice if you're stealing things).

He was incensed, as was she, that the Trooper demanded he tell him his name. This isn't a police state, not yet at least. She continued Who does that Trooper think he is asking anyone for their name?

Unknown to me, there isn't a law in Pennsylvania compelling you to identify yourself to law enforcement. I said unknown to me, because I always thought if an officer asks you your name, you tell it. If an officer asks you where you live, you say so. Yes, my neighbor was walking on a public street, but that doesn't mean he didn't possibly see something, or wasn't necessarily connected to the incident in some way.

Last week I ranted about a cop who was decidedly over the line, so I am not one to suggest that all cops walk on water. But in any given instance, I give the benefit of the doubt that a cop is a good, honorable person. Yes, there are a few bad ones out there, but by and large, they're all good. So if I an officer asks me my name, I'll tell him.

So what I have to wonder: why is it OK for my neighbor to complain of people who clam they're being persecuted, and then she complains of persecution herself? Besides the interest of keeping neighborly with the neighbor, was I right not to call her on her hypocrisy?



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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lather up or bite down: get a jolt either way

There are many people who mock my philosophy: Sleep is for people who can't tolerate caffeine. They can skip this post; everyone else should pay attention.

Two new items (at least to me) for those who crave caffeine, but don't like coffee:

  • SumSeeds: premium roast sunflower seeds with the same stuff found in energy sodas - caffeine, taurine, lysine and ginseng. Also, they're a naturally good source of protein and contain a bounty of Vitamin E, Zinc and Iron. A bit pricey for my taste, at $1.99 for a 3.5 oz bag. But if you order a case online you get t-shirt, so have at it if you like to nibble.

  • Shower Shock Caffeinated Soap, from the gang at ThinkGeek. Described as the ultimate clean buzz, some 200mg of caffeine is said to be absorbed by your body as you shower. $7/bar, all the way up to a 10-pack for $38. Also available in travel size bars and as Go Juice Body Wash, which suggests you may tingle a little after use. And who wouldn't want to, right? Of course, I now generally shower after my work-out (duh!), which means these products would actually make me sleep less. But there's that tingle idea again...

These may be the best products I've seen since the original Jolt Cola (or gum). I know, geeks (or pseudo-geeks, like myself) are purportedly only drinkers of Mountain Dew... but its sickly-sweet flavor (and even sicker color) never clicked with me.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

THIS counts as American History?

Sam Cooke once sang Don't know much about history, don't know much biology - well, if he had attended this high school, he may have been half-right:

Pocono Record: A Pennsylvania high school teacher showed his students photos of "naked, murdered, and dismembered" women, had sexually explicit conversations with the teenagers, and provided them with a memoir in which he recounted losing his virginity, according to a new lawsuit. A U.S. District Court complaint filed
yesterday in Scranton alleges that Bruce Smith, a history teacher at Pleasant Valley High School, exposed 16- and 17-year-old students to "sexually explicit and offensive material" in class.

The affidavit on this matter is available from TheSmokingGun, along with some of the photos distributed by this teacher. Additionally, you can read and decide for yourself what the context of asking the female students of his history class what they wear during pillow fights and decide for yourself whether or not this teacher follows the state's curriculum.

The [plaintiffs] contend that after filing "verbal and written requests" for school brass to address Smith's classroom behavior, they were "retaliated against" by administrators who disclosed their identity, allowed Smith to "scare victims," and directed the teacher to contact them at home "to somehow excuse his offensive, sexual conduct."

The Pocono Record article (and video) paints a picture of a teacher who treated his students as adults. That may all be well and good, but these 'students' are still, legally, children. Were this an after-school discussion group, for example, that the students could voluntarily sign-up for, that would mitigate a lot (but not all) of these allegations.

If these accusations hold water, and this teacher holds his position after the fact, it will be a disservice to the parents of the students in the district as a whole. Perhaps you want these frank discussions - especially hard to envision in context of 20th Century American History (unless blow-jobs and pillow fights are now on the SATs!) - happening with your child in a mandatory class, but I do not. Nor do I condone my tax monies paying for it!

Unless and until laws change the definition of a minor - and that is a discussion that I will entertain - there has got to be certain standards maintained for what content is permissible in schools - particularly public schools - and what is not.

Once again, a clear reason is presented for the school vouchers and virtual charter schools!

UPDATE: Yesterday I had quite an extended IM session with my friend on this topic; we didn't see eye-to-eye, to say the least (additionally, I had a head-to-head with another woman last night, who thought it was nice that the teacher was trying to reach the kids on their level).

Today I thought a further argument point should be offered: Say the teacher was a woman, who fancies herself as a centerfold model. Say she has CD of her best work. Now she's not selling them, nor is she making anyone view the pics, but she'll hand out a CD to anyone who asks.

I'm not going to fault this hypothetical hottie for wanting to be a model, but I will fault her for handing out CDs. Tell me how this imaginary teacher is any different from the grandiose memoir of a teacher's conquests and other details.



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Sunday, May 13, 2007

He was born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia

So what does a guy who drives a 2 hour commute do on a day off? Why, he drives nearly 2 hours to go to a museum!

Tomorrow, my sons virtual charter school has a trip planned to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in order to view the Tutankhamun exhibit. This ought to be a splendid day, as we will be able to enjoy Tut and at least part of the rest of the museum (the 4 year old may not hold out the entire day!).

Our oldest and I spent a night in the museum (what a movie plug) about a year ago, so this will be a chance for him to show what he remembers (hah!) from that edutainment event.

I did get a chance to see part of the original Tut tour when it came to NYC 30 years ago... I believe a portion was on display in the NY Public Library. But that was long ago and so far away that it will be like new tomorrow.

This may not be the MOST IDEAL way to use a vacation day -- heaven knows I could use a real vacation... mom, especially needs a getaway -- but neither of us are complaining.

Now when I die, now don't think I'm a nut
Don't want no fancy funeral, just one like old King Tut
He coulda won a Grammy - buried in his jammies
Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia
He was born in Arizona - Gotta condo made of stone-a
King Tut!

- Steve Martin



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Better late than...


A Happy Mom's day to all those readers who are a mom, who hope to be a mom, and/or have exhibited mom-like qualities to those near and dear.

The boys had cards they made for mom, and we stayed in most of the day. MBH dislikes crowds of all kinds, so we don't go out to dinner or the like on this day. And since I get flowers several times during the year, there's no need to pay twice as much today (her idea, not mine!). We'll shoot for a special lunch out next weekend.


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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Another vote against monopolies

I've ranted about my dang rural ISP before but I find myself doing it again. I have DSL. When I wanted to go broadband, my area hadn't gotten cable broadband yet. So I waited, and finally caved for DSL. DSL, in and of itself, isn't bad, but it isn't as good as cable for reliability.

Yes, yes: some of you saying it's not nearly as fast, either, but where my data budget is concerned, it is fast enough. I am paying $30/mth for 1.5MB/s ... that's enough for my oldest boy to get his VCS, and reasonable for my work-at-home needs. I can go faster, of course, but the price-break is unreasonable. First, you need digital cable -- nothing wrong with it, but we haven't made the plunge for new TVs, so its wasted. And since we don't a whole lot of TV, 80% of the additional channels would go unwatched.

But hey, the assumption is cable = better service, right?

But what if one company owned the cable company, the ISP, and the phone company??

About every 3-4 mths, my DSL craps out... several consecutive days of poor connectivity. I call, they say nothings wrong, the service comes back. Next day, same dance. I can't got to another provider... this phone company isn't Verizon or any other baby bell, it is a rural company. Eventually, someone in tech support will recognize that I only call every few months, and find the (seemingly) one guy in the CO who realizes oh, this guy again? OK, I'll do it. I know it is that, because I've been told someone knew what the problem was, but I never knew WHO it was or WHAT the problem is.

Meanwhile I deal with seemingly well-intentioned by Level-1 tech support neophyte who can't discern someone who just opened their PC for the first time from someone who probably has more years of experience on computers than they have been alive.

He: Sir, how can you be certain your DSL is offline
Me: My first hint was not being able to bring up the ISP website. My second hint was the flashing red dx light on my modem.
He: And are you certain your DSL modem is plugged in and powered on?
Me: I don't suppose the flashing red light would indicate otherwise, would it?
He: Um....

If I had free choice, I could pick and choose my vendors. But I am stuck. And despite my doing my best to keep my calm, I so want to reach through the phone and slap the guy who wants to know if my modem is plugged in!

Life in rural America...



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More overbearing legislation

Philadelphia, whose murder rate makes the lifestyle of US Soldiers in Iraq look like a walk in the park, is now tackling yet another issue of great importance:

NBC/WCAU Philadelphia: The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee voted unanimously to release the proposal after several legislators admitted frequently firing off text messages while behind the wheel, even though they know doing so is dangerous.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty acknowledges doing it himself, but he's not proud of it.

"It's very, very dangerous," he said

Once again, the point has been missed. Instead of more legislation about cell phones and their use, why not toughen penalties for reckless driving (now commonly called Distracted Driving)? Why do we need another law against an act that is already covered by an existing law?

Long ago I voiced opposition to the bans on talking on cell phones while driving.

I've seen women farding, men shaving, parents slapping children, adults kissing dogs, reading the NY Times, and eating a bowl of cereal ALL WHILE DRIVING. Every one of those instances fall under distracted driving; so instead of having laws for those, too, lets just cover them under the existing laws.

Stop this nonsense about more laws that cover the same ground. Enforce and toughen the penalties on the existing distracted driving laws and be done with it.



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Friday, May 11, 2007

Just checking

Will this post find its way to Twitter?  Find out here

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Head Shot

So I was going through my stuff box... a box that catches all sorts of random tech pieces... rails for hard drive, for example. Various wires and the like from PCs I've taken apart over the years, and I found my old web cam.

This thing is a Labtech, and its about the size of cue ball, sort of. I have long since lost the driver disc and documentation, so I can't speak for its megapixels. Since I believe it cost $20 with a $20 refund, it can't be that spectacular. I just plugged it in to one of my office PCs and it sprang to life.

Since I've been criticized in the past for a lack of personal photographs on this blog, I will make amends here.

What do you mean we're out of coffee??

You really didn't think I was going to give you a real head shot, did you?

As you can tell, the camera's resolution is worth every penny I paid for it.

I will have to get a couple of good cams, however, to make it easier for my folks to see the grand kids on demand well.. close to it at least. Anyone have any suggestions?


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rev. Al Sharpton on Mitt Romney

No one who has read what I've said in defense of Don Imus would be surprised to learn I am posting about what Rev. Al Sharpton said about Republican Candidate Mitt Romney.

But if you think I am going to slam Rev. Sharpton, entirely, you're wrong.

Rev. Sharpton -- famous for the Tawana Brawley hoax, the man who uttered those volatile words about at Freddies Fashion Mart , and who was in the front of the line with the virtual pitchfork and torch that led to the firing of Don Imus -- is in the news again concerning an allegation he said Mormons don't believe in God.

Rev. Sharpton was having a debate with Christopher Hitchens, who is well-known for his dislike for all thing religious. Mr. Hitchens' lastest book is entitled "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." Clearly, Mr. Hitchens is no fan of God.

When the discussion turned towards Presidential politics, and the 2008 election, Mr. Hitchens asked about the Mormon running for president, a not-so-veiled reference to Mitt Romney, the former Massachuesettes governor and GOP candidate for president. Gov. Romney has made no effort to hide he is a Mormon, and many in the country question whether he should be President on his faith, alone.

The Rev. Sharpton, a staunch Democrat through and through, was recorded as saying "those of us who believe in God" will defeat Republican Mitt Romney for the White House.

Hello? Taken in the context of the discussion, I do not find what Rev. Sharpton said as questioning the faith of Gov. Romney. Rather, Sharpton was saying that he and his fellow believers in God will help defeat the presidential aspirations of Gov. Romney.

See, what I am doing here is what everyone should have done for Don Imus, and for Sen. Trent Lott, and for a whole host of others (mostly on the Right) who get hosed over things they say that are taken out of context.

That I still believe Rev. Sharpton should be accountable for the many, many things he has said and done in his past remains the same. I'd call for him to be banish from the radio airwaves, but other than the Imus interview last month, his ratings are second to the likes of AirAmerica (and we all know how pathetic those numbers are).

While my dislike for the words and actions of Rev. Sharpton remain unchanged, I will not include this quote against him.



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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Another reason to crack down on illegal aliens

By far, the majority of illegal aliens are not guilty of anything more than violating our immigration laws. That is enough, in my view, to deport them. I know that's not a popularist view, but hey, that's my opinion.

I don't mean only those from certain nations either; I know, first hand, that a lot of Irish are brought through NYC, for example, until their immigration can be worked out. Regardless, they are in violation of our laws.

While the majority of illegal aliens are good people, today we read about a group - 3 of whom are illegal - who planning to attack a miliatry training base at Fort Dix in NJ. This bothers me on several levels:

  • They lived in Cherry Hill, NJ: I used to work in that area
  • They trained in NE Pennsylvania: this blogger lives in that area
  • They targeted more than one military base: my work often takes me to military bases.

Don't give me any crap about comprehensive immigration reform. Seal the borders, then we can talk about who gets deported and who doesn't. For my money, after the borders are secure, the more deported, the better.



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Monday, May 07, 2007

MSM, Barack the Magic Negro, and hypocrisy

Rush Limbaugh certainly doesn't need me to carry his water, but he said something today about a song parody that's over 2 weeks old that deserves note.

It seems over the weekend the Chicago Tribune learned that Mr. Limbaugh was playing a song parody about Sen. Barack Obama. Suddenly, there was a buzz in television and radio outlets, and online (as seen in the accompanying screenshot) about it.

It's racist! some say. Gee, what a pity the good Senator didn't think that when he was asked. In fact, he found it amusing!

What I find amusing -- and this is the point of my post -- this parody is over 2 weeks old. I know because I listen to about an hour or so of the program each day. This isn't new.

So for the Chicago Trib to suddenly find out about it, and for the legion of bloggers who suddenly have something else to complain about ... where have they been?

In other radio news, Don Imus plans to push his lawsuit ahead, and I support his efforts! It should be interesting to note: Viacom/CBS-Radio contends he violated his contract, and MSNBC canceled his TV simulcast because of the Rutgers comments were over the line.

Let's take MSNBC first: got to YouTube and search for Imus, Chris Matthews, F-Bomb and tell me why both Mr. Imus and Mr. Matthews weren't fired then. I also have clip of Dr. Doris Kearns-Goodwin, who while quoting Sen. Barry Goldwater, used the word c&#$-sucker. In both cases, Mr. Imus' staff censored the words from reaching the radio, but not so MSNBC.

As for CBS/Viacom: if they stand a chance of winning, it would seem to me that they had better be prepared to show a documented warning about Mr. Imus' on-air comments - dated before April 4th and after he signed his 5 year contract renewal.

My prediction: Mr. Imus will enjoy the summer at his Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, accept a hefty, hefty donation from Viacom, and will be back on terrestrial radio by the Autumn.

All in all, the hypocrisy over the attempts at censoring speech is quite a spectacle, indeed!


,
,

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Dual Warnings

In the last 24 hours, my county has been under two different warnings:

  • Frost warning
  • Red flag

In case you're from a city, red flags indicate a lack of rain fall, so that leaves and other ground cover are very dry and easy to catch fire. When a red flag is up, outdoor burning (brush, trash, etc.) is prohibited.

How unusual, but not unheard of, to have both in May!



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Saturday, May 05, 2007

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

This is going to sound odd to some readers, but today is an unusual day!


MBH and both sons just departed; they're off to her sister's and from there to go a kite festival at a local park. That means - now get this - that means I am home alone.

I am not sure what is more amazing... that they have left me behind, or that I am so excited at this rare opportunity.

I am set to get my hair cut at 11, and but other than that I am home, on a Saturday no less! This is a almost unheard of indeed!




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Radio Static

Rouge cop threatens talk radio host: Since I am without Imus in the Morning, I have been scanning the dial (what an anachronism!) Earlier this week I settled on NJ 101.5 a station I've heard a lot about over the years. This week they were discussing the seemingly annual rise in State Police citation issuing.

The afternoon hosts, two guys who go by the name The Jersey Guys, were given access to a blog that was purportedly used by the Fraternal Order of (NJ State) Police. Access to the site was restricted - you needed a badge number and password. On the blog, they found postings of other Troopers who were annoyed about the Spring Ticket Blitz which they were ordered to follow. Now these Jersey Guys took the time to verify the IP addresses of the posters (to the blog) to confirm they originated from State Police facilities... they did their homework, before announcing it on air.

Fast forward to Thursday: the head of the NJ State Troopers FOP, Trooper David Jones, blasted the Jersey Guys at a press conference. He revealed the true name of one of the two Jersey Guys (who, obviously, works under a pseudonym) , his home address and his license plate number. Trooper Jones then threatened to do the same with the rest of the NJ 101.5 staff, and to go after their sponsors.

About the Troopers who allegedly made the blog posts complaining about the blitz, Trooper Jones called them Girl Scouts and promised to squash them like bugs. (Am I the only one to recall Lt. Gary Mitchell using the same phrase??)

Now the Jersey Guys are under police protection, Trooper Davy Jones is under investigation, and with any luck will lose his badge and gun. What an abuse of power!! And the worst part is that he - allegedly - represents all NJ Troopers, who are now looking bad because of his behavior.

The sooner he's without a badge, the better.

Hey... why do I suddenly remember Ray Liotta in Unlawful Entry?

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Tons of Steel

I know these rails we're on like I know my lady's smile,
We see a dozen dreams in every passing mile.
Can't begin to count the trips she and I have made,
But I wish I had a dollar for each time we've both been down this grade.

900,000 tons of steel, made to roll.
The brakes don't work and this grade's too steep, her engine's sure to blow.
900,000 tons of steel, out of control,
She's more a rollercoaster than the train I used to know.

It's one hell of an understatement, to say she can get mean.
She's temperamental, more a bitch than a machine.
She wasn't built to travel at the speed a rumor flies,
These wheels are bound to jump the tracks before they burn the ties

900,000 tons of steel, made to roll.
The brakes don't work and this grade's too steep, her engine's sure to blow
900,000 tons of steel, out of control
She's more a rollercoaster than the train I used to know.

Murphy sure out done himself to pick this stretch of track
I can only hope my luck is ridin' in the back.
Well I have prayed to God this ain't the day we meet,
I've done 'bout everything except  dragging my feet.

900,00 tons of steel, made to roll.
The brakes don't work and this grade's too steep, her engine's sure to blow
900,00 tons of steel, out of control,
She's more a rollercoaster than the train I used to know.

Oh, oh I want to go down slow

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

If they could make it there, they could make it anywhere

Ol' Blue Eyes words were never more appropriate, concerning the flop of AirAmerica radio in New York City.

The LeatherPenguin brings word of the latest Arbitron ratings for the NYC area.

WABC (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity): 3.5 (.2 gain); 7th overall
WOR (Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage): 2.1 (unchanged); 20th overall
WWRL (New home for Air America): 0.7; (.1 loss) 30th overall
It is worth noting that AirAmerica has lost listeners in the months since they've changed their flagship station. Their former station - WLIB - now plays Gospell and scored 0.8, which puts them in 28th place, beating AA.

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Socialized Medicine, failed again

Donald Luskin at The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid notes another in a series of monumental failures of socialized medicine.

Pointing to a NY Times article on Maine's efforts to insure its estimated 130,000 uninsured residents, the Times details the proposed first-year goal of ensuring 31,000 people by the end of 2005:

So far, it has not come close to that goal. Only 18,800 people have signed up for the state’s coverage and many of them already had insurance.

“I think when we first started, in terms of making estimates, we really were kind of groping in the dark,” said Gov. John E. Baldacci, who this month proposed a host of adjustments.
Even when it is offered to those who need it the most (allegedly), the state can only entice a paltry 14% of the population to join -- and some of those already have insurance! Perhaps the problem isn't what it is touted to be?

And instead of abandoning this failed social program, the governor is proposing adjustments.

Mr. Luskin correctly ponders the following:

How would the Times have covered this story if a similar failure had occurred on the Bush administration's watch, or in corporate America?

Mr. Luskin knows the answer, of course, as I suppose you, the reader, does as well.

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Counting down 24

So I've been so out of it lately, I've hardly posted about 24...

  • I had predicted that we haven't seen the last of Jack's dad, but it appears now he wasn't working with the Chinese.
  • I think too little has been done (in recent hours) about Jack having been tortured for 2 years. Sure, we saw his hands, the beard, etc. And yes, in the first 6 hours we had a moment of doubt about torturing the terrorist. But that's it? Even with Audrey's brainwashing, and his understanding of what she went through, there was precious little shown of his mental state.
  • We see in the preview for next week Marilyn Bauer will be back. The trouble with a 24 hour setting is that we have an inexplicable reappearance of a character at 2AM. Are we to believe she travelled to CTU in the middle of the night, after the kind of day she's had (her husband murdered by her father-in-law, son kidnapped by grandfather and nearly killed, Jack almost killed by his father, she - herself - nearly killed)
  • Keeping in tune with the series (and borrowing a sight gag from Airplane!), at about 8AM Jack commandeered a vehicle (carjacked by any other term) by pushing a man to the ground and ordering him 'Don't get up!'
    Wanna bet the guy is still on the street?
  • There's been a buzz online, in discussions involving spoilers and the like, that a character will make a reappearance before this day is done. All I'll say here is: in the character's alleged final scene the ticking clock was audible!
    As a fan I'll just say I will actually be a bit disappointed if the rumor is correct, since there are plenty of reasons why Jack would have reached out to this character earlier in the day.
  • Jack was never shown to ask what's the deal with Bill Buchanon. Perhaps he asked in the copter back to CTU but it has not been made clear that he knows what's going on with him, and why Nadia is in charge.
  • Last we saw Chloe, she was distraught over Morris. It was suggested that she may have been working with Jack in his escape - which was highly unlikely given her state.
  • OK, we've seen the restrooms at CTu, and people drink coffee. Aren't there any snack food machines for these people who work all day and night??

The critics be damned, I still love the show!



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