Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley, 1925-2008

Appearing on television's Rowan and Marin's Laugh-In, Henry Gibson once asked Mr. Buckley why he was always seated when he appeared on television. Couldn't he think on his feet?

Buckley retorted: "It's very hard to stand up carrying the weight of what I know."



Conservatism's modern founder, William F. Buckley, has left a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Nor will he.



Source

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Democratic Primaries winding down

Who would ever have thought, back in January, we'd be where we are today?

Back then, the safe bets were Sen. Clinton versus Mayor Giuliani.

I had to laugh; I visited an old e-mail account that I haven't been in regularly for years.

My old Yahoo! Mail had fallen out of favor in recent years; at one time, in a
former job, Y!Mail was accessible by AOL Mail wasn't, so I started doing all of
my personal mail there. Then I tasted GMail, and well... so much for
Y!Mail.

In my Yahoo! Mail I found an e-mail I sent to a colleague on February 5, 2000; back then, I listed a link to the FEC.GOV website where the soon to be elected Senator had already established a Presidential Campaign account. She had merely assumed to take over for Al Gore, no doubt.

I find it ironic that will likely protest Florida and Michigan delegates not being seated; in part, because this was supposed to be her coronation, that she has to fight for two states seems funny, and because the Howard Dean DNC is not counting the votes of - of all states - Florida! For the record, I believe the DNC is entitled to set its own rules, and enforce them. If Florida violated said rules, then so be it.

But you must admit, this is good, political theater.

shouldn't be counting on his victory quite yet. Mark my words... Sen. Clinton isn't finished, not yet. What else does she and her husband have to look forward to in their own lives if she fails? And

Wait for the convention.... just wait.



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March comes in like lion, but goes out like a .... (repost)

Classic SNL (especially for those of you who were too young to appreciate it when it was originally aired):

Chevy Chase: Last week [on Weekend Update] we made the comment that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Now here to reply is our chief meteorologist, John Belushi, with a seasonal report.

John Belushi: Thank you Chevy. Well, another winter is almost over and March true to form has come in like a lion, and hopefully will go out like a lamb. At least that's how March works here in the United States.

But did you know that March behaves differently in other countries? In Norway, for example, March comes in like a polar bear and goes out like a walrus. Or, take the case of Honduras where March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a salt marsh harvest mouse.

Let's compare this to the Maldive Islands where March comes in like a wildebeest and goes out like an ant. A tiny, little ant about this big. [holds thumb and index fingers a small distance apart]

Unlike the Malay Peninsula where March comes in like a worm-eating fernbird and goes out like a worm-eating fernbird. In fact, their whole year is like a worm-eating fernbird.

Or consider the Republic of South Africa where March comes in like a lion and goes out like a different lion. Like one has a mane, and one doesn't have a mane. Or in certain parts of South America where March swims in like a sea otter, and then it slithers out like a giant anaconda. There you can buy land real cheap, you know?

And there's a country where March hops in like a kangaroo, and stays a kangaroo for a while, and then it becomes a slightly smaller kangaroo. Then, then, then for a couple of days it's sort of a cross between a, a frilled lizard and a common house cat.

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him] Wait wait wait wait. Then it changes back into a smaller kangaroo, and then it goes out like a, like a wild dingo. Now, now, and it's not Australia! Now, now, you'd think it would be Australia, but it's not!

[Chevy again tries to interrupt him] Now look, pal! I know a country where March comes in like an emu and goes out like a tapir. And they don't even know what it means! All right?

Now listen, there are nine different countries, where March comes in like a frog, and goes out like a golden retriever. But that- that's not the weird part! No, no, the weird part is, is the frog. The frog- The weird part is- [Belushi has a seizure and falls off chair]

I desperately seek the audio/video clip of this classic bit. Any one have any leads?

Reposted from 2005



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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Save the planet, but risk poisoning your children

Now that the US Congress has legislated the demise of the incandescent light bulb, lets ask a question that the environmental wackos don't want you to ask: What do you do when compact fluorescent cracks? Ask any Facilities Manager, and they'll point to the HAZMAT warning on each box of the tube-bulbs so common in their office buildings.

Today, even though nobody asked me, I'll list the steps listed in the BOSTON GLOBE:

Compact fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of toxic mercury that can
vaporize when the bulbs break, creating a potential health risk for infants,
young children, and pregnant women. If a lamp does break, follow these cleanup
procedures (comments and text emphasis by me):

  • Keep people and pets away. Open windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before beginning the cleanup.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner, even on a carpet. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust and potentially contaminate the vacuum.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container, preferably a glass jar with a metal screw top lid and seal like a
    canning jar. Be careful not to shelve the jar with your own canning (if you happen to can your own fruits/veggies)
  • Next, scoop up the smaller pieces and dust using two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards. That's right; be ready to waste a good index card, or ruin a deck of playing cards.
  • Pick up fine particles with duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape, and
    then use a wet wipe or damp paper towel.
  • Put all waste into the glass container, including all material used in the cleanup. Remove the container from your home and call your local solid waste district or municipality for disposal instructions. Depending on your town, you may have to take the hazardous material to a secure dump site; be sure to note how much gas you are using.
  • Continue ventilating the room for several hours. Try not to break any of these bulbs in the winter!
  • Wash your hands and face.
  • As a precaution, consider discarding throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women. Otherwise, open windows during the next several times you vacuum the carpet to provide good ventilation. That's right, if you have kids, or are a potential mom, be afraid... be very afraid!
    - SOURCES: Maine Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management; Mercury Policy Project

More evidence of why we need to stop the radical environmentalists before the do irreparable damage!


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Monday, February 25, 2008

STAR WARS, EPISODE IV (abridged)

Yeah, Obi Kinobi and his Pokie-balls....




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How Geeks care for houseplants

THIS is cool.

Botanicalls Twitter answers the question: What's up with your plant? It offers a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates that reach you anywhere in the world. When your plant needs water, it will post to let you know, and send its thanks when you show it love.
A trip down to RadioShack, and a little bit of solder, and you can get Twitter updates from you house plants.

Now if I only had good sunlight near my PC...



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Ralph Nader

Since the buzz yesterday morning was the announcement by that he will again attempt a run at President, my thoughts:

  • Ralph Nader is generally blamed for taking votes away from VP Al Gore in 2000, ensuring a victory for George W. Bush.
  • Mr. Nader's views are closer to the Left than to any candidate on the Right (past or present).
  • Sens. Clinton and Obama might be concerned of his campaign, excepting: in the last 8 years, what had Mr. Nader done to influence his credibility with the millions of voters who came of age since 2000? Little, I believe.

While Mr. Nader will certainly pull votes from the Democrat candidate, I doubt he will ever be as much of an impact as he was in 2000.


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Hillary Rodham-Clinton

My goodness, where has the month gone? I can't believe it's over 3 weeks since I wrote about Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, and I'm only carving time out now to tell the world my position on any other specific candidate!



I present my reasons why Sen. Hillary Clinton should not be president.

  • In a 2004 fund-raising speech in San Francisco, she was highly critical of President Bush's tax cuts, saying that Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. That the tax cuts went to all tax payers, and not the rich, is a fact that has escaped Sen. Clinton and probably all Liberals. Her rhetoric here reminds me of a famous quote.
  • In September 2007, Clinton revealed her new American Health Choices Plan, an "individual mandate" universal health care plan that would require health care coverage for all individuals. Clinton explained individuals can keep their current employer-based coverage, or choose an expanded version of Meidcare or federal employee health plans. The projected cost of the plan is $110 billion annually and will require all employers to cover their employees' health insurance or contribute to the costs of their employees' health insurance coverage; tax credits will be provided to companies with fewer than 25 employees to help cover costs. In order to pay for the program's estimated $110 billion per year cost, Clinton favors repealing portions of the Bush tax cuts, effectively increasing some taxes to the higher rates which existed in 2000. Let's see: health care coverage for all individuals means we no longer have the choice to be not insured. Think that's crazy? The wealthy often choose only to have catastrophic coverage. On the other end of the spectrum, if there are people who live on the streets - in spite of all the outreach programs and shelters available to them - and claim to do so as a right - they, too, lose their freedom. Medicare is already faltering, so her answer is to inject the entire population into it? And what employer, in their right mind, would continue to provide health insurance fringe benefits if the federal government is going to cover the costs, anyway? None, and that's why her idea is fiscally insolvent from the beginning. Once again, I'll do whatever I have to provide my family private health insurance; I'll never surrender my freedom of choice.
  • Clinton voted in favor of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002 that imposed restrictions on soft money and political campaign advertising. In 2007, Clinton reiterated her support for public financing of elections in the wake of the Norman Hsu affair. Of course, after getting caught will illegal contributions, Sen. Clinton again calls for public financing; hypocrite! And while President Bush foolishly signed McCain-Feingold into law, it is nothing short of an abridgement of free political speech.
  • In 2006, she strongly criticized HR 4337, a bill passed by the House of Representatives in December 2005 and sent to the Senate, which would impose harsher penalties for undocumented workers. Clinton called the measure a rebuke to what America stands for and said it would be an unworkable scheme to try to deport 11 million people, which you have to have a police state to try to do. She believed the solution to the illegal immigration problem was to make a path to earned citizenship for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar for becoming a citizen. Because we all know that America now stands for people breaking the law, getting away with it, and getting rewarded for it, too! This is an insult to the generations of legal immigrants, passed and present, who went through (or are in the process of going through) the legal steps to earn citizenship.
  • Iraq War Her flip-flopping on Iraq is proof of only a politician who will say or do anything depending on the current polls; this is not a statesman, nor a worthy candidate for president.
  • Womb to the Tomb: I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that down payment on their first home. A campaign spokesman said that Clinton's comment was not a policy proposal "but an idea under consideration." She told the Wall Street Journal this month that she wouldn't propose the idea. Every politician is entitled to a few gaffes. This is an example of her speaking extemporaneously and she was called on it, and then she had to back track. This from the candidate we're told has the most experience.
  • Senator Clinton voted for President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 and still supports it today according to her Senate page on education, while believing that President Bush has not provided enough funding, cutting the program's budget by $12 billion. However, in June 2007, with the Act up for renewal by Congress, she criticized the program. Time for another great quote in Political History: I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it. - Sen. John Kerry.
  • Clinton supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and voted in favor of the 2005 Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act that passed Congress but was vetoed by President Bush. She also voted for the 2007 bill with the same name that passed in Congress. As I've said previously, now that there's proof adult stem cells can be reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells, and still no evidence that actual embryonic stem cells have produced even a single cure for anything, perhaps the senator will rethink her position.



Political positions of Sen. Clinton sourced from Wikipedia; your input to any revisions / corrections is appreciated and will be acknowledged. My opinions (in red) are sourced as necessary.


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mythbusters Demographics


I've spent the last hour watching MYTHBUSTERS online -- more than 80 some odd clips -- all of the stuff that didn't make their weekly show, and their out-take, while sampling the JACK DANIELS SINGLE BARREL Whiskey MBH gave me for Christmas (or was it my birthday?).... and I have the following observations:'

  • It's hard to dispute the concept that the target demographics of MYTHBUSTERS Online (at least) is the post 34 year old gal... that conclusion comes from all of the ads for OIL OF OLAY and the NATIONWIDE care1 insurance ad featuring two women obviously in their mid 30's. Guess I am out of their target demo...
  • Since they featured a lot of BEHIND THE SCENES:Buster, its easy to assume that DISCOVERY Channel is owned by VIACOMM (who also owns VH-1)
  • Lastly, if I am blogging about such crap, I am thoroughly buzzed....

1Ooops, buzzed typo.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

What I am reading, and how


OK, I admit.

After about 5 6 years of using Bloglines, I've migrated to Google Reader. It's not that Bloglines hasn't improved over the years, it's just that I wasn't impressed with it's beta version.

I tried Google Reader about a year ago, and seriously did not like its interface. It maybe lacked the option to show only updated feeds .. I can't recall what turned me off, but I tripped over it a few weeks ago, and I have been gradually adapting to it.

One of the nice perks is its shared items, which are posts that I read that I find worthy to be shared with others. This means trackbacks to other sites may be fewer, as I'll only post about a certain other post when I can perhaps make a worthy editorial about the item. You can see my favorites just below my Blogroll.


If you use Google Reader, too, you can see my shared items right in your reader (if we exchange e-mail, we get each other feeds by default). For everyone else, you can add this feed to your feed reader.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What to say, and when to say it

I have had discussions in my office this week that have both enjoyable and troubling.

I have discussed politics with a co-worker, which is basically odd since I've pretty much refrained from debating in the workplace for almost 6 years.

In my previous job I used to participate in debates in the coffee room that legendary. Whatever the topic, it seemed I stood alone, a singular Conservative in a sea of Liberals. Along the way I had the fickle support of self-described Moderates; such it was at the defense contractor site I was employed.

I came to the realization, perhaps too late for my own good, that the frequent debates/arguments - while at times entertaining - were doing nothing positive for my career.

So I largely refrained from verbal debates in the office (it would be no shock to realize that is when my blogging became more politically oriented). Naturally, when I started at my current position over 3 years ago, I maintained my silence.

This week, something broke the dam. I have had 20-30 minute discussions with my colleague, and I am loving it. He is a self-described Independent, a Gulf War I veteran, husband and father of three girls, and Martial Arts student like myself (but his lessons focus greatly on grappling). Like me, he was a legacy member from The Old Project, so while we didn't work together before 3 years ago, we've known each other at least casually for somw time.

What gets him frustrated with me the fact that I keep asking to point to whatever accomplishment Sen. Barack Obama has done to make him worthy of being president.

Repeatedly, he says he is inspired by his speeches.

That's all this otherwise bright, educated, Navy veteran can say on behalf of Sen. Obama. This worries me because I wonder how many others may be drawn for similarly weak reasons.

While I do enjoy pointing out my colleague is supporting a demagogue, and as near as I can tell he is also enjoying our verbal sparring, I am compelled to hold my tongue before I inadvertently offend someone - either he or some of the audience we seem to be attracting.

That this buddy of mine also reports to me makes it even more awkward: not that I would ever hold our disagreements against him (his reputation and work speaks volumes of his efforts), but I cannot risk the possibility that others will take exception to my views, however unfair that may would be, and lob accusations against me.

I wish I had joined a debate club when I was younger; I think I would have been quite persuasive in my arguments.

I suppose I should resume my political blogging, where at least the impact to my career is, at least, marginal. I've been successful in keeping my blog reading/writing activities under the radar.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stand up to hate

In the past I have spoke of my utter disgust for the Westboro Baptist Church. They are to Christianity what the Taliban is to Muslims, in my estimation.

Maidink links to a planned, peaceful rally against the hateful church (I am hesitant to use that term church for this extreme radical organization, but so be it). The WBC and it's leader, , claims their marches and protests extolling God Hates Fags, God Hates America, and Thank God for Dead Soldiers (and not in a good sense) compounded with their noisy and disruptive protests at the funerals for fallen soldiers is an extension of their right to free speech.

On March 30, the Million Fag March plans on demonstrating their right to free speech, to show the 1st Amendment works both ways.

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Thank goodness for the Internet

As I've mentioned once or twice before in this blog, our family has a cat.

And said feline is getting on in years, to which last evening MBH was searching for some info on his behalf, specifically about eyesight. So she Googled How can I tell if my cat is blind? which led her to Purina:

How can I tell if my cat is blind?
Cats that bump into things may be losing their sight.

This morning I found an e-mail from MBH with the above question/response, and her own comment: And I thought he was just drunk.

I simply cannot make this stuff up.



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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Don't give up on people

A lesson for you about not giving up on people (you can hum High Hopes if you wish).

Two blogging favs of CotPT had been silent on their blogs and e-mail for far too long. I'm not talking weeks, I am talking many, many months. If you are curious out who I am speaking about, I invite you to click through my blog roll; I'm not saying you will know for certain, but it wouldn't hurt if you visited some of the blogs that I consider worthy of distinction.

So this week I decided to e-mail both of them; one on Friday, and - I swear - I was going to write to the other person on Saturday. Saturday afternoon I heard back from the first person. She's been going through some health issues, and apologized - to me - for not writing. Imagine: she's got her hands full, and she's going to apologize to me because she was busy. Nonsense (and I said as much to her).

Then late last evening, after becoming seemingly addicted to Triumph on (thanks, M!), I noticed the other pal had logged in to FB for the first time in many months. We've caught up by e-mail, at least for a start, as well.

The moral is: Never give up on people; sure, there's the odd chance they've moved on, or decided to pursue things than blogging. But then again, they may have some personal crap going on, and would really look forward to hearing from you. That reason, alone, is worth you dropping them an e-mail.



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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Such an "opportunity"

Checking the old inbox this week revealed an interesting career opportunity..

1.1 We have reviewed your resume on Careerbuilder and would like to consider you for the position in our financial operations department of our company. company_name was based in 2003 as a financial organization that provides the spectrum of services in the sphere of precious metals market operations. The company specializes in the sphere of precious metals operations like selling and exchanging of gold\silver\platinum\palladium for our customers. Our priority is to concentrate the major forces on the quality of service. We handle the client`s operations, assist immediately and maintain the customer. Company_name is a licensed and accredited precious metal seller (ISO license). We have been more than three years in this business already, and have reached remarkable success. Citizens of more than 20 countries all over the world (USA, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe) are glad to work with our company. We provide the service of purchasing, selling or exchanging of precious metals. Quality, speed and safeness are the words of our motto. Years of experience, serious reputation, international deals - it all takes the shape of the successful functioning and developing today. We are proud of our results and have reasonable presuppositions to move further. Company_name has got the representation all over Europe, Asia and Australia. And now you are getting a good chance of joining a fast-developing, successful team, and gaining lots of career promotion possibilities.

1.2 Privileges of position we offer:
- Worthy money.
- Getting more experience, strong online support
- Gliding working hours

REQUIREMENTS:
- At least 21 years of age
- Discipline, attention and responsibility
- Personal cell phone
- Clean record. Be legally trouble-free
- Access to the internet during the daytime

1.3 > Should I make any investments to begin my work? How do I get my salary? You do not have to invest as the company covers all obligatory expenses.

> What about bonuses?
Being employed by our company you are entitled to 2 weeks vacation paid, twice a year. As for the first vacation it can be taken in not less than 3 months of working. The company also covers all taxes for you. You will receive an invoice from the company for declaring your income. Then the company is to cover all taxes applicable.
We appreciate that you have paid your attention to our offer.

> Will i receive any training?
During the whole process you will be guided by your personal manager, who will update you on the latest payments made, and who will guide you via email during the whole process. After being employed for a year, you will be able to join our Career Development Program.

> Can i expect a career growth?
Your first post can be increased already after a year of successful work.

For further details, e-mail us at:
company_name.lastname@gmail.com
Thank you for your time,
firstname lastname.

The font, spacing and the entire message is shown above as it was recieved in my e-mail (names changed, of course). This includes the use of lowercase 'i' in the FAQ area, the '>' starting each section, and the less-than-business style of writing.

That this so poorly written from an employment point of view, and that I haven't been on CareerBuilder in over 3 years, demonstrates how gullible this person must think the people reading it must be. I would think their definition of worthy salary and mine would differ, and I can honestly state I never heard of gliding working hours. However, I am intrigued that owning my own cell phone seems to be a prerequisite.

Suffice it to say I am not going to pursue this opportunity, nor would have I done so when I was temporarily under-employed 3 years ago. I will wager there's a lot of people who would be foolish to go after this lead; I just hope no one loses their farm over it.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Friday

It's Friday. Time to kick back, relax, and shoot tranquilizer darts into unsuspecting UK sheep.




No, really.


My Top Score says I am a Rocketing Rabbit, which is good (I think).

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

A perfect snack food?

Can there be anything more healthy??

  1. Raisins - FRIUT!
  2. Dark Chocolate - antioxident rich!

Works for me!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roger Clemens, HGH, Baseball, and the United States Congress

Here then are my thoughts on the subject of this post:

Who the hell cares?

Look, if NY Yankee Pitcher shot his ass with steroids, HGH, whatever, the question I'll ask : was it illegal?   Illegal in the sense of state/local laws first, then illegal in the sense of rules.

If the former, charge him, go to trial and be done with it.  If the latter, then let baseball handle it.  

Yes, it is a bad example for kids, especially since I have a 12 and 5 year old, the younger of 
which I am happy to say is too young to grasp he issue.

But where the hell does the UNITED STATES CONGRESS get off spending tax money on this matter?

No wonder the favorability of Congress is lower than that of President Bush; at least he's getting things done!

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Bad news, good news




BAD NEWS:

Last night, a winter storm rolled through, dumping about 3" of snow, then it turned to sleet for about a half-inch, then the temps raised and it turned to rain. Around 5AM we lost power for about 4 hours. I used 90 minutes of the black-out to clear the driveway and cars.




GOOD NEWS:

Think of the savings on my electric bill from this week!


Yes, this is an attempt of my use of Flickr... let me know if there are any problems.






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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cue up Dr. John



Wrong place at the wrong time


Being a parent of two boys (12 & 5), I assumed this video - another in a series of excellent ads - would hold a more significant meaning for the father of daughters. So I played it for a colleague who has three girls (the oldest of which is 10). He shook his head and declared If I ever let them even GO to a concert, I'll give them money before we leave the house.... and then I'll make (wife's name) drive them!

And the song of the day is a classic, by the aforementioned :

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Thoughts of V-Day

If you loathe , join the club.

Perhaps loathe is too harsh, but I am in the chorus of those who don't get Valentine's Day. When I was single, I participated because I believed it to be part of the courtship ritual. Today, I see 80% of the day being pure hype.

Yes, I have gotten my much-better-half a Vt. Bear, and a PajamaGram, and A la Zing -- and of course, assortments of flowers, chocolates, jewelry and dinners out -- all over the years. 14 years ago she told me: no more roses on Valentines day... too expensive. So I buy flowers throughout the year, on any given day, for no reason. I get her 8 or so bouquets each year, and I spend a little more than I would on one dozen roses today. And after years of buying her jewelry she doesn't wear, she's told me not to buy anymore pieces (she seldom wears any jewelry).

Enough already. You watch the commercial for Vt. Bears or PajamaGram (which are both owned by the same company), and the assumption is women are either ignorant or stupid: She'll think you spent weeks shopping for it, but if you call by 8PM Monday, we can guarantee next day delivery. Right; of course, if you're a woman, please disregard this message. As if we men are all so dumb that we don't expect our gals to hear the same commercials (speaking for myself, I realize I am not a rocket scientist, but there are plenty of men out there who are certainly brighter than I am).

Besides, how many bears can a gal own, anyway? At least pajamas are something functional.

So, yes, I got my MBH a card for Thursday, as did our 12 year old son. And of course I gave an assist to our 5 year old son as he made his own. Life is far busy to go to crowded cafes or the like just to get a V-day dinner... if we each had the time to get away for the weekend we would, but clearly this isn't happening any time soon.

But do I expect anything? Not at all. Anyone who thinks the event of Valentines, as a whole, is driven equally to men as women isn't being realistic. Men don't get the same treatment on the day (by and large- you're mileage may vary), and we all know it. Don't get me wrong: I'm not looking for sweets or treats; my position on gifts hasn't changed.

So maybe after the rush of the holiday, Ill order for her a LobsterGram, and attempt to make a dinner without using the house as kindling (they offer turf as well; that'll be on my plate).

Next on the holiday calendar: Mom's day and MBH's Birthday.... is it any wonder I am always at a loss for buying good gifts???

For more on how others dislike today, read FOXNews.com - Entertainment and Lifestyle Nws - Fox Features - Hate Valentine's Day? You're Not Alone "


Reposted/updated from 2006



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.. So MetEd got the power back on, albeit over 2.5 hours late. I already left the house before the lights came on.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great timing

It's about 12 degrees out now. Weather bulletins pinging every half hour.... high wind advisory, single digit temps, sub-zero wind chill. A routine February in NE Pennsylvania.

Then MetEd/GPU Energy robo-calls. Seems a car took out a utility pole. Well, it didn't take it all the way out, but enough it has to be replaced. Now.

At 8:05PM we were advised that we will lose power from 9:00 PM until 2:00 AM (approximately).

A pity I had planned to wrap up my work this evening, working possibly until 11 or so. Even with my UPS, that won't do at all. And let's not forget the wind!

Best I set my cell-phone to act as my bedside alarm clock... can't risk GPU running late. And I had better hit the shower now, too!

I tell you: I keep in a perpetual state of laughter.


UPDATE: They cut the power at 8:52... I know this because I was still in the shower at the time! Remember, I use a well, so while the pressure tank had enough for me to get rinced, it still was an annoying rush.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

You want it when?

MBH ordered some merchandise from an online retailer (as she is wont to do).

The retailer offered UPS tracking of the item:



While she and I realize she could have paid for overnight delivery, isn't 4 weeks via
UPS unreasonable?   

And why did it take 4 days for UPS to even pick up the package??

UPDATE: Package was delivered on 11-Feb.  So much for the St. Pat's estimated arrival!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

What are your weekend plans?

An e-mail from my boss' boss greeted me when I sat down at about 06:40 this morning:

Charley,

Given your past performance on other_project_acronym1, I thought you may be the person on the current_project_acronym team with the most 'formal' knowledge of Logistics as a process. Attached is a brochure on implementing performance-based logistics that the gov't is asking us to comment on. Would you skim it and make comments, as appropriate? A charge code is included. Pls return NLT 08:00 Monday.

First off, in spite of the fact I have corrected the senior manager several times, he still misspells my name.

Second, while I am, of course, flattered at his compliments of me, what cannot be shown in this posting is that the brochure he refers to is a PDF file weighing in at about 4MB.

You will forgive me if I am not posting much this weekend...



1Some clarity of the acronyms can be found here.


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Telling it like it is

Day by Day 08Feb08




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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sage words

We must ask ourselves tonight how we can forge and wield a popular majority from one end of this country to the other, a majority united on basic, positive goals with a platform broad enough and deep enough to endure long into the future, far beyond the lifespan of any single issue or personality.

We must reach out and appeal to the patriotic and fundamental ideals of average Americans who do not consider themselves “movement” people, but who respond to the same American ideals that we do. I’m not talking about some vague notion of an abstract, amorphous American mainstream. I’m talking about ”Main Street” Americans in their millions. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors—blue-collar workers, blacks, Hispanics, shopkeepers, scholars, service people, housewives, and professional men and women. They are the backbone of America, and we can’t move America without moving their hearts and minds as well.

Fellow Americans, our duty is before us tonight. Let us go forward, determined to serve selflessly a vision of man with God, government for people, and humanity at peace. For it is now our task to tend and preserve, through the darkest and coldest nights, that “sacred fire of liberty” that President Washington spoke of two centuries ago, a fire that tonight remains a beacon to all the oppressed of the world, shining forth from this kindly, pleasant, greening land we call America.

Is there any wonder why he won two landslide elections?

was born on this day, and is sorely missed.

Excerpted from CPAC speech, February 2, 1982 H/T: Michelle Malkin

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Even though it's the last day of Mardi Gras Carinval...

Even though today is , the last day of , I want to make it clear that no matter how many beads you promise to throw at me, I still will not take off my shirt.

Carry on.



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Monday, February 04, 2008

Don't forget your doughnuts tomorrow: it's Fasnacht Day!

Repost:

Penn Dutch Folklore: Easter: "'Fasnacht Day,' more properly called 'Fastnacht,' is
Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. This was the established beginning
of the 40 days of fasting during Lent. It is a folk tradition dating to the
Middle Ages, a Catholic custom that has survived in Protestant Pennsylvania."

See also: Wikipedia: Fasnacht is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday, or the last Tuesday before Lent at 4:00am.

Fasnachts is also the name of pre-Lenten treats (common with German immigrants), which are unleavened doughnuts.

A few years ago, I used to wait outside a local bakery on Fat Tuesday to pick up Fasnachts for the office. The shop doesnt open that early any longer, in spite of the long lines of folks waiting for the treats in the pre-dawn hours.

Oh well, there's always Dunkin' Donuts at least.



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A reasoned decision

Catching up on a weekend of feeds I didn't read, I came across this reasoned decision by Tammy Bruce:

This is not over, and do not let the establishment media tell you otherwise. I'm for Romney not only because McCain is a disaster, but because Romney also happens to be the better candidate. Do I disagree with him on some important social issues? Yes. But I stopped expecting the president to be the answer to my dreams. And the one time when I actually thought we had found the perfect candidate and president, Clinton, he and his wife ended up betraying both the gay and feminist communities--not because they were philosophically opposed to something, but because it was politically expedient. In other words, they lied to get what they wanted, a strategy both McCain and Clinton employ to this day.

...

I learned a great political lesson in my support of the Clintons in 1992 and 1996--that my freedom and quality of life is up to me. No man or woman is the be all and end all, nor should I look to a politician to be responsible to make my life better. I can do that, but only when I have the financial freedom to make the decisions that best suit me. Today's Leftist, as embodied by an opportunist politician like Hillary Clinton, not only will lie to you to get your vote, they then enact policies which take more of our money ultimately sucking away our personal liberty.

It makes sense to me.

Read the rest here.




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So is in the books. I can say I watched the entire game this year, which is pretty much a first. I am not an avid sports fan, save baseball (and that's only when I have time/reason to follow the Mets), but I always at least say I am going to watch the Super Bowl. Usually, I get bored with the half-time show and switch channels, and then forget the game was even on!

It seems to me sponsors know this; aren't the best commercials always before half-time? Not that the ones in the 2nd half suck (like the wheel - not that the spot sucked, but, you know, the caveman's wheel... forget it), but that the ones in the first half were better.

But this year I watched the entire game, and was pleased all around. I had no team in this competition, so I didn't care who won, but I didn't want to see a rout. Hey, even the aged Tom Petty sounded good.

I came into the office today and found out I lost the pool. I didn't even remember I was in it!! In the middle of a bad week two weeks ago, I got an e-mail asking if I wanted in the pool. 'Yeah, sure....put me in for $5.' So this morning I had to pay for 2 squares in a pool that gave me either "Pats 6, Giants 9' or Pats 2, Giants 3'. The guy who ran the pool said it was a shame I forgot to root for my boxes. Yeah, I thought to myself, had I known, I could have influenced the score.....uh-huh.

One guy in the office hit the score in two quarters.... not too shabby. He must have rooted a lot!

So tomorrow the will have a parade in downtown Manhattan. Forget that the Giants haven't played in NY in about 30 years... no need to cloud the details with facts.

Best Super Bowl Commericals:

  1. Budweiser: Clysdale Training
  2. Victoria Secret
  3. GoDaddy's banned commercial.

Yeah, I know; other than the Bud spot, I can be called sexist. As if I'd argue.

Super Tuesday is upon us. Last week I mentioned the reasons why I thought Sen. Obama shouldn't be president. While there are also good reasons why I believe Sen. Clinton should be denied the office as well - and I intend to list many of them - let me leave you this quote from yesterday's THIS WEEK on ABC:

AP: The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Brack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed on ABC's "This Week," she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. With her proposals for subsidies, she said, "it will be affordable for everyone."

Excuse me: does this make any sense at all? What if people wish NOT to belong to any health insurance at all? That may surprise some of you - indeed, I couldn't belong to that club in my current status - but do you really believe the really-rich pay for insurance?? They don't. They don't need to do so! Perhaps they buy catastrophic insurance, but they self-insure for basic health-care (that's another perk of being rich, and why people strive to become it!).

But don't worry: the nanny state will take care of you. And if you don't sign-up, the state will garnish your salary. Whatever happened to being pro-choice?

And as I posted last week: if you're too old or sick, we'll just keep you comfortable and not treat you at all.

The worst part? This whole mandataory enrollment is also part of Gov. Mitt Romney's plan in Massachusetts. Some choice.

And people on both sides of the aisle are beginning to think this universal health care is a good thing.

Let's hope the current approval levels of Congress bode well for Republicans in both houses, in the hopes we can save our selves from creeping socialism.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Barack Obama

The Presidential Primary Race will be half-over next week, so I believe it is a suitable time to make my thoughts about the remaining candidates known. I intend to use published facts or statements of the candidates with my own editorials along side, where warranted.

To that end, I present my reasons why Sen. Barack Obama should not be president.

  • His 2006 rating by the Almanac of American Politics (2008) on Economic Policy is 87% liberal, 0% conservative. (2005: 87% liberal, 12% conservative.) The trend speaks for itself.

  • During an October 2004 debate, Obama stated that he opposed education vouchers for use at private schools because he believes they would undermine public schools. With the wide-spread failure of public schools having had billions of dollars poured into them, to date, why would anyone resist a chance to improve education?

  • In a July 2007 address to the National Education Association, Obama also called for higher pay for teachers with a plan estimated to cost $18 billion annually and would be partially funded by cutting funding to NASA. The bulk of the cuts would be derived from delaying the Constellation program for five years. So we will defund the leading scientific and technical operations of our country in order to give pay raises to teachers - most of whom work 9 months out of 12 - without any mention of requiring merit from them. This is called a smart plan?

  • Obama spoke about his position on health care at Families USA, a health care advocacy group. Obama said, "The time has come for universal health care in America [...] I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country." Sen. Obama, I am so absolutely determined not to to have my family fall under universal health care that I pledge to work as many jobs as I need to ensure I can purchase private insurance. THAT is how frightful I am of your proposal.

  • Obama advocates responding to the "precarious budget situation" by eliminating "tax credits that have outlived their usefulness". Why doesn't Sen. Obama believe that government spending programs that have outlived their usefulness should be eliminated? Perhaps because he doesn't think there are any?

  • On April 20, 2007, Obama introduced in the Senate a bill (Shareholder Vote on Executive Compensation Act - S. 1181) requiring public companies to give shareholders an annual nonbinding vote on executive compensation, popularly called "Say on Pay." Several corporations voluntarily have begun to give shareholders such a vote because of concerns about excessive CEO salaries. Some critics have said that the federal law would interfere with the traditional state oversight over corporate governance. Federal meddling in a state issue? Has the senator ever read the 10th Amendment?

  • In an address on national security on August 1, 2007, Obama stated that as President he would consider military action in Pakistan in order to attack al-Qaeda, even if the Pakistani government did not give approval. Obama said, "I will not hesitate to use military force to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to America." So it's OK for a junior senator to speak of a unilateral invasion of a nation considered our ally, but it was not OK for a sitting president to attack a nation that had repeatedly violated the terms of a cease fire agreement (which is an act of war), repeatedly fired upon our aircraft (act of war), repeatedly violated over a dozen UN Resolutions, including Resolution #1441, and for that president to obtain overwhelming agreement of both houses of Congress (296-133 in the House; 77-23 in the Senate) and a coalition of allies to join in the battle. I wonder if the Senator has thought this position all the way through.

  • On immigration, Obama has said that he "will not support any bill that does not provide [an] earned path to citizenship for the undocumented population." In January 2008 Obama campaigned on a policy to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Why would you grant a legal document (license) to people who have already disregarded the law? And if an illegal alien is caught speeding, wouldn't he/she lie about having a driver's license just so the ticket wouldn't go on their record? And if you say "we'll add biometric data to them", why don't we just make them go through the process of legal immigration in the first place? Can you say amnesty?

  • While many people have varying views on gun control, Sen. Obama has supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. I suppose it is easy to guess he has some strict issues with the 2nd Amendment.

  • Obama supports embryonic stem cell research and was a co-sponsor of the 2005 Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act which was passed by both houses of Congress but vetoed by President George W. Bush. Obama condemned Bush's veto... He also voted in favor of the 2007 bill for embryonic stem cell research that was passed but was also vetoed by President Bush. Now that there's proof adult stem cells can be reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells, and still no evidence that actual embryonic stem cells have produced even a single cure for anything, perhaps the senator will rethink his position. Is Sen. Obama even aware it was President Bush who authorized federal funding stem cell research in the first place??
Political positions of Sen. Obama sourced from Wikipedia; your input to any revisions/ corrections is appreciated and will be acknowledged. My opinions (in red) are sourced as necessary.




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