Saturday, December 20, 2008

Class Personified


Governor Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president a month or so back has a new issue to deal with. Her preggers daughter's fiance's mother was just arrested on six felony drug charges.

Wow.

I guess Bristol picked herself a real winner of a family. Can you imagine if the Republicans had won? This would have made Billy Carter look like an asset to the White House.

I actually feel a little sorry for her. Not Palin, please. You've been reading my blog, you know how I feel about her.

No, I feel a little sorry for the mother-in-law to be. She is going to get fried. The Governor, if she has any political sense, is going to make sure she gets the book thrown at her. Otherwise, it will look like favoritism.

Wait a minute....Bristol's boyfriend is a hockey player. That makes his mom a hockey mom. Is this what we could have expected from a hockey mom in the White House?

"You betcha we got Oxy, you need some Senator?"

Mother of Palin daughter's boyfriend arrested

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two size tens

I haven't posted in a while. I haven't had the time. Work has been very busy and a member of my wife's family is going through a tough time medically so the extra hours have been hard to come by. I'll be back in a day or so when I'll have some down time.

In the meantime, all I have to say is this:

I don't care if he is a deserving idiot or not, how in the hell did that Iraqi jounalist have time to throw two shoes at the President? I realize they were in a concrete bunker and that everyone had probably been strip searched, but shouldn't the Secret Service guys be in the actual room with the journalists, not back stage drinking coffee?

This same Secret Service is guarding President-elect Obama. I hope they are doing a better job.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Today is World AIDS Day


As someone who has lost both friends and family to this terrible disease, I ask that you take a moment and read this article by Dr. Anthony Fauci. He makes some very compelling points about what we need to do as a nation, particularly in the areas of treatment and testing, to combat HIV/AIDS.

As Dr. Fauci points out:

In the United States, more than 1 million people are living with HIV. And 56,000 more people are infected each year in the U.S., driving HIV prevalence rates in some of our communities to levels that rival those seen in sub-Saharan Africa. Gay and bisexual men, and African-Americans in general, are disproportionately affected. The true ground zero of the HIV epidemic in the United States is in those communities.
If this disease was seen as a middle to upper-class white person's disease, would our legislators/policy-makers/health care professionals have been so slow to act?

Regardless, we must remove the barriers to testing and treatment that are helping to feed this plague. Specifically, HIV testing should be a routine part of primary health care -- and primary health care needs to be made available to everyone.

According to Dr. Fauci, more that a fifth of HIV+ people in the U.S. don't know they have the disease. If you accept the conservative estimate of one million Americans being infected with HIV, that means more than 200,000 people are going untreated, uncounseled, and are likely doing things that put others at risk.

Today, I ask you for nothing accept this. Take a quick moment and read Dr. Fauci's short article and think about HIV/AIDS. Just think about it. And the next time you are voting for a candidate, are listening to a debate, or are given the chance to voice an opinion, remember what Dr. Fauci wrote.

We must act, but before action comes thought and debate. And I hope you will join the debate in support of those afflicted with this disease. As much as they need your donations to find a cure, they may just need this country's political will-to-act even more.

World AIDS Day 2008: Much accomplished, much to do

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post Election Blues

I've been very busy at the job and I'm suffering from Post-Election Blues. I feel great about the outcome, I'm just coming down off the emotional high the election brought.

So forgive my absence.

A quick comment on the transition from a Bush administration to an Obama one. Obama already looks like the President, he has picked the right guy for Chief of Staff and they are already looking to rescind the stupid executive orders Bush signed (like the stem cell ban).

Then why am I not happier?

I honestly don't know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama

The clock just turned to 9 central and I declare victory for Obama. By winning Ohio, he stuck a sword in the heart of the McCain camp. Time to crack the bubbly.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Elections and Our Halloween Story for Martini

The Election

First, let me say that I don't care who you are voting for (I hope it's Obama.) as long as you are voting. Go to the damn polls tomorrow. I don't care how long the lines are, you have a right to vote and it is a right you need to use. Go vote and may the best man win. (And by that I mean Obama.)

Halloween

But a few days ago was Halloween and in our house, this is a big deal. My wife plans for weeks ahead so that she can get a great "gruesome" dinner together. A meat loaf shaped like a severed foot (complete with blood and toenails), green mashed potatoes, a mummy calzone, gummy worm punch, bread sticks in the shape of leg bones, a pumpkin cheese ball, blood shot eyeball deviled eggs, the full nine yards.

Man, I love that woman.


Everything was not only tasty, but appropriately disgusting.

But before we sat down to the "feet loaf" etc., we had to go trick-or-treating. Now both my girls are pretty creative. I offer up Exhibit A, my oldest and her two friends who went dressed as a smore. Mine is the marshmallow.


Personally, I thought that was really good. I love it when people go off the beaten path and do something different. Going as a campfire snack is pretty darn funny, particularly when you have to use multiple people to make it work. And hey, they made the costumes themselves and had a great time.

Then there is my seven-year-old. It was several months ago when she declared that she knew what she was going to be for Halloween.

"Dad, I want to dress up as one of those ladies on the red carpet with an award. And I'll wear a sparkly dress and have an award and you and mom can take pictures just like they do at the Oscars."

The more she talked about, more I realized that she had the whole bit worked out. At every house, we were going to lay down a piece of red carpet and she was going to stride to the door, posing for the paparazzi, who would be me.

This is what it looked like.


And sure enough, at every house, I laid down the red carpet, and her little friend who came along would ring the bell. When the door opened, my little actress in her second-hand store gown would start strolling up the walk as I snapped shots with my old 35mm Pentax with a strobe flash and a telephoto lens.

Did I say every house? I meant it. Before every house, I'd say, "Are you ready for the bit?" And she'd say "Yep!" And every once in a while she'd ad lib half way up the carpet with things like "I'm ready for my close-up." Or "Thank you, Thank you!"

I think she decided that we had to do an act because the previous year, the whole family went as the Ghost Busters and one of my older daughter's friends went as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. When we walked up the street, a friend of my wife's blasted the Ghost Busters theme out the windows of her car.
(To read the story of that Halloween, I suggest you read this post from my wife's blog.)

Needless to say, she was a huge hit. Piles of candy came out of the hands of the neighbors this year. We actually had to go back and empty out the goodies sack and return to the streets because of the piles of candy she was getting.

At one door, a woman was on the phone talking to a friend when we came up the steps. She immediately started laughing and describing the scene to her friend on the other end of the line. Just as we were walking away, she came running out of the house to give the kids more candy and to tell us that we had the best costume of the year.


Did I say we? Well, she did. I was just a prop. Sure, I dressed a little. I have an old roadie vest that I got at a Morrissey concert when they were whipping stuff to the geeks like us in the front row. It has big pockets and I stuffed them with camera stuff and just snapped away at every house. Oh, and I carried the red carpet from door to door, but that was it. I was a bit player, she was the star.

Now the only question is, what the heck are we going to do next year? I guess I shouldn't worry. At some point next summer one of my daughter's is going to walk up to me and say, "Dad, I know what I want to be for Halloween this year..."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quick Hits - Now with Gun-toting Idiots

I understand why people like and own guns. Hell, I've owned them, shot them at both targets and game. I don't believe there is anything inherently evil about owning a gun. I'm sure that some of you out there find that weird for a hard-core Democrat, but I grew up in the rural Midwest where guns are a part of life. But I also know that there is a time and a place for everything. Some places and some people shouldn't have guns, and some guns are just unneeded by anyone. And to prove my point, I offer up the following:

Eight-year-old kills himself with Uzi

If you haven't heard/read this story already, you may not want to. The gist is this: an eight-year-old was at a gun show and was given the chance to fire a fully automatic Uzi. His father was there and gave permission. An "instructor" was there to help. The boy pulled the trigger and the recoil brought the barrel so far up in the air that the boy shot himself in the head.

An eight-year-old.

A FULLY AUTOMATIC machine gun.

Someone wasn't thinking...and a boy died.

No one needs a machine gun and an eight-year-old child shouldn't be allowed to fire anything stronger than a suction cup dart gun.

Boy Killed by Uzi at Gun Show

Aryan Morons Plan Assassination


US government agents say they have thwarted a plan by two conspirators to kill the White House front-runner and shoot or decapitate 102 black people.

Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, were arrested in Tennessee on Wednesday and charged with possession of firearms, threats against a presidential candidate running and conspiring to rob a gun store, the Department of Justice said.
Do you see that cannon he's holding? No one outside of the military should have access to that kind of weapon. It is unsuitable for hunting, dangerous to use in self-defence, and entirely too powerful for an urban setting. It has one purpose and one purpose only: to kill humans. No one needs a weapon that powerful, no one should be allowed to own one.

I can't even comment on how I feel about assholes like this. I don't believe in the death penalty, but I certainly hope these two are put away for the rest of their lives...if for no other reason than to prevent them from reproducing. To let them have children is a sin against humanity and the homo sapien gene pool.

Obama Assassination Plot Foiled

By the way -- if you live in Cali -- this message is for you:


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Civics Class

I stumbled across this a week or two ago and just thought it was interesting. I considered removing the answers and posting it as a quiz, but frankly, I haven't had the time.

100 Questions and Answers for Citizenship Oral Quiz

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Final Stretch

The debates are over and I have to say, from my vantage point, it was Obama in straight sets. He looked more presidential, he sounded more presidential, he spoke to the issues that are affecting me and my family, and he had the good sense to pick a running mate who could actually do the job of president. The clear choice in my mind.

But folks, I leave it to you. You've heard them both. Get out there and vote. That is the great part of Democracy. You get to make a choice. You know mine. If you want to share yours, the comment section is there for the using.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Think I'll Pass

CNN.com has a headline today quoting our President, George Bush:

Bush: 'Lot of work to do' before leaving office

I think I speak for a lot of Americans when I say Mr. President, "Don't you think you've done enough already?"

Seriously.

Why don't you just take a pass for the next few months. Play with your Wii, go to Disney, spank the monkey to those naked pics of Condi you got from Karl Rove. Pretty much anything except what you've been doing so far.

You know...and I'm just vamping here...if none of those things sounds appealing, you can always hold a few press conferences talking about how John McCain is such a close personal friend.

Sure, you can list off all those times he supported you when you really needed it. The war votes, the tax cuts for the rich, the votes against health care veterans. You can tell the American people something that they really need to hear, that John McCain would be your first and best choice to succeed you.

Honestly, I see a three week whistle stop campaign straight across the country. You know how you love trains Mr. President. I bet they'll even let you blow the horn! And the best part is, you've got all that time between stops to do that other stuff too! The Wii, that special "Condi time" that is so hard to get with Laura around, hell, if you go to Florida, you can even do Disney.

And, if it's not too much to ask, could you start in Ohio? If anyone needs to hear about your undying support of John McCain, it's the people of Ohio.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

How Obama Could Lose

I have had more and more people walk up to me and declare that Obama is going to win the election. But being a Cubs fan, a Minnesota Vikings fan and a Democrat, I know that nothing is for sure. There is no such thing as a sure winner, no matter what the polls or pundits say, it isn't over till America votes. Everyone who lived through the last two elections should know that all too well.

To help put this in perspective, let me give you a perfectly plausible way that Obama could lose this November. I don't think this is going to happen, but it is certainly possible.

Electoral Math

Take a look at the electoral college map as it stands today based on state polling. (Maps obtained from CNN) This shows Obama with nearly enough states to clinch the nomination if all of the currently strong states and leaning states come in for him. Even so, he is still six electors short. That means he has to get one of the toss up states as well. Any one of them will do. (Except Nevada - it only has five electoral votes)

McCain, as of right now, has to win all of his strong states, all the states leaning his way, and all the toss up states. That would give him 274 with 270 needed to win.


This isn't as far fetched as you might think. The only difference between this map and what happened in 2004 is New Mexico and Iowa are Obama states while both of those narrowly went to Bush last election.

Now, lets take a look at those toss up states. Since 1992, only five of the seven have gone to a Democratic candidate at least once and none of them have gone Democratic in the last eight years. Ohio, Missouri and Nevada in both 1992 and 1996. Florida and Colorado only in 1996 and in 1992 respectively.

Every single one of these toss-up states, in recent history, has voted Republican. So while McCain has to win all of the toss-up states, the history of those states is at least marginally on his side.

This is not a done deal. Obama still has to win a traditionally red state to win. And I'll say it again, if you lived through 2000 and 2004, you know just how hard that can be.

Whether it is Kathrine Harris and hanging chads, 8-hour waits to vote in traditionally Democratic precincts or questions about voter fraud and electronic voting machines, the Republicans will not go down without a dirty, sand in the eyes, foot to the groin fight.

Democrats cannot get complacent. We must continue to press forward. We have to do everything we can to make sure that each and every one of us votes and that those votes are counted. If we don't, we could find ourselves reliving history yet again.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Quick Hits: Now with gravity!

They're Falling on Hard Times

To quote Frank Zappa, "Beauty knows no pain." But apparently Frank didn't consider financial pain in his equation. According to the this article, women are putting off those breast enhancements and tummy tucks because of the crappy economy.

At least there is one good thing coming from this financial mess. If women can learn to accept who they are and quit worrying about those five extra pounds we'll all be happier.

As economy sags, so do breasts.

Drop-Dead Funny

When I was younger, my Dad (the local library director) used to bring home a film projector and a stack of Blackhawk Films. These were mostly one or two reel shorts of Laurel and Hardy or Buster Keaton. We'd take the picture off the living room wall, pop popcorn and just die laughing.

I was particularly fond of the Laurel and Hardy flicks. So much so, that I spent a couple of days in front of the mirror perfecting a Stan Laurel face. I'm still pretty good at it, but no one under the age of 60 remembers who Stan Laurel is so it's kinda useless now.

I think I'll see if I can't get a few of their flicks from BlockBuster and show them to the kids. They are black and white so they might not buy into them, but it's worth a shot.

Oliver Hardy Festival

Gettin' a Little Zero-G

Someone offered Virgin Galactic, the company putting together the first commercial passenger space flights, $1,000,000 dollars to let them film the first zero-gravity porno. In this case, Virgin lived up to it's name and turned down the deal.

Virgin Galactic Turns Down Sex-in-Space Proposal

If anyone is going to figure out how to actually "do it" in zero-gravity, it might take the trained professionals of the porn industry to really make it work.

According to NASA physician Jim Logan:

...spontaneous sex in space could be "a little underwhelming."

"It's a pretty messy environment, when you think about it," he said. "And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. However ... I can well imagine how compelling, inspiring, and quite frankly stimulating choreographed sex in zero-G might be in the hands of a skilled and talented cinematographer with appropriate lighting and music."

When the crowd tittered, Logan added, "I'm not kidding: Sex in zero-G is going to have to be more or less choreographed. Otherwise it's just going to be a wild flail."

If and when the end is near and we are forced to flee to space, who knew that the key to our survival as a species could well be in the hands of pioneering pornographers. That should have been the pitch to Virgin:

"It's not porn, it's a training film."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Palin Porn

Honestly, there are a lot of things that go on in the world were I say, "Hey, whatever floats your boat." But this one, I just don't get.

Palin Porn Audition

Why would anyone be interested in watching this?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"She's an idiot."

I was going to post about Sarah Palin, but my wife beat me to the punch. In fact, she summed it up rather nicely. Check it out here.

But I will say this:

The Republican's are so worried about her performance tomorrow that they are intentionally trying to drive down expectations. There have been "leaks" talking about how Sarah Palin wasn't doing well in debate prep. There are only two reasons for there ever to be leaks like this.

1) A campaign staffer is trying to make sure that the world knows that this mess isn't his/her fault.

or

2) They want to drive down expectations so that the media will report that she did better than people thought she would.

Honestly, if she successfully converts oxygen into carbon dioxide, I think there will be people saying she did better than expected. Mere respiration without a mistake, that will show me more than I expect.

Don't buy it folks. Listen to her words, watch her attitude. Don't listen to what anyone, including me says. Make up your own mind based not on expectations, but on actual performance. If you do that, I'm sure you'll do the right thing in the voting booth.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've been gone...but now I'm back.

I had fully intended to blog from Minneapolis, but the Internet hook-up in my hotel sucked. So when I get unpacked and the kids remember what I look like, I'll post more completely.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Comment Spam

For those of you who might be wondering why I deleted a comment in the previous post, it is because it was comment spam from a company selling a device that claimed to make a man's penis bigger. They didn't actually say that, but when you went to the web site, that's what it was.

They actually offered to send me one to "give to a friend to try." Then they wanted me to write a review of the product. First off, by a friend, I know they meant me, they just didn't want to imply that I might have a short cock. But supposing I took them at their word, that certainly would make for an interesting conversation.

"Hey Joe, I noticed in the locker room the other day that your thang ain't exactly swinging. You should try this new device that someone I don't know sent me. Then in a few weeks, let's get together and measure your manhood to see if it worked."

Seriously, you have got to be kidding me.

I suppose I had it coming. A few months ago I was taken aback by the number of penis stories in the news and did a Quick Hits posting on it. My blog probably ended up in their google search as a likely place to market their product.

If someone would only offer to send me a product I would use, like a cocktail shaker or a do-it-yourself Impeach the President kit. Those are things I would be happy to review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Link in the Template

I am not one to throw links around like loose change. I am not a "link whore." But I have neglected to add this link to my favorites for quite some time. Do yourself a favor and check out DMC & ME.

I waxed poetic about his blog a few posts back when I tagged him, but wanted to make sure that I added his blog to the links section to the left...and now I have.

Keep up the good work Martini, you crazy Halloween-loving Canuck.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

With Special Thanks to Aunt Pat for Sharing...

Andrew Sullivan, a Republican through and through and a former editor at the New Republic has this to say about McCain's choice of Gov. Palin for a running mate.

I’ve voted a straight Republican ticket every year of my life since 1975, when I first came of voting age, but I was stunned and horrified by McCain’s choice of Palin. I simply cannot even consider voting for McCain after this choice, which speaks loudly of his own selfishness and fundamental frivolousness.

So I was shocked when I turned to the conservative blogs looking for others who shared my dismay and found a celebration going on. They really honestly believe that Palin’s “inexperience” and Obama’s “inexperience” are equivalent. I have had no luck at all in the past 24 hours trying to explain that Obama is quite obviously an impressive man (with whom I disagree on almost every major issue) with extraordinary qualities of organization, discipline and leadership. I see nothing in Palin’s record to suggest that she has any such qualities.

He is a man who has spent his adult life thinking serious thoughts about serious issues and having serious conversations about them with other serious, well-informed people; while Palin quite as clearly has done none of those things. He was the president of the Harvard Law Review; she was the point guard on her high school basketball team.
Not long ago, I waxed poetic about William F Buckley and how I disagreed with him on nearly everything but I was going to miss him because of his eloquence. While I'm no Andrew Sullivan, it seems he has a similar feeling about a potential Obama presidency but from on the other side of the political spectrum.

Palin is nothing more than a political ploy. They are hiding her from the press because they know that women will hate her once they get to know her. She has political scandals brewing in her home state, from abuse of power investigations to getting paid per diem for staying home. I urge you to read the rest of Mr. Sullivan's piece. It is short, but it makes the point exactly.

The Shock Of Palin

I've been M-I-A

I'm sorry...we're getting into the busy time here at work so I haven't had the same time or inclination to write. Just let me say these few quick things.

1) The more women voters get to know Sarah Palin, the less they are going to like her. That is why she has done so little press.

2)People weren't meant to live in large numbers along the gulf coast. The natural wetlands etc. cannot sustain a large population. Maybe it's time to leave it behind, give it back to nature and accept that humans really are a virus on the body Earth.

3)Why are Swedish Fish "swedish"? The ones I had yesterday were made in New Jersey.

4)It is 50 degrees outside and my beagles are shivering like it's ten below. What wimps.

5)The debates are going to be key to this election. And for the first time, the V.P. debates are going to matter because some people are voting for McCain/Palin because they EXPECT him to pass on before the end of his term.

Okay...got to go wake up the wife, get her coffee, wake up Daughter Dos, get her breakfast, make her lunch, make my lunch, get her dressed....etc. etc., all you parents out there know the drill.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Color vs Black and White...well, white anyway

Is it just me or is the Republican Convention really, really Caucasian. I think I saw four or five people of color all night long. You listen to the speeches and they try to sound like us, but in the end, the Republican Party looks nothing like the rest of America.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Convention Comments with a dash of "WHO?"

Wow.

Did you know that Obama's acceptance speech was viewed by more Americans than the opening ceremonies of the Olympics?

I'm sure some of those viewers tuned in just for the spectacle of a man of color accepting the nomination of one of the two major parties, but man, did they get so much more.

Senator Obama found the perfect balance between strength and grace, between assertiveness and respect. He stated in no uncertain terms what he stood for and what the American people could expect from an Obama presidentcy. I dare anyone who watched the speech to say they don't know who this man is or what he wants to accomplish. If they don't know now, they're either idiots of they've been drinking the Republican red Kool-Aid for so long that their brain won't allow them to consider an alternative.

But for me, there were two moments in his speech that were more important than the rest. Two moments when Senator Obama transended traditional presidential politics.

First, when Senator Obama talked about the way he intends to campaign. He said that the issues were too great to be distracted by personal attacks. It sounds like a common enough theme, but the continuous theme of respect of John McCain and his service from Obama, from Sen. Biden, from Hillary, from President Clinton made it clear that Sen. Obama wants to campaign on the issues. Senator Obama's campaign wants to change the way people campaign in this country and I say it's about damn time. Talk about the issues, talk about your vision, but damn it, quit it with the personal attacks. They belittle us all.

The second was when Sen. Obama reached across the political divide to explain that reasonable people can disagree, but still find common ground, still make progress. I'm talking about the section of his speech when he spoke about how people who disagree on abortion rights can certainly agree that we should reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. When he said that people who disagree on gun control can certainly agree that we need to keep AK47 assault rifles off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.

Instead of the slash and burn politics of the past, Sen. Obama is talking about taking on the issues, having meaningful debate, finding common ground and then reaching compromise. Isn't that what we need today? Isn't that what Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have been calling for for years, an end to the personal attacks and negative campaigning? I know it is what I want and I think it's what you folks want too.

Sarah Palin

What the hell are they thinking? Gov. Palin is not qualified. When you are the running mate of the oldest presidential candidate in history, you had better be ready to be president. He has had multiple bouts with cancer and he is a past POW and a torture victim. I think we can assume that torture isn't a precurser to a long and healthly life. With this in mind, he chooses a vice-presidential candidate who is a first term governor from the wilds of Alaska.

I guess all that talk about the importantace of experience was just a bunch of horse shit, eh John?

You know, if I were a woman, I'd be insulted by this choice. McCain is telling the country that he thinks women will vote for any female he puts on the ticket. Experience? Not important. Proven track record? Don't need one. Strong record on women's issues? She's a republican, remember? No my fellow American's, all John McCain thinks women want on the ticket is a person with a vagina. That's enough for you ladies. It isn't about the country, it's about the vajayjay.

Just so you understand, two years ago this mother of five was eating moose burgers and working as mayor of a town of 9,000 people. Now John McCain wants you to think she's the right person to be a missed heartbeat away from the most challenging, most important job in the world.

On top of that, she's under investigation by the Alaska state legislature for abuse of power. She's accused of firing the man who refused to fire the Alaska state trooper who was divorcing her sister. That is exactly the kind of leaderhip this country doesn't need. That kind politics is what we have suffered for the last eight years, it is time for a change. It is time for President Obama.

Well, that's my two cents, what do you all think?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention Coverage

I am sure some of you figured I'd be writing every night on the Democratic Convention. Naw, you are already getting all the coverage you could ever want. I'll just mention a few things that I'm not sure the regular media would say/report:

1) Hillary had a nice speech that covered all the bases and told people what they needed to hear, but she really isn't much of a speaker. Of all the big ones, her speech seemed the most read vs. actually given. You know what I mean?

2) While that was a lovely color on Michelle Obama, don't you think someone would have told her not to wear a color that almost exactly matched the background when she gave her big speech? Maybe they were intentionally trying to soften her look, but I think she just blended-in instead.

3) Bill Clinton made me think about how much fun it must be to be an ex-president. You get to lob rhetoric bombs at the guys you don't like, make big bucks on the lecture circuit and every four years at the party's national convention, it's a big freakin' love fest for you. It doesn't suck to be Bill.

4) I think I like Joe Biden's mom the best. As he was telling stories about his youth, she kept turning to the person sitting next to her, some campaign staffer I'm sure, and saying "That's true, I said that." You go girl.

Alrighty everyone. Buckle your seatbelts, tonight we make history. I'll be watching and you should be too. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, this is history in the making tonight at Mile High Stadium. The house is sold-out and the stage is set. For the first time in a few years, I'm excited again about politics and the convention. I hope you are too.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama Chooses Biden

Alrighty then...it's Joe "Hair Plugs" Biden for Vice President.

This wasn't the pick I predicted, but I understand why he went this way. I thought he was going to go with the Virginia Governor Tim Kaine but in the end, experience won out over synergy.

So the real quick look at some of the pros and cons of choosing Biden.


Pros:

- Foreign policy experience out the butt. He's been on the foreign relations committee for quite a while and is the current chair.

- He's an old, white guy. Old white guys like to vote for other old white guys and that is a demographic that McCain had to himself until now.

- He's a good debater and a decent campaigner.

Cons:

- He has been in the Senate for over 30 years. You can't be a senator that long and not make some apparent flip-flop votes. It's just the way the game is played.

- He was an opponent during the primaries. That means he said things to make Obama look badly. I'm sure the McCain camp's "Biden said Obama ain't ready" ad is already in the can and set to air.

- He's from Delaware. The "liberal northerners" label will be plastered all over this ticket south of the Mason-Dixon line. Not that the NASCAR dads were ever going to put down their remote controls and fishing rods long enough to listen to, let alone vote for Obama anyway.

- He's not Hillary. Why won't these Hillary fanatics let it go. She lost, Obama won. Threatening the party with defection and convention chaos only helps us get 4 to 8 more years of Republican rule.

Okay, let the games begin. I think McCain is going to pick Milt so that he can put Michigan in play and have a little youth on the ticket. Of course, with Grampy McGrumpy being the nominee, Moses might add a little youth to the ticket.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I was tagged...whatever that means.

I was tagged. That means I'm supposed to do something. For anyone who knows me, I don't always react well to authority or demands. I'm always polite, I just prefer not to comply. That being said, I like the blogger who tagged me. She's funny and she swears and both of those things go a long way with me. So, that being said, I've decided to give this whole tagging thing a shot. I'm sure someone will hate me for it in the end.

Da Rulez:

1. Link the person that tagged you. (That would be TheHMC)
2. Mention the rules on your blog. (I'm doing that...jeez, give me a break. Didn't I just tell you I didn't do well with authority?!)
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours. (Only six?)
4. Tag 6 following blogger's by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

The six things:

1) I have a dental implant. I lost a tooth playing flag football many years ago. Remind me to tell that story sometime. The story of getting the implant is interesting, the implant itself is not.

2) I have not been to all fifty states. But the people who have been to all fifty seem to think it's quite interesting therefore my not having been in all fifty must be uninteresting. (Really, North Dakota? Indiana? Alabama? Who fucking cares.)

3) My left leg is bigger than my right. Not longer, bigger. Once again, this is one of those deals where the result isn't very interesting, but the story...that's a good one. But this is about uninteresting so no soup for you.

4) I rarely wear yellow. Don't really like yellow that much. Reminds me of piss and puss, cheap lemonade and liver failure. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nice yellow things, but for some reason, none of them compel me to wear the color.

5) I don't wear white sneakers. Drives the wife crazy. She likes white sneakers. I don't.

6) I hate getting my hair cut. When I was a kid, my mom used to cut my hair. One time she cut my ear. To this day, the sound of scissors behind my head makes me cringe. Not exactly PTSD material but you never know what is going to creep into the dark corners of your mind and set up shop. If the commies/terrorists/nazis ever wanted to make me talk, they'd just need a pair a Fiskars. Don't tell.

The Tags

Now, like a chain letter or some pyramid scheme, I have to tag some other people. Frankly, I don't know that many bloggers, but I'll take a shot a few who I've been reading for a while a couple I just check out now and then.

1) Jane stops by now and then and reads my blog and always has something interesting to say. I stop by her's and look at those cute kids but being a man, I don't really have anything interesting to say. But I keep going back because deep down, I kinda like kids. Not enough to have any more, but still.

2) Becky over at Twidderpated. She good for a joke and is an old-fashioned, hard working gal. If you aren't checking her out, maybe you should.

3) ERRN is a great place to read about all the crap emergency room nurses have to put up with. When she took a break a while back, it was like losing a regular watering hole. I'm glad she's back and I hope she'll play along.

4) Martini is a Canadian who lives for Halloween, his Delorean and the Back to the Future series of films. And I still really like him and his blog. Like a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich, when you string all of those things together, they can sound odd, but they are in fact, quite wonderful. Besides that, from some of the comments he has left in the past, I can tell you he's a really nice guy.

5) Jim is a great guy who writes a wonderful blog full of food, fun, travel and music. And he and my wife have become regular e-mail friends. If she decides to do this tagging thing, she's gonna be pissed that I tagged him first. Snooze ya lose babe. Love ya!

6) I'm done. No more. TheHMC only did five and I have issues with authority so I'm done too.

Have fun everyone.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I love the Olympics

That is part of the reason I haven't been writing much, I'm spending way too much time watching the Olympics. I love the drama, I love the ideal, it's just too much fun. So forgive me for not being as prolific a writer as I might be.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Migratory Democratic Trouser Snake

If the prior two years were the era of Republican sex scandals, then 2008 has to be the year of the Democratic one. Eliot Spitzer, the tough-minded Dem. prosecutor turned Governor of New York gets caught spending his hard earned cash and begging to bareback with a high-end prostitute by the name of Ashley Dupré.


The Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick gets caught in an affair with his Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, (both were married at the time) and then they both get indicted on a variety of felony charges related to obstruction of justice and the like.

And now, the icing on the cake, one of the big three from the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. John Edwards admits to an affair with 42 year-old campaign worker Rielle Hunter, an affair that had been rumored for a long time but that he had denied.

What the hell is wrong with these guys?

Let's be clear up front, I don't care. The sex lives of politicians is between them and their wives/partners/blow up dolls, provided whatever they are doing isn't illegal. Rep. Foley attempting to get in the pants of underage Capital Hill pages, that's very different than whatever arrangement a husband and wife have concerning who they fuck.

But what in their genetic make-up makes them think that they aren't going to get caught? Spitzer, a former prosecutor remember, got caught because he paid Ashley Dupré with a credit card. A credit card! Can you say paper trail, I bet he said that very phrase about a billion times when he was putting away criminals.

Kilpatrick got caught sending romantic/explicit text messages on city-leased devices to Beatty. It's called the Freedom of Information Act you morons! If it's produced on a government device, it is likely to be discovered sometime. Go buy your own crackberries if you want to send dirty notes to your mistress/lover. How fucking stupid can you be.

And John Edwards...I don't know what to say. The best and easiest way to get busted out in public for an affair is to RUN FOR PRESIDENT! Both parties have trained geeks whose sole purpose in life is to dig up the dirt, to spring the skeletons from the closet. And if you are going to run for President while having an affair, you only have one shot of getting past it. Admit it. If you don't admit it, you're not just a philanderer, but you're a liar too.

But why?

Why do they think they can get away with it and not have it become public? Are their dicks really separate animals with the power to control the politician's actions? Are they just so arrogant that they think themselves unstoppable?

All I know is this: we all have to make choices in our lives. You drive a fancy car, you have to pay the high-end insurance. You want to spend time with your kids, you can't take that job as a traveling salesman. And if you're a Democrat who might want to be president one day, you shouldn't have extra-marital affairs.

So D's, do me a favor: keep your dicks in your pants. Not just because it's the right thing to do, but because every time you all do something so fucking stupid, you hurt the party's chances of winning.

This election, hell, most elections are much too important to be put at risk just so you can screw someone other than your wife. According to 70-some percent of Americans, the current administration has this country on the wrong track. Sen. McCain (Who isn't exactly innocent when it comes to women, but that's for another day.) will continue to drive it down this road to economic and political disaster.

We have to have a change in the White House and in elected offices across the country, so D's, please don't succumb to the siren song of your migratory trouser snake. Make it stay home on Saturday night. Home cooking is better for you than take out, just ask Gov. Spitzer, he learned the hard way the dangers of eating out .

CNN: Edwards admits to extramarital affair

CNN: Recent Political Scandals

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Gipper

Am I the only one who thinks that McCain's new ad calling Obama nothing but an celebrity is hypocritical for a candidate and a party that throws President Reagan's name in our face every chance they get?

He was an actual celebrity. Movie roles, actress wife, product endorsements, and yet the republican party thinks he turned out okay.

BTW -- Paris Hilton's mom is pissed about that ad, I guess she won't be writing any more checks to the McCain campaign. Hmmmm...I wonder how much of the money they donated went into the ad? Just desserts if you ask me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Quick Hits with Vajayjay

Designer Vaginae? WHAT?

When I first read the headline 'Designer Vaginas' Blacklisted in Australia, I was sure they were talking about Donatella Versace, but the truth is actually much scarier. Apparently, the plastic surgery craze has hit every where, including Australian pussy. Women down under are getting their...well...down unders adjusted with cosmetic surgery. In one case, according the article:

"In one case we heard of a man bringing in a Brazilian pornographic photo and saying: `Make my girlfriend look like this','' Weaver said.
In a refreshing bit of common sense, Aussie gynos are telling women not to have this kind of work done.

There was concern that women seeking the most common operation, the labiaplasty, [trimming and/or shaping of the labia] did not understand there was a huge variation in how women's external genitalia look.
On behalf of most men, ladies, before you ever think about this kind of thing, remember this: Most men don't care what the interior decorator did to your house, we're just glad we were invited to the party.

'Designer Vaginas' Blacklisted in Australia

McCain Equates Obama to Cooter Flashers Hilton/Spears

Dear Sen. McCain,

This is all you've got? This is your best shot? You think the American people are going to equate a Harvard Law educated Senator from Illinois with Paris "Beaver Shot" Hilton? You believe that the American people are going to consider one of the most articulate, well-spoken politicians this country has seen in a long time on par with a couple of 20-something blonds who keep forgetting to wear underwear?

Seriously?

God help us all if you are right.

McCain camp compares Obama to Spears, Hilton

On a side note, this isn't going to be the last time you see this kind of campaign tactic from the McCain camp, if the New York Times is right.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Remember when I said...

...that the McCain camp would try and scare voters with a Divide and Petrify strategy?


Check out this AP story, it looks like the Obama camp is trying to get voters to see these tactics for what they are: pathetic.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A quick thought...

I haven't been writing much lately...I guess I'm stuck in the dead zone. But I did want to make one small observation.

Sen. Obama is already acting as President and doing a better job of it than our current one. He goes on one trip overseas and in that trip he gets the Iraqi government ready to stand on their own two feet. He starts the process of solving the greatest threat to Mideast stability, the Iranian nuclear program. And then he ends the trip by standing before 200,000 people in Berlin to tell them that the time has come for us to live up to the legacy our grandfathers built from their own blood and courage.

In the meantime, President Bush refused to use the world timetable when talking about leaving Iraq but had his people agree that a "withdrawal horizon" should be discussed and Sen. McCain ate sausage at a German restaurant in Ohio saying that Obama shouldn't be overseas, he should be at home.

Are these people really this out of touch? Does McCain really believe that the right-wing machine is going to be able to get him elected?

Grampy McGrumpy is exactly the opposite of what America needs right now, and frankly, I'm amazed that more people don't already know it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Say it ain't so Senator!

I've had a few folks ask me questions about what is going on with Sen. Obama and his seemly sudden turn to the right. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'll take a shot at a couple.

Why did Sen. Obama go back on his pledge to use public campaign money?

Well, this is a simple one. He wants to win. He is raising all kinds of money, much more than he would get from public financing. He is out raising McCain. Only a dope would give up that advantage just to prove a point.

And it is important to note, he isn't taking a dime from lobbyists. The money he is raising is from regular folks like you and me...and David Geffen.

Why did Sen. Obama vote for the FISA bill that gives the government the tools they need to tear away my rights as an American?

I'm guessing here, but I think it was like this: The bill was going to pass anyway and he didn't want anyone to call him soft on terrorism. It sucks, but running for President means you have to do a few things you'd not normally do.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Quick Hits: With More Meat

Another burger Senator?

According to a new poll, more people would like to have Obama as a barbecue guest than have McCain. They give all kinds of reasons in the story, but I think just the thought of John McCain in Bermuda shorts puts people off their burgers and potato salad.

Poll: Obama beats McCain as barbecue guest

Can I have 'schrooms on that?

According to a new study, eating psychedelic mushrooms can make a person feel happier and more centered for up to 14 months after the experience. There are so many drugs out there that aren't build in labs that could help people, it makes you wonder if the pharma companies are behind this whole war on drugs.

Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug

Excuse me sir, please step away from the sausage.

A man in Florida was arrested for throwing some sausage at his mother. That's right, arrested. He "grazed" her with three pounds of polish sausage and ended up in jail on $500 bond. If I remember correctly, Florida has a little problem with narcotics and guns, but these cops decided to spend their time and the court's time by arresting a guy for throwing meat at his mom. Only in Florida.

Man accused of hitting mom with Polish sausage

Just give me a cup 'o joe.

Scientists in Oklahoma found that mice which had been immunized to develop an MS-like condition appeared to be protected from the disease by drinking the equivalent of six to eight cups of coffee a day. Considering my borderline obsessive coffee habit, I think we can count MS off the list for me.

Coffee could help beat MS: study

Friday, June 27, 2008

Batting .333 in the Literary Game

I got this list of books from Jim's Blog. He got it from something called the Big Read. Whatever, I just love lists.

He did it so I figured I would as well. What the heck, it beats watching Fairly Odd Parents.

Instructions:
A) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
B) Italicize those you intend to read.
C) Change to blue the books you LOVE.
D) change the color to pink if you've seen the movie (and perhaps that's good enough for you).

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (This might be my favorite book of all time.)
6 The Bible (Okay, I skipped a lot of "begats", but when you're on the campaign trail and you don't have a book, you read a lot of hotel bibles. Besides, my father the librarian told me to read it for my own literary health.)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Because we had to...)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (High school english class)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (High school again)
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller ("What kind of name is Yossarian?")
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I'm not sure even my mother with a Masters in British Lit. has done this.)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (Didn't like it. Holden Caulfield was an idiot.)
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (42)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (My wife says it is one of the best books ever!)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (I own like four copies, love this book.)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I'm with Jim, how did this get in here?)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (The wife will be shocked by this)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert (The best sci-fi of all time!)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (High school again)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (My wife read it, said it was good)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac (Ugh...it was a slog.)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding (if you are wondering what's wrong with the world, note that this book made someone's top 100 books list.)
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (I tried...I swear.)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Loved this as a kid.)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (actually, I only saw the musical on stage, but that's kinda like a movie.)

For those of you keeping score at home, that's 33 I've actually read. Here are a few that I think should have made the list. I mean please, Bridget Jones' Diary? I offer the following for consideration instead:

Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett (It looks so long but reads so fast.)
Lord of the Flies - William Golding (I've got the conch!)
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway (Top 100 books and no Hemingway?)
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut (Top 100 books and no Vonnegut? So it goes.)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson (A skewing of the American Dream.)
Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Suess (Maybe the perfect book.)
The Hobbit - J.R. R. Tolkien (I actually like this one even more than the Rings books.)

There you go. Any suggestions for inclusion or deletion? Have at it kids.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

If we don't hang together...

As Rachel points out in her comments on the Beer, Bunting and Bullshit post, the effort to divide the voters has already begun.

Rev James Dobson, an evangelical leader and chairman of the board of Focus on the Family, an evangelical non-profit, has attacked Sen. Obama by accusing him of "distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution."

To put the work of this group in perspective, according to Wikipedia, "Focus on the Family has been criticized by mainstream medical, psychological and mental health organizations for misleading the public, and top academics have charged Focus on the Family with manipulating research in misleading ways."

So it is one of those groups. You know the ones. A woman shouldn't have control of her own body. Women should stay home and not work. Gays are going to hell. In fact, according to Wikipedia:

In the winter of 2004-2005, the We Are Family Foundation sent American elementary schools approximately 60,000 copies of a free DVD using popular cartoon characters (most notably Sponge Bob) to "promote tolerance and diversity." Dobson contended that "tolerance and diversity" are "buzzwords" that the We Are Family Foundation misused as part of a hidden agenda to promote homosexuality. The New York Times noted Dobson asserting: "tolerance and its first cousin, diversity, 'are almost always buzzwords for homosexual advocacy.'"

While Barack Obama tries to find common ground, groups like this spend their time trying to separate us. They aren't trying to work with anyone, they are trying to dictate to America their personal view of morality and ethics. And if the accusations are true, they aren't afraid to bend the truth to do it.

Finally, you know this guy is reaching when he calls Sen. Obama a constitutional fruitcake. I'm willing to bet that a Harvard law grad who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years knows a little bit more about that particular document than a pseudo-preacher with a clear political agenda.

Don't give these nuts the time of day. It is one thing to disagree with someone, but to come out of the box with this kind of rhetoric makes it clear that they have no interest in any perspective but their own. If you don't want on the train, then shut the hell up and let the rest of us get to the business of joining hands in the common cause of fixing this broken, misguided country. The America that gives these guys the freedom to speak and worship deserves better than the myopic, exclusionary vision of the future they espouse.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

As Promised: The Duck Story

On the other side of my back fence is a pond. When you combine that with a nearby forest preserve, a golf course and a reservoir, you get wildlife, in particular, water fowl.

In the spring, the forces of nature take over and we are soon treated to a variety of cute, fuzzy waddlers trailing behind vigilant mothers who, while caring, have…well…bird brains. This means that they are constantly dragging their children through dog-occupied yards, into parking lots, across streets, etc.

And this is where our story begins.

A chilly evening a few weeks back, I had just picked up B_____, my seven year-old daughter at dance class. We had just pulled out of the parking lot into rush hour traffic when we both spotted a mother duck and what looked like four or five chicks standing in the gutter on the opposite side of the road apparently trying unsuccessfully to get over curb.

Now, as those of you who have read my wife’s blog probably know, my youngest daughter is not only exceptionally empathetic, but she loves animals. To this day, she occasionally tears up thinking about our old dog Molly who passed away over two years ago. If it’s fuzzy, furry or feathered, B_____ loves it. Unconditionally.

As we drive past the ducks, B______ is climbing over me saying, “Dad! Dad! Why are those ducks in the road? Dad! Dad! What’s going to happen to them? Isn’t anyone going to help?”

As I turned the corner I pulled back into the parking lot, wheeled around the bank, came out on the street with the ducks again and wheeled into the parking lot across the street.

The weather was chilly, mid-50’s with a good breeze, but my critter-loving daughter jumped out of the car in nothing but her leotard and a lace dance skirt and headed for the road. When we get there, the mother duck is none too pleased. I shoo her over the curb and on to the grass and start picking up little chicks and putting them on the grass while Momma duck tries to bite me.

Just as I get the last one up, Momma jumps the curb again leading the rescued chicks back onto the busy road. Just as B______ and I started trying to get them back on the grass again, a twenty-something girl wheels up and leans out the window and asks what’s going on? B____ replies that we’re saving the ducks but they just keep getting in the road. Miss Twenty-Something immediately turns into the parking lot, jumps out of her car and comes running over to help.

Well, that was enough for Momma. She starts crossing the road just as the light is changing and the cars start moving again. Twenty-Something jumps out in the road and stops traffic, Momma waddles across the road and B______ and I stand on the side watching the progress. It was then that we both realized that we could still hear the sweet “Cheep, cheep, cheep,” of baby ducks.

Looking around, we see nothing except the grass, the curb, the road, the sewer grate…

“Oh shit.” I thought.

B_____ and I immediately put our heads down to the slotted gutter grate and see six baby ducks swimming in the standing water. They were a good four feet down and the slots were just wide enough for a baby duck, but not nearly wide enough for a human arm. Momma hadn’t been trying to get up the curb; she was just refusing to leave her fallen babies behind.

“Daddy, what are we going to do?”

So Twenty-Something looks back and yells, “What’s the matter?” I yell back that there are baby ducks in the sewer and she yells that she’s calling the police. In the meantime, a bald, Gandhi-looking, 50-something guy pulls up after seeing me and my seven-year-old with our heads in the gutter and asks what’s up? I explain the situation and he pulls into the parking lot and comes over to help.

Let’s recap. Twenty-Something is standing in bushes by the parking lot across the street watching Momma and her babies so they don’t wander off, the police have been called, Gandhi is lying in the gutter with me and B_____ is standing on the parking freezing her butt off asking what are we going to do?

After several minutes of watching the ducklings and listening to Gandhi talk to Bronte and me about how we are really nice people, that most of the drivers are just rolling past despite the fact that something is obviously wrong, Gandhi decides to call the police again.

By this point, I’ve sent B_____ back to the car to stay warm. The poor thing was so upset and so cold and it didn’t look like anything was going to get better anytime soon. And still the police hadn’t come. So I tell Gandhi that I’m going to get the police to come. He asks how and I dial the non-emergency number and get transferred to the dispatcher. I explain that a bunch of crazy people are standing in the road at this very busy intersection and they really ought to send someone.

“Excuse me sir, is this about the ducks?”

“Yeah, I think it is.”

“The Animal Control Officer is one the way.”

B_____, at this point, comes back wearing my 12 sizes too big Cubs jacket. Despite the coat, she is slowly turning Cubby blue in the cold wind. A minute or so later, we see the Animal Control van turn the corner and head toward us. As she slowly rolls past, she sees me point down into the sewer.

At this point, just let me say that it is a testament to the fine parenting skills of both myself and my wife that my daughter could read the officer's lips perfectly as she said to herself, “Oh shit.”

After surveying the situation, the officer gets a tire iron out of the police van and pries the grate up. The ducklings are so far down that she has to get a fishing net, lay down in the gutter and bend at the waist face first into the open sewer grate.

Next thing I know, she is handing baby ducks out of the sewer. I grab a couple, B_____ takes one, Gandhi takes a couple and puts them in his jacket pocket. When we get to five, the officer pulls herself back up and says, “I think that’s it.”

Then we hear it. One more faint “Cheep, cheep” coming up out of the sewer.

The officer gets back down in there and says that the ducking has swum into the pipe and won’t come back out. We put one of the missing duckling’s siblings back into the net and put it back into the sewer and try to get it to peep. It finally starts making some noise, but to no avail, the last one is gone.

B______ looks at the officer and asks were the last one went. She says she doesn’t know, but that there isn’t anything else to do. B______ immediately says that she’ll go down after it; all we have to do is just lower her down there. My seven-year-old daughter dressed in nothing but a Cubs jacket, a leotard and lace dance skirt stood before a police officer and two total strangers and tried to convince us to lower her into a water filled storm sewer so she could go after a lost duckling.

Twenty years from now, when someone asks me about what kind of girl my daughter is, I’m going to describe this scene. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of her.

When the officer said no, we weren’t going to put a seven-year-old into a storm sewer; B______ again asked what were we going to do? The officer went and got a box from her van, we put the ducklings in the box and she walked across the street to reunite them with their mother.

B______ and I stayed and listened in hopes of hearing the last one again but we never heard another peep. It was clear that the last one was gone.

When the officer came back, B______, with a tear in her eye, again asked about the last duckling. The officer, to her credit, told B_______ that she had done a wonderful thing; that she had saved five ducklings and that if B______ hadn’t stopped, we would have lost them all, and probably more as the mother stood in the gutter during rush hour with the rest of her babies. Gandhi and Twenty-Something joined the chorus about what a great thing B______ had done, Twenty-Something nearly in tears. As I picked B______ up to give her a hug and take her back to the car, Gandhi gave her a smile and told her that she was a special little girl for what she had done.

On the way home, I tried my best to get B_____ to focus on what a great thing she had done, at what a hero she was to Momma and her ducklings, but she could only manage a forced grin as she worried about that poor lost duckling that we couldn’t save.

She has such a big heart that child of mine. But like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, I’m afraid she’s learning the down side of having a heart. It occasionally gets broken and as a parent, it’s hard to watch. I just hope her heart stays this big because despite the pain it causes her, it is just so beautiful to watch in action.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Beer, Bunting and Bullshit

Obama has clinched the nomination and as I type, the world is waiting for Sen. Clinton to suspend her campaign. So the die are cast, Sen. Obama is the Democratic nominee to be and the race to the White House is on. So let's look past the primary season and stare into the crystal ball and see the future.

I see something...it is getting clearer...clearer...it is the Republican political machine. And what is it doing? It's preparing for a desperate campaign, a campaign starring an aged, flawed, cranky old man.

And what are they going to do? You don't need a crystal ball to see that. They are going to wage the classic smear campaign. They aren’t going to just throw mud; they are going to wallow in it. They are going to wear it as a badge of honor on their $1,000 suits.

No mistake about it, you are going to hear the word "liberal" more often than you ever thought possible. They are going to use images of terror to scare the crap out of you. They are going to talk about attacks-to-be here in the U.S. And in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways, they are going to tell America over and over again he's black and quite possibly a closeted Muslim.

Frank Zappa once said that the Republican formula for success was Beer, Bunting and Bullshit. In fact, Zappa was only part of the way there. Bullshit doesn't quite cover it. The Republican formula in this campaign will be to Divide and Petrify.

First, they will attempt to hammer on the wedge issues that divide otherwise like thinking Americans. Abortion, school prayer, gay marriage and the like will be rolled out over and over again because these are the types of issues that the Republicans think they can use to hang on to their base voters and peel off some of those Independents that have moved over to Obama.

You see there are a few things that are so polarizing that otherwise agreeable find themselves emotionally divided. Even if you agree with 98% of what your neighbor says, if they are on the other side of the abortion issue, you are suddenly at odds and emotionally invested in the fight.

The Republicans have been dividing the country this way for years and they are going to bank on it again in this campaign. And once they have the voters divided on the issues of their own choosing, then they are going to hit you with the fear. Mark my words, you are going to hear variations on themes like these:

"Did you know that Barak Hussein Obama wants to negotiate with terrorists?"

"Do you want a man who has never served a day in uniform in charge of our armed forces in a time of war?"

"If you elect Obama, gas prices will go through the roof because we will have lost the war in Iraq."

I am sure there are more; those are just the first ones that come to mind. But when you hear these things, when your friends and relatives repeat these things to you, you have a job to do.

You have to stand strong. It isn't anti-American to question the war. It isn't bad foreign policy to talk to nations with whom we have differences. And it doesn't take a military man to run a country.

You have to fight for truth. You have to be what Sen. Obama is, a force for cooperation, not division. You have to reach out to these misguided souls and show them that change is exactly what this country needs. You have to show them that you are not going to be peeled away from the movement for a better America that the politics of division and hate are no longer viable. You have to show them that the lies that got us into war, into a recession and frankly, into one of the darkest times in our county's short history, must stop.

But be prepared ladies and gentlemen. There is an old saying, "Don't get between a dog and his bone." The richest one percent of the country has had it pretty good the last seven years and they aren't going to be pushed off the gravy train without a fight. They are going to invest in advertising and smear campaigns in an effort to steal yet another election from the hard working middle class of the country. So don’t grow complacent, don't let the Divide and Petrify strategy work. Stand tall and proud of being the kind of American who chooses a new path for our country.

If we fail, we will be stuck with Grampy McGrumpy for the next four years and the punishment our international reputation has suffered, the economic pummeling our middle and lower classes have endured, the systematic erosion on our basic liberties we are witnessing will continue. Stand tall my friends, and refuse to be a victim of the Republican formula of Beer, Bunting and Bullshit. That is our job as Americans, to take back our country. It is a job I hope you all take very seriously.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I've been busy...

It is the end of the school year and as any of you with kids know, this is a very busy time. I'll write more in a day or so. That being said, read the comments section of my previous post and laugh at the great post by Phil.

Coming soon: The Duck Story, Quick Hits, and the end of the Hillary Clinton campaign for President.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ugh

Home sick from work. Snot. Ears filled with goo. Sore throat. I gots me a spring head cold. Oh well. What are you going to do?

Like Hillary losing the nomination, some things are just unavoidable.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Quick Hits: With Odd Combinations

We got one heavily armed recreational vehicle ...

Name the movie! You know you can.

Anywho, in Butler Kansas, a car dealer has started giving away guns with the purchase of a new car. That's right, guns. In fact, he recommends you choose the Kel-Tec .380 pistol because it is a "nice little gun that fits in your pocket." (See photo)

Fits in your pocket? Let me get this straight, not only is this car dealer handing out guns, he is handing out guns designed specifically to be concealed? Can he do that?

He says he started the give away in response to Barak Obama's comments about people clinging to religion and their guns. He found it offensive.

So basically, an angry conservative is handing out free, easy to conceal guns to like-minded people and it's legal. What's next? Free guns with every donation of $1,000 or more to the Republican National Committee?

And people wonder why the rest of the world has such a disgusted look on their collected faces when they look at us.

I guess the bottom line is this: if who come across a guy in a new car in Butler Kansas, he isn't that excited to see you and that really is a gun in his pocket.

Buy a Car, Get a Gun

"Mrs. Robinson, Are you voting for me?"

For those of you who follow American Idol, a little news story dissecting David Cook's win. We all know that in the end, it comes down to the demographic to which the contestants appeal. If you get to the finals, you have some level of talent, then it's about getting people to vote.

David Archuleta had the Disney crowd firmly in his corner. The teens were split, some loved Cook, some loved Archuleta. So what happened, why didn't Archuleta run away with the title?

Cougars.

That's what they are calling the sexually active middle aged women who either practice, or fantasize about, sex with younger men. And they voted like crazy for David Cook. They want him and they don't have to feel guilty because he is of legal age.

Linda Sharp, smitten as a schoolgirl, voted 473 times for Cook after Tuesday’s final performance show. The 42-year-old married mom used her land-line and cell phone — as well as her three daughters’ cell phones — to show support for the singer.

“The biggest thing: He’s legal, and that goes a long way,” said Sharp, who’s from Austin, Texas. “He’s 25. That’s old enough that we can openly ogle him, and we can drool over him, and it doesn’t make us feel like we could be his mother.”
So wait. Let me get this straight. They voted for David Cook because he is 25 they didn't feel guilty about wanting to fuck him. Doesn't that imply that one of the reasons they didn't vote for Archuleta was because they felt guilty about drooling over a 17 year-old?

A few of you out there are shaking your heads saying, "No way, the T-Dude doesn't know shit." But I merely report'em as I see'em in Quick Hits, just click on the story below for more details.

Cougars4Cook

Charles Dickens Would Be Proud

Honestly, just read the story. I won't go into all the details. The bottom line is this. A woman's house was sold out from under her, without her knowledge, to pay a $68 dental bill. The house was sold in 1996. She continued to live there, make mortgage payments etc. No one told her it had been sold until 1998. And the courts and the sheriff all agree, it's legal. Just give it a read and wonder, what kind of country do we live in when things like this can happen.

Woman Loses Home Over $68 Dental Bill

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Do you wanna Twitter?

It sounds slightly dirty, doesn't it? Actually it is a way to post short blurbs from a mobile device to an online community. Twitter describes itself as

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
I'm giving it a try. What the heck -- it's free! You can follow and post messages online or via mobile device. I'm using my text friendly LG Rumor with QWERTY keyboard to post on the fly.

You only have 140 characters to play with so you have to be pithy. Frankly, I'm not sure if I like it or not, but I'm having fun playing with it. You can follow the "twitters" of as many people as you like. I've just grabbed a few randoms and I'm reading along as they post about their days. Some are funny, some stupid. It is a touch voyeuristic, but fun for the moment.

To check out Twitter.com just click: Twitter.com

If you want to follow me, just "find and follow" TheTDude

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

Well, if that doesn't convince the rest of you that the time has come for Sen. Clinton to step aside, what will?

Edwards has endorsed Obama. Obama has more delegates, he leads in the national polls, he leads in the popular vote. Sen. Clinton, on behalf of the Democratic Party I belong to, on behalf of the Democratic Party I have served since the age of 11, I am asking, please, suspend your campaign and join us in the true fight, the fight to regain our country.

Men and women are serving and dying in an unjust war. Families are losing their homes in a housing crisis borne from ill-advised economic policies. Gas prices artificially inflated with the blood of U.S. soldiers are making people choose between food and housing and driving. Now is not the time to let the heat of the battle cloud your judgement as to what the the right thing is to do.

I worked for the Democratic National Committee. I worked at Clinton headquarters in Little Rock in 1992. I was a minor member of your husband's administration serving at the pleasure of the President. I was on the ground fighting so that our country could change direction after the first Bush presidency. And now Sen. Clinton, as a private citizen, no longer in the trenches of political intrigue, I am asking for you to return the favor of my service, service of which I am most proud. Step aside and let us unite in a common fight against the wrongs we have suffered for the past eight years.

You say you are ready to serve. Right now, we need you to prove your willingness by stepping aside so that we can, as a party, as a country, unite around a common goal, the election of Sen. Obama to the office of the President of the United States.

Today is not your time, unless you embrace the noble act of concession that will be regarded by history as an act for the greater good. The greater good, not personal glory, is what you are fighting for, is it not?

Step aside Sen. Clinton and allow the forces of tolerance and unification to heal the wounds of this our United States. Doing so would be not only an act of leadership, but an act of the ultimate courage. The courage to ignore personal glory and gain for the greater good.

I know you are capable, I only ask that you act so that others can see the strength that I know you possess. Step aside Sen. Clinton and let the world see the hero that you can be, let the world know that we in America are not what George Bush embodies. We are united, we are compassionate, and we are strong enough to put our differences aside for the common good of all.