Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baby I'm Just Jogging In the Dark

Yesterday my alarm went off promptly at 6:00 AM just like it does every weekday morning. I hit the snooze just like I do every weekday morning. What made yesterday different was that I actually fell back to sleep until the alarm went off again. Don't get the wrong idea. When it comes to the snooze button I'm no saint. Had it not been for my wife's threat of dire consequences if I hit that snooze one...more...time, I probably could have gotten the record for most consecutive hits. Hated getting up to go to a job I loathed.

Despite the roller coaster of crises we had this summer the job I have now isn't so bad. The repercussions from our little incident in June are still echoing and will be for the foreseeable future thus making work a lot less fun but when you've been to the fiery pits of hell working in a boiler room doesn't seem so bad. With this job it's been relatively easy to get up with the alarm (the first time) and spare my wife the torture of the recurring beep. That's why it was so surprising for me to hear the alarm the second time.

What surprised (and confused) me even more and probably added to my disorientation was that I not only fell back to sleep but I fell back to sleep deeply enough to have vivid dreams. For all of nine minutes I had Technicolor and CinemaScope going on. Also unusual for me because I don't generally remember my dreams.

I was alone outside in the driveway of house in a residential neighborhood. The kind with large lots where the houses are pretty far apart and there's no sidewalk. There were a lot of trees, mostly evergreens lining the street and spread sporadically on the lots through the neighborhood. It was at night and it was pitch black (then how'd you see the trees? shut up it's my dream) and cold. Like see-your-breath cold. I was dressed much like I was on Saturday when I put up Christmas lights in old jeans, a camo Army field jacket, heavy work boots, and gloves. With me so far? Good. So, there I am standing in the dark, in the cold in a coat and steel-toed boots...and I run out into the road...and start jogging.

Anybody that knows me can tell you that this was no longer a dream. It was a nightmare. For a very long time I have lived by the rule that there are only two situations which will cause me to run. 1. There is something behind me worth getting away from. 2. There is something in front of me worth catching. One or the other is a requirement.

I started friggin' jogging.

This is where the psychoanalytical look into my subconscious comes in. The neighborhood and the road seemed familiar to me but because it was so dark I couldn't see more than a few feet in front of me. It was hilly but I kept along at a steady pace. Then dogs (BIG. dogs.) start barking on either side of the road. All through the neighborhood - it sounded like the frickin' twilight bark. I could hear them barking from behind the trees but never saw them and the farther I ran the louder and closer to the road they seemed to get. Then I started hearing what sounded like a car coming up behind me but every time I turned to look there were no headlights and I never saw a car.

Then the alarm went off again.

So, to recap. I'm running in the dark and don't know and can't see where I'm going. I'm dressed inappropriately and not prepared for what I'm doing. There's some unseen potentially dangerous thing catching up to me. And I'm being assailed on all sides by barking dogs. Hmm. Wonder if I should get out the dream dictionary for this one.

I did notice one good thing. I never got winded during the entire dream. Does that mean my subconscious is in good shape?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Romance Supporting Romance - A Very Worthy Cause

Ya'll know that my wife is a romance writer. You also may know that I am a big fan of romance - in its written form, yes - but also a fan of romance in general. I'll admit it, I'm a romantic and I do what I can to promote romance whenever I can. Being married to a romance writer has given me the opportunity to meet a community of great people, mostly women, who work very hard to create romantic fantasies for the enjoyment of others. The majority of them do this for very little money and even less respect. They work to produce "those smut books" and "trashy romance novels" in order to express their love of writing AND of romance so that readers can pick up one of their books and escape for a short time into a world where the girl gets the right guy and they both get their happily ever after. That chance to escape is particularly important because the writers, and the readers, and everyone else knows that in real life the happily doesn't always happen. And sometimes it does but it doesn't stick around ever after. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Romance author Jo Leigh lost her real life romance hero to cancer this year. Now, while dealing with her loss she is also facing seemingly insurmountable medical bills. The romance community has come together to help support one of their own. Please read the following, follow the link, and consider bidding on some fantastic items donated by Jo's fellow authors including Leslie, plus agents and editors in the industry. And please pass the word, especially if you or someone you know is a lover of romance.




Permission to forward

Author Jo Leigh lost her husband this year to cancer. Theirs was a story of reunited lovers worthy of a romance novel. The loss of her husband hit her hard, both emotionally and financially. (authors are self-employed, so often have no medical insurance.)In an effort to raise money to help her pay off those medical debts, the romance community has once again banded together to support one of their own and an auction is being held. This is a wonderful way to purchase gifts for yourself or a loved one AND write it off on your taxes.
Please spread the word to any loops, forums, etc. that you might be on.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sex and Intimacy

There's an interesting discussion going on over at The Simple Marriage Project. Corey Allan put up a blog post yesterday and posed this question to his readers : What's the difference between intimacy and sex? He's gotten a lot of interesting responses. Below is my comment to his post.

I don't think you can say sex isn't intimate. Even if it's "meaningless" purely physical sex. BUT...by itself it is just physical intimacy. And that is a small piece of the total package. And you can most certainly have intimacy WITHOUT sex.

As humans we are not purely physical beings. We are a combination of physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. Personally, I think one can, to varying degrees, be intimate in each of those areas. To have a truly, completely intimate relationship with someone I think you have to be intimate in ALL of those areas. It has to be a blending, a balancing of all of those areas and I believe the balance is somewhat fluid and changes (or should change) depending on the needs of the relationship (and the partners in it) at the time.

I think this is where we run into trouble sometimes. Men AND women fall into stereotypical roles, because that's what we're taught or for some other personal reasons, and those roles cause us to focus on one of those areas and neglect the others which leads to the person and the relationship being out of balance. Then you're put into the cycle of needs not being met, lack of communication, and resentment.

Real intimacy is opening yourself up on all levels to the other person and showing that you trust them to know you and love you for who you really are. The warts, scars, fears, insecurities, emotions, passions, beliefs, and on and on. The true intimacy and trust, the true union, happens when the other party returns it in kind. They open themselves to you just as thoroughly.

Like so many other things, finding balance is key. And what is the right balance for me may not be right for you. For that matter what's right for me today may not be right tomorrow. It takes work and attention to figure it out. There's no easy fix. And even if things are running great it still takes work to keep it that way.

Corey has a great blog on marriage and relationships going over there. You should check him out.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Maybe the Republicans Were Right

I did want a president that was like me.

 

Barack and Michelle:  A more perfect union?

 

A married couple that obviously love and respect each other and aren't afraid to show it. AND he can read and write and think and be open to new ideas. I just want to cry.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can We Nominate This Doctor For A Humanitarian Award?

Can it really be true?!! If so there's just one more thing to be thankful for.

Ann Coulter's Jaw Wired Shut: Report

I don't wish Ms. Coulter any undue pain and I do realize that this is a sad day for the fantasies of her many FoxNew-lovin' male fans but really...you do have to appreciate the irony.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Update to Yesterday's Post

Looks like I didn't make the cut. This just in:

Ariz. Gov. Napolitano is pick for DHS

Ya'll better learn to hold your breath. Waiting for both these to be distributed:

And in the event you'd ever need them. I'll bet you won't see her wearing one of these. My plan would've kept Americans safe AND smiling. Come on Janet, let's see your big plans for DHS.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Health and Safety Czar

I've mentioned before that I am a health and safety professional. One aspect of my job is to protect workers from exposure to chemicals and other airborne agents. One of the ways we do that is to have the worker wear appropriate respiratory protection, that is, a respirator mask with the proper filtration media. I evaluate the potential exposure, select the respirator and filters, train the employee and ensure a proper fit for the mask on the employee's face.

I also have a background in biology and have worked in a biological containment laboratory with a variety of biological weapons agents such as Anthrax.

Because of my background I believe that I am qualified for a position in the new administration. I'm lobbying for Chief of Homeland Security. And to prove I'm a go-getter and am ready to hit the ground running I've already laid out my first big initiative.


You can stockpile all of the emergency equipment in the world but it is completely useless if it isn't readily available at the moment the disaster strikes. Seconds count. That's why, immediately after I'm sworn in I will mandate that every woman in America will be issued and required to wear one of these:





That's right. The Bra Facemask from Avocet Polymer Technologies, Inc., United States Patent Number 7,255,627. Here's the description from the patent page:

"A garment device convertible to one or more facemasks wherein the garment device has a plurality of detachable cup sections. Each of the cup sections has a filter device, an inner portion positionable adjacent to the inner area of the user's chest, and an outer portion positionable adjacent to the outer area of the user's chest. The garment device has at least one securing device detachably coupling the inner portions of the cup sections to one another, and the garment device has at least one other securing device attached to the outer portion of at least one of the cup sections. This other securing device is operable to: (a) detachably couple the outer portions of the cup regions to one another; and (b) for each one of the cup sections, attach the outer portion of said cup region to the inner portion of said cup region after said cup region is detached from the other cup region, thereby converting the garment device to a plurality of facemasks."

Got that? "A plurality of facemasks"! Think of the lives saved.

And since I'm a consummate safety and health professional, when these are distributed I will personally ensure that everyone is trained AND that their Bra Facemask has been properly fitted. Once that's taken care of we're going to have to practice, practice, practice. Having emergency equipment and procedures in place does no good if people can't use it effectively in an emergency situation. People have to practice until using this equipment is second nature. The only way to reach that level of proficiency is to repeatedly practice in a simulated emergency. That's right! We're going to DRILL BABY DRILL!!!

Regular, frequent, unannounced nation-wide drills. No matter where you are. No matter what you're doing. No matter who you're with. I want those puppies whipped off and on the faces of those around you in under five seconds! (You know I meant the masks, right?)

Through preparation and readiness the people of America will be more secure and confident, ready to face any challenge. No longer do we have to succumb to unforeseen catastrophes and languish while our dysfunctional emergency response system drops the ball again and again. We can take matters into our own hands. We can lay bare our fears. Free ourselves from the restraint that holds up our progress. We can expose ourselves to the sunlight and let ourselves breath the fresh air. America needs to smile again and I believe this program, THIS PROGRAM will make people feel good and will bring smiles to many, many faces.

Give me your support people. I'm the man for the job.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Week Later

 

Here we are one week after the presidential election. One week since I woke up to a happy face painted on the Sun, rainbows in the sky and Unicorns frolicking in the meadow. There has been a lot of news since then. Many stories about Obama and the transition. Not much about McCain. Too much about Palin.

As far as Palin goes, while I found it frighteningly amusing that she couldn't name the countries in North America (even though she lives in one of them and can see another one from her house - if she turns her back on Russia) or that she thought Africa was a country not a continent I do have to say...enough already. We really need to let her go back to Alaska and fade away. The attacks and criticism will only serve to keep her in front of the cameras and shore up her base of supporters ensuring that we'll have to deal with her again in four years if not sooner. Leave her alone and let her go home wagging her tail behind her.

Just a couple thoughts about some of the stories I've read covering Obama.

I'm not sure what to think about Rahm Emmanuel personally but to paraphrase Leon Panetta, he may very well be the right son of a bitch for the job. I think the position of white house chief of staff is a difficult one and Emmanuel could be a very effective Edward Hyde to Obama's Henry Jekyll (in a good way). We'll see.

There was a behind the scenes story about Obama prepping for a debate where he was expressing irritation over stupid questions. He commented about how he HAD to answer and how he'd LIKE to answer. I like knowing that he throws the F-bomb around. And that he can be irritated by stupid. Two things I have in common with the next president.

Another article, Writers Welcome a Literary President-elect reinforced for me that we did the right thing last week. Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning authors are excited to finally have a "...writer-president — and I don't mean a published author, but someone who knows the full value of the carefully chosen word..." The final quote sums it up for me, "...the larger issue is cultural. There's a trickle down from the top in the way art exists inside and outside of the culture as a whole. Here in the USA, you could feel in the Bush years how little regard there was for it. People who disliked art, literature, dance, fine arts, they had a lot of cover for this antipathy. There's reason to believe that we are in for a much better period." Oh wouldn't that be nice. I hope someday soon I can stop ranting about the laser-like focus on teaching only Math, Science and Standardized Testing in this country.

I don't know if this is important but I thought it was kinda cool. The Obama Family Secret Service Code Names have been announced. Listen up people...Renegade is on the move. I repeat, Renegade is on the move.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America, I'm Proud of You

 

american-flag-2a

 

President Barack Obama

 

Obama

 

When I was ten years old I stayed up late to watch Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon. Watching the election returns felt like that. History.

 

He provided the vision, let's do what we can to help make it a reality. And may the powers of the Universe keep him safe.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And They're Off...

Thought I'd put up a few election results links so you can follow the returns.

CNN Election Center 2008


Fox News America's Decision Interactive Map (for that fair and balanced coverage)


I was intending to put in a couple of those election map widgets from MSNBC and CBS but for some reason the damn code isn't working. You shouldn't be here looking at widgets anyway. Get the hell out and VOTE!

Here's one more for you that's pretty interesting. Intrade is an Irish internet "prediction market". Their predictions are reported as, well, odds. And their numbers are based on people who put money on who they think is going to win. That sorta sounds a little like gambling doesn't it? Anyway, several news outlets seem to think that these "prediction markets" are very accurate. Here's their map:




Also, in case you hadn't heard, several companies are offering rewards for voting. Starbucks is offering a free cup of coffee. Krispy Kreme is giving away a free star shaped donut with red, white and blue sprinkles. And if you're lucky enough to live near one of the adult themed Babeland stores you can get yourself free sex toys. So go vote then pick up some coffee and donuts and come home and play with your sex toys while you watch the election results.
Have a great day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Audacity of Hoping for Purple

"There are no real and fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation—we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from." America's veterans have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America—they have served the United States of America."

-Barack Obama

All the other issues are important. But the message above is the one I'm voting for. Will it be the motto selected by the founding fathers, E pluribus unum? One out of many. Or will it continue to be a nation fueled by fear? A nation whose politics meet the definition described by Henry Adams. "The systematic organization of hatreds."

Back in September 2007, the month I started this blog, I did two posts called "The New Kid" and "The Rise of the Three Brained Man". The first about a kid who had been bullied growing up, losing his way and becoming a bully himself. The second about irrational fear and its roots in the reptile brain. Both posts directly apply to tomorrow.

We desperately need to find our way back to the original path and to do so we must abolish the fear and move toward reason. No great advance or discovery was ever made without swallowing back the fear and taking a risk. Ya'll know what has to be done tomorrow. Let's get out there and put it all on purple.

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow."

- Orison Marden

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've Been AWOL

I haven't been around for a while. Several weeks back my laptop died. Well, it didn't actually die but it did become very ill. Something went wacky with the LCD screen. When I booted the computer the screen came on but the image of my desktop was divided into quarters and there were four tiny desktops where there should've only been one. Everything else worked fine but since I already need to wear reading glasses when I'm on the computer seeing the image at one fourth the size just wasn't going to happen. I researched the problem and and as near as I can tell it needs to have the LCD screen replaced. The good news is that it's something I can do myself, the bad news is that I need to pick up a new LCD screen.

I explained this to my wife and her reaction was...why don't we just get you a new computer? How do I love her? Let me count the ways. So about a week ago the computer stork dropped a box off at my house with a shiny new Dell Inspiron 1525.

 

dellinspiron1525i It even has racing stripes. Cool huh? Maybe it'll help me type faster.

 

I'll eventually fix the old one, clean off the disk and pass it on to my daughter who is a senior in high school. It'll at least get her started with college. As you might expect I've been spending time trying to transfer my old files and programs over to my new computer. This unfortunately involves connecting my old laptop to an external monitor so I can see what the hell I'm copying and moving. The process is further complicated by the fact that the new computer has Windows Vista. Contrary to what I'd heard it doesn't seem to be terrible. It's similar enough to XP that I can find my way around but different enough that I have to be careful where I step. So far I actually think I like it but I'll reserve the right to bitch about it the moment something major happens.

This is actually a test post on my blog. I downloaded Windows Live Mail to use as my email program and in the Windows Live family of free downloads they also have this nifty blogging program called Windows Live Writer. I thought I'd give it a try. It seems to give me a bit more flexibility than Blogger but the true test will be when I publish and actually see how the two talk to each other. I guess you'll find out how it works when I do.

There certainly has been a lot of crazy shit going on with the election and the economy, etc and it's not that I haven't had anything to say but more like I haven't known where to start. Or where to stop. I'll be back with more substantial posts but for now I'm playing with my new toy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everybody please join me in wishing Malicious Intent (MI to her friends) a VERY happy birthday.

I've lined up some musical guests for your entertainment. MI, I hope you have a great day!











HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Tarot Deck and Contest

In case you didn't figure out from the name of my blog, I am into Tarot. My second blog entry gives an explanation of why I went with this name.

My new blog buddy Arwen over at Musings on the Tarot happens to be a professional tarot reader and today she has a special guest blogger. Kay Stopforth has done something really interesting in the realm of tarot. She has melded tarot with Quantum Physics. Together with Chris Butler, Kay has developed a new, absolutely beautiful tarot deck along with interpretations and a reading to go with it.

This combination of tarot and physics may seem like an odd combination to some but to me it seems perfectly natural, in fact, ideal. As I commented to Kay I am an almost stereotypical Pisces (sun and moon), i.e. creative, sensitive, emotional, artistic (in my own way), spiritual, a dreamer, one who goes with feelings before thoughts, etc. I am also a Capricorn rising which means all that touchy-feely Pisces stuff is wrapped up in a somewhat serious, responsible shell. Also I'm very spiritual but I happen to work in a very scientific/technical field.

You would think all this would cause some conflict and it does in some areas of my life, but in area of science and spirituality, in my mind at least, there is harmony. I think those two often opposing subjects fit together very well. Those things that fall under the heading of faith (such as life after death, "God", reincarnation, divination such as tarot, Reiki, even "The Secret" and Carl Jung's idea of synchronicity) all make a certain "sense" to me in a scientific way. And the deeper we delve into Quantum Physics the more sense it seems to make.

I believe that the key to having balance and harmony between science and spirituality is in having a completely open mind. If you notice I've been saying "spirituality" not "religion". That's where the conflict comes in. When you try to force fit what's happening into a preconceived, man made religious doctrine it will never work. You may be able to squeeze a size 11 foot into a size 10 shoe but you won't keep it on for long and you'll probably end up with blisters. And putting any sized foot into a shoe that already has another foot in it is just impossible. When one enters the discussion absolutely sure that their position is right without question then that mind is closed to every other possibility. And what are we without possibilities?

Go check out Arwen's blog and Kay's new tarot deck. Even if that's not your thing it's worth a look just for the artwork. Beautiful. While you're there leave a comment and you'll be entered in a contest to win a free Quantum Tarot reading from Kay.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumnal Equinox


I cannot believe that it is Fall already. I can't say I was having fun all Summer but time certainly flew because I was busy. My Summer was pretty much non-existent. Here's hoping things slow down a bit (a lot, a HUGE amount!) and we can enjoy the nice fall weather in this area. The temperature has been dropping a little at a time and in the evenings you can feel the beginnings of that crisp air. That can only mean one thing...I better get to work on Halloween!


Friday, September 19, 2008

The Spirit Guide's New Groove

Back in April I posted a blog entry called "My Spirit Guides Are Not Pleased". It reported on the Gray Wolf being removed from the Endangered Species List. They had made such a successful recovery that they no longer needed protection. That announcement was followed almost immediately by another announcement that basically said let the killing of wolves begin.

I am pleased to report that due to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, the National Resources Defense Council, and Defenders of Wildlife the Bush Administration has backed down and reversed their decision. THE WOLVES ARE BACK ON THE LIST AS A FULLY PROTECTED SPECIES. My spirit guides are doing the happy dance.


Here's the first newspaper story about the decision:

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 16, 2008

Feds retreat on Northern Rockies wolf hunting plan

By Matthew Brown (Associated Press)

BILLINGS, Mont. -- A federal wildlife official says the government plans to retreat for now from its attempt to take gray wolves in the Northern Rockies off the endangered species list.

Ed Bangs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the government in the next week plans to withdraw a rule issued this spring. The rule was based on the assertion that the region's approximately 1,500 wolves were recovered fully, opening the way for public hunting of wolves to begin this fall in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

Those hunts had been in doubt since July, when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy blocked them from going forward pending resolution of a lawsuit by environmentalists.

The decision to withdraw the rule listing wolves as fully recovered is subject to final approval by Department of Justice attorneys.

As the story says, it is still subject to final approval however, the government abandoned their defense of the law suit. Always a good sign.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Republican Hypocrisy

This is a follow up to the Sarah Palin post from a couple of days ago. I posted a video of Karl Rove from "Face the Nation" back in August where he said that Gov. Tim Kaine of Virgina wasn't experienced enough to be Vice President because he had only been governor for three years and before that the mayor of the tiny little town of Richmond, VA. I pointed out how masterful the Republicans were at flip-flopping and talking out of both sides of their mouths at once.

Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central presents further evidence. And he presents it so much better than I could ever hope to.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

United States Constitution Day



We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


Today, September 17th is officially United States Constitution Day. I've included links below to the National Archives and another informational website where you can find the full text of the Constitution and all amendments as well as articles on the history of the writing and ratification of this important document. I believe that every American should take the relatively short amount of time it takes to read our Constitution. Then do everything in our power to protect and defend it.

http://www.constitutionday.us/
What is Constitution Day? Constitution Day resources.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_history.html
The Constitutional Convention and the ratification process.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
The U.S. Constitution.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_q_and_a.html
Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution.

http://www.usconstitution.net/constquick.html
The Constitution Explained.

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_resp.html
Constitutional Topic: Rights and Responsibilities.

http://www.annenbergclassroom.org/
Constitution Day resources for America's teachers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Women Against Sarah Palin

I came across a very interesting blog last night.

In my house after Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican choice for Vice President and we all got over the big "WHO THE HELL IS SHE?" moment we took some time to look in to who the hell she was and find out more about her. One of the first comments my wife made after learning just how completely inexperienced she is was "That's insulting. Like the women of this country are that stupid that they would vote for her just because she has a uterus."

Fortunately there are other women, Democrat AND Republican, who feel the same way. On September 3rd two women, Quinn L. and Lyra K., sent the following letter to forty of their friends and encouraged them to pass it on. Their blog WOMEN AGAINST SARAH PALIN gives some of the 130,000 responses they're recieved. So far.

Friends and compatriots,

We are writing to you because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce—on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate—that has a real possibility of becoming fact.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms. Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present and future daughters. To date, she is against a woman's right to choose, environmental protection, alternative energy development, freedom of speech (as mayor she repeatedly brought up the question of banning books), gun control (ed. note, I'm not on board with this one but unlike many I'm not a one issue voter), the separation of church and state, and polar bears.

We want to clarify that we are not against Sarah Palin as a woman, a mother, or, for that matter, a parent of a pregnant teenager, but solely as a rash, incompetent, and all together devastating choice for Vice President. Ms. Palin's political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we've so demonstrably benefited from.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

Therefore, we invite you to reply here with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation.

Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and place of residence.

We will post your responses on a blog called "Women Against Sarah Palin," which we intend to publicize as widely as possible. Please send us your reply at your earliest convenience-the greater the volume of responses we receive, the stronger our message will be.

Thank you for your time and action.

VIVA!

Sincerely,

Quinn L. and Lyra K.
New York, NY
womensaynopalin@gmail.com

**PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!
If you send this to 20 women in the next hour, you could be blessed with a country that takes your concerns seriously. Stranger things have happened.

Folks, I have a wife and three daughters. Women's issues are very important to me. I do not want a future for my daughters that sends them back to the past. Contrary to the opinion of the world's major religions women are not property nor should they be held as subservient to men. If you want the good little submissive housewife of the fifties then go watch reruns on TVland. It is nothing short of insulting for John McCain to give the women of America a symbolic pat on the head and treat them a morons. I have absolutely no problem what-so-ever with the idea of a woman president. In fact, I believe that a woman could do a far better job therefore I look forward to it. I have a major problem with the prospect of THIS woman ever being president. This goes so far beyond the issue of her qualifications it isn't even funny. The woman is frightening in her views. If I were a woman I would not be insulted, I'd be incensed.

By the way, since I mentioned Ms. Palin's lack of qualifications check out this interview with a political pundit that ticks off a list of why a certain governor is not qualified to be the Vice Presidential choice. Oh, the governor? Tim Kaine of Virginia. The pundit? Karl Rove on Face The Nation August 10th, 2008.




Of course now he's saying that Sarah Palin is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that HER experience counts. She's a breath of fresh air. Fresh air ain't what I'm smellin' Karl. I love the far right's ability to talk out of both sides of their mouths without ever taking a breath and without ever recognizing how hypocritical they are.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is There a Twelve Step Program for This?

I was unpacking from my trip and putting things away when it dawned on me that I have a problem. I was only gone for a couple of nights so I just had a small carry-on bag. After emptying it of clothes, toiletries and TSA inspected dirty underwear what was left in the bottom was the evidence that opened my eyes.


Taunting me from the bottom of that bag were the objects of my obsession. Bottles of hotel shampoo, conditioner, and skin lotion, and bars of hotel soap. The realization hit me when I brought them into the bathroom to put them away. Under the vanity resides one of those plastic laundry bags also taken from a hotel in which my booty is kept. When I picked it up it felt like it weighed about eight pounds and two thoughts hit me. The first was, damn I've been traveling alot. The second, I think I might have a problem.



Whenever I check into a hotel I immediately begin to plan my strategy to get as many as I possibly can in the time I have. I start by putting aside one bar of soap and one bottle of shampoo to use. Then the rest goes into my suitcase, completely out of sight of the maid. I try to make the bar and bottle I'm using last as long as I can and everyday when the maid leaves a fresh supply, into the suitcase it goes. I can't help myself. The stuff is like crack. If I'm walking down the hall of the hotel and there's an unattended housekeeping cart it's all I can do to keep walking. I tell myself that there's no challenge in simply raiding the cart. I must play the game with the maid for it to bring satisfaction. We must dance our little dance of supplier and addict. When the quality of the hotel and thus the quality of the merchandise goes up so too does the desire. The spa quality stuff is a huge score but it's also the hardest to get a lot of. The maids are stingy with it. The bargain level stuff is easy to get but doesn't bring as much of a high. The absolute worst are the hotels that have dispensers of liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner mounted in the shower. I have to force myself to stay. Of course in those cases (which are rare) it's also a practical matter. It gets a little frustrating having to pump the stupid button a hundred and twelve times to get enough shampoo to wash your hair. At least that's what I tell myself.

On this trip because I wasn't checking any bags the thought occurred to me that I may have a problem with TSA bringing all those little bottles through airport security. I mean, my god, I didn't have a one quart ziplock bag. And if I did would they all fit? Even that didn't stop me from taking those tiny little devils along for the ride. And the Denver airport was there for me, ready to encourage my habit. They provide free ziplock bags! And a table where you can repackage your liquids and gels. The BASTARDS!

I do try to make some good come of my obsession. When we packed up our house before moving from Florida I discovered there were two full drawers in the bathroom full of bounty. They filled at least two grocery store shopping bags. My wife could only shake her head. It turns out that women's shelters are happy to take these items as donations and that's what we did with them.

Then of course I immediately began to rebuild my supply.

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. I think I need help. I wonder if that place where David Duchovney is being treated for his sex addiction has any openings. And if they have free toiletries in the rooms.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Holy Smokes! Two Posts in One Day!

I just saw the opening skit from last night's Saturday Night Live and had to For those that haven't seen this, it is freakin' hysterical. It was worthy of Saturday Night Live of old. Tina Fey is amazing.

Okay Blogger is frustrating the hell out of me right now. I've tried about six times to embed the video using the code from four different sites and every time I get a message that there's an error and it has to shut my browser down. I don't know what's causing it but I don't feel like dealing with it anymore right now.

Home again, Home Again, Jigety Jig



Okay, let me first start out by saying in no uncertain terms that

I HATE UNITED AIRLINES!!!!!!

I have traveled to Boulder three times in the last month and a half. To get to Boulder you fly in and out of Denver. I am a government employee and as such we have to book our travel through our contracted travel agent and we are required to use a government contract carrier. United is a government contract carrier. Let's forget about the fact that the cost of a roundtrip ticket has cost the taxpayers a minimum of $500 when I could've gotten a ticket on Southwest for half that. Let's forget about the fact that on this last trip because it was booked on the same day as my travel it cost $1,000. Let's forget about the fact that every time I've gone to Denver on United I have had to sit in a middle seat for every three hour trip because our contracted travel agent couldn't get me a seat assignment because the flight was overbooked and when I checked in there was nothing else left except the Economy Plus seat (with about 0.638 inches of extra room) that you have to pay extra for. Let's forget all of that.

On the return flight of each trip my flight has been delayed. The first time it was about an hour. Not that big a deal but still, delayed. The second time...four hours. The inbound flight was late getting in. Then right before we were supposed to board it developed a mysterious mechanical problem. "We'll update you in 30 minutes" times eight. And oh by the way, we can't get this plane fixed in time so we're going to use a different plane but it's not here yet. And we're going to change gates. FIVE TIMES!!! Yes, five gate changes. And the one we ended up leaving from was one I had been to two hours before. Then of course we're all about to board and guess what? No flight crew. Then the flight crew shows up and it's the same crew from the original flight and they tell us that the first plane was fixed and they were sitting on the plane at the original gate waiting FOR US! Welcome to the fucking three stooges airlines.

Then there was the third trip. That was yesterday. I was booked on an 11:45AM flight. On Friday we weren't sure we could get all of our work finished and thought we'd have to meet yesterday morning so the boss decided we should change our flight to the 3:30PM flight. So far so good. By Friday evening we realized we could finish so we changed flights again, this time to the 10:43AM flight. Even earlier than the original, hey I'm all there.

I leave the hotel at 8AM to drive to Denver. Drop off the car and get to the terminal. Security is pretty short so that wasn't really a problem even though I was a male traveling alone with no checked bags which got me the extra personalized attention of being puffed by air in a booth (I was blown at the airport) and the "Sir, step over here and do you mind if we look through your dirty underwear?" Still, so far, so good.

I'm at the gate by 9AM. At 9:45 the inbound flight lands and unloads. At 10:00 the announcement comes..."Folks maintenance is checking out a mechanical problem with the plane...AND WE'LL UPDATE YOU IN 30 MINUTES." Fuck.

Then it was, "we have the part and we're fixing the problem", and "we're fixing the problem but it's going to take until 5:00PM (this is a 11:30AM)." Then at noon the only gate agent left says that the next update will be in, yeah, 30 minutes, but she has to leave to go to another gate. A new gate crew will be here at 12:30 to update us. Bye!

At almost 1:00 still no gate crew but an announcement is made over the general airport PA system. It sounds like a drunk with a speech impediment ordering a bag of tacos from Jack-in-the-Box at 2AM after a night of partying. The general consensus of everyone in the gate area was that it was something about our flight and something about 4:30PM. Fuck again.

I go to customer service and stand in a line that doesn't move and while I'm there I call my government contract travel agent on their "emergency" number where they don't answer. Finally a United rep tells us that the flight is on a decisional (WTF?) delay until 4:30 and we can't rebook until it is actually canceled.

Beer. I need beer. Fortunately there is a bar close at hand where I have lunch and a few pints of Guinness which dramatically improves my demeanor. I even bonded with an old couple who were watching the Notre Dame/Michigan game. And I don't even watch football - though it's kinda in my genes to root for the Irish. Then it's off to a quiet spot to do some work on a book proposal I'm putting together. My wife calls at about 3:15 to tell me that the United website is showing the flight as canceled. Would've been nice of them to announce it AT THE AIRPORT.

Back to the customer service line that doesn't move and on the phone to the travel agent who finally does answer. At this point, the only thing available to get me into the Washington area was a 4:30 flight on Frontier Airlines getting into Washington National at 10:00PM. She rebooks me and I'm off to a different concourse to find Frontier.

Minor problem. When I left Washington on Wednesday night, I flew out of Dulles airport which is the current location of my car. My sweetheart of a wife ever on the ball, talks me down off the ledge then researches shuttles and has me a reservation on the SuperShuttle from National to Dulles before the Frontier flight even takes off. From that point on everything went smoothly and it was just a matter of doing the actual traveling. I got to National at 10PM...right on schedule, was at Dulles by 11:30 and home by 1:00AM. Only about eight hours late.

This was my first experience with Frontier but it was a good one. They charged extra for every little thing like food, DirectTV and movies but they tell you that up front and who isn't charging for everything these days? At least the food was reasonably priced and actually pretty good for an airline. Everyone from the gate agents to the flight attendants were on the ball. And remember that $1,000 price for the round trip on United? The one way price on Frontier that was booked an hour before the flight...$169. My head hurts.

There's one final twist of the knife from United. When I checked in on online Friday night, I payed $30 extra out of my own pocket to get the Economy Plus just so I could get an aisle seat. A seat I never got to sit in. Of course you know where I sat on the Frontier flight.

It feels good to vent but the important thing is that I made it home safely. While I had all those hours to kill at the airport I watched quite a bit of news coverage from Texas about hurricane Ike. It kept reminding me that I was being inconvenienced but there were others who were having a far worse day than I was.

Oh, and did I mention that I hate United Airlines?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where In The World Is Bruce?


First off, let me begin by saying that when I found the above picture my first thought was "if I knew that Carmen Sandiego was that hot I would've looked a lot harder for her". Hot cartoon babes. It's a guy thing, what can I say?

Okay. Guess where I am. Need some clues?

  • It's not the first time I've been here
  • It's not on the East Coast
  • It's where the good guys settled in Stephen King's "The Stand"
  • It has mountains
  • It's about an hour North-West of the city that hosted this years Democratic convention
  • It rhymes with "Older"

Give up? Okay. One more clue. When I think about the circumstances of being sent here this time it leads me to say...



OH! Look at that. You guessed it. Boulder, Colorado.

Yesterday was my youngest daughter's birthday. She turned thirteen. Still can't believe it. I planned to leave work early to be able to spend more time with her and make the dinner she requested. At noon I had just finished asking my boss if I could leave a little early and of course she said , no problem. I went back to my office and, I swear, not five minutes passed when I got called back to her office and she handed me the phone. It was her boss. Informing me that he was asked to go to Boulder and he wanted me there with him. We had to leave RIGHT AWAY.

FUCK!!!!!!!!

We had to rush my travel orders and arrangements. I got on a 9:20PM flight out of Washington so I had time to go home, make dinner, spend a couple of hours with my daughter and family, do the cake and presents thing, and dart out the door. I got to my hotel at 2:00AM Boulder time (4:00AM my time) and had to get up at 6:00. Right now it looks like I'll be here until Saturday.

Somebody really needs to declare the "emergency" that's been ongoing for almost three months now, OVER. We really need to stop running around with our hair on fire, take a deep breath, and concentrate on fixing the problems that have been identified. Not everything that is urgent is important and not everything that is important is urgent. And some of this nonsensical shit is neither urgent nor important. It certainly isn't as important as my kid's birthday or anything else having to do with my wife and kids.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

GOTTA DANCE!

This just in.

Israeli security forces black performer to dance

Because of his name Abdur-Rahim Jackson, African-American member of the Alvin Ailey dance troupe was forced to perform dance steps for Israeli security at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv before he was allowed to enter the country. This infallible and fool-proof security measure, the latest in high-tech counter-terrorism techniques, was necessary in order to prove that Mr. Jackson was indeed an American dancer and not a Muslim terrorist posing as an American dancer. A fact widely recognized within the world's security forces is that Muslin terrorists have no natural rhythm.

News of this new trend of attempted infiltration has spread among all of our allies in the "war on terror" (it didn't take long, how many are left, two?). This incident has prompted the Department of Homeland Security to raise the alert level. DHS has also begun investigating dance schools in the country paying particular attention to students who are interested in learning only a few convincing steps but no big finish. Procedures at American airports are being revised in phases beginning in Texas. In the event that a traveler refuses to perform the requested dance steps TSA officers wearing cowboy hats and boots will draw six-guns and shoot at the individual's feet while shouting "Dance!" and laughing menacingly. This reporter has managed to obtain a copy of the TSA training video from an unnamed source.




Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My How Time Flies

Greetings from beautiful Boulder, CO





It's been a very long time. I've gotten messages form many of you and I'm sorry if I didn't get back to you. Life has been insane and my summer completely evaporated. In the past two months I've dealt with a Plutonium incident, written Congressional testimony, met with Congressional investigative staffers, become very well known (despite my best efforts) to the very senior management of my organization and traveled rather extensively. And oh yeah, tried to fit a couple of critical moments of personal time in there too. In the past three weeks I've gone from Maryland to Boulder, CO to Maryland to San Francisco/Sonoma to Maryland to Boulder, CO and tomorrow I'm heading back to Maryland then immediately leaving to drive to Florida. Next week I'll drive back to Maryland, then at some point in the next several weeks travel back to Boulder.


I've mentioned before that I work in health & safety. Suffice it to say that we had a major safety incident in June and life has not been the same since. I won't go into details but here is a link to publicly available information for those that may be interested.


In the midst of all the craziness I did manage to squeeze in a few days alone with my wife in Sonoma, CA to do the whole wine country thing. It was wonderful. I plan to blog a bit about it and share some pictures but it's going to have to wait.


I'm not back on a regular basis (yet!) but I did want you all to know that I'm still here and that I miss you guys. Until I can post again I hope you all are well and I will be back.


Namaste.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Western Bad-Ass Quiz

Hopefully work will even out a little this week and I'll have a little more time to breathe but for now, a little quiz I saw over the weekend.






What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as John Wayne

You're a classic all American cowboy who does the right thing. When you're sober. Which means occasionally. You like horses, the outdoors, whiskey, hot tempered women, whiskey, and bourbon.


Lee Marvin


63%

Clint Eastwood


63%

Lee Van Cleef


63%

John Wayne


63%

Charles Bronson


50%

The drinking part's not quite right but I can certainly live with the Duke.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Today We Celebrate...


Happy Independence Day!

It's the 4th of July here in the states I hope that everyone celebrating (you too Kitty, ya'll can celebrate being rid of us) has a safe and happy holiday.

I was away from posting regularly for a while, then just when I was coming back to it work started kicking my ass. I would love to be able to reap the benefit of making myself feel better by venting on my blog about it but it's not something I can really say anything about right now. Maybe later.

In the meantime enjoy this updated version of Henry the Fifth's St. Crispen's Day speech. Hey, it's from Independence Day. Those speeches always make me want to grab a sword...or an F-16. Be safe everyone.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Concert Line-up or Sage Advice?

A quick scan of the morning headlines turned up this gem:


At first I thought it sounded like a feud between two grunge bands. But NO! I began to read the story and quickly realized that it was set in India so, of course, the headline is meant literally.

Now I'm one to look for messages and significance in odd places and I just know that in this quote from Jugesh Oraon, a local village leader, there is sage advice and a glimpse into the meaning of life: "The elephants do not roam where camels are found." Especially smelly ones.

What more can I say? Namaste.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Arrogance Slapped

Arrogance
Ar"ro*gance\, n. [F., fr. L. arrogantia, fr. arrogans. See Arrogant.] The act or habit of arrogating, or making undue claims in an overbearing manner; that species of pride which consists in exorbitant claims of rank, dignity, estimation, or power, or which exalts the worth or importance of the person to an undue degree; proud contempt of others; lordliness; haughtiness; self-assumption; presumption. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

There are many negative traits that humans are prone to display. One (of many) that annoys me considerably is arrogance. There are far too many people walking thinking and acting like they are better than someone else. Far too many groups thinking and acting like they are better than others. Religions feed on this and exacerbate it by telling people they're special, they're chosen and therefore better than those who are not part of their group. Individuals display arrogance about their job, their intellect, their appearance, their sexual prowess, their whatever and they even gather together in cliques and groups with other like-minded holier-than-thou people. Academic institutions and exclusive clubs with their noses in the air. Sports teams doing childish happy dances in the end zone and hoisting that trophy for all to see. Countries do it too. The US certainly has caused itself some trouble by resolutely believing that we are the best and insisting that the rest of the world needs to follow.

Humility is sorely lacking. It's unfortunately about as common these days as sense and courtesy. There's nothing wrong with being capable and confident but confidence that isn't tempered with humility crosses the line into arrogance. If you want a fine example of the kind of quiet capable humility that I'm talking about go talk to a World War II veteran, or for that matter almost anyone that lived through that era and participated in the achievements of that generation. I doubt you'll hear much bragging.

One of the biggest, grandest examples of human arrogance comes from those who look into the night sky while contemplating our existence, the meaning of life and our place in the Universe and come to the conclusion that we are the only life to be found. Those that firmly believe that Earth was blessed by God and that life sprang up here and nowhere else. Ludicrous. Utterly ludicrous. A friend sent me this video yesterday. It helps to put things into perspective. It makes you realize just how small we really are and that maybe we should be displaying something other than arrogance. Humility maybe?


Monday, June 23, 2008

Rest In Peace George, And Thanks

There are those who are good at being clowns and there are those who can observe and produce social commentary. Those that make us laugh and those that make us reflect. George Carlin was a master of both. If ever there was a time when we needed to laugh AND be shown the absurdity of our lives it is now. We're going to miss you George. You have big shoes to fill and I don't see anyone stepping up at the moment.

Here are some of his routines on "Stuff", Religion, and of course the history making "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television". Enjoy.









Friday, June 20, 2008

Celebrate!




Happy Summer Solstice

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trash Talkin'

You'd think that with the NBA finals behind us the only trash talking going on would be in the presidential race. You'd be wrong.

Back in March I did a blog post bragging about my wife the romance writer being a finalist for the most prestigious award in the romance writing world. The Ritas are awarded by the Romance Writers of America each year at their national conference and are considered the Academy Awards of romantic fiction. While it is indeed an honor just to be nominated, that little golden statuette is highly coveted and the competition is, well...just look at this video of the finalists in the Contemporary Single Title category.





The one with the sword is my wife. My money's on her.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rumours of My Demise...

...Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

I could give you a load of lame excuses for why I've been too busy to blog but the truth of the matter is that I honestly haven't felt like it for a while. I haven't felt like I've had much to say lately and I didn't want to post just for the sake of posting. I don't really want this to turn into a "I had a tuna sandwich for lunch yesterday" kind of blog. Crap. Look at that. I just told you I had a tuna sandwich for lunch yesterday in my blog. There. See what I mean?

Anyway. I've missed you guys and I promise I'll do better. In the meantime I'll leave you with the lyrics from a song I like that was on the Sirius Radio Broadway channel (Yeah, I listen to show tunes. You got a problem wit dat?) yesterday that I haven't heard in a long time. It's by Stephen Sondheim from the musical Anyone Can whistle. Have a great weekend walking on the grass, tilting at windmills and laughing at kings. And don't say don't.

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't-It isn't right,

Don't-it isn't nice!

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't walk on the grass,

Don't disturb the peace,

Don't skate on the ice.

Well, I Say Do,

I say,Walk on the grass, it was meant to feel!

I Say Sail!

Tilt at the windmill,And if you fail, you fail.

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says don't get out of line.

When they say that, then Lady that's a sign:

Nine times out of ten,

Lady, you are doing just fine!

Make just a ripple.

Come on be brave.

This time a ripple,

Next time a wave.

Sometimes you have to start small,

Climbing the tiniest wall,

Maybe you're going to fall-

But it is better than not starting at all!

Everybody says no,

Everybody says stop.

Everybody says mustn't rock the boat,

Mustn't touch a thing!

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says wait,

Everybody says can't fight city hall,

Can't upset the cart,

Can't laugh at the king!

Well, I Say Try!

I Say Laugh at the kings or they'll make you cry.

Lose Your Poise!

Fall if you have to, But lady, make a noise!

Everybody says don't,

Everybody says can't,

Everybody says wait around for miracles,

That's the way the world is made!

I insist on Miracles,

if you do them, Miracles -

nothing to them!

I say don't,

Don't be afraid!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Always a lucky day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Which Tarot Card Are You?

I took one of those silly little quizzes on somebody's MySpace page. It wasn't the quiz itself that made me post it here, it was the results. Just thought it interesting considering the title of my blog. Serendipitous and synchronicitous.




You are The Hierophant


Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.


All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.


The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Noticing Little Things

I wasn't planning to blog today. I didn't wake up with any particular subject gnawing at me. I didn't really have anything to say. But then I went to lunch. At McDonald's.

I had to run out at lunch to get an important legal document in the mail and since I was using some of my lunch time to do it I figured I'd just grab something while I was out. There's a MickeyD's between where I work and the Post Office so MickeyD's it was. As an aside, McDonald's just introduced a "Country Style" Chicken Sandwich and they were giving them away free with a large drink. I don't know what's country about them but basically they are an attempt at a direct imitation of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. It wasn't bad. They came close to the original Chick-Fil-A but didn't quite get there.

Anyway. I had some time and instead of getting it to go I thought I'd eat there rather than in my office and do a little people watching. So I was sitting in a booth eating when this young guy comes around the corner heading to sit with the rest of what looked like a work crew that he was with. As he's walking his full drink cup tips off his tray and spills across the floor. Hey, no harm, it can happen to anybody. His response was to look toward the rest of his crew, laugh and say "My Bad." He then proceeded to the table. My hope was that he would put down the tray and alert someone at the counter that there was a spill so that it could be cleaned up before someone slipped. My expectation was that he would sit down and eat his lunch without taking any responsibility or doing anything to to clean up his mess. He fully met my expectation.

I was just about finished eating and was planning to tell someone about the spill before I left when I noticed an interesting thing. One of the other guys in the crew, from appearances a little older than the first, went to the counter and told the employee working there what happened. They reacted immediately and sent someone over with a bucket and mop and cleaned it right up.

Completely inane story so far I know, but what made it noteworthy to me was this. Based purely on observation and assumption, the first guy - the one who spilled the drink - I guessed to be either American or highly Americanized due to his appearance and complete lack of accent when I heard him speak. The second guy, the guy who actually did something about the spill, was clearly Hispanic and based on hearing him speak, did not appear to be particularly fluent in English.

Now I realize there's a lot of information I don't know about these individuals. To be completely fair other than the few minutes of observation taken as a snapshot of their lives, I know absolutely nothing about them. I'm also not trying to make any statements about race, ethnicity, culture, prejudice or any of that. As I was watching, the whole thing for me was about one person's failure to accept responsibility and another's action to take (or in this case assume someone else's) responsibility.

I wasn't intending for this to be a statement about the immigration issue but because it appeared the second guy may have been an alien (no, not the extraterrestrial, newly Vatican approved kind) I can't help but think about it at least a little. Truth be told I'm not really sure where I stand on the issue. I mentioned yesterday that I'm a Pisces. The symbol for Pisces is two fish heading in opposite directions. We are often taken to be someone who can't make a decision. The truth is we hesitate in making decisions because the world is not black and white to us. We frequently can see, often very clearly, BOTH sides of the argument and find merit and deficiency in each. Immigration like so many other issues has no easy solution but the one thing that I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN OF is that the United States of America has no business building fences or walls. Beyond that, I'm open for debate.

Enough rambling. I guess my point to this (if I ever had one) is that a hard working guy who steps up and takes responsibility for someone else's spilled drink might, just might, be the kind of guy who will step up and take responsibility for other more important things as well. There seems to be so few of those guys around these days. Honestly, I don't think it hurts to have more of that kind of guy. But what do I know? I was just there for the free chicken sandwich.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pure Genius

Forgetting for a moment about that whole E=MC2* thing, I would just like to casually mention that I keep noticing commonalities between myself and a certain famous genius.


I've know for a long time that we are both Pisces and that we are both Left-Handed. Two things that, when taken together clearly create a predisposition for genius. Then, yesterday while pondering the Universe and thinking lofty thoughts that you couldn't possibly understand (or care about) I happened upon this article about an original letter written by Einstein in which he discusses his view of the Bible and religion. Einstein says, "the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

You really can't argue with GENIUS.

The letter is being auctioned in London this week and is expected to bring in $12,000 to $16,000. I'd love to own it. Anybody have $16,000 you can loan me?

In a (somewhat) related article we learn that our favorite major world religion with funny hats has approved the lining of said hats with tin foil. That's right, the Vatican has announced that it is okay to believe in aliens. In an interview with an Italian newspaper titled "The Extraterrestrial is My Brother," (is it me or does that sound like a headline on the Weekly World News in the Supermarket Check-out lane?) the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory (who knew?) discussed many issues related to the Church and Science and said among other things that The Bible "is not a science book," (REALLY?! Tell that to some folks in Alabama, Oklahoma and some other places I can think of) and that "the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones." Kinda like those intelligent life forms that the Spanish encountered in the Americas. And like them I'm sure that these intelligent alien life forms are godless heathens and it's the Church's duty to bring to them the word of Jesus Christ. Or slaughter them out of existence. But hey, maybe we'll get a Vatican sponsored space program out of it.

Closer to home I suppose that acknowledging the existence of aliens opens up the possibility of Priests and Bishops being abducted. And PROBED. You gotta love the Universe.


*I was attempting to type E=MC squared but this genius couldn't figure out how to make it work with Blogger. I not only have a lot in common with Einstein, Genius but I also have a lot in common with another famous mind.



Wiley Coyote, SUPER Genius.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Quick Check-In

I haven't been around in (quite) a while and I wanted to touch base.

Right after I posted my last entry the whole family headed for the airport and high-tailed it to Florida. My oldest daughter finished up with her Sophomore year in college and is now officially a Junior. The original plan way back when was for me to fly down, help her move out of her dorm, then both of us fly home. When my wife was looking into flights for me she discovered a Southwest special to Orlando for $47 one way. That's less that it takes to fill my car up with gas these days. When we lived in Florida we were a huge theme park family and usually had season passes to either the Disney parks or the Universal parks at any given time. So we decided to take the whole family for a last (for a while anyway) hurrah in Mouseville.

Between Thursday night and Wednesday we drove from Orlando to Jacksonville to Daytona Beach and back to Orlando, slept in at least three different beds, visited numerous relatives, went to two Disney parks and even found time to go to the beach and catch a movie. It was fun, we loved it and it was one of those vacations that you have to come home and rest from.

Some photographic evidence:



Cinderella's Castle in Magic Kingdom
They had extended hours that night and we stayed until 2AM. It's a lot more fun when you can get off a ride then get right back on...several times.


HEEEEERE'S MICKEY

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Anyway, it was a good thing that I came back to a two day work week and a three day weekend. Of course my youngest had a Show Choir competition on Saturday and I had to have her to the school by 6AM to catch the bus. Rather than going back home and going back to bed I went and got myself some coffee and breakfast, did a little writing, enjoyed the extremely wet sunrise, then went to the shooting range and shot in a rifle match. Who knew there were all those extra hours in a day if you get up before ten? I'm definitely not a morning person and I do love my sleep but there is something enjoyable about getting up early when you don't have to rush off to work and can actually enjoy it. I still had time to do all the yard work that I usually do after I got home. That had to be done since we had been gone the previous weekend and we've been getting a hellacious amount of rain and the grass was about knee-high to a well digger's ass in Montana. We'd started picking the dogs up and tossing them into the grass because they wouldn't walk into it.

Speaking of rain. Sunday was Mother's Day of course and my wife was thrilled to have all three of her little girls home. They did a superb job of giving mom the special treatment. We still do the breakfast in bed thing only now they're old enough to handle it all themselves. I still get up out of habit but I've been shifted into more of a supervisory role. We had a lovely day. An extremely wet, soggy, deluge of a day, but lovely none-the-less. Of course the tradition in our house on special days is that the honoree gets to select the menu for dinner. My wife had decided a few days earlier that she wanted grilled steaks and grilled vegetables for Mother's day and had even procured all the necessary ingredients. The conversation before dinner went something like this:

Me: (looking out the back window thinking, "Christ, is it too late to start building an ark?") Honey, do you still want those steaks?

Leslie: Yeah honey, I kinda do.

Me: And you want them, like, grilled, like outside...on the grill? Not cooked in the oven?

Leslie: They're not as good in the oven. You just can't beat a good steak grilled...outside...on the grill.

Me: 'Cause, you know, if you really want them cooked on the grill I'll go out and try to get the coals lit.

Leslie: Yeah, I really kinda do.

Me: You know, 'cause, I love you, and if you REALLY want them...

Leslie: Yep, I really do.

Me: Okay.



More on this at Leslie's blog today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Everybody Put Your Hands Together

Okay, now take them apart because you're going to need one of them. It's...



National Masturbation Month!!!




That's right everyone, back in 1995 the good folks at Good Vibrations (a great Internet merchant with excellent customer service and yes I know from personal experience) declared the lusty month of May then and forever hence to be National Masturbation Month. No, I'm not pulling your...er...leg or yanking your chain. That's for you to do this month.




Here's a Men's Health Magazine blog post that provides links to articles describing all sorts of health benefits and other good things that can happen to you if you regularly choke the chicken, spank the monkey or otherwise manually abuse members of the animal kingdom in a figurative sense. Of course folks like George Michael and Pee Wee Herman know that some bad things can happen too but hey in masturbation, just as in Real Estate, the three most important things to remember are location, location, location.




I'm not just talking to the men here ladies, fear not. This is not a guys only celebration, you deserve some recognition too. Go on. Give yourselves a hand. and if that hand happens to have a little vibratory assistance so much the better.



I wonder if I can talk the people running our wellness program into sponsoring some special activities at work. It would be a lot more productive that most of the meeting I attend and there would probably be less yanking.

In any case I truly hope that this special month is widely observed. This country and indeed, the whole world needs to lighten up. Stimulate the economy by spending some of that tax rebate check on lube and tissues. Fly solo or even better, grab a friend (with their permission of course) and let's see everyone cheerful and grinning like idiots on June 1st!




This seemed somehow appropriate. I don't particularly care for this version of Camelot but it's all I could find. Tra La!





Tuesday, April 29, 2008

If Only It Weren't True

Just a quick funny. Or maybe not.


A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, 'I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.' I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.'

'Naturally I assumed you had stolen the car.'