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!


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.
What is Constitution Day? Constitution Day resources.
The Constitutional Convention and the ratification process.
The U.S. Constitution.
Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution.
The Constitution Explained.
Constitutional Topic: Rights and Responsibilities.
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.



Quinn L. and Lyra K.
New York, NY

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 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.


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


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.