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End of an era...Really.

12/31/2005

Today I'm going to buy a new (to me) car.

I've narrowed my choices down to three.

Two I can pay for in cash, but have lots of miles, almost half of what my car has, and one off lease car that is absolutely beautiful (drool, drool) but I'd have a car payment again.

I'm hauling ass up to Cincinatti to check out the one I wasn't able to drive yesterday, I suspect I'll buy it. I'm bringing a briefcase full of cash. (I'll be wearing a red carnation in my buttonhole too.)

I had a hell of a night (Damn YOU DAVE RAMESEY!) trying to figure out how new of a car to get, I hate buying cars. Hate it.

Covert CIA program withstands new furor - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com

12/30/2005

I love the caption for the picture on this article.

A. John Radsan, a former CIA lawyer who now teaches, says President Bush is breaking down the barriers between covert action and conventional war.


Oh yeah, that was Bush who did that, not al-Qaida. I'm glad you cleared that up, John.

Idiot.

This is what happens when they let a non-techy cover the Internet.

12/29/2005

Scared yet?

Anick Jesdanun is a hack writer for the AP who allegedy covers the internet. Who likes to scare people.
Especially people who don't know anything about computers. or how they work.
Scare people, and they'll let you write for the AP too.

Here's an oldie but goodie.
And another.

Hey, look at that! I'm not the only guy who thinks this guys a hack.

I bet this guy can't wait to get transferred to the weather desk, or maybe the medical beat.

I need one of these.

But at fifty bucks it's a stretch. especially when Wal-Mart's open 24 hours and you can just go and get a replacement remote for 10 bucks. I've got about a dozen now. Of course, once you find the first remote you never lose the replacement, until you lose the original remote again. I think twice per year all of the remotes in your house go somewhere and party. You know, like sharks. They take your sunglasses and any opened pack of gum with them.

They must go to the beach, wear the sunglasses and eat the gum. Sneaky bastards.

The Chicago Tribune takes one month to discover what it will take the Senate two more years.

12/28/2005

Chicago Tribune | Judging the case for war

Of course some people will never give this story any creedance, and at this point I could care less.

Other News:

I have a Jimmy Neutron Band-Aid on my boo-boo. Jimmy Neutron is the coolest show on TV. Bar none. Spongebob? HAH. Storm Stories? Please, while watching fat women get pulled out of half-submerged Dodge Omni's is a compelling way to spend an hour, it can't hold a candle to a boy who can build a robot dog out of a toaster. That's just damn fine TV watching right there.

Two Years

12/27/2005

I started this blog two years ago today.

Nothing's really changed around here since I started. I changed the teplate twice, added my brother to the contributors, got rid of my blogroll and added a bunch of crap to the sidebar. Other than that, nothing.

Wait, I changed some of the font colors and added a link to brew-masters.

Since I started this blog, I've had another kid, moved to a new house and changed jobs. I've toned down my language thanks to my wife and re-gained about 10 pounds thanks to Breyers ice cream.
I'm about fed up with both of my cars.

I turned 35 years old last Friday. I remember when my oldest son was born and I thought, "wow, when this kid is ten years old I'll be 34." and I thought that was a long way off. Now I think," Oh my God, this kid'll be in college in eight years, I don't have enought time to get ready!"

My "new computer" is two years old. I made sure that it was spec'ed out to be able to run Doom3 when I bought it. I still haven't bought Doom3.

The youngest is now almost two years old. That means I have about one more year of cleaning up shitty diapers before he's potty trained. As soon as that kid is crapping on the toilet, I'm shooting the cat. I will never clean up someone else's shit again. Unless I have another kid. Or something else horrible happens to my wife. But in that case, I'll hire a nurse. A hot young nurse in a short skirt and a little nurse hat. I'll pinch her ass when she walks by and she'll say something cute in Swedish and slap my hand. At least I'll think its cute, but she'll really be saying something like, "Touch my ass again you wrinkly old bastard and I'll double the rat poison I put in your Metamucil." Then she'll marry one of my sons without a pre-nup and spend her first four years of alimony on tatoos and the next five supporting her pimp, "Cholly O"'s, meth habit. I'll have to spend the money I had put away from the fourth-place finish in the Sunset Arms' bocce tournament to have them both killed outside of a Circle K in Elk City, Oklahoma. I'll end up paying so much blackmail to "Cholly's ex-wife and her boyfreind who did the hit, that the Sunset Arms will kick me out for non-payment. I'll end up luring those two bastards out to the trailer I'm renting off of 356 in Scott county and killing them both, one with a shovel to the head and one with a rigged Bic lighter. Of course I'll end up breaking my hip during the struggle over the shovel. I'll manage to crawl to the carport, and try to climb up the stairs to the house, but I'll end up falling among the overfilled and very smelly trashcans, where I will succumb to hypothermia and dehydration. Then the raccoons will come, attracted by the smell of the garbage and rotting me, and they'll spread my bones around the yard. The landlord will show up when the rent is three weeks late with his bottle of pepper spray and blackjack ready in case I'd been drinking. He'll call the cops who'll initially write it off as a Coyote attack, but one enterprising young officer will find a fragment of the boyfriend's skull in the ash heap. The ex-wife's body will never be found. The sheriff, who by that time is my third son, will quash the investigation by starting a brush fire that effectively destroys any evidence. All will be well until the Oklahoma State Patrol pulls over my second son in the pimp's '92 Cutlass Ciera for open container and no registration while storm chasing. Seems, he never really gave up on his Swedish sweetie and has been driving around in what he thought was her car from cheap motel to cheap motel, drinking peach schnappd and desperatley looking for her. He's been making a living selling tornado videos to local TV news, but in all this time, he never noticed the strands of hair in the trunk.

He'll call my oldest from the county lock-up. My oldest, who by now is a very successful lawyer and campaign manager for my youngest son who is just out of the service and running for mayor of an unnamed north-eastern metropolis on his war record. A record, which is of course, not really his, but was lifted from the posthumous medal citation of a young man in his unit. A young man, who saved the life of his beloved "Louie". My oldest realizes that his youngest brother will never get elected if another scandal hits the papers. There is already a scandal brewing since my youngest has been killing his guilt with outrageous drunken stag parties held in a suite of hotel rooms paid for by the outgoing mayor's political slush fund and a local car dealer\baseball club owner who's playing political fixer to get a new ballpark. A ballpark that not so coincedentally happens to be my youngest son's big campaign issue. My oldest has managed to head off any real notice of this scandal by bedding the dogged and veteran political reporter who's been digging into this issue. She's a tough but extremely attractive, with a lot to prove because she'a a woman. Oh, she knows he's married, she didn't get to where she is by having any allusions, but there's something about him, besides the good looks and power. . . something else...

Then one early morning she wakes up in a motel room after my oldest has left in a panic in the middle of the night. She heard him say, "yes he is my brother" and "don't do a thing until I get there.", then he kissed her on the cheek, said, "I gotta take a plane ride...for a client" before he bailed out. He had been scribbling on the end page of the Gideon bible, but he tore out the page and all she could make out from the impression on the cover was "Scott County Sheriff - 812-2". She immediately called her boss,"Tony, where's the 812 area code?"

"Indiana," he said, "Where are you Cookie?" Cookie, her nickname, they called her that because she was one, a tough cookie who never took any crap, but she let them use the nickname to show she could take the ribbing, just like the guys in the newsroom.
"Look, I gotta go somewhere.", she was deliberately trying to be vaugue.
"Where Cook? You've got a deadline in less than three weeks you've got to make, you've spent too much time on this as it is, maybe you're in too deep. Maybe there's nothing there."
"Oh there's something there Tony, I'm sure of it. But I think there's something bigger than we originally thought. I need to go to Indiana, make some excuses. I'll..I'll be back in a week."
"Cook, you can't expense. . . ."click, she hung up.

Thirteen hours later she was packed, planed and landed and pulling up to the front of the Sheriff's office in Scott county Indiana where she found a tall, blond man in a uniform sitting on a folding chair playing a Gameboy while trying to eat Wendy's Chili. She asked for the Sheriff, not too politely, these hicks need to know who'se boss, she thought.

"Well," says Gomer, "Sheriff's at lunch, if you want to come back in an hour, you can make your complaint."
"I wasn't going to make a complaint"
"Well," he said, still playing the Gameboy, "you sound kind of mad."
"I'm not mad, I'm from a big unnamed Northeastern City, and we all talk like that"
"Maybe that's why you're all stressed out."
"I'm not stressed out, I was on a plane, I just flew in. I'm looking for someone the Sheriff might know."
"Lawyer?"
"Reporter."
"Don't know many reporters. Know lots of lawyers. You'd have a better chance asking for a lawyer."
"I'm asking for the Sheriff."
"I know him pretty well and he doesn't know many reporters either, when did he get here?"
"SHE just got here and I am SHE and I'm not looking for a reporter I am looking for a man!"
"Really?" he grinned. I can help with that. I'm the Sheriff.
And he stood up, six feet two, one ninety, blond hair and blue eyes. Tanned face and good teeth. Exactly what my oldest would have looked like six years and two wives ago.

Cookie took it all in...

TBC...

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Get ready for the dance of The Beast

12/22/2005

The Eoin Dance

For family on the holidays.

Gone fishing....

12/20/2005

Not really, I have to go out of town for work. I won't be posting the next couple of days, unless I really feel like it. I'm sure I'll do the Christmas thing and post me some pictures.

Come next Tuesday I'll have been posting for two years. That's pretty interesting, maybe I'll do something to celebrate. In the meantime, enjoy Christmas, I will.

We want jobs!

Give us some Jews to shoot at!

I could see something like this happening in Philadelphia, masked gunmen asking for jobs. The roofers, maybe.

But, how do you get a job when you apply with a mask on?

Bankruptcy law backfires on credit card issuers... Oh please.

12/19/2005

MSN Money assumes that when banks spend billions to get a law passed they don't really know what they are doing. Crap. Did this writer expect that there would be immediate benefit resulting from the new law? As in, the law gets passed, the banks make more money? Does she think the banks didn't prepare for the surge in bankruptcy filings before and directly after the law took effect? Please.

These guys are bankers, not writers, what they do is cut and dried. They might tell some shlub who works in their PR dept to make it look as if they are suprised at the effect the new law has to the nice reporter who calls them up after seeing the press release, but they wrote the law and know how it works.

Look, when a bank lets you take out an unsecured loan at 18% to pay for your Christmas presents, they aren't giving you a gift. They've got money to make, in the old days, you could go to court and they would get the shaft, rightly so, because they did not do their due-diligence on you before they gave you the loan. Now, when you decide to shaft the people who loaned you money, these little unsecured loans are going to get paid back. Trust me. Especially if you are trying to be fair.

I feel bad for the people who had no choice. People who have had a medical issue and fell back on credit cards to pay the bills, and didn't understand what it would really cost them. People who really and truely don't understand how credit works, people who buy into the advertising. People who just buy a lot of crap, then end up in debt up to their eyeballs because they wanted a lawn tractor that'll finish the lawn in 20 minutes instead of the push mower that takes all frikin day, well, those guys I don't feel so bad for.

Banks are a business. I think they are a good business to have around, but they aren't doing anything for free. Understand that.

Get rid of your credit cards. Save up if you want something. It's not as hard as you (or I ) think.

(This message provided as a public service by a guy who REALLY REALLY REALLY wants a new car, and a lawn tractor, and a big TV.)

OK, I'm torn...

12/18/2005

Here's a story. On the one hand, I don't want my kids to be able to buy adult oriented video games. On the other hand, I don't want the government to tell me what's appropriate and what's not. So, what should I do?

I have an answer, but it means I will actually have to pay attention to what my kids are doing. It means I have to look at the games that they are playing. It means that I MAY have to do some parenting.

I think it's time to vote everybody out and start fresh. Two new parties, re-draw the lines. Have a Common Sense party made up of people who think that the average American has at least SOME idea of what they are doing, and a Babysitter party, made up of people who think we are all going to kill ourselves if we don't do what they tell us to do. Ad in a fringe third party of people who think we're all too stupid to make decisions and another one that thinks we can spend our way out of anything no matter how little money we have in the bank. See who gets the votes.

I guarantee some confused partisans after that vote.

A WIN!

12/17/2005

HOLY COW!

27-28

Judging from what I've seen, Madison is going to have a really good program in a couple of years, Shawe will struggle but watch out for MCHS.

A technical?

Changes everything.  4 point game in the fourth, their best shooter on the bench, might have a chance after all.

At the half

Great shooting by eggleston and a rotten rebounding by ' has eggleston up 21 to 12. 

Eggleston's a good little team, runnning tight plays.  A couple of good long-range shooters and a big guy in the middle are giving PJ2 more than they can handle.

They're putting Hayen in the middle to counter the big guy, seems to be working out OK, but it's all uphill from here

Woot! It's 5th grade basketball time again!

Pope John 1 just beat Pope John 3 14-7
Game was closer than the score looks.

Pope John 2 is playing Eggleston

Thoughts About Funeral Services

Fellow Prep grad and Villanova Alumnus Joe Sherlock sent me an email and asked that I post link to this piece on funerals. Joe recently suffered a loss in his family and I'd like to send my condolences

Here's the link, it's very educational.

Mike Wallace

12/16/2005

OK, you can skip the Morgan Freeman interview, because, well, Morgan's right. . . and take a look at the "reporter's notebook" video to the right of the page. What the hell is that? I know this is just the web, and Mike Wallace is getting old, but damn! They should not have let that get out.

Irrespective of political leanings, Mike Wallace is a great interviewer. If he's losing it, he needs to stop. He is, after all VERY OLD and television does not work with old. Mike, hang up the makeup and write books. I have a lot of respect for you, but you sound drunk. People will begin to drag you down, and frankly, with your personality, I'm sure you'll make it worse. Avoid the pile on, step away from the camera.

GM limits severance pay for salaried workers.

12/15/2005

If you work for GM, get a new job. Seriously.

I've been for a ride on a sinking ship, herding people into lifeboats and setting them adrift while I cling to the hope that the Captain can get the boat to safe harbor. It doesn't happen. I ended up working my ass off for two years, giving myself an ulcer and almost ruining my marriage, and I got let go anyway. It took me four years to get back to the salary that I lost when I lost that job, and I didn't miss it. Well, I missed the money, I can't lie about that, but I sure as hell thought it was a pretty good trade. Mental and physical health for a couple of years of store brand food and clothes? Worked out all right for me. and if you think about it, I was unemployed, so any job I got was actually a raise.

Anyway, not to put too fine a point on it, GM is in trouble, if I was in a managerial or other white collar job at GM, my resume would be everywhere and my house would be for sale. I'd be on every re-lo board in the internet universe and calling everyone I knew in college, because it's time for a new job. Learned my damn lesson.

Also, if I was working the line? Time to hop on the internet and see where a guy with experience could get a good job. Might have to take a hit, but you're gonna take one sooner or later anyway. Besides, it's not a promise if the company can take it away later anyway, and you don't want to be a 70 year old guy on a fixed income, with a new Impala that needs $600 dollars worth of gasket work, who just found out his health insurance co-pay just tripled. The 401k you had all in GM stock is worth 1/3 of what it was when you retired and Wal-Mart isn't hiring because they were zoned out of your neighborhood.

(There were no references to the Unions made in this post)

(Really)

When the man can get the words out, he does good.

"One of the blessings of our free society is that we can debate these issues openly, even in a time of war. Most of the debate has been a credit to our democracy, but some have launched irresponsible charges. They say that we act because of oil, that we act in Iraq because of Israel, or because we misled the American people. Some of the most irresponsible comments about manipulating intelligence have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence we saw, and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. These charges are pure politics. They hurt the morale of our troops. Whatever our differences in Washington, our men and women in uniform deserve to know that once our politicians vote to send them into harm's way, our support will be with them in good days and bad, and we will settle for nothing less than complete victory."

Go to Redstate.org to read the rest

You know you have a toddler in the house when...

12/14/2005

 


Your Christmas tree is in a playpen. We spent several agonizing hours deciding where we should put it (not really) and dropped it in the unfinished living room. Curtains are up, but there's no paint on the walls. Anyway, we had the whole thing up and decorated and looking OK until Skippy woke up. In about ten minutes he had managed to strip the bottom three feet of the tree bare. So up went the toddler gates in the doorway.

Skippy's ninja powers laugh at my toddler gates. A fiend of mine who has six kids recommended the playpen idea. Works OK, Skippy may be a ninja, but he's a short ninja.

Speaking of ninjas, there's another one in the picture, looks like I'm infested. Gotta call an exterminator. Posted by Picasa

Deep Blue

12/13/2005

I'm in a funk, and not in the mood to do anything, much less post the comic opera that I spent an hour writing yesterday. No one's home, I'm alone inn my basement waiting for my next conference call to start.

In no mood to do anything, especially the paperwork I need to do to finish out the year. I spent the morning balancing the expense account. Yay.

Miserable.

Feh.

Bleh.

Final score

12/10/2005

Pope John white 20
Green 12

Brutal defense from both teams, a nearly scoreless 3rd and great shooting by the white team made the difference in the end, great game.

Half time

Final EO Muncie 30 Dupont 18
At the half:
Pope John white 10
Pope John green (Hayden's team) 9

Very exciting so far, these kids play like they mean it.  It's Pacers v Pistons time at the Brown Gym.

I'll bring the camera next time.

Update at the end.

It's Basketball season in Indiana!

Pope John 1 against Pope John 2 in the Brown Gym in Madison.  4th and 5th Grade full-court basketball.  Dinner in the crock-pot, Christmas decorations up, and driveway shovelled.  Nice way to spend a winter day.  I'll let you know how Hayden does.

Trying to be nice...

12/09/2005

OK, the anniversary of John Lennon's death was yesterday. He died an awful death. Hell, it was murder, right? It was a tragedy for his family, much like the tragedy here in Madison this week, truly awful.

That being said...

"Imagine" is a terrible song. Monotonous and droning, full of platitudes and blue-sky bullshit. He's done better.

What really pisses me off about the murder of John Lennon though, what really pisses me off is that the murder of John Lennon gave Paul McCarteny free reign to phone in some of the worst popular music ever made.

Case in point: "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time".

This song, and this song alone, has the power to ruin Christmas for me. This garbage runs through me like All-Bran deep fried in Olestra. What the hell was he thinking? "Say, Say, Say"? Alright, I can handle, elevator music. "Ebony and Ivory"? A grab for cash, Jagger did it too, worse, but I can understand money, but the Christmas song? That has secured a place in hell for this man, and also proven, to me, if not others, that the real Paul died in 1966. There is no other explanation for this aural abortion.

So when December rolls around, and the anniversary of John Lennon's death nears, turn on your radio and get depressed. Because the one good Beatle is dead, and McCarteny is still out there, playing Red Square like it's 1983 and anyone really cares.

This is obviously wrong....

12/08/2005

Have they never heard of hot flashes? I have yet to meet a married man who hasn't been awakened (someone help me with tense, please!) in the middle of a freezing night with the covers thrown off of the bed because his delicate flower is "sweating to death".

I can personally attest to the effects of the broiling furnace that is the female body and would also like to point out that women as a general rule, pump more crap into the atmosphere than men. Think about it, men may contribute slightly more methane (in the morning) but women have beauty products almost to themselves. Misters, atomizers, aerosols, not to mention the atmospheric effects of all the solvent-based nail polish. Clothes, stuffed animals, curtains, throw pillows, tea cups, dyeable shoes, hummels, all of this crap is filling our landfills. Why?

Women.

I'm so sick of the whining women do about "the patriarchy". Anyone with a brain, that is, a man, can see that "the patriarchy" is a myth and women run the show. Three quarters of the crap men buy they buy for one purpose.

They are trying to get laid.

Think about it for a second, do you think that I, in my right mind, would have ever bought a bottle of cologne for myself? Hell no! BMW's, Mountain Bikes, wine racks, imported cheeses, flowers, deodorant, minivans, anything made out of china, any movie with the "Pretty Woman" chick in it, strawberries, matching scarves and gloves, any coat that doesn't say "Carhart" on it, Scope, the fucking Bee Gees, Volkswagens, tea, oriental carpets, coasters, anything "French Country", Meg fucking Ryan, pink ties, baskets, the goddam "Pampered Chef", throw pillows, collectable spoons, any pen not made by Bic, any calendar not sent for free by a tire company, if men were really in charge none of this shit would even exist!

If men really ruled the planet the biggest threat to the environment would be empty Jergens bottles and broken TVs. Practically everything else a man needs can be flushed down the toilet. Women create this biohazard corner in every bathroom and expect men to carry the shit out to the garbage every week. But WE'RE the ones fucking up the environment?

Someone should tell those hairy-legged hippy bitches to shut the hell up and open their own jar of pickels. They're just fucking lucky we don't run them over with the shiny new car we bought to impress their hot skinny friend.

Something Terrible

An acquaintance, a friend of friends and a new father, died of a massive heart attack during a basketball game Tuesday night. He was 32 years old.

Maddmom was at the hospital visiting a friend who had just had her appendix out when his wife and child arrived, she helped take care of the baby until the rest of the family were able to get there. She knew the family better than I did, they used to live on the lake with us and maddmom is pretty outgoing. The family is in complete shock, so is the town. In a town this small everyone knows everyone, and this family owns a local flooring and lighting store, so at the very least, everyone knows the name.

I was a nodding acquaintance at best, but even still, I was really upset to hear about this. He had a young family and his whole life ahead of him. Those poor people.

Even this didn't cheer me up.

12/07/2005

Lejo

A little Trivia

What do Joey Bishop, Buddy Greco, Al Martino, Mario Lanza, Chubby Checker, Jack Klugman, Eddie Fisher, Marion Anderson, Frankie Avalon and Fabian have in common with
href="http://www.vocalhalloffame.com/Inductees/four_aces.htm">Al Alberts of the Four Aces? (Warning, very nice wav file plays.)

South Philly High, of course.

Why was I thinking about Al Alberts? I was up late last night and saw a clip of "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" and fell into a pit of Nostalgia.

Last night was no good, but Al is still alive and living in Florida, that's nice.

Second in a series of posts on Undying Truths

12/06/2005

Chances are, anyone who claims to be a decorated Special Forces veteran and a "Native American" is probably neither. Don't believe a word of anything he says about anything. Unless you're Bill O'Reilly, then we can't stop you looking out for the little guy.

On a related topic, in 1995, I lived in Atlanta, Sean Hannity was a radio host there. One of his promos went, "..more conservative than Rush Limbaugh and listens to Nine Inch Nails...". Now I knew that was bullshit then, because I actually did listen to Nine Inch Nails at the time and Rush Limbaugh because at the time my car radio would only pick up AM stations and the only tape ("tape", isn't that cute?) I had was a mix of NIN, White Zombie and Jane's Addiction on one side with a bootleg of live Dire Straits on the other. Besides, it wasn't a year later, Newt Gingrich got busted on the same bullshit. Now the guy is some sort of North Jersey Redneck? Guy wouldn't know country if it ran him over with a '53 Farmall. God, that guy annoys me.

I was driving back home from Cleveland last night and reveling in the coolness that is Am radio. When the weather is right, you can pick up stations from all over the country. Last night between Lawrenceburg and Madison ,Indiana I listened to nothing but sports talk from Boston, NYC, Chicago and a station near Pheonix. I also got a local talker from Philly bitching about some guys from LaSalle falsely accused of rape.
I thought that guy graduated?

speaking of sports talk, right now the most fun sports talk is coming out of Cincinnati. These guys don't have any idea what it is they are supposed to be doing. It's been almost fifteen years since they've had a winning season and they were not ready. At all.

Oh yeah, I'm about two games away from rooting for the Colts. Call me turncoat, whatever, I can't watch the Eagles anymore.

Since everyone else is piling on

About the trouble with domestic automakers, I figured this might be a good time to write about my latest rental-car experience.

I've been driving a Mazda3 hatchback for a couple of days, to and from Cleveland, I've put about 800 miles on that bad-boy and I'll tell you, it's not a bad little car.

It's not comfortable at all, but it's not a bad car. It's solid, a little noisy at highway speeds, VERY FAST, and handles really, really well. If it had more front legroom, and the seats weren't directly on the floor of the car, it might have been better, but this car suffered from the same problem my old Mazda Protege suffered from.

The damn steering wheel was too far away.

In order for my knees no not bang against the ignition, I had to put the seat all of the way back, AND recline the back of the seat. If I did this, I could barely reach the wheel, seeing as it was attached directly to the front of the dash. I mean no stem, or telescoping at all, BAM! It was right there. So I had to drive with my legs at a weird angle, with the side of my knee rubbing against the center stack. Really got annoying after the first 400 miles. The next 400 were just painful. As far as everything else goes, around town, it's a nice little commuter, if you're a 16 year-old girl, or one of those confused suburban white boys who wear gold chains and upside-down tennis visors.

Definately a car marketed to the younger crowd, direct competition to the Grand Am I drove in Houston. The only difference was, where the Grand Am interior looked like it was about to fall apart, the Mazda3 interior was sleek and attractive, in a boy-racer kind of way. Both cars were fast, but eighty in the Grand Am was like 110 in the Mazda, there was no comparison in the handling or braking department. The Mazda could do both, the Grand Am could do neither. Just a thought, but I thought the best car news over the last year or two was the discontinuation of the Pontiac Grand Am. What a hunk of crap.

So, it wasn't a car for me, but it was fun, and I did come away with a perception of quality, and I may even take a look at the more grown-up Mazdas when the time comes to replace the old volvo. I will really miss the Mazda's get-up and go and even the little hatchback it had, nice little place to drop your luggage. The car got about 25 mpg combined, about the same as my volvo with about 50 more horses.

The only other complaint I had was that the controls on the steering wheel were backwards. The Mazda has a center console with and armrest, a nice little feature on a long highway drive. But the cruise control buttons were on the right-hand spoke of the steering wheel. So if I wanted to change speed, I had to use my right hand, instead of just pressing the button under my left thumb. I figure it's a holdover from left-hand drive Japan, but it was a little irritating.

So I liked the way the car drove, I liked the looks from the outside, the hatchback was useful and it handled well in the snow around Cleveland. The interior was high-quality, but ugly and the driver's position sucked. To be completely honest, the car I would mostly compare this one to would be the Malibu Maxx that I drove this summer in Maryland. I like the Mazda better.

News from the Family

As we get closer to the Holidays, it's always a good thing to see what your brothers have been up to.

I knew he'd been out of the country, but when he told me he was getting "lots of snugglebunnies" this wasn't exactly that popped into my head.

But, you know, more power to him and all that, and I hope the anti-psycotics work out all right.

Gratuitous Baby Picture

12/02/2005

 
 Posted by Picasa

EVERYBODY PANIC!

PJM News - Few U.S. Companies Ready for Flu Pandemic (6558092/AP)

They aren't ready because they don't have to be ready. Did everything shut down during the 1918 flu? No. They put up no spitting signs and carried on. People deal. In 1918 4000 people died in one week in the city of Philadelphia alone. Did peope stop going to work? No. In 1918 Philadelphia had one of the highest rates of industrial output in the world. Did the whole world shut down? See this book for clarification, and for information on how people handled the flu epidemic (hint: they did not run screaming into the countryside) see this book. Try to remember that in 1918 Ty Cobb hit .382 for the season. Then chill out and look on the bright side, if you don't die you will live, and probably get a raise. If you die, it's not really your problem now, is it?

OK, This is Your "Respect Life" Twofer for Today.

12/01/2005

Euthanasia Doctor Commits Suicide after Finding Patient He Killed Was Not Terminally Ill

Why exactly should we feel bad for a guy that not only did not respect the dead woman's life enough to kill her, but also did not respect his own enough to keep from killing himself? Did he see suicide as some sort of punishment? If it is, then why did he kill other people? If it isn't a bad thing, why did he kill himself? It's just a walk in the park, right? No different than choosing to go jogging, or having a bowl of soup. A choice.

Why should we feel bad?

Why did he feel bad? She obviously wanted to die, that's what he was there for. I don't understand, someone explain to me why that woman killing herself would have any affect on this man at all?

The Haircut Window and Other Thoughts

I've got a window of about two days between the time I think I might need a haircut and having hair like George Michael circa 1984. That is, big and floppy. I am jealous of people who can schedule the haircut thing, I just can't make the time. It always takes at least an hour to get my hair cut, and the only guy who cuts it well takes almost two. It's just a regular barber cut, but the guy just won't stop talking. Anyway, I'm about a week overdue and I was going to go today, but I got suckered in to an emergency at work this afternoon. No chance of making it. Looks like it'll be the third string meth addict at Fantastic Sam's at nine tonight.

Number two son dropped a 12 pound frozen turkey on his foot last night. Hurt like hell, poor kid, but it isn't broke. What was funny was that maddmom said to me, not two seconds before he did it, "go help him cary that turkey, he'll drop it on his foot." Well, we know how that turned out.

Today would have been a good day to put up the Chrstmas lights. I always seem to pick the worst day of the year to put up the lights. It has to be raining, or sleeting, freezing cold and dark, like today. By not putting them up today I am risking being outside on a ladder in white-out conditions, because that's the only thing that could be worse.

Watched "the Hunt for Red October" last night. I had to, it might not be on for another week. Great movie, but totally ridiculous. I gotta say though, Alec Baldwin was a better Jack Ryan than Harrison Ford. Sorry Harrison, you are much cooler than Alec, but he was just better. 'nuff said.

I've been transferring all of my home movies from videotape to DVD with a video capture set up I bought at Aldi. Very cool to see the old houses and the older kids as babies. Funny, in 1996 I did all of my Christmas shopping on-line. Amazon, J&R audio and all sorts of now-defunct sites were great. 1997 came around and I decided ordering on-line was a luxury. That was the year that Toys-R-Us almost killed my Christmas. I has ordered tons of stuff from Toys-R-Us and they couldn't ship any of it before Christmas, but they charged me, you couldn't do returns on-line and basically, they just screwed everything up. So I went back to the stores. Occasionally, I'd order a book from Amazon, or get some car parts off of e-bay, but no more full scale buying. This year is different. There are tremendous deals on shipping if you look hard enough, and with gas up around 2 bucks still, it'll cost me more to drive to the mall than it will to ship anyway. I'm going to end up doing most of my shopping on-line again, I'm sure it will go much better now.

If you are thinking of getting me something for Christmas, you can't go wrong with <these No, I'm not kidding.