Saturday, July 31, 2004

7/31/04

So, here we are, the last day of July. Summer is almost over and I can't help but think that I missed it somehow.

Also, I got screwed at work yesterday.

It all stemmed from an incident that happened last Wednesday. I won't bore you with the details here, but suffice it to say that I lost my temper (I have a notoriously short fuse). Anyhoo, I discussed the matter with my union steward and I had thought the matter closed. When nothing more was said, I figured no harm, no foul. Case closed.

Hang on.

So yesterday, I get called into my supervisor's office and handed a write-up. I was livid. Fortunately, I remained calm, but inside I was seething with rage. I should point out that they did this at 4:20 on a Friday afternoon, when half the office was gone, including our chief union steward.

Rest assured that I'm going to nail them to the wall on this one. And I have a strong union to fight beside me.

I've heard of places where union and management have a good working relationship, and where they don't screw people like this.

Believe me, my office is NOT one of them!

What really pisses me off was the smug looks I kept getting from my stuporvisors. I plan to wipe those looks right off their faces.

With sandpaper if necessary.

Posting more journal entries

>>>This is the last batch of entries for June


6/25/2004

Take a look at the date above.

Now, let me describe the weather.

It’s currently 55 degrees. It’s raining outside. There is a cold breeze blowing. I almost had to wear a jacket coming to work this morning.

Oh yeah, did I mention that it’s JUNE FUCKING 25TH!!

I think somehow we skipped summer. Since the beginning of June, I think we’ve had maybe ONE day where the temp was over 90.

Having recently seen The Day After Tomorrow, and having seen what can happen when the Atlantic climate changes (or at least the Hollywood version of what can happen), I can’t help but wonder.

Summer is never pleasant here in Toledo. This is a town of weather extremes. It’s either very hot, or very cold (sometimes in the same day!) There is very little in between. But this is getting ridiculous.

Did we somehow skip summer and go straight into fall.

Let’s see:

Long days? Check.

Leaves all green? Check.

Kiddie pools filled? Check.

Hot summer weather? Oopsie!

I suppose I should be grateful. At least it’s not 98 degrees with 100 percent humidity. On the other hand, I’d like to be able to sleep at night without piling on two blankets.

Sigh.

6/26/04

So…my garage is falling down.

Not so much falling down as the roof is collapsing. It’s good to be specific about such things.

And there are cracks in the slab.

And two roof beams are cracked.

And there is rot on the walls.

And the shingles need to be replaced.

OK, so maybe it is falling down.

I can’t wait to see how much it’ll take to fix it.

Megabucks!

That I don’t have!

SHIT!

6/27/04

Well, they’ve been out to look at it.

OF course, part of the problem with the damage might be coming from the HUGE SINKHOLE that’s behind my garage. Apparently there’s a sanitary sewer running along the back of all the properties on my side of the street. It’s caused problems for both of my neighbors, and now it’s doing the same for me.

A bigger problem may be all the boards and other lumber that’s placed on the crossbeams of my roof.

The biggest problem, of course, may be that my garage was built back in the ‘50s and has never had any work done on it.

Ah, the joys of home ownership!

6/28/04


The final one about my garage (for now):

The first estimate is in: $2500

Now, I’ve had at least two people tell me they know people who can do the job for less. Much less. The trouble is, they’re both people who do this kind of work on the side. I’m in a dilemma.

Do I hire an established building contractor, one who does this sort of thing for a living, or do I hire someone who only does it on the side?

If I’ve learned one thing in my more than 36 years walking this earth, it’s that you get what you pay for—at least in most cases.

So. Do I pay for the good job, or do I get the bargain contractor and take my chances?

Decisions, decisions.

6/29/2004

Busy. Busy. Can’t write today. You go away!

6/30/04


God, I can’t believe it’s the last day of June. The year is half over already.

We finally are getting some summer-like weather. It’s about time. Of course, with global warming causing the ice shelf to break off, thus changing the saline balance of the ocean, thus disrupting the Atlantic current, thus causing a new global ice age, how much longer can it last.

Hey, I saw The Day After Tomorrow. Hollywood would never lie to me, right? Right? Hello? Is this thing on?

OK, so maybe the movie was overblown a little. But as I sleep at night at the end of June under a flannel sheet and a comforter, it makes me wonder sometimes.

Of course, Hollywood has never had a problem stretching the rules of logic, physics, or even basic common sense. There are entire websites devoted to pointing out the flaws of movies.

That doesn’t mean they’re not entertaining by any stretch of the imagination. Spiderman 2 opens this weekend, and I plan to go see it.

I know. It’s not based in reality. Who gives a shit? It’s fun!

As I wind up this last journal entry for June, I scroll back through it and see what my month was like. This is more for me to recall past events than anything else.

See you in July!

Friday, July 30, 2004

More journal entries

Here is the latest batch of journal entries in an attempt to catch up:

(extra entries today in case I don't get to it over the weekend)
6/16/2004

HOLY SHIT! THE PISTONS ARE THE CHAMPS!!!

And the Lakers are the chumps!

I watched most of the second half of the game last night, and it was a joke.

The Lakers looked like they were just going through the motions. The Pistons looked like the championship-quality team they were AND are.

Let’s face it--that series should have been over last Sunday. If they had just fouled Kobe before he took his shot, the Pistons would have won.

As it were, I think winning ONE game of a four game series is more humiliating than winning none.

Think about it. You get swept in four games, then that proves that you obviously weren’t good enough to be there. But if you win one, then that proves that you were good enough to beat your opponent at least once, and that you could’ve won more games if you tried a little harder.

The Lakers didn’t even try.

Now if we could just get the Lions to play in, and win, a Super Bowl, then all four Detroit sports teams can claim a national title win. Time to get busy, Lions!

Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing!

6/17/2004

Warning: Political rant approaching. Take cover.

There is no relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

Repeat as necessary.

Joseph Goebbels believed that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. I say, if you repeat the truth often enough, maybe people will finally get it.

Am I a hopeless optimist? I seriously doubt it. I firmly believe that the glass is either half-empty or broken.

I simply believe that at some point, the American people will finally one day wake up and understand just how TOTALLY FUCKING STUPID our current government is. I mean, just what does it take to make people WAKE THE FUCK UP?!!!

Iraqis are being tortured in prison—by American soldiers.

The average price of gas is over $2 per gallon.

Jobs are being created, but not fast enough.

The price of milk is $3 per gallon.

The budget deficit is out of control.

Terror alerts rise and fall inversely to Duhbya’s approval ratings.

The “USA PATRIOT act” allows government to pry into every aspect of your private life.

The Attorney General lost his senate race to a dead man.

People who have the least money pay the most taxes.

God, if you’re watching, would you please reach down and give everyone in this country a big smack on the back of the head?

6/18/2004

I’m starting to doubt that anyone is sane in this country. Or even in this world.

I mean, EVERYONE seems to be crazy.

People cut you off in traffic, then give you the finger when you honk at them. I will sit in a lane with my blinker on for five blocks, hoping someone will let me over. It doesn’t happen.

Whatever happened to common courtesy?

I came up with an idea a while ago. I want to design a neon sign that displays simple messages on my back bumper. Said messages can be activated with a simple button push. Messages like, “excuse me please”, “please don’t tailgate”, “thank you”, and “please slow down”.

Do I think it might make people more polite? Not really. More than likely I’d just get rear-ended. Or shot.

Like I said. People are insane.

6/19/2004

We celebrated Father’s day today. Since my sister and brother-in-law were going to his parents’ house tomorrow, we had our festivities today.

I brought steaks. We had corn-on-the-cob, French fries, veggies, and other stuff.

My sister also made a pitcher of margaritas. Which she then drank about half of.

My sister is not a large person. She is quite thin, and, as a consequence (and because she doesn’t drink often), she cannot handle her liquor.

She becomes, not to put too fine a point on it, an obnoxious drunk.

She made me apologize for calling me a twit at one point. A little later, she called me an asshole. So much for the apology.

Anyway, we also, as a present for my dad, sanded his old picnic table down to the bare wood. We then re-varnished it. It looks beautiful. I also had hurts in places I didn’t know I had places. I was also covered with sanding dust by the end. But it was worth it. As I said, it looks beautiful.

All-in-all, a good day, slightly marred by my sister’s behavior. My brother-in-law deserves props for putting up with it—unfortunately, it’s not the first time this has happened. Good thing is, it doesn’t happen often.

Now I remember why I drink alone. At least, that’s one reason

6/20/04

Sunday. Boring day. Lot’s to do, but no desire to do any of it.

Oh yes. I found out I have two bad roof beams in my garage. One is split completely, and one is sagging and close to breaking.

I can’t imagine how much it’s going to cost to fix.

I live in a house that was built back in the twenties. It needs a new roof, a new furnace, a new paint job, and new carpeting, just to name a few items.

I don’t know how I’m going to pay for it all.

Sigh. I guess I’ll just drink some more.

(yes, nothing for 6/21/04. STFU!)

6/22/2004

Found this great site called www.makaimedia.com. It’s basically a site for online games.

Anyhoo, they have this great game called “cannon fodder”. It’s basically just two towers with cannons on top. The idea is to lob a cannonball into your enemy’s lap before he can do the same to you. You can play against the computer, or challenge others on-line.

That’s the fun part. The only problem is, the other on-line nerds who play this seem to have played it forever. They usually hit me with their first shot.

Either that or they hacked the game and are cheating.

Playing the computer is no fun. You like a live opponent--one you can chat with in-game. Of course, losing five games in a row to some nerd can be a serious ego-bruiser.

I think I’ll go practice some more.

6/23/04

Did I tell you I’m running for President of the United States?

Let’s face it. Bush is a moron. Kerry is a stiff. Nader is a joke.

That’s why I’m running. At least I’ll be honest about it.

For Example:

I’m a member of the Party Party.

On most issues, I occupy the prone position. Usually ‘cause I’m drunk.

My campaign slogan is “I’m running for President. Give me money.”

My platform is made of wood. And it will collapse.

When I’m president, I will outlaw the state of Michigan. Canada can have it.

Buckeye Football game days will be national holiday’s—wait, they’re on Saturday anyway.

A new national holiday will be declared on Woody Hayes’s birthday.

The more money you give me, the more “face time” you get. This goes double for beautiful women.

People who pollute the environment will be summarily executed. The same punishment will apply for those who make movies like “Gigli”. Let’s face it. That movie WAS pollution.

Terrorists will be hung upside down in the public square and stoned to death. Payback’s a bitch.

Now, who can argue with statements like that?!

I’ve got more, but I’ll be nice and won’t list them here.

6/24/04

Went to the sleep doctor yesterday. Of course, that’s not his official title, but that’s what I call him.

He thinks I have sleep apnea. Which I probably do. Unfortunately, no one sleeps with me lately but my dog, and she can’t tell me if I snore or not (nor, apparently, does she care).

The short version is I need a sleep-monitoring session.

The long version is that I need to lose 50 pounds, stop drinking, exercise, get a girlfriend, and generally change my entire lifestyle.

Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen REAL soon!

I like to drink. I like to watch TV. I like to play computer games. I love nothing more than to sit watching TV, play computer games, and drink.

God, my life is pathetic.

Anyhoo, the doc told me that drinking before sleeping can cause apnea problems. It can also be caused by being overweight and out of shape.

Wow, a trifecta.

No wonder my blood pressure is high.

>>>Sorry kids, no more for today!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

7/29/04

I have a discipline problem.

I don't like other people telling me what to do. I never have.

This, of course, causes problems at work.

All I can say is "Thank God for unions".

My ideal job would be one where I could set my own hours, set my own wages, set my own responsib...ah, who am I kidding? My ideal job would be applying the body paint on Rebecca Romijn-Stamos for her character in "X-Men"

Seriously. She is HOT! And I understand the job takes 6 HOURS!

Instead, I'm stuck in a dead-end job taking orders, filing papers, doing data entry, and all-in-all being bored out of my skull.

Just like 9 out of every 10 people in the world, I guess.

Hey, if work was supposed to be fun, they wouldn't have to pay you to do it.

I should count my blessings. I could have a worse job.

Doubt me? Check this out!

Posting today's batch of journal entries

6/11/04

Ronnie Raygun was finally planted today.

Half the office went into my boss’s office to watch the televised funeral. I stayed at my desk. Someone has to get work done around here. All right, I really played computer solitaire most of the time, but it’s the principle of the thing that matters.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Reagan was nowhere the near-saint EVERYONE seems to think he was.

He cut programs for the poor, cut taxes for the rich, ballooned the deficit and the national debt, and vastly increased military spending. In other words, he did what every Republican president has done since WWII (or before).

Meanwhile, poor Ray Charles languishes below the fold in most papers, and gets a 30 second sound bite at the end of the national newscasts, which are currently all Reagan, all the time.

If you ask me (which most people don’t), Ray contributed a lot more to this country than Reagan ever did. He brought life to many different genres of music. His stirring performance of “America the Beautiful” after September 11th still brings tears to my eyes. The fact that he did all this while blind only makes his achievements all the more impressive. And yet, he barely rates a brief mention in the so-called “liberal media”.

Ray, I have much more confidence in you being welcomed into heaven than Reagan. Sorry Ron, but I think you have a little time to do in purgatory first. Of course, you may already have done that, having rotted away from Alzheimer’s Disease for ten years…

I know I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but I just didn’t like Reagan’s politics or his personality. And despite all the pundits on TV, he simply doesn’t rank among the top ten presidents. He’s barely in the top 20.

6/12/04


Woke up this morning and it was raining like crazy. It’s also COLD! I had to put on a long-sleeved shirt today. It’s JUNE 12TH, for the love of Christ!

The day started out crappy and is getting worse.

I should take advantage of the bad weather and clean the trash heap that I call my house, but I probably will just play computer games instead.

Computer games are a great invention. You can be the leader of a small tropical island, a general commanding mighty armies, a forward in the NHL, or even create your own little world of people and control their lives.

They are the single greatest way to waste time ever invented.

I can still remember that electronic football game I used to have. You know—the one where the “players” consisted of little LED lights, and was about as hard to master as a game of checkers. That was cutting edge technology 20 years ago. Now it belongs in a museum.

God, I feel old.

6/13/04

The weather is nicer today. I actually spent a few minutes outdoors mowing my lawn.

My dog loves the outdoors. She likes nothing more than to sleep for hours in the sun. When she’s in my house, she is restless and often wanders all over.

I think it goes back to the time she spent living on the street. She also has a tendency to wander, and not come back when you call her.

She can really be a pain sometimes. But I love her.

Dogs are amazing creatures. They give you their love unconditionally in exchange for nothing more than food, shelter, and the occasional biscuit or pat on the head.

I wonder if they can be considered self-aware? Many is the time I will look over at my dog lying on the couch watching me, and I wonder what she is thinking about.

Skeptics will say that dogs don’t think, but I think they do. I’m not saying they think along the lines of Plato or Descartes, but I’m sure they have simple thoughts, like where their next meal is coming from, or whether or not they will sleep comfortably, or whether or not we will abandon them somewhere.

I know that dogs dream. My dog often barks softly and kicks her leg when she sleeps. She’s probably dreaming about chasing something or somebody.

Dogs are the simplest of creatures, and yet no man can have a more loyal friend than a dog.

I may give her an extra biscuit today.


6/14/04


HOLY SHIT! THE PISTONS WON AGAIN!!!

In your FACE, Lakers!

Normally I’m a person who doesn’t give two shits about basketball. I’ve never been a big fan of watching ten freaks of nature run back and forth on a wooden court dropping a ball through a hoop. I mean, when you break it down, that’s basically what the game is all about. Seriously. Have you SEEN Shaquille O’Neal? The guy is 8 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds. His hands are bigger than my head. That’s not normal. That’s not even abnormal. That’s a genetic mutation!

I am, however, a big fair weather fan when it comes to Detroit teams (except for the Red Wings—I always am a fan of them) and I would just LOVE to see Detroit put L.A. back in its place. Of course, I don’t want to see a riot break out in Detroit, as so often happens when a Detroit sports team wins big.

Seriously. Why burn down the city to celebrate a VICTORY? Are you people nuts?

But getting back to the game. The Pistons can win it all with a victory tomorrow night. I may watch a few minutes of the game, but not all of it—I’ve got plenty of DVD’s to watch instead.

And if they win, maybe it will prove once and for all that it’s not how talented your players are, it’s how bad you want it. It’s one of the biggest sports clich├ęs there is, but it’s still appropriate.

6/15/2004

So the Olsen twins are 18 now. Woo-hoo.

I may have ranted on this before, but WTF does everyone think is going to happen now?

Seriously. Do they think they’ll tell guys to form a line outside their house and wait for their turn? Not gonna happen.

One of them looks anorexic. The tabloid rumors are already starting. Apparently they’re dating. I guess the gloves are off now that they’re legal.

Me, I couldn’t care less. I thought they were kind of creepy when they were babies. Now, picturing them as adults, possibly having sex, really creeps me out, as it should for every normal American male. We watched these kids grow up, for Christ’s sake! We watched their diapers get changed on national television. We know everything about their lives.

Now, do we suddenly believe the innocence is gone?

I don’t.

Of course, I wouldn’t turn either one of them down if they asked me out.

Excuse me. I need to go slap myself.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Journal entry postings for 7/28/04

6/6/2004


Smarty Jones lost.

I’m not sure how much of a surprise this should be to anyone. Many former triple-crown favorites have failed over the past decade or two. Why should Smarty be any different?

I mean, come on. The damn horse was rated at one to five. That means for every dollar you would bet on him, you’d only get twenty cents back. A bet ticket on S.J. was worth less than the paper it was printed on. Sort of like the Bill of Rights under dubya.

Sorry, I almost got off on another political rant. I try not to, but it’s hard sometimes.

Let’s face it. Horse racing may be the most crooked sport in existence. And a long-shot horse coming forward to beat the big favorite seems to be a story that happens a lot in the so-called “sport of kings”.

That’s another thing. We live in a damn democracy. Why do so many of us like a sport that’s referred to as the SOK?

Maybe we all have the fantasy that by watching horse racing we’re a lot more sophisticated than we actually are.

Me, I’ll take a football game over a horse race any day of the week.

At least it’s not NASCAR.

6/7/2004

Why do people like Ronald Reagan?

I mean, he tripled the size of the national debt, plunged us into massive deficits, and overspent the military budget to the point where the Pentagon was paying $200 for a hammer.

Everyone says he won the Cold War. They say this despite the efforts of tens of thousands of people, including four Democratic presidents, and the lives of thousands of American soldiers, that worked to bring down the Soviet Union.

Perhaps his policies hastened its collapse, but most historians seem to agree that the collapse was inevitable. He may have contributed to the chaos that now runs rampant in the former Soviet Union, by forcing the collapse before an adequate system could take its place.

But now everyone I meet says he was one step removed from sainthood. When I point out to them some of the failures of his policies, they look at me like I just called their mother a crack whore.

Am I the only rational person left on the planet? Am I doomed to forever be the voice of reason speaking calmly in a sea of shouted chaos? Everyone accuses me of being a far left liberal when I point out the past and present failures of the current government’s policies. When did “liberal” become a dirty word?

You may recall in an earlier journal entry that I gave you a quick test. If you answered honestly to all questions, then you are the most liberal person on the planet.

Welcome to my world.

6/8/2004

I just finished a book called Smoke Screen. It’s the first fiction book I’ve ever read that dealt with the issue of the tobacco industry calmly and rationally, and presented all arguments on both sides, all while under the thin disguise of a work of fiction.

The author, Kyle Mills, is someone whose books I have read before. I was impressed by most of them.

This is a guy who comes up with real, practical solutions to some of the biggest issues and disguises them as novels. And unlike the Conservative rants of Tom Clancy’s books, he actually takes the time to give a fair shake to all sides of an issue.

Let’s face it. Cigarettes are never going away. Yes, they kill. Yes, they ARE addictive. No, we can’t stop teens from smoking if they want to. And it would be impossible to ban them completely. They tried banning alcohol once. As I recall my history, it didn’t work out too well.

Cigarettes are also a vital part of our national economy. The government at every level gets a huge amount of taxes from their sale. Many states in the south depend on tobacco farming as a major source of income. And despite all the lawsuits, the big companies will always survive on some level.

Maybe we should blame the whole thing on that crazy Sir Walter Raleigh. Maybe if he had never discovered tobacco…

Me, I’ve never understood the appeal of cigarettes. Think about it. You’re taking a bunch of fragments of dried leaves rolled up in paper, setting fire to one end, sticking the other end in your mouth, and inhaling the smoke. How, exactly does that make sense? I mean, you don’t stand up in the middle of a house fire and inhale the smoke from that, do you?

Inhaling smoke is dangerous, whether you do it from a fire, or from a cigarette. If a lot more people would learn that basic fact, maybe we’d have a lot less problems.

6/9/04

People are strange.

Have you ever gone to amazon.com and looked up some of the numerous political books that are currently coming off the presses almost faster than they can be printed?

The most interesting thing is the ratings each book receives. They either tend to be one star or five stars. There are very few in the middle.

Of course, most of the one-star reviews of the “liberal” books are usually mispeld and gots bad grammer in they (I did that on purpose).

This indicates a disturbing trend in this country. I see the same thing when I get e-mails from my ultra-conservative cousin. He always misspells words and uses bad grammar in his various rants. He also tends to send me the same things two or three (or more) times. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve received the “Clinton hit list” or “Hillary black panther” stories from him or some of his friends and family.

Of course, this is the same cousin who says he is proud to live in one of the three states in the country where you can own a gun without a permit (Tennessee). He also claims to be a Mensa certified genius. I tend to question that, especially when I read some of his comments. There is a difference between being smart and being wise. There’s a difference between intelligence and common sense.

Unfortunately, that distinction seems to be lost on most people today. Look who the president is.

Of course, he’s neither intelligent nor does he have common sense…

6/10/04

So the Pistons are up two games to one now.

I gotta ask one question: Who the hell are these guys?

There are no big names on the team like Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant. A big night for the typical Pistons player is breaking 20 points. They get almost no respect from sportswriters and commentators. So why are they up two games to one?

I guess the old adage that “offense wins games, defense wins championships” really holds true. Apparently the Lakers have NEVER been held to less than 70 points in a playoff game until the last game.

There’s another team that has proved that same thing true: The Buckeyes.

Two years ago, they used smothering defense to win the national championship. And when they won their last championship back in ’68, they did the same thing.

Maybe that’s why the department that controls the military is called the Department of Defense. After all, it seems to work most of the time.

BTW, there are only 86 days ‘til the first Buckeyes game!

7/28/04

$#%^%!

&^%*%%#!

I hate the networks.

As I've mentioned before, I don't have cable TV. Yes, I'm the one.

So anyway, in my blog entry yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to watch the speech by Barack Obama, the keynote speaker. I've stated how I see great things in his future. The guy impresses me, and I don't say that about too many politicians.

So last night around eight, I turned on my TV.
ABC--regular programming
CBS--regular programming
NBC--regular programming
FOX--need I even say it?

Same situation at nine.
Same situation at ten.

At this point, I'm thinking "WTF!"

Not one regular network had ANY coverage of the convention. Not last night, when Obama, Kerry's wife, and a very smart-sounding 12 year old girl all spoke. And apparently, they'll only show one-hour of coverage tonight. Just enough to nominate Edwards and show his speech.

Does anyone else think too much power is concentrated in the hands of too few people?

Seriously. It's summer. All the regular shows are on hiatus. What else is there that's worth watching? Not much, according to what I saw last night.


BTW, most of my rants this week will probably be political. Be warned. It IS a convention week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

7/27/04

Sooo...The Democratic convention is going on.

Ordinarily, I would skip it. I may watch tonight, though. You see, tonight is the Keynote Speaker. His name is Barack Obama.

I saw an interview with him on Meet the Press last Sunday. He is a apparently intelligent, well-spoken, reasonably good looking, young, and he is a rising star within the party. Some people have said he is just "in the right place at the right time". But consider this:

12 years ago, another intelligent, well-spoken, reasonably good-looking young man, who was a rising star in his party, was also "in the right place at the right time". Any guesses as to who I might be talking about?

Look for great things from this guy (Obama, not Clinton!) a few years down the road. Assuming he doesn't screw up somehow. Meanwhile, I plan to watch his speech tonight.

Posting more journal entries:

>>>As promised, here's more journal entries--the last ones from May 2004. I took the Memorial Day weekend off as a break from writing. I admit it. I'm lazy.

5/27/2004


I got into it today with my co-workers.

I remarked about how coincidental it was that whenever Duhbya’s approval ratings go down, a terrorist alert gets issued, or something similar happens.

Am I the only intelligent person in this office?

One co-worker believes Saddam Hussein was in some way responsible for September 11th. Good grief, it’s been proven that’s not the case.

I know I promised to stay away from politics as much as possible here, but COME ON! Maybe my problem is that I work in a Republican office. I’m sure my boss only joined the young Naz--um, Republicans because he wanted to suck up. And I’m certaim my other co-worker seems to have had her brains sucked out by having two kids.

OK, let’s go over this one more time:

Saddam Hussein had NOTHING to do with September 11th.
Not one of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq
You are about 10,000 times (or more) more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack.
We invaded Iraq for one reason: OIL
Our country’s continued dependence on a fossil fuel with an unstable supply at best is the cause of most of our foreign policy problems.
Ever wonder why most people in Iraq hate us? Well, how would YOU feel if you had troops from Iraq patrolling the streets of YOUR town, taking all of your precious natural resources away, and locking you up in prison without trial?

Why is it Americans have so much trouble understanding why other countries hate us so much. Could it possibly be that we’ve done so much to inspire that hatred?

Wise up, folks. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better—if it ever does!

5/28/04

I’m taking the memorial day weekend off from writing my journal. I’ve got some DRINKING to do!!!


>>>And now here's a few from June 2004:


6/1/2004


I’m back after taking a Memorial Day break from writing my daily journal.

I got published, Baybee!

I sent a letter to The Blade, and they published it in last Saturday’s paper.

Not only did they publish it, they published it WORD FOR WORD!

Doubt me? Here’s the text of the letter I sent:

Gas-electric hybrid vehicles are a wonderful innovation. They may be the most important innovation in automotive technology since the assembly line. They’re also becoming more sophisticated and powerful. Gone are the golf carts of a couple years ago. They now are making full-sized versions of them, even an SUV. Everyone raves about how smoothly they ride. And with the price of gas now at more than $2 a gallon in most places, they only make more sense.

Of course, they still have one big problem: No matter how advanced they become, they will still always have to use gas. Yes, they use less of it. But they still use it.

Our entire modern civilization remains addicted to a fossil fuel that has been in large-scale use since the 19th century! It is difficult to obtain under the best of circumstances. And when some of the largest reserves of it are located under some of the most unstable regions in the world, those difficulties are compounded immensely.

Hybrid vehicles are a temporary solution at best. We must find a way to greatly reduce or even eliminate our demand for oil, period. Until we do, we will always be at the mercy of those who control its supply.

And here’s the link to it:
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040529/OPINION03/405290331/-1-OPINION

No applause is necessary. Just cash.

I know, it sounds like I’m blowing my own horn here. Well, DUH! This is MY JOURNAL, PEOPLE (and now it's MY BLOG)! It’s a place for me to spout my own feelings, actions, and to crow a little about my accomplishments! So if you don’t like it, quit reading!


6/2/2004

About my new cousin.

Actually, I guess he’s my second cousin. Or my first cousin once removed. I’ve never known what to call the children of my cousins

James Franklin McAfee came into the world on May 26th, 2004. His names come from (I assume) my Uncle James McAfee and my cousin’s wife’s grandfather’s name (whew!)

He’s a cute little dickens, too! Here’s a picture of him:


James Franklin McAfee Posted by Hello

(jeebus, it takes a lot of effort to get a picture into a blog!)

He’s a dead ringer for his dad.

He was still in the NICU last Monday, because he was having trouble breathing. He’s off all the tubes and stuff now, though. According to my sister, when she first saw him, he had a whole bunch of medical equipment attached to him (that’s where the red face comes from).

He looks a lot bigger in the pictures than he actually is. He is 6 lbs, 9 oz., 19 inches long.

I’ve never seen a baby that was less than a week old. I just can’t get over how tiny he is.

Life is truly a miracle, isn’t it!

6/3/2004

(This entry has political overtones. You may want to skip…aw, who am I kidding. Read on!)

HOLY SHIT! TENET RESIGNS!!!

Today, George Tenet announced his resignation, and we heard the words GEORGE W. BUSH and GRAND JURY in the same sentence.

I think I just had an orgasm.

This is the best news I’ve heard since they announced Elisha Cuthbert was going to be playing a porn star in her latest movie.

I can’t help but wonder if Tenet is not the first in a long line of dominoes. One can only hope.

Tonight, I’ll go home and hoist a beer in his honor. Hell, I was going to do that anyway, but at least now I have an excuse for doing so.

I do so love it when things go badly for George W. Bush. Now if we can just make sure he loses in 6 months…

Who will be next? Rumsfeld? Wolfowitz? Condi? KARL ROVE?

Place yer bets!

6/4/2004


I need a hybrid car.

Driving home today, I saw that the price of gas was up to $2.10 per gallon in some places.

Oh, by the way, could someone please explain to me why they always use that “.9” on all gas prices.

I could probably find the answer if I spent 5 minutes looking on the internet, but I’m just too lazy.

The price of gas is more than $2 per gallon nationwide. The economy added more than 200,000 jobs, yet the unemployment rate remained the same. We are stuck in a quagmire in Iraq. Most of the rest of the world hates us. And yet, Bush’s approval ratings remain as high as they ever were.

How much longer can this country continue to function with its head so far up its ass?!

6/5/2004

Dutch is dead.

It was at about 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. I had just finished watching the movie “Evolution” (“There is ALWAYS time for lubricant!” will always be one of the best. Movie. Lines. Evah.) when I flipped over to ABC and saw the banner line “Ronald Reagan dies” (BTW, NBC, CBS, and FOX didn’t cover it).

This is yet another one of those “Where were you when” (WWYW) questions that are becoming all too prevalent for my generation

Let’s go down the list.

Where were you when:

· You heard Reagan was shot
· You heard the shuttle Challenger had exploded
· You heard about the first Gulf War
· You heard the O.J. verdict
· You heard about the Columbine massacre
· You heard about JFK jr. dying in a plane crash
· You heard about September 11th
· You heard about the shuttle Columbia breaking up
· You heard about the SECOND Gulf War
· You heard about Reagan’s death

Of course, there are more questions, but this is just a small sample of the one’s I’ve heard in my lifetime. Most generations have only one or two (or no) WWYW questions, but in my more than 36 years, I have all these and more.

Do we define our existence by tragedy? I have to wonder. I was alive when two men landed on the moon, but I was also alive when Apollo 13 happened. I was alive when the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team won the gold medal, but I was also alive when we boycotted the Olympics.

Is the glass half-empty, or is it broken?

As for Reagan, many people claim that he won the cold war. But what he really did was plunge our country into massive deficits by increasing military spending while cutting taxes. Sound like anyone we know today? And the cold war was in its last days during his presidency, and he hastened its end by a week to ten days. He will be known as “Ronnie Raygun” for his support of the “Star Wars” program. And he compared the Contras in Nicaragua to our founding fathers. What a great guy!

I’m not sure just how sorry we should be for him.

Monday, July 26, 2004

7/26/04

Three Words:

THE. BOURNE. SUPREMACY.

Awesome movie. My biggest problem with it is the early demise of a key character--I won't say any more.

Also, apparently Moscow taxicabs are as tough as M1 Tanks.

I haven't read any of the books yet. I guess I need to go to the library.

I also own THE BOURNE IDENTITY on DVD. And when the latest one comes out, I plan to buy it as well. And I'll probably go see THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM when they make it--I'm guessing Summer of 2006.

But that's just me. Go see it for yourself.

Making up for the Weekend

Still more journal entries (I didn't have time to post any over the weekend).

5/23/04

So long, Flyers!

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye!

My only source of consolation about the Wings early departure from the playoffs is the Flyers departure from them last night.

One of the runners for (Lucas County) Job and Family Services is a big Flyers fan. He’s been giving me grief about the Wings loss for days now. He’s going to learn that payback’s a BEEYOTCH!!!

Hm. I’ll try that again. Beeyotch.

BEEYOTCH. beeyotch

That’s interesting. The spell-checker catches the un-capitalized version, but not the capitalized one.

I’m getting off subject here.

Where was I—Oh yes! IN YOUR FACE, FLYERS! Losers!

Well, we all gotta go sometime. Sorry Philadelphia. At least you still have the Phillies (Snicker). Or the Eagles (Chortle). Or the 76ers (guffaw).

Actually, that first one doesn’t work right now—the Phillies are in first place. I remain confident that they'll blow it eventually

5/24/2004

OK, one more hockey rant.

They’re now saying that whichever team takes Lord Stanley’s cup home may be keeping it for a long time.

At least, that’s the current story.

It is rumored that there will be a lockout of the players when this season is over. Ergo, no more NHL, and no more Stanley cup Playoffs.

Better wise up, people. Hockey may not yet be dead, but it’s surely in critical condition, on life support, and about to have its plug pulled. And a lockout would mean the end of a sport that is popular with a small but very fanatical fan base. And it would show just how rotten everything is about professional sports.

Here’s a few ways to fix hockey:

1) Make the goals bigger and/or the goalies’ pads smaller. The low-scoring games are getting ridiculous.
2)Make the game more exciting. I don’t want to pay good money to watch a game of keep-away. I can see that on any school playground. Institute a shot clock that requires the team to put a shot on net every two minutes or give up the puck.
3)Quit talking about a salary cap. I’m pretty sure it’s quite difficult to skate down the ice at 25+ mph and direct a three-inch-wide hunk of frozen hard rubber through a gap that’s barely wide enough for it to fit with only a stick, all while everyone on the other team is trying to stop you. Anyone who’s good at it deserves to be well-paid for it.
4)Broadcast more games, and skip the color commentary. It just distracts from the game. Try a few other tricks too, like helmet cams on a few players, maybe. And NO commercials during the period. You’ve got 20 minutes between each period to show all the ads you want.
5)Shorten the damn season! A winter sport should be played in, uh, WINTER! There’s NO REASON to have teams playing hockey in June. And reduce the size of the playoff pool. Eight teams is more than enough. That’s each division champ plus one wild card for each conference.
6)Lighten up on the penalty rules. Hitting is part of hockey. As long as it’s not malicious or intended to injure, let it slide a little more.
7)Require face masks for all players. Getting hit in the face with a frozen puck traveling at nearly 100 mph can be bad for your health, not to mention your looks.
8)No more ties. Whether you do it with continuous OT or a shootout, just get rid of them. Ties don’t make ANYBODY happy!

If you make it exciting, they will come.

5/25/2004

More about hybrid cars.

OK, I’ve said before that gas-electric hybrid vehicles are a great innovation. And now, with the price of gas more than $2 a gallon in most places, they are starting to make a lot more sense.

They’re also becoming more sophisticated and powerful. Gone are the golf carts of a couple years ago. They now are making full-sized versions of them, even an SUV. And everyone raves about how smoothly they ride. I’m sure my next car will be a hybrid.

Of course, they still have one BIG problem: No matter how advanced they get, they will still always have to use GAS.

Yes, they use less of it. But they still use it.

They are a stopgap, nothing more. They are like the paramedics who work to stabilize an accident victim until he or she can be brought to a hospital for more advanced treatment. That may be why carmakers are reluctant to invest too heavily in this technology—of course, the cynic in me believes that carmakers just don’t want to, because nobody is forcing them to.

The basic cause of all the modern problems in the Middle East can be summed up in one word: OIL. And as long as modern society continues its unhealthy addiction to oil, those problems will never be solved. Our entire economy is based on a fossil fuel that is difficult to obtain under the best of circumstances, and when some of the largest reserves of it are underneath one of the most unstable regions in the world, those difficulties are only compounded.

We live in a world where we managed to put two men on the moon in less than ten years using technology that today can only be found in a museum. Surely we can find a way to build cars that can run endlessly on cheap, clean, easily renewable fuel.

5/26/2004

I wanted to fly airplanes when I grew up,.

I always thought it would be cool.

Now I’m working in a low-wage clerical position. It’s the NEW American dream.

How did I end up here?

Why does anyone end up in the job they are at?

I mean, can you imagine anyone working at the DMV thinking when they were a kid, “You know, when I grow up, I want to work all day in a boring job where I give eye exams to dozens of angry, impatient people who have been standing in a slow-moving line for an hour, and make their license pictures look as bad as possible.”

I would imagine that few of us live up to our childhood fantasies. If we did, probably one out of every five of us would be an astronaut. I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.

Everyone wants their children to do better than they did. In these troubled times, I think a more realistic goal would simply be for them not to do any worse…

More Journal Entries

Still more journal entries (gotta keep 'em going):

5/17/2004


Fifty years ago today, the Supreme Court made its unanimous ruling in Brown v. Bd. of Education.

Good thing too. Otherwise, we’d have thousands of impoverished black children attending crumbling, substandard, inadequately funded and horribly overcrowded schools.

Whew. We really dodged a bullet there.

People, WAKE UP! Our society—and our schools by extension—is still segregated. It’s just being done a lot more subtly these days!

It amazes me how this country continues to function with its head so far up its ass.

And now, gay people can be legally married in Massachusetts. I can only say this: Why get married? It seems to me that they currently enjoy all the perks of marriage with none of the drawbacks. I think the only ones that benefit from this are the divorce lawyers. That’s it! It’s all a plot by divorce lawyers! They saw that they were getting no money from this fairly good-sized group of people and decided to do something about it.

Personally, I don’t give a good Goddamn about the whole issue. People have a right to live the way they want to live. And as long as they leave me alone, I’m willing to do the same.

5/18/2004

Tomorrow has been designated by the internuts as “stick-it-up-their-ass” day. The idea is that if nobody buys gas tomorrow, then the oil companies will lose more than $4 billion in revenue, or some similarly crazy notion.

A better thing to call it might be “head up your ass” day.

I mean, do people seriously think they can drive oil companies out of business by simply not buying any gas for one day?

Wise up.

Let’s consider a few points:

1) Oil companies make a product we need. It won’t matter when we buy it. We’ll still buy it.

2) The only ones who MIGHT be hurt by this one-day boycott are the people who own and/or operate the local gas stations.

3) Not buying any gas for one day simply means that we’ll buy TWICE AS MUCH on the days before and after.

If people are REALLY serious about using less gas, then there’re a few things they can do:

· Buy a hybrid car. The price of them keeps going down
· Join a car pool.
· Take the bus to work.

Alas, I doubt any of this will ever happen. We are a nation of idiots. Let’s revel in it.

5/19/2004

I just can’t leave the idea of this one-day gas boycott alone.

Today, while driving into work, the low-fuel light in my car came on. Therefore I will buy gas on my way home tonight. To hell with the boycott!

I don’t have a specific day on which I buy gas. I buy it when I need it. I usually try to buy before the price goes up, but lately there is no way to know when that might happen. It’s like Russian roulette.

Now, I drive a Ford Escort. I get about 30 MPG in the city, and I can usually go two weeks or more between fill-ups. I also have a 10.5 gallon tank, and, even with the ridiculous prices today, it costs less than $20 to fill my tank.

My sister drives a Mountaineer. It has a 22.5 gallon gas tank. For those of you playing at home, that means that it cost twice as much to fill with gas as mine. But the kicker is, she gets half the MPG that I get, therefore she’s also paying twice as much for gas as I am.

It really makes me laugh when I hear people complain about high gas prices when they pull their gas-guzzling SUV’s into the gas stations. Want to pay less for gas? Drive a smaller car!!

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve pulled into a gas station opposite a truck or SUV, gotten out, filled my car up, and driven away, all while the other person is still pumping their gas.

My next car will be a gas-electric hybrid. I don’t care how dangerous they may be to firemen (see 5/6/04)! I’ve got better things to spend my money on besides gas. Like beer, for example!


5/22/04

THE TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING?!

What is the fucking deal with Florida having not just one, but TWO hockey teams?

I challenge anyone to tell me the last time a lake froze over in Florida to the point where you could safely skate on it. For that matter, can you also tell me the last time that happened in Dallas, San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles, or any other city in those latitudes. For Pete’s sake, they’re already talking about how there may be NO Canadian hockey teams in a few years. Sheesh. That’s where the sport was invented!

It gets worse. A while ago, the Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars. Picture Minnesota without an NHL team. That’s like a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol. And moving from Minnesota to Dallas. That's like moving from Beverly Hills to South Central L.A.

I think that no city should have a professional hockey team unless it experiences winter weather on a regular basis. Hockey is a WINTER sport. They also need to shorten the damn season. We shouldn’t have hockey teams playing in JUNE. Let me repeat it again: Hockey is a WINTER sport.

They also need to go back to smaller goalie pads. Something is very wrong when a team with some of the greatest goal scorers in history fails to score a single goal in its final two playoff games.

God I hate Calgary!

Journal entries re-post for Saturday

As promised, here's more of the entries that I've made in the journal I've been keeping since the beginning of May:

5/12/2004


THEY PUBLISHED MY CURRENT EVENTS SUBMISSION! WOO-HOO!

I subscribe to ClubTopFive, a shameless e-mail based rip-off of The Top Ten Lists on the Letterman show. Yes, I pay money for this. Be quiet.

Anyway, one of the features of every list is the “Current Events” section. People take recent news stories they’ve heard and add humorous twists to them a la Argus Hamilton. I submitted a story on the recent Women’s March on Washington, saying something to the effect that the White House response to the march was to build a big new wing on the prison in Guantanamo Bay.

I guess you had to be there.

ANYWAY, it was included on a recent TopFive list.

No, I didn’t get paid for it.

No, I will receive no recognition for it. They only printed my name, and think how many Eric Johnsons there are in the world.

No, I derive no material benefit from it at all

OK, shut up already! It just makes me feel good, OK?! Pinhead!

5/13/2004


The gullibility of some people amazes me.

That famous quote erroneously attributed to P.T. Barnum was WRONG. There are THOUSANDS of suckers born every minute.

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve received that e-mail telling me to “forward this to as many people as possible and you’ll get lots of money” or some variation. Or the one calling for a one-day gas boycott. Or the one from my “special friend from the Nigerian government-in-exile”. Or any of a BAJILLION others.

Seriously. What goes through these peoples’ heads?

It seems to me that no matter how smart a person may be, as soon as he or she signs on to their e-mail service, they seem to lose half their I.Q. points. People seem willing to believe just about anything they get from e-mail or the internet. And they are also just as willing to forward it to as many of their friends as possible. I’m guessing that a lot of these people have lost a lot of those very same friends just by doing this.

I’ve got to go now. I’m expecting that shipment of cut-rate Viagra I’m about to receive.

Should be here any day now…


5/14/2004


My dad’s out of town. He’s gone down to Southern Illinois to join in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Sometimes I have to wonder about those guys.

I mean, think about it for a minute. Picture Merriweather Lewis sitting in the local tavern drinking a mug of warm beer (it was close to summertime then—200 years ago—no refrigeration) suddenly saying to himself, “Hey, I know what I can do. I’ll get my good friend Clark and we’ll gather together a bunch of men and supplies, board a rickety raft on the edge of a HUGE river, pole AGAINST the current upstream, and then spend the next few years trekking across a vast uncharted wilderness with no certainty of being able to find anything to eat and with the strong possibility of being maimed and/or killed by hostile savages or wild animals or both. And I’ll get the President to give us a bunch of money to do it!”

If it had been me, I then would’ve said, “Nah, that’s WAY too much work. I’ll just drink some more warm beer and try to fondle the barmaid.” Then I would’ve proceeded to do just that.

Of course, that’s probably not what REALLY happened, but I gotta believe it takes balls of steel to do what they did. Not to mention a few loose screws in your head!

Can you imagine anyone in our country today doing the same thing?

Hoist a beer today in their honor. I plan to.


5/15/2004


DAMMIT!

I was pulling into my garage this afternoon. I looked at my watch. The date is 5/15/2004. Suddenly, I remembered I forgot to make my mortgage payment. DAMN! Now I have to pay a penalty for being late.

SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!

Please excuse the language. I’m just royally pissed about that. It’s bad enough that I have to give the bank almost my entire take-home pay from one check every month. Now I have to give them even more.

I better stop writing before I lapse into more profanity…


5/16/2004


The weather finally turned nice. All the neighborhood kids were outside playing. They were running, rollerblading, laughing, jumping, screaming, biking, and just generally being kids. My dog, out in the backyard, was going nuts. So I let her out to run around a little.

All the neighborhood kids started running from her and asking me if she would bite them.

Let me explain. My dog is a small female. She is a a mix of a few unknown breeds. She weighs 20 pounds soaking wet. She is, in other words, an All-American mutt! (She was a stray that I rescued). Alas, I haven't figured out how to post pictures on this blog yet--maybe later. But she looks about as menacing as a My Little Pony doll. She never bites, she rarely barks, and a stranger is just a friend she hasn’t met yet. She loves human company. She will sit peacefully on my lap for hours. And yet, children run from her like she’s a hound from hell.

Children will run eagerly towards a Golden retriever that is four times the size of my dog and could rip both of their arms off with one bite, and yet my dog, a good-old all-American mutt, is feared and avoided.

Where is the justice in this world?

Friday, July 23, 2004

More Journal

OK, so I looked over my past journal entries and realized that just posting five per day would take me forever to catch up, so here's five more:                                                            5/6/2004 

Recently a co-worker told me that she had heard a news story on the radio that claimed that hybrid gas-electric cars pose an electrocution hazard to rescue workers attempting to free accident victims trapped in them.  In fact, a quick search of Google News (as of this writing) using the words “Hybrid Cars” shows that five of the top ten “hits” are about this problem.
 
I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before I receive a forwarded warning from one of my internut friends telling me that if I support my local firemen, I will not buy a hybrid car! 
 
Gas-electric hybrid cars may be the greatest innovation in automotive technology since the assembly line.  Sales of them have increased exponentially every year since they were first offered.  And now, with the price of gas over $2 a gallon in many places, it only makes good economic sense to own a car that can average 40-50 mpg or more!  I firmly believe this overblown hysteria about the dangers of hybrid cars is the oil companies’ reaction to more and more people wanting a car that will use less gas! 
(yeah, no Entry for 5/7/04) 
5/8/2004
 
Cable.
 
Why do people want cable TV?
 
Whenever I think I might want to order cable TV, I go over to my dad’s house some Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and I flip through the 60+ channels on his cable.  That cures me of wanting it!
 
Seriously.  In Toledo there are about 6 channels that are viewable by regular antenna. There is very little to watch on these.  What is the point of paying an additional $40+ per month for 60 channels worth of nothing to watch?
 
Cable TV may be the single worst innovation to come by the way since sliced raisin bread.
 
On occasion, there is something on cable worth watching.  This is the exception, not the rule.  When 60+ networks are forced to come up with 24 hour a day programming, quality suffers.  I would be VERY happy if TV networks were required to restrict their programming to just a few hours a day.  Quality beats quantity on just about every occasion! 
 
5/9/04
 
Well, today is Mother’s day.
 
I personally haven’t had a reason to celebrate that day since January 11, 2002.  This is the day my mom died.  It is our family’s own personal September 11th.
 
It’s hard to enjoy the Sunday funnies when every other strip is something about M.D.
 
It gets even worse when I turn on the Sunday morning TV and see all the M.D. commercials. 
 
To top it all off, I’m sick!  I woke up with an incredibly stuffy nose, and it only seems to be getting worse.  It’s ironic that now that still winter is finally over, I catch a cold!  Where is the justice?
 
My sister is back from her vacation to the Virgin Islands.  I’ve often wondered about that particular name.  I mean, I’m sure it comes from them being a pristine, unspoiled wilderness when they were first discovered, but I seriously doubt they’re still the same way today… 
  
5/10/2004 
 
A quick quiz:
 
(all answers true or false)  (And TRY to answer HONESTLY!)
 
1) All Americans deserve quality health care.
 
2) Anyone, regardless of criminal record, deserves any gun they want, whenever they want it.
 
3) Someone who has more money than you should pay more taxes than you.
 
4) Letting low and middle-class working people keep more of their money makes sense.
 
5) People are free to say anything they want, even if you disagree with them.  You’re also free to ignore them.
 
6) Everyone has the right to their own religion, as long as they keep it to themselves.
 
7) What goes on in the bedroom between two (or more) consenting adults is nobody’s business but their own.
 
8) EVERYONE should enjoy equal protection under the law, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
 
9) A woman has the right to choose what happens to her own body.
 
10) People in prison deserve nothing more than comfortable facilities and decent treatment.  They don’t deserve to live better than you do!
 
 
ANSWERS
 
All true except #2
 
How did you score? 
 
0-2:  Hello, Mr. Limbaugh!
 
3-9:  You are of the same mindset as probably 80% of the population of the U.S.
 
10:  How’s your new job at Air America Radio going?    
 
5/11/2004 
  
Thank God for Dilbert.
 
When I come in to my dreary job in the morning, I am met at my desk by my page-a-day Dilbert calendar.  This small gem of humor helps me get started in the morning.
 
It’s the little things in life that bring such joy.
 
I’ve saved a number of the “series” strips in my desk drawer.  Whenever I need a quick laugh, I pull one out and page through it.  While you may think this is wasting time at work, I consider it a more productive use of my time than, say, flying into a psychotic homicidal rage and killing my co-workers, the security guards, the state troopers, and anyone else who happens to be in the building.
 
Not that I’ve ever thought about doing that…
 
Hey, smile!  No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. 
                                                             
(no more today.  More entries to follow tomorrow)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Journal Entry for 7/22/04: Just the facts!

Hey, I found a great new website!

http://www.factcheck.org/

It is a a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Here's what they say about themselves on their website (this is a direct quote:

"We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

All I can say to that is "AMEN"

In these trying times of attack politics, where the "wars" consist of thirty second attack ads and 10 second sound bytes, it's good to know that there is a source out there that tries to cut through all the B.S. and present the facts

That's all for today. More tomorrow

Journal entries

>>>OK folks, now that I've introduced myself, let me give you the lowdown.  Back at the beginning of May I started a journal.  I try to update it every day, but I don't always succeed.  In any event, I'll start posting the text of those entries at the rate of about five per day until I catch up to the current date.  So here goes:                                                           5-1-2004
 
Hello everyone!
 
It’s me, Eric R. Johnson, from Toledo, OH
 
I’ve decided to start a Journal.
 
I hope to make an entry everyday, but please excuse me if I miss a day or two now and then.  This will not, for the most part, be a description of what’s going on in my life (although there will be some of those).  It will simply be a series of brief essays on how I think life is going, a few random thoughts, and more than a few rants.
 
I will try to avoid politics as much as possible.  I can’t guarantee you’ll never see a political discussion, though—this is an election year, after all!  Besides, George W. Bush is a COMPLETE $%&*ING MORON!!!!! 
  
Oh, that’s another thing:  If you’re offended by crude language, don’t read any further!  There are certain times when the occasional swearword can convey a very strong emotion far more effectively than anything else.  I mean, if you stub your toe or hit your thumb with a hammer, what you DON’T say (if you’re like most people) is “Oh fiddle-dee-dee, that really stings.  Gosh golly gee whiz!  Son of a gun!”  
 
What you DO say is “AAUUGGHH!  SON OF A BITCH!  THAT FUCKING HURTS!  GODDAMMIT!”
 
Anyway, I thought the first day of May was a good day to start.  In that regard, keep reading to gain some insight into how my brain works. 
    
 
5/2/2004
 
I’ve been hearing so many commercials on the radio about bars that celebrate Cinco de Mayo (CDM).  What the hell is up with that?
 
My parents are all of European descent.  They’d no more have thought of celebrating CDM than the average Inuit.  I don’t have a drop of Mexican blood in my body.  CDM means about as much to me as Labor Day means to a sweatshop worker.
 
Let’s consider this for a minute.  I don’t know for sure, but I THINK this is a holiday when Mexicans celebrate winning their independence from Spain.  I’m pretty sure this is accomplished by drinking as much liquor as possible and then passing out face down in a puddle of vomit. That’s pretty much how we celebrate Independence Day in this country, except we add blowing our fingers off with illegal fireworks to the mix.
 
Why bother to celebrate CDM if you’re not Mexican, or of Mexican descent?  Do the English celebrate the Fourth of July?  Do the Spanish celebrate Bastille Day?  Do MEXICANS celebrate the Fourth of July?
 
As near as I can tell, CDM is just an excuse for Americans to go out and drink.  Since when did we EVER need an excuse to do that?! If you want to go out and drink during the week, then do it!  Just don’t try to justify it by pretending you’re celebrating a foreign holiday that means nothing to you! 

 
5/3/2004
 
I repeatedly hear news stories about the flap over electronic voting machines, and how vulnerable they are to hackers and other types of manipulation.
 
I cannot trust any machine that records my vote without producing a paper record of it that can be manually counted if necessary. I've voted in every elections since I was 18 and I want my vote to count! When I first decided to start this journal, I swore I would put as little as possible of politics in it—as hard as that may be for me.  I cannot guarantee that that will always happen, especially when I hear that the CEO of Diebold, one of the companies bidding to produce Ohio’s voting machines, said that he is committed to delivering Ohio’s electoral votes to the president (Bush) in 2004.  How, exactly?  By making sure Bush’s name is the only choice that comes up on the screen?
 
Anyway, I trust a clearly marked paper ballot.  I trust an electronic voting machine about as far as I can throw it (judging by it’s weight, I’d guess about five feet!) 

 
5-4-2004
 
Hoo boy.  Here we go again.  Another virus.  This one comes with the subject line “Important news:  Osama bin Laden Captured”.  It’s actually a Trojan worm that can be used by hackers to exploit systems.
 
I gotta wonder:  What goes through the heads of people who create this stuff?
 
“Hey man, instead of doing something constructive with my vast computer knowledge, I think I’ll create a program that will fuck up everyone’s computer!  And it doesn’t matter that I’ll never make any money off it, or that I could go to jail if I get caught—I just do it because I can!”
 
My personal favorite was the one that disguised itself as naked pictures of Anna Kournikova—try explaining to your significant other exactly how THAT virus got on your computer…
 
Personally, I’d like to take these people who create computer viruses, throw them in a deep hole, and cover them with dirt.  I’m sure they’d be far more useful as fertilizer than they are doing what they do now. 
    
 
5/5/2004
 
Today I got another e-mail rant about how much someone hates the fact that immigrants are coming over and want to change everything about our country.  I mean, it’s not like anything about this country ever changed when our forefathers arriv…um, uh, well, yeah.  Okay.
 
Seriously.  Who do these people think picks the fruit and vegetables they buy in the grocery store every day? Who do they think cuts their lawns?  Who do they think sells them their cigarettes? Who do they think watches their kids?  Who do they think does every other crappy job that they are unable or unwilling to do?
 
It’s apparently fine to employ immigrants, or buy things from them.  Just don’t let them think they deserve to have a few rights for themselves.  Unless, of course, they are famous actors who speak with a thick Austrian accent…
 
If you want to send them all back home, fine.  Just be prepared to do a lot more work!  Personally, I’d love to see Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh out picking vegetables in a field somewhere.  They’d be contributing a lot more to our society by doing that than they do in their current jobs.                             

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Well, thank you google

Well, just like everyone else, I've started a blog.  That's why I called it Voice in the crowd.  Hell. Everybody else does it. 

I won't post much today.  I'm just getting started.  More to come later.