Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So. The VT shooter has been identified.

From everything I've heard so far, this guy was, not to put too fine a point on it, one scary-ass motherfucker.

Excuse the language, but there are some times when it is called for.

I mean, from what people have been saying about this man, the only conclusion I've been able to draw is that people should have been asking not if he would have a serious nuclear meltdown, but when.

What is it that can drive a person that far around the bend? Was it some sort of chemical imbalance in his brain? Was it the environment he was raised in? Was it some kind of mind altering drug (or drugs)? Was it cosmic rays from outer space?

Or can it just be that some random event pushed this already dangerously unstable young man over the edge?

I freely admit that there have been times when I have felt the kind of rage that would drive me to homicidal behavior. But I have never acted on that impulse. I simply have to believe that the reason for that is that there is something in my makeup that would never allow me to do that.

Because if there isn't, then I am no better than Cho Seung-Hui. No better than an animal.

And I refuse to believe that.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yet Another

So. Another mass shooting at a school.

This time, 31 students of Virginia PolyTechnical University are gunned down as they were in the prime of life.

As I understand it, VT is a technical University, heavy into research much along the lines of M.I.T. or Cal Tech. There is a heavy emphasis on Engineering and science curriculum. They also have a pretty decent football team.

So what does the loss of these 31 students mean, exactly?


For one thing, 31 young lives have been brutally snuffed out before they could become contributing members of society.

31 families will receive the worst news any family could ever receive.

31 promising careers have ended before they even got a chance to start.

Perhaps, more importantly, the future of mankind could have been snuffed out today.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to invent the low-cost desalinization device that would ensure an endless supply of fresh water, enough for everyone on the planet and more.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to create the new fusion reactor that was destined to solve all the world's energy problems.

There may even have been some student among the dead who was destined to design the spaceship that would carry mankind out into the stars.

OK, so maybe not. Maybe these 31 dead children (that's what they were, and now will always be) were destined for nothing greater than a boring 9 to 5 in a cubicle in the headquarters of some random Fortune 500 company, mindlessly going through the motions of creating a false impression of job satisfaction (a task I am PAINFULLY familiar with).

But, thanks to the actions of a madman, we will never have the opportunity to find out.

But the madman did not kill everyone. Madmen will never kill everyone. Many have tried. None have succeeded. So let me say this to those who survived the attack today: You're alive! Each day you live from now until the day you die is a gift! And you have an obligation to those who did not live through this day to make the best you can of your lives.

Because you can never know when the next day will be your last.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I Am Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

Most of the time, anyway.

I've gotten myself hooked on the new game show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader.

And I have to say, I'm light years ahead of the competition.

Most of the time, anyway.

Tonight, for example, the final contestant was beaten by the following question:

"How many meters are in a kilometer?"

Please, please, PLEASE tell me I don't have to tell you the answer to that!

So, should I be scared or entertained?

I mean, only one contestant that I've seen so far has made it past the $25,000 level.

They are answering questions from elementary school textbooks.

And they are not getting the right answers.

Again, should I be scared or entertained?

Admittedly, there was one question tonight I got wrong, but only because it's the one concept of geometry I never learned.

So I am smarter than a fifth grader. Most of the time, anyway. I just wish everyone was.

Because otherwise there is no hope for this country.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sometimes I Hate Where I Live

The three regular readers of this blog know that I live in the midwest.

And if any of them have been paying attention to The Weather Channel, they know that now, in April, the current temperature is in the low 30's, and there is sporadic snow falling.

This is no surprise. I've been living here almost 30 years. Nothing about the weather surprises me. I'm used to it. But it still bugs me.

Why? Because it does. There is no other explanation.

I'm tired of living through four seasons: Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.

I'm tired of days where I've had to switch my car from Heat to A/C in the same day.

I'm tired of wearing a T-shirt to work one day and a Winter coat the next.

But the problem is, there is no better alternative.

Where else can I go?

Florida? Nice weather, but Hurricaes.

Arizona? Hello?! Desert!

California? Hey dude, let's party!

The East Coast? No problem. Just 12 feet of snow every now and then.

Y'see, the Midwest may suck in terms of weather, opportunity, and everything else, but we are the heart of the country. And we will be around long after everyone else.

Which is why the best President in History hailed from Illinois.

And why, hopefully, the next President will also hail from there.