Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Hymn

As Christmas draws near, I would like to share with you, the 3 readers of this blog, what my favorite Christmas hymn is and why it is.

Title: Once in Royal David's City
Full number of verses: 6
Usually sung: At the beginning of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas eve, as a processional.

It begins, with a single soprano (most effective if it is a well-trained boy soprano from a boys choir) intoning the first verse a cappella:

Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

The choir joins in for the second and third verses, also usually sung a cappella:

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior Holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly Maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He

At this point, the congregation and organ will usually join in for the 4th and 5th verses:

For He is our childhood's pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

And then sometimes a trumpet will join in on a descant, or, if not, the soprano section will take on that role, for the sixth and final verse.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

It takes a very good choir director, with a well-trained choir, to get the full effect of this hymn, but if it is there, then by the end the entire church is ringing with the joyful strains of it. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And I can't think of a more joyous way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Sorry, folks, I didn't mean to preach. I don't usually get so sentimental (as you've probably realized) but at this time of year, I think we all need to rejoice and celebrate the season. Be grateful for family, friends, and good cheer, and have a very merry Christmas!

Oh, and you can see a very good performance of it here:

Monday, December 15, 2008

I LOVE this!

I could watch this over and over...and over...and over!

Nice reflexes there, Duhbya!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Words Cannot Begin to Describe... pissed off I am at the Republican Senators.

These are the senators who blame the union workers for the woes of the big three. I defy any of these Senators to stand--yes, STAND--on an assembly line 8 hours a day, 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, doing the same thing over and over and over and over, all day, every day, and then claim they are overpaid for the work they do.

These are the senators who blame the retired auto workers who are suffering from innumerable health problems caused by those same working conditions, and who face rapidly dwindling health benefits for ever-increasing costs.

These are the senators who didn't so much as ask a question before giving 700 BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS to the banking industry to bail them out, over half of which has already been spent, with little or no apparent result.

And these are the senators who have the unmitigated gall to blame the union workers for the woes of the American auto industry. The same union workers who are fighting tooth and nail to hang on to the few hard-won rights they still have left, while their rich CEO's fly private jets to Washington to ask for enough money to give themselves large Christmas bonuses while laying off thousands of those same workers.

Huh. Maybe words CAN describe it.

I don't claim to be an expert. I have no idea what will happen if one or more of the Big 3 goes down the tubes. But I do know that here in Toledo, Jeep (a Chrysler affiliate) is one of the largest employers in the area, and it supports dozens of subsidiary business. If Jeep goes, it will be a blow to this city from which it will never recover. And that blow will no doubt be accompanied by dozens of similar blows in other cities across the nation. It will cause a drop in our economy that will make The Great Depression look like a mild market downswing.

So now it falls to the President to do the right thing, and use some of the money from that $700 billion to prop up the auto industries before they collapse.

So here is your last chance, Mr. President. Your last chance to do something right. You are going to go down in history as one of the, if not THE, worst presidents ever. This is your last chance to prop up your legacy, to redeem yourself, if only a little bit. You have one final chance to be remembered for something good, after eight years of failed foreign and domestic policies.

Don't blow it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Target MEN!

OK, so yesterday, I went to Target to find some clothes for myself.

I walked in.

I grabbed a shopping cart. I walked towards the back of the store.

I needed some clothes for myself. I walked past about a block's worth of womens' clothing.

I finally found the mens' department. It occupied about one quarter of one half of an aisle of a big block store.

I found 2 pairs of pants for myself and 2 sets of underwear I needed.

I wanted to find at least a short-sleeved dress shirt for myself. It wasn't there.

I realize that women shop for clothes a lot more than men. But it seems to me that it would be wise for Target to offer a lot more choices for men, if you have any wish for them to shop at your store!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Appeal Rejected

Well, I have appealed the cancellation of my google Ads account. That appeal has been rejected.

"Thanks for providing us with additional information. However, after
thoroughly reviewing your account data and taking your feedback into
consideration, we've re-confirmed that your account poses a significant
risk to our advertisers. For this reason, we're unable to reinstate your
account. Thank you for your understanding."

(Direct quote from the rejection e-mail)

My understanding? MY UNDERSTANDING?!

Please, if you can, understand a few things:

1) How, exactly, does donating the profits from clicks on Adsense ads pose a "significant risk to our advertisers"?

2) Just how "thoroughly" was my account data reviewed?

3) If you think MY feedback was bad, just wait until I tell everyone I know about this.

4) I can't make money off my own Adsense ads. When you start a google Ad account, the account records your URL address. And clicks from your own URL do not produce revenue. So if you thought the "risk" was from me clicking my own ads over and over, guess again!

I strongly encourage you, the 3 readers of this blog, to tell everyone you know just how full of crap Google is. And to NEVER use Google again. I certainly won't. From now on, if I need to do a search, I'm using Yahoo. Oh, and if you have Google ads on your own website (if you have one), I encourage you to take them off immediately. Significant risk? Let's SHOW them what a significant risk REALLY looks like!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Account Cancelled

It would seem that the Google Adsense people have a problem with revenues from their ads being donated to charity--specifically to the USO.

My Google adsense account has been cancelled.

There will no longer be any click ads available on this blog. I guess that they don't think that our armed forces deserve our support.

Draw your own conclusions.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hello to you, the 3 readers of this blog!

Please be aware that this night, Me, the author of this blog, has just donated $100 to the USO, thanks to the the fact that you, the readers of this blog, clicked enough on the google ads that I received a check from Google ads for clicks on the google ads to the right. By the way, the check was for $100.97, but I kept the extra $.97 for myself in case there are taxes due from this check. I really don't think that the 97 cents is going to make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

I made a promise that all profits from clicks on those ads would be delivered to the USO. That promise has been kept. It will be kept in the future.

If you want to make your own donation to the USO, please go to

Oh, and keep clicking those Google ads. You can click the back button as soon as you do. and my account will still be credited. It's the easiest charitable thing you will ever do! Every penny (after taxes) WILL be donated to the USO.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Congratulations--And Beware!

Congratulations, my fellow democrats. We won. We kicked ass. We beat them like bad dogs. We crushed them like bugs. We sent them home crying to mama. Yes, that's even possible for McCain. (She's 96 years old but still kicking. That doesn't bode well for 2012...)

But I have just three words for all of you:

Don't. Get. Cocky.

I don't include myself in that admonition, primarily because I'm not going to. Get cocky, I mean.

I won't because I am aware that less than four years ago Republican pundits were crowing about a "permanent Republican majority". A lot can change in four years.

I won't because I know my history. In 1964 Barry Goldwater won 6 states in the presidential election, five of which were in the deep south and the sixth of which was his home state. Four years later, Richard Nixon--RICHARD NIXON!--was elected president. A lot can change in four years.

I won't because I know that if Ted Stevens wins his Senate seat, he will most likely be forced out, leaving Sarah "Doggone it!" Palin as the most likely prospect to take over his seat, leaving her with four years to establish her credentials as the new Republican frontrunner. A lot can change in four years.

I won't because I am a member of a Democratic party that couldn't beat George W. Bush--twice!

I won't because this president managed to install on the big bench 2 arch-conservatives who will likely be around for decades, and can easily undo any reforms instituted by a Democratic administration.

And finally, and most importantly, I won't because I know what can happen. Obama won on a campaign to change the way things are done in Washington, but the Washington establishment is well-entrenched, and changing it will be difficult, if not impossible, for him. There is also a lot that CAN'T change in four years.

So celebrate your victory, my fellow Dems, but do not ignore your history. And do not forget all those who made that victory possible. And, most importantly, do not crow too loudly about the "Death of the Republican party". It can take a lot of bullets to kill an elephant.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Things I Know.

There are a few things I know today.

1) There is at least one woman alive today who was the daughter of a slave who lived long enough to see a black man elected President of the United States.

2) We live in a world where there is a slim chance a news anchorperson will be able to say the words "Senator Al Franken" (not likely at this point, but stay tuned.)

3) I may or may not continue the Heartwarming Story Arc, based on the fact that Oliver Stone has already created a 2+ hour movie detailing the life of the current president. Sort of. By the way, if you were planning on seeing it, I have some advice: Save your money. We get that he had, and has, issues with his dad. We don't need a 2 hour movie exploration of the subject.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The 44th President

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The 44th President of the United States of America will be--Barack Hussein Obama.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What I've Been up to part 2

I wanted to keep going with my heartwarming story arc, but there have been so many things going on this close to the election, I had to take a break.

What has happened:

1) Sarah Palin spent over 5 and a half minutes being pranked by a French Canadian DJ
2) I received my first check for revenues from the Google Adsense ads for this blog. The donation to the USO is now on its way.
3) The Christian Childrens' Fund, to which my Dad is a longtime donor, decided to turn down a donation from Gen Con, a gamers' convention, because the money was donated by longtime players of Dungeons and Dragons. Because players of D & D are devil worshipers, I guess. By the way, I've played D & D. And yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial in nature. Oh, and the heads of CCF are completely off their rocker. But I can't be surprised by this. Fundamentalists have always been a part of the "ready, fire, aim" philosophy.

Hope to resume the story soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

F@&K Sprint and the Horse They Rode in on!

Today, I switched cell providers from Sprint to Verizon.

I did this because my Sprint phone was broken, I was tired of having no bars in more places, and of seeing my bills regularly be about $30 a month more than I was told they would be when I first signed up with Sprint.

So, I went to the Sprint Pictures website, to retrieve all the pictures I had taken with my old phone.

Surprise surprise. My pictures were no longer available. And, upon calling Shi--Sprint cuntstomer service, I was informed that they no longer existed in any form whatsoever.


I think they are merely pissed that I switched providers, and decided to hold my pictures hostage out of spite.

suffice to say that I will never be a customer of Sprint ever again, and I encourage you the 3 readers of this blog to drop Sprint if you have it and to tell all your friends to do the same.

Conventional wisdom tells businesses that it costs six times more to replace a customer than it does to keep them. Sprint has lost my business permanently. And they have lost the business of everyone else I know. This has been an expensive day for Sprint.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 8)

Disclaimer: The following is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Or is it?

So. George was now his party's candidate for KingofalltheLand. But how would he beat the beloved AlGore?

George's handlers had succeeded in creating the image for him of a down-home Texas country boy everyman. But his opponent, AlGore, was a highly popular former Vice KingofalltheLand.

However, he had been second to the dreaded BillClinton. The dreaded BillClinton had forever tarnished his reputation.

George's handlers created a multi-pronged strategy:

1) Work to link AlGore hand-in-hand with BillClinton.
2) Plaster lies about AlGore all over the media.
3) create a multi-pronged whisper campaign about AlGore, tying him to overseas donors and false claims.
4) Go negative early and often.

These tactics worked. Many voters in George's fanatical base followed him blindly. George was almost positive he would win the election.

But disaster struck! The AlGore had won a majority of the popular vote! What to do?!

Easy! Start disputing the election in the magical land of Florida! After all, get simply one state to switch and the election would go to George, despite his losing of the popular vote...

To be continued.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Go Obama!

Gotta take a break once again from my heartwarming story series and share with the 3 people who read this blog some pictures from Obama's visit to Toledo today.

Quite a crowd, eh?

Here's some pix of Obama.
(Sorry about the quality of the pix, but I was pretty far away!)

Of course, there's always an idiot on call...

BTW, to the idiot holding this sign up, you are welcome to me for blacking out your face. I didn't have to, but common courtesy made me do it. The same courtesy of which you are obviously completely unaware.

Seriously. Baby-murdering Muslims? Dude, here's a quarter. Buy a clue.

I might also add that if this asshat had showed up at a McCain event, he'd be in Guantanamo by now. The difference between their party and ours is they look to silence all dissent. We look to drown it out with cheering.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 7)

Disclaimer: The following story is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. Or is it?

The great warrior JohnMcCain was a strong opponent for George. He was a decorated veteran who had served in the country's armed forces for years, and had spent 5 years being held captive by an enemy tribe during a period of war.

The great JohnMcCain was also known in political circles for being a "straight talker", someone who said what needed to be said, regardless of whether or not it was politically popular.

This was a strategy unheard of in politics! No one tells the truth in a political campaign--At least, NOT if you wanted to WIN!

But the strategy seemed to be working. Not only was support for JohnMcCain growing, he had won the first contest in the tiny province of NewHampshire. Coming next was the Province of SouthCarolina, which was expected to be another big win for the JohnMcCain, and would carry him forward to victory.

So George and his people pulled out their favorite weapon: the dreaded PushPoll!

All over SouthCarolina, potential voters would receive calls like this:

Caller: Hello! Are you a registered Republican?
Voter: Yes
C: Well, then, would you be more or less likely to vote for JohnMcCain if you knew that he had fathered an illegitimate child with a black woman?
V: likely, I suppose.

This reliable smear tactic caused the downfall of JohnMcCain, and catapulted George into the lead. George would go on to win the Republican nomination for KingofalltheLand.

But he faced a tough opponent in the popular Democratic candidate, the beloved AlGore...

To be continued...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 6)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

So, George wanted to be KingofalltheLand.

But how could this be? He was a dumb, young, East coast liberal whose image had been remade by handlers. He was probably the most unqualified candidate his sect had ever produced.

That did not matter. What mattered was his pedigree. His father had held high office, so that meant he was automatically qualified to hold the same office, all logic to the contrary.

And so, the race began. George WOULD be KingofalltheLand. No matter that he was STAGGERINGLY unqualified for the job.

But there was a strong opponent: A man named JohnMcCain...

To be continued...

Monday, September 15, 2008

For the Love of Fuck, Grow a Spine!

If I may take a brief break from my heartwarming story arc and interject something campaign-related:

I have a message for all the members of the Traditional Media: Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, would you miserable, cowardly sheep grow a fucking collective spine?!!!

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has selected as his Vice-presidential running mate a woman who is about as qualified to hold the second highest elected office in the country as I am.

She was the governor of a city in Alaska that has fewer people living in it than the town of Murphysboro, Illinois, where I lived for 5 years.

She is Governor of the state of Alaska, by population the fourth smallest state in the United states, and the least densely populated state.

It is probable that she has ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, a movement that favors Alaskan Secession from the U.S. (something that we fought a War over nearly 150 years ago.

She repeats in every speech the false claim that she refused the so-called "bridge to nowhere" when, in fact, she was strongly in favor of it right up until the point where it became politically untenable for her to continue to do so. By the way, Alaska kept the money earmarked for that bridge.

She is a strong proponent of abstinence-only sex education, when she has exhibit A of how that program DOESN'T work living under her own roof.

She claims to be a "maverick" who will "fight Washington" when, in fact, with Alaskan Senator Ted "King of Pork" Stevens, she has worked the Washington system to bring as much Federal money as possible to Alaska.

She is clueless when it comes to foreign policy.

And yet, even with all this, when the traditional media reveals these and other stories about her, the Republicans go snarling after them with cries of "liberal media bias". And the traditional media, instead of standing by the facts it has uncovered, cowers in the corner and says "We're sorry! Please don't hurt us!"

So I ask the media to grow a collective spine for once. When Republican attack dogs go after you and call you liberal, calmly reply to them, "These are the facts. They are unassailable. You cannot change them simply by repeating lies over and over."

Yeah. That's gonna happen.

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 5)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

Chapter 5: The King of Texas

George was now the King of Texas, a prime stepping stone to becoming Kingofalltheland. He was the established favorite of the conservative, so-called "family values" voter, even though he stood in favor of everything that was against everything these "value voters" stood for--compassion for your fellow man, kindness, generosity, and favoring the weak against the strong. In other words, he was against everything these voters had supposedly been taught by their religion.

But no one seemed to notice! The facade established for George by his handlers was impenetrable! And, while king of Texas, he executed more of his subjects than any other king prior to his reign. He gutted the kingdom's education system, auctioned off control of its agencies to private business, and worked to increase his own fortune at the expense of his subjects.

Through it all, the image of the down-home Texas boy was rigorously maintained. George remained the "man of the people" even as the "people" obliviously suffered under his reign, while businesses grew rich off his policies.

But being King of Texas was not enough for George! Like his father, George wanted to be Kingofalltheland. So he gathered around him the same political team that had remade his political image. The time had come. George was ready to follow in his father's footsteps, even if they were far too big for him. That didn't matter, though. This team had remade a drunken, spoiled, East-coast child of privilege into a down-home Texas country boy. Surely, it would be no problem for them to do the same for a candidate for KingofalltheLand...

(to be continued)

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 4)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

Chapter 4: The First Steps

Now that George had remade his image as being that of the fabled Everyman, it was time to run for office as King of the land of Texas.

It would not be hard. George's credentials had been established. He was the good old down home Texas boy. He was a rancher. He was a man of the People. He was for conservative "family values". He would protect the rights of the common man.

There was, of course, a sinister force behind this image change: the sinister monster known as the evil KarlRove. A longtime political brain, the evil KarlRove had long record of defeating opponents of his chosen candidates through whispers, innuendo, and third party smears. The evil KarlRove wanted George as KingofalltheLand and new exactly what steps to take to do this.

KarlRove knew that George by himself was too much of a dim bulb to be effective in politics, but he also knew that if he surrounded George with the many of the same advisers that had been around George's father, it would look like George would know what he was doing.

KarlRove also had an insidious technique up his sleeve: the dreaded pushpoll. The pushpoll was a poll created to implant negative opinions of the opponent in the minds of voters by asking them seemingly innocuous questions designed to give voters false impressions.

It was primarily through the use of this technique that allowed George to become King of Texas, thus securing his future in politics. Two years later, it would be time for him to run for Kingofalltheland.

To be Continued.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 3)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

Chapter 3: Remaking the Image.

In 1960, a family named Kennedy had successfully put their favorite son John into the office of Kingofalltheland by playing up his image as an everyman. It was easy for them, though, because he was from the Democrat tribe, which had long cultivated its image as the party of the people.

George, however was faced with a new reality. He was a member of the Republic Tribe. This was a tribe made up of two types of people: Extremely wealthy ones, who were the real masters of the party, and easily duped rural and small-town ones who were easily swayed by talk of "family values" and "elitist Democrats". These small-town people were fooled easily by promises that, if elected, the Republic party politicians would quickly act on all the issues that the small-towners cared about. In reality, however, the Republics would NEVER actually ACT on these issues, since they needed these issues to keep this rabid base of small-towners active in their party. It was the only thing that kept getting them elected.

So what was George to do? He was the very DEFINITION of East Coast elitist. He was the wealthy son of a powerful political family. His family hailed from Maine.

The solution was to remake his image. He married a very nice girl chosen for him by his family. She allowed him to have sex with her exactly once, in order to produce an heir, (twin daughters, Lucky George!) who would one day carry on his legacy in Politics if the plan worked properly.

His family also purchased a large ranch for him in the land of Texas, where the so-called "Everyman" reigned supreme in politics, thanks to a hijacking of this title from the legitimate owners of it years before. George cultivated his image as an ordinary man of Texas, a rancher, a populist, an owner of a local sports team (a job he handled miserably, like every other job he had held), and, eventually, the ruler of the land of Texas.

George's image makeover was complete. It was time to run for KingofalltheLand!

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 2)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

Part 2: A Businessman (sort of)

The next step for young George was to work to increase the vast wealth of his family. With that in mind, he looked to join the same business as many of his family members--that of removing a precious black liquid from the ground and selling that liquid for large amounts of money.

Unfortunately for George, he was a few decades too late. The vast reserves of this precious black liquid where he drilled for had already been tapped dry. There was no more left. Therefore, every business he started in an attempt to get into this moneymaking industry became a miserable failure.

So what was George to do?

Well, as so many sons of successful wealthy families had done in the past, he decided he would enter a magical field known as politics. You see, as had been done for generations before, the sons of wealthy families would often put their names into the running to control the entire land, and as it had worked for his father, George decided he would do the same. After all, what could be a better fate for a failed businessman son of a wealthy politically powerful family than to redeem himself by entering the magical world of politics? Such a thing had been done successfully nearly 50 years before by an almost identical family named Kennedy, so why not George?

Why not indeed...

(To be continued)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Heartwarming Story (Pt. 1)

Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is PURELY coincidental (Really!)

Chapter 1: The Early Years

Once upon a time, there was a boy named George.

George grew up in a magical town named Kennebunkport. His family was very rich. He had everything in life he ever wanted handed to him literally on a silver platter. His family was the very definition of East Coast Aristocracy.

As a boy, he coasted through life. He attended the most exclusive prep schools, where he was, by most accounts, a mediocre student, but no teacher was going to dare to give a failing grade to someone with his family's power and influence.

His father, years earlier, had served 2 terms as vice-Kingofalltheland and one term as Kingofalltheland. As a result, George himself aspired to this post. So he followed the prescribed path. First, he went to a magical place called Harvard, where the privileged send their offspring to be groomed to be privileged themselves. (Of course, Harvard also occasionally takes in a few token underprivileged offspring just to show they're not a bunch of snobs--but that's another story).

Again, George coasted through school, boozing and partying his way through six (?) years en route to an MBA that apparently had all the legitimacy of a sheet of toilet paper.

To be continued

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Moviegasm

This might be the first time I have been 0rgasmed by a movie.

This Saturday, I saw The Dark Knight.

I cannot, in any reference, ever say I have seen a better movie.

Up until now, my favorite movie of all time has been Casablanca.

I have to say that now it shall be The Dark Knight.

Qualities for my best movie:

Unforgettable: Check
Amazing Visuals: Check
Unbelievable acting: Check
Sound Editing: Cannot ever be improved upon.

If this movie does not get an Oscar, then that will be proof that there is no justice in this world.

I must say this without giving too much away; I am impressed that there are still those in Hollyweird that still believe in the decency of humankind. That is the last thing I ever expected.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What I've Been up to

Look, I know I haven't posted in over a month, but I've been busy. I hope all 3 readers of this blog haven't been too upset over missing me. Meanwhile, enjoy a beautiful picture of my 2 nephews.

My, what a happy moment.

Hope to make a full post soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Experience I Would NOT Recommend

The following sequence of events is something I would NOT recommend trying:

1) Being stressed out from trying to cram 3 days worth of work into 1 day.

2) Letting your high blood pressure prescription run out and not refilling it.

3) Working 45 minutes past your normal time of day.

4) Failing to consume an adequate supply of water on one of the hottest days of the year.

5) Walking out into a black asphalt parking lot.

6) Blacking out and doing a faceplant into the pavement.

7) waking up surrounded by paramedics and barely able to breathe due to nose and mouth full of blood.

8) Spending the next three days in the hospital while doctors run a battery of tests to conclusively prove that your blackout had medical cause whatsoever. While wearing a cervical collar for two of those three days.

9) Being under close observation for those 3 days in what the hospital euphemistically calls the "Close Care unit", or, as I came to know it, the "reasonable facsimile of what a 3rd world hospital ward would look like if it had electricity and modern medical monitoring equipment."

Perhaps the only bright side from the whole experience came from the fact that I was not asked to provide insurance information before I was admitted. I guess if it's a genuine emergency, this hospital still acts like the patient matters first.

For the time being, anyway.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Time to Admit It.

I admit it.

I'm a geek.

The problem is, I'm not the GOOD kind of geek. The GOOD kind of geek owns his own software company and has a billion dollars in the bank and a blond 20 year old trophy wife.

No, I'm the bad kind of geek.

I'm, the kind of geek that spends all of his off-work hours in front of his computer playing MMORPG's or FPS games or strategy games--or possibly surfing the web for free porn. In other words, the pathetic kind. The kind that the good kind of geek loves because we spend our hard-earned money on the computer games that THEY create.

The bad kind of geek also spends his time writing entries in a blog that no one else in the world will ever read. And he is too pathetic to do it more than once or twice a week. Or even less than that.

He is also pathetic enough that when he can't think of anything to write in his blog, he writes useless drivel like this.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm going to California!

Yes folks, I'm headed to San Francisco!

I am going to be married to John, my long time partner. We will live a life of happiness and bliss in California. We expect to adopt a few children. We will be filled with bliss and happiness.

I fully expect that our union will bring about the destruction of traditional family values. Within years, or even months, all Americans will be forced to marry their same-sex cousins, bear their illegitimate children, and lead a life of celibacy that will result in the destruction of the American way of life.

By the way, I am kidding.

But I fully expect the above arguments to be made repeatedly during this year's electoral campaign.

Because bigotry and ignorance is the only way that the Republicans will win this year's election.

And it just may work.

Bigotry is the reason Republicans have won presidential elections 2 times in a row.

That is NOT something they should be proud of.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wake up, Myanmar!

As I write this, the military leaders of Myanmar are refusing to allow aid in to help the victims of the cyclone.


It is a fact that governments cannot function without their people. And people cannot function without government.

But restrictive enough governments can convince their people that outside aid is only there to destroy them. And this is only possible if people decide that their free will is less important than their safety.

Ben Franklin once said that (to paraphrase) "They that can give up their freedom to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Mynamar has given up its freedom. As a result, they are experiencing neither liberty nor safety.

That's what they deserve.

It's what we got during Hurricane Katrina.

And once again humans prove we cannot learn from our mistakes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Angel Friend.

One or two of the 3 readers of this blog may or may not recall that last December, a few days before Christmas, one of my best friends from high school was found dead in his apartment. He was my age. roughly, and he was, by most accounts, reasonably successful with a good part of his life ahead of him. And yet, he is now dead.

His death hit me hard. I was, in varying degrees, sad, mad, and hurt. Sad over his death. Mad that he could be taken from us too early. And hurt that I didn't keep in better touch with him.

But I've been able to detach myself from his death, mainly due to the fact that I could rationalize it by saying that we had drifted apart over the years. After all, he moved to Arizona years ago, and we barely spoke any more. I visited him a couple of times, and he me, but we had gone the way most high school friendships go.

But this past Saturday I went to Rodney Carrington's show when he came to town. He was his usual hilarious self. I nearly--to borrow a line from him--shit out a kidney I was laughing so hard.

But near the end of the show, he grew serious. And he began talking about a friend of his, who had been touring for years with him, who had died not too long ago. And then he played a song he had written to honor his friend.

I have to say--it took every effort I could muster not to break down and cry. This was not due to pride on my part, but due to the fact that I didn't want to explain why I was crying to my friends who were at the show with me. Y'see, his story and song brought home to me--hard--the fact that I will never see my old friend again, at least not in this life.

I can now claim membership in a club that no one wants to belong to, and yet far too many people do--those who have lost a good friend.

These are the lyrics to the song, My Angel Friend, written by Rodney Carrington.

Lift me up each day
Even though you've gone away
Your Spirit dances in my mind
In my heart, and in my soul
The life you lived, The Love you left
The one's you've touched, we won't forget
You give us strength in time of need
My Friend, My Angel Friend

'And we shared good times, through the years
In my heart and soul, you're here with me
My Friend, My Angel Friend

I hear you whisper in the wind
Piece by piece our, hearts will mend
The dreams you've shared will carry on
Here and now, and beyond
'And the world will smile, for you were here
The gifts you brought we'll hold them dear
I'll take you with me, 'til we meet again
My Friend My Angel Friend

'And We'll share good times from now on
In my heart you live on, with me
My Friend, My Angel Friend

I miss my Friend

Here's to you, John. May you know the peace in death that you apparently could not find in life. And may we someday meet again in a better place.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bush 4000--So?

So, 4000 American military personnel have been killed in Iraq. A news interviewer was talking to VP DICK Cheney about the situation in Iraq. She mentioned that a majority of the American public polled as being against the war. His response: "So?"

Cheney, apparently, gives a shit.

He cares less that he steered this country into a war.

He cares less that this war had no justification.

He cares less that this war has cost the lives of 4000 American soldiers.

He could care less. But I'm really not sure how.

I don't know why this surprises me. This is a man who got drunk while hunting and shot another man in the face. And don't even try to say that didn't happen. If it didn't, the administration would not have waited a day before allowing him to give a statement to the police. They had to sober him up.

This is a man whose arrogance knows no bounds.

And this is a man who is a heartbeat away from being the President.

That is something that scares me the most.

Guns, guns, GUNS!

This week, the supreme court was asked to consider whether or not the Washington D.C. handgun ban should be allowed to stand.

The reason for this was because the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution states that Americans should be allowed to keep and bear arms. Arms, as in firearms.

It also states that a well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state. It states this before stating that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.

May I say at this point that the terms "well-regulated" and "militia" do not belong in the same sentence.

May I also say that the first definition of "militia" is this: "a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies."

By its very definition, a body of "citizens" enrolled for military service and serving time only in emergency it the exact opposite of "well-regulated".

Militia can NEVER be described as "well-regulated".

So that argument goes RIGHT out the window.

As such, the right to bear any type of "arms" is never guaranteed.

The right to bear a weapon that can empty a 100 round clip of ammunition before you can SAY the words "100 round clip of ammunition" is NOT a right the founding fathers considered.

The right to bear a weapon that was developed in the former Soviet Union as a weapon that could help 10 Russian soldiers standing side by side defeat a regiment of Nazi soldiers that outnumbered them 20 to 1 was NEVER considered when this amendment was enacted.

And the right that enabled a small-time criminal to bear a weapon that was NOT illegal at the time to have the ability rob a minimum wage gas station attendant was NOT foreseen by the framers of the Constitution.

In case you were wondering, that last example comes from personal experience.

I've been robbed at gunpoint. Just in case anyone wondered.

I was a strong supporter of gun rights. Right up until I was robbed by someone who held a gun that was not illegal under the laws of the time.

I wasn't the only one robbed by this man. He held up a friend of mine. about 2 days before he robbed me.

By the way, he was never caught.

Cops at the time believed he was doing it to support a drug habit. So I can take some comfort in the fact that he's probably dead of an overdose by now.

Which gives me no comfort.

Y'see, he obtained this gun (which probably didn't work) with absolutely no legal obstacles.

Because what few obstacles there are to owning guns in this country are marginal at best.

And the Supreme Court that is in existence today WILL vote to remove any that exist.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Forever silenced

Just in case you've been hiding in a cave with Osama Bin Laden the last couple of days, I have some bad news to pass along to you: William F. Buckley, the conservative giant, has died.

Let me say this up front: There was almost NOTHING about his political views that I agreed with. I think the man could be, not to put too fine a point on it, a pompous ass sometimes. And I think he was extraordinarily narrow-minded on a host of issues that, in this day and age, cannot be approached with anything resembling a narrow mind.

But I respected him.

You see, Mr. Buckley was that very rare class of conservative: Honest, intelligent, sincere, and unwavering in his beliefs. Like it or not, his mind did not change based on which way the political wind happened to blow, unlike so many other so-called "conservatives" in this day and age. He remained steadfast, staying his own course in the ever-changing political world. It is so refreshing--and rare--in this day and age to find anyone so firm in their beliefs that no amount of persuasion can change their minds. Some may call this a flaw, but I believe sincerity is a virtue that is rare in today's world.

You the 3 readers of this blog may have guessed by now that I tend to lean a little bit towards the liberal side of politics, in the same way it can be said that the Titanic took on a little bit of water. I disagreed with nearly everything Mr. Buckley stood for. But while I may have hated his politics, I did not hate him personally, which is something that I can't say about very many conservatives.

I would have enjoyed the opportunity to sit down and have a discussion with Mr. Buckley. Not a debate or an argument, for I am the first to admit that he was WAY smarter than I am (with the exception of our current President, they rarely admit morons into Ivy League Universities), but a discussion of his views of the current political climate.

The realist in me, however, realizes that such a discussion would never have happened even while he was alive, but now that opportunity is lost forever. A giant voice is forever silenced, and the world is now a little poorer for it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Run, Ralph, Run! (As far and as fast as Possible)

An open letter to Ralph Nader:

Dear Mr. Nader,

Recently, you announced your intention to run for the Presidency again.

I have one question for you:

Are you completely out of your fucking mind?!!!

When you ran for President back in 2000, calling your candidacy a long shot was an exaggeration at best, a complete fantasy at worst. But, you were able to siphon off enough votes from the Democratic candidate to make victory for his opponent possible in a closely contested state. You, sir, more than anyone or anything else, are the reason that this country has been cursed with the worst president in history for the last 7 years. You even had an effect on the 2004 election, although probably not enough to really change the results.

Now, you intend to run again. And I think you are crazy to do so. Every vote cast for you is a vote for the Republican candidate. The same candidate who has before, and will again, oppose everything you stand for.

So please, in the name of all that is holy, STOP! You cannot possibly win, and you will only help to ensure the election of another Republican for the next 4, and probably 8, years. If that is what you want, then by all means, continue this insane quest. If not, drop out now, and help to save the country you claim to love so much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gas Math

Recently I’ve heard many people who pull their big, gas-guzzling SUV’s up to the gas pump complain about the high price of gas. I decided to do a little math:

(All numbers are rough estimates. Any errors in math are entirely someone else's fault. I welcome any corrections or suggestions)

There are roughly 300 million people in the U.S.

Let’s be conservative and assume that there is one car for every four people. That means on any given day there are about 75 million cars on the road.

Let’s further assume that each car is driven an average of 10 miles per day (again, being conservative). That means on an average day, Americans drive 750 million miles.

The amount of gas required to drive 750 million miles is about 30 Million gallons. This is based on a mileage standard (that is, average MPG of all cars sold in the U.S.) of 25 MPG. This is also assuming that the cars on the road today meet that standard, on average.

It takes about 1.49 gallons of crude oil to make one gallon of gasoline.

There are 55 gallons of oil in a standard barrel. That means that each barrel of crude oil can make about 37 gallons of gas, on average.

That further means that Americans, just through everyday driving, consume, on average, nearly 811 thousand barrels of oil. Every. Day.

Yesterday (2/19/08) the price of oil closed at over $100 a barrel. That means that we as Americans pay 81 MILLION dollars EVERY DAY simply for the gas we consume through everyday driving. That adds up to nearly 30 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Congress has recently enacted legislation requiring the federal cafe standard to be raised to 35 MPG--in the future.

Now consider this: Suppose the Federal MPG standard was 35 MPG NOW. That means Americans would use only about 21.4 Million gallons of gas each day in everyday driving. Applying the same math used above, that means about 579,150 barrels of oil. That’s nearly 232,000 FEWER barrels of oil per DAY! A savings of nearly 23.2 MILLION dollars a day, or OVER 8.5 BILLION DOLLARS per year!

We, as Americans, could save EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR if the national mileage standard was 35 miles per gallon. Think what we could do with an extra EIGHT BILLION dollars every year…

And, of course, that’s just by changing our personal vehicles. Imagine if they were able to do the same for every vehicle on the road.

I must repeat again that this is very rudimentary mathematics, and I did very little research (mostly having to do with how much oil to make a gallon of gas). I also did it in about 15 minutes. Think about the figures a professional number-cruncher could come up with if given more exact figures and more time…

Monday, February 18, 2008


Well, folks, it took the brainiacs in Hollyweird nearly six months, but they finally came up with a new TV show I like.

Eli Stone

OK, I don't just like this show, I LOVE it!

Granted, it tends to get a little bit silly at times, but putting that aside, this show has everything I love in a good TV show: Smart writing, good acting, powerful emotional content, and just enough humor to keep it from getting TOO sappy.

OK, so the premise is a little far-fetched--A high-class attorney suddenly begins experiencing visions--VIVID visions, with a capital VIVID--and decides to suddenly change the course of his life. The visions may or may not be the result of an inoperable brain aneurysm, or they may be messages from a higher power (God?)

But through the course of these visions, this attorney learns that he can help people in ways that will change their lives for the better, and, in doing so, change his own life as well.

Sure, it's sappy, sentimental, Hollyweird garbage, but it Just. Doesn't. Matter.

It's been three episodes now, and I'm not ashamed to say that all 3 episodes so far have reduced me to tears more than once.

My God, I'm becoming a woman.

(Slaps self) OK, I admit I'm not doing my reputation any good here, but it takes a lot to make me lose control of my emotions. Hell, I didn't shed a tear when Ohio State lost 2 championship games in a row. And believe me, THAT was heartbreaking!

So I have high hopes for this new show. And considering that it took the major TV studios until February to come up with a show worth watching, it would be in their best interests to keep it in the lineup. And maybe to study what works about this show and possibly apply it to the rest of their lineups.

Maybe if they did, they'd come up with a few other shows worth watching.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dizzoner, the Mayor

Well, folks, it's been about a week since it happened. Our mayor, the (dis)Honorable Carleton Finkbeiner, told the U.S. Marines they were NOT welcome to train in Downtown Toledo, as part of their training in Urban Warfare.

Downtown Toledo was a natural choice, I suppose. They needed a large urban area that was also largely deserted. Downtown Toledo fits that choice to a T. Just about every other building is deserted, and the city's second-tallest Skyscraper has stood completely abandoned for nearly 2 decades. The only time when Downtown Toledo shows any activity at night is during baseball season when the Mud Hens play at home. And that will only last as long as they continue to have success on the field.

So the Marines attempted to land. Carty told them to leave, drawing the ire of veterans and non-veterans alike. And, far from being apologetic about it, he called his critics "Baboons".

An aside: Lest you think I'm quoting him out of context, here is the original quote:

"For anyone to suggest that this man, in any way, shape , or form is not loyal to this country, or not loyal to the military of this country, that person is just a plain baboon, who doesn't know me or what I stand for."

I have personally NEVER liked this man. I have voted against him in every election. And I will vote against him in the next election. And in any other election he runs in.

My reasons for this are varied, but a lot of it has to do with incidents like this. This man has always, to borrow a phrase from The Blade, employed a "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach to management. He shoots off his mouth before loading his brain. He yells at people. He curses at them. He has, on more than one occasion, physically threatened people. He violently attacks his critics. And, above all, he steadfastly REFUSES to admit that he could EVER be wrong.

This is NOT the sort of man who should be the mayor of a mid-size mid-western city. This is not the sort of man who should be mayor of ANY city, regardless of size. In any place outside of politics, this man would be locked in a padded cell with a straitjacket.

I wish I could say this whole incident came as a complete surprise, but having witnessed the antics of this man over the course of nearly 2 decades spent in office as mayor of Toledo, I can safely say that nothing he does surprises me any more.

And if the fools in this city elect this man to another term as mayor, then they deserve to be screwed!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Village Idiot Speaks

Right now, as I write this entry, the President gives his 7th and final State of the Union. 7 more than he ever should have made.

Let's see how long it takes for him to mention September 11th.

9:16: Entrust Americans with homeownership?! Isn't that how this whole mess started in the first place?!

9:21: Junk medical lawsuits. Like the ones against Vioxx, for example?

9:22: Yes, no one can deny the results of No Child Left Behind. The result was it didn't work.

OK, I lasted until 9:25. I'm sorry folks, but I cannot take any more. Good night!

Friday, January 04, 2008

The West Wing Redux

For Christmas, I received a copy of The West Wing Season 3. I remember recalling thinking of season 3 as one of the weakest seasons of this fine show, a season where it lost much of its momentum, only to grab that momentum back in season 4--with a vengeance.

I don't know what I could have been thinking.

Perhaps my recollection was blurred over the years. Perhaps I was disheartened by the somewhat disturbing exit of Season 2. Perhaps.

The 3 readers of this blog may or may not recall that I posted an entry near the season finale of the show listing my favorite moments of the show in no particular order. I don't have the energy to include a link to this post right now. Maybe later.

But season 3 has 2 episodes that are going to gain permanent entries on that list. Ironically, they are back to back.

They come in episodes 18 and 19.

Near the end of 18, the President calls Donna into the Oval Office and participates in a personal call to a favorite teacher of hers who was retiring after 40+ years. He does this while bringing up facts about her that impressed him greatly.

And near the end of 19, the President greets a black man, accompanied by his doctor son, who wrote a letter to FDR when he was 9, a fact that is discovered by his personal aide. The man, the son, and the aide, then enjoy a photo op and an extended conversation about FDR.

I'm not ashamed to say both of these moments reduced me to tears.

I now have a complete collection of the entire West Wing. One of these days, I'm gonna sit down and watch every episode, from beginning to end. Maybe when I retire.

And the reason I'll do it is because of moments like I detailed above.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Toe Warmers

This evening, after I returned home from work and dressed up to go outside and shovel the snow that fell yesterday, I was armed with a new tool.

Y'see, for Christmas, my sister gave me a package of Grabber brand toe warmers.

And they were the nicest. Things. Ever.

These things, when removed from their packaging, undergo a chemical reaction that causes them to produce approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit of heat for about 5-6 hours. You use the adhesive on each one to apply it to the outside of your sock, on top and on the bottom of your foot. These things ensure that your feet feel warm for over 5 hours.

As a former Boy Scout, who has completed over 250 nights of camping, approximately a fifth of which happened during Ohio Winters, in tents (or sometimes with NO tents), I can safely tell you this: You can be wearing 5 layers of Thinsulate filled wool clothing on the rest of your body, but if your feet are cold, you will feel cold, no matter what temperature the rest of your body is at. There is NOTHING that feels worse than having cold feet. I speak this to you from bitter experience.

So I have to say that a product that can warm your feet up with no more effort than removing it from its packaging and applying it to your socks before putting them into your shoes HAS to rank among the top 100 of the Greatest Inventions of the World.