Friday, June 30, 2006

On Jurisdiction

Some of the commentary I've read on the recent Hamden decision revolves around the premise that the Supreme Court didn't have jurisdiction to hear the case, because of the plain language of the law by which the president was detaining the prisoners.

The prisoners were being held per the Geneva Conventions (among other reasons), and the Geneva Conventions were part of a treaty/agreement that the United States entered into.

Why does this matter? Well, I didn't catch it, myself (I'm merely a student, bear with me), but Dr. Stephen Taylor at PoliBlog noted that perhaps this little phrase in the Constitution, in Article VI (the Supremacy Clause), might matter:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

See, the agreements were made under the Authority of the United States, which subjects them to Constitutional review, and the Constitution is interpreted by the Court, not the president or Congress.

President Bush said:

"The American people need to know that the ruling [in Hamden v. Rumsfeld, regarding military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees], as I understand it, won't cause killers to be put out on the street."

Hamden was charged with Conspracy to Commit Terrorist Acts. He was a driver for Osama Bin Laden.

I don't know who is in Guantanamo Bay, and I don't know what all of them did. I am more than sure that there are many in there who have killed or allowed others to kill. I'm also certain that there are many people who are there, guilty of suspicion of being a terrorist because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time or they "looked guilty."

While I appreciate what the administration wants to do, I disagree with their methods, and I believe that this was the right decision. I also don't like how the president phrased what he said. The above quote looks to me like a thinly disguised attempt to discredit the Supreme Court for issuing a ruling contrary to what the president wanted, almost as if to say "I'm trying to keep you safe, but those damn activists in the Court don't want that." Tact, decorum, patience, and diplomacy. These are what are lacking in our CINC.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

This, I just had to post

Here are the first three paragraphs from the AP article on Yahoo!:

Serving on the jury in an indecent-exposure trial unfolding in this conservative Oklahoma town has been a giggle-inducing experience.

Former Judge Donald D. Thompson, a veteran of 23 years on the bench, is on trial on charges he used a penis pump on himself in the courtroom while sitting in judgment of others.

Over the past few days, the jurors have watched a defense attorney and a prosecutor pantomime masturbation. A doctor has lectured on the lengths the defendant was willing to go to enhance his sexual performance.

Just read the article.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's a Hard Knock Life

We're with one car this week. This is a direct result of our no longer having two cars. So this means, since I'm the one who can drive a manual, I get to drive everyone. Yay.

I also got out of work late tonight, natch.

So I go and pick up the kids, then go to get the wife, this is to ensure the kids are picked up without fear of not getting back before daycare closes.

Since we're up on the northwest side of town, we decide to eat dinner. We ask the kids what they want, and The Boy gets upset at the suggestion of Wendy's. So upset that he says 59 Diner (a local diner here). We agree to 59 Diner, which apparently upsets The Boy, as he turns away toward the wall and won't look at us.

We eventually get in the car, and he wants to get in first. This makes sense, since he must sit in the middle. So we tell the daughter to let him in first. This also upsets The Boy.

Then we get to the diner. We ask him what he wants to drink. He says nothing, but we get him a water, nonetheless. Then we order our meals. He says he wants a chili-cheese dog. So we order one. This also upsets The Boy. He decides to pout on the chair. We don't mind silent pouting, but require him to sit upright. This causes some more whiny behavior (go figure).

Then dinner comes. Unfortunately, they run out of Mac and Cheese, so the daughter graciously gives hers to the little Boy who loves Mac and Cheese. She gets a corn dog instead. Can't complain there. The Boy, however, got a Chili-cheese dog. OH THE HUMANITY! He shoves it away and starts grumbling and near crying.

Don't you hate it when you get what you want?

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I wish I could sing
Like Bob Dylan, but I'm not
near nasal enough.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday Essay Question

Should the President be subjected to impeachment hearings? Remember, this is an essay question, so give a little more than "yes" or "no." Support your position, let's see what we can get!

When a law isn't a law

When the president signed the bill banning the torture of detainees, he also signed a statement that he reserved the right to ignore the law. He did a very similar thing with the PATRIOT Act. Indeed, he has done it several times in his tenure as president, and according to Arlen Specter, he's done it more than any other president.

Some in Congress look at this as a loophole around the legislative veto, and others consider it a way around the veto power of Congress. While the statements aren't necessarily law, they do display the mindset of the president - namely, that the laws he passes don't apply to him.

This is discouraging. You have a man who refuses to veto anything, literally has not vetoed anything, who says that when he passes a law, it counts for everyone but him. "In the name of national security" should not be misused, and that's very close to what this looks like, to me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tech Support

I got this from a friend of mine today in the mail. I like it.

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance - particularly in the flower and jewelry applications which operated
flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0 and Gold Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?

Signed, Desparate.


Dear Desparate:

First keep in mind that Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter the command: "http: I Thought You Loved Me.htm: and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the backgroudn that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).

Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck,

Tech Support

Monday Tension

It's a tense day at work today. I'm home at lunch right now, hence the posting. But it's pretty tense at work - one of those days where you can feel it in the air. It's not an environment I particularly care for. I much prefer a more relaxed workplace, but then, I think that's true of most people.

So why did I go to law school? Why not?

Expansionism is wrong

Every year there is great debate over who belongs, who should belong, and who shouldn't belong. Who should go? Who shouldn't?

Now, the Powers That Be want to change the status quo, make it more accessible to the little guy.

There are some in the NCAA who want to expand the Men's Basketball Tournament from 65 teams to 128. The reasons listed include: there are more teams in Division 1 basketball than the last time they expanded, there "are a number of good teams" that are left out of the tournament each year, and "the size [of the tournament] has been at 64 or 65 for a number of years." Yes, we should change because it's been a while since we got bigger.

Expanding the tournament won't change the debate over who "deserves" to go. That debate will be there at 64, at 90, at 128, whatever, unless you invite everyone to the tournament, which pretty much destroys the purpose of a regular season. I think it's safe to say that 64 might be too many teams. I mean, only one 15 seed (between 56 and 60) and no 16 seed has ever won ONE game, let alone made a powerful run at the title.

The only plausible reason for expanding the tournament is to get more games on TV, which would generate more revenue for the TV stations and the NCAA. There's really nothing else that can rationally explain a desire to expand. 128 teams isn't a tournament; there's no need for it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Summertime Blues

We went shopping for a new minivan yesterday. We found one that we liked, at least we liked how it drove. The color was pretty close to hideous. I mean, it was bad. As the wife said, it looked like blue Scope. Perhaps it will still be there next week, but perhaps not.

But we realize now that we can buy a car, we just can't really afford to buy one and do much else this summer. The buddy I was looking to go fishing with is having trouble finding a free weekend, so I probably won't get offshore to go fishing. Since we're spending the money we have on the van, I won't be going up north to the cabin.

I'm still looking at trying to get myself a job up in the Pacific Northwest after I graduate, but I need to do a little more searching. I also think I'm going to start looking up in the midwest, as well... We'll see.

Yugiyoh - the real meaning is June 25

Fifty-six years ago today, North Korean soldiers, with backing from the Soviet Union and PRC, crossed over the 38th parallel and invaded the First Republic of Korea. The DPRK soldiers caught the ROK soldiers completely off-guard, and began routing the South Korean army and the few Americans left in country. After three years of bitter fighting, leaving approximately 900,000 Chinese, 520,000 North Korean, 400,000 UN and ROK, and 155,000 US soldiers either killed or woudned, a Cease-fire was declared, with the line being approximately where it was before the fighting began. To this day, no treaty has been signed, and these two countries are still technically at war.
Take a moment to remember those who died protecting those who couldn't protect themselves from the yoke of tyranny.

BTW, the title reference to Yugiyoh comes from the Korean term for the start of the Korean war. Yook (or Yoog) - 6, or June, Ee meaning 2, and Oh, meaning 5, combined for 25. So, to the Koreans, this is June 25, or Yukiyoh/Yugiyoh.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


The little boy had his birthday this month. We got a package recently containing his gifts from Papa. He got a bunch of clothes that he loves, though he doesn't know it yet, and he got a lizard. Not a real one; they don't ship well in cardboard. This one is made of stretchy rubber, and is very popular with the little boy's older siblings. In fact, I'm not sure he's had a chance to play with it yet, or even realizes it's his. He's not quite to the "it's all mine" stage, which I'm sure he's on the precipice (sp?) of, and which, of course, won't end until he's accumulated everything, or is dead, whichever comes second.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm sorry,

But I have been so busy at work that by the time I'm done for the day, I'm completely wiped and don't have much energy to keep up with my blogging.

Please understand that even if I do not comment on your blogs, I do read them all. I will try to be more punctual with my replies, but bear with me.

Lo Siento, pero you tengo mucho que hacer en mi trabajo y no puedo hablar en sus blogs mucho.

Chaega nomu pappaso, tangsin blog chal mot suoyo. Chaega su blogul ilkjiman, kunmu eh nomu pappaso, chal mos hamnida. chamkan kidarigi paramnida.

Friday Chuckle

Since nobody seemed to enjoy my "Bjorn Free" joke earlier this week, I figure I'll try another one...

Early one morning, a family of moles wake up. Father mole decides to poke his head out of the ground to take a look at the crisp morning. He burrows up the tunnel through the opening, looks around and takes a sniff. "Honey, I think I smell Oregano out here," he says to Mother mole. Mother mole pokes her head out the hole and starts sniffing around. "No, I'm pretty sure it's Basil." The mother counters.

As the two parents are debating what the smell is outside their mole hole, the baby mole is curious and wants to take a whiff himself. He tries to get past his parents, but they block the entire hole. Exasperated, the baby mole cries out, "All I smell is molasses!"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Random Trivia

When kangaroos are nervous, they lick their forearms.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Mother is coming
But that is a good thing - not
Like Norman Bates's mom.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

When you lose a tooth, you need a good...


At least, you did in our house last night. The Boy lost another tooth - he now has three teeth missing from his head. So, his mom elected to wash the tooth off, to get the blood off it, so the tooth fairy wouldn't be grossed out by it. As she's washing it off, it slips from her hand and goes down the drain. The boy is distraught, as you might imagine, and the mom is feeling really bad. So, who comes to the rescue? Plumber dad! That's right, me! Now, bear in mind that my life experience with plumbing consists of changing the washers in my mom's kitchen sink back in the early 1990s - I am therefore an expert in all things plumbing.

So, I get under the sink, find the U joint, take it off, and hope that the tooth is resting at the bottom of the foul-smelling bit of water.

I find hair. Lots of hair. I think Sasquatch shaved in my bathroom, followed by the Hungarian women's soccer team, then Chewbacca.

I find no tooth. I think it was dissolved by the massive amounts of hair that I found, but I can't confirm that. There was a lot of hair. Jimmy Hoffa might have been hiding in there, for all I know.

Fortunately, though I couldn't get the tooth, the tooth fairy, who is understandably much smaller than I, was able to locate it, so the boy got his tooth fairy money. So all's well that ends well. But next time, maybe it would be best to let the tooth fairy deal with a little blood.

Tuesday Essay Question

The Supreme Court ruled that, as a condition of their parole, California Parolees may be subjected to routine searches by police. This is conceivably due to a high rate of recividism in the group.

The vote was 6-3; you can probably guess the three.

Now the question for you is, "is this the right decision?"
Should a parolee be subjected to random searches by police? Should fourth amendment rights extend to parolees? Since parolees are still serving their sentence, do they get to enjoy all the rights of those who are not serving prison sentences?

Monday, June 19, 2006


Houston is looking at a lot of flooding today. I should be relatively unaffected on my drive to work, so long as the rain stays slow like it is right now. But the news is announcing that if you don't have to go anywhere to not go anywhere.

This reminds me of snow delays when I was stationed in Maryland. What I remember was a big Nor'easter that came up in the beginning of the year 2000. The next day there was a one-hour delay in going to work. Now I presumed that when there's a delay for showing up, it's because the roads are treacherous, and they want to give time to clear up the streets to make them safer to drive on, so stay home and wait. I was wrong. What we were told when we got to work was that a delay means that you are allowed to show up as much as one hour late without worrying about getting reamed for being late. You are to leave at the normal time, though, and try to get to work at starting time.

This seems so counterintuitive to me that I still can't view it as correct. Safety needs to come first, even if it means staying at home watching the weather channel. But that was another time, years ago.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Happy father's day everyone. Happy father's day, pa!

My wife was so sweet this morning, and she let me sleep in. The kids were up at six, as is normal for the weekend (and the week for that matter). So at 6:30, the daughter comes in to give me a hug and a cuddle. This is immediately followed by the little boy and the wife, who come in and lay down on the bed, as well. So I get up and run downstairs with the kids, since I'm awake and the kids are active.

I grab my coca-cola (breakfast of champions) and have a seat. An hour and a half later the wife comes down, fresh from her early morning nap.

Thank you, honey, for letting me sleep in today! :-)

Note from wife: It was 7 o'clock before we came upstairs. And he was already awake and watching TV....

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I like movies. I've liked watching movies for as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember watching Star Wars when it first came out - back when I was 3. I know that I only remember the swing across the broken bridge, but I remember that we went.

I've wanted to write a screenplay for quite some time now, as well. But writer's block kept me from doing so. But today, I had a brainstorm!

A harrowing tale of a young Norwegian boy. He was born in a prison to a mother serving a life sentence on a trumped-up charge. Despite the dismal setting in which he finds himself - due to circumstances, he's required to stay in prison with his mother - he finds a way to keep those around him happy, a lone bright spot in their lost lives. He brings hope to those who otherwise had none, and wants for nothing, because he's known nothing but this life.

His mother and her fellow inmates, however, want more for this young lad. They want to give him the chance that they won't get, an opportunity to view the world outside the Norwegian prison, to live, to learn, and to enjoy the world around him. So they devise a plan to break him out of prison. They hope to get him to his mother's family, who can get him away from the dead end in which fate placed him. But can he do it?

I'm going to call the movie "Bjorn Free."


My boss called me into her office yesterday to go over a PSI packet that we need to finish by Monday. I came in and we started going over everything, then she told me I looked really tired. I agreed that I felt tired, and we continued talking about the packet. A couple minutes later, the color drained from my face and I got really faint. I asked my boss if we could hold off just a moment, and she was fine with that. We decided that I was just too exhausted to finish work yesterday, so she sent me home an hour and a half early, which is nice since I came in an hour early yesterday and the day before. So to make up for going home early, my boss told me to come in today for an hour to work on the psi packet some more.

This packet is important, so I'm not complaining, but I did kind of want a two day weekend this week. Oh well, my replacement starts on Monday, and I've got two weeks left until the end. We'll see what happens there. Anyone who wants to have us and the kids nearby better start looking for a job for me and the wife after I graduate.


We were driving down the road last night on our way to pick up dinner. We had Taco Cabana, which, while not wonderful, is a far sight better than Taco Bell. While we were driving, we stopped at a red light and a pickup truck stopped next to us. This was one of those tricked-out pickups, with the rims and the fancy paint and the tinted windows with the name on the back with fancy lettering and all that. It even had hydraulics, which we saw in action as the driver lowered the front end. This was apparently very popular with the kids, as they all commented on it (well, except the little boy who doesn't really talk so much). The best question? "Did that truck bongoo? (have gas)?" No, daughter, it has hydraulics, and it was moving down. "I think it gassed."

Just what this world needs, a pickup truck that makes its own gas.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Timing is everything

I wonder if there's an election coming up.

There must be, because Congress had a vote yesterday on whether or not to withdraw the troops from Iraq. (Check this link from the Moderate Voice.)

This is just days after President Bush praised recent progress in Iraq. What great timing.

I wonder, though, if such a transparent act as a vote on a non-binding resolution will serve to shore up the vote for the Republicans or if a tired public who is sick of issues created for issue-sake will continue to be fooled by these actions.

I'm not a Republican, that much is certain. But I'm not a Democrat, either. However it bothers me that the Republicans would rather try to paint a picture of the Democrats rather than address the issues that are at hand. We don't need to talk about an immediate withdrawal from Iraq because we know it's not going to happen. That is baiting, and is wrong. Gay marriage? Why was that such an issue last month, of all time? Really? "Politically ripe?"

The administration got a brief bit of good news in Iraq. They would have been better served to run with that, in my opinion, than to try to create a bigger wedge. I think this will end up shooting them in the face, as it were.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Random Trivia

It's against the law to whistle underwater in Vermont.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Gotta buy a new
minivan. Dumb hit and run
jerk - Now I can't fish!

(not entirely true, but it fits the rules)

I look forward to your contributions.

No, child left behind

While I've heard over the past several years about the importance of No Child Left Behind, and how it helps close the gaps in education between rich and poor, majority and minority, I didn't really know how effective No Child Left Behind was.

The administration tells us it's going swimmingly, and would only work better if we would expand the vouchers and the charter schools, so that the kids in the bad school districts can get a leg up on the folks at the good schools.

But maybe the administration isn't being completely honest? According to research at Harvard, achievement in reading has been flat over the past five years and the growth rate in math has been the same as it was prior to NCLB.

I leave it to you to read the article. My opinion is that NCLB was flawed from the start, and though it had good intentions, it wasn't fully thought out.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


So I finished my last final on May 17. As of yesterday, I had received no grades. Surprisingly, all of my grades came in today. While I didn't do great, I did manage to do a grade increment better than last semester, which is always a good thing. My best grade was (not surprisingly) in my favorite class.

Now what I find very interesting about this past year is that the fall semester, I worked my tail off, studied as hard as I knew how to, stressed to a point of sheer exhaustion, and I had my worst semester ever.

Spring semester, though, I studied far less. I didn't put in nearly as much time studying (though I did study), and while I still stressed out quite a bit during finals, I was much calmer going into the tests than last semester. And I had my second best semester in law school.

There's a moral there somewhere, I think it's something along the lines of "you can work your tail off trying to get through the mountain, digging like mad to clear your trail, end up exhausted and battered, or you can walk around the mountain and end up in the same place with far less wear.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Is it possible to support the troops if you don’t approve of what they’re doing?

This is the question posed by Jack at News Snippet ‘Blog on English Professor’s site (in the comments).

I would submit that this is a deceptive question in that under its surface, it can go quite deep.

The easy answer is yes, it is possible to support the troops even if you don’t approve of what they’re doing. But that then asks the question of “how?”

You can’t really explain it away and pooh-pooh the idea by saying that the troops are merely following orders. After all, we loathe and hate the Nazis, the majority of whom were “just following orders.” And we’re in a lesser position to support them because unlike most of the Nazis, American soldiers volunteer for service. They are not conscripted.

So it can’t be a facially “they’re doing their job” issue, can it? I mean, given the climate today, where nearly everyone who is in has either enlisted or reenlisted (or renewed their commission) during the GWOT or the war in Iraq, it’s hard to say they’re just doing their job.

But perhaps this war isn’t their job. After all, the military is part of the Department of Defense. Usually, a Defensive posture doesn’t involve invading another country. Maybe, just maybe, the current war is tangential to the primary job of the military, which is to provide for our nation’s defense. Perhaps those who reenlisted in the military did so out of a sense of obligation, a sense of not abandoning his or her comrades in arms? Maybe it’s the knowledge that these people stay in, or join initially, to support a military service that is spread thin fighting two wars in foreign nations where security has a much different meaning than here. Perhaps they stay on because they know that there is little help coming. Perhaps they feel as stuck in their situation as many office workers feel locked-in to their jobs. The troops in the field have almost no control over what they do or where they go – indeed, they must “just follow orders,” or spend time in jail and face a lifetime of inability to find more than minimum wage employ…

Perhaps it’s possible to save the ire one feels not for the dog who runs around the track, but to spend it on the kennel owner who sends it out to run, to earn the owner’s keep. The dog could run away, but at what cost to itself?

I think that it’s possible to support the troops even if you don’t agree with their mission, just as I think it’s possible to send them off to war even if you dislike them. I don’t see it as any different than still loving your child who dropped out of college. You might not like that he did it, but he’s still your son, and you want the best for him out of his situation.

What do you think?

Meeting of the Minds

So here's the deal. You have two attorneys, each representing different parties. The parties are unable to come to any agreements on where to take a sworn statement of a witness. So the issue goes to court. How do you solve a problem like this? Have a hearing, determine the facts and find an equitable arrangement?

Nahhh, you have the opposing parties play Rock, Paper, Scissors!

To be honest, I kind of like that idea. It makes a bit more sense to me. Childish arguments need childhood remedies.

I also think adults should bring back the "not it," the "One potato, two potato," and most importantly, the "do over." I think these could solve so many of life's adult problems.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Thrill of the Hunt

We went out to breakfast this morning at Cliff's. For those of you who haven't been to Cliff's, let me tell you, it is a great place for breakfast. The breakfasts don't taste like they came from a restaurant, a la IHOP or Denny's. Biscuits made from scratch, hash browns that don't look like they came out of a box, can't beat it.

Then we went house hunting. We like to do this from time to time when we want to keep the children occupied for a little while while we are out of the apartment. We also like to pretend that we could actually afford to buy a house - ahh, someday.

Anyway, we found some really nice homes a little ways out from the Wife's work. It's a bit too far for me to commute if I were to work downtown, but since I loathe the city, it wasn't too bad. Perhaps if we can't find a way out of Houston...

Post - Saturday Evening Post

So we had chicken for dinner last night. It tasted like chicken.

Then, in order to keep the kids from driving me insane by running through the house screaming at each other, we decided to get their shoes on and walk them over to the high school behind the complex.

We got over to the school's track area, where there's this (10 foot? 15?) hill that the kids can run up and down. They did this a few times and then we decided to go to the baseball field. This is a rather nice baseball field, much better than the ones I played on in high school. Texas really knows how to spend its money on high school athletics. It's such a shame that Washington wastes its capital on stuff like higher quality education... but I digress. The kids loved running around the diamond, and then they had to go see the school logos hanging on the outfield fence. There's little more fun than watching three young children running around the outfield.

Then we went to the pole vault pit. The kids love playing on the pad on which the vaulters land. A giant pad of foam rubber - what could be more fun to run around/fall down on?

After a few minutes of that, it was time to run around the track. Now, for adults, running around the track is a fairly simple operation that involves running around the track. For kids, though, the act is a little more difficult. First off, the kids seem incapable of running more than about a 100 foot dash before their attention is diverted. Then they have to inspect every pebble/grass blade/piece of paint/ant/what-have-you that exists on the track. Now, this makes some sense the first time, since you may want to know what you're running on. However, when you've been to the track over 2 dozen times, you'd think you kind of have a good running tally of what to expect. Still, the kids are meticulous.

Then it was time to run on the hill a couple more times, and then run across the soccer field. The soccer field running was uneventful. But after they crossed the soccer field, their attention was diverted by the sprinklers running on the field.

Having been a child once, you must remember how little could bring a child glee more effectively than a sprinkler.

The kids were a little leary at first, as they were the school sprinklers and part of a sprinkler system, which means that they shot out with a force that the kids were unfamiliar with. But they eventually figured out a way to get wet. And then the floodgates opened - so to speak.
I don't know that anything that has happened this month has been as much fun for me as watching the kids play in the sprinklers.

By the time we got home, we had three drenched kids, and my shirt was soaked from carrying the little boy. So we ushered them into the kitchen so they could take their wet clothes off next to the washing machine, and then go upstairs to get their pajamas on. The loose translation of that is we got to see three little naked butts running around the house in every direction except up the stairs, because let's face it, kids can't ever go directly where they're supposed to - see the track explanation, infra. Eventually, we get them all to the stairs, and while The Boy and the Girl go up easily, the little boy stops. You see, there was a little toy dinosaur on the floor (about the size of those old Army Men), and that meant that the little naked boy had to pee on it. His diaper was off a grand total of about 3 minutes. I'm convinced that he was holding the pee just on the off chance that he'd get to run around without a diaper and pee on something.

Anyway, after the kids were all in their pajamas, we watched a few minutes of Toy Story 2 before it was time to shuffle them off to bed. They were pretty tuckered out, and didn't even fuss. All in all, it was a good evening.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I get to work today. This is the second Saturday in a row that I've had to go in. While I'm complaining, I know I shouldn't be, as everyone else in the office works virtually every Saturday, and when I go in, it's only for an hour or two.

Still, I tend to get possessive of my time, and my family's time. I'm going in at 11:30 and won't be home until after 1, right through the middle of the day. This makes weekend planning a little more difficult (which is difficult enough having lost the minivan). Oh well, at least I get paid for working, which is a step up from McDonald's, when I'd have to clock out for any overtime (I won't be getting overtime this week, though).

Friday, June 09, 2006


I think I'd be happier if I spent each day fishing on the lake. But I'd get bored with the lake after a few hours. I like the idea of having one nearby, (i.e. living on a lake), but not necessarily having that be what I "do."

Friday Chuckle

How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

To get to the other side.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Back about 12 years ago, I still lived in Lakewood, WA. While not a bad neighborhood per se, it wasn't the greatest.

One night, I was driving down Washington Blvd. I can't remember where I was going or what I was doing. I remember passing by a car on the side of the road. A little ways down the road I saw a guy walking with a gas can. So I stopped and asked him if he wanted a ride to a gas station. He thanked me and accepted. We chatted for the few minutes it took to get to the gas station. He was a decent guy. After I dropped him off at his car, he thanked me again and we wished each other well.

In the military I did that from time to time as well, whenever I saw a soldier, airman, seaman or Marine who needed a ride.

But, that stop I made that night in Lakewood... I wouldn't do that again. I don't know if the country feels less secure or I feel less secure, but it's not something I would repeat.

Random Trivia

Mickey Marcus is the only person buried at West Point who died fighting under a foreign flag (Israel).

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I'm drinking a Coke
Because they don't dissolve nails
Trust me, I have tried.

And, as always, I look forward to your submissions!

Location, Location, Location

So, here's the deal. You want to open up a business. The idea is that you need to choose the best possible spot for that business.

Let's say you want to open an Australian Brothel. You look all over the city, trying to find that perfect place. The market? No. The bowling alley? Nahh. The laundromat? While convenient for changing the sheets, probably not the best spot.

You scratch your head, bewildered at the pickle in which you find yourself, when it hits you! It's so obvious! Why didn't you think of it before?! What place could be better to open your brothel than next to a cemetary?!

Unfortunately, legislators in Queensland, Australia don't believe that these two substantially related businesses belong together, and are pushing for legislation that would keep the brothels away from cemetaries. A cemetary, you see, is a place for quiet reflection for families. A brothel has no business going up next door.

Brothels and Cemetaries... what'll they think of next?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Busy day

I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill
And I'm sittin' here on Capitol Hill

Tuesday Essay Question

Should Caveat Emptor be the rule when it comes to purchases? If food is expired, should the grocery store, the company that makes the food, the distributor, or the consumer bear the burden of damages in the event of (for example) food poisoning?

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's Barbie's, eh?

From what I understand, the good people at Mattel have made it a practice to sue anyone or anything that might use the name Barbie (or the image) in anything that remotely resembles a less-than-good-old-fashioned-Americana way. This goes from people who have run Barbie museums to people who parodied Barbie to that one hit wonder band Aqua (Barbie girl).

So it's not terribly surprising to me that they would sue a Montreal, Canada based chain of restaurants known as "Barbie's Resto Bar." They sued on grounds that by using the Barbie name, the restaurant hoped to benefit from the understood guarantee of "character and quality" associated with it. (Note - the Barbie in the restaurant name seems to come from the menu item "barbie-q")

Fortunately, the Canadian Supreme Court found that not to be the case, noting that the dictionary definition of Barbie Doll is "a female who is superficially attractive in a conventional way, especially with blue eyes and blond hair, but who lacks personality." and adding "In that regard, the association of the Barbie doll with food might be taken as a warning of blandness."

Now, I have no problem with Barbie. I think it is an important part of good ol' fashioned Americana. But I do wish that Mattel would stop suing everything that uses the word Barbie. I wonder if Australian shrimp are next?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Summer Plans

The problem with making plans is that they give you hope for something. I had hoped this summer to go up to Michigan and visit the cabin on Mud Lake. I've not been to the cabin in six years, and I kind of miss it. My wife has never been, nor have my children, obviously, so this would have been a great experience for them. The cabin is quaint, not that big, but it doesn't have to be, it's on a lake in the woods. There's no shortage of exploring and fishing to be done.

Unfortunately, due to our accident last week and the prohibitive expense of plane tickets, it doesn't look as though we're going to be able to make it. I'm very depressed about this - I had my heart set on going this summer since the beginning of spring semester.

In the alternative, I hope to go deep sea fishing with one of my friends from class next month. This is another thing I get really excited about. When you get about 20 miles offshore, you kind of forget that there's a world that you need to worry about. It's just you, whoever's on the boat with you, and the fresh sea air. Not too shabby. If I get to go deep sea fishing, I'll be rather happy. It won't be the same as going up to Mud Lake, but it'll suffice. Cross your fingers. I could really go for some Tuna, Red Snapper, Mackeral, Wahoo, and whatever else might be biting...


I've come to the determination that there are various stages of clean in the world, depending on what you mean...

First, there's single guy clean. Single guy clean basically means if you can see any part of the actual original object (i.e. the floor, the bed, the plate, the shirt) under the stuff covering it, then it's good.

Then there's kid clean. Kid clean depends greatly on kid eyes. Kids have a modified X-ray vision. They can see the floor of their room under all the toys, and therefore believe that the parents should be able to, as well.

Then there's teenager clean. Teenager clean is kind of a mix of single guy clean and kid clean, with a bit of apathy mixed in. Clothes on the floor, or in laundry baskets waiting to be put in the space-taker known as a dresser, etc.

Then there's married guy clean. Married guy clean means that occasionally, he'll do a load of laundry or run a vacuum across the center of the room, so he can say he's done something. But basically, married guy clean is confined to tunnel vision. If it's out of the middle of the floor, then it's clean. If it's a stain you can cover, it's clean. If it isn't in your direct reach, it's clean.

Next there's normal woman clean. Normal woman clean is closer to what people think of when they think of "clean." The floors are clear, the dusting done, vacuum, mop, dishes washed AND put away, laundry folded and placed in the dresser or hung neatly in the closet, etc.

Finally, there's woman-with-out-of-town-guests-coming-over clean. This is like normal woman clean on steroids. Things that haven't moved in the house in years get the once over. China is polished, lampshades dusted, blinds cleaned, duvet covers buffed, you name it. This is the stage where the toothbrush holders get washed inside and out, just in case. Sometimes I think we should have out of towners coming over on a monthly basis, just to make sure we didn't miss anything last time, like waxing the outlet covers...

The only problem with the last stage, is that this stage invariably requires the presence of guy assisting, and that's like oil and water...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Someone with more patience than I

Wrote this article regarding the current state of the presidency I found over at The Reaction. I highly recommend reading it, though I don't necessarily agree on all issues - e.g. I didn't see an issue with the Dubai Ports deal myself.

Check it out.

It must be election time

Because president Bush is reportedly going to push for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage again.

This seems to be a favorite among this administration - using gay marriage to galvanize its base and attempt to define the Democrats.

The conclusion I reach is that this is a political move as opposed to anything else stems from the timing of this decision. This isn't an issue that hovers around the scuttlebutt, and hasn't seemed particularly gripping of national attention since the last time the President et al. brought it up.

Now, most people familiar with the Amendment Process will know that this amendment has little, if any, chance of passing. I'm willing to guess that president Bush is aware of this as well. That being the case, it seems even more likely that this is a transparent attempt to try to shore up the Republican vote this November.

It's a shame that the administration feels it must resort to measures like this to try to maintain the status quo, as opposed to running on the merit of the achievements over the last two years.


I'm sorry, I got it wrong. This is NOT motivated by a desire to arouse anti-gay hostility and galvanize the base. Silly me. Press secretary Tony Snow said this is coming up now because it's "politically ripe" - whatever the hell that means. And apparently it's being taken up now with "political expedience" because, as President Bush reported in a weekly radio address: "Activist courts have left our nation with no other choice. The constitutional amendment that the Senate will consider next week would fully protect marriage from being redefined."

I love the use of buzzword. "Activist courts." You see - many people don't know what an "activist court" is, they just know that the Republicans and Pat Robertson hate them, so they must be evil, and if a court is dubbed "activist" is must be wrong. They don't understand that usually "activist court" means - "a court that rules contrary to what I want it to."

I'm surprised he didn't accuse the activist courts of trying to rewrite history.

Friday, June 02, 2006

For what it's worth

I think President Bush has made countless mistakes, errors in judgment, gaffes, blunders, and brain farts. I think he passes the buck. I think he gives soundbites of information - just enough to say he said something but not enough to keep him from arguably being able to go back and explain what he meant. Not quite double talk, not quite a lie, but definitely not the truth.

I think the situation in Iraq is as stable now as it's going to get. I think that by staying much longer we risk becoming occupiers as opposed to liberators. Our presence, in my opinion, is forestalling a civil war, not preventing it. It also is burdening our military more than they want to admit - reserves on their fourth or fifth tour over in Iraq, retention down, recruiting down, hindering the hunt for Bin Laden...

I think "Mission Accomplished" was stupid, foolhardy, unnecessary, and completely wrong.

I think that the president and his staff like to try to discredit those who criticize them rather than substantively answer the challenges those critics pose (e.g. Kerry and Murtha).

I think the Media can be annoying, but the reporting they do must be reported, lest another No Gun Ri happen.

I think a lot of the disaster that is now known as Hurricane Katrina could have been avoided. I think plenty of blame is to be shared, but president Bush was informed of possible overtopping and took NO steps to err on the side of life, as he stressed was of paramount importance with Terri Schiavo.

I think a president who spends 1/5 of his time under oath of office on vacation is wasting taxpayer dollars.

I think the president needs to be more than a rubber stamp.

I think that the President needs to own up to these and so many other errors. I think these are the reasons his approval rating has dropped to a point where little more than lockstep, question nothing he says and correct his errors for him followers continue to support him, and I don't think history will judge him much better than he's being judged now, given his credibility gap.

But in spite of all this, I think he was a better choice than John Kerry.

And that is what frightens me about politics in America.

Busy busy Bumblebee

Today was my first day going to court, and I went to a few of them.

First, I had to drive to the court complex downtown. Complex is a good word.
Then I had to go to the district court, which is in the civil courthouse. I did this one first because it was right next to where I parked. Filing suit is a lot easier than it might seem. You walk up to the clerk, give them the papers, give them a check, stand there for a while and then take the receipt and the file copy. (the steps prior to actually filing are a bit more inclusive, to be sure).

Then I went to the family courthouse. The thought of the family courthouse makes me sad. All those divorces, dirty laundry, people bickering over trifles, fighting over who gets to love the kids more (i.e. see the kids more often), etc. I know good things happen at the family courthouse, like adoptions, as well, but... Anyway, I had to go file a petition for a name change, then I had to take the petition up to the courtroom to check on a couple things THEN I had to go to another courtroom where I got there right in time for docket call, which was great.
Then I had to go back to the civil courthouse and file suit in the County civil court, which is different than district court. THEN I had to go up to probate to file letters of administration.

All in all, it didn't take nearly as long as I'd hoped, and I had a lot of fun running through the courthouses. Good times!

Friday Chuckle

And no, I didn't come up with this one. So it must be funny.

Important Message about Summer BBQ's

After the long months of cold and winter, we will soon be coming up to summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking as it's the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


1) The woman buys the food.
2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand

Here comes the important part:


More routine....

5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Important again


More routine.....

8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all

10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....

There, I hope this will help you get the season off on the right foot.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Random Trivia

The first European country to use a decimilized system of currency was Russia.

Thursday is Haiku day?

Missed Wednesday again
Talk about a bummer, I'd
cry but for Paxil