Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Trivia

Whales have hipbones and legbones

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Salinas Arby's
Served RC Cola products
Odd, Californians...

I look forward to seeing your contributions

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How could he afford to bet?

Warren Steed Jeffs, the leader of a sect of Mormons who practice polygamy, has been caught. Thank goodness! While it's certainly disgusting to have relatinos with a person who is underage, it's painfully more so to arrange for the marriage of underage girls to guys who are already married.

I remember hearing about when these guys bought up a hugh tract of land near El Dorado (just south of San Angelo in west TX), how much it bugged folks. I can't imagine this turning out well for Jeffs.


I like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I own the greatest hits CD, which my daughter currently enjoys listening to, especially "Free Falling" and "Don't come around here no more." I don't blame her, as I enjoy those two songs, as well.

When Tom Petty first released his "Full Moon Fever" album in 1988, I was an impressionable teenager. So when I first heard "Running down a dream," I thought, well that's ok. Then my friend told me how much the song sucked, and how much he didn't care for Tom Petty. So, being the independent teen that I was, I disliked Tom Petty as well. I was my own man!

One day, I was talking to this girl that I knew, a cute, smart, friendly girl who was a little older than me (2 grades) and who I was somewhat smitten with. The topic turned to music, and I casually mentioned how I disliked the new Tom Petty album. The girl explained that she thought it was kind of neat, and especially liked the video for "Running Down a Dream." You know what? The next time I saw "Running Down a Dream" on MTV, I watched it, and I realized that I didn't dislike the song. And if I didn't dislike the song, then perhaps I oughtn't dislike Tom Petty altogether.

Some 12 years after the conversation that helped me make my own decision about liking Tom Petty, I married that girl who told me she liked Tom Petty. It's strange, the things that stay in your memory.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

At least they have their priorities straight

High School football coaches in the biggest districts in Texas have average salaries of $73,804. High School teachers in the same districts average $42,400.

But, since the football programs generate hundreds of thousands in revenue for the school districts, they're obviously not overpaid.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I really hate CSI Miami

I watched this show the second season and enjoyed laughing at it. But ever since then, I feel insulted when I watch the show. The investigators drive me crazy. Especially Emily Procter's character, whi has that stupid half-grin whenever she explains anything, or when she's confused, or bemused, or flirting, or upset, or angry. I've already commented on David Caruso, who incidentally also sports a stupid half-grin. I can't believe he was in First Blood and Hudson Hawk.

Let's not forget the dialogue. These people are potentially the stupidest group of investigators ever. Fortunately, in each episode there's one designated expert for whatever new thing they might have to encounter, and they do it with such great foreshadowing, like when they had Adam Rodriguez's character explain his long held love of scuba diving for treasure just before he had to go scuba diving for lost treasure.

Or how the investigators have some absolutely insane conversations to explain why they're doing something:
"What's that hole?"
"That? That's a bullet hole."
"A hole from a bullet? Like one shot from a gun?"
"Yeah. What happens is the bullet comes out of the gun (queue special effects of a bullet being shot here) and moves at a high speed. Then, if the person is in the line of fire, he'll get hit (queue bullet hitting body here)."
"Wow. And what's that dark reddish stuff around the... bullet... hole?"
"See, that's blood."
"Blood? You mean from a person?"
"Yes. When a person gets shot, the bullet breaks the skin and goes through the body, where it breaks blood vessels."
"What's a blood vessel?"
"It's like a tube that moves blood throughout the body."
"And when the vessels are broken, then the blood leaks out?"
"... And then it spreads around the hole."

I understand the point of these dialogues is to explain to the stupid viewers what should be obvious, but it's rather annoying to watch "professional" CSI agents talking stupid like that.

And then there's the credibility thing. Seriously. Last episode I watched (because apparently I've got a little masochist streak in me) had a bunch of shredded documents that Adam Rodriguez had to put back together. After he put it back together, he used the high tech fingerprint extractor on the check he reassembled, and found ONE fingerprint. ONE. Because when you sign a check, you never touch it, or when you hand it to someone else, you don't touch it, so obviously only one person could have ever made contact with it, and that was long enough to only leave ONE freaking fingerprint. You're kidding me, right? And that person just happens to be on the fingerprint register at the CSI lab. How fortuitous. Someone get these geniuses over here, we have quite a few unsolved murders in Houston. Perhaps Caruso and company can take a few hours for a road trip. CSI-Houston. Or, since it's David Caruso and Company, it would probably be more along the lines of CSI-River Oaks or CSI West-U. Because poor people in Miami don't ever get murdered. At least, if they do, they're not worthy of CSI treatment, unless they're hot, that is.

I hate CSI Miami.

He raps, he acts, he married Britney!

K-Fed will be appearing in an episode of CSI this season. I'm not a fan of the show, though it is marginally better than CSI-Miami, which I believe is the absolute worst show on television. The characters are wooden, the dialogue is laughable, and if you took a shot everytime David Caruso said "and that... is (whatever)" and put his glasses on, you'd be lit in no time. I often think I'd like to be a defense attorney there because it appears as though the attorneys in Miami are the biggest idiots around, or the alleged criminals in Miami are among the most easily intimidated by Humvee driving hacks. Seriously, Miami cops have Humvees? Not even the cops, the crime scene investigators. Gimme a freaking break! Let's not forget the insane amount of luck in the whole thing. A double murder committed five years ago and they track the killer via the one bloody shoeprint on the marble floor? How is there only one?! UGH! And for the love of Pete, can't they write a script that fills the whole hour without the hyper special effects and slow-mo replays of the special effects in flashback mode? Is David Caruso's salary that big that you can't afford decent writers?

Anyway, K-Fed will be appearing on the other one, that doesn't rely on David Caruso's constant posing/posturing to get through the hour. He's apparently really excited because he gets to speak. It must be thrilling, riding to celebrity because you married an overhyped teen sensation, having your connections result in a rap album (which I can only imagine is slightly better than whatever crap Paris Hilton released) and a debut performance on the teen choice (we'll tell you what you like and you pick the most trendy of the selections) awards.

I must be jealous. That's it. Jealous.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Apparently, getting hit in the 'nards by a baseball at a barbeque is not sufficient injury for recovery of damages, at least, according to one court.

I'm not giving all the details, but that's the gist of it. A guy goes to a baseball game. The game is coupled with a barbeque near the first base line. During warm up batting practice, someone hits a ball that bounces foul and hits one man in his motivation. He then sued for personal injuries. The judge of the case noted that many people who go to baseball games go in the hopes of retrieving a souvenir from the trip, often in the form of a foul ball. Most people try to catch it in their gloves, not their laps, though.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Random Trivia

Mosquitos can get athlete's foot.

At least, athletic mosquitos can. Those ones that just sit around in their underwear watching TV and drinking beer, not so much.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not Fluff

I know, RHM and Particleman. I'm not supposed to post on things that aren't fluff anymore. But this is just interesting.

Let's say you're a convicted sex offender. You're convicted of the crime and are sentenced. In determining the sentence, the court considers, among other factors, your height. In using that as part of the weighing process, the judge determines you shouldn't go to prison, but rather, you need only 10 years of probation.

The appeals court determined that this punishment was unfair; and I think I agree. I don't believe that a person who commits a crime that sends people to prison should get to avoid prison because he's short. This is not like a person who is terminally ill, or anything like that; it's a short person.

This guy was convicted of sexual assault of a child. He's at the bottom of the food chain in prison anyway. I doubt he's in any extra danger because he's only 5'1". Crazy.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I don't care about
Who slept with Brangelina's
Baby, or Suria!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A serious problem

There is an affliction in this world, and I think few people are aware it even exists. It can strike anywhere, seemingly anytime. Nobody knows what causes it, and nobody knows of a cure. Yet it's prevalent in the country. I'm referring to: John Elway Face.

There are currently at least two women in my school suffering from JEF. My Aunt was afflicted. Hayley Joel Osment has come down with it. It attacks without warning, often taking the victim completely by surprise.

If you look carefully, you're certain to find several individuals who sport JEF. It's far more prevalent than you think!

There is no cure for JEF yet, nor is there any evidence that it actually causes any injury. But you could be part of the solution. Talk to your friends, seek counseling, go to more baseball games. Lessen the risk that you'll someday fall victim to JEF yourself.

Listening to the customer

Apparently, I've had too many serious posts for many of my readers. Since I'm not allergic to change, and I need a more relaxing outlet, I've decided to listen to the throngs and add a little more fluff. As such:

Man I'm tired. And hungry. And don't want to work.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Who will shoulder the blame?

The conventional wisdom is that sectarian violence is as bad now as it's ever been in Iraq, since we freed the Iraqi people and liberated the country. The official story is that we invaded Iraq because they harbor terrorists and it is now the front line in the war on terror. Three years ago, the press reported over and over that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in violation of orders and in defiance of sanctions, and as such, we needed to free a people from an oppressive leader. Over and over we heard that we had won, or we are winning, or the enemy is desparate which shows they're near the breaking point, or they were on their last legs, or whatever. Yet still there is an insurgency. Still, the Iraqi people are not united. Still American soldiers are fighting in a country where the president touted "Mission Accomplished" over three years ago.

To suggest it's time to leave is to suggest defeat, according to the president, his staff, and many dedicated Neocons. But what alternative is suggested? What new plans are being implemented? If things are getting worse (which is one of only two possibilities when the leadership says things are as bad as they've ever been), then shouldn't something new be tried? Is it not folly to believe that we can force two groups historically at odds with each other to get along because we said so? Didn't we learn that was impossible with the mess in Yugoslavia?

For a large portion of this country, the question is not if Iraq will slip into civil war, but when; the thought being that we're only delaying the inevitable. If that's the case, then who will shoulder the blame for a failure in Iraq? For all his other wrongs, few people blame Nixon for our failures in Vietnam. That falls on LBJ, who saw to continue even after it was clear to most that things were not turning out the right way. It stands to reason that the failure that Iraq seemingly will become is going to be Bush's.

Here's a president who wants to be remembered as a 21st century Harry S Truman. The major difference is that with Truman, he told you what he thought and he had a reputation for honesty. His greatest redemption was that he turned out to be right, and it was his credibility that made him remembered as one of the all time greats. President Bush doesn't have that. There have been too many staged moments, too many not quite truths, or truths from a certain point of view, or truths behind other errors, too many soundbites, too many poor decisions, too much infringement on people's liberties. In short, he's too late.

So help me

I like payment systems (so far)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Wal Mart woes

Understand that I didn't know this until today. Andrew Young, who once worked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former Mayor of Atlanta, and former UN Ambassador, was employed as the PR director for Wal Mart. He was, until he quit yesterday after scandal erupted from his pr tactic of derogatory remarks.

For those who didn't hear this, Andrew Young said in response to a question about Wal-Mart forcing mom and pop stores to close (something I think WalMart does, as well), "Well, I thin kthey should; they ran the 'mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood ... But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us - selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And tehy sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First is was the Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

Now one can argue (and perhaps they should) that it's not the Jews, Koreans, or Arabs' fault that few black people own mom and pop stores, but that's really nowhere near the issue. The issue is that the PR director for WalMart, which has been suffering from increased bad PR of late, really bit the hand that feeds him.

For those who are interested, I found the Wal-Mart Watch Blog today, which highlights the current events regarding Wal-Mart. I will add the link to my site directly.

BTW, I read a great post by Janet at Good Enough Mom about Self-help when dealing with WalMart. Stop by here and see what she has to say.

Open Discussion

Read and comment!

One thing I absolutely despise are talking points. I HATE the phrases "Stay the Course" and "Cut and Run" because they don't discuss the situation accurately nor do they adequately explain either side's position. I don't like a lot of the discourse on the recent decision regarding the warrantless wiretaps, where the Republican position that I saw yesterday (on CNN, even) was essentially "this is a liberal judge who cited other liberal judges and therefore she's wrong." I've also heard people say things to the effect that this decision is welcoming for terrorists or that the judge is soft on terror, or whatever. Essentially, they're attacking the messenger and not the message. These are not the issues for the case.

If you want to argue standing to bring the suit, that's fine. If you want to argue 1st amendment issues, or 4th amendment issues or debate the "right of privacy," great. Let's hear it. But quit with the polarization. This should be about what's best for the citizens of the coutry, not what's best for the Republicans or what's best for the Democrats.

Without going too much into detail, it looks to me as though the government's position was "the President says this is legal, and we say it's legal, but in order to prove that it's legal, we'd have to reveal secrets, which we can't (won't) do. So trust us."

The Constitution was not popular when it was drafted. It wouldn't have been ratified except for the promise that a bill of rights would soon follow (thank you, George Mason for what we got!). The reason for the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights was to contain the power of the federal government. The last thing the American people wanted was another tyranny after fighting the Revolution to get away from British Tyranny. They wanted to protect Americans from their own government, essentially. A small government, as it were. Therefore, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were drafted, to help curtail the intrusion of the government into everyday life. This is a widely accepted theory, and one that I think most reasonable people could agree with. I suppose one could call these civil liberties...

What the president did with his warrantless wiretapping rule was say that FISA authorized him to do in the name of national security that which the Constitution was designed to prevent - intrude on the lives of American People. There is a legitimate debate as to the 4th amendment protections there. One could argue that it is not unreasonable to listen in on telephone conversations, especially if that individual is a suspected terrorist. However, one could also legitimately argue that if the government has enough information to suspect an individual is a terrorist, then they reasonably should have probable cause enough to secure a warrant to do what they are doing.

One could reasonably argue that the framers of the Constitution did not believe that American people deserved a right to privacy, as they did not write that into the Constitution. One could also argue that the right to be secure in their person implies a right to privacy. One ALSO could argue that the Supreme Court's finding of a fundamental right to privacy guarantees individuals the right to not have their telephone conversations monitored. In arguing that the government needs to be able to monitor these conversations without having to secure a warrant, the position appears to be that the need for security is greater than the need for liberty, which appears to me to be in contravention to the Founders' intent. The question then becomes, what is more important to the American people?

I get concerned when I hear arguments that say we need to trust the government to do what's right without having them show that they're allowed to. I believe that runs toward a situation where we are in danger of oppression by the government, which I think is precisely what the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights sought to prevent.

This is my opinion, and I believe that it's the right opinion. Am I completely wrong? I want to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

She must hate America

U. S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, from Detroit, became the first judge to strike down warrantless wiretapping. The judge ruled that the wiretapping violates individuals' rights to free speech and privacy. There's probably going to be a huge outcry that this is the wrong decision and that the framers of the Constitution never intended there to be a right to privacy or they'd have written it in there, but that's a moot point as it's a part of our jurisprudence today. Remember that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to limit the power of the federal government, to protect the citizens from the government machinery. Because of this purpose, the government's position, that this is within the president's authority, but we can't prove that because it would reveal secrets, is a scary one indeed. This decision (and who knows how it will stand up through the appellate process) is a good one; it's probably the right one, and Americans who love their freedom should be happy with it.

(I might do an actual in depth analysis later, this was written in about 4 minutes)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another Essay Question

This one from my Criminal Procedure text:

Suppose the police unlawfully search Jane's home and seize contraband, such as illegal narcotics. Should Jane be able to see its return under the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), which states that a "person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizure of property or by the deprivation of property may move for the property's return."

Remember the Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I miss the days of
Equal Protection Doctrine
ConLaw, where are you?!

As always, I look forward to your submissions!

Essay Question

Who is protected under the Civil Rights Act? Who should be protected? Why? Be creative. Grades, however, will continue to be arbitrary and capricious.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I finished reading for classes this morning, and I decided to take a look at the schedule for the spring, so I could see how it's shaping up for me. As I'm one of the students who must take bar-related classes, finding classes I was interested in wasn't necessary. Fortunately, I've wanted to take mostly bar related classes so that I'm at least exposed to the bar-related topics. Now, however, I've mostly exhausted my selection of bar related classes, to the point where, next semester, when I have 15 hours of class left to take, I only have 14 total hours of bar related classes available, and that's subject to schedule availability (e.g. the classes overlap or interfere with my family's needs). This means that next semester, I'll get to choose at least one class that I WANT to take, rather than Want To Take Because It Fits My Schedule And Is Still Bar Related.

Of course, none of this would apply to me had the school not changed its GPA requirements for bar-related classes, and I'd have been able to study abroad last summer, which I REALLY wanted to do, but that's a digression.

Anyway, I should be able to take National Security Law, which I REALLY want to take, or amateur sports law, which I really want to take, or maybe even both, which would totally rock.

Then I get to stress out about the bar. Yay. Plus, I might take the bar in more than just Texas, depending on many factors. It's going to be a fun semester.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


We took the kids to church today. It's been a while since we've been, but with a new school year coming up, we figured the Divine influence would do us some good. We decided to go to the traditional service as opposed to the contemporary one. I prefer it, inasmuch as it's more what I think of when I think of church. The contemporary service more reminds me of what I'd expect to see at an Assembly of God service; I'm just not comfortable with that.

After church, we went to Le Peep for breakfast, and while it was good, it wasn't my favorite (Cliff's). The wife, however, liked the potatoes better (closer to an O'Brien style than hashbrowns). The kids had waffles, which they liked, eventually, and then we drove to the daughter's new school, which she's thrilled about attending. I'm excited for her.

Welp, time to get dinner ready. Manicotti - the kids love it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Calm before the storm

This is the last weekend before we all head back to school. I start my final year of law school Monday, and have spent some of the day reading up on my classes. There's nothing better than reading about payment systems (How is fiat money different than barter money? What is pareto optimal, pareto superiority and how does it differ from Kaldor-Hicks? How did bank paper come to be accepted as money when only a government can issue fiat money and then only some governments?) to get the blood flowing.

We went out to breakfast today, which the kids enjoyed. It was the first time I didn't enjoy the hashbrowns at Cliff's, though. Just a little too salty, which is a shame. I'm not going to quit going, though. Clif's is too important. We then drove up to Spring to check out some of the housing developments around there; in case we decided to settle down in the area. Not bad; better than the city, but it's growing.

Right now, the young'uns are watching Abbot and Costello in "The Time of Their Lives." The Boy considers it his favorite A&C film, and I agree, it's pretty good. I have a hard time picking a favorite, since I like so many of the films. It's all but impossible to find *good* comedy like they did anymore. It's also fun seeing "ghosts" from the Revolution trying to understand the "modern" times of the 1940s. I recommend Abbot and Costello to anyone who has children.

Anyway, time to get back to work. Gotta start reading up on Criminal Procedure. I'll write more soon.

Friday, August 11, 2006


I've commented about the broad-brushed approach the administration takes in referring to the enemies in the war on terror, and how I think it's counterproductive to our stated goal. I've also said that I dislike the term "Islamofascists" in that it's inflammatory and can create the perception in readers and listeners that the religion of Islam is a fascist religion and that all who practice the religion are fascists, hence bad. Apparently, I'm not the only one. You see, when you use fear as a political tool, you alienate demographics. In this case, the demographic that gets alienated are the Muslims who are not terrorists. They get grouped in with the folks who decidedly are fighting against us.

Combine this tactic with the reported military tactic of arresting all Iraqi males of military age on suspicion of being an insurgent, and it's not surprising that the sectarian violence in Iraq is getting worse instead of better.

On the foiled plot

Yesterday's capture of 19 alleged terrorists accused of the airplane plot was a good thing - a very good thing. This likely resulted in saving lives - a lot of lives. This should be a victory that the British (who discovered it) and Americans (whose planes would have been targeted) should be cheering. What this should NOT be is a chance to use it for political gain. While I refer to both parties in general, I'm going to pick on president Bush, again.

The president yesterday said: "It is a mistake to believe there is no threat to the United States of America... We've taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously we still aren't completely safe."

I must have missed all the commentary in this country that said that there was no threat to the U.S.. Who suggested there was "no threat?" This statement looks to be rather carefully crafted to me (and to others) to be a subtle partisan stab using a modified version of the strawman.

As I said, I've not heard the masses suggesting there was no terrorist threat, nor have I heard anyone suggesting "that somehow we can retreat behind our oceans and not be actively engaged in this conflict and be safe here at home..." as vice president Cheney suggested Democrats believe (same link as the first one).

Now to pick on some of the liberal folks out there. One blogger at the Huffington Post hinted that this whole thing might be a conspiracy:
Since I began writing this piece last night, the airlines have been put on CODE RED for the first time ever because of a plot to take down planes flying from England to the United States (New York and Washington included, the places that got their DHS funding cut to protect real targets like pig farms in Kentucky). And it happened right after Lieberman lost. And Ken Mehlman made his speech. After not having their ridiculous color-coded warning system change since about the last election if memory serves. What a coincidence.
I might be more inclined to believe a conspiracy if there weren't active intelligence operations occuring daily in several countries in the world, the plot hadn't been discovered by the British, OR the color-coded system changed due to "suspected heightened activities like it did around the last election cycle. This, however, occurred in response to actual arrests, which makes it sound less like a conspiracy for political gain and more like an actual response to an actual threat, which is what the system was designed for.

In all, my point is that this discovery should have been a uniting event, a celebration for America and Britain. It should not have been turned into a partisan event.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A new kind of amnesty

I found this at the Moderate Voice. According to the LA Times, the president is looking to push through amendments to the War Crimes Act that would RETROACTIVELY protect policymakers from criminal charges for authorizing humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees. Two attorneys who saw the proposal said that the draft is in the revision stage but that the president is looking to present the major points to Congress by Labor Day.

A lawyer for the National Institute of Military Justice suggests what many people are going to see this to be: "I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous... [the initiative was] not just protection of political appointees but also CIA personnel who led interrogations."

This leads right back to the credibility problems that the administration has suffered through for the last several years. The President assured the public that what went on (which took uncovering for people to learn) was legal, and then when it was determined not to be legal, he attempts to push through amendments to contravene the judiciary's determination, and not just from its passage, but also for past (alleged) crimes.

Now, let's do a little analysis. The amendments to the law the president wants to pass would apply retroactively. According to my Black's Law Dictionary, the definithion of an ex post facto law is a law that applies retroactively. Now, according to my copy of the Constitution, Article I, Section 9, Clause 3 states: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

A strict Constructionist, which is what the president urges in a judge, should look at the amendment as proposed, and determine that it is unconstitutional. Now, a look at our Court's interpretation of this clause, and we find that the definition itself is a little more limiting, and that the Founders intended this only to apply to laws that make something that was innocent or non-criminal prior to passage and criminalize it both before and after passage. (Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. 386 (1798)). So it becomes a matter of interpretation. If these amendments, as reported, were to pass, and they were to be challenged, wouldn't the people who urge adherence to a strict constructionist interpretation of the constitution HAVE to concede that the president urged Congress to violate the Constitution?

There is another thing to note. These proposed amendments would work for political appointees and policymakers, but would not offer any shield or protection for the soldiers who actually did what was ordered of them. They fall under the blanket of the UCMJ, and thus these amendments wouldn't touch them. This means that if the actions were criminal, the people who told the soldiers to do what they did are safe while the ones who are forced to obey the orders of those appointed over them are not. That strikes me as rather unfair.

Finally, there's the perception issue. The perception that a proposed amendment like this sends to the people of America is that we want to protect those who we put in danger. The perception in the Europe will likely be that the administration acts recklessly with no regard for the law or for others, while the perception in the middle east, the "islamofacists," as the administration likes to paint them, broad-brushed, will view this as America protecting those who detained and interrogated illegally, which is not the way to get that region to embrace our democratic way of life.

If this is the case, it looks like a GIANT political SNAFU to me.

Random Trivia

Rhode Island has over 400 miles of coastline.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Does anyone agree with this?

You Are A Fir Tree

You love anything beautiful, and you have extraordinary taste.
And while it's hard for you to trust, you care deeply for those close to you.
You are a social butterfly, and you have many friends.
You handle stress well - and you are a master at relaxing after a hard day.
Overall, you are modest, talented, unselfish, and very reliable.

Daddy Daughter Day

I took the girl out of daycare today to have a little daddy-daughter time. Last week, grandpa and I took The Boy out to see a movie, so I figured I ought to do the same for the daughter. So we went out and had pizza, which she loved. CiCi's has macaroni pizza, which the daughter adores, so she got to fill up there and flirt with the cops that had come in for lunch. She's definitely not hurting in the self-confidence category.

Then we went to the movies. The trip to the theatre was filled with my daughter asking me questions and explaining to me why she can't read: "I'm not old enough yet, daddy." "Daddy, is the light red?" "Is the light red, daddy?" "Daddy, if the lights red, can you go?" "Daddy, what comes after red?" "Is there a red light daddy?" etc.

Then we get to the movies. The girl loved going into the theater, where she saw lights on the floor. Then she asked me where the movie was, because she couldn't see the TV. As I explained the projector concept to her, the commercials came on, and she was enthralled with the lights at the back of the theater.

Unfortunately, that seemed to be the high point of the movie going experience for her, as she had considerable difficulty sitting still for the feature: Cars, which is another hit from Pixar, and I'm interested in seeing what they can do with Ratatouille, their next attempt.

She spent most of the movie running about, or trying to at least, or else she was pointing at the lights in the projector booth. And when the movie ended, she couldn't get out fast enough. Seriously. "Daddy, let's go! It's over! Daddy, your legs work, which means they aren't broken." Yes, the daughter told me that my legs weren't broken to get me moving.

We then went to see her new school, and dropped her off at the daycare, which really upset her. She did not want to go back to daycare, as she wanted to go home, but she found something she enjoyed at daycare, so all's well that ends well. Not bad at all.

Random Quote

"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than to not think at all."
Hypatia, 350-415 A.D. (C.E.)

Wednesday is Haiku Day

What to make tonight
For dinner? Most likely not
Cream cheese and pickles.

As always, I look forward to your contributions.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

School Days

I registered the daughter for school today. That was about 2 hours worth of fun I'll never get to enjoy again. Driving down, standing in line, driving back to the apartment to get this and that, driving back to the school, passing 5 elementary schools, two pre-ks, two middle schools and a high school to get the girl into the pre-k she's supposed to be in. I still don't get that. Why not have her go to the one that's most convenient?

School hours are from 8:30 to 2:30 monday through friday, which is going to be fun, since my first class starts at 8:30 downtown on Tuesday and Thursday.

This is going to be a stressful semester. I don't think the hours could have been any worse.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I quit smoking in 2003. That was actually much easier than I feared it would be, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I wasn't around smokers that helped make it easier to quit.

I more or less quit drinking. I didn't so much quit as I've just not had any alcohol. I don't know that I've had anything to drink since New Year's; it just isn't something I've wanted to do.

Yet, I'm trying to quit drinking Coca-Cola, which is proving to be intensely difficult. I have noticed that the pains in my chest are greater when I've drunk Coca-cola; I think the caffeine might be the culprit, given the years of high blood pressure. But I love Coca-Cola. It's my best friend, my first true love, the only one who *really* understands me. Giving it up is like having a kidney ripped out.

So far, I've not been able to go more than about 40 hours between Cokes. This vice is tough.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Physical Shutdown

I went to the doctor last Wednesday to get a checkup, inasmuch as I've been having pains in my chest for a little while now, and they haven't dissipated. We're confident that I'm not having a heart attack, but, since my blood pressure is high (which it has been since I enlisted in the Air Force in 1996), they decided to put me on Toprol, which is MUCH better than being put on Torgo. We think the problem is muscular, but since it's been so persistent, I got to go talk to a cardiologist, who noted my EKG had a normal sinus rhythm, which goes to support the conclusion that there's nothing wrong with the ticker.

Anyway, I get to do the stress test next month, and apparently I get to be shot with radiation again, and be subjected to several ECGs. I can't wait. At least I get to miss a day of class for it!

Perhaps I need to find a nice, low stress job in the country.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Back to School shopping

The wife went out to buy some school supplies for the kids. I remember this from when I was a child, but the list seems slightly longer than when I was in school. I remember buying Kleenex, crayons, pencils, a pencil box, an eraser, and paste. I may have had to bring more, but I don't recall.

This year, the shopping list for The Boy included one pencil sharpener, three glue sticks, two packs of index cards, crayons, a ruler, markers, TWO pairs of scissors, 800 sheets of wide-rule paper, 6 spiral notebooks, 6 manila folders, Glue, Disinfecting wipes, sandwich bags, pencil box, soap AND Purel, Construction paper, manila paper, a box of tissues, and six folders with brads and pockets.

I always thought that a right to free public education was more or less free. I feel like we're buying the supplies for the district here.


Floyd Landis's B test came back and "confirmed an adverse or negative finding," according to this article on This is indeed unfortunate for Landis, who will most likely have his title stripped, and who has been fired from his team. It's unfortunate for cycling, which had a slough of racers kicked out of the Tour for doping tests, and it's unfortunate for sports, which has seen more and more people breaking the rules to try to get a short term edge.

Friday, August 04, 2006

But is it right?

Despite being here illegally, undocumented immigrants can buy a house. They can use a tax identification code that doesn't require a long credit history check, and some lenders don't ask for immigration papers.

For some reason I don't like this. I don't necessarily like the idea of helping lawbreakers continue to break the law. If people take issue with undocumented immigrants working and going to school, then perhaps they'd be upset with this as well.

In a nutshell, we're allowing people to own land in a country they're not allowed to be in. That makes little sense to me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Random Trivia

In 1781, the French fleet, sailing in the Indian Ocean, defeated the British at Trincomalee, near India. This caused the British to take the bulk of their strength to defend the great british cash crop known as India, leaving the American Colonies in a position to secure their freedom as the United States, resulting in Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.

How to win an election

Let's say you are a Senator, and it's an election year. Now, let's say that you're not doing too well in the polls, and in fact, it looks as though you're going to lose the election, even though you're the incumbent. What would your constituents do to help you win? Campaign for you? Point out all the good you've done? Try to get out the vote? All good ideas, but not what is apparently happening in Pennsylvania, where Rick Santorum's seat is in jeapordy. Instead, the Republicans allegedly took a different approach, in that they funded Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli.
According to the link, TPMmuckraker, Rick Santorum's spokeswoman actually told the Philadelphia Enquirer that the Santorum camp encouraged the contributions to the Green Party because they felt it would be a liability to Democrat candidate Bob Casey.

I'm all for third party candidates, as too often the biggest two parties get carried away in their Us-v.-them approach to running the country. However, I think it's deplorable that one side might aid a third party simply because it would give them a better chance to win. If the reports in the links above are accurate, that stinks for American politics and really looks bad for the Republicans in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Essay Question

Is it wrong to try to foist a government on a people who don't want it? (Note, I am NOT suggesting that this is the case in anything currently going on, I'm posting as a hypothetical.) The president has commented on the importance of spreading democracy in the middle east. My question is, is it more important to spread democracy, or to allow the people to be ruled according to how they wish?

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Two days ago, made
Bulgoki for the in-laws
Garlic smell's near gone!

As always, I look forward to your contributions!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What is news?

This morning, in the news, we heard about the tropical storm in the Atlantic, Castro's handing off control of Cuba to his brother, and a few other items that the Powers That Be deem important. However, they missed the important news bit from this morning.

At about 5:30, the little boy woke up and bellowed for me to come bring him to Mommy and Daddy's room. Then, while he was cuddled up between us (and my wife said she'd never let another guy come between us), the cat started coughing up a hairball. This amazing turn of events led the little boy to ask what was going on. We explained that the kittycat had a hairball, and, that astounded the boy. He had to ensure that we were informed of this information by updating us every 12 seconds, "ki-ycat airbaw! Mommy, ki-ycat airbaw! Daddy, ki-ycat airbaw!" He seemed troubled that CBS wasn't here to interview him on the dire situation, so he could update greater Houston, "ki-ycat airbaw!" This continued for approximately 20 minutes before I brought him downstairs for breakfast. We then had to determine what we would eat. I suggested cereal. "No no, sareyo!" OK, how about oatmeal? "No no oval!" So then I opened the refrigerator, so he could take inventory to be sure nothing was missing from last night, when he last took inventory. While he was at it, I said "let's have some cereal." I'm such an idiot. He politely informed me that he had already declined the offer for cereal. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAREYO!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAGHGHGHGHGHH!!!" So I made oatmeal instead, which he also politely declined, until I started the microwave, which afforded him the chance to start counting down.

So, we got to eat Peaches and cream oval, about 4 bites' worth, then it was time to play climb up in and get off of dad's lap, touching everything we can, until he has an aneurism.

Perhaps Congratulations are in Order

For I've not had any Coca-cola in over 36 hours.