Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Long But Informative (and a little bit boring)

Right from the horses mouths in 2004 - Republicans calling for oversight and reform on Freddie and Fannie while the Democrats stonehall and dish out the hate.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heartfelt Gratitude

On behalf of my generation and those to come I would like to thank the Baby Boomer generation for the current fiscal train wreck. Congratulations! You've run this great country into the ground!

Kevin Gilbert

Goodness Gracious is there nothing left to say?
When the ones that get to keep looking
are the ones that look away
It's pabulum for the sleepers
in the cult of brighter days

Goodness Gracious at the mercy of the crooks
We're broke and stroking vegetables
and there's way too many cooks
In every pot a pink slip, In every mouth a hook

Goodness Gracious I'm not listening anymore
Cause the spooks are in the White House
and they've justified a war
So wake me when they notify
we're gonna fight some more

Goodness Gracious not many people care
Concern is getting scarcer
true compassion really rare
I can see it on our faces. I can feel it in the air
Goodness Gracious me.

Goodness Gracious my generation's lost
They burned down all our bridges
before we had a chance to cross
Is it the winter of our discontent or just an early frost?

Goodness Gracious of apathy I sing
The baby boomers had it all and wasted everything
Now recess is almost over
and they won't get off the swing

Goodness Gracious we came in at the end
No sex that isn't dangerous*, no money left to spend
We're the cleanup crew for parties
we were too young to attend
Goodness Gracious me.

Goodness Gracious my grandma used to say
The world's a scary place now,
things were different in her day
What horrors will be commonplace
when my hair starts to grey?

* Except within a monogamous marriage. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008


That's because she's tired of hearing me rant about Daylight Savings Time. But I'll keep this short.

Last night I checked online to see when this silly national mind game would end because, well, it's dark when I get ready for work. Turns out it ends the first weekend in November and starts up again the first weekend in March. Because I'm just a stupid midwestern conservative I started counting on my fingers and realized that it's NOT Daylight Savings Time a mere FOUR MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR! Regardless of the studies that have proven that DST does not save any energy this flip-flop is just plain stupid. Why don't they just make DST the new time and have a special name for the four months during the winter, something like Wasting Daylight Like Whitetrash Winning The Lottery Time?

Aside from that I'm pretty bummed about the situation with banks failing and the stock market. Thank you, Mr. Clinton and thank you greedy politicians who have sold out the very people you were elected to represent. There's a special place in Hades for you where you will be strapped to a chair and forced to watch Celine Dion do metal covers 24/7. See how far you make it through this... I got just past the one minute mark before my right eardrum began to bleed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clean Your House in Just 19 Minutes!

That's what the article said! "With a plan of attack, you can maintain a sparkling house in just 19 minutes a day." I've often thought that these Yahoo News articles have been written by clueless recent college exiles and this no exception. They went through the kitchen, the bathroom, bedroom, and a combined family room, living room, and foyer (the last three can be cleaned in a combined six minutes).

Here's what was listed for just the kitchen:

Kitchen, 4 1/2 minutes daily
* Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
* Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
* Wipe down the counters (one minute).
* Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (two minutes).

Here's how it would go in most homes in America:

* Empty the dishwasher from last night or two days ago (4 minutes)
* Load the dishwasher from the pile of dishes in the sink (9 minutes)
* Hand wash any pots or pans or the overflow of dishes that won't fit into the dishwasher (5 minutes)
* - or if you do not have a dishwasher do 'em by hand, dry and put away - (18 minutes, um, where is the time savings?)
* Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
* Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
* Clear clutter and various children art projects off the counter (3 minutes)
* Put food away that was left on the counter by children (1.5 minutes)
* Put food away that was left on the counter by spouse (1 minute)
* Wipe down the counters (one minute).
* Pick up toys on the kitchen floor left by children (2 minutes)
* Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (three minutes).
* Clean up mess made by children in the other room during the 31 minutes you spent cleaning the kitchen (31 minutes)
* Repeat above step over and over again until children leave for college (18 years)

Love the earth... DRILL FOR OIL!

Just a few facts from the U.S. Minerals Management Service that you may not be aware of. I know I wasn't.

It was an off shore oil spill near California in 1969 that spurred the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and Clean Air Acts. Since that time these two agencies have done their best to hamstring American businesses and the economy. Also since that time we've gone from carburetors to fuel injection, one phone per home to personal cell phones that are essentially powerful handheld computers, three TV channels to hundreds (plus video on demand).

In essence, a lot has changed in the last forty years and so has drilling technology. Spills are, for the most part, a thing of the past. Only 852 barrels of oil have spilled in the Southern California offshore area in the past 40 years (that's about 21 barrels per year). It should also be noted that when Katrina and Rita did their damage, tearing apart 115 Gulf platforms there were NO MAJOR SPILLS. No oil reached the shoreline. That's advanced technology for ya!

This isn't to say that spills don't happen. On average U.S. oil companies (who are immensely more ecologically responsible than just about any other nation on the planet) spill 6,555 barrels of oil per year from offshore drilling. WHAT?!?! NEARLY 300,000 GALLONS ARE SPILLED?!?!? Yep. Now guess how much oil naturally oozes from the ocean floor in per year in the drillable regions surrounding the United States. Guess again. How about 620,500 barrels. How about nearly 26 MILLION GALLONS! How about 2.5 Exxon Valdez spills EACH YEAR?!?!? Naturally.

This natural spillage, however does not happen in areas where we have offshore drilling equipment because these efforts to remove oil from the ground eases the natural pressure and thus, no leakage. Which is to say that if we drilled MORE we would have LESS mucky oil spilling into the environment.

Love the earth... DRILL FOR OIL!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WARNING: Boring Music Theory Post

If you’ll indulge a theory… Every now and then I’ve had someone who, after hearing a favorite odd album of mine a number of times will really start to like it. They suddenly get it and it's no longer strange. My theory is that music in general is something people are conditioned to. You hear a song for the first time on the radio and it’s just wallpaper- it barely registers. You hear it again and maybe you recognize the chorus melody. After ten times of hearing the song you really like it and after one hundred times you really hate it.

But it’s the passive radio listening that exposes people over and over to the music they come to like. Instead of waiting for the music to come to me (which describes all non-music freaks) I go searching for it. If you took a lot of the tripe that I listen to and put it on the radio the same number of times as, say, your average Blink 182 song it would have the same effect.
That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Doctoral thesis forthcoming.

Obama's Mamma

With all this talk about Gov. Palin's daughter being pregnant why isn't anyone bringing up the fact that Obama's mama was also unmarried and 17 when she was pregnant with him?

The Perfect Storm

Finding time for, er, marital benefits when there is an infant and other children in the house is like the perfect storm. Is the baby asleep? Yes. Is she indicating that she's going to wake up anytime soon? Shhh.... don't jinx by even asking. Are the kids asleep? Check. Have you been so surrounded by kids clamoring for your attention and climbing on you all day that if even a feather touches you you'll go into sensory overload? No? Are you so tired you can barely speak? No? Am I? I think I'm conscious. Okay, let's go sailing! Oh wait... the captain slipped on the deck and fell off the boat.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hacker Exudes Forth

The deadbeat who hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail has come forward in their own rubber-spined way, anonymously posting how they did it. The deadbeat is supposedly a college student in Tennessee whose father is a Democratic state representative. No charges have yet been brought.

In his own words:
"I read though the emails… ALL OF THEM… before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor…. And pictures of her family. Earlier it was just some prank to me, I really wanted to get something incriminating which I was sure there would be, just like all of you anon out there that you think there was some missed opportunity of glory, well there WAS NOTHING, I read everything, every little blackberry confirmation… all the pictures, and there was nothing."

Surely there must be SOME dirt on this woman, they thought. Everyone lives a double life, right? No, deadbeat, there really ARE some people who live by their principles and are 100% authentic. Sarah Palin, it seems, is bulletproof and her genuinness is shedding a powerful beam of contrasting light on Obama. Plus I think she'd be able to take him in a cage match.

Info comes from http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/palin-e-mail-ha.html

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sick of it all

Yeah... another politician rant. I won't go into how the price of oil has plummeted and yet in Fort Wayne the price of gas shot UP to $4.15. Normally I'm one to stand up for oil companies being able to have profits (they are, after all, the ones who take the risk of exploration and building refineries) but lately even I'm suspecting price gouging. That said, I'm (surprise) building a database to track the price of oil vs. price of gas. Details eventually.

But have you noticed when Enron went down they pulled the executives in front of congress and grilled them and pretty much filleted them with razor-sharp knives? Where are the congressional investigations for Freddie and Fannie and the housing fiasco? There will be none because (surprise again) it's the politician's faults. And congressmen have been on the take.

In the past twenty years John McCain has received a total of $21,000 from Freddie and Fannie. Yep, $1050 per year. That rascal!

In the past three years Obama has received a total of $126,000 from Freddie and Fannie. Yep, $42,000 per year. Twice in one year than McCain received over a twenty year period.

It's time for CHANGE! I HOPE the American people wake up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Web Spam

I don't normally forward spam, let alone post it here, but this I kinda like.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants &children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because,


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computer! s, no Internet or chat rooms.......

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good .

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008


When we bought the house I knew it was going to half to be done... create storm windows for thirteen single-paned mini-windows that were above nearly every window on the first floor. I didn't know it was going to take me four years to do it. One the first year, three on year two, five on year three and four on year four (there WILL be a test). Each year I would start in with the idea that "This will be done in NO TIME!" and then remember...

Rip the 2X4's to width, cut grooves for the glass, measure the openings, cut four pieces with the chop saw, sand the pieces, assemble three but leave the top piece off, measure for the glass, order the glass, primer the frame, clean the insides of the glass (double paned) to impossibly clean because once assembled there ain't no opening it back up to clean, put on the top piece, caulk outside of both panes of glass, wait for it to dry, clean up any caulk messes, climb ladder to opening to clean and remove loose caulk, replace with new caulk, when dried clean up window and paint, carry the storm window up and make sure it fits, trim off a bit of the storm window, carry it back up, carry it back down, trim again, paint the storm window, when dried clean the mini-window and the inside part of the storm window because once assembled there ain't no opening it back up, apply caulk on the inside of the mini-window, insert storm, tap into place, fill any openings with caulk, when dried paint the exterior.

Shoof! I'm tired just thinking about it! But at least it's done and we no longer have to have shrink-wrap plastic on the inside! Too bad I trapped a kitten inside a storm window but hey, it's almost like an ant-farm.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The End Is Near

I spent an hour this morning peeling and chopping tomatoes for yet another batch of sauce. So far, though, they have failed to 0vertake me like the did last year. Earlier in the week two tomatoes on death row took matters into their own hands and jumped from the counter to the floor but otherwise no red orbs have had to be discarded due to rot. Instead we have (counting on fingers) about about 30 cups of homemade sauce in the freezer with possibly only one or two more batches to be made before I get to rest.

The green beans have all but stopped their manufacturing facilities, much to the displeasure of my Girl, but next year we'll plant ever more!

We are also in possession of a mystery veggie, a mystery because we received the seeds from some clandestine seed merchants and now have no idea what to do with this solitary gi-normous gord-like produce (seen at left with a child for scale). The kids really want to use it like a club.

We found this pumpkin trying to camouflage itself by staying green and hiding out under the fire pit. Sorry, Charlie, but we've got plans for you! The same goes for those three green bell pepper friends of yours!

Also in the mystery department are these large pods growing on the fence, compliments of seeds from my dad that were as big as buckeyes. He said to let them dry on the vine and then shell 'em for even more beany goodness. We can hardly wait!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Camping Post

I am waaaay behind on posts so I decided to go reverse chronological order.

Last weekend I took the kids camping at my dads. With a bathroom a full three minute walk away it's really roughing it! It was a perfect day for camping: not too hot, no rain, definitely not humid.

I picked up a couple -o- pizza's for the kids to eat while I set up the tents. It's amazingly difficult to assemble a tent with a bunch of kids saying, "Dad, watch this!" and "Dad, I'm hungry." With the tents up it was time for a fire... and pizza boxes burn real purdy.

At this time my brother came home from the hospital to take a break from awaiting the birth of his third child. My kids played with his kids and a good time was had by all before he returned to his wife's side at 9:30.

Right after the tents went up Joshua zipped into the boys tent, came out once for a toilet break after dark, and stayed in there until he was evicted so that I could take the tents down to go home the next morning. He's a regular outdoorsman! The rest of us had hotdogs and s'mores and threw lots of sticks on the fire. Later we lit off some leftover fireworks. It's okay 'cause we're in the county and not Fort Wayne proper so it was completely legal for us to ignite fireworks on our own property.

Night time tomfoolery!

The kids attempt to cross the creek. Who's that extra kid?

It's amazing how early the kids fall asleep when there's no TV or electric lights to tell them how late it is. Thanks to a foam cushion I actually had a decent night of sleep, only waking up about once an hour to check the fire.

Around 6:00 I decided to just stay up and I got to enjoy my first sunrise in ages. I wish my Beloved Girl was there with me to cuddle up to and enjoy it with me over steaming cups of java.

The kids woke up at 7:00 and I did my best not to burn the pancakes but it's easy to take steady, even heat for granted. After breakfast the kids played a little bit but we were all ready to return to the civilized world.
Care for a campfire?

A Very Special Present

Best viewed as a giant image so you can fully see the discolored corners of the diaper.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Proud Heritage

This image is NOT photoshopped. Fort Wayne has such a street, though there are no longer any street signs (my guess is that they had to be replaced too often). The local legend is that this used to be a mayor of Fort Wayne, a decade or two before the current currupistration.


I keep a growing list of bands and artists to check out. Where I get names for this list is a trade secret.

One name I've had on the list for over seven years is Doug Powell, with the cryptic comment of "bigwig in Not Lame, a believer, good stuff." Yesterday I finally picked up his album Day For Night
via lovely free downloads from eMusic.com and it is blowing my shoes off! Socks too! He's a protogee of Todd Rundgren but there's also Andy Partridge and Jellyfish in there. From the very first listen I could hear that there was depth to this glossy power pop production in addition to a few unusual sonic choices that bring a smile to my face. Plus the guy has lots of other solo albums for me to plunder as funds permit. I'm one happy camper!

Hear for yourself at www.dougpowell. And speaking of quality power pop no ear is complete without parthenon huxley. Go on... click on the links!

An odd aside on the album title - Day For Night was also the title of the Spock's Beard album created during the time that lead songwriter Neal Morse was hearing the siren's call of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And So It Begins

I hear the radio guys spouting off about how the "Obama-controlled media" is going to do their best to destroy Palin or downplay her experience and that she has one week to cement her image in the minds of the public, an image that will forever follow her true or not (Dan Quayle as a stupid hick doodie-head was their greatest accomplishment).

However I still couldn't help but to be surprised at the audacity of an article I ran across. The headline is

Palin's pork requests confound reformer image

and you read the first two paragraphs where it states that under her watch Alaska got $295 per person from the federal government, compared to $34 per person elsewhere. GOLLY! Sounds like she's the typical politician. But continue reading and you'll find that Alaska has always been a big pork state and that under her watch it actually DECLINED from more than $800 per person to the current level of $295, at least a 63% drop. The article actually states that "there's only so much Palin could do with state bureaucrats used to a free-flowing spigot of federal dollars from Washington."

So what is it? A massive reformer, as the data indicates, or a big spender, as the headline suggests- and what the typical ill-informer reader will read? Get ready folks... this is the kind of slanted mud-slinging "journalism" you can expect for the next few months, or four years.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pure Genius

I hate to say it but McCain made a brilliant move by choosing Palin as his Vice President. Somehow he had to appease both the conservatives, which he has to this point alienated to no end, and lure in the disenfranchised Hilary supporters, many of which are voting for her because of her gender. No? I think yes.

Anyway, with Palin he gets both as well as an outstanding public servant. He doesn't have my vote yet but maybe she does.

Glenn Beck has a great article on Palin for your enjoyment.