Friday, June 30, 2006
Profile of a 'Phile
This isn't my only blog now. Thanks to Drunken Samurai, I'm also now a poster (I said poster... not poster CHILD, thankyouverymuch) at Absolute Zero, a blog dedicated to protecting children from pedophiles. My first post went up today. I'm very pleased and honored to be a part of this group.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Hope you're wearing your rubbers, Bill!
Hope you're ok, Twin.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
scritch scritch scritch
There I was. Sunday night. Getting ready to mow the lawn, when I decided to trim the trees in the back yard first. It's rather annoying to keep getting poked in the head and back by low branches, don'tcha know. There's one tree with ivy growing up around the trunk and choking the tree, so I cut it down too. Now I have this GI-NORMOUS pile of tree branches and ivy to move behind the shed. By hand. (I don't have a wheelbarrow) THEN I mow the lawn, but can only finish the backyard.
I am whipped.
Itchy is the key word there, folks. Two days later my arms are breaking out in VERY itchy red bumps. It may be "poisey ivy", as Thomas used to call it, but I don't remember seeing any and the bumps don't really look like blisters.
I don't really care what it is.... IT ITCHES! Itches to the point of burning if forget not to scratch the bumps.
OK. Could someone PLEASE pass me some cheese to go with my whine?
That's right. President Putin is squashing the terrorists who killed 4 embassy workers who were kidnapped last week and murdered. He's authorizing "all necessary measures" to find and destroy the enemy. Good on ya, Putin! Go get some insurgent asses and fry the suckers in bacon grease. But, it does make me wonder about his motive.
This is the same President Putin who, in 2004, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying "It is one thing to have information that Hussein's regime was preparing acts of terrorism -- we did have this information, and we handed it over. . . . But we did not have information that they were involved in any terrorist acts whatsoever and, after all, these are two different things." Ok... so you knew Saddam was plotting against the US, but because they didn't have the chance to carry out those attacks before we took him out of power, you won't throw your support our way? That's what we call "defense", Mr. Putin. In driver's ed class they call it "defensive driving"- look out for obstacles and take measures to avoid accidents. We preemtively protected our country against a possible attack. I have NO problem with that.
The same President Putin who, in 2003, said that "war against Iraq would be a mistake fraught with the gravest consequences for Iraq and the international community as a whole." Yeah. Helping Iraqi's establish a non-terroristic democratic government is a "grave consequence". NOT.
This is also the same President Putin who has been leading his own war in Chechnya where 4 or 5 people a day simply "disappear" as a result of what is essentially military kidnappings. Chechnya continues to be the single largest human rights crisis in Europe and the only place on the continent where civilians are killed and “disappeared” on a daily basis as a result of an armed conflict. Credible human rights organizations continue to report "atrocities, disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killings committed by Russian federal forces. Chechnya is trying to cecede from the Russian Federation and become an independent country. Although major conflict stopped several years ago, the Russians still have plenty of military confrontations in Chechnya today. Sounds a lot worse than Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and other atrocities our guys are accused of committing. Yeah, but the Chechnya situation is different, right Mr. Putin? You're committing genocide... we're just getting rid of terrorists. (OK... sarcastic font off now)
The UN repeatedly tried to get Putin to back down over Chechyna, but he refused. Reading about the Chechnian war makes me think about Saddam. Saddam and Putin have both waged war on their own citizens. They both have militaries who make people "disappear" on a large scale. And, of course, they both oppose the US being in Iraq helping to secure a democratic government for Iraq's future.
It's no wonder Putin doesn't support the US in Iraq. But now that Russians have been kidnapped and murdered in Iraq, I wonder what their spin on it will be. Will they admit that there's a problem in Iraq and join the US in fighting the insurgents? Or will they blame the US for angering the insurgents, leading to the murders of 4 Russian citizens?
I hope I'm wrong, but I'm guessing they go with #2 and blame the US.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Not long after that I started reading CB's "My War", which has also been turned into a book (along with other commentary that was never a part of the blog). Through Colby's blog, I found Free, Jen, ALa, Kat, Ciggy, and others, and then ALa started her own blog. Many of CB's readers were also commenters at ALa's site. My experiment into finding out first-hand information into the war had lead me to so many different places. I started reading The Castle, Blackfive, Sean, Redsix, Currie, and so many others.
Most of the blogs I read regularly are either military or political. There are some which are not, and one of those "others" belonged to a tell-it-like-it-is southerner, Acidman. I wasn't a regular reader or commenter, but I did go there quite often. He was brash. He was non-PC. He was sad. He was hurting. He was reaching out. He was an alcoholic. He was a father. And now... he's an angel.
When I first found out about Acidman's death, it was late last night- maybe 10:30 or 11. John reported it, and I was just stunned. Rob has gone through HELL these past couple of years, and I was really hoping things were turning around for him. He was found about 2 o'clock in the morning on Monday, June 26, slumped over on the couch. There were already 211 comments on his daughter's post, announcing her father's death. By this morning at 9am, there were over 400 comments.
One of his last posts, on June 24th, mentions being denied pain pills for his aching shoulders because of his alcoholic past. The post blasts a friend of his for telling the doctor about the alcholism. In the comments, Acidman hints at committing suicide over the pain and lack of relief from it. Looking at the comments on that post now is so eery- many make jokes about him dying too soon to "win the pool", or make reference to where, when and how he might off himself. There's no evidence that he did commit suicide, and so far they haven't found any drugs or alcohol in his apartment, so they really don't know how he died.
Many of the comments talk about how wonderful he was, despite his brash behavior: "A-man was an outstanding writer, with depth and feeling... a Cracker-Jack character, like the prize inside the box. He will be greatly missed."; he was at his best when he described life's simple joys and beauty, like a raging midnight thunderstorm, or the taste of homegrown tomatos or boiled peanuts, or a peaceful afternoon spent crabbing on a quiet saltwater creek with the daughter he loved...; I don't know how much you realize this, but your Father was special to so many of us. There are thousands of people who were entertained, saddened, frustrated, infuriated, and blown over by what he did here. He was a man of a different time. He was a great adventurer and explorer of life, along the lines of Teddy Roosevelt and Hemingway. He didn't care what anyone thought of what he did nor did their admonitions deter him from telling all of us about it. There is a little bit of Rob in all of us... I hope. And I don't wish him peace. He'd have HATED peace. I hope he has dancing girls, prostitutes, hot beaches, and every drink he can get his hands around. I wish him a continuation of all that brought him joy and pleasure.. I'm sure he left this world with no regrets. I will now carry one with me... that I never met the man in person.
And then there was this one, by commenter "Saved":
Rob Smith saved my life.
He never knew it, and I never told the got damned cracker so, but he did.
Its mid 2003, my marriage had failed and the relationship with a woman who was once my best friend was now a smouldering wreck. My ex and her team of lawyers were running me through a wringer, with a pleasant helping of perjured testimony and outright bullsh* in the process. I missed seeing my kid on a regular and predictable basis and the courts, while all too quick to remind me for whom the bell tolled if my cash was late, never seemed to care when my ex wouldn't let me see my daughter, the most important thing to me in my life. Work was hell and I was on the outs with my own folks.
I was on my heels, careening down the ski slope. Felt like my life wasn't mine, wasn't in control. For the first and only time in my 35 years, I considered eating a bullet. Not just considered, but started making plans. Plans involving a camping trip to a remote location where it'd be a while before I was found. I was as low as one can imagine.
Two days before I was going to take the trip, I followed a link to gutrumbles from Instapundit. And I found a kindred soul. This man, this profoundly southern gentleman, spoke the words of my feelings. He summed up in one catchy phrase the "rut" I felt like I was in: Can't keep all my shit in one sock. And that S.O.B. told his tale. He told it all, unapologetically and without varish or spin. And he pushed through and perservered through a level of sh*t that made my troubles look like Sunday school. But most of all, he opened up. He let people know that going through this kind of shit hurts, that there's a pain in having a black-robe screw with your ability to be a parent that is deep and unending. He dealt with it.
And so, I did. I read Rob's stuff, devoured his archives, and reread some of the more serious posts. And when it came time to leave for my "camping" trip, I didn't go. Just decided that I wouldn't. And I know Rob's writing, his spirit, his essence was a big reason for that.
This weekend, literally, I took my little girl camping at what was to be "the spot." Sound's off kilter, I know, but it was something I had to do. Closing that chapter and starting to write a new one.
I'm stunned and saddened that Rob is gone. And I'm ashamed I never wrote to him to tell him what a profound influence he had on me. In a way, I'm sure much of my hesitance was in recognizing that although my sh*tstorm was starting to pass, Rob was still hurting and still being battered by his own. Perhaps it was pride, and not wanting Rob to know that shit he brushed aside with an acid wit nearly brought me to an end. But I am sitting here now, I know, because of Rob and for that I am forever in his debt.
Requiest in passem, ya grumpy son of a bitch. Thank you. Thank you for the gift you gave me: I will do my very best to earn it.
Rob himself once wrote "Long ago, I described this blog as an exercise where I stuffed notes in bottles and threw them into a vast ocean where I hoped someone would find the bottle and read the note. But that's not really what I was doing. This blog was my lifeline that towed me to shore when I was totally shipwrecked. It kept me alive for more than two of the worst years I've lived in my life. I wasn't stuffing notes in bottles. I was standing on the shore and shouting frantically for rescue. People came. I WAS rescued. And I will always appreciate that fact."
I wonder how many of us are influenced by the blogs we read, and the bloggers we have become friends with. I wonder if I've written anything that has made an impact on anyone. I wonder if any of us realize the impact our lives have on those around us- both physically and virtually.
It's the unexpected influences that shape our lives. I hope that when I die, I have made positive impacts on people I've met, both in "real life", and online. In case I don't get the chance to say it to you in person....
Thanks. I love you guys. You've all had an unexpected influence on my life.
Monday, June 26, 2006
The Honey Pot
There was a mamma mole, a papa mole, and a baby mole. They lived in a hole outside of a farm house out in the country.
The papa mole reached his head out of the hole and said, “Mmmmm, I smell sausage.”
The mama mole reached her head outside of the hole and said “Mmmmmm, I smell pancakes.”
The baby mole tried to reach his head outside the hole but couldn't because of the two bigger moles. The baby mole said, “The only thing I can smell is...
*groan*... I know... but considering my last post, I just couldn't help it. Esp. considering that the outhouse at West Bay in Traverse City is nicknamed "The Honey Pot".
And on a related note... I offer you this:
One day Jane met Tarzan in the jungle. She was very attracted to him, and during her questions about his life she asked him what he did about sex.
"What's that?" he asked. She explained to him what sex was and he said, "Oh, Tarzan use a hole in the trunk of tree!"
Horrified, she said, "Tarzan you have it all wrong! I'll show you how to do it properly." She took off her clothes, dropped to the ground and spread her legs wide.
"Here," she said, "You must put it in here."
Tarzan removed his loincloth, stepped closer, and then gave her an almighty kick in the crotch. Jane rolled around in agony.
Eventually she managed to gasp, "What the hell did you do that for?"
"Tarzan check for bees first!"
PORT-A-POTTY'S DO NOT FLUSH!
While at Thomas's baseball game Saturday morning, one of the mom's turned to me and said "Um... is that your little boy in the blue t-shirt?"
This is a vital moment in time. The moment you try to decide whether or not to say "Why, yes. That IS my son. What has the little darling done now?" or..... "NOPE! But I see his DAD, standing over there by the fence. Why do you ask?"
I claim him. Because, he is, my child. At which point, she informs me that her little boy, who is 2, just told her "that boy ober der was cleanin duh potty. i yust watched, momma"
Kevin went into the port-a-potty (yes... PORT-A-POTTY), and thought it was "backed up, because the toilet was full of toilet paper".... so he took it upon himself to CLEAN IT OUT.
He is *SO* blonde sometimes. "Kevin... HONEY... Port-A-Potty's DON'T FLUSH! It's like pooping in a bucket, and they come dump out the bucket about once a week. THEY DON'T BACK UP!"
I scrubbed, and scrubbed his little hands, but damn... that shit's nasty.
Friday, June 23, 2006
My new bumpersticker....
Top al Qaeda member captured: "He is known to be involved in facilitating foreign terrorists throughout central Iraq, and is suspected of having ties to previous attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces." The funny thing is, the title of the article is "Bombing at Iraq mosque kills 9", and the capture of the unnamed al Qaeda leader is merely a footnote in the article.
U.S. trolls for terror funding: When the Times notified the administration of its plans to report on the program, the administration made Stuart Levey, an under secretary at the Treasury Department who overseas the program, available to comment on the program to both the Times and the Journal. Levey told the Journal that he fears that "sophisticated terrorists will now stop using the system in ways we have access to, or will take extensive precautions to hide their identities, and that is really a loss." So... the US is "trolling" for terrorist funding outlets... and this is a "problem" that just has to be reported in both the New York Times AND the Wall Street Journal? EXCUSE ME... they are trying to cut off funding for terrorist networks, yet the MSM calls it "trolling"?? MORONS.
Oil giant Anadarko buying two rivals "We are creating a combined company with industry-leading positions in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and the Rockies, two of the fastest-growing oil and natural gas producing regions in North America," Anadarko CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. That's just fine... as long as they pass through the extra profits to the consumers in the form of reduced prices. YEAH RIGHT. Like THAT'S gonna happen. Just look at what adding gas pumps at Kroger stores did for their bottom line, not to mention the record-breaking profits experienced by Exxon/Mobile in 2005.
Soldiers' brutal deaths confirmed to families Relatives of two soldiers who disappeared in Iraq during an insurgent attack comforted each other Thursday after the military confirmed two brutalized bodies found this week were the missing men. IT'S ABOUT GODDAMN TIME... THIS IS THE 4TH STORY LISTED IN "HEADLINE" NEWS. But the story doesn't condemn al Qaeda for their deaths... oh, no. That wouldn't be "good news", would it. No. Instead they quote the family as saying "Julieta Vasquez, Menchaca's aunt, said the family was angry that the men had been left alone by their better-trained colleagues. "We're mad at the Army," she said. "My nephew and the other soldier, they were alone." " HOW ABOUT BEING MAD AT THE FUCKING INSURGENTS???
Cheney plays down calls to strike N. Korea "I think, at this stage, we are addressing the issue in the proper fashion ... obviously, if you are going to launch strikes at another nation, you better be prepared to not fire just one shot. The fact of the matter is, I think, the issue is being addressed appropriately." Cheney told CNN that, while "I appreciate Bill's advice," such an action could worsen the situation.
My boy, Cheney, bitch-slaps William Perry, Clinton's Sec Def, and Ashton Carter, Clinton's assistant secretary of defense, after they called for a pre-emptive strike to destroy North Korea's nuclear missile. In other words, STFU Bill and Ashton...you guys were Sec Def's under Clinton, the man who nearly single-handedly destroyed our military capabilities and let things like the USS Cole attack go unpunished. Yeah... like we're really gonna pay attention to your advice now. MORONS.
U.S. warship knocks down test missile The latest test of the U.S. missile defense program is the seventh time in eight attempts the military has successfully shot down a target with a ship-based interceptor, the Pentagon said. North Korea, William Perry and Ashton Carter, take note. We have the capability, and we will use force if necessary, so don't push the issue and try launching a "test" missile. 7 out of 8. Pretty good odds in our favor. Again, I say to you....America, fuck yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfucking day, yeah! America, fuck yeah! Freedom is the only way, yeah! Terrorists, your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to... America, fuck yeah!
Mexico questions 6 in police, civilian beheadings Three Mexican police officers were killed after a large group of armed men -- possibly as many as 100 -- surrounded their cars Tuesday night in a remote part of the city, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said. The officers were responding to a report of a possible kidnapping. The mutilated bodies of the three officers and an unidentified civilian wrapped in blankets bound with tape were discovered Wednesday morning in an empty lot, police said. Police later located the four heads in the border city of Tijuana, across from San Diego. Um.. yeah. Just one more reason to PUT UP A FUCKING WALL AND MOAT! Jesus H. Christ... and they wonder why we don't want just anybody wandering across the border? This happened 15 miles from the US!
*blah blah blah... stuff about storms in Ohio, "Idol" winner McPhee talking about bulimia, viruses at tattoo parlors and Mr. Clean*
OK. So let me get this straight.
According to CNN, the "top" stories today include: 9 people being killed when a bomb explodes outside a mosque, but there's hardly a mention of the fact that a top al Qaeda leader was captured, nor any outrage over the fact that insurgents planted a bomb at the holiest of all places for Muslims?
The US Treasury following money trails to terrorist organizations is now considered "trolling" for information?
Anadarko is expanding and Exxon/Mobile and other top fuel companies are making record profits... yet no one is doing anything about the incredibly high prices being paid by the consumers?
Mexico is "investigating" the murders of 3 police officers just south of our border, but yet no one seems to recognize the danger that poses to the US?
WaPo is promoting two panty-waist ex Sec Def's idea to launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea, but Cheney's rational and sound response to CNN is waved off as being soft on nuclear arms control?
We successfully knock a missile out of the air during a test, but article closes on a down note, saying that "National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said earlier that the $11 billion system has "some limited operational capability." " Limited? Yeah. I'd say they were "limited" to defending us against a nuclear attack!
Our soldiers being horribly mutilated and killed gets blamed on OUR Army- not to mention the fact that is is the 4th story listed, and not THE headline story? (although, I have to admit, I wasn't too happy about learning that these Pfc's were left on their own during an attack. But that's something the Army will take up with the NCOIC of the mission, and not something that the US Army itself should be blamed for) Where is the outrage over how our soldiers were killed? Where is the outrage over the REAL torture these men suffered, and not just being frightened by a dog or being put in a really cold (or hot) cell? Where is the story covering the 500 WMD's found in Iraq in recent years? Where is the story on how many raids since Zarqawi's death have resulted in top al Qaeda leaders being killed or captured?
WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE! My guess.. it's in Iraq, in the hearts and minds of every US Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airman over there. And there's a lot back home, in the hearts and minds of every supporter of those soldiers. Too bad the MSM isn't one of those supporters.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Let the bodies hit the floor!
And this one.
And this one.
America, fuck yeah! Comin' again to save the motherfucking day, yeah!
America, fuck yeah! Freedom is the only way, yeah!
Terrorists, your game is through, 'cause now you have to answer to...
America, fuck yeah!
The 101st will have their revenge. It's already started.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I have only tears to offer
Tears that fall freely, knowing that these men died after apparently being tortured. One report I heard said they were beheaded after being brutally tortured, but I haven't been able to "officially" confirm that.
Menchaca's uncle wanted the US to pay ransom for these Soldiers out of the money seized from Saddam, but that wouldn't have appeased the kidnappers. They wanted revenge for Al-Zarqawi's death, and only the death of our men would do.
I have news for you.
We're coming to get you.
We WILL make you pay for their deaths.
This is a sad day for the 101st. Keep them, and the families of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker in your prayers.
Hey Uncle Sam
Put your name at the top of his list
And the Statue of Liberty
Started shaking her fist
And the eagle will fly
And there's gonna be hell
When you hear Mother Freedom
Start ringing her bell
And itll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you
Ahhh Brought to you Courtesy of the Red White and Blue
Ohhh Justice will be served
And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight
When you rattle his cage
And you'll be sorry that you messed with
The U.S. of A.
'Cause we'll put a boot in your ass
It's the American way
(Toby Keith's "Angry American")
I have no tolerance for morons
Ray Nagin... YOU ARE A FIRST CLASS PIECE OF SHIT MORON!
He fails to evacuate the city during a hurricane. Fails to follow the city's disaster plan. Uses the Superdome as a shelter, against ALL emergency agency recommendations. Fails to follow proper protocol to call in the National Guard, FEMA, or Red Cross. Initiates what ends up being the largest migration in the United States for the past 150 years.
BUT HE CALLS IN THE NATIONAL GUARD WHEN 6 PEOPLE ARE MURDERED OVER THE WEEKEND?
Yep. He's "worried" about the "rampant crime rate" in *his* city, following the murders of 5 teens in an SUV and a stabbing this weekend. Well, they ARE short 400 police officers (about 22% of their force) following Katrina recovery... but they only have HALF OF THE POPULATION they used to have.
*cough* Mayor Nagin... How stupid do you think we are? Your "tough on crime" stance is NOT going to restore public faith in your *cough* leadership. All it's going to do is pull our guys away from their families to be your new police force. Nice job diverting your local budget for law enforcement onto the state's National Guard budget.
New Orleans and Lousiana residents need to buy a fucking CLUE and get Nagin, and Governor Blanco, OUT OF OFFICE. I cannot believe you RE-ELECTED such a clueless POS to lead your city.
Monday, June 19, 2006
I am *so* not a wuss..... or a slacker....
Out of the house by 8:00am, and on to the new house. Gathered up the new locks and took them back to Lowes to be re-keyed. Bought 20 bags of mulch.
*ring ring* "Mrs. AFSister? This is Mattress Warehouse. We're running ahead of schedule and should be at your house in 20 minute." SHIT.
*runs to car... hurries home*
*arrives just as delivery truck arrives, and signs for mattress*
Now for the fun part: Putting the bed together. I tried putting it together Thursday night after mowing the lawn, but I didn't have the right bolts and had to go back to the furniture store to get them. So... I start putting the bed together Saturday morning after the delivery.
*OUCH! she says, as she hits her shins for the up-teenth time on the frame*
(you see... I do not have a drill, so I was putting it together with a screwdriver and hex wrench)
*SHIT! I just stripped the f'in bolt! SHIT!... MANUALLY.... WITH A HEXWRENCH! No wonder my hands are sore*
OK. Bed together, best as I can get it. Now for the mattress set. It's a king-sized bed, which has 2 twin box springs and one gi-norous mattress. I put the box springs down... and THEY DON'T FIT. SHIT. I have to adjust the frame... which means unscrewing, and re-screwing (if that's even a word).
Alrighty then.... box springs fit. Now for the mattress. Did I mention that it's GI-NORMOUS? And I'm by myself?
*OW!!!!!! Dang it... hit my shins AGAIN... boy, is that gonna leave a mark*
*HEAVY SIGH.... ALL DONE!*
*collapses on new bed with a huge ka-thud*
After dragging myself out of the bed, making it (looks SO COOL!), I head out for lunch. Yep. It took me 4 frikkin' hours to get that done. But I SCORED. BIG TIME. I went to Toys R Us and they had a pretty good selection of "Cars" toys! I picked up what I could, stopped at Wendy's and delivered the new toys to the boys. I figured Thomas could use a pick-me-up after losing their first baseball game of the season that morning. The boys were siked... even though their Dad had taken them to Walmart right after the game and had gotten some of the same cars I found at Toys R Us. Let me tell you... those things are hard to find!
I kissed the boys goodbye, and headed back to my house for more work. I started with the door handle.
It was the wrong finish! ARGGHHH!
*UNSCREW* Boxed it up... back to Lowes to buy a replacement.
Home again, home again... jiggity jig.
On with replacing the door handle and deadbolt.
IT WORKS! YAY ME!
And then... painting Kevin's room.
ALL DONE! YAY ME!
And then... 20 bags of mulch.
*commence back-breaking distribution*
ALL DONE! YAY ME!
Somewhere in there the neighbor came over and removed the bidet from the master bathroom. (the house was originally built by some Russian brothers who installed it. Kevin thought it was really cool to have a water fountain which looked like a toilet in my bathroom... "LOOK MOM! The water shoots ALL THE WAY TO THE CEILING!")
It is now 9:30pm, and I am WOOPED... so I crawl into the bathtub, jets on high, and nearly fall asleep. I drag-ass out of the tub, relax for a bit in the new bed, and drive back to hubby's house around 11. When I get there, ready to fall into bed, I find hubby asleep with both boys on our bed. Snoring. I crawl into Kevin's bed and CRASH. *thud* Asleep in seconds.
I manage to f-up breakfast for hubby, who went to church early. Sorry. I also didn't think much about the card Thomas picked out for him. It was picture of a little boy and his Mom, back in the 50's, and said something like "Dad just spent 45 minutes in the bathroom. I think we need to move". At the time I thought it was funny, and Thomas had picked it out all by himself. But after seeing hub's face, I realized he took it as a divorce thing. *sigh* Sorry... again.
I think the best Father's Day present I could have given him was to stay the hell away, so... I did. The boys (mostly Thomas) and I cleaned up the living room while he was gone, and I left almost as soon as he got back.
I headed out for my parent's house. They're in Alabama for the weekend, but I had some work to do over there. I decided to put mulch out for my Dad for Father's Day, since he's been doing so much work on my house he hasn't had time to do it.
25 frikkin' bags of mulch, and two trips to Home Depot to buy them. Oh. My. God. And two toads. Only one of which peed on me when I picked him up. I lurv frogs and toads.
I showered, and headed back to my house. On the way, I stopped at Target and bought birthday presents for Kevin while waiting for my dinner (I ordered ahead at Quaker Steak). After eating, I spackled the boy's bathroom, sanded and painted some decorative surf boards, and hung a couple of kitchen cabinet doors. By this time it was 8pm, and I was WOOPED. AGAIN.
Headed back to the hub's house, got the kids in bed, surfed the 'net for a little while watching tv, and CRASHED. HARD.
SO.... you see? I am not a wuss, or a slacker. I am TIRED!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Monday Morning Funny
The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituality, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, biomimicry, nanotechnology, and sexual proclivities.
The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again, the robot serves him a perfectly prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?"
The man responds, "About a 100."
Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time about football, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, and women's body parts.
Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out of the bar and then returns. The robot serves him and asks, "What's your IQ?"
The man replies, "Er, 50, I think."
And the robot says... real slowly..."So............... is your party gonna nominate Hillary for president???
Friday, June 16, 2006
Never Underestimate Us!
Matt provided an update on Michael Yon's fight against HFM and their unauthorized use of his "Farah" picture on the cover of their premiere issue. Tower Records pulled the issue, as have Eckerd's and Rite Aid Drug Stores. The two drug stores have announced that they will no longer carry "Shock", but Tower said that they probably would. Advertising World writes that "Through a website at http://michaelyon-online.com/shockmag.php, he urged "ordinary people" to call distributors asking them to remove the magazine from their stores. Rite Aid and Brooks Eckerd are listed under the "Good Guys" for having removed the issue; a "Bad Guys" list is planned for those that refuse."
Point being.... KEEP IT UP! HFM has been affected by our efforts, and if we continue to boycott HFM publications, they will be forced to deal honorably and equitably with Michael.
The Debate on Race and DNA
His research into a disorder called microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with dramatically smaller brains than usual, lead to the discovery. It was already known that two genes, microcephalin and ASPM, are not present in people with this disorder. Lahn's research showed that in microcephalin, a new allele has arisen in about 70 percent of people- mostly European and Eastern Asia, but it is much rarer in most sub-Saharan Africans. An allele is a DNA code which helps determine physical attributes, for instance, the color of a flower. You can have many different shades of pansies in your garden, but they are all considered pansies.
ScienceDaily.com has a nice article about Dr. Lahn's research and the possible implications, including discovering why some primates developed into humans while other's didn't. Could the proverbial Missing Link be mutated microcephalin and ASPM genes? To quote the article, "Evolution, Lahn said, doesn't occur at the species level. Rather, some individuals first acquire a specific genetic mutation; and because that variant confers on those who bear it a greater likelihood of survival, it then spreads in the population. "We're seeing two examples of such a spread in progress," he said. "In each case, it's a spread of a new genetic variant in a gene that controls brain size. This variant is clearly favored by natural selection." "
In an interview with the NY Times, Dr. Lahn said "I do think this kind of study is a harbinger for what might become a rather controversial issue in human population research," Dr. Lahn said. But he said his data and other such findings "do not necessarily lead to prejudice for or against any particular population."
DO NOT NECESSARILY LEAD TO PREJUDICE FOR OR AGAINST ANY PARTICULAR POPULATION.
From the time he published his findings, Dr. Lahn was clearly afraid that the results would be used to "prove" prejudice against certain races. Unfortunately, this fear is becoming a reality. The PC crowd is using it as an excuse to say that Dr. Lahn is prejudice against South Africans, or blacks, and that he's trying to prove the genetic superiority of Asians and Europeans, or whites. As a result of the backlash, the University of Chicago is pulling Dr. Lahn's patent applications and Dr. Lahn is halting his study. Instead of being seen as groundbreaking research into human evolution and natural selection, Dr. Lahn's research is simply being seen as racist.
What a damn shame.
I am so sick and tired of "political correctness" I could just spit. It's SCIENCE! It's not conjecture. It's a theory into human evolution, not an attempt to degrade certain races. Think of the implications here: Do certain societal influences affect DNA? Dr. Lahn's team noted that the microcephalin allele mutations first appeared back when humans emigrated from Africa. They also noted that the ASPM allele emerged about the same time as the spread of agriculture in the Middle East. Although the team said that a connection is not clear... surely there is something to this.
If microcephalin genes produced larger brains in people who moved out of Africa and into Asia and Europe, perhaps it is a natural selection function of our development. If modified ASPM genes appear in brains of agricultural-based societies, perhaps that is also showing a natural selection evolution. Everything happens for a reason, ESPECIALLY modified genes and DNA. This would certainly explain why Asia and Europe are considered "modern" societies, and produce some of the world's most innovative and intellectual people. It would also explain why the Middle East has remained more agricultural than technical- their brains are simply wired that way.
Again, I say, what a damn shame this research is being stifled.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
A Marine Speaks Out at Blackfive
The treatment of the as-yet-uncharged Marines at Camp Pendleton, the sadly comic persecution of a Cpl letting off steam at Al Asad or some other shit hole...too much. Loyalty and devotion is a two-way street. I do not see it in the current Marine Corps Leadership. Toss that air-wing NCO under the bus…he wasn’t at Haditha but he’ll do.
At the end of the day it comes down to this; I see nobody acting like they have the tiniest set of balls in Marine leadership. Maybe a non-PC Marine General or Colonel will show up with stars and the desire to get people to back the fuck off until the facts are presented.
And that's just a LITTLE bit of what this Marine, and father of two Marines, has to say about today's Corps. Some of it I agree with... some, I'm not so sure. I do think there's an honor in the Corps that has been compromised by the actions of a few. I do believe the "Hadji Girl" song should have remained a campfire song, and not a YouTube video. I don't know what happened in Haditha, and I'm unclear as to why our guys are being held in solitary without any charges being brought against them.
I also know that I'm damn proud of our Marines, and they will take care of their own bad seeds. Honor and Duty above all else.. something they know well.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Insurgents waited until children surrounded our troops to detonate a car bomb, injuring many, and killing little Farah. Major Bieger took her to the US hospital so that she could receive the best care possible, but it just wasn't enough.
Michael has battled with the US Army over copyright protection of his work, and he won. He'll win against HFM too. About two weeks ago, HFM launched their new magazine, "Shock", featuring Michael's photo on the cover with the subscript "WAR IS STILL HELL! Jarring Proof that Iraq is the new Vietnam." Of course there's no mention of the fact that the child on the cover was killed by insurgents, and the great lengths our soldiers took to try to save her. There's no mention of how our soldiers returned to her neighborhood the next day to see if there was anything they could do, and were greeted again with open arms and open doors.
Michael's fighting back, as any US Army Soldier would do. No, he's not in the Army now, but he's still got a LOT of "Army" in him. Don't mess with Michael... you will get burned. It's up to all of us to help Michael win this battle against HFM. We've already done a lot, but now that HFM is backing down on their original deal with Michael, it's time to turn the burners up and REALLY burn their asses.
It's time to boycott the purchase of all HFM publications:
Elle (including Elle Decor and Elle Girl)
Car and Driver
Road and Track
Popular Photograghy and Imaging
Sound and Vision
In addition to boycotting these magazines, you can also write letters to the publishers and distributors
Send the message to HFM, and the rest of the publication world, that if you want to use an image illegally and out of context, you will pay. Dearly.
Running across my parent's worn-out deck, he managed to get a gi-enormous piece of wood in his toe. I knew we were in trouble when my Mom called and said "We have a Giant Splinter. Even your DAD couldn't get it out". OH. SHIT. The Bowie-knife-splinter-removal expert couldn't get it out? OH. SHIT. I met them at the doctor's office, but the doc said it was too deep and too splintered (the wood was falling apart when he touched it) for him to remove, and we'd have to take him to the ER.
For a splinter.
They gave him a shot of Novocain, pulled out the scissors and cut it out. Did a little lavage, and pulled a little more out with tweezers. So...3 hours and a lot of tears later, we have a smiling, popsicle-eating, toe-bandaged boy sitting on a hospital gurney. One who will NEVER run across my parent's wooden deck barefoot again.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
It's time, folks. Empty the penny jars and send in your donation to Valour-IT. Unless you've been living under a rock, all of my readers should have heard of V-IT by now. It's a program ran by Soldier's Angels in honor of Capt. Z's father. When Chuck was injured in Iraq, he lost the use of his hands for a while. Voice-activated software allowed him to continue writing emails and posts while he recovered from his injuries. It was during this recovery period that Valour-IT was started. Even though the project has been around for less than a year, 460 outfitted laptops have been provided to our recovering soldiers. At about $700 per unit, that's over $300,000.00 worth of equipment! ALL of it has been provided through the generous donations of citizens like yourself and discounted prices through their vendors, BiziPC, Nuance, and eBags.
Please make a donation today.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Stuff floating around in my head
1. ABU MUSAB AL-ZARQAWI IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot begin to express my happiness over this! Morbid as it may seem, I'm doin' a happy chair dance, singing "Ding Dong, the witch is DEAD" in my head. (You'll thank me for that image later today when you need a laugh... and my co-workers are thanking me for singing in my head instead of out loud since I can't sing for shit)
To quote President Bush: "Zarqawi was the operational command of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis...Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which Al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations...Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again."
Other than the fact that this murdering asswipe is dead, I absolutely LOVE the fact that IRAQI forces were first on the scene following the attack, and that the IRAQI press release went out first. Coalition forces were backup/cleanup, and their press release went out after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made the announcement to the world in a press conference on Thursday.
Rumsfeld, attending a NATO press conference in Brussels, added that "No single person on this planet has had the blood of more innocent men, women and children than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
2. El-T Coward
Some people are calling Lt. Ehren Watada "courageous" for standing up for his beliefs. I call him a COWARD.
He joined the Army in 2003, well into the GWOT, and now that he's slated to be deployed, all of a sudden he's taking a "moral" stance against the war in Iraq? BULLFUCKINGSHIT.
In a statement released yesterday, Lt. Jumping Ship said "It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders. I stand before you today because it is my job to serve and protect those soldiers, the American people, and innocent Iraqis with no voice.
It is my conclusion as an officer of the Armed Forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order."
Um. Ok. You wanna know what I got out of all of that?
"I'm a chickenshit officer of the US Army, afraid to uphold my oath, and therefore, willing to go to jail rather than go to war."
See ya... wouldn't wanna be ya. I'm sure you'll find Leavenworth a lovely place to spend the next 20 years or more.
Let the Marine Corps figure this out in court, OK? I'm sick and tired of people like EX-Marine John Murth accusing these men of the "cold-blooded murder of innocent Iraqi's". We don't know what happened, or why the Marines targeted that house... YET. We don't know if anyone in the house knew about, or possibly planted, the IED that killed one and injured another Marine earlier that day... YET. We don't know if our guys flipped out in anger and just killed everyone in sight in that house...YET.
The only things we DO know are that:
1. 2 Marines were injured in an IED blast, and one died of his wounds.
2. The Marines retaliated by going into Haditha to capture those responsible for the IED.
3. People died.
It would also appear that a coverup at some level took place, because those people didn't die as a result of a car bomb as originally reported, but I don't know how far up the ladder that went. I am FAR from convicting any of these men of murder. FAR from it. Lots of questions need to be answered before I could make that statement, or even agree upon what was covered up, why, and who knew about the coverup.
4. We need something fun to do around here! So much seriousness, eh? It's bad for the soul. LIGHTEN UP, FRANCIS.. and take this quiz:
You scored 47 change, 62 wellbeing, 52 wisdom, and 57 truth
The Strength cards represents the control over material forces. The lion is a symbol of the fire within or the kundalini force that sits coiled within us at the base of the spine. The woman is symbolic of the subconscious, which controls vital functions without the need of conscious thought. She controls the lion with a gentle spiritual touch rather than from brute force. This card falls under the vibration of the number 8.
some extra words:
knowing you can endure
having a gallant spirit
feeling an unshakable resolve
taking heart despite setbacks
being a rock
dealing calmly with frustration
refusing to get angry
giving others lots of space
understanding what others are feeling
achieving soft control
being able to influence
tempering force with benevolence
demonstrating the strength of love
|Link: The What tarot card resembles you Test written by KamikazeParrot on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test|
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
He's satired a LOT of local personalities, like Red's announcer Marty Brennaman, Mayor Bobbie Sterne, and Judge Leslie Isaiah Gaines- all of whom where interviewed for today's anniversary article. Brennaman recently bought an original cartoon featuring himself and said "I thought it was so damn good that I didn't want anyone else to have it... I want people to knwo he did me." After announcing that Gaines saw the image of Christ on a pillar in the county courthouse, Borgman published a cartoon featuring Gaines, Marge Schott (former Red's owner) and Sparky Anderson (former Red's manager). They're looking at Gaines' tie, and Sparky said "No, it's not Jesus, it's pizza sauce." Even though he was being made fun of, this is Gaines' favorite Borgman cartoon. Bobbie Sterne said that Borgman "has such a genius for zeroing in on the essence of the situation", and she's right. He is a genius.
...Jim Borgman on Korean nukes
...Jim Borgman on parental responsibility
...Jim Borgman on Bono's world peace involvement
...Jim Borgman on Dubya and his Daddy
...Jim Borgman on Cincinnati's outrage over the Maplethorpe exhibit
...Jim Borgman on the deaths of JFK Jr. and Aids victim, Ryan White
Thanks for 30 years of thought-provoking cartoons, Jim. You may be a bleeding-heart Liberal... but I love your work anyway.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Well.. there's one new theory about describing behaviors this way. I kinda like it. We've been learning to do this with our kids- especially Thomas- over the past few years. It is HARD, let me tell you. ALa posted on it today under the title of "More PC Crap at Public Schools". Instead of calling your child "stubborn", teachers are being encouraged to call them "focused, committed or determined". Sounds a LOT better than stubborn, doesn't it?
During a seminar I recently attended, the speaker was praising this new thought pattern. She asked us to list bad traits about our kids. The audience raised traits such as mean, stubborn, back-talker, liar, gets into everything, hyper, dawdles, defiant, silly, loud, and ignores you. We were then tasked to come up with more positive descriptions of these same traits.
Mean became assertive.
Stubborn became determined.
Liar became creative thinker (don't agree with that one, lol).
Gets into everything became inquisitive.
Dawdles became pays close attention to detail.
Silly became fun and care-free.
Back-talker became independent thinker.
Hyper became full of energy.
Defiant became a natural leader.
Loud became expressive.
Ignores you became deep-thinker.
You get the picture.
I'm not saying that I'm ignorant to my child's negative traits... but I do see where these traits can be turned to positive ones. It all starts with the parents, and how they react to kids when they are ignoring you. Instead of yelling "PAY ATTENTION TO ME! STOP IGNORING ME WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!", try "Hey.. looks like you're deep in thought, but I have something I need to ask you". I'm not saying it's easy- most of the time I forget. But when I remember, it's usually a positive reaction instead of putting Thomas on the defensive right away.
Doing this (about others- or yourself, for that matter) helps you turn perceived negatives into positives. After all, do you really think that Reagan was a perfect child? Or Donald Trump? I'm betting that they were both very "independent thinkers" who were often very "determined", "expressive", and "natural leaders" as children: All traits that probably drove their parents crazy, but made them into the world and business leaders they are today.
Perception isn't everything... but it sure counts for a lot.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
When I was about 21, my parents took us out to dinner for their anniversary. During the meal, my Dad said "I'm sorry. I wasn't a very good father." I didn't know what to say. I couldn't say "Oh, sure you were Dad! You were the BEST!".... because he wasn't. My Mom said "I tried to be a good mother". Dad shot back with "WELL, I DIDN'T TRY TO BE BAD FATHER- BUT I WAS!" I remember sitting there dumbfounded, not sure what to say or do. I know he tried, so I said something like "We never try to do our worst- we just don't always know what is best." It's been 18 years or so since that conversation but I can still remember the sick feeling it left in my stomache. I can see the pain- and courage- in my Dad's face when he said that, and the sadness around the table as we sat there in agreement. The meal went on, but I don't remember anything else after that moment. It just sorta overtook everything else that was said that night.
I don't want my kids to fear me. I want them to respect me, and respect authority in general. I want them to know it's wrong to bully someone, or steal from a store. I want them to know these things instinctively, and not have to stop, think about their actions, and consider the consequences- because they already know the right (and wrong) thing to do. I wish all parents had the same belief.
ALa wrote a piece today about violence in Philly schools. ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.... not the junior or senior high schools. In the report, "teachers told the NBC 10 News Investigators that on a regular basis they face incidents like urinating on bathroom walls, children humping each other, sexually exposing themselves and throwing scissors, desks and chairs on a regular basis." It also reports gang violence and sex in the bathrooms. IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!
Yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer had an article about a movie, called Hard-Wear, produced by various city law enforcement agencies aimed at curbing youth gun violence in Cincinnati. "City Solicitor Rita McNeil said that when she worked as a magistrate in Juvenile Court around 1994, the average age was 12. 'Now it's 8 or 9,' she said." EIGHT OR NINE? HOLY CRAP. That's how old Thomas is!
I know I've written before about how difficult Thomas can be, but I simply cannot imagine him involved in gun or gang violence. Actually, I have a hard time picturing ANY child in elementary school involved in that kind of thing. When I think about it, it makes me sick to imagine what their homelife must be like.
My Dad may have been a controlling, fear-inspiring parent... but I didn't end up in jail and neither did my brother. Surely there's a happy medium somewhere between the two extremes.