Monday, July 31, 2006

International trade deadline, or Make mine a gibson

If you are a baseball fan like I am, then you know that today was the trading deadline for major league baseball teams. Not a big deal to the non or casual baseball fan, but almost a holiday for those of us who dwell in the temple of baseball. Of particular interest to me in the last day or two was the fact that my Yankees picked up a stellar right-fielder named Bobby Abreu for little or nothing, much to the despair of thousands of Philadelphians, and at least two Nashvillians.

There was a fun trading frenzy today, albeit bereft of the big names everyone expected to be traded. All the trade talk made me think....what if there was an international trading day where people outside the confines of baseball or sports could be traded?

Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and Nicole Richey for a flat of smoked Norwegian salmon might be a good deal, or better yet, how about Mel Gibson to the Hezbollah for those two Israeli prisoners? I'd be willing to extend the deadline for THAT trade for quite some time.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blogging from Beirut

Thanks to Clicked, I found the blog of a cartoonist, musician Mazen Kerban. The blog is called Kerblog. I understand that there are probably bloggers and cartoonists who tell a similiar story from the Israeli side. Kerban's cartoons give us a perspective we don't get to see very often.

The cartoon to the left is entitled Qana (we know it as Cana). I do know that what happened at Qana puts the lie to the story that the Israelis are only bombing strategic targets. I understand that a temporary cease fire may be in effect now as a result of this tragedy.

What I do not understand is why it takes this kind of a tragedy to get to a cease-fire. I also understand that the Arab world was largely critical of the Hezbollah movement until the bombing started. Is this what Israel REALLY wants?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Oh, those funny church signs...

here's a cute one!

or, how about this one!

It's a can make your own fun church sign here!

ht: Vic Bowker

Ladies and gentlemen, the comedy stylings of Ann Coulter

Since our last comedy outburst that helped push book sells..damn, those 9/11 widow bashing jokes only take you so far, Ann has topped herself by claiming that Bill Clinton is gay. That's quite a kneeslapper. I was wanting more yuks from Ms. Coulter than just the Clinton haha, so I found this interview in the New York Observer. My two favorite parts of this 'bit' are the jokes about those darn Iraqi civilians and the status of the Middle Eastern countries vis' a vis' George Bush.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeres Anne...

What would have to happen to make you say it was a bad idea to invade [Iraq]?

[Coulter] "That's a good question. It would be a mistake if we just futz around and the whole country became like one long Falluja. I thought we were wasting way too much time on that. This is a war, let's go in and win it. Just take the city! I think if it got to the point where it was going on for six, seven years, and it was just Americans patrolling without killing anyone -- I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning."

[Gurley] After we bomb North Korea, what's the next country we should invade?

[Coulter] "Iran. Though that's the beauty part of Iraq: It may well not be necessary. Because precisely what I'm saying with nuking North Korea -- .... They're a major threat. I just think it would be fun to nuke them and have it be a warning to the rest of the world."

[Gurley] What about Mecca?

[Coulter] "Seriously, I think the rest of the countries in the Middle East, after Afghanistan and Iraq, they're pretty much George Bush's bitch,"

God, isn't she GREAT. Can you imagine the FUN of dropping the big one on North Korea. Don't forget to tip your waiters.

My second favorite thing after listening to Ann's comedy is how her defenders all claim that she really has a good message under all that 'flair'.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Research Even Mary Could Love

MILAN, Italy, June 29 (UPI) -- Italian scientists say the stem cells they extracted from "virgin birth" embryos are capable of turning into neurons.

Read all about it.

One More Time with the Stem Cells

Okay, John, you’ve made a liar out of me. I said that I had written my last word about the issue, but that was then; this is now. I appreciated the Jonathan Alter quotes you posted below. He’s fair and balanced enough to include some valid criticism of the pro- side and he generally avoids condescension (though labeling his opponents “anti-cure” probably crosses the line). However, his arguments do nothing to negate my objections. He says, “The second argument made by opponents is that non-controversial adult-stem-cell research is so promising that there's no need to mess with embryos. This is contrary to the principle of science, which is that you move ahead with all reasonable approaches because there's no telling what will work.” Notice the word “reasonable.” There’s the rub. I forget what it’s called in logic, but I think he just assumed the point he’s trying to prove. I don’t care how pragmatic and useful and promising any kind of research might be, if it’s morally and ethically wrong, I’m against it. That’s the very nub of our disagreement: whether it is “reasonable,” i.e. morally defensible, to destroy human embryos for the benefit of the already-born. Granted, it is not a glaringly black-and-white question. I see the shades of gray, but the issue (as well as its potential for unintended negative consequences) raises enough qualms in my mind that I come down on the side of caution.

In an earlier comment exchange on this issue, you said that I’m the one on the slippery slope because my position taken to its logical extreme would agree with the Italian government’s, which says that every embryo created has to be implanted. Actually, that idea doesn’t bother me as much you might think. When Randy and I were going through our infertility ordeal, the doctor suggested hormone treatments to increase my ovulation. We tried the relatively benign Clomid and when that didn’t work, the doctor suggested Pergonal. He warned us that Pergonal works so well, a woman often becomes pregnant with multiple embryos, and then the doctor must perform what is euphemistically called a “thinning-out” process to destroy all but one or two, so the mother can safely deliver at least one baby. Randy and I took very little time to decide that we didn’t want to go there. So I’m pretty much already at the bottom of that slope. The whole idea of creating “surplus” embryos makes my skin crawl, even while I acknowledge the understandable and overwhelming desire of couples to conceive and bear their own children.

As you know, Randy and I chose to adopt, and on that issue, Mr. Alter is vastly misinformed. There is no “large constituency” of infants available for adoption. He’s conflating the number of older children in need of homes with the much smaller number of available newborns, for whom adoptive parents are waiting in line. Maybe there was “federal funding and intense outreach” to promote the idea of embryo adoption, but if so, they need to hire a new ad agency. I had only vaguely heard of it before we started this little back-and-forth. Maybe interest will grow now with the exposure President Bush has given the Snowflakes organization.

I also question his last statement, that “no lab that receives federal financing can take part in embryonic-stem-cell research.” I haven’t done enough research to refute him, but I did read this in the Wall Street Journal:
“No fewer than 11 private stem-cell research centers exist across the country; Harvard alone employs more than 100 researchers and has 17 new stem-cell lines. More than 60 U.S. and international companies are pursuing stem-cell research--from such giants as Johnson & Johnson to start-ups. In 2005, the venture-capital industry put more than $102 million into the stem-cell industry. All of this casts doubt on the claim that America is "losing" quality researchers to other countries for lack of funding.”

Anyway, as usual, you and I will have to agree to disagree. I have little hope of changing your mind and nothing you’ve said has changed mine, although the process of thinking about your ideas and putting my thoughts into coherent sentences has been immensely valuable. For that, as well as many other things, I thank you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Death throes, or Ladies and Gentlemen, here's what we get for our $2,000,000,000 a year

An Iraqi blogger named Fayed started his blog a few months ago because he was tired of hearing all the negative things about the war and wanted to, as the song goes, accentuate the positive. The name of his blog is Healing Iraq.

Fayed has since emigrated to Jordan (along with 500,000 other Iraqis). Why would this man leave his beloved country?

He blogged this a few months ago.

Please don’t ask me whether I believe Iraq is on the verge of civil war yet or not. I have never experienced a civil war before, only regular ones. All I see is that both sides are engaged in tit-for-tat lynchings and summary executions. I see governmental forces openly taking sides or stepping aside. I see an occupation force that is clueless about what is going on in the country. I see politicians that distrust each other and continue to flame the situation for their own personal interests. I see Islamic clerics delivering fiery sermons against each other, then smile and hug each other at the end of the day in staged PR stunts. I see the country breaking into pieces. The frontlines between different districts of Baghdad are already clearly demarked and ready for the battle. I was stopped in my own neighbourhood yesterday by a watch team and questioned where I live and what I was doing in that area. I see other people curiously staring in each other’s faces on the street. I see hundreds of people disappearing in the middle of the night and their corpses surfacing next day with electric drill holes in them. I see people blown up to smithereens because a brainwashed virgin seeker targeted a crowded market or café. I see all that and more.

Don’t you dare chastise me for writing about what I see in my country.

This is from a more recent blog right before he left for Jordan.

The instructions vary between neighbourhoods. Amiriya and Ghazaliya have the full menu, while others stress only 2 or more of them. So far, enforcing the hijab for women and a ban on shorts for men are consistent in most districts of western Baghdad. In other areas, women are not allowed to drive, to go out without a chaperone, and to use cell phones in public; men are not allowed to dress in jeans, shave their beards, wear goatees, put styling hair gel, or to wear necklaces; it is forbidden to sell ice, to sell cigarettes at street stands, to sell Iranian merchandise, to sell newspapers, and to sell ring tones, CDs, and DVDs. Butchers are not allowed to slaughter during certain religious anniversaries. Municipality workers will be killed if they try to collect garbage from certain areas. Private neighbourhood generators are banned in a few areas. And the last I heard is that they are threatening Internet cafés and wireless providers.

This is not the talk of some couch-ridden anti-war got-it-soft liberal American.

In other parts of my blog (and many other blogs) we debate federal funding for embyronic stem cell research. One of the chief reasons for opposing this research is that the 'opposers' don't want federal funds being used to support research that is morally repugnant and that destroys what they consider to be human life.

Do we really want more American dollars, and much more importantly, more American lives, to be sacrificed and spent for what Iraq has become?

ht: NRO (and that's not The Nation or the Progressive)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tell the same lie long enough and maybe people will buy it, or, John H is sooooooooooo good looking..

This Washington Times story quotes a Harris Poll finding:

Half of Americans now say Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the United States invaded the country in 2003 -- up from 36 percent last year...
It should be noted that:

Respondents were questioned in early July after the release of a Defense Department intelligence report that revealed coalition forces recovered 500 aging chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin gas nerve agents in Iraq.

What the Washington Times writer failed to point out (not surprisingly) is that the same Department of Defense stated that the 'aging chemical weapons' were left over from the mid-to-late 1980s when indeed Iraq had chemical weapons and indeed, used them on the Kurdish population.

What is also often forgotten is that the UN attempted to pass a resolution condemning Iraq for using the chemical weapons, and QUESS WHO blocked any resolution condemning Iraq for the use of these weapons. The US did publicly condemn Iraq, but backed Iraq in their long-lived war/skirmish against our enemy at the time, Iran.

So, basically, we looked the other way re chemical weapons when it was in our interest (keeping the oil flowing seemed to be our interest), but alleged current stockpiling of chemical weapons was one of several reasons used to invade our new enemies, Iraq, this time around.

One of the realpolitik reasons that many of us were against the current war is that Iraq balanced out Iran. This is the same reason that Nixon/Kissinger brilliantly opened up relations with China in the midst of the Cold War. No one was claiming that the murderous Mao was suddenly just made sense to wedge Russia and China apart.

The current war will continue to fragment Iraq. The majority of Iraqis are Shiites. Iran, not noted for their stupidity while also not noted for their lack of hatred, will attempt to co-opt these breakaway Shiites into their political fold. This aids Iran in their quest against Iraq and strengthens the Shiite population area, if not world, wide.

Yes, we have helped many Iraqis. Yes, there are areas of Iraq that are far better off now, but the center will not hold, and the civil war that we have help unleash will resonate for years and years to come, and the Iranian Cheshire Cat will continue to grin.

The gang that couldn't serve straight, or, Tennis no-one?

Our zany Metro Council is back at it...You may recall they took a bunch of money out of the Metro Action Commission Budget and split it up amongst all the councilman so that they could theoretically direct the funds to 'good things' in their own district.

According to today's SBJ aka Tennessean, money that was stolen hijacked from the MAC in north Nashville was intended for a youth tennis program in Hadley Park. The program normally serves (so to speak) around 2,000 kids.

But, here is where the fun comes in...The councilman for the district (no, it was not Ludye-cris), earmarked the money for the Hadley Park Tennis Club instead of the Hadley Park Junior Tennis Development Program (see, they sound JUST alike). The Hadley Park Tennis Club is comprised of adults and they are not a non-profit, and they have to give the money back which will go to the general fund and NOT the program for kids, which might make a person cynical, but not me...with a few exceptions (Jim Shulman for one) we have elected ourselves some boneheads.

They can't even get a slush fund appropriation right..sheeesh.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Scotty no longer an earthly tarrier, or, A Geek does what..

A Houston outfit called Space Services offering a 'product' for people who have more $$$ than brains, will blast your ashes into the great beyond on their own privately launched rockets. Their latest ploy for publicity should appeal to the pointy eared-Vulcan-logical-trekkie-geek crowd.

They plan to launch the remains of James Doohan (known to most as Star Trek's Scotty) into the stratosphere later this year. Scotty is expected to orbit our geeky planet for two to three years. Unless a perpetual motion machine is patented before this amount of time elapses AND that machine is propelled into space and welded onto the Scotty-rocket, his remains will beam to earth, hopefully nowhere near the environs of 5th Avenue THAT would be my luck..first I trip on a curb and then I get wiped out by a flaming Scotty...

What really caught my eye in the story (from MSNBC) was the fact that 'thousands of fans are expected to show up for the launch {of Doohan}........., many in costumes from Star Trek'.

People will spend money to travel to Houston, don costumes to see ashes being hauled....yet another sign of the apocolypse, at least a geeky one.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rewinding the stem stuff, or cell away, cell away..

Jonathan Alter, Newsweek columnist, wrote his 'Between the Lines' this week about President Bush's veto of the embryonic stem cell bill. I've written quite a bit about this issue along with my sister who takes an opposing point of view. She says that we need to respect the point of view that using the stem cells for research is morally offensive, destructive of life and will lead to a slippery slope of cellular Frankensteinism (my words). I think that her side needs to respect the fact that we believe that the government funding of embryonic stem cell research may lead to amazing cures for diseases heretofore unhindered by medicine, AND that the stem cells allowed to be used for this are cells that would otherwise be discarded.

Alter chastizes the Democrats (and people taking my position) about our negativity regarding adult stem cell research and umbilical cord stem cell research just because we are for embryonic stem cell research. I agree. He goes on to make some really strong points about why Bush shouldn't have vetoed the 'stem cell' bill. His words are much better than mine, so I"m going to quote:

If destroying an embryo is "murder"—the Bush position, according to his spokesman—how can he support the existence of fertility clinics, which routinely throw out thousands of surplus embryos? ....Despite federal funding and intense outreach, only 128 of 400,000 frozen embryos (.032 percent) have been adopted, says Sen. Arlen Specter. It turns out that couples using the clinics overwhelmingly prefer to donate their surplus embryos to science, while couples looking to adopt prefer babies already born who need homes, a large constituency of extremely needy children Bush seems to have put in second place.

"Anti-cure" activists have been reduced to two arguments for why federal support of embryonic-stem-cell research is unnecessary. The first is that private and state efforts are filling the gap. But the $3 billion California voters approved in 2004 has been tied up in lawsuits; so far, only $12.1 million has been spent. And even when more money is released, much of it will be wasted creating duplicative labs, because no lab that receives federal financing can take part in embryonic-stem-cell research.

The second argument made by opponents is that noncontroversial adult-stem-cell research is so promising that there's no need to mess with embryos. This is contrary to the principle of science, which is that you move ahead with all reasonable approaches because there's no telling what will work.

I really couldn't have said it better myself (or even 1/2 as well).

Middle Tennesse Bloggers Group who actually Podcast the deal, or Lotsa cool people on this Mothership

The Mit-Blop assembled yesterday at one of my sacred spots (Mothership BBQ) bringing the rolling blog revue to Berry Hill, away from the usual grounds of Espresso Joe's way out I-24 (if it's out of the I-440 loop, it's in my 'other america'). Lotsa people took lotsa pictures (you can photo-shop me out if you don't wanna scare the peeps...of course, you might wanna consider working on Gunner, as well, just kidding)..

These things are always fun. I think someone, let's just call her Michelle, actually hopes there will be organized discussions about blogs, geeky internet 'toys', blog-prods, along with somewhat serious social intercourse, but of course, the whole thing deteriorates into goofiness, making fun of Big Bad Ivy for her boring graveyard story, making fun of people who trip on curbs and bang their head, and basic anarchy. (aside: I kid the Big, Bad Ivy..she knows i have love in my heart..).

I met some blog-types for the first time f-t-f, Malia for one, whose blog I was already familiar with, and we subsequently found out we had a few other things in common.

I always enjoy my interaction with the great Dr. Woo, along with all the Lavergne and Shirley Smyrna gang.

Meeting the Mashby and his lovely wife Holly was also a pleasure, and I totally enjoyed his entertaining take on the Tour OF France..(despite several years of French class, I can't and won't speak French).

A sampling of the things I learned at the blog-fest:

1)Gunner's name is actually Gunner. I always thought it was either a variation of Gunther or just a name that reflected what he writes about. Gunner's wife name is actually NOT Harelipfrog. Elizabeth is a very nice non-amphibian.

2)NOT to mention that Aunt B was liveblogging her families visit to Nashville in FRONT of Aunt B's family

3)Christian Grantham and his friend Vince are good looking guys. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

4)The cole slaw at the Mothership is mothershipping GOOD. I already have raved about the pulled pork, but this slaw is transcendent.

5)I may not be able to hold my own in Battleship Galactica and Firefly with Big Orange Michael, but I can throw down when it comes to Veronica Mars

6)There is a brewing civil war in Lavergne between Kathy T. and some powers-that-be.

It was fun, kids..thanks for allowing me to join the frivolity.

To all my sponsors, that'll be $3.50, or, London's Calling..

If you are my mother or master of your domain, you probably don't wanna click this..

ht: Vol Abroad

Hey, I have a bl......

Actual conversation last night while waiting for the play to start:

John H wife: saying nothing while eyes glazed over due to illness based on John H's incessant talking about blogs

John H: (spies a young woman to his right with an IPOD on her lap..

John H: Do you know Vali (play director) or anyone in the play?

Young woman: no, but I read Aunt B's blog all the time..

John H: yeah, she is amazing..I think she wrote quite a bit of the play..

Young woman: yeah, she is hilarious. Her blog is so well written...

John H: I have a bl...(interrupted by the young woman)

Young Woman: i've found that every blog in Nashville besides B's really sucks..

John H: ast reading B's blog...hey, what's the last thing you downloaded for your IPOD?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'll have an albertini, please, or what you get when you mix drinking, driving and running for governor..

The burgeoning Albertini for governor's campaign took a big hit this last week, when the morally upright candidate was arrested for public intoxication. He is considering dropping out of the race, according to today's Tennessean.

My favorite part of the article (along with the fact that he was handing out literature at an intersection with a bottle of wine and a handgun in his car), is Albertini's plaint:

"I don't know what I'm going to do at this point," Albertini said, unhappy as news spread about his night in jail and that people continued to "scrutinize my life with a fine-tooth comb and look at me like the devil."

The unintentional comedy portion of the governor's race will take a big hit if Albertini drops out, plus his always-entertaining Albertini for Governor website will probably disappear. One of the pages on the website features blogger endorsements of Albertini..I quote an endorsement from a fellow North Nashvillian in its entirety:

I am a strong conservative from North Nashville that will be voting in the Republican primary... never for Bredesen. The immigration issue is very important to many of my friends and we are all leaning towards Albertini because of the stand he is taking and calling ut Mr. Brison. Unless of coarse Mr. Brison will do as he promised and allow us to handle snakes in our church again.

I don't think Mr. Albertini could say it any better....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Take this on faith, I have no doubt...I have just seen something amazing

Tonight we got to see a play directed by a dear friend of mine, Vali Forrister. This is a play you may have read about on Aunt B's blog. Aunt B actually wrote a good bit of the play including the transcendent ending that not only worked, it was as good as the 50 best sermons and talks you've ever heard all rolled into one monologue. I'm not talking about cheese and guilt and 'we are the only ones' sermons, I'm talking about reconciliation and love and understanding and the rising. I'm talking goose bumps, tears, and, hot damn it's good.

Oh yeah, the play is called 'faith/doubt' and it is playing at the Darkhorse theater this weekend and next. It's a multi-media presentation that doesn't push the hokey meter into the red, doesn't preach at you, and doesn't try to be politically correct, even when the play is 'playing fair' with more than one belief system. The play is based on the oral 'faith/non-faith' stories of many people and woven together seamlessly.

Considering who was behind the deal (Actors Bridge, Aunt B, Vall), I knew it was going to be interesting and probably pretty good. I was was amazing, and more than interesting.

The play would work in any city, but somehow, Nashville is the wheelhouse for this vehicle. So many of us here are chasing Jesus, running away from Jesus, worried that Jesus really isn't watching us from behind those trees over there (to borrow a Flannery O' Connnor bit) or pissed off that He is watching from those trees over there, or don't believe in Jesus or those trees, but still want to know what the fuss is about. I'm a church of Christ refugee, so a lot of it hit home to me, but you don't really have to be anything, except human, to get something out of this one.

I'm sorry to have to resort to baseball metaphors, but that is what I do, and I must say to Vali, Aunt B, the rest of the writers, and to the entire cast, you hit this one out of the park.

Adobe Woes

Margaret here - I like to do a little video editing from time to time – home movies or travelogues or slide shows for special occasions at church, etc. I’ve been using Pinnacle Studio 9 software and have grown accustomed to its interface. Unfortunately it is one of the buggiest pieces of software ever sold and so sometimes I’ve ended up taking my raw footage over to the house of a friend who has a Mac and redoing everything when Studio 9 gets stuck. My husband, who loves a good excuse to buy highly rated stuff, ordered Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for me as a replacement.

It came yesterday and I’m already mad at it.

During the installation process, the registration screen came up so I went ahead and registered the product. Moments later, I saw a card that came in the box with a special offer. “Get two fascinating and fun video lessons” it says in bold red letters. Slightly smaller black print tells you to register your software online to receive the two complimentary online training sessions. The ridiculously smaller print at the bottom says, “Customers who register in-product or through other means are not eligible for this offer.” Surely, I thought, they don’t really mean that! I paid the going price for the product and registered when their own installation instructions asked me to. So I tried to register online and sure enough, I was blocked. I called customer service and the nice young man said there was nothing he could do – I should have followed the instructions.

Thanking him very much, I hung up and decided to try it on my own. Hey, I don’t need no stinkin’ training sessions.

Okay, so maybe I do. Anybody out there familiar with Premiere Elements? When I connect my DV camcorder to the computer through the firewire, the software detects the presence of my camera but gives me the following error message: “Can’t activate recorder. Try resetting camera.” I’ve tried several times to reset the camera and still get the same message. There is a help session at the adobe website related to this question, but none of the proposed solutions worked (or I couldn’t figure out how to do them).

Well, this has turned into more of a bleg than a blog post, but there it is.

Sludge happens, or, I picked the wrong year for my allergy treatments to actually start working

Today's Southern Baptist Journal, aka, The Tennessean features a front page story that, yea verily, affects my neighborhood. Seems there is a sludge backlog at the waste water treatment plant which is located about three sludge pellet throws from Salemtown. In case you didn't know, our treated 'waste' is hauled off in trucks and dumped in various landfills including one, until recently, in Rutherford County (they don't want to take any more of our sludge shit!).

BFI, the company that has the contract with Metro to haul the sludge and the smell away is in a contract dispute about how much shit can be shipped under current prices. Meanwhile, the officials at the waste water plant claim that the backlog of waste does not affect the odor of the surrounding area.

Au contraire, mes amis travaillants de merde, the miasma known as spring and summer air in the Salemtown area has been alive with the smell of olfactory muzak, or as Loudon Wainwright Jr. once proclaimed about a dead skunk, 'you don't have to look, you don't have to see, you can feel it in your olfactory'.

What once was an evening of pungency here or there scattered through the spring and summer has turned into a consistent garden of aroma here in the north end.

Like so many other Nashvillians, I am plagued with seasonal allergies. I've tried many treatments over the years, and finally this year, with the wonderful assistance of Dr. Miller at All Seasons Asthma and Allergy (free plug), and a combination of meds and shots, I'm finally able to breathe easier and am able to smell my surroundings. Just my fricking luck.....

PS. Salemtown's own (and the blogging world's) Michael Byrd is featured in the article.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Spill your guts, Krumm, or the Eagle is landing..

Blogger candidate Bob Krumm (running for the state senate 21st district) has admirably (and I'm not joking with that adverb) posted his answers, along with the questionnaires sent to him by various special interest groups such as the NRA (sample question: if my kid had an automatic weapon and he used it to strafe bothersome cats in your neighborhood, would you complain?), The Eagle Forum (sample question: If phonics were good enough for the writers of the New Testament, why aren't we promoting them as the only way to teach our kids to read?) and other assorted special-interest entities.

Somehow, one of the questionnaires intended for Bob was sent to me by mistake (maybe because I link to his campaign blog??), and I wanted to post it so that he could answer these questions publicly as well.

The name of the organization is: The Eagle Forum Flies too Far to the Left

Question 1: Does life actually begin when a heterosexual male sees Heidi Klum on TV wearing a really hot outfit?

Question 2: Bea Arthur starred in a show called Maude. Her TV character opted to have an abortion. Bea Arthur subsequently appeared in the Golden Girls. Have you ever watched an episode of Golden Girls?

Question 3: If you opened your desk drawer and found two embryos left over from a couple's attempt at fertilization would you: A) send them to Vanderbilt University for research purposes? or, B) Have a team from Tennessee Right to Life come over and show you the proper method to discard unused embryos?

Question4: If you knew that Charles Manson's mother was going to deliver Charles Manson would you: A) exercise your second amendment rights to bear arms and shoot her? or, B) not mention the word abortion, but urge her to pay very close attention to a very special edition of Maude?

Inquiring minds want to know, Bob, where do YOU stand on these important issues?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Rescue, or one man's discard is another man's cure

Now that the Prez has vetoed government funding for embryonic stem cell research, I think that opponents of embryonic stem cell research should band together and bum rush fertilization clinics and rescue those embryos before they are discarded. I'm not sure what they are going to do with the embryos, but since they shouldn't be used for research to cure diabetes, Parkinson's and spinal injuries, maybe they can find something useful for them, rather than BEING DISCARDED and THROWN AWAY. Sheeesh....

You want ME to bet AGAINST your team

One week or so ago I bet one of my baseball buddies a complete 'dinner' from Brown's Diner that the Braves would not make the play-offs. Since that time, the Braves have scored about 1,000 runs and won 9 out of their last 10 games.

Several years ago, when Roger Clemens 'retired' from the baseball after pitching with my Yankees, I bet another friend that he was going to stay retired. The next day, Clemens announced that he had signed a contract with the Houston Astros to pitch the following season.

As you can see, I know me some baseball. My prognostication services are ready for your every need.

Be careful what you ask for, Part III, or exactly how long does a death throe last?

According to this story, an average of 100 CIVILIANS a day are being killed this year in Iraq. You can call it sectarian violence all you want, but what we have is a civil war in Iraq.

Explain to us again how terrorism is being cowed by this war? Explain to us again why Vice-President Dick 'we are in the last throes of the insurgency' Cheney is not being held accountable for his deceptions and the fact that many many people are dying based on his failed policies?

I hold Russian President Putin in no esteem whatsoever, but one has to agree that Russia, or any other country, doesn't need a democracy like Iraq's.

I don't claim to have any easy answers about what to do in Iraq right now. All I know is that the President and the Vice-President of the United States have a LOT of answering to do and that we don't need to forget that a lot of people are dying because we helped unleash a horrific civil war.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

He's the worst councilman IN THE WORLD, or, isn't it Ludye-cris..

"Sometimes i cant deal wit my daily issues" - Ludacris

North Nashville's own Ludy-cris Wallace. Who else would sponsor a bill to build a landing pad for alien space ships? Who else would leave his constituency in the miasma of the waste treatment plant without publicly talking to anybody about the fact that this summer our neighborhood (and surrounding neighborhoods) just STINKS?

Who else would sell his vote for Kay Brooks as cheaply (closing an alley was the 30 pieces of silver here), selling out the folks around here who aren't looking for a home-schooler to help steer our city schools. If his vote was on principle, we would just be disagreeing, but this sell-out WAS LUDYE-CRIS.

Who else would sponsor a bill requiring that grass not be allowed to grow past a certain height on private property and then be discovered with property untouched by scythe or mower?

Who else, when arrested for gambling in an illegal gambling club call it a consituent service visit?

I live across the street from the Metro Action Commission. Every morning elderly people line up to get vouchers for heating/cooling assistance. Ludye was one of the councilmen who voted to cut $260,000 from the MAC budget, so that each councilman could have their own discretionary 'slush' fund. I haven't noticed Ludye apologizing to anyone in line...

Normally, I'm against term limits for any other elected office other than the executive, but in this case, I'm grateful for those limits...We need somebody who's interested in the neighborhoods of North Nashville. Ludye may have served nobly in the past, but now, he's the WORST COUNCILMAN IN THE WORLD...and we get to live with it...

Update: 7/19 - Based on a comment by Bill 'blogging godfather' Hobbs on Volunteer Voters, I have to take credit away from Ludye for the UFO landing pad bill and give the credit to a former councilman named Darden. Sorry, Mr. Darden (c;. I apologize to Councilman Wallace for this piece of erroneous info. I stand by the rest of my post.

Be careful what you ask for, Part II, or, hey, let's blame the Jews..

One of our new allies in Iraq speaking in Parliament has some fun things to say about the Jews and Israel. Hmmm, where does HE fit in the political spectrum?

I'm really looking forward to when they stone women for leaving their house without a burka..oh, wait, that's our other ally, Saudia Arabia....

Monday, July 17, 2006

This explains a LOT, or, Take me to the pilot

Important questions, finally answered (warning: language, a couple of 's' bombs)

ht. Mimi L.

Meanwhile, back in Baghdad, or be careful what you ask for...

Taking a break from the 'liberal' media, I decided to see what some of the conservative people I admire are saying about Iraq and what some of the actual Iraqi citizens are saying who are blogging about life in Iraq..

One postulate I (and many others who opposed the war) had was that Saddam was evil and horrible, but what comes after Saddam is removed would be chaotic and destabilizing. This was the only reason Bush I and Colin Powell stopped their march through Iraq in the first Iraqi war.

Subsequent events seem to have largely verified the postulate. Sure there are good stories, and progress in certain areas, but life in Baghdad and Basra and much of central Iraq is as bad, if not worse, than before. The percentage of time with electricity is roughly the same as before and oil exports are actually down.

Let's check in with William F. Buckley:

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

The Iraqis we hear about are first indignant, and then infuriated, that Americans aren't on the scene to protect them and to punish the aggressors. And so they join the clothing merchant who says that everything is the fault of the Americans.

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, elucidates on the complaint against Americans. It is not only that the invaders are American, it is that they are "Zionists." It would not be surprising to learn from an anonymously cited American soldier that he can understand why Saddam Hussein was needed to keep the Sunnis and the Shiites from each others' throats
.Let's check in with a young woman who was originally a supporter of the United States invasion - from her blog, 'Baghdad Burning'. This is an entry from July 11, 2006.

The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60.

The horrific thing about the killings is that the area had been cut off for nearly two weeks by Ministry of Interior security forces and Americans. Last week, a car bomb was set off in front of a 'Sunni' mosque people in the area visit. The night before the massacre, a car bomb exploded in front of a Shia husseiniya in the same area. The next day was full of screaming and shooting and death for the people in the area. No one is quite sure why the Americans and the Ministry of Interior didn't respond immediately. They just sat by, on the outskirts of the area, and let the massacre happen.....

People are staying in their homes in the area and no one dares enter it so the wakes for the people who were massacred haven't begun yet........

There was also an attack yesterday on Ghazaliya though we haven't heard what the casualties are. People are saying it's Sadr's militia, the Mahdi army, behind the killings. The news the world hears about Iraq and the situation in the country itself are wholly different. People are being driven out of their homes and areas by force and killed in the streets, and the Americans, Iranians and the Puppets talk of national conferences and progress.

We wanted Saddam gone, and we got it..good riddance, but look what else happened. The fight against terrorism in Iraq has done nothing more than destabilize a country, embolden terrorists worldwide and oh by the way, kill over 2,000 American soldiers, and over 50,000 Iraqi civilians. Is THIS what we asked for?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Israeli gears up, or I want an ally with a slow hand..

Can somebody explain to me why there seem to be no shades of gray in the current Israeli/Hezbollah/Lebanese/Palestinean situation?

Can somebody explain to me why it is a conservative position to support Israel without question, and a progressive position to claim that there is more than one side to this story, and a far-lefty position to think that Israel is never right?

I do understand that the President of Iran is a loon who cries out for the destruction of Israel, but I also know that there are plenty of Arab voices who don't. I do understand that the Hezbollah are largely comprised of terrorists who have been allowed to control large parts of Lebanon (or have taken control of large parts of Lebanon). I understand that the kidnapping of Israeli citizens/soldiers is a cowardly despicable act that demands reprisal.

What I don't understand is bombing the bejesus out of Lebanon. Yes, I agree with Wolf Blitzer that the Lebanese government needs to take control, but why does it seem like conservatives think that Israel is always right, far lefties think that Israel is never right, and some of us think there is right/wrong on both sides.

There are plenty of victims on the West Bank..many of those are Palestinians. Not every Palestinian is screaming for the destruction of Israel..but if Israel keeps bombing Lebanon, more and more and more Palestians and others will join that foolish bandwagon.

I do know that statements like this reduce a complex and cruel situation into a monochromatic one-sided story:

The Palestinian question has always been a red herring for a broader policy of Israeli destruction. That truth has finally become starkly apparent.

That is a quote from a post by Nathan Moore of Moore Thoughts. He writes and represents well what I'm seeing as the conservative pundit position (I ain't trying to pick on him..)

I hope and pray that the current situation will ease up and a diplomatic solution can be found. I am not really optimistic this will happen soon, but I do know there are innocent people hurting and dying on both sides of that border.

When this situation does end, there will still be a Palestinian question, and yes, an Israeli question. Hopefully, clear minds will see a bit of either side...

Update after a little more thought: Yes, I know there are exceptions to the political spectrum predicting where a person falls out on this friend Sharon Cobb is certainly no right-winger and Pat Buchanan will never be described as a liberal, but generally speaking, I think my blatant generalization holds up...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

See this movie!

We just saw a great movie and it wasn’t Pirates of the Caribbean.  That was last night and I can’t remember the last time I was so relieved to see a movie end.  It was fun and exciting but good grief – enough is enough!  How many leviathans does one movie need?

Anyway, tonight’s movie was The Heart of the Game, about a Seattle high school girls’ basketball team and their coach’s seven year battle for the state championship.  For some unknown reason, a guy started filming games and interviewing the coach and players and the story got progressively more interesting and he stuck with it for seven years and man, did it pay off.  Coach Resler is a maverick with an intense, animalistic coaching style, as well as a lot of love for his players.  Great movie despite the awkward camera work.  Highly recommended!

Sick things that make me laugh

Thanks to Clicked, I found a link to a list of Japan's 100 favorite historical figures. The list itself is pretty interesting and shows that the masses in Japan are just as screwed up as the masses in the good old USA. Princes 'D' ranks pretty high (higher than Einstein or Walt Disney). Their number one dude was basically a ninja warlord who conquered most of Japan way back in the day. John Lennon comes out better than Jesus (hey, he predicted this), while Thomas Edison is the highest 'ranked' American.

What made me laugh was the first comment posted to the blog that listed this top 100.

'what, no Harry Truman?"

Puzzle addict, or grumpy etymologist , or me*

We saw Wordplay last night. I loved it. Perhaps this further explains my nerdness. Will Shortz - puzzle meister for the NY Times and NPR - is one of my heroes.

The centerpiece of the movie is an annual crossword puzzle tournament hosted by Shortz. Outside of a convention featuring people dressed as Klingons, never will you find a more wonderfully geeky collection of peeps. The movie also features puzzle makers, famous puzzle solvers and assorted word-nerds.

I consider myself a moderately good crossword puzzle solver. The daily Tennessean puzzle is not much of a challenge, but I've never completed a Saturday NY Times puzzle. What really baffles and bedazzles me is the folks who create the puzzles. I especially love the folks who manage to incorporate themes and puns into their masterworks. Their imagination is way beyond anything I can conjure.

I do have one great clue that I'm willing to give away to a puzzle-meister:

Hawthorne embarrassed the rent check is late**

Apropos of little, I also have a great country music title and first verse that I'm pretty much willing to give away***

* What is a crossword nerd?

**Scarlet Letter

***I've never been to Chernobyl, but I'd melt down for you

She jumped in before I had a chance to explain...

I was going to introduce my SLIGHTLY younger sister*, but typically she bum rushed the show and already starting disagreeing with me before I had a chance to open the door.

I love my sister more than almost any human, living or dead. I trust her as much as I trust anyone in the world. She is a good writer and she is intelligient. We agree that the sky is blue** and that day follows night. We pretty much part ways beyond those two items. Margaret is pretty much what I would call a classic conservative. I'm really not all THAT liberal, but compared to her, I look Trotsky-like.

I invited her to post as much or as little as she wants to Salem's Lots. I didn't necessarily ask her to 'counter-point' what I have to say, because what she has to say is actually pretty interesting on it's own without anything to rebut.

I really don't know who actually reads this blog (with a few exceptions). I'm grateful to anyone who lands here and reads a bit, whether it was by choice or chance. I'm saying that because Margaret made an assumption that most of the people who read this are progressive/lib types..I don't really know that to be the case, but I'm grateful for any reader from any reach of the political or personal taxonomy.

*definitely an EM (first definition)

** Actually, John, the sky is...blah blah blah

Friday, July 14, 2006

Another View

Hi! My name is Margaret and I'm John's significantly younger sister. He invited me to join the discussion so I'll give it a try. Please be kind to me as I'm not of the same political persuasion as my dear brother and probably most of his faithful readers. Here goes:

John, first let me start with what we agree on. 1) We share an aversion to abortion and eugenic tampering, and 2) we agree that President Bush should wield his veto pen on any compassionately pork-laden, grossly earmarked bills that come his way.

Okay, now we split company. You’ve already stated that you will never understand anyone’s opposition to something so inherently reasonable as embryonic stem cell research, so I’m not sure it’s worth bothering to state a few objections, but you invited me here and what else are sisters for, anyway?

There is a vast difference between the discovery of how its genes are made (Watson and Crick) and the destruction of a human being (potential, at least) for the cause of medical research. Just because attacks against Watson and Crick’s work were undeserved, does not have anything to do with the ethical validity of embryonic stem cell research. Such experimentation should be judged on its own merits, not lumped in with other good stuff shot down by “the church and religious conservatives.”

And while it may be true that we’re on the brink of amazing breakthroughs, what I’ve read indicates that the most successful and exciting of those results are coming from research with adult stem cells, the use of which raises no moral or ethical concerns.

Many adult stem cells have the potential to transform themselves into practically all other cell types, or revert to being stem cells with greater reproductive capacity. According to one article I read, “Embryonic stem cells have not yet been used for even one therapy, while adult stem cells have already been successfully used in numerous patients, including for cardiac infarction (death of some of the heart tissue).”

The fact that the embryos in question are “donated by individuals with their written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements” gives me no comfort since the only individual whose (potential) life is being snuffed out has no way of registering his or her objection to the process. And I’m not sure we want to open the door to parents deciding which of their children’s lives they’re willing to sacrifice for the greater good of medical research. (I’ve got an 18-year old I could be induced to volunteer!)

The fact is, anyone who wants to can use his or her own money to fund research on any available embryos in the world. The question is: why should my taxes go to pay for something which I (and many others) find morally and ethically repugnant?

Stem the veto, President Bush

I understand opposition to abortion. I understand the implications of eugenic tampering and why that should give us more than pause. What I will never understand is why anyone would be opposed to using stem cells that would otherwise be discarded and derived solely from embryos DONATED by fertilization clinics in excess of need.

In the early 50s, Watson and Crick were attacked mightily by 'the church' and religious conservatives for tampering with God's work for doing nothing more than the discovery of how DNA and RNA are the building blocks of human life. Their work has led to myriad benefits in disease eradication and disease prevention. I don't think anyone seriously thinks that Watson and Crick were agents of the devil anymore.

Now, we are at the brink of amazing breakthroughs in treatments for spinal injuries and diabetes (the real pandemic of the 21st century). In 50 years, the opposition to stem cell research will be an anthropological artifact as puzzling as the lost colony of Ronoake.

There are debateable issues with human cloning and creation of human organs for harvests, but for the life of me (and for many many others), I don't understand oppostion to the following:

The bill passed by the House last year, as well as the one the Senate will vote on next week, permits federal funding for research if the stem cells are:
— derived from embryos donated by in vitro fertilization clinics;
— in excess of the need of the individuals seeking fertility treatment;
— otherwise going to be discarded;
— donated by individuals with their written informed consent and without any financial or other inducements.

Use your veto pen for the next 'earmarked-pork-laden' highway bill Mr. President, and practise a little of that rusty compassionate conservatism by signing the impending stem cell research bill into law.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Well, it's not in East Tennessee, or maybe he can help Van Hilleary...

This guy claims he had a visit from Jesus. Jesus told him where heaven is located, how to cure cancer and presumably why Keanu Reeves gets work while shows like Arrested Development are cancelled. The details of the divine convo are for sale on eBay, but the seller gives an overview to entice the gentle-as-a-dove-dumber-than-a-snake bidder.

Re the avoidance of cancer, don't bite your nails and some other stuff that I don't want my wife to read.

I would make an offer, but I can't outbid the Republican party...

ht: Dave Barry

My new favorite quote..or, If you want a theocracy, move to Iran...

"Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You didn't place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

-Democrat candidate for Maryland State Senate, Jamie Raskin, testifying Wednesday, March 1, 2006 before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in response to a question from Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs about whether marriage discrimination against gay people is required by "God's Law."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

There's low comedy, high comedy, unintentional comedy...and now there are the MOTHERS AGAINST ILLEGAL ALIENTS

There is no need for smart-assery commentary re MAIA (Mothers Against Illegal Aliens). I give you the words of Michelle Dellacroce, chief Mother:

It is hard to believe that such an import matter has taken place and it has gotten literally no media attention. President Bush and President Fox have officially launch the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). This is very concerning that the USA is so unaware of NAFTA, CAFTA, and now the NACC. What exactly is our President and administration walking us into? MAIA believes that the steps made in the presentation of a non secure border are the building blocks to what will benefit the high level business leaders from each country which are the leaders of the NACC. Let’s point out that the majority of the middle class in the USA are not high level business leaders and thus the representation of “We the People of the United States of America” is not being represented.

And we are worried about immigrants who can't speak English!!??

ht: High Country Conservative

If I could have any wish....Hilleary v. Hillary celebrity death match

Van 'I'm thinking as hard as I can' Hilleary in his first big TV commercial vows to fight Hillary Clinton 'every step of the way'. One presumes that he really doesn't oppose her support of the Iraqi war or her pander-monius support of the Flag burning amendment. I understand that some faction of the Republican spin machine is sputtering advice to this year's GOP candidates to alternate Hillary's name with the mantra of 9/11..9/11..9/11, but are the voters of Tennessee really more interested in Van's political pugilistic pop-offs re Hillary than they are in what-the-hell Van proposes to do if (God forbid) he is actually elected to the Senate?

I guess the 'fighting Hillary' theme is more politically correct than 'protecting Tennessee from the Mexican hordes', but either way, surely he's not paying his political ad people too many pesos for this round of advertisements.

A few years ago, MTV had this hilarious claymation show called Celebrity Death Match which lampooned pretty much every celeb of the moment. They could do wonders with a claymation Hilleary v. Hillary match, but my fondest wish is that the two 'Hills' actually engage in one of these would be almost a no-lose proposition.

If Hillary C wins, Tennessee couldn't elect this moke to the Senate and the Tennessee Republicans lose their dopiest candidate..if V. Hilleary wins I wouldn't have to worry that the Democrats are going to throw themselves under the bus by nominating Hillary 'McGovern' Clinton for the presidency.

I really don't know who I would root for..

Please, please don't let the wrong people get hold of this.. listen...Michael....Bolton....yes, there..are...weapons...mass....destruction...

Kicking the stubborn Americans where it hurts, or, We'll show those asses!

According to THIS story in the NY Times, Columbia's Mule Day parade is a potential target for terrorist attack. Could we just get them to substitute Branson?

What little faith I had in the Dept. of Homeland Security has been pretty much finished off by this story.

ht: Newscoma

Update: According to MSNBC:
The report noted that Indiana has 8,591 assets listed in the database — more than any other state and 50 percent more than New York. New York had 5,687 listed.

I'm a Hoosier by birth, and i can tell you honestly that Indiana doesn't have 8,591 of anything except people down on Broadway visiting Nashville who think that they might run into Ernest Tubb or Porter Waggoner.

All-Star Game at an All-Star Park

After visiting Safeco Field in Seattle, I've now seen 31 major league ballyards. I'm a yellow-dog Yankee Fan and a history buff, so Yankee Stadium is naturally my favorite of the crown jewel ballparks (Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley), even though Wrigley is actually a better place to watch a game.

My favorite of the new ballparks was the site of last night's All-Star game. Pittsburg's PNC park (pictured above) has great sightlines, a great view and embodies the town in which it resides. I love watching games at PNC.

Tonight's All-Star game was fun and actually managed to showcase much of the future of baseball. Baseball idiots fanatics like me know about the David Wrights and the Ryan Howards of this world...the casual fan might not know about these guys. Even a big fan of the game might not recognize the west-coast PST timezoned Juan Lopez, the up and coming All-Star second-sacker of the Seattle Mariners.

Every time a crisis threatens to consume baseball, a new wave of talent comes along and renews the game, just like spring training renews the hope of even the fans of such cellar-dwellers as the K.C. Royals.

David Wright and Ryan Howard, barring injuries, are future superstars and will long be remembered after the steroid crisis subsides (or after anyone even remembers how to spell Jeff Francoeur's name...).

I enjoyed watching many of the World Cup games and really got into the head-butt finals, but the All-Star Baseball game is woven tightly into the American fabric and reminds me of what is good about our country - a neverending tide of young people of many races who continue to bring joy and hope into our lives...

Monday, July 10, 2006

No downtime for Hitler, or, Frankly speaking, can't we leave adolph out of this?

I have a serious request, and I really do believe that I'm speaking for lots of people. Can we all just quit using Hitler comparisons, Hitler's name and Hitlerian analogies when we are talking about people we don't like, unless, of course, those people are responsible for the deaths of 7,000,000 people and want to eradicate all but the bluest of eyes?

I'll give concentration camp survivors and Elvis Costello a free pass on this issue, but bloggers and pundits of all stripes, please can we give it a rest.

What prompted this request was Terry Frank's piece about Bob Corker's supposed change of heart on the abortion issue. She follows up her claim that Corker is lying about his 'pro-abortion' past with the following paragraph:

Yeah, well, Hitler talked to an assembly in Belgium and told them he was only there in peace. They believed him too, until he rolled the tanks off the ship.

Good grief. Yeah, I know that Ms. Frank is not saying that Corker is Hitleresque..not directly at least, but the Hitler comparison is more than a little over-heated.

Not that I'm a big Corker guy (I'll probably vote for Ford), but I believe that Corker's 'pro-abortion' past is the fact that at one point in his life he didn't think abortion was a state issue. His thinking has changed on this issue. I suspect that he is not the only person in the universe who has changed his philosophy on a crucial issue. Many of these revisionist types didn't order the execution of Jews or the invasion of Poland.

I am using Ms. Frank's post as an example of what is wrong with the Hitler comparisons, and believe me, I know that these comparisons are made by scribes and bloggers of all political stripes. I'm sick of it, and I think that many many others are as well.

If you are going to say someone is a liar, try to come up with a less inflammatory example...for instance: "Mission accomplished", "the insurgency is in its death throes", "I did not have sex with that woman", "I never used steroids", "peace is at hand", "we never exchanged weapons for hostages", "our interception of phone calls only included overseas calls", and "i'll still respect you in the morning".

I will respect you in the morning if you quit using the Hitler analogies tonight.

Uncle ALBERT!!!, or now we know why his hair looks like that..

Based on THIS story, an alternative meaning may be ascribed to Einstein's relativity equation:

E(energy)=M(many)C(cooters) squared

If only he had focused on his work....

Cruzing for a bruising or, I've got my own dork cross to bear

HI, my name is John and I'm a dork. I was out walking the dogs last night with my wife and I heard an alarm going off in the rec center across the street from where I was talking to some neighbors. Intrepid sort that I am, I took my brave dog Odelia (her name evolved from O.D. which stands for 'other dog') over to investigate. I was tuning my 50-something ears to maximum listening intent was I on figuring out exactly where the alarm was emanating, I tripped over a curb.

Wishing to save my hands from concrete scraping, I sacrificed the left side of my face so that my head could break the fall. I managed to break my glasses and leave enough blood on the sidewalk that one might think that there was an actual 'BLOOD' altercation at that spot.

My wife hied me with quick dispatch to Centennial hospital emergency room but they were not in a 'hie-ing' frame of mind. I was not dying and the blood letting had slowed to an advanced trickle, so I was allowed to sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes. My favorite moment in the waiting room was when the nurse was summoning the next patient - She yelled 'Cruz!!' and six patients in the waiting room stood up thinking they were THE Cruz of the moment.

I got to wear one of those dorky neck braces while they took some pictures. For the entire 1 hour and 15 minutes I was being treated, a woman in the waiting room was moaning loudly, 'please Jesus, would somebody help me', 'please Jesus would somebody help me'. After the 33rd minute of this (and yes I was timing all of this because I was in the 15th stage of boredom), I wanted to give her some personal help which would have involved a copy of the non-virtual PDR and a heavy blow to the head.

Anyway, now I am stitched up and wigged out on pain meds. I may be scarred for life physically, but much worse is the fact that I am now a confirmed dork-for-life. Even my loyal pooch Odelia is embarrassed to be seen walking with me...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...unless of course you are...

Hindu, Jewish, Zen Buddhist, Taoist, agnostic, atheist, Muslim, Shintoist, Santanarian, Korassian, Klingonian, or you don't attend the 'right church'....

ht: Enclave and Vic B.

(I realize this is not a new story but it was just waiting for me smiling upon my return to Nashville)

Where's Beevis?...we just found Butthead...

manière d'aller, l'Italie !, whoops, I mean...senso andare, l'Italia!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

sushi baseball - why this is a great country..

First of all we have a game somewhat created by the English in a prepubescent version called 'Rounders' that we perfected and we have these public places where many of us like to gather and then we have immigrants who bring us things like sushi and we just keep on synthesizing...

Seattle's stadium, with apologies to the best bbq joint in Nashville, truly does look like the mothership has landed, but a mothership containing some of the best ballpark food you will find in this (and probably any) country. I had the 'Ichiroll' pictured above after watching the sushi-maestro hand roll each piece.

Oh, yeah, it's a GREAT place to watch a game. We got great tickets from our friend Nick 'the stick' Hunter back in Nashville and we were seated among the player's families. Great scenery, if you know what I mean..

Cities, like Seattle, where the immigrant population has been successfully integrated into the daily walk, continue to give me great hope for this country. I'm still grateful to live in a place where people will do anything to get IN.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hippie capitalists run the BEST beach towns..

So glad to be at the bottom location instead of the TOP location which is usually where I reside in my work-a-day world. I love it when hippies turn into capitalists...their towns are full of whimsy and they have great coffee shops...

The traveling baseball lunacy roadshow is making a day-trip to the Oregon coast...just call me mellow yellow...

On the other hand, anyone who gets into the water in these beaches is totally insane. The shrinkage factor times 50....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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