Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy PG-13 Halloween!!

Hey, let's break up a family - The Claudia Núñez story

I received a gift last night. Along with some other bloggers, I got to meet Claudia Núñez, her husband and her two children. I got to put an actual face with the illegal immigration issue. But, this is really not about me. But one thing became crystal clear to me last night - a one size fits all immigration law does not work.

We supposedly have twenty million illegal immigrants in our country. Most people realize that there is no way to deport them all. When you examine the issue there should be some clear strata. One place to start is to not send folks back if they are probably going to be killed when they return to their home country.

Claudia came to the US from El Salvador legally on a travel visa. Her husband is here legally. She has two children, both born in the US and therefore, US citizens. She has no family remaining in El Salvador. Claudia is not a criminal and in fact has been working at a restaurant in Cool Springs to help support the family. Several weeks ago, she was cited for driving without a license. After her arrest, it was discovered that she had outstayed her travel visa. If the letter of the law is applied, she will be deported back to El Salvador.

Here's a blurb about El Salvador:

Urban violence, one manifestation of the gross economic and social inequality in which Salvadorans live, is certainly the most prevalent in El Salvador. The largest contributing factor is the surge of gangs that grew in its urban areas following the end of the civil war, when many families who had immigrated to the United States lost their refugee status. Children of many such families had grown up in inner city neighbourhoods where they faced discrimination and learned gang violence as a means of survival and acceptance. After 1992, the Immigration and Naturalization Service policy on Salvadoran refugees shifted and families were sent back home. Young men, who had been raised entirely in the United States, were greeted with suspicion upon returning to an unfamiliar country coming out of a bloody war.

The government has little, if any control, over these gangs. Salvodorans who return from the US return with a target on their back because they are considered to have lots of money.

I don't know why Claudia did not apply for a visa extension. I wish she had. It seems some type of fine (this is a civil matter - not criminal) would be reasonable. If she is deported she faces a horrible dilemma. Does she leave her children behind for their safety? If I were deported and separated from my family, I know that I would attempt to return.

In my opinion, there are people who should be deported, but the totality of immigration policy is not the issue here. You hear a lot about the sanctity of the family and how children should have both a mother and a father. I don't think the truth in that statement is just confined to United States citizens.

Watching Claudia with her kids was a gift. Claudia's desire to stay here with her family is not a crime. The true crime would be to split this family up and throw Claudia's fate to wolves.

Other bloggers are writing about this as well:
Sean Braisted
Aunt B
Chris Wage

Mr. Mack

So has the Scene

Update: The petition to request special consideration for Claudia is HERE

Monday, October 30, 2006

Stormy Monday - Anniversary of Duane Allman's death

Thirty-five years ago today, Duane Allman (Allman Joys, Allman Brothers) died in a motorcycle wreck. It's hard to really hear the song "Layla" anymore because it's been played 6 jillion times on classic radio, but if you listen to it closely and forget that you've heard it before, you'll be hearing one of the greatest guitar 'duels' ever recorded. That's Duane stinging Clapton.

Pick up the remastered verion of 'Fillmore East' and listen to Statesboro Blues. Find the old Boz Scaggs album/CD and listen to 'Loan me a Dime' or download 'Hey Jude' by Wilson Pickett..that's Duane on guitar. Duane perfected the bottle-neck slide guitar sound that weaves through most of the great soul classics recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (including Aretha Franklin's sessions).

"For a slide, I've always used a glass Coricidin bottle, just like Duane Allman. He told me that a bottle sounds different than a steel slide, and I think it does, so I copied him. Duane was one of my heroes and, in my opinion, he was the best slide player who ever lived. He had such a great touch. He was always on pitch - never sharp or flat - and that's hard to do." -- Gary Rossington (of Lynyrd Skynyrd from Guitar Player Interview 03/99)

Duane understood that you didn't have to play 300 notes in 10 seconds..he understood space between notes and the drama of holding back. Rolling Stone named him the 2nd best guitar player of all time..some may disagree, but I'll take him over Clapton any day of the week.

R.I.P guitar god....

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Any race cards in this deck?

According to some bloggers and pundits, racial discrimination is an historical artifact. Not surprisingly, these bloggers and pundits are usually middle-class white guys. Perhaps they can explain why black people pay a higher rate of interest for houses than white people, even though they have the same or similar credit ratings.

The point here is not to catalogue prejudice or engage in some kind of white-liberal guilt or self-flagellation. Somehow, though, anytime a white politician makes a racist statement (and I realize that with some conservatives, their ilk cannot make a racist statement), or anytime a black politician claims that they are victims of racist advertising or racist statements, the hue and cry across pundit-land and blog-land is that 'here we go again..pulling out the race card'.

I do realize that the Tawana Brawley's of this world have calloused many hearts. I do understand that there are opportunists who utilize the race card for their own benefit.

Some actions are racist. Some ads are racist. George Allen with his noose and confederate flags was not celebrating the Confederate cowboy ethos. George Allen's endorsement of the Conservative Citizen's Council rises above code words and icons. Here's part of the CCC mission statement:

We believe that the United States derives from and is an integral part of European civilization and the European people and that the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character.

We therefore oppose the massive immigration of non-European and non-Western peoples into the United States that threatens to transform our nation into a non-European majority in our lifetime.

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.
All the tap dancing in the world does not mitigate the racism in that credo.

When Ronald Reagan opened his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi he perhaps was a little more subtle than the above statement, but he was sending a clear signal to southern white folks with his message of state's rights.

I want to believe that Bob Corker knew nothing about the creation of the 'Playboy' ad belittling his opponent, Harold Ford, Jr. I want to believe he meant it when he asked the RNC to pull the ad. I want to believe that Corker saw the inherent racism and wanted nothing to do with that attribute of the message.

I would like to believe that the spirit of racism is fading from our hearts and the political world, but I know that racism is more than a card.

For some people to see racism, it'd probably take a public lynching of a random African-American on December 25th on the new Courthouse Square. Even then, the complaint of some people would not be the lynching, but the fact that someone deigned to call it a HOLIDAY event...

I've gotta be me, or at least one out of 147...

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I glommed this totally from Thomas McKenzie's cool blog.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

We wanna dance with your dates, or, Titan Football: where knowledge is good...

Pacman Jones aka Mister Blutarsky is at it again. The Titans best cover guy can't quite seem to stay out of the clubs and out of trouble. According to THIS, Pac was hanging out at Club Mystic sometime around 1:00 AM last night and was trying to dance with the friend of someone named Krystal Webb. Krystal apparently is NOT a Pac fan and tried to pull her friend away. According to the po-lice account, Pac spit on Ms. Webb. The good news here is that no gunplay occurred.

Pac continues to weave a fine reputation here in Titan-town. In fairness to the Pac, his attorney says it was a case of mistaken identity. There are a few guys in town wearing dreadlocks, but most of them are on the Titans.

I'd like to give Pacman the benefit of the doubt, but..what can you say...

Titans front office has no comment on the issue, so we are not sure if Pacman will be playing tomorrow and perhaps intercepting a pass of a different nature.

Update 10/29 - According to today's Tennessean, Ms. Webb collected the alleged 'Pac-spit' in a plastic 'baggie'. Which leads to the obvious 'Chochranesqe' defense mantra: "if it's not his spit, you must acquit'.

How to make a LOT of money, or, a picture is worth 1,000 regrets

I was driving around running errands (the chief errand being to ingest some Mothership BBQ) when I heard a commercial for some balm that supposedly removes tattoos painlessly over several days. I have no idea if the stuff works (I'm tatless, so I can't be a test case), but I was thinking, based on the evidence I've seen in the past few years, there are going to be LOTS and LOTS of people who are going to want to shed their body-art in about 10 to 20 years. Witness:

If I had any business sense (I don't) and money to invest (I don't), I'd save up because I think that if someone can come up with a really efficient relatively painless way to remove tattoos starting in about 2015, somebody is gonna make a mint.

<-- This guy is gonna be really really sorry some day (or maybe he was the next morning when he awoke from a drunken stupor)...

Friday, October 27, 2006

To my seeeester, and the good folks of St. Louis..

along with the Republicans in Saint Louie Louis, congratulations on a big World Series win. Ya gotta love it when the little guy, i.e. David Eckstein, is the MVP. Eckstein is an unlikely hero, but the kind of guy you want on your team. One of my favorite stories about Eckstein is that he was voted onto the Jewish All-American Baseball team while he was in college. Despite the so-called evidence based on his last name, Eck Eck is not Jewish.

Stick it in yer ear, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or, notes from a hockey game

Last night I’m watching a GREAT hockey game. The Preds are playing the team that knocked them out of the play-offs last year – The San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are all about 6’9” and 280 and can somehow skate like Dick Button, without all the mincing.

There are four minutes left in the game, and the score is tied. Good times. Excitement. Tension…and then this nimrod in front of us stands up and attempts to start the wave. He clearly has no clue what is going on in the game…he just thinks that NOW would be a good time to start the DAMN wave.

Let me say this: I HATE the FREAKIN’ WAVE. I thought it was cool in the 70s when the University of Michigan crowd basically invented the thing. It was fun into the 80s’. But, folks, the wave is oh so PLAYED. If you feel compelled to start a wave, go out in the concourse and try to talk the vendors into joining in…leave me (and my section) the hell out of it, PLEASE.

I’ve got a few more things to say about the general inanity that surrounds sporting events. This is not original with me, I know, but PLEASE don’t tell me to ‘MAKE SOME NOISE!!’. I know when to cheer. I know when to shut up. I know that if we clear the puck when the other team is on the ‘power play’, it’s a good thing. I know to shut up when 'our team' has the football.

If you’re unsure when to cheer, look around. Fans who are not busy starting the wave, calling their friends to tell them they are on the Jumbotron, fans who didn’t get to the game 30 minutes late and are dying to leave 30 minutes early..ask them. They probably know what is going on.

And finally, as I have opined before, the word ‘sucks’ frankly, SUCKS. Can’t we come up with another pejorative that has a jaunty misanthropic ring?

Oh yeah, Edna S V Millay - she said, I love humanity but I hate humans (or something like that). Frankly, I feel just the opposite. I love many humans, but the humanity, oh the humanity, I can sometimes do without...especially when they're trying to start the wave.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenberg?

One is a large Nazi gasbag and the other is just a blimp. An old joke, I realize, but one I felt worth resurrecting thanks to Limbaugh's attack on Michael J. Fox. If you haven't seen the clip, go HERE.

Limbaugh's attack is so far beneath contempt that you can't make out the letters. Making fun of folks with Parkinson's is right up there with cracking wise about what brand of ovens the Jews preferred for their incineration.

Fox is sincere about his wish for federal funding for stem cell research. You may not agree, but you have to respect his position. He has every right to endorse a candidate who promises to vote for federal funding for such, and he has a right to endorse that candidate without being called a shill or being lampooned by the four-time-married-pill-popping-holier-than-thou ASSHOLE.

Too bad that Christopher Reeve has already passed on...there was a gold mine of material there..

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For the love of God, Tim, SHUT UP, or, Nothing a little duct tape couldn't fix

Is there anybody out there who can throttle Tim McCarver (one of the Fox announcers for the World Series)? Apparently I'm not alone. As some of you may know, I love the baseball, and I've watched nearly every pitch of the W. Series. I've also had to turn down the volume to avoid heaving my 15-LB baseball encyclopedia at the screen...WHY???

Tim, once a fine catcher in the major leagues, not only won't shut up, he repeats the SAME thought over and over and over again to the point where you begin to wonder if he leaves the stadium on the short bus.

"Well, David Eckstein, like most of us, has 20 digits. Ten fingers. Ten toes."

Eckstein is the Cardinals shortstop, and yes, he does seem to be reasonably endowed, digit-wise.

"Pitching is such a vital part of the game, as far as winning is concerned"
. Uh, Yeah....

Tim might need to take an anatomy lesson as well. Last night an errant pitch bounced and caught a catcher right in the nuts. As the catcher was on all fours, turning green, and practically retching, McCarver explained that the pitch nailed the catcher in the 'right thigh'...

Any chance we could replace McCarver with Hugh Laurie (the guy who plays HOUSE)? He's on Fox as well, and he probably doesn't know much about baseball considering he's English. Couldn't be any worse, and it'd probably be a helluva lot funnier. And his rudimentary medical training for the show would probably help him at least identify body parts...

Something to keep in mind -- it's raining lightly. The infield could be very wet on ground balls.

Voters with a blue dress, blue dress, voters with a blue dress on..

I saw this 'comment' on a bumper sticker yesterday....I have to say I kinda, uh, REALLY got a good laugh.

Living the Playboy life, or, put a cork in it...

I was thinking about running for political office in the future, but then I remembered that when I was a teenager I used to hide Playboy magazines under my mattress. The hiding places were so well thought out that my mother only took about 15 seconds to discover my cache when she ventured into my room occasionally to clean up what she considered toxic waste.

All of this is to say...is there ANYBODY stupid enough to not vote for Ford on the basis of his attendance at some Playboy party? puhleeeeze. Certainly doesn't qualify him for office, but this has all the relevance of some frat house prank in college.

I really don't know who will win the Senate seat in our fair state, but despite all the talk about Corker leading, I gotta think the G.O.P. kids must be running scared to produce the crapola I've been seeing on my TV screen every 10 minutes or so.

Yeah, I know that Corker has disassociated himself with the ads, but for the love of God, can we please talk about where each candidate stands on the issues, rather than some picadillo of times past.

Where do the guys stand on stem cell research? Any plans for covering the 40 million Americans not covered with any kind of health insurance? What about Afghanistan?

I wanna hear what YOU think, and I don't wanna see any staples...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OH...there IS a new course, or, Bush burning old rhetoric

Tony Snow, the Prez's Press Potentate, has announced that the President will no longer use the term 'Stay the Course' in conjunction with the war in Iraq. Slightly different than the Prez maintaining that his administration was NEVER about stay the course.

I guess the old test marketing department kinda decided that 'stay the course' isn't really a winning slogan, considering that not one freakin' person running for office in the United States wants to be associated with the phrase.

I'd love to be in that focus group that helps the administration come up with a new 'catch phrase' to describe the conflict that so far has left 2,700+ American military dead, thousands more maimed, and has led to the death of over 70,000 Iraqi civilians.

Kinda reminds me of that fast food advertising campaign for their companies new chicken sandwich: 'Now with 100% chicken!'. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I'm thinking that they probably won't use the Dem. alternative: Stay and Die

How about 'The Bush Doctrine: Better than New Coke!', or, 'Thousands Not Dead Yet!'.
Or better yet: 'That Clinton guy, now there's a real bastard'....

My phrase for the Bush crew: HERE's YER COURSE!

Monday, October 23, 2006

This one goes out to Newscoma

My friend and I wish you the best, and want you to know we are thinking about YOU.

I guess we were on a different course, or, has the world just gone insane

From the Stephanopoulos interview with President Bush broadcast October 22nd:

STEPHANOPOULOS: .....James Baker says he's looking for something between --

BUSH: Cut and run --

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- cut and run and stay the course.

BUSH: Listen, we've never been stay the course, George.


A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it's very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course.
President Discusses AIDS Initiative, Iraq in Botswana
July 10, 2003

It's in the national interest of the United States that a peaceful Iraq emerge. And we will stay the course in order to achieve this objective.
President Bush, Ambassador Bremer Discuss Progress in Iraq
October 27, 2003

They want us to leave, because they know that a free and peaceful Iraq in their midst will damage their cause. And we will stay the course, we will do our job.
President Bush Visits California -- Talks to Victims of Fires
November 4, 2003

We will stay the course.
President Bush, Italian President Ciampi Discuss Iraq
November 14, 2003

I was able to assure them that we were going to stay the course and get the job done . . .
President Discusses Trip to Iraq with Reporters
November 27, 2003

And, as in the aftermath of the terrible attack on Pearl Harbor, our Nation will stay the course, and we will prevail.
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2003
December 5, 2003

We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We're just going to stay the course. And it's very important for the Iraqi people to know that.
President Bush Holds Press Conference
December 15, 2003

I told the family how much we appreciated his sacrifice -- he was killed in Iraq -- and assured him that we would stay the course.
President Bush Discusses Iraq, 9/11 Commission with Reporters
April 5, 2004

We will stay the course. The Iraqi people don't have to fear taking the risk toward freedom and democracy because America won't turn and run.
Global Message
April 6, 2004

Look, this is hard work. It's hard to advance freedom in a country that has been strangled by tyranny. And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation's interest.
President Addresses the Nation in Prime Time Press Conference
April 13, 2004

And that's why we're going to stay the course in Iraq.
Bush, Blair Discuss Sharon Plan; Future of Iraq in Press Conference
April 16, 2004

If we don't lose our nerve, if we stay the course, someday down the road, an American President will be working with democratically elected leaders in the broader Middle East at the table to keep the peace.
President's Remarks at Mike Sodrel for Congress and Indiana Victory 2006 Reception
March 24, 2006

And I'd just like to reiterate what the other governors have said, that it is very important that we stay the course, that we provide support for these incredible people that are doing such a service for liberty around the world and protecting our freedoms here.
President Meets with Governors Who Traveled to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan
April 19, 2006

And I saw people wondering whether the United States would have the nerve to stay the course and help them succeed.
Remarks by the President at the 2006 President's Dinner
June 19, 2006

As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course.
Remarks by the President at "Green for Wisconsin" Reception
July 11, 2006

But there's no alternative but to stay the course with it. And we will.
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair of the United Kingdom Participate in Press Availability
July 28, 2006

We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed.
President Bush's Remarks Upon Arrival in Utah
August 30, 2006

Stay the course also means don't leave before the job is done. And that's -- we're going to get the job done in Iraq. And it's important that we do get the job done in Iraq.
Press Conference by the President
October 11, 2006

Hmmmmm, can it be, mmm, let's see, ELECTION TIME??? Obviously the new message is that the old message never happened. Gonna be tough to spin this one, but I'm sure there's a lotta kool-aid kids who'll sure try.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

No brother left behind, or, Nepotism! Boom

According to THIS LA Times story, a goodly amount of the 'No Child Left Behind Funds' are being spent on products from a company called 'Ignite! Learning'. In what has to be an INCREDIBLE coincidence, 'Ignite! Learning' (hey Tim W., does that look funny to you) is owned by someone named Neil Bush who happens to be the Prezidentz brother..holy cow..what a lucky! guy.

Here's another knee slapper..The 'No Child Left Behind' funds are suPPosed to be used primarily for programs that enhance math and reading skills for disadvantaged youngsters. Well, guess what's not quite ready in the 'Ignite! Learning' program...you guessed it, MATH and READING materials.

Nonetheless, schools across the country are fired up to purchase the 'Ignite! Learning' stuff, thanks to non-competitive bidding contracts strangely won by Neil's company, often underwritten by the Washington Times and Aramaco Services, 'an arm of the Saudi-owned oil company' with extensive ties to the Bush family.

Neil is proud to say that none of the folks purchasing the products have ever 'asked for a tour of the White House, or asked to spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom'...hell, they don't need to, they own half the damn place.

The guys over at 6MB have been calling out Harold Ford Jr. for his ties to his corrupt family..And, I do believe that Harold does have some 'splainin to do, but this makes Harold's operation look like a back-room poker game.

ft: Josh Marshall

Papa don't preach, or, Don't Cry for me Malawi

In fun celebrity news for a Sunday it turns out that the kid Madonna is kidnapping borrowing attempting to adopt just MAY be not up for the taking...Malawian Father of the Year is now claiming that he had no idea that Madonna wanted to ADOPT his son...apparently he thought it was just some kind of sleepover

Actually, it's all a misunderstanding...Madonna was acting on the basis of this letter...

Deep in the Sherwood campaign forest, or, Sir, I've never choked my wife

Did anybody notice this past week that President Bush campaigned with a certain Congressman Sherwood in Pennsylvania? I realize that in my state of being intensively cared for and non-ritualistic blood-letting, people may have been talking about this like crazy and I just missed it..

Normally, this would not be much of a story. Presidents routinely campaign with candidates from their own party in mid-term elections. What makes this story a little more interesting is that Bush earlier declared this past week "National Character Counts Week"...once again not so abnormal, except that ...

While representing the good people of the 10th District, the married congressman shacked up in Washington with a Peruvian immigrant more than three decades his junior. During one assignation in 2004, the woman, who says Sherwood was striking her and trying to strangle her, locked herself in a bathroom and called 911; Sherwood told police he was giving her a back rub

Rub a dub dub...Of course, when Press Secretary Snow was questioned about the wisdom of the Prez campaigning for a guy who may have lacked a little character, he quickly retorted..'does anybody care that President Clinton is campaigning for Jim Webb in Virginia?'...once again proving that Clinton is the best thing that EVER happened to the Republican party...start a stupid misguided war in Iraq, blame it on Clinton for not killing Bin Laden...ignore North Korea for 5 years while they are preparing nuclear weapons, but blame it on Clinton. Before it's all over, the GOP crowd will somehow manage to nail Clinton with the Lincoln assassination...come to think of it, does anybody know where little Bill was on November 22nd, 1963?

Politicians...what a buncha crazy CHARACTERS...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The coffee gods must be crazy

Now they're playing with us...I'm getting the feeling that we, the citizens of Salemtown/Germantown are Charlie Brown, a coffee house is the football, and the powers that be that control where coffee houses are located are Lucy..witness

Just a few days ago, this sign looked like THIS.


Nobody does it better...

Iraqi Leaders Call For Moment Of Violence During Ramadan

The Onion

Iraqi Leaders Call For Moment Of Violence During Ramadan

BAGHDAD—"In this time of fasting and contemplation, we should ponder the mutual rage, hatred, and bloodlust that we all share," said Sunni separatist Omar Muhammed Bakr.

I'm SHOCKED, totally SHOCKED, or dog bites woman, or, what, gambling in Casablanca?

Hillary acknowledges she has thought about running for the presidency in 2008.

Normally, I support the Democratic candidate for the presidency. In this case, I truly believe that Hillary would perform the dance of the seven veils for Jerry Falwell and bring him the head of Al Gore, if she thought that would help her win.

She's a polarizer, and she'll lose the election. I'm old enough to remember George McGovern. It wasn't pretty. Believe me.

How do you spell D E S P E R A T E?, or, G.O.P. bin worried

I thought the 1964 'daisy' ad against Barry Goldwater was the 'gold' standard for low-down political advertising, but folks, we got a new contender.

"What is yet to come will be even greater," the ad quotes bin Laden as saying, before concluding with the words: "These are the stakes. Vote November 7."

All I can say is that if we fall for this line of bullshit, we deserve what we get. For a leader who has not captured Bin Laden and whose idiotic war-plan has totally destablilized Iraq AND has allowed the Taliban back in Afghanistan, the GOP has a lot of damn nerve to run this ad.

And, to my fellow Democrats, you gotta come up with something better than 'we're against the war now, and Bush is bad, very very bad'. You should have had the balls to speak out earlier and to come up with a realistic alternative plan. This election should be the Dems to lose...but much like Vanderbilt football, there are way too many creative ways to blow a lead.

I don't care, I just don't care

Oxymoronically, my level of apathy regarding Sara Evans and her pending dee-vorce has reached new heights.

I don't care in my car,
I don't care in a bar,
I don't care on the street,
I don't care when I eat,

My dreams are evans free,
and will be til i'm seventy..

I don't care when I'm in bed,
I don't care what Brad Schmitt said
I don't care in my underwear,
I don't care when I brush my hair..

I could care less - that's what I said..
standing up or on my head..

can we go back to the REAL news,
bombs over Baghdad, Arabs hating Jews..

i don't care about his or her theories,
I don't care during the world series,
I don't care when I'm in my house,
I don't care when I'm in my spouse
I don't care if he's a louse..

just take your porny story away..
not tomorrow..I MEAN today.

All I ever got was milk and cookies, or, I get high with a little help from my MOM!!!

I'm guessing that NIT Guest host BusyMom probably hasn't used THIS carrot to get her kids to do their homework. According to the story, a Pennsylvania mom rewards her 13 year old son with some of her chronic when he completes his homework. I'm also guessing that the kid has done his homework through next March, with possibly some of the latter efforts a bit on the sloppy side.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh yeah, we might have an oopsie with this giant needle and you could almost die - sign here..

Doctors always pick a great time for you to sign these amazing waivers about what might happen during the procedure that is JUST ABOUT TO HAPPEN. Seriously, the other day, they were just ready to inject the joy juice in the IV to knock me out for an endoscopy (I have these stomach issues), and they handed me a clipboard clamping a piece of paper for me to sign that basically said:

We might really ew-scray up here and you could actually die but hey, these things happen. The camera snaking into your stomach might just explode or the cable might short out or a bowling ball might be dropped on your head a la a 3 Stooges episode or we might put on funny hats and make fun of you while you're knocked out, etc etc.

And, of course I signed it because that shit happens to other people, and of course, this time it happened to me. My endoscopy came out just fine, but they performed a routine biopsy with this giant knitting needle apparently and managed to burst this little old blood vessel. I went home all wooozed out from the anesthesia not knowing I was internally bleeding faster than most of the new shows on NBC.

The next day (tuesday) I was really feeling even woozier and I'm thinking that I had the really A-1 extra good anesthesia and it was still doing its thing, but by that night I was sweating like a congressman holding 3 months of emails about another congressman's proclivity for teenage canoodling and not knowing exactly who to tell. By late that night I became dizzy and literally the embodiment of the 'i've fallen and i can't get up' commercial. Sadly, I didn't have a Med-Alert button to push. I only had my severely weakened lung capacity to attempt to wake up my wife who was sound asleep upstairs. Luckily my last gasp broached the arms of Morpheus and she managed to call an ambulance. The ride to Baptist was bumpy coinciding with all the needle marks in my arm where they tried to set me up with an IV.

I got to spend a couple of days in intensive care where they pumped me with new blood and periodically drew out the very blood they had generously 'donated' me just hours earlier. I got to have yet ANOTHER endoscopy and they once again pronounced that everything was just peachy fine. I was fed five meals consisting of colored water in various states of solidity. I had to ring a nurse for help when I needed to go to the bathroom because I was more wired up than John Belushi on his final trip to the dirt farm. Good times...

I've been home for 24 hours or so and napped most of that time..I missed a work trip to Memphis and sadly for me, a chance to meet Lindsey of Theo-Geo fame. It's been such a fun week off of work..I wouldn't recommend this vacation method to just anyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

More on unschooling - are you listening to yourself?

When it comes to rants as art form, Sarcastro and early Dennis Leary are on the short list to the hall of fame. Kat-Co has already highlighted today's masterpiece.I'm thinking I may understand the genesis of the behaviour that leads to the stupid-ass driving Sarcastro eloquently details.

I wrote earlier about unschooling. A very nice person who is involved in unschooling wrote me back and what I read sounded a whole lot like home-schooling to me, but as she noted in an article she wrote, I'm a civilian.

So, I'm going to call the philosophy described below as Xtreme-unschooling. The following is an actual quote in an article about unschooling written by a fellow Tennessean. Remember that she is talking about a young child:

The most important reason why I don't force her, pressure her, or try to influence her to learn particular things at particular times is because of her volition. It is far more important that she learn the lessons of morality (that her values are her own, that her life is her own, that her agenda is her own, that it is her responsibility to exercise volition) than it is for her to learn math, reading, or anything else. When we tell a child that he must learn spelling rather than whatever else he wants to do, we are telling him that our desires for him are more important that his desires for himself.

I have no idea if this philosophy consitutes the complete underpinning of 'un-schooling', but Sarcastro, you've gotta understand...that driver was just exercising his own volition.

Faces of Oktoberfest

Didn't the Beatles write a song about this...something something on the hill, or, why are there two thousand four inch divots in that hill over there?

Courtesy of the fabulous Rex. L. Camino, this story kinda rolled out in front of me, and I couldn't resist.


What were the final words of the wedding ceremony - 'you may now roll down your bride'?

The groom claims to have no remorse, but I bet he hasn't met his mother-in-law yet..that's going to an uphill relationship. I do hope his mom is grateful, but I'm guessing she's giving up on grand-kids.

I'm thinking that our state legislature should ban this type of union here in Nashville...we got way too many hills to tempt our young men who can't handle conventional dating.

Holy mother of all that is caffeinated, please, oh, please let this be true!

This had better not be some java-teasin' jive.

Light at the end of the tunnel, or, yummy yummy yummy, i've got a camera in my tummy

Time yet again for another scope,
thankgod, descending, is the rope,
hoping no signs are found,
as the camera goes down,
reading all ye who enter abandon hope

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If only we armed our cats and kittens..

THIS never would have happened!

A school principal has resigned and could face felony firearm charges after he shot and killed two orphaned kittens on school property last month.

Maybe if they had been taught to scratch and claw...

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane...*

Titans AND Commodores win on the same weekend. Is it the end, is it Porklips Now?

Today, Vince Young was a little less young. And, there was another sign of the end times:Lamont Thompson actually covered some of the Redskins' receivers.

Somewhere, Big Orange Michael is searching for Sarah Michelle Geller to succor him in his time of sadness and distress.

*Whose words are these, I think I know....Not that anyone would or should give me credit for the title of this post, but that is the first line in REM's wonderfully apocolyptic ditty - 'It's the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)'.

Warner parks Presidential ambition, or, Warner puts a governor on the presidential race..

I don't know if the head-honchos that steer the Democratic party notice it or not, but people who become President these days are generally former governors, and often governors of southern states. Bush the First was an exception, and he did beat a governor, but considering that governor's campaign (Michael DuCaCa), I think that Van Hilleary might have bested him.

Anyway, as a Dem who is frightened to death that Hillary (not the Van type) is going to get the nomination for my party, I was really hoping that a Dem. governor would emerge as a moderate standard bearer for those of us who don't want to face another McGovernish beat-down. One of my favorites is Mark Warner, governer of the Commonwealth of Virginia. At one point, I thought we might see a true Virginia reel with a race between its governor and junior senator - George 'Macaca' Allen - but, after Allen's recent mis-steps (that's a KIND word for the merde he's been trodding), I think that Allen's chances for the Presidency are only slightly better than Strom Thurmond's.

Back to the point of all this - Governor Warner announced yesterday that he ain't running in 2008.

When I read THIS or I should say mis-read this story on MSNBC.COM, I nearly spewed my coffee...

former future of the Democratic Party. Warner shocked everyone—including some of his closest aides—when he announced he wouldn't seek the presidency in 2008.

I mis-read the word 'closest' as 'closet', and I'm thinking...oh no, Warner's coming out. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I've gotta believe that Strom Thurmond has a better chance of winning a Presidential election than a gay fully-qualified candidate.

Well, Warner is out, but in a different way. I"m disappointed. I'm hoping another governor emerges...uh, so to speak.

Dore's pound Dawgs, put Dawgs in their place, kennel the pooches, or, Man bites Dawg

I read that Georgia A.D. Vince Dooley (who must be 95 by now) was offended last week when some announcer or writer claimed that the Vols put the Dawgs in their place after whomping them badly in their football encounter. Ya gotta say now that the Dawgs are muling in the back of the doghouse now.

The score differential wasn't as bad yesterday, but I suspect the Dawgs are whimpering a lot more than the previous week, after the usually-lowly-but-uppity-Dores of West End fame kicked a winning field goal in the closing seconds of the game, which kinda put a damper on the old Dawg homecoming.

Yesterday was just a day of glory..beautiful skies full of autumn light, Oktoberfest blooming with sweet corn, beer, happy festival goers and me in my Vandy sweatshirt at our Salemtown booth looking for people in Georgia sweatshirts or hats.

Beating the University of Tennessee, aka The place that taught Albert Haynesworth how to stomp, was the happiest football day in this century for me. Yesterday's win is a pretty close second.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Heutiger Tag ist Oktoberfest. Fall ist hier. Glauben Sie dem Summen!, or, For Councilman Crafton, It's time for OKTOBERFEST..

Come on DOWN...

Friday, October 13, 2006

How to get to Chattanooga in 10 hours, or, would a THOUSAND gallons be dangerous?

Yesterday morning I was mentally tripping the light fantastic and ready to hit the road....to Chattanooga. I love Chattanooga. I really like the regional Health Dept. folks down there. I was planning to spend the better parts of two days working with some of my fellow Health Department peeps and hitting this great sushi joint on W. Main street. It was a beautiful day to drive, listen to some classical music on the radio (we don't get CD players in state cars) and cruise.

Instead, it became a beautiful day to sit, and sit, and sit. I got stuck in THIS. An oil tanker got bashed by somebody enjoying cruising a little too much and a lot too fast. The tanker turned over and there was mighty spillage. Enough to close the interstate and divert traffic off of the interstate at exit 89. I made it to mile marker 84 about 10:00 and saw some brakelights, and then I saw a LOT of brakelights, and then I sat...for FOUR and 1/2 hours. I was hemmed in. The shoulder was blocked in front of me. Finally at 2:30, I made it to the exit, got back on the interstate and headed to Murfreesboro for a late lunch and went to Chattanooga via Cookeville and Sparta.

My favorite part of the story was this story from a Chattanooga TV station:

Safety Department spokeswoman Julie Oaks says the accident is at mile marker 97. She says only about 500 gallons of a chemical in a compartment of the tanker is considered hazardous.

whew..only 500 gallons was hazardous...and I thought we had a real problem. I"m also glad I didn't have that extra cup of coffee before I embarked on my long-ish journey.

Stepping up to Oktoberfest (Saturday October 14)

Tomorrow is a big day for our next-door neighborhood - Germantown. Oktoberfest is always a lot of fun including beer, brats, home tours*, beer, incredible reuben sandwiches, polka bands, jazz, beer and lotsa other good food and people watching (not to mention beer).

Salemtown Neighbors (the neighborhood association for us up in S'town) will have a booth again this year at Oktoberfest. Our booth will be set up on Monroe..so come look us up. If you identify yourself as a blogger, I'll definitely take your picture!

After you've enjoyed Germantown saunter on up 5th past Werthan and Morgan Park. Check out the new houses, the old houses, the construction and see blogging meister S-townMike's abode.

*home tours in Germantown always feature people who have great taste and who have homes that amply display said taste...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I was born way too late, or, Unschooling, no fooling...

I was reading MSNBC.Com last night (at Portland Brew, and yes, we're still NOT online in the hutchmo household), when THIS headline caught my eye:

A controversial chapter in education: unschooling

Seems the latest in education is taking home schooling to an entire new level (personally I think the level is the basement, but I'm no home educator - if I homeschooled my kids, they'd know a whole lot about the history of rock and roll, baseball, and how the Williams sisters could have been the greatest forces in the history of women's tennis but they frittered it away by lack of focus, and despite the influence of the French, Jerry Lewis is NOT funny, and deodorant is a hallmark of advanced civilization)..I digress.

This new trend is to let the KIDS decide what they want to learn. As if the little bastards aren't narcissistic enough..

Actually, I'm thankful that my parents were wise enough to insist on a more formal education. My field of study would have looked something like this:

Age 6: Learning how to hold it in so that I didn't have to go the bathroom anywhere but my home.

Age 7: Hot wheels. How you can build really cool ramps with common household objects AND hit your sister in the head with the small, but solidly metallic cars.

Age 8: Chuck Berry and baseball. My parents, in one of their weaker moments, gave me a transistor radio. We didn't have a TV in our house because they thought it was a great time waster. Instead, I listened to WLAC at night until 1:00 AM every morning with the earplug wire hidden beneath my pillow. They played what was called 'race' music back then, and it sure beat the hell out of my church of Christ a capella musical experience. I also discovered Micky Mantle and the Yankees, leading to a lifelong love of pinstripes.

Age 9: Muddy Waters

Age 10: whiffle ball. I learned how to make that sucker sink. We had a large backyard, and my friends would all come over every afternoon after school if the temperature was above 40 degrees. We played LOTS of W. Ball.

Age 11: The Ronettes, the Crystals and Darlene Love

Age 12-15: totally NOT being the master of my domain

Age 16: cars and figuring out ways to get girls to ride in them'

Age 17: riding around with my friends in cars after finding little success in the second half of the Age 16 item

Age 18: Lots more riding around. One night, my friends all piled in my parents Pontiac station wagon with squirt guns and we went around town blasting people in convertibles. This led to a meeting with the police. It was not pretty, but I did get educated.

So, If the SATs were comprised with questions and essays on Chuck Berry, Micky Mantle, Muddy Waters, Whiffle ball, wanking, failed attempts at impressing girls, and aimlessly driving around, I would have qualified for Harvard.

Actually, I'm glad my parents 'schooled' me. I'm the proud owner of a B.A. in Political Science..a degree I have not used in any form or fashion in my entire adult life.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Is it me, or is the service industry slowly descending into b-a-n-a-n-a land?

Maybe I've just been evil and the karma-kats are onto me. If you read this (thanks and watch out for YOUR karma), you know that I've been buffeted by the check-out lines at my ghetto Krogers and Walgreens and Wal-Mart, not to mention the aforementioned desk clerk at Motel 5 aka La Quinta in South Little Rock and the 'shoving' docent at Schermerhorn. Not mentioned previously are the disappearing waiter in Columbia today, the sneering glacier-like counterperson at a MacDonalds in Texarkana (don't even ask), and the guy also named John at San Antonio Taco the other day who was 8 people behind me in line, but stole my nachos off the counter and got away with it because of his name. There's more, but i hate whining.

On top of all this fun is the fact that the internet is out at our house. Comcast has issued their usual 'CYA' message of 'trouble in the area' with no promise as to when this trouble is going to be eliminated or at least mitigated.

I'm blogging from Portland Brew on Murphy road where I ordered a grilled cheese. I love the grilled cheese here at P Brew. I'm sitting outside, drinking my iced coffee, watching the guy fix my grilled cheese, put the grill cheese on my plate with a side of greens, walk out of the kitchen, tilt the plate and spill my g. cheese on the floor.

I musta been a bastard in a previous life*.

*certain relatives may have an issue with the word 'previous'.

Muling around in Columbia, and points beyond

Today I got to go to Columbia. That's Columbia, Tennessee, not the country. I'm not a mule for the cocaine trade if there are any DEA or NSA snoops reading over my cyber-shoulder. I'm hanging out with consultants whose job it is to replace the computer system I've been working with/around/under for many many years. Our system IS old-fashioned. It was written for 'green screens' and is entirely a COBOL-written system. Roughly speaking, for you youngsters, if Laura Ingalls was using a health-related system on Little House on the Prairie, our system might look familiar.

Recently hired nurses and clerks and docs who have grown up on Windows-based systems and the internet don't know what to think of our system. Hey, we work for the state and we live several years, if not decades, behind you, technologically speaking. We're going to the net, but we're taking our time. You taxpayers don't want us to spend money toooo fast.

Anyway, when the consultants ask what are the things WRONG with our current system, I wince inwardly because i have spent a LOT of time over the years with the programmers working to improve the system, chicken-wiring, patching and installing mirrors. I know this system. Sometimes when the progammers at the company that wrote the system have a question about some of the system features they actually call me. I'm not a genius or anything..it's just that I have 'lived' in this system for 16 years. To me it's a beloved family car that has taken us all on memorable trips over the years and I hate sending it to the junkyard.

I know it is rapidly becoming obsolete technologically, but it does still function, and it does get us from Point A to Point Z, even if the points in between skip a few letters well-known to internet users.

I guess the truth is that I am a little scared. My kids have gone off and are doing well on their own. I dare to eat peaches, but I know about the pits. I know I still can learn a trick or two at my advanced age, but inside I feel like a 'green screen' dial-up in a room full of fiber-opted broadband gangsters.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

From the Modern to Billy Bob's..why I heart Fort Worth

I hate Dallas. I'm not a big Texas fan. Folks down here think they are their own universe and we just exist to supply them with tourists and football teams to destroy. My one big exception to the dislike of Texas is Fort Worth. I'm in Fort Worth this weekend and I love this town.

I've been here many times because of family friends and I'll be back many more times, I hope. Fort Worth has a personality. You know where you are when you are here. They have a jazzed up uptown area that doesn't look like every other urban re-do job. They have an honest-to-god stockyard that really is a stockyard, along with the world's biggest honky-tonk (billy bob's)with real honest-to-god cowboys, as opposed to the faux-boys seen in Nashville at the Wildhorse. One of my favorite concerts ever was seeing Merle Haggard at Billy Bob's.

Counterpoint to the cowboy world, the city has some of the most beautiful and elegant museums in the USA. The museum pictured above is the 'Modern', and it's worth visiting just to see the building. Plus they have Railhead Barbecue, which is to beef brisket barbecue what the Mothership is to pork bbq.

I don't wanna move to Texas, but if I had to, it's be Fort Worth. You can have Highland Park and Turtle Creek and the grassy knoll. Give me the real world..Give me Joe T. Garcia's Mexican food and the Trinity River.

Texas may not be my favorite state, but name me another state where Kinky Friedman could make a serious race for Governor...

Brownie anyone, or, Why would you want anyone with disaster experience to run FEMA?

Acc to this story in the Washington Post,

President Bush reserved the right to ignore key changes in Congress's overhaul of the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- including a requirement to appoint someone with experience handling disasters as the agency's head -- in setting aside dozens of provisions contained in a major homeland security spending bill this week.

I'm thinking he should hire George Costanza...I think he was a Marine Biologist for at least a few minutes.

I ask you, Bush-ites, on what basis do you continue to support this man? I've heard that there is an actual ' Office of Lessons Learned' in the White House. Who, exactly, is running this office, Laurel, or Hardy?

Friday, October 06, 2006

You don't need a password, or, life on the road in Arkansas

I'm in Fort Worth, Texas now (where I spent 21 days in 2005 on a planned 3 day trip which included 4 endoscopys, a colonscopy, 3 CT scans, 6 blood transfusions, 5 gooooolden rings..just made the last one up, and blood leaving...all in all, my summer of fun). I'm tempting fate to return to the scene less sublime, but I love my friends.

Anyway, last night at the La Quinta (spanish for Motel 5 - not quite good enough for six) in south Little Rock, AK, I asked the front desk dude if the motel had 'wi-fi'. He says 'sure, I've just got to turn it on', reaches under the counter, does something with his hand, and tells me 'you're all set'.

Me: Do I need to know a password or sign-in ID?
Clerk: You don't need a password..you'll automatically be signed in.
Me: Are you sure? every other motel or hotel i've stayed in has a password of some sort,
Clerk: no password needed

fast forward to me attempting to sign in (i'm sure you can see this coming).
My computer detects the 'La Quinta' network. I hit connect to sign in. The inevitable happens.

Computer screen: Password Required

Me calling front desk using my motel room phone: uh, I just tried to sign on and the screen says I need to enter a password
Clerk: I don't think so
Me: um..would you like to come up and see?
Clerk: oh yeah, I remember now...I've got to turn on your phone..
Me: huh
Me: huh
Me: Uh, I just called you using the room phone
Clerk: oh yeah
Me: I'm not sure what turning on the phone has to do with this
Clerk: you don't need a password
Me: Is there some number I can call to talk to someone who understands the fact that i need a password?*
Clerk: Sure, it's an 800 number.
Me: Could you give me the number, and is anyone there at 10:00 PM at night?
Clerk: yes, they are there 24/7

Fast forward to me calling the number...
Phone answers: 'We're sorry, but no one can help you at this time, our working hours are......(rude hangup)

I checked the available wireless networks and I found another network from a truck parked outside. Shamelessly, I borrowed the truck's wireless for 20 minutes.

What is it about Arkansas? You do know they can't use DNA testing for crime in Arkansas, right?

* No curse words were uttered and no front desk clerks were injured when preparing for this post.

Checking out of the Meme-ory Motel

Normally I'd ignore this kind of thing, but one of my blogging heroes, Parlancheq, tagged me. I'm supposed to list the five songs I'd want played at my funeral. Considering that I'm posting from Little Rock, Arkansas, a way-station into limbo - sorry Bill and Hillary - and a great place to be FROM, and I'm heading to Texas - the state where i really really almost died in 2005, perhaps this is an appropriate topic.

1. I'm Movin' On - Hank Snow
2. I Ain't Ever Satisfied - Steve Earle -if you know the lyrics, you'll understand, plus I don't think anyone should be complacent
3. You Can't Always Get What You Want (but, sometimes you get whacha need) - Stones. Not only are the Stones required here, but I do need to play the humble 'card' , right?
4. Ticket to Ride - Beatles. love this song, hope to have a 'through' ticket, right?
5. It's the end of the world as we know it, but i feel fine - REM..ok, it'd be the end of the world as I know it...i hope i feel fine

here's to a few more years...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

More of the 'you can't make this stuff up' stuff - Confederate Flag edition

I'm not a big fan of the Confederate flag being displayed in modern times, because it really IS an anathema to many people, but the idea that you should hold the Franklin Civil War commemoration without the Confederate Flag OR antique rifles (safetyfirstdamnit!), is kind of like holding the Passion Play without a cross (don't want people to think we are aligned with the Klan) and Jesus (don't you think we need to be ecumenical?).

Kleinheider and Braisted (and I'm sure many others have already covered this territory).

In fairness, Mayor Miller is back-pedaling on this now, but the thought process that led to the original proclaimation is somewhat frightening.

Oh God, I am so screwed..

Auditors are beginning to catch on that governmental employees MAY be using the internet for other than official business:

Interior Department employees aren’t just using their computers to oversee parks and wildlife, an investigation found. They’re spending thousands of hours a week visiting shopping, sex and gambling Web sites.

A report made public Wednesday on an internal investigation examining a week of computer use found more than more than 1 million log entries in which 7,700 employees visited game and auction sites.

I can honestly say that MOST of the time I'm using my state governmental issued computer for state government business, and I really really don't do eBay at work and I really really really don't look at porn or gamble online, but I do dread the day when I have to look some auditor in the eye and attempt to explain Tiny Cat Pants.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

naughty naughty, or stopping by Spin City on a Snowy evening

"Look, I hate to tell you but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill, and there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply, uh, uh, uh, naughty emails."

If you don't recognize the above quote, that's the White House spin on the 'ex-Foley-ate' affair. I've been amused by the right-wing spin on this, and fairly dumbfounded by the silence of the religious right. The only analogy I can come up with for the R. right is when N.O.W. sat on their hands when Clinton was pawing Monica. Wrong is wrong is wrong.

But, as I said, the spin-meisters are at work and the talking points are in play...'conservatives are cleaning up their mess quickly and efficiently' - nothing to see here folks move along. Oh yeah, what about abortion, Barney Frank, Mel Reynolds and Prez Clinton..they did bad things toooooo.

If my youngest child had brought up my oldest child as an excuse when he totaled our car (we're 3 for 3 in my family of children totaling cars), I would have laughed and then been really pissed. What other people do is not relevant when you, yourself, a senescent being, make a stupid choice. It's not an excuse. The right-wing world that worships at the altar of 'personal responsibility' should know better.

Foley screwed up. He got caught. Then he was sorry. Then he quit. Nobody cleaned up any mess. In fact, some of his peers may have known about this for quite some time and sat on THEIR hands. If that proves to be true, then there is a really BIG mess to clean up.

For what it's worth, my youngest child took his lumps and took responsibility. That's what I taught all of them, and that's the standard to which I attempt to follow.

More fun with math, or maybe it really is me

When you need some supplies early in a place like Union City, you pretty much have to go to the everlasting-thru-the-end-of-time-always-open Walmart. I've not had much luck with express lanes lately and I really don't want to disparage the math skills of the peeps west of the Tennessee river, but when I was checking out this morning in the EXPRESS 20 ITEMS OR LESS lane, the woman in front of me had 28 items and individually fondled each item much as if it were the last Pace's Salsa she would ever have the privilege of purchasing. I'm sorry, 28 is not 20 or less..it's really not that close.

I guess that the poor check-out clerk at the big W is just not paid enough to bust these folks to the 150 items or less check-out lane, but I want you to know, if I'm behind you in line, and we are in an express line, I'M COUNTING YOUR ITEMS.

Be forewarned!

Republican Math - today's lesson is brought to you by the letter 'A'

I have two apples. I hand them to you one at a time. Let's count as we go along..one, two. Ok now I have 485 apples. If we count that'll take a long long time, but I bet YOU can see the difference.

I'm pretty sure the White House doesn't read Salem's Lots, and that is probably ok. They're real real busy waging war on terrorism and suspending habeas corpus. But, in this case, they really really might want to work with me on their counting skills.

Seems the OFFICIAL White House logs showed only TWO visits from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, one incredibly about 20 seconds after Bush became President...hmmmmm. Seems they were off juuuuuust a little bit. Seems there were FOUR-HUNDRED-EIGHTY-FIVE visits, including over 80 with Karl Rove.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the Dems have had their scandals, but I swear to you, if the media asked the Bush folks the number of books Bush actually read over the summer, they'd say, 'oh around 485'.

Monday, October 02, 2006

More fun than a barrel of macacas*, Kickin' in the bucket with Newcoma

This picture is shamelessly stolen from Newscoma's personal celebration post on her own blog. Despite her advancing years, NC can down her some Bass. These west Tennessee sports bars are a little more baroque than the joints back east.

For work purposes, I had to travel to Union City (drive northwest until edge of earth is spotted, then drive 10 more miles through more cotton until you WISH you were driving off the edge of the earth, and then you are almost there). Considering what was at the end of my journey - NC and friends - the trip was nearly worth it..

We met at Buckets, a fine sports bar in U. City. They didn't quite get the concept of the reuben sandwich, but it was tasty nonetheless. Even tastier was the convo with the effusive and wonderful NC and her friends, the Rodent Queen and 'Beth'..(sorry..no fake funny name). I'm crazy about NC and I hope I didn't help kick off her week of Newscoma birthday celebration the wrong way. After the 12th or 13th Bass, I think I heard her say she wished she had upgraded to Aunt B, but hey..I'm crazy about 'B' as well. We may or may not have agreed that we wished there was a Democrat running for the US Senate in Tennessee this year**, but I won't totally swear to that.

It really WAS worth the trip. By the way, we talked about YOUR blog!

. Not used in the northern French-tunisian sense as a racial slur, or in the George Allen sense of a nonsense word he just thought up on the spot.

**for professional journalistic reasons, the 3 people at the table with me didn't say anything that would challenge their STRICT neutrality in the political realm except for the part where we mentioned something about Bush and the suspension of habeas corpus, but then to balance it out we all agreed that Hillary Clinton was an endangered spotted owl...i may be a little confused on that last part.

NFL stomping out the penalty...looks like 4 games..

And I'm pretty sure Haynesworth wallet will be a good deal lighter as well. Here's hoping the Titans tack on another game or two on top of the NFL suspension and a WHOLE lot of community service.

Put this incident into context with Pacman's thug quotes, and it sounds like Fisher needs a serious come to Jesus with the Flaming tacks.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bringing the Peace Corp Love to Peru, one, uh, turtle at a time...

The daughter in Peru working with a special clientele..from her oddly skewed blog.

Exxon's $$$ are safe, or, Free Coffee at the end of the world..

I'm an idiot, part I:

I ran over to the neighborhood Tiger Mart On the Run after the football game was over to pick up some fine 'gourmet' coffee. Let me 'learn' ya..If you think that something sounds stupid, like say, BLUEBERRY coffee, stay away. I didn't.

I'm an idiot, part II:
When you open up one of those Half n' Half little creamer deals, it's best to pour the contents of the creamer into your coffee cup and throw the container into the trash. If you reverse the process, it really doesn't work.

Exxon's Money is safe: Sign on the window at the 'On the Run' Mart:
Free coffee on Mondays when the Titans Win

If they really wanna give away some coffee, maybe they should change it to:

Free coffee on Mondays when the Titans cover the Spread


Free coffee on Mondays when either Albert H or Pacman doesn't do anything incredibly stupid in the previous week

actually, they wouldn't be giving away much coffee with that last one, either..

Sunday's asshat competition is getting heated

I wasn't having much fun watching the Titans today because they are obviously children of a lesser football god in comparison to much of the league, including today's nemesis, the Cowboys, but my enjoyment went into negative numbers when I saw Albert Haynesworth actually stomp an opponent in the head AFTER Haynesworth had yanked the helmet off of the 'stompee' opposing center Andre Gurode. Albert will be missing a few games, most likely, and a whole lot of Benjamin's from his upcoming paycheck. I really thought Haynesworth had matured. The only Titan who benefits from this is Pacman, and that is only because he no longer is the numero uno 'bad guy'. Seriously, this was a shameful shameful episode, and I'll be curious to see how Fisher et al handle this situation.

The only thing uglier than Haynesworth today was reading a few of the IMs from Congressman Mark Foley to the 16 year old young page. If you had any doubt about the salaciousness of the exchange, read THIS. The ugliness extends to the cover-up that appears to have been ongoing for the past few months. I don't equate Foley's behaviour with any political party. If Foley had been a Democrat rather than a GOP, I have little doubt that some would decry the Dems as patrons of sexual predatry.

Which leads me to 'asshat' #3. I don't know the blogger behind Dixie Thoughts. He chooses to remain anonomous, and I respect that choice based on the reasons he enumerates on his blog. He may be a perfectly nice guy, great family man and a good neighbor, but when he paints an entire party, the Democrats, as 'HATING' children based on statistics showing the birthrate for Republicans is greater than Democrats, he deserves at least an honorary 'Asshat'. For those of us who have children and love them more than we love anything in our existence, these words are insensitive, outlandish, and just plain idiotic. For those of us who may not have children but who love their families, the words are equally hurtful. As Brittney points out in her comment to the original post, the timing couldn't be any worse, considering the news I've discussed in the previous paragraph.

Can we please refrain from making statements that contains the words '(fill in the blank) are all selfish, racist, idiots, fascists, socialists, egotists, or think that '9/11 is just about us', to quote someone else who tends to generalize. I don't care if your word is Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, white people, hispanic people, immigrants, black people, or Titans. It just isn't true, and you oughta quit the bullshit.

Thank you.

Slouching towards poetry, or, Is this copyright on

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

btw, I didn't write that...some guy named Yeats. One thing about great poetry is that you can continue to see meaning in the current day, even though the poem was based on events in Yeat's time (i.e. Russian revolution).

The name of this poem is 'The Second Coming' from Yeat's 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer',a 1921 book of poems by William Butler Yeats.

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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