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A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Ride 'Em Outta Town on a Rail!
Stevens is up for re-election in '08, and lordy, lordy do I hope the people of Alaska realize what a turd this hump really is and cast him out. Byrd is up for re-election this year, so West Virginia's voters have one final chance to boot the old racist porker out.
The two of them embody virtually everything that is wrong and disheartening about American politics these days. They are entrenched, they are arrogant, they are disingenuous if not downright dishonest, they are partison, and they believe that they are more important than the people who have elected them.
They must go. If we are ever to have anything remotely resembling true representative government, people like Byrd and Stevens simply cannot be allowed to retain positions of power. They simply must go.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Incumbents defeated in their party's primaries are not taking their defeats lying down any more, and I say "Bravo!" Give the people more options, and make the "grassroots" movements enjoy some success on both ends of the spectrum.
And if centrism, moderation, and a willingness to not condemn the other guy as "evil", "unpatriotic", "Hitleresque", or a "moonbat" because he or she happens to disagree with your viewpoint were to make a revival... well, that would be just hunkydory with me.
We Didn't Fail!
You don't suppose that there's any chance that part of the problem in Wisconsin is that WEAC represents long-time union members' interestes more than it represents the students' interests do you? Or that WEAC, the state Dept. of Public Instruction, and our current governor, Jim Doyle, have spent a lot of time, energy, and money fighting to end school choice instead of investing that time, energy and money into something useful? Or that a big part of the problem in Wisconsin is that a disproportionately large amount of most school budgets is dedicated to health care and pension benefits for staff because the union refuses to back down on even the mildest of reductions in said benefits?
Monday, August 28, 2006
I haven't checked all the bells and whistles on S. 2590, but it sure seems like a no-brainer for anyone who doesn't have anything to hide to be supporting it. I note also that one of my two senators, presidential hopeful Russ Feingold, has disavowed being the "holder". Good. The chances are very good that my other senator, Herb Kohl, is also not the "holder" since that seems far too sinister for someone as bland as Herb.
It would be so cool if the "holder" was smoked out, then hung up by his or her thumbs.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
My Presidential Ticket Comes Through!
I really hope that efforts to smoke out whoever put the "secret hold" on the bill work-- and that whatever scumbag is responsible is resoundingly trounced the next time he or she is up for re-election.
Dog Days of Summer
Heck, it's so bad, Bill O'Reilly is getting himself worked up into a genuine kerfuffle over the JonBenet Ramsey thing. Kos is trying to convince his readers that admitting to being a Democrat is okay. Drudge has... errrr... this as his 2nd lede, and the only really interesting thing happening in Hollywood right now is that more and more folks are realizing that Tom Cruise is a total nutjob.
Plus, my allergies are kicking my butt. So it goes, so it goes.
Not to worry-- I'm sure something bad will happen soon, and I'll be right on the case!
NFL Preseason Week Two post, too... maybe.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tiger: Best Ever?
At age 30, he already has 12 majors (second most in history) and, barring injury, seems certain to eclipse Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 before he turns 40. Jack got his 12th at age 33, and didn't get his 18th until he was 46. Tiger is currently 6th all-time in tour victories, with 51, and needs only 32 more to become the all-time leader in tour victories. Woods has already been the PGA player of the year SEVEN times. Nicklaus won that honorary title 5 times. Woods holds or shares the record for the low score in relation to par in each of the four major championships.
Then think on this: Woods is just now coming into his prime. From about 28-35 is usually the pinnacle of a golfer's career-- old enough/experienced enough to play smart and know the courses, but physically still at their peak. Woods is probably only going to get BETTER for the next few years. Scary.
One of the two arguments made by the "Tiger is great, but not the best" group is that Tiger does not play enough tournaments, and therefore the victories he does get are somehow less worthy. Which makes absolutely ZERO sense to me. The logic might make sense if Tiger were padding his victory totals playing in the low-end PGA events-- those that very few of the top pros play in because they are playing in a major or getting ready for a major. But the exact opposite is true. Although Tiger does not play in as many tournaments as his contemporaries he only plays in the really tough tournaments. Against the best competition, on the toughest courses. How that makes his greatness less escapes me.
The other argument makes a bit more sense. Basically, the nay-sayers believe that the talent pool around Tiger is... suspect, shall we say. Tiger doesn't have an Arnold Palmer or Tom Watson to challenge him for supremacy, the way Nicklaus did, so his victories are easier to achieve since the competition is weaker. And I'll admit that Phil Mikelson, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia have never quite lived up to the role of Tiger's nemesis.
So, it is possible that Woods' dominance is at least partially a result of everybody else not being that good. But it could also be because Woods is just that much better than everyone else. Maybe Mikelson and Els aren't worse than Palmer and Watson, but rather Woods is that much better than Nicklaus, relatively speaking. How do you know? My gut instinct is that it's a mix of both-- the top talents behind Woods are not as good as the top talents behind Nicklaus, but the huge gap between Woods and everybody else is also partially, maybe mostly, that Woods is just that good.
Time may well tell. Perhaps Tiger will blow past Jack and win 25 majors, in which case I think the case is pretty well settled, or maybe some new hot shot will appear on the scene and Tiger won't win any more majors (though that seems unlikely) and I will be wrong and Nicklaus will remain the best ever.
But if I had to bet my house, I'd put it on young Mr. Eldrick Woods. No offense, Jack.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Modified Quote for the Day
Gentleman: I have your letter of the 11th, in the nature of a petition to revoke my orders targeting Hezbollah forces secreted amongst the inhabitants of Nagoura and other southern Lebanese cities. I have read it carefully, and give full credit to your statements of distress that will be occasioned, and yet shall not revoke my orders, because they were not designed to meet the humanities of the cause, but to prepare for the future struggles in which millions of good people outside of Nagoura have a deep interest. We must have peace, not only in Nagoura, but in all of the Middle East. To secure this, we must stop the war that now desolates our once happy and favored country. To stop war, we must defeat the rebel armies which are arrayed against the laws that all must respect and obey. To defeat those terrorists, we must prepare the way to reach them in their recesses, provided with the arms and instruments which enable us to accomplish our purpose. Now, I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, that we may have many years of military operations from this quarter; and, therefore, deem it wise and prudent to prepare in time. The use of Nagoura for warlike purposes in inconsistent with its character as a home for families.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a terrorist presence bombing our country. If Israel submits to that presence now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war. Israel does and must assert its authority, wherever it once had power; for, if it relaxes one bit to pressure, it is gone, and I believe that such is the national feeling.
This feeling assumes various shapes, but always comes back to that of Right of Existence. Once admit that Right, once more acknowledge the authority of the international governing body that granted our existence, and, instead of devoting your houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, I and this army become at once your protectors and supporters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot resist a torrent of error and passion, such as swept the south of Lebanon into terrorist furor, but you can point out, so that we may know those who desire a government, and those who insist on war and its desolation.
You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Beirut can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.
We don't want your horses, or your lands, or any thing you have, but we do want and will have a just obedience to the laws of the United Nations. That we will have, and if it involved the destruction of your improvements, we cannot help it.
You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters, the better. I repeat then that, by the original resolutions of international government, Israel had certain rights in Lebanon, which have never been relinquished and never will be; that Hezbollah began the war by seizing our soldiers. I myself have seen in Safad and Nahariyya and Haifa, hundreds and thousands of women and children fleeing from your rockets and suicide bombers, hungry and with bleeding feet. Now that war comes to you, you feel very different. You deprecate its horrors, but did not feel them when you sent car bombs and suicide bombers, rocket shells and RPGs, to carry war into Northern Israel and beyond, to desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good people who only asked to live in peace at their old homes, and under the Government of their inheritance. But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.
Know who wrote that?
William Tecumseh Sherman, to the Mayor and Councilmen of Atlanta in 1864. Said Mayor and Councilmen had begged Sherman to reconsider his resolution to evacuate Atlanta and burn it to the ground, citing the misery this would surely visit on the children, the weak and the elderly.
The full statement may be read here. I merely tweaked what Sherman said to fit the recent Israel/Hezbollah war.
Star Trek 2.o on the Gamers Network. What fun. They run the episodes from the original (Kirk and Spock) series--in order!-- with CNN like frames around the outside. The frames include little nuggets about the current episode, stats on things like "Kirk kicks butt", and MST3K snarkiness from online viewers/commentators. And, of course, the Spock Market.
I haven't tried it yet, but I may have to abandon any pretense of being a normal, functioning adult and submit to my inner geek by signing up.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The Connecticut Primary:
In regards to John and tc snarking at each other in the comments sections of John’s post, I will paraphrase Dan Ackroyd. John and tc, you ignorant sluts. To call Joe Lieberman either an ultra-liberal or a shill for Rush Limbaugh is ludicrous. Lieberman was a moderate Democrat who didn’t mind working with the other side and *gasp* would actually compromise with them to try and accomplish something. The fact that he voted Democrat is hardly confirmation of ultra-liberalism—he’s a Democrat. The fact that he actually talked to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity does not make him Michael Savage. Have we gotten to the point where even talking to somebody who has a different political viewpoint is enough to brand him unacceptable to the party he’s served for decades?
That said, Joe is acting like his senate seat is his by right, and his ill-considered independent run is classless and petty. On this I agree with tc—the voters made their opinion known, and that’s how democracy works. Time for Joe to pack it up and become an elder statesmen for his party ala Al Gore.
Before leaving this topic, however, let me throw this, from The New Republic, into the mix:
In a quick and dirty analysis of the difference between the Lamont and Lieberman voters based on income, education, and other demographic data from across Connecticut, Ken Strasma of Strategic Telemetry found that Lamont's strongest support came from areas with high housing values, voters with college or graduate degrees, and parents with children in private schools. Lieberman's votes, in contrast, came from the cities, renters, blue-collar and service-sector workers, and those receiving Social Security benefits.
If the CT primary was a true reflection of a “grassroots” uprising of the populace fed up with Bush’s war policies, wouldn’t this be the other way ‘round? That disconnect between perception and reality is highlighted in a different TNR article than the one above. To wit:
No twist in the Connecticut Senate race better captures this bizarre moment in American politics than a recent anti-Wal-Mart rally featuring Ned Lamont. The early-August rally was sponsored by WakeUpWalMart.com, a union-backed group seeking better pay and benefits for Wal-Mart workers, and Lamont took to the dais sounding like a regular Norma Rae. "This is about waking up Wal-Mart, and this is also about waking up corporate America," he told the crowd. "Corporate
America has to look out for its workers."
Pardon my class warfare, but what the hell was he talking about? Lamont is a wealthy cable executive from Greenwich whose great-grandfather once ran JP Morgan's global empire. Of his
estimated $90 to $300 million net worth, somewhere between $2,000 and $30,000 are invested in ... Wal-Mart. When later pressed on this point by Time, campaign manager Tom Swan revealed that Lamont doesn't hold the stock directly, but through a Goldman Sachs "Tax Advantaged Core Strategies" managed account. Ah, right. I think you get one of those with your afl-cio membership.
And, of course, it's not just Lamont whose rhetorical cruise missiles have a knack for honing in on his own economic interests. As a group, the bloggers and activists who powered his rise are overwhelmingly affluent and well-educated. According to a Pew Research Center survey in 2005, about 65 percent of activists and donors to Howard Dean's political organization, Democracy for America, make over $50,000 per year, versus about 36 percent for the general public.
Israel and Hezbollah
Sadly it’s pretty simple. Hezbollah won and the world is a much more dangerous place for it. The fact that the world cowtowed to terrorists who deliberately, and with calculated disregard for those they claim to protect and represent, hide their munitions and themselves amongst civilians and then claim savagery on the part of the other side when civilians die is nearly inconceivable to me. Hezbollah, despite being the direct cause of the deaths of thousands of Lebanese—above and beyond the hundreds of Israelis they killed—is now receiving adulation within Lebanon and throughout the Arab world.
I have no faith in the U.N. being able to keep the peace anywhere, much less in one of the most volatile and violence fraught regions of the world. And it makes me sad that thoughtful, educated people cannot see the distinction between death as a terrible and painful side effect of war and death as a terrible and painful effect of deliberately shooting rockets at civilian areas and then hiding amongst civilians when the other guy shoots back. Oh say, like this.
I don’t mean to pick on tc, and I’m pretty sure he is thick skinned enough to not be upset by it, but honestly, the stance that as long as the fighting has stopped it’s a good thing boggles my mind. Death is a tragedy and I hope I never have to know the sorrow of losing a child. But all of the death from the last month of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel now serves no purpose but to embolden Hezbollah. And Hamas. And al-Qaeda. And Iran. And on. And on. And on.
Sorry tc, but saying, "Always good when the killing stops, if even for a short while." is a nice sentiment and totally out of touch with reality. The key bit being "if even for a short while." Pop quiz: Is it better that the cease fire now means only about 1200 people died during the abbreviated war, but 5000 more will die in the next 5 year or that 3000 would have died if the fighting had continued until Hezbollah was eradicated and 500 more would have died in the next five years?
Enough blather from me. I’ll sum up in two quick hits—one a bit from Yossi Klein Halevi writing in The New Republic (registration is required, though it is free), and the other from Michael Rameriz who penned one of the most sublime and effective editorial cartoons I have ever seen.
This is a nation whose heart has been broken: by our failure to uproot the jihadist threat, which will return for another and far more deadly round; by the economic devastation of the Galilee and of a neighboring land we didn't want to attack; by the heroism of our soldiers and the hesitations of our politicians; by the young men buried and crippled in a war we prevented ourselves from winning; by foreign journalists who can't tell the difference between good and evil; by European leaders who equate an army that tries to avoid civilian causalities with a terrorist group that revels in them; by a United Nations that questions Israel's right to defend itself; and by growing voices on the left whoNow Rameriz:
question Israel's right to exist at all.
Fantasy Football Quote of the Week
Lamont, in His Own Words
The Democrats Mean Business -- Washington needs an entrepreneurial approach.
BY NED LAMONT
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
In a piece on today’s OpinionJournal.com, Net Lamont does a fair job of presenting himself to the world.
I hope Nick doesn’t mind if I jump in here. It’s not like his productivity is crowding this page; Nick, the vacation is over! Get to work!
Ok, back to Lamont. Lamont’s fiscal approach is rather conservative. He comes across as a Rockefeller country-club style republican. The rhetoric promises a pragmatic, market-driven and people-invested approach to handling the economy. (Not mentioned, but surely in place, is the liberal social policy. Yep, sounds like a RCCSP.) Good enough.
I’m too cynical to believe any of his points will actually see any implementation. First of all, this isn’t the first time a candidate said that Washington should be run like a business. Second of all, there are too many liberal groups out there thinking they’ve earned a piece of the Lamont pie. They’ll choke and sputter in outrage at any kind of market-driven programs.
Still, as long as he’s not lying, or as long as he wrote this, and not some twenty-year-old ghost writer, then give him credit on his economic position. The chances are real good he won’t ever be the senator from Connecticut, but maybe his influence will propel some sane economic policy.
Ned Lamont’s Guide to Winning the War on Terror
“We start with the strongest, best-trained military in the world, and we'll keep it that way. But here's how we'll get stronger by changing course. We must work closely with our allies and treat the rest of the world with respect. We must implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and put in place real protections for ports, airports, nuclear facilities and public transit.”
While Lamont may earn a B- on his economic policies, his ideas on winning the war on terror are thin at best, and earn a F. It should be evident by now that we are in a clash of civilizations. And the barbarian side of that clash doesn’t give a damn if we respect them or not. They want us to die. They have no intention of living in peace with us.
Lamont’s plan sounds like isolationism. Pull back behind the walls, and let the rest of the world go to hell. That didn’t work in Colonial times, it didn’t work in WW I, it didn’t work in WW II. Isolationism didn’t win the Cold War.
The world is smaller than ever, and inter-connected at thousands of levels. Giving the world up to terrorism will drag us down as well. United States military intervention is vital.
Judging Lamont by his own words reveals a reasonable man. His ideas for dealing with Islamic Fascists, however, are fatally flawed.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Preseason Week 1
Oh well, at any rate, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Reggie White and Harry Carson were all premier players and unquestionably worthy of inclusion. I always wished Moon had started his career in the NFL, just to see where he would rank amongst QBs if the first part of his career hadn't been with the Canadian Football League. I don't know much about Rayfield Wright, but I'm all in favor of inducting more offensive linemen-- Aikman and Moon wouldn't be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame without linemen in front of them giving them time to do what they do. Madden? Eh. I suppose as a body of work his coaching and analyst work is worthy. I just have issues with how big a parody of himself he's become. I'd far rather listen to Frank Caliendo doing Madden than to listen to Madden doing Madden.
Oh, and I'd be negligent if I didn't pile onto the Dr. Z has lost his mind bandwagon. Others have called out longtime Sports Illustrated analyst Paul Zimmerman for this paragraph in his July 26 column:
Is Brett Favre a shoo-in? How about if he throws another 29 interceptions this season? And the whispers start -- maybe he never was that good to begin with.
You think this is impossible? You don't know how quickly a great old star can fall from grace.
Particularly odd about Dr. Z's column is that he gives Tom Brady a "Big Yes" vote, while giving Favre a tepid, "Yeah, I guess so" vote for HoF inclusion on the first ballot. So, if Brady injures himself and never plays another game, he's in, but Favre isn't because the team around him is weak? What if Brady has to try and carry a so-so team and isn't able to-- not in on the first ballot?
Here's where Favre stands on the various "check lists" for HoF inclusion:
- Championship? Check. Granted only 1, but that's 1 more than Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Dan Fouts, all first ballot inductees.
- Touchdowns? 396 and counting. 2nd place, 24 behind Dan Marino (first ballot inductee).
- Yards? 53,615. 2nd place, ahead of John Elway (first ballot inductee). First in most seasons with 3,000+ yards passing-- 14, one more than Marino, 2 more than Elway.
- Completions? 4,678, 2nd to Marino.
- Victories? 139, 8 behind Marino and 9 back of Elway, who is currently first.
Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, Favre is the only 3-time MVP in the history of the NFL. And there's that little never missing a start thing-- 221 consecutive games. Nearly a hundred more than Peyton Manning (128) who is in second amongst QBs. With nine more starts this year, he will pass Bruce Matthews (229) for third amongst any player at any position during any era.
Dr. Z's main complaint seems to be that Favre isn't as good as he once was and that he's throwing too many interceptions. Well, duh. No, he isn't as good-- but exactly how much tarnish can a bad year put on a 14 year career? And while his interception totals (255) are bad, he has yet to catch the all-time leader in interceptions, George Blanda, who had 277 in his career. Oh, and by the way, Blanda was a first ballot inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fall.So, Dr. Z is a moron. Onward.
Week 1, then:
- Packers looked dreadful on both sides of the ball. Not only dreadful, but lifeless. Not an auspicious start to the Mike Wossisname Era (MWA).
- Philip Rivers looked very good-- I shall wait for coming weeks to see if that was just because he got to play against the Packers.
- The use of Tony Richardson at the goal line in the Raiders/Vikings game would make me a little leery of drafting Chester Taylor in a fantasy football league that included TDs.
- Donovan McNabb's injury seems to have improved his accuracy. He looked good and that was without Reggie Brown, arguably his best receiver. Maybe Michael/Mike Vick/Ron Mexico should try it. 'Course it was against the Browns, so it may mean nothing.
- Were Miami's Dbacks taking lessons from Ahmad Carroll during the off-season? My goodness but they looked dreadful against the Jaguars.
- Steven Jackson is a beast.
- J.P. Losman looked pretty good. Anybody else in Packer nation wish we had drafted him instead of Aaron Rodgers?
- Detroit might be good this year.
- Reggie Bush is a game-breaker. He may or may not be an every down back-- jury is still out on that-- but any time he is in, he has the potential to change the whole complexion of the game. There aren't many players like that. Houston was stupid not to take him. Especially since Domanick Davis seems to be perpetually banged up.
- The New York Jets, J-E-T-S, jets, jets, jets may well be the worst team in football this year. I just hope the Packers don't give them a run for the #1 pick.
- If I were Lovie Smith, I'd start Brian Griese.
- Go Frank Gore!
- Arizona might be good this year.
- Best Frankstein's Monster NFL team-- Arizona's offense and the Bears' defense.
Okay, good enough for the preseason.
Go Mike Wossname! Go Pack Go!
This is "Laura" engaged in a rather modern sport, baseball:
and this rangy fellow:
is one of the three herons living in the heavy brush and woods just south of my in-laws property. The water is Lake Michigan-- they have about 250 feet of lake frontage.
Good to be back, but then again, vacations are nice. So, tomorrow we're all going to Noah's Ark, the world's largest waterpark. In particular, I'm looking forward to this ride.
Hope I don't burn too badly.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Probably all of the above. Okay, so here's what I've been up to for all you poor saps stuck doing your normal job-like activities:
- Last Thursday we all bombed down to Great America, the closest gianormous amusement park in our area. About an hour away in northern Illinois. Sticker shock at the gate wasn't too bad as Nicole got in free (school thing), Jenn got in free (school thing) and I got in for half price-- but everything else was stunning in its expensiveness. Captive audience indeed. I no longer have the tolerance for roller coasters I once had-- too much bouncing and banging around. The speed and loops and whatnot are still fun, but the side to side bonking of my head against the shoulder restraints is really not a good time for me any more. But the kids had a blast, and there is still something very very magical about a big amusement park after dark-- the twinkling lights, the sounds of the rides and the multitudes on them, the tinny music that somehow loses its annoying edge once the sun drops below the horizon. I remember all of that from when I went to Great America as a kid, and the place can still stir those memories to the surface, though I approach excursions to the place with nearly equal measures of anticipation and anxiety.
- Friday was Laura Ingalls Wilder Day at Old World Wisconsin. OWW is a 100+ acre state historic site where the Wisconsin Historical Society has collected 19th Century farms from all across the state and from a wide variety of ethnic groups that settled in Wisconsin in the 1800s. Volunteers and paid staff dress in period costumes, showing the visitors how the pioneers of our state lived and worked and entertained themselves more than a 100 years ago. There are German farms, Norwegian farms, Danish, Finnish, Welsh and other types of farms. A small village similar to many of those to be found all across the state in the 19th Century. All very, very cool and as authentic as such a thing can be in an era of cell phones, computers, and supersonic airplanes. Plus, it was Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, so there was a look alike competition-- folks dressed up like Mr. Edwards, Ma & Pa Ingalls, Mary, and of course, Laura, were judged for the authenticness of their look, with the top three getting ribbons. The winner of the Laura look alike contest?
Woohoo! Way to go Nicole! We were all very proud of her, and it was a huge thrill for her-- she's really been getting into the Little House mystique lately, both the show and the books. Nice way to end the day. Photos to be posted once I return home.
- Saturday-- REST! Seriously, nice to not be walking after two days of doing almost nothing but. I mowed the lawn, played a little baseball with the kids and did some serious bouts of nothing whatsoever.
- Sunday-- my niece's birthday party. 10 already! How is that possible? Fun time, and always a kick to get together two families plus many of the friends of the birthday girl all in one place. The diversity of opinion, disposition and looks is quite entertaining. After the party, up to Door County to begin some serious vacationing at the in-laws house. They have nearly two acres right on Lake Michigan, but on the southern end of the county, where the tourists have yet to contaminate the place.
- Monday-- hanging by the lake. Did some swimming-- surprisingly warm in August-- some baseball, some frisbee and some rock throwing. I have no idea why lobbing rocks into a body of water should be so entertaining, but it was when I was Jacob's age (five) and it still is today. Grilled out for dinner. Cocktailing may have occured. Watched the stars far away from any cities or other sources of harsh artificial light. Glorious.
- Tuesday-- Hung with the kiddies while Jennifer went shopping with her mom. More swimming in the morning, with a round of golf in the afternoon. First time ever for both Nicole and Jacob on a real course. Italics because it was a par 3 course with a longest hole of 205 yards. But nine holes nonetheless, and real golf for sure-- nothing miniature about it. Took nearly three hours. Yikes! The first four holes were a hoot. 5, 6 and 7 were all about keeping them focused. 8 and 9 were finishing the marathon-- but afterwards, there were many grins and the recounting of the good shots was begun. Nicole shot a 70! Not too shabby for an 8 year old out for her first real round. And it could have been better if she had a better feel for putting. Something to work on over the winter. Jacob had a 112, but he hit some pretty nice shots for a 5-year-old. Tricky bit for him was learning to swing a golf clug as if it weren't an oddly shaped baseball bat. Cocktailing ensued later in the day.
- Wednesday: golfing with my father-in-law. Always an enjoyable afternoon, made only slightly less so by my stupidity in forgetting my clubs back at home. Borrowed a nice set of Titleists, but it's still always hard to play with clubs different from those you are used to. Weather was perfect-- indeed it has been glorious all three days we've been up in Door County. Hooked up with the rest of the family for an early dinner at an excellent bar/restaurant between the golf course and the house. $4.50 for a monster plate of fried chicken, rolls, fries and coleslaw. Nearly unbeatable, and also a staple of our visits 'up nort'.
- Thursday, went biking with the kiddies in the morning to a nearby park. Slides, teeter-totters (not too many of those left any more-- liability issues?) and playing on the beach. Lunch. Then... this.
So, there you have it. Just wanted to share. Okay, and to make you feel a tad bit jealous ;->
Seriously, it's been a lot of fun, and there are a few more days to go. Nice to kick back and pay absolutely no attention to the rest of the world, or my job, or... well, any of that stuff.
And yet it's tiring. So, I think I'm off for a nap.
Good luck with that work thing, folks!
Oh, and thanks for filling in again, John. Greatly appreciated-- I will comment on the NFL and Joe Lieberman when I return next week.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Democrat Primary Update
Joe Lieberman lost his bid to become the democratic senatorial nominee from the Nutmeg state. To be fair, we have no idea of what kind of candidate, and potentially a senator, that Ned Lamont, victor of the primary will be.
We do know that he ran on one issue, opposition to the war, and that he financed much of the primary with his own wealth. Lamont was most likely elected by the far-left fringe of Connecticut democrats. (Another guilty white liberal? How tiresome is that?) Since he now faces a three-way race for senator (versus Lieberman running as an independent, and the republican sacrificial lamb) he’s going to have to become more than a one-trick pony.
This is going to be great, stay tuned. Lamont is going to be square in the bullseye of national media attention. And as we’ve seen with people like Thersa Heinz Kerry, all sorts of whacky things surface when the light shines. What skeletons lurk in his closet? Does he hate Jews? Does he have bizzaro family? Does he eat rum-soaked raisins to cure various ailments? We’ll soon see. Political junkies, you’re in for a show!
Meanwhile, the country breathes a sigh of relief as Cynthia McKinney rides into the sunset. But, like Dracula or a case of athletes’ foot, she’ll be back. There’s way too much ego and drive in that woman to keep her down. And, for fans of political theatre, we want her back. She’s way too entertaining. Plus every time she commits some outrage, the republicans go up three points in the polls.
Cynthia should take a clue from Lieberman and run as an independent. Georgia democrats, it’s up to you. Put Cynthia on the ballot as an independent. Thousands of entertainment seekers across the country are depending on you.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
The Soul of the DNC
What kind of national party do the democrats want? Some of that will be settled in primaries today. One-woman wrecking crew Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is facing a primary, as is Senator Joe Lieberman.
Cynthia is a card-carrying member of the moonbat left. Joe is what passes for a moderate among the democrats. Both Joe and Cynthia are facing stiff opposition in their primaries. Both are behind in polls.
In the “increasing republican chances in November” category, I’d like to see Cynthia win and Joe lose. The democrats would then wear the “party of extreme lunatics” hat in the election.
In the “good for the country” category, I’d like to see Joe win and Cynthia lose. The entire country would be better off.
So really, this is a win-win!
So tune in to your favorite news web site tomorrow. Moonbats, or moderates; who will the democrats be?
Monday, August 07, 2006
Congrats to them as they receive the honor of joining the all-time greats.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Friday’s List: the Top Everyday Complaints
Internet radio stations that run an ad after every two songs.
Forgetting to change the razor blade—yet again.
The checkout girl frowning when you look at her amply displayed cleavage.
Signs in Spanish in stores and government offices.
PA announcements in Spanish at Wal Mart.
Inadvertently seeing anything about Paris Hilton.
Finding a pubic hair in your toothbrush.
Hard tile floors of Wal Mart. Let’s get some carpet down there!
Someone talking on a cell phone who cuts you off in traffic.
Teenagers who can text-message a million words per minute, but can’t put together a coherent sentence when you talk to them.
Losing the bid at the last two seconds on Ebay.
Someone’s dog crapping on your lawn.
A quote from Howard Dean, John Francois Kerry, Hillary Clinton, or Harry Reid being treated as undying wisdom by the press.
The checkout girl frowning when you examine the tattoo just under her thong.
The dog next door barking all night long.
Anyone’s pants hanging halfway down their ass.
The annoying and repetitive music of a game console – when you’re not playing.
The Sunday morning paper not there on time.
Someone in the car in front of you flinging a lit cigarette out the window, and the fiery butt rolls under your car.
Enjoying a nice chicken enchilada and chomping into a disgusting bit of gristle.
Someone saying “what’s that?” when you're composing a blog entry at work.
Today's Must Reads
By Special Libertarian Librarian Correspondent John Heeder
The Brink of Madness
A familiar place.
By Victor Davis Hanson
“When I used to read about the 1930s — the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous duplicity of the Soviet Union, and the racist Japanese murdering in China — I never could quite figure out why, during those bleak years, Western Europeans and those in the United States did not speak out and condemn the growing madness, if only to defend the millennia-long promise of Western liberalism…”
A Bit of History for Global Warmers: Look at 1930
By Randy Hall
“People sweltering from a heat wave in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. might find cold comfort in the fact that the temperatures of the past few days are not the hottest on record. That "honor" belongs to a summer 76 years ago -- decades before the controversy over "man-made global warming" began.”
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Haley Barbour and his Godlike Powers Strikes Again!
By Special Libertarian Librarian Correspondent John Heeder
Anyone remember this from last year? Robert Kennedy all but blamed Haley Barbour, George Bush, and republicans for causing Hurricane Katrina.
Robert Kennedy on the Huffington Post (Aug. 29):
“Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged…Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children,”
“Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.”
This season, so far, we’ve been spared the destructive hurricanes of last year. (The season admittedly is not yet over.) Still, we have to ask: have Haley Barbour and his godlike-powers to control the weather struck again? Is the lack of destructive storms (like Katrina last year) the revealed will of Haley Barbour?
Let’s put this into Chuck Norris perspective: there are no hurricanes, there is only Haley Barbour sneezing.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Why You Should Ride a Hog
American made, bay-bee. And quite frankly, these guys are a whole lot more intimidating than a bunch of masked jihadist wannabees on scooters.
Oh That Liberal Media
An interesting roundup of the virulently anti-U.S. media types that have had their bias-- and their ineptitude-- clearly highlighted in the past few years can be found here. Interestingly, the most recent reporter mentioned in the article, Terry Lane of Australia, has not lost his job. Despite biting hook, line and sinker on a fake report of American atrocities that should have taken virtually no time to disprove, Lane will be retained by the Sunday Age.
The reason given for Lane being so easily duped by the fake report? He wanted to believe that it was true. He wanted to believe that a U.S. Ranger's job in Iraq had been to kill innocent women and children.
See, its crap like this that makes me believe that the mainstream media is biased-- it has nothing whatsoever to do with Rush Limbaugh or Charlie Sykes saying that it is. I have a brain. I choose to use it. It is capable of some pretty indepth analysis. Much more complicated than: Reporter is a Marxist=Biased reporting against the most capitalistic country on the planet, aka, the United States.
It still stuns me, though, that he not only thought it could be true that a U.S. Ranger could be a cut-throat, bloodthirsty monster-- anything is possible, and such a monster could make his way into the Rangers-- but that he wanted to believe it was true. And he didn't even lose his job.
Nope, no bias there. Nothing to see folks, move along.
Labels: Oh That Ivory Tower
I'll post the answer in the comments section later-- try to guess it without looking it up.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Vacation Time Again
Regardless. I'm going on vacation. Starting Thursday.
I'll likely be posting some while I'm away-- the first NFL games will be kicking off, so that's big-- but posting will be spotty.
John-- feel free to update the Nifong story or post other interesting tidbits as you wish.