Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Week That Was

It was an interesting week. I had guests for the week. It was a great, and sometimes trying, week with another adult and two small children around full time. Now don't get me wrong, it is great to have family visit and to see and spend time with those that you only see occasionally. But when you are use to the peace and quite of a household without children around, you begin to miss it shortly after their arrival.

We did all the usual touristy things, hung out with friends, and made a trip to Disneyland. Disneyland was not a crowded as I expected. Must be the economy getting to people. Usually the day after Thanksgiving is a zoo there. This year, not so much. The lines were noticeably shorter. But, god, everything is soooo overpriced. Still, we had a good time and the kids were ecstatic.

So, now it is Sunday. Everyone is gone and it is time for things to get back to normal -- whatever normal is.

And I have a plumbing story to tell, but that will have to wait until later. I have something else I must do right now.

Some Things Are Just Wrong

As I was perusing my way down the beer aisle yesterday, I came upon this:

I'm sorry. Beer, tomato juice, and clam juice do not belong together. And the fact that they put it together in a can is even worse. But the real shame of the whole thing is that people acutally buy it!


Friday, November 21, 2008


This on the license plate holder on the car in front of me at the stop light.

My kid can beat up your honor student.

What a lesson to be teaching your child -- on several levels. I would be embarrassed to ride in that car, let alone drive it.


The Iraqi parliament is debating a security agreement to keep US troops in Iraq past the end of this year. If they don't agree to the security pact, then we have to get out.

Why does the Iraqi parliament have to agree, but our own Congress does not even have a say in it? No debate, no vote, not even a nonbinding resolution. I don't understand.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is It Payback Time?

Let's see. We have ponied up 700 BILLION dollars to bailout financial institutions. I have a very hard time getting my head around $700,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeros. I mentioned in a earlier post, you would have to earn $1,000,000 an hour, every hour of every day, for 80 years to earn $700,000,000,000. That's a lot of money for a long time.

Now we are hearing that they have given about 1/2 of that money to banks with few, if any, strings attached. We are not even sure what the banks are doing with the money, except that they are not helping the homeowners who are about to lose their homes. Hopefully they are not following in AIG's footsteps and spending it on parties.

Now along come the big three US auto manufacturers asking from money. They want about 25 billion or roughly 3.6% of the 700 billion -- not all that much, relatively speaking. The US auto industry employs about 10% of the work force if you include all the auxiliary industries attached to the big three. That's a lot of people. Some estimates say unemployment will rise to about 10% if the auto industry goes under.

Treasure Secretary Paulson says fuck you to the auto industry. I guess he wants to save that 3.6% for his banking buddies.

This shows you where the Bush administration's loyalties lay. They would rather prop up the financial institutions to the tune of $700 billion dollars rather than propping them up with "only" $675 billion and helping out thousands of auto workers and other associated hard working people with $25 billion.

One other minor point that seems to be missed in all the discussion that has been going on. The news reports keep referring to the $25 billion for the auto industry as a bailout. The banks and financial institutions are getting a bailout. We are giving them the money with no expectation of getting any of it back.

The auto industry is asking for a loan. Let me say this again. They are asking for a LOAN. They intend to pay it back. I've yet to hear a bank or financial institution say they are going to pay back their money gifts.

I'm no big fan of the US auto industry. I do own two US made cars, but that is only because they are cars that my wife wanted. I don't really care too much about what I drive as long as it doesn't break down on me and gets me from point A to point B. I think a lot of the problems the US auto makers are having are their own damn fault. Their managements are a bunch of idiots.

But their workers are a bunch of hard working stiffs -- good old Joe the auto worker. If we can GIVE money to a bunch of banks and Wallstreet crooks and expect nothing back, then we ought to be able to LOAN 3.6% of the bank/Wallstreet money to the auto industry.

We did it for Chrysler in 1979, and got paid back. Maybe they will pay us back again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today is new carpet day.

I can't believe all the crap that has collected under our carpeting over the last 10 years or so. Maybe 15. And to think that the grandchildren have been crawling around on it. UGH!

Also, as a final farewell, one of the dogs peed in the middle of the living room carpet about 2 hours before they pulled it up.

A fitting end for the old carpet -- piss on it!

Let's Solve Gay Marriage

OK, I have a new plan. Actually it is not mine. I heard about it last night on the radio while I was driving home.

The arguments in favor of defining marriage as between a man and a woman only are religious. They have tried to use other arguments, but the basic reasons are really religious only. The arguments against defining marriage as between a man and a woman are legal. They say that marriage is a legal contract and has nothing to do with religion.

I say, fine. Let marriage be religious. Give religions the right to use the word marriage. Define marriage as a religious right to be defined any way any religion chooses. Marriage then becomes something like baptism or communion. It conveys certain religious rights as defined by the specific religion only. There are no legal rights.

All legal rights are conveyed by a civil union. Current "legal" marriages become civil unions. If your church chooses to recognize your civil union as a marriage within their definition of marriage, fine. If not, take it up with your religion. The civil union gives everyone regardless of their sex, the legal rights that a married man and woman now have.

This solution separates the legal and religious aspects of marriage as currently defined. The religious people can have their marriage and they can define marriage any way they want. Who can get married is up to each religion.

If you want legal rights, you get a civil union. The civil union can also be a church marriage if the religion agrees. Otherwise it only carries legal rights and not religious rights also.

This will also allow people to get married in church and have religious rights of marriage but retain all their single rights from a legal point of view.

Some people might consider this as having your cake and eating it too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Till Death Due Us Part

My daughter-in-law's father is dying.

He has smoked himself to death. His lungs only partially work. He may or may not have cancer. He is on a lot of oxygen.

He has a couple of good days. He knows what is going on. Then he has a bad day and is drugged and restrained. Then it takes another day or two to get over the drugs. The cycle repeats.

This is no way to live, or to die; neither for him nor for her. It is a slow death for both of them.

But for the grace of god, go I (or is it me?).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Confession Time

It is time for a confession.

I watch Dancing With The Stars.

And I enjoy it. There is a reason that athletes do well on the program. It is actually very physically demanding and requires a great degree of coordination and gracefulness.

Plus the ladies' costumes are hot -- except for Cloris (and she is finally gone)!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

Today was one of those great fall days that we seldom see in Southern California. It was windy, sunny, and about 65F outside. The sky had those big fluffy white clouds in it. Because of the wind, the sky was very blue. We get a blue sky with white fluffy clouds only a few times a year so it is really a great pleasure when it happens.

We got a call from our 9 year old granddaughter in the morning. She wanted to come over and spend the day with us. We picked her up and first went out to breakfast at IHOP. IHOP is her favorite breakfast place. She had pancakes and a "flat egg". She calls fried eggs, "flat eggs". If you ask her if she wants a fried egg, she will tell you no. She wants a flat egg.

After breakfast, we stopped at a neighborhood Christmas boutique where the GD picked up a Christmas present for her mother. Then we went home where "the girls" dropped me off, so they could go and do some serious shopping. I spent a nice relaxing afternoon reading and then walking the dogs while "the girls" bought crafting supplies. The GD loves to go to Joann's where Grandma buys her all sorts of stuff.

They came home later and hung around for a while. Then we made pizza for dinner before taking the GD back home. We all had a very fun Sunday playing with our granddaugher and enjoying the pleasant fall weather.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Books Are Heavy

I have been reminded again why I will never move from this house.

I spent today packing about 50 boxes of books and moving them to our storage unit. Sometime next week the carpet guys will be coming in to install our new carpeting. This should be the end of it for this year. We have had the inside and outside of the house painted, new front windows, new patio door (12 feet of door and windows), and new carpeting.

My wife has a VERY extensive cookbook collection. They all had to be packed and moved so that the carpet guys can move the bookcase cabinets to install the carpet. My wife is a collector. There are lots of other stuff that she is packing because again the furniture that they are stored in have to be moved and they are too heavy with all the stuff in them. I am only allowed to handle to books. They are unbreakable. This is really a pain; quite literally. I now have a sore back and knee. Well, the knee was already sore so I can't really blame all this moving stuff.

Anyway, as it started out, if we were actually to move, the packing would kill me. The only way I would do it is have someone come in and do all the packing for us. It would cost a fortune, but I am never going to do it myself.

Enough complaining. Time to fire up the TiVo and watch some football. With the 30 second skip, I can go from play to play and watch a whole game in about an hour and a half. Love the TiVo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Eat Their Own

I have found it interesting that the republicans seem to be eating their own. The revelations coming out about Sarah Palin are coming from republicans, not Democrats. Why is that? Is it an attempt by the McCain people to blame Palin for his failure in the election? Is she the scapegoat? Or is there a more sinister reason?

I heard an interesting theory (conspiracy?) this morning. These revelations about Palin are coming from the Mitt Romney people. Many Mitt people joined McCain after he dropped out of the race.

Mitt is a Mormon. Mitt is very ambitious and wants to be president. If he was not a Mormon, he might have been the republican candidate this time, but the evangelistic wing of the republicans torpedoed him because he is a Mormon.

Mitt has to do two things between now and 2012. One, eliminate Sarah Palin as a potential candidate, hence the smear campaign against her. I think she is as dumb as a rock, so I am kind of enjoying the slaughter. But I am no fan of Mitt either.

Secondly, Mitt has to gain the support of the evangelicals. Here's where Proposition 8 in California (gay marriage elimination) comes into play. The passage of this propositions was primarily financed by out-of-state Mormon activists. It is their intention to show that they are on the same side as the evangelicals and that they have significant political power. They want to from the same kind of alliance with the evangelicals that the Catholics have formed using the abortion issue.

Mark my words. If they are successful, it will be Mitt in 2012.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Good And The Bad

The Good: California kicks McCain's butt.

The Bad: Proposition 8 passes. Gays and Lesbians cannot marry.

It is a shame in this day and age that all people who love each other cannot get married if they chose to. California does have civil unions, but "separate but equal" is only separate, not equal.

CA, hang your head in shame! Hate is still alive and well!

Proposition 2 passes. Chickens get larger cages. (A good thing)
Proposition 8 passes. Gays cannot marry. (A bad thing)

WTF? Chickens get more rights. Gays lose a right that they did have. Are we fucked up, or what?!?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voted And Proud Of It

For those of you that are interested, I voted for that socialist, terrorist-loving, Jew-hating, Muslim Obama. See, even if all that bullshit that the republicans threw at Obama is true, he is still the better candidate.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Burn, Baby, Burn

About a week ago, Jack burned his Harvard Law degree.

And it made me sad.

It made me sad, but Jack had his reasons. In fact he has gone into a lot of detail in explaining his reasons in both his responses to the comments to the above referenced post and in this subsequent post.

What I am struggling to understand is why it made me sad. I immediately felt a sadness in the pit of my stomach as soon as I read it. I was feeling a loss. It was my loss, not Jack's loss. Why would Jack burning his degree make me feel sad? I would have thought my first reaction would have been "Way to go Jack." After all, it is just a piece of paper and can easily be replaced. Call up the University and they will send you a new one, probably for a small fee.

I understand the work and effort that goes into getting a college degree. I have three of them. That's not to brag, but to illustrate that I do understand what it takes to get multiple college degrees and what a significant personal accomplishment it is.

Therefore, when you burn one of them, you are burning a part of yourself. It may be a part that you want to put behind you. It may be a part that no longer serves its purpose. It may be a part that needs to be discarded so that you can move on forward to bigger and better things. But burning seems so destructive and permanent. I don't think I could do that to myself. I guess I am taking it very personal.

It is interesting how we use fire to symbolize our desire for change or to symbolize the end of something. All of us either have or know someone that has burned pictures, letters, or other things from someone we no longer want any connection to. In my case it was a friend burning pictures of an ex-husband. In the sixties, we burned our draft cards. And what better way to piss off conservatives than to burn an American flag in protest over something. We also burn people, in effigy. And Buddhists burn themselves, in reality. I remember my parents burning their mortgage when it was finally paid off. We don't do that very much any more because we never pay off our mortgages.

Several years ago I got out of the corporate rat race and went into business for myself. I didn't even think about burning my degrees. Of course I was not making the wholesale changes in my lifestyle that Jack is. I have never had to show my degrees for anything. They sit in a box somewhere is a storage unit. I could burning them and still continue to do what I do.

But I think I would lose a very deep personal part of myself. It is a part that does not get shared. It is for me only. And it makes me sad to think that someone else would burn that part of themselves.

But then again, a degree is just a piece of paper, so...

I've kind of rambled around here, somewhat incoherently. And obviously I still have not really figured much out. Jack's action has unexpectedly touched something inside of me. Something, I guess, I need to get more in touch with.

Wish me luck.

Cheney For McCain

Here is another good reason to vote for Obama. Cheney Endorses McCain.

Got A Dead Fish?

Some times all we need is a dead fish to make us happy!

Goodbye Opus

Good night Opus. May you sleep well.