Saturday, May 31, 2003

Well, I've been running more errands this morning, getting some stuff mailed off to its various destinations, doing some shopping (I needed some Onion Soup Mix for a meatloaf I'm making later today), plus the submissions for next Wednesday's "Carnival of the Vanities" are arriving rapidly, I'm not sure what the standard deadlines would be, but I'll include anything that I get no later than midnight (Pacific Time, GMT-8:00) on Tuesday night (I'll need some time to put them together for Wednesday morning).

So if you have anything you want included, or just want some additional traffic, please feel free to send your submission(s) along. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, May 30, 2003

My sincerest apologies for the late entry this day, but I've been running around trying to get things done this morning. Some legal work had to be filed, the car needed an oil change, I needed to have some copies made, yadda, yadda, but it all had to happen this morning!!!

I'm also receiving enteies for this week's stop on the Carnival of the Vanities, so if you're stopping by to check it out and see if you want to submit an entry for next Wednesday, the 4th of June, then drop a URL link (or the text, in the form you want published) to the e-mail address in the left column.

I keep seeing the movie "Shrek" on the movie channels. I really like that movie. Every time I see it, I see something different. Humor for the kids, and subtly sophisticated humor for the adults (like the "Dating Game" spoof by the Magic Mirror). I hear "Finding Nemo" is supposed to be along those lines, but underwater.

I hear that the autopsy of the (Scott & Laci) Peterson baby was leaked to the press, and the traditional media feeding frenzy took place. I am of the mind that things of that nature shouldn't have been published, not only because it releases private information that would be held inside the family under ordinary circumstances, but also because it compromises the prosecution's case, even if it's only to the extent that the shock value that would have been very effective to a jury has had its teeth pulled, and desensitized the jury to the horrific nature of the crimes, and made it just that much harder to get the death penalty.

I'd also like to see some evidence from the defense about these allegations that it was a "Satanic Cult" or the O.J. Simpson-esque tactic of "SOG" ("Some Other Guy did it."). At this point, though, I might be desparate enough to risk anything that might add Reasonable Doubt to the jury pool.

Anyhow, I'm going to go surf the web for a bit... Have a great afternoon!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Happy Century Day to Leslie Townes Hope, born on this day, May 29th, 1903, in London. He emigrated to the United States and has worked almost continuously since then to entertain our citizens and (perhaps most especially) our military. He has won so many honorary awards that he probably doesn't have the shelf space for all of them, and he also has not one, not two, but four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - one for movies, and the other for his work in television. His first movies came out before my mother was born, and he was making public appearances up until the last few years, when his failing health caused him to put off most offers. He's been married to his wife, Delores (whose own birthday was day before yesterday, the 27th), for almost 70 years. Check out his IMDb bio page.

He has entertained our troops with the USO in at least four different wars, and was declared an honorary veteran by the United States Congress for his untiring efforts (the first civilian ever granted such an honor). He deserves every honor a grateful nation can give him for his gift of decades of laughter and movies that are still fun to watch.

God bless you, sir. And may you have a very happy 100th birthday, Bob Hope.

Raise a glass in tribute to one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th Century (filled with whatever beverage you think would be appropriate).

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

It seems kind of strange to sit here and pontificate about items of interest. I've hit that point where I can sit back and realize that there are people who actually read what I say, and there are a few people who disagree (and one who specifically chose me as the subject of one of his own diatribes), but as a general rule, people who tend to agree are the ones who keep coming back. That says that I'm either doing a pretty good job or there are people who just can't keep from watching a train wreck. Only time will tell. I'm not looking for a column of the stature of Glenn Reynolds (over at InstaPundit), who gets several thousands of hits every hour, around the clock. I was happy with 50-60 a day, and I know that my real life concerns and family commitments will occasionally interfere. I can only hope that you will keep coming back after such episodes, because I can never really know when they are going to happen. I thank you all for your patience and recidivism, and hope that I will be entertaining enough to make it worth the rough times.

Well, in other news, we (the CIA and I) have "high confidence" that one of the mobile weapons labs discovered in Iraq is, in fact, a mobile weapons lab. It had been scrubbed down in an apparent attempt to disguise the purpose and usage of this lab. But the Iraqis have obviously never seen our CSI teams in action, where the amount of saliva stuck on the back of a postage stamp is enough to get blood type and a DNA sample. And a conviction. They found trace amounts of a "sludge" inside one of the machines (a precipitator, IIRC), and have confirmed that this particular machine had been used to process biological weapons. Here is a link I just Googled to show what I mean. (I especially like that last paragraph about how a weapon is being specifically designed to defeat such labs without destroying the city or killing the population around that lab with the release of chemical and biological agents.)

Just as a personal opinion, I think the judge ought to slap this woman a hefty fine in addition to the court costs. After he dismisses the lawsuit and stops laughing, that is. Let's get it clear. There is no such thing as a "Right" to drive. It doesn't exist. Driving is a privilege, requiring specific tests (at least three that I can think of - eye test, written and a practical "behind-the-wheel" test with an instructor) before anyone can get licensed. One of the other requirement of Florida's driver's licenses is that a picture must be taken of the driver's face, which is displayed on the license.

She is apparently suing (with the help of the ACLU) to get her driving privileges reinstated, because she claims that forcing her to show her face violates her religious principles. The judge would (or should) say, "Fine. Your rights to religious freedom are guaranteed by the First Amendment. Your driving privileges are not. State law requires that in order to get a driver's license, you get your picture taken. You can either keep your religious convictions, or your driver's license. Your call." It doesn't take the Wisdom of Solomon to figure that one out...

Hope you're having a good day. Oh, and let's be careful out there...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

So, anyhow, I was talking about my neighbor. Classy dude. He runs this tiling business, and has taken to throwing his detritus from various jobs that he has done for his customers into our community dumpster. The one that was sufficient for the seven families in the complex for one week gets filled by broken chunks of tile, scrap wood, plaster, and all the associated crap that he literally uses a shovel to get it from the back of his pickup to the trash can. Meanwhile, the rest of us end up having to balance our trash on top of this crap.

The wife and I saw one of his workers driving up and using his truck to dump trash in our dumpster, and the same kind of junk (tile, plaster, pieces of wood, etc.) and because the last time our neighbor did this, he had thrown away a glass door, and because the angle of the door prevented over half of the dumpster (which had just been emptied the day before) from being used, unless people levered the door out of the way, he decided that he wasn't going to be that much of a jerk about it. Oh, no, he was gonna make the whole dumpster accessible, so he picked up a large rock and heaved it at the door, which cracked it, but didn't "break" it, if you know what I mean.

So he reached in, grabbed the rock, and spiked it through the door like he had just scored the freakin' winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. The door, being made of glass, and not aluminum, shattered explosively, but since about 1/3 of the door was actually hanging over the edge of the dumpster, I'll let your imagination linger on the sight of all those shards of glass spreading themselves across the entrance to the parking lot for the complex. The only way in and out, for all seven families.

Now picture him being the adult about it and at least making an attempt to clean up the mess - the dangerous mess - that he has just created. Better enjoy that picture, because that isn't what he did. He ducked his head for a moment, then began looking around like a nine-year-old, and then he hurried away like he didn't want to get seen, leaving the glass there for people to drive over. Guess it didn't matter that I saw him.

What an asshole. Hope you've got better neighbors.
Howdy, folks, and welcome to the unofficial beginning of summer. Temps are supposed to be in the 90's here, with an associated inversion layer (which traps automobile and industrial pollution), creating "Unhealthful" conditions for most of Southern California. We're supposed to be limiting our physical activity. So I'm just going to sit and blog about stuff. The first entry today is this week's episode of This-or-That Tuesday.

1. Do you prefer silence or do you like background sound (music, TV, etc)? I prefer a TV or music on in the background.
2. Bathe/shower in morning or evening? Evening.
3. Sleeping in complete darkness, or with a nightlight on? Either. Noise/lights don't really bother me. When I'm sleepy, I sleep.
4. Lay out clothes the night before, or just grab what's closest in the morning? Depends on how important what I wear is going to be.
5. Hang up/fold clothes neatly, or just toss them wherever? Toss them, but not just "anywhere".
6. Work out at a gym, or at home on your own (or do you not bother with exercise)? Kinda tough to exercise with all the physical problems, but I used to jog, play basketball, play racquetball, and go on long walks. I mean long walks - my best effort was just under 18 1/2 miles, and I signed up for a 20km (12.4 miles) just to kill an afternoon once. Now it hurts wen I go out to check the mail.
7. Talk on the phone, or via IM/e-mail? Neither. I can communicate using whatever means I have to use, and have no real preference.
8. Are you usually on time, or late? "Better half an hour early than five minutes late."
9. Spendthrift or frugal? If I've got it, I spend it. If I don't have it, I don't spend it. It's just that simple.
10. Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: You work with someone who is not in the habit of bathing regularly. The smell seems to be getting worse and worse! Would you: 1. try to do something about it, or 2. try to grin and bear it? If you said 1, what would you do? I've never run into that situation, and I don't have enough information, so I am going to say "2", until something suggests itself.

My computer is starting to concern me. It's actually working when I need it to... Murphy's Law, where are you? I've managed to maintain 30 hours (according to the elapsed "connected time" on my file retrieval program) at one point. I've found some really good stuff, and found a lot of stuff worth keeping. Stuff I remember from my childhood, and some of the funniest stuff I've seen in a long time.

Thank God for DSL, huh? Heh. Things will be building back up to speed here on the blog, and I'm trying to figure out what I need for the domain. It may take a while to get it up to speed, and even ater that it may take a while to percolate through the DNS routers. For a new domain, it can take up to a week.... I'm still here, and starting to get pissed off about shit again. My neightbor, for instance. He runs his own small tiling business, and... well, I need to spread the posts out a bit, so I'll tell about him a little later.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Good morning, and please remember to be nice to a Veteran today. Today is Memorial Day, which is more than a Federal Holiday, and a day that marks the traditional beginning of summer. It is the day when we remember those brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have willingly gone forth and laid down their lives to protect an ideal and a nation that stands for those ideals.

The United States has had many shameful episodes during its 226+ year history, and has done what it could to correct those problems and bring the maximum in freedoms to the greatest number of people on a scope unprecedented since the days of Julius Caesar, when merely uttering the words "Civis Romanus" ("I am a Roman Citizen") would guarantee the safety of any individual - provided, of course, that it were true. In today's world, claiming that one is an American citizen is likely to paint a bullseye on one's chest. But there will always be someone willing to risk the hazards of helping an American citizen, in exchange for the potential rewards. Just ask PFC Jessica Lynch...

This is not the day to celebrate the veterans that are still living (that day is November 11th, Veteran's Day). This is the day to remember our honored dead. President Bush will be laying the traditional wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and honored guests all over the country will be making speeches on such concepts as Sacrifice, and Honor, and Comradery, and the Bonds Built Between Fellow Soldiers, and it will all boil down to the concept behind today: "The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation."

God bless those brave men and women.

In other news, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit became the first Marine Corps unit to return to the United States from the Iraqi War. I imagine there were a lot of happy people watching them hit the beach. And not a few beers were cracked open in their honor. Good for them, and I wish to offer my own "Welcome home" to those brave Marines.

Go enjoy your cookout and picnic and ball games, and I hope that you don't have to fight any traffic to get safely home again, but let's not forget the reason for today, okay?

PS: Still waiting for a return phone call from the Hosting company. Probably tomorrow (I did call kinda late on Friday afternoon, and it was a Holiday weekend, after all...). Things might get a little kerfluffled until we get this straightened out.

So let me send you to a nice place. Caution: Drink alert in effect.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Good morning. We got back kinda late last night, and I'm a little under the weather this morning. No, I'm not suffering a hangover, because I don't drink. We went to the National Orange Show yesterday, and walked around a lot, so I had to take a lot of pills when I got home, and now my stomach is a little upset - along with the fact that I hurt, so I can only apologize for the lack of entry from last night, and the paucity of this entry. Unwanted side effects, but expected nevertheless. Forgive me, and don't give up yet. I will be back to top form soon. I promise.