New blogger?

I don't keep up the blog but I also don't want to let all of the stuff on here go.  Maybe one day I'll come back.


One other thing

If you know of someone with epilepsy, do NOT let them try to get wedding outfits at this website!

That is all.

Another unfortunate product name

Freaking priceless, that is.


Gotta love the French!

Here's an ad for a French soda. At least, I think it's for soda. They're French, so it looks like they're selling something else completely. . .


Just a few notes for Christmas

The three days on which Loner has looked the most beautiful: the day I proposed, the day we were married, and ANY Christmas day. Nobody gets Christmas spirit like my wife.

I have eaten too much.

I'm very glad that I now work for a European company and don't have to report back to work until January 5. It will give me time to work off all of those damned Christmas cookies and ham.

Christmas reminds us of those who need prayers most. My wife's brother is sick and alone today. The man who was almost an adoptive grandfater for me hasn't had hydration or food for six days, and is still hanging on. My uncle hasn't heard from his eldest daughter in 22 years, and he found out that he's a grandfather. . . but he doesn't know if the baby is a boy or a girl. Prayer doesn't cost you anything, and it can truly comfort those who need comforting most.

If you slip and tell a Jew or Muslim or Druid "Merry Christmas," don't sweat it. From my perspective, if a Jew said to me "Happy Hanukkah!" I would be grateful for the sentiment.

Give. It's just money - you'll make more. What you give now, you will receive in abundance later. God said so, and I happen to believe Him on this one.


Just checking in

Scary, disturbing and makes me weep for the future, actually. Thanks for asking.


Best Fan Vid of 2008

This is a beautifully done fan film by someone who really, truly gets The Crow. Between clips from the comic by James O'Barr and snippets of the film starring Brandon Lee, the person who made the film really gets it. Putting it to Let it Die by the Foo Fighters was ingenious. It's touching, troubling, and beautifully done.


Regarding the Big Three

If you want for us to bail you out, you will have to go along with our requirements. If you don't want to go along with those requirements, fine. We'll just keep our money, then.

1. Cut wages for auto workers. While I'm glad that this is a good-paying job for someone with no education past high school, to pay $75,000 to a guy who wipes down cars with a chamois JUST BECAUSE HE'S BEEN THERE FOR 30 YEARS is absurd.

2. Cut wages for executives. I don't mind insanely high salaries for big companies, but NOT when those companies are failing. If the company is tanking, don't give a pass to those responsible for decision making.

3. Stop pandering to unions. There was a study two years ago that showed approximately $2500 in every GM car was to pay for employee health benefits. STOP. If they don't want to work for less money and non-executive healthcare packages, THEY CAN QUIT. Union strike? Tough. There are plenty of recent high school grads who would love a decent job that pays enough for them to care for a small family. Fire 'em all if they strike, and hire people who WANT to work.

I heard an interesting idea on the radio this morning. Ask the unions to buy a partial stake in the company. Get the bailout from THEM. That way, they have a definite and vested interest in seeing the whole company succeed - not just the union. If they don't believe in the company enough to think that it will pay off on their investment, why are they still working there.

Just a few thoughts.


Two nice things

Thursday night, Stacey and the kids and I went out for a steak dinner that was put on by the Knights of Columbus. At one point, Stacey made a muscle and said, "See, I got muscles!" Then I flexed and she felt my bicep. Her face got momentarily serious and she said, "Where did you get that?" The home gym isn't there for decor, but it's nice that she's noticing results.

Today, Stacey went on her weekly grocery run. She left before eight. I was in the basement, cleaning. I had Jake cleaning his room. Time went by and I began to wonder. I didn't know if she'd found some other errands to run or if she'd run into a friend or stopped to help somebody, so I put that aside. When ten o'clock rolled around, I began to wonder if she was okay. Jake asked, "Do you know when Mama's coming back?" I looked out in the driveway and realized that she had taken my car instead of the Jeep. Weird. I sent her a text message and just asked if she was okay.

She showed up about ten minutes later, grinning from ear to ear. I mean, the Joker would have been envious. She proudly informed me that she had two new tires put on the back of my car, since mine were bald and starting to show steel.

When you start truly trying to think of something that you can do for your spouse to show that you're thinking about them, it might take a long time to come up with the right idea. Never pass up the chance. If you CAN do it, do it.

Honey, that was an incredibly thoughtful gift. The bushel of raw peanuts was great, and the birch beer was delicious, but getting tires put on the car was thoughtful and wonderful. Thank you.


A most unfortunate headline

I was scanning headlines on the Drudge Report today and discovered a most unfortunate headline. When you consider the nautical history of the term "bail out," it really makes the tone of the headline take on an entirely new meaning.

Who'd have thought the Brits had it in them?


Don't forget or let your vision be clouded

Take a minute today to think. What do you normally blog about? Beer, politics, women, job problems, the kids. . . whatever.

Today is different, though.

You are allowed to say what you think. You have the right to speak your mind. You can complain about the government without fear of being jailed.

There is one reason for this: somebody answered the call of his nation. Someone said, "I'll go." They're not all the old guys pictured above. Some of them are guys my age or younger, who served a couple of tours and got out.

Don't throw your politics at them. They're not baby killers or the enforcement arm of some nightmarish Republican power trip. They're just guys who wanted to serve their country.

Not every one of them lost their lives, but they all offered them. Keep that in mind when you encounter the old guy with a campaign patch on his hat, or sit at a traffic light behind a truck with a POW/MIA sticker, or when you see some young Rangers blowing off steam at a bar. These are the guys who offered all that they had to defend your rights to either praise or condemn them.

As someone who values liberty and is proud to be an American: Thank you, all of you, who served.


State of the Me

It’s been a madcap few weeks.

I’d been interviewing for a job, several months ago. It looked like it was on hold until January. Then, three weeks ago, they decided that they want me NOW. So now I’m leaving my present company. It’s not been perfect, but it provided a good platform from which to launch myself back upwards again. They invested in me, and I gave them more than they were paying me for. Good swap.

I’m going to be doing sales for this new company. Well, I’m going to be doing sales officially, as opposed to doing them unofficially where I am now. I’ll have to/get to travel some. I’m looking forward to it.

How could I just sit out that election and not say SOMEthing? Easy. This past election was the perfect counterbalance to the incredibly stupid bailout of financial institutions. How so? The banks should have been allowed to fail. They must fail and experience negative consequences or there will be no incentive to alter their behaviors. How does that play into the national election? People must see the system fail – grandly, horribly, inescapably – before they will ever sit up and change their behaviors. People in this election voted (in my beliefs) for three things: “change” (though change from what and TO what was not defined), NOT BUSH, and Who Is Going To Pay For My. . . “

Fine. Nationally, we’re taking greater steps towards socialism. It has to fail before the people of this nation will allow it to be fixed.

Whatever. I can’t fix it. What I CAN do is get ready to kick ass in my new job, be the best husband, stepfather and Godfather that I can be, and be happy for what I’ve got.

Party on, rockers.


Stoopid Global Warming

Yesterday when I got out of bed, it was thirty-one degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta. We got our first frost while it's still October.
Yesterday and today, my customers in the Northeast are complaining that they already have snow.
Don't you just wish this global warming would stop?


It's coming, people

I talked with a customer today. She was lamenting how much pain she's in because of a toothache. Her wisdom teeth are coming in, she explained. Have been for a year and a half. "I'm just putting off doing anything about it until I get that government insurance."

So, she says to me, I don't want to take responsibility for myself. I want YOU to pay for it.

You're a loser, Rebecca. Unfortunately, in this coming elections, the loser is going to overwhelm us with numbers. Get used to this:

Will the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

I'm not a radical right-wind wacko who thinks President Bush never lied to us. I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker. You guys know that my support of McCain is more because of my heartfelt need to oppose the agenda of Barack Obama.
Makes me wish that we had regular news organizations (instead of cadres of bloggers) who decided to keep their integrity and tell the truth, come what may.
We don't.


10 Worst Halloween "treats" to give

Someone finally remembered the real reason for the season!
Here's a brilliant article on the ten worst things you can pass out at Halloween.

My personal favorite is probably Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I know that the packaging can be tampered with - that someone could have slipped a razor or HIV-infected needle through that paper wrapping - but in the case of Reese's, I find those possibilities to be of acceptable risk.

Another idea for you is something that I did when I bought my first house. Want to get to know your neighbors? Have TWO bins: one for the children, and one for their folks.
Loaded Tub by existentialism.


Turning point?

Tonight, I took my wife to see Fireproof. I was worried that she wouldn't agree to go. I was worried that she would already have something planned that managed to take precedence. We are both guilty of recently saying things that are hard to forget and impossible to take back. When Loner gave me the book The Love Dare, my first thought was "maybe this will work."

To my shame, my second thought was "She said it's over, but now she wants to put this in front of me so that - if I decide I can't or won't do it - she won't be the one doing the leaving." Yeah, I thought that. I didn't realize at the time that she was doing the Love Dare with me.

Some days look easy. Some days, you look at the writing and the dare and the Scripture and think, "I can knock this out in no time." That works fine until you reach a day and read what's expected of you and you think, "How on earth can I do THIS?"

We saw the movie tonight. When I got home from work, she was making sure that the kids were fed. I changed into something a little dressier, put on some good smelly stuff, and we drove off to have Mexican for dinner. It was nice and it was relaxing. We got to the theater absolutely stuffed, got a Diet Coke to share and went in. Only one preview (Inkheart, incidentally). I was skeptical. I remember Kirk Cameron's acting from the eighties, but then again, I've not seen it since then.

The movie was touching and moving. It wasn't brilliant, but it had it where it needed it. The couples who go to see movies like this aren't going for the acting. They are looking for a movie that resonates with them, showing them a way through instead of just another way out. This one did that. I talked with Loner afterwards and we found that we had things in common with both characters.

I also came to another conclusion: I'm starting over. When I began this, it was not with total conviction. It was conditional: I'll do this until/unless I see that Loner's not doing the same thing, or isn't trying as hard, whatever. In the movie, Cameron's wife isn't doing it at all. It's just one guy trying desperately to get back to being the man who wooed his wife and was a hero to her. Does that sound familiar to anyone reading this?

He half-assed it at the beginning. He did just enough to get by. Then, when he got to around day 20, he realized the depth of commitment that is asked for and he panicked.

Well, I cheated. One day one, I read the whole thing. I know what's coming. Now that I know my wife is in this with me, I don't want to cheat her. I'm going to start at the beginning and do this RIGHT. I'm not going to skip to the ending, or do just enough to get by. I'm going to do it right. She and I talked about doing this thing, and we have one unlikely motivator in common: If this marriage fails, it's NOT going to be because we DIDN'T do something to fix it. We're not going to leave any stone unturned. We're going to do our best.

I had one other piece of good news tonight. The kids have mentioned to their mom that they've noticed a change in me. She didn't ASK them - they just felt compelled to tell her. You have no idea how incredibly astoundingly awesome that feeling is.

Anyway, goodnight. Thanks for being out there.


REALLY hard question for pop culture junkies

The year was 1994. John Travolta's career was about to be revived by former (some would say eternal) video store geek Quentin Tarantino. Travolta hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in my favorite SNL sketch of all time:

Quentin Tarantino's Welcome Back, Kotter

It used to be all over YouTube and other online vid sources. It got pulled. Anyone know where I can find it?

This made me grin

Real Genius + the Beastles

This is sweet.


Just so my wife knows I miss her tonight

I'm public again

Having this in private was causing too much of a rift at home, so I’m public again.


Incidentally, if anyone out there is tempted to do this Love Dare thing that was featured in the movie Fireproof. . . you’d better be certain.  It’s HARD.




That's just how I roll

 Popped two Mentos in my mouth, took a big ol’ swig of Diet Coke.


At my desk!


I’m such a rebel.




One other thing

Two weeks and a day with no alcohol. It ain't too bad. I don't miss it, except in that it's a habit that I broke after a long time.

I would say, "15 days down, XXX days to go" but I don't know when or if I will be able to safely drink again.

Oh, well. Life has enough drama without complicating things.

I do miss some things, though:
Belhaven Scottish Ale by Vineyard Cafe.


Wisdom from the mouths of babes

You ever want to crack God up, just tell Him what your plans are.

This from our receptionist this morning.  As Madeline Kahn said, Its twoo, its twoo!


McCain versus Obama, in square circle!

I literally got ONE MINUTE into the debate.

I got as far as Senator Obama blaming the financial crisis entirely on the Bush administration, to which he's going to link Senator McCain. Nevermind that McCain fought for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Oh, yeah: he is a Socialist. Just check out his policies.

Then, of course, Senator McCain will try to convince people that he's not only a conservative, but that he's a maverick who bucks the political system. I doubt that he will mention his efforts to sidestep the Constitutional right to free speech by pushing the McCain-Feingold Act. The libertarian in me has an itty bitty problem with this.

I can't vote for Bob Barr. A failure as a Republican, he decided that he's going to run as a Libertarian. Nevermind that he debated Neal Boortz years ago and decreed that - regardless of WHAT medical doctors and their mumbo jumbo might say - there is no reason that ANYONE should ever be allowed to smoke pot. That speaks volumes about his thoughts about personal liberty, especially to someone like me who values personal freedom above all else and who also has a mother who has a chronic disease for which she's not allowed to smoke marijuana.

Who else is there? Nader? You gotta be kidding me. The Green Party is just the watermelon party: it's green on the outside, but is essentially against the ideas of free market capitalism and individual rights. Yes, I'll say that they're red on the inside. I know that referring to someone as Communist is so 80s and is really passe, but it fits. Isn't Cynthia McKinney running, somewhere?

How about another option on the ballot? How about a "Screw you assholes for these crummy choices, I want to reach into the Scrabble bag and pull some new letters!" option on the ballot?

Unfortunately, the average American is dumb as a rock. The average American takes little to no interest in the political process, except to briefly note who is going to move the most money from someone else into their pockets. The average American thinks that there is a Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. The average American thinks that their nation is a democracy (or is supposed to be!). The average American has no idea why we have both Representatives and Senators. The average American disgusts me. The average American thinks that health care is a right. The average American cannot tell you how much they pay each year in taxes, but they'll happily tell you how much their stimulus check was for.

Republicans, stay out of the bedroom! Democrats, stay out of my wallet! Greenies, just get the fuck away from me. Libertarians, pick a candidate who has the guts to stick by freedom as his sole platform!

The average American is going to elect Barack Obama. God help us.

Picture of the minor miracle

I know, no miracle is truly minor. This one was big enough for me, though. I don't think the car is supposed to sit ON the wheel, do you?

My head is going to split

I don't know if it's the medicine or just life, but I haven't had a headache this bad in over a decade.

Truly venting

That is to say, airing something out so that the pressure doesn't just keep building up in my head.

I'm not comfortable in my own home. There is so much tension, so much walking on eggshells. I want to make everything right again, so that coming home feels like just that. Instead, it's . . . not. I wish that I could fix it, and I'm doing what I can to do that, but I can't bring back the vibe that comes from a loving home.

I felt bad about putting something like this out there, but I have to let it out somewhere. I don't have any friends of the sort to share deepest feelings with. I know that I could, but we just don't normally have that kind of relationship. My head shrinker knows all of this stuff, but telling her doesn't really do anything for me.

The person in the cubicle next to me thinks it's cool to keep on humming Silent Night under her breath and it's making me crazy. In the library, you're supposed to stay quiet so that people can think.


So I'll just vent here.


Spotted this one today in traffic and about laughed me arse off.
In case it's too fuzzy for you, it reads LOLPWND. Priceless. They're licensing gamers now.

Today is quite a day

Splitting headache.  I mean, having to close my eyes against the pain.  I dont normally get headaches like that.  It hurts at the temples and at the base of my skull, and all of the muscles in my neck are knotted like theres a car battery hooked up to them.

I have a short fuse today, but I think part of that is reaction to the pain and part of that is reaction to some bad circumstances.

I want to put my own head through a wall, right now.  As George Bush and Dana Carvey used to say, though, Not. . . gonna . . . doit.

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