Saturday, November 27, 2004

I am supposed to be working on a college paper, but I just noticed that I hadn't posted in a while.

Wednesday night went OK; we only had three people show up, all female. So I was the only guy in the house. We sort of goofed off for a while, then realized that it was 5am. It was snowing and (obviously) dark, so everyone just crashed here for a couple hours. I had to drive one of the girls home, so I led the other two out to the highway so they wouldn't get turned around. Of course that meant that Thursday was spent sleeping, resting, and napping until it was time to go to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I ate too much, of course, then fell asleep in a chair. Then we went home and went to bed. It has been a long time since I pulled an all-nighter; they don't work as well when you are 40. Friday was just working around the house. The ground was good and wet from all the snow, so I decided to pack down all the fresh dirt in the driveway. I spent about three hours in my truck driving back and forth over the drive, parking areas, etc. I also trimmed up the trees around the propane cylinders to make it easier to keep the snow cleared from around them. Then I spent about twelve hours buying the latest version of Quicken and loading all our account information into it. It isn't going to work quite like I had hoped, but it will make bill tracking a lot easier.

Today has been another day of chores. We've painted more of the floor on the main floor and the storage area upstairs. Once that dries, we can rearrange and start on the floors in the master suite. Once all the floors are painted, I think we will finally be able to get a handle on the dust problem in here. Right now, just walking across the room raises a cloud of drywall dust. I put the closet organizer up in one of the main floor closets. I messed it up some, as usual, but it will work. You would think after all the closets I've done with this stuff that I would know how the system works. You would think wrong. Every closet I do, it's something. This one was pretty obvious, but didn't have anything to do with how well it will work. It just looks stupid because anyone can see that I used the wrong parts. But it is up and it works.

I was going to start clearing all the debris off our porches, but it is pouring down rain right now. The weather has been crazy: Wednesday we got a lot of snow, then more on Thursday. Yesterday, it started warming up, and today all the snow is gone and it is raining. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I don't have to plow the liquid stuff.

Well, I need to get back to my paper.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I found several interesting things while I blew through my normal morning web browsing. First up is an article on WorldNetDaily about the NBA riot. I haven't said anything about it up to this point because I have a hard time thinking of anything I could care less about than a bunch of spoiled millionaires who play a game for a living mixing it up with a bunch of morally defective fans. I'm not even sure what all the fuss is about. The NHL routinely hires guys specifically to start fights during hockey games, so what is so horrible about the NBA looking for a little of the action? I have no interest in "professional" sports and could care less what happens to anyone involved in this. I do think the point of the article is interesting. The article walks a pretty thin line; we all know what you cannot say and who you cannot say it about.

Next up is another reason why government schools are just a bad idea. It is now considered unconstitutional in California (where else?) to hand out copies of The Declaration of Independence to students because it refers to God. When reading this article, pay attention to the sub-text. The teacher was a Christian and open about her faith. The school has been engaged in an overt campaign of intimidation and harassment directed specifically at her. I've said it a hundred times and I will say it again: the government of the United States (or any other government) is not the friend of Christianity regardless of the religious beliefs of the individuals who happen to be in power today. Government in general, and our government in particular, is the enemy. Wake up, already!!

Here is one that is sure to cheer everyone up. Take your pick: high inflation or high interest rates? And not just slightly higher; way higher. I'll be the ultimate pessimist and guess that inaction and half-measures will give us both. In case anyone wants to argue that can't happen, I have two words for you: Jimmy Carter. Don't tell me it can't happen; I lived through double-digit inflation and double-digit home mortgage interest rates. The difference this time around is that nearly everyone has a variable rate mortgage, so it won't just be new home buyers that get bit. Everyone will get slapped with both higher prices and higher house payments. If you are in a position to pay cash for real estate, I would recommend holding off. I expect to see a lot of really cheap real estate for sale soon.

Yesterday we had a youth leaders meeting after work, so our exciting lives consisted of that and coming home to drag more wood in the house and get it stained. The crew is here this morning working on putting up the porch railing. They won't get done today, but we will have some idea of what the railing will look like by the end of today.

I need to get cleaned up and head over to the high school, then from there to work. We are having some the teens over tonight because there isn't church tonight. We haven't really cleaned anything up in a while, so the place is more or less trashed. I'll probably sneak out of work early so I can put some order in things before everyone shows up.

Well, I got to get going.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Busy weekend as usual. Friday night, Debbie and I went out to a local restaurant for dinner, then just crashed at home. We were just plain lazy Saturday, and did it feel good. I could have sworn that I was supposed to be at the church for something, but I couldn't shake loose what it was. I knew I wasn't on praise team, and I didn't have special music until next week. So I didn't go into Kalkaska. So of course, I was supposed to be there because there had been a switch on the special music schedule and the trio I was singing with was on for this week not next week. But it didn't matter ultimately, because another member of the trio wasn't there either.

What all that bought us was some time to ourselves and some time to work on cleaning, organizing, and staining wood for the porch railings. I didn't get much done because a lot of the wood was still wet from being outside even though it have been in the house for a couple days. I did what I could, took a short break, then cleaned up to go over to my parents house for a small party for my 40th birthday. Or so I thought. There were over 30 people stuffed into my parents place for dinner, gifts, and cake and ice cream. They even got in touch with some of the teens from the youth group who were also there. I tried to look happy and grateful and all, but I just don't do well in those circumstances. I'm not real into a bunch of people and fuss all centered around me. It's not that I don't appreciate it and all, and I truely am grateful for the time and effort that was put into planning and cards and gifts and such. I just have a hard time showing it. But in any case I survived. Some of the teens even got me something that either means they are really getting at least some of the things I'm trying to teach them, or they just got lucky. I'll take option one for the ego boost and not ask any fool questions.

Sunday, we only had morning service followed by Thanksgiving dinner. We went straight home and slept until 7pm, which meant I was up until 2am staining wood and reading before I was tired enough for bed. I managed to drag myself out of the house in reasonable time this morning, so I won't be here at work for half the night. Tonight is more staining and hopefully working on my paper. I also need to call a bunch of people today. We decided that since there wasn't church Wednesday night because of Thanksgiving, we would have a bunch of people over for pizza and stupid movies. Given the weather forcast, we will end up getting hit with an ice storm and we will have 20 people staying the night at our house.

On the internet front, Fred Reed has another column about visiting our nation's capital. We have become a nation afraid of everything. We fear our children, our schools, our streets, our technology, our bosses. Frank Herbert was right: fear is the mind killer.

A bit on Yasser Arafat. The money quote:

But the late PLO chief was more than "a bit of a rogue". He was a monster: a man with the blood of thousands on his hands, who never cared to wash them. A man who led a whole people, the Palestinian Arabs whom he ruled as feudal lord, into a pit of hopeless squalor.

A monster that is now paying for what he did. Hell is never a comfortable topic of conversation, and I am not one of those Bible-thumpers that seem to get some sort of thrill out of condeming endless masses to eternal torment. But I don't think I can deal with a reality that wouldn't have Arafat spending eternity roasting on a spit. That anyone would travel to his funeral for any reason other than spiting on his corpse is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Time to head for home.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. We celebrated by carting all the cedar for our porch into the house to dry out and warm up in preparation for staining today and tomorrow. Then we watched Elf and Shrek 2. Elf was... not my kind of movie. That's the kindest thing I can say about it. None of it was funny; parts were just painful. Shrek 2 was good. Not as good as the original, but that is probably because the original was so unique at the time that no sequel could measure up. But it was still great, with a lot of laugh-until-you-snort spots. You knew the ending long before the end, but there were still some good twists getting there.

One thing I did notice; I don't know if it was because we have the original on VHS and watched the sequel on DVD, but I could swear the human characters were noticeably more realistic in Shrek 2. I stick by what I said after Shrek came out; within two or three iterations of Moore's law (3 to 5 years), human actors will not be needed, only voice actors. That's not to say that human actors will simply vanish, but they will no longer be necessary, as the audience won't know if they are watching an actor on film or a computer-generated animation. Or some combination, as in The Passion where subtle changes were made to actors' features (eye color being the the most notable; the world has seen enough blue-eyed Jesus's) to make them appear more Semitic. Expect to see more of this. Mark your calendars; by 2010 no one will be able to say for sure if what is on the screen is a film of human actors shot on some location, completely computer-generated animation, or a mix of those two in any imaginable ratio. Just remember, you heard it here first.

I try to not be negative about our public schools mainly because in the past, others have taken what I say as criticism of the students. But things like this just reinforce to me that public education in the United States is doomed. No one in such an environment for eight hours a day, five days a week for twelve years could have any hope of being able to cope in the real world. This is stupidity on stilts. Wearing an earring to school is OK, but putting an earring in while at school gets you a one-year suspension for having a weapon in school. I know our schools are run by emotionally fragile females on Prozac and fag "males," but this is so far over the top I don't think I can imagine myself as part of the same country that allows this crap to go on. Well, in fact, I know that I am not part of same country; I'm not sure I am part of the same planet. The inmates are running the asylum.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I got body-slammed with the flu yesterday. I woke up not feeling too great, but didn't think much of it. I was about half-way to work when it really kicked in. I made it back home in spite of nearly blacking out on M-72, crawled into bed and slept until after 3pm. I was barely able to move the rest of the night. My fever broke around 11pm, so I was able to go to bed and actually sleep. Today I am doing better, but I still skipped out of work. I should be able to do youth group tonight. I only have a slight fever (which is more or less normal for me due to my allergies) and should feel fine once I take a hot shower.

We spent Saturday cleaning out all the junk in the living room so I can set up saw horses and stain the cedar for our deck railing. I have to get that done ASAP as the guys will be here some time in the next week to put up the railing. It will be nice to not have to worry about people falling off our porch.

Sunday was just Sunday; nothing special. Monday I worked on my New Testament Survey class. I'm up to the point of writing my first paper, which I was hoping to do this week, but being out of commission yesterday sort of shot that in the head. I may try to get to it tomorrow, but no guarantees.

John Ashcroft is gone and Arafat is dead. That made my week last week. And it looks like people continue to exit the Bush White House. I haven't been paying close enough attention to say if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Powell was the lone voice against the neocons; having him resign is not a good sign. But at least we got rid of Ashcroft before he declared himself god-emperor of the world.

Anyway, I need to clean up and get ready to head into town.

Friday, November 12, 2004

As if I didn't hit everyone with enough reading material for today, here is some more on the gay marriage issue. This has been my position all along. There were people back in the 1850's that said it was a bad idea to give control of marriage over to the government. The situation we are facing right now is exactly why. Instead of trying to use the same mechanism that wrecked both the family and our schools to solve the problems it created, it is well past time for churches to again take control of marriage and the family to take control of education.
Yesterday ended up being house organizing day. Since we moved into the house in January, we have had a lot of stuff just piled in the middle of the floor because there isn't any other place for it. We finally have all our book shelves in the house, so we cleaned, polished and started filling them up. The first thing I noticed is that we don't have enough of them. Two are almost completely filled with video tapes and DVD's. We are gradually replacing VHS tapes with DVD's which take up a lot less space, especially when you are dealing with collections. I can free up almost two full shelves just by getting Babylon 5 on DVD and selling the VHS tapes on E-Bay. There are some other tapes that I probably won't bother replacing with DVD's, but I'd like to transfer them to Divx or some other digital medium. That shouldn't be hard; there are numerous devices out there to hang off a USB port to do that with. In the meantime, between videos and CD's, we only have a bookshelf and a half for actual books. There are several boxes of those waiting for a home. The bottom line is that we lost track of time and didn't get to bed until well after midnight.

Got a late start this morning, obviously. Debbie met me at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. I picked up a cheap PC from work; not too bad of a deal. It only has an 18G hard drive and 128M of RAM, so both of those will get upgraded. But I basically got a 1.6GHz P4, monitor, keyboard, and mouse for $150. I should be able to put some new parts into it, load it with Xandros and use it as a file server.

Tonight is budget night, so I have to go wrestle with Mamon.

For your edification:

From Jerry Pournelle's site:

The Marines are now doing what I thought they would do last April after the first uprising. It is unfortunate for everyone that they were called off before finishing the job last time. What we in the West think of as being reasonable is seen in the Middle East as weakness. I will still make the case that we ought not be in Iraq in the first place, but I think it is clear that, given we are there, we must not leave until we have thoroughly demonstrated to any nation thinking about harboring our enemies that this is not a good idea.

The entire notion of International Law -- it is probably better described as The Law of Nations -- was built around what was, when Grotius first proposed it in the early 1600's, a fairly novel idea: sovereignty. The notion of sovereignty had to be developed because prior to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 -- a treaty based in large part on Grotius' ideas even though he didn't quite live to see it -- the prevailing theory was more internationalist in scope, with adherents of the Papacy and Christendom on the one hand, and of a revival of the Roman Empire on the other, and during Grotius' lifetime at least, the Holy Roman Empire trying to be the embodiment of both.

International Law tried to deal with facts on the ground, in the modern terminology: there was no international enforcement mechanism, and there was no longer any international body to which all the Western nations -- the others didn't really count -- owed allegiance. The King of France was pretty well sovereign in his own domains, as was the King of England. The exact status of the different parts of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire were another matter. Note that the Papacy denounced the Treaty of Westphalia as utterly void, since it ended, even in theory, the notion of Papal supremacy over the Christian world. Note also that the United Nations pretends to the kind of suzerainty over the world that the Pope once claimed. Papal suzerainty ended at Lutzen when Gustavus Adolfus of Sweden showed that there was more than one Great Power, and the German states were not all subject to either Pope or Emperor. Had the Empire won, it would have stood to the Papacy as the United States does to the United Nations: a superpower able to enforce its will on much of the world, but subject to the Pope only in voluntary submission.

I bring all this up because the world is in much the same condition now as it was during the Thirty Years War. Calvinists in that time used the notion of Sovereignty to imprison or execute people like Grotius who believed in free _expression. Sovereignty allowed repressive regimes, and gave them a legal status, which both Catholics and Protestants were quick to make use of. The year 1648 is one of those dates to remember: not only did the Treaty of Westphalia change Europe forever (one of Hitler's avowed goals was to reverse that treaty) but the English killed their king and brought in Puritan rule to abolish Christmas and make Merrie England somber and pure. (Charles I was executed in January of what we now consider the year 1649, but in those times the year did not end on 31 December).

The world is now larger than Europe, and the United Nations isn't united as the Papacy had been. There is no universal agreement on anything including the status of women. The United States has explicitly repudiated the notion of sovereignty as regards nations that sponsor terrorism and harbor terrorist enemies of the West. The United Nations doesn't recognize that right.

Should we think of the US as Sweden had Gustavus Adolfus lived? Incidentally, it was Gustavus genius minister Oxenstern who appointed Grotius as Sweden's ambassador, in which guise he took part in negotiations that led to the Treaty of Westphalia.

And that's quite enough rambling. I am sure there are many holes in the above, which is merely a draft of speculative thoughts. I'll leave it as an example, although I am not quite sure of what. But to come back to the beginning, the US Marines are about to end the insurgency in Fallujah. The demonstration of what happens to those who sufficiently annoy the United States continues. It is not pretty, and many innocents will be killed; but then many innocents die when the terrorists do their work. I would have conducted the war on terror quite differently from President Bush, but given that we are in Iraq we have few choices now. This should have been done earlier. Better late than never.

One thing about Jerry's writting; I always have to spend two days chasing down all the historical references through Google.

And a case of credentialling gone wild. People worship paper, yet most of it is meaninless.

And I really have to go now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I'm working from home with an internet connection that is bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. I need to call these guys and find out what the problem is.

I found an article from England that discusses something that has always puzzled me. Why do "poor" people (Can obese people with homes, cars, indoor plumbing, TV's, refrigerators, video game consoles, $200 shoes, etc. really be called poor?) in the Western world throw trash everywhere? What does being poor have to do with being a slob? The author makes the differentiation between poverty and squalor. That certainly fits around here. There are a number of properties around us that are nothing but garbage dumps, yet the families buy two or three new snowmobiles every year.

I know I said enough of the election stuff, but here are a couple more articles that somebody ought to be thinking about. The first article discusses how we choose our presidents since the advent of TV campaigns. I'll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with ideology or policy.

The second article is by someone I have not run across before, but may end up on my list of frequented sites. Bruce Bethke discusses the seven lessons that Democrats should learn from the presidential election. Note I said "should;" they won't. That is particularly true of Lesson 6. The Democratic party is owned heart and soul by the Roe v. Wade crowd, which means that the Democratic party is taking itself out of the gene pool. Compare the family size in a typical evangelical church (at least 2 children per couple with 4 or 5 not being uncommon) with the family size of a typical member of NOW. The evangelicals are simply out-breeding the radical liberals. Note this is also true for blacks; unless whites start having larger families, whites will become the minority group. Hispanics are gaining on blacks as the largest minority (and in fact may have already passed them) with a two-pronged approach; breeding and immigration. It is interesting to note that while both of these groups are typically thought of as Democratic voters, both groups are over-whelmingly opposed to abortion. Will they switch to the Republicans or will they eventually swing to one of the third parties or form their own?

Well, I need to get to work.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Not much to report today. I'm working at a little homework and thinking about what I am going to teach tomorrow. I may start on another video series. I'm certain the kids are tired of hearing me blab. It will be a bit of a break for me as well.

So our boring life is pretty boring. So boring, I was reading two-year-old columns over at Fred Reed's web site. There was one that caught my eye: the best line is "...I can't think of a better authority on children than 12,000 squalling lesbians who don't have any..." Love it.

That's pretty much it. The weather is still holding; no accumulated white stuff although it has tried on occasion over the last couple of days.

Monday, November 08, 2004

We survived my parents' 50th anniversary party Saturday. Barely. Friday, I decided there was just too much to do, so I took a half-day off work and Debbie, our Pastor's wife, and myself got the bulk of things set up Friday. Saturday, I was at the church before 8am directing traffic from the Iceman bike race. What was nice was that because I bothered to talk to the parking lot attendants at the middle and high schools, as soon as their lots were full, they came and parked cars in our lot so I could go inside and take care of things for the party. That was a huge relief for me, because the last heats of the race left about a half hour before the party started. The parking thing wasn't a problem at all; there was plenty of space left for all the people we had show up.

The party itself was just a blur. Lots of running around, trying to talk to people that we hadn't seen in years in some cases, keeping food flowing and all that. I got to play MC, which I hate doing, but it wasn't like anyone else in my family was going to grab a mic and start talking in front of 100 or so people. The music went well; one of the ladies from the church sang a song my mom likes, I sang two songs in a trio with two other guys from the church that I've sang with before, and I was able to get another guy that used to live in the Kalkaska area to come up. He was very close to my parents while he lived here. I wasn't sure if he was going to be able to make until he actually showed up, so I hadn't said anything to my parents and left it as a surprise. In all, I think it went OK, although we will all be eating left-overs until Christmas.

Sunday was recovery day. I'm still battling something; I had symptoms that usually signal the start of a sinus infection when I got up. I was on praise team, of course. I never sing unless I have some upper respiratory ailment or another. But I felt better during church, then slid downhill all afternoon. I should have stayed home rather than go back for evening service as I slept through the entire service. We got home, ate something, then watched part of a movie, then went to bed.

Monday started bad; my alarm either didn't go off (unlikely) or I shut it off in my sleep (far more likely). In any case, I was an hour late for work. The good part was I got a nice, friendly kiss from the dog in the truck next to mine when I stopped for my morning caffeine fix at the Rapid City BP. I usually don't mess with dogs in other vehicles other than to talk to them; dogs seem to get very territorial about their owners vehicles. Probably reflects the attitudes of their owners. In any case, this dog nearly climbed out of the truck, so I gave him a little scrit and got a good morning kiss in return. I was walking away before I noticed the owner was sitting in the truck laughing his head off... Anyway, as good as that was, it didn't help the day much. I left work early because I wasn't feeling well at all. I got home in time to remember I had an appointment to get the fuel filter changed on my truck. So back out in the cold for a couple more hours. But at least that is one job taken care of for winter. I'm now home typing this and about to start on homework.

If you have seen a chart that claims to show that all the states that voted for Bush have lower average IQ's than those that voted for Kerry, keep a couple things in mind: first, it is a hoax and there are dozens of sites that have already debunked it; second, Democrats claim that IQ doesn't measure anything significant and is racist, sexist, and anyone that puts any stock in IQ scores probably stomps baby kittens; third, this is just the sort of immature, elementary-school-level insult that cost the Democrats the election in the first place. In a way, I hope they keep this up for another four years. If they really focus, the next presidential election will be a Republican landslide.

Enough 2004 American politics already; I need to read about first-century, middle-east politics. Not much has changed in 2000 years...

Friday, November 05, 2004

USA Today has a county-by-county map. It is instructive. If I were a Democrat, I'd be very concerned. Not only do the Republicans "control" five times the square mileage that Democrats do, the population of those counties is 59% of the population of the United States. It looks like the easy Bush victory was because Republicans got off their butts and went to the polls. Jerry Pournelle has been referring to the Republicans as The Stupid Party for many years because of their unfailing ability to turn victory into defeat. If this map has any validity at all, the Republicans should have a lock on the Presidency, both houses of Congress, most state houses and most state govenorships.

Jerry also has something important to say about the candidates that both parties put forward. I thought the primary system was stupid from the start and the general lack of enthusiasm for candidates by the general population seems to indicate that I'm not alone.

Last night, I tried to get some of my reading done for school, but for some reason was too tired to keep my eyes open at 8:00pm. This morning I know why: I'm getting sick just in time for my parents 50th anniversary party tomorrow. I'm supposed to sing, but I can feel another sinus infection kicking in. Great.

Tonight will be a hectic night trying to get the church cleaned and decorated. Naturally, this weekend is the annual Iceman bike race. The organizers don't have enough parking for all the participants so they feel free to send them down to our church parking lot. They never asked, they just assumed it was ok. I mean, it is just a church and what possible use could a church have of its parking lot on a Saturday. So it looks like I get to be at the church at the butt crack of dawn to try to arrange for some parking for the guests to my parents' anniversary party. There are about ten other things going on that will make it nearly impossible for us to pull this thing off with any semblance of class.

That's it for now. I may post something later.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I had intended to post more last night, but I was extremely tired when I got home from youth group. I just vegg'ed out in front of a movie and went to bed about half-way through. Today doesn't look to be much more interesting. I'm just going home, doing some homework, then going to bed early. This weekend will probably be hectic with my parents' 50th anniversary party Saturday added to the usual weekend chaos, so I want to be rested.

One thing I wanted to write more about yesterday was the election. I had called Kerry as of 11pm. I guess I should stick to programming, not calling elections. Florida was won easily by Bush, as was Ohio. The networks refused to call Ohio even though 100% of the precincts were reporting and the provisional and absentee votes would have had to be something like 85% for Kerry to give him the state. A bit of over-cautiousness? In any case, Bush had the clear majority of votes as well as winning the electoral vote. Kerry did the sensible and honorable thing and conceded rather than launching legal challenges.

Some things about this election that I'd like to note. First, I voted Libertarian as I have for many election cycles. I have no respect whatsoever for either Bush or Kerry and could not have voted for either one. There was a time when at least 2-3% of the United States agreed. This election, all the third parties combined didn't pull 1%. This means either a) a lot of third party voters drank the Republicrat Kool-Aid that this was THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN HISTORY and a vote for a third-party candidate was a vote for EVIL; or b) the increased voter turnout was strictly a Vote-for-Bush phenomenon. Or it was a combination of both. In any case, this election does not look good for third-party candidates.

Second, exit polls were revealed to be utter rubbish, and slanted heavily in favor of Kerry. The fact that these polls are conducted by the same news outlets that have obviously favored Kerry from day one shouldn't be surprising to anyone. We spend a lot of money on the FEC to ensure free and fair elections; maybe they ought to use a little of that money to dig into why the networks were trying to throw the election to Kerry. At the very least, I wouldn't expect anyone with above-room-temperature IQ to ever believe another exit poll.

Third, a note to all the rabid sign-wavers from the Demopublican Party: just who do you think you are convincing on the day of the election? Do you really believe that there are any undecided people left that actually intend to vote when the polls are open? Do you really think you are accomplishing anything other than annoying a lot of people just trying to go about their normal day? Is it so inconceivable to you that the vast majority of normal people don't share your foam-at-the-mouth hatred for "the other guy" and love for "our guy"? Don't you have jobs or something else constructive to do with your time? If not, there is a lot of litter around the streets (most of it put there by you) that you could be picking up.

And finally, for God's sake, take down your damn signs. The election is over.

I have to go home now. The sleet and freezing rain just started.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Just a quick update and then I have to get to work.

It looks like Bush is going to get re-elected. Ohio is the turning point, and that state has been weak for Bush right along.

It's been years since I heard something on the radio that made me laugh. This song did it. I have no idea what other material Lazyboy has out there, but this is a keeper.

Got to go code some REXX.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I did my "civic duty," although I assume that most of what I did will be a waste. This time around, I was able to vote a straight libertarian ticket for partisan offices. I didn't vote for any of the non-partisan offices. At least 90% of them were running unopposed and will not vote for anyone running unopposed. I voted against all proposals on principle: this is supposed to be a republic, not a direct democracy. That will put me at odds with my entire church, but what's new about that? I also voted down all property tax increases (including "renewals") again on principle. Property tax is the most immoral form of taxation that exists. The disproportionate burden that it places on the elderly and the poor is nothing short of criminal. Anyone who ever votes yes for any property tax measure is either ignorant or immoral.

As of this posting at 10:50pm, CNN is showing Bush ahead 193 electoral votes to Kerry's 133, but that doesn't include any of the western states or New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio. I expect all those to go to Kerry, except Florida, which I expect to be tied up in the courts until the 2008 election cycle. Kerry will also take the west coast. That makes the final vote something like Kerry with 272 electoral votes to Bush's 266. (I think the math is right: it is one minute to my bedtime, understand). So you heard it here first; Kerry will be our next president. Unless he isn't, then Bush will be. How's that for covering all the bases? Six of one; half dozen of the other, as far as I can see. The only thing I asked is that if Kerry wins that he 1) wears a bag on his head to keep from scaring small children when he is on TV, and 2) for God's sake, stop hanging all over Edwards like they are butt-buddies.

Debbie wants to go to bed, so I have to knock this off. I was hoping to see some of the west coast results before bed, but guess not.

Monday, November 01, 2004

A Dog's Prayers

Dear God:
Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God:
When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch...or is it going to be the same old story?

Dear God:
Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

Dear God:
If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God:
We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God:
More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God:
When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God:
Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God:
Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog:

  • I will not eat the cats' food before they eat it or after they throw it up.
  • I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.
  • I will not munch on "leftovers" in the kitty litter box; although they are tasty, they are not food.
  • The diaper pail is not a cookie jar.
  • The sofa is not a face towel; neither are Mom and Dad's laps.
  • The garbage man is not stealing our stuff.
  • My head does not belong in the refrigerator.
  • I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mom's driver's license and registration.
  • I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
  • Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is not an acceptable way of saying "Hello."
  • I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.
  • I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house.
  • I will not throw up in the car.
  • I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt.
  • I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch when company is over.
  • The cat is not a squeaky toy; so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.

Will I have to do the same things when I get to Heaven?

And, finally, my last question.......

Dear God:
When I get to Heaven may I have my testicles back?

Follow-up on Jason's Wedding

We received the following e-mail on Sunday:

Hello again,

Well, We, or should I say, Candace has decided that July 2nd, 2005 will be the day. No, really, we agreed on it, but it was up to her. (Good choice, since opening day of bow season is on Oct 1st). A summer wedding would be better, and hopefully this gives everyone enough of a notice for getting time off and to reserve a room. Anyways, hope all is well.


As we get further updates, we will pass them on.
I was running through my list of sites that I hit most days and found this over at A Stitch in Haste in his list of people who had recently linked to his site:

Ric and Debbie's Place -- "For he today who loses posts to Blogger malfunctions shall be my brother!" Christians who actually seem like nice friendly people. Go figure. Should Ric enter seminary? They report, you decide...
We have at least one reader!

I spent most of Saturday at the church cutting and chipping trees. Tim Allen; eat your heart out. Nothing like the feeling of feeding an entire twenty-foot tree into a machine and watch it come out as wood chips. Ahr ahr ahr!! Problem was that by the time I got home, I could barely move. I did manage to get the closet organizer up in the basement closet. After that, I ate, slept, showered, and slept some more.

Sunday we had choir for the first time since the "summer" break. It was not good. It was a song that we all knew, and it just fell apart. It is becoming more and more difficult for me to be a part of the choir. I know I fight against perfectionist tendencies, but there has to be some level of excellence in what we do for God, right? Maybe I'm the one that is mixed up.

Sunday afternoon was just home to eat and relax a little, then back for evening service. We had a potluck dinner first, a short service, then went to one of the other youth leader's home with some of the high school and college kids for birthday cake, junk food, and video games. I didn't get home until almost 11pm, so it was well past midnight before I got to bed. So much for gaining anything with the time change.

Today was work, of course. Tonight I will be hitting the books. I have a goal of at least having the outline of my first paper done tonight. I want to have this class completed by the end of November.

Well, time for me to hit the road for home. One thing I really dislike about the time change. I'm still at my desk and it is almost completely dark out. At least for the next month, it is daylight when I drive in. By the end of November, even that will be gone. Gotta love living this far from the equator.