Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Major hurdles are done!

Just a quick post ... then off to bed.
We all made it thru this past week and weekend relatively unscathed. Nestina graduated Sat, our niece (Courney) had her open house 1p-?, then we had Nestina's open house at our place Sunday after morning church service, then birthday get together for Ric's parents on Monday (along with all the leftovers!) A bit of panic Sunday when Ric didn't get home in time with the ice for the cold stuff, but all went well. We had alot more people show up then any of us expected -- good thing I planned on more food than I thought we would need! At one time during the open house, I counted 50 people here! I know some had already left by the time I thought to go around and get a head count.

This week and Sunday are still busy ...... getting ready for the high school graduation presentation during Sunday eve service. We are in charge of it. Even though I've been bugging him much before this ... Ric just got some pics to the guy that does our senior video. When this is done, we can all sigh with relief.

Well....my eyes are starting to cross ..... gotta get to bed. I thought I could hold out til Ric got home from his deacons meeting, but no such luck. Good nite and sweet dreams to ya all! :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I was going to post this in the comments for my Wednesday post, but it just got too long, so I'll make it today's post.

I seem to have kicked a bit of a beehive with my post on Wednesday. I was even called a sexist pig. I should know better than post something controversial at 1AM, so I will attempt to clarify.

First, to answer some of the specific questions from comments and in person:

Are men and women equal?

Not to sound like Bill Clinton, but that depends on what is meant by "equal." Should men and women be equal before the law? Certainly. They're not, of course; divorce courts massively favor women, while the criminal courts still haven't got a handle on how to deal with female crime victims. The longest day of my life was sitting in a jury box listening to the testimony of a 12-year-old girl describing in explicit detail every sex act performed on her by her pervert step-father, then watch her being cross-examined by the defense. When the rules for judicial procedures were set up, I don't think this was the anticipated situation.

If you are using "equal" in the way the screeching buzz saws lurking in places like Harvard's Womyn's Studies use it, then no, men and women are most certainly not equal. Ask any male member of our military that gets stuck in a combat unit with women. Or spend some time hanging around in Gold's Gym. The average man's warm-up weight is an immovable object to the average woman.

The question becomes, does it matter in the course of everyday life that I can do a dozen sloppy reps on a bench with a couple hundred pounds and Debbie can't? For the most part, not really. Bench pressing isn't a big part of being a CEO or a programmer or a doctor or a travel agent. But there are circumstances that it does matter. Like in combat. Or in some manufacturing jobs. Insisting that there be equal numbers of women in combat roles or on the floor at, say, Bethlehem Steel, flies in the face of all common sense. Everyone knows this, yet it cannot be said without being called "sexist."

Now to move to the next step. If there are obvious differences in physical ability between men and women, might it not follow that there other differences? For example, there are structural differences between male and female brains. Might this not indicate some sort of difference in cognition as well? Specific item: every woman I know, other than my mother, navigates by landmarks. The way to get from point A to point B is a series of waypoints. Most men navigate by spatial reasoning; point A is east of point B, therefore, what is important is that I keep a westerly heading, not what particular road I use to get there. Is one way superior than the other? That depends on the circumstances. Spatial reasoning works better on unfamiliar turf or when following a map. Landmark navigation works better on familiar terrain or following verbal instructions. Spatial reasoning is more flexible, and deals better with unexpected events (such as a detour). A landmark navigator knows instantly they have strayed from the path (I don't recognize that house/tree/rock/etc.), while a spatial reasoner will continue to push forward because they are still heading west, oblivious to the fact that the road dead-ends at a cliff.

In an ideal world, both methods would be employed. More importantly, either will get the average person through an average day.

What about other differences between the sexes? Most job categories are equally populated by men and women. However, some job categories clearly are not. In some, men are vastly over-represented, in others, women are. When I was in high school this was presented as "proof" that certain career options were closed to women by sexist pig men who forced women into menial jobs like nursing and teaching. Right about the time I started college (1982), there was a massive effort to get female college students into engineering, math, and science. As a science/math/engineering student, I was all for the idea. I was 18 and liked the idea of having women in my classes and study groups (and house and car and bed and anywhere else I was). I was vastly disappointed. Engineering 101 was in a 200-seat lecture hall. On the first day of class, there were about 10 seats with females in them. By the end of the class, there was one. Physics? Same story. Calculus? About 30% of the class was female, but only because BBA's had to have a semester of calculus to graduate. Second semester calculus had two women out of 30+ students. Every computer science course? All male except for one woman.

So what does this mean? Does it indicate a world-wide conspiracy to force women out of Chemistry 101 and into Home Economics? Are there armed guards at the door to the physics lab that prevent women from entering? No? Then where are they? I hate to waste electrons stating the obvious, but if NOW wants more women engineers, then women are going to have to leave Womyn's Studies and take math and science and engineering classes.

[Aside: this applies to blacks as well. In five years at UofM-Flint with a 20-30% black enrollment, I never sat in any class with a black student of either gender. To repeat: if the NAACP wants more black engineers, then blacks are going to have to leave Black Studies and take math and science and engineering classes.]

Given that there is no barrier to girls taking math and science classes in grade school, or women taking math and science and engineering classes in college, and yet those classes continue to be predominantly male, we are left with one of two conclusions. Either females lack ability, or females lack interest in math and science. We could argue about which it is, but at the end of the day, does it matter? Is there any practical difference between someone not having the ability to do a task, and not having enough interest to bother with it? I pay people to work on my cars. I get a lot of flack for paying others to do relatively simple repairs like brake pad replacement or oil changes. People... well, men actually... are constantly lecturing me about how simple it is to do such-and-such. The issue is not that I don't have the ability to change my own oil, I simply lack the interest. Back when I worked for minimum wage and went to college, I did all my own car repairs including engine rebuilds. That was out of necessity. As soon as I could afford to, I started paying other people to crawl around under my car, and spent the time I saved to do things I did have an interest in. So from a practical standpoint, lack of ability and lack of interest both end in a lack of participation, which is observed result.

That isn't to say that the question of ability-vs.-interest is unimportant, but it is untouchable due to the PC police on our university campuses.

Which brings me back to what I was getting at on Wednesday. Even in grade school, where the girls pretty much swept the awards and scholarships, one guy walked away with every math and science award. In an environment that seems to favor females (more on that in a bit), no female was able to excel in math or science.

Public policy implication: Primarily, it doesn't matter how much people scream, you can't hire what isn't there. Insisting that Boeing should lose its military contracts because they don't hire non-existent female aerospace engineers is nonsensical.

Superior vs. inferior

Every person has a different mix of natural abilities and learned skills. The value that mix has in any given market, or the status assigned to people who possess a particular mix, varies widely from one culture, economy, or time period to the next. My mix makes me good at being a systems analyst. I can spend every minute of every day playing with computers and be perfectly happy. Nestina screams in frustration while trying to check her e-mail. However, her particular mix allows her to create interesting and beautiful things from, well, almost anything. Her latest creation is an incense burner made out of, er, "borrowed" chandelier parts. In North America in 2005, a systems analyst makes a very comfortable living and enjoys fairly high prestige. Artistic people, on the other hand, don't do so well economically. I've known several; one worked a GM assembly line, one drove a bread truck, one is in the National Guard; I could go on, but I think my point is made. As a society, we don't value either the work or the person when it comes to artistic individuals, except in rare circumstances.

Now the big question: does the fact that in this time and this place, my mix of skills is more marketable or perceived as more valuable to society make me superior to Nestina in some absolute moral sense? Absolutely not. Does the fact that certain abilities favor one gender over the other make one gender superior to the other? Again, absolutely not.

A bit of an aside: I find it interesting how Hollywood and NOW seem to cling to a rather Orwellian definition of equality: men and women are equal, but women are more equal. From sit-coms to movies to cellphone commercials, men are stupid, immature, immoral, and clueless, and take endless shots to the balls from their morally superior, intelligent, mature, in-touch wives/girlfriends/mothers/female coworkers. If any show on TV dared to take 10% of the cheap shots at women that are routinely taken at men, the show would be yanked off the air, its sponsors boycotted, and the writers tied into chairs with their eyes taped open and forced to watch Oprah until their brains ran out of their ears.


When I was in school, corporal punishment was still allowed. Mark Twain once commented to the effect that the gallows served to wonderfully focus a man's mind. The unmistakable sound of a stout piece of pine being applied to someone's backside does the same for little boys. Every one of us knew that there were lines that we had better never cross. The fastest way to find yourself grabbing your ankles in the principal's office was to show disrespect to a female teacher. You could push your luck to a certain point with the male teachers, but God help you if you messed with the ladies. There were other lines. They were very bright lines. We didn't cross them often.

In the 1980's the news media decided that corporal punishment was a Bad Thing. Stories were run describing vanishingly rare instances of teachers beating students bloody as if they were everyday occurrences in every school in the nation. Soon the desired effect was achieved and corporal punishment was banned. With male students freed from any meaningful restraint, classrooms erupted in chaos. Act two of this little drama was the drugs. With no other means at their disposal, schools started sending children home with a note to the parents that their (almost always male) child would not be allowed back into school without Ritalin or one of its equivalents. Please see your doctor immediately. With the introduction of ADHD as a defined mental illness, every male child in the nation was now officially diseased. The good news was that insurance would pay for it all. The bad news is that it has been known since the 1960's that these drugs cause brain damage in pre-pubescent children.

Act three is what I call the sissyfication of school. First to go was wrestling on the playground. Then dodgeball. Then tag. Then kickball. Then schools started with the idiotic zero-tolerance policies covering every conceivable thing from kitchen utensils to aspirin. Cafeteria menus had to be updated so there was no need for anything but a plastic spoon. Sharp corners were carefully rounded off and hard surfaces padded.

My biggest concern in all this is the effect on the tail-ends of the bell curve. It has long been known that the bell curves for men and women, while symmetrical about the same mean have significantly different shapes. The bell curve for males is flatter; fewer at the mean, more at the extremes. An IQ of 120 is pretty much the minimum for anyone in engineering and even higher for the top levels of math and science. The segment of the population below 90 are populating our prisons. There is a large preponderance of males in both of these groups. More importantly, they seem connected. What our schools are doing is attempting by whatever means necessary, including forced drug therapy (a method we have borrowed whole cloth from the Soviet Union), to make the male bell curve look like the female bell curve. This does not improve the lot of females in any absolute sense, only in a relative sense. There will be a future impact on the prosperity of both males and females as well: I think loosing an entire generation of theoretical physicists and aerospace engineers may prove important at some point down the road. Worse, I don't see a lot of evidence of any corresponding trimming on the left side of the curve.

I fear we are creating the worst of all possible worlds.

And that's a lot of words. I hope that clears things up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Cute. Debbie and I posted basically the same message at the same time. As if our life is so interesting, everyone wants to read it twice. Next time I will remember to hit the refresh icon before I publish.


Survived another day of the 12 Days of Hell. At least now Nestina has her own vehicle. That will make a huge difference, especially with school out.

Tonight's main event was the Senior Awards ceremony. I have never seen so many plaques and certificates in my life. We were there for two solid hours. Some observations: our schools continue to succeed admirably in the enstupidation of males. Nearly all awards for academics and over half for a combination of academics and athletics went to women. Except for one guy that scored all the math and science awards, the only "big" award that went to a male was from the PE department and was given to some guy that spent half of each day in the weight room. Men dominated the four-year varsity letter winners, though! I would say overall, 70% of the awards went female. Everyone knows our schools hate boys. Being male is now considered a mental disease to be treated with drugs and therapy. Don't think so? Look up the actual, medical definition of ADHD, then watch a perfectly normal 6-year-old boy. There will likely come a point where we will regret what we are now doing. By all accounts I've read, Einstein was a first class brat as a kid. If he had been born 60 or 70 years later, he would have been drugged and put in special ed.

Here is a test. Walk into any room of your house with a pad of paper and a pen. Make a list of everything in the room invented by a woman. I suspect the list will be rather short. Non-existent, most likely. Now think about the one kid out of a class of, what, 100? 150? that swept every single math and science award. He's going to be one busy dude inventing the next generation of new stuff.

Now here is the key. Men and women are different. Most of us figured that out before we were old enough to start school. The schools, of course, spend the next twelve years of our lives trying to tell us we are all the same. We're not. Men invent things in the course of solving problems. True, most of those problems are self-made. Think about a guy stuck in the mud while off-roading. He will be a regular McGuyver when it comes to figuring out how to get unstuck without help. Of course he also got himself stuck in the first place, which maintains the symmetry of the universe.

There is also another form of symmetry that is less pleasant to think about. I can't point to some peer reviewed article to support this, but I'm certain, based on peer reviewed articles I have read and my personal experiences and observations, that the same genetics and/or environment (they are not mutually exclusive) that make men inventive also makes them violent when things get twisted. In other words, there are very few female Steve Job's for the same reason there are very few female Jack the Ripper's. It's a guy thing.

Let me try to make sense out of this. It's getting late and it isn't going too well. Our schools have become factories that take in little boys and girls and turn out women. Drugs and indoctrination in PC are used to trim the tails off the both sides of the male bell curve. The female-dominated school system declares success at suppressing all the little Jack the Ripper's on the left side. Of course all the little Steve Job's on the right side were strangled in the crib as well. Shouldn't we at least talk about this? But we are told that any discussion is out of bounds. See the recent flap over a Harvard professor making the painfully obvious observation that after 30 years of gender preferences that favor women, there don't seem to be a lot of women in the upper levels of math and science. He had the audacity to suggest that it may be the result of either lack of ability or lack of interest (to the extent that these are not the same thing).

I don't know all the answers, certainly, and I doubt they are going to hit me at 1AM. I do know the Chinese don't drug promising young boys in their schools. Note that the Chinese are rerunning the Apollo program. At least half the teenagers I know think, or at least accept as a possibility, that the entire Apollo program was faked, because they simply cannot imagine the country they live in today being capable of such a thing. They are right, as anyone watching NASA struggle pathetically to launch the Shuttle knows. But we used to be able to do such things, and the day will come that the Chinese will be able to do such things. Think about that while you read this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Am I invisible?!

How many people out there have that feeling that they are invisible? As in they don't exist, nobody is paying attention to them or cares about them, that they don't make a difference.

Raise your hands and lets help out each other.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Well, I guess if you beg enough, people will leave comments.

Seriously, thanks to all who commented or sent e-mails. It's kinda cool that I'm not really just talking to myself.

Not much to talk about today. This is day three of the craziest 12 days of my life. Saturday, we drove to Birch Run for the day for a wedding reception. Sunday was morning service, baccalaureate, packing up Debbie to go dog sit, and evening service. Today Nestina had a half day; I picked her up from school and took a potential new car for her on a test drive, then picked up my niece to come spend the night and watch movies (Search for Neverland, Saved, and White Noise). Tomorrow we buy a car and have the honors ceremony. Wednesday and Thursday are the last two soccer games and youth group on Wednesday, Friday is graduation breakfast and practice, Saturday is graduation and my niece's open house, Saturday/Sunday is the Senior All-Night Party, Sunday is Nestina's Open house, Monday is when we do my dad's birthday and Fathers Day, Tuesday is a Deacons' Meeting, then youth group again on Wednesday.

It may be a while before I post here again...

Only one reading assignment for today. It's a long one, but it raises many important issues. I don't agree with the conclusions; in fact I don't even agree with the primary premise, that the Iraq war was necessary. It wasn't. Saudi Arabia, sure. Not Iraq. Anyway, many good points regarding the reality of being in the military. A good read.

And it's way passed bedtime.
Sorry about those colors....I forgot Ric has a green background on our blogspot

The countdown begins!

Well....our "unofficially adopted" kid graduates this Saturday. WOW, hard to believe she is "all grown up!" She has finals Mon/Tues this week, then done with going to classes. Awards night Tuesday nite, soccer games Wed and Thurs, senior breakfast and graduation practice Friday. Graduation Sat morning ... senior all night party at the Kaliseum that nite til 9a? Sunday. Church Sunday, then her open house 2p til whenver it gets done.

Hard and busy week in many ways. First of all -- getting ready for the open house (Sunday) -- our place is a total mess. None of us (myself included) have been doing any housework (except laundry) around the house for a few weeks. (anybody want to come help clean/organize?!) Second -- I'm dog/cat/house sitting for a friend from work this week. So, running back and forth as needed. Luckily I'm trying to do partial work days Tues/Thurs/Fri. Third -- Nestina has her eye on a Jeep Wrangler....Ric and she were suppose to take care of that buy today, but the owner was out of town. Maybe tomorrow? Hope all goes okay with that. Fourth -- same problems/different days -- won't bother to go into those...just alot we have to get on the same page about.

My work is the same. Still no new agent yet, so still working short handed. I really do hope they get somebody hired before next busy season. My heart just isn't in it right now -- I"m wondering like Ric about another job -- probably not for me unless things get worse at the travel agency. Any suggestions on my new career path?!

Saturday Ric and I headed down state for a wedding open house for my Aunt Rose that was held at my Mom's place. Things went well.....great weather for once. We had fun visiting with some of the relatives that made it there.

Friday, May 20th was the 13th anniversary of my Dad's death ... Wednesday, May 25th of my Uncle Leo (and Godparent) My Mom had a flower arrangment in his honor -- 13 yellow roses (her favorite) and 1 can of Coke Classic (his favorite) -- it brought tears to some eyes. Heard some stories again about how the newbies in the families missed meeting two "special" guys!

Please also be praying for Nestina -- her Mom is moving from the area to North Carolina after Nestina graduates. I'm sure she has some feelings about it, but she isn't ready to talk about them yet. Last week when she tried on her graduation robe, it finally began to sink in that she really is graduating! It hit Ric too....he started to get us all teary eyed.

Did you hear -- we (Ric and I) are going to be great Aunt and Uncle again this Aug/Sep?! Did you also hear Ric's youngest niece (Courtney) is graduating. She finished 11th/12th grade work this year. Her open house is this Saturday.....so party all weekend for the Frost family. Sat Courtney's open house, Sun Nestina's open house, Mon birthday get together for Don and Shirley. YIKES!!!!

Well...sorry to be long winded like Ric's entries....just had alot to say and finally got online myself to do it. Take care and send all the comments you want. If you want Nestina's email or our address to send her a graduation card, just ask. Later dude and dudettes!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I was so worried about comments, I forgot to give everyone their reading assignments. This article says briefly what I have been trying to get across in my youth group. Salvation is by grace alone. Nothing I do can earn it; nothing I do can maintain it. Grace alone. I think one reason we have such a problem with this idea (some denominations have more of a problem than others, but all struggle with this) is that our human interactions are completely driven by interlocking obligations. I am obligated to work for my employer; they are obligated to pay me. Women trade sex for what they want, men will give whatever they have to get sex. We try to treat our relationship with God the same way: if I say the magic words, God is obligated to save me. The key fact is: I cannot obligate God to do anything. I am saved by grace, not by my actions so that I have no reason to boast (I think someone else said something like that).

I don't think I noted Hunter S. Thompson's death when it happened mainly because I had never read anything he wrote. This article by his editor, Robert Love, makes me want to find his stuff.

And it is bed time.
Wow. Look at those comments rolling in. The response to yesterday's post can only mean one of two things:

1. DFJ is the only person that reads my blog. No one, not even my own family members, takes the time to read and understand what I write. I am, in essence, talking to myself.


2. I have thousands of readers that are too shy to leave comments on my blog after reading my posts. They are totally intimidated by my rapier sharp wit, the sun-like blindingness of my insights, and my soaring prose. (Actually, I never knew prose could soar; I didn't know it even had wings.)

I'll go with Number 2. After all, as Marcus (Babylon 5) says, "If your going to have illusions, you may as well go for the really satisfying ones."

Yesterday, the Ladies in Blue put another one in the win column against Traverse City West, making it 10-3-1 so far. They are playing extremely well, although the injuries are starting to pile up. That isn't surprising given the aggressive schedule. Still, with four games to go, I would expect at least three more wins. But even if they lose the rest of the season, this is still the best record to date for this team.

Today was an easy trip into work as the Worst Planned and Executed Road Construction Project in History was either canceled due to excessive stupidity or completed. It's hard to tell as the point of the whole project seems to be lost on everyone. A seven-mile stretch of M-72 was reduced to a single lane (with east- and west-bound taking turns) for most of a week so road crews could re-blacktop a couple hundred feet of road and patch a half-dozen places on the shoulder of the road. Most of the time the only workers in the "construction zone" were the guys with the stop/slow signs directing the traffic. Even when real work was being done, the road crew was never working in more than 5-10% of the area with lane closures, and most of that work was completely on the shoulder of the road and at most needed a single lane closure rather than closing three out of the four lanes. I don't know who these yahoos were, but I hope the county never contracts with them again. Of course, knowing the ignoramuses that run things around here, they will get a bonus and a lock on every road project for the next 20 years.

But I'm not bitter.

And that's about it. I was taxi driver for Nestina after she got out of school today, then home to chill out and catch up here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Road construction made for a long, boring ride into work. Work is also long and boring. I had one fun thing to do, but I finished that about an hour ago. I'm leaving in half an hour to meet Nestina's soccer team here in Traverse City, so I really don't want to start anything new.

I hate days like today.

The project I was hoping to work on was put off for another year. This is the third or fourth year that has happened. At this point, I tired of waiting, and I'm tired of what I'm doing. In fact, I'm just tired of working on computer systems. I've been doing this gig for over 20 years and I'm ready for a big change.

But what? I'm too old (and too far into debt with our house) to start over in some entry level position. I could contract, but the last time I did that in this area, I had dozens of clients, but none that were capable of paying. And the one thing I'm not looking for is some "career" that consumes my life, which contracting tends to do, especially if you start hitting the road. Besides, that's just more of the same computer junk I've been doing.

I'm looking for something really different.

Circus clown.

Nope. Monster.com doesn't have a single circus clown position in its entire database.

Lets see...


Monster has over 100 entries for that, but none around here. If I have to move, I'm not stopping until I get some place tropical.

What else?

Working on a cruise ship.

Wow. 269 of those. Everything from Art Auctioneer to Housekeeping. The pay stinks, but it includes room and board. And the weather is nice. Hmmm.

Of course, I can always dig out the snake-skin miniskirt and head to Crossroads Bar with my old Lola gig. From what I hear, I'd be the best looking woman there, even without electrolysis. And, being a mere 40 years of age, I'd be one of the younger ones as well.

So how 'bout it? What should I do for the next 20 years? This is an opportunity for you to mess up my life, and for me to find out if anyone actually reads this blog. So lets see some comments!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Well, I finally landed in a seat and have a few minutes that are unscheduled.

To catch everyone up on our ever-so-eventful life, Saturday we were supposed to be scraping and prep-ing Debbie's mom's house for a coat of paint. We got some of the work done in between rain drops, but not much. Sunday was a travel day, then evening service. We had a baptism for three people, including one of the teens, then we had camper pies and s'mores with some the teens.

Yesterday, Nestina and I took a day off to do a bunch of college and other official business. Part of that involved dealing with the local VA office. I realize these people don't get paid for performance, but it would be nice if they at least had a room temperature IQ. This woman was completely useless. She didn't know the answer to one single question we asked, then had the nerve to lecture Nestina because she needed to "take responsibility for herself" and stop depending on me. I've been dealing with forms and government run-around my entire life, and I have no clue what the heck that broad was talking about. How on earth is a high school kid supposed to make any sense of this? The best part of the conversation came when, after the lecture about how Nestina is supposed to memorize the entire veterans federal code, VA Lady has the nerve to ask us to call her when we figure everything out so "maybe she can help the next person." Yea. Right.

Anyway, that's all I have to piss and moan about today.
Quick post from work before I leave for home. With some luck, I will get to post more tonight. Just a note that I have added yet another blog: Uncle Jonny, husband of the Not-So Bionic Woman.

And Fred Reed nails the poverty issue. There is very little real poverty in the United States. There are lots of people who make bad decisions and end up with less stuff than average, but true poverty, defined as no clothing, no food, no housing of any kind, is very rare. The welfare industry can only claim huge increases in poverty by defining "poor" in ways that defy all logic. I know people who are defined as poor that have less-than-a-decade-old housing, DISH TV, multiple phone lines, internet access, cars, and are obese to boot. (Note to "poor" people: if you want me to feel sorry for you, try to weigh something less than 400 pounds.) Now on the one hand, it is awesome that we live in a nation of such wealth that a lifestyle completely unimaginable to kings a mere 200 years ago is defined as living in poverty. On the other hand, get your hand out of my pocket.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Another short post, then off to bed. The Ladies in Blue put two more in the win column with their games on Friday and today. Today was also my first day as a "coach." I hung around and watched the game from the team bench instead of the spectator side of the field. Other than working with some of the girls during warm-ups and talking to a couple of them one-on-one, that was pretty much it. I think that leaves them with a season record of 9-3-1 with four or five games in the season (I'm not sure exactly as several games were added to the schedule just recently). In any case, a better-than-500 season is guaranteed, and they should do much better than that. In fact, there isn't any reason they can't win the rest of the season.

Anyway, the only other thing I have time to say is that I have added another blog: The Not-So Bionic Woman. She is one of the people that help us with the high school youth. Give her some hits so she feels loved. Everyone I know is getting into this whole blog thing. The original promise of the internet is starting to take shape.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is on a Friday this month. Weather is raining and cold, which just about figures as we are supposed to go downstate and paint my mother-in-law's house this weekend. We will most likely be doing a bunch of prep work, rather than actual painting, so we can work between rain drops if we have to. Still, cold and wet is the last thing I need right now.

Yesterday, I had a teen from the Kalkaska high school job shadow me. I made it a short day as I figured he would be totally bored. I was right. I'm not sure what these are supposed to accomplish. I can't let anyone touch anything I work on without violating some Munson policy or, in the case of patient data, federal law. So he sat and watched me mess around. I tried to explain what I was doing, but the conceptual distance was just too great. How do you explain to a 14-year-old, who thinks Windows 95 is ancient, that VSE is not MS-DOS?

I added a link today to my niece's boyfriend's friend's blog. Interesting guy and I hope to spend more time digging into what he has to say. In any case, give the guy some hits and post some comments.

Yesterday, I went with Nestina to her coach's place to watch game video with the rest of her soccer team. I will be helping out with defense for the rest of the year and may coach next year. I don't know; work schedule may be a problem. But it will be fun to get back into soccer, even if it's as a glorified spectator.

That's all I have. Depending on how I feel this weekend, I may post something. Or not. Whatever.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Finally. A few moments to crank out a post. Obviously, it has been pretty nuts around here lately. Nestina's soccer schedule is still heavy. Last night was Forest Area (3-3 tie) and tonight was Benzie. Neither of us made tonight's game, and it was probably a good thing I wasn't there. I would have likely gotten myself arrested. Five Kalkaska players were injured; one had to be carried off the field after being deliberately kicked in both knees while the crowd cheered. There is only one word to describe it: reprehensible. Everyone in the Benzie soccer program should be ashamed. They're not, of course. They won. We all know that in high school sports it doesn't matter how you win as long as you win. In any case, that leaves the girls 7-3-1 on the season.

Of course, I'm probably just in a pissy mood for several reasons. One reason I can't go into any detail about, but I will say this: the Kalkaska Public Schools are run by the biggest bunch of morons on the planet. I don't think there is a single teacher, counselor, or administrator that has a single functioning neuron. If any school district needs to be taken over by the State of Michigan, Kalkaska does. Obviously, no one running the place knows what they are doing, and the local buck-toothed retards keep electing the same piles of wasted protoplasm to the school board. As much as it goes against everything I believe in, I do feel that at some point, the local populace proves itself to be mentally incompetent to run it's own affairs, leaving no choice but a state take-over. Genesee County is a perfect example, which is why I left. It looks like Kalkaska isn't any better.

Of course, universal suffrage is the biggest problem. If we went back to only allowing property owners or people with, say, $100K in assets to vote, a lot of this nonsense would end. Does it really make sense to have someone who is too dumb to support themselves voting for, well, for anything? Of course not, but we pretend otherwise. And I don't seem to be the only one who believes this. I know; I'm a bad person that needs to be sent off to a re-education camp, er... counseling.

The other thing making me grumpy is my job. In short, I'm done with it. There has been a civil war brewing in the Information Systems department for the last three or four months. After a group meeting/bitch session yesterday, our manager decided enough was enough and called for a managers meeting to hash things out. He was told to shove it. So, I'm leaving, probably at the end of this month. If I don't have a job, I'll use the summer to work on the house, then look for something in the fall. We have enough is savings to easily do that. I would finally get some serious work done around here and would be rid of a big source of stress in my life.


Saturday was prom day.

Our little girl, all grown up. It seems like only a few months...

Anyway, more good news out of NASA: biology on Mars. I'm telling everyone right now. This is dynamite that will blow apart Christian fundamentalism for good, and the fundamentalist churches are completely (and willfully) in the dark.

And for the truly paranoid among us, here is Vox Day's take on RealID, a national ID card being snuck through the Senate buried in a spending bill. Many Christians are glad to see such things as it means the Rapture is near. What they don't seem to realize is that nowhere does the Bible promise to Rapture the Church before things get really ugly. Not that I'm a strict pre-millennialist in any case.

And a bit from Vox Day's blog on swearing. I may not totally agree with what he is saying here, mainly because of the whole not giving offense principle, but it is true that people get a lot more bent out of shape over the f-bomb (which is never mentioned in the Bible) than blasphemy, which is repeatedly condemned.

A picture of what we can expect here in the U.S. in the near future. We could learn from Europe's mistakes and maybe avoid making at least some of the more obvious ones. Or we can continue to blindly follow them off a cliff.

And I think I will call it a night. Enjoy the reading.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Just a quick note before I drop dead asleep. Another win tonight for the ladies in blue! That brings them to 7-2 on the season. Nestina had her best night of the season in spite of being pretty sick with whatever this head cold/sinus crap thing is going around.

Today was a tough day. The church had another 24-hour prayer vigil last night and I ended up with the 2:30-4:30AM shift. I got about three hours of sleep, the off to the church for that, then back home, got ready for work, put in my time in my cubicle, then off to Nestina's game. It's been a long day and I am fading fast.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Still crazy-busy with no end in sight. Friday was about the only day we had any significant time at home. Saturday, was running to Traverse City in the morning, then Trout Festival festivities until around 11PM. Sunday was typical and we didn't have anything going on between services, but we were so wiped out from Saturday that it felt like we were running all over the place.

Monday was a sick day; Nestina and I were both down for the count and stayed home. She had another soccer game, and she was feeling somewhat better, so she went, but she didn't end up playing much. She was just not in the game. Her team lost 2-1 to TC Central; a team that was supposed to mop the field with them. They weren't even on their schedule until they started beating everyone they played. Central called and asked to be put on the schedule some time last week. So the winning streak is over, but they are getting the opportunity to play better teams. On the way to the game, Nestina picked up her prom dress. It needed some modifications, so we stopped by one of the other youth leader's place for some last-minute alterations. It looks much better now, so prom crisis number one was dealt with.

Tuesday was school and work, soccer practice, and a youth leaders meeting. Today is school and work and youth group, except for Debbie who took today as her sick day. I don't know what this thing is going around, but it really kicks your butt. Tomorrow and Friday have a soccer game and soccer practice. I think. But I don't know which is on what day. Or maybe it's two games. I dunno. Saturday is prom, so that day will be pretty full. Blah, blah, blah.

There doesn't seem to be much in the news lately other than a bunch of yapping about Laura Bush telling naughty jokes. If that's all that the news can find to report on, then I'm not sure what use they are.

In any case, I have been reading a lot of yapping lately about the new Pope and what direction he will be taking the Catholic church. OK, now I'm going to reveal something incredibly shocking to all the talking heads here in the United States and over in Europe. I know this will be hard to believe, so you might want to sit down.

The Pope is....


I know, I know. It's really hard to believe that the Catholic Church elected a Catholic Pope that intends to stick to Catholic doctrine while he is Pope. I'm not sure what this world is coming to. I mean, to think that the Catholic Church wouldn't clear their choice for the top spot with the Western media.

OK, end of sarcasm.

Note to said Western media: I know you think you know everything, and that your opinions on every social and political issue are straight from the mouth of God, but you really need to get a grip. Catholics, like most other people that profess Christianity, really don't care what you think about their beliefs. Your opinions are irrelevant to the Catholic leadership and, most likely, about 99% of the laity. Just like your opinions are irrelevant to 99% of, well, everybody. Get over yourself.

And that's all I have time for right now.