My random thoughts and ideas for your edification and enjoyment.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

The Weekend Update:

Later today, the gang and I will be heading up to Laser Web Centerville to assist in the hosting of the SOC benefit for MDA. Every year, SOC holds an event to raise funds for this charity with whome we've come rather close to over the years. Generally, the event is quite a blast. This year though, we have had something of a falling out with one of the prime co-sponsors of the event (Laser Web - a truly evil company), so we're doing the event because it's the right thing to do, but aren't expecting it to be a whole lot of fun.

Was expecting Best buy to have the El Mariachi/Desperado two pack, but they didn't...so the quest continues there. Instead, I picked up the special edition of Dances With Wolves. The review that I have linked you to is by my good friend Eric Profancik from DVD Verdict. My roommate picked up the Bond flick Tomorrow Never Dies to add to our pile of unwatched DVDs (I still haven't checked out Chicago yet!).

I spent a good deal of time on Friday polishing up an article that I will be posting on the WMD blog about the perception of US actions being imperialism. it should be a real good read. Look for that tomorrow or maybe Tuesday. My good friend, Mark G., assisted greatly with the article by pointing me in the right direction about historical accuracy.

Well, that's about all the news that's fit for print for now...

Friday, August 29, 2003

The Usual Suspects

Well, it's Friday and that means OG and Best Buy with the gang! The DVD purchases of the week are going to be: Animal House: Double Secret Probation Edition, Desperado: Special Edition, and El Mariachi: Special Edition. Am thinking about picking up the special edition of Amazon Women From the Moon.

As promised, here is the link to my friend's review of Chicago on DVD Verdict.

The Freak of the Week: Yassir Arafat. This two-bit @$$clown thinks he's fooling us. He isn't interested in peace and he sure isn't interested in securing the future of Palestine. If either was the case, he'd have put large caliber bullet in his own head by now. The roadmap is useless if the backseat driver (Arafat) doesn't shut the %^*& up and get out of the way. He is SO lucky that the United States spends so much time reigning in Israel, or his sorry butt would be dead by now.

The Angie Update: That is correct, after a hard week of coming in and working, Angie has decided not to be here today. Another fellow employee is already on vacation, so yet again, we are seriously understaffed. Thanks Angie, really appreciate it!

Quote of the Week: "I think we need to activate the suicide watch for the Democratic Party. The economy grew faster than expected; Howard Dean is skunking, literally skunking, John Kerry - and the Gallup poll shows that Bush is flying high." - Rush Limbaugh

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Weapons of Mass Discussion Found

I am proud to announce that a new blog has been established to take on the political issues and current events stuff that I have been posting here. In partnership with my good friend Mark G., Weapons of Mass Discussion will feature short analysis of a few articles found on the 'net and the occassional full length discourse by one or both of us. It should be a ton of fun. We're still playing with the format, so if you have ideas, let me know.


Just for the record, Angie has been to work all week. Another co-worker has been on vacation though (she's due in later today) so my trainee has been assigned elsewhere. She's back today, for one day only (yet another co-worker is going on vacation starting tomorrow), so I get to play a bit today.

Baseball has been very, very good to me.

It occured to me that I haven't really talked about my passion for the national passtime. That's baseball for those that don't know. Being from Ohio, and now living in greater Cincinnati, I have always been a rabid fan of the oldest franchise in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds and their radio announcers Marty Brennamen and Joe Nuxhall.

The Reds management has been giving the fans a line of crap for a decade about how we were going to compete once we got in to the new stadium in 2003. We SUFFERED through some really BAD teams. We have been lied to. And ownership doesn't quite know how to handle the backlash. They have been firing middle management and field management and have reduced salary fire sale style to the point where the lineup is unrecognizable. We have 12 key players on the disabled list. Now they are trying to tell us that the team will be competitive NEXT YEAR.

My friends and I have stopped for a UDF (Reds owner Carl Lindner also owns the United Dairy Farmers chain) shake most every week, contributing to what we like to call the "GET US AN ACE PITCHER" fund. What a waste of time...

Somehow, I'll keep the faith...but the Reds ownership and management make it tougher and tougher every year.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

A Couple Billion Here And There And Sooner Or Later, You're Talking About REAL Money

I don't know much about the federal deficit, but this doesn't look good.

Extending the tax cuts, as the president and congressional Republicans have vowed to do, would add nearly $1.6 trillion to the federal debt through 2013. - By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer.

On the other hand:

"Balancing the budget is an important goal of government, but not as important as the safety and prosperity of its citizens," said Hazen Marshall, staff director of the Senate Budget Committee. "Investing in the economy, defeating our enemies and protecting the homeland are expensive but essential priorities. CBO's report shows us the budget can be balanced within a few years if we ignore these priorities, but fortunately this president and Congress have chosen to address them." - By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer.

And this:

Still, House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) did not try to minimize the government's deteriorating fiscal fortunes. He laid the blame not on tax cuts but on federal spending, which has surged by an average of 7.7 percent per year since 1998. "This is a spending-driven deficit," Nussle said. "This is not rocket science." - By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer.

For MY money, I believe the government has a responsibility to protect us from threats at home and abroad. Financially, I think we are stronger when we are without debt. It's something of a problem, I'll grant them. On the one hand, we MUST address the priority projects and threats. And on the other hand, fiscal conservatism makes sense. Politically, it will be unwise to raise taxes in this climate, so my question comes back to how they plan to pay for the "situational priorities" that crop up every year. No way I can be convinced that back in the 90's, our politicians PLANNED to have sufficient funds available for us to use to fight the war on terrorism.

On the issue of the tax cut, neither the Congressional Budget Office or the Bush Administration has outlined the benefits of new sources for tax revenue that was generated BECAUSE of the tax cut. If real numbers can be found, I think that would sway my opinion...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

THIS JUST IN...Great American Blackout Further Politicized

Check THIS out.

To all appearances, Bush looks like the dimmest bulb in the closet, but just about everything he promotes comes to pass. It is unclear whether reduced emissions standards will be enough to resuscitate the floundering FirstEnergy Corp., the prime blackout suspect, but if the past is any guide to the future, it ought at the very least to free up some more dough for Bush's re-election campaign. FirstEnergy is among his most active political supporters. - by James Ridgeway, the Village Voice.

When are the liberals going to get it that Bush IS a smart guy. He delivers what he promises. But I don't mind the fact that liberals continue to insult the President's mental capacity. I do mind that they continue to LIE.

Here's some more:

It's hard to imagine that the Bush campaign wants to discomfit FirstEnergy with an election coming up. FirstEnergy president Anthony Alexander raised $100,000 for Bush in 2000, making him a Bush Pioneer, and CEO H. Peter Burg hosted an event this June that raised more than half a million dollars for Bush-Cheney '04. (It cost $1,000 a head to get into the shindig, and another $1,000 to have your picture taken with VP Dick Cheney.) In addition to being a Bush Pioneer, Alexander was also elected to the Republican National Committee's star-studded Team 100 for raising $250,000 for the GOP in 2000. The utility exec ponied up yet another $100,000 to help pay for parties at the 2001 inauguration. - by James Ridgeway, the Village Voice.

$100,000.00 for Bush in 2000? I'm seeing $935.00 here.


I am taken aback by the amount of news stories that I want to comment on today. Without further ado, let's get to them shall we?

Local News: CPS Superintendent Gets Raise While Kids Are No Show For Class

The big story in Cincinnati this morning was the raise given to the Cincinnati Public Schools superintendent, Alton Frailey, citing his "effective" performance in his first year on the job. Along with this news comes another story about the truancy reported on the first day of school this year.

The key to "effective" performance of a district, particularly one that is in a state of emergency such as CPS, is to get the children in the seats where they have a much better chance of learning what they need to know. The number of silly excuses that I have heard from administrators is bad enough, but the pathetic rationalizations given by parents, who clearly do not care whether or not their children get an education, are damning.

The key to successful schools is parental involvement. No amount of money or new facilities is going to fix the problems that our schools are facing. Blaming teachers, who are underpaid and underappreciated, is not the answer. If you have a problem with your school, you had better get involved yourself. Otherwise, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Affirmative Action in Boston Takes a Hit?

Here is a story about four guys who wanted to protect their fellow citizens but were passed over by the City of Boston for minority candidates who scored lower on the civil service exam.

My view has always been that for any emergency that would require a policeman or fireman, I want the guy (or gal) who is the most qualified to respond to the call. This is a bad place to instill affirmative action policies. Always has been. Always will be.

Columbia Accident Investigation Board Releases Scathing Report About NASA

The big story over at FOX this morning is the release of the CAIB's report that sticks it to NASA.

All I really want to say about this is that whatever the problems, I know that NASA will fix it. Attacks against the NASA culture aside, NASA has always worked hard to to find solutions to the most incredible problems. NASA put a man on the moon, so I have no doubt they can get the job done. Manned space programs are important to our nation. We need to get back out there, and more importantly, we need to go somewhere...

On the Lighter(?) Side: Cheese is Important to Me

Check out the fact sheet at Cheese.com. Didja know that the average American eats 30 pounds of cheese a year? Personally, I probably do that in a month!


Monday, August 25, 2003

"Sometimes it takes a private corporation that isn't in the education business to remind us..."

In this morning's rounds, I came across this article on FoxNews about the failure of bilingual education and the success that a CASINO is experiencing by insisting that their employees speak ENGLISH. Being in the corporate education field myself, I find it gratifying to see that these programs are not only working, but managing to achieve a level of success that traditional education programs are not.

Friday, August 22, 2003


"ABC News continues to soft peddle Hamas, as correspondent Mike Lee called the group a 'political and social welfare organization' that has a military wing. Lee's language mirrored that of the vacationing Peter Jennings, who has steadfastly avoided calling Hamas a terrorist group." (See the CyberAlert from Media Research Center.

When Hamas claimed responsibility for the West Bank bombing on 8/8/03, Hamas ADMITS to being a terrorist organization. WHY would ABC or anybody else continue to make excuses for them? I believe that journalism has a responsibility to the TRUTH. Oh, I understand the need for "objectivity." I'd like to see some on the nightly news. Once you commit an act of terrorism, you lose the right to be called a "political and social welfare organization." Hamas is a clear and present danger to the stability of the Middle East region specifically and to the world generally. I applaud President Bush for taking economic action against Hamas and for calling upon the other nations of the world to do the same. Taking money from Hamas will only slow them down though. So long as there are childeren willing to blow themselves up alQueda-style, Hamas will still be in business. I wonder, and maybe you my dear readers happen to know (if so, email me with the proof) does the UN even care about Hamas? Or will they wait until Hamas blows up their buildings to act?

Friday Fun: The Usual Suspects

Being Friday, I was looking forward to a nice slow day. However, being MY life, I should have known better. Yep, Angie is out "sick" again today. And did I mention one of my other collegaues is out on vacation. Workload has been tripled for the day... I'm thrilled.

Tonight will be the normal OG and Best Buy Night with the gang. Tonight's DVD Purchases: Chicago and The Commitments. Rumor has it that my good friend Eric will be doing the Chicago review on DVD Verdict. I'll post a link as soon as it is published.

Freak of the Week: Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of the Cincinnati diocese. This idiot protects sex offenders by shifting guilty priests to other parishes and maintaining a veil of secrecy. More and more stories break every week. May God have mercy on your soul, sir, becuase our judicial system sure shouldn't.

Maestro Quote of the Day: "Isn't it weird to see liberals criticizing President Bush for what he has done while claiming that he hasn't done enough."

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Thursday Theory: Blackout Fallout

Question: Why do certain segments of our population take some twisted joy in events like the Great American Blackout? These are the people who unqualifyingly say things like, "Now, we in America get to experience life as they do in Iraq (or insert a third world country of choice)."

Answer: These are the same people who are not comfortable with the FACT that the United States is the last superpower left on the face of the Earth.

I believe that as the most powerful nation on the planet, we as citizens have a responsibility to EXPECT and DEMAND to have the best of the best that life has to offer. I'm not saying that we should shirk our obligation to world affairs and go out Nero style; rather, I am saying that we need do what we need to do while realizing that we can not forget that part of what makes this country the envy of the world is that when problems like the blackout occur, we come together as a team and fix the problem quickly and without complaint. Those who say we are soft because we can't do without electricity are dead wrong. We are strong because we have the strength and conviction coupled with the desire and determination to make things the very BEST they can be. Our ingenuity is only tempered by our complacence.

Terrorists are ticked that that an ACCIDENT managed to do what they have not been able to do since September 11th. They should be careful what they wish for because America is the Sleeping Giant. When aroused the United States has the capability and resolve to do what is neccessary. Those who think otherwise are ignorant of the true power behind the United States: its people. We have spent the majority of our history as underdogs. We have fought long and hard for our position in the world. While we display our power when required, we have always done so reluctantly and with careful consideration.

Finally, dear readers, let us be encouraged by our tenacity. When the going got tough, we got it together. Again. And we always will.


Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Wednesday Wackiness: People Who Work For Technology Companies Should Understand Technology

Why is it that the people who work for high tech companies can't figure out how to use a website??? The world wonders...

I apologize for the brevity today, but there is no rest for the weary today...


Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Tuesday Tirade: UN Bombing in Iraq - Maybe NOW We'll Get Some Support

FoxNews is reporting the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq. Among the dead is Sergio Vieira de Mello, who apparently had quite the career ahead of him in the UN. He joins 19 other victims of a senseless and brutal crime against humanity committed in the name of tyranny.

I am absolutely against terrorism and find these kinds of acts deplorable, detestable, and despicable. Those who would commit such an act are vile creatures that need to be irradicated.

Having said the above, let me give you the UN Secretary General:

"Nothing can excuse this act of unprovoked and murderous violence against men and women who went to Iraq for one purpose only: to help the Iraqi people recover their independence and sovereignty, and to rebuild their country as fast as possible, under leaders of their own choosing," - U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Maybe I missed it, I don't spend a lot of time checking out the UN, but where was this guy when Saddam Hussein was committing MANY acts of unprovoked and murderous violence against his OWN PEOPLE? This problem has been around for quite some time and every time something bad happens to the UN, they act like this is some breaking development. Mr. Annan, these people have been engaged in crimes against humanity for years, but it is nice to see that you're finally on board.


Monday, August 18, 2003

Monday Rant: People Who Don't WANT To Work

Hello my peeps! Why is that people who don't want to work hang on to jobs they don't want? There is a girl on my work team, let's call her Angie, who calls off a LOT and when she is here she leaves without letting management know, takes unauthorized breaks, stuff like that. Now, I have my issues with this company, but I would NEVER just pick my sorry butt up and waltz right on outta here without so much as a "Hey, I'm taking off." Yep, you guessed it, Angie called in today and so my trainee is covering for her and now I have to actually work today. ARGH! Oh well...such is life, I suppose. If it weren't for the fact that Angie is a person of no moral or ethical character, I wouldn't mind so much. But she is the sort that has the entitlement mentality with a penchant for threatening legal action and isn't above comitting insurance fraud (multiple times I might add) among other things. If I tried to pull off any of this crap, I'd get fired in a heartbeat. It's aggravating. And I am now officially annoyed.


Sunday, August 17, 2003

Weekend Update

Yesterday was supposed to be a Reds game, but the gang decided that it was way too hot to sit in Great American Ballpark and watch our beloved team lose yet again, so we decided to go see a movie instead. The pick of the day was S. W. A. T. and I actually enjoyed the heck out of this movie. Samuel L. Jackson is the MAN. And Colin Ferrell continues to impress me. In fact Colin is ranking right behind Owen Wilson in my favorite young actor category.

Not much on the docket for today. Sunday is usually a day for cleaning up the apartment. I have a majoe league PILE of dishes that need to be done and somehow I'll have to motivate my roommate to actually do something to the bathroom.

Knowing me, I'll end up spending the rest of the day doing one of two things: either playing All-Star Baseball 2004 on the PS2 or watching the DVDs I bought on Friday night (another classic Sci-Fi night, picked up Soylent Green, 2001, 2010, 20K Leagues Under the Sea, and The Day the Earth Stood Still).

That's all I got for now...see yas later...


Friday, August 15, 2003

Today's Mental Challenge

Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles.
As we grow older, it's important that we keep mentally alert. The saying;
"If you don't use it, you will lose it" also applies to the brain. So below
is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence. So,
take the following test presented here and determine if you are losing it
or are still "with it." The spaces below are so you don't see the answers
until you have made your own.... OK, relax, clear your mind and ... begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

The answer is "bread." If you said "toast," then give up now and go do
something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, "bread," go to Question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times. Now spell "silk." What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said "milk," please do not attempt the
next question. Your brain is obviously over stressed and may even overheat.

It may be that you need to content yourself with reading something more
appropriate such as Children's World." If you said, "water" then proceed to
question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made
from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black
house is made from black bricks, what is a greenhouse made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said "green
bricks," what the devil are you still doing here reading these
questions????? If
you said "glass," then go on to Question 4.

4. Twenty years ago, a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over
Germany. If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided
into West Germany and East Germany. Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the
engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also
failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine
fails before he has time and the plane crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land"
between East Germany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors,
East Germany or West Germany or in "no-man's land"?

Answer: You don't, of course, bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING
else, you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a
plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated. If you said, "Don't
bury the survivors" then proceed to the next question.

5. If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60 of a degree every minute
then how many degrees will the hour hand move in one hour?

Answer: One degree. If you said "360 degrees" or anything other
than "one degree," you are to be congratulated on getting this far, but you
are obviously out of your league. Turn your pencil in and exit the room.
else proceed to the final question.

6. Without using a calculator-You are driving a bus from London to
Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading,
six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon, two people
get off and four get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get in. In
Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In Carmathen, six
people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What was
the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don't you remember? It was YOU,
you dummy.
Good morning, everybody...

Friday is my favorite day of the week. Not only do I get two days off from the joe job, but Friday night is my time to hang out with my closest friends: Mark G., Eric and my roommate Doug. Occassionally, other friends drop in for a visit at our usual hang out, the Olive Garden (also referred to as OG by the gang), but normally it's just the four of us. There's just something about good Italian food on a Friday with your friends...

What we do after dinner is part ritual as well. Normally we go check out the latest DVD releases at Best Buy and then hang out at the Barnes and Noble store until we decide what's next. Could be a movie or bowling or who knows what else...we're such wild and crazy guys! (NOT!) Ah, such is the life of a single guy.

At any rate, somehow, by the grace of God probably, I need to make it to 5:00 so I can finally have some fun.

Until later...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Welcome to my new home on the web!

What can you possibly expect to find from little ol' me? Allow me, dear readers, to disclose a bit about myself in hopes that you may gain some insight into what you are getting yourself in to.

I spend my week in a cube farm where I am an administrator for the IBM (Customer) Loaner Program. Tacked on to my administrative responsibilities is the Professional Development Program. Basically, I am responsible for training my fellow employees and giving orientations to new employees. I don't get to spend near enough time on the program as I would like because of my administrative workload.

On Saturdays, I can be found at the local music store where I am a trumpet teacher. This is one of my passions that keeps me sane from the regular work week. My students range in age from third grade beginners to advanced high schoolers.

My hobby that takes up the most time is the Starfleet Officers Club for which I am the Commander Starfleet (President and Chief Executive Officer). The SOC is a Star Trek fan association that is engaged in convention duty, charity work, and social activites.

Other interests include politics and current events. I'd like to consider myself a "liberal conservative" because my liberal friends call me conservative and my conservative friends tend to think I'm a bit leftist.

Lastly, I love movies...especially on DVD. Check out my friends at DVD Verdict.

Let's just see what happens, my friends...


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