Thursday, December 27, 2007


Hello there. I've been detoxing from the Internet during the Christmas-New Year's break.
I plan to be back and better than ever in the new year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

You call that a quagmire? THIS is a quagmire!

Since things have been going much better of late in Iraq, the MSM and the Democratic presidential candidates have not been using the term "quagmire" quite as often.
And never have they made reference to a true quagmire that began during the Clinton Administration and continues to this day. That would be the American troop presence in Kosovo, an autonomous region of Serbia seeking independence.
Kathy at Cake Eater Chronicles offers an excellent history lesson on the region and a people who, like the representatives of the Religion of Peace take things quite personally and have a world view that peaked 1500 years ago.

(photo courtesy Michael Kerjman)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An idea so crazy, it just might work

The election process in our nation has gotten entirely out of hand.
In the race for President, why not have a single primary day across the nation?
ALa at Blonde Sagacity offers a thoughtful post on this topic.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Marketing Mayhem

You've seen the TV commercials for a variety of products featuring a loud talking pitchman, "Hi, Billy Mays here..."
Imagine if he were to take on the product featured in this video clip:

Just sayin'

Friday, December 7, 2007

Save the Quarterback, Save the World

Another big football weekend is upon us. The big game of the week is the battle of Good versus Evil. Of course I mean the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Satan's Minions, the New England Patriots.
And to get you in the mood for this mortal combat, here's a little time waster to brighten your day. (huge hat tip to Pitt Girl)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Who needs writers when Ellen gives us live Presidential Parent

How cute. Jenna Bush calls home while appearing live on the Ellen Degeneres Show. (h/t BreitbartTV)

Watch toward the end when Jenna reminds her Dad about the best day of his life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Presidential Candidate Compatibility (a/k/a “InDecision 2008”)

The Internet is a wonderful thing. As we are now just under one year away from the 2008 Presidential election, I’ve noticed several online quizzes aimed at helping determine which candidates’ positions on various issues match one’s own views.

After a little sifting through Google, I found dozens of such polls and took ten of them. The results? A head scratcher.

InDecision 2008


My ideal candidate(s)


USA Today Candidate Match Game

Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney

ABCNews Match-o-matic

Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani

VAJOE Candidate Calculator

Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee

WQAD Select a Candidate Quiz

John McCain

Glassbooth Election 2008

Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson

Internet Straw Poll

Mike Huckabee

OnTheIssues VoteMatch

Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo

GoToQuiz Ultimate 2008 Candidate Matcher

Mitt Romney

Minnesota Public Radio

John McCain, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson

SelectSmart Presidential Candidate Selector

(Sam Brownback, Stephen Colbert), Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Tom Tancredo

The results are certainly interesting, and perhaps more indicative of the bias present in each of the respective polls. Each poll takes a slightly different approach to metrics. Several of these polls use highly biased questions (along the lines of, “Do you approve of Dick Cheney eating puppies for breakfast?”) I kid, no puppies were sacrificed in the writing of this blog post. Here’s a real question from the GoToQuiz Candidate Matcher, “How do you feel about embryonic stem cell research?” The choices are: A- It may lead to cures for diseases, so we should eliminate Bush's restrictions, B- It isn't moral, so we should keep or increase Bush's restrictions, or C- I don’t know. I don’t know about you, but it has always seemed rude to refer to individuals by only their last name (other than in informal settings among friends), but it has been commonplace during the past eight years to reference our President as simply “Bush.” But then, more than a few on the Left have still not come to grips with the fact that GW won, twice.

Getting back on topic, I did not surprise me that the names rising to the top were Republican (I still consider Richard Nixon’s presidency a success but for that little gaffe named after an overpriced hotel.) I have not decided who to support, but consider Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney my personal frontrunners. Imagine my surprise then when John McCain and Rudy Giuliani entered the mix as I took the various quizzes. Actually, the biggest surprises to me were Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter. I have paid little attention to either one. Now it appears I have some more research to do.

In an effort to ake some sense of these polls, I performed some statistical analysis (actually little more than weighted averages) and came up with this chart:


Weighted preference

Fred Thompson


Tom Tancredo


Mitt Romney


Mike Huckabee


Duncan Hunter


John McCain


Rudy Giuliani


Fred tops the list, yet I have serious concerns that he’s not the Reagan Resurrection many conservatives prayed for.

I remain undecided.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Eagles: Long Road Out of Eden - not your usual rock & roll seniors tour

"Eagles! The Eagles are coming!"
Peregrin (Pippin) Took (from J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings)

They formed a huge portion of my life's soundtrack in the 1970s and 80s, and now the Eagles are back with a superb new album, Long Road Out of Eden. The link goes to the band's website where you can hear one complete song and several samples from the album, plus a collection of old hits.

60 Minutes did a very nice segment on the group's decision to return to the studio. It's trimmed into multiple segments on the CBS News website:
Eagles Dark Days
Eagles: the Pressure Cooker
Eagles back in the studio

For me, Long Road Out of Eden demonstrates Don Henley, Glen Frey, Joe Walsh, and Timothy Schmidt still possess their musical chops. This album may not surpass sales of their multi-platinium Hotel California, but it has all the the creative energy of their earlier work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hope in Hollywood from a former West Winger

Hat Tip to Craig Newmark for this commentary by actor Ron Silver at his newly minted blog, Silver Bullet:

Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate only eight years ago, gave an extraordinary speech on national security last week that the mainstream media did not cover. It's a shame. And it's a shame the Democratic Party shunned Lieberman and tried to defeat him in a primary. They made it clear that there is no place for him in the party he's dedicated his life to. I'm a Joe Lieberman Democrat.

JFK reportedly remarked, "sometimes the party asks too much." He was referring to the deal his Democratic Party made with southern segregationists to maintain control of Congress. His words are as true now as they were then. Sometimes the party asks too much.

I count myself firmly in the tradition of Wilson, FDR, Truman and Kennedy…and yes, Reagan and George W. Bush. "Go anywhere, bear any burden," "try to do our best to make a world safe for democracy." Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders' vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.

We cannot fight a war by pretending we're not in one. This requires transformative, upset the apple cart thinking. It requires people who are revolutionary, not reactionary. As much as we might like, we cannot return to a pre-9/11 world.

The President is challenging the world with a new order. There is always passionate opposition to change. Have grievous mistakes been made? Yes. But just as Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan laid the foundations for fighting and prevailing in the Cold War, Bush has responded to 9/11 with a foreign policy revolution of similar magnitude: a reorganization of government institutions and appropriate legislation to meet the emerging threats.
Containment and deterrence are ineffective in this brave new world. There is no containment if you can't see the enemy; there is no deterrence if the enemy desires death.

I believe the President's critics are profoundly mistaken. I believe they misunderstand how he's trying to protect us. I believe they misunderstand the nature of the threat. I believe they misunderstand history. If they succeed in dismantling what President Bush has set in motion, the results may well be catastrophic and history will never forgive them.

George W. Bush: a revolutionary liberal internationalist? History may so decree. Let's wait and see.

I enjoyed Ron Silver's portrayal of the "gun for hire" political strategist Bruno Gianelli on West Wing. His new blog offers evidence that there remain a few sane voices on the left. We need more reasoned discussion from left, right, and center.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

Michael Yon brings us a tale of thanksgiving.
Nothing I can write would match his visual and literal eloquence.
Enjoy the holiday.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I’m alive and doing fine

I've been out of commission for a few days with a knee sprain. The Oxycodone manages the pain quite well, but does little to enhance my withering writing skills.

For no particular reason at all, other than it amuses me, this post takes a look at web comics. It seems to me the "funny pages" in the local newspaper are less funny than I recall from my Jurassic youth. Dick Tracy, L'il Abner, B.C., Nancy, Peanuts, Gasoline Alley, Pogo, Steve Canyon, and Prince Valiant were my favorites as a kid. By the 1970s and 80s, my attention was drawn (pun intended) to Broom-Hilda, Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, Garfield, For What It's Worth (much better than Mary Worth), Dilbert, and Doonesbury.

These days, the talented, creative cartoonists are found on the web.

Paul Taylor's Wapsi Square is a multilayered treat. On the surface, the storyline focuses on a group of cute young women trying to live their lives. Below the icing, some very surreal storytelling that will have you believing the End of Time is less than 1,900 days away. It is a sometimes convoluted plot that has been building since 2001.

Chris Muir's day by day strikes me as a modern day Doonesbury (from when that strip was less preachy) of the Right. I consider day by day one of my daily "must reads." This strip is running seven days a week.

Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content tells the stories of a group of young people who hang around a coffee shop. Beyond that, any resemblance to "Friends" is coincidental. The latest storyline, for example, involves a robotic boyfriend J. Jeph has just passed the 1,000 episode mark.

The very talented Danielle Corsetto has recently expanded her girls with slingshots to five days a week. Like Wapsi Square, the main characters are endowed with attractive and ample protection for their pectoral muscles. A touch of the surreal is provided by another major character, a talking (and mobile) cactus. Danielle is also the talent behind the The New Adventures of Bat Boy in the now defunct Weekly World News (okay, not entirely defunct, the print version is no longer a temptation at the grocery checkout, but is still published online.)

Starline X. Hodge (pronounced "Star Lean") offers us Candi, and it is deliciously funny. The title character is a college student dealing with all the drama and comedy that is college life. The drawing style reminds me a little of the old Archie comics from the 1960s.

A new comic I just discovered (thanks to a plug by Danielle Corsetto) and that I think has great potential is in genre of Magic Realism is kukuburi by Ramón Pérez. His is a once a week strip that is just now digging into a plot following weeks of character introduction and scene setting. The artwork is in a word, awesome.

So there you go, boys and girls. Take some time to back away from the blogs and fill your head with some visual entertainment.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Better never than late

The first snow of the season is upon us here in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. I shot this photo with my phone cam out my office window.
I can hardly wait for the breathless reportage tonight on the local news concerning the dangers posed by this strange white material from the sky.
On the plus side, one of the local weather companies predicts a generally mild winter around here until March. That I can handle.
Sucks for the skiers though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Love thy neighbor

Independent journalist/photographer/blogger Michael Yon offers us what could become an iconic vision of our success in Iraq.

The blog world is filled with commentary about this image and what it means.

Glenn Reynolds offers commentary and links elsewhere.

The Anchoress provides a banquet for thought:

It's important, though, to get a sense of what is going on over there, where our people are serving, living and dying. It's important to realize that where there is danger and tragedy, there is also progress and hope. In the major media outlets, we get big servings of the first two and very niggardly helpings of the latter. We need a more balanced diet of information.

In truth, we know so little. So much of the information we get from Iraq is filtered and delivered from "safe" locations. So little of it is unfiltered and delivered from the Iraqi streets.
Yon is delivering Iraq to us from the streets.

Dr. Melissa adds to the Anchoress's commentary:

I'm naive and idealistic. My opinion has always been that the Iraqis are people, people like any other, who suffered under the thumb of tyrany, who only ever saw excessive force achieve ends, who ruled by domination, who wished for a peace they thought impossible, who saw family murdered and yearned for vengeance, who were disoriented once faced with choices again and needed time to learn to trust.

In a government governed by themselves, they'd have to learn to trust themselves to choose wisely and then they'd have to learn to trust those chosen. In short, they were people like you or I who needed time to let their wings dry and learn to fly.

Chris Muir's outstanding comic strip "day by day" pays homage to Yon's photo.

Michelle Malkin points out that this photo illustrates more than simply neighbors getting along:

Yes, Christian persecution remains rampant in the Muslim world and apostasy is still punishable by death. But there are glimmers of good news, and they won't be broadcast on the nightly news or the front page of the NYTimes. Thanks to the lens of Michael Yon, we can see a fuller, truer picture of Iraq than the "grim milestone"-driven legacy media lens allows us to see. That deserves thanks and praise, too.

Vicki at the Jawa Report:

A beautiful tribute to men and women of good will from all faiths, and to our heroes who have made it possible.

In World War II, the United States was attacked first. We did not set up a defensive perimeter and await invasions by the Japanese from the west and the Germans from the east. We took the war to them. Just so in this war against terrorist Islamofacists. In Afghanistan and Iraq, it is not so much a battle for territory, but a battle for the hearts and souls of an entire culture. Michale Yon's photo is evidence of the beginnings of success.

Michael Yon's work in Iraq is supported solely through donations. Consider dropping some coin into his tip jar.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

True men of genius

The Anchoress offers a couple (as usual) thoughtful items and this:

cash advance

For what its worth.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What hath Leo Rosenberg wrought?

The 2008 presidential election is one year away and already we've been subjected to 24/7 campaign coverage since this time a year ago.

It began innocently enough on November 2, 1920 on the roof of a Westinghouse Electric Company building in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when Leo Rosenburg began coverage of the 1920 presidential election returns on the world's first commercial radio station, KDKA. That first night of election coverage relied on information being relayed by telephone from a local newspaper, allowing about one thousand listeners to learn James Cox had lost to Warren Harding.

Since then radio (and later television) news organizations continued efforts to reduce the time between voters marking their ballots and learning the results; giving Election Day the appearance of a sporting event rather than something more substantive.

More importantly, and I fear to our detriment, this need for speed has ushered in the age of electronic voting. The aim is to make results known more quickly. The price is less accountability since the manufacturers have convinced our political leaders that a paper trail is not necessary. It really does not matter whether we learn the results of the election at 8:01 PM on election night, or a week later. What is important is that the votes are recorded and counted accurately. We need not return to pencil and paper for this; simply require that each electronic voting machine print an itemized receipt for the voter to review and then place into the ballot box. Ed Mierzwinski of the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups offers additional insight on the issue of receipts. Kim Zetter's blog at Wired has an article on the Federal Election Assistance Commission's effort to collect public input on e-voting security. And, an article in the Illinois Business Law Journal suggests e-voting machines be based on open source software as one way to mitigate the potential for fraud.

We cannot turn back time, but we can decide that getting it right is more important than getting it fast.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Applause for Bill Clinton & the definition of "poor"

If Gina Cobb's blog is not on your daily read list, you might want to pay a visit, particularly to read two recent posts.
First is a rare but well-deserved accolade for former President Bill Clinton, as he stood up to a "9/11 truther" nutjob.
The second is the beginning of a lengthy essay on a defense of capitalism and a argument against how the left defines poverty.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Onward to the weekend

Little posting of late, I've been tweaking the site.

As my little gift to you, here's a little earworm:

That was cruel.
Here's some ear bleach:

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breaking the Presidential Race Embargo

I have avoided sullying this blog with commentary on the 2008 Presidential race. First, IT'S TOO DAMNED EARLY. And secondly, what passes for debate has been anything but.
However, Betsy's Page offers one of the best one-liners I've heard in awhile. One funny line that says so much.

I'm not sold on John McCain as our next President (although we could do worse, much worse;) however, his heroic service in Vietnam requires that we listen to and seriously consider what he has to say.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Under the weather

I've been fighting a standoff battle against some insidious microscopic critters. I'm going back to bed to rest up for the Steelers versus Broncos later tonight.
Meanwhile, some musically appropriate entertainment for you:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How does one top the Nobel Peace Prize?

Now that the wise and wonderful Norwegians have bestowed upon Al Gore a share of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in establishing the Church of Global Warming and the First National Bank of Carbon Credits, what new challenges lay ahead for the former Vice President?

I think I have found a cause worthy of Mr. Gore's keen, analytical mind. It is an environmental menace that each year takes as many American lives as have been lost in Iraq. We cannot escape the presence of DHMO. Why? Major corporations and even government agencies are involved in a cabal to control the use and distribution of DHMO. They do not want you to know how dangerous this substance can be.

Only Al Gore, the inventor of the Internet and Savior of our Planet possesses the charisma and truthiness to bring to light the menace posed by DHMO, also known as Dihydrogen Monoxide, which has been implicated as a factor in Global Warming! A watchdog group, has tried to sound the clarion call.

Here are but a few of the dangers this group has scientifically proven are related to DHMO in our environment:

  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.


It has also come to my attention that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney re users of DHMO; that they literally bathe in huge quantities of it.

So please, Gentle Readers, do your part and spread the word, we must draft Al Gore to assume the lead role in battling this environment disaster in the making.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What WMDs? Oh, you mean those WMDs?

Hidden in plain sight, subcontracted to other terror wannabe nations, and stashed at the neighbor's – Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction programs were real, and according to Gina Cobb's fine reporting, the U.S. east coast faced the potential for something far more dangerous than an airliner packed with aviation fuel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Car Tech: Is the glass half empty or half full?

We're still waiting for those flying cars they promised back when I was a kid. (Oh, come on now, it wasn't THAT long ago.) While our cars remain rooted (and routed) to the ground, technological advances ARE beginning to give autos a Jetsons-like feel. Paper road maps: passé. Now many of us use Web and GPS enabled computerized navigation systems. (DISCLAIMER: As a male of the species, I cannot admit to ever needing directions, the nav systems are there because they're cool!)

At the Tokyo Auto Show this week, Asian car makers showed off a number of futuristic concepts, including cars that take the challenge out of parallel parking. Motor Trend Magazine's blog offers up a nice summary.

A post in Ars Technica caught my eye. It concerns a new service OnStar may offer beginning in 2009: the ability to stop vehicles with just a call to the OnStar Operations Center. The article focuses on the ethics of handing this new power to police. The service is intended to stop car thieves, but the author seems concerned more about how this could be abused by authorities. I wonder if they might one day offer parents the option of using the system to limit the top speed when their teenagers take the family car out for a drive?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Microsoft’s HealthVault: Will it mean a broken HIPAA?

Microsoft is entering the arena of electronic patient records with a new online medical records site it calls "HealthVault."

It's always easy to bash the rogues from Redmond, a la
Slashdot; however, I think this is a topic far larger than Microsoft. Much is made of our right to keep our medical records private; that privacy is the purported reason behind the Clinton-era Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA.) Yet, most Americans (the 255,000,000 or so of us with health insurance) waive that right to privacy to our insurers, and in many cases to our employers.

At the same time, many of us are using an increasing array of medical services. After all, it takes quite a bit of ongoing maintenance for us baby boomers to remain eternally "not old. " J That is the rationale behind Microsoft's entry into the electronic medical records business. Between my wife and I, there are at least seven physicians managing a variety of health issues. Our family doc's office does a commendable job of managing all that information, but getting to our own records is not a particularly convenient process. Under the Microsoft model, we would have unlimited access to our entire medical records, and make it easier to make them available if and when we come into the care of out of town specialists. You can read more about HealthVault here, here, and here.

The dangers to this naturally center on whether that data will remain truly secure, and how it might be otherwise used. For example, such a database would be a treasure trove of information for medical researchers. The use of sanitized aggregate data is nothing new in scientific research, but many people become concerned when the researchers are reading electronic data instead of paper records. In my opinion, the process of stripping identifying information from paper records creates a larger risk to an individual since somebody has to physically handle the original record and transcribe the anonymous data. An electronic system can do that without human eyes intervening.

Friday, October 5, 2007


This week our university set aside a day with no classes, but with an opportunity for learning. It's called Day of Reflection. I think it is fair to say that most people are better at speaking/writing than they are at listening.

Although I allowed work to interfere with attending most of the DoR events, work has given me a second chance. I've been editing some audio of a musical/spoken word program that served as the coda for the day. There was an issue with one of the recordings and I asked one of the speakers to visit the studio for a do-over. It was a passage from Thomas of Celano's Vita Prima or "First Life" of Saint Francis of Assisi. It makes me consider that perhaps we might want to look at the War on Terror and at the Islamofacists who seek our forced conversions or deaths from a different perspective.

"Accordingly, in the thirteenth year of his (Francis) conversion he set out for Syria, at a time when great and severe battles were raging daily between the Christians and the pagans; he took with him a companion, and he did not fear to present himself before the sultan of the Saracens. But who can narrate with what steadfastness of mind he stood before him, with what strength of spirit he spoke to him, with what eloquence and confidence he replied to those who insulted the Christian law? For before he gained access to the sultan, though he was captured by the sultan's soldiers, was insulted and beaten, still he was not frightened; he did not fear the threats of torture and, when death was threatened, he did not grow pale. But though he was treated shamefully by many who were quite hostile and hateful toward him, he was nevertheless received very honorably by the sultan. The sultan honored him as much as he was able, and having given him many gifts, he tried to bend Francis' mind toward the riches of the world. But when he saw that Francis most vigorously despised all these things as so much dung, he was filled with the greatest admiration, and he looked upon him as a man different from all others. He was deeply moved by his words and he listened to him very willingly. Still, in all these things the Lord did not fulfill Francis' desire for martyrdom, reserving for him the prerogative of a singular grace."

The problem with applying this tactic today is that while the sultan in Syria appears to have had an open mind (at least in hearing what Francis had to say,) the same cannot be said of the Islamic extremists. It may be that our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan to sow the seeds of freedom and democracy is beginning to have the same impact on the average Fulan 6-pack in Baghdad as Francis' words and actions had on that sultan half a millennium ago.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I have nothing

Since I have nothing original to add to the cacophony of blogger voices, allow me to direct you to some folks who have brains connected to their keyboards.

The Anchoress offers a glimpse at a real American hero, Marco Martinez, Gang Member to Navy Cross winner. She plugs his book, Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero, in which he describes what he saw in Iraq that were then and remain today valid reasons for the war. And she covers other items of interest in posts from the past several days. trust me, you'll be there awhile.

I've just discovered the wit and wisdom of Lemuel Calhoon a/k/a Hillbilly White Trash. He offers up a very interesting perspective on the cultural poison that is moral relativism in a post from earlier in the week.

The good people at Common Folk Using Common Sense are all over the Global Warming Swindle. Which reminds me - if you become engaged in a conversation with one of the true believers of the Church of Gore, it is always amusing to remind them that it was President Richard Nixon who push through and signed into law the Clean Air Act in 1970.

And on the same general topic (the environment), there is a local shouting match in which some NIMBYs are fighting against the construction of windmills in our area. If they would be honest and simply say "hey we think those things are ugly and we don't want to look at them," one could at least respect their opinion. Instead they claim the developers will rape the mountaintops, spoil the way, and grind up birds and bats in the spinning blades. I promise to expound on this topic in a future post.

Back to the blogroll, I've come to know Big White Hat from his frequent comments at Still Stacy (I think he may be an SSS as well!) He offers a pop quiz in math, as well as a brief but inspiring essay on values that's worth a visit.

Speaking of Stacy, our talented Colorado goat wrangler, bicyclist, and supermom has an excellent post about the virtues of liberal columnist Juan Williams.

There's plenty more out there.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Well now, this explains everything about why I am as I am. (h/t Glenn Reynelds)

From the article, "Scientists have wondered for a long time why madness and creativity seem linked. It appears likely that low levels of latent inhibition and exceptional flexibility in thought might predispose to mental illness under some conditions and to creative accomplishment under others."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Do what you do do well

From the The Positivity Blog, Henrik Edberg offers an interesting counterpoint to all those tips we have read about increasing personal efficiency titled, 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People. [h/t Craig Newmark]

The habits:
  1. Not showing up
  2. Procrastinating half the day
  3. When actually doing something, doing something that isn’t the most important thing right now
  4. Thinking too much
  5. Seeing the negative and downsides in just about anything
  6. Clinging to your own thoughts and being closed to outside influences
  7. Constantly on information overload

I’m guilty of four of these. How about you?

The entire post is brief. The site contains a number of other interesting lists.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seeing the little sparks

The Anchoress offers a wonderful essay/homily on the art of listening.
Depart from here and go straight to her post. It's one of those quick read, long think epistles.

Monday, September 24, 2007


This is a happy day. I've been spending the past several days playing Mr. Mom and nurse while my dear bride recovers from surgery for a pair of torn MCLs (yeah, both knees at once.)
Had the post-op check up today and the healing is progressing nicely.
But the day gets even brighter when I discovered that this humble blog has been added to a blogroll for the first time. Thanks Stacy!
Hope to have some fresh material here shortly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The MBA bookshelf

David Newmark links to an article of interest to MBA types regarding some alternatives to one's "must have" book collection. Click on the article, 10 Overrated Business Books (and What to Read Instead) by Geoffrey James for his reasoning. I have read (or at least skimmed) most of the books on both lists. I tend to side with James.

His Top Ten:

  1. The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman (Knopf, 1984)
  2. The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams (Harper Business, 1996)
  3. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (various editions)
  4. Crazy Bosses by Stanley Bing (Collins, 2007)
  5. The Book of Proverbs (in the Bible)
  6. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (various editions)
  7. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White (various editions)
  8. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff (W.W. Norton, 1954)
  9. The Complete ‘Yes Minister’ by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay (BBC Worldwide Americas, 1989)
  10. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton G. Malkiel (W.W. Norton, 2007)
Let this serve as a reminder to me to spend more time reading books instead of the laptop screen.

What I do

I thought I might take this opportunity to share with you a little about my job. I'm a program manager at a university research institute. Our focus is on the use of telecommunication and information technologies to improve the delivery of health care and education to people in rural and under served areas. This clip demonstrates my research "man toy":

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Grammar Police have a new cop on the beat

One of my favorite podcasts is Grammer Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips.
Her posts are brief, entertaining, and informative.
Mignon Fogarty has released a video snippet explaining how she became Grammar Girl.

Monday, September 17, 2007

CNBC-HD+ - high def the right way

The cable business channel CNBC has announced plans to offer a high definition version of their program. That's not news; dozens of new HD channels are up and running or soon will be. What is interesting is that CNBC plans to make better use of all that screen space to provide more information. Media Bistro has details and a screenshot. Broadcasting and Cable offers additional details on the new channel that will appear soon on DirecTV.
While many of the high def "purists" will wail that the main image is simply an upconverted version of the original CNBC, I think the plan to push that video to one side will make for a more useful dispenser of information.

We're not laughing AT you... well, okay, I guess we are

In need of a good chuckle? Better yet, a spew coca-cola out your nose laugh? Crystal at Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper offers up two side stitching posts on the topics of curious husbands (a rerun from last year) and procrastinating teens.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wedding pictures

I have to share some pictures from our daughter's wedding in July.

Jen and her two dads.

The Daddy-Daughter dance (part 2)

Finally, another raving post

The readership of this blog is modest (one reader, I believe,) and so I can say with some confidence that the demand for a new post has been overwhelming! My apologies for the silence. :)

I had intended to write something about the anniversary of the September 11th attack on our nation, but so much has been written, and written well, about the attack, the anniversary, and a host of related topics.

Stacy reminded us that we are not the only targets of the Islamic fascists. I had forgotten about the horror at Belsan. Regrettably, it seems the Left in this country has forgotten the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Another of my favorite bloggers, the Anchoress has offered plenty of mental nutrition over the past couple of weeks, both on the topic of 9/11 and on matters spiritual. This woman makes helps me think.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Getting an edge on the competition never tasted so good

It's another one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments.
From the web site Truemors comes word of an innovation in brownie baking so simple, yet so ingenious.
Check it out at Gizmag.
Unfortunately these days I have to forgo such treats (well, once in awhile I can snitch a snack) in order to lose a few (20ish) more pounds.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Music from back in the day

This brings back memories. M a n y years ago I was a radio DJ and enjoyed hosting an oldies show (back then oldies were from the 50s and early 60s).
More importantly, this song was a hit in the summer of 1967 and happened to be playing the first time I "reached second base" ... funny the things you remember.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The iPhone - is there nothing it can't do?

Apple's release of the iPhone has received considerable attention in the MSM and the blogosphere. It's a phone, it's an entertainment center, it's an organizer, it's a dessert topping.
Wait .. dessert topping? Check it out here (h/t to Little Miss Atilla.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Idaho's Dud Stud .. er .. Spud

At risk of being classified as a Still Stacy Stalker, I must once again direct your attention to a very well written opinion piece posted by that witty and talented Colorado consumer of copious caffeine.
Stacy offers us an essay on the sex scandal surrounding Idaho Senator Larry Craig. Actually she covers much more ground regarding the whole subject of sexuality in our culture. Here's a sample, "Every time I walk out my front door, I’m at risk for sexual harassment. In my years I have had some very lewd and repulsive things said to me. In time, I developed my thick skin and “the look” as my husband calls it."
Good reading. Read the entire article here, then do some thinking. I am.

It's .. my .. life

One of those online analysis thingies: (h/t to Conservative, Dreadlocked, Bitch)

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

WARNING: This post contains massive amounts of geekery

An Israeli scientist has developed a process that allows one to reshape images while preserving the proper aspect of picture elements. Here's a video clip that explains the concept. (Hat tip to TechCrunch via WebbAlert.)

This is still a work in progress. If it can be made to work with video, the doors will really open to repurposing content for platforms as diverse as HDTV and the little screen on your cell phone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Common Nonsense

Where to begin.
Yet another article making the rounds of the 'Net about the utter lack of good sense by school administrators, this time in Chandler, Arizona. A 13-year-old boy draws a picture of a laser gun and earns a five day suspension because the sketch is deemed a "threat." Quoting from the article, "Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the sketch was "absolutely considered a threat," and threatening words or pictures are punishable." Read the entire news article here.
It is examples such as this that help explain why the general public's confidence in the public school system hovers in the same neighborhood as the polling numbers of President Bush and Congress.

[The image accompanying this post was whipped together in PhotoShop and is not necessarily representative of the fear-inducing visage created by Ben and Paula Mosteller's "evil genius" son.]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aborting an entire society

What she lacks in quantity, she more than compensates with quality.
Still Stacy offers a well reasoned, tangible argument on the essential immorality of abortion: "Congratulations; Procreating 101; sperm, meet egg. But one needs to take a deeper look into why Russia is suffering from this population crisis. .. Russia needs far more than monetary motivation to increase it’s population. You remove religion from a society with no one but a socialist regime to answer to, and this is what you get. A historically great country, literally, disappearing citizen by citizen. Whatever your feelings are towards abortion, there is one thing you should accept as the truth; abortion kills people; not potential people; real, live people."

Anyway, go visit her blog and read the entire post.

"Common Sense" - Can you use those words in the same sentence?

It's head scratching time again.
Betsy Newmark opines on the wit and wisdom (specifically the lack of both) of the prosecutor in Yamhill County, Oregon who had sought to brand two middle school students as "sexual predators" for slapping female classmates' bottoms and playing "boob tag". Betsy asks, "Can't we have some return to common sense when dealing with children?" (Her article here)
It does seem common sense is none too common these days - or perhaps it never has been; we see more of it thanks to all this communications/information technology.

Useful Science

I came across this
while scanning FARK. Who knew the common #2 pencil offers such additional utility?

Turn A PENCIL Into A LIGHT ! - video powered by Metacafe

Monday, August 13, 2007

The everloving wisdom of the Kos Kotillion

This has gotten some attention around the blogosphere and the MSM. Some of the Kos Kids want to join a union. That's all well and good. I once was a union member; even served as Shop Steward of my local. The thing is, I had a job, and an employer with whom to bargain. If you're a Kos Kid, with whom do you negotiate for wages, working conditions, and benefits? Perhaps your parents would be willing to pony up for a new futon in the basement? I scratch my head at their utter cluelessness. Minds more vacuous than a Valley Girl's.
And it is this group the Democratic presidential candidates all paid homage?

Shamalama at Common Folk Using Common Sense sums it up nicely: "Obviously Unclear On The Concept" (hat tip to Stacy's blogroll.)

Shameless pride of a grandpap

Light postings of late. So, enjoy this visual one.

Our granddaughter Reese is such a cute little peanut.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Steely McBeam - you're kidding, right? Please say you're kidding.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 75 years old this year, and have managed to succeed without the need for skanky cheerleaders or a cartoonish, costumed mascot - until now.
So now the Steelers have a mascot, and worse, they named it Steely McBeam.

It seems to me that if you must have a mascot, why not tie into what to any loyal Steelers fan is the team's true icon, the Terrible Towel, given to us by the now retired radio analyst Myron Cope. I would have named the character "Iron Myron" (pronouced Cope style as "Eye-run My-run").

Meanwhile a search around the Burgh blogs offers more disdain for this misnamed misanthropic mascot:

Pitt Girl at the Burgh Blog offers a succinct n@ "WTF?"

At Pittsburgh Dish, a similar question: 'A nation asks, "WTF, dude?"'

The Metroblogging Pittsburgh post on this topic offers this opinion: "The Steelers' new mascot has a new name, and it stinks worse than my afternoon commute on a bus with a busted air conditioner.."

The second half of Tunesmith & Anthony thinks the new mascot could find success in another entertainment arena. (NSFW visual)

Go Stillers!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sympathies to Still Stacy

It's a sad day in the blogosphere. The always insightful and entertaining Stacy has lost her mother. Consider visiting her site and paying your respects.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

People of Good Will

The Anchoress is back at the keyboard, much to the delight of many. Her latest post, Dave Gorman and Men of Goodwill is a particularly timely missive. This passage, in particular caught my eye: “People of Good Will are the people who take another person at face-value, who do not immediately label, categorize, and quickly shelve those they encounter based on their perceived income, politics, philosophy, or appearance. People of Goodwill give the other guy the benefit of a doubt, they choose to receive another person with the expectation that that person is someone worthy of respectful attention and friendly regard - until that person proves otherwise.”
Read the entire article over at her site.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Removing a speed bump on the Hershey Highway

Ah, the joys of early middle age. I must say the effects of Demerol almost makes up for the inconvenience of having a live video feed originating from inside my large intestine. This was my second colonoscopy; the first one showed a pink, healthy bowel. I know this because I convinced the doctor that I wanted to remain unsedated to watch the proceedings. I found it quite interesting - once. It was not exactly painful, but having traffic moving the wrong way on a one way road was in this instance both unnerving and uncomfortable.
This time, I decided to limit the audience to the professionals and allowed the nurse to bring on the drugs. And wouldn't you know it. I missed the doc finding a polyp. I now have to wait a few days to see whether or not it is cancerous (best bet is not.)