Thursday, May 31, 2007

I can't stop grinning...

...over this bumper sticker I saw on the way in the other day. Just looking at it while I type this is giving me the giggles.

The illustration PERFECTLY frames the immense stupidity of creationists. It actually inspired me to go out to their website and I've now become a regular reader.

Two Questions...

How does putting up a defensive missile shield constitute starting a new arms race? How does testing a banned missile NOT constitute starting an arms race?

Why does socialism and nationalizing of a nations oil industry have to come with shuttering newspapers, taking TV stations off the air, and arresting journalists?

There is a bad moon arisin' with these two guys. The world will be less free do to both of their antics here shortly.

Chavez: Hey Pootie Tang, how do you deal with all of your nations pesky opposition newpapers? I can't seem to get mine to stay in line.

Putin: Well Hugo, it's easy. Newpapers can't print anything if they don't have reporters to file stories. Do what I do, kill them all.

Chavez: I knew I could rely on on old pro like you Pootie, Thanks brother.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to get fired...

(No picture because he's not worthy of one)

As a TEACHING college professor compare 9/11 victims to Adolf Eichmann and then in the process of defending yourself to your superiors make this statement, "I've got more faith in almost anything (than in the university process)," he said. "A random group of homeless people under a bridge would be far more intellectually sound and principled than anything I've encountered at the university so far."

What a dick...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Some may wondered why I have not publicly denounced Cynthia Sheehan and her antics on this blog and after today’s news I’m ready to explain why (although I did point to an act of most bazaar behavior on her part).

First a foremost, she and others who are critical of the war and America’s foreign policy have a right to be heard. We often argue here and in person, but I like to think that as long as we’re talking and not reducing the conversation to personal insults well, we’re doing better than most others, including our elected leadership. While I’m not a big fan public protest personally (I think it has little effect in changing anybody’s mind, and often does more harm then good to the cause), I certainly defend anybody’s right to plan or take part in it, as long as it’s not violent or impedes others civil rights.

Secondly, from the beginning I had a hunch that this woman was being taken advantage of by the movement she became a spokesperson for. It seemed to me that those running the group kept her fired up and singly focused on whatever protest or speaking engagement they lined up for her.

Lastly, everyone kind of knew that much of her antics were driven by avoiding the reality of the devastating loss of her son. I, along and many others, feel nothing but sympathy for her loss. I can also understand why she may think he died for “nothing”. What is doubly sad about this situation is that Cynthia Sheehan never got to know her son well enough to know him as the soldier he was, because if she had, she’d had known that he died for his fellow brothers in arms first and foremost and that is far from nothing. She’d have known how important this was to him. I’m certain that it would not have changed hers and anybody else’s mind about the war in Iraq, but she’d at least known this fact about her son. Ms. Sheehan may not want to hear it from me or anybody, but I would like her to know that on behalf of myself and a grateful nation we are deeply sorry for loss.

It would appear that the organization that trotted her out to all these functions cared little of her loss. They willingly watched and took all her money and stood by while her family life dissolved into shambles including divorce from her husband. It seems nobody pulled her aside and said, “Cynthia, why don’t you take some time with your family and grieve, then come back to the organization…”. At least that’s what appears to have happened from where I stand.

We’ll see if the Gold Star Families for Peace will take care of their leader and pay some of those medical bills of hers and hope that she has some real friends to get her though the next phase of her life.
John Cole, a past vocal Sheehan critic, has similar feelings on the subject here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

You say Voki, I say Vockey...

You may notice a new Avatar in the sidebar of this blog. It another killer animated product offering from the Union Square Ventures portfolio company Oddcast who also markets the Sitepal avatar that's been a staple at IDM for a while now. The Voki is a VERY cool product. It's best feature is it's interactive capabilities. You can leave comments with the Voki by clicking the comments skull, select a character, and following the instructions. Click around and have fun if you're so inclined. As you can see, Keith Richards happened to have clicked over to IDM and left a message for me. That Keith...

Thanks again Fred at A VC for the hook up. You are a credit to the blogging world.

Sure sign that rock is dead...

It's tough to argue folks. I saw this last night for myself. The guy that co-wrote four of the greatest rock and roll records of all time.

That's right. Playing "You Really Got Me" with Sanjaya. I've learned not allow future embarrassments like this take away from previous greatness, but I will mourn this. From the coolest guitar player next to Keith, to this. I think I'll stick my head in an oven now...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cat Blogging...

Anybody else have a cat that will let you come anywhere near them with a running vacuum?

Thanks to John Cole at Baloon Juice for peeping us to this.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Facts of life: Part I...

When you have a five year old girl you will inevitably wind up in this situation...

That's right, I'm wearing CareBear band-aids, you got something to say about it?

Monday, May 21, 2007

The hope of our nation...

Every once in a while, you come across a story that just brightens your day and restores your faith in the future of this country. You're aquainted with an individual who inspires you to try to complain less about the things that bother you, inspires you to be more humble, a story that adds huge amounts of perspective to your own life. One of those persons for me is Brittany O'Connell.

Last year, around this time the family was hanging out at our favorite bagel place reading the newspaper when I came across a story in the metro section about a high school senior from South Atlanta who was more focused on how to achieve her goal, than complaining about how hard it might be to actually get there. Brittany’s mother had fallen on hard times and was fighting unemployment and all the trials that come with it. Brittany and her mother were moving from one extended stay hotel to the next trying to stay in the same school district so she could finish out at the at the school she had started at that year. During her junior year, a favorite teacher suggested to Brittany that she give junior ROTC a try. As with most teenagers, she hated it at first, but quickly began to like the discipline and structure it provided her in her otherwise, unstable life outside of school. It was not long after signing up for junior ROTC that she set a goal for herself: Brittany was determined to go to West Point.

As the story related, she had a number of huge hurdles that she would have to get over if she was going to make it happen. In addition to the erratic state her home life was in, she wasn’t academically or physically strong enough to meet the standards of acceptance to the academy. Many kids would just give up. Too many/too big obstacles most would say. Not Brittany. She relied on her ROTC advisers, school counselors, and her mother's unfledgling support to undergo self assessment and plot a course to meet the challenge. She worked hard over the next two years to get physically fit and put in long hours after school getting her grades up. This was tough since on many nights homeless shelter curfews meant that she couldn’t stay for the extra help at school.

The story climaxed with Brittany being accepted to the USMA Prep School in Ft. Monmouth, NJ. The article went on the say that, with only a couple of weeks left before she had to report, she was having a hard time raising the $600 needed to buy the basic necessities she would be required to have upon arrival at the prep school. I was so inspired by this young women's determination that I immediately contacted the articles author and the Alva family made a pledge to help. I wrote her a note along with my check and wished her the best of luck. I've thought about her from time to time over the last year and wondered how she was handling the rigors of army life at USMAPS.

Well, Sunday my questions were answered. According to a FULL PAGE article that started on the front page, Brittany graduated at the top of her class and was accepted to the USMA class of 2011. She was given the Commandant’s Award for her academic achievement and leadership prowess. Oh yeah, turns out that the Alva’s weren’t the only ones who were inspired by Brittany’s story a year ago. The article stated that Atlantans had donated close to $30,000 towards Brittany’s cause. Money she will need to get her set up as a new cadet at West Point when she reports for “Beast Barracks” the first week of July (while tuition is waved at the academies, cadets are on the hook for everything else).

The Alva family is hoping to get up to West Point for a football game this fall and I will most definitely be looking for Brittany's cadet company in the crowd so that I can personally shake her hand, introduce her to my daughter, and let her know that she is a hero to me. I’ve always contended that many citizens of this country just don’t know how great these kids are that go to our nations service academies. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet New Cadet Brittany O’Connell, USMA Class of 2011. Good luck young lady and BEAT NAVY!

Friday, May 18, 2007

It just doesn't compute...

No pictures or links on this one, just pure outrage.

I've been following the story of the "honor Killing” captured on cell phone video over in Iraq and just the mention of it turns my stomach. I can’t watch another replay of the video no matter how much they edit it, especially since I was unfortunate enough to see it in its entirety and unedited.

With the passing of Jerry Falwell, I’ve read and written many a blog comment about how I won’t miss having the miscreant around anymore. I loathe intolerant guys like Falwell and Pat Robertson as much as any right minded American. But this despicable act which played out recently reminds and affirms for me that the Islamic faith in it’s orthodox form is stratospherically more worrisome and far more dangerous than what the Christian right’s current doctrine of idiocy perpetuates. Yes, the crusaders killed countless thousands going back a couple of hundred years ago, but this shit just happened this week. Men dragged a teenage girl into a courtyard ( her own fucking family I might add) kicked her, dropped huge cinder blocks on her skull until she was dead, while bystanders and police stood by and watched. This plays out with some frequency all over the ME.

These stonings might be the extreme, but what about how women are treated as a whole? Iran has taking to beating women who dress “provocatively” lately in an attempt to shore up the mullahs weakening political hold on it’s populous. How is this not social behavior worthy of condemnation of the highest order? I’ll say it again: There is so much that squarely fits the definition of the words heinous, systemic, despicable, and reprehensible about Islamic society and the persecution of the ENTIRE female sex is a big one. It CANNOT be rationally defended and should warrant severe scorn by the free world at large.

Amnesty International wants to write scathing reports about America’s alleged atrocities in this world and something far worse shows up on the nightly news and where’s the outrage? Nope, just fucking crickets chirping. Oh, the poor terrorists in Gitmo are having to stand for hours at a time boo hoo, yet their stoning rape victims in Pakistan in the name of honor. This is what’s wrong with the world, and America for that matter. The absence of rationale when it come to focusing our collective outrage. So people tell me, what’s more worthy of our collective outrage, Jerry gasbag Falwell blathering his bigotry to the few that listen to him, or dropping a rock on a defenseless girls head in the name of family honor? Well, I’m not afraid to go out on a limb here: People(s) who carry out, support, or otherwise believe there is some kind of rationale for stoning this girl deserve to NOT live amongst the rest of us on this planet. I have ZERO pity for what might befall them as a result. Call me what you want, I am drawing my line here. Where’s yours?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fire on the mountian run boys, run...

Is that Sherman's ghost marching his Union soldiers towards Atlanta executing his scorched earth policy?

We've had runaway fires burning in South and Central Georgia going on for almost a month now and this morning the smell of smoke was quite powerful. Then, when I got on the interstate to make my way into work this morning the haze created by the smoke blowing in Atlanta's direction was unbelievable. Drought conditions are making the efforts to put this thing out tough. We may get some rain today, but I'm not sure it'll be enough.

I'm hoping to get a change in wind direction and blow this nastiness over into Alabama instead of our direction at least, heh :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

When they were young...

A lot of people give me grief about my love for the Army Football Team. They often wonder why anyone could give an ounce of care and energy to a program that hasn't had a winning season in a decade or more. They get the bit about it being part of my heritage and where I grew up, but most serious college football fans will mock my steadfast support of West Point's Black Knights of The Hudson to no end, and if I mention past glories on the field of friendly strife, laughter ensues. What they don't get are the stories behind the story, much like what was chronicled in John Feinstein's most excellent A Civil War: Army Vs. Navy a Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry, or David Lipsky's Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point.

I though about this while reading an article written by Bill Morgan, a classmate of my dad's, in which he offers his testimony to Army football's greatest season ever (and no, it didn't occur during WW I or II). I have met some of the people in this story and can attest to the influence the events scribed had on these guys lives. It's not hokey sentimentality, but real inspiration.

Take a read here if you’re interested.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What he said. What did he say?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve actually booked marked a bunch of stuff to blog about, but have just lacked the time to actually do it, so here’s a single post with all topics:

- I’ve read two very sensible pieces on the immigration situation. One is here and is more of an ironical thing than anything else, but sums up my feelings pretty well. The other is by Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson whose opins I normally don’t agree with much at all, but he is exactly right with this one. The popular liberal position on immigration creates an unholy alliance between them and big business who love to exploit illegal immigrants and perpetuate this potential enormous permanent underclass of our own creation. Samuaelson’s suggestions should be immediately adopted by all involved.

- This guy is an ass. Anybody out there who thinks diplomatic solutions abound in the Middle East only if we participate MUST see that there is purpose and design to this kind of crap. Dems beware: your continued insistence on maintaining a divide in orderto get into the White House is giving these rogues carte blanche to dis American efforts at every turn. I predict, (at least hope) the Iranian people will force change from within and the INTERNATIONAL community assists in this effort.

- I heard a term used on my new favorite radio station DAVEFM this week: “Lite Green”. I think it was John Mayer who used the term to describe his position with regards to Cheryl Crow’s recent public dressing down of Karl Rove over the administrations global warming policy. Mayer was quoted as saying something to the effect, “If you’re ‘Lite Green’ you have the common courtesy to let the guy finish his meal and speak to him as you would like to be spoken to”. ‘A’ fucking ‘Men’. That is the problem folks. I consider myself someone who is genuinely concerned about global warming and environmental issues, but am EXTREMELY turned off by people screaming at me and TELLING me what I HAVE to do about it. Making it a partisan issue is about the dumbest thing anyone could want, but that is exactly what those who are most vocal about it are doing. If you really care, become ‘Lite Green’ and I and many others will be far more supportive with solving the problems.

- Update on the domestic front. Our Lawrenceville house is officially on the market and we have entered into contract on a house in Peachtree City. Our perspective new home is much older, but much bigger. We’ll have a bit of work to do on it to bring it up to what Mrs. Alva and I would consider “complete”, but all things considered, it’s going to be our piece of heaven. It’s funny this time around, when we built the house we live in now, it seemed that things we’re so much simpler. With the current process, it seems we’re writing checks every time we turn around. I told a good friend of mine last night that if I could go just one week without writing a $500 check for something I’d be a happy man.

After three weeks on the new job some things have taken me by complete surprise. I had to prepare myself in the weeks running up to my first day for the long commute and thought it would be the biggest challenge. Not so much in reality. It’s turned into my new way of staying informed (since I can’t read the paper and web news as thoroughly as before) and a chance to listen to music uninterrupted. It’s really been nice. The flip side of that is the massive decrease in my available time. I no longer arrive home at 5:05 PM. It’s closer to 7:00 and that sucks on many fronts. It sucks because I can’t get much done, like mowing the yard before the sun goes down, but even worse, I get much less time with my little girl who for some strange reason really misses me. I attempted to cut the yard Wednesday night well into darkness and ended up mowing over my wife’s keys that I had laid down in the driveway. Cost me $190 to make that right and get everything replaced. Another unexpected check goes out the door…

All in all though, I’m warming into my new job pretty well. Another nice surprise is again enjoying the benefits of having my manager right around the corner. In my last position, the buck stopped with me locally and my director was 700 miles away. It had it’s advantages, but some big downsides as well. I continue to reveal more stuff I’ve got to learn, but am picking up loads quickly. We’re at a point in the moving project where we’re about to enter the ‘wait and see if a sale develops’ phase which should allow us to have a more normal life.

So that’s the world turning for me in a nutshell. Don’t be a stranger; keep checking back here and elsewhere. I may miss my old life a little, but am looking more forward to my new one.