Friday, February 23, 2007

Template Update

In the next week or so, I'm going to try to use one of the new Blogger Templates. The updating may cause me to lose my 'Links' section.

If I link to you now, I will link to you again.

Thanks for your patience.

Couey Update

The trial of John Couey, the convicted sex-offender and all-around creep who is accused of killing 9 year old Jessica Lunsford, is now underway. Jury selection has been slow and painful. The judge would like a pool of 75 potential jurors, but only 62 have been selected after 4 days of voir dire.

Once the initial 75 are selected, the serious questioning will begin. No doubt the death penalty (and how potential jurors feel about it) will be the most important topic.

I've read some of the newspaper articles about the case leading up to trial, and it appears that the defense is going to go for the 'this idiot isn't fit for trial' bullshit defense. Although his original confession was thrown out by the judge, Couey has apparently told anyone willing to listen that he kidnapped, raped, and burined Jessica alive.

Because my 'formative' years were spent in Texas, I used to be a 'get a rope' kind of guy. Now that I'm an old man, I sort of think that the death penalty should be reserved for especially heinous crimes.

I think we've learned that capital punishment isn't the deterrent that we hoped it would be. It certainly deters the killer, I'll admit. If capital punishment is abandoned, I'd like to see more 'life without parole' sentences instead of 25 years to life, which just seems to return killers to the streets after 15 years.

As I mentioned, there are certain crimes so disgusting that they shout out for the death penalty. If there ever was a murderer that deserves to die, it is John Couey.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Alcohol gets the blame, again.

From the 'Human Nature' column in Slate Magazine:

San Francisco's mayor, exposed as an adulterer, said he'll seek treatment for alcoholism. The woman in question worked in his administration; so did her husband. This is the same mayor who 1) unilaterally authorized gay marriages and 2) recently "dated a woman who wasn't old enough to drink legally." His statement: "I will be a better person without alcohol in my life. I take full responsibility for my personal mistakes, and my problems with alcohol are not an excuse for my personal lapses in judgment." Supporters' view: Stipulating that booze is no excuse proves he's sincere. Cynical view: Stipulating that booze is no excuse is the first rule of booze-blaming P.R.

You know, I've fought my own alcohol-related battles over the last several years. While I've behaved poorly under the influence, my misbehavior was confined to the loutish behavior of the drunk and stupid. At no time have I conducted an affair with my best friend's wife or dated underage girls.

If I were to conduct an affair with my best friend's wife or date underage girls, it would be because I'm a characterless shitheel, plain and simple.

Let's put the blame where it belongs, and leave my good friend alcohol out of this.

Monday, February 12, 2007

And to show that we're balanced here...

My last post may have seemed like a kiss on the cheek of Obama. Just to show that I'm not over the moon, I'll take a shot at him...

Yesterday, he demanded that the troops leave Iraq by March 31, 2008.

It's easy to give an ultimatum when you have no power whatsoever to effect the demand. I mean, what's he going to do if the troops are still there (which they will be)?

Sort of like me saying, "I demand that Mary-Louise Parker (make passionate love to) me by June 30, 2007". Will I quit watching her in "West Wing" re-runs? I don't think so. I really, really like Mary-Louis Parker.

I'd say the troops getting out in 13 months is a better bet.

By the way, as you'd imagine, all the local Chicago TV news shows are completely erect and near orgasmic over the Obama for President thing. Again, I'm sure he's a fine man, but the coverage is getting a little overblown. Last night the Channel 7 (ABC affiliate) News had a "Day 2" graphic displayed while they were reporting from a campaign rally.

You say Obama, I say Obama

Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy over the weekend at the old capitol building in Springfield. Keeping to my true nature, it was too cold for me to go.

I've mentioned before that I'm a republican, and even though Obama is from Illinois, he will probably not get my 'favorite son' vote. As much as his non-partisan, live the American Dream message appeals to me, I believe that we are far apart on some other issues.

Be that as it may, I couldn't help but to chuckle at all the capital "R" republicans who did not appreciate the Obama campaign's references to Abraham Lincoln.

"Obama is a Democrat, and Lincoln was a Republican" they are quick to point out (especially Rudy Giuliani).

Here's a quick note to all the Republicans out there whining:

Your 'Republican' Party and Lincoln's Republican Party do not bear any resemblance whatsoever. In fact, if I may be so bold (and this is MY blog, so I will), your 'Republican' Party doesn't look like Ronald Reagan's Republican Party, either.

Ronnie may have been the benchmark conservative, but you guys sold your souls and asses to the extreme-thinkers. At least Reagan was his own man, flawed or not.

I don't know how far Obama will go with his candidacy, but I do know this: There's nobody in the 'Republican' Party who commands attention and is being listened to like Barack Obama.

Bring me THAT guy, the Republican who can stand on his own, not cave to the extreme ends of the party, and actually cares about the central, and I'll get behind him and push.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith...

We hardly knew ye.

I must be getting old, because instead of the obvious cheap shots that could be taken (and I am the King of Cheap Shots); I am somehow saddened by her sudden passing.

From circus sideshow to circus freak to just a three ring circus, her life was too complicated and too filled with sadness.

Yes, she was pretty and had a huge rack. Is that all we'll remember her for? Or will it be the dysfunction and the tragedy?

She waves good-bye.

I'll miss you, for whatever reason.

Go in Peace.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Modern Kitchen

Okay, it's not a modern kitchen, but now we have 6 drawers instead of 2.

Here's the before:

And now:

Most of the changes are on the left side of the photo. The upper, floating, cabinet just looked silly, so we removed that and added a 30" cabinet and a 12" angled cabinet. The lower left cab was replaced with a 4-drawer cabinet and an additional 12" base cabinet and 12" angled cabinet were added. And when you add base cabinets, you have to change the countertop, too.

A closer look at the changes:

We have moved a bunch of items out of the pantry like the kids cups and bowls, towels, kitchen utensils, etc, and put them in the new cabs, which now makes the pantry much more useful for pantry-type things.

New sink, too.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl hangover

It would have been a nice surprise had the Bears won the Super Bowl, but I knew in my heart that the Colts game plan would pretty much do what it did. The constant referencing of Payton Manning's 'legacy' and crap was annoying, but, hey, I'm over it.

For the past seven or eight years, we've been going to my in-laws (they have the largest TV) to watch the game. It's sort of a family party and the men enjoy the game and the women enjoy the commercials and general yak-fest. I've prepared ribs for the last two years (yes, my grill lit at 6 below zero yesterday, although that's just no way to live) and I enjoy the company of my in-laws very much.

Because the Bears were in the game this year, I wasn't sure how I would enjoy the game. If I merely have a rooting interest, the game is fun to watch. But when it's the Bears (especially this error-prone team) I wasn't sure if I could relax and enjoy it. I printed out copies of the Bears fight song for all to sing after each score, and the first quarter of the game was as much fun as I've ever had watching a football game. Everyone was cheering and singing and very excited about the great start the Bears had.

Nephew in-law Alan brought his girlfriend to the party, and she was completely exhausted after the first two Bear scores. She said she'd never seen any group get into a game as much as we do. We love football. Even with the grandparents in Arizona and nephew Brian in Evanston, we managed to get everyone called and included in the fun.

Even though the Bears were defeated, everyone agreed that Indy played very well and their coach (and Hall of Fame to be) quarterback were good guys and their victory was not begrudged.

And because I drew 4-6 in the football pool at work, I won two quarter pots and will be taking home $400 today. Yes, $400!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

After serious thought and consideration...

(CBS/AP) DEER PARK, N.Y. That's going to leave a mark.

Five Deer Park teens have been arrested since October for "fence plowing," the latest rage among certain Long Island youths, according to Suffolk County police. The concept is simple: Pick out a fence, run toward it at high speed, and launch yourself like a missile to plow through the wood.

Another 10 fence plowing incidents are still under investigation in the Deer Park area, police said. The arrests were made after the suspects were caught on a surveillance camera installed by a home owner whose fence was plowed five times, police said.

The identities of the suspects were not made public. Along with bruises, the arrests could leave a mark on the suspects' permanent records: Police said some face felony criminal mischief charges.

Lt. Robert Edwards, commander of the Suffolk First Precinct in West Babylon, said the teens got the idea after seeing videos of other fence-plowing stunts on the Internet. He did not know if the teens in Deer Park posted any videos of the vandalism.

"They heard about it through other people who heard about and saw it on the Internet," Edwards told Newsday. "That's where they got the idea."

Here's all I need to say about this:

Dumb fuckers.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kitchen Update

The most difficult part of the kitchen project is completed, the cabinets are in and the countertop is on. There is some touch-up painting that needs to happen on Saturday (because the new backsplash is an inch lower) and I have to patch a hole lfet from the old phone jack. I also need to install the toe kick.

The high temperature on Saturday will be 6, so I'm happy to be working inside the house.

Thanks to neighbor Steve, the installation went as smoothly as it could. I was very sore on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from all the effort. Lots of lifting and bending and crawling into tight spaces. At one point I crammed myself into a corner cabinet - a lazy susan-type contraption - and my shoulders began to ache and I was about to have a claustrophobic-induced panic attack. I was in sorry shape.

Anyway, photos will follow shortly.