Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My economic plan

Did ya notice that the stock market went up today?

And that the House of Representatives is out of session?

I suspect it's not a coincidence.

So, I present my plan to help the economy: Send Congress home until ... oh ... say, 2058.

Yakko's Bailout

And now, Yakko Warner explains the bailout...

The U.S. economy's tanked. It's beyond me
Why nobody knows who's to blame.
When Washington's involved, the markets will devolve;
The reason is always the same.

In '94, sub-prime mortgages were five
Percent of all housing loans, but,
The number then went up to 20 percent
Due to a perceived housing glut.

In '99 Clinton, with impeachment defended,
Told Fannie Mae, "You must give loans
To those that don't qualify, 'cause I must mollify
All those that kept me afloat."

Franklin Raines took over Fannie Mae's books over
Judgment that was good and true.
The books he did cook, and 'twas millions he took
Before away to retirement he flew.

Freddie Mac, also, backed loans that were awful
But banks went along for the ride
With creative accounting while debts were amounting
To billions they tried hard to hide.

Freddie and Fannie gave thousands in money
To those overseeing this mess.
To Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Obama. Yes, very
Suspicious, to put it the best.

And now, Lordy Mama, advising Obama
Is none other than Franklin Raines.
With speeches a-plenty, but meaning that's empty,
Barack's "change" sounds more like "the same."

In 2008, the strain couldn't wait
And Freddie and Fannie both fell.
The government leapt in, took over and stepped in
A hand basket heading to hell.

"The upcoming debate, well, you know it can wait,"
Said John McCain. "Let's all go back
To D.C. and huddle, and fix all this muddle."
But the train was too far off the tracks.

The debate, it went on, and though nobody won,
The Congress could not pass a bill.
Pelosi's speech tanked it, although Barney Frank went
"Don't blame us on Capitol Hill."

The Republicans cast blame, the Democrats did same,
And nobody knows what event
Will help with this crisis, though Obama's advisors
Say "Show up and then vote 'present.'"

The market dropped hundreds, the pols, they do blunders
Of bills that will just make it worse.
The good news is one day, it will all be okay,
And history will write the last verse.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Obama's bracelet

So, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is wearing a bracelet for SGT Ryan D. Jopek.

Notice that he had to read the name off the bracelet.

That's bad enough. But there's more!

Warner Todd Huston reports at NewsBusters that SGT Jopek's family had asked Obama to NOT wear the bracelet in public. (Hat tip: Two Dogs at mean ol' meany)

He's not only been undermining our military every step of the way, opposing the surge, trying to cut funds, he's now "proudly" wearing a bracelet of a war hero ... against the family's wishes ... and can't even bother to remember the soldier's name.

And, I'm ashamed to say, I have family members who are voting for this ass-clown.

The gall of some people amazes me. The gullibility of others does, too.

Debate highlights

Highlights from Friday night's presidential debate.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Headline News

Real headlines from real news sites with not-so-real subheads

From Fox News:
Mathematicians Discover 13-Million-Digit Prime Number
Value given a name: "Bailout"

From Fox News:
Montana Grizzly Bear Relocated for Stealing Honey
Pooh gets new cellmate

From Fox News:
Man Allegedly Steals Uniform, Poses as Dodgers Player
Will start Monday

From Fox News:
Boardwalk Cartoon Character Fondles Customer, Could Be Deported
Ziggy falls on hard times

From Fox News:
Man Accuses Maryland Doctor of Stapling Buttocks Shut
Thought doctor was a "real ass"

From CNN:
Tribute: Who wouldn't want to be Paul Newman?
Anyone who is still alive

Fom CNN:
Alec Baldwin 'can't wait' to give up acting
It's now unanimous

From CNN:
Crab hitches ride on jellyfish
Obama, Biden campaign together

From CNN:
Russia aims to upgrade nuclear arsenal
Cold War 2.0 hits the shelves

From CBS News:
China Farmer Sentenced For Faked Rare Tiger Photos
Latest Internet craze: Chinese tiger porn

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scaling back

Holy crap!

I just stepped on the scales.

In the bathroom, there are ... well, bathroom scales.

I don't stand on them much. They're just ... there. Keeping guard over that corner of the bathroom.

And, they've done a good job, too. No terrorists have attacked us from that corner of the bathroom. Still on Yellow Alert, though, just in case.

Anyway, I turned on the hot water (got an old water heater that we turn on when we shower, and off when we're done), and readied to take a shower. I mean, it is bedtime.

But, being the silly person I am, I looked over at the scales and ... wondered.

I made a mental note of what the number would be. And I didn't like the number I expected. I'm overweight, and know it.

So, with number firmly planted in my brain, I stepped on the scales.

Holy crap.

That wasn't the number I was expecting. That number was on the wrong side of the little dial. I'd have to go on a serious crash diet to get near that number.

I was stunned.

Probably shouldn't have been, though.

But now I know.

And I've taken steps to correct it.

I've directed that all food ... and living animals that could be turned into food ... be removed from the property.

I am swearing off eating unti ... oh ... say ... December 21, 2012. I ought to be down to 185 (my "ideal" weight) by then.

If the world's still around on that day, I'll have a bran muffin.

And a Coke.

Problems with Safari browser and WordPress ... resolved!

A year ago today, I wrote about how WordPress (version 2.2.3 at the time) and the Safari browser (version 3.0.3) didn't play nice together.

Well, they do now.

I'm not sure when it happened. But somewhere along the way, either Safari or WordPress ... or both ... changed something.

I'm running WordPress 2.6.2 now, and Safari 3.1.2 (5525.20.1). And, unlike last September 25th, I'm able to write a post on WordPress, using Safari, and everything's just fine.

Whether I use the HTML mode (which I do use most often) or the Visual mode (which is sometimes really handy), everything is now fine.

I wonder if WordPress knows. You see, the topic is one of the items listed as "Under Consideration" for a WordPress enhancement.

And it works with both Mac and Windows (Safari 3.1.2 / 525.21). I wrote this on my Mac, part using OS X 10.5.5 and part using Windows XP SP3.

So, whatever problems there were ... are resolved.

At least for me. At least for now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If Expedia rates go up, thank Columbus, Georgia

Expedia.com lost a lawsuit in Columbus this week.

And it might impact you.

You see, Expedia gets rooms at a wholesale rate from hotels. It turns around and sells the rooms to consumers online, charging a higher rate, but a rate that's still lower than, say, you would if you walked up to Mr. Patel and plopped down your VISA card.

Expedia adds on "taxes and fees" that cover the sales tax due on the hotel room. Expedia pays the hotel the tax based on the wholesale rate it paid the hotel (that's the "taxes" part), and pockets the rest (the "fees" part).

But Superior Court Judge Doug Pullen ruled that's not right.

His ruling says Expedia must pay the hotel (which, in turn, pays the city) the taxes based on the rate it sells to the consumer.

Which means less money for Expedia.

How has Expedia responded?

Well, after the lawsuit was filed back in 2006, they quit booking rooms in Columbus. You can get a room in Phenix City, Alabama, just across the river from Columbus. But not in Columbus. From Expedia, that is.

So, how does this impact you?

Maybe not at all.

But then, again, what if other cities find out? And decide they want a piece of the pie?

Well, if Expedia has to start paying ALL cities the taxes based on the final sale price, rather than the wholesale price they pay, then Expedia will charge more.

If companies pay higher taxes, they'll recoup those by charging more to the consumer.

Raise taxes on oil companies, and gas will cost you more.

Raise taxes on corporate profits, and products and services will cost more.

If a company has to pay more tax money for your booking a hotel, that extra cost will be passed along to you. It won't simply go into someone else's pocket; it'll come out of your pocket.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Larry Munson

Larry Munson has retired.

If you don't know who Larry Munson is, well, it's hard to explain.

If you do, well, you understand.

Notre Dame had Knute Rockne.

Alabama had "Bear" Bryant.

Georgia? Larry Munson.

Sure, there's Vince Dooley. But Larry Munson was Georgia's announcer for all but two of Dooley's seasons. And he has announced during the 20 seasons (counting this one) since Dooley retired.

Larry Munson IS Georgia football.

Only, he's done more that UGA games.

Did you know he was part of the original Atlanta Braves broadcast team? I really don't remember that, but, yes, it's true.

He was also the voice of the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL. That, I do remember.

But, it's as the announcer for Bulldogs football that made Larry Munson a household name in Georgia. And, yes, sports fans in Georgia ... not just UGA fans, but any sports fan ... knows Larry Munson.

Georgia Tech fans know Larry Munson. Florida fans know him too. As do Tennessee fans. Auburn fans. And ... well, you get the idea.

He's won awards over the years for his sportcasts. And, in 2005, was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

I've heard many of his classic calls over the years. The "hunker down" and "look at the sugar falling from the sky" calls at the end of the Auburn game in 1982. Herschel Walker's touchdown against Tennessee in 1980. Kevin Butler's 60-yard kick against Clemson in 1984.

But I didn't hear the Run Lindsay Run/broken chair call from the 1980 Florida game. I was at that game. But you can bet I've heard it many times since then. It's even on my iPod.

It's hard to believe that Larry Munson has retired.

But the good thing is that he's still with us. And there will be tributes, to be sure. And he'll be around to hear them.

We should all be so lucky.

Obama says he's just like George Bush

Did you catch what Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said today?

The Washington Post said:

Accusing President Bush of "my way or the highway intransigence," Sen. Barack Obama outlined four principles that he said a financial bailout package must address, asserting it was "wholly unreasonable" for taxpayers to accept the White House's call for legislation with no strings attached.

MSNBC reported:

"Yesterday, the President said that Congress should pass this proposal to ease the crisis on Wall Street without significant changes or improvements," the Illinois senator told reporters, arguing that everyone has a stake in solving the crisis to protect the jobs and the life savings of millions. "Given that fact, the President's stubborn inflexibility is both unacceptable and disturbingly familiar. This is not the time for my-way-or-the-highway intransigence from anybody involved."

The New York Times said:

"The president's stubborn inflexibility is both unacceptable and disturbingly familiar," Mr. Obama said, referring to Mr. Bush's comments in recent days that Congress approve the administration's bailout plan as presented. "This is not the time for my way or the highway."

So, those different news sources ... plus others ... all reported that Sen. Obama called President Bush stubborn and inflexible for demanding his way.

But did you read the entire reports?

Obama laid out "four principles" for a bailout package.

What if those four principles aren't met?

Washington Post:

But when pressed about how he would vote if the final package did not include any of the four provisions he offered, Obama said, "If the plan that emerges does not address the principles that I discussed, I will strongly recommend to Secretary Paulson that he go back to the drawing board and find an approach that does address them. This goes back to my original point. ... This is not one of those circumstances where the president can come out and simply say, you do it my way or nothing's going to happen."


The senator said negotiations over the next few days would be difficult but did not answer directly whether he would vote against the bill if it did not contain the measures he had laid out, at first saying only that it was important to deal with this emergency situation in the right way to avoid future problems. Later, he added, "If the plan that emerges does not address the principles that I've discussed then I will strongly recommend to Sec. Paulson that he go back the drawing board and find an approach that does address them."

New York Times:

If those four objectives are not met, Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference here, he would recommend that federal and congressional negotiators "go back to the drawing board" to restructure the bailout plan.

Did you catch that?

Bush is "stubborn" and "inflexible" if his goals aren't met.

But Obama will send the plan "back to the drawing board" if his goals aren't met.

Obama just said he's like George Bush.

And he already said we don't need another four years of George Bush.

We darn sure don't need four years of Barack Obama.

Like you need another reason to not support Barack Obama

If you support Barack Obama's bid for the presidency ... well, there's not much hope for you.

And this ad won't change your mind. Probably.

But, who knows. It might.

Like I said, I don't expect this to change anyone's mind.

But if you're already wary of Barack Obama ... and if you've studied him with open eyes and an open mind ... this might help confirm why you're wary of him.

A whale of a time

Grandma turned 95 recently.

And we took her to see the Georgia Aquarium.

She'd been wanting to go to the aquarium. And this weekend, she went.

Actually, plans got jerked around a little bit through an unfortunate set of circumstances.

My uncle died (father's side of the family; Grandma is mother's side of the family). That shifted things a little bit.

Got complicated when my nephew (Big Sister's child) had a play at Valdosta State.

However, things worked out. We went to Atlanta Friday night, met The Little Princess -- HUGE surprise for Grandma -- had supper, then went to the aquarium on Saturday.

Her birthday was actually yesterday. Which meant we had to do her birthday trip either before or after her birthday.

And, since her birthday usually gets jerked around by other family members' devotion to Florida State University football -- I mean, it's Seminoles football, not some old lady's birthday, after all -- we have to wait and see how the Semi-holes' schedule works out.

So, this past weekend was the time-frame.

And, everything worked out.

Like I said, Grandma got a surprise visit from The Little Princess -- Grandma's 2nd great-grandchild.

Supper at Ruby Tuesday was good. Except for the part where the waitress dropped a tray of big, tall, fruity drinks on us.

Okay, mostly on me.

But, the Little Princess showed up, and Grandma's thoughts turned there.

She enjoyed the visit. And, when the Little Princess lead us around the aquarium, showing us all the exhibits -- she's the only one of us who had been before -- she was happy.

The, on Sunday, we went to Valdosta to see Master Thespian ... my Big Sister's college student son ... in Doubt: A Parable. He played the child-molester priest.

The weekend was fun. Got to celebrate with Grandma.

She had a good time.

We're looking forward to her 96th birthday.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Uncle Dave

Uncle Dave was a quiet man.

But a nice man.

Always with a smile. A quiet smile. A friendly smile. And always a kind word, or a joke.

And never an off-color joke.

He was a good man. A quiet man. A hard-working man. A good Christian man

Uncle Dave became Uncle Dave before any of us ... my sisters or me ... were born. Okay, he wasn't really our uncle until we came along. But he married my aunt ... my father's little sister (one of them, anyway) ... back about 1950.

He was a hard-working man. Carpenters Union. Farmer.

Fathered our oldest cousin, who grew up to be one of the most pleasant people you could ever meet. And, years later, his son came along, Dave II. Not Dave Jr., but Dave II. Actually, David.

Not Jr.


And, really, that's a tall order to fill: being Dave II.

Because Uncle Dave was a good, good man. Oh, Dave II is, too. Maybe that's why the "II" -- you know, II (2) and "too" sound alike. So he'd be like his daddy.

Last time I saw Uncle Dave was a few weeks ago, at a funeral. He'd been sick, lately. But dressed up, went out to a family funeral, sat through the service, went to the cemetery, found some shade, and paid his respects.

Saw him, and of course, my eyes lit up. A smile came across ... not just my face, but my heart. Uncle Dave was that kind of man.

Went over and spoke to him. He went through all the pleasantries. But he meant it. It wasn't just "how're you doin'?" He really wanted to know.

And, he said something ... don't remember what it was, just something like Uncle Dave says ... that made you laugh. Not a slap-your-knee, out-loud guffaw. But a nice, quiet, appropriate-at-a-funeral laugh.

That was the last time I saw Uncle Dave.

He'd been sick lately. And we knew he didn't feel all that well.

He didn't show it.


He didn't plant a garden this year.

That, all by itself, told how bad he really felt.

Uncle Dave died this Wednesday. Had his funeral yesterday.

He left behind a good wife. A good daughter. A good son.

Lots of grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Oh, his grandchildren had children.

A big family lost a big man. A big man who had a big heart.

Uncle Dave is gone. He won't plant any more gardens.

But he sowed lots of goodwill, happiness, and joy while he was here. We'll be reaping from that garden for years to come.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Yes, once again, it's September 19: Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Excuse me, I mean to say ...

Arrr, yes, once again, 'tis Septembree 19: Talk Like A Shipmate Tide.

All tide, talk like a buccanneer.

Nay, really. Do 't. I`ll do 't.

Arrr. I won`t. I`ve got somewhere t' be today that I really canna do that. Really.

But ye can.

An' do.

An' here`s an encouragement fer ye:

All th' comments, TrackAfts, an' Pingafts t' this post -- provided they be comments in, or links t' posts written in, th' spirit o' Talk Like A Shipmate Tide -- will go into a drawin' fer ... a Shipmate Movie.

I be thinkin' one o' th' Shipmates O' Th' Caribbean movies. But, if yer comment/TrackAft/Pingaft be drawn, an' if ye already be havin' all o' them, ye can pick another buccanneer move (about buccanneers or has "Shipmate" ... or "Pirate" ... in th' title) from Amazon.com.

So, leave yer buccanneer comment, or a link (TrackAft, Pingaft) t' yer post about buccanneers or about Talk Like A Shipmate Tide, an' enter t' win.

Only entries dated September 19, 2008, will be entered. Must be 13 or over to enter. Unless your laws say otherwise. Kids, get your parents permission. Batteries not included. Some assembly required. Member FDIC. Vote for John McCain and get double entries! Void in the Delta Quadrant, on Cardassia Prime, or where prohibited by law, custom, or big guys named "Ned." No purchase necessary. Spam not included. I'm Basil, and I approved this message.

UPDATE: We have a winner.

Monday, September 15, 2008

CBS: Complete BS

The headline at CBS Marketwatch reads "The Sarah Palin Phenomenon Is Doomed" -- a story that can also be found at CBSNews.com.

Not unexpected from the likes of CBS.

CBS, after all, stands for Complete BS.

Why do I say that?

Well, the subhead to the Jon Friedman article reads: "Media live to build you up -- then knock you down."


Oh, wait. Maybe it's not the Jon Friedman that's the senior columnist for Marketwatch. Maybe it's the Jon Friedman that's a comedian.

No, that's not it. There's a picture, so it's the regular Marketwatch guy.

And he really thinks that the media have built up Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).

So, before he returns to his native planet by way of whatever space ship brought him here, let's clear a couple of things up for Mr. Friedman:

First, the media hasn't built up Gov. Palin. You don't build someone up by spending 24 hours a day attacking them. That's called "tearing down."

Or, it would be, if it was working. But it's not.

Next, if you didn't make the person, you'll have a hard time breaking the person. What you should have done, if you were smart, was to do what the subhead implies: build up Sarah Palin. Tell nothing but sweetness and light. Make her your media darling. Then, when you were ready, turn on her.

But no. You were opposed to her from the start. So there's no way to turn on her now. You blew it.

Now, I'm not saying that something won't ... or couldn't ... happen to take the lustre off of Gov. Palin.

Sure, it could happen.

But you in the media won't do it. You'll need her help.

But, you know what? Based on the way you've handled things so far, you'd screw that up.

And I'll be watching and pointing and laughing the whole time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sprout-eating lefties have small brains

They used to be called "vegetarians." They call themselves "vegans." Or maybe there's a difference. I don't know.

Now, I always thought Vegans were inhabitants of the Vega Colony. Either way, they're not of this planet.

"Vegetarian," by the way, is Latin for "bad hunter."

What brings this up?

There's a story out tonight that folks that don't eat meat -- that just eat vegetables -- have smaller brains:

Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

Let's see: Sprout-eating lefties support Barack Obama. Sprout-eating lefties have smaller brains.

It fits.

SiteMeter recovery


We've been using SiteMeter for some time. Since December, 2004, in fact. And, I've like it. It's had hiccups from time to time, but overall, it's been dependable. And a bargain.

Sure, they have a free service. But I use their Premier service: $60.00/year. And I like it. To me, it's worth it.

Anyway, SiteMeter "upgraded" their service this weekend.

But it's more like a Windows XP to Windows Vista upgrade.

In other words, I didn't care for it. It was a little flashier -- actually, it was Flash-based -- but not better, in my opinion. Stats took longer to load -- that's normal for a Flash-based site, in my experience -- and didn't allow me to see everything I wanted to see easily.

Well, I'm not the only one that didn't like the change.

And SiteMeter listened.

I like that.

It's renewed my faith in SiteMeter.

If only Microsoft had learned from that. But then, if they had, I wouldn't have bought a MacBook.

The "Elite" Media strikes again

Once again, the south doesn't get any respect. The University of Georgia fell in the college football polls again. And here's the problem. First, I'll admit I'm a Bulldog fan. While I don't attend their games regularly, I'm a typical UGA fan, I suppose. I've been to a handful of UGA games. Having said that, I ask any serious football fan to explain to me how a team can open the season ranked number one, win three straight, and wind up number three? "Unimpressive wins," is what I've heard. Well, if impressive wins meant a lot, why didn't Georgia play for the national championship last season? That's an excuse, not a reason. Here's the reason: teams from the south don't get the respect they're due. All the Ohio State, Southern California, Oklahoma and such fans will say how great their teams are. And I won't argue their point; they are football fans who are proud of their teams. But, I wonder if any of those teams opened at number one, then won their first three, would end up number three? I suspect not. Of course, like in politics, it's not the polls now that matter; it's the last one. Unfortunately for college football, each poll builds on the other. Which means that if Southern California, Oklahoma, and Georgia all run the table, the Bulldogs would likely be left out of the national championship game. Of course, the fact that half the top 10 (AP) are SEC teams (4 of 10 in the Coaches Poll), might help the Bulldogs. It didn't this week; they beat USC, an SEC team, and fell from number two to number three. This is why we need a playoff. And why we won't get one? Because the SEC would run the table. One or two individual teams in various conferences are pretty good. But top to bottom, the SEC owns college football. And should own the top of the polls.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a weiner

For some reason, I thought this was funny.

"Gotcha" - video powered by Metacafe


Obama pokes fun at McCain's war injuries

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is running an ad that says Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an e-mail," in an attempt to portray the Republican presidential nominee as out of touch.

Only, the fact that John McCain can't use a computer means exactly that: John McCain can't use a computer.


Not as in "doesn't know how," but as in "is physically unable."

According to a Boston Globe article from March, 2000:

McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

Obama had a "Biden moment."

Less than a week ago, Biden told Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham, to "Chuck, stand up, let the people see you." The thing is, Graham is a paraplegic, and can't stand up.


As in McCain can't use a computer.

And, to Obama, McCain's physically disability is ad fodder.

UPDATE: Scott Ott (ScrappleFace) makes the same point. But funny.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Democrats leaving a sinking ship

Financial Times reports that some Democrats are concerned about the Obama campaign.

A Democratic fundraiser for Congressional candidates said some planned to distance themselves from Mr Obama and not attack Mr McCain.

"If people are voting for McCain it could help Republicans all the way down the ticket, even in a year when the Democrats should be sweeping all before us," said the fundraiser, a former Hillary Clinton supporter.

"There is a growing sense of doom among Democrats I have spoken to... People are going crazy, telling the campaign 'you've got to do something'."

Concern was greatest among first-term representatives who won seats in traditionally Republican districts in the landslide of 2006. "Several of them face a real fight to hold on to those seats," the fundraiser said.

Tony Podesta, a senior Democratic lobbyist, said members of Congress were "a little nervous" after Mr McCain shook up the race with his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate and intensified attacks on Mr Obama.

"Republicans have been on the offensive for the past two weeks... You don't win elections on the defensive."

For the longest time, all you ever heard was how the Republicans would be distancing themselves from President George W. Bush.

Sen. John McCain, though, had the President scheduled to appear at the Republican National Convention. That fell through when the President canceled a personal appearance when the hurricane struck the Gulf of Mexico. He still appeared via satellite.

Now, rather than the Republicans running away from President Bush, it seems the Democrats may be running away from Sen. Obama.

Like rats from a sinking ship.


World Trade Center attacksSeven years ago, on a normal Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I went to work as normal. The Wife had the day off, and was watching Fox and Friends when I left.

That was a normal Tuesday in 2001.

But this wasn't a normal Tuesday. Though we didn't know it at the time.

The Wife called a little before 9:00 and told me that Fox and Friends was showing video from a plane crash at the World Trade Center. She was still on the phone, telling me what the news reports were saying about the accident, when she suddenly said, "Another one just crashed into it. I just saw another plane crash into it. That's not an accident!"

That's when we knew it was not a normal Tuesday.

Since that day, we've had a lot of normal Tuesdays. Or what passes for normal now.

We'll never have a normal Tuesday again. Or a normal Wednesday. Or a normal Thursday. Or a normal any day of the week.

Because things changed for us that last normal Tuesday.

On September 11, 2001, we learned just how much some people hate the United States.

Some have tried to say that our enemies hate us because of president George W. Bush. They're wrong. President Bush has done everything he has been able to do in order to respond to, not just those that attacked us, but those that were considered serious threats to us. He hasn't done everything right, but he's done everything he could.

Some blame Bill Clinton for leaving the U.S. vulnerable. They're wrong. Bill Clinton did what he could. He did order a freeze on bin Laden's and authorized Laden's arrest. But, he blew the chance to extradite him from Sudan. However, if he had gotten bin Laden, someone else would have stepped in and planned something else.

If you want to look for someone to blame for the attacks on the U.S., look no further than those that attacked us.

If another attack happens, it won't be George Bush's fault. It'll be the fault of the attackers.

Thinking otherwise isn't normal.

We need normal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

McCain ad defends Palin

The latest ad from the campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the GOP presidential nominee, references a report from the Wall Street Journal that says "Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers" into Alaska to dig up dirt on Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), McCain's running mate.

Obama takes exception to the report. Like he does every time anyone criticizes him.

Hmmm. If Obama can't handle reports from the Wall Street Journal, how's he going to handle Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, or Hugo Chávez?

What world polls really mean

A poll came out this week that shows that most of the world wants Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to win the U.S. presidential election.

All 22 countries covered in the poll would prefer to see Senator Obama elected US president ahead of Republican John McCain.

Some people think that means something. Of course, most of those are Obamacrats.

What does a poll like that really mean?

Well, let's compare it to another poll that shows something about another topic: the September 11 attacks

(T)here is no consensus outside the United States that Islamist militants from al Qaeda were responsible, according to an international poll published Wednesday.

Lots of people in other countries think the U.S. is to blame for ... or actually perpetrated ... the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Lots of people in other countries want Barack Obama to win the election.

The "Blame America" group and the Obamacrats have something in common: they are the same people; some are physically the same, others are fundamentally the same. But there's no real difference between them.

Lipstick fallout

There's a dustup going on now ... I'm sure you've heard it ... regarding Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), the Democrats' presidential nominee ... making the "lipstick on a pig" comment. The fallout is that it's considered by many as a direct attack on Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), the GOP vice-presidential running mate of presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

If you watch the video, you'll notice a couple of things. First, he made the comments in reference to the message of the McCain-Palin ticket. And, second, Obama is not a good speaker without his notes and prompter; listen to him stutter.

"That's just calling something the same thing, something different. But you know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

And the McCain camp has responded:

So, why is the GOP responding with ire? Because they can. They'll get political mileage out of it. But that's the nature of politics. And I'm okay with it. Why? Keep reading.

The Obama camp is saying that the comments were okay, because they weren't a reference to Gov. Palin, but instead, a common phrase used in the past by many politicians, including Sen. McCain, regarding policies and proposed legislation.

But does the Obama camp really want to go down that road? Here's what I mean...

Let's suppose the Democrats had nominated Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-IL/AR/DC/NY) instead of Obama. And she still picked Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) as the vice-presidential nominee of that party.

Suppose McCain said:

  • If the other side wins, there will indeed be dark days ahead.

  • The other side is a dark cloud looming on the horizon.

  • If you thought Black Monday was a bad day for the ecomony, if the other side wins this election, every day will be Black Monday.

None of those comments would be a problem against a Clinton-Biden ticket.

But say them against an Obama-Biden ticket, and there'd be charges of racism.

So, since certain phrases would be off-limits because Obama is on the ticket, then certain phrases should be off-limits because Palin is on the ticket. (I'm sure you could think of many, many more ... and better ... examples.)

The Right can play by the Left's rules. And this team -- McCain-Palin -- will make the Left play by those same rules.

I love it.

UPDATE: This afternoon, the original YouTube video is no longer available, after (according to Google, who owns YouTube) CBS claimed a copyright violation of the content. I suppose that's because of the footage of Katie Couric. No matter. I've swiped the video from JohnMcCain.com, and am showing the video here anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Obama likes war

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), the Democrats' presidential nominee, says he thought about joining the military, but didn't.

Why not?

Because we weren't at war:

"I graduated in 1979. The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren't engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue," he said.

Hold on there a second.

He wanted to join the military? But didn't because we weren't at war?

So, he wanted to go to war?

Is that what he's saying?

Somebody explain to me why someone, if interested in joining the military, would decide against it because we weren't at war.

He wanted to kill people? He wanted to go to battle?

Maybe, just maybe, he didn't join the military because he didn't want to join the military. Maybe, just maybe, he's a liar.


The latest verbal slip-up from Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was earlier today on ABC's This Week. Obama used the phrase "my Muslim faith," and was corrected by host George Stephanopoulos: Some are going wild, insinuating that it shows that Obama really is a Muslim. And I think the video shows a problem. It's not what Obama said. I'm perfectly willing to believe that it was a mis-statement, and not some hidden truth coming out. So the Obamacrats can claim that, and I won't object. But explain away, if you will, Stephanopoulos stepping in and helping correct a mis-statement by, say, Republican Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), or anyone from the right. Wouldn't happen. But it did for Obama. The real slip-up wasn't Obama letting it out that he was secretly a Muslim. It's Stephanopoulos letting it out that he's biased. But then, we knew that already. We just got another confirmation.


The Wife often puts up with stuff from me.

Like going to baseball games.

Oh, she likes baseball okay. Just not as big a fan of the games as am I.

Traveling to the games is fine for her; she likes the travel better than I, while I like the games better than the travel.

But, every now and then, I have to return the favor.

Like the other day.

We were heading to a football game -- nephew plays for a local high school -- but had to "make a stop first."

Jewelry partyIt was a Jewelry Party. Or something like that.

A friend of hers from work was hosting a party for another lady's jewelry sales.

I guess, sort of like a Tupperware Party.

I guess.

I've never been to a Tupperware Party, but I assume it's something like that.

I didn't complain.

After all, it's not that often that I have to put up with those things.

She puts up with all my silly stuff, so I can certainly put up with hers.

I'm just lucky she's not keeping count. I'd owe her plenty.

Unless... she is keeping score. Then I'm screwed.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mean ol' bully, picking on Obama

"We're not going to be bullied," said Barack Obama.

The junior Senator from Illinois was at a fund-raising event hosted by Jon Bon Jovi. Over 100 people paid $30,800 each ... to be split between the Obama Campaign and the DNC ... to hear Obama whine like a little baby that he's being picked on.

So mean ol' Sarah Palin better cut it out.

That's right. GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is picking on Barack Obama.

Poor, helpless, little Barack Obama.

Being picked on by mean, ol' Sarah Palin.

Bad Sarah. Bad, bad Sarah.

Sarah better stop picking on Barack.


I wonder how Obama would handle being picked on by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Or Vladimir Putin. Or Hugo Chávez. Or ... well, you get the idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

So, what do the ratings mean?


That's what the TV ratings for Democrat and Republican Conventions mean.

Unless you believe in trends. More about that in a minute.

If you look at the Nielsen ratings for the Democrat Convention, 1960-2004, and compare them to the Republican Convention ratings, 1960-2004, you'll see that, for those 12 conventions, half the time, the party with the higher ratings won the White House. Of course, that means, half the time, they didn't.

In those 12 election years, the Republicans won the ratings just 3 times: 1972,1976, and 2004. They won two of those elections: 1972 and 2004.

The Democrats won the ratings 9 times: 1960, 1964, 1968, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000. They won 4 of those elections: 1960, 1964, 1992, 1996.

Which means that half the time, the party with the higher convention was the party that took the White House that November.

So, ratings mean nothing.

Except recently.

The party that won the ratings won the popular vote the last 4 elections. But not the electoral votes. Remember 2000?

Anyway, what brought all this up?

There seemed to be lots of news about Obama getting such high ratings. Until Palin and then McCain got even higher ratings.

But TV ratings don't always translate to an election victory.

We're going to have to get out and work for victory this year. Work hard.

The country ... the world ... needs a McCain victory.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Catfish season notes

The 2008 season is over for the Columbus Catfish. This year, that means they no longer exist. Not as the Catfish, anyway.

The team is moving to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and will sport a new nickname next season.

But this season, fans in Columbus ... few that we are ... had some good and bad things happen.

Along the way, some franchise records were broken or challenged.

Now, by "franchise record," we're talking this franchise in Columbus. Not other teams, like the Columbus RedStixx, Columbus Mudcats, Columbus Astros, or any other Columbus team. And I don't mean this franchise when it was in Wilmington, North Carolina or Albany, Georgia.

I'm talking this franchise in Columbus. Which means the 2003 South Georgia Waves, and the 2004-2008 Columbus Catfish.

Still, some records were set.
  • Henry Wrigley's 10 triples are best in franchise history.
  • Maiko Loyola's 45 stolen bases ties the franchise record.
  • Justin Garcia's 41 appearances set a franchise record.
  • Justin Garcia's .249 ERA and Austin Hinkle's .251 beat the old franchise ERA mark of .254, set last season.
Some records were challenged.
  • Greg Sexton's 87 RBIs and 490 at-bats are both good enough to be listed as 2nd most for this franchise (2003-2008).
  • Maiko Loyola and Reid Fronk scored 76 runs, tying for 3rd place.
  • Greg Sexton had 144 hits, including 32 doubles, both numbers are 3rd best for the franchise.
  • Greg Sexton and Reid Fronk played in 124 games. That's good enough for 5th place.
  • Jeremy Hall's 10 wins puts him at 3rd best total.
  • Austin Hinkle's 13 saves are 4th best.
  • Alex Cobb's 139-2/3 innings is 4th best for the franchise.
Not a bad group of stats.

This was a good team. They had some really good talent.

Individually, some of the Dodgers teams (2003-2006) had individuals who were outstanding, but they didn't have that special something that makes for a really good team.

Last year's South Atlantic League champions, a Devil Rays affiliate, didn't have as many stars as the Dodgers teams, but they had some good players, and they had an excellent team.

This year's team, also a Rays affiliate, didn't have quite as many marquee players as last year, and had some rough patches. But they were close, very close, to challenging last year's team.

The 2008 Columbus Catfish ended the season strong, winning 7 of their last 10, the best in the league over that span. They just couldn't catch Augusta to make the playoffs.

In the 1st half, the Catfish were 27-42 (.386), 16 games under 500. They did a near-complete turnaround, going 40-26 (.606) in the 2nd half.

This was a good team. They hit some rough spots. There was some inconsistency on the mound. But, as the season wound down, they believed they could win. And did. Augusta's equally strong finish is the only thing that kept them out of the playoffs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Catfish win finale

The Columbus Catfish are no more.

But they went out winners.

The Catfish are moving from Columbus, Georgia, to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 2009 season. And they played their final game today -- a road game against the Rome Braves. The Catfish won the game, 5-2.

Rome got on the board in the 1st inning, scoring a pair of runs on a walk, a double, a single, and an RBI ground out, taking a 2-0 lead.

The Catfish narrowed the gap in the 2nd inning. RF Quinn Stewart hit the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall, his 8th Catfish home run of the year.

Stewart hit 4 additional home runs for Vero Beach early in the year, before re-joining the Catfish, giving him 12 for the year overall.

In the 4th, LF Stephen Vogt reached on an error to lead off the inning. With 2 outs, 2B Chase Fontaine singled, setting the stage for 1B Henry Wrigley's 3-run homer.

Wrigley's 7th home run of the year gave the Catfish a 4-2 lead.

The Catfish added another run in the 6th, on an error by Rome CF C. J. Lee, who dropped what would have been out three on a fly ball by Fontaine. The error allowed Stewart, who had singled, to score, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Catfish.

P Jason Ragan won his first game since July 19th, a string of 2 losses wrapped around 3 no-decisions. Ragan allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out a pair, while walking two. John Baird, Jose Angel Mejias, Kevin Boggan, and Justin Garcia eached pitched an inning of relief, with Garcia getting his 7th save. Rome managed only 2 hits off the Catfish bullpen, which didn't allow a walk.

Fontaine, Stewart, as well as CF Maiko Loyola each had a pair of hits. Wrigley was the only other Catfish batter to get a hit, but his 3-run homer helped provide the margin of victory.

The win closes out the Catfish existence with 2 wins in a row, and 5 victories in their final 6 games.