Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years Resolutions 2006

This time last year, along with most of the universe, I posted list of New Years Resolutions. Unlinke most of the universe, mine occasionally crossed the line into 'bawdy', for which I humbly apologize.

Before I go about lising what I'll fail to accomplish in 2006, I'd like to revisit the unfufilled dreams of 2005.

I will lose weight by exercising more and practicing self-control of my eating habits. I will go to the gym on a regular basis. I will also quit smoking.

Uh, yeah. I think I'll finish the year ten pounds heavier, and while I quit smoking (about a dozen times) it remains a monkey on my back.

I will learn to braid my daughter's hair. Nope.

I will figure out how to transfer my home videos to DVD's using my computer Nope. Sensing a trend here?

I will attend church more often  Yup, 'tho in fairness the bar was set pretty low in '04.

I will help my wife catch up on our children's scrapbooks. No, well, sorta . . I consider this blog a scrapbook of sorts.

I will no longer invest hope, excitement, or expectations in my Milwaukee Brewers Well, be proud, I accomplished this - and in return they posted the first non-losing season in 12 years.

I will make every effort to secure publication of my writing, and will accept rejection with renewed determination  No, and no.

I will read a hundred books. Try twenty or fewer - I was behind the pace but still a'tryin' in June, but after getting that promotion I managed only one the rest of the year.

I will take the extra time to relearn my parenting skills to benefit my son. I don't know - ask my wife.

 I will not lose any more teeth in the coming year What a depressing list of failures. I lost an abcessed tooth on the 5th of July.

I will attend an out-of-state baseball game with my Dad  Sigh.

I will make some effort at mental improvement Well, I did watch a lot of the National Geographic Channel.

I will successfully find a better paying, safer, more challenging day job. Done. Good thing it was probably the most important thing on the list, or this whole thing would be a wash.

Ok, enough of the past. May I  present  Slapinions Rambling List of Likely Unattainable but certainly Doable New Years Resolutions (Had I Only a Smidgen of Ambition And Personal Will Power) 2006 Edition.

Except for the Brewers' thingy, ditto 2005's resolutions. Yay for me. In additon

Repair the videocamera/christmas tree stand

Finish my dang book

Boost revenue at my business 10% (minimum), with an overall goal of a 33% increase

Move into a better neighborhood, with more room for the kids.

Take my first real vacation in years; hopefully, a 10th anniversary cruise

Pick up XM radio so I can binge on MLB games this summer

Okay, that's  enough rope to hang myself. To everyone out there, a safe and happy 2006!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Quote of the Day

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
— Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

To  my visitors, be they friends, family, or casual readers: a safe and Merry Christmas to you all! God bless, and enjoy the season!

Monday, December 19, 2005

More assorted links

Look, I hate to fall into the blogging trap where all you do is post link after link to stuff that catches your eye - we have the Drudge Report for that, thank you - but I'm going to do it anyway.

First, there's the Milwaukee connection to the Bermuda Triangle debates. I've lived here all my life and had never heard of this, even with some pretty steady dealings over the years with the Air Force group in question.

On a more conterversial note, here's a scathing investigation into Tom Cruise's 'religious' life.

In Britain, there's a study that says girls routinely mutilate their Barbie dolls for giggles. They needed to fund a study to prove this? Socialized countries are the bomb.

And here's a neat little bit of karma - the same day I read about Racine WI's wooly mammoth controversy, I came across a link that says scientists are keen on resurrecting the species.

With thousands of intact carcasses frozen in Russia's soil, researchers may be able to inject mammoth sperm into elephants, eventually creating an animal 88% mammoth. They're also working on decoding the genetic code of mammoths.

Sure, it's very Jurassic Park, but this doesn't trip my ethical meter too much. a) mammoth's were around until at least 10,000 years ago (and some anecdotal reports indicate as late as a few centuries ago) and were eliminated primarily by man, not nature b) a reasonable facsimile of mammoths still exist (elephants) and thus, it isn't such a giant stretch of our world's natural order and c) mammoths are pretty darn cool.

How's that for a convoluted, hypocritical ethical position?

Later :)

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Friday, December 16, 2005

What is the closest star to the Earth?

I hate to think of what this means for Mankind . . .a fun little article, courtesy (in a roundabout way)  of Tom at Tomsastroblog.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blockbuster Resumes Late Fees

Well, some Blockbusters anyways . . . here's the link. Consider this a public service announcement, as they've allegedly been ambushing customers with the new fees.

You know, of all the alleged Evil Empires I frequent - WalMart, AOL, etc - the only one that lives up to its horrid reputation is Blockbuster. Though I'm a Gold member and consider it one of my favorite stores, I've been screwed many a time - and I've lost track of how many coupons/discounts I've received as part of one lawsuit settlement or another.

I do agree the no late fee's policy had one drawback. Since it started, you had to play hooky from work if you wanted any chance of getting a new movie off the shelves. By 5'oclock they were all gone, not to be seen again for the better part of a week or more.

Oh, btw I have indeed updated the Amazon Wish List, as I discovered Dead Like Me's second (and final) season is now on DVD . . . naturally my Blockbuster doesn't carry it as a rental.

In other news, William Proxmire, a former Wisconsin senator voted one of the 20 most influential WI politiicans of the 20th century, passed away at 90. I disagree with much of his work, from his assault on NASA to his ridiculous 'Golden Fleece' awards (a publicity stunt to its core). Still, the guy had the knack for making his constituents love him, and he's a part of WI history that can't be ignored.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My Greedy Xmas List

If you're planning on getting me a gift this year - oh, and I know you are - here's some ideas for you.

You'll note that despite the sarcastic comment my Mrs. left on a previous post , there are very few books on the list.

I don't want to own more books, I just want my library card paid off so I can get them for free.

I'm sure I'll add more to the list in the days to come. ;)

What the??

Look, I don't know if this woman is just plain lonely, desires her 15 minutes of fame, or is looney tunes . . . decide for yourself.

Suzy Walker found the love of her life in her husband, D.B. The only problem: He makes his living deep below the waves on a submarine.

So to help her endure the separation, Suzy Walker found a temporary companion -- a 40-pound mannequin who, with a mustache slapped on, looks just like her husband.

Tookie Williams

While it's nice to see Hollywood doing their normal 'kumbaya' dance around Tookie Williams, I hold that Gov. Schwarzenegger's statement cuts the arguement to its core.

"Stanley Williams insists he is innocent, and that he will not and should not apologize or otherwise atone for the murders of the four victims in this case, Wthout an apology and atonement for these senseless and brutal killings there can be no redemption."

"Based on the cumulative weight of the evidence, there is no reason to second guess the jury's decision of guilt or raise significant doubts or serious reservations about Williams' convictions and death sentence."

Williams also dedicated a 1998 book to a black militant, casting doubt on his rejection of violence as a social tool; he may have lied about founding the notorius Crips to claim credit for their bloody resume, and is reported to have laughed hysterically over the memory of how one of his victims sounded as he died.

The folks in Hollywood should have found a better use for their time and energy - Williams didn't deserve it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Our trip to Ohio on December 10th

Not that I begrudge my kids, but as of this past weekend my four year old's been to six states. Not driven through six states, mind you, but spent a decent amount of time in each.

I was twenty-one before I spent the night outside of Wisconsin.   Anyway, we decided to venture 7hrs east and visit my wife's brother, a long time member of the Air Force, in Ohio. We left in the middle of the night, loading the kids up while they were half asleep.    

Here's a pic proving that 10 years of dental work can erase any memory of how to smile - I swear, when I try to grin I look as natural as a toupee.    Our goal: get there in time to see Santa disembark from a plane at the base Christmas party.  

Alas, while we were prompt enough I didn't have the proper paperwork - insurance card, vehicle registration, yada yada - to get past the guards.   

 So, we scrapped that and headed back to my in-law's house. The ladies took the kids to the mall to see Santa, while my brother-in-law and I hunkered down to watch some action movies.

In the evening the ten of us had a great dinner at Carraba's, passing the hour wait for a table by perusing the Goodwill next door - and picking up a Reds helmet for Parker.  

 All the kids got along like great friends rather than relatives that see each other once a year at best. They certainly have a fascination with Princesses in common .. .

   One neat thing was that my nieces, who've lived only in Texas and Georgia before moving to Ohio this year, had never experienced a real winter.
So once we got home from dinner we took them sledding for the first time in their lives


 - and the grown-ups got into the act too.   After a great breakfast we were on the road again, this time joined by my mother-in-law,who'd injured her hip on a business trip in nearby Kentucky and asked for a ride home.   Some memorable sights on the way home: YaYa's first glimpse of the Sears Tower, a fireworks display (!!!) in southern Wisconsin, a truck accident in Indiana, an Auntie Annie's pretzel for the kids at the Lake Forest Oasis, with traffic flowing beneath us.

  And just for kicks, here's a pic of the just completed Christmas tree from the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I successfully avoided having to do anything to decorate it by leaving it to the ladies.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Student Suspended for Blog

Now I know the student in question was subject to the ethical obligations of his future profession, but this seems a little on the Stalinist side to me (then again, I do hate Marquette - Go UWM!)

Marquette Student Suspended Over Blog