Thursday, March 25, 2010

Words of Praise

I received this email from the Journal-Sentinel editor, and while it may seem like bragging, I feel the need to record the letter for posterity. The kind words made my day.

Dan, here’s a letter we received regarding your recession column. It was handwritten, but I’m typing it into this email so you can read it. It’s a nice one:

To whom it may concern:

This is just a brief note to thank both the Journal and Mr. Daniel Slap for his inspirational and upbeat letter which he wrote. Mr. Slap, a homeowner, husband and parent of four children, has been unemployed for nearly a year. Instead of the prevalent “poor me” rhetoric, he has retained his perspective, sense of humor and obviously a great faith.

He and his lovely wife of 14 years are a true inspiration to me. I have shared his letter with both family and friends.

I, too, have my issues: senior citizen, handicapped with a number of expensive medical issues. When I reread his courageous letter, I know that with people like him, he will ensure things will work out for all of us.

Thank you, Mr. Slap !


Margaret - -

* * * * *

I also received this email, around the time of publication:

Dear Daniel,

Read your item in yesterday's MJS.

Content good. Relevance excellent.

But the prose--impeccable.

Quit looking for a job, start writing
a novel.

Stranger things have happened.


Thomas P. R-

P:S: I am a published writer, so I know good
prose when I see it. Your line: "...bills began to
be paid in triage fashion..." is a winner!
Fond du Lac, WI

Monday, March 22, 2010

Facebook Feb 24th -

Feb 24th: This weeks episode told u everything you need to know about Lost: It's all about Jack. Past, present(s), and future - the island, and the show, is all about Jack Shephard.

- That said, it's theory time! The web seems to be populated with dinkleberries who haven't thought anything through. I disagree w/ almost all published theories about last nights episode.

For starters, the appendectomy scar that Jack doesn't remember seems (to me) to be proof that this ISN'T a flash-sideways. Jack is Jack, and somewhere down the ... See Moreroad he is succeeds in ?? and resumes a normal life, as do the rest of Flight
815. We are watching what could/will be the present of 2004 IF Jack triumphs.

- to clarify: while life has 'reset' in the new 204, the characters are unaware of their time on the island.

Life is better w/out the island. Locke has found peace, Hurley is lucky, and Jack has overcome the damage wrought by his father and forged a bond with his once estranged son. (That scene outside the conservatory brought tears to my eyes, btw... See More.)

So life sans island is a reward, a not-perfect world where the characters are willing and able to struggle past and overcome the issues that torment them.

- I now believe more than ever that Jacob is good and neoLocke evil. Newest evidence: Claire going nutso and axing a man to death under the tutelage and lies of NeoLocke.

- Note that Jacob, even tho' he appears to have been 'defeated', seems to know what will happen before it does.

He knows, for instance, that NeoLocke will shortly gain access to the temple before the possiblity even arises, and moves Jack and Hurley clear of danger.

He is the Destiny aspect of the show, whereas neoLocke must force and lie and manipulate hsi way to uncertain and mixed results. ... See More

That Jacob favors and sees tied to Jack is curious. Iit was always Locke that believed in destiny and Jack that was for choice and free will, and yet both men have been clearly used in the service of the opposing philosophy.

* Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas co-founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, secretly converted to Christianity in 1996 and soon began a decade of feeding Hamas info to Israel, aborting many suicide bombings in the process - some by physically intervening. "So many people owe him their life and don't even know it," [an Israeli official] said.

* Yikes: SeaWorld trainer killed by killer whale

* Prequel to 'The Passion of the Christ' close to production!

* ‘Idol’ Winners: Not Just Fame but Big Bucks

* Lousy kids r arguing @ the table over whether or not YaYa is actually swallowing her grilled cheese or just 'faking', & about who can upchuck into their mouth w/out spitting it out. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Here's what non-breeders and the 'bred because it was expected' fail to comprehend: you can hate 17.5% of any given day with all ur heart & still not regret any of it. It'd be like hating pizza forever because 1 slice of one pie was crap.

- To clarify 'bred because it was expected' - I know a few people (no one reading this) who had kids for no apparent reason other than it was the step between 'marriage' and 'retirement'. Then they whine about the gig. No one begged ya to reproduce, as I recall. Quit yer belly-aching. ;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Facebook: Feb 23rd

Feb 23rd: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.): "Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive . . . Women don't have jobs either, but women aren’t abusive, most of the time," he said." THIS is the chosen leader of the Senate Dems? Ru sure he's not a GOP mole? When he speaks its like an episode of Jackass meets Ca...ndid Camera. I'm thinking maybe he and his wife will have the chance to test his theory (incorrect) after November . .

[Mark] Concannon Leaves WITI This is dated info, although it's 'new' on the Journal's site. Either Tim Cuprisin broke the news on FB yest, or I read it on a media blog. Either way, good luck Mark - and ignore the snark in the comments. People protected by the anonymity of the web are, as a rule, suckassy.

* Former NBA star Jayson Williams gets five-year sentence in shooting People are bi**hing about how an NBA star 'got off easy', but the death was clearly accidental. Essentially, he's serving 5 years in prison for hindering the investigation. To me, when u can kill a man intentionally and skate after 15 years, 5 years seems a little steep for idiotically trying to cover up the 'hows' of an accident.

* Wisconsin closes milk-production gap with Calif. Good news WI. About time we started putting fear into those insolent, so-called "happy cows." Be afraid you bovine traitors - Daddy needs a new pair of leather pants.

* Lockerbie bomber Megrahi living in luxury villa six months after being at 'death's door' Remember, he was allegedly released because he had less than 3 months to live. Six months later, he's alive and kicking in a 'luxury villa'. There's no question in my mind that Libya's threats to cut oil contracts led the Brits to release him and disregard both the law and justice. Shame on everyone involved.

* 'My heart, my choice,' Williams says, defending decision for U.S. heart surgery Tsk Tsk. Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) Premier Danny Williams went to the US recently for heart surgery. He "was aware his trip to the [US] for heart surgery . . . would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout . ." Quote: "I did not sign away my right to get the best possibl...e health care for myself when I entered politics." endquote.

* Busy day. Topped off fluids on the car, took the kids to school & Lauren to playgroup, (Smiley's bus never showed) had my crucifix fixed, cleaned fish & turtle tanks & kitty litter in btwn writing. Now Park and I r making a turkey, stuffing (w/ walnuts), rolls & yams for our Tues Family Nt. Then a game & we'll end by reading from Anne Frank's diary. Not 'fun' per se, but they seem woefully ignorant of the Holocaust.

- Family nights have been a hit. They usually start out w/ a dinner I make while Lisa's at play practice (burritos and homemade cornbread the week before, wonderful boneless ribs the week before that), followed by an activity.

* Dinner was A1. Got the kids to eat yams by saying they were carrots. But L & the girls were late bcuz she left the lts on and needed a jump-start, so we xnay'd the game. I did read Anne Frank's 1st 2 entries to the girls. They liked her snarky & somewhat judgemental take on her classmates. Based on her bday gifts, theydecided she was much richer than us :) We'll try reading a few pgs each nt.

* I was going to go all in-depth on tonight's American Idol, but I think I can sum it up nicely: disappointing, boring, and almost enough to convince you the talk about this group being 'strong' is all smoke and mirrors. However, Katelyn and Crystal did well, Lily was @ least interesting, and Michelle was as good as Elle...n said. My picks to go home: Janell and Haeley (sp?).

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's My Birthday!

And Ginger and Smiley serenaded me to mark the occasion.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Facebook Feb 21st - 22nd

Feb 21st: I'm on Club Penguin cart surfing to earn coins for Grace's penguin. Ain't nobody can top me in the mines, N-O-B-O-D-Y. If you think different, step on up pardner. I'm the penguin in the purple gown and the long brown hair racking up the points. Bring your A game and prepare to recognize!

* The First World War (2003) This mini-series is showing on the Military Channel this month and I think it's superb. It's British, so it focuses a bit too much on their experience, but that's to be expected. @ least it makes an effort to inc the Eastern front & the Turks. A bit too heavy on the 'evil' Boche cliche early on, but overall it's balanced if rudimentary. Worth a look.

* Proof that advertising seeps into the brain: I took my two oldest to the grocery store to look for plain yogurt. No luck, but there was plenty of Activia. As soon as they saw it on the shelves both girls pointed and sang, in harmony, the Activia jingle.

Feb 22nd: Pediatricians call for a choke-proof hot dog Jeez-us. What's next? Scooping the crap out of their bum to avoid the risk of a hemorroids? Shaving their head so their hair won't get stuck in a whirlpool? Cut the hot dog lengthwise and problem solved. By the time my kids are my age we'll have ditched the eagle and made our national icon the pu**y.

* Koss sues American Express over Sachdeva purchases What crap. Koss hires a thief, is oblivious to how she's gouging them, American Express notifies them and stops the bleeding - and Koss turns around and sues them. Way to further America's decent into litigious Suckassyness.

* First Dick Cheney is hospitalized, now Bob Dole. It's a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. I wish them both a speedy recovery

Archaeologist sees proof for Bible in ancient wall

* Dems, GOP: Summit will not break logjam on health Quoting the lead paragraph of the article: "Realistically, he's just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency." That's a far cry from the fawning MSM of '08.

* Archer's been renewed for a 2nd season! Hot Dog

* Chavez of Venezuela, Uribe of Colombia in shouting match - I'm w/ you Uribe. I'd swear at him too, if he was funding guerillas who cross the border and terrorize my citizens. Not that it matters to El Presidente KooKoo, but he's the reason I haven't visited a Citgo in close to four years.

* For our anniversary we were granted 2 1/2 hr w/out children, all in the middle of the day. Long enough to stop and buy some needed pet food, wait for a table at Olive Garden, and scarf down some food. I'm grateful 4 the break, but 4 the record: on my bday, if I don't find a babysitter, I'm locking the kids in the shed ...with a water bottle, a loaf of bread, and a harmonica. Ok, 2 bottles of water. Maybe 3. ;)

-all kidding aside, my folks and sister Kwatched the little ones for most of the afternoon, and while we had the older girls they did try to stay out of our way (and my mother-in-law kindly picked them up from school, saving us a trip).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Signs your daughter knows you too well

On Sunday night I picked YaYa up from her friend Meadow's house. On the way home, needing garbage bags and cat food, I pulled into a store's parking lot.

"Dollar General?" she said. "Do we have to go here *every* day?"

"Yeah, actually, we do," I replied. "I like this store. And you wanna know why?"
Before I could voice a reason, serious or silly, she beat me to the punch.

"One," she said, counting on her fingers. "Good food. Two, low prices. Three, cute cashiers."

And then she zig-zagged her head sideways like "Oh, yeah, I went there".

"Well," I said, and was struck silent for a moment. "Yeah, actually that pretty much sums it up."

Facebook Feb 19th - 21st

Feb 19th: The man who allegedly accosted Mitt Romney on the plane was Berry Gordy's nephew, a rapper from LMFAO. He claims Mitt started it. Hmmm. I wonder which one to believe.

* re: Tiger Woods' apology: From Tim Cuprisin: Best line tweeted by Channel 6's Ted Perry "Did Tiger just say he's studying "Bootyism"? I thought he was teaching it."

* It'll be 4 years since I quit smoking and Newport still sends me coupons. If you smoke Newports, and would like $1 off/pack on the delicious, relaxing yumminess that is a menthol cigarette enjoyed with a cup of coffee in the dead of winter then [slap!]. Whoa. Maybe that's y they still send them, to tempt you. Anyhow, ur welcome to the coupons.

* Excuses for Obama's Failure to Lead The Dems should've ran Hilary. November '08 might have been iffy-er (but manageable) but at least after a win they'd have had someone who was good at something other than campaigning.

* National Enquirer in the running for Pulitzer I'm fine with this, btw. If they did the work, and got the scoop, then why not acknowledge it? Because of 'standards'? Puleeze. Need we bring up the recent Nobel Prize?

Feb 20th: Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig dies at 85

* Germany plans to allow the sale of Mein Kampf w/in their country: From an American POV it seems barbaric for the state to ban the publication of any book, especially one of historical significance, nor does it seem right to ensure the sale of used copies is 'tightly regulated'. This isn't a textbook on bomb making, its a whacked out political tract/autobiography. If the people of Germany are so prone to hate that a bk can bring back the Reich, then all is lost.

- It's been 70 years, first of all. & I think the idea that Germany was somehow brainwashed by Hitler was a fiction that conveniently (and correctly) allowed Germany to resume life at a time when it was a battleground for the cold war. No knock on Germany - my kids are half German - but go as far back as 1000 years and you'll find a history of Jewish persecution unique to that region. Mix that in w/ all the bitterness of the Great War and anyone, or any philosophy, could have ignited a fire.

* re: a nut who ran his plane into a building to protest the IRS: This is the headline on the article "Attack on IRS part of long line of tax protesters". Yeah, uh, NO. Tax protesters generally don't follow Bin Laden's advice and fly planes into buildings. He was a f*ing nut.

* Milwaukee Forge likely to be sold This is a Bay View landmark. My Mom remembers falling asleep to the rhythm of the drop forge as a child, and you can still hear - scratch that, feel - it running today.

* I'm looking for marbles to replace missing pieces from Smiley's Hungry Hungry Hippo game. None of Milwaukee's grand and varied Dollar stores carries marbles, or at least had them in stock. Any (really cheap) ideas on where I can find some? I don't want to spend $6 to restock a $9 game that's already well worn.

Feb 21st: Safe in the comfort that it is now 1:24 AM, and that this will be buried down the feed by the time any youngin's return to FB in the morning. I present a great memory from my college days (early '90's) I still can't believe they played this, unedited, on AM radio here in Milwaukee. God bless the WARP.

I suppose 102.1 is as close as you'd get to the WARP today, but it lacks the panache. That gorgeous tinny AM sound, the lack of any DJ's, the canned, monotone introduction to each song. It was grand.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some super-quick movie reviews

If you can get past the over-the-top gore of the movie's first few minutes, I think you'll like Zombieland. When all is said and done its a fun, occasionally endearing film that just happens to include rampaging zombies. And Bill Murray. Let us not forget the great Bill Murray. B+

Matt Damon is fat. And wears a toupee. And narcing on a price fixing scheme in the corn syrup industry. Yeaaaah. Yawn. C.

A parody of Blaxplotation films of the '70's, made all the funnier by playing it straight Black Dynamite features wicked kung ku, some good one-liners, and some nice breasts. Ok, so maybe that last bit shouldn't be in a review, but it's true all the same. B.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

I had a bittersweet moment with YaYa today.

After school we braved the gray, rainy afternoon to deliver her Girl Scout cookies in the neighborhood. I don't know why, but she asked if I would carry her home on my shoulders. No, I said, an answer I repeated several times over the course of our walk.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because we're both getting too old for it," I said.

But, a block from home I gave in and put her on my shoulders.

"It's kinda scary up here," she said. "It's been a long time."

"It'll probably be the last time too kiddo," I said. "You're getting too big for this."

"I know," she said.

"Does that make you sad?" I asked.

"Yeah, kinda. There's a lot of 'last times' lately. This year was the last time I could go to the pumpkin farm at school, it's the last piggyback. A lot of things are ending."

"That's just part of growing up baby. There's gonna be more and more things that are the 'last time' for you as a kid. But there's going to be a whole lot more 'first times' to balance it out. You'll see."

"I guess. Will you still buy me a pumpkin though? I don't want to see LuLu and Ginger do their's if I don't have one."

"Sure," I said. We were climbing my front porch steps.

"You should tell Mom to take a picture Daddy," she said. "This is the last time you'll give me a piggyback ride."

And that pretty much kicked me in the gut.

"Wellll," I said. "Maybe it won't be the 'last' time just yet."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Facebook Feb 18h

Feb 18th: American Idol: I think the male 12 was ok, but the choice of the female dozen was nuts. They cut Shelby Dressel and kept the mediocre blonde, which was bad enough, but then they axed Angela Martin. WTH? I had her pegged as a favorite to win. I can only assume her odd & continual personal troubles (Dad killed 1st yr, 6 days in ...jail yr 2, now her Mom's missing) knocked her out of the running. My early fave to win: Casey James.

* Lost: Excellent episode, u can really feel the season picking up steam. So in alt. timeline Locke is happy; he has his woman, comes to grips w/ his paralysis, and is fufilled @ wrk - all by abandoning faith, making him a true opp. of his 'old' self. Will Jack be equally fufilled by *embracing* faith in that timeline? Yin/Yang, etc?

- & no, I don't think PsedoLocke is 'good' and Jacob 'bad'. Aside from all the direct murders (Echo, the pilot) & a dozen other pts of fact, my gut says he's a trickster - a Loki (a conscious play on Locke/Loki?). Note also he tossed away the white rock, leaving the dark one victorious on the scale.

- Who's the child? Jacob. Hmm. Nah. I vote for a superior, judicial being keeping PsuedoLocke and Jacob in line and now sallying forth to rectify matters now that everything got sh** up. Odin to Thor and Loki? God to Jesus and Satan (if you mash up Christian theology)?

- Note Kate's name wasn't on the 'list'. Deep meanng? Who cares. I vote its because she's a boring, predicatable, and amoral twit. I do wonder if Sawyer saw the child becasue he is the one, the protector, or if that would hold true for anyone on the list.

* Universal Preps Cobain Bio Pic Dislike. Dislike. Dislike. Cross was Love's tool, and I don't buy some of his 'revelations'. Plus Courtney is [bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep] and should have nothing to do with anything of Kurt. She did enough damage while he was breathing. She's a dirty, useless piece of sh**t and I despise her.

* Johnny Weir 'Loves Wearing Dead Animals,' Calls Animal Rights Activists 'Crazy Fur People' The 'activists' were using him for cheap publicity, expecting your standard "Bend over and blindly apologize as the gods of PC demand". Essentially, he told them to go F themselves. Good for him.

* The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is posting FB messages in Arabic. Odd, and a wee disturbing, to see my 'wall' decorated by 3 posts in Arabic, w/ no English translation on hand.

* NKOTB is featured on AOL's home page this morning. The article includes some pretty good 'candid' pics.

* re: Sade's new album and single: 'Soldier of Love is a very good song and I like it a lot. I also liked Donnie Osmond's song of the same name, and bought a cassette single of it in the '80's. That's irrelevant - but I figured, so is everything else I post here, so why not include it?

* Went right from work to YaYa's parent-teacher conference. It went much better than I feared, w/ her teacher heaping praise and compliments on her. Still, she rightly pointed out that YaYa, if we can speak plainly here, rarely gives more than a half-ass effort in math and anything she finds 'boring'. Time to break her of that before it gets too ingrained (sp?) in her personality.

* Aside from breaking my son's foot the day went well. I have pics from the wrestling practice, so hopefully a blog post will follow. The coach went gaga for LuLu; his eyes just sparkled. He said she was a natural, that her body instinctively reacted w/ the right moves as if trained; that right NOW she would do well in a... tourney and be near the top of the food chain in her age bracket. Wow. My LuLu, a wrestler?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Horns by Joe Hill

Ignatius “Ig” Perrish isn’t having a very good year. Born the son of modest fame and privilege, and once blessed with an abundance of love and friendship, his life has collapsed around him. Merrin, his first and only love, was brutally raped and murdered, leaving Ig as the only suspect. Although never charged with her murder, his community seems convinced of his guilt - with some people going so far as to pray for his death. It’s hard to imagine how things could get worse.

That is, until the morning horns begin to grow out of his head.

That’s the premise of Horns, the second novel by Joe Hill, author of Heart Shaped Box and the short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and the son of novelist Stephen King.

Appearing the morning after a night of drunken violence, the horns are unquestionably and frighteningly real. They inspire the worst in whoever sees them, encouraging sin and drawing out hateful thoughts unmitigated by compassion or conscience, but leaving the memory of the conversation as little more than a haze. Within a short time Ig’s status as the town pariah is confirmed, but the horns also reveal the darkest secret of all, one that hits very close to home: the name of Merrin’s true killer.

While revealing the killer early in the story removes the question of “Who dunnit?”, the novel successfully builds suspense by keeping you guessing at the motives of everyone involved. Through flashbacks, the long and ultimately doomed relationship of Merrin and Ig is revealed, culminating in that tragic night. Although the disturbingly creepy history of the killer all but screams “Danger!”, you’re left wondering if Merrin was as innocent as Ig would like to believe - or if she was hiding a secret of her own.

If there’s a noticeable flaw in Horns it’s the inconsistency of the spiritual journey that drives Ig‘s actions. He himself admits the Devil he mimics is a trickster. Yet he obligingly takes the dark confessions he inspires at face value, abandoning friends and family along the way. Likewise, he’s abandoned a belief in a conventional god, considering the brutality of Merrin’s death as justification for his action. Yet, in the end his friends and family refuse to be so easily discarded and rise to his defense. The god he resents is not so vocal, yet even in Merrin’s murder there may be proof of hidden mercy. Taken as a whole it’s a bit of a philosophical jumble, perhaps too much like real life to leave the reader satisfied.

Joe Hill is a talented and able writer, and there are snippets of prose that linger in your thoughts long after the book is closed. If there is such a thing as a sophomore slump for novelists, someone forgot to tell Hill. Horns is solid proof that he is far more than a flash in the pan, and is likely a voice of horror for years to come.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Apple Cake Recipe. Wellll, Redbook magazine's recipie actually, but it's mine now.

Here's the apple cake recipe I've been talking about on Facebook. I've made it twice and was never 100% satisfied w/ the result (once too dry once too, er, wet), but I'd chalk that up to my tempermental oven, not a flaw in the design.

Chopped walnuts or pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large apples, peeled and sliced (I use 8 small/medium, mainly because that's what I usually have on hand)
1 tbsp bakingpowder
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs.
1/2 cup veg oil
1/2 cup/1 stick melted butter
1/4 cup Orange Juice
2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degree F

Combine apples, cinnnamon, 2 tbsp of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and toss.
In another bowl, combine remaining sugar and flour, baking powder, OJ, oil, vanilla, butter, eggs, salt. Beat until smooth.

Spray pan with nonstick spray and sprinkle bottom liberally with nuts. Pour in half the batter. Cover with a layer of 1/2 the apples. Spoon the remaining batter over the apples and top that with what's left of the apples. With luck you might have some left over for the kids (apples that is).

Bake 1 hr and 20 min or untl toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Today is Smiley's 5th Birthday!

Happy 5th Birthday little guy! We love you!

Smiley is a huge fan of Sprout, PBS's all-preschool TV channel; Caillou and Barney are recorded and watched endlessly around here. Another thing he likes about Sprout is their wonderful practice of announcing birthdays on air, and showing off homemade cards parents create and send in. As a surprise, Lisa made a card and sent it in last month. I know it breaches the no-names policy established here, but I can't resist showing it off.

Note: something is goofy with our scanner, and so bits of the card look to be in shadow. The original looks great. [front cover, left inside, right inside, back cover]





We still have to wait and see if his card is shown on air (we've set the DVR to take nearly the whole day of Sprout), but at the stroke of midnight a scanned copy of the card * DID * appear on the Sprout website, as they promised! Card

Again, we love you little man! It's been a pleasure being your Daddy these last five years :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Stacey!

Today our youngest niece (on my side) turns 9 years old. All blessings to you Stacey, and we hope you have a great birthday!

In other news, it is also the 14th anniversary of my cousin's horrific car crash (he's ok now, but still walks with a limp)

- and -

The 174th anniversary of the Fall of the Alamo. May we never forget their sacrifice.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Facebooking my life Feb 15th - 17th

Feb 15th: There was a Future Celebrity sighting on Match Game this morning. Jenny Jones, future talk show host, appeared in today's 1978 episode and won the grand prize. Interestingly, she stated she was born in Bethlehem (Palestine) to Polish Catholic parents.

* Want to feel older than your years? It's been 15 years since WISN and Fox 6 anchor Vince Gibbens unexpectedly died of a heart attack in 1995. Remember all the on-air memorials at the time? Yikes. Fifteen Years.

* Red beans & rice + sausage for dinner, then an hr of the most scuffles ever recorded among the kids. It was like Wrestlemania Slapinions. But good can come from bad. As they were all nuts anyhow, we picked today to break Ginger of sleeping w/ the room light on. She slept in the dark from birth to 2, then picked up the... habit when she moved 2 her own rm. 2night: darkness. & a lot of crying. It might be a long one. Note: It was a complete success. While I did have to unscrew the bulbs in the overhead light to keep her from turning it on, she's now sleeping in the dark, and falling asleep faster than ever.

* Oh hell yeah! Neil Gaiman to write Dr. Who Episode.

Feb 16th: Mitt Romney is threatened on a flight out of Vancouver. Mitt's new book comes out March 2nd. I can't wait!

* [wipes tears of pride from my eyes] Smiley just brought me a copy of Dr. Who magazine and asked me to read it to him while he ate lunch. "umtimes I 'ared, umtimes I not" he said. The other day the family watched "Lazarus Experiment" (great underated ep.) and he was petrified but stuck it out, even as he said to me "I night'ares tonight, it your 'ault" :)

* (linking to a $250 plate dinner w/ Jeb Bush] It's well outside my price range, but if your situation is different:

* [a 94 year old convict on death row dies of natural causes] The man was in prison for armed robbery, shooting a cop, and murder. He escaped and killed again. By the time he died he'd been in prison (all told) for nearly *79* years. $'s never a reason to kill a man, but try and convince me this wretched life was worth what it cost taxpayers.

* Lousy link, grumble. Anywho, this is about the "Betty White to Host SNL" movement, including some comments by the busty Mrs. White. Er, did I just put that last part in print?

Feb 17th: Good luck, and get well soon. (on news that former Bucks coach George Karl has cancer)

* [on yet another article critiquing the Olympics] I think most people need to just shut up and enjoy the Games.

* To the unknown person who donated the coffee maker to the Value Village, which I purchased 2day for $3: Sir/Madam, I salute u. No castoff this, no 'best fit for the rubbage heap but donate it 4 the write-off'. I can see the love u had for it, the care u took in maintaining it. Even on the shelf it shone like a glimpse ...into the Hereafter, so spotless my efforts to 'clean' it were superflous @ best. Well done.

* Zahi Hawass is everything the last 3 letters of his name implies, an ego-mad Egyptian who views everything in a Jingoistic light. King Tut could not be effeminate, as theorized, you see, regardless of what facts may or may not have been, because that wouldn't jibe with his world-view of manhood and Egyptian royalty. That said,the video doesn't include his take on the subject, so what's the point of the link at all?

* [on news that an 'ancient' Arabic inscription had been found] It was some Call me whackadoodle, but 1,100 years old doesn't qualify as "ancient" for anything historical. Heck, Alfred the Great was busy burning cakes by then.

Note: that post brought up a great discussion w/ Socialist. He asked me what I'd consider 'ancient'. I said at the earliest, anything B.C. "Excuse, me (airquote) Before the Common Era (airquote)." I said.

Later, I realized how idiotic that sounded. "It makes no bleeping sense to go around changing the name from AD and BC. Why? You're still dating things from the birth of Christ, right? Basically you're just farting around, saying you want to be tolerant and this and that and all you're doing is slapping some paint on it. You want to be PC, go ahead and redate every bleep thing. Just pick a random starting point and go at it. Or better yet, STFU."

He agreed.

We also discussed Truthers, those fair-haired kooks who believe the government conspired to fake 9/11 by various means. I still run into a guy who proudly wears a 9/11 Truth t-shirt, nevermind that it erases all respect for him in the minds of people he meets. We both agreed Truthers were nimrods, for a number of reasons. We both agreed it would take hundreds, if not thousands, of accomplices to pull off such a conspiracy. Presumably, those reams of volunteers were not only cool with killing thousands of their innocent countrymen, but were sooooo trustworthy they've all kept mum before and during the attack, and for the decade afterwards. Get out of here - Washington can't run Amtrack, much less plot 9/11.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nirvana on Ice

I've got nothing against figure skating, OK? I might even admit to liking it as a spectator sport. And I certainly have nothing against U.S. skater Scott Williams. But this . . [weeps] . . . this . . is a MONSTROSITY. Why Scott? Why?

To make things worse, it's not even a cover, which I think would be slightly kosher, it's the actual album version. Therefore *someone* gave permission to use it, which means I have one more f*ing reason to hate Courtney Love.

Facebooking my life Feb 13th - 14th

Feb 13th: Selena Roberts is a hack who wrote an A-Rod bio that had to be pulled from the shelves in bulk when it tanked. Here she does a hatchet job on the IOC, trying to sell us the idea a) they murdered the luger b) pushing the envelope is bad and c) all sports should be played as if your Grandma was suiting up. SI - can her already.

On a serious note, this quote from [Roberts']lead-in: "The International Olympic Committee's need to push the envelope is sewn into its motto Citius, Altius, Fortius - or swifter, higher, stronger - as if to be swift enough, fast enough or strong enough were a weakness" is an arguement for mediocrity and stagnation. It is not the Olympic spirit - it is not the human spirit - and I find it vile that someone that believes such a tepid idea is paid to comment on sports.

* Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas officially retires: When I went to Brewers games as a kid, Thomas was the only hitter who inspired genuine anxiety in me every time he came to the plate. I always thought he'd ice the game for the Sox.

* The Ginger is running around saying "Oh my Got" this morning & ignoring our efforts to switch to "Oh my gosh". I don't understand where she gets it. I'll swear like a drunk trucker, but I almost never use the Lord's name, even for that kinda stuff. Which isn't to say I'd be ok with her saying "you m.fer" - at least un...til she's four. Three at the earliest ;)

* To anyone hearing rumors that Facebook will be charging $ starting this summer: it has been labeled as FALSE by, and in fact the site is warning that some of the 'protest' groups here on FB are fronts to push hidden, malicious code. If and when FB decides to charge, I'm sure we'll hear about it from mainstream sources.

* [Frederick C] Weyand was a good battlefield commander with a knack for correctly analyzing intelligence data. He was responsible for US forces moving closer to Saigon prior to Tet, enabling the U.S. to hit back @ the VC hard - & possibly saving the captial. He also yapped too much to reporters, but that's another story. RIP.

* Damn (refering to Dana Patrick crashing in her Nationwide debut)

* It looks like I'll need a new water pump for the Escort. Anyone have an idea about how much it'll cost? It's one of the few items I haven't had work on over the years.

Valentines Day: Damnit. Dick Francis was one of my favorite mystery authors. All the good ones are passing away this year. RIP.

* How Catholic Are You? Quiz
Result: Ready for Catechist
Wow! You're knowledge of the church is impressive! You should consider teaching CCD!

* I've liked this catchy little diddy since I first heard it on WARP AM back in college. [Cannonball by the Breeders]

* What'd I get my wife for Valentines Day? 8 hrs home alone w/ four kids while I worked. But on the way home I did pick up 2 'Heart' pizzas from Papa Murphy's for dinner. Were they good? We wouldn't know. Our oven tanked so we couldn't bake them. And then Gionger wizzed all over the dining room and the bathroom. Good times, good times.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Suess' Birthday


In honor of Dr. Seuess' birthday, Smiley's class is having a different Seuss activity everyday this week. Tomorrow is "Silly Sock Day", where you can wear silly, mismatched socks.

Thank God. We usually do that anyway, but tomorrow it'll look like we did it on purpose.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Damn those Christians!"

There wasn't much to recommend David Zucker's An American Carol, a parody of the Left and filmmaker Michael Moore. Not that it was bad because it was conservative in ideology. No, in fact it's every bit as funny as the cookie-cutter Airplane! knock-offs that come out every summer. But that's the problem: those movies aren't funny.

But it did have a great scene, a Bill O'Reilly interview with the pseudo-Michael Moore and the 'real' Rosie O'Donnell, thinly masked as Rosie O'Connell. In it Rosie spounts her usual nonsense, including her 'truther' theories. But best of all is her 'documentary' of the terrorist attacks she credits to Christians (in the film).

Although fictional, it really serves to highlight the idiocy of some of the reactionary Left, and their knack for establishing loony arguments to rationalize their anti-Western ideas.

BTW - I run into a 'Truther' a few times a month, complete with T-Shirt advertising his beliefs.

Facebooking my life Feb 10th - 12th

Feb 10th: I don't know if I felt the northern IL earthquake or not, but coincidentally I woke from a sound sleep at the same time it hit. I ck'd the time, apologized for waking Lisa, then laid back down and went back to sleep.

I just showed Smiley an ad for the new generation of Zhu-Zhu pets and he freaked out. He started hopping up and down and sounded like he was going to hyperventalate. Man he loses those toy hamsters!

If you haven't read it already, check out, a great site for movie news and gossip - and tell 'em I sent you. The latest: Zac Efron may be on board to take over as Peter Parker in the next Spiderman movie.

Feb 11th: Designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead of an apparent suicide, mere days after the death of his mother. He was 40.

Former President Clinton had a heart procedure: I wouldn't (and didn't) vote for the guy, but I hope he recovers quickly.

re: a prison escape
: Allegedly he 'escaped' because he presented false release papers, returned to Milwaukee for an unspecified time, and was arrested again when he showed up to see his parole officer. Nuh-uh. This smells like the prison screwed up and released him themselves, w/ him thinking it was legit. Y else would an 'escapee' visit his parole officer?

Scientists Rebuild Iceman Genome From Hair Sample

Feb 12th: According to a lawsuit filed by Dr. Dre, he hasn't been paid royalties on his landmark album "The Chronic" since splitting with Death Row Records in 1996. 1996!

re: another delay in the Roman Polanski case: I'm loathe to argue against seeing 'justice' served, at least as it's defined by the courts, but enough already. How much more time and $ is the LA system willing to waste in the name of publicity?

Aurochs Project Aims to Breed Extinct Ancient Cattle

Got home from work @ 9. Lisa & I then had to deal with The Ginger, who picked last nt to scream, stomp her feet, & refuse to sleep in true 2 yr old fashion. We left her in her rm to chill out, but that took5 HOURS, lasting until 3 a.m. Then we woke up @ 6:45 to YaYa screaming like she was under attack. Y? "Where'd you put... my school clothes?" @#^&%

re: Obama severing our manned space program.
I feel stronger about this than almost any aspect of this administration. All the rest is the here, the now, the monumental but mundane decisions of our everyday lives. Space is our collective future. What he's done is no better than a monarch of 1600 ...saying "That New World is too far away, too costly. We have problems here, in Europe, to solve first." Foolish, short-sighted, & completely lacking in vision.

Oh man. What lousy news [a Luger dies during an Olympic test-run] RIP.

On reports of sexual assaults at the County Metal Health Complex: If you've ever had the (dis)pleasure of escorting someone to the Complex, this doesn't surprise you. It's more like a prison yard than a hospital, and I've been asked to come along just to have the comfort of someone my size at the ready. They help people, but they do it in an atmosphere that makes your soul scream.

Before I forget: a few weeks ago my two oldest came home ecstatic that the Marquette baskeball team visited their school. YaYa was impressed by Robert Frozena, while LuLu thought Jimmy Butler (who gave her an autograph) was the nicest guy in history.