Thursday, October 04, 2007


Free Burma!

Kenji Nagai faced something too many people have had to do. Others are facing it now.

Stay You.
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Howard the Geek

OK, I'm a geek. I love SciFi's Battlestar Galactica so doing this story was a nice treat.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

A Very Cool World

Last night I caulked my tub. No big deal there. People have been doing it or something like it since the Roman baths. Mine's nothing fance - a shower/tub combo - with a necklace of shampoos, conditioners, and emoluments that the women in my life collect. But it's still pretty cool that hot and cold water are pumped up to my upstairs bathroom and I can cleanse myself daily in relative peace. It's been going on for years but I'm in the minority of the mass of people today who can do it.

One thing no roman ever did was install new USB 2.0 ports in their PCI slot and then put in a DVD burner with lightscribe. Very cool. I'm not confident in my technical abilities, but it got done with a minimal of swearing. Now I can back up everything to DVDs - including my old video via this new thing I bought.

The past is safe. Fewer memories will be lost. That's key with me.

Stay You.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

I left the corporate world just about this time in 1999. I still think I've made the right decision if this article is true.

If you're a loyal employee like me, you occasionally check your company's Vision Statement to make sure all the T's in "empowerment" have been crossed, and the I's in "mission" have been dotted. But if you come across buzzwords like "excellence" and "leadership," you should know that your corporate culture is sadly behind the curve--those terms are as '90s as Reebok Pumps, Zima, and Total Quality Management. There's a new core value on the loose, and it goes by the name of "Fun."

Shortly after I left that hierarchical world of mission statements and performance reviews that decided whether I would get a 3.5% increae in pay or a 4.1% increase in pay, I caught Office Space for the first time. It was reassuring. The Divine Mrs. M. bought the DVD.

But every once in a while, I yearn for the ability to hid amongst the group. To be cloaked by the herd. And then I read this piece.

Here's an abbreviated list of the jollity that will ensue at your place of business if you follow their advice: "joy lists," koosh balls, office-chair relay races, marshmallow fights, funny caption contests, job interviews conducted in Groucho glasses or pajamas, wacky Olympics, memos by Frisbee, voicemails in cartoon-character voices, rap songs to convey what's learned at leadership institutes, "breakathons," bunny teeth, and asking job prospects to bring show and tell items such as "a stuffed Tigger doll symbolizing the interviewee's energetic and upbeat attitude" or perhaps a "neon-pink mask and snorkel worn to demonstrate a sense of humor, self-deprecating nature, and sense of adventure."

I've said it before. I worked for MegaCorp for 6 years. I was on 5 different "teams" to decide on a mission statement. After those years, I have no idea how our economy beat out the Soviets.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Howard Makes the News

I made the news yesterday. Here's the link. I'm at the 1:00 mark. Man, the camera does add 10 lbs....and gray your hair...and make you squint. Oh, well. We did a good thing.

I conceived the idea of running the names in 2002. We've done it each year thereafter. On this side of town, people ask if we're going to do it again every year. I think I started a tradition.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday Again

I've been living by a mantra for a few weeks: Work hard, Be Strong, don't worry. It seems to be working - spottily.

Work Hard
It's Monday. Had a busy day. I've got too many articles to write tonight. A big deadline at the end of the week and several other pieces that I need to get done if I want to get paid. But I want to go hangout and watch the Bengals game. I'd also like to just plop down in front of the tv and do nothing or maybe even go to bed at 8. Owww, that sounds good....but I never do it. I never do.

Be Strong
Nothing much testing my strengh. Am I strong - mentally, emotionally. I don't know.

No Worries - haaaa haaaa haaaa. I'm designed to worry, but I've kept it to a minimum.

Stay You.
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Friday, September 07, 2007

Baseball Game

My oldest daughter - now 10 - use to wear a Reds hat and sing a song she called "Baseball Game". The entire song was made up of the words "Base", "Ball" and "Game". Now the story embarrasses her.

I don't follow the game. I know when the win or have a home run, because my house is near enough to the stadium that we hear the fireworks they set off, but that's the extent of my knowledge.

We're going to the game tonight. Apparently the Reds are not favored to make the playoffs. Neither are the Brewers. It doesn't matter. The air is cool. The beer will be expensive but cold. We'll be with good friends and maybe - just maybe - I'll hear a chorus of "Baseball Game".

Stay You.
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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mean People Suck

That was a button people wore in the early 90s. I thought it silly. Not after today.

I'm usually a pretty pleasant guy. But today, every single person I've spoken to - usually on the phone - has been mean to me.

Make it stop.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Camel Towing

Look, I'm no prude. I swear too much, make rude sexual innuendo to my wife too much. I like raunchy movies sometimes (Super Troopers made me blow a nice Shiraz out my nose).

I'm not to bothered by too much.

However, do we need to be crass everywhere?

Last night I'm driving down Queen City Avenue into the city when I stop at a light beside and slightly behind a tow truck. Here's their yellow pages listing. Camel Towing of Independence Kentucky. Get it? Just in case you don't get it, the company had it's motto stenciled across the back of the cab. It read: There's no tow like a Camel Tow.

Now some dude with the wherewithall and brains to operate a tow truck, probably finance it, and run a business decided "Yes, I'll name my company for the cleaving of female genitals by fabric....and I'll proudly display it".

Not that I'm a prude, but I don't really need the thought of Camel Towing in my head at 6 pm. I especially don't want to have to explain it to my too young daughters.

Stay You.
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Been Caught Stealing Kind of Day

Jane's Addiction's "Been Caught Stealing" seems to be the soundtrack of my day today.

I'm feeling good - and when I feel good, I want a driving rhythm, thumping bass line and screamed lyrics.

That's just me.

I've got some energy...and I have to sit down in front of this computer for the next few hours. Then a few more hours. Then tonight I have a long meeting.

But it's my's "mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine".

Stay You.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig: What if it wasn't a cop in the next stall?

On thing I haven't heard talked about among all the He's gay, not gay, hypocrite, etc talk with Larry Craig is simple.

What if the cop in the next stall wasn't a cop?

Craig in on the appropriations committee. What if the cop was really a defense contractor. Or maybe a lobbiest or maybe an agent of China.

that's the real danger of Senators doing things like this. whether it's bathroom stalls or Vitter's hookers. Or Clinton's 22-year olds.

Stay You.
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Friday, August 17, 2007

Trying to Write

I keep starting posts only to delete everything out. Everything I write sounds pretty lame so I delete it. Maybe the past few years have sounded pretty lame. Maybe I'm just going through a overly self critical time. I don't know.

Either way. Nothing I write here looks nice or original or interesting. It's all junk. Maybe a change is in order.

Stay You.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Clevenger Hall

One of the things I've been doing.

I'm full of sentiment...or is it sentimentality...lately.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Still Nothing Here

I was really into blogging for quite a while. Now I have no ambition. I still have thoughts that shot through my head that I think would make a good blog post, but I never seem to click my blogger link and do a brain dump.

Partly because I've been busy at work. Business - from all points - have picked up quite a bit, but something just flipped inside my head and I'm just not interested. I want to be interested. I really do, but there's no fire, there's no spark to blog. Maybe it'll show up tonight.

I'm building a personal website. Slowly learning html and realizing I have no design talent. daughter one is giving it a 9-year old try here. My 6-year old wants this changed.

Stay You.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Website Woes

I had a nifty little website for my writing business but when I contacted the folks I had the hosting through, it had gone belly up. After some phone calls, I found out how to resolve it and promptly did...nothing.

Now I'm without a website. I feel cheap. It's like going around without business cards. However, it is a good time to just re-launch. I learned some stuff and now I can apply it to the new site.

I'm trying to buy one today, but seem unable to get ahold of the person I need to to get it done. Once launched, I will announce here and may even transfer this blog to that site. Although that seems like a big job.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Wow! A month since my last post?

Yes it has been. No real reason why except boredom. Politics bores me now. All the same arguments. All that's left is the street fighting.

I even bore myself lately. I'm not the most interesting person to have for dinner, but if you had to live in my head, I'm really boring.

I've recently had a change of environment - not bad, not good - just a change. That might help. I'm going to try to start blogging regularly again. I'm really into TV shows right now. Maybe a bit more on that. What am I reading? Some fiction. But that's mostly just to get me to sleep.

Let's see what happens.

Stay You.
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Other People's Problems

Monday, June 18, 2007

Me on Immigration

In Ft. Wright Kentucky I purchased the Rodrigo y Gabriela CD. It was an impulse buy. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye in the Latin section. The Latin section was nearly as big as the Country section. Remember, this was Ft. Wright, Kentucky. If they're here, they're not going anywhere.

In my book, I call immigrants the high octane fuel of the US economic engine. I still stick by that. They work harder than us. Period.

That doesn't mean I have to like illegal immigrants. If terrorism is a threat - and I believe it is - and if it's such a threat that the US has launched a global war on terror and invaded two countries, shouldn't we at least secure our borders and know who is here? Or at least try an itsy bit?

No, amnesty for Mexican illegals isn't fair for the Hungarian who has been waiting in Budapest for the last couple years. The US and Mexico do have a special relationship. We've fought and changed or borders. We've intermingled our culture and intermarried our lives. There's economic lines that stretch across the border. Mexicans are special to us and we to them and that should be acknowledged. Not fair to the Hungarian, but the way it is. His country has a special historical relationship with Austria, right?

Looking at the Rodrigo y Gabriela CD I thought something again. US folks were are against illegals or against immigrants at all are called racist. But what about the Mexicans themselves. Looking at Rodrgio or Gabriela or any of the leaders of South America here or here or here or here, none of them look like the men or woman that I see working around here. The guys in the links above could be a meeting of the Cincinnati Rotary by the looks of them. The Mexicans I know and see stand about 5'6" max, have barrel chests, and whose profiles look one generation removed from an Aztec urn.

Mexico is exporting it's race problem. Call them the racists, not the people who get skittish hearing "para Espanol marke dos" when they call Cincinnati Bell.

For me. I like the Mexicans that are here. They seem nice. Let more of them in. As long as we know who they are.

Stay You.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Purpose Driven Life - Chapter Four

Didn't mean to be rude about comments yesterday - two people say in my words "the jack-booted squelching of dissent". I thought I was just being polite.

But on with day four. I five pages, the author tells me that I'm going to die and my earthly existence is temporary and my temporal possessions are ephemeral and that I'll be carried away to an afterlife where all this doesn't matter. Well, if I truly believed that - in my bones - I wouldn't have picked up the book. That's the key to it all. Isn't it? In fact. That would be the first step.

My ire is getting up with this book for a number of reaosns. First hte layout of the book is just plain - suburaban. I'm using that too often, but it just is. The words aren't printed black, but some redish color. The chapter titles take up half a page with supporting quotes and a chapter number underlying them. There's little pull out quotes on each page. Most egregious is a little form at the beginning of the book labelled "My Covenant". It's suppose to be my contract with the author - his signature is printed on a line just for him - to finish out these forty days. You see - a committment written down is most powerful.

I'm written a book. I know when it's being stretched to justify the next price break.

Anyway, I know life is temporary. It eternity I wrestle with. The books were are blunt. Unartful. Uncrafted. And trite.

As no-brainer reminded me, chapter fours point was better sung by an aged rock-a-billy singer and a former child of the 70s junkies lyrics.

Stay You.
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Purpose Driven Life - Day 3

Here's my point to ponder: Living on purpose is the path to peace.

Agreed. No argument here. I'm much happier when I have a to-do list in the morning and check things off. It gives me a direction.

This chapter asked "What Drives me?"

I guess I have a couple drivers right now. At home, I want to make like a Chinese restaurant special. At work, serve an underserved segment of the public - middle income, middle class people.

The beginning of this chapter mentions a couple things that drive many people - 1. guilt, 2. resentment and anger, 3. fear, 4. materialism, and 5. a need for approval. Yes, Mr. Won, I'll have a number 2, a number 3, and a number 5. Please throw in some duck sauce. No - not to go. I'll sit here and wallow in it.

This book says my purpose should be whatever God says it is. I'm a little uncomfortable with that. What if my purpose is to die to teach someone a lesson. I'd hate to be one of kids at My Lai who died to teach the world the horrors of war. First off, people should already know that - that's why there's books. Second, people being people - the lesson is quickly forgotten. Or the lessons are misinterpreted. My take on the 30th anniversary of the Kent State shootings: Don't throw rocks at people with guns. You'll lose! Probably not what others thought the lesson was.

So no thanks. Nihilism isn't for me, but I think I'll come up with my own raison d'etra.

Some housekeeping: I always appreciate comments. They make me feel paid attention to. However, I usually won't enter into a dialogue. I have to discuss everything in my life. In this little corner of it - I dominate the conversation. Plus, I don't want to talk religion with anyone. I'll just piss you off. Just wait.

Stay You.
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