Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Howard Checks In

Been a busy week. I haven't posted on Katrina at all because I truly haven't worked anything out in my head. Sheppard Smith on Fox's Brit Hume just stopped a woman who was recently pulled out of the water holding her 5-day old baby. Too much for me to comment on without fear of sounding like an idiot.

On a lighter note, I'm trying to stay on top of the world of technology. Google desktop search is incredible. I just installed Firetune at work and home and it seems wonderful. Could Firefox get any better? It just did.

Tonight I'm not at the gym and not doing any work. Where am I? Sitting inf ron of my computer installing Google Talk. Problem is I don't have anyone to talk with. Anyone want to speak with me? IM me? I'll let you know specifics later.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Jesus Has a Sex Change

I'm quickly tiring of religion. I've picked on my denomination - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - a few times, but now they're trying to give Jesus a sex change - or a least a neutering.

From this story:
Then, after two hours of debate, delegates gave sustained applause for the approval of work on the new book that attempts to be open to different cultures and new musical styles. It will offer alternatives such as "Holy Eternal Majesty, Holy Incarnate Word, Holy Abiding Spirit" for the male-dominated Trinitarian image of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" in prayers during Sunday services.
Among the more controversial proposed changes, gender-neutral language is substituted or offered as alternatives in many places for male pronouns for God or masculine images referring to humanity. For example, a line in the Apostle's Creed would substitute the phrase "God's only son" for "his only son" in a reference to Jesus. In some hymns, words like "king" are eliminated in favor of the more direct word "God." In other cases, such as the song "How Great Thou Art," the masculine imagery is left in because the church decided change would be too disruptive.
First off, who cares? Are women truly feeling oppressed by a "masculine images of God"? If so, lighten up ladies?

Second off, is this what they're spending their (my) money on? Every time I read about my denomination it is focused on someone's dick or lack there of or where they're putting said dick. This is getting very boring. How much money was spent on this debate and can't we just eliminate these people's positions and build a few hundred homes each year for people in some poor country somewhere?

Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with women doing whatever they want to do in the church. We picked our current church because the pastor was a chick and I thought it would be nice for the girls to experience that. It also didn't hurt that the church is only about 8 blocks from our house.

However, The Divine Mrs. M. spends a huge amount of time helping the church especially in children's ministries. Because of where we live and where our church is, these are often times poorer kids. Let's say a kid is influenced enough by my wife's activities that they bring it up to mom or dad. Mom or dad googles the ECLA and finds our our church deals mostly with homosexuals (second hit) and, now, neutering Jesus.

What's a poor kentucky mom or dad going to do? I know them. They're not dumb. They'll assume it's a church for rich white people who have the cash and time to debate such silly things and not help or service people.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Holocaust in Canton, Part 2

The Divine Mrs. M took extreme except to my post Holocaust in Canton. The only thing she found more irritating was that no one called me on it and Katie and Nobrainer jumped right into the fever swamp with me. Shame on us all.

I'm not sure if I totally disagreed with my beloved. I was being a bit hyperbolic, but I do have a point. Without getting too personal, The Divine Mrs. M and I met after her sophomore and my freshman year of college and were - except for her stint at grad school - inseperable. Once we were married and decided to have children, it didn't take long (2-years) for a bouncing baby Dagny to come along. So from first meeting in 1989 to 1997 - no kids (I'll leave it up to you to decide how long The Divine Mrs. M. was able to resist my lustful advances).

Simply put: it wasn't that hard to keep from getting pregnant!

Back in my day in 1989 in Indiana, condoms weren't put out at convenience and grocery stores as they are today. No, sir. You had to go ask the pharmacist for them.

Why were their no children? Because we didn't want to pay for them. So we took the necessary precautions - most times more than one. These kids in Canton know they will never have to pay for them; they're parents won't have to pay for them either. I will and so will every chump who gets up early and tries to make something of their world.

I'm tired of being treated like a cash machine. Just about every conversation I have centers around something being done that I have to pay for. I don't particularly like to work - but that's all I seem to do. I have a few movies on Tivo I've been dying to watch, but I've gotta work.

I guess I'm just tired and fed up.

To end of a postive note, here's a nice pic of Cincinnati taken above my town of Bellevue. Some developer is building another set of multi-million dollar high-rise condos in that parking lot just to the right of the bridge extending over to the blue-green roofed hotel that's cut off (article here). More are going in a little up river in Bellevue. But this is the bridge I cross each day coming home and getting to work. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Dagny's B-day 1

Silliness on the way to birthday Chinese dinner. Underlying the light hearted atmosphere is a simmering economic discussion. Two sisters; two wildly divergent opinions.

Dagny's B-day 2

Harper illustrating how the "little man" always takes a backseat to the man.

B-day Photos 3

Too much sake! Slurring her speech, Dagny tried to make a point about the validity of a common American market.

B-day Photo 4

Younger sister Harper has none of it. Her inante Marxist tendencies force her to the conclustion that a common America market is nothing more than Uncle Sam imperialism.

First Day of School

This is for Mdm Butterfly. Notice the hightops with the school uniform (I'm told they are Chuck Taylors, whatever that means.)

John Derbyshire Love-fest continues

I worked from 9 to 11 last night in the quiet. Usually, the tv gets flipped on at 11 and its a toss-up between the Simpsons on local tv or Family Guy on Cartoon Network. God, that sounds silly writing that. Anyway, last night Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream (see previous post here) beat out Homer and Bart and Peter and Stewie.

Earlier I spotted The Divine Mrs. M in bed reading The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton starring Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfieffer. Later I realized that these two books are strikingly similar. If you liked that movie, eh, book, then go pick up John Derbyshire's book.

Both are about a man fighting himself over a love from his youth but staying firm in his committment to his wife and family.

I had congratulated myself on observing that fine literary parrellel, but then about 10 pages later, one of Mr. Derbyshire's characters bluntly makes it and directly refers to The Age of Innocence. My ego was deflated.

I've stopped reading the book because I know I'm at the last bit that gets a little mystical and I like that sort of stuff and I like to finish a book on a good one hour or so read. There's nothing worse than reading a book and sitting down to finish it only to discover you have 3 pages to go. Anti-climatic.

Check back later tonight for birthday pictures.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Holocaust in Canton

Warning: This may be a bit brutal for some.

I'm sure that most of you have seen drudge's flash about the 65 pregnant students in Canton Ohio (link is here).
There are 490 female students at Timken High School, and 65 are pregnant, according to a recent report in the Canton Repository.

The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame.

School officials are not sure they [know] what has caused so many pregnancies, but in response to them, the school is launching a three-prong educational program to address pregnancy, prevention and parenting.

"Not sure they [know] what caused so many pregnancies"? I'll give them a hint. It rymtms with ducking. ]
This is a tragedy. No one cares about these women. No one.

But what angers me just as much is that no one cares about my wallet or my kids. The sea change has occurred in my mind and I'm now militantly pro-choice.

Here's the plan: Friday morning we get a mobile abortion clinic out to that school (hell, any school) and start aborting on a massive scale. Use Latin American med students to save costs. Give them hangers and knitting needles. I don't care. The girls don't get a choice. Are we taking control of their bodies? Yes. But the alternative is their little spawn takes further control of my wallet.

I'm tired of it. I'm sick of it. Everybody can just go to hell.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Happy Anniversary, Mr. & Mrs. Whitson

Feeling sorry for myself over something or other, the subject of one of my past stories suggested this couple for a profile in The Sunday Challenger. After hearing their story - much of it I didn't include - I've no reason to feel sorry for myself.

Another puff-piece, but that's what I'm good at. I have no desire for confrontation or investigation.
The article is here. I hope you like it.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Political Roundup

I knocked off early yesterday. First time in like forever I've done that and went to the Red's game. I'm not much of a baseball fan but it's cool when someone like Ken Griffey Jr. gets a center field out of the park homerun on the 3rd at bat.

But enough baseball, let's do some quick politics:

Imagine that. Jews being forcible removed from their homes. Not like that's never happened before. Now let's see what happens to the million and a half Palestinians. I see three possibilities.
1. A Somalia on the Mediteranian will emerge. Warlords and starvation and finally US intervention
2. Egypt takes over and cracks down on the militants harder than the Israelis ever did and nobody - the European Union, the UN, the NGOs - will say much of anything.
3. It becomes THE place for terrorist training and all Arab countries will offer free airfare to their own nutjobs just to get them out of their turbans.

No matter what happens, the Gaza withdrawal will not be enough and any negative outcome will be the fault of Israel. As Joe Montegna said in some money I was watching, "Maybe the Jews need to ask after 5,000 years of anti-Semitism, maybe it us?" No. It's not.

The reason I support this war is the swamp analogy I've used in other places. We are a happy town (the US, I mean) but a mile or so away is a stinking swamp (the entire middle east) that's producing malarious mosquitoes (Islamo facist). We don't want to have to drain the swamp. People will die draining the swamp and the workers themselves will contract malaria and some rare plants and animals may disappear, but - dammit- the swamp needs drained. It's a filthy stinking swamp. We can't put our town under a net and hope it all goes away. It just takes men to get the job done.

I think the swamp just expanded into Gaza.

Cindy Sheehan
I'm not going to pick on the lady. She seems a bit nuts and seems to be being used by the media and the anti-war folks. I do have one question.

How does she pay the bills? I mean, who is running her life and doing things that need to get done. I know that the guy who died was her oldest and she's got younger kids: daughters who need mothers during teen years. Young Courtney or Brittney or whoever can't be put on hold for Anderson Cooper. Who is paying the bills? Who's getting the kids ready for back to school? Who's making sure they are at soccer practice? Who's doing all the things that parents have to do?

Not only have these kids lost an older brother, they've lost their parents marriage, they've a crazy mom, now grandma has a stroke.

This seems kind of sad.

Bob Taft
I live in Kentucky but work in Ohio so I do have an interest in the health of the Ohio body politic. Also, I am a registered Republican, but Taft getting whacked seems just ok to me. Couldn't happen to a nicer tax raising guy.

This man who was born with a fortunate name and trust fund but an unfortunate face got caught up in the little form filling form filing crap that his type of country club Republicans have helped put in place.

At one time I was very active in local politics. I did well working with the party here, but - along with family and career - I back out because I kept having to sign forms that had warnings and notes of jail time if I made a mistake. Who needs that? I'm just trying to help out a little and now I'm risking jail. No, thanks.

The Taft family name is all over Cincinnati. This is where the President was from and his grandfather and father were Senators from. Their names are on schools and road and buildings and museums , etc. They owned this place. They are Republican as all get out. I know Republicans and I know history and I can't think of one single thing any of this family stood for or done. What's their purpose? Noblesse oblige?

I'm out for the weekend. maybe. Time to get to work.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

French Christians

John Derbyshire e-mailed me back with some thanks on my post about his book. One would think these guys are too busy to bother. No. It's nice hearing from someone whose book you admire. This is a very romantic book in a way. Go buy it. He said that he once thought about becoming a financial guy, but decided to become a starving writer instead.

He just returned from a European vacation so how hungry is this guy? Just kidding. Here's a great exchange he had with his French Hotel.

Also, I saw this article via drudge regarding the lady about the rule Germany. Her party is the Christian Democrats. Isn't that word "Christian" a bit off-putting in a political party? Especially in view of our own attitude (good and bad) toward religion in politics. It seems we get tisked tisked enough by those people for our beliefs, what about this?

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I dropped off the oldest daughter at third grade this morning. . The early grades are all on one floor, really just a hallway and she's slowly working her way through each classroom.

All the kids had on their uniform, but apparently the shoe dress code is lax. She wore red-white-and-blue high tops. Plaid jumper, blue shirt, and cool high tops. Pics will be forthcoming. I know Madame Butterfly can't wait to see those shoes.

Moonbatty has added a password to her site. I didn't know that existed and need to find a way to utilize it. My one year blogiversary passed without me noticing, but if I had to do this all over again, I wouldn't base it on my book. 3 were sold this year. The $6.40 in royalties I'm owed isn't work the publishers time to send. But mostly, I'm bored by economics and business. It's not that I think that it's not important. It is. But I have my base principals down and really economic arguements have been the same for the last 100 years or so. There's nothing new out there.

Also, not basing the site on my book would have allowed me to assume a nom de cyber. I hold back quite a bit on personal stuff because if you enter "Howard McEwen" into google I pop up all over the place. My father's name is Howard McEwen. I can't believe he's never entered his name into google. Hasn't everyone. If he has he hasn't mentioned this site, but it's only a matter of time. Also, my work isn't always the healthiest place to be and venting about that on this site would be nice also, but that can't happen. Also, in conversation, I swear alot. For some reason, writing under my own name makes me not do that. Does this make sense? No.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

The ELCA Roast of Israel

I came home after a late night of working at the office last night to the sound of The Divine Mrs. Ms.'s laughter rocking the house. The Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson was ending. I watched part of the replay and have come to the conclusion that The Divine Mrs. M and I are the only ones not to have seen that honeymoon video.

I really feel left out. I want to see it. I don't want to troll the internet for it because I might get a bad bug. Anyone know where I can find it?

We paid the first months tuition and the book bill for my eldest daughter to begin 3rd grade yesterday. We also bought what I think is called a jumper. The school has the uniform store come right to the parking lot with a big truck loaded up. It saves a trip downtown. Fox's Clothing is apparently owned by a Jewish family. I'm stereotyping and going on looks which I know is a sin, but they looked really Jewish.

Where else can a Lutheran family buy school uniforms from a Jewish store for attendance at a Catholic school? Maybe alot of places, but not most and not for but a blink of history. It's great my kids get to be alive during this time.

Speaking of my church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has come out strong against Israel. That's helpful. I'm sure Israel gives a rat's ass. I'm still not sure what Israel has done but defend itself. I have no dog in this fight. I'm still just curious. If Israel is evil I want to know it. Why are they so bad?

I've touched on this before, but I'm at the end of my rope with alot of religion. I don't like the Republican bible thumper types. I don't like the anti-Semitism and over liberalism of most mainline protestant churches. I've given the Catholics a thought since they are educating my kids, but I still have a problem with that poking teenage boys in the butt thing. There's a point where I'm going to slap my head and say, "I can just stay home on Sundays."

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I went into the office last night and got home around 11:30. The Divine Mrs. M was laughing the house down watching the Comedy Central Roast of Pam Anderson. I started to watch the replay and have one questions: Am I the only person in America that hasn't seen Tommy Lee what's his face's penis?

I now need to see the video, but am afraid to go look for it on the internet. What if I get some kind of bad bug?

Wednesday will be daughter #1's first day of school. We had to buy some new uniforms. The store that sells them brings a van right to the school lot. The store is Fox's from downtown. The only Foxes I knew growing up were a Jewish family the next subdivision over. Looking at the family members that were running the sale, the appeared Jewish also. I thought that was great. Jewish business selling uniforms to Catholic school kids. Can that happen anywhere else?

I'm afraid my own church is not going that way. I belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Don't let the E word in the prior sentence scare you. We're no bible thumbers. Far from it. The ELCA seems to think that those Jews in Israel are still the source of all the problems. See here. I've hit on this before, but I still don't see what Israel has done to be the boogey man of the world. They are truly hated and I can only think of one reason why.

I'm going to have to go read this book.

The overt anti-Semitism doesn't really bother me. It's the lack of anyone acknowledging it. Also, I'm not a deeply religous person. I don't feel comfortable in prayer groups or bible studies or Baptist churches. This one seems comfortable, but when they keep doing things like this, it just tires me out and I want to stay home on Sundays.

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Seeing John Derbyshire in a Dream

I got a brief mention in the paper today. See The Sunday Challenger's article on blogs here. Not much about me, but what the heck - it's publicity. My hit counter isn't exactly spinning though.

Also, I picked up a book this weekend I fell in love with a few years ago. The author, John Derbyshire, writes for National Review. I think that's where I heard about the book. Anyway, I thought I'd send him a note of thanks. Here it is. Go buy the book. It's beautiful.

Mr. Derbyshire,
Thanks again for writing your book Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream.

It has been one of those books that I put in a special category of only reading once. Meaning that I loved it but the joy was also a function of time, place, and mood that most likely could never be recreated. Instead of ruining the initial experience by re-reading I typically just decide not to touch it again.

I began this at 14 after reading A Farewell to Arms over a couple days on vacation in Canada at 15 or so, Madame Bovary over a long lonely weekend Freshman year of college, and A Thousand Years of Solitude read on the beaches of South Carolina in my mid-twenties. There's a few more but your in good company.

This Saturday morning I picked up your book again and innocently started reading it and all of a sudden it was done and I enjoyed it just as much. It's just wonderful. I'm terribly jealous that I may never be able to accomplish the same thing with my writing; but I'm glad you did.

Thanks again.
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Friday, August 12, 2005

A Moral Quandry

Not for me. Somebody else.

Here's the scenario: This past summer my wife was one of the leaders of our church's vacation bible school. I even got to play a resurrected Jesus one night. Several kids attended. They did a great job, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, there's some money left over in the budget and someone had the bright idea to help the kids who attended buy their school supplies.

Great idea, I thought. We don't live in a poor neighborhood, but we have alot of working poor. Good (and a few not-so-good) people who are struggling. So great. Let's help them out. (I'm actually not involved but have received reports from The Divine Mrs. M.)

During the meeting for this purchase one member of the committee suggested that the supplies not be bought at Wal-Mart because they're evil, they abuse their employees, they kill puppies, etc. Others agreed; others demured.

The Divine Mrs. M. noted that all of our oldest daughter's school supplies were purchased for about $25 at Wal-Mart and no one else in town could beat that.

Personally, we have no problem with Wal-Mart. Ms. M's mum works there even as a check-out clerk. It's a free country and no one puts a gun to these people's head to make them work there (unlike some of the products they sell from China where guns are used as a motivation to production).

Here's the moral quandry: If Wal-Mart is boycotted, then less school supplies will be bought for kids who are borderline economically; or fewer kids will receive all their school supplies. I don't think it's right for these kids to pay for someone else's moral or political stand.

Am I wrong?

Anyway, some of this budget came from money I put in the collection plate. Should I be pissed if this happens? I will be.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Northern Kentucky (cute link) made the national news again. That "modern day Bonnie & Clyde" stopped here to see the sites. I hope they enjoyed it but unfortunately a night in an Econolodge in Erlanger, Kentucky isn't my idea of an enjoyable last night of freedom.

Joan should be proud that is was a taxi driver that id'd them. All hail cab drivers - America's watch dogs.

Like Moonbatty, the Divine Mrs. M is getting herself off the caffiene. Her delivery system of choice is Diet Coke. She's not been grumpy. She's spending alot of time at the gym. Wish her luck.

It's amazing that if you took abortion out of the body politics that this John Roberts nomination would hardly cause a stir. Want to settle the issue? Send it back to the states and let them decide. I stand by my firm belief that the most Bible thumping state would still have it. Not many people believe in abortion until their 15-year old daughter gets pregnant and every parent lives in fear of that. If the pro-life people really cared as much as they say, abortion would have been gone a while ago.

One thing I never took into account was the old Deep Throat admonition to Bob and Carl which was to "follow the money." This guy did here. He makes a good point. Maybe the whole pro-choice movement is really just a jobs program. I'd still like to know if they teach abortion procedures in med school?

A week or so ago, the Divine Mrs. M went to Judge Roberts wife's favorite club Feminist for Life and thought it looked more like a t-shirt sales organization. National Review has a nice article on them and I must agree Don't Women Deserve Better Than Abortion. Is this the most pressing issue to women.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm Crushed. Crushed! I say!

I sometimes do things on larks. Not alot, but sometimes. That's how I started the freelance journalism stuff. Alot of these things work out. I don't go with my gut often but when I do it seems to work out.

So that's why I applied to be an instructor at the University of Phoenix - Online. It could be fun. They have a huge building on the north side of the city - just off the highway. What the hell, I thought.

I've been turned down. My ego is shattered. How do I recover from being turned down by a educational institution with the word "on-line" in the title.

Apparently there are strict guidelines that say I must have my Master's. I don't have a Masters of Finance or an MBA. I hold the Chartered Financial Analyst designation which I think is more useful and prestigious. I've seen MBAs be cute cube monkey's just like anyone else.

I don't place much weight on degrees anyway. Sure I want my md to be from a rigourous school, but the over-credentialization of professions I think is chasing away alot of good people. These types of rules would have kept Einstein out of a high school physics teaching position because he didn't have a teaching degree.

I have a solid work history with a unique background and I know more that most about finance and the markets. There loss. But it's still funny to be turned down by them.

No. It hurts. I won't be able to join an online fraternity or hang out at the e-quad. I'll miss that experience of smoking cloves and wearing berets as I enter a chat room to hang with my friends.


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University of Phoenix Responds

Being that type of guy I sent an e-mail with link to yesterday's post about the University of Phoenix online to the recruiter who sent me the "you're-not-good-enough" e-mail.

He responded back with this:
As an FYI, I looked at the blog, and I want to point out that the ground campus and Online campus recruiting functions are serperate. I know ground has more flexibility than Online, but I am not sure if they have flexibility with respect to the degree requirement. Only one way to know for sure.... contact them.
Cheers! - Hope your ego recovers soon, it seems like you are well on your way! :)
Ok, so it makes me like their University all the more when their recruiters respond to humor - even a little mean like mine was - with humor. Need an online degree? Check them out.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Anthony Bourdain

Last week I gave Anthony Bourdain's new show No Reservations a quick plug and last night I gave it another shot.

Now he's batting .333.

I want to love this show. I want to rave about it. I like Mr. Bourdain, but my god, who decided that the third show should be about New Jersey? Ok, it was a "going home" show. But to want to go home with him, we'd want to know where he's been. Save New Jersey for the last show of the season at least. Then bore us.

The problem with the show is that I'm not sure what it is. He's a chef on the travel channel. I would want him to travel and talk about food. We got a little bit of that last night with his visit to a dairy and an italian baker. I've never been to a dairy. That's interesting. There's no good Italian bakeries in Cincinnati. That's interesting - if he had talked about the food. No, we get a bad SNL skit with Mario Battali.

He also visited a Korean restaurant off the highway. Makes a smart-ass remark about soft tofu and then doesn't talk about it. I know Korean food from restaurant work in high school. It's good and simple yet complicated. He gave it short shrift. However, we got lots of time spent at the Asian grocery store where he made fun of all the weird packaging. Cute. But I can - and have - done that at my local grocery in aisle 11.

Also, we get an entire segment at a strip joint off the New Jersey turnpike. All I can say to that is: ??????????

Maybe the length is the problem. His food network show A Cook's Tour was 1/2 long and rocked. Maybe an 1 is toolong to spend in Iceland or New Jersey. Maybe? Also, it knew it was about food.

Next week Anthony goes to Vietnam. If this new show can make that boring, I'm gone. It's off my Tivo season pass.

Mr. Bourdain is good. He's smart. He's entertaining. If you are ever going to eat in a restuarant in the future, his book Kitchen Confidential is required reading and a great read. Go read it instead of watching this new show.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Getting Lucky In Kentucky?

I did a brief interview with a reporter for the Northern Kentucky Sunday Challenger today. One of the benefits of blogger, I entoned, was meeting other bloggers around the country. So if you're a regular (moonbatty, mdmbutterfly, MUSC Tigers) you may get a mention in the article.

The article comes out on Sunday so if you get any strange Kentucky hits, you'll know the reason why.

Now I feel the need to refurbish this site. Company's coming!

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Another brain dump

Sara over at Moonbatty gave some wonderful computer tips the other week. Go check them out. She is very helpful.

Sorry that Peter Jennings has signed off for eternity. I always like that clipped accent thing he had going which was a little pretentious, but my older Canadian relatives had parts of it to. Kinda cool. Our secretary seems bothered by it. She told me about how she has always watched him. I told her I haven't seen a network news broadcast in - what? - 15 years. Right now, we're a Brit Hume family.

Cincinnati librarians are considering unionizing. I laughed. Maybe more goes on at the library than I realize but from what I can tell it's no more than a place to borrow videos cheap and city kids to play on the internet. At least, when I'm at the downtown library that's what I see. Oh, and the staff there? Surly as teamsters. They already act as if they are unionized so might was well go pay the dues.

I have an e-mail in my in-box from a reporter for the Sunday Challenger, our local paper, doing a story about blogging in Northern Kentucky. Unfortunately, I don't know any other Northern Kentucky Bloggers. Any idea how I could find some for this reporter?

All over town there are billboards for the upcoming race at the Kentucky Speedway. They feature Danica Patrick. Here she is. She led the Indy 500 for a few laps and is now sucking up all the attention. Good for her. Can anyone name one race outside of the Indy 500 in that particular sport? Maybe Danica can change that.

Gotta go. Busy day.

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Non-violence and terrorism

I just downed a few fingers of Wild Turkey so I don't trust what I'm about to write, but let's have fun. It's Friday.

Two weeks ago my pastor gave a sermon whose point has totally escaped me. But he did touch on something that sort of bugged me. He was referred to that accidentally shot Brazilian guy in London. I don't know the details but it is tragic. Pastor, who I personally like immensely, went on a jag about non-resistance and non-violence and giving those a try instead of reacting with this sort of violence because violence begets violence, etc.

Granted, no violence is the preferred route in all things. I don't feel like a fight much - unless I'm drinking Wild Turkey - but to take that path is a dangerous one. The key here is that your suffering by using non-violent means depends on the rightness of your cause and the decency of your opponent.

For example, Martin Luther King advocated non-violence and it worked. Most Americans upon seeing the horrible treatment, even if they didn't want a black family in their neighborhood or a black man marrying their daughter thought that not being allowed to vote was not right and their treatment was horrible. But that was because we were a genuine decent society. America say the nobility of their struggle, the rightness of their cause, and the unjust way we were treating them. Things changed for the better.

Same may be said of Gandi and the British. The Brits may have behaved badly and criminally and imorally like the Americans, but their own decency (and some economics) won out. The Raj didn't stop until most Brits decided imperialism may be wrong.

To use non-violence against the terrorist is just stupid. Maybe it's the Christian way, but that kind of Christian isn't for me. The terrorist have no decency. Neither did the Nazi hence 6 million dead Jews.

If your opponent is lacking of any decency, then the path of non-violence makes you dead.

Plus when you think about it, who choses the path of non-violence? People without men and guns. Non-violence is their only choice.

Stay You.
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

MD Customer Service

I know I have some visitors from people in the medical field so here's some recommendations I came up with from the Dr. visit I just came back from:

1. Have a peaceful reception area. People are not at ease when they have to go see the doctor. Personally, I want to reflect, relax, and browse a newsweek. Blaring Montel Williams having white-trash scream at each other doesn't relax me.

2. Please don't make me wait...everytime. I know you can have a bad day, but when it's every time that no one talks to me until an hour past my appointment time, you can adjust your scheduling.

3. Fine. I know you going to make me wait. Can't you at least have pretty blonde smiling reception person with a nice disposition? Do you have to put the ugly overweight middle-aged bitch front and center of your medical practice?

This isn't Burnt Scrotum New Mexico. It's Cincinnati. I can swing a decatheder and hit a GP.

Just some thoughts. Maybe you'll change. If not, I hope you go broke and your kids have to go to a local community college.

2nd Thoughts: Point number 3 isn't limited to physicians. Our gym for the past few years consistently hires slightly overweight, petulant looking, non-responsive 22-year old community college drop-outs to work their front desk. How hard is it to find a Tony Little wannna-be to work the desk - make people feel good, get them excited about working out, renewing their membership.

Stay You.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I like Anthony Bourdain. He has a new show here. I've seen two episodes and unfortunately, he's batting a .500. The show about Iceland sucked.

The show about France Monday last was great. His main thesis is that the French way of life may not be better but it was different and it could be appreciated. From the new shows site:
The most important thing to do the instant you arrive in Paris is stop, find some place inviting and slip comfortably into the Parisian pace of life.
I've never been to France. The Divine Mrs. M was there in her later teens (yes, I'm jealous). She is emphatic that I would love it and it's way of life. I'm suspicious. Admittedly, I haven't traveled like she has. The height of my cultural exposure was the miniature golf on family vacations to Myrtle Beach perhaps the ugliest and tackiest place I've been to besides the Canadian side of Niagra Falls.

Watching the show the French was of life did seem charming - long meandering breakfasts at cafes, wine-laden lunches, late night dinners, everyone leisurely strolling and enjoying the moment - until I realized that well it looks like the way of life of an unemployed person or a guy on welfare.

I noted this to The Divine Mrs. M. who didn't seem to pleased and this this week, I read this article. And I was right! They are either unemployed/underemployed or on welfare. And just like people in those circumstances, they don't really seem happy.

Sorry Tony, but my suspicions of the French are still intact. The French don't seem like a nice bunch of people. I love immigrants and have met a few and the only ones that I couldn't stand (ok, there were only two) were frogs. So, in the words of John J. Miller, let's remember what they are really about.
Time and again in the last two centuries, France has refused to come to grips with its diminished status as a country whose greatest general was a foreigner, whose greatest warrior was a teenage girl, and whose last great military victory came on the plains of Wagram in1809.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Vacation is Over

I rarely write about work because of privacy and work place politics concern. Plus I just don't like to think about it while I blog away.

Yesterday was the first day back for me from vacation. I normally leave the house at 7:00 and get to the office by 7:30ish. At 6:55 the guy I have sat next to for the last 5 years knocked on my door (he lives close by) handed me his resignation (technically, I'm his branch manager) and is gone. His desk was already cleaned out. That's it. No big deal in most work places but in a 4 person office (that includes the secretary) that's a big change.

I did a good job of prepping before I left for the week. I came in for a short time on Sunday evening to just get the basics done, but now I have to decide what to do. He was apparently planning this for a little while because I haven't found many things that he has left undone

Things aren't a mess, just confused and different.

Stay You.
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