Friday, April 28, 2006

My Daughter's Names and Pop Culture

Drudge had this item about Brad and Angelina doing a movie based on Atlas Shrugged. Angelina will play Dagny Taggart. My 8-year old Dagny was named after this character. I'm not sure how I feel about the connection between my daughter and that wack job, but what are you going to do.

Vodkapundit has his dream list of actors for each role. In the comments I mention how I made my daughter cry over the movie.

Not to be left our, my other daughter's name sake Harper Lee turns 80 today. Here's the powerline guys on that. Harper wasn't awake for me to tell her and probably wouldn't care anyway.

That's probably all the posting I'll do for a week. Work schedule will make it a bit problematic.


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Thursday, April 27, 2006

More Free Speech at NKU Fallout/Prof Honored

The prof who destroyed that cross display has been charged with some misdemeanors - and so have several of her students!

Thanks Teach!

While one prof is charged another is honored. Here's my story on her.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...

No, I'm not catholic. In fact in light of recent events I've become as anti-Catholic (as currently structured) as a 19th century Scottish Presbyterian (how's that for an obscure reference?)

Anyway, my oldest daughter is 8. She looks older which scares me. She also has never really had that clumsiness that most kids have. This leads me to one worry about one thing: boys.

They're going to start creeping in. I can feel it. So as a way to appease the gods or subvert karma, here's my brief confessional on treating women badly. This is not a complete list for the simple reason that its public, my real name is all over this thing, a client might stumble on it, and - most importantly - my wife reads it.

First off, I met my wife young. I was 19 and just home from freshman year of college. So the list of transgressions is short. Also, I just didn't take things that seriously then. That lighthearteness appeared to be cruelty at times.

One first date: the girl was being very rude - bitchy even - from the time I picked her up. This was junior year of high school. By the time we got to the restaurant I wasn't in the mood to deal with it. I don't like messy situations plus this wasn't my fault. So we placed our orders then I excused myself for the bathroom and walked out the front door and went over to my friend Fred's and watched some movies. Around midnight I got home. The girl's father had called. Surprisingly my dad wasn't mad. I explained what happened and he just said to not do it again. I was expecting hell.

Senior year girlfriend. First "serious" girlfriend (i.e. she was, I was, well, sort of). Felt bad about two things here.

One summer evening, I knew the end was coming. She asked me to a local greasy spoon and after ordering food she weepily dumped me. The first thing that ran through my mind was not "Oh, the heartbreak!" or asking her to take me back, but was "Well, I'm sure as hell not paying for her half of the bill." But I handled it cooly. Put on a sad face. We split the ticket.

A couple years later - junior year of college or so - I stopped by an old roommates house that he shared with what seemed like 12 other guys. Anyway, he had a picture of me in his room - no it wasn't gay - just some pic of guys being drunk and rowdy from Freshman year. Well, my old roommate got my old girlfriend (she was a year behind, but came to the same school) into his room. She noticed the pic of me and got all weepy on him and said breaking up with me was the hardest thing she had to do. Old roommate asked me about my heartbreak and I told him there was none. Then I asked, as any man would, "Did you nail her?" "Oh, yeah," he said. "Once for me and another time for you. Then I tossed her out for breaking up with you." That seemed like one of the funniest things I'd ever heard to that point but now I guess it was mean.

I "dated" such as it was two girls freshman year of college. The first, for whatever reason I just lost interest in after about 3 months or so. I guess I should have told her, but it never crossed my mind. I just stopped comin' 'round. After I brushed her off a few times, I guess she got the hint. I didn't mean to be mean, but I guess I was and in case there was any doubt about a month later 2 of her friends let me know it very loudly and very publicly for 5 long minutes outside the dorm one day while I was with another girl. This other girl had zero romantic interest in me so after the enforcers left, she laughed her ass off.

With the next I was definitely a jerk. We dated for however long a semester is - 5 month? Freshman year had just ended and I was to spend the first week of summer meeting her family about 3 hours away from my parent's house. She called to say her father was there to pick us up. Nothing was premediated but like air out of a balloon I just lost all interest in a long car ride followed by meeting strange family members. Everything got heavy. I picked up my bags and started to head over to her dorm. At the stairs a friend passed and asked "Hey, wanna get drunk?" He flashed me two bottles of Seagram's V.O. (O' Canada! indeed!) I thought to myself, "Yes. Yes I do." I followed him back to his room where we and a few others met us and we had a nice time. I hid out as long as I could, then hitched a ride home the next day with the girl who lived on the south side of Ft. Wayne. Saw her plenty of times over the next few years but never spoke to her.

A week later I met the Divine Mrs. M. and that was that.

That's all I'm willing to cop to now. I hope that it dampens the karma. And - if my daughters read it - I hope it will serve as notice to them that even their beloved all caring all providing father could be a real jerk. Then they'll know that all men are jerks and act accordingly.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Immigration and Gas Prices

Looking back, I haven't posted about the hot topics o' the day. What's wrong with me? Well, mostly I'm well decided in my mind what I'm at. I usually use this blog to work out my thinking.

So here it goes:

As anyone who read my book knows, I'm pretty pro-immigrant. I'm also pro-Rule of Law. Illegal immigrants broke laws to get here. Where do I fall? How do we solve this? Can we let them jump to the front of the line?

Yes. Look, they are not like any other immigrants. Ireland and Italy do not border us. There's a natural movement of peoples that occur. Basic labor economics dictate that Mexican and assorted others have a different status.

As for them breaking our laws. They respected our immigration laws just as much as we respected our immigration laws which is not very well.

Here's my solution: Build a great wall. This can't be hard. The desert is already a decent size wall. For those already here, investigate them put them through a slow 8 year process of paying taxes, not engaging in criminal activity, and contributing to our society. If they piss us off we toss them on the other side of that great wall.

As for gas prices, it's back to basic economics. We won't drill in North America. We won't build refinerys. We thus limit supply - prices rise. If you don't like it, then stand up to the environmental laws that created this condition. However, rising prices will bring about what all "enlightened" folks want - making different sources of energy financially viable by comparison.

The one bit that pisses me off is all the whining.

On this point I'll make a very broad sweeping generalization: Americans are idiots.

We use 5 horse power gas push lawn mowers or for slightly larger yards, a ride on machine that bags and mulches and sucks up gas. Families of four drive SUVs and trucks that seat 8. The dream is to live in the suburbs where you have to drive to everything. The idea of walking to the grocery is just crazy!

We pay more for a gallon of milk harvested from a cow and processed within 25 miles of our home than a gallon of gas pumped up from a mile beneath the Saudi desert, shipped around Africa, across the Atlantic to be processed in Houston then tanker trucked to our local station where we complain about it costing - almost $3. That $3 - depending on the car - will carry us 20-50 miles. That's further than most people went in their life not 200 years ago. So standing at the gas station pissed off we quell our anger by going in and getting some dumbass designer coffee for $2.50.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Free Speech/Business Awards

I've been posting alot about free speech lately. Here's my piece in the Enquirer. Take a gander. I noticed a letter in the editor from Barry Aishton and went with it. While I was getting it done, the crossing tearing up professor did her thing so it dove tailed nicely.

Here's a piece I did on business students at NKU winning some awards. I was such a dork in school I would have been all over this.

Long busy day today so that's it.

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My Free Speech Article

I've posted lately on free speech issues. Here's an article on one I uncovered over at NKU. Take a gander. Students called me up saying the university was trying to muzzle them. They made it sound like Johannesburg circa 1984. Oh to be 22 and dramatic again. Anyway, I think NKU was just asking them to not get in the way. Maybe not. I'll keep my ear out.

Not alot of time today so that's probably it.

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My Free Speech Article

I've posted a lot about free speech lately.

Finally, after a few re-writes and back and forths, my Enquirer article on free speech appeared today. Have a gander.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Random Thoughts - Unasked for Advice

Advice to those with child.

I just turned 36. My daughters are 8 and about to be 5. Time to reminesce. It's been fun. They're good kids. Not that anyone has asked but a bits of advice I would give to anyone expecting kids.

1. During pregnancy and the first 3 months or so - be greedy. This is time for mom, dad, and baby. grandparents, friends, work, etc. will want - nay, demand - their way in your lives. They'll have years to catch up. This is special time.

2. After six weeks, put yourself through the wringer and ask someone to stay with the baby for a night- or at least an evening. At least for the mother at this point - you are clinically insane. You need time away. You might not be able to part for the night, but at least try. This is only going to help with sanity.

3. Get therapy now. This is personal for me. Having a kid brought to life alot of memories I had either rationed away, repressed, or simply forgotten. I wanted to kick the ass of many people - teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles... Start now on getting a bit healthier - at least for the baby.

4. Remember: from the time of conception (tweak), a child is it's only human being. Too many parents think of a kid as merely an only an extention of themselves. That's cool when it's all needy and cuddly, but at 12 or 13 and independence sets in then it's like ripping a parent's arm off. Start thinking now - they are not a part of me. They're their own people.

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Friday Treat - Cincinnati Ben-Gals!

Who the hell isn't blogging? The Ben-Gals are! The Ben-gals are the cheerleading squad for the Cincinnati Bengals, until recently known as the Bungles.

The blog is enlightening and the pictures add a special something.

Update: If I only had the confidence and self-assuredness of a flat chested brunette trying out for the pro-football NFL cheerleading squad - I COULD RULE THE WORLD!!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lessons Learned

Second semester freshman year at Ball State I worked the front desk of a girl's dorm.

One Friday night about 1:00 a.m. a group of campus police stormed out of the elevator and up the stairs. About 45 minutes later a big guy - very big- was being escorted in out handcuffs.

Later I found out a girl I knew had been raped. She was gone for about a week then showed back up at school.

Two months later except earlier in the night - the same damn thing. Same girl - different guy lead away in handcuffs.

Although I didn't witness the third incident, it occurred. Other girls on the floor told me - us - that when the cops showed up all the other girls defended the guy. Nice of them.

This girl apparently liked to get drunk, fool around, pass out then ...well...panic if something was going on or had gone on.

I will tell my daughters this story. Is it right? No. Ann Coulter, not sounding too rabid, addresses it here; the Journal blames feminism here.

No, it's not right, but if you invite guys to your room late at night after drinking, expect to encounter some things you don't like. Conversely, if you go home with a drunk crazy chick, expect to get called a rapist - or worse - or to met her boyfriend..or dad..or brother.

No, it isn't right, but I don't feel sorry for either one of them. If you put yourself in harms way, chances are you'll get hit.

I could care less about the Lacrosse team - rich, drunk, and stupid - or some dumb stoned stripper or dead blondes in the Carribean on vacation.

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More on NKU Abortion Professor

Here. With photos of nifty clothes hangers. Now that's good. I like that.

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'Twas A Flood

On Tuesday, my editor called to see if I had time for this story about a water main break over at NKU. No, I never to anything investigative or hard hitting, but it's stories like these that make up the news of everyday life.

Anyway, he asked me if I had time to jump on this. I did. 3 phone calls and 19 minutes later I was emailing him the story. It got cut up a bit, but it mostly survived. Not bad.

Here's a pic of the building. Kentucky is beautiful and they build buildings like this on it. It's somewhat jarring.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Patriot's Day - Sort of.

Happy Pat's Day to you New Englanders out there.

I spent 12 hours today in this continuing ed class in Ft. Mitchell. No ambition to write. No brains left to write. Me feel dubm.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Purdue Terrorist

A Purdue student says he wants to kill the president....and rape and maim US and British women. Here's the story.

Could of things stick out in my mind. He's on a student visa? For 10-years? How many degrees does he have? He's not a citizen but feels comfortable publicly threatening Bush? I thought we lived in a fascist dictatorship? (Hint: If you can call a country facsist while in that country - it isn't.)

Why hasn't the secret service escorted this Jolly Begali onto a boat bound for New Delhi?

One more throught. I know India isn't a predominently Muslim country? But I don't if this dude is a Hindu. Most likely this is just another hurray for the religion of peace.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

NKU, Abortion, and Early Retiremnt

Last Friday about 7 I went out to NKU to get a lay of the ground. Channel 9 was interviewing one of the pro-lifers in front of the reconstructed display.

On the side is a better view. It wasn't very big. Or noticable from what I saw. Ball State wasn't a big protest campus, but there was alot more in your face stuff than this.

I spoke with a Dean over at NKU today who said he's done nothing but take phone calls. Today he got alot from Europe.

Well, here's NKU's official state from Pres James Votruba. The 26 year prof has been removed from classes and will retire at the end of the year.

Statement by NKU President James C. Votruba

April 17, 2006

I am writing to comment on the recent destruction of an approved campus display created by the Northern Kentucky Right to Life student organization.

One of the important roles that a university must play is to be a forum for debate and analysis concerning the important issues of the day. Often these issues are surrounded by strident rhetoric and strong emotions which makes it even more incumbent on the university to create and nurture an intellectual environment in which reason and evidence prevail and where all points of view can be heard.

Northern Kentucky University has a distinguished record of addressing important public issues in a balanced way. We are proud that, as a campus, we are not the captive of one ideology or point of view. At their best, universities are not places of comfortable conformity. They are places where ideas collide as students and faculty search for deeper understandings and perspectives.

While the University supports the right to free speech and vigorous debate on public issues, we cannot condone infringement of the rights of others to express themselves in an orderly manner. By leading her students in the destruction of an approved student organization display, Professor Sally Jacobsen’s actions were inconsistent with Northern Kentucky University’s commitment to free and open debate and the opportunity for all sides to be heard without threat of censorship or reprisal.

It has been heartening that student and faculty groups that do not necessarily support the position of Northern Kentucky Right to Life have come out strongly in support of the organization’s right to be heard through their display. This reflects a commitment to the importance of free speech and inquiry as a hallmark of our University.

Professor Jacobsen has been removed from her remaining classes and placed on leave from the University. She will retire from the University at the end of this semester. The Faculty Senate, representing more than 1,000 NKU faculty members, has taken strong action today that affirms the importance of free expression as a defining quality of the University. Our campus has spoken with a strong and unified voice. Further action may occur once a full investigation has been completed.

The action taken by the University should be considered in the context of Professor Jacobsen’s entire 27 year career at NKU. Nevertheless, her recent lapse of judgment was severe and, for a period of time, has caused some in our community and beyond to question whether Northern Kentucky University upholds freedom of expression. My answer to this question is an unequivocal yes. NKU lives its commitment to free expression and responds when that commitment has been compromised.

America is, today, debating a variety of polarizing issues around which people feel great passion. It is not surprising that these strong sentiments find their way onto college campuses. However, our role is to add light to these debates, not more heat. If we don’t serve this role, who will?

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More Free Speech on Campus: OSU Librarian Gets in Trouble

Read David Horowitz or a U.S. Senator and get yourself in trouble.

From which direction is that chilling effect on free speech coming from again?

More here and here.

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Worst Senator Jim Bunning ?

Time just called one of my U.S. Senators an "underperformer" in an article about the worst U.S. Senators. See here.

To be honest, I don't know what he's done. I also don't follow the senate that well, but I'd probably watch or read anything that had his name on it. So maybe he is one of the worst. The one big policy problem I had with him was from his house days when he voted against NAFTA. But that was 12 years ago.

I've spoken to him a few times. When I was active in politics, I became the Chairman of the county party through some untimely resignations. For about 2 weeks, I had to attend a few meetings and convince someone more qualified to take the job. She did. One Saturday morning, during those 2 weeks, Sen. Bunning called me requesting a status. I was sitting at my computer in my pajama bottoms only eating some rice crispies. The converstion was brief but it taught me how quickly I can get intimiated by a Senator, at least that Senator.

I've met my other Senator Mitch McConnell a few times and he's not intimidating. But then again he's only about 5'9". Jim Bunning is a very large, very broad backed 6'3" with a piercing intensity.

Our kids play in the same sports leagues as his grandkids. I once saw him very angry at someone before he joined a parade. Some of grandkids ran up out of nowhere and tackled him in a hug and the man visibly melted into a giddy puppy dog.

Kind of cool to see a senator like that.

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Hammer & Sickle Shirt

This isn't some dumbass kids wearing a Che shirt because he thinks he's Basquiat - this is a TV infortainment reporter.

How do you express displeasure at this? I don't even know what Access Hollywood is?

For further reading, try here and here for starters.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

NKU Professor Abortion Protest

Just heard from a reliable source that Sarah Loman who is the editor of the NKU student newspaper The Northerner and has the photo credit of these pics was a student in the protestin' professor's class.

It looks like they got a "no comment" or denial from the professor on participation, then released the photo.

A few months ago, Sarah highly irritated me when she stood me up for a meeting, then offered no apology. However, although I'm still pissed about that, someone should hire her when she graduates this spring.

The article linked above has a nice thread going on. However there is happy use of the dreaded c-word.

Update: Here's a pdf with a pic of the display before being torn down and re-erected.

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NKU Pro-Life Crosses

Vault Lights and Rainman

Whoops! Almost missed this story I did for the Enqurier that ran today.

Know what vault lights are? No? Me neither, but read what I wrote...
"In the old days, before electric light, this was a simple way to allow daylight into a basement or vault chamber. They were very popular in New York, especially effective for getting light into the subway tunnels," said new owner Fred Breitfelder.

The vault lights capture sunlight that hits the sidewalk. It then bends the light to reflect into the basement of the structure.

This building sits across from Pompilio's Restaurant which is known for great very heavy Italian food and the restaurant in Rainman where Dustin Hoffman counts the spilled toothpicks. Oh, and the exterior of the hospital where Hoffman's character stays in a Sisters of Notre Dame convent about 10 mile south of Pompilio's and my house. The movie poster is them walking on the drive up to the convent. Each spring the Sisters do a fundraisers - a garage sale.

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NKU Cross Display Destroyed

Besides links in prior posts about the destruction of the NKU Cross display. The Kentucky Post has some additional info here. choice quote:
Jacobsen said she felt "horribly violated" by the display, saying any woman going through the process of abortion "should not be slapped in the face by her university by calling her a scarlet woman."
The NKU student newspaper The Northerner has their own take as well as a picture where they claim the professor is tearing down the explanatory sign. Other photos of students destroying the display.

The new faculty pro-choice group said this:
In a letter to The Northerner, signed by Nancy Slonneger Hancock, a member of The Educators for Reproductive Freedom, Hancock said that the group "neither knew about nor participated in this act of vandalism, and we most certainly do not condone it." Hancock said that the group sees the cross display as "protected free speech, no matter how strongly we may disagree with the message. It is of the utmost importance that we all respect each others' free speech rights."
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Free Speech at NKU Con't

This story gets even better.

A faculty group organizes a pro-choice club. A student group organizes a pro-life club and does the little crosses display. During class, a prof "invites" students to destroy the student display because it hurt her feelings. Cute.

Oh, yeah. And pro-lifers are (surprise!) Nazis:
"Pulling up the crosses was similar to citizens taking down Nazi displays on Fountain Square*, she said.

"Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged," Jacobsen said.

Tenure. It's a wonderful thing. Here's the prof's page. Oh, Cool! She teaches Brit Lit (I could see how this came up in class) and is the interim director of the Women's Studies department.

Kind of sad, but the first line of that women's studies page is victimhood: "Stop and think about how, or even if, women were represented in your education to date." Also, that font. Isn't it a bit "Girls, Girls, Girls"? or maybe it's '50s Greenwich village jazz club font. Of course that later became 60's "Girls Girls Girls" font.

*A few years back, the klan convinced some stupid judge they had a right to erect a cross downtown a Fountain Square.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Free Speech At NKU

Free Speech and Theocracy

When I was a junior at R. Nelson Snider High School, I remember group of kids praying at lunch. I think there were 5. I remember the skinny mid-30s assistant principle forcible breaking them up. Public schools and all. Then there was some announcement that praying could be done before or after school hours. Otherwise, the jackboot of theocracy would stomp us all.

I didn't care. The kids were dorks and I wanted to sneak booze and hit on girls. (more successful in the former)

Now I read about how GWB and his cronies are imposing a theocracy on us all. When people junk like that I know right away their just a little stupid...and have never been in a theocracy.

Anyway, it's official. Comedy Central caved on showing the prophet Mohammed. The episode did finish with GWB and Jesus literally (in cartoon world) getting crapped on. If you want to write about the looming theocracy and the fear it causes, you better look in the right direction.

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She Was Asking For It

Two contrasting articles in the Enquirer earlier this week. This one is about a new exercise studio that teaches pole dancing. You know, like a stripper. It helps women achieve that childhood dream of contorting like a monkey in front of leering buzzed and stoned men hunkered down to get a good view and maybe spend $30 for a dry hump or more.

Thank god that time has come.

But for those women who would like to see what the exciting life of an exotic dancer is and Gypsy just seems to old fashioned. Maybe they should go talk with one of these women. They went to do some dancing out in a nice suburb and got raped by a guy.

But that kind of takes the fun out of pretending to be a pole dancer.

Two quick:
Strippers, porn stars, and hookers - my libertarian instincts says "who cares?" But when I give it some serious thought, these women must be in some serious emotional pain to want that kind of life. It's not a victimless crime. It seems pretty obvious that these women were victimized by daddy or mom's boyfriend or Uncle Jake playing grab ass. Oh, and don't give me the crap about paying for law school, etc. I've yet to find the stripper/hooker turned high priced corporate lawyer (and I do have some professional knowledge about the life they lead). Just ask yourself: what would it take for you to walk the streets or drive to the suburbs and strip for a guy in his house? The $75 this guy was paying?

Observation Two:
The stripper got raped? This is a word problem I've had for a long time. Yes, I know no means no. But calling a rape a stripper who was dancing naked in the bedroom of some guy who was naked who hired her a "rape" discounts the woman jogging in the park who gets dragged behind the bushes and gets raped or the naive girls who thought it would be fun to date one of those nice Kennedy boys. I'm not excusing or denying the pain involved. But come on? Is it the same?

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oh, Crap!

It's the 5 year anniversary of the the riots here in Cincinnati. The weather is warmish.

Now General Kabaka Oba is shot while leaving a city council meeting.

I think I'll take the long way home.

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Egytpian Chicken

So in order to help her troop earn a merit badge for appreciating different cultures or something like that, The Divine Mrs. M. asked her brownie troop what foods they would like to try from around the world.

I may not have the story right, but it's close enough for the internet.

Anyway, she assumed she'd get off easy and hear Mexico! Italian! American! said badge could be earned realitively easy. However her girls said things like Ireland, India, and - for purposes of this story - Egypt.

Being a troop leader good and true, The Divine Mrs. M hit the net in search of Egyptian recipes. She found one, served it to the kids and liked it herself. It's strands of chicken with some kind of seasoning served on a long stick slightly larger in diameter than a tooth pick. (See comments section later for the recipe from her - if she has the guts!)

She then served it at our little get together on Saturday night. But nobody ate it!

Their loss. I brought the remainder of the batch - serving plate and all - to eat at work.

Long story short, after eating said Egyptian Chicken, I must not have been careful with those serving sticks. One somehow ended up on my chair. Upon sitting down, it pierced my favorite pants and punctured the skin of my left buttock. Jumping up, I yelled "F&^K" or something like it. I now have blood stained and torn pants in the general area of my ass. I'll be guest staring on Prison Break next month.

Egyptian Chicken. It's cursed!

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Lake Inferior

NKU doesn't have alot of charm. it's a new campus. It's a commuter campus. There aren't alot of traditions.

That's why I was a little disappointed that they were going to rename a large pond on the campus. It's had the informal name of "Lake Inferior" for years. An alumni couple we had over on saturday remember it as that 20+ years ago. I think it's cute and a bit charming. And funny. I think they should keep it, but who am I.

Here's the story I did on their renaming it.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Enquirer Article/From Whence Comes Wisdom?

Here's today article for the Enquirer. I thought I did a nice job. She looks nice. Was nice when I interviewed her. However, the accompaning photo is indicative of the NKU campus. All that concrete in the background? That's what the whole place is like? Or under construction.

We had our Gin & Tonic party on Saturday. Four couples showed up. Good time had by all. I pictured an elegant get together. Nice talk, etc. And it was, but folks - with me leading - did enjoy alot of G&T, and vodka tonics, and comso, and wine and beer.

I'm days away from turning 36. I can't shake hangovers like I once did. I awoke on Sunday feeling ok. Tired, a little bit sore, but clear headed. I pitied the Divine Mrs. M. who had so sing in the choir at church on Palm Sunday. I bailed with the kids. But by 3:00 I got clobbered and still feel a bit yellow.

My grandfather once told me that when he was young he couldn't wait to be older with his friends since being older they'd be filled with wisdom and they could speak at an elevated level. He said he was so disappointed that when he retired that the same guys who were idiots when they were young were just as stupid. Wisdom doesn't come with clicking over the odometer. The hell if I know where it does come from though.

Nothing to do but trudge through the work day, gobble aspirin, and self medicate with massive amounts of caffiene.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

A Little Theatre; A Little Orthodontist

Two items in today's Enquirer.

This is the story I mentioned yesterday that I felt was pretty bad and read like ad copy. My editor didn't seem to think so so it's in today's paper. It's about an orthodontist practice moving (big whoop!). I don't think I've ever posted about my 5 1/2 years in braces (7th to 11th grade).

Here's a story I like doing a little more. NKU is doing a production of The Elephant Man. I tried to focus on the guy playing the lead here. Here's his official website. Cute Ladies? I learned two things - the bit about the make up during the play, and the fact that the elephant man's name wasn't really John Merrick - it was Joseph Merrick. Somebody just wrote it down wrong sometime in the last 100 years and the incorrect name stuck - the power of the press.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Do You Really Give A Damn About Free Speech?

Then read this and watch South Park tonight. Let's see what happens.

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Moonbatty At Work

In honor of Moonbatty's decision to work for the man, here's an instructional video on how not to behave at her first company party.

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Here's today's article from the Enquirer about a new Dean at NKU's College of Arts and Sciences. Seems like a nice guy.

I was feeling like my writing was getting a bit stale which leads to thoughts of the Enquirer dropping me to thoughts of the funds no longer being their to thoughts of living on the street desperate and broke with my wife and daughters driving by in the new daddy's BMW on their way to some restaurant whose garbarge can I regulary visit for breakfast scraps. If you don't understand how my thoughts got there, then you haven't read that post earlier this week.

I submitted a story yesterday I thought was especially bad - it sounded like advertising copy. I let my editor know. He responded via e-mail. I won't quote, but the word perfect was at least used.

So then I was happy. No dumpster diving for me.

But I do need another challenge. I was reading Cathy's Seipp's blog, and her daughter has a piece on my favorite site - NRO - here. She's still in High school and writing for NRO. How cool is that? Now that would be cool. A piece done for the magazine considered the belly of the beast of modern American conservatism.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Miracle Collapse - My Sports Deficiency

I've been in ball games before, but actually played....that's another thing.

In a game (pick up or league)...

I've never made a basket. I've never caught a ball with a glove. I've never hit a ball with a bat. When I go to Reds games I look at the women and like it when they shoot off fireworks. I've never had an interest in turning on a college football or basketball game. I've been to a college game at Ball State but that was simply to have a place to get drunk.

That being said, I still made a couple bucks writing about a guy writing about the 69 Cubs with this article in the Enquirer.

Does my lack of sports experience - or interest - hurt the article? You tell me.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Highly Personal

I've been thinking alot lately about why I'm a little bit of a nut. I guess I know why, I just don't want to think about it. So I might as well lay it out public. Maybe it will help.

My one big personal problem is anxiety. Call it worry or fretting. Call it what you will. Sometimes it overwhelms me in a black cloud I describe to The Divine Mrs. M as everything being black. It is. Pitch black. Other times - like the last few months - the worry is just a interminable back of the brain nag. I can push it back but it's always there.

Mostly it's about money. I do ok. Never late on the mortgage or car payments...or any bills for that matter - at least not for quite a few years. The kids go to private school - for just a couple months more. And The Divine stays home with them. We're doing ok.

But the nagging remains.

Why? I think it's a deepseeded fear of failure demonstrated to the outside world - mostly family - by any financial setback.

As a kid I was terrible high strung. Easy to panic and fearful of many situations. The enviroment growing up was not supportive to a child needing to overcome those character traits. This is no Freudian blaming of the parents. They had their own problems. Heck, my mother was 19 when I was born, who wouldn't? I was just a nervous kid who spun himself into worry and a bit of uncertainty at home would just send me spinning off like a top across the floor. There was always uncertainty.

That plus the fact that I did as little work as possible through high school contributed to nobody placing much hope in me being a "success" (meaning cash) in any way. Kids are more perceptive than anyone realizes. When parents, relatives, teachers or other figures write a kid off, the kid knows. When a kid is told by one of those figures - he takes it to heart. It's internalized and become a part of the kids psyche.

Luckily and I don't know how, around senior year of high school, I developed a serious "I don't give a shit attitude". Not mean; best described as insouciant. Freshman year at college, being out of a negative environment, I discovered I wasn't that bad. I wasn't that dumb or as lazy as I was being told. Second semester I fell in with a good group of people. That summer after freshman year I met The Divine Mrs. M and have done reasonably well since. I've held down jobs, started a business, wrote a book, I contribute to a major US newspaper, own my own home, happy marriage (at least on my side?), two healthly smart kids.....Not bad for about to turn 36 in a few days, right

But we're hardwired in childhood. And I live in fear of setbacks or discovery that will prove those right who told me that I wouldn't amount to much and that I was stupid or that damned guidance councelor who told me college wasn't for me. Maybe in my gut - contrary to all proof - I think they're right and it can all be taken away. I know that no one is there for me if I fall down. I'd be fulfilling their expectations and deserve to be where I end up. Worthless and broke.

I don't know.

I think it's time to end the psycho-babble.

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NKU Astrobiologist

Here's an article I did out of today's Enquirer regarding an undergrad astrobiologists doing a presentation in D.C. Apparently it was quite an honor for an undergrad to be asked to present so I did a story.

The professor pictured- Helen Bullen- next to the article took issue with some points. I received an e-mail from her this mornining. I forwarded it on to my editor at the Enquirer, but I'll also set the record straight here. She wrote:
The article about Ariel Bennett was great. It is very exciting that she attended the astrobiology science conference last week. She is a student with a lot of talent and is doing some very exciting research. I do want to point a few items. The project Ariel is working is a collaborative project between Hazel Barton and myself. I was highly disappointed and concerned that I was not properly identified in the article, listed as only assistant professor in the picture caption. (Sentence regarding feedback on someone else was here, it's not my place to put feedback for others here) The article should emphasize Ariel, but it should not fail to recognize the collaborative efforts of this project. Perhaps you could consider running a correction or addendum. I appreciate you publicizing the research and scholarly activity at NKU. I hope we can work with you in the future in publishing the great undergraduate research conducted at our institution.
So there you have the life of a low level freelance journalist in Cincinnati.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Leave Me Alone

I spent the weekend putting in a new kitchen floor and now I have a head ache. I just ate a roasted chicken and have four fingers of this stuff in me.

But still you nag me about not having posted in a few days. I know. You haven't really said anything, but it'snagging in the back of my brain. You're thinking, where's Howard? Well, to heck with you.

I'm going to bed now.

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