Saturday, May 27, 2006

Graduation Day

The Enquirer is doing a series of light formatted pieces on high school graduations in Northern Kentucky. Here and here are a couple of examples. Quick short reads. Somewhat humorous. Probably nice for the grads. Nice change from the usual.

Last night I was assigned to cover Boone County High School's graduation. They held it at NKU. I brought along Dagny since Alicia took Harper to a dance recital dress rehearsal. That's tonight. All Dag's wanted to see was them throw their hats in the air. After 1 1/2 hours she got her wish. It did look cool.

I stayed the whole time just in case anything newsworth happened I wouldn't look stupid to my editors. This guy was going to graduate with them but instead decided to shot a chick on the highway. He was listed in the program but not mentioned.

Two blocks from home I passed Gilligan Stadium where Bellevue plays football. I didn't realize they had their graduation that night. I wondered if the Enquirer was covering them. We're small. Then I thought I should have offered to cover them. Then I could have just walked.

Got home about 9. Banged out the story in about 25 minutes. E-mailed it to the night editor. Called her to make sure she got it. Alicia got home. We all went to pick up some Greek food, ate it, then hit the sack.

So who's do you like better? Here's my piece on Boone County High School. Here's the other piece on Bellevue. Mine was highly edited. I'm sure the other guy's was also.

Stay You.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Wish I Was A Smoker

In not a hypocondriac but am a worrier. Physically, I worry about not getting excercise - I'm getting back to this gym this week after 4 weeks off. I worry about drinking too many colas. A acerbic acid, the caffiene, the bubbles- what are they doing to my body and teeth. I worry about the occasional Jr. BBQ cheeseburger and fries from Wendy's. I watch the medical channels - my yougest daughter's favorite and see all the crap that could go wrong.

It doesn't keep my up and night but it's always in the back of my head. I imagine men that have been in combat don't worry as much. Maybe they do. Do the bills and a 38" waist matter much to a man who's been in a firefight.

For instance, if I was a perpetual big fat guy like actor Charles During I'd wake every morning just waiting for a heart attack. But does he care?

I once read an article about the dude. He was on Omaha Beach and won chestful of medals. He was one of the few survivors of the massacre at Malmedy. At Malmedy, his unit surrendered during the Battle of the Bulge. German trucks came for what they thought was to transport them to a POW camp, but instead when the back gates were dropped, the Germans opened fire with machine guns. They blew away a 100+ GIs standing in ranks. He played dead and crawled out from beneath bodies. Then he starred in Tootsie and does guest shots on Everybody Loves Raymond. Does he worry about his weight....or anything?

Smokers really impress me. I wish I was a smoker. The proof is incontrivertible. These things you just bought at the Quikie Mart are going to kill you. Not might or may, but will end your life earlier than needed by a decade or two...and still they go right ahead and smoke. And I'm worried about drinking too much cola?

I wish I could have a smokers attitude.

Stay You.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Let's Get Small

Let's get small was a comedy bit off this Steve Martin album I use to listen to at my friend Matt Koogler's house in 6th grade.

That's what I want in life. Just to get small.

Just the family and me in my little house in my little town. Nothing fancy, nothing big, I don't need anybody to "help me out". I jsut want to get small - a good dinner, a good bottle, nice music and nice tv shows. that's it.

Somebody e-mailed me this again. I know Apple is a big company and they're picking on MS but MS seems like a company that has a casual day and each division, department, subgroup and cubicle pod has to develop a people driven mission statement that reflects the group's values and women come around to have you sign people's birthday cards and out of the blue the company transfers large numbers of people whilly nilly to get some tax rebate from some slack jawed municipality that's horny for an employer. Oh, and they buy birthday cakes for people. And when you do something extra special, they hand out $20 gift certificates to shitty restaurants with 47 tvs and road sign - road signs for god's sake - hanging on the wall.

That's not a life. I need to get small. Do my thing. It's harder in ways but if I'm going to hell like many say at least I'll have a soul to feed the flames.

Stay You.
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Need A Kick Start

I'm in one of those periods where everything seems like an endless loop of work.

There's a scene in that early 80s movie Conan where the bad guys chain a young Conan up to a mill of some sort to help push it with the horses. The screen dissolves and you see him age from a slim kid to a the Terminator. that's what I feel like - except for the muscles - and if he was pushing that thing for 10 years or so wouldn't he develop on one side - would he be not so symetrical?

Anyway, I need to log some serious mental downtime. Some time where there's not "things-to-do". Quality time of staring at a cathode ray tube in mindless oblivion without interruption.

Random Memory: I met my aunt Winnie a few times. She was confined to a wheelchair. A hottie in her youth - I saw the pics - at about 30 her body started curling up from some severe arthritis. One day she got stuck somewhere in the house. While trying to pass the time until help can she picked up an old Conan book - she was addicted. I remember her playing scrabble and reading Conan books.

Happy Anniversary to The Divine Mrs. M. and me. 17 years! Ok, not the real "wedding" anniverary but the anniversary of our meeting. The anniversary we celebrated for several years until we married. The anniversary I still - after 10+ years of marriage - think of as our anniversary.

Ever lost a kid? Maybe you could buy one of these. I wrote the article. This doesn't seem like a hard product to get to market, but what do I know?

Bush's visit to NKU got on the front page of the NY Times. Here's a story. Look at the pic. I'm shook hands, sat down and talked with two of the people in the photo. Congressman Davis and NKU Pres Votruba. Bush keeps stiffing me. Jerkface.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Howard's Week in Review

Got alot done this week. I'm sending out a mailing to my clients about an event in hosting on June 10, I crossed a minor milestone in client assets under management on Monday - then lost it with the market's downturn.

On Tuesday I went out to Falmouth Kentucky, county seat of Pendleton County (3:1 Dem to Rep registration). Kentucky had its primary on that day and the Enquirer needed somone to look at a sheet of paper they post and call it in. They didn't offer enough at first to drive the 45 - 1hr to get there, but then made me an offer I couldn't refuse - more money. I got there about 6:30. I'd called the clerks office and was told they should have the vote count done by 7:00. They were done at 9:30. Then I had to get some quotes and do a couple brief interviews.

Three hours of standing in the middle of Nowhere, Kentucky taught me that I we must embrace Federalism more. These a hugely different people than in Cincinnati - and many of them work in Cincinnati. Why should they live under the same laws as those in Washington State, or Manhattan, or South Carolina.

Anyway, after I called in the results, my editor slammed together this story for the next day. Later they published this story on the race that I submitted.

Here's a nice story I did on a cool police program in Alexandria Kentucky - a booming suburb in beautiful rolling hills about 15 miles due south of me. The guys I spoke with really seemed to love what they were doing and helping out. Nothing but praise...and I can usually sense b.s.

I then did this story about the non-tenured (No PH.D.) instructor of the year over at NKU. I love women like her. Older ladies who are happy, look good, take care of themselves. No pretense. Nice to speak with. Glad she got the award.

Then yesterday I picked up Dagny from school and we went to see President Bush. Two thousand packed a small auditorium. We were about 13 rows back - but on a elevated bleacher so we had a great view. Dagny was thrilled and excited. Even jaded me with my grumbling about new medicare entitlements, lack of border control, huge gov't spending yelled. And it wasn't only me. Several local dems were in the audience. I saw them cheering just as loudly.

The presidency carries with it so much star power.

He spoke about the war on terror, the horrors of Darfur and what the US is doing there, then addresses NKU specifically and some new programs to make the US internationally competitive. I have my doubts, but what the hell. At least I didn't hear "religion of peace" or some other formulation. Three times he referred to "those who would prevert a great religion", but I have no idea what the Da Vinci Code had to do with his visit. He did repeat over and over again about how "Good people can disagree" about the economy, war, taxation, education. I remember getting tired of hearing this during the debates with Gore.

Admittedly I've always had problems with Bush's speech pattern. I could at least understand how the moonbats could claim he's an idiot in the face of facts degrees from Yale and Harvard and learning to fly a fighter jet and unseating a very popular governer in Texas and winning a second term and then winning the presidency against a sitting VP during a booming and superficially peaceful time then win reelection.

But after about 10 minutes, you got the rythem (sp?) of his speech and if flowed. It's a bit like seeing Shakespeare, it take a bit to get into the pentameter, but then it make sense to the ear.

Here and here are two stories the Enquirer's political reporter did. Something Moonbatty might be interested in. The 5 minutes or so he gave to Darfur were totally missed by all local media that I saw.

A note on the protesters. I've seen plenty of protesters but these seemed angry in the extreme. and there weren't as many as I expected. I went out of my way to walk past them to give a little lesson on dissent and if you don't like what the pres is doing we're free to say so. Then they scared Dagny. These people were in a frothing rage. That'll go nowhere.

Maybe pictures later. I gave Dagny control of the camera and things turned out a bit....

Stay You.
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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Immigration/Seeing Bush

In my book I called immigrants the high octance fuel of the U.S. economy. I'm very pro-immigrant. Also in my book, I wrote that the rule of law is a necessary component of a free and prosperous society.

So where do I fall on illegal immigrants? To answer that I have to bring in another topic - the war on terror.

The big bone I have to pick is that from what I've read, it wouldn't take much to dramatically stop the border jumpers. Before 9/11, I wouldn't have given a rat's ass about a fence. However, it presents a HUGE security hole. While there are many such holes, I think this would be the easiest to penetrate. I don't know the border areas - of the south or the north - but how hard would it be with a little pluck and skill for a Ryder truck full of something ouchy to get across somewhere along the line?

If we can send 500,000 men to topple the fascists in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect the US, couldn't we put up a self-respecting fence to keep them out? I know this would stop millions of honest illegals just looking for work in order to block a handful of jihadists, but - sorry Juan - thems the breaks.

As for the ones already here... Yes, I do believe in the rule of law. the illegals should respect that...but so should we. We haven't enforced our immigration laws in years. Should some poor Hondoran respect them more than us? A law ignored and unenforced is not a law.

So what to do with the ones here. first, build that fence. Start registering all that are already here. They have 5 years to become legal in a relatively quick process. If you're a criminal or felon or some other undesireable, you get tossed across the fence. Once that 5 years has passed - no damn break.

Oh, and one other thing, I keep reading about Congress's plans to level fines and punish employers who hire illegals. The government doesn't do it's job of monitoring and protecting the border - something the employers and paying for - and the employers get fined? Isn't that kind of sick? Shouldn't the employers expect the feds to do their job thus anyone applying for a job is a legal?

Oh, I just picked up my tickets to see Pres Bush tomorrow afternoon when he visits NKU. I'm taking Dagny with me. This will be either of 3rd of 4th time she's seen him. her comment last night was "It's sooo boring every time I see the president." Wouldn't it be great to be that jaded at 8. "...every time I see the president." Made me laugh...and proud.

Stay You.
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Monday, May 15, 2006

On Human Nature

John Derbyshire had a nice write up of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Lolita in today's National Review. Here's a good bit of his conclusion:
Here you see one of the paradoxes of our strange times. Our women dress like sluts; our kids are taught about buggery in elementary school; “wardrobe malfunctions” expose to prime-time TV viewers body parts customarily covered in public since “the lamented end of the Ancient World B.C.” (Humbert); our colleges have coed bathrooms; songs about pimps rise to the top of the pop music charts; yet so far as anything to do with the actual reality of actual human nature is concerned, we are as prim and shockable as a bunch of Quaker schoolmarms. After 40 years of lying to ourselves, we are now terrified of the truth. Which is an unhappy thing, because the truth is bearing down on us fast.
He's right. I've been reflecting on our times, my place in it, and human nature in general. I've been trying to come to some "truths" to help me deal with my own pinging brain. Here are some:

1. I never have to pee more than the 1/2 hour out of every week when the cleaning crew is here to clean the office and shut down the bathroom.

2. For every super hot, super smokin' supermodel-looking chick out there, there's some guy who's tired of sleeping with her.

3. No matter what women say, in the final analysis, they prefer a confident dick who can just get things done to a feeling and caring guy who wants to talk.

4. On ownership: No matter where I sit in my house, I can always see something that needs to be done.

5. The idea of "God" - especially a just God - totally pisses some people off. The twist and contort themselves to remake "God" in their own image. A "God" scares other people. For some "God" makes them real a-holes. Only for a select few does the acceptance of a "God" make for genuinely nice people.

6. Children want to be forgiving. It doesn't take much to be an acceptable parent. Yet I'm surprised at how many come up short. It's so many in fact that I think people must make an active decision to be bad parents and are succeding.

7. People would rather be told what to do and be taken care of than be free to choose their own lives but be responsible for themselves.

8. The easier the honor, the more people will demand to be honored. For example, real soldiers in combat usually don't like to talk about what they did. Especially if they earned anything higher than a purple heart. Also, someone with a Ph.D. in education or "communication" will demand to be called "Dr." while a nobel winning physicist from MIT who perfects cold fusion will be happy being called "Hank" - even if his name is Steve.

9. For pretty girls, it's healthy to have a flaw. A crooked nose, fat thighs, big ears. Something...anything. Something to humble them. Something to remind them that they are human. The most obnoxious women are the flawless beauties. The ones who no guy ever told to shut up because they were just too damn good looking. Maybe this applies to guys to. I don't know since I'm not a homo.

10. Once past a cetain point - say 20 minutes - the longer a woman spends getting ready to leave the house the more unattractive she will be.

11. No restaurant needs a tv displays...yet it seems that they all do.

12. Most people make decisions based on what others will think rather than what they want...including me. Sad. Very Sad. This makes people very easy to manipulate.

13. Nothing satisfies the human spirit like doing something of value.

14. Men leave their wives and children. Women may leave their husband but almost never their children. That says why Mother's Day is more important than Father's Day.

15. Guys. Things I can't imagine any woman wanting to see a man in: 1. a ball cap 75% of your waking hours. 2. dockers and a golf shirt - always. Office workers: mix it up a bit.

Stay You.
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Friday, May 12, 2006

The Trouble with Holidays

When younger at a party, I always felt at a certain time it was time to call it quits. 1 am or 2 am. My energy started to ebb, folks were coming down off their 2nd buzz, everyone had a good night. Time to go home. But there was always that guy. In high school and in college who just had to go longer. Who couldn't call it a night gracefully. Who had to go until 5:30.

I did this a few times and always regretted it. Sometime during that period people turn sullen (me) or violent or aggressively silly. Women get easily pissed off. Fights break out.

Over doing it ruined what would have normally been a very nice night.

That same thing seems to be my trouble with holidays. Mother's Day seemed to have started right after Easter. Before mom's flowers droop, Father's Day is going to be crammed down our throats. After that 4th of July sales. It's Father's Day, not Father's month!

Christmas now seems to start the day after Halloween.

Every damn holiday has seemed to take on the status of "a major event" with weeks of buildup.

I find it exhausting. By the time the day rolls around I'm sick of hearing about it. The actual day feels like a girl at 5 am puking in the bushes while her best friend hold her hair and her other best friend makes out with her boyfriend. It's just too much.

I don't mind any of the holidays. I don't mind taking my wife out to lunch on Sunday or going to church on Easter or a little traveling on Thanksgiving. I actually enjoy those things. I don't enjoy the societal pressure we've placed on it. The endless consumerism that is now built into everything is pychicly numbing. It seems that everyone buys into the overproduction hook line and sinker.

Stay You.
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pendleton County Primary/I'm Still Here...

...Just not wanting to write for you.

Here's an article
I did for Pendleton County primary elections just in case you cared what goes on in rural kentucky. I'm driving down there next Tuesday to get the results at the courthouse to phone into the Enquirer and will then do a follow up story.

Whatever it takes to make a buck.

Stay You.
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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Busy Day - One Item

Here's a play advance that appeared on Sunday. I used the not too old star of the show as my focus.

If you're a regular reader and happen to be in town then, I'll treat you!

Now back to work. Voice mails backed up, e-mails backed up, people knowing I was out and now in are calling in. Enjoy.

Stay You.
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Flew In From Miami Beach B.O.A.C....

Not Miami Beach, but Tampa. Flew in there Sunday morning and got back this afternoon. All work related and conference rooms. No time in the ocean. No time in the pool.

I went to a Devil Ray v. Rangers Game. Drank about 14 beers. Don't feel bad today. That's good.

This morning I saw this guy speak - he was the non-financial guy. The conference was winding down and there were only about 75 of us there. He may not look it, but this guy is hysterical. He spoke about teamwork...blah...blah...blah...a symphony is a team...blah...blah. I don't go for the teamwork tripe too much but he was funny and gave alot of insight into his business and musical history.

There were other good speakers and money managers but none of interest to anyone outside of my little business.

While I was gone the Enquirer printed three stories that I had submitted earlier. This one, this one and this one.

I'm tired and can't get onto my e-mail or calender so I have no idea what I'm walking into tomorrow so don't know if there will be a post or not.

Enjoy. Glad to be back.

Stay You.
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