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Showing posts from November, 2006

Cindy Sheehan & The Freedom Fighters

I'm a liberal, and have no problem with that label. I believe in paying taxes, and I think that politicians have an obligation to serve those who elect them. Part of that service includes using taxpayer money to help those who are less fortunate. I don't like thinking that my taxes are funding a war that is being waged in the wrong place at the wrong time. That being said, we are at war. Our soldiers are heroic, and I have such high respect for these people who are willing to give their lives for our country. I often wonder what separates them from people like me who didn't have the bravery to join the military. The only conclusion that I can comes to mind is that I'm a coward, and they aren't. Whatever the case may be, I am grateful for their service, the service of those who preceded them, and the efforts of the soldiers who will proceed them. Cindy Sheehan's labeling of insurgents in Iraq as "Freedom Fighters" disturbs me. I must look at our sold

So this is what they mean...

They say that if you want the weather in Texas to change, just stick around for five minutes. Well, "they" are almost right. It was about 80 degrees and humid here yesterday, but when I woke up this morning, it was 35 degrees outside with a stiff north wind. Today's high temperature was somewhere in the mid-70's, which occurred in the early morning hours, shortly after midnight. For me, this is great weather. I'm a yankee, and don't get nearly enough of the cold weather down here. The forecast calls for chilly weather through at least the middle of next week. Beautiful!

Millie the Explorer

This weekend, we got a backpack for Millie. The Dog Whisperer -- a.k.a. Cesar Millan -- recommends using these packs to give your dog a more intense workout when taking them for a walk. I added two pounds worth of weight, and she did great. Her head was up, tail straight back, and she was prancing proudly on her walk this morning. She seemed very content to have a job. A few more walks like this, and she'll be in better shape than I am.

Morning Logic with Rob

Last night on the O’Reilly Factor , Bill O’Reilly aired a clip of an interview he conducted with Bill Maher . O’Reilly uttered something during that interview that I’ve heard numerous times over the years, repeated by a range of Republican politicians, and right-wing talking heads. The statement goes something like this: "We have not been attacked since September 11, 2001, so the Bush administration is doing a good job of keeping the country safe." In response to O’Reilly, Bill Maher described that statement is a logical fallacy. There is a phrase in Latin that goes like this " cum hoc, ergo propter hoc " and means “with this, therefore because of this”. In other words, if x and y are occurring simultaneously, x must be the cause of y. Let’s take a more practical example, with some imagery to make things interesting. Right now, I’m looking out my window and observing the following: "There is a breeze and children are playing. Therefore, the breeze causes child

An Objective Post for Dad

a /\¬a = 0 Last week, my father and I got into a discussion over the subjectivity of my blog. He argued that I should be less subjective, and I argued that since this is a blog consists of my opinions (as most blogs are unless stated otherwise), I needn't necessarily be confined to pure objectivity. In an effort to come up with a post that we can both agree is objective, I've provided this Boolean statement which states that "a" and its negation "not a" cannot be true. In more practical terms, think of a light. A light can not be on and not on at the same time.

The little shoeshine boy never gets low down...

Well, neither does this sub-par guitar player from Austin. Especially when he learns another Luther Perkins guitar solo. This solo is from the Johnny Cash song " Get Rhythm ", and features some E/A arpeggiations at the 12th and 5th positions, followed by some boogie-woogie style runs. Yikes - I almost sounded like I knew what I was talking about there. What the hell? The boogie-woogie runs are not played exactly as they are on the original recording, but come close enough, I think. Also, I missed the low E note when transitioning back to the palm-muted open E picking towards the end of the solo. It's painfully obvious, but that's OK. Luther missed notes on occasion as well. It happens. I recorded the solo using a standard "E" tuning. I used my recording software to raise the pitch a half a tone. Cash and his band frequently played a half-step up from E. I also added the tiniest bit of echo. Click here to listen.

Man Card Renewal

I renewed my man card this morning and changed the car battery, which unceremoniously died sometime yesterday. Total changing time: 15 minutes. Total testosterone increase: 75% My man card hadn't yet been revoked, but was nearing expiration. The dead battery couldn't have come a minute sooner!

An Easy Formula

I came across an article today that has a very simple message: Invest smart by putting your money in index funds , and stay sober so you can make sound financial decisions. I like it because -- unlike other financial articles -- it clearly and succinctly states its points, and the advice is sound and easy to follow. The advice to stay sober is so plainly obvious, but I doubt many people think about that. I certainly didn't. It makes sense that people who stay drug-free will place a higher priority on preparing for the future, and be able to make the financial decisions that will leave them better off in the end. Brilliant! Anyone who is starting to invest, or thinking about getting started, should read this article. I wish I had an article like this to read several years ago when I first began investing. It was only until very recently that family members advised me to invest in index funds, and the results have been excellent. Thanks, Ben Stein , for some great advice!

A New Title: Resolved

Minutes after my post about finding a new title for this blog, I was inspired. Politicians often use the term "Ordinary American" to describe people like me -- a middle-class, average income American that works for a living. I find the term somewhat condescending, but I also find it to be an appropriate title for this blog. It sets the tone and perspective, and keeps the expectations set by the previous title at a more manageable level, which in turn creates less stress for the author. I'm all about decreasing the stress wherever I can!

A New Title

It's time to change the title of this blog. The current title is overly ambitious, and sets the expectation that I am going to tackle all that's wrong with the world. I simply don't have the energy for that, and I want to write about more than just what's wrong. Also, no need to offend over half the country right off the bat. Let's let that half read a little bit before they get themselves worked up. Fear not, though. I will still attack blatant examples of moral and intellectual missteps as I see fit! I am open to suggestions for a new title, if I don't come up with something first. Feel free to submit your ideas.

Douchebag in a Bar

This past Friday night, we went out to help our friend celebrate her birthday at a bar in downtown Austin. Folks, if you're in your early thirties and don't feel old yet, just head on down to 6th Street in Austin to remind you of how young you're not. Now, I did have a lot of fun, but some of the excerpts of conversations I heard may have been enough to lower my IQ by a few points. One conversation I heard while in the restroom, where one of the patrons was engaged in a cell phone conversation 1 with his buddy. What I heard went something like this: "Dude, you don't even understand. We were supposed to be at Uchi tonight, and the next thing I know I'm here at Opal Divine's . That's how fucked up my life is." I tried to imagine in what context that bit of commentary might have made sense, or not sounded completely shallow and moronic. I couldn't. Comedian Lewis Black once said that an aneurysm is caused by hearing an utterance so incredibly

An Emotional Moment

This news release makes me very happy, but it was as much about the children in the picture as it was about a victory for gay rights. It choked me up to see children in this crowd taking part in a demonstration like this, and it's heartwarming that they are involved in supporting a cause that is good and just. The parents of these children are to be commended, too, for teaching their children the importance of civil rights and equality. I can only hope that we will be as successful with our own child.

Apologies!

It's been almost a month since I last wrote something. I've been spending more time focusing on my Paternal Prose blog, and still haven't settled on a name. I think that name is starting to grow on me, however. The world is still falling apart. Iraq is a mess, Saddam was sentenced to hang, the weathermen are still screwing up forecasts in Texas, and people still won't get off their cell phones! Yikes! On the bright side, there are some good signs in the polls that the Democrats will reclaim the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. The Republican party seems to be imploding to some degree due to a series of sex scandals. In other news, I cast my vote for Kinky Friedman a week ago during early voting, and am not sure if I made the right choice. It doesn't look like he'll win, but I find myself fed up with politicians these days, so went for the "anti-politician".