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Showing posts from December, 2006

A Road Full of Assholes

I used to drive fast and tailgate other motorists. It made me feel like a rebel to drive 75 mph in a 50 mph zone, and piss off the guy in front of me. When you're a twenty year-old shy college kid lacking confidence, you do what you can to bolster your self-image. It's interesting how much my perception has changed nowadays. Ten years ago, I thought it was cool or rebellious to speed/tailgate. Now, I think that people who behave that way on the road are being assholes, just the same way people thought of me ten years ago as I sped by them. My dream is to stop one of these people one day and ask them where they are going that's so damned important. And, maybe call them an asshole.

A Christmas Gourd

My brother John, and his wife Aislynn, made this for us as a Christmas gift this year. It's obvious that they put a lot of thought and work into it, and the result is beautiful. They both have so much talent. We will be displaying it proudly in our home.

Some Progress

Governor John Corzine (D-NJ) signed legislation today granting civil unions to same-sex couples. The legislation is a nice step forward, and New Jersey now joins more progressive states such as Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts, the only one in the group that allows same-sex marriage. I'm not sure why it's so difficult for lawmakers and politicians to take that final step and allow marriage to gay couples. It can't be to keep one's constituency happy, because the bigots among that constituency are already going to be angered by civil unions. It must be some attempt to preserve the tradition of marriage, but I'm not sure what's left to preserve. Marriage is barely taken seriously in this country anymore, with divorce rates up over 40% in first-year marriages. We're getting there slowly, and it's clear that minds are opening. It's very encouraging, but I am eager for the day when gay couples can proudly declare that they are married in the leg

Spammers

Today while looking through my spam folder, I came to a conclusion: those who engage in spamming tactics are devoid of morals, and interested in nothing more than personal gain. Of course, I'm not the only one to arrive at this conclusion. There are plenty of us, but not enough. The phrase "devoid of morals" is a little strong, but I believe it to be true. How can one justify forcing anything upon an unwilling victim, sometimes employing deceitful tactics to do so, with the sole intent to make a profit? The answer is that spammers are inconsiderate, self-serving, and therefore, immoral. A few days ago, someone attempted to post a comment on my other blog. The comment contained links to pornographic websites. The content of the blog? Fatherhood. Wow! That's a serious lack of consideration and a shining example of putting one's own interests before those of others. We'll never be able to stop the practice of spamming, no matter how many anti-spam checks we pu

How do we win?

George Bush today said that he is " inclined to believe that we do need to increase our troops... " to fight the war on terror. He also stated that we are in an ideological war that's going to persist for "a while". That is a true statement, if by "a while", Bush means "forever". I've had a problem with the war on terror since its inception in 2001. My gut feeling was -- and still is -- that you can't wage war on an ideology or a concept. We can stop one terrorist, of even one thousand of them, but there will always be another waiting to attack. Admittedly, I don't know how to end global terrorism, but I don't think that anyone does, including our politicians and military. I'm certain that throwing more troops at the problem, however, is not the solution. We have already lost almost 3,000 Americans in the war in Iraq , which is at least the number we lost in the 9/11 attacks . People who are hell-bent on seeing the demise

An Observation

Why is there always that one person in a group of two or more that sticks their tongue out when they are being photographed? Is it their way of saying "Hey, look at me, I'm zany and like to have a good time! You can tell because I'm sticking my tongue out"? As I write this, there is a picture in our hallway of our friend Brian , Kandis , and me. My tongue is out on full display. Clearly, I felt the need to communicate by zaniness to the world that night, because the world just needed to know.

An Open-Ended Question

Republicans like to lower taxes, and believe that the people, not the government, should decide what to do with their money. The majority of Republicans also support the Iraq war. By March 31, 2007, the estimated cost of the Iraq war will be $378 billion . If you believe that this war is necessary, then how do you continue to support lowering the taxes that are needed to fund the war?

Change and Hope

I was reading a speech by Barack Obama tonight. He talked about his plan for addressing the mess in Iraq. As I read, I became somewhat hopeful. It wasn't necessarily Senator Obama's plan, but his reminder that Americans seemed to vote for a change on November 7th. He also referenced a Pew survey that found 42% of Americans now believe we should stay out of other countries' affairs. This is a significant shift in thinking for America, and I'm hopeful that with some new leadership, we can regain some degree of respectability with the world. Ousting the current batch of Republicans in the mid-term elections was a great step towards that goal. It's amazing how terrible of a mess we've created. In fact, it boggles the mind that a great country like this could botch something so horribly. Imagine how we must look through the eyes of other countries. In my own eyes, I see a rogue nation who acted on its own without regard to the rest of the world. What's to preve

When you'd like your dog to be a pit bull

I don't scare easily, and I'm not afraid of being mugged. Tonight, however, while walking with Millie, I went up to the local elementary school. There was a kid in his late teens hanging around on his bike. Since this isn't much of a story, let's spice it up a bit and refer to this person as a ruffian. I was letting Millie sniff around to process various scents, and the ruffian was riding around the parking lot on his bike. He stopped at one point and remained silent. At that point, I began to think the behavior was odd, but didn't worry. Eventually, he rode off and I made my way home for some delicious frozen egg rolls. Our young tough wasn't gone, though. As I crossed one of the entrances to the school, there he was, sitting on his bike and scoping out the situation. I kept walking, but shot him a look as if to say "What the hell is wrong with you, dude?" For the remainder of the walk, I wondered how handy Millie would be if our ruffian friend had b

Giant Killer Asteroids -- Coming Soon

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of watching Naked Science , and learned all about killer asteroids. I took from this episode that we will find ourselves in the path of a deadly asteroid at some point, and that our scientists really don't know what to do about it. One scientist showed us how we could put a giant magnifying glass in space, and harness the sun's power to incinerate and deflect the asteroid. To illustrate his idea, he used a magnifying glass to play the part of the giant magnifying glass, and a grapefruit to represent an asteroid. Ah, delicious grapefruits! Another scientist told us that we could send a spaceship equipped with a special claw which would grab the asteroid, and shift its course. That scientist made an important point about his idea -- it would take ten to fifteen years to develop, which means we're in trouble if an asteroid comes our way in the next few years. You can also forget about the Hollywood-inspired idea of using nuclear bombs to de

Happy news with a dash of bigotry

Happy news today from Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe. Of course, this news brings with it bigoted sentiments from the morality police: "It's very disappointing that a celebrity couple like this would deliberately bring into the world a child that will never have a father." -- Janice Crouse, Concerned Women for America "Just because you can conceive a child outside a one-woman, one-man marriage doesn't mean it's a good idea... Love can't replace a mother and a father." -- Carrie Gordon Earll, Focus on the Family That's right -- the love a same-sex couple can offer can't replace a mother and father. Is this the same mother and father that are 40% likely to divorce if it's a first-time marriage ?

At the office...

Kandis and I just had a discussion about people at work who insist on using only the speaker phone when making a phone call to a colleague or client. These same people also tend to leave their office doors open while engaged in such a call, and are almost always the only person on their end of the line. What, then, do we make of a person who makes a call using speakerphone, and leaves their office door open so that other employees hear the contents of the call? The initial response might be "An inconsiderate ass with a distorted sense of their importance". That might be correct in some -- or many -- instances, but I think there's more to it. I used to use speakerphone when making calls. It made me feel important, and confident. Somehow, I felt like I had the upper hand in the conversation. Based on my limited observation, people like to feel to feel confident and important. What better way to say "Look at me! I'm self-assured, doing important things, and bossin

From the U.S.P.S. with Love

Today, our mailman left a package on our doorstep that he couldn't fit in the mailbox. The package had a note on it that said "Empty mailbox daily!! -- U.S.P.S." We forgot to check the mail yesterday, so had two days worth of mail piled up. Here's another confession: it's not the first time we've done that. Yeah, we're pretty hard-core. We know it. I'm thinking of leaving a note in our mailbox tomorrow that says "Get over it. We're human. -- Rob".

Trouble in Fiji

Today, the country of Fiji -- and more specifically, the President -- is having one hell of a day . We can often find things to whine about when it comes to matters of goverment and our country. Taxes, a crooked congressman here and there, war, poverty, earmarks -- you name it, and someone will find something they don't like. I'm glad that we have checks and balances in place that prevent a military general from overthrowing a President with whom he or she does not agree. Sure, the general could try, but I suspect he or she wouldn't get very far. Be thankful that we live in a country where we don't have to worry about experiencing something frightening like what's happening in Fiji. Perhaps, though, I'm oblivious or naive and we do have something to fear.