Saturday, December 30, 2006

Imagine Manhattan Floating Out To Sea

This stuff fascinates and worries me at the same time.

Ice Shelf Breaks

Nothing lasts forever, eh? 3,000-4,000 years old. Wow. In other words, this thing has been around since BEFORE the Cubs last won a Series.

A Clarification Is Needed

I've been hearing people call Gerry Ford "our only unelected president". Sorry, this isn't correct. One could make a case that Veeps who took over for assassinated presidents were "elected" because they were part of a ticket...I understand that. But what about 2000? Love him or hate him (and I worry about anyone who still would fall into the "love" category), Bush didn't "win" the election in 2000. He did, however, get SELECTED by the Supreme Court to serve in the Oval Office. There was no winner in 2000, therefore, the person who took over in January 2001 was not "elected". I'd say the same damn thing if Al Gore would have been selected by the Court.

Northern Iowa Is Better Than Bradley...In Almost Every Way

Twenty years ago, I was living in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa, and reporting on University of Northern Iowa sports. Ten years ago, I moved back to the Midwest after a hiatus in Nevada, and to Peoria, where I heard about Bradley University.

A few months into my new quarters, I noticed the columnists at the local paper in Peoria had a "look down our noses" view of Northern Iowa. The attitude was "how dare this school be in the same conference as esteemed Bradley University." Most of the venom came during basketball season, as Northern Iowa is consistently a Top 10 Division 1-AA football team, but of course this is ignored around Peoria because Bradley...doesn't even have a football program.

I saw commentary from guys I like very, very much, like Phil and Kirk, showing thinly-veiled disdain for the low-life public school known as UNI, based in such a nothing town as Cedar Falls, and wondering how they would dare play basketball with the stuffy private likes of Bradley, Evansville, and Creighton.

So it gives me some pleasure every time Northern Iowa stuffs Bradley in basketball, like they did earlier this week. The two teams have been very even over the years, as a matter of fact they've split the last 16 games. Now, if I was 8-8 in this decade against another school, I'd at least call them my basketball equal, wouldn't you?

Beyond that, it gives me a measure of satisfaction that UNI spent the last 10 years hosting Bradley in a gorgeous place called the UNI-Dome, built for football, but STILL better for basketball than the old Bradley Fieldhouse (but not as basketball-friendly as the Peoria Civic Center). And even though I don't go back, was never a big, big fan of UNI, and really don't follow them that closely, it gives me yet another measure of satisfaction to see that UNI and Cedar Falls have a new basketball-only arena, which Kirk compliments on his blog this week, by that way.

A 7,000 seat on-campus venue that is a perfect size for a mid-major conference that will never again be a top conference, just a "nice" one.

And Northern Iowa has that venue. Bradley doesn't. I think that's awesome. Good for them.

I don't know, as I get ready to publish this, what prompted this rant. Other than the fact that I find it pleasing that the "football school" has a better basketball venue AND a basketball program that is just as good - if not better - than the stuffy elitists at Bradley and those who live for their every game.

EDIT: One more note: In the last five seasons, UNI is 46-34 in MVC play...Bradley is 34-46. So let's just go ahead and say UNI is indeed a better program right now.

New Feature!

Now that football is almost over for the year, (as soon as Ohio State disposes of Florida), it's time to start thinking baseball.

(No, I don't care about the NFL. Football season is over. Period.)

So, a new feature as I make a resolution to blog more...

Each week, I will feature a photo of something that came into the world SINCE the pathetic, hapless, worst pro sports franchise ever - the Chicago Cubs - last won a World Series. We'll start with this youngster:

Man Responsible For 9/11 Hanged!

Oh, wait, wrong guy. Sorry.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Haven't Seen The Likes Of It Since I Was Growing Up In Minnesota

I came outside Friday morning, December 1st, to find this in my driveway:

That black thing under the white stuff is a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. I understand my friends in Peoria are having trouble getting their streets back to normal, almost a week after receiving about 1/2 the snow we got in Kewanee. I'm happy to report my road was plowed about 9am Friday morning, I did get a ride to work, and the entire town was completely cleared out and driveable by Friday night/Saturday morning. Kewanee has about 14,000 residents...larger than Morton, I think.

They did a fabulous job of clearing out up here. Glad I'm out of Peoria for numerous reasons, and this is just another one.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Plagierize a Good Marketing Campaign

Let me give it a shot:

Fumbling the bin Laden search.

Lying to the country to get us into Iraq.

Ignoring the Geneva Convention.

Creating a Civil War in Iraq.

Sending thousands of young Americans to their death, and leaving tens of thousands more disabled and disfigured for life, all over a bunch of lies and deceptions.

Losing credibility for our country world wide.

Losing the GOP majority in the U.S. House.

Losing the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate.

Squashing freedoms of U.S. Citizens with the "Patroit Act".

Squandering a budget surplus and driving us DEEP into debt.

But giving tax breaks to his rich buddies in the process.

Securing the title "Worst President In United States History"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Decorating is a blast!

For the last few years, Diane has been collecting different parts of a little village to put on display during the christmas season. We put it up today, and it's starting to look like quite the town. We've got buildings, trees, streetlights that work, a skating pond that uses magnets to make the skaters "skate", a cobblestone street, animals grazing in a fenced area outside a barn, a fishing hole with a couple of guys dangling poles in the nearly-frozen water (and probably sharing a flask of blackberry brandy), all sorts of holiday things.

As we get older and the world moves faster and faster, as we personally get busier, as life basically flies by, it's amazing how relaxing it can be to turn on all the lights of the tiny village, sit on the couch, and just stare at it. It's fun. I imagine there will be a quiet time tonight, with all lights off except for the village, and we'll just sit there an enjoy our immobile town. I recommend the therapy of it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I love my dog

He's a handsome chap, don't you think? Name is Juneau. Digs holes like he's trying to visit China the short way. Eats people food as often as possible. Sleeps either a) on the couch in the living room, b) on the couch in the family room, or c) on somebody's bed. He feels he's human.

Obviously, I haven't blogged since August. My new job is both time consuming and extremely, extremely enjoyable. The new house is even more fun. So less time is spent at the computer. Maybe I'll blog more soon, I don't know. Things are good. Job is good, house is good, politics are coming around to the way they should be.

And other big stuff coming soon in my life. So upon further review, yes, there will be more blogging on the way.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wow, Time Flies, Eh?

I checked this blog out this morning and realized it's been over two weeks since I posted. Those two weeks have been spent moving, and we are now an official resident of Kewanee, IL.

That's right, I decided to move on the two days that it was 101 and 103 degrees. See how smart I am? Diane is not to blame for this decision. I was the one who rented the U-Haul and made the plans. Well, it was hot. How hot? read on.

I made Michael Jordan look like he doesn't sweat.
I averaged taking more showers in a day than most Europeans take in a month.
I changed clothes so often I thought I was in a Cher concert.
Gatorade stock went up .12 per share after that weekend.
I shook my head and almost drowned the cat.
It was so hot my sweat was sweating.

Ok, that'll about cover it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Price Of Gas(es)

Between seeing "$3.12" per gallon of unleaded and seeing heating bills this past winter, it's obvious that "gas" of any kind is not cheap anymore. This, of course, despite record profits for the greedy friends-of-Bush in the oil industry.

So one of my employees had an idea this morning...from now on, every time he's in a public place, when he feels flatulence coming on, he's going to let it go...and then walk around the place and collect money for it. He figures if people are willing to pay $3.12 a gallon without complaint, and fork over hundreds of dollars every month to Ameren without complaint, they won't mind paying two bits or so for his gas, and they should do it without complaint.

Maddening Driving Habits, #254

Don't you just love it when you come up behind someone dutifully rolling along right at the speed limit ("good for them", you think, "but I gotta go"), and then speed up the moment you try to slip past them?

I just love that.

Then, when you get by and set your cruise at 63 or 64 (in a 55), the dude decides to tailgate you at that same speed.

I just love that.

Here's my message to the blue Ford dually this morning on Highway 78: If you don't have the guts to speed out there all by yourself, stop using me as a front door. I'm open about my intentions, expectations, and possible consequences...why don't you grow a pair and do the same?

I can't think of any more gutless driving behavior than the driver that will follow anybody going over the limit, but refuses to lead the pack. Wimps. You think you're smart, but you're really not. When my uncle patrolled the highways of Minnesota, he purposely picked up the second car in line whenever he came upon a group of speeders. He figured (rightly so) that the second guy was just using the first guy to do his dirty work.


So I get on I74 at Knoxville this morning, just like every morning, and I set the cruise at 45, just like every morning, and 231 cars pass me before I get to the new Sterling exit, just like every morning, and I don't see a patrol car the entire time, just like every morning.

After Sterling, I am still going 45, just like every morning, and in the one lane of traffic, I've got cars so close to me I can read the VIN numbers on THEIR car, just like every morning. As the end of the construction zone nears, 21 cars pull out to the right of me and accelerate before the 45 zone ends, just like every morning, with no patrol car in sight, just like every morning.

So what's the annoying part? The annoying part is that two miles WEST of the 74/474 interchange, there sits one of Illinois' finest, in the median, sideways, radar gun in hand, trying to catch people speeding...on the open, construction-free part of the highway.

Would somebody PLEASE get a clue over there in Metamora? If you're trying to get that end-of-month quota met so you can get the required income you're searching for, it's quite obvious to ANYONE WITH A BRAIN that the easy pickings at $375 per ticket are right there for you.

If you're trying to keep the roads SAFER (the standard line given), then again, there's no excuse because ANYONE WITH A BRAIN knows that someone going 55 within a few feet of an unprotected construction worker is more dangerous than someone going 75 on the open, straight road.

With the constant speeding in the construction zone, there is NO excuse to be patrolling a stretch of road four miles west of this area right now. NO excuse. None. Period.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

10 Fun Years

Some of you may know I've been the Public Address voice of the Peoria Rivermen ever since I arrived in town just before the 1996-97 season. Then-GM Greg Griffith hired me, since then Scott Schuetz, John Butler and Bart Rogers kept welcoming me back to do this fun gig 35-50 nights every winter.

I called Bart this week to tell him I would not be returning in 2006-2007. Time for somebody else to do it. With my new job in Kewanee, we both knew it would be difficult for me to do all the games, particularly the weeknight games. So I won't be doing it this year, and I will miss it.

It was great fun, and I thank Bruce Saurs, Anne Griffith, Tim Saurs, and all the afore-mentioned GM's for letting me have some fun and get to stand between the two penalty boxes for 10 years of pro hockey. The Rivermen joined the ECHL my first year here, and therefore I was the only P.A. voice they had in nine years of ECHL play. I'm very proud of that. I also greatly enjoyed the hockey in the AHL last year, Peoria's first year in that league.

One of the neatest things about the gig is all the talented young men I've befriended during this time. Dan Hodge, Trevor Baker, Jason Christie, Troy Riddle, Joe Rybar, Jason Lawmaster and Darren Clark...those are the guys I spent the most time with, but I got to know hundreds of athletes over these last ten years, and there are many, many, many more I've kept in touch with and shared laughs with over the years. And the many, many tall tales, jokes and talks I shared with the great Norm Ulrich will also not be forgotten. Norm, you are the funniest guy I know. Period.

And of course, the fans were always great...the ones who used to make me feel good by complimenting my work, the ones who playfully picked on me, the ones who didn't like me...I truly did enjoy seeing everybody over 10 years. Next year, if I'm at a game, I'll be in the stands with you all, and then I can finally yell at a ref. :)

Ain't It The Truth

Georgy Always Makes So Much Sense

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wow, I Almost Caused A Wreck

For the first time in many, many years, I almost had a car accident early this week. I have had a few close-calls (but no "near misses", nothing that serious) in the last decade, but they've all been caused by someone else (idiot running stop sign, idiot not using turn signal, idiot not paying attention to traffic around him, etc.) I have avoided accidents in these situations because, quite frankly, I pay attention whilst I drive, whether or not I'm on the phone or adjusting the radio or even reading a CD liner. I don't like accidents. They hurt. So I avoid them by paying attention and being a very good-to-excellent driver. I'm proud of that.

Well, Monday evening, I suddenly played the part of "idiot". As I was entering I-74 from Route 78, I got up to speed, quickly catching the lady who decided to enter the highway at a rousing 48 MPH ("Things More Dangerous Than Speeding, #321"), and immediately, without checking my blind spot, moved to the left. Just in time, I noticed out of my peripheral vision a small white sedan in the left lane. I whipped back into the right lane and mouthed an "I'm sorry, my bad" while patting my chest in apologetic fashion. The gentleman waved back and showed tremendous understanding. It was the one time someone could have and should have shot me the bird. Amazingly, he did not, leaving the bird-shooting to the idiots who screw up and then finger ME. But I digress.

So I got to thinking...what made me mess up like this, I NEVER forget to check my blind spot over my left shoulder when I make this did it happen?

I collected my thoughts: Nope, wasn't on the phone...there it sits in the console; nope, CD player isn't even ON, so it couldn't be that; not eating; not reading a map or newspaper or CD jacket; I don't smoke so it can't be that; seat belt is on so I can't say it was that; I wasn't drinking a soda or iced tea, don't have one at this time; I don't wear makeup or brush my teeth while driving...could it, could it, could it be? YES! I was DOING NOTHING!!!!

That's right, I wasn't doing anything. Not a thing. Just sitting behind the wheel spacing off. So could I then make the case that "doing nothing" causes a fall-off in concentration? "Doing nothing" caused me to daydream and not pay attention to my driving? Could I say that there wasn't enough external stimuli to keep me focused? Could I say that? Well, yes, I can say that!

So I am. I'm saying it. So now let's see the powers that be start a study on this, and maybe when they're taking my cell phone away they can also make a law that says "you can't just sit and DO NOTHING but drive. DOING NOTHING causes the distraction of DAYDREAMING, and is now illegal." I want to see that.

In other words, you want my cell phone? Kiss my daydreaming, non-distracted, almost-wreck causing rear.

Great Line From John Dean

While visiting with Jon Stewart last night, John Dean said, "I'm still very much a Goldwater Republican...which today makes me left of center apparently."

How true. I've got this little graph I draw for people that shows how the "Center" has been manipulated to the right BY the right in the last 30 years, and it's alternately sad, frightening and disgusting. Wise thinking people who would have been smack dab in the middle in a very prosperous America of the 50's and 60's are now portrayed as "the liberal left" daily, with idiots like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter perpetrating the ruse.

So the true centrists (yours truly would be one) are portrayed as "liberal", and the fringe right, small in numbers but loud in bullying tactics, makes that seem as if it's a dirty word. I know this drives GOP'ers nuts, but the best "Republican" president of the last 40 years (according to what the Republican platform is SUPPOSED to be, not the Bush platform) has been...Bill Clinton.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What A Joke

Anyone who's ever read this knows what I think about A.J. Pierzynski. But that doesn't make his All-Star selection any less of a joke. A.J. over Francisco Liriano? Puh-leeze. Seven White Sox and two Tigers? Whatever. Seven White Sox and two Twins? Um, no.

I say from now on the manager of the team with the WORST record in his respective league the previous season gets to manage the All-Star game. Ozzie is within his rights to do what he did, but he's rewarding a couple of guys for their performances LAST year.

The best first baseman in the AL right now is Justin Morneau, Minnesota. The best pitcher this side of Johan Santana (Minnesota) is Francisco Liriano (Minnesota). And if A.J. were still a Twin, he wouldn't even be the STARTER, thanks to Joe Mauer.


Wow, What A Difference 10 Years Makes

When I left Nevada in 1996, I left behind a state that was run by a Democratic governor (Bob Miller), and had both the state house and senate run by Democrats. They were trying to figure out the best way to spend their surplus...SURPLUS of state funds. The state was operating completely in the black. New, state of the art schools were being built yearly in Las Vegas, the Carson City High School was completely remodeled from 1994-1996, highways were among the nation's best, snow removal was second to none in the snowy winters of Northern Nevada, and all of this was done with NO STATE INCOME TAX on it's citizens.

Miller's unprecedented 10-year run ended in 1999. He had filled Richard Bryan's last two years after Bryan was elected to U.S. Senate, and he won the next two elections. And rightfully so. The state was absolutely booming, and he was successful at fighting off the feds who were trying to locate a nuclear waste dump inside Yucca Mountain, a mountain which just happens to sit on a major fault line. He was a hero.

In 1999, due to an influx of disgruntled right-wing Californians infiltrating the Nevada borders, the GOP took over the state house, the state senate, and the governorship (Kenny Guinn). Their first line of action? "We've got to lower these darn taxes, what's with this surplus, what's with all these unnecessary new schools?"

Their second agenda: Legislating morality. Trying to put clamps on casinos (publicly, while privately cutting deals with and lining the pockets of the high-rolling casino owners to keep the funds rolling in). Then, there was the assault on the legal brothels. Never mind that the state has less crime against prostitutes and less STD outbreaks than any of the other 49 states. Never mind that the "pros" are kept in restricted "houses" and the johns go to them, with their security cameras, bodyguards, doctor exams, and strict code enforcement. Never mind the windfall of tax monies brought in by making the brothels and their employees pay taxes on their earnings (something that obviously DOESN'T happen in Peoria or all of Illinois or any of the other 49 states). It's bad, because a bunch of christians say so, so it must go away.

Their third...and most dangerous...agenda: Working with the federal government to get all that nuclear waste inside an earthquake-prone mountain. The funniest thing, of course, was the state's leaders (and I use that term loosely) saying "we need the money that this effort will bring to the state). Idiots!!!!! You had all the money you needed WITHOUT this boondoggle before you starting giving tax breaks to the rich (sound familiar?).

Fortunately, the good people of Nevada, the LONGTIME Nevadans and those who have moved there with a brain, have successfully fought off the onslaught on "morality". The same, sadly, cannot be said for the state's coffers, and of course, Yucca Mountain.

By 2003, after a huge GOP tax break and promises of "more money in your pocket" (sound familiar?), this is what Gov. Guinn had to do:

Gov. Kenny Guinn called for nearly $1 billion in new taxes, saying it would be “political cowardice” for lawmakers to oppose the biggest tax hike in Nevada history. The tax plan covers what would be a $700-million-plus shortfall and allows for expansion of some services, mainly in education and human services programs.

Hilarious! A Republican calling it "political cowardice" if legislators OPPOSED a tax hike. Oh...My...Supreme Being.

Oh, the casinos? Guinn had helped them get out of paying many taxes on entertainment, food, rooms and everything else they had payed (while raking in then-record profits) in the 1990's. Corporate welfare, the GOP staple. Now, the casinos rake in even more money by paying less in taxes, but the citizens are being told that taxes must again go up (most of my family still lives there).

How in hell anyone in their right mind can say that today's GOP - at ANY level, local, state, or federal - knows how to handle an economy or budget is beyond me. Time after time after time after time the GOP style FAILS. It happened in Minnesota. It happened in the 80's in Iowa, when the GOP governor and the vastly overrated Ronald Reagan oversaw the foreclosing of thousands of family farms (replaced by big corporate ones, of course), and it happened in Nevada.

I want my government to focus on one thing: running the business of the city/state/country in represents. Not the morals. The BUSINESS. I'm certainly no economic genius, I just look at the simple facts. And the simple facts are...right there on the surface for anyone to see...that the Dems in states that I've lived in and in the Federal government...have a much better handle on money issues than the GOP. I thought growing up (because we were told over and over and over and over again) that the Dems were the "tax and spend big government" party. But EVERYTHING I've seen in those three state cases I mentioned and in our federal government points to the opposite. Can't people see that?

It's NOT Simply "Speed Related".

Yet another tragic loss in Tazewell County, and yet another report by law enforcement that it was a "speed related" accident. First, that's a copout (pardon the pun). For two vehicles to collide, at least one must be moving, therefore, traveling at a "speed"...2 MPH is technically a "speed". So, all accidents could be called "speed related".

But that's not the real story here. In the PJS account of the story on Tuesday, nothing was mentioned about the real cause of this latest fatality until the VERY LAST LINE of the story:

Potts said it is not official, but early indications are that Riley ran a stop sign before the fatal crash.

That makes it NOT a speed related accident, but a failure to obey a traffic control accident. And there are FAR MORE of those than there are "speed related" accidents. It's just more propoganda being spread to try and slow people down. How about we concentrate on stopping for stop signs and using turn signals instead?

Also, the story, like every other one like it, has the police quick to point out (they can't wait to spit it out) that the driver "was not wearing his seat belt..." at the time of the crash. I had an incident about five years ago in Bureau County, when the police called the radio station with a fatal accident report, in which the reporting officer never said "was not wearing a seat belt."

So at the end of the report, I asked, "did the driver have his seat belt on?"

(long pause) "Um, er, ah, well, actually, it's not mentioned here on the report."

"So in other words, the driver that died WAS wearing his seat belt?"

"I didn't say that."

"Well, you didn't say he WASN'T wearing his seat belt, right?"

"What are you getting at?"

"If he wasn't wearing his belt, you would have mentioned that to me, correct?"

"Yes, I certainly would have."

"So since you didn't say that, I can safely assume he WAS wearing his belt."

"Say what you want." (click)

Moral of the story: If you want to tell me about a lack of seat belt usage every opportunity you get, then you have to tell me when the driver DID have a seat belt on, too.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A.J. = Clutch

I was listening to WSCR on the way home from work Thursday night, as the Cubs-White Sox was the exclusive topic instead of boring football for a change.

The host was wondering if or how the "White Sox were going to get revenge" for Michael Barrett's cheap shot on A.J. Pierzynski this weekend at Overrated, er, Wrigley Field.

I was on hold waiting to get my .02 in when the caller in front of me said it for me: "I think the Sox will not stoop to the Cubs' level and they'll get their revenge by just thumping them on the scoreboard."

How sweet it was today, then, to see the Cubs within three outs of a win, and to have none other than A.J. wreck their day with a three run shot. I've said it before in this very blog, A.J. is about as clutch a hitter as there is, and the bottom line is he's a winner. As a Twins' fan, I miss him being on that team, (although they knew they had Joe Mauer coming, so A.J. was indeed tradeable...and that trade brought them ace closer Joe Nathan and this year's probable rookie of the year, Francisco Liriano) but as a White Sox fan, too, I enjoy seeing the kid play ball. All he cares about is winning. And he has a ring to prove it. The Cubs and their fans could learn something from A.J., instead of hating him.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Vonnie, Are You Sure You Want To Go There?

I'd have put this on Vonster's "blog", but comments aren't allowed, so it goes here:

Vonnie says that communism "has killed 100 million people" in his new sub-title. Um, er, well, where do we start? I'm assuming from his tone and his past, we are supposed to say, "wow, that communism is the worst thing EVER." I'm here to tell you, communism isn't alone in it's vileness.

First, the total itself. How is that total arrived upon? It seems like a pretty vague thing to say. Does it mean Russia killed 100 million enemy soldiers? Does it mean that several million starved because they had no food, and "communism" was blamed? I mean, it's obvious that communism failed, and humans being what we are, it will never work. And thankfully, it is not the rule we live under. But we're not to be held completely innocent, either, are we?

But do you really want to go there with that stat, Von? Could someone not come right back with the argument "how many people has democracy killed?" How many American Indian nations were demolished "in the name of democracy"? How many slaves were beaten to death, or starved to death, or worked to death by the American white man? (I am, of course, an American white guy.)

Or should we look into how many have died at the hands of christianity? Or radical islam? Or religion as a whole? We really don't want to go there, do we?

Pro-Life = Anti-Choice

Chase made a comment on a thread below, and it reminded me of a recent discussion I had with some of my internet fantasy baseball buddies.

I prefer to call so-called pro-lifers "anti-choice". Why? Because when it comes to the death penalty and war, they're usually more eager to pursue and condone the death penalty and more "willing" to accept casualties. So they're not really "pro-life", except where abortion is concerned. More correctly, by wanting a ban on abortion, they are trying to take a woman's personal choice away. Hence, "Anti-Choice".

Immediately upon saying that, it gets mentioned that I, then, am "anti-life". Well, that's not correct. Without even getting into the semantics of when life begins, for me to be "anti-life" I'd have to demand that EVERY prisoner be executed, EVERY soldier die, and EVERY pregancy not be allowed to come to fruition. Eventually, there wouldn't be any "life". That would be closer to "anti-life".

The bottom line is that "anti-life" and "pro-life" both make zero sense. You're either for choice, or against it. Therefore, the correct terms to describe the sides on the abortion debate are "pro-choice" and "anti-choice".

It's A Good Day To Be A Fan Of Minnesota Sports

Ahh, what a nice weekend.

The Twins are red-hot, and two straight over the pathetic Cubs is icing on the cake. The Twins are going for the sweep right now, but even if they lose today, they've won the series. Who would have thought the AL Central, with the Tigers, Twins and White Sox, would be baseball's best division?

Plus, the Twins learned they are finally getting a new ballpark....long overdue.

Meanwhile, the first overall pick and three of the top eight picks in the NHL draft were native Minnesotans. Think about that, a draft of the entire world, and the State Of Hockey (as we like to call it) had three of the first eight picks. Amazing. That first overall pick, by the Blues, was defenseman Erik Johnson, who has many options right now: He could go to the University of Minnesota and play this year while remaining property of the Blues, he could sign and make the big club in St. Louis, or he could sign and spend next year as a Peoria Rivermen before making the jump to the Blues.

Also, the Minnesota Wild of the NHL improved themselves greatly by trading a draft pick for Pavol Demitra, the former Blue, who played last year in L.A. He will add more punch to a team that plays great defense, but doesn't have much scoring firepower.

So it's a good day. Oh yea! As I write this, the Twins take a 2-0 lead on Team Pathetic. Nice.

Tsk, Tsk, Denny


Porky Hastert not only brings home the bacon to Illinois, but he goes beyond that and fills his bank vault in the process.


Did You Apply The Same Standard To Mr. Bush?

That is a question I pose to Peoria Journal-Star letter writer Donald Frank of Washington today. His letter in this morning's paper points out his disgust with John Kerry and other "liberal politicians" (there's that dirty word "liberal" again) for wanting a timetable and a withdrawal date from Iraq, wondering if those people are not indeed treasonists for making such a demand.

So my question to Mr. Frank is posed, of course, because of the words then-candidate George W. Bush spoke in 1999:

George W. Bush, 4/9/99:

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”

George W. Bush, 6/5/99

“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thank you blogger!

Just got an email this morning from the Blogger Team, they got my stuff back online. Thank you to Alexander, who sent me a note saying he'd recovered the blog.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Made-up Words

One thing that the political right has lambasted the left on for many years is "politically correct speaking". And in many cases, they are dead on the money.

But the left doesn't have a stranglehold on "politically correct" anymore.

The Bush Administration constant comes up with new ways to try to soften a bad situation, or deflect from what is really going on, and they never get called on it. I'm so sick of the "mainstream liberal media" b.s. that it makes me want to puke. This administration, which is widely accepted now for what it is...a complete joke, still doesn't get called on the carpet for it's use of the language.

Some of my favorite Roveisms:

Contractors: Um, dudes, let's just say it like we used to...these people are mercenary soldiers.

Insurgents: When "guerrilla fighter" or "rebel" just won't do.

Sectarian violence: In 1861, this was known as a "Civil War". But when you're repeatedly telling the world that there is no "civil war" in Iraq, it's just easier to say this and hope nobody figures it out.

Guest worker: I dunno, something just seems smarmy about this one. It may not necessarily be wrong, it just seems so..."softened".

Create Personal Accounts For Workers: How nice of you! Thank you for creating an account for me. That sounds so generous!

"Faith-based initiative": As long as that faith is the same one as George's, right?

Clear Skies Initiative: One of the BIGGEST lies this administration has tried to pass off. A bigger misnomer than "Utah Jazz".

Healthy Forests: Um, yeah, the best way to help forests is to cut them down, right?

Activist Judges: Defined as anyone who thinks differently than the Bush Administration on ANY issue, regardless of importance.

Pre-packaged News Segments: This would be "propoganda". But that sounds so...Japanese World War Two-ish, doesn't it?

Constitutional Option: Seriously, I'm not kidding here, when "nuclear option" met with 2 to 1 disapproval, Lott and Frist helped them come up with this wacky wording.

Special interests: The Bush administration, with the help of mouthpieces like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Rielly, and Coulter, have turned this into a dirty word to describe one thing: unions. Doesn't matter what union it is, it's bad. Bad. Bad like Dana Carvey doing Bush I bad.

Can you think of any more?


Yep, went to see it on opening night. When you've got a 10-year old, and when you're personally fascinated by the utter brilliance of Pixar's animation, you go on opening night.

Enjoyed the movie very much. Paul Newman as the Hudson was perfect, of course I'm a fan of the idiotic comic stylings of Larry the Cable Guy, so I enjoyed his character, and Michael Keaton is always great. He even breaks his voice back into the great character he played in the underrated classic "Gung Ho", Hunt Stevenson.

Gung Ho, btw, was directed by Ron Howard, who has gone from "Gung Ho" and "NightShift" (both with Keaton) and "Splash" (with Tom Hanks) to do "Cinderella Man", "A Beautiful Mind", and then back with Hanks in "Apollo 13" and "The Da Vinci Code". Pretty impressive resume for Opie, er, Richie Cunn...,er, Ron Howard. But I digress.

So I go into the movie last night knowing it was going to be full of kids, and knowing there would be the occasional howl of unhappiness and the occasional sprint up the aisle to hit the tinkle room. But even with those expectations, it was the loudest theater I've ever been in, and I'm not talkin' about the movie.

My word, people, this is NOT your family room and this is NOT a DVD we're watching. People have paid money to enjoy this flick on a big screen with comfortable (?) seats and a bag of popcorn in hand. They did not come to hear a normal-voice...not even hushed tones...conversation about whether or not the car doors are locked or "did you leave my purse in there?" or "Aunt Maggie called today." Jeezus. It's a m-o-v-i-e t-h-e-a-t-e-r. You can't shut yourself or your elementary school-aged children up for 95 minutes?

Toddlers talking in a theater? I understand. Whispering your thoughts or quietly telling the 11-year old to hush up a bit? Good. Talking out loud with no concern for the other people in the theater? Do us all a favor and go home. That's not a matter of "free speech", it's a matter of courtesy and the ability to not be rude.

Oh, if you like Pixar, if you like a fun little story, go see the movie, but I'd recommend the 10 o'clock show.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Things That Make You Go...ARRGH.

Dudes (and dudettes) that drive 48-52 in a 55, forcing you to follow them for several hilly miles, then speed up when you try to pass, then flip you off when you finally get by. ARRGH.

Drivers that turn left onto a two- or three-lanes wide street...and go ALLLL THHHEEE WAAAYYYY to the right lane. Quick tip: That's incorrect driving. Oh, and they RARELY have a signal on while they do it. Oh, and they honk if you're opposite them, turning right into the far right lane like you're supposed to, and you DARE stick your nose out there as they're coming across three lanes. Double ARRGH.
Drivers that cruise across parking lots diagonally, darting between parked cars and generally showing no regard for anyone else. I saw a UPS truck fly through a parking lot in Kewanee today doing at least 35 MPH as he flew "sideways" through the marked lanes. No ARRGH, just happy he didn't kill anybody.

Drivers that whiz through construction zones at 55 in a 45, then hit the open road and do...57 in a 65, side by side with a semi-tractor trailer, for miles. Guy passed me this morning near Northwoods Mall, screaming at the guy on my left. I was set at 45, the guy on my left came by me in a Lincoln at 47,48. And the dude in the white pickup is all over his bumper, yelling and screaming. The Lincoln pulls back in front of me, the angry dude makes the pass and scoots away. We are all pleased that he is gone. But alas, we come upon him before Kickapoo, driving 57 in the left lane, passing a semi, and now holding up several cars. It wasn't just me he was aiming to displease, it was apparently everyone. Again, no ARRGH, just a "somebody needs his butt kicked" thought passing through my head.

Drivers that pull out in front of you at the last second, forcing you to stand on the brakes like you're stomping out a fire, then travel 20 miles per hour below the limit, then make the very next turn...slowly, of course. Lady couldn't wait to jump out in front of me on IL 78 while I was coming about 60 MPH, then drives 35 for 1/2 mile until turning right back off IL 78. This, to me, is the biggest ARRGGH of all. It wasn't meant to be rude, it wasn't meant to upset me, it was just being totally oblivious to the surroundings. Those people flat SCARE me.

I witnessed all of these things in the past two days.

Who Is More Dangerous? I'm Confused.

Which scenario is more damaging:

Two quiet, private men who have been monogamous for 22 years and would like to remain that way for 40 more...or a polygamist who has forced 14-, 15- and 16-year old girls to marry adult men and give birth to their children?

Which scenario is more damaging:

Two women committed to each other who spend their time traveling abroad, never drawing attention to themselves and just enjoying life together...or a priest repeatedly abusing young boys throughout his career?

I know my answers. Yet now we have the GOP trying to wrangle votes and bring out their "social conservative" base (i.e. bigots and homophobes, generally) so they don't lose the house and senate in November. Never mind that they know they can't get an amendment to the constitution, that's not the point. Appealing to the faction that thinks they're the only ones who know what their god is thinking is the goal.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It Boggles the Mind 3: Fast Food Edition

Oh, what an interesting half hour I had tonight:

At 8:07, I arrived at a local fast food chain's drive thru. I'm not going to name the place, but let's just say it rhymes with "Fairy Spleen". I know it was 8:07, because I glanced down to turn the CD player down. The CD player was on an AC/DC disc, from Slot 4, Cut 6 in the changer. Store this information, it's important to the story.

I was the fourth car in line, behind a boring Chevy sedan (okay, that was redundant), a white four door Pontiac Grand Prix (a good looking car, by comparison to the afore mentioned Chevy), and a BMW Z3 convertible, driven by a young man of fairly immense proportions, he looked slightly out of place in this little car. Why do I have so much information here? Because I had plenty of time to assimilate it, that's why.

Window down, I listened as the people in front of me ordered. At 8:10, the Chevy ordered two ice cream treats. Now, keep in mind this Fairy Spleen does serve hot food, but they STILL specialize in ice cream delights. I hear the person on the other end say "pull ahead to the window" and the Chevy sits still. Why? Because it cannot move. I'm guessing (not sure, just judging distance in my mind) there are three cars in front of the Chevy waiting for their order.

Finally, at 8:14, we lurch forward. The lady in the white Pontiac orders a drink and an ice cream treat. At 8:17, the Z3 driver orders THREE ice cream treats (not all for himself, I'm guessing). Finally, at 8:20, I get to move to the order screen. At 8:23 (!) I order. I order two large Pepsi's. I'm greeted with "what size mistys did you say?" I repeat, "two...large...Pepsi' a glass...with a straw...".

She does not sound amused. I cringe at my next item before I even get it out: "I also need a large Sierra Mist". Oh, oh. Surprise! She gets it. Then says, "that it?"

"Nope, I also need two plain hot dogs."

"What do you want on them?"

"Nothing. Plain is fine."

"zat it?"

"I also need a caramel Sundae."

"What size?"


"We're out of small cups."

"Fine. Medium. Do I get that at a small price?"

"'zat it?" (The lack of a sense of humor is appalling to me.)

"Yep, that'll do."

"Please pull forward."

At 8:28, the Z3 gets his three ice cream treats, totalling just over $5. Not wanting to be left out in totally pissing me off, he breaks out the debit card to pay for it. This, of course, is followed by an employee leaving the drive thru area to go to the front...I do not blame Fairy Spleen for this...who the hell uses a debit card for five-something dollars at a drive thru? In a BMW? With the top down? Sheesh.

It's 8:32. Those four minutes were used for the employee to jog three blocks to the South Side Bank ATM, pull out five-something dollars for the guy, and jog back with his receipt and his card. Apparently. I notice the CD is on Slot 4, cut 12. Crap. I've missed 1/2 of an AC/DC disc. I also observe the gas gauge in the Ford to be in a different position than when I arrived.

At 8:34, I pull to the window. Four employees are staring up at a screen that I cannot see. They are either looking at my order, or watching The Gilmore Girls. I can't be certain. I pay. I wait. At 8:36, I get my beverages. With one loose lid that threatens to turn the passenger side of the Explorer into Lake Sierra Mist. But I catch it.

At 8:37...YES, a FULL 1/2 HOUR, we HAVE A WINNER!!!! 8:37, I get my plain hot dogs. I drive away, and notice that while I pulled up to the south side of the building wearing sunglasses as Ol' Sol tried to squeeze through the clouds at sunset, I am now having to turn on the headlights as I leave the North side of the building. Damn. Summers are so short anymore. And mine was spent in the drive through at a Fairy Spleen.

I cannot emphasize this enough, the three in front of me ordered about 12 dollars TOTAL worth of ice cream treats and beverages. And it STILL took that long.

As I pull onto Sher...oops, I can't name the street, you might figure out where I was. Um, er, as I pull onto the street, I turn up the CD player. Marc Chesnutt is singing "Someone Save The Honky Tonks". Angus Young is nowhere to be found.

Hells Bells.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Meanwhile, In A Red State

Let's start the clock and see how long it takes for this to be called a "cheapshot".

Whatever...or Whoever...Could They Be Referring To?

I do like the question that is posed. Good humor. A true tickler.

It Boggles The Mind 2

So the long-grass Nazis are already out in force in East Peoria. If you don't live there, you should know that as soon as your lawn gets a little long, you get a "friendly reminder" from that city that you need to mow the lawn or risk getting a ticket.

Meanwhile, the weeds along the sides of many city-owned and maintained streets in the area are already three-feet high. Yet another "do as I say" proposition to make more money for a municipality.

A source of revenue, that's all it is. Like parking tickets in Pekin. Look forward to another edition of "It Boggles The Mind" highlighting Pekin's insane parking ticket racket in the next few days.

Reid In Hot Water...And He Should Be

Senate's top Democrat took free boxing tickets

Add Harry Reid to the list of dipsticks getting free stuff to "learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry." Bull. Boxing is one of Nevada's largest industries and the lobbyists wanted something from him, so they provided him with primo seats for big fights.

With all the idiotic ethics violations finally catching up to the GOP, the last thing Democrats need to do is the same idiotic stuff. And this qualifies as idiotic stuff. Yet another guy that needs to be punished and subsequently voted out next go-round. Way to go, Harry. Not.

For the record, Harry Reid is one of my favorite politicians I've ever hung out with. He was a regular visitor to my radio show in Carson City, NV in the early 90's (along with Richard Bryan, former Governor Bob Miller, and the coolest Republican on the planet, Nevada Secretary of State Dean "The Machine" Heller, who I got hooked on stock car racing to the point where now he has his own stock car). For him to accept these gifts is one thing, to try and defend it now in this time of "gotcha" is silly. I wish he'd just say, "dang, I screwed up big time and deserve punishment of some kind."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It Boggles the Mind

Obviously, this one has been going on for years. But it doesn't make it any less annoying. It just happened again on my way back from the store:

While I sit inside my 4,000 lb Pontiac coupe, surrounded by air bags both front and side, metal all around me and over me, safety features built into virtually every inch of the car to ensure that I am safe...I have to strap on my seat belt, whether I want to or not.

Next to me, 35 MPH, cruising down Knoxville, is a husband and wife on a motorcycle. Never mind the fact that he is barefoot, she is wearing flip-flops. Never mind that he is shirtless and wearing cutoff shorts, and she is wearing a tiny tank top and a pair of shorts. That, to me, is their choice and a dumb one at that. What boggles the mind is the fact that neither of them have helmets on, and they're well within their legal rights to do so. That's what boggles the mind.

I'm an inundated with commercials (bought with taxpayer dollars, btw) ordering me to click it or get a ticket. While the guy next to me has the right to cruise on a fenderless, roofless, bike with his head, elbows, legs, and feet completely uncovered. I'm not complaining about the biker and his wife, they can be stupid and dangerous if they want to...they're doing nothing illegal.

It's a screwed up world.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Trails, Don't Reach For The Soap.

Buh-bye, Kenny-boy. Buh-bye Ol' Skillster. Hopefully someday some of the good ol' boys living in the White House can join you. Jerks.

Tip Talk

There's been quite a bit of talk in the Journal Star letters to the editor lately about tips. Gratuities. The writers say the people of Peoria are poor tippers, i.e. tightwads. They're right, from what I can see.

I spent seven years in Nevada. You give everyone a tip who provides a service for you. At first, I would calculate the 15% in my head and just leave the standard tip. But some service is better than others. So you found yourself tipping more. Now? I don't tip less than 17 or 18% anywhere I go, and sometimes will go to 22-25% of it's warranted. Why? Because I appreciate the good service, and I appreciate that many of these hard working folks don't make a lot of money. Niether do I, but that doesn't mean I can't tip them for good service.

And as I've done this around town, I've come to have servers thank me for the big tip, and co-workers or friends I'm dining with, and even guys sitting at the next table, say, "wow, why so much?" Then I watch as they calculate 10% or sometimes even less, or I watch as some people get up without leaving even a penny and then walk to their new Cadillac (I witnessed this last summer), and I'm embarrassed for them.

"That's why you'll never have a Cadillac," I'm told by such tightasses. Well guess what, if I've gotta be a snotty, under-tipping customer with no apprecation for living day-to-day and check-to-check, then I'm GLAD I'll never have a Caddy.

If you read this and you're a Mister 10-percenter or less, cough up a bigger tip next time. On a $30 check, it's an extra buck fifty. You can save it by buying the eight dollar cigar instead of the 10 dollar cigar next time you're at the Weaver Ridge clubhouse.

Wow. How Long Will The Bushies Let THIS Guy Stay?

Iraqi minister defends Iranian nuclear program

So here's a man who was appointed by the Iraqi Interim Governing Council, which was appointed by the Bush Administration, saying that Iran has every right to pursue nuclear technology.

Look for him to get his walking papers sometime in the next week or two, that would be my guess. From the story:

"Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now," Hoshyar Zebari said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki.

Iran's nuclear ambitions are "an international issue," Zebari said. "In our beliefs, it is a matter of principle. Every country has the right to have its nuclear technology, every country like the Islamic Republic or any other country, since it is for peaceful purposes."

How many F-bombs do you think Dick Cheney has dropped over this one this morning?

Boy, I Hope It Isn't True

I have long said, and taken heat from co-workers for it, that I don't make blanket statements like "I support the troops", because in fact I don't support all of them. I don't like to make ANY blanket statement, because there's always a bad apple or two in every bunch.

So when I see this:

Pentagon sources: Civilians likely killed without provocation

I am saddened, but not surprised. I am also vindicated in my thoughts, but not happy about it. I hope it isn't true, but if it is, I don't want to hear excuses about the "pressure" they're under. I don't care what kind of pressure they are under, they are smart enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I would hope to see these soldiers brought to justice the way they would be if they killed our own citizens on our own shores. Why? Because they give our other brave armed forces personnel (the vast majority) who HAVEN'T done this kind of thing a bad name.

"There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood," Murtha said. "They actually went into the houses and killed women and children."

That is just not right. Yes, I know that's a politician commenting, but commenting after he'd seen video of the incident. But what is even worse, is that there will be comments after this post that will condone the soldiers' behavior, and those comments will be made by people who talk a tough game but refuse to sign up and get their rear ends over there. I believe the term is "chickenhawk".

Friday, May 26, 2006

Now That I'm Moving... Kewanee, in the next month, I can write an open letter to Ameren:

To Whom It May Concern,

If your company's mission statement is to have yourselves and your employees become known as the meanest, rudest, most heartless, most uncaring, most undiplomatic, most arrogant monopoly in history...CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'RE A WINNER!!!!

If that is NOT your mission statement, you need to make some changes.


A customer who cannot wait to get power from another company.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

From My Favorite Column

The Minneapolis Tribune's "By The Numbers" always puts things into perspective for me.

Here are some recent findings:

73 percent

Correlation between those saying that "prayer is an important part of my daily life" and those saying that "the best way to ensure peace is through military strength," according to a study by the Harvard Institute of Economic Research.

Praise god, pass the AK-47.



Number of gallons of crude oil that were spilled on Alaska's North Slope in March as a result of a leak in a pipeline.


Number of consecutive days in the week prior to discovery of the pipeline leak that an alarm went off signaling a leak, but was ignored as a false alarm.

"Hmmm...we ignored the leak and lost crude...let's jack up the price to cover it."

And one more:


Date on which President Bush nominated Gen. Michael Hayden as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, saying "he's the right man to lead the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history" and that he will "provide outstanding leadership to meet the challenges and threats of a dangerous new century."


Date on which Bush nominated then-Congressman Porter Goss as CIA director, saying "he's the right man to lead this important agency at this critical moment in our nation's history" and that he is on an "essential mission to lead the agency for the challenges and threats of a dangerous new century."

"Hey, can we use this speech again?" "Why not, they're just Americans, they're below us. They'll never know the difference."

$48 To Fill Up A Grand Prix?!?!?!

I couldn't believe it. Ever since gas went completely out of hand (along with the profits for the oil companies), I've tried to fill up when the tank got to half-full, so it didn't seem to be as bad in my mind.

So we filled up Diane's work car this weekend. She was on "E" for "End of Ride". The car took $48 to fill up. $48! Just one year ago it would have been $25! Just four years ago, after 9/11, that same fillup would have cost $16.

I see the conservatives and free market supporters trying to trot out numbers about how "adjusted for inflation, it's still lower...blah blah blah". Well, adjusted for inflation, has anybody reading this have your paycheck tripled since 2002? I didn't think so.

Michael Barrett Is A Punk

Nice sucker punch, Barrett. Even Dusty Baker said Pierzynski's play was simply baseball the way it was meant to be played.

Here's the difference in the two franchises in Chicago right now: One of them gets guys who want and know how to win, the other tries to make a profit. You people who continue to root for these guys and spend money on jerseys and hats and buy tickets to that pathetic, rickety old dump on the North Side have to STOP doing that if you want that team to win. Demand excellence. Demand a winner. Or shut up when you get your butts kicked by the teams that want to win.

For all of those Pierzynski haters out and out of the game of baseball...I'd like to point out that that kid has never played on a losing team, and only missed the playoffs twice...since becoming a full-time big leaguer. He was Minnesota's catcher in 2001, taking a team that had finished last the year before (69-93) to an 85-77 season, finishing second in the AL Central. Only three regulars changed from 2000 to 2001, BTW: Pierzynski for Matt LeCroy behind the plate, Doug Meintkeiwicz for Ron Coomer at first base, and Luis Rivas took over for Todd Walker at second base. Please note that while A.J. is now with the White Sox, both Ron Coomer and Walker became Cubs, and LeCroy has just this year helped the Washington Nationals go from contender to doormat. Good teams find the right players...bad teams (i.e. the Cubs in most cases) take what's left.

In 2002 and 2003, the Twins won the Central with Pierzynski behind the plate. In 2004, he went to San Francisco and that team missed the playoffs by one game. Then in 2005, it was off to Chicago, where as we all know he was a key player in the Sox winning the whole ball of wax. They'll do it again this year, and you can bet Pierzynski will be making big plays all the way.

The Cubs catcher? He should spend a couple of nights in jail for assault.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wow, This Wraps It Up Nicely

But it already needs updating. So much has happened since December. No matter what party you a part of, by the end of the list you're just giggling.


Google Fun

Just type in "indicted" and among the top six stories are:

"DeLay Indicted"
"Abramoff Indicted"
"Cheney's Top Aide Indicted"

The other three talked about a drug smuggler, the guys who hacked into Lowe's corporate computers, and the South Korean scientist indicted in the cloning scandal.

Pretty good company, there GOP.

Now, we await word on Saturday's rumors that no less than Karl Rove has been indicted. Nothing definite on it, but don't be surprised when it happens this week.

It's Starting To Get Funny

Look, I'm well aware that both major political parties in this country have their crooks and corruption, but isn't it safe to say at this point that the GOP is pitching a shutout in 2006?

Kentucky governor indicted over hiring practices

It's not major, it's misdemeanors that we're talking in this case, but he'll still have to step down if found guilty.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Anybody In Here Rich Enough To Benefit From This? Not Me.

This stuff has got to get to the voting public. I never see this talked about in the local news, and it IS important. Does any local station or paper talk about this? This is from a New York Times editorial this past Thursday:

A puzzling aspect of Congress's latest tax-cut package is why its overwhelmingly Republican supporters believe that its passage will be a big win for them and their party. There's nothing in it for most Americans, and yet all Americans will pay its cost: $69 billion over the near term. That price tag will be reflected in incessant budget deficits, which will further impair the government's ability to meet Americans' needs, and force the government to borrow more, mostly from abroad, to plug the budget gap.

The bill, which was passed yesterday by the House and is expected to clear the Senate as early as today, has two main provisions. The first, and dearest to the hearts of President Bush and his allies in Congress, is an extension of the temporary low tax rates on investment income. The top 10 percent of income earners will get almost all of the benefits, and everyone else will get crumbs.

To justify the giveaway, President Bush and Congressional Republicans insist that tax cuts for investors benefit everyone — and pay for themselves — by stimulating economic growth. That assertion is seriously delusional. Economic theory suggests that a fraction of the tax cuts' cost could, perhaps, be offset by higher growth, all other things being equal. But when a nation must borrow to pay for tax breaks, as is the case in the United States today, any ability of tax cuts for investors to spur growth is severely diminished.

If you've got the free subscription, it's here:


What A Bunch.

At least this cabinet member ADMITS what goes on in today's White House:

HUD secretary's blunt warning

They have no shame. From the story:

"He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."


Speechless I am.

Rifle pointed at protesters in Florida during Bush visit

Hat tip to my buddy Allan.


If I was in charge, somebody would get fired over this:

Sensitive Presidential Papers Found In Trash

Sunday, May 07, 2006

More Findings

From the USA Today, three months ago:

The price of ethanol has been driven up because major oil refiners are suddenly buying in bulk. They're stocking up on ethanol as a replacement for MTBE, a petroleum-based additive suspected of causing cancer. MTBE and ethanol boost the octane of gasoline and can reduce pollution.

So, even though it's cheaper to make and therefore should be cheaper at the pump, we can thank the refineries (i.e. the oil companies) for making sure that gouging stretches to E85 pumps as well.

Just Throwin' Out Some Of My Findings From Looking Around

Ethanol takes more energy to produce than it contributes.

FACT: In June 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its 2002 analysis of the issue and determined that the net energy balance of ethanol production is 1.67 to 1. For every 100 BTUs of energy used to make ethanol, 167 BTUs of ethanol is produced. In 2002, USDA had concluded that the ratio was 1.35 to 1. The USDA findings have been confirmed by additional studies conducted by the University of Nebraska and Argonne National Laboratory.

These figures take into account the energy required to plant, grow and harvest the corn—as well as the energy required to manufacture and distribute the ethanol.

The net energy balance of ethanol production continues to improve because ethanol production is becoming more efficient. For example, one bushel of corn now yields 2.8 gallons of ethanol—up from 2.5 gallons just a few years ago.

Attention State Police:

Thank you.

Thank you for starting to crackdown on I-74 construction zone speeders. It is appreciated. Good idea, too, by being where those drivers least expect you to be.

And it WASN'T entrapment, because you announced it before you did it:

Trooper will pose as flagger on I-74 today

This thank you comes from a guy who is unashamed to admit I speed on open highways. 74-77 MPH on the interstate, 64-67 MPH on two lane highways in Illinois.

Like I said before, I don't speed in construction zones, school zones, and residential areas. I speed on the open road. If you catch me, fine, but I'd rather you be doing just what you did Friday...catching people speeding where men and women are trying to work.

Thank you.

Sorry, Josh

I think I mighta made Josh H. frustrated. For that, I apologize. Back on Feb. 25 I wrote this:

Who is responsible for these words:

"MUslims do not "hate our freedom," but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. Thus when the American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy."

I should have answered this weeks ago, but here it is:

William Schneider, Jr., Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, and a signing member of the Project For A New American Century papers, the scary works written by all of the country's most well-known war mongers during the Clinton era.

Paul Wolfowitz had asked Schneider to study "how America could improve its strategic communication in the global war on terror".

The worst part? The report was finished and presented to the administration in September of 2004, but not released to the press until the day before Thanksgiving 2004. Why? Well, because there was an election to steal first. Then, of course, the timing of the actual report comes on a day when few actually read the paper. By giving them the info on Wednesday, the story shows up on Thanksgiving Day newsstands, (the ones that are open, anyway), and...oh, darn it...the networks - both radio and TV - have their main newspeople on vacation and in many cases, preempted entirely by football. In other one cares about news on Thanksgiving, therefore, no one knows about this report.

So, in summary, a formal report from an advisory board to the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, from inside the Pentagon, written by the guy who is supposed to be a cheerleader for the administration, tells those same people how off base they are.

And to think, Democrats, Independants, and wise Republicans thought WE were the only 67% who thought that.

Big Brass Ones, Part Duex

Since many of you that NEED to read this WON'T take the time to register with the NY Times, I'll go ahead and reprint the whole editorial:

One of the abiding curiosities of the Bush administration is that after more than five years in office, the president has yet to issue a veto. No one since Thomas Jefferson has stayed in the White House this long without rejecting a single act of Congress. Some people attribute this to the Republicans' control of the House and the Senate, and others to Mr. Bush's reluctance to expend political capital on anything but tax cuts for the wealthy and the war in Iraq. Now, thanks to a recent article in The Boston Globe, we have a better answer.

President Bush doesn't bother with vetoes; he simply declares his intention not to enforce anything he dislikes. Charlie Savage at The Globe reported recently that Mr. Bush had issued more than 750 "presidential signing statements" declaring he wouldn't do what the laws required. Perhaps the most infamous was the one in which he stated that he did not really feel bound by the Congressional ban on the torture of prisoners.

In this area, as in so many others, Mr. Bush has decided not to take the open, forthright constitutional path. He signed some of the laws in question with great fanfare, then quietly registered his intention to ignore them. He placed his imperial vision of the presidency over the will of America's elected lawmakers. And as usual, the Republican majority in Congress simply looked the other way.

Many of the signing statements reject efforts to curb Mr. Bush's out-of-control sense of his powers in combating terrorism. In March, after frequent pious declarations of his commitment to protecting civil liberties, Mr. Bush issued a signing statement that said he would not obey a new law requiring the Justice Department to report on how the F.B.I. is using the Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers if he decided that such reporting could impair national security or executive branch operations.

In another case, the president said he would not instruct the military to follow a law barring it from storing illegally obtained intelligence about Americans. Now we know, of course, that Mr. Bush had already authorized the National Security Agency, which is run by the Pentagon, to violate the law by eavesdropping on Americans' conversations and reading Americans' e-mail without getting warrants.

We know from this sort of bitter experience that the president is not simply expressing philosophical reservations about how a particular law may affect the war on terror. The signing statements are not even all about national security. Mr. Bush is not willing to enforce a law protecting employees of nuclear-related agencies if they report misdeeds to Congress. In another case, he said he would not turn over scientific information "uncensored and without delay" when Congress needed it. (Remember the altered environmental reports?)

Mr. Bush also demurred from following a law forbidding the Defense Department to censor the legal advice of military lawyers. (Remember the ones who objected to the torture-is-legal policy?) Instead, his signing statement said military lawyers are bound to agree with political appointees at the Justice Department and the Pentagon.

The founding fathers never conceived of anything like a signing statement. The idea was cooked up by Edwin Meese III, when he was the attorney general for Ronald Reagan, to expand presidential powers. He was helped by a young lawyer who was a true believer in the unitary presidency, a euphemism for an autocratic executive branch that ignores Congress and the courts. Unhappily, that lawyer, Samuel Alito Jr., is now on the Supreme Court.

Since the Reagan era, other presidents have issued signing statements to explain how they interpreted a law for the purpose of enforcing it, or to register narrow constitutional concerns. But none have done it as profligately as Mr. Bush. (His father issued about 232 in four years, and Bill Clinton 140 in eight years.) And none have used it so clearly to make the president the interpreter of a law's intent, instead of Congress, and the arbiter of constitutionality, instead of the courts.

Like many of Mr. Bush's other imperial excesses, this one serves no legitimate purpose. Congress is run by a solid and iron-fisted Republican majority. And there is actually a system for the president to object to a law: he vetoes it, and Congress then has a chance to override the veto with a two-thirds majority.

That process was good enough for 42 other presidents. But it has the disadvantage of leaving the chief executive bound by his oath of office to abide by the result. This president seems determined not to play by any rules other than the ones of his own making. And that includes the Constitution.

November 2006 can't come fast enough.

Big Brass Ones

King George never fails to disappoint.

Goss Resigns

The ink on Goss' resignation wasn't dry before Bush tapped Gen. Hayden of the NSA. Which means this is in the story:

The new CIA director must be confirmed by the Senate, which may bring Hayden's tenure as NSA director in 2001 under scrutiny, after Bush authorized a controversial anti-terrorism spy program.

Without court warrants, the NSA monitored the communications of people inside the United States who were in contact with suspected terrorists outside the country.

November 2006 can't come fast enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Popular Republican Mechanics

When did this magazine swerve so far to the right?

As I mentioned on Bill Dennis' blog, this month's issue featured an article on alternative fuels. Without going into too much detail, here's what got me from the start.

They compared several fuels, but did not use the same vehicles. The "benchmark" vehicle was a 2006 Honda Civic, running on 87 octane regular fuel (no blends). They show it getting 33 MPG at $2.34 a gallon (wow, what a difference a month makes, huh?) and an average yearly fuel cost of $212.

Then, right next to it, is a Ford Taurus FFV (flex fuel vehicle) that can run on anything from straight unleaded to E85. They quote the cost of E85 to be $2.41 per gallon, and the car gets 17 MPG (or about 3 MPG less than it would get on straight unleaded) for an annual fuel cost of $425. Of course, the "annual fuel cost" numbers are bolded to stand out, just like those two words just did.

Aside from the obvious unfairness of comparing a 33 MPG powerless compact with a much larger Ford Sedan with a larger more powerful motor, the biggest thing is, of course, the obvious flaw in their gas prices.

Right now, in Geneseo, IL (near where I now work) the lone E85 pump has fuel for $2.39 per gallon, and regular E10 blended unleaded for $2.89, with unblended fuel for $2.99 per gallon. Quite a far stretch from the figures quoted in Popular Mechanics. I've never seen E85 more expensive than regular unleaded, that's the point of going with an E85 pump to begin with. Sheesh.

Obviously, saving 60 cents per gallon (or 20% of the total cost) while losing only 15% of the gas mileage would show a yearly advantage to running an E85 car.

But Popular Mechanics chooses not to show things correctly, thus giving the impression that "plain ole' regular gas is still the best way to go."

Again, I have yet to finalize my own personal opinion. But it's quite obvious what opinion Popular Mechanics wants me to have, and that kind of crap ticks me off.

Better Idea

This whole noise ordinance thing has me chuckling still.

Here's my new idea. To heck with tickets, impounding, etc.

Whenever a police officer pulls over one of these cars with excessively loud music, he makes them take off their music of choice and change it to something they will not like.

Metal too loud? Make 'em crank up Celine Dion. Rap too loud? Make 'em crank up an old Ricky Skaggs CD. It'll be turned down real quick. Count on it.

Same goes for Harleys. Pipes too loud? Pull 'em over, take off the leather, and make 'em put on a parrothead outfit, complete with flip flops.

And why stop with noise? How about fixing the dress code with youths in this country? See a kid in a pair of exceedingly baggy pants with his ugly plaid boxer shorts showing? (My kid does this sometimes...drives me NUTS) Make 'em wear Sears Toughskin skin-tight plain pocket blue jeans with a three-inch Beaver Cleaver cuff on 'em.

See a kid wearing basketball "shorts" that go down to the mid-calf? Hello, young man, here is your brand new pair of Bob Cousy tighty whitey short shorts. Wear 'em with pride. Let's see those thighs...oh, and get a tan.

See a girl dressed all "goth" with chains, black clothes, nose rings, black eye shadow, spiked hair, trying to look all "80's Wynona Ryder"? Take her to the Gap, put her in pastels, lose the jewelry, the metal, and the sourpuss look on her face, and make her skip down the street instead of sulk and drag her oversized boys tennis shoes.

I'd feel better if this stuff happened.

The Moving Overpass

Ah, the joys of rural driving. I ran up behind one of these bad boys today.

Actually, the one I saw was much bigger than this. At least 12 feet from ground to bottom of "cab". A six-step ladder hangs down so the driver can climb up into it. My car would fit right underneath it. I wanted to try it so bad, but I just didn't know if the guy would freak and make a sudden turn. The thing was going about 25 MPH, I know I woulda made it.

If I see one tomorrow, I might give it a shot.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


I should have put this post BELOW the Sam Cassell post, so read it first, then come back up to this one.

Are ya back? Okay, good.

Friday afternoon Diane and I drove up to Greene, IA, northwest of Waterloo, to watch my son, a sophomore, run in a high school track meet. I had been thinking about Sam Cassell this week, and other guys like Kerry Wood and Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa...guys who soil their games through apathy, cheating, steroids, lack of heart to come back from injury, etc.

Then I saw some young men who reminded me how great sports can be. One of the kids on Justin's team runs the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter low hurdles. He has no hope of winning, he's not fast. He has to wear special tennis shoes instead of regular track spikes because of a severe heel problem, possibly from birth, my son is not sure. He finishes 3-4 seconds behind...a virtual the 110's. While he's running, his teammates implore him to go faster and cheer him on, supporting him all the way. He smiles, puts his sweats back on, and goes into the infield to rejoin his team before his next event. He comes back out for the 400 Lows, and finishes well off the pace again. But he checks his time, smiles, and comes back to the team. They congratulate him. His only concern is having fun and his only goal is setting new personal best times. That's why he runs.

Later, a young man from another school (there are students from 14 Iowa high schools at the event) skips by Diane and I, with an obvious disorder or ailment. His legs don't bend much, and his hips appear to be very tight. He hops more than he actually runs. He is about 5-foot-4, 100 pounds soaking wet. He is in uniform. His event? The 100 meter dash. No hope of winning. He doesn't care. Finishing and setting personal bests are his goal, too. The gun goes off, the kids take off. When he comes by us at the 40-meter mark, he is 40 meters behind. He finishes. The crowd and his teammates cheer him on all the way.

Still later, my boy competes in the 2-mile run. There are 16 starters, after one of eight laps, Justin is in 10th, side by side with a kid we later find out is a senior from Mason City Newman high school. Justin, as I said, is a sophomore, he looks strong against the upperclassmen, and Di and I cheer him on every lap. His teammates across from me in the infield do the same. The lead pack of four steadily pulls away, and I notice the leaders catching a young man in a gold and black uniform who is way, way, way behind. He gets lapped with about two and a half laps to go, but he doesn't stop. He keeps competing. The winner crosses in just over 10 minutes, Justin makes a late kick to pass two kids and finishes 8th in just over 11 minutes. I am very proud. I couldn't run a lap right now, let alone 8.

But what he does next makes me more proud. After catching his breath, after resting in the infield for a couple of minutes, he sees the young man in black and gold finally finishing, some four or five minutes later. My son gets up on still tired and wobbly legs, and goes 25 yards over to the other young man and pats him on the back and tells him something. He then comes over to me and I ask him what he said to the kid, he said, "I told him 'good job, you always finish and you always try hard. It's good running with you.' I've run with him before."

I didn't write this to only brag up my son (although yes, I'm bragging him up...I'm proud of him!). I wrote this because of all the kids, all the courage, all the support they get in all the sports they play. And this was at one small track meet with kids from 14 small Iowa schools, whose total enrollment would probably equal Pekin + Richwoods. I can only imagine how many youngsters are doing this every day around the country. Beating the odds. Pushing themselves. Not letting their deficiencies change them in any way. Not cheating to get better. Not quitting because "it isn't worth it." Not staying home and collecting varsity letters because "my arm hurts a little bit.

I don't hate pro sports, I love pro sports. When I see the packages that some of the overpaid underperforming CEO's in this country steal from their employees, I'm the first guy to defend professional athletic pay. But I won't defend guys who collect money and won't try. Or whine while getting paid. Or won't play because of a little "ow-ee". Or have to cheat to set a record.

I can't wait until my next track meet. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

Sam Cassell...Freeloader

In 2003-2004, Sam Cassell, a fine point guard with two NBA championship rings, went to Minnesota to help Kevin Garnett. He did just that, leading KG and the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals before being jobbed by the NBA, who wanted the Lakers in the finals (check the stats, the most passive team in the NBA suddenly became a fouling machine in the Western Finals...whouda thunk it?)

Then, in 2004-2005, Sam felt "underappreciated", loudly announcing his desire for a re-worked contract for his services. T-wolves brass refused. Cassell suffered through the worst season of his career by far, both on the court and with "injuries" keeping him out of games. Most thought he was probably done, having been in the NBA for over 10 years, much longer than the average career length for point guards.

So Sam gets dealt. To the woeful Los Angeles Clippers, who haven't been a contender since Ronald Reagan was running up the national debt. What happens to Sam? He turns in an all-star year, just like '03-'04, and the Clip Joint is hosting playoff games this weekend. Cassell starts, teaching young Peoria Central phenom Shaun Livingston the ropes.

The point? I've got no beef with Sam teaching Livingston and the Clips how to win. My beef is with his behavior last season. He obviously tanked the entire season. In a fair and just world, he'd give back every single dollar the Timberwolves paid him last year, because he didn't earn it. He purposely threw in the towel last year because he was "unhappy". To me, that's just as bad as throwing games because of gambling interests. Minnesota's fans, coaches, players, and staff were all cheated last year because Sam Cassell (and his whine-mate Latrell Sprewell) were unhappy. Kevin Garnett showed up to play every game in '04-'05, and continued to be one of the top five - no, make that top 3 - players in the sport. But his teammates weren't trying. That's sad.

I like Shaun Livingston, and I think he has a tremendous career ahead of him. But I'm rooting against the Clippers in the playoffs, because of Sam Cassell.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I Know, I Know, Driving Again

But this is really getting out of hand.

First, I'm a speeder. I drive fast. EXCEPT in two places: school zones and construction zones. Meanwhile, I run into people every night that DON'T speed UNTIL they get to the 45 MPH zones inside the construction areas of I-74. So here's a memo to those drivers:

I hope you get nailed for a 375 dollar fine. Every last one of you. And the ignorant moron in the blue Camaro who fingered me tonight because I shook my head at him as he roared past? I hope you're the first one nailed. I set my cruise at 45 as soon as I hit the west end of town, and it's amazing how many times I get passed in the next four or five miles. And many times by the same people I just passed in the wide open area near Kickapoo. I go 75, they go 65. Get to the zone, I go 45, they go...62. Whattha?!?!

Now, a message or two to the State Police:

1) Get your butts into those construction zones 24 hours a day, and instead of just sitting in the median looking tough, DO something. STOP somebody. MAKE AN EXAMPLE. Going 46? Pick 'em up.

2) Unless you do this every time, the very next time you see me going 75 in a wide-open, arrow-straight stretch of road with no one around me...leave me alone. Because I'm the wrong guy to target right now. With all the construction between Danville and the Quad Cities right now...and for the past several years...on I-74, there shouldn't be ANYONE picked up for going 75 in a wide open area all by themselves. We're not the problem. The dude going 52 in a construction zone? Yeah, he IS going 23 MPH slower than me. But I'm doing it where the only thing I might hit is a junebug...HE's doing it within inches of humans with a hard hat and little other protection. Who's more dangerous?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

This Week's Driving Pet Peeve.

Note to 93.4% of all Illinois drivers: The turn signal lever is not a factory option. Use the damn thing. Morons.

Is This Cruel?

Driving to work the other morning on IL 78, minding my own business, cranking up a little Waylon Jennings music, I glanced at a farm to my left. There, in the yard behind the barn, was a nice little herd of cattle. Muddy, as is everything else in this state right now, but they looked content. Then, I noticed a couch sitting on the porch outside the farmhouse. The couch was covered...I kid you a black-and-white cow pattern.

I thought about that for a second. Then, these questions started popping into my head: Do the cows give milk better because of the impending threat of becoming couch upholstrey? Is "upholstrey" somehow related to the word "holstein"? Does "couch" come from "cow"? Do the cows know which cow is covering the couch? Did she protest giving milk one morning and suffer the consequences? And of course, the burning question, can the Twins keep up with the White Sox?

The mind does weird things at 7:30 in the morning on a two-lane Illinois Highway.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

While I'm In A Cranky Mood...

...another thing that Peoria seems to lead the free world in would be "rude dipsticks in movie theatres."

If you can't shut up during the movie, stay the hell home. It's not just voices, either. Last night, Di and I were at Goodrich (only because the movie we watched wasn't available at The Rave). We were among only 15-20 people in the theatre when we arrived. We sat four or five rows from the top, with only one couple two rows behind us, and four people three rows in front of us. Everyone else was closer to the screen.

So a family of four walks in...the two teenage boys smelled like they really needed to take a shower after working under the hood of the Family Truckster all day...and where do they plop their odoriferous selves? You guessed it, they end up RIGHT behind us. 125 empty seats, at least 10 empty rows, they gotta sit behind us.

So they talk...loudly...through all the previews. I gave them "the look" and they at least had the courtesy to shut up as the movie started. They didn't talk much during the movie, although they chose to laugh when things weren't funny a couple of times, but about halfway through the movie...i.e., too late to get up, move, and make a scene, which I'm not into doing...the fun began.

First, Mom breaks out a box of candy. (The popcorn was gone by this point, I guess). Now, she's had it since before the movie started, but picks a particularly quiet time in the soundtrack to rip open the noisy plastic wrapping paper around the candy. Then, she begins to reach her hand inside the little skinny box instead of pouring it into her hand. This noise repeats approximately 326.4 times in the last half hour of the movie. At the same time, one of the Grease Twins decides he's allergic to being quiet, and develops a loud, LOUD, cough every few seconds. Just over my left ear. I was waiting to be spat upon.

Not to be outdone, Dad, who among the family most resembled the star of the movie...Larry The Cable Guy...decides his size 12, three-year old, tattered, Spalding-brand, $9 K-Mart tennis shoes need to be on the seat in front of him, meaning two seats to my left. From that point on, every time he moves, our whole row of seats feels it. Nice.

We did our best to enjoy the rest of the flick, but they weren't done. One more nudge towards rudeness must occur. When? Where? How will it happen? You know it's coming. it is. As we're walking out, Diane is one step in front of me. We pass the men's restroom, and Dad comes out just as we go by. What does he do? Does he wait for me to get by? NO! Much like a Peoria driver running the turn lane light (see below) he somehow WEDGES himself between Diane and myself as we walk towards the exit. Amazing. The guy left the bathroom and MERGED with a couple trying to leave.

People oft times suck.

...Oh, Yeah, Here's Another One

A poster called "Maubs" on the Bill Dennis blog brought up some excellent points about the timing of lights within Peoria.

Let me add this little pet peeve that makes me scream: There's not a city in America with more people running red lights in left turn lanes than Peoria. It's absolutely ridiculous. From War Memorial to Glen is a particularly bad one. From War turning onto Scenic at Northwoods Mall is another. There are always two, sometimes three idiots trying to run that left turn lane light after it goes red. Same goes for ALL FOUR directions at War and University.

I'm seriously go buy a '73 Pontiac Grand Safari Wagon (or "Sherman Tank with fake Woodgrain siding") and just start blasting away from the opposite direction, ramming anyone who runs those intersections under red. I mean, I really get sick of watching morons cruise through intersections in front of me while I'm sitting stopped - although my light has been green for two seconds. Do you think this behavior would stop if I got a bunch of buddies from the Peoria Speedway, bought 'em all these big wagons, and we just started ramming people that ran red lights?

Can't be any more dangerous than walking around with a concealed weapon sticking out of your boxer briefs, can it?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Yet Another Blogosphere Rant About Drivers

Lots of folks in our area have been blogging and ranting about bad drivers. I don't disagree with any of them, and I have my share of road rage.

Here's my latest beef. If you happen to be lucky enough to drive in an area that is NOT under construction, why is it that invariably you run up behind an idiot in the left lane who has decided to set the cruise on 64.2 MPH so he can rocket (not) past the other law-abiding citizen going 64 MPH in the right lane.

It's times like these I want to pretend I've got a number on the side of my car and a big "Home Depot" logo on the quarter panel, and drive up behind the idiot in the left lane and "put a bumper on him" as they say in NASCAR. Give him the ol' "chrome horn" and root him out of the way. If he spins, he spins, oh well. Just GET...THE...HELL...OUT...OF...THE...WAY.

There is nothing more dangerous than bunched-up interstate traffic, NO MATTER what the speed is. It's far safer to have cars spread out. I'd rather be alone on 74 DOING 74 than be in a bunch of cars and semi trucks going 65 together. I think there's even a law to make that happen now, giving State Trooopers the right to yank a guy over when he's clogging traffic. I wish I'd see that law enforced JUST ONCE.

It happens in town, too. You're on War Memorial, and the two guys (or women...come to think of it, it's often women) are oblivious to their surroundings, and are driving side by side two MPH below the speed limit, and causing backups. When you flick the bright lights at 'em, or give a little honk to get their attention, their first reaction...ALWAYS, it NOT to quickly get out of the way or sheepishly apologize with a "sorry" facial expression, no...instead, it's usually a one finger salute and the easiest two words in the English language to lip read.

I am not asking them to move so I can speed. Yes, I DO speed. But that's not the point. The point is you are statistically MUCH SAFER spread out than you are bunched together, and I've ALWAYS said I'd rather be in front of a clueless idiot than behind him...her.