Sunday, August 31, 2008

He's A Nut

Um, I don't even want to write about this story.

"It's Chinatown, Jake"

Politicalbase.com is hinting around at uglier possibilities.

Really ugly if it's false.
Really, really ugly if it's true.

Dragnet

Time for Local Crime Report here in the valley.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, an unknown thief broke into a house in the 1100 block of North Harvard Avenue by smashing a window and took the toilet, valued at $350.
Reported on Friday at 8:56 p.m., the theft occurred between Thursday and the time the sheriff’s office learned about it.
No arrest has been made.


And

A Porterville woman and second unidentified person suffered facial injuries during an altercation in Porterville Friday night.
Karen David, 44, and a person whose name wasn’t released were injured with a vacuum cleaner during an altercation, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said. The victims were taken to Sierra View District Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries.
The motive for the assault is unknown.
The sheriff’s department said the suspect in the assault left before deputies responded to the scene, 22000 block of Avenue 168, Porterville. The assault was reported at 8:49 p.m. Friday.No arrest has been made.


Couldn't have gone far - the cords aren't that long.

Palin's Pregnant Pause

The Palin family in January of this year, Bristol is on the right

Ahh how the rumors and inuendo fly. The report that Sarah Palin's fifth child, Trig, born last April is not hers but instead her oldest daughter's, is all over the net. Both liberal and conservative blogs are abuzz over it.

After having spent the last three days digging up what I could find that at least had some evidence, this one makes me uncomfortable. It is circumstantial at best and if it turns out to be false it has put the whammy on a 17 year old girl who did nothing to deserve it. Nonetheless, these are the points as they are being laid out...

1) Palin did not announce this pregnancy until her seventh month. No one on her staff or who worked with her had any inkling she was pregnant until she told them.

2) Her oldest daughter, Bristol, was kept out of school for the last five months of Palin's pregnancy due to an extreme case of mono. Some reports are saying she had been kept out for eight months.

3) Palin went into labor one month early while in Dallas at a conference. Instead of going directly to a medical facility, she instead called her doctor, gave her keynote address, got on a plane with a layover in Seattle - total flying time, 8 hours during which she informed no one she was in labor and no one noticed - landed in Anchorage and then drove 45 minutes to the small medical facility in Wasilla to give birth. Strangely, the Mat-Su medical facility lists all the babies born on their website but the name of Trig Paxson Palin on April 18 is absent.

4) As this story has spread family photos taken in January and in April of this year that had been on the Governor's website have been removed. The photos that are available and were taken late in the pregnancy show Palin as lithe and remarkably trim for a woman in her 7th and 8th months, while the photos of Bristol taken in what would have been Palin's 4th and 5th months show an expanding abdomen.

We would all imagine that McCain's team would have vetted this - at least you would think they did. But they never spoke to the man in the center of her ethical investigation either. Just today the McCain campaign admitted it did very little vetting of Governor Palin; they felt they knew her well.

This should be taken with a grain of salt but nonetheless things are curious. Compare these two photos of Sarah Palin from two pregnancies...

Palin seven months pregnant with Trig

Palin about eight months pregnant with one of her other children

More of the innuendo can be found at the Daily Kos.

Addendum:
Just to put some more perspective on this, the photo below is of my lovely wife when she was 7 months pregnant with our son. He, like Palin's son, was born 4 weeks prematurely, but our son actually was smaller than Palin's son, Trig.

How The Hockeymom Got Her Rink

One more piece and I'll leave the whole Palin thing alone... maybe.

This one is a prime example of her "outstanding administrative experience."

While mayor of Wasilla she wanted to build a sports complex - a big deal for a town of 6500. In order to do so she needed land. The tract she wanted was also coveted by a developer. The town bid; the developer bid. The developer won. He offered to sell it to Wasilla for a small profit. She thought she could use emminent domain to take the land from the developer and began building on the land anyway. The developer took the town to court and got himself a huge settlement. A deal that should have cost the town $125,000 ended up, through her incompetence and arrogance, costing the town $1.7 million. That expense has curtailed the library budget, capital improvements, and raised fees and the sales taxes on the little hamlet. Wasilla is still paying for the mess, six years after she left office.

Read about it here.

She just isn't well liked by Alaskans.

When the Anchorage Daily News asked about her nomination for VP the paper found a number of leading Republican officeholders in the state who mocked Palin's qualifications. "She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Lyda Green, the president of the State Senate, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

Another top Republican, John Harris, the speaker of the House, when asked about her qualifications for Veep, replied with this: "She's old enough. She's a U.S. citizen."

The Road We Walk

Curry and the Mrs. recently produced offspring. The Boy begins his long path of education come Tuesday. Tomorrow is Labor Day. In a freak accident, a 78 year old 49's fan was killed by a runaway horse last Thursday. Four separate things that came together in a not altogether uncommon convergence (excepting the weird circumstances with the horse) that perfectly symbolizes the bitter road we all walk. Despite the joy that accompanies having a child I can't think of a better representation of life's nihilism than this blistering one-off masterpiece of twenty years ago by a bunch of guys in some sharp suits. Try to shake it off and have a good holiday...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just Gonna Beat This Drum

downtown Wasilla, where all this might have worked

Governor Palin was elected to her office in part because she promised the citizens of Alaska that government corruption would not be a part of her administration. She campaigned endlessly on the phrase "open and transparent government." Hey, it got her the job. With her ethics scandal she has decided that isn't what she meant exactly.

In an interview with the Anchorage Daily News two days ago Palin's Communication Director, Bill McAllister, defended the administration's abandonement of their "open and transparent government" promise by saying it didn't really apply to everything.

"Open and transparent government was something that came up during the campaign and was largely in reference to the stranded gas act versus the AGIA concept under Governor Palin."

Is that what she meant?

From andrewhalcro.com:
First go to the State of Alaska website and search the terms "Open and transparent." No fewer than 5 pages appear with soundbites from Governor Palin about her commitment to open and transparent government while speaking about different initiatives.

Second, simply look at history. Time and time again, when Palin has invoked the words open and transparent, there is no mention of the stranded gas act or AGIA as McAllister claims.

In November of 2006 on her campaign website she promised voters, "Sarah will open the door wide to transparent and accountable government."

On November 1, 2007 after the indictment of Vic Kohring, Palin's press release stated, " Public trust and integrity are the foundation of good government. This reaffirms my commitment to conduct the people’s business in an open and transparent fashion.”

On March 28, 2006 in a press release regarding putting the state's checkbook online she said it was part of implementing her mandate for more open, transparent government.

All of this comes up ,of course, because she doesn't want to release the communication records regarding the scandal. According to Andrew Halcro she was able to get her Attorney General to rule that state employees have a right to privacy while using state issued communication equipment. He issued the ruling because, according to Halcro, Palin and her staff have been using their state issued Blackberrys and computers to conduct acts of personal retribution, and the attorney general is covering for them.

That's how absurd this little coverup has gotten.

Palin is about to discover she's playing in the big leagues and not Wasilla anymore. There are much more intrepid, national reporters on her story now - not the local boys. They will find out that all that character assasination she did regarding her ex brother-in-law involved nothing more than a typical episode of Judge Judy. That, for example, bitching about him shooting a moose out of season is a little disingenous when she was standing next to him when he did it; when she felt so bad about the criminal act that she offered her garage for him to quarter it; that she was so offended by the vile act she took half the meat for her freezer.

All this crap probably worked in Wasilla - she had pull, she knew everyone, but once she got to the Governor's office she was out of her league. And now she's in way over her head.

The Word From Up North

In doing some internetting today regarding Gov Palin, I went ahead a dropped a comment on the webpage of the Anchorage Daily News. Many of the other comments seemed to be supportive of her - maybe half - and I just noted to them that if they were so fond of her we just couldn't live with ourselves if we took her away, so we would do all we could to make certain she got to stay in Alaska. It was a smartass thing to say, but what the hell. It raised some hackles. One particularly offended reader noted that I was from "unamerica" before opening his discussion about the color of Obama's skin.

We in the lower 48 don't have the advantage of knowing the ins and outs of politics on the ground up there. We just get the news - very little of it. The place is so far removed from us geographically and so unnoticed most of the time that we are more culturally distanced from it than, say Kentucky is from Wyoming. So it helps to see things through their eyes. Here is one other reader's response to my comment...

August 30, 2008 - 1:29pm c_staatsburg
Believe me, we don't want her either. Any one with a brain here knows that her popularity "spin" has come from her PR campaign firm from Boston. Most business owners, entrepreneurs, and local conservatively minded citizens of means and independence want her to get out of town. In 1996, it was the bar hounds, needy types, those who admired her sexuality, and entitlement seekers who put her into office as mayor of Wasilla because she promised to keep the locals bars open until 5 am when other cities in the state were moving to close the bars at 2am. Nothing has changed. The article forgets to note that she has promoted herself as the "Hot" governor. In a state that leads the nation in rapes and violence against woman, Palin is clueless as she panders and sells whatever cheap trick will get her votes and popularity. Champion for woman? Give me a break!

There are apparently a few Alaskans who don't buy into her crap either.

Palin = A Sloppy Cheney?

To add more fuel to the Palin tries-to-fire-ex-brother-in-law fire...

One of the more interesting details of this convoluted mess, especially for all of us in the lower 48 who until yesterday had never heard about it, is the lengths to which Palin's office allegedly went to get the trooper fired and then bury the story.

In a recorded phone call from Palin's chief aide, Frank Bailey, to Alaska State Trooper, Lt. Rodney Dial, that Bailey claimed was at the behest of the governor, some interesting things were brought up. There was of course the desire to get the ex brother-in-law dismissed, but there was also a recitation of the ex's medical file and worker's compensation file. When Lt. Dial asked him how he got the file Bailey said, "I'm a little reluctant to say, but over in administration is where we hold the workers compensation files, right there." Both of those items are considered private and should be utterly inaccesible to anyone outside of the Alaska State Department of Labor. For Bailey to have had the file would not only be a violation of Alaska's state law but of the Federal HIPPA law as well. The independent investigator is tracing how he obtained the file, but a routing slip appears to indicate it was requested by and sent to the Governor's office.

When news of the recorded phone call came out and contradicted entirely Bailey's previous statements that he had never spoken to anyone regarding firing the trooper, he was placed on paid administrative leave. Yeah, a paid vacation.

Palin denies any knowledge of Bailey's calls or the entire fiasco for that matter, but there are an enormous number of emails and phone calls between Bailey, Palin's husband and Palin's staff before and after the recorded phone call. We would know more about what those emails contained but Palin's office is not releasing them citing - wait for it - executive privilege.

But here's the kicker. According to sources inside the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Palin has ordered the State Attorney General's office to interview any potential witnesses to "find out what they know" before the Special Investigator assigned by the Legislature gets to them. The legislature is now expanding its investigation to include possible witness tampering as a result.

This whole thing started out because she wanted to fire her ex brother-in-law after a messy divorce from her sister - pretty small town stuff. It has gotten uglier and uglier as the lies have gotten bigger and the abuses of power more substantial in an attempt to cover it up.

I say we could be totally wrong about her. She may be the perfect follow up for Cheney.

It's obvious the McCain campaign just didn't thoroughly vet Mrs. Palin. According to the fired Public Safety Commissioner no one from the McCain campaign ever contacted him to ask about the whole controversy. Yes, you read that right - McCain choose a running mate who was in the middle of a massive ethics investigation involving substantial abuses of power and possible violations of federal law and never once bothered to call the guy who got the ball rolling.
Hmmm.

Most of this info is courtesy of AndrewHalcro.com

Manliness

A wicked breaking ball and My Little Pony.

In Other News...

I was so politicky yesterday. Let's talk about something else...
The low temperature recorded for the planet last week was -119 farenheit in Vostok, Antarctica. There, how's that?

Friday, August 29, 2008

VPILF

In keeping with Curry's McCain/MILF '08! call...

Yes, this is what the great American Democracy has become.

Ethics? What Ethics?

So, hey - I know you're asking, what's with this ethics controversy regarding Mrs. Palin, the Republican, hockeymom, VP nominee? Well, she reportedly fired her Public Safety Commissioner because he wouldn't fire her former brother-in-law, a state trooper. She denied it was because of that and instead claims the commissioner was fired because he wasn't doing enough about the bootlegging problem in the rural areas. Interestingly enough, after she fired the commissioner she offered him the position of Director of Alcohol and Beverages to deal with the bootlegging problem in the rural areas. Then it was discovered that there were recorded phone calls from members of her staff (and her husband) to the commissioner regarding the dismissal of her former brother-in-law. She says she didn't know about the calls. So darn it, what happened? Let's find out, shall we?



If I were her former brother-in-law I would seriously sweat this election.

Now just so you aren't confused, there's the other Public Safety Commissioner controversy involving Mrs. Palin. It seems she hired a new Commissioner and it turned out that his file had a letter of reprimand for sexual harrassment that nobody noticed, even though the victim had actually emailed the Governor's office two weeks before the hiring to give them a heads up. A reporter even asked Mrs. Palin about the sexual harrassment but she said, "People badmouth a cop who has taken some action. So no, we don't believe it." That part is funny because the commissioner's name is Kopp. Get it? Kopp, cop. Anyway, let's find out about this one too, ok?



So it was just a little vetting issue. Oops! It seems there are vetting problems everywhere, nowadays.

The Vice Presidential Nominee

Sarah Palin's credentials...

She has seen enough to make the tough choices - to stand up to special interests. In 2002 she made a bold decision (and her fearlessness regarding word definitions [pedestrian = snowmobile]works well - like say for "torture")...

A group of neighbors with homes east of Lake Lucille attended a Wasilla city council meeting on Monday to speak out against a multi-use trail that would connect Wasilla Lake with Lake Lucille and route snowmachine traffic through their neighborhood. Mayor Sarah Palin said Tuesday that their opposition won't change a decision by the city council to construct the trail along the city's right-of-way.The trail will be used by pedestrians, but the ordinance designating the trail -- which the city council passed unanimously in July 2001 -- includes a section that defines "pedestrian" as including "snowmobiles, between December 1 and April 1 when the trail is snow covered."

"We don't want snowmachines to be tooling around in downtown Wasilla," Palin said. "The whole purpose of this has been to get snowmachiners out of town.

She has faced tragedy and crises with strength and leadership as in 2002...

WASILLA -- A Wasilla man escaped serious injury Monday after an Alaska Railroad train engine hit the Suzuki Sidekick he was driving at the railroad crossing on Knik-Goose Bay Road -- just south of the intersection of the Parks Highway and Main Street.According to a press release from the Wasilla Police Department, the Sidekick's driver, Sergei Fedotov, 61, of Wasilla, received minor injuries to one knee and declined medical attention.

The accident was brought up at city hall when Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin gave her report to the city council at its meeting that night.
"The train won," Palin said.
"They always do," said council member Noel Lowe.
After the meeting Palin spoke briefly with the Frontiersman.
"Talk about a close call. This scares the crud out of me," Palin said.

She too has a vision for us, a grand dream for our country...

Palins dream: Opening up the country

Two years ago, when Wasilla was the apparent winner in the lawsuit the city filed against Gary Lundgren, Mayor Sarah Palin read a part of the ruling at a city council meeting and said the land acquisition would "open up the west side of Wasilla."

"This administration can't take credit for brain-childing it," Palin said of the plan. She credited the late Jack Felton, a Wasilla public works director, for having the Church-to-Mack plans "on-the-shelf" even before she came into office.

The current plan is to build the city-funded sports arena there, which Palin called the "anchor tenant" for the area. Contractors have already started to do soil testing and surveying chosen for the arena.

In court documents from city's lawsuit, the city claims to have spent $95,000 to clean up an old dump in the South Church right-of-way and another $585,000 in construction and design for the road.

She's a sporty patriot as evidenced by her children's names...

Wasilla's mayor gives birth
WASILLA The population of the city of Wasilla edged up by one on Monday, when Mayor Sarah Palin gave birth to a daughter, Piper Indi Grace Palin, at 11:37 a.m.


Piper joins her brother, Track, and sisters, Bristol and Willow, in the growing Palin family. Reached at home Wednesday, the baby's father, Todd Palin, described his youngest daughter in two words: "just perfect."
Palin said Piper's name was in keeping with Alaska and sports theme names she and her husband have given their children. Besides, "I've always loved the name Piper," she said. Indi isn't just a snowmachine name, but an abbreviated form of "independence."

Todd Palin revealed the meaning behind another part of the youngest Palin's name. Grace, he said, was "for the grace of God." The mayor said the busy family was going to slow down and "savor" the first few days with Piper, because after three children they know how special and fleeting time with an infant can be.

She can wow them with oratory...

MAYORAL AWARD -- Wasilla's Mayor Sarah Palin is receiving an honor for the "Longest Sentence Award." Her recent Spectrum article showcased an incredibly complex 85-word sentence. This is a feat deserving of reward. Adjectives were plentiful, along with a complete collection of commas, verbs and nouns. The MOUTH would love to quote it again but it would take up half the paper.

Come November, your choice could not be clearer.

A Right To Be Nervous

Watching McCain hover over Palin during the announcement was painful. He seemed terrified that it could all collapse at any moment. It was the same look I get when the Boy climbs around on the monkey bars - "Dear God, don't let him fall."

It's extraordinarily interesting that on his 72nd birthday, a day that serves to accentuate the fact that he would be the oldest citizen elected to a first term as president; a day that follows a month of reiterations regarding his five years in a prison camp that no doubt left a lingering and substantial pall over his health; a day following a primary campaign where even Fox News has referred to his numerous senior moments -- yes, on that very day he announces a running mate - a person potentially one heartbeat away from the presidency - whose resume is so short she has to boast of lowering property taxes in Wasilla Alaska when introduced to the American public.

Yeah, he could have choosen credentialed and vetted veterans like Condi Rice or Kay Bailey Hutchison; women who have, whether or not you agree with them, earned their stripes. Instead, McCain liked the former beauty queen/hockey mom.
To steal Curry's latest twitter:
McCain/MILF '08!

Actually, hooray for the Republicans. They are about to nominate their first woman for VP and that is a great step forward. They are progressing.
So, let's see... Geraldine Ferrarro '84 - Sarah Palin '08
That means the Party of Lincoln should nominate its first African-American for President in 2032. Way to go, GOP!!

ARRRRGH!

Republican VP Nom, Sarah Palin, just pronounced nuclear as "nuculer". It's official now: McBush!

And You Thought Your Holiday Meals Were Sparky

It's not going to be festive come Thanksgiving at the McCain table. Kathleen Portalski, John McCain's sister-in-law, Cindy McCain's half-sister, has endorsed Obama. Says Portalski, "I'm not voting for McCain. I have a different political standpoint. I'm voting for Obama."

That should test the maverick's temperament.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Refreshment

I think I like the taste, but I have a feeling that the line for the Kool-aid just got a lot longer. And you'll have to stand behind Pat Buchanan. If he can get Buchanan to gush that it was the greatest political speech he'd ever heard things have really turned upside down.

Step By Step

When the Boy started walking some two years ago it was rather abrupt. He just got up one afternoon and though wobbly, he started walking. By the end of that week he was no longer on all fours - his knees began to heal. It happened so quickly that we assumed he had been secretly practicing in preparation for his big debut. We also assumed that was the way with all kids.

The Girl has just taken her time about it. I believe the word is obstinate. She stood up and took tentative steps two months ago - one, maybe two at a time - before returning to hands and knees. Despite all manner of coaxing she would not do more. As time progressed it became two or three steps, but again, no more. She was thoroughly unsteady and ate hardwood regularly. No doubt discouraging. She co-opted the Boy's plasma car for forays on the back patio - cheating I called it. It made roughing up the knees or slamming her ass on the concrete obsolete. She would ride wherever she wanted to go - sort of like a one of those street weasels that seniors ride. But it did her no good in the house and when we began to drop the hammer by informing her that transportation from point A to point B was her responsibility she saw the peculiar efficiency of bipedal motoring.

So this week she has taken to serious toddling. Arms splayed, she wanders the house most of the day, occasionally carrying a toy or water cup. Her pride is mostly subdued despite our constant praise. It's just more work to her - "I'll walk, but I won't like it."

She has yet to discover the inherent advantages to self-transport. No longer dependent on us for swift transport, she will soon discover how unnecessary we are, which of course will lead to her substantial use of the word "No." That in turn will lead to time-outs wherein she is dropped into a chair and forbidden to motor anywhere, thus making the newly acquired act of walking pointless in her eyes. No wonder childhood is confusing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How To Get Your Ass Kicked

via intrepid blog hunter RC

Blog fodder is sometimes a precious commodity. This post from 15minutelunch is a prime example of manna from blog heaven.

as someone who was fully conscious in 1977 I can attest to the fact that the items illustrated in the post were ugly-ass even back then.

Going To The Well Too Often

My grandfather is part of Brokaw's Greatest Generation. He grew up in the depression - saw its hard times on his family's hardscrabble farm. He joined the service in WW II - served his country. He worked hard, raised his family and pretty much did what everyone else in his age group did. He is in the twilight of his life. He rarely if ever invokes those tough times. I have never heard him justify his actions or excuse his failings with the unenviable experiences he suffered through. It is just part of what happened. I admire him for that; for the fact that he sees no need to flaunt it. I would respect his experience no less if he brought it up constantly, but it would lose its resonance; its power. Instead, it is a silence that impresses. It's old-school stoicism. Would that others did the same.

The attack dog must pinch his own primary catchphrase tonight. Biden need only toss out one pithy remark in his acceptance speech to put some perspective on things of late...

"A noun, a verb, and the Hanoi Hilton."

That will be enough.

addendum:
Referring to McCain's answers of late when asked about anything from religion to domestic and foreign affairs:

McCain has been "milking every possible drop of advantage" from having been a POW. "John McCain was able to weave in his experience in a Vietnam prison camp, no matter what the question was. It's much better than talking about how he's changed his total character between being a senator, a kind of a maverick … and his acquiescence in the last few months with every kind of lobbyist pressure that the right-wing Republicans have presented."

- Former President James Earl Carter

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Every Day A Brand New Ad

Hey, it's clever...

More Fun Than A Barrel Of Donkeys

If you're looking for ringside seat at the DNC this week spin over to the blog of the Honorable State Senator from Missouri. Ms. Justus is keeping us updated from the convention floor and Denver environs. Informative and more fun than Matthews, et al. (I like that the swag included a special Convention package of Kraft Mac & Cheese that featured donkey pasta.)

Go JJ.

Headline Of The Day

Co-author of`100 Things To Do Before You Die' dies at 47

Wondering if he finished his list...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Padre Got Hisself A Blog

skywest

two hinges

Just got word from the Padre that his blog is finally up and running. Expect few words (just not his style), but loads of his very good images.

The Last Harvest

Two peach trees stand, old and proud, at the fenceline of our back yard. Sadly, one has reached its end. It has sputtered and struggled, putting out no more than twenty or so lovely and delicious fruit since we moved in. I suspect it's been there since the house was built and those fifty years have taken their toll. Its trunk is a mess of insect holes and every spring I am forced to trim a dead limb from it.

This summer it was remarkably proficient, delivering an abundance of white peaches so heavy and so numerous that the limbs bowed. We could not eat them all. A week or so after the last picking the leaves on that main branch began to wither and yellow. Since then they have all died away; nutrients and water no longer flowing to them. A push on the trunk this morning revealed rot so severe that I could easily pull it entirely from the earth. Its last gift to us was this summer's prolific harvest - a harvest that I now regret having taken for granted. The old tree will come out this weekend.

Maybe I can replace it with another white peach tree, but I suspect that they won't taste the same. It is just a tree, but I'm surprised at just how sad I am about it.

Anniversary Deferred

Priorities change. My beloved and I have an anniversary next Monday - our seventh. She is scheduled to work. Normally she would take the day off and we would celebrate with a dinner or something. She isn't doing that, however. The next day is the Boy's first venture into higher education and so she has taken that day off to join me in delivering him, little backpack and all, to that threshold of higher learning.

Us is backseated. There is no going back.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

SOLD!

The Murano drove away with a stranger today. The lucky winner was a fine young man from Los Angeles, though he was born in Cameroon. He had called from Baltimore earlier in the week and told me he would be returning to LA yesterday. He was very interested in the car. I said that if it was still here I would be glad to sell it to him.

The ad drew them from all over the country. I had to call a young woman in Idaho after he drove away to tell her not to book the flight in to buy the car. I had to call the young man from NYC to tell him not to send his cousin down from Sacramento to look at it for him. I had to email the couple in Reno to tell them the car they were interested in is no longer on the lot. Since when do people fly in to buy cars? I know I priced it to sell - I didn't want to still be doing this two months from now - but it isn't like I was giving it away. Anyway, the buyer had always wanted a Murano and now he has one. Happy Day for all.

But I was sad to see it go.

addendum:
As the new buyer sat in my dining room, arranging with his insurance company for coverage before departing, my phone rang. It was another potential buyer:
"Hi, I'm calling about the Murano?" she said.
"Yeah, sorry, but I just sold it. The buyer and I just finished the paperwork," I informed her.
"You were supposed to sell the car to me," she snapped in what I assumed was humorous, mock indignation.
"Sorry about that," I offered.
"Great. Thanks a lot. Hope he enjoys his new fucking car!" she growled and then hung up.

The possibility of dealing with more folks like her for a couple of months is exactly why the car was priced to sell.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whatcha Lookin' For

The best search word string that led someone to my blog this week is:

extreme potty resistance sit in dirty diapers

Um, ok.

Speaking Ill Of The Dead

Be careful what you do to people or you could end up like this obit that showed up this last weekend in the Vallejo Times-Herald.

The online obit was pulled, but it is apparently legit. The paper demanded a death certificate and an appearance by a blood relative before they would print it.

via vicious-obit hunter, RC

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Child, The Smartass

Trying to keep the boy from getting distracted, as he is apt to do. I lead him into the bathroom to go pee. Upon arrival he turns on me:
"I want to go pee all by myself."
"Ok. I won't help at all," I answer as I stand and wait.
"No, all by myself," he says adamantly.
"Oh, do you want me to leave?" I ask.
Hands on hips he answers sarcasticly, "As in 'all by myself?'"

Exit one father.

Smart mouth. He must get that from his mother.

Equatorial Heat

Perusing the record racks one morning in 1981, I was on the hunt for something that would lift my spirits. I was coming up empty. The lone employee stood behind the counter reading a magazine and bopping his head to a piece of vinyl that was playing when I came in. He was bopping for good reason. It was getting to me as well. It was muscular, and melodic and damn if it wasn't utterly infectious. "What the hell is that?" The counter guy held up the album cover. "Yeah, this is good," I said and went back to the racks. Song after song got to me until finally I asked, "Got any copies of it?" "I got five in this morning. I put it on and now I have two left. One's mine. So, yeah, I got one." I snagged it and played it for most of that week.

The Equators came and went in that first ska revival with little fanfare, but it wasn't their fault. Anyone that got a chance to hear Hot started bouncing up and down. It was one hell of a party record. The record went out of print in the mid-eighties and despite pleas from fans over the years it took until 2006 before it showed up and then only as a DL. (Beware - there's a 2002 recording that is not the same thing. It featured some original members and third wave ska revivalists covering the original album - it reeks.)

I still have my vinyl - its clicks and pops are as familiar as its beats and notes. It's grand and if you haven't heard it you have missed something special.

From All Music Guide:
Besides being one of the forgotten cast-offs of the Two Tone scene, The Equators were also one of the most neglected signings to the oh so hip in its day Stiff label. Listening to their music nowadays, one wonders just why they never hit big, their album Hot seems to have it all, epitomizing the breadth of the early Eighties UK scene - ska, reggae, rock and New Wave all rolled into one big, ebullient sound. But back then most Brits preferred their music pretty pure, and the band were just blending too many disparate styles into their sound for comfort. This seems to have worked against them in the Two Tone scene, where by rights they should have made their home, an all-Black counter-weight to the all-white Madness. But perhaps their biggest problem was simply they were just too accomplished for their own good.Keyboardist Rocky Bailey obviously had classical training, and isn't afraid to showboat it, lead guitarist Dennis Fletcher is proud he learned his licks listening to a blizzard of Seventies hardrock, lead vocalist Donald Bailey hankers towards American soul, while guesting trumpeter Dick Hanson apparently studied at the feet of American jazzmen not Jamaicans. So where were the Equators true musical roots - Jamaica, the UK, the US, the rock scene, the reggae sound systems, the jazz clubs, the UK discos, or beyond? So slick is their sound, it's impossible to tell, everything is given equal weight in the arrangements, the New Wave synths, Leo Bailey's frenetic ska beats and Cleveland Clarke's thumping bass, the searing guitar solos, the soul styled vocals, the jazzy horn. Where Did Johnny Go" exemplifies their approach, which takes its musical inspiration from "Johnny B. Goode", but served up in rollicking ska fashion, then kicks in the rock-abilly guitar solo, the song then simmers into a long grooved before fading into oblivion. The lyrics turn "Goode"s on their head, as tough guy Johnny bows out of the competition, and bolts for the hills. The infectious "Rescue Me" is even more of a musical smorgasbord, a ska-Wave hybrid that stirs in both classical and proggy keyboards, and smooth as silk vocals from Fletcher, who here takes the lead. "Age of 5" is a skinhead stomp, but the group can't stop from tinkering, and toss in smooth, lush smooth sections that would have the skins calling for their heads. "If You Need Me" is a lush synthi-love song delivered at break-neck pace. If the Equators had seemed less sure of themselves, one would have forgiven them these sins, and assumed that next time around they'd sort out a specific style and stick with it. Unfortunately, so evolved is their sound, change seemed unlikely, and the British public rejected them out of hand. In 1981, they were out of step, and out of time, a few years later they could have been wowing US college crowds across the nation, with their tight and startling hybrid musical style. And so, all that was left of Hot was a pile of ash, and this stunning original and exciting album disappeared without a track from the racks. So unique is it, that decades later it still sounds fresh, find it if you can, and try to convince your friends it's not a hot new band, but a 20+ year old dead one.

dl it here

Original track listing
1. Rescue Me 2:43 2. Age Of 5 4:06 3. If You Need Me 3:43 4. More Than A Person 4:00 5. Rankin' Discipline 3:21 6. Mr Copper 3:47 7. Nightmare 2:40 8.Where Did Johnny Go 3:49 9. There Is Someone 3:13 10. Learn My Lesson 2:49 11. Feelin' High 3:49

Also includes non-lp singles (not so good)
1. Baby Come Back (7" Version) 3:56 2. Baby Come Back (12" Version) 4:50 3. Georgy 2:49

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hair Raising

In my medical freakshow world I've had many peculiar ailments and annoyances. When I began dating my wife I once had a clogged tear duct. It had been uncomfortable for some time. One morning I squeezed on the bridge of my nose in an attempt to de-clog. I felt a thunk in my sinus. I blew my nose and out of it came an object the size and (interestingly enough) shape of a shelled sunflower seed. The clog had apparently been there for some time to accumulate to that degree. I am only fortunate that my wife continued to date me after that.

This morning while puttering about the kitchen I felt a sharp sticking in my heel. I assumed it was a pebble that slipped in during my morning walk. When it didn't go away I finally removed my shoe and sock to see what was what. At first it looked like a splinter imbeded in the bottom of my heel, but upon closer examination I discovered it was a hair. It was not growing there (thankfully). No, its sharp end had burrowed a good half inch into my calloused skin and like a needle was causing me pain. After tugging at it with tweezers it finally slipped its bonds and viola, pain gone. Once again my wife was subjected to my moment. She just shook her head, no doubt wondering if California's lemon laws were applicable to matrimony.

Their should be an entire medical journal dedicated to my experiences.

Why I Could Never Be An Olympic Athlete

Aside from of age, lack of discipline and general laziness, this week I have discovered some good reasons why I could never be an Olympic athlete.

  • Though I like my ipod and use it frequently, I hate earphones.
  • I would cut myself too frequently shaving my body hair.
  • I'm just not enthusiastic enough.
  • If I won I couldn't be gracious when meeting Bush.
  • Jetlag.
  • I couldn't eat breakfast if I was staring back at myself from the front of a Wheaties box.
  • Steroids make me puffy.
  • Phelps' daily breakfast consists of 3 fried egg sandwiches, 2 cups of coffee, a 5 egg omlette, a bowl of grits, 3 french toast and 3 chocolate chip pancakes. I would barely make it through the 2 cups of coffee.
  • And the number one reason why I could never be an Olympian: I got kids to take care of!
Of course curling is still a possiblity.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taa Daa

Congratulations to Curry and Mrs. Curry on their shiny new FAVOR!!

Cigars all round.

From the Favors' blog:
(edited for mass dissemination)
12:26pm: G is born.
SHE'S HERE!!!
1:35pm: S is great (tired!). G is great, weighing in at 7 lbs. 11 oz and 21 inches long

Since he's posted it already I will.

The lovely young lady's name is...
Greta Lys H........
Just got a heads up from Curry: Lys (pronounced "lease") is Norwegian for light.
nice.

Pushing On

To Mrs. Curry:

Push!!!

Oh, and why is he texting me when he's supposed to be coaching you?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Toy Porn

The Boy is three and a half. We have, by now, begun to experience impulsive covetousness on his part. In stores, a balloon or puzzle will catch his eye. He will desire it. He will express that desire. He will usually come away disappointed. It's the way of the world, kid. By the time we reach the next aisle it is forgotten, fortunately.

Of late, the desire will extend beyond the next aisle and the item's allure will hold him over the course of a day or more. I'm sure it's a result of a lengthening memory and more determined focus. That's the problem with remembering things - disappointment lasts longer.

Tonight after I had cleaned the kitchen and done my chores I slipped into the family room to deliver up to him his nightly episode of Sesame Street. He was sitting on the sofa in his pajamas munching on his pretzels. Upon his lap was centered a Target circular that arrived in the mail on Saturday. He had begun looking at it earlier in the afternoon and had been carrying it around the house for most of the evening. He was staring at it longingly.
"Daddy, I would really like this," he said, quietly, as he pointed to a small train set featured at the bottom of the page.
"That one there?" I asked.
"Yes, that one. I would really like it."
"Well remember it. Christmas will be here soon and you might get it."
Though his concept of time remains in flux, I could tell he saw Christmas as too distant for his satisfaction. He looked back at the ad and sighed.

Then my son ,who does not yet read said, "It says here that it's perfect for little boys."
"Is that what it says?" I asked.
"Yeah, right here," he said, "I really should have it."
"Christmas."
"Ok," he said with deep resignation.

I had not expected material desire to rear its head so soon. I had not expected that a simple circular could be so evocative for him. I am not ready for this battle for his soul.

On A Roll

And now we have this...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mandarin, Anyone

Working my way through the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games and as I watch I'm feeling... well... threatened. That's 15,000 people working in perfect, precise harmony. They've spent 300 million dollars for this spectacle. That's an LED screen the size of a football field. If their intention was to send a shiver through our collective spines, they've succeeded.

Start teaching your kids Mandarin because our offspring will be working for the Chinese in twenty years. We already owe them more money than anybody else. Mark my words - this ceremony will be looked back upon by future generations as the starting gun and the rest of the world - not just the business community, but the general population - is now looking to the East with a sense of shock and awe.

America, you're twentieth century, baby. Tomorrow belongs to China.

More Fertilizer

Well, at least he's not eating it.

Screwups

Now that Edwards has admitted it, I can freely run my mouth.

What the hell is it with these guys? Is it stupidity or arrogance or what? From Gary Hart to Bill Clinton to John Edwards, it seems that libido trumps wisdom. Whether or not the personal life of a candidate should have any bearing on their ability to lead is open for debate, but the fact of the matter is, to most people in this country it does. These guys knew this. So why in the world would they risk everything for a little tail.

Personally, I couldn't care less who Bill diddles in the Oval Office. I have no interest in Monkey Business. Edwards can screw whomever. But the opposition is going to find out and they are going to bury you and any good ideas you might have will go with you.

Clinton's issue was, and perhaps remains, pathological. As much as he might rail against the right for their part in the Lewinsky mess, he knew from the get go that they were targeting him. Why give them the gun and ammo?

Hart dared the press - actually dared them in '87 - to dig something up. Guess what? They did. As a result, he and the only good chance to undo Reagan became a historical footnote. A friend of his at the time said of him, "It was as if he was writing with lipstick on a mirror, 'Stop me before I fuck again!'"

Edwards never made it to the nomination but when he was screwing around he was still in the game. Did he imagine it would stay on the Q-T? Hello!! You're running for president. Holy crap! The National Enquirer got the story. I'm sure the right had it as well, but kept it under wraps just in case he got the nod. It would have made a nice October surprise.

Power brings its own perils and temptations. None of us are perfect. But geez, can't you keep it together? Can't you hold yourself in check for the sake of the agenda? Morality aside, is there any common sense floating around?

The right has more than its fair share of this nonsense, and it is usually worse because it's drenched in hypocrisy. But the left is just plain stupid and really, regardless of good ideas, great leadership or genuine progress, candidates that are so oblivious to the stakes involved and the risks their teenage boy-like actions pose for our future have no place in office.

I'm no prude, but this has got to stop. Get laid or get elected - it's time to choose.

Well, At Least That's Out Of The Way

Update on What Is Wrong With These Guys?

Well, he is now admitting he had the affair, but claims that kid isn't his.

Pee King

The Boy has recently developed an interest in body parts. He has questioned me regularly about where pee comes out (for boys at least, it's the original streaming entertainment). I have explained it to him repeatedly using the proper anatomical terms. The other day he asked me how his mommy peed. I told him just like he does. "But she doesn't have a penis," he observed. I then explained to him that he was correct but that she could still pee with what she had. I went on to inform him, as much as was needed, how that worked.

This morning he confronted his mother: "Does your pee come out of China?" he asked. "What?" she responded. "Your pee. Daddy says it comes out of China," he explained.

Sometimes words just don't translate well to toddler speak.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Shattered Glass

Continuing my never-ending struggles...

This morning I take in the Murano to get it nice and shiny for prospective buyers. I sit in the shade, drink my coffee, read a book and wait the hour or so for them to finish it. When they wave their towel at me I thank the guy, tip him and climb in to drive away. It is then that I notice the passenger side rear view mirror is shattered. It wasn't that way way when I drove it in. A lot of back and forth goes on as the manager claims it's impossible for them to have shattered the mirror as they fold it in before it goes through the wash and there would have been no way for anything to have hit the glass in that position. I maintain that it wasn't broken when I arrived. So the manager and I retire to his office to view the camera footage of the car as it went through the wash. Though there were a number of angles to choose from, there were no clear views of the mirror. There was, however, one view that clearly showed the mirror was not folded in as it entered the wash.

The manager decided he would take my word and agreed to pay to replace the mirror. He thought we'd have to put on a whole new mirror assembly. I asked if we could just replace the glass mirror. He called a glass shop and they arranged to install it tomorrow with a factory mirror. Total cost: $40.00. I pointed out to the manager that I knew he thought I was trying to pull a fast one, but really, why would I pay $100.00 bucks for a detail to con him into replacing a 40 dollar mirror? That made sense to him. He said he considered himself a good judge of character and though he doubted me when we first met, after talking to me he got a good sense that I was telling the truth. He offered to give me a free wax on the MDX, as well. A standup guy.

So Red Carpet Car Wash is the place to go. They'll take care of you.

At least it wasn't my seven years of bad luck - got plenty already.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Recently

Requests from Grandmothers and others (ahem, Curry) lead to this post...

Mom & Girl enjoy coleslaw

Boy's field trip to police station almost goes awry

Boy on a log

Boy & fountain

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Need The 411 On 911

Ahh, Floridians. Those folks that made a mess of the 2000 election seem to be having trouble with the rules for 911 calls.

First there was the guy that called 911 when Subway didn't put any sauce on his Italian Meat Sub.

And now there's the guy that called 911 because a slot machine stole his money.

Apparently "emergency" means different things to different people.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Such Great Heights (Of Irony)

Has anyone else noticed the peculiar irony inherent in the ubiquitous UPS, whiteboard ads that are soundtracked with a popular song by a group called Postal Service?

Ben Gibbard's royalties notwithstanding, I was just curious.

Here Comes The Sun

Talk about energy independence! I missed this story last week, so forgive me if you've already caught it. Seems an MIT researcher has developed a new, extremely efficient process whereby solar power is used to split water into hydrogen molecules (h2) and oxygen atoms, which are then stored for later use in a hydrogen fuel cell. It's simple and non-toxic. Solar panels on your roof take care of business and we are all off the grid. If it pans out this could be the greatest scientific breakthrough of our lifetime.

Midwifery, Volume 1

Threepeat, face forward

Friday marked the first visit to the midwife. All's well with threepeat - two legs, and face intact. It was kicking and fluttering like a beast, promising a busy and pokey pregnancy. Assuming you don't have an Uma, Blue-Cowgirl thumb, threepeat is about as big as yours.

The Boy was entertained and occupied by the classic inflated rubber glove, but felt misled and somewhat bitter when we left the office without a new baby. Seems he misunderstood mom's explanation of the visit and assumed we would be picking up a new infant. He wandered the office demanding to know which room stored the babies. When informed that the baby was in mommy's tummy, disbelief ruled. "It not in there. That's silly," he claimed. The Girl couldn't have cared less about leaving without an extra personage, perhaps because her status will soon enough be usurped by the interloper.

The Mrs. is still suffering from nausea. The Boy caused her substantial nausea but for a shorter time. The Girl led to queasiness, less severe, but well into the second trimester. This one seems to be a little of both. She seems to be getting a little better, however.

My queasiness continues.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sabbath

Spaghetti sauce simmers, meatballs and sausage trading their goodness for a little of the tomatos'. Manicotti still to be stuffed and a new (old) dresser to be hauled from the second hand store to replace the old (old) dresser, the drawers of which refuse to release the spawn's clothing without a fight - that stubborness shall, when time, energy and rage congeal, merit an axing worthy of a Mockingbird chifforobe. The inflatable water park is full, warming in the sun and awaiting the Boy and Girl apres nap. The Sunday Sudoku, so damned close to completion, is now flung across the patio, abandoned once a tiny error flawed its necessary perfection. The real estate section weighs heavy as the math makes it pointless. The compost demands a stir and still I stir not. My mission remains incomplete. But then it's not even noon.

Sundays do so slow me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blogging Problems

All apologies to everyone trying to access this page. Google is apparently having problems and it's affecting thousands of bloggers. I was able to get this post up through a back door, but that doesn't help anyone who can't get the page to load. I have no idea how long it will be down (I have heard the last time this problem hit some blogs were down for weeks), but hang in there. I'm just as frustrated as you are.

Addendum: looks like it's back - for now.