Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Begining To Look A lot Like Christmas...Part II

Great forecasting huh?
I woke up this morning to a Texas Winter Wonderland!
The weather has generally been consistently warm however, it's finally beginning to feel like it's supposed to at this time of year. It started out last night with a thunderstorm with tons of rain, which turned into freezing rain, then in the early morning sleet, and then a little snow!
Gabriel was hoping that there would be enough snow to make a snowman or have a snowball fight, but there was only about an inch or two that accumulated on the ground.
Season was able to leave work an hour early though to avoid the traffic. With all the ice on the roads people seem to forget how to drive. You’ve got people either going at a snail's pace or driving like maniacs in SUVs and trucks.
It was a nice day and the weather put me in a Christmassy mood.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas...Part I

We have the Christmas tree up and decorated!

We've also gotten a lot of the Christmas shopping out of the way early this year, so once we wrap the presents up and start placing them under tree the anticipation can truly begin!

If the weather isn't too bad this weekend I'll attempt the dangerous and arduous task of getting the Christmas lights strung across the roof.

There is supposed to be a big storm heading this way with the possibility of snow! Snow in Texas? We'll have to see about that...

Fun Fact: One in every fifteen Christmas light bulbs sold in the United States is defective.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Apples & Oranges...

I've been hearing lately how much worse the war in Iraq is because it has lasted longer than World War II...

Is the mainstream media just willing to throw facts and history out the window for a “good” story against the Iraq war?

Those making the World War II comparison seem to betray their utter ignorance of history...

In World War II we were fighting three modern, industrialized, militarized nations; we had to crush each of them utterly. Italy fell when its own people turned on their fascist masters. Germany had to be almost literally bombed back to the Stone Age, and then invaded and nearly every inch conquered. Japan was bracing for a similar fate when they noticed that two of their cities had put up "gone fission" signs, and we were promising to continue doing that to more cities.

From the Attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) until the surrender of Japan (August 15, 1945) you get 1,345 days if you are only counting up until the end of major combat operations.

Now let’s compare Iraq from the date of the US invasion (March 20, 2003) to the fall of Baghdad and the collapse of the Baathist government (April 9, 2003) you get three weeks, again if you are only counting up until the end of major combat operations.

Of course, after the major combat operations there is the occupation and rebuilding.

Let's take a look at that...

Germany remained under Allied control until 1949, when the Western powers ceded their districts to the Federal Republic of Germany and the Soviets created their puppet regime of the German Democratic Republic. This partitioning remained until 1990, when the German people finally took their fate back into their own hands and got away with it, because the Soviets were far too busy worrying about their own rapidly dissolving totalitarian regime. That brings the total time of "war and occupation" to about 49 years, give or take a few months. Unless, of course, you count "occupation" as "having US forces still present." In which case, we come up to the present day. In Japan, the official occupation lasted until 1952 -- ten years and some change after Pearl Harbor. And as in Germany, US forces are still present, so it can be argued that we are still stuck in the "quagmire" of World War II.

How about how many soldiers were lost during World War II? During WWII approximately 407,300 soldiers which was .32% of the population. In Iraq, we've lost approximately 3,000 soldiers or .001% of the population.

Is it me? I just don't see the comparison.

This war is taking a long time because of the way we have chosen to fight it, and not even once have I heard a Hiroshima style solution on the table, so what the heck is the point of those in the media making this comparison? We all know the answer to that one, too, don't we?

In the words of President Kennedy: "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

As in all struggles, each side will make mistakes. We have certainly made several, but I believe the biggest would be to "cut and run" and these cowards would have us do.

The decisions made on Iraq will take the measure of America's maturity and sense of responsibility. Because, whether we like it or not, our decisions and our decisions alone will determine whether the barely containable murderous pathologies of the Middle East will be dumped into the face of humanity or whether rational efforts will be persisted at to assist its people to join the civilized world and to destroy the threatening forces that slither and hide within it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Is blasphemy funny? Sometimes...

I took that picture from this crazy blog that I have been visting named Monkeys For Helping. Go on over there and check it out!

Thanksgiving Karaoke Jam

Original Artwork By: Gabriel
Who are you calling a microphone hog?!?!?!?
I'll have you know I belted out renditions of Nickelback's - "How You Remind Me", Fuel's - "Hemorrhage", a breath taking duet of Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee" with Taryn and also performed a serenade of Enrique Iglesias' - "Hero" all that would have made the original artists cry...Probably not in a good way. Look out William Hung!
Season and Taryn sang so much that their voices took a hit, sounding like Selma and Patty Bouvier the next day. Keep practicing ladies and next time get off the couch and work it a little.
Gabriel stole the spotlight though when he sang Trapt's - "Headstrong"! He practically had to fight off hoards of screaming lady-fans! Gabriel you rocked the neigborhood!
We did have some shy people in the house though...We'll have to pass the microphone to Charla, Stephanie, Brandon, and Kevin next time. Karaoke is not a spectator sport.
All the food Season cooked up was delicious, that woman can follow a recipe like nobody's business!
Thanks to everyone for coming and sharing Thanksgiving with us.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

When I sit down today to my thanksgiving meal, I will be thankful for our soldiers and their families. We as a country have so much to be thankful for. Thanks to all who served and those that serve now.

I myself am also especially thankful for my family, health, home, friends, pets and countless other blessings.

Food, family and friends. It does not get much better than that.

I wish everybody a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

If I Did It...

Ever since I heard that O.J. filmed a pay-per-view comedy special titled "Juiced" that included a sketch where he attempts to sell his infamous White Ford Bronco at a used car lot, telling the salesman, "It was good for me. It helped me get away." I figured there was nothing this guy could do that would surprise me.

Boy, was I wrong...O.J., who claims he did NOT murder his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, has had a book written titled "If I Did It" about how the murders WOULD HAVE happened IF he had done it (never mind the question of his guilt or innocence) along with a two-part interview that was scheduled to air on Fox.

Denise Brown, sister of Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, lashed out at publisher Judith Regan of ReganBooks for "promoting the wrongdoing of criminals". In response Regan told The Associated Press "This is an historic case, and I consider this his confession..."

This isn't an "historic case", it's just an ongoing circus, and now Regan wants her thirty pieces of silver. The only possible rationalization for giving O.J. a podium for his story would be to explain his supposed innocence. Instead, Regan gave O.J. a megaphone to play games with the truth and to rub salt in the wound of the families he left behind when he killed those two people.

O.J. just wanted to sell his confession, since he has no money and no potential for legal repercussions over his admissions. This guy obviously feels no remorse, has no morals, and believes it's funny that he got away with murder.

Luckily under pressure and fierce criticism from the public even Rupert Murdoch, the media king with a famous taste for scandal, couldn't stand it anymore.

On Monday, Murdoch canceled the whole thing, less than a week after it was announced stating "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project". Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns both Fox Broadcasting and publisher HarperCollins also said "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

How on Earth did a project like this get so far? What lunatic with no moral compass thought the book was a good idea, let alone a television special?

If O.J. Simpson really wants to confess let him do it in a suicide note.

There's no need to make a mockery of the legal system, insult common sense, and drudge up old wounds in the process.

Hopefully O.J. will spare us his follow-up project called "What I Would Have Written In The Last Book If It Had Been Published"...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It...

Sometimes it's hard to keep my sanity while I work...

I do tech support for business accounts which means we usually get calls from people who are intelligent enough to have their own business, but tend to be not at all technically adept at using the equipment needed to keep the business going.

Well, I get this call from a computer repair shop having trouble processing a check transaction.

I asked him all the default questions about the connections to the equipment, the modem, etc. All of which this guy was very proficient at detailing for me. My confidence was high that his technical skills would help me complete the call quickly. I then reviewed the software he was using, which was a very simple setup and basically easy to configure. To be safe though I verified the settings and even modified a few for optimal performance on our end and a few on his. He was very good at following my directions and it seemed we were making progress. Had him try again and...nothing. He confirmed he still was not getting a correct response.

After almost twenty minutes of troubleshooting, I asked him to walk me through the step by step process he was using to initiate the transaction. This I hoped would point me to new direction to take.

This individual, who is in the business of selling and repairing computers, told me he was taking the check and holding it up to the monitor and then pressing the check button...

Perplexed by this process I asked him why he felt holding the check to the screen would allow him to process the transaction...

His reply is firmly etched in my mind. "Well, the Sales Representative who sold me the equipment told me it's got a multiscan monitor, so I figured it would capture the image clearly."

Needless to say, I instructed him in the proper use of his equipment, software, and the attached flatbed check scanner. I've resolved myself to ask better questions in the future and not take anyone’s technical expertise as a replacement for common sense.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Better Late Than Never...

I'd guess an overwhelming majority of people now use digital cameras over film photography, but I hadn't really noticed how spoiled I had gotten due to the convenience of using a digital camera versus film…

Having to get the film developed, not knowing if the pictures came out to your liking or even came out at all, scanning in the pictures one by one in order to share them on the internet and then having to use a photo editing program to get them “just right”…
Instead of just clicking away, instantly being able to preview the picture, being able to adjust the picture on the camera and then plugging in the USB cable and uploading them all at once to the computer. Technology is great! Can't wait for a new digital camera!
Anyway, here are a few pictures that I wanted to share of us in our Halloween costumes…

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Hussein Sentenced To Hang...

Saddam Hussein, who oversaw the murder of thousands of Iraqis during twenty-four years as their president, was convicted of committing crimes against humanity in the 1982 killings of one hundred forty-eight people in a Shiite Muslim town. Iraq's former leader was sentenced to die by hanging. Saddam refused to stand and face the court when the verdict was read, and had to be hauled to his feet by bailiffs.

As he, his half brother and another senior official in his regime were convicted and sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal, Saddam yelled out, "Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!" Later, his lawyer said the former dictator had called on Iraqis to reject sectarian violence and refrain from revenge against U.S. forces.

Saddam and his seven co-defendants were on trial for a wave of revenge killings carried out in the city of Dujail following a 1982 assassination attempt on the former dictator. Al-Maliki's Islamic Dawa party, then an underground opposition, has claimed responsibility for organizing the attempt on Saddam's life.

In the streets of Dujail, a Tigris River city of eighty-four thousand, people celebrated and burned pictures of their former tormentor as the verdict was read.

Saddam may not die by the rope soon. He has an automatic appeal to a nine-judge panel, which can take all the time it wants to review the case, and in the meantime Saddam will stand trial for the massacres of the Kurds during his reign. The appellate panel may choose to allow that entire trial before giving its verdict on the appeal, as Iraq would have to execute Saddam within thirty days of their decision if they uphold the verdict. The Kurds might want Saddam alive for the entirety of this next trial, although security concerns might convince them otherwise.

It's worth noting that Saddam would not ever have faced justice at all had the United States not acted to remove him from power. Kurds and Shi'ites would still wind up in mass graves, face the rape rooms at hospitals and police stations, they would still have their tongues cut out for speaking out against tyranny and face mutilations for any perceived rebelliousness. Instead, Uday and Qusay have gone onto significantly warmer climes than the Iraqi desert and Saddam will stretch a rope after having been tried in a much fairer court than Iraqis ever experienced under his rule.

The trial has been conducted in Iraq and by Iraqis. It's successful conclusion will be a key step in the establishment of the rule of law, for, not only does it exact justice from the dictator, but it shows ordinary people facing their former tormentor in court as equals. It shows the people that they can get justice within a democratic system.

That's justice, and no matter what you think of the war, the verdict is a triumph for humanity and the Iraqi people. A mass murderer has been brought to justice.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pizza For Breakfast???

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Apology Not Accepted...

John Kerry's first attempt at damage control to yesterday's "misinterpreted joke" was to come out in front of the cameras again and say "I apologize to no one"...

Perhaps his camp didn't think that worked out very well, so a written statement, which he is calling an "apology", was issued later:

As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop.

I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.

It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I don’t want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.

That doesn't sound like an apology to me.

Kerry's "botched joke" is offensive to me on several levels...

First - Kerry's tone was condescending to his immediate audience. He was addressing students at Pasadena City College, and he came across as a parent telling his kids to eat all their vegetables if they want to grow up to be big and strong. These aren't elementary school kids; they're young adults. They know the value of education, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

Second - Kerry's implication that military service is something "smart" people should avoid is downright elitist, and reminiscent of prevailing attitudes from the Vietnam era. We all know that Kerry served a four-month tour in Vietnam, but we also remember that he later threw away his medals, and defamed his fellow veterans comparing them to "Genghis Khan" when he testified before the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations in 1971. It was Kerry and his cohorts in Vietnam Veterans Against the War that helped to perpetuate negative stereotypes against the military in the 1970s.

Third - Kerry's "botched joke" was disrespectful to everyone who has ever served in the U.S. military. We are not a bunch of slack-jawed "Gomer Pyles" or "Forrest Gumps" who had no other option but to join the military, as many would have you believe. Today's all-volunteer force is much more educated than their predecessors, or even their contemporary civilian counterparts.

Kerry's actual remarks (as opposed to what he now wishes he had said), were highly insulting to everyone who has served in the military. His subsequent series of bizarre attacks against the President did nothing to alleviate the offense. His written non-apology of this afternoon is wholly inadequate, and only adds insult to injury: he regrets that his words were "misinterpreted."

Please don't insult us further, Senator. We know what you said. You may not have meant to say those precise words, but the meaning of what you did say was perfectly clear.

Apology not accepted.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Belittles U.S. Troops...

I have disliked John Kerry ever since he was ousted as a poseur by twenty of the twenty two officers he served with when he attempted to use his very short tour in Vietnam as a stepping stone to his run at the Presidency.

Kerry lost the faith of almost all veterans and military supporters, when he sat in Congress and lied shamefully about war crimes that were never committed. He betrayed everyone who has served in the military and rarely is there ever something he has said that has any credibility, but he perfectly seals the deal by showing the undeserved superiority he feels about the “poor wretches” who wear our uniform.

Let me guess John…you’ll say it’s a "misinterpreted” joke about the President, right?

Let's see... if you don't study and you're dumb you'll end up as what? The Leader of the Free World? No, that doesn't make sense does it. But wait, how could it be about George Bush when we know that Bush's grades at Yale were higher than yours?

I don’t want to contribute to petty things getting blown out of proportion before an election, but this isn't one of those things.

I believe this is Kerry’s true feelings about the men and women of our Armed Forces. Never mind the fact that the American military has a higher high school graduation rate than the civilian population. Kerry has had no problem slandering the troops upon his return from Vietnam. He had no problem slandering our current forces by claiming they were "harassing women and children" in Iraq, and it's no stretch to find that he finds them sub-par in the intelligence department now...

I wonder how troops that voted for him are feeling now...I hate when I stick up for someone only to have them stab me in the back. Then again, anyone in the military that voted for him knowing what he did to his brother's in arms all those years ago probably has some issues with critical thinking...