Monday, June 30, 2008

Paula For President?

One of my lady quasi-coworkers (and I'm using the word 'lady' very loosely) thinks she's real funny. She vandalized the sanctity of the cubicle and my Ron Paul for President 2008 bumper sticker in my cubicle with this nonsense. Her name is Paula. Very blasphemous. She may be falling into the purgatory of liberalism.

$5200 Investment

Investment? Or a cost? How would an accountant classify this? What would the GAO do? Probably include it as both. This one is costing my wallet $5200. Well, $2600. Insurance is paying for half. And I get to pay for it over 18 months, so it's not too bad. I hope my daughter appreciates all this pain I'm putting her through.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Fun

To keep my kids busy this summer, my wife has been coming up with some pretty cool ideas. Check out this plan for last Friday. She made colored cookie dough and told them to go at it and make some cool cookies.

June Fitness Goal! Update

So I started the month off at 174 pounds. I had actually gotten up to about 178 sometime before that. I weighed myself at the gym today and I weighed in at 166.8 pounds. That's 7.2 pounds that I've lost this month. Since my goal is 2.8 pounds away and I only have 2.5 days to get there, I need to strategize. I think for the remainder of the month, I will consume only warm water and oregano. Perhaps maybe I'll splurge and have some parsley for dessert.

And I will go to the gym for 2 hours per day. There is a step aerobics class on Monday at the gym. Not only does the class make me sweat a lot, I am surrounded by lots of eye candy. Some of my friends have criticized me for taking these classes. They say I look gay. Well, if being gay means being surrounded by a bunch of hot girls it tight shorts and tank tops doing jumping jacks, then sign me up!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Fun Side of Gun Control

I've been thinking about all the conservative and liberal rhetoric and gun control philosophies I could talk about in my blog after the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Washington D.C.'s gun ban is unconstitutional. But then I thought there's probably plenty of that on the web already. So I decided to write about some of the more humorous things I have seen or heard over my many years. Now, in fact, I don't even own a gun, nor would I. Guns scare me. BUT, I think every law-abiding person should be able to own a gun, especially if you live in Baltimore City. "Shoot back" should be every Baltimoron's philosophy.

I support gun control. Use both hands when firing.

The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well, liberal cities across America, e.g. Washington DC, Chicago, and San Francisco, banned guns in their cities. These laws were passed to help decrease crime. We all know how that goes.

Gun control only disarms the law-abiding citizenry. Criminals will continue to break the law and get guns.

There were many people outside of the Supreme Court yesterday holding their signs in support of the 2nd Amendment. Some read: "Legalize the Constitution" and "If guns kill people, pens misspell words". If I was going to be at the rally my sign would have read, "Guns don't kill people - ignorant drug addicted thugs who were raised in violent broken homes in liberal cities where they take away the rights of the people and who didn't go to school or have any respect for human decency kill people." However, I would have been carrying around a billboard with small lettering.

More people die from car accidents than guns. Should cars be illegal, too?

I remember when I first started working here at the accounting office of Three Phat Boyz'a Bail Bonds, there was a radical hard left wing liberal who was all about gun control. The more gun control the better. The best, of course, would have been an outright ban on guns just like in DC. That was the only way to rid her city of crime, she said. I loved getting her all fired up, so I'd say things like, "The only way to get rid of crime in the city is to kill all the criminals with my guns" and "sometimes for fun, I play billiards with my fully loaded AR-15 with the safety lock off instead of using a cue stick."

Gun control is being able to hit your target and not spill your beer.

Then she'd say something stupid like, "Well, if guns were freely available, criminals would go buy guns and everybody would be shooting everyone." "You mean like in Arlington, Virginia where guns are legal and you can carry? Oh, wait, they don't do that in Arlington."

I never saw an American flag set on fire at a gun show.

Only to be followed up with another stupid comment like, "Well, there's no reason that machine guns should be legal in the city." She's right, because I see thugs walking the streets in Baltimore City with their AK-47's slung over their shoulders ALL the time.

Criminals love gun control. It makes it easier to rob you.

Finally, the conversation that pretty much ended up in her not ever talking to me anymore, which was not a bad thing, went something like this: "I don't understand why you don't get it. Guns are a problem. They need to be illegal. They cause crime and killing and suffering. They are tearing families apart and we are all suffering the consequences." I replied, "You know, I think crack and heroin also cause a lot of crime, suffering, killing, and are tearing our families apart. Why don't we make those drugs illegal, too?" Then in a sarcastic, 'you're so stupid' condescending voice she said, "Those drugs ARE illegal!!!" A couple seconds pass. Then as her own words sank past that invisible liberal deflector shield around her ears that prevent her from hearing logical arguments, she got really pissed at me and walked away. Ha!!! Even one of my liberal nut friends started laughing hysterically because he knew I got her.

Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun.

Finally, on the CBS Evening News last night, they reported on the Supreme Court ruling, then had D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on as a special guest. He gave her the usual rhetoric that this ruling doesn't help him and his police force do their job to protect the people, blah-blah-blah. Then normally left-leaning Katie punched him with "I was surprised to hear from Wyatt Andrews that this ban has been in effect for 32 years. ... If that's the case, why has the District remained one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden cities in the country with this ban in effect?" Wow!!! Go Katie!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baltimore City on HBO

HBO has a fascination with Baltimore City. And it's not the kind of fascination that I have for Sheryl Crow. It's more like the one some guys have with fat girls on mopeds.

Everyone knows about The Wire. It's the highly accurate portrayal of Baltimore City as a cesspool of crime, violence, and political corruption. And though not on HBO, there was the series in the 1990s called Homicide: Life On The Streets, which was about Baltimore City being portrayed as a cesspool of crime, violence, and political corruption. On Tuesday night, HBO ran a documentary called Hard Times at Frederick Douglass High - A No Child Left Behind Report Card. It focused on the fact the Baltimore City is a cesspool of crime, violence, and political corruption, well not so much political corruption, but I had to keep the analogy going.

So the premise of the documentary is that 2 producers spent a year at the prison, I mean Frederick Douglass High School and filmed what they saw. We've read much about this in the news. But to see it first hand was just amazing. Kids roaming the halls during class. Boys beating the shit out of girls. This one boy in his wife-beater t-shirt was giving full fist blows to a group of 5 girls. Meanwhile, every class room that they showed was a circus. Directionless wondering. Sleeping. Fighting. Shouting. Arguing. Oh, yeah, and now and then you hear the teacher begging for quiet so that he can talk.

The teacher rabidly defends the students as the overwhelming majority of them come from broken homes. Most are raised by their grandmothers. Many of their parents, friends, siblings, or cousins were shot and/or killed. Nearly all of their family members are strung out on crack or heroine (pronounced hair-on).

They show students casually strolling up to the late table at 8:30, 9am, 10am, 11am. This is insane! The principal is constantly asking the kids, "What time does school start? You need to be here when the bell rings." This falls on deaf ears. These kids aren't coming here to go to school. They're mostly coming here to hang out in the halls with their friends and get free meals that they probably wouldn't get at home.

They interview some of the parents. And of course it's not the worthless piece of shit parents' fault that their kids are worthless pieces of shit. Scene after scene shows a parent saying they don't know what to do. "My kid don't want to go no to school. What do I do?" Hello!!!! They blame the teachers. They blame the principal and the school administrators. They blame overcrowding (let me tell you - those empty classrooms were not overcrowded). They blame lack of money (Baltimore City receives more money per student than any district in the state).

As the show goes on, they pour statistics on us. The freshman class has about 500 students. The senior class has about 200 students. That's a 60% dropout rate between 9th and 12th grade. Yet Martin O'Malley screamed and jumped up and down telling voters that he solved the education problem in B-More City and that graduation rates had climbed to 70-some percent. Unfortunately, most of the voters didn't realize that he was full of shit.

Another statistic that screamed at you was that 1 (read one, uno, ein, a single person) passed the HSA math test in the previous year. Out of the entire school. One!!!

An extremely amusing scene was Back To School Night. Nearly 100 parents/ guardians/ grandparents showed up. Out of 1500 students. When my school had back to school night you couldn't find a place to park. Parents were lined up at the door of each class waiting to talk to the teacher. At FDHS, some teachers say they saw between 0 and 4 parents that night. Now who needs to be there? The suburban kids getting A's or the city kids who came to class 5 times in the first 2 months of the school year and haven't passed a single test?

So what do we take away from this documentary? It's tough to say. Yes, the schools are failing. And we know that it starts with a lack of parental involvement. If your parents aren't involved with your education, then you will suck as a member of society. But you can't legislate social responsibility. The government has tried, but like most things the government does, it fails miserably. There needs to be a dramatic cultural change in the people that live in the city. Education is seen as being 'too white'. Children are not going to respect their education until their parents respect their education. The 'gangsta' mentality is getting people nowhere fast. Locking everyone up in prison does little to help those getting locked up, though it does tend to lower crime in those areas. I feel sorry for people in this situation. But then again, I moved far from Baltimore City to get away from this.

I highly recommend that you watch this documentary. It should be on HBO again and I know it is on HBO-OnDemand.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cop In The Hood - A Review

Last week I finished reading Cop In The Hood, My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District. The author, Peter Moskos, was on the Ron Smith Show discussing his book and his experiences and it sounded fascinating.

Moskos wanted to wrote his PhD dissertation on crime in the ghetto. He originally got permission from Baltimore City Police Commissioner Ed Norris to ride along and write his story. However, he left Baltimore City to work for Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich. The incoming police commissioner told him no deal, but he could join the police force as a police officer and write whatever he wants, but he had to be a real police officer. Moskos questioned why they would hire him knowing he'd quit after a year, but they said they would do it.

Moskos went through the police academy with a class of new-hires and learned everything that a police officer would learn. After graduating, he was dumped on the crime-infested streets of Baltimore into the Eastern Districts, one of the worst ghettos in the entire country.

The book depicts his transformation from a green cop who wants to make a difference into a smart cop who realizes that the best thing to do is just to minimize the violence and play the system.

As anyone who's lived in Baltimore knows, the city is one of the most violent cities in America. From over 300 murders per year and thousands of shootings under the Schmoke administration, murders limped down into the high 200's during the O'Malley administration. However, the city remained a violent place that chased out nearly all of the white people and most of the educated hard-working blacks. Block after block was left with abandoned buildings, crack whores, and people so destitute that they turn to drugs and crime as a way to get through the days.

On Chapter 6, page 129 Moskos points out the ridiculousness and barely non-existence of the justice system.

Baltimore City prosecutors declined to file charges in about 15% of all arrests and immediately reduced the charges in another 10 percent of cases. Thirty percent of minor charges are dropped. Prosecutors declined to prosecute 75 percent of the 72,200 cases brought in the city's District Court. In contract, prosecutors in surrounding Baltimore County declined to prosecute 44% of their 20,500 cases.

So you want to know where most of the criminals are in Baltimore City? Roaming the streets. And 72,200 cases in one year??? That's nearly 300 cases per business day! This is one reason that Moskos points out that police often do not arrest people that are violating the law - mostly on drug possession and distribution. These are for the most part victimless crimes. The police just try to move these people along, send them home and chase them off of the corner for the night.

In Chapter 7, Moskos is arguing the possibility of legalizing drugs - removing the criminal element from the trade. He compares it to prohibition during the 1920's. During Prohibition, President Warren Harding (who was near the top of my worst Presidents ever list), said that "In another generation, I believe liquor will have a disappeared, not merely from our politics, but from our memories." Anti-Prohibitionist New Jersey Governor Edward Edwards (who must have hated his mother for naming him that), proclaimed, "I intend to keep New Jersey as wet as the Atlantic Ocean."

Finally, on page 170 of Chapter 7, Moskos points out that the homicide rate spiked during Prohibition. After the 21st Amendment was passed (the repeal of the 19th Amendment - Prohibition), crime dropped precipitously. It was not "until 1974, after Richard Nixon declared a new "war on drugs" did the homicide rate top the 1933 record." So in these 2 instances, a war on a substance produced more crime.

Moskos gives a good argument for dealing with the crime in Baltimore City, but it's difficult to say if it would work. The culture of the ghetto may be so entrenched that they know of no other way to live other than to have turf wars and shoot each other. There is no love in the ghetto. And when your mayor is under investigation for criminal behavior, how can you honestly attack people for the way they live when their leaders are criminals, too?

I was fascinated with this book and couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Who Are The Best Patients?

Five surgeons from big cities are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon, from New York , says, 'I like to see Accountants onmy operating table; because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered.'

The second surgeon, from Chicago , responds, 'Yeah, but you should try Electricians! Everything inside them is color coded.'

The third surgeon, from Dallas , says, 'No, I really think Librarians are the best. Everything inside them is in alphabetical order.'

The fourth surgeon, from Los Angeles , chimes in, 'Y know, I like construction workers. Those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over.'

But the fifth surgeon, from Washington , DC , shut them all up when he observed, 'You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine; and the head and the ass are interchangeable.'

Thursday, June 19, 2008

May We Help You?

I forgot to mention that after the Oriole game, I told my son that if he stayed awake I would take him to get some ice cream. I said that we would go to Twin Kiss, the local mom-n-pop ice cream shop in Eldersburg. One of the guys with us called them and there was no answer. He then called Dairy Queen and they said they were closing at 11pm and we didn't have enough time to get there. I made the call to go to A/W, which is 1/2 of the A&W/KFC that we visited on Father's Day.

Upon pulling up in the drive-thru, here is the dialog that took place:

Girl: Hi, welcome to A&W/KFC. Can I help you?
Me: Yes, do you have any chicken?
Girl: Excuse me?
Me: Do - you - have - any - chicken?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Do you have extra crispy?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Do you have original recipe?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Do you have white meat?
Girl: Yes.
Me: Okay, I'll take 3 root beer floats, please.
Girl: Why did you ask me all those questions about chicken if you were just going to order dessert?
Me: Just checking up on you.

Play Ball!

My boss gave me 2 tickets to the Orioles game for last night. He also gave 2 tickets to the guy sitting next to me. Ironically, both sets of tickets were next to each other. AND we all live in Eldersburg, so we all went together. I brought my son. He brought his boyfriend.

Both of us brought our cameras. I had my Nikon D40x, which took nice pictures of the field. He, however, had his Nikon D80, which allowed him to take pictures of the players. Oh, and girls. So today's post is pictures and comments.

First, here is the beginning.

And here is the end.

I felt sorry for this girl. Nice looking girl. Probably in her early 20's. She was drinking a beer. But (I said butt) she showed up by herself and stayed by herself the entire game. No one talked to her. She never uncrossed her legs. She just watched the game. I felt so bad that I wanted to have her come over and sit on my lap and let me give her a hug.

Here's the broadcast booth. That's Gary Thorne with the light hair and the smile on his face. That dark haired guy is Jim Palmer. I suspect that he's thinking of something to say about himself.

The Orioles hitting into a double-play.

Some guy from the Astro's daring the umpire to throw him out of the game. Other than the game winning single, I think this got the most cheers during the game.

I wish I was the Orioles Bird.

These crazy guys were sitting in our row. They look like a couple of lunatics. Is that a Winnipeg Jets hat? Who the hell are they?

This is the game-winning single by Kevin Millar.

Adam Jones scoring the game winning run.

Here's Kevin Millar getting interviewed by Amber Theo-Harris of Fox 45 News. I wish I was Kevin Millar. "Are you getting ready to pat my bum? May I pat your bum, Ms. Harris? Oh, no!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On this day...

I was having trouble coming up with something to write about today. Tim Russert died, but he was fat. Sheila Dixon had her shit confiscated, but she "didn't do nothing". Martin O'Malley is in San Diego not having sex with a TV reporter. Mike Miller said he definitely isn't maybe not going to retire or not. Michael Busch is hanging out in his back office munching on a package of Oreos wondering how he got so much hair on his head.

So out of curiosity, I looked up This Day In History on Wikipedia. So on June 18th, way back in 1815, Napoleon was defeated by Gebhard von Blucher of Prussia and the Duke of Wellington of England in the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium. 159 years later, ABBA released the song of the same name. And now I feel like I couldn't escape if I wanted to.

In 618, Emporer Gaozu of Tang initiated 3 centuries of rule over China. That dynasty abruptly ended in 922 when they were simultaneously attacked and defeated by Emporer Kool-Aide and the Hawaiian Punch.

In 1858 Charles Darwin received a manuscript on evolution by Alfred Russell Wallace, prompting Darwin to publish his works on the theory of evolution. Soon after, Wallace and several colleagues were chased by a lion. Wallace, being the slowest one, was attacked and eaten by the lion.

In 1940, Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces, made a plee to the people of France, while sitting in a luxurious palace in England, to support the Resistance. de Gaulle later surrendered to 4 children when they threw water balloons at him.

In 2008, hundreds of houses flooded in Iowa when the river rose because of heavy rain. Iowans then demand that the government rebuild their riverside and flood plain houses.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pat Jessamy Hates White Victims

This may not be the case, but her office is sure giving this impression. In an recent interview, Margaret Burns, a spokeswoman for Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, was trying to explain why her office decided to plea bargain with the criminals and basically let the murdering bastards go lightly. She stated that:

"The truth of the matter is, Zach's injury was on one side of this face, and he looked like a sleeping baby when he arrived" at the hospital. "The injuries were not consistent with this horrible pummeling. ... We know he was kicked, he fell and hit his head, he fell between two cars. He probably injured something in the fall or he had a pre-existing condition. There was no evidence of the vicious beating, no evidence of stomping."

This is not coming from the public defender. This is coming from the prosecution! Sadly, Anna Sowers' comments about her first encounter with Zach after the beating:

"He did not look like a sleeping baby," she said. "I saw him in the hospital. He looked like a used pinata. His eyes were the size of golf balls. His head the size of a basketball. He was wrapped in bandages soaked in blood. I didn't even recognize him."

I guess this is why they call it the "Criminal" Justice System and not the Victims Justice System. There is no justice for victims. In Patricia Jessamy's eyes, it appears that justice is when criminals get out of jail early. If I ever get elected to a position of prominence, the 2 tallest buildings in Baltimore City will be Central Booking and the Baltimore City SuperMax Prison. Lock all the funkin' bastages up and don't let them out. There won't be much crime on the street if criminals are in prison. And if 85% of the city is locked up - so be it!!!

It's time for the current gang of incompetent city leaders to go. It is obvious that they have no intention of doing the "right" thing to help reduce crime. Patricia Jessamy has been a barrier to prosecuting criminals for years. And Sheila Dixon's answer to the recent spike in shootings in the city? "We need tougher laws." Tougher laws???? WTF is that supposed to mean? "Yo, Dogg. Don't be shootin' that bitch. There's a tough law against that!" "Homie! We better get off the drugs! Da' Mayor has some new tough laws against drugs. I don't want to get in trouble!"

Tougher laws are BS rhetoric coming from an incompetent mayor who has no freakin' clue about what to do about the thousands of shootings that occur on a yearly basis in Baltimore City. You have to be an absolute fool to live in Baltimore. Look at Martin O'Malley. Even he was smart enough to leave the city!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Chicken? You want chicken???

Father's Day is that special day where fathers get to do whatever their wives tell them they want to do. And this year was no different. After completing my assigned yard work tasks, I did get some time to watch TV. Finally in the evening my wife asks me what I want to do for dinner. My answer is usually, "Eat". I suggested Kentucky Fried Chicken in Eldersburg, or KFC as they want to be called, or did they go back to Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Anyway, I had 2 coupons - 3 piece meal for $3.99, which includes 2 sides, a biscuit, 2 breasts and a wing. My other coupon was for 3 pieces of dark meat - 2 thighs and a drum, 2 biscuits, and 2 sides, for $4.99. Why were the dark pieces more than the white? I'm not sure. I didn't think about that until today. And I also didn't think about the total until today. Add in a $3.99 kids meal for my son and my total came to $17. (4+5+4=17???) Perhaps Martin O'Malley signed a 23.5% fat tax on fast food. If so, I'm sure the Maryland General Assembly blindly thought it was a great idea.

So I requested that the white meat be crispy and the dark meat be original recipe. (Now say this as a pimply-face skinny teenager with a horrible haircut, an earring , and his voice crackling as it changes because he's a little late getting to puberty) "We're all out of breasts." "Out or do not have any ready?" "they're cooking on the fryer. They'll be about 14 more minutes. The previous shift didn't leave us any." "I'll wait the 14 minutes." "Okay. And we're out of original recipe. " "Okay, I'll take the crispy."

Next customer. "I'd like a bucket of 1o pieces." "We don't have buckets." "Well, what do the 10 pieces come in?" "It's in a box. We're out of buckets." "Okay, whatever. And I'd like original recipe." "Okay. It'll be a few minutes. They're still cooking. The previous shift didn't leave us any." Note my increased interest in this conversation. He just told me they didn't have any original recipe chicken.

I jump over the counter, grab the kid's shirt with my fist and say, "Why does she get original recipe, but you make my take crispy?!!!!" "Oh, you want original? It'll be a couple minutes!" "Well, if I'm waiting 14 minutes for the breast meat, don't you think I'll wait 2 minutes for original? And can you not put everything together until the breasts are done? Otherwise the biscuits and mashed potatoes will be cold." "Okay, sir."

So finally the chicken is ready. The 18 year old store manager hands me my order and gives me a free 1800 calorie chocolate chip cake for the inconvenience. (And it's really 1800 calories. Look it up!) Fortunately the previous shift didn't hide all the cakes.

So having been to KFC before, I know that you check your order first before you leave. Guess what? It's ALL original recipe chicken. I return to the counter to state my complaint and I can hear their frustration with me under their breath. "Stupid ass customers keep changing their minds. Customers are so dumb. Hey, we're out of chicken. What should we do???"

Chicken? You want chicken? From a chicken restaurant?

Project 10 Pounds - day 16

I started off the month at 174 pounds. Perhaps a little more. On Saturday I ran a 5K here at work. My time was not very good. It was 29:07, which is about 3 minutes slower than my best time. However, in my defense, it was 120ยบ with 200% humidity. It felt like we were running in a hot tub. Thirty minutes after the race ended I was still sweating. And no hot girls were coming up to hit on me. How disappointing! I take that back. Kimmie and Tina talked to me.

Yesterday, (Father's Day), I trimmed bushes outside for 3 hours. I even trimmed my lazy neighbor's bushes. They were encroaching onto my yard. I went and knocked on his door first just to let him know what I was doing. Then I informed him that he had some feral trees growing in his garden in the corner (as if he knew what that meant). I offered to dig them up since I would be down there trimming the bushes back. He told me that I really didn't have to do that. I told him that I really didn't mind. He finally agreed and said that he wished that he could help, but he had a lot of school work to do. This is coming from the guy who has been living in the house for 3 years and hasn't trimmed a single bush in his entire yard.

So Sunday was hotter than I thought it was. I was wiping my brow about every 5 seconds. My shirt was soaking wet. My arms and legs were covered in cuts and dirt. Some of the bushes that I cut back in his yard were full of old bird nests and what appeared to be an old mouse nest. Plenty of thistle. I have the scratches all over my arms and legs to prove it. Finally, I took my trimmers and lawnmower and trimmed back the thorn bushes and willow branches along the path behind my house. You can now ride your bicycle behind my house without smashing your head into low hanging vegetation.

After I took a shower and removed the grime from my body, I weighed myself. I was under 167 pounds - 166.8 to be exact. My goal for June is to get to 164. I am TOTALLY within reach of my goal. However, after 3 Gatorade's to rehydrate myself, I know that I am retaining some water. And those 2 pieces of Kentucky Fried Chicken didn't help. I'll post about that experience next. But with 2 weeks to go, I see no reason why I cannot reach my goal, unless I totally take a crap on myself and have a Dorito breakdown.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

¿Reciclaje? ¿Que reciclaje?

Translated, I think this says, "Recycling? What recycling?"

This morning as I came downstairs to eat breakfast, I saw the trash truck pull up. For some reason I decided to watch them. I subscribe to Area Refuse, a local waste disposal company. Trash day is Thursday. First the trash truck comes, then later in the day the recycling truck comes. As expected they dumped my trash and then hurled my trashcans onto my driveway towards my Honda rather than placing them down gently. It's amazing how high a 50 gallon trash can will bounce when hurled by an illegal alien in a suburban neighborhood. And it's no wonder all of my trash cans are cracked. But what do you expect for 20 pesos an hour?

What happened next is really what disturbed me. I spend a lot of time crushing cans and milk jugs, sorting papers, cutting down cardboard boxes and neatly placing them in the paper bags. I place them in the Area Refuse-provided green recycling bin. What does Jose' do? He grabs my recycling bin and dumps the shit in the garbage truck. What the hell are you doing?!!!!!

I am very non-confrontational. And I figured these guys don't live in my neighborhood. And they wouldn't really give a shit what I had to say. I'll just call and report the incident to the company. I am, however, very passive aggressive. Next week I'm filling the trash can kitchen trash bags soaked in water, fill the can with cinder blocks, dead animals, exposed poopy diapers, and open bags of cat litter. "You want to fuck with me? I'm Tony Montana! You fuck with me, you fuckin' with the best!"

When Lightning Strikes

Summer came early this year. We seemed to have skipped spring. Over the past several days, the temperature has consistently been above 90 and for several days hit 100. And with hot days and humid weather we get thunderstorms. Supercells. When you look on, you see these concentrated masses the size of Howard County sprinting across the state. With these cells you get heavy rain, hail, lightning, and an occasional tornado.

On Tuesday evening, we had some vicious lighting in our area. I think the storm more or less went around both sides of Eldersburg. I saw it to the north and I saw it to the south, but nothing over top of us. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get some lightning photos. And being that one of my friends let me borrow his kit lens until I decide what I'm doing about replacing my broken lens, I could once again use my Nikon D40.

I was taking rapid fire photos hoping to catch that quick strike and was getting nothing. I took nearly 100 straight photos of my neighbors' houses and got nothing. Finally I decided to ask God for some lightning. I got nothing. Okay. I haven't been to Church in 2 weeks.

Finally, I started asking him questions. I thought if I prompted him into a dialog, he'd give me some response.

God, if Martin O'Malley is the worst Governor of Maryland during my lifetime, give me one strike.

That was kind of a weak strike. I'll have to assume that it was a pretty close tie between him and that guy from New York, Parris Glendening, who divorced his wife and married a girl who was his assistant and only a couple years older than his son.

Next question - God, if Martin O'Malley should resign from office because of his misleading and condescending rhetoric, give me another strike.

Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about! I thought it was just bothering me. But apparently his in-your-face lies aren't settling too well with the heavens.

God, if Bob Ehrlich should be Governor again, let's see another strike.

Now that was a powerful strike. I think he means it. Governor Bob, you heard it here. God wants you run for office again. By divine Providence, Bob Ehrlich needs to run for office and remove the devil's henchman from office.

So it works! God does talk to us. And, as you can see, God is very smart. And he doesn't care for Martin O'Malley that much. But then again, who does?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ron Paul - The Revolution

I just finished reading Ron Paul's latest book, The Revolution. What an eye-opening book this is. If anyone thinks that our country is getting all screwed up, then you need to read this book.

We are now in our 7th year of our war on terror, a war which has no end. How do you know when the war is won? Who are we fighting? It's not like World War II when we fought Germany and Japan and they surrendered after we blasted them into submission. With the war on terror we are fighting in ideology, not a country. And the ideology is only reinforced by the fact that we are there.

I remember reading a book about the Civil War where a Confederate prisoner was asked why he was fighting against the North. His answer was, "Because ya'll's down here." For no other reason than the fact that the Union was in the South was his motivation to fight against us. I firmly believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have fallen into this situation.

And Dr. Paul points out the flaws of our Presidential candidates. Remember the general Congressional election 2 years ago in which the Democrats swept many Republicans out of office? Their platform was "We are against the war!" How are they doing now? They are supporting the war. If they were really against it, we'd be working towards ending it. And Hillary and Obama have platformed for change, but not much is being said about ending the war. Why is that? Because they also have no intention of ending the war.

And how about the price of oil and gas? Ain't it great? I just filled up the tank on my gas-guzzling minivan and it cost $92. Gas guzzling minivan? What's that? Yes, minivans get the same gas mileage as most mid-sized SUV's. Why is that? Because most minivans are on the same chassis, engine, and transmission platform as their media-bashed cousins. But why are minivan owners not attacked? Because we'd be attacking the career-oriented soccer moms who throw their kids into institutional daycares where college drop-outs raise their kids for 45 hours a week and we can't do that.

So why has gas climbed so fast? Dr. Ron Paul doesn't come out and say it, but I am able to deduce it and I've heard it discussed many times before on the Ron Smith Show. The United States monetary policy is failing. We are spending way too much money. And how does the government feed this spending habit? They certainly aren't raising taxes (thank God). Instead, they are printing more money and borrowing from the Chinese. It is estimated that the United States borrows over $2 BILLION per day to fund our prosperity. So we are basically borrowing money to pay the interest on money that we have borrowed. If corporations do this they go bankrupt. Instead, the government just prints more money.

And as everyone should remember from Econ 101, when the money supply increases, prices increase. Where is most of the oil located? Outside of the United States. If our dollar is worth less, then it will require more dollars to purchase the same units of product in another country. Therefore, oil, a foreign product for the most part, will cost more as the dollar continues to deflate. Hmmm....

The Federal Reserve, the Fed as it is known for short, is the secretive quasi-government agency that controls the money supply. It is organized and run by the largest banks in the country. And they have no public audit process. How do we know what they are doing and why they are doing what they are doing? We don't. We do know that to curb inflation, the Fed sells bonds to the banks, thus absorbing some of the money in the system. Less money in the system, the less things will cost because money is scarce. If the Fed wants to stimulate spending, then it buys bonds from the banks, thus injecting money into the system. More money in the system, the more money banks can lend to customers, the lower interest rates become, the more money people will spend. However, more money equals more inflation. We cannot get around that.

To quote Ron Paul's book, "Where does the Fed get the money to buy the bonds? It creates it out of thin air, simply writing checks on itself and giving them to banks. If that sounds fishy, then you understand it just fine."

I could go on and on about these topics. This book has me all fired up. It is short - it's only 167 pages long. I highly encourage you to read this.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Project 10 Pounds

So today is the 7th day of my goal for June - to lose 10 pounds. Last Monday I weighed 174. Yesterday morning I weighed 169.8. I have been eating tons of fruits and vegetables - enough to cause a slight bump in the food price index. I have been avoiding junk food, much to my chagrin of my palate.

I have eaten a couple pieces of Wockenfuss peanut butter cups, but have avoided the dreaded cookies, Doritos, and ice cream. I have not had any soda in 2 weeks and had no alcohol last week. I have been snacking on grapes, cherries, carrots, nectarines, blueberries, and strawberries. I did, however, learn today that a banana has about 125 calories, mostly from sugar. But I would have to think that's healthier than 125 calories from Ho-Ho's.

And all this "healthy" eating has not come without consequence. I'm always hungry and my grumpiness index has conversely increased. I have lost 4 pounds, but I'm sure I've contributed 20 pounds of carbon monoxide gas to the atmosphere. "Can you go in the other room if you need to do that?" is the common phrase heard around my house. My co-workers haven't said anything, but I'm sure there aware of rumblings.

Top 10 List

I revamped my blog a bit. Instead of showing a Last 10 Good Movies, Last 10 Old Movies, and Last 10 Bad movies lists, I consolidated them into a Last 10 Movies list. I also added a Top 10 List. This will be a fun list. My first Top 10 List is the 10 Worst Presidents Ever. Feel free to comment, though if you disagree, then your opinion is wrong. But like any good Constitutionalist, I'll certainly let you express your opinion and, unlike the Chinese, I won't have you arrested and put in jail for 20 years for expressing your dissenting opinion.

Softball or Walkball?

On Saturday my daughter played what could be her last softball game of the year. We've had several rain-out's, so I'm not sure if we will be making up these games or not.

Saturday was a bit warm. The temperature at 10:30 am was about 94 degrees. Daytime high was expected to be near 100 with a heat index of 104, but factor in the windchill, and maybe it's back to 100??? (Why does windchill only factor into the winter weather?)

Our umpire for the game appeared to be a young girl that just finished the 7th grade. How we end up with umpires that a 2 years older than the young girls I coach is a bit perplexing. Nonetheless, we were in the field first. And we knew it was going to be a long day when the first 10 strikes were all called balls. Apparently her strike zone was the size of a golf ball. And the location of that golf ball was up to her discretion. It wasn't necessarily over the plate or between shoulder and knees. Sometimes it was about shin-high.

After 13 walks in the inning, the other team had expended their lineup, so by league rules their at-bat ends. It's our turn. Now the difference between our team and the opposing team is that we came there to play softball, not walkball. Our girls got up and were swinging at strikes (by what most umpires would call strikes). The opposing team had some decent fielders, so we would get through 5-6 hitters and they would get their 3 outs.

Back on the field. This time, I hear their coach. "Don't swing unless you know it's a strike." And they listened to their coach. Those players on his team didn't swing at a pitch. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. Girl - it's 100 degrees out here and you're calling every pitch a ball?!!! Don't you want to get out of this oppressive heat? Call some damn strikes!!! And to make matters worse, anytime one of those girls got a walk (because the coach told her not to swing) he would cheer as if she just had a great hit. "Yeah!!!! Way to go!!''

"Yeah, way to go"???? She got walked! What kind of accomplishment is that?

So I'm taking this umpire to Vegas. What are the odds that there could be 12 walks per inning and no strikes? If she can beat those odds, then she's a sandbagger for Texas Hold-em. Here's a little hint to those young people aspiring umpires - when you are umping little league, make the strike zone bigger. It makes the game go by a lot faster and it makes it a lot more exciting. If you call a lot of balls, then jackass coaches like the one we played will tell their players not to swing at anything.

So the final score was 27-6. I think they had 50 walks total. And I'm not exaggerating. And to make matters worse, since we were the home team, we bat last, right? No. After the top of the 5th inning, the other coach yells, "Okay, line 'em up." What? I ask the umpire what's going on. She says the game is over. "Hello - we're the home team. We get the last at-bat." Confusion sets in. The umpire is struggling to come up with an answer. At this point she yells out, "Ball 4!" Then the JA coach chimes in, "Guys, our girls are hot and not feeling well. Let's just call it a game."

Not feeling well. Awe!!!! Too many walks made your girls tired? Image how tired they'd be if they swung the bat and had to run to first base. Ugh.

So on the bright side of the story, my daughter got 2 at-bats and connected with the ball twice. One time grounding out to first (but it was a good hit) and getting on base a second time with a ground ball to short, but but it was a fielder's choice - the shortstop forced out the runner going to third.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Senator Drugs On Currie?

Oops. That should have been Senator Currie on drugs. Last week Prince George's County State Senator Ulysses Currie was served a search warrant by the FBI. They removed many items from his District Heights home and also from the his office at Shopper's Food Warehouse.

Yesterday, a report obtained by the Washington Post revealed that some of the items seized included marijuana and drug packing materials. Great. Currie, who most thought that he was the eminent successor as the State Senate President back when Mike Miller pretended he was retiring, is now looking like a donkey. He will probably still get the nomination even if he is in jail. Don't let criminal activity get in the way of political nominations!

When asked about the marijuana, we replied that he didn't know nothing about it. If you went to Baltimore City Public Schools, then it's end of story. However, we suburbanites know that a double-negative is a positive, so Senator Currie clearly knows all about the marijuana in his house.

I'll be interested in how he gets out of this. I know he will, and without a scratch. Perhaps Martin O'Malley will pardon him. I did some researching and it seems that Martin O'Malley has never denied smoking the roach with Senator Currie. I'd like to hear his side of the story.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Red Wings are Champs!

In case you weren't watching the NHL playoffs on NBC (why wouldn't you be watching them?), you saw the Detroit Red Wings defeat Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins last night at The Igloo.

In a psychotic ending to game 5, Pittsburgh was able to notch a game-tying goal with 34 seconds left in regulation. The game went into triple overtime (that's an NHL requirement - all overtime games during the playoffs must go to triple overtime) and Pittsburgh ending up winning, forcing game 6 in Pittsburgh. Too bad. That guy with the white gloves was already shining the cup and had it on the stand.

No matter. Last night at The Igloo, Detroit jumped to an early lead. Sidney Crosby got board checked and got a boo-boo, requiring him to go sit on the bench and relax for a while. With Detroit up 2-0, Pittsburgh got a goal and the crowd woke up from their slumber.

Marc Andre Fluery quickly followed up with a goal by his butt into his own net (thanks, Chris) to allow Detroit to take a 3-1 lead. Pittsburgh rallied back and got another goal to make it 3-2.

With 5 seconds left, Pittsburgh got the puck in front of the net and Hossa skimmed it over Osgood and it crept inches from the line into nowhere as time expired. Everyone stood around in confusion for a few seconds before Detroit goalie Chris Osgood jumped up screaming, "Martin O'Malley sucks and we just won the Stanley Cup!!!"

I'm glad I was able to stay awake and see the whole game. However, it would have been more exciting to see the Red Wings skate around with the cup on their own ice. How exciting is it to have a bunch of grumpy-ass fans booing while you're hoisting the ultimate trophy in the air???

Now that hockey season is over, ESPN can dedicate an extra 5 seconds to the NBA. I'm sure they are relieved. Because they don't get to talk about the NBA enough. Everyone cares about Kobe Bryant winning. If you don't, well then you're just stupid. ESPN knows what you like more than you do. Boo-yah. "Here are the top 10 slam dunks of the night! Boo-yah!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

O'Malley Endorses Winner

Martin O'Malley, making an unprecedented move, has announced that he has endorsed the winner of the Democratic primary elections - Barrack Hussein Obama. Not only will O'Malley endorse Obama, but so will left-wing Democrat extremists Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman John Sarbaines.

Way to go guys. Endorse the winner. This coming after you had previously endorsed the loser.

Last week I went to Vegas and told the broker that I wanted to bet on Kansas beating Memphis in the NCAA basketball championship. He told me that Kansas already won. I said, "I know." He looked at me like I was nuts. Then I told him I was a politician. Now it made sense. He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

So are O'Malley's Vice Presidential aspirations over? I think it's safe to say that I had a better chance of taking Sheryl Crow home with me after the concert last week - and that didn't happen. Perhaps if we are lucky, O'Malley will get appointed as Junior Assistant Deputy Director to the Protective Services Subcommittee to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That move would help move him into oblivion. But I don't think we'll get that lucky.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Earth Day Project

Thank goodness for slobs and teenagers (one and the same???). If it weren't for them, my daughter and her friend would not have been able to do their Earth Day project last month.

Here's what they collected just walking around the neighborhood. It's obvious that Martin O'Malley's environment agenda is an absolute failure. We didn't have this problem before he was elected. Now there is trash everyone. We need to elect another Republican so that we can start moving the state forward again.

Orioles Ejected for Cheering

This article was featured in the Baltimore Examiner on May 23rd and has me steaming ever since. A friend of mine went to the game on Satuday and the Orioles are playing the Red Sox again. He said that the "Let's Go O's!" cheer was entired drowned out by the "Let's Go Red Sox!" cheer.

The jist of the article is that 17 Orioles fans were ejected from the game because they were cheering too loudly. Apparantly the section was loaded with Red Sox fans (no surprise there) and they complained that the Orioles fans were being too loud. At an Orioles game. In Oriole Park. In Baltimore. My first reponse is, "WTF?!!!" with all the verbiage spelled out. It's bad enough that the Red Sox have a home game in Baltimore. But this?

It's one thing for the Red Sox fans to complain. That I can understand. Everyone knows that Bostonians are an obnoxious bunch of whining pussies. It's the fact that the Orioles' ushers made the ORIOLES fans leave. When did it become a crime to cheer for your team? Apparently when you play Boston. I'm sure the same rule will be applied when we play New York.

So here's my advice to people that may attend an Orioles' game in the future (though I'm not sure why you would want to). No more cheering for the Orioles. Attend a game at your own discretion. Do not wear team colors. That will make you stand out in the crowd. If you cheer, make sure it is for the opposing team. If you hear obnoxious rude Bostonians and New Yulkers taunting our team, quietly leave your seat and make no sudden movements that will draw the attention of the Yankee and Red Sox-supporting ushers.

Finally, I did hear that there is some discussion going on about renaming the stadium. The proposal is "Yankees Red Sox & Oriole Park at Camden Yards". Peter Angelos has yet to reject that this proposal is being discussed.

June Fitness Goal!

After doing a quasi-Atkins diet at my sister's house yesterday, I decided it's time to schluff off some pounds. We celebrated my father's birthday yesterday and I ate 2 Polish Kielbasas, a cheeseburger, and a barbecued pork rib. Hmmmm...good. However, this morning the scale showed that I now weigh 174 pounds.

My doctor says I should weigh about 125. Yeah, whatever. At my peak physical fitness of my life, I weighed 150. My fat percentage was about 9%. And he's telling me that I'm 50 pounds overweight? In fact, the chart says that I'm obese. Either our perception of obese has changed or there's something wrong with their chart. People that workout a lot will weigh more than people that don't workout. Muscle weighs more than fat. And Martin O'Malley's budget is full of fat, so my muscles weigh more than O'Malley's budget. But I digress.

So my goal for the month of June is to lose 10 pounds. I want to get back to 164. We are heading to the beach in early July, so this will be my incentive. Otherwise, all the hot 22 year old's won't be checking me out. Well, it may be hard to check me out with the 3 kids and a wife with me, but I'll still be checking them out.

My plan includes eating more carrots. I'm on the 10 carrots a day diet. Plus I plan to not drink any soda - regular or diet. I know that soda is not good for you - sort of like O'Malley's taxes aren't good for anyone. Additionally. I also plan to pummel my cubemate for 30 seconds each day. Not only will this reduce stress, but this will give me about a 20 calorie burn. And no Doritos or ice cream before I go to bed. This will be the most difficult part of the plan. I have kept Frito Lay in business for the past 10 years. And whatever happened to Black Pepper Jack Doritos? Luv 'em!!!! Bring them back!!!

And going back to the Kielbasa that I had at my sister's, I'm reminded of one of my favorite jokes. Sorry if you are offended. Actually - no I'm not. It's just a joke.

So this guy walks into the store and heads to the counter in the back. He says to the man behind the counter, "Sir, I would like to purchase a pound of Kielbasa."
"A pound of Kielbasa?"
"Yes, sir!"
"You must be Polish."
"I am. But how would you know that?"
"This is a hardware store."
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