Saturday, September 29, 2007
This is a great country, and what I am about to say takes nothing away from that. I love her with all my heart. It is why I'm writing this in the first place.
Six hundred eighty billion dollars. 680,000,000,000.00. Two-thirds of a TRILLION dollars.
That's a running total, including projected budget for 2008, of what we have spent in Iraq. A country which was attacked preemptively because we thought maybe they were building a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
We thought. Maybe.
We had satellite photos of something that might be the weapons. We had hearsay, we had conjecture. We had "intelligence."
So we attacked a sovereign nation, dethroned a brutal dictator, and made a mess that won't be cleaned up anytime soon.
Why? Since when have we become a nation of preemptive attacks? It's never been our M-O. Did 9/11 really change our approach that much? If so, the terrorists have already won.
Further, we decided that, since the hijackers on 9/11 operated within our country, trained and planned their attack, moved about freely, undetected, that we needed to be able to tap the telephones and intercept emails, without a warrant, of citizens who we think are conducting themselves in a suspicious manner.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing to hide, read my email all you want. (you might want to avoid the stuff from my friend Ada) But gosh, doesn't this all seem less free to you? Don't you have a problem with any of this?
"They hate us for our freedom." That's insulting, simplistic bullshit... but apparently someone believes it, because the current administration is slowly removing the reason for the hatred.
And now, the sabres are rattling all over again, as congress approved a bill that asks the administration to use "all means" to contain Iran's influence on Iraq.
Iran has 65 MILLION people.
America undoubtedly has the most advanced, skilled and technologically superior military in the world. I am proud of our soldiers and their skill and dedication. God have mercy on the country that ever tries to take us on. The problem is, the "war" on terror can't be fought with military might. We're going into a knife fight armed with a tank.
The president of Iran was invited to speak at Columbia University. Why? I can't imagine giving this guy a pulpit, it seems silly to me. But why do we fear him? Isn't freedom of speech what we're all about? Give the man some rope... he'll hang himself. But instead, congress spent its valuable time hand-wringing over it, instead of doing the work of the people.
What else has congress done recently? Passed a resolution condemning moveon.org for the "General Betray Us" ad in the NY Times... and they are now trying to pass a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for his "phony soldiers" miscue.
Guess what - get the hell back to work! It's NOT your job to worry about what is being said by the citizens of a nation that is supposed to have freeh speech. Instead, DO YOUR JOB.
Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent, yet continues to plod clumsily forward. We have citizens who have no insurance and no prospects of medical care, if needed. We have a huge education problem. Our borders are as loose as Paris Hilton. We HAVE Paris Hilton.
Yet we're foolishly on the way to spending a trillion dollars on a war that cannot be won... and if you say that aloud, you're considered a traitor.
The apathy of the citizenry is pathetic. As long as the economy is "good," as long as we can shop, continue receiving reality television and play our video games... we're all good. My grandpa would be embarrassed.
Where is the America I know? Where is the wisdom? Where is the leadership? Where is the pride, the dignity?
Sometimes I don't even recognize this place anymore.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
- I have a problem with restaurants who advertise that they feature "home-cooking." Unless someone lives in that restaurant, it's total bullshit.
- When I get the first dent on a new car, I lapse into a fairly deep depression for about 12 hours. My new car has no dents - however, it has one of those really low front spoilers that hits the ground when I pull into a driveway with a slope. Although the resulting scratches are out of view under the car, I am still affected. Not full-blown depression, but I find a sad song on the radio and mope a little.
- Recently, I've taken a stand against those smiley :) and sad face :( thingies. They are to writing as cheerleaders are to a chess match.
- I hate the concept of "average." Lately I've begun using it as an excuse. "Hey, at least I'm average." Through most of my life I considered myself above-average at everything. The slow realization that I am not... has been a fairly crushing experience. In fact, I am actually below average at golf and sex.* (this would be a great place for one of those sad face thingies, but I've taken a stand against them)
- I love early mornings when the sky is just starting to lighten. It's a really refreshing time of day. (unless you're driving home... that's hardly ever good) As I write this, it is exactly that time of day.
- I am a victim of the Curse of the Frontloader. Which means things seldom make it back to the garage where they belong. Instead, they end up in the laundry room on top of the washing machine. You people with normal top-loading washers probably have tidy laundry rooms. Jerks.
- A lot of the fun in life is lost simply maintaining. It's almost a full-time job to keep clothes clean. It takes a lot of time to cook meals. We work hard just to stay where we are. I resent this... especially during football season.
- I love country music. Most of it is very earthy and simple. Listen to "Sunday Morning Comin' Down" by Johnny Cash or "Better Man" by Clint Black and you'll know what I'm talking about. "Late Night Grande Hotel" by Nancy Griffith. "Go Down Easy" by Fogelberg. "Chisled In Stone" from Vern Gosdin. Pure gold.
- I also love jazz. I go through classical phases. I love rock & roll. I admire barbershop quartet singers, but can't stand to listen for long. I categorize rap as poetry. And bad poetry, at that.
*EDIT: Em said I have to add something to this post. She says it makes her uncomfortable that I say I am below average at sex. Apparently she thinks it's untrue - apparently, I'm quite the maverick. (*cocky sniff*)
Friday, September 21, 2007
- The names of all people we've dated or been married to.
- Names of Em's really irritating students.
- All my past pets. (Pecos, Sassy, Regis, Sparky, Kramer, Grab-ass)
- The odd names. (Hunter, Levi, Kodiak, Buford)
- All colors. (Violet, Fucia, Rose, Chartreuse, etc.)
- Weather terms. (Sunny, Rayney, Wendy, Updraft, Coldfront)
- All the months. (April, June, May, October)
- The name Mike.
- Paul (ball)
- Richard (duh)
- Rock (or Brock, or Jock)
- Deaver (or Weaver)
On my last post, you may have gotten the impression I was under the influence. Actually, the only crack I was exposed to was the crack of dawn. I guess you write some really goofy shit when the sleeping meds start kicking in.
At least I didn't impart upon you my theory about each atom being its own universe.
Tonight, Ella's spending the night with Uncle Dave and Aunt Emily. She has been a great visitor. We played with my computer, where she stumbled across a few new mathematical parodoxes, studied the properties of a mobius strip and discussed Mahavira's theorem on a college message board. She's still a rookie, but learning fast.
While she was doing that, I was making her Winnie the Pooh toy hump her Tigger toy. We all have our comfort zones.
I went to a Cardinals game with a few guys last night. We lost EIGHTEEN to ONE. The Astros basically took batting practice.
Next time this particular group of guys are together, I'm going to propose a drinking game. Every time Ada (an Englishman) makes a reference to the game of soccer, we all drink. When I check email on my phone, we drink. When Scuba Steve plays air guitar, we drink. When Cornett... uh, drinks, we all drink.
We'll need a designated driver, I'll tell you that right now.
I hacked my iPhone and added a ton of useful programs. Included, the game of Yahtzee, and something called "Pig Shooter," a game where you shoot spaceships with flying pigs. For the intellectual in all of us.
The weekend is ON, bitches! Have a great one.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Occam's Razor is a neat principle that drives my philosophy. All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be correct. Not always, but usually.
For instance - Alan Greenspan appeared on the Today show and proclaimed that the Iraq war was about oil. Gasp! How dare he? It's really about peace in the middle-east. Democracy. Ridding the area of weapons of mass destruction!
Nope... it's really about oil. It sounds cold and impersonal, but it's true. If there were no oil in the middle east, we'd have little interest in the area. That's fine... hey, at least we have a reason for spending 200 million dollars a day on the war.
But let's call it what it is. It was an impressive moment of clarity and Occam's Razor. It's about oil.
Of course, Greenspan had to come back the next day and change his story. He was apparently misunderstood. The war isn't about oil, it's about peace in the middle-east. Democracy. Yada yada. Sounds like he got a phone call. (PS - I'm all for replacing fossil fuels with renewable forms of energy, the sooner the better, then packing our bags and heading to the Baghdad airport)
You know, if we don't start admitting some things, we stand to lose everything. If we don't start being honest with ourselves, shunning political correctness, we'll lose the opportunity. It's time to have a dialogue and be reminded what mankind is really about, lest we lose the thread and this beautiful sweater becomes a pile of errant textile.
So what is the purpose of mankind? Bottom line, what is your body built for? Creating art? Entertaining each other? Dancing? Hunt/gathering?
As unseemly as it sounds, propagation is our primary function. It's really very simple - nature cares only that it continues. We make babies. We replace ourselves, hopefully in larger numbers and with better features. That is what nature insists upon. Everything we do, by her standards, should be toward the advancement of the species.
When a species begins to lose focus, to forget their function, they fail. It's happened to countless species over millenia. Humans may be on the verge of that, I think.
I forget where I saw a study recently, but it found that the most intelligent among us aren't having kids. Higher IQ people have decided, for whatever reason, they are not interested. (Until recently, I felt that way too) Meanwhile, more and more people are coming out of the closet.
These types of abnormal behavior can't bode well for the future of the species, can they?
It's strange how, out of political correctness, we bury the concept of "normal" and "abnormal." From nature's perspective, (and oh, can she be a bitch) anything that we do which doesn't contribute to, or worse, detracts from the propogation of the species, is destructive. Abnormal.
Don't get me wrong, I believe every human being has the same right to do and be what they wish. I detest haters. If more people are choosing not to have children, that's fine. If more are coming out of the closet, that's just great. I celebrate their new-found happiness!
But nature is simple. It's all about making it to tomorrow. If some of our smartest people are discovering they aren't interested in propogating, and we reach a tipping point where those who are interested can't produce enough quality offspring to replace themselves AND the others... it doesn't take a scientist to figure out we're on a risky path.
Russia had a country-wide day off recently. Instructions were to stay home with your significant other and make babies. Russia loses 700,000 people annually because they aren't replacing their population. Maybe they are worried about the trend, too.
Same thing in Japan. People are working too much, and having intercourse too little.
If the trends continue and smart and gay people stop having children - abnormalcy in nature will exist. The dominant species may become the marmosets.
Fear the marmosets, always. But at least they know when it's time to copulate.
*a prolific lack of sleep has precipitated this entire post. As I speak, I can barely type what I'm thinking. It's 5 am and I have to get back to bed.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Although, if you'd seen my office/recording studio recently, you'd recognize how much progress these photos show. In other words, I actually have an excuse for not blogging lately.
I've been filing papers, hooking up computers, installing software, upgrading machines, hanging pictures, decorating... and between it all, actually doing a full load of voice over work and watching Tivo'd episodes of Scrubs.
Maybe it doesn't LOOK organized. But it is. Trust me. Maybe I should find another place for the decorative "globe." And that joystick? That's for BUSINESS purposes. Sometimes in my job, I am required to fly an airplane, and this will keep me in practice.
Another view of that stupid globe. And the joystick. I might have the only desk with a 5.1 dolby surround speaker system and subwoofer. Maybe not - most cool people have them.
This is a peek into my recording booth. There are no joysticks or globes in there. Just a microphone, headphones, a copy stand and stool.
For two years (embarrassing) I've been in "temporary" mode in my office. All of that is changing now, as I try to get prepared for the new baby next spring.
Something to try: Wipe your ass while smiling. It's not as easy as it sounds. You end up with sort of a grimace-smirk-smile.
You know you'll try it.
Emily and I have been discussing our halloween costumes for this year's big bash. We both believe this will be the year she stops winning the "sexiest costume" award. I can't divulge anything more... except to say that if she doesn't win, it has nothing to do with her not being sexy.
Our schedule is pretty crazy this weekend. We're headed out in a few minutes to the Clayton Art Fair, to check out some of the stuff they call "art." (although if you've ever been in my house, you've seen a sculpture I bought in a drunken haze one year and wondered "WTF?") I'm not taking my checkbook, so it's not likely we'll need to drive the Hummer for it's copious cargo space.
Tonight we're babysitting Ella, and will continue her accelerated education by teaching her combustion theory and chemical equilibrium, and we'll probably touch on quantum mechanics.
Plus, we'll play with her caterpillar toy that you can use to sound out dirty words. You should hear what Dr. Mike made it say last night. I am blushing as I type this, and Mike... you are an animal. Completely disgusting.
Tomorrow, we'll be attending a football party at Bill & Chris' garage. Emily will need to be the designated driver. Again.
That should be plenty for a weekend. I will write more this week and it won't be so boring.