Merry Christmas to all, from Moira and Anna,
from Carrie, and from Jim, the bored stiff geek.
´twas the night before christmas, he lived all alone
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
i had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
i looked all about, a strange sight i did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
no stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
with medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sober thought came through my mind.
for this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
i found the home of a soldier, once i could see clearly.
the soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
the face was so gentle, the room is such disorder,
not how i pictured a united states soldier.
was this the hero of whom i 'd just read?
curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
i realized the families that i saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
soon round the world, the children would play,
and grown-ups would celebrate a bright christmas day.
they all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
i couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold christmas eve in a land far from home.
the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
i dropped to my knees and started to cry.
the soldier awakened and i heard a rough voice,
"santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
i fight for freedom, i don't ask for more,
my life is my god, my country, my corps."
the soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
i couldn't control it i continued to weep.
i kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
i didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "carry on santa, it's christmas day, all is secure."
one look at my watch, and i knew he was right.
"merry christmas my friend, and to all a good night."
this poem was written
by a marine stationed in
thanks to my cousin dpflynn
for emailing it to me.
spread it around.
by a score of nil-nil and 4-3 on penalty kicks, the university of portland pilots edged the penn state nittany lions to advance to the championship round, to be played sunday.
star pilot striker christine sinclair (left) was held scoreless for the third straight game, so she'll need to kick a goal in the next game in order to set a new single-season scoring record of 38. no pressure, of course.
penn state star tiffany weimer, who scores an average of once for every three attempts on goal, was also held scoreless.
The real stars of the game were junior goalie cori alexander (right), who was stellar protecting the goal for the pilots, and penn state senior keeper erin mcleod, with 10 saves on goal.
so now it's on to face the ucla bruins. ucla hasn't seen an offense like portland's all year long, and the bruins have a five-game scoring streak of 25-nil coming into the finals, and they've shut out 17 of their last 19 ncaa tourney opponents. . .so it promises to be an exciting game.
you know where i'll be sunday--at home watching espn2!
pilots logo and photographs copyright ©2005 university of portland sports information office and americaneagle.com. used with permission. may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express written consent of the university of portland.
time marches on.
just a number, but the numbers keep ticking away.
time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin', into the future. . .*
what was it my brother said?
age is nothing but a matter of time, and who really knows what time it is anyway?
i'll subscribe to my brother's wisdom here.
42, and getting younger.
*apologies to the
steve miller band
(A brief history of White House indictments)
1. On 28 October 2005, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, assistant to President Bush Minor and chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted on five charges including obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in the investigation into the leak of a covert cia agent’s name, a violation of the espionage act. The grand jury which handed down the indictment has been hearing the case since 2003. Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his investigators have been trying to determine whether Libby or any other administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of cia agent Valerie Plame or lied about their involvement to investigators. More indictments may be forthcoming.
2. In october 2005, David H. Safavian, the top procurement official for President Bush Minor, resigned. Three days later, he was arrested and indicted on five felony counts connected to criminal investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff. At the time the indictment covered, from May 2002 to January 2004, Safavian had been serving as the chief of staff at the general services administration. The case is still pending.
3. In November 1996, Henry G. Cisneros resigned from his position as President Clinton's Housing Secretary. In December 1997, he was indicted on 18 counts of conspiracy, obstruction and lying to the FBI. Cisneros pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in 1999 and was fined $10,000.
4. In December 1994, Mike Espy resigned from his position as Clinton's Agriculture Secretary. In August 1997, Espy was indicted on 39 corruption counts in allegations that he had received financial gifts from Tyson Foods Inc., one of the companies his department regulated.
5. In May 1993, White House Travel Office chief Billy R. Dale and his entire staff were fired by the Clinton administration. Dale was indicted in december 1994 on two counts of embezzlement and conversion after a grand jury said he pocketed up to $68,000 from media organizations traveling with the president.
6. The only sitting cabinet member in recent history to be indicted while in office was Raymond J. Donovan, President Reagan's labor secretary. In September 1984, Donovan was indicted along with several others, accused of grand larceny in his co-ownership of a construction firm. After going on unpaid leave in october, Donovan resigned in March 1985.
7-19. In November 1986, John M. Poindexter resigned from his post as National Security Adviser to President Reagan. In March 1988, Poindexter was indicted in relation to the Iran-Contra affair. Poindexter was charged with two additional counts of obstructing congress and two counts of making false statements. He was convicted in 1990, but the charges were overturned the following year. Also indicted: Elliott Abrams, Carl R. Channell, Duane R. Clarridge, Thomas G. Clines, Alan D. Fiers, Jr., Clair E. George, Albert Hakim, Robert C. McFarlane, Richard R. Miller, Lt. Col. Oliver North, Richard v. Secord, and Caspar W. Weinberger. On December 24, 1992, President Bush Major pardoned Abrams, Clarridge, Fiers Jr., George, McFarlane, and Weinberger. North's conviction was vacated because of a technical conflict in the immunity agreement between north and the Judiciary Committee in exchange for his testimony.
20. In 1983, Thomas C. Reed resigned from the Reagan administration after working as a presidential assistant under National Security Adviser William P. Clark. In August 1984, he was indicted on four counts related to alleged illegal stock trading.
21-29. In April 1973, President Nixon forced White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and Domestic Affairs Counsel John Ehrlichman to resign. In March 1974, they were indicted in connection with the Watergate coverup. Along with several others, both Haldeman and Ehrlichman were convicted in 1975 and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Others indicted in the Watergate affair were E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, and the Watergate burglars James W. McCord, Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez and Virgilio Gonzalez (a.k.a "The Plumbers").
Republicans - 26 (and counting)
Democrats - 3
You'd think the Republicans would learn. I guess the phrase "memory of an elephant" doesn't apply.
A particular model year of car wouldn't be available until after that year - instead of before it.
Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you'd have to buy a new car.
Occasionally your car would just die for no reason, and you'd have to restart it. For some strange reason, you'd just accept this.
Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail to restart and you'd have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you'd just accept this, too.
But that wouldn't work, you'd have to take the engine out, do nothing to it, then put it back in.
You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you bought a "Car 95" or a "Car NT". But then you'd have to buy more seats.
Sun Motor Systems would make a car that was powered by the sun, twice as reliable, and five times as fast - but it would only run on five percent of the roads.
The oil, engine, fuel and alternator warning lights would be replaced with a single "General Car Fault" warning light.
People would get excited about the "new" features in Microsoft cars, forgetting completely that they had been available in other cars for many years.
We'd all have to switch to Microsoft fuel.
The U.S. government would be getting subsidies from an auto maker instead of giving them.
New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
The air bag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.
The steering wheel would be replaced with a mouse and you'd need to memorize the keyboard short-cut for "brake".
For some reason the engine controller would need a 1G hard disk and would take 5 minutes to boot up.
They wouldn't build their own engines but form a cartel with their engine supplier. The latest engine would have 16 cylinders, multi-point fuel injection and 4 turbos, but it would be a side-valve design so you could use Model-T Ford parts on it. There would be an "Engine Pro" with bigger turbos, but it would be slower on most existing roads.
Your car would refuse to start with a message "Abort, Retry, Fail or Cancel?"
You would have to have a full service every 500 miles.
The speedometer would read 70 even though you are only doing 50.
They would make a flashy convertible model, where if you raised the top the engine would overheat.
The entire engine wouldn't be in the bay at once, and the car would have to keep stopping and starting to load in the relevant parts.
Every time you carried a new passenger you would have to alter the cars configuration settings. When the passenger alights these configurations would remain in place.
I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. And I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their heads and women with their hearts.
FOR EXAMPLE: One evening last week, my wife and I were getting into bed.
Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me."
I said "WHAT??!! What was that?!"
So she says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear...
"You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man." She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?"
Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.
The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take so I told her we'd just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We went onto the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you...she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, "That's fine, honey." She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement. Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, "I think this is all dear, let's go to the cashier."
I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it."
Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled WHAT?"
I then said "honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman." And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"
Apparently I'm not getting any tonight either.
thanks to sudbeck for that one.
my mom got married yesterday. what a strange feeling you get when your mom pledges to spend the rest of her life with someone other than your dad, even though dad died ten years ago.
when first she told us about the engagement, my first reaction was "way to go, mom!"
then it sank in.
mom's getting married.
she's 75 years old, and getting married.
some other man is going to live with my mom.
oh, don't get me wrong, bob's a nice guy. mom couldn't have found anyone nicer. . .except my dad. there it was, that nagging feeling creeping in again.
but i got over it, and i find that bob's as nice a guy as my dad was. . .only in other ways, and that's the whole point.
i even committed a freudian slip at the reception. the photographer wanted a picture of everyone on mom's side of the family with the bride and groom, and i told my wife to get our kids for a picture with. . .wait for it. .
.mom and dad. she caught the slip before i did.
i must like the guy more than i was ready to admit.
welcome to the family, bob. hope your marriage is long and wonderful, and full of goodness and love. may you enjoy a truly ripe old age together, because 75 is young, and don't you forget it.
i love you, mom. may you live to 115 so that you have another 40-year marriage. if it's even half as good as the first time, it'll be a most wonderful marriage.
my hope for you is a most wonderful marriage.
This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's letter before you get to the response
SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued.
Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel.
All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2003. Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.
We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price District Representative Land and Water Management Division
This is the actual response sent back:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County.
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has ben handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan. A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris." I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is: (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring PondBeavers; or (2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through The Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.
I have several concerns. My first concern: Aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation, so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event causing flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names. If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers, but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter--they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring PondBeavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to harass them then.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone.
If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
Ryan DeVries & The Dam Beavers
five years you've been here.
five years of giving your sister what-for, five years of smiles and laughter. five years of i-don't-know-what-i-would-have-done-differently, because you are my baby, my image, my sweet annie. . .
my life would be a wreck without you.
i love you, anna. happy birthday.
life here is still good.
it's been four years TODAY that i joined the rank and file of the lowest scum-of-the-earth known as CAR SALESMEN. still selling toyotas-mazdas-nissans-subarus-buicks-pontiacs-GMCtrucks in my spare time (all 50 hours a week. . .ack). keeping my options open. don't know if i will or can go back to full-fledged geekdom (i am so far behind the curve now, i don't think my old print shop could hire me to do the graphic design). happy anniversary indeed!
anyway, life is good, carrie and the girlz are great. they grow like weeds, the girls do. annie is four-years-eleven-months old now. moira is ten-years-nine-months. time flies.
must spend more time with them.
speaking of that, i'm off to see my girlz again.
ciao for now.
happy high explosives day (that'd be july 4).
conservatives in the united states congress took up a motion yesterday to amend the constitution to ban flag burning.
but there's a twist. they are trying to get support from house liberals by telling them it'll reduce global warming.
seems like yesterday you were a ringbearer (translation: three-year-old stud in a tuxedo) in our wedding. today you are poised to kiss this popsicle stand called high school goodbye.
be mindful of it. waste not a moment of it. squeeze every last drop out of it. but most of all. . .
Tue May 24, 1:52 PM ET (AP)
TUPELO, Miss. - A conservative Christian group has ended its boycott of the Walt Disney Co., launched nine years ago in response to what leaders perceived as the erosion of the company's squeaky-clean image.
"There are so many other issues we need to move on to and deal with that are taking our time and energy," American Family Association president Tim Wildmon wrote in a letter published Monday on the group's Web site. "If you're going to call for a boycott of a company - if something has become that serious - you need to have all your resources behind it."
The boycott had a limited impact. Disney has reported higher earnings, citing increased attendance at its theme parks and strong performance from its film studio and ABC television network.
The Tupelo-based Christian group has protested Disney's extension of benefits to domestic partners of gay employees, promotion of gay-related events at its theme parks and violent and sex-filled content of movies made by its Miramax subsidiary.
The group blamed longtime Disney chief executive Michael Eisner, and said some of the problems had been resolved by Eisner's upcoming retirement and the company's break with Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Wildmon said the announcement is not an endorsement of Disney, just an end to the boycott "as a ministry agenda item."
little anna was taking a bath yesterday, and she managed to flood the bathroom, the upstairs landing, and soak the carpet in her room and her sister's room.
just as i was walking in the door home from work.
carrie and i spent the next two hours frantically ripping up the hardwood floor, pulling carpets and carpet pads, wet-dry vacuuming the water up from the bathroom, soaking water up with every damn towel in the house.
i just laid that hardwood down. six hours' work ripped up in half an hour.
my legs hurt.
the guys from servicemaster came the next day to install dehumidifiers and "air movers" (industrial-strength fans) which are running 24/7.
let me give you a warning. if you ever have water soak your house, be prepared to listen to the din of the loudest jet plane cabin for three days.
happy bloody mother's day.
we just got back from disneyland. hoo boy. what an adventure, traveling with a ten-year-old and a four-year-old.
six years ago, we took our ten-year-old (who was then four years old) to disneyland. she was scared out of her mind of most of the big rides, but she got a little thrill from the big thunder mountain railway. so i thought our four-year-old would enjoy it too.
after we got off the train, my four-year-old was pale as a ghost and shaking like a leaf. i thought she was going to pass out or throw up. fortunately she didn't.
she did enjoy (loose construction of the word) the haunted mansion, though.
my ten-year-old did finally get on splash mountain, the matterhorn, indiana jones adventure, and she rode the big thunder again. had a ball.
my four-year-old's favorite rides?
dumbo and small world. should have guessed.
It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all
There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to every one
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world
a colleague of mine is starting a new business venture. . .buying, refining, processing for energy, and selling the leftovers of the leftover cow shit.
i smell something here, and it is not a rat. or a cow.
i smell money. the color of money is brown.
moooooove over tom cruise. show me the cow manure.
remember texas pacific group? the organization which is trying to buy pge?
remember texas pacific group?
remember texas pacific group? the organization which bought convergent?
remember texas pacific group, who mismanaged it into oblivion, closing all the offices and leaving jobless scores of people across the country?
what'll happen to pge if tpg buys it?
only history will tell.
1. you accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. you haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. you have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. you email the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. you go home after a long day at work you still answer the phone in a business manner.
7. you make phone calls from home, you accidentally dial "9" to get an outside line.
8. you've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.
10. you learn about your redundancy on the 11 o'clock news.
11. your boss doesn't have the ability to do your job.
12. you pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
13. every commercial on television has a website at the bottom of the screen.
14. leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
15. you get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.
16. you start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
17. you're reading this and nodding and laughing.
18. even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
19. you are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
20. you actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
thanks to my good friend chuck jeffcoat
for sharing this with me