25 December 2005

09 December 2005

twas the night before christmas somewhere in iraq

´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
okinawa, japan.
thanks to my cousin dpflynn
for emailing it to me.

spread it around.

02 December 2005

i got my espn2 just in time

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.

29 November 2005

someone was absent the day
intelligent design was handed out.

car crash in water.
crane come to lift car out of water.
car too heavy, crane crash into water.
bigger crane come to lift car out of water.
bigger crane have no problem with car.
bigger crane lift small crane out of water.
you do the math.

intelligent design couldn't solve this math problem, part deux

26 November 2005

pilot women kick irish butt

took my girls to see their first soccer match friday night.

i am proud to say that i got four of the coveted sold-out-in-6-minutes tickets to see the pilot women play the fighting irish women to advance to the semifinals of the ncaa tournament.

what a game. up until the opening whistle, the weather was lousy. we drove home from the tacoma area in the worst possible weather, and we were certain we'd be drenched during the game. i know, i know, it isn't soccer unless it's raining, but when you have a wife and a 5-year-old with colds and coughs, you don't need to be sitting in the rain at night in 38-degree weather.

and then the gods of good weather held sway, and the game began under cloudy dry skies. oh, sure, it drizzled a couple of times during the game, but we couldn't have asked for better weather.

and what a game it was. annie (my 5-year-old) was oblivious to the game. oh, she had her fun, she stomped the bleachers when the crowd stomped the bleachers, and she generally had a great time. i bet she remembers nothing of the game itself--but then, she could prove me wrong. moira (my 11-year-old) was nothing but questions about the game all night. did she have a ball? oh, yeah.

and my wife? she had forgotten her coat, of all things. left it in yelm at her sister's house. thank god the rain stopped and we had blankets-aplenty.

best friday night we've had in a while. might even be better than harry potter. haven't seen it yet, but 105 minutes under the bright lights with 4,892 rabid screaming soccer fans is an experience my kids and i won't soon forget.

if only the next round were being played here.

pilots logo and photograph 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.

portland star striker christine sinclair,
who holds UP and west coast conference records
in career goals (108), career points (248),
single-season goals (37) (tie),
and single-season points (84),
and holds school records in career shots (451),
and career game-winners (38).

19 November 2005

excuuuse me, occifer. . .

driver achieves speed trap 'record'

november 18, 2005

swiss police were amazed to catch the same driver with the same speed camera no less than four times in one minute 37 seconds.

claiming he had no idea it was a speed trap, the driver said he returned three times because he thought someone was playing games with a flashgun and he wanted to double-check.

when their laughter had subsided, the police admitted that such a feat took precision driving and a "little bit of stupidity".

however, ignorance is no defense of the law, and the driver will be prosecuted for four separate speeding offenses under switzerland's tough traffic laws.

15 November 2005

i see your true colors shining through
i see your true colors and that's why i. . .
oh, never mind*

television evangelist pat robertson told the people of dover (pennsylvania) that they had rejected god by voting their school board out of office for supporting the teaching of intelligent design. robertson issued this warning on his daily television show the 700 club: "if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to god; you just rejected him from your city."

are we to believe proponents of intelligent design who say that they are not trying to inject religion into the classroom when yahoos like robertson are spewing vitriol like that? i think we are a little more intelligent than what robertson gives us credit for.

*apologies to cyndi lauper

11 November 2005

food for thought

according to the veterans affairs department, there are only eight veterans receiving pension or disability benefits from service in first world war.

using a list of 65,000 veterans alive in 1990 as a baseline, the census bureau estimates that there are only 30 to 50 american WWI veterans alive today.

the last known american veteran who was wounded in the war died in january 2004. he was 108.

thank a veteran today.

(source: yahoo! news/associated press)

10 November 2005

if there is a God, give me a sign

there are three religious truths:
  • jews do not recognize jesus as the messiah.
  • protestants do not recognize the pope as the leader of the christian faith.
  • baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at hooters.

i'm bored. i have nothing to do.

next time your kids complain they have nothing to do or that they're bored, instead of suggesting they go outside and ride a bike or that they pick up a book and read, here's a new suggestion for them:

run for mayor.

08 November 2005

my karma ran over your dogma

from the associated press:

revisiting a topic that exposed kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state board of education approved science standards for public schools tuesday which attempt to cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

the 6-4 vote was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. (intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.)

supporters of the new standards said they will promote academic freedom.

"it gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today," said board member john bacon.

(in othther words: let's get rid of dogma in the classroom by injecting dogma into the classroom.)

there are two colors of sky in oregon

from Orygone III;
or, Everything You Always Wanted
to Know About Oregon
but Were Afraid to Find Out
by James Cloutier

not so long ago,
in a supermarket not so far away. . .

04 November 2005

and now, live, from the scene of the crime. . .

is judith miller a roving reporter?

ready, aim. . .part deux

i used to think that people who left their W'04 stickers on their cars were gloating, and that they should get over it and move on. but i realized today that nobody sporting a W'04 sticker would consider "move on" as an option--sounds too much like moveon.org, i guess.

then a colleague of mine suggested this: don't people who sport W'04 stickers on their cars realize they're making themselves targets?

to which i replied: if people sporting W'04 stickers are of like mind with W, and W is of questionable mind. . .

30 October 2005

happy bleeding birthday



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

28 October 2005

if this isn't an indictment, i don't know what is

(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").

The score:
Republicans - 26 (and counting)
Democrats - 3

You'd think the Republicans would learn. I guess the phrase "memory of an elephant" doesn't apply.

sources: federation of american scientists, intelligence resource program and the center for media and democracy

27 October 2005

if microsoft made cars. . .

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.

(source unknown)

sorry, tonya

the international olympic committee ruled today that women's boxing will not be included as a medal or exhibition event at the 2008 games in Beijing.

looks like tonya harding's last hope for a gold medal has been dashed.

22 October 2005

cheers, dad

in most of the old candid party or social pictures of my dad, he is holding a drink in his hand. he wasn't a heavy drinker at all--it's just that he always seemed to carry that one glass of scotch with him all night at whatever party he was attending. He would nurse that drink all night and never need a refill.

that's what i call "social drinking."

i'll drink to that, and i'll drink to your memory, dad.

i love you, and i miss you.

12 October 2005

women just don't understand men

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.

05 October 2005

incompetent boob

The Peter Principle (θə pē•tər prĭn•sĭ•pəl) etym. Laurence Johnston Peter (1919–1990): n.: 1. the tendency for an individual in any hierarchy to rise to his own level of incompetence and then remain there; 2. see also President George W. Bush; 3. see also FEMA Director Michael Brown; 4. see also Supreme Court Justice-Nominee Harriet Miers; 5. et al.

01 October 2005

are you a democrat or a republican

Question: How do you tell the difference between Democrats, Republicans And Southern Republicans?

Here is a little test that will help you decide.
The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock .40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?

Democrat's Answer

Republican's Answer

Southern Republican's Answer

26 September 2005

ethics question du jour

this test only has one question, but it's a very important one.

by giving an honest answer, you will discover where you stand morally.

the test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation in which you will have to make a decision.

you are in florida. miami, to be specific. there is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. this is a flood of biblical proportions. you are a photojournalist working for a major newspaper, and you're caught in the middle of this epic disaster.

the situation is nearly hopeless. you're trying to shoot career-making photos. there are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water. nature is unleashing all of its destructive fury. suddenly you see a man floundering in the water. he is fighting for his life, trying not to be taken down with the debris.

you move closer.... the man looks familiar. you suddenly realize who it is. it's george w. bush!

at the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him under forever. you have two options--you can save the life of g.w. bush or you can shoot a dramatic pulitzer prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

click here for the question, and please give an honest answer.

07 September 2005

heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to school we go

it's anna's first day at school. moira is there to show her the ropes. i hope and pray she's successful.

it seems by this picture that they actually get along with each other.

live. love. learn.

may your first day of school be wonderful and beautiful.

21 August 2005

what a weird thing it is to marry off your mother

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.

16 August 2005

watch your dam language

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

(State's letter)

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.

Thank You,

Ryan DeVries & The Dam Beavers

26 July 2005

five years

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.

01 July 2005

happy friggin' anniversary indeed

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).

this news out of washington really burns my flag

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.

06 June 2005

where did the time go?

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.

time flies.

be mindful of it. waste not a moment of it. squeeze every last drop out of it. but most of all. . .

enjoy it.

congratulations, ryan.

24 May 2005

if you can't beat 'em, throw in the towel

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."

23 May 2005

it's a small world

the next time you are feeling small, here's a bug's eye view of the world to put it in perspective for you.

click picture for larger view

10 May 2005

ready, aim, fire

i have to question the wisdom of issuing, to security guards who work at
target stores, badges with bullseyes on them which they wear over their

08 May 2005

water, water everywhere
and not a drop to drink

four-year-olds. aaaaaaaargh.

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.

04 May 2005

a birthday wish

you've been gone ten years. time flies.

we all miss you.

moira asks about you a lot more these days.

i wish you were still here. heck, you are still here as long as we think of you.

watch over us.

pray for us.

we love you.

happy birthday, dad.

02 May 2005

how to scare the snot out of your four-year-old

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.

think again.

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 small enough world
without a song to drive you crazy
(thanks a lot, walt disney!)

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

21 April 2005

business is the sh*ts

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.

18 April 2005

those who do not know history
are damned to repeat it

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.

17 March 2005

joke of the day

Ferguson the blacksmith came in with a badly damaged foot. The doctor was surprised, for Ferguson was a careful man.

"What happened to you, Paddy?" he asked.

"Well, thirty-three years ago I was a young apprentice with Twomey of Ballinanaspickbuidhe......"

"But about your foot.....?"

"This is about me foot. Twomey had a daughter and your eyes could gaze on her like the way a bullock would eat good grass. The first night I was there she came in when I was in bed and asked if I was comfortable and if I wanted anything and I said I didn't. The next night she came in when I was in bed and she wearing her nightdress and she asked me if there was any single thing she could get me or do for me and I told her I was as comfortable as a bug in a rug. The next night she came in and the girl hadn't a thing on her and she asked me if she could do anything for me and not wanting to keep her standing in the cold and she without a shift I said there was nothing."

"What has that got to do with your foot, Ferguson?" asked the doctor impatiently.

"Sure it was only this morning that I finally thought of what she meant and I was so annoyed with meself that I threw me ten-pound hammer against the wall and it rebounded and broke me ankle."

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

07 March 2005

voices inside my head
echoes of things that you said
part deux

Answering machine message du jour

Hello and welcome to the Mental Health Hotline.

If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are codependent, ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want.
Stay on the line and we’ll trace your call.

If you are delusional, press 7 and your call
will be transferred to the Mother Ship.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully,
and a small voice will tell you which button to press.

If you are depressed, it doesn’t matter which button you press.
No one will answer you.

If you are dyslexic, press 69696969.

If you have a nervous disorder,
please fidget with the hash key until the beep.

After the beep, please wait for the beep.

If you have short-term memory loss,
please try your call again later.

And if you have low self-esteem, please hang up.
All our operators are too busy to talk to you.

right click here to download mp3 or left-click to listen

you gotta be sh*tting me

toyota is having a sale (not!)

right click here to download mp3 or left-click to listen

06 March 2005

excuuuse me, occifer. . .

plaisanterie boiteuse du jour

A senior citizen in Florida bought a brand new Mercedes convertible. He took off down the road, flooring it to 80 mph and enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left on his head. "This is great," he thought as he roared down I-75.

He pushed the pedal to the metal even more. Then he looked in his rearview mirror and saw a state trooper behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring.

"I can get away from him with no problem", thought the man, and he tromped it some more and flew down the road at over 90 mph. Then 100, 110, 120 mph!

Then he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this kind of thing." He pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the trooper to catch up with him.

The trooper pulled in behind the Mercedes and walked up to the man. "Sir," he said, looking at his watch. "My shift ends in 30 minutes, and today is Friday. If you can give me a reason why you were speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

"The man looked at the trooper and said, "Years ago my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper, and I thought you were bringing her back."

The trooper replied, "Sir, have a nice day."

01 March 2005

my love
more dear than this life you are to me
your kiss
more clear than the crystal of the sea
please save me, I've fallen here
i'm lost and alone

an angel weeps, i hear him cry
a lonely prayer, a voice on high
"dry all your tears come what may
and in the end the sun will rise on one more day"

the years go by
and we reap what we have sown
our children now
they have children of their own
and though they are far away
we will sing once more

an angel weeps, i hear him cry
a lonely prayer, a voice on high
"dry all your tears come what may
and in the end the sun will rise on one more day"

funeral song
written by harry gregson-williams, hugh marsh,
patrick cassidy, and trevor horn
performed by sinead o'connor
veronica guerin
a joel schumacher film
produced by jerry bruckheimer
the Lord bless you and keep you
the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious unto you
the Lord lift his countenance upon you
and give you peace

diane sunde graham
18 august 1964 - 1 march 2005

my oldest, dearest friend
i cannot find
the words to say
how much you are missed

i swear to you
that i will try
to be as dear a friend
to mike, matthew and amanda
as you are to me

say hello
to your mother and father
who you missed so much
these last fifteen years

keep watch over Carol
and her family
for she loves you
and needs you
and is part of you
and will remember you
the rest of her days.
she is good
and pure
and needs your strength
and courage

please find my dad
shout to him as you did to me
flash him your radiant smile
and warm him with your embrace

save a seat near you
at God's banquet for me
for i love you
as only a best friend could

i will weep
because you are gone
but i will rejoice
because you are here
in my heart
and in my mind
always and forever

time is irrelevant
in the scheme of eternity
for our life here is but
a blink of God's eye.
there are some who believe
that the journey from here
to Paradise
takes a stop along the way
to cleanse us and make us ready
to see the face of God.

i believe
with all my heart
and all my soul
that you found yourself
in the presence of God
the moment you left us
here in this life,
and that surely
your goodness and love
is as perfect as can be
and that you need not
make that stop along the way.

on the random, remotest chance
that you are still making the journey,
that you are moving
toward the light still,
i offer a simple thought,
spoken on the occasion
of my dad's funeral ten years ago.
it is, quite simply,
one of the most beautiful prayers
i have ever heard,
and since you are, quite simply,
one of the most beautiful people
i will ever know,
it bears repeating for you.

by some
that when a bell
rings, a soul, waiting
to get into Heaven, gets
its wings to take it there.
the next time i hear a bell
i will close my eyes and pray
with all my heart and all my soul
that you get your wings to speed
you to

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning
is now
and ever shall be
the world without end

rest in peace

24 February 2005

cats. they think they own the place
part deux

cat's back. kinda skittish, scaredy cat. won't talk to anyone right now. we'll just have to torture her back into submission, dammit.

welcome home, cat.

* * * * *

part trois here.

22 February 2005

cats. they think they own the place,
and then they leave

damn cat. been in the house now for 5 years. thinks she's queen of all she surveys. and what does she do? she leaves!

my 10-year-old's favorite cat vanished today. into thin air. walked away from the house. now the other cat is howling, my daughter is maudlin, and my wife is in tears. and i have this sort of emotional detachment that's kind of creepy.

don't get me wrong, i like my cats a lot. i hope my cat comes back. for my daughter's sake, for my wife's sake. i do miss the creature. i miss the way she crawls on top of my chest and head-butts my chin to wake me up in the morning.

damn cat.

* * * * *

20 February 2005

birth. school. work. death. (reprise)

cancer is such a pisser. was then, still is now.

if you remember from last month, one of my oldest and dearest friends has leukemia. diane is 40, the sweetest, most generous person you could ever want to meet. 2 kids, nice husband. good christian woman who would never think an evil thought or hurt another being.

diane was in line for a new leukemia protocol in seattle, but then she got pneumonia and an infection of the pancreas a week or so ago, and that pretty much nixed her chances of going to seattle for the treatment. seems you have to be infection-free for at least two weeks to start the protocol.

diane's running out of options, kids. i'm afraid she might not last much longer and i will lose my other best friend.

thanks, diane, "blueeyes", for lighting up my life the way you did and the way nobody else could. it's been a heckuva 22 years with you in my life. we had our ups and downs as most friends do, and i dread the day you aren't around to make all things seem good in the world. you have given so much love to this world, and i hope i am capable of giving even a tenth of it back the way you have done.

15 February 2005

if a tree falls. . .

physics question du jour:
if a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, would it make a sound?

if a tree falls, part deux

physics questions du jour:
if milli vanilli fell in the woods,
would someone else make a sound?

12 February 2005

you know you live in 2005 when. . .

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

09 February 2005

07 February 2005

02 February 2005

when the cat's away. . .

carrie has gone off to a teacher's conference in the columbia gorge for the next two nights, leaving me home alone with the kidz. should be fun. i wonder what i'll fix for them for dinner tonight?

i'll wager dollars to doughnuts they want macaroni. That'll be four- and ten-year-old girls for you now.

after the dinner it'll be piano practice and reading for the girls, and then off to nighty-night. then, since there is no west wing or alias on tonight, maybe i'll get a little reading done myself.

sounds exciting, no?

in a way, it is. for those of you who have no kids, you know not what you are missing.

i'll sign off on that note and wish you a jolly good night.

30 January 2005

regret (v.)

Pain of mind on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it had been different; a looking back with dissatisfaction or with longing; grief; sorrow; especially, a mourning on account of the loss of some joy, advantage, or satisfaction.*

a cousin of mine is on the brink of the end of his days. he is in pennsylvania, i in oregon. worlds apart, through no fault of his.

i suppose i could've moved back east in my younger days and found gainful employment there, but the risk was great enough that i stepped back from the opportunity and remained where i was comfortable, and therefore lost the chance to live close to the bulk of my extended family.

but at what cost? to move away from hearth and home, mother, dad, brother? (sister was already gallavanting across the globe, seemingly footloose and fancy-free.) to uproot wife and child and tear them away?

why not? we were already 65o miles away in california. why not east?

were my notions of living among the family fold east of the mississippi realistic, or folly?

who knows?

i can only say this: i had a chance, and took it not. mea culpa.

gene, for what it's worth, my greatest regret is that i saw not nearly enough of you during your time here, and that i had the stupidity to remain out of touch as much as i did.

there'll be a hole where you once were, the depth and breadth of which i cannot fathom.

of this i am certain: for the support and love you gave my mother, especially in her time of grief, i am eternally grateful. you are the closest to a brother that my mother has in life, and you will be sorely missed, by more people and more than you can possibly know.

may God bless you, gene thompson, husband, father, doctor, healer. may He hold a special place for you in Heaven. say hello to josephine and john, to jeanne and hughie, to my dad, and to all of your other relations who i had not the pleasure to know in my lifetime. they are all waiting for you with open arms and hearts.

peace be with you.

28 January 2005

voices inside my head
echoes of things that you said

metaphysics question du jour
if you pay your exorcist, and your check bounces, do you get repossessed?

24 January 2005

please change your pants. my ears are hurting.

at least my 4 year old isn't color-blind.

she thinks as long as both the pants and the shirt have blue in them, they
go together.

the problem is that the blue in the pants is part of a blue-red checkerboard
with green, white and red christmas trees splashed all over the place. quite
attractive. they would make a helluva pair of '70s golf trousers.

the shirt is pink with tiny blue hearts all over the place, and
little yellow and red flowers to complete the valentine's day motif.

can you say loud? I shudder when i even think of the combination.

23 January 2005

a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet can kill you

remember my friend who has cancer? (see birth. school. work. death.)

I was visiting her in hospital yesterday. in a casual conversation with her nurse I learned something very interesting.

if a patient has given the hospital a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, the patient is given a yellow bracelet.

some hospitals have taken to taping over LIVESTRONG bracelets (sold by the Lance Armstrong Foundation) on patients who wear them, and others insist the patient remove the LIVESTRONG bracelet entirely to avoid confusion in case of a catastrophic event such as heart stoppage.

just to confirm, i found this story on the AP wire:


Hospitals covering over LiveStrong bracelets, fearing a deadly mix-up

Friday, December 10, 2004

10:59 PST TAMPA, Fla. (Associated Press)

A hospital chain is taping over patients' LiveStrong wristbands because they are yellow -- the same color as the "do not resuscitate" bands it puts on patients who do not want to be saved if their heart stops.

(for the rest of the story, click here)

birth. school. work. donate marrow. . .life.

For information on bone marrow transplants, start here:

Thank you.

one ringy dingy, two ringy dingies

heard on an answering machine today:

"this is Frank. you can leave me a message, but i must warn you i get annoyed with messages that are hard to read. please use your shift key appropriately, avoid overdoing punctuation, and spell-check your message, or i might ignore it."

21 January 2005

is it possible to be half pregnant?

we had a bouncing baby boy.

let's try that again.

we just learned we had a bouncing baby boy. we just got the bill from providence medical center.

we didn't even know we were pregnant!

it seems another carrie mccarthy had a baby at providence, but she wasn't insured, so the bill went to my wife's account. briiliant accounting procedures, if ever I heard of them.

we've never been to ob/gyn or neonatal at providence. we only visited the ER when my wife broke her ankle two years ago.

can you get pregnant by breaking your ankle?

seen on the eastbound end of a car
headed westbound out of D.C. at 198 mph

in honor of yesterday's inauguration:
bumper sticker thought for the day:
If we quit voting, will they all go away?

20 January 2005

birth. school. work. death.

cancer is such a pisser. really. what's the point of a 40-year-old who's never lived near a hazardous waste dump getting leukemia? or a 10-year-old for that matter? where does juvenile leukemia come from?

I'm rambling.

one of my oldest and dearest friends has leukemia. she's only 40, for crying out loud. one of the sweetest, most generous people you could ever want to meet. 2 kids, nice husband. good christian woman who would never think an evil thought or hurt another being.

what's the point?

billy joel sang it best, I guess. only the good die young.

not if I can help. a lot of prayer. a lot of visits while she is in hospital to keep her spirits up.

and I am signing up for the bone marrow registry. hope you'll do the same. the life you save might be. . .

your kid's?

seen on the southbound end of a northbound car

in honor of today's inauguration:

bumper sticker thought for the day:

politicians & diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason

19 January 2005

something out of the woodwork this way came

Just heard from Dave Hofman, Rayne Thompson and Sara Martin. Those three are always the first to respond to my email.

Anyone heard from Jonathan Hawes or Tracy Reith or Chris Herz or Rebecca Campbell lately?

What about Andrew McLoughlin, Ali Razavi, Pari Bose, Patrick Lannon, Jason Petredis, Sara Santa, Kathleen Clark, DeAnn Rolison, new mom Mary Bokovoy, "hometown girl" Ann Lai, Boston transplant Evan, Steve Smith, Tovar Milhollin, Andy Tauber? John Gieschen and John Fort? The inimitable Dave Janiszewski?

Did I forget ANYONE?

Updates would be appreciated.


my wife has a case of the crabs.

No, really. She's a first grade teacher, and she is doing a sea life unit, and the featured attraction is a couple of hermit crabs.

She asked me for some help writing a song about them, and this is what I came up with:

Sung to "It's a Small, Small World"

I'm a hermit crab and I live in a shell
And my life can be such a living hell
When I come out and wiggle
I make first graders giggle
It's a living hell.

Not appropriate for first graders, methinks. I'll try again tomorrow.

18 January 2005


Here we are, on a balmy January day. 58 degrees, humid. Feels like a cold day in the Bahamas in January 1983. . .but that's another story entirely.

Business is slow, customers are few and far between.

I miss my geek friends and our LAN games, chasing
beefpile and nerdygirl, blowing the snot out of them, although it was mostly beefpile who blew the snot out of me.

Oh, well.

More to come tomorrow. Day off. Might get something accomplished!

Later, kids.

17 January 2005

about me

i'm a geek. not a technogeek or an übergeek, mind you, just a geek.

i was shut out of a geek job during the dot-bomb of 2001--the damn company went bankrupt--and i was on some kind of self-imposed sabbatical for almost 6 years.

now, i am a full-fledged loan account executive for the country's biggest lender and have been there for 19 months (and counting--i have no plans to go anywhere!). . .and i love it!

good god, where did the time go?

anyway, back to reality.

married 17 years. i have two beautiful children, both girls. if you haven't seen them lately, you have no idea.

countrywide home loans • loans • loan • interest rate • home equity • cash out • debt consolidation • libor • cofi • mta • T-bill • treasury • federal reserve • combo loan • arm • fixed rate • adjustable rate • subprime • sub-prime • prime • interest only • interest-only • negative amortization • neg am • neg-am • real estate • foreclosure • bankruptcy • collection • fico • experian • trans union • equifax • credit report • percent • per cent • countrywide • full spectrum lending division • Toyota • Scion • Mazda • Subaru • Nissan • Daihatsu • Pontiac • Buick • GMC Trucks • Dodge • Chrysler • Jeep • Ford • Lincoln • Mercury • Mitsubishi • Hyundai • Kia • BMW • Volswagen • Chevrolet • Audi • Porsche • Mercedes-Benz • Daimler-Chrysler • Saab • Hummer • Cadillac • Aston Martin • Aston-Martin • Jaguar • Land Rover • Rolls-Royce • Bentley • Mini • Cars • Isuzu • Ferrari • lamborghini