Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On ARod...

So, it is well known that upon arrival with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez has struggle mightily in the post season.
Now, it can't be that bad since his career average (after the division series w/ Minnesota) is 0.291, but when a big spot was up, he wasn't coming through.

I submit that he was terrified of being found out with regard to his steroid use. He saw how much Barry Bonds was vilified and feared the same happening to him. With the positive test exposed this past off-season, I believe this enabled Alex to play more loose. He seems to have a smile on his face more and seems more involved with the high-fiving, jumping around celebrations with the team than in the past.

We saw the results in the Minnesota series. Here is to AROD coming through against the Angels.

Go Yanks! and AROD!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Complaints about Jacob Clark

My complaint about Mr. Jacob H Clark

Although, ultimately, you will need to make up your own mind about Mr. Jacob H Clark, I have a number of things to say that you may find useful. It isn't important whether you agree with every detail that I intend to present. What matters is that you begin to realize that you should not ask, "To what lengths will Jacob go to worsen an already unstable situation?", but rather, "Why can't he value a diversity of approaches without needing to rank them as better and worse?". The latter question is the better one to ask because I recently informed him that his flunkies pit the haves against the have-nots. Jacob said he'd "look further into the matter." Well, not too much further. After all, his apparatchiks have tried repeatedly to assure me that he will eventually tire of his plan to lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction and will then step aside and let us make this world a kinder, gentler place. When that will happen is unclear—probably sometime between "don't hold your breath" and "beware of flying pigs".

While Jacob has a right to his opinion, he coins polysyllabic neologisms to make his fairy tales sound like they're actually important. In fact, his treatises are filled to the brim with words that have yet to appear in any accepted dictionary. He is like a broken record, using the same tired cliches about family and education and safer streets, yet his cringers remain largely silent when asked about the correlative connecting him to scapegoatism. The rare times they do deign to comment they invariably skew the issue to prevent people from realizing that if you've read this far then you probably either agree with me or are on the way to agreeing with me.

Jacob should start developing the parts of his brain that have been impaired by authoritarianism. At least then he'll stop trying to make the pot of solecism overboil and scald the whole world. I admit that I'm not perfect. I admit that I may have been a bit stingy when I stated that Jacob is a bit teched. Still, that doesn't justify the name-calling, rudeness, and simple ugliness that Jacob invariably finds so necessary. Nor does it justify his challenging all I stand for. That's all I have to say. Thanks for letting me express my feelings.

This is of course a Joke...and the website used is the following: http://www.pakin.org/complaint/

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It has been awhile, and while much has happened, nothing quite stood out to post to the world.

Unfortunately, I still have nothing exciting. I think I may do some painting tonight, I will let the world see it if I actually ever paint.

I am currently reading The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan. A fantastic book. And...thought provoking, which is probably the point.

I would prefer to translate my field of work to a more green/sustainable situation, but can't seem to find any pieces that fit. Anybody got anything?

Oh, and I have a cold. Great. I love using a box of tissues hourly.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome to VA, Spokane.

Last Thursday, at about 10:30 am, I receive a text from my lovely wife Michelle. In said text is a picture of a 6 month old puppy named Apache. She is a Australian shepherd/border collie mix. "Can we adopt her?" follows. My initial response was "Are you crazy?" However, after thinking about it for the rest of the day, I realized that Michelle wouldn't have asked if she didn't really want this dog. I sent a reply later that said if she really wanted her, she could bring her home.

So, Friday night around 10:45 pm, the newly re-named Spokane came out of the special baggage claim and into our lives (well, my life, she had been in Michelle's for the past couple days). Spokane is a good puppy, she just needs a bit of training. Living on a reservation, she didn't have a lot of training. She knows to signal that she wants to go out for the bathroom and we are trying to teach her how to sit. We have to get her comfortable in the house and around our 3 cats who after 2 days of living with a new sister are doing well. They are a bit apprehensive, but so far, not bad.

We have just under 3 weeks until Michelle begins year number 3 of Vet School. In that time we need to get Spokane trained to obey most standard commands. If we are unsuccessful, I am not sure that we can keep her. There won't be much time to train her after that point...luckily, there was another girl on Michelle's RAVS trip that would like to take her if we cannot. I think we can, but we will need to work at it. Hard.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is this over? The blog that is?

Nah...just haven't felt like writing much lately. I have been busy at work, too busy when you think about how I thought I wouldn't have much to work on by now.

Went to LA for a long weekend about a month ago, Michelle is home for the summer, the AC repair man is fixing my AC unit (must remember to put vinegar water in the drain pipe 2x a year)...81 in the house w/ people coming over? HOT!

Going to the OBX next weekend for some time with my long lost friends.

The next step is always a block away...I need to figure out what block I want to go down.

Bought some art in LA...Nelson de la Nuez...check it out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Murder, Murder, Murder, Kill, Kill, Kill...

So, it has been a little over a month since my previous random spoutings...and I had a troubling dream or nightmare as it should more appropriately be called late last week that seems to have me a bit creeped out.

The dream went down like this: I was sleeping upstairs and heard a noise outside that for some reason I decided to go investigate. After trudging down to the basement, I flipped on the light near the television and wandered over to the patio door. I flipped the lock, slowly slid the door open and saw a VERY bright flash and heard a loud bang...and then I woke up.

I am assuming that I was shot and killed. But I suppose that it could be like the final Sopranos episode where what happened is up to the viewers imagination. The problem is that the viewer is me. Now, every noise I hear at night has me wondering what is going on outside. I remind myself that it is nothing and have no problems falling asleep, but still...this has got to stop.

Now, as to what this could mean? Who knows. With some help from the wife and google, it could be that I want to change something drastic in my life...like my job? Otherwise, I think I am happy...well, other than the damn VT hoops team keeping me on pins and needles every year only to be punched to the NIT. I digress...

What say you?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taxes and not paying them

Does anyone else have a problem with that commercial on TV these days that highlights how some law firm will work to get your owed back taxes reduced? I do. No wonder we don't have the funds to adequately perform routine park maintenance, or build further rapid transit systems, or just maintain the roads that we have. The commercial goes something like this...Do you owe back taxes? I owed over $50,000 and with their help, I paid only $2,000. This goes on and on. It shows a Doctor who owed $3 million in taxes but only paid $1 million. I realize that is no small amount, but come on? They were liable for the full bill, where is the tax payment when the money being made to warrant that bill was coming in? I pay my taxes. Do I wish they were less? Sure, but these people are ridiculous and the law firm that represents them is even worse.

Oh...and what the hell is the deal with Marion Barry? How can you be in serious threat to go to prison for not paying your taxes and then not pay them on time for the 7th time in 8 years? Do you expect me to believe that a DC councilman does his own taxes and since he was sick, couldn't submit them? He has an accountant...throw the both of their asses in jail.

Come on DC (and I really mean you Ward 8? folks), Barry has shown over and over again that he has no business being in office. I understand that in general your part of town is a little down on your luck and that Barry is much like many of you, but come on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Economic Stimulus on Low Rate Home loans? Lets give it a try.

So, this morning on NPR, they were discussing the idea of government backed home loans set at 4%. This would put money in the pockets of homeowners and make the government a little bit of money. I suggest that it would make the government more than a little bit of money. The discussion hinged on the government being able to sell T-Bills at 3% interest and then loaning the money at 4%...therefore making 1% on the loans. Excellent idea. Puts money in the pockets of homeowners and puts money in the pocket of the government...win win.

Here is where it gets better for the government and a little less beneficial to the homeowner. Note, I say a little, because it would still equal more money in the pockets of the homeowner. The reason it makes more money for the government is due to less interest being paid by the homeowner, therefore resulting in less interest deductions on their income taxes resulting in MORE tax being owed to the government. This program would cost the government nearly nothing as it would probably be routed through Fannie or Freddie and it would make more money for the economy by putting more money in our pockets and make money for the government by the money earned from interest and higher taxes.

Now, you may say...why pay the lower rate if it will result in higher taxes. Well, for me, I currently pay about $2500 a month for my mortgage (this includes principle, interest, property taxes, & insurance). At 4%, I would pay about $2050 a month. This results in approximately $500 a month back in my pocket. Now, with that being said, I would probably end up owing an extra $200 a month in taxes due to lower interest deductions. At the end of the year, I would still have and extra $3600 dollars. And the government, just from me, would have an extra $3500.

Imagine if the millions across the country refinanced in this manner? Not only would the economy get a boost from people having more money in their pockets, the government would have BILLIONS more to pay down the national debt, build subways, finance Social Security.

Oh, and the other benefit would be that this would perhaps make peoples mortgages more affordable if they are in risk of defaulting...a much needed thing these days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome, Mr. President.

Mr. Obama or I suppose after 12 noon today, Mr. President-

I am excited to have you leading us to change. It will be a difficult time without doubt. The challenges facing us are perhaps unprecedented. The challenges are not necessarily new ones, however, they have morphed. We continue to have infrastructure issues, transportation issues, power grid issues, food issues...

As a civil engineer, I understand how much our infrastructure is in need of major maintenance. I am also aware of transportation issues as I live in Virginia, outside of Washington DC. While we need to fix our roads and re-design certain arteries to work with current issues more appropriately, we need a renewed investment in mass-transit. Speaking purely in the DC area, but applicable to many areas, I believe we need a light rail system, similar to what was installed in San Diego or Portland, which traverses the major arterial routes throughout the region. This would allow more options to get people to work. The routes would be permanent, but the stops could quickly be relocated as ridership dictates. A line circling the beltway is necessary as well. Be it Metro or rapid transit. This would allow workers that may ride from Maryland to Virginia the ability to skip the ride all the way into DC and out. Lines are needed in Virginia up and down route 50, 29, 236, etc. These could connect with Metro stations as well. But enough about transportation needs...As mentioned in Michael Pollan's Open Letter to the "Farmer in Chief", I think we need to take a look at how we receive, grow, and process our foods. I won't go into it hear, but if you are interested read the letter mentioned above. I agree with it, I think. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html

The economy is in shambles, can we fix it by new investments in clean energy? Partially, I think the answer is yes. Our power grid is woefully inadequate and outdated. Investments in a modern grid, with modern ways of transmitting power is important. So are solar farms and wind farms as well as perhaps energy from algae and other cellulose materials. Lets get moving. This will help our energy independence, carbon emissions, and possibly our power bills (think solar on every building or home...). Finally, we need to think of ways to really fix our Health care system. Costs are spiraling out of control. Not only are people without insurance, but many who don't work for huge companies pay TOO much for the insurance they do receive. Heck, I pay about $6000 a year for my wife and myself, and who knows how much my employer shells out...That is far too much, especially since my co pays continue to rise.

That is all I have for now...with that, I say Thank you and Good Luck. We are ready to work with you.

Oh, and I had a great time at your concert on Sunday. Good to see you there.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bicycles and accidents...

So...driving to pick up Michelle at the Metro Monday night I hit a girl on her bike. Now, she was not hurt and did not even fall to the ground, but it was very nerve racking. It went down like this, I stopped at an intersection and stop sign to turn right. As I was in the middle of turning right, a girl coming from my right trying to cross the street from right to left was suddenly right in the middle of the car. Luckily I was moving very slowly at this point after having just come from a stop. I don't know why I didn't see her, but I do know this...she was riding her bike on the wrong side of the road from the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic. The only thing I can think of was that I did not expect someone to come at me from that direction.

Bikers (Of which I am an occasional one...) - You are supposed to be riding WITH traffic. You are technically a vehicle. With her coming from the direction she did, it was no different than a car driving down the wrong side of the road. Having not seen a pedestrian and looking to the left for other traffic, I never saw her. Should I have? Probably so, but I didn't.

I offered to pay to fix her bike, if anything really is wrong with it. Her brakes wouldn't release, but that isn't a big deal...I will update when I hear something back from her. I will also kindly advise her about general traffic laws. I understand why she was on the sidewalk coming from where she was...she most likely was trying to be a safe as possible by being out of the road, but at the same time, it can result in what happened by not following general paths of traffic. It also would have been different had she been on the sidewalk on the other side of the road going with the flow of traffic...

Be careful out there...you never know when some guy in a blue Honda may want to make a right turn.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Cynical. Why am I becoming a jerk? I tend to be making mean jokes and being just plain mean to folks lately. Curt responses or no response at all seems to be what is flying out of my mouth. This is not good. Or nice. I don't seem to be able to convey thoughts in a good way. For instance, last night my wife made dinner with shrimp. I asked why the tails couldn't be removed prior to eating, but the question was not posed in a very nice way. I didn't mean for it to come out the way it did, but of course...during the same dinner, I asked if there was more sauce for the meal, which apparently was a dumb question b/c it wasn't a meal made with sauce. Which infers that I did not like the meal. All I needed to do was thank her for the meal (which was good...) and go from there, but of course all I did was seemingly complain.


So much for 2009 starting off well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hello 2009.

So...it is a new year. I have been saying that it is great that 2008 is over as it was such a crappy year. Is 2009 really going to be better or are we hoping for the best when the worst is yet to come? I don't know and neither does anyone else.

Reasons 2008 sucked:

  • 401K tanked
  • General investments tanked
  • Fear of losing job
  • Telecommuting policy cut back
  • Home appliance repairs
  • VT lost Orange Bowl to Kansas (Game preparation anyone?)
  • Too many hours at work
  • Garfield getting blocked
Reasons 2009 may be better:

  • If the stock market stabilizes (buy cheap...)
  • VT won the Orange Bowl against Cincinnati (I know, it's only Cincinnati)
  • Won a big job at work...cash flow is necessary to remain employed
  • Michelle will hopefully be working at home over summer = less driving for me
  • No further home appliance repairs (All of them are new (3 years or younger)) Knocking on wood
  • May win the lottery?
  • Obama is president (See ya w)
Okay...so that is all I have. A lot of hoping.

This past week Jacob and I went to Ray's Hell Burgers in Roslyn. Might I say...DAMN tasty and juicy burgers. A fork was necessary after eating half of the burger. I had a grilled burger, medium rare. They come standard with lettuce and tomato. You can choose 3 ways for your burger to be, grilled, blackened, etc. and you can choose from a specialty burger. Or...you can just choose your cheese and toppings. I chose the basic blue cheese for $1.50 more. Next time...who knows. I'll see what the mood strikes. At any rate, I highly recommend this burger joint.

I resolve to be more careful with my money in 2009. Less beer = more money. Less starbucks/easy chair - more french press at home = more money. Less soda and beer when dining out = more money. And the big one: lower gas prices = more money.

Cheers all...here is to a better 2009.