Friday, January 28, 2005

Off line a few days

I'll be off line for a few days and won't blog again until I get to Kansas and hang out a bit. Can't leave soon enough, that's for sure.

Blogger from Iraq

Here's a blog from a soldier in Iraq. He's not blogging about Sunday School, so if you have delicate sensibilites, don't look. Todd sent me this and this blog was featured in a Chronicle article a week or so ago.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Street/Quintinilla

I went to the Arizona Fall League last year and saw Huston Street close two games. This is a name you A's fans need to keep in your head. His fastball looked better than anyone else's I saw for the week, and his breaking ball just made hitters look silly.
It wouldn't shock me to see him play in Oakland this season, though a visit to Midland or Sacramento is more likely. Selfishly, I'd like to see him in Stockton so we would get more of a chance to see him.

Also, I saw Omar Quintinilla play for the week, and though the AFL is a hitters league, he put the hurt on the ball. He didn't get cheated out of any swings and looked like he had a clue at the plate. Since Crosby is our shorstop for the next 5 seasons, I see Quintinilla moving to the logjam at 2b.

I've been reading at Athletics Nation, Barry Zito Forever, and Elephants in Oakland, which has me all pumped up for the season to start.
Oh, and did I add that I hate the Giants and can't wait for them to lose 90 games this season?


Depressing Time of Year

This has got to be the most depressing time of the year. It is still almost a month until pitchers and catchers report. Football is over, except for the silly two weeks before the Super Bowl (actually, the Raiders season was over in August), the Warriors are horrible, and there's no hockey. One bright spot is the college baseball season opens weekend after next, so there is a bit of hope.
The sports section is so sad, that today's Mercury had the 10 top end zone celebrations of all time. Ugh, what mindless horseshit. I can't wait until baseball season, the only real reason there is a sports section in the paper.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Car Pool Lanes

The Govinator signed a bill that allows hybrids that get over 45 mpg to use the carpool lanes solo as long as you have a sticker. This cannot go into effect until the Fed's allow it.
I'm not happy with this for two reasons.

1) Carpool lanes are for carpools. They're to encourage as a matter of public policy carpooling. They've got nothing to do with the mpg of a car, they're to cut the traffic down.

2) Why only hybrids? If 45 mpg is the threshold, I have a VW New Beetle TDI that gets a no-BS 48-50 mpg on my commute. Why should I be excluded when my mileage matches the hybrids?

Methinks the Govinator should concentrate on not borrowing so much money to balance the state budget and not be so concerned on the carpool lanes.

Athletics Nation

Athletics Nation is a blog site I linked up to that may be worth a click or two. They have a three part interview with Billy Beane and some other interesting stuff. I've not sifted through the whole site yet, but it looks promising.

Off to Kansas

I got next week off as a LOA, so I'll be leaving for the Land of Oz Saturday morning right after work. I'm thinking of busting it there and taking my time back. US-50 goes from Sacramento to Dodge City and there are parts of it I've not been on, around Royal Gorge et al.
The mileage is about 1600 miles each way. I'll probably drop a blog or two once I'm there.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

I joined

the FFRF and AU yesterday. Combine that with my membership in the ACLU, and I'm sure I've scared off the one or two readers I've had visit my blog. I guess to balance things out I need to join the NRA, which isn't all that out of the question. I do like to shoot, and think a CCP should be as easy to get as a drivers license. (that's Concealed Carry Permit)

This is why I don't consider myself either on the right or left, Republican or Democrat, Blue or Red. I consider myself a believer in the Constitution and have a passion for liberty.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

NHL-Does anyone care?

I work in San Jose, home of the Sharks. The NHL lockout was news for a while here, but now is hardly mentioned. Not only is the season in jeopardy, but I think the entire league can go down the tubes. And, except for two guys I work with, nobody I know really cares if the NHL ever has another faceoff or not.
That, in itself, should be a driving reason for the owners to end the lockout and rescue the league from their own stupidity.

My brother Kurt

Today is the one year anniversary of my brother's passing. Kurt was 47 years old and on vacation in Mali. He felt sick, and within hours was dead. I don't know what was harder on me, my own dealing with the passing, or watching my parents deal with the death of their oldest son. I've never been sadder that watching my dad carry out his son in a box from having the body cremated. That, and I poured my brother in the ocean when we scattered his ashes.
We never did get an acceptable answer as to why it happened. The Mali authorites couldn't come up with an answer, and the two American doctors who were on the tour with my brother couldn't tell us much either.
It has been a difficult year. I was having powerful dreams about Kurt earlier on, but those have subsided for the most part. Every once in a while one pops up that makes me sit up in bed. People I know who have had the same loss tell me it does get better.

I miss my brother terribly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Weekend Away

Sandra and I took a long weekend in the RV. Oir first stop was Mercey Hot Springs. This place is so far out in the boonies it isn't even on the power grid. They are self sufficient with a wind generator and a bio-diesel generator. They even had 30 amp hookups for the White House. My late brother, Kurt, liked to travel to out of the way nations, and he spoke about places where the power was turned off for the night. This is one of thise places. By 9pm the power was off.
The reason to come here is to take a soak in the hot spring fed tub. Its just a big tub of mineral water, and it doesn't even have any jets.
At first, though the water is steaming, it doesn't seem too hot. The effects are subtle. After a while the heated water takes effect and one gets warmed right up. Both Sandra and I have arthritis and the soak made us feel better. It is a traditionally held belief by some that soaking in mineral water is healthy. It sure is healthy for the spirit!
You also meet interesting people taking a soak. We visited with people from Trinity County and Santa Cruz.
This is a quiet, laid back, adult place to go. Nothing for the kids to do. It is about 13 miles west of I-5, just south of Santa Nella. If you're passing by and need a soak, this is the place.

We then took the hop over the hills to Big Sur, where we camped for two nights. I had thought camping at Big Sur would be close to the beach, but this isn't so. The campgrounds, both State and private, are inland on the Big Sur River, in the redwoods.
We got to Julia Pfiffer State Park about 3:30. The Big Sur river cuts through the park. Much of the park was closed off, it looks like the three weeks of steady rain has taken its toll.
There weren't too many people in the park, and nobody was near us. It was pretty damp, well, let's call it muddy. Still, a pretty spot.
I was glad that we could get the newspaper in the morning at the Lodge, which is next to the Park. Nothing like feeding the addiction of reading the paper every day.
We hiked up the trail to Pfeiffer Falls, and wandered around the park a bit. We also rented the worst movies in the history of Hollywood. The In-Laws, and Welcome to Mooseport were truly horrible. I think I'd rather have my teeth drilled than watch them again.
Sandra loves Ray Romano, (he is not funny) and we rented it for her. It proved that Romano is a whiny Jerry Seinfeld want to be and HE IS NOT FUNNY.
I did laugh a bit at Starsky and Hutch. A bit. Sandra was not amused at all.
Mostly, we hung out and spent time together. Since we work opposite shifts, it makes it a challenge to be a "normal" couple that does things together. One of the things I like about Sandra is that she recognizes that even though she's a mother, it isn't all she is. She's still Sandra.
And part of this couple thing that her and I are.

Too Much Time

http://www.saynotogrampajoe.com/

Waaaay too much time on one's hands, but worth a look.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Americans United

Another site that deserves support is au.org. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Take a look at the link to how God speaks to Pat Robertson. Didn't I mention in an earlier blog about God and his representives? Here's another winner.

WMD

I noticed the White House has called off the search in Iraq for the WMD. Our President assured us they were there and they're not. Now, our reasoning for invading a soverign country is to install our version of democracy. If that were so important, why aren't we invading North Korea? They really do have WMD, and are certainly not a democracy. Hmmmmm, maybe because Sadam tried to knock off Bush's daddy? Or the oil for Bush's buddies, like our VP's Haliburton and the no bid contracts? Or, we would get our asses handed to us in Korea?

Bush and the right wing media have done a good job in painting the illegal invasion of Iraq under the 9-11 flag. All he has to say is "9-11" and it is OK to do anything he wants. Since there's no proof of any collaberation between Iraq and the Saudi attackers of 9-11, I'm still waiting for a good reason to invade.

And, what happened to the hunt for Bin Laden? Here's the guy we need to kill, and yet he's still alive.

Meanwhile, more troops are killed every day. For what? I don't feel any safer since 9-11, do you?

A's to San Jose

The Mercury today quotes Larry Stone as saying it is "an acknowledged fact" that the A's can't survive in Oakland and the most logical destination is San Jose.

Let's look at this for a sec.

The A's make fistsfuls of money. They have a favorable lease with the Coliseum. They draw well, and don't spend more than they make. Sounds to me like the A's are doing more than just surviving, they're thriving.

The voters of San Jose voted down a park for the Giants about 10-15 years ago. I work in San Jose and I'm about the only A's fan in the place. The other A's fan in my unit grew up in San Leandro like I did. That's about it. Santa Clara County is Giants country, plain and simple. The A's to San Jose is a non-issue.

The Merc would love to see it happen. Another team in the city to cover. More papers to sell. They have a bias towards favorable coverage on this issue. Funny thing is they do a poor job in covering the SJ Giants (A+ team in the Cal League) and don't cover the SJSU baseball program at all.

You read it here first. There's no way the A's are moving to San Jose.

more 49ers

John Madden (who I can't stand) says in today's Mercury "It doesn't look like they have a plan."

Madden, the master of understatement. This from a coach who just couldn't get past Pittsburgh, when the Raiders also had no plan. Except for the year Harris and Fuqua were hurt. That's a good plan.

Boom!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Three Aces

I'm in the minority about the A's trading of Mulder and Hudson. I like them both, but am not all that worked up about their leaving. Hudson we weren't going to sign anyway, and that doesn't make for a strong trading position.
Mulder is damaged goods. There's a reason he was hurt two playoffs ago, and took the gas in the second half last year. I'm with Branch Rickey on this one, better a year too soon than a year too late.


More Under God

One of my favorite sites is ffrf.org. This is the Freedom from Religon Foundation. As a nonthiest, this is something I fully support. I believe that freedom of religion also means freedom FROM religion. Trust me, this is not a popular opinion to hold in this country. I truly despise the tyrrany of the majority. (Oh, and on the site I only got one wrong on the Constitution test and three wrong on the Bible test. Give it a look)

While we're on religous stuff, I wonder why churches aren't open in the morning so the school kids can pray on the way to school? This way, each parent can more directly oversee the spiritual growth of their charges, and they can do as Jesus himself says in Matthew 6:5-6. Pray behind locked doors. Very few of the faith understand or follow this. It seems to pray like the Pharasees (sp) , though warned against by the Son of God, is common practice in this country.
What kills me is that prayer is protected by the 1st Amemdment. Any child can pray in school. Prayer in school is legal and protected by the Constitution. What a concept. But this isn't enough for those who don't really want freedom of religion, they want freedom of thier religion and no others.
As an almighty God, he sure chooses poor representives for the faith. Makes one wonder.

Slumlord

Sandra and I bought a condo today, it is our second one to rent out. I guess this makes us full fledged slumlords. $285k for 913 sq ft. Jesus, that's a lot of money. And, there's another one that just went on the market for 290. These have gone up $50k in the last 6-8 months.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Fat

Yep, I'm a fat ass. I stepped on the scale yesterday. 295.5 with 38% fat. That's 112+ pounds of pure fat.
Both Sandra and I want to get some of our goo off for the wedding. I'd like to look reasonably not pregnant in the pictures.
So, here's my proclimation that I'm working on getting some of this 112 pounds of fat off. 240 is a nice, round number. 43 weeks to lose 55.5 pounds.
I've gotten into the 260's a few times and ate my way back. Wish me luck, or at least more willpower to resist the eating attacks.

Y'know, its a pain to have food issues. Booze, smoking and drugs are things you don't need to live, and cold turkey can work. But you can't cold turkey food. Food needs to be managed. And that's where the challenge lies.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

under god

I was cruising other blogs, and one spot was a Baptist minister from Oklahoma. He mentioned the current case (Nednow, I think) and a reply said that perhaps we should alter the Pledge from "one Nation under God" to "one Nation under the Constitution." Hell of an idea.
I commented that I was one that wanted our motto changed back to E Pluribus Unum, and the invocations stopped in Congress and the Court, and the current motto off our money. I'm sure there are a few unhappy Baptists in Oklahoma after my commentary. I even was nice about it.

Daddy Longball Golf Club

Props go to Jim Valencia for putting the legwork in to get our NCGA golf club up and running. The website I have a hand in, and most of you have already seen it. If you haven't, click here.
If you're interested in joining, there's still time, don't hesitate.

More Niners

The Merc today is talking about that loser York wanting Pete Carroll as his savior of a head coach. Now, tell me, after the smackdown whuppin that SC put on Oklahoma, and another #1 ranking, why would he leave all that to work for the worst owner in the NFL. York and Bidwell make almost anyone in any of the leagues look like champions. I rate York lower becasue at least Bidwell suckered Maricopa County taxpayers to cough him up a new stadium. Can't really say that about York.
It is a great time to hate the Niners!

look up

up in the right corner of the screen is a "next blog" button. It randomly takes you to another blog on blogger.com.
Not a bad way to kill time. You may even stumble across someone as witty as me!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Marriage

I think Sandra and I may get married in 2005. We've talked about a November 5th wedding in Avalon, on Catalina Island. Sure is something to consider.

Josh

I asked many of you what your opinion was of the Josh situation. If you don't know, he got married on November 6th, and I didn't go. He specifically excluded Sandra, and I just couldn't see going anywhere, much less to a wedding that Sandra wasn't welcome at.
He never did give me a real reason why he made this decision. He gave me some bullshit answers about meeting new people and his mom's feelings and some such claptrap. Never a real, legitmate reason.
It was more important to him for me to not go, than for Sandra to go. Sandra told me that she would understand if I went without her, but I still couldn't do it.
I consider myself disowned as Josh's dad by Josh. I never thought it would come down to this, and I'm 100% comfortable with my decision to not go. It truly is his loss. Sandra reached out to him and his wife, and this is what she gets. Well, this'll happen once and only once, and Josh got his once.
I'll add that everyone I spoke to about this (save one) has been fully supportive of my decision. At least half of you didn't even let me finish explaining the scenario before you interrupted me with the resoudning NO.
Your support has been appreciated. Life does move on. And, you know who's who in your life in a time of crisis.

Kansas

I think I need to take some time off. Some days, I feel like I'm Miss Nancy from Romper Room riding heard on grown up crybabies. It isn't just the Union enviroment, it is the idiots this place hires. Being responsible for others performance without being able to write them up and fire them isn't the best place to be. Still, I freely took this job and my eyes were wide open when I took it. It's been 3+ years of Dispatching, and my plan is still to retire at it.
What does this have to do with Kansas? One of my closest bro's, Charlie, lives in Dodge City with wife Katy and my goddaughter Leandra. It is a 2-3 day drive there, and that is an appealing idea. I've always liked traveling alone, though I do like traveling with others, including Sandra.
Still, getting to listen to any CD you want and eating what and when you want, well......

We're looking at getting the inside of the house painted, and since paint and I don't do well together, being gone while the painting is going on is looking better and better.
I went to Kansas last January and the weather was nice. I kind of want it cold and snowy, since we don't get that out here in the Bay Area too often. That, and I want to use the 4wd in Sandra's Suburban.(it used to be mine, but she stole it from me)
So Kansas may be the next trip.

big-boys.com

This is a good site for video of stupid white trash trying to break their faces and other cool stuff. I like the one of the van racing the Camaro and winning. I'm sure most of it is fake, but it is still cool to look at.

Niners to LA

Oh, and one more thing about the sorry Niners. I've said for a while that they're the team moving to LA if/when a stadium gets built down there. The Whiners owner, York, has no loyality to the city, and since the SF stadium deal doesn't seem to be happening, and he plays in the dump that is Candlestick, well, IMHO he'll hot foot it to LA in a New York Minute.
Once this happens, Raider fans will get the chance for payback. We've heard the LA Traiders and all of that "I liked them until they moved" stuff. I'm sure we've kept a mental track of the names of all the Phony Whiner fans and PAYBACK will happen. The LA Phony Traiders.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I Love Sandra

If I didn't tell her and all of you this, she would kick my butt. However, it is true. I think she's a catch and we have a good gig going on. Even her kids like me. What a deal!

And the Giants

who I hate with a bitter vengence, will not win 80 games. Too bad for Sandra, who loves the Giants. I'm sad that she was dropped on her head as a child.

90 wins

I'll go out on a limb here and say that the A's will win 90 this year. You read it here first. Or second.

Raiders

With 5 wins, it isn't like the Raiders are much better. Oh wait, they're 2.5 times better than the Niners. Still, to not make the playoffs is a crime. This, after I said earlier in the season that if we played Collins, we would win the Super Bowl. Jesus, what a prediction.

Phony Niners

Yep, the worst team in football. Where oh where are all the Niner fans now? Hiding. Sad, sorry asses. Watching them crash and burn brings joy to my heart.

Yeah, another way to run my mouth!

One of my buds from work led me to this site and I created my own blog. Damn, what a way for me to spew what most of you have already heard, and for those of you who haven't known me long, you're in for what I'm sure is a surprise!