Thursday, August 31, 2006

Peace Activists?

Next time you hear some peacenik nut-job pontificate about supporting the troops while opposing the war consider this approach to promoting "peace:"
The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is searching for five people who allegedly attacked a uniformed National Guardsmen walking along 138th Street in Parkland Tuesday afternoon.

The soldier was walking to a convenience store when a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and the driver asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.

The driver then got out of the vehicle, displayed a gun and shouted insults at the victim. Four other suspects exited the vehicle and knocked the soldier down, punching and kicking him.

“And during the assault the suspects called him a baby killer. At that point they got into the car and drove off and left him on the side of the road,” Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
Support the troops indeed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just for the Record

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

There is a thread on the Young Widow Bulletin Board about how tough it is hearing people complain about normal stuff: how difficult it is to keep up with housework, yards, life in general. We want to say to them you think it's hard for you?? Try it all with your heart perpetually in your throat, on the edge of tears all the time.

The general consensus, I believe though, is that it is especially hard when people complain about their spouse being inattentive of distant. You want inattentive and distant? Try "dead" on some time.

The worst is people that complain when their spouse has to travel for a couple weeks and ask, "how will I get along that long without him/her." Saying that to me might get you a sock in the kisser.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Words of Wisdom

Stolen from a local biker magazine:
  • Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach that person to use the internet, and they won't bother you for weeks.
  • Some people are like Slinkies - not really good for anything, but you can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
  • I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end, and I think, "Well, that's not going to happen."
  • Health nuts are going to feel silly one day, lying in the hospital dying of nothing.
  • The other night I ate at a genuine family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
  • Have you noticed since everyone has camcorders, nobody talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?
  • According to a recent survey, men say the first thing they notice about women is their eyes. Women say the first thing they notice about men is that they are bunch of liars.
  • Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
  • We could all learn from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
  • Have you noticed that a slight tax increase costs you two hundred bucks, and a sunstantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?
  • In the 60s, people took acid to make the world look weird. Now, the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make the world feel normal.
  • How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes the whole box to start a campfire?
  • Friday, August 25, 2006


    So I have discovered a new diversion: Geocaching.
    Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.
    Load up some coordinates in a $100 handheld GPS unit, set out on the Harley, and it's a day of fun and adventure. And right now, I am also battling a mean case of poison ivy.

    The Path to 9/11

    Front Page magazine has an article outlining an upcoming ABC miniseries documenting the events preceeding September 11, 2001:
    This is the first Hollywood production I’ve seen that honestly depicts how the Clinton administration repeatedly bungled the capture of Osama Bin Laden. One astonishing sequence in "The Path to 9/11" shows the CIA and the Northern Alliance surrounding Bin Laden’s house in Afghanistan. They're on the verge of capturing Bin Laden, but they need final approval from the Clinton administration in order to go ahead. They phone Clinton, but he and his senior staff refuse to give authorization for the capture of Bin Laden, for fear of political fall-out if the mission should go wrong and civilians are harmed.
    The series airs in a couple weeks, on September 10th and 11th. I am already warming up the TiVO.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006


    I was sitting at work feeling maudlin today, and I was picked up by this post on the Young Widows Bulletin Board:
    As I was sitting in a restaurant by myself eating dinner last night it dawned on me that everything we do takes courage.

    Eating dinner alone on a Monday night...takes courage

    Taking care of the house and yard alone...takes courage

    Going to the kids sporting events or school functions alone...takes courage

    learning about the bills, social security and legal stuff...takes courage

    going out with friends...takes courage

    deciding to get back out there to meet people...takes courage

    We should remember to congratulate ourselves on doing the everyday things we continue to do because it all takes so much emotional energy and courage. At a time when I feel insecure and isolated it is a little inspiring to recognize the everyday accomplishments.
    Being widowed is so much bigger than simply desperately missing Suzy. It is actually re-learning how to live.

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Homage to my job

    I work at a really great place.

    When Suzy was sick, the accounting department changed all the vacation time I was putting on my time sheets to sick time. Since Suzy died on 30 December, the year's sick hours were about to be lost anyway, and they made sure they were all used up before letting me use any vacation time.

    When Suzy died, I went up there to change my health insurance policy from "employee and spouse" to "employee only," and they had already done that, too.

    We have a program we run called "Summer Scholars" in which we bring in half a dozen college students from across the country, put them up in a couple apartments, and give them a summer of architecture in the real world. We challenge them and they challenge us.

    This afternoon our first scholar is headed back to school, so we are throwing a wine and cheese happy hour to celebrate the summer and wish see him off. It is like the fifth happy hour we have had since June, for various excuses.

    I am really lucky to work with so many thoughtful, fun-loving people.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    ABC news has developed a sudden interest in President Bush's health.
    Last week President Bush underwent his annual physical. It revealed he was in pretty good health, except for one thing. According to his body mass index, he's overweight.
    But wait, it gets worse: the "experts" are concerned:
    "I don't know if I would say he's overweight, but if you look at the trend, increasing body weight is not a good pattern," says Leslie Bonci, director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
    Because it is, after all part of the job description to be in shape.
    And J. Larry Durstine, president of the American College of Sports Medicine, says he believes the president should be recognized as a leader in maintaining good health.
    Does anybody remember this kind hand-wringing over the president's weight when it was Bill Clinton, and running meant running down the block to McDonald's and riding meant riding in a golf cart with Vernon Jordan?

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Sure, it's all over the internet. It might as well be here, too, I suppose.

    Update: From this essay by a Lebanese-American:
    I am sure there will be new giant posters of mullahs and ayatollas and martyrs on every dirty street corner of Beirut after all this ends one day. There will continue to be a great resolve to avenge the aggression, liberate Palestine, restore the dignity of the Umma, and add yet one more defeat to the long list of “victories in sacred unity”. For that is how Arabs measure victory or defeat: Not in terms of territory lost or won, not in terms of military battles lost or won, not in terms of buildings, cities, and villages saved or destroyed, not in terms of the numbers of dead and injured, not in terms of the effort it will take to rebuild, not in terms of how many people left the country to emigrate to more normal places to live. No. None of those things matter in this life for the smart people of Lebanon and their leaders. What matters in the end is how big we think the balls of our leaders are in comparison with the balls of the enemy, how much higher is the level of testosterone in their veins, and how much longer our phallic rockets are compared to theirs. That, my fellow Lebanese, is what we are dying for and why our country is being destroyed, and we should all thank Hezbollah for showing us how big Hassan Nasrallah’s balls are. This is a priceless piece of information that is worth the destruction of Lebanon and the death of its children.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Best Laid Plans are a Good Thing

    I have posted about the hard times, but it's time to start acknowledging some progress.

    At 7 months out, with Suzy's birthday coming on Friday, I have come to a personal revelation. I cannot control the bad days. They will come upon me in unpredictable waves, regardless of what I do, where I am, or who I am with. Period. Deal with it.

    I can, however, plan to have fun. That realization started to take shape at the Baltimore Widowbago weekend, which was a grand time. I am booked for Phoenix, which I know will be terrific as well, and Lauderdale is a definite possibility. But, knowing that these 'Bagos give me something to look forward to and give me positives to point towards, why stop there?

    I plan to throw my surfboard on the roof and head to Cape Hatteras the day after tomorrow. I plan to go out for pizza and beer with some friends from work next week. I plan to make a road trip on Labor Day weekend to visit another good friend. I plan to invite my friends to visit me at every opportunity, and I plan to visit others when asked. I am planning my life, not just watching it go by and longing for a past that can never again be. And I am, for the most part, feeling much better for it.

    Bad days? Sure. Lots more to come. Birthdays, holidays, in-laws, all the usual triggers. It will come. But I expect it.

    Now there is a light out there at the end of this, and I believe I lit it myself and must hunt it down. And you, my good friends and fellow widders, kept me going and helped me strike the match. Thank you all.

    Now, I need to start planning on replacing the floors, decks, rails. Maybe after Lauderdale!

    Philadephia sells out to New York

    Well the evil empire has struck again stealing a great player, Bobby Abreu, and a decent pitcher Cory Lidle, from my hometown Phillies.

    And last night, Bobby Abreu, helped them pull ahead of the Boston Red Sox, my adopted hometown team, in the standings for the AL East.

    Are John Henry, Theo Epstein, and Larry Lucchino considering this a rebuilding year?

    Because the Yankees don't have rebuilding years, and the Phillies have had rebuilding years since 1993. So which team would you like to emulate Theo "Boy Wonder" Epstein?