Wednesday, August 30, 2006




My oldest son Sean is generally quiet and reserved, not the kind of guy to wear his emotions on his sleeve or discuss his feelings. However, Spike Lee's HBO documentary WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE so moved him, he was inspired to create his first ever blog post. Quite frankly, he stole a lot of my thunder! It is a terrific rant, and includes a great video of Good Charlotte doing WE BELIEVE. Great song, great video, great first blog post. See it HERE.

Click on Hurricane Katrina - my rant (upper right hand corner) and be sure to tell him your impressions (and say Hi!)!


Speaking of Katrina, HRH King George II has been all over New Orleans "feeling the peoples pain", desperately trying to make it appear that he has done his job, and trying to blame Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco for the fiasco that is the New Orleans recovery effort. He apparently has forgotten, or hasn't yet figured out, that as president, the buck stops at HIS desk. He is ultimately responsible for doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Does anyone ever remember a president so unwilling or unable to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and get the job done? Typical child of "old money", thinks that all he needs to do is throw some cash at the problem, and the cure will follow. Hey George, take a look around you... think it's working?


Fascinating discussion on FRESH AIR today. Neocon Michael Ledeen (holds the Freedom chair at the AEI), and liberal foreign policy expert Joseph Cirincione (senior vice president for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress
) both in agreement that the president has already decided to take military action against Iran. Of course, this idea has the support of the Vice President's office, and DOD. The Secretary of State, State department, and Joint Chiefs are adamantly opposed.

Both Ledeen and Cirincione appear to believe that the lead up to the war is already starting. Just as with Iraq, it starts with the administration appearing to be reasonable and going through the Security council for sanctions. Of course, sanctions will fail, and Bush will claim he has no choice but to launch a military attack. No matter that Iran is at least 10 years away from actually being able to build a bomb. No more time for diplomacy will be the Bush mantra.

Both men blast the Bush administration for it's total lack of a coherent policy on Iran. And their inability to foresee possible consequences of their actions. For example, if attacked, the Iranians are likely to sink ships and block the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the worlds oil passes. Oil would immediately jump to $200-$300 per barrel. Can you say $7 a gallon gas? And not choke just a bit?

Now there's some food for thought!


I don't usually hype companies or products, but two companies performed so well for me I have to give them a shout out!

My computer keyboard took a shit last week. After a couple of days of trying to copy and paste several letters out of one document into another, I gave up Thursday night and ordered a new keyboard from MacMall. I placed the order at 8:30 Thursday evening, and had them ship it Fed Ex 2nd day economy, figuring it would be there by Monday. It arrived the next day shortly after noon. That's less than 16 hours, and at second day economy rate! I have had great luck with MacMall/PCMall for years, and always go to them first for my computer needs. And my experiences with Fed Ex have always been great. Can't say the same for brown, whose service here, well, sucks.

So please consider doing business with these two great companies. They get a strong thumbs up from TGWB!

Friday, August 18, 2006



My apologies to Alicia Silverstone; she and her friends couldn't possibly be as clueless as Dubya and co.

But don't take my word for it. USA TODAY seems to be in total agreement. The normally moderate editorial board excoriated the Bush administration and Republican leadership in a Wednesday editorial titled Oh, Really?.

After viewing "no one could have expected" statements by Dubya, Condi, and Gen. Calwell, the editorial starts:

As the unfortunate statements above show, President Bush and people who work for him have a disheartening habit of being astonished by the arrival of disasters they didn't see coming but others did.

The editorial goes on to thoroughly debunk the "nobody could have forseen" the levy failures, planes as missles, and secterian violence statements by showing that, indeed, many people had. The editorial continues:

It's true that the shelves of government agencies are stacked with warnings of various calamities that never panned out or weren't widely disseminated. But anticipating risks β€” whether from terrorists, Mother Nature or Iraqi insurgents β€” is basic to effective leadership.

And finally:

The price is yet to be paid for the most flagrant example of ignoring risk, but the bill will start coming due in about a decade when Social Security and Medicare face insolvency because of today's shortsighted policies. Perhaps those in power at that time will attempt to say the crisis couldn't have been anticipated. But they'll be wrong, just as those bemoaning the calamities of 9/11, New Orleans and Iraq are today.

It's time to retire the β€œno one could have expected it” excuse.

This is an excellent article, and I hope you will take the minute or two it requires to read it in it's entirety!

(warning: I am in cynical, angry rant mode. This is likely to offend some or, more likely, all of you. Be forewarned):

I do not understand religious people. People who believe their God is all knowing and all powerful, can bring on floods and devestation and destroy the whole world with the wave of his/her hand. Yet who believe him so weak and impotent that they must fight his battles for him. If he is so damned omnipotent, why does he need YOU to fight his battles for him? And if God really does exist, and really gives a damn as to the specifics of how you worship and how you live, why doesn't he just make himself and his expectations obvious to everyone? He could take over all the TV channels at once and have a giant I AM GOD AND THIS IS WHAT I EXPECT OF YOU infomercial. If he is OMNIPOTENT, he could do that, you know! Or is he just a sick bastard with a sadistice sense of humor who enjoys seeing humans slaughter each other for the honor of being "his children"?

There are 22 major world religions and thousands of subsets of these religions. Each arrogantly believeing that they alone (okay Unitarians, I give you a pass on this one) have a special relationship with God, an the rest of you are God's enemies and will be banished to hell. And each trying to kill the others to make sure they arrive in hell early. Or wherever. You could become a dung beetle in your next life, perhaps a fate even worse than hell. And how does a dung beetle ever live a good enough life to move up the food chain in it's next life? But I digress.

How fucking clueless and arrogant is it to believe in an all powerful, all knowing God, then believe he is limited to dealing with humans in a manner only approved of by you. What arrogance, what hutzpah, what CRAP! If he is truley omnipotent, he doesn't need you to tell him how to deal with me. An omnipotent God and I are perfectly capable of dealing with each other on our terms without help from you, thanks!

Frankly, I am not likely to believe until I see some small fragment of evidence that God exists. So how bout it God, when's that infomercial coming? Make sure you tell NPR to announce the time and date.... I wouldn't want to miss it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006



My dream vehicle (as posted by my son Sean)

This weekend past, 100+paddlers from Indiana and surrounding states gathered at Wildcat Park in Laffeyette for the 2006 version of the INDIANA PADDLER'S RENDEZVOUS.
Three fabulous days of paddling Wildcat Creek, camping, swapping stories, and making new friends.

Besides the paddling, the highlight of the weekend was Garry "Muskrat" Hill's Saturday night Chili dinner, and the charity auction that followed. A great time was had by all!

Scrapper John awaits chance to show off cannon ball form

Preparing to launch

Garry "Muskrat" Hill did a terrific job organizing the event, not to mention cooking a mean pot of chili!

We made some terrific new friends!

Morgan w/mom Valarie

Cara and Eric

I had a couple more pics I wanted to post, but blogger won't cooperate! See all of Tim Criswell's trip pics HERE

Tuesday, August 01, 2006



Check out the headline directly above the RollingStone logo. If this doesn't disturb you , you are not paying attention! This article, plus one on the Connecticut senate race, make this weeks RS a must read. The article on Led Zeppelin is excellent too!

The heat index hit 112 degrees here today. A lot of people are complaining about this heat wave. Not me! First, it is a great excuse to go to the beach instead of doing housework (I'm goin tomorrow night!). But more importantly, the number of mostly naked women running around my neighborhood roughly doubles for every 10 degrees of heat. At this point, even the most conservative of women seem to have given up on modesty in favor of comfort. Case in point... There is a very attractive fortyish woman who moved in down the street a few years ago. By day, she generally wears business suits with skirt just below the knees. By night, generally khakis and a work shirt. In three years, I had never seen her knees, until this week. Suddenly, she has discovered the joys and comfort of men's boxers and tank tops. She hasn't had any restraining undergarments on in at least 5 days. And it turns out she has fabulous legs!

A walk downtown reveals a sea of sports bras, halters, and hip hugging, cheek exposing short shorts. Not to mention myriad of buxom black ladies in a rainbow of backless sundresses. Ah, the summer in the city. John Sebastian should write a song about it!

Did I mention that I came within about a tenth of a second of being just another traffic statistic Saturday? I was driving east to meet Carol and Garry for our canoe outing, when a large, loaded dump truck apparently lost its brakes while coming down a side street. The driver attempted to turn into the westbound lane, but tires smoking, he still came all the way across into my lane and onto the shoulder. I somehow managed to take a detour across someone's front lawn, but I still have no idea how I missed this guy. It was so close (how close was it?), I have a white paint scratch on my drivers side rear view mirror. I keep having nightmares where all I see is the grill of a Peterbuilt flash in front of my eyes. Needless to say, my beer consumption went way up Saturday! When I told my daughter about it that night, her reaction was, "you're a professional driver, you're supposed to be able to do that." I must admit, I was underwhelmed by her reaction!

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