Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Down by the River

Look who came to Springfield!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Aunt Eva

Did any of you know this lady? I'll bet she had some good stories to tell.

Good Reading

Here is a fine column. If only we could redo that 2000 presidential election.

**UPDATE** It turns out the author of this fine column is one of the reasons why America lost the 2000 election.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Put me in, Coach!

River has graciously volunteered to keep Jimmy (Edmonds) company for a couple of weeks! Note that River has the ball in his left hand. That's the way Uncle Roy says to go, and it helps that River's mom is a lefty.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


On Friday, February 16th, my parents' household changed dramatically. After 20 years of being a big part of their lives, Chelsea Cat went to play with my grandparents over the rainbow. She will be missed greatly, but she will also be remembered with smiles and gratitude. I'm sorry, Mom and Dad. Isa will miss her napping partner. We love you!

Shelly :)!

Monday, February 19, 2007

"You Don't Have to Worry About Me. I Won a Contest."

Six weeks ago my coworkers and I began a contest. Not the kind of contest alluded to in the title. This contest was modeled after the Big Loser show on television. Basically, the contestants attempt to lose the largest percentage of their original weight. Being heavier than I wanted to be, I decided to let my overly competitive instincts serve me in positive way for a change.

I must confess that many things fell perfectly for me. Within hours of learning about the contest I discovered that our church would be putting together a basketball team to participate in a local church league. Also, a brand new fitness center opened about a mile from our house. I volunteered to play on the team and joined the fitness center.

Working out wasn't the only thing I did. I changed the way I eat. I increased the number of meals I eat. That's right: increased. Increasing the frequency of the meals helps speed up the body's metabolism. Of course these meals are much smaller than previous meals, and I also choose the foods more carefully. I will never eat fast food fries ever again.

The most important thing I did was start drinking the recommended amount of water for my weight, and activity level. Your body needs to be well hydrated in order to operate efficiently. This includes efficient digestion and fat burning.

While this was a competition, the best thing about it was the camaraderie that developed. I have developed relationships with coworkers that I barely knew. Everyone sent out relevant web pages and articles that could help others. Everyone vocally supported other contestants. It helped create an environment of support and goodwill.

Our contest ended on Friday the sixteenth. We've decided to take a week off and start another one. This one will last three months instead of six weeks. We've added a twist. Anyone who loses at least five percent of their original body weight automatically gets half the entry fee back. We hope this will increase motivation for those who may not be near the top three money positions as the contest winds down.

Now, all of you who know me figure that I wouldn't have penned this post if my purpose was not to gloat. You know me all too well. I won the first contest by losing 21 pounds. I plan on losing 15 - 20 more in the next contest.

The gloating is secondary, though. I feel so much better. I enjoy the folks at the office more. And I scored a bunch of points in our basketball game tonight.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hillary Should Have Listened

He was just a State Senator from Illinois at the time. If only some of our leaders in the Congress and the Senate had listened to his words.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.... The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars.

Why the Anti-Hilary Venom?

Her speech explaining her vote for Senate Resolution S.J. 45 indicates to me very sound, conscientious reasoning on her part based on the information available at the time. Read it for yourself. Yes she voted for the resoultion, but she clearly calls for the use of force as a last resort and urges action through the U.N. . It now seems obvious that she, Congress, and Americans put too much faith and trust in the hands of the bumbling, semi-literate stooge that happens to be the 43rd President of the United States. She also makes the point that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator that had murdered thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Iran, which I believe justified his removal from power.

As far as I can tell, she has been fairly consistent on the issue, more so than the current administration, and like most American citizens, believes it is time for the President to own up to the fiasco and focus on the War on Terror rather than pursue this dubious war in Iraq.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Iraq War Debate

It seems reasonable to me that the Iraq War Debate would be about the administration's new plan. The American people deserve to know what they plan to do differently to make this surge work. The majority of Americans believe we need to get the troops out of Iraq. They deserve a debate that explains why this surge would be a better plan.

This seems like a reasonable expectation to me. However, the Republicans believe differently. Here is a quote from a letter sent by GOP leaders to Republicans in Congress.

Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work and explaining why the President's new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified.

We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all "unbelievers" by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A New Direction

Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania is one of the heroes. Read what he had to say in the Iraq debate today.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sad State of Affairs

Torture is wrong. It is devastating to the person being tortured. And as we see here, it is devastating to the person doing the torturing.

I have never said that the Bush administration is evil. This story, though, bothers me greatly. It is despicable to treat humans beings in this manner. It is despicable to force other human beings to do the dirty work. Behind them, this administration leaves broken lives, Iraqi and American.

Whether you believe we should have invaded Iraq or not, the conduct of this war is beyond incompetent. It is a disaster. It is a festering sore on America's soul.

Friday, February 02, 2007

She'll be missed

We lost one of the voices of reason in the media this week. These voices are dwindling. America will miss Molly Ivins.