Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


MacGyver, I ain't

Heading back to Richland from visiting my family over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I had to make another 'ATF Special' run, grabbing the remainder of the alcohol, ammunition and ammo that I didn't trust the moving company with.  Packing the alcohol and ammo was simple...more free cardboard boxes from the liquor store.  The long guns required a little more imagination.

When it comes to long guns, I have far more guns than I do transportation cases...about three times as many.  Who needs to bring more than 4 guns to the range at the same time?  My shoulder can't handle that...So...what to do?  Behold...a Gun Burrito! 

Yup...lay out a blue fleece blanket, place the guns on it, roll it up, steal some of your wife's yarn to hold it together, and Bingo...a simple way to minimize the number of trips required to get from my truck, across an ice covered parking lot to my apartment...plus, a lot less alarming to any potential sheeple than me making three trips carrying two guns a trip. 

Fear not...none of the guns transported in this manner were collectors items...

Top to bottom:

NEF Handi-Rifle in .270 that I bought for my wife.  SWMBO doesn't want to admit it, but I believe that it kicks too hard for to be really comfortable with it.

Ruger 10-22, that we bought two years ago for Christmas.

Ted Williams Model 300 Semi-Auto in 20ga.  Basically a Winchester Model 1400 produced and labeled for sale by Sears, back when they sold guns, and the only part of the Sears Catalog more interesting than guns was the underwear section. 

Mossburg Model 500 in 12ga. 

Traditions In-Line Muzzleloader in .50 caliber

Marlin Model 700, .22lr

So...nothing even approaching fancy was at risk of being scratched or scuffed.  But...to say that they are all easily replaced is not doing them justice either.  The NEF was the first center-fire rifle my wife ever tried to shoot.  I purchased it thinking .270 would be a nice middle of the road caliber for my wife if she wanted to go elk or deer hunting...that Handi-rifle was not the best choice though...awfully light for a starter gun.  My wife is a gamer though, and never has complained. 

Likewise, the Ted Williams semi was the first shot-gun my wife had ever shot...she enjoyed it much more than the .270...somewhere on my list of things to do is getting the stock cut down to fit her more properly.

The Marlin Model 700 is probably the least expensive of the guns...but I'm not sure I will ever be able to get rid of it.  It's the first non-BB gun my parents bought for me, and I am looking forward to bringing it to the range with my 8-year old daughter sometime in the near future. 

Gun-Control types don't get that...imagine...actual human emotion tied to the death-dealing lumps of metal. 

Raffle tickets, anyone?

Stealing this Idaho Sheriff Denies 'SSS' raffle aims for wolves

from Laurel, over at Guns, Politics and Beer. 

What a cool idea...especially at a time when the governors of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are getting together with the Feds to BEG for their states to be allowed to hold scheduled hunts for wolves. 

I first read about the 'SSS' theory on wolves a few years ago in a book.  Basically, if you have a troublesome batch of wolves bothering your live-stock, you 'Shoot-em, Shovel-em, and Shut-up'.  The Sheriff insists his raffle is about 'safety, security and survival'  A nice .308 bolt action would certainly help you stay safe and survive...

Tickets are available through the mail:

Idaho County Sheriff's Office
Attention: Raffle
320 West Main Street
Grangeville, Idaho 83530

Christmas is coming!!!



Of all the people that Death could call home, really, Leslie Neilsen?  I almost called in sick to work Monday to watch Naked Gun and Airplane all day.  Instead, I had to make due with the montage:


I have long insisted that I would rather be too cold, than too hot. 

I might have been mistaken.  Maybe, it would be more proper to say that I would rather walk to my truck on a cold day than on a hot day...when it comes to standing outside watching other people earn a living...my opinion might be different.  Ask me again in July. 

All I know is today was chilly, chilly, chilly.  Had to spend about 3 hours standing around today...temperature was about 22 degrees, with this amazing thing called 'freezing fog' hanging around. 

These cool ice crystals were EVERYWHERE today...street signs, lamp poles, and all the fences around our tank farms.  Made it very, very pretty. 

Just glad no one triple dog dared me....

Guess the temperatures not the only things that's freezing....

Obama Calls for 2-year freeze on federal pay

As someone who recently left federal employment, I guess I could give this a 'Simpsons' like Ha-Ha.  Being a government contractor, I would be greatly surprised if it didn't extend into my world also though, STILL costing me money. 

And you know what?  I'm okay with it.  AND it doesn't go far enough. 

First of all, the writing has been on the wall.  Ever since...2 years ago?(TOO lazy to look it up)...when they decided that the Social Security payments wouldn't see a cost of living increase, I have been wondering how they were going to justify giving pay increases to federal employees.  Up 'till now, I guess the justification has been that federal workers are WORKING, vice all the folks collecting social security benefits, some of whom MIGHT have worked at some point.  Hooray for distinctions. 

Finally though, the deficit is reaching a point where strong action is called for.  I don't give Barry credit for much, but I'll give him props for making the unpopular call on this one...not a tough call, not a hard call...just an unpopular call.  It's really the ONLY call that can be made.

At all levels, governments are broke(and broken...hah!)...spending more than they are taking in.  In my opinion, raising taxes IS NOT a viable solution....cutting spending is the only way to do it.  Pay rates are a valid target here(not the only target, just a valid one). 

Now the reality of this brave, bold, totally needed move:  Not nearly enough.

This move does not effect Members of Congress(who already passed a cap on themselves) or their Staff(not capped right now), Postal Workers, Federal Judges or Federal Court employees. 

Why the hell not?  I use the Shipyard as a reference point...and while things might be are inefficiently run, the people in a Shipyard don't work any LESS hard than a postal worker(and certainly not a congressional staffer).   Freeze them all!!!!

Also...this is not a total pay freeze...the only thing REALLY effected here are the annual cost of living increases.  The current interpretation of the freeze is that workers will continue to earn the merit and seniority pay increases that they are entitled to.  Ummm...merit promotions?  Sure.  Pay increases to reach full working level(so my friend Kadi can make what she deserves to make)?  Sure.  An step-increase just because you have managed to keep breathing?  Not so much.

The final bit of reality?  Current estimates are that this pay freeze will save $5,000,000,000(5 billion) dollars over the next 2 years.  That is a HUGE chunk of change.  Why, that saving means that our current national debt, $14,000,000,000,000(14 TRILLION) dollars will be paid off.......ummmm...never.  Not even close to keeping up with the interest. 

Obviously, more cuts are needed, and they are going to have to be deep, and they are going to have to be painful....and they are going to be less popular than anything else a sitting President has ever had to do.  I'm not sure anyone if Congress(or Barry) are man enough to bite the bullet and make that call. 



So, since I got in late Tuesday night from Eastern Washington, and then spent the last two nights having some quality family time at my moms house, now, I am finally home on Friday night, the kids are in bed and there are two Peppermint Schnapps augmented cups of hot cocoa ready for the wife and I to drink while we snuggle on the couch.

THAT is something to be thankful for. 


Deathly Hallows, or Horcruxes?

Last night, while the Worlds Greatest Mom and Nana rode heard over our two children AND prepared two pumpkin pies and a pecan pie, SWMBO and I snuck off to go see the first movie based on the 7th Harry Potter novel(Guess we can call it movie 7a?)...Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, Part 1.

If you aren't a Harry Potter fan, either of the books or the novels, I don't recommend jumping right in at the 7th movie.  Duh.  You wouldn't have tried jumping in at the last book of Steven Kings Dark Tower series, would you?  And no...I don't think I'm crazy drawing comparisons. 

Due to life scheduling issues, I completed reading the 7th book of the Dark Tower Series within about 2 weeks of finishing the Harry Potter series.  The Dark Tower series was better...but I had the same sad 'what next?' feeling upon completing both series, meaning that the Harry Potter series hit me way harder than I ever thought it would.

I was a little late to the Harry Potter party.  I don't think I started reading the books until the 4th one was already out...and in reflection, it was probably a good thing.  The first book, while a well written, neat idea, was a little young and squeaky clean.  SWMBO convinced me to stick with it, and keep reading the other books, and I am glad I did.  J.K. Rowling did a very good job of increasing the maturity level of the books as the characters themselves aged.  By the time you get to the end of the 4th book, I was comparing the darkness of the books directly to Eye of the Dragon, by Steven King. 

So...if you have never read the series, give it a shot...and do yourself a favor and give it at least through book 3 before giving up.

The big deal with the final novel, is that to give the epic, series closing story-line Full Attention(and milk every last shekel from the franchise that they could), Hollywood split the final book into two movies.  First movie out now, the last movie of the series to come out next summer, about 9 months later. 

Book to movie conversions being what they are, they are NEVER able to get all the story lines in the movie...and with the last few Harry Potter books being in the 600-800 page range, the movies have stripped the story to the bare bones minimum.  As exciting and neat as the movies have been, it's like a big plate of spaghetti with no Italian sausage, and french bread without garlicky butter...and unfulfilling experience. 

I was hoping that the by splitting the last book in two haves, this problem would be reduced...but it didn't feel that way...the movie focused purely on Harry and his friends trying to find the horcruxes, then learning about the Deathly Hallows.  It totally skipped of the two main subplots of the last book...Harry's falling out with Lupin about Lupin's concerns with being a father, and Harrys growing frustration and feeling of betrayal the more he learns about Dumbledores past. 

Now, leaving these out now don't really hurt the 'Search and Destroy' storyline...but it's going to rob the ending of the movie of considerable emotional punch. 

That's not going to stop from spending money to see it...it's just going to mean you have to hear me complain about the same stuff 9 months from now. 

Love to eat turkey, yes I do...want to eat turkey in my big brown shoe.

Well, it's 5:45 on Thanksgiving evening, which means like most of the rest of the population, I am sitting around slogging ever onward, bored out of my skull, fighting off one heck of a food coma. 

Since I'm on the west coast, the traditional two football games are long over, and since I am at my moms, we don't get that new fangled Thursday night game which is broadcast only on the NFL network.  SWMBO and my mom have headed out to Michaels to do some shopping, as Thanksgiving night sales are taking the place of Black Friday sales, although, my wife and mom tell me that they are currently PLANNING to go hit Kohls at 3am, and then Target at 4am.  We'll see...I think it might be a case of the spirit is willing, but the flesh wants to hit the snooze alarm.

I am home with the girls(bouncing off the walls on the heels of a nana provided Apple AND Pumpkin Pie fueled sugar rush).  My brother(whose story we may explore at some point) is sitting on the couch, watching Man vs. Food, which is a good marathon to play on Thanksgiving, because we all can sympathize with how he Adam must feel on a day like today.  The episode on right now he has just started eating his 29th catfish fillet to take the catfish fillet title at some place in Oklahoma.  The location is unimportant...what is important is my curiosity about how the Travel Channels Doctors and Lawyers have worded his contract.  Half-way through the 2nd season, Adam appears to have put on at least 40 pounds.  He seems like a cool guy...just curious about his employers liability when he drops dead of a major heart attack in the middle of eating a 5 pound hamburger. 

I guess, this being Thanksgiving, I should be going off ad nauseum about the things that I am Thankful for.  I mean, it's what all the cool kids are doing. 

On the other hand, to prove what an amazingly bitter guy I am, I could go on and on about the things I am not Thankful for. 

I do that all the time around here...no reason to do anything special today...because really...it's not that special of a day.  More than anything, Thanksgiving is an excuse to do things.  Good things like spend time with family, and reflect upon how blessed most of us are on a day to day basis...and bad things, like drink beer at 9:30 AM while watching the Patriots beat the Lions, and eat 6000 calories?  At least?

Recognizing that...I hope over the next year to do more of the good things, without needing an excuse, and less of the bad things...no matter what justification the calender provides for me. 

I hope everyone else out there had a good day. 


Uneventful trip

I was a little worried today...most of Washington has been blasted by WAY cold temperatures and most of the lowlands have received the 2 inches of snow that is required to lock down the Western part of the state.  The Tri-Cities had received about 7-10 inches over the past day and a half, so I was very worried about the conditions in Snoqualmie Pass affecting my ability to get home in a timely manner after work today.

It was a very anti-climatic drive.  The worst roads I encountered in the whole trip was the parking lot trying to get out of my apartment complex, and then Gage Blvd in Richland.  The Pass had been relatively free of new snow for at least 12 hours, and the roads where in pretty good shape...a few patches of compressed snow, and most folks were driving very safe and sane...average speed between Easton and North Bend was about 45MPH.  All total in my 255 mile drive, I think I saw 9 cars on the side of the road...and 6 of them were after making it across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  Folks CAN NOT drive out here. 

Offering a small defence of the drivers(because East Coast folks get a kick out of the way things fall apart so quickly out here)...it is a different situation than in the Mid-West or the East Coast.  Usually we don't get a lot of snow...we get the freezing rain first...which combined with the hilly nature of the terrain can lead to some slick situations.  Plus, you get a lot of people who think the all-wheel drive in their Audi or Volvo is going to save them, not realizing that Zero Traction is Zero traction...it doesn't matter how many wheels have power to them.

Anyway...home safe and sound...total travel time a little over 5 hours, so about 20% more time that is took me last time.  Made it home in time to read the girls their bed-time story, and then give them kisses and lay them down.  Now to snuggle with the wife, and figure out what we are doing tomorrow. 


Signs of the End Times!!!!!

Despite what you might think, the snow storm/blizzard currently hitting most of Washington(and potentially trashing my Thanksgiving goals of having some snuggle time with the family) is not a sign of the end times.  But, you might be thinking...if 16-degrees , 5 inches of snow on the ground, 4 more inches to come, and 25-35MPH winds DON'T mean the end is coming, whatever can you be referring to?

Glad you asked:
Justin Bieber Wins AMA Awards, Including Artist of the Year

For real?  Justin Bieber!?!?!?  Okay...it's not like he beat the Beattles, Charlie Daniels, or AC/DC.  Instead he beat Ke$sha, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Eminem.  Ummmm....lets see...Ke$sha is trash...likewise Lady Gaga.  Katy Perry...a nice , pretty girl with large ta-ta's and an okay voice....and then, Eminem...a rap artist who routinely tops the charts and writes and performs topical, socially aware songs.  Well...crap, I can see why Bieber won.  My vote would have been for Eminem, unless Katy Perry had tried buying my vote with a kiss. 

Upon further review though, it is revealed that the American Music Award winners are voted on totally through the internet, giving a teen-age sensation like Bieber, having a teen-age following with nothing better to do(like earn a living) than vote on the internet, a huge advantage. 

Anyway...time to buy more ammo and tuna in case you weren't already prepared. 


They stole our idea!!!!!

Like I'm sure most married couples do, SWMBO and I will occasionally play the 'What would we do if we win the lottery' game.  Many times, the scenario lead us to a dream of combining things we enjoy, with earning a living(or at least keeping from going stir crazy).  We have always thought that some combination of a used book store located next-door to a pub would be an ideal tax shelter. 

Well, cruising through the town of Dayton this weekend, I found that some low life bastards had gone and thieved our idea!!!!!!!


Well, okay, they aren't 'thieving bastards'....they are actually very nice people, and they took our idea one step further by not just opening a used book store and pup....but it's a Used Book Store/BREW PUB!!!!!!   Jealous of them or not, I did swing in for lunch after my morning of playing in the snow Saturday.  

Very tasty food.  As my wife knows by now, the first thing I will always try at a new restaurant, if it's on the menu, is a Reuben.  My mostest favoritest sandwich in the world.  Skye's did not disappoint.  Very nice corned beef, plenty of sauerkraut, and THICK sliced rye bread.  Dug it.  Got a Caesar Salad and chips with it...and, since it's a brew pub, I did feel the need for a tasty adult beverage.   They had 4 beers available, and I felt the best one to go with my Reuben would be their just released Oatmeal Chocolate Stout....and folks...it wasn't good...it was OUTFU#&@*IN STANDING!!!!!

It hit hard too.  As much as I wanted a second one, I still had a bit of a driving to do before making it back to the Tri-Cities so I had to stop after one...Wait a minute....half pints....in a dainty little glass?  Well...I guess there is room for another 8 ounces.  SOOOOOOO GOOD.  

My only moment of sadness came when prior to leaving, I asked if they sold any of their brews to go.  They did, which made me happy, but only had 3 of their choices currently available in bottles...and the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout was not one of them.  So sad.  Instead I got one bottle of each brew they had available.  

Pretty labels.  A Scotch Ale, and IPA, and a Honey Wheat Ale.  I will post my opinion as I try them. 

So...it's not a huge place...maybe 10-12 tables, and only about 40 linear feet of books on sale...but my hats off to these fine people...living my dream.  Now, when we win the lottery, my wife and I can just buy an already established business.

Joy Ridin'

What with this being a 'short' weekend for me at work(no Friday off) AND the fact that I get the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off at my job, it didn't make sense for me to spend money on gas just to do it all again Tuesday night contribute to the destruction of the environment by burning 500 miles worth of gas, just for selfish hugs and kisses. 

Originally, I had planned to go check out the Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility  a quite nice looking shooting facility north of town.  I haven't been there yet, and it seemed like a nice thing to do with a Saturday.  Long about Thursday though, my boss asked me if I might be interested in going grouse hunting.  Even after he told me Friday afternoon that he couldn't go, the idea continued to rattle around in my head, eventually replacing the idea of punching holes in paper. 

Confession time:  I'm not much of a bird hunter...but from my understanding of grouse hunting, it's not much like other bird hunting.  Most grouse hunting(in my circle at least, I can't vouch for everyone) consists of driving the back roads, spotting the grouse on the sides of the road getting gravel in their gullets, and popping a cap in them.  Not very sporting...but you don't need a dog, and grouse are EVERYWHERE. 

By Saturday morning, what it really came down to, was the idea of grouse hunting, not so much for the sake of actually taking a grouse, had taken over my mind instead of going to the gun range.  It was also one heck of a great excuse to head out to the east, and do a little more exploring in the Blue Mountains.  I had only made other trip there, a months ago with my boss and one of my other co-workers.  I figured I would get up in the hills a bit, cruise the dirt roads, get out and walk around, holding a gun so I could justify it by saying I was hunting.

From that point of view, it was a very successful day.  From the point of view of did I bring home a grouse?  Nope.  I did see one...missed it though as it was flying from tree to tree. Truthfully, I would have been WAY impressed if I had hit a grouse in the air with my Ruger Mk II.  In addition to the one grouse, I saw about 7or 8 pheasants in the low lands as I was heading to the Blues, but I didn't buy a small game license this year.  Of course, since deer season is over, I also saw a pretty little 2-point mule deer buck.  His alarm clock must have gone off telling him it was okay to be out and about.

I might have had a more successful day, but I guessed WAY wrong on where the snow level was going to be.  I had hoped that when I got up to where I had gone on my previous trip to the Blues, I would be flirting with the snow line, and find nice little pockets of snow.  Instead, I found 6-inches of snow, and quite...thrilling conditions to drive in.  Rather than spending a few hours criss-crossing the mountains, I parked and walked around in the snow for a bit.  Heck...I made a snow angel, and enjoyed some beautiful views.  If my cell-phone camera took better panoramic style pictures, I would have taken a few. 

When my feet got too cold, I piled back in the truck and headed back in to the town of Dayton for lunch.  Found a cute(yeah, I said cute...you wanna make something of it?)brew-pub, that really deserves a post of it's own...then I made it back to my apartment with plenty of time to watch 'Kick Ass' before snuggling in for a good nights sleep. 


No...Anything but THAT!!!!!!

Rangel Facing Censure Despite Tears.

So...Charlie Rangel a 20-term member of the House of Representatives, was found guilty of 11 counts of Ethics Violations, mostly revolving around his use of rent-controlled apartment for his campaign headquarters, and his failure to declare income that he earned on rental property in the Dominican Republic.  Oh, and using his official Congressional Letterhead Stationary for fund raising efforts.  Who cares about the last one...its the middle one that hurts the most.  For me of thee, 'failure to report income on rental property' that is the worst. 
If you or I had 'failed to report income on rental property' for OVER A DECADE!!!!!  We would be arrested for Tax Evasion, not guilty of 'Ethical Violations.' 

The recommended punishment for Rangel?  He MAY have to stand in the middle of the floor in Congress, while the Speaker of the House tells him he was a bad, bad boy. 

Disgusting.  Just disgusting. 

Also disgusting, is Rangel assertion that he was not a 'corrupt politician.' 

Yes he was.  Now...in his defense, I don't think he was doing anything much more corrupt than 90% of the other members of Congress have been doing, but, he got sloppy and got caught.  Kind of like the New England Patriots in their 'Spygate' thing a few years ago...just got caught doing what everyone else was doing.

Another disgusting thing?  That he is on his 21st term...being reelected with 81% of the VOTE!!!!  That's after he resigned from his Chairmenship of the House Ways and Means Committee in disgrace back in March.  And after he got all uppity with a reporter for even SUGGESTING that he might no win reelection:

I can't believe I linked to MSNBC...I feel so dirty...but go about a minute into the video, and look at how pompous he is after the reporter questioned his reelection chances.

So...what it comes down to is censure.  There is nothing between censure and expulsion?  Are we sure?  No tar and feathering?  This guy is a professional politician...he has made a LIVING out of going braindead during countless political events...you mean to tell me censure is going to accomplish anything, other than giving him time to stand up and think about his shopping list in front of the rest of Congress?

Surely, we can borrow a set of Stocks from Salem, Mass...put him out on display on the Capitol steps or something like that.  For some reason, when I think about a censure, I am picturing Team America, when Hans Blix tells Kim Jong Ill 'We will write a letter, telling you how angry we are'


I'm sure this is important to someone...

Outgoing Florida Governor Wants Jim Morrison Pardoned

So...Charlie Crist, the incumbent Florida Governor that was defeated by the Tea-Party backed(well, he was back by a lot of people, the Tea Party was just the most vocal in taking credit) Marko Rubio in his U.S. Senate campaign, is seeking to clear Jim Morrison's name from a 1970 conviction.

Not being around in 1970, it appears that Mr. Morrison did some naughty things during a Doors Concert and the State of Florida, which must have been a much more moral place back in the 1960's and 70's, decided to make an example of him, and after a rather dubious trial, he was found guilty of exposure.

That is a very sad story...but since last time I checked Jim Morrison had been dead for 40 F-in years, so uhhhh......WHO CARES!?!?!?!?!?!

Now...if this was just Mr. Crist, on his last day of office, issuing this pardon...I wouldn't really care very much.  But...from reading other articles on this subject, Mr. Crist says the following:  “The more that I’ve read about the case and the more I get briefed on it,” Crist said in an interview on Tuesday, “the more convinced I am that maybe an injustice has been done here.”

 'The more I get briefed on it'.  That means that a sitting US Governor is being officially briefed(ON THE TAXPAYERS TIME!!!!) by either private lawyers or more likely, paid state employee's, on the legal situtation of a dead for 40-year rock star.

It gets worse though....the story I referenced contains this gem:

'Mr. Crist will need the support of at least two other Cabinet members to approve a pardon'

THAT means that the staff members of at least two other Florida Cabinet members(state employees all) are going to spend time(TAXPAYER SPONSORED TIME!!!!!!) to brief each other on whether pardoning a guy that has been dead for 40-years, and REALLY doesn't care if he is pardoned or not, is the right thing to do.  

Because, the State of Florida is so well run as it is. I'm just glad I am not a taxpayer in Florida...or I might get really spun up.  I'm just glad Governor Crist doesn't have something important, like cholera making the jump from Haiti to his cesspool of a State to worry about.   


Going from Ha-Ha to 'WTF' in 3.2 seconds

One of my cousins that lives behind enemy lines in Massachusetts was recently venting about this article in The Boston Globe: Patrick to Push for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants

Being in a hurry and not feeling detail oriented at the time, I dropped a little note about how bad it sucks to be him living in Massachusetts.  His reply was that I read the whole article, especially this sentence: 

   'However, several states, including California, Illinois,  New Mexico, New York, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin allow undocumented students to attend state colleges at in-state tuition rates.'

And then get back to him about how bad it sucks to be me.  

I had no idea this was going on in Washington.  I am completely and totally flabbergasted.  Maybe my terminolgy is not up to the task...what I am hoping this article means is that people who illeagally immigrated but are now legal U.S. Citizens that pay taxes and have social security numbers can get in-state tuitions at state colleges.  Not that illeagal immigrants, still in this country and The State of Washington NOT legally, NOT paying taxes WITHOUT social security numbers are taking advantage of a Tax-Payer supplemented education at a state school.  

I mean, to tell the truth, I don't understand how it that an illegal alien, in this country ILLEGALLY, and participating in ILLEGAL activity just by residing in this state at all, gets to attend college at a state university AT ALL, let alone for for less money per year than someone LEGALLY living in say...Idaho. We aren't talking just a small amount of cash either.  With the 14% per year tuition increases the last few years here in Washington, I can't remember for the life of me exact numbers, but I want to say it's about $10000 less a year to go to a state school for Resident Prices than non-resident.  (pretty close WSU's website says $8562/year Resident, 19634/year non-resident. 


Movie Review

After the dinner with the friends with the Best Turkey in the World on Saturday, my wife and I dropped the kids off with one of her friends for some sitting, and then went and saw the Movie 'Skyline'.

Here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rtqUy34Tjk

Enjoy the trailer?  Get you all kinds of excited?  Me too.  Which requires a disclaimer on my part.  You see, I am a movie trailer and spoiler junkie.  Can't get enough...I love the website www.io9.com for it's fairly constant barrage of sci-fi related previews.  You might think this would make me hard to please/surprise when it comes to the movies themselves, but really I am usually not hard to please.

In the case of 'Skyline' it had been on my radar for somewhere in the 6-8 month range as a 'Want to Pay to See This in the Theater' movie. This put it somewhere in between 'Cloverfield' and 'Transformers' on my Anticipation Meter.   Unlike the other two movies, it didn't measure up.  Some spoilers ahead if you are the type to care about that...

Movie starts out good and fast...bunch of attractive 20-somethings are hanging out in LA, recovering from a party, when an overpowering blue light appears and folks start disappearing.  We soon discover it's aliens...and the aliens look pretty neat.   The alien threat is not the weak part of this movie...they are quite menacing and come in a enough shapes and sizes to represent a threat at all times.

First major hurdle of the movie is the 20-somethings trying to decide if they are going to hole up or if they are gonna make a break for it, heading for their boat at the marina.  They decide to make a break for it, and several minutes of chaos and panic ensue, some it quite thrilling, but when things settle down again, you realize the films critical flaw:

You don't give a Rats Ass what happens to any of these folks.  A few quick attempts are made to get you to care about the characters:  You find out without much mystery that one of them is pregnant, and then later that one of them is cheating on his significant other...I guess this is supposed to create instant empathy...but no.  I don't think it was the actors faults:  I didn't recognize most of the cast, but two of them I did...Donald Faison, who plays Turk on Scrubs, and Brittany Daniels, one of the Sweet Valley High twins(looking every bit her 34 years).

More hiding in the apartment, followed by an appearance by the US Military, bringing hope, followed by another chase/chaos scene, and we're done...with a very cop-out type ending.  If you want to let the aliens win, just let the aliens win!  Don't let them win, and try to offer a little twist at the end.

Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 14%...I think it's better than that.  If you don't have a top of the line TV at home, the aliens might be good enough to justify seeing a matinee in the theater...but if you do have a nice TV, just wait to see it on REDBOX and you will get your monies worth.   SWMBO, who was looking forward to it almost as much as me, described it as 'a missed opportunity'. 

Turkey Choices

Since today was a fairly boring uninspiring Tuesday, lets flash back to happier, more cheerful times.

This last Saturday, a couple of my friends hosted an early Thanksgiving-style dinner, since the female of the pair is going to be in San Diego on the Holiday itself.  The male of the pair went all out on turkey, smoking two breasts for about 6 hours, and then frying a whole bird to offer up an option for the commie pinkos who don't like smoked bird...


I would go as far as to say that both the smoked turkey and the fired turkey were the two best turkeys I have ever had, and I make a pretty fair turkey myself.  I follow Alton Brown's recipe to the letter...24 hours of brine, fill the cavity with cinnamon, onion and apples, roast away...it makes a pretty fair turkey, but nothing like what came out of my buddies smoker or fryer.

I wonder if I could smoke a bird for a few hours, and then fry it, or if the world would just end in a brilliant flash of awesomeness? 


Slept like crap last night...the apartment I am in is located at the end of the complex, bumped up a little gorge, meaning when it is windy, I get the full blast of it.  Usually, it's semi-relaxing howl or moan.  Last night, we had gusts up to 58MPH around, which far exceeded anything semi-relaxing.  At several points, I woken up the sound of trash cans blowing by the window.

Still a little breezy out there now...wind steady in the mid 20's....at least it's warm...and most of the tumbleweeds should have blown through already.


Driving safe and sane

Before jumping in the truck to head back to Richland Sunday afternoon, I joked to SWMBO that if she wanted to make my life interesting, she would give me a half-hour head start, then call the police and report that my truck had been stolen out of my driveway, making sure she gave the police a rough description of the things I had packed in my truck. 

There are certain things we own that I would prefer not to have to rely on the moving company to move for us.  Things like our firearms, ammunition and alcohol.  So, Sunday, I loaded up a fair amount of alcohol, most of the ammunition we have on hands, and a couple of guns into the truck to start moving some of those things over.  Wife tipping the police off aside, I did drive a little slower than I usually do.  Other times I have made the trip from Belfair-Richland, I usually keep it at about 80 plus or minus a few MPH most of the way between North Bend and Richland, allowing for a slight decrease, as safety in the Passes require.  This time, I set the cruise control about 73MPH and just went along for the ride.

Part of me wishes I was a little more adventurous though.  Legally, I wasn't violating anything.  All 4 guns I had with me were closed up(not locked, but closed) in their cases.  The twelve 5ths of alcohol I had was all in unopened bottles, so they couldn't have gotten me for open container laws.  Finally, there is no rule against transporting large amounts of ammunition, that I am aware of.  I would love to see what the newspapers had to say though...rough guess is I had somewhere around 120 pounds of ammo in the truck with me.  Lacking the presence of my wife and darling children, I may just take a complete inventory some night this week to keep from being too bored. 

I am trying to remember how I ended up with 200 rounds of 20ga skeet loads though...


Bread Pudding!

Today one of my friends back in Kitsap County is hosting an early Thanksgiving style get together, because she has been sentenced by the shipyard to spend the next month and a half or so in San Diego, supporting The Mission Statement.  Having been thus punished this way more than once myself, let me say there are worse things in the world than having to spend 6-weeks in San Diego.

I had to make a few trips to San Diego during my time in the Shipyard...one about 12-18 months, and usually lasting 4-6 weeks.  It was almost ideal as far as off station work goes...usually 12 hour shifts, with some weekends off.  4-6 weeks is an ideal length of time...long enough to make you realize how much you love your wife and kids, but not so long that you find yourself sitting in your hotel room at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, wondering if it would just be more efficient to pour out a 3rd of the bottle of diet coke, then just add the Black Velvet directly into the 2 liter bottle, instead of making individual drinks.

Yes...7 months in New York is NOT the ideal length of time for off-station work.

In final reference to San Diego...it is true that on average, the young ladies in Southern California are on a different aesthetic scale than the young ladies in the Seattle area...and that beautiful natural scenery makes the trip easier to take also.  Once again...Upstate New York in the winter was lacking in this area...ski parkas make is somewhat difficult to gauge a young ladies attractiveness.

So...in support of my friends feast today, SWMBO asked me to prepare Bread Pudding to bring as a desert.  I make a pretty tasty bread pudding, but every year at the Holidays, I find myself having the same problem...Where did I put that recipe when I was done with it last year.  So it's Hi Ho off to the internet machine to sift through site after site, recipe after recipe to find what looks to be the most correct recipe for

Yup...that's the right one...Delicious.  It helps that I am fan of ANY bread pudding.  Early on though, I learned that the '1-cup' of bourbon for the sauce part of the recipe is WAY to much...I have cut it down to about 1/3rd of a cup now, and it is still fairly stout.  Last year, I tried using Hazelnut Flavor Kahlua, and that was A-Okay.  Today, rather than break open a new bottle of bourbon, I might use either Crown Royal, or I think I have an almost empty bottle of brandy.  Either one will taste quite alright. 

I also cooked up a package of pork tenderloin with honey mustard glaze.  Thin sliced and served cold on a plate with some different dipping sauces, it will make a fair appetizer, and maybe I will talk to SWMBO about donating a jar of pickled asparagus I bought in Eastern Washington also.

Other than cooking and giggling with the kids, my other free time has been taken up finishing Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.  Good Book...very fun and fast paced read.  And, as someone who is a serious shooter it very nice not to read a book with a ton of gun mistakes.  I hate watching a movie or reading a book and finding something that is just plane WRONG.  I understand a certain poetic license in movies and books, but GET THE FACTS RIGHT! 

Two of my favorite Authors of All Time are Stephen King, and Alistair MacLean.  Mr. King needs no introduction.  Mr. MacLean should not, and wouldn't have a generation ago: HMS Ulysses, Ice Station Zebra, the Guns of Navarone and about 20 more...very entertaining spy/espionage books.  But, Mr. MacLean was not a gun person, and I occasionally develop a twitch while reading some his stories. 

Now off to add the 2nd book in the series, Monster Hunter Vendetta to the Chirstmas list. 


Long day

Woke up at 5AM this morning, went in to work for a while, then headed out from work at about 1:30ish for my 'New Hire' physical, only about 7 weeks after being hired.  The clinic was much better run and less chaotic than the one at the Shipyard...and on the average, I would say the staff was younger and more aesthetically pleasing than at the Shipyard...which is why we all go to the doctors.

Not a very comprehensive physical...they did take a few baseline x-rays of my massive manly chest, and in general seemed much more interested in obtaining data to someday refute chemical exposure(asbestos, mercury and beryllium) than anything else.  They listened to my lungs, checked my eyes, checked my lung capacity and pronounced me medically fit to wear a respirator.  They didn't even ask me to turn my head and cough!

Then it was on the road back to Belfair.  Made pretty good time...between Ellensburg and Cle Elum, I passed a guy driving a Mazda with a personalized license plate that said 'ZZOOMM'.  If your license plate says that, I should NOT catch up to you on the straight, made for speeding road between Ellensburg and Cle Elum.

Only real hick-up was about a ten mile stretch at the top of the pass, where it was snowing.  The road was bare, but anyone with experience driving into blowing snow in the dark knows what it is like when all you can see is snow, lit up by your headlights, blowing into your windshield.  I had to slow down to about 55 for a while...even then, I still made home in time to read the girls a bed time story, and help tuck them in.


Heinous Violator

As we approach the Holidays(usually sometime after November 1st), the wife and I invoke Rule 138(a), which states: Thou Shalt not purchase anything for yourself, but rather will add it to your Christmas Wish list. 

Actually, it's more of a guide-line than a rule, because I would NEVER break a rule I made SWMBO.  Usually, the guide-line works pretty well...it just means I spend too much money on my wife at Christmas, because I buy her the stuff on her list, plus whatever I was going to get her anyways. 

Today though, I suffered a break down, and bought not one, but TWO things for myself.  The first was the first CD released by The Band Perry, called fittingly, The Band Perry.  These kids have two singles released already, and I love them both:

If I die young   and Hip to my Heart

The rest of the CD is equally strong, and if violating Rule 138(a) leads to any serious punishment from SWMBO, this CD is worth it.

I also purchased a new book today:  Monster Hunter International, by Larry Correia.  Larry is a pretty serious gunny, as well as a moderator on several firearms forums, and also a blogger: Monster Hunter Nation.
His book has to do with idea that, Yes, Virgina, monsters(zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc.) are very much real, and the US Government, under the far seeing eye of Teddy Roosevelt, himself an exciting adventure type, set up a fund to pay bounties to anyone who does one in.

So far, I am 5 chapters in, and it is an enjoyable read.  Originally, I had intended to do the Right Thing and add this book to my Gift Ideas list, but Mr. Correia forced my hand by recently releasing Monster Hunter: Vendetta, a sequel...so that one will go one my Christmas book, and in the meantime I will read the first book. 

Besides, it's not like these are just for me...my wife read this book, and she will listen to the CD...so I got I did it for US, not just for me(even though I get to enjoy them first!)

Victory, or at least that one small first step

So, while final victory would be getting the house in Belfair sold and being happily settled into our very own mostly bank-owned house here in the Tri-Cities, today I reduced my stress load a little bit and dropped off an application for an apartment.  A few short hours later, I was called and told we had been approved for the apartment....Yay!

Early on, I was worried I may have come across as a bit of a smart ass.  Being 100% totally serious, I had asked the girl, ornamental fixture, attractive young leasing agent if I could just write them a check for 6 months rent now to save myself the $35 dollar application fee.  She just looked kind of confused for a few seconds and said she wasn't sure, but maybe she could boot it up the corporate chain, but that would take longer than running the application screening.  Fine..besides, if I do the math, my money might make more in interest than I would have saved paying it all now. 

The apartment complex, showing here: http://www.ryapt.com/jadstev/ , is nothing special, in fact, it is kind of tired, and not very shiny, but that is what my wife and I were talking about wanting.  It is $100 a month cheaper than anything else available(and non rent controlled) on the Richland side of things, and VERY conveniently located.  Our hope is to only be in the apartment 6 months...it might drag a little longer depending on how long it takes to sell the house in Belfair, and then find and close on a place here...but it was never intended that we end up in an apartment long term. As such, our standard kept going back to the first apartment we rented as a married couple in Poulsbo, Washington...clean, maintained, and a dry roof over our head, with no eminent signs of disrepair or peeling paint. 

From the floor plan, it looks like it has a fair amount of storage space, but IT IS roughly half the size of our house, so we feel that even with some of the purging and downsizing we have been doing, we will probably need to rent a storage unit at some point.  For this reason, I had done some checking into three bedroom apartments, planning to just use the extra room for storage, but there was NOTHING available in Richland, and even across the bridge in Pasco a three bedroom was going to be into the 4-digit a month range, more than we wanted to tie up for rent. 

Now all we have to do is get a showing for our place in Belfair, and my moral will be picking up nicely. 

My, oh my!

In sad news, King 5 news is reporting that Dave Niehaus, aged 75, has passed away. 

Known as The Voice of the Mariners, Niehaus was the Mariners radio announcer since 1977, and is best known for his trade marked 'Fly, Fly Away' and 'My, oh My.' 

Here is Dave calling one of the best moments in Seattle Mariner history(not that the list is long):


Dave was inducted to the Broadcasters Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008. 

He made listening to many sad, sad Mariners games a much more interesting experience, and he will be missed. 



After the afternoon's frustrating apartment hunting experience, I decided to follow through on a recommendation from one of my co-workers and check out the firearms department at the local Ace Hardware.  Yeah...Ace Hardware.

Well, I am not sure what I expected to find, but color me impressed.  They had roughly 20 long guns on display, and probably about twice that number of handguns.  Long guns ran the whole range of social uses...Marlin and Ruger .22's, a couple of lever-guns, some bolt-actions in big boy hunting calibers, 10 or 12 shotguns, then a couple of things I didn't expect to run into at Ace...one of the specially tricked out Ruger SR-22's, a M-1 Carbine, a Mosin Nagant, and then two .223 semi's...collapsible stocks and all. 

Handguns were varied also...nothing super top-end..I didn't see any Kimbers or H&K's...mostly Ruger, S&W and Taurus.  About equal numbers of semi's and revolver.  Which leads to sad story...one young gentleman was there with his wife and children picking up a pistol...I recognized the brick-like shape on the counter as a Hi-Point...so sad.  I almost offered the guy $200 so he could pick-up a Ruger revolver instead of letting him walk out with the Hi-Point, but...until my house sells, I can't afford to be that charitable. 

The only thing in the pistol case that REALLY caught my eye was a Walther PK380...the big brother in fit and function to the Walther P-22 I bought my wife a few years ago for Christmas.  It might make a nice matched pair for her...I will definitely being her in to do some fondling next time she is in the Tri-Cities.  

I didn't look close enough to judge if prices were good, but I was able to look close enough to decide they weren't bad.  Ammo selection was okay...no .35 Whelen, but I have pretty much resigned myself to buying that in bulk off the internet machine. 

I look forward to going back sometime after the house has sold, so I can do some serious fondling and considering, not just fogging up the gun case windows.  

Apartment Frustration

More apartment hunting frustration today.  Two of the complexes we had been narrowing in on hit me with the 'Income Restrictions' block-buster. 

At one point, prior to buying our house, we rented an apartment in Silverdale at a complex with rent limitations.  At that complex, the average income of all the renters had to fall within a calculated band.  While my income was at the upper part of that band, there were enough people with lower incomes that we were able to stay there.  Yay. 

Now, out here in the Tri-Cities, things are different,(truthfully, they could be different state-wide...it was 7 years ago the last time we rented).  Rather than average incomes for all residents, there have been a number of complexes(the more easily affordable ones...duh!) where I was told in no uncertain terms that I made too much money to stay in their complex.  Having a family of 4, I could not make more than $40,000 to be able to stay in the complexes in question.

These weren't bad looking places either.  A lot nicer looking than some more expensive places we had looked. 

Now, here is what frustrated me...and I wish I had thought ahead to take pictures of the parking lot at these two complexes, because I was blown away buy the number and types of vehicles in the parking lot at these 
'Income Restricted' apartments.  A lot nicer and newer than the 2004 Subaru SWMBO drives, and newer and nicer than my 2005 F-150.  There were a few cars there than had to cost some of these people over 1 year worth of their salaries given the 40K income limit.  And the parking lot was filled to overflowing, meaning each apartment must have had at LEAST one car, almost certainly 2. 

Just glad to know that our tax payer money is going to supplement people being able to drive Cadillac's, BMW's, Explorer's and Jeep Grand Cherokee's. 

The bitterness will fade at some point. 



Even at the best of times, I have a tendency to be subdued and introspective.  It's not like I'm Debbie Downer...I get along well with my friends, and I am known to have one heck of a sense of humor...I just don't believe in making noise for noises sake.  Given the choice of being the center of attention, and sitting in the corner making pithy observations, I will choose being the smart-ass in the corner. 

Occasionally(or more frequently if you ask my wife), I do go into pretty deep funks and stretches of gray.  As a result of the general level of melancholy at which I sometimes live my life, early on in or relationship my wife started calling me Eeyore, after the 'O Bother' donkey in the Winni-The-Pooh stories.

Today was one of those days.  And it really had nothing to do with it being a case of the Mondays.

Indirectly, Monday only enters into the equation because it happens to be the day after my wife and daughters headed back to Belfair to live the other half of our lives.  It was a nice weekend visit...did some more apartment visiting, hung out with our friends, snuggled...good visit.  But, as a visit, it had to end, meaning I woke up Monday to no warm body in bed next to me, with no little girls to give a kiss to prior to going to work, and no prospect of hugs and kissed upon returning to my apartment.  Strike 1. 

At work, I continue to be a useless as tits on a boar, or at least tits on a sterilized sow.  And, the job...sigh.  Much too soon to question if I had made a major mistake by accepting this job, but not too early to have doubts.  Heck...I had doubts 30 seconds after giving notice. Right now though, I am trying to determine the difference between a frustration and a challenge.  Things that my boss was working for the last 6 months are unraveling, and while I have not been there long enough to be emotionally invested in anything or have a real opinion, much like your family dog, just because I don't understand the words doesn't mean I don't feed off the emotions.  Strike 2.

Our house in Belfair, aggressively priced  to sell quickly, has seen Less Than Zero interest.  An open house a few weeks ago on an admittedly nasty weather day had ZERO visitors.  A Brokers showing had moderate interest but has yet to get any actual interest.  Zero showing...and I am feeling down about that.  It also means I still have an escape route, which makes things here look worse than they are.  Strike 3.

Apartments here are harder to find than I thought they would be...and more expensive.  The free market working properly, prices on the internet are all out of date, and many complexes are charging 70-100 more than what it is advertised on their websites. As a result we are looking at getting an apparment in Pasco or Kennewick as opposed to Richland, costing more money, and causing me to burn more gas, costing more money than originally planned.  Well, not planned, but HOPED.  Strike 4. 

I just need to get over it.  I knew prior to saying yes to taking this job that there would be three distinct phases: 1.  Me moving and staying alone.  2.  Family moving over and craming into an apartment.
3.  Getting House in Belfair sold.  4.  Buy new house in Tri-Cities. 

I had kind of been hoping that 2 and 3 would happen simultaneously, but with a  move date of Mid-December creeping closer, we are faced with the prospect that the house could be sitting empty, and I worried that once it is empty, it will be empty for a while...as in, ready for us to move back into when I retire in 30 years.

So...4 strikes...but I powered through today...I didn't hit the liquor store for anything to mix with my Albertson's Brand diet soda, and I didn't hit Sonic, or Carl Junior, or Jack-in-the-Box heinous for my body...I came back to my apartment, watched some Monday night football, and made a tuna melt for dinner, and was lucky enough that my lame Fantasy Football team held on to wine because while Pittsburgh got the win, Rothlisburger had a pretty lame game, so I held on to win my fantasy game this week.  

Already looking more positive for tomorrow. 



Wife and kids have come to visit me for the weekend.  It was very pleasing to come home to hugs and kisses after work. 

Tomorrow will be a day of driving around and looking at more apartment complexes...having to extend the search for an affordable place(affordable being what I am WANTING to pay) into Kennewick.  There are available places in Richland, I just can't bring myself to pay $1275 a month for a 2-bedroom apartment...that is a mortgage payment, not a rent.  But, the nice places within easy driving distance are filled to capacity, giving them the option of charging as much as the market will bear.

I am fine with it...the ultimate in free-market economics...I have just decided that finding a 3 bedroom place in Kennewick for $400 less is worth and extra ten minute a day drive for 6 months.  Then when we find a house back in North Richland, it will feel like Christmas every day only driving 35 minutes.


Election Post-Mortem

Earlier this evening, Dino Rossi, down by about 45,000 votes, called and conceded the election for Washington State Senator to the incumbent, Patty Murry, pretty much bringing to an end election season here in Washington.

With about 550,000 votes remaining to be counted, I question if maybe he wasn't a little premature in throwing in the towel.  Supposedly, most of the remaining votes are from King County, where Patty Murry was taking in 62% of the vote already.  Still...why quit before it's over?  Trying to save the state some cash by not having to count the rest of the ballots? 

As for the result itself...Patty won exactly how I thought she would win...Patty took the urban, I-5 Corridor vote, and Dino took the rest of the state, which wasn't enough.  In truth, for the short-term future, Patty Murray might be better for Washington that Dino would have been.  Patty is the #4 Democrat in the Senate right now.  She has the horse power to direct any extra money(if there is any, HIGHLY DOUBTFUL), our direction. 

Long-term...it doesn't matter.  If Dino had been THE GUY to give the Republicans the advantage in the Senate, it would be a bigger deal.  But, since they were still going to be a few seat short...it doesn't matter...The Senate will continue to spend money that doesn't exist, and our economy and government will suffer in the long term. 

State Wide Ballot Measures:
I-1053: Requires a 2/3rd majority in the legislature to raise taxes.  It Passed...YAY!

I-1082: Would have swapped from a State Run workers comp to a private workers comp...didn't pass.  Doesn't really upset me...I didn't have a horse in this race.

I-1098: Would have introduced a State Income Tax on those damn successful Rich Folks.  Failed, so no Income Tax.  Yay!

I-1100, I-1105: Would have done away with State Run Liquor system...I was for 1100, against 1105...I'm sad because 1100 didn't pass.  What are people thinking!?!?!?  Bring down the price of my LIQUOR, DAMMIT!

I-1107: Repealed 'temporary' taxes and tariffs put in place on bottle water and processed food stuff.  YAY!

Referendum 52: Would have created more Bonds to allow for 'Greening' schools.  It failed. 

Joint Resolution 8225: Reworded the State Constitution to allow the Legislature to recalculate the debt ceiling by taking the expected debt payments from the Federal Government into account.  Essentially allowed the state to adjust the REAL money value of the debt ceiling upwards, going to further into REAL DEBT.  It passed...I'm hoping folks just didn't understand what they were voting for.

Joint Resolution 4220:  Allowed judges more latitude in denying bail for people charged with committing certain heinous crimes.  Passed by an overwhelming 85%.  When that many people agree about something, I wonder if I went the wrong direction...I don't like to go along with the crowd that much.



'Unforgiven' is playing in a loop on CMT tonight, which means I am in a continual state of distraction much to deep to seriously think about politics in. 

Unforgiven is one of the top three Clint Eastwood movies out there.  If forced to make a list I would say:
1. Unforgiven
2. The Outlaw Josey Wales
3. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Basically, if I am flipping through the channels and come across any one of these three movies, I am lost.  It KILLS my wife.  At one point, Unforgiven was THE movie on AMC...they showed it every other night for like, a month...I must have watched it six times that month...At Least.  My wife was getting very frustrated with it.  I can't help it...it's a great movie.  Along with Josey Wales, it is Clint Eastwoods most quotable role. 

The only movie that I feel directly competes with Unforgiven for Best Movie of All Time is 'Jaws'.  Always have and always will love that movie...everything about is outstanding.  Robert Shaw as 'Quint' turns in one of the best acting jobs EVER.  His mostly ad-libbed monologue of the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis alone should have won him an Oscar, but alas, he was not even nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.  (Who won it that year?  George Burns, for his role in The Sunshine Boys.  Really, that George Burns?  Didn't know that until 30 seconds ago...very surprising.)

You could rig me up to a chair Clock Work Orange style and just run Jaws and Unforgiven through on a loop and I would never, ever complain. 



Even though it appears that Republicans have taken back a majority in the House of Reps, politics is making me sad, so lets focus on something that will make me happier!  even more sad, but it goes to show there are many sad making things on the internet.

 In celebrity gossip news, Demi Lovato has quit touring with the Jonas Brother to seek medical assistance(DON'T CALL IT REHAB!) for 'emotional and physical issues she has dealt with for some time'

Yeah, I didn't think I would have to resort to the Jonas Brothers in this blog either...but the point of this isn't the Jonas Brothers...it's Demi Lovato.  If you don't know who she is(and there is really no reason you should), she is one of those girls selected by the Disney Company to star is some of their movies, and build a brand around her.  In Demi's case, her big break came in the 'Camp Rock' movies, which I have not seen.  She has parleyed this into teeny-bopper music career, and was on tour opening for fellow Disney Product, the Jonas Brothers.

Now we get to the really sad part...apparently, Demi has been battling eating disorders and cutting problems for a while...which terrifies me, because, the girl young lady in question is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!!!!!

I can't even begin to fathom what kind of pressures can make a girl this pretty, this talented(in the interest of research, I watched a song or two on youtube...she doesn't have Christina's pipes, but she's better than Ke$ha), have eating disorders or want to cut herself.   She is in a position to get more out of life than 99.9% of the population will ever get to.  Which makes me ask...is it really that much stress getting followed around by paparazzi?  How much can it damage the psyche of a 17-year old girl to have US Magazine critique what you decided to wear to the Kids Choice Awards? 

What kind of parent would do that to their kid?

Then again, what parent wouldn't?  Isn't it every parents dream to have their child be rich and famous?  Someday maybe...heck, I do!

I have very beautiful daughters.  They might even be talented someday.  A few years ago, a talent agency was doing open casting calls in the Seattle area, and I was trying to convince my wife that maybe it would be something interesting to do with our girls.  Disregard the fact that this particular 'open call' was most likely just  a ploy by some agency or another to get you to agree on taking $500 worth of pictures with THEIR photographers for a portfolio, or some such nonsense.  There were plenty of reputable, non-advertising in the paper places we could have brought the girls for an honest opinion. 

SWMBO was less excited than me.  While not telling me NO, she demurred on a yes.  Eventually, I kind of let it go.  But, occasionally, when I look at the younger daughters curly hair, blue eyes and dimples...I am tempted.  It would be OUTSTANDING to have her be able to pay her own way to college.  And her sisters way also.  But...if the result is having to go for professional help at age 18 because you don't feel good about yourself, when as in the case of Demi Lovato(and as I am CERTAIN will be the case with my girls), you are so darn close to physical perfection is hurts? 

Maybe teenage girls just aren't up for that level of stress, and I am better off doing what I can to raise them to be well-adjusted, intelligent, hunting awesome young ladies, who marry a rich football player instead. 

There is more than one way to fund daddy's retirement. 

Election Night!

As we approach 6 o'clock on the west coast, polls are closing(not that that should apply in Washington, where we are 100% mail in ballots, and it could be weeks before there are any final results), and the first results are starting to come in. 

In the House races, which Republicans feel fairly confident they can regain control in, early results are trending that way...in Florida and Virginia, two Democratic incumbents have fallen, the defeat in Virginia being an incumbent who has held his seat since 1982.  In Indiana, Republicans have taken a seat vacated by a Democrat, so that is three early wins.

In the Senate, there have also been three early Republican victories.  Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, both 'Tea Party' Candidates won their races in Kentucky and Florida, while in Arkansas, John Boozeman knocked off the incumbent, hopefully ensuring that at the very least the Democrats have lost their 60 member super majority.  There is also a very good chance that the Democrats will totally lose control of the Senate. 

In Connecticut, it looks like the Dems will save the seat vacated by Chris Dodd...but come on, really...The Republicans couldn't put anyone better out that than Vince McMahon's Wife?  I'll give her props though for spending 50 million of her own in the race...it shows you believe in something to spend that much money for it....

Nothing really in for Washington yet...which means you are doomed to an update later on this evening!


Happy Birthday!

It should go without saying that someone who was Miss World, 1994, and has been declared the Most Beautiful Woman in the World several times, is going to be attractive, but today's Happy Birthday goes out to Aishwarya Rai, and gosh...is she pretty or what?

Yeah, I know it's quite possible that there is some airbrushing in that picture of her all done up, so her is another example:

That one was taken just this morning when she go out of the shower at my apartment.(just kidding honey...I kicked her out before snuggle time...you are the only one I do that with).

Anyway...she's pretty.  But there are lots of pretty girls in the world.  Why does she get a special call out?

She has lead me to form one of my basic Woman Theories.  In this case, it was the decision on my part that The Most Beautiful Women in the world(or even most of the good looking people in the world) are usually some kind of a cross-racial mix. 

Part of what makes Aishwarya stand out so much is her eyes.  Being Indian, one can be pretty close to certain that somewhere in her background, some British Colonial must have added a little something to her gene pool to give her those eyes.  This is not to say you can't be beautiful if you are a pure Indian...there are many, many pretty women in the Bollywood film industry...

And it's not just India...In My Humble Opinion, every racial base benefits from a little bit of mixing...it's one of the things that make American Girls the hottest in the World(especially my wife)(except for italians...Sophia Loren was perfect and needed nothing else mixed in).  Mix some Native American with some Irish Red-Hair, and some dark Greek Mediterranean skin, and it's neat to see what comes out. 

Take a little Guyana(Guyanese?), Barbados and Ireland stock, and you get yourself some Rihanna.

Throw a little Catalan, Italian and Lebanese in the blender, and out pops some Shakira. 

There are very few women you could convince me are better looking than either Skakira(her Hips Don't Lie!) or Rihanna. 

So, there is my theory.  End result, Aishwarya Rai is a ravishing 37-years old today...I hope I look that good when I am 37-years old.