Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

In Baltimore, there's been a lot of discussion about Opening Day. The Orioles, even to the ever optimistic O's fan, will compete for 5th in the AL East. So why, in spite of 10 losing seasons, does Opening Day mean so much. The first game of the football season isn't a holiday.

Because it's the optimism of Spring.

I'm not a baseball fan. I couldn't care less what the Orioles do, and can't tell you who won the World Series (even though it excludes the Japanese and Cubans) last year. But hearing John Miller's voice when channel surfing means it's time for the weather to change. Time for weekends spent planting the new garden, sitting outside having a beer after dinner, driving with the top down.

I've always said Autumn is my favorite season. But this is my favorite time of year.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Frank for President

Seriously. His positions are far closer to mine than anyone running right now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Apparently, they share the same definition of "lie".

Hilliary Clinton claims her claim of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire was a misstatement.
Mrs Clinton insisted yesterday that she had simply misspoken, characterising the false claim as a “minor blip” among the “millions of words” she spoke every day.

Asked about the issue during a meeting with the Philadelphia Daily News’ editorial board, she said: “I went to 80 countries, you know. I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book.

“You know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things – millions of words a day – so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement,” she said.


An apt comparison would be for me to claim I walked to my car today under a mortar attack (which in Baltimore, may be more likely).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm not sure how I survived

Over the past year or so, I've been able to enrich my life in several ways. Some of them, I don't understand how I lived without for as long as I did.

High Definition Television

Ok, seriously, I don't like golf. I don't watch it. I have zero interest. The day I got my high def TV, I spent an hour watching golf. Just because it looked that good. Watching non high def tv now hurts my eyes.

DVR

Up until we got the new TV last May, we relied on a VCR to record programs we really wanted to see. Given how awful television is, and living for a year with a little tiny TV 2 floors away from the kitchen, we weren't recording much of anything. Now, I've discovered a host of great stuff. Anthony Bourdain's No Reservatons, The Office, and reruns of The Tick. I honestly fell off the sofa watching 'That Mustache Feeling'.

BJs Membership

So the local Safeway has been where I get my food for the better part of 7 years. It's always been OK, but expensive. This year, we joined BJs. Honestly, I think we've already saved the $45 membership fee in meat alone. The prices and selection are fantastic. If you are a lifter and eat like I eat, you need to belong to a place like this.

Sonos/Network Attached Storage/MediaMonkey/Sansa

Yes, I've posted about Sonos before, but I finally got all my music stored on my Buffalo Linkstation (500G) as FLAC (lossless) files. I then put a lot of it on my 8G Sansa MP3 player, after using MediaMonkey to convert the files to MP3s. I'm rediscovering things I haven't listened to in years, along with new stuff via internet radio (my latest love is Radio IO Blues). I have a great selection with me all the time, an at home, the music is limitless.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Study finds walking can get you from one place to another

The USA Today reports a study finding that a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk 3 times a week makes you feel better. Seriously, can't scientists find something a little more meaningful to study?
If you take a brisk walk for as little as 20 to 30 minutes three times a week, you'll feel more energetic, happier and calmer, says a study presented Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting in Colorado Springs.
This adds to the growing body of evidence on the benefits of even small amounts of physical activity for improving quality of life.

"Exercise makes you feel better," says Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. The more you do, the more you benefit, he says.


Didn't we all already know this? And it was funded by your NIH. Money well spent.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Things that happen when you ignore the Constitution

One of the nice things about following the rules laid out in the Constitution is that it conveys a sense of trust in the government and in the system. We know if we followed the rules, we got the bad guy.

But when you don't follow the rules, everything comes into question

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A U.S. military commander altered a report on a firefight in Afghanistan to cast blame for the death of a Delta
Force commando on a Canadian youth who was captured after the shooting stopped,
a defense attorney said Thursday.
The attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, made the allegation at a pretrial hearing as he argued for access to the officer, identified only as "Col. W," as well as details about interrogations that he said might help clear his client of war-crimes charges.
The U.S. military has charged Omar Khadr with murder for throwing a
grenade that killed Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer during a U.S. military raid
on July 27, 2002, on an al-Qaida compound in eastern Afghanistan. Khadr's case
is on track to be the first to go to trial under a military tribunal system at
this U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
The military commander's official report the day after the raid originally said the assailant who threw the grenade was killed, which would rule out Khadr as the suspect. But the report was revised months later, under the same date, to say a U.S. fighter had only "engaged" the assailant, according to Kuebler, who said the later version was presented to him by prosecutors as an "updated" document.
Kuebler told reporters after the hearing that it appears "the government manufactured evidence to make it look like Omar was guilty."
Prosecutors did not contest Kuebler's account in court and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Khadr, who was captured when he was 15, is among roughly 80 detainees the Pentagon plans to prosecute at Guantanamo. So far, roughly a dozen
of the 275 men held at Guantanamo have been charged with war crimes.
Kuebler said the trial will likely hinge on statements that Khadr made to interrogators when he was held at a military prison at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. The attorney asked to be provided with the names of the interrogators as well as what techniques they used.
His interrogators included members of a unit implicated in the December 2002 beating deaths of two Afghan detainees, named Dilawar and Habibullah, Kuebler said. The lead prosecutor, Marine Corps Maj. Jeffrey Groharing, said defense lawyers have not demonstrated that speaking with individual interrogators would benefit their case. He said the government already has provided typewritten summaries of the Bagram interrogations. Kuebler bristled at the prosecutor's decision to withhold
information it does not consider relevant to the case.
"What does he know about our case ... and what might help us prepare for trial?" he asked.
The judge, Army Col. Peter Brownback, scolded both sides for not cooperating more
closely on evidence-related issues that could delay the trial, currently
scheduled for May. He said he would rule on most of the defense motions by late
Friday. Brownback also ordered prosecutors to provide the defense with
official correspondence regarding the case between the U.S. and Canadian
governments.

The government has ZERO credibility in this case, because they refuse to follow the rules. And because of it, someone who most likely did committ a crime (although not the one of which he is accused) may go free. Plus, this behavior simply fuels terrorist recruiting efforts.

From the Scary Quotes Department..

Chuckles Schumer on Congress and the White House proposed stronger rules affecting mortgages and mortgage backed securities (which, by the way, will certianly result in more expensive money and less available capital, which they will in turn complain about as the poor again can not afford houses, but I digress...)

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who is a member of theBanking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Finance committees, was both positive and critical about the proposals, saying in a statement: “The administration is finally moving towards where Congress was last year. The good news is, they’re beginning to put their toe in the water when it comes to government involvement to help the
economy.
The bad news is, they’re going to have to do a lot more than that to
address the problem. We need government action not only to solve the current
crisis, but also to prevent a future one.”

rEVOLution failure

David Weigel in Reason asks what's next for the Ron Paul movement. I say, unfortunately, not much.

Paul has pretty much pulled the plug on his campaign, after a number of dissapointing showings, and a tougher than expected primary challenge that required his attention. But why was the result of all the hoopla so dissapointing?

I think Weigel has it right. Instead of focusing on the big picture Liberty stuff, there was entirely too much focus on closing the borders. That doesn't really jive with a lot of the anti-Bush, anti-establishment, not fond of the war Republicans and their libertarian leanings. Had he stayed on the 'smaller government, don't bomb countries that are not a threat and didn't attack you' message, we might be having very different discussions today. Maybe Hilliary and Obama wouldn't be the only interesting race.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Never ask a question..

When you don't know the answer.


I feel a little bad for the guy, but I've never thought the whole public engagement thing was such a good idea.

Via Agoraphilia.

Friday, March 7, 2008

HBO Commercial

For the past several weeks, I've spent more time than usual on the road... sleeping in hotels, eating by myself at the bar...

And watching HBO.

I don't subscribe to HBO, it just never seemed worth it, but let me tell you, there is some great TV going on. In Treatment is absolutley fantastic, and after 5 years of hearing about it and only a couple of days before the series finale, I'm hooked on The Wire.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Maryland, leading us to Nanny State Utopia

The Maryland state legislature is actually considering a state wide Foie Gras ban.

Think of the ducks.

Or maybe all those mean old rich people.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Jeff Healey, RIP

One of my favorite mucisians, Jeff Healey, died today at age 41.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Too busy to post

And really, not much to say.

So there.

Been working my ass off, again. Should have some time this week to say some things.