Monthly Archives: November 2011

Broca’s Area Catch-All

What’s the matter with Kansas?  If you are a High School student in the Shawnee Mission East school district, the matter is about free speech, emancipation, and petty political purity.  Emma Sullivan, a high school senior, attended a speech given by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, and tweeted her distaste for the man’s policies.  Some of the Governor’s staffers, (at least one of whom has some sketchy ties with a faux grass-roots political organization funded by the Kochs) saw the tweet and notified her school Principal.  He then courageously informed the staffer that the young lady was 18 yrs old, hence,  that he had no legal jurisdiction over her.  He advised the brown-nosed Brownback staffer to grow up, move on, and get on with the business of bringing opportunity to the people of Kansas.

Wait, no he didn’t.  Actually, he called the young lady into his office, scolded her for nearly an hour, then demanded she write an apology which he would dictate to her if she needed.

At the time, Emma had roughly 60 people following her on Twitter.  As of this morning, she has now topped 5000, and people from every state now know of her plight.

Talk about some great staff work!  You’d think, even Kansas, they would be aware of the power of social media.

Read this at 5:00 a.m. this morning, before ingesting my Columbian free trade java, but still most of it resonated with me.  If you are too lazy to click and read the link, it is one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers submissions on the state of his/her religious beliefs, or lack of. Here is a snippet:

At the same time, I support and personally feel belief in the mystery of it all, recognizing that we don’t know what we don’t know; and I have a strong sense that the teachings of Buddha, of karma, of Judaism, of Mohammed, and of Christ have a great deal to offer – that these world views all are directionally healthy if interpreted without literalism, that they all imply reasons for gratitude and that they all help build social fabric as shared belief systems, and that those things are good things which probably outweigh the obvious downsides of groupthink and the devastating divisions they also cause with humans who otherwise have so much in common.

It’s a good read, but I happen to believe that groupthink and devastating divisions far outweigh whatever comfort we find in our social fabric of “shared beliefs”.  But I thought “Gratheism” was a catchy term.

On a lighter note…Bob Costas did a piece last night during the halftime “show” of the Patriot/Eagle game, where he called out excessive player celebrations in the NFL.  Long overdue, in my opinion.  Spike the ball if you must.  Yes, it’s an adrenaline charged moment, and some scores are worthy of some celebration.  I forget who said this, but it’s spot on:

“Upon reaching the end-zone, act like you’ve been there before.”

Don’t mock.  Don’t dance.  And for the love of Pete, don’t kneel and give thanks to God.  (I was VERY put off during the Denver game, when they were about to attempt a game winning field goal in overtime, and the director cut to a shot of Tim Tebrow  on one knee, praying on the sideline. What on earth does a prayer for victory sound like?

“Dear God, I humbly beseech you to make this kick good, and visit defeat and humiliation upon my opponents.”

Anyway, NFLers, do your job without the ridiculous gyrations and such.  Unless, of course, you’re willing to lay prostate while we heap derision and scorn upon you for fumbling or missing a catch-able ball. Wait…we already do that.

Question:  Does anyone else out there hate the term “Black Friday” as much as I do?


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Random Observations You Can’t Live Without

It’s not classy, folks, but I just have to swirl the schadenfreude around on my tongue for a minute or three.

Super Committee?  Not so much.  As a recovering Democrat I have to say thank GOD Kerry & Co didn’t capitulate.  I don’t want to see cuts in entitlement programs, but standing up to Congressional bullies pays dividends down the road.

Dear Yahoo:  Turn off your comments section, now.  I am embarrassed to share DNA with 90% of the morons commenting on your news stories.  Seriously, let’s not show the world how much stupid exists here.  Let them think Cain and Perry are anomalies.

The world needs a better toilet.  And more of them.  I’ll have more on this later.

It’s funny to watch how puppies don’t “get” that they have grown.  Cookie tries to fly through small spaces she could get through last week, but now that she has doubled in size and heft, she can’t even wriggle through those spaces.  I used to have a nice table next to my arm-chair, but after being upended once or twice, it is bound for the garbage heap.

Dear Police everywhere:  Please stop pepper-spraying our young people.  They are trying to tell us something, and it’s really bad form.  The world IS watching.

Dear Fox News:  Pepper-spray is basically a “food source?”  Seriously?  Y’all went with that?

Back Later, thanks for dropping by!




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Bernie Sanders Cuts Through The Bullshit


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Kellys FTW

The carpet in the master bedroom is ten years old.  There is no money in the budget to replace it, but I knew I couldn’t live with it much longer.  Inside pets, toddlers, and time had left it stained and just funky as hell.  I’ve had it cleaned a number of times, but usually, it seems to revert to it’s former state within a week, regardless.  Still, I decided to have it cleaned.  I logged onto Craig’s List, and one particular ad caught my eye.  I called the number, and spoke to a young lady named Melanie.  I explained what I had, she quoted me a price, and the next day she was there, on time, and accompanied by James, her partner.

On the phone, Melanie explained that their method did not involve soaking the carpet with water and then trying to extract it with a vacuum  type machine.  Apparently, water can easily get down into the pad, and since the carpet machines can’t get down there to remove it, it can begin to mildew and rot the pad away.  What James and Melanie do is use an enzyme (after a thorough vacuuming) which goes to the base of the carpet fibers, then they literally buff it with a brush that is affixed to an industrial type buffer, like you see in office building and schools and such.  The pad stays dry, and after the carpet is raked, it looked beautiful, almost like new.  They did an awesome job, and I got tickled watching Melanie move heavy pieces of furniture, given that she weighs only slightly more than our neurotic Pomeranian.

Seriously, if you are thinking about having your carpets cleaned, give these two hard working entrepreneurs a call. (615) 598-7613.  They have a website that is pretty self-explanatory, and they are of course listed on CL.  There are plenty of carpet-cleaning scam artists out there, but you will be pleased with their work ethic and of course the way your carpets look when they get done.  By the way, they told me there is no sales tax on carpet cleaning, ever.

It’s really nice to feel like you got your moneys worth.


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Somebody School Me

Some one is going to have to explain to me how a economy is sustainable when it disproportionately values investment over work.  And while we’re at it, why it’s reasonable to hold teachers making 40k a year accountable but not CEOs that make ten times that.  When we’re done exploring those questions, we can then move on to how a nation as rich as ours can ask boys and girls to go fight a war, then find every way imaginable to avoid taking care of them when they return home.    After that, I’d really like to know why it’s okay for banks to charge 15% interest on secured loans and yet pay out less than one percent on personal savings?  Those are just a few of the things of which I’d like a little clarification.  Anyone?


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If You Don’t Believe, You Don’t Belong

Saw a woman jogging in a t-shirt with that nifty little slogan.  I thought it fitting (no pun intended) in that it perfectly describes the sentiment of far too many so-called Christians these days.  Belong where?  On Earth?  In your home/workplace/church/school?  Is it an elite club that only some may join?  It is a stupid and potentially dangerous perspective to have and to foist upon youngsters in or out of church.

What happens if I believe but am plagued by doubts?  Do I still “belong” , but in some kind of suspended saved state?  If I double my tithe, can I belong again?  What if I believe that Jesus was the son of God, but that I am as well?  What if I believe that the Bible is chock full of contradictions and out-dated behavioral mandates?  Can I skip selling my daughter into slavery but eschew shirts made of multiple fabrics?  And if I do, will I still belong?

Bah.  I’m on about this after hearing my daughter inform me that a certain youth pastor told his class that if they did not pay attention and remain silent for his lesson, God will judge them.  I keep meeting people who treat our relationship with God as one of master/servant.  This isn’t what I believe, yet, curiously, I still feel I belong.

That’s my Sunday rant.

Go Titans!



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Updates Galore

The new geothermal system seems to work perfectly thus far.  The house is warm and there is no “forced” heat smell that burning propane or natural gas so often produce.  A TVA inspector came yesterday, and signed off on the system so that, my friends, is that.

The new pup, Cookie, is a strange dog.  Not in a bad way, in fact, so far she has settled in nicely.  She accepts being crated at night, seems to know that outside in front is for potty, and outside back is for play.  She is pretty chill when she is inside.  The other animals are reluctantly teaching her some boundaries and manners.  We have incorporated a little Caesar Millan in our routine, and he does offer some good tips on training a young dog.  Her first vet visit is today, I wish I had time to take her once and not do anything, so she won’t associate the vet with unpleasantness.  Live and learn.

We are all enjoying this beautiful Fall weather.  The horses have gone to winter pasture, but we can catch glimpses of them between the trees.  When the final leaf drops, we will have a better view of them.

The kids are about to finish band season, their last competition is Sat.  I can’t go, as I have to be here for Cookie.  I really think the band overcame many obstacles and put on a great show, all things considered.

I’m about to start an exciting project that I am unable to talk about at this time, but I will update when I can.

Christmas is coming…too soon.


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A Canine Quick Hit

The truck was parked at a slight angle, and when the tire went flat, she leaned toward the hill in a way that it would have been unsafe to raise her with anything other than a large floor jack, which I do not have.  So, I wandered over to our little tire shop to borrow theirs….

When I walked in, there, in the little office, were six pups.  Each was perched atop a chair, and they were all fast asleep.  There was one female.  She somehow wound up in my vehicle and then in my house.  Meet Cookie:



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