Posted in Uncategorized on January 31st, 2008 by Michael

Yes, I arrived back home today and thankfully it was not to a half foot of snow.

I did review the fence. STRANGE. Not sure how the section came undone. The gate I can understand, but frankly that had to be some wind as it pulled the hinges off of the post. Wow.

Anyway, elections and my apathy. I know it is still early but I should be forming some opinions by now (besides the one that they all suck). So, I will probably start posting a value and give a rating. These are my thoughts. I don’t really care or want to know if you agree, disagree, think I am a loon or whatever. Just skip this section in the blog if you don’t care about what goes on in my head (I COMPLETELY understand if you do). You might question why I would bother to post something that I wouldn’t want to read… well, it is because I am planning of potentially pulling all of the blogs into a book at the end of the year…

Anyway, I’ll rate them in alphabetical order.

First, honesty:

Clinton – F, Huckabee – A, McCain – A, Obama – D, Paul – A, Romney – D

Obvious here. Clinton would sell her soul to get elected. She is old school politics. Romney and Obama are not much better.

Innovative ideas:

Clinton – B, Huckabee –C, McCain –F, Obama – B, Paul –A, Romney –C

Paul (yes, he is still “in” the running), is kind of a kook, but he is not afraid of putting stuff out there. That is a welcome change. The rest have some good support casts helping the cause. Huck really only has his tax plan, which I am still on the fence (ha!) about. Romney, is also status quo for the most part so lags in this category. McCain doesn’t bring anything new to the table from what I have seen to date.


Clinton – A, Huckabee –C, McCain – B, Obama-B, Paul – ?, Romney-C

As politically motivated as she is, Clinton is probably the smartest of the bunch. The rest are probably middle of the road to slightly above average.


Clinton – F, Huckabee-A, McCain –A, Obama-C, Paul-C, Romney-D

Because of her willingness to lie to get elected at any time, Clinton hands down wins the smarmy award. Romney is only slightly better – that’s probably because he lives near Kennedy. I don’t think Paul is intentionally smarmy, he just rubs me the wrong way sometimes (sort of like Paul Van der Hoven).Obama – I think he started out as probably a decent guy – I think he simply got caught up in the sleaze of politics. He lives there now and seems to like it (like a pig in slop). Again, I think Huck and John are probably the ‘pure’ of the candidates, even if one doesn’t like their views.

Ability to lead:

Clinton – B, Huckabee – D, McCain – A, Obama – C, Paul –F, Romney-C

This was a tough one. Good thing I have lots of time to think about this while my team is working on a down server. Of course, it happens to be a server that VIP doesn’t adequately cover. Anyway, I’m playing update man to those above my pay grade while our friends in Redmond are helping us (and padding their profits) Ah to be a monopoly – wait, that is another topic.

Anyway, I think McCain is the strongest leader here, but that is because I think he doesn’t piss people off and he is able to provide a clear vision (regardless if you like it). I think Clinton is savvy enough she can figure out how to manipulate folks to get things done. Whether or not that is leadership is debatable. I just do not think Obama has any real credibility. Romney is just sort of lame and while he was able to do it at the state level, not sure about the national level. Huck is nice enough but I don’t think tough enough. Paul, he is just a nut.

Enough of that, I seem to be reinforcing the fact, I don’t like any of these people a lot.

What else is happening in my head? Right now, I am only thinking about what an idiot I was to take this job.

I was happy to get home even though I will miss the great water pressure at the Marriott. I ate at a place called “Bucks” over the last couple of days. Convenience really. I got off around 8 and I could walk there from the Hotel. Of course, I had to walk past some questionable places – didn’t know it when I booked it, but I was a 4-wood (or a driver, for most) from the hood. Anyway, the food was fine. Smelled good. The lady there liked to watch the worse TV – I’m talking America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wife Swap, etc. I almost wanted to send the TV Writers a dollar to come back to work. I would have too but I am not on their side – greedy bastards.

Super Bowl this weekend. I’ve been a long time Patriots fan but ever since Romo screwed the pooch, I have sort of lost my interest in football. I doubt I will watch it – two hours of pregame is enough to turn me off, if not already there. We have to learn that hype is not always a good thing. Super size this. Super size that. Leave good alone so it can be good. Success can lead to mediocrity.

The end for this week.

Well, well, well.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29th, 2008 by Michael

It’s windy out there. I know that sounds like I’ve moved from bitching about the cold to bitching about the wind. Maybe so, but with good reason. One, I had to fly to Dallas in it (on a crappy little plane to boot). Secondly, I was informed upon landing that a part of my fence was blown off – -yeah, blown off from in between the posts. Not sure how this happened but I am thinking that maybe I only used one screw in the hinges, they rotated down so the cross beams could come out, the wind did the rest – still, it IRKS me. Especially, drum roll please, because it is suppose to be snowing AGAIN when I get back in a couple of days.

Work is horrible, thanks for asking.

I’m trying to keep an open mind and count down the days until I go on vacation, but frankly, I have no idea when that might be. Since MA only goes on cruises while in the motherly way, I’m not booking anything anytime soon (or ever).

Related, I THINK we have picked a name. I need to confirm, but it looks like we have passed government muster.

What else… I trust everyone watched the State of the Union last night since it dominated all that is free TV. A couple of notes — and this is not an open invitation for debate or discussion — one, I was appalled by the visual nature of the divisiveness of the chamber and somber look many democrats had on their faces (assuming that they were awake – Hey, Ted Kennedy!). Yes, disagree, but no need to scowl. Be a leader or at least look like one. Two, why on those topics that seemed to agree (there were several), are those things are not done already? Govern, people! Three, how hypocritical the democratic response was (e.g. 10 minutes talking about how she didn’t want to give a partisan response, but an American one, and then went on to give one. Crap, we know it is going to be partisan, that is the whole point! If it were not a ‘response’ it would be ‘a group hug’), Four, how freaking apathetic the ‘pundits’ were on the after shows (loved the one that had the “fat chance” review, as in “that proposal has a fat chance from happening), and finally, how absolutely strange GW was in his glee…I mean, he was like happy to be there. Seemed to be having a great time (and I know that is not because Nancy ‘queen hypocrite’ Pelosi or Dick ‘don’t take me shooting’ Chaney were whispering jokes). Maybe he was just happy he doesn’t have to take the abuse or suffer the stress of the job for too much longer. In any event, it was strange to me. Really. BTW, sadly, I think the whole decrease in secret earmarks was indeed a ‘fat chance’ moment.

Well, one day removed, everyone is focused now on Florida. Okay, whatever. I really am so over elections.

How did people collect good stuff before ebay? It is amazing some of these collections people have and the effort that they must have gone through. I’m not thinking of starting any new collections, in case that crossed your mind. AA’s magazine had a collection of the world oddest items (e.g. biggest roadrunner, house shaped like a beer can, etc.). Most of those items are indeed impractical.

I heard that new Chuck Wick song “Stealing Cinderella” TWICE today (one pulling into work, once leaving). Gets me all misty. Yeah, ,it was a rental car – hence on a Country station. On the ride back, I did hit the preset buttons to escape steel guitar hell.

Best BBQ sauce? Might be Gates – Spicy. I like the food from Jack Stacks better however. Feel free to disagree. Dickeys (from Texas) is pretty good but mild. I do like eating there though. Sonny Bryant’s really didn’t appeal to me as a destination place.

I’ve rented a Versa – it is a piece of crap. Had an Avenger the last time out – looks good, no guts. Also, not all Courtyards are the same. I guess someone really needs to explain branding to these people. I realize not all McDonalds are identical (note the one in Rome) but still MOST of them are at least 90% cookie cutter. Yeah, some marble, yes a plaza surrounding but the freakin Big Mac still has two whole beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun (well, unless I order it sans the disgust ‘special’ sauce). Enough whining on that topic. Okay, a little more – WIDESCREEN TVs are not new. Replace those crappy ones you have bolted to the tables Marriot. And don’t get those LG models like Disney properties. Yes, they are nice TVs but when hooked up to HD signals replicated through so many rooms, they are slow to change the channel.

Now, I am done.

Pictures of the week

Posted in The Family on January 27th, 2008 by Chuck

I have said this before, and to be sure, I  or someone else will no doubt say it again and again and again

Your pictures of the week contain the most wonderful and beautifl pictures …. I don’t know if it is  your talant or the subjects … but they are wonderful.

Keep it up and often

New day, old snot, new blog

Posted in Ranting, The Family, Uncategorized on January 25th, 2008 by Michael

Let first start the blog with a comment – its been a crappy week.

I caught a cold that continued on for days. Monumentally horrible things have occurred at work, requiring not only a normal effort (challeging enough while sick) but a heroic one. I’ll be working most of the weekend (again).

It was damn cold here (-3 yesterday) and one of my windshield wipers got ripped to hell due to my insistence of it to move while the molecular forces within solid water resisted.

That out of the way, I’m tired and Z is on her high horse about something. It is difficult to understand the mind of an almost three year old. She doesn’t get it, of course. This is like a zealot commune against the 5th brigade. It is going to end in only one way. On the flip side, we did have a day of potty only activities. It lasted exactly that, one day.

Meghan went in for her 18 month checkup. A shot. No problem. She is a chunky monkey though with height and weight above the 90% range of “normal”.

Lots of political crap out there. Sly Stallone is now in McClain’s camp (hey, maybe he and Chuck Norris could duke it out – probably more entertaining that debates from their bosses). Hilary and Obama are flicking snot at each other (very presidential). Speaking of which, the former and not always acting like it President Clinton is working on a $20+ million buyout from his “advisorship” to the government of Dubai. No, I’m not going to re-tread the obvious buying of pardon’s story. Every President gets to toss out some questionable ones on his last day (though some better than others). Still no one seems to care about Mr. Edwards. Pretty bad when you will loose your home state. Good some of the stragglers are starting to drop off. Then again, these outsiders are the most entertaining (and honest) of the bunch.

The thing that gets me now is this new “stimulus package”. Okay, what a load of political buying power that is. First, we are sending ‘rebate’ checks to people who didn’t pay taxes? Does anyone know what a rebate check is? Okay, two, the plan there is to give these poor folks $300 (+ allowances for kids – which could be a big number given the welfare state we have created) so that they can stimulate the economy? Well, first, it is great poor people get money (in general) but let’s face it, that’s a political guilt check, not a stimulus check. These folks will (or should) spend the money on staples (like food) not on economy drivers. Then, we cut the limit off at $150K/married couple. First, I think it there should be a cut off, but I think it should be higher (maybe $250K or so). Why? First, $150K is not a lot of money in CA where you 3bd house just dropped from being $700K to $600K in value and wages are horribly inflated. Secondly, it is these folks that don’t NEED the money that will spend it on something immediately, hence STIMULATE the economy. Again, I’m not so opposed to what they have done, just the political BS that they wrapped it in so the average USAToday reader will feel good about it.

Whatelse… still excited about the new putters coming in March. I’ve decided to not buy any until then (unless a 33/350g or a Classic I becomes available). I am thinking about finding one of those indoor golf places to start getting back in the groove however (once the other crap in front of me is cleared out). Saw Tiger Woods is kicking ass at Torrey Pines. I almost played there last year.

Oh, for those interested, we had another ’off the reservation’ thought about names yesterday (again, more red wine – this was a Spanish varietal). Still giving it some thought (and of course, we have to check with da man – e.g. government — to ensure it is legal; it is interesting what some countries limit in proper names). Probably have to start narrowing it down pretty soon.

MA is done with this phase.

BTW, yet another over privileged actor doing something stupid (and in this case killing himself) is NOT, I repeat NOT breaking news. On a positive note, there will be a new Kevin Smith, a new James Bond (Nov) and a new Star Trek (Christmas day) movie released this year.

My friend Angela started blogging too ( She is much more prolific and family friendly than I. Remember, like all websites tell you, I am not responsible for content and opinions beyond these pages.

More good news, USA Network has their hit show “Burn Notice” posted on their website. We watched episodes of “Keen Eddie” on DVD the other day once the kids retired for the day. Sweet.

Costco run tomorrow – can you say roasted chicken?

Sorry for the delay…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20th, 2008 by Michael

I had a big, ole blog entry created from the topsy turvy comfort of my 34000 foot ride to Portland earlier this week, but alas it is on a different system and I’m just too freaking lazy to boot up, copy, etc.

I trust that every saw that even with dust to dawn trips, the POTW was updated. January is always a tough month since not many pictures get snapped – an interesting phenomenon proved out again this year. So, just lower your expectations and all will be well.

Quick updates…Kids are the same. Z is getting very out of control. Not sure if it is in celebration of being on the downhill side of two or simply rebellion given that her piece of the pie is starting to decline in conjunction with MA energy and/or inverse belly size. Patience is not in full supply on the paternal side either. Meghan is fine and dandy but sporting a face full of snot as yet another cold has made it around the kiddy playgroup/germ factory. MA herself is in countdown mode but it still being measured in weeks, not days or hours. The back is the first to go but constant heartburn awaits each meal. She is popping so many Tums (or Costco equivalents) that we have nicknamed the next offspring as the ‘bicarbonate boy’. That will have to work for now since we still do not know the name. There was some talk last night – after some red wine by yours truly – of going off the traditional ranch again. Not sure it will stick.

I myself am suffering from not enough time and energy in the day to get done what I do want to get done. As I sit strapped in plane ride after plane ride, I do fantasize about getting it all together: catching up on the weeks of work related items that got ‘prioritized over’ but not ‘forgotten’, actually stepping foot on the treadmill to reduce my personal gravitational impact, getting back to writing, and completing the 2007 memory books for each of the kids. Alas, none of it has even started since I got back.

What has started is the ‘freezing my ass off’ part of winter. It was 5 degrees F (yeah, old school) when I landed this past Friday and that wasn’t the low of the day. It didn’t make it out of the teens on Saturday and I do not think we will see the water actually run clear for a couple of more days. Therefore, we will remain a white city for a tad longer.

MLK day is tomorrow. Not a big fan. Hate politically motivated holidays (much like greeting card driven ones). Still do not understand why people have this day off of work yet not President’s Day. Bigger impact of the nation? One has to wonder…

I have pondered a few other things while white knuckling it over the Rockies… Given the number of times we use the word “no” at home with the kids, why is it that this is the one word that seem most challenged to understand? Point to a picture in the book of a monkey and say it twice, everything becomes alive in monkey town.

I ponder the appeal of the Clintons a lot too or more specifically, this absolute love of them by the media. It was not but a week or so ago, Hillary was on the ropes. Then –surely inspired by their incredibly brilliant marketing machine — Bill goes off to BLAME the media for their kid gloves handling of Obama (oh, the irony!) while Hillary manufactures some ‘tears’ to appear more likeable. Poof, overnight she wins and is heir apparent again. Being slightly more intelligent than a bear crapping in the woods, I feel as if I’m the stooge in this national shell game. To add to the absolutely hypocrisy, it is the same folks that are decrying the FTC’s recent ruling that allows media outlets to own multiple sources in major markets. Oh, just wake up!

On the flip side of all of that, who slipped the political Viagra into McCain’s campaign? I know the war is continuing to move in the right direction, but I didn’t see his revival coming. Not sure that it matters because like the Clinton campaign, Romney has the monetary machinery in place. It is just a matter of time.

I also ponder where Romo’s head was in the playoffs since for the second time in two years, I leave blame on his door. It is smelly and on fire to boot. Then again, everyone is playing for second.

What else…. Damn, I want to play some golf. At the airport, I picked up the new ‘equipment’ issue of Golf Digest and read it word for word (long ride in cargo area). The PGA merchandising show was in Orlando this week (I wasn’t). The tour is kicking off in earnest next week (Buick Open). Scotty Cameron announced new ‘newport’ putters in his OTR line (yes, I will have one on March 15 when released). I got the fever baby! Now, I just need the weather. And the skill. And the patience.

While in PDX, I got the chance to drink some hammerhead (it’s the freaking nectar of the hop gods) and actually bowl a few rounds with my friend Scott (who plans to take the non-pro PBA by storm this year). Considering it was the first time I rolled the rock in over three years, it was okay (all above the century mark). Kind of makes my want to get back to it. Maybe when the kids are grown (or Missouri passes a non-smoking ordinance). No chance to stop in on MA’s girlfriends, so a ‘shoutout’ to Beth and Debbie will have to do. Yes, it was raining while I was there…. Yahoo.

This dinner time blog is getting long so I will cut it off with a final life lesson. The old saying about washing your hands before eating remains very true. However, one should remember rule 1a, wash your hands before going to the bathroom if dinner involved jalapeño peppers. Fail to heed at your own risk.


Posted in The Family on January 13th, 2008 by maureen

Someday she will not be happy about the newest picture.  I think it’s great, though!
Hope all is well.