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Entitlements & Taxes - Give 'em an inch...  
Friday, May 30, 2003 6:34:21 PM EDT

WARNING: long winded rant ahead

A minor celebrity and a man I very much admire, save for his politics, pointed out this article in the New York Times yesterday. The article discusses how some families at or below a minimum wage income level are not eligible for the increase of $400 per child tax credit in Bush's tax cut plan. Normally an outspoken statesman of the left, with well thought arguments and a witty cynacism of the Bush administration, he only added the comment "What the...?" to it. As if to say, "see, I told you Bush is evil".

This sort of sent up a red flag in my mind. I mean was that all he could muster up on the issue? "What the...?". Implying of course, Bush bad. Bush hates poor kids. Bush evil. He doesn't typically say anything about anything unless it's something he feels passionately about and when he does, it's usually a piercing, cleverly written missive. Yet here he was casting this jab out there like just so much knee-jerk liberalism.

I decided to have a look around some of the more liberal dwellings in the blogospheric neighborhood to see if this meme could possibly be taking root there as well. I discovered that apparently it was because I noticed that a number of bloggers had links to the same article (it's #12 at popdex today), with the same "Bush is evil" underpinnings, but little in the way of dissection. Most notably, the "Lott Buster" himself, Josh Marshall linked it, with a lengthy addendum of his own. After a couple of the money quotes from the article he added "Family values...Add your wry quip here and stir ..." Huh? That's it? What's the message? Bush Bad, Bush hates poor kids yada yada yada. Were's the deep analysis of the facts? Why is everyone on the left treating this so superficially? As if it were really that simple. C'mon people, at least offer me something to make your point stick.

From The NY Times article:
"Most taxpayers will receive a $400-a-child check in the mail this summer as a result of the law, which raises the child tax credit, to $1,000 from $600. It had been clear from the beginning that the wealthiest families would not receive the credit, which is intended to phase out at high incomes.

But after studying the bill approved on Friday, liberal and child advocacy groups discovered that a different group of families would also not benefit from the $400 increase — families who make just above the minimum wage.

Because of the formula for calculating the credit, most families with incomes from $10,500 to $26,625 will not benefit. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal group, says those families include 11.9 million children, or one of every six children under 17."

Oh man, that guy Bush is EVIL! He hates the poor kids! He's Hitler incarnate!

Ok, I guess I'll have to be the one to shine the harsh light of reality on this issue. I'll go out on a limb and risk painting myself to be an enemy of the poor children too. Just like evil George. All in an effort to slap you all out of that lazy way of thinking if you've been so inclined.

If you were to ask me to give you one good reason why I don't tow the liberal line, it would probably be entitlements and taxes, two concepts that go hand in hand with one another. I want to see less of both. I don't like big government to begin with, and I tend to inherently abhor most entitlements (transfer benefits) and the liberal's love of income redistribution. Steve, from Ravenwood's Universe has been on a tax issues roll as of late himself, and in a recent and largely ignored vent, he takes direct aim at the way the left likes to distort the facts about taxes. Why they do this I cannot explain, but nonetheless, it seems to be the case again here. They are trying to put a spin on this child tax credit issue that completely overlooks reality.

Let's start off with the most glaring aspect of this story. That is the fact that poor folks won't get the additional $400 per child tax credit, which some liberals have so shallowly come to grasp. Sure, on the surface it makes Bush & Co. look positively wicked. So wicked and so glaring that you can sum it all up in few enough words that it could easily fit on a protester's placard. But, the left has conveniently ignored several key points that are vital to the discussion. I think it's ironic too that after vehemently opposing tax cuts of any kind in the months prior to the passing of Bush's tax cut plan, some of those on the left are suddenly whining about just who should get what. Had it been up to them nobody would have gotten an increase in the child tax credit. Of course in their eyes it's all about tax breaks for the rich and once again, the little guy gets stomped on. But this simply is not the case.

You see, in our system of taxation the government already rewards helps those who make less income by providing entitlements such as welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, low-interest loans etc. These are known as transfer benefits. Your eligibilty for these benefits decreases proportionately as your income grows. In other words, the more you make, the less the government will give you. On top of this, your tax bracket, or the percentage of your income that the government takes from your paycheck actually increases proportionately as your income grows. So the more you make, the more the government takes away from you. It's a well known fact that in this country the wealthiest 5% of people pay more than 50% of the taxes. Those at the bottom end of the income scale on the other hand, such as many of the people who've been left out of the child tax credit, actually don't pay any taxes at all! Considering the cost of transfer benefits that are available to them though, they are often looking at a net gain when tax time rolls around. In this case, liberals are essentially just saying "we want a free handout" once again.

It may seem like a cruel and heartless position, but I have to wonder what people living at or below a minimum wage standard are doing having children in the first place. I mean considering the cost of raising a child to maturity, why would someone making barely enough to get by on their own be having children? Sure, I realize that there are those that may have had a change of fortune after bearing children, such as single and possibly unskilled mothers who have been forced to go into the work force due to a divorce, or other extenuating circumstances. But I suspect that many of these people don't fit that characterization. In my eyes, many of them are having children irresponsibly and they want me to pay for their imprudence.

I happen to be a taxpayer in an upper income tax bracket. My income alone disqualifies me for the child tax credit. Moreover, I don't have any children, so I couldn't qualify even if I had no income at all. Yet I'm paying more in taxes than many of these people make and now they're telling me that because they are either unskilled, irresponsible or lazy, that I should lend a helping hand and give them $400 more for each child they have, even if they never paid a dime in taxes. Sorry, but that line of reasoning just doesn't wash with me.

It's not enough that our government provides all kinds of goods and services to the poor among our society, they still want more and have come to expect it at my expense. This is the problem I have with entitlements, they actually reward those who either aren't working or are living at or below minimum wage levels of income all the while punishing those o fus that are paying the costs required to implement them in the first place. My guess is that many of these people understand this all too well and have learned that they really can get something for nothing. Where is the incentive to work and be productive or to better oneself if you can get by without doing anything? Conversely, why should we attempt to be more productive and increase our lot in life if the reward is to just have a larger percentage of money extracted from our wallets for the benefit of others? Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Professor of Economics at Boston University recently did an exhaustive study to determine if in fact it even pays to work!
"If you save and invest some of you current earnings and spend the proceeds in the future, you'll raise your future capital income taxes as well as consumption taxes. You'll also limit your ability to qualify for the receipt of future income- and asset-tested government tax credits and welfare benefits. Earning more today will also affect the calculation of your future Social Security benefits as well as the federal income tax assessed on those benefits."
Lately, we've seen the disastrous effects on economies by overzealous entitlement programs in both France and Germany. Labor union leaders will effectively slam the brakes on already reduced productivity and risk the employment of their constituents as well as the viability of their employers in an effort to gain ever more entitlements. Less hours, more benefits and more guarantees seems to be their battle cry. Meanwhile, they are lost to the fact that less hours=less productivity=less profits=less chance of funding more entitlements. It's a viscious and potentially catastrophic cycle and I don't want to see our government fall any further into this viper pit of a notion. Robert Higgs comprehensively warns of a myriad of problems that can and do occur when governments try to be all things to all people and dispels quite a few myths at the same time in his article Nineteen Neglected Consequences of Income Redistribution. From my personal point of view, I completely concur with his assessment.
"Since the creation of the Social Security system in 1935, especially during the past 30 years, the amount of income overtly transferred by governments has risen dramatically. In 1960 government transfer payments to persons amounted to $29 billion, or 7 percent of personal income. In 1993 the total came to $912 billion, or nearly 17 percent of personal income.' In other words, one dollar out of every six received as personal income now takes the form of old-age, survivors, disability, and health insurance benefits ($438 billion), unemployment insurance benefits ($34 billion), veterans' benefits ($20 billion), government employees' retirement benefits ($115 billion), aid to families with dependent children ($24 billion), and miscellaneous other government transfer payments ($280 billion) such as federal subsidies to farmers and state and local public assistance to poor people."
For yet another expansive look at income redistribution. (caution Tripod pop-up hell site)

Neil Boortz has been all over this issue as well recently.
"This reader comment appeared in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“We used to tax and spend to help the needy. Now we tax cut and spend to help the greedy.”

There you go. If you want the government to take money away from someone who earned it, and give it to you, it is NOT greedy. But … if you want to keep the money you worked for and earned then you ARE greedy. Every time you see a thought process like this at work you can thank out system of government education."
It's not that I don't want to help people who are down on their luck, disabled or temporarily unemployed. I do understand that there are people who are deserving of some of these programs, but I also am cognizant of the fact that by their very nature (free money), they are prime candidates for abuse. In addition, I really don't have much respect for arguments that vilify a government that wants to rein in the costs of these entitlements - especially when those are arguments are made in a frivolous way.

Posted by: Marc  

A Spammer goes one step too far  
Thursday, May 29, 2003 5:12:49 PM EDT

I can't believe it. I cannot believe that I actually got an email from none other than Christ himself today. I am not making this up, it said "Christ" in the From: box! You wanna know what he had to say? He said that "he could get hundreds of lenders to compete for my mortgage loan." "Yeah" I thought, "I'm sure that he can, but why is Christ wasting his inexplicable holiness on home mortgages anyway?". It seems to me that he could put his capabilities to much better, if not morally superior humanitarian causes. What is our society coming to anyway when Christ starts spamming our inboxes?

I did a little domain snooping on Christ's site, you know, just to see if he really was the man and all. I'm not quite positive, but it appears that he may just be the real deal after all. Take a look at his address...He's in Mevaseret Zion, Israel! Hey, wait just a second. How can Christ get all those banks to compete for my loan from way over in Israel? Oh, that's right, I forgot, His profound divinity makes that a no brainer. But still, I rarely go to church, and I'm certain that I never left my email address in any guest books there when I have gone. Oh crap, smack my forehead again, he knows everything about me, so it's only logical that he'd know my email address too.

You know, even though he's the Son of Man and everything, I still don't think it's right to be taking advantage of his sanctity to spam people, and I'm not going to tolerate it, even if he is Christ.

So here's my plan. I'm going to try to get the whole of the blogosphere to help on this too because well, I'm up against Christ here after all, so please offer me your assistance if you could. In return for your kind generosity, I will show you a slick new howitzer designed especially for use against spammers called FriedSpam. It will turn your browser into a rapid-fire blazing spammer canon with unlimited ammo. You simply tell FriedSpam how many times to hit a spammer's website (which is what they want you to do anyway) and FriedSpam does the rest. Over and over and over and over again. Now if the whole blogosphere loads their FriedSpam canons with Christ's website, which is I believe we can make Christ cry UNCLE! So what say you? Wanna take on the son of God with me? Great, that's the spirit (pun intended), I applaud your bravery and thank you for your generous show of support.

Posted by: Marc  

FARK: Blog or Not?  
Wednesday, May 28, 2003 7:00:31 PM EDT

There's been some discussion recently throughout the blogosphere about a rumor that was started earlier this month. It was an article suggesting that Google was possibly going to remove blogs from its' main search results and would give them their own tab on Google's main page instead, much like they've done with their usenet archive called Google Groups (formerly known as DejaNews). As most bloggers following the story know by now, the rumor suggesting that Google was considering removing blogs from the main search results was debunked a short time later by none other than Google Co-founder, Sergey Brin himself.

This is old news to most of us, and I so I was quite surprised when I found a link to the original article posted on Fark just yesterday. Fark is generally known to link only the freshest of controversial news stories, yet this one was nearly three weeks old.

I'm sure most people reading this are already familiar with Fark. It's a website dedicated to a community of internet users that can all contribute links to unusual, often times humorous news items and / or any other type of web site. As noted, these are usually fresh links and are submitted along with a brief description of what the link refers to, much like "linker" style bloggers do. Each link that gets posted to also has it's own comment section, so that Fark's vast numbers of readers can comment on the link. This is similar to the way many bloggers use a comment section dedicated to each of their posts. Personally, I've always considered web sites like and to be a sort of hybrid group linker blog. A place where everyone can give a link and/or comment, indeed speak their mind, albeit only to a limited degree as its' content is moderated.

This notion that I've had though seems to be generally at odds with the way many Farkers, as Fark users have come to be known, perceive Fark's web site genre. In fact, after reading the comments to the article (74 as of this posting), I discovered that many Farkers are downright hostile in their views regarding blogs in general.
What do people see in BLOGS anyway? As far as I'm concerned, the only people that have blogs are;
1. People who think they are right all the time and feel people need to hear them talk about everything.
2. People that are unemployed and have to much time on their hands.
3. both 1 and 2"
Well, that may be the case for some I suppose, but the poster (someone named Ranold) somehow misses the irony of the fact that HE fits the same description. He's just posted what he thinks he's right about, at 3:00 in the afternoon. Isn't it quite possible that we could draw the same conclusion about him?

Of course there is also the common most of it is crap anyway comments as well...
"The internet, as I know it, started to suck, in my VERY humble opinion, around the time Slashdot went for-profit, circa 2001. Since then I've applied a very simple rule to online content...

99% of everything is crap.

Hence, the last 1% is 99% crap.

I've even started to browse Google using this, if they enable the filtering of Blogs, I'd be a very happy camper."
Now, the crappiness aspect of blogs has been hashed and re-hashed over and over in the blogosphere. As I pointed out earlier, most of us will concur with the 90% crap statements made by others. It's only when a blogger believes that his/her blog is among the other 10%, or even 1% as this guy's standards would suggest, that other bloggers take offense. Yes, actually most of the internet is crap, not just blogs. But that doesn't mean there aren't gems to be found, a whole lot of them no less. You just have to sift through a lot of ore to find them is all. Let's not forget that Fark itself might be considered 90% (or more) crap too. The crappiness factor issue has garnered so much attention lately, that even Eric over at the Fireant Gazette suggests that blog operators implement a new crappiness DC metadata element in their blogs called DC.Quality that asseses the inherent crap factor in our blogs. Heh. Maybe not such a bad idea.

And another Farker weighs in with this:
"Blog noise? Redundant"
Hmph. Fark noise? Redundant.
"Great, what a pain in the ass it is to do a search and end up at nothing more than a link to the content rather than going straight to the content. Blogs have become annoying middlemen."
Huh? Did I miss something here? Since when does Fark publish the content and not the link?
"...In general, I consider blogs to be filthy, filthy animals. But my webzine does host the filthy blog of a regular contributor. So will that brand my site as "blog noise" and erase my very favorable Google ranking?

And barring that, will I get dinged just because I use MoveableType as my backend content management system? Boo to that."
Well, if the rumor were true, I'd say a big hearty yeppers!

But the story isn't true, thankfully. At least for the time being, Google has no plans to segregate blogs from the main search results and I'm quite happy about this decision. For me, I find that blogs can contribute significantly to my search results. Google was the one that introduced me to blogs for crying out loud. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that wasn't such a good thing. I'm now a crappy blogger myself! Hell, I went so far overboard with my addiction that I even wrote a blogger too. Yeah, maybe Google should promote a "Just Say No To Blogs" message to the kids after all. Nah, while I may be in the minority here, I don't want blogs leaving Google's main search results. When I do a search at Google and see known blogs in my results, guess where I go first? That's right...the blogs.

No, I don't have a problem with people that hate the fact that blogs tend to rank highly with Google without too much effort. But I do have one when they can't seem to see that there are only subtle differences between what they do on the 'net versus what I do. Either one of which can be construed as blogging...or not. In the case of Fark, I'll use an analogy. A typical blog, well in this case a highly respected typical blog, I will call a single family house blog. By that I mean that all posts are made by a single person (or small group of people). That person has the authority to make the rules on his or her dwelling. Like Fark, comments are usually welcome too, but that doesn't mean that they won't be moderated by said single family house dweller. If you don't follow the rules, you might just find your troll-ass banned from the site. But that doesn't mean that that person is in anyway conceited or self-centered. It's just the rules. Of course, the same thing can just as easily happen at Fark too.

Fark does have subtle differences though. Going back to my analogy, I'd call Fark an Apartment blog. In other words, even though it's got rules that have been laid down by the landlord (Drew), it's occupants all have an equal opportunity to post links and comments. Like any apartment complex too, you'll have a variety of inhabitants that don't always agree with one another. Thus, you tend to get some pretty lively debates going on in those comment sections. Nothing wrong with it either, as long as everyone is playing by the landlord's rules. In my opinion, this is the only real difference between Fark and most blogs in the typical sense.

So, in conclusion, let me just say that you in-denial Farkers out there that loathe the blogs are doing nothing more than calling the kettle black. I suspect that you're repugnence is nothing more than jealousy over the fact that you don't have the real estate to make your own rules. To that I'd just like to say...get the hell over it or learn to love blog.

Posted by: Marc  

Hosting Matters  
Wednesday, May 28, 2003 10:34:31 AM EDT

I came home from work tonight and went surfing off to read some of my favorite blogs and quickly noticed that several of them are off the air! Acidman's Gut Rumbles blog, Steve's Ravenwood's Universe and even *gasp*, even the blogfather himself Instapundit appears to be dead in the water. Alas though, Glenn did at least have the foresight to have his Insta Backup ready for just such an emergency. No wonder he's the king! (tip of the hat to How Appealing for the heads up).

I did a little behind the scenes IP investigation and it appears to me that all three of those guys are using Hosting Matters (no link cuz it won't work anyway) for their site hosting service. I say that only because in all three cases, their IP addresses don't resolve with my DNS server. So I'm guessing that rather than it being server or bandwidth issues at Hosting Matters, it's a DNS issue. DNS move perhaps? Oh well, I'm sure they'll all be back up again soon.

Posted by: Marc  

Poor Jonah  
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:44:49 PM EDT

Wouldn't the rest of you guys just hate to have this guy's problem?

Posted by: Marc  

Bull in a china shop  
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:39:17 PM EDT


Posted by: Marc  

Memorial Day  
Monday, May 26, 2003 06:25:24 AM EDT

What she says.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

Posted by: Marc  

The First Amendment  
Thursday, May 22, 2003 8:07:58 PM EDT

"I didn’t expect that. How can you expect to have anyone climb on stage and turn your mike off,” Hedges said Tuesday during a telephone interview. “Watching it in my own country is heartbreaking.”
In a conversation with my Dad the other day, he brought up the fact that he's fed up with all the anti-war propaganda and how the left will use any excuse to vilify Bush and his administration. Specifically, he mentioned the incident on the USS Abraham Lincoln that left has beaten like a dead horse for weeks now. I get the impression that Dad feels that that sort of anti-patriotism borders on treason, which doesn't surprise me in the least. He's always been a staunch conservative, without much tolerance for any other point of view. I explained to him that I thought there was nothing wrong with the demodums saying whatever the hell they want to, wherever they want to, because that IS their right. A right guaranteed to them by the constitution. But I went on to say that that doesn't mean I have to agree with their blathering. In fact, I enjoy the same right to say whatever the hell I want to in retaliation. What I do have a problem with however, is when they don't have the capacity to understand this concept. Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, The Dixie Chicks, Sean Penn, the cheese eating surrender monkeys French and now Chris Hedges all seem to take offense when people disagree with their babblings or boycott their livelyhood because of it. They also all fail to realize too that they could probably actually get more support for their cause if they would just learn to spew their bullshit (pardon my French) vitriol in an appropriate forum. I keep asking myself why it's so hard for the left to understand this? I like some of the Dixie Chicks music for example, but I don't want to pony up $50 for a ticket to see a politcal tirade when I'm expecting to see a concert.

Why wouldn''t someone like Chris Hedges who presumably considers himself an intellectual not have taken note of this recurring phenomenon lately and kept his speech on point at a graduation ceremony of all things? Did he expect that he'd be able to get away with it just because he was speaking to a group of people that would typically fall into the left-wing category? That's the only explanation I can come up with. But we all know that not everyone leans left, and that even includes college students and faculty members. So I wasn't surprised at all by the reaction of the audience. They were there expecting to hear an inspiring and motivational missive that they could carry with them on their journey out here into the real world. And look what they got. I'd feel cheated too. Considering the cost of a college education these days, who is actually surprised by their rage?

Apparently Chris Hedges is, in this article, he cries like a baby about it.

And once again, I'm not at all surprised.

Posted by: Marc  

It's Official  
Thursday, May 22, 2003 6:17:23 PM EDT

"In the rumor-debunking category, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said there were no plans to segregate weblog content from the main search engine results. There's been wide speculation about such a move."
Story at Dan Gillmor's eJournal

Posted by: Marc  

Half Naked for Hits  
Wednesday, May 21, 2003 8:16:47 PM EDT

Dawn Olsen explains the techniques she's used to get people to visit her site prior to her reformation in a post called The Rise And Fall of A Blogger today. I think Acidman has used every single one of those tricks at one time or another. Hell, he employs most of them all the time. Seems to work for him.

So I decided I'd have to try some of Dawn's ideas out, starting of course with the easiest one. Her "show yourself half-naked" suggestion sounded like a good idea. So here goes nothin'.

People tell me I look a lot like Lou Ferrigno. What do you think, do I look fat in this picture?

Posted by: Marc  

Darwin strikes again  
Tuesday, May 20, 2003 9:29:51 PM EDT

So now, we have asshats in Turkey blowing themselves up in cafes?

We'd better not say anything to that Harp seal with the club about this, lest one of these islamofucktards might just get an attitude adjustment upside the head and save their own life.

Posted by: Marc  

Note to self #2  
Tuesday, May 20, 2003 8:55:17 PM EDT

Do not clean out the dog kennel and then have Bob Evans barbeque beef brisket for dinner afterwards anymore.

Posted by: Marc  

Deep Thought  
Tuesday, May 20, 2003 8:13:06 PM EDT

On my way home from the grocery last night, I saw a guy pulling out of a church parking lot with his King James Bible on the roof. Is that God's way of telling you that you're not eligable?

Posted by: Marc  

Barney Bomb  
Tuesday, May 20, 2003 3:28:37 PM EDT

As parents of adolescent children everywhere scratch their heads and wonder what took them so long, the U.S. military inevitably realizes that force feeding Barney the purple dinasour's theme song to non-cooperative Iraqi prisoners 24/7 actually works.

Posted by: Marc  

Meet Joe Stud  
Monday, May 19, 2003 10:44:28 PM EDT

I was paid a visit by my good friend young Joe on Saturday. He stopped by just to chat he said, but I knew he was really just looking for a free meal. He happened to come by while my Mom was visiting and as he came in the house he walked up to her and handed her this photograph. Beaming from ear to ear. Her jaw practically hit the floor of course and I was extremely curious as to what was so interesting about the photo myself. She exclaimed how handsome he was and just kept staring at it. I said "What?? Let me see it". She handed it to me and I nearly fell on the floor. Seems young Joe somehow managed to score not one, but TWO dates for his Junior Prom. What the hell? He's obviously spent WAY too much time around me. And damn, he's already a Jedi master too, he's learned to use the force well. I couldn't do that until my senior prom.

Ok, dream over. Back to reality Marc. Seriously, I got a major kick out of it. Joe asked me if I could fix the picture for him and I asked him what he meant. It was just fine. In fact it was more than fine, it was exquisite. Joe knows I'm pretty good with Photoshop and he said he wanted me to take one of the girls out of it. He'd apparently become somewhat smitten with just one of them and he wanted me to photoshop the other one out of his life picture. Poor guy. I felt sorry for him (yeah right) and reluctantly agreed to the job. I could see it wasn't going to be tough. But I couldn't help but think to myself that years from now, when he's showing off his (altered) prom picture to his buddies and bragging about what a stud he was back in the day, how much more convincing he would have been to have used the original. I mean after all, what guy can argue with the stud quotient required to land TWO dates for the prom, let alone two dates wearing the exact same prom dress?

I know, I know. You're dying to know which one got the Photoshop axe. I have to admit, it pained me to do it,it really did, because I liked them both. But nevertheless, he wanted it done.

Posted by: Marc  

Lawn Slave  
Monday, May 19, 2003 6:44:43 PM EDT

I've always preferred to live in the country. My house is "in the sticks" according to most of the suburbanites and city slickers that have been here, but for me the location is perfect. I'm within 15 minutes of everything I need (pizza and beer) and yet I still have plenty of space between neighbors. Most of that space is covered in grass of course and this is the time of year when you've really got to stay on it. Unfortunately for me though, it's been raining pretty consistantly here for about 2 weeks now and the ground has been too wet to mow for most of that time. Tonight I think I've finally got a window of opportunity however, so I'm going to have to get out there and get after it. I'll blog more later this evening I expect.

That's the only trouble with having a large yard. You become a slave to it. Life is full of downsides isn't it?

Puppy update: still no word from the owner, even after my Mom posted handbills and talked to neighbors in the area where she found him. I'm starting to wonder if he wasn't a dump-me-off. He's been real good though, occasionally a little excitable, but I'll cut him some slack for that. He's just a pup after all. I really like the names people have sent so far and haven't chosen one yet. Keep sending them though. I thought I'd have a vote if I end up keeping him, and let you people decide what to call him. I'm calling him "pup" in the meantime.

Posted by: Marc  

For Dan (and Gene)  
Sunday, May 18, 2003 11:37:24 AM EDT

I spend a lot of my time on an internet bulletin board. It's got 40-50 regular readers (and posters) at least 90% of which tend to be liberal politically. Yeah, we have our moments sometimes, but we are all there because of a mutual interest. It's a fan board for one of our favorite musicians, who also checks in from time to time. I'm not going to post a direct link to it here though, because I don't want you weasels going over there and mucking it all up for us. There's a good vibe there at the moment, and it's troll free. I think we'd all like to keep it that way. But it's not that hard to find, so if you really want to visit, get Googling.

Yesterday, Gene, one of the board's regulars, posted this for his friend Dan. I'm posting it here, in full, because I think it's important. This ain't no Zander crap either. Trust me on that.

I hope you don't mind, nor take offense to me posting this here.

I have a close friend who is fighting a terrible battle with cancer. I have prayed very hard for him, and up until now, I believe the prayers have worked. But the disease has spread, and he is in pain both physical and mental.

Like me, he is a physician, and we have known each other for over 20 years. He is about 46, with a beautiful wife, and two small children. He had a lot of indigestion several years ago, and unfortunately paid it little mind. He is so outstanding in his field of specialty (Neuro-Ophthalmology) that he was given an endowed Chairmanship at a University,but before he moved, his wife wanted him to get the indigestion thing checked out. The news was the worst. Cancer of the esophagus. His life now consists of trying to keep himself and his family together despite continual rounds of chemo, radiation and surgeries. Amazingly, he is still able to joke with me, and try to keep perspective. We shared a beautiful sunny day together at a medical meeting last spring in Denver, and still keep in touch as much as possible; except for the distance between our homes, there is no distance between our hearts and souls.

I have to pull out all stops here, because I believe in a power, or powers greater than medications or doctors. And I DO believe in miracles. I do believe in the amazing strength of prayer and meditation, and the collective power of such efforts from a group of people. So, I am going to ask you all for an enormous favor. When you go to bed tonight, or any time, will you say a prayer for him? I know you don't know him, his name is Dan. You don't have to be religious, or even believe in God to do this, just do it for me, and I know something good will happen. Just say something to God, or whatever spirit you connect with, to look after Dan, Gene's friend, and try to heal him (in whatever way you choose), and I believe the sun will shine for Dan again.

Thank you so much, my friends. May the Almighty bless each and every one of you.


Posted by: Marc  

Dog Gone?  
Saturday, May 17, 2003 09:51:34 AM EDT

My mom called me yesterday at work. Seems she found a lost puppy at a nearby park. She wanted to know if she could put him in my kennel with my dog while she searches out the owner. I said sure, but stick around long enough to make sure they don't fight. As you can see, they get along pretty well. As of yet, she hasn't found the owner, but I don't really mind. In fact, I might just keep him. Sydney seems to like the company.

Any suggestions for a name for this pooch?

Posted by: Marc  

Speaking of trends...  
Friday, May 16, 2003 7:59:09 PM EDT

Since I travel to New York fairly often, I like to keep abreast of the goings on there. My favorite site for that is Gawker. Yesterday, they highlighted another growing trend within the NYC youth hipster culture regarding trucker hats. They're all the rage these days and quite frankly, I think it's a riot. I've been wearing these things all my life, so I can sit here an honestly say "I was trucker hat before trucker hat was cool". Apparently these kids are spending upwards of $40 each for 'em too. Man, I just got an idea! I've got a collection that could fill a midtown apartment, and mine are authentic too. Pre-washed, er soiled. Whatever. They gotta be worth $80 apiece. I'm gonna take a bunch with me the next time I go and make a killing.

Us Ohio boys are industrious in that way you know.

Update: A word of warning to you "trucker hat" kids, wearing them is a gateway addiction and it's gonna give Mr. Bloomberg a coniption once you inevitably adopt the harder stuff.

Posted by: Marc  

Bod Mods  
Friday, May 16, 2003 5:48:07 PM EDT

I've never been the type that felt that it was necessary to permanently alter my body with tattoos or piercings, but I do have to admit that I'm sometimes fascinated by those that do. I guess I'm somewhat curious as to what the the motivation might be to shove a rod through one's nose, or to cover your body from head to toe with mediocre artwork.

But when I saw this, I just got the heebie jeebies. You people are freakin' me out man.

Posted by: Marc  

In case you wondered and all  
Thursday, May 15, 2003 9:51:53 PM EDT

I started writing up a post tonight about the shitty weather we've been having around here, well, shitty to some people anyway, and realized it's going to be a little longish. I'm going to have to put on my editor's cap and trim it down some, which for me means quite a bit more time. But, my single post for today was pretty damned lame though and it's getting a bit late, so I thought I'd just tell you how the concert went last night instead. You'll get the other story shortly.

My brother scored a pair of excellent tickets to see ZZ Top's "Beer Drinkers and Hell raisers" tour with Ted Nugent and Kenny Wayne Shepard / Double Trouble leading off. We had great time too.

We got there about half-way thru Kenny Wayne Shepherd's set and since neither of us are particularly bowled over by him decided not to go toour seats immediately. We hit the VIP lounge instead and watched him on the TV's there. He and Double Trouble did fine, but like I said, we didn't go to see them.

We both like Ted however and have seen Nugent's scorchingly loud shows before multiple times, so we agreed that sitting 25 feet in front of the guy's massive arsenal of amps was somewhat less appealing than to keep hangin' in the VIP lounge, drinking beer and watching him on screen. We needed a primer for ZZ after all. Ted did a bang up job though. He's as good as he ever was, but he doesn't go through the roof quite like he used to. I saw him start a show once by jumping off a stack of those amps, guitar wailing in hand. He was a little more laid back last night, but still did a nice show. Ted's cool. One thing that struck me that I should point out, is that he had all the amps covered in camo netting, with several assault type weapons (I'm guessing .223 Bushmasters or similar), a few shotguns and one very large machine gun that I couldn't identify as stage props. At the end of his gig, a larger than life sized Saddam came floating down from the roof and Ted whipped out a bow and arrow and from across the stage he buried one right in the poor guy's heart. A near perfect shot. Judging by Saddam's chest area, it was obvious that he must be a Nugent fan himself. He's definately been to a lot more of Ted's shows than I have. I didn't hear a single boo either and there were probably 15,000+ people there. Rock on Ted.

We went to our seats when Ted was done and sat down for Billy, Dusty and Frank. They didn't dissappoint either. Like Ted, they're not quite so high energy anymore, but they looked good and played great. They've still got it. They've been one of my favorite bands ever since high school and seeing them so close was a rare treat indeed. They saved my ultimate ZZ tune, "La Grange", (a place both my brother and I have been through) for their encore. We loved it.

I don't get out with my brother enough, especially to see such a high quality, mutually entertaining show as that very often and I very much enjoyed myself, as did he. He took me to my very first concert in 1969, Steppenwolf, and last night reminded me a lot of the night we went to that first one. How could I not have enjoyed it?

Posted by: Marc  

Not so bad huh?  
Thursday, May 15, 2003 4:45:32 PM EDT

I took the What Animal Personality Are You quiz the other day and it said I was a Badger. It also said that "I'm not as bad as people think I am".

I say wanna bet?

Posted by: Marc  

Blog Slothing  
Wednesday, May 14, 2003 1:43:47 PM EDT

I'm going to see ZZ Top this evening, fifth row center stage...woot! As my brother says, we should be able to see the crumbs in their beards!

Beer drinkers and hell raisers, yeah.
Huh, baby, don't you wanna come with me?
Ah, play it boy.
Ahh, great weather, outdoor amphitheater....can't. wait.

But hey, just so you don't get all bored and stuff hanging out here while I'm off being sweated on by those bearded boys from Texas, why not go and meet my new buddy, The Fly Guy.

Posted by: Marc  

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 7:40:09 PM EDT

I'm always amazed when someone says that they don't like sushi. It happens to be at the top of my favorites list. I'm addicted to it. Well, actually not sushi per se, sashimi (fish without the rice bedding) is my preferred style. I hear people say that they don't like it a lot too, and I've come to the conclusion that there must not be a middle ground at all for sushi/sashimi. You either love it or you don't eat it at all.

I'm kind of a picky eater, but not in the foods I'll eat, because I'll eat just about anything. My pickiness revolves around freshness. I like my food to be as fresh as possible, especially meat. I don't care for leftovers that are more than a day or two old tops, especially if it's meat. Even then I'll sometimes wrinkle my nose at it. I won't buy those steaks at the grocery that are marked down 50% just because they are nearing their freshness date either, no matter how good they look. I think it is this fact that got me to try sushi the first time (aside from the fact that I love fish). By it's very nature (raw fish) sushi HAS to be fresh, and if it's not, you'll usually know it at the moment it passes under your nose, if you don't see it first. But in any decent sushi restaurant, that won't happen very often, if at all. You can't cover it up with some overpowering batter or sauce (wasabi can put a fire on it, but that's YOUR job) or any other radical cooking methodology, because well, it's raw.

Sushi is probably one of the healthiest meals you can eat too. Fish tends to be high in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to be very benefical to kidney function as well as overall health. Even better if it's not covered in fatty sauces (butter) or fried in a puddle of grease. Not that I don't indulge in those unhealthy aspects of eating, it's just that I certainly don't feel guilty eating raw fish.

Another advantage to sushi restaurants is that you can actually watch them prepare your meal, so if the chef decides to spit on it, you'll know. They also tend to do an impeccable job of cleaning their preperation work stations, which again you can see.

So, I'm curious dear readers, if you don't like sushi, but are willing to eat cooked fish, or even raw oysters, why not raw fish? Is it the texture (I don't like the texture of octypus much but still eat it occasionally), or is it something else? I'm really interested in finding out the reasons why people willingly refrain from what otherwise seems like a total win-win to me.

Posted by: Marc  

History of The Internet  
Monday, May 12, 2003 8:50:45 PM EDT

"Many young people around the world use the internet every day, and yet they have no memory of the history that led to the creation of the global network. Many have no understanding of how or why the internet has developed. As part of out continuing efforts to combat ignorance around the world, The Lemon is proud to present..."

The History of The Internet

Posted by: Marc  

What is your animal personality?  
Saturday, May 10, 2003 12:30:20 PM EDT

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by: Marc  

Blogroll Pruning  
Saturday, May 10, 2003 11:10:35 AM EDT

Damn. I had to lop off six sixteen of 'em today. But I also added one.

Posted by: Marc  

No please, not the puppies  
Friday, May  9, 2003 8:53:04 PM EDT

You know, I've been trying to figure out how the Blog Father gets so much traffic to his website and have been wanting to duplicate it. I remembered hearing about how the Great One once told someone that the secret to maintaining his immensely powerful and prolific blogging skills was actually as simple as grinding up puppies in a blender and drinking them.

I knew I could never bring myself to that level of evilness though because you know, I just love puppies too much. But then I realized that I'm not all that crazy about cats, and that maybe I could duplicate his regimen by using a feline diet. But I really don't like doing dishes at all, so I thought I'd just skip the blender and do my kitty shooters straight up.

This one was my first attempt. It was pretty good, but kinda rough going down. For some crazy reason, the silly thing didn't want to be poured into my mouth and now I've sustained a few injuries because of it. I need to work on my kitty drinking technique. I'm starting to think that maybe I should shoot them before I put them in the glass.

Posted by: Marc  

Hog Heaven  
Thursday, May  8, 2003 4:38:22 PM EDT

I don't know how many of my readers are into Harley's, but I know of at least one or two.

The Library of Congress is celebrating Harley-Davidson's 100th Birthday, with an extensive exhibit, featuring tons of interesting facts, lot's of old photos and plenty of links.

Posted by: Marc  

Your Blog Might Be Crap...  
Wednesday, May  7, 2003 12:25:53 PM EDT

I've noticed that Steven Den Beste's assertion earlier this week that "90% of blogs are crap" has caused quite a few bloggers to go into a sort of self-evaluation mode, including myself. A statement like that just begs a blogger to wonder, "hmmm...does my blog fall into that unfortunate category?". Some of us I think came to the conclusion that it's quite ok to have a crappy blog. In fact, many people even seem proud of the fact that they have a crappy blog, because you know one man's crap is another man's treasure...or something to that effect. There are now even rumors of a new and developing trend in the blogosphere that I'm quite excited about being called Crap Blogging, which I believe is a sub-culture in which I could actually make the A-list of bloggers and be linked on crappy blogrolls worldwide. But this got me to thinking, "how can I tell if I qualify as crappy blogger?" and if you blog, I'll bet you're asking yourself the same question. So in order to achieve my new goal and also to help crap bloggers everywhere, I've started a list of just exactly what it is that constitutes a crap blog. Here's the list I've compiled so far, please feel free to offer your own additions in the comment section.

In the style of Jeff Crapworthy, er I mean Foxworthy
13 ways to tell if your blog is crap:

1. If you set up a blog on a domain called 1800DOGCRAP.COM and then never post a single thing to it, your blog might be crap...

2. If your blog has pictures of cats wearing hats with the title "I Crap In A Box" and that tries to force your readers to download Comet Cursor Plus, your blog might be crap...

3. If you actually own a domain called with a byline that reads "where crap comes alive" and is concerned mainly with the bowel movements of small mammals...your blog might be crap...

4. If Google sends people who are searching for "Crap Management" or even "Fly my monkeys, Fly!" to your web site...your blog might be crap.

5. If you actually tell people that you write random crap...your blog might be crap.

6. If it really does take you 3 tries to write a bunch of boring crap...your blog might be crap.

7. If you put up a blog on blogspot called It's Craptacular and then don't update it for three weeks...your blog might be crap.

8. If you're brave enough to actually call your online magazine Crap Magazine...your blog might be crap.

9. If you call your non-permalinked blogspot blog Supreme Crap and have considered using a journal generator to put entries into it...your blog might be crap.

10. If your blog is called "Home-Crap-Home" and is hosted by the "3 pop-ups on every pageload" Tripod site...your blog might be crap.

11. If you call your blogspot blog Joe's Crap with the last entry stating that you've moved your blog over to LiveJournal, but then point people back to your old site...your blog might be crap.

12. If your seemingly abandoned Newsletter of Crap blog actually loads TWO blogspot ads instead of one...your blog might be crap.

13. And finally, if your blogroll links to nearly 200 other blogs, 90% of which are crap...your blog itself might just be crap.

Posted by: Marc  

Motorcycle Envy  
Tuesday, May  6, 2003 8:58:17 PM EDT

The weather was beautiful here today. At lunchtime I noticed a lot of bikers and groups of bikers on the road enjoying perfect cycling weather. It made me jealous, as it always does this time of year.

I've always had a thing for motorcycles. When I was around 10 or so, lot's of kids in my country neighborhood had mini-bikes. My brother and I wanted one too, so that we could ride around with those other cool lucky kids. We had a pony. It just wasn't the same though. My parents told us that if we wanted a minibike, we'd have to sell Cocoa the pony, and that we'd also have to share the bike. "Deal", we said. So, one day Dad took us down to the local Honda dealer and we found the perfect bike. It was a brand spankin new 1970 Honda SL-70 that looked just like this one. I think it cost 400 1970 dollars. We were so excited that Dad bought it for us that same day. It was a great bike too. Sharing it was really hard though, and being the oldest, my brother usually used his powers of persuasion on me (face punches, groin kicks, ear-boxing, eye-poking etc.) to make sure he got to ride it the most. Thankfully, we had a stay at home mom Judge Judy that made sure I got quite a few turns on it too though. But seriously, that bike was a fantastic part of our childhood. We had a ton of fun on that thing.

After a few years, I wanted to get back into horses again and my folks and a family friend helped me find one. A beautiful jet black quarter horse gelding named Ace. My brother pretty much took over the bike by then, as I was more into the horse thing again.

By the time I was 17, I was longing for a bike again though. I wanted a street bike that I could ride to school. I decided to sell my horse to a buddy that had been itching to buy him for a long time (see a pattern here?) and bought a 1967 Honda CB-160 that looked just like this one. I got my motorcycle license and had a great couple of summers riding that bike back and forth to school and everywhere in between. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was in fine shape and it was pretty fast for a bike of its' size. It also only burned about two dollars worth of fuel per week, which was a God send for a less-than-minimum wage high school kid like me.

I sold that bike a few years later, but still had an interest in them, as did my brother. He bought a Yamaha LTD400 and moved to Houston on it. Yeah, that's how much stuff he owned. During that time, I was a freshman in college and by then was driving a more sensible vehicle. That is one that had a roof and 4 wheels. This is Ohio after all, where it's not generally accepted wisdom to use a motorcycle as your daily driver. I was working as a landscaper with a guy that did though. He had a 1973 Kawasaki Z1 900, which at the time was the hottest bike on the planet. His was identical to this one. When you rode this thing, you were straddling a two-wheeled missile. The thing was, he didn't have a car and he lined up a hot date with some girl who didn't like motorcycles, so he asked me if he could borrow my truck. I said sure, but only if you give me the Z1. The deal was done and his date apparently went so well that the next day he asked if we could continue the trade for a week. I guess it was going to take him a few days to get whatever he was after. I said ok to that too. I loved that bike, but damn it scared the shit out of my wimpy little 165 lb frame. It was a big bike at the time and it absolutely screamed. I'm convinced that there's still not a production Harley on the road today that could have whupped that bike (that statement ought to generate a few comments eh?). During my memorable week with that motorcycle, I made sure I had plenty of opportunities to push it to its' limits, and pushed my own adrenaline levels to the extreme at the same time. It was a blast.

I think I'd have bought something like that for myself in those days, but I've lost 4 friends to street bike accidents over the years (mostly from around that time) and they were ALL good riders that just happened to get caught in bad situations. Unfortunately your chances in an accident on a motorcycle aren't going to be nearly as good as in a car. Flesh, bone and pavement are never a good combination. On top of that, traffic is worse than I've ever known it to be and it seems to me too that there are a lot more careless drivers on the road. The kind of people that when they are talking on a cell phone don't notice something as small as a motorcycle coming down the road. You'd be surprised how often that happens to cyclists. It's scary when it does too.

So somewhere during that time, I vowed not to own any more street bikes. But one of my college roommates and long time friends got me into competition Trials riding. You know it as the guys that do this sort of stuff. My buddy was (and still is) an expert trials rider and had a couple of bikes. He sold me a a real nice Yamaha TY 175 trials bike (tractor) that I rode up until about 8 years ago. After a couple of years of that though, I was starting to feel like I got started in the sport too late in life and really didn't have what it took to compete with the young guys that had literally no fear whatsoever and would attempt anything. I sold the bike and got out of the Trials sport about 8 years ago and haven't owned a motorcycle since.

Today though, I really wished I had one again.

Posted by: Marc  

A tragic tale and negligent parenting  
Tuesday, May  6, 2003 3:00:11 PM EDT

Jonathon Harrington, of I Can Blog fame, tells this sad story about a 13 year old boy who was killed in front of his house Thursday. The really heartbreaking aspect however was that the boy's mother didn't even inquire about her son's whereabouts until four days later. NOTE: typical of Blogspot, permalinks are hosed. Look for the May 6th post.

UPDATE: Jonathon has his permalinks working now. The story is here.

Posted by: Marc  

Middle East Destabilization  
Tuesday, May  6, 2003 1:59:02 PM EDT

I guess this is some of that Middle East destabilization we heard so much about before the war.
"ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan restored transportation links with nuclear neighbor India, announced full diplomatic ties and called for confidence-building measures concerning their nuclear arsenals, the prime minister said Tuesday.

Posted by: Marc  

More Beta software  
Tuesday, May  6, 2003 1:37:06 PM EDT

A Russian programmer forgets to add the /landontargetinkazikhstan tag.
"A glitch in guidance software is thought to have caused an upgraded version of the Soyuz spacecraft to land 460 kilometres off course in Kazakhstan on Sunday"

Posted by: Marc  

Blogrolls and Rolls Royces  
Monday, May  5, 2003 9:22:34 PM EDT

Steven Den Beste posts an informative (and lengthy) observation regarding the economics of blogrolls, but saying that "90% of blogs are crap" induces Acidman's rage. Stand back!

It's funny to me that this even came up, because I was doing a lot of thinking about my blogroll this weekend. I realized it's gotten to be huge and that a fair number of those sites hadn't been visited for a while. So I spent a lot of time this weekend cruisiing my blogroll and checked out about 80% of it so far. You may have noticed that the little counter up there changes from time to time and it did again this weekend. I dropped Dawson Speek and Am So A Pundit, both of which were fine blogs until they became abandoned. If they decide to resume operations, they might go right back on.

To me, all of the blogs in my links are worth a visit or they wouldn't be on my blogroll in the first place. I don't get all worried about the you-link-me-I'll-link-you attitude that seems so prevalent in the blogosphere either. Hey, if I like your blog and link you, you are under no obligation to return the favor or even acknowledge it. It's there for me and my readers. I'll let my blog stand on it's own.

While I have some of the big boys on my list, who as Steven accurately points out don't really need the link, I put them there for those that might not be web log savvy and might not otherwise find those cream of the crop sites. The vast majority of my blogroll links however, are relative unknowns when compared to those "walking in tall cotton". I personally use my blogroll as a stepping off point into the blogosphere and hope that others do to. To me, that's the point of a blogroll. That's why it's so big too, because this blogosphere thingy is massively complex and I happen to think that my blogroll is a worthy beginner's guide for those that feel like exploring it.

If we really have to place a value on links, let's do it over at Blogshares.

Posted by: Marc  

Well DUH.  
Monday, May  5, 2003 8:16:13 PM EDT

You are a Slutertarian!
Congratulations! You're a Slutertarian. You believe
in Democracy, Sexy, and Whiskey. And you really mean it!

Are You A Slutertarian?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by: Marc  

The miracle of V8 juice  
Monday, May  5, 2003 7:15:29 PM EDT

I felt pretty lousy yesterday for some reason. It wasn't anything too serious, just a tired sub par sort of feeling. I decided to go to bed early to see if I could fix it. I woke up around 4:00am completely nauseous. I went to use the bathroom and felt like I should get down on my knees and grab the porcelain by the wheel. I didn't, but I should have. I went back to bed and just laid there for the next few hours hoping my condition would improve. It didn't. I decided that I wasn't so bad off that I couldn't go to work, but I kept thinking "what if I hurl right in the office?". I tried not to think about that too much, but it nevertheless unerved me. I haven't taken a sick day for quite a while, so I decided to cash one in.

I didn't feel like doing anything but laying in bed and trying to get some sleep. As it turned out I couldn't, but as the day wore on I started to feel slightly better. By 1:00 or so, I figured I'd better try to eat something even though I had no appetite whatsoever. When I was a kid and had the flu, my mom would always give me 7-Up to drink, as it apparently is one of the few liquids that won't immediately be thrown back up. Er, ususally that is. I happened to have some in my fridge and I figured before I try to eat anything I'd do a hurl test with a can of 7-Up. Went down fine and stayed there. I didn't want to make up any greasy meaty stuff that might otherwise twist my intestines into a frenzy, so I made myself a salad (hear that mom? Green stuff and everything). That seemed to be ok too, but it took forever for me to eat it. I was feeling a little uplifted by the light meal and decided I would sit on the couch and watch some TV. But I had no sooner sat down when I was overcome with severe stomach cramps. WTF? What started that? I couldn't even sit upright comfortably at all. The only way to get relief was to lay down again. But even that was only mildly better. I was starting to get pissed off by now. I don't know of any remedies for stomach cramps (feel free to leave some in my comments if you do), but I was bound and determined to find some kind of pain killer in my pathetic arsenal of aspirin and advil. I went to the fridge to see what I could wash it down with and saw the big bottle of V8 juice. For some reason, I chose that instead of more 7-Up.

Now I love V8 juice. My grandfather got me hooked on it a long time ago and he used to doctor his up with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and sometimes a pinch of salt. That's now my preferred way of drinking it too and so I poured a pretty large glass of it. I took a sip and it tasted oh so good that I pretty much chugged the rest. Then, I realized I still hadn't taken any advil, but my juice was gone, so I poured another glass. As I was mixing up the fresh concoction I suddenly realized that the cramps were gone. I mean completely gone. Wow! Was that just coincidence or did I just make a landmark discovery? I guess I won't know until the next time I get stomach cramps, but you can bet I'll keep a bottle in the fridge from now on. I usually do anyway. Thanks V8!

The cramps never did come back, thankfully and the nausea seems to have pretty much run it's course. I'm finally starting to get hungry again. I might just have another V8 while I'm at it.

Posted by: Marc  

More 404 pages  
Sunday, May  4, 2003 6:20:40 PM EDT

"He himself said it", AKA Ipse Dixit points out what he believes to be the best 404 page ever. I have to admit, it's pretty damned funny.

I have a goofy 404 myself. Just in case you wondered an all.

Posted by: Marc  

Date Night  
Friday, May  2, 2003 7:23:09 PM EDT

Woohoo...I got a hot date tonight, so no blog for you! We'll be going out for sushi (yeah that's right, even more fish for this week) and then on to see The Reverend Horton Heat.

Posted by: Marc  

Friday Five  
Friday, May  2, 2003 7:14:56 PM EDT

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.
I can't remember the last time a song made me cry.

3. Name three songs that turn you on.
"Poncho and Lefty" - Townes Van Zandt
"Sultans of Swing" - Dire Straits
"Mr. Bojangles" - Jerry Jeff Walker

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.
"Texas 1947" - Guy Clark
"Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf
"Nothin's Gonna Bring Me Down" - David Baerwald
"We Are The Champions" - Queen

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without.
These are all songs that have strong meaning to me for one reason or another, but I could probably live without them...

"Green Country Mountains" - McGuffey Lane (it should be in the #4 too)
"Dark As A Dungeon" - Merle Travis (I especially like John Cowan's version of it)
"Fair Weather Friends" - Bob McNelley
"Nobody" - David Baerwald
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" - JS Bach

Posted by: Marc  

Speaking of meat...  
Thursday, May  1, 2003 8:00:57 PM EDT

I ran across this scary story this evening. What in the hell is up with these lunatics?
"Generally, my dining-out experiences are quite mundane and ordinary. Judging from the fact that I had to start this story with that particular sentence, one could pretty much surmise that this one was not."

A little longish, but well worth reading.

Posted by: Marc  

Note to self...  
Thursday, May  1, 2003 7:17:27 PM EDT

Do not go to the grocery when hungry anymore.

I went down to the local Big Bear last Sunday and I was hungry at the time I did. I happen to love seafood and had a craving for some nice fresh fillets. I wasn't looking for any particular species, when it comes to fish I tend to buy whatever looks to be the freshest. On that particular day, they had some really nice Haddock fillets and I do love Haddock. I decided to buy 2 fillets and they were pretty large. Then I spied some real nice Salmon fillets and bought one of those too. I also bought 2 thick juicy rib-eye steaks, 2 1/2 lbs. of ground chuck and 4 boneless chicken breasts. Yeah I was in full carnivore mode alright. I of course bought all the other odds and ends I needed too, which included all the side dishes I was thinking about as I stocked up in the meats 'r us department.

Now when I buy fresh fish, I don't like to freeze it (otherwise I could buy it already frozen for a lot less money). I also don't like to keep it in my fridge for more than 1 day, because it can quickly become not so fresh. The problem is that I live alone and once I got home I realized my rather silly dilemma. I was going to have to eat about 5 lbs. of fish in the next two evenings for supper. Ugh. What was I thinking? Actually I remember thinking mmmm...oh, THAT looks good and ooooo so does THAT! What a Dumbass. So for the next two evenings I went on a fish eating bender. Yeah, I got my fix I guess, but damn that was a lot of fish. The Haddock was excellent though, here's a picture of one of the fillets that I tried a homemade rub on that was especially good.

I had put the steaks and chicken into the freezer, but had left the ground chuck in the fridge and after the fish was gone, it was time to dig into that. I bought that to make burritos and had purchased all the fixin's too. But 2 1/2 lbs. of burger will make a lot of burritos and tonight will make the third night in a row that I'll be having them for supper. Sure they are delicious, but I'm getting tired of them too. Hell, I feel like Ozzy Osbourne. Luckily the burger will be gone by tonight. I've just gotta keep reminding myself to stop going to the store hungry. I always end up regretting it.

Posted by: Marc  

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