Saturday, November 29, 2008

What is the price of a life?

Apparently, $798 for a 50" plasma television. At a Wal-Mart on Long Island, New York, prices weren't just rolled back on plasma televisions and digital cameras; life became cheap as well. I can't find the proper words to express how appalled I am at the ignorant fools that you see in the photo at right. Undoubtedly pictured in that crowd are some of the chuckleheads and knuckleheads who were so revved up to get some good day-after-Thanksgiving deals, that they literally tore down the front doors and then trampled a Wal-Mart employee TO DEATH as they all madly rushed into the store. TO DEATH! Excuse me, but you have got to be fucking kidding me. To add to the gruesome ambience, shoppers continued to shop and walk right past the dying man as other store employees worked to save his life, AND the shoppers began complaining when it was announced that the store was being closed because of what had happened.

Have large segments of our country's population become that unfeeling and callous? Is this something new in our nation's history, or has there been some other period I have missed when life was this cheap, and people were this trashy? I truly feel embarrassed for my country that something like this could happen. What a wonderful way to kick off the celebration of the arrival of Jesus Christ.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pop that balloon!

I had to cheat just a little on my week-long break from blogging. Damn my wife's laptop and its wireless connection!

I caught a good bit of Barack and Michelle Obama's ooey-gooey interview with Baba Wawa tonight. There was one little statement from the Chosen One that stood out:

"I'm not a miracle worker."

That's pretty funny when you think about what he had to say earlier this year on the night that he locked up the Democrat nomination for president:

"...I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth...."

Have we changed our tune a bit?

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Time-out

I will be away from home and presumably sans computer for the next week, so my few dozen readers will have to find some way to cope with my absence. I am sure I will have something profound to say upon my return.

I wish you and yours a bountiful and pleasant Thanksgiving. I know I thank God every day for everything I have.

Remember, the Pilgrims had a feast to thank God for getting them through that first year; they weren't thanking the Indians. Now that you have had your history lesson, go pig out!

Good Day to You, Sir

Change the Clintons can believe in

From the Office of the President-Elect (love the podium seal), names of Barack Obama's political appointees are beginning to be released, and something seems very familiar about all this. Let's see some of the names so far:

Transition Team Director: John Podesta - Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff: Rahm Emanuel - Bill Clinton's senior advisor
Attorney General: Eric Holder - Bill Clinton's Deputy Attorney General
Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton - Bill Clinton's wife
White House Counsel: Greg Craig - Bill Clinton's Special White House Counsel

It gets better. On Friday afternoon, the Obamas announced that their daughters will be attending a private school in Washington D.C. called Sidwell Friends, which is the same school that Chelsea Clinton attended. This decision is particularly galling, as Barack Obama is supposedly a big supporter of public schools and is an opponent of vouchers or any other program that could rescue students from failed public schools. Did all you Obamamaniacs out there really think that the Obamas would put their kids in public school? Apparently, there was much speculation that this would be the case. The "good for me, but not for thee" mentality is alive and well.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's just that easy!

If you are still using rabbit ears to get reception on your television, you will have to convert to digital by February of next year. If you don't go with a digital carrier like Comcast or Dish Network, you do have another option: a converter box.

In this faux public service announcment, watch this nice old lady show you how easy it is to convert to digital:

Good Day to You, Sir

"A little something for the ladies"

I just came across an absolute hilarious website/blog that uses old department store catalogs to showcase "fashion atrocities" from the 1970s. The photos and the commentary of the photos are gut-bustingly hilarious, as is the name of the website:

Please check it out and behold the ugly truth that people actually used to dress like this.

Good Day to You, Sir

How did Obama get elected?

From the votes of ignoramuses like these:

After watching this, I know what some of you might be thinking: "You could get a group of McCain voters who are just as ignorant." Maybe. First of all, McCain wasn't elected; Obama was. Secondly, I could confidently make the case that one of the reasons McCain didn't get elected was that many Republican/Conservative voters were overly informed about what kind of quasi-leftist toady McCain really is, and the only reason he did as well as he did was due to the conservatism of Sarah Palin. However, the makers of this video didn't just leave it to 12 Obama voters outside a polling place in order to make their point. They also hired Zogby International to conduct a poll of people who voted for Obama. The ignorance of those polled was just as astounding.

For more info, and for a rundown of the results of the Zogby Poll on this issue, go to

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, November 15, 2008

McCain vs. Obama: No Contest. No, really... no contest

With a line like this...
If you are detecting some anger on my part, it is because I was given the choice, in its purest form, between Stupid and Evil last week. And Stupid is so stupid he doesn't even recognize Evil when they wake up in bed together and his hind end is sore. have to read the whole article.

Good Day to You, Sir

Life's little dramas

It's been an adventurous week, starting Veterans Day Weekend with the trip in which I took the photos featured a couple posts ago. The fam and I drove up to northeastern California to spend a couple of days with my parents. While there, my two-year-old daughter came down with some sort of 24 hour stomach flu that sent her to the toilet several times in order to expel the contents of her stomach.

I returned to work on Wednesday, and at lunchtime, I thought it odd that I only wanted to take a couple of half-hearted bites of my lunch. By the time bedtime for my kids approached, I was waylaid to the couch, shivering and aching, even though I lay curled up dressed in fleece pajamas and thick socks. I prefered to lie down, because sitting or standing up made me feel more nauseous. Before he went to bed, my four-year-old son told me, "Daddy, I feel just like you do." How sweet, I thought to myself, that he is feeling empathy for his dad. I went to bed soon after.

Just after midnight, I found out just how empathetic my son was being. I awoke to that unique cry that he emits when he is about to vomit: a high pitched wail accompanied by a sense of panic and urgency. I have heard that unmistakable sound before, and in my sleep-induced stupor, I was hearing it again. My wife must have also instinctually recognized the sound, as she was out of bed ahead of me and dashed into my son's room. As I was swinging my legs over the side of the bed, I heard my wife's panicked yell to grab a trash can. I snagged the round plastic IKEA trash can from our bathroom and half-stumbled into our son's room. My wife had her hands cupped together and raised to eye level as my son, who sleeps in a loft-type bed, was vomiting into the fleshy little bowl she had formed. I thrust the trash can under my wife's hands, and she immediately opened her impromptu cup to allow the vomit to plop into the bottom. My son then proceeded to add even more to the collection at the bottom. My wife slipped away to wash her hands (muttering, "I feel so violated" on her way out) and I stood there holding the trash can up as my son continued his business. As I stood there, the pungent odor of my son's vomit began to waft into my nostrils, while at the same time, I began to feel a wave of nausea wash over me as I suddenly realized I was now vertical. "Oh no," I muttered to myself, as the intensity of the nausea increased with each passing second. Not long after, I reached the tipping point and brought my mouth to the very trash can I was holding, and began throwing up into it just as my son was giving his final heaves. As I continued to "vominate" (as my son calls it), I glanced at my son, who was watching me with a look of half-consternation, half-fascination on his face that still bore the chunky residue of his exertions. After I had nothing left to contribute to the trash can, my wife and I cleaned up everything as best we could and put our son in bed with us for the rest of the night. He threw up a couple more times before morning mercifully arrived. Thankfully, our daughter peacefully slept through the entire affair.

When my wife and son went back to bed after the big cleanup, it was about 12:30am. I had about three hours of sleep under my belt at that point, and my adrenaline was up from what had just occurred. I knew I would not be going to work the next day, so I went ahead and typed up my lesson plans, and faxed them to my office, heading back to bed around 1:00am for a couple more hours of fitful sleep. Later that same morning, my wife and daughter headed out the door to work and school, and my son and I stayed home to recover; more from lack of sleep than anything else. We shared quite a few good laughs as he and I recounted the absurdity of what had occurred in his room a few hours earlier. How many times did he tell me with wonderment, "Wow Daddy, I've never seen you throw up before!"

But the week was by no means over.

Fast forward to this morning (Friday). As part of my daily ritual, I went in to feed Franklin, our goldfish of nearly two years, who had been named by our son in honor of the turtle of the childrens' book series (Franklin the turtle also has a goldfish). Unfortunately, after swimming happily in his little aquatic home since December of 2006, I found that Franklin had chosen this morning to go to that great fishtank in the sky. I informed my wife of Franklin's passing, and she immediately told me not to tell our son, and to hide the body from him until we all got home from work and school in the afternoon. This would turn out to be excellent advice. As my son got dressed, I clumsily fished Franklin's still form out of the tank, placed him in a ziploc bag, and put him in the refrigerator.

When we all got home this afternoon, my wife whispered to me to put Franklin's body back into the tank before I broke the news to our son. I did so, and then went into our office/den where my wife was checking email and our kids were playing. I sat on the couch and beckoned my son over. I told him, "We need to talk about Franklin. I'm so sorry, but he died today." My son looked confused for a second and then asked me, "Daddy, are you teasing?" I replied, "No buddy, I'm not teasing." My son quickly turned around and walked down the hall to where Franklin's fishtank sits. I followed right behind him and waited behind him as he stood before Franklin's tank. Looking down at my son, I could only see the back of his head, but there is a mirror behind the fishtank, and I could see my son's face in the mirror as he gazed at Franklin's motionless body floating head-down in the tank. My son's forlorn face quickly began to scrunch up as the tears began to flow and his sobs quickly began to flow as well. My wife had arrived on the scene at that point, and my son fell into her arms as he cried for his dead pet goldfish.

We held a burial ceremony in the backyard, where we buried Franklin alongside the house, right below my son's bedroom window. My wife even picked a flower from a plant in our backyard for our son to place on Franklin's little grave. It was sad enough that my wife even got a bit teary as our son bid an emotional farewell to his beloved pet. After dinner, we went to a nearby frozen yogurt shop to celebrate Franklin's life, and to assuage the grief of our little boy, and also his little sister, who, upon seeing the anguished cries of her big brother, had taken up the mantle of grief as well, and had also begun crying for Franklin.

Sometimes, I think God put goldfish on earth as a way to provide a small and more easily understood introduction to the idea of mortality that our precious and innocent children must one day face. And for that purpose, Franklin finally had his day in the sun... and the refrigerator.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, November 14, 2008

A conservative screenwriter's journey to Afghanistan

“We fought the Soviets because they had no God, they believed in nothing,” they said, as the [in]terp[retor] translated. “They were your enemies, and they were our enemies. We respect you, especially Christians, because we have the same God. We know you’re here to help and we need your help because we are poor. The fighting of the mujahideen destroyed everything. Day by day, since you came, our lives have gotten better. But if you move your base here, the enemy will attack us. Stay far away. Stay in Kalagush. Send us your help from there....”
This is a wonderfully well-written and informative piece for City Journal written by Andrew Klavan. Give it a look-see.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In remembrance of Veterans Day

In honor of all who have served our country - whether in wartime or peacetime - I wish all of you a somber and heartfelt Veterans Day, and ask that you give just a moment of your time to think about what those millions of veterans out there have sacrificed in order for this country to survive.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, November 10, 2008

Images of my favorite season

For as long as I can remember, my favorite season of the year has always been Autumn. I love the cold mornings and the warmer, but crisp afternoons. I love the changing colors in the trees, and the smell of wood smoke emanating from people's fireplaces. Where I grew up in the forests of northern California, I also fondly remember the somewhat acrid but pleasing aroma of burning piles of leaves.

Sacramento's change of season isn't quite as glorious as it is in the mountains to the east and north, but there are plenty of deciduous trees in this city that still give it a go. One of those trees resides on my front lawn, and here is a picture I took when it began to turn:

For a true feeling of Fall, you must get out of the Central Valley and go into the mountains. One of my favorite places is the volcanic countryside of northeastern California. The following photos were taken yesterday on Highway 89 between Mount Shasta and Burney.

I have seen better days to photograph my favorite mountain, but Mount Shasta is always willing to look dramatic. Meanwhile, when I turned to my left, I saw this dramatic scene:

The weather in northeastern California during the fall can be predictably unpredictable. One second it's sunny, then the clouds move in, then it's sunny again. Then you get some thunder and lightning. The changing weather and lighting conditions makes for great photography, especially when its sunny in one area, and shady in others, like this scene of a dry lake bed, for example:

I had to pull over to take this photo when I saw the cloud shadows falling on the hills in the background. To my right, I caught this image:

Northeastern California is so desolate, but is so beautiful. In the spring, everything you see here is green, but you can't beat the fall for dramatic photography. Speaking of dramatic photography, I will end this montage with my biggest weakness, which is evergreen trees silhouetted against the dusk sky. I never get tired of taking these kinds of images:

That's all I have for you until my next adventure into the wilderness.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why did McCain lose?

For the same reasons I listed when the Republicans idiotically nominated him. However, my words pale in comparison to the simple eloquence of Ann Coulter. Hate her if you wish, but you dare not ignore her:

Republicans lost this presidential election, and I don't blame the messenger; I blame the message. How could Republicans go after B. Hussein Obama (as he is now known) on planning to bankrupt the coal companies when McCain supports the exact same cap and trade policies and earnestly believes in global warming?

How could we go after Obama for his illegal alien aunt and for supporting driver's licenses for illegal aliens when McCain fanatically pushed amnesty along with his good friend Teddy Kennedy?

How could we go after Obama for Jeremiah Wright when McCain denounced any Republicans who did so?

How could we go after Obama for planning to hike taxes on the "rich," when McCain was the only Republican to vote against both of Bush's tax cuts on the grounds that they were tax cuts for the rich?

And why should Republican activists slave away working for McCain when he has personally, viciously attacked: John O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans, National Right to Life director Doug Johnson, evangelical pastors Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and John Hagee, various conservative talk radio hosts, the Tennessee Republican Party and on and on and on?

So many times - especially during the debates - Barack Obama would state his position on something, and I would be thinking to myself, "Great what is McCain going to say to that; he believes the same thing."

When given the choice between a Democrat and Democrat-lite, why not just go for the Democrat. That is exactly what often happened in this election.

Good Day to You, Sir

Guess who helped pass Prop 8?

The most divisive proposition on the California ballot this election year was Proposition 8. Voting "Yes" on the ballot meant adding to the California constitution that only marriage between one man and one woman would be legally valid. Voting "No" would let stand a decision by the California State Supreme Court that marriage between homosexuals is considered valid.

Proposition 8 was passed by the voters of California with a fairly comfortable margin of 52%-48%. Some people who are not from California could easily be pretty confused by the victory of Prop 8, what with California's liberal reputation and the San Francisco/West Hollywood reputation as well.

Part of the explanation for the passage of Prop 8 is not where you would initially look: California's black and Hispanic voters. The same black and Hispanic voters who voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, also voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8. Blacks favored Prop 8 by a margin of 70%-30%, and Hispanics were about evenly divided. This is especially ironic when you think about supporters of homosexual marriage often comparing their plight to the black civil rights movement.

The biggest split among the voters on Prop 8 was between old and young: older voters supported it, younger voters opposed it. Does this mean that ten or twenty years from now, we are going to have to vote on this matter all over again? This is a big drawback about messing with the constitution - state or federal - with a majority vote rather than multi-step amendment process.

Good Day to You, Sir

The Obamessiah's minions celebrate

I have never seen anything like it. The day of the election, I endured talk of Obama among my students all day long. Talking about it is fine, but it didn't end there. They were singing songs about him. They would be walking into the classroom singing, "Obama, Obama, Obama."

The next day, after ObamaObamaObama had won, the first thing I heard when I stepped onto the campus from the parking lot were some celebrating students yelling amongst themselves, "Gimme an 'O'! Gimme a 'B'! Gimme an 'A'!" and so on. Throughout that day after the election yesterday, I had to endure another round of singing about Obama; literally, singing. When I was in the 7th grade, Reagan was reelected. You couldn't find a bigger 7th grade Reagan fan than I, but I distinctly remember never singing songs about him. By 8th period, I could stand it no longer and reminded my celebrating students, "I just want to make sure, you guys do know he is just a man right?" I even told them the story I blogged about recently in which Peggy from Florida was already looking forward to a President Obama who was going pay for the gas in her tank and the mortgage on her house. I told the students that Peggy is going to be mighty disappointed in six months or so when she figures out that what she is hoping for is not going to happen.. or at least I hope.

All this celebrating by my students, and I already know from past conversations and class discussions that all that my students really know about Obama is that he is black. In the end, that was all that mattered.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

12th Psalm - Plea for Help in Evil Times

Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, "With our tongues we will prevail;
our lips are our own--who is our master?"

"Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now rise up," says the LORD;
"I will place them in the safety for which they long."
The promises of the LORD are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

You, O LORD, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among humankind.

Those are some high expectations

I'm sure this one is making the rounds, as it is on Drudge this morning and is all over YouTube. Check out what an Obama supporter expects from her Messiah. You will see the news clip, and there will be some nice commentary from the radio host who ran it.

God help us all if this man wins the election tonight, because Peggy's expectations are typical of the people who are voting for him.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, November 03, 2008

This is why there is an age limit for voting

I held a mock election in my classes on Friday; all my 7th and 8th graders were given a list of most of the major candidates for president, including third party candidates from the Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties.

After a quick review of some of the major views and positions of the candidates and their parties, the secret ballot was underway. I was not surprised with the results.

Among the 152 students who voted that day, 115 (76%) voted for Barack Obama. The runner-up was John McCain with 21 votes (14%). The rest of the votes were a smattering for Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, Ralph Nader, one for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and one for "Gummie Bears." When I announced the results, the students began cheering and gloating and they were rather surprised to learn that the rest of the country isn't quite so skewed in Obama's direction, what with the 3 to 5 point spread in some polls.

That Obama would win my classroom election was a foregone conclusion; for weeks, my students have been singing the praises of Obama while wearing oodles of pins, buttons, and t-shirts. The entertaining part is when we debriefed near the end of each period by asking for volunteers to explain why they voted for a particular candidate. Since 3 out of 4 students voted for Obama, the candidate for the Democrat party took up most of the conversation. It quickly became apparent that

a) Most had no real clue why they preferred Obama other than the color of his skin.
b) Most believed the most vile misinformation about John McCain and Sarah Palin, and the number one reason they didn't like him is because he is "too old" to be president.

You name a lie, rumor, or innuendo about McCain, and I heard them all on Friday: He's racist, he wants to kill everyone, his running mate is "retarded." Meanwhile, reasons for wanting Obama included the oft-repeated mantra that he wants to "change things," because he wants to pull our troops out of Iraq (which is at least a legitimate reason, even if you disagree with it), and of course, because he would be our first "African-American" president.

If you are wondering why I am not mentioning what any McCain-supporting students had to say, it is because I couldn't get any of the 21 who voted for him to say anything. The peer pressure to support Obama was overwhelming all day. That is why I made sure I had a secret ballot instead of a show of hands.

So, my middle school students overwhelmingly voted in favor of Obama, which didn't surprise me, due to their youth, ignorance, and inexperience. On the other hand, tomorrow, roughly half the electorate will vote for Barack Obama. What's their excuse?

Good Day to You, Sir