Friday, December 30, 2005

The Funeral was Today

Today was Nicole Elizabeth Sodemann's funeral. Here is the obituary, if anyone is interested. She was due to be born this week, but instead we have a funeral. She is now resting with her tiny casket on top of that of my grandmother's. If you knew my grandmother, you would know how amazingly appropriate this is.

This was very hard on everyone, but especially hard on my brother and his wife. Now the healing can begin. I thank all of you who responded to my prayer request.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Temperment Test

This one describes me pretty well, I think, though the graphic is just a tad off...

You Have a Melancholic Temperment

Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.
You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.
You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.
You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.
You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Prayer Request

My brother Jon and his wife Karen were due to have their second child any time now. Today, Karen went to the doctor, and found out the child has died. She should be in surgery now as I write this. Please pray for them.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Useful Tools

Firefox - I have been using this browser almost exclusively lately (at least at home). I used to use Safari. While Safari is fast and clean and has some nice features, there are just certain things that don't work very well. Firefox has most of the same features, works better with certain web sites, and has cool extensions.

GMail - I love this e-mail system. Despite the paranoid concerns of some people, this is truly the way an e-mail system should work. Their system makes it trivial for me to keep all of my mail without clutter, organize that mail into important groupings, and search that mail. Moreover, the work flow that they have built in to their system is more natural than more traditional e-mail systems. This is really the right way to go.

Wizz RSS - This is one of these nice Firefox extensions I was talking about. It is an RSS reader, and it works very well with Firefox. Wizz RSS makes it very easy for me to keep up to date with the blogs and news sources that I like to read. The current version has a minor bug saving feeds to the server, but I have reported that and heard back from the developer. My guess would be that this will be fixed in the next release.

Performancing - This is another one of those nice Firefox extensions. I have to give thanks to richmanwisco for pointing out this tool on his site. I have found that this extension has a couple of quirks to it, and is missing some key features (like a spell checker, for instance). It is still pretty handy, though.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Pretty Peach

Pretty Peach
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
The best thing about having a dog is if they think that a treat is involved, they will let you dress them up in pretty much any stupid thing you can think of...

Killing for Convenience

This article does a good job pointing out one of the many problems we have in our society, where abortion on demand is not only the law of the land, but is also socially acceptable, and becoming more so every day. The fact of the matter is that abortion is an absolutely despicable practice in all cases. However, this practice becomes even more detestable when it is done merely for convenience.

An especially tragic group of these victims are children who have been diagnosed in utero as having Down syndrome. Compared to our slaughter of these innocents, Herods efforts to kill the infant Jesus were amateurish: Expectant women are now pressured into prenatal testing, including amniocentesis; then, if Down syndrome is detected, they are expected to get an abortion, which 90 percent of them do.

This is just sad and wrong. I know families who have children with Down syndrome, and not one of them would go back and choose the evil path of abortion. Last night, at the Christmas party at Roy's group home, I also met some parents and friends of people with various mental and physical disabilities. The fact of the matter is that all of these people have presented special challenges to others over the years, but they have also provided special blessings.

All of God's children are precious, and none deserve to be aborted just because they may be an inconvenience to us.

For me, it is the ticket prices...

It seems that the size of the movie theater audience has been shrinking the last few years. Several reasons are given for this:
  • High ticket costs
  • High concessions costs
  • More on screen ads
  • Poor audience behavior
  • Lower quality movies
For me, the problem is simple. It just plain costs too much for what you get. Tickets in this area are something like $8, so that is $16 for my wife and I to get in, plus $10 for the sodas and popcorn. So, $26 to see a movie that may or may not suck (and more likely than not, it will suck).

I would far rather add another $20 or so and go see a Milwaukee Wave game or a Brewers game. At least then I know the money will be well spent and I will actually enjoy myself. I can wait for the DVD release of the movie and watch it at home, when I want to, without some stupid punk-ass kids talking through the whole thing...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas, Roy!

Christmas Roy #1
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
This is Roy. Roy has lived in group homes for most of his life.

About 4 years ago, our pastor asked for volunteers to bring people to church who could not get there on their own. We volunteered. Roy has been going to church with us almost every Sunday since then.

Tonight, there was a Christmas party at Roy's group home for the residents and the people who help take care of them. We had a nice time talking with Roy, the other residents, and the other people who were there.

Merry Chirstmas, Roy!

Ben Stein is Dead On

Thanks to Little Miss Chatterbox for posting a link to this article by Ben Stein. Ben Stein has always impressed me as being one of the few celebrities who does not have his head up his butt. This article shows why. Let's look at some of it.

Is there any evidence at all of Americans' rights being trampled upon by the application of the Patriot Act? Are we any less free? Are there detention camps anywhere? Are opponents of Bush afraid to express themselves?

The answers are, of course (in order): No, no, no, and yes. All claims that I have seen to the contrary have turned out to just be political posturing by Bush's opponents. While it is important to keep reasonable checks and balances in place to ensure that any administration is not corrupted by its power, that corruption has not occurred with this administration.

Where are all of the wild hurrahs that should have greeted the recent election in Iraq? It went off incredibly well, with all major groups participating, with a much smaller amount of violence than was expected. Iraq has gone from being the most unfree Arab country to the most free in a matter of months, thanks to the vision of George Bush and the heroism of America's fighting men and women. What has happened is beyond the hopes of even the greatest optimists. But where are the cheers? Why are Bush's opponents still bashing him over what is a clear success?

The answer to the last question is simple. They are doing it for political gain. They see how weak of a stomach we now have as a nation, and will take advantage of that for political gain. They will take what has been an outstanding success (as wars go, ugly and horrible as they are), and try their best to make it look like a failure, all for political gain. Highlighting any of the successes, especially one so obvious as this, just makes their job harder.

In any event, Bush's main goal has been to save the nation. He doesn't care about an imperium. He's a quiet, self-effacing guy. He wanted to save us from more 9/11's. Why doesn't he get some credit for that?

Amen to that, Mr. Stein. Good article...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Milwaukee Wave vs. PASL All Stars

Today, Lisa and I went to see the Milwaukee Wave take on the PASL All Star team. The game was a special "school day" game, so there were a lot of schools there on field trips, and not a lot of us "regular" fans. The wave won 9-2.

Since this was not a league game, the Wave rested a fair number of their top players, but it was still fun to watch. It is too bad that Soccer in general, and indoor soccer in particular, does not have any traction in this country. While regular soccer is a tad dull, the indoor variety is quite fast paced and fun to watch.

Anyhow, after the game, we went to Turner Hall for lunch. As we were finishing up, the Wave players where starting to show up for their after game festivities. It was pretty cool to go to a game, and then see the players out in the same establishment basically right afterwards, just being "regular Joe's".

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Toyota Could be #1

According to this article, Toyota is poised to become the number one auto maker in the world, surpassing that old dinosaur General Motors. I think the reasons for this are many:

  • American auto makers have been strapped with unreasonable labor unions who demand high wages and even more insane benefit packages for their employees. The cost of these wages and benefits often out weigh the actual value of the work these people do. In the end, this bloats costs, which moves money out of investment for future growth.
  • American auto makers are also strapped with insane pension payouts to former workers. This has the same crippling effect as the bloated wages and benefits.
  • American auto makers are completely unresponsive (at best) to changing trends. Just look at the Honda and Toyota responding to the market with their hybrid cars. Where is GM and Ford? They have a few offerings, but are certainly not in the forefront on this innovation. They would rather just keep building trucks and SUVs.
  • American auto makers have no sense of style, taste, or quality. They used to, but they have since lost it. Today, American cars tend to be ugly, inside and out, and often lack any sort of ergonomic design.
  • Supply chain issues, see comments. Richman brings up a good point about the supply chains. It is probably not as bad of an issue as the unions that are strangling all industries, but it is still an important issue, so I add it here.
If American auto makers want to stay competitive, it seems that they need to do a few basic things:
  • Reduce labor costs, including wages, benefits, and pension payouts.
  • Invest in new technologies so they are leading development instead of following.
  • actually pay attention to the market.
  • Stop designing ugly, cookie cutter cars that completely lack class and personality.
  • Focus on quality.
If they do all of that, then they might regain the number one spot. Otherwise, welcome Toyota to number 1, and it will only be a matter of time before GM loses the number 2 spot...

Name Change...

You might notice I changed the name of my blog. The original title was really just a take off of The World According to Garp. I got tired of that.

The current title takes my full nickname into account (that would be "stuffleheaded bastard", but it was quickly shorted to "stuffle"). That name came into being about 15 years ago when I was a cook in a restaurant.

We had the Point of Sales devices where the waitresses would punch in their orders and they would come back to the kitchen ticket printer. That was some pretty fancy crap 15 years ago. Now, it is ubiquitous. Waitresses could put in special instructions with the order.

One waitress, who was going on break, put in her own dinner order. She meant to put in "Now, you stubble headed bastard!" for special instructions, but put in "Now, you stuffle headed bastard". I came out to the bar area, asked quite loudly just what a "stuffle headed bastard" was, and the name stuck.

So, in honor of Anne unintentionally giving me my college nick-name about 15 years ago, I have changed the title of my blog to more accurately reflect that name... (that, and I was bored with the old one)

Monday, December 19, 2005

This "Problem" Will Take Care of Itself...

I am really sick and tired of all of these crybabies who want to over-regulate private businesses. This is the type of thing that should be left to the owners of the establishments to determine. When it comes to establishments like bars and restaurants, this is a customer service issue, and an employment issue, not a issue for government. Businesses that do a poor job catering to their customers (be they smokers or non-smokers), will tend not to do that well.

The upshot of leaving this a customer service issue is that there will be bars where smokers can go and feel comfortable, and there will be bars or restaurants that don't allow any smoking and do quite well with the non-smoking crowd, and there will be establishments that are somewhere in the middle.

OTOH, when crap like this is regulated by the government, there are always unintended negative consequences. For example:

However, a study by University College London suggests smoking bans in public places lead to children being exposed to higher levels of tobacco smoke at home.

This only makes sense when government goes so overboard with regulations that it leaves smokers no where to go other than to stay home.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas Pagent

Today, the division 1 Sunday school classes put on their Christmas pageant at the 10:15 service. I teach the 3 year olds, and it was been interesting preparing for this. The 3 year olds just don't want to participate that much. I think partially they don't quite understand, and partially, they are just nervous being in front of everyone.

One of the 3 years olds (Cory) volunteered to be a cow in the manger. He did a really good job. I am very proud of him. The others did a good job too, though it took more than a little coaxing to get some of them to stand up in front of the church.

Afterwards, all of the kids went downstairs and had cookies and got small gifts from their teachers. I gave all of my kids a Christian activity book and a little stuffed bear with different Christian slogans or symbols on their shirts. I even got some gifts from a couple of them. It was a good time, but I am glad that it is over.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ah, Vacation!

I am using up my vacation time for the year. That means, I don't go back to work until 12/28. I have turned off my pager, and disabled the checking of my work e-mail account from home. It is an amazingly wonderful feeling to totally disconnect from work for a while!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

One Less Dumbass...

How stupid does someone have to be to pretend to have a bomb while boarding a plane? I am glad to see that our air marshals are doing their jobs, and idiots like that are getting what they have coming to them.

Update: According to the latest news reports, the guy was bipolar and not taking his medication. Thus, my initial reaction that this was just some idiot thinking he was being funny was a tad off. Oops...

Damn Cold!!

It is 5:30 a.m. and I just got back from walking the dog. It is -2° F (-17° C) out there. brrrrrr

It has been like this for 3 days now. 2° F a couple of days ago, just a tad warmer yesterday. Now a tad colder today. I'm really getting sick of this shit...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Still Playing the Race Card

It looks like a lot of people are still playing the race card when it comes to Hurricane Katrina. Let's look at some more likely causes for the issues:
  • People Not Leaving - Plain and simple, not as many people when have been hurt by this had people actually left when told to. There are many reasons people did not leave (stupidity, poverty, poor planning, etc), but that does not change the fact that the biggest problem was all of the people who stayed when they should not.
  • Poverty - The fact is, a large portion of the people who did not evacuate simply did not have the means to do it on their own.
  • Corrupt Local and State Government - The corruption of government in that city and that state are legendary. That corruption lead to poor planning and wasted resources, which ultimately resulted in people who could not evacuate on their own having no decent way out of the city.
  • Over Reliance on Government - This is the key. The poverty stricken people in New Orleans relied on their government for everything. In the end, the extremely corrupt local and state governments let them down.
While FEMA's response what less than stellar, the fact of the matter is that the real pain was caused by the lack of response at the local and state level, and by a system of helping those in poverty that results in the poor relying on government for everything, rather than relying on friends, family, neighbors, and charity.

Of five black evacuees who testified, only one said he believed the sluggish response was the product of bad government planning for poor residents — not racism.

Well, at least one of the evacuees had it right...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

First Christmas Present

Ginger Bread Man
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
I teach the Sunday school class for three year olds. Today, one of my students (Caitlin) gave me a card that she made and this ornament that she also made (with a little help from her mom). I hung the card up in the class room, and brought the ornament home for our tree.

It is often the smallest things in life that mean the most.

Let it Snow...

Let it Snow...
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
It snowed here again last night. This was about the third nice snow of the year so far. This picture was taken about noon on Sunday by sticking the camera out of our back patio doors.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Nice "New" Uniforms...

The Brewers have decided to go with a retro look for their Sunday home games, and I like it. Of course, I love the pin stripes. As a Yankee fan, how could I not like pin stripes. Of course, the MB glove logo is just a nice reminder of when we used to have an actual baseball team. Things looked up last year. Hopefully they will continue going in that direction.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Interesting Thanksgiving

Last night, Lisa and I went to the ecumenical Thanksgiving service. This year, it was at one of the Methodist churches. As usual, it was a beautiful service.

Today, we were supposed to go to Lisa's parent's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Before Lisa got up to go to work we got a call. Lisa's mom was sick. Change of plans. I pulled out a chicken from the freezer and went to the store. After Lisa got home from work, I made a nice little dinner here.

Later, it became obvious that our furnace was on the blink. I called a local place, fully prepared to pay a premium for the call. The guy comes out to the house, cleans the flame detector, shows me how to do it myself, and suggests that I do it before each heating season. He then says that since that was all it was, that he will pretend he wasn't even out here (IOW, free of charge). I was floored. So, any of y'all in the Watertown area need a new furnace, I am definitely going to suggest Klecker's. Real stand-up bunch of folks.

Well, I hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving. Later.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Busy Time of Year...

If you have been coming here looking for new posts or something, sorry. When combining Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the family events entailed therein with the year-end stuff that has to get done at work, this is a very, very busy time. Thus, I have not been blogging lately. I haven't really even been reading any posts that are more than 3 paragraphs long, either...

Anyhow, I'll try to keep in touch, but if you don't see anything here or see my comments elsewhere, it is probably not because I am dead or anything, just really busy, which I am thankful for.

Have a happy thanksgiving, and remeber to take the time to be thankful and to express that to those who are important to you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Kurt Busch - Zero to Idiot in No Time

I remember seeing Kurt Busch race to the checkered flag in a truck race at the Milwaukee Mile. He was only about 18 or 19 years old at that time and had a great race. It was at that race that I became a fan of his. Since his moving into Nextel Cup a few years ago (when it was still the Winston Cup), he has really been alienating fellow drivers and fans alike.

For his latest issue, he was busted for erratic driving and is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Bad idea, especially when you are sponsored by a liquor company.

Some of Jack Rouch's comments show just how much of a jag Kurt Busch has become. Team owners usually support their successful drivers. However, Busch is such a jag that, even though he has been successful, Rouch doesn't have much good to say about him (of course, the way Busch is handling his moving the Penske next year isn't helping matters any).

Jack Roush, Busch's current team owner, said he is glad the driver is "not my problem" next season after learning of the incident Saturday morning.

When told that Busch had gotten belligerent with police officers, Roush said with a big sarcastic smile, "Imagine that. It's so uncharacteristic of Kurt Busch."

On a final note, the latest news is that Rouch did the right and suspended Busch for the rest of the season.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some People Were Just Born to be in Prison

A year of two ago, Steven Avery made headlines when he was released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he did not commit. It was a case of mistaken identity, and he was exhonorated by DNA evidence. Now it looks like he is headed back to prison. This time, it is for murder, and this time the DNA evidence may convict him rather than exhonorate him.

Avery's mother's reponse is precious: "I don't know why the hell they do that stuff," she said of the plan to charge Avery with killing Halbach. "They must like wrecking people's lives."

Yes, those evil policemen who just get off on ruining your son's life. It is not like they found parts of a dead body on his property or anything. Oh wait, that's right, they did. Look, Ms. Avery, the first time they put your son away was a tragic mistake that never should have happened, but it is not like he was exactly squeaky clean, either.

So, I wonder, was his thought something like "well shit, dude, I already did the time, I may as well do the crime"?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Should the Packers Pick Up T.O.?

That is a question that is being tossed around in these parts. Popular opinion is no, but then again, T.O. is a total ass. Ass or not, the Packers could certainly use him. I think if Philly releases him, and we can actually pick him up off of waivers, then it's worth a shot. We can then always dump him if things don't work out. It is not really much of a risk for the Packers. Things can't really get any worse.

From the article:

Offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer said it would be a mistake to disrupt team chemistry for someone whose only focus is himself.

Really? What chemistry is that? The chemistry that has allowed you to get a whole whopping ONE win so far this season? The chemistry that has caused the offensive line to be one of the suckiest lines in the NFL? For that matter, why should anyone listen to someone who can't even be a starter on one of the suckiest offensive lines in the NFL?

Maybe a little "disruption of team chemistry" would be a good thing. The only thing I know is that it can't make things any worse. Of course, Philly is not likely to actually get rid of T.O. at this point.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

UW System Hates God!

OK, not really. But they evidently have something against Christians, or at least Christians who are RAs and want to lead a bible study. What is the UW system afraid of? The Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at UW Eau Claire, Deborah Newman, explains her concerns in an e-mail to the RA. Apparently, having an RA lead a bible study might put undo pressure on other residents, might cause the RA to not be available, and might otherwise conflict with RA duties.

Of course, the key word there is might. It seems to me that if any of those problems do occur, they can be handled on a case by case basis rather than enacting a pre-preemptive ban. Let's look a little more closely at some of Ms. Newman's e-mail.

As an RA you need to be available to your residents both in reality and from their perspective.

Someone please explain to me how leading a bible study in your own dorm room makes you any less available than if you were leading a study group, or any other such activity that is common in a dorm. The answer is that it doesn't. If the RA is needed, the bible study can be interrupted just as easily as any other study.

As a "leader" of a Bible study, one of the roles is to gather and encourage people to attend. These two roles have a strong possibility to conflict in your hall.

Then deal with that if it actually happens. The fact of the matter is that no one is going to feel any more pressured to attend a bible study if it is lead by the RA than if it is lead by someone else on the floor.

I just want to make sure we don't put ourselves in a position where we fail to meet the needs of all of our students, either on purpose or by accident!

Again, then deal with it if it happens. In my experience in living in dorms, the RA basically just keeps the peace and makes sure no one is doing anything blatantly illegal in their rooms. Sometimes, there may be a student having some issues that the RA may need to deal with, but for the most part they just keep some semblance of order. Leading a bible study is not going to interfere with this.

In the end, this is just another example of a school system violating someone's first amendment rights. They are so afraid of violating the establishment clause in some subtle way, but have no qualms about violating the "free expression thereof".

Update: According to a news report I saw on TV regarding this, the ACLU has weighed in on this, and suprise, suprise, they are on the school's side, even though the school is clearly violating the RA's civil rights (specifically, his right to freely express his religious beliefs).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Video code provided by

I downloaded Flyleaf's debut album from iTunes yesterday. I really like it. HotCodez only had the Breathe Today video. I was hoping they would have I'm So Sick, since that is a much stronger song. Oh well, this is good to.

The singer has a voice similar to Avril Lavigne, only without the silly, vapid, high school'ish lyrics. The band tends to have a heavier sound, but there are a couple of tunes on there were they start to sound a bit too much like Avril (still without the shallow, vapid lyrics of Avril, though, so it is tollerable).

Anyhow, if you like somewhat heavy rock fronted by a strong female voice (which is a combination I just love), then I would suggest you check Flyleaf out...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Finally, a Good Choice for SCOTUS

It looks like Bush is going finally going to nominate a known strong conservative to the SCOTUS. All I have to say is "it's about time". This is why we elected conservatvie leaders. Now let's hope the conservatives in congress are ready for the fight.

At the very least, this will show us who the weak-kneed RINOs are who are badly in need of being replaced.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Trick or Treat!

Me and Meg
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Happy Halloween, everyone!

My niece, Megan came out today to go trick or treating. Here is a picture of the two of us in front of my house before we all went out. She isn't quite 2 years old yet, but she was getting the hang of it after a while.

Holy Hill

Holy Hill
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Yesterday was a beautiful fall day. Lisa and I took the opportunity to go to Holy Hill. If you are ever in the south eastern part of WI, and are looking for something to do, I would highly suggest a visit to Holy Hill. The drive is beautiful, especially in the fall, and the church grounds themselves are impressive.

We essentially spend the day on the grounds, touring the church, and the chapels. We also climbed up in the observation tower, though Lisa did not go all the way to the top (it does get a little freaky if you don't like heights).

After lunch, we walked the trail where they have the stations of the cross. Not being Catholic, I am unfamiliar with the tradition and the prayers and petitions for each station. However, if you have read the Gospels or even just seen "The Passion of the Christ", the scenes depicted at the different stations will be familiar to you.

Click on the picture to see some of the other pictures we took while we were there.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Apple is Pissing Me Off

About a month ago, I noticed that I could no longer view videos like the one that Stacy has on her blog. This used to work just fine, but now whenever I do this, I get the spinning beach ball of death. It does not matter if I am using Safari or Firefox. Reading the Apple forums, it seems that I am not the only one with this problem.

Hopefully Apple gets this fixed soon. I am assuming this is Apple's problem since Windows Media Player has not been updated in a while, but patches for Mac OS X have been released regularly. I am assuming it stopped working with the latest OS X patch, but I could be wrong.

To get around this, I uninstalled the Window Media Player plugin. So, I can't watch the videos, but at least I can still read the blogs.

Print is Dead, Long Live Print

Sitting in my bathroom is the proof that print is a slow, lumbering, archaic, dead media. This proof comes in the form of the November 2005 edition of Macworld. In this edition, there is short article on the "new" iTunes 5 (iTunes 6 was released about 2 weeks ago). There is also an article on the iPod Nano. The ending paragraph of this article expounds on how the Nano shows that "naysayers who believe Apple should release a video iPod that there is still a lot of life left in music." Guess what else Apples announced about 2 weeks ago. The Video iPod.

So, here is the latest version of a technology magazine, and through no fault of their own, two of their stories are completely out of date before the edition is even close to being pulled from the newsstands.

On the other hand, the fact that this magazine is sitting in my bathroom is also the proof that print media is not going to die. After all, the information may be a bit old, but to this date, no one has really come up with a more convenient way for people to read the news while doing their "daily downloads".

Sunday, October 16, 2005

We're Back!

Light House
Originally uploaded by stuffle.

We are back from our little weekend excursion to Fond du Lac, WI. The weather was beutiful, and we had a great time. All of our picutres from the trip have been uploaded to flikr.

Friday Night:

After checking in to the hotel, we went downtown. Our first stop was Main Exchange. It was happy hour, which there means that when you order a drink, you actually get two. After a few drinks, we went upstairs to eat. Very good food.

After dinner, we went to Irish's Bar. After a few Guinness's (which they have on tap), we went back to the hotel.


First we went shopping at the Kristmas Kringle Shoppe. After that we went downtown for a while, and then took a drive all the way around Lake Winnebago. We had dinner at Friar Tuck's, and then went back to the hotel and hung out in the bar watching the NASCAR race and the ALCS game.


We took the long way home, including a stop in Port Washington. The fall colors where beutiful. It was a great day for a drive through the country.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Up in Fond du Lac for the Weekend

Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Lisa (my wife) works as a housekeeper for Holiday Inn. One of her benefits is a free one night stay in some other Holiday Inn. We picked the one in Fond du Lac, WI (it was the best of the certificates that were left).

My dad and I own a '92 Camaro (he bought it, but both of our name are on the title). We brought that up this weekend. It is quite a sweet ride!!

Tonight, we checked in and then went downtown for dinner and drinks and a couple of very nice bars. More on that later. Like an idiot, I forgot the cable for my camera, so i can't upload any pictures until we get back. Oh well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Make More Sense than Most Lefties...

As posted on News of the Weird. This guy is obviously nuts, but he make more sense than the idiots who try to blame Bush for everything...

In September, nine-year veteran weathercaster Scott Stevens of KPVI-TV in Pocatello, Idaho, resigned to pursue his obsession of proving that the massiveness of Hurricane Katrina must have been caused by a Russian-made electromagnetic generator employed by the Japanese Yakuza in retaliation for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The "patterns and odd geometric shapes" in the sky are "unmistakable" evidence, according to his Web site, that "our weather has been stolen from us." Station manager Bill Fouch said that Stevens was great at forecasting local conditions and that he was sorry to lose him.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Your Own Personal Jesus

Eugene posted a stereotypical cartoon aimed at conservative Christians. Eugene says the cartoon "speaks depth." In reality, almost all stereotypes are based in fact but show a rather myopic, oversimplified understanding the target group. In this case, the target group is conservative Christians.

Let's look at just a few of the oversimplifications involved with this cartoon:

  • Most conservative Christians believe we are saved through Christ, not condemned to hell through Christ. Jesus calls us to forgive, not to condemn. While we certainly disagree with those who support abortion, we also pray for them. We don't pray for God to reserve a special place in hell for the pro-lifers. Rather, using the words of Jesus on the cross as our example, we pray for them to be forgiven, and for them to see the light and change their ways. Basically, we condemn the sin, but pray for the sinner. After all, as fallen creatures, we are all wretched sinners.

  • Conservative Christians champion more than just one cause. You cannot get much more "conservative" than Breakpoint. However, a quick look at the issues and research page shows that conservative Christians are interested in far more issues than just abortion.

  • Not all conservatives are Christian. Thus, for many Republicans, there is no Jesus, let alone one who is condemning rather than saving.

  • Not all conservatives consider abortion the most important issue in the world. I even know of some who are pro-choice.

  • Not all Christians who are against abortion are conservative. Thus, the so-called "Republican Jesus" could just as easily be applied to these non-Republicans, if it wasn't for the first bullet point above.

So, while the cartoon that Eugene showed may be funny, and it may highlight the failings of some conservative Christians, it is certainly does not "speak depth" about conservative Christians. Rather, it "speaks depth" of the shallow, myopic view that some people choose to take of conservative Christians.

Good Weekend in Sports

First, and most importantly, the Yankees are still alive. After a season where I am surprised to even see them in the play-offs, it is nice to see them fighting to the bitter end.

Second, the Green Bay Packers finally got a win. Of course, they had to beat up homeless hurricane victims to get it, but at least they got the win.

Finally, congratulations to Houston for finally, after 18 innings, getting rid of those darn Braves.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Oh well...

Well, I really do not like the White Sox (or anything having to do with Chicago, for that matter). Therefore, even though as a Yankee fan I am obliged to hate the Red Sox, I was really pulling for them to take out the White Sox. Alas, the one time I actually want to see the Red Sox win, they let me down. Oh well...

On the plus side, seeing all the depressed Red Sox fans that ESPN was panning after the game was absolutely sweet!!

Now let's go Yankees!!

Random Items of Interest

Been busy lately, and haven't had anything to comment on. However, here are some links to interesting things others have had to say.

  • Eddie has a nice article on the need to eliminate Medicaid. He also raises some good points on the despicable practice that some people partake in of making themselves look poor so Medicaid will flip the bill when they get older. Look people, this is one of those things you should be saving for. This is part of why you have a life savings. Use it for that rather than being a burden on the taxpayers...

  • Race is still an issue. It is interesting (and wrong) how certain minorities can get away with stuff that white folks like me would (rightly) be heavily criticized for doing. The Exile
    has written up a great example of that. Be sure to read the comments. There is a lefty in there named "Harold" who thinks he is being clever. Very funny.

  • And finally, ending on the lighter side of life, bob has a funny article that explains what to take to an anti-war protest. Mostly items to help fend off those dirty stinking hippies.

Well, that's it for now. Maybe next week I will actually read the news or something and come up with my own thoughts.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Finally, a Useful Invention...

The first line of this article says it all.

Fans of non-stop drinking may soon be able to cut down on time wasted ordering refills

All I can say is it is about freakin' time someone invented something that is actually useful!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Watertown HS Homecoming

Ashley & Leah HC 2005
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Well, it is homecoming weekend here in Watertown. Friday night was the football game. The Parent Music Club runs the concession stand, and I volunteered to work. Holy crap! It was very busy, a great night for sales. We made a ton of popcorn ahead of time, but still couldn't keep up. We also ran out of several types of soda even though we had all of the coolers full at the start of the night.

Our lovely daughter, Ashley (the one of the left in the picture), plays percussion in the marching band. This year she plays the quads. She was in the half time show, but I was too busy working concessions to see any of it. My wife said it was good, though.

Saturday night was the dance. Ashley went to the dance with her boyfriend, Manny (who didn't make it up to the house for pictures), and her friend, Leah. Ashley is not really into all this "school spirit" junk (though she does enjoy playing in the marching band). She did seem to enjoy the dance, though.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Oooh, Big Shock There...

So, I was bored and took one of those political tests (found it linked over at Not A Desperate Housewife's site). Turns out that I am a Capitalist. Gee, who would have guessed... :)

You are a

Social Conservative
(38% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(90% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Monday, September 26, 2005

What is Race, and Who's a Race Traitor?

The Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter, received a letter calling him a race traitor. This got me thinking about the ridiculousness of some of this "race" crap.

First off, just what race is Jeter? For those that don't follow baseball, Jeter's mom is white, while his dad is black. Derek himself looks like a white guy with a nice tan. In the letter, Jeter is called a "race traitor" for dating white women.

Is he only supposed to date women that are products of other mixed race couples? Clearly the letter writer feels that Jeter should be dating black women. Evidently, having a black father trumps all in terms of race, making Jeter black in the eyes of the letter's author, though logically he is at most half black, and that is assuming his father is of 100% black decent (I don't know if he is or not, and frankly, I don't care).

Obviously, the author of the letter feels that dating outsides one's own race makes one a "race traitor". At least that gives him some common with the Grand Dragon of the local KKK chapter. Namely, that they are both racist dipshits.

If the author of the letter really wants to deal with race traitors, he should send letters to black men who are not taking responsibility for their own children. These are the men who are really hurting their own race. This behavior has resulting in a large "absentee father" problem, which results in more violence and more poverty. While he is at it, maybe he ought to write some letters criticizing the women who are stupid enough to sleep with these sorts of men.

Or maybe he should write letters to all of the gang-bangers and drug dealers who are destroying their "own people", be they white, black, mexican, asian, whatever. There are people out there destroying their own race, whatever that race may be, but it is not those dating outside of the color boundaries that are doing it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Lisa's Dendrobiums are Blooming

Lisa's Dendrobiums 09-18-05 #1
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Our orchids are blooming again. More accurately. Lisa's dendrobiums are blooming. She inherited these from her Grandmother, and they have been quite a beautiful blessing.

We also have a phalaenopsis that Lisa got from her mom for Mother's day (I think, or maybe her birthday). For whatever reason, that one has not done as well, and has not bloomed once since we got it. I wish it would bloom again. It was blooming when we got it, and it was very beautiful. Oh well.

The white dendrobium that is in this picture has about 8 more buds that will bloom soon. When those bloom, I will try and get another picture but I wanted to get this picture while all three of the dendrobiums were blooming.

First Day of Class

Last week, I volunteered to teach the nursery Sunday school class. This means that I am teaching 3 year old children. It has been a long time since my daughter was 3 (she is 15 now). Also, this is the first time I have ever taught a class. Please pray for me and for my class. While you are at it, pray for all Sunday School teachers.

Today was the first day of class. Three year olds are shy, and it took a little while before they weren't afraid of me. However, as we did things, I could see that I was starting to gain their trust. For a couple of them, their parents were even able to leave (which actually helped quite a bit). Sometimes it is not really clear who has more separation anxiety, the parents or the students.

Today, after making name tags, we played with Play Dough while I explained how God shaped a formless void into the planets and stars and moons and everything else. I then showed the kids some of God's creations using Ashley's old Beanie Babies, and then read the creation story to them. After that I had them pick out and name some of God's creatures from a picture. Then it was snack time, and time for them to color a collage of God's creations. At the end of the period, we prayed and cleaned up before going down to the sanctuary for "Sing and Celebrate."

Next week we go through the story of Noah and the flood.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Remeber, the Media Isn't Biased...

Hmm. I wonder why I have never really seen anything about exactly which state national guard units are from until now. All of a sudden, articles like this one start highlighting when the troops are from Louisiana.

I really wonder what the actual motivation for that is. What are they trying to hint at? Hmmm....

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Fish Heads, Fish Heads

Roley, Poley Fish Heads...

Tonight we went to some Mexican joint here in Fond du Lac. Lisa and Ashley both had their usual (chicken chimichangas). I, on the other hand, like to pick things I have never had before (I love adventures in eating, though sometimes this backfires on me).

I found some dish I had never heard of before (can't recall what it was), but it was made with tilapia, which I like, so I thought "what the heck". It turned out that this dish included the whole tilapia (minus the guts) deep fried. This allowed me to indulge in a food oddity that has been of my favorites since I was a kid (that being crispy fried fish fins), and to freak out my daughter by mounting the fish head such that it stared at her during dinner (at which point my wife yelled at me for playing with my food).

Anyhow, the quality of this particular place was towards the lower end of the scale. But hey, at least I got to play with a fish head (and indulge in some crispy fins)...

2005 Corn Roast

Originally uploaded by stuffle.
We are up in Fond du Lac, WI for the 34th annual Corn Roast and Car Show. This is about the 10th year that we have been up here. It is basically the one car show that we make it to each year.

Mom and dad couldn't make it for today because they are at a wedding. However, they will be up here tomorrow (Sunday), which is really the big day for the show anyhow.

So far, the weather has been absolutely fabulous, and is supposed to remain sunny and beautiful.

Well, we are off to a Mexican joint for dinner, to talk to you later...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hey Y'all, Watch This...

A red-neck's last words, and evidently those of an Iranian daredevil also. Normally, I would not make fun of the dead. However, this guys last words (read the story, it is short) just reminded me of that joke.

On another note, the church softball team had a pool party yesterday. Someone told that "redneck's last words" joke, and about 10 seconds later, one of the kids in the pool yells out "hey, watch this". Too perfect... :)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Let's Go Brewers!

Lisa and I had tickets to Wednesday night's game. These were not part of our 10-pack. For these tickets, we cashed in our "Come on Back Club" cards for a discount (you can either get free crappy seats or a discount on good seats, we chose the latter).

Our evening started at the T.G.I.Friday's that they have out in left field. That was cool! Every seat, basically, has a view of the field. It was really neat to be able to watch BP and the grounds crew and whatnot while having a nice sit down dinner at the ball park.

Our seats for the game were excellent. We were in the 12th row of section 115. This is directly to the right of home plate, between the back stop netting and the dugout. Quite a different perspective from there than from our usual seats in section 209 (loge outfield).

To top it off, the Brewer's won. Couldn't ask for a better time!

We have our usual section 209 tickets for tonight's game. Hopefully they do as well against the Braves as they did against the Marlins. Not too many games left, and they are actually in the wild card hunt for a change.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Just Another Sperm Donor

Well, it looks like TV has hit a new low. It was bad enough that we had some so called "reality TV" shows like "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancee" and "The Bachelor" that serve no other purpose than to undermine the sanctity of marriage.

Now we can add to the list a show that seems to serve no other purpose than to advance the myth that a man's only true value in child rearing is being a "sperm donor". This is just plain disgusting. Period.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nothing Shocking

The fact that Lance Armstrong is being hit by more doping allegations should not really shock anyone. I have never been on the Lance Armstrong bandwagon, so it is difficult for me to imagine what people see in him. What really amazes me is the number of people who just refuse to believe that he could be doping, even though he is extremely dominant in a sport that I believe is rife with this sort of cheating.

Personally, I like what Greg LeMond has said about Lance in the past. Specifically: "Lance is ready to do anything to keep his secret. I don't know how he can continue to convince everybody of his innocence." You could claim that LeMond is just speaking out of jealousy. However, I don't think that is the case. I think he is speaking out of personal knowledge.

Monday, August 22, 2005

With Parents Like That...

Also from New of the Weird:

In March, when Knoxville, Tenn., prosecutors ordered 582 parents of chronically truant students to a meeting to advise them of their responsibility to get their kids to school, 241 failed to show up.

Which shows a really big part of the problem with society. That is, parents who are not at all interested in the training and educating of their children. They either don't give a shit, or they expect the school to do their job for them, or both.
This reminds me of a meeting we had at school a couple of years ago when they explained the "points system" that was implemented for graduation at our daughter's school. When it came to question and answer time, there were a fair number of parents who were not asking questions like "how can I help my child achieve these points", but were more along the lines of "are there going to be enough non-acedemic ways for my child to get points so s/he can graduate" (IOW, how can we skirt the system). It was really sickening and pathetic.

Keeping Our Eyes on the Important Stuff...

The resent News of the Weird had some rather telling pieces this time around. Here is the lead story:

In July, after word got out that the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" could be fitted with an online update to make some of its scenes explicitly sexual, an 85-year-old grandmother in New York sued the company, Rockstar Games, for having failed to rate the game AO (adults only, age 18 and up) to take account of the modification. However, Florence Cohen apparently freely purchased the M-rated version (age 17 and up) for her then-14-year-old grandson, even though it invites players to murder, steal and engage in gang violence and attacks on police. She complained only when she found out that the M version's unexplicit sex and partial nudity could be made explicit. [MSNBC-AP, 7-27-05]

OK, then, so I guess breaking at least 4 or 5 commandments is OK with Grandma. Seeing a little explicit "in-out in-out", OTOH, evidently crosses the line. You really have to wonder what is going on in Grandma's head.

After all, it isn't the seeing of the women naked and all the "in-out in-out" that is going to warp little Johnny's mind at all. The tripe that the game already contains (violence, murder, disdain for authority, degradation of women to mere sex objects, etc.) is far more damaging then the addition of some T&A.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Waukesha Car Show

The Show
Originally uploaded by stuffle.
After church today, we went to the Waukesha Old Car Club's car show in Frame Park in Waukesha. My parents were working at it, and we visited with them for a while.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I See Dumb People, They're Everywhere...

As I have mentioned before, my commute to work is about 40 miles. On that commute, I get to see quite the bunch of dumb people. Here is just a list from yesterday.
  • Dumb ass #1 who speeds past me, only so I can catch up to her later, when she is busy yakking on her cell phone, and swerving as she rummages through crap in the passenger seat.
  • After work, traffic is bumper to bumper and slow because of an accident on the east bound side of the Interstate (I am going west). Dumb ass #2 is in front of me. Not only does he leave a huge gap between him and the car in front of him, but then he slows down further to gawk when we get to the scene.
  • Dumb ass #3, after the backups, cuts me off, cuts off several others, as he weaves from lane to lane to get ahead, only to get to he exit about 5 seconds before I do.
  • Dumb ass #4 plunks his stupid ass in the left lane, and stays there, even though he is barely doing the speed limit.
  • Multiple dumb asses who can't seem to drive at a constant speed, and are evidently confused by things like hills. It is called "cruise control", look into how it works.
Actually, the commute usually isn't that bad. Yesterday, it just seemed that all the dumb asses came out at once.

Stupid Tornado Sirens...

So, according to the warning messages that are interrupting Baseball Tonight, we are supposedly having tornados that could pass about 10 miles north of us, and there are storms about 10 - 15 miles south of us that are capable of producing tornados. However, the city of Watertown is not actually in the path of either of these storms, just caught in the middle. So what do they do? They set off the stupid tornado sirens.

The do that all the time. Earlier this year, the set the stupid things off when there was a potential for a tornado down in Fort Atkinson, which is clear on the opposite end of the friggin county. Evidently, they never heard of Chicken Little. If a tornado ever does rip through here, everyone is going to ignore the sirens thinking the storm is probably up in Beaver Dam...

Update: The storms did cause some damage where they actually hit. Please pray for those effected by the storms.

According to the news today, there was nothing substantial north of us. South west of us got hit pretty hard though. Still, nothing that should make our sirens go off. I really wish they would save those things for use when we are actually in the direct path of the storm. Otherwise, people will just start to ignore them (as I am sure they already do).

Quit Yer Bitchin'

I am getting really sick and tired of people bitching about the price of gas. If you don't like it, don't drive. Whatever you do, just shut the hell up.

First off, it is called a fair and open commodities market. If you have a problem with it, move to Russia.

Second, gas taxes may be high, but if they are actually used properly I have no problem with them. That is, they are supposed to be used for the roads. That is as it should be. Those who use the roads more will use more gas and will thus pay more tax and will thus pay more for the upkeep of the roads. Everything there is as it should be. I fear, however, that the money is not always spent as it should be and is sometimes going to fund useless social programs and whatnot. That is a separate issue, however.

Third, they are called "economy cars". Look into trading in your SUV, pickup, or whatever and getting one if filling your piggy vehicle up is such a hardship.

Fourth, they are called "jobs". If you can't afford your gas, look into getting a better one (or a second one).

Finally, I have never seen a budget (including my own) that didn't have some fat that could be trimmed (cable TV, cell phones, high speed internet, money to go out to eat, money pissed away at a bar, whatever). Look into cutting some of that before you bitch about the price of gas.

And yes, the price of gas does effect me. My trip to work is 40 miles one way. However, I don't really care. Rather than bitching about it, I am dealing with it. OK, done ranting now...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Power Outage

Well, it has certainly been a couple of interesting days.

First, I get home from softball last night and there is an message on the machine about power being out at work and telling me that it should be back by 4:30. This means I will likely have a little clean up to do in the morning, since some processes that run at night will have been interrupted. OK, thanks for the heads up...

Then, this morning I make my 40 mile drive to work and the power is still out... Power company says it will be a couple more hours yet, so I grab some stuff and drive 40 more miles back home. Finally got to start working around 11:00. Crappy part is it is now 8:45 and I finally finished what I wanted to get done today. On the plus side, I got to do this all from home...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Harry Belafonte is an Idiot...

No, he did call Colin Powell a "house slave" again. However, he is still beating the same drum as before.

This time, he is calling any African Americans in Bush's cabinet "Black Tyrants". He is also continuing to beat the drum comparing Bush to Hitler, and even comparing any of the African Americans in Bush's cabinet to some jews working for Hitler. At least that last comment has caused him to take some heat.

So, I guess in the world according to Mr. Belafonte, if you are black, you must be a lefty loon. If not, you will be labeled as a "slave", or "tyrant", showing once again that the party of "tolerance" is only tolerant of those who agree with them. Don't step out of line.

More on Voting

Let's take a look at some of the statements made at the Voting Rights Act renewal demonstration. Let's take a look at some of these gems.

Stevie Wonder told the crowd that it’s “ridiculous” that in 2005, Black Americans must stage mass demonstrations to demand their right to vote.

Really? I could have sworn that Black Americans already had the right to vote. If you were to listen to Mr. Wonder, you would think only white males can vote.

Meanwhile, Jackson said the Voting Rights Act will impact future generations, like Beverly. “We need to act with a sense of desperation,” Jackson told “Our right to vote is in jeopardy, and the radical right-wing is trying to undermine our right to vote.”

Oh, look, more bullshit implying that simple and basic voting reforms, like requiring a person to show I.D. to prove that they are who they say they are, is somehow going to take votes away from legitimate minority voters. I suppose some people are stupid enough to believe that.

In the end, however, Jackson just needs to come up with reasons for his Rainbow/PUSH coalition to exist. After all, many of the very real problems that these organizations were once fighting are really no longer problems.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, echoed sentiments that the Voting Rights Act protects those who were “abused and discriminated” against during the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. She said the United States is still the “laughing stock of the world” because of two “failed” elections.

That one statement just makes my head spin. First off, if anyone was actually "abused and discriminated" against in 2000 and 2004, then I guess the act didn't actually protect anyone. Of course, that is not actually the case. Every re-count done by anyone in 2000 showed Bush to be the winner. These loons just can't accept the fact that Bush won, and want to take every opportunity possible to delude themselves.

To these folks, the only "fair" election is one in which
their guy wins. Any other election must be labeled as "unfair" for one reason or another.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Picture I.D. to Vote? Why Not?

Here is WI, we have really, really lax voter laws. I am no expert on the actual laws. However, the one thing that has always surprised me is that you don't have to prove who you are. If you are registered already, you can just show up at your voting place, say who are are and vote. No form of ID or anything required. That has always struck me as stupid.

Several state legislators want to fix that. Of course, that draws the ire of certain people. As usual, Eugene Kane's article is a little light on actual substance, so I will boil it down to the one paragraph where he actually said something of substance:

"Many believe switching to a photo-ID voting law will disproportionately affect poor people, immigrants, black people and senior citizens."

Many people may believe this, but let look at the logic here. I could see, for example, where a poor person may not have a drivers license and may have better use for their money than getting a photo ID. However, there are ways around that (free photo I.D.'s, for example).

Immigrants? Well, the ones who should actually be allowed to vote (that is, immigrants who have become citizens) should have absolutely no trouble getting an I.D. No problems here.

Old people? Most already have an I.D., and for those that don't, getting one should again not be an issue. If they can't afford it, like I said, there are ways around that.

Black people? Now this one I really don't understand. Why would it be any harder for a black person to obtain and show an I.D. than anyone else?

This argument just really does not hold water. When it comes down to it, being required to obtain and show an I.D. to vote really only negatively effects those who want to attempt to commit voter fraud, or those who should not be voting in the first place.

Sad News From Our Neighborhood

Michael Endyk lived three doors down from us. I didn't really know him, but saw him around the neighborhood often. Periodically, I have talked to his dad while I was walking the dog and he was out working in the yard, but that is the extent to which I know the family. Still, news like this makes quite sad, especially as the father of a child that is only three years younger than Michael was. I can't even imagine the pain Michael's parents must be feeling now.

I would ask any readers of this who are so inclined to please pray for healing for his family.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back from Vacation

Well, we are back from our vacation. If anyone is interested, the photo album has been updated, and the daily breakdown of events has been posted.

Todays helpful tip:

When you are going to be sitting in the sun for 6 straight hours, don't forget your ears when putting on the sun screen. Lisa found this out the hard way. Her ears are beat red, and there was a blister on the top of one of them...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Vacation Time!

Lisa and I are on our annual trip to Indy to see the NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I will be blogging the details of our trip here.

Details on day 1 are out there now, including nice, pretty pictures...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Yeah, Right...

OK, Rafael, you expect us to believe an excuse like "I did not do this intentionally or knowingly." Yeah, sure, and I didn't know that beer had alcohol in it when I was drinking it either.

Just take your punishment and shut up. You sound like an idiot. One of two things have to be true. Option 1: You are attempting to fool us with an excuse that never works from drunk teenagers who stumble home too late and too drunk, and your are stupid enough to think it will work. Option 2: You really are stupid enough to take 'roids without knowing it.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are just a liar, and not actually as stupid as you sound.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by stuffle.
If any regular readers of this blog are interested in cars, you may be interested in reading my ongoing blog about helping my dad build a Daytona Coupe. I have that story on my old blog which I now just use for ongoing stories like that.

Good News on Pabst City

The city of Milwaukee was considering doing something very, very stupid. Specifically, the city was considering providing a lot of money to developers to take the site of the old Pabst brewery and turn it into a movie theater, video arcade, House of Blues, and condos. Thankfully, nine of the alderman have functioning brains, and voted down this horrible idea.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against the city of Milwaukee helping developers through TIF districts, etc. if done intelligently. In this case this is the wrong type of project for that area. The reasons for this are many:

  • The location is right by the city jail. Not exactly the best location for an entertainment facility. Nor is that a really good place to put condos.

  • Given the location, putting in a movie theater and an arcade is not exactly going to bring in the best elements of the city. Another strike against anyone actually wanting to live in the condos.

  • Milwaukee already has an "entertainment district" to a certain degree, and it is not in the area of the old Pabst brewery. Putting a House of Blues in the old Pabst Brewery land would just draw people away from the already successful areas of town. This would hurt existing business, not help.

  • If the House of Blues wants to come to Milwaukee, great. However, they should locate more towards the east side, where they can have a more synergistic relationship with existing entertainment type businesses.

  • While Pabst City would bring some jobs to an area that needs them, they would not be of the high paying, family supporting variety.

The bottom line really is that if the city of Milwaukee wants to spend money to help develop a blighted area, they should do it intelligently. They should not do it by sinking money into something that will only compete with existing entertainment venues by drawing people away from areas of the city that are already successful. What they should do is court some kind of business that will provide stable, high paying, family supporting jobs. Perhaps a pharmaceutical company or something. That is the type of industry this city needs to support more. Unfortunately, we seem to be better at driving those businesses away than we are at bringing them in.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Oops! Sorry 'bout That...

I have been reading a lot of new stories about Jean Charles de Menezes lately. He is the man who was shot by British police as he was acting suspicious in the London underground. There seems to be conflicting stories on how, exactly, this went down.

Some news reports, like this one, indicate the de Menezes was "pinned down" when he was shot. If that is the case, there are two things that strike me. First off, of the police have him "pinned down", it would seem that they would be able to ascertain at that point if this person is a real threat or not. Second, it would seem that shooting someone who you have pinned down would be exceptionally dangerous. It would seem that you have a really good chance of shooting a fellow officer in a case like that. If this is truly the way it went down, I can understand the outcry.

Others news reports, like this one, mention nothing of de Menezes being pinned down. Reading these reports, it sounds like de Menezes was behavng suspiciously, ran from the police, did not obey orders (all not good ideas), and then was eventually cornered and shot. If this scenario is true, the shooting is perfectly understandable, and the outcry is just stupid. After all, a cornered person who is thought to have a bomb strapped to them is a very dangerous person.

Given what these people are up against, I have no problem with the British police having a "shoot to kill" policy. It is simply a fact that if the cops tell you to stop, thou shalt stop, period. Don't run, don't try to get away, don't act suspicious. If you do run, and you get killed (either shot, like de Menezes, or die in a wreck like so many people who lead police on a chase), there is really no one to blame other than yourself, and only yourself. Don't want to die? Then don't run...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Watertown Tire Fire - Day 2

Well, it is day 2 of The Great Watertown Tire Fire, and all is well. The tire fire is still smoking, but the giant plumes of black smoke billowing into sky are gone. Now, there are just pillows of steam and smoke that just look like clouds above the trees.

Luckily, the weather has cooperated. None of the smoke really drifted into town, so it doesn't smell like burning rubber or anything. Rather, it all went up into the atmosphere and drifted east to pollute areas that are already stinky, like Milwaukee.

AAMOF, I wouldn't even really know there was a fire near by if it wasn't for the news shows and the fact that we live about a block from the water tower that is closest to the fire. It has been nothing but a constant line of pumper trucks getting water. They even have people out there directing traffic near the water tower. These narrow country roads were not really designed for that sort of traffic. Oh well. At least at night they turn the sirens off...

I just feel sorry for these poor fire fighters, though. Fire departments from several surrounding communities are here. Watertown has a mix of full timers and volunteers, but a lot of these communities only have volunteers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Tire Fire from Our Backyard

Originally uploaded by stuffle.
Our daughter took some pictures of the tire fire. Here is the perspective from our back yard. I have uploaded all her pictures to flickr.

Now That's a Fire!!

I'm at work and my wife IM's me to tell me there is a tire fire just a couple miles NW of our house. The (increasingly less sparse) details are in this article. She hasn't had to evacuate yet, though she did say it kinda stinks aroud there. I am about 40 miles east of this at work, and the sky certainly looks dark in that direction from the limited vantage I have out my office window (too many trees and other office buildings in the way).

I miss all the cool shit...

Update: If you click on the "Viewer Images" in the linked article, there is a picture with the caption "Picture taken from my home on the west side of Watertown". That picture appears to be taken from a couple blocks south of our house...

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Season was Cancelled? No One Cared...

As a former OS/2 user and a casual hockey fan, I found this cartoon to be really funny. Around these parts, once the hockey season was cancelled, people shrugged, said "so what" and then kept watching the Bucks and the Packers. Not really a big sport around these parts, but I'm glad it will likely be there this winter. It helps fill the void between the World Series and the start of spring training... That, and I really don't like to watch Poker, which is what ESPN evidently decided to replace the NHL with last year.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Let's Go, Yankees!

Well, the Yankee's just took three out of four from the wretched Red Sox and are just a half game out of first! It has been a tough year, but at least they are close to being back where they should be. Now if the Sox would just get back in the basement, where they belong, life would be good!

The Yankees really did their best to throw it away though when Cano threw a double play ball past Jeter and into left field. This eventually leads to a bases loaded, no outs situation with the Yanks up by two.

One absolutely beautiful 5-2-3 double play later followed by a 4-3 to get Damon, and the game is over. Let's keep it up, Yankees!!

Another Busy Weekend

Well, it was another busy weekend. Maybe sometime I will get back to posting something of substance, when I actually have time to pay attention to the rest of the world and what is going on in it. In the meantime, here is what I have been up to.

Friday Night: Went to Miller Park with my brother to watch the Brewers beat the Nationals in extra innings. We sat in the Miller Lite Beerpen. Every Friday night home game, the Loge right field bleachers are called the Beerpen, and you get a free Miller sponsored Brewers shirt with your ticket. The Brewers won in extra innings after Stanton balked. At first, it looked like Weeks was going to be thrown out at first in yet another stupid base running mistake. Then the balk was called, walking in the runner who was on third. It was a thing of beauty!

Saturday Night: Went toTony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam at the Bradley Center. This was a birthday present for our daughter, Ashley (who just turned 15, man the time flies...). Ashley took her boyfriend, Manny. Ashley and Manny are both skaters, and spend a fair amount of time hanging out at the local skate park. They also like watching this sort of thing on Fuel. I thought the whole thing was amazing. Lisa and I both like the motocross the best, though.

Sunday Afternoon: Lisa had to work, and we had tickets to the Brewer game from our 10 pack. I sold the extra ticket to a guy from church who also has a couple of 10 packs so he took his son with him (he had already sold his other ticket from his 10 packs to Mark, another guy from church). This was another close game that the Brewers won. Luckily , Toma Ohka was sitting them down quickly and the game was short, because it was really, really hot! I caught a foul ball, and gave it to my friend's kid. When I got home and told my wife, she yelled at me for that. Oh well, I guess no good deed goes unpunished...

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Now that Apple has added PodCasts to iTunes, I have been checking some of the out. There are some pretty cool ones out there, so if you haven't checked any of them out, I would suggest doing so. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Back from Cuba City

Over the weekend, we went down to Cuba City, which is a small town in SW Wisconsin. We went to visit some friends down there (Paul & Chris). It is a beutiful part of the state. A lot of farms and hills. Periodicaly, I think of moving back there. I would miss all of the things that there are to do around Milwaukee, though. I am torn.

Basically, we drank beer, played cards, sat around a fire, lit off fire works, watched Paul & Chris' son play soccer, went to a steak fry, drank more beer. It was a great weekend.

Now that we are back, it is back to work. Yippeee! On the plus side, Lisa is working once again. She found a job in housekeeping at the local Holiday Inn Express. She seems to be enjoying work so far.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Let the Blame Fest Begin

So, how long will it take before someone attempts to make political hay from today's tragedy in London by blaming the whole thing on Bush and the war against terror, etc? For all I know, some heartless a-hole has already started doing just that.

I can see the arguments now. If only we were not fighting in Iraq, this would not happen. It is only because of the failed foreign policy of this administration... blah, blah, blah Bullshit! The reason attacks like this occur is simple. There are, quite simply, evil vile people on this planet who just want to hate others and want to cause others pain. The contrast between civilized society and these vile humans was vividly shown today as the acts occurred at a time when the leaders of the civilized world were getting together to discuss ways to actually help the rest of the world.

Terrorist acts like this have occurred during several administrations, in several different world atmospheres. These sorts of acts occurred before Bush, and will occur after he is out of office. The big difference between the Bush administration and certain other administrations is that Bush is willing to confront these people in the ways that are necessary. Thank God that we have an administration that is willing to confront this scum head on and take the battle to them.

Monday, July 04, 2005

OK, Now That was Stupid...

I sometimes criticize Ned Yost for making some really stupid moves. However, I have never seen him replace a batter mid-count like Jack McKeon did for the Marlins tonight. With an 0-2 count, he pulls the batter and puts in Lenny Harris. Why you would do something like that (barring injury to the current batter) is beyond me, but hey, it works out well for us. After all, Harris only gets one strike to work with, and we don't have to face Harris in a situation where it might matter, and where he has a full count to work with...

An Open Letter to Karla Homolka

People like you really ought to never get out of prison. At least your husband is serving a life term, even though you should be too. You should feel lucky to even be alive at this point, and yet you have the audacity to whine about how the press following your every move?

"The thought of being relentlessly pursued, hunted down and followed when I won't have any protection makes me fear for my life," she said in an affidavit.

Ya, well, your victims probably were not overly comfortable with being tortured, raped, and killed, either. I guess you reap what you sow, eh?

"People are always going to interpret what I do as bad. They'll pick out one bad thing from a sea of good and I'll be judged on that," she wrote in prison correspondence that was published in a newspaper.

Oh cry me a friggin' river... When your "one bad thing" involves torture, rape, and murder, and also includes drugging your own sister so your husband can rape her, then guess what? Ya, people are going to focus on that, and no, normal people are not going to feel sorry for you one bit.

Your lucky you are even alive, let alone free, so quit yer bitchin'!!

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Man, what a week. I was really busy at work, and then the weekend came and things just got worse... :) Actually, the weekend was very fun, just a lot of stuff going on right now.

Friday night, Ashley had some friends over for a birthday party. It is hard to believe that she is 15 already...

Saturday, Lisa and I went down to summerfest with my folks. We specifically went to see Those Darn Accordions and Pat McCurdy.

Sunday was church (which ran long). After that, we went to the the Brewers game, which also ran long (3 hrs and 40 min, for a nine inning game). We had the "pleasure" of seeing the Brewers blow an 8-2 lead... It was just utter frustrating. After we got home, we quickly prepared salads and stuff for today's cookout and then went to see the fireworks.

Finally, today we were supposed to watch Ashley march with the high school band in the July 4th parade. However, it stormed and the band did not march. Instead, we just went straight to having a cookout in the garage. My folks and Lisa's folks were there, as was my brother and his family. It would have been nicer if the sun was shining, but it was still fun.

Now that it is all over, I am going to rest for a while...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Well, We Almost Won One...

The men's softball team for our church almost broke its perfect record last night. In the three or four years that we have had a team, we have never won a game. Last night, we came really close. We led the game until the bottom of the 6th, when the Bismark tavern took the lead. We where not able to get it back in the 7th. Final score: 8-10.

Hey, at least it was a good exciting game...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Now Let's Go for the Sweep!

Lisa and I went to the Brewers vs. Twins game last night. 44,000+ fans in attendance. I would say it was about 60% Brewers fans and 40% Twinkies fans. The next game in our 10-pack comes on July 03. Now that summer is here, the games will start coming quickly.

It was an exciting game, but it didn't start out that way. In the first inning, the Twinkies managed to score three runs. Stewart led off the inning with HR off the second pitch, and Hunter got a two run homer. The only bright spot was in the bottom of the inning when Weeks stepped up and got his first ML homer.

It looked pretty bleak for the Brew Crew until the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, the Twins were leading 5-2 when the Twinks starter (Santana) gave up double to Hardy, and struck out Durrington (PH) to bring up the top of the order. Clark and Weeks both walked. Hall flies out to center. With the bases loaded and 2 outs, Lee spanks a double to drive in two runs. The inning ends with the Brewers down 5-4, but at least they were back in the game.

In the sixth inning, Wise is pitching in relief of Ohka (who had a terrible outing in the first five innings). He sets the Twinkie batters down 1, 2, 3. In the bottom of the inning, Santana walks Helms and gives up a single to Magruder before being yanked from the game. He had a good start for the Twins, but really fell apart fast in the 5th and 6th. In comes Crain for the Twins as part of a double switch. Hardy bunts the base runners up 90 ft. Next up, Prince Fielder pinch hits for Wise and spanks it long and deep for his first ML homer. The Brewers are now up 5-7.

The Twinkies came back to score once more, and had a couple of other chances, but the Brewers managed to work there way out of that. The game ends with Turnbow striking out Mauer to give the Brewers the win, 6-7.

It was not a very well pitched game. However, the game was close (after the 5th), we got to see a win (which is always more sweet when there are a lot of opposing fans around), and we got to see two Brewers rookies get their first home runs. All in all, it was a very fun night!