Thursday, May 29, 2008

Music Friday: "Dirt Floor Cracka'"

The link below moves you to a performance by JJ Grey and Mofro in which JJ provides a bit of a lesson on the origination of the term "cracker" and how it relates to Southern society/culture.

And, well, the song kicks ass.

McClellan's Book

I find it odd that McClellan's book had virtually no marketing at all until, as was reported somewhere, people started noticing it on the bookshelves.

What kind of publisher did this guy hook up with? 

While I don't know if I have the time to read his book, I find it interesting that most folks who have criticized McClellan so far have tended to do so on character issues, his ethos. They paint him as a turncoat, a guy who owes his career to Bush but now is being "disloyal." 

What I haven't seen criticized are the statements and assertions about the Bush White House.  

Monday, May 26, 2008


we've gotten a boat.

Besides going to see my parents this weekend, we also picked up Diana's grandfather's boat today. It's a fourteen-foot fishing boat with a old gas motor, circa sometime in the 1950s. Thankfully, it's a small boat since we only have a Ford Focus station wagon to pull it. 

So now we need to get a trolling motor and battery from my favorite store, Rural King. Link:

The fish in Coles County (Lake Charleston and the Embarass River) and in other parts of central IL need should be concerned. Hannah and her Scooby-Doo fishing rod will be on the case this summer. 

I expect to be outfished by four-year old pretty soon. 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Music Friday: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Well, I'm posting this on Thursday, but most of you folks may not read this until Friday. But I humbly submit Jason Isbell's "Dress Blues."

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks. 

We're off to Waterloo to have Virg and Deloras spoil the grandkids. Virg also needs some yard work done.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cliches in Reporting

I find the Teddy Kennedy illness to be very unfortunate, and I really don't have much to say about that.

However, I do have a problem with how the media describes Kennedy. There's a ubiquitous cliche they use to describe Senator Kennedy, a really tired phrase. Reporters and various talking heads seem to enjoy describing him as a "liberal lion."

As any 7th grader who's watched the Discovery Channel can tell us, male lions usually hang back with the kids while the females go hunt for food. Do they really want to equate Senator with a layabout predator? 

Likewise, Senator McCain is consistently described as a "maverick." How the hell is he such a maverick? So he's gone against his own party at times. Big deal. Usually when he's gone against the policies of the neocons, it's been because he's done so on more traditionally "conservative" grounds, reasons/beliefs that more closely align with older "conservative" views from Ur-conservatives like Edmund Burke.

For a more detailed connection between McCain and Burke, follow the link below.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Since I have three major options (County Market, Save-A-Lot, and Wal-Mart) for getting foodstuffs in this little 'burg, the array of sausages is not good.

It's not good at all.

I pine for a good salsiccia from the Hill. I especially want to get some excellent sausages from K&W (the "German butcher") off Kingshighway  such as knockwurst, Grant's Farm bratwurst, and weiswurst. 

It's grilling season, people, and I envy you chumps in St. Louis. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Music Friday: "Statistician's Blues"

To help you begin the weekend, I humbly offer you Todd Snider and his "Statistician's Blues."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

For Hire

For all of you guilt-ridden consumers and commuters, I'm here for you.

As has become the fashion, many folks and businesses are buying carbon offsets to compensate for their everyday habits that create excessive CO2 or are distinctly environmentally unfriendly, such as driving an SUV, having a long commute to work, using plastic bags from grocery stores instead of bringing your own grocery bags, eating food that's been shipped across the globe, having an old heating/ac unit, using gas-powered lawn equipment, among others.

Since I drive a fuel-efficient vehicle and walk to work, I'm willing to be your carbon offset.

And I'm cheap too. How 'bout $10 a week to assuage your angst and fears and guilt?

Send your checks to my address, and I'm willing to help you out. It's cheaper than therapy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bible Vs. Gun


Edmonds to Become a Cub: Say It Ain't So

If what the Sun-Times reports is true, it looks as though "Jimmy Baseball" will become a Cubs outfielder quite soon.

I'm perplexed. I've never really cared for the guy. From my vantage point, he seemed to manufacture diving plays from time to time. His range is now limited. And his best offensive years are behind him. 

So what this means is Felix Pie will get sent back to Des Moines, again. Felix, you've just been Corey Pattersoned--brought up a year or two earlier than you should have.

Should Mussina Make the Hall of Fame?

One of my pitchers for my fantasy baseball team is Mike Mussina, a guy that, until he came to the Yankees, has pitched for distinctly mediocre squads over his long career.

Here are how his career stats, to date, break down:
255 wins
147 losses
57 complete games
23 shutouts
3.71 ERA
1.19 WHIP (Walks + Hits divided by Innings Pitched)
2683 Ks

So, if Mussina retires after this season, should he get into the Hall? Why/Why Not?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sobering Thoughts

If you ever needed to be sobered up about how folks talk about the US becoming "energy independent," read this article written by Paul Roberts, the same guy who wrote The End of Oil, a fine book that discusses "peak oil" in an easy-to-digest manner.

Here's a summation from my reading: invest in cellulosic ethanol now, develop plug-in hybrids, put substantial R&D behind alternative energy, institute carbon taxes, elect officials who will tell you what really needs to get done (not play to your baser motives), and put Dick Lugar (R-IN) in the next cabinet.

The United States of Guilt by Association

Since the ethos of all of the candidates are under fire and will continue to be picked over, I thought this might be appropriate.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Semi-Super Tuesday

After weeks of having to hear and read about that damn Rev. Wright, Obama turned it around and handily won North Carolina. And now as I write he's only four percentage points behind Clinton in Indiana with a number of Obama-favorable districts still yet to report a substantial portion of their votes.

If this whole political spectacle has taught me anything, it is that you shouldn't go to church so you don't have to be associated with nitwits like Obama's former pastor. 

But seriously, Harold Ford Jr. was on MSNBC and espoused the idea that Obama should seriously consider having Clinton as his VP. 

I dislike that ticket. 

I prefer Obama-Edwards. Or Obama-Richardson. Or Obama-Zinni. With the last ticket, I'd love to hear the phrase "Bay of Goats" used in this presidential election.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Stupidity of Detroit...

As can be expected, sales of small cars have shot up because of gas costs. In the article linked, one analyst describes this trend as a "big blow to Detroit" since US automakers have been tied to big cars for so long, especially SUVs.

What I find astounding is that it's not as though there haven't been many people talking about "peak oil" for over a decade, so the higher ups at GM, Ford, and Chrysler should have seen this coming. But the big three are like crystal meth addicts with their SUVs and light trucks.

It looks as though the auto industry has finally hit a "tipping point."