Friday, June 27, 2008

Relaxing and Laughing

Quinn kicking back and laughing at me.

Sweet Justice

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Like her father, Hannah sometimes has a temper that gets her in trouble or makes her do embarrassing or flat out funny things.

As she was eating, and was obviously tired and cranky, she was told that she couldn't do something (can't remember exactly was it was). That message made her take her chocolate milk bottle and pound it on the table, which made most of her chocolate milk shoot out of her bottle and fall on top of her head.

Sweet Justice.

The Boat

Here's the fishing boat that we still haven't used yet since the weather hasn't cooperated.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Music Thursday/Friday: "I Got Mine"

Enjoy The Black Keys' performance on Letterman.

This "band" is just a duo--one nerdy looking guy on drums and the other dude singing and playing guitar. This single comes from their most recent album, but their previous two releases are solid offerings too. 

If I had to describe the band's sound, I'd call it "garage blues." 

Click HERE for the performance.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Changes in Attitude

We've lived in Charleston for a year now, and we've adapted to life in a small town again.

Charleston, Illinois is no Oxford, Mississippi or Tuscaloosa, Alabama (great college towns), but it'll work.

Anyway, Diana and I were talking about this the other day, and my attitude about driving places has drastically changed. During the school year, after I drop the kids off at day care, I walk to work. But the days I somewhat dread are the days when I have to take Hannah to dance or gymnastics over in Mattoon. I don't like driving that far.

Mattoon is approximately ten miles away.

So my dreaded driving to Mattoon in our sun-bleached '95 Escort equals my daily commute that I had in St. Louis when I lived in Southwest City and drove out to Kirkwood every day.

I usually think to myself, "Oh, man, I have to drive all the way over to Mattoon yet again." 

Attitudes and perceptions have changed, my friends.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


A blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while.

Has Chuck Hagel been reading my blog? (insert laugh track here)

He's open to being Obama's VP.

Clicke HERE for the AP article.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Music Friday: "Wabash Cannonball"

The local radio station played Reed's "When You're Hot You're Hot" the other day, so they got me thinking about this musician, a guy who isn't appreciated as much as he should be. He's a heck of a musician.

This video offers Jerry Reed on the Porter Wagoner show, back when country music wasn't overrun by crap.

Click HERE for the link.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kenson Comments about Racists...

in the previous post is something I've been mulling over lately.

Actually, I thought about this a lot as I was cutting the grass a week ago. 

One of neighbors of my parents commented recently that she's "going to have to vote for a Republican this election because I'm not going to vote for a nigger." 

That comment reminds of how many of the founding fathers feared that the republic would really be a "mobocracy," not a democracy, and that people would vote for dumb reasons. We hayseeds would get duped all the time. 

That person's dumbass comment doesn't surprise me, unfortunately, because as much as people like to believe that racism still isn't out there, it is. 

While Obama's race will not be the determining factor in the election, I believe that his race will play a small factor in some people not voting or some people voting for McCain. 

With the pick of Obama, what the Dems are implicitly assuming is that the American voting public has got beyond race. In as sense, Obama's candidacy appeals to our better natures, that we'll look at the candidates by the content of their characters and their positions on issues.

Although he had to address race after the Rev's rantings, the Obama candidacy, in part, is challenge for the American people to look past race. 

We'll see how that goes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Candidates' Wives

Since the nitwits at FoxNews love bringing up Michelle Obama in downright strange and rude ways (one moronic commentator calling their fist pound a "terrorist fist jab," another calling Mrs. Obama a "baby mamma"), I thought I'd pass along this article about McCain's wife.

And it's not about Cindy McCain. 

It's about his first wife.

Click HERE for the link.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Culinary Adventures: Terroir Illinois

A while back Diana and I had the pleasure of dining at the Super Jumbo Buffet at the Cross County Mall over in Mattoon.

While this expansive buffet isn't a culinary gem or anything, it does have one curious offering on its buffet: frog legs.

Frog legs, I love those little things. 

They're much better than the ubiquitous chicken wings that every other restaurant shoves onto their menus. Talk about a good thing gone wrong from over-saturation. I'm buffaloed out, people.

While the wonderful gams of our amphibious friends don't offer the same amount of meat as the yardbird, frog legs offer tender, succulent meat to gnaw on, especially if they're lightly battered.

Besides Super Jumbo, the only other place I know of in Coles County that offers frog legs is Roc's Black Front, a bar/restaurant that's semi-famous because its facade is featured on Backyard Tire Fire's Bar Room Semantics album, a good disc by the way.

And today for Father's Day we ventured over to Casey to try out Richards Farm restaurant, an establishment that serves up home-cooking specialties like chicken and noodles, country ham, catfish nuggets, stewed cabbage, good pies, and wonderful fried chicken.

That trip coupled with getting two pies (blackberry and peach) made by Sweet Tooth Specialties here is ChuckTown made this a wonderful weekend of eating.

I pine for pie.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our Beach

is in our backyard.

Quinn and Hannah Say...


I expect we'll see a lot...

of this image in the coming election.

And I'm sure we'll see other comparisons too, which MoveOn is already doing: LINK.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Music Friday: "Ground On Down"

This is a performance from back in 1996, but Ben Harper kicks it as he plays one of my favorite songs of his, "Ground On Down."

This guy has consistently put out solid music for many years. Unfortunately, I think he's appreciated more in Europe than in the US. 

One of his more recent songs, "Gather Round the Stone," is probably one of the best protest songs out there. 

Anyway, for "Ground On Down," click HERE.

Not a Surprise

A recent study has corroborated what many level-headed folks already know: global warming skeptics have been aided and heavily influenced by those who fund their research--conservative think tanks.

Their voices, paraded by the MSM and abetted by journalists' simple-minded mantra of presenting "both sides" of the global warming "debate," created a rhetoric of scientific uncertainty that has stalled any substantial work on global warming, especially in America.

Click HERE for the link.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gas and Hot Air

While I tend to agree with the GOP that the tax on windfall profits wouldn't reduce, if do anything to, the price of gas for Americans, I do like the idea in the Dems' proposal that the revenue from the tax would create an "Energy Independence and Security Trust Fund," if that fund would move toward alternatives from oil: biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear power (UCS Position on Nuclear Power and Global Warming LINK, "Serous Safety and Security Risks" LINK), and fully integrated public transportation systems.

And, thankfully, it sounds as though there are serious plans for electric cars and plug-in hybrids soon. See "Toyota Promises Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle by 2010" LINK. Where was this innovation decades ago when numerous scientists were warning about peak oil, global warming, and pollution-caused health problems? 

Unfortunately, the GOP in the Senate didn't want to reduce or get rid of the tax breaks to oil companies, but then they stymied a proposal after the oil tax one that would "extend tax breaks that have either expired or are scheduled to end this year for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation" (AP LINK).

So we keep tax breaks for oil companies, but we don't extend tax breaks for green energy?


The GOP's basic stance seems to be that we need to open up ANWR and other places for more domestic production. That's quite short-sighted since efficiency and conservation will help a lot, a ton really. Investing in alternatives to oil and coal are certainly more environmentally friendly. And we can control the alternative energy sources within our own country, not be beholden to state-run oil producers and cartels in South America, Africa, Russia, Asia, and the Middle East.

Cultural Myopia.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Retired Military Leaders Being Vetted

Very interesting, folks. Names like McPeak, Gration, Danzig, Shelton, Clark, and Webb are being speculated about.

LINK to a Veepstakes article

I've heard that Danzig guy rocks, but why no Gen. "Bay of Goats" Zinni?

Clark and Webb would be interesting choices, especially since Webb worked under Reagan. Of all of those choices provided in that article, I'd prefer Clark. 

For a negative view of Webb as VP click HERE.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Music Friday: "Jailhouse/Dog" performed by Richard Johnston

I've never had the pleasure of hanging out on Beale Street, but I do like Richard Johnston and his schtick.

I'm still waiting for this guy's second album. His first one is outstanding.

Enjoy the cigar box guitar, folks.

LINK to Johnston playing on Beale.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Devil's Advocate on Hillary as VP

Red State Update has a wonderful take on Hillary as VP.

Check it out: LINK to "Hillary's In It 'Til Somebody Gets Shot"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Speculation on VP candidates anyone?

Well, this thing is finally over. Obama is the Democratic nominee.

While it only officially happened tonight, Reuters has an article up about possible running mates.

Here's the LINK.

I also find it interesting that Clinton isn't on the list since she's stated that she'd accept the VP slot if it's offered.

If Obama wins, I bet he has Dick Lugar (R-IN) somewhere in his cabinet.

Who do you think gets the VP slot?

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Real Burger King

Well, after living almost a full year in Coles County now, I finally made it to Mattoon's Burger King, a restaurant started in 1953 that lost (at least nationally) its trademark case against the corporate monolith.

Here's the Wikipedia LINK on Burger King and its famous lawsuit.

While I'm not a huge fan of fast food with the exceptions of White Castle, Dairy Queen, Lion's Choice, and assorted delis, I like the "original" Burger King. It's a no-frills establishment with good food at a fair price.

The burgers are much like Steak-n-Shake's (thin patties), and its assortment of ice cream concoctions are inviting too.

If you ever find yourself in Mattoon, IL sometime, check it out. 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

News from the UK's Guardian

As was reported today, it seems as though our military is using floating prison ships and still using "extraordinary rendition," the last act being one that Bush told us was stopped a year or two ago.

If you're interested, double-click here.


As the linked article from E Magazine relates, 700K people become US citizens and half a mil get work visas each year.

While the MSM, especially the cantankerous Lou Dobbs, focuses exclusively on illegal immigration, I've tended to think that the US needs to become significantly more stringent on how many legal immigrants are admitted each year. While it's somewhat "taboo" to state this, at least according to the article, I feel there needs to be a strong cap on how many people can be admitted as US citizens each year.

A cap coupled by laws such as Arizona's recent one that is holding business owners responsible for hiring illegal immigrants will make us focus more squarely on the people we have in this country now. My motivation behind this is not out of fear that some folks have that the US is changing into a totally different country than it used to be, one where Euro-Americans dominated the population numbers. That time is gone.

People tend to argue from nostalgia and idealism about immigration--that the US has always be open to everyone and the typical anecdotes of "my grandparents" or "my great grandparents came over from" fill-in-the-blank country "back then," so why would we limit immigration now?

Well, the US is a different country than the late 19th century or the early 20th century. And our immigration policies--both legal and illegal--need to reflect that fact that we need to take care of the citizens we have in this country now. 

I've heard people (liberals and conservatives) say that Canada has a sensible and more stringent immigration policy than ours. Anyone know much about theirs?

Anyway, here's a link to an article in E Magazine that berates environmentalists for ducking the immigration issue, especially since more people living American-style "throw-away" and overly consumptive lifestyles doesn't benefit the environment.
"Destination America" Link