Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in the Barren Wastes

Pic from the road between Crookston and Grand Forks.

It was a relatively balmy 11 degrees when we left the Twin Cities Wednesday morning. When we pulled into the inlaw's driveway 288 miles later it was 17 below zero. Fortunately it warmed up after that-it managed to reach the twenties the rest of the time we were there.

Despite being up in the tundra, a good time was had by all-even with scenery devoid of detail of any kind.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This sure is different than the last couple of Decembers

Two years ago Q and I were biking on dirt in mid December. Last December was cold and wet, but not super snowy. This year we have already had well over 12 inches in December and it seems there is snow in the forecast every other day.

My next door neighbor was kind enough to let us use his snow thrower. I cleared our driveway in ten minutes-otherwise it would have taken the wife and I at least 45 minutes. I need to get me one of those!

On the bright side, both dogs love playing in the snow, so they are loving life.

We have plans for a long weekend in Arizona in February. That can't come soon enough.

UPDATE: Went to run a few errands and noticed a burning rubber smell coming from my car after we went just a couple of blocks. I got out to see what was up and discovered that one of my tires was flat and almost off of the rim. Got out the jack but I could not get the lug nuts to release. I actually bent the damn wrench trying to get them lose. No choice but to slowly drive it to the nearest auto shop. Most likely destroying my rim in the process. Fun note-the nearest auto shop is closed until Monday. Good times.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vikes spank the Cards

Ummm, wow! Pretty much the opposite of what I had expected as far as the Vikings offense goes.

Tarvaris Jackson, benched after game two for shoddy play, started for an injured Frerotte and had touchdown passes of 41, 6, 11 and 59 yards. The last Vikes QB with that many TD passes in a game is currently playing for Detroit. Adrian Peterson was his regular spectacular self rushing for 165 yards. And the defense led by Jared Allen and Chad Greenway shut down the Arizona offense. Allen had two sacks and Greenway was all over the place.

James over at Heavy Lift With Caution said Polamalu is the best defensive player in the NFL right now. IMO it is the mullet wielding giant redneck Jared Allen. He is unstoppable.

Nice seeing the Vikes totally dominate a game against a worthy opponent for once.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Couple of nice pics for a cold winter day

My day got off to a crappy start. I missed the bus so I turned around to go sit in the house until it was time to catch the next one. Lo and behold I didn't have my keys and was locked out! With the temp hovering around -2, I didn't really want to sit outside. Normally I would just ring the doorbell, but my wife's brother and his wife are staying with us and I didn't want to wake them up. So I walked over to our bedroom window and started knocking. The wife finally woke up and let me in. She didn't seem too happy.

In light of that I thought I would post a couple of pictures from warmer times and more interesting places.

Florence Italy 2007

Jamaica 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The time of the year I dislike the most is here. It is not the cold. It is not the snow. It is the fact that it dark when I go to work and it is dark when I get home. It gets old pretty quick.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Roger Ebert kicks a**

I am reading Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion" right now, so I got a big kick out of reading Roger Ebert systematically dismantle Ben Stein's "documentary" "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" .

Win Ben Stein's Mind

The last paragraph is great:

Ben Stein is only getting warmed up. He takes a field trip to visit one "result" of Darwinism: Nazi concentration camps. "As a Jew," he says, "I wanted to see for myself." We see footage of gaunt, skeletal prisoners. Pathetic children. A mound of naked Jewish corpses. "It's difficult to describe how it felt to walk through such a haunting place," he says. Oh, go ahead, Ben Stein. Describe. It filled you with hatred for Charles Darwin and his followers, who represent the overwhelming majority of educated people in every nation on earth. It is not difficult for me to describe how you made me feel by exploiting the deaths of millions of Jews in support of your argument for a peripheral Christian belief. It fills me with contempt.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That's all folks

With a nice dusting of snow on the ground, it is looking like the off road riding season is indeed over for me. I am not one of those guys who rigs up studded tires and hits the trails in winter. Call me a wimp, but it just doesn't sound like a ton of fun. I actually could have gone last weekend, but just didn't have the time. Oh, well. I will spend the winter doing 12oz curls and start hitting the trainer in March.

Here are a couple of pics Kozar took on our last wet and cold ride at Murphy Hanrehan.

Spring can't get here fast enough.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just Because

JACC sent this to me. Check out the rim.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend of Bond and defeat

Went and saw Quantum of Solace this weekend with the wife. Not quite as good as Casino Royale but it served as a waaaaaaay above average action film. The influence of the Bourne films is evident. The movie starts pedal to the metal, figuratively and literally, and barely lets up for the entire film.

I think Daniel Craig may be the best Bond yet.

We also went over to Just A Cool Cat's house to watch the Vikings lose to Tampa Bay. Yet another lame performance by the Vikes was made worse by a totally blown non call on a Vikings fourth down. AP was clearly interfered with. It should have been first down-Instead it was game over. Oh well.

Even with the loss we had a good time hanging out. Surly got to meet and play with/annoy JACCs two Dobermans. And our host was happy that I showed him his bike/shock pump issue was easily resolved.

How long until spring?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some stuff to tick you off on a Friday and other random crap

Having heat in a Minnesota house in November is a good thing. Having to put up with the stream of BS coming from the Coleman campaign and other Republicans about the senate recount is getting old fast.

Normy's last minute BS lawsuit against Franken has been thrown out. Apparently the judge agrees that Coleman is one the four most corrupt senators ;)

The debunked rumor of ballots sitting in cars is still being repeated over and over.

Katherine Kersten continues her stream of idiocy by penning yet another baseless hit piece. It's not until she is far into her screed that she writes "Thus far, Ritchie has shown no evidence of misconduct. But many Minnesotans are questioning the openness and transparency of the vote tally that just ended."

Funny how she goes on and on before conceding he has done NOTHING wrong. I believe the appropriate term is HACK

I wonder how she felt about Ritchie's predecessor Mary Kiffmeyer. Kiffmeyer's efforts to throw as many roadblocks as she could to make it more difficult for those who tend to vote Democratic to place their votes were probably a big hit with Kersten and those who follow her misguided ideology. Good thing those efforts were thrown out for violating MN and Federal election laws.

More scummy activity from the Bush Justice Department comes to light:

More Allegations of Misconduct in Alabama Governor Case

The good folks at Blackwater seem to have violated the law once again. Good thing our tax dollars are paying them $250 million a year. Imagine the crimes they would commit if they were desperate for cash.

Michael Reagan dives headfirst into general asshattery:

EXPOSE LIBERAL CORRUPTION -- With the Democrats back in power in both Congress and the White House, you KNOW that they'll be falling right back into their habits of taking lobbyists' money under the table, trading votes for campaign contributions, spying on and sabotaging Republican legislative plans, covering up their leaders' sexual "flings," and spending taxpayer money on personal expenses like never before. But this time, YOU AND I will be there every step of the way, making sure that no stone is left unturned, every dark corner is filled with light, and every illegal act is paid for with censure, impeachment, recalls, investigations, and jail time for every criminal we expose in Washington, D.C.

Jeeze Mike, where were you when Republicans were falling right back into their habits of taking lobbyists' money under the table, trading votes for campaign contributions, spying on and sabotaging Democratic legislative plans, covering up their leaders' sexual "flings," and spending taxpayer money on personal expenses like never before? Ohhhhhh, my bad. I forgot-It's only bad when DEMOCRATS do it.

OK-enough of the politrix....

A while back I read a really cool book called World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. A couple of months ago I read Brad Pitt's production company got a hold of the film rights. Today I read that Marc Forster, director of Monster's Ball, Stranger Than Fiction, and Quantum of Solace has signed on to direct. I know the title of the book sounds a little cheesey, but it is really good. Hard to believe the author is Mel Brook's son. I hope they do the book justice.

The new Trailer for the Watchmen is out. Can't wait for this one

Well folks, have a good weekend. I am going to try and catch the James Bond flick this weekend. Looks good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Furnace Hell

Our fairly new furnace crapped out on us this weekend. It would only come on intermittently so the temp in our house has been hovering between 58 and 64 since Saturday. Granted that could be much much worse here in Minnesota, but it is still a major PITA. Good thing this didn't happen in February.

So I call up good old Centerpoint energy and they say they can send someone out Monday between 8 and 4-I guess they think they are the cable company. This means I have to take the day off from work and wait.

Did I mention my wife sprained her ankle this weekend?

So the Centerpoint guy shows up at 3:25 and works for about a half hour or so cleans a sensor, reattaches everything and says "Good to go. $95 please. This one particular part may be bad but it should be OK" Ten minutes after he leaves the furnace craps out again. So I call them back, wait on hold for a while before they say the tech will be calling me back. He calls back and we discuss the situation. It really looks like that "one part" is the root of the problem. He tells me to call Centerpoint back and have them send out a pipe fitter to replace the part.

Here is where it gets really fun; I call Centerpoint back, the phone rings then I get a busy signal. This goes on for an hour. I finally get through and relay what the tech told me. They then put me on hold. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES LATER they get back on the line and essentially tell me I am on my own. "Find a Pipe Fitter in the yellow pages" Needless to say I am a bit PO'd at this point.

So I call a different organization. They tell me they can have a guy out early the next morning. The tech shows around 8:45 and gets to work. After a while he reaches the conclusion that the part is indeed bad. He calls to get the price-

$499!!!!!! Just for that part. That doesn't count the tech's services.

As I write this I am waiting for him to come back with this valve assembly that is apparently made out of titanium and plutonium-only way that price is justified ;)

I am going to try and get out of paying Centerpoint since they didn't fix anything. I can hear a little voice in my head saying "Good luck with that"

Thursday, November 6, 2008


After a full day to absorb the election results, here are a few observations:

McCain made a good, gracious concession speech. Too bad the people in his crowd could not be as gracious.

Obama's speech was, well, yet another great Obama speech. The story of the 100+ year old woman was fantastic.

Does the fact that I kept thinking "Don't get shot. Don't get shot...." during his speech make me paranoid? I just could not stop thinking about Bobby Kennedy.

Norm Coleman needs to shut the hell up and let the recount progress. With a minuscule 400+ vote difference when close to three million ballots were cast, any normal person would want a recount. I GUARANTEE Choppers would be calling for a recount if he was the candidate on the short end of the stick. I think the word "douche" fits pretty well.

Right wingers talk about Minnesota being a laughingstock if Franken is elected. Guess what folks, Minnesota just sent national laughingstock and professional nutjob Michelle Bachmann back to congress. Franken's got nothing on her when it comes to looking foolish and embarrassing this state.

I think we can safely put the notion that Minnesota is a swing state to bed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election results

Some guy named Huntley won in MN House District 7a

Congrats Dad!

Was there some other election???..Oh yeah...

All your base are belong to us

Watching returns.....looking good. Here is the thing-the Vikings fan in me won't feel safe until the clock runs out with the lead or there is an overwhelming lead.

If the call for Ohio is legit it is done.

Obama wins.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tomorrow is the day!

I am optimistic that my legion of five or six readers are aware that tomorrow is a fairly important day for this fine country. Get out there and vote tomorrow folks. No excuses.

Minnesota residents can find their polling place on this site provided by the secretary of state.

Since I am an unabashed partisan, here is the link to the DFL page that will let you know who the DFL endorsed candidates for your area are.

If you are not registered, Minnesota is one of the few states enlightened enough to allow election day registration.

From the Secretary of State's site:
If you are not registered to vote or need to update your registration information, you may do so at your local polling location on Election Day. However, you are required to provide proof of residence when registering on Election Day.

To register at your polling place on Election Day, you must have one of the following with your current name and address in the precinct to verify your residence:

* A valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or receipt for any of these
* A valid student ID card including your photo, if your college has provided a student housing list to election officials
* A Tribal ID card that contains your picture and signature
* A valid registration in the same precinct under a different name or address
* A notice of late registration sent to you by your county auditor or city clerk
* A voter registered in the same precinct as you who can confirm your address with a signed oath
* An employee of the residential facility where you live who can confirm your address with a signed oath

Alternatively, you may provide both 1) a photo ID from the list below, and 2) a current bill with your current name and address in the precinct.

Photo IDs (may be expired)

* Minnesota Driver's License
* Minnesota ID Card
* United States Passport
* United States Military ID Card
* Tribal ID Card
* Minnesota University, College, or Technical College ID Card

Bills (delivered electronically or by mail)

* Utility bill due within 30 days of election day:
o Telephone (landline, cell, VOIP, etc.)
o TV (cable, satellite, etc.)
o Internet services
o Electric
o Gas
o Solid Waste
o Sewer Services
o Water
* Rent statement dated within 30 days of election day that itemizes utilities
* Current student fee statement

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Bush appointed hack lets assassination threat slide

This what you get when you appoint political hacks to be U.S. attorneys:

Legal experts question US Attorney's decision not to prosecute Obama 'assassination plot'

Interviews with numerous legal experts suggest that Colorado US Attorney Troy Eid misled reporters and diverged from state law when declining to prosecute any of the three men arrested in Denver for threatening to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Eid, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006, declined to prosecute the three men on charges of threatening to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, saying that the suspects were "just a bunch of meth heads" and their words failed to meet the legal standard for "true threat."
"When you talk about threatening presidential candidates, there's a legal standard you got to meet," Eid told reporters. "It's got to be a credible threat as defined by the law. And that means that someone has a way to carry it out. And at this time we don't have sufficient evidence that there was a true threat."

He added, "They didn't reveal a plan" and characterized the alleged threats and assassination plot as merely "the racist rantings of drug users" and "one meth head talking to another about life."

But multiple legal experts interviewed by RAW STORY -- including criminal and constitutional law scholars, former Assistant US Attorneys and Denver-area defense lawyers also familiar with Colorado state law -- agreed that voluntary intoxication is not exculpatory and that such a claim, especially for a prosecutor, is unorthodox. While it may be presented in an effort to reduce a sentence after a conviction, experts say it is normally the domain of defense counsel.

...Legal experts say that Eid's definition of true threat directly conflicts with the statue covering threats to presidential candidates, 18 U.S.C. 879, which defines the threat as "whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate."

...In downplaying the threat, the US Attorney's spokesman also characterized the physical evidence recovered from the suspects "including, along with methamphetamine, two high-powered rifles with scopes (one threaded with a silencer), 85 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, wigs, two walkie-talkies, three fake IDs, tactical pants and camouflage gear" as merely "tools of the drug trade." (FBI special agent and spokeswoman Kathy Wright admitted to RAW STORY that this physical evidence initially "sounded ominous," which is what compelled the FBI to obtain a warrant for search and seizure; yet contrary to reports in alternative media and the blogosphere, the FBI never sought to "charge" any of the suspects for threatening or plotting against Obama.) The implication was that all of these men were, at once, "just a bunch of meth heads" incapable of following through with any plan yet also hardened drug dealers, whose ownership of these items would be commonplace.

But according to narcotics experts, while the amount of methamphetamine recovered from Adolph's Denver hotel room legally constituted enough to charge him with intent to distribute, it does not suggest he or the other suspects are serious drug dealers or even drug dealers. Nor does it explain the kind of weaponry found on them.

One narcotics expert, a former senior DEA special agent who spoke with RAW STORY on the condition of anonymity due to his current consulting work, said that such a relatively small amount seems to point to either "very low level" dealing, the kind in which those involved are selling just to make ends meet, or an amount they simply planned on using themselves.

Michael Levine, one of the most highly decorated former DEA agents in agency history and an expert witness in over 300 federal and state criminal and civil cases, said of the amount of methamphetamine recovered in this case, "It's really not that much at all; that's roughly one ounce of meth. And one ounce of meth is what someone using might buy for himself or to share with friends. It was a small amount, still within the bounds of reasonable intent for use."

Levine also disputed the characterization of the weaponry recovered. "They are not tools of the trade," he said, explaining that while some drug dealers carry weapons, real evidence of drug dealing is the seriousness and amount of trafficking materials, primarily packaging materials, records of buyers' names and contact information, and evidence of witnesses who've said they've purchased from them.

Raw Story

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great seats!

Just as I was leaving work yesterday I got a call for a well connected friend asking if I wanted to go to the Timberwolves season opener. Of course I am not going to turn that down. Even though the Wolves are currently a shadow of their mediocre former selves it was a fun time. They squeaked out a 98-96 victory over the lowly Sacramento Kings. One bright light-rookie Kevin Love had a great game. He is going to be someone to pay attention to.

Put some cloths on!

Finally some siding progress!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

David Sedaris on undecided voters

For those who don't know, David Sedaris is a writer, humorist and a regular on NPR's "This American Life". He had this piece in The New Yorker

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Hit the link above for the whole piece. Good stuff.

Thanks to BobZ for posting that on another site.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My house is naked!

New siding going on this week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More frightening rhetoric

File under "D'OH!!!!!"

McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam In Lobbying Effort

William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government.

During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.

Timmons' activities occurred in the years following the first Gulf War, when Washington considered Iraq to be a rogue enemy state and a sponsor of terrorism. His dealings on behalf of the deceased Iraqi leader stand in stark contrast to the views his current employer held at the time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Too Funny Not to Post

OK, I'll admit the new Metallica album is the best thing they have put out in quite a while. That being said, a friend showed me a page that had this pic on it. Too funny. Hetfield is still a douche.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another debate

I used to have a certain degree of respect for John McCain. That respect had been diminishing as the Presidential campaign went along. Seeing him cozy up to those that he once vehemently criticized in an undisguised orgy of pandering was actually kind of sad. A man who prided himself on his integrity chucked it out the window to get the right wing christian vote. But with that and other moves that I felt to be sellouts of beliefs he had held in the past, I held on to a small bit of respect for the guy. I found myself thinking (hoping) he was a good guy deep down inside.

No more.

With his childish behavior at last night's debate and rhetoric that is bordering on frightening coming from the McCain camp out on the trail, the final nail has been driven into this coffin. This guy, and the campaign he is running are CONTEMPTIBLE.

People at rallies have been shouting "Kill Him!", "Treason" and "Terrorist" when Obama is mentioned. McCain supporters told a black TV crew member to “Sit down, boy.” after Palin tried to blame her miserable performance in interviews on "mainstream media" instead of her OBVIOUS lack of any substantial knowledge. Nice move from the VP candidate representing the party of "personal responsibility". "My piss poor performance isn't my fault! It was those damn commy journalists doing their JOB!!!"

Palin actually complained that Katy Couric's questions did not allow her to use her prepared talking points to bash Obama. Think about that for a minute. This person actually thinks that the press should be acting like a Letterman or Leno and asking prepared "questions" so she can give the answers she wants. THINK ABOUT THAT! Not only is she completely clueless on political matters, she has no FRIGGIN IDEA what the press does! And even more frightening-She has a B.S. in Communications Journalism. I guess she just paid attention to the "BS" part.

Last night McCain was pathetic. He tanked in the debate format that was supposed to be his strong point. McCain's ads have the gall to call Obama dishonorable yet he gets up there on national TV and LIES about Obama's record and fudges his own. Even worse he uses lies that have already been identified as BS in the national media. The Straight Talk Express has blown all of its tires and rolled over in flames in the ditch.

Grandpa Simpson mentioned a $3 million dollar overhead projector a couple of times as an example of pork that Obama supports. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo looked into that:

Natural Born Fibber

It turns out that that "overhead projector" John McCain claimed Barack Obama tried to get a $3 million earmark for was actually money to rebuild Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the oldest planetarium in the United States.

McCain's "overhead projector" is the apparatus that runs the planetarium, which is a bit like calling the Palomar Observatory a new set of glasses.

It comes down to this-it is now painfully obvious that the McCain campaign knows that have NO hope of winning on issues. They are on the wrong side of virtually every one. All they have left is to smear, smear, smear, smear. Funny thing is-whenever McCain tried his smears during the debate, the CNN tracking graphs headed down. Fast. It isn't working. Has America finaly had it with Rove style campaigns? I sure as hell hope so.

On another note-I saw "Religulous" this weekend. Bill Maher does a great job of skewering religion-ALL religion. Good stuff. Go see it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quick debate comments

Apparently Governor Palin does not know the definition of "Achilles Heel".

If she said Maverick one more time I was going to puke.

Biden did a good job of countering Palin's content free blather with little doo dads called facts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout fails

Looks like McCain's bid to save the day has failed miserably. The bailout failed to pass in the house 228-205. The stock market has taken a MAJOR nosedive.

Two thirds of the Republican's voted "no" but they have the balls to say it was Pelosi's fault because of a speech she gave! Do they honestly expect people to believe the BS that they routinely spew?

Part of me is glad it failed and part of me is terrified about the consequences that may result. The Dow dropped a stunning 778 points. The largest drop in history.

Fasten your seatbelts folks-we are in for a bumpy ride.

Weekend wrap up

Do I have a bad case of the Mondays? Not any more than usual. We had a weekend filled with fun things like eye surgery, vicoden, dog urine, a Presidential debate, and the Vikes and Twins losing. Yippeee!!

The wife had Lasik surgery a while back. On Friday she had an adjustment to fine tune one of her eyes. I am not sure what is technically involved with this "tweak", but the idea of having one's eyeball sliced open and "adjusted" is enough to send a little chill down my spine. And to think this is the third time she has gone through this-the initial Lasik, then having each eye adjusted. I don't think I could handle that. Especially the aftermath-A few days of stabbing pain in your eye! What a hoot! Fortunately she got a scrip for Vicoden which is extra effective on her. She slept a lot this weekend. If it was me, I would want to sleep the ENTIRE weekend-wake me up when the pain is gone.

Watched the debate on Friday night (surprise). Some thoughts:

Obama held his own on the night's topic (foreign policy) but I don't think he "won". But here is the thing, he didn't need to win this one. He just needed to be standing relatively unscathed at the end of this round, which he did. When the next debates hit on domestic policy Obama will wipe the floor with McCain.

McCain came across as a condescending dick.

I hope this is the last debate that Jim Lehrer moderates. He let McCain interupt Obama more than once and never gave Obama any kind of "make up" time for the interruption.

Where was McCain's flag pin?

Biden and Palin on Thursday. THAT should be entertaining

I went biking at Theodore Wirth for the first time since I crashed about six weeks ago. Took it nice and slow. It is a little disturbing to me how the crash has really robbed me of a lot of confidence on the bike. The second lap was a bit better, but still much slower than my normal lap time. Maybe next time I will push it a little

I found the spot where I crashed and located the branch that reached out and grabbed my handlebar. I think that branch was in "Evil Dead" I swear it moved!

On Sunday I watched the suck ass Vikings game. What a mess!!!! The Vikings did everything in their power to lose that game and the succeeded. One thing, the Titans got a flag for roughing the passer. Gus Frerotte was rolling around on the ground in obvious pain. The replays showed why. I hope I never have to witness another helmet to nuts tackle again. It hurts just thinking about it.

Went for a short ride around the neighborhood after the game. I spent a lot of time going in circles practicing dropping off of a ledge. The people in the park must of thought I was a bit off. During the ride I paused to take a pic of a slightly beat up, but very cool Mustang Mach I.

Well, that about wraps up this post-bored yet?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random thoughts and observations

All right, its been a while since I posted anything so here we go...

The pup is exhausting. I forgot what a handful a 13lb furball can be. I forgot about the super sharp puppy teeth. Thank god we have Coda to help wear Surly out. They play pretty much constantly from 7ish to 10ish. Tired dogs are good dogs.

The Star Tribune has a nice article on local bike parts powerhouse QBP. Home of Surly and Salsa-so you know they are cool

Fortuitous timing: Last night the wife and I had just finished watching a bad movie so I decided to check the score of the Twins game. I tuned in to see Joe Nathan pitching in the 9th. Twinks up 3-2 with two outs. Always nice to stumble upon the most exciting part of a game. The crowd was on their feet screaming as the Twins tried to take another step in snatching first place away from division rival White Sox. Nathan got the save. Tonight's game decides who is in first.

Politics, politics....

McCain is losing it. The results of rampant deregulation, a Republican linchpin, have come home to roost. McCain went from saying the fundamentals of our economy are strong to suspending his campaign to rush in and save the day from this crisis. Make no mistake, this is nothing but a cynical stunt by a man sinking steadily in the polls. As the results of policies he champions become painfully clear to the American public, his poll numbers have began to nosedive. The man who has missed almost EVERY vote this year is going to rush in and save the day. And the funny thing is-He isn't needed!

“I’m glad the president said what he said,” Frank said. “It’s not that making the speech was going to help, but failure to make a speech was probably hurting. In America, if you don’t hear from the president, it’s not a crisis.”

Frank says that House and Senate Democrats have agreed upon what should be in the Wall Street bailout legislation. This morning Frank, his Senate counterpart -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. -- and top Republicans will meet to try to hammer out a final agreement. He was optimistic.

“All of a sudden, now that we’re on the verge of making a deal, John McCain drops himself in to make a deal," Frank said. "I really worry about this politicization of it."

"Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it," Frank said.

“We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign,” he added.

Paraphrase of a quote I liked. "Those who want English as the official language seem to not trust leaders who speak it fluently"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New addition

Before we got the puppy we had already been thinking of names and had it narrowed down to two. After spending a day and a half with him, "Horton", just didn't seem to fit. So folks, let me introduce you to....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Long Weekend

The wife, hound and I headed up to the family cabin on Friday. We could not have asked for a more beautiful holiday weekend. My friend Jay and his family joined us late Friday night. Boat rides, drinks, "camp" fires, drinks, marathon Wii sesions, drinks....

Sunday my "cousin" Chip and I climbed on our road bikes and took a spin around the lake. All went well until we rounded a bend and were hit square in the face by a 20 mph headwind. Man o man did that section turn into a suckfest. Later on that day my allergies really started to bug me, so I took one of the wife's Alegra D pills. After a while I felt like I had two or three pots of coffee and generally felt "off". Barely slept that night.

On Monday Chip and I headed out for another ride around the lake. This time I was riding my Dad's custom Waterford instead of my 23 year old Trek. Big mistake. On the 12 speed Trek I shift as little as possible since the shifters are on the downtube. I primarily ride my MTB with all the shifting at my fingertips. Because of that I have an aversion to taking my hands off of the bars, so when riding the Trek I will tough it out using the wrong gear unless I absolutely must shift. My Dad's 20 speed Waterford, on the other hand, has a full Campy Record group with shifting integrated with the brake levers/hoods-not to mention it is about two pounds lighter. This bike was a dream to ride! On a base level it is similar to the Trek in that it is a lugged steel frame. But instead of 23 year old components it has five year old top of the line Campy group and a sweet Rolf wheelset. The bike was smooth, fast and a blast on fast downhills. Stomping on the pedals resulted in an instant surge forward instead of the Trek's steady but slow acceleration. The ability to shift easily and fine tune my cadence made a HUGE difference for this rider.

Why was riding this a "big mistake"? Because when I get back on the Trek I am going to be depressed.

We came home later that day and that evening allergies decided to completely kick my ass. I didn't want to take another Alegra, but the sneezing every two minutes, burning eyeballs, and copious amounts of snot dictated otherwise. Result-No sleep what so ever. I called in sick to work the next morning due to essentially not sleeping for two days. That pseudoephedrine just sends me for a loop. I picked up some plain old Claritan yesterday and that seems to be agreeing with my system a little more. At least I was able to sleep well last night.

Until next time....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Great Line

Bill Clinton gave a great speech last night in Denver. One line really jumped out at me:

"People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trust me, I was a POW

Bill in Portland Maine via Daily Kos nails it right on the head.

"You're a financial planner and you want to invest my retirement savings in scratch tickets?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a plumber and you're going to fix my clog with a stick of dynamite?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a firefighter and you're going to put out the flames with gasoline?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a jeweler and you're going to fix my Rolex with a hammer?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re a nuclear physicist and you're giving out 'free samples' of enriched uranium to children?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You're a surgeon and you're using a rusty hacksaw?"
"Trust me. I was a POW."

"You’re the Republican candidate for president and you want to fix the country's problems even though you don’t know much about the economy, you don’t know how to use the internet, you don’t know how many houses you own or what kind of car you drive, you admit you don’t think clearly when you’re tired, you make frequent gaffes on foreign policy, you think offshore drilling is a short-term solution to high gas prices, you support torture and keeping the Guantanamo prison open, you make rash decisions and statements from which you have to quickly backtrack, you have an explosive temper on a hair trigger, your idea of health care reform is 'wear more sunscreen,' you're for stem cell research except when it's done on stem cells because you consider them all American citizens, and you voted to support the policies of the worst president ever 100 percent of the time this year?"
"Trust me, my friends. I was a POW."

Only in Republicanland.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Some flicks

I have managed to watch several movies in the past week or so. In no particular order

The Bank Job:

With the last few movies Jason Statham has been in, I figured this was going to be an "action" flick. I was wrong. Definitely falls into the "caper" category. A well written, well acted story "based on true events". This was much closer to Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels than The Transporter.

The Mist:

A fairly decent film version of what is probably my favorite Stephen King story. The ending is different than the original source. Of course one could say it has an ending, unlike what King wrote. The novella had the protagonists driving off into the mist and never tells you what happened. The movie goes past the end of King's story and shows what happens next. Besides that, it was very faithful to the source material-keeping the focus on the characters and how, when faced with a terrifying crisis, people can become just as horrible as the monsters that they fear.

In Bruges:

This was a pleasant surprise. It may seem odd using the word "pleasant" describing a movie about hit men hiding out after a botched job that resulted in the death of a child in a church, but this movie refuses to go where you expect it. At times it is very funny and at times it is very intense and fairly gruesome.

I have always liked Brendon Gleeson and it is nice seeing him in a much larger roll than what he typically does. He isn't a side player here and he is great.

This is England:

A semi autobiographical film about a fatherless 10(ish) year old boy in 1983 England. Picked on constantly at school he falls in with the only group that show him any kindness-the local skinheads. All is well until the gang's racist leader is released from Prison and resumes control. If you can get through the thick accents this is well worth seeing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A beautiful day for a ride

Just got back from a ride at Murphy Hanrehan park reserve in Prior Lake/Savage. MattP, Queasyfish, HeathA and I had a great time. Heath and I brought up the rear as usual while Q and Matt charged ahead. Heath rides around the same pace I do-which is a good thing. If he wasn't there I would have tried to keep up with Q and Matt and, to quote Phil Ligget, "popped". What a great way to start a Sunday.

So JACC FINALLY got a new bike! He didn't mess around. He bought himself an S-Works FSR. That is a TOP of the line full suspension trail bike from Specialized. I am happy for him AND envious. Can't wait to see it in person!

I don't think he is going to be happy when I tell him it is not a good idea to use it as a winter commuter.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'll have my staff get to you.

OK, Grandpa Simpson, I mean John McCain, was asked a fairly straightforward question. How many homes do you own? His response? "I think — I'll have my staff get to you, It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

So, the guy running for President, who has been trying to paint his opponent as an "elitist" doesn't even friggin know how many homes he and his $100 million heiress wife own! It is SEVEN, by the way.

Of course this is coming from the guy who said making 5 million a year is the threshold for being "rich". So earning 4 million is middle class?

Obama came out swinging

"Yesterday, [John McCain] was asked again what do you think about the economy, he said I think the economy is fundamentally strong," said Obama. "Now this puzzled me. I was confused what he meant. But then there was another interview where somebody asked John McCain how many houses do you have and he said 'I'm not sure. I'll have to check with my staff.' True quote. 'I'm not sure ill have to check with my staff.' So they asked his staff and they said, 'at least four.' At least four. Now think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means you make $5 million and if you don't know how many houses you have then it is not surprising that you think the economy is fundamentally strong. But if you are like me and you've got one house, or if you are like the millions of people struggling now to keep up with your mortgage payments, you might have a different perspective. By the way the answer is John McCain has seven homes."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Was the original maverick tortured?

According to Bush he was not.

Andrew Sullivan

In all the discussion of John McCain's recently recovered memory of a religious epiphany in Vietnam, one thing has been missing. The torture that was deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?

According to the Bush administration's definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured.

Cheney denies that McCain was tortured; as does Bush. So do John Yoo and David Addington and George Tenet. In the one indisputably authentic version of the story of a Vietnamese guard showing compassion, McCain talks of the agony of long-time standing. A quarter century later, Don Rumsfeld was putting his signature to memos lengthening the agony of "long-time standing" that victims of Bush's torture regime would have to endure. These torture techniques are, according to the president of the United States, merely "enhanced interrogation."

No war crimes were committed against McCain. And the techniques used are, according to the president, tools to extract accurate information. And so the false confessions that McCain was forced to make were, according to the logic of the Bush administration, as accurate as the "intelligence" we have procured from "interrogating" terror suspects. Feel safer?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

As requested by JACC

So, what to write about?

So, what to write about? I think it is safe to say that the two or three people that will ever stumble across this site will be ultra impressed with my semi informed musings on politics, movies, biking and whatever else happens to catch my attention long enough to inspire me to write something down. Or not.

Today I’ll just put in some random observations:

The judges in women’s Olympic gymnastics totally blow.

The Olympics in general are making me stay up too late.

It annoys me that Tim Pawlenty is using tax dollars to campaign for John McCain-in WISCONSIN (Packers Suck).

My leg, neck and wrist still hurt.

James Hetfield is a douche, but we all knew that

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Post

Well, I finally broke down and started one of these damn things. JACC will be so proud.

Not going to put much in here today besides mentioning I am in serious pain.

While biking at Theodore Wirth I managed to clip a tree with my handlebar (I swear it reached out and grabbed me), which forced a rapid separation from my bike. I then was introduced to a another tree. I recall my head being knocked sharply to one side as I hit the tree with my head, wrist, chest and thigh. I have no idea how all of that happened, but I know that is what hurts. The wrist and thigh seem to have taken the brunt, although I have a nice gouge on my neck from the helmet strap. Wear your helmets kiddies.

Oh well, I'll be back.