Posts Tagged ‘Home’


Back to life

July 8, 2013

2013Vaca 057Well, the week off is over and with it my trip back east for the 4th of July.

I was a bit more of a shutterbug this year, although I am increasingly aware of the practical limitations of the camera when compared to everyone else’s smartphones. I may have to give in and get one of those myself, although it’s not as if I take a lot of pictures any other time. Then again, with a more portable camera maybe I would.

Anyway, this one above is my favorite, although there are some nice ones in the bunch. The link will go to a slideshow of my vacation pics on Photobucket. There’s also a few from last year in my library there, too. So it was a nice week, and I’m not particularly looking forward to getting back to normal work-life tomorrow, but that’s life.


Fun with headlines

February 12, 2013

When I have time, there are a bunch of sites I check out for news, opinion and liberal variants of the same. Most of them are on one of my blog rolls here or on Daily Kos. AZCentral is one of those. So I’m glad I caught this one from their Politics front page before they fix it.

azcentralLawmakers crapped bill that would have nearly tripled their daily pay for lodging and meals.

Yeah, I know. I can see from the article that they mean “scrapped”. Still chuckling because of the accidental irony.

They say the plan “lost steam” after it became public, and yet they dropped it after getting…virtually no opposition.

But the plan, which was pegged to the federal per-diem rates paid to members of Congress, lost steam once it became public.

Wheeler said the hassle wasn’t worth it, even though he heard virtually no pushback from constituents or fellow lawmakers.

There’s something wrong with those claims. They seem contradictory. What, do they expect that their legislation should not become public or that it ought not? What’s the difference between ‘lost steam’ and ‘no pushback’? Anyway, it’s Arizona…of course nobody wants to pay for anything. At this point, I’m not sure that being elected to state representative would be a pay raise, myself.

And so we get what we pay for.

Wednesday edit: ha! next day, it’s still there.


Back to the indoors

October 21, 2012


For some odd reason, this fall Mudbug has gone back to expressing inordinate interest in hanging out in my house instead of his little brother. Mudbug has gone from cute kitty to emo loner and back to wannabe indoor kitty. It could be the change in seasons, or perhaps he’s just staking out the house to spite the other orange kitty. Or it could be he’s such a pain to his real owners that they keep tossing him out. I can believe that.


Getting into Snap

September 22, 2012

I don’t listen to the radio as much as I used to, but I still have a chance on Saturdays. But the local NPR station shook up its schedule quite a bit this season, tossed some shows I’d been listening to for a few years now. Kind of unceremoniously, at least to me. One of the new shows, however, has captured my attention (as much as it can be). Snap Judgment.

On the station here it follows This American Life (TAL), in time slots formerly occupied by one of their old weekend comedy shows. Change is…well, it’s change. Gave me a little frown at first. But Snap has grown on me fast. They tell good stories. The show’s host, Glynn Washington, is a good storyteller, who has a way with words. Following TAL, they go together nicely. It’s only been a few weeks, but I can imagine this being the next TAL if Ira Glass ever retires.

Anyway, should anyone have some time to kill it might well be spent listening to some of the Snap Judgment podcasts. For the rest of you thinking ‘what’s a radio?’ that’s okay. Podcast! Look at the shiny internets!


The next generation of skeptic?

June 24, 2011

Although the letter is a few days old now, I only spotted it today and was glad to see it. In the Beaver County Times, where I still rake muck on occasion, I found a skeptic — writing about a U.S. House resolution, intended to have ‘In God We Trust’ as the nation’s motto. The writer brings up E Pluribus Unum as a reasonable and more inclusive alternative, and she sees the crass political stunt by Republicans for what it is. Not that they make it difficult to see.

As if this wasn’t silly enough, it seems that this motto has already been done — back in 1956, when they replaced E Pluribus Unum — and this resolution is just a reaffirmation of existing law. I have little doubt that the Republican-majority House would pass this if they can find the time. I wonder if the Senate would do the same; Democrats may still hold it, but they can be a bit spineless at times. It is obvious that the GOP just wants to score some cheap points with the religious right. And the believers would have to be foolish or ignorant enough to not even realize how unnecessary the resolution is.

I’ll place my bet on ignorant.

Meanwhile, the motto stands…and while I don’t like to see it, the fact that it’s printed on our money is some cause for amusement. Clearly, money is god to the GOP.



November 12, 2010

Evidence in favor of the biblical god? Perhaps! This was the opening remark of the concession speech of one Jesse Kelly, a conservative tea party nutbag who ran against one of our local representatives, Gabrielle Giffords, and nearly beat her.

I would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife Aubrey, who has been by my side this entire time, my family, for their unwavering support, and the thousands of warriors who fought with me in this campaign.

I am tempted to thank Jesus as well for making Jesse Kelly a loser, heh. It is merely ironic that he can use the term sanity. Worse still, that he nearly won. I don’t like Giffords that much anyway — she waxes conservative, she’s in a more conservative district than mine, and I would have to hold my nose to vote for her — and even so, the ‘red wave’ almost got her. My own representative, too, although Grijalva won a bit easier.

As a tea partier, Kelly campaigned for cuts in education, called Medicare a Ponzi scheme, wanted to replace (vaguely, now) progressive income taxes with regressive sales taxes, and took a principled stand on abortion to force even victims of rape and incest to carry to term. His own list of issues makes it fairly simple to comprehend the extreme conservatism he espoused.

Not that he would have to worry much about helping the GOP reduce the majority of the population to serfdom; he has his father’s family business to return to, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the right wing hands him a salary and makes further use of him in the future.

Better luck next time, pal.


AZ: police state

September 18, 2010

My home state reminds me often of my old home state, PA. The dynamics between Phoenix and Tucson are reminiscent of Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh. At least in one respect, however, I haven’t heard of PA being as bad as AZ. They don’t have a PR-famished, lawsuit-ridden ideologue ruining the justice system in Philly and exporting that failure throughout the state…well, not that I know of, anyway.

This diary on Daily Kos chronicles a week in the life of Joe Arpaio, Maricopa county sheriff (Maricopa being the Phoenix area county). Even the writer has to remind you, this is just a week’s worth of shame! Damn. It is a testament to the idiocy of the electorate up Phoenix way that this man still runs the jails as opposed to occupying a cell in one. Let’s see, the highlights…

  • He wants to recruit and equip vigilantes to search for illegal immigrants
  • Millions paid out in lawsuits as a result of his wrongful arrests, prisoners dying in his jails, and his harassment of county officials he doesn’t get along with
  • Arpaio minions losing their jobs or going on paid leave for misconduct and bogus political corruption cases
  • …and to top it off, the USDOJ is suing him too for failing to cooperate with their investigation, threatening millions more in federal funding

It really does impress me that with a record like this, the conservatives up north prize Sheriff Joe so, even as their own area’s crime rates suffer compared to the rest of the state. I guess his supporters must not be feeling it. And this is the sort of ‘justice’ they want to force on the rest of the state with S.B. 1070, inviting lawsuits from conservative cranks and racists if they don’t think law enforcement is hunting brown people with sufficient zeal.

Sadly, like Pittsburgh, our voices get drowned out by the volume of grumpy old men in the bigger city. And by attacking achievement as ‘elitism,’ they’ve made incompetence into a virtue.