I have just activated the feature that allows a reader (note the use of the singular, as I am unsure whether I have more than one) to e-mail one of my posts directly to a person without copying and posting the link. Just click the envelope icon next to the comment prompt at the bottom of the desired post.

Nostalgia for good ol’ 80D

I have begun to realize that here in the United States, we are experiencing a growing epidemic. When I was I child, I was diagnosed with 80D. I can now admit it and counseling was beneficial in bringing me to a healthy psyche. At the time I was not sure what this disorder entailed, but I recall being extremely embarrassed to go to the nurse at lunch and take the magic pill that supposedly counteracted it. As I understand it now, the treatment for 80D involved giving a dysfunctional child a narcotic that in anyone else’s hands would have been illegal; a brilliant coup by the “legalize pot” crowd. In the past decade this horrible affliction has mutated into 80HD which apparently has all the same symptoms as its predecessor coupled with the inability to control one’s appendages, regulate the volume of one’s voice or recognize when one is embarrassing oneself in public. Only 20 years ago, this disastrous genetic leap of adding an “H” to the already crippling 80D would have been unimaginable.

Unfortunately, it did not stop here. It now appears there is an unidentifiable link between technology and the mutation speed of this disorder. While leading researchers expected 80HD to progress to 90 or even 95HD, the advances in home entertainment has led to the astronomical jump to 1080HD. This represents more than a 10 fold increase in the potency. Beyond its strength, 1080HD also appears to be more prevalent than any of its precursors (inexplicably, this is particularly true during the holiday season). Even international corporations are catering to the burgeoning segment of the society. Sony, DLP, Sharp and others have created entire lines of monitors (actually advertising their ability to function in the 1080HD realm) that are so large and specialized that they can captivate even someone afflicted with 1080HD. But what of the future? Does anyone truly believe that the mutations will stop at this level? Biology tells us no. I fear that Ritalin may not be enough to stem tide. Anarchy is coming.


With whom would you go back-to-back?

There was a time in human history when we were forced to fight for our survival. With this age-old understanding in mind, few mental images are as powerful as that of 2 men, outnumbered and outgunned, standing together and vowing that "as long as I have breath, no one will get to you without going through me." This is clearly exemplified in the citations of Medal of Honor recipients Sergeant First Class Randall Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon in Somalia (an event portrayed in "Blackhawk Down"), who 3 times volunteered to put themselves in this position. Shughart and Gordon went back-to-back to protect an injured pilot and paid the ultimate price for it.
In this time and place, it is rare that the average man finds himself surrounded and needing to defend himself physically from assailants. That aside, I think most of us (at least on the male side of the species) can quickly come up with the short list of people who, if we were faced with overwhelming odds, we would trust to cover our vulnerable backs, as we would cover theirs.
Mike, Tim, Aaron, Bryan and my Dad are those type of guys, but no list is complete without Marshall Partlow. Even in those terrifying dreams of murder and mayhem in the dark of night, Marshall is frequently there to keep the beasts at bay. It isn’t just physical protection either. If I need someone to talk to, to keep me accountable or to quote movies with, I have Marshall. So to Marshall:
Thanks for more than a decade of constant friendship (and judging from the picture, keeping an EYE on me), Happy Birthday and let’s get you an XD this week!


Our Speaker: woofer or tweeter?

As hopefully all of you know, this month in Congress the Democratic party took over the majority in the House and the Senate. This ushered in the first ever woman Speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco (though since we are told that there are no appreciable differences between men and women, I don’t see why the political left is heralding this event). San Fran Nan, as Laura Ingraham calls her, is a firm supporter of most socialist principles and a staunch ally to the foundational special interests of the Democratic Party…or is she?
Now that she is in the public light, Pelosi’s business interests and investments have been receiving more careful scrutiny, beginning with her attempt to exempt American Samoa from the national minimum wage increase. The Del Monte Corporation of (surprise, surprise) San Francisco runs nearly all of its StarKist tuna operation out of American Samoa and was not excited about a nearly $2/hour increase in wages. Since the Pelosis have had business dealings with Del Monte, it is at least suspicious that American Samoa, at Pelosi’s urging, got a rare exemption from this "improvement" for the working man (to say improvement is ignoring the fact that a minimum wage prices low skilled labor out of a job).
Below are summaries of inconsistencies between her liberal rhetoric and the opposite, but economically sensible positions that she has taken in her personal life.

-Despite having won the “coveted” Cesar Chavez Award for her support of unionized farm workers, the Napa Valley Vineyard of which the Pelosis are partial owners employs exactly 0 farm union members. In her defense, her non-union workers earn an average of $1.25/hour more than their union counterparts. Does this not show that it is good business to pay employees well to KEEP them from unionizing?

-Neither the hotel nor the restaurants (the Piati chain) that they own allow unionizing either, despite Pelosi being the top recipient of PAC dollars from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Unions.

-The Corde Valle Country Club that she and her partners built failed its environmental reports for 7 years for not providing an environment for 2 rare species (a requirement to receive approval to build) before she hired a lobbying firm to get the law changed. Oh, did I mention this club has a membership fee of $250,000?
For more specifics, see Peter Schweizer's piece at: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=22207

I think this proves to me that even apparent ideologues like Nancy Pelosi are, in their heart of hearts, realists when it comes to their own money. I reiterate that I agree with most of the above personal business decisions, but is it not hypocritical to, through congressional power, force and coerce small developers, business owners and individuals into actions that as a multi-millionaire, you have no intention of adopting yourself?
I guess that depends on what the definition of “is” is.

I don't think I could have created a better picture to represent the irony of this post than the one above (from 2004). I wonder if the recent news about Pelosi's business practices has the proprietors of that website kicking themselves. I doubt it as they probably dislike being burdened by the facts in the face of their utopia.


You bought 50 pounds of WHAT?

My beautiful wife Sarah has a huge heart. This is a good thing because she has child-sized hands and fingers (her wedding band is size 3 ¾), wrists the size of my thumbs and roughly half the lung capacity of a small sandwich bag. Due to her diminutive size, she is also constantly cold (a tidbit of information whose relevance will become evident in a moment). That said, her loving heart more than makes up for her small stature. She writes thank you notes, she remembers people’s birthdays and, unlike her husband, she doesn’t go through stranger’s pantries when she visits their house for the first time. She can’t stomach the idea of other people suffering from the same perpetual near-hypothermia as she does. This unselfish motivation led her to make a multitude of the gift sensation that my mom calls a “corn critter.” This is essentially an enclosed cloth bag filled with feed corn that can be microwaved to create a non-electric heating pad. As you can imagine, the main ingredient for a corn critter, is…corn. The main purveyors of corn in the volume needed for a handful of critters are agricultural and feed stores. Sarah chose Colorado Agri-feed and purchased 50 lbs of what they call, whole-kernel corn. Unfortunately for Colorado Argi-feed (but fortunately for me and all others with Jr. High senses of humor), their method categorizing their corn stocks creates a receipt like the one below. You have to love people who are productive enough that they don’t catch gems of comedy like this.


Hold your tongue and say "apple corer"?

My good friend Marshall is nearly as addicted to Cabela’s outdoor stores as I am (though not limited to it as I am by Cabela’s-only cash back on a credit card) and he found this fantastic product in their most recent catalogue. I was only able to copy and paste the photo of the product and the cartoon that explains its use, but the product itself is called a Deer-E-Ere. This seems a very odd name until you attempt to sound it out (preferably very loud and at work). I’ll give you a moment to try...

OK, I hope you all still have jobs. It should have sounded something like “derriere” with a long first E sound. I am not a huge fan of this portion of cleaning a downed big-game animal, but I find it unlikely that I will invest in a product specifically for this purpose. I hope that the inventor makes a million dollars for his creativity, but he will not get my $9.99 plus shipping and handling.


Is Diane Sawyer any good with an M4? I'd like to introduce you to Michael Yon.

While I am very interested in politics and find pure factual reporting of military engagements enthralling, I am disturbed at the recent trend of unnecessary overlap in these two arenas. I think far too few people are even able to access the “straight poop” often enough to understand how political considerations are influencing detailed reporting on the ongoing conflict in Iraq (I try not to use the term war to describe the events in Iraq; we already won the war convincingly in 2003).
If any of you are afflicted with this frustration, I recommend unattached war correspondent Michael Yon. Yon (known in cyberspace as a mil-blogger) has been completely imbedded with several US Army units since 2003, for periods of up to a year. He is financially supported by people who, like us, are simply interested in the truth and are willing to donate to his work. Recently on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Yon was asked how many fellow reporters he had seen on his most recent turn in the northern city of Mosul. He replied that outside of 2 crews at the Bagdad airport on his way in, he had yet to see any, American or otherwise. There are literally a handful of journalists in the nation of Iraq (of which all outlets speak so authoritatively), and those are limited exclusively to the Green Zone. For the sake of accuracy, the Green Zone is only 3 square miles in the heart of Baghdad. Being generous and saying that you can see roughly 10 square miles within and without of the Green Zone from the tops of the taller buildings, most “authoritative voices” have actually seen about 1/17,000 of the diverse nation of Iraq.
That said, I once again recommend the former infantryman, Michael Yon. Please read the following link from his site (which clinically describes an engagement in Mosul from 2005) and decide for yourself if his reporting may “flesh-out” your impression of what happens on a day-to-day basis in Iraq.
God bless Michael, Robert Einck, Bryan, eventually Mark and all those who are there so we can live here.


Update (1/25/07): I have just finished another amazing dispatch from Michael Yon's archives titled "Jungle Law." If IED's and US efforts to defeat them interests you, check it out after you finish "Gates of Fire" from the above link.



How does a person get inspired to post?

I'm not sure I have an answer for this, but I do know that when you hear a quote like the one that follows, you feel an overwhelming urge to share it with the world. Today on the Michael Medved radio show, the guest Peter Wood discusses his book A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Today, and he commented that an angry person gets to a point where "they are like a Slinky; not really good for anything but it still makes you smile to push them down the stairs."

Have you ever heard a better analogy for the undefined frustration with the annoying people in our lives?


Re-posting is like re-gifting (but with less wrapping paper)

This is my first blog, which I had to transfer from its original home on My Space:
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Proof that I am mostly a carnivore (but not completely)
I was busy working away today at the office, when I noticed a story from Fox News into which I could not resist digging deeper. The title of this bizarre story was "Wisconson Man Runs Over, Eats Seven-Legged Transgendered Deer." I figured this was the perfect opportunity to enter the normally pajama-clad realm of blogging. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236483,00.html)
While this story is, in and of itself, an amazing tale, I was more astounded by comments of the driver in question, Rick Lisko. He is an avid bow hunter and outdoorsman, leading me to believe that we would be of the same mind on most things in this arena. Lisko, however, proves that despite my love of red meat, I am not quite a full-blown carnivore. I would like to refer you to two seperate statements in the article in which he confides:
"It kind of gives you the creeps when you look at it," he said, but he thought he saw the appendages moving, as if they were functional, before the deer was hit.
"And by the way, I did eat it," Lisko said. "It was tasty."
Let me review what we're talking about here. Lisko has admitted eating a seven-legged, transgender, freak of nature (his words, not mine) deer that he wrapped around the bumper of his truck and which he has admitted gives him "the creeps." For any of you who are offended by my affinity for hunting and eating wild game, maybe there is still hope. I have apparently not gone all the way over the edge.


I suppose titling this inaugural blog Diaspora is melodramatic at best and ridiculously inaccurate at worst, but it flows off the tongue so well. I am starting this to give my far-away friends and family a means of keeping up with our little family here in the Rockies. I have left My Space for less sleazy waters (hence the title Diaspora) and hope I can bring some of you with me. I’ll try to stay current with pictures and news.