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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday Funny

Police are urging visitors to the city's Financial District to be especially vigilant for a new gang operating a slick routine that is aimed at stealing from unsuspectingpersons.They say that the gang usually comprises four members. While the three younger ones, all appearing to be cute and innocent, divert their "mark" (or intended target) with a show of friendliness and fun, the fourth - (the eldest of this gang of criminals) sneaks in from behind the person's back to expertly rifle undetected through his or her pockets and bags for any valuables being carried.The attached picture was taken with a digital camera and shows the gang inoperation..............

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekly roundup

Right now I have three guys finishing up the painting of the house. S was supposed to finish it last Sunday, but never showed, he came and did some work on Monday and he has been a no-show the rest of the week. He brought a friend with him and with E they look like they'll finally finish it. This house has a lot of trim and it may not look hard to get it painted, but it does take time to get all the nooks and crannys done.

Went to my last workshop on the business side of writing. The two classes really opened my eyes on a number of issues. Now I have to set up a business plan and start treating my writing seriously. It just entails having to keep meticulous records and I am far from a meticulous person. (The hysterical laughter you hear is my wife and mother reading my understatement).
The most important thing I learned is that I have to treat my writing as a profession and not a hobby. Big sticking point with the IRS. As a result I've deleted my novel in progress blogs. It was nice to get support and comments while working on the stories, but publishers don't like paying for something that has been out to the public for free. Sorry to all the readers (if any) that this affects.

The parents of my seniors are driving me crazy. The nice part of teachng underclassmen all these years was that I didn't have to put up with graduation anxiety. Panic has set in with most of my students who are on the bubble -- high 50% to low 60% averages and it could go either way depending on the final. I understand their concern and fear (I have my own with daughter in Texas just a few weeks from graduating, but it's still up to the student to want to study and pass the test.

Planning on golfing again tomorrow, Grinnygranny just watched Bagger Vance and that always gets her wanting to go out. Great movie one of Will Smith's, Charleze Theron's and Matt Damon's best movies.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Busy Monday

Had the boy and nephew painting the house. They started Saturday when the weather was rather nasty then took off yesterday when the weather was great and were back at it today when the weather turned cold and windy again. Go figure. The house is looking good, though they need to do more around the sides and back.
Grinnygranny and I went to Santa Fe and did a little shopping Saturday and then we golfed on Sunday.
Today I had to get back to the dentist to have a temporary tooth cover replaced that fell off Saturday. I'll get a bridge put on in a couple of weeks when it comes in from the lab. My dentist has been racking his brain for about three years trying to figure how to get this bridge to look right. The lab sent in a wax model of it and he is so happy. I just can't wait to get it put in and get rid of these temporary resin teeth.
I don't feel like getting on my soapbox if I've had a good round of golf so I've decided not to comment on the Supreme Court's ignoring the health of the mother on late term abortions, Bush's acting like a three-year-old on the funding for Iraq, the passing of Boris Yeltsen, and a host of other topics to rant and rave about. Next week I might be back on my soap box. Just depends on how much golf I get in to mellow me out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A day of sorrow followed by a day of shame

His victims aren't buried yet and Yahoo pictures is posting a photo of the killer showing off his guns. Don't add to the harm this man caused by glorifying him. And shame on anyone who keeps this picture or others floating around the web. SHAME SHAME SHAME!

NBC just advertised that they are going to show his pictures and video on Good Morning America. Disgusting is one of the few printable words that come to mind. Corporate heads should roll over this.

Do they not realize the kind of disease they are incubating while elevating this guy to celebrity status?

Monday, April 16, 2007

A day for weeping

Words cannot convey the sense of horror and sorrow for those who lost loved ones today in Virginia.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Soapbox

To date I've held off commenting on the Duke LaCross rape case and it's subsequent dismissal and the Imus debacle -- mostly because everyone else was busy posting their thoughts and I decided to ponder the situation before speaking. That's what Historians do, they wait until the dust settles then armchair quarterback.
Duke case
  • The proscecutor is the one in deep shit right now and is the one whose life has been truly destroyed. When I think about his choices when this case was started he was kind of in a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't situation. If he had refused to take what the woman said seriously the Black community and Feminst groups would have crucified him for letting boys-be-boys and letting the wealthy do whatever they wanted without having to pay for it. Once he brought the indictment and the media circus began his ambition got the best of him. A conviction on this could get him elected to higher office -- who knows Attorney General, which could lead to Governor -- he shot his mouth off trying to make the most of the situation. Then the case too a turn for the south. The other woman present rebutted the charges, DNA evidence supported the defendants, the accuser changed her story. It was time to cut and run, but he dragged it on and on, even covered up evidence because as a prosecutor he had been conditioned to deal with mostly guilty stupid and poor criminals who either plea bargained or had overworked crappy public defenders -- getting to the TRUTH is not the way the game is played -- his job was to get convictions. He didn't know the game changed when the defendants had means and competent lawyers. He didn't know how to cut and run until it was too late. This will be a good object lesson to other prosecutors about shooting their mouths off before all the facts are in, but I'm afraid for most prosecutors the lesson they'll learn is to let the wealthy get away with murder because they don't have the resourses to beat high priced attorneys. O.J., Robert Blake, and now this case kind of get that message across.
  • For the students -- the fact that the proscutor will most likely be disbarred, his political ambitions ruined, and his future forever clouded -- it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy..
  • There doesn't appear to be any consequences forthcoming for the woman who falsely cried rape. As a man with a son this bothers me. Our judicial system is stacking the deck in favor of women on rape and sexual harassment when in almost all other areas it tries for a reasonable (person not gender specific) ballance. As a husband and father of a daughter who naturally fears what could happen to her should the situation (God forbid!) I'd like the deck to be stacked in their favor. Truly a case of who's ox is gored. BUT THERE NEEDS TO BE A SAFEGUARD AGAINST BLATANT FALSE ACCUSATIONS. This woman is not the victim here she is the true criminal. She purposely ruined the players lives, destroyed the credibility of the city Police department and the District Attorney's office. Did the city and the state significant financial harm both in investigation and subsequent wrongful prosecution law suits. She incited race, gender and economic war across this country just to get her fifteen minutes of fame -- the only irony being that because of the nature of the crime her name is confidential. She did no good service to her race or women because it is hard enough for all women who really are raped to find justice without defense attorneys citing this case as a precedent to get their scumbags off. How many District Attorneys will be reluctant to pursue a real crime like this because of her lies? She didn't just ruin the lives of the players, taxpayers and prosecutor -- she will ruin countless other women's lives who really did suffer this crime.
  • Any thoughts concerning this issue I would have about the Rev. Al Sharpton or the Rev. Jesse Jackson would be inappropriate as I'm not a member of their race. If they need to be taken to task for their handling of the situation it needs to done by his community. Just don't expect me to buy your brand of snake oil from now on.


I've never listened to a single broadcast and am glad I haven't. The only thought that comes to mind is what happened to the late ignominous Senator Joseph McCarthy. "At long last it has come out. Do you have no shame, sir? Do you have no sense of shame?"

All I can hope for is that this last election has returned a sense of shame. My regret is that it wasn't his audience that turned him off. If his listeners had felt a sense of shame about his comments real change would have happened in this country. Instead they're going to whine and complain that Free Speech has been sacrificed to political correctness. This group of listeners makes up anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of the population -- unscientific reasoning based on President Bush's approval rating of 29 %. Imus may be silenced, but that won't shut up all the other hatemongers on the airwaves.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Exhausting day

In-service day. Schedule was for department meeting and since half of the department is retiring in a few weeks and they were taking the day off. I decided to follow suit. I should have gone to school and caught up on grading papers or making out lesson plans.
I got up and rearranged the living room. Went to Wal-Mart and bought a new computer desk, brought it home and starting assembling it.
I had a tee time at the championship course. It was rainy and windy, but it felt good to get out and try out my new clubs. I'm in love with my pitching wedge.
Finished assembling the computer desk just as grinnygranny got home and we went out to eat.
I'm pooped.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fancy picture

This is a computer generated picture. Just answer the questions and it comes up with your own special painting. You could actually make several depending on the mood you're in at the time.

Here's another one.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Taking it easy today watching the final round of the Masters -- Golf's superbowl. Michelson is choking big time. Tiger is being Tiger.
Book signing went well. I sold two books, both after I had been there for an hour and a half without a nibble. The sales person said they had lots of questions about the book in the morning before I got there, but none returned. A lady came by and asked how my day was going, I replied "Fine, but it would be alot better if you buy my book." That caught her interest and she did buy it, as she was paying for it another woman came up, decided her brother would like it and bought one too. So far with the two book signings I'm still averaging selling a book an hour. They let me have the poster so I can trim it down and use it elsewhere.
I printed out a copy of Human Sacrifices to send in for the SWWW contest -- two hundred sixty eight pages single spaced in font 12. Ran out of black ink, switched to blue and ran out of colored ink before it all printed out. When I went to SWWW meeting I came across the rules for the contest and I only need to send two copies of the first 20 pages double spaced. One of the copies will be sent to an editor of the New York Times who will give a free critique. Can't ask for better than that. Filing fee is only $29. First prize is only $150, but the critique is what's important. Bought new ink cartridges today and worked up the first 20 pages and have them printed out. I'll be getting it off this week and then cross my fingers.
Here's hoping everyone is having a wonderful Easter or Passover.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Captain's log

Stardate 040607.1410
  • Grinnyganny and I headed for the golf course first thing today. Had a nice round of golf, and I talked her into letting me buy a good set of irons after we had a nice lunch at Olive Garden. Now I can't wait to play with them, but tomorrow looks like a really nasty weather day hopefully Sunday will have good weather.
  • Dept chair at school is retiring and I got an e-mail where she nominated me to replace her. I e-mailed back a been-there-done-that-never-again response. I can retire this year if I want to, and still have a half a mind to do it. I'd only have to return for one day next school year to get my last quarter in for the full twenty-five years, but I've decided it might be nice to teach the last year on my liscence because I want to not because I have to, somehow I think that will make a world of difference in my stress level.
  • Going to prepare taxes today. This is the first year for claiming writing expenses and Turbo Tax isn't up to the task, or we don't know how to access the right forms on it. I hate paying the higher price that preparers charge, but that's another expense on my learning curve.
  • Tomorrow I have SWWW meeting from 10 til noon then my book signing from 2 -4pm. We stopped by the bookstore last Sunday and they had already sold the two books that were next to Barak Obama's, but there were eight by the cash register. I'm hoping for a good turn out. I've passed out enough fliers about it at school and church the last week, and Mom said she mailed post cards to her friends that live here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

We're Back

Made it back in one piece from Nebraska. It was actually a nice drive up and back. Spent a few days with MIL in her cottage. She was real frail and had to get around with her walker, but it was a nice village with really friendly people living there.
When we got back grinnygranny finally softened me up and we bought a new Mustang. She's been wanting one ever since they came out with the retro model similar to the one she drove in high school.
Now I need a Spring Break to rest up from Spring Break.