19. January 2009 · Comments Off on I Had This Craving · Categories: Eat, Drink and be Merry

So I made a pot of Sgt Mom’s Brown Rice/Lentil Soup today.  Used Green Lentils.  I add a pound of HOT Italian Sausage to it.  It’s simmering now and the house smells soooooooo good.

Won’t eat much today because I know it will be better tomorrow.  But there’s nothing wrong with it freshly made either.

19. January 2009 · Comments Off on It’s About F***ing Time! · Categories: On The Border

Fox News is reporting that President Bush Commutes Sentences for Two Former Border Patrol Agents.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

14. January 2009 · Comments Off on Kaaaaahhhhnnnn, De Plane De Plane, In Rich Corinthian Leather · Categories: That's Entertainment!, The Final Frontier

Bummer, Ricardo Montalban is dead at 88.  But I bet he rooked mahvelous my dahlings.  Okay, that’s Fernando, but you had to think about it a moment.
I should stop…seriously I jest with all resepct an awe.  What an icon.

24. December 2008 · Comments Off on This Christmas · Categories: General

I’m grateful that I work in a place where they still say “Merry Christmas” with absolutely no sarcasm or irony.  It is said with warmth and an honest wish for your happiness this season.

When I was still acting in “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” there’s a scene at the end when Scrooge (played by your’s truly) is explaining his behaviour to the rest of the cast and audience:

“You should have seen your faces when you thought I was the man I was before…well not the man I was before, but the man I was before before.  But you HAD to believe I was the man I was before, I mean the man I was before before or nothing wonderful could have come from this trial.  But I am NOT the man I was before, nor the man I was before before, so…what I mean to say is…What I mean to say is Merry Christmas, the Merriest Christmas we’ve seen in many and many a year.”

This is kind of a key moment in the show.  I spent the longest time thinking about and working that scene.  The key was the “Merry Christmas.”  I played that part manic.  It’s supposed to be a bit manic.  I was delivering the “Merry Christmas” with a Santa Claus-ish type of chuckle.  It worked, but…it didn’t feel right.

One night on the way to rehearsal I heard that sappy Aid for Africa Song by the Brit’s BandAid.  You know the one, Paul Young starts out with “It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.”  I got caught off guard and got a lump in my throat while listening to it.  But it hit me…just wish the audience a Merry Christmas.  Keep it simple.  And I got a very nice sigh almost every night.

So Merry Christmas one and all.  The Merriest Christmas we’ve seen in many and many a year.

11. December 2008 · Comments Off on It’s Not Crazy, It’s Just The Chicago Way · Categories: Politics, Stupidity

In the 1987 movie “The Untouchables,” Sean Connery’s character, Officer James Malone, gives a brief, but to-the-point lesson to Federal Agent Elliott Ness:

They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!

It’s with a bit of twisted pride that I tell you that most Chicagoans know that “way” by the time they’re 16.  It’s kind of built in.  You either learn it, or you wind up in serious hurt.  I know, outside of Chicago it seems almost psychotic.  I keep telling people, there’s a reason why I retired out West.  There’s an inherent psychosis that goes along with living in a city that has a million plus population.  You seriously don’t KNOW you’re crazy until you get out of it.  And then you kind of look back and shiver, thankful that you made it out alive and un-indicted.

John Kass in today’s Chicago Tribune, tries to explain to the rest of the country why Governor Blagojevich isn’t crazy, he’s just a Chicago Machine Politician.  I’m not even going to try to excerpt it, it’s too funny/sad/true to cut up.  Just go read the whole thing.  And no, I don’t agree with him, I think they’re all nucking futs (sic), I don’t care how good the pizza is.

09. December 2008 · Comments Off on Stolen from Twitter · Categories: General, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

You can’t spell Blagojevich without J.A.I.L..

You would think that by now I’d be immune to being surprised by an Illinois Governor being arrested.  But seriously, he had to know he was under investigation.  Why would you talk about this stuff ON THE FREAKING PHONE!!!

UPDATE:  Because someone asked:  If Blagojevich is convicted, he would make the fourth Illinois Governor since 1960.  That’s one every decade except for 1980.

1. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Democrat, 2003 to Present.  Arrested on two charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Irony:  Was voted in on a wave of anger about “Ryan’s Republican corruption.”  Previously represented the city of Chicago as a Congressman.

2. George Ryan, Republican, 1999 to 2003, convicted of corruption in 2006.  Steered contracts and leases to political insiders while he was Secretary of State and then Governor. Currently serving a 6 1/2-year prison term.  Previously served as Secretary of State and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

3. Dan Walker, Democrat, 1973 to 1977, plead guilty to bank fraud, misapplication of funds and perjury.  Charges unrelated to term as Governor.  Served 1 1/2 years of a seven-year sentence.  Previously served as aide to Governor Adlai Stevenson and was dead set on destroying the Chicago Machine and removing Mayor Richard J. Daley from the Cook County Democratic Committee.  Wrote a blistering report about Mayor Daley’s use of force during the 1968 Democratic Convention, basically stating that the Chicago Police Department started, rather than ended the riot.

4. Otto Kerner Jr., Democrat, 1961 to 1968,  1973, convicted of bribery, tax evasion and other stuff. He was convicted of arranging favorable horse racing dates as Governor in return for getting horse racing association stock at reduced prices.  He served less than a year of a three-year sentence.  He was the son of Otto Kerner Sr., former Attorney Gerneral of Illinois and Justice United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Junior was a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern Illinois District and County Judge for Cook County (Chicago and surrounding area).  Kerner died in 1976.

As I’ve tried to explain on a number of occasions, corruption in Chicago and in Illinois isn’t considered “wrong” by many.  It’s sort of expected as “just the way things are done.”  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  It’s inherent in the system and has been for more than a century.  That’s why I really have a bad feeling about Senator Obama for President.  The fact that this stuff happens all around him, but never seems to stick to him, is much more worrisome than if was knee deep in the muck.

06. December 2008 · Comments Off on Wow, I’ve Been Out of It · Categories: Ain't That America?, Media Matters Not, The Funny

I didn’t even hear about them Rickrolling the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

To give you a little background:  Rickrolling is a bait and switch meme, sending someone a link  with something like, “Hey, go watch this cool video about cute kittens.” or cool explosions or etc. and then spoof the link so that it takes you to a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 hit, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”  The more absurd or inappropriate the link and/or person you’re Rickrolling, the better.  Apparently Rickrolling Scientologists is especially gratifying…don’t ask me why, seriously, I don’t know.

But when I heard about this, I had to look it up.  How many millions of people watch the Macy’s Parade?  More people were Rickrolled on Thanksgiving than in the two years prior.

Cartoon Network, I salute you.

02. December 2008 · Comments Off on I Don’t Know What to Say · Categories: Politics

President-Elect Obama startled me yesterday, in a GOOD way, by nominating General James L. Jones as the 21st National Security Advisor.  I don’t know much about General Jones, but I’ve heard of him many times in my nine years of Joint duty, and it was all good.  The Marines who had served under him, LOVE the man.  Friends in Europe who were there when he was the NATO Commander SACEUR didn’t have a bad thing to say about him.  That speaks volumes right there.  Everything I’ve read about him over the past couple days have been positive.

I know there’s all sorts of talk about, “Even a broke clock, etc.” but this gives me pause.  This is a GOOD choice for the National Security Advisor during a time when we’re not all feeling that secure.

I can’t remember where I read it or heard it, but a few years ago, I remember someone talking about, “How come we don’t have the smart people running the country?  Really!  Let’s get Warren Buffet to run the treasury, get Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to come in and straighten out our communications, get some guys from MIT to get our hiways back in shape.”  This feels like some of the smart people are coming to Washington.

28. November 2008 · Comments Off on As God Is My Witness · Categories: General

I thought turkeys could fly.

Yeah, I know it’s Friday already, but you know you’d be upset if you missed it.

23. November 2008 · Comments Off on Run Fat Boy Run · Categories: That's Entertainment!

Seriously, however you ge your movie fix, watch this movie.

Funny, funny movie.

20. November 2008 · Comments Off on Busy Busy Busy · Categories: General

Working at a job I love.

Rehearsing a play I’m not tired of yet.  Christo, we open next Friday, how’d THAT happen.

Trying to fill in time with family between all that, failing miserably.  Will NOT be doing another play for quite a while.  Beautiful Wife is supportive, Boyo thinks it’s good that I get to do something I love again, but it’s SUCH  a time sink.

Life is good today.  I loved the Air Force, but seriously, I’m digging this civilian thing a LOT.  The only thing I miss about the Air Force?  Training others how to do things.  But I’ve just been put on the web board, so that may change soon as well.

Did I mention that I quit smoking again about a month and a half ago?  Yeah.  It’s funny how good it feels not to have your lungs burning and to have food taste so GOOD again.

Sorry I haven’t been writing much, but current events are simply pissing me off so I’m concentrating on my sphere of influence and the rest of it be damned.

16. November 2008 · Comments Off on Meatloaf, Bat Out of Hell Random Screed · Categories: That's Entertainment!

People who don’t like Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell remind me of people who are proud of the fact that they don’t own a television or are proud of the fact that they only watch PBS or The Discovery Channel.  Good for you, but please STFU and let the rest of us enjoy “the crap” you find so offensive.

10. November 2008 · Comments Off on I’m Disappointed · Categories: Politics

Tomorrow it will be one week after Senator John McCain lost the election.

And we STILL haven’t heard him come to the defense of Governor Palin.  Nothing, zip, zilch, nada, bupkis.

I don’t know why, but I expected better of him.

I’m not saying the best man won, but based on how he’s let her get tossed her under the bus, I’d say the right man lost.  Seriously, it takes a huge set of balls to blame her after that weak performance the McCain Camp called a campaign.

Oh and did you hear, Carl Cameron and Sheppard Smith are dressing in drag and performing “La Cage au Foules” complete with full frontal nudity and Bill O’Reilly performs a very hot gay porn scene with Keith Olberman?  At least that’s what an anonymous source told me, so you know, it’s gotta be true.

UDATED:  Apparently Governor Palin doesn’t share the love.  Well okay then, never mind.  And Doc, sorry for the visual.

10. November 2008 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday Devil Dogs · Categories: Devil Dogs

To Blondie and all other Marines, a very happy 233rd Birthday.  I had the honor of serving in three Joint HQ billets and whenever I worked for a Marine or had Marines working for me it was always a most positive experience.  You always know where you stand when you’re working for a Marine and when you give a Marine a task, you’d better let them know when they can quit or they’ll work all night.


06. November 2008 · Comments Off on Ponderable (20081106) · Categories: Politics

I’ve never been as happy about a candidate winning an election as Obama’s supporters are.  Never.  Ever.

And not just die-hard democrats, but folks who voted for Bush twice.  They’re freaking ecstatic. 

05. November 2008 · Comments Off on RIP MICHAEL CRICHTON · Categories: General, The Final Frontier

Fox News is reporting the author Michael Crichton has died after a private battle with cancer at age 66.

I remember reading “The Andromeda Strain” at the age of 14 after seeing the movie and thinking, “Wow, books are really better than movies.”  One of my friends who saw me reading Crichton told me, “If you like Crichton, you’re going to love Asimov.” and my love for novels that taught me something while they entertained me took off.  I’ve probably read all of his novels, some of them twice.

Thanks for the stories sir, you will be missed.

04. November 2008 · Comments Off on Dear President-Elect Obama · Categories: Politics

Good luck to you Sir.  God bless you and yours.

No, really, ‘cuz you just inherited one of the largest piles of crap that I can remember in my lifetime and seriously, you’re going to need all the help you can get.

And one other thing…part of me is very excited, almost giddy with the thought that maybe, just maybe you’ve meant all that you’ve said, that you’ll walk the walk and actually make some changes that will make us stronger and get us moving forward again.  There was a part of me that wanted to believe you and because of your past associations and because of what I know of Chicago politics, I couldn’t.  I sincerely hope you prove me wrong.

04. November 2008 · Comments Off on Happy Election Day · Categories: Politics

Now get out of your chair, get off of your couch, take a break from work and get out there and VOTE!!!

In the immortal words of Robert A. Heinlein, “There may not be anyone to vote for, but assuredly you can find someone to vote against.”

This election looks likea foregone conclusion but how many times has that happened in just the last century?

I always vote.  Why?  Because I can.  Because I feel it’s my duty.  Because I’ve always had this suspicion that some day I may not be able to.

So go do your duty.  Go on, git.

03. November 2008 · Comments Off on Air Force Aims to ‘Rewrite Laws of Cyberspace’ · Categories: Air Force, Technology

Via Drudge, The Wired Blog is Reporting:

The Air Force is fed up with a seemingly endless barrage of attacks on its computer networks from stealthy adversaries whose motives and even locations are unclear. So now the service is looking to restore its advantage on the virtual battlefield by doing nothing less than the rewriting the “laws of cyberspace.”

It’s more than a little ironic that the U.S. military, which had so much to do with the creation and early development of internet, finds itself at its mercy. But as the American armed forces become increasingly reliant on its communications networks, even small, obscure holes in the defense grid are seen as having catastrophic potential.

Read the whole thing

Let’s see, you’ve spent the past 10 years getting rid of your programmers, networking folks and applications experts, and then turning your networks over to civilian contractors, some of whom were literally learning how to help-desk while on the job, and now you’re surprised that the security ain’t what it could be?  I know at least 20 people off the top of my head that the Air Force “right-sized” out that are exactly the kind of folks needed to fix these kinds of problems.  Some of them screamed until they were blue in the face that, “We’re doin’ it wrong!” 

I’m sitting here doing the “I f***ing told you so!” dance.

03. November 2008 · Comments Off on Am I The Only One · Categories: General, Politics

…who doesn’t believe for a moment that we’re going to know who are next President is tomorrow night?  I’m thinking next week at best.

It’s simple, if Senator McCain squeaks by, the Dems are going to go all legal action like they did in 2000, if Senator Obama squeaks by, the Rep’s cries of “voter fraud!” will keep things hopping for at least a week. 

I know it’s not gonna happen, but I’m really praying for a landslide one way or the other and just have it all be over.

01. November 2008 · Comments Off on Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends · Categories: General

I had a brilliant flash of the obvious this morning while reading this post by Jay Tea over at Wizbang.  Jay does a pretty good job of showing how Senator Obama has abused the press, even as they fawn all over him.

The longer the campaign draws out, the more I suspect that it’s all really something much simpler.

Senator Obama simply looks and sounds better on television.  It’s Nixon/Kennedy taken to the nth degree.

Those of us who pay attention to politics find deeper things to explain this and that, but how many Americans even know what’s going on?

It’s easy to forget how weird we are compared to the majority of the country.  We assume that there’s a lot of political thought and deliberation going on when in truth, not so much.  I know people, relatively intelligent in their chosen fields who have NO idea what a candy company, Fannie Mae, has to do with real estate.  A lot of folks simply don’t have the time or inclination to watch the news.  My daughter finds it too depressing, has no idea what’s happening on a daily basis.

News has become entertainment and Senator Obama is the better showman.  He didn’t really have to be that great a showman.  Seriously, after the past four years, hell, after the past four months, all he really had to do is to NOT be President Bush, and not be the party that gave us President Bush.  I know staunch Bush supporters from four years ago who are voting for Senator Obama and are doing so with absolutely no apologies.  They’re just plain pissed.  I understand that, that’s how I voted for President Clinton the first time.  Truth be told, if I could get past Senator Obama being from the Chicago Machine, I’d probably be voting for him too, and that’s knowing everything I know about Ayers, Reverand Wright, Rezko, ACORN, etc. etc. etc..  I simply don’t want Machine Politics taken to the national level.  Hell, the sheer number of indictments alone make me shudder.

But he HAS been a great showman, $5M for a stage to close the DNC?  He’s paying the City of Chicago another $2M for election night to add ANOTHER stage to Grant Park for his victory celebration?  For those of you not familiar with Grant Park, there’s already a stage, under a very nice bandshell I might add, in the park.  And let’s not forget the music videos, the non-stop viral attacks against Senator McCain and Governor Palin on the web, and did I mention $5M for a stage to close the DNC?  And he looks and sounds better for those that do manage to see and hear him.  Compared to Senator McCain he’s a superstar.  Even when McCain is happy and upbeat, it looks forced and quite frankly, fake.

Again, I think it’s that simple, Senator Obama looks and sounds better and THAT I think is the reason he’s going to win on Tuesday.  Issues?  Issues/smissues, entertain me and everything will be alright.
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, I’m so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.

30. October 2008 · Comments Off on You’re Voting For Who? · Categories: General, Memoir, Politics

Michele over at A Big Victory has a new post up about The Politics of Friendship.  You should go read it.

I’ve lost a LOT of friends over the years due to politics.  Some were people I’ve literally known my entire adult life.  Some I’ve known longer than that.  When I stopped calling myself a Democrat and started calling myself an “independant with libertarian tendancies” it got some uneasy laughs when I was home on leave.  You see, Chicago was, is, and probably forever will be a Democrat town.  It makes people nervous when you speak against the Machine…it’s sort of like making fun of the cops, the mayor, the archbishop and the mob all at once…because, well, you are.  People look over their shoulders to see who’s around when talking politics in Chicago…just because. 

More than that, some Chicagoans, for reasons I can’t explain, are PROUD of their radical roots.  They’re proud of The Democrat Convention of ’68.  They’re proud that they had their heads beat in by a cop in Lincoln Park while they “remained non-violent.”  I’m sure there are people who are proud of their association with Bill Ayers.  When I was in high school in the 70s, hippies were cool.  Hippies were legendary.  Hippies are what many of us aspired to be.  Art was important, business and the military were to be sneered at.  Yeah, I know, looking back I can see that I was very, very naive about the ways of the world.

Anyway, as I got older, I became a lot more conservative than I was in high school.  College helped with some of that, the Air Force pushed me a bit further to the right, although I’ve never been able to accept a lot of what “real” conservatives hold dear.  I know I probably wrote this last election cycle, but it’s still true.  I’m too liberal for my conservative friends and too conservative for my liberal friends.  I voted for Bill Clinton twice and I don’t regret it.  I voted for George W. Bush twice and, mostly based on his opponents, I don’t regret that either. 

This year I’m just not all that emotionally invested in the election.  I don’t even want to argue with people I enjoy arguing with.  I’m not voting FOR anyone, I’m voting against someone, knowing that the guy I’m voting for, at best, doesn’t suck as much as the guy I’m voting against…at least that’s what I hope.  ‘Cuz seriously this year doesn’t give us any great choices.  I’m not arguing that much this year about politics.  Maybe just a little at work when I hear someone say something incredibly stupid or just plain wrong.  And this is the first year where I’ve defended both candidates over some seriously deranged rumors flying around a break room.  “No, he’s NOT a Muslim, and so what if he was?/Okay, she spent $150K on clothes, he spent $5M for a freaking stage he used once.” 

I shouldn’t lose any friends this year.  The ones that have already decided to have nothing to do with me based on politics are long gone and at this point, far away.  Most of them, truth be told, left me behind when I joined the Air Force.  They never got it.  The ones that left when I voted for W, I get the feeling were just waiting for a reason to take me off their Christmas Card List. 

29. October 2008 · Comments Off on Now There’s Almost No Reason To Watch Fox News · Categories: General

From Politico:

Fox News anchor Brit Hume, reflecting on his 12 years at the cable news network, recalled that during its formative stages, a New York Times television writer said the news division of Rupert Murdch’s network was like an “imaginary friend.”

So it was “quite amusing,” Hume said in a interview this week, to see the same Times writer liken the network’s current line-up to the New York Yankees — a testament to how much Fox has grown in influence and acceptance in the media world.

It’s hard to imagine such a quick ascent without Hume, who just two months after Fox launched in October 1996 took a roll of the dice, dumped his 23-year career at ABC News — the industry’s gold standard — and cast his lot with Murdoch, the super-rich, conservative media tycoon. Hume became the fledgling network’s chief Washington correspondent and managing editor.

Now, he’s stepping aside from those roles after this year’s election. And predictably, that’s cause for hand-wringing laments among colleagues and fans on the right, and fist-pumping cheers from his critics on the left.

Now that I’m working and in Mountain Time again, I’ve been missing his “Special Report” but seriously, the first half hour is worth any three hours of any other news broadcast in the country. 

On the other hand, I saw something the other day where that “sick twisted freak” Glenn Beck is moving to Fox this spring, again, at a time when I’m at work.  So CNN has who else now?

22. October 2008 · Comments Off on Huh? · Categories: Ain't That America?

Can someone explain why a stronger dollar, lower oil prices and wall street going down is bad for ME?  I’m not getting it.

20. October 2008 · Comments Off on Great, Now What Do I Do? · Categories: Politics

Thought I was sure who I was voting against on November 4.  Now, Colin Powell has endorsed Senator Obama.  Problem, I respect Colin Powell a hell of a lot more than Senator McCain.  I hate when I have to think about something I thought I’d made up my mind on.

Update:  Oh wait, he’s still a socialist?  Nevermind.

14. October 2008 · Comments Off on Chuckle, Snicker, Guffaw, Really?!!! · Categories: Politics

Okay, everyone who’s surprised by the fact that a Chicago grown politician is involved in election fraud, raise your hands.

It’s so predictible I can’t even say, “I told you so.” without giggling.

Do you think Hillary is having a fit on her staff for not finding this sooner?

10. October 2008 · Comments Off on Today’s Weather Forecast · Categories: My Head Hurts

Currently 34 F.  High today 49 F.  Good chance of rain/snow showers throughout the day.

And it’s the 10th of October.

It’s going to be a lonnnnnnggggg winter.

On the plus side, I haven’ t had any nicotine for the past 60 hours, and I’m no longer a walking nerve.