Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy

The upcoming Texas governor's race is going to be interesting. Right now, incumbent Rick "Riding Dubya's Coattails" Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison are the leading Republican contenders. The election isn't for two years, but the first shots have been fired. And, somewhat predictably, it's about Hillary Clinton.

I first read about this on Fark, the best website in the world. They titled this story, "Texas GOP: "You praised a liberal" "Oh yeah, well you were praised by a Liberal." Slap fight ensues."

Rick's campaign released a video from a ceremony at a Washington D. C. womens museum. Hil and Kay hugged and air kissed. Hil said she is "delighted that Kay is my partner on so many fronts."

Kay's campaign countered by mentioning 1993 letter "in which Perry called Clinton's health care reform efforts 'commendable.' "

Officially, Kay has not announced her candidacy.

What I found interesting in the article is this quote: "We're being very aggressive in everything we do," Perry campaign director Luis Saenz said last week. "And you ain't seen nothing yet."

If I hadn't already sworn to support Kinky Friedman for governor, I'd vote in the Republican primary only to vote against Rick. But I if I want to sign the petition to get Kinky on the ballot, I can't vote in the primaries. In other words, I'm saving myself for Kinky. Now there's a campaign slogan!

It's going to be an ugly couple of years.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Year From Hell™ continues to roll right along. Lately the only phone calls the family has been making is to see how someone is doing.

First, Donn had surgery this week to see if they can control his Parkinson's disease. Basically, they put pieces of metal across his brain to stop his shaking. According to Ann, they gave him a reverse Mohawk, shaved his head from forehead to back of the neck, shaved some spots on his head for other probes. He was awake the entire time. Ann and Steve said it was kind of funny because when he got out from surgery, he thought he was still in the Air Force. Last we heard, he's doing okay.

Second, Sue went into the hospital with abdominal pains. She has been having problems going to the bathroom. They did some surgery to clear up an infection of her bladder. We heard tonight that they had some of the tissue analyzed and it was malignant. She has colon cancer. We don't know much more, since we heard this tonight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

(22) I've been working on a new short story for the site to be called "Black Star." I have it all plotted, and I am just now fleshing out the bones of it while working on the first draft. About halfway through, I realized it was a bit too much like Star Trek. It's about a ship investigating a spatial anamoly.

Anyway, last week, while trying to fall asleep, I had an idea: What if, instead of a naval vessal it was a private research vessal? It doesn't change the plot all that much, but I think it makes this story a little different from a Star Trek setting.

I'll finish the first draft, though, in the same setting. Then when I rewrite, I'll make the necessary changes. The 6 of you who have been to my short stories in the last couple of years are probably holding your breath with anticipation.

Then, maybe, just maybe, I can work on another story!

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Evil that is Wal-Mart

Early last year, I reported on on a story that Wal-Mart was using sub-contractors to clean their stores that were using illegal aliens to clean their stores. Today, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to settle a probe by US authorities that they knowingly hired floor-cleaning contractors who employed illegal aliens.

The agreement with the government includes a statement that "Wal-Mart did not have knowledge, at the time the independent contractors initially were hired, that the independent contractors knowingly hired, recruited or employed" undocumented workers.

Now, floor cleaning will be done by Wal-Mart employees.

What I want to know is: how will the $11 million in fines, and the increased floor cleaning costs will be passed on to customers of "The Home of Falling Prices"?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Cabrito & Menudo

Our next door neighbor, Jon, has a ranch. He raises goats and cattle. A few years ago, he had a calf that the mother wouldn't feed. So he brought it home and kept it in his back yard until it was old enough to go back to the ranch. We called him Norman. We don't know that Jon ever named him.

On night, we heard thrashing around in the backyard. Norman had gotten into our yard, and Jon and dad had to herd the little guy back to where he belonged.

Cabrito, the neighbor's goat.This year, he has a couple of goat kids that he brought into town. I guess mom didn't want to take care of them. We haven't named them yet. Mom has vetoed "Cabrito." Last night, I was checking some stuff I'd planted in the garden, and the kids decided to visit. I brought along my camera, and as they climbed up onto Jon's bbq pit next to our fence I took this picture.

Cute little bugger, ain't he?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Idiotic English Firster

(9) Here's a story that I honestly don't understand. A ninth grader is protesting his school's decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of national Foreign Language Week. When the pledge was broadcast in Russian, he objected and was told that if he had a problem he should step out of the room. He did, and said he won't be back for a while.

While I support the kid's right to speak his mind, I don't understand why he's objecting.

This whole thing is supposed to support foreign language studies, which I wholeheartedly support. He said, "When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”

So his argument is that only those who can recite the Pledge in English can pledge allegience to this country? What if they had played an Aramaic version of the Pledge? Is using the language Jesus spoke "not OK"? If not, the Religous Right should be having apoplexy.

It seems to me that Americans should welcome everyone who wants to be free, regardless of the language they speak. If a Russian or a German comes to this country, and wants to pledge allegience, he should be able to do it in whatever language he or she pleases. The language someone speaks shouldn't be a requirement to love this country.

If you agree, check out the school's site, and drop them an email.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Another attempt to seperate you from your money

Sean came home for a visit, and we played golf in Llano on Saturday. We all sucked, so there's no need to brag about the scores.

Sean's swing.  Date, katie and Rodney in the background.

He brought some pictures of his stay in Japan. I was tickled to find a picture of the Sasebo Arcade. I told him I had been there 21 years ago in December. He also brought home some brochures for some of the places he visited, and I spent Sunday afternoon wishing I could have gone with him,

(4) Last night, I gathered all of the Chasing the Sun files, and collected them into a book. The first of three volumes, this collection tells the first third of the story of Ray, Natalie and Lydia as they explore Japan in the 1980s. If you want to encourage me to continue the story, pick up a couple of copies. Just click on the picture to go to the store.

The cover of the First Volume of Chasing the Sun.  What are you waiting for?  Buy a copy today!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Nefert**i's B**t - Sanitized for your protection

Shapes of things to come

Ever since Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction last year, the FCC has been on a decency rampage. In fact, a bill was recently put before the House of Representatives raising the maximum FCC fine to $500,000, for each offense! Last year, Clear Channel Communications, hardly my favorite near-monopoly, and Howard Stern were fined $75,000 for some infractions. Under this bill, their fine would have been $9 million!!!!

To quote Rolling Stone Magazine's article
on the subject:

"A review of fines levied by other federal agencies suggests that the government may be taking swear words a bit too seriously. If the bill passes the Senate, Bono saying 'fucking brilliant' on the air would carry the exact same penalty as illegally testing pesticides on human subjects. And for the price of Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors. (Actually, you might be able to afford four 'nuke malfunctions': The biggest fine levied by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last year was only $60,000.)"

In related news, "Saving Private Ryan," broadcast on ABC on Memorial Day, did not violate deceny standards. (Sixty-six ABC affiliates did not broadcast the movie fearing fines from the FCC for the profanity.) Please note that Bono used the "F" word, and that was bad. It's use in "Ryan" was hunky dory, apparently.

What did we learn from this? Cursing on TV is acceptable as long as there is violence.

So in that spirit, here is my version of a recent story about the bust of Nefertiti in Berlin. Fark observed, "Current US political climate will not likely allow display of object with 'titi' and 'bust' in the name." Here is the safe for the American public story:

"Nefert**i's B*st on Display in Berlin

"A 3,300-year-old b*st of the Egyptian queen Nefert**i went on view Tuesday at a new, temporary home in Berlin as the centerpiece of a special five-month exhibition. Germany is restoring the city's five neoclassical museums, which were damaged during the WWII and only partially restored by former communist East Germany.

"The 19-inch high b*st of Nefert**i, with elegantly arched brows and towering dark-blue headdress, was discovered by German archeologists in 1912. It will be featured in an exhibit on art and hieroglyphs through Aug. 2. Its planned permanent home, the New Museum, has stood in ruins since World War II and is scheduled to reopen in 2009."

There! Don't you feel more wholesome not seeing the words "bust" and "tit?" I know I do. Gotta dash! I'm packing for my trip to Lake T**ic*ca, and I need to reread the Const**ution. Maybe I ought to change the t**le of this piece.