Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolutions 2009

Why do people make New Year's resolutions? It's as if starting some new behavior or stopping a destructive habit is somehow easier on January first as opposed to any other day of the year. Many people make these resolutions, if not on paper, at least somewhere in the back of their mind.

Let us turn now from the world of micro to macro, the bigger picture. I would like to propose a few New Year's resolutions for Yolo County. Here they are, in no apparent order.

Get to know your neighbors. This is important. As we become more mobile, moving, changing jobs, we have become detached from our neighborhoods. You will be less likely to become angry or hold a grudge over a barking dog or start a sprinkler war with someone if you know them as a person and not just the guy on the other side of the fence. This does take some responsibility on your end. Not everyone wants to hear your stereo blasting in your garage at 6am on Saturday or 11:30 on a Wednesday night. If you are considerate towards others, you will be amazed at how easy it is to make friends.

Watch each other’s kids. This also gets back to the first resolution. If one of my neighbors saw one my children doing something dangerous or just stupid, like riding a bicycle off the roof of the house onto a mattress, I would hope they would call me and let me know. If they know my kids and I know theirs, we can all watch out for one another. This is how it worked when I was a kid. Now we see our neighbor's kids driving down street like they are playing a street-racing video game and we just shake our heads and go about our business.

Do more with less. This goes for everyone across the board, but especially for government agencies. I have sat through a few budget meetings and everyone who comes to the microphone tells the county supervisors or city council how important their program is, and how they could not possibly make any cuts. Really? I have yet to hear anyone say, this program was started with the best of intentions, but we really are not making a big impact in our community. We are helping a few people, but we have an office full of people that serve a tiny percentage of the county or city's population. I would love to hear that at a public meeting. Look at every program and ask if you would start that same program in these hard times if it did not exist already. If you would not start it up right now, you don't really need it.

This one is a little touchy, but here it goes anyway. Let‘s not segregate ourselves, let's become more united as people. It seems the schools teach our kids to embrace and celebrate everyone's culture and recognize people's differences to help understand them. Is this making our community better? I am not sure. Focusing on culture and ethnicity leads to divisions, and then subdivisions, sub groups and ultimately into gangs. It may be time to rethink this process. How about this, lets focus on coming together as Americans. We can all do this, regardless of what color we are, what religion, or background we have. Your heritage and ethnicity is a part of who you are, and you are part of what makes up America. You can be proud of your heritage, as I am, but you should have only one flag on your car or your home, that flag should be the symbol of hope, opportunity and freedom, it should be red, white and blue. We need less pluribus, more Unum.

We should disagree without being disagreeable. Being a conservative in this county, whenever I make my views known in a crowd, I can always count on someone calling a fascist or right-wing nut job. They won't listen to your logic or reasoned point of view, they don't hear anything you say. You are just a republican apologist, and Bush is Hitler, and the war is illegal, etc. Let’s try to remember that we all want America to succeed, right? At least I hope we all do. I will listen to your point of view, and if it makes sense and it can be backed up with data, I am willing to embrace anything that works. Try to do the same.

I could go on for quite a while, but I’ll let you get back to you coffee,
Happy New Year Yolo County.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I am aware the calendar is reluctant to give up December and we still have a few days until the stroke of Midnight that will usher in the year of our Lord, two thousand and nine, but I am getting an early start on my New Year's resolutions.

Here they are, in no apparent order.

Get my financial house in order, rethink my allocations and expenses.
Ride my horse at least a few times a month.
Finish reading all the books on my nightstand(3)before I buy any others.
Manage my time better, keep my DayPanner updated.
Trade my CJ-7 for a motorcycle.
Try not to kill myself on motorcycle.
Set a daily practice time for my music.
Play the song all the way through no matter how bad it sounds.
Spend one day each month alone with my daughter doing what she wants to do.
Likewise with my son.
Spend time with people who make me think, and make me become a better person.
Be that kind of friend to others.
Tell my wife I love her more often.
Don't settle for average, especially from myself.

That should keep me busy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Wow, our front room looks like Santa's sleigh crashed during takeoff and we need a team from the NTSB to go over the wreckage and look for survivors.

Our children now need nothing, where would they put it? I have my new fuzzy slippers and I am charging my new electric razor. I have only had one cheap electric shaver and wasn't too impressed, but this is a nice one. I bought my wife a Garmin 205W GPS because she is directionally challenged and when she goes to a new city she is as lost as I would be at a meeting.

Here is hoping you are recovering nicely from Christmas morning. Take it easy today, you don't want to overdose on eggnog.

Now turn to the Book of Linus, I think it's the one between the Old and New Testaments.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the night

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
We tried to find to solace, in the troubles at hand.

The markets in meltdown, our 401's toast
The Fed cuts the rates, but the banks are all closed.

The politicians all squabble, with the dems in command
The GOP had been routed, like Custer's last stand

When out in DC, there arose such a clatter?
I turned to CNN to see what was the matter.
Team Obama and Michelle were planning their ball
With buffed pecks and cute kids, he'd come to save us all

Now Nancy, now Harry
Now Levin and Waxman
On Murtha, on Rangle
On Dodd and on Clinton!

Raise all the taxes, and raise the capital gains
Tax it if it moves by truck or by trains
Spend all you want, spend a billion here and two there
We pay it back later, nobody will care

Shouldn't we save Mr. Presidnet? Shouldn't we try to be thrifty?
Who though hope and change meant top tax rates at fifty?
But I heard exclaim as he became leader of our land
Don't worry bout a thing folks, hope and change are at hand.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Speaking of the budget

I have been reading newspaper editorials over the past few weeks, my local paper included, and have come to one inescapable conclusion. Editorial writers are full of,,, beans.

Take my local paper, the Daily Democrat. It reprinted the San Jose Merc's editorial complaining about the State's new budget, or lack thereof. So what is the problem? According to the big brains at the SJMN, the Republican won't raise taxes. It's enough to make you wonder if these editorial rooms should apply for their own medicinal marijuana license.

The state did not get into this mess by years of declining revenues, it has been steadily overspending by billions of dollars each year. It's the spending stupid. Let me say that again so there can be no misunderstanding. IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID!

So what proof do I have that democrats in the legislature are to blame for all the red ink? Here are the numbers, take a look for yourself. Thanks to Tom Del Baccaro for the chart.If the Democrats, who control both houses in the legislature, would only send a budget to the Governor spending the exact amount they spent just two short years ago, presto, budget balanced. You remember the 2006 right? Were we stepping over starving people in the streets? Did we have to ration food or gasoline because the state was out of money? No, we got along just fine.

Government is the only entity where fiscal responsibly means you never have to actually cut the amount of spending, you just cut the amount you were going to increase in spending. If you and I have to cut our spending when our revenue goes down, why is the legislature immune to this reality?

I have one more question; why don't the newspaper editors get this? Has anyone in the editorial room ever taken Econ 101? This is simple stuff, really. The bottom line is this; liberal editors are myopic in their view of politics and policy, raising taxes is good and cutting spending is bad.

I disagree. Spending other people's money to stay in the good graces of your political friends and contributors is bad, in fact, it's downright shameful.

Christmas 2008

So Yolo County, how is it going out there?

Hopefully you are sitting in a comfortable chair, reading the newspaper on Christmas morning with a warm beverage and feeling of relief that in a few hours, all the wrapping paper and gifts will be picked up and your home will return to normal. Well, except for the tree in your living room.

Are you one of those people who take down the tree on Christmas day or do you wait until after New Year's day? I usually wait until the last bowl game of the season to take the tree down, but they have so darn many bowl games these days, it's almost February before the championship game. Other folks want their house back immediately. I have seen a home fully decorated in Christmas trappings, taken down, boxed up, and de-Christmased with the speed and efficiency of a NASCAR pit crew. At seven o'clock you open presents, at eight you eat breakfast, by nine you better hide your tinsel because it's going in a box and heading to the garage by ten.

If you do not celebrate Christmas, this article should at least make you smile with the knowledge that you have saved untold hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a something you view as a silly tradition. Sometimes I wonder if the rest of us who do celebrate Christmas have become so focused on gifts, decorations and family, that we have forgotten the reason for the season. This is nothing new, Christmas has changed over the years and even the centuries from a Christian, Holy Day to a holiday. What once was Christ's Mass, a day set aside to celebrate the birth and the incredible gift given to us through Jesus, has evolved into a reason to buy a new iPhone for your spouse. I'm not sure this is progress.

Okay, I'll step down off my soap box now. Why? Because I too have been seduced by the 'Dark Side' of Christmas. You couldn't fit another present under our tree with a shoehorn. If you have kids, you know what I mean. As long as we keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts throughout the year, that is what matter most. At least that is what I tell myself as I buy yet another Christmas present.

It has been a wonderful experience being able to share my thoughts with you this year. I would like to thank the Daily Democrat for offering me the chance to do so. I don't always agree with the Democrat on the issues, but we should try to disagree without being disagreeable. As we look forward to a new year, one that will bring political change to our nation, I hope we remember that we are all Americans. We are all in this together, let's make the best of it.

Have a very Merry Christmas Yolo County.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I did over Christmas vacation.

Do you remember writing these essays back in grade school? Back in sixth grade I was not a writer, in fact I hated to write, anything. I was a talker. I could spend and hour telling you what I did over the Christmas vacation, if you wanted me to write it down, one paragraph or maybe two.

Now you can't get me to stop writing, and some of you have tried.

I had taken the next two days off with the hopes of getting caught it with some outdoor chores and possibly doing a little quad riding or shooting. Now with the bad weather, I am stuck indoors for the foreseeable future. My plans of outdoor bliss replaced with the not so bliss indoor activity of cleaning the house.

Things have been pretty crazy around casa de' cowboy and with all the parties, concerts, basketball games and other dates on the calendar, things have become cluttered and a bit messy. My wife is working these next two days and if I desire any type of peace on the home front I had better do something useful with my time. Somehow the idea of spending a few hours practicing with my bass guitar or refinishing the stock on my shotgun seem to hold little or no value with my wife. She obviously does not appreciate the finer things in life, bad amateur music, the joys of do it yourself gunsmithing, etc.

Better get off this computer and get to work, because as everyone knows, if mama ain't happy,,, well, you get the idea.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I love the 1980's, Cowboy style.

If it's too loud, you're too old. I used to say this in my teenage years, now I am on the receiving end of this axiom. Tonight, I am heading down to Oakland to see Metallica on their Death Magnetic tour. This may turn out to be a mistake of epic proportions, but it could also be a heck of a lot of fun.

The last time I saw Metallica the year was 1985. Of all the people in the arena tonight, I will be one of the few Metallica fans in attendance who saw the original bassist Cliff Burton play. Day on the Green 1985 was pretty freakin' awesome. I was disappointing in Metallica's sound that day, an outdoor venue like that isn't the best forum for speed metal. The sound bouncing around the Colosseum turned the driving attack and speed of Ride the Lightning into a fuzzy mush of sound. Too bad.

My son Steven has since taken up the Metallica banner and is a much bigger fan that I ever was. He has all the albums, all of them, and knows the music, history and gear better than anyone. This will be our second concert together, I hope we get through it unscathed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sauce for goose

I have been on a roll lately with my depiction of Obama supporters as dreamy-eyed when it comes to their view of the President elect, and their delusional hatred of George W. Bush. I thought it might be a good time to look at the other side of the political spectrum.

If I get another email about Barack Obama being a closet Muslim, or his not being born in Hawaii, and therefore not eligible to hold the office of President, I will kick one my cats. (not really, but I will think about it....) We lost, they won, get over it and start working towards 2010.

While I think in terms of sheer numbers, the amount of nutty folks on the left dwarfs those on the right, the depth of nuttiness and passion are about equal.

The latest craziness from both sides in on display right now with President elect Obama asking Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. The gay rights activists are outraged because of Warren's public stand in support of the recently passed proposition 8. In their minds, Obama has betrayed them. They are livid.

Not to be outdone, the far right wing of evangelicals is upset with Warren for accepting the invitation. The idea of having Warren asking for God's blessing on the new President seems almost sacrilege for those who are bitterly opposed to Obama's stance on abortion, especially his stand on partial-birth abortion.

I believe Rick Warren to be a wonderful person and someone whose compassion for the poor, the afflicted and even those with whom he disagrees is a model for the rest of us. President elect Obama will be the head of state for the next four years. Wanting somehow to withhold God's blessing on him, as if we have the power to do so, is not only petty and selfish but also downright unchristian.

Look, I am hoping and yes, even praying for our new President to be successful. I will however point out when he is wrong and if he fails to live up to his promises. I will be the loyal opposition. Giving praise where praise is due and opposing with all my efforts the policies that I feel will lead to ruin. Irrational hatred on the right is just as foolish and dangerous as the irrational hated that shown to President Bush over the past eight years. An eye for and eye or a payback mentality will not make our nation stronger, rather it will tear it apart.

The only thing worse than Bush haters would hypocritical Obama haters.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bush getting the boot, and the shoes.

Okay, I will admit the video of President Bush ducking shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist was pretty darn funny. The President's response put the entire matter in its proper light.

"All I can report," Bush joked of the incident, "is a size 10."

When I first heard an angry journalist threw a shoe at President Bush, my first thought was, how did Keith Olbermann get that close to the President? I wonder if MSNBC will give this guy his own show when Chris Mathews runs for the Senate in Pennsylvania? One thing is for sure, no one is marking off the days until January 20th with more anticipation than President Bush. "Here are the keys Barack, the front door sticks a little, you have to jiggle the handle to open it, have a great Presidency, and good luck."

I wonder if anyone has bothered to contemplate what would have happened to the shoe-hurling reporter had it been Saddam Hussein at the podium instead of two democratically elected leaders. I wonder if Saddam’s lunatic sons would have raped Mrs. Shoe-Hurler before she too was executed. I wonder if his kids would have escaped a shallow grave outside of Baghdad. I guess he threw his shoes at the right guy. In a curious way, this is a sign of real progress. Shoe throwing aside, where else in the Arab world do democratically elected leaders hold open press conferences?

I am looking forward to watching the Bush haters go from full-blown attack mode to hunker-down defense mode as they make excuse after excuse for President Obama. You can be sure that no matter what happens in the next four years, anything good will be a direct and concrete result of President Barack Obama's leadership. Conversely, anything negative will be tied back to President Bush. The Obama supporters in the media, which is almost everyone, will be slow to respond to any wrongdoing or corruption in the Obama administration, while they have published every rumor of wrongdoing during the last eight years.

Is it fair? No, but if you want fair, go to the Olympics. Today, journalists seem to be more interested in getting their guy elected than objectively reporting the news. Reporters and editors have taken sides, and if you are not on their side, you go under the microscope. If they are behind you, you get the interviews with soft lighting and softer questions. That's life in the big leagues and if the media isn't on your side, you better have the ability to go around them and get your message directly to the American people.

So we can all laugh at the shoe jokes that are sure to come, I know I will, but a month from now the person who you have been told is the center of all evil in the know universe will take a quiet plane ride back to Texas. January 20th will come, and go. How long will it take the Bush haters to come to grips with the idea that he is gone, and they can’t just be against something any longer, they have to be for something. Now you have to defend every action and decision made by your President, both good and bad. You can look forward to the disappointment of watching the car wreck at the corner of political reality and good intentions.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Better is one day in Your house

One of the things I now look forward to are the quiet times in my life. Matt Rexroad's encouragement to be more exiting not withstanding, I have learned to appreciate the days that once passed by without much thought given to them. When people asked me how my Thanksgiving was, I answered that it was nice and boring, just the way I like it. Before you get the idea that I have always been as dull as butter knife, I can assure that I was raised in a household that was filled with enough drama, and cliff hanging excitement to make a good episode of the 80's TV show Dallas.

As for my adult life, consistency has been allusive. I have experienced periods of wealth, poverty, wealth again, poverty again, and now I am somewhere comfortably in between. I have experienced days of great joy and great sorrow. I have faced days of uncertainty where I had no idea what was coming around the next corner. I would guess that your life has taken some of the same turns as mine. I did have one precious gift that helped me make it through these tough times, God's presence in my life. Even when I was far from Him, He was never far from me.

This weekend will be a rainy one and the family and I will spend the today decorating the Christmas tree and building a fire in the fireplace. Not a red letter day to many people, but for me, I will stop and thank the Lord for it.

Psalm 118:24 tells us 'This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

When an exceptionally good day comes our way, we rejoice, but that is not what we are called to do. We should rejoice in every day, the good ones, the bad ones, and those that would otherwise slip past as 'ordinary' days. It can be easy to miss, but there are no ordinary days. Each one is what we make of it. A day spent with those we love, and as a Christian, a day where I concentrate on God's love and his grace is a day well spent.

We have all lost loved ones in our lives. I know that I would give almost anything to have one more 'ordinary' day with them again. The holiday season brings the feeling of that loss back to the surface. We cannot turn back the clock, we cannot go back and tell those we loved and lost how much we miss them, but there is something we can do. We can rejoice in this day and tell those people in our lives how much we love them. We can rejoice in this day God has made.

If we can rejoice in today and give thanks to the Lord for it, we draw closer to Him, and there is no better place to be.

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Just when I was getting the hang of this blogging stuff, along comes Twitter.
I am not sure why I have an account, I don't have a Blackberry or iPhone, but what the heck.

You can follow me here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Not a peep out of the Democrats about corruption these days.

Seems odd does it not, those who were screaming loudest about Republican corruption seem to have lost their voices lately? Hmmm....

If anyone out there is shocked about the staggering level of corruption in Illinois politics, you must be a newbie to politics. Corruption has been turned from a vice to a refined art form in the Windy City.

Can anyone remember where President elect Obama started his political career? Oh yea, ground zero for dirty politics, the south side of Chicago. It would seem that Barack Obama has kept his hands pretty clean over the years, staying just far enough away from criminals like Tony Rezko to get a few sweet deals, but no close enough to get burned. Now it's his friend, Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Look, I know that Republicans in Congress have had an abysmal record of cleaning house when it comes to scandalous members, it was an anchor around the neck of the GOP in the 2006 election. It is a fundamental attitude that has to change in order to win back the base as well as swing voters. Stand up and do what is right, even if costs you political power. It seems Republicans are learning their lessons these days, but I don't know how you could keep a straight face and tell me the Democrats are not hip deep in corrupt politicians.

From Democratic Representative, Charlie Rangle and his tax evasion scandal, and Representative William Jefferson and his cold cash, to Democratic senator Chris Dodd and his sweetheart mortgage deal while serving on the Senate Banking Committee and now Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich and a bunch of top Illinois dems are getting frog walked downtown for trying to sell Obama's soon to be vacant Senate seat.

The greatest irony in the whole Illinois scandal is the Federal Prosecutor who is slapping the cuffs on these Democratic big wigs is none other than Patric Fitzgerald, the same guy the dems praised for his 'non-political' prosecution of Scooter Libby.

I wonder when they will start calling this a Republican witch hunt?

Stay tuned....

Monday, December 08, 2008

The two sides of the Obama adminstration

Being a pragmatists myself, I will always take yes for answer. With all the Clinton administration retreads named to President elect Barack Obama's cabinet, the left is a little upset, but I have been pleasantly surprised with most of picks so far. A smart political move, get the public on board with a few center-left nominees in the first month and wait for the domestic nominations. While Obama gets good press and a bit of good will from the right, he will have political cover to name some real believers to the Department of Education, EPA, Energy, Agriculture, Interior, Health and Human Services, etc.

I am starting to see a bit of a split in the new President's outlook. Let the people with foreign policy experience run the show overseas and concentrate your efforts on reshaping American domestic policy. Like I said, I'll take the former, but I am fearful of the latter.

With all the money and manpower given to the Obama campaign by the teachers unions, the AFL, service employee unions and the environmental lobby, along with dozens of other special interests, they will all want a little payback. This will start with the nominees at the cabinet level. If you think Barack Obama will name someone who has an adversarial relationship with the unions as Secretary of Labor, you are in for a surprise. Same with the other domestic posts.

If the world will just behave for the next few years and let him focus on domestic policy, President elect Obama will be as happy as a four year old at Chuck E Cheese's. That is the rub. The people who want to do us harm don't care about pushing through an open-boarders immigration policy, card check legislation to force unions into businesses or tripling the number of bugs on the endangered species list so they can shut down all the logging and mining on federal lands. The terrorists and those who want to see America's power diminished will act, and it will not be pretty.

As much as Obama may want his presidency defined by domestic and social issues, the world has its own agenda, just ask President Bush.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A gift list for Obama supporters

With a month in the books since the election of Barack Obama, how is everyone in the 'Obama nation' doing? Do you still high-five and hug every fellow Obama backer you see? Has the avalanche of email, texts, and tweets slowed to a trickle? Are you feeling a bit of Obama withdrawal?

What are you doing with all your time these days? No more sitting with your fellow Obama buddies making calls and walking precincts. No more Obama parties at your house, snacking on free-range guacamole and organic chips while you plan the 'get out the vote' drive for Election Day. No more annoying the daylights out of your friends and family with how Obama is going to stop the war, stop the glaciers from melting, give us all free health care, free college and save every one's house from foreclosure. Are you marking the days until January 20th, when the world will finally be right? It must be a bit of a let down for you.

Despair not Obama supporters, the rest of us who know and love you will try and help in these gloomy days with a few Christmas gifts especially for you.

1. A book.
Yes, I know, who still reads paper books when I can get all the latest Obama news conferences live-streamed directly to my Blackberry? Have you seen the cool official seal and podium for the Office of President Elect? Impressive isn't it? Seriously, you need to unplug yourself. Turn off all your electronic devices and actually read a book. I don't mean re-read The Audacity of Hope for the third time, I would start with The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. Wright is not a right-wing nut job, far from it, he is a Pulitzer winning author and writer for the New Yorker. The Looming Tower is the most comprehensive book written about al Qaeda, and origins of Islamic terrorism. If you want to know why President elect Obama won't be getting our troops out of the Middle East anytime soon, it because he is now receiving the President's daily briefing and finding out just how dangerous the world really is. You should too.

2. A one-year membership in the NRA.
I know, you think these people are crazy and you hate them, but if I can take someone mistakenly sending me a year’s subscription to The Sierra Club, you can handle the NRA. I learned a lot about how the environmentally unbalanced folks think. You can choose between three magazines, The American Hunter, The American Rifleman or America's 1st freedom. You won't find a bunch of rabid, Republican Nazis in these magazines, you will find your friends and neighbors. Well, maybe not your friends and neighbors, but they might be mine. You also get a free hat and sticker for your car, pretty cool eh?

3. An application for a business license.
Not that you have to start a new business, but you should at least know the process those who own our local businesses have to go through just for the opportunity to succeed or fail. Get a City or County business license application, and one for the State of California's Department of Equalization, and then just for fun, ask for a liability and worker’s compensation insurance application from your local broker. The amount of paperwork and fees it takes just to open your doors and put your financial life on the line will make your head spin. It should give you a glimpse into the world of the 'rich', you know, the ones you want to raise taxes on to pay for everything Obama is promising.

That should take you all the way through to inauguration day. It will also take you out of your Obama bubble and back into the real world, where great speeches and slogans don't amount to much. We face real challenges as a nation right now. Terrorism, a recession, and the looming crisis of entitlement spending. You need to understand all sides of these issues, both foreign and domestic. When you spend all your time talking to like minded people, it makes you intellectually lazy.

Exercise your brain this holiday season so you can explain to your fellow dreamy-eyed Obama supporters why the Utopian vision they have may need to be amended.

And yes, I am still waiting for my magic unicorn Barack Obama promised me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Light blogging

Sorry about the lack of posts this week, I have had meeting every night this week. Thankfully, most of my meetings every month are front loaded, the first Monday and the first Thursday, but then I have weekly meetings. I need another date on my calendar like I need another cat.

I have been letting the most recent political events pass without comment, mainly because I was going through a political hangover for the past month. Well, it has been one month since the election and I guess it's time to get back in the mix. Some observations;

President elect Obama has not been sworn in yet, but he does have a nifty "President Elect" seal and podium.

The media is still giggly about the Obama win. Have you noticed when he announced his financial team, the media hailed the almost 500 point jump in the market as its confidence in Obama's leadership? A few days later, the market tanks, and it's President Bush's fault. Nice.

Will the independent journalist formerly known as Chris Mathews run for Senator of Pennsylvania?

How much money will the government borrow to throw at the economic crisis? Trillions? I fear the answer is yes.

Why won't the evening news anchors broadcast live from Iraq right now? Maybe Americans winning the war doesn't pull in enough ratings? It's amazing how American military victory isn't news worthy.

What is going to happen with India and Pakistan? If those two nuclear powers get into a shooting war, it will make Iraq look like a taffy pull. Scary, scary stuff.

Will my father-in-law's Corvette become a collector's item if GM goes under?

Will the Big Three auto makers become the big one? Will they all have to go under and reform as GFC? (GM,Ford, Chrysler) If so, how about a Chevy truck with a Cummings Diesel engine and the GM Alison transmission on the Ford frame? I would buy one in a second.

Well, that's about it for tonight. I'll try to get back into the flow this week.

Oh, still no sign of my magic unicorn from The Chosen One.....

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Holiday Season

Welcome to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, better known as the 'holiday season'. If you are anything like me, you know exactly how many Christmas presents you have purchased so far; zero. I am not one of those highly organized people who keeps a mental list of Christmas presents and makes purchases throughout the year when they find them on sale. I hate these people. Actually hate is a strong word, let's just say I don't share their enthusiasm for methodical planning and preparedness.

Being a male, I turn to my tried and true approach to gift purchasing, procrastinate, then panic. In the first few years of our marriage I waited until Christmas Eve to start shopping, with mixed results. Not that my wife didn't need an emergency roadside kit mind you, but road flares do lack a certain element of romance. I have since learned from my mistakes and I now allow at least a three day shopping window. I actually bought my wife a cashmere sweater and scarf last year. I think it was even the right size, the scarf that is.

It's not that I hate shopping, it's just I hate the crowds, and the lines, and the grumpy people, and the parking lot nightmares. If I could go shopping at 5:30AM on a Tuesday, I think I could handle it. I wonder if I could talk the people in charge of the malls to designate a Man's Shopping Day? That would be great. Sure there would be a few fist fights and a long line at the food court, but men shop with reckless efficiency. If it looks good to you, and it's within one dress size either way, buy it. I would be done in two hours, tops.

This year, I have done a good bit of my shopping online and I plan to do more . Ordering my Christmas gifts in my slippers is my kind of shopping. I wonder if they sell road flares online?