Monday, July 25, 2005

Vegemite Is Australian For "Raw Sewage"

A co-worker and his wife who is from Australia just got back from there, and he brought back some Vegemite and some Timtams to work today. The Timtams are sort of like the Australian Oreo, the most popular cookie type food in Australia. They are a couple of rectangular wafers with a thin, soft, pudding-like layer of chocolate in between them, and the whole thing is dipped in a layer of regular chocolate. They're excellent!

For those of you that have no idea what Vegemite is, or who have only heard of it before, like me, oh it's quite interesting. It's about the consistency of butter at room temperature, and Aussies do actually like to spread it on bread and have it for breakfast. It smells, well, kind of salty, a hint of soy sauce maybe. You spread it on the bread or whatever you want to spread it on, but not a thick layer like peanut butter or jelly. Then you taste it, and that's when the real fun begins. It tastes like a mixture of soy sauce held together with that gelatin-like stuff on the outside of the meat in a can of spam, and a hint of pureed anchovies. It's awful. Eat it only if you want to be able to say you've had it. I don't plan to ever have it again.

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Thoughtful Evolution Article By A Vatican Correspondent

I got this article from a friend of mine who has does canon law and works for the Las Vegas Diocese. It is very thoughtful, and it dispels some of the myths about evolution by those that dislike it because they think it is diametrically opposed to Christianity.

So it looks like John Roberts may be confirmed with relative ease. I'm prepared to see how he rules on things. We'll see.

I also saw some statistics on schools, and it's no wonder so many Republicans think that public education is a failure. The better schools have a tendency (taken as a state average), to be in blue states. Go figure. Hmmm, it might have something to do with the level of commitment toward public education. Yes, it's expensive to educate kids. It's also expensive not to.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Justice John Roberts?

So this is apparently the guy that Bush wants for the Supreme Court now. I know little about him. I am trying to find some info on him now. I imagine he is probably anti-abortion and generally very conservative, but I will do some checking. There is a brief bio in the CNN story, and another here on the Fox News version if you prefer. Apparently he has recently said, "There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent." I guess we'll see, won't we?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Some Things Haven't Changed

Republicans are complaining about the media being biased against them. The Vice President himself devoted part of a speech to how the media is making too much of the war opposition. The patriotism of people that do not support the President is often and openly questioned. The year? 1969. Some things haven't changed. There are few people that make me angrier than those that suggest that Democrats don't love this country every bit as much as Republicans. Slapping an american flag on your SUV doesn't make you a patriot. Wanting your leaders to do right by the country does. Of course the two sides have a different idea of what is right, and that's fine, but don't ever question my patriotism.

I've been watching a documentary on Vietnam as my exercising companion for the last few weeks. It's quite engrossing, and I'm finally almost done with the ten or so hours of content. There were some interesting people featured in it. It was the "American Experience" series by the way, filmed in the 80s, which makes it a bit dated, but it's history so it's pretty thorough. Henry Kissinger was heavily interviewed. John Negroponte was interviewed a few times as well. He seems to be the consummate diplomat, and quite respectable. John Kerry was also interviewed, and spoke well. Yes, the one that was dragged through the mud last year, that one. Anyway, it was all very interesting. It seems that from we could have gotten what we had wanted if we didn't keep supporting various murderous dictators in the south. I don't know what we were thinking with some of these people. How could we have expected that they would inspire confidence in the populace?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Driving Past An Iraq War Death?

I was on my way to work this morning and I passed a hearse. Normally, no big deal. I did notice that it actually seemed to have a casket in it though, which I don't see every day, but again not terribly unusual. However as I drew closer to it, I noticed that it had an American flag on the casket, the car was labeled "Military", and the car had government tags. It was headed in the direction of Dulles airport which was only a few miles from where I saw it, and I suspect that was where it was headed. I wonder if it was an Iraq casualty, or if it was someone else that was just getting a military funeral.

Speaking of untimely death, I just found out that Freda Sorce, (the wife of Don Geronimo of the Don and Mike talk radio show), died in a head-on collision near Ocean City, MD. That's really sad. They often had her on the radio, and she seemed like a genuinely nice person. It's all very depressing. Anyone have any good news?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Karl Rove, And Republican Boredom

Yes, it's too early to say for certain, but given Scott McLellan's verbal mind tricks at the press conferences, it is looking very much like it was Karl Rove that leaking the name of the undercover agent. You'll recall that our "fearless leader" W, said that whoever did it would be fired. Will he get his chance to make good on it? It's fun to watch Republicans squirm when they realize that their friends are not the magnificent people they make them out to be. Plus, come on, it's Karl Rove. Is anyone surprised? Really?

Oh, and this is another little gem I heard about. Here is the story from a Republican blogger, if you prefer. Tom Davis and John Sweeney are trying to push baseball around by issuing veiled threats about how baseball should not allow George Soros to co-own a team, and that if he is allowed to co-own a team, then maybe Congress would come down on them in some way. Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, said today that the decision before them is not political. Good for him. It had to be said. First it's flag-burning, because you know it's such a terrible epidemic here, now they don't want people with opposing political views to buy some things, next thing you know they will start passing ordinances on the length of male fingernails out of boredom. This is what happens when the party in control gets power and then gets complacent. They get busy, then they get bored, then they get stupid, and then they get voted out. I'm just waiting for the last part to happen now. It won't come a moment too soon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Because What IS That Thing???

OK, I just had to share this one, sent to me by a co-worker today. Even my wife, who loves nearly all animals, was taken aback. Apparently it won the "World's Ugliest Dog Contest". Very, very frightening.

On a more somber note, I hope they find the people who bombed London today. Why not write more about it? What's to tell? What else can I say? I have little to add to the story. I just hope they find who did it.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Born On The Fourth Of July

Today is George Steinbrenner's 75th birthday. I really don't care a bit about that, but it was a bit of trivia that I picked up from ESPN this morning. I actually can't stand the Yankees, or the Cowboys for that matter. Any team that is considered "America's Team" in any sport just conjures up images of bandwagon-jumping rednecks, like the rednecks that I went to school with until I switched to a much bigger nearby district for high school where my Dad taught for 30+ years. I'm not saying that it's "not OK" to like a team that you don't live near, because after all I am a 49ers fan (since before they won their first Super Bowl), and I've never even been to San Francisco. These kids were all living in upstate NY, and were Cowboys fans with no ties to Texas because it was the "cool team to like" for the in crowd. That is just lame. Oh, and by the way, how 'bout them Nats? They just swept the Cubs on the road. Impressive.

Sandra Day O'Connor is of course retiring. Get ready for the shitstorm. It has already begun. I am actually seeing a glimmer of hope here though. If Bush nominates Gonzales, it might not be all bad. Conservatives would prefer someone, well, more conservative. I don't think Gonzales is the best choice overall of course, but given the other options, he's probably the best choice. As for being the first Hispanic justice, that's good, but being an "advocate" for one minority group or another is not just shown by giving them positions of power. If W really wanted to make a statement about that group, he could quietly tighten up the borders while at the same time recognizing the contributions of those here, and keeping the same rights extended until they become naturalized. Conservatives would quickly lose interest in complaining about illegal immigrants getting benefits when they saw the dollars spent every year going down as people naturally integrate into our society. That would truly be "compassionate conservativism", but I think most people know that term is a ruse anyway.

My first week of work at the new job has been great! I have met lots of good people that are all very good at what they do as far as I can tell so far. There are certainly some systemic issues as with anywhere else, but the actual people that work there practically radiate competence, and that is a nice change. I understand that it's still the honeymoon period so to speak, and I'm just now getting beyond the surface of understanding, but I don't recall this same feeling after a week at my last job. Incompetence is easy to spot for me now. As for me, I'm just trying to keep up and make sure that I don't become the incompetent one! The bar has been raised.

Today I will be going to my friend Dan's house (Nicnerd on my blog), to have some beer and other Fourth of July food and festivities. Oh, and on Saturday we also got a new kitten from the Humane Society to keep our cat Snowball company. His name is Mojo. He's eleven weeks old, and he's quite a handful. Here is a picture, and don't let his rare picture of him at rest fool you. He's quite a juggernaut. The two kitties are getting acquainted slowly. We'll see how long the growling and hissing lasts from Snowball.