Wednesday, December 28, 2005

JOHNNY HOMEBOY
I$
A $ELLOUT
Hair Like Jesus
Throws Like Mary
Betray's Like Judas

Saturday, December 24, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

and let's not forget:

It's the time for the airing of grievences so gather round the Festivus Pole and have a HAPPY FESTIVUS!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Law & Order: CI marathon on USA. I admit...it's very interesting to watch. I know now that I could never write for such a television show, I can't stand such simplicity and wodden characters...but I watch still. Is that a comment on the show or me? I don't know, and I don't care to ponder.

The vacation continues, my Christmas shopping is complete. Thank goodness, because this time of year brings out the worst in Rhode Island drivers. I forgot how they will pull out across 2 lanes of traffic and stop and wait for an opening to make a left turn, thus backing up the whole road. It brings a few choice words from my lips everytime. Then there are the malls and the crowds and fast walkers and the slow walkers and the crying and the "I want this mama" and the Hapy Holidays. Seriously, J.D. Salinger's character of Holden Caulfield got it right "If Jesus could see Christmas He'd puke."

That aside, I am enjoying my time in my hometown, went to the old High School last night to watch the wrestling team participate in a city wide double-duel with the other two high schools in the city. My cousin won his matches by pin and I got to see my Aunt and Uncle and one of my other cousins. It was great seeing them and getting to chat for a bit.

With any luck I am off to the Boston area Tuesday to visit and old friend for dinner and either Friday or Saturday I'm meeting up with my best friend from RPI. Should be loads of fun in store.

It's funny to walk into the old school and realize it's been 10 years since I walked those halls. Even just around the gym area everywhere I looked were memories of days gone by, old friends, smiles, and lots of laughter. I wonder where we've all gone and what we are all doing now. Things have changed, new floor, new paint, but it's still the same beneath all the layers. I felt 17 again just walking around, guess the song is right you truly are always 17 in your hometown.

Back to the wrestling matches. It's been almost 10 years since my last match and I haven't seen many matches since. While watching last night, I saw a lot of things that I really wished for the chance to pass on what I know to the kids. Just simple stuff about technique and situational wrestling, seeing an opponents weakness in the first 5 seconds of match and exploiting it. Without realizing I was doing it, I was picking this stuff up just watching the matches. Not only were those around me astounded, I was too. I walked way from the sport almost 10 years ago and it still flows in my veins. I guess when you live and breathe it and have been through the battles and spilled the blood and broken the bones and torn the ligaments that I went through, it never leaves.

Anyway, I'm going to get back to Law Order:CI before hittin the hay. Till next time....keep the elbows in when you shoot and beware the sp-Ed lever.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Road Goes On Forever

Allow me to update the all of y'all on my past 48 hours or so. Those in B/CS know how late I was up Wednesday and Thursday nights and how due to work I didn't sleep much. So away we go:

Friday

6:58 AM- Wake up
7:00 AM- shake the cobweds out and call a young lady to make sure she is up to go to work.
7:05 AM- roll out of bed
9:00 AM- oil change
3:50 PM- dropped off at the airport by my best friend, who also got me a kick-butt poker set.
3:51 PM- best friend can't find cell phone...I call to check
3:55 PM- best friend finds phone in trunk of car (I wouldn't have looked there either)
4:40 PM- finally seated in the back of plane #1
4:48 PM- Take off to DFW
5:45ish PM- Land DFW
7:45 PM- Scheduled take off to Boston
9:15 PM- finally take off to Boston
now switching to EST (plus 1 hour CST)
1:20 AM- land in Boston
1:40 AM- get luggage
1:45 AM- leave Logan
1:50 AM- Mom lost in Boston and not listening to my directions to Rte 93 S
3:00 AM- get to Mom's
3:30 AM- sleep
8:00 AM- woken up
9:00 AM- breakfast
10:00 AM- picked up by father
11:00 AM- arrival in Parking Lot 11 at Gillette Stadium
11:30 AM- tailgating begins
1:30 PM- kickoff
4:30ish PM- Pats win AFC East with a 28-0 win over Tampa Bay (Peyton Manning soils himself knowing the Champs are back)
4:50 PM- resumption of tailgating
7:00 PM- leave parking lot at urging of police
9:00 PM- Wal-Mart for Christmas shopping with my brother
10:10 PM- went and saw Walk the Line with mom and brother
12:30 AM- home
1:25 AM- posting this and heading to bed.

Friday, December 16, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

To all my friends, Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Be safe in your travels, no matter if you're just going around the corner or half a world away, take care, have fun, and see you all soon. Come home safe, Be safe and God Bless.

I am off to the northeast for the Holiday. Tomorrow I will be freezing my butt off watching:

at Gillette Stadium as Chrissy Simms and Tampa Bay come to Foxborough. I haven't been to the new stadium, so I am looking forward to it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

How Women Are Like Fish

Note: My Lawyer asked me to post the following message: The views and opinions expressed below are not those of the blog owner...he just thought it was friggin hilarious.

24 Ways Women are Like Fishes

24. Can hook either with a great line
23. Ummm, Eggs...duh!
22. Scales are important to each of them
21. They never have to buy drinks
20. The harder they shake their tail, the farther they can go.
19. They both eat strange things.
18. Neither can operate a vehicle.
17. Cold Blooded
16. Seen the movie Splash? Case Closed.
15. You must document great catches, or no one will believe you.
14. Sometimes you like them wild, sometimes you like them farm raised.
13. Bears will eat either of them
12. They get ornery when you try to grab them by their tail
11. They look for their mates in schools.
10. The deeper you go, the scarier they get.
9. Small Bladders.
8. Both travel in protective groups.
7. Three Words: Catch and Release
6. Their weight largely determines their value.
5. There are other's in the sea and/or bar
4. Neither travel well.
3. More fun to catch when drinking.
2. Easier to reel in after they wear themselves out
1. Both Attracted to Shiny objects.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Support the Lemon Law

In the real world, usually in relationship to car buying, there is the concept of the lemon law. Simply stated, if you buy a car and drive it off the lot and realize that it has major problems you can bring it back as a "lemon" and either get your money back or make a fair exchange.

Now from the wisdom of television comes an even better idea. The Lemmon Law of dating. What is this amazing concept you ask? Well sit back and prepare for me to blow your mind. One of my favorite shows currently on TV is the CBS hit comedy "How I Met Your Mother", one of the characters on the show is a guy named Barney (played by Neil Patrick Harris...aka. Doogie Howser, M.D.). Barney provides many interesting observations into the life of the twentysomething single life. Through this character, we have been given the lemon law.

Now what is the Lemon Law, it's quite simple. Within the first five minutes of any first date, if either party feels that the date is a dud they have the right to Lemon Law the other person. Just invoke the Lemon Law and cast the loser back into the sea no harm, no foul, no night wasted. Thus providing ample time in the evening to hang out with friends or do something else. This saves time, hassle, and most of all the unfortunate event of having to go through the motions of a date with someone who is a real dud.

That is the greatness of the Lemon Law. Embrace it. Love it. Live it. It could revolutionize your life!

Friday, December 09, 2005

I couldn't have said it any better...

"Texans are so funny when it gets cold; we bundle up in our warmest camouflage jackets and storm the area Wal-Marts for flashlights and tobacco in fear of being stranded without supplies. Then we sit in front of the TV and watch the news for 24 hours straight like it’s a major catastrophe, calling everyone we know to tell them there’s a chance of “freezin’ rain” tonight! They have to call a statewide holiday when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, because it’s too dangerous to be on the road with a bunch of rednecks who don’t know how to drive sober, much less when there’s ice on the road. Give us a tornado, THAT we can handle – everyone run to your trailers and put a mattress over your head. But God forbid it gets cold outside…" - Bonnie Bishop
For the rest of this, check out the December 7 entry here

Thursday, December 08, 2005

REMEMBER

DECEMBER 7, 1941
"A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY"

2,403 KIA

1,178 WIA

640 MIA

188 planes lost

158 planes damaged

Every battleship of the Pacific Fleet, eight, crippled or sunk plus other ships

Sunday, December 04, 2005

fides precedit intellectum and fides quaerens intellectum
or The Suckage of the English language

Faith Precedes Understanding and Faith Seeking Understanding
In these phrases can be found the life long journey of the believer.

This afternoon I was feeling pretty blue, not blue in the face, not smurf blue, but just a bit down. I quickly determined the reason. I've been living in Texas for over 3 years now and I have yet to have my own Christmas decorations in my place of living. So I went out brought some ornaments and a small tree and a short string of lights. I spent the afternoon decorating the little tree, just a step above the Charlie Brown tree, but mine none the less. Yes, I got an artificial tree, because hey...I'm an engineer not a botanist.

While I was decorating the tree, I began pondering and contemplating "The Lord's Prayer." Particularly the different English translations used by various denominations. The problem in this case fairly straight forward, the English language sucks. There exist two prominent translations of "The Lord's Prayer". One uses the concept of tresspass and other uses the concept of debt. The problem is English has only one word for sin, Greek has several which can be translated as, or derivations of, tresspass and debt. I don't know Greek, but I did quick little bit of scholoarship on the internet when thinking on this.

So perhaps we should evaluate how we view "The Lord's Prayer." Perhaps a better understanding could be found in that our debt is the debt we owe to God for His love and how often we mess up (i.e. pretty much all the time). Our tresspasses being how much we continually violate God's boundaries. Sin in our culture is often looked upon with a two blindfolded eyes, everyone wants to see it in others (though easier to do) or in themselves (you mean we aren't perfect?).

So with an imperfect translation thanks to the nature of English, perhaps the translations could be revisited. Is it not the object of the Christian life to ask God "to forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us." Such a wonderful concept and example of the Christian life, marred only by the suckage of the English language.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tonight I got to see a living legend in Texas Music. Ray Wylie Hubbard performed at the 3rd Floor Cantina. A folk singer gone a bit electric, cut on the mold of Willie, Cash and the outlaws. A man who saw Cash 2 days before he was busted in El Paso. One of the last links to the glory days of rock and country music. I give you the lyrics of one of my favorite RWH songs, a song entitled "Dust of the Chase". For some reason I see a Lonesome Dove moment in this song...

I come down from Oklahoma with a pistol in my boot
A pair of dice, a deck of cards and a bible in my suit
I come here as the cause of tears, I am a crying shame
Seven stud or eternal blood, just looking for a game

I double crossed the State of Texas and they give me a little time
I taught myself to doublecut the cards and hold scriptures in my mind
I learned to love the tumblin dice and to believe the word
Tombstones or rolling bones, beats anything I ever heard.

Patience is a virtue that I don't possess
And I can't deny that heaven lies beneath a cotton dress
How small a part of time we share 'till we hear the sound of wings
I'm lost in the dust of the chase that my life brings.

I have walked through God's green pastures and seen the rich blue skies
I have seen the fall of man and the kingdom hidden from his eyes
I have heard the roar of thunder and felt the lightening bolt
And when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I take along
Samuel Colt

Every night I kiss the cards and hold them to my breast
And when I see the king of hearts I know that I am blessed
And though my eyes are blind sometimes, I know there's something there
And when the times at hand and I kill a man, I say a little prayer.

I come down from Oklahoma with a pistol in my boot
A pair of dice, a deck of cards and a bible in my suit
How small a part of time we share 'till we hear the sound of wings
I'm lost in the dust of the chase that my life brings.

How small a part of time we share 'till we hear the sound of wings
Lost in the dust of the chase that my life brings.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dear Reader,

I was asked to remove this post for the “unity and purity” of the Church by a high ranking official at the church I attend. I have decided to edit the post, in keeping with the ideas expressed in the original. The date listed above remains the original post date, but the new post was made December 1, 2005. I would delete the post entirely, but the comments would also be lost and should there be a need, they may add to future discussion. To any who may have taken the prior post that this replaces or even this one as a personal or institutional attack no such intent is intended and I apologize if it has come across in such manner.

So let’s get the ball a rollin’

As I said, I’ve been giving some thought to something that I’ve found a bit mind boggling. My church has planned their spring break (for those who still get spring break) mission trips to Juarez, Mexico and Trujillo, Peru. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe that mission work is truly a gift to the unbeliever in need of Christ, however I have of late been noticing a growing trend, perhaps one that has been there for quite sometime that I am now just seeing, but to me it’s new and growing. I see a lot of Protestant Christian organizations finding their common ground against the Roman Catholic Church. I see a lack of understanding in some Protestants when they debate Catholics on matters of theology and doctrine. Not all, but some Protestants are guilty of intellectual injustice when they enter these arguments. There is, in my opinion, a habit to not take the time and effort amongst some Protestants to only follow the opinions and ideas of what I like to call “the denominational author of the month” that lends itself to an air of moral superiority because Rome’s bad and Protestantism is better. I urge those who do this to lend more time to reading primary source material, for often the definitions used by Protestants and Catholics do indeed differ greatly. For those who go to the primary source material, continue to do so and continue your honest intellectual debating.
That being said, it brings me back to the two mission trips I mentioned earlier.
Mexico and Peru are countries reported by the CIA Factbook to be largely Christian, which takes it’s information from many different sources to produce the most reliable and consistent data available. Now, let me make this clear, I consider Catholics to be Christian. Which may go down hard for some, however, is this a blanket statement…no, naturally there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in any denomination. Peru is reported to be 84% Christian and Mexico at over 95%. Now, as Rich asked to I think these numbers are true, I doubt it, but having never been to either country I can only go by the information reported. The factbook also reports the United States as over 76% Christian. Is that the case here, probably not, but I also can’t judge someone’s heart only God can do that. I use these as examples because it’s where my church is showing an interest, however, we can easily apply it to other churches and denominations. What I see are many denominations fielding mission trips of countries with large Christian populations. Now there may be many good reasons for this, such as the need for charity in poverty stricken areas and the true desire to get the Gospel out to those who have not heard it. However, I see another trend which I read about, see on TV, and hear about, that being the need to convert Catholics. To me it is a sad reason and only strikes me as a denominational “brand war”. I will use Peru as an example, for I have seen some things that trouble me. In Peru, it is my understanding that the denomination my church is affiliated with is registered and touted as Reformed Catholic. Yet they are not in the way many in the United States understand the term. I have seen recent pictures of ministers in Peru wearing the priestly collar often associated with Catholics and in Peru this could be mistaken as such, at least I can see how it could. Of course, it just may be a way or trying to stand out as a minister of the Word, but I wonder if it is the most honest way in a country, where even the most uneducated see this style of dress as a sign of being in communion with Rome. I also have seen pictures of kneelers in the pews, something I’ve never seen in the demonation here stateside. Is this a cultural thing? Is this another tie to disguise itself as being tied to the RCC? I don’t know the answer and though I assume the intentions are good, it may not be the best way to do things.
Would it not also be better to focus more on areas of the world in desparate need of mission work? (Ok, short term trips it’s not feasible, but long term, I’m sure there’s a need for those called to the mission field in underserved countries). Especially those in Africa, Asia, and formerly behind the Iron Curtain of the Cold War.
Are many of these mission for the betterment of the Kingdom? Yes.
Are there those who make public the agenda to convert Catholics or other denominations to their own? Yes.

It is the latter I worry about, whether here in the US or abroad. Are Christians in some instances losing sight of bringing people to Christ for the purpose of adding to the ranks of their denomination, it seems to be the case in some instances. Do some folks consider Catholics to not be Christian? Yes, I am not one of them and will respectfully disagree with those who hold that belief. Such minor bickering gets in the way of more important things. Such as, though not likely in my lifetime, the pure unification of all denominations, which may not happen till we’re all in heaven. For those who want to engage in a denominational pissing contest, go to Alaska and let the winner be the one with best penmanship. The rest of us have more important work to do.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ok, so I've decided to start writing, you know poetry/songs stuff like that. It's really what I'm best at, the engineering thing just pays the bills. Not to sound boastful, but when you're in the 95th percentile on every intelligence test you've ever taken...well you need to stay busy and keep the mind active. Hence, my attempts to learn to play the guitar and learn a new sport, hockey. I really do need to be busy, when I'm bored I get down in the dumps really easily. With today being Thanksgiving and having nowhere to go, I kept busy baking pies and watching football. However, even though folks may tell you that every holiday aways from family gets easier, let me tell you that they are full of shit. On the bright side, I'll be home for Christmas.

Home, an interesting concept. I've been living here in Texas for over 3 years now and I still refer to Rhode Island as home. I'm still renting and don't have a home of my own. When I do, that will be home, till then the house I grew up in and still have a lot of stuff in (till I get room for it) will be home.

Tomorrow marks the annual football game between my beloved Aggies and the wierdos from Austin. I went to Yell Practice tonight at Kyle Field and looking at the body language of the team, unless the coaches or players are inspired or find some fire, they're already defeated. I see no passion, I hear no passion. We're talking the big rivalry game and there is no passion, no fire in the belly, no eye of the tiger, no swagger, no cockiness, nada, zilch, niet, nothing. Tomorrow will be a long day for the Ags unless they find that extra something that teams need...I like to think of it as testicular fortitude. For those challenged in the vocabulary area...they need to play balls out.

Anyway, I am going to finish watching my DVD copy of the 1986 Cotton Bowl, A&M vs. Auburn and Heisman winner Bo Jackson. The 'Crew knew Bo and played with the aforementioned T.F..
Ags won....big.

Well, I am off to sleep. Until then dwell on this,

sometimes the best cowboys, aren't cowboys at all.

Monday, November 21, 2005

There is something so very simplistic about tooling down Highway 6 towards Hempstead early in the morning with a good CD blaring over the speakers and a hot chocolate steaming in the cup holder. No worries, no cares, no BS to deal with. I had a wonderful weekend at Liendo Plantation lending my limited abilities to assisting the Union cause with the Mississippi Marines. A great time, watching burnrished rows of steel rising over a hill and the smell of gun powder engulfing me, I must say it felt natural like I'd been there before and after a little instruction, had been doing what I was doing my entire life. Too bad Custer was riding a poofy horse, a nice horse yes, but the hair tassel on the head was a bit much. I enjoyed myself and I'm still tired and still smiling!

This week marks my third Thanksgiving in College Station. I'll spend Thursday baking pies and Friday at Kyle Field and visiting a friend in town for a cajun turkey day feast.

Last evening I went and saw "Walk The Line", go see it. If you have seen it, go again!

I was supposed to go see the film Friday night, but it was sold out so I ended up going to the Fox (where I should be part owner by now given all the money I've spent there) with my buddy Andy. We had a great time catching up, we hadn't really had time to hang out like that in a long time. It was awesome, and the free beer I got from the Fox was good too! It was such a good conversation, I did not see (until we were leaving) the two cute blondes who ended up sitting to my right....Perhaps that's a good thing.

Next Tuesday I venture into the mouth of hell, The Tap. There's only two reasons I'd go there...one is to watch Aggie football if I couldn't get a seat anywhere else...most of you can guess the other. :-)

my copy of the U2 Houston show arrived n 2 CD's today. I'll be making copies for those that went.

I'd post more, but I don't feel like it. Wait till next time...I'm hungry and my turkey burgers are defrosted.

" Have you got anything for pain? I don't know how much more of this I can take, cause I've been stuck out here for days and this hangover just won't break"

Friday, November 18, 2005

November 18, 1999

Let Us Never Forget

"I had the great privilege of attending the memorial service at A&M tonight and was deeply moved by the events I experienced. The A&M student body is truly one of the greatest treasures of our State. As part of the UT delegation, we sat on the floor of Reed Arena, and immediately following the end of the service, I heard this rustling sound behind me. I looked over my shoulder and saw the sight of 20,000 students spontaneously putting their arms on their neighbor's shoulders, forming a great circle around the arena. The mass stood there in pin-drop silence for close to five minutes, then, from somewhere, someone began to hum quietly the hymn 'Amazing Grace'. Within seconds, the whole arena was singing. I tried too--I choked, I cried. This event brought me to tears. It was one if not the defining moment of my college career. I learned something tonight. For all us Longhorns who discount A&M in our neverending rivalry, we need to realize one thing. Aggieland is a special place, with special people. It is infinitely better equipped than us at dealing with a tragedy such as this for one simple reason. It is a family. It is a family that cares for its own, a family that reaches out, a family that is unified in the face of adversity; a family that moved this Longhorn to tears. My heart, my prayers, and the heart of the UT student body go out tonight to Aggies and their family and friends as they recover from this great loss. Texas A&M, the Eyes of Texas are Upon You--and they look with sincere sympathy upon a family that has been through so much tragedy this semester."

--Eric Opiela, UT Student Body Vice President


Saturday, November 12, 2005

You can talk all you want, but I want to see what you do.

Well, it's Saturday night and here I sit at the computer once again. Listening to Steve Earle's Live From Austin (aka Austin City Limits from September 12, 1986), Soft to the Touch, Charlie Robison's Good Times, and a little Keb' Mo'. And I've been sitting here thinking, and not just about baseball, football, hockey or even that song I've got floating in my head to the tune of "Red Moon" about Lonesome Dove's Jake Spoon. So what the heck is going on my noodle, well multiple things, but one thought surfaces above all the others, moral consistency.

It would seem to me that I'm seeing a large amount of moral inconsistency lately. This week, Texas passed Prop. 2 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and bans any acceptance of anything similar or identical (the little lawyer voice in me laughs at this..cause if something is identical it's the same...so did Texan just ban all marriages? reading the amendment, a valid argument can be made). The problem I have with this amendment is it's moral inconsistency. Let me get this straight, the "holier than thou" nutjobs have become so scared that the government's possible recognition of gay marriages, and all the rights and privileges that go with it, will affect the beliefs of their church membership that they've strong armed politicians to bend to their "mighty will." Poppycock! Churches are not going to be forced to perform such services, but that should not preclude the government from doing so. It's a simple legal arrangement, not one being forced onto any church. If a gay couple wants to be married and have that marriage be recognized by the state, that is their right. Instead of loving thy neighbor, the religious right has alienated their neighbor. That sound you hear, is one armed men clapping for the religious nutcases. The problem is, I don't see anyone pushing amendments to outlaw divorce or any other problem facing the institute of marriage today. Moral inconsistency.

How about those folks who favor the death penalty and seek to end abortion? Murder is murder, whether it's in the womb or at the hands of the state. I point example "A" out as myself. Though lately, I am taking a long hard look at this idea. Moral inconsistency.

Random thought...Steve Earle covering Springsteen's "State Trooper" not too shabby.

Back to my point....

Another example I'm seeing out there comes from those who I think would be better at realizing their inconsistency before it begins. Those who would stand in front people and express their ideas and convictions and yet not hold true to them when challenged. What they say means nothing to me if their actions will not back it up, whether they are right or wrong, I can respect a person who is firm in their convictions and won't try to hide smoke and mirrors if they're challenged. Moral inconsistency.

Interjection: Charlie Robison's "Photograph" is brutally honest songwriting.

I will get along better with someone I disagree with who I know where they stand than I will someone who is in the shifting sands. A man isn't measured by his words but by his actions. We can't read minds or hearts, so it's all we got to go on.

This all might not even make sense, but I needed to write and get this out of the system.

And FYI...G-DAY is coming November 25th.
That ole wind knockin outside my door
Tellin me you ain't livin round here no more.
Three days out of Santa Fe,
I knew I'd no longer pass your way.

This road I travel is always winding,
Ain't no end to it in sight
Hop a bus
Hop a plane
I'm the only on to
blame.

Scattered papers across my floor,
Screens shattered forevermore
Rolling waves on Narragansett Bay,
Told Me you haven't passed this way...

This road I travel is always winding
Ain't no end to it in sight
Caught a cab
Stole a car,
I can't get that far.

Boston's Common,
Versaille's Gardens,
None of them can tell me well
You haven't passed this way...
And I've got nothing left to say...

This road I travel is always winding,
Ain't no end to it in sight
I pray each night someday it might,
But the house is empty till you I'm finding,
and I can't get that far.
Howling wind, life of sin, whatev'r am I to do.
Take this car drive it far, down that winding road
and search for you.

and search for you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yes dear reader, you are in the right place. I've gone to a new look and a new title. I liked the old one, but you know, sometimes you just need change to shake things up a bit. I'd compare it to a fresh coat of paint on the walls of your favorite room in the house. Or a new set of sails on your trusty ole sail boat.

Sail boats, there's something I have not seen in a long time. I was feeling a bit homesick for them today as a big shot Houston lawyer was speaking in a work related training class today, cracking northerner jokes. Sadly, he's probably never set foot north of Waco. I started to day dream about Salter's Grove. A little park on Narragansett Bay just down the road from where I grew up. There was a large breakwater wall that one could get out to by climbing the rocks, and if you knew the right path, you could make it without fear of getting wet. I used to go out there and just sit for hours to think and watch the boats sailing up and down the bay. Looking like they had somewhere important to be getting to, yet at the same time not really being a hurry to get there and just enjoying the water and the sun. It never got old, truth be told I miss it. To just sit and be still, knowing that you're not the first person to sit here nor the last and that life is so precious and this world so much greater than the things we've got on our minds. Really, will it matter ten years from now if the biggest irritation I've got is the fact that the sole's of my nice dress black shoes need repair and it irritates me that Italian leather shoe's just aren't built the way used to be? Seriously, is it to much to ask that shoe's withstand the wear and tear I put them through on construction sites? Is my project really so important that I sometimes am working it through my mind when I've long sense the office?

Small stuff, really don't mean much. Yet it's in the simplest thoughts and things that we can find the most happiness. A hug from a friend, seemingly insignificant to the giver can mean the world to world on the squeeze end of it. Holding a door open, saying please and thank you. Staring up at the shooting stars at night. A young child saying something simply obvious and knowing that they're just getting it and it's a wonderment to them. Now that's cool, that's life.

And sometimes, you've just got let go and screw it all and just howl at the moon a bit. Then watch the boats sail out into the ocean until they're but a speck on the horizon, a little tiny object being at the mercy of the waves.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

























1. Love Never Knows
2. Trains
3. The House That Jack Built
4. Soft To The Touch
5. Something The Doctor Didn’t Order
6. Brent Rollins
7. He Took Me To The River
8. I Must Want It Bad
9. Give It Up To Me
10. Red Moon
11. Stillhouse
12. Fallen Angel

Wednesday, November 02, 2005



One week and counting. I was reminded of this (not that I need reminding mind you) when I went to Hastings this evening after work and after picking up my ice skates which I had left at the rink to be sharpened. Right there on the doors and then in the store stood plastered the reminders of next week's album release party. I continue to hear "Something That The Doctor Didn't Order" frequently on the local radio. Also, today brought news of a new album for the spring, an acoustic album being recorded at a show in Port Aransas this Saturday night. If anyone want's to do a long haul road trip (we're talking 6 or 7 hours each way to the Gulf Coast near South Padre Island), let me know. Is there anything hotter than a country girl who likes Joplin? I don't think so.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Yuse Make Fun of Roe'Dyelin Yuse Be Wearing S'Ment Shoos.
Onnis't'God, I'll Do the onna myself.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


OCTOBER 28, 2005
HOUSTON TX
TOYOTA CENTER
FRICKIN ROCKED!
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
Elevation
I Will Follow
The Electric Co.
The Ocean
I Still Haven’t Found
Beautiful Day
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet
The Blue Sky
Miss Sarajevo
Pride in the Name of Love
Where the Streets Have no Name
One
First Encore
The First Time
Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of
With or Without You
Second Encore
All Because of You
Fast Cars
Yahweh
“40”
TOAST THOSE IRISH LADS!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

From A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamattiby A. Bartlett Giamatti, et al"The Green Fields of the Mind "

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops... and summer...
gone.
RIP
Major League Baseball 2005 Season
April 2005- October 26, 2005
And in the end, fans somewhere are saying
"Wait till next year"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

For What It's Worth

  • The Astros have never been to a World Series, the White Sox haven't won one since 1917. Not bad theatre if you ask me.
  • For the first time in history two native Rhode Islanders will play in the same World Series, can you name them? (answer at the bottom of this entry)
  • Memo to the Pats: Bruschi is an inside linebacker not a safety
  • However, raise your ales and toast to the Brew...it's been a long road back.
  • Who would have thunk it in 1995 when Danny Duquette released an "over the hill" pitcher, that Roger Clemens would start game 1 of the 2005 World Series coming off a year of domination, note his 1.83 ERA this year.
  • Memo to Coach Fran: Be prepared for the shootout in Lubbock
  • Memo to Tektards: Beat t.u. this weekend.
  • Notre Dame is a damn good football team
  • USC therefore must be the "real" Houston Texans
  • The Bonnie Bishop Band is coming back to Aggieland....I am waiting on my advance copy of the new album.
  • Speaking of the lovely BB, the new single rocks. I hear it every time I turn the radio. Seriously, it's freaky. It's happened 4 straight days, multiple times a day.
  • He is in his 70's, but Willie Nelson can still put on a great show.
  • Garth Brooks has a new song on the radio, a great tribute to the late, great Chris LeDoux.
  • I'm seeing U2 next week in Houston...my favorite band is also in Houston that night at the same time across town...sigh.
  • Halloween is coming up, parent's it's not evil or satanic so take the sticks out of your arses and let the kids dress up and get candy from the neighbors.
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer will keep you turning the pages, a great read.
  • Fall is in the air finally in Texas.
  • I am addicted to Star Bucks, hot chocolate and caramel apple cider, ask my co-workers.
  • I can't get interested in the Chase for the Cup this year, none of my drivers are involved.
  • Boys who can't skate should not show off in front of girls, they end up out of control and causing a danger to the other skater, namely me. Seriously, next guy who des something dumb and puts me at risk, I'm throwing a hip check and sending him to his rear.
  • I can't name anyone on the Celtics besides Paul Pierce, gang-green is setting in again.
  • RPI 3 Boston University 2, How do like them apples?!
  • Answer to trivia question: Dan Wheeler and Paul Konerko, Wheeler is also the first Interscholastic League player to appear since Davey Lopes, many moons ago.
  • You know you're getting older when you find it fun to start looking at and considering land/property investment opportunities. Another month or two and I should be able to have a good down payment saved up.
  • Sometimes the best cure, is something that the Dr. didn't order.
  • BCS Aggie Club Happy Hours are quite fun.
  • If the Angels in Heaven don't sound anything like Emmy Lou Harris, Alison Kraus and Bonnie Bishop, I'm going to demand a refund.
  • And until next time, some folks out there owe me a big thank you for saving their lives last week. I killed a shit eating dog. :-)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Well, other than a few random sports posts, I've been pretty quiet this month here on the blogosphere. For good reason, I haven't really felt like writing anything. It's been a long few weeks for me. The month began with an unexpected trip home when news reached me that my Grandma McDonald had passed away on October 1. I left College Station on the 4th and arrived back in my home town with 2 hours to spare before the wake. Sadly, it was under these circumstances that all 20 grandchildren were together for the first time. Turns out one of my cousins lives in Austin, TX. In typical Irish/Scot/Polish fashion many toasts were made that week. Also in grand tradition, the youngest cousins got the upside down hanging long over due to them. I flew back to Texas last Monday, worked three days and then took Friday off as my mother and brother were flying in for the Okie St. game. I've just been busy, busy, busy. Work's was busy but has slowed down to a crawl this week, which is nice. I've got a wine party to go to Saturday at some friend's new home in south College Station Saturday. Then next week, it's U2 on the 28th.

Then in November...well, Lord willing, if all goes well I will immerse my ears to the sounds of the Bonnie Bishop Band at least three times, and also enjoy the new album due out on Nov. 8th. I'd actually been in contact with some of the folks with the band and was in line to hang posters and work the merchandise table if needed, but they worked it out on their end. As many readers know, I am love with Miss Bishop's voice...it's just phenomenal. Of course, the red blooded male in me will also honestly admit, that she's easy on the eye's herself.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to in a nutshell. I'm going to go read, then I'm going to bed. Ciao!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


STOP THE PRESSES!
NEW ENGLAND PREPARING FOR SOME HOME BREW!
Dateline Foxboro: Teddy Bruschi (BREW-SKI)is returning to practice next week with the 2-time defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. This news ends months of speculation that the heart and soul of the Patriots defense, sidelined after suffering a stroke at his home in February after the Pro Bowl, may be back this season. The Bruschi has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since July. Once he starts practicing the team has 21 days to decide what to do with him, activation or injured reserve. After Sunday's game with Denver is the Bye week followed by games at home with Buffalo and the Indianapolis Colts.
Dear Mr. P. Manning.....you may wet yourself, begin crying, and commence running like a scalded dog...you may be about to get drunk on some Patriots home Brew.
HAVE NO FEAR ASTROS FANS....DAN "THE MAN" WHEELER IS IN THE PEN!
DAN WHEELER
  • Pilgrim High School Class of 1995
  • Aldrich Jr High Class of 1991
  • Warwick PAL Babe Ruth League All Star
  • Warwick West Side Little League Alum
  • Owner of the nastiest curve I ever saw
  • The top man for Johnson's Post
  • The man-child
  • He has personally hit me in the head with a fastball...and it hurt then

Pilgrim High Class of 1996 supporting the howmetown "Kid"

Friday, October 07, 2005

The defense of the 2004 World Championship ended tonight in Boston. The Boston Red Sox, a slugging team with a lack of pitching fell to the White Sox from the southside of Chicago and were swept out of the playoffs. As much as it pains me to see it, the White Sox have not won a World Series title since 1917 and though their fans are not the brightest crayons in the box (I've seens signs calling them the "Dividsion" champs and stating "I'ts our time now") they need redemption from the Black Sox/Shoeless Joe curse.

So pack it in and start waiting for spring training to open in Ft Myers. In the meantime, to quote the actor better known as "Squiggy" on "Laverne & Shirley" from the movie "A League of Their Own"... "Take me home momma, I have seen enough to know that I have seen too much."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

AGAIN?


IN THE HOUSE OF DAVID
THERE IS ONLY ONE MVP
THE BIG PAPI
AVG. .298
HR. 47
RBI 146
God is a baseball fan, there can be no doubt about that. The last weekend of the regular season is upon us and the AL East comes down to 3 games. The Boston Red Sox (93-66, 1 GB in the East, tied in the AL Wild Card) will play host to the Bronx Bombers (94-65, 1st Place in the East) in a three game series to determine the AL Championship, the winner of 2 out of the 3 games get the AL East Division title. The loser sweats it out to see if the White Sox, now that they have clinched the AL Central, will roll over and play the rookies against the Cleveland Indians (93-66, tied with Boston for the Wild Card) in Cleveland.
The band of idiots has somehow managed to stay in contention with what is perhaps the worst bullpen in Boston I have seen since the days of Joe Sambito. No starting pitching and a lineup that must go softball league run support to win, yup, the defending World Champions are alive and kicking and Fenway will be rocking this weekend. Yes Texas, I will wear the "Red Socks" to work tomorrow. Let's look at the pitching matchups, tomorrow night the Sox will look to beat the Yankees Wang by going to former Yankee and all around fan of the frosty beverage, David "Boomer" Wells, Saturday will see the polar opposites as Red Sox legend Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball face Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson, to close the series the Yanks will send Mike Mussina to the hill to face Curt Schilling (as he trys to push the sun back up into the sky and give us one more day of summer on a still ailing ankle...yes the one from last year's bloody red sock fame). Is it me is the irony that the Yanks start Wang and Big Unit in the first two games...sounds like they're compensating for something...perhaps to hide the "cream and the clear" of Balco/steriod scandal imfamy.
So yes it comes down to three games....whoa...wait a minute....I know I'm teasing you....it comes down to four games! Yes that's right, if the Sox take two of three that nets them a tie with a one game playoff in the Bronx. No Bucky "Bleeping" Dent this year!
Time to cowboy up, ride the train, hop on the plane, saddle up, draw them guns, sinch up the belt, mount the horses, assemble the usual suspects, order some beer, get some dogs, settle in, and wake up the bleacher creatures. It's come down to this...God is a baseball fan...and if last year is any indication...He is a Red Sox fan.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I may have degrees in engineering, but I give you my fortay....

BASEBALL PENNANT RACE MATH!

Ok so after tonights action the Red Sox and Yankees are still tied atop the American League East and both teams are tied with the Indians for the Wild Card. Also, the Chicago White Sox hold a slim lead of Chief Wahoo's Tribe for the AL Central Division title. This sets up some interesting scenarios which I will now try to sought out....note that the collapsing White Sox have not had coin flips to determine a lot of the tie break games.

What if the AL East and Central divisions end in ties?

Next Monday, the Red Sox would play the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and the White Sox would play the Indians at Jacobs Field. The losers would then play a Wild Card playoff game on Tuesday to determine the AL's final playoff setup. The Yankees would play the Indians at The Jake; the Red Sox would play Cleveland at Fenway Park; and all combinations against the White Sox are yet to be determined.

What if those divisions are won outright and two teams in the AL Wild Card race finish with the same records?

Next Monday, the Yankees would play the Indians at the Jake or the Red Sox would play Cleveland at Fenway Park. All combinations against the White Sox are yet to be determined.
What if the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians all finish with the same records?The Yankees and Red Sox play in New York for the AL East title and the loser plays the Indians for the Wild Card berth on Tuesday. New York is at the Jake if the Yanks lose and the Tribe is at Fenway if the Red Sox lose.

Why, you might ask, is there a Wild Card playoff game when the Indians would have a half-game better record than the Yankees-Red Sox loser?

MLB has determined that it would not be fair for a team that's tied for a division title at the end of the regular season to be displaced in the postseason by a second-place team. Thus, the mandatory Wild Card playoff game.

What if the Yankees tie the Red Sox in the AL East?

Next Monday, the Yankees would host the Red Sox, unless those two teams finish with the best records in the AL. In that case, there wouldn't be a playoff game. Both teams would make the playoffs and the first-place team is determined by the two teams' head-to-head record. As of Tuesday, the Yankees led the season series, 9-7. With 3 games to go at Fenway to close the season.

and for completeness, though I don't care much for this one cause my team isn't included:

What if the Indians and the White Sox are tied in the AL Central?

Next Monday (Oct. 3), the Indians would host the White Sox unless those two teams finish with the best records in the AL. In that case, there wouldn't be a playoff game. Both teams would make the playoffs, and the first-place team is determined by the two teams' head-to-head record. As of Tuesday, the White Sox led the season series, 11-5, and are guaranteed of the better record.

You got all that? I didn't think so, so let me tell you what to do...root for the Orioles over the Yanks, root for the BoSox over Toronto, root for the White Sox over Cleveland, and root for the BoSox over the Yanks.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Are the sins of the father (or mother) the sins of the son (or daughter)?

"This week, 14-year-old Shay Clark was expelled from a Christian private school in California because her parents happen to be lesbians. "

This quote comes from an article I read on Yahoo! this evening and got me thinking about the hypocracy that exists in the world today. For those stumbling across this blog, allow me to state that I am a Christian and I do believe homosexual relations are sinful, however we are all sinful and in the eyes of God no sin is greater than any other. The standard of the Lord is perfection, one which none of us can attain.

So this young girl was expelled from a private Christian school in California due to the lifestyle of her mother. The lifestyle of her mother is in no way a reflection upon this young girl or her state of belief. The sin of the mother is being passed on by the school to be the sin of the daughter. A modern day playing out of what could be the old adage "the sins of the father are the sins of the son." A complete insult to the teachings of the Bible that this school claims to embrace.

Let me draw on some personal experience, yet it will unmentioned the cause of this or the reasoning because I don't share this part of me with anyone. However, I have done some studying and research on this area. In Christ, He who bore our sins on the cross and in who's righteousness we are clothed, are sins are forgiven. Even if one wants to hold onto the notion of gneration curses stemming from the Old Testament, those who place their faith in Christ have had their sin borne on the cross and are new creatures in Him. This would include any generational sin. So we know that the sins of the parents are not those of their children who profess faith in Christ.

It just burns me up to see such hypocracy and to use children as pawns in a powerplay political game between a sinful, self righteous Christian school leadership who believe the children should suffer for the sins of their parents. I disagree with the lifestyle of the parent this young woman, but it in no way shape or form can justify the actions of the school leadership in regards to the daughter. This is yet another example of the self righteous, pompous, chest beating pride all to common among many self professing Christians, because hey, they're sins aren't as bad as those they would impose judgement on.

May we constantly pray for humble hearts for our church leaders so as to avoid these situations and that children who are caught in the middle of such situations will not lose faith and find their shelter in the cross.

Friday, September 23, 2005


WELCOME BACK BOYS!
IT'S PUCK SEASON.....SHOOT ONE!

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Hurricane Warning: No Major Threat
Ok folks, stop freaking out, it's just some wind and rain and barometer pressure flucuations. All this running to get bread and water....not needed. The Bryan/College Station area will not be severely affected. Y'all are worse than New Englanders when they forecast snow. The boogey man hurricane is not going to be that bad this far inland. If you want to leave go ahead, but I've ridden out stronger storms on the Atlantic seaboard not more than 200 yds from the ocean. This far inland at this elevation, we're fine. Stop panicing. The big tough Texans acting like sissy's. If you're near the coast it's one thing, but if you're here in the Research Valley and want to flee to higher ground and board up your home, well that's funny...real funny.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

So, it's 12:20 PM here in College Station, I'm wide awake and not at yell practice. I'll leave it to the kiddos at the University to enjoy unless...well I'll keep that to myself. I'm sitting here knowing I'll have to be up early in the morning to walk over to Kyle Field for the early kick-off of the A&M v. SMU game, and it's not really bothering me, I'm going to get sit down for the first time in 3 years. I won't be gracing the student section till the tu game after Thanksgiving. I will enjoy it very much.

Right now, I'm listening to the newest release from Patty Loveless, "Dreamin My Dreams", it's a nice blend of country/folk/bluegrass and a great album to relax to at the end of a long day and an even longer week. What I truly need is a really good back massage, but that ain't happening anytime soon. I am now officially burning the candle at both ends through November. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights are skating nights for me, Wednesday night is my beginner guitar class, weekends will involve cleaning and chores, Friday and Saturday night will be my only times to really see friends, unless they show up at the rink, which is doubtful, the 'Rebs don't like ice very much, but my Yankee blood is right at home on it. Not to mention the Red Sox are making another run at the playoffs. After the Sox finish out the year and I get some basics down on the ice, I see Thursdays becoming the night I go to Toastmasters meetings. Toastmaster's is a group with chapters all around the globe to promote public speaking skills. I am comfortable with public speaking, but more tips and practice never hurt anyone.

I also need to get cracking on my P.E. exam application if I want to take it in April it is due in December. For those wondering what the heck I am talking about, the P.E. exam is the exam I need to pass in order to become a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Think of it as the bar exam for engineers, but involving a whole lot of math and engineering calculations insteads of law questions. It's a big deal both professionally and personally. It's also nice that it comes with a 10% raise effective the day I learn of passing it (if I pass it, Lord willing).

Well, I'm pretty tired now, I think I'll go to bed now. Goodnight all.
Second star on the right, and straight on till morning!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Takin Baby Steps Into a New Arena

Tonight I took the small baby steps into a new arena. Having played at some point in my life, and in some cases I still play, baseball, rugby, football, wrestling, soccer, basketball, and a wee nip of golf, I can say firmly that I love competition. I thrive upon it and the bigger the spotlight the more I tend to enjoy it. Though I never had nor will I never in the future make money playing sports there is a part of me that craves physicality and competition. Tonight, after spending many months in contemplation and working my schedule out, I began taking baby steps into a new sporting arena. Tonight I began what I pray will be a long and fruitful hockey career. I began taking the baby steps needed to eventually play in a rec league here in town. Though I can skate, it requires training and learning to gain the maximum energy with minimum effort and tonight I began to learn. I even was moving in reverse by the end of the night, though with difficulty, I was going backwards none the less, and hence moving slowly forwards as a result of the rearwards direction of my body down the ice. I worked my a$$ off tonight with the help of a fine instructor and am looking forward to more work on my own tomorrow night.

Many will say, but Ed you're too old to try this, you risk serious injury. To the naysayers I reply simply, yes I do risk injury but I do that just by rolling out of bed in the morning. So lookout, for I know only one way to approach sport and that is to be the best I can possibly be. This is going to be one fun ride. Buckle up them chin straps, this is going to be one hell of a ride!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


September 11, 2001
Four years ago, our world changed forever. The innocence of youth shattered for the young, the harsh realities of a world reawaking memories for the old. The events that I speak of need no retelling, the pictures forever etched in our memories will suffice. It have spent this evening watching a show on the Discovery Channel on that fateful day, the memories come rushing back in a torrent. Where was I that day, I was about 5 to 10 miles from Logan Airport in Boston, where the two planes which targeted the World Trade Center orginated. Boston quickly went into what I can only describe as partial lock-down. I will not pontificate on my thoughts right now, however I just urge all of my readers to never, ever forget that day and the events that happened.


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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

And Then There Was One

My phone rang last night, it brought sad news laced with a hint of joy. My best friend in Boston, the big "B", called to announce that he has gone and set in motion the wheels of fate that will build to a magnificent burnout in August 2006. After 13 months of dating, he has proposed to his girlfriend (and his boss and pastor's daughter) and she said yes. The event happened in Niagra Falls, Canada (now he can blame something on Canada!) last week. So, if all goes well, Lord willing, I will be going to either Lowell or Syracuse next summer for the wedding.

I have also been asked to be "the best man", which makes me wonder, "if I'm the best man, why is she marrying him?", but that is another thought for another time. LOL. I have graciosuly accepted the honor, though I have not clue what I need to do...I need to learn. Nothing like being selected to your first wedding party and being thrown in the deep end.

I have not met the future Mrs. M, but I am sure she is quite a catch to get the "B" to settle down into wedded bliss. I'll keep y'all posted. For now, I await the publication of the Red Sox, PawSox, and dare I say it, Yankees schedules for next year for "bachelor party" planning.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


One Team, One Team Only Please Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

She is one of God's women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth.

Should you know anyone fitting that, send 'em my way.
If you know where that quote comes from...bravo to you too!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

USS Monitor Had Rensselaer Ties

At the time it was built during the Civil War, the well-known USS Monitor was a new breed of ship that would signal a turning point in modern-day naval warfare. The novel 120-ton, revolving turret that set the ship apart from the rest was recently retrieved from its 140-year-old resting spot in the Atlantic Ocean 20 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.“Monitor Expedition 2002” is the final phase of a multi-year effort to recover the wreck of this famous Civil War ironclad. The operation is being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Naval Sea Systems Command, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two, and The Mariners’ Museum.The Monitor’s history, in part, is owed to iron manufacturer and steel pioneer John F. Winslow, who was Rensselaer’s fifth president. Winslow, one of the nation’s most dynamic industrialists during the Civil War, was one of the first to see merit in the design of ironclad war vessels. Ships at that time were typically built from wood.Winslow built his reputation in the iron industry by going into business as an iron manufacturer in New Jersey before becoming a partner at Corning, Winslow & Co. (more popularly known as the Albany Iron Works).

The company joined forces with the Rensselaer Iron Works, headed by iron industrialist and Institute Trustee John Griswold, to become the prime contractors for the iron plates of the Monitor.Corning, Winslow & Co. built the deck plates, the hull skirt, and the angle iron for the frame. The Rensselaer Iron Works made the rivets and the bar iron for the pilothouse.In September 1861, Winslow and Griswold convinced President Abraham Lincoln of the potential of the Monitor, designed by Swedish-American engineer, inventor and RPI alumnus John Ericsson, who up until then had met resistance for his revolutionary design.The Monitor was launched from Brooklyn in January 1862. Less than two months later, it faced off with its Confederate rival, the CSS Virginia (a modified version of a steam frigate originally called the USS Merrimack). The battle ended in a draw.The Monitor sank during a storm on New Year’s Eve in 1862. Although short-lived, it became a symbol of modern-day warfare mainly because of its revolving turret that carried two 11-inch cannons. Unlike the Virginia, which had to be steered into position for its guns to take accurate aim, the Monitor’s guns could be aimed simply by adjusting the turret.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Shame on Israel


The government of Israel is currently forcibly removing their citizens from the Gaza Strip in the name of peace with the Palistinians. Some of these towns date back to the 1946. Military soldiers are forcing their way into homes and carrying the residents out if necessary to get residents and non-residents who have flooded the area in protest. Once residents are evacuated by force, the homes will be razed. 70% of Isrealis support this pullout, but they have not lived in this area for years and feel it part of a roadmap for peace. Some roadmap, I suspect Mr. Sharon and company took a wrong turn somewhere around Tel Aviv.

For any government to forcibly remove it citizenry from their homes is wrong, there's no other need to state it. This is a miscarriage of justice and basic human rights and liberty. I don't make a case like this too often, but I urge you to write your Senators and Congressmen and urge them for the United States government to take action on this, up to and including withdrawing all aid from the Israeli government.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Just up Highway Six and a few left and rights through Waco there is a item that the media deems news worthy, I find it an interesting paradigm in American politics. Cindy Sheehan, a woman who lost her son while he was serving in Iraq has been camped out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford. She wishes to speak to the President about her grief and the reasons for the war and to ask him to bring our men and women home, immediately. She plans on camping near the ranch until the President speaks with her or ends his "vacation". Though I don't think the President ever truly gets a vacation the way you and I think of it.

First of all, my heart goes out to Ms. Sheehan and every family member who has lost a loved on in service to our country in war and in peacetime. I can not imagine the level of her grief, however I do not see how she can hold President Bush responsible when her son volunteered to join the armed forces. He certainly was an adult able to make the choice on his own and knew the potential risks involved. I can understand her need to place blame, psychologically it allows the human mind to come to terms with their grief...I learned this in 10th grade.

Multiple websites have sprung up, including a blog entitled Crawford Update. As I read this blog and the others that have sprung up I can reach only conclusion, the far left has grasped at a paper tiger and this woman has become their poster child, a victim of Bush and his policies. The hate that spews from these sites lacks all reason and logic, poor arguments grace their pages, and it would appear that those with opposite views are either not allowed to counter or they just don't care. Probably a little from column "A" and a little from coloumn "B". It is quite amazing.

In the mid 1800s, the President would commonly meet visitors at the White House and address their grievances, yet those days are long past. In any administration, the President can not meet with every Tom, Dick, Harry, and nut job who wants to speak to him. President Bush spoke with Ms. Sheehan and other parent's over a year ago and in the time since apparently Ms. Sheehan has changed her mind on the character of the President. In any event, this woman has either lost her mind to her grief or has become a puppet for the antiwar movement. In either event, it is a sad state of events.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Red Sox Test Out Rookies, Sweep Rangers

American League East 8/10/05
Team W L GB
Red Sox 66 47 ---
yankees 60 52 5.5
Blue Jays 58 55 8
Orioles 55 58 11
Devil Rays 43 71 23.5
You Might Be A Red Sox Fan if.....
10. the first word you learned to spell was Yastrzemski
9.you tell your friends that you won't give a marriage proposal unless it comes during the seventh inning stretch in Fenway Park.
8. you sold your soul for the 2004 season and don't regret it one bit
7. instead of "Mommy" or "Daddy" your kid's first word is "Manny."
6. your first born son will have Boston as a first or middle name
5. retirement years will be spent in Ft Myers in the spring and on the Cape in the summer
4. when depressed, you watch the "Buckner game"
3. your criteria in choosing a college is driving distance to Fenway Park. (it was...too close i would have flunked out)
2. any potential wedding in the fall will be after the World Series, just in case they make it
1. You make comparisons between the outfield arms of Gabe Kapler and Randy Kutcher and interject the first hand conversations you had with the Kutch when he was in the minors teaching you and other kids to catch a fly ball and note how he was a better a teacher than practicioner.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Buy Your Own, Also Called Watch Me Piss Off A Lot of Women

Ok, so I know this is going to make me really popular, but I have to say it and get it out there for discussion. So we see folks getting engaged all the freakin time, some Joe Schmoe ponies up and buys his wife to be a diamond engagement ring out of some sense of tradition. Of course, if we get to the bottom of it and look into the history of it all, it's really all a BIG FAT LIE! Ergo:

During the Middle Ages, the Gimmal or "bond" ring was invented, but it's doubtful that this was an engagement ring design. However, sapphires, emeralds and rubies would have been the norm for those who could afford them. Because diamond is the hardest and strongest mineral on earth it was seen to resist fire and steel and thus symbolize the unbending union of a man and woman in wedlock. So it became more commonplace for the European super wealthy and royalty to give a diamond engagement ring at this time.

Less wealthy citizens would have given a Fede (faith) ring in the form of two clasped hands more akin to the more modern claddagh (clasped hands) engagement rings, a design handed down from Irish ancestors long since forgotten.

In South Africa 1870, the vast, newly discovered Kimberley diamond region began to flood the market with not so rare a gem after all! The supply increased whilst the prices fell.
Within 10 years the now famous De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. was formed by the Englishman Cecil John Rhodes to control the sale of diamonds throughout the world. Even today they control 65% of the world's diamond trade.

From 1880 De Beers were able to control the supply (and price) of diamonds but how were they going to control demand during a period when sales began dropping dramatically (up to 50%) in the 20s and 30s onwards through the great depression?

Just as platinum started to become popular in diamond engagement rings, diamonds were becoming less valued. Platinum was banned for all but war use during WWII and so the platinum diamond engagement rings as we know them today almost died out.

The answer to the problem was a new marketing campaign commissioned by De Beers that began in 1947. Perhaps you've heard the slogan "A Diamond is forever"? This was to mark the beginning of a change in the history of the engagement ring.

Subsequent campaigns would convince families to hold on to their diamonds as family heirlooms... and it worked! Used diamonds were not being released back into the industry which in turn created the demand that De Beers were seeking.

Jewelers were unofficially educated by De Beers to instruct men that two to three months personal wages were an ideal price to pay for the diamond engagement ring that their prospective fiancée's would gladly accept.

In 1953 the world's two most glamorous women of the time Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were the stars of the hit film musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The plot involves Monroe and Russell chasing potential husbands on a cruise to France. The movie also features a very famous song sung by the blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend.
This film would have undoubtedly influenced public opinion at the time and will have advanced the popularity of diamonds for years afterwards through Hollywood glamour.

The film is now 50 years old but it's still a firm favorite of all who love Hollywood and the legend of Monroe. (Of course there are others: High Society, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Diamonds Are Forever among them)

This is where the tradition of the diamond engagement ring really started, all from an advertising campaign that literally "rocked" the world! So you see buying a diamond engagement ring isn't really a popular ancient tradition.

It's more a combination of "dreaming of being a princess", a clever marketing campaign and compelling Hollywood glamour that ultimately promotes diamonds as the only jewels with which to furnish your loved one as a sign of engagement.

As you can see the whole diamond engagement ring is just a load of bull dung. So, don't ever expect me to buy one in the event I ever do get engaged. As far as I am concerned, if a girl wants one bad enough for whatever dumb symbolism it represents in the female mind, she can buy it herself because I certainly will not.

Now that I have offended multitudes of women and given guys something to think about, I bid you all adieu!

Sunday, July 31, 2005


The Approach
Ok, so a little about the picture. This is a picture looking in a generally eastward direction from downtown Troy, New York (home of the Troylettes) up the hill towards the RPI campus. This is one of the favorite ways for engineers to get from campus to the town and it's many lager labs. It also makes for amusing times in the winter both going down to town and returning. I have walked it's stairs many times, usually when heading to I Love NY pizza for their dollar slices on the weekends. In heavy snow, some engineers have been known to go sledding down the approach, however all risks are done in the name of science and technology, as well as to help find better and faster means to heal the broken bones that no doubt result. I though this would be a fine picture to give some get my short series on "The Tute" off to a good start.
Way back in 1824, the Rensselaer School was established in Troy (apparently it was a happening town back then) by Stephen Van Rensselaer "for the purpose of instructing persons...in the application of science to the common purposes of life." Not long after I am sure the most infamous invention of the 'tute was pioneered by the adminstration. The "Tute Screw" has a long and illustrious history at RPI, cause no matter which you turn it, it always goes in deeper.
It is the first school of science and school of engineering having a continuous existence to ever be established in any English speaking country, and based on the student body at MIT, it still boasts the smartest English speaking students (population 25 of them or so...hehehe).
IN 1833, the school became the Rensselaer Institute and in 1861 the name was again changed to it's final version, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or as everyone else calls it, RPI. RPI currently boasts five schools though I can only verify four. Architecture (we have the Greene Building, stuff goes on in there, and every five years a bunch of folks finally come out of it, but other than that I don't know what goes on in there..so it may be a secret government agency for all I know), Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences (for those who wash out of engineering), Management (for our hockey players), and Science (for the nerds who don't want to apply it to the real world).
Through the years RPI grads have put together and impressive resume. A veritable who's who of nerds. Here are just some the things they've done and their class years.
John L. Riddell, 1829: Invented the binocular microscope.

James C. Booth, 1831 :Introduced nickel as a metal in U.S. currency.

James Hall, 1832 :Was the first New York State geologist; helped found the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Eben Horsford, 1838:Devoted his life to the development of "yeast powder," now known as baking powder.

James H. Salisbury, 1846:Was a nutritionist, "Salisbury Steak" was named for him.

Washington Roebling, 1857:Oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Devolson Wood, 1857:Helped organize the American Society for Engineering Education and held its first presidency.

Edward P. Rothwell, 1858: Organized the Institute for Mining Engineers.

Alexander Cassatt, 1859 :Was the first 20th century President of Pennsylvania Railroad. Brother of Mary Cassatt, Impressionist painter.

Edwin Thacher, 1863: Introduced the most widely used slide rule into the U.S.

Henry A. Rowland, 1870: Was known as the "Father of Spectroscopy" for his pioneering work in the study of magnetic properties.

George Knapp, 1876: Was an industrialist, instrumental in founding the Union Carbide Company.

George W. G. Ferris, 1881: Invented, of course, the Ferris wheel.

Emil Praeger, 1915: Oversaw the renovation of the White House in 1949.

Erik Jonsson, 1922: Co-founded Texas Instruments, who marketed the first pocket calculator.

Milton Brumer, 1923: Led the team that built the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Allen B. DuMont, 1924: Known as the "Father of Television" for his development of the cathode ray tube.

Percy Hill, 1945: Designed and patented the REACH toothbrush.

George M. Low, 1948: Managed the Apollo project that put the first men on the moon and later was President of Rensselaer. (Richard Harris played him in Apollo 13)

Marcian Hoff, 1958: Was part of the team at Intel of California that produced the first microprocessor.

William C. W. Mow, 1959: Founded Bugle Boy Industries and Dragon International.
Bobby Farrelly, 1981: Film maker (Kingpin, Something About Mary, Me, Myself, and Irene, Fever Pitch).

Janet Rutledge, 1983: Patented an innovative hearing device based on digital speech processing
Well that's all I have for now. Coming soon a special double post for this and the history blog:
"RPI and the Ironclad Revolution" along with other pieces on here "The Ratio", "Story Time", and "Skating Engineers". If I get to caught up in stuff, I'll just post top ten lists...like this one:
**for the record, graduation for the class of 2002 was moved on May 18, 2002 from Harkness Field into the Houston Field House (i.e. football field to hockey rink, due to a snow storm)***
Top 10 Rules of Life at RPI:
10. April snow squalls bring May snowballs.
9. When the going gets tough...drop the course.
8. Two out of three is a "D."
7. Do unto others whatever it takes to help the curve.
6. You scratch my back, I'll stab yours.
5. If at first you don't succeed, switch to management.
4. It's not what you know, it's what they think you know.
3. What goes up, must come down, excepting tuition.
2. RPI gets what you pay for.
1. Ask not what RPI can do for you, ask what RPI can do to you.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

For the Curious

I will be starting a series on my undergrad educational insitution

"The Tute"


A Son Of Old R.P.I.
Words by R. Shermerhorn, Jr. '95
To the tune of "A Son of a Gambolier

Upon a hillside in a town
There stands a college old-
A college famed in history,
From hosts of stories told,
To teach the young idea to shoot,
It's worth its weight in gold,
It gathers from lands far and near
Its children to the fold.

Chorus:
Come join my humble ditty,
From Troy town I steer,
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my lager beer.
Like every honest fellow,
I never will go dry,
I'm a student from the Institute,
A son of old R.P.I.
A son of, a son of, a son of, a son of,
A son of old R.P.I.
A son of, a son of, a son of, a son of,
A son of old R.P.I.
Like every honest fellow,
I drink my whiskey clear,
I'm a moral wreck from the Polytech
And a hell of an engineer.

We students of the R.P.I.,
Are of a jolly kind,
And though we study hard at times
To cultivate the mind,
You'll always find us in for fun,
We're never left behind,
A happier crowd of fellows o'er
This earth you'll never find.

Chorus

The maidens sweet all smile on us,
As boys we pass them by,
The "cops" along the street all nod
And wink the other eye,
The people turn to look at us
And say: "Oh me! Oh my!"
There go those wicked college boys
From that bad R.P.I.

Chorus

The faculty at R.P.I.
Are, yea, a noble band;
For brains and intellectual worth
They're noted through the land.
The students honor all of them-
We trust them heart and hand-
They credit dear old Rensselaer,
Our alma mater grand.

Chorus

Come then, and let us all unite,
Lift all your glasses high,
And drink a toast to her we love,
Whose glories never die.
Then bring the "Cherry and the White"
And wave it to the cry-
The old Rah! Rah! Rensselaer,
Three cheers for R.P.I.


Chorus


Top Ten RPI Pick-up Lines
10. I have a Hewlett Packard 28S, with LOTS of bytes.
9. My Yugo is equipped with an 8-track, to play my Bee-Gees and Village People cassettes. Let's cruise!
8. Am I an athlete? I'm on the Varsity Bowling Team.
7. I can tell you the value of pi to fifty decimal places.
6. My roommate is gone for the weekend. Do you want to come over and play Pictionary?
5. My vocabulary is more extensive than that of William F. Buckley's...Impressed?
4. I have two tickets to a symposium on matrix algebra. Wanna go?
3. What's your sign...and SAT scores?
2. I can get you a free subscription to Nintendo Power magazine.
1. I can drink an entire case of Troy Pale Ale and STILL differentiate the Schroedinger equation. (I am out of practice on this one)

and one of our hockey cheers:

E to the X, DY, DX,

E to the X, DX.

Cosine, secant, tangent, sine

3-Point-1-4-1-5-9.

Square root, cube root, log of pi,

Dis-integrate them, R.P.I.!



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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Summer Wind Came Blowing In

From the Finger Lakes....and what a breath of fresh air it was! MV came into visit for the weekend and headed on up to a redneck wedding in Dallas before heading home to the 'Cuse. what can I say, other than a fantastic weekend was had with my birthday thrown into the mix, a surprise party, BBQ, beer, margaritas, ice cream, and wine to name a few. The weekend also blew the stench out of mind and thought process and reminded me what a truly strong and confident woman can bring to the table in a conversation. I had forgotten how great a thing it is to know what a woman is thinking, what she wants to do, and how she plans to do it without some wishy washy attitude. Refreshing does not begin to describe it! Now me an MV have been friends now for almost 9 years now, which definately brings a comfort level with it when we hang out, there are no false pretenses, no needing to tread carefully, it's open and honest on every level, no games, no false airs. Now I'm not saying this type of stuff is common with southern gals, but ladies if the shoe fits, you probably got it on sale a Payless right before looking for a husband in church so you can get married and get to poppin out the kiddies.
In short, the gauntlet is cast down and the line in the sand is clear. There are very few women I know who I'd even consider a relationship with, now that bar is even more difficult (and that list considerably shorter). If you're looking to get married and have kids, if you have no other goals besides finding a husband, if you are flat out stupid, don't try to catch my eye...it will not work and I will not waste my time. I can get as much fun talking to rocks as I can talking to a dumb gal. There are probably some of you wondering where this may have risen up from, well I had a good dose of being re-Yankeeified this weekend and I'm going to do my best to keep a bit of it instead of letting it get buried as it has the last 3 years. I'm sure I'll get some crap for this, but deal with it. I will. :-)

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm In Good Company

Born On July 22, I share the anniversary of my birth with the following folks:

Gregor Mendel 1822
Steve Vincent Benet 1889
Rose Kennedy 1890 Karl Menninger 1893
Alexander Calder 1898
Bob Dole 1923
Martha Whiting 1924
Orson Bean 1928
Marcia Henderson 1930
Perry Lopez 1931
Oscar De La Renta 1932
Louise Fletcher 1934
Chuck Jackson 1937
Terence Stamp 1939
Alex Trebek 1940
George Clinton 1940
Thomas Wayne 1941
Bobby Sherman 1944
Richard Davies (Supertramp) 1944
Estelle Bennett (The Ronettes) 1944
Paul Shrader 1946
Danny Glover 1947
Albert Brooks 1947
Don Henley (Eagles) 1947
Alan Menken 1949
William Dafoe 1955
Keith Sweat 1961
Rob Estes 1963
Joanna Going 1963
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls) 1963
David Spade 1964
John Leguizamo 1965
Patrick Labyorteaux 1965
Irene Bedard 1967

Yeah, I only recognize a few of those too

On this date:

1796
Cleveland, Ohio, was founded by Gen. Moses Cleaveland.
1933
Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world.
1934
John Dillinger was shot to death outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.
1937
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "court packing" scheme was rejected by the U.S. Senate.
1975
Congress restored Confederate General Robert E. Lee's U.S. citizenship.

1990
Greg LeMond won his third Tour de France.
2003
Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Ousay, were killed in a firefight

Friday, July 15, 2005

For What It's Worth

The NHLPA and the NHL owners have reached a new collective bargaining agreement and there will be hockey in 2006...it's almost puck season, be ready to shoot one!

The Chase for the Nextel Cup could begin without the sport's two biggest stars, right now Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon are on the outside looking in.

Softball is a great game, winning would make it a bit better, being able to play on good wheels would be terrific. A few weeks ago I rolled an ankle, I think I may have done more than that to it, pass the tape and send me back out coach.

No ball player likes to end the night eating the donut, but after going 0-2 with an RBI and seeing the average drop over 100 points, I'll take the dip from .833 to .713 and gladly let it get down to .500 if we can win of these things.

Welcome back Gimpy, enjoy the bullpen.

Curt Schilling, the closer...experiments in the midst of a pennant race scare the crap out of me.

Schilling stands a chance of having the least chance of turning into a pryomaniac/arsonist in the pen though.

Red Sox fans remember these names: Dustin Pedroia and Jon Papelbon.

Call me crazy, but I don't think "Battle Hymn of the Republic" should be sung in a Christian service. For that matter, get the American flag out of sancturaries altogether too.

I just found out that I missed a boring time at the 'Tute for the 5 year reunion, though it would have been nice to see Cosmo and company again...I simply can not stand how they treat the alumni.

Coach Fran is coaching football at Blinn, look it up.

The City of College Station fired their City Manager today. May I suggest my good friend and yours, Buddy. Heck, I could work him. I could also go giving myself knife wounds in the shark tank. Doesn't mean I'd do it.

My brother is spending 3 days in the Bahamas. Excellent!

My brother is spending 3 days in the Bahamas underwater on a submarine and not on the beach. HA-HA!

No truth to the rumor that Nantucket Nectars is hiring Barry Bond, Jason Giambi, and Gary Sheffield to be the spokesman for the compnay's new "We're Juice Guys!" campaign, but we can only hope.

That's it, rename the damn race already...it's the Tour de Lance...let's be clear on that one Frenchie.

Syracuse, New York's favorite cowgirl is coming to Texas next week, roll out the red carpet folks and break out the Shiner.

Speaking of cowgirls, my favorite is back in the area October 15th!

The hands of time are ticking, Friday the hour tolls again for the 27th time. I took Monday off.

I need to clean the apartment.

The Red Sox thumped the Yankees tonight 17-1.

TBBB is working on a new album due in October.

Have I mentioned that I got a hug from BB a few weeks ago. I don't get many hugs....I take what I can get.

"Somewhere Down in Texas", the new George Strait album, is pure gold.

Till next time remember .....

If dogs aren't supposed to eat dental floss out of the trash, why did they make it mint flavored?