Saturday, May 31, 2008

Then go already!!

You knew it would be a matter of time before one those self-absorbed Hollywood types spoke up about the Presidential election and their plans to bolt American if an eeeevil Republican is elected.

In 2000, actor Alec Baldwin threatened to leave the US if George W. Bush was elected.

In ’04, Robert Redford made a similar pledge.

Now Susan Sarandon is speaking up about her 2008 relocation plans.

She says if John McCain gets elected, she will move to Italy or Canada. She adds, "It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people.”

OK, American people. You don't want Susan to move out of the country, so it's up to you to elect Barack Obama. What? You thought Susan of all people would be for Hillary Clinton? Well, no. She told John Hiscock: "I thought the whole point of feminism is that you're not supposed to be defined by gender. I don't understand the reasoning behind that, because I wouldn't vote for Condoleezza Rice, and I hated Margaret Thatcher."

Hated Margaret Thatcher??? Wow!!! Imagine the frothing-at-the-mouth conversations her and “life partner” Tim Robbins have at the dinner table on a nightly basis? Robbins, who last year shamelessly claimed the U.S. had killed “over 400,000” Iraqi citizens, regularly calls for impeachment of President Bush.

I hope their kids wear rain gear during family meal time.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Juicer will fight Napoleon Dynamite's uncle.

No, I’m not talking about Uncle Rico.

Jose Canseco put out a challenge, and a former NFL Pro Bowler has answered the bell.

Canseco, the former Oakland A's slugger and reality TV veteran who recently revealed that the mortgage on his home had been foreclosed, offered $5,000 to anyone who would step into the ring with him and headline a boxing card in Atlantic City this summer.

Now he has an opponent.

According to multiple published reports Tuesday, former Eagles kick returner and two-time Pro Bowler Vai Sikahema will fight Canseco in a July 12 bout at the Atlantic City Bernie Robbins Stadium.

Sikahema is actually uncle to actor Jon Heder, who played the quirky Napoleon Dynamite in the 2004 film of the same name.

But I digress.

Since Canseco threw down this challenge due to financial woes, I’m surprised former NBA star Latrell Sprewell didn’t jump at the chance to fight given his own monetary mishaps. Of course, the boxing gloves would hinder Spree’s ability to wrap his hands around his opponent’s neck.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day tribute: Pfc. Nick Madaras.


Devil Room.....Defeated!

My Mom and Dad’s home in River Falls, WI has a root cellar. When they bought the house in 1992 the basement was unfinished, driveway was gravel, and the house needed a new roof and siding. Since then Mom and Dad improved on all of those things and more, except the root cellar which I named “The Devil Room” because it gives me the creeps.

I have never liked spending time in basements. The darkness depresses me and I don’t like the cold. So you can imagine why I didn’t care for the root cellar. Needless to say, it was useless space unless used for storing canned food and such so it went unattended for years. We just closed the door and ignored it. Big mistake. Huge.

As the years went by my fear of the Devil Room increased. Dad asked me on many occasions to help him clean it out, but I was so freaked out by it I refused. It was damp, getting musty, and bugs were starting to reside. It was an irrational fear, I know. However, I just built up in my mind awful things growing and dripping in that stupid little room. Well, as Rev. Wright says “The chickens are coming home to roost”. With the death of my father in February, my family decided to move forward with plans to build a home so Mom can come live with us. Yep, you guessed it, we need to sell the River Falls house. The Devil Room and I have a date with destiny. I can hear my Dad laughing at me from heaven.

In this housing market, every little thing counts. The Devil Room has to be dealt with if we want to sell Mom’s house in a reasonable amount of time. Left alone it would be an issue for any buyer. So I decided to make it my project. I consulted several people on what to do and tackled the project with vigor and courage. Brad and I cleaned it out, my brother-in-law helped us scrape and smooth the cinder block, we washed it with bleach, soaked it, rinsed it, and used a shop vacuum to get the moisture out (thank you Dennis!). When it was reasonably dry I used hydraulic cement to fill any cracks and holes, and we painted it with masonry paint. It’s getting a new door and frame this week along with some flooring material. The Devil Room has been defeated!

I know my Dad would be proud and pleased. He never liked that stupid, creepy crawly room either. I also know what a complete ninny I have been. Had I just tackled the project when Mom and Dad moved in, I would not have had to deal with it now and would have rid myself of any worry and fear. Lesson learned.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

My summer with a green thumb.

It was 29 summers ago when I attended Frost Lake elementary for summer school. It wasn’t because I was in danger of not moving on to fifth grade that September. No, my mother knew that if I didn’t have an outlet then I’d be in the apartment all day watching game shows or playing “Pong”.

I hadn’t thought much about that Summer until I read that my 4-H teacher passed away.

Horticulturist Frederick (Freddie) Glasoe dispensed gardening advice with a direct manner and his distinctive squeaky, gravelly voice as co-host of KSTP-AM radio's "Home and Garden" show on Saturday mornings for three decades.

Glasoe, 80, a retired science teacher and former president of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, died of heart disease on May 14 in Ojai, Calif.

I recall Mr. Glasoe reminding me of Oliver Hardy of the famed duo Laurel & Hardy. Of course, I never had the guts to tell him that.

In the article announcing his passing, he was described as having a “squeaky, gravelly voice.” I recall one incident in particular when that voice barked at me in annoyance. Now the first ten years of my life I had lived in nothing but city dwellings where the only horticulture I knew of was patches of grass with dandelions. So when we were tromping around in the school garden in the summer of ’79, Mr. Glasoe was showing us how to spruce up the area. He then complained of all the weeds which were growing and then yanked out a fistful near some plants. At that point, I said “Mr. Glasoe, isn’t that a tomato plant you just pulled out?” Horrified, he looked at what he had in his hand and then looked at me and said “Nobody likes a smart a$$” and then moved on. I recall one of his 4-H helpers laughing to the point of his face turning purple.

To this day, I still know very little about horticulture…except for the fact I can tell the difference between a tomato plant and weeds.



Today I celebrate another birthday. And it marks the last birthday where I can say I’m a “thirty-something”.

Every time I allude to the fact that next year will be a milestone birthday, my gal responds with an almost mischievous laugh. I’m definitely in for something next year but I just don’t know what.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Separated at Birth: Senator Ted Kennedy & The Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man

Yeah, I know it seems rather callous to take a shot at Senator Kennedy in light of his being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I'm sorry, but the guy clearly needs to mix in a salad (not that I should criticize one's eating habits, given my own struggles in that area).

Politics aside, I wish Senator Kennedy nothing but the best as he battles his potentially fatal disease.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy --th birthday!!

My gal is celebrating her birthday today. I’ve attempted to type in her age in this post but every time I do I receive an electric shock. Huh. Must be a technical glitch.

Happy birthday, Jen.

As always, the best is yet to come!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of an American icon.

Actor Jimmy Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He was considered one of the finest Hollywood actors of the 40s and 50s, with such memorable roles as down-on-his-luck banker George Bailey in the holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life and naïve US Senate appointee Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Alfred Hitchcock turned him into a dramatic leading man in films like Rear Window and Vertigo. In the latter stages of his career, Stewart appeared in many westerns.

Despite the enormous success he enjoyed, Stewart always maintained that sort of shy “aw shucks” demeanor. Yes, the boy from southwestern Pennsylvania never got too caught up in the show business hype. He even stayed married to his first wife Gloria for 44 years, until her death in 1994. Stewart passed away three years later at the age of 88.

But if there’s one memory I’ll always cling too, it was Stewart’s appearance on The Tonight Show back in the early 80s. He wrapped up his guest appearance with a poem about his beloved dog Beau. The poem was a personification of Jimmy Stewart himself: simple, kind and heartfelt.

Happy 100th, Jimmy!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Barack Obama = John Kerry + Charisma

When Senator John Kerry endorsed Barack Obama In January as the Democrat Presidential candidate, I smelled a hint of spite. Of the three viable candidates remaining then, Obama was the only one who neither threw Kerry under the bus for his “botched joke” nor torpedoed his 2004 Presidential run with shameless demagoguery.

But now I realize that maybe Kerry’s endorsement was genuine. More specifically, perhaps he saw a lot of himself in Obama. If you have heard some of Obama’s speeches and interactions over the past few weeks, he has employed much of the same rhetoric and techniques that failed Kerry in ’04.

On Sunday, Obama attempted to frighten senior citizens by distorting John McCain’s support for Social Security reform.

Obama said McCain would push to raise the retirement age for collecting Social Security benefits or trim annual cost-of-living increases. Obama has rejected both ideas as solutions to the funding crisis projected for Social Security in favor of making higher-income workers pay more into the system.

"We have to protect Social Security for future generations without pushing the burden onto seniors who have earned the right to retire in dignity," he said.

Kerry in 2004:

"I will never privatize Social Security," the Massachusetts senator said. "I'll never cut the benefits, and I won't raise the retirement age."

"The president's privatization plan for Social Security is another way of saying to our seniors that the promise of security will be broken."

Elitists Obama and Kerry also put forth some of the more laughable attempts at showing their “regular guy” side.

In Indiana earlier this month, Obama stopped in to a small town tavern, saw what the majority of patrons were drinking and said “I’m gonna have a Bud.” Four years earlier in the all important swing state of Ohio, Kerry strolled into an Ohio store and in dumbed down grammar inquired “Can I get me a huntin’ license here?”

What failed miserably in 2004 is being tried again this election cycle. But there is one advantage Obama has over dryball Kerry: he can deliver demagoguery with charisma.


I want to be a part of it....

New York, New York!!

After booking our flights and hotel reservations for our July trip to NYC, my bro and I began working on getting Twins-Yankees tickets. Since the Yankees games are routinely sold out, just ordering them via the ticket office or walk-up isn't possible.

Ah, but this is the 21st century. That's right: E-bay!!!!

I found a Yankee season ticket holder who was looking to unload his two tickets for the July 23 afternoon game. Today I received the good word that my bid was highest!!!

And here is where we will be sitting:

And the view is spectacular!!

The package also includes two passes to the Sony Stadium Club, which is a full service restaurant in Yankee stadium. The club opens opens two hours prior to the start of the game and closes at the end of the seventh inning. How nice is this place? They have a dress code!!

Next phase: Tickets to see Late Night with Conan O'Brien!!!


Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm not worthy!!!

"Did you ever feel life was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?"
-Actor George Gobel (circa 1970s), when he was alongside Dean Martin and Bob Hope on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

I can now echo that very sentiment when looking at the blogroll on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s new site on My humble little site is one of thirteen listed amongst some of the more prestigious Minnesota “Right” blogs. Now more than ever do I feel like I have a lot to live up to.

But the greater point here is that we now have ready online access to the wonderful insights of Rep. Bachmann. In this era of Republican politicians being ousted for not acting like…well, Republicans, Michele Bachmann is living proof that running as a conservative is still a winning formula. And on a selfish note, she will be our representative once we move to Ramsey this Fall!

In the veritable bloodbath that the GOP endured in the 2006 midterm elections, Rep. Bachmann was one of the few bright spots. And now she brings that klieg-like spirit to the blogosphere.

Welcome, Rep. Bachmann!!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Olbermann unhinged.

I have to be honest when I say I never much cared for Keith Olbermann. I recall when his insufferable arrogance was on display at ESPN in the early to mid 90s. He was also a miserable failure when he was part of NBC's sports coverage in the late 90s.

But that’s nothing compared to his sheer lunacy on the nightly MSNBC show Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Said lunacy earned him the 2006 Loon of the Year award on the Northern Alliance Radio Network.

Ah, but Keith still maintains that good ol' Olby arrogance. Check out the 12-minute screed he put forth Wednesday evening. He blathers on as if President Bush were listening in. The scary thing is Olby might actually believe the President would debase himself to watch such a wretched program.

Yup. That's what $3 million per year'll get ya at MSNBC.


A message to the world.

I’ve been tagged by Dan-O to put together a Message to the World meme.

The meme rule is as follows: You have 150 characters to send a message to the world. Punctuation doesn't count.

Fair enough. I would merely cite the biblical verse of Galatians 6:9.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

As I write this, my gal is working feverishly on a huge project for her Masters Degree. She will complete her degree by the end of the Summer. On top of that, we are working on the mounds of paperwork required in preparing to adopt a child within the next year.

I guess two life-altering events weren’t enough for us. That said, we are officially moving forward with building a new home!

As such, we have created a new blog dedicated solely to new home updates. We anticipate construction beginning before the end of this month, with a move-in date sometime around early Fall!!


More Dad shenanigans.

So my Aunt Diane (my Dad’s younger sister) called me last night to check in. I hadn’t talked to her in a couple of months so she was catching me up on the latest family news. She tells me that they’re not having a Memorial Day gig at their place this year because she and my Uncle Bruce are going to Germany for vacation. I was then shocked to learn that my cousin (Diane’s older daughter) is going through a divorce after 10 years of marriage.

But that wasn’t even the ultimate newsworthy item. Diane went on to mention how my Dad was going to be taking my Grandma up to my Uncle’s place in Northeast Wisconsin this weekend.

Dead silence for five seconds.

“You do know you’re Dad is flying in to town tonight, don’t you?” Diane asked. Had no idea, actually. I talked to Dad as recently as last month. He mentioned something about coming to town around May or June but hadn’t made definite plans at that point. My Aunt gave one of those chuckles where she was clearly disgusted but not surprised at Dad’s neglect.

Now one might think I was angered by this development. But the truth is I know why he’s in “not speaking” mode. While he hasn’t had the intestinal fortitude to say anything to me personally, he’s looking for an apology from me.

When Dad came to town last year he basically shouted down my wife when she didn’t agree with an opinion of his. Now if that were an isolated incident, I might have let it slide. But since this was becoming a pattern every time he visited, I’d had enough. So I wrote him a letter just before he left town last July. In the letter, I basically unleashed my hurts and frustrations built up over thirty years. Since I had been seeing a therapist last year, I had finally come to grips with my relationship (or lack thereof) with Dad. As such, he needed to know that I was no longer going to walk on eggshells around him when broaching subjects that anger him. I also pointed out that it still stuck in my craw how he blew off me and my brother Eric virtually our entire childhood.

We didn’t speak about the letter until last August. When he brought it up, he basically unloaded on me to the point where he claimed I had my head up my a**. I guess I held out a glimmer of hope that he might be introspective and realize that his general belligerence is not worth alienating his family. Unfortunately, that was too much to hope for. We ended the conversation having resolved nothing. Nevertheless, I figured the matter was closed. You know, we just basically “agreed to disagree.”

Not the case.

Dad came back to town last October to serve as best man in his younger brother’s wedding. When we saw each other for the first time since the over-the-phone blow out, things were cordial and polite. However, I would learn later that he was looking for me to apologize for the no-holds-barred letter I wrote. Then, and only then, would he consider the matter closed. Now in our August phone conversation I did express regret over and over for not conveying my frustrations a lot sooner (Not that it would have done any good had I done so 5-10 years earlier). Other than that, I felt I had nothing to apologize for. And I still feel that way today.

If Dad feels he’s been wronged, he will need to tell me specifically where he takes issue. I will then listen with an open mind and open heart. I will even answer his objections in a dignified matter.

Until that happens, he will merely do the equivalent of drinking poison while hoping I’m the one who gets sick.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Come again?

Did anyone happen to see any locust outside this evening? How about Halley’s Comet?

I figured something bizarre was taking place when I saw the standings in Major League Baseball's AL East division.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the mend.

On Thursday morning, I woke up with a sore lower back. By the time I got to work I could barely stand without my legs feeling as though they were giving out.

On Friday, I was in even worse pain. Not only did my posture make me look like Quasimodo, I couldn’t even bend over to put my socks on. You can imagine the pathetic scene with my gal having to put my socks on for me. And to add insult to injury, I was also informed of my dire need for a pedicure.

Anyhow, with the pain so unbearable, I left work at Noon Friday to go to the doctor. Thankfully, the X-rays showed I had no bulging or slipped discs. However, it was determined I had severe spasms. As a result, I was prescribed a veritable buffet of meds. With a concoction of Vicodin, muscle relaxers and extra-strength Motrin, I’ve had two of the best nights sleep in….oh….my whole natural life!!!!

Thus far today, my pain is under control despite only taking one dose of Motrin this morning. It’s a good thing, too. I’ve heard horror stories of people becoming severely addicted to some of those high-powered medications.


Wedding perspectives.

Jenna Bush, the daughter of President George W. Bush, was married on Saturday at the Bush ranch in Crawford, TX. The President called the wedding “spectacular.”

However, the Democrat response conveyed the nuptials as being blasé and lacking pizzazz.


Friday, May 09, 2008

It was a nice run!

A photo of my gal and Katie McCollow. Keegan's, September 2006.

I had a feeling this day would come. Nevertheless, I still wasn’t ready for it.

Katie McCollow, proprietor of the uproariously funny Yucky Salad With Bones, is signing off.

So folks, I'm pulling the plug on the Salad. This has been tons of fun, but life has gotten way too busy these days and something has to go. It was either this or Molly, and what can I say? I love the kid.

I started this thing what, about 4 years ago, for no other reason than I thought it would be fun. I never paid any attention to how many hits I got, not because I'm some counterculture goth girl or anything, more due to the fact that other issues were more pressing, like the kitchen was on fire or a kid was hanging off a precarious ledge or something. Oh let's see, the other day I got home from a run to find them all out in the front yard, trying to dislodge an arrow from a second story shutter by heaving various heavy objects at it. Hmm. Nothing like coming home to find the troops throwing rocks and footballs at the windows.

But I wanted to make a formal goodbye, so long and thanks for all the fish. Really, I can't tell you how much I appreciated y'all reading.

Over the past year or so, Katie’s posting had become somewhat sporadic. Usually when I start reading a blog, I rarely check back when there isn’t a post for more than three days. But the ‘Salad’ was on my daily check-in list regardless of the length of time between entries. Whether it was the humorous account of her daughter Molly snorting a Battleship game piece or her hilarious insights on the various Hollywood awards shows, Katie just had that gift.

It is my firm belief that everyone needs a light-hearted diversion from the daily grind that life can sometimes become. For me, “Yucky Salad” was the perfect antidote!

Thanks, Katie!


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Searching for Bobby Jindal.

When conservative titan Rush Limbaugh declares a politician “the next Ronald Reagan, if he doesn’t change”, I make it a priority to learn about such an individual.

Bobby Jindal became the youngest governor in the United States when the 36-year old garnered 54% of the vote in the 2007 Louisiana gubernatorial race (None of his other three opponents even topped 20%).

In this the era of the Republicans losing the mantle of fiscal responsibility, Jindal’s accomplishments clearly indicate he has the ability to cure the “drunken sailor” mentality of today’s GOP. During his tenure as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana's Medicaid program went from bankruptcy with a $400 million deficit into three years of surpluses totaling $220 million. Such success led to his 1998 appointment as executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, a 17-member panel charged with devising plans to reform Medicare.

In September 2003, Jindal went on the record in the Times-Picayune by saying he is "..100 percent anti-abortion with no exceptions. I believe all life is precious." He never once backed down from that statement. Despite narrowly losing to Kathleen Blanco in ’03 gubernatorial race, Jindal decided to run for the US House in Louisiana’s 1st Congressional district, which is notorious for its social conservatism. Jindal won a seat in the House in 2004 with 78% of the vote and was re-elected in 2006 with a whopping 88%.

With 71-year old John McCain the presumptive GOP nominee, conventional wisdom says that he would select a rising young star as his running mate. While Jindal would appear to be a choice which would galvanize conservatives for the McCain campaign, my preference would be to have him serve out his term in Louisiana. If his track record is any indication, Jindal will strengthen his credentials by proving his leadership in an executive position of government.

Without a Jimmy Carter, there would have never been the longing for a Ronald Reagan in 1980. We may see history repeat if a 41-year old Jindal makes a White House run in 2012, especially if we’ve had to endure four years of an Obama presidency.

However, it is my hope is that the Republicans will make serious adjustments in time for the 2008 elections.


Hope Wins!

Being a middle school science teacher can be rather harrowing at times. Having worked in this profession for the past fourteen years, I have collected my share of ‘war stories’. Gangs, drugs, pregnancies, criminal behavior of all sorts, apathy, parents who could care less about the amazing kids they have, kids who could care less about the amazing families they have…..I could go on and on.

Thankfully, for every sad story I have many happy ones. The great kids and families are what keep me going despite the challenges. I laugh every day at my student’s antics and they bring me great joy. I don’t post often on my hub’s blog, but this is a joyful story worth sharing.

One of the students in my school was diagnosed with leukemia. She was out of school for several months undergoing chemotherapy. Most people are familiar with the effects of chemotherapy, the most obvious being hair loss. If you remember what middle school was like when you were a kid, then you can understand how difficult it is to be a thirteen year old sickly bald girl.

The cool part is that six of her best friends, three boys and three girls, shaved their heads to keep her company. I love it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hey, Hey. Ho, H....Ah, Who Cares?

It’s amazing what moderate success in a war will do to an anti-war movement.

Three protesters, a half-dozen signs and a missing petition.

"People walk past and say, 'I'm glad you're doing something,' " said Marty O'Malley, a Forest Hills, Pennsylvania council member who has attended more than 100 anti-Iraq war events, as he stood in front of Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle's Downtown office last week with the small gathering of activists.

"I want to shake them and say, 'Why aren't you doing something!?'"

Oh, we are. We’re actually advocating victory. And wouldn’t you know it? There’s now reason for optimism, albeit cautious optimism. Who would have though such a thing leading up to the 2006 midterm elections? Back on September 11, 2006, there was a Washington Post story claiming a nearly untenable situation in what was then the al-Qaeda dominated Al-Anbar province. Today, that area is considered one those most stable regions and is even under control of the Anbar military forces. And there have been numerous other stories detailing how the Iraqi military is leading more of the combat operations.

As a result, the success has been an unmitigated disaster for Congressional Democrats so heavily invested in defeat, with Senate majority leader Harry Reid leading the way. Their sole issue in the ’06 midterms (other than their vapid cries of a GOP “culture of corruption”) was ending the conflict in Iraq, or at least putting restrictions on funding the war. Despite attaining majorities in both the House and Senate, the Democrats’ failures culminated last December when 70 Senators approved a no-strings-attached war funding bill.

So when I see that war protesters are frustrated by apathy, I believe they have it all wrong. People aren’t so much apathetic as they are resistant to join a losing cause.


Have another donut!!!!

With apologies to Mitch Berg, it happened twenty years ago today.

On May 6, 1988, New Jersey Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld accosts an official after an NHL playoff game. It's one of the more humorous tongue lashings caught on tape!


Monday, May 05, 2008

Off to the glue factory.

We were trying to cheer up my sister, who was feeling a little down the other day. Her horse got a broken leg and I had to shoot it. So now it's got a broken leg and a gunshot wound. I don't know what you shoot it for. I guess it helps the healing process. If it ain't better tomorrow, I'm gonna shoot it again, I'll tell you that right now.
-Larry the Cable Guy

Yeah, I thought of that very bit from the famed redneck comedian when reading about PETA’s squawk over the handling of filly Eight Belles. The horse had to be euthanized after breaking both its front ankles in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Elitist phonies again running amok in the Heartland.

If it weren’t for the humorous moments of a grueling Presidential race, one could go crazy over what is now an almost two-year process.

Some of the more classic moments of the 2004 campaign were failed candidate John Kerry’s continued attempts at proving he was just a regular guy. With Ohio a big time swing state in the ’04 race, Kerry decided to garner some publicity by going duck hunting. So about two weeks before the election, Kerry walked into a Pike County, Ohio store and in dumbed-down grammar asked “Can I get me a huntin’ license here?” Of course, Ohioans saw right through that thinly veiled publicity stunt and thus the Buckeye state went to President Bush.

And now the candidate Kerry has endorsed in the 2008 race is following suit.

Visiting VFW Post 1954 in North Liberty, Ind. (Thursday) evening for a "mix and mingle" photo op, (Senator Barack) Obama suddenly had nothing but booze on the brain. “I’m going to see if I might get a beer in there,” he announced, unprovoked, as he strode through the parking lot--with an armada of pool photographers in tow. Arriving inside, the senator immediately told the crowd why he'd come: “I’m not going to give a speech or anything, I just want to stop by … and maybe get a beer as well.” Still, he managed to shake a few hands--before abruptly noticing that the cameramen were “blocking the bartender.” "I’m going to have a Bud," he declared with a quick glance at what the assembled vets were drinking.

Pretty savvy, eh? Now I’m not one to suggest that I know whether or not Obama likes his brewskis. But when I heard the audio clip of his placing an order for the Bud, it sounded as awkward and unnatural as Kerry’s request for a “huntin’ license.” Add that to the fact that Obama questioned the intentions of Hillary Clinton for doing virtually the same thing.

Speaking to steelworkers in Pittsburgh last month, Obama mocked his rival for seeking to boost her blue-collar cred with a boozy photo-op at the Bronko Restaurant and Lounge in Crown Point, Ind. where she reportedly chased a shot of Crown Royal with some Old Style beer. "After all, you've heard this kind of rhetoric before," he said at the time. "Around election time, the candidates can’t do enough for you. They'll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer."

Obama himself must have been overcome with some of that Pennsylvania bitterness. After all, it appeared Hillary stole his idea.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Spring cleaning.

In preparation of having my mother-in law move in with us (yes, the move appears to be back on) we first needed to perform a major clean up of her house. In addition to the gal and me, Jen’s brother-in law and two teenaged nephews also joined in the festivities.

We rented a rather large dumpster to dispose of all the excess junk that has been stored in my father-law’s shed and spacious garage. Yes, suffice to say Dad was quite the “pack rat”. Oh there were a couple of occasions when we attempted to do such a clean while he was alive. However, we could never prevent him from going into the dumpster after the thirty year old tent poles (which had no tent which to attach) or the fluorescent light bulbs which were burnt out.

Phase I: The shed. A few years ago, Dad built a shed specifically for the lawn equipment but said equipment was always kept in the garage. We never knew what he actually kept in that shed….until today. As we opened ‘er up we found such items as pots and pans, a broken sump pump, a rickety old fan and a lantern which looked as though it came over on the Mayflower. So our first accomplishment was throwing out all that useless stuff and actually making room for the lawn equipment.

Phase II: The garage. Since the garage was always one big cluttered mess, Dad would never be able to find the gas can or the quart of oil he would need. As a result, he would go out and buy new ones thinking he had lost or used up the others. So what do you suppose we discovered? About seven quarts of Valvoline motor oil and four gas cans. Also, we learned he had an affinity for saving empty Folgers coffee cans.

Phase III: The gargantuan refrigerator in the basement. My brother was kind enough to stop by and assist me and Jen’s brother-in law in getting the fridge upstairs. We merely needed to get it to the top of the stairs and then push it out to the garage where someone will come retrieve it next week. Before we could even think of doing that, we had to remove the railing to allow us more space. Then we removed the fridge doors and shelves to make it lighter. Finally after about an hour of maneuvering, we got it into the garage!

After a total of about six straight hours of taxing physical labor, we stepped out into the garage and admired our work. Everything we wanted to keep was neatly organized and everything that needed to go was in the big dumpster. We literally couldn’t have fit another article in that large receptacle. As we were basking in the fruits of our labor, my wife’s shoulders all of a sudden sagged and at the same time she said “Oh, no.” She pulled on the string attached to the ceiling which opened the door to the attic above the garage. As she climbed up the ladder, what do you suppose she uncovered? That’s right. There were boxes as far as the eye could see, containing who knows what.

I could almost hear Dad’s laugh as we talked of renting another dumpster next month.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Line of the week.

Allegations surfaced this week regarding pitcher Roger Clemens carrying on a decade-long affair with country singer Mindy McCready. The tryst was said to have began in 1991 when Clemens, then age 28, spotted the 15-year old McCready in a Fort Myers, FL night club.

Thus Joel McHale of The Soup provided us with this week's best zinger.

"Yankees catcher Jorge Posada now knows what it's like To Catch a Predator."