Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Hangover

After finishing last night's post I went out with the boys and got seriously crunked up. At 10:30 Krusty and I realized we were pretty gone and started talking about heading home, but neither of us had driven and we had no intention of walking home so we ended staying for the infamous "one more drink." Next thing I know it's 2am and Juan is stumbling around the parking lot of Chumley's yelling into his cell phone for his girlfriend to come pick us up. As a result, I spent most of the morning staring at the screen of my PC, nursing a hangover and pretending to work.

One thing I did get done today was make some chicken noodle soup and I did it the old fashioned way from scratch. I threw a meaty chicken carcass into a pot of water with some salt, pepper, onions, and carrots and let that cook for two hours. Then I strained out the chicken and vegetables and returned the newly made stock to the big pot I was just using. After the chicken cooled I picked all the meat off the carcass, chopped it up, and put that into the stock along with the carrots that I used to make the stock. I threw in a one pound bag of egg noodles, added enough water to cover everything, let it all cook for about twenty minutes and boom, HillRat's soon to be world famous chicken noodle soup.

I have to say, this soup is delicious (I'm having another bowl right now). Adding the noodles before everything is boiling releases a little extra starch and gives the soup a really nice creamy texture. I really do love my own cooking.

But something occurred to me while I was making this soup. There seems to be a lot of talk about how American families eat so poorly; they go out to eat too much and eat too many prepared and convenience foods when they do eat at home. I'm lucky enough to work from home, so I have the luxury of being able to watch over a boiling pot of deliciousness and go through the necessary steps to make a big batch of homemade soup. I have to wonder how many families have the desire and skill to cook healthy and nutritious meals at home, but simply lack the time to do so?


Today was the first time that BabyRat has been trick or treating. The last couple of years, we've simply gone to "Hilloween" over at Eastern Market and called it a night.

We went over the in-laws for a quick dinner of burgers and headed out with a whole posse (in-laws, me, wife, a cousin, and a brother-in-law) at about 6pm. We live in a very generous neighborhood where folks were giving out name brand candy by the handful. After about an hour BabyRat was getting tired and having trouble carrying her massive bag of candy, so we headed home.

One thing I have to mention was the parent WHO WERE DRIVING THEIR LAZY ASS KIDS AROUND!! I couldn't fucking believe it, maybe it was the parent who were lazy, but seriously WTF? If it had been ridiculously cold or something, I guess I could see it. But driving kids around to mooch free candy is just whack.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Random Post

Is Mike Singletary actually a rugger? - It looks like he might be, randomly dropping trou is one of the hallmarks of a rugger. I've been reading a bit about Singletary and what's been going on since he took over the 49ers and I love reading about an old school coach. Not old school in the abusive way, like the high school football coach I had that threw tampons at a running back exhorting him to, "Hit the hole, pussy!" I'm talking about old school in that he expects his players to sell out to the team, to be responsible to their teammates, to put their devotion to the team above their individual goals.

My own recent experience as a coach of young men makes me sympathetic to what Singletary is trying to adapt to. Even though Singletary is ten years older than I am, we both came of age (you like how I just put myself in the same category as an NFL Hall of Famer?) at a time when parental ass whippings and coaches whose motivational tactics often spilled over into outright cruelty were the coin of the realm. Now we find ourselves trying to understand and motivate young men who spent their early lives getting trophies regardless of if they won or lost and may still be developing a mental toughness that's not fostered by playing Halo online. This isn't to say that the young bucks now aren't just as rough and ready in their own way, it's just a way that we don't necessarily recognize or understand.

More Security Kabuki in DC - Metro is introducing bag searches. Poop in yer pants stupid says me.

And now a rant on Comcast's latest outrage. Fucking Comcast, they continually find ways to provide less service and charge more money. I just got an e-mail explaining their latest rate increase, how these bloodsucking shitbags think there is any justification for charging me more money is beyond me. But the thing that really burns my ass is the $2 "convenience fee" for payments made through automated service.

Think about this for a second, rather than mailing them a check that they have to take out of an envelope and send to a bank, I pay online and allow them to do everything electronically. Thus saving them the time and expense of having my payments pass through human hands and for doing them this favor they ARE CHARGING ME MORE MONEY?!?!?!?!?! Is Comcast counting on me and millions of others being too lazy to stroke a check every month? If so, they are sadly mistaken because this time they have gone to fucking far.

I'm sitting here literally shaking with rage at Comcast's latest "go fuck yourself customer." I may just call Comcast just to cuss out one of their phone jockeys; I know it's not whoever picks up the phone's fault, but they choose to work for the shit-sucking, ass-gobbling, money-grubbing, douche-garglers at Comcast so I hope whatever they're getting paid is worth the tidal wave of complaints they're sure to hear in the coming weeks.

In closing fuck Comcast, fuck Comcast, and FUCK COMCAST in the ass, cunt, and mouth with a splintery pool cue.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dental Horror

So WifeRat made an appointment for me to see the dentist that she used in high school and college here in Fargo. I hadn't been to the dentist in more than a while, so I went without complaint.

One thing that is striking about Fargo is that everything here is huge and relatively new, half of what I think of as Fargo probably wasn't around 30 years ago. I'm used to going to the dentist in DC, where you have an office wedged into 16-18 foot wide building that's probably some where in the neighborhood of a 100 years old. Even an immaculate place is going to be a little crusty by virtue of the age of the building. So I was a little bit in awe of the enormous, new building where this dentist has his office.

The first time I go to this place, it's just for an examination. Shortly after I arrive I have a consultation with the dentist. We meet in a conference room with a dental hygienist and then in great detail he explains his dental philosophy, talking about doing a soft tissue check for oral cancers and shit because if he doesn't do it no one else will.

One thing you have to understand about me, I grew up as an Army brat. I always got excellent medical and dental care, but it was very utilitarian. I was in my mid-20's before I ever went to a doctor or dentist's office that had a magazine in the waiting room that was less than two years old. As a result of these early experiences, the idea that the dentist would sit down and lay out a unified theory of dentistry is really weird to me. I guess bedside manner isn't something I really need out of my health care professionals; just fixing me up and getting me on my way is enough for me.

So after the big spiel, Dr. I. Yankem sends me off to have one of his flunkies take a bunch of x-rays and shit. While I'm waiting for the film to be developed, the hygienist comes in and offers me a selection of magazines for my reading pleasure. When the pix are finally ready, we talk about what's going on in my mouth for a minute and then I'm shown the door and have to make another appointment to get my two cavities filled. Fortunately WifeRat knew the drill with this place and I already had an appointment on the books to get a cleaning, so they just extended that time by an hour to deal with my rotten grill.

Finally the sordid topic of coin is raised and I get torched for $170 for a dental appointment where my teeth didn't even get flossed.

Today I went back for the cleaning and whatnot. This time there wasn't a lot of preamble, I was immediately shown to a chair once I left the waiting room. Dr. Yankem comes in and, in his usual ultra-thorough style, explains what's going down with the anesthesia. This was followed by a typical sequence of drilling, weird smelling smoke, suction thingy, and drooling.

Then a dental hygienist (DH) and her flunkie comes in to do some sort of supplemental examine before I get my teeth cleaned. DH then begins to jab me in the gums with a sharp instrument and starts yelling out numbers that are noted on some sort of chart by the flunkie.

After DH finishes, we enter the high pressure sales portion of the day. The situation reminded me of when you're buying a car and they send you back to that little room with the finance guy and he puts the squeeze on you explaining that underbody rust proofing can be had for another $4 each month. The DH tries to convince me that I need some sort of treatment I've never heard of to deal with some condition that I wasn't aware that I had. I ask for more information and the DH comes back with two estimates, one for $1000 and the other for $350. After a bunch more questions from me, we settle on the less expensive treatment with the understanding that we won't have time to finish today and I will have to come back A-FUCKING-GAIN!

I don't know if ol' girl was pissed because I didn't go for the okey-doke on the more expensive treatment or what, but she gouged the fuck out of my gums during the debridement.

Going out to that front desk is worse than the treatment. I get up there, my mouth is all fucked up, sore, and half numb and then I'm waiting for them to tell me how much I owe. The receptionist pushes a few buttons and announces the damage. $442, dagger! But I did get a 3% discount for paying the whole thing right then.

It's many hours later and my mouth still feels kind of fucked up in a way that it's never really felt after leaving the dentist. I can't really open wide without feeling it and teeth that weren't even worked on feel kind of funny. This is some bullshit. Fucking Dentist!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Freestyle About Gambling in Fargo

Here it is, a freestyle blog post. I've got no agenda, nothing in particular to write about in mind, and self-imposed 500 word space to fill so I'm letting it fly and seeing if I can bang this out in one sitting.

Did y'all know there is mad gambling out here in the Fargo-Moorhead area? Aside from the usual lotto nonsense, in Minnesota and North Dakota they sell these things call "pull tabs" in many of the bars. Not being much of gambler myself, I find these pull tab things to be unspeakably dopey and total waste of gambling dollars. Seriously, WTF? Just sit there and rip these things open and hope you win a prize? At least with a slot machine you can choose when the reels stop or pull the lever or have some kind of "control" over the game.

In North Dakota, under the guise of charitable gaming, you will also find blackjack tables in bars. I'm talking a real live table with chips, the eye in the sky, and the whole deal. It's kind of phat. The first time I saw a blackjack table in a bar the only thing I could think of was what kind of outrageous scams would be going down if they had that shit in New Jersey.

As a general rule I have pretty atrocious gambling luck, anytime I've walked out of a casino a winner I usually gave the money back in the next few days and then some. Back in the day I used to do a bit of sports gambling, but after a fine run during basketball season I managed to give back a season's worth of winnings in less than three weeks of betting on baseball. So as much as I like to gamble, I had to realize pretty much suck at it and allow it to remain one of the few vices I don't indulge in with any regularity. Aside from the occasional parlay card, and I do mean occasional I don't think I've played one in at least two years, I don't really gamble. Which is what makes it so weird that while I was out chilling and watching the game last night and spotted a blackjack table at Dempsey's I decided to try my luck.

I have more than a few friends who are pretty hardcore gamblers and one of the few tips I've gleaned from them over the years is that if you're going to play blackjack you have to vary your bets if you want to win money. With that in mind I got $40 worth of chips, a bottle of PBR, and went to work at this blackjack table.

When you learn how to gamble in the casinos in Atlantic City, there are certain rules that you follow 'cause you don't want some jamoke following you out to your car because you pulled the dealers bust card. Those rules are not followed in Fargo. The first time I was ever in a casino I got cussed the fuck out by a table full of people for taking a hit when the dealer had a six showing. The two dudes sitting at the table with me however, were splitting hands and doubling down against 5s & 6s like there was no tomorrow.

I ended up having a pretty decent night on the table. After buying a beer and making numerous tip bets on behalf of both dealers I managed to leave the bar with $20 more dollars than I came in with, you have to love that shit.


Monday, October 27, 2008

The Root Got Me Thinking

One of the great blessings of my life is literacy. Like others I was lucky to grow up in a house where reading was a normal part of life.

My folks were hardcore censors when it came to watching TV or movies. One of the humiliating moments of my teenage years came when my Mom kept me from going to see a James Bond movie with my friends because she believed the character and the movie objectified women. In retrospect I can see that she was right, but was making me the object of ridicule among my friends the best way to teach that lesson? Despite the lock down on visual media, I was always allowed to read whatever I wanted to. So I could read Frank Yerby, who was called a "smut peddler" by my English teacher senior year of high school, but James Bond was a no-no.

So while I was reading a piece in the Root about illiteracy I was really struck by this particular passage:

There is a culture of reading that has to be taught—carrying books and magazines on the train and bus, keeping reading material handy at home and work, subconsciously compiling lists of texts to read for pleasure and for growth. So many of us spend every free moment we have reading something—even if it's just the cereal box—it's hard to imagine having to instruct people to do what comes naturally to us.

It always seemed natural and normal to me to spend time waiting with a book or a magazine, my sister read so much my Mom had to impose rule that no reading was allowed during meals. I wonder how difficult it is to develop that habit as an adult?


So I Get This E-mail

On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 9:21 AM, <> wrote:

Now tell me he isn't a socialist


Now I wouldn't exactly call the guy I got this from a friend; but he's a dude who went to high school with a bunch of guys that I went to college with, and we've all been kind of having this weird, stream of consciousness e-mail discussion/argument for about 13 years running. So I actually know this guy pretty well; he's a FOX News lovin', Drudge Report readin', Limbaugh listenin', Reagan worshipin', big gov't hatin', Islam fearin', GOP nut gargler.

Below is my response, feel free to answer the question at the end in the comments -HR

Does it really matter if he is?

If you listen to this clip, Obama has obviously spent a great deal of time studying the Constitution and how it is applied in the real world. He speaks specifically about the problem of separation of powers and unfunded mandates from the Feds to local gov'ts. It sounds to me that he's actually agreeing with you about the philosophical position that you can't legislate from the bench and that if you want to effect large scale social or economic change in the US you have to do it through a combination of legislative and executive/administrative power.

Obama has praised Reagan as a transformative president and I think we all agree that's true. Reagan led and presided over a renegotiation of the covenant between citizen and gov't and perhaps Obama wants to do the same.

Y'all have kind of clowned [redacted] for expressing a willingness to pay more taxes under an Obama administration, but I actually kind of agree with [redacted]. It depends on what I get for my money; if pay 5% more in taxes but Obama really does walk on water, balance the budget, re-affirm American power, and provide quality health care for everyone then I consider it money well spent.

Serious question B: Where do draw the line between responsible gov't and Socialism?


Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm a Wimp

Dude, this weather out here in the MidWest is no joke!! I woke up this morning and heard the wind whipping outside. BabyRat was told about the possibility of snow last night and so we looked out the window to see horizontal rain that quickly turned into sideways snow. Shrieks of delight became squeals of excitement when a new (to her anyway) snowsuit is revealed.

First we venture out onto the balcony to check on our collection of pumpkins and jack o'lanterns. In a matter of minutes it becomes abundantly clear that if I'm going to stay out there I must get some sort of outerwear, so I put on my new Carhartt that I had bought at Fleet Farm about six weeks ago.

I thought I was looking forward to when it was cold enough to finally wear my new coat but, seriously man, this is bullshit. It's not even Halloween and this is the kind of weather insanity that's jumping off? I'm ready to go back to DC.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Small World - Waaaasssssuuuuuuuuup

So after playing legos, playing with clay, scooping the seeds out of a pumpkin, and cleaning up the kitchen (all before 8:30am) the wife and I relented and let BabyRat watch TV. Now the wife is chilling with the New Yorker and I'm trying to bang out my blog post for the day. I look at my blog roll and I see that my home boy and my blogging idol, Ta-Nehisi Coates, have both posted the video below within an hour of each other. I'm jumping on the bandwagon too.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Night Links

Some Gear I'm Coveting - Yes, I'm fully aware that "Symbionese" is just some made up shit that sounds really old but isn't (kind of like Wicca) and it was really just a bunch of dipshits who ran around robbing banks and other lefties pretending they were revolutionaries. Still, the graphic is dope and the combination of the Fuct label on a Champion sweatshirt is a funky match that takes me back to the days of my youth.

Jerky Boys in '08 - Courtesy of Slate magazine, Barack Obama and John McCain soundboards. So simple but so hilarious.

Remember the Wall Street Bailout? - Guess what? The bill is actually about twice what we were originally told. Words continue to fail me on this issue.

Some buddies of mine and I were discussing this a couple of weeks back and I was screaming for vengence. Everything I said in that conversation; the number of CEOs I thought should be hung by the neck until dead, the number of bankers who should be forced to live in refrigerator boxes, and the number of public floggings; is now doubled.

Tempest in a Teapot - Zut alors! There's a problem with some of DC's absentee ballots, an issue that affects yours truly and the votes he casts in local elections. But I'm guessing that since Al Gore and John Kerry carried DC with 85% and 89% of the vote respectively this won't be much of problem in the Presidential election.


Why This Blog Sucks

There is a fundamental lack of honesty in my writing here that I can't really get around.

My first reader and my biggest fan is WifeRat. At the same, because we spend so much time together, no one gets on my nerves quite the way she does. The natural thing for a blogger to do would be to write about these conflicts and frustrations, unfortunately an accurate (from my perspective) recounting of these problems is characterized as me "trashing my wife" on my blog and I'm sure this post will be interpreted in the same way. But I love my wife, so to keep the peace I keep her and the infinite trove of source material she provides off my blog . . . mostly.

Shortly after we arrived in the Fargo-Moorhead area, WifeRat issued an edict that I'm not to blog about her family. Now as tough as it is to not write/complain about my wife, it's just cruel and unusual to not allow me to drink from the well of endless comedy that is my in-laws. Especially since my in-laws were, until recently, the only people I ever hung out with here.

A lot of my hesitation to really spill my guts about other topics comes from the fact that once you post something on the internet, it's basically there forever; it gets google-cached and then takes on a life of it's own. Even though it looks like a guy who admitted to smoking weed and doing blow is going to be elected President, Drug War paranoia keeps me from being as candid as I think a writer needs to be.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Greenspan Concedes Error

From the New York Times.

Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he "made a mistake" in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight.

What will all the free marketeers have to say about this?  Alan Greenspan, the most ardent defender of the "invisible hand" has been forced to admit that his ideology and view of the world was, in fact, incorrect. 

I have to give Greenspan his props though, when pointedly questioned he didn't equivocate or give some sort of half-assed, mealy mouthed answer.  He said straight up, things weren't working the way he thought they would.  Greenspan also pointed out, quite reasonably, that he had been working off of forty years of data that said things were working just fine.

When things were going well for the last fifteen or so years, I thought Greenspan was a pretty sharp guy and this admission of error does nothing to change that perception.  I would liken this situation to the one I wrote about yesterday, you can't just throw the baby out with the bath water because of one mistake.  I just hope that both Powell and Greenspan find a way to redeem themselves.


Dad Talk

I'm just gonna talk about being a Dad and how much I love my little girl. She's a laugh riot, tough as nails, and a kind, gentle, and caring soul.

One thing I've noticed since I became a Dad is that kid's TV is trippy as all hell. One morning when BabyRat was about a year old, I watched this show called Boobah with her; I thought my coffee was dosed with acid, the shit was just bizarre. The other thing that slays me about kid's shows is the random cameos. Whilst watching yet another whacked out kid's show the other day, Yo Gabba Gabba, who shows up on screen? Biz Markie, beatboxing about happy birthday.

Lest you think all I do is watch TV with my kid, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, we don't even have a TV out here in Fargo. Even when we're at home we actually keep the TV on pretty tight lockdown, it's not unusual for BabyRat to go several days running without seeing any TV at all during the week. The weekend is a slightly different story and the Wife and I will often allow the Doodler (one of several nicknames I have for her) to suck on the glass tit for an hour so we can get some sleep.

The weather out here is getting cold in a hurry, which means that our trips to the park will be ending soon. Going to the park with BabyRat is one of the great pleasures of my life. When BabyRat and I are on our way to the park it gives us this incredible opportunity to talk to each other and for me to really get to know this little person who has added so much to my life.

I never cease to be amazed at how tough and resilient my child is. Just the other day BabyRat took off ahead of me and took a header over the handlebars of her skuut bike, as I ran over to make sure she was OK she popped up and said, "I'm OK, I'm an athlete!!" You should have seen the smile on my face when she said that. As tough and strong as my kid is, I just hope I can avoid the temptation to become some sort of insane Sports Dad.

BabyRat, you fill my bucket.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Fall and Fall of Colin Powell

Wow! I was just over at the Cynics's Party and they've got nothing but strong words of derogation and abuse for the most well known General in America.

Despite the fact that Powell is a card-carrying Republican that allowed his prestige and gravitas to be used by the Bush43 administration, I've always held him in high esteem. The Republican thing never bothered me that much, because if Black people are going to become fully vested in the American Dream and the American political system we have to get off the Democratic plantation. Seriously, the DNC acts like it owns Black votes and we saw that attitude reflected in Bill Clinton's asinine comments during the Democratic primaries.

One friend of mine who is a Black, card-carrying Republican broke it down by saying if there was no racism *most* Black people would be Republicans. He further explained that no one group of people loves church and hates gays, the calling cards of the Religious Right, more than Black people. Ignoring the cognitive dissonance of assuming there is no more racism but homophobia is alive and well, I can't help but agree with my man. If you wanted to get even deeper into it, you could point to the issue of school choice too.

But I digress, back to Gen. Powell. I'm actually the only member of my immediate family that doesn't know the man, or hasn't met him on multiple occasions. BigDaddyRat crossed paths with Gen. Powell several times over the course of his 32 year career in the Army, MommaRat knows Alma Powell and has been to the Powell home on several occasions, and SisterRat worked with Gen. Powell at America's Promise a few years back. So my impressions of Colin Powell aren't just drawn from news clips, but rather people that have worked with him and for him and see the guy when the cameras are off. What they tell me is that he's a decent dude, with a strong sense of duty and fairness.

What I have to wonder is how did a man who accomplished so much in his life fall so far from grace? I guess joining the Bush43 administration had a lot to do with it and the dog & pony show he put on at the UN in the lead up to the Iraq war was the nail in the coffin. Still, is it fair for the chattering classes to place so much of the blame for the Iraq fiasco on Colin Powell?

Gen. Powell doesn't believe that anything he could have said or done would have prevented Iraq from happening. In that context, his decision to stay in the Bush43 administration was a logical one; the only way he could hope to influence events in a positive way was as the Secretary of State.

Sometimes we expect too much from our leaders. They are men and women just like the rest of us, with the same faults, flaws, and fears that keep us from being perfect and always doing the right thing. It's a mistake to castigate Colin Powell and disregard the 40+ years he spent serving our country. Was choosing to serve Bush43 a colossal fuck up on Powell's part? No doubt. But I think Mos Def said it best in the song "Umi Says":

I ain't no perfect man
I'm trying to do, the best that I can,
With what it is I have


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This May Be Tougher Than I Thought

Whoops! It's 8pm and I still haven't finished up my writing for the day. I guess I'll go ahead and get my whine on now.

Current hassles today include the ongoing drama of getting rent from our tenant into our checking account. The first problem was a mismatch between the number written on our tenant's check and the amount written out. Our bank (actually a credit union that I'm about ready to 86 because of various pains in the ass they have given me) kicked the check back to us and our tenant swears up and down that she mailed a new check that has yet to show up at the credit union. Having never had a tenant before, I don't know how common these kinds of problems are. Any guidance from the chattering classes is appreciated.

I'm also a little bummed out about the end of rugby season. I hooked up with a college side out here and after about a week with them, I decided that I could help their team better as a coach than I could as a player. So for the remainder of their season I took on a strictly coaching role.

It was difficult for me to say the least because rather than simply concentrating on my own game and my own fitness, I was now in a position where I had to concentrate on (and manage) the tactics, training, and fitness of 25-30 guys. In addition to the rugby side of things, once I assumed the role of coach I then had to gauge the player's varying levels of commitment to the team and attempt to motivate them. For a guy that is a part of the tail end of the last generation of men to have their high school coaches flagrantly curse them at practice and so forth, it presents an interesting challenge.


New Commitment

So while I've been out here in Fargo I've steadily been accumulating observations and anecdotes about life out here on the plains. The problem isn't to find the time to write, I have as much time as I need most days, but rather finding the discipline (and perhaps courage) to write each and every day. I know each blog post doesn't have to be "The Invisible Man", but because that kind of literate, precise, and clear writing is what I strive for, I often find myself paralyzed by my own limitations as a writer.

The decision I have made to get myself over the hump is to make a public commitment to write an average of 500 words a day, five days a week for the remainder of the calendar year. I'm guessing that those five days will usually coincide with the work week, but perhaps not. Sometimes the 500 words will go down in a single post, other days I may do five 100 word posts and I'm gonna leave myself some wiggle room in case I write some sort of emotionally exhausting 1500 word screed, that so long as I reach 2500 words for the week I'll consider my commitment fulfilled.

Of course, the $64,000 question is always does anyone give a fuck? I'm guessing at least a couple of people will be interested to see me spill my brains all over the internet a little more often, but this public declaration will mostly be met by raging indifference.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Haunted Halloween: Limited Space Available

NBM Family Activities

This Saturday: Build a Haunted House!

Haunted House  

Haunted Halloween

Saturday, October 25, 2008 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm and 2:00  - 4:00 pm

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you build and design your very own haunted house.  Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats and ghost stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum.  Ages 6+.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  Preregistration required. 

Register now for the morning session or afternoon session now!  Limited space available.






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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Give My Man a Vote

My man from all the way back in high school has entered an Obama poster contest. Cruise by and hook him up with a vote.




Monday, October 13, 2008

Cutting Edge Baltimore

Metro DC was one of the epicenters of the 90's internet boom, but Baltimore is a step ahead when it comes to rolling out WiMAX. TechRepublic EIC, Jason Hiner, blogged about Sprint's Wednesday launch of their WiMAX product called XOHM (ZŌM).

The Baltimore Sun has had both regular news stories and blog posts on the topic. Frequently hilarious troll blog dcistgohome has been quiet on the subject.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Political Observations

Even though I'm out here in Fargo for the moment, my newspaper of choice is still the Washington Post. While the polls say that the Presidential race is still too close to call, it seems like the Post's leading conservative lights are giving up on McCain.

Last week, RNC sycophant Charles Krauthammer waved the white flag of surrender on McCain's behalf. Naturally Krauthammer had to take a few shots at Obama and the Democratic party, but he did have the grace and intellectual honesty to acknowledge that the Democratic candidate for President has, " . . . both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament."

Then today George Will continued writing the epitaph for McCain's campaign for President. In the first four paragraphs of today's column Will manages to compare (or highlight comparisons of) McCain to legendary baseball manager Earl Weaver, Don Quixote, and Jesse Jackson. It was equal parts hilarious, brutal, and accurate and that was before Will started eviscerating McCain's mortgage bailout plan.

But there's a little more to the story than just the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments being done by conservative commentators. Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune is concerned about the "Bubba vote." In a nutshell, Page wonders whether the "Bradley effect" will scuttle Obama's bid for the Presidency. It's a legitimate concern and one that can't really be addressed in a proactive way.

Knockout Ed from COINTELPOL provided a link to a good piece of analysis on the Bradley effect. I'm not sure I buy it 100%, but it's definitely worthy of consideration.