Friday, September 30, 2005

The Wild Wild East

Governor Jeb Bush of Florida has just signed into law what is being affectionately known as the "Shoot First" law. Since I'm on a petitioning kick, here's a good'un.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The above banner was created by The Curmudgeon In Training. (Thanks Sscottyb! It's awesome!)


My earlier rant against Yahoo!, Google and MSN will now be escalated into a full-scale, organized request for people to actually boycott Yahoo!. See the link on the left to visit my new blog: BooYahoo! The blog is complete enough to let everyone know, but it's not done yet. On that blog, you will find my full, detailed explanation for why Yahoo! needs to be boycotted by freedom-loving citizens of the internet. It also includes a list of comparable services, detailed instructions on how to cancel your Yahoo! e-mail account, a petition to sign, and more. Soon I will have little buttons that people can place on their blogs if they would like to take part. If any of my friends have any suggestions, feel free to e-mail me with them. Anyone linking to the BooYahoo! site will get linked in kind! Thanks.

Monday, September 26, 2005

An American Embarassed

And Speaking of Michael J. Fox, I should recount my Michael J. Fox sighting story. (I stole this idea from Beth.) The year is 1991. The month is August. The Butcher and Mrs. Butcher (his then-wife and mother of the Butchlings) are celebrating their 5th anniversary in the fair city of Paris, France. After bearing the full brunt of the very worst rudeness Paris had to offer (seriously), my wife and I deferred to dining at foreign restaurants that did not feature French waiters. On this fine night, we ate at an expensive Indian Restaurant that was a mere stone's throw from our hotel on the Left Bank. The food was excellent, and the service was friendly and crisp. The restaurant was very classy, black tie waiters, folded cloth napkins, a very sober atmosphere with a constant hum of quiet, dignified conversation. You get the idea. I imbibed in a few glasses of port, and was feeling quite good. One of the most amusing things about Paris is how people will dine with their dogs. I scanned the restaurant to see how many people were allowing their canines to nibble at their garlic naan, and lo and behold, I spied Michael J. Fox a few tables away, dining with his wife. My wife and I were pleased by our star sighting so far from Hollywood. I continued to imbibe in my port, and as he and his wife were outside the restaurant getting into a cab, I tipped my chair back to get one ... last ... glimpse ... And suddenly I found that my chair had tipped back slightly further than I really wanted. There was a brief moment of semi-panic, and I attempted to grab the table so as to right myself and prevent the one potential outcome that I suddenly did not want to happen in the most extreme way. In lunging for the table, however, I believe I increased my backward momentum, so not only did I find myself teetering hopelessly backward, I managed to jostle the table and have it crash noisily back down. Luckily, the table managed to land upright, although some of the silver was askew and the glasses splashing a bit of their contents off onto the tablecloth. What the noise accomplished, however, was that every eye in the restaurant, both human and canine, were suddenly fixed upon the silly American man who was tipping precariously backward in his chair. Then, slowly, like an instant replay of a tennis ball bouncing just past the foul line, yours truly went crashing to the floor in a most ungracious manner. The hum of dignified conversation stopped cold, and the French diners responded to my faux pas with a dead silence that spoke volumes. The French did not approve of me. And that is fine. I don't approve of them either. Neener.

What is Todd's Trip?

Many of us liberals have been asking that. (j/k Todd!) But seriously folks, Todd is my old pal and he's heading off on a very very long journey ... ... by bicycle. That's right. Todd is trekking from his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado all the way to Dallas, Texas (750 miles) in an effort to raise money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. I've added Todd's link, but blogroller is acting as if it's been a joint-roller very recently. So the link is here. I encourage people to donate. Once you're at the page, click on the "mission statement" to get the scoop. Todd is leaving on Wednesday, so don't tarry!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Trip So Far

I'm $100 up playing poker. I had a gin martini and a cigar while we sat chatting with friends in the twilight last night. Gayle loved her birthday present this morning. I'm at Starbucks surfing the web with all the vigor of a three-toed sloth. Life is good.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Where I am Right Now

Gayle and I are spending her birthday weekend in Sedona Arizona. It's nice. :) Be back Monday.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A Note to Congress

NASA just unveiled new plans for a manned mission to the moon. This is wonderful news. Regardless of whatever else is going on in the world of politics, this is an issue where I will stand resolutely behind our President. He wants to send another manned mission to the moon, and then on to Mars. No matter how much money we are spending on Katrina relief and the "Iragmire," we need to keep this very very high on our priority list for where to spend our money. Raise my taxes if you have to do this. I'll be 56 in 2018, and will disco with joy once we set foot on the moon again. OK, this man does not disco, so this says something. If my personal California representatives do not go with this, I will remember your lack of foresight come voting time.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Mother May I?

In defense of his agenda with Iraq, President Bush said, "We don't need a permission slip from the UN to defend the US." (My opinion: While I don't agree with his agenda, this was a brilliant statement that helped him frame his argument with most Americans.) However, this photo was taken that later showed that the President apparently does need a permission slip to even use the little boys room ... Just a little Friday afternoon humor to brighten up your weekend! But Snopes has verified the authenticity of the photo.

A Few Important Announcements

First, I've added a new link. The "So Cal Grassroots Blog" has our very own Carol as a contributor. I've found it's political opinions to be funny and pertinent. Second, I'm not allergic to penicillin. You can all stop asking me now. Thank you. Third, I'm still less-than-happy with the amount I've been able to contribute to all of my friend's blogs. I've actually had one of them drop me as a link, which I found sad but justifiable. This is still due to my new seating placement and the general insanity of my work. I now have a 21" monitor so that all the people who can see what I'm doing are now able to actually read it. I'm hear to help. Fourth, I've added a "Cluster Map" to the sidebar, which I think is keen. It shows where my visitors live. You can get one too by clicking the map. Fifth, it's Friday and my long, arduous week is over. Yours is too. Go home!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ugly Americans

While most people are watching TV, I am usually playing an online computer game. This entails blowing up other human players, who are sitting in their homes cursing the fact that I have turned them into virtual giblets. Last night I was playing Halflife2 where I play the most often, at a server called "Shred's Place." Shred was there. He had always seemed like a nice guy, and it was a fast server. But last night, some joker came into the game and started talking about "Natural evolution taking place in New Orleans" or some such. There are often guys who will make preposterous statements in games like this. If you make people mad, they don't play as well. I ignored him. But then Shred laughed and said "I agree." I said, "Shred, are you a racist???" (Multiple punctuation was added for emphasis!!!) He said, "I told my wife that they should have just dropped a bomb on the Superdome." I was shocked, and called him an asshole, and left the game saying I would never be back. Yes that's right, The Butcher was so freaked out that he resorted to name-calling. But I was so depressed that racism is still so alive on a covert level that people can think and say such ugly things. Then they are ham-fisted enough to blurt them out from behind the veil of anonymity. Shred is obviously an imbecile, but it frightens me to think of how many "Shreds" are out there. Let us pray.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

But I Did Not Shoot the Deputy

Bush: "Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong." Respectable words. If he had said this about US Intelligence gathering prior to the Iraqi war, I might actually respect him.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Here Here

Every now and then someone expresses something so perfectly that it can only be linked to. The Curmudgeon in Training has asked the President to Step Down.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Arnold, Consider This a Divorce

I'm so sorry I voted for Schwartzenegger. I thought that his virtue of being an outsider might find him better equipped to make some positive changes. Whatever. Chalk it up to experience. Today he let the California legislature know that he would veto the Same-Sex marriage bill that they just passed. California was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage through a state legislature. Goodie for us. However, Schwartzenegger is claiming that because California passed Prop. 22 five years ago, that the "will of the people" is against gay marriages. Five years ago? Excuse me? Doesn't our system allow for the will of the people to change? Don't our elected officials claim to represent the will of the people? Don't each one of them who voted FOR this bill face the wrath of their electorate if their will isn't represented? Bottom line: Schwartzenegger is posturing, and is acting unilaterally on this veto. It's a political motive, and he's schmoozing the Christian right. Bah. I apologize to California for contributing to this mess.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Butcher is Back

Sorry folks, I went off on vacation and neglected to tell a soul. My girlfriend, kids, and I flew up to Portland Oregon to visit my family and attend my sister's wedding. Here are some highlights: - My brother Matt pushing my Dad down the aisle so he can give the Bride (My sister Sarah) away. - We all had a fabulous time. My family in Portland is extremely sympatico. They're just awesome folks. Smart, funny, easy-going, drinkin', swearin' people just like me and my family. As Gayle aptly put it, "Jim loves being an Etchison." I do indeed. - I found out that I can still play Disc Golf. I tore my rotator cuff a few years ago, and for months afterward, whenever I would throw a disc, I had excruciating pain. My brother lives about 100 yards from the first tee of the most beautiful disc golf course I've ever seen. I couldn't resist, so Gayle, my bro, and I walked down there one day and I threw a decent game with .... (drumroll) ... no pain. Wahoo! Now I can break out the old discs and do something healthy for a change. - A few of us spent the day at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry . It's just plain awesome. - My kids, it turns out, are pretty swell travelling partners. This bodes well for future trips. However, I sometimes wonder how cooperative they would have been if our hosts hadn't have had the best Playstation2 setup on the face of the earth. Hmmmm. - I found out that I can go for five consecutive days without playing my computer games without my head exploding. Now I'm back at work, somewhat refreshed, and ready to bear the burden of corporate oppression once again. Woohoo!

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