Monday, July 30, 2007

new photos up at has a new set of photos up. Nate, Maren and I went to Princeton Saturday afternoon to see Mr. Ray perform at the Princeton Barbecue Festival.

Mr. Suburban-Dad was there to take pictures. Just hit the link above, and click on 'Digikam Pictures'.

SEEMS DNSCentral is down right now. Maybe you can get to the website manually:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Growing more aware as time goes by.

Over the last year or so I've begun to occasionally have what feel like flashes of insight into the human condition. This never happened to me previously, and it suggests to me that for most of my life I was walking around fairly clueless about things. (Sad to say, that isn't at all hard to swallow, or any surprise to me.)

Let me give an example -

Earlier this week Nate told me a kid at camp was teasing him. I agonized for about a day trying to decide how to advise him about this. I was always the kid that was picked on in every class, camp, etc... that I attended when I was a kid, so I knew everything that DOESN'T work to defend against other kids, but I didn't know what DOES work. Well, after sleeping on it, I came up with a potential solution, and talked to Nate about it the next day. Whether or not my solution is effective I don't know yet, but that isn't the point of this post.

Point 1) I might have found a solution for Nate to try, something I never realized before. It's likely this 'solution' is obvious, and something I should have figured out when I was 6 years old.

I was thinking about the above this morning. Now, Nate didn't use the word 'teasing', or the phrase 'picking on me' when telling me about the other camper. Being 6 years old, Nate said the kid was calling him names. I introduced the other phrase and word to the discussion.

Extrapolating from this, I wonder if the words I introduced sounded like 'big words' or 'fancy words' to Nate, and maybe he was thinking that they were unneccessary. Fast-forward a little. As we grow older, our vocabulary expands. At various points in life, we may hear some people using 'big words' when perfectly ordinary words might be adequate.

Point 2) MAYBE these terms we think of as 'big words' are just a case of somebody else, with a more developed vocabulary, using words that aren't affectations by their standards. It might be that those speakers are just accustomed to those words and to them, the words are simply words. To the listener that isn't used to hearing the words, they sound pretentious. MAYBE some or most people, once they reach a certain age or level of intellectual growth, simply plateau. Others might keep growing and expanding their vocabulary, and then sound wordy to the others.

Just an idea.

This, led me to yet another insight.

Point 3) As I wrote above, I never really noticed these insights earlier in my life. I wonder if the insights are a consequence of having kids, or having a kid at Nate's level of maturity/education/whatever. Maybe if I'd had my kids in my 20's instead of my 30's, I'd have been less ignorant for the last ten years? If so, that's something nobody ever told me. Might have been nice to know.

And now I've got to get back to work.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wonderfully put!

Seen this evening over at TPMmuckraker:

Oh, for heaven's sake, just find them all in contempt, arrest all three, and bring this constitutional crisis to a head. I'm really tired of the Democrats' nibbling at the edges of their power while the Republicans laugh at them. We liberals deserve better than this crop of quislings representing us.

Posted by: Michele
Date: July 17, 2007 9:54 PM

This was in reference to Harriet Miers, Josh Bolton, and RNC Chairman Robert Duncan.

Imagine if there were non-evil Federal Government Politicians with a spine... May as well imagine all the people sharing all the world.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Depressed, angry, and bitter.

Lately I've noticed a few things about those people in the United States still clinging to the notion that the current US 'leadership' are good, and that the country is headed in the right direction.

These people will make assertions about Republicans, the right-wing in general, etc..., that have no basis in fact. If challenged, they refuse to answer the challenge or engage in the debate. Rather, they change the subject or simply don't respond at all.

If a charge is levelled against a Republican proponent of our current disastrous policies, whatever the charge may be, the initial defense is almost ALWAYS "Well, Clinton did it (too/first/whatever)". Maybe I should try that - Next time I'm pulled over for speeding I'll simply explain to the officer that it's OK, because Governor Corzine was going 91mph on the Parkway.

The other thing I've noticed is that I think lately these same people are beginning to feel backed in to a corner and desperate. I've been receiving more frequent, and more bitter or angry, emails espousing Republican viewpoints than in the past.

Yesterday, at a July 4th party, I wore a T-Shirt with an image of the United States flag and the phrase "Think - It's Patriotic." The one vocal Republican in the group - a guy who proudly supported Rick Santorum and thinks the man was shafted - said my shirt meant "Think Democratic", and seemed offended by it. He explained to me that we needed Republican leadership now more than ever, because the Democrats have ruined this country. This is coming from a guy, about 30 years old, with a nice house in a nice, upper-class neighborhood, that drives a Range Rover and has no material concerns whatsoever. Spoken after the Republican party has owned the White House for 7.5 years, and controlled Congress from 1994 until last November. And since Novemebr the Democratic majority in Congress has been very slim, and too spineless to exercise any meaningful control anyway. To think the Democrats are the culprits for the destruction of America is delusional.

The 30-percenters have me discouraged and bitter. I felt angry and sad yesterday morning, and didn't really feel celebratory about Independence Day, seeing what has happened to my country. Not knowing what I could do to try and improve things, I decided on the T-shirt I mentioned above. I'd seen the slogan on a bumper sticker and liked it. So I found some Iron-on transfer sheets and a white t-shirt, and designed myself an image.

I found the correct dimensions and proportions of the US Flag online, created the image using MS-Paint, and printed it up. (Note: In the Lexmark printer driver there is a choice to print on an iron-on transfer sheet. This choice will automatically 'flip' the image for you before it prints. Of course, this 'flipped' the image I'd already flipped myself, causing the waste of one iron-on transfer sheet. Don't let this happen to you!)

My shirt looked identical to the one found here:

Wearing the shirt I could demonstrate my beliefs and views (so far, and provided I'm not in view of TV cameras at a Bush Rally), which is what this country is supposed to be all about.