Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update on us

Well, the storm has broken here. We got a couple more inches of snow today, but not too much to keep Junior Bear from shoveling out our driveway pretty quickly.

We didn't suffer any significant damage from the ice, at least not so far. The breaking sound that made me think we had lost part of the maple tree was in the neighbor's yard. All of our trees and bushes are drooping, but not breaking.

The news reports that over half a million people across the state have lost power. We've had a few more flickers, but so far so good.

I'm not having to work tonight, so if day care is open tomorrow, I'm going into the office. If not, I'll work from home. The roads are mostly clear once you get out of the neighborhoods, and my office building still has power.

So, we're doing OK. A lot of my friends aren't as fortunate, but hopefully LG&E will get the power on for them soon.

Groundhog Day Recipes

Well, the little critter will be poking his head out soon, and if you don't like his prediction, you can at least cook and eat the son of a gun.

You know, I never noticed recipes like this before I moved to Kentucky. Funny how your environment can change you.

Now, I have groundhogs living within eyesight of my front yard, and if the S H's The F, they may just end up smoked, pulled, and smothered in the Irish Woman's signature barbecue sauce.

MMMM, barbecue rodent.

The Headline Writes the Joke

"Poisonous Fish Testicles Send 7 Japanese Diners to Hospital"

Seeing that made me do both a double take and a spit take.

Now, I loves me some seafood, and I have a taste for sushi if it's done right. There aren't many fish, mollusks, or bi-valves I won't eat.

But I don't eat testicles. I guess I've never been that hungry. And I seriously wouldn't special order them because they come from a fish that might or might not poison me if I eat it.

It's amazing what people will eat just for the sake of saying they ate it. Food isn't a sport, it's a necessity of life. Leave the blowfish and his testicles alone and have some tuna.

It's finally winter

Well, our first real winter storm this year has arrived.

We got a few inches of snow last night, and intermittent ice and freezing rain since this afternoon. Power and cable has blinked a couple of times, but so far no extended outage. We're lucky compared to some. Apparently large sections of Louisville either have no power, or the power is very flaky.

Kentucky is under an emergency declaration, and I'm staying off of the roads.

My employer has asked a few of us to stay up and monitor our systems from home. I'm currently on a chat line with a few of my co-workers while we watch the servers and databases. My bosses decided to let us do this remotely because of both the danger of being on the roads and the chance that once we got to work, we wouldn't be able to leave safely for days.

It's kind of fun to picture what the situation is across Louisville and southern Indiana by seeing who drops off the chat line and then gets back on when their power/Internet gets restored. Several folks have reported trees falling in their neighborhoods due to the ice.

So far, I haven't heard anything too big break, although I'm pretty sure we lost a branch or two off of our maple tree. I'll go out tomorrow morning and check on how things look.

We're all snug here at Casa de Oso. We have plenty of firewood and candles in case the lights go out, and I've kept a fire going all day so that the kids could warm up when they come in from playing outside.

Junior Bear did a small amount of shoveling this morning so that we and our neighbor could get to and from our houses, but I'll wait until it stops snowing to get out there and shovel for real. This isn't the Great White North where you have to shovel every 2 hours or you end up shoveling 36 inches of snow at once.

The kids were off school today and will be off tomorrow as well. Luckily, they were able to get out of the house for a few hours this afternoon when there was a break in the weather, and they did their snow gopher imitations. They had to be brushed off at the back door because they looked like snowmen when they wanted to come in. Even with that, they were going stir crazy this evening until I told them to break out the Uno cards and go downstairs. They're good kids, and love to play board games. Better that than watching TV all day.

I'm going to hibernate this morning once my relief gets on-line, and then Junior Bear and I will be shoveling our way out of the snow/ice bank. Where's that global warming I've heard so much about?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Things I don't want to think about

This list includes a lot of things, and geriatric sexual revolution is one of them.

Apparently, a retirement community is having a boom in VD due to a boom in old people dancing the horizontal mambo.

I love my grandparents, and I would want them to enjoy their retirement. But I draw the line at imagining Nana and Papa running around like a couple of college students on the make.

Not that old people shouldn't get busy. Hey, they lived that long, let them do whatever. My father was the youngest of 12, and his father was 65 when he was born. Family tradition. I hope when I get to that age, I'll still be chasing skirts.

But somebody get these people some condoms. Heck, they're the World War II generation. Show them those Army VD movies they made in the 1940's that my drill sergeant forced me to watch in 1989. If that doesn't scare them off the stuff entirely, it'll at least convince them to wrap their rascals.

Guantanamo Prisoners at Alcatraz?

Over the weekend, it was suggested that any Gitmo prisoners who can't be returned to their home countries be put on a newly re-opened penitentiary at Alcatraz, smack dab in the middle of San Fransisco Bay and Nancy "The Joker" Pelosi's congressional district.

While the idea was quickly belittled and taken for the joke it was, I'm not so sure that this isn't such a bad thought.

It would give a boost to the local economy as new facilities would have to be constructed out on the island. And when the prison is built, staffed, and manned, then supplies needed for the haute cuisine the detainees have grown accustomed to would have to be brought out daily. The seafood and rice pilaf can't be made from shelf stable or frozen food. Only the freshest arugula will do for these guys.

And the hippies in San Fransisco and Berkeley won't have to get special flights to the Carri bean to inspect the facility and determine if it fits in with the groovy new idea they have for accommodating these killers, er I mean, poor men who have been taken from their homelands by an uncaring imperialist government.

And all of this can be done in the political backyard of the Speaker of the House. Let her and her constituents come to learn how nice it is to have a group consisting of terrorists living a few miles from their bay view homes.

This idea gets better and better the more I think about it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baby Bear squirrels away treats

This morning, after feeding Baby Bear his morning cereal, I gave him a handful of Cheerios to gum/chew while I got my breakfast. My coat was across the back of the kitchen chair next to the high chair.

Apparently, Baby Bear decided to stash away a few Cheerios while Dad had his back turned.

When I got to work this morning, my coat pocket had about 10 cheerios in it. For Baby Bear, that's a pretty good snack. For me, it was a sticky handful of oat flour.

He's learning to stash away supplies against lean times already. I'm so proud.

A Draftee still on active duty after 37 years

When an old soldier meets a young soldier in the Army, occasionally he will ask the young trooper his age. A wise ass old NCO may say "Heck, I've got boots older than you!". It's a light hearted ribbing to show just how ancient the NCO is in comparison to the young pup.

This man (H/T to The Best Defense) most certainly has boots that are older than me.

CSM Mellinger went through basic training and jump school while I was still learning to walk and talk. He's jumped out of a military aircraft more times than I've been on a commercial airliner.

After 37 years on active duty, he's got to be close to retirement. If he truly is the last draftee, a whole generation that remembers compulsory service will be gone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well, I got that one wrong

The other day, I made a prediction that President Bush would come out with a raft of pardons for people in his administration in an attempt to protect them from investigations by either the Congress or the new administration.

Unless something comes out in the next few days, I was wrong. President Bush issued no pardons at all, and only issued commutations for two Border Patrol agents who were convicted of shooting a suspected smuggler and then covering up their actions.

Here's another prediction: In the next 6 to 12 months, Speaker Pelosi or Senate Leader Reid will open wide ranging investigations of just about everything the Bush administration did that they find objectionable. Subjects that come to mind will be the intelligence used in the run-up to the Iraq War, Guantanamo Bay and the other prisoner/interrogation issues, use of non-competed military contracts (Halliburton), the firing of U.S. attorneys, and the intelligence gathering programs that tapped into the communications of terrorists.

What President Bush and his assistants will have going for them, at least in a couple of things, are that the courts have already ruled on a couple of things, and they have cleaned up things that have gone wrong.

The FISA court recently ruled that the NSA surveillance program was legal.

The perpetrators, at least those on ground, who mistreated prisoners have been disciplined.

The bad intelligence from the pre-war period will be hard to explain, but intelligence is not a game of certainties, and the administration tried to act like it was. They will now take their lumps for that.

The U.S. attornies scandal will go away quickly. These government prosecutors serve at the discretion of the president, so it would be hard for Congress to argue that President Bush was wrong to let them go. I expect that President Obama will let some or all of the currently serving U.S. attornies go.

All of this won't stop congressional investigations from happening, but at least it'll give some cover from the political fallout.

I hope I'm wrong. The country doesn't need all of this when we're still fighting a war and trying to bring the economy out of a downturn.

Paging Chief Justice Roberts


All you had to do was administer the Oath of Office, and you messed up!

What, didn't you practice? Did the teleprompter mess up? Were you so cold you choked?

Classy, dude, real classy. A moment in history that's being watched by billions and will be studied for the rest of our history will be marked by you making the new president prompt you to correct your prompting him.

Good luck, Mister President

Well, Obama is president now. For the next few years, for good or ill, he will be the head of our government. He will set the agenda for our country, and will ultimately be held responsible for the direction our country goes under his watch.

Even though I don't agree with him politically, I wish him well. I have no wish for the country to suffer so that someone I don't agree with can fail. You will rarely, if ever see personal attacks against President Obama from me, although the occasional bit of snark will seep through. It won't be personal, it'll be a joke.

However, when he or his minions mess up, and they will, I will comment on it. When they do well, I will also comment on it.

Hopefully, President Obama will be smart enough to not mess with success in those parts of the government that are working well. And when he chooses to change things, he won't through the baby out with the bath water, and will be smart enough to recognize when his changes either don't work, or do more harm than good due to unforeseen consequences.

So good luck, Mr. President. While I'm sure there will be plenty for me to joke and complain about during your administration, please don't bother yourself to create opportunities for me on purpose.

Fiat buys Chrysler

According to Forbes, Fiat is buying a 35% stake in Chrysler.

For me, this is yet another nail in the coffin of my purchases of Chrysler products.

I have driven precisely two Fiat cars, both of them Puntos. The Fiat Punto is basically a scaled down 1970's VW Rabbit. To call those cars crackerboxes would have been an insult to Keebler.

And remember, Fiat stands for "Fix It Again Tony!". Those two cheeseboxes couldn't go across town without me worrying that I'd have to call a tow truck. Driving them on the Autobahn was a religious experience. Not a good religious experience. More like the "I wish I'd given my heart to Jesus and told my wife I loved her before I left this morning" experience.

So, while Chrysler has gotten a shot of adrenalyne to the heart and will survive to suck another day, this will do nothing for the quality and dependability of their vehicles.

I'm looking forward to seeing Dodge cars lined up on the side of the road with their hoods up in the near future. It'll be nice, kind of like modern art statues to beautify the freeway.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Overheard this morning

This morning, the Today Show was doing a quick discussion of the myriad of things that are coming out for the inauguration. Plates, posters, teeshirts, cupcakes, and candy. One of the items was a chocolate lollipop in the shape of Obama.

Irish Woman: Would you want a sucker in the shape of Barack Obama?
Me: I'm not sucking on anything shaped like Barack Obama!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

ZOMG! We're all gonna die!

The peanut butter recall has gone down to the bone!

Little Debbies are being recalled. Other major suppliers of food that is tasty and bad for you are also recalling their products. This will cause artificial shortages in other snack cakes, and before you know it, it'll be pandemonium in the aisles at the local Quicky Mart! Truck drivers will be beating up housewives over Twinkies, and a black market in certified healthy peanut butter crackers will spring up across this great land of ours.

True Story:

When I first moved to Germany, it was right after the end of the first Gulf War. Most of the military shipping for the months prior to this had understandably been used for the war effort, so only those things that were absolutely necessary were brought over for the PX and Commissary for several months. Needless to say, shortages of such things as snack foods and American beer, wine and liquor rapidly set in.

About two weeks after I got to Bavaria, I went to our local commissary to pick up a few things. As I was in line to pay for my eggs, milk, bread, and some fruit, I noticed that a shipment of Hostess snack cakes had come in and was being put on the shelves. Everything went higglety-pigglety there for a while. I did not participate in the small riot that ensued, but it was entertaining to watch the military wives scramble over each other to get a box of Twinkies or something. Quoth the commisary queen: "Hey Bitch! Get your hands off of my Ho-Ho's!".

I'm hoping that this current situation doesn't come to that.

Even a broken clock

is right twice a day.

Today, I was that broken clock. Both Pittsburgh and Arizona played very good, close defensive games, and are headed to the Super Bowl.

My thoughts and prayers go out to McGahee of the Ravens, who was knocked out of his sneakers by an open field tackle that would have totaled the Irish Woman's car.


If methane is a sign of life, then why do the people in my office keep asking me if something has crawled up inside me and died?

Just wondering....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Conference Championships

Here are my picks for the Conference Championship games tomorrow:

Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers - I'm picking the Steelers here. Even though the Ravens have a great defense, I think the Steelers will be able to pull this one out.

Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals - I think Arizona will pull an upset out of this one. Warner is doing really well so far, and even though Philadelphia has also had a good run, I don't see them winning this one.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I predict that on Monday, a lot of pardons will be announced by the White House. I also believe that there will be some blanket pardons for high level administration officials such as Rumsfeld and Cheney.

An open letter to Louisville Drivers

Dear People Who Claim to Know How to Drive,

I know that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has blessed you with a drivers license, and you have somehow scraped together the money for a car, have gotten the keys to mommy and daddy's car, or have a spouse that can get you that nice expensive SUV. But you need to get some help in driving. What you are doing is not driving, it is moving a motor vehicle in a generally forward direction.

To the asshat in the Audi yesterday on I-64, I'm sorry that my driving 5 miles over the speed limit while trying to pass the semi got in the way of you weaving in and out of traffic. I appreciate you testing your horn, flashing lights, and finger when you climbed up on my bumper. Thank you for not running into me while I finished my lane change and using the shoulder for the left half of your vehicle to pass me so that I had time to safely pull back into the right lane.

To the nice police officer in the well concealed SUV on I-64, thank you very much for immediately turning on your lights and pulling Mr. Asshat in the Audi over. You made my afternoon.

To the nice lady who stopped her vehicle 3 feet to the rear right of my car when I was trying to pull out of the Walmart parking space last night, thank you for honking your horn to let me know that you were there and for flashing your brights so that I could clearly see the inside of my car. I apologize for not immediately pulling out, but I would have had to drive up on your hood to do it. I'm sorry that you had to put your car into reverse and pull back a few feet, but I hope that the 3 minutes I had to wait for you to get the clue and back up were worth the wait for the parking space.

To the NASCAR fans in the F-150 and Chevy Silverado that were driving side by side 5 miles under the speed limit on the freeway this morning, please drop the green flag and then jockey for position in one lane. The rest of us have to get to work.

I hope all of you have a great weekend. I pray that our weather stays clear so that you won't have to deal wiith wet or slippery roads. In that event, you can have the roads, I'm parking my car and waiting for natural selection to take hold on our roadways.

Wouldn't it be great

if when Obama takes the podium on Tuesday, he beings with:

"Excuse me while I whip this out?"

Just a thought

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hillary Clinton going through confirmation hearings

Senator Hillary Clinton, with her buck toothed spawn looking on from the gallery, underwent some gentle questioning by a clearly cowed Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Heck, I wouldn't push her. She might flip out and go all Carrie on you and the other members of the committee.

She has promised to use her new position of Secretary of State for good, using something called "smart power".

Here are some examples of what I think of when I imagine Mrs. Clinton using "smart power"

  • Heads of foreign leaders exploding after a few moments of agony as Clinton stares at them blankly.
  • American ambassadors and diplomats who fail to advance Mrs. Clinton as the future Empress of Earth are killed as she holds out her hand and intones "You have failed me for the last time".
  • United Nations meetings breaking up in a panic as Hillary levitates above the desk, intoning a curse in the language of Mordor.
  • The customary kiss on each cheek and handshake upon her arrival at a foreign airport will be replaced by her ordering the local potentate to "Kneel before Zod".
  • Will teach the crowds in the Middle East who chant "Death to America" to instead chant "4 legs good, 2 legs better"

What do y'all think?

And you think you're having a bad day?

It's been kind of a crappy day for me, but it could be worse.

2000 gallons of raw sewage in a nice neighborhood is probably going to go down as a bad day for most of the residents.

Makes me glad that the worst part of my day was sitting in a meeting with other techies listening to someone drone on about a new testing environment.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Helpful hint for all you dads out there

On Saturday, I took Girlie Bear out to lunch and a movie. She wanted to see "High School Musical 3". I would have preferred to shove pencils into my eyes and beat my head against a desk, but since it was her day, I gave in.

Little survival hint here: Get yourself a Coke, some popcorn, and watch a movie on your iPod when you're at the movies with the kids and it's sickeningly bad, but they love it.

Comet Alert

Not the end of the world, but pretty neat!

Comet Lulin will be coming close enough to the Earth to be visible next month. I'll have to break out the binoculars and telescope and have an early morning stargazing session with the kids!

Tony Dungy stepping down

Just saw that Tony Dungy is stepping down as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

I have to say I'm sad to see him go.

I'm not a Colts fan per se, but since I only live a couple of hours from Indy, I get to see quite a few Colts games every year.

Coach Dungy has always been a calm, strong voice in a sea of yelling and cursing. Even if I don't support his team, I respect him for refusing to become part of the current wave of anger and cussing that we have become accustomed to on the sidelines.

I wish Coach Dungy well, and hope that he will continue to be a voice of reason in the NFL.

3 and 1

Well, I went 3 and 1 this weekend in my picks.

I watched all of the games, for the most part. I really enjoyed watching the Titans/Ravens game. I love a good close defensive game. Collins needs to learn to lead his receivers when he throws the ball, not the people who are covering him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Football picks for this weekend

Getting in just under the wire for these. Hopefully, I'll be home in time for the early games both days. I'm taking Girlie Bear to the movies this afternoon and I'm working tomorrow morning.

So here we go:

Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans - This one is a tough one, so it should be an enjoyable game to watch. The Titans have a great offense, and the Ravens have a great defense. I see the Ravens winning this one.

San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers - Steelers. Totally sentimental pick, but I have gut feeling about this one.

Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants - I like the Giants, but I think Philadelphia is peaking at just the right time. Philadelphia wins this one.

Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers - Carolina, but not for any good reason other than the Cardinals don't do so well on the road.

Hopefully, I'll do better than 2 and 2 like I did last weekend.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You go boy!

A man in New York is asking for either the return of the kidney he donated to his soon-to-be ex-wife or $1.5 million.

Good to see someone standing up against injustice like that.

Wonder if I can go back to court with my ex's to get my dignity back?

Another reason I never went back to California

I spent my last two years of high school in the Bay Area, and I went through military language training at Monterey. The politics and social problems of California are great, and they all seem to be victim issues.

I saw this link on the Agitator's blog, and it just reminds me why I've only returned to the Bay Area a handful of times since I left.

Here are the facts: Last week, a young man was shot by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer, apparently after the young man was lieing on his stomach with his hands behind his back. The investigation is underway as to whether or not it was due to a negligent discharge or if it was intentional.

Yesterday, a protest was staged at the station where this all occured. You can't get a speeding ticket in the Bay Area without someone having a protest, but I think this one was pretty legit. Somebody got shot, and there's a controversy as to whether or not it was necessary. It started off peacefully, but eventually degenerated into a mob that went through the streets, breaking windows, knocking around cars, and setting fires.

The area that this all happened in isn't exactly a war zone, but you can see the war zone from there. So the people who live and work in that neighborhood aren't rich people who can just absorb the cost of the damage. So the people of Oakland who feel they have a grievance are taking out their anger, justified or not, out on the very people they live and work with.

The people who were part of the mob didn't seem to care who they hurt. They broke the windows of a Lexus and of a small business. Their attitude was that they were justified in what they did because they're tired of black and Latino people being shot by the police.

I don't get the connection myself. If you're mad at the police and the government,why are you breaking windows and smashing cars of private citizens, especially ones in your own neighborhood?

Why didn't any of these property owners try to defend their stores, homes, and cars? Even if you don't have a gun, a baseball bat or a tire iron is usually enough to get a disorganized mob to move on to something easier to destroy. The people who were interviewed for the story just seemed to want to sit by and cry about it. Another thing about Bay Area people I've never understood. They don't seem to want to stand up for themselves, and love to cry about how the evil government didn't protect them.

And of course, some of the hippies from Berkeley had to come down and help out with their screeching of slogans, waving of banners, and distributing of literature. I had to deal with these loonies a few times when I was at Monterey. They would demonstrate in front of the Presidio and Fort Ord about how we were destroying the world by being in the Army. It was kind of fun to watch them sit and chant and beat drums while the MP's waved people through the main gate during one of the many cold foggy/rainy days we had that year.

I've decided to just write California, at least the Bay Area, off. I still have family and friends there, and I urge them to leave every time I talk to them. No amount of charm, easy living, good food, and beautiful country is worth having to put up with nuts like this.

9 years old and already kicking butt

H/T to Laurel at Politics, Guns, and Beer

A young man in Bakersfield CA was walking down the street with a young lady. The young lady was walking her small dog. Said ankle biter is jumped on by a pit bull. Young lady tries to defend ankle biter, pit bull attacks young lady.

Young man does not run away. He does not freeze. He jumps on the back of the pit bull and puts it in a choke hold he learned at jiu jitzu class. His actions prevent further injury to the young lady and he restrains the dog until the authorities get there to take control of it.

And the ankle biter survived.

Pure balls.

To stay calm enough to apply something he learned in a class against an animal he's never even practiced fighting is amazing for anyone, much less a boy who's 5 years too young to shave.

Good on ya, son!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taking Chance

H/T to Blackfive on this one.

HBO is going to air a new movie called "Taking Chance" about a Marine officer who escorts the body of a young Marine who died in Iraq to his hometown.

I first read the story several years ago, and it's a tear jerker. It brought back memories of the times I've been on burial detail, and it's an excellent read.

If you have HBO, I'd highly suggest you watch this, even if the acting, etc. is bad. This is a story that needs to be learned by more people.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today in History

Today, in 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed like a baby seal by associates of her rival Tonya Harding for the Olympic ice skating team.

Nancy went on to medal in the winter Olympics and tour as the star of an ice extraveganza.

Tonya went on to embarrass herself and her country at the Olympics, become quite the trailer queen, and became a female boxer.

Not sure who suffered more, Nancy or us having to go through that whole over-exposed drama.

Captain Success and his trusty side kick, Dumbass

So, police in New York have arrested a father and son for stealing granite tombstones.

Everyone, including me, is puzzled as to the motivation for stealing something like a tombstone. But with a little imagination, maybe we can get to the bottom of this.

Top 5 excuses for stealing tombstones:

5. Trying to save money on materials for the new countertops that Ma wants in the kitchen.
4. Putting in a new sidewalk, and ran out of pavers.
3. Reinforcing their zombie-proof shelter with something the zombies will recognize.
2. Needed to weight down the back of their truck for the winter so they wouldn't spin out and go into the ditch
1. Trying to get to hell on a scholarship.

Batting .500

Well, I was 2 and 2 this weekend in the wildcard games. Not too good. Glad I'm not actually putting money on these things.

I'll have my picks for this weekend up soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thoughts on company cars

I know several people who are given company cars as part of their job. Most are in sales or customer service in one form or another. They use the cars as part of their day to day work, and then take them home and use them as a second family vehicle in the evening and on weekends. I haven't heard anyone say that their employer objects to this.

One of these friends has to pay a small amount for his company car. His employer has fallen on hard times, and in order to recoup some cash, asked their employees with company cars to kick in a little if they wanted to use them after hours. It's not free anymore, but it's significantly less than a car payment, insurance, and upkeep on a personally owned vehicle.

Recently, the Louisville Metro government has run into some fiscal problems. In order to cut some expenses, non-critical personnel have been forced to take days off, some programs have either been cut back or cancelled, and the mayor has asked that police officers who take their cruiser home pay a small fee for the privilege. The fees were $100 a month if the officer was just going to take the vehicle home and use it, or $160 a month if the officer was going to use the car to work for another employer. In the past, there was no charge for either case. The mayor may be trying to use these payments as a disincentive for the police to take their cruisers home, thereby saving on wear and tear on the vehicles and possibly to save gas.

Several police officers' children go to Girlie Bear's school. They use their cruisers to bring their kids to school in the morning and/or pick them up in the afternoon. I guess they have been using their cruiser as a second car. I have no problem with this. The more officers who drive their cruisers around at all times means more police visibility, and hopefully that is some deterrent to crime.

I have also seen other officers use their cruisers after hours at jobs, such as pulling security at an event or directing traffic for a church. Again, no problem, and for the same reasons. If a police officer can make a few extra bucks and make my community better doing it, good for him or her.

But the police union, and apparently the rank and file officers, have rejected the new requirement for a nominal payment. From what I can see, their main objection is paying anything at all for something they've always had for free, and a legal argument that the mayor is changing their work environment without proper notification.

I can see both sides in this, but I tend to come down with the city on this one. Yes, the police have been able to take their cars home at no cost in the past, and they do a public service just by being seen in them, but the Mayor is asking them to help out the city and try to cut costs. $100 or $160 a month is nothing compared to a car payment, insurance, and upkeep on a Crown Victoria. And it's not a permanent requirement. When things get better, I'm sure that the payment will be waived.

As for changing their work environment without proper notification, I have to ask if the use of a company car was part of the last police contract. If it's not, can the union argue that this is a change of work environment or benefits?

Come on guys, help out the city here. I respect the dangerous, boring, and hard work that y'all do in every environment and weather situation that Jefferson county can throw at you, but the money has to come from somewhere. Every other department in the county has taken some pretty deep cuts, and I'd rather see a side benefit like a company car get tougher for you than things like equipment and training for police officers get cut.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Found Cat


Saw this and wanted t0 pass it along. I can't imagine a young child missing their pet over the holidays.

If you can help out, it would be great! ;-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Goodness

The baby is eating a piece of toast, I have a nice cup of decaf, some non-stale Christmas cookies, and the Cartoon Network is having an all day Looney Tunes marathon.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Happy New Year

Well, welcome to 2009.

We welcomed in the New Year trying to get some sleep with a teething baby. He's currently snoozing away his evening of frivolity.

Since we and our hoped-for New Year's Eve companions are all overcoming colds of some sort, we decided to put off partying until this weekend.

Since I took a look back yesterday, I'll make a couple of predictions for the new year now.

  1. The price of oil will rise significantly this summer, but will not reach record levels again. OPEC will continue to fuss about how the loss of revenue is ruining their chances of building yet another golden castle in the desert, but selling a commodity that isn't in as much demand as you'd like it to be will do that to you time and again.
  2. The economy will continue in its tailspin for at least the first two quarters of the year, but things will start to look better before the end of the year. During the continued downturn, the Federal and State governments will continue to try to stem the flow of blood so that there isn't a general uprising of us, the unwashed masses. Unfortunately, their pouring of money into the open financial wound will start inflation ticking up quite sharply. I don't think we'll see the inflation of the 70's again, but it won't be good. Sometime in the 4th quarter, the Fed will start hinting about raising interest rates, which will cause the new, slow recovery to slow even more.
  3. The housing market will finally reach bottom. Consequently, those who have good jobs and good credit but don't make 6 figures will finally be able to find both a decent house in their price range and a loan that doesn't put the whole national economy in danger.
  4. At least one of the Big 3 automobile manufacturers will either be absorbed by another company, or go out of business altogether. President Obama will have to explain to his UAW constituency why he was unable to protect their employment-for-life rights.
  5. A major natural disaster will occur in the United States, and President Obama will be quick to point out how his ineffectual reaction to it was better than President Bush's ineffectual reaction to Hurricane Katrina. Citizens will again be reminded that if they wait for the government to help them in an emergency, they're going to be waiting a long time. Those who choose to be prepared for said emergency and have the means to take of their own will be castigated in the national news for not waiting for the government handout that will take too long to come. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. And FEMA is a couple of days inland.
  6. Iran will get the bomb. They will demonstrate it with great fanfare, and will immediately start production of atomic weapons for export to the highest bidder in either money or ideology.
  7. US casualties in Iraq will continue to decline, but casualties in Afghanistan will continue to rise. The anti-war groups will have to decide if they want to attack the president they helped put in the White House. Kind of like trying to decide if you want to tell the "virgin" you met at the club she gave you the clap.
  8. President Obama will start off with very good approval ratings, but these will steadily decline until his is almost as unpopular as Congress. Yes, it will get that bad.
  9. The Republican party will go through much soul searching, and will decide that it's better to be electable than right. The race for the center will continue, and we will all lose.
  10. The Republican minority in Congress will have a hard time defending their right-of-center stands, and will not stand in the way of most of President Obama's agenda for his first 100 days. Remind me again why I vote Republican?
  11. In local news, UK will finally get its act together and beat UL in both football and basketball. The religious war in the Bluegrass over these two teams will continue as it has since time immemorial.
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