Last minute shopping...

..and it's COLD! 26 degrees, and someone looks warm.


While mom's away...

The men of the house will...sleep?

"I think this bed's too big for me now, Dad."


Tom Cruise, eat your heart out...

Don't look nervous at the airport, or anything....
Several Israeli-based technology companies are developing detection systems that pick up signs of emotional strain -- a psychological red flag that a passenger may intend to commit an act of terror. Speedier and less intrusive than metal detectors, these systems may eventually restore some efficiency to the airplane boarding process.
...developers say the combination of these technologies can detect a person's reaction to certain stimuli by reading body temperature, heart rate and respiration -- signals a terrorist unwittingly emits before he plans to commit an attack.
...so i can't help thinking, reality-meets-fiction-yet-again.  Didn't "Minority Report" just come out only a few years ago, and "pre-crime" was a "futuristic" idea?  I guess I need to stay out of airports soon.    "Hey, I didn't DO anything yet."  "Well, you THOUGHT about blowing up the White House".  "Asshat...I'm a libertarian...I think that every damn day."   :)


Babys Don't Price Scan...Apparently

Also, self portrait with camera phone and baby-in-hand is kinda hard. :)


If the bills weren't so damn LONG...

I repeat myself, but again, why you can have too much government: (does anyone still really think we need "just one more program"?  Comment if you do, PLEASE.)
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rejected using the government’s financial-rescue program as a “panacea” for economic difficulties, clashing with lawmakers who want the funds to help beleaguered homeowners.

Barney Frank, who heads the House panel, cut off Paulson...saying “the bill couldn’t have been clearer” in also being aimed at reducing foreclosures.  “We don’t have a lot of time and I don’t usually do this,” Frank said in interrupting Paulson during an exchange on how to deploy TARP cash. “I read sections of the bill that says -- write it down -- give them assistance."
Well, we wouldn't be having this argument if you (Congress) hadn't inflated the original proposal from 3 to 451 FUCKING PAGES (PDF download, if you have no life and want to read it). Read the top 10 sweeteners...wooden arrow makers, rum in Puerto Rico, wool-makers...)  There's probably the kitchen sink AND the Second Coming of Christ in that bill if you read enough of it.  Vote smaller, dammit!


The "right" of marriage? Not in at least 3 states.

Irony:  As of 1961, there were 16 states with anti-interracial laws still on the books.  Two people who wouldn't have been allowed to marry back then (in those states) are the parents of the man now elected to run the country.  So now, the gay community sees it all over again.  California, Florida, and Arizona voters decide to tell people how they can love each other.  Watch as Keith Olbermann gives an emotional defense.

While I believe marriage is not a "right" from a libertarian perspective, the government should be out of marriages completely, and only recognizing all as "civil unions" for tax/property purposes if necessary.  The question is not "should gays be allowed to marry?", but "why should ANYONE ask permission of the government to marry?".  That's the only way I see this resolved.  I didn't want to apply for a marriage license....it's a contract between two consenting adults; the government is merely an intruding third party.


How's that cabinet coming along?

Just because Bush is on the way out, I've still got to beat on the establishment.  :) Still think we have a free country?  Check back in 4 more years. From an excerpt from Obama's pick for chief-of-staff, Rahm Emanual's book, "The Plan: Big Ideas for America":
"Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we're hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities' most pressing needs."
Think that's just a scary future?  We're laying the groundwork now.  A blurb from Obama's new "Change.gov" website as he prepares for office:
"Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. "
IT'S NOT FREE.  YOU JUST WORKED 100 HOURS FOR IT DUMMY.  That's $40 bucks an hour, not bad, but still...the school kids get ZILCH for theirs.  My children will learn to volunteer because they want to do the right thing, not because someone mandates it.


Post-election musings...

OBAMA FOR TEH CRUSHING WIN.  Well, we'll have to see how the next 4 years goes now.  I wish him the best of luck in fixing this country, but it's a tall order, one that "more government" will not likely help.  Still, I'm looking forward to critiquing a President more engaging than a stick of celery

Post-campaign revelations from a Newsweek project they've been doing since 1984 with an internal team following the campaigns, only disclosing the day after polls close.  I'm gonna have fun with the new guy, heh:
The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."


Shopping is Bo. Ring.

First trip to the mall and he's oblivious. Storing up energy for
waking Dad up at 4am. :)



Finishing up placating a hungry baby @ the annual farm/corn maze


Silly parents...

The stork doesn't bring babies, silly...they grow in pumpkin patches!

(Jason will hate me for these pics one day)


A mote of light in a pile of a crap-tacular law

Well, at least in all the "pork" to get the bailout bill through (it went from 3 pages to 451 on Bush's desk!), there's a silver lining if I can just get my current car to last a few more years:
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders have added $1 billion in tax breaks for plug-in electric vehicles to a $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill. The provision would grant plug-in vehicles with at least a four-kilowatt battery pack a $4,168 tax credit. A vehicle like the extended range 2011 Chevrolet Volt with a 16-kwh battery would qualify for the maximum $7,500 tax credit for vehicles under 10,000 pounds.
Holy crap, now THAT is a tax break. If you pay attention, sometimes the sucky "system" can indeed be used for your benefit. Stretch those dollars...we're in for a loooooong depr...er, "recession". :^)


Economics for kids...

Is it sad that an old episode of "Duck Tales" can be used to illustrate why inflation of the money supply is bad? Bring it on, Feds....I'm still trying to beat the 5.4% inflation rate this year on top of it.  Can't wait for the underwhelming "good" 3% raise this year.  No fault of my employer, but it's effectively a pay cut in adjusted dollars...so sad. 

Also, why can't they make good cartoons like that anymore? :)


Chaos in the market and at home. :)

Wow. Just wow.  Back to some regular blogging....while out of the loop for a while with the new little guy in the house, the financial market has just gone balls-out crazy.  After the Fannie/Freddie takeover (though the gov't started them anyway, so serves 'em right to have to take 'em back in the fold): Lehman brothers gone Chapter 11. Bank of America buying Merrill Lynch. WaMu goes under.  Wachovia bought by CitiGroup.  Here at home, Constellation Energy, parent of BGE, getting bought. (here's a good list of the mess)

So, the solution is this $700 billion bailout?  Um, solving the problems of "too much easy credit" by injecting a shitload of credit into the market?  Keep killing the dollar, politico-types.  I'm looking forward to $50 bucks for a gallon of milk for the kids.  

Sar. Ca. Sm.


Grocery shopping is BORING, Dad. :)

Drag me out to the store....I'm just gonna take a nap.


Charging the sleep batteries...

...so I can keep Dad up around 3am or so. Sleep deprivation kicking in
a bit...I'm supposed to go back to work soon like this? Hey, this boy
is still *awesome*. I recommend you go get your own. :)


Cuteness factor overwhelming...

Day 2, and still awesome. Sleeping a lot in the day, so we gotta wake
that boy up for lunch!


Sleep time...

Yes, I can hold my son and blog with one hand. :)

Jason Paul Culotta!

5:08pm, 5 lbs 13 oz, and wonderfully healthy! More pics ASAP!


Politics and black holes....they both SUCK.

If you're worried that the government now owns your house (ok, ok..only true for 50% of America...not me, I've been able to build a life without the help of Uncle Sam, thanks)....have no fear.   We'll all die in the coming months as the earth collapses into itself
"Although physicists acknowledge that the collider could, in theory, create small black holes, they say they do not pose any risk. A study released Friday by CERN scientists explains that any black hole created would be tiny, and would not have enough energy to stick around very long before dissolving."


Tyler's first birthday

Testing to make sure I can blog some pics for the new arrival in the
family. The Internet will know about it before most of the family... :)


Penn Jillette on leaders...

We don't need great leaders...that's exactly what screws over Americans, power in the hands of someone with ambition to "fix it all".  Bush may be stupid, but Obama is not, and handing the reins of power to him just might be worse in the long run.  Penn Jillett expounds:
"I don't want anyone as president who promises to take care of me. I may be stupid, but I want a chance to try to be a grown-up and take care of my family. Freedom means the freedom to be stupid, and that's what I want. I don't want anyone to feel my pain or tell me to ask what we can do for our country, or give us all money and take care of us.
...I think Ron Paul and Bob Barr mean it when they say they want much smaller government. But the government is already big enough, powerful enough and bipartisan enough (and "bi" means exactly two and no more) that Ron and/or Bob won't even be in the debates. People won't even hear someone suggesting that our president should do less and individual citizens should do more for themselves.

The choice shouldn't be which lesser of two evils should have the enormous power of our modern presidents. The question should be, who would do less as president? Who would leave us alone? "


Waiting, waiting...

Well, updates around here might be thin for a while. Waiting for the new addition to the family, so we'll see how much time I get to post stuff. Check back for pics of the new baby and stuff....they're typically posted on the right under 'latest photos', or on the Picasa albums, under 'Photos' on the left navigation.

As to politics? Sarah Palin...meh. Some people say McCain just killed his campaign picking an inexperienced "nobody"....although I have to say she's more libertarian than any of the other guys in either the blue or red camp. I suppose I could hope for McCain to win and then die? :) Of course, when you get into that position of power...things tend to change. Suddenly you can make the world better, if people would JUST see it YOUR way. "Let them eat cake." "But sir, the peasants don't want cake." "CAKE OR DEATH?" Ah, nice choice you've given me.

See the problem? Much as I would like, I can never enter politics. My first act after winning an election would be to absolve my position and make the government smaller by one person. :)


Memorable quotes...

Currently in my email signature, I'll post them here so they stick around for a while... :)
"There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking the law. Create a nation of lawbreakers and then you can cash in on the guilt."
-Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"
"No party holds the privilege of dictating to me how I shall vote. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot. If there is any valuable difference between a monarchist and an American, it lies in the theory that the American can decide for himself what is patriotic and what isn’t. I claim that difference. I am the only person in the sixty millions that is privileged to dictate my patriotism."
-Mark Twain


In some small corner of the world...freedom rears its head. And gets stepped on.

Awesome quote from an interview with the President of Georgia...you know, the country that's getting invaded by Russia? Yeah.
Although the name Georgia is familiar to the United States, the country isn't. Most Americans don't know its remarkable story. The first time I spoke to [President] Saakashvilli a few months earlier, it was under much more pleasant circumstances. I found him to be a young, energetic and well-spoken reformer who in many ways understands our founding fathers better than most Americans.

He spoke to me about his vision for Georgia, the vision that transformed it from a failed state to a burgeoning democracy with a quickly growing economy.

He said, "the government is going to help you in the best way possible, by doing nothing for you, by getting out of your way. Well, I exaggerate, but you understand. Of course we will provide you with infrastructure and help by getting rid of corruption, but you have all succeeded by your own initiative and enterprise, so you should congratulate yourselves."
Also, McCain is a damned hypocrite: "Speaking to reporters about the situation in Georgia, Sen. John McCain denounced the aggressive posture of Russia by claiming that:"in the 21st century nations don't invade other nations." (link to the actual video)


Drug busts...going to the dogs.

Sorry, couldn't resist the post title above. But really, is it worth busting down a door and shooting the mayor's dogs for some pot?
"Police officers stormed the house after Calvo picked up the package -- containing 32 pounds of marijuana -- off his front porch and walked inside. Officers fatally shot his two Labrador retrievers, Payton and Chase, and detained him and his mother for questioning for hours."
Turns out his wife was a victim of identity theft...and now also a victim of the Prince George's County police.  I know there are cops who do a good job out there, but there's no way to compensate the family in this case.  Better make sure you look at your mail a little closer.  Big Brother is watching it too.

(U.K version of the story gets an honorable mention for artichokes: "Seeing the masked gun-toting officers, Porter, who was in the kitchen cooking artichokes, screamed.").  Dramatic British reporting.  :)


Audio blogging? Typing out posts is *so* last century...

Uploaded by www.cellspin.net

A moment of brilliance in a sea of blond-ness...

I'm hating the election fluff, but this has got to be teh win. If you've been under a rock and missed the McCain ad comparing Barack to Paris and Britney...well, the normally-vapid Paris apparently wasn't gonna take that sitting down. Touche'.

Wait, she's sitting down in that; I stand corrected. At this point, I'd pick her over McCain. "Legally Blond 3:Paris does Washington" anyone? :)


Testing again from teh iPhone...

Yep, got me a new toy, but awesomely powerful. Posting this from blogger.com on the built-in Safari browser, not too bad...we'll have to see how posting pics on vacation works.

In other news, still prepping the house for the new addition on the way, so as usual, updates are far between, but hopefully will keep everything here up to date.

In still other news...do I really care who wins the election, with this crap being used as the campaign ads? Barack = More spending, more taxes...more war. McCain = More spending, more deficit...more war. Either one of them lowers the dollar's power, and hurts my paycheck. Let people be responsible for their own lives, and get the hell out of my way.

I'm trying to build a family here. I don't WANT "help" from Uncle Sam. Go. A. Way.


2nd Amendment *is* an individual right...

Finally answering a 200 year old question, the Supreme Court today affirmed (5-4) D.C. vs Heller, in that the Washington D.C. complete ban on handgun possession is unconstitutional. I'm fairly happy about it, since the 2nd Amendment should apply to individuals like the others...but of course the states are still free to infringe on that, I guess. (*cough*, Maryland, *cough*)

Maryland's constitution, unfortunately, does not include a "right to keep and bear arms", so I'm not sure what effect that will have here, though there might be a 14th Amendment argument.


The "right" to your health (care)....

Debating over whether "Hillary Care" or "Obama Care" is the better plan? Try less mandated coverage of care, which largely contributes to the rising cost of your premiums. Read this great response to a recent article in the New York Times on the rising cost of health insurance....by Paul Hseih, who as an MD is probably qualified to speak on the issue. He's summarized the questions his readers sent back into a nice list of 8. Heavy hitters you'll never hear in a presidential "debate", like:
  • How would a free market guarantee that all Americans will have necessary health coverage?
  • Isn't the purpose of a government to promote the common welfare of all citizens?
  • Isn't it my social obligation to subsidize the health care of those who can't afford it?
It's a great summary of what the free market could be capable of, if we would only get out of the way and let it. Forced care is never moral.....sorry, liberals.


New layout....again.

Ok, so I'm a lazy programmer....or I just like to spend time OFF the internets. I'm moving the site back over to Blogger.com (yeah, I lose some of the nice customized programming/geek stuff I had going), but hell....I've moved my photos to Picasa, and my mail to Gmail, so I figure....might as well use Google's blogging service. I'm just a Google Whore™. Free is good.

It's taking some hacking to get these standard templates to look like the old site, eventually I'll do something new...but the idea is for me NOT to have to do any coding in the day-to-day website postings. I'm 32, with a kid on the way, and finding it harder to work on my own site, with work and all the rest life throws at you. So....you'll still see mobile photos and blogging when I'm on vacation or finding something nice to snap a pic of, don't worry.

To quote the best movie of all time: "Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."


Pointing the Finger O' Blame

Seriously, aren't there better things than to worry about what your government does? They are completely out of touch. This was the first line in an CNN article on the rising food costs
"NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Lawmakers heaped blame on farmers - and the subsidies they receive - for pushing up food costs at a Congressional hearing Thursday scrutinizing the impact of soaring food and gas prices on American consumers."
...um, lawmakers blaming farmers for subsidies...that come from, um....LAWMAKERS. Yeah. We handed you this bag of money and you're BAD, BAD for taking it. BAD farmers! Seriously, there is no logic left in this nation. My household makes sense...the rest of the world is NUTS.