Saturday, September 30, 2006

That's Kinda Weird....

Late last night (early this morning, actually) I had to call 911 to report a brawl down the block from our place (yay Springtucky!). It was dark, and I couldn't find the house phone, so I just used my cell.

Today, when I went to use my cell, it was on "Restricted use, emergency calls only". I had to press the * and the # keys to take it out of that mode. I can't help thinking the two events are related, but I've never heard of such a thing, have you?

Good (Sports) News Just Keeps Rolling In

Padres clinched a playoff berth. Also, thanks to their head-to-head record this season vs. the Dodgers (suck), a win by the Padres or a loss by the Dodgers (suck) and the Padres have the penant NL West.

Did I mention that the Dodgers suck?

This Time, Not So Close

Oregon 45 48, Arizona State 13.

Suddenly, the Pac-10 isn't a 1-school conference any more. If Oregon can beat Cal next weekend, USC had better be paying attention.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Musical Geography Question of the Day

If, in early memory, Mission music was ringing round your nursery door, from where were you?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bar Pickup Lines Bite Back

Suddenly "Hey, baby, what's your sign?" takes on a whole new meaning.

Musical Geography Trick Question of the Day

If you wanna hold her tight all through the night, but all she wants to do is dance, where is she from?

Now That I'm Awake...

Yesterday I was pretty useless to the world, resting up from two days of school. Here's my schedule now:

TFR's Day Off
8:00 AM-1:50 PM: Intro to Cooking Theories I (we get a couple of breaks including half an hour for lunch)
2:30-3:50 PM: Restaurant Operations (no mid-class break)
After class, TFR picks me up and we have the rest of the afternoon together.
8:00 AM-1:50 PM: Intro to Cooking Theories I (we get a couple of breaks including half an hour for lunch)
2:30-3:50 PM: Restaurant Operations (no mid-class break)
Meet The Lad and TFR on her lunch break around 4:00-4:30, care for The Lad until TFR gets off work at 8:00
TFR Goes to work at 12:00, care for The Lad the rest of the day (TFR gets off work at 8:00).
10:00 AM-12:50 PM: Human Relations at Work
TFR Goes to work at 3:30, care for The Lad the rest of the day(TFR gets off work at 8:00).
TFR Goes to work at 3:30, care for The Lad the rest of the day(TFR gets off work at 8:00).
TFR Goes to work at 9:00, care for The Lad until she gets off work at 7:00.
TFR's Day Off.
Family day

(Homework gets fit in there somewhere)

So as you can see, my days, especially Mon-Thur, are pretty busy. But I'm truly happy. I feel like I belong there, like I'm among peers, and like I'm actually accomplishing something worthwhile. It's a good -- no, a giddy feeling.

I'm Home....

And among friends.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Musical Geography Question(s) of the Day

If, in 1958, you drove an old V8:

From where were you heading?

To where had you made it to within a mile from?

Quote of the Day

"The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star."

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Like Father, Like Son

From the time The Lad was a very tiny baby, I would hold him while cooking. And it's already rubbed off on him. Kitchen utensils (no, not the sharp ones -- I know how you people's minds work) are among his favorite toys. And after TFR made a comment to him about the whisk with which he was playing this morning, he's added a new word to his vocabulary -- "roux".

That's my boy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The First Cut is the Deepest

Another day of classes has passed, and it finally feels like we're actually culinary students. It was our first day in full brigade. It was the first day where homework was due. It was the first day we actually got to do hands-on work in the kitchen, practicing using our steels and then peeling and dicing onions.

And most importantly, it was the day that First Blood was drawn. One of my classmates went to loan her knife to another, and forgot to hand it to him grip first. Voila! Two stitches on his index finger. I helped him out of his apron and toque and escorted him to the school clinic (interesting that it's situated only one building over from Culinary Arts).

It was the first wound of our school careers, but I'm sure it won't be the last. Though at least the suspense is over.

The part that bothered me and some of my fellow students was that the young woman who handed the knife improperly took offense when one of us said something to her. Perhaps she felt it wasn't his place as a classmate to say something, but the fact is, he was right -- she SHOULD have practiced proper safety techniques.

Monday, September 25, 2006

You Asked for It...

So here it is, my culinary uniform (aka "brigade", pronounced "BruGawd"), including "funny hat" (culinary toque):

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Today was my first day of classes. It was exhausting, but exciting. I've already made some friends, and one girl has already made enemies -- she wants to get degrees in the cullinary arts AND journalism and become *spit* a food critic *spit*.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hells Bells

Save #479, baby.

I love Oregon, and I don't regret moving back here for a minute, but sometimes I do miss going to Padres games. I hated calling it Qualcomm, to my dying day the stadium in Mission Valley will be the Murph, and I'm happy that they got such a beautiful new park. I'm just sorry I wasn't there to enjoy such a special occasion.

Oh, and the Dodgers still suck.

Fantasy Football: Week 3

Early showings:

I'm up 19.7 to 12.7, so definitely not out of the woods. Grossman's hit a wall vs. the Vikings Defense, and my opponent has Mark Bulger coming up for him later today. My best hope is another good showing by Seattle's offense (Morris and Jackson start for me) and Baltimore's defense.


An ugly win is still a win. My team had the worst showing yet, but I won because my opponent failed to bench his players who were off for a bye week. Oh, well. At least I'm 3-0.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Play MST for Me

Inspired by comments by readers Nightfly here and Angie Schultz at It Comes in Pints, I give you one of my favorite Mystery Science Theatre 3000 shorts ever:


Oops, wrong one. Here ya go:

Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism

Except, of course, for dissent amongst the dissenters.

(Thanks for the Memory to Steve-O at The Llama Butchers)

Lead, and I Will Follow

Thanks for the Memory to Rachel Ray.

I want to work for this man!

Greg Higgins, owner of Higgins restaurant in Portland, believes in using local ingredients, and his menus highlight the foods and flavors that make the Northwest great. It was a joy watching the episode of $40/day that featured him, and to see our region, my state, and the foods about which I'm passionate being featured.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The subtlest of deceptions is to tell the truth unconvincingly."

American of Middle Eastern Descent Persecuted for His Views on 9/11

That Damned BushHitler and his Rethuglican stormtroopers!


Thanks for the Memory to Dr. Vinnie Huskerfan at the Jawa Report.

She's a Very Freaky Rodent....

I'd heard the legends, but until today I'd never experienced the horror...

I feel so dirty.

Sympathy for the Devil

Thousands of Americans took to the street today, rioting in protest of Hugo Chavez' speech at the UN, in which he said of U.S. President George W. Bush, "The Devil was here yesterday. You can still smell the sulphur."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
In Mobile, Alabama, members of American Legion Post 1234 burned an effigy of Chavez, along with a Venezuelan flag and their Citgo gas cards.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Cletus T. Dukeboys, of Deliverance, Georgia, leads a group of proestors in a chant of, "Y'all 'r infidels, Y'hear?"

Oh, wait... Never mind.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Devil is in the Details

Thanks for theMemory to Hot Air via Ace of Spades:
I originally posted this on December 7 of last year (interesting choice of dates, eh?). The reason I'm updating it today has to do with new information put out in the above blog entries, and I will address it as an update withing the post:
Thanks for the Memory to Bluto over at Blogfather Rusty's.

MSNBC reports on the interesting results in an AP-Ipsos poll:

Most Americans and a majority of people in Britain, France and South Korea say torturing terrorism suspects is justified at least in rare instances, according to AP-Ipsos polling.

Note the "At Least" part. Of that majority, as Bluto points out, the breakdown is 27%% supporting torture "often", 11% "sometimes", 23% "rarely, and 36% "never".

I've been avoiding commenting on this issue for some time, because I wanted to make sure I was expressing myself clearly when I did, and because the issue is so emotionally charged that most of the traffic regsrding it has far too low a signal to noise ratio. But the results of this poll lead me to believe that perhaps many more of my fellow countrymen feel as I do than I first suspected. Do we support torture? That depends.

Part of the problem I have with the debate, or at least, with one side's argument in the debate, is failure to address what I consider to be some important questions. How do we define torture? Do we delineate between different degrees of coercive techniques that fall short of that definition and true torture? Do we recognize varying extremes even among those measures we do define as such? Do we hold to different standards of treatment based on the status of the individual detainee, particularly their prior actions before capture? Do we hold to different standards of treatment for punitive measures than we do for interrogation? For enforced compliance or subdual of disruptive captives?

My position is one of answering "Yes" to all those questions. It seems, at leat to me, that many on the other side of the debate are inclined to answer "No" to most if not all of them. The extreme of this is the reaction people wo agree with me receive when they point out the difference between much if not all of the treatment for which the US has recveived criticism, and the actions of our enemies (both the former Baathist regimes plastic/people shredders and the current "insurgency's" fondness of beheading). The almost universal and instantaneous response is that such comparisons are nothing more than moral equivalence. The argument goes something along the lines of, "So you're saying that since Saddam tortured people worse than we torture people, then torture's ok?"

No, that's not what we're saying. That's a straw man, and furthermore, it's a hyperbolic oversimplification of the issue that adds nothing to the discussion. Yes, we would argue that because our actions are less extreme, they are less deserving of criticism than Say, Hussein's or Pol Pot's, but it's a little more complex than "He started it, mom!" Let me try to lay it out:

There are a variety of methods that have been and used by governments and other entities to punish individuals, extract information from individuals, for subduing violent or unruly individuals, and for coercing individuals into complying with the will of those employing these methods. These methods range in the amount of force employed and the effects rendered all the way from something as simple as fining an individual for failure to comply with a jaywalking law to killing a criminal who fails to comply with a police officer's order to drop his weapon. Some of these methods can be defined as torture as it is understood by any reasonable person, and some cannot. However, there are some methods whose definition as torture is open to debate among all but those holding extreme views of torture and it is also arguable that even among those methods that clearly fall into the category of torture, there are varying degrees of severity.

It is furthermore my belief and contention that like all other methods of enforcement, the question of whether torture is justifiable or not depends on many factors, including the severity of the torture, the ends of which the torture is being employed as a means, and the identity and status of the subject. Just as it is reasonable to argue that deadly force or incarceration is justified in some cases but not in others, so it is reasonable to argue that the amount of discomfort, displeasure, and even pain and anguish which is justified varies depending on the circumstances. And while I don't believe there is any hard, fast set of criteria, I do believe that some general guidelines can be outlined:

1. I believe that the level of guilt or innocence of the subject of such treatment is the most important underlying factor. The treatment of innocents who find themselves caught up in circumstances not of their own making should be far, far gentler than the handling of a hardened, murderous terrorist. Between the two are shades of gray.

2. With regards to punitive measure, here is where I come closest to agreeing with the other side. I believe that the application of torture for no other purpose than to punish should be very limited in scope at the extreme. That's not to say I don't think that some treatments defined by some people as torture aren't legitimate means of punishment, but my limits here are much stricter than in other cases. However, it is to be remember that the line between punishment as an end in itself and punishment as a means to cause compliance is a blurry one.

3. That brings us to coercion. It is my belief that unpleasant punishment techniques and even some techniques considered torture, when used to force a subject to comply, should vary according to the following criteria: The level of guilt of the subject; the level of resistance of the subject, and the consequences of failing to obtain compliance. If I need someone to move so I can see the stage, I'll say "excuse me. If I need the Al Quaeda member we captured this morning to get in his cell to help quell a riot, I'm going to beat him with my baton. Again, there's a lot of territory to be covered in the middle.

4. Subdual of the unruly or violent I consider to be a subset of coercion, and I have nothing to add.

5. When it comes to interrogation and information extraction, again, I believe that that depends on who has the information, how immediate the need for the information is, what other sources of the information are available, and what the results of failure to obtain that information will be. If Joe (or rather, Muhammed) the Janitor knows where they dumped the documents from a bioweapons program, I'm not going to be as harsh on him as I am on Andy (or Ahmed) Al Quaeda, who knows the time and place of the next IED attack.

There are some who add to their argument against torture the claim that "Torture Doesn't Work". My first response was to reply that that is a separate point from whether or not it is justified. But I have to acknowledge that if torture doesn't work, it goes from being a means of coercion or interrogation and is nothing more than a form of punishment, and that would diminish its justice. I am not advocating vindictive cruelty just for the sake of satisfying one's own lust for vengeance.

Of course, the real problem with that argument is that it is as broad and generalizing as "Torture is wrong". What do you mean, torture doesn't work? Are you saying that no form of torture ever accomplishes any of the ends for which it is intended? That's ridiculous. You might as well say "Force doesn't work". But while it is true that certain forms of torture have been used for certain ends, and failed miserably, there are also stories of certain coercive techniques, of varying levels of severity, accomplishing their intention. I'd argue that the effectiveness of torture, like its morality, is dependent entirely on the situation, the subject, the ends, and the means employed.
UPDATE (as promised): And here's where the latest information is important to consider: In an interview with Bill O'Reilly, ABC Correspondent Brian Ross admits that the interrogation methods used by the U.S. on individuals like Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, some of which qualify as "torture" by many definitions of the word, worked.

So if you ask me if I am for torture, my answer is, it depends. Who is being tortured? What do you mean by torture? Why are you torturing them? I've already established that I am not opposed to using force, even violent force, to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. Like Churchill, now I'm "just negotiating a price". The Devil is in the Details.

That'sh Shwell, Shweetheart....

Did I mention that during the last term of my second year at culinary school (Spring 2008), one of the elective courses will be Culinary Competition? I'm looking forward to taking that one, especially considering my knack for coming up with recipes on the fly. Tonight was no exception. Lately I've been too busy playing Mr. Mom to do any serious recipe developing, but TFR is on vacation. Tired of the same old dishes, we went to the store to shop for tonight's dinner. She had no idea what she wanted, so it fell onto me to develop a recipe. This is what I came up with while scrambling around Fred Meyer (yes, the same store that I developed the port chocolate recipe in):

4 bone-in pork loin chops, medium cut
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup Chardonnay
2 tbs apple sauce
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp minced garlic

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add onion. While the onion is sauteeing, season the pork chops with the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and rosemary. When the onions are transparent, add the pork chops. Brown pork chops on both sides, then remove from skillet. Deglaze skillet with Chardonnay or other dry white wine. Stir in applesauce and dried cranberries. Return pork chops to skillet, simmer 5 for 5 minutes. Turn chops and simmer 5 more minutes. Plate chops and spoon sauce over the top.

I paired this with baked potatoes, sauteed green beans, and the same Chardonnay I used for the deglasse', and it was delicious.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

Where were we when we said there'd be no room for doubt?

The Sooner You Get a Life, The Better

Please, Oklahoma fans, seriously -- seek help.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The instant replay official whose failure to overturn a bad call led to a narrow victory for Oregon over Oklahoma said he feels like he is under siege after receiving menacing phone calls and a death threat.

A little background for those not paying attention: On Saturday, Oregon came from being down 33-20 to defeat Oklahoma 34-33. The pivotal play of the comeback was an onside kick after Oregon scored a touchdown with 1:12 left in the fourth to make the score 33-27. Oregon recovered the onside kick, and went on to score another touchdown, winning the game 34-33. The problem is, that footage revealed that an Oregon player touched the ball before it had gone 10 yards, as required by the rules. If that had been caught by the officials, Oklahoma would have received the ball, and the game would have ended with Oklahoma winning 33-27. Unfortunately, neither the officials on the field or in the replay booth saw things that way -- they ruled that the ball was first touched by Oklahoma, and the call stood. It was only after the game was over that the mistake was revealed.

I can understand the frustration of the Sooner fans -- it was a bad call, and I'll be the first to admit that if it had been made correctly, we would have lost. But that's the way things go in football -- referees make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes cost teams points -- earlier in the same game, for instance, the refs failed to flag OU for Delay of Game on a play that got them out of a deep hole and led to one of the scores that UO had to overcome later. Sometimes bad calls cost a team a game. It shouldn't happen, but it does. This isn't the first time it has happened, and it won't be the last.

But Oklahoma -- both the University and its fans -- need to get some perspective. Oklahoma is threatening to cancel a game with Washington unless the PAC-10 changes its rules for who officiates home games ("We'll take our ball and go home!"). They also requested that the game be stricken from the records as neither a win nor a loss for either team.

Here's an idea, first suggested by my friend Lurch: How about a joint resolution by the Pac-10 and the Big 12 that IT'S JUST A GAME!? Seriously, this is the biggest case of being sore losers I've ever seen. I'm also a Seahawks fan, and to this day believe that crappy officiating cost them the superbowl. But you know what? That's the way it goes. The Pittsburgh Steelers won that game, and they're the Superbowl champs -- not the Seahawks. Sportsmanship means you accept the outcome of the game, and you strive to make sure that next time it doesn't happen like that again. I agree with the PAC-10's suspension of the officials who made the call, and there's a valid argument for reviewing how officials are assigned. But threatening to cancel games? Pretending they just didn't happen? DEATH THREATS?????

You really do need to get a life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Apparently, I Don't Know Jacks

TFR and I were just watching an episode of one of Rachel Ray's 1,294 shows, $40 a Day, I think, and she was in Antigua. At one point she approached a young man with a very Commonwealth sort of accent, and asked him for lunch advice. His boat had an interesting ensing -- obviously from somewhere very British, but I can't figure out from where. It wasn't Gibraltar, Malta, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Antigua, Nevis, St. Kitts, or the British Virgin Islands. I'm hoping someone (maybe my Tory friends at the Llama Butchers) can ID it for me. It was a red ensign with the Union Jack in the upper Left. In the main area of the red field was a yellow cross, with equidistand arms, thin and square.


In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I shall today refer to changing The Lad's diaper as "Swabbing the Poop Deck".

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Musical Geography Question(s) of the Day

1. Where can you find tropical trees and the salty air?
2. What's waiting for you there?

Fantasy Football: Week 2

What a difference a week makes.

During the last week, I managed to make some significant changes to my team. Taking Jim in KFalls' advice, I picked up Matt Leinart, but I'm waiting to see if he actually gets any playing time. I dropped Jake Plummer and benched Kerry Collins. I managed to pick up the Bears' Rex Grossman, put him right in as my starter, and wham bam thank you ma'am, he goes 20 of 27 for 289 and 4 TD's. At kicker, I dropped Janikowski, benched and acquired John Carney -- and again, I see a huge improvement in performance at that position.

But the improvements in performance at offensive positions where I held tight, and another solid (no, make that dominating) performance by the Ravens defense also helped. Both the Seattle WR's that I own are doing better than last week -- especially Jackson. The same goes for Tampa TE Todd Heap. The only disappointment so far has been at running back, where both Mike Alstott and Michael turner had a drop in performance. But at least Turner has a quarter left to pick up the pace.

Even with my runners letting me down a bit, the improvements I saw, coupled with a bit of a slip by my opponent's players (remember last week she dominated her game) means that it's almost a shoe-in that I'll win: I only have three players left in games that are not yet final, she only has two, and I'm up 105.4 to 59.3.

I'm feeling pretty vindicated in most of my choices, both in who to cut and who to give another chance to. I'm going to give my RB's the same chance to improve I gave to my WR's. The only concern I have now is the fact that I have no WR on the bench. Fortunately, I am 3 deep in QB's, so I have some wiggle room. The question is who to cut -- Leinart or Collins? Leinart has promise, IF the Cards ever give him the helm, but that's a big "if". Collins is putting in another dismal performance, but if anything were to happen to Grossman, at least Collins is putting in playing time -- a pittance of points is better than none.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Few More Thoughts on College Ball This Week

How do you spell overrated?
N-o-t-r-e D-a-m-e.

I love it when cocky teams get knocked down a peg. Read this article, how the game started, and how it ended. The fact that it happened to Miami, a team I've never liked and a perennial darling of the East Xoast sportswriters, makes it all the sweeter.

As someone else has already said, if this is "rebuilding", the rest of us need to be afraid. Very afraid.

Speaking of overrated, Cal found a team it could beat. In Division 1-AA.

Sooner or Later

Payback was due.


People Unclear on the Concept of "Irony"

Thanks for the Memory to AubreyJ.

From BBC News:

Some Indian Muslims burnt an effigy of the world's Roman Catholic leader who quoted remarks which linked Islam to [get this] violence.

(Blockquote comment and bold highlight mine)

That'll show him.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Musical Geography Question of the Day

If the puzzled Moon is wearing a frown, over which city is it lingering?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

All Four Stanzas

Thanks for the Memory to Ken S at It Comes In Pints? for reminding me of one of my favorite essays, by Isaac Asimov.

Read it.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I fired off an E-mail to my friend Ken from It Comes In Pints, ribbing him about the fading of the lead his Dodgers have over My Padres, only to hop over to his blog and discover that his Aunt had passed away.

I feel like such a Jerk. Sorry, Ken, and know that you have my deepest sympathies. I've been there, man.

Musical Geography Question(s) of the Day

From where did Sam McCord leave in '92, and where did he go?

For Smallholder

Yesss...... Give in to your hatred....

Strike me down and your journey to the Dark Side will be complete.

To answer your question, since I don't trust comments at Naked Villainy: They're in the jungle somewhere.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Snake Flag Blogging

Thanks for the Memory to The Maximum Leader at Naked Villainy.


You Are a "Don't Tread On Me" Libertarian
You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel opressed by both.You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!

The Incredible Hulk Was a Dad.

As evidenced by an earlier post, I' m not a big fan of Nancy Grace. However, TFR is. Tonight, the coverage is, as usual, about a missing/abused/murdered child. In this case, the child of a woman who has since killed herself.

A couple of thoughts:

If things are so bad that you are considering harming your child and then taking your own life, and you won't seek help, I suggest doing things in the reverse order: Kill yourself first, then address The issuer of your child.

If any harm comes to The Lad at the hands of another person, I guarantee that I will not kill myself. Rather, I will devote myself to living long enough to make sure that that person dies a slow, agonizing death -- at my hands.

Seriuously, isn't that what parenthood is about ? Isn't one of our jobs as a parent to be willing to die or kill for the sake of our child? Isn't that the most appropriate resonse conceivable? How can a person even consider parenthood unless they are prepared to undergo that transformation, to become a monster towards others if necessary, to place your offspring before all other considerations, to die, to suffer, to kill, to fight, to be vicious or tender or strong or any damned thing it takes to provide your child, that perfect, sweet, beautiful little human with whatever he/she needs to be happy, healthy, alive, successful?

I can't understand people who neglect or abuse their children. And I don't want to.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

If you're trying to get in touch with Marie, where are you calling?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago

In July of 2001, tired of the Southern California ratrace, TFR and I move back to my home state of Oregon -- no jobs lined up, just up and left. We were living in a 24-foot motor home while we looked for work. Times were not good to begin with, especially since my father had died suddenly just before the move.

On September 11, I was working a temp job doing filing for a company in Eugene that sells supplies to first responders -- police equipment, breathing apparatus, first aid supplies, stuff like that. Things were strangely quiet when I came in that morning. The TV was turned to the coverage of the attacks, and the phones were eerily silent. I thought quickly and called TFR at the RV to let her know what was going on and that all the flights were domestic, since her parents were fluying home from Turkey that day -- I didn't want her worrying (they ended up stuck in Amsterdam for several days).

The quiet didn't last long. Within hours of the attacks, the phones were ringing off the hook -- fire departments all up and down the eastern seaboard and eastern midwest were calling in and stocking up, while the NYC area departments were already ordering resupply for all the stuff they'd already expended. Most of the reps calling were actual firefighters, and some of the FDNY guys were placing orders while not knowing where all of their crews were.
It was surreal, and until today, I'd let myself forget the utter disbelief, the horror I felt, the sinking feeling as it became clear that there wouldn't be any more survivors, and the anger -- the white hot desire for justice, vengeance, to make whoever did this pay, make them suffer the way all those victims suffered. For years I've avoided watching too closely the footage from that day, I haven't watched any of the movies on it. But the last couple of days, I've remembered. I've remembered how angry I am, and why.
I remember going to the impromptu vigil held in downtown Eugene that night. I remember how sad people were, how we all needed to do something, say something, to express our grief. But I also remember knowing, and having it confirmed for me that night, that many in this town just didn't get it. That very night, a lot of the talk among the people there was about peace. While I can sympathise with those people, they were wrong. They were wrong to think that all we have to do is act peacefully and no one will ever harm this. It's like they had forgotten or failed o earn the lessons taught just that morning. I became even more contemptuous when, within a week, they were holding demonstrations opposing any military action against anyone as a result of 9/11 -- not even the Taliban, who were sheltering Al Quaeda. They wanted no war, but we already were at war. When an enemy attacks you, refraining from fighing back isn't peace, it's surrender.
It's alright to desire peace. But when war comes upon you unbidden, the proper response is to be angry, and resolute. Be angry not just because they did this to us, but because they'll do it again, or worse, if given the chance.
I miss the innocence I lost on September 11, 2001. But to pretend that things are the way they were would not be reclaimed innocence, it would be folly.

Musical Geography Question of the Day

If it was looking so right it was giving you chills, where were you?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fantasy Football: Week 1

I decided, on a whim, to join a fantasy football league. Fox Sports has free leagues you can join. We're deep into week 1, and while I'm winning handily (currently 46.1 to 6.4), I have a few concerns, and after today I'm going in to 2 weeks where I face the teams who look the best (next week's opponent is currently up 89.9 to 10.9). Due to family responsibilities, I missed the draft and my team was picked randomly, though I did get a few of the people I wanted.

First, the good news. The league's scoring rules allow you to select individual offensive players but an NFL team's entire defense. I drafted Baltimore, as requested, who had an amazing day against the Bucs. I had a feeling the Ravens defense was going to be underrated -- they picked op one of my favorite Ducks, Haloti Ngata, and I'm hoping that a strong D-line will free their LB's to help more on pass coverage. Today, they've provided more of my fantasy score than my entire offense combined.

Now, on to the offense:

My QB position is weak. Kerry Collins got off to a rocky start today, but he's starting to fight back. I'm going to give him another week at least, but I'm tempted to drop Jake Plummer from my bench and go shopping. I was stupid enough to drop Hasselbeck based on reports that he wasn't healthy, and I'm kicking myself for it.

My WR corps is direct from the Seahawks, and while they were disappointing today, I think they'll pick up steam as the season progresses.

Running Backs are Michael Turner (the Chargers play later) and Mike Allstott, who had a mediocre day, but considering he was playing against the Ravens, I'll reserve judgement. I do have Maurice Morris on the Bench, so if need be I can make a switch.

Tight ends don't strike me as being as important in fantasy football as in real football (where they also block, etc.), but I have Todd Heap (who played well today) and George Wrightster on the bench. I traded away Justin Peele (my favorite TE in real life) for a receiver, Burleson.

Kicker: I benched Josh Brown based on fantasy scouting reports that said Janikowski was looking improved, and then he ended up being the only Seahawk to score. I'll have to watch the SD-Oakland game and make some decisions.

I definitely think QB is my weak position, but unfortunately most of the good ones are taken at this point. We'll see what I can pick up this week.

My Son is a Luna-tic

The Lad's love of the book Goodnight Moon has transformed into an obsession with the moon in general. He points at it on every page of the book. When outside or looking through a window, he is always looking for the moon, and he's become very good at spotting it, even in daylight hours. I think I'm going to encourage this particular infatuation -- books about the moon, etc. Maybe by the time he's an adult, he'll actually be able to travel there.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Musical Geography Question(s) of the Day

1. What state did you leave back in '49?
2. Where did you go, and to do what job?

A Close Shave

Skin of our teeth, baby.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hello Brisket, My Old Friend....

It's been a while since I developed any new recipes, but this one just kind of hit me the other day.

One of the ramifications of barbecueing a serious cut of mat like a brisket for a small family like mine is the huge amount of leftovers. So any time I can come up with a good leftover brisket recipe (like my Brisket Chili), I'm a happy man.

The latest idea has several inspirations: we frequently make brisket nachos. When I lived in San Diego, I was a huge fan of a local Mexican-Americn fusion dish, Carne Asada French Fries. And who isn't a fan of chili fries? So, I combined the ideas and came up with:

Nachos Americano

1 platter steak fries
1 cup barbecue style baked beans
2 cups barbecued brisket, chopped
1/2 cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup sweet yellow onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook fries using preferred method. While the fries are cooking, prepare the beans and brisket. The beans can be reheated in a saucepan, the brisket warmed ina skilled with a little dry rub or barbecue sauce. Place freshly cooked fries on an oven-safe platter. Dollop on beans, add brisket. Sprinkle cheese over top and place in oven until cheese melts. Remove from head, drizzle with barbecue sauce, sprinkle on onions to taste. Serves 2-6 depending on appetites.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Musical Geography Question of the Day

I just realized, this is the 25th installment of this particular theme on my blog.

When will you never see my face or hear the sound of my feet?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It Was Bound to Happen Sometime

Every parent makes this mistake.

We gave The Lad sugar tonight.

Anybody have the number of a good exorcist?

Musical Geography Question of the Day

Where can you do a half a million things, all at a quarter to three?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fly the Flag on 9/11

I received the following e-mail, and along with forwarding it, I'm posting it here:

There are so many people that seem to have forgotten all about 9/11 and are saying we should not be trying to wipe out terrorism.

Whether you feel we should be in Iraq, or not, we still should take at least one day to show that we support our troops, wherever they are, and that we remember what happened five years ago. God bless America!

Please join us in this FLY THE FLAG campaign and PLEASE forward this email immediately to everyone in your address book asking them to also forward it. We have a little less than one week and counting to get the word out all across this great land and into every community in the United States of America. If you forward this email to least 11 people and each of those people do the get the idea.


On Monday, September 11th, 2006, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Individuals should make it their duty to display an American flag on this fifth anniversary of our country's worst tragedy. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

Action Plan:

1) Forward this email to everyone you know (at least 11 people). Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.

2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11 if you don't already have one flying. Make it a priority for this day.

Thank you for your participation. God Bless You and God Bless America!

Musical Geography Question of the Day

From where to where did Bill Campbell and John Austin walk?

Monday, September 04, 2006

TFR Is Right

Considering all the deadly animals he dealt with in his career, it seems ironic that Steve Irwin was killed by one that normally isn't known as a killer.

"Croc Hunter" Steve Irwin Killed By Stingray

Thanks for the Memory to Robin at Robin's Nest.

Sad, but not so suprising, considering how he's made a career of taking risks around deadly wildlife:

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition, police said. He was 44.

Irwin was filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland state when the accident occurred, Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on its Web site.
His wife is originally from the Eugene are. My prayers are with her and their families tonight.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Final: Oregon 48, Stanford 10

Nice way to start the season. I almost feel sorry for Stanford. Oh, wait, no, I don't.

Quote of the Day

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him."
- Robert A Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Friday, September 01, 2006

Musical Geography Trick Question of the Day

Read carefully:

If your traveling companion is the child of your first marriage, to a landmark in what city and state are you going?

Arsenal of Democracy

Thanks for the Memory to Smallholder and Maximum Leader at Naked Villainy:

You scored as United States. Your army is the American army. You want your home front to support the G.I.'s in their pursuit to liberate world from more or less evil tyrants.

British and the Commonwealth






United States


France, Free French and the Resistance




Soviet Union






In which World War 2 army you should have fought?
created with

Fitting picture to represent the US Army -- the signpost says Bastogne, where the 101st Airborne stood up to the Germans and earned itself a place of honor besides units like the 20th Maine.

Whaddaya Think?

A little editing of an existing image: