I just heard a news update where it was reported that our high winds (the ones I mentioned earlier) were so vicious that they raised the Lake Erie water level near Buffalo, ten feet and lowered the lake water levels near Toledo by five feet. 

That is wicked wind.

A related anecdote about Lake Erie:  Every time S’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. S, come to visit and we drive them along the lake, Mrs. S always says with surprise, “Wow, that lake is really big.”  And I always say, “Oh yes, it’s great.”  Always.


In honor of that “big game” on Sunday…


Ah, yes…  These, my friends, are the five (5) Lombardi trophies that the Pittsburgh Steelers have won.  My trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame just so happened  to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Steelers.

In case you missed it and are interested, here are my thoughts on the upcoming “big game”.



This is Jack Kemp’s jersey from the Buffalo Bills.  I took this picture during last summer’s trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Gloomy Wednesday…

It is bitter cold today.  And there is a light coating of snow outside.  It’s also quite windy.  So windy that our windows are rattling.  There might be some sunshine today, or so the weather-liars have promised.  Yesterday it was 48 degrees and all of the previous snow accumulation melted.  I love winter, I really do.  And I love snow.  But I love lots of snow, not just a dusting.  And I don’t so much care for the bitter cold.  I enjoy 31 degrees and a ton of snow, not 5 degrees and a dusting. 

I’m going to talk some politics now, so if it is not your thing, you might want to read something else.

The first time I ever voted I was 19 years old and it was the 1992 election.  I voted for Bill Clinton in the general election, but my love, respect and primary vote went to Paul Tsongas.  I was young and attending a small, liberal, all women’s college.  That’s how I explain it to myself now.  In 1996, I dutifully voted for another 4 years for President Clinton.  His opponent, Bob Dole, just didn’t do anything for me.  And he seemed to be too old.  Too old and stodgy for a 23 year old voter.  And I really didn’t care for that “he’s the next guy in the line” the Republicanswere pushing at the time.  But I did like his running-mate, Jack Kemp.  Not just for his economic proposals but for his former NFL status.  During that election, I started to suspect that I might have more republican/libertarian leanings than I had previously thought.  But when one is making the transition from one ideology to another, it feels safer to jump into libertarianism first.

By the time the 2000 election rolled around, I was all the way in to the republican/libertarian thing.  I had no affection for John McCain in the Republican primary and George W. Bush was already the presumed nominee by the time my state got to vote.  I dislike Al Gore and his political platform, so voting for Bush in the general election was a fairly easy thing to do.  It was really more of an anti-Gore vote than a pro-Bush vote.  If the candidate had been Jeb Bush, then it would have been a pro-Bush vote.  But it wasn’t and I’ll never forgive history for that.  When the 2004 election came, I voted for President Bush again.  I may be crappy at picking a primary candidate, but I have voted for the eventual winner* every time.

Now it is election season all over again.  I want to be excited, as I am a political junkie, but I am not.  I am not enthused about any of the candidates from either party.  I tried to get myself excited about Giuliani, but it was difficult because of his multiple marriages and sad family life.  Huckabee scares the crap out of me.  Thompson seemed good on issues but horrible on running for office.  McCain is still McCain…  And Romney…  I don’t know.  There is just something about him that is too polished.  I cannot and will not vote for Hillary Clinton.  And while I hear all of these people talking about how inspiring and vibrant Barack Obama is, I just don’t get it.  Yes, he gives amazing speeches, but they are empty.  And what policies he has fleshed out are pure socialism.  Not my thing.  Which is also why I couldn’t get behind John Edwards.  That, and he is a trial lawyer which makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

A candidate who would inspire me?  A person who gave speeches like Obama, had the conservatism of Thompson, was friendly to the gay community like Giuliani, had the family life and business acumen of Romney, the military experience of McCain, the respect for the Constitution like Ron Paul, the will to fight to the death like Hillary, have experienced the difficulty of paying the electric bill like Huckabee and absolutely nothing that is the smarminess of Edwards.  And I would like this pretend candidate to be both black and female, so we could still have those American political “firsts“.  That is who I would happily vote for, without any hesitation or reservation.  But that person doesn’t seem to exist.  Not yet anyway.

So it is a gloomy Wednesday for me.  McCain looks to be the republican nominee.  If Obama wins the nomination for the democrats, McCain is going to look like a rotting corpse standing next to him at the debates.  It will be Kennedy/Nixon all over again.  Youth and vitality will win out.  And I can’t say that I would totally disprove.  I don’t know that I will be able to pull the lever for McCain.  It would be easier if his opponent was Hillary.  But if it is Obama, I just don’t know…

Hey, the sun has come out.  Apparently it doesn’t know that McCain won Florida.

*Yes, the 2000 general election left some doubt to many people as to who “really” won.  That’s why I gifted it with an asterisk. 

Tools and such…

While there were many bad aspects to having S’s father helping us out with the house, there was one big positive.  The man has mad amounts of tools. And he brought them all along.  He had several saws including a wet saw, hammers and every wrench known to man as well as drills with fancy drill bits and sanders and… The man is the tool section of Home Despot.  It was an awesome display.  No matter what tool I needed at any given time, Mr. S had it.  I got spoiled. 

But then one day in April he came for a visit in his obnoxiously large pick-up truck and took all of his tools away.  He even took the little jig saw, which he said at the start of our renovation adventure, he bought for us.  He was salty in the end so it was no surprise that he didn’t leave it for us.  Consequently, since last April we have had little more than our trusty red tool box.  It’s one of those typical tool boxes and it holds a hammer, several screwdrivers, a couple of chisels, a tiny level, various sized allen wrenches (thanks Ikea), two pairs of pliers and a little ratchet set.  It is suitable for apartment living because it has everything needed to hang pictures or put together a set of bookshelves.  But it’s not suitable for home renovation.

For a house warming gift, my brother gave me a wicked cool drill.  And, really, wicked cool is probably an understatement.  I had also been sanding the kitchen cabinets with the little finishing sander that he let me borrow.  It actually worked better for me than Mr. S’s power sander because it was able to get into nooks and crannies.  But we have been essentially tool-less.  When we had to replace the downstairs bathroom toilet, I bought all the “suggested” tools on the box, none of which I ended up using for installing the toilet.  But now we have a large plumbers wrench, which I’m sure will come in handy some day.  Oh, and for Christmas my parents gave me a slightly more powerful finishing sander in hopes that I will actually finish the cabinets while they are still living.

This past weekend we had renovations on the brain.  Our living room is frigid from cold air coming up through the hardwood from the basement.  We initially went to Lowe’s to investigate our insulating options.  We also have given ourselves a time table for starting our kitchen counter projects so we priced those supplies as well.  One hindrance in the counter project is that we have no way to cut the lumber or cement board.  But I fixed all of that with that one trip to Lowe’s.  Now we have a circular saw (with a laser guide), a jig saw, a level, a man hammer and a crow bar

I’m ready for anything now…  Well, anything except actually cutting anything because it occurred to me that we don’t have saw horses.  I’ll have to get some.

Books that make you dumb…

I found this tid-bit over at Joanne Jacob’seducation blog.  Someone went through Facebook and took note of the lists of the most popular books broken down by what college the user represented.  They then downloaded the SAT/ACT scores for the colleges and graphed the results into a Books That Make You Dumb chart.  Good fun!

Smart books: Lolita and 100 Years of Solitude

Dumb books: The Color Purple and The Purpose Driven Life

*And by “good fun” I mean that it is fun to look at but I know there are many other factors that make people dumb and some smart people enjoy reading crap. 

**Also, I refuse to link to Facebook because I’m pretty sure it’s just a portal to Hell.

The executive branch enforces the laws…

Or not. 

According to the Rutland Herald:

Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

It should come as no surprise then that according to the article, Vermont is the only state that President Bush has not visited while in office.

My question is, if the residents of the town arrested Bush or Cheney, wouldn’t the president just issue immediate pardons?