Plans shot all to hell…

I had plans for the day.  I had lots to do and was going to be busy, busy, busy. 

It was going to start early.  I was going to go to Target to pick up a gift card for S’s brother, el Jefe.  It is his birthday and I am so on the ball this year that I bought his birthday card two weeks ago.  In fact, my main goal for 2008 is to remember every important birthday with cards and phone calls that are not in any way belated.  el Jefe’s is my first big challenge.  I figured, if I got the gift-card/card in the mail today, he would have it for his actual birthday, if not a day early.

I had other things to do at the Post Office as well.  I have about $16.00 worth of certified mail that needs to go out.  I also need to pick up a ring we ordered from Jerusalem has come in but for some reason the mail person didn’t knock on my door to tell me about it.  He just left a note saying I could pick it up.  And I know he didn’t knock because I was sitting on the sofa when he stopped by yesterday, not three feet from our mail slot.

I am also in desperate need of some nasal decongestant.  And not the OTC kind that doesn’t work but also doesn’t make Meth.  I need the good stuff, kept behind the counter, for which I must hand over my driver’s license and buy in small quantities.

And then there is the dry cleaning…  I needed to pick that up too.

But I am not doing any of it.  I am blogging and reading news on the internet.

On the way to school this morning, S and I made a stop in which she needed to take my wallet into a store with her.  She got back in the car and I dropped her off at school and then proceeded to the nearest Target.  I parked the car and started to walk toward the store doors and something just wasn’t right.  I reached my right hand back and touched my right bum cheek.  Nothing.  No wallet.  I walked back to the car and looked in the glove compartment.  No wallet.  No wallet at all.  So, I drove home.  When I got home I called S’s classroom because there were still three minutes before her first class started. 

She had the wallet.  She claims that she tried to flag me down as I pulled away but I didn’t pay attention.  Probably I didn’t pay attention because driving around her school during student drop-off is an extreme sport.  It is life and death.  If you are not fully focused on every child and car within 50 feet, someone is going to get hurt.  There is much more room for driver error/neglect on the D.C. Beltway than there is around S’s high school.

Without the wallet I have no money.  No debit card.  No photo ID.  No driver’s license on this snowy driving day.  No nothing.  And without any of those things, I am kind of stuck as to what I can accomplish today.  Well, not entirely stuck…

You see, I have a secret stash of money.  It’s not much, but my other goal for 2008 is to save $40.00 a month so that come December I can surprise S with Christmas Shopping money.  I don’t intend to use the money for anything else unless there is a dire emergency and my open heart surgery is going to cost exactly what I have in my Secret Stash.  Sure, I could spend it today while I am wallet-less and then replace the cash later.  But if I start doing that, I am more likely to do it again and then, at some point, I won’t put the money back and my goal will be lost.  

Besides, a couple of the things on my to-do list require a photo ID.  I am not going to make multiple trips to the much hated Post Office.  That might hasten my need for open heart surgery.  Even though I pre-paid the dry-cleaning, the pick-up receipt is also in the wallet.  I’m screwed.

So, I am going to while away part of the day starting a third season run at a National Championship in NCAA 2008.  I have already won back to back National Championships with my Fighting Irish and I think we have a shot at 3 with my returning Seniors.  Good times.

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Is John McCain a “natural-born” citizen….

Well, this little story from the New York Times will get your pulse racing early in the morning.

 With Senator John McCain having been born into a military family in the Panama Canal Zone, there seems to be some legal thinking that says he may not be a natural-born U.S. citizen.  Not in the same way that Gov. Granholm was born in Canada, was a Canadian citizen and then became a naturalized citizen.  Read the story.

 There is also speculation in the story that Barry Goldwater was of questionable citizenship status and that Chester A. Arthurmight have secretly been Canadian and not a Vermonter.

Are people from Vermont, Vermonters or Vermontians?  Odd.

When I first read the title of the McCain story, which is “McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out“, I thought it said something about McCain in the Birth Canal, which would mean that investigative reporting really had gone too far.

William F. Buckley Jr. 1925-2008…

William F. Buckley Jr, is gone. 

Over at National Review Online, in The Corner, various contributors are writing about him and their words are beautiful.  It must be difficult to write about a man who wrote so well, as if your own tributes could never quite live up.  I implore you to go check out what they are writing.  Those who knew him best and worked with him and shared meals with him are going to write better eulogies than any other source.

I remember a time, back when I was just a kid, I saw William F. Buckley on television.  I must have been channel surfing and when I stopped on the channel he was on, I was mesmeriezed by his voice.  I think I was too young to really understand what he was saying but I was stuck on how he was saying it.  Not just mesmerized, but truly drawn to the man.

It wasn’t until I was out of college that I actually started reading National Review and picked up several books by William F. Buckley.  Reading his words and understanding what he was communicating was life changing.   His collected speeches in Let Us Talk of Many Things absolutely changed my life and my way of thinking. 

There isn’t much more I can write than can convey how I felt about him, so I am just going to read the words of others.

It wasn’t much of a debate…

I did not care much for the format of last night’s MSNBC debate.  Generally speaking, I think Tim Russert is a decent questioner, but last night he seemed a little soft.  And what was the point of having Brian Williamssitting at the table other than having someone announce when the comerical breaks would come?

Senator Clinton didn’t come across well in her complaints of the media coddling of Senator Obama, but it is a valid complaint.  If only she could find within herself a way to bring the charge without sounding whiny or b*tchy.  You know, something like, “Hey, this guy is pretty great when he’s getting applause and softball questions but you, the media, are not doing the hard work of weeding out his flaws before the Republican Machine gets their claws into him.”  Something like that.  Although, there is a chance that the Republican Machine is going to kid-glove Obama all the way to his inauguration for fear of being called racists and haters of Hope.

Another disappointment was that during the first fourth of the debate, Hillary didn’t sound confident in her answers.  She meandered through some and stumbled over others.  That is sooo not like her.  And when she found her “confident voice” she jumped into a pool of b*tch juice and sounded even more awful.  And Barack was just pure smooth jazz all night long.  Well, not all night.  He didn’t do well with the Farrakhan answer and he didn’t do well with the public financing answer.  But even when he isn’t doing well, he stills remains calm and cool and I can see where some people focus on his coolness and not what he is saying.

I am alarmed by both of their answers on NAFTA.  And what exactly is a “trade time out“?  I was alarmed by both of their answers on the “hypothetical” Iraq question.  If either of them are even remotely familiar with modern American military history, they would know that it was not a hypothetical question.  I am not comfortable with either of their health-care plans.  I am beyond uncomfortable with either of their abilities to handle foreign policy because it seems so secondary to them.  Which would be fine if they both wanted to be Senate Majority Leader and not Leader of the Free World

I guess what I am trying to say here is that I don’t think I am going to vote Democrat in November.  No, John McCainhasn’t won me over, but neither have the Democrats.  I have not gotten caught up in the magic of Obama, even though I almost did with the Will I. Am video on You Tube.  And I would feel a little more confident if Hillary won the nomination over Barack, but neither of them would be my first choice.  Or second choice.  Or third choice.  Why can’t the Democrats rally around behind Evan Bayh (D, IN) or Joe Lieberman(I, CT)?  Maybe McCain will choose Joe for a running-mate… I can only hope.

Tim Russert did give Hillary a second chance to say that no matter how wonderful Barack Obama is, he is not ready to be President of the United States.  And she failed.  I could understand that failure if she thought he was going to give her the VP nod or a seat on the Supreme Court, but without those promises, she really owed it to her country to answer honestly.  She doesn’t believe that he is ready.  Maybe he would be ready in 2012, but not yet.  And Hillary refused to admit it. 

That is why I fell pretty certain she lost the debate and is not going to win the nomination.  Well, that and the polls.

Built-in bookshelves…

My project:  built in bookshelves for the office/library.

The space:  We have a recessed area on the far wall of the office/library that is 9’4″ wide, 8’6″ high to the start of the cove ceiling and 2.5′ deep. 

My thoughts:  I want to use some stock base cabinets from the Home Despot for the base of the built-ins.  Probably 2 of the kitchen sink wide ones as well as one set that is all drawers.  We need closed storage as S is kind of messy and hiding it keeps me from going nuts.  The base needs to be sturdy as it will be holding our 10 gallon fish tank and perhaps a slightly bigger fish tank in the future.  A couple of sheets of plywood and a sheet of cement board to form a counter which S wants to tile something “funky”.  I have agreed to this even though I am the least “funky” person in America.

Now, the shelves.  I really want them to have that built-in look.  So, should I build a book case that is 9′ x 5′ and just attach it to the top of the counter and walls?  That seems right, but I don’t know.  I’ve never done this before and I am no carpenter.

Help?

Phishing…

Over the past two months S has been getting multiple e-mails every day from people claiming to be the IRS.  They want to give her information about her possible refund so they provide a link to their website so that she can enter her information for the refund.  If you move your cursor over the link you can easily see that it doesn’t go to the official irs.govwebsite. The actual IRS requests that anyone receiving these e-mails should forward them to an IRS Phishing investigative team.  Good to know.  The e-mail address for that is phishing@irs.gov.

Anyway, here is a news item about the IRS Phishsers from Government Computer News.

Political hodge-podge…

** One would think that the New York Times article on John McCain’s possible flirtation with a young, female lobbyist would just serve to make Democrats like the guy more.  Don’t they like that personality trait in their presidents?

** Perhaps this Barack Obama adoration thing is getting out of control.  Here is a tid-bit from The Swamp which is part of the Baltimore Sun online:

It’s probably safe to say that you have arrived as a politician when your audience applauds when you blow your nose.

Yes, just a day before a debate in Texas, Sen. Barack Obama has a head cold.

And about a half-hour into a speech here, the Illinois Democrat announced that he had to take a quick break. “Gotta blow my nose here for a second,” Obama said.

Out came a Kleenex (or perhaps it was a hankie), and he wiped his nose.

The near-capacity audience at the Reunion Arena, which his campaign said totaled 17,000, broke out in a slightly awkward applause.

**It seems like one cannot be a political pundit these days without having a cutesy play on Barack Obama’s name.  I am partial to the one that Hugh Hewitt is using, calling him the Dali Obama.  I do not care for the people who only refer to the guy by his first, middle and last names as if we are all supposed to quake in our boots because a guy with the middle name Hussein might be out Commander in Chief.

**Count me in as one of those people that believes that while Obama is a brilliant public speaker he really isn’t saying anything.  It’s all platitudes.  He hasn’t backed up “change” and “hope” with policies and proposals.  It’s difficult to find out what exactly he wants to do when he gets into the Oval Office (see, I said “when” not “if“).  And the thing is, if he isn’t going to tell me what he intends to do (or try to do) then I am left to come up with my own ideas.  Let me tell you, that isn’t a gpood thing.  His speeches and platitudes make me think of Pol-Pot and his “Year 0” and re-education camps.  Or Mao’sGreat Leap Forward” which was neither great nor forward.  My head automatically goes to the negative if someone seems insistant not to tell me what they really mean.

**Spouses are fair game in a presidential campaign if they go over and above to put themselves out there.  And keeping in mind what I just wrote about my thoughts on Obama’s speeches, I can’t help but be further creeped out by something Michelle Obama said during a speech earlier this month at UCLA (link to audio file, 8:40 in):

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

**Speaking of the spouses, Janet Huckabee hangs at Hooters.  Hooters in Vegas, no less.  Speaking of which, why won’t Huckabee just give up the campaign?  He’s not going to win and he can’t possibly get the VP nod.  Just go away.