Thursday, March 31, 2005

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make

Terri Schiavo passed away today. This may be the first moment in the past 15 years where her soul can finally be at peace. Too many people of all stripes used and abused this poor woman's plight to further their pet causes. I hope we can now finally let her return to the dignity that any of the rest of us would expect and deserve.

Political leaders at all levels need to realize that a great majority of Americans (much larger a majority than elected many of them) supported the decisions made by the courts, and felt the various legislative actions were not merely overreaching, but abusive of their powers. Ironically, the rights (spousal decisionmaking, etc) they sought to bypass are the same rights that homosexual couples across this country are being the same groups. So now it appears that the defense of marriage includes defending these rights not only from homosexuals, but also heterosexuals who seek to exercise said rights.

Personally, I hope the media starts to become embarrassed at their antics and actions in cases such as this NON-STORY...but as long as their are 24 hour news channels, and ratings, I fear we will keep slipping further down the spiral.

Follow this link for more on the hypocrisy oozing out of the administration (Jonathan Alter has much to say on the so-called "culture of life", including the following):
When he was governor of Texas, George W. Bush presided over 152 executions, more than took place in the rest of the country combined. In at least a few of these cases, reasonable doubts about the guilt of the condemned were raised. But Bush cut his personal review time for each case from a half hour to a mere 15 minutes (most other governors spend many hours reviewing each capital case to assure themselves that there's no doubt of guilt). His explanation was that he trusted the courts to sort through the life-and-death complexities. That's right: the courts.

[Emphasis added - Ed.]

In a related note, click here for the Urban Dictionary definition of "republican"

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

So take a sigh as long as the war's been going on in your heart tonight

Okay...I posted last week about The West Wing, and my somewhat sarcastic hopes for the future of the program. So far, my snarky side is pleased, and my hopeful side is sad.
A few highlights (or lowlights, if you will):
- Josh & Will speak in song lyrics
- The Republican convention spends 3 days bashing the Bartlet White House
- The fake repub governor of Ohio gave an MS-pun-filled speech and Josh swears at the TV
- Jed catches Charlie leaving Zoe's bedroom at 1 am
- The International Space Station goes Apollo 13
- The US may, or may not, have a space bomber (aka military space shuttle)
- Nothing is decided regarding the Democratic candidate, other than Leo now looks about halfway to the next bypass surgery.

Next week's SEASON FINALE promises only to reveal the candidate...we shall see. The shark is getting closer and the show seems ready to take to the air.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

and he points to his survival, and he points me down the road I guess I jinxed myself by hoping I'd be able to get a nice bike ride in today. Oh well...didn't happen. Got stuck at work for a full day...and apparently involuntarily gave up my lunch hour (retail value about $22) for 3 slices of pizza and a can of soda (retail value about $3). I have brilliant co-workers, obviously, because they thought it was a good idea, and voted on it while I was at training yesterday. Freaking morons.

So, the road bike remains hanging on the custom-built wall rack, waiting for the weather to clear up again...maybe this weekend, maybe not.

I'd like to welcome my new Madison visitors, including MT, who put a wonderfully enjoyable spin on the idea of my counter. I still personally think of it as an escape from my job...regardless of what awaits on the other side.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Well, today the Frozen Wasteland may or may not have hit 70 all depends on which bank thermometer you might have looked at. I was fortunate that I got to spend the day in town (rather than driving north to work). I had an all-day erosion control training seminar at the local university (yep...same one that just won the D3 Mens Basketball National Championship, again).

I mention that tidbit simply to manufacture a stellar transition to this paragraph. It seems that the University of Tennessee has written a large enough check to woo away Bruce Pearl from UW-Milwaukee (the wonders a Sweet 16 appearance has on your career). Anyway, the coach of our beloved Pointers may or may not have been contacted regarding replacing Bruce Pearl at UW-Milwaukee...and the coaching carousel begins to spin.

Back to the I can say. Short work day, lots of time outside enjoying the beautiful beautiful day. Looks like the next 2 days may be similar, and I may have shorter than normal work days at the office due to additional training there (yeah, I suppose the training is a little silly considering the countdown on the sidebar...oh makes the days pass quicker).

I'm thinking my wonderful road bike may have to go for a spin after work tomorrow, or for a long ride in the nice weather we're supposed to have this weekend...time will tell.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

If credit card companies take over...

This is funny and scary at the same time. Read it!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Spring has sprung...for now

Well, we have truly entered the start of spring here in the frozen wasteland of North Central Wisconsin. Every day its in the 40s, every night its in the teens or 20s. Freeze.Thaw.Freeze.Thaw.Freeze.Thaw....I think you get the picture. I would have posted last night, but I was having too much fun watching basketball on CBS and realizing just how BIG an east coast bias really exists in the CBS announcing squads.

[dripping sarcasm]Clearly Wisconsin didn't deserve to be in the Sweet 16...after all, they beat 2 teams seeded lower than their piddly 6 seed. And NC State is just too much of a powerhouse for Wisconsin. They're just going to steamroll right over the's gonna be ugly. Now don't get me started on the Big 10, what a poor basketball conference. 3 teams in the Sweet 16, but only Illinois deserved it, clearly.[/dripping sarcasm]

So, you may ask, why exactly did I have so much fun watching the CBS coverage? Well, it was so wonderful seeing these announcers attempt to backpedal from their statements of how the ACC is just god-like in their basketball prowess after Duke and NC State met their demise on the Big 10 teams...hah hah hah. Now, there are 3 Big 10 teams in the Elite 8, and 1 ACC team.

Pardon me, but would any CBS announcers like me to pass the Grey Poupon? I've heard it's excellent on crow.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.*

In a sign of the ever-present march of technology, I have been anointed the "Technological Advisor" for my good friend's wedding this August in TVPNM, in addition to being one of his groomsmen.

You may be asking "So what duties come with this exhalted title?"

Well, I'll tell you. I am in charge of the coordination, design, assembly, and (very likely) distribution of the Official Wedding CD, which may or may not contain various songs, images, etc. of the bride and groom's choosing.

*Frank Lloyd Wright

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The West Wing quote to title this post...I'm just feeling too lazy to find a good one...and I forgot the great one from the beginning of The West Wing tonight.

I have to say that this election storyline (by blending in current events along with some good satire) seems to be representing a renaissance for the show. Now that they are out of the primaries, heading to the Democratic Convention with a virtual tie, it may get interesting...however, Jed sitting around eating ice cream with Vinick in the White House kitchen was quite fun to watch.

I only fear that the powers that be are going to screw something up, or just go off the deep end like they did earlier this season when they started talking about giant meteors, and the plot line seemed ripe for a cameo from Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler.

I'm hoping they manage to stay on this side of the shark for the remainder of the season, and I'm not going to expect much from the "swan song" that the next season will be.

Monday, March 21, 2005

You left me standing here a long, long time ago. Don’t leave me waiting here, lead me to your door.

Read this, and this, and then tell me exactly what Congress is really trying to accomplish. Are they doing this for Terri (and if so, why did they wait until the last second to act?) or are they doing it for self-serving gains come election time?
"Ask yourself, why do you seek the Cup of Christ? Is it for His glory, or for yours?"

Saturday, March 19, 2005

We are the champions, my friend...

With all the focus on the NCAA D-1 Men's Basketball Tournament this weekend, many other games get ignored. No, I'm not referring to the Not Invited Tournament, nor the D-1 Women's Tournament. My focus for the moment is on the NCAA D-3 Men's Basketball Tournament, which just concluded in Salem, VA not more than a few minutes ago. My congratulations go to the hometown team, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers, and their coach Jack Bennett. They not only won their second straight National Championship, they did it in a convincing fashion by thouroughly stomping York (PA) and Rochester (NY) this weekend with a combined margin of victory of 47 points.

UWSP is only the 3rd team to ever win back-to-back D3 National Championships. What is more remarkable is that these players are playing for the love of the game. D3 teams have no scholarships, no tv contracts, and are students first, unlike the stats coming from their D1 counterparts.

UWSP has a tradition for great basketball...a former coach, Dick Bennett, left to coach the Wisconsin Badgers, and now is the head coach at Washington State. Dick took the Pointers all the way to the championship game in the 1983-84 season. One of his players that season, Terry Porter, went on to a successful NBA career and is now the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Friday, March 18, 2005

You better leave my kitten all alone.'s time for cat-blogging here at Didactic Discursive Diatribe. I figured all my devoted readers ought to meet the bane of my existence. Nah, he's not nearly as bad as this cat, but he does have his psychotic moments.

This is Tusker...he's nearly 4 years old, and he's named after this:

Isn't he cute?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. the groundhog down in Janesville is just about as accurate as the typical weatherman...wrong wrong wrong. Early spring...yeah we're facing the biggest storm of the whole stinkin' winter...10 to 12 inches predicted for the next 24-36 hours. Knowing the way the weather works, It'll be clear enough for me to drive to work tomorrow, but snow enough that it'll take 2 hours to get home.
"Well, it used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to *eat* it. You're hypocrites, all of you! You have a problem with what I'm saying, Larry?"

"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather."

"You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life."

UPDATE: 8:37am: Snow's not here yet, but apparently it's still on the way, and we're still going to get dumped on, although the forecast is now for 7-10 inches, rather than 10-12. Still pissed at the groundhog though.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Got a dream they've come to share, they're coming to America: The Book

Well, this book took me quite awhile to read...must be that I have trouble reading humorous books quickly. The book is really funny, and well written. Nothing is sacred, and pages 98 & 99 are priceless (Wal*Mart be damned).

For my Delaware readership (with love and humorous intent)...from page 30:

And...just because it makes me smile...and is also a very TRUE statement (from page 41):

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The merciless peppers of Quetzlzacatenango!

While we are finally in the midst of March Madness, other national championships are being settled as well. From, The Tangy 12.
I blame March Madness for a range of unusual behavior that I exhibit this time of year, from sudden mood swings to an irrational obsession with RPI. I also become a salsa fiend, and like many NCAA enthusiasts, most salsa I consume comes straight from a jar. Who has time to chop up a pile of vegetables when one must focus with laserlike intensity on rooting for a North Carolina championship?

The problem, of course, is mass-produced salsa's astounding lack of flavor, due largely to the abuse that vegetables endure to get from field to jar. The tomatoes, for example, are washed, blasted with hot steam, sliced, diced, reheated, and cooled. They're then mixed with dehydrated onions, flash-frozen jalapeño peppers, and other similarly maltreated vegetables. That mixture is heated, jarred, steamed, sealed, and finally, cooled. While homemade salsa marries the pure flavors of ingredients like peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, and lime, mass-produced salsa is uniform, generic, and bland.

Monday, March 14, 2005

And though she's not really ill, there's a little yellow pill

I remembered reading about this several months ago, and was just starting to wonder if a decision would ever be reached regarding the pharmacist who refused to fill a valid prescription for birth control pills. I could say more, but this Capital Times editorial says it quite well. I've posted the first part, but I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Pharmacist oversteps bounds by playing God

By Joel McNally
March 12, 2005

We all have a right to follow our own religious or moral beliefs in our daily lives. That's part of being a good person.

But there's nothing religious, moral or even particularly good about claiming to be gods ourselves and trying to impose our own personal beliefs on everybody else. That's the height of human arrogance.

That's why it's a complete misnomer to say that a pharmacist who refuses to provide health care is following his conscience.

Conscientious pharmacists do not jeopardize the health needs of patients. They do not refuse to do their job of dispensing legitimately prescribed drugs.

If there are pharmacists whose personal religious beliefs forbid providing medication to heal sickness and preserve health, they've made a very bad career choice.

It's not only bad for them. It's bad for those unfortunate patients who find themselves at the mercy of these self-appointed gods.

That's why an administrative law judge for the state Department of Regulation and Licensing properly recommended discipline for a pharmacist who refused to dispense birth control pills to a coed at the University of Wisconsin- Stout.

After grilling the student about whether she intended to use the pills for contraception, the pharmacist not only refused to fill a doctor's prescription, but also refused to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy where it could be filled by a conscientious pharmacist.

The administrative law judge recommended that the pharmacist, Neil Noesen, be reprimanded for violating the code of ethics for pharmacists and spend six hours in ethics education.

The pharmacist also would be required to provide written notice to any employer specifying any medications he would refuse to dispense and what steps he would take to assure that patients who needed those medications would still be able to receive them.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Those of you lucky enough to have your lives take them with you. However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now.

Today is a Kill Bill movie marathon at my apartment. That's right, 4+ hours of martial arts, blood, gore, and Japanese steel, all delivered Tarantino-style.

"Do you find me sadistic? You know, I bet I could fry an egg on your head right now, if I wanted to. You know, Kiddo, I'd like to believe that you're aware enough even now to know that there's nothing sadistic in my actions. Well, maybe towards those other... jokers, but not you. No Kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most... masochistic."

Friday, March 11, 2005

We got a thing we call the Madison blues

Not much to report today...the news is a bit more somber (first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings), and nothing odd has jumped out yet. It's seeming more like open season on judges, with a shooting down in Atlanta today.

Beyond that, I'm starting to seriously search for apartments in the Madison area for this fall, and have found one or two that look good on "paper" (or at least the online version of the Madison papers). I'm also thinking about entering a few upcoming races in the Madison area.

          Sat. April 30 @ 10am               Crazylegs Classic 8k
        Sun. May 29 @ 7:38am           Mad City Half-Marathon

Thursday, March 10, 2005

bang bang (my baby his kitty shot me him down)

From the rich tapestry that is life (especially up here in the frozen wastelands):
"Cat Shoots Owner"
BATES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County, was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.

What is truly ironic about this is that Wisconsin is currently debating a proposal to allow the hunting of feral (wild) cats. From NBC15 (Madison, WI):
UW Wildlife Ecology Professor Stanley Temple says his 1995 study conservatively estimates there are 1.4 million feral cats in Wisconsin. And those cats kill and eat a lot of other animals.
"So 1.4 million cats times 28 kills a year and 20% of those kills being birds adds up to at least, and I'll emphasize at least 7.8 million birds that are killed by free ranging cats a year. That's an alarming number," says Temple.

Those numbers are why this April the Conservation Congress will be voting on a proposal to identify feral cats as an unprotected species in Wisconsin–basically meaning they could be hunted.

Apparently the cats in Michigan are already prepared if a hunting season rolls around. I just hope the pistol-packing cat is named Lafcadio.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...

Well...after 1 year and 3 months, I finally am getting my own office at work. However, I'm not moving out of my office...the other guy is. He's just moving across the hall though, so I'm being very helpful. I'm pleased as I will no longer have to endure the auditory or olfactory displeasures that occur routinely after lunch, or the late BK brunch.
(A little BK math for you all...2 Whoppers for $3 @ 700 calories each == 2*700 = 1400 calories)
Too bad I only have 4 1/2 months left to enjoy my newfound aloneness...but I'll be able to turn the radio up an extra notch, maybe pilfer the second internet connection, you know, all the fun things.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

baby you can drive over my car

I'm starting to think that for the year I spent commuting on the Madison Beltline, I was really damn lucky. In the past 6 months, two separate semi accidents have involved the semi driving over the top of a passenger car. In both cases there have been fatalities. Not surprisingly, the truck driver has been the cause of the accident in both cases. From News 3 (Madison, WI):

The first accident (Sept. 2004):
An Illinois truck driver is facing two counts of homicide by negligent operation in connection with a similar fatal beltline accident.

Six months ago, James Sharp crashed his semi into the back of a car that was stopped for construction on the beltline, killing Peggy Hanson, 51, and her 4-year-old granddaughter, Lilyana Thomas, both of DeForest.

Sharp is slated to go to trial in July.

Sharp, 59, told investigators when he reached down for a pack of cigarettes, there were no cars in front of him for a quarter of a mile and no signs that traffic up ahead was slowing and stopping.

"Mr. Sharp told me that as he was bending over and his line of sight went below his dashboard," said Madison Det. Maya Krajcinovic, who interviewed Sharp after crash.

While Sharp told police he didn't see any brake lights ahead, witnesses said they saw the traffic jam near a construction zone and had plenty of time to stop.

An accident reconstruction shows Sharp reacted only three seconds before the crash, when he actually had at least 26 seconds to as much as 52 seconds to brake safely and avoid the crash, investigators said.

The second accident (March 3, 2005):
One person died in a seven-car crash on the westbound beltline Thursday night.

Debra Callies, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash happened at about 5:15 p.m. near the South Towne exit. All three lanes of the westbound beltline were closed until about 10 p.m.

A semi truck drove over Callies' car, killing her.

The frightening part:
The driver of the semi involved in Thursday's deadly crash on the beltline has a history of moving violations, News 3 reported.
Dixon's driving record has 14 moving violations since 1996, including speeding and failure to obey signs while driving a commercial vehicle, News 3 reported.

Madison police told News 3 Dixon has been involved in four accidents in Madison since 1993.

While I understand the need for people to be able to drive for work (especially if its their job), in cases like this maybe this supposed "right to drive" should be permanently revoked. Drivers need to face real penalties for causing crashes, especially ones that involve fatalities. We, as a society, call these incidents "accidents" as if no one is responsible. There is always a cause, be it "an act of God" or "driver distraction/negligence".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a campaign to remove the "accident" designation for traffic crashes.
"Changing the way we think about events, and the words we use to describe them, affects the way we behave. Motor vehicle crashes and injuries are predictable, preventable events. Continued use of the word 'accident' promotes the concept that these events are outside of human influence or control. In fact, they are predictable results of specific actions," says NHTSA. "Crash, collision, incident and injury are more appropriate terms, and should be encouraged as substitutes for accidents," NHTSA adds.

Monday, March 07, 2005

oh the weather outside is frightful

The old adage here in Wisconsin is that "if you don't like the weather, wait a day and it will change". Well, apparently Mother Nature got back from her weekend off to find that the intern she left in charge really made a mess of things. After a weekend with high temperatures in the 50s, the melting wasteland is once again freezing, and being hit by 15-25 mph winds and blowing snow.

I'm glad the nice weather, for once, corresponded with a weekend, but spring can take over completely whenever it wants.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

so let's make the most of this beautiful day

So after months of running on a treadmill, I finally had the opportunity to run another 5 mile road race, and the weather was PERFECT!!! After the past week with temperatures dropping into the negative single digits overnight, March 5th came in with 40+ degree weather, and a light wind out of the northwest. Perfect weather for an early season run. While I didn't get an overall personal best, I did take 7 minutes off my last outdoor 5 mile run time (from about 3 months ago) of 49:07. I'm not quite sure what my official time will be for today yet, but I clocked myself at 42:00.

UPDATE: Official posted time from the run was 42:03. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Damn the Man! Save the Empire!

Per other blogs, Molly, and now Wonkette as well...The coming crackdown on blogging

Some of Wonkette's commentary:
FEC: Bloggers Beware
When we first heard about the Federal Election Commission coming crackdown on blogs who link to (i.e., "assist") campaigns, we had the same reaction as many of you: "Wait, we're going to have to try to understand McCain-fucking-Feingold? Numbers are scary!"
Less heartening: Bradley Smith confides that the law may be triggered by simply "reproducing a campaign's material... That'll count as an expenditure that counts against campaign finance law." But what if it's reproduced with a "heh" at the end?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Now, junior, behave yourself

The list of "naughty" words not allowed on personalized jerseys at the NFL Shop.

Commentary from Wonkette:

NFL: No Fellatio or Lovegoo Allowed

Some intrepid ass-fucker with mad computer skills successfully hacked into the NFL shop's (ahem) back door and retrieved the official list of the 1121 things you can't put on a Jersey. We're laughing too hard to read through them all right now, but we love the idea of a bunch of suits sitting around and thinking up all the possible variations on "Tongue Thruster":

SUIT #1: "Tongue Thrust"?
SUIT #2: Yeah, and maybe "Tongue Baller."
SUIT #3: What if they misspell "tongue"? Is it still "naughty" then?
SUIT #1: Excellent point, Dick.
SUIT #3: I think you mean, "Dick Licker."

And then they'd all slap each other's asses and go have a friendly, completely non-homoerotic drink together.

time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future

For those of you keeping track, you may have noticed that the counter over on the right sidebar jumped back up 8 days yesterday. The reason? The University of Wisconsin Law School posted the official start date for classes in Fall 2005, which is when I will cease being a 0L and officially become a 1L. (For the math/calendar-challenged among you, that would be September 2nd.)

In a related note, that means there are exactly 6 months standing between today and the start of the fall semester...I just hope I'm not starting it at 8am. It also means that I will end up with an entire month off between work and school.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Over men and horses hoops and garters, lastly through a hogshed of real fire!

No comment. I think the headline speaks for itself.
Wisconsin Man, 63, Accused of Having Sex With Calves on Farm, Usually After Local Bar Closed
[Emphasis added-Ed.]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

And your father's still perfecting ways of making sealing wax

Okay, I'm not sure if this is funny ha-ha, or funny 'what the fuck', but thanks to Zogby, we now know that if the election were held today (instead of during sweeps), Santos would clobber Vinick.

Wonkette offers commentary on this riveting development:
We're glad to see that real political operatives also enjoy making shit up:

TV’s The West Wing Audience Speaks: Santos Favored over Vinick; Fictional Democrat Would Beat Fictional Republican, 44%-28%; Vinick Plagued by Gender Gap, Weak Showing Among GOPers, New Zogby Poll Reveals
Or maybe it's not making shit up if it's a real poll based on a fake election. As for fake polls based on real elections, well, that's our job. Of course, Zobgy has been doing that for longer than we have.

But look, it's not enough to do a poll about a TV show that hasn't been interesting or relevant since, well, since the Democrats were. You have to analyze the real results with all fake assuredness that you would any other poll, hence statements such as "Unless Vinick can shore up his base, and make inroads among women, expect a Santos victory.... Expect to see Vinick work to reach out to women as the campaign season wears on." Hey, it worked for Schwarzenegger.