Saturday, March 31, 2007


After the Chris Moore ramble-a-thon last night, Klund came over to our house. We had a couple of beers and I introduced him to the magic that is Firefly/Serenity; then he used our guest room. This morning we fed him coffee and pancakes and sent him on the road home to St. Peter, with all of our Firefly/Serenity DVDs in his clutches.

Enjoy them or don't, Kevin, but I expect some sort of blogging about it. Perhaps even a Haiku Review.

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Christopher Moore

So last night Klund, Scooter, Poo-Tee-Wheet and I had a fine dinner at Jewel of India, and then drove across the river to the U of M's student union and a "reading" and book signing by Christopher Moore, who is touring to promote his latest book, You Suck. "Reading" is in quotes because Moore doesn't do readings; instead he rambles for about an hour from notecards (post-its, actually), newspaper articles, and anything else he can think of. The podcast isn't up yet on the U's website, but I'll try to remember to post a link when it is. Basically there was a lot of foul language (including proper spelling thereof), some discussion of chest-shaving as it relates to book tours, many put-downs of Hollywood types, the usual sorts of unexpected (not to say "shallow") questions ("What's your favorite simile you've written?"), and a goodly number of laughs.

I didn't buy a book for Mr. Moore to sign, mostly because Lamb is not currently available in hardback. However, Moore revealed that there will be a new hardbound "gift" edition of Lamb out sometime this year, and I will definitely pick that up and catch him on his next tour.

Interestingly, in a brief conversation I had with Moore while he was signing Kevin's copy of Lamb, I learned that he was working at the little restaurant in Harmony, California when he wrote his first book, Practical Demonkeeping. Since it was copyrighted in 1995, there's a good chance Moore was working there when Kristi and I got married in the Harmony wedding chapel in 1994. I will from now on be claiming that Moore was at our wedding. Try to prove me wrong.

UPDATE: it has come to my attention that Practical Demonkeeping was copyright 1992, meaning that Chris Moore was well on his way to publishing superstardom by the time Kristi and I got married in Harmony. Rather than indicating that Moore wasn't at our wedding, I prefer to think of this as meaning he was there, but incognito, as befits a rising star of his magnitude.

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No Biggie

So, does anybody remember what a big friggin' deal it was back in 1997 when it turned out that Al Gore had used his office telephone to make fundraising calls for the Clinton-Gore 2006 campaign -- even though he'd actually used a credit card so that the government wasn't billed for the calls? Does anyone remember how he was ridiculed for saying that there was "no controlling legal authority that says that any of these activities violated any law"? Because I sure do. Even though I didn't have cable, barely read a newspaper (hey, it was the Fresno Bee, you can barely call it a newspaper), had never heard of this thing called a "blog" that didn't yet exist, and barely listened to talk radio, I still heard about this constantly. If Washington politics is big news in Fresno, California, you know the coverage is extensive. And it continued to dog Gore right up through the 2000 presidential election. Hell, ten years later you can still find plenty of references to the controversy in CNN's archives.

Let's compare and contrast that peccadillo with what's going on right now in the General Services Administration.

If you go to and search the allegedly left-wing Times archive for mention of GSA administrator Lurita Doan, you'll find the most recent mention of her was a February 4 article about contractors. There's certainly nothing there to indicate that two days ago she was up in front of a congressional committee being grilled about the politicization of the GSA.

At least the Washington Post was on the story.
In a letter to White House political affairs director Karl Rove, the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), asked about the Jan. 26 videoconference by Rove deputy J. Scott Jennings, which was directed to the chief of the GSA and as many as 40 agency officials stationed around the country.

Jennings's 28-page presentation included 2006 election results and listed the names of Democratic candidates considered beatable and Republican lawmakers thought to need help. At a hearing Wednesday about the GSA, Waxman said the presentation and follow-up remarks allegedly made by agency chief Lurita Alexis Doan may have violated the Hatch Act, a law that restricts federal agencies and employees from using their positions for political purposes.
Specifically, Doan has been reported, in sworn testimony before Congress, to have gotten up after the PowerPoint presentation and asked the participants "how the agency could help GOP candidates win in the next elections." I can't emphasize that enough: she asked how a taxpayer-funded government agency could be used to the advantage of the party holding the reins of that agency.

Note that this all occurred using GSA video conference equipment, in GSA offices, on GSA time, and is the subject of a congressional investigation. So (as of Friday, March 30), where's the NY Times coverage? Where's the LA Times coverage? Okay, I didn't really expect anything in the Wall Street Journal, but why no hits on MSNBC's search engine? Or CNN's?

Sigh. Stupid liberal media.


Saturday, March 24, 2007


Ever since my parents gave me Rambis in 1989 I've been a morning person. Not by choice; Rambis felt it was her God-given duty to get me up no around 5:00 or 6:00 every morning to feed her. And give her credit; she did it well. No pussy-footing around for her (yeah, pun intended); she'd just head-butt my face until I got up and got her some canned food.

Ram is gone now, and so is the early-morning head-butt. I miss the simple honesty of it. Smudge has stepped up, but now the morning wake-up call involves meowing, rattling the blinds, sharpening claws on the night-table, and other passive-aggressive behaviors designed to get me (or Kristi) to feed him just to shut him up.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Friday Afternoon

Saint Paul elementary schools have the day off, so Kristi and I split the day; I took the afternoon shift at home with Emma, who (as it happens) has spent pretty much the entire afternoon playing outside on a truly beautiful day.

I've spent a little time working, a little time playing (i.e., working on this year's CDFFL redesign, which is going to kick ass; I promised myself an early start this time around, and delivered), a little time catering to the needs of a slew of kids with squirtguns but no water (I hadn't yet turned the outside taps back on after the winter), and a little time reading my father's copy of Ivanhoe.

I don't know if my brother knows that I have it. It sat for several years after dad died, so I kind of assumed he didn't want it, and on one of my trips to Fresno I took it home with me.

According to the inscription it was given to him by a Mrs. H. Schreiber in July 1938, just a month or so before his 12th birthday. I actually had never read Ivanhoe before bringing dad's copy back to Saint Paul. It's a fun read -- probably beyond what Emma will be reading when she is 12, but I can see where dad would've liked it enough to keep it for 63 years. We recently borrowed the Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood from the library, and before watching it I outlined a bit of the backstory for Emma -- the whole Norman-Saxon conflict, the Crusades and King Richard, yadda yadda yadda -- all of which reminded me how much I'd enjoyed the book the first time. So I'm halfway through it again.

(I kind of figured watching Robin Hood would prime Emma for getting out her archery set, but so far she hasn't mentioned it yet this spring. Which is okay, really.)


This is the logo of the good people for whom I work:

And this is the logo on my mid-1980s-era Osterizer:

Apparently, I avoided working in small appliances by a very narrow margin. (I suppose it's still possible, if they disapprove of this blog entry.)

(Special added bonus for visitors from Worth: the last two buttons on the Osterizer are "blend" and "liquify". Yes, this is why I stopped Photoshopping and starting drinking heavily instead.)


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"The Bunny Story"

By popular demand. Really, this is Kristi's story to tell, but she thinks blogging is every bit as big a waste of time as watching Buffy DVDs or reading the forums. So it falls to me. I know I won't do it justice, but a man's got to try. I apologize in advance.

Emma has been particularly difficult lately. I won't go into all of the details; just trust me when I say that she's been a real strain on both my patience and Kristi's. One way it manifests itself is hypochondria. Every couple of weeks I'll get a call from Emma, using the school nurse's phone. "Dad?" "Hi, Emma." "I'm not feeling well." Even when the nurse says she's got a fever and I take her home, by the time 4:00 rolls around and Elli next door gets home, Emma is feeling great and wanting to play (not that I let her). Kristi and I have talked to her about our jobs and responsibilities, and how we can't just take off any time Emma's not feeling 100%, and how school is her job and she's got to tough it out just like we try to do when we're not feeling great.

One morning a couple of weeks ago, I got three calls from Em. Each time I told her that if she didn't have a fever she needed to stay at school. She did, finally, stay until school was over. Kristi and I were at a loss to understand this one. Finally, though, after Emma went to bed, Kristi had a sudden realization while brushing her teeth, and burst out of the bathroom to tell me about the drive to school that morning.

The girls were (typically) rushing to get Emma to school in time to avoid another tardy slip. Kristi was driving, concentrating on balancing speed versus safety. Emma, on the other hand, wanted to talk about her material needs. Specifically, she wanted to discuss her need for another pair of red cowgirl boots for her birthday.

Now, this would be her third pair of red cowgirl boots. She outgrew pair #1 years ago, and passed them on to her cousin Tatum in California. She can still squeeze into pair #2, but not comfortably. So clearly she needs another pair (much like I need to start a collection of Angel season sets, now that my Buffy collection is complete).

Kristi, being a reasonable adult (and a stressed driver), pointed out that Emma's birthday is in April. If she got tooled leather boots in April, she wouldn't wear them most of the summer (they're too hot, and summertime is flip-flop and watershoe time anyway). And by the time things cooled off in the fall, they probably wouldn't fit anymore. Why not wait for Christmas?

Emma, being an 8-year-old girl and thus inherently unreasonable, wouldn't accept this. If she couldn't have them for her birthday, what about Easter? "Easter is in April too," Kristi pointed out, "and if we're not buying them for your birthday, we're not buying them for Easter either." Emma tried cajoling, arguing, and finally whining, and (I think) Kristi actually pulled over at this point because she was so stressed.

"We are not buying you the boots. We're not buying them for your birthday, and we're not buying them for Easter." "Fine," pouted Emma. "Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring them."

At which point, Kristi clutches at the air with both hands and shouts, "Emma, I am the Easter Bunny!!!"

Result: one sick child.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

You know ...

Hardly a day goes by when I don't think, "I should blog about that." And then for lack of time, or energy, or something, it just doesn't happen.

Maybe I need to take it in smaller chunks again. Lately it seems like I have a lot to say, and no time to say it.

We had Emma's friend Meghan for most of the weekend. She's a great kid -- a very good friend to Emma. It was going to be a single-night sleepover on Friday, but after a break Saturday (so that Meghan could go to a friend's birthday party), we had her back again last night.

This afternoon we took the girls to the Tropics waterpark, in Shoreview. At the end of the afternoon, as I was waiting for Kristi and the girls to come out of the locker room, the people at the next table (in the snack bar area) were talking politics. Two couples, close to my age. Since Shoreview is Michele Bachmann territory, I shouldn't have been surprised at the references to "Obama Bin Laden" and Hillary the lesbian. Nor, I suppose, should I have been annoyed when one of the men suggested that if a Democrat wins the presidency next year, people will likely reconsider their votes after we suffer the inevitable nuclear attack. The part about how the media created the Iraqi insurgency, though -- that part was actually funny. Thanks for the chuckle, guys.

This was our second trip to Tropics with Meghan this month, and both times Emma swore she'd go down the big slide. Still 0 for slide. She wants her birthday party there again this year. Sigh.

Friday's sleepover was a St. Patrick's Day celebration. We told them (courtesy klund's lovely wife) that if you leave out cookies for the leprechauns, they'll visit and make mischief during the night. So we made cookies. But the girls wouldn't go to sleep. Instead they concocted several different varieties of leprechaun trap. Finally they passed out at about 2:00 am, and Kristi threw their clothes all over the room, sprinkled green glitter in their hair, and generally made mischief. (And took the cookies, of course.) (They were delicious.)

Friday, March 02, 2007


We've had a little. Keep in mind that we don't have a hill on either side of our front walk; that's all snow. Nor do we have a snowblower; that was all thrown there by shovel. And Emma's playhouse -- there's a whole mess o' snow there too.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Sorry about the lack of blogging (if you care). Combination of business, ennui and strep. (Emma's over it, Kristi's got it, and I figure it'll hit me tomorrow; I always get sick on weekends. It's a curse.) I'll try to do better.

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