Sunday, May 18, 2008

Last Night In Riverdale For A While

So this is going to be my last night in Riverdale for quite some time. Everyone's been great to me helping me get ready to go. I'm finding it most difficult this last day; not because I'm reluctant or having second thoughts. I'm just going to have a hard time dealing with time away from everyone.

Meh, this is the crappy part about leaving. I'm doing the right thing for myself and my future and all that good stuff. I'm going to be in an environment that most people talk about as though it was one of the most trying and difficult times of their lives, but I think I'll thrive. I've always thought of myself as performing my best under pressure. I guess I'll find out if that's actually true in the month and a half to follow.

So for everyone who was at the party on Friday: thanks for coming out. The weather was shitty and I woke up covered in mud and mustard (mmmm, hotdogs), but I had a good time. Brian got video and I don't know when I'll get to see it but I hope it's as funny as Robb's.

Cliff, who put on the party, I owe a lot too. He's been a real point of support for me in the past, and he's my best friend. He's made it quite clear that he's not too happy about me leaving, but is glad I've found something that I'm looking forward to.

[Note: I reserve the right to have shitty grammar in this post. Deal with it.]

All afternoon yesterday and all day today Carol and I have been spending time together. It's been a terrific time of emotional ups ("You're going to kick ass!") and downs ("I don't want you to leave!") and I'm going to miss her the most. Being away from her is going to be the hardest part of BMT.

Of course the rest of my family can't go without mention. Thanks to Heather for organizing the family shin-dig for me. It was great to see the family and party one more time before I'm off for who knows how long. Thanks to Mom, of whom Cliff is a near carbon-copy, for balancing out the way that Cliff feels. I know you're going to miss me too, but I appreciate all the sentiment of pride and respect and hope that you've expressed to me for this time while I waited to go away. Thanks to Dad and Deb who have been the text book definition of support in my decision, and for the promised dinner at Chang's to come tomorrow!

I can't end this in any other way than I love my wife, and I'm going to miss her tremendously. I'm going to write you every chance I get, and I can't wait to get your mailings. I can't wait until I can come home and scoop you up and away to wherever life is going to take us. A year from now we're going to be somewhere completely different. Life is going to be one huge adventure from here on out. We're travellers, we go places, on planes. We go together. We've gone through some tough times and we've got some tough times ahead. Once this is over, we're going to have one hell of a life together. You're my everything. I promise you there's a giant pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I love you. I'll miss you. I'll see you soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Negotiating With Terrorists

I don't think there's anything wrong with what the President said, which you can read below. The reason the liberals are going nuts about this is so that they can imply that that they agree with his statements without coming out and saying that they agree with the big bad Bush man. Also, Obama is going to do whatever he has to to get more press. I hope McCain ignores this woman who's led Congress to historically low approval ratings...

Oh yeah, read the article here too.

Pelosi: Bush comments 'beneath the dignity of the office'

Democratic House leaders are calling out President Bush for a speech in Israel in which he seemed to suggest that Sen. Barack Obama wants the United States to "negotiate with terrorists."

In his speech, Bush said: “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."

The White House insists that Bush was "referring to a wide range of people, not any single person." But Obama's campaign says it appeared to be a swipe at him, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Bush's remarks were "beneath the dignity of the office of the president and unworthy of our representation" at the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

Referring to Sen. John McCain, Pelosi said: "I would hope that any serious person that aspires to lead the country, would disassociate themselves from those comments.”

As Pelosi was speaking, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued a statement in which he said: "The tradition has always been that when a U.S. president is overseas, partisan politics stops at the water's edge. President Bush has now taken that principle and turned it on its head: for this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water’s edge, no matter the seriousness and gravity of the occasion. Does the president have no shame?”

By Daniel W. Reilly 11:26 AM

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Public Cell Phone Use

Everyone has a cell phone, get used to it. They are great ways for people to stay in touch, and continue doing business while they are out of office. I have no problem with people who'd ask that cell phone users keep their voices down; I've noticed that MANY people seem to think it necessary to raise their voice considerable while they are on the phone.

The right call is this:

1. Complainers - Would you complain if two people were sitting next to each other having a conversation at a reasonable volume? If the answer is yes, then you're... I try not to use vulgarity on this blog, as my family sometimes reads it. If the answer is no, then there is no way you should expect that people shouldn't use their cell phones at a reasonable volume. I repeat, "at a reasonable volume."

2. Cell phone users - Keep your obnoxious voices down. You don't need to speak into the phone any louder than you need to speak for the person immediately next to you to hear. Think about the distance between your mouth and the phone's receiver and the distance between your mouth and the ear of the person next to you. It doesn't make sense to increase the volume when the the listener (or listening device) is closer. You pay good money for your phone, and you have every right to use it - until it annoys others, or more importantly me. I don't care and I don't want to hear about how much you hate your boss, how terrible the Yankees played, or how cute your latest purchase is... unless, in some cases, there is a Victoria's Secret bag sitting on your lap. Yet again, on second thought, that conversation could be one of the worst kinds to be overhearing... ::shudder::

Austrian city asking for polite cellphone use
By Eric Sylvers

Wednesday, May 7, 2008
MILAN: 'We'll send it Monday," the man said into his cellphone, making no attempt to hide his conversation from a dozen or so people who could clearly hear him above the hum of the No. 3 tram here.

There was a long pause as the man, dressed in a dark suit, balanced his umbrella on his knees while continuing to hold his cellphone to his ear.

"No, I told you I don't remember what they were asking, but it was high," he said. "Monday - don't worry about all that other stuff, we can decide that later."

More followed, just enough to make it difficult to concentrate on a newspaper, and intriguing enough to try to decipher the dialogue.

The scene is played out daily on public transport from Milan to Sydney to Buenos Aires. But Graz, the second-largest city in Austria, has decided to do something about it.

Graz last month issued a plea to its citizens not to use cellphones on public transportation. No fines are being given to transgressors, so Mayor Siegfried Nagl is counting on the civic sense or shame of his constituents to cut down on cellphone noise pollution.

Rather than send out ticket-writing noise police, the city has outfitted trams and buses with stickers that say "please don't use your mobile phone."

The city decided to post the notices after a poll showed that 70 percent of Graz residents thought that noise was a problem, said Thomas Rajakovics, a spokesman for the mayor, who uses the tram every day to take his children to school. Forty-six percent of the 5,000 people polled were in favor of a mobile phone ban on public transport, he said, though 42 percent were against the idea.

"We asked people in a polite way to turn off their ring tone and just use text messaging," he said. "People have begun to use the phone now in a much more polite way, and if they do take a call, they tell the person in a very low voice that they are on a tram and can't talk and will call back."

Not all residents have seen the same improvement. While older people are more careful, teenagers are using their mobile phones just as before, according to Colette Schmidt, a journalist in Graz who said she had heard teenagers ridiculing the mayor and the initiative.

Graz is not the first place to try. Stockholm previously tried to institute such a ban but withdrew it last year. Rajakovics said he was more hopeful of long-term success, adding that Graz would do more to publicize the initiative than Stockholm did.

On Italian trains it is not uncommon for the conductor to use the loudspeaker to ask for restraint in the use of mobile phones, a request that has done little to temper use. Railways in France, Germany, Britain and elsewhere have created phone-free zones on some trains.

But Graz's attempt to get its chatty citizens under control comes as some airlines move in the opposite direction, equipping their planes to allow cellphone use.

"This is working because of the big discussion that has started, but we'll have to see what happens in three months, when people forget about the debate going on now," Rajakovics said. "When 46 percent of people are for something and 42 percent are against it, you won't see many politicians taking a decision on that issue, because they won't have enough people behind them."

In other words, don't expect similar bans to spread across Europe. If a politician is worried about having a clear consensus before enacting a mobile phone ban, he or she might be advised to avoid Italy.

Indeed, when Marco Riurio, 47, was informed that his loud, one-sided conversation on the No. 3 tram would have made him an outlaw of sorts in Graz, he had something to say about it: "That's absolutely ridiculous."

Several other people within earshot appeared to support his view, continuing to chatter away on their cellphones

Sunday, May 4, 2008

GSP and His Riddum

Awwwwwww, yeeeeeeaaaaahh.

Mandy Moore "Crushing Hard" on UFC Fighter Georges St-Pierre

By Cathy Beers
May 2, 2008

Hollywood meets the Ultimate Fighting Championship. According to Star Magazine behind Mandy Moore's sweet-as-pie facade lies a fight fan and the " License to Wed" star has lots of reasons for taking in fight night. She has a very big crush on UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre, Star Magazine claims.

Mandy Moore "Crushing Hard" on UFC Fighter Georges St-Pierre (Image: Wenn)

According to the report, the singer and actress is crushing so hard on Georges St-Pierre, the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champ, that she often attends the 26-year-old's mixed martial arts bouts. She was in the crowd for UFC 83.


At one UFC event in Montreal, "she was going crazy as Georges was beating his opponent," says an onlooker. "She was jumping up and down and having a great time." The two met up later - and not for the first time, says the insider.

"Georges was overheard saying that he would love to date her!" Mandy, 24, was last linked to actor-singer Greg Laswell.