Friday, July 17, 2009

Innocent Extraordinaire

Playing hide and seek with a 2.7 year old isn't that exciting. Unless, of course, you enjoy asking "where are you?" only to be answered with "I'm right here."

It's like playing Clue with only 2 people.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Color Coordination

For those of you who have never experienced it, this is what happens when you let a 2-year-old pick out his own clothes.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Our Independence Day Festivities

Vincent attended his first fireworks display. With a mix of strategy and sheer luck, we ended up with the best seats for the show. We had gone about 3 hours early, took a picnic dinner, spread the blanket out and waited.

Vincent discovered the root beer in the cooler and became a total petrochemical lush.

Once one root beer was gone, he tried his best to get his hands on another. The funny thing was we had a bottle sitting out and one of the police on patrol came over and asked us if it was a beer.

Of course we were compelled to tell him it was a root beer. I don't know if he saw Vinny with the bottle turned up or not, but he was satisfied, and returned to his official use only golf cart, joking to his comrades.

And then the stumbling intoxicated toddler found himself drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle yet again.

We don't normally let him drink this stuff because we think it is quite bad for him. Well it was a holiday, and he was really in the mood for it, so we just let him have it.

We won't lose any sleep over it, that's for sure.

Well darkness came, and to our surprise the fireworks were being launched right across Melton Lake from us. Melton lake is a long narrow channel, the Clinch River dammed on either end, used for boating and rowing competitions.

I'd wanted us as close to the fireworks as possible so Vincent could actually feel the vibrations of the explosions in his ribcage; I think that is the ONLY way to see fireworks. We couldn't have had it better.

The display was long and beautiful. At first, after about one minute of detonations, it was obvious that Vinny was getting uncomfortable. He had that "do I want to cry or laugh" tone to his voice, and with each successive blast he tended to sway more to the crying end.

It was inevitable, and we could see it clear as day.

His mom took her hands and covered his ears throughout the remainder of the display, which lasted a good thirty-five minutes. By the end her arms were killing her, but we had one very happy boy. Many times he would exclaim "wow", or "pretty", or "fireworks". It was obvious he was enjoying himself immensely, and was good reinforcement for us. We had made the right decision bringing him.

Shell after shell discharged, and I was quite impressed at the extent of the display put on by this small town.

I'm glad I took my camera along; there were a plethora of photo opportunities and I snatched as many of them as I possibly could. I've always been the sentimental sort and I thought that maybe, just maybe, Vinny would like to see pictures of his first display.

On the other hand, he might not even care. But did I really do it for him? Probably not. It sure made me happy, and that's what is important.

As the display drew on, the wind began to shift and the smoke from the detonations began to cloud the actual colored bursts. I think that the reflections of the smoke and the river below created an eerie atmosphere for the pictures.

As you can see the picture on the left and the picture below, the color erupting cast its glow on the surrounding area quite well.

As expected, most of the shells were detonated during the finale. The funny thing was, there were several times during this display that could have been the finale, but after a pause the fireworks continued. It wasn't long before the entire sky was brought to light by dozens upon dozens of detonations.

This is my favorite picture of the evening. It isn't the most colorful; there are many pictures taken depicting reds, blues, purples, greens, and others. I like this picture because of how well it reflects off the river in between us and the display. The wide shots in which the pictures were taken suggest that we were farther away than we really were.

I love fireworks. I always have. There's just something about it that makes my bones tingle.

For anyone interested, here's a video some of the fireworks, again taken by me :) It's not the finale; I was too busy taking stills of the finale to take any video. Many of the explosions are a little blurry because of the smoke that had drifted toward us after the wind shifted, but the sound is good. Enjoy!

again, all the photos and the video are copyrighted and the property of my wonderful self and may not be used anywhere else without my written permission :)

Ghost Baby In the Mirror??

I happened to notice something odd in my mirror today after I took my morning shower. I didn't see these things last night after I took my shower after working in the yard. Granted, I don't normally believe in this sort of thing, but I must admit, this is seriously odd.

One could say these are the handprints of my toddler son, but he wasn't in the bathroom at the time. He'd have had to climb up on the sink and reach up onto the mirror to leave these marks, and as I said, he wasn't in the bathroom at all from the time I took my shower last night and when I took my shower this morning, except to brush his teeth. When he brushed his teeth he was held by his mother; he didn't climb up on the sink.

My wife has also stated that he sometimes climbs up on the sink when he's around her, yet I state again that these handprints were not there last night. They are easily visible and I would have noticed them had they been there.

Our son has always carried on conversations with someone or something since he was first verbal. We always attributed it to either his imagination or his acting out conversations he had overheard and remembered.

I have two other pictures that look like someone placed their hand on the wet mirror and left a dry spot, and even though they look like handprints, they are nowhere near as compelling as these two. I can show those upon request. The only thing odd about them is they appear to show a six-fingered hand.

These pictures, however, send chills up my spine.

Again, I don't normally believe in this sort of thing. What do you think?

By the way, these pics are my property, and I'd best not see them anywhere else, without my written permission and proper credit.

Monday, July 06, 2009

More Vinny Wisdom

Last night, after Becca put Vincent to bed, he screamed and wailed for an hour at least. As of late he's gotten pretty responsive to me going into his room and discussing with him why he's having a fit, so I took it upon myself to head up the steps and have another of our discussions.

I went into the bedroom and asked him what was wrong. He was obviously happy to see me. He stood up and pointed to his eye. "It's my eye," he said.

"What's wrong with your eye?" I asked.

"It's got all sad in it," was his reply.

And to make his aunt jody happy, today, while playing with this little phone thing that does shapes and colors and speaks in two languages, he did his best to repeat the words he was hearing.

"You need to ask your aunt Jody about that, what that means," I told him. "Aunt Jody speaks Spanish."

"Aunt Jody speaks Spinach," he replied.

Again, these little things make my day. Maybe I'm pathetic. Who cares.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Feehery: A Few Meters Off the Mark

John Feehery wrote a commentary today for concerning the dastardly downward direction our congress would take now that Senator Al Franken, a comedian, is Senator.

The entire diatribe centers on the lying liberals and all of the plans they have to force-feed their agenda into the starving mouths of the politically desperate.

We are fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have threats from North Korea and Iran, Unemployment is too damn high and kids are going hungry, have no access to badly needed health services and public utilities, and all you can think about is whining about the METRIC SYSTEM?

What kind of arrogant, ignorant asshat are you?

So you go and start playing fear politics by telling everyone they need to learn that a kilo is 2.2 pounds, that a kilometer is .62 miles, and an inch is 2.54 centimeters?

Does white American arrogance have no end? Not only are Americans above the need to learn secondary languages, but now we exhibit our lack of need to conform to world standards? Sure, let's continue to play in our corner of the sandbox with our own toys as they rust and break.

We are the only civilized nation that I can think of that doesn't use the metric system. Sure, England still uses the imperial system of weights and measures, like us, but at least they are exposed to metrics enough to know they need to know how to convert!

The metric system isn't only for nerds in white coats, beakers of bubbling blue fluids in hand.

The metric system is easier, more sensible, and consistent. But this isn't all that was said.

Mr Feehery, you state in your article that, just as Republicans rebounded from Watergate, so too will they recover now. You say it is a matter of time before the democratic house collapses in on itself.

I disagree. This is no simple crime of breaking and entering. Sure there was fraud in watergate, but this is fraud on a much grander scale. People are tired of the Republican brand. That's one thing you got right in your article. Conservatism needs a return to its roots if you are going to have any survivability. People have grown tired of your do-as-i-say, not-as-i-do politics.

You go on and on talking about how the democrats (liberals) are forcing unwanted agendas on the US population:

"When they passed a so-called stimulus bill that Republicans branded as pork-filled, they lost their credibility on fiscal responsibility..." you say.

Mr. Feehery, I'm sure you probably don't know this because you most likely have undocumented help workers keeping your house, but cleaning up a mess usually takes more effort and energy than making the mess in the first place. It's going to take us a hell of a lot of expense to get us out of the hole YOUR party created with its PORK-BARREL spending.

Fiscal responsibility? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH. Pot, kettle, black? Idiot.

"When the president assumed control over General Motors, dictated terms to Chrysler, and then refused to allow some banks to pay back their TARP loans, independent voters grew nervous about the government's stepped-up intervention in the private sector..." you say.

Yeah he dictated some terms. Assumed control? I wouldn't go that far, fear-mongerer. And you know why? They were given YEARS to clean their mess up. YEARS. They said in their own words that the people create the market, that they create what the people want, and just like ALL CONSERVATIVES who believe in CAPITALISM and the FREE MARKET scream to the tops of their lungs, the market will decide. People will decide with their dollars. And they did. Unfortunately due to the ineptitude of the management of these companies, millions of people faced other unemployment. The government gave the loans to save the companies, and dictated terms of those loans. Our government didn't want to give all this money just so they could take it and get their personal jets polished and their daughters a new BMW.

When your bank gives you a mortgage (loan), the bank owns your property. NOT YOU. You pay it off.

I'm not the least bit upset that Obama dictated something similar with our government's loan to the failed auto industry.

"And last week, when Democrats passed a climate change bill that Republicans insist will sharply raise energy prices for middle-class families, moderate Democrats started to jump ship. In fact, 44 Democrats defied intense pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and voted no..." you say.

House bill 219-212 passed with 44 democrats opposed and eight republicans in favor.

211 democrats were in favor and 168 republicans were opposed. I'd hardly call the 44 democratic votes against to be "jumping ship." Good lord, you spin this so hard and fast I think my unborn kids will be born dizzy.

The energy bill is bad news for anyone in the "rust belt." Anyone representing the "rust belt" would be hard-pressed to be for this bill and keep their seat in the House.

"Democrats are now making plans to intervene in the health care marketplace, with some liberals insisting on a government-run "public option" health insurer. In any event, many won't be satisfied until the government basically sets prices for health insurance and prescription drugs."

I don't know where you're getting your news, Mr. Feehery, but according to the forums, articles, and polls that I read, most people don't think this is a bad thing. Republicans and Democrats alike. There are those on both sides who are opposed to it, but they are by far a minority.

"Another poll showed that while 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as conservative, only 21 percent think of themselves as liberal. The American people voted for change. They didn't vote for a liberal orthodoxy that promises more government, higher taxes, slower growth, more pork and a liberal social agenda."

"They didn't vote for a liberal orthodoxy that promises more government [STARTED BY YOUR PARTY], higher taxes [STARTED BY YOUR PARTY], slower growth [AGAIN A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE TO ACTIONS OF YOUR PARTY], more pork [AGAIN, IN RECENT NEWS BEGUN IN EARNEST BY YOUR PARTY] and a liberal social agenda."

Let's just throw all the things people hate with one thing actually desired by liberals and see how many people believe it.

And by the way, Democrat =/= liberal. I know most if not all liberals are democrats, but there are many democrats who aren't "liberals." I know it's hard to put your brain around this fact, but it's true. So please stop throwing this word around with every new argument with which you disagree, attempting to incite the moderates and conservatives with your lies. We're getting tired of it. Thing is, when we start flinging monkey shit back at you, you always come back at us with self-righteous attitudes. Get over it.

What you need to do, Mr. Feehery, is stop spitting venom, stop wafting smoke, stop spinning facts like you learned in the no-spin zone, and accept the fact that a comedian, someone people KNOW they aren't supposed to take seriously, had more credibility than your candidate. A COMEDIAN. Your politician was beaten by a fool. How does that taste? Are the American voters idiots? I'd say no. I'd say they're on to your bullshit, and they don't like the smell.

I'd also like to repost a comment to this CNN news article. Digger, if I knew your name and city, I'd post it, but I don't have it. What you said, in my opinion, was pure magic:

By Digger
I think your column is hilariously ironic. Here, you wonder aloud why Republicans are being voted out of congress while at the same time railing against a liberal social agenda that includes such offensive and anti-American ideas as . . . oh no . . . . THE METRIC SYSTEM!

Wanna know why your party stinks right now? Because m0r0ns like you can think of nothing better to do than throw old tired labels around that add up to nothing. If you're against it, it's "liberal" and "socialist." Problem for you is that people are not buying that junk anymore. People want healthcare reform, and you have nothing to offer. While the majority of us have enough brain cells to realize that fossil fuels are bankrupting us while destroying the planet and strengthening our enemies, you guys just can't stand to let your rich buddies down by moving in another direction. While the country is rapidly changing demographically and is ready to move on from the hatred and bigotry of the past, your senators are out there equating a mainstream and legitimate Latino organization to the KKK. While you'll stand on your head to "defend marriage" and stand on your morals to impeach Bill Clinton, you're out having multiple affairs (gay and straight), and meeting high priced call girls in hotel rooms. You're preaching abstinence only while standing next to your pregnant 18-year old for goodness sake! I could keep going.

Bottom line is this: Ronald Reagan is not going to crawl out of the grave anytime soon, and if you keep moving in the direction of obstruction and tired, hackneyed ideas, by the next election you're simply going to be a bunch of angry, anti-gay, anti-anyreligionbutyourown, gun toting, anti-intellectual, anti-science, morally hypocritical white people who, thank goodness, will be represented by a permanent minority in congress.

Come up with some ideas of your own. Come back to the table with them. Debate their merits, and the merits of the opposition with honesty, openness, and integrity. Listen to some other points of view and welcome them to your party, and then maybe you'll get somewhere. Until then, you and all your buddies are a joke.

Obama, the Illegal Kenyan Communist President

First off, let me just say that I've been good. I haven't gotten mad at too much lately. Deep breaths in, deep breaths out, slowly count to ten, and let it all go.

I've been good. I've been very good.

There is no emotion, there is only peace....

But good things never last. I don't think I can keep my mouth shut on this one.

What's it been? Nine months? Ten months? Do these people ever stop?

Today while reading a forum for one of my favorite video blogger posts, someone commented, yet again, just out of the blue, about Obama's birth certificate.

It had context. It wasn't a troll, for sure, despite it coming from left field. It was obviously yet again someone still smarting from the smack of last November's presidential election.

The comment went something like "obama the illegal Kenyan Muslim communist President.." oh throw in liberals there for good measure. He actually said something about liberals in the next sentence, but I can't really remember what it was.

People, breathe in, breathe out, slowly count to ten, and try to let it go. LET IT GO.

If you hadn't heard, the argument was that Obama was not eligible for the office of President because he was not legally an American citizen. The evidence? A strange birth certificate from the state of Hawaii that seemed odd. Some said it was missing a border common to all certificates. Some said there was no watermark. I even heard an argument once that said the dye used in the ink for printing the certificate was the wrong color.

Sooooo..... some loonies on the conservative side start screaming that the election was a fraud. Obama wasn't a citizen because his father was Kenyan and his birth certificate was a forgery. They claimed the election was stolen. Imagine that! Conservatives complaining an election was stolen? I guess they know what to look for.

Let's get something straight for all you people who obviously played hooky when you should have been in eighth grade civics class.

It doesn't matter what nationality Obama's father was. Obama's father doesn't even have to be human. He's an American citizen because he was born to an American citizen. It doesn't matter where he was born. It doesn't matter if he had a birth certificate or not. He was born to an American citizen. And more importantly, he was born within the United States.

Even if both parents are illegals, the child born to them, if born within the borders of the United States, is a United States citizen.

It is a misunderstanding of the wording of the Constitution of the United States when people claim that because he wasn't born in the contiguous United States he isn't "natural-born." They say that if he wasn't born in the United States, then he isn't qualified to be President.

Natural-born means more than this. Natural-born means either born in the United States or US territories and/or born TO a citizen of the United States. Obama was in Hawaii, and Hawaii was a state at the time.

The thing that gets me is the people who claim this last part seem to be blind to the fact that McCain was born in Panama. By their own logic, the candidate they wanted to win, the candidate they say should've won, had it not been stolen by an illegal participant, was himself illegal.

So, like it or not, Obama was eligible to be President. It doesn't matter if he were born in Hawaii, Kenya, or on the moon. It doesn't matter if he had a birth certificate or not (unless, of course, there were no other records that indicated that Obama actually came out of the woman he claimed to be his mother). Obama was a natural-born American citizen. To not be natural-born and be a citizen requires naturalization. If you aren't naturalized, you are a natural-born citizen. End of argument.

Yet I'm sure there are people who still claim the world is flat...

So. We've knocked down illegal and Kenyan. He's a MUSLIM!

And? This matters because? Has he signed an executive order tearing down all churches and requiring citizens to not shave their beards and attend mosques? I didn't think so.

It shouldn't matter if he's Christian, Muslim, a Noodler or a Jedi. Separation of Church and State, remember? If you agree that even if he were a Muslim and it were a bad thing, then I'm sure you don't. You're probably the same people who waved flags and rang bells when Bush Jr. stated he was going to put God and his faith in front of his Presidential decisions. You want people to be religious and put religion first, that is, until it isn't your religion.

How many times are we going to have to deal with this? Till death do we part? I sure as hell hope not.

Communist? Give me a break. There is a difference between communism and socialism. Jeez, read a book. Wait? What's that tingling? Deja Vu? Yeah, we've discussed this before too. Several times. Don't burn books. It's bad for your mental health.

Socialism isn't bad either. Not all socialism. Just because we want equal health care for all doesn't make us hell-bent socialists. If our bodies are important enough to us to have socialized police protection and fire protection, then health protection is a no-brainer. Especially when you save money in the long-run.

President? Well at least they got one thing right.

This whole charade over his citizenship is bad. It looks bad, and smells worse. If I were a paranoid person I'd think that the people claiming this were liberal moles doing their best to discredit conservatives. Just make them stop, guys. Each one who opens his or her mouth makes all conservatives look dumb.

P.S. For all of you who know from where the line there is no emotion comes, you get ten points to spend on the Fatbody Shopping Network.