Friday, May 26, 2006

Temporarily out of Ammunition

It's been an odd two weeks. I'm just as outraged as ever about the antics and the stupidity of most of the wingnut cheddarsphere. I read Clint's pieces and shake my head. Peter's leave me with a headache. Jessica's are too silly and petty to mention. I've caught James' cold (thanks).

Owen comes across as reasonable until you delve further. Dean is okay, though I'm stunned that he is in the plus 50 crowd, too (you look younger). RealDebate is no such thing. And of course there is no explanation, physical, metaphysical, or even hysterical for Chris.

And yet, none of their antics, their poor writing skills, or their complete inability to master even the simplest logic the past two weeks have had more than the tiniest impact on me because ... none are important.

My wife and I are having a baby!

I came home and she showed me the test results. I was floored. The fertility insitute and numerous hospital tests all confirmed that the liklihood of this occurring was closer to Peter DiGuadio constructing an original argument that made sense. For those who do not know Peter ... little chance at all.

We will continue to completion the home study process for adoption. Then we have one year to decide whether to continue or not. I hope that there will be no need to continue and sometime next January, a little boy, er, sorry honey ... a little girl will be born. Really, we don't care.

To those with children ... blessings. To those with none, but trying ... keep trying.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Post Turtle

Neither my mother or I take credit for this. I do not know where she found it, but ...

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to former Texas Governor, George W. Bush and his elevation to the White House.

The old Texan said, "Well, ya know, Bush is a post turtle.

"Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain: "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just want to help the dumb shit get down."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Weird Science

I just ran into something (not literally, for those who believe everything) that caused me to write this piece. Let me explain why. I was born May 25, 1956. So, in little more than one day, I will turn fifty. I am not happy about this. I don’t like the idea of turning fifty. It feels like I’m crossing a Rubicon in my life and the descent to serious aging will quicken. Consequently, my date with history has been on my mind of late.

Where was this going? I had surfed over to ESPN to check the baseball scoreboard. I do this religiously during the season. I have been a life-long baseball fan. One of the first books I owned was about the Baseball Hall of Fame. I even made up baseball dice games when I was a kid and kept stats (geek!).

Oddly, the results of the thousands of rolls of the two six-sided dice were similar in range to historical baseball norms. Different combinations of the dice elicited different results. Sometimes these resulted in re-shakes, which introduced more combinations. The average batting average was .280 to .300. and ERAs (earned run average) were in line with MLB.

Another strange thing was players like Hank Aaron, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, etc., performed frighteningly similar to their real life selves. A weird connection mainlined by my fingers into those dice.

As a kid and later as an adult, my favorite team, other than the Braves, later the Brewers, was the Pittsburgh Pirates. I don’t know why, I had this thing for Pittsburgh. So naturally, when I first got involved in the fantasy baseball craze, my Strat-o-Matic expansion club was named the Pittsburgh Pirates (Braves and Brewers already taken).

If interested, check out the Strat-o-Matic website. It’s an incredibly accurate baseball experience.

For the next 15 years, my Pirates won five division titles (24-team league with 6 divisions), was the wild card entry another 3-4 other times and made it to one World Series where Larry Walker (a fav of mine traded to my World Series opponent at the beginning of the season) single-handedly snuffed the hopes of the Pirate faithful by winning two games with walk-off homers. Walker and his team, the Chicago White Sox, won the series four games to two.

A few years ago, I entered another league. This league added general manager to the list with its introduction of a salary structure, free agency, etc. This team, the Cream City Pirates has won one division title, and a wild card appearance.

Anyway, if you've stayed with me so far, hang on, we're almost there.

So, while surfing ESPN I saw this: “… excerpt from Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders, where Neyer recalls the Braves' signing of an aging Babe Ruth.” I clicked and read. Near the end, Neyer says this about the fading former Bronx Bomber:

There would be one last hurrah. On May 25 in Pittsburgh, Ruth hit a two-run
homer in the first inning. In the third, he hit another. And in the seventh, he
hit one more home run (this time with nobody on base). The latter two homers
came against Guy Bush, who years later would say, "I never saw a ball hit so
hard before or since. He was fat and old, but he still had that great swing.
Even when he missed, you could hear the bat go swish. I can't remember anything
about the first home run he hit off me that day. I guess it was just another
homer. But I can't forget that last one. It's probably still going."

I looked at the date of the game and where it was played (and the last name of the pitcher who yielded the final two homers ... indicative of the fall of the modern-day Bush?) and I was surprised and kind of thrilled at the cosmic implication that this was the reason I'm a baseball fan.

Hey, if thousands of monkeys pecking away indiscriminately at typewriters can produce Shakespeare over a journey of an eon or two, then anything is possible.

Monday, May 22, 2006

You say tomato and I say ... well ... tomato too

An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted testing with adult stem cells that showed promise in combating urinary incontinence (I suppose one has to start somewhere).

Seth Zlotocha had a funny, but ultimately inaccurate piece, stating that F(at) James Sensenbrenner would be unhappy with this because his personal wealth comes from Kimberly-Clark, the makers of the product Depend.

James Wigderson pointed out at his site that Seth inaccurately portrayed the stem cells used. They were adult stems cells, Wigderson said, not stem cells obtained from the destruction of embryos.

James is right. I agree with James on everything except the misleading label he applies to Republicans who claim to be "pro-life." A more accurate label would be pro-adult stem cell Republicans.

Or, until Republicans (and conservatives, sorry, I forget you guys are two different entities) truly begin supporting life as in supporting getting our troops out of Iraq, as in defeating efforts to bring the death penalty to Wisconsin, as in defeating the so called defense of marriage initiative, then they should be known as the pro-expediency-anything-goes-because-we-ain't-got-no-stinking-morals-except-at election-time-when-we-need-to-get-out-the-vote Republicans.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I'll post this anyway ... even though my wife surprised me with an e-mail from Vegas and so I included it in my reply to her. I have been blessed in life. Tonight I watched "Fiddler on the Roof." Miracle of Miracles is one of my favorite songs and the last stanza especially describes my feelings about Kelly.

But of all God's miracles large and small,
The most miraculous one of all
Is the one I thought could never be:
God has given you to me.

Here's hoping that everyone is happy or has moments of happiness in their lives.

And the Deer and Its Baby Play

Been taking it easy from blogging the last few days. Dropped my beautiful wife off at Mitchell Field this morning. She is attending a business conference in Vegas.

I wanted to recount an incident that occurred Thursday, or was it Wednesday. I don't know, events tend to blend into the background these days. Anyway, I had just begun cutting the lawn and had reached the back end of the lot when out from the adjacent wood with creek walked a solitary doe. That this occurred was rather odd. She didn't seem frightened at all by the noise from the riding lawnmower ... just strode to the middle of the yard, glanced over at me casually, and just stood there.

I continued to the far side, turned, shut off the engine and just watched. She looked around, sauntered a few paces ... then I noticed movement to my left, about 50 yards away near the house. It was a fawn. I'm not sure where the baby came from. It was probably resting in the bushes that line and separate the yards. We had found a fawn last spring and had been told by the local Humane Society that the mothers will often leave their fawn in secluded places, go off to feed, and then return for their babes.

Baby walked across the yard a little unsteadily toward its mom ... all legs. It reached its mom and immediately began suckling. It paid no attention to me. It had eyes only for its mom.

The two eventually strolled toward the creek together and entered the wood. Before, though, the mother took one long look at me. I've no idea what went through the mind of the mother doe. Is thought even remotely processed by deer in a similar fashion to humans?

But I think she was just saying I'll be on my way now and thanks for not frightening my child. Or, vote Democrat this fall. Who can say.