Monday, December 31, 2007

Do opposites attract?

You've heard it before, opposites attract. I've even seen a few cases where it seemed to be true, my wife & I for one. My daughter & her husband are another. She's a planner, he's free wheeling. She expresses her emotions, he holds them in. As for my wife and I, let's just say we have a strange and wonderful relationship -- I'm strange and she's wonderful.

I heard once a saying (I think from Larry Burkette) that in a marriage if both people are the same, one isn't needed. So what makes a good relationship?

I think you have to have a common background. Some fundamental values that match up. It also helps if you genuinely LIKE each other. I've seen cases where a couple were in love, but didn't like each other. After a while, they tire of each other. I've seen cases where the fundamental values didn't match. When times get tough, they go separate ways. When all that's left is the basics, the basics just don't match.

I've known a couple who were in an arranged marriage. In their culture, this was the norm. When they were young, the parents chose them to be together. They had a choice when they grew older, but they decided if the parents set this up, they would go through with it. Today, they are doing very well with two children. They actually liked each other and they had the same fundamental values.

I also believe it takes a commitment to stay together. Both people have to have the commitment. I've long said it takes two to keep a marriage together, but only one to split it apart. Without a commitment, there are two many times where it would be easy to walk away. Or walk to someone else.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

How old is that manager?

Lunch today was on the road, at McDonald's. Hey it was good enough for our former president, it's good enough for me.

Anyway, the sign says they are hiring managers, crew members, openers and closers. For the openers and closers, it said they had to be 18.

But there was no disclaimer on the managers. Can they be 16? I know a 16 year old can work there. A lot of the managers ACT 16 (or even less).

How would you interpret the sign? How old does the manager look at your local Mickey D's?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Man shoots iHome

That's what the headlines should have read this morning. I don't know how many times that thing has gone off when my son has been somewhere else. With a sound something like a smoke alarm (but not quite as loud), it's hard to ignore.

It's also hard to figure out how to turn the stupid thing off. Lots of buttons, turn "dials", etc, they just don't seem to work. Then when I get it silenced and return to bed, I begin to drift off again only to realize that I only hit the snooze, not the off button.

I fugure a .45 slug in the top of it should manage to silence it for good. Since I bought the thing, it shouldn't break any laws. And I think it could be considered a mercy killing.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ok, I'm offended

I work for a large company, one of the Fortune 500 companies. Today, I received a Holiday message from a Vice President over me. There are three levels of management between us, two between him and the Chairman, President and CEO (all one person).

The greeting said "Season's Greetings", "Happy Kwanza", "Boas Festas", "Happy Hanukkah", "Joyeuses Fetes" and "Feliz Navidad".

Where's the Merry Christmas? They can't argue that they're trying to keep the religous aspect out, Hanukkah is a religous holiday.

So why do they ignore Christmas? I'm offended.

Maybe I should send him a note back to say Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

War in Iraq

I don't often post about the War in Iraq or the Global War on Terror. Too much like talking about politics.

But I couldn't help but notice a few changes. The British are moving out of Basra, because they are no longer needed. And yesterday, Major General Joseph Fil, a commander of multinational troops in Baghdad told reporters that things had changed in Baghdad.

"The number of attacks against citizens in Baghdad has dropped by almost 80 percent since November, 2006," said Fil.

Now isn't this a good thing? Yes, it's going to take some time and yes the cost has been high. And I predict there will be times of increasing violence. But this is a good thing.

American troops should be pulled out as soon as possible, but we must be careful not to pull out too quickly. We made a mess when we pulled out of Vietnam, we shouldn't repeat one of our past mistakes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..

No, it's not snowing here in the south. I did see some snow a couple weeks ago when I was up in DC (my plane waited over an hour on de-icing at Dulles Airport).

But I saw a news report this morning about the ice/snow storm that has hit the north east. In Maine, the governer has even asked people to stay inside.

In the south, we get made fun of everytime it snows. We get an inch or so of snow and everything closes down. But in this case, Maine closes down. Oh, they say that we close with an inch of snow, there snow is much worse.

But, I'd be willing to bet that we have about the same number of closures per year as the Maine-ites.

So a word to northerners everywhere, don't poke fun us at when we close down. We want our snow days just as much as you do. We just have to take them when we can, with only an inch of snow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I am Legend

We went to see this movie tonight. If the showing we were at was representative, it will make a lot of money this weekend.

Overall, it was a good flick. I'm an SF fan, so last-man-on-earth movies are nothing new to me. But, hey, it's got Will Smith, so it ought to be good, right? My wife was terrified at some of the scenes, she nearly came out of her seat. My sister (who hasn't seen it - we talked after the movie) said she thought it was a horror movie. In some ways, it was. But the horror was reasonable horror (what an oxymoron!)

What surprised me the most was the religious references. They were done in good taste, if a little bit hurried and pushed. Even Smith's character declaring there is no God made sense. And religious folks will be glad the way it was all handled.

Overall, a good movie. Made for the big screen, with surround sound and all (there was glass falling behind us in one scene - neat). Spend the $9 (or less for a matinee), don't wait for the DVD. And warn your wife that it could be a little bit bloody and jumpy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Freedomswatch part 2

I got an email tonight that said that NBC has agreed to accept the Freedomswatch ads. (Last Friday I posted a note about the NBC refusal. See my previous post here.)

NBC said "We have reviewed and changed our ad standards guidelines and made the decision that our policy will apply to content only and not to a referenced Web site. Based on these amended standards the Freedom's Watch ad will begin to run as early as Sunday."

See the full article here.

I don't often do petitions, and now I'm wondering about the sanity of signing a petition asking for ads....

Crossing the Rubicon

I heard a new phrase today and it generated all sorts of mental images. The phrase was crossing the Rubicon, the idea is that you deliberately go past the point of no return. The origination of the phrase is to Julius Caesar's day, where he sent his army across the Rubicon River, starting his invasion of Ancient Rome. Once his people crossed that river, there was no turning back, the war had begun.

I heard the phrase in a commercial for an anti-divorce book or program to be used by couples. The individual said that he and his wife discussed divorced and nearly "crossed the Rubicon".

I know two couples whose marriages are in trouble and this image fits very well. One couple has already crossed the Rubicon, the second is close, if not already past. The image is that they are headed to this point, in some cases with increasing speed and the force behind them continues to push them. At some point, and you could almost draw a line, they have no way out.

An oft used equal phrase is burning bridges and a less used phrase is burning boats. I think it was Cortez who ordered his boats burned when invading Mexico to keep his troops from attempting to retreat.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Did Drew Peterson kill his wife?

All over the news, you'll see stories like this one about Drew Peterson in Illinois who is accused of killing his fourth wife. Her body hasn't been found, but they have exhumed his third wife's body and at least one investigator believes he killed her too (I found an interview with wife#2, but gave up finding anything on wife#1, the reports are just too sick). Mr. Peterson thinks wife#4 ran off with another man and just doesn't want to be found.

Now, teleport across the pond to merry old England where it's reported that John Darwin who has been gone over five years and presumed dead. The wreckage of his kayak washed on shore in March 2002 and a coroner pronounced him dead. His wife Anne, collected the life insurance money and recently moved to Panama. Now John has turned himself in claiming amnesia.

So what ties these two stories together? Is Anne Darwin's wife, Drew Peterson's next target? Or did Stacy Peterson, run off with John Darwin? No, nothing so sinister, no great conspiracy. I am just fascinated with the idea that people can run away and never be found. It turns out there are even books written about the idea: "Hide Your Assets & Disappear: A Step-By-Step Guide to Vanishing Without a Trace"

Let's see, didn't I say something a few days ago about moving to the mountains and becoming a hermit? (blog post here) If Santa wanted to bring me a book, maybe the above would be a good one...

Friday, December 07, 2007 - TV ads

NBC refuses to run some ads produced by Freedom's Watch. The reason they give is that the organization depicts it's web address at the end and the web site has some potentially sensitive issues.

Let's be clear. The ads that were requested are NOT politically oriented. They simply say "thank you" to the soldiers. Some also wish the soldiers a merry Christmas. At the end is a link to the website. You can view the ads here. If you disagree, please let me know and explain why. If you agree, sign the petition.

The website does show other TV ads which may cause some people to disagree (these are NOT part of the current dispute). Basically, it's an anti commercial. These ads clearly voice the opinion that the War in Iraq is related to the War on Terror which is related to 9/11. Now some will disagree with that. I will not voice my opinion in this post, because I think it's not relevant.

What is relevant is that NBC, MSNBC and CNBC are refusing to air ads that thank our soldiers. The ads are being shown by CNN and FoxNews.

(F0r the record, being a market-driven philosophy based individual, I believe NBC has the right to refuse any ad. But having the right, doesn't make it right)

Home again, home again...

My two weeks of ridiculous travel is over. I'm home for a while. I do have one out-of-town trip next week, but it's only one night.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Yesterday when I should have been working, I instead procrastinated and went off on some odd tangents. I wanted to list the presidential candidates (17 of them) and then I saw Dennis Kucinich and beacuse of his funny sounding name ended up looking at news about him. He's proposed an impeachment of VP Cheney. So what does impeachment really mean?

Most of this I knew already and most of my readers will know most of it, but I decided to put it together in one place.

Generally, impeachment is thought of as kicking someone out of office. This is wrong. Impeachment is the process where an official is brought to trial. The impeachment trial can result in conviction or aquittal, conviction means kicking someone out of office.

The impeachment process starts in the House of Representatives (what a fine bunch). Typically, the resolution is sent to the judiciary committee. It may also wind through a couple other committees. A simple majority of those present and voting is enough to proceed.

At this point, control passes to the Senate (another fine bunch). They sit in judgement over the accused. Conviction requires a 2/3 majority vote. Here's the interesting part. If the president is impeached, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides. In other cases, the VP presides.

So (in theory), the VP could preside over his own case.

In looking at some of the history of impeachment, it looks like James Madison had a good bit to do with that part of the Constitution. Thanks to him, impeachment can only occur due to "treason, bribery, other high crimes and misdemeanors." Incompetence is not impeachable. Jefferson's manual offers some information on impeachment as well (food for another procrastination).

There have been 17 cases of impeachment at the federal level, 13 of these for judges and justices. Of the judges, 7 were removed from office and 2 resigned. One senator was impeached, but he was removed from office by Senate rules before the impeachment proceedings. In 1876, the Secretary of War (now called Secretary of defense) was impeached, he resigned and then was aquitted.

Only twice has a sitting president been impeached. Andrew Johnson (Lincoln's successor) was impeached, but aquitted and Bill Clinton was impeached, but aquitted. Clinton was impeached on two counts: Perjury and Obstruction of justice. Two other counts were attempted, but did not make it to aquital: a second count of perjury and abuse of power. (Next time I procrastinate, I'll research those four charges)

Contrary to popular opinion, Nixon was not impeached. Impeachment proceedings were in process and would likely have resulted in impeachment, but Nixon resigned instead.

There have been 63 resolutions presented for impeachment including resolutions to impeach George Washington, John Tyler, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Nancy Pelosi has implied that impeachment hearings against Bush & Cheney are not going to happen. It appears to this researcher that she just doesn't want her tenure bogged down in the proceedings. Since any vote is likely to be split down party lines, I would agree with her. Of course, I'm not sure there's much progress being made anyway, so I can't see much damage either way.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


This time of the year is always difficult for me. I know it should be the happiest time of all. I get to see my family more than normal, everyone is in a good mood and I get to do things that please them.

I think it's tough because of the stress. I want to do things just right and they don't always work. Some family gets hurt or offended, someone else doesn't like what's going on. And they all bring their problems to me.

I get the urge to move up to the mountains and tell them that if they want to see me, come on, but leave their gripes and complaints at home.

If my comments these next few days seem a little snippy, I apologize in advance. Don't complain about it though, you'll only make it worse.