Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Drive-by Post

Super short on time recently and still trying to get caught up.

My family reunion was this past Sunday, and I will post some thoughts about that, as well as the pre-reunion party at my house that was supposed to be all about cooking for said reunion.

Ok, so I made some things, and me and my sister and her hubby ate it all. Yes, it was that good! More about all that later.

My little backyard urban garden is doing great! I've harvested a dozen zuchinni and there are 4 more out there waiting. The snap beans have begun and I've already downed some of those. I'll have to post the concoction I created with those beans and zukes later.

Went out to dinner with my ex-wife last Thursday and that was great. We went to my favorite sushi bar and had ourselves a time.

AND, last night I went down to the river for the first time this year to try my luck and wow, luck was shining!

For the past two years the James River has been flooded, so there has been no fishing. I was rather worried about the ecology of it all but last night those fears were put to rest. Landed 15 smallmouth in less than two hours. A couple of them were keepers but I rarely if ever keep a fish. I might just start though, smallmouth taste great and along side the veggies coming out of the garden, da-yum, as us rednecks would say.

The discussion regarding the Downing Street memos, and their implications, and blah blah, has continued over at Dr. C.'s place, and here is the link if you would like to check it out.

I would say that this little discussion over at Doc's place is a microcosim of the larger debate that many people are having or are attempting to have regarding our current president. Well, at least those that are interested in politics and how our nation is being shaped by the policies of the current administration.

I will attempt to post a bunch of stuff over the coming holiday, as I get Monday and Friday off giving me 4 days to work in the yard, work on the roof (i have a metal standing seam roof), go fishing, entertain family, do more landscaping for my mom cuz she's selling her house, try and build some more walls in the garage, fix my jeep...and oh yeah, post as much as I can without getting political.

Hmmm.........sigh. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Downing Street Memo

This needs no commentary from me.

Read it, digest it, and if you want to rant about it, argue against it's validity, bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is going to be ok, then do so.

There is some good news.

At least there are countries out there willing to help Iraq get where they need to go, without killing her people.

Too bad some people aren't paying attention to the REAL issues.

Please visit Dr. C and chime in on the 'discussion' regarding said topic if you like, I put my 15 cents in.

If you've got balls and really wanna get into the fray, go here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Zucchini Alert!

This is how exciting my life has become: I'm posting about the first zucchini I get out of the backyard...

Yeah, so I missed it this morning, but I saw it this evening and guess what I'm eating for dinner?

It looks like there may be one or two a day for a bit. They sure did pick up speed since yesterday, not as fast as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's backpedal on Bolton, but certainly faster than his backpedal on Schiavo.

Updates on The Farm

The blogroll has been updated with just a few more blogs to check out and some aesthetic color changes, if I may call it that.

Will be adding more blogs and sites to the roll later in the week, month, or year.

Garden update: I have about 2 dozen tomato's that are about the size of baseballs, I may just get a red one by the Fourth of July.

The 4th seems to be a benchmark around these parts for one's prowess in growing tomato's. I just can't wait until one ripens so I can EAT IT!

Have some blooms on the Thai plants, some buds on the Jalapeno's, and a fair amount of blooms on the snap beans. I planted two types of snap beans mainly because I had some seeds (beans) left over from 2 summers ago. The old beans are blooming, the new beans are just now starting to bloom. I noticed the new beans have more foliage and are greener. I hope the snaps that they produce are just as good as the old beans.

There are about a dozen zucchini fruits out there, but some of them are wilting. It has not rained here in about 10 days, with no rain in the forecast. Bought a sprinkler the other day and tonight I will put it to use. I really hate doing that but I have no real choice right now.

The upside to the dry spell is that the James River is looking clear and low, which is super prime for smallmouth fishing. If not for the familia reunion this weekend, I know where I would be.

Hopefully I can get out there on Monday, providing the family reunion goes smoothly and nobody is in jail or the hospital after the fact.

Monday, June 20, 2005

More Schiavo if we all haven't had enough.

Go here for commentary that is much more thought out and less vitriolic.

What can I say? Some days I am nothing less than discouraged and pissed off at what constitutes sheer idiocy in our society.
Heck, the world for that matter.

Family reunion this coming Sunday, and I'm fixing up a huge mess of grub.
Too bad if you're not in the family cuz here is what I'm making:
Crawfish Etouffee
Chicken and sausage gumbo (must have andouille sausage)
Seafood gumbo (I put oysters and alligator in mine)
Cajun BBQ Chicken (no link, my own recipe!)
Brown and red jambalaya
Fried Catfish (again, my recipe)
...and of course, corn bread.

No, not from New Orleans nor is any of my family, but we love the food and I happen to love making it and eating it. All of the recipes I linked to are fairly basic, and of course anyone that can find their way around the kitchen will improvise and experiment.

Luckily, there is a local seafood shop that carries all of the ingredients needed for such a food festival and I'll go drop about $200 bucks there about Wednesday.
We also have an Asian market that carries the freshest okra around.

There's more I'd like to make, but a lot of my familia can't handle food that is spicy.

Should be a good time.

I'll post a little update next week and hopefully it will not include a police report.

Have a great Monday everybody!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Schiavo World

Well, the autopsy results are in, and I suppose anyone that is interested is up to speed on the Schiavo family’s view of the autopsy report.

They dispute the findings.

What is it that makes these people disbelieve the medical professionals that performed the autopsy? Why is it they cannot accept the fact that hard science refutes every one of their allegations?
Will they ever realize that their ‘beliefs’ are just that; beliefs?
Why do they despise Michael Schiavo the way they do?

“Regardless of the autopsy findings, the Schindlers continue to believe their daughter was not in a persistent vegetative state, their lawyer, David Gibbs III, said after Thogmartin's report. He said they plan to discuss the autopsy with other medical experts and may take some unspecified legal action.”

What legal action are they going to take?

“The medical examiner's conclusions countered a videotape released by the Schindlers of Terri Schiavo in her hospice bed. The video showed Schiavo appearing to turn toward her mother's voice and smile, moaning and laughing. Her head moved up and down and she seemed to follow the progress of a brightly colored Mickey Mouse balloon.”

“They believed her condition could improve with therapy.”

“However, doctors said her reactions were automatic responses and not evidence of thought or consciousness, and Thogmartin's report went further.”

"The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

That last statement alone is the slam dunk I would think the Schindlers would accept.

Let’s look at what the White House had to say about this:

“In Washington, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that the autopsy results did not change the president's position on her case.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family and friends," McClellan said. "The president was deeply saddened by this case."

Perhaps the Presidents involvement has embolden the Schindlers and has bolstered their ‘faith’ in a ‘miracle’ and a total ignoring of the medical facts supported by a team of medical professionals. Heck, it must be right if the Preznit of the Yoonited States flew across the country to sign a bill just for this one person.

More from the Schindler family:

"We knew all along that Terri was profoundly brain damaged," said Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler. "We simply wanted to bring her home and care for her. It all goes back to this quality of life."

Let me rewrite this one:

“We knew all along Terri had become a carrot,” said Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler. “We simply wanted to bring the carrot home away from the greenhouse where it could get any and all of the attention a carrot would need and do it ourselves. We don’t really give a damn about the carrots true caretaker or his personal suffering. It all goes back to this quality of life that we could provide for the carrot because we have absolutely no carrot training or knowledge about carrots but we have faith in god or something like that and besides the Preznit is a man of faith and he signed a bill giving us hope that the carrot could regenerate most of itself even though the greenhouse professionals said that was an impossibility.”

I can see that.

The same type of reasoning supports the Preznit and his war against Iraq. The facts are showing us one thing, but some still choose to believe the ‘facts’ that were fabricated by BushCo. and those are the same ones that believe the WMD’s that Saddam possessed were ferried over to Syria by Al Qaeda, or something to that effect.

I really want to respect the views and beliefs of others, especially in the area of religion. How can one go about accepting the beliefs of others when those beliefs lead to such destruction of life and limb in the case of war, and the emotional strain that is dragged on unnecessarily in the face of hard proven medical science?

This is a hard thing to say, but I will spout my view about religion with the same fire and brimstone style that the believers like to use in selling their side of the story.

Even as a young child I thought that the Baptist church I was forced to go to was full of fairy tales. The stories we were told came straight out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, only the characters are a bit different.

To sum it up: Terri Schiavo was going to get better is on par with Mary being a virgin.


I think religion is here because we needed something to explain why the sun was shining prior to our evolving in to more intelligent beings and could indeed figure out why the sun does shine.

We use to think we were the center of the universe and the sun and stars revolved around us. We used to think the world was flat before we figured out it was round. We used to think that the whole complete person was inside the womb until we figured out how a sperm fertilizes the egg and forms a blastocyst that implants on the uterine wall and becomes an embryo through cell division.

In the history of man, religion is used to control man, to wage wars, to force people to believe or submit to the status quo or else face the consequences. Most religions hold women as a lesser or submissive being to the male of the species. That attitude still permeates our society at almost every level. Salem witch trials anyone?

I think it’s just not acceptable to most people that when you die that’s it. There is no afterlife, no place where we all hang out and sip tea and pontificate about what righteous lives we led cuz we’re in heaven and sorry neighbor, if only you would’ve believed you would not be rotting in hell right now. I know you cut the grass for me when I was on vacation, and you took care of the dog, and gave Johnny a ride to practice and we used to barbecue and play horseshoes, but you didn’t believe in god and I did so you rot in hell and I don’t.

Marx alluded that "religion is the opiate of the people." Oh no! I'm quoting Marx! That makes me a socialist commie something or another...

Hey, we all seek spirituality in some form or another. How does that spirituality become a tool that is then used to enforce beliefs or ideas or policies onto others?

This is not an intellectual theological discussion, this is me venting about the Schindlers stupidity that is bolstered by their ‘faith’, and that ‘faith’ being bolstered further by Bush’s stupidity of rushing to sign a bill to prevent a lump of flesh from being laid to rest. And yeah, that’s all she was at that point. Terri was gone and had long been gone before all the faith based theatrics began.

Some have told me to relax, most people that are religious are not fringe lunatics. Tell me how many people involved in the Schiavo case were not fringe lunatics and who they are what their position is in our society. Think about that.

Look at the Vatican and that whole power structure, and the dogma of Catholicism. Are any of those pontiffs and their followers fringe types or are they just normal people going about the daily business of living?

Does religion do a lot of good in the world? That’s very debatable. Some say without missionaries god’s will and work would not spread throughout the world. I say why can’t you help the starving without preaching to them? Why must you impose your religion on someone while giving them a piece of bread? Can you imagine being in a car accident and having the paramedic say religious incantations while trying to sew your body up? How much ‘faith’ would you have in that guy to get it right?

Blind faith. What a wonderful pair of words.

(All quotes came from various AP articles gathered up yesterday.)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Mark, the evil genius behind The Recidivist Journals, has a great post on the European Union and neocons up today. If you have never visited The Recidivist Journals, go there and be entertained.

There is manic, rapid fire posting containing thoughtful and heady commentary. Not for the meek, or for those with short attention spans.

Speaking of which, I'm off to a meeting.....

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Needs Repeating

"...the mighty Wulitzer of the religious right can deafen a stone."

This quote is attributed to Dr. C., and I love it.

Vietnam and Spitting

Interesting piece here about the stories of Vietnam vets coming home and being spit upon. My interest in this piece is sociological however the topic of Vietnam usually stirs up some high emotion and various types of debate.

From the article:
“Remembering the war in Vietnam through the images of betrayal is dangerous because it rekindles the hope that wars like it, in countries where we are not welcomed, can be won. It disparages the reputation of those who opposed that war and intimidates a new generation of activists now finding the courage to resist Vietnam-type ventures in the 21st century.
Today, on the 30th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam, new stories of spat-upon veterans appear faster than they can be challenged. Debunking them one by one is unlikely to slow their proliferation but, by contesting them where and when we can, we engage the historical record in a way that helps all of us remember that, in the end, soldiers and veterans joined with civilians to stop a war that should have never been fought.”

Jerry Lembcke is an associate professor of sociology at Holy Cross College, is the author of ''The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam."

Here is a book review concerning the above mentioned book.

The collective behavior of people in these situations is the part that interests me. The actual merits or lack of merit of the Vietnam war are for others to dissect and debate.

Now, for some entertainment.