Friday, April 28, 2006

Pain at the Pump

There are times in each of our lives where we have to make some tough decisions, and yesterday I made one. Now this isn't something earth-shattering like changing jobs or going back to school, but it will have a trickle-down effect on a handful of people, and is therefore somewhat substantial.

I have been playing softball in a church league for the past five years. In fact, we had so many people that wanted to play that my friend and I started a second team at our church three years ago.

Each year, this team has gotten progressively better, and we are poised to have our first winning season this year. In fact, I even lobbied the church to include the teams in their annual budget so that it wouldn't be such a financial burden on guys to play. They gave us $2500 for new uniforms, league fees and equipment for both teams. What a blessing!

This year, our team even has an "outreach" player, a guy who does not currently attend any church or have any defined spiritual beliefs. It is an opportunity to evangelize in a casual setting, and it can be life transforming. The goal is to have him start attending regularly by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, I will not be part of the team this year. I resigned my spot as Head Coach yesterday, citing several reasons.

There is the obvious, time management. I'd simply rather spend more time with my family and working on my house than I would playing softball with the fellas.

Then there is the not-so-obvious, finances. You see, I live in Connecticut and attend church in Rhode Island, about 30 miles from my home. We used to live closer, but we decided to attend the same church after we bought our place in CT. The people there are more like family than our real families, so it was an obvious choice.

Softball requires me to commute two more times a week to the church than just attending services, and the additional expense is significant. I estimate that it would cost me around $500 in fuel alone this season to make it to practices and games. Considering that we have only one income at this time, and additional expenses with the baby, the decision was clear, though not easy.

In a nutshell, high gas prices are keeping me from doing what I love and spending time with the people that I care about. How are gas prices affecting you?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Love Sequals!

OK, so maybe I was a little harsh when commenting on other blogs
about Brokeback Mountain (or as I refer to it, Fudgepack Mountain),
but I think that I will actually shell out the ten bucks to go
and see the sequal below...

Anyone else wanna go?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Work is just hammering me right now, so I really have no time to blog. In a nutshell, we had layoffs this week, and I was blessed to keep my job, but now I am one of three guys that cover an area where there used to be six guys. Like I said, slammed!

This is not a break. I repeat, this is not a break. I will not go the way of so many of my fellow bloggers recently, but blog activity will be reduced for a bit.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Things That You Didn't Know About Flounder...

Here is a little weekend humor for you...

Things that you didn't know about Flounder:

Flounder wasn't born, he was unleashed.

On a high school math test, Flounder put down "Violence" as every one of the answers. He got an A+ on the test because Flounder solves all his problems with Violence.

The truth may hurt, but it doesn't hurt as much as Flounder.

Superman wears Flounder pajamas.

If Rosa Parks was in Flounder's seat, she'd move to the back of the bus.

Every mathematical inequality officially ends with "< Flounder".

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Flounder jumps out.

Flounder once arm wrestled Superman. The stipulations were the loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

People with amnesia still remember Flounder.

When Flounder was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.

Flounder once double teamed a girl.. by himself.

If Flounder lived next door to Kramer, Kramer would knock before entering.

You can lead a horse to water. Flounder can make him drink.

Sun Tzu once wrote, "If your enemy is weaker, conquer him. If he is stronger, join him. If he is Flounder, you're fucking dead."

Have a great weekend!

Part 4: If the Boat is a Rockin...

June 19, 2005 - Cruisin.

We boarded the Norwegian Majesty around 2pm and immediately went up on the deck for a few cocktails. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we thought that having a few drinks while soaking up the sun would be a good way to start our first vacation in three years.

As we pulled out of Boston Harbor, we watched the planes flying over us departing from Logan Airport. It was seemingly a perfect day. Eventually we went back to our cabin to unpack our bags and dress for dinner. That is when our little disagreement turned into a knock-down drag out that seemed to last for hours.

Honestly, I don't remember what we were arguing about, but I do remember it escalating to a point that it started to seem ridiculous. She knew it, and so did I.

Eventually, we just started laughing as we took a look at the big picture: We were off work for the next eight days. We had friends looking after our house and pets. We were on a beautiful cruise ship steaming toward Bermuda. No cell phones, no e-mail, no news programs. No family. No stress. We were alone.

I won't give you details of the following hour or so, but I will say this. It was probably the best sex that I have had in my entire life.


We eventually got dressed, went to dinner and continued our trip. It was truly a wonderful vacation, one that we will not soon forget. Especially since we brought home an unexpected souvenir.

My wife and I had been trying to have a baby for over 5 years. We tried everything, from old wives tales to modern science and nothing worked. We used countless ovulation test kits and had fertility tests performed on each of us. We stopped short of in vitro fertilization, but only because our finances wouldn't allow it.

Then, in April, we gave up. The doctors told us that there didn't seem to be anything wrong with either of us, so we just figured that maybe we weren't supposed to have a child. She quit using the Clomid, and I quit tracking her cycle. It just wasn't going to happen.

At the beginning of July, my wife wanted to take her best friend to a local vineyard for her birthday, but her period was a couple of days late, and she didn't want to drink until she knew for certain that she wasn't pregnant. She called me, and I stopped off at CVS and picked up yet another home pregnancy test.

I gave it to her, then sat down in front of the computer to check how my fantasy baseball team was doing. She went into the bathroom, and I concentrated on the computer. Truthfully, I'd forgotten why she went into the bathroom almost as soon as she left my sight. She had taken literally dozens of these things over the past five years and they all came back negative, so I didn't think twice about this one.

A few minutes later, she came out of the bathroom and said "Well, it's just what I thought."

I immediately went into my well-practiced compassionate husband routine. "It's OK honey. It'll happen…"

"I'm pregnant!"

"Huh? What? Really? Reallly! Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!"

We sat there and cried together for about an hour. We thanked God over and over again. We started thinking of names, dreaming what it would be like when we actually meet this little person.

Amazing. Nothing short of amazing.

Though we had sex many more nights on that cruise, we are convinced that we conceived Jake on that first night. Ironically, June 19th was Father's Day. No shit!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Part 3: The Money Pit

September 27, 2000 - Closing Time

Not all unexpected changes are positive, and this is one of the negative ones. It started out optimistically, closing on the purchase of our first home on our third anniversary, but don't be deceived. This was the single worst financial decision that I ever made.

We had been working on a project in Rhode Island since August of 1999, and had been renting a place since then. We were making outstanding money, clearing nearly three times what I presently make. So we decided that a house would be a good investment, and started looking in Rhode Island for one that was suitable. We put in bids on several houses, and each time, we were outbid, even when we offered at or slightly above the asking price.

Then we tried to purchase my mother's townhouse in NJ where she had been renting for over twenty years. It would have been a great investment, and could have been a vacation home for us in the future. Also, it would have been helping my mother financially. We figured that we would put up the down payment and pay the monthly payments, and she could pay the co-op fees which were significantly less than her monthly rent. She wouldn't go for it.

Option three was to buy a house near her family in the Carolinas. She flew down to Myrtle Beach for the weekend and looked at homes with her father, finding one in Ocean Isle Beach, NC that she thought was just perfect. It was a model home for a new development, a gated community with lots of rules for the homeowners. With my line of work, I knew that I might be on the road a lot of the time, and the security of a gated community appealed to me.

We decided to buy it.

The closing was done via FedEx because we were way too busy with work to fly down and do it in person. I knew almost instantly that I was making a mistake, though I passed it off as "post-purchase anxiety".

We never even stepped foot in that house until Thanksgiving weekend, and then we were only there for a few days. During that time, we spent almost $15k furnishing the place. We had all of our utilities turned on, and the bills forwarded to our place in Connecticut. I forgot to mention that by then, we were out of the rental house and living in a 35' fifth-wheel trailer in a campground in Connecticut.

My wife was laid off from her job in February, and in March, she went down to spend some time at the house. By this time, we had already made 5 mortgage payments of $1,600 each, paid 7 months of homeowner's fees totaling $350, had landscaping work done totaling over $2,000, and paid utility bills totaling over $1,700. All that money for a house that we weren't even living in!
Keep in mind that I didn't mention the rent and utilities that I was paying for the place in CT. In short, we were in some serious financial trouble, and then we had only one income.

After a few weeks of being alone in the house, my wife came back to CT to be with me. We decided that we should probably cut our losses and sell the house, then look for one where we were actually living. We put the house on the market May 2001, and there was very little interest. Our realtor had a negative attitude about the place because it was originally a model home, but we had done significant landscaping and interior work. We even rented furniture for a room that we hadn't previously furnished, another expense that we really didn't need.

Summer passed with no interest, but the fall tourist season was coming, so we were all optimistic. Then came September 11, 2001, and nobody was thinking about buying houses. We finally did close on the sale of the place in March 2002, but by then, we were nearly broke. Our sale price was $12,000 more than we paid for the place, but after broker fees, we received a check for $550.

In all, we owned that house for 18 months, yet I spent less than two weeks living there. When you combine payments, taxes, maintenance and utilities, we spent nearly $40,000 there in all. Needless to say, this affected not only our finances, but our relationship with each other as well. I resented her for buying that place, though I realize now that I was as much to blame. I was consumed by my work and was emotionally unavailable for my wife. We were living in a strange area with no family or friends outside of work, and she needed something that was secure. I had a "just throw money at it" attitude, and it bit me right in the ass.

Our relationship is better now than it has ever been, and we are finally getting our finances back on track. We have a great house that we actually live in now too. Needless to say, we take a little more time discussing all of our major purchases now too.

Well, you live and hopefully, you learn.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Part Two: Do You See the Light?

August 30, 1998 - A Reason to Believe

My wife and I were living in Independence, MO, birthplace of Harry S. Truman. I had relocated there in May to run a fiber optic splicing project for Jones Intercable, and my wife joined me there in July.

Independence was a typical Midwest town; quiet, warm and full of good, church-going people. We met Mike and his family when my wife was on a job interview, and he invited her to his church. That Sunday, we attended services at Faith and Joy Family Church, a non-denominational Christian church that was not exactly like the Roman Catholic Church I attended as a child. There was tons of music and passionate preaching, and absolutely no kneeling. The service seemed to last forever, and there was no "script" that I could follow to get a clue as to when the service would end. These people actually read from the Bible, not a missal. And everyone was so incredibly nice that this Jersey boy almost couldn't stand it.

I was shocked.

But I was also amazed and delighted. I was at a point in my life where so much was going on. I had been married less than a year and was trying to figure that whole thing out. My job had me traveling constantly to places like Ft Worth and Kansas City, and I had no real "home". My parents, seemingly the perfect couple, were ending their 33 year marriage, and in short, I was questioning everything.

I needed some foundation in my life, some kind of guidance. And God and His Word were the answer. I became a Christian that July, but I didn't know just how real God was until that night in August.

Mike and his family had invited us to a Sunday evening service at a neighboring church to see a faith healer named Dave Duell. Ok, I know what you are thinking. Time to stop reading, right? Well, read on anyway.

I was and am skeptical of so-called "faith healers". Most just want to get your money like Steve Martin in Leap of Faith, but I believe that God can do anything and can use anyone to accomplish His will. This was such a case.

We listened to him preach with great authority and were impressed by his message and conviction. Then he started calling people up that wanted to be healed for specific ailments. He said things like "The Lord wants to heal somebody here with a ruptured disc in their lower back," and then someone would walk up there. Rather than putting his hand on their foreheads and pushing them backwards as is typical of faith healers, he either "chopped" at or blew air onto the person in front of him, then they went down.

I watched this for about 15 minutes and thought the same thing that you are probably thinking now, what a crock! Then he said "The Lord wants to heal someone with a job problem."

I had a job problem. I hated my boss with a passion, and he was coming to town the next day to meet with me. I had moved from my Jersey home to Texas under the guise of eventually owning part of his start-up telecom company. He told me I was to be paid a certain way with a salary, per diem, and housing allowance, as well as a trip to Jersey every two months. Then a few months after I arrived, he changed everything. I did the math on it, and figured that I was receiving about $48k worth of benefit working for him, but he wanted to pay me a straight salary of only $26k. And every time I asked him about the ownership, he came up with some BS and completely changed the subject. I was going to discuss all of this with him on Monday morning.

Now Mike, his wife and my wife were encouraging me to go up and be "healed". Eventually, I gave in. I walked up front and he asked me, "Do you have a jaw problem son?"


"A jaw problem. The Lord told me that someone here tonight has a jaw problem that He wanted to heal."

"Oh. I'm sorry, I thought that you said a job problem," and I turned to walk back to my seat. He grabbed me by the arm, and turned me back around, laughing the whole time.

"Well, you don't have a job problem anymore," he said as he chopped his hand at my head.

The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor with someone telling me not to move, and that it was alright. Well, I couldn't move. I felt like I had been struck by lightning. Eventually, I got up and went back to my seat.

When I got there, my wife was balling her eyes out. She asked me what it felt like, but I really couldn't even speak. She and Mike and his wife confirmed that they heard him say job problem, not jaw problem, as apparently everyone else in the building had heard.

On the way home, she reminded me that I had to meet with my boss the next day, and she asked me what I was going to say. I told her "Nothing, because I don't think that I am going to be working for him much longer."

He never made it to town that day as he was called away on other business. That Friday, I received a call about a résumé that I had submitted several weeks earlier. I was offered a job in the Los Angeles area making three times what I was currently earning. My job would be to inspect the work being performed by someone else and make sure that it is being done in accordance with the specs. So not only was I earning way more money, I was getting paid to watch someone do the same job that I used to do!

And yes, every bit of this story is true. That night changed my life because I saw and felt the power of God first-hand. This relationship has guided every part of my life since then.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Part One: The Phone Call

Last week, I watched part of a series on the History Channel called 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America. The premise of the series is that the course of this country has been changed in some way by events that occurred on these particular ten days. Though I do not necessarily agree that these are the most significant 10 days, it would be hard to argue that they didn't greatly influence the culture and landscape of the America that we know today.

It made me think of significant days in my life, and the effect that they have had on the person I am today. I will post about a different one each day this week as the 5 Days That Unexpectedly Changed Flounder.

December 26, 1994 – The Phone Call

I was home from college for the holidays and was looking to get in as much fun and family time as I could before heading back on Dec 27th. I had spent the night before, Christmas night, at Maloney's with my friends and had met a girl. She was a friend of friend, and we hit it off pretty well.

While talking to her, I excused myself and went to the bathroom, after which I bumped into a female friend that I hadn't seen in quite a while. She seemed a little sad and asked me if I would go outside and talk to her so I did. She confided in me that on Christmas Eve, she had been date raped, and that no one else knew. She would not tell me who the guy was because she knew that I probably would have kicked his ass and gotten myself in trouble. I walked her home, talked some more, and tucked her into bed.

I went back to Maloney's around 3 hours after I had left and several of my friends were still there, including the new girl. We all left there and went uptown to the 24 hour Irish Pub where we ate some food and had a few Black & Tans. My buddy Tom was interested in the new girl, so I tried to hook him up. I figured that 48 hours from then I would be back at college and had no interest in any kind of long distance relationship, especially with a girl I had just met.

When we all left the bar around 5am, I walked the new girl and our mutual friend to their car and said goodnight. New girl handed me a napkin with her phone number on it, and told me to give her a call next time I was back in Jersey. I put the napkin in my pocket and drove Tom home.

The next night, I was sitting around in my boxers trying to figure out what to do for the night. I was going to call my cousin Dean in hopes of getting together for a few beers. Dean is a professional surfer based out of San Diego, but he is always traveling all over the world, and we hadn't seen each other in years. His brother Dazer, a bartender at Maloney's, told me he was in town for the holidays. Hanging out with my cousin is always fun because he attracts all the hotties and, because he is a local celebrity, he never has to pay for drinks.

Then I saw the napkin.

I called the new girl, and midway through our first phone conversation, she hung up on me. It wasn't anything that I said or did, as I later discovered. It was because she had to vomit. See, she had a stomach virus and was in bed for the night. She called me back and apologized and we talked a little more. Eventually, she invited me to bring some videos over and hang out.

I stopped at the video store and rented Grumpy Old Men and Speed. Then I walked next door to CVS and picked up the following: Mouthwash, Pepto Bismol, The Firm in paperback, three packs of Juicy Fruit and a gift bag. OK, it wasn't flowers, but they were some very useful items for someone with a stomach virus.

I arrived at her apartment, watched Grumpy Old Men, and we laughed our asses off. Between movies, we talked. A lot. We kissed a little too. We really connected. Then I had to leave.

The next night, I was back at school. We kept in touch and talked nearly every night. I never did catch that stomach virus, but she sent me a care package with a balloon just in case. Two months later, she came down to visit for her birthday and Valentine's Day. I drove back to Jersey a couple of times to surprise her, and then in July, she moved to be with me. She left a pretty good job as a 911 operator, and took a job cleaning houses. To be with me.

On September 27, 1997, we were married in a small ceremony on a farm near Lancaster, PA. We were recently blessed with our first child.

All because of the phone call that I didn't make.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

While all of you are enjoying hunting for and decorating Easter Eggs, eating Honeybaked Hams and visiting with family, try and remember the real reason that we are celebrating on Sunday. Remember the love that God has for you. Remember the pain and death that His Son endured for you. Remember that He rose from that grave so that we may all be forgiven. And remember that Easter is a time for forgiveness.

And if you haven't already seen it, watch The Passion of the Christ. It is an incredible film that could change your life.

Happy Easter to all! And to my Jewish friends, have a blessed Passover.

...and now for a little humor.

A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there the Wife passed away. The undertaker told the husband "You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her here, in the Holy Land, for $150." The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home.

The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5,000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would spend only $150 ? "

The man replied, "Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Goodbye Stephen Furst!

I've pretty much gotten tired of having Stephen Furst's grill next to my comments everywhere, so thanks to Brooke, I have come up with a new picture.

This one is pretty close to what I actually look like, from the goatee and Hawaiian shirt down to the beer in my hand.
Anyway, you can make one of these for yourself here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I have so many things that I have been inspired to write about recently that I feel like I am going to explode. There was the whole immigration thing and John Kerry's idiotic statements that I posted on last Friday. Then I engaged in an interesting debate regarding Mandisa on LoLo's blog, one which I feel I must continue here. The comment section was way too confining for this rant. Finally, there is a subject that I intended to blog about today, but will hopefully get to tomorrow.

The premise of LoLo's post was that Mandisa is a "hater" and deserved to be voted off American Idol. I defended Mandisa.

I decided to take a look at the actual comments that she made, and her scandalous bio page on the Idol website, rather than just comment on the hearsay. Bottom line, I see absolutely nothing wrong with her comments or her actions. I will look at some of the more controversial items and comment accordingly.

From her bio:

Who is your AMERICAN IDOL?

"An author and speaker named Beth Moore. She inspires me to live more like Jesus and I want to do the same."

Beth Moore is an Evangelical Christian whose ministry primarily focuses on aiding and supporting women who desire to model their lives based on evangelical Christianity principals. She has preached on topics ranging from self-identity issues, drug/sexual addition and abuse, an evangelical Christian perspective on family life, marriage, homosexuality, and pre-martial sex.

Homosexuals consider Moore to be antigay because she believes that homosexuality is not inborn and can be overcome.

The truth of the matter is that there is presently no generally accepted scientific evidence that the homosexual inclination is inborn. There is also no evidence that there is not a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality in some people. In other words, it comes down to, "What do you believe?" Like me, Mandisa is a Christian, so I see absolutely nothing wrong with her saying that she is inspired by a Christian author like Beth Moore.

From The

Would you be comfortable performing or singing at a gay event?

"I would not, no. "

Would it conflict with your religious beliefs?

"Based on what I believe, I'm not an advocate for [being gay], so it's nothing I would take part in. "

Do you remember when several artists banded together and chose not to perform at Sun City because of South Africa's apartheid policy? They were considered heroes because they chose not to perform in places where they did not agree with the South African way of life. Now I'm not comparing homosexuality to the heinous nature of apartheid, so don't start ripping me for that. I am comparing the fact that in each case, the each artist should have the right to choose venues where they want to perform. Bruce Springsteen and others thought that apartheid was wrong, so they stayed away from performing in venues where that was the law of the land. Mandisa believes that homosexuals are living morally corrupt lives, so she has every right to not perform in gay venues. In fact, she doesn't even say that she wouldn't perform there, only that she wouldn't feel comfortable performing there.

Before you sang the Mary, Mary gospel song “Wanna Praise You,” you mentioned that people's various addictions and lifestyles are not as strong as God. Were you speaking of gay people?

"No, no. That song was a very personal testimony for me. I've been dealing with an addiction to food for most of my life. I've been living in a lifestyle of pure indulgence, giving in to every single desire that I've had as far as what I've put into my body. So when I was speaking that, I was strictly speaking of how the Lord has helped me to overcome my personal struggle and I was just saying if God can do it for me—and a lot of other people face many different things out there—I was trying to be a testimony that he can do it for anybody. "

Do you see just how slanted this interview is? There is nothing stated or implied in her statement prior to singing the song that would lead anyone, other than a gay and lesbian magazine, to jump to the conclusion that the comments were about homosexuals. Absolutely nothing. They are like the 16 year-old girl in high school that thinks everyone is talking about her all the time. Get over yourselves already!

Bottom line is that Mandisa can perform or not perform anywhere that she sees fit. It's her choice, and if she doesn't want to perform in a gay nightclub, then I support her. Personally, I don't like it when Jewish artists like Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond sell Christmas albums because they are trying to profit from the birth of a saviour in whom they do not believe. Does that make me a hater?

***For the record, this is my 50th post. (As if that has any significance.)

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's Been A While Since I've Picked on The French...

Chirac to Scrap Part of Youth Jobs Law That Caused Protests
Monday, April 10, 2006

PARIS — President Jacques Chirac on Monday threw out part of a youth labor law that triggered massive protests and strikes, bowing to intense pressure from students and unions and dealing a blow to his loyal premier in a bid to end the crisis.

Let me see if I've got this straight, a Frenchman surrendered? Noooooo Waaaay!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Fired-Up Friday

Will this be a weekly thing? God I hope not, but I am really fired up right now.

I was driving in to work this morning, listening to sports talk as usual, when a commercial came on. I immediately flipped stations to the FM talk station and listened to Imus for a few minutes. He was interviewing John Kerry, so I thought that I'd listen to his election-losing ass for a few minutes while the commercials were on the other station, then switch back.

As he spoke, I found him to be much more "charming" than the Herman Munster that he was during the campaign. I actually almost agreed with him on a couple of points, then he casually said this: Compromise is the essence of democracy.

Is he serious? Compromise is the antithesis of democracy. Democracy is majority rule, and there is no compromise there. If 5 people are together and they want to go out to dinner, they may take a vote on where to go. If three want Chinese food and two want pizza, then it's going to be Moo Shu Pork and Shrimp Lo Mein for all. Period. They don't compromise and go to KFC.

Then the discussion turned to immigration and what to do with illegal aliens. When asked what to do with the 11 million illegals presently in this country, Kerry said the following, and I am paraphrasing:

Deporting these 11 million Americans would make them victims all over again.

Time out. Did he really have the audacity to call these illegal immigrants Americans? Last time I checked, only immigrants that have followed the proper channels for entering this country, waited the appropriate amount of time, passed the citizenship test and have taken the oath have the privilege of calling themselves Americans. Not these criminals.

Now let's look at the second part of that statement, make them victims again. First, why would they be victims if they are deported? They entered this country illegally, worked illegally, raised their families illegally, then were brought to justice and deported. Where is the victim part? If anything, the American tax payer is the victim.

And even if they were victims, saying that they are victims again means that they were victims in the first place. Exactly how were they victims? Because they had to trek across a hot desert to illegally enter this country? Because they paid some "mule" a ridiculous sum of money to help them illegally enter this great country? The same principal applies here. If they were injured or sickened, or taken advantage of by someone while engaging in an illegal action to enter this country, they can not be classified as victims. Look, if you break into my house and I shoot your ass, you are not a victim.

Look, contrary to popular belief, I am not a heartless person. I feel for people that live in poverty, and I respect that they want a better life. I've sponsored a child in Guatemala for the past few years, and am looking to go on a missions trip with my church in the next couple of years to meet her. But there is a proper way to gain access to the United States. Millions of American have done it throughout our history, and these people should do it as well.

Now it is clear why Kerry lost the election. It's not that the majority of Americans liked Bush, they simply couldn't sign on this kind of thinking. What frightens me is that 49 million people actually did vote for him.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yeah... But can it cook?

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A textbook used at schools in the Indian state of Rajasthan compares housewives to donkeys, and suggests the animals make better companions as they complain less and are more loyal to their "masters," The Times of India reported Tuesday.

"A donkey is like a housewife ... In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master," the newspaper reported, quoting a Hindi-language primer meant for 14-year-olds.

The book was approved by the state's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government but has sparked protests from the party's women's wing.

State education officials in Rajasthan, a western state known for its conservative attitude toward women, said people should not be upset by the comparison, the paper said.

"The comparison was made in good humor," state education official A.R. Khan was quoted as saying. "However, protests have been taken note of and the board is in the process of removing it (the reference)."

So ladies, how do you feel being unfavorably compared to an ass?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oh Boy This Is Great!

This is, without question, my favorite week of the year. And if you are a sports fan, this is your favorite week, too.

Let's take today for starters. Major League Baseball Opening Day, a day so big that the President of the United States takes the time to throw out the first pitch! The day when the Boston Red Sox begin their campaign to win another World Series. (For those keeping score, that would be one World Series Championship for the Red Sox and none for the Yankees this century!)

As if that wasn't enough for today, there is that little NCAA National Championship Game that is on tonight. Hopefully the UCLA Bruins will git-r-dun against the much-hated Florida Gators.

Then there is the Women's NCAA National Championship Game tomorrow night, which looks like an ACC Championship game to me. Of course I rank most women's sports somewhere below NASCAR and slightly above soccer, but it is a championship game, so it's worth mentioning.

And of course, one of the grandest traditions in all of sports starts on Thursday, The Masters. Will Tiger win it again? If so, what will Fuzzy Zoeller have to say about it?

On top of these big events, NHL & NBA teams are gearing up for the playoffs and the NFL draft is coming up too. And on a personal level, we started softball practice this past Saturday and our first game is less than three weeks away!

Now I know that not all of you are into sports like I am, so I will post something different tomorrow. But for now, just smell that freshly-cut grass and try to fake your enthusiasm when the umpire cries out, Play Ball!

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