Wednesday, June 29, 2005

White Buffalo Woman...

I grew up going to church on Sundays.

As a kid, I went to Sunday school and learned that Noah built an arky arky and it was built out of hickory barkie barkie and in it Noah saved two of every animal when God flooded the world. This was of course different from learning that rain washes spiders down garden spouts, but then the sun comes out and dries up all the rain allowing the itsy bitsy spider to resume his climbing adventure.

I liked the Noah story and I really liked the song, but I never really got why God would flood the world and I really didn't get how all those animals could fit on one boat.

It wasn't all gloom and doom in my Sunday school classes. I did learn that Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. That was pretty nice to hear since I was a children at the time. It was also nice to hear that he loved all the children in the world... even black ones and yellow ones and red ones. Even though I had never seen any children that were those colors, I thought it was nice that Jesus loved them.

Later, I was older and Sundays still meant church. But there was also youth group on Sunday night and youth choir in the middle of the week. There was a bit more to the religion thing than arkie arkies and Jesus loving little children too.

I went to a United Methodist church which meant that we were into the whole social activism thing.

Our church sponsored a Cambodian family, helped get them a small house and tried to make their new life in the U.S. a good thing. A group of us in the high school youth group helped the kids learn English by spending time with them, walking around and pointing at things, and playing games. I cried when I received a little Valentine card from the youngest girl in the family, in block letters it said, "I love you. Muoy Sim."

We never talked about God or religion to the family. The church had decided at the beginning of the process that we were going to help this family regardless of what they chose to believe in. No one wanted them to feel that they were obligated to embrace this new religion. Regardless, they still became Christians. They joined a Vietnamese church because they could understand the language better than English, but they invited a bunch of us to their baptisms.

Over the last decade or so there has been a shift in Christian religion. Now it's all about spreading the Gospel, sharing the good news and witnessing. That's all fine and good as far as I'm concerned, but it does get a tad annoying to those who prefer to keep their spirituality a private thing, or those who -- gasp! -- might choose to not follow the tenets of Christianity.

It seems to me that many Christians, along with being more evangelical, have become less tolerant of other's beliefs. There's a certain condescension as well. I've heard many a Christian chuckle at the thought that people could believe the world was created out of a void and held together by song and then fervently argue that of course God destroyed nearly all life on the planet with a 40-day rainstorm, saving only two of every animal and a handful of people to repopulate the world.

The argument usually hinges on a the fact that the story appears in the Bible and the belief that the Bible is divinely inspired. There's often a seasoning of having faith, looking around and just knowing that the world isn't an accident so therefore there is a God, and if it wasn't true, it would have gone away a long time ago...

None of this is a knock on Christianity; it is a knock on close-minded and self-righteous Christians. In other words, it's a pretty long-winded way of saying that there are many belief systems out there and there is a lot that can be learned from them without dismissing them with a wave the Bible.

Here's a story from the Sioux people. It's really no less believable than a story about God talking to a leader of a tribe of Israel from a burning shrub.

The Story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman

As told by Joseph Chasing Horse

Traditional Leader of the Lakota Nation

We the Lakota people have a prophecy about the white buffalo calf, and how that prophesy originated was that we have a sacred bundle, a sacred peace pipe, that was brought to us about 2,000 years ago by what we know as the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

The story goes that she appeared to two warriors at that time. These two warriors were out hunting buffalo, hunting for food in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, and they saw a big body coming toward them. And they saw that it was a white buffalo calf. As it came closer to them, it turned into a beautiful young Indian girl.

At that time one of the warriors thought bad in his mind, and so the young girl told him to step forward. And when he did step forward, a black cloud came over his body, and when the black cloud disappeared, the warrior who had bad thoughts was left with no flesh or blood on his bones. The other warrior kneeled and began to pray. And when he prayed, the white buffalo calf who was now an Indian girl told him to go back to his people and warn them that in four days she was going to bring a sacred bundle.

So the warrior did as he was told. He went back to his people and he gathered all the elders and all the leaders and all the people in a circle and told them what she had instructed him to do. And sure enough, just as she said she would, on the fourth day she came. They say a cloud came down from the sky, and off of the cloud stepped the white buffalo calf. As it rolled onto the earth, the calf stood up and became this beautiful young woman who was carrying the sacred bundle in her hand.

And as she entered into the circle of the nation, she sang a sacred song and took the sacred bundle to the people who were there to take of her. She spent four days among our people and taught them about the sacred bundle, the meaning of it. And she taught them seven sacred ceremonies: one of them was the sweat lodge, or the purification ceremony. One of them was the naming ceremony, child naming. The third was the healing ceremony. The fourth one was the making of relatives or the adoption ceremony. The fifth one was the marriage ceremony. The sixth one was the vision quest. And the seventh was the sundance ceremony, the people's ceremony for all of the nation.

She brought us these seven sacred ceremonies and taught our people the songs and the traditional ways. And she instructed our people that as long as we performed these ceremonies we would always remain caretakers and guardians of sacred land. She told us that as long as we took care of it and respected it that our people would never die and would always live.

When she was done teaching all our people, she left the way she came. She went out of the circle, and as she was leaving she turned and told our people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle. And she left the sacred bundle, which we still have to this very day. And the sacred bundle is known as the White Buffalo Calf Pipe because it was brought by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. It is kept in a sacred place on the Cheyenne Indian reservation in South Dakota. It's kept by a man who is known as the keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and his name is Arvol Looking Horse.

And when she promised to return again, she made some prophesies at that time ....One of those prophesies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world. What she meant by that was that she would bring back harmony again and balance, spiritually.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Now I'm cranky...

I love it when things just disappear into space... much like the post I was working on a few minutes ago. Maybe White Buffalo Woman decided it would fit her plan better if I didn't post it. White Buffalo Woman clearly works in mysterious ways.

Monday, June 27, 2005

How is it possible...

Seriously, how is it possible to fit this much moisture in the air without a cloud anywhere? I hate this effin humidity... one more reason the Midwest blows. Maybe we'll get a tornado blowing through to cool things off. Give me earthquakes and dry heat anytime...

On a seperate note, I have a bitch with NBC. I got up early because I woke up remembering I forgot to put my garbage out yet again. How retarded can one guy be? I do this every week... no really, every week. Anyway, I was up so I put on Wimbledon coverage on ESPN2. I caught the end of a guys' match and then was watching Sharapova playing Dechy when they have to cut off coverage because NBC had the rights.

I flip over to NBC and low and behold it's Katie Couric telling an inane story about how sad it was to be sending the kids away to camp for two months. First of all, if it's that sad then don't send them away... Jesus, how hard is that to figure out? And two months! Who the fuck sends their kids to camp for that long? Who can afford it? And who's really going to be missing those kids Katie, their nanny? But more important than that is the question of where the hell is the tennis match!?!

Needless to say, I didn't stick around for Al's piece on how to deal with missing your kids when you ship them off to camp...

Friday, June 24, 2005

If you could go back in time, would you?

I pulled my ear buds out, took a drag of Mountain Dew and turned to the guy I was working with.
"Hey Eric, if you could go back to the 80s, would you?" I asked.
He turned down his music and thought about it.
"Would I be the age I am now, or the age I was then?" he asked.
"Either... you decide," I said.
"I'm not sure..."
"I would," I said. "I would want to see some of the concerts I never got the chance to. Yeah... and they would all be at the Roxy or the Whiskey..."
We bantered back and forth about what concerts we might take in while back there. He went with U2 and The Police performing together. Can't argue with that logic I thought.
Then I wondered if -- since I would be back there anyway -- there was anything I would change.
I posed this question to Eric. He just shook his head and said, "Dude... haven't you seen 'The Butterfly Effect?'"
"Yeah okay... but what if you wouldn't get all timed punk'd?"

I've been thinking about that all day. Would I change anything if I had say a week back then?

Yeah, I think I would. There's a few things I would consider doing differently. Oddly, few of them are things that regret doing... but rather, things I regret not doing. That's got to be telling.

The things I would change all involve people too. That must be double telling...

What's strange is that it's not that easy to decide what I would change. If it was a matter of popping back and changing just any old thing, any moment, that would be easy. Zip! Back to Cindy Kranz's front porch after Homecoming junior year (or was it sophomore year) and get that kiss I wanted so bad but never did... Zip! Back to the day I threw a baseball glove at Pat Kelly's head because he wouldn't give me my glove... Zip! Back to that same day and throw a glove at his head after all. The little turd deserved it... Zip! Back to that day in the summer of my junior year of high school when I couldn't give my parents a good reason to let me stay with my best friend's family in California to finish my senior year instead of moving to Oregon...

Change any of those single moments and who knows? Even the big one at the end wouldn't have changed my life completely. But a week? Man, that's tough... that's enough time to change a relationship completely.

Well, anyway... I'm not sure where this post went. It started with such promise... I'm still thinking about though, so maybe that's enough.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We never met...

Alan and the ladies..., originally uploaded by cheeseismoldymilk.

I never met my uncle Alan. That makes me sad because I think I would have really liked him.

My Mother told me that everyone liked Alan. He was her older brother and was good at most things he tried. He played the violin and graduated from a Catholic High School with good grades.

He was in the RCAF during WWII and nearly made it through. He was engaged to an English girl he met over there. He flew in a Lancaster bomber. I know he was very brave because I have his flight log book and even though his plane had been seriously shot up and forced to crash land on one mission, he still went up.

He was shot down in 1944 and was buried in Denmark.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Better than drugs...

Coming up with a way to mess with your own head isn't exactly easy. Mostly because you always know what you're up to so it's hard to surprise yourself. Today, I came up with a way to do it though. It worked swimmingly and you can even try it yourself.

You need to load up an MP3 player with music from another country. I went with French pop because, lets face it, just listening to French pop gets you half way to whacked out all by itself.

And for all my iSnob friends... yes your Pod will do the job nicely, but this is one time your hardware puts you at a disadvantage. If you use an iPod, you'll need to muster the self control required to not skip over the half-whacked French pop... If HWFP is all you've got on your player you won't need to muster any self control. That's a huge burden lifted.

Anyway, stick the buds in your ears, turn up the Johnny Halliday, Jane Birkin, Isabelle Boulay and Serge Gainsbourg, and then go for a walk. That's it. Easy, huh? It helps if you're walking somewhere that there are people. That seems to add to the surreal factor which is of course the goal.

Trust me on this... it's better than drugs.

*** Safety note -- Don't use Indian music unless you're crazy or want to get that way or if you're very experienced. It's the Sitars... they'll push you over the edge. ***

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Best ever?

Is it possible that 'Real World - Austin' could be the best Real World since Puck pissed everyone off all those years ago. I'm climbing out there now and saying I'm dying to know...

All I know is there are more girls than guys, the girls are cute, there's already been the girl on girl kissing in the hot tub, and the Abercrombie looking guy got cold cocked and had a bone in his face broken... All this and we've only just met. Top this all with the fact that the super cute blonde (Melinda) is from Germantown (20 minutes down the road from here).

Real World might be good watchin' this season.

Then there's the flip side... 'Date My Mom.' Maybe there's a dumber show out there -- 'The Real Gilligan's Island' comes to mind -- but there surely can't be that many. God I hope not.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Nice day...

Wow... it's so nice out I can hardly believe it. I'm going to go for a walk. The start of West Bend's very own River Trail is about a half mile up the street from me, so I think I'll hoof it down there and walk along the trail towards the downtown area.

Being from the West, it's hard to really consider it a trail since it's paved and has cute little benches along the route. A trail to me means dirt and rocks... even the barkdust covered trails in a lot of state parks are suspect. But it's a really nice stretch of river that encompasses a big wetlands area. There are a lot of birds and such, so it's kind of nice.

As you get to the downtown section, you first hit the old West Bend Co. factories. They're left over from the days when they actually made all that cookware here. Now the factories are being gutted and turned into condos and lofts. So far, they look pretty cool.

Once you get to downtown it's kind of fun to just watch for fish. There are some pretty ugly beasts in the river and it's pretty shallow so you can really see them when the sun's not too high and it's not too hot.

Anyway, that's what I'm gonna do.

Steffi... you would like it a lot, it's a bit like the Isar River and the walk from your old place into Bad Tolz. And, by the way, I've been thinking about you a lot lately. Hope you're doing well and life away from the mountains has been good. Tchuss.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Because life isn't only about being annoyed...

Kids crack me up sometimes. I have three nephews and they can just be downright cute.

Today I was watching my littlest nephew. He sat on big ol' chair with me and we spent about fifteen minutes stacking and moving around imaginary stuff. I'm not sure what it was, but he sure didn't have any problem imagining that it was something real. It cracked him up to take imaginary stuff out of my pile and put it in his pile.

There's usually something in life that's worth smiling about...

It hurts to hear...

My friend Eileen thinks I've been spending too much time with C-Span watching the world of politics. Sorry Eileen... I can't help it. And to everyone else hoping for a humurous, upbeat post -- skip this one.

Anyway, I'll keep it short... The Downing Street Minutes which were printed in the London Times nearly a month ago clearly prove that President Bush had planned to attack and invade Iraq well before the start of talk of weapons of mass destruction and such.

This country was forced to sit through two terms of Independent Counsel investigating President Clinton's love life. The argument was that he was the President and if he lied about having an affair maybe he was lying about other things. Now the right wing wants to gloss over a Republican President lying to the Congress and the American people for the sole reason of going to war to gain political capital.

It's disgusting and any argument otherwise is spurious, shallow and hypocritical...

Go to or to Congressman John Conyers' site.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Power of a couple small words...

I was on the phone yesterday when I got a reminder of just how seldom we're actually kind to other people and how much of an impact it makes when we are.

I had already talked to what felt like half the interns in Washington, D.C. so I was feeling a bit tired of the whole phone thing, but that's a whole different story. Anyway, I called the FEC (Federal Elections blah blah blah) to find some information on PACs and the woman on the line was being very professional but she sounded a bit tired. So during a pause, I asked her how her day was going.

I've been known to embellish when I tell stories, but I kid you not even a little when I say that I could hear her smile.

"Wow... thank you for asking," she answered. "It's going pretty good. Can I say that it's going better now? How's your day going?"

Anyway, she got me some information and then she needed to transfer me to someone else. Right before she transfered my call over she paused and said, "Before I let you go, I have to thank you for asking about my day. No one's ever done that before. I hope you have a great day sir."

This woman answers phones at an agency in Washington, D.C. so you have to imagine she fields a lot of calls every day... and yet no one had ever asked her about her day. That amazes me.

My challenge to anyone reading this is to go out and just be nice to at least one person -- a bank teller, a grocery clerk, your dentist... whoever. I would be curious to hear how many people you can make smile in one day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Like a spoiled child...

Lucky me... I have the honor of being 'represented' by Congressman James Sensenbrenner. He's one of the guys behind the misnamed Patriot Act. He chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

The other day he cut short testimony and generally acted like an ass -- banging his gavel down and shutting off the microphones in the middle of testimony. Clearly, a man out of control and out of touch.

Here's the highlight reel of the Congressman's latest loss of composure. If you think he's out of line, please call his office and leave a message at 202-225-5101 or email him at If you want, you can cut and paste the following simple statement:

Congressman Sensenbrenner,

Your recent behavior as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee requires an apology. Your actions were out of line and your statements were uncalled for.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sushi rocks

Good Sushi is good eatin'... I had some pretty good stuff last night. They even had Uni, which was bit of surprise. Uni is sea urchin if you're curious. It's not for the faint of heart.

Anyway, in the great scheme of things... why is it that Sushi always takes so long to make? I've never had fast service at any Sushi place I've ever been too.

Maybe this is just one of life's little mysteries...

Dog people

There really are cat people and dog people and they have different world views. Oh sure, sometimes they overlap but you can usually tell a cat person from a dog person. Sometimes people are both, but it's usually safe to say that they're more one than the other.

There are other kinds of people out there too... bird people, horse people, reptile people, and no animals of any sort people ... Mostly though, people fall into one of the big two.

Yesterday, I met two dog people at seperate times. It really made me think about how there are a lot of subgroups within the dog people category.

The first lady had a little poodle. Cute enough, but totally lacking in any obedience qualities. That's not a slam on the dog, but rather the person. The dog is a dog... he's only gonna act like a dog does.

In the pack world, there's an alpha and then there's everyone else and they fall into a pecking order. Clearly... this was a pack without an alpha dog. The little poodle wasn't in charge of anything, but then again, neither was this woman... Maybe the husband is the alpha dog in this household? I doubt it. When I met him on the way in, I seriously thought he was mentally challenged. (And no, I'm not making this up or exagerating for effect... I really thought that.)

I'm not even going to make a joke about the Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on their car, but it did sort of seem fitting.

The second dog lady had a bigger dog, regular size really... It was kind of a hunting, bird dog, mutt looking thing. His name was Emmett and he was both nice and well behaved... His owner -- Nicole, if you're wondering -- just told him to come and sit and he did. No voice raising or anything. She even sort of apologized when he came over and sniffed my out which was really no big deal at all.

Anyway,(drumroll...there is a point to this...) what I'm wondering is why is it that people with poorly behaved dogs always have this sort of dopey, oh-golly-he-sure-is-a handful-but-isn't-he-a-great-dog attitude? I'm pretty sure that if they have kids... it's sort of the same thing. And conversely, why is it that people with well-behaved dogs tend to be more concerned with whether their dog is annoying anyone?

Okay... now that I'm looking at this, I realize there actually isn't much of a point after all. Oh well -- win some, lose some...

Whoever you are, I hope you're having a great Saturday.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Thank you mall girls...

I came of age in the decadent, golden-era of the American mall. I still love all the stuff you can find while wandering aimlessly. Shiny objects everywhere... oh yeah, cute girls too.

And nothing says summer like time at the mall. When you don't have a beach, the only other place with that concentrated summer vibe is the mall. So today, after a job out near the Mayfair Mall, I decided to make a stop. It wasn't all about slacking though. I had to return a book at Barnes and Noble. The great book returning adventure is a good tale, but it's going to have to wait to be told.

Anyway, I returned the book and headed out into the mall. It was glorious... It was bliss... I grabbed a Frappucino from Starbucks and then walked back to the book store. That's it. That's all I did. It was enough to just bask in the presence of the mall girls. I'm sure there were plenty of mall guys too, but who cares? The only mall guy that entered my consciousness was some cel phone dude at one of the random cel phone kiosks. He broke my revery, but I quickly shook it off and was soon back in my happy place, surrounded by beautiful mall girls.

They made me happy just because they were there. For one bright, shining, afternoon moment all was right with the world. Thank you mall girls... thank you...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Books to read...

My friend Eileen has some book recommendations on her blog. Since I don't have any to recommend off the top of my head, I think you should just use hers. She's pretty smart. Go see her blog...

I'm a nerd now...

Okay... not just now, but this just proves it.

Today's big project? I installed SUSE Linux on my second computer. This was more of a chore than you might imagine since it came on DVD instead of CDs so I had to plug in a hard drive, install it, pull out the hard drive and move it over to the other computer. The great joy was that it fired right up. Minor miracle! In the process, I found that it even fired up my first computer, auto-detected all my hardware and got me on the internet... See what I mean? Total dorkmeister.

The funny thing is that I don't even really like computer stuff that much, I just feel like I should keep on learning it. That was the whole reason for creating a website too. Just to learn how to do it.

On a separate -- but yet sort of the same -- note, it's kind of cool to keep on learning stuff. Maybe that's part of why I don't feel that old. I think learning new things helps to keep you young -- so does having copious amounts of sex, but that's not happening so I'm stuck with learning stuff.

Anyway, in keeping with that philosophy, I've been listening to some German podcasts. I can only understand a little... very little... but it's sort of cool to have a different language going in the background. Almost like travelling.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Some things I learned today...

It's all in a word... so they say.

Today, I learned that the North Koreans are "committed" to the six-party nuclear talks. I learned this because the White House announced it. I'm still not sure what it means and apparently I'm not alone. From what I can tell... "committed" doesn't mean that the N. Koreans have given a time frame on when they might return to the talks they walked out on. It also doesn't mean that they are even actually saying they will return to the table. Maybe it's another way of saying that they think these talks are a nifty idea...

The other thing I learned today is that President Bush is willing to concede that global warming is real... as long as we change the name to something else. In case you were wondering, it's no longer "global warming"... it's now a worldwide "climate change" that's going on and we should maybe look into it. Don't worry though, the solution is apparently quite simple... it's "clean nuclear power." Oh yeah, and maybe some of them hydrogen cel technology cars and that bio-diesel stuff where we run cars on soy beans.

It's 62 pages...

Here's a link to a story I've been working on. It's sitting at 62 pages right now. It's saved as a PDF document, so you'll need Acrobat Reader to check it out... Me and Grim.

Since it could be a while before I sit down and update my website, I decided to post a link here. Thanks for lighting a fire under me Laurie.

If you need Acrobat Reader, it's free and you can download it by following this link. It's also likely that you can do the same thing by just trying to open the document. I'm not sure about that though. Most people already have it on their computer.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Who knows...

There's a bit of that ominous, still feeling in the air. The kind that hangs thicker than the grey clouds filling the sky. It's like the weather hasn't decided which way to go, but it's seriously considering letting loose a downpour.

I've got some videos to watch tonight. I don't really feel like heading out on the town. (And remember, this is West Bend, WI, so I use the word 'town' very loosely.) Do you ever get that way? You know, where you don't want to stay at home, but you don't want to go out and face people? At what point does it change from feeling a bit blah to actually being depressed?

I have been thinking that I would feel much better if I took some of the crap laying around here to the dump. I'm too lazy to have a garage sale and I don't even really feel like seperating out stuff to take down to Goodwill. What I really feel like is a clean sweep. How about that one? You ever get that way? My problem is that I don't get that way enough... stuff starts to accumulate and then it turns into a big task. Well, I do have all weekend...

Not enough people have African masks in their homes. Did you know that some of these are being used to this day. Granted, it's getting very hard to find masks that haven't been made for the tourist trade, but they're still out there.

This one is from the Igboo tribe. Not to worry... it's not a 'power' mask. It's not new, but it's also not that old and if it was used, it would have likely been for a public type celebration or ceremony.

Yes, I'm still trying to fight off boredom. Hopefully, I'll be able to ratchet my mood up a bit as we head into the weekend. We'll see... Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Some stuff on or around my desk...

Some of the stuff I have sitting within an arm's length of my computer...

  • A talisman I received from a Tibetan Buddhist monk
  • An SD card
  • An 1814 copy of "The History of Prince Lee Boo, a Native of the Palew Islands" by Captain Wilson
  • Foreign coins
  • A parrot feather
  • Shell necklace
  • Buddhist prayer chant

This is by no means all I have scattered around my little office room... but this stuff fit on a flatbed scanner and I was a bit bored. That happens from time to time. Maybe I should do some more pictures... I haven't gone through that phase yet.

What do you see when you look around? Why are those things near you? I don't know, maybe the stuff we keep around ourselves says something about who we are. Then again, maybe it doesn't. The majority of the things I own could disappear tomorrow and, frankly, I would probably be relieved.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Patriot Act... my ass

Since I've been finding myself bitching about things like the Patriot Act lately, I thought maybe I should practice what I preach and read the thing. I learned several things and was reminded of others...

First off, reading laws is pretty boring. No, it's really boring. I knew this before, but now it's been refreshed for me. It's hard to believe that half a bill that was signed into law did nothing more than ammend a previous law with things like, "Section 2516(1)(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `and section 1341 (relating to mail fraud),' and inserting `section 1341 (relating to mail fraud), a felony violation of section 1030 (relating to computer fraud and abuse),'" and "CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Rule 6(e)(3)(D) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure is amended by striking `(e)(3)(C)(i)' and inserting `(e)(3)(C)(i)(I)'." Hard to believe but true.

Also, it's amazing that it is often the smallest of words or phrases that can have the farthest reaching effects on our society. The perfect example is Title IX, that little add on to a big ole bill that changed the face of college sports, but that's another subject. Anyway, if you were to read the Patriot Act and not fall asleep, you might not even notice some of the small things that make it so nefarious. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they aren't there.

Suffice it to say that since I have now read the whole damn thing, I'm still convinced that this Act is pretty far from patriotic and it needs to be put to sleep.

If you believe that the FBI should be able to enter your home, take items and not have to tell you -- all without ever having to acquire a warrant through normal channels, then you should support renewing the Patriot Act. Also, if you think that a librarian should be sent to prison for telling her husband over dinner that the weirdest thing happened at work today, the FBI came in and ordered her to turn over a list of all the books someone had checked out -- then the Patriot Act is for you.

If you don't believe that both of those things can happen, then you should read the law. If you are wondering what you can do about it, go to and see if you agree. And for all my Conservative friends... it's actually a Conservative organization supported by some pretty Conservative folk... Trust me, it won't hurt you. There's also a link to the actual Act if you've been having trouble sleeping and the pills aren't working, or if you just happen to be curious.

Positive baggage...

Since bright spots should be pointed out too, I should relay that yesterday I stopped at Target. My checker was really cute, but that's another story. I bought an armful of products:

  • Pack of razors
  • Two bottles o' Pepsi
  • Two DVDs
  • Two packs o' batteries
  • one 3 lbs bag o' birdseed

My cute checker placed these items into two most-excellent, high-quality, plastic bags and told me - while smiling - to have a good day. I thought this was awesome and smiled back. When I got to the truck, I saw that she had double bagged the bird seed. I love you Target checker girl!