Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sleepiness

I'm writing this from a hotel room in Park Falls, WI. Cheryl's mom is in the hospital and we're up here to visit and do what we can.

When I started thinking about writing this post this morning, it was 6 am. Cheryl and I had turned on the heater in the room and around 4:30 this morning, the heat became unbearable for her, so she woke me up to fix it. That's how we roll, I'm sleeping soundly and she wakes me up to take care of something and in return, I get a clean house. Seems like a fair exchange.

The bad thing about this is that once I've been woken up, I can't fall back asleep. Because, after being hot, Cheryl was thirsty, so it was off to the soda machine (which is downstairs in the lobby) to get her (and me) a soda. Then, we talk for a little while about this and that, her mom, our budget, etc. And, then she rolls right back over and she's back asleep in a matter of a minute or so. I really envy that, because once my mind starts working, I'm up and that's that.

So, I started reading through old email messages, picked up Teddy Roosevelt's autobiography (but I can't read in the dark, and Cheryl can't sleep with the light on, so that's quickly abandoned) and then I see an email message that I have a new comment from Cheryl's niece on my My Space page, so I go and look at it. Then, I think, hey, I haven't written a blog there in a really long time, so I'll write a blog about what it is like to be awake since 4:30am with really nothing to do. Except, I hit the blog link and nothing happnens. Yeah, the page says it's downloading, but nothing. As I write this the page is still trying to download. Why do I bother with My Space?!?

Oh, yeah, I really don't, except really early in the morning when I have nothing else to do.

God Bless

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Work

I should start this blog entry by saying, I really love my job. I'm a Data Analyst for a company in Milwaukee. I make fairly decent (at least it was decent until gasoline went over $2.50 a gallon) money. I'm doing something I love to do. I write reports.

I write lots and lots of reports. Reports in Crystal and Excel. Reports that show the top 50 of this and the bottom 50 of that. Reports that connect two different databases on the same server. I write stored procedures and SQL queries and I (mostly) love every minute of it.

But, the parts of my job I hate are also the hardest ones to do. And, those are dealing with morons. Why can't people be team players? Why would one co-worker allow another co-worker to bust his butt finding information to do something and let that co-worker work on this for THREE days and then conveniently hand them the file that shows how to do it? It happened, I saw it.

Why would one co-worker who knows NOTHING about how to write reports or how the system works in regards to reports, keep butting her nose in to tell the Data Analyst (me) how to write the reports needed for a new customer? And, get loud and obnoxious about it?

Somedays, I can truly understand why everyone looks so grumpy going into work. It's not that they hate their jobs, they just hate working with the morons!

God Bless

PS. If you have a story to tell, feel free to post a comment. Also, I'm selling t-shirts with the saying: When I snap, you'll be the first to know. Click here to buy one!



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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

US Supreme Court Ruling

The US Supreme Court just ruled that the state of Texas has the right to execute a Mexican citizen over President Bush's objections (see article here). Now, admittedly, I'm reading this article while on lunch, so I haven't finished reading the whole thing, but this blog is called Top Of My Head for a reason.

So, here is my Top Of My Head statement: The US Supreme Court, in trying to uphold State's rights, is completely wrong. They say an International Court ruling "is not domestic law." Big mistake there. President Bush is trying to do the right thing. Let's face it, Bush is not exactly the poster child for stays of executions. He's more of a hang 'em high kind of a guy, but we signed an agreement with Mexico decades ago.

Would we want Mexico to ignore the International Court's ruling if this was an American citizen on a Mexican Death Row?

I'm guessing not.

How would you feel if this was an Iraqi Death Row?

Thanks Supreme Court for putting all Internationally travelling Americans at risk.

God Bless

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Monday, March 24, 2008

You may never read something like this from me again...

In Alton, IL; an entire family deserves the death penalty. More than that, I personally offer my services to the state to put the needles in their arms. (Read the story here)

I am totally against the death penalty, but when I read this news article on CNN about how Dorothy Dixon was tortured by Michelle Riley and kin, I think I've changed my mind -- wait, strike that, I KNOW I've changed my mind.

Now, I'm not sure about the minors being killed -- Riley's minor children have been charged -- but Riley should get the death penalty. And, since Illinois has a moratorium on the death penalty, I think Riley and company should be released into the general population. There is not one person in this nation who has not worked with, gone to school with, befriended or have a developmentally disabled person in their family.

Dorothy Dixon was "Banished to the basement, the 29-year-old mother with a childlike mind and another baby on the way had little more than a thin rug and a mattress to call her own on the chilly concrete floor." She "ate what she could forage from the refrigerator upstairs, where housemates used her for target practice with BBs, burned her with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away her skin."

And, now, she's dead -- tortured by this Devil incarnate who'll probably claim her drug addicted past caught up with her. Well, I say we should the mercy she and hers showed poor Dorothy, which was none.

So, Governor Blagojevich, if your state does decide to execute Michelle Riley, I will personally put the needle in her arm or pull the switch. I'm in the book, just call me.

I know I normally end my blog with a God Bless, but my stomach is still turning from what I read and I just can't do it.

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Obama and the Preacher

I've been mulling over this one for a couple of days now. Barack Obama attends a black church in Illinois which is run by a black preacher who has said some pretty extreme things about America. Senator Obama has denounced what Pastor Wright has said, but he hasn't changed churches, which has some people all up in arms.

Now, would any of us -- minus those of us who attend Trinity church -- even know this pastor's name if someone didn't want to make Obama look bad?

And, all those who have sat in church and listened to a priest, pastor, minister, deacon, etc. and have never disagreed with the one who was preaching, please raise your hands. No one, right?

I have sat and listened to one priest after another say something I whole heartedly disagreed with and I'm still a member of the same church. Why? You might ask. Well, because it's just one priest and it's just one sermon. Some of the priests were visiting pastors and they were gone in a week, some of the priests I heard because I attended a different Mass than my usual one at a different church. During the last Presidential election, I heard a priest strongly imply that a vote for Kerry meant the voter would be burning in Hell and he never said the name Kerry.

Anyway, what I have heard is that there is talk that Senator Obama should renounce his membership in this church and walk away from it. Obama, so far, has refused to do so.

I think Senator Obama is making the right decision. A church can be a second home to someone. Your church of choice is very personal, even if you're running for a public office. Too much is being made of our elected officials religious beliefs as it is and we should really mind our own business. Faith is faith and politics are politics and never the two should meet. I'm sure the good Senator -- if he was even at that particular service -- cringed when he heard Pastor Wright say "America's chickens have come home to roost." But, Trinity feels like home and we shouldn't expect him to leave home.

This past weekend my grandsons were visiting and they attended Easter Mass with us. I was reading the readings and when I was done and returned to the pew, Danny clapped and said, "Good job, Nana. Good job."

So, following Danny's lead, I say to Barack Obama, "Good job, Senator. Good job."

God Bless

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another column of some random thoughts -- including gas prices...

As the gas prices continue to rise, I heard a rumor that the federal government was considering a $1.00 per gallon tax. Now, the other thing I know about this is that I overheard someone saying it. Whether it is true or not, that I can't say. But, it got me to thinking about stuff...

#1. I don't think using corn as an additive to gasoline is such a grand idea. All it is going to do is drive up the price of corn. Which will drive up the price of pork and beef because a lot of farmers feed their livestock corn.

#2. Has any of our government officials thought that if we are having difficulties coming up with the money to pay for the gas to get to work that this will slow the tourist trade? Every single year for as long as I can remember, Cheryl and I take a vacation to Door County. We buy some wine, some cheese and other trinkets. We always shop for a Sarah's Angel and I try to find a new dragon for my collection. We stay in a hotel and we spend quite a lot of money. No one in Door County is going to be out of business because we can't make the trip this year -- we who live fairly simply can't find extra money in the budget to put aside for vacation. But, the good folks in Door County will certainly be in trouble if even 10% of their regular tourists can't make the trip.

#3. We keep hearing about how illegal immigration is bringing this country to its knees, but since I work with a lot of contractors -- 90% of whom are legal immigrants, I can't help but wonder if the Visas that bring the high tech foreigners to this country is helping us. While I don't believe that the illegal immigrant who works as a bus boy is taking a job an American wants, I'm pretty sure the high tech legal immigrant is. Maybe, he or she isn't taking a job right now, but as long as a company can higher an immigrant for less than an American, it will. Also, if we don't invest in the education of our young people, we're going to suffer on the global market. Now, I happen to prefer 95% of the foreign staff with whom I work over my American counterparts. Also, I want people who want to be here to come here -- I'm the descendant of immigrants, but I think it's time to reconsider just how many HB-1 (I think that's the correct number) Visas we give out every year. We need to ensure that Americans are being trained for the jobs that the foreigners are doing.

#4. Now, having said my piece with #3, here's my next thought... When someone comes into this country on a work Visa, they are pretty much stuck at that company until they get a Visa/green card on their own. If they switch companies, they have to start the whole process over, which I think pretty much stinks. What if you accept a job, get here and discover that the company isn't doing what it promised to do? We're basically trapping these people in positions and I think we should work on this to make sure they aren't trapped in bad jobs or with bad companies.

#5. Now, having said #4, my other thought is we really do need to secure our borders to make America a safer place, but I don't think a fence across the border in Mexico is the place to start.

#6. Healthcare -- totally different track -- I think we need to hold companies responsible for the healthcare they provide (sell) to their employees. We need to require companies to report how many of their employees have health insurance through them, how many have health insurance via their spouse and how many are covered by the state. Companies who have employees covered by state plans or no insurance at all, should be taxed an amount equal to the cost the state spends on that specific employee -- the more employees covered, the lower the costs. Also, let's not let them get away with that crappy catastophe insurance. These people might as well not have any insurance at all.

Those are just some thoughts off the Top of My Head. I might expand on them some other time or I might not. We'll see.

God Bless

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Monday, March 17, 2008

We interrupt this broadcast...

Carol Burnett was on The View one day last week and because I like Carol Burnett, I recorded it.

Guess what else happened that day?  That stupid governor of NY resigned because he got caught in a hooker ring.  So, ABC thought, hey, the people in the Midwest give a damn about the governor of NY, let's interrupt our own show.

Guess what I could give a damn about?

A governor in NY who got caught with his pants down around his ankles. 

So, here's an open statement to all of the broadcast stations:

Unless my house is going to be hit with a nuclear bomb -- don't interrupt my regularly scheduled show.
Unless the President has been shot -- don't interrupt my regularly scheduled show.
Unless we've declared war on Canada or Mexico -- don't interrupt my regularly scheduled show.

In other words, unless it is going to affect me -- I don't want you interrupting my regularly scheduled show.  I don't care about California -- it can wait until the six o'clock news.  I don't care about any state -- really -- except my own and EVEN THAT could wait until the six o'clock news.

If I wanted round the clock news, I'd turn on CNN or MSNBC.  When I want to be entertained, I turn on the broadcast networks and I don't expect you to interrup my regularly scheduled shows.

I hope I'm not alone in this.

God Bless

Friday, March 14, 2008

No Link Between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda

According to a CNN article, the Pentagon -- that speedy moving entity -- has confirmed what we've known all along. There is no link between Saddam's reign in Iraq and al Qaeda. This comes just in time to celebrate five years since our invasion of Iraq.

However; this isn't to say that there wasn't terrorism in Iraq -- it was just aimed to keep Hussein in power, not to destroy America and our allies. Since we're the ones who put Hussein in power in the first place, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Now, here we are, five years into a war that will cost us many young, vibrant lives and upwards of $3 trillion dollars.

And, we're there because of...

I hope you know, because I really don't.

God Bless


(See Article: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/13/alqaeda.saddam/index.html?imw=Y&iref=mpstoryemail)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Waste of Time

Sometimes, I just wonder why we elect Republicans to anything in this state. It seems that when the Republicans are in charge of anything -- nothing useful gets done.

Oh, but we can eliminate any chance of treating every citizen in this state as equal -- that they have time for.

And, now, we can declare that English is the official language of Wisconsin. (See article in Racine Journal Times:

http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2008/03/13/local_news/doc47d925f896b19756728797.txt)

Why?

Look, you guys in office, I want you to start doing your jobs. This would mean finding a way to balance our budget, keeping our citizens employed, educating our young people and making our roads driveable. This does not mean wasting time declaring an official language that does nothing but piss me off.

God Bless

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pst, Kid, Want to Buy some Candy?...

Aren't we taking this health and wellness stuff too far? It's only candy for Pete's sake. It's not like the kid was buying speed or meth. It was Skittles! (see story below)

Suspended for three days, ripped of his student vice president title and not allowed to attend an honors dinner?

Man, what would they have given him if he had been caught buying a Snickers -- explusion?!?

No wonder people don't want to follow the rules when the rules are this stupid!

God Bless

Actual story from www.rr.com:

NEW HAVEN, Conn.(AP) Contraband candy has led to big trouble for an eighth-grade honors student in Connecticut.

Michael Sheridan was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day after buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate.

School spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo says the New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a districtwide school wellness policy.

Michael's suspension has been reduced from three days to one, but he has not been reinstated as class vice president.

He says he didn't realize his candy purchase was against the rules, but he did notice the student selling the Skittles on Feb. 26 was being secretive.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gas Prices

This morning I filled up my gas tank and paid $3.19 a gallon.  Being the anal person that I am, I keep track of how much gas I buy and how much it cost per gallon and per tank, etc. in this little notebook.  My current notebook goes all the way back to Oct. 2002.  In Oct. 2002, I was paying between $1.55 and $1.59 per gallon for gas.  In less than 6 years, I'm now paying more than double for that same gallon of gas.

In 6 years, my salary hasn't doubled, which probably explains why I can't seem to make ends meet.  I don't live high on the hog.  I'm not spending tons of money on junk.  Even though I love video games and books, I limit my purchasing of both.  Whenever possible, I purchase my video games used (and I use my little percent off card to save even more money).  Books are more of a downfall to me, but I usually don't purchase a book unless I've taken it out of the library and read it.  I don't willy nilly invest in books, as it is more of a collection I have than books just to have them.

So, when I pumped my gas today and put $50.00 plus dollars in there, I just cried a little tear.  That was two used video games or one autographed book going to get me to work.

What a waste.

God Bless

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, free speech and Gays

Oklahoma Rep Sally Kern thought she was speaking to a room of 50 Republicans, but thinking you're speaking in a small, private setting will always come back to bite you in the butt and she's learning just that.

Rep. Kern said (and I quote) "The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation; it's just a fact."

Now, I haven't found a source that gave the exact words in the exact order (mainly because I can't view YouTube at work), but that last statement pretty much says it all.

Rep. Kern is a little more than confused now, because she sees this as little more than her exercising her freedom of speech.

Well, the lady is right -- she does have free speech and she should be allowed to exercise it whenever and wherever she wants. I have supported free speech with a no matter what they say, they have a right to say it stance.

But, come on, what was she thinking? She really believes that gays are destroying this nation?!? What planet is she from?

Right-wing Christians such as Rep Sally Kern and those who think like her are what is destroying the nation. They have spent so much time and energy combatting against gay rights that they've missed the big picture.

God doesn't bless America anymore than God blesses Iraq or Iran.

God doesn't care about nations. He doesn't even see the boundaries we've made for ourselves. He sees what is in our collective hearts. He doesn't make tornados only blow away the homes of sinners, nor do hurricanes only destroy the evil ones. He wants us all to be by His right side in the Kingdom of Heaven.

But, I digress because unlike Rep. Kern, I've read my Bible -- I just don't thumped it.

God Bless Rep. Kern and may He have mercy on her soul when she is called to judgement for Jesus said, "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

I hope she's sin free.

PS. God Bless Oklahoma...They'll need it.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Bush and the Economy

Just last week, President Bush made a statement that the country wasn't in a recession. This week, he has said the the economy has slowed.

Boy, am I glad he told me that! If he hadn't, I might've thought that the country was doing just swell! I would be so confused and I hate to be confused.

I wonder how long it takes before he'll admit we're in a recession. I'm thinking June -- long after we've all received our rebate checks and we've either used them to pay off debt or set them aside because us consumers are all spent.

He also said, ""I know this is a difficult time for our economy, but we recognized the problem early and we provided the economy with a booster shot."

I was going to write some smartass commenht that ripped into his words, but sometimes you have to admit, he's funnier when he works alone.

God Bless

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