Write Things Down

I prefer the Bic Clic SticStarting a list of things I did wrong on my home renovation. A lot of the issues were caused by making decisions twice. The first time usually well thought out with reason and evidence by my side. The second decision rather rash and made to get the job moving and because the architect forgot the first decision.

When you have meetings with your architect and you decide on something, write down exactly why you came to your decision. Don’t rely on the architect writing it down. Also write down everything he’s promising you for your next meeting so you can check him on it.

Our guest room has a really cool pattern on lights on the dropped ceiling. My original decision was to have a ceiling fan without the dropped ceiling. Wish I’d written that one down. The ceiling fan in our master bedroom has been going for the last year, pretty much nonstop and we love it. Cool light pattern, not so cool, lots of heat, lots of electricity.

Advise on architects: Tom Vail of Vail Architects is bad. He might be good if his job were in sales or something where attention to detail isn’t important. Unfortunately, detail is important in architectural plans. Too many of my second decisions were forced on me because my original decision didn’t fit. Oh it fit on the plans, if only the plans reflected the reality of the space in the apartment. A few inches here and there matter and Tom Vail didn’t pay attention to those details.

State’s Rights

The flag is waving less vigorously todayIn a blow to State’s Rights and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal government can prosecute users of doctor prescribed medical marijuana. Glaucoma patients didn’t see this coming.

From cnn.com: In a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Stanford ’52) said that states should be allowed to set their own rules. “The states’ core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens,” said O’Connor, who was joined by other states’ rights advocates. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined O’Connor in dissention.

I guess they teach reading comprehension and Constitutional Law at Stanford, courses that the six other justices need to revisit.

Totally unrelated, props to the House of Representatives who passed a bill to expand stem cell research under thread of Bush veto. Victories like these are these over the crazies in the Religious Wrong are too few and far between.

State Of Congress

God Bless AmericaI’m really dissapointed with the Republican led Congress right now. They’ve wasted their time on Terri Schaivo, judicial nominations, and some angry dude named Bolton. None of these are issues I care about. None of these are issues that help America. Here are some of my thoughts as I explore the domain of Centrist Libertarianism:

Taxes – A necessary evil, but very unfair. I’m not complaining about the rich paying too much, but rather the poor and middle class being unfairly burdened. The commerce of filing and minimizing your taxes is a big industry. Knowing your way around deductions, loopholes, tax shelters and the like takes a degree in accounting or a good accountant, both of which cost money. Estate taxes are hurting middle class Americans who have paid taxes on their income, yet their hard work will be taxed upon their death if they don’t hire a tax advisor to restructure their holdings into Trusts and gifts. The complexity of our tax system is a burden to low and middle class Americans, those that can least shoulder this form of recessive taxation. Congress should spend their effort making the tax code more fair for all people, instead of doling out yet another subsidy to farmers, energy companies, and H&R Block.
Continue reading “State Of Congress”

Gay Marriage

Rubber Duckie, you're the one!Found this in Best of Craigslist. Of all the arguments for gay marriage, this pretty much sums it up:

And what sort of morally deformed person would take pleasure in the bitter disappointment of so many to whom this meant so much? What sort of person gloats in public for nothing more than just the empty momentary and childish pleasure of being agreed with on something that doesn’t affect them in the least?

Gay marriage doesn’t affect you one way or the other. Gay marriage doesn’t change your marriage and it doesn’t change your religion. A million gay people can get married tomorrow and nothing would change for you. Nothing at all. You wouldn’t even notice it but for your obsession about other peoples’ sex lives.

* Britney Spears can still get married while drunk for the 5th, no 6th, no, 7th time in Vegas to someone she just met last week, or even that night.
* You can still get married and divorced in the same day if you wish in several states and in some you can do that several times.
* Two 80 year olds can still get married as long as they are of different genders and even if one or both are afflicted with dementia.
* Two people of different genders can be married without ever meeting one another, even on the day of the wedding.
* Your sister can marry a guy on death row and never consumate the marriage.
* Your grandmother can marry the 20-year-old pool boy.
* Mary K. Latourneau can still marry the schoolboy she raped.

Please don’t tell me that gays are destroying the sanctity of marriage. Heterosexuals are doing a pretty bang up job of that without any help at all from gays.

Remember these when you go to church on Sunday:
# “Leave to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
# “Whatsoever you do to the least of you, you do also to me”

The Green Piece

Serenity in Sheep MeadowFound this in the NY Daily News under the byline of Neil Steinberg:

NO DOUBT it is a thrill to ride a chartered bus all night from Cleveland with your fellow peace activists. No doubt it feels great when you wake up after a few hours sleep to shouts that you are rolling into New York City, where the big workers’ rights protest, or anti-fur rally, or whatever, is being held.

You stand around all day, sing songs, make new friends, shout for the TV cameras, listen to Martin Sheen speak. A memory to last a lifetime.

But that is not the point. Of course activists of every stripe want to come to Central Park to protest. The point is whether the average New Yorker wants to have a pleasant, well-tended park, or one that looks like a vacant lot the hour after the circus left. Most would prefer a pleasant park.

The said, there is a certain the-whole-world-is-watching thrill to go for a walk in the park and stumble across some giant rally of 100,000 people fooling themselves they are accomplishing something. So I have an idea: Allow, if not lots of big gatherings, then more than the paltry pair of nonopera, nonsymphony gatherings that are allowed now. But charge them. If it costs $250,000 to restore the lawn after each big hoo-ha, then require that groups pony up beforehand. That seems only fair – you make a mess, you clean it up. An extra buck or two a head won’t break most organizations – well, except maybe the peaceniks. They never seem to have jobs.

Idol Voting Explained

Advantage: Sunny, beautiful islands.Feeling a bit like Ryan Seacrest, I have the results to last weeks American Idol. You may have already seen the results, where the beautiful and talented La Toya London lost when everyone expected Jasmine “Flower In Her Hair” Trias, wasn’t even in the bottom two, to go home instead. I know why, and it’s not because of sympathy votes.

Last post I admitted to watching a lot of reality TV and especially Survivor. Congratulations to Rob and Amber, I’m a sucker for romantics and they’re cute together, and to Rupert for winning the ‘America voted’ million dollars. He got one of my votes. I’ve never voted on American Idol because I don’t watch the show live and the phone lines are only open for two hours in the time zone after the show airs. The key to American Idol and Jasmine’s reprieve from joining JPL and the football player is timezones.
Continue reading “Idol Voting Explained”

Survivor: All-Star

I'm not ready to quit reality TV or alcohol, so deal with itMy name is Thad, and I’m a reality TV junkie.
“Hi Thad”

I watched my first reality TV show in college. Road Rules: Islands was pulling their RV into Newport Beach to do a comedy skit at Balboa Island. MTV hooked me with their Real World and Road Rules marathons. Back to back to back episodes to eliminate the waiting of who is going to hook up, who is going to demand respect, and who is going to say, “I’ve never in my entire life on this earth been….” Where does MTV cast?

MTV is like a gateway drug. I had it under control with a half an hour a week, and I could have stopped at any time…and then along came Survivor. I missed the first couple episodes because this was still 2 B.T. (Before Tivo), but Sarah and Vinnie couldn’t stop talking about it on my morning commute. I tuned in and instantly hated Richard Hatch, but instantly loved Survivor. In that first season I actually said to a date, “We have to take this sushi to go, because Survivor starts in 10 minutes.”
Continue reading “Survivor: All-Star”

New York Marathon Tips

Puff for GovernorThis weekend is the annual New York City Marathon. Thousands of people from all over the world will descend on this little hamlet..err…sprawling metropolis to run 26.2 miles. I’m dedicating this entry to all those hopeful marathoners and Puff Daddy, should he read this.

Tips for Running the New York City Marathon:

# Write your name on your shirt! Residents of New York will be out in masses, usually in the millions to support your quest for the finish line in Central Park, but they don’t know you. However, you’ll get a lot of support and cheers if you write your name in big letters on your shirt. Keep in mind that you’ll have a race number so plan accordingly. Bonus: American flags and “Ohio Loves NY” are appreciated.
# If you plan to keep them after the race, cut your toe nails before it. Shorter nails will be less likely to have problems.
# Bring Advil. New York is the city where you can get anything from Starbucks to pot delivered to your apartment, but Advil is your only friend on mile 16.
# Don’t try anything new on race day.
# An extension of the above is: Find out what sports drinks, power gel, etc. they are giving to the runners on the course, and try it before hand. I trained with Poweraid, but on race day had to drink a poor-man’s watered-down fruit punch drink. Get used to it.
# Drink early, drink often. It might be cold and you might not be sweating much, but you need lots of fluid.
# Have fun! For you first timers, finishing is a life experience.

Good luck on race day! I’ll be near the finish line on the right side, a few hundred yards before the finish…cheering for Florida Jill, England, John, and you.