Sunday, October 26, 2008

Open Thank you Note to all political candidates for 2008

In this fine year of political missteps, mistakes, and misogyny here is an open letter to all of the candidates:

Thank you, O political candidated for your continued ads on television, radio, road signs, billboards, cell phones, bumpers, and junk mail.

Thank you for your continued obfuscation of the facts, details, information, and opinions.

Thank you for your stump speeches in small towns that: block traffic for hours keeping regular folks from going to/coming from work; providing opportunities for people to park on strangers lawns, walk on strangers lawns, drop trash on strangers lawns, park in front of strangers houses; give opportunities for the people best known for tin foil hats to protest on bucolic streets, haranguing locals into voting for their "fringe" candidate; provide opportunities for the media to troll neighborhoods for unsuspecting nincompoops to give ignorant sound bites to equally ignorant and plastic "reporters".

Thank for your incessant phone calls during dinner to ask if I am going to vote for the candidate on their script.

Thank you for "Change", "Straight Talk", gaffes, "improbable history", "ACORN", "Keating Five", Annenberg, POW, African Press International, Main Stream Media, blogs, polls, Ayers/Wright/Fleeger/Resko, Bush, "present", 90% for Bush, and "Sarahcuda".

Thank you for debates that weren't, moderators that didn't, and shameless plugs for books yet written.

Thank you for "nice" campaigns that called one candidate a "marxist" and made fun of the other candidates age by indicating that they could possibly wear adult diapers.

Election season.....priceless.


Monday, October 20, 2008


As I get older I often wonder why we are as we are at middle age. Men in particular have things that happen to them that just seem to defy logic. For example, some of us are particularly hairy and others are not. Then there's you ol' pal Clark.

See, I was never blessed with a lot of hair on my head, nor the rest of my body. However, I have hair that grows where I really don't want it. My back, my ears, my nose, and my eyebrows.

Thankfully I'm not like those cave men on the insurance commercials. I have moderate hair on my back, but it's freakin' annoying! It only grows on my shoulders and its patchy. I do my best to shave it off, but I can't see it! Why does it grow there?

My eyebrows aren't so bad. I've seen some guys that look like they have caterpillars on their heads. Mine are not nearly that bad, but I have these random hairs that are twice as thick as the surrounding hairs. Plus, they stick out of my forehead a little bit. Kinda like a porcupine I guess. What is the deal though? My eyebrows were fine for nearly 40 years and now they act like there is some kind of mutant DNA in them. I find these annoying hairs randomly and yank them out by the roots. Momentary pain for a few weeks of gain.

Now that brings me to my ears. I have these random hairs that grow out of random places on my ear. My left ear is the worst. For some reason the ear lobe and the pointy part near the canal have random thick hairs that just sprout out for no apparent reason. I probably could rationalize the eyebrowns and back hairs. But why the heck are thick hairs growing out of my earlobes? If I don't keep them in check, my ears look like they belong on some simian relative.

Ugh. I guess this is payback for perfect skin?


Friday, October 10, 2008


My oldest caught the pinkie on her right hand in the door of the truck. She tried to shake it off, but her threshold of pain is pretty low (she tends to faint too) so she couldn't hang with the finger in the shape that it was in. Through a consultation with the school nurse, we decided to get it looked at, so she met me at home. Her finger was in sad shape. The french nail she had on was punctured at the nail bed and it was swollen with blood. The nail bed was a delightful shade of reddish blue (purple for you "artistes").
We went to the local ER and the PA (we'll call him Dr. Apu) drilled a small hole in the nail bed to release the pressure. It took him a while (he didn't seem to understand that the french manicure was on top of her real fingernail, which explained why it took him far longer to drill the hole than I believe he thought it would take) to get the hole made, but finally blood started to come out.
Then they took the largest finger splint they could find and bent it in half to cover the end of the finger and the nail and wrapped it with some tape. It looked ridiculous. She held her pinkie up in the air like some affected snob at a tea party.
Oh, and she plans to attend Color Guard practice tonight. I told her that she was nuts and she was more than likely to injure her finger further. I sent her back to school. We only spent about 90 minutes in the ER. Quite a feat.



Your ol' pal Clark doesn't want his blog to be a political one. I prefer to read those. But I'm about sick to death of the election baloney now. Most, if not all, politicians are crooked. Some are more crooked than others. Some also get caught. It's really odd that those that get caught sometimes are still elected and re-elected to office. WTH??

I pride myself at being mostly in the middle with regards to politics. There are so many people on the fringes of both parties that are just plain kooks. I was appalled at how much money went into this supposed bailout and it didn't really do anything. Stocks plummeted and banks failed. Why not just let the stocks fall and the banks fail? Not all the banks will fail, will they? Perhaps I'm short-sighted or naiive or something, but I remember that the government bailed out a bunch of savings and loans about 25 years ago when they failed and that turned out OK. At least after a while.

I think the reprehensible people are the fat cat CEOs that manage to be awarded contracts that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, stocks, and bling (ooooo, I'm so hip!) regardless of whether the company they run is thriving or failing. The CEO of Lehman Brothers (Fuld I think is his name) got nailed by Sen. Waxman in Congress the other day. You see, my friends, Fuld got an estimated $450 million (or $350 million if you believe what Fuld said before Congress) in severance when Lehman crashed and burned. He shouldn't have gotten a dime over his regular salary plus two weeks. Some guy at some other company was only on the job a month and got some $20 million (estimated) in severance. Thankfully, someone with a set of cojones punched Fuld in the nose at the gym in the Lehman Brothers building in NYC. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one.

Other than legislate people's salaries, which is way too socialist for my tastes, how do we combat runaway salaries for CEOs? If I were in charge, I would have written into the so-called "bailout" that CEOs immediately forfeit any severance if their company has assets purchased by the government. Those "golden parachutes" would immediately go to the government to buy back the reworked securities.

Oh, and another thing, company CEOs caught cooking the books would be prosecuted no matter how much money they gave to lawmakers on the Hill.


Financial Panic

Your ol' pal Clark is woeful like the rest of us since the US Government attempted to buy up the banking industry. Stocks are falling like so many stones and folks are losing their savings and retirement. Mine was wiped out long ago and I've not been able to get back into it. I'm hoping that will change soon. I'm supposed to get a personnel review at the end of this year or beginning of next (all of us get reviewed at the same time). I hope to be able to start to set aside at least 1 percent of my salary into something that will earn some decent interest. Not the lowly stuff like a money market...but something in the 5-10 percent range. I also have to get the Mrs. to do the same thing.

As a side note, gas is down to about $3.15 a gallon at one station near the house. I have to check out my fave spot, Sheetz, to see if they are at least that low. They were around $3.29 the other day. It's about time to fill up the Speck, too!


More on the new J-O-B

I'm stoked (is it OK for someone in their mid 40s to say that?) to be working at my new job.

I'm settling in and feeling good about what I am doing. Of course, I said that after the first month at my old job too. Just before the "football bat" situation started. Anyhoo, I've been sent out to work on another site in the DC area that wants to increase their knowledge, improve their situation, and win the re-bid coming in about 18 months. I'm proud to be included in the group that hopefully will help them out.

I'm still waiting on my own personal company laptop. They've issued me a company credit card (God only knows how that went through), too. My buddy is going to Florida for a week to hash out some issues with a project down there. I was thinking that I was going to go, but he's gonna plan for a week down there and I'm sorry....I've got too much going on at home to spend the week hand holding. I'll be ready to support him from a distance. Plus I have to review a bunch of material for my site review. I'm hoping that goes well.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New job

Hey everyone!

I've been at my new job about a month now. I've taken a sick day today cuz I'm feeling rotten with cold symptoms. My dearest Ellen keeps feeding me these zinc tabs that are supposed to help rid you of your cold faster. I don't think these work.

The new company covered me on the losses I had for missing the San Francisco trip. It was an honor to be selected, so I still have that.

More later,


Fast Forward's been a quick month. I should be more diligent in my blogging, but I'm a busy guy.

See, the boss came in on 8/25 and basically told me that I could go. I'd be paid for the day, of course, but not the rest of the week because...well...he wasn't getting any more money from the client, so he couldn't afford to pay me for the rest of the week. He offered me a laptop in exchange for the hours, but I really needed the money, not the PC. In retrospect, I should have taken the computer, but I wasn't thinking clearly at the time. That kinda sucked.

Oh well. I lost 5 days of pay. I tried getting on with my new company, but they wouldn't have an office for me for another week, so I was stuck at home. You'd think I would have blogged while I had all that down time, but I ended up doing stuff with the kids since school hadn't started yet. I did have one day all to myself, but I wasted it.