Monday, March 31, 2008

Murdering Your Child Out Of Religious Conviction

So, take a look at this ABC News story....

And now read this UPI news article....

And then tell me again why it's OK for religious parents and the churches to which they belong to have ANY say in how a child's health issues are dealt with?

And then tell me why the parents in these two cases should NOT be rotting in jail with no medical care, ever?

And then tell me exactly WHY the churches they belong to shouldn't be closed and the priests who preside over them shouldn't be jailed...?

Tell ya what -- if you turn 18 and you (somehow, outta the blue, cuz the great Bejeezus spoke to you) decide you want to go run off and join some lunatic fringe group, go ahead.

BUT -- there will be some rules: no talking to your kids about your weird man in the sky obsession, no taking them to your speaking-in-tongues, bobbing-your-heads, dunking-your-babies, playing-with-snakes, burning-your-incense, wearing-your-yarmulkes bullshit brainwashing sessions. You just leave them with the rational babysitter on Sunday or Saturday, be sure they attend school, are well-fed and clothed, get regular medical treatment -- and leave your crazy god ideas far away from the kids.

Because, at some point, you'll either just let them die while you wave your hands over them and ask your fairy godmother for help -- or they'll grow up to be religious freaks like you and I'll have to deal with them later in life.

- T

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chicago Pix

I spent some time today working on the last of my Chicago pictures. I posted them here, if you'd like to see them.

That still leaves, hmmm . . . 140 pictures from the Wisconsin part of the trip to sort through, clean up and post. Yikes.

- T

. . . too much beer . . . ?

Turns out 4 imperial pints = 80 ounces = 2.366 liters
(As a reference, a regular U.S. 6-pack = 72 ounces)
So, last night, we each drank the equivalent of a 6-pack of Harp,
plus an additional 8-ounce glass

Doesn't sound like THAT much -- so why does my head feel so fuzzy today?

- T

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Something Stinks...

Oh, yeah -- now I remember:


- T

Thursday, March 27, 2008

M3 and Apertivo

OK, first I've gotta say this is the last time I'll refer to Dave's new beau Mike as M3. Now that I've met the guy, I realize he deserves more than a letter/number designation! Unfortunately, there are already PLENTY of Mikes in town.... Got a middle name, Mike? Maybe a nickname? How about "Sparky"?

We got a sneak preview of Mike at dinner tonight -- before the rest of you guys tear him to pieces tomorrow night! Gotta say he seems like a really nice guy. Pleasant, friendly, very cute. [Ad-lib your own "So what is he doing with Dave?" joke here.]

Dinner was fine -- too much penne! But, amazingly, we polished off nearly all the plates we'd ordered. Although, for a while at least two appetizers had to be in motion at any one time for everything else to fit on the table.

So, here's to Mike. May he find Dave as endearing and lovable as many of us have.

- T

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back Home (aaahhh-CHOOOO!)

The trip back to San Diego was not the most pleasant. All three of us are in one stage or another of a cold/flu thingy.... I was the least buggy at the time, so I tackled the drive from Door County to O'Hare. Even with quite a bit of construction, there was little traffic and we made great time.

It turns out the worst way to fly is when you are all stuffed up, sneezing, congested -- and (like Bill) feverish. Ugh. The 5-hr drive and 4-1/2-hr flight seemed to last two days....

Easter with the family was great, though. While Bill and I continued to nap at the hotel, Tj. (who was still feeling well at the time) went to my folks' place and worked on Easter dinner. Later in the the afternoon, he drove back to the hotel and shuttled us to a wonderful meal! Thanks, Tj.!

Today was supposed to be our first workday -- but, with the bug, we've all decided to take an additional recuperation day and rest at home. (I HAVE been able to work on some of the photos from my trip -- I took nearly 400 over the 10 days, cleaned up the first 80 or so -- and posted the first 'presentable' ones on my Picasa site.)

- T

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Too Good To Post Only One!

I had no idea such things existed -- romance novels for the Amish? Or maybe they're written for the Mennonite audience (they've always been the racier sect of the two, haven't they?!)

My bro-in-law suggested the one should have included its full title: "On Her Own: Her First Zipper". :-)

Some research shows Wisconsin now has the fourth-largest population of Old Order Amish, as sons and grandsons move further west and away from more traditional Amish areas to find affordable farm land. (I have always been a fan of New Order myself....)

- T

Friday, March 21, 2008

Late Winter -- Door County

While buzzing around today helping my parents clear out their old house and moving some of the 'keepables' back to their new place, we made a few stops to take some photos.

Although much of the country is feeling the warmer temps of a spring thaw, the weather here in Door County, Wisconsin is still in deep winter mode. Teens at night, low 30s during the day -- and today it has been threatening to flurry.

This farm caught my eye -- it's on the east side of the peninsula (less touristy, more actual working farms.)

I'm not a fan of cold weather, but there's a certain mood set by dark, cloudy skies and snow on the ground that I really appreciate and enjoy.

- T

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Husby's Restaurant and Bar

. . . in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.

Thinking of you, Bryson!

- T

Bush Blathers for 20 Minutes; Popularity Plummets

Quoted from

Poll: Bush's popularity hits new low

Five years after he green-lighted the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President
Bush faced strikingly low approval ratings as he reaffirmed his commitment
to "accept no outcome but victory" in the war.

Just 31 percent of Americans approve of how President Bush is handling his
job, according to a poll released Wednesday, the anniversary of the start
of the conflict in 2003.

Sixty-seven percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research
Corporation survey disapprove of the president's performance.

The 31 percent approval number is a new low for Bush in CNN polling and is
40 points lower than the president's number at the start of the Iraq war.

During a speech at the Pentagon Wednesday, the president called the debate
over Iraq "understandable" but insisted that a continued U.S. presence in
the region was crucial.

"Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this
enemy here at home," he said.

"We're helping the people of Iraq establish a democracy in the heart of the
Middle East. A free Iraq will fight terrorists instead of harboring them."
- -

Delusional and with no support of the people -- that's our president!

- T

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My New Nephew

We've been busier than you might think here in northern Wisconsin.

Socializin' with the family, taking a long walk around town while the
weather was bearable today (low 40s for part of the afternoon -- but it'll
only reach the 30s the rest of the week), helping my bro-in-law move his
camper and charge up his mint-condition red '74 Fiat convertible..... ($3500 if
anyone's interested.)

But, I still found time to take some great shots of Luke, my new nephew. In the meantime,
a shot from my Treo.

- T

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


really gets into the St. Patrick's Day spirit (with a little help from a
local Chicago entertainer....)

- T

Monday, March 17, 2008

...and now it's snowing...

Last night ended up being a "stay-in-and-order-Chinese" night. We got lots
of sleep and then headed downtown this morning to meet my aunt for lunch.

After a great lunch (Volare for Italian food) and walking around Michigan
Ave and State St, we dropped my aunt off at the train station and headed
back to Lakeview.

While on the bus, the snow started. The pic is of Tj. and Bill in the
flurries on our way to the Threadless retail store.

Yahoo! Love their shirts! Tj. bought one (Clockwork Kit) and Bill's
ordering two online right now that they didn't have in his size
(Color-Coded Criminals and Make Love Not War.)

- T

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Late Afternoon, Michigan Ave

Spent a lot of time in the cold in Millenium Park today. But, got some
great photos out of it (which won't be posted until we're back home next
This phone pic was taken from the park back towards Michigan Ave.
- T

Chicago On Foot

We got a late start, but have done a lot already today. First stop: Caribou
Coffee in Lincoln Park. (Coffee = elixir of life)

Then we walked down Wrightwood past my first apartment in the city. I had
just returned from the Army and was going to school downtown while staying
with my parents in the suburbs. The commute by train was fine, but it was
even better to live in the city on my own, work and go to school downtown
and have the city at my doorstep. (This trip to Chicago is turning into an
extended episode of "This Is Your Life".)

Next stop was the Maxwell Street Market -- a huge outdoor flea market on
the Near South Side.

Then a BRISK (both quick and chilly) walk to the South Loop for Jewish deli
food -- what you see here is my open-faced corned beef rueben on rye. (Good
to see I'm eating light, huh?)

Can't wait to see what else the weekend will bring.

- T

White Castle & Beer

We hit the streets of Chicago tonight. The bars were fun but not packed -- could have been a better crowd, but we still had a good time checking out Jackhammer, Touché and Eagle.

We've already gotten a lot of use out of our CTA passes. Cabs and buses are the way to get around -- we got back to the room by 3:30 a.m.

Along the way, we stopped at White Castle -- a greasy, oniony, pickly mess, but they sure are tasty burgers. And they bring back some nice childhood memories.

- T

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Travel Accessories

Exactly what I needed on the plane today -- music and a cap to pull low
over my eyes.

The new earphones: great! Treble coming in nicely now - and an excellent
fit with the largest silicone buds. (Are my ears as oversized as my ear
canals seem to be?)

- T

Friday, March 14, 2008


Hurray! I'm on vacation! Man, do I need it, too....

Work has been BUSY lately -- and the added responsibilities since getting
the promotion have taken some getting used to.

But, there are some signs that things are improving on the work front. (My
latest little logistics coup will definitely help.)

In the meantime, though, a little R&R.... We fly tomorrow a.m. (pre-dawn!)
and arrive around 12:30 p.m. In Chicago. We'll have Sat, Sun and Monday (St
Patrick's Day!) nights in the city. Good food, museums, some barlife at

Then, on Tuesday, we'll make the 6-hour drive up to Door County to see my
family, including my new nephew.

Should be a great trip (except for the cold), and will give me some time to
relax (and burn in those new earphones.) Watch here for updates!

- T

Thursday, March 13, 2008


"Zen: A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts that enlightenment can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition rather than through faith and devotion..." [thanks,]

I wonder how Buddhist monks sitting in a monastery in China would feel about their school of thought being used to market headphones to this non-Buddhist Westerner?

But with the amount of time I've been spending with my earphones in my ears lately (music and driving are my two favorite ways to reach inner calm), and considering the amount of stress I've been under lately, it seems fitting that the earphones I bought today (after some web comparison shopping) ended up being the Creative Zen Aurvanas. [Again with the Buddhist tie-ins.]

They were compared favorable to Shures and Etymotics costing $30-50 more -- and so far seem to be just what I was looking for. Good, clear mid-range, some decent (but not dance-floor level) bass and a mild treble.

And maybe the monks wouldn't be so upset with the marketing. I feel more calm and introspective already -- plus, they're made in China.

- T

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome To The World, Luke

My brother-in-law Rob called at 6:45 this morning to let me know that my 2nd nephew is here! My sister is doing well and Luke is healthy and large. (Picture to follow.)

Amazingly, after only one hour, my sister Becky called me herself. The cesarean went really well, she was a bit shaky but fully alert and ready to talk to her favorite (ok, her only) brother.

She had the baby's details: 9 lb 11 oz and 19 1/2 in. She was choosing his first little baby cap while she was called from her hospital bed -- white with baby blue trim. (Fashion first.)

So, congratulations to my my sister and brother-in-law. They've done a wonderful job raising my first nephew James and I have no doubt that they'll be just as successful this time around.

Welcome to the world, Luke.

- T

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


ITN - Tuesday, March 4 05:08 pm

Padded lampposts are being trialled in a London street to protect inattentive pedestrians.

A pilot scheme has been launched in Brick Lane after it was found to have the highest number of 'walking and texting' injuries in the country.

A study carried out by 118 118 found one in ten people has hurt themselves while focused on their mobile phone screen.

The charity Living Streets is so concerned that it has teamed up with the directory enquiries service to test a scheme to wrap up the nation's lampposts.

A poll will be carried out on Brick Lane to gauge the response of locals.

If successful, the concept will be rolled out in Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool.


One in ten Brits have injured themselves while texting? Dorks.

Wow. If this story is true, it's really sad. And funny.

- T

Monday, March 10, 2008

An Excellent Day in the Mountains

Got out to Mt Laguna today with a friend. The day was great -- good weather, fairly clear views, peacefulness and intelligent conversation. I couldn't have asked for a better Monday.

You'll find a link to all my pix on the right -- or click the post title above to go directly to the photo album.

- T

Saturday, March 08, 2008

YouTube Night @ Mike & Matt's

We had a blast last night at Mike & Matt's.

What was going to be a small group for beer and movies turned into a big,
fun, relaxed gang of guys watching YouTube videos and eating ENORMOUS

Thanks for hosting this get-together -- a fun way to wind down at the end
of the week.

- T

Friday, March 07, 2008

"The Land That Time and San Diego Forgot"

Back in December, we took a trip out east on Highway 94. It was like time-traveling to the early 20th century. Small mom-and-pop stores, large ranches, the rail bridge over the two-lane highway.

If you live in San Diego, you might forget how far east this county really stretches -- and how much history there is here. It's worth the time to explore if you get the chance.

[Click the post title to reach this gallery.]

- T

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Davey's Place for Food and Fun"

Dave is great at getting people together -- and introducing the many and varied people in his circle of friends to each other.

If you ever get tired of Odd Designs, we could always start up that bar/restaurant we talked about during a former life.... You bring the firefighter paraphernalia and I'll bring my charm and brawn! It's sure to be a success!

[Click the post title to link to the pictures!]

- T

Monday, March 03, 2008

3-Month-Old Pix

Work, travel, work, daily life and some fun time spent with friends -- there, you're caught up.

Enjoy the snaps I took back in December when the waves were big and the surfers came out to enjoy them.

- T