The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Tour de France prelims

The Dummocrats have a guest blogger for the month of July who has put up two really excellent posts on vital Tour de France background info.

yesterday he had an excellent preview of the riders and teams and today he came back with a great roundup of the stages.

He's wrong, of course, about Jan Ulrich's chances. Like in each of the previous seven Tours, Jan will once again choke and fail to win.

More Bikes

I don't ride a recumbant bike - but I still get work done on my bikes at bikes@vienna, in lovely downtown Vienna, Virginia. This, even though the store I purchased my bike from will do most maintenance for free . . . . problem is I can't stand the owners attitude there and so, I head over to the friendly folks at bikes@vienna.

If your looking for a recumbant bike, they are clearly the place to hit, or if you need top notch service in Northern Virginia I highly recommend them (they are just off the W&OD trail in Vienna.

Plus, they have a great new blog going, From the Pocket.

Tour de France

As many of you know, one of my passions is bicycling. Whether it is mountain biking or road cycling, I love to ride my bike and find the dynamics of a good bicycle race fascinating. For a biker like myself, this coming Saturday marks the start of what is undisputably the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the World Series, of bicycling - the Tour de France.

As such, while I always have time to discuss the shortcomings and numerous failings of the Frogs, for the next few weeks I will instead be blogging the race. While not in France itself, the wonders of the internet coverage by Velo News and Bicycling Magazine (and OLN's awsome coverage) will enable me to witness every moment of this tremendous race - the most difficult sporting event in the world with 198 riders on 22 teams covering 3607 km in 21 stages over 23 days. Those stages range in length from 19 km on day 1 of the tour 239.5 km in the 17th stage and go from sea level to 2004 m as they crest the 10th stage climb at Courchevel. All this, while 15 million spectators line the course itself (and untold hundreds of millions more follow on TV and the internet). To give you an idea of the effort these riders exert - the average racer will consume, on average 5,900 calories a day (and sometimes max out atbetween 9,000 and 10,000 calories) while burning 123,900 calories over the course of the event.

It is a feat of mind and body over matter, and as the world watches to see if Lance Armstrong can recover from yesterday's training accident (a bumblebee got behind his sunglasses and stung his eyelid causing him to crash hard) and hold off long time rival Jan Urlich and more recent challengers Ivan Basso and Alexandre Vinokourov.

Look for updates here throughout the month of July.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Looks like I have exceeded the bandwidth for my free photobucket account. I am contemplating purchasing additional bandwidth, but am hesitant to do so for a few reasons

1) the Photobucket account resets every month and while this hasn't been a low traffic month, it hasn't been the highest either. I almost made it, and would hate to pay money for something that is only going to be an issue once.

2) I haven't paid a dime for this blog (except my considerable time) and to the extent I can avoid paying anything into it, I can keep on blogging guilt free.

3) If I were to invest money in it, it would be in the form of a new service provider, Hosting Matters possibly, and then the use of some software other than Blogger itself - probably wordpress, but I am open to other options. If I do that, I will mostly likely go with a service that already provides sufficent bandwidth and hence, lose the need for an upgraded photobucket account

4) I am going to open up an additional photobucket account next month and try and split my use between two accounts, which should do me well.

So, my readers, any thoughts???

Fighting Crime With The New York Times

Denise is all over it.

Cuccinelli On Kelo

Ken Cuccinelli is a state senator here in Virginia. He's not mine, but I wish he was.

By now you’ve heard about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling yesterday in Kelo v. City of New London that, as Justice Thomas says, essentially erases the words “public use” from the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. The deletion of those two words only serves as the latest example of a judiciary intent on ever more expansive and powerful government, all at the expense of individual citizens.

Perhaps even more troubling, it reflects the majority’s assumption that private property rights do not really exist. Rather, individuals are simply “trustees” of the land, until the government decides that its transfer to another “trustee” would better serve its version of the “public good.” This ruling shifts a massive amount of power from citizens to the government and opens the door wide to increasing abuse of that power.

The Justices are charged with the interpretation of the Constitution. In this case, they were confronted with a prohibition: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation,” and they have effectively re-written it as a grant of authority for local governments to redistribute private property according to any plan that any local government authorities believe to be economically beneficial.  You read that right, the Supreme Court of the United States has sanctioned the redistribution of property.  Who usually sanctions the redistribution of property?  Well, let's see, there's the FMLN in Nicaragua, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Karl Marx was a big fan... what's wrong with this picture?

As conservatives, we know that “words mean things” and we invest some confidence in the knowledge that the Framers of the Constitution intended their words to convey a specific set of ideas. Liberals on the Court not only reject the Founders’ confidence that private property rights form the basis for a free society, but they demonstrate once again that they feel no obligation to the actual text of the Constitution.

Yesterday’s decision has tragic consequences. Traditionally, eminent domain authority has meant that government could buy property from unwilling sellers for projects that would be directly used by or for the public, such as for roads, military bases, and even parks (which goes too far for my Constitutional tastes). No longer, as Justice O’Conner noted in her dissent, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party; but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with few resources to those with more.”  Gerry Connolly must be licking his chops (for non-Northern Virginians, Connolly is our local mean, nasty, liberal Board of Supervisors Chairman).

Here in Fairfax, Gerry Connolly is already using the law of zoning for political ends.  He is pushing condos and apartments in various parts of the County for the purpose of bringing disproportionate numbers of Democrats into the County.  Well, thanks to a bare majority of the Supreme Court, if some preacher is preaching a message from his pulpit that Gerry doesn't like, now he can just take the church by eminent domain!  Why?  Because the church is a non-profit and so it does not pay taxes, so the County can take that property and sell it off to one of Connolly's many $199 contributors (you know who I'm talking about...) so they can build more condos, which do pay taxes!  Those new taxes are a "public use" according to the Supreme Court.  Rarely does one see the Supreme Court open up such an incredible opportunity for government abuse as they have done with their ruling in Kelo.

What About Virginia?

Given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has gutted the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (protecting property rights), property owners must now look for protection from their State Constitutions.

During this year’s General Assembly session, I introduced legislation which would have prevented Virginia localities from abusing their eminent domain authority, as happened in Kelo. Under the law I proposed, government could not condemn one person’s property in order to transfer it to another (favored) private entity. This legislation was killed on a 6-9 vote in committee, but it is now clearer than ever why we need to specifically protect private property owners under Virginia law.

The majority opinion in Kelo says that individual states may choose to restrict their own exercise of eminent domain. Like the 5th Amendment, Article I, Section 11 of the Virginia Constitution protects citizens by limiting the exercise of eminent domain to “public use.” It is now obvious that we in Virginia must act in the next General Assembly session to define “public use” and secure the rights of private property owners. If we do not, our poorest communities stand to suffer the most, and our rights as well as our homes may be imperiled by our own local governments. I plan to reintroduce this legislation next year and I would like to hear from you if you think that this should be a priority for Republicans in the General Assembly.

Compass Quote Contest

I thought I would stay on topic for our quote in today’s Compass. Email me for an honorable mention in the next Compass if you know who said, “So great is the regard of the law for private property that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.”

As always, we would very much appreciate your financial support!  If you can donate, please click on this link to contribute at:

Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hillbilly Religion

A pompous minister was seated next to a hillbilly on a flight across the country. After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken. The hillbilly asked for a whiskey and soda, which was brought and placed before him. The flight attendant then asked the minister if he would like a drink.

He replied in disgust, "I'd rather be savagely raped by brazen whores than let liquor touch these lips."

The hillbilly then handed his drink back to the flight attendant and said, "Shit, me too. I didn't know we got a choice."

Potty Pooping redux

He pooped on the potty again!!!!


You reap what you sow.

Gorgeous. I can't wait to stay at the "Lost Liberty Hotel" and eat at its "Just Desserts Cafe."

This Land Is Ours

This is the statement released today by Richard Pombo (R 11th-CA), chairman of the House Resources Committee.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWhile the full breadth of this decision's consequences may not be fully realized for some time, I am sure the Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves as we approach this Independence Day weekend.

In and as a result of our great struggle to win independence, our forefathers realized that private property - indeed owning the fruits of one's labor - was so inextricably linked to freedom that they sought its protection in the Constitution. Property rights are the heart of individual freedom and the foundation for all other civil rights guaranteed to Americans by that document. Both are designed to protect the weak from the strong. Without the freedom to acquire, possess and defend property, all other guaranteed rights are merely words on a page.

The Fifth Amendment holds that private property shall not be taken by the government for public use without just compensation. These safeguards have been under assault for decades and until now, the typical victims were family farmers and ranchers in the West. The attacks have come not from Red Coats, but from government bureaucrats armed with a voracious appetite for power. Compensation for their overzealous application of environmental regulations and impact statements has come rarely, and rarely is it just.

The Supreme Court's decision to allow local governments to declare eminent domain in this case goes beyond compensation; it wholly perverts the intent of public use, and in so doing, may turn the American dream of home ownership into a nightmare. It has delivered the property rights assault from rural America right to the doorsteps of suburbia.

In New London, Conn. city planners essentially decided that evicting 15 homeowners from their homes was in the 'greater good' as a 'public use' for an office park and new condos. But the public to be directly served in this case was a private corporation. Whether they were newly-wed couples hoping for the promise of long-term appreciation in value or life-long residents who owned their homes outright, the Supreme Court approved this injustice, turned the Constitution on its head, and shattered the American dream of home ownership for families. This was a nightmare for one married couple in particular, who abruptly lost their home of fifty years.

No longer will public use correctly be defined as a road, bridge or hospital, it can be defined as an abstract greater good, such as increased tax revenue or economic development. Private property - the American home - can now be taken at will by government and reallocated to another private entity if it runs afoul of a local bureaucrat's notion of public use and greater good. No longer will the weak be protected from the strong, as these 15 families have learned. This is not what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

James Madison wrote that government is "instituted no less for protection of the property, than of the persons of individuals...The rights of property are committed into the same hands with the personal rights." On this Independence Day, rural and urban private property owners alike should have a lot to think about. If your investment in private property is not protected from the whims of government, how much individual liberty do you really have?

Breath, Breath In The Air

Bob Geldof has leaked Pink Floyd's set list. Wouldn't it be nice if they could find a role for Sid? What I'd really like to know though, is, why they aren't they the headline act????

Lincoln, That Messy War, The Truth, and Barack

Maybe Barack Obama isn't so bad after all. He seems to be the first modern day African American to pull the veil off the notion that the civil war was fought over slavery as opposed to simply trade and other economic issues.

Luckily for him, I doubt anyone is gonna call him a racist for speaking the truth, though they may point out that while he can claim to really be an African American, he isn't the traditional African American.

RINO Sightings

The RINO's are running wild and here's where you can look to see what's up over the rest of the summer

July 4 - Mark Coffey, Decision 08
July 11 - Larry Bernard
July 18 - Andy WWR
July 25 - Counter Top
Aug 1 - All Things

Aug 8 - Searchlight Crusade

As you might have noticed, I will be hosting RINO feast right here on July 25th, so don't miss it. In the meantime, head on over to Gullyborg's place and take his Chicago Syle 2008 Presidential Straw Poll (Sure its a bit early, but the early bird gets the worm as they say). Its pretty good, but its missing the only serious candidate (other than Condi) I really think has a chance at this point - former Utah Governor and current Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt.

Funniest Interview Ever

OK, so you probably have to be from Jersey and have had to grown up watching Bruce and Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny's rise to stardom. But still, can't everyone agree any interviewee who says to Billy Squire "Stroke this, you dick" is great.


I've got to go bowling pin shooting. It just seems like so much fun.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Potty Pooping

I got a call today.

My son pooped in the potty.

He was super excited and so are my wife and I.

All of a sudden, the sun came out and the day dawned brighter.

I think I am going to order him this shirt as a gift
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(don't worry, he was bribed with a big 'ol Power Wheels Pick Up Truck and a trip to the Toy Store to get a special prize tonight)

Rocky Top Brigade Update

A hearty welcome to all the new members of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Nuts About Nats, Not Soros

If George Soros buys the Nats, I am giving up my season tickets and leaving DC.

There, I said it.

Monday Morning Chicks With Guns

Were gonna focus on some international relations today.

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Somehow I don't think they are gonna be using Chick Guns anytime soon.

Daddy's Little Girl

While searching for picture for today's Chicks With Guns I saw this sweetie pie. I bet she is making her daddy proud and pissing off Rosie at the same time.

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Monday Morning Chick Guns

No, not Chicks with Guns. These are simply Chick Guns.

King of the Hill

The New York Times finally gets it right. Finally.
The show gently pokes fun at liberal and conservative stereotypes, but the real point is not to eviscerate so much as to watch Hank struggle mightily to adapt to a world of political correctness and moral ambiguity. When Peggy tells him he'll look like a racist for snubbing his Laotian neighbor, Hank replies, ''What the hell kind of country is this where I can only hate a man if he's white?'' And yet, like a lot of the basically conservative voters you meet in rural America -- and here's where Democrats should pay close attention -- Hank never professes an explicit party loyalty, and he and his buddies who sip beer in the alley don't talk like their fellow Texan Tom DeLay. If Hank votes Republican, it's because, as a voter who cares about religious and rural values, he probably doesn't see much choice.
The problem for the Democrats is that their elitist liberal supporters look down their neck at King of the Hill. When I mentioned to some of my old buddies that it was the greatest show around they acted like I had really gone to the moon. Oh well. Their loss is my gain. They probably are watching some dumb reality show right now.
This is odd: after all, there is more reality about American life in five minutes of ''King of the Hill'' than in a full season of watching Paris Hilton prance around a farm in high heels. But none of this would come as much of a surprise to Hank Hill and his neighbors, who realized long ago that, as a nation, we often discard the things we once cherished in favor of a more synthetic modernity. ''The only place you can find a Main Street these days is in Disneyland,'' Hank once said. ''And just try to buy a gun there.''

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Something has gone seriously awry with this Court’'s interpretation of the Constitution.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gun P0rn

Well, I added a new gun to my collection . . . . . . and lost one too.

Thats cool though.

I traded this workhorse.
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SAR-1 in 7.62x39

For this beauty.
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Ruger Accusport SS Bisley Blackhawk in .45 Colt (5.5 inch barrel)

I hope to get it out to the range on Wednesday and a full report will follow.

UPDATE: Says Uncle thinks I traded down. I respectfully disagree. As my wife (the perfect woman - yours can only be second best by comparison) said - "That's gorgeous!"

Anyway, I think both parties made out well. I got what I wanted/needed - a sweet looking and powerful cowboy like gun to take hiking and plinking and hunting while the individual I traded with got an excellent AK clone. On a dollar for dollar value though, I would say I got the better deal (though I did throw in a whole lot of ammo so that may have evened things up. Needless to say, there has been zero buyers remorse and I look forward to hitting the range on Wednesday and testing it out (and letting you know if its really worth the trade). Till then, I'll just have to go on Jeff Quinn's recommendation.

Oh, and the Gun Guy's too.

Sounds like a decent swap to me. A SAR-1 is, well, an AK-47, but a good revolver is a thing of joy for its owner. If you never shoot the SAR, I can certainly say that you'll shoot the Blackhawk. Often.

Gas Mileage

Who say's SUVs don't get good mileage??
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Nuts 4 Nats

Went to see the National's play again last night (and have tickets for tonight as well but not sure If I can make it). It was another fine performance - of course, the national league leading Nationals did have an advantage over the pansy American League Blue Jays - their pitchers can hit.

Case in point: Not only did Esteban Loaiza pitch 6 shut out innings, his 2nd inning 2 run boomer of a double drove in the winning runs. The Blue Jay's pitcher on the other hand could barely swing and is hitting a pathetic .000 for the season.

I grew up on the New York Yankees (Reggie Jackson, Gregg Nettles, Chris Chambliss, Goose Gosage, Catfish Hunter, Ron Guidry, etc. are the heros of my youth) and American League ball, but now I see why my father gets so made about the DH. It just sucks. If your pitchers gonna play, make him play.

I went to the game, btw, with my father in law. It was armed forces night and they not only had the Army's drill team (tossing Springfield around in the air (with the bayonette attached) and parachuters, but they sung the Army Chorus sung the National Anthem while the Old Guard held the colors and had 10 new recruits sworn into the Army.

Oh yeah, President Bush and Condi where there too.

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I actually had no idea until this morning when I read it in the papers. They didn't magnometer us (good thing too cause while I don't carry in DC some people do) or otherwise announce it and we can't see over where his box is from out seats behind home plate.

Oh yeah, Dave Matthews and his drummer Carter Beauford (and a couple of their friends and some body guards) were sitting two rows in front of us. I don't think anyone there noticed it was Dave Matthews and I wouldn't have except I recognized Carter.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes

Dana is hosting this weeks Carnival of the Recipes. I didn't get a chance to submit a recipie, but I will certainly be sampling some of these.


Incidently, I've not seen this blog before but do want to point out that Dana is a pretty decent looking mom (watch out guys, not only is she married, but she's"a proud gun owner who will happily put a cap in your assif you threaten me or mine" - my kind of gal) and has a great looking site.

Did Kennedy Kill The 3rd Too??

The forgotten child of the Bill of Rights is obviously the Third Amendment.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Concerning such a focused - and unlikely to occur event - while the other 10 Amendments in the Bill of Rights seem to constantly be in the news and before the courts, the 3rd has for the most part just drifted along, essentially ignored.

However, yesterday's decision in Kelo raises an interesting question:

Can the federal government avoid compliance with this amendment simply by condeming someone's house and then selling it to Halliburton or another defense contractor who will in return rent it back to the federal government to use as housing?

Buy Jeff A Gun

Alphecca's Jeff Soyer wants needs a new Taurus PT in 9mm.

Head over there, write down his mailing address, and send him a $1 bill.

Lets all try to get Jeff this beauty of a firearm.


Uh, what he said.
That's basically what they said yesterday in their decision in Kelo. You can live on your land as long as you pay your rent to the government (in the form of property taxes). If you don't pay your rent, they'll kick you out. You can do what you want, as long as you don't violate their zoning and environmental rules. And ou don't actually own the land, no matter what the deed says, because your local government can take it away and give it to someone else who will give them more money (taxes), tossing whatever they deem "fair value" your way.

What I really fail to get about the Supreme Court is how they can find rights not mentioned anywhere in the text of the Constitution (abortion, sodomy), often going through amazing legalistic gymnastics and contortions to justify them, and yet when it comes to things that are plainly written in the Constitution-freedom of speech (BCFRA) and property rights, they can go through similar contortions to deny the plain meaning of the text.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


God Save The Republic, The Constituion Is Dead.


The Bill of Rights
December 15, 1771 - June 23, 2005

First they killed the 2nd Amendment while at the same time erasing the 4th, 6th, and 8th (and the first 3/4ths of the 5th) till they finally did away with the 10th (in the name of commerce) before taking the first step to nullify the first the day before negating what remained of the 5th.

It is a sad, sad, day indeed.

The Last Word

This is a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote James Madison, while serving in Paris, regarding Shays' Rebellion. The emphasis is, of course, mine.

Paris, January 30th, 1787

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 16th of December; since which, I have received yours of November 25 and December 4, which afforded me, as your letters always do, a treat on matters public, individual, and economical. I am impatient to learn your sentiments on the late troubles in the Eastern states. So far as I have yet seen, they do not appear to threaten serious consequences. Those states have suffered by the stoppage of the channels of their commerce, which have not yet found other issues. This must render money scarce and make the people uneasy. This uneasiness has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable; but I hope they will provoke no severities from their governments. A consciousness of those in power that their administration of the public affairs has been honest may, perhaps, produce too great a degree of indignation; and those characters, wherein fear predominates over hope, may apprehend too much from these instances of irregularity. They may conclude too hastily that nature has formed man insusceptible of any other government than that of force, a conclusion not founded in truth or experience.

Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently distinguishable: (1) without government, as among our Indians; (2) under governments, wherein the will of everyone has a just influence, as is the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our states, in a great one; (3) under governments of force, as is the case in all other monarchies, and in most of the other republics.

To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too, the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs.

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.

If these transactions give me no uneasiness, I feel very differently at another piece of intelligence, to wit, the possibility that the navigation of the Mississippi may be abandoned to Spain. I never had any interest westward of the Allegheny; and I will never have any. But I have had great opportunities of knowing the character of the people who inhabit that country; and I will venture to say that the act which abandons the navigation of the Mississippi is an act of separation between the Eastern and Western country. It is a relinquishment of five parts out of eight of the territory of the United States; an abandonment of the fairest subject for the payment of our public debts, and the chaining those debts on our own necks, in perpetuum.

I have the utmost confidence in the honest intentions of those who concur in this measure; but I lament their want of acquaintance with the character and physical advantages of the people, who, right or wrong, will suppose their interests sacrificed on this occasion to the contrary interests of that part of the confederacy in possession of present power. If they declare themselves a separate people, we are incapable of a single effort to retain them. Our citizens can never be induced, either as militia or as soldiers, to go there to cut the throats of their own brothers and sons, or rather, to be themselves the subjects instead of the perpetrators of the parricide.

Nor would that country quit the cost of being retained against the will of its inhabitants, could it be done. But it cannot be done. They are able already to rescue the navigation of the Mississippi out of the hands of Spain, and to add New Orleans to their own territory. They will be joined by the inhabitants of Louisiana. This will bring on a war between them and Spain; and that will produce the question with us, whether it will not be worth our while to become parties with them in the war in order to reunite them with us and thus correct our error. And were I to permit my forebodings to go one step further, I should predict that the inhabitants of the United States would force their rulers to take the affirmative of that question. I wish I may be mistaken in all these opinions.

Yours affectionately,

Th. Jefferson

More On Kelo

The Washington Post had an interesting discussion on Kelo today.

Here are some highlights
  • "This is the worst decsion I've heard from the Supreme Court in my lifetime. I remember the condemnations that destroyed the black neighborhoods in the 50's and 60's. Now we'll have a new wave of condemnations destroying the middle class neighborhoods," said DeGrasse in an interview with

  • I'll not speculate in what was in the minds of the justices. But I will say that as a result of this decision, if people don't wake up and massively contact their legislators and congressmen we have the same situation as they have in China where they can freely determine who can stay in their home and who has to move at any time.

  • Baltimore, Md.: Couldn't Congress in effect overrule this decision through new legislation if there was enough of a public outcry?

    How likely is that?

    Carol DeGrasse: Let's hope that Congress can and does overrule it and then let's hope that the Supreme Court doesn't make some cockamamy decision at that point that the local legislatures cannot be overturned by the U.S. Congress.

  • Silver Spring, Md.: It seems to me that the ruling directly goes against the writing of the 5th amendment. Wouldn't this be grounds for impeachment of the justices who wrote/joined the opinion?

    Carol DeGrasse: This is a question that was brought to me earlier today. I do not have a good background in impeachment of judges on the basis of their unconstitutional decisions.

  • Takoma Park, Md.: In China, there have been serious problems with private developers convincing local government officials to kick farmers or business owners off of their land for it to be developed (as reported by the Washington Post and New York Times). Did the Supreme Court leave any real safeguards in their ruling to prevent the same thing from happening here?

    Carol DeGrasse: None whatever. There are no safeguards in the Supreme Court ruling. The only immediate safeguard for the property owner is to be very effective in local politics

  • In answer to the other aspect of your question, I find it incomprehensible that those who portray themselves as supporters of people's rights and well-being would be comfortable making a decision that will cause such great personal misery.

On Kelo

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

- Thomas Jefferson

Kudo's to Yosemite Sam for the quote.

Justice Kennedy

Posting will be light today as I mourn Porter's passing and try to get work done.

However, I've got a special pile of Porters dog shit that I am saving for Justice Kennedy. Of course, I might have to send some of it in the direction of the anti pot asshole conservatives who are ultimately responsible for that asshole turncoat being on the Court.

Conservatives and their fuckhead Justice

Turns out that once again Justice Kennedy has sold the constitution down the river.
Of course the blame for this lies not with liberals, not really with Kennedy, but rather with the fucking social conservatives who would rather regulate what we do withourselves than defend the constitution.

As you might remember, after Robert Bork's nomination was defeated in the Senate, President Reagan nominated Douglas Ginsberg - a well respected jurist from the highly respected D.C. Circuit - to the Supreme Court. The only problem is, Ginsburg had smoked a doobie once upon a time and the Just Say No fanatics railroaded his nomination. Once Ginsburg withdrew we were then presented with the third stringer - Anthony Kennedy who shows no sign of retiring any time soon.

Kennedy, of course, has turned into nothing but another well head limosine liberal and again sold the republic down the river as the 5th vote in Kelo v. New London. May he rot in hell. If anyone is looking to steal some land for development (under the claim of simply increasing its tax value) might I suggest this attractive piece of property.

RIP, Porter

When we were in college, my wife found two super cute puppies under her grandmother's care one morning. They were very small (less than 7 weeks old) - and looked like they had been lost in the woods (or put out in the woods to die) for a couple or days at least. Together with her cousin (and the help of the local vet) she nursed them back to health and namedone Porter and one Edsel. Adam took Edsel and she kept Porter who traveled back up to Virginia with her and lived with us for a short time.

It was quickly obvious though that something was wrong, and after a number of doctor visits we learned that he was suffering from severe hip dysplacia as well as a fused spine. Still, this dog was about as loveable and cuddly as a 100 pound dog could be. While neither my wife (my girlfriend at the time) nor I could afford the medical bills and treatments for the dog, her parents did and for the last 11 years have paid well over $300 a month to keep Porter mobile and out of pain. As a result of the treatment and medicine, a dog that most people would have put to sleep years ago was able to be a faithful companion, a friend on walks, as well as a ferocious guard dog (his bark was way bigger than his actual bite but strangers didn't know that) and a warm guy to snuggle up to.

This morning, just as I was getting ready to hop on the bike and leave we got a phone call from my father in law that something was wrong with the dog and he couldn't get him out of the house. I quickly changed - threw on a suit - and drove over. Porter was collapsed on the ground, breathing heavily and drooling. His tail wasn't wagging but his eyes looked scared. I leaned over, gave him a kiss, and carried him out and into their car.

When we got to the Veterinarian's office he was in the same condition and we quickly carried him in and placed him right on an examining table. He died shortly after.

Considering his start, he has led a surprisingly active (if somewhate expensive life) and will always be, to us, simply "baby puppy."

We will all miss him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Senate Defeats Kyoto

Ooops, I mean, the McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. We defeated Kyoto 95-0 (yep, thats right, during Slick Willie's presidency even Democrats were concerned with the economy). But seriously, can someone tell me what the difference is between this sham of a bill and kyoto?

I've gone over this before, but lets look at them, point by point again.

These are the gases each covers:
  • Carbon Dioxide;

  • methane;

  • nitrous oxide;

  • hydrofluorocarbons;

  • perfluorocarbons; and

  • hexafluoride.

McCain Lieberman
  • Carbon Dioxide;

  • methane;

  • nitrous oxide;

  • hydrofluorocarbons;

  • perfluorocarbons; and

  • hexafluoride.

They both impose emission caps.
  • Kyoto caps emissions at 1990 levels.

  • McCain Lieberman caps emissions first at 2000 levels, then ratchets them down to 1990 levels, then provides for further ratcheting down. Beyond 1990 levels.

  • Under Kyoto the first commitment period for emission reductions is between 2008-2012.

  • Under McCain Lieberman, reductions occur first in 2010 and then in 2016.

They both allow emissions trading, mandatory emissions reporting, carbon sequestration and development of carbon sinks, verification, and future ratcheting of emissions.
Perhaps most importantly, they are both tarted at the U.S. Economy and neither imposes any restrictions on the activities of rapidly developing nations like China or India, both of whom are set to surpass U.S. Carbon emissions shortly and already far exceed U.S. emissions of almost all other pollutants

Anyway, congrats to the Senate for standing up to this travesty of science of reason.

Here's the vote breakdown.

The Hero's

Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Wayne Allard (Colo.), George Allen (Va.), Bob Bennett (Utah), Kit Bond (Mo.), Sam Brownback (Kan.), Jim Bunning (Ky.), Conrad Burns (Mont.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Norm Coleman (Minn.), John Cornyn (Texas), Larry Craig (Idaho), Michael Crapo (Idaho), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), Pete Domenici (N.M.), John Ensign (Nev.), Michael Enzi (Wyo.), Bill Frist (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Trent Lott (Miss.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Rick Santorum (Pa.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Gordon Smith (Ore.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), Ted Stevens (Alaska), John Sununu (N.H.), Jim Talent (Mo.), Craig Thomas (Wyo.), John Thune (S.D.), David Vitter (La.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and John Warner (Va.), Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Mark Dayton (Minn.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Mary Landrieu (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.).

Agents of Economic Destruction

Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Susan Collins (Maine), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Richard Lugar (Ind.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine), Sens. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Joe Biden (Del.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Tom Carper (Del.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Jon Corzine (N.J.), Christopher Dodd (Conn.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Ted Kennedy (Mass.), John Kerry (Mass.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Joe Lieberman (Conn.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Barack Obama (Ill.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Ken Salazar (Colo.), Paul Sarbanes (Md.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Sen. Jim Jeffords (Vt.).

Little Sheet Heads

Mi madre sent this one in.

Recently I received a warning about the use of this politically incorrect term, so please note, we all need to be more sensitive in our choice of words.

I have been informed the Islamic terrorists, who hate our guts and want to kill us, do not like to be called "Towel Heads", since the item they wear on their heads is not actually a towel, but in fact, a small folded sheet.

Therefore, from this point forward, please refer to them as "Little Sheet Heads."

Thank you for your support and compliance on this delicate matter.


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Gun Safe

Anyone have any experience with this 14 Gun Sentry Gun Safe?

I don't want to spend a fortune - and am not worried about theft or fire really - but rather need something affordable to keep some or my more frequently used guns close and nearby but still out of the reach of my son.

This seems big enough and at the right price. Anyone else ever order one of these from Wal Mart?

That Hillary Book

Its pretty much all crap.

As much as I hate Hillary, I don't think I really need to say anymore. RJ West pretty much has the last word on the issue.

Dell v. Apple

Jeff Jarvis is having trouble with his Dell Laptop
But what really irks me is that they say if they sent someone to my home -- which I paid for -- he wouldn't have the parts, so I might as well just send the machine in and lose it for 7-10 days -- plus the time going through this crap. So I have this new machine and paid for them to FUCKING FIX IT IN MY HOUSE and they don't and I lose it for two weeks.

DELL SUCKS. DELL LIES. Put that in your Google and smoke it, Dell.

I commented that he really ought to consider getting a Mac. When my iMac crashed on me, I picked it up and hauled into the Apple Store in Tysons Corner Virginia one Saturday afternoon. After waiting a reasonable 45 minutes (I put my name on the list and grabbed some coffee and lunch and shopped at LL Bean next door) for help the Genius Bar employee proceeded to spend OVER 2 HOURS with me checking the system, the hard drive, etc, rescuing my files (2 years of photos of my son) and backing them up on DVD and then reinstalling the OS.

Didn't cost me a dime (even though the iMac was out of warranty and I didn't buy Apple Care plan - would have been able to schedule an appointment had I purchased it).

This, and many others but mostly this, is the main reason I am so gung ho on Apple. They have hit on a winning strategy - one that the super price conscience Wintel world just can't understand - people will pay for easy to use top quality products that look sharp and come with superior customer service.

Sadly, it looks like Dell may have lost its way. I used to be very Bullish on Dell - and made what for me is a small fortune on their stock in the early tech boom (actually ended up buying my house and first car on the proceeds of its sale) though I also made a bunch on Apple (a larger percentage, but much less $$$$ when I purchased it at $11 a share in 1996, sold it at $110 in late 1998 repurchased it at $20 a share in 2002 and just resold most of it at $77 or so).

Anyway, I no longer have any Dell but have kept a fair amount of Apple (and Microsoft) cause I do believe they are in it for the long haul (Ask me who I think is going to hold Hollywood by the balls within the next ten years).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Haven't commented on it before, but Dick Durbin just interrupted the debate over McCain Leiberman's Climate CHange bill to apologize for victims of the holocaust, and the "fine men and women in the military."


If the price of gas really hits $3/gallon that would really suck.


Someone from Graybar visited the page this afternoon.


My uncle worked for them for almost 30 years before he passed away from a heart attack three years ago. Its a good firm. When he returned from Vietnam they gave him a job even though the only skills he possessed at the time were the ability to man a machine gun and kill people (which is what he put on his application) and grow pot (which he didn't).


I don't want to put a bunch of stickers on my truck - right now I've got an American Flag and an NRA sticker on opposite corners of the rear window. I'd like to throw two more on though. First, I'm gonna put up one of those Peace Through Superior Firepower stickers. To balance it out, I'd like to put a Colt Prancing Pony on the other side - but I can't seem to find any Colt stickers. If you have a suggstion on where to find one, or what I should through up there instead, please let me know.


For the F1 Fans out there

Commuting Thoughts

Every morning I leave my abode and travel 13 miles to downtown DC. In the evening I return. Here are the options presented to me (I am not including riding my bike - which I do most days when the weather is nice cause most people don't do that. Incidently, it is the fastest and most cost efficient method of commuting).

By Car
I wake up at 6:30, shower and dress and head out the door to the Cherokee by 7:15. It takes me 30 minutes to drive into work at this hour. I park my car for $10 a day (early bird special) two blocks from my office. Its a five minute walk to the building.

At the end of the day I make the same five minute walk back to the garage (on my own schedule), wait another 5 minutes, and then take the 45 minute commute back home.

If we assume that I average 13 mpg in city driving and gas costs me $2.00 a gallon (I actually paid $2.05 the other day) the total cost is $14.00 a day ($10 for parking plus $4 in gas - I don't include wear and tear as I assume it will occur anyway on the car, though in reality if you don't commute with your car it lasts a lot longer) plus 1 hour and 25 minutes commuting time.

Bus to Metro
Same wake up routine - though I need to rush cause if I miss the 7:18 bus I have to sit around wasting time until 7:45. If I miss the 7:45 bus (or it simply fails to show) I need to sit around wasting even more time until the 8:25 bus comes.

5 minute walk to bus stop.

Cost of bus to East Falls Church Metro - $1.25 for the 20 minute bus ride
Fare to Farraguat West - $2.15 for the 17 minute train ride that often times stretches at rush hour in to a 30+ minute ride.
5 minute walk to the office.

In the evening, of course, we reverse course.

5 minute walk to Metro.
$2.15 for the train (crowding is always worse in the evening and sometimes it invovles waiting (sardine can like on the platform) for 30 minutes before a train can come by and actually fit people in. The ride to East Falls Church takes another 25 minutes.
If I timed everything right, the bus is waiting for me to take me home - otherwise, as usually happens - there is a 15 or so minute wait. Return trip on 20 minute Metrobus in the evening - $0.35 (transfer special)

5 minute walk home.

Total Cost - $5.90 plus anywhere from 90 to 150 minutes of my time.

Drive To Metro

Same wake up schedule as driving in.
5 minute drive to West Falls Church.
Parking at the new garage is $3.75 all day. 5 minute walk from parking to train.
Metro to Farraguat West - $2.50 for a 20 - 50 minute train ride (today it took 30 minutes)
5 minute walk to office.

In the evening, I have another $2.50 train ride home (and again, crowding is always worse so that it takes somewhere between 20 minutes and 50 minutes to get back to West Falls Church. Once there, its a 5 minute walk to my car and a 5 minute ride home.

Total cost - $8.75 plus 60 to 120 minutes of my time.


Actually, after running the numbers I am a bit surprised. I would have thought metro commuting was more expensive. Still, time is money - and I work hard enough (though I am blogging about this and not working right now but thats another story) that I value my time significantly and others in DC do so even more. When you factor in the time and inconvienience, its pretty clear why more people don't bother with Metro.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Monday Morning Chicks With Guns

Well, this is actually Monday Evening Chicks With Guns.

So what? Like, what are you gonna do, shoot me??

Anyway, in light of the delay (well I forgot about it) in getting this up today, I am doing something special and highlighting a couple of particular babilicious babes with guns.

First up, Ms. Raquel Welch.

We've looked at this hottie before, but I thought we could do it again.
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Mmmm Mmm mmmm. I do love those fine lever actions.
This gets me ALL hot and bothered.
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Now, in light of her recent Michael Jackson level lunacy - stumbling across this picture sort of shocked me. Don't really know where she comes down on the whole RKBA issue - I suspect she sides with Rosie O though now that she is a practicing religious/cult nut and a mummy she seems to have dropped the whole slut lesbian bi sexual thing. Its too bad, cause Madonna was hot when she was a slut.

And nothing is hotter than a slut with a gun.

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Well, except Ms. Welch.

God she was gorgeous.

The Press Gets A Clue

This was reported in the latest VCDL email. If your not a member, you should be ashamed.
Dennis O'Connor and I gave a free seminar to almost 30 Richmond Times-Dispatch (RTD) reporters and editors last Thursday. We brought in a representative array of various types of guns for the seminar, ranging from AR-15s and AK-47s to shotguns and handguns. The audience was attentive and inquisitive. We had the opportunity to set the record straight on the 'assault weapon ban' and the 'gun show loophole,' amongst other things. I could tell by some of the reactions that there were some really surprised people in the audience. As the saying goes, "the truth shall set you free."

We crammed into 45 minutes the kind of information normally presented in two four-hour courses we regularly teach.

At the conclusion of the seminar, we asked the attendees to contact us if they would like to experience shooting guns, which VCDL would organize for them and provide free of charge.

This wasn't something done just for guns or for VCDL, RTD does these in-house seminars every month to educate their reporters in a variety of subjects.

I would like to thank RTD for the invitation and the opportunity to present the seminar. Thanks also to Dennis O'Connor, who put together a great package of informative handouts for the seminar.

Father's Day

I was mostly sick for most of the day (as I continue to be today) but it was otherwise enjoyable to have my son jump on me saying "Wake Up Daddy. Happy Fathha Day. Lets go to the Pahk."

We ended up crawling into church late and whatever it is that I've caught had me moping around all day, but it was still fun to go to the park - as it always is.

I wonder if the National Father's Day council's "Father's Of The Year" would be willing to waste hours at a playground with their kid? Probably Not! I like Peter King's football coverage but don't agree with him on much politically. I think this issue though, is one we see eye to eye on.
Two men. Ten marriages between them. Here's the Father's Day Note of the Week:

Something called the National Father's Day Council named Larry King and Donald Trump two of its three fathers of the year. According to the New York Post, selection committee chairman Rich Wurtzburger said King and Trump had shown "great dedication to raising their families.''

King has been married seven times, Trump three. And as the Post pointed out, Trump had three young children when he had an affair with Marla Maples in the '80s.

That's the kind of Dad-like example we want to set for the rest of America!

An interview King had with the New York Times showed the kind of husband-like example we like to see.

Said King: "I get amazed at the 50-year marriage. My father-in-law is married 50 years. To me, they've had to compensate a lot more than I did. Compensate, make arrangements, give up things, which I wasn't willing to do.''

That's the spirit! Get married, and then, as soon as you wake up one morning not wanting to be married right then, get divorced! Then get married again! And when you see a prettier woman than your wife, get divorced again and get married to the babe!

Sometimes I really wonder.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Well, the experience at DMV today wasn't quite as degrading as I thought it would be Turns out, while I was buggered by the state, my appointment with Lord Fairfax won't be until later this year. Thank god.

It was bad enough being hit for $221.50 plus 2 hours of my time. I showed up at 7:30 and the line was already wrapped around the building. I finally got my number at 8:20 and wasn't called till 9:35. Once called, it took them about 20 minutes to process everything.

The breakdown today was

$31.50 for registration fee
$10 for title fees
$180 sales & use tax

All told, the state portion came out to $2 more than I estimated, though my wait was 1 hour longer. At $250 an hour, I lost $500 just in wasted time, though I am willing to discount that time and call it an even $500 for the morning.

Anyway, here's a picture of the Cherokee. Its got Dunlop AT tires on it, but I hope to put something a bit more rugged on (and maybe give it a slight lift) so I can go off road with it when the mood strikes.

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Carnival of Cordite 18

It is up over at technogypsy. Check it out.

Da Balm

After the reaming Virginia is gonna give me tomorrow morning, it was certainly wonderful to speak with USAA tonight and find out the Jeep will only raise our insurance rates by $89 per term (each term is 6 months).

Frankly, I can't say enough good things about USAA.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Big Balls


Too Funny! (don't worry, its work safe)

Da Royal Reaming

I'm already looking at going wheeling in the Jeep. Had an offer to go out this weekend, but I can't since I've just purchased a car I need to head over to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for a good 'ol doubled teaming. While I am forced to suck Lord Fairfax's dick, Gov. Warner is gonna be giving me an assreaming to remember.

In all seriousness, I estimate the total cost to register my used 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo to be $326.76.

Titling: $10
Sales tax (3%): $180
Registration: $29.50
Car Tax: $4.57 per $100 of assessed value on a $6000 vehicle (watch them try to assess me at a higher rate than I paid for it) is $274.20 minus my "tax relief (since we now know Warner lied and the state really is running at a surplus, shouldn't this dumb tax have been fully eliminated)" of 70% means I am out of pocket $82.26
Property tax sticker (they charge you to prove that you've registered your car and paid your tax): $25

Of course, that does not including the time I am going to waste standing on line at DMV (time I could better spend with my child (family values, my ass) or billing a client at my usual rate of several hundred dollars an hour). Lets call it an even $500 (assuming they get me in and out within an hour since I'll be there at 8:00 am when they open) that the state steals from me for purchasing a 10 year old truck that I just purchased for a measly $6000 so that I can earn a living to pay them even more.

Of course, the alternative would have been me spending that $500 at a local business getting the truck trail ready (and maybe putting some away to pay for my kids preschool this fall (not to mention a slight addition to his college fund), funds that would certainly be more efficiently spent in the pockets of the local outfitter's employees feeding their children, buying them clothes, etc (instead of being wasted by the corrupt and pampered asses running the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Anyway, I'll let you know what the total costs it (including time wasted at DMV) tomorrow.

Still, with any luck, after this weekend I can hit the trail and will never have to resort to this crap.

It looks like one of my favorite blogs is down.

Anyone know whats going on??

Err, nevermind.

Fitness Blogging #8

Sorry for the lack of updates the last couple of days. Things have been super busy here in DC. As work continues on the energy and highway bills, and the debate picks up its pace, I simply haven't had time to post much. Nevertheless, I haven't broken from my diet (except for one hot dog last night) and continue to avoid soda in lieu of ice water (which, as I excercise more becomes tastier and tastier) and sweets and cookies. I'd like to replace the sweets and cookies with fruit, but for some reason that hasn't happened. I've just gone without. I am also eating my raw oatmeal for breakfast. The only splurges I've had have been iced coffees at Starbucks and Caribou Coffee - but then, those are without sugar (but heavy on the creme).

Excercise wise - things continue abrisk. Rode my bike into work the last couple of days (but not today, I had to bring some things in and drove my new-for-me Jeep), running/walking at lunch and in the evening, and last night I played softball for almost 3 hours. I am the 3rd baseman on my team and am a bit sore this morning as a result. I hadn't played in awhile and used muscles for the first time in a long time.

However, for somereason, my weight still hasn't dropped from the initial 10 pounds right at the begining (which I am ascribing to water). Perhaps it will just start rolling off once I reach a critical mass of excercise. More updates this weekend.

Carnival of Recipies

Its summer (well, at least it feels like it) and that means lots of fresh water fish enter my diet.

I got this recipe of the internet some years ago. Wish I knew the address, cause its great and so are the others I pulled from the page.

Broiled Trout

1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup salad oil
1 clove garlic, pureed
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano
trout (about 2 lbs.)
1/3 cup sliced stuffed olives

Combine lemon peel, juice, oil, garlic, sugar, pepper, salt and oregano, blend well. 

Arrange trout on well greased broiler pan, brush with sauce. 

Broil 4 inches from heat for 3 - 5 minutes.  Turn, brush with sauce and broil 2 - 3 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. 

Add olives to remaining sauce and heat.  Serve over the trout.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Deaths Twin

There are only two things guaranteed in the world, death and taxes. Les Jones is lamenting the most confusing state of death's twin, online sales tax collection.

I say, tax free should be the way. Its always seemed to me that charging taxes to an online operation were simply a way to protect intrastate business but penalizing Interstate operations - and isn't that just what the Commerce Clause was really meant to protect against? I'd wager Congress could get back on the right track passing a bill to ban the levy of interstate internet sales taxes - or short of that, perhaps impose a national sales tax on internet sales that is earmarked for states (based upon their per capita portion of the revenue generated). Heck, that might be an excellent model for testing out an eventual national sales tax to replace the internet tax.

For The Children's Sake

Bruce is asking for some help from Rosie O. You see, we need to do something, for the children's sake. Perhaps, the fears of Ceasefire Maryland are correct? Maybe we simply can't trust cops to have guns.

Jeep, Jeep, Jeep

Well, in case your wondering, I passed on the Land Rover. Between the high costs of repair, awful gas mileage, and the inability of the seller to fully answer my questions about the vehicles service history, I decided to look elsewhere.

Well, I did, and yesterday while I was purchasing a Power Wheels Pick Up Truck I found on Craigs list, I also ran into a 1996 Grand Cherokee Laredo with 70,000 miles on it. The family was moving across country, and this was moms car to take the kids to soccer practice. They had 9 years of receipts, etc for it (I never saw anyone so organized in my life) and after a test drive tonight, I decided to purchase it. I'll actually pay for it tomorrow (couldn't get cash at 8:00 pm) and will post a picture then.

Looking forward to driving it around this weekend. Its going to be mostly a saturday Sunday car. My wife has hers, but I need something on the weekend. This fits the bill. It can haul a lot, it can take me skiing, it can take me kayaking, it can take me home from Home Depot, and it can take me Four Wheeling.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New Source Review


So much for extremist Bush appointees.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has just rejected another of the New Source Review enforcement actions that the Clinton EPA filed against utilities across the country. What is especially sweet this time (especially as the enviros keep wasting time claiming its only Republicans who oppose the Clinton policy) is that the decision makes the same argument free market advocates and President Bush have been saying all along - you can't change the definition of what is a modification 20 years later and then expect to fine people for actions which were legal when undertaken but which your new definition makes illegal.

You would have thought the ACLU wing of the Democratic Party would have screamed outrage - but I guess the enviro scare fundraising industry just gives 'em too much hush money.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Fitness Blogging #7

Well, the heat was oppressive today and the humidity was even worse, still I did manage to ride my bike into work though I suspect I slipped behind at dinner.

I woke at 6:30 am and weighed in at 201 on the new scale in my bathroom. Dressed and hopped on my bike for a 56 minute ride (about 14 miles) to work with an average heart rate of 141 BPM and a maximum heart rate of 174 BPM.

2 cups of ½ oatmeal and ½ whole milk (300 calories – 95 from fat)
1 Cup of earl grey tea.

AM Snack
I went to donate blood today but was denied . Apparently if you have spend cumulatively more than 3 months in the United Kingdom since 1980 you are ineligible to donate blood. That must eliminate 3/4s of DC residents. They did however, give me a bottle of deer park water.

Turkey and Provolone six inch sub at subway. Toppings included lettuce and tomato, oil and vinegar, green peppers, and oregano.

Rocco's Pizza in McLean does a family night special on Mondays, all you can eat pasta for $6.95. The wife and son got that, I passed and ordered Veal Parmesan. Mmm Mmm Mmm. It came with a salad (oil and vinegar please) and for desert I had my spumoni and half of my sons. Plus one lollypop and a cup of coffee.

Michael Jackson

Holy Fucking Shit.

I am so glad I don't live in California. First OJ and then this. Unbelievable.

RCOB Moment

So you want to talk about media bias?

Try this on for size.

How to Get Rid of a Gun

But I couldn't have adopted the weapons in good faith, anyway. I'd made a promise to Elizabeth. So one slow spring day I went to the garage, took out the handguns -- and smashed them with a 15-pound ax. I shattered the butt of the .38. I disfigured the barrel of the .25. I chased the Glock and the Smith & Wesson around the garage as they bounced from each blow. My hands began to burn from the repeated swinging. My lower back ached. But I eventually rendered the guns useless.

I put the guns in an industrial-strength trash bag. But then I imagined some kids rummaging around a suburban landfill and finding them, which made me picture the violent opening scene of a made-for-TV movie. So I added garden dirt and poured in some old paint. Then I added more, and I shook the sack and rolled it around. I picked up the bag and threw it in the trash. Then I called Elizabeth and reported that the job was done.

Written by the executive editor of Skiing Magazine. Not surprisingly, he lives in Boulder, Colordao. Read the entire article and then ask yourself if you will ever buy that crappy publication (Skiing Magazine) again.

Obscured No More, The Dream Is Alive

Our dream is now reality and The Pink Floyd has returned.

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Bob engineered it, he talked to David and he talked to Roger and Roger then called David.

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Thank you Pink.

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Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been? It's alright we know where you've been.
You've been in the pipeline, filling in time,
provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.
You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn't like school, and you know you're nobody's fool,
So welcome to the machine.
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,
He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
So welcome to the machine.

See the earlier posts here and here.

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Monday Morning Chicks With Guns

I posted about Sarah and her bridesmaid learning to shoot in lieu of a bachlorette party. Well, she's gongdung went and posted pics of the merry occaision.

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Goblins watch out, the very-soon-to-be-Mrs Irani is one tough cookie (and not a bad sculptress either).

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Fitness Blogging #6

Today was a pretty easy day.

We went to Cafe Bonaparte for brunch this morning. I ordered a Santorini (Sauteed Spinach, Ricotta & Feta Cheese wrapped in a crepe) and a coffee and my wife ordered a Monaco (Sliced turkey breast & Swiss cheese wrapped in a crepe). Each order comes with two crepes so my wife and I decided to each try one of each (ie: we split/shared) and then gave some (each) to our son to try.

AM Snack While walking out of Bonaparte we passed an interesting ice cream shop, Isee Icy and stopped in. As the Washington Post suggests, it is well worth the visit. They make argentine gelato - its a lot like the Italian Gelato I grew up with, but with more fat and cream and good things like that. My son ordered a vanilla gelato in a cone and about died over it. I couldn't resist (if M&Ms are a weakness, ice cream is like heroin to me) and ordered a chocolate cone. Its was heavenly. I highly recommend a visit if your in Georgetown. Following the cone, btw, I also had a bottle of water.

DinnerBeing a gorgeous day, we grilled out tonight. I put some steaks, seasoned corn-on-the-cob, and big old stuffed heirloom tomatoes on the grill. While cooking them I enjoyed an ice cold bottle of Otter Creek Copper Ale. Mmm Mmm Mmm. As for my actual dinner, I had maybe 10 ounces of steak, one cob of seasoned sweet corn, and a tomato stuffed with seasoning and croutons. I drank a couple of glasses of ice water too. For desert I had a piece of carrot cake (350 calories).

PM Snack A couple of more glasses of water and 12 ounces of Coca Cola Classic right before bed (eeer, before writing this and then going to bed)

Activity I wasn't nearly as active as I hoped to be this weekend. With my parents in town my ability to excercise was somewhat limited (and the ability to run errands was really limited), still we had a great visit and did a lot of walking, especially this morning as we walked up and down and around Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown to Dunbarton Oaks and the park next door (and the Tudor House).

Oh, and for whatever its worth, I weighed my self on the same scale I always do this morning and I clocked in at 200 even. My guess is that any weight loss has been the result of lost water, and not actual shedding of fat yet.

Dead Pool

My most recent entries in the celebrity death pool:

Mike Tyson: I just don't see how the one time "Baddest Man on Earth," who has blown (and let Don King steal) his $300+ million fortune, lives with himself after what happened Saturday night. Sure, the average person would just be a bit upset and then move on, but Tyson has nothing else but boxing (and apparantly he doesn't even have that)

I think you could add Michael Jackson to this list too - depending on what happens in his trial of course. The big question though . . . does he kill himself before the verdict is read? Or will he kill himself in the courtroom? Or simply wait for the booty bandit to get ahold of him.

Fitness Blogging #5

OK, the parents came down today and I ran some errands. It was mostly an off day, fitness wise, though i tried to watch what I ate.

A Feta Cheese omelet and 2 cups of coffee at Mclean Family Restaurant. I also had a cup of water.

Diet Coke with Lemon and a greek salad with anchovies - again at McLean Family Restaurant.

PM Snack
After lunch my parents, my son, and I headed into DC to do the DC Ducks tour. However, with the summer time weather, there was a substantial wait. We ended up registering for the 5:15 departure and then walked down to the National Gallery of Art. Along the way we stopped off and everyone got ice cream but me . . . I had a bottle of deer park water. When we got back to Union Station my son had to pee and we still had 45 minutes left so we went to B Smiths. After using the facilities, we had some drinks. I had a Bombay Sapphire and Tonic on the rocks with a twist of lime. The perfect summer drink.

After the DC ducks tour, we drove back home, picked my wife up, and went out for sushi - we ended up spending almost $100 on raw fish - in addition to everyone else's entrée. I limited my meal to sushi and some rolls (including a delectable spicy hand roll), a bowl of mio soup, some tofu, and a desert of half an orange. I drank green tea and ice water with the meal.

After dinner snack
1 cup of whole milk. 1 glass (8 oz) of Coca Cola Classic. mmm mmm mmm, its been awhile.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Fitness Blogging #4

Well, today wasn't as productive of a day as the previous days, but I knew that before hand. My biggest disappointment is the continued failure to ride my bike in. As I was up late last night blogging and surfing and paying bills and stuff, when my alarm went off at 6:00 am my attempt to hit the snooze actually shut it off. I didn't wake up until my wife woke in shock to see me there at 7:42 am. Took a quick shower (weighed in at 204) ironed a shirt and raced out of the house to catch the 8:25 bus. As I rounded the corner I saw a bus pulling up down the street and though - thats ok, its the 15K bus (which hits the CIA before heading to Rosslyn) but a quick glance at my watch showed it was 8:27 and with the realization that my 24T bus had arrived and I had no other way to work short of waking the wife up, I took off running and ran about 300 yards to catch the bus as it was stuck in traffic further down the street trying to turn. Did I mention it was super hot and super humid today??? Anyway, I got the heart rate up to 171 (funnily enough that happened after I stopped running and boarded the bus) and my clothes were soaked by the time we got off at East Falls Church Metro.

Speaking of soaked, tonight we went to see the Nationals win their 8th game in a row and 11th out of their last 12. They are in first place in the National League East, in case you didn't know. I've been to a bunch of games this season (went in on season tickets with some friends) but this is the first time I've actually sat in our seats in about 6 weeks (I've been sitting in my employers seas and other lobbyists in towns seats for the last couple of games we attended. My seats are better than those though. Anyway, it was super duper hot and humid this evening and I ended up carrying my son on my shoulders the 1/4 mile (it might be more - its about a 10 minute walk) from the metro to the stadium and back. We also jumped up and down and danced and high fived and got good and sweaty at the game. It was a load of fun.

I had nothing. This isn't a good thing to do and I suffered throughout the day because of it. But still the fact remains when you get up late, you miss breakfast.

AM Snack
We have a weekly staff meeting every Friday and this morning after it I had a cup of coffee with 3 things of half and half put into it.

I was planning on picking up something light and going for a jog/walk for lunch but a former colleague of mine called me at 11:30 and asked if I wanted to join him and a number of attorney's from the firm where I used to practice at the Metropolitan Club for lunch. Seeing as I don't have the hundred of thousands of spare ka'ching needed to join, I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to head over there. Anyway, they had oral arguments before the court of appeals this morning in a case I spent a number of years litigating and wanted to fill me in on the details. We went over for the buffet and here's what I ate:
1 cup of shrimp salad, a heaping pile (maybe  6 pieces) of smoked salmon, 1 piece of bluefish (3 oz)
I drank 2 glasses of ice water and half a glass of iced tea (with lemon). For desert I had a cup of hot tea with lemon (no sugar). Not too bad for what might be the finest buffet in DC.

PM snack
Still, as tasty as the fish rich lunch was, without breakfast I was still feeling it. Around 4:00 I broke open a small individual serving box of Kellog's Corn Flakes and ate it without milk. ( 90 calories)

It was also super hot by this time (my office is on the top floor of the building and I have a huge window) so I filled a Nalgene bottle of up with ice water (32 oz) and drank it. Needless to say, the bathroom was calling soon after that.

My wife picked me up at 5:30 and we drove over to a parking garage near Metro Center. We walked up 3 flights of stairs to the street from our parking place with my son sitting on my shoulders (burned a lot of calories with that one) The wife saw people eating outside at Harry's Bar and Tap (approximately 11th and G) so we went there. I know a chick who likes to hang out there, she's a bit of a cop whore, but never went there myself. Well, it turns out the place is crawling with cops and FBI agents and tourists (its attached to a cheap motel). Anyway, its way too hot to eat outside so we went inside and all they have is basically burgers. I ordered the baby burger - 6.5 ounces medium and asked for a salad with oil and vinegar instead of french fried. At the burger (with a tomato, lettuce, onion and a tablespoon of ketchup on it) and the salad and had 1 Oreo cookie that they served with the meal (2 came with the meal, but my son ate my other one) For a beverage I had tea with lemon. Its also worth noting that I took my son to the bathroom and saw something worthwhile of an entirely new blog entry itself. Look for it this weekend.

At the game we got to our seats and I drank water the entire time - my wife had a diet Pepsi and my son had 3/4 of a Pepsi. He wanted cotton candy so we purchased him a thing of it, and the three of us split it (yikes, that can't be good for me, but it tasted ooooh soo good). Later on in the game - around the 6th inning, we also got two lemonades. Frankly, they were the worst lemonades I have ever had. The set them up to appear to be fresh squeezed with an elaborate looking stand, etc . . . . but in fact they are nothing but lemonade syrup (the kind they used in summer camp, yuck!) and water with a bit of ice and half a lemon floating in it (they didn't even try to squeeze the lemon). Anyway, they were unreasonably sweet and I drank about half the cup before putting it down.

After the game, when we got home, I had a bottle of water and 3 pieces of sharp cheddar cheese (pre sliced and approx. 110 calories).

My parents are coming in to town tomorrow, so I suspect that I will be eating a lot. Im gonna try to go hiking in the morning though, before they arrive. I'll post an update tomorrow night.

Friday Bird Bloggin

My son was mesmerized
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I said, how bout that Emu????

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Carnival of Cordite

Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave will be hosting the Carnival this weekend. I emailed my entry, did you????

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Fitness Blogging #3

Well, I was planning on riding my bike to work this morning, but that fell through. Instead, my son kept me up late again last night. I ended up waking up at 7:30, taking a quick shower, and walking to the bus stop (5 minutes). The bus took me to the metro and I rode that in (standing the entire way).


Bowl of Safeway Toasted Oats Ceral with whole milk. The last of the red seedless grapes (Mmm Mmm Mmm)

Lunch Corn Flakes (without milk) (90 calories) and Special K (again without milk) (80 calories) (I took them from the mini serving boxes).

PM snack
I went on a brisk walk/run for lunch (see below) and on the way back to the office stopped off in front of the Corcoran Art Museum and purchased a 24 oz sportpack bottle of Deer Park water. It was icy cold and pretty good.

Earlier in the morning I had put 2 bags of Jasmine Green tea in a Nalgene bottle and placed the bottle on the front windowsill. By the time I had gotten back from my run it was pretty well brewed and I simply added a packed of Splenda to 32 oz of Jasmine Green Sun Tea. Poured it over ice and it was pretty darn tasty too.


Wife picked me up and we drove to the Doctors office. We planned on cooking out but it was raining and she wanted a glass of wine. Ended up at McLean Family Restaurant. Had a side salad with feta cheese, greek olives, and vinaigrette. For the actual meal I had Spanakopita with mixed greens. Drank a glass of ice tea with lemon. My son had a bowl of ice cream for desert and I took one spoonful. It was good, but I felt guilty about it and stopped after that.

Since I didn't get to ride my bike in this morning, I made an extra effort to get out for some excercise at lunch time today. It was boiling hot but I did a combination of light jogging and very quick walking for 51 minutes at an average heartrate of 135 bpm. Maximum HR was 161 bpm and total calories burned was 426.

The route I followed is basically this:

Farraguate Square down Connecticut Ave and into LaFayette Park; Left on Pennsylvania Avenue and right on 15th Street; Cutting in front of the White House (where the Memorial to the Civil War is) and left on 17th Street; Cross Constitution Avenue and veer off to the right on the path that takes you to the memorial lake; Followed the trail around the lake and cut through the grass to the Reflecting Pool; Went up to the Lincoln steps then back down the other side of the reflecting pool up to the WWII memorial; Entered the memorial from the Pacific side and circled the interior, then back up 17th street to Farraguat Square.

Not sure of the distance, but I was going at a good clip for 51 minutes.

After getting back from dinner we went on a walk as a family. My wife has a 2 mile route she does in the neighborhood and she took the dog while I carried my son on my shoulders. Its the same route we did last night but the addition of my son made a huge difference. While last night I averaged 109 bpm, tonight I averaged 126 bpm. Strangely enough though, my heart rate monitor is only showing me losing 147 calories, 3 less than I did during last nights significantly less intensive workout. I assume there was a programing error of some sort, either I set it to high last night or too low tonight.

For what its worth, I am using a dB 500 heart rate monitor that I purchased from Performance Bikes online.


Spanakopita is one of my favorite things to eat. Its great any time of the year, but especially perfect in the summer with a nice light white wine. I should recommend something greek with it, but I actually think chilled Vino Vherde from Portugal is the best match.

2 lbs fresh spinach
1 lb filo dough
1/2 lb feta cheese
7 eggs
1 onion
Salt (sea salt is best)

Dice the onion and saute lightly until a golden brown.

While the onion is cooking, wash the spinach. Put it into a large bowl and mix it with with salt. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then rinse all the salt out (the volume of spinach should be reduced).

Beat the eggs and crumble the feta cheese into the eggs. Mix well. Add the spinach and the onions to the egg cheese mix. Also add some sea salt, ground pepper, oregano, and basil.

Melt some butter.

Butter the bottom of a baking dish. Lay the filo down one layer at a time, brushing the melted butter on each layer. Turn each layer a little so they aren't all piled up directly on top of each other. Its ok if the filo hangs over the sides of the dish a little. Continue until there is 3-5 sheets of filo left.

Pour the egg/spinach/feta mixture into the filo.

Fold the filo that is hanging over the side over the filing and then place the last 4 or 5 sheets of filo on top, brushing butter on each as you put them down. If there is any Filo hanging over the sides, trim it with a knife and add to the top.

Make 3 slits in the top layers of filo that goes down to the filing.

Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour.


I didn't realize the Eastern Cougar was listed as an endangered species in Washington, D.C. I guess that means there are some roaming around here. Interestingly, its not listed in Georgia even though a family friend saw one on their property in Walker County (either stalking their 3 year old son or their dog) while playing in their swimming pool this past weekend. Of course, what they saw could have been a Florida Panther - since their range historically covered North Georgia but they aren't "officially" known to be anywhere but the everglades. I guess this one, 200 miles north of the everglades along I-95, was an imposter.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Fitness Blogging #2

First, I am astonished by the support I received from the online world. In addition to the 8 comments on yesterday's post I also received at least 10 email. Who knows, perhaps this support network will be the start of a new diet craze. Anyway, today wasn't as productive of a start as I hoped. Perhaps though, the fact that I am so disappointed with myself for todays failures will bode well for me in the long run.

Anyway, I woke up weighing 210 lbs.

I started the day off with a bowl of Safeway Brand toasted oats cereal with whole milk. The cereal has 110 calories, not sure how much the whole milk has. I also had some more of the tasty red seedless grapes.

Morning Snack
This spells doom right here. I was running late to work today and as I showed up our research assistant was leaving to get some coffee at starbucks. I told him I wanted something cold, a Venti iced coffee. He returned 30 minutes later with a Venti Mocha Frappuchino at 540 calories (yikes!!!!) In the meantime, there was a pack of M&Ms sitting on my chair when I got to my office - and since they are my weak spot - I quickly devoured all 240 calories worth.

Lunch was better. I was planning on getting a salad but my boss dragged me down to a lunch meeting with some high government official talking about something that didn't interest me. Lunch was good though. I had a small (2-3 oz) piece of whitefish in a balsamic vinaigrette along with a steamed carrot and bean salad (also in the vinaigrette) For desert they served an apricot tort of which I ate half the filling and none of the shell. I drank an iced tea with lemon.

PM Snack
Cup of Jasmine green tea with 1/4 pack of splenda.

We went to the Greek Taverna in McLean. My wife and I split an appetizer of greek sausage. I had a small greek salad, steamed green beans and stewed tomatoes in a greek vinaigrette, and trout with capers and lemon. Delicious. My wife ordered rice pudding (which I despise) for desert. Also, I am especially proud of myself for not having a single piece of bread. Along with the meal I had 6 glasses of ice water.


In the morning I had a brisk 5 minute walk to my bus stop. Because of the lunch meeting, I didn't get to go out at lunch time, but when I got home afterwork (and before dinner) I walked with my wife and dog 2 miles in 35 minutes at an average heart rate of 109 bpm. It burned 150 calories according to my heart rate monitor.

Tomorrow I will be riding my bike in to work, but we have a meeting with our son's doctor at 5:30 so I don't know if I will be able to ride home. I plan on walking or running at lunch.

Master Yoda

You scored as Yoda.



Darth Vader


Mace Windu


General Grievous


Obi Wan Kenobi


Emperor Palpatine


Anakin Skywalker


Clone Trooper




Padme Amidala






Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
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