Saturday, August 30, 2008


Is the name we've finally decided on....
She's changed quite a bit in the last three weeks...
She's got that whole "one up, one down" ear thing going on, exponentially adding to the cuteness factor...
You can't see too well in the picture, but because of her pigmentation, one side of her whiskers is white, and the other is black...

Sarah Palin

I've been watching with some amusement the near-hysterical exultation/relief that has swept the conservative blogosphere at McCain's choice of running mate.
Having studied up on her bio - like a ton of others yesterday who had never heard of her before - I have to say I like what I see.
There's no doubt that in Sarah Palin, McCain has made an excellent choice, and has made himself much more palatable to those of us on the right, as well as stuffing the whole identity politics thing right back down the Dems' throat.
I have heard that the VP choice of a candidate has little effect on the outcome of presidential elections, but choosing Governor Palin will certainly help settle the conservative base I suppose.
I think we tend to overlook, however, just how much power a president really has - they cannot by themselves institute broad, sweeping changes (which is how it ought to be) - and the impact they will have is often overstated during the run for president. It's still a democracy, with three branches of government - we're not selecting a king.
On that note, the VP has even less impact on the governance of the country. Dems are crowing about Palin's question the other night, "what does a vice-president actually do?" as though its a sign of her inexperience. I think it's a legitimate question, and shows that she knows that not much is expected or required of a VP, that the office of VP is in many ways more overstated than that of president. It's essentially a preparation for the presidency, and thus far I think she would do well in the top spot. I think Governor Palin has an exciting future ahead of her.


Dropped the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa last Friday and headed out to the desert to this place for a marriage getaway organized by our church.
We got there just as the food was being served Friday night (braised beef short ribs-yum!) and settled in to listen to this little ditty, followed by some "ice-breaking" and then a talk by our pastor. We rounded out the night with some dancing.
Saturday was spent getting together in small groups and discussing ways to improve our marriages as well as finding time to explore the local area and blow a wad of cash on some really good food.
Sunday was an early check-out followed by a wrap-up and trading addresses with the folks in our group who turned out to be really nice people.
It's a popular event - there were something like 300 couple there this weekend...
This was our second retreat and the better of the two. I'm looking forward to next year's.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New buddy

Here's our new wee Rat Terrier pup - just picked her up today, about a week after her first shots. The epitome of cute. She'll probably be about twice the size of Spartacus when she's grown, since he was some sort of runty aberration. We still don't have a name for her yet, although wifey's leaning towards Sasha. We introduced her to Lena today at a neutral site (aka Grandma and Grandpa's pad) and she gave us a bit of a scare when she nipped the wee one. Seems fine now though, we'll be keeping a close eye whenever they interact of course. This pup is smaller than the rabbit Lena ate a couple of weeks ago...

Here she is in Grandpa's arms with her stylish new collar (that bugs the crap out of her right now).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Sorry for the light posting lately - I've been trying to deal with a fairly serious case of Halo 3 XBOX Live addiction.
It is a sickness - it must be. No sane person should want to go back time and again for torrents of abuse by foul-mouthed teenagers...


Well, we had our championship game last Saturday, and...



Man, that was a tough game to coach! We were up against an undefeated team (the Ravens), one that had beaten us 3 times already this season, but since they based their entire offense around one particularly fast kid (who I came to find out was 10 and had no business being in the 7-9 division, but that's neither here nor there), we felt that a zone defense tailored to the few plays they actually used would work for us.
We started out with the ball and got a quick TD. We stopped the Ravens, got the ball back and drove it down field for another. The Ravens came back with 2 TDs, so by the half it was 14-14.
The Ravens got the ball in the 2nd half and broke loose on the first play, scoring then converting. We answered with a TD, but didn't convert, so we were a point down. When they got possession, one of our guys nailed their QB in the endzone, scoring a safety and putting us one point up!
The Ravens got the ball again, and drove down the field. They got to our five yard line with 2 downs to go, and the ref called "Time!"
Very intense game. I think all the parents got their money's worth. We'll be picking up that trophy at the team banquet this Thursday - unfortunately Number One Son won't be there, as he is in camp all week.
This season has been a blast. Can't wait for the Fall season to start up...

PS - I have to give props to my assistant coach and coworker Claudia. She's been a fantastic help throughout. You ROCK, Claudia!

My perspective

Those of you, like me, who frequent the gun-nut corner of this here blogosphere will have no doubt seen the recent brouhaha during the last few days over Mike Vanderboegh’s letter to the editor, and his opinions of regarding "the next American civil war". For those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular corner of the web, it may surprise you that there is an incredible diversity of opinion among gun owners (not really incredible to me, since I know gunnies are typically individualist at heart anyway – get ten in a room, and you’ll get ten separate opinions on most anything you care to discuss. Simultaneously our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness – gunnies tend not to jump onto bandwagons).
Sure, our current system of government has its flaws – anything conceived, instituted and ran by humans does – but by God, it’s the best system yet devised in human history and I am proud and thankful to be able to live under it.
The Founders’ promise still holds. Yes, it’s been eroded somewhat, but PLEASE take a look around you.
Where else on this planet do people have the freedoms we have? Just about anywhere else in the world you need to beg permission from your government to own a gun, permission that includes submitting your home to random “safety checks” to make sure your guns are stored properly, permission that means your guns must be stored at a gun club or rifle range, permission that is hard to get and so very easy to lose. Licensing fees and additional costs that put ownership beyond the reach of all but the very affluent. Registration that makes it easy for government officials to confiscate your guns when the time is right – a recent example being the British handgun ban after the Dunblane massacre. Hell, even permission slips to buy ammo.
Now look here at home. Look at the progress we’ve made in the last couple of decades or so.
A majority of Americans support the right to own guns for self defense (which is incidentally an invalid reason to apply for a gun in the UK. Everyone there has a right to life, including the bastard standing over your bed with an ax handle demanding your money, your jewelry and your daughter’s virtue). 37 states thus far have shall-issue CCW (with a further two, Alaska and Vermont, being unrestricted), way up from just 20 years ago. Castle doctrine laws are being passed (God bless Texas!). The Heller decision smacked down DC’s handgun ban, with other cities soon to follow. We’re moving in the right direction. A government of the people, by the people and for the people has to respond, however slowly, to what the people want. Sure, inertia makes it slower than we’d like, but it is moving. Our glass is truly half full.
I won’t deny that there is plenty of room for improvement - especially here in California. I won’t deny that there are abuses by the government that make one angry or nervous. But focusing only on that end of things produces nothing but a siege mentality and ignores the hard work and progress that the supporters of gun rights have achieved. Shit, just look at the internet. Until I began reading the gun blogs out there, I truly thought I was one of a tiny minority, a myth perpetuated by what I saw in print and on the news, courtesy of the MSM. It has been extremely comforting to discover, to KNOW, that I am not alone. I am part of a large, diverse culture – a culture that WILL be heard. A culture that will not be going away any time soon. A culture that I have every intention of passing on to the next generation.
I know America won’t last forever – it had a beginning, it will certainly have an end. I don’t know if it will go out in sudden collapse and societal breakdown, or fade into a more socialist/authoritarian obscurity like the once-Great Britain. All I do know is that right here, right now is the best time and place in history for anyone to live. So I’ll enjoy it while I’ve got it, thanks.