Friday, December 31, 2004

The Sweat of My Brow

For those of us for whom our primary vocation is more intellectually oriented than physical, there is something inherently pleasing about doing things with our hands when we get the chance. I think that's why so many white collar workers would like to have some sort of workshop in their backyards. Quite simply, a guy can derive much more satisfaction by being able to point at something, say a bookshelf, or a built in desk, or even a clean garage, and exclaim, "I made/did that!" than he gets when he finishes even the most brilliantly crafted memo or legal brief.

I spent four hours today cleaning our garage. I can't even say "cleaning out" our garage because when it came right down to it, I didn't throw very much away. Mainly, I rearranged what was in there. There's still stuff in there that does need to be tossed, but today was not the day to take care of that.

The Reason Why

I would never have spent my day off doing that chore, but yesterday my wife said she smelled something emanating from the garage. I investigated and discovered that a plastic jug of turpentine had developed a leak and spilled out onto the floor. Compounding the problem was that the jug had been under a large pile of stuff. So, as is not uncommon, a problem that probably should have been resolved long ago sat untended until a crisis arose.

Whatever the impetus, I now have a clean garage, but I still can't park in it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Simple Prayer

The other night, my two-and-a-half year old daughter (also known as Calvinatorette III) wanted to say grace before dinner. Here, I replicate the exact transcript of what she said. Some might not appreciate it, but I thought it was great.

This is the food.

The end.

Ride, Captain Ride

Okay, so I have been able to get back into the exercise routine. I still don't like it, but I've made it bearable by attaching my Discman to the water bottle holder by some velcro and by watching TV (mostly sports) with the sound down.

I know getting in shape in general and losing weight in specific is an ongoing process, but I have to admit that patience is not always my biggest strength. In the past, I have used the Atkins way of eating to lose weight rapidly. It works for me, and it's not a huge sacrifice because I really like the foods that are allowed with Atkins. When I ate that way, I did miss pasta and bread, and that's probably one of the biggest drawbacks to that way of eating.

This time, I'm not counting calories, but I have made sure I am eating less than I was before. I'm also not avoiding any particular foods. If I want a cookie, I eat one. I just don't eat eight like I would have before.

The dropping of pant sizes and neck sizes is promising to be a slow-moving affair. My current pants are slightly less tight, but actually losing two inches in the waist and about an inch in the neck doesn't seem likely to occur any time very soon. I have, however, already noticed that my XL t-shirts are less snug (but still not to the point that I would wear them in public).

I promise you that this blog is not going to be only about my quest to lose weight (about 77 pounds total needed), but for right now, it seems to be my main focus.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Getting in Shape Update 3

UGH! Christmas should be banned for anyone who is trying to lose weight and shape up.

I ate horribly for about 3 days and I didn't exercise at all on Christmas Day or the day after.

Now, back to the grind. I got back up on that "horse" yesterday.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 260.0

Today's Weight = 261.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds

= 5.5 pounds

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Well, that didn't take long

I had suggested that a blog entitled "The Present Moment" might turn out to be worthwhile. I was wrong.

Friday, December 24, 2004

More about Jamie Foxx

I just read that Jamie Is the first person to have been nominated for three acting awards at the Golden Globes in the same year. I'm not sure if it's true that he is the first, but it is true that he is nominated in 3 categories in this year's Golden Globes.

In case you're wondering why I care, as I mentioned before, I graduated from Terrell High School with Jamie.


My wife and I watched Collateral Wednesday night on DVD. I'm not necessarily the most objective person in this regard, but I thought Jamie Foxx turned in a tremendous performance. What I don't understand is why the Golden Globe nomination for Foxx was for Supporting Actor. Maybe it's just me, but Max sure seemed like the main character to me. This is his story, not Vincent's.

I thought the movie was good. It felt a little rushed from the time Max & Vincent left the meeting with Felix until the final scenes on the train, but for some reason, I think that was on purpose.

The DVD extras were disappointing for the most part, but I did like the selection showing Foxx & Cruise rehearsing both at the initial read-through and at a later time.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A blog with Promise

It's too early to know for sure if The Present Moment will turn out to be worthwhile, but it looks intriguing after just two posts.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Dark Lord Returns Soon

I'm sure I won't be able to sustain the excitement for 7 months, but I'm psyched that Book 6 of the Harry Potter series has an official release date.

It will be fun to put all the rumors and guessing to bed about this book once July 16th rolls around.

Of course, then all the rumors and guessing will start flying regarding Book 7.

Random Lines in Books

Saw this on another blog ( and thought it was interesting.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal, along with these instructions.

"If he is obedient to God, he is preaching the truth; if he does not love his wife, he is speaking apostasy and lies—but he is always talking."
    Reforming Marriage—Douglas Wilson


When I posted that football picture, I realized that my oldest daughter looks a lot like me in facial features.

You may disagree.

Here's a pic of all my girls. The oldest, Erin, is on the right holding Lindsey.

The Skeptical Glare

I often tell folks that I haven't always been a big guy. I tell them that until some point in college, I was downright skinny. Some believe me and make some token comment about aging and metabolism. Others, however, give me this look that I interpret as, "Yeah, right. Sure you were skinny, you big tub of lard."

Well, just to prove that I was once a skinny kid, here's a picture of me from Seventh Grade in my football uniform.

I mentioned my less than illustrious football career in a previous post, but I may recount a few other stories in the next few days.

I have the power!

I have to confess that I was really out of the loop on the whole blog universe before I started my own. In fact, I just found Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Power Line a few days ago. This is one of the main blogs that was relentless in pointing out the fact that the Bush National Guard memos touted by CBS and Dan Rather were forgeries.

Getting in Shape Update 2

Keeping on keeping on.

Did pretty well with the exercising and the food control.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 263.0

Today's Weight = 260.0

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds

= 7.0 pounds

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Endorphins and all that jazz

So, you may be asking, how is the fat guy losing the weight?


I have been eating less and exercising. I'm using a great site to log my activity. It's The President's Challenge Physical Activity & Fitness Awards Program.

I recommend finding others to join you in logging activity. That provides some accountability and a little competition if that would help keep you motivated.

The eating less part is both easy and hard. I've cut down on how much I eat at every meal. Plus, I've stopped grabbing a bag of M&M's or Skittles each afternoon. Additionally, I've tried to increase my water intake.

A lot of people have openly commented about how I decided to start this at the wrong time. That is, right during the holiday season. Well, the bottom line is that there is never a good time to start a program like this, so there's no better time than now. My goal (even more than the weight and clothing targets) is to get to the point where I can stop taking blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. That's tedious and costs me $50 per month. I assure you that I have better uses for that money.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother

Well, it definitely looks like I won't be getting the role I'd really like in Annie, but as I said a few days ago, that's not a huge surprise.

Oh well, the main reason I auditioned in the first place was the chance to do a show with my daughter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow

I trekked down to the local community theatre to audition for Annie tonight. My up tempo song went okay but my ballad was dreck. I really wanted to sing "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors, but despite the fact that I just did the show, I didn't get a copy of the score to keep. So, I had to go back to a song that I'm less familiar with and that is slightly out of my range. It's too high where written, and a little too low if I drop it an octave.

Anyway, I thought the cold reading went okay, and given the paucity of men that were signed up, I'm pretty sure I'll be something in the show. Probably not what I want, though.

A Great Evening, Nonetheless

Despite my failings as an auditioner, it was great to see Babs tonight. I'm sorry she ran into all that crap up in Denton, but if it means I get to do a show with her again, I'll be happy.

This will also likely be my eldest daughter's first show. She participated in our Children's Theatre program last summer, but this will be her first full production, assuming she gets cast. She'll turn 6 on the date of one of the performances.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Getting in Shape Update

When I started this quest last Tuesday, I weighed 267.0 pounds (my scale measures in half pounds). So, my plan is to update the weight on here every Tuesday

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 267.0

Today's Weight = 263.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds

= 4.0 pounds

College Football

Here's a great article at about the college football bowl system.

The writer made one point that I had thought about this past week.

There are 117 Division 1-A teams.

56 of them are going to bowl games.

That means 47.86% of the teams play in a bowl.

That stat alone tells you both why the bowls need to go and precisely why it is highly unlikely that they ever will.

It also illustrates why most opposition to Playoffs is silly.

Lets say we instituted a 16 team playoff. That would still leave 20 possible bowls to exist if they wanted. And the matchups they would get wouldn't be any less intriguing than under the current system.

It's time for a Division 1-A Football Playoff.


Friday, December 10, 2004

A Man and His Toys

I just got back from Wal*Mart where I purchased a cordless optical mouse. It's amazing what you don't realize you need until you get it. The tracking is far superior to the old ball mouse we had been using. The optical mouse that came with my iMac died over a year ago. Actually, it seems that the cable from the mouse to the computer got pulled loose a little. My wife taped it up with clear packing tape, and my daughters use it on their iMac with no problems.

Now, we just have to keep the girls from running off with our cordless one and hiding it where we can't find it.

Heisman Watch

Tomorrow night, the Downtown Athletic Club in New York will award the Heisman Trophy to one of these five young men: Jason White, Adrian Peterson, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, or Alex Smith. This award is supposed to go to the Most Outstanding Player in college football for the season. White is last year's winner, but the conventional wisdom is that he won't win it this year.

By all appearances, it seems that once again a less-deserving USC player (Leinart) will stop an Oklahoma Sooner from winning the award two years in a row (see: Charles White & Billy Sims).

I have nothing against Leinart, and he's done a great job leading his team for the past two years, but what amazes me are the people who say that White just hasn't done anything special this season to justify giving him the Heisman again. If he hadn't won it last year, I'm not sure this year's voting would even be close. Anyone who has watched White (and being in Texas, I've seen him on television a lot this season) has seen a tremendous field leader who rarely makes mistakes that hurt his team.

One argument I've heard is that White may not be the best player on his own team. These folks consider Freshman Running Back, Adrian Peterson, to be better. There is no question in my mind that Peterson is a better athlete or that he will ultimately be a premiere Running Back in the NFL, but there's no way he was a better player this year. Don't get me wrong, I am utterly amazed everytime I see Peterson run, but that doesn't make him OU's best player.

If you took Peterson off OU's roster this year, there is every reason to believe that the Sooners would still be undefeated and playing for the National Championship. I contend that if White had not been the Quarterback, OU would have lost at least one game, and probably more. Peterson is the better athlete, but White was the better player.

My knock on Leinart is similar. Take away Reggie Bush, and Leinart wouldn't have helmed an undefeated team. Plus, he's playing against the weak sisters in the PAC-10.

If I had a Heisman Ballot, I would vote (1) Jason White; (2) Matt Leinart; and (3) Adrian Peterson. If Peterson stays healthy, he should have a few more opportunities to win the Heisman. Leinart will be a front runner next year if he stays for his Senior year. Jason White was the Most Outstanding Player in college football this year, and it will be a shame if voters let other considerations keep them from voting for him.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Prowling like a Panther

I upgraded the Operating System on my 4 year old iMac last night. We went from OS 9.2.2 to 10.3.6. (OS X Panther)

Two words:

Suh Weet!!!!!

We probably will need to add some RAM. We have 256M, and it will run with that, but Rod told me that it will run much better with more.

I guess I should thank Microsoft. Internet Explorer for MAC has become increasingly buggy dealing with Java Script and Shockwave flash, both of which have become ubiquitous on the web. Problems with Internet Explorer were what finally motivated me to make the upgrade.

And to you Windows XP users who finally got an OS that approached the MAC, well, let me just say, you don't have squat.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hurray! It's back

One of my favorite comic strips is only available online. Day By Day took a hiatus, but it started back on December 1st.

Check it out, and make sure you go back and view the archives.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

When It's Time to Change

Okay, so I've decided to do something about that "Fat Guy." Although I do have a target weight in my mind, I'm not going to focus on the number. What I'm going to do is measure progress by change in clothing sizes.

Right now, I have to wear XXL t-shirts (I can get an XL on, but it's snug). I have a 44 inch waist and wear 18 to 18 1/2 dress shirts.

The first goals are these:

1) Get to where an XL T-shirt is not snug.

2) Drop to a 42 inch waist

3) Get down to a 17 1/2 inch dress shirt.

I'll keep you posted.

I'm All In

Like many folks out there, I've caught the Poker Bug. Sunday, I played in a free tournament run by the Amateur Poker League. It was a blast.

Fifty-two amateur players sat down to play. I started fairly strong and was in second at the first break. After that, it was all downhill. Middling cards that dwindled my stack were followed by an Ace-Eight of Spades that led me to call another players All In bet when an Ace came up on the Flop. I knew better. He turned over Ace-Nine of Clubs. To add insult to injury, he hit a flush on the River.

Even with that, it was a fun 2+ hours. I wound up finishing somewhere between 25th and 30th.

My one shining moment was on about the 6th hand of the tournament. I was dealt Pocket 9's, and A-A-9 came up on the flop. I had flopped a Full House. It wasn't the Nuts, but I immediately bet All In. One guy called me, and he still had a chance on the River if either an Ace or a King had come up. It was exhilarating!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I wouldn't have believed it

if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

There are actually nutjobs out there who think that Karl Rove and George W. Bush somehow managed to rig this year's election. Apparently, Diebold is the new Illuminati.

I'll say it again, John Kerry lost because John Kerry was out of touch with the mainstream of America. The Democrats lost this year because they were incapable of coming up with a candidate that average Americans could relate to. We are a Conservative country. Bill Clinton knew that and managed to position himself to the right of George Bush (41) in 1992. Al Gore tried in 2000, but there was no way people were going to believe that Gore was more Conservative than Bush (43). Kerry was doomed from the start.

I don't pretend that we are a Republican nation, but every indication I see tells me we are a Conservative one. The fact that that bodes well for the Republican Party for years to come doesn't bother me in the least.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I am Thankful

KThis is the time at which we naturally start to think about all for which we have to be thankful. For me, the list is very long.

I am thankful for a wife who loves me no matter how difficult I may be at times.

I am thankful for four beautiful and healthy daughters who love me.

I am thankful for a brother who was a good example to me when I was growing up and who still challenges me to think.

I am thankful for a sister with a loving spirit who can make me laugh when she laughs with abandon.

I am thankful for a father-in-law and mother-in-law who raised a wonderful wife for me.

I am thankful for a job that I enjoy that feels worthwhile.

I am thankful for a part-time second job that I enjoy that helps pay our monthly bills.

I am thankful for living in the United States where I can enjoy the freedom to believe what I want, think what I want, and say what I want.

I am thankful for a home, despite all the chores it requires.

I am thankful for the ability to spend my free time in activities that stimulate me and foster my creativity.

I am thankful for a mother who taught me what it means to be a Godly woman, and who showed me a model for a wife.

I am thankful for a father who taught me how to be not just a father, but a dad; who showed me that what you do is even more important than what you say; who went outside his own comfort zone to pursue a career that provided for our family generously; and who loves his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I am thankful for a Father who has forgiven me, not based on any thing I am or have done, but just because He wanted to.

Friday, November 19, 2004

One Tired Puppy

Sorry I haven't put anything on here in the past couple of days. Between my two jobs and the new baby, I've just been swamped.

COMING SOON: My review of Stephen King's The Dark Tower (Volume VII): The Dark Tower

UPDATE (12-10-06): Sorry that review never materialized.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Sometimes, it's so easy

I was pointed to this article by someone who was actually recommending it.

Ted Rall's Condescending Rant (or should that be Ranting Condescension?)

Just a few excerpts:

"But if militant Christianist Republicans from inland backwaters believe that secular liberal Democrats from the big coastal cities look upon them with disdain, there's a reason. We do, and all the more so after this election."

"Though there is a religious component to the election results, the biggest red-blue divide is intellectual. "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" asked the headline of the Daily Mirror in Great Britain, and the underlying assumption is undeniable. By any objective standard, you had to be spectacularly stupid to support Bush." (emphasis added)

"Would Bush's supporters have voted for him even if they had known he was a serial liar? [I couldn't resist an editorial comment here. They just won't give this one up. There is absolutely NO proof that Bush lied about anything. One can be wrong without having lied. Either the lunatic left can't get that or doesn't want to.] Perhaps their hatred of homosexuals and slutty abortion vixens would have prompted them to make the same choice--an idiotic perversion of priorities. As things stand, they cast their ballots relying on assumptions that were demonstrably false."

"Inland Americans face a bigger challenge than coastal "cultural elitists" when it comes to finding high-quality news coverage. The best newspapers, which routinely win prizes for their in-depth local and national reporting and staffers overseas, line the coasts. So do the cable TV networks with the broadest offerings and most independent radio stations. Bush Country makes do with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity syndicated on one cookie-cutter AM outlet after another. Citizens of the blue [sic] states read lackluster dailies stuffed with generic stories cut and pasted from wire services. Given their dismal access to high-quality media, it's a minor miracle that 40 percent of Mississippians turned out for Kerry."

For the record, the last time I checked, CNN was located in Atlanta, a decidedly Red State. This last argument is, by far, the most specious one he makes.

I have three words for these cultural elitist Liberals who look down their collective noses and me and you:


I don't normally sign my entries, but just this once, I thought I should.

B.A., M.A., J.D.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Selective Indignation

So, it seems that many on the Left have picked up on the new "talking point" of calling Strict Constructionist judges "Right Wing Activists."

First, it is not activism to undo the activism of the past.

Second, where was all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about the lack of respect for stare decisis when the Supreme Court recently struck down State sodomy laws? In case you weren't aware, that opinion cut directly against decades of consistent rulings.

You see, stare decisis is only a sacred cow when it can be used to prop up a prior Liberal "victory." When there are Liberal causes to be advanced, even in the face of overwhelming jurisprudence and public opinion, stare decisis must be jettisoned in order to move toward a "perfect society."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Things that make you go Awwwwwww

A couple of weeks before Lindsey was born, I was sitting at our home computer (not an uncommon event), and my wife was sitting on the couch, watching television. Our two year old, Sarah, went up to my wife and crawled up in her lap. Jody turned off the TV and held Sarah.

That alone makes a beautiful scene, but what happened next almost made me cry. Sarah hugged her mommy's belly. Jody asked her if she wanted to sing to Baby Lindsey. Sarah answered, "Yeah." (we're working on breaking her of the "yeah" habit). Jody helped her get started, but then dropped out as Sarah sang "You Are My Sunshine" to her pre-born baby sister.

My attention had been captured already, but when that happened, I completely ignored the computer and just sat there watching and listening.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

About that "Rapture" thing

I think I should point out in light of my reference to Maureen Dowd's comment about the coming Rapture that I do not believe in the concept of the Rapture as it is depicted in such popular media as the "Left Behind" books, Hal Lindsey's books and TV shows, and television programs by the likes of Jack van Impe, Pat Robertson, and John Hagee.

Leftist Condescension

It just gets better and better.

Take a look at this article by Jane Smiley on Slate subtitled The unteachable ignorance of the red states.

Then, take a gander at this very good response by Bruce Thornton titled
Jane Smiley, Republican Party Recruiter.

Of course, we can't leave out Maureen Dowd, who told Chris Matthews on Sunday that she and he would "go up" in the coming Rapture, but all of us hypocritical Christian voters who supported Bush would be going the other direction. Her vitriol can be found HERE (NYTimes registration required).

As I said a few days ago, I hope this garbage keeps up. While the leftists keep patting themselves on their collective back about how smart and clever they are, Conservatives will continue to win national elections.

Can any explain to me how Dowd ever won a Pulitzer? Oh never mind, it shouldn't surprise me in the least.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I've been disabused

Apaprently, I'm the only one out there who thinks that Ashcroft might get consideration as Chief Justice. I admit that it was just a gut feeling, but it seems my instinct was wrong. Indications are that Bush will pick someone acceptable to his Conservative base but maybe won't rile up all the Leftist obstructionists.

It has been suggested that Bush will elevate Scalia (or Thomas) to Chief Justice, but I just don't see that unless he wants to appoint Al Gonzales right away as an Associate Justice. I also don't see him appointing Gonzales as Chief Justice.

Either way, it does look as if Bush will get a chance to appoint as many as three Supreme Court Justices during his second term. I know it would create a firestorm, but I think Senate Republicans should amend Senate Rules at the start of the new Congress in January to limit the Filibuster on Judicial appointments.

Friday, November 05, 2004

The briar patch

I think Republicans should start saying how much they hope John Edwards is not the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2008.

The more I listened to Edwards during this campaign, particularly in the VP Debate and in the NightLine episode following him on the campaign trail, I came to realize that he's nothing but an empty suit with a nice smile and good hair.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Chief Justice Ashcroft?

Drudge is reporting that John Ashcroft is planning to step aside as Attorney General.

I won't say you heard it here first because I don't know if anyone else has already said something about it, but I predict that Ashcroft will get serious consideration as the new Chief Justice of the United States when William Rehnquist retires (which will likely be sooner rather than later).

I have no inside sources, just a gut feeling.

Whither Bipartisanship?

As I posted earlier, I liked Kerry's concession speech. One of his themes was that we need to come together and work on the issues facing us as a country. I don't recall if he used the term, but if not, I think it would be fair to say that he was promoting Bipartisanship.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "bipartisan" as "Of, consisting of, or supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties." So, simply put, bipartisan programs are those supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Well, maybe not quite so simply. Before 1994, Congress approached bipartisanship in a manner that would be considered traditional. Something changed in 1994, though.

In 1994, led by Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. Overnight, the definition of bipartisanship changed in Washington D.C. I remember the change in the rhetoric. When Democrats found themselves out of power for the first time in decades, they decided to try a rhetorical end run. All of a sudden, bipartisanship was defined by the Democrats and the Media as "Republicans doing things the way Democrats want them to." Anytime Republicans pursued the policies they had campaigned on, if the Democrats didn't like it, the Democrats sent up the cry that Republicans were abandoning bipartisanship. In reality, the Democrats were trying to make the Republicans govern as if they were Democrats.

The burden of bipartisanship should fall on the Minority Party, not the Majority Party. The Majority Party in our system has all the power. If the Minority Party doesn't want to get steamrolled by that power, it is their responsibility to work toward agreement and compromise. That's what the Republicans did when they were in the Minority. The Democrats just didn't want to do it. I think part of the refusal to meet that challenge stems from the denial that Democrats seems to suffer from. In my experience, Democrats and Liberals simply refuse to believe that they are, in fact, the Minority. So, when they became the Minority Party, they tried to operate the same way they had as the Majority.

What does all this mean in 2004 and beyond? If the Democrats want bipartisanship, the burden is on them. Not Dennis Hastert. Not Bill Frist. Not President Bush.

Our system is based on the premise of Majority Rule. If bipartisanship is desirable, then the Democrats need to make the first move, and they need to realize that they probably will have to come more than halfway to "meet in the middle."

The morning after

Okay, so it's actually the middle of the afternoon. I'm working on 3 hours sleep and a morning in Court, so bear with me.

It appears to me that I came pretty darn close in my election prediction. I am assuming that Iowa and New Mexico will ultimately be marked down in the Bush column. If that holds true, I will have been right on all but one state, Wisconsin. I know it's hard to prove this after the fact, but I very nearly went the other way on the State of the Cheeseheads. I confess that it was the one state I chose with my heart instead of my head. As I looked at the polls, Bush was leading in the Poll Average, but the last 2 polls before the election showed a fairly solid Kerry lead.

I wanted my Electoral College numbers to be at the point where if any one state (excluding Texas) went the "wrong" way, Bush would still win the White House (even if Florida was the wrong state).

Kerry's Concession Speech

I promise you I am not being snide when I say this, but John Kerry's Concession Speech was the finest speech I have ever heard him deliver. If he had been talking like that throughout the campaign, he might have won this thing. But then again, when your Party is being "advanced" by the likes of Michael Moore,, and ACT, you're in trouble from the word Go.

I've still seen some far left-wingers who don't get the point of yesterday's election. People really do like President Bush. Despite all the criticism that he isn't as "Presidential" as some would like, the President appeals to voters as being a real guy. Maybe that's just a put-on. I really don't know for sure, but I do know people who are close to him who tell me that what you see is what you get with Bush. Folks who have been involved in high-level politics for years or even decades have told me that Bush is the most genuine politician they have ever met. That's what I believe resonated with the American people.

The straightforwardness and resolve of the President was contrasted by what appeared to be condescension coming from the Left in general and Kerry in particular. When John Edwards says you'd have to be out of your mind to vote Republican, it might amuse his base, but it's not going to draw in those elusive undecided voters. I hope the Left keeps on thinking of me and those like me as close-minded, bigoted, ignorant, foolish, or just plain stupid. As long as they have that attitude, I can rest assured that the Republican Party will retain control in Washington for years to come.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Other tie scenarios

Looking at the Electoral numbers, I see two other plausible tie scenarios:

Bush wins Florida, but loses Ohio & Iowa.

Bush wins Florida & Ohio, but loses Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin, & West Virginia.

The second one is less likely because if Bush wins Ohio, I'd say it's not very likely he'll lose Iowa & Wisconsin.

Eve of Destruction?

I've been hearing some Doom & Gloom from a few people about how they think Kerry is going to win tomorrow (or whenever the lawyers get through with this election). Well, that's entirely possible, and if it happens, I won't be happy, but I also know it won't be the end of the world.

For the record, I still think Bush is going to win. However, it's not going to be by a wide enough margin for people to breathe easily until even the shouting is over. By my estimation, Bush is going to win 32 states. Kerry will win 18 states plus the District of Columbia. Because of the wonders of our Electoral College system, though, the margin will be about as wide as the state of Florida. Not Geographically, but Electorally.

You see, Florida holds 27 Electoral votes, and if my predictions are correct, Bush will garner 296 votes, exactly 27 more than the total that would result in a tie. So, if everything else goes as projected, but Florida goes to Kerry, we would have a tie in the Electoral College, and barring "Faithless Electors," the Presidency would be decided by the U.S. House of Representatives. That's not ideal, but it might be preferable to weeks or months of legal battles.

Here are the states (along with their Electoral Votes) that I predict Bush will win:

Alabama (9)
Alaska (3)
Arizona (10)
Arkansas (6)
Colorado (9)
Florida (27)
Georgia (15)
Idaho (4)
Indiana (11)
Iowa (7)
Kansas (6)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (9)
Mississippi (6)
Missouri (11)
Montana (3)
Nebraska (5)
Nevada (5)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
North Dakota (3)
Ohio (20)
Oklahoma (7)
South Carolina (8)
South Dakota (3)
Tennessee (11)
Texas (34)
Utah (5)
Virginia (13)
West Virginia (5)
Wisconsin (10)
Wyoming (3)

I reserve the right to amend this list until the polls close.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The aftermath

Okay, so it's the next day. When I got home last night from the hospital (after having stopped to eat a late dinner at the Cici's buffet—I think I'm still full), I couldn't get to sleep. Finally, I went to bed at 3:30a.m. Although I know my wife is the one who did all the hard work yesterday, I'm very tired. Not quite exhausted, but definitely suffering from lack of adequate sleep.

Here's a pic of me from shortly after the delivery:

The hospital gave me the scrub shirt. It has Lindsey's footprints (shouldn't that be feetprints?) on the pocket.

Anyway, as I was getting that pic uploaded, I discovered I had an old pic of myself online. This one was taken during the Fall of my first year of Law School. It was 11 years and 65 pounds ago.

Say Hello to Lindsey

Just some pics for y'all.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It's been a long day

I had a Court Docket today. 105 cases set in the morning. 40 this afternoon. For some inexplicible reason, the afternoon docket took almost as long as the morning one. I got done with Court at 3:45, and I had to head downtown to get some stuff done (my mileage report and my time entry). Normally I wouldn't have had to do that today—the mileage report isn't due until Thursday, and the time doesn't close out until Friday—however, I'm taking the next three days off from work.

Why? you ask.

Tomorrow morning, I have to get up at 4:30ish (there's a 4:30am?) to accompany my wife to the hospital. The Doctor, a great guy named Dr. Lee, will be inducing labor for our fourth daughter, Lindsey in the morning. Well, it'll be our fourth daughter unless the ultrasound was wrong. In that case, Dr. Lee will be inducing labor for our first son, Jarod.

So, tomorrow's gonna be another long day, and the odds are that I won't get a chance to post. I know, I know, all 3 of my readers are heartbroken.

Now, for the seven and a half of you who are wondering why I had 145 cases set on my dockets for today—I am a Prosecutor in the Hot Check Division of the Dallas District Attorney's office. One of our duties is to cover the dockets in the Justice Courts. Primarily, that means prosecuting traffic tickets, but there are other types of cases as well. In the twenty months I've had this job, I've tried approximately 2000 cases (yes, you read that right—I try about 100 cases a month). I have a 97.5% conviction rate, and I haven't lost a Jury Trial in over a year. Of course, now that I've bragged about that, I'll probably go on a terrible losing streak.

Anyway, back to the long day. After I left the office, I had to go to my part-time teaching gig at Eastfield College. That was another three hours. So, now I'm worn out, but not sleepy, and I have to get up in six hours.

Finally tonight, my best friend threatened me to within an inch of my life if I didn't link to his site, so here goes:

The Vanguard

I'll most likely be posting more about Rod in the future.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Cream colored window treatments

Sometimes I feel like a walking contradiction.

I'm Conservative, Republican, Heterosexual, Manly even.

I like the Dallas Cowboys.

I love NASCAR.

Yet, at the same time, I think there's no denying that my absolutely favorite style of music is Broadway Show Tunes.

Just today, I've listened to the Soundtracks for Songs For a New World, Nunsense, and Wicked.

In my car, I have others: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Urinetown, Little Shop of Horrors (2003 Broadway version), Little Shop of Horrors (1982 Off-Broadway version), Anything Goes, Cabaret (1998 Broadway Revival), and A Year With Frog and Toad.

I bought most of these at Borders Bookstore.

Watching the world go by

How did I get here?

My brother said to me a few days ago that he was surprised it took me so long to start a blog. He said it was right up my alley.

So, why did I start one now?

No, it has nothing to do with the Presidential Election.

Really, it was nothing more than the fact that I finally got around to checking out the blog of a friend of mine, Babs. I was reading her blog, and I thought, what the heck! I can do that.

So, here I am.

Now, go read her blog, too. She's a great gal and a darn good actress/singer/dancer.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

What's in a name?

It's been a while since I was last asked, but I figure now's a good time to explain my Screen Name, The Calvinator.

Shortly after I started using the World Wide Web, I found that I had to have some sort of handle to use in chat rooms and on message boards. At the time, I spent a lot of time at a website that doesn't exist any more at They had a chat room called Disciple Chat that was a chat room for Christians to discuss all types of things including theology and other Biblical topics.

Not too long before that, I had been introduced to the Reformed Faith. The link is to a great explanation of the Doctrines of Grace by Loraine Boettner.

Because much of what I saw in the chat room was inane babble from evanjellyfish, I decided my purpose was to try to bring the light of the truth of Scripture to folks who seemed to have a very narrow view of what Christianity is all about.

I soon found a compatriot there handled Keltoi who remains a good internet friend today. In fact, she and I have traveled the internet from Disciple Chat to irc chat to AIM. She and I would regularly infuriate many of the teeny-boppers that inhabited Disciple Chat by our insistence on examining what the Bible actually said about the subject at hand rather than just relying on our personal opinions.

I only know of one person who came to the Reformed Faith as a result of her contact with me in that room, but she's the most important person I ever met there.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

The most original soft drink ever in the whole wide world

I have a Dr Pepper™ (note the absence of a period) bottle coozy sitting in front of me right now. Growing up in Texas, I was practically weaned on the stuff. I still have a particular weakness for it. Perhaps that's part of the reason I'm that "fat guy" referred to in my profile. These days, I mostly drink Diet Dr Pepper™, which, as the commercials tell us, "Tastes more like regular Dr Pepper™." Even though it is my drink of choice, every time I hear that ad, I can't help but think, "more like regular Dr Pepper™ than what?"

Does that mean it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper™ than it tastes like Drano®. Or that it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper™ than Drano® does. I really don't know. I do know it's the only diet soft drink I can stand.

I also know that, just like every other soft drink out there today, Dr Pepper™ is made with corn syrup instead of sugar.

EXCEPT, you can still get Dr Pepper™ made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar. It's still made that way at the Dublin, Texas bottling plant. You can order it online from Old Doc's Online Store. Trust me, it's worth it, despite the increased risk of cavities.

I've been told it's available at Love & War in Texas in Plano, but I've never been there myself to see if that's true.

New Article from Victor Davis Hanson

Kerry's Dilemma

A few excerpts:

"Putin wants Bush, while Arafat prefers Kerry — and that is all we need to know."

"Few believe his calls for sacrifice and frugality when he owns a $500,000 powerboat, and could have saved thousands of gallons of precious fuel by symbolically shutting down one of his many estates or parking the Gulf Stream in the hangar and flying first-class. The suspicions about the new Democratic party of multimillionaires such as Terry McAuliffe, George Soros, and Ted Kennedy are only enhanced when it nominates a billionaire to head the ticket."

"Soros is an unhappy and often cruel character, and he reminds the voting public that all Kerry's cries about Halliburton and Enron fall flat when he is being subsidized with the millions made from international money speculation, which has caused such mayhem in financial markets. After all, nearly ruining the banks and pensions funds in England to make a billion dollars is not a very populist or even kind thing to do. At least Halliburton, unlike Soros and his gang of speculators, creates something real, and its employees risk their lives to build infrastructure for those desperately in need of it."

"A Gephardt/Lieberman combination, or something reflecting such middle-of-the-road practicality and seriousness — scolding the president from the responsible right on tactical lapses in postwar Iraq — would never have gotten though the extremist primary and embarrassing Deanomania, but it might well have won the general election."

Once more into the breach

Back to politics already.

I am part of a Yahoo Group that isn't specifically about politics, but the subject comes up regularly. It seems that every Presidential election, someone pops up and explains why it would be bad/wrong/wicked/sinful to vote for the Republican Candidate. Now, these folks aren't supporting the Democrats, either. They are promoting the candidate for the Constitution Party (formerly the US Taxpayers Party). This year, the candidate is Michael Peroutka.

Although I certainly sympathize with the Constitution party and agree with much (but not all) of its Platform, the folks who try to tell me I'm being sinful because I'm supporting President Bush get under my skin.

Bush has been less than ideal, but any rational and realistic analysis of Election 2004 will acknowledge that either George W. Bush or John F. Kerry will be elected. I don't see it as selecting the lesser of two evils. I see it as selecting the better candidate. One of whom is flawed in a few areas. The other of whom is the anti-thesis of EVERYTHING I believe in.

Constitution Party advocates don't like to be told to be pragmatic or realistic. They would rather toil in futility while maintaining some bizarre concept of political purity than actually accomplish that which will be the most desirable realistic outcome.

Part of what got my juices really flowing this time around was a letter I was forwarded by one of my long-time internet friends. I am posting the text of the letter in its entirety.


Constitutionally Correct Peroutka

By Howard Phillips

The Constitution Party, then called the U.S. Taxpayers Party, was established in 1992, with its goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical common-law foundations. Neither John Kerry nor George W. Bush shares that goal.

Both President Bush and Senator Kerry have voted for or signed into law more money for Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups, more money for homosexual activist groups, more money for the United Nations, more money for foreign aid, more money for federal intervention in education, not to mention the biggest budgets and budget deficits in the history of our Republic. Neither Bush nor Kerry has supported “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore and his Constitution Restoration Act to prohibit reliance on foreign law and deny federal judges the authority to restrict our acknowledgment of God. Both men favor amnesty for illegal aliens and policies that benefit Communist China to the detriment of U.S. national security.

You and I know these things, but most “conservatives” plan to vote for George W. Bush. Some say the reason they plan to vote for Bush is judicial appointments. But that argument lost its validity when President Bush intervened to prevent the nomination of Congressman Pat Toomey over pro-abortion Sen. Arlen Specter in the recent Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary. If Senator Specter is re-elected on Nov. 2 and the GOP holds its majority in the U.S. Senate, Specter will become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, situated to act in collaboration with his liberal Democrat soul mates to prevent the confirmation of pro-life judicial nominees—and positioned to argue to Bush, if he is re-elected, against the appointment of judges who are comprehensively opposed to abortion. For these reasons and others, it is specious to vote for George W. Bush on the basis of supposed advantages for our side with respect to judicial confirmations.

Moreover, just as Senate Democrats have blocked Republican judicial nominees, the GOP majority in the Senate can—if they summon the will to do so—block nominees by a President Kerry. Of course, only three GOP Senators voted to oppose the confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Only nine voted against Stephen Breyer, and no Republican Senator voted against confirming either pro-abortion David Souter or pro-abortion Sandra Day O’Connor. The positions of both of these nominees were a matter of public record when the Senate placed them on the Supreme Court of the United States.

But there is a greater reason that many conservatives are reluctant to vote for the Constitution Party’s Michael Peroutka. It is fear of the “Bogey Man,” and John Kerry is the Bogey Man of 2004. George W. Bush is presented as “the lesser of two evils,” and Bogey Man John Kerry is characterized, perhaps accurately, as evil incarnate.

Kerry personifies the antithesis of what most conservatives believe, but he is only the latest in a long line of Bogey Men who have diverted us from putting our Republic back on a constitutional track. In 1992, most conservatives were understandably frightened by Bogey Man Bill Clinton and voted against me when I offered then, as Michael Peroutka does now, a constitutionally correct alternative to both major parties. Despite your votes for Bush the Elder, the Bogey Man won in 1992.

Bogey Man Bill Clinton reappeared in 1996 and, once again, most conservatives rejected the only candidate who offered a Christian, constitutional plan of action and invested their votes in Kansas Sen. Bob Dole. There were some exceptions. Jim Dobson declared after the fact that he had cast his vote for Howard Phillips. Of course, despite conservative support for Dole, Clinton won again in 1996.

Last time, Al Gore was the Bogey Man and, once again, conservatives rejected the Constitution Party nominee in favor of George Bush the Younger. In 2000, the Bogey Man lost, but what did it profit America to have elected the “lesser of two evils”? Would we have had the unwise, unnecessary, unconstitutional war on Iraq if Gore had been elected? I doubt it.

We have traveled farther down the wrong path with a Republican president and Congress than we would have if we had experienced gridlock with a Democratic president and a Republican majority in the House and the Senate.

As president, Michael Peroutka would end federal intervention in education, cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood and homosexual activist groups, withdraw from NATO, the UN, NAFTA, WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF. He would seal our borders, cancel the George W. Bush-Vicente Fox treaty to pay Social Security benefits to illegal aliens who have returned to Mexico, expel illegal aliens, end all foreign aid, withdraw from Iraq, oppose the Patriot Act, fight all forms of socialized medicine, and appoint only judges who are 100 percent against abortion. Peroutka would abolish the IRS and replace the income tax with a revenue tariff. He would recognize the threat posed by Communist China and rebuild the U.S. Navy, which has dropped from 600 ships under Ronald Reagan to fewer than 250 today.

If conservatives don’t vote for what they believe, they will never get what they want. Losing as slowly as possible means we still lose. Going over the cliff at a supposedly slower speed still means we are going to crash.

A vote withheld from both the Democrats and Republicans weakens that which is wrong and strengthens the cause of that which is right. Any vote cast for constitutionally sound, Biblically based policies hastens the day when, should God will it, we can witness the restoration of the Republic. It is not for us to decide elections, but rather to determine where we shall invest our precious franchise. God alone determines the outcome, and He blesses those who trust in Him.

Michael Peroutka is the only constitutionally correct choice in 2004. Let’s not let the Right go wrong again.


The part I bolded in the text of this letter from Howard Phillips tells me that he (and Peroutka) would rather have John Kerry as President than George Bush. I find that absolutely incredible and repugnant. Howard Phillips knows that Michael Peroutka will not and cannot win the Presidency this year. Just as he knew he, himself would not win in 1992, 1996, & 2000. He also knows that if Peroutka managed to siphon off whatever percentage of Conservative voters they might get beyond the Third-Party fringe, that will hand the election to John Kerry.

Now, let me make myself clear. I believe that God has already chosen and ordained who will win this election, but I also believe that we have an obligation to use our votes wisely. In this election, the wise choice is not a "protest" vote for Peroutka, but a Principled vote for President Bush.

I have the solution for the Disenchanted. Many of the Constitution Party folks I know have no idea how the Republican Party actually works. I do. I am a Precinct Chairman and a former County Vice-Chairman. I've been to three State Conventions. The Republican Party really is a grassroots organization.

If all the folks who moan and complain about the errors in the Republican Party would get involved at the Local level of the Republican Party and work for change, it would be much more realistic and happen much more quickly than it can with the Quixotic escapades they currently promote.

Friday, October 22, 2004

All Kidding Aside

As I sit here listening to my High School alma mater's football game on the radio—You heard me right, the high school football game is broadcast live on the radio—it makes me think. Although I have turned into a pretty big guy (not tall), I was small, bordering on puny, when I was in High School. When I graduated in 1986, I was only 5'6" and weighed about 130 pounds. Since then, I've grown 4 inches in height and several in girth.

Anyway, I didn't have the build to be a football player. I tried. I played in 7th grade when I was 4'8" and 60 pounds. I even started in the secondary. I didn't like hitting people. Think Deion Sanders. However, I had a good excuse. Every time I hit someone, I got a splitting headache. Let me tell you the story. When we were supposed to go to the Field House for equipment check out, we got there a little late. When I approached the Coach to get my helmet, he took a look at my tiny frame and handed me a helmet sized 6 1/2.

Allow me to digress for a moment. I have a large head (some would say I also have a big head, but that's a whole other discussion). I currently wear a size 7 3/4 hat.

Back to 1980. The Coach gave me bigger helmets going up in 1/8 increments. When he got to 6 7/8, I was finally able to get it over my ears, but it was still way too tight. Coach told me that was the biggest helmet he had left, so I had no choice. The bottom line is that I played an entire season with a helmet that was 2 or 3 sizes too small. It gave me a headache just to wear it. Hitting someone made the pain just about unbearable.

My only claim to fame in my football career is that in our intra-squad Red-White game, I tackled the Quarterback. That Quarterback was none other than Jamie Foxx (that wasn't his name back then). I don't remember speaking to Jamie since we graduated from High School. He missed out 10-year reunion because he was shooting a movie. Maybe he'll make it back for the 20-year.

When I figured out that athletics wasn't going to be my thing, I turned my focus to band and drama. Theatre is still one of the most important things in my life. I've been in 20 plays and musicals ranging from Macbeth to The Odd Couple and Sound of Music to Little Shop of Horrors. That last one was the show I just closed recently. I was the voice of the plant, Audrey II. After one performance, an audience member told me she was surprised to discover I wasn't black. I had tried to do the voice as a combination of Elvis and Barry White. I guess I pulled it off fairly well.

Over the years, theatre has provided a much needed creative outlet and emotional release for me. It's exhilirating to step out in front of an audience and just let the character take over. I'm sure I'll have more to say on here about my theatre experince as this blog grows. I'm not sure when I'll be able to do another show because of the part-time teaching I'm doing now.

So Little Time

I have a number of interests, but we'll start with the most obvious.

This is an interesting time to start a public Journal. The Presidential election is only 11 days away. I've been spending a lot of time lately at the Real Clear Politics website.

This site provides a lot of raw data and analysis.

For a number of reasons, I believe that the 2004 election is one of the most important in recent times. Probably the only one in my political memory that is comparable would have been 1980. We will all know on November 3rd how this one turns out (assuming there is no repeat of the 2000 fiasco), but my instincts tell me that we will have 4 more years.

If my instincts turn out to be right, then the Democrats missed a prime opportunity. There is no denying that President Bush was vulnerable in this election; however, instead of nominating a Moderate candidate that would have appealed to the middle (or so-called "swing voters"), the dems picked a Northeastern Liberal. Maybe it's simplistic and cliché, but Joe Sixpack just can't relate to someone like John Kerry.

First Things

It seems to be obligatory in BlogLand for the first post to be a justification for why the writer should have others pay attention to him or her. Since the only folks who will read this will be either friends I've directed here, or people who hear about it because of some particular entry, I don't see the need for that exercise. To me, those entries are often disingenuous anyway. Blogs are not much more than a person's Journal that is made public. So, if you want to read what I have to say, that's just fine and dandy. If not, that's no skin off my nose.