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.