Friday, April 28, 2006

The Good Nail Clippers

I'm sure you've heard your mother or wife say something about the "good scissors." Well, I have a pair of Good Nail Clippers. And they are missing since the move. I know they made it to the new house because I put them in my own pocket and carried them. They are, however, temporarily missing. They would go missing occasionally at the old house, but that one was a lot smaller and only had a few places inanimate objects could hide.

I miss them.

When Christian Conservatives become Legalistic Liberals

I have long believed that the fundamental tenet of Conservatism is a belief in smaller Government. Conservatives are supposed to support lower taxes and less Government involvement in our day-to-day activities. A Conservative does not believe it is the Government's job to protect us from ourselves or to guide and direct our morals. Those jobs fall to the Family and the Church, respectively.

There are some issues, however, when even the best intentioned of Conservatives slips into a Big-Government Liberal mindset. For some reason, many folks who are otherwise solidly Conservative in their political outlook think that we have to prevent people from participating in the "evils" of gambling. Now, why the Government should protect people from their own stupidity is beyond me.

I've heard more than one Conservative refer to gambling as a "Tax on the Stupid" or a "Tax on people who are not good at math." First, gambling is not a Tax of any kind, and calling it one waters down the principled Conservative opposition to new and/or higher taxes. Second, there are all kinds of entertainments out there that may be just as stupid and money-wasting as gambling, but we don't hear the clamor to outlaw them.

Some argue that gambling breeds crime, but like many things that are claimed to be causally linked, the proof is very hard to make. Poverty is said to cause crime, too, but Conservatives rightly counter that it's not the role of Government to protect people from poverty.

It is time for Conservatives to stop confusing what may be a sin with what should be a crime.

THANKS to DK for pointing out my typo to me.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Summer is Here

I know that we are merely a month past the official start of Spring, but here in North Texas, we have already had the unofficial start of Summer. Last week, it topped 100 degrees. I wrote about the Texas heat HERE, but that was June. This is April for cryin' out loud.

Over the weekend, I put up our pool. It's one of those with an inflatable ring around the top that then rises as the pool fills with water. I believe it is supposed to fill to 3 feet, but because of a slight incline, it is only about 2 1/2 feet, which is perfect for my three older girls. The water was a bit cold, and after my girls' playing in it yesterday, a bit cloudy as well. I'm not sure why it's cloudy, but I'll wait before getting too antsy about it.

I also got my first sunburn of the year. It isn't bad, but my shoulders and upper back are a little red.

I enjoy having the pool because I love to jump in it after mowing the yard to help me cool down more quickly. We didn't put it up last year because we were thinking we might be selling our old house sooner than we did.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Water filter Update

I managed to find some parts at Home Depot to replace the one I broke. We now have filtered water going to the ice maker. That's a very good thing because the water here is bordering on undrinkable.

Almost Completely Out

We've almost removed all of our stuff from our old house. It's a good thing that the buyer is my niece, or we'd have been in trouble trying to vacate.

Now, we just have to make some headway on getting all the stuff moved in where it goes in the new house. I'm thinking we need to throw a bunch of stuff away. We couldn't do that before the move because much of it was boxed up. I am really considering imposing a rule that if something hasn't been touched in six months, it goes out the door.

Special items and mementos will be excluded.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Pox upon Me for a Clumsy Lout

Last night, I was installing a line filter for the ice maker. I went to Lowe's and bought the hardware I needed to do the job and headed home to finish the task. Everything was going well until I proceeded to assemble the first connector. I applied teflon tape to reduce the risk of leaking and tightened the part. Once I got it hand-tightened, I thought that I should get it as tight as possible. So, I got a pair of pliers and began really torqueing that thing down.

Did I mention that the parts in question are plastic?

You have probably already foreseen where this is heading. As I tightened and tightened, I heard that dreaded sound:


I had broken the plastic. I went ahead and finished the connections and tried it out, but obviously, the cracked part leaked like a sieve.

After work today, I'm stopping by the Home Depot on the way home to see if they happen to have a part I can use as a replacement. I can order replacement parts from the manufacturer of the filter, but they cost more than $11, and I'd have to wait until the middle of next week for them to arrive.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

For My Friend, Sherry

I chatted on AIM with a friend yesterday, and then I stumbled across this. She'll really appreciate it.

If the video doesn't play for you here, click the image again and another window should open and play it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Theatre Blog Button

Thanks to Moose of Casey and Scotty comic fame for creating my new button you can find to the right.

Now, go check out his comic and vote for it.

Casey and Scotty Comic

Immigration Issues

Now that the Senate has killed the Immigration Bill (at least temporarily), I'd like to address this. I am convinced that we are going about the effort to stop illegal immigration the wrong way. Enforcement plans always seem to focus on the illegal immigrants. From an economic standpoint, in the Supply and Demand model, the immigrants are the Supply. They are the cheap labor that employers (mainly agricultural, restaurant, and hotel if you believe the anecdotal claims) hire because, supposedly, Americans don't want those jobs. These employers represent the Demand portion of the economic equation.

We should have learned from years of failed enforcement efforts that stemming the tide of the supply of illegal immigrant workers is impossible. For every illegal we catch and send back home, dozens replace him. We can't stop or even realistically slow down the supply pipeline unless we build a concrete wall between the entirety of the border with Mexico.

In order to win this battle, if it can be won, we must go after the Demand side of the equation rather than the Supply side. If there are no jobs to be had for illegal immigrants, much of the impetus for their coming is removed.

So, if we really want to stop or greatly reduce illegal immigration, the solution is to enforce stiff penalties against employers who hire illegal immigrants. Make it hurt. Heavy fines for first offenses. Subsequent offenses should include jail time. If we really care about this issue, this is the only way to solve it.

My Favorite TV Show

I grew up a TV-head. When I was in school, the television would be turned on the minute I got home, and I watched it until I went to bed. I did my homework with the TV on. It stayed on while we ate dinner. In short, I watched a lot of TV growing up.

Now, I don't. Admittedly, that's because I spend almost all my leisure time on the computer, but my TV viewing time has declined from my childhood average of between 40 to 50 hours per week. These days, not counting sports, I only watch 1.5 hours of television each week. Two-thirds of that time is spent on Lost. This show is intelligent and entertaining. It reminds me of Twin Peaks before it got too weird.

Other good links:

Oceanic Flight 815

The Hanso Foundation

The Fuselage

Lost Forum

Lost Podcast Also available via iTunes

Monday, April 03, 2006

Moving, Part the Second

Well, we got the beds in the new house, but there are still tons of boxes and other stuff piled up in the garage of the new house. We're also not out of the old house completely, yet. It's a good thing that my niece, who bought our house, is patient.

The new neighborhood seems to be very quiet, and it is really dark in the house with the lights out.

I've already met my neighbors on either side of me, but I was so focused on the moving that I don't remember their names. Our 7, 5, & 3 3/4 year olds have made some friends and went and played at a house across the street yesterday.

My wife told me last night that she doesn't ever want to move again. Not because she loves the neighborhood and house so much (although she does), but because she doesn't ever want to have to pack everything up and move it again.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Moving is the Pits

One of these days I am going to learn to hire a moving company to get my stuff moved from Point A to Point B. This was not one of those days.

I rented a U-Haul 26 foot truck and started loading it about 3:30 this afternoon. At about 7, I hadn't made much progress. Thankfully, my father and my brother-in-law showed up and helped load while my mother and my sister helped my wife get more stuff packed up. We got the truck loaded about 9:15, but we can't get into the new house until the morning because we gave the sellers a day to get the rest of their stuff out. The rest of our stuff is going to require at least one more load of that truck.

I am dead tired, but I'm just not sleepy, yet.