Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeley the incredible shrinking dog!















Keeley got another hair cut, but this time we took ALL of her fur. :) Poor Keeley, she looks so angry.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monopolies

I hate Monopolies. Hate is a strong word but yes, I hate them. Both the City of Raleigh and the power company provide services that we are forced to accept. Let me tell you two stories.

Story 1: Power Company
The problem with a monopoly on something like power is that they can do whatever they want to you and you have no other choice on the matter. CP&L took around $100 out of my account but didn't apply it to my bill. By doing that, they effectively stole from me. I spent an hour every day for over a week with both the bank and CP&L trying to prove that my account was $100 lighter because they took out the money. Around seven hours (spead over several days) of talk time later, they finally accepted the fact that I was right and credited my account. That was annoying but instead of apologizing for their mistake, they penalized me. Since my payment was "late" due to their mistake, they said they couldn't trust that I would pay my bill on time and would need to start paying in cash or by a cashiers check. To do that, I would have to make an extra trip out to one of their billing stations and pay my bill as well as the charges for cutting the special check. Combine that with gas prices at the time and you can see why I was pretty annoyed with them. I suggested that we use what any other company who is trying to stay competitive in a free market economy and pay with my debit card. They were more then happy to do that but said it would be a $5 fee for that service. Finally, we found a solution which sort of worked for both of us, automatic draft. Great, "I'd like it to be taken out on the 15th of each month please" was my response. Their response was "haha, no." Seriously, they laughed and said they would take the money out on the 29th. Granted its normally no more then $100 so its not a huge deal but that's one day before pay day. The whole problem started because they thought I didn't have the money to pay them so the day before 99% of working folks get paid isn't the best day to be taking the funds.

I lament the situation and realize that there is nothing I can do. Socialism is quickly becoming part of our economy and this is the sort of thing I will have to get used to. Free market not only drives down prices but forces companies to treat their customers with respect. Hello Obama, goodbye customer service.

Story 2: Trash
Every month, the City of Raleigh is charging me $20.60 for both solid waste and recycling. I called them to get rid of my recycling service because I feel they should pay me to recycle, not the other way around. Their response, "tough." Yep, since this is a government run program, I have to pay for it even if I don't use it. I can not cancel water, trash, or recycle even if I wanted to. Hello Obama, goodbye freedom of choice.

This may sound like I'm down on one man. No, I think he'll do some good things and we need a change but he strongly believes in big government. He thinks the government can be more fair and kind therefore we should all pay for every service he believes in. That means my tax or bill money will be forced to pay for things like abortion for teens.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chalkboard update

Frida paints Neo in bullet time

Italian Sausage Soup

serves 6

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced potatoes
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
  • 2 small zucchini, cubed
  • 2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
  3. Remove from heat, and add spinach (can use canned spinach as a substitute but it doesn't look as nice). Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.
  4. Serves well with Sour Cream and garlic bread for dipping.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Help us Obama

Here are a few things I would love to see Obama accomplish while in office. These are things I believe he could accomplish if he wanted to.

1) Fuel Cell Cars and Trucks
Imagine pulling up to a pump and not worry about smelling gas on your hands when you're done. You're putting hydrogen in your tank which comes from breaking apart water. You know its clean and safe and most of all, American. What's holding us back? Government policy can force gas stations to start having hydrogen pumps and watch it all take off. Government forcing things like this brings me into #2.
2) Make Us Socialist
As a good conservative, you might be surprised to hear me say that. Well, I say it through gritted teeth but no matter what I believe, America can no longer accept a capitalistic society. Americans believe they are entitled to their dream and don't believe they could fail. As much as I would hate to see Ford or Chevy go bankrupt, if they can't make a profit, then that is what should happen. Since that won't happen and we'll bail them out, lets just move to socialism since we're there already and forget this capitalism talk. It works for the most part in Europe so lets just do it.
3) Cut Deficit
This obviously would require us being financially stable but I think it could happen.
4) Make Hard Working Americans
Encourage Americans to work hard and believe they can accomplish their dream if they do so.

Here are some things I hope he doesn't push.
  1. Killing babies born after surviving an abortion
  2. Partial birth abortion (baby is partially out and they still kill it)
  3. Hate speech bill (censorship and ignoring free sheech amendment)
  4. Fair time bill (forcing views on others even in private sectors)
These are things Obama believes in and would sign if they make it through the house. Here are my predictions if this gets passed.
  1. a lot more abortions will happen
  2. a lot more abortions will happen
  3. pastors will be put in jail if they kick some one out of the church for practicing homosexuality publically despite clear biblical guidlines (its not a sin to be gay as long as you don't practice). Even more then that, they will be jailed for even saying the practice is a sin.
  4. Church functions as well as Christian Radio will be forced to play propaganda from athist and other religions.

A message from makers of the new Bond

The latest Bond flick decided to throw in a few things against the war on terror. They accredited the credit crisis and the weak dollar value to the "war on terror." I was curious of exactly how much the war on terror was costing us and if we cut that out, would it would cover the $700 billion dollar bailout giving to the financial sector.

As it turns out, the War on Terror is a whopping 3.67% of our budget. That may not sound like a lot but when you consider our budget is in the trillions, you're looking at around $100 billion in funding. The guy who put that line in the movie was obviously wrong about $100b would be able to cover the $700b bailout or prevent the global financial crisis but he does make a good point. It seems there could be better areas for us to spend our money.

By the way, each year we pay $243.7 billion in interest alone on debt the government has acquired. That's 9.1% of our budget.

Norwegian Blue Parot

I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it.
You've probably heard the sketch from Monty Python but evidently they were not the first. An ancient Greek joke book has been found with a similar story. Check out the article here. Other jokes include flatulence and dimwits showing elementary school boys have laughed at these things since the dawn of civilization.

Free Cold Stone Ice Cream

On your birthday

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bolt screener

I've got a pass to see the screener for the kids movie Bolt next Monday. If anyone would like my pass, let me know and its yours. I would love to go see it myself but I have a conflict with BSF.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OBX runners

Congratulations to all who ran and finished the OBX 1/2 marathon. See Marcie's facebook page for lots of pictures or check out Ashely's blog for a nice recap of the weekend.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Twilight Movie Screener

Twilight Screener

Kitchen Chalkboard!




Its a chalk board in Brantley's kitchen! How fun!! :)