August 26, 2005

Draft Warner organization begins campaign

Draft Mark Warner, the grassroots internet organization promoting Gov. Mark R. Warner for President in 2008, will conduct its first on-the-ground operation at a political event.

Warner will be the keynote speaker on Aug. 27 at the West Virginia Democratic Party’s Annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Charleston, W. Va.

Article here.

I'm the moderator from Maryland!

August 24, 2005

Living in Stagnant Water

Stagnant water is the worst kind of water there is. Water in and of itself is a pure, life giving substance. However, when allowed to stagnate, starts to become filthy, transforms into a breeding ground for blood sucking mosquitos, and can even pass along diseases such as malaria.

Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind."

Everyone has the choice of living in either a puddle or a spring. I enjoy life in my spring. If you are happy in your puddle, that's fine with me. Just stop trying to splash me with your filth.

August 19, 2005


It seems that the Democratic party doesn't know where its going from a national perspective. What are the key issues that are driving the party? There sure are plenty to choose from.

I am on many different political mailing lists and it seems like the vast majority of the ones from the Democratic party and related organizations seem to all be focused on what a bad job President Bush is doing.

Is pointing out the mistakes of an elected official a good thing? It sure is! Accountability of politicians is essential. However, the problem lies in the fact that the goal of the democratic party should not solely be to remind us of how awful the current government leaders are. What they should be saying is, "Mr. Bush is doing it wrong because____________. And here's what we are going to do about it-_______________.

It's funny because just this week I was thinking of how sick and tired I was hearing about Cindy Sheehan and all the liberal activist groups who are exploiting her, and how no solutions are being offered through it all, only attacks upon President Bush. Then I read an excellent editorial by David Ignatius in the Washington Post.

Here is a clip:
So where are the Democrats amid this GOP disarray? Frankly, they are nowhere. They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems. Rather than lead a responsible examination of America's strategy for Iraq, they have handed off the debate to a distraught mother who is grieving for her lost son. Rather than address the nation's long-term fiscal problems, they have decided to play politics and let President Bush squirm on the hook of his unpopular plan to create private Social Security accounts.

Because they lack coherent plans for how to govern the country, the Democrats have become captive of the most shrill voices in the party, who seem motivated these days mainly by visceral dislike of George W. Bush. Sorry, folks, but loathing is not a strategy -- especially when much of the country finds the object of your loathing a likable guy.

Top 3 Ways to Ruin a Relationship

1. Do not listen when having a conversation, and when recalling it later, be sure to include facts which were never mentioned. For those brief periods you were listening, do not use logic in your interpretation of what was said.

2. Create a far fetched story and accuse the person of lying when they don't admit to what you say they "did" despite the fact they have never lied to you before.

3. Never allow facts to get in the way of your emotions.

August 18, 2005

Top 3 Snack Combinations

Here they are, my top 3 favorite snack combos.

If you want to win me over for anything, presentation of these items would be a great first step.

1. Fresh squeezed lemonade and a soft pretzel with caramel dipping sauce
2. Iced tea and a soft, thick brownie
3. Sausalito cookies with original Pringles chips

August 17, 2005

Subconscious Imitation

People are the products of their environments. Sometimes this environment is a chosen one. Other times, it is something unavoidable.

In a chosen environment (environment being defined as all influential devices surrounding an individual) people many times feel that since they have chosen it, they are in control of it. And this control allows for whatever influence to have an effect as great or as little as the individual decides.

When one is deliberate, it is possible for this to be successful, such as working in an environment where everybody is, by default, very unfriendly and do not engage with one another on any sort of meaningful level. An individual entering this environment can either make an effort to interact with others or to simply "go with the flow" and this person who is otherwise engaging can be transformed. Alternatively, if an individual who hasn't either consciously decided to go one way or the other can be subconsciously changed into fitting in to the environment without realizing it.

There are many influences in life, and one of them is the television. Sometimes, you can learn more about a person simply based upon what their favorite, or rather, most watched TV shows are. This brings me to the point of today's rant.

Have you ever noticed that people who seem to be the drama kings and queens of the world are those who watch "The Real World" on MTV? Even the smallest thing to a normal person turns into a huge event by these members of drama royalty. There is always a heated exchange between two (or more) individuals, and the word "feelings" is mentioned, not only by the females, but even guys as well.

This is not to say that everyone who watches "The Real World" is a member of drama royalty. But I will say, if you know of somebody aged 16 to 30 who you would classify as either a drama king or queen, odds are that they are faithful watchers of "The Real World."

Some could argue that the inverse is true, that individuals are already drama-prone and only gravitate towards shows like that. But I believe that I have seen otherwise normal individuals utterly transformed simply by viewing this show. Do they deliberately decide, "Oh, I really want to be as dramatic as those people are!"? No, not at all. It is much more along the lines of by their constant viewing of this so called "real world," their perception of what actually is the real world, and how normal, sane individuals behave in certain situations is forever warped. They become these characters they watch on a weekly basis. It is subconscious imitation.

August 15, 2005


I recently saw the movie Spanglish. Going into it, I had really no idea what to expect... I vaguely remember seeing trailers for the film when it originally came out, but really (based on those) did not have a strong desire to see it. But I am so glad I did and did not have a preconceived notion of what to expect.

This is definitely one of those movies that the marketing division really didn't know how to market. Based on some reviews I read post-watching, people didn't know what this movie was all about. Some thought it was merely a "comedy" or a "romantic comedy" and felt somewhat disappointed. Others thought it was a movie about immigrating to the US and its challenges. While it is true that the movie did contain all of these elements, the big picture was actually a bit, uh, bigger.

Spanglish is a movie about parenting, about family, and about personal priorities. Plain and simple. Of course you can't really market a movie today saying, "this movie will show you what it means to be a good parent," which is rather unfortunate because those are surely needed.

If you haven't seen it yet, you should check it out.

August 11, 2005

How to be lazy... by the PG County Police Department

Mistakes are a part of life. We all make them. The most important aspect of a mistake, however, is not the mistake itself, but what you do in response when one is made.

The Prince George's County police department is not immune to mistakes. Periodically, when making a news release, the wrong city or town is cited within as where a crime took place. Obviously, the reporting of inaccurate information is not a good thing.

So what would be the logical thing to do to solve this dilemma?

Oh, I don't know. The county police department is exactly that - a COUNTY police department. Surely they, being overseers of all things within the borders of PG County would at least know where city and town lines are drawn. And if not, an officer or two (grab 'em from a speed trap if you need to find some) could actually go into the communities and find out exactly where a city or town's limits are and report back to police HQ.

Once all this information is gathered, a map could be made and the next time a crime is committed, whoever is writing the press release can refer to this map (color coded if necessary) and pinpoint the exact location of the crime. Then, this information can be utilized and actually used in the new releases.

Is that too much to ask of the police department? I really don't think so.

And let me say here that I really do appreciate what policemen do for us on a regular basis. If we had no police officers, we sure couldn't enjoy the quality of life that we currently have. (Although speed traps could surely be done away with.)

So what has the good ole PG County police department decided to solve their problem? Just eliminate all usage of city and town names in their reports? You got it! That is exactly what they are going to do!

I've said this before, and I will say it again. The police are excellent 99% of the time. It just seems that in the remaining 1%, they really know how to drop the ball. And if this is not an example of that, I don't know what is.

Backlash Spurs Pr. George's Police to Stop Releasing Crime Jurisdictions

As Prince George's grapples with a soaring crime rate, the hodgepodge of 27 jurisdictions that dot the county are increasingly sensitive about the stigma of homicides or carjackings that occur just outside their borders. They have repeatedly registered complaints with the media and the county police department when crime is inaccurately attributed to their city or town.

To address the growing discontent and avoid the possibility of getting it wrong, the county police have decided that their news releases will no longer identify the cities and towns where crimes occur. From now on, the department will release only street names and block numbers.

Road Bill Reflects The Power Of Pork

White House Drops Effort to Rein In Hill

I thought Republicans stood for being fiscally conservative. I guess these nowadays Republicans are just as bad as some Democrats who go crazy with our tax money as well! I want my money back!

Three years ago, President Bush went to war against congressional pork. His official 2003 budget even featured a color photo of a wind-powered ice sled -- an example of the pet projects and alleged boondoggles he said he would no longer tolerate.

Yesterday, Bush effectively signed a cease-fire -- critics called it more like a surrender -- in his war on pork. He signed into law a $286 billion transportation measure that contains a record 6,371 pet projects inserted by members of Congress from both parties.

August 10, 2005

Boredom Numbs the Work World

Ooops. The story of my life. By Amy Joyce in today's Washington Post.

Here's a bit.
"We know that 55 percent of all U.S. employees are not engaged at work. They are basically in a holding pattern. They feel like their capabilities aren't being tapped into and utilized and therefore, they really don't have a psychological connection to the organization," said Curt W. Coffman, global practice leader at the Gallup Organization, whose large polling group measured employee engagement.

And a bit more.
That problem -- a lack of autonomy and a job that has very specific instructions -- hits workers from the highest to lowest echelons of the working world. Many spend their days surfing the Internet, writing e-mails or taking care of personal business.

Read the whole thing. While working.

August 8, 2005

Jordis Rocks!

There is one television show that I know you are not watching this summer. And that show is Rock Star: INXS on CBS. How do I know you are not watching? Well, simply because the ratings haven't been too great.

Unfortunately for you, you are really missing something.

Contestant Jordis Unga has got to be the greatest performer on a television show that I have ever seen. While I cannot give her the title of greatest singer, because currently Tamyra Gray holds it, there are elements far greater than singing voice that makes a rock star great. And this gal has them.

Recently, People magazine noted that, "When dreadlocked Jordis Unga stepped on stage and ripped into a searing rendition of The Who's 'Baba O'Reilly,' she didn't just kick off another music competition, she outsang four seasons' worth of American Idols."

Rock Star: INXS is a much better show for music and musicians than American Idol is. You have a great house band that contestants perform and interact with. Performers really know how to work the crowd. Contestants here are much older than the teenagers of American Idol. They have performed professionally prior to becoming contestants and this fact is abundantly clear. Instead of turning amateurs pro, this show brings great performers to the international stage.

If you would like to see videos of Jordis, or any of the other performers for that matter, you can access them from the show's official site on MSN.

While I am still unsure if I would like to see Jordis win the whole thing (a record deal as a solo artist might be far better), she is truly worth watching, and I wish her best of luck in her forthcoming professional music career.

August 5, 2005

The Pizza Hut Ban

So last Friday I was responsible for dinner for a going away party. The menu? Pizza. Simple enough, right?

Previously for similar events where pizza was involved, we bought those "make it yourself" pizza kits from the grocery store which make having a pizza even more affordable than it normally is. So last week, after work, I went to the grocery store to go buy some pizza kits for 6 pizzas. Having to grab something on the way from work to the party, I had to stop by a Giant en route. To my dismay, they did not have the all inclusive pizza kits as they do at my ususal grocery store, but had each component which had to be purchased separately. After putting enough crusts, sauce, and cheese for 6 pizzas into my basket (They did not have any carts! And that surprisingly ties into my previous rant, but I digress...), I realized that the total grocery bill would be very similar if not more than how much I would spend at Pizza Hut using their special "Buy 1 at full price, and get up to 5 more for 5 bucks each" deal. So I returned all items to the shelves, and then had to lug several bags of chips and drinks to the counter using my arms, neck, and basket since all the carts had conveniently been "borrowed" already despite the fact there were no more than twenty other customers in the store. Plus, I think Pizza Hut pizza tastes better than the do it yourself variety (generally), and there is no work involved... so it was win-win.

And now, the "fun with Pizza Hut" evening begins.

In order to find out which Pizza Hut delivered, the internet was accessed, and after inputting the address, the website had not one, but two locations which apparently delivered to my address. Quite pleased with the prospect, I called one of the two, confirmed that they delivered to my address, and proceeded to order all six pizzas. After completing the order, I was then informed that they actually didn't deliver to my address. Slightly irritated, I hung up with them and called the second Pizza Hut because surely they delivered to my address... it did say so on the website. I went through the same process with them as I did with the first - first made sure they delivered, then ordered, and finally was then told they didn't deliver to me. I then asked for the number of a Pizza Hut who actually could deliver to my address, and I called that number. And they too could not deliver.

Finally, it was decided I place an order and pick up the pizza. The order was placed and I was told that the pizza would be ready in twenty minutes. Excellent news I thought. But then, traffic being unsually bad for a Friday afternoon, I arrived an at the Pizza Hut an hour after placing the order. I just hoped the pizza wasn't cold. I walked in, and gave the guy at the counter my phone number and my name, but he could not find it in the system. I then described the order to him, and he says, "I don't know of any order of 6 medium pizzas being placed, and I would know. Are you sure you are at the right Pizza Hut?"

Initially thinking I had actually come to the wrong place, I went back and confirmed that this actually was the correct Pizza Hut, and after a more thorough search in the complex Pizza Hut computer system, he was able to find my order only to tell me that it wasn't ready yet. It was at that moment I looked around the Pizza Hut to see very impatient people who had also placed orders quite some time earlier and were still waiting for their orders. So I sat there and waited. And waited. For fifteen minutes. All while getting annoyed because I had to take the guest of honor to the party, and it was more than an hour late of the scheduled start time, and people had arrived even earlier to suprise him when he arrived.

Finally, the pizza is ready, and the man at the counter gives me the pizza and proceeds to help the next people in line. But I realize that I had not yet paid for the pizza! And he didn't even know! So, here I am, compeltely fed up with Pizza Hut organization, already late for the party, and in order for me to pay for it, I have to wait in line again?!

So, guess what I did!

I walked off with the pizza!

No, I am lying. But I was extremely tempted to do so. But after I waited in line, and told the man at the counter I hadn't paid yet, he looked extremly grateful that I hadn't walked away. Too bad I didn't get a coupon for a free pizza or something!

So, the result of that day has led me to ban all future Pizza Hut purchases by me. Granted, I will still EAT Pizza Hut pizza when bought by others (it IS good stuff), but I will not buy any until they can get organized to the point where if somebody wants delivery, they can immediately tell if they deliver to the address AND when their in house computer system is capable of handling a simple name or phone number search to pull up an order with an at least 90% success rate.

Yes, I'm weird like that.