October 05, 2011
Round and Round
I owe Mike a big thanks for keeping up with the posting here at CY, as I've been preoccupied between a bad ear infection with vertigo and keeping up with Gunwalker. Check out my feed on Pajamas Media, where I've been updating on the Administration's gun-walking fiasco.
It's getting uglier by the day.
September 14, 2011
Too Dumb to Check: Obama Has Clinical Depression?
His economy is depressed, his poll numbers are depressed, his agenda is depressing, so yeah, it fits.
Real-Time Animation Of Obama's Poll Numbers
Quick...someone report me to
August 18, 2011
RE: The American Iliad
A blogger calling himself "The Catholic Knight" passed along a link to a piece he wrote called, "The American Iliad."
It's a rather weighty read and I cannot say how accurate the history cited in this article may or may not be, but it provokes thought, one way or the other.
We are at a very troubling juncture in our Republic's life, and it seems that those who should be leading us are instead dedicated to ripping all we stand for as a nation. At times such as these it is good to remember where we came from, as that cultural memory, both of good things and bad, can help remind us of the kind of country we would like to be.
August 02, 2011
Dear Tea Party Terrorists: Buy More Ammo
For a bunch of Tea Party terrorists, you aren't buying as much ammo as you should. So buy more.
In particular, Selliot & Belloit is offering a free tee shirt for $30 rifle ammo orders, so you might as well stock up. A nice side effect is that the referral fee will help me feed my little terrorists, one of which who has already learned to utter "Reagan Akbar" with reverence.
July 30, 2011
...And I'm Back
We spent a beautiful and too-short week in western North Carolina, fishing, swimming, hiking and picnicking with my extended family. I think that if we get the chance, my wife and I will probably retire to the Brevard area. It's over 103 here at home, and was never hotter than the mid 80s there all week.
Besides that, the Davidson, French Broad, and Horsepasture Rivers seem to have too many trout. Someone needs to help manage the ecology, preferably someone who knows how to roll cast and grill trout.
June 14, 2011
The Palin Letter
To the Sisters, Brother, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Friends of Trig Paxson Van Palin (or whatever you end up naming him!):
I am blessing you with this surprise baby because I only want the best for you. I've heard your prayers that this baby will be happy and healthy, and I've answered them because I only want the best for you!
I heard your heart when you hinted that another boy would fit best in the Palin family, to round it out and complete that starting five line-up.
Though another girl would be so nice, you didn't think you could ask for what you REALLY wanted, but I knew, so I gave you a boy because I only want the best for you!
Then, I put the idea in your hearts that his name should be 'Trig', because it's so fitting, with two Norse meanings: "True" and "Brave Victory". You also have a Bristol Bay relative with that name, so I knew it would be best for you!
Then, I let Trig's mom have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy so she could enjoy every minute of it, and I even seemed to rush it along so she could wait until near the end to surprise you with the news - that way Piper wouldn't have so long to wait and count down so many days - just like Christmastime when you have to wait, impatiently, for that special day to finally open your gift? (Or the way the Palmas look forward to birthday celebrations that go on for three, four days_ you all really like cake.) I know you, I knew you'd be better off with just a short time to wait!
Then, finally, I let Trig's mom and dad find out before he was born that this little boy will truly be a GIFT. They were told in early tests that Trig may provide more challenges, and more joy, than what they ever may have imagined or ever asked for.
At first the news seemed unreal and sad and confusing. But I gave Trig's mom and dad lots of time to think about it because they needed lots of time to understand that everything will be OK, in fact, everything will be great, because I only want the best for you!
I've given Trig's mom and dad peace and joy as they wait to meet their new son. I gave them a happy anticipation because they asked me for that.
I'll give all of you the same happy anticipation and strength to deal with Trig's challenges, but I won't impose on you... I just need to know you want to receive my offer to be with all of you and help you everyday to make Trig's life a great one.
This new person in your life can help everyone put things in perspective and bind us together and get everyone focused on what really matters.
The baby will expand your world and let you see and feel things you haven't experienced yet. He'll show you what "true, brave victory" really means as those who love him will think less about self and focus less on what the world tells you is "normal" or "perfect°.
You will grow and be blessed with greater understanding that will he born along with Trig.Trig will be his dad's little buddy and he'll wear Carhartts while he learns to tinker in the garage. He'll love to be read to, he'll want to play goalie, and he'll steal his mom's heart just like Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper did.
And Trig will be the cuddly, innocent, mischievous, dependent little brother that his siblings have been waiting for_in fact Trig will - in some diagnostic ways - always be a mischievous, dependent little brother, because I created him a bit different than a lot of babies born into this world today.
Every child is created special, with awesome purpose and amazing potential. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed up world you live in down there on earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome. Doctors call it "Down's Syndrome", and Downs kids have challenges, but can bring you much delight and more love than you can ever imagine! Just wait and see, let me prove this, because I only want the best for you!
Some of the rest of the world may not want him, but take comfort in that because the world will not compete for him. Take care of him and he will always be yours!
Trig's mom and dad don't want people to focus on the baby's extra chromosome. They're human, so they haven't known how to explain this to people who are so caring and are interested in this new little Alaskan. Sarah and Todd want people to share in the joy of this gift I'm giving to the Palin family, and the greater Alaska family.
Many people won't understand_ and I understand that. Some will think Trig should not be allowed to be born because they fear a Downs child won't be considered "perfect" in your world. (But tell me, what do you earthlings consider "perfect" or even "normal" anyway? Have you peeked down any grocery store isle, or school hallway, or into your office lunchroom lately? Or considered the odd celebrities you celebrate as "perfect" on t.v.? Have you noticed I make 'em all shapes and sizes? Believe me, there is no "perfect"!)
Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this.
I know it will take time to grasp this and come to accept that I only want the best for you, and I only give my best. Remember though: "My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts- for as the heavens are higher than the earth, my ways are higher than yours!"
I wrote that all down for you in the Good Book! Look it up! You claim that you believe me - now it's time to live out that belief!
Please look to me as this new challenge and chapter of life unfolds in front of you. I promise to equip you. I won't give you anything you can't handle. I am answering your prayers. Trig can't wait to meet you. I'm giving you ONLY THE BEST!
Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father
This letter was not for written for public consumption, but for the extended Palin family several days before the arrival of the Palin's fifth child, Trig, who was born with Down's Syndrome.
It speaks of the challenges and blessings such a child will bring into their lives and if it doesn't soften your heart to Palin the woman, the mother and matriarch... well, you simply do not have a heart. This is from the soul, and speaks to the character of the then Governor, long before she became a target for character assassination.
Jeff Goldstein writes eloquently (as he so often does) about the letter, how he hopes some will feel after reading it, and a bit about the soul of future of this nation.
I don't care if you love Sarah Palin, or loathe her. I don't care if you feel indifferent towards her. But I do want you to understand that this nation desperately needs someone like her in charge, if we are to ever regain our footing and our confidence in this nation.
I find myself a bit surprised by that declaration, but is nonetheless true.
I do not pretend she is perfect.
I do not know if she is up to the job.
And I can predict with exacting, excruciating certainty that her name, character and family will be dragged through the mud and crucified by the MSM and Democrat Party every step of the way (even more than they already have, if that is possible). The din will grow ever more shrill, hysterical, and panicked if she approaches taking the GOP nomination for President, and then contrasts Obama in the 2012 general election.
But I think Jeff is on to something in his thoughts. Sarah Palin reflects the spirit that makes this country great and what it needs to recover. She has had the character and fortitude to fight, survive, and triumph in the face of concerted and powerful opposition, and shows no sign of giving up.
We're going to need someone like that guiding us in the hard times ahead, as we as a nation re-address Obamacare, the reformulation of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other entitlement programs. We'll need someone with strength and humility and a solid sense of core American values, who has proven that a leader can come from anywhere... even the mayor of a small town in Alaska.
Run, Sarah, Run.
I'm still a bit of a skeptic, but I want to believe.
June 12, 2011
And Now, a Commercial Post
From time to time I get requests to post a link to a product or service.
This is one of those times.
If you happen to live in a U.S. state or Canadian province that requires a hunter safety class, you may be able to take it online at HunterCourse.com.
When I took hunter safety training (longer ago than I care to remember), I spent a Saturday stuck in a stuffy cinder-block building with a boring instructor reading out of a book. This certain beats the heck out of that, so if you can use this course, I hope you do.
June 04, 2011
Obama vs. Palin: Who'd You Rather...
... balance a checkbook, or a budget
... stand beside you in a fight
... plead a case defending your Constitutional rights
... speak to the family of a fallen soldier
... represent your best interests in a negotiation
May 12, 2011
Readers will have noticed, Im sure, that the comments sections of our posts are occasionally infected with spammish advertising. We do not encourage or accept this kind of unbidden advertising and remove it as soon as we reasonably can. Were sure that you dont appreciate it either and ask your help in telling those who spam us that it is unappreciated by not accessing the links they provide.
Cant we block it? Unfortunately, not really. As you may have noticed, such spammers use randomly generated URLS and titles that tend to defeat any blocks we erect. Install a block with the information theyve used in the past and theyll be back the following day with another randomly generated spam attack.
Well continue to remove them as quickly as we can, but in the meantime, know that we dont like them any more than you do, and please bear with us. Thanks!
May 11, 2011
And Now for Something Completely Different
Any of you who have ventured over to the "About the Authors" page may have noticed that I mention as part of my bio that I was a professional ATV rider for a time. and no, I wasn't a racer.
Instead, I worked for a electrical utilities subcontractor in one of a pair of two-man teams that journeyed across the back-country of southern New York building detailed GPS maps of high-voltage, power lines for Central Hudson. We would go out in teams of two ATVs (quads, four wheelers, whatever), map the position of the towers, note any erosion, damage or vandalism, and mark access points. The goal of the work was to make it far easier for power crews to know what they were getting into when trying to fix a downed line, and to note any priority maintenance work that needed to take place.
It was exhausting work, man-handling an ATV through swamps and brush and mountains nine hours a day, but it was also rewarding. I was out in nature, could easily measure my accomplishments at the end of the day, and was learning how to ride through experience in fairly extreme conditions to the tune of 100 miles a week of back-country riding.
Did you catch the "learning how to ride" part?
I'd never been on a quad before I took the job, and it was a crash course education (pun intended), to be sure. I remember my first ride started with me having to crawl down the rock-covered face of a slope beside a train trestle, across a cold water creek, and up the other side. It only got more interesting from there (remind me to relate the story of when I parked on a bear some time).
Miraculously, I survived the several thousand miles I road that summer and fall, even though I managed to sink my quad in a bog (pulling it out was not fun), rolled it twice, was thrown from it once, and had to go down a mountain face without brakes when they partially failed.
It was kind of odd, but New York didn't require any sort of training (much less licensing) to do the kind of riding I was doing. This is the same state that wants to outlaw salt and certain kinds of fast food. They were fine with me muscling a Honda Rancher ES 350 through state forests, public right-of-ways, and even around reservoirs guarded by DHS.
I never really thought about the lack of regulations or training until an advertiser asked if I would put up a link to their site promoting ATV tests last night. Apparently, certifications are apparently required by law in Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, and New Mexico to ride on public lands, and the site provides study guides and the tests online.
So yeah, while this advertiser is marketing a product, they did get me wondering about why so few states require any sort of training to ride off-road, when it is both potentially much more dangerous than riding on-road, and capable of doing significant environmental damage if done irresponsibly.
The two times I rolled my quad were matters of bad judgement. The first time I misjudged the angle of a slope and I luckily rolled off the high side. the second time I thought the quad would push down a sapling in a dense section of brush, and instead, it just pitched the quad over. I'm not sure that in 2000 miles of riding through the kind of terrain I was covering that training could have helped either one of those incidents.
Oddly enough, the one time I really got banged up was the result of an accident that might have been prevented if I'd been alerted by a course such those offered at the link.
The high-voltage lines we were mapping were typically the big steel towers, and the vehicles used to put in those towers and service them are big pieces of equipment, and occasionally left big ruts in soft wet ground. When that ground dried out, it can turn a rut into a launch pad for unsuspecting riders, and that is precisely what happened. My front wheel entered a dip and I pitched forward, and them as the rear dropped as the quad clawed its way out I was thrown back, and as the rear of the quad lifted as I was leaning backward, up back and off I went, landing awkwardly and nearly breaking my arm.
Would a riding course have alerted me to how an ATV might pitch and buck in that sort of circumstance, and have given me a better idea of what to expect?
Would an ATV course have given me a better idea of how to negotiate a path down the side of a mountain after experiencing a partial brake failure?
I don't know.
In theory, however, I do like the idea of ATV certifications purely as a way of addressing safety concerns. The fact these states seem to have an eye on teaching rider how "tread lightly" is also admirable.
I'll be interested to see if these programs take off in other states, and to see how atvcourse.com fairs in accomplishing the goals the states have laid out.
March 15, 2011
A Change of Speed
So, I turned 40 on Sunday.
I specifically didn't want a party, and so my wife kept it as low-key as you can make it without disappointing the kids (who see parties as a birthday must... especially the cake). It was, in most regards, just another day. But it wasn't. I'm not having the fabled "midlife crisis," but with everything else going on in the world, it has encouraged me to reflect upon what really matters, what doesn't, and a raft of opportunities that has opened up to me that I simply must seize while I may.
As a result, I will go ahead and predict that for the next little while, blogging will be a bit more sporadic in frequency and posts may be shorter as I concentrate on other things in my life. The up side of this is that I have wonderful co-bloggers that will continue to provide you with excellent, thoughtful commentary as the demands of their lives allow. Who knows... maybe my decreased posting will increase the quality of the blog. :-)
Thank you so much for following Confederate Yankee the last 6 1/2 years. We'll have many years ahead (I promise) but there are some things I simply must do while I can.
March 11, 2011
Bald for a Cause [Bumped]
St. Baldrick's Foundation raises money to find cures for childhood cancers. One thing they do to raise money is to find gullible, big-hearted saps willing to shave their heads in exchange for donations to the cause.
I signed up this afternoon after a co-worker said he'd chip in some money to see me get my head shaved. I'm sure every bit of money helps, but I'd like raise more than ten bucks.
If you have a couple of dollars laying around, please consider making a donation.
Update: You can check out the "before" and "after" pictures at the gun blog.
December 07, 2010
Elizabeth Edwards Has Died
December 03, 2010
My first used vehicle as an adult, was a used truck. I already had a small car bought new, but I wanted something to head up in the hills for camping. I didn't want new and pretty, I wanted broken in and cheap. There was an ad in the California newspaper for a Toyota Truck, 120,000 miles but in good shape, for $3500. There was ust a name and a phone number. I was hesitant to go alone. having a mental picture of some truck seller sitting in the shop at his house wearing garments made out of the skin of the last 3 people that answered his ad.
So I took my partner at work. He's tall, he's imposing looking. Firearm or not, he'd keep me from being made into a vest,
When we showed up, the truck was in the driveway. Clean as a whistle, camping shell COVERED in Grateful Dead stickers. The seller was a "deadhead".
I could almost picture how this was going to go. . .
The fellow came out, long hair, clean clothes, and as nice as good be. I asked him if he'd come down $500 to $3000 and he said "well, no, you see I had this drug deal go bad and I need the bucks".
My partner is trying not to smile. I'm picturing all the marijuana seeds that are probably in the carpet of this thing, but it's really in good shape and I had $3000.
Suddenly the guy REALLY looks at us. Let's see, clean cut, toned arms, white starched shirts, blue pants, dark sunglasses (that fashion sense that just screams Academy) and gets this sort of panicked look on his face.
"uh. . oh, .are you guys. . COPS?
"Mister", I said. "I'm just a nice gal looking for a cheap truck".
I got it for $3000. No seeds, it ran like a top and with the stickers on there, I'd get lots of waves from people who looked like the name on their birth certificate really was "Flower" or "Moonbeam".
There were 300,000 miles on it when I finally sold it, still running, still reliable. Best decision I ever made, to purchase that thing, stickers and all.
I've also had some not so good used purchases. The chain saw which made a better door stop, and a used riding mower that liked to fling out its muffler like that whale jumping in that movie. (fly free!!!!)
But there are treasures to be found if you look closely and more so if you look past the shiny new carton, and the fancy sales pitch. Not every one can. I had a guy I'd met once cancel our date when he found out I'd been married. He said "I don't want used". I prefer to think of myself as "pre owned".
We place so much value on the obvious, not seeing past that slight ding or scratch, that may be the best pistol you ever owned. We place too great of value on shiny fresh looks and a catchy marketing slogan until too late, we realize we elected a spokesmodel, not a leader.
Sometimes though, we look deep, look past a little dust, a couple of scars, and start an adventure. It's that giving over to our gut feeling as to the validity of something or someone, that often reaps the most reward. Look in your gun safe. Is what you treasure the newest or the shiniest? That which you prize the most may be that firearm for which the number of deer that had fallen before it were legion,. Your most treasured possession, a weapon in which you knew that the fierce heat of its holding, there in the blaze of a new autumn, would renew you better than that plastic fake camo looking one.
Look to your friends, are the ones you trust with your life, likely to be some 24 year old driving a Lexus or some person your age driving an old truck or Volvo.
I recall an antique apple cider press that belonged to a friend's family which my truck brought out here from out West a couple of years ago after there was a death in that family. The wood is old, there's scratches on it, and with it, he can make the sweetest cider ever imagined. I look at the picture of an old friend I keep in my desk, the hairline receding, the hands worn with work, but an artists hands. When I look at the picture, I feel a curious elation as if I'm finally noticing the details that matter.
Look at the world around you, to that which has withstood time, things carefully tended. Stop at the gun show and talk to that 80 year old veteran about something more than the price of his brass. Chances are he won't regail you with stories of the war, no riposte of sweaty storytelling of gunfire and noise which all war stories are composed of, no ragged lines of gaunt infantry beneath the tattered flags of courage. No, what he will tell you quietly, is simple This was my gun, it served me well, but I'm willing to sell it. Let me tell you about it. And what stories it can tell.
The tables of new AR15's are interesting, like a 20 year old in shorts is interesting. But give me the tables of Mausers, of Colts, of wood and flint and powder, the galloping thunder of guns which have fired through the fading fury of smoke into the night.
I don't care if my safe is full of plastic and shiny and new. Our lives are sublets anyway, and too quickly gone. Give me something with history, something of strength and purpose and years, that will give as much back as I can possible give it in return. Not everyone understands. I have a coworker who, like I, loves old guns, but his wife said "no more". It's not a matter of cost, but simply her not understanding the need She really has no idea how many he has, just that she didn't want him coming home with any more. So he leaves with a gun in a case "to trade". but the case is empty and when he comes home with another old firearm, she said "well good, at least it's an even trade".
How do you explain to someone whose life is driven by "what will the neighbor's think", that there are just some things essential to you, that when you see them, you not only recognize them, you wish to experience. But I think it's probably the same thing I think when I see a woman's closet with a 100 pairs of shoes and think "why on earth would someone want a closet full of shoes?"
Of course, not everything that is used is useful, not everything of weight has measure.. There will be things you find that end up costing you more than money. But you still seek those treasures that remain. You may find them on a table in a hall, you may find them, in a house where they've been locked for far too long. You may find them just breathing, at that same moment in time you are, that small place on a planet spinning in space, destined to meet.
If you're over 40 you've experienced it. You're walking, talking surrounded by noise and clutter, and people clutching at you, demands on your time, living your life, you thought, quite happily. And there it is. Life isn't exciting but it's steady. And like that moment in Jaws, where the camera looms in on Sheriff Brody, and the whole world focuses, it does. For just a moment. And you suddenly notice every little detail around you, the sun running straight and empty, like gash down the corridor, a tiny spider web there at the corner of the room, the sun piercing it, illuminating the empty spaces there between the delicate strength.. And you see what it is you desire, held in that moment with conviction, that sense, that feeling of home.
And you know, you were meant to hold it, for just one moment, that small piece of history, that large piece of yourself you never knew you needed. And you reach for it, one of those impulses, inscrutable yet unassailable which occurs at intervals in all of us, driving us to set down the known and the safe, and seek the possession of something rare, blind to everything but hope and fate.
Or you can just push it away, leave it behind, common sense taking over, and go home quietly to die.
You won't do that a second time.
For you are like I am, and some night when you are old, you will lay in that tent, that old firearm by your side, unable to sleep, but quiet and peaceful, listening to the nights whisper. The past was your future, but you couldn't taste it until, it too was past. Anything else was an illusion. You lay there without regret, for seeking that which you needed, that moment of time, when history and fate were held in your hand and you knew what you wanted. Perhaps it was just a moment, before you set it away, perhaps you made it yours for all time, but in that moment the two of you were joined, it was grace.
A need so necessary, part of the history that remains.
July 22, 2010
And Now For Something Completely Different
We cover several different topics here on CY, but generally focus on politics, media bias, firearms, and military affairs. Even then, we don't have time to cover all that we would like to talk about... including charity work.
My family—particularly my wife and older daughter—volunteer with the SPCA of Wake County, a no-kill animal shelter. This year, Purina and Kroger grocery stores are working together to donate $150,000 to a total of 18 shelters.
The catch? You have to vote for the shelters.
So on behalf of my wife and daughter, dozens of other dedicated volunteers, and thousands of cute and cuddly cats, dogs, bunnies, I ask you to please vote for the SPCA of Wake County. It doesn't cost you a dime, and can lead to a significant donation for our animal friends.
July 19, 2010
Speaking of Hope and Spare Change...
I know last night that I mentioned I might not be blogging much today or for the next couple of days, and that is entirely true. I just got back from having arthroscopic knee surgery, and after I have my chicken noodle soup, I plan on drifting off into a pleasant haze under the influence of 1000mg of "the good stuff."
Before I go, though, I thought I'd make a simple request.
Pretty impressive, isn't it?
One thing several of you recommended in the comments of the post about that new rifle is that I should invest in some "bling" in the form of of optics or other functional enhancements. I am completely down with that... but I'm not made of money, either.
So here's my request:
If you enjoy Confederate Yankee (or like some of the other writing I've done), consider hitting the "Donate" button in the right nav bar. A few dollars here and there adds up, and I'd greatly appreciate it.
Unfortunately, the IV painkillers are wearing off, so it's time for me to take a couple of pills and enjoy the fruits of pharmacology.
July 18, 2010
And For My Next Trick, A House Impersonation
Posting should by nonexistent to drug-addled for the next few days, as I'm going in for arthroscopic knee surgery first thing in the morning. This will give me a matched pair, as I had the other one operated on 15 years ago. It shouldn't be that big of a deal; they're just pulling out scar tissue and maybe some loose cartilage that might be lurking.
It shouldn't be too bad... I already have my cane and Vicodin.
June 02, 2010
Back in the Saddle
Sorry for not mentioning I was leaving for a four-day weekend. Was a (more or less) technology-free family weekend at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, followed by all-too-brief stops at Neptune Beach, FL to visit family and a scouting trip of Jekyll Island, GA.
It seems that during my break a Turkish-flagged group of Islamic terrorist sympathizers tried to murder an Israeli boarding party with edged and blunt weapons and received their just rewards. Frankly, I think the Israelis are screwed when it comes to typically pro-terrorist media coverage of such staged events, but it is better to kill a few terrorists now than have more weaponry added to growing terrorist stockpiles.
It also seems that the top-kill of the Deepwater Horizon spill didn't work. Damn.
April 14, 2010
As a rec league soccer coach the past six seasons I can assure you that there are other options than just school-related teams, and so I think that this attempted controversy proves mostly nothing.
President Obama Sunday seemed to shrug off the brouhaha after he broke with White House tradition and ditched his press pool earlier this weekend to watch one of his daughters soccer games.
Prior to Obamas bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama told his colleague, "Apparently I caused quite a problem," adding something about his secretary not telling the Secret Service, according to, ironically enough, the pool report.
Surber notes that Obama made it sound like he ditched the Secret Service to attend a soccer game, unattended, in a rough part of town, leaving himself defenseless against any possible assassination attempt. If that was the case, that would indeed be extremely irresponsible of the President... but I suspect that isn't what occurred.
Despite Hollywood's insistence that member's of the first family can slip away from the Secret Service without really trying, I find it very hard to believe that Obama slipped away from 1600 Pennsylvania without his bodyguards in tow. For starters, what car would he drive?
No, I suspect that Obama's muttered comment about not telling the Secret Service he was going to a game is either a mistake by the Politico writer, or more likely, simply the latest lie by a man serially uncomfortable with telling the truth.
June 29, 2009
Changes in Latitude
I'm in West Palm Beach this week on vacation. Blogging will be light, the Bacardi cold, and the water warm.
May 14, 2009
Bank of America's Squeegeemen
I was expecting a call from a relative and so I didn't check the number on my phone before answering this evening, only to find myself on the line with a telemarketer representing Bank of America.
He told me how I would be getting a "free" credit report from all three credit reporting agencies through Bank of America in weeks to come, along with a packet on how to increase and protect my credit rating.
Along with that "free" information, I would be enrolled in a credit monitoring service provided by Bank of America. The service would be free for the first month, and thereafter I would be billed roughly 40 cents a day, or $12 and change a month, if I didn't opt out of the program within the free period.
I politely told the young man on the phone that I found opt-out scams to rook customers both immoral and unethical, and told him I had no interest in being part of the program.
He responded by continuing with his script, never acknowledging that I desired to opt-out of this involuntary opt-in program, one designed to take advantage of busy people who would doubtlessly see free credit reports show up in the mail, and either shred them or throw them away without finding the fine-print legalese that will allow them to opt out of a program they never signed up for.
This is robbery. To be sure, they walk just inside the line of legality, but when someone starts providing you with a service that you don't want, and then extract payment for it, it is coerced, and it is wrong.
Bank of America has become little more than squeegemen, using trickery to extract payment for an unwanted service.
I doubt they'll get the $33.9 billion that Tax Cheat Timmy requires, but they seem desperate enough to try any and all measures to raise the funds the Obama requires, no matter how vile or unethical.
October 27, 2008
Just A Guy in My Neighborhood
I first met Joey Bozik and his wife Jayme last Monday. It just a quick chat between the new couple about to move into the neighborhood and someone who has been there a little while. Today, they got the keys to their new home. It happens every day, right?
Not unless you consider having your keys parachuted by the Black Daggers after an overflight and landing by a flight of Blackhawks in the neighborhood "normal."
I took some more pictures that I will post later and I'll write a bit more about Operation: Coming Home in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime, here is an account of Sgt. Joey Bozik's homecoming that should warm your heart:
The house was built by Operation Coming Home, a group of military veterans who are now real estate agents and home builders. All the material and labor were donated.
The mission of "Operation Coming Home" is to provide injured war veterans with free houses that they call "Hero Homes." Bozik was the first recipient.
The home was built with special features to make Bozik's life easier, including radiant heat floors, easy-access cabinets, a sprinkler system and appliances with special hinges and levers that make opening doors easier.
Bozik and his pregnant wife were moving in Monday, because Oct. 27 is his "Alive Day" the anniversary of the day he came out of coma from his injuries.
Veteran's and volunteers in the community provided the lot, the labor, materials and furnishing to say "thank you" to a soldier and his wife for the sacrifices they have made in defense of liberty.
There's a right way to spread the wealth around.
It happened here, and with your help, it will happen again.
Update:One of Joey and Jayme's biggest supporters is milblogger Blackfive, who has an extensive trove of articles about what they gone through to get to where they are today.
First Update (pictures)
Seventh (wedding pictures)
Ninth (Love Story)
Tenth (Green Ramp Reunion - pictures)
Eleventh (Welcome Home! - pictures)
Twelvth (Joey and Phil Mikelson team up)
Sixteenth (White House Visit)
Eighteenth (Receives Bronze Star)
May 03, 2008
Buy you did.
One person bought seven copies; another bought six, another bought three, and of course most people bought a single copy for themselves. On behalf of Mike I'd like to thank you for buying what I personally feel is an important book, one that tells the truth of what is going on in Iraq far outside the range of most news organizations and pundits.
And while it's a crappy segue, Amazon is pushing their "Wireless Reading Device" (we used to call that "paper", didn't we?) to me via email, a device called Kindle that they've developed. It looks petty interesting, but I don't know much about it.
Anybody got any experience with this?
Who is going to be the brave soul to test-drive this thing and let me know if it lives up to its promise?
February 15, 2008
Best Valentine's Day Gift Ever
Sure trumps a steak dinner.
Kathryn (we'll call he Kate) was born six weeks early at 3:58 PM on Valentine's Day, and this picture was taken while she was than an hour old in neonatal intensive care. After running a series of tests, our little fighter was moved into the nursery with the full-term children, 100% healthy and hungry. The staff regards her as something of a little miracle. I certainly agree.
My wife Christine is doing remarkably well after her c-section, and we're getting ready to have breakfast. Big sister Maya will be by after school to see her new sister again.
Blogging is probably going to be light.
Life is good.
September 10, 2007
That Time of the Year
Last summer or early last fall (I'm too lazy to look which at the moment), I had a week-long fundraising effort here at Confederate Yankee, where readers were kind enough to provide me with enough funds to buy a laptop to replace my aging and dying Dell 733R from which I'd been researching and writing. I was humbled and awed at your outpouring of support.
This year, I'll not be needing any new equipment, and I do't have any particular dire needs that the Lord won't take care of for me. He's granted me everything I need and most of what I want, including something else my wife and I have been wanting for a long time:
As I said, the important things are taken care of.
That said, I'd still like to ask my readers for a couple of bucks, if they can spare it.
I promise I'll put it to good use. Thanks.
June 28, 2007
Something or Nothing Open Thread
Yeah, I know that the amnesty Bill has gone down in flames and that other things of importance are happening in the world, but I'm attempting to run something down that may either be nothing, or something, and don't have time to really get into too much else at the moment.
As I'm going to be a slacker, enjoy yourself: I this is going to be the first open thread here, ever (at least as far as I recall).
Touch gloves, come out swinging, and please keep all punches above the belt.
May 31, 2007
How not to welcome your son-in-law into the family...
If he didn't want this guy bagging his daughter wouldn't Necrotizing fasciitis or some other flesh eating bacteria have been quicker?
From Fox News:
The father-in-law of the 31-year-old man under federal quarantine with a rare and dangerous form of tuberculosis is one of the leading TB researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, FOX News has learned.
Dr. Robert Cooksey, who works in the CDC's Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, confirmed to FOX News that he is the father-in-law of Andrew Speaker, a personal-injury lawyer who practices in his father's law firm in Atlanta.
Asked by FOX News whether it was possible that he had passed along the dangerous strain to his son-in-law, Cooksey said, "Absolutely not." He added that he "works in the lab" and "is not authorized to talk about that."
I've heard about fathers being overprotective of their daughters and all, but this guy has taken it to a new level.
Overheard in the halls of the CDC Atlanta Office just moments ago: What do you call a personal injury lawyer with a rare and dangerous form of tuberculosis? A good start.
May 30, 2007
A whore or a prude, either path leads to sexual enlightenment...
... there is no middle ground.
Crying Over Spilled Semen
Why women who don't use condoms feel happier [ed: an so do their herpes laden partners].
The finding that women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerfuland potentially ddictivemood-altering chemicals.
Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly depressed as more time elapsed since their last sexual encounter. There was no such correlation for women whose partners regularly used condoms.
Gallup's survey of 293 college women also found that those who did not use condoms were most likely to initiate sex and to seek out new partners as soon as a relationship ended. "These women are more vulnerable to the rebound effect, which suggests that there is a chemical dependency," says Gallup.
Semen contains hormones including testosterone, estrogen, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and prostaglandins, and some of these are absorbed through the walls of the vagina and are known to elevate mood.
Gallup says he has since replicated the findings with a sample of 700 women and will examine whether "semen withdrawal" places women at an increased risk for depression...
Really, she said they were going to examine whether "semen withdrawal" places women at an increased risk for depression. Rise up men! No longer do women control the only bedroom commodity. Okay, sure they're still in control, and they get half your stuff, but at least we have a bit more bargaining power, maybe, if we weren't such suckers.
and from Dan Collins posting at protein wisdom.
The Porn Myth
...I will never forget a visit I made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem. When I saw her again, she had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a head scarf. I could not get over it. Ilana has waist-length, wild and curly golden-blonde hair. Cant I even see your hair? I asked, trying to find my old friend in there. No, she demurred quietly. Only my husband, she said with a calm sexual confidence, ever gets to see my hair.
When she showed me her little house in a settlement on a hill, and I saw the bedroom, draped in Middle Eastern embroideries, that she shares only with her husbandthe kids are not allowedthe sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming. It was private. It was a feeling of erotic intensity deeper than any I have ever picked up between secular couples in the liberated West. And I thought: Our husbands see naked women all dayin Times Square if not on the Net. Her husband never even sees another womans hair.
She must feel, I thought, so hot.
Just remember ladies, the burka isn't oppressive, it's sexy.
Sorry, where was I, oh yeah, because nothing says the sexy at the beach like a burkini clad woman:
May 29, 2007
Dirty Scandi Trips Miss USA, Miss Japan becomes Miss Universe
Miss America proves something that very few Miss Universe hopefuls knew, that they're subject to the laws of gravity. Damn you Sir Isaac Newton...
A 20-year-old dancer from Japan was crowned Miss Universe 2007 on Monday night, marking only the second time her country has won the world beauty title.
Dressed in a black, red and purple Japanese-style gown, Riyo Mori nervously grabbed the hands of first runner-up, Natalia Guimaraes of Brazil, just before the winner was announced. Then she threw her hands up and covered her mouth, overcome with emotion...
Riyo Mori hypnotizes unsuspecting judges into thinking she can fly like an eagle.
...Miss USA Rachel Smith, who slipped and fell to the floor during the evening gown competition and was jeered by the Mexican audience during the interview phase, was the contest's fourth runner-up...
...Smith was booed during her interview and several audience members chanted "Mexico! Mexico!" until she spoke in Spanish, saying "Buenas noches Mexico. Muchas gracias!" which earned her applause. Mexico has a fierce rivalry with its northern neighbor.
Apparently the "fierce rivalry" doesn't apply if you want to sneak across the border. Which if all Mexicans are as easily distracted as the crowd in attendance instead of a fence we should just have recordings of President Jorje Bush and Teddy K. blairing Buenas noches Mexico. Muchas gracias!". Now that would be a sooper-dooper virtual fence and couldn't be any less affective than the border protection we have now.
Missing from this year's contest was Miss Sweden, whose country is one of the few to win the crown three times. Isabel Lestapier Winqvist, 20, dropped out because many Swedes say the competition does not represent the modern woman.
Thus the trap and alibi had been planned out. I keep telling you guys, you just can't trust an Ice Wop. Next year they'll probably kidnap Miss USA and replace her with some drunken hobo like Parasite Hilton.
Saint Cindy to quit stalking George Bush
The underwear gnomes have left Crawford Texas.
At least she's finally admitting to being an Attention Whore.
I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Caseys brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times. ...
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Let's just hope that she's gone through "the change" so we don't end up with any little peace warriors running around as Saint Cindy and Father Hugo continue to nurture their relationship.
The cabby said he recognized my girly by the back of her head.
March 26, 2007
I Fought the Lawn...
...and the lawn almost won.
I rented a rear-tine tiller to cut through the red clay and rock so that I can reseed my backyard over the weekend.
Fun thing rocky soil; tilling isn't easy anywhere, I suspect, but when you've got a 400 lb machine bucking every few feet when it hits a softball-sized rock, it takes a heavy toll on both the machine and operator. The yard killed the tiller. I broke off no less than four tines in the rocky soil, and perhaps as many as six. The folks I rented it from couldn't even get the engine to re-fire to unload it, and told me that it was going to have to be retired.
Sunburned, blistered and sore, I'm not feeling too good myself.
Light posting expected today due to work-related meetings.
January 14, 2007
More Sectarian Violence
This time it struck not the Hurriyah neighborhood of Baghdad, but my hometown of Greenville, NC. Coincidence?
While two churches were burned and another was broken into, there have no Associated Press reports of Baptists being pulled out of Sunday school, doused in moonshine, and burned alive by a mob of Methodists in four-by-fours.
In all seriousness, I'm thankful that no one was hurt. As Memorial Baptist's associate minster Rick Bailey noted, "That's bricks and concrete, and that stuff can be replaced."
December 12, 2006
Must have been a butterfly indictment (my bold):
A day after authorities announced that a former New Hanover County deputy had been indicted in the shooting death of a Durham teen during a raid on a Wilmington home, members of the grand jury now say the indictment was a mistake.
The grand jury never intended to charge Cpl. Christopher Long with second-degree murder, but the foreman checked the wrong box on the indictment, authorities said Tuesday.
Peyton Strickland, 18, a Cape Fear Community College student from Durham, was shot to death Dec. 1 at his Wilmington home by deputies serving arrest and search warrants. Strickland and two friends were charged with assaulting a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student last month and stealing two PlayStation 3 consoles from him.
UNC-W police asked for support from the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office during the arrests of the suspects in the case because of the potential that they were armed and dangerous, authorities said. Strickland had an earlier arrest on a felony assault charge.
Was Theresa LePore the jury foreman by any chance?
December 06, 2006
CNET.com senior editor James Kim, who went missing in Oregon while trying to get help for his stranded family, is dead:
"At 12:03 hours, the body of James Kim was located at the bottom of Big Windy Creek," Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said at a press conference.
My heart goes out for the Kim family. James Kim left behind a wife and two small children, all of which were rescued in good condition on Saturday.
October 25, 2006
Reid's wife Ellicia has been diagnosed with cancer in her breasts, lungs and brain. The prognosis is terminal, and hospice care is not covered under his military benefits.
I humbly ask my readers for two things:
First and foremost, if you are able, please contribute financially to help his family through this traumatic time if you are able, and keep them in your prayers.
Second, please contact your Congressmen and Senators to ask that hospice care for the immedate family members of servicemen be added to the benefits package of those serving this nation. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines risk their lives to protect us. It seems only right that we provide for them and their families when they need it most.
September 29, 2006
Foley Resigns in Scandal
Saying he was "deeply sorry," Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress today, hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18.
A spokesman for Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, said the congressman submitted his resignation in a letter late this afternoon to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
Get that last bit? He was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.
I hope that someone in law enforcement in both Washington and Florida is smart enough to get a search warrant for his House and home personal computers.
September 28, 2006
Durham Police Turn to Psychic
This is interesting:
After exhausting all leads in the murder case of Janet Abaroa, Durham police homicide investigators are turning to a famed psychic for help.
Lead homicide investigator Jack Cates confirmed Wednesday that investigator S.W. Vaughan has begun using a psychic to assist in developing leads in the 17-month-old probe into the stabbing death of the 25-year-old wife and mother.
Raven Abaroa reported discovering his wife's body in the couple's Ferrand Drive home on April 26, 2005. The murder weapon was never recovered, and while police would not say if there were signs of forced entry into the home, they said they believed the murder "was not a random act."
Cates would not confirm the identity of the psychic, but a source with knowledge of the case told The Herald-Sun that high-profile psychic Laurie McQuary of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Management by Intuition, had stepped in to help develop leads.
I'm ambivalent on whether or not people have psychic abilities, but when a case goes cold as this one apparently has, any extra set of eyes reviewing the information accumulated so far has to help. I'll be interested to see if this results in new leads.
September 18, 2006
Man Rams Capitol Security Barricade
Not much detail, but CNN reports that he has been arrested and that no one was hurt.
I wonder... has anyone seen Patrick Kennedy lately?
July 05, 2006
Ken Lay Sentenced Early
Judegement came from a Court Most High:
Enron founder Kenneth Lay died early Wednesday in Aspen, Colo., a family spokeswoman said.
Lay, 64, was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of conspiracy and fraud in the Enron trial in May.
In a statement, spokeswoman Kelly Kimberly said, "The Lays have a very large family with whom they need to communicate, and out of respect for the family we will release further details at a later time."
CNN affiliate KPRC in Houston said Lay was admitted to the Aspen Valley Hospital overnight with a massive coronary.
On May 25, Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of Enron, the energy company he founded that eventually grew into the nation's seventh largest company before it imploded after an accounting scandal.
The sentence cannot be appealed.
June 19, 2006
The Raleigh, NC News & Observer:
Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes, winners of the 2006 Stanley Cup!
May 24, 2006
And Now For Something Completely Different
Any custom bike fans out there?
My brother-in-law made a sweet-looking custom chopper, one built at some of the most famous chopper shops in the United States. Fabrication and paint came at Orange County Choppers and J.B. Grafix of American Chopper fame in New York, and it was completed in West Palm Beach at Eddie Trotta's Thunder Cycles.
Believe it or not, he's selling it on eBay, so if you want it, go get it.
Alternately, if you happen to be one of my visitors for the left side of the tracks and you'd really like to see me offline, raise $20K or so and put it in my Paypal tipjar to the right, and I'll take it.
Think of it as your chance to "stick it to the Man."
Donations for my expected medical bills would be nice, too.
May 23, 2006
Blegging the Taxman
I know I have a few regular readers at the Internal Revenue Service, and I'd like to ask for your help if at all possible.
I'm trying to obtain a 2005 W-2 from a former employer, but I've been unable to contact them so far. I know that I can request a 2005 tax return transcript, but I was told on the phone that for whatever reason, these are going to be unavailable for several months. I need it this week.
If you can provide any help in getting this, please shoot an email to the email address listed on the right column.
April 10, 2006
I've refrained from making any comment on the Duke University lacrosse team rape allegations, for the simple reason I tend to blog about politics and the media, not criminal proceedings. That does not mean I've been ignoring the case, however, and I've been quite interested in seeing what the DNA tests of the lacrosse team would reveal.
Wade Smith, an attorney for members of the Duke University lacrosse team, announced late Monday afternoon that no DNA samples taken from the 46 athletes matched any DNA on the alleged victim and that he hopes Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong will consider dropping the case.
Nothing on the victim's skin. Nothing on the victim's clothes. Nothing on internal swabs of the victim's mouth, anus, or vagina. Nothing on her fake fingernails found in the bathroom. Nothing, anywhere. Nothing.
The local and national media have been on something of a witch hunt against the lacrosse team from the very beginning, painting a picture of spoiled rich kids abusing a girl working her way through college any way she could. That narrative presented by the media seems all but shattered now.
Once again, a witch hunt provides no witches, and the prosecution's case seems reduced to so much Durham bull. And yet, I doubt we'll hear anything in the way of media apologies...
March 27, 2006
Escape From New York
Didn't blog over the course of the weekend, and probably won't post much during the next few days, either. We have something of a family reunion is going on at my place, with my wife's sister and her kids up from Florida, and my wife's parents down from New York, and we're having a blast.
They're all looking at real estate and thinking about joining us in the area, and if they do, my wife's brother and his family probably won't be too far behind. The crappy schools, over-priced real estate, and high taxes are pushing them out of both upstate New York and West Palm Beach, and they're looking here like so many people have before them.
Based upon people I've met, I think half of Poughkeepsie, NY has relocated to Cary, NC. They didn't jokingly nickname it C.A.R.Y. -the "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" - for nothing.
Why are people moving?
Houses are going for over $190 a square foot in the part of NY my wife's family is from for a 40 year-old home, and they're paying outrageous property taxes to support public schools that are both under-performing and increasingly dangerous.
Here is NC, we're building a home for less than $90 dollars a square foot, pay considerably lower taxes, and have our kid attending one of the top school systems in the nation.
I think that's what they call a "no-brainer," isn't it?
March 21, 2006
The Barry Bonds of Bass
Rusty is taking far too much enjoyment from the fact that the new world record* largemouth bass has been caught--well-foul-hooked-- in California:
World record large mouth bass caught yesterday at Dixon Lake, in San Diego County by Mac Weakley. Yes, the world's biggest bass was caught in California. Take that Confederate Yankee. The fish weighed 25 lbs. 1 oz, breaking the previous record of 22 lbs. 4 ozs set by George W. Perry at Montgomery Lake in Georgia in 1932.
Unfortunately, this giant of a fish was "foul-hooked"--which means that it was hooked in a place other than in the mouth. In other words, Weakly's lure snagged the fish on accident. The IGFA rules, though, only disqualify the fish if it was intentionally fould-hooked [sic]. Regardless of its official position in the record books, this is the biggest bass ever caught.
George Perry's record largemouth was (and may still be) the longest running and most coveted of fishing records, but even if Mac Weakley's 25 pound 1 ounce is deemed the new world record* for largemouth bass, it will carry with it an asterisk like that of Barry Bonds.
Introduced in 1874 (or 1891, depending on the source) from Midwestern stock, largemouth bass in California are a non-native species. Largemouths from Florida, long considered the thoroughbreds of the species, were introduced in 1959 in an effort to boost the potential size of California bass, which began growing fat on a steady diet of stocked trout. It remains to be seen if BALCO was invlvoed.
A record? Maybe, but every bit as engineered as Barry Bonds.
March 20, 2006
He's Not Here...
Went to visit with my parents and grandparents this weekend, so weekend posting was virtually nil. I'll be getting back into the swing of things later today...
March 09, 2006
The Spawnling Hatched
I'm "Uncle Bob" again.
My blogging brother's beautiful wife gave birth to their first child last night, a handsome baby boy, weighing in at 8-14. Head on over and congratulate them, won't you?
March 06, 2006
Posting will remain light during the rest of the day. Mind-crushing sinus headaches tend to block stimulating political discourse.
February 10, 2006
Will Blog For Closing Costs
Yankee Wife and I have been house hunting off and on since we moved back to North Carolina last summer, and seem to be narrowing things down to the southern Wake County area, and a specific three-bedroom homeplan in a developing community where we had to stop for a doe and two fawns crossing the road tonight. Absolutely gorgeous.
But more important than those details, who wants wants to buy the house for me? A few hundred grand through that PayPal button on the right ought to do the trick. Baby needs that jetted tub upgrade...
All kidding aside, I would like to pick up some writing gigs to help finance this puppy, so if you hear anything, please pass 'em along.
December 31, 2005
Happy New Year
I'll be "enjoying" a nasty case of strep throat that has more or less ruined my holiday trip to the in-laws in New York, but I sincerely hope that everyone has a Happy New Year... well except for liberals, who I expect will have another long disappointing year of paranoia, outrage, and failure.
Hey, everybody can't be happy...
November 01, 2005
Some people spend Halloween as a ghost or or a Vampire or Elvis. This year, I was a prospective cardiac patient known as Stretcher One, Triage at WakeMed.
The headaches I've been having since last week finally convinced me to go to a doctor, and once there, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection. One of the drugs I was given to help fight the worst of the headaches is something called Imitrex.
It is supposed to help with headaches, only the best I can tell, the single 100MG Imitrex tablet I took could have come close to killing me. In the literature that accompanies most drugs these days, I think they call it a "potential side effect."
Within seconds of taking the pill I had a tightness in my upper left chest, followed immediately with dizziness and a rapidly numbing left arm. Luckily the guys in the big red and white truck with the flashing lights and stretcher were just minutes down the road, and I think the triple doses of nitro they hit me with on the way to the hospital seem to have kept any lasting damage from happening. It seems they weren't unfamilar with this side effect, which looking back, makes me feel both better and worse.
I missed trick or treating this year, but thanks to a top-notch ambulance crew that I never got to thank and some very good folks at WakeMed, this blogger should be around for many more Halloween's to come, which will make one five-year-old pixie I know (and her mother) very happy.
Perhaps I'll have more on the day's adventure tomorrow. In the meantime, I can only generate but so much sympathy for the ills of my dear brother.
October 15, 2005
This is our 7th Anniversary weekend for "Mrs. Yankee" and I, and as my parents have our daughter, blogging will be light (you're looking at it).
I'm a very, very lucky guy, and it will be nice to have some time for just the two of us. We don't have a whole lot planned (I did manage to sneak in a reflexology pedicure for her), but I'm sure we'll think of something to do later.*
September 26, 2005
Too Close to Home
My brother-in-law was the operations manager at Verla International several years back. His replacement, who was fired about a year ago, just shot up the place today before taking his own life, literally just a few hundreds of yard away from my wife's childhood home.
Three people my brother-in-law knew well were victims. Two of the victims are in stable condition, but one is in critical. If you any of you folks is the praying kind, I'm sure it would be appreciated.
9/29 Update: The victim in critical condition has no brain activity and has been removed from life support, and her passing is imminent. Tonight, I grieve for her family.
September 01, 2005
Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Durham Gas Prices
If reports are accurate, some stations in North Carolina are already running low or dry.
August 30, 2005
Orleans Prison Riot
48 hours ago, reporters asked New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin what he intended to do about prisoners in the Orleans Parish Prison. He ignored the reporter, and apparently ignored the incarcerated. The inmates didn't appreciate it.
Via ABC News:
Inmates at a prison in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans have rioted, attempted to escape and are now holding hostages, a prison commissioner told ABC News affiliate WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La.
Orleans Parish Prison Commissioner Oliver Thomas reported the incident to WBRZ.
A deputy at Orleans Parish Prison, his wife and their four children have been taken hostage by rioting prisoners after riding out Hurricane Katrina inside the jail building, according to WBRZ.
The estimated rioting prisoners and their hostages are approximately one mile northwest of the Louisiana Superdome where thousands of civilians are awaiting evacuations.
(Via Yahoo Maps and a little graphics work)
I hope the National Guard troops coordinating the evacuation of the Superdome are armed, or this could get even uglier than it already is.
Update: Michelle Malkin is all over this before I could even get this posted. She's that good.
9/2/05 Update: Prison Riot was bogus, but now it appears the convicts got out before the children, the elderly, and the ill. See here for more.
August 15, 2005
Do Your Part: Support Project Valour-IT
I'm not big on asking people to donate their money. I certainly don't ask for it myself, and it is only on the rarest of occasions that I solicit contributions for a few worthy causes. This is one of those rare times.
image swiped from Argghhh!
July 10, 2005
Repost: Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season
As Hurricane Dennis bears down on the Gulf Coast and various television news weather girls are getting pounded by high winds, it seems like the perfect time to republish this post.
Confederate Yankee's Guide to Dealing with Hurricane Season
Days Before the Storm Arrives
1. Move. Seriously, people in Idaho never have to deal with this crap.
2. Get milk and bread. Nobody seems to know exactly why, but I'm pretty sure it's the law.
3. Send Mama and the kids away to her folks for a few days.
4. Go to the beach and grab a seat in the dunes. Huge waves are cool to watch crashing on the beach, and if you're lucky, you can see some idiot from Quebec get swept out to sea. Screaming is funny in French.
5. Go home.
6. Throw all the crap you don't want any more in the yard. If the storm surge comes you can avoid a dumping fee, and if it doesn't, you can use all the debris to convince the guys from FEMA that it did and they'll cut you a big, fat check.
The Day before the Storm
1. Get more beer. Lots of it. If you're living in hurricane country, you might as well make the best of it.
2. Get ice. That way your beer stays cold even if you lose power for a couple of days.
3. Get one of those huge 490-quart Igloo coolers that looks like chest freezer, but bigger. It'll keep your iced beer cold, and can be used as a raft. Put it in the bass boat tied to your back porch.
4. Board up the windows of your trailer. You already have all the boards numbered from last year, so it should be a snap. Put all the crap you really need (rifles, radio, lawn chairs, cans of vienna sausages, etc.) in a big waterproof bag and tie it tightly well off the ground in a nearby tree.
5. Invite your best buddy over. Remind him to bring his cooler.
1. Sit inside and drink beer. Watch that 90-pound girl reporter from the local television news crew get battered by the wind and sideways rain while doing a live report. Take bets on whether or not the cameraman will warn her about that dumpster bearing down behind her. Wonder why he hates her so much. Giggle until you loose power.
2. Put on your lawn ân leaf bag and step outside for a smoke. Wow, those 100 MPH lighters really do work.
3. Go out back, get in the boat, and tie a rope around your cooler. Mount up. When the storm surge comes, you can ride that bucking 490-quart beast like a bull.
5. Float serenely along, drinking more beer. At this point you should have enough beer in you to âcontribute to the storm surge,â if you know what I mean.
6. Empty your bladder up-current from that still-screaming guy from Quebec.
7. Thow your empty cans at, err, to him. Empty beer cans are nature's unsung floatation devices. Don't let him get too close thoughâhe smells like piss.
8. Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Likes the French, storm surge always retreats eventually, and you'll be back on land soon enough.
1. Climb off your cooler, hop out of the boat, and immediately start picking up full cans and bottles of beer left over from that convenience store down the street that washed away.
2. If he hasn't stopped screaming yet, an ice-cold beer should encourage âFrenchyâ to settle downâespecially if you catch him in the temple.
3. When he comes too, have him help pick up beers. If he refuses to workâwhich you should expect of socialistsâsimply hum a few bars of âDueling Banjos.â
4. Deliverance needs no translation.
5. Have âFrenchyâ drag your cooler back to your freshly scoured lot and then send him on his way.
6. Retrieve your rifle, radio, lawn chairs, and viennas from that waterproof bag you tied in a tree.
7. Pose for the CNN news crews that come by. They LOVE filming guys guarding nothing from lawn chairs. When Mama sees you on CNN, she and the kids will know you're âah-ight.â
8. Have a can of viennas and a beer.
9. Wait for FEMA to come by.
10. Listen to the radio. According to the National Weather Service, you'll get to do it all again next week.
July 06, 2005
1 leasing signing, 11 flea bombs, five days, two flights, and 650 miles behind the wheel of a GMC 6500 later, and we're here, and starting to get semi-unpacked.
Time-Warner Cable was only 7-11 hours late to install my cable TV/internet/digital phone yesterday, but at least they finally showed up and everything seems to work.
Regular blogging resumes this evening, so stay tuned!
June 30, 2005
On the Road
Even I get a vacation every now and again... but now is not that time.
I'm packing my family and our stuff this weekend, leaving my adopted state of New York, and hoping to be comfortably and permanently ensconced in our new digs south of Raleigh, NC in time for fireworks on the Fourth.
Depending on just when Time-Warner gets my new cable modem installed, I should be posting again by the middle of next week.
May 20, 2005
Un-UnemployedNow I have the honor of saying, with sadistic glee, the scariest sentence in the English language:
"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
May 12, 2005
Blogger For HireIn the event some hiring manager types are reading this, I'd like to mention that I am looking for a job in RTP, North Carolina, preferably a position that takes advantage of my technical writing education and experience, and my background in web design, marketing, and usability.
I would also like to help companies interested in developing blog strategies for customer service, media relations, internal communications, and damage control, in addition to helping them set up acceptable-use blogging policies for their employees.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 06, 2005
Doing LapsI'm currently in NC, heading back to NY tomorrow for a week or so, before coming back once more to find a tech writing or web-related job in RTP.
Ten hours of rainy-day driving, with a detour to drop off the last project I worked on for my integrity-challenged former employer just north of NYC . I doubt I'll get paid the severence pay I'm owed, but I'll be able to look myself in the mirror for doing my part, and I might even be able to drum up a bit of sympathy and a prayer for his family that things work out for their failing business. It doesn't pay to hate him.
I've got far more important people to think about, including a stunningly beautiful wife, and a pretty little blonde-haired girl with big blue eyes that wants more than anything to give her dad a smothering hug and big, smacking kiss. Yeah, I've got things I need to work on, but I have my priorities straight, and 600-odd miles of asphalt between me and them.
...I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. *
May 04, 2005
Wish Me Luck...I had a job interview yesterday that I think went well in RTP. I should find out about it tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed for me, if you would. I'm staying nearby and checking out real estate tomorrow hoping this or another position in the area pan out, so blogging will be light.
My former employer has not yet deposited the last month's severance pay that he said he would into my account, and has not responded to the voicemail I left for him this morning, nor the email I sent at the same time. I'm not amused.
May 01, 2005
Jennifer Wilbanks: Political Threat?Jennifer "Runaway Bride" Wilbanks may be crazy... crazy like a political fox.
"This is one of the most selfish and self-centered acts I've ever seen," said Ryan Kelly*, owner of Park Cafe. "Obviously, she has the character to run for political office."
"I'm glad that she's alive and OK, but it was a dirty trick," said Louise McCoy*, waiting in line at the Duluth post office on the day Wilbanks was supposed to be married in a lavish ceremony that included 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen. When asked about a possible political run, McCoy continued," You know, Jennifer has proven that she can waste huge amounts of money on a neurotic whim, so maybe she should be in Washington."
"I hear that kind of crazy has worked real well for Nancy Pelosi."
* Quotes creatively embellished.
April 22, 2005
Celebrate Earthday!Personally, I'm going to celebrate by driving a couple hundred miles over smog-choked roads paved through woodlands, to interview for a job with a company that puts heavy metals into the environment.
April 20, 2005
Heading SouthI'm taking the wife and kid "down home" to North Carolina for a long weekend visiting with the famn damily, so posting may be sporadic until Tuesday or so.
Update: 4 potty stops, 10 hours, 600 miles, and 1300 "Are we there yet"s later, we have arrived.
Dumbest. College. Major. Ever. Except for That One...You thought underwater basketweaving was stupid? Try getting a Master's in Activism & Social Change, via a thread in The New Editor.
I'm thinking of turning my existing MA into a New College MFA in Creative Inquiry. That way, I can sit around with the Great Unwashed and say, "Dude, WTF?" as a professional.
I don't see "The Donald" picking these guys for The Apprentice, but a future with "The Ronald" seems all but certain.
April 14, 2005
AFLAC Duck on SE Asian Sex Tour?
April 13, 2005
Stupid Media Comment of the Day
From a CNN television segment about a small plane that crashed during an emergency landing on a higway today:
The plane "...might have clipped an 18-wheeler while flying lower than usual." (emphasis added)
Gee, you think?
March 25, 2005
The small consulting firm I worked for just broke the bad news that they aren't doing too well financially, so I'm one of the recipients of the dreaded "last on, first off" Friday afternoon speech.
I figure it's God's way of telling me I need to branch out with my writing skills, so if you know of anyone looking for a technical writer, columnist, or pro blogging gig, let me know, will you?
I'm currently in the NY Metro area, but I'd willing to consider a relocation back to the Old North State.
Right to Carry Trumps Right to Life
If I have made one observation in my life worth passing along, it is that the owner of a gun store is the last person you should ever be stupid enough to ever try to rob.
I guess we can add to the cliches, "Never bring a knife to a gun show."
(hat tip Drudge)
March 13, 2005
I'm Not Dead Yet
Today marks my fifth-annual 30th birthday.
Send money for these.
March 02, 2005
Tire Blogging Comes to New York
Glenn Reynolds is right, tire blogging is the next big thing, but oddly enough, not all tire places (or bloggers) are equipped for "live" tire blogging. I will however, blog it after the fact.
I did learn some interesting things, such as that plugging tires is no longer practiced in New York (the plugs tend to work loose, and the sudden deflatation can lead to blowouts), and that internal patching is the only acceptable way to make repairs, acording to the experts I talked too.
Regular, non-tire blogging resumes this afternoon...
February 12, 2005
Now Reading: Hugh Hewitt's Blog
I just got my copy of Hugh Hewitt's Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World. I'm one chapter in so far, and it is a fascinating read.
Hugh, should you ever come by here: "you done good."
December 17, 2004
Sure, Glen Reynolds has his tireblogging, but does it come with Kleenex?
A nurse who should know better sent her SARS-infested twins to school yesterday, and now my curtain-climber is going to be home today with a nasty cough, hacking up green things that crawl away on their own. Poor kid.
Parents who send their Ebola-babies to school knowing (this one is a nurse!) that they will infect other kids deserve a nice beating with a ClueBat. Thanks to this momtard, an entire kindergarten class was exposed, and more than her kids will spend the weekend before Christmas sick.
Ho. Ho. Ho.
December 08, 2004
There's a chupacabra in my room
Did you know that when you combine four days of insomnia with a heavy workload, the mind can start to play tricks on you?
Either that, or I need to get a chupacabra trap.
The next thing you know, Terry McAuliffe will start to sound intelligent...
Update: It turns out that I didn't see a chupacabra, but something else with similar physical characteristics.
December 02, 2004
A Worthy Cause
Election got you down? Are you suffering from Post Election Selection Trauma? You are not alone, little liberal.I know several liberals that packed up their Volvos on November Third and headed north, only to be incredulously turned away just shy of the Canuckistani border. Let me tell you, it really soured their frappacinos to find out they'd have to face at least another year of BusHitler before being accepted to Paul Martin's Promised Land.
Surely, there was something that could be done.
Something that should be done.
But after almost a month of incessant whining from the high-minded-but-functionally-useless libs milling around aimlessly, it was once again up to the conservatives to actually do it.Looking deep into our collective past, we hit upon just the solution.
Back prior to the War of Northern Aggression, courageous early Republicans often outsmarted early pre-Klan Democrats and helped those held in servitude escape to the North. It seemed only fitting to resurrect this idea to assist our "friends" in their quest to reach their socialist Nirvana.And so, it became necessary to create the:
Yes, the Democratic Underground Railroad will help ferry the disenfranchised and downtrodden out of the land of Christian ayatollahs and non-stop Toby Keith, to the land of polar bear milk and honey.Please make a donation or two to your favorite conservative bloggers who are doing this noble and dangerous humanitarian work.
It is, after all, for a worthy cause.
NOTE: I just added Haloscan for comments and trackback. Previous comments were unfortunately deleted in the changeover. Sorry, but it was necessary to be able to block Hate-Filled Lefties. Granted, I haven't had any to speak of just yet, but you know how we conservatives favor preemption.
November 10, 2004
Sick blogging/Thoughts on liberal succession
Bloggins is late and light today. Yesterday's sore throat evolved into today's bronchitis, so off to the physician I went. My doctor always creeps me out a little. He looks too much like Skinner from the X-Files, and every time he puts the flashlight thing in my mouth and makes me say "ah," I half expect an alien probe to Cartman out the other end.
But I have drugs now, so tomorrow I should be better.
Thoughts on liberal succession
This has been handled quite well on various blogs across the 'net, but when you're titled Confederate Yankee you feel obligated to make at least some comment on the subject.
My comment? I advise my liberal friends who want to go this route to stock up on canned goods, bottled water, and Glade plug-ins. Why?
As a reader noted on Powerline, a truly fair and equal succession would occur on a county-by-county basis, turning many metropolitan areas into liberal "reservations."
As these predominantly urban areas are incapable of supporting enough farming and ranching to feed their own populations, starvation is a short-term possibility and a long-term certainty. Granted, the animals in the Bronx and Central Park zoos might provide enough meat for a fraction of the population for a week or two, but I don't think there are any good recipies for red panda anyway.
These same urban areas also rely on watersheds from far away "red" areas for their drinking and flushing needs, making drought, famine and disease probable. 72 hours without water from "red" upstate counties and the Big Apple will start smelling like the Big Diaper.
So think carefully before you make a decision, my liberal friends. We can possibly live without you, but you most assuredly cannot live without us.