Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bum beatings

I've been a busy blogger today...

Someone on my car club forum posted a link to the story about people beating up bums for fun...check it out...

So, of course, people had to chime in with their opinions on this. Most find it reprehensible and feel that the teens should be punished for their actions. Some felt that the 15 year sentence imposed on the kids was not enough, and that they should have received life or the death penalty. I fall into this camp. As I've said here, on at least two or three other occasions, if you kill someone (self defense aside) you should be killed. If you rape or molest a child, or anyone, for that matter, you should also be killed. Sure, I sound harsh, but hey, there would be a lot fewer murders per year, right?

So a few people have actually taken to stating that not only should the teens be punished for 15 years or longer, but so should their parents. Yeah, that's right, their parents. People that didn't kill anyone, and for all we know, were sitting at home watching 24 when their kids were out beating up homeless people. Their argument is that the parents should have raised their children better, and that the parents are directly responsible for the deaths of the bums. They're stating that not only should the parents go to jail, but they should have their homes confiscated, and auctioned to pay medical expenses and damages to the victim's families. Again...after having nothing to do with the action, the parents are to blame.

Yeah, this sounds wacko as hell, right? I mean, it's not as though the parents were sitting there, egging their kids on. Can you imagine it?

"Go on Timmy, kick that alky's ass! You want to be a man, well this is how to become one!"

If that were the case, then sure, the parents would be guilty of either inciting violence, murder (2, I think), and/or being an accessory to murder. However, that isn't the case, and yet these people truly believe that the parents should go to jail. That's like saying that because a 30 year old, married man, beats his wife, his parents should be charged with domestic violence, simply because they never taught their kid not to beat his wife. Really.

Anyway...what do you think? Should a 15 year old who killed someone or participated in the beating of a bum be punished to the fullest extent of the law? Should he or she be tried as an adult? Should they get life, death, 15 years? What? How about the parents?

By the way, the guy that posted the original story, and incited the parent blaming was the same guy who bashed me for posting about my dog's balls a couple weeks ago. He's a real winner, huh?

Fired for checking out adult sites at work?

Sue your employer!

That's right, folks. If you think you have an addiction to online girlie sites, and you get fired for accessing them during work, just sue. Of course, you're covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act...

Seriously, why is this even getting a court date? I mean, when you start working for a company, you're bound by their rules. If you want to do something, you need to first, make sure its not illegal, and second, make sure it doesn't violate a workplace rule. I can't sexually harass anyone, and you can't look at nudie sites while you're at work. It's the rule at every large corporation in the US, and probably the world. Why?

Well, as much as I'd hate to admit it, it's offensive to some people. I don't think that you should have to censor what you say, simply because you're in public, but this is a little different. Sex is a private thing. If letting other people watch you gets your jollies off, fine, but don't do it at work.

When I was in my last job, I used to work out after I was done with my day. Since it was a Navy facility, we had a locker room and a small gym with a treadmill and a few other machines. Invariably, after I was done working out, there would be a guy in the shower. He'd shower for well over an hour, then spend another hour "primping" himself, naked, in the locker room. He'd talk to guys in there, naked, of course, stand at the urinal, in full view when the door was opened, comb his hair, etc, and this happened at least three days a week. Complaints to management went nowhere, and eventually, he was actually moved to the building. That's right, he didn't even have a right to be there, and wasn't an employee in that work space. He just came by three nights a week to shower and display himself for all to see. Why? I don't know...I guess he was just into having guys see him naked. For awhile, his locker was right next to mine. It usually wasn't too big of a problem, that is, until the day he had one leg up on a bench, and his head down, checking out his balls, then started talking to me about the weather. That afternoon, I ran up to the administrator, told her what happened, and told her that if no one was going to do anything about this guy, I wanted my locker moved.

In the end, they moved me, but they did nothing about the guy in the shower. I guess maybe you really can get away with stuff like that at work.

But, when you get fired for it, don't come bitching, filing lawsuits about being discriminated against. Deal with it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekend update.

We had a nice weekend down in DC, hanging out with a few of our friends. Two of them live in Alexandria, VA, so we stayed at their apartment, and we hit up the Library of Congress and the National Archives. I've been to the Archives, but never the Library of Congress. Both are very cool, but they're pretty much quick stops, since there really isn't MUCH to see. I happily took the time to check out the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Magna Carta.

Seamus was at my dad's house, playing all weekend with their Boxer and Great Pyrenees, so when we got back last night, he was completely exhausted! My parents found out that Seamus just doesn't stop, not for nothing...well, other than food and water. I swear, if water was expensive, this dog could drink me out of house and home! Unfortunately, for the most part, more water tends to end up on the floor, than in the his body.

So...Monday was my birthday. I turned 24; an age at which nothing happens. I mean, at 21, you can drink and all, 25, you get that nice car insurance discount. At 24, nothing. Well, I am closing on my house next week, so that's cool, but really, nothing's happening.

Anyway, I had been craving potatoes au gratin for quite some time, and the wife doesn't like to eat foods that aren't...healthy. So, I figured that my birthday was just about the only day of the year that I could demand them. Of course, I probably shouldn't be eating potatoes au gratin, since I've gained about 15 pounds since the wedding that I've been trying to work off, but eat I did. I made a couple of nice, thick steaks, and she cooked up some roasted asparagus (which has come to be one of my favorite foods). All she does with it is break the ends off, wash them well, then take a Pyrex pan with a tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil...I know, I had to learn it, too), coat the asparagus, then salt and pepper them well. 400 degrees in the oven for 15 minutes, and you've got one of the tastiest foods I can think of. Plus, you have the added benefit of having urine that smells all weird-like.

Wifey got me the most kick ass present in the world; a cast-iron smoker. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to cook. I especially like to grill and smoke meat. My ribs are fantastical. So, that was the first thing she thought of as a gift, taking into consideration that we were buying the new house. She tried to pick it up from Home Depot in her Mazda...I know...she asked for help at the Customer Service counter, and they told her she'd need to come back with something bigger. So, when we move on Tuesday, we'll go pick it up before we drop the truck off at UHaul. Also, she stopped at Buca Di Beppo, and amazing italian chain restaurant, and grabbed me my favorite desert, cheesecake. Theirs comes with raspberry topping and hazelnuts, and I was in my glory. They also were kind enough to throw and entire loaf of bread into the bag for her, for free. When I say a loaf, imagine a piece of bread, 6" thick, and with a diameter of about 18". Yeah, this thing was bigger than a damn pizza. It is so good, though.

Speaking of food, I came up with a dish that is amazing. I don't know what to call it, and I know it's been made 1000 times before, but I'd like to think I'm the first person in the world to come up with it. Essentially, it's nothing more than chicken with bruschetta over it. Here's the recipe, if you're interested.

You'll need:
6 or 7 plum tomatoes (about 1.75 lbs)
1/2 a purple onion, diced finely
4 cloves of garlic
a handful of fresh basil
2 tablespoons of EVOO
1.5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1 lb of fresh mozzarella (although the wife prefers Sorrento's part skim mozzarella)
4 chicken breasts, cleaned
garlic powder

Start out by cleaning the tomatoes and discarding the seeds and internal structure. Dice them up finely, and dice up the onion. Put in a non-reactive bowl. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a good amount of salt and pepper. Mince finely, the four cloves of garlic and add. Chop the basil as fine as you can get it, and add it. Basil gives it a great fresh flavor. Mix it all together very well, taste it, and add EVOO, vinegar, and salt and pepper as necessary. I prefer my bruschetta to be a little more salty, but you'll know when it's right. Stick that in the fridge to marinate.

Take your chicken breasts, and season them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put them on a hot grill until they are cooked through. You can also stick them in a pan with some EVOO, but that changes the flavor and adds more fat and such. I prefer them grilled.

Take a medium sized Pyrex pan, 10" x 8" should be fine, and place the cooked chicken breasts in the pan, then cover with some thick slices (1/8" or so) of mozzarella. Cover that with the bruschetta, add a few leaves of basil on top, then place in an over at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. When it comes out, everything will be ridiculously hot, so let it cool a bit.

When it's done, serve it up with a nice baquette or italian bread.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ice storms on Valentine's Day.

So today is Valentine's Day. Did you get your wifey or hubby something? You should have. I got wifey an awesome arrangement of flowers, that was delivered to her office just 10 minutes ago.

The problem is...she's not AT her office. We got 3" of snow, then 2" of ice and freezing rain last night/this morning, so they closed the light rail line she uses to get from Jersey to Philadelphia. There was now way in hell I was letting her drive in this, and there was no way in hell I was driving her into Philly, so she stayed home. It's now 2:04 PM, and although my car has been chipped out since 7:15 this morning (that was fun...broke both ice scrapers, between my car and hers), I haven't gone anywhere.

The bastards that run the condo complex I live in haven't even been around to plow, let alone shovel, and the cars aren't going anywhere. I tried. I really did. My car is just too low to get around in the ice, and hers is just too light.

So, we both stayed home today. I'll charge WC, or "Weather Calamity" and she'll get off without taking a vacation day. Two of the other executive recruiters live near us, and they couldn't get in either, so there's not much her boss is going to be able to do.

Anyway, what did she get me for Valentine's Day?

She got me a beautifully wrapped box from William's & Sonoma, containing this...I am so super-stoked about this. The box was almost too beautiful to open, but I tore in, and was handsomely rewarded. I've wanted a cleaver for a long time, and this one is EXACTLY what I wanted. It matches our other knives and EVERYTHING.

I just showed her the picture of the flowers I bought her, and had delivered to her office. She loved them, even if they're not sitting in front of her. I love this woman.

I hope everyone who has a valentine gets laid tonight, and I hope that anyone who doesn't have a valentine goes to a bar, and goes home with someone to get laid. Just remember to watch out for the Hi-Five and the herpes.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Becoming a US Citizen.

Albert Pujols, the Cardinals first basemen became a naturalized US citizen on Wednesday. Good for him, man. I really hope that it encourages a lot of the other Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Japanese, and Venezuelan talent (and any others, for that matter) to reconsider their citizenship and work to become American citizens when they're eligible.

I really like Albert Pujols. I think he's a great guy, and I think he's great for baseball. Is it bad that one of baseball's most notable faces is from the Dominican Republic? I don't think so. I mean, he moved here when he was 16, and has been living in the country for what, 10 years? I'm generally against most immigration, at least at this point, but I am happy to see people who come here do it legally, and actually go through with officially becoming a citizen. I really think that immigration is the only way to preserve this social safety net that the democrats have created for the country. Not that I support it, but as OJ said, if I were to do it, this is how I'd have done it.

I can't remember the exact statistics, but in the 1950s, there was something like seven people paying into social security for each person on social security, and now it's like three, and in 15 years, it'll be one, or less than one. Again, I'm not sure on the exact numbers. So, what does that mean? Well, we have to pay more into social security because there are fewer people paying in. Right. So, now we have an influx of immigrants who can pay in, but only if they become US citizens. Again, if I were to to it, this is how I'd do it. Let the immigrants pay for the safety net. Hell, I think they're the only ones eligible to draw benefits anyway, as normal Americans get nothing but more taxes.

Oh yeah, and on to the topic of taxes. New Jersey just passed a law granting 20% property tax relief to residents with a gross household income of less than $100,000/year. How did they fund this? By raising the sales tax to 7% back in July of last year. Anyone who knows anything about New Jersey knows that you can barely afford to live (if you own a house) on much less than $100K/year. New Jersey is the costliest state in the union to live in. So how many people are actually seeing any benefit from this property tax relief? Not as many as need it. In the towns around here, property taxes for a ~$250,000 range from a low of $4,000 to a high of $12,000/year. Can you imagine that? $1,000 per month, just for your taxes?

I can't wait to get out of this state.

How the hell did I go from Albert Pujols to property taxes? I need to check my meds again.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My dog's balls.

Apparently, someone from the Taurus Car Club of America, has a problem with me discussing my dog's balls on my blog. He actually called me out in a message board, attempting to insult me by stating that although I have a degree, the depth of my knowledge and writing goes no further than scataogical topics. Now, I paraphrased when I wrote that last sentence, but you can imagine how the post probably went. I should also state that he wrote this while typing only in sentence fragments and without using proper grammar, punctuation, or as I told him on the site, forming a cohesive thought or sentence, or a cogent argument.

So, the thread has now turned to mug-slinging back and forth. My, how I love interweb drama.

Now, how this all came up takes a little history lesson. See, this guy, and I won't mention names, is always on this site. Well, not always, but when he is, his posts are usually about how someone's keeping him down, or that people are fucking with him, pissing him off, or there's some odd conspiracy against him. It's not that he's a conspiracy theorist like some others I know, but he tends to believe that everyone has a personal vendetta against him. I've never met him, and maybe they do, but from what I've read, there's a reason for it. Believe me on this one.

In a previous thread, on someone's entrance into college, and in the proceeding discussion on whether we thought he should stay on campus or commute, someone stated that they graduated from college with a dual bachelor's and master's degree, near the top of the class, and that they commuted. I stated that I lived on campus, was a resident assistant (that's right, I kicked those little freshman motherfuckers to the curb), and that I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Drexel University. This fellow, the vendetta one, not the dual degree one, then decided to state that when we would start comparing degrees, he wanted to be informed, so he could join in the pissing match. Again, paraphrasing here. I then told him that we could start a pissing contest on jobs and salaries, to which he decided that he would post that salaries aren't important, and that helping people is what matters.

You know what? I couldn't agree more! I believe that helping people matters, in whatever way you can. While some people volunteer, I make money by helping build some of the most sophisticated military weapons systems ever built. So, in essence, I am helping people, by enabling their protection from incoming nuclear warheads, should that ever come to pass.

What really pushed me over the edge is that he came on and started bitching about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force promotion in Boston, and how he got stuck in traffic for two hours because of it. Alright, I can deal with that, you're pissed because you were stuck in traffic. Big deal, it happens, but fine, post away. What pissed me off is that he posted this:

blink.gif no they are laughing because
they just realized in court they are 27 yo losers. laugh.gif

laugh.gif mom must be proud

As you can see, this guy is a real winner.

Anyway, the discussion has evolved into a few people backing me, calling him out as a douche.

Also, my dog's balls are just fine, thank you. Well, his sack is just fine. His balls are probably in a waste basket somewhere, or maybe sitting in a jar on someone's desk. I especially like that prospect. My dog had some big balls, let me tell you. They deserve to be shown off. I just wish he could have kept them. Unfortunately, the fact that he has hip dysplasia, and the fact that I'm a responsible parent, coupled with the reality that hip problems are passed along in a dog's genes, caused me to have his little boys removed so that the line of problems would stop there. Fortunately for the breed, I'm more responsible than the breeders we purchased him from.