Monday, April 23, 2007

A new number one

Lorena Ochoa is the new number one ranked woman golfer in the world. Just this week she surpassed Annika Sorenstam who is considered the benchmark of success for women golfers.
I remember a couple of years ago when I first started watching the LPGA, that Lorena was constantly in the top 10. I have been a big fan of hers ever since. She has a very upbeat, positive attitude and it comes across in her golf game as well as in her life overall.

Congratulations Lorena. You deserve it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day of Free Food

One thing I love about working around the capitol is all the free food. On any given week, I can eat upwards of 5 meals for free. But today was an especially good day. My roommate brought home extra bagels last night so I had one of those at home this morning. Then it was Sen. Stamas' birthday and they brought in cake and fruit and I snacked on that mid-morning. For lunch some healtcare group had a luncheon on the lawn which was very good. Chicken, Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, etc. My co-worker and I ate there. As we were walking away with our full plates she said she felt a little guilty taking all their food without really caring about the message they were pitching. I have long gotten past such guilty feelings. Then later in the day I used up one of my last free coffee cards at Beaners to get a caramel chill. Hopefully my run of free stuff will spill over to tomorrow. Otherwise it will be back to brown bag sandwiches and bananas.

More Crap from Obama

He just couldn't resist. Instead of allowing the country to simply mourn the loss of innocent lives in Virginia, he had to turn the occasion into a political lecture.

During Barack Obama's speech yesterday in Milwaukee he decided to expand upon the Va. Tech incident and compare it's violence to other types of violence in our culture. Certainly we are a culture of violence. Just turn on the TV or watch a movie and you'll see that we do have a fascination with blood and gore and guns. But that wasn't what he was referring to. No instead he compared the violence to the verbal harm done by Don Imus as if those two acts are morally equivalent. He went on to also compare the massacre to the violence that people face when their jobs are shipped overseas or when they lose their pensions. I am not making this up.

Now whether or not you agree with what happened to Imus or oppose outsourcing is irrelevant. There is a time and a place to have those debates. This week was not the time. But what is most disturbing is that here is a leading candidate for President who can't tell difference between killing 32 people and saying something stupid on the radio. Any 6 year old can see the difference as in "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me". Maybe they didn't teach that at his elementary school.

One final point, I find it ironic that on the same day he mentioned all these other acts of supposed "violence" he was rebuking the court for putting an end to the very real violence of partial birth abortion. The more I hear Obama, the more I disagree with him. Hopefully others are beginning to come to the same conclusion.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A good decision

This is a good day as the Supreme Court has finally ruled against partial birth abortion. Just a few hours ago they held up the federal law that bans this cruel and unusual punishment. For all of those who are growing weary of Bush and Republicans, at least they were able to appoint sensible judges who could see through the judicial nonsense that claims all types of abortion as an absolute right.

While I would prefer that the abortion issue be worked out within the hearts of individuals rather than in the courts or even in the legislature, I am still encouraged that just maybe the pro-life arguments are beginning to take hold in the public's mind. If that is happening, it won't matter what the court decides.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bye Bye Beaners

With apologies to my friends that work at Beaners; so long suckers!

For the past several years I have been buying my coffee at Beaners. It tastes better than Starbucks and they are located right next store to my office. Lately however, I noticed that price keeps rising and rising and I am getting tired of paying almost 2 dollars for a plain cup of coffee.

Enter Cornerstone Coffee. They are new to Lansing and I just went there this morning. First of all they have great leather chairs, a warm fireplace and generally cozy atmosphere. But even better they are significantly cheaper than Beaners. The coffee was pretty good and they had five blends to choose from. Cornerstone is just around the block from my office so it is a little bit further to walk than Beaners but with warmer weather I don't mind.

I still have two free coffee cards to use at Beaners but once those are done, I won't be going back there. Unless of course it's raining.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Office Space

There are a handful of movies that I can watch over and over again. Office Space is one of them. I laugh out loud every time I see it. My favorite part is when they beat the fax machine to death accompanied by gangster rap. It totally cracks me up.

I got up early this morning and just watched again it on Comedy Central. The whole premise is that man is not made to sit in an office working away the best days of our lives. Today this message seems especially apropos as I am currently less than enthused with my own job. If only life were a movie then I could just quit my job, date Jennifer Anniston and live happily ever after. But since I can't do that, watching Office Space is the next best thing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Weekend

This past weekend was very fun and relaxing. Friday night I had a few friends over for a small poker party. It was a good time and made better by the fact that I won some money. Although it was a little wierd playing poker on Good Friday.

Saturday night's church service was a bit of challenge as our building did not have heat and it was like 25 degrees here in Lansing. We had to switch the service to one of the smaller rooms in the church and then brought in several space heaters. It was cold but cozy and it turned out to be a good service. What I liked most about it was how flexible people were. Nobody complained or left because it was too cold. Instead people chipped in and helped move stuff around and get set up. I expect that several years from now we will all remember our first Easter service as a church. We can call it "Frozen Easter".

Then Sunday my parents came over from Clarksville and we went to Faith Church because they really enjoy the service. It was nice to be back as I hadn't been there in about 10 months. It was good to see some old friends and the service was really good. The worship band was a real highlight. Then after church I was able to host my first Easter dinner. It was fun making the meal and having my parents at the house. I think I am going to like being a home owner and hosting events.

All in all it was a good Easter weekend.

more house pictures

Here are some more pictures of my new place:

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ipod Idiots

Usually I try to avoid blogging about Michigan politics but this time I cannot resist. Michigan is currently facing a budget deficit of about $1 billion for our current year and another billion for next year's proposed budget. Two weeks ago the Republicans in the Senate rejected the Governor's confusing and expensive plan to add a sales tax on services. They also voted to cut $900 million in state programs including difficult areas like education and health care. To be honest, it was a tough vote because there were many programs we had fought to get money for that we then voted to cut. But that's what you do when times are tight.

What's the Democrats proposal? Increase about every imaginable tax and then create new programs like giving $38 million so that all public school kids can have Ipods. I am not making this up. One of the leaders in the House suggested that having Ipods would improve students education. These are the kind of inept people we have to negotiate with to end this budget mess. No wonder we are making no progress.

A few years ago my boss did begrudgingly vote to give laptops to all 6th graders. It was a dumb idea but at least back then we had the money to pay for the program and laptops could add some value in the classroom. Ipods? Hardly. What will the Democrats want to give away next week? How about paying for every student's spring break vacation. After all, students who are well rested are more likely to perform well. The sad thing is that my tongue and cheek proposal has more value than what they proposing in real life.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I just read this morning that the CEO of Ford was paid $28 million for the first months of the year. I realize that we are talking about someone who running a multi-billion worldwide business but that is still a very high number. Especially for the results Ford is receiving. Last quarter they lost $12.7 billion and they plan to layoff 30,000 hourly workers to help cut costs. So please explain to me why they are paying him that much money. It seems to me that he is not worth it and that almost anyone could do a better job running the company. What other job could you have where you lose money, lay off workers and make a personal fortune?

It is this type of corporate behavior that drives the anti-capitalist movement. They look at the gross unfairness of it and rightly question whether this system works or not. And at the very least it shows just why Ford and the other US automakers are in so much trouble. Maybe if they rewarded innovation and results they would make better cars and have more profit. But instead they line the wallets of those at the top while the ship continues to sink.

Lately I have been hearing all around town that the problem with Michigan's economy is that not enough Michigan residents buy American cars. In fact the Speaker of the House floated a proposal to charge more to register foreign cars then American cars. To begin with it is a stupid argument because there are not enough drivers in Michigan to make that much of a difference in worldwide demand. But it also shows that some people want us to blindly buy American first without regard to cost or quality. I am in the market for a new car and GM and Ford are nowhere near the top of my list. If they want my business they should make better cars and stop paying their CEO big bucks for doing poor work.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My new house

The move this weekend went very smoothly. A big thank you to all the people that helped. I had a really good crew of volunteers. All together it only took a little over 3 hours to load and unload which is pretty quick.

I am now getting settled into the new place and it's fun to be a homeowner. Everything is working except the refrigerator so I have no food in the house. Hopefully it is getting fixed soon. I am also in a little bit of TV withdrawal as cable doesn't get hooked up until Thursday. But with so much unpacking to do, I guess it's a good thing to not have that temptation around.

Another change is that I have a new roommate named Dave. He's a young guy I know from my church. He's cool and I am enjoying having someone else around the house. Although it will take some getting used to having a roommate again.