Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mixtape to D.C. - A Congressional Compromise Playlist

Sometimes you cannot express in simple words the way you feel about a person. In this case, it is the five hundred thirty five members of congress who need to get their heads out of their special-interest groups. When words are not enough, a mixtape is the way to go.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day Footballing - A Lesson in Pain

Thanksgiving day has always been a day of general malaise and sloth in my family. We wake up late, over-eat, and take an afternoon nap. So when my brother-in-law invited me to his annual Thanksgiving morning football game, I was both honored and a little uneasy. First of all, football is not a game in which I have ever been proficient. In fact, I have not played any sports in several years (aside from the occasional ping-pong match). This, combined with my brother-in-law's uber-athleticism, set the stage for an eventful and embarrassing morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Super Bad - The Eternal Adolescence of Congress

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a Congressional Super-Committee charged with meting out the painful cuts and revenue reforms to the US budget is supposed to come out with a comprehensive plan to balance the federal budget this week. Six Republicans and six Democrats have been meeting behind closed doors for weeks while America waits with baited breath for some modicum of stability.

Friday, November 18, 2011

On a Frosty Morning Such as This

I woke up before the sun this morning, an unfortunate side effect of both the season and my current job. I laid still under my down comforter, frozen by the impending chill that awaited me beyond my bed. Mustering the courage to sally forth into the icy tundra of our tile-floored bathroom, I forced myself vertical and stumbled down the hall.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Bluth Family Guide to Being a Renaissance Man

My wife and I just finished watching the second season of Arrested Development, a hilarious television series that was sadly cut short after its third season. The premise for the series is that the head of the family, George Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor), is arrested for building houses for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. His son, Michael (Jason Bateman) is left to save the family business and reign in the licentious spending habits of his dysfunctional siblings and alcoholic mother.

The show is full of awkward situations and even more unnerving characters. Amid all of the tension and out-right bizarreness, there is a certain charm that emanates from each of the characters' self destructive tendencies that don't allow you to loathe their existence. Instead, you can't wait to see how they will untangle themselves from the next family debacle.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"We Held the Day..."

I have been trying to find a way to succinctly convey my feelings toward Veterans Day. Distinguishing my dismay for the conflicts in which our nation is currently involved and the respect and empathy for the men and women who serve in the armed forces is difficult. So instead of some tired diatribe, I have chosen to let the chillingly beautiful work of Billy Joel do the talking.

Joel wrote this song as a tribute to the friends and fellow soldiers he lost in Vietnam.

Happy Veterans day. Remember those who have fallen with fondness, regardless of what you think of the conflicts, whether past and present.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In Pursuit of Protection - Surveillance & Personal Freedom

The Supreme Court Tuesday began hearing a case where technology and the first amendment collide in a very tangible way. The case focuses on an attempt by law enforcement agencies to track and monitor the activity of suspicious members of society. Police organizations have been affixing GPS tracking units to the vehicles of suspects, thereby employing a very effective, tireless mechanism for tailing.

It seems that gone are the days when a suspected criminal is followed by men in trench coats and Ford Crown Vics. Instead of intuition and gumshoe surveillance, investigators are using technology to emulate CSI or perhaps Brave New World. The implications of the latter is the source of ire among defendants in the case currently under review.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stitch and Bitch - The Art of Craft Survival

My wife loves to craft. Sewing, painting, gluing - she does it all. Even her cooking becomes a work of art. I love the creative work that flows out of her brain and into the wood, fabric, and crock pots of our lives. But sometimes these projects go beyond the realm of creative expression and into the world of patience-testing. If you are unsure, mine is the patience that is generally being tested.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Souls Day - Remembering a Few Impactful Souls

Yesterday, November 2nd, is celebrated in many faith traditions as All Souls Day, a day to commemorate the members of our community who have passed on. It offers a time of respectful reflection on the lives of those who've impacted our own in positive ways.

Here are a few Renaissance men and women whom I would like to pay homage to today: