Archive for May 2010

About Westboro And Sgt. Joshua Tomlinson

May 29, 2010

If you aren’t from around here, the inbreds from the Westboro Baptist Church announced last week that they were going to protest at the funeral of Sgt. Tomlinson, a local soldier killed earlier this month in Afghanistan. It’s been the topic of conversation everywhere. As of now, it appears they failed to show, though the announcement drew many, many supporters to the funeral.

I don’t know what to say. Part of me just wants to use as many curse words as possible. I feel like I should explain that these useless assholes aren’t protesting the war, they’re protesting our country’s acceptance of homosexuals. There’s a lesson or two on free speech. I could discuss whether or not any other group of people is so unconditionally condemned by so many different types of folks.

But I don’t want to talk about them. I also don’t want to discuss any abstract principles or ideas. There’s an actual person gone from this world. There’s a real family that has to face this loss. I’m trying hard not to sound sanctimonious. Still, turning this young man’s death into a news event seems profane. It makes him a caricature. I know it happens every day. I also know grief is personal. Sgt. Tomlinson’s friends and family know him. Those of us who just read the news can’t. We can express sympathy and anger, but only his loved one’s can grieve. So I guess all I want to say is that as all this news swirls around this real soldier’s death, I hope it won’t hinder his family from confronting and conquering their sorrow. I hope they can ignore the news narrative and remember and celebrate the person they know and love.

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Stuff That Makes Me Happy: Bourbon On The Rocks And A Freshly Cut Lawn

May 26, 2010

I like to complain. It’s my nature. It’s fun. It’s a guaranteed way to avoid sentimentality, melodrama, and similarly ghey emotions. Hence, it’s mostly what I do here. Some stuff, though, does make me happy. Today, the first in a what may a regular occurrence: Posts about said stuff.

The inspiration also became the title to this post. Granted, a glass of bourbon and just about anything will make me happy. The color, aroma, taste and, of course, the head change, all make the world’s most divine drink. Beer fills me up and makes me tired. Wine is too sweet. Rum, tequila, vodka and gin all need something extra. Scotch competes, but bourbon – maybe because it’s the one true American drink – is sui generis.

I love it at the end of a bad day. I love it after I’ve come home from work and then gone for a hard ride or run. I love it as desert after a night “out.” But most of all, I love it on my front porch as the day ends. The sun sets through the trees. The cicadas buzz. A few cars hum in the distance on Youree Drive. Fireflies start to light. I sit in my Adirondack chair and enjoy life.

I enjoy it even more on a night like tonight, when I can also enjoy my own work. In our group of friends, I believe I’m the only one who cuts his own grass. That’s partly because I’m cheap, but also because I like to do at least one or two things on my own. Cutting the yard requires no special knowledge, just a couple of hours, not even that if you skip the trimming and raking. The reward, though, more than outweighs the time cost. Not only do you have the aroma of fresh cut grass, and the view of the nicely ordered yard, but the knowledge that you did it. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much; it’s not like I just painted the Sistine Chapel. Still, given little I can actually do around my own house, I’ll take even the small accomplishments.

In short, the contentment of bringing order to my yard combined with the relaxation of my favorite drink makes me very, very happy.

How To Know You’ve Really Got It Good

May 25, 2010

If this is one of the biggest headaches in your life, or something you would even complain about at all, then you’ve got lots for which to be thankful.

Go down just about any street and you’re sure to find at least one garbage or recycling bin sitting in the middle of a sidewalk, completely blocking foot traffic.  Shreveport Police Sgt. Bill Goodin says leaving garbage cans in the middle of a sidewalk is against the law.  Violators could get a ticket and pay a fine.  Mike Strong with the city says it’s up to everyone, including the bin collectors, to make sure the sidewalks are not being blocked on trash day or any other day.  If you have concerns in your neighborhood, the best way to report it is by calling police at 673-BLUE.

We do a lot of walking. Sometimes it’s behind the kids as they ride their tricycles. Other times it’s with the dog. Sunday mornings are normally a five to ten mile hike with the kids in the jogger. There’s also frequent trips to the local parks or library. We can do this because Southeast Shreveport has sidewalks on every road. Annoyingly, people do park cars across them, or pile trash in them, or even let their gardens grow over them. Normally, my response to homeowners who leave crap in the sidewalk is to detour through the offender’s front yard. Now I think I’ll just keep my cell phone handy.

I Guess This Means Obama Likes It Rough?

May 24, 2010

Last week we heard from the GOP’s newest flaming idiot, Rand Paul, about how Obama has his “boot heel on the throat of BP.” Then, today, the gold standard of idiocy, Sarah Palin, tells us Obama is in bed with BP.

Ridiculously Stupid Bumper Stickers

May 23, 2010

Sure, that’s redundant. I remember my dad telling me when I was a kid that there’s two kinds of people in the world: Those who put bumper stickers on their cars, and those who don’t. Still, even given the low standards, two I’ve recently seen made me laugh out loud. In scorn. (Sorry I don’t have actual pics, but I don’t own a real cell phone, never mind one that could have taken a live picture. Rest assured, though, I actually saw these on real cars in Shreveport.)

The first was a sticker version of the following t-shirt. It made me want to go home and kick my dog.

I mean, really? Could you be any more self-righteous?

As for the next, my first thought was, “yes, there is, but you are too willfully ignorant to want an actual answer.”

My next thought was, “I bet the driver is a lower middle class middle aged white guy.” And, sure enough, when I passed him he fit the stereotype.

Anyway, what do these bumper stickers really say other than “The driver of this car is a complete idiot?”

Friday Was Bike To Work Day

May 22, 2010

Oops. I didn’t realize it was yet another manufactured and pointless “day.”

Not that I’d have done anything different. I live over forty miles from my school. I could still ride that to school, though I would smell pretty bad (but not as bad as some students). The problem isn’t the distance, it’s the route: thirty miles of highway one. Two words: Boring and deadly. I joke that on my drive, once I turn out of my neighborhood, I could fall asleep and not crash until the turn to my school. There’s no hills, no curves, no nothing. Riding it on a bike would have all the excitement of two hours on the trainer. Well, there probably would be some excitement. All those big ass trucks rumbling towards the oil and gas fields would provide that.

I did ride yesterday, even if it wasn’t to work and even if it wasn’t in celebration of bike to work day. In fact, I biked before work, which is even better because it meant I arrived at work an hour and a half late. Having a great ride, a shower and a good breakfast followed by an abbreviated work day is much better than riding to work, anyway.

Floyd Snitches, But Lance Gets The Stitches

May 21, 2010

Armstrong crashes, taken to hospital