Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy 48th Laura!

Hi All!

After the 15th cup of coffee, my wife started seeing pink monkeys at school.


Gay is OK

Hi All!

Going where man fear tread is what this writing is.

Never stopped me before, so here goes.

There might be many "that's what they all say"s coming up that I will cover them all with this disclaimer. I am being perfectly honest and not making anything up.

I don't have any problem with gay people (see disclaimer). Some of my best friends and favorite relatives are gay.

I DO have problems with people who get in my face about being either a "victim" or "superior". Take your pick, many times those two terms are fudged together. As a fat old white guy I am the devil incarnate to these whiners.

I no sooner suffer the Out Front people than CAIR or the NAACP or Radical Religious Evangelicals or ANY radical religous -- don't get me started on MADD or I'll really get upset.

Just do your thing and leave me alone, sez I.

So here is a funny story.

Recently I was taking lunch on "Boneless Thursday" or as I like to call it, "Democrat Day" at Buffalo Wild Wings. Even at the discounted price, these Rock Cornish Game Hen parts are a gyp (oops!).

I used to go quite regularly a couple of years ago and it is amazing the employee retention rate they have -- must pay pretty well -- I hope they get BW2 stock options as that has multiplied muchly over the past 18 months.

When I was living at the half-way house on my journey home from My Year In Hell I used to drink cranberry juice and play trivia at Fabulous Fern's which was in the neighborhood.

One night I observed the manager of my BW2 in the company of girlfriend. The manager is openly gay and frankly would even make for an unattractive man with bad tattoos. Her friend was a drop-dead-gorgeous blond. I chatted them up and we were friends from then on.

Back to the recent past, my server closely resembles the manager but is built more like a fullback than a bowling ball.

It was deadsville after the afternoon rush and I was the only customer for awhile until a couple sat nearby. At first I thought they were brother and sister but damned if the brother didn't have that tattoo thing going.

The manager and the server and the couple got together for a good chit chat.

I wrestled in my mind whether to come up with the line that occurred to me. How would it "play"?

Ah hell - at the risk of being banned forever I interrupted the conversation to ask,

"Geez, am I the only straight here?"

Laughter and friendship all around.

We all felt a lot more comfortable, I'm sure. Of course, one must very carefully apprise the situation before tossing out a line like that, but I knew I had a better than even chance of not getting dragged out to the alley.


They Won and Still Bitch

Hi All!

Memo to the Star Tribune in general and NY Times leftist Paul Krugman in particular.

Just shut the hell up.

I haven't heard of one close loss the the Republicans took on Black Tuesday that has been contested or otherwise whined about.

Imagine of the Republicans had done better... The challenges and lawsuits would have tied up the lawmaking process for years as contested seats stayed up in the air.

Yet, the Lefties still complain.

Get over it Democrats -- you won, you miserable lot of chicken littles.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Googled Spam

Hi All!

Perhaps you've heard of Google. Who woulda thunk that such a creature could emerge from the horde of like-thinking internet visioneers?

Gotta love 'em.

David Microsoft getting invited to dine with Goliath IBM and end up eating Goliath for lunch.

An early Microsoft investor would own his or her own island and a private jet (I bet the farm on Wang, when I had a farm to bet, but was not irrational at the time -- by now I would at least have had a ranch).

Microsoft took awhile to dine. Goggle skipped right on to dessert in a much shorter and more profitable time.

And I bet the meager funds left in my ravaged IRA on eBay. Missed the boat again, I did (well, it's doubled in 5 years which I guess is good, but when you didn't have much to start with...)

I use Google mail which is so much better than the many other things I've tried previously. What's cool is what I DON'T get from Google, which is SPAM!

It is under the radar usually, but when I happen to glance at my in-boxes and see that SPAM has 1114 entries in the last month, I say a silent prayer of thanks to the Gods of Google.

For giggles, I looked at the email that the spam filter trapped, assuming that there might be some wheat discarded with the chaff.

Nope, wheat free, 100 chaff.

Thanks, Google.

Wish I'd bought that ridiculously overpriced initial offering... Wouldn't need insurance for a new liver... sigh.



Hi All!

My good friend and pioneer blogger Mitch Berg posted an entry dear to my heart. I have neither the moral nor legal excuse for pointing out the abuse on civil liberties of MADD. Well, I do, but for now I'll let Mitch dissemble a Strib editorial highlighted thus.

Mitch used the most wonderful, near-forgotten term, "phumphing." I am not gonna look it up because I know I remember it well from my juvenile reading of British authors.

The context in which Berg used it pretty much self-defined it, when presented it, "The Strib - which sniffs and phumphers..."

I think I will just quit writing. If Mitch doesn't make any money off his exceptional talents, of which writing is but one, I got no shot.

Even in the dark.

Read Mitch. The Capt'n and Powertrip got nothin' on Shot in the Dark!

Well, at least you can READ Mitch and Wog without getting a busy signal ;-)

Laura's 48th tomorrow. Have a big surprise planned involving a pink monkey. The secret is safe with you readers as she never reads my stuff. Will report fully on completion of prank.


PS. It's a lot of work finding phumphing. Webster's haven't heard of it, even.

I'm gonna stand on my position that it IS a word. Used. Somewhere. By someone. God I'm not gonna sleep tonight.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Herd Mentality

Hi All!

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people will waste a perfect day off by fighting crowds chasing scarce values at the local merchants' After-Thanksgiving Day sales.

It seems to me that much of the buying or urge to buy is based on impulse and the old notion of "getting a good deal"

While certain "sales" in the traditional sense can offer goods that people want or need at better than average current prices, the internet age and the hyper-marketing of goods at the old walk-in retailers has made "getting a deal" something that is available 365 days a year.

I predict that this will be the year of the HDTV, be it nifty flat panel plasmas or monsterous projection sets. The latter are certainly the most TV/lb. for the money, ever! But what a pain to move! Do people put them in their cars somehow or is delivery essential? Seems to me that it would be like buying a new refrigerator.

In perusing the prices during the current sales, the newer gadgets are cheaper than last year, but certainly have a long way to fall -- perhaps as early as later in the Chrismas shopping season if sales aren't meeting expectations.

I have been enjoying a rather large flat-panel plasma since last spring, where I negotiated a price at a pawn shop that the current offerings can't touch.

It wasn't a sale, it wasn't new (almost, though) and it had the stigma of being a pawn shop item. but it was cheap, and I love it. Trust me, save for a plasma -- that's the future, not those huge boxes. Picture is the best imaginable, clear at every angle of viewing.

Another group of products that are a year or two from buying affordable is the new generation of games. People won't be bothered to stop by and spend a few minutes voting, but will camp out in a Best Buy parking lot for days ahead to spend $500 on the new Sony PS3 (sans game disks at $50 a pop).

What's more, many of these buyers are turning around and selling their precious units, with typical new model bugs and all, on eBay and such at sometimes ridiculous profit.

What a country!

And we wonder why so many millions come here or yearn to, even though some would like to kill us.

This is truly the greatest and richest country on earth -- perhaps in history. I applaud this unbridled expression of capitalism at it's extreme.

I just don't personally "get it"


PS. Photo is from this morning at a Corpus Christi Target!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Medical Update (skip if depressed)

Hi All!

At the risk of sounding "poor me" I will proceed to post this for any of those concerned about my health and welfare, FWIW.

Short of it is that I am in pretty bad shape. I drank my liver to death and the much-abused organ is running on hope and fumes.

The Longer of it is that the various objective and subjective measures of the progression of my disease continue to slide, albeit gradually versus precipitously.

That means although statistically I have only a 15% chance of dying within 90-days, I have a pretty darn good chance of this being my last Christmas.

The criteria for transplantation put me at a disadvantage. Although I am being given one last chance to convince the UofM to consider me, alcoholic cirrhosis is not looked upon with favor in the current climate of medical selection where far too many liver disease patients are waiting for far too few livers.

It's hard for me to accept when looking at other forms of self-brought-upon sufferers who share needles and engage in "unsafe, aberrant"sexual behaviors, but "dem's da rules" and I don't have much leg to stand on.

After a check-up at my primary doctor's yesterday, I ate out for lunch and dinner, played several trivia sites and wound up throwing a few games of darts at the Legion with a 13-year-old friend. I just wanted to be alive and not go home.

I was in bed by 9:30 and stayed there until about two hours ago (6:30). Although 21 hours abed was long on time, it was precious short on rest. The physical and emotional impediments to quality sleep were overwhelming.

I felt utter fatigue and depression over the results of the doctor visit, where I was basically reminded that things are not going to get any better and that there are no further drugs to be prescribed for the ridiculously severe fatigue, itching, lightheadedness (AKA encephalopathy) and huge, heavy tub of liquid goo (aka ascities) weighing me down.

I was advised to "accept my limitations" and "try to get whatever qualiity of life I can", based on the restrictions.

Can there be a happy ending?

I still think so -- as long as I put on ruby slippers and tap my heels...

On the positive side, some of my more interesting posts are influenced by the encephalopathy (high ammonia in brain causing mental confusion and hallucination) which will keep them entertaining, I hope, but as I review some of my posts I can scarcely make sense of them myself!

I also have in my hands a year's extension of the handicap card. My doctor had given my one that expired in December because he doubted I'd need it after that, and not in a good way.

Thanks for putting up with this little tale of woe. I have been living it for several years and try very hard to keep it out of my blog posts, but sometimes it feels good to talk about it and whether you sympathize or not, I hope I am contributing just a bit to the debate about value judgments as relates to transplantation. If one chooses to engage in perfectly legal yet well-known destructive habits, should medical science prolong one's life?

Good question. I have my bias, but I don't have the answer.

Meanwhile, be sure to be a donor when you renew your license, would ya? I am, not that I would have much of value although the kidneys and heart are very strong. I don't think God would mind not burying perfectly good body parts.

We'll all be the same in the end.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Slow Week

Hi All!

Am getting over yet another bout of health setback.

Hard to get out of bed. Tank eternally dry.

Today is much better and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle for awhile.

Thanks for reading -- and if there are no new posts for awhile, look into the archives.

Lots of unread stuff back there in the vault.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yeah, McLuhan was Right!

Hi All!

Just for a giggle, I googled "wog", what is my nickname given me by John Knowles early in life as I was short, round and walked with feet pointed out, suggesting a frog. A Pauly Wog. Get it?

Anyhow, "wog" is analogous to the "N-word" in some remnants of the British Empire, so one would think that googling on "wog" wouldn't turn wogsblog up any page soon.

But there it is, just under "wogblog."

Father Whelan is spinning in his grave.

Scary, sort of.

Props to McLuhan.


OK, I know you are too dumb or lazy to try it so if you are so inept as not to know how to google, click this DUMMY BUTTON

Live Blogging or Life Blogging or McLuhan?

Hi All!

I truly have not been home most of today but for some weird reason my every entrance to Schloss Kuettel has come with a compulsion to blog sump'n

Now where were we. Oh yeah. After Mass and Backstreet had the pregame time to fill which was supposed to be laying in a supply of cheap T.P. at Wal*Mart but succumbed to the lure of Buzztime Triva and Jimmy's in Vadnais Heights. $1 bowls of chile and $2 cheeboogers and the best hot cider this side of Vermont? What's to keep one away?

Meant to get home for the game but I was on a trivia roll, piling up bonus points and such and then the game started and "Gnome", the aptly named triva grand master showed up and started smok'n me and then I finally left during the second quarter with the Vi-queens up 14-10

Hard to avoid finding out how the game turned out, but I am pleased to report that I last watched it per the previous paragraph.

I guess the 'Queens got packed by the Spankers -- er, spanked by the Packers!

Apparently the only thing worse than a 37-year-old QB who the Vikings have OWNED over the years is a 38-year-old with a ridiculously, hideously, scandalously overpaid front line that couldn't block me with my walker.

Well, the thing is, I channel surfed to our local PBS during the half-time and got totally hooked by and absorbed into a probably 10-year-old "American Experience" documentary on the Kennedys.

The waves of emotion, from the outrage of hindsight as to how the dynasty was established by old Joe, to the incredible shock and sadness I experienced as a 2nd grader on 11/22/63...

I cried a lot. At the same time, I was amazed by the stuff "those in power" could get away with in those days.

I wonder if this coming-to-be of the vision of Marshall McLuhan, what with instantaneous communications and bloggers and all, hasn't spoiled all the fun.

I wonder more, whether the fun should be spoiled. Great leaders did great things without an anal probe. Had their dark underbellies been exposed the way public figures are "outed" today, what strong, purposeful, destiny-ordained, yet flawed (as in "human an fallible) historical figures would have been buried by scandal either before or after they gained the power to change World Events?

Conflicted, I am.

When I got into politics my family and friends treated me as if I was dropping a lucrative and cozy career for a job as junior salesman at a used car lot.

I later learned that the opposition had "vetted" me thoroughly and I came up depressingly (to them) clean. Of course, my principal failing was still hidden safely in the desk drawer at the time.

When I was more serious about running again this year than anyone believed, I was hoping that my failings would make news and draw attention to a quixotic last campaign.

Can't get that urge out of my blood. I hereby direct my survivors to post "Kuettel, A Practical Appoach to Government" signs outside the mortuary, the church and the cemetery.

Scroll down a few posts to my lawnsign picture and click it to blow it up. You will see what a nifty, thrifty, "practical" way it was designed. I could recycle those 1000-some that rest in my garage for just about any political office. The "54" DID refer to the Senate district, of which I was running for one of two House seats.

"Car 54 Where Are You?"

Get it?

If I get a liver transplant and feel like taking up the cudgel again, them old signs will still work. And my '72 yellow Bug will still run better than me.

Where was I going with this?

Lasagna in the oven, voice messages to the other 4 in the family to be here by six.

Oh yeah, THAT's where I'm going with this.

So I guess I will walk away from this "Liveblog" series and pray that I can draw enough of a crowd to end up with meager leftovers.


Sunday Sacrilege

Hi All!

Wow! Only 10:35 and I'm on the third post of the day -- and I haven't let a drop of caffeine pass my lips.

Daughter and I just got home from the Backstreet. Chili omelet yet to be processed into gastro-intestinal distress, the news shows are over, there is over an hour to game time, so here I am.

The 8:30 at St. Agnes is unofficially the "Family" mass. It is well attended by very "good" Catholics in the sense of, well, big broods of little noisy Catholics. I suffer the ambient noise which is easier these days with modern P.A. systems. When I was an altar boy at St. Marks my pastor, Msgr. Gilligan could simply not abide two things: latecomers and crying infants. And he'd let you know from the pulpit.

Anyhow, it was a good Mass -- the musical selections were particularly inspring -- they were the types of hymns one has pretty much committed to memory, but it still helps to follow in the book. "Holy Lord We Praise They Name", "At This First Eucharist", "Holy God, Mighty God." Ah, now that's church music! None of that new age geetar crap that crept in after Vatican II.

Of course, the priest faces the altar, not the congregation. As today's celebrant raised his arms his glorious antique vestments were spread to reveal what I could simply not, despite fervent prayer, get out of my head as resembling a giant Cercopia.

Sorry, I just couldn't help it. To sin so soon after Communion! Well, at least my thoughts weren't the Jimmah Cahtah* type of sins.


*Worst President in My Lifetime

Doug Grows on You

Hi All!

Red Star columnist Doug Grow managed to pull a spot-on commentary out of his backside today. Link to follow.

Other than the gratuitous and obligatory swipe at Christians and hunters, the old lefty Doug proved that even with HIS blinders on, he recognizes the new DFL Senate Majority Leader for what I have always called him, Larry, "The Prick" Pogemiller, or the "Prick Poguey"

Smuggest, smarmiest egomanic since Mike Hatch, but nicer on outside and meaner on inside.

As a recently disenfranchised GOPer, I have to thank the DFL caucus for tossing this can of lighter fluid into the bonfire.

Now I shall leave for Mass and repent.

Here is the article:


Back to Sunday

Hi All!

It's gonna be an old fashioned Sunday today.

In my lifetime, Sundays centered on three holy obligations: Newspaper, Mass and Football.

The past four weeks have been screwy, as the Vikings have had a bye week, a Monday game and two "late" games. It has been a blessing, as the Sunday after-Masses were marked by nice weather and getting a lot of work done what needed doing.

This Sunday, with the muck and mire of the election cleared away, a cold November day not conducive to outdoor activities and a noon kickoff against the Green Bay Packers -- What could be better?

As I write, I have already sorted out the meat of both Sunday papers and recycled the chaff. I have gotten through the meat of the Pioneer Press but the Stribune front sections will have to go to 8:30 St. Agnes Mass with me and be read at the Backstreet Grille over coffee, eggs "pope" benedict and extra crispy hash browns.

I'll say hi to my old Cretin HS pal Tony, his dad Reno, who was principal at a St Paul inner city HS for, like, everrr and his sister Martha who makes a lot of dough selling cookies at The Fair.

Frank, the Indian Christian who is a dead ringer for Apu on "The Simpsons" will invite me to sit wherever I want, Todd, his nephew will set me up with a glass of ice water and one of a bevy of beautiful waitresses will take my regular order and have the meal steaming hot to my place within 5 minutes of ordering.

Hope my youngest will come along. The distaff half and the middle child didn't make it home last night, which should be worrisome, I guess, but if they have ID the cops can find me -- just hope I don't have any upsetting messages on the answering box when I get home in time for the news programs, the pregame show and .... The Vikes take on the Pack!

Ok, it's 7:34 so I don't have to wake my little girl for 26 minutes in anticipation of an 8:15 departure for Frogtown. I guess I'll try to resist my gag impulse and venture into the Star Tribune Opinion Section.


For more info on my practice of the Catholic Faith in general and St. Agnes in particular, see this archived post

Friday, November 10, 2006

Election Comments Seen and Heard Today

Hi All!

This is pretty lame, but in the interest of trying to provide new material daily, I saw this at the local VFW where I took lunch. On the whiteboard behind the bar writ large,

It's E85 Stupid!

On the way home, Rush came up with a great analogy for what happened to the miserable Republicans who let their supporters and the nation down.

"The American people performed a great toilet flush."


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Post Election Thoughts

Hi All!

Much commentary today from the pundits -- this emerging observation is right on the money:

Conservatism didn't lose yesterday. The current Republican Party lost. Why? Because the intoxicating arrogance of power that built up since the 1994 revolution corrupted, as arrogance of power generally does.

I and many hope that this will mark a return to conservative core principles that are shared by a great majority of Americans.

The Democrats ran on nothing against Nothing. There is a wide open opportunity for Republicans to rediscover their purpose in time for 2008. Until then, the Democrats, against their strongest instincts, won't try anything stupid.

Much of the Democrat gain was with moderate candidates who sounded more like Ronald Reagan than John Kerry. As dumb as they are, I think the Democrats "get it."

The massive shift in tide starting with Ronaldus Maximus as not ebbed. The Republicans lost because they acted more like traditional free-spending Democrats than tough, principled Reaganites.

On another note, the story of a shoe-in candidate's husband gotten collared for stealing opponent signs brought the Obi sign theft from my property back up into my craw. I guess I am oversensitive remembering all the pointless vandalism and theft that occurred with my signs back when I ran my futile races.

This simply did not happen to my opponent's signs.

If it weren't for the pesky 1st Amendment, I'd like to see political lawn signs (and negative ads) banned forever. What do these things do except appeal to simple, unifnormed minds?

Well, time to get of the soapbox and back to the endless chore of excavating 20 years of accumulation from the garage.

The sun will rise tomorrow and the the world won't be all that different.


Bloodbath Aftermath

Hi All!

I can't say I didn't expect it, but I'm still bummed out.

There is really just one bright spot -- if Pawlenty holds on, we will at least have a check on the otherwise unbridled power the DFL would have had with Mike "Booby" Hatch. I expect the Governor's office to stock up on veto pens.

I was rather shocked to see Kiffmeyer and Anderson fall. Auditor and Secretary of State are offices that almost always retain the incumbents until they quit. The general electorate is not very up to speed on these races.

It proves to me that the vote was anti-Republican more than anything else. Hatch was just a bit too unctious to just enough voters.

As Keith Ellison would say, "Allah Akbar"!

So Minnesota fell hard. The rest of the country was not quite as overwhelmed by the blue tide and maybe the slim Democrat majority in the House and possibly, Senate will make such asses of themselves that things will go better for the Republicans in 2008.

After all, this election was not for Democrats. It was against Republicans in general and GW in particular. Hardly a mandate.



PS. Obi Sium did as expected, that is, not well. Gee if that lowlife hadn't have stolen his sign from my yard he might have pulled it out! <----Sarcasm.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How Low Can You Go on Election Day?

Hi All!

I was disgusted to get up this morning to find my Obi Sium campaign sign gone, stand and all.

It was quite a neighborhood novelty, as there are so very few to be seen around the 4th District. Apparently some Betty (Can't Say "Under God") McCollum supporter feared that one of the dozen or so cars that pass my house daily might contain a voter who might be swayed by my attractive red and yellow sign.

I doubt it was kids. Kids just wreck them. Adults steal them.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Hi All!

Somebody went a bit overboard.

That'd be me.

Click the pic for excellent detail.


Monday, November 06, 2006

DFL Election Night Party?

Hi All!

Could happen!


Most Irksome Campaign Spot

Hi All!

It could have been a challenge to pick the most unctious, annoying, cloying, beat-us-over-the-head political ad, but there is a clear winner:

Jim Ramstad.

Here is a guy virtually unopposed who is running the same self-congratulatory spot hundreds of times all over the radio dial. I guess he needs to spend his money, even though there is no earthly need to.

What overkill!

Can't wait until the polls close and we learn our fate -- I am still pretty pessimistic about the GOP, but supposedly the lattest polling data is showing things getting tighter.

Even if my party holds the House and/or Senate the best I can say is that we will have voted for the lesser of two evils.

If any good comes of a Democratic tsunami, I hope it will shock the GOP back to it's principals which it has largely abandoned as their arrogance of power has grown.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry be Praised

Hi All!

Who would have thunk that an "October Surprise" would come from the Left?

Will this kerfuffle tilt the election? Who knows?

But it can't hurt GOP chances.

The blind arrogance of this man never ceases to amaze. Even if the Democrats seal the deal next week, Kerry's political future is toast.

Perhaps the die-hards will start scraping the old bumper stickers off their hybrids and SUVs.