The Rhino Relaxes

       I, despite being pretty ill at this point, am actually having a pretty good day. 

    The weather outside is frightful…and I love it.  It’s in the low 30’s right now, there is just a little bit of snow falling, whipped by a light but persistent wind in the direction of what little traffic passes by Das Rhino’s small one bedroom apartment, the snow is covering the vehicles and the grass, but it is just not cold enough for it to stick on the roads . You know what the best part of that weather is? I’m inside that roasty toasty warm apartment watching the snow fall very gently to ground. 

   

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    Max Baucus recommended to the White House that his girlfriend, Melodee Hanes become a U.S. Attorney.  She turned down the job before they were able to give it to her, so she could get a job elsewhere in Washington in the justice department.  In a move that surprised no one, the RNC has asked, nay, demanded that the Senate Ethics Committee explore Baucus’ inclusion of Hanes among three candidates he recommended to the White House, despite the fact that no laws have been broken. 

   Does it really surprise anyone that a party that would consider purity tests for its own people would demand that someone who has done nothing wrong, either legally or ethically be investigated, because they don’t like it, because it offends their sense of impropriety?  This the party of Larry Craig, of Mark Sanford, of John Ensign?

  I don’t know that max is a good guy.  I can’t say that I side with his seemingly business first, people second approach to health care.  I truly dislike the way he protects the rich as chairman of the Senate committee on Finance, and he has voted FOR the bush tax cuts in 2001, amongst other things.   I am not sure that I like the guy all that much, but c’mon, cut the guy some slack.  This is bullshit what the republicans are trying to pull here.  I can see going after him if he was screwing someone else’s wife and tried to pay the family off to keep things quite like ensign did, but the guy put his girl in a pool of three people for a job and then pulled her name back out.

   The RNC needs to give it a friggin rest, the bunch of gestapo wannabes.

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      A few hours ago I finished doing a great many quizzes/tests, on a site www.yourmorals.org and frankly, I’ve been having fun doing them, but then again I’m the kind of person who has fun doing quizzes.  I didn’t really learn anything there, I pretty much knew that I’m liberal, but the damned thing told me that I am actually more neurotic than the average test taker, by a fair bit. LOL.  And ya, I know I’m one big emotional roller-coaster(that being what neurotic means), most people are and more than they admit I think, especially the ones who don’t “Like drama”, but the part that surprises me is that my roller coaster is apparently steeper and faster than the average persons.

    Kewl. If life is a ride, the least you can do is have it be an exciting one.  😛

   It should also come as no surprise to all my regular readers (all 3 of you) that, according to these quizzes anyway, I come out less agreeable than your average person, that I am a great believer in social justice, and that don’t believe in fate but do believe in free will, and I couldn’t give a rats ass about flag burning as a political issue, and that I care less for intra-party loyalty than the average liberal.

    Nice.  I’ve done 19 quizzes, I’ve got 19 more to go.  Seeing how the vast majority of them are of a political nature, you can be sure that I’ll be finishing this stuff up tonight.

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  A pair of happy viddys from George Carlin.  Watch and enjoy.

  You have no rights.

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That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s nugget’s, pulled more or less at random from Wikiquote:  When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.  Colin Powell

That which exercises reason is more excellent than that which does not exercise reason; there is nothing more excellent than the universe, therefore the universe exercises reason.  Cicero

Whenever the true objects of action appear, they are to be heartily sought. Enthusiasm is the height of man; it is the passing from the human to the divine.   Ralph Waldo Emerson

…And Played The Occasional Chord

It’s been a slow and relaxed day here in rhino manor.  This is a list of most of the stuff I did today.

Woke up, turned on the computer

Fed the cats

Had a 1/2 gallon of coffee

Ran 7.6 miles in 1:00:25

 Worked out

 Took a shower (after all the sweating i did, the wife would’ve kicked me the hell out if I hadn’t)

 Cleaned out the cat boxes

 Cleaned cat food off of the kitchen floor

 Watched some not very good football

 Read some political news on politico.com

 Went to monster.com and hotjobs.yahoo.com to look for work (the looking for work portion of the day isn’t done and is never done until i get a job)

 Signed up for a work at home thing, a rare reputable one, to fill time and make a few bucks while I’m home and not working full time.

 Plugged in the Christmas lights and enjoyed the subdued lighting for a minute.

 Made dinner (Beef stroganoff)

 Washed the dishes

 Fed the cats

 Drank Coffee

 Cleaned the bathroom sink. (it needed it)

 Watched some more not very good football

 Checked my fantasy football team 

Checked my fantasy hockey team

 Wrote some small things here on the “rhino nugget” and “running commentary” pages

Was astounded by the amount of hits I’ve gotten over the last few days, over 2,800 the last 2 days, thanks in large part to Christmas pics and posts and whatnot. (a few gift ideas over here)

 Made sure that my paypal account is still active  

 Fed the cats

Signed up for quantcast

 Looked for work on craigslist, got annoyed that there are no new job listings this week, then found a new one when I gave the system a final look through, and responded to it. (fingers crossed)

 Played canasta and keno on Pogo, and vampire wars on facebook (VW is starting to get old)

 Listened to Christmas carols on XM on the computer,

 Wrote this…

 And played the occasional odd chord. 

Like I said, a slow day.  No wonder I’m getting fat. 

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Gonna go do a Lil more looking for work, just in case I missed something,  play a bit more guitar, and finish this blog.

Have a good one.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote: Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.   Bertrand Russell

It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life — those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest people.  Brutus Hamilton

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.  Robert A. Heinlein

Why I Write

      The reasons I write are as numerous as the topics I have covered here.   I write because I have seen and heard so many other people give their opinions in so many places, and so many of them seem so poorly thought out, that I very much feel compelled to answer these people and these statements.  If you’ve ever read my takes on the people who throw around the word socialist like it is a panacea for all that ails their world, you’ve seen this impulse in action.

    If you’ve read any of my older posts about music writing, and musical exercises, you are seeing the side of me that has a great deal of specific knowledge about music.  Tons of other people write about music as well, but not the variations that I play.  The chord progressions with the melody played within it the way I play it, almost classical guitar but not quite, the dedication to the exercises, and the music theory.  I think I’m pretty good for a guy who learned most of what he knows about music on his own, with no guidance from anywhere.  I did have one teacher in high school, a great guy, Mr. Comachero, who started me on the musical path.    I used to cut other classes just to go to his class and get extra practice in, such was my love for the instrument.

    I have written pieces that were descriptive of the personal space around me from time to time.  That is me trying my best to actually hone what little writing skill that I actually have.  I don’t really have much skill in that area, but slowly, painfully, as if it were being bodily drawn out of me, the talent for the written word is coming to the fore. It is a time consuming process, and if my heart is not really involved, the writing seems to lose something.  Which is in least at part why I try my best on most nights to get as emotionally involved with whatever subject I am writing about, to give my writing more depth of feeling and more…visceral immediacy.

    Which gets to the bulk of my political writing, writing to grow and learn about the world.  If you read my writings, you will notice a general trend towards political agitation.  And of growth as I have looked hard in the mirror and asked myself questions, probed my own heart, to find not just how I feel, but why I feel the way I feel, and why other people feel the way they feel, and try to make some sense out of what is a senseless world.  I started out as something of a moderate/left of center libertarian minarchist, an odd thing to be at any time, but that has changed and significantly. 

     I have through introspection and mental self-examination found that I align much more closely in viewpoint and agenda with the liberals.  But it is a hard liberalism, born more of the stoicism of Marcus Aurelius than of hippie radicals from Berzerkley of the previous generation.  I believe that government can be a force for good, that it is not to be feared in the hands of any American that puts the people ahead of the business and military interest of America.

    I write to advance my ideas and my ideals in the world.  Even though very few actually see this blog, I hope that in some very small way, it affects those few people, makes them think about their actions and the consequences of them in this world.

    I write because I am inspired to write by the great writers that inspired me to read. Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, Isaac Asimov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Paine, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche and of course my favorite writer of all time, Douglas Adams.  I write to compare myself to them, I want at some point for people to look at me the way I looked at them. 

   I write to vent.  I write to show my heart to everyone.  I write to challenge the world.  I write because it is fun to tell people what I think, and this is my favorite venue to do just that.  I write because I have a million opinions about a million subjects.  I write because I have a heart, and a million emotional reactions to a million subjects.  I write to shove back at a world that shoves its views at me, and tells me that it is right and I am wrong.  I write because life is a fight, and I fight to win, and writing is a weapon against the ills of the world.  I write because I am part of a species that puts communication at an absolute premium, and I want to get better at communicating exactly what exists in my heart and my mind.  I write because people are idiots who get their facts wrong all over the place, and someone has to set them right.  I write to stop bullies from pushing people around, and to bully the bullies.  The world is the immovable mass, I am the unstoppable force, and I write to show that.  I write…

    I write because I can. 

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That’s it from here. Later!

Today’s Nuggets, via wikiquote: You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.  Neil Gaiman

Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author’s soul. If that upheaval is not present then it must come from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted.  Robert Benchley

That so many writers have been prepared to accept a kind of martyrdom is the best tribute that flesh can pay to the living spirit of man as expressed in his literature. One cannot doubt that the martyrdom will continue to be gladly embraced. To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.   Anthony Burgess

Anagram: One Droll Analogy/ A Long Lonely Road

       I had a great day.  A viddy before the subject du jour. Took the word “family” and typed it into the fora.tv page on youtube, and this was the #2 in the results.  The first looked to be about the mafia. 

     Hung out with family.  Brothers, their wives and children, a cousin and his kids, aunts and uncles. Everyone but my wife, who was home with a splitting headache.  She’s still not 100%, but back to family.    Really enjoyed myself.  The kids sprayed each other with silly string, which means me and my father took part and shot each other up good with the stuff after the kids had their fun.  I ate like a pig, most everyone else did as well.  I hung out with most everyone at one point while watching tv, talking about a hundred things, like how much everyone seems to hate Joe Girardi and his complete inability to manage the Yankees.  Uncle Bill seemed to enjoy eviserating the man. 

     I think I hung out with Uncle Bill and his grandkids more than anyone. More fun than a little was had.

       Uncle Bill and my father and I talked about how silly and stupid a movie “Kung Pow: Enter the Fist” was, while watching it, then keeping it on because, despite the fact that Delicateit was both silly and stupid, it was in fact pretty damned funny.  Talked about some sucker punch thrown by some stupid kid after a college football game, where this guy went after fans afterwards, and got the boot for the year as a result.  Talked about Shawn Merriman getting arrested for beating Tile Tequila’s ass or some such silliness.  Talked about how much sports talk radio is a complete waste of time. Talked of a hundred other things. 

      A bee was killed at some point in the back yard, and after I said, “Why’d you kill that poor bee? he was just looking for some free food, just like you!”  My younger brother trying to be a pain in the ass, made some comment about me being a bleeding heart liberal.   We started  goofing on politics just a little, and I held a moment of silence for “Comrade Bee” and mourned the loss of him in our 5 year plan, socialist bastard that I am.  It was cool, if only a little funny. Same younger brother said he loved Glenn Beck, because he’s a “Nut”.  I said he isn’t a nut, he’s a crackhead.  Twas good. 

       My father surprised (I think) both of my brothers by pointing out the obvious.  When he heard the word socialist bouncing around, he said ” The republicans are still holding onto that? It’s because they can’t come up with anything else to say.  Do they think we forgot the mess they got us into?”  paraphrasing here, if it isn’t precise, I apologize.  Shocked both of my right leaning brothers, seeing how my father skews republican himself, or he did until the current financial mess hit.  My older brother tried to pin it on Bill Clinton, blaming him for deregulation or some such, but I pointed out it was Phil Gramm and the Republican congress that pushed the destruction of glass steagel, then I reminded him it was Nixon that started the ball rolling with rolling back the gold standard in 1971.   

       BTW,  I’m cherry picking a few memorable details in a memorable day, picking out my own personal highlights.  I’m sure my brothers and everyone else remember the days events a wee bit differently. 

     Such are the small happiness’s that make up family functions.  Wouldn’t miss that for the world.  Those little things are what brings family, normally spread far apart, closer together. In other news…

     I did a stupid thing and bruised my hands.  There was ice in a cooler in a 5 pound block wrapped in plastic that needed to be broken up, so after a few drops on the ground completely failed to do the job, I decided to be manly and break it with my hands.  I used palm heel strikes first.  Then used my knuckles.  I now have bruises on my palms on both of my hands. Fortunately I wasn’t so dumb as to hit the ice quite as hard with my fists, or else my wife would be writing this for me, while I dictated to her with broken hands.

       Silly rhino.  The hands will be fine.  It was good to see everyone and be seen.   A second viddy. then a few quotes and I am done.

That’s it for me.  Later!

499px-Albert_Camus%2C_gagnant_de_prix_Nobel%2C_portrait_en_buste%2C_pos%C3%A9_au_bureau%2C_faisant_face_%C3%A0_gauche%2C_cigarette_de_tabagismeToday’s Nuggets, By Albert Camus, Via Wikiquote:  Absolute freedom mocks at justice. Absolute justice denies freedom. To be fruitful, the two ideas must find their limits in each other.

Poor and free rather than rich and enslaved. Of course, men want to be both rich and free, and this is what leads them at times to be poor and enslaved.

I was assailed by memories of a life that wasn’t mine anymore, but one in which I’d found the simplest and most lasting joys.

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.

Anagram: Spending Spree/ Snipped Greens

      A quick bit of annoyance before I write today.  This really gets my goat.  I didn’t even know I had a #$%^#$%^ Goat til I watched this and then, there ya go, It got my $#%^%^&* Goat.  Bastards! We need health care, we need the budget balanced, we need a million other things, and these $%%$&^@# take time to recognize Michael Jackson? Go F*** yourselves! Get to the work of crafting legislation, you bunch of lazy bums!

    I do like the way she puts it though, at the 30 second mark.  “A young man has left earth.”  THE ALIENS TOOK HIM BACK!  YAY!!!!!

    And while 50 is too young to die, he was by no means a “young man” If you are 21  and you die, Yes, you died a “young man”  50? Not so much.

      Onto other things. Personal crap up next, by all means, read something else if talking about spending a few bucks on crap doesn’t interest you. 

    I did something I don’t normally do today.  I spent money, and a fair bit of it.  Well, actually I do spend money a lot, but usually only on stuff I money1need.  It’s usually bills, food, traveling expenses and the like.  You know, necessities.  Today it was different….well, a little.  I did Kinda need most of the stuff I went out and got.  I needed dress pants.  I had only 3 pairs of pants, and needed more, because I’m gonna be working everyday again.  I have 5 dress shirts, but I needed more, and some of the ones I had actually aren’t doing that well.  Buttons falling off, seams falling apart and the like.  The ties weren’t doing too well either, and I needed an upgrade.

     Couldn’t go to telco for this stuff either.  Telco sells cheap crap, at least as far as their shirts go. I ended up going to JC Penney, and got the stuff that was on sale, 60% clearance.  3 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 2 ties, dress socks, and a few shirts and socks for my wife.  Total was $192.  Saved over $100 bucks.  Walked in with that being the plan, executed the plan to perfection.  Took 20 minutes. 

    Spent a few extra bucks on stuff, because I have money, enough where I can spend a few bucks, and not really have to worry about it.  Nothing major, nothing Insane.  A few CD’s and a few extra things while food shopping.

    I picked up the new Chickenfoot cd.  The few tracks I’ve listened to so far sound nice.  Good stuff.  If you liked Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony in Van Halen, you’ll like them here.  If you like Joe Satriani, you like him here.  A better name for the band would be “VAN HAGAR WITH SPECIAL GUEST JOE SATRIANI” but that probably would not have done as well as “Chickenfoot”.  Well maybe it would have…

   I also picked up 2 Metallica offerings, one I used to own but gave away, and one I’ve wanted  for a while. Ride the Lightning and St. Anger.  And yes I wanted St. Anger. 800px-Cloud-to-ground_lightning2_-_NOAA I heard a few songs on the radio when it came out, and I liked them. Crazy me.  First time I heard Frantic  and the title track, I thought they were  great, but hey, that’s me.  Can’t please everyone.  They changed up and people weren’t ready for that kind of change.  The band lost Jason, picked up a better bassist in Rob Trujillo, and got heavier and faster.  For this you want to fault them?

   I have ride the lightning chugging through the speakers now tho.  I’ll hit the St. Anger tomorrow.  The Song? Escape.

  On that note, I am out, except a second video and a few quotes.

    The Second viddy is from Bloomberg, on cap and trade legislation that just passed the house. I don’t know that the bill goes far enough, but I do know that we need something in place now.  We can alter the legislation with further bills later on if need be.

  Later!

Today’s Nuggets, Via Wikiquote:   The emphasis of study upon a particular aspect of music is in itself ideological because it contains implications about the music’s value.  Lucy Green

He(Fred Astaire) is the most interesting, the most inventive, the most elegant dancer of our times… you see a little bit of Astaire in everybody’s dancing–a pause here, a move there. It was all Astaire’s originally. George Balanchine

To talk about other people’s affairs is a great mistake. To praise them, too, is unfttting. In any event, it is best to know your own ability well, to put forth effort in your endeavors, and to be discreet in speech.  Yamamoto Tsunetomo