Saturday, June 23, 2007

HearthStone Homes update

I've moved my focus to my new blogs, one of which deals with evil, the other one is more of a personal blog.

I've just written an extremely long post about my adventures with Omaha's HearthStone Homes. Well, misadventures, really.

I'll put all further updates about our home building process and everything else that happens to get my attention on that blog.

Thanks for reading and I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Comment on the new blog please.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two new blogs I'm working on....

I've been putting a lot of time into each, with more to come. Hopefully Jamie will let me live. - a blog that reviews anything - for free! Go there and request a review of your blog, picture, idea, book, whatever. - People You'll See In Hell v2.0

Friday, May 25, 2007

It may look like I'm not doing anything...

...but behind the scenes, I'm doing a lot of design work.

I bought yet another domain name, on which I hope I can build a website that can take advantage of a particular "hook" I've thought up.

Two of the sites I can do in Wordpress, but I'd like to create a nice-looking unique theme for them with Dreamweaver. The other site, I'd have to do in Dreamweaver.

Anyone have a spare 500 bucks for a copy of Adobe Web CS3 Premium?

Plus the $150 or so for the web hosting?


Why do you deny me?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Blogs that I read on a daily basis

I love reading The Simple Dollar blog. The guy is a constant source of good financial tips, and presents the info in a wonderful style. He's buying a house now, and is kind of in the same situation I'm in (without the stress of having the house built) so I'm enjoying keeping up with his activity.

The Consumerist blog is a great daily read. Multiple daily updates about companies that screw their customers as well as companies that take care of their customers.

Biting political commentary for Nebraska issues can be found at the Plains Feeder blog. Funny stuff. Probably be a good bunch to invite over for a beer while they fix your retaining wall.

Problogger is also a daily read for me. Great writing, easy to understand tips and hints on how to make your blog all it can be. Great commentary as well, with many experienced commentators all jumping in with their opinions on various topics.

Tyler Cruz is a young guy with a blog who's trying to make a living off the internet. It's fun to read about his experiences and watch his ideas unfold. He's had some success, but can he make it to the big time? Keep reading I guess.

Part of a network of great photo sites is the Omaha Daily Photo blog. It's just what it says it is.

If you have any more blogs about Nebraska, Omaha or Law Enforcement, send me a link. I'll check it out and write about it here.

Write to

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's true, you know.

It's true.

Correctional officers are called, on a daily basis, everything but a child of god.

People who are incarcerated don't like being told what to do. When you look at it from their perspective, it's understandable.

It's hard for many of them to go from almost total freedom to satisfy their id, to a situation where someone, acting as a representative of "the man," is telling them to stop walking on the top tier of the housing unit, or to keep their shirt on while they're out in the dayroom.

It makes some people a bit tense until they settle into the flow of things.

Some people never settle.

Those are the people who end up locked down for the majority of their stay in our fine institution.

For those people, a few words:

While I may indeed be an "asshole," I am the asshole who is telling you the way it's going to be.

I'm the asshole who is going home tonight to my sleeping family, a microwaved hot pocket, possibly some hetero sex and maybe a hot shower.

You are the asshole who is going to stay in this room until the morning shift decides to let you out. You're the asshole who is unable to make a phone call whenever you want. You're the asshole who can't enjoy Taco Bell's new breakfast menu.

Just so we're clear.

Incommunicado - Updated!

The wife and I took the kids swimming last night in the apartment complex pool. We took two inflatable plastic inner tubes so Logan and Owen could float around. Had a big fight about this huge plastic ball I wanted to take, but she didn't.

Grabbed my phone, a few towels, the ball, my shoes, and Logan (who weighs 29 pounds now at 1 year.) We walk to the pool and get ready. Owen's already in the pool, so I throw my shirt down onto the table nearby, and jump in.

As I'm entering the pool, I realize that my phone is still in my pocket.

Being the smart person that I am, I realize that this pool is full of water - which, while refreshing to people and assorted animals, is absolutely deadly to both electrical devices and the aliens from Alien Nation.

If you've ever tried to bathe a cat (a wonderfully exciting venture which I highly recommend at least once in everyone's life) then you've seen how that cat will do anything - anything to avoid getting into that water. They immediately grow 3 more legs, with claws, that will latch onto the side of whatever is holding the offending liquid.

That's what I tried to do in the .132 seconds I had until I hit the water.

So now I need to go pick up a new phone from Verizon.

Stupid me.


Got a new phone. $185 for the thing. Purchased the $5 a month insurance on it, so if there are any further mishaps, I'll get a free one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Can I drop off a teenager?

You know how Japan has just recently opened a baby drop box? No?

Well, evidently some Japanese are tired of people being wasteful and just throwing their unwanted babies away, so they opened a drop-off box by the Catholic-run Jikei Hospital in the southern city of Kumamoto.

The folks who opened this felt that having a safe place to anonymously leave an unwanted baby would discourage abortions and the abandonment of children in unsafe public places.

On the very first day a three-year-old boy was found inside.

Some people just have to ruin things for everyone else.

He claimed his father brought him there. "I came with Daddy," he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "Anonymously throwing out a child is unacceptable."

It has been decided that no crime was committed because the toddler was not left in a dangerous situation.

Mr. President, we must not allow a baby drop-off box gap!

Hearthstone Homes pours some concrete...

Looks like they poured our driveway, our front porch and the walkway.

Our lot is getting more and more sloped. Looks like we might have to put some kind of retaining wall in eventually. Maybe some dirt. Our backyard WILL BE FLAT!

I am more impressed with the view out back now that it's summer and things are nice and green.

Can't wait for them to start framing.

I hope our neighbors are nice.

More info on Omaha's Rosenblatt stadium

Mayor Fahey and representatives from the NCAA met at City Hall on Tuesday to discuss the fate of Omaha's Rosenblatt stadium and talk about how a new, shiny stadium would satisfy everyone's craving to spend money.

The new stadium, which is as good as built, will encompass six city blocks and provide amenities such as a heated grass field, updated locker rooms, a state-of-the-art sound system, and robot butlers to cater to the whims of the people rich enough to afford tickets.

For those of us fearful of the possibility of cost overruns with this project, Mayor Fahey has pointed out his plan to use as much of Rosenblatt's current setup as possible. The Rosenblatt statue, for example, will be transplanted to the new stadium. Fahey also mentioned something about putting Rosenblatt's new video display in his living room.

Alan Stein, the President of the Omaha Royals, wasn't allowed to sit at the grown-up table quite yet, but with the donation of a few million dollars to the project by the Royal's organization, is expected to be able to leave the kids' table "real soon now."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rosenblatt getting the axe

Mayor Fahey took a stand last week and decided that after dropping $35 million over the last 15 years into the 59-year-old Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha taxpayers have finally spent enough money on baseball in Omaha.

Oh, wait. No he didn’t.

Mr. Fahey has decided, in his infinite wisdom, that Omaha needs to spend about $50 million and build a new stadium between the Qwest Center and Creighton University, after which the Rosenblatt stadium will be completely and utterly destroyed.

This new stadium, the name of which will probably be The Mike Fahey Knows Best Stadium will seat 9000, so both of the Royals’ fans better get cracking on their Myspace friends lists.

For those of you who enjoy the College World Series, there will be enough space for 16,000 more seats to be slapped down and sold to those suckers who think baseball is a real sport.

What makes me chuckle is that Fahey didn’t bother telling the Omaha Royals that he was planning on doing this. This surprised the Royals management, who, while probably being happy that they get a stadium that won’t reveal how few people actually go to Royals games, want to make sure they get accommodations that they don’t have to share with the CWS guys.

I would imagine that the conversation between the Mayor and Omaha Royals President Alan Stein went something like this:

Stein: Mayor, what about Leia and the Wookiee?

Fahey: They must never again leave this city.

Stein: That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Hanto this bounty hunter!

Fahey: Perhaps you think you’re being treated unfairly.

Stein: No.

Fahey: Good. It would be unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here.

Stein: This deal’s getting worse all the time.

What's been going on?

Well after a stint at another blog where I was told I was far too negative to represent Omaha, I told them to pound sand and find someone else to be Omaha's cheerleader.

Which they did.

And that's that!

The house construction is progressing nicely. I've been hearing rumors about there being framing materials on-site, so I'll head on over there tomorrow and take some pictures.

My parents have decided to sell their house in California and build a house here in Omaha. They've decided on the subdivision of Manchester Park, which looks like a very nice area. I'll follow the building of that house as well.

As a way of apology for my lack of updates, let me share this with you: Indian Thriller!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Paris Hilton and jail

As I'm sure everyone and their mother knows, Ms. Paris Hilton is headed to jail for 45 days.

Was she singled out? I'm sure she was. Her attitude was probably not properly respectful towards the judge - the one man she needed to win over in the room at the time. She has a long history of acting as if she were above the law. She has money. Her parents have money. She's famous, young and pretty.

I would not be surprised if she ended up dead before she saw her 36th birthday. She's not exactly living a life geared towards longevity.

I'm also sure that people are going to be slightly curious about what her stay is going to be like. Is she going to be someone's bitch? Is she going to get beaten up? Her stuff stolen? Is she going to starve?

Probably not.

Although I can't know for sure as to how the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood - a women-only jail is run, if the jail administrators have any sense, they'll place her in their PC housing unit. PC stands for protective custody.

Inmates are put into PC whenever they are at risk of being victimized by other inmates. Typically child molesters, snitches, and high-profile inmates are the types of folks who are placed into protective custody.

She'll be in her own room.

She'll get about an hour's worth of recreation a day, during which time she'll be able to use the phone, take a shower, walk around. She will probably have recreation time alone.

She'll have to clean her own room.

She will probably lose weight, but she'll be able to order food items from the jail's commissary provider every week - so she'll be snacking well enough.

It simply isn't in the jail's best interest to let her out among the general population or to give her a roommate. Jail personnel really do prefer to avoid fights and conflicts - it just creates more work.

We'll see how she takes it in a few weeks. Hopefully it ends up changing her for the better.

My son's imaginary puppy.

He's almost three now, and he's got himself his first imaginary friend.

It's a puppy.

He has named it "pee-pee puppy."

When he tells complete strangers about his pee pee puppy, he explains that it's very fast, it likes to hide, and it fits nicely in the palm of his hand.

Often, when he is introducing his pee pee puppy, he'll hold his hand out and ask if they want to pet it.

Jamie's face is priceless to behold when these interactions take place.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Another Hearthstone Homes progress update

Hmmm. Looks like our lot might end up having a slight slope from left down to right. That would be unfortunate. It doesn't look like a lot of slope, but I'd rather have NO slope.

Of course, there's a HUGE pile of dirt on the lot to our left and they might use that to level out both our lot and the lot to our right. We'll see.

We're not quite ready to move our stuff in yet, as you can see, they've only just put in the concrete for the basement floor.

We went to NFM last night with our Berkshire Hathaway passes and ordered two couches for the family room, a refrigerator for the kitchen, a very large and MANLY bed for the master bedroom, and a table and chair set for the "breakfast nook."

Delivery, according to NFM, needs to be within 60 days. Because the house isn't going to be finished in 60 days, we'll have to call and reschedule the deliveries.

If Jamie forgets to do this, we'll have NFM delivering all these things to a house that, at that time, might not have a roof.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

You think you want an execution?

Due to the Nebraska Supreme Court issuing a stay on the execution of Carey Dean Moore, Nebraska will probably be looking for a new way to execute the folks who take it upon themselves to do really, really nasty things to other people.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning thinks Nebraska lawmakers should consider changing Nebraska's form of execution to help reduce the number of appeals. He said it could be at least a year before another execution date is set for Moore.

"I don't fault the Supreme Court. I don't think what they did was wrong because I trust them as lawyers and judges. But, we've got a process here in Nebraska that's starting to look like it's just broken," Bruning said.

You know, he might be right - Nebraska's execution system could possibly be broken.

If it is judged to be broken, unconstitutional even, if lawmakers are going to seriously consider switching our electric chair to another type of execution - then allow me to present a few ideas of potential execution methods for Nebraska.

As you can see here, the executee is kept underneath a large block of some hard, heavy, solid substance. The block is suspended by a rope and pulley system. The larger the block, the more spectacular the result. The best substance for the block would probably be rock, but a large metal safe could be substituted with very little difference in the results. A heavy rope could be used to secure the executee. When the time comes, the executioner cuts the rope.

Although I'm no mechanical engineer, it seems to me that this would be an efficient method of execution. The inmate is sedated and placed in a giant catapult. If a catapult is unavailable, then a trebuchet could be substituted, as long as the proper mathematical work is done to find the proper aim. Once the aim is worked out, the inmate is thrown by the catapult towards a large, sturdy, brick wall.

This is possibly the most visually captivating of all the execution ideas I have submitted today, but then I, the artist, am somewhat biased. As you can see here, the inmate is placed into an area secured by tall walls. Above the inmate are two very heavy, solid blocks of material which are connected to a secure post of some kind by rope. Two executioners wielding traditional japanese katanas cut the ropes, releasing the blocks to swing down and smush the executee.

There you go. Fast, humane, safe, suffer-free methods of execution for Nebraska.

Feel free to send a link to this page to the Nebraska State Supreme Court and the Nebraska Legislature.

They sound like they're short on ideas.

Quick! Eat more chicken!

Make your own KFC sign at

Evidently we aren't eating enough chicken in Omaha.

I, for one, will be heading to KFC tonight.

Monday, April 30, 2007

How I came to work in the correctional field.

I've worked in a lot of fields, in all sorts of positions. Most of them I wasn't particularly suited for, but you've got to do something to pay the bills while you're in school. I've worked in radio, telemarketing, had sales positions of all kinds...

Car sales, for instance - I enjoyed the dance, the play between myself, the sales person, and my victim, the customer. I did not like being disagreed with however, especially by people who didn't know what they were talking about. I didn't enjoy the fact that I felt I was constantly in an adversarial relationship with everyone who came on the lot.

Customer: "I want that new $30,000 car. I want to put nothing down. I want to trade in my 1979 Chevy Nova with 500,000 miles and I want you to give me $2000 for it. I want to pay $250 a month and I'm not going to lease. That's my offer. Take it or I walk."

Me: "You know what, I have someone over here who might be able to help you. Here's Bob."

Bob: "...."

I'm not built for that kind of customer service. My wiring doesn't work that way. Oh, I'm fully capable of being nice, don't get me wrong - as long as the person I'm talking to is reciprocating the guesture. When you're in college though, and forced into a class schedule that you have to work around, you take what you can get.

Which brings me to the corrections field.

In the summer after I had graduated from college and gotten married, I was looking for a long-term job that would hopefully transform into a career.

It was the hip thing to do at the time. All the kids were doing it.

I wanted to avoid sales if I could. I wanted to avoid wearing a tie. I applied to, among other things, the Omaha Police Department and the Douglas County Correctional Center. I took some tests and waited. A few months later, DCC replied and said they wanted me, and the Omaha Police Department had me at #45 on their list (they were hiring 50 or so officers that year.)

I was worried about the cop job. There was a long probationary period. As a cop, you're held to a high standard of professionalism and work under a microscope on a daily basis. You're out there with the uniform and the badge...and you're a target. I was older than most college graduates and had a baby on the way. If I was a few years younger, single...I'd probably take the cop job -but I wasn't.

So I took the correctional officer position. I haven't looked back since -in fact I wish I had started working here years ago. If I'd started back in 1998 or so when I started taking college courses here in Omaha, I'd be at least a Sergeant by now.

The corrections field is the one for me.

We don't carry guns. We don't have batons. We don't have stun sticks, or tazers. Only one person in the building generally has access to chemical spray, and it isn't used often.

We have our hands, our feet and some damn fine people backing us up.

I have a job where I can go to work, hear people complain about things, and I get to say, "No." Sometimes I use even stronger terms.

I have a job where I get paid to charge into a cell where a feces-covered psychopath is waiting to hit me.

I have a job where I can pit my wits and observational skills against people who have been trying to get away with things their entire lives.

Granted, I work daily with people ranging from murderers to drunk drivers to child molesters to prostitutes, but that just gives me stories to tell around the dinner table at Christmas.

It's nice when you can have the mindset that you're actually looking forward to going to work each day.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Yet another reason for Jamie to stay out of the water.

Those things are aliens. Intelligent, and fast. I want to learn how to communicate with them, so they don't come for me in the night.

There was a lab where marine biologists were studying octopuses and other marine animals. Naturally, different animals were kept in separate tanks. Every morning, when they would come in, the biologists would find a few fish missing from their tank. The only clue they had was that the floor was wet.

Puzzled, they set up security cameras. The next morning, when they watched the footage.

What they found out was: The octopuses waited for the humans to leave, then crawled out of their tanks, across the floor, up and into the fish tanks, ate some fish, then crawled back to their tanks so they humans wouldn't catch them the next morning being where they weren't supposed to be.

Octopi can survive out of water for several minutes at a time. They can squeeze through any hole as large as their beak (the only inflexible part of their bodies). They can and will open jars to get at the contents within. They are (kind of) jet-powered, able to move through water by jetting water out of themselves. Oh, and the main way they communicate? By rapidly changing their skin color. They use that ability both for camouflage and communication.

Good luck learning their language.

Amazing creatures. It's been suggested that the only reason they aren't as intelligent as dolphins is that so much of their brains are dedicated to keeping track of their eight arms

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Hearthstone Homes progress pictures

Looks like we have a garage floor. They also put the dirt back in after they coated the basement walls with the moisture sealant.

The big metal thing is the bracing for our basement daylight window. My escape hatch in case things go really bad.

The biggest drawback your basement has with a daylight window is that zombies can get in - only one at a time, though, so it's managable. Plus the window is small enough to secure, or you can just secure the top of the bracing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Whoa. Changed things a bit.

I got really tired of having to work with the inflexibility of two columns whenever I wanted to do something with the blog. So I was up late last night and early this morning figuring out how to get a three-column template.

I found one that I liked, or at least I thought that I liked. Installed it, didn't like it.

Installed another one, couldn't get it to work.

Looked around some more, found this template, installed it and decided to settle for now. I don't want to waste a whole day on this, you know?

I cannot wait until I pick up Studio 8 or Adobe's CS3 and can teach myself some new tricks.

...well to be honest, ANY tricks. It's been a long time since I've done any HTML.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm not saying that private prisons suck, but... their eternal quest to cut costs and pull in a regular profit, sometimes things fall by the wayside. Things like safety and security.

Things like this happen.

Police in New Castle, Indiana are saying that as of 4:30 PM, they are stabilizing the riot taking place at the New Castle Correctional Facility. Fortunately, so far only two staff members have been reported as having been injured.

If a government is going to take upon itself the responsibility to dispense justice, it needs to take the responsibility of seeing that justice through. Government has a moral responsibility for not only regular citizens, but also the inmates of its correctional facilities.

Government should not pay private companies to provide cheap judge services. Government should not pay private companies to provide cheap police services. Government should also keep private companies out of the incarceration business.

The only reason a government would pay a private company to house inmates is because of the kickbacks that public officials inevitably get during the bidding and construction process of these private prisons.

Great video if you have 15 minutes...

Via: VideoSift

This is a fantastic 15-minute video of Michael Shermer (the founder of Skeptic Magazine) speaking on the subject of why otherwise intelligent people believe in stupid things. He touches on the subject of UFO sightings, religious icon sightings (a favorite of mine) and how, by establishing an expectation beforehand, we tend to see or experience what we expect to see or experience. Good stuff!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wendy's comes through!

So I went with the wife to Wendy's on Saturday night. Hit the drive-through, ordered a #2 (double burger) with fries and a coke. We also ordered a baked potato with sour cream and chives for the wife, as she needs nourishment occasionally as well. Simple enough, right?

I knew there would be trouble as soon as the dude handling the order said, "You want that potato instead of the fries, right?"

"Negative. I want that potato in addition to the fries included in my combo."


So I pick up the bag at the window, pay the man, and we're on our way home. I'm looking forward to my imminent gustatory satisfaction. I open the bag....

No fries.

Jamie notices my crestfallen features and says, "No fries huh?"


"Sucks to be you. This potato is really good. Nummy nummy."

So I head over to Wendy's website, which makes Jamie roll her eyes and ask, "What are you doing?"

"I'm gonna get my fries," I reply.

"You're wasting your time."

So I fill out a customer comment form on the Wendy's site. Right HERE. I mention how heartbroken I was, how my wife made fun of me.

With my sense of duty satisfied, I finish my meal and forget any of this happened.

Today, on Monday, at 1:30 PM, I get a call from a guy on his cell phone who claims to be the regional manager for Wendy's in Omaha. He begins by apologizing profusely for his lackey's incompetence. He fawns over my politely-worded submission, letting me know how often he gets complaints that are somewhat...violently stated.

"Some people are just terrible, you know?"

He apologizes again and eventually, gradually, lets me know that I will be receiving a coupon for a free #2 (double cheeseburger, fries and a coke) in the mail shortly.

I am a happy man.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

May the fax set you free.

Correctional officials set a man free after receiving a fax someone sent from a grocery story which was thought to be, typos and all, a document from the Kentucky Supreme Court demanding this man's release. This is of course, Kentucky, so perhaps legal standards aren't quite as stringent.

Fortunately, Timothy Rouse was later captured at his mother's house.

I'm sick.

I hate being sick. Hate it, hate it, HATE IT!

Sore throat, headache, sinus pressure, runny nose.

I took a third of a bottle of Nyquil and two Tylenol PM but that didn't help me sleep much. Kept waking up with a dry mouth.

Didn't go into work yesterday, but I will today. Might as well be sick and get paid instead of being sick and not getting paid.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Went out to Hearthstone last night...

We had some addendums our building coordinator wanted us to sign. One had to do with the fact that we're now going to get radon testing done.

Due to Omaha's conquering of Elkhorn, our future address has changed to better reflect Omaha's numbering system; which is to say, it's not as nice.

While we were out there, we had the wonderful experience of seeing a potential buyer interacting in a calm and reasonable manner with our building coordinator.

Just kidding. This guy was a jackass.

He was upset that certain homes were walkout and others were not, and he let everyone know about it. He insisted that he was fully qualified to determine how a particular lot should be labeled and that he wanted to talk to the foreman to give him a piece of his mind. He was doing all this with his four children present. His wife was also annoyingly bitchy.

I hope they're not on my street.

Regardless, I was able to snap some pictures of the progress Hearthstone Homes had made to my lot, so here they are:

Owen adores dirt clods. It was difficult to pry him away from the huge piles of dirt sitting on our lot. He will be heartbroken when he finds out the dirt isn't going to stay.


I was reading a story today that suggested lowering the legal drinking age would possibly lower the troubles we are seeing with alcohol among teens. From the story:

McCardell, 57, president emeritus of Middlebury College in Vermont and professor of history there, says alcohol is and always will be a reality in the lives of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. Studies indicate that the number of college students who drink is slightly smaller than it was 10 years ago, largely because of increased interest in healthy living. But in the majority who choose to drink, there have been increases of binge drinking and other excesses. Hospitalizations of 18- to 20-year-olds for alcohol poisoning have risen in those 10 years. This, McCardell believes, is partly because the drinking age of 21 has moved drinking to settings away from parental instruction and supervision. Among college students, drinking has gone off campus and underground, increasing risks while decreasing institutions abilities to manage the risks.

I think that what Mr. McCardell has forgotten, or completely failed to realize, is that age is not important when it comes to responsible behavior. Either a person has the self-will and self-control to drink responsibly, or a person doesn't. Unfortunately, just as there are vast numbers of 18-year-olds that can't handle drinking responsibly, there are also vast numbers of 25-year-olds who can't handle it either. Not to mention the 35-year-olds. And the 45-year-olds.

If you haven't outgrown getting drunk by the time you're 35, then you're an alcoholic.

Setting an arbitrary number for inclusion into adult activities (entering a contract, drinking, entering the military, smoking, voting, renting a car) is foolish. It would be wiser for a society to allow individuals willing to conform to what is considered responsible behavior to somehow prove themselves able - at whatever age they can.

Perhaps we should take a page from the Australian Aborigines and their "walkabouts." At the age of thirteen they walk in the wilderness for six months as a rite of passage. They trace the passage of their ancestors, following their routes and re-enacting their heroic acts. Once this is done, they are accepted as an adult into their society.

The ancient greeks also had a good coming of age rite - the Dokimasia. When a young Athenian came of age to vote in Athens, he was brought before an assembly in his district and put to the question. His life and actions up to that point were brought up, talked about and examined. If a valid objection to his inclusion into adult society was found, the candidate had to find a way to overcome that objection and convince others that he could be treated as an adult.

These are unrealistic ideas for a society that is focused on handouts.

I'm going to go play with my kids now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Internet is for Porn

I do not play MMORPG's any longer. They're way too dangerous to my I've never even tried World of Warcraft. This video had me rolling though, so I'll share it with my readers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Please don't feed the homeless

Annoyed that the city's homeless population isn't dying off quickly enough, Lincoln today launched a new campaign encouraging residents and visitors to their fair town NOT to give money or food to "street people."

Giving money or food to "house people" is apparently still ok with Lincoln's leadership.

Posters, brochures and some "guerilla marketing pieces" will soon be seen around downtown Lincoln. The ads suggest that homeless folks will spend any money given them to satisfy their addictions, like their addiction to food.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Radon Gas! Run!

Just how dangerous is Radon Gas?

I've been warned by a concerned party (my mom) that Nebraska has a serious problem with radon gas. This concerned party (mom, again) was sure that radon was going to kill us all unless we took steps NOW to solve the problem.

This is an artist's conception of what the radon's assault on our family would look like. Notice my short arms. Both my children have longer arms than I do. This is a weird genetic flaw that can only be explained by radon attacks.

Hearthstone Homes gave us the option to have our own inspector check the site for possible radon gas. This would have been in addition to their own inspector checking everything out. We weighed the risks and decided to let Hearthstone Homes handle the inspecting.

If there's any evidence of radon after we move in, we'll have to get a system installed to deal with that. How much those are, I have no idea.

Here's a link explaining how to build a house that deals with possible radon buildup.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'd say this police department has some problems.

Story from the Daily Report - read on!

Police Sgt. Patrick Welles got a call for backup one night in 2004 and told the dispatcher he was busy but would be there shortly. It turned out he was busy having sex with a woman in his patrol car, investigators say. The 12-year veteran was fired for conduct unbecoming an officer and other departmental violations, including misuse of city property.

But now the black officer has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit, claiming white colleagues on the Chattanooga force did similar things — or worse — and were allowed to keep their jobs.

A federal investigator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission agreed Welles was treated differently. The EEOC reported that the police department ''had knowledge of white officers who violated policy and committed sexual offenses such as rape, masturbation in public, sexual harassment, domestic assault and various of other terminable or egregious offenses, but followed progressive disciplinary procedures as well as resignation or reinstatement for those not of the charging party's race.''

Welles, in his April 9 lawsuit, is asking for reinstatement and back pay, or at least $100,000.
An assistant in the Chattanooga city attorney's office, Kenneth O. Fritz, declined to comment, as did the white police chief who fired Welles, Steve Parks, and Parks' successor, Freeman Cooper, who is black.

Welles told City Council members at an appeal hearing that he had gone to a bar around 2 a.m. for a business check and picked up a woman who had just been fired and was arguing with her employers at the bar. Welles said he drove her to a secluded area, where they had sex in his car.

He said it took less time than a lunch break.

An internal affairs investigation found that while Welles was with the woman, he failed to back up other officers when a dispatcher reported a disorder at a business.

Welles' attorney, Stuart James, said: ''Regardless of the offense, when you see a pattern where white officers are treated differently, it raises a suspicion there may be discrimination because of race.''The lawsuit cites other cases in which white officers were allowed to keep their jobs:

— One officer, charged with rape on city property while on duty, was given only a 28-day suspension and is still employed by the department, the lawsuit says. The lawsuit does not specify the outcome of the criminal charges.
— A lieutenant was disciplined for sexual harassment of an officer — using a city computer to mail sexually explicit material to a female employee. But he was restored to lieutenant after an appeal, the suit says.

Shelley Parker, an attorney for the police department, said the lawsuit would be vigorously defended. Parker said he could not recall some of the examples cited in the suit that involved white officers.

Leamon Pierce, a black city councilman who voted to uphold Welles' firing, said an officer having sex in a patrol car is ''totally out of character for a police officer. Everyone who would come before the council, we would take the same action.'' The councilman said of Welles' contention that he wasn't the only one to commit such an offense: ''You can't justify a wrong with another wrong.''

I seriously need to sue someone.

The hardest part in suing someone is finding something good to sue about, as evidenced in this story from the Associated Press:

Three prisoners serving potential life sentences in Colorado say their lives have been threatened—by mosquitoes. The inmates at Walsenburg and Limon prisons sued, saying they were at risk of contacting West Nile virus or other diseases after they were bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes and suffered “the emotional and mental distress of whether or not each mosquito’s bite would result in death or serious bodily injury.” Stephen G. Glover, Alan Smith and Michael Freeman said the bites caused high fever, headache, neck stiffness and muscle weakness. “Each attack constituted bodily injury, which the (Department of Corrections) had the power to prevent, but consciously elected not to,” wrote the inmates, acting as their own attorneys. But the Colorado Court of Appeals swat down their case and upheld a lower court’s decision to throw their case out. Prison officials said no confirmed cases of West Nile virus have ever been found in the prison population, and inmates are provided mosquito repellant.

The problem with suing is that you have to A) target someone with the ability to pay you, and B) have enough of a case that you can overcome their better-paid defense.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New house pictures!

As you can see, Owen likes his new house.