Badger's Den

Political Beliefs
8:47 a.m. - 2008-10-15

I used to have a fair amount of admiration for John McCain, but that's completely gone. His pandering to the extreme right is disgusting and frankly beneath him.

His pick of Palin for running mate was pure manipulation - "look we have a woman on our team." Talk about sexism. And I about did a spittake when I hear a woman on the radio this morning describe Palin as honest.

I would not want to be on her bad side as she appears shrewish. And isn't it sexism to use flirty gestures to win males over? I believe her to be one of the least capable politicians I have ever met and it casts extreme concern on McCain's judgement (or is it Carl Rove's) for picking her.

I read an article about the Log Cabin Republicans. Maybe they are just spoiled rich gays. But I read about their belief in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense.”

I believe in these things too, but I also believe in rules that protect us from predators and the world is full of them, at every turn large and small.

Its the bully grown up that worries me. The bully CEO taking huge sums of money for driving his corporation into bankruptcy. The bully corporation trying to eliminate the level playing field. The bully banks who demand corporations move jobs overseas. The bully evangelicals who say believe my way or else.

Of course there are bullies on the left as well. I have a distaste for power and especially it's abuse. Sadly we only seem to measure success in monetary terms. We no longer admire the people who work hard, live modestly, stay out of debt and raise decent families. So many people are all out to get rich quick whether it be from daytrading to buying houses they can't afford expecting them to increase in value.

If giving the weathly more money to invest in jobs actually worked, they'd already be investing in jobs even without the tax breaks.

And where are the people who will do my job in 20 years. They're all outsourced. Most of the jobs I did early in my career are all contract workers. The small and medium companies that are the real job generators struggle to complete in a world biased toward the Fortune 500.

So just as sports and games need referees and we need impartial judges and counselors, the free market needs some referees to ensure the bullies don't take undue advantage.

We need a strong state department, intelligence group and military to deal with the bullies beyond our borders.

Most of all we need to show some compassion to the victims in our society, whether they are victimized by direct bullies or by the system and the way our society works.

We build a society that runs on gas and gars and then question whether a car is a necessity for the poor. We force people to invest in new television technology because it has become a necessity to receive basic information.

Then there's infrastructure, the very infrastructure that the rich have used to gain wealth. The same infrastructure the wealthy don't want to contribute to. The weathly benefit from the military industrial complex but don't want to pay taxes to support the military. The roads that move goods. We subsidize established industry and do little to promote new competitive industry.

Its a very complex world we live in and I know there is much I do not understand. But I do know that the direction our society is heading is making us look more like a third world banana republic where a few have it all and fix things to benefit themselves at the expense of the rest of us.

Limited government yes. But that government needs to be effective and impartial. Individual liberty that includes respect and justice for the individual. Individual responsibility with a playing field that is truly level including health care and education. Free markets that are free from bullies and greed with incentives to move us in a long term visionary direction. A strong national defense that includes the power of diplomacy, the leverage of allies, the respect for cultures not our own and the vision to foresee the next attack instead of fighting the last war again.

Door County Weekend
8:32 a.m. - 2008-10-15

Had a great weekend with Eugene. I took Friday off. We met in Wisconsin Thursday night and spent Friday exploring Door County and touristy peninsula sticking into Lake Michigan.

The fall colors were great. We searched for caches along the shore and in the woods. We ate at a great dinner overlooking a picturesque bay.

On Saturday was a special geocaching event with new caches and a pizza party get together in the evening. I set a daily record of 22 finds that day. The weather again was perfect with pleasant temps and crystal blue skies. We met some other local cachers and made some new friends.

Sunday morning was relaxing followed by more caching to bring my finds for the weekend to 39 - wow!

I headed home about 2:30 as Eugene headed off to catch the Packers football game. I took the slow way home through some scenic byways. It took longer but was less stressful that fighting traffic and construction on the interstate.

Last night Andy came over and after sushi we settled in and watched my new DVD of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

It was my second time to see it and I enjoyed it better than the first time. I was a bit disappointed by the movie in the theaters until I came to terms with it's premise and remembered to place myself in 1957.

I'm bored at work. I have a huge branch in my front yard that came down while I was gone. I've hacke on it some to get it off the sidewalk and driveway, but I need to spend some quality time with the chainsaw.

I also have to read the Book Club book before Monday. And do some more house cleaning.

Categorically Speaking
10:56 a.m. - 2008-10-08

Love

Going to Fondy this weekend to be with Eugene. Taking Friday off, so I'll be heading up on Thursday evening. We are planning to go to Door County (a touristy spot) on Friday. Yep, my idea not his, lol.

Then Saturday we're going to a pizza party with the local geocaching group. We'll probably spend a lot of the weekend searching for caches and being outdoors as much as possible.

He still is jobless and I worry about him. It's not like he'll be destitute, but the job market in Wisconsin is pretty lean and very competitive.

I have been praying for him to find something, but I feel a bit frustrated. And if you are wondering why he just doesn't move in with me - well it's complicated. We've talked about it and he's welcome to, but he needs to stay where he's at for now.

At least he is usually fairly upbeat most of the time. And I'm sure we'll have the money discussion. I have enough and can pay all our expenses, but he'll insist on paying his half. I told him when he gets a job, he can return the favor and that it's about us as a couple. We'll see.


Hobbies

Been geocaching when I can. Found 14 over the weekend.


Social

Had parts of the family over Sunday evening. Mom, Dad, Stephani, Mandy & Nikki. We talked, there were cell phone issues, there was entertaining Cal the Kitty and Alaska pictures.

JB had a dinner as part of the AIDS benefit. He had 5 guests though Hector pushed him to have more and raise more donations. Silly Hector, always the fundraiser.

Then there was the desert finale where all the people who donated were invited to a gala with dessert and libations. Afterward a bunch of us went to a gay bar for leather night. Somewhat of a contrast.

The fine art fair on the riverfront was fun. Ran into a few friends there. Couldn't talk TIM or JB to go so I went solo. Weather was perfect and the flooding had receeded. There were lots of cool things, but I don't usually buy art on a whim any more. There's only so many places you can put a cool glass sculpture.


Politics

Tim and I watched the VP debate and agreed that Sarah didn't embarass herself. What I find humorous is how so many o fthe straight guys at work think she's hot. Must be that boob thing working it's magic. And the winks.

I still think running a town smaller than most towns and which lacks a real Main St. and running a state with a population smaller than a decent sized city, really doesn't provide a lot of experience with what most of this country has to deal with.

Eugene visits
8:30 a.m. - 2008-09-22

A nice weekend with Eugene. He arrived Thursday and we started the weekend braving floodwaters for giant burgers. We watched a woman drag a groundhog off the street by its tail as it struggled to escape. It can't bite me back here, she claimed. We just rolled our eyes.

Friday we went geocaching and found 12 of 14. Saturday we were biking and Eugene wanted to try a couple really difficult ones and we found 2 of 2 along the bike trail. Sunday we found 7 of 10. I'm still 2 ahead of him at 122, but that won't last very long.

We cooked out a couple times, and managed to stay out of the bars. We met up with Andy and BK late Friday to store some of Andy's furniture. I asked Andy to buy a round but the local bars had closed at 1am.

Had JB over for coctails on the patio while acorns rained down. There are millions of them this year. We then made a return visit to the burger joint. Yum.

Tim came over Saturday night (after he ate leftovers) and we watched the video "Shelter" which we all enjoyed.

We capped the weekend by watching Green Bay lose (translation = football). The weather was perfect as was this morning as we said our goodbyes under clear autumn skies.

Weekend Rest
10:03 a.m. - 2008-09-15

After an intense 52 hour work week, a rainy weekend to be lazy was welcome.
My ankle is still sore when I first put weight on it.
Got together with Andy on Friday and pretty much just hung at home the rest of the weekend.
Spent 5 hours online with Eugene. :D
Finished reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain" a book from a dog's perspective of his master's dedication to his daughter.
It made me cry several times.
I think we got nine inches of rain.
Caught a little bit of Bill O'Reilly's (shudder) interview with Obama and I thought Barack controlled the spinmeister well.
Back to work and the sun is starting to come out of course.

Home Sweet Home
7:01 p.m. - 2008-09-09

Home from Alaska. Had a great time. I hate flying anymore, I've decided. It used to be somewhat decent when I had Gold & Platinum status, but as an average joe, it sucks.

The plane from Anchorage was too warm and it was hard to sleep. The flight out of Dallas, I had to put my carry on under the seat and had no room to unbend my knees. Imagine stuffing yourself in a box that is too narrow and a foot too short for three hours. Some might call it torture. But I guess it beats waterboarding.

The third leg was at least decent, with comfy temps and lots of leg and elbow room. I'll take the turbulence any time.

So Cal the Kitty was happy to see me. Even came running until he remembered he was a cat and too cool to be excited to see me lol.

Unfortunately work is in a crunch time and working 12 hour days on Tues & Wed. for the next few weeks. Ugh.

Now I can't wait to see Eugene again ;)

Firday Morning from AK with Pix!!
12:54 p.m. - 2008-09-05

Wednesday I made the 350 mile trek up to Denali NP. Saw lots of mountains and the weather was partly sunny with scattered sprinkles, but The Big One, Mt McKinley was obscurred by clouds.

Stopped in the VERY quaint village of Talkeetna. It's a old tourist town with very ecclectic occupants. It's mainly populated by young men with beards and pony tails sleeping in tents and young women dressed as gypsies. And one woman was particularly incensed that I dared drive on the street she was standing square in the middle of with her entourage.

Yesterday at breakfastm there was a moose sighting in the neighbor's flower garden. A mom and two calves were munching merrily and quite efficiently on the colorful plants.

Then I drove down to Whittier, a WWII era town (which hasn't changed much in 60 years) thru a 2.5 mile long one lane tunnel. I went on a 4 hours glacier cruise and in addition to ice & mountains saw sea otters floating on their backs watching us float by, harbor seals lounging on the ice floes and a few bald eagles posing regally on shore.

On the drive back to Anchorage, I spotted a beluga whale, at least the top of its white head.

And here's a taste of the pix...

Baby moose with mama on the right

Seward

Glacier

Whittier in 'perfect' weather.

The awesome drive along Turnagain Arm

Alaska Day 1
12:40 a.m. - 2008-09-03

Now
10pm Anchorage
1am Badgerville

Good and tired, finally dried out and warmed up.

Drove to Seward today, an absolutely awesome drive through rugged snowcapped mountains and alongside breathtaking fjords and glacier-fed lakes. The (occasional) sun and 60 degree morning in Anchorage held on until I was about an hour south. Then scattered showers began, but the views were still great.

I caught video of the Alaska Railroad passenger train as it rumbled by.

Arriving in Seward, the rain wasjust occasional. It was cooler. The town is a combination of touristy shops & restaurants with industrial fishing and railroad/ocean port activity.

There are two tourist sections which I strolled through with just my waterprrof windbreaker and cap. I bought some souvenirs. But th erain was becoming more steady so I broke down and bought an umbrella.

Exporing I ventured down a road south of town perched between the bay and a vertical cliff. THe road was filled with potholes. Plus there were warnings not to stop due to rock slides. I'd already dodged a suitcase sized rock in the road on the way down, plus with the rain, I decided I didn't need to endure all the potholes and turned back.

Went to the Aquarium of Marine Life which was a neat exhibit of sea lions, seals, sea birds, urchins and the like, giant crabs and various fish, some very odd indeed.

Of course I had to find at least one geocache. The first one was along a lake with the coordinates pointing off the boardwalk and down in the marsh grass. I was about to give it a pass, then worked up my courage. It required descending a steep bank, ducking under the boardwalk while not stepping in a stream. Once I got to the area I checked every tree but no luck. My GPS still pointed in the marsh grass.

I went and checked out a couple mountainside ponds and a waterfall then had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the samll boat harbor. I ordered a collection of steamed seafood including a couple crab legs from a creature a fraction of the size of the one at the aquarium.

It was raining steady now, but I had plenty of light left. I had to get me a geocache. So I found one in a more urban setting.

About 6 I headed back north taking a side trip to check out Exit Glacier. It was my first and I have to say I was extremely impressed. I first saw it from a distance along the road. Wow, it was huge. I drove on up to the trailhead adn hiked about a mile in to a very close viewpoint. Massively awesome!

Back on the road again at 7, traffic was very light except for a handfull of RV's. It was fairly easy to pass them. I took another detour to Portage Lake but a real storm was whipping rain and other stuff around good so I headed on back to Anchorage and my B&B - and no rain.

So I'm tired and ready to crawl in a very comfy bed. Tomorrow I'm headed north to Denali NP and Mt McKinley.

BTW breakfast was eggs florentine and reindeer sausage with fruit and oatmeal. Yum.

Alaska at Last
12:21 p.m. - 2008-09-02

I arrived in Alaska last night.
I have now been in all 50 states!!!!
I am staying in a nice B&B and just finished with breakfast. Conversation with Craig, one of the hosts. Sun is making an appearance :D
Flights were good, except the flight from Dallas to Anchorage was delayed 90 min due to a hydraulic leak. Then it took another 6.5 hours to get here - damn its a long way. Seat next to me was empty !!!! Cute Inuit young man in from of me (slurp). $10 for a turkey sandwich & chips!!!! You'd think they had to fly it in (lol).
Dinner at the Sea Galley. Still light at 9:30 (though barely).
Well I'm off to Seward today in my rented Dodge Charger.

Something That Gets my Blood Boiling
12:08 p.m. - 2008-08-29

This kind of talk makes my blood boil. In persucting local GLBTs the mayor of Birmingham AL staed...

“If I had issued such a proclamation [supporting gay pride], I would in essence be saying that God’s position is wrong and I wouldn’t dare take a position against God. So as opposed to suing me, they need to be suing God, and the last time I checked, he can defend himself. End of story.”

This kind of presumptiveness is what I consider true blasphemy. He's addicted to religion - "it's not my fault, God makes me do this."

When people fail to acknowledge that it is their interpretation of God's will, I get pissed. Sadly, there is no arguing with religious addicts.

Mad Weekend
12:32 p.m. - 2008-08-26

Eugene and I had a nice weekend. We met up with friends, went to a restaurant with a horrid waitress, found 13 geocaches and Eugene got hit in the head with a Mountain Dew can thrown by the passenger in a passing white S-10 with topper and partial plates of 9119...

It didn't hurt him but we both had Mtn Dew sprayed on us and on his car. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, they took off down a side street.

Here's pictures of a few of the more pleasant pasts of the weekend. And there's not going to be pix of the MOST pleasant part of the weekend, so sorry.

One cool thing about geocaching is that it introduces you to places you had no idea existed. We went to a dozen small neighborhood parks and the one below was very tiny but with a great view.

Flickr Link


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