December 31, 2006

On Saddam being dead

Good riddance. For those of you who are protesting, who have a problem with the death of this piece of shit, I offer this idea. Hussein may not have been a starter on the all-time mass murderer's basketball team, but he was easily the sixth man.

If you do not get that, no arguments I can provide will change your mind. There is evil in the world, and all the talking, all of the diplomacy, the negotiations, all the good will only makes it stronger. The dead in Iraq demand retribution, and we all know the Hague and International Criminal Court would NEVER allow capital punishment.

Target really sucks

Thanks to Jim at PRS, I see I am not the only one with a new found loathing for the big red bullseye.

Oh yeah,


Happy New Year

December 30, 2006

Target Stores Suck


After searching for nearly one hour to find an email address or a phone number that goes to a real person who can actually take complaints, I give up and will send my complaint via snail mail. Here is what I will write:

Dear Target,

I have always liked your stores better that your rivals. I often drive the thirty miles plus it takes to get to one of your stores rather than shopping at my local Wal-Mart. No more.

We tried to exchange some Christmas presents yesterday evening at the Target Store on Southport Road in Indianapolis, Indiana. These gifts were purchased by elderly relatives in a different city. Rather than call them and tell them "you messed up and bought the wrong item", we chose to exchange the gifts.

For the record, I have no complaint that you will only offer exchange value for the current, much lower price. I think it is wrong you reduce everything in the store by 30%, but I understand the policy. I also have no complaint that you will not give cash for items returned without a receipt. I could understand you reluctance to accept a return, but these items had "target exclusive" printed on the packaging -- they were clearly purchased at Target.

I do have a problem that the exchange must be for items(s) that cost equal OR MORE than the original item. This only forces us to make additional in-store purchases. I would be more than willing to accept a gift card, allowing you free use of my money until the card is spent. I DO object that all the exchange items come from the same department. This is ridiculous in the extreme. I was willing to buy additional items, but I will be damned if I force my son to purchase something he does not want to satisfy your ridiculous unposted return policy.

It is the consumer who determines the success of your company. Often businesses forget that. When you make doing business too complicated or difficult, we will choose to buy elsewhere. Sometimes we make mistakes and purchase the wrong item. This narrow minded approach to customer service is so irritating I will no longer purchase items from your store. You make returns so impossible, so inconvenient, so stupid I will encourage my relatives to just give cash in the future, and we will spend it at Wal-Mart or another retailer.

We are not trying to cheat you, the items were purchased at Target. We were willing to get the replacement items at Target. We were even willing to buy additional items to comply with your stupid policy that exchanges must be the same or greater value (I still do not understand why you cannot offer the difference in a gift card that will be used at your store), but making us buy items we do not want to make sure it comes from the same department is a silly policy.

I am sure the more than one thousand dollars we spend at your stores annually will not be missed. I am but one of millions of customers you screwed this Holiday Season with your inane and stupid policies. I hope we all skip Target next time.

Best wishes for failure,

Hoosierboy

December 29, 2006

Who was the worst President?

There seems to be some discussion in the comments about who was a worse President, Carter or LBJ. That is your task for the Friday Five:

List the five worst Presidents (#1 being the worst ever)

Arguments and discussion in the comments ins encouraged and welcome. I do not even demand you be civil.

December 28, 2006

A day in the life

It is Thursday. It is payday, so I have that good thing going. I really have nothing more to say on this chilly morning.

The coffee is good, the orange juice even better. Everyone is asleep. I have no new emails in my work inbox. There are four cardinals on the deck picking over the scraps of stale bread I tossed under the patio table last night. The overcast sky looks like snow, but the temperature is 36 on the way to the fifties today. Hard to complain about a December like we have had. Less than one inch of snow so far for the whole month, temps in the forties and fifties for the most part. There were even a few days in the mid sixties!

The wife went shopping last night, bought herself all of the stuff she wanted for Christmas, I guess. Of course if she would have mentioned some things she desired, she might have gotten them. Last night, the boys were off doing stuff with their friends. As I mentioned, the wife was shopping and the daughter was gone to Chicago to visit her boyfriend. I was home alone. I set all kinds of booby traps all through the house to catch Marv and the other bad guy in case they tried to break in. I sat and watched a DVD of a Yes concert from 1973 -- Yessongs. Great stuff. BTW, the wife was pissed when she slipped on the ice made from the bucket of water I threw on the porch and the icing on the cake was when the blowtorch singed off her hair as she tried to open the door. At least she was able to dodge the swinging paint cans.

I got my Christmas present on Tuesday...just what I wanted. It is hard to be in a bad mood after you have been laid. Too bad I will likely have to wait another year or so to find out if that is true.

If it holds off rain, I just might smoke me a nice cigar later this morning. Which should I try, the nice Flor de Oliva or the new CAO Cx2?

My son bought me the DaVinci Code DVD for Christmas, maybe I'll watch it this afternoon.

I could get used to a life like this. Heh, I thought I had nothing to say this morning.

December 27, 2006

Plane crashes and Presidents

I saw the movie "We are Marshall" last night. I am glad I did. This movie gets four stars on the HB scale. Go see it.

I see Gerald Ford has died. I was at Boy Scout Camp when Nixon resigned and Ford was sworn in. They brought a TV into the mess hall so we could see it. At the time, I had no idea I was seeing history. I was 12 years old.

Looking back with an amateur historian's eye, Ford was a victim of lots of anger. Anger over Vietnam, anger of Nixon, anger over a runaway economy. He was denied election to the Presidency for pardoning Nixon. It was the right thing to do. He served his term with dignity, and spent his post-Presidential years in the same manner. Too bad he lost to Carter, who was elected only because he was not a Republican. We know how well that turned out.

Rest in Peace President Ford.

December 26, 2006

Christmas post partum

The living room is strewn with boxes and debris from the gift-giving frenzy. It was a pretty good Christmas. It was especially special (is that redundantly repetitive?)is that the kids all got along great all day.

The youngest got a Wii. I am not much for video games, but I have to say this thing is awesome. We bowled. boxed and played golf. What a riot. You The game is operated through motion sensors, not buttons, so you actually go through the bowling motion in the bowling game. The machine can sense if you turn your wrist, so you get the spins and everything. Everyone in the family thought it was cool.

I was gifted the new Sharp book, so do not expect me to be reading blogs when I could read excellent adventure.

I have eaten so much food and junk over the last few days I may have to get my fat boy pants back out of the closet.

I hope you and yours had as good a Christmas weekend as I did!

December 22, 2006

Another drive by shooting on Memory Lane


Click to embiggen. Looks like someone is not real thrilled to have to share the spotlight.

Dang you Jimbo

Jimbo at Parkway Rest Stop asked me to participate in a meme, and since I owe him one, (and I have nothing else to post), here goes:


1.Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, usually. I try to get my daughter to wrap for me.

2.Real tree or artificial? A huge artificial tree 8' tall. The box weighs about 5,000 lbs.

3.When do you put up the tree? Thanksgiving weekend. We have two trees, plus sometimes the kids have smaller ones in their rooms.

4.When do you take the tree down? Sometime around New Years, never before, sometimes later.

5.Do you like eggnog? I would rather drink liquid dog turds. Waste of good rum.

6.Favorite gift you received as a child? a wooden "Daniel Boone" gun? I think alcohol has destroyed most of my memory cells.

7.Do you have a nativity scene? Nope

8.Hardest person to buy for? My parents, but I do not really buy for anyone except the wife. She is impossible because she never gives any hints or suggestions. I buy whatever suits my fancy and she returns it and buys what she wants. It would be much simpler to tell me what she wants, but you know...women.

9.Easiest person to buy for? See above, I delegate the shopping to the one with taste.

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? I always have the best intentions to send cards. I do mail Christmas cards to my customers, if that counts.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It is an honor to get any gift.

12.Favorite Christmas movie? Holiday Inn.

13.When do you start shopping? Mid December

14.Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Everything! I make a huge Christmas feast -- Turkey, noodles, mashed potatoes, the works. I eat until I am sick and love every bit of it!

16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

17.Favorite Christmas song? Silver Bells. I love Christmas music and I start listening to it by early November. Oh Holy Night, Winter Wonderland, Silver Bells, Baby, its cold outside...

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? Hit the relatives on Christmas eve, stay home on Christmas for about the last ten years

19.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers? Oh yes

20.Angel on the tree top or a star? The small tree has an angel, the big one a star

21.Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Morning — always.

22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? The unending campaign to take Christmas out of Christmas. I have not yet seen an attempt to make Hanukkah or Ramadan more "secular"

23.Do you have Jebus in your heart this Christmas? Christmas is the birthday of Jesus.

24.What would you like for Christmas? A winning lottery ticket for a minimum of $100,000 would be nice. A good cigar and some sex would suffice. I probably will get neither.

December 21, 2006

The Hoosierboy Quiz

According to my site counter most of my hits are from long-time readers. For the heck of it I wonder how much you pay attention. Here is a little quiz to see how well you know your favorite blogger. The answers have appeared in previous posts, or at least a pretty good hint.

Since I am not a liberal feel good kind of educator, there will be no multiple choice, either you know the answer or you do not. Answer in the comments. Good luck.

1. What is my real first name?
2. In what city was I born and raised?
3. Where did I go to college?
4. How many kids do I have?
5. What do I do for a living?
6. Have I been out of the country for any reason?
7. Would you say I am a liberal, or conservative in my political bent?
8. What did I probably have for lunch today?
9. What is my youngest son's favorite sport?
10.What month is my birthday?


Come on. play along for wonderful cash and prizes. Every answer can be found in a past post, peruse the archives, you know you want to know.

I am lazy so you get more old pictures


I know this is bad blogging, but otherwise I have nothing. I am trying to get final things done for Christmas and work, so take it or leave it when it comes to these pictures.

This is a very young Hoosierboy and his daughter. She is now twenty and a sophomore in College. We had a park in our backyard at this house. This was the first house we ever bought. We moved from here in 1989.

December 20, 2006

Time flies


This is one of my favorite pictures of my oldest son. He must have been two or three when it was taken. He will graduate high school in a few months.

He has always been a cement head, willful, stubborn. I remember this picture only that he just got a new hat and mittens that he picked out. He insisted on wearing them even though the tempurature was mild -- as you can see he is not even wearing a coat.

December 19, 2006

The Widows

Dorothy and Edna, two "senior" widows, are talking.
Dorothy: "That nice George Johnson asked me out for a date. I know YOU went
out with him last week, and I wanted to talk with you about him before I
give him my answer."

Edna: "Well, I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctually at 7
P.M., dressed like such a gentleman in a fine suit, and he brings me such
beautiful flowers! Then he takes me downstairs, and what's there but a
luxury car...a limousine, uniformed chauffeur and all. Then he takes me out
for dinner... a marvelous dinner... lobster, champagne, dessert, and
after-dinner drinks.
Then we go see a show. Let me tell you, Dorothy, I enjoyed it so much I
could have just died from pleasure!
So then we are coming back to my apartment and he turns into an ANIMAL.
Completely crazy, he tears off my expensive new dress and has his way with
me two times!"
Dorothy: "Goodness gracious!... so you are telling me I shouldn't go out
with him?"
Edna: "No, no, no... I'm just saying....wear an old dress."

Mount Hood, a different view


This is a picture of Mount Hood in the summer. I took this shot a few years ago. It does not look like the same mountain you see on the news today. This picture was taken right at the timberline, well above 8,000 feet. The summit is under snow year round.

December 18, 2006

Read the linked blog You will be glad

If you read no other blog to today Read this one, it is brilliant.

Too bad he is preaching to the choir.

I will be glad to take on arguments in the comments.

Holy Shiite, Batman

I went to pick up a pizza last night for supper (yeah, we eat supper around here) and I was amazed. It was 7:30 pm on December 17 and I was in a short sleeved T-shirt, no coat. I even opened the car window a little. 60+ degrees in the middle of December, maybe algore is right!

I had a huge discussion with my boys the other night. They, of course, are being fed the global warming junk science in huge bucketfuls at school. The oldest boy especially is getting a huge dose in his environmental science class. I did my best to debunk the notion. Of course the boy gave me the "but he is a teacher, he knows more than you" line. I laughed my ass off. His teacher went to the same college as I did. We have the same worthless Liberal Arts degree. I presented some facts about historical temperature trends, the warmth of the middle ages, the cold snap in the 18th and 19th centuries. I pointed out that in the 70's the same alarmists were predicting an ice age. I mentioned that we have only been keeping scientific measurements the last few years. I told him that the ability to measure in minute degrees did not even exist 50 years ago. He was only a little convinced.

I asked him to explain why the Norsemen (Vikings) called Greenland "Greenland". I told him that even if the temperatures were increasing (which I am not convinced) the Earth has seen it all before, and we would survive.

Until very recently the existence of cyclical weather patterns was accepted science. There was no argument the Earth went through sustained periods of cooling and warming. Of course that idea completely dispels the whole "global warming myth". I used to have a book where a historian took weather patterns over time and studied significant historical events in comparison. His theory was one could then take those trends and predict future events. The book was unreadable, and totally crazy. It did prove that scientists, academics, and Al Gore are all full of shit, and will come up with anything to keep the grant money coming in.

I encouraged the boy to think for himself and do a little research on the other side of the argument before he forms an opinion. Of course he is like me, he will argue just for the fun of it. It was an entertaining evening.

December 17, 2006

Oh Momma

Congrats to 'Batty from Moonbattyand Little Liberals who had her baby. Best wishes to all from one of your wingnuts.

December 15, 2006

Random thoughts on a Friday

Coffee and beef jerky for breakfast -- probably not what the AMA recommends.

2006 just cannot end fast enough.

It will be a light Christmas, present-wise this year. That may not be a bad thing. The wife thinks it is a disaster.

2007 will probably be almost a shitty as 2006.

I have several CDs in my collection I am embarrassed to own, yet I occasionally listen to them. What? You want me to share? Ok, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, Bagpipe music, Civil War music, do those qualify? What do you have in your collection? I mention this in that I almost bought an ABBA CD last night. Almost being the key word. I have a special fondness for ABBA ever since I was a young teenager watching them perform on TV in that skin-tight blue spandex...hubba hubba.

A woman came home, screeching her car into the driveway, and ran into the house. She slammed the door and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!"

The husband said, "Oh my God! What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?"

"Doesn't matter," she said. "Just get the hell out."



It looks unlikely we will have a white Christmas this year.

The Colts defense is getting worse, they may not win any of their remaining games. They will lose early in the playoffs, and somehow Peyton Manning will get the blame. How can a starting linebacker only have 32 tackles 13 games into the season?

Lately, the only soft drinks I care to drink are Dr Pepper or Root beer.

The Pacers are just not an easy bunch to cheer for the last few seasons.

There is no negotiating with someone unless there is a common ground. This is true in business and politics. Think of that the next time you hear the Democrats tell us we need to "open a dialogue" or try "diplomacy" with the Islamic terrorists whose only goal is our destruction.

December 14, 2006

Why I hate Engineers and I don't mean trains

Engineers take the fun out of Christmas. I got this in an email from my Dad:

Engineers take the fun out of Christmas. There are approximately two and
one-half billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since
Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except
maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to
15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference
bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that
comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in
each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different
time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems
logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that,
for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of
a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the
stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever
snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh
and get on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around
the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the
purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.7 miles per
household; a total trip of 75.6 million miles, not counting bathroom stops
or breaks.

This means Santa's sleigh is moving faster than 675 miles per second --
3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest
man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per
second, and a conventional reindeer can (at best) run at the rate of 15
miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that
each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (about three
pounds), the sleigh is carrying approximately 570 thousand tons, not
counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more
than 300 pounds. Even granting that a "flying" reindeer could pull 10 times
the normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them --
Santa would need 378,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting
the weight of the sleigh, another 38,000 tons, or roughly seven times the
weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

Six hundred thousand tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous
air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a
spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer
would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short,
they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer
behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in th eir wake. The entire
reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or
right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from
a dead stop to 650 mps. in 0.001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration
forces of 17,000 g's. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would
be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly
crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink
goo.

Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now. Merry Christmas.

IT Chicks

December 13, 2006

A challenge for me, a challenge for you

I can talk. A lot.

One time I was faced with the task of explaining baseball to a German and two Dutchmen. That was tough. I think I succeeded, they seemed to understand what was going on when we later went to see the Phillies and the Cardinals. That was the year Mark McQuire broke the home run record. I think he struck out three times, no home runs.

Last week I was asked by a colleaugue from China what "Mother Nature" meant. After ten minutes I am not sure I succeeded.

That is your challenge; in the comments imagine I am from Shanghai and you have to tell mewhat mother nature means. Good Luck.

Wednesday

Sorry, an internet outage coupled with a quick overnight business trip to Northern Indidana meant no posts yesterday. A couple of corections to the Indiana birthday post were mentioned in the comments, Yep the website I copied got James Dean's B=day wrong, and more importantly, it was the State's 190th birthday, shame on me.

Maybe more later.

December 11, 2006

Just a thought on Iraq

I am sure I am not the first to make this observation, but the new Iraq report seems to be nothing more than a rehash of the plan we used to great disaster in Vietnam.

I am not sure why this surprises me since most of the authors are from that era.

The report urges we turn over much of the effort to Iraqis we have "trained", followed by a semi-rapid pull out. The plan will leave temporary bases and training advisers in place. Can anyone explain to me how this is different than the "Vietnamization" and "peace with honor" plans from the early 1970's?

Look, I do not have the plan for saving Iraq. I am not sure the people want to be saved from themselves. We have made a lot of mistakes so far. I do bet we will get results if we adapt the old Roman plan. We hunt down any troublemakers and kill them. If members of the ruling government are helping forement the trouble (alSidr) then we kill him too. Funny how dying hinders a lot of recruitment efforts. We will be chastised by world opinion, the peaceniks and hippies will go batshit, but I bet the terrorists will decide it is better to blow up Euroweenies than Americans.

Happy Birthday Indiana


150 years ago today the fine citizens of this area became denizens of the Hoosier State. I bet you did not know:

The first long-distance auto race in the U. S. was held May 30, 1911, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner averaged 75 miles an hour and won a 1st place prize of $14,000. Today the average speed is over 167 miles an hour and the prize is more than $1.2 million. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the greatest spectacle in sports, the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 is held every Memorial Day weekend in the Hoosier capital city. The race is 200 laps or 500 miles long.

Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana when he was 7 years old. He lived most of his boyhood life in Spencer County with his parents Thomas and Nancy.

Explorers Lewis and Clark set out from Fort Vincennes on their exploration of the Northwest Territory.

The movie "Hard Rain" was filmed in Huntingburg.

During WWII the P-47 fighter-plane was manufactured in Evansville at Republic Aviation.

Marcella Gruelle of Indianapolis created the Raggedy Ann doll in 1914.

The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871.

James Dean, a popular movie star of the 1950s in such movies as "East of Eden" and "Rebel without a Cause", was born February 8, 1941, in Marion. He died in an auto crash at age 24.

David Letterman, host of television's "Late Show with David Letterman," was born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis.

Santa Claus, Indiana receives over one half million letters and requests at Christmas time.

Crawfordsville is the home of the only known working rotary jail in the United States. The jail with its rotating cellblock was built in 1882 and served as the Montgomery County jail until 1972. It is now a museum.

Historic Parke County has 32 covered bridges and is the Covered Bridge Capital of the world.

True to its motto, "Cross Roads of America" Indiana has more miles of Interstate Highway per square mile than any other state. The Indiana state Motto, can be traced back to the early 1800s. In the early years river traffic, especially along the Ohio, was a major means of transportation. The National Road, a major westward route, and the north-south Michigan Road crossed in Indianapolis. Today more major highways intersect in Indiana than in any other state.

Most of the state's rivers flow south and west, eventually emptying into the Mississippi. However, the Maumee flows north and east into Lake Erie. Lake Wawasee is the states largest natural lake.

Indiana's shoreline with Lake Michigan is only 40 miles long, but Indiana is still considered a Great Lakes State.

More than 100 species of trees are native to Indiana. Before the pioneer's arrive more than 80% of Indiana was covered with forest. Now only 17% of the state is considered forested.

Deep below the earth in Southern Indiana is a sea of limestone that is one of the richest deposits of top-quality limestone found anywhere on earth. New York City's Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center as well as the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury, a dozen other government buildings in Washington D.C. as well as 14 state capitols around the nation are built from this sturdy, beautiful Indiana limestone.

Although Indiana means, "Land of the Indians" there are fewer than 8,000 Native Americans living in the state today.

The first European known to have visited Indiana was French Explorer Rene'-Robert Cavalier sierur de La Salle, in 1679. After LaSalle and others explored the Great Lakes region, the land was claimed for New France, a nation based in Canada.

In the 1700s the first 3 Non-native American settlements in Indiana were the 3 French forts of Ouiatenon, Ft. Miami, and Ft. Vincennes. Although they had few settlers in the region, French presence in Indiana lasted almost 100 years. After the British won the French and Indian War, and upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the French surrendered their claims to the lower Great Lakes region.

Indiana was part of the huge Northwest Territory, which included present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, which were ceded to the United States by the British at the end of the Revolutionary war.

Ft. Wayne, Indiana's 2nd Largest city, had its beginnings in 1794, after the Battle of Fallen Timbers, when General "Mad Anthony" Wayne built Ft. Wayne on the site of a Miami Indian village.

Many Mennonite and Amish live on the farmland of Northeastern Indiana. One of the United States largest Mennonite congregations is in Bern. According to Amish ordnung (rules) they are forbidden to drive cars, use electricity, or go to public places of entertainment.

At one time Studebaker Company of South Bend was the nation's largest producer of horse-drawn wagons. It later developed into a multimillion-dollar automobile
manufacturer.

In Fort Wayne, Syvanus F. Bower designed the world's first practical gasoline pump.

Indianapolis grocer Gilbert Van Camp discovered his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce. He opened up a canning company and Van Camp's Pork and Beans became an American staple.

Muncie's Ball State University was built mostly from funds contributed by the founders of the Ball Corporation, a company than made glass canning jars.

Thomas Hendricks, a Democrat from Shelbyville, served Indiana as a United States Senator, a United States representative, governor, and as Vice President under Grover Cleveland. Indiana has been the home of 5 vice presidents and one president.

Peru Indiana was once known as the "Circus Capital of America".

Indiana University's greatest swimmer was Mark Spitz, who won 7 gold medals in the 1972 Olympic games. No other athlete has won so many gold medals in a single year.

In 1934 Chicago Gangster John Dillinger escaped the Lake Country Jail in Crown Point by using a "pistol" he had carved from a wooden block.

Before Indianapolis, Corydon served as the state's capitol from 1816-1825. Vincennes was the capital when Indiana was a territory.

East Race Waterway, in south Bend, is the only man-made white-water raceway in North America.

In 1862, Richard Gatling, of Indianapolis, invented the rapid-fire machine gun.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was organized in Terre Haute in 1881.

Sarah Walker, who called herself Madame J.C. Walker, became one of the nation's first woman millionaires. In 1905 Sarah Breedlove McWilliams Walker developed a conditioning treatment for straightening hair. Starting with door-to-door sales of her cosmetics, Madame C.J. Walker amassed a fortune.

From 1900 to 1920 more than 200 different makes of cars were produced in the Hoosier State. Duesenbergs, Auburns, Stutzes, and Maxwells - are prize antiques today.

The Indiana Gazette Indiana's first newspaper was published in Vincennes in 1804.

The state constitution of 1816 directed the legislature to establish public schools, but it was not until the 1850s that state government was able to establish a public school system.

Before public schools families pitched in to build log schoolhouse and each student's family paid a few dollars toward the teachers salaries.

At one time 12 different stagecoach lines ran through Indiana on the National Road. (Now U.S. Interstate 40)

In the 1830s canals were dug linking the Great Lakes to Indiana's river systems. The canals proved to be a financial disaster. Railroads made the canal system obsolete even before its completions.

Indiana's first major railroad line linked Madison and Indianapolis and was completed in 1847.

The farming community of Fountain City in Wayne County was known as the "Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad." In the years before the civil war, Levi and Katie Coffin were famous agents on the Underground Railroad. They estimated that they provided overnight lodging for more than 2,000 runaway slaves who were making their way north to Canada and freedom.

During the great Depression of the 1930's 1 in every 4 Hoosier factory hands was out of work, farmers sank deeper in debt, and in southern Indiana unemployment was as high as 50%.

In the summer of 1987 4,453 athletes from 38 nations gathered in Indianapolis for the Pan American Games.

The Saturday Evening Post is published in Indianapolis.

Comedian Red Skelton, who created such characters as Clem Kadiddlehopper, and Freddie the Freeloader, was born in Vincennes.

The Poet Laureate of Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley was born in a two-room log cabin in Greenfield. He glorified his rural Indiana childhood in such poems as "The Old Swimmin' Hole" "Little Orphant Annie", and " When the frost is on the Pumpkin".

Albert Beveridge won the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 1920, for The Life of John Marshall. In 1934 Harold Urey won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of deuterium. Ernie Pyle won the Pulitzer Prize in foreign Correspondence in 1944. Paul Samuelson won the Nobel Prize in economics, 1970.

courtesy of 50 states.com

I also bet you did not care.

December 10, 2006

Saturday Night's Alright

The wife, Little One and I went bowling last night. We had a great time. I have not been bowling for at least ten years. Man, did I suck! My score was embarrassingly low. I did score better than the kid or the spouse, so I am able to maintain some dignity. I doubt any scout from the local bowling league will be looking to sign me anytime soon!

The boy proclaimed Saturday as the official "Hoosierboy bowling league night" and said we have to come again next week. He is already making plans to have his sister come with us when she gets home for Christmas break.

After we bowled a couple of games we came home and had hot chocolate and popcorn while we watched a DVD. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

December 9, 2006

Honey, I'm Home!

I am back from my trip to New Yawk. I feel informed, and well trained.

Did you miss me? I am afraid it may take a few days to get caught back up. Thanks for sticking around.

I have a post in mind for next week on human nature. BTW, it is cold. I bet it is at your house too. On the bright side, I will be spending a few days in Tampa in February, unfortunately it will be working a trade show.


More later.

December 4, 2006

Ghost of Christmas Past


About ten years ago the movie Jingle all the Way came out. It was a fun, amusing Christmas movie. After another year or so it came out on video. On day around 2001 or 2001 my youngest went on a kick like little ones do and watched that movie every day. He loved the Turboman character. That year (he was 7 or 8) all he wanted for Christmas was a Turboman action figure. Oh, shit. That stuff had been off the market for several years. We tried to explain, but he would only reply that Santa could get it for him. Double shit.

We steered him to other stuff, but when Christmas came and there was no Turboman, he was disappointed. He even said so. Thus began the great Turboman hunt. We went to toy collectors, eBay, even enlisted people to help to no avail. Finally about two months later we found a new Turboman, in the box on eBay. It was expensive. We had it sent.

The youngest has always been pretty smart, he taught himself to read before kindergarten. He read the first Harry Potter book in the first grade, much of it out loud to me. It took him nearly a year, but he got it done. I knew we had to be tricky with this.

So I typed a letter from Santa, made up some North Pole letterhead, Christmas tree border and everything. In it, Santa explained that he was sorry he did not deliver the Turboman at Christmas, but the elves no longer made that toy. The head elf had had to dig out the blueprints and order the parts. Santa apologized and hoped my son would have a Merry Christmas a little late. I slit the flap of the box and slid the letter in. When the little one came home from school we said he had received a mysterious box in the mail.

He nearly crapped. I have never seen a kid so thrilled. As an added bonus it got us another year or two of Santa. In the end, I think it worked out even better than if we had found the toy at Christmas. This remains one of my favorite "Christmas" memories.

Dumdadummdumm

The little one and I went to see the new James Bond flick last night. I enjoyed it immensely, and so did the boy. I think this actor is the best since Sean Connery.

The real question is was this guy good, or was the script just better? This story goes back and uses the basics from one of Ian Flemming's tales. Have you tried to read any of the James Bond books? Flemming proves the old adage that a bad book usually makes a good movie. I love the old 007 movies, primarily the ones with Connery. Some of the later films beginning with the last ones made by Rodger Moore really suck (think Moonraker).

Casino Royale returns to the Ian Flemming roots, and the movie is so much better for it.

Here is some trivia, did you know that Flemming also wrote the popular children's book, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang?

December 3, 2006

Play nice like a good boy

I usually do not participate in the meme thing, mostly because I do not want to and I just roll that way. Dragonlady asked nice, and heck it is a Sunday, so here goes. Name six things that are weird about me:

1. I ALWAYS put on my left sock, left shoe, then do the right foot. I also always put my left leg first into trousers, etc. (edit, I cannot believe I typed "trousers", what am I like eighty? Will I next discuss my "dungarees"?)

2. There, in the archives somewhere I discussed my issues with time. I cannot stand to do things on even numbers -- like exactly on any multiple of five. I also hate patterns on the clock. For instance I will not close my eyes to sleep if the clock reads 1:00. 1:02 is also bad. 12:34 is unacceptable. I will not set the alarm for 6:00, it must be 6:01, or 5:23 etc. Going to bed at 12:10 is horrible (12:10, 12:11, 12:12, 12:13 I can close my eyes at 12:14, but if I do not hurry 12:15 rolls around in like , oh 60 seconds). Sine I fall asleep very quickly lying there forcing myself to stay awake until the clock reads the right number is sometimes a challenge. Dumb and weird, I know.

3. When I was in school (this includes college) I would not wear a striped or plaid shirt to take a test.

4. I am addicted to Chap Stick

5. My one and only wish demand for my funeral is that I not have on any shoes or socks. I hate both. I am very insistent about this, and all of my family is aware of this need.

6. I cannot stand for the toothpaste to be squeezed in the middle. It MUST be squeezed from the bottom up. I honestly told my wife on our honeymoon that there was no compromise on this, it was a deal breaker. She could squeeze from the bottom or get her own tube.

There you have it. I think only the clock thing is is an indication I am batshit crazy, the rest seem reasonable to me, but I report, you decide.

December 2, 2006

Faces that won our freedom


This is another picture taken in the Philippines during the Insurrection. I can only assume it is another of my Great Grandfather's buddies.

Doesn't he just have the look of an efficient non-com?

December 1, 2006

I have never ridden a four wheeler

The wind is howling in the eaves. I have not seen old Boreas blow this hard in a long time. The brook is near flood. My first thought is that the f-ing snake just might drown in his hidden hole. See, I never forget anything.

We have had inches of rain, and snow is on the way. It looks as if we will have a glorious freezing weekend. Christmas music is playing in the background as I write.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I rarely dream, or if I do I cannot remember them. I wish I had the skills to describe the setting. There were a group of us riding four wheelers in the mountains. They were painted in garish colors, mine like a tiger. The vehicles had chains on the massive tires to get more traction. We were high, near the timberline. The trail took a turn just ahead of us. A crevasse started in the heart of the bend falling away steeply, and the right shoulder beside us overlooked the drop-off. A stand of gnarled cedars stood lonely sentinel among massive boulders. Wisps of dirty snow occupied the dark corners. A Sheriff or Ranger had us stopped from taking the bend in the trail to the little hanging valley we could see across the shoulder of the mountain. The manifolds on the four wheelers clicked and popped as they cooled. I could hear the breeze rustling in the aspen below me. I could not hear what the official was saying. His hand was raised to the universal "stop" position. The gray sky blended with the snowy peaks in the distance.

Suddenly I heard a cry of pain, a scream of anguish, a wail of anger. The sound made the hair stand up on my neck. I felt a coldness through my body as my eyes were drawn to the right to the little meadow next to the trees. There, just a little lower, across the crevice, I saw him, it. Dark and hairy -- tall. Bigfoot moved from the trees, His roar was a scream, a howl, a sharp cord from an electric guitar played through a jet engine.

I woke.
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