And You Think You Had a Bad Day?

WHITE HALL, Ark. (AP) — A deer somehow survived being hit by a car near Little Rock, but that was only the first part of what soon became a very rough day.

On Tuesday morning in White Hall, the vehicle struck the animal on U.S. Highway 270.

Assistant Police Chief Richard Wingard says the injured large doe then charged into the glass doors of a travel plaza, ran about 100 feet through a hallway and crashed through a second set of glass doors, finding itself outside again.

The deer then ran into traffic on Interstate 530, where it was hit by a southbound vehicle. Somehow, the deer managed to run across the median and was hit by a northbound truck.

That proved to be enough for the deer, in Wingard’s words, “to meet its maker.”

No one was injured.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

When God Created Wisconsin

And God Said…

“Today, I am going to create a land called Wisconsin. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty; a land of countless glaciers, pure lakes, each one full of fish. It shall have tall majestic pines, peacefully flowing rivers, beautiful landscapes, tall grass, eagles, clear blue skies, forests full of bear, elk and moose, rich farmland and fair minded people”.

God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper and they shall be known as a most friendly people, people who practice being Wisconsin Friendly every day.”

“But Lord”, asked Gabriel, “don’t you think you are being too generous to these people of Wisconsin?”

“Not really”, replied God, “just wait and see the winters I am going to give them”.

Spelling Matters (NOT)

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.

The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

A Trip to the Mall

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of eating dinner at West Town Mall. Oh the joy, nothing quite like enjoying a Taco Bell meal while dining with the teenage freaks of Madison. I wanted Mexican food, thinking either Laredo’s, Mi Cocina, or Abuelos. Nope, Taco Bell at the Food Court was the best I could coax out of Missy and Halle. I am beginning to think the only time I will ever get Mexican food is when Missy and I travel to Mexico. God forbid I ever get the craving for Italian or good Chinese food!

I did get to look at some big LCD TV’s that I cannot afford, so that was kinda fun. Halle, with help from Missy, talked me into spending $170 on Rock Band for the XBox 360. I didn’t really want it, we already have Guitar Hero 3 on the Wii and Guitar Hero 2 on the XBox, but I said it was okay. I should have made that conditional on getting some real Mexican food.

So, back to the dining experience at the Food Court. It was delicious, and I had plenty of freaks of nature to look at. I don’t say anything out loud about them when Halle is around, and even when she isn’t, Missy usually doesn’t appreciate my comments about other freaks, err, people. So I just make funny comments in my less and less tolerant head, enjoying my own sick form of humor while eating that truly wonderful taco. Where is the meat? The cheese? I bet they use at least a 1/2 pound of beef at Taco Bell every day.

So we are eating, I am watching a 6 foot-something teenage boy with dyed black hair with blond streaks hitting on a cute pink-haired girl. Between them they probably had enough piercings to sink a ship, the dude was wearing more makeup than the girl. I chuckled to myself, thinking how much fun it was at that age. I never did the hair and makeup thing as a teenager, but spent the mid-80’s in a weed induced coma. I was no better than these kids, just different. Had I dressed like that boy in 1986 in North Carolina I would probably have been killed. Of course, back then I dressed either like Rob Halford from Judas Priest, or Don Johnson from Miami Vice, on alternating days. The mullet was ever present, as were the bloodshot eyes from the pot. Funny, I actually thought my parents didn’t know 🙂 Stupid boy I was. No, not stupid, just being a kid, same as this freak sitting across from me. Unlike me, this kid probably has a 4.0 GPA and will be at UW Madison next year! The girl will likely be President of the United States someday. I gotta find a way to see the world different.

I am smart enough to realize my own prejudices, but not smart enough to not have them. Missy is much better at this than me, she seems to not see color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or anything else about a person. This is one of her traits that I truly admire and respect, though I don’t have this ability.

I do agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. My brother-in-law is black, and is also one of my best friends. We enjoy losing money together at Ho-Chunk Casino, and are both technology junkies. It’s funny, when I first met him I saw him as a black man, married to a white woman, with mixed kids. This is something that I have struggled with in the past, and really, it makes no sense at all.

I have known them for a while now, and I don’t think about him being black, or the kids being mixed, they are just handsome little boys. They are in the process of adopting a biracial girl now, and she is the cutest little girl you’d ever meet. Biracial. That is a new word for me, thanks to Missy, and it does sound better than mixed, milato, or zebra. Those are words that I grew up with. None were meant to be derogatory, other than maybe zebra, which was used by George Jefferson on TV, but compared to biracial, they could certainly be taken as racist.

I am far from politically correct, but not a racist. So if I say mixed or milato every now and then, it is not because I am a white-trash cracker, it is simply because that is the vernacular that I am accustomed to. What I really cannot stand is the term “African-American”, “Mexican-American”, etc. I realize those are the politically correct terms in common use today, I just don’t like them. For one, if I am white, then you are black. And I am not really white, I am sort of pinkish-tan with a hint of red. Do I require that other people refer to me as pinkish-tan with a hint of red? Of course not, white will do. If I wanted to get super politically correct I would want to be called Anglo-Saxon-Native-American, but just plain old American will be just fine. So I am a white American. If you call me honky or cracker it is not likely to bother me, but of course it depends on who says it, and the context of how they say it, but not the color of their skin. I my eyes you are either an American or you aren’t, there is no in-between.

American by definition means you are a mutt. We are all mutts. Unless you are a true native American (as in indian), you are descended from immigrants from other parts of the world. So it’s time to drop the African, Mexican, French, Canadian, whatever prefix before American. The prefix is divisive, and usually flat out wrong. If your most recent relative from Africa died 200 years ago, you are not African any more than I am English. I don’t claim England as my home, I’ve never even been there, and won’t miss much if I never go.

I am an American and I am proud of that. I am proud that it is looking like in November we will elect our first biracial president. I hear a lot on the news about Obama being African-American. See above, and please just quit it. He is brown with a pinkish hue, hell half of him is from Kansas. His wife Michelle? She is just plain old Hot-American.

Rough Day?

I have realized that my blog has become way too serious and somewhat of a downer lately. This is not my intent. Sometimes you gotta remind yourself what is really important in life. Everyone is healthy, happy and enjoying the great Wisconsin weather that has finally turned from winter to spring. Birds are chirping, the snow is gone, the grass is turning green, the skies are blue.

And of course, dogs and cats sleep harmoniously on our couch after a hard day of… well, doing absolutely nothing. Life is good.

It Only Took 13 Years…

Hard to believe that an accomplished computer programmer with a flare for writing and speaking his mind managed to somehow take 13+ years to create a blog. Well I was busy, yes, since 1995.

I have always thought I preferred to maintain my own web site ( and that whatever I wanted to say I would say there. Why not? Doing that means I have complete control over the look and feel, content, programming language, servers, etc. True, I have all of those things, but it’s a real pain in the ass. Oh let me count the ways…

Hosting your own web site means you have to have and maintain the hardware (server) required to do it. I have plenty of machines around that are capable of hosting a simple site like ToddTown, so that is not really a problem. In fact, runs in a virtual machine (VMWare Server) on the same computer that hosts my Windows Media Center, as well as a bunch of other stuff. It is a very powerful Intel Quad Core computer that I built myself and is more than up for the task. Other than doing 300MB downloaded updates from Microsoft every Tuesday for Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows Server 2003 (in the virtual machine), this is pretty easy. Yeah, I know this is odd, combining a Media Center with an Internet Server, but it works well and I get the most bang for my buck doing it this way.

Charter Communications; Other than Experian, TransUnion and EquiFax, I doubt there is any other company out there that I hate as much as Charter. To host your own web site (and email server), they make you pony up for their ‘business class’ Internet. This is basically a way of getting a static IP address that allows inbound connections, which allows you to easily host web and email servers. You get a little bandwidth, much less than residential customers get, for $120 per month with basic cable TV service, and are committed to 3-year contracts. The ‘business class’ service is no more reliable than residential, with at least 2-3 hours a month of downtime. This is okay for a lightweight personal web site, but I sure could not see hosting a real business site using Charter. Charter has no clue about reliable Internet connections. Hell, they only provide a single DNS server, no backup, so when they are doing maintenance on it, I cannot even get out to the Internet. Of course our phone (AT&T) is also done through this connection, so when Charter is down, so is our phone. The small amount of bandwidth I get easily gets bogged down, which can make phone call quality sporadic as well.

We are planning to move this summer into a real house, one that we own. I am not planning to take Charter with me. I will either go DSL, or if that is not a option, I will have to keep Charter, but will only pay for residential Internet service. I plan to get DirecTV for television, which I have not had for years, but miss. Look, I don’t give a rats ass about the fight between the NFL Network and Charter, they are both greedy assholes in my book, but I am tired of missing Green Bay Packers games because those two cannot work out their differences.

Damn, I knew that would happen. I start talking about one thing and end in a rant about something totally different. Well, that’s what you can expect on my blog. The next battleground here is going to be about credit scores and credit reporting agencies, and the education I have (involuntarily) received in the last several weeks.