Happy Christmakkahwanzaa!

We would like to take this time to tell everyone how much we value your friendship, especially at this reflective time of year. We feel very blessed to have so many loved ones all over the world, and we sincerely hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday season!

Love, Joe, Jenny, and Sylvie


Holy crap! A CEO deferred a pay raise!

I just read an amazing story over at Wal*Mart Watch, a site dedicated to opening people's eyes to the corporate shitpile that is the world's leading retailer.

It seems that a CEO for a small firm called the RiskMetrics Group actually turned down a raise and recommended that the board give his bonus to his underlings. Amazing!

According to the article, the CEO in question, Ethan Berman,"...took the highly unusual step of sending his board of directors a memo that recommended that he receive no increase in salary and a reduced annual bonus from 2004."

In Berman's own words:

“The banker J. P. Morgan once said that he would never lend money to a company where the highest-paid employee was paid more than 20 times the lowest-paid, as it was in his view unstable...the firm’s stronger than expected performance was driven by a large number of employees in other roles, and therefore I would like to see the bulk of my direct reports, and in fact many of their direct reports, paid greater bonuses than I receive."

Ethan Berman, you fricking rock. My hat's off to you, sir.


Rough night, Santa?

Looks like Ol' St. Nick had a little too much holiday cheer the night before this scary ass photo was taken. The kid is probably crying to keep from passing out from the Vodka fumes....

More at the Scared of Santa Gallery. Thanks, Sarah, for the link.


Diesel Sweeties

Warning: Addictive Web Comic alert.

I found Diesel Sweeties from a link at the super-cool Questionable Content web comic's site.

If you could get into the smart-ass exploits of indie rock poseurs, heavy metal vegetarians and former porn stars (and their robot lovers), then Diesel Sweeties might just be for you. Three words: Crush. All. Hu-mans.


Holiday fun

Tonight we attended Woodmoor's Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. It was a crack up. The whole neighborhood gathers (with SO many kids, it freaked me out), and at 7p they flick the lights on this huge tree in the center of our neighborhood. The lights were a bit sad... but it's the thought that counts, it's a sweet idea and the kids love it. Santa comes too. There's also supposedly a Hanukkah menorah that they light up, but I did not see it.
We put up our tree and we re-arranged the furniture so it could be in the center of our picture window. I decorated our front lawn/azaleas/rose of sharon bush/banisters w. white pin lights. We also have a reindeer on the lawn who is made of twig and pin lights (he's super cute). I heart him.
I think it's going to snow tonight which will make it all seem quite official.
What else, Sylvia now has the beginnings of TWO teeth. They began to emerge in the last few days and she has been quite a trooper. She's still eating a ton but just has moments of pain. Carrots are her new favorite. She told me.


And we have success

The turkey was so juicy, Joe thought something was wrong with it.
Here's the listing of final food mania list:
- 11 pound free range organic turkey -- check
- homemade gravy
- canned cranberries (sorry couldn't make anything else at this point)
- mashed yukon gold potatoes
- Stove Top stuffing
- baguette
- salad
- sweet pototoes
- homemade apple crisp
- pea cassarole
- Fetzer wine
I feel like I forgot something.


A Snowy Thanksgiving

It's snowing here in DC (well, Silver Spring, Maryland) and I am about to prep some of the dishes for our first official mini-family Thanksgiving. It's weirding me out not being in La Jolla. I associate warmish weather with Thanksgiving, not snow!
I will also miss my mom's totally yummy cooking. In honor of my mom (who LOVES Thanksgiving), I am about to make an apple crisp. She's the pie master-ette but I don't have the energy to make a pie, so I will make the crisp instead. Our friends Bill and Kim are coming over to join us and that will be fun.
Will report back tomorrow with the food news....

New Song on MySpace

Just wanted to let y'all know that I've added a new song up on my MySpace site. It's a jazzy type thing called "Standards Firmly in Place," about a lady on a rather unfortunate trip south of the border....

Check it out here


Long time no post....

Sorry to all for the delay in posting. I was away in NYC for a business trip, the folks were staying with Jenny, and things got hectic. What can I say? :-)

New York was cool, as it always is, and the weather cooperated well, with temps in the 60s the whole time I was there...nice. I had some yummy expense-account food, with a highlight being a fusion restaurant called the Mesa Grill. It was the best food I've had out in quite some time. I had the venison, which was Bambi-tastic.

This weekend I worked on storm windows, both making and reparing them. I am manly man. Grrrrr, as Jenny says.


Autumn is rad

It's so pretty here in DC right now. Our neighborhood is looking beautiful due to the trees all turning amazing colors. Sylvia and I took our walk yesterday and I told her about the trees and why they turns colors. She also got to wear her coordinating velour sweatsuit for the first time (thanks Grandma Joan)!

Deregulation sure is great, huh?

When the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) decided in 1978 that airline regulation was a bad thing and stripped pretty much all goverment regulations on fares and service, it was touted as the be-all, end-all to "save" the aviation industry.

The theory, not unlike most deregulation arguements, is that the increased competition would drive down fares and economic pressures would force airlines to provide better service to compete in the open market. And like most degregulation policies, that ideal has proven to be unattainable, due to the seemingly unquenchable corporate greed so cultivated in the American business culture.

So far as I can tell, fares have dropped, no doubt. So that part worked. But what else has fallen by the wayside in the name of corporate profits? Pay for pilots, mechanics, and flight attendants has fallen, service has certainly declined (when was the last time you got a free meal on a domestic flight?), and, most troubling, smaller markets have seen the number of service providers plummet.

With yesterday's announcement of Independence Air's Chapter 11 filing, many small cities, like Charleston, WV, where I fly often, will be left with few options and higher prices. Large cities will avoid this problem, but New York, L.A., and Chicago aren't the only places people want to fly in this country.

Poor Flyi, we barely knew ye.


I accept my nomination...

...to be the president of all babies for nations near and far. If you don't vote for me, I will squeeze your "you know whats" with my oh-so-powerful vice grip.


Republicans: the Family Values Party? Right.

It's no surprise to anyone that the country is going into ever more massive debt. We need to cut corners to turn this thing around, nobody is arguing that point. Where we differ, however, is which corners should be cut. Those natsy ol' liberals like me want to make up some of the difference by making the richest people in our society actually pay taxes again.

Those family values loving Republicans like our buddy, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert in the photo above? They want to take food out of schoolkids' mouths to save some cash. According to the article in today's Washington Post,

"The food stamp cuts in the House measure would knock nearly 300,000 people off nutritional assistance programs, including 70,000 legal immigrants, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Those immigrants would lose their benefits because the House measure would require legal immigrants to live in the United States for seven years before becoming eligible to receive food stamps, rather than the current five years.

"About 40,000 children would lose eligibility for free or reduced-price school lunches, the CBO estimated."

Meanwhile, according to the article,

"Republicans move in the coming weeks to cut taxes for the fifth time in as many years. Those tax cuts, totaling $70 billion over five years, would more than offset the deficit reduction that would result from the budget cuts."

I wonder who will receive those tax cuts?

The amount of dickitude exhibited by the Republican party staggers the imagination.

By the way, we have spent $216,884,337,742 (that number has jumped by several hundred thousand dollars as you were reading this sentence) on the war in Iraq. Maybe that's why we can't seem to find any money to feed 40,000 children.





Harmless but freaky

I cannot deal with these bugs. They're freaking me out. They are total spazzes and they jump AT you not away from you.


WHOA! Where did that Autumn come from?

This morning it was rainy and windy. Leaves were falling out of all the trees. Pumpkins and paper ghouls and goblins were on everyone's porches. It's undeniable: Fall has fallen!

But my how quickly it got here! It seems like just yesterday I was scraping snow off of my front steps and waiting patiently for an alien peanut to arrive. It blows my mind that time can move this fast. Oh well, to my good friend Fall, I say "Welcome"!

BTW, don't miss the first staple of the holiday season tonight on ABC: The Great Pumkin Charlie Brown is on at 8pm EST. He will come this year, I just KNOW IT! :0)


Will the word "mutilation" scar my daughter's psyche?

Sylvie loves it when I play my electric guitar and sing to her. She lays in her crib staring at my moving fingers, smiling and laughing when I do a particularly crazy high note or hammer-on. It warms the heart, no doubt.

Her current favorite songs? Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) by Hendrix and Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) by the Pixies.

I love playing the Pixies for her, but it's a drag sometimes because I can only sing about half of the words without exposing her delicate ears to stories about someone boning their sister who is their daughter who is their favorite lover. Plus, they have no lips, they have no tongue. That could be scary for a three-month old.

So you see, it's a challenge.


What does green smell like to you?

Today we went to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. It's a totally beautiful park with manicured lawns, many trees and tons of plants and flowers. It also has an arboretum. The arboretum smelled like Hawaii to me...insert big sigh here. See Sylvie's massive excitement about being out in nature... then as soon as we got home she woke up...

In search of....

...the perfect black and white cookie. When I was a kid I used to go to Tarzana, CA every Thanksgiving and I always seemed to have a black and white cookie while I was there.
They were perfect: cakey and dense, not hard, vanilla-flavored cake, not lemon! The icing was soft in the middle with a slight crisp to the outside of it... very hard to describe. The cookies were from a grocery store there called Gelson's. Wonder if they still make the cookies?
When my mom was here last week we were on a mission to find one here. No luck. They were all too hard. Blech. The upside is that we found a great Jewish deli with yummy pastrami sandwiches (they even have a lower fat version of the pastrami which was super yum) and a great matzoh ball soup. We also found a real bagel place, less than 10 min. from my house.


Getting ready for cooler weather

Here I am with Mom, modeling the hat that Grandma Joan knitted for me!
It has a matching cardigan and the cardigan also has sheep on it.
I think I look just FABU. Grandma is currently making me a sweater with faux fur on it. It is PETA approved.


"Keep everyone afraid and they will consume"

I've never been a big Marilyn Manson fan. I really did enjoy all the hysteria and righteous uproar he caused in his time at the top of the charts, and he does put on one hell of a show in concert, but the music never really captured me.

Still, one thing Manson said has stuck with me for years. In an interview with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine, Manson touched on an aspect of American culture that I had never thought about before, but have been unable to ignore since viewing the interview: the culture of fear.

In the movie, Manson says, "...You're watching television. You're watching the news. You're being pumped full of fear. There are floods, there's AIDS, there's murder. Cut to commercial. Buy the Acura, buy the Colgate...And it's just this -- it's a campaign of fear and consumption. And that's what I think it's all based on, is the whole idea that, keep everyone afraid and they'll consume."

But it's not consumerism these days, now we've got the President on TV trying to convince us that we need to abandon the specific prohibitions provided in the Constitution and allow him to station military troops--in a law enforcement capacity--in our cities. Why would he do this? Why, bird flu, of course! Be afraid of the deadly bird flu! The bird flu is coming to get you! Bird flu! Bird flu! Bird flu!

WTF???? What about SARS? What about Anthrax? What about Smallpox? What about Mad Cow Disease? This bird flu thing is just the latest in a long line of irrational fears used by this administration as a blunt object to bash the country into letting it do whatever the hell it wants, Constitution be damned.

Well, I'm not afraid of the fricking bird flu. I'm afraid of losing the remnant shreds of freedom and democracy I still have in this country. With this administration in office, that's a very rational fear to have.


It's Autumn!

Grandma Joan is here this week visiting from California! We had a great day today together as we got to hang out alot while mama went to some appts.
Check out the cool hat that Grandma Joan got me! I am ready for autumn's arrival.
I am getting very good at tummy time and did 20+ baby pushups. I love to smile at people.
More later....I need milk. NOW.


What a great news week!

First the meth Christian lady and now Tom Delay's indictment? What's next? GWB caught on tape, Kate Moss style, snorting a line of coke off of Dick Cheney's man boobs? God that would be the best EVER!


The Lord will provide....meth?

Holy crap this is funny.

So do you remember the woman in Atlanta a few months back who was taken hostage by the guy who shot up the courthouse down there? She convinced him to release her and turn himself in by giving him the Lord's word in the form of megaevangilist Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Well, it turns out that the Lord wasn't the only thing driving her life; so was crystal meth. And, in fact, she gave the fugitive, Brian Nichols, some of her own stash to convince him to let her go. I wonder if that will make tonight's 700 Club?

This is funny because of all the religious wackos and preachers who went on and on and on about how Jesus worked through this book to save her and blah blah blah. Apparently Jesus was working his mysterious ways through some Methamphetamine hydrochloride. Well, the Jesus I know isn't a drug pusher, lady.


Got the "get a new singer" blues

Well, my band, My Life on Hold (MyLOH), hasn't played any gigs yet, and we've already got to get a new singer. Beat that, Spinal Tap! While we didn't get the high drama of a band member choking to death on someone else's vomit ("you can't really dust for vomit."), it's still a drag to have to go through auditions and all the crap that goes along with it.

Our singer had another band and a job that was taking up most of his time, so we decided (us and him, mutually) that it would be best for MyLOH to move on. I put an ad up on Craigslist and got several responses, so wish us luck.

BTW, if you want to hear two demos of our songs, go to www.myspace.com/mylifeonhold. Let me know what you think!


Rockin' birthday massage

Last night I got a most-good birthday massage as a present from Jenny for my birthday. God I love getting massages. No matter how long they are, I am SO bummed when the alloted time expires and I have to drag my sorry ass off that comfy table.

I decided last night that when I become rich, my first staff members will be two massage therapists who will work in shifts. Ah yes.


Who needs collagen!?

Who needs collagen!?
Originally uploaded by Xose.
It's me Jen, who's been uploading photos lately, even though it says Xose...
Sylvie's been quite a drool machine lately...check out those lips!
No need for collagen here :O)

enuf already

enuf already
Originally uploaded by Xose.
this is the post-bath oh-so-serious look that Sylvia is showing you.
mama is going to bed now; more blogging later.


How I spent my Tuesday

Originally uploaded by Xose.
I got to ride in the car today and go to Target.
We first stopped and got mama a coffee so she would not get a caffeine headache. I slept thru almost the whole trip and we bought my soon-to-be new cousin stuff for his baby shower!

I slept in the car coming home. The car is warm and cozy!
Then we came home and we discovered that the dryer died! Oy vey. So we called dad and we decided to get both a new washer AND dryer. So Wednesday mama and I are going appliance shopping. But, we also had to call the plumber as it seemed that the drain pipe for the washer backed up a bit here and there. So this Wedneday morning we had the plumber come here and snake the drain and he got rid of all the fuzz in the drain. yahoo! he was nice to me and his name was Fred.

But I digress, so yesterday I spent the afternoon with mama in the house and I did two great sessions of tummy time, talked to myself, then dada came home and we hung out and then after dada weeded the scary big weeds out of the garden, dada gave me a bath! See my photo. I love baths. I use nummy smelling soap that mama's friend Nadine gave her that is made from goat's milk.

I slept quite well.

Ok, gotta jump!

Time to take some chill time in my swing.





Originally uploaded by Xose.
I am holding down the fort tonight as Joe's sick. He has a nasty cold that literally has had him down for the past 24 hours. He's been holed away in our guest room b/c he's scared to get Sylvia sick. Poor thing. I leave him food, tea, water and meds at the door and he takes it into the room. He won't let me get exposed either. Sylvia has been very good today and that helps me alot.
Here's a photo of us that I took just before her bedtime:


What I did over Labor Day weekend

1. Went to WV to see grandma and grandpa

2. Drooled on grandpa

3. Slept on grandma

4. Daddy showed me everything green (trees, river, etc.)

5. Mommy drank Boone's Farm

6. Wore fabulous shades (see my photo above)

7. Met my cousins Emily and Lindsey

8. Drank lots and lots of milk and formula

9. Saw my doggie

10. Pooped.

--by Sylvia


Happy birthday to me

Well, it's my 35th birthday today. All in all, I'd say it's been 35 pretty damn good years.

Over the course of my lifetime, I've managed--through luck, good fortune, and the benelovence of countless friends and my amazing family--to do many things that I can look back on with fondness, from moving to Spain to work and live to meeting the love of my life on a beach in San Francisco.

Of course, the best thing to happen so far is currently hanging out with her mommy and patiently waiting for me to get home....

Still, it's the people you meet in your life's journey that make it all special and worthwhile. It's been said to the point of becoming cliché, but by god, it's true.

So here's to all of you, friends, family, my beautiful, wonderful wife and baby. You've made the last 35 years fantastic. I love you all. Every man should be so lucky.

Now if the U.S. could beat Mexico tomorrow, my birthday would be REALLY special.... :-)


Mr. Fastfinger's Zen Guitar Teachings

Okay, this simply rules.

This Flash animation takes you to a faraway tropical island to study rock guitar with none other than the Zen guitar master himself, Mr. Fastfinger. The animations are hilarious, and the guitar lessons are right on! I can't wait to get home to practice some of this heavy metal madness! Whoever played this stuff is fricking amazing, and whoever coded it is brilliant.

In the "Jam" section, you use the A-Z keys (each riff is assigned to a key) to do battle, Crossroads guitar-dual style, with an evil, accordian-weilding demon who is entrancing the native pygmy population (this is hilarious, folks!). The riffs blend seamlessly with the background track and really gives you the feeling of "jamming" along. Try it!

If I can learn even a couple of these riffs, my bandmates are going to crap their pants at Thursday's practice! Rock ON!

Luxe life

Check out my fabulous slippers -- they are cush.

Summer's counting down

Jenny and I were talking last night about how the summer is almost over but it doesn't really feel like it's even begun. This is due in no large part to the fact that Sylvie is too young for pool time, sun exposure, parties with other kids, etc. (Not that hanging with the baby isn't totally cool, 'cause it is!)

Plus Jenny is dying to go to the beach, but we haven't been able to find one we like yet (Rehoboth is too cheese-mo-dee for us nowadays). We're planning a post-Labor Day beach jaunt this September, so the next step is finding a beach we want to go to!

Help me, Obi-Net, you're my only hope!


Redskins/Steelers; Man Room stage 1

Wow does it ever feel like Monday today. It's muggy and kind of gray out there, and I can't seem to get motivated (or woken up).

Still, this was a fun-filled weekend. On Friday, I went to the Redskins vs. Steelers preseason game at FedEx field. The tickets were fantastic -- right on the 35 yard line and only seven rows back from the field! Plus, they were free! One of the owners of a printer I work with for a lot hooked me up with four tix, a parking pass, and a free program coupon! Very nice, and much appreciated by yours truly, my boss, and my neighbors Kim and Bill who all attended the game with me. Jenny babysat...thanks honey!

As many of you may know, the Steelers are my AFC team and the Redskins my NFC team, so I was in a no-lose or no-win situation, depending on how you look at it. For what it's worth, the Skins won.

Saturday was pretty lazy. Jenny, Sylvie, and I took a walk and mostly hung out. I did make it up to Sears to pick up my early birthday gifts from my folks: a Craftsman 10" table saw and Craftsman compound miter saw! Woo hoo! My shop is almost ready for world domination!

On Sunday I decided to use the inspiration of my new tool acquisitions to get my butt in gear and finally put up the partition in the basement to create our fourth bedroom. I did some math (no mean feat) and trudged up to Home Depot to get the 2 X 4s I would need to frame up the wall. I'll get started sawing and nailing tonight. I promise to post step-by-step photos to keep everyone updated on my progress.


A Real Meal

We actually sat down this week to a real meal. I was so excited by this concept that I took a picture of it. Here is what the meal is made up of:
- pork chops (boneless) w. a curry rub
- steamed asparagus
- a yukon gold potato and turnip mash (w. sauteed onions)


17 years is not long enough

Sorry to be a bummer with this post, but a news story just came out that makes me, as the father of a new baby, incredibly enraged.

Those of you who don't live in the D.C. area are probably not familiar with the terrible news story last year of a tiny baby tortured and, ultimately, killed by her mother's crack dealer.

Well, the crack dealer got 17 years in prison today. Her sentence is a joke. Caroline Deforest, the killer, is 34 years old. That means she'll be out of prison when she's merely 51 years old. And that's assuming that she serves her full sentence. Not likely, as we all know.

Caroline Deforest tortured and killed a defenseless infant. According to the washingtonpost.com article, the timeline went roughly like this:

"Soon, neighbors and friends began seeing bruises and scratches on Selena's face and arms, according to prosecutors. Deforest started isolating the infant, minimizing her contact with other people. One person saw a bite mark on Selena's arm, an apparent lighter burn on her hand and bruises on her face.

Trying to conceal the injuries from others, Deforest stopped allowing others to feed, change or dress the baby. Eventually, she draped Selena's playpen with blankets to keep others from seeing her at all.

In the early days of January, the sounds from behind the blankets started to fade.

By Jan. 12, 2004, they had stopped altogether."

Seventeen years? Wow.


Say it isn't so!

Sylvia: So Beck, did you hear about the carrot who got hit by a car and had to go to the hospital?

Beck: No, what happened?

Sylvia: He was a vegetable for the rest of his life.


8 Tricks and facts about the girl

  1. She makes very funny sounds when she sleeps. What could she be dreaming about? Perhaps she has nightmares about the mosquito net that we make her use on her carseat...does it make her claustrophobic?
  2. She was 10 lbs, 4 ozs at her one-month check up. WOW. I bet she's ~11lbs now. It feels like it.
  3. She likes to flip me the bird when eating at restaurant jenny. Or maybe she's just showing me that she knows what the state of West Virginia is shaped like.
  4. She can hold her own bottle. SCARY.
  5. When doing "tummy time" she can scoot across the mat if she has something to push off from. She's also easily distracted by said mat and tries to eat the lobsters, fish and crab that are part of the design. MMM...microfleece lobster tastes GOOOOOD.
  6. She can smile and it's not just gas.
  7. She has two boyfriends who are fighting for her attention, Beck and James. Beck is 2 mos. old and James is 3 mos. old. This fact stresses Joe out.
  8. She likes the song, "Tiny Bubbles."

It's like sleepwalking, but with your mouth

So, I turned 34 on Saturday. Don't feel any change vs. being 33. By the time my birthday party ended (1130p!), Joe and I were zonked.

Around 130a (still up on baby monitoring 2005), I hear "Sylvia's on a search." I say, "huh?" He says, "She's on a search for 500 actuaries!" I say, "What the heck are you talking about," not realizing that he's fallen asleep on the couch behind me; I was on the computer.

He then wakes up and I tell him what had happened and I say to him, "It's like sleepwalking, but with your mouth."


Pity the poor WV coal barons....boo hoo.

Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Coal, the largest corporate rapist...er...coal company in West Virginia, is suing the governor, Joe Manchin (who, ironically, is a major coal whore in his own right), in retailiation for a measely 56-cent severance tax on mined coal in the state.

What gall.

To quote Blankenship, “[Legislators should] show some frugality, so that when times are tough, 10 or 15 years down the road, they don’t have to encumber coal and the coal industry so much as they have in the past.”

Boo hoo. I feel really, really sorry for the poor coal industry. They've been so mistreated and "encumbered" as they have received permit after blood-drenched permit to chop the tops off the WV mountains, break unions, and endanger thousands of communities with unstable earthen dams that contain millions of gallons of coal sludge, sometimes within yards of elementary schools (see photo above).

And let's not forget how hard things have been on Mr. Blankenship personally.... After all, as recently as 2002, he only made a $1 million base salary and a $350,000 bonus, plus stock options. Poor fellow.

So please take a moment out of your busy day to pray for the poor, poor coal industry. They are so mistreated, it makes you want to vomit. Well, something does, at least.

Napping is the best


Stop Drive-through Mastectomies

This issue is really important to me as my aunt passed away this year from metastasized breast cancer. For more info and to sign the petition please click on this link:


That, in a word describes my brain right now. Stress at work combined with baby crankiness and midnight feedings have taken their toll and I'm feeling a little burned. I know Jenny must be too. Don't let anyone kid you (no pun intended); having a wee one who needs attention pretty much 24/7 can be tough. Not that it isn't worth it a billion trillion times over, of course. Combine that with about oh, six trillion things at work that all need to be done right now, and you've got synapse destruction waiting to happen.

I could really use about a 16-hour nap right now.



Happy 1 month b-day Sylvie!

It's hard to believe that it's already been a month since Sylvia was born. We thought we couldn't love you any more back then, baby, but we were wrong!


This war is turning us into the animals we despise

According to an article on this morning's Washingtonpost.com, U.S. soldiers are currently under investigation for more torture in Iraq, specifically torture that resulted in the death of an Iraqi general. In addition, the article reports on CIA-sponsored Iraqi torture squads who, in the words of one former CIA agent "do the dirty work."

From the article: "On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.

"It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents."

This is a disgrace to our country, our flag, and everything we stand for. If this is how we bring "freedom" to a country, it's high time to reevaluate our methods.


In case I forget...

...this is the "i want food now face"


"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up"

Working away from home sucks

I want to be holding my daughter right now, not proofing a magazine supplement. :0(


Holy Crap! Did you see Six Feet Under?


So due to the collusion of baby duty, Bob Mould's party, and the two-day power outage, we just got around to watching this week's episode of Six Feet Under last night. Can I just say I did not see that one coming! I love it when a long-running show that I've watched since the first episode ties in ancient plot lines with little or no regard to more recent viewers. It makes me feel special. Part of the cool "been here with you since episode 1" club. Buffy and Angel were other shows that did that. Christ I sound like a geek. Oh well....

So is he dead???? Jenny and I say yes. Poor Character-Who-will-not-be-named-to-spare-the-videotapers-out-there, we hardly knew ye.


Baby baby, you wanna make us stay up all night

Whhhaaaaaaa! Whhaaaaa! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA [choke] AAAAAAAAAAA [silent tongue vibrating] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! [Repeat for six hours]

That was Jenny's life last night. I had to go to bed at 1am in order to actually make it to work today, and Jenny took a big one for the team. Thank you honey.

FYI, Jenny is the best mom in the world.



Apparently, I look gay.

Due to my music magazine press contacts, I received an "exclusive" invite to attend the listening party for Bob Mould's new album, "Body of Song," at a bar in D.C. last night.

Bob, for anyone who doesn't know, was in the seminal band Hüsker Dü and later produced some of the coolest, heaviest albums made during the First Wave of Cool Alternative Music Before Alternative Music Was Popular (FWOCAMBAMWP)® back in the early '90s. Then he came out of the closet, moved to D.C., and became a DJ. Go figure.


I arrived at the bar, a lower Adam's Morgan joint called Duplex Grill, and immediately noticed that the only women in the room were Bob's PR agent and two bartenders. So it turns out that the Duplex Grill is a gay bar. No big deal, I have nothing against gay folks, obviously.

I sidled up to the bar and ordered an $8 Jack and Coke (HOLY SHIT!!!! $8!?!?!?! Now I know why Jenny and I stay home on Fridays...that and the baby, I guess. But I digress.) to kill time while Bob and his homeys set up the private party area.

As I'm sitting there, a couple of other guys there for the press event sit next to me, and when I strike up a conversation, one of them (who was also gay) pipes up with, "Oh, you're here for the Bob thing? I had you pegged as a regular here." When I ask why, he says, "You have the look."

"What's the look?," I ask.

"Oh, you know, the hat, the shaved head, the square, rimless glasses, the cargo shorts." At which point he grabs one of the other patrons to bolster his point. "Doesn't he look gay?"

"You're straight?," the other patron asks me.

"Yep," I reply, showing my wedding ring.

"Well, you look gay."


So there you have it, I look gay. I don't know whether to be flattered or what, but it is pretty funny.

To top off the evening, when I asked for directions to the men's room, my new friend gave me some sage advice: "Don't linger in there. You're a new daddy."


Umby has left the body

Well, Sylvia lost her umby (aka umbilical cord stump) today.
I bet life will be more comfy now.


Greedy bastards

It's a tough world for HP. I mean the company is basically floundering with its measly $3.5 BILLION profit, and CEO Mark Hurd is barely getting by with his $1.4 million salary and tiny $2 million signing bonus (oops, I almost forgot his inconsequential $2.75 million "relocation allowance").

In fact, the company is in such dire straits that they are laying off 14,500 workers. Jesus. That's 14,500 families who are now without a job in an area where the median housing prices hover around $760,000. What is wrong with this picture, America?

But that's not all! HP also announced that they are getting rid of those pesky pension plans, too. According to the SF Chronicle, "The company announced that, beginning in January 2006, it will freeze pension and retiree medical-program benefits of HP employees 'who do not meet defined criteria based on age and years of company service.'"

I mean, why not, right? After all, the guys cutting the retirement plans will never need a pension when they're old and grey...they'll probably have some of their $2 million signing bonus left over, I'd guess. Wrong. If Hurd gets layed off, his employment contract guarantees that he would "receive a one-time cash payment equal to 2.5 times Hurd's then-current base salary plus his target bonus amount. Hurd would also benefit from continued health benefits, the vesting of all stock options and partial vesting of restricted stock." That's fair, right?

So why, you might ask, does a company that's well in the black lay off a substantial part of its domestic work force? Why, Joe, why? Well, you see, in addition to Hurd's salary and bonuses, he also receives more than 1,550,000 stock options in the company. When companies lay off workers, the stock price rises temporarily. If the stock goes up just $1 per share, that's another $1,550,000 windfall to Hurd and his buds. Sweet! (If you are Hurd or one of his buds, that is.)

What adds yet another stick into my already crowded craw is the glib way that these family-crushing, greedy, dare I say anti-American corporate clowns celebrate this kind of behavior:

"This was Mark’s coming out party, and he came out with great strength,” said analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates.“

Well, at least Mark's party went well. Good for you Mark. You prick.