Archive for January, 2008

Speaking of my birthday…

January 31, 2008 1 comment

…a friend from San Antonio, George S, also shares a birthday with me, as does his son.

When my wife and I were dating, her stepmom asked when my birthday was.

“February 6,” Jennifer said.

Mom replied: “No kidding? That’s my birthday also.”

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It’s coming…

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

On next Wednesday (February 6), I’ll be hitting a milestone.

My 35th birthday.

Where have the years gone?

I’ve told my wife I just want one thing–a set of reusable chopsticks. We’ll see if the birthday boy gets his wish.

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Идёт снег!

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Идёт снег!

That’s how you say “It’s snowing!” in Russian. And tomorrow up here in Michigan, we’re expected to get lots and lots of snow. Ah, joy…

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An open note to Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane regarding my request for Houston’s current uniforms to be fired

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Mr. McLane:

I know that what’s ultimately important are the players who wear the Houston Astros uniform and not the uniform itself, but I am begging you: PLEASE change those ugly uniforms the Astros have. Houston needs a return to its roots with uniforms that reflect the space industry and the team nickname (short for Astronaut and derived from the Greek word for star). In the 2000 season, you chose to radically change the Astros’ uniforms to reflect the location of their new stadium (now Minute Maid Park). Located on a former train depot, the colors were altered to black, brick red and sand and the script patterned to resemble that of a train. Oh yeah, with a name like the Astros and a logo that used to include a shooting star, that made a lot of sense.

My humble suggestions for a new uniform:

1) Return to the blue-and-gold moving star of the nineties
2) Return to the blue-and-orange shooting star look of the sixties
3) Incorporate the royal blue, silver and red of NASA’s logo to create a new look altogether that pays appropriate homage to Houston’s space exploration industry.

Remember, railroads (at least the one at Union Station) reflect the past. Space exploration reflects the future.

The only two things I like about the current uniforms: the numbers on the front of the jersey and the name HOUSTON on the road jerseys.

Richard Zowie
Houston Astros fan since 1983
Arbela Township, Michigan

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The latest in the 2008 elections

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani have dropped out. I am suspecting more and more that Barack Obama will be the democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential race. He’s been gaining more momentum on Hillary Clinton, and he’s been picking up more endorsements. Perhaps the biggest thing that’s attractive about him—besides his potential for becoming America’s first real black president (author Toni Morrison once referred to Bill Clinton as “America’s first black president”), is his message of change. Can’t say I’m really convinced. Sounds like the same old, same old. One friend observed that if Obama were really able to implement all the government programs he wants, he’ll bankrupt our economy. Granted, we are already trillions of dollars in debt as it is.

On the GOP side, it will probably be either John McCain or Mitt Romney winning the nomination.

As for running mates, I get this sneaking feeling that the Democrats will go for a VP candidate from the South. Since 1996, the Democrats have done very poorly in the South: Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000 and John Kerry lost running mate John Edwards’ home state of North Carolina in 2004. The Republicans, I suspect, will go with the South or perhaps a heavily-democratic state like California or New York.

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Boogeyman 2 and a suggestion of great suspenseful films

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I saw Boogeyman 2. Some suspense, lots of gore. Poster is a lot scarier than the movie. To me, the time spent on the gore should’ve been halved and spent on developing the story. In other words, it was so-so. If you want a great suspense film, check out Dead Silence. Or, better yet, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Also, for sci-fi with great suspense, there’ that Ridley Scott classic Alien. One thing I will say: I was happy, though, to see Tobin Bell of Saw fame in this one. He plays a psychiatrist, and that’s all I’ll say so as to not spoil the film.
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Post-State of the Union thoughts

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

Yes, I voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and have no regrets of doing so. Yes, I think Bush’s tax cuts have been sorely needed to get our economy going again. Yes, I think that Saddam Hussein was an evil man whose regime needed to be ended.

Those being said, I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night.

Perhaps I should have, just for the sake of blogging about it. In some ways I regret not having done so.

Whether it’s a president I loved (Ronald Reagan) or one I didn’t (Bill Clinton), I’ve never been able to watch. The speech preparation begins weeks—if not months—ahead of time and is tested out. It has one of three purposes: Why you were right to elect me, Why you should reelect me and Why American historians will write favorably of me. By and large, I find it too self-serving. The speech, as have been the other speeches, was stopped many times for applause (mostly from fellow Republicans).

Ultimately, the speech matters little. There will always be those who thought it was brilliant, those who thought it was terrible, those who thought it was good but not great, those who thought it was bad but not terrible, and so on.

President Bush, arguably one of the most ineloquent speakers in recent presidential history, can relax: this was his final SOTU address.

I did find it amusing to read that although Democratic presidential nominee contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sat within feet of each of other, neither acknowledged the other. A photo shows Senator Ted Kennedy (who endorsed Obama over Hillary despite Bill Clinton’s pleas) sitting next to the author of The Audacity of Hope. After the speech, Bush greeted Obama but not Hillary.

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