A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Speaking of Whack-Jobs...

Howard Dean is the head of the Democratic National Committee.

May I just say one thing?


Man. After what Janet Jackson did for us last year you'd think the dems would smarten up a bit. I guess not.

Hmmm. Looky here....

I wonder if the democracy slowly spreading in the Middle East was anticipated by the whack-job lefties?

Lebanon's government resigning in protest of Syrian actions. Israel calling Syria out for supporting terrorism. Syria handing over one of Saddam's high henchmen for organizing Syrian terrorists in Iraq. (Anybody else spot the link?)

Let's throw some fertilizer on this seed.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Good commentary from the Waterbury Republican American.

And the author is a democrat, no less. When will ANYONE in power start listening?

When it comes to creating jobs, we can learn a lot from Texas

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Copyright © 2005 Republican-American

While you read this, people in Texas -- among other places -- are working to steal Connecticut jobs.

According to a recent report, they've been pretty successful. Webster Bank estimates that the country as a whole has regained 90 percent of the jobs lost since 2001, while Connecticut has recovered just 15 percent.

What's holding Connecticut back? Taxes and transportation are among the biggest factors and the governor's budget does little to address either.

Connecticut is one of the only states in the union that levies a tax on a manufacturer's machinery and equipment, and it's the second highest in the nation. This tax structure is a powerful disincentive for companies to reinvest in their Connecticut plants and keep their operations here. New Milford lost its largest private employer and taxpayer this summer when Kimberly-Clark Corp. shut its doors and moved its diaper production elsewhere. According to the state Labor Department, hundreds of other manufacturers are poised to do the same thing. The study predicts that between 2002 and 2012 Connecticut will lose nearly 19,000 manufacturing jobs, nearly 9 percent of the industry's work force. While some may be tempted to dismiss manufacturing and its importance as a relic of the old economy, people in Greater Waterbury know better. Despite the misguided tax structure and subsequent loss of jobs, manufacturing is still vital to our economy -- it represents a larger share of the state's work force than the nation as a whole. If Connecticut wants to protect and even grow manufacturing jobs, then our leaders should make repealing this tax a priority.

If manufacturing is one of Connecticut's established strengths, then bioscience is an emerging one. The Labor Department says as much, citing the fact that since 1992 employment in the biosciences has increased by 42 percent. It makes sense if you consider one the state's greatest resources: its people. Connecticut ranks second in the nation in the percentage of adult population holding college degrees, and seventh in the number of Ph.D. scientists and engineers per 1,000 population. This is clearly an industry in which the state can grow jobs and emerge as a national leader.

There's just one problem. In the governor's budget address, she proposed slashing two measures crucial for the industry's growth in the state. She proposed rescinding the $20 million research and development tax credit exchange program, approved by the legislature last year, (though she changed her mind last week), and proposed virtually eliminating a law that helps companies offset initial operating losses. At the same time, her budget calls for $20 million to be invested in stem cell research.

Wisconsin is investing $670 million, New Jersey $380 million. Never mind California and New York, each spending $1 billion on stem cell initiatives. Connecticut has the experience and work force to best any state, but right now its leaders don't have the vision or the optimism that we can compete and win.

We can learn something from Texas -- a state that's famous for thinking big. The simple fact is that efficient transportation attracts business and spurs growth, so Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has proposed a $175 billion transportation program. Scaled down for Connecticut based on population, that would be $29 billion. Gov. Rell's equivalent is hardly equivalent. She calls for $1 billion spent over 10 years, enough to replace outdated Metro-North cars and maintain the inadequate system we have. That's better than letting it fall apart completely, but again, Connecticut is being shortchanged while other states make bold investments in their families' futures.

Not only must we invest in our roads, but also in building new commuter rail lines along the Interstate 91 and I-84 corridors and expanding ferry service to get more trucks off the interstate.

Government's role is not to produce jobs, but to create the framework in which the private sector can flourish. That framework can only be built upon a diverse and extensive infrastructure. When congestion and gridlock are allowed to choke economic potential, as they have in parts of Fairfield County, government has already failed.

To be sure, easing the burden on manufacturers, encouraging growth of the bioscience industry, and building a world class transportation infrastructure require an investment. How best to pay for it should be part of a statewide dialogue, but in the long run, sound investments -- ones that grow the economy and create jobs -- end up creating more wealth for our families: not baseball stadiums and convention centers.

This week, I came to Waterbury to present the findings of the Statewide Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Burdens and Smart Growth Incentives, two controversial and inter-related issues facing our state. More than anything else, however, the report was about the need ... to tackle some established bad habits that are hurting our families.

I ended my presentation with a Winston Churchill quote: "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing -- after they've exhausted all the alternatives." Connecticut will address our transportation problems, our job creation problems, the out-of-control property tax, if we act boldly and replace complacency with determination -- or when we have such a mess that we have no other choice.

I must admit my motives are selfish. My wife Kathy and I have two boys in college right now; Dan attends UConn and Jim is at Providence College. I hope they can each find a job in Connecticut when they graduate, afford a first home and settle down. Sadly, states such as Texas as doing much more than we are to make that dream certain for its kids. We can do more.

John DeStefano Jr. has served as mayor of New Haven for more than 10 years, and has registered with the Secretary of the State's office as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2006.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hootie needs money...

Good grief. Darius Rucker, the former lead singer of the '90's band, "Hootie and the Blowfish" is doing the most god-awful TV commercial for a chicken sandwich from Burger King. What the hell happened? I hope the money is worth it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

If OJ were a homicide bomber...

I was listening to the latest news from Iraq this morning. Seems the latest homicide bombers are increasingly taking out their own rather than our troops.

The thought occurred to me in relation to my earlier posts on the death penalty. The iraqi legal system will not need to have any arguments about the death penalty because the guilty inflict it on themselves.

Think of the money and time we would save if we could convince our murderers here in the US to start using the moslem technique. The victims would still be unfortunately, well, dead, but we would not need to have a trial. Just a simple DNA test to determine who's name to cross off the census roles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Eminent Front

So the nattering, NIMBY, nitwits from New London have rammed their case against the city all the way to the US Supreme Court. Some background here.

After declining full-market-value offers from the city for their properties, these nerds have decided that the city should not be allowed to have a private developer create jobs and increase future tax revenues.

I hope they are the first street bulldozed when New London is bought by the Mashantuckets for a string of shiny beads at the bankruptcy sale.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


I see that the Disabled American Veretans are collecting for their poppy campaign this weekend. I would've donated a few bucks but I don't ever carry cash anymore. With the advent of debit cards and other electronic forms of payment maybe it's time for someone to update the veterans's collection methods?

Friday, February 18, 2005

This is cute.

Type in a name and it will give you a history of the popularity of the name if it has been in the top 1000 names per decade over the last century.

Link here.

Social (In)Security

With all the blabbing about the SocSec system going bankrupt over the next few decades, I think people are missing the point. I can't believe that the democrats support this archaic wealth redistribution system. All they ever do is block tax breaks that they spin are "for the rich" and they want to increase benefits from a program that steals money from the young and the poor and gives it to older wealthy people who should have had the foresight to plan for their own retirement. (Couldn't be because the lefties are beholden to the AARP and other senior citizens lobbies, could it?)

Here's my plan. Make participation in the program voluntary. I'd opt out immediately if the government would return all of the money it's taken from me, + 3% interest. Then there is one fewer person the government has to worry about in the future.

I don't believe that the system will be around in 45 years when I can retire and I'm sick of the government stealing my money for another unnecessary social welfare program.

So, give me my money back and I'll go it alone.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


John Negroponte is the new National Intelligence Director.

How is that possible? Where's the outrage?

If a congressional staffer can be drummed out for using the word, "niggardly", how can we stand for a white guy named Negroponte to be in a position of power? Sheesh.

Speaking of Hillary.

She is in the process of trying to get all felons onto the voting roles. A solidly democratic, anti-gun rights, voting bloc, wouldn't you think?

PLUS she's working to have election day turned into a federal holiday.

Why would the dems need a holiday? All of their protesters and pols don't seem to have jobs anyway?

The World's Second Home.

That is the new name that New York is proposing to replace, "The Big Apple."

Did you know that the origin of the phrase "Big Apple" is a rather prurient tale involving a bordello owned by a lady named Mlle. Evelyn Claudine de Saint-Évremond? Read about it here.

Mayor Mike is trademarking the phrase and may be submitting several other phrases and images for trademark as well.

Why not tell the truth? Call it, "Clintonland".

So Hockey is dead.

The Hockey season is over before it began. Finally. Obviously no one cares. The replacement programming ESPN is broadcasting is getting about twice the ratings that the hideous hockey games did last year. I bet they jump to renew that contract if the union and the owners actually work out a deal for next year....


All the recent charges against Bill Cosby were dismissed today for lack of evidence. The judge also considered that the woman waited over a year to turn in the complaint was odd as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

An addendum from Fort Worth

I found this while surfing this morning.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)

January 4, 2005 Ironic connection
Author: Star-Telegram Edition: FINAL
Section: Opinion;Metro
Page: 10B

Article Text:

The death of Damageplan guitarist Darrell Abbott was a tragedy -- but so was Kent Schnable's. Abbott was killed by a gunman while on stage, and Kent was killed in a road-rage incident. (See Dec. 3 news story.) Abbott and Schnable knew each other. How? We all went to school together! I knew Darrell from third through 11th grade, and I played football with Kent at Gunn Junior High in Arlington. Kent and Darrell had classes together at Gunn. Darrell was a great guitarist back in sixth grade, and I knew he would make it. But he wasn't the only great musician from our class. Jeff Huskins, formerly of the group Little Texas, is a great country fiddle player. Darrell and Kent's deaths were senseless tragedies. In times like this, it's clearly a great comfort to have a Savior to lean on!

Mike Stephenson, Arlington
Copyright 2005 Star-Telegram, Inc.
Record Number: 11276021

Hi ho, hi ho. I'm back from Toronto. Or, Let us never again go to Canada. It is a silly place.

This was written yesterday in the Toronto airport as I was awaiting my departure. Enjoy if you must.

It's got to be tough to be Canadian these days. What with their national airline absolutely nonchalant aboot all of its flights being late. And their national pass-time aboot to be cancelled for the season.

The gate agent told me when I arrived at BDL that the flight was CURRENTLY ONLY one hour late and the flight leaves so irregularly she couldn't tell me for sure when it might actually depart. (We finally left 80 minutes late.)

Now today, it's 0930 and I'm at YYZ waiting at Gate S for a 1430 flight home. Given that the flight i'm waiting for is the return leg of the ludicrously inconsistent flight I was on yesterday, I'm not overly optimistic about leaving this ridiculous place anytime prior to 1545.

And who the fuck designed Toronto International, anyway? This has to be the least efficient, most poorly laid out, least traveler friendly, airport I've ever had the misfortune of being routed through. If you physically moved ORD and set it in the middle of DFW the combined cluster fuck would still be easier to navigate than this canuck nightmare.

The signage off the highway is minimal so it's nearly impossible to catch the proper exit the first time by it. The signage on the airport roads is confusing at best and incorrect at worst. There is no way to move between terminals other than on a shuttle bus, which, in and of itself was pretty efficient.

The bus made three separate stops at the terminal while playing a rather detailed recorded description of what would be found inside at each of the stops. I listened intently and chose which stop sounded correct. After I got into the ticketing area I noticed that all the stops led into the same enormous open, unsigned room.

So I stumbled around there for awhile until I found the sea of humanity in line for check in at the Air Canada counters. I really didn't want to wait with the masses even though I had six hours to kill, so I wandered around a bit more and randomly fell upon the electronic check-in kiosks. Handily, since there were no signs directing anyone to them, the kisoks were mostly empty. So, I checked in and attempted to find the entrance to the terminal.

After about fifteen minutes of shuffling back and forth, I decided to follow people who appeared to be a flight crew. (I figured that if anyone would know the way to the planes, they might.) As luck would have it, they did. After going through the customs entry line twice because I picked the wrong form from the shuffled pile scattered about on the table the first time, I was pleased to see that US citizens have their own line to get through customs. Since I was one of about three actual US citizens returning at that moment, compared to the massive exodus of Canadians, that went quickly. (They mustn't hate us too much, the entire fucking population of Toronto is vacationing in Newark this weekend.) But that was the end of the efficiency.

The customs area led directly to the security screening area. 700 lost souls queueing into five x-ray/magnetometers. I was surprised to see that several of the CATSA employes were full dress sikhs. (They reminded me that i've always wanted to grow a handlebar moustache.) They were very good at shoveling the bags of God-knows-what that people were trying to sneak across the border back to the bag check area from the security checkpoints. About an hour later I got through, narrowly avoiding the deep cavity search (The poor bastard behind me was picked for a random groping.) and was released into the wilds of the gate areas.

With limited signage, and only a vague understanding of the layout of this place, I set off to find my gate and determine the most efficient route from it to the nearest bar.

I've never been in an airport that put up signs indicating the distance to the next gate. I thought I was on the Mass pike. It was a 15 minute brisk walk from the bar to the gate. With signs placed every so often that said, "next gate, 300m".

And now I'm here at the gate, 4.5 hours early for a flight that has a better than 50% chance of being at least an hour late. I guess I'll waste an hour here and then see if the bar is serving by 1100.

Ahhh. 1108 and I've got my first beer in front of me. Hopefully the fish and chips will be decent. I really don't want to break any American money here. You just get screwed on the exchange rate, which, according to the plaque on the wall to my left, is $1.14C/USD.

I noticed on my way from the gate to the bar, that all of the fire extinguishers are marked with GREEN signs. Weird.

I wonder if the lack of signage is a result of this country being so divided by bi-lingualism that they just don't do anything that might offend someone?

Well. That was very good. I heartily recommend the Quayside Bar & Grill if you're ever stuck in terminal 2 at YYZ. Get the fish & chips. You'll be glad you did. Say hi to Joe. Good bartender and sounds a lot like Steve Buscemi.

Much better. Three LaBatts and the Fish & Chips later and I'm prepped for whatever delays come my way. Amazing what $40C can do for a person.

So far, as of 1231, the flight is still considered "on time". But given the reaction of the counter clerk yesterday, I'm not getting my hopes up.

1348 and so far so good. But boy does the intercom system here suck. There is some sort of computer generated beep that goes off every 15 seconds. The announcers have to race it or they get cut off. I've heard every message today at least four times before they got it all out.

Just had to fill out an id card with effectively next of kin information for the USDOT. The other nerds on the flight joke that it's big brother tracking their patterns. I think it's the feds guaranteeing that they know who was on a future hijack.

1426 and I'm on a Beechcraft 1900D getting ready to depart. Seat 9D. Last row on the right, no recliner, near the shitter. At least we're on our way.

1442 and we're off the ground. Here's to a smooth flight.

1555 and we're on the tarmac at BDL again. A bit bumpy from about 8000 ft down, but at least we're home.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Coincidence? I think not.

Bill Cosby has been accused of drugging and molesting a woman last year. Now, another woman has come forward to say he did the same thing to her in the seventies.

Sounds like the left is playing the Schwarzenegger gambit on one of its own.

That'll teach that uppity Cosby to act and speak like he believes that blacks can think for themselves.

Israeli/Palestinian Summit

Hmmmmm. Anybody else wondering if the summit between Israel and Palestine with the resultant cease-fire that actually happened this time without the US holding a gun to the participants' heads could be a similar reaction to US foreign policy successes as what happened when Kaddaffi backed down last year?

(How's that for poor sentence structure?)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Re·cid·i·vate - To return to a previous pattern of behavior, especially to return to criminal habits.

Ok. I've been thinking about the death penalty recently given all of the hype of the Michael Ross murder case before that lack-wit judge put the kibosh on it as part of a personal agenda to make us all less safe.

From the death penalty I wandered to incarceration. Life without parole, 25-Life, 3-5 with time off for 'good behavior'. If there is no ultimate price, does any of it really matter? Most cons recidivate when they are released for their first minor crimes. How much better off would we all be if the death penalty were implemented for any offense that required a term of imprisonment? How many good people would be alive today if we had only killed their killers the first time they were sentenced to the pen? How many children would be 'normal' if their molesters had been executed the first time they passed through the justice system?

I know I'm not giving many people the benefit of the doubt that seems to be required if you were raised in a household that didn't have a pair of loving parents or a family structure or three cars or a playstation or a pony or whatever.

I really don't care. There are many people who, if they were suddenly dispatched to hades, would not be noticed except for the calm and serenity their absence provided.

Why do so many people these days feel like they must coddle killers. As if murderers have a right to the rights they revoked from their victims. Few felons, if any, change significantly during the course of a prison stay. And don't give me any crap about "You might be killing off the next Isaac Newton" either. If there was a first and a second, there will be a third and we can afford the wait.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Homosexual marriage in New York.

I see that the gays are irate that Mayor Bloomberg is going to appeal the latest court ruling that called the New York ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The mayor has good grounds to do it as several other courts have said that the current law is OK.

What are they afraid of? Either they're right or they're wrong.

The funny part is they will accept the ruling that they like as perfect, but disregard the THREE other rulings that have gone against them.

What a week.

Well. My 93 hour work week is done. I've got to go back at midnight to relieve one of the other engineers. Then tomorrow we've got more stuff coming.

Ahhhhh. The joys of a salaried engineer.