Monday, January 28, 2008


1 down, 2 to go!

My last seminar is out of the way and now all that's left is to finish my dissertation and then defend it in front of my committee. Of course there is an additional snafu that Bossman has decided that I should get a Masters and not my PhD. I take issue with that so I'll be meeting with him today to figure out what the hell is going on.

I should be around this week more so than I was in the previous ones.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 21, 2008


The Quickening

J and I saw Cloverfield in the theater on Sat. It was okay. It's a "found video personal video camera" movie ala Blairwitch Project and others. So the camera work is shaky and J wanted to kill the guy who kept narrating, filming and being annoying throughout much of the movie. I think he's supposed to be drunk which would explain his being annoying. I'm a fan of giant monster movies so I liked this one. Be it King Kong, Godzilla or this one, I love seeing Manhattan (or any large city) being tormented by a huge beast. Also, it was nice to see the actress who played Janice in "Mean Girls" in another movie. Now off to just to make sure I'm right and learn her name. Yup, Lizzy Caplan is her name and she should get more work!

The writer's strike is still going on. According to United Hollywood, it's been 45 days but I saw almost 3 months elsewhere. I hope Big Media comes to their senses soon. I like watching NBC and Fox occasionally, but if the only new shows they have are reality shows, then I probably won't. EVER AGAIN!


Friday, January 18, 2008


It's about Chuck, Ric, South Carolina values, and us!

- Mike Huckabee at yesterday's Clemson appearance.

Final thoughts (just in case you don't want to read all of this): Mike Huckabee really is a stand up guy. He believes in what he says and seems to have morals and values. If I didn't disagree with his ultra-conservative social stances, I would absolutely vote for Huckabee.

My first political rally was yesterday. The sounds, the sights, I tried to take it all in and remain objective, but that didn't happen. I borrowed Indian Jones' "We're pilgrims in an unholy land," line from the Last Crusade to describe where I was headed. Surrounded by Republicans and Evangelicals, it was almost like any other day in the Bible Belt. I wasn't there for the crowd. I was there for the show. So here we go, unfiltered notes scribbled furiously while being jostled by the crowd.

Time: January 17th, 2008, the line formed at 2:15 pm for the expected 2:30 start time. As the line files into Jervey gym (where the volleyball team does their thing), our ears are greeted by wailing guitars and a decent drumline. I can't find them online, but I'm sure they have a Myspace page, and I think they're local.

Photo courtesy of Erik S. Lesser from here.
Definitely note the other two names, Chuck Norris and Ric Flair. Oh yeah, that's where the show comes in. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So we're waiting in the "cold", a degree or two above freezing, and file into the gym. They have a table set up with lots of Huckabee propaganda, I snagged a bumper sticker (no idea what I'm gonna do with it, it's sitting on my desk) but they also had yard signs and a pamphlet or two. Before we got inside there was a campaign worker handing out signs that said Mike Huckabee President (which I think is a little presumptuous to just leave out the 'for') and said I Like Mike on the back (as someone who grew up loving Michael Jordan and his corporate overlord Nike, I'm loyal to that Mike, thank you very much). There was also a sad looking snowman who was passing out "Make Global Warming a Priority" stickers which a friend pointed out weren't very eco-friendly, but it got the point across. Also as we were finding a parking spot (we were off campus doing some work, we're not lazy or at least that lazy) I saw a big Redeem the Vote bus parked in front of a Clean Coal van. I was unaware you could make coal clean. Do they still strip mine for coal? It's hard for me to imagine enviro friendly coal at either end of coal's life.

We walk in and a guy in a suit and trenchcoat encourages us to "fill in the floor." I wanted to be close to the stage so I was the only one of our group that stayed in the middle; everyone else fled to the comfort of the bleachers. The demographic of the group was predominantly college students with a few community members who showed up. There was a sprinkling of minorities, a few Indian grad students, a Latin here or there, and I would say no more than 8 black people, but that didn't stop them from getting a nice mix of "supporters" up on stage for Huckabee's backdrop.

The band stopped playing and asked if we were excited to see Ric Flair, some yells and whoooos, Ric's trademark yell, were we excited to see Mike Huckabee, lots of yells and cheers, were we excited to see Chuck Norris, deafening roar and cheers. Sounds like most people are here for Chuck Norris.

Mike and the Gang were running late so the band broke into Taking Care of Business without Mike. Is that his campaign theme song? Or just an easy bass line that Huckabee can easily remember and play? I'm not saying he has to channel Les Claypool or Flea, but as a former bass player, I guess it's takes a bit more to impress me. Besides the easy bass line of TCOB and the other covered songs, I would say Mae West (the band) had a good sound and put on a good show, although the lead singer had too much of a Fred Durst thing going on, but not many people remember that guy, so Mae West's lead singer should be okay. He then asked if there were any Walker Texas Ranger fans in the house. There were actually a few cheers and shouts. I was never a fan.

Sarah Huckabee came onstage and apologized for her dad being late. She then introduced the Harris twins. They're who Chuck recognizes as getting him involved in Mike's campaign. They're college aged twins from Oregon. They tried to keep the masses appeased by "making it rain." My MTV/BET soaked mind of course thought they were going to throw money into the crowd. Nope, turns out they were doing something I haven't seen since 2nd grade camp. They got each section of the crowd to rub their hands together, snap, clap, or hit their thighs. This went on for about 45 seconds and then someone onstage started a Clemson football cheer and it went from soft rainlike sounds to deafening gameday atmosphere. The Harris twins knew they were beat, stalled a bit more, and then exited the stage.

Ex-governor of SC, David Beasley, came out and introduced the group. First came Ric and Tiffany Flair, Ric looks just the same as ever, tanned, slicked back peroxide blond hair and big, Tiffany was good looking too and I wonder how long they've been together? Then Mike Campbell came out. He's the son of a former governor and State Chairman. Then came SC Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer. There wasn't much applause for him. I'm sure there is a reason. Then came Chuck and Gena Norris. Lots of cheers and shouts. Then came Mike Huckabee and he opened with the quote up top. He also said this was the biggest turnout in all his campaign. This article by Anna Simon from GreenvilleOnline estimated 2,200 people.

Chuck then got on the mike. He explained that Gena and he didn't know who to support for president. Mike wasn't getting alot of airtime for obvious corporate media reasons. Chuck was receiving lots of emails from college kids about Huckabee, but one in particular from the Harris twins. He also notes that he writes a column for WorldNetDaily. Chuck said that Mike "is a stand-up guy." He discussed his online explosion, and said that 2 trips to Iraq to visit the troops came out of it. "This country needs to prosper and it needs peace," said Chuck and then went on to talk about a big Huckabee "We need money" BBQ at the Norris' Ranch in Texas where he would webcast a tour of his house and his workout room. Mike's band will also be playing at the BBQ.

Then Natureboy Ric Flair got on the mike. He opened by quoting himself "To be the man, you must beat the man. And the man is Mike Huckabee, whoooooooo!" And that's it. Perfect amount of speaking time for a wrestler. They're so great for 15-40 seconds but beyond that is gets dicey. If anyone could let me know what he meant, I would appreciate it. Mike borrowed a bass and played Sweet Home Alabama with Mae West. He did a good job, but I was disappointed that Mike didn't sing. Maybe the singer/bassist is a dying breed. While Mike was rocking out, Janet Huckabee was passing out something that looked like a trading card. I never got close enough to figure out what is was.

Mike Huckabee stops playing bass, hands it off, and opens with "Tigers know how to rock the house!" Chuck will be his Secretary of Defense and Ric will be the head of Homeland Security; everyone on the hill will call them "Smith & Wesson". I hope he's kidding about those appointments. Mike made fun of Beasley by suggesting there were shennanigans going on while he was at Clemson. Campbell's family is the "gold standard" of Republicans in South Carolina. "Politics is a contact sport" and everyone needs to get out and vote on Sat. Huckabee says he'll win SC because of the Clemson community. He's 52, which I'll comment on later, and if we don't vote for him, Chuck and Ric will get us. He wants us to think about the future, we don't need another DC insider, he understands poor states and values education. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and worked his way through college. He was the 44th governor of Arkansas and wants to become the 44th President of the United States.

Mike went on to say that the tax system is broken, there is excessive taxation from the government, we need small government, government isn't always the answer for everything. He values states rights (how about if they go against federal law Mike?). Republicans aren't right all the time and Democrats aren't wrong all the time (few cheers here so I'm not the only pilgrim) and we need to put the country above labels.

He addressed the energy crisis and mentioned that decades of presidents have promised for the US to become energy self-sufficient. Tricky-Dick Nixon promised it, as did others. He wants to cut the Saudis off from our money. We (college kids) will graduate with lots of debt, we need a president who has lived paycheck to paycheck. He stressed personal responsibility and wants us to start small businesses. The government should protest us and not provide for us. We need a proven governor of a Southern state and not a DC insider (only used that phrase twice, change never crossed his lips). The Chuck Norris jokes were flying left and right to many laughs and cheers. Mike made a horrible pun (a boisterous kid who kept interrupting said he wanted to be a doctor, Mike said that he was already a good "cut up". Get it?) and then it hit me. Mike is my dad. Bad puns, corny jokes, minister, etc... Roughly the same age, same values. It was a neat personal moment.

Huckabee closed with a fairly weak analogy of plowing the fields is like campaigning for president. The crew left the stage and a couple guys from Salisbury, MD changed Hard Workin' Man to Huckabee Lover. Huckabee pointed out that was called pandering. Damn right.

He didn't answer any questions because they were trying to hit the whole state in one day, but my questions would have been:
Knowing you support states' rights, what if the state law disagreed with federal law, like California's medical marijuana law?
Why do you think the leaders in the evangelical world have not endorsed you while their constituents have come out in force to support you?

Thanks for reading and as of right now, J will be voting for Ron Paul this Sat. and I will be voting for John Edwards next Saturday.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Patience is a virtue

And you, my loyal readers, have shown it in spades. So without further adieu, here is the big surprise!

A mustache! It's my first real venture into the realm of facial hair. I've tried the soul patch before, but J would always complain that it was too scratchy. Then last November I started noticing more and more guys with mustaches, so I figured I would give it a shot. I should've taken a pic everyday and made a small cool video, but that didn't happen. Currently I'm planning on shaving it off before a job interview, so I'll have the opportunity to make that video again.

This is how I wear it most days. I haven't invested in 'stache wax to keep it twisted all day.

Please ignore the acne, I break out with stress and my seminar next week is the cause of said stress.

I had also planned to have a pic or two of some older pics of me with long hair, but this is all you get today.

Hope you enjoyed the suspense and the pay-off! I know I have enjoyed playing with my mustache and inadvertently chewing on it for the past month.

Update: Almost forgot, Wannabe President Mike "Suckabee" Huckabee is appearing at Clemson today. Of course I'm going. Why? Not so I can hear his ultra-conservative social stances or his moderate economic policies or be regaled by Huckabee propaganda. No. The word on the street is he's supposed to have BOTH Chuck Norris AND Natureboy Ric Flair! Wow, how can I resist? Honestly though, I'm more excited about Ric Flair. I grew up watching wrestling (wrasslin' as my dad and most of the South calls it) and he was one of the more, um, flamboyant characters in the wrestling league formerly known as the WWF and the WCW.

Check out that robe. Classy. Whoops, turns out he gets a little angry on the road too.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll tell you tomorrow

The great unveiling will be tomorrow. I'll also probably have a couple other "Stages of Seth" pictures. For all Facebook junkies, one of the new pics will also become my Facebook picture. I might even upload the pics there but I hate that you can't link to pics in your Facebook albums, at least last time I tried.

Work and writing is coming along. I can't think about the end product at this point because there is still much work and writing to be done and I'll just get discouraged, so I'm baby-stepping my way through this daunting task.

Props to John Edwards and Barack Obama for withdrawing their names from the Michigan cheater Democratic primary. You antsy Michigan Democratic Party leaders will get what you deserve.

Bossman just walked in, so off to work!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Just a hint

My surprise has to do with a visible part of my clothed body. I've almost said too much.

Snowshoe was an absolute blast and they had some newly built studio apartment/condos that started at $159,000. I didn't get to see one but it would be cozy but at the top of a year-round use mountain. Skiing and winter sports when the weather cooperates and some wicked mountain biking and hiking in the summer months. There are a few downsides though and I'll cover those in my following "Staying at Snowshoe" tutorial.

So you want to go to Snowshoe huh? Winter or summer it's a very cool place. Staying in the Village Center is a bit pricey but you're right in the middle of everything. Don't worry if you're a bit further away, there are shuttles that run regularly from 8 am to 10 pm (but you should probably double check those times). I'm assuming that you're not made of money or don't want to eat out every meal. You're gonna need to stock up. Bring a cooler because the closest grocery store is at least 20-25 minutes away from Snowshoe in Marlinton, WV. It's the Fas Chek in Marlinton. You get to shop where the locals shop. They had some nice locally grown bell peppers, some shipped oranges and other vegetables. They had frozen pizza and lots of canned veggies and soups. No deli counter, no meat counter, but they had some packaged meats. Basically if you want something beyond very standard grocery store food, bring it from home. Elkins, WV is the closest "large" town and they have a Kroger and Food Lion, according to Google Maps. The Wildcat Provisions store at the top of the mountain is a glorified gas station, with remote gas station prices to match, although you can rent movies there.

Our room at Rimfire had both a VCR and a DVD player, so be sure to bring a few movies along with you.

So now you have some food and in-room entertainment. We tried the Foxfire Grill for appetizers one night, J had some sort of empanada thing and I had the delicious S'mores dessert. It came with several marshmallows, a Hershey bar, graham crackers, some caramel candies with the marshmallow middle and some Mary Janes. I didn't know what they were either, but they're chewy and peanut buttery and made a very good S'more. Our spot at the bar received many jealous glances as I slow roasted my 'mallow over the Sterno fire. J was close to getting S'mores banned from every restaurant by flinging a flaming marshmallow across the dining room, but saved it at the last second. Southern Living had a feature on Snowshoe and recommended the mac & cheese. J being a mac & cheese fanatic, obviously wanted to try it, but once we looked at the menu and saw the $25.99 price tag, she decided to abstain. Oops, apparently it's also correctly spelled Foxfire Grille. So why is the m&c so much?
Foxfire goes uptown down south with this creamy blend of Five Cheeses, Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes, with Penne Pasta and Lump Chesapeake Crabmeat, topped with crunchy Panko and Asiago Cheese

That's why and throw in the middle of nowhere surcharge and that's some pricey cheesy pasta.

We also tried the Cheat Mountain Pizza Company (no dedicated website for them) and I would HIGHLY recommend the cheesy breadsticks. They were super cheesy and had a nice crunchy exterior to the warm bread interior. Their white pizza with chicken, onions, peppers and mushrooms were good but the red onions they used had a spicy bite that I didn't like. Sautee those onions and it would've been transcendent.

Red Rover offers a wine bar/hot dog option that I'd never seen before. Unfortunately we never had a chance to stop in.

Another added feature of Rimfire, we had our own key card access door leaving Starbucks going right into the lobby in front of the elevators. Big time. (Speaking of which, Clemson has officially arrived, our Starbucks served its first latte last week. I would've stopped by to support it but everyone else seems to be doing that for me.)

We never did go swimming at our outdoor hot tubs or at the Split Rock Pools, but they seem to be a popular evening activity.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 14, 2008


Give a hoot! Don't pollute!

I think J and I came up with a great idea for our nonprofit last night. Litter. It's everywhere and lots of people do it and it's horrible, ugly and unnecessary. Also I think I can get some money from the tobacco companies by suggesting that some smoking bans are caused by butts strewn everywhere and not just the 2nd hand smoke argument. Hopefully that'll work out, but first things first: GET OUT OF SCHOOL!

Final seminar is coming up and the dissertation is slowly coming together. Keep those good thoughts coming.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Who wants a Slushie?

Sorry I vanished for the past week, I was on vacation. In this day and age of internet, I figured it was better to not tell the world that my wife and I were leaving our house vacant (with ATTACK CATS!) for 4 days. I can't imagine it would be difficult for someone to figure out where I live, so I erred on the side of caution and didn't tell you about our vacation. Yes my seminar is coming up but this trip was planned before that, and I even took some work and actually worked on it some. My seminar has been pushed back a week without my knowledge and hopefully my adviser can make it to this new date.

J and I went skiing in Snowshoe, WV. I have never driven in West Virginia before and was struck by its pastoral peace and beauty. It's all rolling hills and farmland interspersed with small towns and villages. Nice. Quaint. Heart of America. One hand-painted sign I saw said "No Farms, No Food" which is spot-on. The roads were paved using the natural roll and pitch of the surrounding land which made them really fun and interesting to drive, even with the rain creating wet conditions for our arrival and departure. I prefer wet mountain roads to icy mountain roads any day of the week.

We stayed at the Rimfire Lodge in a studio. It had a large bed, comfy couch, lots of spare pillows and blankets and had a full kitchen. The bathroom might have had heated floors, or crappy insulation so the unit below us heated the floor, but either way the rock floor of the bathroom was always pleasantly warm. The gas fireplace was nice (and on a timer, an excellent idea for any gas fireplace) and even warmed the room up a bit. The weather was pleasant but not great snow-making weather. Sun-Wed highs were in the upper 50s to lower 60s and the lows were in the mid-40s. It finally dropped to freezing on Tues. night and made everything nice and icy after slushtastic conditions Sun-Tues.

My back hurts, my neck hurts and my legs hurt. I think that crash on an icy blue slope on Wed. did me in. If the slope was in the sun, it was nice and slushy but if it was in the shade it was icy and nasty. I tried to stop where I shouldn't have and flew backwards and whacked my helmet contained melon pretty good. That was enough skiing that day. Thurs. morning we awoke to a drizzle and a high of 28, so we opted to go home before road conditions got worse and skipped another icy ski day.

I know I rail against Big Pharma fairly regularly here but some of their products work and I proved that yesterday. I took a couple of J's prescription pills and drove the entire 7+ hours home without incident. I love driving on that stuff.

I was way overdue for a speeding ticket and a polite NC State Trooper took care of that streak. He clocked me at 82 in a 70 and dropped it to 80 in a 70 for a revenue generating ticket of $135. Luckily I slowed down to 5 over because not 10 miles later in Virginia I passed another state trooper and almost doubled up on tickets that day. It didn't ruin my spirits because I was overdue for a ticket and was amazed that I received a ticket at 8:30 am on a Sun. morning just a few miles from the NC/VA state line.

More tales tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be revealing another surprise this weekend. No clues, just suspense.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Vote Richardson!

The numbers from Iowa are coming in and it looks like Mike Huckabee has it sealed. Way to come out of nowhere. At least it shows that it's possible and maybe the media should give equal time to ALL candidates, but congrats, 1 down, 49 to go.

Bill Richardson is getting a few votes and he thanks you. I'm not really sure how it works but it sounds like a wild time. I've heard that you show up to a gymnasium or other large gathering place and there are demarcated areas for voters of each candidate. Then they go around counting and if your candidate doesn't have at least 15% of the support (presumably just from that polling place), he or she is declared invalid and the supporters can go join a "real" candidate. Fuck that. It's Richardson or no one. I might vote Democratic in the Nov. elections but I need another few months to see where they stand on the issues and then I'll decide. Not right there on the spot. I would most certainly walk out. It sounds like Obama would be doing okay without me anyway.

J and I get to take part in the democratic process on Jan. 19th or Jan. 26th depending on whose primaries we want to take part in. Please keep the democratic processes in Pakistan and Kenya in mind as you make your way to the polls in the coming months.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 01, 2008



Happy 2008! I'm at work because my final seminar is Jan. 18th and we're taking some vacation time next week, so I'm trying to get ahead. Ideally I want it done so I can go over it with the adviser by Friday, so everyday counts. We went over to Subaru's house last night and hung out with them. We played both square Blokus and trigonal Blokus. Personally I think the trigonal is far superior. I won both games and actually got rid of all my pieces for the first time ever! It helped that Subaru's wife hadn't played before and took the fight directly at Subaru when she actually should've been trying to block me. We had some delicious Ballatore sparkling wine. It was sweet and I finally realized why I haven't liked hardly any champagnes. I hate dry champagne. I don't like them. But this was sweet and fruity.

Did anyone catch some of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve? Wow, Dick Clark, I love you and you are a legend but it might be time to call it quits. He looked great but his voice was weak and unsure. Dick, give up the showbiz game. Spend time with your beautiful wife and your kids and grandkids. New Year's Eve won't be the same without you but it'll get by.

Don't worry, I'm tivoing the football games that I'm missing today. In my humble opinion, today is the best bowl game day out of them all. Yesterday was good albeit marred by Clemson's heartwrenching overtime loss to the Auburn Tigers. But today we get the mighty Arkansas Razorbacks fighting the Missouri somebodies. And the Florida Gators taking on the evil Michigan Wolverines. I was raised an SEC fan so my allegiance always goes with the conference except for hated conference rivals, so go Wisconsin Badgers! Beat those stupid Tennessee Volunteers. I don't really have any allegiance to any ACC team besides Clemson, so they're all on their own. The Georgia Bulldogs battle the Mighty Hawaii Fight Rainbows (or whatever they changed their mascot to recently, but the rainbows is better, pbbbbt, they're the "Warriors" now, how about the Rainbow Warriors?) in primetime after we get to see the USC Trojans slaughter the Illinois Fighting Illini. Yes I'm a college football junkie and that'll spill over into the pro league sometimes too. It's such a great system because even if you hate pro football, all your favorite college superstars wind up there so you can at least cheer for the player if you don't like the whole team.

J was asleep with the cats when I left for work this morning. I was awake at 8:45, no alarm. I used to be able to sleep for hours on end like J still can, but I lost it. I think once I realized that if you get up before 9 am on a Saturday, it's almost like having two whole Saturdays because instead of sleeping until 1 or 2, you get another 6 hours to play with.

My New Year's resolution is to eat less and be more active. Hopefully this Christmas present will help once it shows up in the mail.

To work!

Labels: , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


View Products
Freedom is NORML

Search WWW Search
Who Links Here