Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Politics and whatnot

So this morning I did something kind of unusual: I actually read the paper. Usually I get it off the porch, scan the front page, scan the front of the sports section, then head for the comics and crossword puzzle. This morning, though, something came over me and I actually started flipping through the front section, and this story caught my eye.

The gist of the story, which was a re-print from the San Francisco Chronicle, is that the "Independent" voters - those who have registered with "decline-to-state" listed as their party - are growing in size rapidly and are playing more of a role in elections. It points to the election of President Obama, as well as the more recent election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat.

What I especially liked about the article was that it highlighted one of the problems we have with the two-party system in the US: The Democrats and the Republicans take any victory as a mandate without looking closely at the why behind the win. To quote from the article:

"Say there is a big defeat for Democrats in November," [Stanford University political scientist Morris Fiorina] said. "The Democrats will say, 'It's because we didn't motivate our base.' Republicans will say, 'We have a conservative mandate.' They're both wrong."

The motivation behind the Independent voters, the article suggests, isn't either party's dogma but more an adherence to a basic set of values, generally fiscal conservatism and social liberalism. In other words, don't spend a lot of money on a big government and leave me alone. Another quote:

So who are these voters and what do they want?

"Independent voters have been deficit hawks since the days of Ross Perot, and they like divided government," said John Avlon, author of the forthcoming book, "Wing Nuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America." Culturally they are "socially liberal to libertarian. They're alienated by the extremes of both parties."

Independents are turned off by the religious right and the ideological left, even as GOP partisans rampage against "RINOs," (Republicans-in-name-only) and the left's "net-roots" mount their own "DINO" hunts against Blue Dog Democrats.

I was raised a Democrat, and I've mainly voted that party line because there haven't been any decent alternatives (or when there were alternatives I stayed with the Dems because the races were close enough that my vote might actually count for more than in a blow-out election). I've found myself leaning closer to the Libertarian world in the last 10 years or so, but some of their stands (the whole "close the borders and disconnect the phones to the outside world" thing, for instance) and the fact that beyond the local races they tend to nominate whack jobs kept me from formalizing that shift. So maybe I should figure out how to amend my registration and head for the world of "decline-to-state."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good news for Sounders fans...

Not only do they not have Pete Carroll as a coach, but Freddy Ljungberg has announced he will return to the team!

I'm not a rabid fan...meant to go to a game last year but didn't quite make it. Watched them on TV, though, so I feel in some small way I can celebrate this. Maybe by having lunch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The problem with the triple play (well, one of them anyway...)

So a little over a year ago we signed up for Comcast's "Triple Play" bundle, combining digital cable TV, high speed Internet and phone in one handy dandy package. At the time it seemed like a convenient way to cut some costs, since the total package price was lower than we were paying for the three services on their own. And since we already had Comcast for the internets and TV action, we only really needed to change the phone.

I won't go in to all the hassles we had getting the billing right...let's just say when a guy from Comcast (or sub-contracted to Comcast) comes to your door and gives you a written document stating what the package will be and what the cost will be don't expect the company to honor it. Unless you take them to court, maybe, which I wasn't willing to do.

Anyhow, my main concern with the whole "voice over cable Internet" thing was what would happen if the power went out. "No problem!" they told me. "The modem has a battery backup, and will stay on for at least 30 minutes after the power cuts out." Which is true, but doesn't answer the second problem: what happens when the CABLE goes out?

This happened today. Cable went out, taking with it the TV, the phone and the Intenets. It was like being plunged in to the depths of the Great Depression with nothing to entertain us but the radio, some books, and sharpening pencils for the kids to sell out of tin cups. But hey, we got them pencils sharpened nicely, I tell you what.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sunday of snow

Since the boy and I missed out on the skiing yesterday thanks to the Cleveland HS tour, we grabbed his buddy and headed up the mountain today, Maya in tow. The snow was a bit icy crunchy in the morning, but by about 11 snow had started to fall and things were looking up.

It continued snowing while we ate lunch, getting heavier and fatter, and I pulled out the old face mask thingamabob for the first time this season. The boy decided he'd had enough after lunch, so girl, buddy and I headed back up while he stayed in the car and ate cookies and played NintenDogs. Whatever.

Anyhow, the snow continued to pile up, the crowds began to dissipate, and we had a great afternoon. Buddy borrowed the boy's balaclava hat, the girl and I had our face mask thingies, and we all played the "how much snow can I let build up on my goggles before I have to wipe them or crash" game. Fun for the whole family. Or 1/2 of the family and a friend.

According to the NWS it's supposed to continue snowing through Wednesday, then maybe turn to rain for the weekend...I'm hoping we get some nice cold Canadian air to flow in Thursday afternoon to keep the snowfall going, but I'm not counting on it. Sigh!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Saturday of variety

Started with education, ended with marriage!

We kicked off the day packing Maya off to ski lessons and taking young Logan Chicken to the open house at Cleveland High to learn about their new STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). It looks like a very cool program, although Logan might have trouble choosing which track to pursue (they split things in to Engineering & Technology and Life Sciences & Global Health, but he'd like to take both hard science stuff like physics and computer science and the bio stuff). Fortunately we've got a year to decide, so we're not in a tizzy yet.

Then, after sitting around watching sports and late-nite TV on the DVR all afternoon, we went to our next door neighbor's wedding. It was a lovely ceremony, held in Santoro's Books in Greenwood. Nicely crowded (the store's long and narrow and there were quite a few people there), great toasts, and some darn fine cookies. We split before the cake, though, 'cause the kids needed to get in bed so they'd be rested for tomorrow's skiing. Hopefully they'll have some left-overs we can mooch tomorrow evening!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our long National Broadcasting Nightmare is over

NBC has finally come to an agreement with Conan to part ways, confirming that they are indeed a network stuck in the early '90s. Personally I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'd take Conan over Leno any day of the week. The only drawback I see of this whole deal is that it only gives Dave, Craig, and Jimmy another week or so to crack jokes about it. Ah well...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just can't get enough of this...

Well, I probably can, but it's still funny. Thanks, Cute Things Exploding!

For the good Doctor...

Tried to post this yesterday, but YouTube's "share" function apparently didn't want to work. Whatevah. It's just as good a day later!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How 'bout them Jets?

OK, I'll admit it, I'm not a fan of the Jets. Never have been, really. Too young to have idolized Broadway Joe, and that whole Vinnie Testeverde's helmet is a football so the Jets beat the Seahawks thing back in, oh, whatever year that was pretty much sealed the deal. Add to that the fact that, while I'm not a huge Chargers fan, having rooted for the Seahawks and Mariners for years I can totally relate to the beleaguered San Diegans.

So I was naturally rooting for the Bolts this afternoon. And I figured hey, they've got a great chance! They had a bye last weekend, so they're rested. They're playing at home. They've got a great combination in Rivers and Gates. So they should walk away with it, right? Heck the other three home teams didn't have any trouble in their games...

Well, it just goes to show ya. Maybe that Mark Sanchez guy has something going for him after all, 'cause he and the Jets definitely out-played the Bolts today. And as a reward they get to go to Indy next weekend and try to do it again, which puts me in a position that is both freeing and possibly uncomfortable. See, I'm not a big Indy fan either. So I don't know who to root for. Which means I'll probably end up not rooting for either team and just using the game as background noise.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What a difference a week makes!

So as you may recall from last Saturday the Chicken family's last skiing trip wasn't the best. In fact, it was pretty Godaweful from a skiing point of view. From a "have a beer" point of view it was fine. But I was there for the skiing, not the beer.

Flash forward to today and things are much, much better!

The first bonus: no ice. Last week there were roughly 3 feet of ice on the hill, only some of which had been ground up by the grooming machines. This week they'd had time to chew it up and spit it out, and there had actually been some new snow during the week, in addition to the rain.

Second bonus: all the chairs were running! Last week we started out with two, then added a third, then it was beer time. This week after dumping the kids at their lessons it was off to the Central Express, then down the hill and east to Silver Fir to play until lunch time. Silver Fir was nicely empty for the first hour or so, and thanks to the ice the faces had been groomed almost flat which played well with my mogul aversion. And even when it started getting more crowded, there's enough room on that side of the mountain that it wasn't that bad.

Third bonus: Logan's friend Gabe came up with us, so after lunch they were able to go off and do their own thing. Which I'm sure they found to be way more fun than skiing with their dads. Maya's young enough that it's not a big pain skiing with dad, although she did spend some time on the Magic Carpet with her friend Junie.

In fact, the only drag of the whole day was that I somehow lost the key to the ski rack when dropping off Gabe and his dad. They say it's not in the driveway, and I have no idea where else it might have gone. So if you see it, let me know!

Friday, January 15, 2010

MLK Assembly: a few production notes

Dear school my Chickeny children attend:

I went to today's Martin Luther King Jr. assembly, and have a few production notes. Hopefully you will take them in the spirit they're intended...

First off, I understand that much of the work was done by the kids, and for this I am truly grateful. It's nice that they get to learn stuff, then turn it in to a message to share with others. That said, here are the notes:
  • I understand that you don't want to quash their little creative juices, but if you're going to let 5th graders design stuff in PowerPoint, give them some general style guidelines first. Point out the value of open space. Mention that it's well nigh impossible to read 12 point type when it's projected on a screen. Bring up the fact that, if someone's going to talk along with the slides, you don't have to have all the words on each slide. That's why Bill Gates invented the bullet point.
  • Before the teacher, room parent, or whoever it was reads the audio to go with the slide show, have them test the equipment so there aren't huge clunking noises in the recording.
  • And while they're at it, maybe they could fact check the script. I'm fairly certain MLK's son wasn't "Martin Luther King Jr. the third." They probably dropped the "Jr." part, I'm guessing.
  • For all the parts of the presentation that involve audio, test out the amplification system before you're in the middle of the assembly.
Other than the technical stuff, though, I must say it was quite enjoyable. Keep up the good work!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Runway's back!

Well, one advantage of the big network shift of Project Runway is that while we had a long wait for the last season to start it's only been a month or two since the last finale and we've got a new season starting! And this year the Northwest (well, the Portland area anyway) is representing well with Seth coming from Vancouver (well, his bio says he's from San Diego, but I think he's in Vancouver now...or was before the show started) and Janine hailing from Portland (again, bio says she's from Willows CA, but I'm guessing that's a home town).

Northwesterners aside, based on tonight's debut it's clear that there's some definite talent, and huge potential for pressure-induced freakouts. Whee!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The daughter's first forray into script writing

So Miss Maya Chicken had quite the busy time last weekend...she started out with a roller-skating birthday party on Friday night, followed it up with some icy skiing on Saturday, had a friend spend the night Saturday night, then had another friend over for a playdate Sunday afternoon.

At some point during the slumber party (before the slumbering, that is), the girls asked to use the camcorder. They were making videos of various Webkinz and Maya's new Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster and having a fine old time. At some point I'll load them up to YouTube or something, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Anyhow, the video madness continued the next day when friend #2 came over. Only this time, instead of just madcap ad-libs, they scripted it out. And I now present for your reading pleasure that script (with formatting and spelling close to the original):
One day BOBBYJACK went to school.
BOBBY asked a playground teacher "When does school start"?!right now!Then JACK ran over to BOBBY. "its time for school!"I know. When they got to there classroom BOBBYJACK
Oh, and to add to the setting I should mention that BOBBY and JACK (and possibly BOBBYJACK...I'm still not clear if that's another character or some weird amalgamation) are monkeys. Monkeys portrayed by 9-year-old girls wearing home-made monkey masks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cider? Why yes, thank you!

So I went out for dinner and a beer with a couple friends tonight, mainly as an excuse to hear them bitch about their jobs (one of the drawbacks of being unemployed is I miss the "my job sucks" bitch-fests...sure, being unemployed sucks, but everyone knows that so there's no fun in whining about it). I'm not a big beer guy, but since my buddy Dave is we headed down to Naked City in Greenwood. I'd been there once before, but since then they'd started brewing on the premises. Which makes it all better, apparently.

Anyhoo, after trying someone's "Whip Ale", a passable pale that wasn't sphincter-tighteningly hoppy like my beer geek friends all like, I noticed at the bottom of the tap sheet a "dark dry cider" and figured "Hey, I used to drink cider when I was in England in college, so I'll try that!"

Dark was was similar in color to the Whip Ale. And it was plenty dry. But very tasty. If I'd been as big a cider nerd as my friend Dave is a beer nerd I would have better words for it. I also would have taken a picture of it with my phone to add to the documentation. But I'm not, so I just enjoyed it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Head cold, day 2

Not surprisingly, much the same as day 1: runny nose and sneezing. Today's remedies included more large doses of vitamins C and D and the use of the always soft Costco brand TP instead of the soggy handkerchief for the nose blowing.

Today's additional mysery was random pains shooting through my body when I sneezed. This only happened twice, thank God, but clearly it's a sign that I am now officially middle-aged. When you think you might have thrown your back out sneezing you know things are on the down-hill slope. Sigh.

Today's side-effect of the cold is that I have no ideas for the blog. So I'm prattling on about my illness. Well, at least it's taking my mind off not working...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A cold? Really?

You'd think if I was going to get sick in this winter of the Swine Flu Pandemic it would be the good ol' H1N1, but nooooo! I get stuck with a stupid cold! H1N1 did roll through the house around Halloween...the wife was down for a good 5 solid days, followed by a week of slow recovery. The kids each missed school - Maya for 3 days or so, Logan closer to a week. But somehow I got away with a little mild vertigo and some aches. Apparently the fates are getting back at me now by making my nose run all day.

Oh least the misery of my inflamed nostrils is distracting me from the pain of the Cowboys still being alive in the playoffs.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

First day of ski lessons + freezing rain overnight = beer for me

So if you were following me on the twitters today you're aware of the rough details, but here's the full-fledged report. 'cause I know you care...

Today was the first day for the young Chickens' ski lessons this season. The weather forecast was iffy for Snoqualmie Pass: last night was the classic "wintery mix" of snow, sleet, rain and freezing rain. So we left plenty of time for traffic and picking up the other kids and parents coming along, then proceeded to run in to almost no traffic at all. Which meant we got there with plenty of time to spare. Yay that!

We trudged up to the Holiday chair at the mighty Summit Central, stood in a very short line on really crusty chopped up snow, and rode on up the hill. I got on ahead of the kids and told them I'd meet them at the ski school chalet, so I headed off across the mountain. At this point I realized that this would likely be a short day for ol' Scott Chicken. First, I'd left the backpack with the snacks and hot water in the car. Second, that backpack also had my low-light goggles. Third, it was pretty dim / flat and the goggles I had on weren't helping much. Fourth, and most importantly, it was like skiing on an ice rink. A very bumpy, sloped ice rink.

The areas where the grooming machines had chewed things up weren't bad, but anywhere else was nasty. And the route from the top of Holiday to the chalet went over a few such places.

We all survived the traverse, although Miss Maya was a bit shaken by her inability to maneuver on the ice. We met up with our friends, who had by now secured their rental gear, and waited for teachers to show up.

As I stood there I noticed that it looked like there were only two chairs running, both of them on the "easy" runs. Hmm...things were not looking good for me, let alone the lessons. The teachers finally arived and confirmed my fears: the upper mountain was closed until they could get things groomed a bit better. Turns out the freezing rain hit around 5 AM and destroyed everything they'd done the night before. The classes would head over to the other, less used and slightly steeper beginner chair and that would be that.

Well, since I wanted no part of that I hung out for a while watching the first-timers learn to ski and snowboard, talking to a teacher whose class hadn't shown up, and killing time. Eventually they opened the "Triple Sixty" chair and I figured I'd give it a shot. This chair, for those of you not familiar with the Summit, climbs to a ridge about 3/4 up the mountain. At the top you can go right and down a steep face, left and down a steep face, or left down a cat track to a less steep bowl area. The faces were closed, so I and everyone else funneled down the very icy cat track. If you've never skiied or snowboarded on ice you don't know what you're missing...loud scraping sounds, little directional or speed control, painful to fall on, it's everything you could ask for. The bowl was a little better, since they'd chopped up a few wide swaths with the groomers, but not good enough to stay on the hill.

So after that run I took my skis back to the car, changed out of my ski boots, grabbed the back pack, and went to the lodge for a beer. The only problem was that I'd left my book (Darksong Rising by L.E. Modesitt Jr.) at home. Ah well...

Finally met the kids back at the chalet at 12:30 when their lessons were over. They'd had a good time, although the chair stopped running at some point and they had to climb the hill the old fashioned way. And the other kids, all of whom were in their first lessons ever (two former skiiers trying snowboarding, one brand new skiier) also had great times. And hey, I got to enjoy a guilt-free SnowCap!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hey, whataya know?

So you remember how yesterday (or earlier today, depending on when you read it) I was saying that we couldn't take any orders for the Girl Scout Cookies? Well, now we can. Pre-order season started today. If you're in the Seattle area we'll deliver. If you're not, well, either find a local dealer or pay some shipping. Here's this year's line-up, in order of my faves to my least faves:
  1. Thin Mints: The classic chocolate mint cookie, made with natural pepermint rather than that nasty wintergreen or spearmint
  2. Trefoils: The original Girl Scout cookie, I think...shortbread formed in the shape of the Girl Scout trefoil logo thingamabob
  3. Lemon Chalet Creme: A sandwich cookie made with ginger cookies and lemony creme
  4. Dulce de Lece: According to the Little Brownie Bakers who make 'em, "Inspired by the classic confections of Latin America, these sweet, bite-size cookies are rich with milk caramel chips."
  5. Samoas: I'm not a big fan, but I'll eat 'em if I have to. Vanilla cookies with chocolate, coconut and caramel. Some swear by them, but I'm not that in to the coconut thing.
  6. Thank U Berry Munch: I reviewed this one yesterday. Buyer beware.
  7. Do-Si-Dos: Another sandwich cookie, this time with oatmeal cookies and peanut butter filling. Not my thing, but whatever.
  8. Tagalongs: Again according to the Little Brownie Bakers, these are "Tasty cookies topped with creamy peanut butter and covered with a luscious chocolaty coating." Seems like a waste of perfectly good cookies and chocolate to me, but hey, those not violently alergic to peanuts apparently love 'em.
I think the cookies are $4 a box. If you want some, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment with your order!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Girl Scout cookies

Hey, in case you don't have Girl Scout Cookie season highlighted on your calendar, it's coming up. And I thought I'd warn you that the new flavor blows. It's called something like "Fruity Crunch" or "Very Berry Crunch" or something. Hang on, I'll check...OK, I went to the web site since I'm too lazy to walk upstairs to's "Thank U Berry Much". The label states it "contains real cranberries". The web site claims it's also got gratitude in it, which leads me to believe that gratitude doesn't taste nearly as good as you might think.

So what DOES it taste like, you ask? Well, the wife described it as strawberry Pop-Tart (which, by the way, you can now buy online), but I think it's more stale Crunch Berry (which are also available online) in cookie form. The cookie itself is crumbly and dusty, the fruit doesn't taste like a cranberry, the whole thing is a mess. I say stick with the classic Thin Mints, Trefoils, or the delightful Lemon Chalet Cremes.

Now that I've got you drooling, you'll have to wait...can't take orders yet, but don't worry. Once we can, I'll be sure to let you know!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First book review of the year

Santa was good to me, and gave me a copy of Craig Ferguson's book American on Purpose. I've been a fan of Craig's since his work as Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show, although I must admit I kind of lost track of him once the show went off the air. I remember he was up for the Late Late Show when Kilborne decided to quit, and I'd occasionally catch the show when I couldn't sleep, but it wasn't until this last spring that I realized two important things: first, he's goddamn funny, and second, I have a DVR and could watch the show whenever I wanted.

Over the summer Craig started plugging his book, having various celebs read exerpts from it. It sounded funny, and more importantly it sounded like he wasn't sugar-coating things. And if you know anything of Craig's story (which, now that I've read the book, I do) you know he's no saint. Had he been born 20 years later and pulled the same alcohol and drug-fueled stunts in the '90s and '00s he would have been all over TMZ (or the Scotish / English equivalent). But hey, back in the '70s and '80s such behaviour was, if not approved, I suppose accepted. And he managed to get clean and sober before the booze killed him, for which I am (and you should be) grateful.

So, how's the book you ask? Great. It's funny, it's touching, and it's a great insight into his life. But two things really stand out for me.

First is the glimpse it offers into the world of the functioning (and at times non-functioning) alcoholic, something I know almost nothing about. I know a number of recovering addicts, both those who go completely dry and those who now drink occasionally, but I don't really know what they went through, what it was like to need a drink or a shot. And while I still don't know what that's like first-hand, I feel I have a better grip on it than I did before.

Second, it gives an outsider's view on what makes the U.S. a great country. The final chapter shares the book's title, "American on Purpose," and is a great explanation of why Craig, who probably could have had a very nice life and career had he stayed in the UK, chose to emigrate and why he eventually chose to become a naturalized citizen. It sums up a lot of what I feel as a natural-born citizen, sentiments that weren't popular (and may still not be popular) during the Clinton and Bush administrations. And since I can't explain it nearly as well, here's a quote (from page 265 of the hardback edition, if you want to look it up...):
It seemed to me that American patriotism had been hijacked by politicians who used it for their own jingoistic ends, and I wanted to use my television show to get away from that. I wanted to get back to the image of the gum-chewing GIs who brought swing dancing, fruit, and hope to Scotland when my parents were kids. I wanted to share the feeling I got when I received my big color poster from NASA in the mail. I wanted as many native-born Americans to understand the thrill and exhilaration that comes from joining the land of the free.
If this sounds trite I don't give a rat's ass. I believe in it. America truly is the best idea for a country that anyone has ever come up with so far. Not only because we value democracy and the rights of the individual but because we are always our own most effective voice of dissent. The French may love Barack Obama but they didn't fucking elect him. We did.
We must never mistake disagreement between Americans on political or moral issues to be an indication of their level of patriotism. If you don't like what I say or don't agree with where I stand on certain issues, then good. I'm glad we're in America and don't have to opress each other over it.
We're not just a nation. We're not an ethnicity. We are a dream of justice that people have had for thousands of years.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

So long, Mr. Unit!

Randy Johnson is retiring. It's been a while since I've seen him live, but I still remember his outstanding play as a Mariner. I was there when he threw the first no-hitter in franchise history, and I was there in '95 when he came out of the duggout to face down Black Jack McDowell in game 5 against the hated Yankees. Always thought he'd make an amazing closer, but I guess 22 years in the bigs was enough for him!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, Maya!

Today miss Maya Chicken turned a whopping 9, and was showered with gifts and cake. As you recall from the previous Maya's birthday post, her cake was a disaster and we loved it. So this year's cake design was a pre-made disaster: two yellow cake rounds in a bowl with chocolate mousse between them. This year, unlike last year, the mousse set up so we could have made it a "real" cake. But it's better this way. Honest.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Finally, a new show I might actually watch!

OK, the odds are actually pretty small, but you have to love the concept of Conveyor Belt of Love on ABC at 10 tomorrow (Monday, January 4th). Here's what ABC has to say about it:

In this hilarious and fast-paced one-hour special, one by one the 30 men are presented on the Conveyor Belt of Love to the five women and given 60 seconds to impress them. If a woman is interested in someone, that man will step aside and wait as the rest of the men go by. But if another man comes by on the belt who seems better than that woman's first choice, she can swap out the man waiting off of the belt as many times as she wants until the last man has passed by. If two or more of the women are interested in the same man, the tables turn and the man on the conveyor belt gets to choose which one he would like to wait for. After all 30 men have made it through the Conveyor Belt of Love, each woman is left with her final choice as she embarks on a date in the hope of finding a true connection. Will these five women be happy with their choices?

What they don't say is that the 25 dudes who are rejected stay on the conveyor belt as it moves through the hallway with rotating knives where they're processed into hash and eventually fed to the pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick's house.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Clearly I'm in the wrong line of work

Although technically, since I'm unemployed and all, I'm not really in ANY line of work...still, I think I should have skipped business school and started a fundamentalist Christian church. Hell, I played a revivalist preacher in the play Tent Meeting in college (here's a link to a New York Times review of a 1987 production by the original cast...I'm sure they did a FAR better job than we did).

Anyhow today the story hit that Rick Warren, founder of the Saddleback Church down in SoCal, raised $2.4M after making a plea for donations 'cause the church was $900 grand in the hole.*

$2.4 million would definitely taste good right about now, but I don't think I could handle the job. For one thing, I don't own enough suits. And while that kind of folding money would buy me quite a few, the real problem is I don't enjoy wearing them. And from what I've seen if you're going to be a TV preacher you really need to wear a suit.

So I guess it's back to with me!

*Oh, and speaking of holes, as a side note Dan Savage, editor of The Stranger, author of the Savage Love sex advice column, and promoter of the term "Santorum" as a nasty byproduct of anal sex, facilitated the re-defining of "Saddlebacking" back in January as a reaction to Pastor Warren's stance on premarital sex among other things. Click the link for the definition, but here's the word used in context: After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage. And lest you think the phenomenon is made up, I have second-hand knowledge from a fairly trusted source that it's not.

Friday, January 01, 2010

The return of Blog 365

So clearly the Chicken Blog has laid fallow for far too long. Looking back at 2008 it appears I published a whopping 25 posts. Maybe 24, since I think one I started on then never finished and published. So for 2010 I'm going to try to get back to throwing something down every day.

And to start things off on this January 1st of the year MMX, a video! Not by me, mind you, but by my far more creative son. He created this back in 2006 when he was all of, um, 9. I helped a bit with the movements, and I dropped the stills in to Adobe Premier Elements to create the animation, but the rest was him. And now, 4 years later, it's hit enough views that it's eligible for Google's AdSense advertising. Which means that in another 4 years we'll be able to buy a new Lego dude. Or at least a hand.