Weekend

I've dreaded going to brendoman.com after all the trouble we've had in the last week and a half. I'm afraid I'll go to the site and we'll be having webhost problems again or something will be terribly broken. Things have been working somewhat better. We had houseguests this weekend. Kyle and Erika came to visit. We had a nice time going to the City Market in KC, visiting a comic shop and then having dinner with them and the Sears family.

More Katie Holmes news?

I was reading Giant the other day (a really great entertainment magazine that Matt got me hooked on)and I found this gem in the Katie Holmes interview:

Interviewer: What sort of TV do you own?

Katie: I just got an LSD. A flat-screen.

Interviewer: An LCD?

Aaaaaah. At least she's cute.

Rove anagrams

Karl RoveNow that we're seeing Karl Rove's name in the news so much, it might be a good time to take a closer look. Not at the man, but at his actual name, viz., what can we spell be rearranging the letters of 'Karl Christian Rove'?

Horn irks CIA travel
Hrs. til Novak CIA err
Think CIA valor err
Cavalier thorn irks
Hark! Visceral intro
Halt carnivore risk
Hot risk, craven liar
Liar cranks voter hi
Sack Hilton arriver
Shirk cranial voter
Rat or archives link
Carnival hero skirt

What's your favorite? Leave a comment to tell (or post a new one).

The second term jinx

It looks like Second Term Jinx is setting in for President Bush. He already had declining poll numbers, a Social Security plan that no one seems to like and a war that is starting to drag on. Now one of his top advisors has brought some genuine scandal to the White House. Karl Rove now at the center of the Valerie Plame Scandal. I'm still reading up on what exactly is going on. CNN.com had an article on the front page today about this. One very interesting quote: "Bush said last year he would fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name." If Bush's second term continues to be scandalous and unproductive, then he'll just be another victim of the curse of the second term. Clinton had Monicagate and Reagan had the Iran Contra. With so much going wrong for Bush, I don't think the Democrats will be very inclined to give him an easy approval of his Supreme Court appointments.

New evoskin: Plain

When I asked which template would make a better evoskin, a couple of people said they liked Plain. I think I have it mostly finished. Take a look. Once again, if you're a Brendoman.com author, then you can use it on your blog by changing your default skin in the backoffice. If there are any design problems or bugs, then I want to find out before I submit this to skins.b2evolution.net, so please email me and tell me what you think.

Google Earth

I heard about Google Earth when it first came out, but I only recently downloaded it and tried it out. Wow. It's worth a download just to play with it. It could be pretty useful, too. It is to maps.google.com as Photoshop is to MS Paint. And keep in mind that I really like maps.google.com. Google Earth lets you fly around, tilt the map, get much higher detail (you can see my house), and overlay dozens of types of meta data. And you can get customizations for it.

Civil religion

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.
Church with giant flag hanging in front of it

Architecture is the body language of the church - Real Live Preacher. I found this on Kristin's Blog and it comes from Real Live Preacher, a Salon.com blog that Matt has talked about before. He brings up some interesting questions in his brief post, but I mostly thought the image was really striking, so I thought I would post it.

Pictures of Isaac

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

Isaac
Tim has posted some pictures of handsome young Isaac in his gallery.

Basic human rights

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I was mowing my yard a couple of days ago and I got to thinking about two conversations. One was with my mom just this week and one was with the late Dennis McCullough over a year ago. Dennis was a conservative who had a long career as an educator. Once I asked him what he thought about education being socialized. Did he think the free market could produce better schools for less money? He said that if all schools were private schools, then they would only want to accept the bright students, the ones who would boost their stats, and of course, the ones who could pay. He said that the disadvantaged kids would get left out in the cold because they schools wouldn't have to take them (as they do now). That simple fact was enough to make him go against the general conservative tendency toward free enterprise and support the government control and funding of education. I think what he was saying was that education is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors.

As I pushed my lawnmower around my yard I was also thinking about the conversation that Mom and I had this week. She's a nurse manager for a dialysis clinic. We were talking about the exorbitant prices that drug companies charge for medicines, and the general overcharging that goes on in the medical field. So much of it goes to insurance companies in the form of malpractice insurance and health insurance. Mom said that she thinks the way things are are almost immoral. I that what she was saying is that health care is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors. As I cut the grass I finally connected these two conversations and I asked the question: Which is a more basic human right, education or health care? I think it has to be health care. If that's true, then why does our country guarantee education to every citizen, but not health care? And why are we one of the very few developed countries in the world where health care is not guaranteed?

For more information on this, check out the Wikipedia article Publicly Funded Medicine.

Gizmo

This post was written before I became an atheist and does not represent my current views. You can find more up-to-date posts on religion in my faith/skepticism category.

I know I've recommended Skype in the past, but there's a new kid on the block and it's very nice. Gizmo is a free voice chat program like Skype. It has free voice-mail, built-in call recording and conference calls of unlimited size. These features set it apart from Skype and make it a good choice for recording podcasts. It doesn't have text chat, which is a nice feature of Skype, but since it's an open project, this and other features can be added by the community of developers. We used Gizmo to record some tonight and the quality is about the same as Skype, which is good. Download it and try it out. My id is personman and Brendan's is brendoman.

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