Happy 10th birthday (tomorrow) to NAFTA.

Many supporters call you beneficial in delivering products. No one will call you a panacea. Even some of those for the extension of NAFTA admit you aren't positively influencing the global economy. And while supporters qualify you as a work-in-progress, they point to net gains for the three member nations (Canada, Mexico and the U.S.).

Opponents say you have categorically failed to increase wages or reduce income inequalities while allowing foriegn investors to sidestep many environmental, patent and safety laws. Locally, you decimate economies in the States.

The North American Free Trade Agreement encourages more trade across borders and sends jobs out of the U-S by the thousands. You can see state-by-state and industry breakdowns of American job loses here.

Alabama lost 16,865 jobs because of NAFTA between 1993 and 2000. By comparison, the state gained 39 jobs attributed to NAFTA in the same period, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

All that before adolescence.


Just added seven new pictures to the 'visual' page. Pretty sunrise this morning. Click on over and check them out, won't you? And don't forget the flattery when you are done.


Here are the inane details of my day ...

I figure I got some 16 meals plus out of my trip to the grocery store. Paid 37 bucks. Go me. Also, my blood pressure is dropping. Still have to work on that heart rate though.

Also, if a hitchhiker gets rid of his sign, did he get a ride all the way to his destination? Or did his plans change? Its 623 miles from where I found that sign to Orlando. The map I am using says it would take you nine hours and 35 minutes to get there. But if you are riding on your thumb or lost your sign, how long does that take?


Ahhh sleep, blissful sleep. Finally drug my body out of bed at about 11 a.m. this morning. Made my self presentable and then got some movies and lunch.

Brandy and I watched the first Lord of the Rings. We also rented the second, but opted for late night shopping instead. The plan is to re-watch the first two before seeing the third. We're late, but who wants to be in a crowded theater? Or rather, who wants us next to them when we make fun of our favorite character. You know, the elf that was also in Matrix. Misterrrr Annnndersonnnnn.


Alright guys, I confirmed this very evening an important piece of information for you.

It turns out, that if you stare at a girl to hard, she'll think you're "creepy." On the other hand, if you are "hot" and stare at said girl to hard, she'll think you're "a bit creepy, but kind of like it too."

This from my waitress tonight ... she was talking about some guy sitting across the barbeque restaurant staring at her co-worker. All I wanted was a sandwhich, but I think there might some advice in this conversation. I'll leave it to you to find.
Alabama facts

The state spends about $10,400 per inmate per year. Sounds like a lot, but is actually less than half of what Tennessee and North Carolina spend. Arkansas spends some $6,000 more a year per inmate. The survey, released by the American Correctional Association, further highlights problems in a system cited as inhuman by state and federal judges, and provides further reason why state institutions aren't accredited.


Finally uploaded a picture of the last of my grandparents. Now all of them are here. And I don't feel like such a bad grandson anymore. You can find them all on the bottom of the 'visual' page.


Just a couple of Christmas pictures (everyone has them, right? and I don't want to bore you).

It was Christmas Eve breakfast at Grandmother Ocie's home. While opening presents (and Ocie was a good girl this year) GranBonnie snuck a bow on my head.

Got her back later in the night. Here she is in mid-bite. That snack was apparently just irrestible. And too good to share with Cocoa. Poor thing just had to sit and stare while GranBonnie ate the whole doughnut. Must have been a good treat to keep it all for herself. Apparently the "season of giving" doesn't extend past presents. :)
Six geese-a-laying can now be found on the 'visual' page. Beautiful birds that live in the river at my grandparent's home. Pretty to look at, annoying to deal with.


Peace on earth, good will to men.


Brandy and I found the underdog Christmas tree tonight. This scrawny tree tradition goes back at least three years.

Finding the right tree is difficult. It must be a loner, but strong, downtrodden, but attractive. And it has to hold all seven ornaments now dedicated to it (soon to be nine). It also holds one strand of lights and -- the best part -- the salvaged piece of garland discovered in a Little Rock dumpster.

Its an underdog Christmas tree. And the holidays wouldn't seem right without it.


Auburn fans might want to visit this post-dated entry. This came from the Iron Bowl, but I've only now been able to put it here. So go look at November 16th's posts to check out a great moment from the 2003 Iron Bowl.
The only thing you need to know about my Saturday night.

It was good to get away. Great to have time off. Wonderful to be able to sleep in. Nice to spend an early Christmas with family. Outstanding Christmas and birthday celebrations ... all that was great.

The snow was fun. Playing with the kids was great. Visiting with Rick's mom an all-too-rare treat. Getting my computer worked on was a bonus. Helping Rick a tad bit around the house was cool.

Reading a whole newspaper because I wanted too -- even the interesting stories I never get to read because I am always too rushed at work -- is also something to savor. Speaking of savoring, the home-cooked food is of course always a focal point.

Burning CDs for Matt was gratifying (but watching him suffer through wisdom teeth removal pain wasn't pleasant) and goofing off with Michelle is always something I look forward to.

And while having to go to work after a week off is always a drag, and that 3 a.m. wakeup alarm Monday morning will be a major shock to the system, it is nice to be back home again.


OK, coolest thing your grandparent's have ever done?

GrandBonnie can still school you with a softball bat or putter or ping-pong paddle. My great-grandmother, Flavil, got her degree at the age of 91.

Last Christmas, Grandmother Dortha, rode a mechanical bull (she's from Texas). Tonight, she's outdone herself. Here she's humming along to Let It Be.
There's humilating Saddam, and then there's humilating Saddam.

My favorite is the Che Hussein.
Pics from The Nutcracker are up on the 'visual' page. Just five, because there's no photography at the ballet of course. I had to smuggle what I got. Then I got caught. Had to do the birthday line, the puppy dog eyes, my best southern accent and more to keep my camera. So my apologies for the quantity and quality.

So you have a pic of the cover, two of the lights (one when the snow was falling on the audience), one of the family and the bowing/applause.


Thanks to all of you that called and wrote on my birthday. Sorry I couldn't spend more time talking to some of you. I didn't realize I knew so many people. The big 2-7. Three stumbles away from a nice round age. Now that's scary.

Rick's mom, Dortha, has her birthday later this month and we celebrated together. If you're ever in Louisville, check out Jarfi's Bistro, and go with the buffet. That cake was amazingly rich by the way.
You might recall hearing so much of the Saddam Hussien capture story as "Time magazine reports" and you will remember the story of how Time scrambled -- literally after the eleventh hour -- to change their cover story.

It seems a few of the original issues escaped from their regional distribution chain before the cover story changed. I don't have an idea on how many got out, but I am one of the few to have both issues of the Dec. 22, 2003 edition.

UPD: The circulation department wrote to tell me that less than 20 percent of the original version was released.
So obviously the new digital camera is my new toy ... this morning I peered outside to see cardinals at play. And this one picture takes the cake. From about 20 feet away ... and on a slightly downward angle ... you have this picture, which started as 1280x960, and cropped to 183x205 ... and you can see the drops of snow melting on the branches. That's shooting at one megapixel. This camera allows 3.2 megapixels.


We had Christmas with the family last night. It was a very good Christmas. I got sweaters, socks, a new digital camera, a media reader, two books, mind games, a laser-engraved wooden football, stocking stuffers and more!

But the best parts were the beginning and end. Rick started off talking about the real reasons for Christmas and I didn't think he would make it to reading chapter and verse. He was overcome with emotion, later telling me that it was harder than he thought it would be to do. I felt that the importance of the message was emphasized by how overwhelmed he was. He did a fine job.

And then we opened all these presents and everyone got and gave such thoughtful and beautiful and over-the-top gifts.

Then came time for the last gift ... Mom handed an evelope to Rick, and he had to read aloud what was inside. The pages inside were the court orders from the judge rendering the final decision on the custody of Matt and Michelle. There wasn't a dry eye around as Rick read it a second time to himself, just to be sure. The kids are home.

Rick knew that was going to be the decision, but the papers hadn't come in the mail until that very day. Last Christmas they told Matt and Michelle they were filing, and the final ruling became tangible yesterday. One full year had passed. Symmetry is a beautiful thing.

Meanwhile, the first pictures from the new camera are up. Be patient with me for a few days as I learn its bells and whistles. But you can find them on the 'visual' page.

Merry Christmas to you and may all of our Heavenly Father's blessings rain down upon you as you remember the true meaning of Christmas.


In addition to the two pictures added below, I've added a new picture to my 'visual' page. It has become one of my most prized positions. Though if you scroll to the bottom and look at it, you will realize that I am easy to please.

It is a picture of Matt, Rick and I out golfing about three years ago now. I have a print at home and finally a version for my computer.

Thanks Rick, for hooking me up to your network, allowing me to steal all these pictures.
Pictures from last summer

The family took a day trip this past summer ... there was boating, game playing, and of course, food. Here's a couple of the pictures I snapped ...

We'd all gotten in canoes and paddled off into a little slew and enticed Michelle to climb up on this tree. She was very nervous, but after almost slipping, doing a few cartwheels, and pretending to be bored, she finally settled down long enough for me to paddle back out and take this picture of her reflection. There are several close-ups as well, but this was my favorite. She looks very introspective here ... and its easy to forget she's sitting on a slippery old tree above water. And she put her hands together in a happy accident, but looking at it now, it just makes the picture.

About that same time Matt and Rick kicked back to relax. And both of them had this exact same posture, side-by-side. It was just incidental. But as I turned to shoot them, Rick moved, taking away my great candid picture. So he had to pose for one instead.
My snow is gone. The roads are wet and the fields are muddy. It was far more picturesque Sunday and Monday morning.

I think we are doing the faux Christmas tonight. I am taking the kids shopping this afternoon when they get out of school. Matt still isn't allowed to drive on account of his pain meds.

We watched Pirates of the Caribean last night. Pretty cute movie. Several good one liners in there. The DVD has 19 deleted or alternate scenes plus a blooper reel. Neither of which I got to see, but I am sure they are pretty good.

But I can't be trifled with little movies like that right now. I'm too busy looking forward to the third installment of Lord of the Rings. Brandy and I have plans to watch the first two and then go see the third, all at one time. Nothing like a nine hour overdose of fantasy theater.


Let me tell you the difference between Lane and Avenue ... if you type the wrong one into one of those driving directions maps on Yahoo! you end up in the wrong place. How about on the southwest side of town when you are supposed to be on the northeast side of town.

And once I had my side of town figured out, the hard part began. I had to stop and ask for directions or to look at a map three more times before I got to the place I was going. Which I had driven by like five times. And once even turned around, unknowingly, in their parking lot!

Mom better like that Christmas gift.

Grandmother is here, just off the plane from Fort Worth, Texas, so I am going to visit with her now. She just walked right in and started cooking. Maybe she'll let me help wrap Christmas presents.


I shoveled snow off my first driveway this afternoon. Its all that its cracked up to be, which is to say, not much.

Fortunately, just as we were getting ready to go to work, the snowplow guy showed up. Our job was reduced considerably.

And if you ever need your driveway dug out, may I recommend Andy's Lawn and Landscaping Service, in Greenville, Indiana.


It has snowed all day here. Where's Bing Crosby when you need him? About an inch on the ground. Could be worse, Mr. and Mrs. Wads called today. They are expecting eight inches tomorrow at State College. Poor Noveau Yankees.

Woke up at about 10:30 this morning. Didn't feel guilty about sleeping in because the math worked out to about seven hours of sleep. Even on my most exhausted days my body pretty much refuses to give me any more than that these days. Oh well.

Went to the mall, picked up a few presents. Saw two car wrecks in the snow. One a four car pile-up in a turn lane. Another where three cars all slipped into a ditch at the same point on a mountain road. Like these people have that many places to be. Come on guys, bundle up, stay home.

Matt's doing better. Though he looks funny with frozen peas strapped to his jaw. I'm told the veggies work better than ice because it forms to the face better. Makes sense to me. Anyway, he's off the frozen peas, no swelling and is just on the pain pills. He's in much better spirits than I would be.

The white stuff has tapered off. That's a shame, I'd hoped to write my Christmas cards with flakes falling, in the true spirit of Christmas. Maybe I'll just shiver on the porch so the good intentions are there.

Anyway, I'm told we're about to do that family thing and watch a movie ... so until next time, pretend to be young again, go outside and catch a few snowflakes in your mouth.
This entry is post-dated.

Last day at work for a week! Woohoo! Vacation time off comes none too quickly around here.

I spent part of my day making a "Year in Review" of sports for the state. That was pretty good stuff, given the controversy that has been overwhelming the top programs in Alabama.

After I got off work, a few errands later and I was on the road. Had to make it to my grandparent's 50th anniversay surprise party. (a picture will be forthcoming) It was a lot of fun. Saw family I haven't seen in years. Had a few laughs, and then it was on the road again. Drove the night through to get to Mom's. Funny thing, the first hour of the trip and the last hour were pretty hard on me. Fighting to stay awake and all. I probably looked drunk on the road, but I was just intent on staying awake. Honest occifer.

Made it safely to Indiana just after 2 a.m. local time. Talked with Mom for a while. She stayed up through the night with Matt, who had his wisdom teeth -- all of them -- removed Friday. He's beginning to feel better now, thanks for asking.


"Score one more for the good guys."

Looks like we're adding a new piece of hardware to the wall at work. A 2003 StateNets News Award for Best Documentary. "The Riley Plan" was a half hour program produced to run on ARN and 'ERC before the September ninth referendum on the governor's proposed tax hike. And now, it is an award winning documentary. I can hear the shameless promos already.
Second time I've been asked now. Someone sent me a note wondering if Auburn President William Walker is a slimy, evil person. After all, no one seems to like him much these days down on the Plains.

My answer was, "Not really ... He's just not 'Auburn'."

Yes, we use it as an adjective. It is a Southern thing, you might not understand.

He's just not Auburn, and certainly showing he's not very Presidential. He came from Rice to head the College of Engineering at Auburn. He was named Provost, and then interim President when Dr. William Muse was fired by the Trustees in 2001. A year later he was made President.

At this point, Auburn University is in disgrace in academic circles. No serious faculty or researchers would be willing to cast their lot there. If problems aren't fixed while on probation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will yank Auburn's accreditation. Federal funds would evaporate, degrees would be little more than ink on good stationary ... there are, in the words of one professor, "devastating problems" at Auburn right now.

For various reasons and outrages, the Auburn chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the Auburn Faculty Senate and the Auburn Alumni Board are all demanding Walker step aside.

In fact, the only people with any influence who aren't doing so are the Governor -- an Alabama man, who is being as tepid as possible -- and the Board of Trustees. Ralph Jordan Jr., the son of one of the most beloved historical Auburn figures, is calling for change.

But it doesn't all sit on Walker's head. Remember, he was installed by the Board of Trustees. Like so many other puppet governments, there are strings being pulled on this marionette. Though they aren't immune, pressure is being brought to bear on several of those individuals as well. Some of those Board members are no longer Auburn either.


The typical conversation my mother and I have this time of year:

Mom: I wish you would tell me something I could get you for Christmas.
Me: Nothing. I have everything already. Too much of everything in fact. A houseful and then some.
Mom: But what can I get you?

She always says this in a pleading and pained voice, both because -- bless her heart -- she wants to buy me things and because I am being difficult.

Sound like conversations you have?

Be difficult no more ... The gifts that give again can be found at whatgoesaround.org. Welcome to the world of cybercharity. This functions much like a wedding registry or an Amazon wishlist. When someone asks what you want, point them to this site, have them donate to any of the charities you select for your "givelist." This is a brand new -- and legitimate -- website that has already raised more than $9,000 for various charities and non-profits.

Truly the season of giving.


See? I really do know what I am talking about. Sorta ...

Remember a little over a week ago I wrote about a return to the moon?

Read this poll on the same subject, released Monday.
Anyone want to do states rights arguments again?

Dennis Cauchon writes in today's edition of USA Today ...
A new era of activism by state governments has arrived. Unhappy with what's happening in Washington, governors, legislatures and state attorneys general are leading a charge to set the national agenda on issues from health care to pollution control to securities regulation ... The new initiatives are largely liberal challenges to conservative policies adopted in Washington by the Republican-controlled Congress and White House.
A healthy dose of holding back federal funding will probably stop this movement right in its tracks.
There's democracy in action ... and then there's democracy ignored.

(Caddo-AP) -- Sixth-graders at East Lawrence Middle School who are tired of tucking in their shirttails have found a way to protest without getting into trouble. About 105 of 130 sixth-grade students studying a unit on government exercised practical politics and signed a petition objecting to the systemwide rule. Principal Larry Hancock says he didn't read the petition because he can't change the rule.

Way to go Mr. Principal. Totally ignore the kids observing and using the governmental processes we observe in this country. Very nice. How do you get to be a principal by ignoring the kids? We understand you can't change a systemwide rule. Show them you're interested. Applaud their efforts.

And what kind of rule is that anyway? You have to tuck your shirt in? I would have spent every afternoon in detention.

Back in the good old days of the early 90s, they wouldn't let students in my district wear shorts above a certain length, hats, or certain medallions. We didn't care for those things then, but it makes sense now. However, what negative thing can possibly come from a child with an untucked shirt? Bart lets his shirt hang free, so what? How many gang banger sixth graders are there in rural northwest Alabama anyway?


Its a return of Alabama facts:

Census estimates show that more than one in three of the students in the mostly black Perry County school system in west Alabama live below the poverty level. That is the largest percentage of children below the poverty level among Alabama's public school districts. Perry County and others in the region of the state known as the "black belt" are some of the poorest counties in the United States.


You know you've had a good weekend when the most productive thing you've done was buying and wrapping a few presents.

Yes nonbelievers, I wrapped presents Friday evening.

Saturday I went and picked up a gift card for a family friend. They had a fire at their home this weekend and lost everything. From what I'm told it was a blessing the way it happened. Timing alone kept everyone from being at home when the blaze -- and floor above -- collapsed on their bedrooms. So Mom asked me to get a gift card so that family can buy Christmas presents for their children.

Beyond those two productive things, its just been lots of football this weekend. Army-Navy, that shocker in Kansas City (Kansas State over Oklahoma 35-7? Boomer Sooner?) and the obvious game in Atlanta (LSU over UGA 34-13.) Don't you love that a team that didn't even win its conference (OU) is playing for the national championship? Makes you feel sorry for top-ranked USC.

Meanwhile, the dysfunctional Auburn family will take the dog and pony show to theGaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Presented By Bridgestone where they'll face the Wisconsin Badgers. At least we get to say the ignored national champions blanked our team at home to start the season.

Lastly, and most importantly, with today's rememberance of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the international deployments of so many troops, remind to spend a moment of your busy holiday season sending them your thoughts. Write a letter of appreciation.


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 (New International Version)


Moving on to a new book today. Finally making my way into Lou Cannon's Ronald Reagan biography. Cannon covered Reagan for more than a quarter of a century, first in California and then in Washington D.C. The book actually starts with his leaving the White House in 1988 and at some point backtracks from there. Just got started, but its pretty good thus far. Written cleanly and a good topic.

My step-father got me this, and several other books, recently. I got his Christmas present this afternoon, and Michelle's. Two down, seven to go. Or something ridiculous like that.
Kudos to me, I am about to get out in front of the stereotypical male last-minute Christmas shopping. Settled on some things for Michelle and Rick. Still have to figure something out for Matt and mom. Brandy's is almost done. I just have to get the grandparents now. Well, I actually still have to buy almost all that stuff, but at least I know what I want to get. And that agonizing is typically the majority of the time for me. Looks like an afternoon mall run.
White House officials are patting themselves on the back for coining the phrase "Kennedy moment" in regards to setting a major centerpiece for the President's fourth year agenda.

Among the ideas, yes, spending billions to go back to the moon. Many are of two minds on this. There's the thrill and glory of exploration, the next step for humanity, the scientific benefits and it just looks plain cool. And then there's the, "We're already spending ourselves into another major deficit, have a multitude of problems here on earth and we're staring at the sky."

This is all about two things: defining a legacy and winning a 2004 re-election bid. For the Bushies, something must be done on this front. While the various wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered by most as still good things (and the spin for the administration is easy enough) and the economy seems to be righting itself, there are still negatives to be found.

America: We might not stick our head in the sand, but we will put it in orbit.

Realistically, the pollsters should reach out their fingertips to see how strong the nation's pulse is to go back to the moon right now. There are many other issues considered higher priority by the general public.

Some of the other ideas with merit include promoting longevity, fighting childhood illness or hunger, curing cancer ... but NASA will likely repeat 1989 and come back with a back breaking budget projection. Then the whole fundamental idea of "Big grabs attention" is shorn off and nothing significant (for the President or the country) is accomplished.

Bush aides are wary of repeating Bush the elder's mistakes, but their letting the moonshot story get ahead of them ... and history could be set to repeat itself.


Someone needs to tell me how these science fiction time vortices always gravitate toward grocery stores. I spent an hour in Food World today.

Its not like I was agonizing over cereal or anything (I rushed that aisle so quickly I got the wrong kind by mistake). The biggest delay was in looking for a certain cheese and radishes (which were hiding). Anyway, got home and -- how tedious is this? -- cleaned out the fridge. Ate a nice salad and then fell asleep.

After my catnap I finished Kurtz's book. Fine, fine piece of story telling. It's about the art of spin, both by the Clinton administration and the media. The author is a well respected journalist that specializes in media coverage. He focuses on press secretary Mike McCurry as the primary character. If media, politics or Clinton scandals intrigue you, you'll find it a great read.

After that it was football watching time. I've spent primetime flipping back and forth between the MAC championship and the 4A High School finals.

Amusing story of the day: My grandmother's sister called me tonight. This would mark the first time I've ever spoken to her on the phone and probably the first time that I've talk to her in almost a decade. So naturally, I was a bit curious by the name in the caller ID. She said, "Is this Kenny?" Yes. "This is Carolyn, your grandmother's sister." And then there is this loooooong, horrible second and a half pause. And of course I'm thinking something terrible has happened and how bad a grandson I am for not having gone up to visit the weekend before last instead of sleeping in ... Anyway, my great aunt Carolyn is calling to tell me there is a 50th Anniversary surprise party next weekend for my grandparents. Phew! Off the hook. And a party to go to. And if you talk to my grandparents, don't spoil the surprise.

Note: these would be my father's grandparents, who are the only ones not on my 'visual' page. I know. Horrible grandson. Its just that I don't have any recent pictures of them. That, and their glaring absence on my site, will be remedied soon.
Alright legal eagles, I have one for you.

Benjamin Anthony Wilhite Wednesday was sentenced to life in prison on burglary and theft charges as an habitual offender.

On the same day, in another part of the state, David Powell was sentenced for six counts of sexual abuse of a child.

For forever scarring two four-year-old girls, he got 10 years in prison.

Anybody want to make sense of that one for me?
To know me is to be surprised by this as much as I am:

I haven't had any tea since Sunday afternoon. Mystifying. It just happened that when I got home from Mom's Sunday night I didn't have any at home. I haven't made or bought any since.

No soda in almost two months, no tea in four days, its just been water and juice for me. My insides don't know what's going on.

The truly sad part about this is that, if I keep on not drinking tea (and I might) the last glass I had was some bitter, nasty, unsweetened mess in a little generic restaurant in Indiana.


Need a little ethnic variety in your diet? Try The Pita Stop.

I've been vaguely ignoring this place for a long time, but finally had lunch there today. A pita of Kafta -- Lebanese meatballs -- sure goes down well over a working meeting. And I'll echo something in that review (now more than two years old) the fruit side was terrific.

Now that's eating right.
Richard Scrushy has a trial date. February 2, 2004. Groundhog Day. Embroiled in a $2.7 billion accounting scandal at the rehabilitation giant HealthSouth, that Scrushy co-founded, he proclaims his innocence. Others, he says, were scheming behind his back.

All five of the company's former Chief Financial Officers have plead guilty. Five CFO's can't be wrong, can they?

Scrushy's story has been tissue paper thin. His behavior has bordered on surreal, and the allegations coming out of the investigation aren't far removed from that neighborhood. Meanwhile, former executives continue to line up against him. Fifteen have pled guilty and -- in the same motion -- swiftly pointed their fingers at Scrushy.

All the while, Scrushy has opted to argue his case in the court of public opinion. He even appeared on 60 Minutes in a "no holds barred" interview just days before appearing before a House Committee ... only to take the Fifth Amendment.

The federal government is vigorously prosecuting this scandal as the first case of corporate wrongdoing in defiance of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which swung into law in 2002. Scrushy has been slapped with an 85-count indictment.

So the question is, on Groundhog Day, will Richard M. Scrushy see his shadow when he strides into the federal courthouse? And if he does, will he get more than six weeks at Club Fed?

If convicted of all charges, Scrushy faces a maximum of 650 years in prison, $36 million in fines and the possible seizure of $279 million dollars in property.


Thankfully, almost all of my Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten. I still have some apple pie and a few sweet potatoes to eat. And Mom -- for someone that doesn't like fruit-based desserts -- makes a mean apple pie.

Why is it that 68 degrees outdoors is pleasant but cold to me inside? I wonder this all the time, particularly after checking the thermostat this evening when I began shivering.

Today was the longest day. One of those slow passage of time days ... "only 7:30?" Yeah I know, I've got it rough. We had all sorts of technical problems which didn't get resolved until after 11 this morning, making me an island unto myself. There's no good way to compensate for that. Even worse, I had one of the dreaded slow talk days. Our software has a timer estimating script length. For example, for me 2:04 is two minutes on its current settings. Though today 2:04 was actually 2:12.

I blame that on a lack of quality sleep. Something I hope to fix in just a moment.


As promised, here's the picture of the Christmas tree of 2001.

Brandy and I were out driving around one night and we found ourselves on this dead end street in a new subdivision. As we turned around the car's headlights passed over this little beauty.

I used a string of lights previously decorating my bedroom, all four of my ornaments and the coup de grace, we found this mangled strand of garland in the dumpster.

Wonderful tree.
Let's see, act stupid a week before Thanksgiving, have your embarrassing behavior leaked just five days later ...

Fire William Walker

Yep, right on schedule.

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