Perhaps I misunderstood the nature of my enemy. Turns out the warfare is a bit more symmetric than I had thought. That picture did not represent the war won as I had hoped, but merely a successful battle. For what it’s worth, I’ve won two more battles in the past couple days. Strangely, with each victory I feel more and more like I’m losing.
In April of 2007, the warzone-disguised-as-an-alley behind our house was blocked off and work gradually proceeded on replacing it.
I am happy to report that today they moved the blockade just past our house, giving us access to our garage for the first time in 9 months! Thankfully, I was optimistic (for no apparent reason) and reorganized our garage over the past month to ensure we’d be able to fit both cars in it the moment the alley was accessible. For those of you who don’t know me that well, this is a Very Big Deal.
Speaking of garage organization, one of my goals in this house was to not store anything in the attic. I’m not a big fan of the out of sight, out of mind consequences of stuff being squirrelled away in the attic, gradually accumulating over the years. But the Christmas tree and decorations presented a challenge.
You’ll see my solution above the car on the right. I put a shelf in a couple weeks ago as the Christmas decorations were coming down that fits above the garage door when it’s open. It holds the Christmas tree and several containers of ornaments and decorations.
Nicolas, after hearing Jonathan complimented for being such a good older brother and being helpful to Josiah while I was out and about with the three boys, says, “Was I just like Jonathan on the trip except I haven’t helped anyone?”
Over the last year or two, I’ve bought numerous albums from bands that I had ignored (at least all their new stuff) for a decade or so. And in many cases I have been very pleasantly surprised. Downright thrilled by a few of them. Here’s a quick selection of aging rockers who rock.
Iron Maiden: Wow! Just wow. Brave New World (2000) showed a return to form with some great tracks, Dance of Death (2003) was okay, and then A Matter of Life and Death (2006) blew me away. I’d easily put that last one in a top 5 list of best Maiden albums ever.
Dream Theater: They never really slowed down, but I didn’t know it, because I wasn’t buying their albums. They pretty much all rock, with Systematic Chaos (2007) being no exception.
Rush: Some of the best stuff ever on their latest. When Snakes and Arrows (2007) opened with “Pariah dogs and wandering madmen/Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues” to a heavy hitting sound, I was floored. I need to go back and pick up Vapor Trails (2002).
King’s X: Ogre Tones (2005) is glorious, full bore King’s X, with the diverse sound of the early albums that includes both Doug and Ty on lead vocals, but with much of the more hard-driving sound that was developed on Dogman.
Savatage: Probably need a separate entry on them, as their music is all over the map. But it used to rock, and it still does.
Megadeth: I only have a few tracks from The System Has Failed (2004), and I have not heard United Abominations (2007), but what little I have heard makes me glad Dave Mustaine recovered from his radial neuropathy.
Here’s a couple bands that didn’t make the list even though I have their newer stuff and still listen to them.
Dio: Killing the Dragon (2002) and Master of the Moon (2004) are okay, but don’t compare to Dream Evil (1987) and some of his other earlier work (not to mention Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules from his Black Sabbath days).
Queensryche: I like many of their more recent albums, but I just don’t think they stand up to Operation: Mindcrime (1988) and Empire (1990).
I’ve probably missed some good ones. What other established metal bands survived the grunge movement and have put out a great album recently?
It is shocking to hear a modern politician refuse to pander. Not merely so, but to mock the very notion that pandering is healthy.
Let’s see. We are running a huge retail business. We need to cut costs. How should we go about cutting back costs without hurting sales?
I know, let’s come up with an incredibly simple scheme that ensures we fire all our top sales people. Every last one of them.
It boggles the mind.
Here’s a chart of Circuit City’s stock performance over the past couple years. I’ve marked the spot at which they took this bold cost saving action with a little red explosion. Yeah, that really helped stop the bleeding.
Here’s a confession: I actually don’t know what I think about Ron Paul when I think of all the responsibilities of a president. And I, frankly, get tired of hearing about what a perfect document the Constitution is and how it should be followed forever and ever world without end. But sometimes I don’t care. I just want to vote for the guy who will spend his term trying to destroy these bureaucracies.
I’d add a clarification. In my opinion, Ron Paul doesn’t represent the constitution per se, but rather the state of being constitutional. It’s the rule of law that is at stake, not the specifics of the document as currently written. We have a means of amending the constitution, and it has been amended quite a few times. I’m fairly certain Dr. Paul would want to amend it himself if he had his druthers. But the rule of law transcends the particulars of the document, and that is what is at stake today. The rule of law is, as far as I can tell, a necessary foundation for liberty, and as the foundation goes, so goes the house built on it.
Tricia and I constituted a small portion of the 24,940 new donors to Ron Paul’s campaign during yesterday’s Tea Party, a group effort that led to over $6,000,000 in contributions within 24 hours. The party is over, but you can still donate and join the revolution.
Tricia asked me to post our latest eBay auction. I was overcome with helpfulness and took the liberty of rewriting the description.