Perfect Timing, As Always

The onset of the first cold I've had in years has coordinated itself perfectly to ensure that it will be much more difficult to enjoy my birthday.

That's right. Today is the day that all the world celebrates my existence. You forgot to buy a card, didn't you?

On a serious note, I need to say that nobody in the world works with better people than I do. Yesterday, my co-workers did the traditional cake and a card thing and then, totally unexpectedly, one of them said something along the lines of, "We know you and Vicky have had a rough year and we thought something a little extra would be in order". He then handed me an envelope containing a rather substantial amount of money. Vicky cried, and I came very close. It's not like we would have died without it, but the utter thoughtfulness of the act was extremely humbling and very much appreciated. You guys are the best.

So, stuffed-up head aside, we're going to have lunch with the parents, take in a movie and then enjoy an enormous steak at a cozy, little restaurant. Tomorrow, we're off to Hot Springs for a weekend of massages, good food, horse racing and a little lake time.

Post what you'd like to here. I'll more than likely be silent until Monday.

At Least He Left Undefeated

As if the state of the University of Arkansas' athletic programs weren't enough of a national joke, they managed to lose their brand new basketball coach in less than twenty-four hours.

Reportedly, they're now leaning towards Skippy the Wonder Kangaroo.

I may have been a bit premature. According to a trusted source we'll call Deepthoughts, there is to be a UA Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, and the presence of both Frank "Godfather" Broyles and Houston "Untouchable" Nutt has been required. In addition to the utter and complete botching of the hiring of a new basketball coach, something has been simmering below the surface for a few weeks.

There are persistent rumors that Nutt is holding, shall we say, unauthorized Livejasmin workouts. Not with the football team, but with a local news anchor by the name of Donna Bragg. They were reportedly captured on some hotel's security camera either coming or going.

On the upside, this could bring the happy news that Nutt's tenure at Arkansas is over, and hopefully that Broyles will be shown the door immediately, rather than at the end of the year. On the down, UA's joke amplifier will most certainly go to 11.

I've been told that there isn't video, rather records of text messages from his phone to hers.

And, we're back!

Running to and fro this morning, but I did want to introduce everyone to our little bundle of joy. Vicky and I went to the UA horse show over the weekend (a surprisingly fun activity for someone of a decidedly non-agricultural bent), and as fate would have it, there was a couple selling some puppies. We looked at them, oohed and ahhed, and walked away. We made it about ten feet before Vicky said, "You know I'd buy one right now, don't you?". I said something to the effect of, "Excellent idea!", and here we are.

Say hello to Piper. She's 3/4 Blue heeler and 1/4 Jack Russell (bred this way on purpose, apparently), and as such I'm sure she will be an incredibly calm, quiet companion. Oh, and did I mention she's absolutely adorable?I'll have more from the horse thing later. There were some great photo opportunities.

Let It Snow

Terrible news for Tony Snow and his family as it was announced that the cancer he'd previously been treated for has metastasized to his liver. He will again have to endure radiation treatments and maybe worse. Nobody know the full details, of course, but from what I've read and heard, the mortality rate for this type of cancer is not very good. And, having just seen a glimpse of what liver failure looks like, I have nothing but sympathy. It is decidedly unpleasant.

I've never met Tony, but I'd always enjoyed his columns and later his radio show. But everyone has talked about how generous he is, and I do have some personal knowledge of that. Long time readers will remember how involved Vicky and I were after the tsunami. Our priest at the time was a native of the area where it hit and decided that giving a check to the Red Cross wasn't quite enough. We ended up raising close to $80,000 over a three week period from both the local community and many other people who just read about it on various blogs. This culminated with Vicky, Fr Leo and his wife going to India in mid-January, just a few weeks after the disaster. and spending ten days distributing the aid.

Obviously, this minor little blog could get the word out by itself, and a lot of other, much bigger bloggers helped a lot. But where we saw our traffic really spike, there was a direct connection to Tony. I don't remember the exact sequence of events, but I think that we'd heard Tony talking about various relief efforts and how some were not thrilled with the bigger organizations. She called his show and after talking to the screener, they decided that Tony would interview Fr Leo. They did a surprisingly long segment, and he later featured it on his website. We later were able to see a direct correlation to that appearance, and checks, both large and small, coming in from all over the country. A couple of days later, the church's phone rang and it was Tony. He just called to thank Leo for the effort and to ask him to keep him posted. The guy is is a total class act, and we wish him nothing but the best.

Of course, as would be expected, some people are just thrilled about this diagnosis. From the highly respected liberal site run by Kevin Drum, we get these gems (in fairness, there were quite a few people who were kind and decent).

This is Monday

No, I'm not pulling another disappearing act. It's just been busy for the last few days. And hey, I'm still more prolific than some people have been lately

So, it's been fairly quiet around the world the past week, hasn't it? Well, if you discount the fact that Iran has decided to release Hostage II and some British sailors, and announcing their intention to try them as spies. Of course, the western press is in an uproar since clearly, this would be a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Neither the press, various UN committees nor even Saint Cindy Sheehan, has uttered a peep. We are obviously deal with a case of "living" conventions. They're pliable, and only to be used in the interest of furthering an agenda. Off the top of my head, I'm guessing that right around zero of the poor, mistreated guests at Guantanamo were in uniform, nor did most o them, as the convention also stipulates, "respect the laws and customs of war". You know, little things, like not setting off car bombs in markets full of civilians. The silence on Iran's latest idiocy is deafening.

More later, of course. My need for coffee clearly outweighs my need for blogging at the moment.

Post your favorite Geneva Convention or other stories of utmost importance here.