27 October 2006

Fall in Las Vegas

Fall in Las Vegas is a lot cooler than summer, and a little warmer than winter. But other than that, there isn't much of a difference. Leaves on palm trees do not change. You do not get to walk through grass littered with crispy, colorful leaves. You don't get to hear the swish swish crunch that comes fro,m losing your shoes in an unclaimed yard. You don't even get to smell the rotting leaves after a good fall rain. Nope. If you want fall in Las Vegas (and you don't have time to get to Mt. Charleston) you have to go to the Bellagio Conservatory.

Jesse and ventured to fall two weeks ago. We actually marked a lot of firsts that Sunday afternoon. It was our first trip to Hash House A Go Go, the first time we parked at the Bellagio, and the first time we were searched while parking at a Casino. Jesse says it's because the Bellagio is the nicest hotel on the strip. It's the only other 5 star property besides the Wynn. Still, it was surprising to have the trunk searched. It only took a few extra seconds though, because I keep my trunk empty. I just can't stand clutter. Anyway I took a picture, but blurred the plate of the car in front of me.

The conservatory is 100% decked out. In this case, the pictures are better than the words. So I'll just show you those.

25 October 2006

Not It!

I firmly believe this country is tossing itself right down the toilet. Maybe it's because I live in Las Vegas, where the news is seldom good. Maybe it's because I like news and seek it out - and that news tends to be bad. Or it could be that I'm right. I base this belief on several recent and not so recent events. For one, school "incidents" are up. Just so you know, I define an incident as any
* shooting
* stabbing
* instance of a student bringing a weapon to school
* student shooting at a school bus
* student shooting another student on accident.

All of the above have appeared in my shows within the last 60 days. Aside from that, our politicians are corrupt. I'm including state and federal in that statement.

We're a country in a never ending war. And although the aforementioned politicians are becoming bolder about admitting the war is wrong, (and not going well) they're about 2 years behind what they need to be. People aren't making enough money to support their families, children are running out of strong role models, and community activism is at an all time low.

From what I can tell, children are being pushed away from the things that would help them and being pushed toward things that can hurt them. Administrators in Massachusetts have banned tag from playgrounds. Now I've never been a proponent of all that running but I should have been. It's something kids need. They need it more than video games and $150 sneakers.

I think banning tag is along the same lines as suspending a first grader for kissing another student. I think we have to use more common sense and not let the exceptions decide the rules.

Banning tag. I mean really.

24 October 2006

Airline Secrets

I like to fly. I liked it a lot more when I was younger, and there were free peanuts. I also like watching how things are made in factories. Along those same lines (there is a point here) Ive often wondered what goes on once my luggage goes through the little flap with its tag on. Sometimes the TSA opens it, sometimes it doesnt. Jesse recently sent me an article that offers a bit of insight into air travel, and the state of airlines overall.  The link is below.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2006-10-12-greenberg-american-airlines_x.htm?csp=34

19 October 2006

lmn.tv

You can't tell by my words, but I got my hair braided last weekend. You're bound to see a picture before I take it out. So here are the answers you want; it took 7.5 hours and cost $250 - including the fun hair.

I went to a lady's house and basically just sat there. I brought a book to read but that proved difficult to do as my head was being yanked at unnatural angles. I brought a bottle of water and my phone, but as Jesse can tell you, I did not make for pleasant conversation.

But I did learn something, and really isn't that what's makes life worth living? I learned that there is a channel that shows only Lifetime movies. You know, Lifetime, Television for women. That's right, I discovered LMN, The Lifetime Movie Network. Now bear with me if you knew this existed, for I surely had no idea. I've never been a fan of Lifetime movies and it's for the same reasons I don't like romantic comedy. I do not like predicting what's going to happen. I also don't like toned down responses to what are supposed to be real life situations.

But alas, as I was sitting in a stranger's kitchen, I had no control of the remote. What I had was time to see 4 movies. Here are their plots, in order of appearance.

  1. A woman plans to kill her abusive husband. He had been in jail but was paroled. As soon as he got out, he wanted to get his daughter and kill the wife, who he had blamed for ruining his life and stealing his house. The wife called an abuse line and told the counselor, who used clues from the conversation to find this woman. The husband someone gains control of the situation, even though he's outnumbered and they have, er, had, a gun.
  2. A girl gets raped. Her father finds the guy who did it. He's so upset he turns him over to the police and waits for due process. The guy is acquitted. The father learns he cannot appeal. The rapist begins stalking the girl. The dad kills the rapist and takes himself to jail. Later, during his sentencing, his daughter says she can not testify because what her dad did was wrong and he deserves to go to jail.
  3. A talk show host stops by her husband's mistress' house and kills her husband. The prosecution says it was premeditated. The defense says she snapped. We listen as a jury deliberates. It just so happens this jury is full of stereotypes, including a Hispanic male who thinks if the woman gets off with manslaughter, it'll send a message to all women that their husband's can't cheat. There's also a woman with short hair and pants who says the jurors could never understand what that woman went through, and that she obviously had no choice.
  4. An upper middle class woman driving her SUV in the rain dropped her purse while looking for cigarettes. She then hit a girl on a bike. Of course this socialite did not have a cell phone, so she had to drive to a gas station call the police. By the time she got back to the scene, it was being investigated as a hit and run. She drove through the police blockade and couldn't muster the voice to say anything. And then there is an investigation.

So. We have bad plot lines, bad writing, and commercials. It was awful. But like I said, I did learn something. Too bad I wish I didn't know it.

18 October 2006

News For The Thinkers

Without saying too much, I can tell you that I work in news. Throughout the day I see vatrious interesting stories reported from various legitimate sources. I sometimes I email these stoies to Jesse, but sometimes I don't. It really depends on how much time I have. On the other hand, Jesse send me lots of articles. He has more web browsing time than I do. He reads and forwards often, almost too much. It's hard for me to keep up. But when I do read them, I am impressed. These articles are usually quite thought provoking.

A little while ago, I thought it would be fun to share these articles via my blog. The way I saw it, I would email posts just like as if I were home. But I can’t add pictures and I can’t make words into links. This bothers me. In fact in bothered me so much, I refused to do it. But now I’m over it. So I’ll start doing it.

We begin today with an article from the USA Today. It’s about cab drivers with moral objections to alcohol. It’s religious. I’m not sharing my opinion one way or the other but it got me to thinking; if pharmacists can have moral objections why shouldn’t cab drivers? I found no reason why. Anyway, here’s the article:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-10-cabbies-culture_x.htm?csp=34

17 October 2006

Ahem

Take that Anonymous. It seems you thought these two girls were doomed. And it seems you were wrong. Im sending this as an email, so in case the picture doesnt post, I’ll tell you what it shows.

·       Rex Grossman (-5) points
·       Anquan Boldin (19) points
·       Matt Leinart (21) points

Two Girls defeat Naughty Penguins 94-86



16 October 2006

Is It Me?

Girls talk and dont say anything.  They gush over every little thing but hardly ever share their opinions. Im a so-called straight shooter. No frills. What you see is what you get. If I think something is ugly, I’ll tell you when you ask. If I think youre being a certain way, good or bad, I’ll let you know. And I’ll be clear about it. I quite strongly believe in communication and in information. I dont like secrets and I stay away from deception. Now I’m just waiting for my female peers to catch up.

I mean really. Ladies tell me whats so difficult about saying “I have a problem with that. Or No, I disagree. Or I dont like this. I prefer that to I didnt like that and I didnt want to tell you. So I just stayed quiet and I hoped it would go away. Know what? Thats dumb. It’s not considerate, its deceptive. Its not polite, its selfish.

Lying about (or hiding) feelings is probably the dumbest thing girls do. Its not just young girls either. In fact I dont think girls think deception is a good idea until theyre teens. Wives do it, mothers do it and supposed best friends do it. Im tired of it being done to me. If I do something you dont like, I encourage you to tell me. I wont guarantee my behavior will change right away but you should at least allow me a chance to work on it.

Ive absolutely had it. When I do something my parents dont like, they both say: Danie, I dont like that. Thats how I was brought up and thats what I do. So its also what I expect. I think it’s the simplest way about it. And as I get older (I’m almost 25 you know) I find I am running out of patience for people who claim to love me but dont feel comfortable talking to me.

Harrumph.

15 October 2006

Welcome To Technorati

There's this thing called Technorati. As far as I can tell, it just keeps tabs of blogs. Jesse found it and told me about it. I visited the site and "claimed" my blog. Technorati ranked Pique A Boo at 926,210th out of all blogs. I don't know which blog is number one, but I'm pleased with my ranking. There are a lot of people with blogs you know.

In order for my "claim" to be official, I have to post the below link on my blog. I wouldn't bother clicking it if I were you. It takes you to my Technorait page, which is empty. So, without further adieu, here is my Technorati Profile.

Fantastical Update

So since you know all about my fantasy football team, I feel I have to keep you updated on all team changes. As of today, we are 2-3. One of those loses is really a tie. But league rules dictate that in the event of a tie, the score includes bench points. On that particular weekend, 5 of my players had bye weeks. The score of the remaining three was not enough to win. Unfair? Yes. But those are the rules.

We've also had some changes to our roster. Chris Simms is out because he had an emergency splenectomy. I replaced him at first with Trent Green, hoping he would recover from his supposed concussion but earlier today I read that he's still out. So in a panic, I recruited Matt Leinart. I don't think it was a bad choice.

Also, we traded DeShaun Foster for Jamal Lewis. It was a proposal from another team. It seemed reasonable, so we accepted it. So welcome to the team boys!


Matt Leinart


Jamal Lewis

At this very moment, I am fighting to be 3-3. But the Kansas City defense went and lost four points. Now it's up to Arizona Quarterback Matt Leinart to extend my lead. My fantasy Leinart is playing fantasy Rex Grossman, just like the real Leinart is playing the real Grossman Monday night. But I have little hope, and left me tell you why. I just have Leinart to play. My opponent has Grossman AND Anquan Boldin, who happens to play on the same team as Leinart. So you see, even if Leinart does do well, Boldin will probably do well too.

But the Two Girls are still in the fight. I'll keep you updated.

09 October 2006

This Time She's Not Leaving

Lucy is now an official roommate. She moved in on Saturday. Five days later, things are going fine. Now I know you're curious, so here's the story.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Lucy. Lucy lived in Wisconsin, where she worked at the airport in Madison. Lucy loved her job but Lucy's lease ran out and she had to face the facts. She didn't like Madison. She didn't like the way the city was planned and for the most part, she didn't like the people. So what was little Lucy to do? For a month she worked a lot and stayed with friends. But Lucy knew she couldn't be homeless forever.

And then a light bulb turned on. Actually millions of light bulbs turned on and burned as bright as say, the Las Vegas Strip. Lucy and Jesse and Danie decided to live together. All three would be able to save money, and Lucy would live in a place that could put her airline experience to use.

The move had challenges, even for Danie and Jesse. The two had grown quite used to their free space. They had filled it with stuff that really had nowhere else to go. They had games and toys and chairs and tables and clothes and shoes and electronics and tools. They had clothes that needed to be ironed and a big ball for exercise, roller blades, weights, and a jump rope. They just had stuff. And this stuff had to come out of what was to be Lucy's room.

After a few days, and a minor breakdown from Danie, the deed was done. The apartment was clean and the pair was now a trio.

Did you have an abortion?

This week, a new issue of Ms. Magazine will hit your mailbox or newsstand. The cover story is called “We Had Abortions.” Guess what it’s about? An update on the abortion (and it is a fight, not so much a debate) is not to be unexpected from Ms. But there is a controversy. The article comes with signatures. Five thousand women who have had abortions attached their names. I thought that was noteworthy. Here’s an article about the controversy. I didn’t read the entire thing, but I did participate in the poll.

This is a test.

This is a test.

04 October 2006

The Congressman & The Page

So if I'm the first to tell you about Mark Foley, let me also be the first to welcome you out from under that rock. Foley was a Florida Representative two weeks ago. But on September 29, 2006, he resigned. As it turns out, he was sending explicit emails and instant messages to congressional pages. This by itself is enough to make you shake your head, but by no means does it scream "blog worthy." However there are circumstances (and information) that I have yet to see bundled together. It paints a sordid picture of a double life, improprieties, and a failure to the public.

There is very little (for my purposes) to tell about Mark Foley before 2001. That's when congressional aide Kirk Fordham says he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert's Chief of Staff about inappropriate behavior by Foley toward interns. It was treated as a non-issue. Today, Fordham resigned.

Foley's explicit vernacular reappears two years later. This time in an email. Foley was publicly questioned about his sexual orientation and decides to drop out of a race for the Senate.

Fast forward two years and the Foley monster wakes again. But this time the page reports him for "freaking" him out. The bureaucracy is unbelievable. One congressman tells another to tell another to tell Foley to stop contacting this kid.

Anyway, it snowballs from there. The details are very juicy, but that's not what I'm here to share. National Public Radio did a fantastic time line. I suggest you take a moment and read it. I would say the phrase that best sums it up is: passing the buck.

Welcome Back. It's disturbing isn't it? Even more disconcerting is the fact that Foley made fighting child predators his personal quest. He pushed for legislation designed at protecting children from predators. I mean, part of me can't help but be impressed. While he was sending sexually suggestive messages to teenagers, he was pushing for bills aimed at deterring others from doing the same. That seems somehow selfish to me. It's as if some children need protecting and others don't. Part of what makes this interesting to me is this conversation between Foley and John Walsh, of the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.



As you heard, Foley is for strict control of people who harm children. I guess his biggest problem is counting. He didn't realize that 16 is less than 18, and 16 year old boys still count as children. But to be fair, I think it is very good of him to fight for young children. The ones that really are too young to know a bad feeling when it comes do need advocates. I just think those advocates should be on the up and up, as they say. Mark Foley was not. Neither was House Speaker Dennis Hastert or anyone else who knew about it and did very little. Nor was Fox News for that matter.

And finally, the best part. In the media, reporters are using words like "explicit," and "suggestive" to describe what Foley said. They're also using excerpts from an instant messenger conversation. But from what I can tell, these excerpts and bland enough to be FCC-Friendly. The full transcription certainly is not.

If you want, it's here for you to read. IT IS TRULY EXPLICIT AND INAPPROPRIATE. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT A CONGRESSIONAL PAGE IS, I THINK YOU'RE TOO YOUNG TO READ IT. Nevertheless, once you have, be sure to take the quiz.