Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote Boxer Out!

There comes a time when a career politician must call it quits. While Barbara Boxer will not admit that this is the time for her to give it up, we as California citizens can take matters into our own hands and give her her walking papers. Whatever happens this election cycle, nothing would make me more happy than to see Barbara Boxer lose. It is necessary for the health of California and for the nation. Boxer is not representing California's needs and Democrats are not helping the nation while they are in power. We need to balance power by giving control of the House and Senate to Republicans while the Presidency is Democrat.
Furthermore, if you look at Barbara Boxer's advertisements and logic you will easily recognize that she is really out of touch and afraid to run on her own record. She is dodging the issues by brining up things such as abortion. Abortion? Really Barbara Boxer, abortion? You think that that is the issue everybody is worried about in the current condition of our country? And Boxer's television ad: "Fiorina wants to open off shore drilling and that will cost us jobs." What planet do you live on Boxer? I can understand you not wanting to drill off shore, but to say that off shore drilling will create job loss is ludicrous! If anything, it would create jobs!
Please, California, show up to vote on Tuesday and vote against Barbara Boxer--it is time to kick her sorry but out of office! Carly Fiorina US Senate 2010!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Norwegian Elkhounds

Up until this point I have opted against getting dogs but I have always kept in the back of my mind that one day I would like to have some Norwegian Elkhounds. It seemed as if it would only be a dream as all of the breeders that I came across online were from the east coast. But an opportunity recently presented itself that I could not pass up--I found a breeder in Moreno Valley, California that had two pups for sale and I got a good deal on them. I wanted Norwegian Elkhounds for a couple of reasons--they are traditionally bred as a hunting dog (primarily hunting moose but also bears and cougars). As such, they have good stamina and are great in the outdoors which fits me perfectly. While I am not a hunter, I think that it will be easy to transition the dogs to hiking dogs rather than hunting dogs. Now I can take them on day hikes or overnight backpacking trips. This will be especially helpful when I don't have anybody else to go with me.
Needless to say, they are beautiful dogs and quite intelligent. I need to work on training them--as of now they are having their way with my backyard. They have done quite a bit of digging (fortunately they have only dug up one plant that I was intending to keep and just a few spots in the grass--all of the other digging has been dirt with nothing planted in it. They are really timid around the city but once they are out in the wilderness they roam about as if they are the boss (I can tell that it is truly their natural element).
I have named my dogs Freyja and Idun (both Norse goddesses). I hope that you enjoy the pictures of them!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Backyard Update--August 2010

It has been just over a year since I moved into my house and I have been extremely busy fixing up the place (it was a REPO and had a lot of fixing up to do). My primary target has been the yard--My grandparents always had nice gardens that I enjoyed growing up and my mother has always done well with her own garden. Add to that my travels through Europe and viewing various gardens (particularly the gardens as Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden) and I knew that I wanted to have a nice garden of my own. When I purchased my house, it was the size of the backyard lot that sold me on it--there was so much that I envisioned that I could do with it. All of my cash investments and physical labor is now paying off as I finally have the yard that I had envisioned just over a year ago! I hope that you enjoy the pictures, and, of course, I would love to have all of my family and friends over for a BBQ or something of the like, so whether you are visiting from out of state or are a friend who is over on a weekly basis, please come enjoy good eats, good company, and a cozy yard (I think it is time to set up the volleyball net, fire up the jacuzzi, and have a little fun). If you would like to see the transition just scroll down through previous posts and you will see the progression as the yard was developed (see posts on April 18, 2010 and November 19, 2009). It has come a long way from it all just being dead grass that I tore up and then just having a lot of dirt. The earliest pictures that I have are after I had already marked out the border with edging stone I had purchased and the stones for the walkway--I should have taken some pictures when there was nothing back there but the lamppost and a whole lot of dirt!
p.s. A special thanks to all of my family and friends who have helped to make this possible.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Garden Concert (feat. The Vignettes, Nikki Forova, and April Meservy)

On Saturday, July 24th I hosted a Garden Concert in my backyard. The event kicked off with the Vignettes performing a set of songs with comical lyrics. The band consists of my good friends Jeremy, Todd, and Kyle (who also happen to have opened up their own film studio and production company: Muddy Yellow Sneakers). The crowd then had an opportunity to socialize for a few minutes before April Meservy and Nikki Forova took the stage. The remainder of the evening was an awesome event as Nikki and April split stage time, each performing a few songs then passing the spotlight to the other (and occasionally sharing the stage in order to perform a few songs together). The result was an enchanting evening filled with great music and great friends! I have received a lot of positive feedback from friends and family who had attended, all enjoying the music and the atmosphere. This is an event that I will have to do again in the future. If you have the opportunity to hold a concert at your home I would highly recommend that you contact April Meservy and Nikki Forova to see if they could fit you into their current tour of the Western United States. I guarantee that you and your friends will thoroughly enjoy the music and the experience. And if you don't have the time or means to host a concert, at least attend one of April or Nikki's scheduled concerts. You can see the dates and locations on their websites:
April Meservy:
Nikki Forova:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Backyard Update--April 2010

It has been quite some time since I last gave an update concerning my progress on the backyard. I have done a lot of planting over the winter and now that Spring has arrived, things are starting to pay off. You can scroll down to my previous Backyard Update to compare photos from November. I am including here some pictures from January and then pictures from April (you will be able to tell which are from January and which are current from the leafing of the trees). Needless to say, I have planted a lot of different types of flowers both in the flower beds and in the border. I have also planted a lot of fruits and vegetables. My current prize is my berries. I currently have 82 strawberry bushes, 32 blackberry bushes, 14 raspberry bushes, and 7 blueberry bushes. While it will be some time before the other berries fruit and ripen, the strawberries are already in full bloom (I've harvested some and when picked at the right time they are amazingly delicious--you are welcome to come on over and try some--I can't eat them all).
My next major project is to put in the lawn. As you can see, weeds have taken over the entire area that I tore up for the lawn, so I have quite a bit of work to do to get it prepared for putting in the grass. Speaking of which, does anybody know of a landscaper that either seeds or sods? I'd like to get started on this whole lawn business so that I can have it done within the next month or two and have people over for bar-b-ques. :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Joke That Is American Politics

I earnestly proclaim that America is the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the earth, offering the greatest protections, opportunities, and liberties to its citizenry than any other nation at any other time in the history of the world. The creation of our nation along with its government and constitution is truly inspired and a gift to all Americans from God who placed some of the best and brightest men together to forge our nation. That having been said, it is with great sadness that I earnestly proclaim that our current elected officials have made a joke of American politics and government. This is evident by the disasterous passage of the healthcare bill.
Our current leaders have said that the purpose for passing healthcare is to reduce costs so that healthcare is affordable to everyone. A worthy goal, no doubt. But what fools do these jesters imagine the citizenry of America to be? Paying through taxes versus paying through private insurance does not make something any more affordable--it simply makes a people pay more through a different institution. Furthermore, why would such a reform require over 2,000 pages of legislation to implement? I'm pretty sure that legislators could have written the bill with everything that is needed for true reform within a few hundred pages. What a joke!
And then to vote on the bill and pass it without ever having read through it--it appears that our elected officials are no better than my lowest achieving high school students who write a lot of B.S. in their essays based upon a reading assignment they have never taken the initiative to read. In my mind, there is no difference between those who voted "yes" for this silly bill and my students who are failing English Langauge Arts. As a matter of fact, I think I would prefer to have a 15 year old student who has failed my class than many of the lawmakers that we have elected, serve in government--at least I know the 15 year old will be too lazy to write anything into law that would be damaging to the American people and American culture and progress.
Reflecting upon this I have decided that I would like to run for public office, and so I am announcing my candidacy to the United States Congress. This is my platform (it is really simple):
I promise that if I am elected to office, any time there is a bill introduced which has a length greater than the amount of time offered to read it (lets say, for example, a healthcare bill that is over 2,000 pages in length with less than 72 hours to read it before voting on it), I will submit at least 100 pages of legislation to be included in the bill. The majority of the legislation will be sound law that does not infringe upon the rights of the individual or of families within the United States, but imbeded within the 100 pages I will include little clauses that nobody will read until after the passing of the bill that will expose the jesters, er. . . I mean lawmakers, for what they truly are. For example, if I were a congressman at the time of the passage of the healthcare bill I would have written the following into the bill:
1. Upon passage of this law, The President of the United States will recind all power and authority of his position and standing to the people of the United States, will step down from office, and a special election will be held in November 2010 for the Presidency of the United States. (I just love the thought of our President pushing a bill that will unknowingly strip him of all authority--it would suit him right for signing into law legislation that he has not read).
2. Both the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leader from this day forth will wear costumes on the floor of the house of congress that reflect the mascot of the political party which they represent. (Wouldn't that be awesome to see Steny Hoyer dressed like a jackass [er, I mean donkey] and John Boehner dressed as an elephant as they address congress).
3. The Speaker of the House henceforth will address the American people in the Swahili Language. (I think this would do Nancy Polosi a great service considering that she is always saying stupid things like: "We have to pass the healthcare bill in order to know what is in it." Surprise Nancy, you just found out that you must now speak Swahili or keep your trap shut--now that is justice!).
4. Members of the Congress and of the Senate will forego all rights to homeownership for the duration of their elected terms. Said members must live as invited guests in the homes of ordinary citizens according to the citizens' own will and pleasure. (perhaps then elected officials will begin to truly understand what the average American really thinks).
5. All members of the House of Congress and of the Senate who have voted to make this bill law must attend reading school, pay a fine of $500, and perform 500 hours of community service. (It would be much like an individual going to traffic school in order to learn the rules of traffic regulation, except they are learning how to read a bill before voting on it. The reading school will have the elected officials read the entire bill and be tested on it before they are permitted to pass the course).
6. Any other suggestions on what I might include in the bill? I would love to receive your feedback before I am elected and move to Washington to impliment my new vision for American Politics. :)

*Brett Hall for United States Congress 2010