Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Day With the Trees, and a Bug or Two

In January, Jenni went to the Morton Arboretum and fell in love with the place. One thing led to another, mostly the fact that the cost of an annual membership would be paid for with just one and a half visits to the place.

Let's just say, the membership has been paid for over and over again. Those annual memberships are SO awesome for large families.

I thought I would share a few pictures with you, sort of a Wordless Wednesday and Weekly Best all rolled into one.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!


R.I.P. Work(s) In Progress

Yep, I killed a blog that was doing nothing.

All I did was push that big blue DELETE button, and it is no longer a part of the blogosphere.


Because I never went there and... that's pretty much it.

I did bring over a few of the things that were over there, they are down below. You can check them out if you like, or not, it is up to you.

Now onto my next thingy, whatever that may be.

More Old Contest Entries

This is another contest entry, which had to start with the words 'I used to think...' A contest that I had fun with, at least I think I did. Although my muse seemed to have a little more fun than I did. :-)

I used to think…


I said I used to think.

Actually you thought it. No speaking involved here, except in your head of course.

What are you talking about? I clearly spoke the words; I used to think.

Okay, okay. You SAID them. Only problem is, I’m the only one listening.

And who, exactly are you?

I’m what you might call your conscience. Or maybe your left brain, your muse, the dude that puts those wicked thoughts into your head.

That’s you? I thought I did it all myself.

Really? How have you been these past couple of weeks? Just churning out stories I bet. Better yet, you are coming up with these really dumb contest ideas. I mean ‘I used to think’ isn’t exactly the best sentence in the world.

Yeah, but…

Yeah but I put in the ellipses so that people could just add on to the first four words. You were going to say that weren’t you?


See, I can read your thoughts. I know your deepest fears, your happiest joys. I know that you truly love Pralines and Cream ice cream and cannot stand eggplant.

Everybody knows that.

Sure, only after you told them. You see my friend you are nothing without me. You are just a regular person without much to think about except your lovely wife and kids. By the way, without me, she wouldn’t be your wife you know.


Remember all those letters you used to write to her?

Yes. They were quite good. She even said so herself.

Well, if I weren’t with you they would have been lifeless and she would not have wanted to meet you in person.


Look deep down, because you know that it’s true.

So what.

So what? Are you mad man! Without me you would probably be still be floundering at a job you don’t like, getting paid a mere pittance of what you are worth.

Uh, about that.

Don’t tell me? Come on man! I’ve only been gone for a couple of weeks.

Yeah but, before that you were gone for a long time. I’d guess somewhere around fifteen years. Where were you then? Vacationing in the Barbados?

Actually, yes, they are quite nice.


Okay, I am sorry. I thought that you wouldn’t mind me being gone. I have met a rather wide variety of people, as of late. Can you blame me?


Okay, so what’s your problem? Damsel in distress, world need saving? Oh, how is that Route sixty-six thing going? You finished it right?

Well, it’s not my turn.

Turn! Since when did we start taking turns? Heck Norbanus alone would crank out three or four chapters in a row. Do you think that he was worried about it being his turn? So where is Jamie?

At the airport, doing police stuff.

Oh my, this is worse than I thought. We need to get him over to Lila’s apartment and… What?
Can we put that on a back burner for a while? I have five contests that I have entered, and they are all coming up to their deadlines pretty soon.Okay, fine. When is the deadline for this ‘I used to think’ story?


Oh, I need a vacation. How about the rest?

Well, I have another contest due today, but it looks like its deadline will be extended due to a lack of entries. Then I have two more due in two days, and another three days later. See it isn’t that bad, right?

Maybe you ought to see somebody.

That’s actually the theme, of sorts, for one of the contests I entered.

Oh yeah. Is it an I’m-addicted-to-Fanstory-contests-and-can’t-stop-entering-them’ contest?

Close. Just the addiction part, but I have been blank for a while. Plus the other entries are so good, that I’m afraid.

Always was a big pussycat. Okay, so let’s see I used to think… Is there anyway you can change the terms of the contest?

No. In fact, I kind of mislead people into thinking that the first sentence had to be I used to think… Without telling them that they could fill-in anything afterwards.

Well, I’m sure that they understand I was away. You did tell them right?

I kind of implied it, here and there.

Maybe I should just ‘kind of’ help you then.

No, no, no. Please. I am so sorry; I shouldn’t have taken you for granted. I need you to be with me, to help me through this mess, because…

Because what?

Without you I’d just be, well you know, floundering.

Hopefully the other contest will get extended, because I’m having a hard time dealing with you, let alone a whole other story.

Thank you. Can we get started? The deadline is in five hours.

I used to think…

What is a Mylhibug?

Mild-mannered, except for the little things.

Young at heart, and enjoys life.

Lover of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Heavy, really needs to lose some weight.

Intelligent, at least he plays one on television.


Unique, just like everyone else.

Gracious enough to thank everyone for putting up with this!

Bell Ringer

This was an entry into a flash comedy contest.

Church desperately needs a new bell ringer.

Ad posted.

Man answers ad… He has no arms.


Use my forehead.

Hesitant response, thinking of risks…


Running start… Face impacts… BONG!

Running start… MISS!



Police called.

Who is he?

Don’t know, but his face sure rings a bell.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wall-E = Sixteen Thumbs Up!!

I personally thought the movie was awesome - Dad

That movie was really sweet. - Mom

It was good - Benjy

Great! - Jessie

It was really good - Jessie's friend Olivia

It was awesome! - Katie

Good! - Maggie

Yes! - Danny's answer to the question, "Did you like the movie?" followed by a Waaalllleeeeyyy!

So the unscientific survey here says Wall - E is a winner!

Now go out and see it! You won't regret it.

I promise.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Watch Me While I Stumble

I am quickly becoming enamored with StumbleUpon, I mean without it, I wouldn't find gems like this:

Or this:

Or even this.

Stumble on friends, stumble on.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Wide World of the Web

I think that I have become entangled in it.

Writing a blog is not so bad, no really, I mean there are no real deadlines. Although I was missed for a couple of days there when I practically dropped off the face of the Internet. Thank you for those of you that noticed. I appreciate it.

Next there was Facebook. I did it initially to kind of spy on my oldest - even told him that was what I was doing and made him be my friend. I am the mean daddy, and don't you forget it. Especially you little ones that just got their very own email addresses, I'll be needing those passwords, pronto!

I was cool with just those two facets of the web in my life. No really I was.

Then came Blogrush. Uh, I don't really use it properly, I think, because it keeps sending me to Japanese blogs. Maybe I should fine-tune my description, or something like that. I'll blame that one on Kalynne, since I saw her there first and she plugged it on her blog.

Next, I tried to play with my template. Sure I like it, but is it really me? I'm gonna have to keep it for a while, until I can think of something more spectacular, in an understated way. Holly used the Nap Warden to re-image herself, and while it's all glitter and pizazz, it might make me look like an extrovert. I can't have that, now can I?

Then came Twitter. Again I want to blame Kalynne, but she has had enough blame for one post and she is under a lot of summer schooling stress - actually her students are, but I digress.

I think I'm addicted to links this post. Sorry, I'll try to do better.

Now comes MySpace. Here I thought that MySpace was so 2006, when apparently it is still a very viable option when it comes to spying networking on the Internet. Oh did I mention that two of my kids have MySpace accounts? What actually got me started however, was my Uncle Albert.

My 65 year old Uncle Albert.

I figured if he could do it, why not I? With the added bonus that I might be able to get in touch with my three cousins; Albert, Shelly and Tina. So far Tina has accepted my friendship, Albert seems to not want any visitors and Shell is just a stud getting ready for grad school.

No, I am NOT intimidated. It is called being introverted and shy, thank you very much.

Finally (Thank Goodness!!), there is StumbleUpon. I get to blame Holly for this one.

I am such a follower, maybe I should do del.i.cious first? If that is even how you write that silly thing out.

Anyway, now I am stumbling through (no pun intended) with my friends Holly and Kalynne in the world of StumbleUpon. I think I understand it, then all of a sudden it gets really weird on me. I mean am I supposed to blog there, and at MySpace and at Facebook And Here? How the heck is that possible to do without repeating yourself. I know that StumbleUpon points to here, but can I do the same with the other two?

Please help me figure this out.



The Girls Scouts Kidnapped my Bride

What is up with that?!?

No more Girl Scout Cookies will be purchased from my home (yeah right!)

I mean my lovely bride is gone all weekend, and gets home late on Sunday evening because of some youth conference, then packs her bags and is out the door the next morning with the Girl Scouts for some Dude Ranch fun!

I thought Dude Ranches were for Dudes?

Okay, I didn't really, but I missing my missus.

No, it's not because I have to actually do work around the house. The two oldest boys are home for that!

I think over the past five days, I have spoken less to my wife than in the previous sixteen years! And I don't like it. Makes me edgy, and anxious and worse lazy.

Okay, lazier than normal, but still I am so lethargic right now, that I don't even feel like staying awake, or even writing. (Gasp!)

Sure I have the babies and they keep me occupied (I know that they aren't technically babies any more, but they are my youngest boy and girl, so they are my babies), but I feel bad when I don't want to watch "The Wiggles" or "Donut Man" or whatever Disney movie they are into. (okay that last one might be a stretch, I can watch almost any Disney movie anytime - yeah, I'm that Disney Freak dude you hear about, sue me!)

Thankfully it is summertime, so the kids love to be outside and I love to accommodate them.

Okay, back to the point. I miss my wife, so you Girl Scouts bring her back! And without any extra 'Dudes.' That goes for you as well girls. :)

I'm a Talent!

My favorite French blogger Catherine did this, so natuarally, I followed. :)

I'm a Talent!

You're a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You're determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You're not afraid of a fight, and you're not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you're already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you're not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 62%
Lifer: 36%
Mandarin: 28%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Now it's your turn

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This WIll Make You Smile

Check out this video that is making some waves around some blogs, so I figured I would join the fun.

H/T ~ The Deacon's Bench and The Anchoress

Saturday, June 21, 2008

16 Years Ago...

This beautiful lady said "I do."

June 21, 1992 is a day that will forever live in my top days of all time. It is the day that Jenni and I became one. We were married at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois at 2PM.

I will never forget the feeling of having my breathe taken away when Jenni and her Dad walked up that aisle, towards me. I still have to pinch myself when I think about how lucky I am, the introvert, to marry such a beautiful woman. To think that our love affair started five years prior with a letter...

I was stationed in the United Kingdom, in the Air Force, learning a trade that would be good to me - even if I didn't enjoy it 100%. I would write to several friends, this is before email was a common communication device, and my cousin Tanya, in Colorado. I was 19 at the time and Tanya was 16 and still in High School. My cousin and I were always pretty close, so we wrote each other regularly. Jenni was a friend of Tanya's and they hung out together a lot, so naturally Tanya talked about Jenni, so I would always tell Tanya to say hi to Jenni, whenever I wrote her.

One day, I got a letter from Tanya, that had a note from Jenni in it. I guess Tanya did as I asked and Jenni, being the good sport, agreed to write a little something. For the next six months we wrote each other pretty consistently, some more than others. Some days I would write her three or four letters (hey, I liked to write and I liked Jenni, what more can I say) and basically inundate her with my pearls of wisdom, or something like that.

I was in love, and just knew she was the one for me. Even when I first met her face to face. Now remember I am quite shy, of course no one believes that but it is true. I flew home that December for Christmas, and my friend Marnie's wedding. I had just been at my parents house for a couple of hours, when who shows up; Jenni and Tanya.


If I was a turtle, I would have crawled inside my shell, as it was my brothers were there and they like to remind me of how I turned into a statue. I think that was the only time I have ever felt speechless. I didn't know what to say, or even how to speak for that matter. Meanwhile even my thoughts were screaming at me, telling me to say something, anything! I blamed it on jet lag and not my own insecurities, but still. Looking back on that day, I still wonder and marvel at how things have turned out.

She told me later that she thought I was pretty much a loser, and blamed me for the speeding ticket she got on the way back to her house. I was, and I apologized for making her run away as fast as she could, that she got pulled over and got a speeding ticket. We did get together more, pretty much every day, after that first day. She gave me the first of many second chances.

Praise God!

After I went back to England, it was hard to maintain any kind of relationship, per se, and we continued to write each other and occasionally I would call her on the phone. However, by the time I got back from England and was stationed in Abilene, Texas (UGH!) we were more or less on talking terms. She has always been more of a social butterfly than me, and well... We'll call that the 'Dark Ages of Roger and Jenni.' We both had different relationships, but I ALWAYS had Jenni on my mind, so you can imagine how those poor girls must have felt competing with my one TRUE LOVE.

Here is an example of how "romantic" I am/was. After we starting talking and seeing each other on a more regular and serious basis (remember I'm still living in Texas and she's still in Colorado), I just knew that I was going to marry her. So, we went to a Zales, and she picked out a ring that I purchased, and then as we got in the car to head back to her house, I turned to her and said; "By the way, will you marry me?"

What romance, eh? She, of course, laughed and said; " Let me think about it."

Oh crap!

She then started laughing some more and said that of course she would.


The rest as they say is history. A great history filled with blood, sweat and tears that is required for making a loving relationship. The blood was mostly mine, because I have this thing with hammers and various other tools - I'll save that for another day.

So here we are sixteen years and six kids later, if this isn't true happiness then I don't know what is.

I LOVE YOU JENNI!! Now, forever and always!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

In Need of a Nanny, Call Canada

Okay, why does it seem like I am picking on Canada?

This might be one reason.

Not sure though.

You tell me...

A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl's grounding, overturning her father's punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Read the story, for more.

This could turn into a regular feature; "What's Up In Canada?"

If you need an example of why socialism is bad, just look to our neighbors to the north.

Oh well, I better go home to my kids, Jenni and Andy are in Ohio at a Youth Conference so Benjy is in charge...

Maybe I should call Canada.

Two brand spanking new (well on these pages at least) Meme's this weekend, so make sure you come back and visit now, ya hear?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Burger, A Psychic, A Foot, Oh My! (and an outage to boot)

Okay in the craziness that is our world, I bring you three things. (significantly delayed by the powers that Blogger, because of an outage). Believe it or not, these things all have something in common.

A Burger by Burger King has set a new world record, and not because of the size of the patty or bun, but because of the price; $200! You heard me, Two-hundred United States dollars!! What the heck is going on?

LONDON — It's known as the home of 'The Whopper' and Burger King is hoping its latest product really lives up to its reputation. The fast-food giant launched a $200 burger Wednesday — all in the name of charity.

Setting a new record, the world's most expensive burger is available at just one restaurant in West London, England, once a week — but it will eventually be available to order via a hotline.

The fine ingredients of what is called simply 'The Burger' include Wagyu beef, white truffles, Pata Negra ham slices, Cristal onion straws, Modena balsamic vinegar, lambs lettuce, pink Himalayan rock salt, organic white wine and shallot infused mayonnaise in an Iranian saffron and white truffle dusted bun.

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson told Sky News Online: "It sounds delicious. The ingredients are very good and high powered, but why are Burger King doing it?"

You know what? That chef has a very good question, why Burger King?

Now we go north to my favorite country of weird, Canada. This is a case of the government getting a little too big for it's collective britches, if you ask me. (Sounds familiar, right?)

A Barrie mother of an autistic girl is considering legal action against her local school board after a psychic's prediction to a special educational assistant sparked a sexual abuse report to the Children's Aid Society.

"I'm in shock," said Colleen Leduc, 38. "They reported me to Children's Aid because of a psychic. Can you imagine?"

The damaging allegations were resolved by child welfare authorities relatively quickly, but the case highlights the difficult and sometimes clumsy outcome of zero-tolerance policies and mandatory reporting regulations regarding child sexual abuse.

Yep. You read that right.

A psychic.

Why, oh why, does the government believe a psychic over plain old common sense. Apparently the young daughter was showing traits of being abused, these traits included; sticking her hands down her pants, spitting, seeking to sit on cold items and gyrating against staff members. These things happen with autistic children, that don't know better, AND her class mates would perform similar actions.

Lucky for them their name didn't start with a 'V' and have a psychic point them out.

Back to Canada!!

A Foot has washed up on the shore, once again.

This is number six.

Five of the six human feet found since last summer are right feet. The one discovered Monday in the Fraser River delta south of Vancouver was a left foot.

Police will not say if the lone left foot matches any of the right feet.

So are there six people out there missing feet? Hopefully they will call the authorities in Vancouver and claim them - I'm sure they are being kept on ice.

Aren't you glad the Blogger outage is over?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If These Are Our BEST Friends...

why do we do this to them then?

You know this dog is wanting to rip her owner's throat out, just look at that face.

Okay, I have to admit this last one is cute, but come on people, this is just plain crazy and weird.
Aren't those little ducky slippers just the cutest thing?

Now stop it before they call the DCLU (Dog Civil Liberty Union), or worse, PETA.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You Stream, I Stream, we all Stream for Live Stream!

Except apparently here at work.

Yep, that means no more Yahoo radio's Launch cast, no more XM radio, no more Sirius. Heck, I can't even listen to this really awesome classical music station down in North Carolina WCPE.

I'm bummed.

It seems that my company is trying to get by on the cheap here by buying a limited amount of bandwidth. Never, I repeat NEVER, has been a problem before, but now it apparently is slowing everything down. Personally, I think they use up a lot of bandwidth with the firewall, but no one listens to me.

No more LIVE Euro 2008 soccer games - I guess the 2010 World Cup will be out of the question as well.

We have the technology, we have the desire to stream, it makes us happy. Now, I have to bring my iPod to work with me. Okay, I do that already, but... Okay, I DO have some external speakers for it, so I don't need to use the headphones. Oh, and I will be able to choose the music I like, as opposed to some programmer somewhere.

Okay, maybe it won't be so bad.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Who Needs to go to Disney World, When You Have a Computer?

Who DOESN"T love Google Earth?

Now look what you can do, I guess there is no reason to actually go there now, right kids?



Have a Happy Day!

A Whole Lot More River To Enjoy. NOT.

Because pictures tell the story, here is some pictures that Jenni's uncle took of the Root River in Minnesota. This year's flood is/was bad, but not nearly as bad as last years, when they got 15+ inches of rain.
A normal day at sunrise...

A completely different landscape...
One of the problems from this flood is the fact that there were birds still nesting eggs and chicks, so there will be a decrease in the population for this cycle.
All part of the 'Circle of Life' I guess.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Why it is Cool to be a Dad!

A photographic essay... (Okay, I'll comment, but they will be limited, I promise)

All the gang with Mickey (Yes, I would allow him to be my seventh child, no problem.)

Don't the look Angelic.

Here we all are for Danny's Baptism.

Here we are after Jessie's First Holy Communion.

The oldest (he cleans up well).

Look Dad, no hands!
Jessie all dressed up for Jesus!

Katie and her birthday celebration, with Mickey Mouse.

Maggie striking a pose.

Danny is very happy about the Duck Two Ways at Le Cellier in Canada (okay, actually in EPCOT's version of Canada).

I have been very blessed to have six wonderful children, and thank God for them everyday. Being a Dad is THE best "Job" I have ever had and I am so glad that they are in my life.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. (You too, Dad!) Have a GREAT DAY!

God Bless you all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Softball, Sun and a lot of Fun!

So I went to a softball game today.

The sun was out, just ask my non sun screened skin. Hey, it was nine in the morning, I didn't even think about it.

It was probably the most exciting game of the year! No I kid you not, the team scored 23 runs! Jessie drove in two herself, and made some plays in the field (by not letting the ball get past her). Now the other team only scored 12, but their hearts were in it.

Actually it was a little give and take for the first three innings, the the Batavia Blue Demons put the peddle to the metal, so to speak. It got started by Allie "Gator" L's three up and three down inning.

That just does not happen, especially for 10-11 year old girls.


Next stop, the playoffs.

Friday, June 13, 2008

And This is Why I Love This Place

Hopefully, the video imbed works

Does it get any better than Darth Vader danceing to Michael Jackson's Thriller, or Chewbacca dancing to Footloose? Such fun, and we'll be there in less than 180 days!!

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?

H/T - The Disney Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh The Places I Go

Google has seen it fit to allow me the opportunity to share various blogs that I visit, right here on this page.

I'm serious.

Just check to your right, if you see all orange you went too far. I get entertained on a daily basis from these various blogs and other websites. I hope I have everyone up there, if not I will just have to fix it, because we here at Bug Tries Again aim to keep everyone happy. Especially those few readers that we still have.

Just a quick side (I do this a lot, don't I?): How is the name working for you? Should I change it to something a little more full of pizazz?

Let me know what you think, if you don't mind. Also, is the blog hard to read? By this I mean does my "fun" color of orange make my posts hard to read? I figure if I want to do this for a while, and I think that I do, that maybe I should branch out and get a design created for moi. Heck I could even try to do it myself, how hard could it be? :) I'm good at DIY.

Stop laughing.

Completely Obnoxious Orangutan Loses Intermediate Naming Game

So the answer to yesterday's trip into subliminal messages via the title of blog posts was....


Yes, Andy is currently in Bosnia, I think it's real name is Bosnia-Herzegovina, visiting non-approved Marian Apparitions in Medjugorje. I hear that he has even finally written his mother.
She was none too pleased to find out that he updated his Facebook page, BEFORE dropping her a line.

Can't say that I blame her.

He is there praying for anyone that requested it, and for the Cubs - no doubt. I imagine his lack of Cub-news is driving him nuts. The kid has turned into a genuine Cubs fanatic. Who knows, maybe this year is THE year.

Just don't hold your breathe.

I have a question regarding hyphens, that I am opening to the floor... Hello floor?

I know of some friends and acquaintances that go for the whole keeping my name in a hyphen thing. Way cool, if you ask me but what happens if your kids decide to do the same thing, and so on? You could have Jennifer Gerardette Eaton-Devlin-Sauser-Stankevitz marrying Roger William Ballog-Kaesik-Busch-Miller, and our kids would then be Andrew William Eaton-Devlin-Sauser-Stankevitz-Ballog-Kaesik-Busch-Miller.

When do you stop? Would you? If you have a hyphenated name, and your kids have it as well, whose name do they drop? Do the drop the whole hyphen and go with the man's name (if it is a woman)? Do you just keep adding hyphens, like the example above? Whose names go first? I deferred to the female side as going first, but is that correct? Oh I also threw in the middle names, just because.

Imagine the roll call in class; "Andrew William Eaton-Devlin-Sauser-Stankevitz-Kaesik-Ballog-Busch-Miller?"

"Ma'am, that's Andy Eaton=Devlin-Sauser-Stankevitz-Ballog-Kaesik-Busch-Miller."

"Oh, so sorry, you like to be called Andy then, correct?"

On a completely new twist, how can I have two famous brewers of beer names, yet not be in the beer making business? I need to check my family history for sure now --- maybe someone is holding my check. :)

Now go and check this out. Looks like carbon emissions don't have as much to do with the climate after all. But we should definitely ban those pesky bonfires. Oh and while we're at it, let's see if we can make the lightning stop starting forest fires, and let's not forget those annoyingly beautiful volcanoes that erupt - for no reason at all.

Time to go back to the silly stuff.

Where's my Diet Coke?!?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bring Onions Sometime, Need I Ask?

OK, so I am trying a new approach to this whole blogging thing. Don't know if it is going to work, but starting right now, with this very post, I am going to be... well, I don't know, I will let you all decide.

All TWO of you!!

You got a hint of it from the previous post (feel free to scroll down if you like, I can wait). Any guesses? No it has nothing to do with metaphysics - I think.

Did you notice the title? Something about something and Diet Coke? Well, that's not the point, I think, no wait actually it is. Not the Diet Coke part, although Jenni did send me this via my email:

Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome — the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes that include abdominal obesity, high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and elevated blood pressure. (the emphasis - underlining, was added by my beloved)

The scientists gathered dietary information on more than 9,500 men and women ages 45 to 64 and tracked their health for nine years. Over all, a Western dietary pattern — high intakes of refined grains, fried foods and red meat — was associated with an 18 percent increased risk for metabolic syndrome, while a “prudent” diet dominated by fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry correlated with neither an increased nor a decreased risk.But the one-third who ate the most fried food increased their risk by 25 percent compared with the one-third who ate the least, and surprisingly, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none.

“This is interesting,” said Lyn M. Steffen, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the paper, which was posted online in the journal Circulation on Jan. 22. “Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?” (sorry, the links did not carry over)

The evils of drinking Diet Coke: Addiction and objectification
By Aileen Nielsen Columnist (Note: Proper attribution i.e. not mine)

Published: Monday, October 14th, 2002

My roommates and I eat a lot of Jello and Diet Coke. I always have a diet coke in my hand. I drink six or seven a day. I drink a lot. I love it.

Diet Coke sometimes almost seems a force unto itself here at Princeton. I've often seen extremely thin (I would say "skinny," but in our warped society that term has entirely lost its negative connotation when applied to the female body) women nibbling on bits of salad in the dining halls but gulping down one, two or even three glasses of diet soda. I think one can be reasonably sure that since they're stinting their calories on food, they're not going to blow them on three glasses worth of Coca-Cola! The woman quoted above is not unusual, as according to an estimate found in last year's 'Prince' feature story on Nutrasweet, many women on campus (and some men) drink an average of six to seven cans of Diet Coke a day, more than half a gallon! Regardless of what anyone contends about the safety of Nutrasweet, the FDA itself recommends a maximum of the equivalent of two cups of diet soda (two cans are the equivalent of three cups), much less than half a gallon (8 cups).

Even if you don't worry about cancer, there are other reasons to worry about drinking Diet Coke. For one thing, because they are so much sweeter than actual sugar, drinking so much abuses the systems your body has in place. Some believe that this desensitizes your body to sugar-like substances and can make you gain weight. Moreover, because artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet are so much sweeter than actual sugar, they give you additional sweets cravings rather than satisfying the ones you're probably trying to pacify by drinking Diet Coke.

I've been there. I know what it's like to be addicted to the stuff. You get stressed, you reach for a Diet Coke. You feel like you've gained weight, you reach for a Diet Coke. You want some chocolate, you reach for a Diet Coke, don't feel satisfied, reach for another, and then have the chocolate anyway. And then another Diet Coke, of course.

I didn't really think about all this until the summer. I didn't want to; no one wants to give up a crutch. It was only when I was finally out of the Princeton bubble after my first year that I confronted the problem of Diet Coke. I felt like I'd turned into a Diet Coke consuming machine (and this is not meant to be humorous in the least). I realized I was disassociating myself from my body and abusing it. By drinking Diet Coke, a substance that is supposed to be pleasing to the senses but also purposely entirely useless to the body, I was affirming a view that my body was at best either an object to keep as lean as possible or an orifice in which to dump mixtures that give me short-lived sensory pleasure.

I can't say I'm completely cured even now. Though I've been Nutrasweet/aspartame free for some time, I'm still tempted sometimes. It's not the taste — like cigarettes no one ever likes Diet Coke the first time they try it. Rather, there's something incredibly appealing about sweets with no consequences, no guilt. That's what Diet Coke symbolizes to a lot of people at Princeton. I think they forget that they then treat their body as an object, or maybe a tasting tool.

I'm sure people are wondering how I can differentiate between drinking Diet Coke and drinking anything else that has no nutritional value, and worse, has calories to boot. I think there's an inherent associated guilt or at least certain amount of preoccupation with food that is found in Diet Coke drinkers. People may drink regular soda because it tastes good, but at least the keep their eating within the original framework of the process, that is acquiring energy to do more interesting things than intake food. Diet Coke is most often used in an abusive way, such as for more caffeine or to get rid of food cravings (which are completely natural and necessary in healthy individuals in case we've all forgotten that).

Back at Princeton, I can already feel the Diet Coke pressure when I look around and see so many women with Diet Coke in hand (not to take away from the men who also indulge, but Diet Coke is a woman's problem). I wonder if these students remember who they are. They're Princeton women. They're not here for their girlish figures. They're here for their minds, their creativity and their determination (I would hope, anyway). Everything about drinking Diet Coke inherently disrespects those qualities within them, because it makes a social statement that they do have to conform to certain expectations about their appearance even at the risk of their health.

I think this is something we really can change. This is something that's literally right in front of us. You might argue that it's a personal choice, and nothing that should be part of a community dialogue. Yet, most people don't feel that way about cigarettes and have no qualms about taunting their nicotine-dependent friends. To be starting out so young with what amounts to an addiction and basic disrespect for what it means to be an evolved human, a rational creature who lives in the mind through the body rather than just a hunter/gatherer is a huge disadvantage. What can really be said for this famed Princeton education if we let so many march out with such a basic problem?

"Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
~St. Francis of Assisi

Now I LOVE my wife, and if there is any doubt that she loves me, well I believe it has been dispelled by her sending me this email.

I LOVE Diet Coke, but I love my wife and kids more, so....

My Diet Coke days are coming to a close. Soon. I currently have three 2-liter bottles of the stuff left here at work, and I, not being wasteful, will buy no more. That is right, No more Diet Coke for me. That is it.

I mean it.


At least until the freaking major league migraine headaches start. NO!!! I will not allow that to make me fall of the wagon. I can do this! I WILL do this!

Anyone notice the quote by Saint Francis - That will be my new motto.

Okay, after reading all of that, does anyone remember what I started this post off with? No need to go back, I will restate it here.:

OK, so I am trying a new approach to this whole blogging thing. Don't know if it is going to work, but starting right now, with this very post, I am going to be... well, I don't know, I will let you all decide.


Okay the hint was about the title, and as you may have noticed, the title for this post is a little sublime (or should I say subliminal - probably a better choice now that I think of it).

I mean this title has NOTHING to do with Onions, yet I have asked several questions, right? (another one).

So, where is the subliminal message?

Another hint, it is where Andy is right now.

Pass me another Diet Coke, would you please?

Super Big Gulps of Diet Coke Kill Method Actor

What does this mean? I think know I am in need of some help here. Anyone know any philosophers, maybe?

You scored 50 Materialism and 30 Phenomenology!

Are things-in-themselves knowable, or can you only know things as they appear to you? The mystery of the noumena is at once your greatest challenge and the most distinctive part of your identity, Kantian. You've taken the tradition of your Idealist and Rationalist forebears and synthesized it with the Empiricism of Hume, but still your metaphysics, which orbit around the idea that the universe is essentially unknowable, haunt you.
Thinkers you may agree with: Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Schopenhauer
Thinkers that may challenge you: Friedrich Neitzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Charles Darwin

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Night At The Ballpark, Conclusion

This is the part where I tell you that I forgot to put this part here, when it was more timely.

Like last week, when we went to the game.

Never claimed to not be a procrastinator.

I think I said that right.

Anyway, my daughter obviously got frustrated waiting for me to post some pictures and took the matter into her own hands, as you can plainly see here.

In case you can't though, here are a few (hopefully different) pictures.

Here are the kids in front of Harry Carey - the Statue! Sounds way more impressive like that, don't you think?

The famous Wrigley Field Marquee (complete with advertisements for Banco Popular)

Let's Play Two!! The Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks statue. Can you believe that they put a Harry Carey statue up BEFORE Ernie Banks? What's up with that?!?

Here's Jessie in front of a Cubs sign. This was her first Major League Baseball game, ever! She had a great time, along with her first rides on the CTA, including the subway and the "L," it was a night for firsts. (No foul balls though)

Here are the trio, Benjy (wearing his Philadelphia Eagles jacket), Andy (with his Fukudome headband) and Jessie (holding the first-ever sold Cubs yearbook - or so the vendor told me).

See that white area behind the kids three rows back? That is the END of the stadium. Yep, even against the Colorado Rockies seats were hard to come by.

Overall it was a very pleasant experience with me and the three oldest - hasn't been just the four of us in nearly nine years.

Amazing how time flies, isn't it?

Somebody NEEDS a Vacation!!

Check out this video... - Watch more free videos

I imagine I'd get stressed out working in that space... Wow!

I wonder if he still has a job. Does it look like the one lady that gets hit early on is being held back to you? I wonder what she was thinking... Don't after crazy, it just isn't worth it.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Being Catholic = Hate Crime in Canada

Well, we'll see.

Apparently the Canadian Human Rights Commission is holding a tribunal against a Catholic priest for stating his opposition to gay marriage.

“If one, because of one’s sincerely held moral beliefs, whether it be Jew, Muslim, Christian, Catholic, opposes the idea of same-sex marriage in Canada, is that considered ‘hate’?”

The question was not rhetorical. Nor was it theoretical. Fr. Alphonse de Valk, a Basilian priest and pro-life activist known throughout Canada for his orthodoxy, is currently being investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) — a quasi-judicial investigative body with the power of the Canadian government behind it. The CHRC is using section 13 of Canada’s Human Rights Act to investigate the priest. This is a section under which no defendant has ever won once the allegation has gone to tribunal — the next stage of the process.

Read more here.

Those Canadians are taking their Human Rights a tad bit seriously, and it looks like a witch hunt. Then again, maybe it's because I am Catholic that this bothers me.

Oh but wait, don't forget about Mark Steyn who is also at a tribunal of his own, and then Ezra Levant will be coming up soon.

On the Mark Steyn trial they are bringing an American blogger, that blogged on an American website, a Catholic one at that, as proof of the hate.

I just don't get it.

H/T The Curt Jester

Sunday, June 1, 2008

If Only the Homework was Completed

Then I would have nothing to complain about.


Doubt it. Anyway, young Master Andy Miller is making a name for himself on Bleacher Report, which means that I am going to have to take his writing a little more seriously I guess.

When did this happen anyway? I mean seventeen year-old's aren't supposed to surprise heir parents anymore (okay, I'll take that back, but I think you might know what I mean). Here is the kid when he said he wanted to major in journalism and communications, I kind of went... Okay? Now it turns out he actually has a passion for it, AND is pretty good at it as well.

I present sample A, B and C.

I guess I better start working on that novel now.