Month: April 2004

Northern California, Here I Come

I’m outta here. We’re leaving on a ten day road trip to Auburn, San Francisco, Napa, Monterey, and San Simeon, returning on May 9th. I haven’t made a road trip of this length in a long time. It’ll be weird sitting in a car for eight hours on the way up to Auburn. My body’s going to be saying “Auburn?… Read more →

Should Indian Casinos Pay Taxes?

One of the upcoming California ballot initiatives asks whether Indian casinos should be required to pay taxes. Thus far, this extremely profitable $6 billion industry (and that’s just here in California) has operated tax-free. I’ve come to the conclusion that native American casinos should pay taxes. Those who argue the other side of the issue usually do so because of… Read more →

Matthew Lesko

I’m officially ready to cast my vote for the world’s most annoying person. It’s Matthew Lesko. No one else even comes close. He is living proof that you can get rich by annoying people. (If you ask, he’d probably tell you there’s a government grant available for it, too). His voice is annoying. That idiot suit with all the question… Read more →

Feel the Burn

Freezer burn: it’s not just for food anymore. Nothing brings out the grouch in me like heat. I hate heat with… well, with the heat of a thousand suns. Or whatever. The past two days have set record high temperatures here in Southern California. And glory be, I’ve got no air conditioning! It’s over 100 degrees today, yet it’s forecast… Read more →

La commedia e finita!

My ninth opera season is officially over. I’m sitting here doing a mental comparison between the 1999 production of Pagliacci & Carmina Burana and the one we just finished. This one certainly seemed like a lot more work, which is odd because I already knew the music. I think part of it was the running around. Pushing that truck around,… Read more →

I’m a Damn Foreigner

Manish has been kind enough to invite me to join him over at Damn Foreigner. He’s on the other side of the political spectrum, so it should make for interesting reading! Anyway, I just published my first post. I like the name he picked for his web site. We’re all “damn foreigners” in one sense or another, aren’t we? Read more →

Son of a Beech

After watching Apollo 13 the other day, I was doing some research on the web and discovered an ironic factoid: the defective oxygen tank that caused the explosion aboard Apollo 13 in 1970 was manufactured by none other than Beech Aircraft. For those of you scratching your heads, Beech (now a division of aerospace giant Raytheon) was renown for producing… Read more →

Real Estate Speculation

Visitors to the Golden State like to joke about “The Big One” turning Las Vegas into oceanfront property. But what if the “Big One” was an economic earthquake rather than a physical one? Like a salmon swimming upstream, I figured I was the only person to raise an eyebrow when Alan Greenspan stoked the flames of adjustable rate mortages by… Read more →

A Better Tax System

For anyone who owes money to Uncle Sam, April 15th is not a day you look forward to. Even if you’re getting money back, Tax Day can cause a migraine by virtue of the sheer volume of paperwork required to comply with federal and state tax laws. What’s even worse, though, is hearing people like Kevin Drum claim that a… Read more →

Apache FLIR Video

Warning: graphic stuff. This is a 4.7 megabyte mpeg video taken from an Apache AH-64D helicopter in Iraq using the ship’s FLIR (forward looking infrared) camera. The Apache crew was two kilometers away and spied the Iraqis with weaponry in a field the night. It’s unclear weather the weaponry is a gun, RPG launcher, or what. Unfortunately for those on… Read more →


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