Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Progress Report 3.0

I stopped by the house after work this evening to check on Munch and give him his evening treats. Everything is moving along pretty well. All of the drywall is up, taped, sanded and painted. The kitchen floor has the tile down, though they still need to grout and seal it, to call it finished, so things are looking up. Ryan and I had a talk this evening and we are going to move back in Monday or Tuesday, at the latest. We are both really tired of being stuck in the hotel. We know it will be a pain there won't be a refrigerator until Tuesday and there won't be any form of a kitchen until next week, fingers crossed.

Overall the work is about 65% done, though that is probably the level of workmanship as well. We have been using one of our roommates friends, that's a contractor, I have nothing against friends. It's just I have learned from my Dad's lessons that things never turn out the way you want when a friend does it. It's all about competitive bids and references. Yes, he's cutting us a break on cost but you get what you pay for. Maybe with us back in the house they will get the feeling that they are under a watchful eye.

I'm going to spend time over there tomorrow cleaning things upstairs to make it live-able. Right now there is a lot of dust and things are everywhere. I also need to start clearing a way for the HVAC contractor so they can replace those systems. Once that is done the house is going to be a lot greener. I take those long awaited photos tomorrow so you can see the progress that has been made over the last few weeks.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Two Victories in Washington

I have been pretty quiet lately as it comes to politics, I was afraid I may have been boring some people. I had to make sure the word got out about these pieces of legislation. They had been wallowing in committees because the sponsors knew that over the last 10 years the Republicans would have killed them or if them got the votes Bush would VETO them. Finallythese two long awaited piece of legislation have made their way through the US House and Senate and are now on President Obama's desk. President Obama is expected to sign both of these pieces of legislation into law. Now we'll just have to wait for the President to pick up pace on ending DADT and DOMA, as he promised.

Senate votes expand hate crimes protection
Kennedy had fought 10 years to include gays

WASHINGTON - Physical attacks on people based on their sexual orientation will join the list of federal hate crimes in a major expansion of the civil rights-era law that Congress approved yesterday and sent to President Obama for his signature.

A priority of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts that had been on the congressional agenda for a decade, the measure expands current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The measure is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student murdered 11 years ago.

To ensure its passage after years of frustrated efforts, Democratic supporters attached the measure to a must-pass $680 billion defense policy bill the Senate approved 68 to 29. The House passed the defense bill earlier this month.

Many Republicans, normally staunch supporters of defense bills, voted against the bill because of the hate crimes provision. All the no votes were Republicans, except for Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, who supported the hate crimes provision but opposes what he says is the open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan.

“The inclusion of the controversial language of the hate crimes legislation, which is unrelated to our national defense, is deeply troubling,’’ said Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican.

New England’s senators voted for the bill, including Republicans Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine.

Senator Paul G. Kirk Jr. of Massachusetts, Kennedy’s interim replacement, acknowledged that it was unusual for the legislation to be shoe-horned into the defense measure, but said the “rule of law will be stronger in America’’ because of it.

“It’s an extremely important bill and was especially important to Senator Kennedy,’’ Kirk said in a statement. “He worked on it for years to close the loopholes that have prevented effective prosecution of these flagrant crimes that terrorize entire groups of communities across America.’’

“The statistics about hate crimes are shocking and shameful. For far too long, law enforcement has been forced to investigate these vicious crimes with one hand tied behind its back,’’ Kirk added.

The hate crimes law enacted after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 centered on crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

The expansion has long been sought by civil rights and gay rights groups. Conservatives have opposed it, contending that it creates a special class of victims. They also have been concerned that it could silence clergymen or others opposed to homosexuality on religious or philosophical grounds.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group, hailed the bill as “our nation’s first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Too many in our community have been devastated by hate violence.’’

The measure also provides federal grants to help state and local governments prosecute hate crimes and funds programs to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles.

Attorney General Eric Holder said nearly 80,000 hate crimes have been reported to the FBI since he first testified before Congress in support of a hate crimes bill 11 years ago. “It has been one of my highest personal priorities to ensure that this legislation finally becomes law,’’ he said.

The FBI says more than half of reported hate crimes are motivated by racial bias. That is followed by crimes based on religious bias, at around 18 percent, and sexual orientation, at 16 percent.

At the urging of Republicans, the bill was changed to strengthen free speech protections to ensure that a religious leader or any other person cannot be prosecuted on the basis of his or her speech, beliefs, or association.

But that did not convince Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, who said the bill was a “dangerous step’’ toward thought crimes.

He asked whether the bill would “serve as a warning to people not to speak out too loudly about their religious views.’’

Ryan White CARE Act passes House and Senate
Bay Windows
Friday Oct 23, 2009

Ryan White, the Indiana boy who faced discrimination before he died of AIDS in 1990 at age 13.
Ryan White, the Indiana boy who faced discrimination before he died of AIDS in 1990 at age 13. (Source:Associated Press)

Low-income HIV-positive Americans may soon have the continued promise of better access to health care and federal funding.

The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Treatment Extension Act of 2009, or S.1793, passed the House of Representatives on Oct. 21 with a vote of 408 to 9, and was approved by the Senate on Oct. 19.

The bill, if signed into law by President Obama, would provide federal funding to help low-income, uninsured, or under-insured Americans with AIDS gain access to healthcare.

The President’s Executive Office released a Statement of Administration Policy on Oct. 19 in support of the Act. "The Administration is committed to strengthening access to acre for people living with HIV/AIDS," the statement read. "The legislation reauthorizes all parts of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program."

"The House and Senate leadership and the Members of the committees worked closely with the HIV/AIDS community to maintain this critical program," said Rebecca Haag, the executive director of the AIDS Action Council.

"This bill will ensure the availability of life saving services for those living with HIV/AIDS in all states and territories while we determine the long term impact of health care reform legislation and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy on the health and well being of those infected, affected and at risk for HIV."

"We call on President Obama to sign the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to the HIV/AIDS treatment, care and medications that they need," said Haag.

The Act is named after Ryan White, a hemophiliac teenager who died from AIDS after receiving a tainted blood transfusion at the age of 13. After contracting the virus in 1984, White was expelled from his Indiana high school. White remained a strong AIDS awareness and research advocate until his death in 1990.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Macro Madness

I just picked up some film that I had need to get developed here are a couple of macro photos from those set. Damn only one more day until the weekend I think I can survive for another 20 or so hours :-)


Geared Up

Not sure what it is, but it looks cool.

If you want to see more just visit my flickr page

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Hump Day

I guess Hump day is the prefect time for some Eye Candy... Enjoy

Down By the River...

No Clean Cloths

"DUDE! You're Hard."
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Progress Report 2

Well it's been a few weeks since my last post sorry about that. Update on the house is that the insulation should be finished today, drywall is mostly done through out the house. The Kitchen is a blank canvas waiting on new cupboards and appliances. The appliances have been purchased I just can't remember when they are going to be delivered.

My insurance company has settled, I didn't get exactly what I hoped but it will do, so we have been looking at new furniture. Already looked at Lazy-boy and Basset we found couches at both that we liked, next is Crate and Barrel. I have my eye on a couple there Ryan just needs to take them for a test run. Since I work there and get a nice discount I'm leaning for there. Ryan thinks they are to expensive, but C&B looks to be cheaper than the other two that I mentioned. The main deciding factor will be the time lag on delivery. We both want the stuff sooner than later we really want to be back in the house in a week or so. But that will all depend on the contractors and how fast they get moving.
I'll try to get some new pictures of the house on Thursday and I'll have them posted. But for now I know I owe you guys some eye candy to glare at maybe tomorrow. But for today here are a few photos that I have taken.

Charleston, SC.

Morning Dew

Bird in Flight (Charleston, SC)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Boys of October

Back in April (Play Ball!!)I made some predictions and then amend those in July (MLB Midseason Report), on how the Major League Baseball season would end up. After watching what had to been one of the best baseball games ever last night between the Twins and Tigers, today I wanted to do a wrap up.

In the American League; I had the Yankees in the East ☑, in the Central I had the Twins ☑, the West I had the Angels ☑ and finally the wildcard I had the Red Sox ☑. During my midseason I did have the central as a toss up which it was going into last nights one game playoff between Minnesota and Detroit. Which really provide why both of those teams deserved to be there. It end up being a 12 inning nail biter. So now the Twins will face the Yankees in the first round tonight and the Red Sox will play the Angels on Friday.

Now for the National League; I had the Phillies in the East ☑ (no surprise there), in the Central I had the Cubs X (One wrong answer) its the Cardinals, In the West its the Dodgers ☑ (agian, No Surprise) and finally the Wild Card is the Rockies (another wrong answer). So I didn't do as well in the NL as I did in the AL, the Cubs screwed me up, but in my defense I did have the Cardinals in the playoffs and the in my Midseason report I had the Rockies as a team to watch. Tonight in the NL the Rockies and Phillies will play and then the Cardinals and Dodgers will play the late game on the West coast.

Tonight the playoffs begin, with a best of 5 games in the first round and then that moves to best of 7. In the first round I would love to see the Twins continue their roll, but the Yankees were the best team in baseball in the second half of the season and I think they will be a shoe in for the win in the series. As for the Red Sox and Angels I figure it will go 5 games so it's a toss up, but I'll go with the my team the Red Sox.

In the National league the Phillies will take it in 4 games and the Cardinals will also take it in 4 games. The Dodgers were the best team in Baseball until the all-star break and then just collapsed. They shouldn't have let Manny come back they were better off with out him.
All in all I didn't that bad. For the playoffs I'm really going to have to go out on a limb here and say the Yankees in the AL. In the NL its probably going to be the Phillies. So those are my predictions for the play offs, I would not use these for gambling since I make no guarantees.

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