Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Bowl Full of Crazy

Alan Grayson is another shining example of our political class. Today, he compared America's lack of health care reform to the Holocaust.

Mr. Grayson, I would encourage you to visit Dachau or speak with a man with a serial number tattooed into his arm. Maybe you should ask him if the comparison is valid.

A Soccer Game

This evening at Mason's last soccer practice of the Fall 2009 season, the coach asked the parents if we wanted to scrimmage against the children. Did we?! We jumped at the chance. We ran around like kids; dribbling, passing and shooting (not well, I should add). I haven't played organized soccer since I was roughly Mason's age.

In my day, it was the North Sycamore Youth Organization (N-S-Y-O, Let's Go!). Dad coached our team. I remember the giant kick board some parents constructed (where kids could kick the ball and have it bounce back to them. I also remember that we used it more for peeing behind than actually kicking a ball on.

Our game tonight took me back to the parent/son soccer games we would have at the end of the season. If I remember correctly, they were at Sharon Woods (although Dad would know for sure).

I hope Mason looks back fondly on times like tonight as I do on those of 25+ years ago.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ahhh ... Sophomoric Humor; Fast Food-Style

Please take a moment to soak in this juvenile Hardee's commercial. You will laugh out loud or you won't think it is funny at all. I doubt there is much in between.

P.S. I still cannot stop laughing.

(For those with the email version, go to to watch the video)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kitchen Gadget

I am not a big 'kitchen gadget' person. As far as we are concerned, our griddle is cutting edge technology. But, I have to admit, the apple peeler that Noel brought home from Bed, Bath and Beyond has captured my imagination.

From the first use, I began to try and figure out different ways to use it. I may have to make a youtube video to show everyone how it works. It peels, it slices, it cores! What else could you wish for from an apple peeler/corer/slicer?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Wonderful Fall Afternoon

Another Fall day; another wonderful trip to Stuckey Farm.

We try to get to Stuckey Farm at least a couple times of year, but definitely in the Fall. Each visit is like visiting relatives that we don't know that well. The folks there are strangers but we always feel welcome. We feel free to roam around on our own, searching for the perfect fruit or vegetable.

Each year, Mason morphs into Linus from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", on the hunt for the biggest pumpkin in the patch. This year we landed it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

An Un-Fortune-ate Article

My beloved Fortune Magazine, of which I read cover to cover each month, has disappointed me with a terrible article about marijuana. In case you didn't know (and as a disclaimer), I am vehemently opposed to the legalization (or even decriminalization) of marijuana. Even as I have a strong Libertarian streak that runs through me (mostly when it comes to free markets), I just can't wrap my arms around the benefits of legalization. I have seen more than one life wrecked or permanently altered by this drug. And I believe that the negative externalities of one's own choice to smoke marijuana creates too many negative externalities. (In simple economic terms, if you remove the leaves from your yard in the fall with a leaf blower, your yard is free of leaves, but you have created a lot of negative externalities. Just ask your neighbors.)

But, back to the article. This fairly lopsided article paints folks pushing for the reform of marijuana laws as champions of the weak, frail and sickly. When, I believe, that they are pushing medical marijuana as a way to get he camel's nose under the tent. In California, they already have permitted medical marijuana. In one 'health center' they display their 'medicine' with names like 'Blueberry Goo', 'GDP X Bubble Gum', 'Grape Skunk' and 'Jack Ripper'. Sounds like something that is well-regulated, huh?

At one point in the article, the author all but admits that he wants to try marijuana to help with the story:
I then notice a journalistic hole opening up in my reporting. Until now I had assumed that my haphazard, stale, youthful experiences with marijuana would need no refreshing in order for me to write a thorough article about medical cannabis. Now I'm not so sure. Unfortunately, most dispensaries are intransigent about serving only California residents, and I am not one. I explain my quandary to Jacobs. Listening back upon my words as they hang in the air, I realize that it sounds as if I've just asked him to break the law. He very politely declines.

Really? You think you need to smoke pot to add some flavor to the story? (Glad he didn't do an article on gang rape).

How could Fortune top this terrible article? Hey, I know, how about an online marijuana pictorial!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Amazing Art

If you haven't see this video, it is worth the 8 minutes you will invest.

(Tip of the hat to Greg F. for pointing me towards this).

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Puppet Show!

Mason and Mallory love the tub. Some of their most creative play is done with water; pouring, splashing, 'swimming' and (of course) puppet shows.

Let the goofiness begin!

(For those of you who get the email version, please go to to see the video)

100 Posts!

What better way to celebrate 100 posts than my 101st? Thanks to all of the readers out there who take the time to peruse my ramblings. I appreciate it. Here's to 100 more.

Obama's Non-Tax Tax

For those of you that didn't get a chance to read it, the Wall Street Journal has a great Op-Ed on how Obama views taxes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Bachelor

At the dinner table this evening, Mason announced that two girls had a crush on him. Apparently, he has two friends, Morgan and Kaitlyn (sp?) ... and they happen to be girls. This, from the 5-year-old who walks around with a fake BlackBerry saying, "Hold on, let me take this in the other room."

What are we in for?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Versatile Patrick Swayze

Anyone who can go from Dirty Dancing to Ghost to Road House (one of my personal favorites) is alright with me.

Of course don't forget this little gem with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Promised Land

This past weekend, we took a trip back to the promised land. I am, of course, talking about Columbus, Ohio. We travelled there via Cincinnati to leave the children under the watchful eyes of Grandma Rosie and Grandpa Huber. They were excited to get some time with the children and had plenty of treats and chores lined up for Mason and Mallory.

We headed north to campus to watch the Ohio State-USC game. Somehow, we were graced with tickets to what may be the most exciting regular season game of the year. We arrived on campus five hours prior to kick off absorb the sights, sounds and yummy street vendor food that is football Saturday at Ohio State. The sea of scarlet and gray, the tailgaters, the engergized crowd (including the off-color remarks directed at the USC-clad fans), and carnival-like events made for a wonderful afternoon. Marcus Allen was in the Sports Illustrated Heisman Trophy tent along with the Trophy itself. Randy Gradishar, a former Ohio State linebacker and Denver Bronco great was signing autographs, as well. Of course, I had to go to Kuwait to see him.

We stopped by Converse Hall (home of Army ROTC) and posed with one of the various Brutus Buckeyes that are around campus.

Noel's brother Allen came down from Upper Arlington to spend a couple hours with us and it was nice to catch up with him. We saw Ohio State rappers (if you can't see the video in your email, go to who were very entertaining.

(I didn't say they were good; just entertaining)

The game itself was terrific. The band executed brilliantly and the Buckeyes played their hearts out. We are proud to boast that we are part of a record-breaking crowd of 106,032 fans screaming our collective heads off for 'the men of scarlet and gray'.

Unfortunately, the wrong team won. Thanks to Mom and Dad for making this possible. The kids enjoyed the Hot Chocolate/Oreo drink concoctions, watching fireworks and doing 'chores' for Grandma Rosie.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Starbucks is quick to point out the number of ‘responsibly grown, ethically traded’ pounds of coffee they buy each year; 228 million pounds, to be exact.

What they don’t tell you are the number of irresponsibly grown, unethically traded pounds of coffee they purchase each year. Where is that number?!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Walking into Mason's school this morning, a couple of the kids were playing a game called Spoons. That simple game, involving nothing more than a few playing cards and some simple kitchen teaspoons, took me back for a few moments on the way to work.

Those little plastic spoons triggered a flood of memories I had forgotten until this morning at 7:35. Grandma Huber (my father's mother, not Grandma Rosie, who is my mother - those distinctions are important with more than one Grandma Huber living) and Grandpa used to play card games with us. Spoons was one of those games.

Grandma and Grandpa came to live with us after my birth mother died. Dad was charged with raising three boys (one an infant) and Grandma and Grandpa were there to help. I was five at the time. Grandpa showed me how to mow the lawn (slicing his finger open in the process), drove 'little Timmy Hunter' and I to kindergarten and had a standing bet of 5:1 that he could flip over all the Scrabble tiles at once (the bet was that you pay Grandpa a penny for every tile face down and he would pay you a nickel for everyone face up ... no one ever took him up on it). Grandma cooked and cleaned; diligently straining out the meatballs from the Campell's Alphabet Soup to ensure that there was an even meatball distribution between myself and Greg. She knitted endlessly (sometimes at the top of the stairs when Greg and I refused to settle down at night), got us off to school and generally cared for the boys. (Her other job was to triage the women that Dad brought home, apparently. Ask Grandma Rosie sometime).

I was blessed with lots and lots of Grandparents (from all sides) whose firm hands and gentle love helped shape me and my brothers during a challenging time for the Huber family.

Thank you, spoon game for allowing me to remember that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another Milestone

This weekend was big for the children's milestones. Mallory did her thing and Mason impressed us all with his new-found bicycle skills. The training wheels weren't cutting it. In fact, they were just teaching him bad habits. So, of they went. We picked up a handle that I could hold onto while he pedaled and kept his balance. It worked well as I could loosen or tighten my grip to help him correct (and not over-correct) his balance.

And then .... off he went.

Blogging on the Go!

So, Blogger let's me post from my cellphone. Think of it as the un-twitter.

I can't imagine posting much on the go as my cellphone doesn't have a camera (blogs are always better with pics!). We'll see what happens.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Mallory Milestone

Mallory reached a milestone today. It was a rather scatological milestone, but a milestone, none the less. After months of soliciting, begging, pleading, bribing, cajoling, coaxing, convincing, and praying she finally did it. Mallory went poopy on the potty (and then on the floor, but, hey).

Below is a photo of Mallory on 'her' BlackBerry telling Grandma Rosie all about it.

Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw has Ten Principles of Economics. No. 4 is 'People respond to incentives'. And, yes, the princess outfit was a payoff.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Government Getting in the Business Business

A couple of days ago, lawmakers in the state of Kansas announced that they were getting in the casino business. Of all the businesses to get involved with, it seems terribly odd to choose casinos. I guess it should be no surprise, as our fearless representatives view gambling as the eternal spring of revenues. Indiana has gotten bitten by the gambling revenue bug and is tempted continuously by the thought of expanding casinos even in the face of declining revenue from such venues.

The larger question is where they feel they are empowered to enter select businesses in the first place. Or (better yet) is why the government feels they will be any good at it. There is no objective evidence supporting the claim that governments run businesses very well. Although there is plenty of evidence to the contrary (Amtrak, the post office, Freddie and Fannie, etc. ad nauseum).

It appears that economist Michael Hicks, a professor at Ball State University, has some evidence that lawmakers will surely ignore. As quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

(Hicks) calculated the rate of return on the corporate tax credits. He found that for every $1 million in tax credits awarded, there were 95 lost manufacturing jobs in the counties where the companies were located—a result that is "strongly statistically significant." There was no gain in personal income in these counties. Perhaps more jobs would have been lost without the credits, but what is undeniably clear is that the businesses that got the government loot were not magnets for other employers.

Counties may lose jobs in the short term, but I am sure they are hoping they will make up for it in volume.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Lifetime Ago

Twelve years ago today, I reported for active duty at Fort Knox, Kentucky. That seems like a lifetime ago. I miss it every day, but wouldn't trade it for the time I get to spend with my family.