Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marriage and the Bible

Newsweek nails it.
The cover story is by religion editor Lisa Miller. She asks to take religious conservatives at their word and look towards the bible for definition of marriage. It turns out (not surprisingly) that traditional biblical marriage meant that men could have as many wives (or concubines) as they wanted, especially if one or more wives couldn't produce children.
I particularly like that she breaks modern American marriage into its two distinct parts: religious and civil. I also like this passage, quoted in its entirety:
  • If the bible doesn't give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire. In its entry on "Homosexual Practices," the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, "possibly because it did not result in true physical 'union' (by male entry)." The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as "an abomination" (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?
She points out my biggest beef with the fervently holier-than-thou religious conservatives which is that they pick and choose the parts of the bible they like and leave all the rest out. Much has been said by anonymous internet emailers regarding the questions asked of the evil Dr. Laura: shrimp cocktails, daughters into slavery, and all the rest. My mother and I had this discussion years ago (which is when she stopped asking me about going to church) and it helped her understand how silly some of it is. Here 's a question to ponder: is it really possible to bring a pair of every animal onto an ark? If so, wouldn't it mean that Noah was the first man to discover North America, Australia and Antarctica (my sincere apologies to the native peoples of those continents, some who had been living there for thousands of years before Noah was supposed to have lived)?
Of course, this is just a silly post regarding religious zealots, not some honest effort to engage others in philosophical discourse.
Read the article. It's pretty good. Too bad it came out after Prop 8 passed.
Hat tip to dailykos and jem6x's diary that got me started.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oh, Noland.

I read this Portland food blog regularly.
An apple pie with a bacon lattice top? Too much. Here in Portland? I'm there.

Funny or Die: Prop 8 - The Musical

Gay marriage will save the economy. Praise Jesus.
See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't mess with Tex-Mex Cheerleaders


Andress v. Chapin - "EL PASO, Texas, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Parents of students on the dance team at a Texas high school allege members of a rival team prepared a gift of baked goods laced with rat poison and bleach." - UPI

I'm so proud.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Last night we took a big step.
With Obama, it was a big, sweet step forward. A step towards more progressive politics, a reduction (though not elimination) of the race barrier, and a new face for American politics (literally and figuratively).
Increasing Democratic control of the government (House and Senate) was also a big step. It will be easier to enact good legislation.

The bitter part is that discrimination won, too. Prop 8 in California, which codified discrimination into the state constitution and took away established rights to marry for same-sex couples, passed. Other ballot measures that redefined marriage as the union of one man and one woman also passed in other states (Arizona) and civil unions were made unconstitutional in Florida.

Once again hatred and bigotry has denied American citizens their birthright. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn't mean the same thing to all Americans.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Futurama: Bender's Game

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.....

Also, is there a future for Futurama?

Cautiously optimistic

That's what I am right now. I expect that Barack Obama will become the next President of the United States, but I thought Kerry would win so what do I know. The polls look good. Now let's just sit and wait.
Our ballots have been turned in. For those of you that don't know, Oregon is the only state where we vote by mail. We don't have election day polling places, touch screen voting machines, or hour-long waiting lines. I actually voted in front of my computer, taking each ballot measure for a ride around the intertubes, checking and double checking what various progressive sites/blogs had to say about the repercussions of each one. That scares the hell out of the Republican Party, I know. Informed electorate. Yikes.
Here are my feelings about the state of the race so eloquently written by someone else.
Thanks Bill in Portland Maine!

Closing Appeals

Dear America,
Mine mine mine.
Me Me Me Me Me Me Me!
Mine mine mine mine mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine!
In conclusion: Fear fear fear fear. Very scary fear!
The Republican Party

P.S. If you liked Joseph McCarthy, you'll love us!

Dear America,
Us. We. Together. Americans. United States.
Hope compassion equality inclusiveness competence.
Brains common sense community respect hard work accountability.
Action change responsibility. More viewpoints, smarter solutions.
In conclusion: Yes we can.
The Democratic Party.

P.S. Vote.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Political rant

Those of you who have known me for sometime know that I am a proud liberal. Those of you who have known me since my adolescent days remember something different.

In college, I regularly introduced myself as "the most liberal republican you'll ever meet." My social leanings were liberal but my fiscal leanings were decidedly conservative. Or so I thought.

You see, I was duped by the message machine. I honestly believed that Ronnie Reagan really was "the Great Communicator" and was tough, strong, and principled. That's what the message said and so that is what I believed.

When George HW Bush ran against Michael Dukakis, I believed the machine again when they said Dukakis was too liberal to be trusted, and then Mike got into that tank and all was lost. I even have a picture of my dorm room and right there on the wall is a bumper sticker for George. Terrifying.

It wasn't until I actually started to think about politics that I realized that I was a sucker. A jive turkey. It is a great disappointment to think back and know that the first time I voted in a presidential election I voted for pappy Bush; but even worse knowing that if I had been of voting age, I would have voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Shocking.

These days I am a down the ballot Democrat. I wish the party were more liberal, but we must take baby steps. More democrats first, better democrats second. We can't afford more conservative judges on the supreme court. Not even one more.

I find it hard to believe there are still undecided voters out there. I'd love to write about them, but I'll let a professional do it instead. Word.
Ladies and gentlemen, David Sedaris.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Our house

For those of you who have not been over yet, our challenge with this house is parking during parties.
About 4 cars can fit in the driveway. So, some of you may have to park in the darker blue area just north of the house next to Johnson Creek. It's only a short walk up the hill and around the corner. There is also an unpaved dead-end side street with no sidewalks (I know, it sounds so appealing) on the opposite side of the street from our house (in the lighter blue). I'd call that one "last resort" kind of parking.

View Larger Map

You had me at "awesome-teen"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I like Bob Costas

I'm not a follower of the Olympics. Never really have been. It's too hyped up.
In these past Games, an Australian diver won the gold in dramatic fashion. The Chinese men were supposed to sweep the Mens 10m Platform event. Matthew Mitcham won the event with his final dive, earning the highest recorded score ever by a man for an Olympic dive.
The coverage of this feat was minimal, and there was no mention of his out status.
Just after this non-coverage, a website ( that focuses on "news, reviews & commentary on gay and bisexual men in entertainment and the media" filed a complain with NBC. NBC responded twice, once commenting that they had no issue with their coverage and then shortly after apologizing for their lack of coverage (kind of a McCain style turn-around).
Anyway, this same website interviewed Bob Costas on this issue. It's a fairly good read.
via - NBC’s Bob Costas Discusses Gays in Sports

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

MNF - What defense?

There is nothing more disappointing, pathetic or embarrassing that I can tell you about myself than this: my mood during football season really depends on whether the Dallas Cowboys win or lose games. That, ladies and gentlemen, is tragedy.
Last night's MNF game with Dallas hosting the Eagles was a crazy game. I am glad the Cowboys won, but I'd prefer that they won games 21-3 and not 41-37. My heart could go the way of my gallbladder if that keeps up this season.

I do like making fun of Dallas fans, though.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm bored

So I've been stuck at home recuperating from my surgery and am bored stiff. I've watched tv, read the intertubes, talked on the phone, and now I'm done. Poor Steve was bored Saturday morning. I've got a higher tolerance for boredom I guess (what with all that ship-board living I did some years back).
I'm improving daily and am now able to sit down in our slouchy sofa and chairs without having to ask for help getting back up. The one thing I haven't been able to do yet is sleep on my side.
Yeah, you all care sooo much I'm sure. :)

The one thing I did earlier (Friday afternoon) was try and watch the most recent Futurama DVD with the commentary on. I had to stop because I was laughing so hard it hurt. Drove me right to the Oxycodone. Damned Futurama.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm home - Part II

More details:

Steve went to work for a bit and the surgeon called him after the surgery to update him on my status and when I'd be coming out of the anesthesia. That was nice of the doctor.

I awoke after the surgery in the recovery room. I don't remember much here either. It was a big room and I was against one wall, so I could see the whole thing. There was a woman across the row facing me and she had a breathing tube in her mouth. There was a nurse talking to me a lot, but I don't remember what she was saying. After some time (10 minutes? 1 hour?) they got me ready to send me to my room. A very, very, very hot nurse/orderly guy came over and rolled my bed to my room. I may have said inappropriate things to him but I can't recall.

The rest is rather uneventful. Steve came back after a bit (maybe 3 or 4?) and stayed with me most of the evening. What a trooper! I was mostly in and out of sleep so he sat there quietly reading his book, chatting with me in my drugged state and watching whatever TV channel I had picked (probably HGTV - he loves that channel - just ask him). They kept taking my vitals and giving me good dope every two hours.

Noland, Matt, and any other boys - begin fantasy here.

Just after Steve left for the evening, the shift changed and two new nurses came by to introduce themselves. They were both hot. Blond, young, thin. They were just as nice as nice could be. They usually came in together. I wonder what else they did together.

Okay, end fantasy. I'm not good at writing lesbian porn for straight guys, I know.

I drifted in and out of sleep most of the night because of all the visits for pain, vitals, blood, etc. At about 11, the nurse came in and asked if I wanted to try walking around. This led to the dizziness and nausea from the earlier post.

Morning finally rolled around and Steve was back to take me home. The surgeon came back to check on me and approved my release. After some paper work, I was released. I changed back into my clothes. Just as I was pulling on my shirt, Steve noticed that I had something attached to my left side, just above the hip. It was one of those suction cups used to monitor things that was left over from the surgery! No big deal, but I had the nurse come back to check and make sure I could take it off. I was wheeled out to Steve's car and we made it home.

And here I am, one day later, feeling much better. I'm still sore, and I've noticed that all of our chairs (couch, love seat, recliner, etc) are a bit too low for comfort right now. Getting in and out of them is not as easy as it used to be but it is easier today than yesterday. Hopefully that pattern will continue.

That's it. Exciting, I know.

I'm home

My surgery went quickly and my overnight stay was uneventful, except for one short episode where I tried to get up and walk (with the nurse's help) and became too dizzy and nauseated to continue.

The nursing staff was nice and competent (except for the whole needle in the arm thing - I was poked a total of 5 times for the IV and blood draw with 2 successful). One nurse was a bit scatter-brained but was nice enough.
For those interested in the details, read on.
For the rest of you, know that I am feeling much better today than yesterday and am walking around freely at home with just minor discomfort. I appreciate all the well wishes.

Now for some details Part I of the experience.

Steve and I arrived at the hospital Thursday morning at about 7:50 am. You can do most of your check-in early (on the web or by phone). I was instructed not to bring any personal things, including money, wallet, id, insurance cards, etc. I guess it is unlikely someone would impersonate me just to get a free surgery, but that seemed a bit weird.
Within a few minutes, a nice older lady volunteer called my name and escorted us to the prep room which was a basic hospital room for one. It was freezing in there. I got naked and slipped on the hospital gown you are all familiar with: hideous pattern and open in the back. Several nurses came in and took my vital signs and inserted my IV (this of the 3 pokes). The nurse who was unsuccessful (she tried twice) was very apologetic and said poking was her best skill.

Stop giggling like a school girl, Noland.

One funny thing was when she first walked in she asked a few questions and then commented how well I spoke english. Yup.

Anyway, my surgery was scheduled for 9:45 but that slipped to about 10:30. My surgeon came in and talked a bit, giving us the low down on the whole thing. Just before carting me away, the anesthesiologist came by and asked a few questions, and gave me the details on the next 10 minutes or so. He was funny and reminded me a bit of Dr. Romano from the early years of E.R. (I also saw the same actor in Seattle in a performance of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged" which was hilarious.) They gave me some good stuff that started the descent into darkness. Then they rolled me away. Steve was with me the whole time and no one batted an eyelash. Cool.

Anyway, I was eventually wheeled into the operating room. It was pretty big, with lots of overhead lights on giant arms that could swing around. I don't remember much about this, but I do remember that the company's name was placed in giant letters on each of the arms. Kind of a waste of advertising if you ask me since I can't remember the name. Anyway, there were lots of people in there and everyone was talking to me. I remember some music playing but I have no idea on the particulars. This very handsome nurse (interesting which details I remember) came over and started talking to me. Then the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face and asked me to breathe deep. I remember looking over to my right and seeing a big desk and my surgeon looking through some papers. I hope he wasn't "brushing up" on what to do.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's set

My gallbladder removal surgery (medically called a Laparoscopic cholecystectomy) will be on Thursday, September 11th, at 9:45 at the Providence Portland Hospital .
I'll be staying over night on recommendation of my doctor. I expect to be "laid up" for a few days following the surgery. Yippee.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So much for living forever

My organs are failing. Okay, that's overly dramatic. One organ is failing and it wants to go out in a blaze of glory. It's known as the cholecyst, or gallbladder.
Steve drove me to the Providence Milwaukee emergency room this morning about 12:30am because I was having an attack of monumental proportions. (okay, more melodrama.)
It appears I have Gallbladder Disease and gallstones. Fantastic. The most likely scenario is surgery, although it can be managed to some degree with diet. Right.
I've got an appointment with my doctor Friday and a specialist next Wednesday to see what (and when) it goes down.

Poor Steve sat in the waiting room of a Milwaukee emergency room for a few hours until he came back to my "room" to visit. At least it wasn't as freakish as I expected. I've been watching too much TV.

Surgery. Cool.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Okay, I just have to post about this.

Via, we have an internet email regarding a change in paid holiday for workers in a Tyson plant in Tennessee - here.
It seems that a good portion of the workers are resettled Somali refugees and Muslims. In the most recent negotiated labor contracts, they requested to have the 3-day Muslim holiday of Eid-alFitr in place of the traditional Labor Day holiday as a paid holiday. The company agreed. 1000 of the 1200 employees are covered under this agreement.
Now, on principle, I have no issue with these employees and union asking for and receiving this change. As a strong supporter of the rights of workers to organize and join unions, I am a little disappointed that Labor Day would be removed, but I'll get over that.
What I find ignorant is the reactionary response from the loonies. The email going around mentions that this is just one example of removing holidays and symbols that made America the "Greatest Country on Earth." As if the French or English grow up chanting "we're #2, we're #2." The email also has this warning attached (in all caps): FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FAMILY, BE VERY CAREFUL WHO YOU VOTE FOR IN NOVEMBER. A not so veiled swipe at Obama, to be sure.
So, a vote for Obama is a vote against Labor Day, Christmas, Columbus Day. And I suppose a vote for McCain is for Labor? Right.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wall-E: liberal fascism run amok?

Now that I've seen the move I can provide an honest assessment of this bozo's critique: balderdash!

If you actually see the movie you notice that the people depicted before humanity leaves are all normal.
Not fat. Not skinny. Normal. (whatever that means)
700 years after they leave, everyone is fat. Everyone. They sit in a hover chair all day, they have robots do all their work, and they are constantly eating and drinking (especially cupcake shakes - hmm, gotta try that).

So let's see: high caloric intake + low caloric output = weight gain! Yup. I knew it cause I've lived it.

On to the central point of Wall-E: we are killing the planet. Yes, we are. However, I think the planet will fight back and win in the end if we don't change. It's in her best interest anyway.
Consider this: the population of planet Earth was 1B in the year 1800, just before the industrial revolution. A mere 208 years later, the population of the planet is nearly 7B. The industrial revolution made it easier and cheaper to get all sorts of things: food, clothing, cars, furniture, etc. Is it any surprise that the math tends to show that as there are more humans beings our disposable products will increase? Is that a difficult thing to understand? We are currently recycling less than 5% of all the waste we create.

As a movie, I found Wall-E to be funny, clever, entertaining and had a good moral to the story. It isn't perfect. But it is pretty good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Neil Patrick Harris + Zack Whedon = musical magic

Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog!
Gotta watch all of them before July 20th (part III goes up the 19th) because they'll "vanish into the night like a phantom".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It couldn't happen to a nicer company

Walmart recently updated its logo. Not that I care. But thanks to the (and, the gig is up.
It appears that Walmart has come close to approximating a drawing that Vonnegut used in his "Breafast of Champions". It is a drawing of his own asshole. Hilarious.

See for yourself. Coincidence?



Friday, July 04, 2008

Boba Fett - Oh the indignity

Very funny/clever... Thanks again to Gizmodo.

Me likey!

Thanks Gizmodo!

This is a pretty nice mashup of Google Earth and a hologram machine. I want it!

Holographic Google Earth from Nicolas Loeillot on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On the General Clark hissy fit

So, I say this as a veteran of the Navy: get a grip.

Gen. Wesley Clark said a few days ago on a Sunday talk show that getting in a plane and being shot down (referring to John McCain) doesn't automatically qualify you for President.
Is that a smear on McCain's service, 5 years of POW status (and repeated torture - ironic now), or patriotism? Nope. Not a bit. Know why?
Because, according to the Constitution of the United States of America (the land in which we live), the qualifications for the job of President are:
1. natural born citizens (or citizens at the time of the Constitution's adoption)
2. at least thirty-five years old
3. inhabitants for at least fourteen years of the United States.

Nowhere in the document does it say anything about serving in the military, wrapping yourself in the flag at every opportunity, or using your experience as a POW as an automatic "gag order". I was a fighter pilot so you can't touch me. Wrong. He was a fighter pilot, and survived a horrific ordeal as a POW.

But holding him up as some sort of idol is ridiculous.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Good bye, Helio. We hardly knew you.

Today it was announced that Helio has been purchased by Virgin Mobile USA. I have been a Helio customer for nigh on 9 months and have been very please with my Ocean, Helio's service, and everything else associated with said company.
I am not all that thrilled about the announcement, but this just makes my move to an iPhone all that more likely. Especially if this is true.

Only in America

Noland, why don't you own this yet?
Waffle Dogger/Crepe On A Stick Maker

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin - pushing up daisies

A comic titan died yesterday. George Carlin was 71 and died of heart failure.
You can visit his website here.
You can visit his wikipedia entry here.

His influences were comedians like Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, Ernie Kovacs, Richard Pryor and Mort Sahl. He influenced the likes of Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Bill Hicks, Steven Wright, and Bill Maher.

I identified with a great majority of his humor, specifically the topics of religion, greed, and humanity's bullshit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Your marriage is doomed

So say the apoplectic loonies in regards to California gay marriage. I am patiently waiting for my invitation to George Takei's wedding...

While we all wait, here's the real truth as I would have written it (if I had any talent or desire) - Gays Marry, World Does Not End

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

That's outrageous!

From the WallstreetJournal ( via the

A Pint-Size Problem
Beer lovers nurse a grudge as some bars switch to smaller glasses

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And so it begins - Obama for America

His speech here

The closing:

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom’s cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that’s better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Count me in.

Friday, May 30, 2008 and intelligent discussion

If you haven't been to, please visit the site.
It is an amazing collection of very smart people talking about a variety of things. I've seen several of the videos, and although I don't always agree with the presenters, it's nice to see intelligent people speaking intelligently about all sorts of things.
Here's a link to a few videos that I have found interesting.
1. Amory Lovins: We must win the oil endgame - Amory Lovins lays out his simple plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy. The middle is a bit dry, but his arguments are compelling.
2. J.J. Abrams: The mystery box - J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias -- back to its magical beginnings.
3. Jennifer Lin: Magical improv from 14-year-old pianist - Amazing. And she's only 14 (at the time of this recording). Around the 13:30 mark she talks about how she composes pieces and art. At the the 16:35 mark, she begins her improv. Hilariously, she asks for a volunteer to pick notes from index cards and Goldie Hawn is the volunteer. I'm not sure Jennifer recognized that it was Goldie.

Things I am doing instead of packing...

It's ours!

The house closed yesterday. We officially own a house!
There is a rent back for the previous owners until June 8th when we get the keys.
Our plan is to go in that day and clean the house and carpets (they have dogs). We have movers set up to come by our current house on June 12th at 0900. We should be all moved out by the early afternoon.

Here are some other pics.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Foreman baby

Foreman baby
Originally uploaded by musicalnuke
Welcome baby Catriona Jade Foreman - 9lbs 1oz - born 5/16/2008 at 6:30am

Obama in press conference

Oh, I remember when Presidents were smart...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

SNL - funnier than usual


Kicked in the jimmy by his pastor

From the NYT story about Jenna Bush's wedding:

The wedding, which began at 7:30 p.m., took place on the Bush ranch, before a white limestone altar erected next to a man-made lake. The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston officiated at the ceremony. Mr. Caldwell, a longtime religious adviser to Mr. Bush, has endorsed Senator Barack Obama.

Ah, sweet justice. Read the rest of the nauseating story here (if you must).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Amazingly weak wizard fired for making a toothpick disappear

In a story that sounds more like something from the quaint 15th century, a Florida substitute teacher was fired for a lame magic trick and accused of the crime of wizardry.
Yup, you read that right. Wizardry.
What kind of a lame ass wizard (I imagine he's got several +5 swords of calamity and several anti-poison potions up his sleeves) gets caught by a classroom full of middle school kids? This guy, apparently.
Take it away, Channel 13.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We are so lame and they are so cool

We have stupid reality shows and the Japanese have this.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Housing Post #1 - is it supposed to happen like this?

So, Steve and I recently decided to get into the real estate market. The market left us behind 5 or so years ago when everyone was buying houses with no money down, no inspection, etc., for crazy money and bizarre loan schemes. We were happy where we were living, were happy paying low rent and spending our hard earned money on booze, food, and entertainment.

However, we regularly cruised neighborhoods and pulled leaflets out of every for sale sign that attracted us. We dreamed of winning the lottery so we could buy the house of our dreams. Right. Silly boys.

We talked to our first realtor 3 weeks ago. Nice guy, Portland Alternative Realty. I liked him enough. Steve got a "meh" vibe. So, I remembered that I had a friend who's partner opened her own realty office. EXIT Realty. Jen, it's Nancy's partner (Nancy of DCI fame). We met with her two Thursdays ago. We chatted, she seemed nice, knowledgeable (35+ years in the Portland market), and Steve got a good vibe. Great.

She started sending us listings in our price range and minor wants (it was all about price and location for us). Some in St John's, some in NE, some in SE (next to the scary Apostolic Christian compound). We would send her back notes on the ones we liked and she created a list of 9 houses we were to look at on our first trip out together on Saturday.

We saw some nice homes. All in our price range, some in the right neighborhoods, but not quite right for one reason or another. My favorite before 5 pm Saturday was an attached townhouse on Multnomah Ave in the Lloyd district (technically Sullivan's Gulch). Banked owned foreclosure property, run down, needing some work, but good potential for a 3-4 year turnaround. Not crazy about the work and cost, but it wasn't a terrible option.

Then we saw our house. Really.

The last house on our first tour was a great house on SE Tacoma (2800 block). Just east of 99E. Nice wooden fencing. 3 bedrooms, 2.1 bathrooms, nice floor plan, fireplace, outside deck, well kept yard which overlooks the 5th green and 6th tee of the Eastmoreland Golf Course. Master bedroom balcony overlooking the same vista. Double garage plus parking for 5 or 6 other cars. Right price. Not our target location, but too much house not to seriously like it.

So, we came home. Went out to dinner with Matt and Kellie. Talked about it and decided to go for it. Crazy.

Steve called our realtor (Pam) this morning and told her we were interested in making an offer. She said she'd start the paperwork. Steve called me at work today and we filled out the loan application online over the phone (Steve typed, I answered his questions). I left work at 5 pm. Pam met us at our house at 6 pm. We talked it over and decided to definitely go for it. We initialed 900 times (or so it seemed) on all these offer docs, disclosure agreements, etc. She left our house at 7:30 pm. Her plan was to talk to the listing agent to arrange a time to present our offer herself to the sellers. Because it was Sunday and late, we expected to hear back tomorrow.

After she left, we talked about moving and decorating, packing, and weekly visits to the garbage dump. Then we started talking about alternatives: what if they say no? do we wait to get back in the search? do we slow down this crazy 36 hour train? do we think about the problem property in Lloyd? Oh, well, it was nice to dream.
Pam called at 9 or so. They accepted our offer.

Check it out!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

N.C. Biscuits have arrived

This past Thursday, Steve and I began the process of buying a house. We met with a Credit Union mortgage adviser and then met a realtor. In between, we found some time to have breakfast. This post is all about the breakfast (real estate posts to follow later).

The spot next to the Triple Nickel has been many things since we moved into the neighborhood: a kid's clothing store, a skate shop, and a coffee shop. The latest business to move in is Pine State Biscuits. They used to have a booth at the PSU farmer's market, but now they have set up shop.
I read something about it on a recent post on blog.
The food is great. The biscuits are crunchy and flaky and moist and tasty. Steve ordered the egg, cheese, and sausage biscuit while I ordered the egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich. Delicious!
They have gravy, grits, honey, and pimento spread to go with the biscuits. They also have buttermilk fried chicken. I know!
Prepare yourself, Noland. Their pièce de résistance is "The Reggie": a biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, bacon, cheese and topped with country sausage gravy. Oh my. The deluxe comes with a fried egg. Esquire recently dubbed this very sandwich one of the best sandwiches in the country.
Although the place is small (only four tables and a bar that seats 5 or so), the food is worth it. We highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Roomba for your lawn!

For those of you who hate mowing the grass (or moss in our case), here's the answer for you - the Automower!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Building the future, shaking the present?

Here's something mildly interesting. I was talking to THE Mike Douglas about this last night at Plan B.
  • Apparently, we have created a building so heavy that it may be causing mini-quakes. Yikes.
  • Also, here is an artist's rendition of how cities in the future will be re-designed from car-cities to ecological pedestrian cities.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I want to live in New York

Because shit like this happens all the time - from New York mag.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I heart Ronald Reagan

Well, the liberal one from the 1940's...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Interesting tidbits from the Information Superhighway

- Slaughtered pigs plot their revenge?
- This is a perfect example of how we don't export Democracy, we export Capitalism. This binding arbitration nonsense has to stop.
- For you Covey fans, here's a stylized version: Seven habits of highly effective spaceship captains. My favorite - #3. Don't be afraid to hookup with cute spacemen.
- Ricky Gervais' new movie.
- MST3K fans rejoice! (sort of) From - MST3K Crew Reunites for Post-Robot Mayhem (with funny preview video)
- Noland? Is this what made you sick?
- We're staying at a Travelodge on our next vacation for sure.
- Finally, for better or worse, this kind of stuff makes me feel good.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Cowboy brilliance

This time from - Thanks again to Chris Hill.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Football and the most recent failure of "America's Team"

I'm an unapologetic fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I've been a Cowboy fan longer than most readers of this blog have been alive. (That doesn't mean you, Noland, you're too old for that.) I have felt the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as a fan. From Roger "the Doger" Staubach and the 70's to "No!" Danny "broken wrist" White, Gary Hogeboom, and Steve Pelluer, I have lived and died with the Cowboys. From the inception of the Hail Mary to "The Catch" and the Seattle Slip, I have supported the 'boys. When the hick from Arkansas bought the team and fired the only coach they have ever know (a jerk, to be sure) to replace him with his successful college buddy, I stood by and continued to be a fan.
So, I keep on truckin'.
It is not easy to be a fan of the good team from Texas. No siree. Those of you haters out there know exactly what I'm talking about. You take every opportunity to hate the Cowboys. That's fine. I don't care. America's Team? Whatever.
Anyway, I'm fine with them losing to the Giants last week. They played poorly and didn't deserve to win. The defense couldn't tackle, the offensive line couldn't block, and the receivers couldn't catch passes. The kicking team played like high-schoolers and the offense (Tony and the crew) couldn't take advantage of a banged up secondary for the second year in a row. The killer was the NY Giants drive at the end of the first half. Stop them and they go into halftime ahead 14-7 with the ball to start the 3rd quarter. Instead, the defense decided to let Eli look like a Pro Bowl QB and allowed the WRs to catch passes and get out of bounds. The NY offense was so efficient that they scored the TD in 51 seconds and didn't have to use either of the 2 timeouts they had left. Plus, even the Baltimore Ravens can't expect to score only 17 points in a playoff game and win.
So now I am a Green Bay Packers fan. There are four possible outcomes left, including four possible headlines. Only one of them is interesting to me. See if you can spot it.

Perfect Pats
Norv Turner Vindicated or Norv Turner Proves Critics Wrong
A Manning Dynasty or The Other Manning Wins
Favre Wins, Announces Retirement from Football

Go Pack, Go!

The Onion Rules Completely

Thanks to Chris for bringing this to my attention - Jessica Simpson Completes Elaborate Plan To Destroy Cowboys' Season


Here are some other Onion sports related triumphs:
Vegas Gives Patriots 1,000-Point Spread Over Chargers
Brett Favre Promises To Throw Ball As Far As He Can In NFC Championship Game
Dallas-Area Suicide Hotline Operators Get Their Popcorn Ready

Oh, this is too good not to add

Mitt Romney Defends Himself Against Allegations Of Tolerance

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Oh, right. Happy New Year and all.

Random items from the interwebs:
- From the sci-fi blog io9 and this post (15 movies to watch (or avoid) this year) - the Gotham Times (part of Christopher Nolan's Gotham City schtick)
- Pro Blog Design - a blog focused on giving other bloggers advice on how to “tweak your blog, making it more profitable, usable and attractive.”
- Comediane and gay icon Kathy Griffin with news anchor and gay icon Anderson Cooper talking about balls (via YouTube)
- Several items of interest in this story. First, "Hot Rod"? Really? Second, he's 27 AND a strip club owner. Wow, that's ambition. Third, who makes a bet about having to have your johnson tattooed? That's crazy.