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:: Friday, September 24, 2004 ::


Man, my house is cursed. I've had two major leaks in the hot water line in the last month, and currently have a minor leak right where the cold water line enters the water heater. Hopefully it'll be fixed next week.

So what do I find last night? The toilet in the master bedroom seems to have, at some point, overflowed. So I clean it up, test that it flushes, and go to bed.

I wake up this morning and find that the shower is filthy and the toilet in that bathroom flushes very slowly, and the floor is rather wet. I clean out the shower, note that the water drains well enough, and go check the master bathroom. I flush the toilet and this time notice water squirting out the base as it flushes.

I say several bad words, mop it up, declare that bathroom "off limits" and go back to bed. An hour later I find that the "working" toilet now flushes easily and quickly, no sign of blockage.

So I'm hoping that the city flushed the sewer lines last night and that caused the overflow in the shower and in that bathroom. I figure the wax ring is dead in the master bathroom, and will have to be replaced. An annoying job, but not a particularly expensive one. Just unpleasant.

I'll call the city at 8:00 AM and find out of they flushed the sewer system, and then arrange to have my contractor fix the stupid toilet while he's fixing the minor leak. (Yes, I could do both. But I'd do them badly. He can have them done inside an hour, professionally, and for a very reasonable price. Once he fixes something, it tends to stay fixed, which is more than I could say about my repairs).

But I'm beginning to think my house is cursed. I'm sick of stuff breaking left and right. I'm just grateful my wife has a teaching job this year, so that these repairs are affordable. (And by affordable I mean "I can, with a great deal of effort, pay them without figuring out which utility I can stiff for a few weeks").

Update: The city just called. They said my clean-up trap was gunked up badly, and they cleaned it out using a water jet. They'll be back Monday to drop die (if I understand correctly, if my toilet water goes a funny color, it's on their end. Otherwise, my problem) to figure out where the problem lies.

Which is weird, as before their visit (about an hour after I noticed the problem in the first place) things were draining -- and flushing -- better than they've been in awhile.

Still, this sucks. Oh well, I'll know by Tuesday-ish whether I need to hire a plumber...
:: Morat 5:01 AM :: ::

:: Thursday, September 23, 2004 ::

Kerry demoralizes U.S. troops, Bush says

Yep, there is in fact nothing sacred to Bush when the heat is on:
President Bush yesterday said Sen. John Kerry's repeated flip-flops on Iraq are sending 'mixed signals,' demoralizing U.S. troops trying to secure the war-torn nation and discouraging Iraqis working toward free elections.
I had hoped, really hoped, that I'd never see a campaign that degenerated into one side stating, over and over in a variety of ways, that the other candidate -- by the mere act of running -- was somehow "un-American".

Still, if I had one question for President Bush, I'd have to ask: "How did sending a fraction of the troops your generals recommended, and then extending their tours by months, issuing stop-loss orders, and keeping Guardsmen away from their families for a year or more improve morale?".

I'm not sure Bush wants to open this can of worms. Fact of the matter is, it's Bush's damn fault that 130,000 American soldiers are being shot at daily...and two a day are paying the ultimate price. Bush's call, Bush's war, Bush's responsibility.

Then again, Bush has never been man enough to own up to his own mistakes.
:: Morat 9:32 AM :: ::

:: Tuesday, September 21, 2004 ::


Shorter Adam Baer: "You kids need to get off that dang ole' computer and go play outside!".

Sadly, it merely reminds me that I haven't had the chance to shred some idiot waving around the "Dungeons and Dragons will cause you to go insane" argument in a very long time. They're even more fun to play with than Creationists.
:: Morat 1:53 PM :: ::

Why Kerry?

I've heard a lot of kvetching about Kerry's Iraq plan (or lack thereof), and I think Kevin has it right:
And that's really what this is all about. Iraq is going to be a big problem no matter who's president next year, but the real question is: what happens next? There are certainly going to be serious, unforeseen foreign policy problems during the next four years, and who do you trust to handle them best? The team that brought you Iraq and continues to believe that they've handled it just fine, or someone else?
I think that's the crux of the issue, and why those moaning about Kerry's "lack of a plan" are missing the point entirely.

Let's face facts: Iraq, while not being Vietnam, has us in a very similar bind. We're screwed no matter what we do, and no one -- not Kerry, or Dean, or Bush, or McCain, or Allawi, or Sadr, or the UN has any real plan. They're all grasping at straws, pretending they have "The Answer" to the problem.

Practically speaking, there probably is no answer. There's no magic bullet.

So, unless you're stuck wondering why Kerry doesn't admit this (and if so, I'll point you to "Politics 101" and let you work out the answer at your own pace), the real question is: Do you want Kerry driving or Bush driving the next time a problem comes up?

Iraq is Bush's mess. He's screwed it up so badly that it's quite possible no one can fix it. Do you really want to give him a chance to make another one?

That's what it boils down to. Those are your choices. "Bush, who broke Iraq and has no plan for fixing it" and "Kerry, who didn't break Iraq but also has no plans for fixing it."

Look beyond Iraq, and at the next sharp turn in the road.
:: Morat 1:16 PM :: ::


Big Media Matt has this exactly right. Kerry should fear the debates (especially with the rules Bush insisted be in place), and it should be considered a victory if Kerry comes through more or less intact.

Bush has, after all, never lost a debate. Kerry's going to have to work his tail off in order to merely survive.
:: Morat 11:24 AM :: ::

:: Monday, September 20, 2004 ::

In honor of my new AC...

In honor of my new AC system (and the fact that my home is now a tolerable temperature and humidity level), I'd like to offer this quote: "No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air.". Ah, Dogma.

I fully expect my electric bill to drop dramatically. Not only is this system 40% more efficient than the old one (and that was when the old one was brand new), but I had numerous badly sealed -- if they were sealed at all -- ducts fixed, as well as having many other "minor" issues that were basically forcing my old AC to work twice as hard as it needed to.

And while having a very green system is icing on the cake (and to those idiots out there who think central air is a luxury, I invite you to Texas. 98 degrees and 85% humidity kills people), for the most part I'm just thrilled that I can now do the dishes and shelve books without sweating.
:: Morat 12:46 PM :: ::

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