Wednesday - The toilet needed a new flapper. Trip to the hardware store. I nstalled flapper. Easy enough. Flapper worked but fill valve broke. Trip to the hardware store. Installed fill valve. A little more involved but I have done it many times. Worked but leaking. I hate plumbing. Many times a very slow leak will seal itself over time. I knew this one wasn't slow enough for that but I was tired and pissed. Put a bowl under it. This morning (Friday), I turned the connector nut just a fraction of a turn. I know from experience that over tightening this nut will crack the tank. So far no leak. I am keeping the bowl under if for a couple of days just in case.

The outlets in the room where Kris will be sleeping sometimes mysteriously quit working. I suspected a loose wire in one of the outlets. Pulled it this morning and found a loose wire. Time will tell if it is fixed.

Saturday afternoon we went to the 100th Anniversary celebration of St. Bartholomew's Church in Granite City, where Sue attended as a child. I am not sure if I had ever attended an Episcopalian service before, but it was much like Catholic. I couldn't help but think of The Book of Daniel. The Church itself was very small. I understand the regular congregation is about 30. Average age of the audience was at least 65. The Bishop, from Springfield was the guest speaker. I am not saying he was boring, but the Priest fell asleep.

I still feel uneasy in any church. My background is Church of Christ, which is pretty much like Southern Baptist, so I find Catholic services particularly stilted. I also think most people who consider themselves Christian completely miss the point. If all churches were truly following the teachings of Jesus we wouldn't need a welfare system.


It still has one of those teeny tiny leaks that might seal itself. Plus the chain is catching inside the flapper and you might have to jiggle the handle.

Can't believe I haven't written anything since the 16th

Kicked Gene's butt Friday but paid for it. "The pain" returned with a vengeance Friday night. I think I pulled something doing serious yard work Thursday and aggravated it with Racquetball. Four Advil, a couple glasses of wine and a couple of heat wraps and I was fine the next morning. Sue got two free tickets for the Edwards box for the Ram's game Saturday night. Brad and I got to see an exciting Chaturbate show. The Rams lost, but came within three yards of tying the game in their last possession. My first trip to the concession stand I bought one bratwurst, one hot dog, one soda and one beer for twenty five dollars.

Heather leaves for Michigan today. She is moving back. Kris will move in here this weekend. I almost have all of my crap out of the closet in the spare bedroom. Also need to get stuff out of the hall bathroom and find space to store a washer and dryer in the garage.

Trustee duties are continuing to take a good deal of my time. Jack and I should have our own coffee cups at the bank. Seems like everything we sign requires a medallion guarantee. There is an amazing difference in customer service people. Some of them are pleasant and helpful and some are bored and annoyed that you called.

This damned modem keeps going up and down.

Watching the news as I type. Stray bullet hits a person in north St. Louis. Speculation over Obama as a presidential candidate. I hope he waits till 20012. I like him a lot but think it is too early. He just got elected to the Senate.

Busch may well be the worst president of my lifetime. I don't normally read George Will but noticed a recent column that had nothing good to say about Bush and Iraq. I also noticed that The Economist had a favorable review of Fiasco.

It is a beautiful morning in St. Louis. I think I will take the dog for a walk. I still have two financial institutions I need to talk to about transferring JasminLive registration. Need to go to the grocery store and do some more yard work.

A flashback

Working on the Civil War stuff made me remember an incident from my past. As many (both) of my readers know, I initially attended a "Christian" college in Arkansas. One day I needed a ride to the airport and a fellow student from Louisiana offered, for a small fee, to "carry" me there. When he learned I was from Illinois his first words were "I bet you think that all we do in Louisiana is kill Niggers." I assured him that I did not think such a thing and that he was the first person from Louisiana I had met. "Well you probably think that about Arkansas and it's the same thing." I was speechless.

What more do we need!

There has already been an extensive study of the immigration problem which, after detailed statistical and sociological analysis, found that the new wave of immigrants is substantially different than previous groups and that they constitute a serious threat to our nation. This study concluded that at least 40% of the new immigrants have no intention of becoming American citizens. The vast amounts of money they send home is draining the country. They contribute to increased crime and other social problems. They can not be assimilated.

The report was conducted by the Dillingham Commission for the US Senate and published in 1911.

Lazy weekend

No Brad or Scott and Danielle this weekend. Accompanied Sue to the mall Saturday. Sat in the "husband" chairs and read my book while she shopped for clothes. The rest of the weekend we laid around the house, watched baseball and football. And took the dog for walks. Kris made fajitas.

It looks like Woodward's book is the smoking gun.

It's Hot!

I woke up today with this song going through my head. I don't know why.

I had convinced myself the grass didn't need cutting. That was true for 3/4 of the lawn, which is dead. I spent the morning cutting the rest of it, which was thick enough to be choking the mower.

The pool is leaking again/still. They thought they fixed it Wednesday, but all they did was short out the pool light.

Jes is on her way over. Sue wants me to come out with her in the pool. I guess I will sign off

I am bringing out the crazies with some of my Gather posts.

Contrary to what some may think

I do believe illegal immigration is a serious issue. But it is also very complex. The United States, like any other country, should be able to control its borders and to dictate who is allowed in. However, it is not possible to "round up and ship out" 12 million people and the consequences of doing so would be devastating. There are costs and benefits to this illegal population. Unfortunately the benefits tend to be spread out over our economy and are often long term while the costs are immediate and borne mainly by Jasminelive communities with large populations. The illegals themselves are also very vulnerable to exploitation by coyotes, criminals and unscrupulous businessmen. What I seriously object to is attempts to demonize people who are coming here, legally or not, to pursue the American dream.

Busy week

No racquetball this morning. Gene has some business he needs to take care of, so I am sitting on my butt when I should be playing. I haven't been on the bike this week but I have spent time on the elliptical machine at the gym.

LLI started this week. There is a great diversity of strongly held opinions in both classes.

In the Civil War class someone gave a rather lengthy report on the causes of the war. Another student raised his hand and said "I disagree with everything he said". We then had a lively discussion about the role of slavery. Class members now probably think I am a "sech", but I believe seeing the war as good guys and bad guys misses a lot of rich detail. Against my better judgment, I agreed to make a report on Pea Ridge. Someone had already taken Wilson's Creek. I came home and ordered two more books from Amazon. It should be fun.

The very first immigration class people were arguing that the current wave of immigrants is substantially different from others. Part of the reason I took the class is to help sort out my ideas. I know Bucannan is full of shit, but there are a number of issues I haven't figured out.

Last night was the first Speaker Series. Karl has now joined us, so we have a foursome. Tonight is the first Off Ramp play.

Woodward has a new book out that I just have to read. Damn! I've got way too many books.