Monday, September 25, 2006

NFL Sunday...

And once again, the Detroit Lions take all of 3 games to establish themselves in the running for worst NFL team of the season and to ruin the hope and expectations of every Lions fan. After watching Green Bay (Green Bay?!?!) dismantle them, it is past time for the chanting to begin...


Count on a Thanksgiving day win, but otherwise, the record won't matter as the team continues to under acheive.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Too many articles to link to. I think I'll start with this one. It explains how a leader of the hunger strike at Gitmo last year has been treated since. Even if you don't buy all of the story, there has to be enough shreds of truth to scare you. Add to this, the guy hasn't been charged with anything, let alone been tried or convicted. The best we can say is that he's accused of having terrorist ties. Feel that moral high ground we've always attempted to retain as a country slipping?

Then, there's this story. A Canadian citizen is taken off a flight in the US, interrogated, flown to Jordan, driven to Syria, and held for 10 months while being beaten, put in a coffin sized compartment, sleep deprived, (basically, all the fun things said not to happen have been documented in this case). Absolutely ridiculous. This man was asked by the Canadian government to be put on a watchlist. A mistake to be sure, but what authorized his illegal arrest and detainment? What authorized his torture?

We have a law in the US. Simply put, if arrested, you are to be charged within a certain amount of time or released. This time is a matter of days - not weeks, months, years. We have another law here. It states a right to a speedy trial. These men, and many others, haven't received that. Granted, they aren't US citizens. Should that make a difference? To me, not one bit.

Take a good look at these stories. These men weren't treated humanely from what I understand. That fact then precipitates a break in the Geneva convention - something our President would like to have modified heavily. As with everything else to do with fighting terrorism, our government is acting, usually unlawfully, first and then trying to adjust the laws to their methods. Even were this not the case, it ruins our position as a global leader.

Our government, through several administrations - certainly longer than I've been alive, has taken upon itself to be the world's policeman. Like any policeman however, you must earn respect. You do that by standing up for the people and their rights. You do that by first living the rules you swear to enforce. You do that by fostering trust, not just with the good citizens, but also with the bad ones. You don't do it by ignoring everything and becoming basically the same as what you are fighting. I don't think we're quite to this last point, but I don't doubt we are on our way. Folks, there's a new sherrif in town. One that is at best, one step removed from the criminals.

Some of you may ask what's wrong with this. The majority of the people they have are terrorists and can probably be proven so. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few mistakes. Good arguments that can probably be supported well. All I ask is that you think about a scenario where you are in an innocent's position. Think about it if it was a wife, daughter, son, brother, mother, father in that same position. Wouldn't you want someone to at least stand up for what is supposed to happen? The way these things have been handled are wrong and it does nothing more than to solidify the position against us. It needs to stop and the people in charge need to be held accountable.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


My husband created a monster! While I am recooperating, my hubby is being very sweet and trying to occupy the kids as to let me rest. So to keep them entertained, he suggests Monopoly. This sounds nice, kind, etc....however you don't know my husbands (and family's) history with this seemingly innocent board game. Only myself and my brother-in-law know the ramifications of this horrid game. It started out well, kids smiling, having fun, cheering, laughing.....then the monopolies were formed and the real butt kicking began. There was no mercy for age difference or lack of knowledge of the game. Our middle child picked up on all of this quickly and is now a tyrant at this game. The game ended up taking 2 days to play and the hubby giving up and the son whimpering in a corner. Her nick name is now Butcher Jr.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Love My Wife...

My wife (recuperating nicely from her minor operation) was bored out of her mind. To distract her boredom, she asked me to play cards with her. Now, realizing I didn't want to play cards, I still sympathized with the fact that you can only watch so much TV when you have limited mobility and I reluctantly acquiesced.

Probably not the wisest thing to do.

First, we played a game the mother-in-law taught us a couple months ago. This is mind you, a game I've not lost at but less than a handful of times since learning it. The wife being on drugs didn't help her case. Game over, wife refuses to play that game any more.

So what does she wish to play? Gin-Rummy. Yep, same game I mercilessly beat her at while she was in labor with each of our children. End result? Even better than the first game. The last hand, I need 15 points to go out and am ahead by 100. My wife's cards? Yep, she had laid down 5 cards - all playing off of my hand. No runs, no matches. Again - ALL.OFF.MY.HAND. Needless to say, she wanted to play 52 pickup when we were done.

Yep, I beat her at that one too.

Who says I've got a competitive streak?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Detroit Basketball...

I'm sorry. I was very remiss. Detroit Basketball has won another championship. The Detroit Shock won the WNBA title over the weekend. Congrats to them and coaches Lambeer and Mahorn.

Been a good year in Detroit sports:

Red Wings have best record in NHL.
Pistons have best record in NBA.
Tigers have dominating season in MLB.
Shock win second title in WNBA.

Then, there's the Lions; not scoring TD's and losing heartbreakers to good teams. Just wait until they play the Packer's and lose by 30. FIRE MILLEN!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006


I know that none of us Americans will ever forget the sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings of what happened 5 years ago today. This, more so than any event in my lifetime, has truly defined our nation and shown the world what we are made of.

In many things, there is so much to be proud of: the first responders that day, the search and rescue workers that followed in the days and weeks afterwards, the awe and respect we had for each other as Americans, our wonderful armed services and their complete faith and dedication before, during and after the momentous events of the last five years. With these and many other events, we showed the terrorists and the world that we will survive and that we, as a nation, are strong and caring.

These situations, however, have another side. This side contains Abu Ghraib, unlawful, government authorized, phone taps, secret CIA prisons, known terrorist prisons where people are being held without representation or charges - such as Guantanamo Bay, and many others. I'm sure that others could be named, but through these events, we've shown the world that we do not own the moral high ground, and what's more, that we are scared.

To me, the best tribute we can give those who died and those who live, would be to regain our moral compass. Abu Ghraib - regardless of how it came about - cannot be allowed to happen again - ever. Our government needs to be held accountable for its unlawful actions in the fight against terror. Make no mistake, if phone taps and prisons truly are the best way to fight terror, so be it. I do feel though, that the government MUST follow the laws set forth or work to generate the appropriate changes necessary. They cannot be allowed to illegally pursue paths which are fundamentally dangerous to what we, as a country, were founded on. Think of it - there is outrage because websites like Facebook more easily display what has been openly authored (similar to this blog), yet where is the outrage when we find out that MILLIONS of conversations have been unlawfully recorded, people are arrested and held WITHOUT charges, or better yet, held in secret CIA prisons because they are SUSPECTED terrorists. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Freedom of speech? Right to privacy?

I've disagreed with the principle and reasons behind going to war in Iraq. Not because I think Saddam was a great guy, but because I worry about the unintended consequences. Many people say that at least we are fighting the terrorists over there - but to me, what we're doing is training the terrorists. Unfortunately, it is a situation we created and concientiously, we cannot abandon the fight for freedom we started there. It would only make the situation that much worse.

Yes, I'll remember, every day that I'm lucky to be alive, the sights, sounds, and even the horror and terror I felt that day five years ago. I'll remember those that lost their lives and the heroes then and now. I'll keep in mind that bravery isn't fearlessness, just an ability to act without letting fear paralyze you or turn you from your morals. In addition, we also need to keep in mind that we still need to fix the things that were, are or have become broken as a part of this tragedy. The main purpose for this is because we cannot allow ourselves to abandon our principles in this struggle. Many innocent people gave their lives five years ago because others felt they had the moral right to take their lives. Many more heroes die everyday fighting for our freedoms, rights, beliefs and ultimately, our morals.

So, the question becomes, do we tribute those lost their lives with forfeiting our freedoms, beliefs and our morals? Or do we use our morals as a guidepost to find the appropriate path to safeguard our freedoms and beliefs?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Coaching is fun...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been drafted to coach soccer. Our team name (given, not requested)? England. The kids and I have been having a tough time coming up with something they can shout in the huddle...("Bloody Hell" just doesn't feel like something the kids should be shouting every week). Anyway, the middle has come up with the perfect slogan - "Tally-Ho".

This weekend was our first game and the kids all played exceptionally well. There was passing and shooting and scoring. Both teams seemed to have fun and the majority of the kids seemed to be learning much better control - which is all to the good.

The most surprising part of this experience to me? I knew I'd have fun with the kids (provided they still would pay attention to their "silly" coach) - I always do. Nope, the most surprising thing to me is to watch the pure, unadulterated joy the kids have when we are playing - both in practice and in yesterday's game. The idea, as with any kids sport at this age, is to have fun - first, foremost and always. Secondary is to learn lasting skills for the game and teamwork. None of it will stick with you or matter if you don't first have fun.

To this, I've found that I can truly unleash my inner child and play with the kids as much as coach. They've been very receptive to listening still, but they enjoy being there and many are unhappy when practices end. Their favorite game? A little game called "Hit the Coach" which I'm sure most coaches in this age group play at one time or another. For the kids - if they can hit me 3 times, I run a lap. If not, they run the lap. Generally, we play at least two rounds and the kids are allowed to win one. Best part? They run the lap with me anyway. This just seems to put the topper on the practice - with the kids enjoying the game, but also enjoying winning.

Now, to see if I can keep up running this much after every practice for the next 3 months...

Happy Birthday to me...

Ahhh, I am getting into the venerable age group. I'd like to say that with getting older comes more wisdom, but that seems to just be something the senile ones tell themselves so they can avoid being called crazy.

So far today, my children have tortured and made fun of me. My wife ruined one of my favorite Johnny Cash songs (bonus points if you can figure out which one) and my sister and family have called to make fun of me some more (yep, all those years growing up don't seem to count any more). The only good thing is how frustrated my wife is getting by all the calls from people who only call to talk to her, for today only, not wanting to talk with her but with me...tee hee.

Anyway, when it's all said and done, I am lucky to have great family and friends who remember me and remind me of all the smiles we've shared and of all the ones to come. It's been pretty low key this year (highlight being having some time to dedicate to working on the basement...), but still very nice.

Thanks to all...


I want to make this clear - my birthday has been low key because I wanted it that way. Working on the basement IS what I want to do (and the family has been wonderful about helping). Fact of the matter is, I am old, tired, slow and no longer able (or willing) to get off the porch much. I am lucky to have a wonderful family and a great life - which is all that I ever want. Thanks to all who make life this much fun and lessen the need for anything else.