Islamic Bomb Making Schools

Ξ July 30th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ -My Favorites, Humor, News and Comments |

I Don’t Get the 72 Virgins Thing.

There is a lot of terrorism news about suicide bombers these days which got me to thinking about this whole virgin thing.

It is my understanding that those who recruit and train the suicide bombers promise them 72 virgins when they enter heaven. I guess these are wifey type virgins, but I am unclear on this. I mean the term ‘slutty virgin’ sorta seems like an oxymoron.

I guess before I start… I’d sorta like to know what’s up with this virgin thing anyway? I mean yeah… maybe your ‘her first’, but most virgins suck in bed (maybe not literally) and need extensive training. Give me a hot 35 year old woman with some experience just about anytime… well maybe not NOW as ML would surely kill me… but we were discussing virgins, right?



The Pilgrims Cometh

Ξ July 30th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica |

Not long after I first arrived in Costa Rica, I remember traveling along the pista (highway) between the international airport and downtown San José. Walking along the road were dozens of people, usually in small groups, though sometimes alone. They were all ages, all sizes, and seemed to be having a fine old time. The next day… same road… the numbers tripled and now there were people on horseback as well. Driving back home around 10 PM… there were still more people! Hundreds now, walking and laughing in the darkness. I was seeing for my first time, the annual pilgrimage to the Basilica of Los Angeles in Cartago.


Learning Girlie Country Spanish

Ξ July 26th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica, Humor, Whatever |

When I came to Costa Rica, my Spanish language skills were about non existent. I was down on “Where’s the bathroom”, and the more popular “Una Mas, por favor!”, but that generally limited my making meaningful relationships with Costa Ricans.

I then attended Spanish classes for about a month. I had to end that when my teacher kept hitting on me, (I am devastatingly attractive!), and besides it was too far to drive, too early in the morning for learning. I am also waaaay to old to have to deal with homework.


Blog readers and Steph email.

Ξ July 26th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Humor, Whatever |

I like getting emails from readers. As I think I have a regular following of about eight people (five of whom are family), I really enjoy getting emails from people other than my daughter.

In today’s mail, I received, in addition to the 36 emails for penis enlarging and Viagra/Cialis (how do they KNOW?), and a couple of more hate mails from fans of Stephanie, I received a comment email from reader Steve, located somewhere in Great Britain, who read an earler post where I referenced 84 Charing Cross Road, a book/play published in 1970 and later made into a fine movie and an excellent play.

He thoughtfully emailed the URL of the 84 Charing Cross Road Revisited, a pretty neat site providing bios and photos of all the real life players in the movie/play. What a nice thing to do.

Thank you Steve! (if you ever come back to visit)

So far, the Stephanie emails are running at 53% (you are a dick, jerk, pig, Stephanie hater, and general idiot!) to 47% (You are exactly right!!).

Of the 53% who think I am a total dipshit, 85% were from women (whudda thunk that!)and that more or less tracks my real life experiences with women.

Of the 47% who agree, 90% were of the male persuasion.

A few persons left theirs unsigned and used very bad, (but often inventive) words, so I am crediting those to the men as I know women would never use such language!


Why Stephanie is still single

Ξ July 23rd, 2005 | → 18 Comments | ∇ Blogging stuff, Whatever |

Actually, the best title here should be “Why Stephanie is still single and getting divorced” or maybe “A Tale of Two Blogs”

I really like reading other people’s blogs. Some are just atrocious and get no more than a ten second read. Others have outrageous content and are simply impossible not to read, often so flagrantly politically incorrect, you just cannot believe what you read. Still others are written by people who have incredible writing and storytelling skills. They open windows into their lives and souls that range from the hilarious to the tragic. These, of course, are the best ones! I would love to be able to write like those people. I would love to be able to write like that, but I can’t as I have neither their skills nor the ability to let people see too much of me.

One of my favorite blogs was/is thegirliematters and is still on my read list. Sadly, this enormously skilled woman has posted fewer and fewer times over the past year. She states recently, “I developed personal and then professional relationships with people who I met as a result of having the site in the first place, and I realized that maybe there were some things they just did not need to know (like my innermost thoughts, which are sometimes pretty dark; or details of my sex life)”. I understand this. While I admired how she permitted people… strangers really… to enter her inner circle of intimacy, often I wondered at what cost this. Now, I know.

Finding good blogs is getting harder and harder. The blog search engines are jammed with SPAM identical the the shit that fills my email every day. Once I stumble upon a good one, I always check out the Bloglist with the idea that one good blogger knows another. Though that seems reasonable… it is not the case. Often, the blogs listed are just friends whose skills are not equal.

I get the NY Times by email. I generally hate this leftist rag, but read it so I don’t go to far over the edge watching Fox. A couple of days ago, there was an article about a NY woman and her wildly popular blog, greek tragedy. That was how I got to read the blog of Stephanie Klein who is has turned her private life/blog into a book and television deal. You go girl!

Stephanie most assuredly has writing skills and has seen fit to use those skills to provide readers with a most intimate view of her life, her feelings, and her beliefs. She has gained celebrity as few others in the blog biz, her site being one of the 2,000 most read blogs on the net. Helluvan accomplishment given that there are now over 13 million available.

She is also moderately good looking (except for the hair which could use some serious help) apparently trying to mimic one of the fine “ladies” in Sluts Sex in the City. It then struck me as odd that A. She was getting divorced and B. She frequently refers to how difficult it is to find someone.



Nuts to the Press and the Democrats

Ξ July 23rd, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants, Whatever |

As I sit in the relative safety of Costa Rica, I have had ample time to ponder the recent events in London, and the politically charged US.

After due thought, I am getting really tired of the position taken by some of the far-left thinking Democrats and most especially, their ringleader Teddy (big boozer) Kennedy. The press seems so astonishingly biased and apparently has become the handmaiden to Teddy . His 15 minutes a fame should have ended years ago while still at Hawvawd and was caught cheating. Sadly, it didn’t.

I am neither a card carrying Republican nor a Democrat. Maybe I’ll describe myself like as a left thinking Republican, but I feel I am pretty open to all positions so long as they agree with mine. 🙂

I was in business all my life in the USA. One thing I learned was to judge performance. It is part of our culture to judge performance, and I think that is a major contributing factor to the enormous progress of the country.

I look at the USA since 9-11. I look at the changes that have taken place. Perhaps more importantly, I look at what has not taken place. There have been no further terrorist bombings or other incidents in the US. I do not have a count of all the terrorist incidents elsewhere in the world, but there have been scores I am sure.

But in the US? In almost four years? Nothing! The evaluation here seems pretty simple. Someone is doing their job and doing it pretty well! To me, it is also odd that nobody ever just says that out loud, especially the press. Isn’t it their job to say when someone is DOING their job and not focus only on the negative?

So who gets the credit? Bush (Heaven forbid!)? The Department of Homeland Security? The FBI? Hell, I don’t know, Probably all. But regardless of who gets the credit, regardless of all this silly political carp, someone has been doing their job, and with my children and grandchildren in the US, I am delighted.

Clearly these successes have a direct tie to some of the loss of our ‘rights’. We have lost some. I DON’T CARE.

I do not think the formers of the Constitution or Bill or Rights ever envisioned for a moment that a group like Al Queda would ever exist. Their idea of gun control was to have one to protect home and provide food. It was NOT to mow down children in schools or use your AK47 for target practice at a restaurant. I do absolutely believe we are at war with an organization who wants to eliminate our way of life and enforce their belief system on the USA and the world. Last week, it was London. This week, London again and Egypt.

I read blogs and news articles about the potential loss of rights. People are upset about the Patriot Act and Homeland Security. They feel their personal liberty is being attacked. Yeah… so what! This ain’t Kansas Dorothy and if you have nothing to hide, about the worst that can happen is that you’ll be inconvenienced. Me? I WANT the FBI or some other group to know who is checking out those bomb building books from their local library. I want them to see who is peeking at architectural plans for public works (like water supplies). Once they know who is doing this… I WANT them to stop by for a visit and ask “Why?”.

Last time I flew through the USA, I had a “sneaker check”. I was late, and I wasn’t particularly happy at the delay, but I made do… tried to crack wise to the sneaker check lady that she must be new on the job to win this particularly nasty chore. I thought my comment was at least marginally humorous… she never cracked a smile, though I guess after several hours of sweaty feet, maybe I wouldn’t be in the best of humour either.

I have taken the unpopular position that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with racial profiling. I can say this safely in my blog as nobody reads it anyway… but I just do not get it when someone says it is wrong. I think it is wrong only if it is intended to harass for the sake of harming or picking on people. I also think racial profiling should just be called ‘profiling’… i.e. looking for people or anything that is just not where they/it are supposed to be.

Before I left Chicago, there was a big uproar because some policemen stopped a trash car filled with Black teenagers as it was cruising the streets of a one of the rich and predominantly white suburbs. Suits were filed. Everyone was righteously indignant! Why? Why was it wrong for these cops to wonder what four Black kids were doing in that neighborhood at 2 AM? If I lived there, I would WANT my police department to do exactly that.

I also think that a car full of WHITE kids should be stopped in a predominantly Black neighborhood at 2 AM. Why are they there? Likely, it is not because they are returning from a midnight mass. To me there is just nothing wrong with investigating. I truly believe that while there are some real racist pigs on some police departments, that most of these people are just doing a nasty and relatively thankless job.

To be fair, that same police department also had stopped other minorities during the daylight hours and in circumstances that appeared to be far more racially motivated. THAT I am firmly against.

Now, the New York cops are searching bags on the subways. Whatta violation of civil liberties! Bullshit.

Of course they are under enormous pressure to not appear to racially profile anyone. Why?

Yeah, it IS possible a bomber might be some suburban white bread disenfranchised teeny bopper from Iowa… but come on! It is far more likely that this potential miscreant is from some Middle East nation with a hardon for Americans. If I am a subway rider in New York or anywhere, my advice to the police would be to check out who looks suspicious in general and if they happen to appear to be Middle Eastern… go for it and screw this PC thing. As for the millions of peace loving, law abiding Middle Easterners, I apologize in advance, but sorrry… that is the price that must be paid as it is THAT group that has declared this war. I see no way that those who appear to be Middle Eastern canot be affected. I am also willing to bet that many who ride the subways in London are now perhaps watching a lot more carefully those of darker complexion.

While I am certainly not thrilled with all the decisions made by the current administration (Iraq, etc…), overall, they have managed to keep my country safe from harm. Someone is doing their job… and from me, whoever you are Federal, State or Local… Nice Job! Thanks for keeping my family safe.

Technorati tags:


Women, Farts and Friendship

Ξ July 20th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica, Whatever |

I heard a joke many years back that ran along the lines that women don’t fart as much as men because they talk so much they never have a opportunity to build up any real pressure.

ML was home all day and about 2PM we picked up her best friend Marjorie who came over for “coffee”. “Coffee” is a Costa Rican term for “talk”. And talk they did. Five straight hours with nary a stop for the bathroom and some of Jeanette’s birthday cake. I adjourned to my office and then the bedroom to sorta get out of the way.

I just don’t get it. What on earth can any two people talk about for five hours? These are two women who see each other every day. They work together at the same hospital… eat lunch together… stop for their breaks together. I mean it is not like they haven’t seen each other for years and have a lot of catching up to do. They have been best friends for about thirty years! They know every intimate detail of each other’s lives, their family’s lives and their friends lives. So what the hell do they have to say for 5 hours? I don’t listen… fearful that I may at some point become “the subject” and not like what I hear… or maybe like what I hear. Either way, I split for the other end of the house.

I have a best friend here. Ryan and I go to lunch about twice a month. We are good buddies. We do not work together though my company does work for his company. Saying that, never have we come close to five hours. Two hours maybe when one of us has a crisis about something (like when I was deciding to ask ML to marry me), and three hours once or twice, (but there was beer involved, which distorts time).

Friendship is odd. I do not makes friends easily. My requirements are maybe too high. I like people best who are intelligent… people who have an opinion. I really need to get to know a person first before they are a friend. I prefer acquaintance. I like it best when they agree with ME of course, but that has never been a requirement. I also don’t bandy about the word friend a lot. I have known people for thirty years, but I have never had a friend for thirty years. In Costa Rica, this is common however. People grow up together, go to high school or maybe university together, often remain in the same neighborhood for years, and they see each other publicly in lotsa places. Going to college in the US separates people… maybe they remain friends… maybe not. Later, careers, marriages separate them again. The US is just so BIG, it is easy to let those relationships fall by the way. Costa Rica is so small… people stay close. Friendships last forever it seems. Whatta wonderful place this is.


I can’t work when I am dancing

Ξ July 19th, 2005 | → 2 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

Normally I work in the home office and the place is silent. I get a lot of work done. An occasional phone call… a lot of emails… but I can work.

Because of the fire, Luisa is off until at least the first week in August. That means she is here! I sorta like this… mostly like it… I guess. However, she has demands. For instance nail files. She loses them. A lot. So, today, I had to run out and buy some. No biggie. But how different is the culture here! Women here take great pride in grooming their men… so I am forever getting manicures, pedicures, hair trims… the works. This has been a huge cultural adjustment for me.

Anyway, when I return, I start back to work. No dice. She comes over to my desk, plants a big one on my neck, grabs one of my hands (ummm… I am typing here), and starts the manicure thing. I am typing one handed. I am not a good typist with two hands, and likely would not be a good typist if I had 4 hands… She files. I type (sort of). Oh how I have learned patience here in Costa Rica.

When I am here alone, I play music… background stuff that is not distracting. ML is here, so it is louder… salsas, merengues, US music too! No problem… I can deal with it.

But, she is Tica and loves to dance. So, when something comes on that strikes her fancy… and believe me, there is a lot of fancy striking… she pops in with a happy. “Venga! Bailamos!” Come on! Let’s dance! So we dance. The work stops… I don’t care.

It’s my life in the tropics and time for lunch anyway… or not.

Willy Nelson is on and she wants to dance!

I am utterly and hopelessly in love with this woman.


More Aruba…

Ξ July 17th, 2005 | → 3 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

I received a comment this AM on my Aruba rant… Lily comments, “Do you really think a judge in training has so much power? GIVE ME A BREAK, don’t let fox think for you my friend.”

Well if you think I allow anyone to think for me… it is pretty clear you haven’t read too many posts. Also, I have never heard Fox voice this opinion. I own this, and I base it on the fact that I have lived long enough to know exactly how the system works, especially in small countries.

While this guy is a “judge in training”, he is a hugely powerful man in Aruba. Hugely powerful men (or I guess women as well) wield hugely powerful influence in any country, but more so in island Carribean nations. They have the ability to make problems “go away”.. for themselves or for their children. This is true in any country of course, including the USA. Remember Bill Clinton, Mayor Richard J Daley (the father, not the son),or less successfully, Richard Nixon? I mean really… can you imagine how different our government in the US would be if the Kennedy boys (most specifically Teddy) were made to actually be responsible for their actions?

In small countries as Aruba (or Costa Rica), these families are interconnected in business, society, the works. They strive to cover each others backs at all cost. I am of the opinion that this is exactly what happened in Aruba.

Baring the incredibly remote possibility that this girl met the love of her life that night and eloped (and is now to scared or ashamed to surface), I believe the more likely scenario is that she likely hooked up with these boys, tried or was given a bit of ecstasy and had a bad reaction or perhaps was slipped a roofie, or maybe forced to do something against her will, resisted and was killed.

Stop and think for a moment how hard it is to make a body disappear, especially given the (now) huge number of people searching with dogs and sophisticated equipment on a very small island.

I doubt her remains are still on the island. I think she was taken out to sea, and that her remains will not be found. I hope I am wrong. I also think her remains were on the island the day after her disappearance. Someone made them go away.

Questions I have:

  1. If the body was placed in the ocean, how did the body get out there? It is my understanding that tides were incoming, so just dumping her would not be a safe option that night… had to be done later.
  2. Who took the body out to sea?
  3. When?
  4. Who would have the resources to get a boat to do it?
  5. Who would have the resources cover up using a boat to do this?

The authorities incredibly arrested and released these boys after but a cursory interview. Why? While the laws of countries vary tremendously, basic law enforcement and investigation do not. Naw… I don’t buy it.

I believe the Aruban government made, at best, a lackluster attempt to find both her and those connected to her disappearance. I believe they made the decision to show the world an all out effort to find out what happened to her in order to save their tourist trade. I believe they made a big show of trying to find her body, but did little. I am suspicious of arresting and releasing these boys. In general, I believe they stalled the process until the media (Fox excepted as they seem fixated on this) lost interest or until other news items (i.e. London or Karl Rove) became the top stories.

I believe they were 100% successful.

Now… after all this… I also believe there has been simply too much coverage on this whole thing. Too much commentary (including mine). Too much Natalee. There are other things more important going on in the world, and Natalee has received way more than her 15 minutes of fame. I am still not going to Aruba for the honeymoon as I really do believe what I wrote above and I refuse to support a system like that.

And if ever so remotely, Natalee is sitting on a beach somewhere knocking back some tropical drink with a little umbrella on top and dreaming of the time when she and her lover can re-surface… I say to you… “You go girl! You got us all”.

I am also done with Natalee postings. Two were probably two too many.

With some real justification… there are of course anti Natalee blogs. Here are one or two that I liked. One is a bit brutal, but makes his point.



Just don’t breath…

Ξ July 17th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Costa Rica |

The contamination in San José is double of what is breathed in most cities in Europe.

ML and I have talked about this so many times. In my years of living in the USA, I believe I knew maybe 2-3 people who died from cancer, including my mother who was in her 70’s. Since I have been in Costa Rica (4 years), I have met 5-6 people who died, and all were under 40. I know 4 or 5 more who currently have cancer… one is a teenager. Just yesterday, ML had some friends over, one of whom was a twenty something young man recovering from cancer surgery. ML husband died from brain cancer in his 30s and he is one of three others I know here, all in their 30s, also suffering from the same thing!

The air, especially in San José, is incredibly bad… yet nobody seems to care.

Maybe they will now… but given the astounishingly poor leadership here under this administration, I have doubts.

Using data from 2001, during a 365 day period, they found that 475 people died of the effects of contamination in the air in Costa Rica.

The study took into account all areas of the country and experts say that the numbers in following years, including 2005, won’t vary much. (Bullshit alert)

The study took into account 1,617,459 people. The study reports that 31,000 case of bronchitis in children and 13,000 case of chronic bronchitis were reported. The report also cited 19,000 cases of asthma, 550 cases of respiratory disease, 266 cases of cardiovascular damage, all as a direct result of contaminated air.

Authorities say that the cost of the illness and deaths reported are around ¢9 billion colones (us$192 million dollars). For a country like Costa Rica, this is an astonishing amount of money.

(Duh alert) The solution, according to the study is for the government to continually monitor the contamination in the air, at a cost that would be around us$1.5 million dollars and approve laws that would reduce the contamination.

Sadly, I believe there are three chances that this will happen here… slim, fat and none!



Next Page »

TicoGrande's photos More of TicoGrande's photos

Search Me