Really, I'm gonna stop soon.....

but I'm like a moth to a flame.

24 hours in, the analysis is finally starting to trickle out. Sarah Palin is grossly unqualified to lead this country and has a slightly better than average chance of actually doing it. Robert Creamer points out in his very interesting analysis:

"I originally thought that Palin's choice would take the question of experience off the table in this race. Now I believe it will put that question back on the table -- in reverse. It will also serve to reemphasize the ever present question of McCain's age. At 72 the actuarial tables say he has a little less than a one in six chance of not surviving his term. And that doesn't account for his history of health problems. That means that if Americans vote for the McCain-Palin ticket they have to seriously consider that she has at least a one in six chance of actually serving as commander-in-chief. Already, by 44% to 29%, the Rasmussen poll shows that they do not believe she is ready to be President."
And when your own mother-in-law hasn't decided whether or not to vote for your ticket, ho-lee crap-a-roni Batman!
"Faye Palin admitted she enjoys hearing Barack Obama speak, and still hasn't decided which way she'll vote."
I know mother-in-laws have a reputation for being bloody hell, but according to Faye Palin:
"I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative. Well, she's a better speaker than McCain," Faye Palin said with a laugh. "People will say she hasn't been on the national scene long enough. But I believe she's a quick study."
I bet it's a cold Thanksgiving dinner reception at the senior Palin's house this year. Would you like some gravy with that lame duck, dear?

I've met guys like this....

...and they irritate the shit out of me.

It was too funny not to share. Enjoy!

My New Personal Statement of Belief

I don't know who Sarah Vowell is, but trust me, I'm gonna find out. Reading her Op-Ed article this morning in the NY Times, I ran across this gem:
"I am a registered Democrat. That first night’s convention speech by Senator Kennedy about his life’s work reminded me what being a Democrat means. I have spent the last eight years so disgusted with the incompetent yahoos of the executive branch that I had forgotten that I believe in one of the core principles of the Democratic Party — that government can be a useful, meaningful and worthwhile force for good in this republic instead of just an embarrassing, torturing, Book of Revelation starter kit."

Sarah Palin may put a fresh face on the Jesus-loves-the-little-children-Don't-abort-them-or-you're-going-to-hell-asshole-but-HEY-you-have-a-nice-day crowd, but the Republican party is still the party of Karl Rove, and Donald Rumsfeld, whose global ambitions made pit bulls look like teacup poodles with pink-painted toenails, and lest we forget, this is also the party of the grandpoobah of knownothingism, George Dubya Bush. January 20, 2009, that sneering little sniveler is going to slither back under his rock and the global community can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

In light of the past eight years, when being a Democrat felt like being the starving waif looking through the windows on the ball at the castle, it's occasionally difficult to remember why I am a Democrat.

I am a Democrat because...

  • I believe victims of rape and incest shouldn't have to carry babies to term
  • I believe in equal rights for all irrespective of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference
  • I believe that insufficient investment in at-risk communities fosters a dependent underclass
  • I do not believe that our current economic woes are more important that the health of the planet
  • I believe that world peace is an objective worthy of our effort and that it is best achieved through diplomacy
  • I do not underestimate the greed of the wealthy and doubt they will ever allow their wealth to "trickle down"
  • I do not believe that limiting the types of weapons available to the general public imperils the second amendment
  • I believe in investing in the education of our citizens, especially those for whom a college education is otherwise out-of-reach
Perhaps most importantly, I believe that it is possible for America to undergo a paradigm shift with respect to energy. I believe that, should I live a nice long life, I will see an America where oil, if it is still even available, will be a laughable relic of our past. I believe that energy will be cheap and readily available worldwide, such that third-world economies are a thing of the past.

Oh, I don't think the Democratic Party will lead us to Nirvana, but I do think it will do a better job of leading us into a better future today.

I am a Democrat because I believe in the future.


Coming Out of the Closet

Ok, I've decided to combine a few of my blogs or at least come out of the closet about one of my anonymous blogs.

For those interested in my ideas, a backlog of my old stuff can be accessed at LJ. Just a warning, there is a lot of random crap in that blog, too.


Sarah Palin: She's No Hillary Clinton

  • "Not convinced" global warming is man-made (MSNBC)
  • Evangelical Christian who does not support abortion rights except to save the life of the mother. Just so we're clear: this includes denying abortions in cases of rape and incest (see my earlier posts). Of course, this should be no indictment of Gov. Palin. This is also the platform of the Republican party.
  • Staunchly supports drilling in ANWAR (Wall Street Journal)
  • Wants to have polar bears removed from the Endangered Species List (NY Times) and sued the Interior Department to have the decision reversed (Grist)
  • Has only held state-wide office for two years, has no national or international experience, and only entered politics 12 years ago when she was elected mayor of Washilla, AK (pop 5470). That's smaller than DuQuoin, IL, the nearby town where I go to buy groceries.
  • Supports the teaching of creationism in public schools (Boston Globe interview). At least she has the balls not to couch it in "intelligent design" terms.
Sarah Palin is governor of Alaska (our largest state!!) with a population of 670,000. That's less than the population of DuPage (930,000), Will (673,583), or Cook (5,288,000) counties in Illinois. I picked these counties because I lived in all three of them when I lived in Chicago and neighboring suburbs.

Man, this election was exciting, exhilarating and left me breathless right up until the Republicans gave up.

Barack and Biden should call FTD ASAP

Do you think FTD makes a "WTF Were You Thinking?" bouquet? McCain's announcement of Gov. Palin of Alaska as his running mate was, IMO, a clear indication that he has ceded this election.

I thought there could be worse Republican presidents than John McCain. Oh Pat Robertson and that dipshit from Arkansas spring to mind. However, after months of bashing Obama for his youth and inexperience, in his first "presidential" decision, John McCain chose to put someone younger than Obama, with less experience than Obama a heartbeat away from the presidency. Probably not the smartest idea when the heartbeat in question is 72 freaking years old (!!).

Am I alone here? If I was a Republican (ok, let's savor the irony of that statement for a moment), I'd run screaming from the party today.

I have a dream

for me and for Dixie, too. We had a wonderful time celebrating the historic acceptance of the nomination by Barack Obama.

Burgers, beer, and fine company.

I'm looking forward to the election.




I'm frustrated tonight because I can't form my thoughts into a clear message. I watched the speech. Maybe tomorrow morning, things will coalesce.



Hillary and Bill can't win this election

Watching the first night of the convention, I was invigorated. I was charmed by Mr. Robinson's home-spun introduction of his sister, and I was drawn into the warmth of Mrs. Obama's speech. And then I sat and watched Charlie Rose. Honestly, I wish I could tell you who the guests were. A lot of pundits I don't know by name.

And I was still feeling up and positive, right up until the moment that one of Rose's guests pointed out that on her latest trip back to her Democratic working-class roots, her people chimed in that they weren't going to vote for a black man. That this talk of "not knowing who Obama is" is just code for "I'm not pulling the lever for a nigger"?

And then my bubble burst.

I knew that race was the elephant in the room that no one was talking about. But what if I have been so incredibly naive as to think this country is ready to transcend race and gender and embrace leadership by a new generation? What if my last post is nothing but bullshit? What if it isn't about liberal vs. conservative, young vs. old, left vs. right? What if it truly is black vs. white?

If that is the case, there is nothing that Hillary supporters can do to sway this election. They will have no impact at all. They are as pie-in-the-sky as I am. Are the Democrats running under the radar to McCain because they don't want to....won't...vote for a black man?

God, I'm just a bit queasy right now.

I'm not just afraid of losing an election. I'm afraid of losing America. I'm afraid that this country will lose it's soul. For the first time in my life, I'm afraid of my countrymen.


This is what you get when you learn about sex and race on the streets

Ok, I have been reading a lot lately on race and I've been meaning to weigh in. Most of this discussion has been prompted by the nearing of the Democratic convention and the media's sudden realization that they have no idea how to approch this election. First a few thoughts on that. A black man is really going to get the Democratic nomination and as a collective, the journalistic crowd seems to be tongue-tied on the subject of race. Up to now, the media has been able to beat the Billary horse lifeless, but what are they going to do when America literally and figuratively stands at the crossroads? It doesn't quite feel like black vs. white. It feels more like young vs. old. Is America ready to put the era of rule by old, rich white guys to rest? Clearly the media doesn't know.

Now the thing that really amazes me is that Obama's race is never accurately portrayed. According to the media, Obama is a black man. And I will give them some slack; he is self-identified. But clearly, a man of mixed-race, raised by a white mother, white grandparents, who lived in white neighborhoods and attended primarily white schools cannot be viewed as the average black man in America. It's probably more amazing that he is running for president instead of running for his therapy appointment. By his own admission, he lived his youth on the outside and when allowed the choice he chose to live on the inside.

Another thing. Obama is my age. Ok, a year and a half older, but let's not split hairs. I'm young. Ok, I tell myself I'm young, but things are starting to break down on me in defiance of my denial. My grandmother is 90 and she says she still feels twenty-something inside. But she is old, and Obama is old enough. He is all the things I demand of a potential leader. Blazing smart, quick on his feet, and an excellent communicator. He can out-think me. He has a talent for politics and a knack for connecting with people. He's ready. My generation is ready.

Oh there are those of my generation...even among my friends....who think that it was time for a woman, not a black man. They are pissed at how easily Hillary was defeated and dismissed. Somewhere in this rigid sisterhood, one of our own was handed an opportunity and mismanaged it. The "NObama" crowd always seems to let that fact slip. They blame the media. They blame Obama. They blame Chris Matthews. They blame anyone standing within a hundred-mile radius, and trust me, they know how to hold a grudge.

I saw a picture of Obama as a toddler the other day. What struck me was how familiar it all seemed. You could have photoshopped Barack out of that picture and inserted me and no one would have been the wiser. And that got me to thinking....my experience growing up and entering the world can't be all that different from Obama's. We are the same age. We both grew in white America. Only major difference sees to be that my grandparents didn't have any black friends.

But which should take precedence now? Race or gender?

Ok, let's back up. When I was young, the women's lib movement and the civil right's movement emerged concurrently. Women's lib was laughed at by my grandparents, ignored by my parents, and seemed like the greatest thing on the planet to me. A generation of little girls were told by television (think the Mary Tyler Moore show) that we could be anything we wanted. We were told by our teachers. We were told, well some of us anyway, by our progressive parents. We believed. We got our educations. We worked hard. Sure we were disappointed when the Equal Rights Amendment failed, but convinced ourself that we didn't really need the protections that it provided. (We might want to rethink that one considering that women still only make 3/4 of what men make for the same jobs.) In any event, we began climbing the ladder. We did it without any road map. Collectively, we struggled along and only a few have really made it.

The glass ceiling is real.

That is to say that our failures are not entirely of our own making. Anyone on the outside knows that there is still an old boy's network, it's just weaker than in the old days. Women have made incredible progress in the 30-odd years that women's "liberation" experiment has been running, but equality eludes us.

Can we honestly say that blacks have made the same progress? I don't think so. It seems to me that we hear a lot, both within and outside of the black community that blacks themselves are to blame. But make no doubt, the same criticisms that are often made of the black community can also be made of women. As a group, we doubt our abilities. We wonder if we are ready. We think maybe there is a reason that men traditionally have been in charge. Some of us....enough of us to matter....have bought into the idea that we aren't as good. It is really difficult to completely eradicate a mindset of inferiority and discrimination. But women are different than blacks, and I'll tell you why.

When black people went home from work, they went to different neighborhoods. The old boys network never had to deal with black men in the grocery stores, at the golf club, or at the family picnic. When women went home, they went home to members of the old boys network. And they didn't let up. The campaign continued across the dinner table and probably entered the bedroom. I think real progress was made when white men began to realize that their daughters were going to enter the work force in numbers. Did they really want them to encounter the overt discrimination that was the status quo? Fathers really do have a soft spot in their hearts for their daughters and I think this sentiment drove a lot of the changes that benefited women of my generation. The black community wasn't quite the same as Daddy's little girl.

The acceptance of women into society, government, the workforce...just about everywhere...came at much lower a cost than it did for people of color, particularly blacks. That is why, to my mind and given my experiences, the greater social baggage is laid to rest by the political choice America made in the primaries. IMO, the greater good is served by electing a black president than a female president. It is time for the end of white rule in America.

And before you get all pissy with me, I don't think you should vote for a president based on race or gender. I think you should vote for a president based on policy, based on intelligence and temperament, and based on experience. Luckily, both the black and the female candidates were qualified.

Is it possible that I blame women more for our current condition than I should? Should I be as hard on the black community? Well, honestly, I don't know. I'll have to chew on that a while.

But I grew up in an environment where I was encouraged at every point in my development. I was given opportunities. Fantastic opportunities. And I grew up knowing, even in my rather progressive household, that black people were different. It wasn't overt. It wasn't even purposeful. My parents just had no idea what to tell us about race. My parents never used epithets to describe any group. Never once. Oh, their parents did. But in the end, race was easy to ignore in much the same way that parents can, as mine did, ignore sexism. Neither of my parents ever bothered to prepare me for sexism in the workplace. Did they think, in some fairy tale version of reality, that the world would miraculously change and we would have all those opportunities they claimed awaited us? Or did they just not know because women hadn't arrived in the workpace yet? In any event, what I learned about making my way in this world as a woman, I learned on-the-job.

In much the same way, I learned about racism when I began to befriend people who experienced racism. I didn't shy away from talking with my friends about our specific 'isms. I shared my experiences. They've shared their's. And I really began to listen and understand. Obama and I grew up in the same white America. He assumed he felt so uneasy because he was different. Women feel the same way. We didn't want it to be that way, we just didn't have any idea what to do. Somehow, we have struggled along individually. And now, just maybe, we are ready to move forward together.


Songs about ticks

Yesterday was the 14th annual Insect Appreciation Day, hosted by the Shawnee Audubon Society. I must admit that in prior years when I had been asked to present on pollination at this event, I begged off. I figured this was a birding event. Who was really going to care about pollination? I always had an excuse. It was too far. I had other plans. I just didn't want to.

Man was I missing out.

Ok, I'm the first to admit it's a dork event. Then again, I'm a dork.

We had about 30 adults, about half bringing children attending the event. There was a insect zoo, a really cool presentation about soil insects and inverts, an aquatic insects presentation, face painting, and a very nice raffle. Granted, the only people interested in viewing the really cool power point presentation that Liv had worked so hard on were seniors, but they were interested and did ask some very interesting questions (and tell some rather risque jokes!).

Following was a pot luck dinner and some of the dishes were flat out delicious. But the highlight of the evening was the insect-themed musical entertainment. I think my favorite line was the southern Illinois tourism song, with the unforgettable line "have you heard about the ticks?"

The answer is yes, in fact, I have. Having worn socks and tennis shoes, my ankles were covered in seed ticks, requiring much duct tape to remove and resulting in me waking up this morning with one of the little buggers still embedded in my foot. Ticks suck. Literally.

Oh, and Liv had a juvenile admirer in the person of Sky. She was cute as a bug, which was most appropriate on this of all days.

I'll be back next year and I'm bringing money for the raffle. And maybe a fan. I think a fan would have done more to increase the number of visitors to our booth than anything else.


My Friday Rant

one day late.

Mary Carillo: Who is this woman on late night Olympics coverage? Ok, I understand that she was a world-class tennis player back in the day and it is nice to have someone who understands competition actually reporting on competition, but I can't stand her marble-mouthed delivery, and honestly, why does she insist on wearing a black shroud every night? I find my eyes drawn to her neck, which appears to be longer than either her arms or legs. It's like a train wreck, I can't avert my eyes as much as I'm repulsed by the scene. Sure, I understand that Bob Costas has to sleep sometime, but for crying out loud, there's no one else available who can speak clear English?

Dell computers: After calling India last week about a rattle in my laptop fan, I was required to remove my hard drive, wireless card, memory card, THRICE. I turned my computer on and off no less than 19 times. Despite telling them that the noise was not eminating from the speakers and answering "no" to every potential issue that might indicate a problem with the hard drive, I was told the problem was the hard drive. They sent another, which I was expected to install. The connections were wrong and when I called about it, they didn't believe me. Luckily (??), the mother board died the next day, which demanded they actually send out a technician. The technician showed me that the connectors to the hard drive are interchangeable and I could have taken those on the old drive and plugged them into the new drive (although the phone techs never mentioned that). Long story short, hard drive and mother board replaced and a week of reloading software back on the computer (which I still have not completed) and the rattle remained. Technician #2 came out and fixed it on Friday. It was the fan. So I lost a week of productivity, Dell paid for a hard drive to be replaced unnecessarily, and the problem was WHAT I TOLD THEM IT WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Reason #486 why I am never buying another Dell computer. Fucktards, as am I for buying from them.

On the upside, I have noticed that I can accurately identify the troublemakers/smart asses/lazy students in my classroom in the first three minutes of the first class meeting. Cheers to another semester underway!

Man, do I feel stupid

So all day yesterday, I'm watching my cell phone for my veep text message like I have Turetts, only to learn on INTERNATIONAL FUCKING TELEVISION, from the likes of Lester Holt no less, that Barack Obama has selected Joseph Biden as his running mate.

My veep text message came at 3:39 am CDT. Even me, who hasn't had a good night's sleep in about a week wasn't up at that hour.

Don't promise me the inside scoop and give it to the international community first.

Man, I feel like a dipshit.


Photos to Please

Liv seemed disappointed that I hadn't uploaded some of my "good" photos. So here is a smattering of those I think are kinda good. There is no theme here. Just what I had at my fingertips. You be the judge.



I'm in Love

Dayron Robles is all that and a little spice in my salsa.

I don't care that he was born the year I graduated from college. Those glasses are sexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxii.

I'd like to see him dressed in nothing but his Olympic gold medal.


The Dream, forty-five years later

On Thursday, August 28, 2008, Barack Obama will accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. This date is historic for more than the present events would indicate. Forty-five years earlier on August 28, 1963, MLK Jr. gave his democracy-altering speech, I have a Dream, on the mall in Washington, D.C.

I am feeling very.....dare I say it?


I find hope in this because it seems that the struggles of the past 45 years, at least with respect to race relations in America, may possibly have turned a massively important corner. I have been meaning to write a missive here on race in America as I see it, and haven't managed to have all my ideas coalesce into some coherent whole. In any event, I'm hoping that a trip to Springfield on Saturday to see the man speak will help ground some of these ideas in my mind.

I have never become involved in a presidential campaign before and perhaps I am naive to think that I make any difference to his, but I have cracked open my wallet this time and talked to friends about my candidate. That's something.

I'd like to meet the man who prompted me to action. I want to be sure he's all I envisioned and not just a rock star.


Screw the patient or why I think the medical profession hates women

I've been reading quite a bit lately about a new movement in the medical profession to acknowledge, affirm, and support medical professionals who refuse to provide legal medical treatment that conflicts with their personal beliefs.

Before I begin my rant about why this causes Daktari's bullshit meter to top out, let's consider the medical professional's side. Let's say the "legal medical treatment" was sterilizing the mentally deficient (who could not give informed consent), irresponsible medical testing conducted on minority groups without their knowledge, or torture? Without a right of conscientious objection, doctors would be expected to participate in such activities just because they were legal. As it is now, the leading professional organization for the medical professions, the AMA, refuses to allow physicians to participate in the execution of prisoners. We would like to think that doctors, soldiers, and the general public would "just say no" when faced with such choices. The legality of the treatment or procedure, they claim, does not supersede the health care worker's individual rights to say no.

That just sounds peachy, but it is also total bullshit.

A blanket right of conscientious objection to deny treatment based on personal beliefs puts life-and-death power in the hands of people only marginally involved in a patient's health care under circumstances in which this is wildly inappropriate. And I think this issue really pisses me because it disproportionately impacts women.

Case in point, the issues that are causing the greatest objection among health care workers fall squarely into two camps: women's reproductive health, and end-of-life issues. Oh there is also some rumbling about elective surgery, including cosmetic surgery, but that seems less of an issue. But the idea is that doctors should not be expected to perform abortions on women if this conflicts with their beliefs. Pharmacists should not be expected to provide birth control or morning after pills to patients that come through their doors. Doctor's won't pull the plug on poor Uncle Harold who has been brain dead and unresponsive after 5 years on a ventilator.

Abortion. Cosmetic surgery. Elective surgery. Right-to-die with dignity. Apparently, doctors think that they know better than you how you how to live your life.

Let's consider abortion first. If a doctor firmly believes all life is sacred, does this individual have the right to refuse to perform abortions on victims of rape and incest or when the life of the mother is at risk? If I'm pregnant and in distress, can a doctor really just let me die in the emergency room rather than perform an abortion to save my life? Does this individual get to assess the situation and decide when and under what circumstances he or she will perform the abortion? Rape. Check. Incest. Check. Mother's health. Check. Elective abortion. Sorry lady.

Such decisions would demand that a physician or other health care worker assess the patient's circumstances, apply their own morality to another's life, and pronounce judgment without any input from the person to whom this matters most. Does my pharmacist need to know that I was brutally raped in order to offer me a morning-after pill? Is that really any of his or her business?

Let's think this out for a minute. A 19-year-old rape victim, scared half out of her mind and muscles aching from the pain of her attack, somehow manages to get through a post-rape pelvic exam. She has to relive the humiliation of her attack for the police and endure being asked unbelievably personal questions about her previous sexual relationships. All the while, the worst thing that has ever happened to her replays over and over in her head. After going home, taking a shower and getting herself together, she takes her script to the pharmacy only to have some guy, drunk with his newfound C.O. power tell her that he will not give her the morning after pill because he wants to protect the life of her unborn baby. Unable to get the medicine, the embryo implants in her uterus. She can't face the trauma of walking around for the next 9 months with the evidence of this attack staring her down every single day, so she goes back to the doctor seeking an abortion, which the doctor refuses to do.

Welcome back to the land of back-alley abortions and do-it-yourself coat-hanger kits. End result. Women die.

Do doctors and pharmacists and nurses really have a right to force women into these kinds of situations when the procedures are both legal and customary?

If cosmetic or elective surgery is taboo for a particular physician, does that mean that they will also refuse to refer burn victims for reconstructive surgery? To perform circumcisions? Would they look at the burn victim and say "sorry dude, but that's the hand you were dealt?" Does he tell the Jewish parents they are just going to have to learn to live with foreskin? Or do they get to pick and choose? Yes to the burn victim. Yes to the circumcision, but no to the boob job and face lift?

But here's the real thing I don't understand. Sometimes you have to do shitty things in your job that you don't agree with. You do it because it's your job and you agreed to do it when you accepted employment. Why are doctors, nurses, and pharmacists any different than the rest of the fucking world? If these conscientious objectors had any balls at all, they'd leave the profession causing them such distress. Why are they being allowed to deny valid medical treatment sought by patients? Why aren't they being told they can do the job or quit....just like in the real world?

Furthermore, how do I protect myself from these people? Do I have a questionnaire that I ask my potential physician to fill out so I know what I'm getting into? And what about emergency care where I have no control over which physician treats me?

I don't want my physician or anyone else taking my health care decisions away from me. I don't want another's morality applied to me. I want a physician to explain the pros and cons of ALL my options and allow me to make my own health care decisions. Once that decision is made, I expect my health care "professional" to support that decision and not to undermine it. That is the physicians role. That is their only role in that process. I don't need their oppressive morality.

< / rant>

Addendum: I just learned that these conscientious objectors also want there to be laws protecting them from job discrimination based on their "beliefs". So now an abortion clinic must consider the qualifications of physicians that will refuse to perform abortions based on personal beliefs? And what if one of these objectors is the most qualified physician? Can they sue if they aren't hired?

I know a lot of people who would love to get paid to do work they can simply object to on the basis of their belief system.

Only in America, folks.


Meet Baloo

Baloo is Sparky's new friend. Just not so great a friend that he wants to share a bowl.


You really should think carefully before tagging me in those Facebook photos

...because I WILL get even.

Better Late Than Never

Despite having lived only an hour and a half from the Gateway Arch, I had never done more than stroll around the mall. Well today, Bek and I went all the way to the top. It was a beautiful day and we got some awesome pics. I was so proud of Bek. This was her idea and she was nervous as hell about the height. I am so glad I'm free of that phobia. So here she is..before the ride to the top. All piss and vinegar.....
It's really a cool deal. You pay your $10 bucks, you go to the elevators which look like little pods and you ride to the top.
I thought Bek was looking a little green, but so far so good!

Once at the top, Bek didn't want to lean over and look out the windows, but the view from the top was spectaular.

The view from the bottom wasn't too shabby either....

except that this picture sort of freaked me out when I got home and saw it.

Oh, and FYI...that panorama pic at the top was my first try! Not bad, I think.


Milwaukee rocks!

We arrived in Milwaukee last night just in time to head out for dinner and drinks on the town. We took the River Walk, had dinner at Rock Bottom (great Pale Ale, by the way). Then headed over to Moe's Irish Pub for a black and tan.

Ok, the real Black & Tan they call a Half and Half. Don't ask me why. Enjoyed the hell out of it. Been soooooooo long since I've been somewhere someone knew how to pour a Black & Tan. This is how, btw.

Here for a conference for a few more days. Enjoying some nice dinners out. The weather is fantastic. Mid 80s and no humidity! Such a change from Southern Illinois. Having a great time with all my lab mates, too....

......although ONE OF US apparently is a wild child. I'm not naming names. I'm providing photographic evidence.