Tuesday, October 31, 2006

taxman cometh

the republicans have started running TV ads showing a taxman showing up at people's houses. The message is simple & effective - if you elect democracts, they will raise your taxes

at Bush's radio address he took the time to scare people more - if you elect democrats they will raise your taxes by $2.4 trillion

Funny how nobody ever ask Bush were he gets his numbers from

Taxes are neccessary, it's how our government collects revenues. It's how we have paved road, clean water, parks, fire stations and policeman. HOWEVER, I believe politicians from both aisles have grown to abuse the tax system. That's a whole different subject matter......

Going back to Bush's new scary tactics. Three simple questions:

1) how does Bush explain the $350 billion he has spent on invading Iraq and racking up another $6.4 billion each month. Seems to me that's money that could have been spend on, oh, so many other useful things like paying down the national debt.

2) speaking of the national debt, like to hear how Bush plan to explain to the people that during his watch we have tribled our national debt. You & I may not feel it today that's because, like credit card debt, we're still in the grace period. But it won't be long for the foreign countries (primarily China & Japan) who holds the notes to begin calling in the IOUs - our children will be paying for this Bush debt for years to come

3) then there is pork. Even stauch conservatives have become disgusted with the current Bush republican congress and its unprecedented spending spree and pork projects. The conventional wisdom has always been you can trust the republicans with your money - but not this congress, they're spending our money on pork after pork with zero veto from Bush. It's the biggest scandal we've ever seen yet no one seems to care.

So, Bush & the republicans, before you try to change the subject from Iraq to the economy, take a look in the mirror.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Coming back from Frankfurt at the Seattle airport, a very polite customs agent asked me ''so you're coming from Germany, you wouldn't by any chance brough back some German sausages?''.

Me: of course not, I don't eat meat.

It's called lying.

Few nights later a roaring Oktoberfest party was had at the house that Team Mia built. We made the traditional ''butcher's platter'' with different brats cooked with sauerkrauts, shallots, stock & bacon. Knodel (potato balls) were made from potato powder bboiled in salted water. At least 6 different type of German cold cuts were consumed with Germany beer (Troy provided the Beck mini keg). Kaoru, who was recently in Hungary, brought over Hungarian sausages & caviar while German music from Ute Lemper & Das Kauf blared from iTunes.

I thought about making the traditional ''gluwein'' - spiced hot wine that is usually drunken during the holidays - but decidedly I had too much to handle. Next year would like to roast a pig shoulder or hock wa ha ha ha.

Amsterdam & Frankfurt

Brief business trip to Europe.

Amsterdam (picture of canal to the left) is one of my favorite city in the world. It combines urban density with beautiful, wide open canals & trees. People are diverse & friendly, and you can never tire walking the cobblestone streets.

Visited good friend Erika - who recently moved there with her husband Jessie and two sons - Matisse & Morgan. Erika reports having success explaining the ''coffee shops'' to the kids, but so far are stumped on what to do about the legal prositutes.

The Van Gogh museum is terrific in that, unlike most famous European museums, it's intimate, relevant and revealing. Although it only house a few of Vincen't famous paintings such as the Potato Eaters and Iris (most are in other famous museums); this museum has just about everything else nicely arranged not only in chronological order, but by geography as well so you can see exactly where Van Gogh lived and how they affected his art. A bonus section on Japanese woodworking that infuenced Van Gogh is not to be missed.

Bought home 50 tulip bulbs & a case of ''siroop waffelin'', these incredible cookies filled with caramel. Team Mia has been addicated ever since.


In Frankfurt for 4 days attending the Frankfurt Buchmesse - mostly boring work stuff. Did hook up with buddy Sal Nensi, who was in nearby Paris and decided to drop by. At lots of heavy, heavy German food. Highlight was at the old stand-by Lorbacher Tal where we had a ''sausage salad'' that actually didn't have a single piece of vegetable in the ''salad''.

Best night was when we hooked up with colleagues from Dark Horse Comics - Lance, Dirk & Matt - who formed an improptu band Tigers & Scorpions (named after the bartender & her tattoes) and played a spirited set at the Spritz Haus in Sachsenhausen, our traditional hang out. Later we stayed to watch this amazing German cover-band, The Mad House Flowers. We were skeptical at first as they started with weak covers of Depeche Mode and Midnight Oil, but they quickly hit their stride (assisted by shots of jagermeister b/t each song). By the time they launched into Tina Turner, Nirvana and Lenny Kravitz the place was hopping. The band later emailed to tell us they already booked the same night during the book fair next year.

republican ads

as I travel around the country it's really interesting to see the attack ads from both parties.

The Democrats by & large are trying to link their republican opponents to Bush while trying to remain positive with local messages (i.e. Cantwell in WA stressing the environment; O'Malley in MD on improvement in crime).

The republicans, is a whole other story.

In TN Corker is attacking Ford (who is african american) with ads insinuating that he dates white women (I guess that's scary to rural voters)

In MD Ehrlich is attacking O'Malley (who is mayor of Baltimore) by falsely claiming crime is up. Even though the republican campaign manager has admitted to fabricating the data and resigned, the republicans continue to run the same ads.

In WA McGavick is attacking Cantwell with various race and immigration baiting ads (such as claiming Cantwell does not support english as the official language); again, trying to scare rural voters.

The sad thing these scaring the rural voter ads work - just ask John McCain and what Bush/Rove did to him back in 2000.

If Americans can't tell the difference then maybe we deserve the republicans.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crumpet on Dagobah

Sneak preview of Baby Crumpet's Halloween costume...

Bouncing Crumpet

check out this video to understand the true meaning of joy

Baby Crumpet at 9 months

Baby Crumpet is 9 months old today!

She is tall (29 & 1/4 inches) and solid (28 1/2 pounds). Hard to believe she was once so tiny when she came 4 weeks early.

As newborn babies do - she has had her share of various illnesses - almost as if she has get all of them out of the way to build her immunity. She currently has eczema - a rash on the face which is easily cured by putting jock itch cream (!). Last week she had pink eye - then the usual colds & fevers. Do not be alarmed - I think this is all quite normal for babies - overall she is very healthy, eats like daddy and is always smiling, laughing & playing.

Puyallup Fair

Team Mia & Katherine visited the Puyallup Fair - massive amount of corn dogs, funnel cakes & onion burgers consumed. This fair was far bigger than the Lynden Fair we went last month (it might even be bigger than the massive New York State Fair in Syracuse) - but I thought the Lynden Fair had better food & animals.

Baby Crumpet enjoyed the cows

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mona Superhero

While in Portland last night met this amazing artist - Mona Superhero. All her art is made from tape - no paint, no drawing, just cutting & pasting different color tape. It's much cooler in person 'cause you can see & feel the tape's textures on the artwork. Check it out!

Katherine & Nathan

Can't figure out why this photo is so tiny.....

Katherine & Nathan visited us from NY, here you see them at the Fremont Troll in Seattle. We had a nice dinner at home (the requisite cedar plank halibut), visited the Experience Music Project, Sci-Fi Museum and spent the day in Mount Baker hiking. On their own the couple canvassed all over town - including hitting the zoo with Katherine's sister's kids (they live on the eastside). Really one of our favorite people in the world. Very glad to hear they're heading to Italy for New Year's.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

yes we're still here

sorry have not been posting about baby crumpet, food, travel & the latest catastrophe from Bush & co. Been traveling in Europe on business. More to come shortly.

Here is a something to tie you over.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

They all look the same to me

The following link courtesy of the fabulous blog from Ellen:

Senator Trent Lott of Mississipi spoke about sectarian violence in Iraq:

"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people. . . . Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me."
Well, I'm pretty sure a lot of Americans think like Lott. I find it hard to tell all those white male Republicans in Congress apart, myself. I guess I'm glad that in the USA, Lott's free to be refreshingly honest about his ignorance and bigotry.


Just because Trent Lott is an idiot doesn't meant the rest of us have to be. To learn more about the Sunni/Shiite split I highly recommend the book NO GOD BUT GOD by Iranian scholar Reza Aslan. The book is a beautifully constructed story on the origin and evolution of Islam, focusing on how men over the ages have twisted the Prophet's words to suit their own hold on power and misuse the bully pulpit to gain more power.