static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Catching up with old stories

There are several stories that I have brought up that had updates today so I will have a little to say about a lot.

First the emus, police have arrested an Elmwood Park man for releasing the emus in the forest preserve. 43 year old Isidoro Lujano-Gonzales was cited by the Cook County Forest Preserve police for abandoning the birds in the Skokie Lagoons. Officials say that Lujano-Gonzales released the birds after being told that he couldn't keep them in his back yard. He intended to shoot them at the lagoon and let the coyotes that live there eat the carcasses.

Mt. St. Helens is still erupting. On Saturday, the volcano had the most severe earthquake since it started erupting in October. A 3.2 magnitude quake (which actually, could just barely be felt) and a 2.6 and 2.8 happened today. This is nothing unusual in lave dome growth and a full series of tests were going to be done today including repairing communications systems on the volcano.

Chai Vang, the Hmong hunter that allegedly killed six hunters and wounding two others without provocation was today charged with six counts of first-degree homicide by use of a dangerous weapon and two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the November 21st shooting rampage. Most of the victims was shot in the back and only one was armed. There is no doubt that Mr. Vang shot eight people, the question is whether he was provoked. He has argued that several racial epithets were thrown at him, he was threatened, and the one person that had a gun shot first. I'm not buying it.

I'm not sure why this made the news because I'm sure it's been around for awhile. There is a law in Provo, Utah that prohibits pet owners from having a cat and a dog in the same household. Owners are allowed to have two cats or two dogs but not a cat and a dog. Unless somemeone was worried about inter-species breeding (which is absolutely ridiculous) I can't see a point and even if they are, I can't see a point.

Godzilla, who is celebrating his fiftieth birthday this year, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday. Godzilla met hundreds of fans for the ceremony along with representatives of Toho Co., who produced all of his films, outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. The star was awarded prior to the premiere of his latest film, "Godzilla Final Wars".

A Seattle man was killed on Sunday after a Lava Lamp, which he had had on a stove to warm up, exploded. A piece of glass from the lamp pierced his heart. Philip Quinn, 24, was found dead in his bedroom. Glass shards were found around the stove and embedded in the walls. Its thought that he was standing in front of the stove when the lamp exploded and stumbled into his bedroom and died.

Hardee's has started a multi-million dollar ad campaign for their Monster ThickBurger. Two weeks after they started selling this they seem to be having great word of mouth. I'm sure it's a macho thing. Guy's have to have the biggest and best. Chris Squires, a St. Petersburg Times reporter, joked that travelers should go a little light on the airlines and have a stick of butter, which only has 800 calories and 88 grams of fat, instead. The Monster ThickBurger has 1420 calories and 107 grams of fat.

November ended just short of the record deadliest month. 133 Americans were killed, which brought the total for the war to 1254. The month of April was the deadliest month and it is the month that I will be documenting tonight. The folowwing 135 soldiers were killed in April 2004.

April 1: PFC Dustin M. Sekula

April 2: PFC William R. Strange

April 3: PFC Geoffrey S. Morris

April 4: Cpl. Tyler R. Fey, Spc. Ahmed Akil "Mel" Cason, Spc. Stephen D. "Dusty" Hiller, Sgt. Yihiyh L. Chen, Sgt. Michael W. Mitchell, PFC John D. Amos II, Spc. Philip G. Rogers, Lcpl. Aric J. Barr, Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga, Spc. Israel Garza, Cpl. Forest Joseph Jostes, Spc. Casey Sheehan

April 5: Spc. Scott Quentin Larson Jr., Cpl. Jesse L. Thiry, PFC Moises A. Langhorst, Lcpl. Shane Lee Goldman, Lcpl. Matthew K. Serio, PFC Christopher Ramos, PFC Deryk L. Hallal, Sgt. David M. McKeever

April 6: PFC Christopher R. Cobb, PFC Ryan M. Jerabek, Lcpl. Travis J. Layfield, Lcpl. Kyle D. Crowley, Lcpl. Anthony P. Roberts, Lcpl. Marcus M. Cherry, PFC Benjamin R. Carman, PO3 Fernando A. Mendes-Aceves, PFC Christopher D. Mabry, Sgt. Lee Duane Todacheene, Ssgt. Allen K. Walker, Ssgt. Gerardo Moreno

April 7: 2nd Lt. John Thomas "J. T." Wroblewski, Ssgt. George S. Rentschler, Spc. Tyanna S. Felder, SFC William W. Labadie Jr., SFC Marvin Lee Miller, Capt. Brent L. Morel

April 8: Lcpl. Levi T. Angel, Spc. Isaac Michael Nieves, Ssgt. William M. Harrel, Lcpl. Michael B. Wafford, Cpl. Nicholas J. Dieruf, Lcpl. Christopher B. Wasser, Lcpl. Philip E. Frank, 1st Lt. Joshua M. Palmer

April 9: Sgt. Felix M. Delgreco, PFC Gregory R. Goodrich, Spc. Jonathan Roy Kephart, Cpl. Matthew E. Matula, Lcpl. Elias Torrez III, Cpl. Michael Raymond Speer, Ssgt. Don Steven McMahan, Spc. Peter G. Enos, Ssgt. Toby W. Mallet, Spc. Michelle M. Witmer, Spc. Alan Jeffrey "A.J." Vandayburg, PFC Eric A. Ayon, PFC Chance R. Phelps, Ssgt. Raymond Edison Jones Jr., Sgt. Elmer C. Krause

April 10: Airman 1st Class Antoine J. Holt, Lcpl. John T. Sims Jr., Sgt. William C. Eckhart, Spc. Adolf C. Carballo

April 11: CWO Lawrence S. Colton, 1st Lt. Oscar Jimenez, PFC George D. Torres, Spc. Justin W. Johnson, PFC Nathan P. Brown, Sgt. Maj. Michael Boyd Stack, CWO Wesley C. Fortenberry, Cpl. Daniel R. Amaya, Lcpl. Torrey L. Gray

April 12: Lcpl. Robert Paul Zurheide Jr., Lcpl. Brad S. Shuder

April 13: Ssgt. Victor A. Rosaleslomeli, Pvt. Noah L. Boye, Cpl. Kevin T. Kolm

April 14: Spc. Frank K. Rivers Jr., Spc. Richard K. Trevithick, Sgt. Christopher Ramirez

April 15: Ssgt. Jimmy J. Arooyave

April 16: Sgt. Brian M. Wood

April 17: Spc. Michael A. McGlothin, 1st Lt. Robert L. Henderson II, PFC Clayton Welch Henson, Sgt. Jonathan N. Hartman, Lcpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., Lcpl. Ruben Valdez Jr., Lcpl. Gary F. Van Leuven, Cpl. Christopher A. Gibson, Ssgt. Edward W. Carman, Spc. Marvin A. Camposiles, Spc. Dennis B. Morgan, Capt. Richard J. Gannon II

April 20: Spc. Christopher D. Gelineau, 1st Sgt. Bradley C. Fox, PFC Leroy Harris-Kelly

April 22: Cpl. Jason L. Dunham

April 23: PFC Shawn C. Edwards

April 24: CWO Patrick W. Kordsmeier, Capt. Arthur L. "Bo" Felder, Ssgt. Billy J. Orton, Ssgt. Stacy C. Brandon, PO1 Michael J. Pernaselli, PO2 Christopher E. Watts, Ssgt. Cory W. Brooks

April 25: PO3 Nathan B. Brukenthal, Spc. Kenneth A. Melton

April 26: Sgt. Sherwood R. Baker, Sgt. Lawrence A. Roukey, Lcpl. Aaron C. Austin

April 27: PFC Marquis A. Whitaker, Ssgt. Abraham D. Penamedina

April 28: Ssgt. Kendall Thomas, Spc. Jacob R. Herring

April 29: Sgt. Adam W. Estep, PFC Jeremy Ricardo Ewing, Spc. Martin W. Kondor, Ssgt. Esau G. Patterson Jr., Ssgt. Jeffrey F. Dayton, Sgt. Ryan M. Campbell, Spc. James L. Beckstrand, Spc. Justin B. Schmidt, PFC Ryan E. Reed, PFC Norman Darling, Sgt. Landis W. Garrison

April 30: Cpl. Scott M. Vincent, Cpl. Joshua S. Wilfong, PO2 Jason B. Dwelley, PO3 Christopher M. Dickerson

Details on these soldiers may be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Medical Marijuana

The government is again trying to dictate what people are allowed to do within the privacy of their own homes. The Supreme Court heard arguments whether the government has the power to prosecute those who use home grown marijuana for medical purposes in those states where marijuana may be used for medical purposes. The argument being used is whether the 1970 Controlled Substances Act amounts to an illegal use of Congress' power to regulate commerce between the states. The appeals court said that states could adopt medical marijuana laws as long as the marijuana was not sold, transported across state lines, or used for non-medical purposes. Personally, I think privacy issues could be applied as well. It doesn't look though, that the court will find in favor of the defendants. The Solicitor General, Paul Clement, argued that it would be hard for the government to enforce the nations drug laws if an exception were made for medical marijuana. A ruling is expected by the end of June.

Today, was a bad day in Iraq. 11 more soldiers were listed as having been killed. A total of 1249 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq with 128 being killed this month. If 8 people die tomorrow April of 2004 will no longer be the deadliest month. . March 19, 2004 was the 1 year anniversary of the war. 52 people died in that month with 27 by the one year anniversary. 576 people were killed at the one year anniversary and 601 by the end of the month. The soldiers that were killed this month were:

March 2: Spc. Michael R. Woodliff

March 5: PO2 Michael J. Gray

March 7: Capt. Gussie M. Jones

March 8: PFC Matthew G. Milczark

March 9: SFC Richard F. Gottfried, Spc. Edward W. Brabazon, Civilian Fern L. Holland, Civilian Robert J. Zangas

March 10: PFC Bert Edward Hoyer

March 11: Ssgt. Joe L. Dunigan Jr., Spc. Christopher K. Hill

March 13: PFC Joel K. Brattain, Capt. John F. (Hans) Kurth, Spc. Jason C. Ford, SFC Clint D. Ferrin, Sgt. Daniel J. Londono

March 14: Spc. Jocelyn (Joce) L. Carrasquillo, Sgt. William J. Normandy

March 16: 1st Lt. Michael R. Adams, Msgt. Thomas R. Thigpen Sr.

March 17: Spc. Tracy L. Laramore, Sgt. Ivory L. Phipps

March 18: PFC Ricky A. Morris Jr., PFC Brandon C. Smith, PFC Ernest Harold Sutphin, Cpl. Andrew D. Brownfield, Spc. Doron Chan

March 19 (1st Anniversary): Spc. Clint Richard (Bones) Matthews, PFC Jason C. Ludlam, Cpl. David M. Vicente

March 20: Spc. Matthew J Sandri, Maj. Mark D. Taylor, 1st Lt. Michael W. Vega,

March 21: PFC Christopher E. Hudson, Pvt. Dustin L. Kreider

March 22: Lcpl. Andrew S. Dang, PFC Bruce Miller Jr.

March 24: Ssgt. Wentz Jerome Henry Shanaberger III

March 25: Spc. Adam D. Froelich, Lcpl. Jeffrey C. Burgess, Lcpl. James A. Casper

March 26: PFC Leroy Sandoval Jr.

March 27: Msgt. Timothy Toney

March 29: PFC Sean M. Schneider, Spc. Jeremiah J. Holmes

March 30: Lcpl. William J. Wiscowiche, Msgt. Richard L. Ferguson

March 31: 1st Lt. Doyle M. Hufstedtler, Spc. Sean R. Mitchell, Spc. Michael G. Carr Jr., PFC Cleston C. Raney, Pvt. Brandon L. Davis

Details on each of these soldiers and civilians can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Ed Paschke's Tappa Rosso painted in 2000.

Chicago Artist Ed Paschke dies

Don't Have a Cow, Man!
Chicago artist, Ed Paschke, died in his sleep at his home of an apparent heart attack, he was 65. Paschke belonged to a 1960's school of artists known as the Imagists whose work incorporated images from media and pop culture.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The weekend

My weekend was busy so I didn't have tim to update as frequently as I would have liked to. I was at my parents' house doing the family thing. Normally, I update before I go to bed and the fact that my mother sleeps in the room where the computer is doesn't help. I was able, as can be seen, to do a couple of updates but it was a bit of a hassle and it took longer than it normally would have. I am back home so I can get back to my normal schedule.

Because I was away, I was out of the loop as far as news stories are concerned so the only thing that will be in this update will be update for the casualties in the Iraq war. Since my last update, the total for the month has risen to 117, which brings the total for the war to 1238. For the month of February 2004, 20 people were killed which brought the total to 549. The names of these people are as follows:

February 1: PFC Armando Soriano, Ssgt. Roger C. Turner, Jr.

February 3: 2nd Lt. Seth J. Dvorin

February 5: Spc. Joshua L. Knowles

February 8: Ssgt. Richard P. Ramey

February 9: Sgt. Thomas D. Robbins, Sgt. Elijah Tai Wah Wong

February 10: Msgt. Jude C. Mariano

February 11: Sgt. Patrick S. Tainsh, PFC William C. Ramirez

February 12: Spc. Eric U. Ramirez, Cpl. Richard Thomas David Ivell

February 14: Pvt. Bryan N. Spry

February 16: PFC Nicholas M. Frye, Spc. Christopher M. Taylor, Spc. Michael M. Merila

February 19: 2nd Lt. Jeffrey C. Graham, Spc. Roger G. Ling

February 20: SFC Henry A. Bacon

February 25: CWO Stephen M. Wells, CWO Matthew C. Laskowski

Details on these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Buy Nothing Day

Today, the Friday after Thanksgiving is Buy Nothing Day. It is the day that is considered the start of the Christmas buying season and many retail establisments put a lot of hopes on this day that people will prove themselves greedyand selfish and spend much more than they really should. Christmas, though should be about more than consumerism. There are other ways to show the people that you love them then buying them something. Adbusters is sponsoring Buy Nothing Day as a demonstration against our unsustainable conumerism. The thought is to reduce our collective footprint and what better day to demonstrate than on the largest retail day of the year.

The American death total in Iraq has risen to 1233 for the war and 112 for the month. Three people have died in the last 24 hours. The month that I will be documenting is January of 2004. 47 people were killed which brought the total for the war up to 529. The military members are:

January 1: Maj. James Stenner, Sgt. Norman Patterson

January 2: Capt. Eric Thomas Paliwoda, Spc. Solomon C. "Kelly" Bangayan, Spc. Marc S. Seiden, Capt. Kimberly N. Hampton, Sgt. Dennis A. Corral

January 5: Spc. Luke P. Frist

January 7: PFC Jesse D. Mizener, Lcpl. Andrew Jason Craw

January 8: Spc. Christopher A. Golby, Spc. Michael A. Diraimondo, SFC Gregory B. Hicks, CWO Aaron A. Weaver, Ssgt. Craig Davis, Sgt. Jeffrey C. Walker, Spc. Nathaniel H. Johnson, CWO Philip A. Johnson Jr., CWO Ian D. Manuel

January 12: Ssgt. Ricky l. Crockett

January 13: Sgt. Keicia M. Hines

January 16: Ssgt. Roland L. Castro

January 17: PFC Cody J. Orr, Sgt. Edmond Lee Randle Jr., Spc Larry E. Polley Jr.,

January 18: Msgt. Kelly L. Hornbeck

January 21: Spc. Gregory T. Palacios, PFC James D. Parker

January 23: CW2 Michael T. Blaise, CW2 Brian D. Hazelgrove

January 24: Spc. Jason K. Chappell, Sgt. Randy S. Rosenberg, Ssgt. Kenneth W. Hendrickson, Sgt. Kenneth L. Smette, Spc. William R. Sturges Jr.

January 25: Ssgt. Christopher Bunda, 1st Lt. Adam G. Mooney, CWO Patrick D. Dorff, PFC Ervin Dervishi

January 27: Sgt. Travis A. Mootheart, Sgt. Cory R. Mracek, Capt. Matthew J. August, Ssgt. Lester O. Kinney II., SFC James T. Hoffman, 2nd Lt. Luke S. James

January 29: PFC Luis A. Moreno, Ssgt. Sean G. Landrus

January 31: Cpl. Juan C. Cabralbanuelos, Sgt. Eliu A. Miersandoval, PFC Holly J. McGeogh

Details on these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The wild outdoors part 2

I got to drive to Michigan in probably the worst Thanksgiving storm in recent history. Only about 4 inches of snow stuck but it was wet and slushy and combined with the previous rain it turned into a layer of ice. The Thanksgiving drive is usually the longest drive of the year, normally adding about an hour and a half to my 5 1/2 hour drive time. With the weather, the drive turned into an 11 hour trip.

Emus are invading the North Shore. Police are hunting around the Skokie Lagoons for an Emu believed to be wandering the North Shore. The birds first showed up behind an apartment building in Elmwood Park. A man there said that his brother had been transporting four emus to Kenosha but a broken truck brought them there. The man said that he would put them in his garage where that they wouldn't escape but soon after, two were captured in nearby suburbs, Glencoe and Winnetka. On Monday, there were reports of three Emus running around in the Skokie Lagoons. Police were able to capture two but are still searching for the third. How many Emus are there, 4 or 9? If it can be proved that the birds were dumped in the forest preserve (Skokie Lagoons), the culprit could face up to a $1000 fine and 6 months in prison for abandoning animals in the forest preserve.

The deer hunting murder story in Wisconsin has devolved into a he said, he said. Chai Vang, the murder suspect, claims that one of the hunters whose tree stand he was in shot at him first after he got out of there tree stand. Friends of the deceased claim that the one hunter with a gun in the group "wouldn't hurt a flea". Mr. Vang is a National Guard Veteran who had earned a sharpshooter ribbon and was qualified in the use of an M-16. Police also have records that state that they have been to his house five times for domestic disputes since 2003. He has never been charged because his wife has never pressed charges. What do I think happened? The hunting group saw Mr. Vang in one of their stands, cussed him out, and told him to get down. He got down and the insults and racial slurs continued. He was insulted and being an Army Veteran hothead with a gun, he did what came naturally, he "took care of the problem". Police are now investigating a possible deer hunting murder from three years ago which they think involved a trespassing dispute. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Hmong deer hunters don't recognize private property and will hunt anywhere that they think will be good hunting.

The American military has lost one more brave soldier this month bringing the monthly total to 109 and the total for the war to 1230. In December 2003, 40 Americans lost there lives in Iraq which brought the total up to 482. The names of these men and women are as follows:

December 1: Spc. Uday Singh

December 2: Spc. Raphael S. Davis, CWO Clarence E. Boone, Sgt. Ryan C. Young

December 5: Spc. Arron R. Clark

December 7: Ray J. Hutchinson

December 8: Spc. Christopher Jude Rivera Wesley, Spc. Joseph M. Blickenstaff, Ssgt. Steven H. Bridges, PFC Jason G. Wright

December 10: Ssgt. Aaron T. Reese, Spc. Todd M. Bates, Ssgt. Richard A. Burdick, PFC Jerrick M. Petty

December 11: Spc. Marshall L. Edgerton

December 12: Sgt. Jarrod W. Black, PFC Jeffrey F. Braun

December 14: Spc. Rian C. Ferguson, Ssgt. Kimberly A. Voelz

December 15: PFC Kenneth C. Souslin, Spc. Nathan W. Nakis

December 17: Spc. Christopher J. Holland

December 18: Sgt. Glenn R. Allison

December 19: PFC Charles E. Bush Jr.

December 22: 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz, PFC Stuart W. Moore

December 24: Com. Sgt. Maj. Eric F. Cooke, Capt. Christopher F. Soelzer, Sgt. Michael E. Yashinski, Sgt. Benjamin W. Biskie, Maj. Christopher J. Splinter

Christmas: Ssgt. Stephen C. Hattamer, Ssgt. Thomas W. Christensen

December 26: Ssgt. Michael J. Sutter, Sgt. Michael G. Mihalakis, Spc. Charles G. Haight

December 28: Sgt. Curt E. Jordan Jr., Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco, Pvt. Rey D. Cuervo

December 30: Spc. Justin W. Pollard

The details on these soldiers may be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Nothing New

Nothing of any note happened in my life today and I didn't read anything in the news that I really wanted to comment on so today will focus on Iraq. I did pack today to go to Michigan for Thanksgiving weekend and I will leave tomorrow after work.

One person lost their life in Iraq today which brought the total for the month to 107 and the total for the war to 1228. In November 2003, which is what I am up to tonight 82 Americans died which was the the worst monthly total at the time and remained the worst until April 2004 when 135 were killed. After this month, it is now the third worst monthly total and brought the total for the war to 442. The Americans that died are the following:

November 1: Spc. Maurice J. Johnson, 1st Lt. Josua C. Hurley

November 2: Ssgt. Paul A. Velasquez, PFC Karina S. Lau, Sgt. Joel Perez, Spc. Brian H. Penisten, CWO Bruce A. Smith, Spc. Frances M. Vega, Ssgt. Joe Nathan Wilson, 1st Lt. Brian D. Slavenas, 1st. Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, Sgt. Keelan L. Moss, Sgt. Ross A. Pennanen, Sgt. Ernest G. Bucklew, PFC Anthony D. Dagostino, Spc. Steven Daniel Conover, Ssgt. Daniel A. Bader, Spc. Darius T. Jennings

November 3: PFC Rayshawn S. Johnson

November 4: Spc. Robert T. Benson, Sgt. Francisco Martinez

November 5: Sgt. 1st Class Jose A. Rivera

November 6: Spc. James R. Wolf, Sgt. Paul F. Fisher, Spc. James A. Chance III, Pvt. Ryan Lloyd Thomas

November 7: CW3 Kyran E. Kennedy, Sgt. Scott C. Rose, Capt. Benedict J. Smith, Ssgt. Paul M. Neff II, Com. Sgt. Maj. Cornell W. Gilmore I, CW5 Sharon T. Swartworth, Ssgt. Morgan DeShawn Kennon

November 8: Sgt. Linda C. Jimenez, Ssgt. Gary L. Collins, Pvt. Kurt R. Frosheiser, Ssgt. Mark D. Vasquez

November 9: Ssgt. Nicholas A. Tomko

November 11: Spc. Genaro Acosta, Spc. Marlon P. Jackson

November 12: Ssgt. Nathan J. Bailey, Spc. Robert A. Wise

November 13: PFC Jacob S. Fletcher, Sgt. Joseph Minucci II

November 14: Spc. Irving Medina

November 15: PFC Damian L. Heidelberg, Spc. Jeremiah J. DiGiovanni, PFC Joey D. Whitener, Spc. Eugene A. Uhl III, Spc. John R. Sullivan, Sgt. John W. Russell, Spc. Ryan T. Baker, 2nd Lt. Jeremy L. Wolfe, Sgt. Michael D. Acklin II, Sgt. Timothy L. Hayslett, PFC Richard W. Hafer, CWO Erik C. Kesterson, PFC Sheldon R. Hawk Eagle, CW2 Scott A. Saboe, SFC Kelly Bolor, Capt. Pierre E. Piche, Spc. William D. Dusenberry, Sgt. William S. Hansen

November 17: CWO Alexander S. Coulter, Capt. James A. Shull, Ssgt. Dale A. Panchot, Capt. Nathan S. Dalley

November 20: Capt. George A. Wood, Pvt. Scott Matthew Tyrrell, Spc. Joseph L. Lister

November 21: Cpl. Gary B. Coleman

November 22: PFC Damian S. Bushart, Spc. Robert D. Roberts

November 23: Spc. Rel A. Ravago IV, Ssgt. Eddie E. Menyweather, Cpl. Darrell L. Smith, Com. Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Wilson, CW2 Christopher G. Nason

November 26: Spc. David J. Goldberg

November 27: Spc. Thomas J. Sweet II

November 28: Sgt. Ariel Rico

November 29: Spc. Aaron J. Sissel, Ssgt. Stephen A. Bertolino

Details on these soldiers can be found on Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The wild outdoors

I'm going to bring up to date a few things I've mentioned in the recent past. The first is Mt. St. Helens. It first erupted on October 11 and is now considered in a constant eruptive state. The lava dome is growing and occasional steam and ash are released. A major explosion is not expected because the magma seems to be of the low gas variety. However, because it is erupting, the mountain remains closed to visitors. Steam and rock releases may happen anywhere around the mountain at anytime over the next several months.

The plague of locusts has arrived in Israel in the city of Eilat and is eating everything in sight. It did little damage in Egypt but seemst to be feasting on the tomatoes, watermelons, potatoes and onios. The Israeli Agriculture Ministry has set up a war room to do battle with the worst swarm in 50 years. The report says that they would like to take care of the locusts before they head north where most agricultural work is done in greenhouses. It seems to me that if the plants are in greenhouses, they wouldn't be in as much danger as they are in the south. It isn't bad news for everyone though, some see it as an opportunity to feast on deep-fried locusts. Australia is also suffering from an enormous hoard and two government workers have decided to take revenge on them by putting out a cookbook with 20 locust recipes which they called "Cooking with Sky Prawns". According to co-author Edward Joshua, the "home delivery bush food" is superior to beef.

The deer hunting season in Wisconsin turned deadly this weekend when a stranger was found in a hunter' s tree stand on private property. Asked to leave, Chai Vang, a 36 year old of Hmong descent from St. Paul, opened fire, killing 5 and wounding 3. He was arrested when he walked out of the woulds at approximately 5:30 PM. He was out of bullets.

Six people were killed in Iraq today to bring the total to 106 for the month and 1227 for the war. Tonight I will document the 43 Americans who lost their lives in October 2003. Which brought the total for the war to 360. These men and women are:

October 1: PFCAnalaura Esparza Gutierrez, Spc. Simeon Hunte, Command Sgt. James D. Blankenbecler, Spc. Tamarra J. Ramos

October 3: Spc. James H. Pirtle, PFC Charles M. Sims

October 6: PFC Kerry D. Scott, 2nd Lt. Richard Torres, Spc. Spencer Timothy Karol

October 9: Spc. Joseph C. Norquist, Ssgt. Christopher W. Swisher, Pvt. Sean A, Silva

October 12: Spc. James E. Powell

October 13: Spc. Douglas J. Weismantle, PFC Jose Casanova, Spc. Donald L. Wheeler, Pvt. Benjamin L. Freeman, PFC Stephen E. Wyatt

October 16: Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando, Ssgt. Joseph P. Bellavia, Cpl. Sean R. Grilley

October 17: Spc. Michael L. Williams

October 18: 1st Lt. David R. Bernstein, PFC John D. Hart

October 20: Ssgt. Paul J. Johnson

October 21: PFC Paul J. Beuche

October 22: Spc. John P. Johnson, Pvt. Jason M. Ward

October 23: Capt. John R. Teal

October 24: Spc. Jose L. Mora, Sgt. Michael S. Hancock, Spc. Artimus D Brassfield

October 26: PFC Rachel K. Bossveld, Pvt. Joseph R. Guerrera, PFC Steven Acosta, Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, Ssgt. Jamie L. Huggins

October 27: Pvt. Jonathan I. Falaniko, Sgt. Aubrey D. Bell

October 28: Spc. Isaac Campoy, Sgt. Michael Paul Barrera, Pvt. Algernon Adams

October 31: 2nd Lt. Todd J. Bryant

Details on these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Discovering Your God-Given Gifts

I took a very enlightening seminar with the above title today. The premise of which is that there are 7 God-Given Motivational Gifts that we all have although everyone has one or possibly two that they have in excess of the others. These seven gifts are Perceiver (declares the will of God), Server (renders practical service), Teacher (clarifies the truth of God's word), Exhorter (encourages personal growth or progress), Giver (shares material assistance and support), Administrator (gives leadership aid and pioneers), and Compassion (gives personal and emotional support). In the program, for every gift there was a twenty question personal evaluation which leads to a score for each gift. These tests revealed that my greatest gift was that of Teacher, which is also known as researcher. They tend to be very logical and base things on facts. This does not surprise me because I am a chemist and I am very good at my job. It also stated I have a very high score in compassion, which probably explains my knight in shining armor complex. In taking these tests, I was also able to recognize my friend the Exhorter (the cheerleader and social butterfly), and another friend who I think is a Giver with a strong Compassion gift. I think this is a great program and recommend it for anyone.

The casualties in Iraq for today are zero which is a very good thing. I hope although I doubt the same could be said on the Iraqi side. The total for the war is still 1221 and the month that I will document tonight is September 2003 in which 30 Americans were killedwhich brought the total up to 317. The Americans who died in Iraq in September 2003 were as follows:

September 1: Ssgt. Joseph Camara, Ssgt. Cameron B. Sarno, Sgt. Charles Todd Caldwell

September 2: PFC Christopher A. Sisson

September 4: Tech Sgt. Bruce E. Brown

September 7: Spc. Jarrett B. Thompson

September 9: Spc. Ryan G. Carlock

September 10: Ssgt. Joseph E. Robsky Jr.

September 11: Sgt. Henry Ybarra III

September 12: SFC William M. Bennett, Msgt. Kevin N. Morehead

September 14: Sgt. Trevor A. Blumberg

September 15: Spc. Alyssa R. Peterson, Ssgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly

September 18: Capt. Brian R. Faunce, Sgt. Anthony O. Thompson, Spc. Richard Arriaga, Spc. James C. Wright

September 20: Ssgt. Frederick L. Miller Jr., Spc. Lunsford B. Brown II, Sgt. David Travis Frederick

September 22: Spc. Paul J. Sturino

September 24: Spc. Michael Andrade

September 25: Capt. Robert L. Lucero, Spc. Kyle G. Thomas, SFC Robert E. Rooney

September 29: Sgt. Darrin K. Potter, Ssgt. Christopher E. Cutchall, Sgt. Andrew Joseph Baddick

September 30: Spc. Dustin K. McGaugh

The details on the precedin soldiers deaths can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Nothing but casualties

The American deaths in Iraq have reached triple digits for this month. As of today, 100 American servicemen have been killed in Iraq. This has only happened one other time. In April 2004, 135 Americans were killed in Iraq. The total for the war is now 1221 Americans, 74 Brits, and 72 "others" which includes 7 Bulgarians, 1 Dane, 2 Estonians, 1 Hungarian, 19 Italians, 1 Latvian, 2 Dutch, 13 Poles, 1 El Salvadoran, 3 Slovakians, 11 Spaniards, 2 Turks, and 9 Ukranians. I am sorry that the rest of these countries lost any soldiers in this ridiculous war. The listing of Americans for today goes to August of 2003 when 35 Americans, 6 Brits, 1 Spaniard, and 1 Dane were killed to bring the totals up to 287 Americans, 50 Brits, 1 Spaniard and 1 Dane.

The names of the Americans are as follows: August 1: Spc. Justin W. Hebert

August 5: Ssgt. David L. Loyd, Spc. Farao K. Letufuga

August 6: Sgt. Leonard D. Simmons, Pvt. Kyle C. Gilbert, Ssgt. Brian R. Hellerman, Spc. Zeferino E. Colunga

August 7: PFC Duane E. Longstreth

August 8: PFC Brandon Ramsey, Pvt. Matthew D. Bush

August 9: Sgt. Floyd G. Knighten Jr., Spc. Levi B. Kinchen

August 10: Ssgt. David S. Perry

August 12: Sgt. Taft V. Williams, PFC Daniel R. Parker, Ssgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr.

August 13: Sgt. Steven W. White

August 14: PFC David M. Kirchoff

August 17: Spc. Craig S. Ivory

August 18: Spc. Eric R. Hull

August 20: Spc. Kenneth W. Harris Jr., Ssgt. Bobby C. Franklin

August 21: Lt. Kylan A. Jones-Huffman, PFC Michael S. Adams

August 23: PFC Vorn J. Mack, Spc. Stephen M. Scott

August 25: Spc. Ronald D. Allen Jr., PFC Pablo Manzano

August 26: Spc. Darryl T. Dent

August 27: Lt. Col. Anthony L. Sherman, Spc. Rafael L. Navea, Sgt. Gregory A. Belanger

August 29: Ssgt. Mark A. Lawton

August 30: Sgt. Sean K. Cataudella

Details of these men can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Short post

I don't have a lot to say tonight. I found it ridiculous and hypocritical of the Republican Party to enact the rules change that will allow a party leader to keep their commitee leadersip if they happened to be indicted. This was done to protect Tom Delay who is under investigation for political corruption in the state of Texas. These rules were originally enacted in 1993 to get rid of Democrat, Dan Rostenkowski, who was under indictment and eventually served time for mail fraud. They accuse the Texas prosecuter of being blatantly political while they are being the same way and worse. Ronnie Earle, the Travis County, Texas Prosecuting Attorney, while he may be a registered Democrat, has prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans for political crimes. The Republicans, on the other hand, are simply trying to protect their empire.

The Iraq death toll is up to 1217, up 1 from yesterday. 96 Americans have died this month, making it the second deadliest month in this war's history after April 2004. My documentation project has brought me up to July 2003, in which 47 American soldiers lost their lives.

On July1: 1st Sgt. Christopher D. Coffin

On July 2: Cpl. Travis J. Bradachnall

On July 3: PFC Corey L. Small, PFC Edward J. Herrgott

On July 6: Spc. Jeffrey M. Wershow, Sgt. David D. Parson

On July 7: Spc. Chad L. Keith, Ssgt. Barry Sanford Sr.

On Jul 8: SFC Craig A. Boling, Pvt. Robert L. McKinley

On July 9: SFV Dan H. Gabrielson, Lcpl. Jason Tetrault, Sgt. Melissa Valles, Sgt. Roger Dale Rowe

On July 11: Spc. Christian C. Schultz

On July 12: Spc. Joshua M. Neusche

On July 13: Capt. Paul J. Cassidy, Sgt. Jaror C. Puello-Coronado

On July 14: Sgt. Michael T. Crockett

On July 15: Lcpl. Cory Ryan Guerin

On July 16: Spc. Ramon Reyes Torres

On July 17: Sgt. Mason Douglas Whetstone, PO3 David J. Moreno

On July 18: Spc. Joel L. Bertoldie

On July 19: 2nd Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier

On July 20: Msgt. David A. Scott, Sgt. Jason D. Jordan

On July 21: Cpl. Mark Anthony Bibby

On July 22: Spc. Jon P. Fettig

On July 23: Capt. Joshua T. Byers, Spc. Brett T. Christian

On July 24: PFC Raheen Tyson Heighter, Ssgt. Hector R. Perez, Cpl. Evan Asa Ashcraft, Sgt. Juan M. Serrano

On July 26: Sgt. Daniel K. Methvin, Spc. Wilfredo Perez Jr., Spc. Jonathan P. Barnes, PFC Jonathan M. Cheatham

On July 27: Sgt. Heath A. McMillan

On July 28: Spc. William J. Maher III, Sgt. Nathaniel Hart Jr.

On July 30: Capt. Leif E. Nott

On July 31: Pvt. Mchael J. Deutsch, Spc. James I. Lambert III

As of July 31, 2003., 252 Americans had been killed in Iraq. Details on these servicemembers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bugs, Burgers, and Bikes

Egypt is suffering from a plague of locusts of Biblical proportions. Millions of pink locusts have invaded Egypt scaring people and lowering visibility. While they are an enormous nuisance, they seem just to be passing through on the strong west wind and are not expected to severely damage agriculture. Saudi Arabia and Sudan have both been warned as the locusts, which have been arriving in medium sized swarms, seem to be traveling toward and will arrive there if they don't die first.

Hardee's has decided to speed the fattening of our society by introducing what they are calling the Monster Thickburger. It consists of 2 1/3 pound patties of Angus beef, 3 slices of American cheese, 4 rashers of bacon, and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. The sandwich will sell for $5.49. I have to say that this is just ridiculous and goes to show how the people in big business are for profit at any cost. I'd just like to know what idiot thought that this was a good idea.
The tale of the tape: Serving Size: 1 sandwich (412 g) Calories:1420, calories from fat: 970 Total Fat: 107g (165% RDA) Saturated Fat: 46g (229% RDA) Cholesterol: 230 mg (77% RDA) Sodium: 2650mg (110% RDA)
The Centre for Scince in the Public Interest has stated that if the Thickburger was "food porn", the Monster Thick burger is the fast food equivalent of a snuff movie.

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation had their annual volunteer party tonight. I went because I volunteer for them a lot and I have become friends with several of the people that work there. The party was at the West Loop Bar Louie which is also known as The Bluepoint Lounge. They served lots of finger food: wings, hummus, tabbouleh, pita chips, cookies and one beer ticket. They also had a raffle and gave away a bunch of bike stuff but I didn't win anything :( I did get a t-shirt and it was good seeing my friends though so it was a good night.

And now for the war in Iraq. The American death toll has climbed to 95 for the month and 1216 for the year, only four more than yesterday. It's a really sick thing when you can say that only 4 people died before their time violently in the last 24 hours. To continue the documentation of the American was dead in Iraq, we are up to June 2003. 30 people died in June and here are there names: On June 1: Sgt. Jonathan W. Lambert

On June3: Sgt. Atanasio Haro Marin Jr.

On June 5: PFC Branden F. Oberleitner

On June 6: PO3 Doyle W. Bollinger Jr., Sgt. Travis L. Burkhardt, PO3 David Sisung

On June 7: Pvt. Jesse M. Halling

On June 8: Sgt. Michael E. Dooley

On June 10: PFC Gavin L. Neighbor

On June 12: Spc.John K. Klinesmith Jr.

On June 13: Ssgt. Andrew R. Pokorney

On June 15: PFC Ryan R. Cox

On June 16: Spc. Joseph D. Suell, Pvt. Shawn D. Pahnke

On June 17: Pvt. Robert L. Frantz, Sgt. Michael L. Tosto

On June 18: PFC Michael R. Deuel, Ssgt. William T. Latham

On June 19: Spc. Michael T. Nakamura

On June 22: Spc. Orenthial Javon Smith

On June 24: Spc. Cedric Lamont Lennon

On June 25: SFC Gladimir Phillippe, Spc. Andrew F. Chris, Lcpl. Gregory E. MacDonald, PFC Kevin C. Ott

On June 26: Spc. Richard P. Orengo, Spc. Corey A. Hubbell, HMSN Joshua McIntosh

On June 27: Cpl. Tomas Sotelo Jr.

On June 28: Sgt. Timothy F. Conneway

At the end of June 2003, 205 American Soldiers had lost their lives as a direct result of fighting in Iraq. Details on these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Swarms of locusts obscure the Giza pyramids near Cairo, November 17, 2004. The pink locusts that swept through Cairo recalled the plague of biblical Egypt, flying high above tall towers and scaring pedestrians who stamped on them or ran for cover.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Oh Canada!

CNN reported on Monday that the Canadian immigration website had 115,000 hits on the day after the election when they normally have about 20,000 hits/day. A company has been set up for Americans to discover if the Canadian option is right for them. The last part of the article states that while Communicopia would like to help interested Americans, moving to Canada should be plan B. They strongly encourage Americans to build a culture in line with their values. In other words, stay and fight. Admittedly, I have been very unhappy with the way our country has been moving and while moving to Canada or Europe did cross my mind, to me it would feel like giving up. I have to stay and fight, not only for me but for those people that are frustrated but can't fight.

And on that note we come to the illegal war in Iraq. The death toll for this month is now 91 which makes it the second highest death toll in the war. Nine people have been reported killed within the last 24 hours for a total of 1212 Americans and 1358 Coalition members. In the third month of the war, May 2003, there were 47 Americans and 4 Brits killed.

To continue the list of Americans that were killed, on May 1: PFC Jesse Alan Givens

On May 3: Sgt. Sean C. Reynolds

On May 4: Pvt. Jason L. Deibler

On May 6: Pvt. Andrew Kelly

On May 8: PFC Marlin T. Rockhold

On May 9: CWO Hans N. Gukeisen, CWO Brian K. Van Dusen, Cpl. Richard P. Carl, Lcpl. Cedric E. Bruns

On May 10: Lcpl. Matthew R. Smith

On May 12: Lcpl. Jakub Henryk Kowalik, PFC Jose F. Gonzalez Rodriguez

On May 13: Ssgt. Patrick Lee Griffin Jr., Lcpl. Nicholas Brian Kleiboeker

On May 14: Spc. David T. Nutt

On May 16: Msgt. William L. Payne

On May 18: Spc. Rasheed Sahib, Cpl. Douglas Jose Marencoreyes

On May 19: Capt. Andrew David LaMont, Ssgt. Aaron Dean White, Sgt. Kirk Allen Straseskie, 1st Lt. Timothy Louis Ryan, Lt. Col. Dominic Rocco Baragona, Lcpl. Jason William Moore

On May 21: Nathaniel A. Caldwell

On May 25: Pvt. David Evans Jr.

On May 26: Sgt. Keman L. Mitchell, Pvt. Kenneth A. Nalley. PFC Jeremiah D. Smith, Maj. Matthew E. Schram, Ssgt. Brett J. Petriken

On May 27: Sgt. Thomas F. Broomhead, Ssgt. Michael B. Quinn

On May 28: Ssgt. Kenneth R. Bradley, Spc. Jose A. Perez III

On May 30: Spc. Kyle A. Griffin, Spc. Zachariah W. Long, Spc. Michael T. Gleason

Details on these soldiers can be found on Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Condoleeza Rice was nominated today as Colin Powell's replacement for Secretary of State. I'm not sure why this is news because it has been presupposed for months. Colin Powell has been known to be a one-termer and Dr. Rice's degree is in political science specializing in foreign relations. While I don't like her, I think she operates under the Henry Kissinger doctrine, strong arm to get what you want and if that doesn't work, deal under the table, I think she will be a better Secretary of State than she was a National Security Advisor. One thing is certain, the alienation of our allies will continue.

On a completely different note, Dr. Dre was attacked last night and a man was stabbed at the Vibe Awards. Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones were onstage preparing to honor Dr. Dre, who was standing off stage with his wife, when a young man approached him, asked him for an autograph, and punched him in the face when he was preparing to give him an autograph. All hell then broke loose. Young Buck is wanted by police for allegedly stabbing the man who punched Dr. Dre.

And now we come to those soldiers who were killed in April of 2003. 73 Americans lost their lives which made it the 6th deadliest month in the war's history. By comparison, the 82 American's killed so far this month tie it for the second deadliest month.

Now to the casualties. On April 1: Lcpl. Joseph Basil Maglione III, Sgt. Jacob Lee Butler

On April 2: CW3 Eric Allen Smith, CW2 Scott Jamar, Lcpl. Brian Edward Anderson, Spc. Matthew George Boule, Msgt. George Andrew Fernandez, CW4 EriK Anders Halvorsen, Lt. Nathan Dennis White, Sgt. Michael Francis Pederson, Capt. James Francis Adamouski, PFC Christian Daniel Gurtner

On April 3: Ssgt. Nino Dugue Livaudais, Capt. Edward Jason Korn, Sgt. Todd James Robbins, Cpl. Mark Asher Evnin, Spc. Donald Samuel Oaks Jr., Ssgt. Wilbert Davis, Spc. Ryan Patrick Long, PFC Chad Eric Bales, SFC Randall Scott Rehn, Cpl. Erik Hernandez Silva, Capt. Russell Brian Rippertoe

On April 4: Captain Tristan Neil Aitken, 1st Lt. Brian Michael McPhillips, Pvt. Devon Demilo Jones, SFC Paul Ray Smith, Capt. Benjamin Wilson Sammis, Cpl. Bernard George Godden, Capt. Travis Allen Ford, PFC Wilfred Davyrussel Bellard, Spc. Daniel Francis Cunningham Jr., Sgt. Duane Roy Rios

On April 5: 1st Sgt. Edward Smith, Ssgt. Stevon Alexander Booker, Spc. Larry Kenyatta Brown

On April 6: Pvt. Kelley Steven Prewitt,PFC Gregory Paul Huxley Jr.

On April 7: Capt. Eric Bruce Das, PFC Anthony Scott Miller, Ssgt. Lincoln Daniel Hollinsaid, 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Joseph Kaylor, Cpl. Jesus Martin Antonio Medellin, Lcpl. Andrew Julian Aviles, Spc. George Arthur Mitchell Jr., Maj. William Randolph Watkins III

On April 8: SFC John Winston Marshall, Cpl. Henry Levon Brown, PFC Juan Guadalupe Garza Jr.. Ssgt. Robert Anthony Stever, Ssgt. Scott Doglas Sather, PFC Jason Michael Meyer

On April 10: Gsgt. Jeffrey Edward Bohr Jr., Ssgt. Terry Wayne Hemingway

On April 11: Ssgt. Riayan Augusto Tejeda

On April 12: Lcpl. David Edward Owens Jr., Cpl. Jesus Angel Gonzales

On April 13: Spc. Gil Mercado

On April 14: Cpl. Jason David Mileo, Spc. Thomas Arthur Foley III, PFC John Eli Brown, Spc. Richard Allen Goward, Cpl. Armando Ariel Gonzales, PFC Joseph Patrick Mayek

On April 17: Cpl. John Travis Rivero

On 22 April: CW2 Andrew Todd Arnold, Lcpl. Alan Dinh Lam, Spc. Roy Russell Buckley, Cw2 Robert William Channell Jr.

On 24 April: Sgt. Troy David Jenkins

On 25 April: Sgt. Narson Bertil Sullivan, 1st Lt. Osbaldo Orozco

On 28 April: 1st Sgt. Joe Jesus Garza

Details on each of these soldiers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Monday, November 15, 2004

OL’ DIRTY BASTARD has collapsed and died inside of a NEW YORK recording studio, aged 35.

The rapper – real name Russell Jones - had complained of chest pains before collapsing at the Manhattan studio yesterday (November 13), according to a statement from his label, Roc-A-Fella Records.

Paramedics were called but were unable to save him. A label spokesperson said the cause of death was unknown.

Jones was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan and was also a successful solo artist, best known for his 1999 hit ’Got Your Money’.

Roc-A-Fella CEO, Damon Dash said: "All of us in the Roc-A-Fella family are shocked and saddened by the sudden and tragic death of our brother and friend, Russell Jones, Ol' Dirty Bastard."

”Russell inspired all of us with his spirit, wit and tremendous heart. He will be missed dearly, and our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to his wonderful family. The world has lost a great talent, but we mourn the loss of our friend,” he added.

During a controversial career, the rapper stormed the stage at the Grammy Awards in February 1998 and hijacked the microphone from singer Shawn Colvin as she accepted an award. He was apparently upset after losing the best rap album Grammy to Puff Daddy.

Later that year, he was wounded in a shooting during a robbery in his apartment.

Jones was arrested in 1999 for possession of crack cocaine. He reportedly asked the police to “make the rocks disappear” because it would hurt his standing as a role model.

Jones was sentenced in 2001 to two to four years in prison for drug possession plus two concurrent years for escaping from a rehab clinic. Following his release in 2003, he immediately signed to Roc-A-Fella and had been working on a new album.

In a statement, his mother Cherry Jones said: “To the public he was known as Ol’ Dirty Bastard but to me he was known as Rusty. The kindest most generous soul on earth. I appreciate all of the support and prayers that I have received. Russell was more than a rapper he was a loving father, brother, uncle and most of all son.”

According to Blender magazine, Jones fathered 13 children.

Wu-Tang Clan reformed this summer for a show which marked the first time the group had played with all of its main members in 10 years.

Jones would have turned 36 tomorrow (November 15).

American Casualties in Iraq

The American death toll in Iraq is now up to 1193, up 10 from yesterday. In 15 days, 72 Americans and 4 Brits have been killed. This makes November 2004 the the 7th highest in total casualties and 6th highest in American casualties and the month is only half over. This just proves to me that our guv'mint is for victory at any cost. They don't give a damn about the individuals who are dying over there.

And now to remember those individuals. In March 2003, 65 soldiers were killed in Iraq. They were: On March 21: Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 2nd Lt. Therrel Shane Childers, Ssgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey, Lcpl. Jose Antonio Gutierrez, Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin

On March 22: Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, Lcpl. Eric James Orlowski, Spc. Brandon Scott Tobler

On March 23: Lcpl. Brian Rory Buesing, Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert, Msgt. Robert John Dowdy, Sgt. Michael Edward Bitz, Cpl. Jorge Alanso Gonzales, PFC Lori Ann Piestewa, 2nd Lt. Frederick Eben Pokorney Jr., Sgt. George Edward Buggs, Cpl. Kemaphoom "Ahn" Chanawongse, Sgt. Nicholas Michael Hodson, CWO Johnny Villareal Mata, Lcpl. David Keith Fribley, Cpl. Jose Angel Garibay, PFC Tamario Demetrice Burkett, Lcpl. Donald John Cline Jr., Pvt. Nolen Ryan Hutchings, Pvt. Jonathan Lee Gifford, Spc. James Michael Kiehl, Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, Lcpl. Patrick Ray Nixon, PFC Howard Johnson II, Spc. Jamaal Rashard Addison, Spc. Edward John Anguiano, Ssgt. Philip Andrew Jordan, Lcpl. Thomas Jonathan Slocum, Lcpl. Michael Jason Williams, Sgt. Brendan Curtis Reiss, Pvt. Brandon Ulysses Sloan, Sgt. Donald Ralph Walters, Cpl. Randal Kent Rosacker

On March 24: Lcpl. Thomas Alan Blair, Sgt. Bradley Steven Korthaus, Spc. Gregory Paul Sanders, Cpl. Evan Tyler James,

On March 25: Major Gregory Lewis Stone, HM3 Michael Vann Johnson Jr.

On March 26: Major Kevin Gerard Nave

On March 27: Cpl. Robert Marcus Rodriguez, Ssgt. Donald Charles May Jr., Lcpl. Patrick Terence O'Day, PFC Francisco Abraham Martinez-Flores, Gsgt. Joseph Menusa, Lcpl. Jesus Alberto Suarez del Solar

On March 28: Sgt. Fernando Padilla-Ramirez, Sgt. Roderic Antoine Solomon

On March 29: Cpl. Michael Edward Curtin, PFC Diego Fernando Rincon, Ssgt. James Wilford Cawley, Sgt. Eugene Williams, PFC Michael Russell Creighton-Weldon, Lcpl. William Wayne White

On March 30: Sgt. Brian Daniel McGinnis, Capt. Aaron Joseph Contreras, Sgt. Michael Vernon Lalush

On March 31: Spc. William Andrew Jeffries, Spc. Brandon Jacob Rowe

Details about the prededing servicemembers can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

What happened to yesterday??

Actually nothing, but as I really had a nothing day, I didn't see a point in posting anything yesterday. I should have kept up with the Americans killed in Iraq but I didn't. I will however, update the totals today. As of today, there have been a total of 1183 soldiers lost in Iraq, 13 more than there were Friday night. Starting tomorrow, I will try to start listing names again.

The major event for me yesterday was watching Donnie Darko. While it is a very good albeit very weird movie, having the high point of your day being a movie watched on television doesn't say much. Today, I had a much more interesting day. I got up, went to church where the children were doing an All Saints Mass. The 3rd Graders at St. Mary's dressed up as saints and came up to the front when Father Gene announced them. He then talked a little about that particular saint and mentioned their feast day. After mass, I picked up the book to the Discovering Your God Given Gifts seminar which will be happening next Sunday.

I spent this afternoon at the Old Town Art Center for my ex-girlfriend's mother's show opening. Kim invited me. From her perspective, there was nothing to asking me because she wanted to be friends when we broke up and there was no discussion about whether we could or not. She has asked to get together since she broke up with me but as I was the loser, I had to maintain a little pride and put her off. It has been 2 1/2 months and I am over the break-up. Having said that, it was strange seeing her. I also didn't meet her family when we were going out and I got to meet all of them except for her sister who lives in California. Her entire family are artists and her mother is a very talented water-color painter. I'm happy I went, although as I said, it was a little strange seeing Kim in the context of friendship.

I will end this here, and if nothing else, tomorrow I will start naming names. Goodnight.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


I just got home tonight. I worked for six hours on the silent auction of a Sunnyridge black tie event. We helped them raise $100,000 for their charity tonight. They had two silent auctions with approximately 220 items and one live auction with five items. They also had dinner, dancing, and a live band. It was a good event and it was pretty funny seeing friends dressed up as much as they were.

As it is pretty late and I'm pretty tired, I am going to keep this very short. I will finish with two notes on the Iraq war, the casualty total is up to 1170 today, 15 higher than yesterday. And in April 2003, the first full month of the war, there were 73 Americans killed, 51 "hostile" and 22 "non-hostile". The idea of hostile and non-hostile deaths during a war is pretty perverse. If a person dies a violent death in a combat zone, I would say that that is pretty hostile whether they were killed in a fire-fight or not.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veteran's Day

Today has been veterans day. The American casualty count is now up to 1155. Up eight from yesterday. I was going to start listing the names of the Americans who have died in Iraq. I was going to do one month a day listing the soldiers and where and how they died and I had almost listed all 65 casualties from March 2003 but my computer decided it was going to lock up on me and I lost two hours of work. I am thinking about those 64 men and 1 woman but I am not going to repeat it tonight. In the future everyone will be listed by name.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Parenthesis Holiday Toy Sale

This is going to be pretty short because I'm starting relatively late. I volunteered tonight with SASC helping Parenthesis set up for their Holiday Toy Sale on Saturday. Parenthesis is a nonprofit group in Oak Park that helps low income and or single mothers gain the skills they need to be good parents. They have three sales a year, two clothing and the toy sale in November that help them pay for the work that they do. We were supposed to be there for three hours but as usual, we are very organized and are able to get all of the work that needs to be done quickly. Most of the people that were there were newbies but it didn't matter, we are very efficient at our work.

The Iraq war casualty total is up to 1147. 26 Americans and 4 Brits have died this month. I had said yesterday that the total was up to 1139 which would indicate that 8 Americans were killed today but according to the present totals only one soldier died today. There were however, 1 casualty added to yesterday's total, 5 for Monday, and 1 more on the 4th. I guess I'm just going to keep track of the totals.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Non Sequiters

Nothing monumental happened in my life today so I'm going to post a bunch of small stuff that are unrelated to one another.

Three Marines were killed in Iraq today, this brings the total to 1000 American soldiers killed since "Mission Accomplished". I wholly disagree with this war and I think that our troops are dying unnecessarily. From now on, I will recognize their ultimate sacrifice. I will recognize them by name if given when it is announced. The three soldiers died in Mosul. In the near future, I will list every soldier who has died in this illegal war.

Some good news, John Ashcroft and Don Evans are leaving President Bush's cabinet. I'm glad that Ashcroft is leaving. His view on civil liberties seemed to be that the government granted those liberties. Rights, though, are inherent and cannot be taken away from an individual. Everyone has the same rights, the problem is getting governments to recognize those rights. Ashcroft wasn't very good at recognizing a person's inherent rights.

We had a spirited discussion last night at our book club meeting about race, predjudice poverty, and substance abuse. We discussed, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black by Gregory Howard Williams. The author lived in the Washington DC area thinking he was a child of two white parents, but after their divorce and his father's subsequent business failure, he moved to Muncie, Indiana to discover that his father, who he thought was Italian, was half black. He lived in the black slums of Muncie during the 50's and experienced racism at it's finest. He is now married, living in Ohio and working as a law professor at Ohio State University.

And on a lighter note, Jones Soda has announced that they willl offer a holiday pack of sodas complete with utensils, a straw and a toothpick. In the holiday pack will be five sodas with flavors of turkey and gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry, mashed potato and butter, and fruitcake. (Yumm!!) The sodas are no calorie, no carb, and vegan. The cases will be numbered and will be offered at, select stores in the Jones Distributor Network, and select Target stores from $14.95 to $16.95 a case.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


The International Exposition of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (or SOFA)ran this weekend and ended today. I have gone every year for the last five years and have enjoyed it every time. This year, it was bigger than the last few although there seemed to be fewer incredibly priced pieces. Dale Chihuly, generally has, if not the most expensive pieces, then definitely among the top five. Last year, Habatat Gallery featured a collection of William Morris pieces that were going for $950,000. His work generally has an iconic archeological look to it. This year, the only pieces that I noticed with a price over $100, 000 were Chihuly's Mille Fiore sets. There also seemed to be more Albert Paley this year than in previous years. While his work seems to have stopped changing, he is in a really cool place. No one else can make steel look soft and flowing like he can. There were a lot of candlesticks, a few lamps, a lantern set, a couple of tables, a door handle, and a stair rail. The biggest exhibet spaces were to the galleries with the heavy hitters in the art world; Habatat, Thomas R. Riley Gallery which featured William Morris and David Bennett among others, Hawk Gallery which featured Albert Paley and Flo Perkins among others, and Holsten Gallery which carried Dale Chihuly and Lino Tagliapietra. Corning Museum of Glass also had their usual glass blowing exhibition and there was also a wood turning exhibition by another wood art group. There was a lot more (there were 91 galleries) and while I didn't have the time to study everything that I wanted to closely, I did get to every gallery. Having said that, I think that I have given anyone that looks at this enough links to keep them busy for a while. And this is where I will end this tonight.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


I volunteered with SASC this morning to work at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This work is very important because there are a lot of hungry people in the Chicagoland area and unfortunately, with our present government, it isn't going to get any better. The rich will continue getting richer, the poor will continue getting poorer and jobs will continue to be shipped overseas. Profit at any cost has become the new mantra. Because of this, the work of volunteers will continue to be more important. I am going to be doing a couple of other things with SASC this month, but the other things that had been keeping me busy, biking and politics have ended for the time being. I went to volunteermatch tonight to see what other things might be available to keep me busy. I signed up as a Data Entry Clerk for the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission and as an Event Assistant for The Center of Concern which is in Park Ridge. I also thought about being an errand runner/delivery person for The Center of Concern but I want to learn a little about the nonprofit before I throw myself in.

A question may be asked as to why I do so much volunteer stuff, the main reason is because I can. These groups need people like me and I have the time available to do it. Its a lot better spending my time helping people than sitting at home contemplating my navel.

Tomorrow, I am going to SOFA. It looks like it's going to be really cool this year. Dale Chihuly is supposed to have some new forms and hopefully Riley and Hawk Galleries from Cleveland have some good stuff; they usually do. I also would like to see Judy Onofrio's new work and hopefully Albert Paley will have something good.
I will find out all of these things tomorrow. Speaking of which, I will end this here and talk more tomorrow.


Thursday, November 04, 2004


Today, I had a day of much needed rest. I did go to work today but I had nothing after work. I did do some domestic stuff and fought with my email program but that was about it. Greg Palast wrote today for
in Kerry Won... that if the spoiled votes in Ohio and New Mexico are counted, the exit polls were not incorrect, Kerry did win the election. This disturbs me but it does not surprise me. Working as a poll monitor, I heard many stories about voter dienfranchisement, largely among minority voters and largely by Republicans. This "win at any cost" attitude makes me sick. Democrats will not challenge their disenfranchisement because people are tired of this election and if they challenged the election results, the media would again try to portray them as sore losers. I know that voter fraud and disnfranchisement is not a new occurrence but it has to stop. If things don't get better, I feel a new revolution coming.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


I haven't written in a few days because I have been very busy with election matters and I haven't had time for anything. I worked on Monday and then went to poll monitor training in the evening although not before I called a friend of mine to console her because she was having a very bad day. The poll monitor training was great and very energizing, the leader was a young black minister by the name of Daryl Sims. He was very funny and he had a way of talking (kind of like a minister, I guess) that could just energize a crowd. The training consisted of going over the voter's bill of rights, telling us what kind of problems we may encounter, answering questions, assigning us our polling stations, and giving us these really cool, black long-sleeved t-shirts. I had to be back to the field office at 5 AM, so after making a quick call to my sister and sending an email out to my friends and family reminding them to vote on Tuesday, I went to bed.

Tuesday was a very long day. I got up at 3:45 AM to be at the field office at 5 AM. We were supposed to be sent to our polling stations in groups of two or more, but somehow I ended up by myself. According to data Election Protection had received from the city, the school I went to was supposed to be where precinct 58 was which was supposed to be the precinct I was watching. I went in and looked around and while there were 4 precincts there, none of them was 58. I called up Daryl and told his voice mail because I didn't get him immediately and watched and waited. After about an hour, I called him again. Because one of the precincts was in one of the wards we were watching, he told me to stay there. I was fine for about an hour. The election judges had no problem with my being there but at about 8 AM, an election investigator came up to me, asked for my credentials (I had none), and told me I had to leave when I could not come up with any. I could stand 100 feet from the polling place, which the way the judges had it set up, was on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. I hung out with the area precinct captain for a while and at about 8:30 AM, our van driver came by and dropped off breakfast for me. From the time the polls opened at 6 AM, there seemed to be a steady stream of voters and only a few that were not allowed to vote and only then because they were at the wrong polling station. I was picked up at 10 AM, we ran around to the other precincts, picking up and dropping off volunteers and arrived at the field office at about 11 AM. As I had decided to volunteer for the entire day, I asked Daryl if anything needed to be done. He told me to stick around and see what came up so I waited around for a while. In that time, I called Sharon because I new she was going to be paying close attention to the election to see what news there was. Its hard to know the big picture when you're on the front line. She told me that early projections were giving Florida to Kerry and she told me she would send me text message updates while I was out. My next job was to help deliver lunches to the volunteers. That took about an hour after which I had lunch and was sent out to a different precinct whose volunteer had to leave suddenly. I was going to be there for about an hour and a half. My relief showed up at about 2 AM but I stuck around til 3 PM after which I was sent to another precinct, one of who's volunteers didn't show up. So I worked there until the polls closed at 7 PM. Sharon had sent me about three text messages letting me know who won what. Illinois was considered strongly in the Kerry camp so at 7:01 PM, I called to see if Illinois had been called for Kerry yet. I did this as a joke and was very surprised to here that it had. By this time, I was very tired and knew that if I went directly home, I would fall asleep, but after a brief foray into the ridiculous, I made it home and very quickly fell asleep on my couch while trying to watch election results.

I got up this morning to find out that Bush had all but won and only Ohio was still out. This disappointed me but I decided that while I don't like the President, it isn't going to change my life immensely. It did give me a reason to continue with my activism and after work today, I went to an anti-war protest. I am going to do what I can to ensure that my government will not destroy the world for future generations.

Which brings us up to the present. Everyone have a great evening and goodnight.