Scott's Soapbox

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas to All

To Travis Marcus, a 14-year old boy whose life has been saved by a heart transplant. He gets to go home and help make cookies with his sisters this year...Merry Christmas.

To David Letterman, who is in a war zone for the third time in four years taping his show. He opened with the line, "Anybody here from out of town?" To all celebrities who give their time on a USO tour, to all citizens who donate their money, time, or energy on the home front to help our troops- Merry Christmas.

To anyone who this holiday season has helped another, performed an unselfish act, gave up a parking space, helped push a car (my car) through the ice and snow, Merry Christmas.

To my family, who I am together with this year for the first time in a number of years- it has been wonderful just sitting around together being a family. Merry Christmas.

To all who are serving and protecting us, whether that be here in the States or far abroad, you are in our thoughts and prayers this day. We all want you home and safe back here with your families as soon as possible. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ohio State Buckeyes

It could not happen to a nicer school...

Another footballsuspension, more shady football players, a basketball team banned from the postseason...

The word on Troy Smith is he was seen at the mall buying lavish gifts and passing out green like he was Donald Trump. I wonder where the starting quarterback of a football team would get a bunch of hundred dollar bills he has no explanation for? Maybe it was in the back of Maurice Clarett's car...

And football coach Jim Tressel will just continue to go on and on about being a born-again Christian until he is blue in the face. How does he handle the repeat troublemaker Smith, who earlier this year was charged with disorderly conduct after he got into a fight with four women outside a dorm at 4 in the morning? ESPN reports- Tressel said he hoped Smith would be back with the team over the winter. "What we're doing is self-imposing a suspension and then seeking reinstatement for the future," he said.

Hmmm, way to put the hammer down on him.

Maybe things like this are why a Sports Illustrated columnist has already called for the Blackeyes...errrr...Buckeyes to suffer the so-called "death penalty" and a one-year ban. At least the fans can still root on the basketball team, which looks good for the NCAA tournament. Um, wait aminute, nope they are suspended from all postseason play for another "player gets money" scandal. Sorry, Buckeye fans, maybe instead you could all learn how to read or something instead?

Off to DC

Well, soon I am off to Potomac for Christmas with the parents. It is kind of bittersweet because it is our last Christmas ever at the "family house." My parents have decided to sell the house I grew up in, rather than keep it as the shrine I so richly deserve.

I have been unable to join the family for the last three years due to work and other considerations, so it will be special to me to be there. So many memories coming back when I think about it coming up. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for my trip at least. It can snow away once I get there...

It's a Wonderful Life

As performed and interpreted by bunnies.

In thirty seconds.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Oh Baby, It's Cold Outside

Right now, according to, it is 15, but feels like 1. Wow! Looks so Christmasy from in here. I have tree lit, candles burning, snow falling outside...perfect for wrapping gifts. It is white and wet and windy and cold outside, glad I am inside.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Four More Years!

Right now, 9:19 a.m. the top two stories on are:

Alleged Bin Laden Tape Surfaces

Rebels Hit Across Baghdad

"Four More Years" of this- great! At least Rumsfeld in still around, despite the calls by such noted liberals as John "no confidence" McCain and William "soldiers deserve better" Kristol.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Now, every guy knows this. Every guy has been this. We call it- "Taking one for the team."

So, we have cute girl with less than cute girl. "Ooh, check out the blonde!" "Which one, with the dark-haired friend?" "Yep." "I'll take one for the team on that, let's go." Now I have to go over and talk to the less attractive girl. This is almost always a winning strategy because she is the one who does not get hit on as much and she is happy someone has picked her. If your buddy comes right over too early, he will blow it- the game is up. So the key is the timing, the right amount before the cutie gets bored and goes off but not too quick they know what's going on.

Anyway, nobody ever paid me for this. All I ever got was the occaisional beer from a lucky guy who scored some digits or some dancing time. What a gyp! Dudes out there, always tip your wingman! Spread the love.

Heart Update

No procedure this week- my blood is not thin enough (kind of like me ;)) so we cannot do it tomorrow morning as scheduled. Just means more poking and prodding for me I guess.

Yesterday I was in the same hospital in which I had my first cardioversion done about 2 1/2 years ago. After 5 of those shock treatments, one surgery and so many doctor's visits, ER trips, different medication, and thousands of seems like nothing has changed. I am still there, still out of rhythym, still getting poked with a needle (I gave 3 tubes of blood yesterday) and still not fixed. It is very hard for me to stay positive right now. I feel like I am just spinning my wheels and not getting better at all.


Man Bites Dog

How disgusting, misguided, and sick is this? Biting a dog as discipline. What a freak! I hope this guy fries. I also hope the dog gets a great new home.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Looks Cozy to Me

Curl up for a nap here on a woman's lap? Good to see women can also take advantage of the one-armed torso version.

Hat tip to Drudge for this link.

Some Holiday Cheer

1) I just got my first Christmas card in the mail today- from the fine folks at BP Procare. Very sweet of them to think of me at this time of year.

2) Watching TV- does anyone really give cars as Christmas gifts? It would be cool I guess to give someone a Lexus just to be a rich prick, just because you could. Also, aren't these commercials offensive to women? This time of year, all I see is women pimping themselves for jewelry and cars and shiny things of all sorts. Buy diamond, get passionate gift. Should not feminists be outraged at these implications? I'm just asking.

3) One of the best parts about Christmas is the annual Samuel Adams Christmas pack. Here's to you, Old Fezziwig!

4) It is cold, windy, and snowing here in Ohio. Very Christmasy. Time to break out my Santa cap, put my piglet on his sleigh, and stop shopping till I drop. Who was it that asked for a BP gift certificate again? I've got a couple of them lying around...

Bumper Sticker of the Day

To: "The Rest of the World"

Re: Bush's Re-election

We're Really Sorry. We Tried.


Half of Amwerica

Back to the Hospital

For the past week or so, my pulse rate has been going crazy. My resting pulse was 160 on Wednesday, now down to 135, and I am out of rhythym again. So, I am going into the doctor's today and I will most likely get another cardioversion done (where they shock my heart back to normal) to try and fix this. It is too soon to say that my ablation procedure did not work, but I am not "out of the woods" yet like I would hope.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Howard Dean as DNC Chair?

So who should be the new head of the Democratic Party? The leading candidates spoke to state leaders down in Florida, and one man stood out- Gov. Howard Dean. The New Republic calls this "exactly the wrong way to go" in the wake of the 2004 election, but I am intrigued by the idea. Or "idear", as Dean would say...

Dean clearly knows how to build a strong grass-roots organization with national reach. His campaign was truly a new kind of campaign, funded online and spread through "Meet-Up" unoffical campaign events. The passion his supporters had for him as a candidate drawfed any other groups in the Democratic field. There were those true believers, those "Deaniacs" who have stood by him all the way. Watching Dean today on Meet The Press, I was struck yet again by how genuine he seemed, how what you see is what you get. He is "in the moment" like Bush is, like Clinton was and how John Kerry and Bob Dole are not.

He is more comfortable answering "values" questions than Kerry could ever be, couching them in language which makes clear Democrats have values and principles to. Discussing abortion, he said this morning On gay marriage, he points out that he signed the first state civil unions bill in America, and did so to provide equal rights. (Wesley Clark always used to say, imagine you had a gay child- wouldn't you want your child to have the same opportunities as everyone else?) Democrats have a proud history of supporting equal rights, even when politically unpopular to do so. Kerry tried to straddle these type of issues and ended up sounding as if he did not know what he thought, playing into the Bush campaign's caricature of him.

Dean is not so much a classic liberal as he is a populist. I still remember being home by pure happenstance to see his speech declaring his candidacy for president. His catchphrase "You have the power!" was the same then as it is now. He thinks there is enough of a populist base to be sucessful, and argues that the campaign run by Karl Rove and the Republicans (who certainly did not run to the center this time out) proves an election can be won by turning out the base, rather than focusing on the center. At least on the Republican side, anyway. His campaign was run for the true believers, from the bottom up rather than the top down, and he suggests he would run the DNC the same way.

I understand what it is to empower people who aren't in Washington. I think we can't win anymore unless the message is made in the states and then filters up to Washington rather than made at the DNC and then we tell the state parties what to do...

Many Democrats have criticized the DNC for running only a 20-state campaign last time. There was no national Democratic effort or Democratic strategy, only "battleground state" plans and advertising. They put all their chips on Kerry and when he lost, they had lost the presidency as well as seats in both the house and Senate. (Of course, some of this is Wednesday morning quarterbacking- if Kerry had gotten 125,000 more votes in Ohio, Terry McAuliffe and the DNC would have been praised for "winning back the White House.") But they had no central theme to the campaign to build around and not enough effort was made to fight for winnable seats even in Republican states. Is Dean the right man to change this? I don't know, but I might give him a shot.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


I am just speechless by this story. But, of course, there's always room for jello!

Saturday, December 04, 2004


So last night me and the boys headed out to New Hamilton Pensylvania to see John Pizzarelli in concert at Westminster Pennsylvania. The Youngstown Ohio symphony was the first half and we figured it would be Pizza and his trio afterwards. Well, first of all, if you ever have the opportunity to see the Youngstown symphony- don't! God, they were terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible. Just awful. The triangle was everywhere but where it was supposed to be, the percussion crazy- just bad. la-la-la-la-ding!-la-la-la. Pathetic.

So for the second half, the Trio comes on to play some jazz. But the symphony is still out there, so they are going slower, making the songs sound more classical than jazzy. Plus the sound sounded like it was mixed by some student from the AV club- half the time John's vocals were drowned out. Just a mess.

Now, we figured afterwards that hey- we're in a college town, we'll find a nice place to hang out, maybe meet some on and so forth. Of course, there is no town. No food, no drink, no accomidations that we saw. So we drove to Sharon, PA. Nothing we could see. I said we should drop and ask, so we pulled up to a Sheetz gas station and in I go. I asked the lady behind the sandwich counter (lol) where we could go to find a decent bar and get some food and drink. She looked at me, and said "Ohio." Awesome!

So, on to Ohio where we ended up stopping in Youngstown. We actually lucked out and found a decent place called "Shakers" and were finally able to relax. Some fun and then some Denny's later we checked into the worst Super 8 motel ever and crashed for the night. The next morning, tired and restless, we came back. All in all, a pretty fun time in spite of all the hiccups. Fun to explore new environs- made me glad to be back in Ohio, and that is really saying something.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cabinet Exodus

The cabinet members are dropping like flies, and today Bush has tapped Bernard Kerik to be the new head of Homeland Security. Now, I do not know too much about Kerik, but most recently he has been in Baghdad helping to train the police force over there. Mission Accomplished! He is a close confidant of Rudy Guliani, which means...what? I'm not sure exactly, but seems like a little signal to me of Bush's preference for his successor.

Blog, Blog everywhere

It's the word of the year!

And, oh no, now Microsoft is getting into the act- they have a new service starting called MSN Spaces that allows a free blog to anyone with a Hotmail or MSN Messenger account.

As Andrew Sullivan said, "The Revolution Will Be Blogged."

Work Busy Busy

Things have just been very busy at work. Our manager left, our processor is leaving, we just had to let go a loan officer this week...aargh! The good news is- I am the manager now. This is a great opportunity for me and once we get things turned around, should be very lucrative. The bad news (some days)is- I am the manger now. Consequently I am spending so much time working on general office things or helping others that my own production is suffering because of it. Sigh! We will get there, but in the words on Don Rumsfeld, it will be a "long, tough slog" before we are we we need to be.

Check out my fun online biography here and while you are at it, make my day- apply for a loan, huh?

Sounds Tasty to Me

Check out this expensive drink...

I think I will stick with "Mortini Night" and pay 3 bucks to get drinks served up by people in tuxedos in Morton's downtown. Every Wednesday and Friday from 5-7. Plus free finger food.

Good times!