September 26, 2003

Argument Clinic

I caught the debates between candidates for California Governor. It was not the right room for an argument - it was just simple contradiction. Oh yeah, and abuse. And carefully rehearsed yet poorly delivered personal attacks. Here's my wrap-up of the fiasco:

Cruz Bustimonte, er, Boostemanti... um, What's-his-name: I saw his lips move but can't remember a word he said. I suspect some form of mind-control technique at work. Accused of being beholden to Indian Gaming Interests.

The Arnold: Refuses to take money from Indian Gaming Interests so they won't influence him. He will take money from other special interests (despite a promise not to) but because he doesn't call them "special interests" he insists he won't be influenced by them - or something like that. His vague, nonspecific answers demonstrated his bold, vague, and nonspecific leadership skills.

Arianna Huffington: She wins the "Most Off-Topic" Award hands down. She came across as shrill and generally irritating - and I like her.

The Other Republican: Generally made a very positive impression on me - um, aside from not having an easy to remember name. His only hope of winning is if The Arnold puts the party's and the state's interests before his own personal ambitions and drops out of the race. Ha ha ha! He's doomed!

The Green Candidate: Is, by far, the least kooky Green Party candidate I have seen to date. I might have other nice things to say about him, but since he doesn't stand a chance of winning it's not worth the effort.

The Porn Star: She wasn't actually invited to the debate as far as I know. Big Mistake.

As I watched the depressing spectacle my eyes glazed over. I really don't care who wins. Anyone with a chance of winning sucks. Anyone who doesn't suck doesn't stand a chance of winning. Californians are screwed. Our only hope is to immediately recall whoever gets elected on the grounds that they suck.

Posted by thom at 01:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2003

Choosing Words Wisely

I'm writing today's blog entry from 30,000 feet over, um, somewhere. Utah perhaps. Where are all the lines you see on maps showing state boundaries? It must be those state budget cuts I keep hearing about.

I managed to get myself seated in an emergency exit row and no one else is seated next to me so I am in tall person heaven. I was able to stretch out and get a little nap. I can't remember the last time I flew and didn't spend an hour or two seated in a full row with my arms in my lap and my shoulders hunched over so as to not keep elbowing the person next to me in the ribs. It's really weird. Comfort on a plane, what a concept.

The astute reader is probably wondering if I have a cute little story for today, some soulful insight into life, or at least a couple funny hyperlinks to click on. Nope, none of that today. Just some hastily chosen words expressing my dismay at not really being able to find anything to complain about on today's flight.

Update: After being told to put away my laptop computer and prepare for landing I heard something that bothered me. The pilot came on the intercom and assured everyone we'd "be on the ground in a few minutes." That sounds to me like they are trying to cover all the bases. If the wings suddenly fell off we'd surely be on the ground in a few minutes. Why not say we'll be "touching down" or "landing safely" in a few minutes? Maybe they're trying to prevent lawsuits...

Plaintiff: "Your Honor, right before the wings fell off the plane and it plummeted to the ground, exploding in a ball of flames, the pilot clearly said they would be landing momentarily. That is, er, um, FALSE ADVERTISING!"

Defense: "No, the pilot said they'd be 'on the ground in a few minutes' which is what happened."

Judge: "Case dismissed"

Posted by thom at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2003

Goodnight, Eileen

So the trip to Denver is winding down. Today we took a scenic drive out to the mountains and enjoyed a nice brunch. Sis was appalled when she watched the man at the table next to us pay his tab with a $100 bill and then not leave a tip. Tonight I get everything packed up ready for my trip to the airport bright and early tomorrow. It's been good seeing everyone but these are difficult times too. Everyone is stressing about work and Eileen can sometimes leave the adults just plain frazzled at the end of the day.

Tonight Eileen decided Daddy's ginger ale was want she wanted to drink. She managed to get most of it down the front of her PJ's. No worries, she just sucked the last drops of soda out of her PJ's. Now she's dancing/running/spinning in front of the TV watching The Thornberries. Oops, it's over now - time for Eileen beddie bye.

And now Eileen will make her first ever blog entry: rrtty6ttrrr tkkiiykk ndfgt,;// kjyhyhh hub u u i./;.../yty bhjjj bvhiik k,bhjl >= hxxt xxxxx. A great writer is born. Goodnight everyone and remember to count your blessings before you lay your head down to sleep tonight.

Posted by thom at 07:43 PM | Comments (1)

September 14, 2003

An Empirical Failure

Tonight last night's "Uncle T disappears 30 minutes before bedtime" theory lies in a smoking heap - laid to waste by a 2 year-old determined to stay up all night. I left at eight-thirty and walked to a bar around the corner to kill some time until I got a call saying it was safe to come home. After two hours I snuck back and stuck my head in the door only to hear the sound of daddy reading yet another bedtime story. Back to the bar. Three hours and five pints of beer later there was still no call. I had hoped I might meet some nice woman, but Sunday night doesn't seem to be a big singles' night in Denver — go figure. After three and a half hours I decided to return anyway. Eileen was finally asleep. Now I am sitting a few feet away from her writing this — very quietly.

Since I arrived I've now watched "Shrek" six times. At this rate I will have watched it 21 times by the time I leave. Wanna guess what my niece's favorite movie is these days?

UPDATE: Just as I finished this entry I heard a sleepy "I'm not happy" cry from my niece a few feet away. I stayed very quiet. No little footsteps in the dark coming closer to me. Whew! She didn't wake up! A few minutes later I went to check on her and in the dim light I saw she had buried herself under the covers - very unusual for her. So i got a little closer to make sure she was okay and realized she wasn't under the covers. She wasn't even in bed. Where is she?! I look around but don't see her. I look down and see she's asleep on the floor. I've come within inches of trodding upon her. I wonder if I should put her back in bed. Then I recall the lesson about letting sleeping nieces lie and decide she's just fine right where she is.

Son of UPDATE: Another unhappy sigh and then the tiny footsteps. Happily she just wanted a little help back into bed and went back to sleep in seconds. Whew! Time for Uncle T to go right to sleep now.

Posted by thom at 11:46 PM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2003

The Neverending Bedtime Story

It took an hour to get the niece to sleep tonight. I can't even remember all the bedtime stories we read - they're all a blur now. It was so easy last night. Five minutes! Boom! She was out! Not tonight. At one point I hid in the other room out of sight. Eileen made a beeline for me. Dad tried to read her yet another story, but she took the book out of his hands and gave it to me to read instead. Then she did her best to read US a few stories. Then it was time to do another lap around the house. Then maybe another drink from the sippy cup. Then back to bed - no, wait, yet another lap would be better. Finally she put her pillow in front of me to rest my head on and ten minutes later she was off to dreamland. Tomorrow night we try the "Uncle T dissapears 30 minutes before bedtime" approach.

Posted by thom at 10:34 PM | Comments (3)

The Elk Button

Today I went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science with my brother-in-law and little niece, Eileen. Our time there was evenly divided between chasing my niece to the next diorama and back to the Elk Button. You press the button and you can hear the mating call of the elk. And if you visit the museum with my niece you will hear the lovelorn cry of the adult male elk over and over and over and over. She really, really likes hearing the elk. Today she showed how she can press the button with her finger. She can walk on the button. She can kneel on the button. She can stomp on the button. She can lie on the button. She can roll on the button. She can sit on the button. She can press the button with her head. She's done it all. I get the feeling when she turns 18 she is going to marry an elk.

Once we got done with that it was naptime. We didn't make it home in time so naptime actually happened in the car. Eileen, as her mother put it, doesn't handle state transitions like waking up well so her dad and me spent the next two hours talking about software while watching her nap in the car. After witnessing one of her two hour meltdown tantrums yesterday I've learned the wisdom of letting sleeping nieces lie.

Upon waking she decided she didn't want to get out of the car. Today, the path of least resistance lead directly to the Denver Children's Museum, a fun place with lots of fun little stuffed animals lying around everywhere. Eileen decided today's game was "I have them all" and proceeded to collect all the stuffed animals she could hold in her little arms and then some. All in all, a very good day.

Posted by thom at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2003

Death of a Sock Puppet

"Mom, do you have something I can tie to my bag so I can pick it out in baggage claim?"

"Just a second - let me think. Do you have a sock?"

"A sock?"

"Yes, I've seen people tie a sock to their bag."

"Um...."

She had a point. I'd never seen a sock tied to a bag so I'm pretty sure the chances of an identical bag with a sock tied to it showing up at baggage claim are slim.

"One second... I found a sock you can use."

So if there's an emergency you can find me at the airport. I'm the guy with a sock tied to his luggage.

Posted by thom at 07:24 AM | Comments (4)

September 11, 2003

Big Jet Airplane

Tomorrow I wing my way to Denver for a family visit. Thus my somewhat neglected blog will most likely become my profoundly neglected blog for the next week or so. Uninteresting by Abdication.

Posted by thom at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2003

New E-Mail Address!!!

I can finally dump my slow, clunky, spam-infested hotmail account! You should now send me e-mail at "thom" at (i.e. @) "this-domain.com" (i.e. paulthom.org). There, let those stupid spambots try and parse that. Die, spambot! DIE!

Bonus brownie points for the first person to actually send me e-mail.

Posted by thom at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2003

Well, the time has come.

Well, the time has come. Over the next 24 hours or so I should be switching over full-time to the MovableType blogger software. It should replace the current thompaul.org website soon - no need to change any URLs or anything. If you're impatient you can check it out at www.paulthom.org. If you're not impatient then, um, just wait a few days.

Posted by thom at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)