I just keep being surprised

Another piece of good news in the War on Terror, this time from Congress. The House voted to protect 'John Does' on flights. As pointed out in the blogosphere, all of the no votes were Democrats. How interesting. Credit to the Dems who crossed the line on this one to protect Americans.


Spring arrives

Or, at least the sun came out today for the first time in a couple of months. We took the opportunity to take a hike down one of our favorite trails, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, and hang out at the Tokul Creek Bridge.

Let me just say...

in the only NCAA pool I am participating in, I picked all four final four teams.

Finally some progress and sense

This is what I like to read. Unfortunately stories like these are few and far between. Kudos to the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

For those that haven't followed the CAIR/Iman/test-of-US-security story, six muslims, while boarding a plane, basically acted as if they were terrorists. Praying before the flight, asking for seat belt extensions (even though they weren't overweight) and putting them under their seat, and not sitting in their assigned seats - instead sitting in classically hijack formation in pairs at the front, middle, and back of the plane. When asked to deplane, CAIR (an org whose leaders have been convicted of having ties to middle eastern terrorist orgs) files a discrimination lawsuit. Even the FAA and FBI said the passengers and US Airways acted appropriately. But of course they did. Cries of discrimination, like they always have been, are used to put the fear into people from speaking out against that which is wrong. And CAIR is playing that card, as it has been played so well in the US over the last 20+ years (at least as long as I can remember).

And I never did publicly give kudos to Barbara Boxer for standing up against CAIR. Kudos to you, Barbara. I may never agree with any of your policies, but great to see our representatives stand up to terrorist organizations.


Taxes done

Did my taxes online with TurboTax again. Nice having all that data centrally stored for future retrieval. Very easy to do, and the bonus of Washington not having a state income tax is that I didn't have to file anything with the state. Very cool.

Took 10 days to get my refund with efile. I cashed out some mutual funds earlier this year to move to our IRAs, so I expected to owe (which is why I didn't start them until a couple weeks ago), but turns out that thousand-plus I spend on mortgage interest every month adds up to a nice deduction. This year I need to do a better job of tax planning so as not to give the government as big of a loan!


Bainbridge Island pics

Back in February we took a ferry trip to see Chris and Martin Kratt of Zoboomafoo fame at Bainbridge High School. We took the opportunity to check out this nice little island sitting in Puget Sound.

Ferry ride was only 35 minutes, and it has nice views of downtown Seattle with the Cascades in the background. The east side of the island reminded us of the Michiana Shores area in Michigan City, with the modest homes, residentially-zoned areas, and private access to the water. We enjoyed lunch at a decent barbeque joint in nearby Paulsbo, and we found a park for the kids to get out and stretch their legs.

Tried to get some pictures of Seattle and the Cascades, but by the time we started to take pictures it started to get dreary and we were a little far from Seattle for our camera zoom.

And yes, I thought seeing the chickens in someone's driving was quite funny. Made me think a little bit of Indiana followed us out west.

More Pictures

A few weeks back the boys and I took a ferry trip over to Bremerton and enjoyed checking out the town, the parks, and watching ferries in the sound.

Three Piggy Opera

Spencer's all-day kindergarten class put on "The Three Piggy Opera" earlier this week. Parents and familiy were invited. Very nicely done, full engagement by the entire class, the kids looked like they had fun, and the parents enjoyed it as well.

Pictures were hard to do, but here's what we have. Spencer is in the middle row in the red shirt.


Another WTF

One of these days someone needs to tell the Bush and the administration that a key component of the war on terror is to actually not fund terrorist activities (in this case providing a US-taxpayer funded platform for terrorists and their propoganda).

At least when CNN supports terrorists it does so as a private entity.


Congrats to the Boilers on a fine year

After two single-digit win seasons, I never would have thought 2007 would have ended with a NCAA tourney win and taking the defending champs the distance. Alas, that's exactly where Purdue ended up, and kudos to Matt Painter for turning the program around so quickly.

Ah, if only David Teague would have had one of his 25+ point nights that he is capable of but we rarely see, today's outcome would have been different. Nonetheless, it wasn't to be. We'll see if Purdue can build on this for next year, despite the loss of Teague and Landry. Good job, Boilers. Thanks for getting me excited about Purdue basketball again.


Nice job Boilers

Matt Painter is off to a nice start at Purdue. Getting the team to the NCAA, and a win in the tourney, while unimpressive by Purdue's traditional standards, is indeed impressive given the program Painter inherited a year ago.

An interesting win this evening. Carl Landry played very well offensively, defensively, and hit his free throws. Chris Lutz hit some big threes in the first half (4-4 from behind the arc). And Kramer played a solid game at PG. That said, overall this game was about Arizona's laziness moreso than Purdue's hustle. Purdue is going to have to play a lot smarter if they want to be within single digits of Florida on Sunday. Hopefully my Florida alum neighbor invites us over to watch the game on his 10+ foot screen.

Well, duh

Most people think mainstream media leans left. Thank you Captain Obvious.


See ya Dook!

Bwahahaha! How sweet.

Hope is NOT a strategy!

Snoqualmie Valley residents rejected a $209M bond proposal in February, with a 58% yes vote. So, clearly the board has to do put something together quickly because, according to the school district, we are in dire need of new schools.

Their decision? Put the SAME proposal back in front of the voters in May. Yep, that's right. No changes. Just put it back and hope it passes this time. Nice jawdropper. With pork barrel politics like this, I feel like I'm back in Chicago.

I hate to draw this conclusion, but I can only conclude one of two things:

Either a) the student population issue isn't as big as the board is making it to be, or b) the board really isn't interested in addressing the educational needs of the community. Why do I draw that conclusion? Simple dedection.

IF the school board was interested in the educational well-being of the community AND the school vacancy problem was as urgent as being claimed THEN the logical conclusion would be to put the single most urgent initiative in front of the voters and get it passed. That approach would be be the highest probability of passing and solving a need in the community. Since that approach isn't being taken, one can only logically conclude what I concluded above.

I learned to spot pork barrel legislation from my 12 years in Chicago, but I've never seen it at the local level like this. As a long-time Snoqualmie resident told me "welcome to the valley, get used to it." Sheesh I hope not.

I'll also say I find this an abuse of the system. If the bond would have passed by 2%, would the board have put it back for a revote? No way. We've had presidential elections that were much, much closer, and nobody said "hey let's put it back to the voters." An election's results should stand on its own, otherwise the system is basically saying "your first vote didn't count." Then again, perhaps this is something that's happened in the past in other municipalities, and is a reason absenteeism in elections in the US is so high.

Sigh, back to the polls again. A note to the Snoqualmie Valley School Board - please STOP gambling while my children's education. Hope is not a strategy.

Go Boilers

Kudos for Matt Painter for pulling the Purdue Basketball program out of the Keady toilet. I am impressed he's been able to put together a solid team in just two years, and he has a top 5 (for now) recruiting class for next year.

Friday night they square off against Arizona. That should be a fun match up. Arizona has a boatload of starting talent, but have no bench and have underachieved all year. Should make for an interesting matchup, and the game will be Purdue's to win or lose. If Teague and Landry step up and deliver, chalk up a win for the Boilers. If not, it's one and out in Purdue's first trip to the tourney since 2003.

It's good to be excited about Purdue basketball again. Purdue has a fun offense to watch, plays hardnosed defense, and has some playmakers in Teague and Landry.

So, why can't the basketball and football teams be headed in the right direction at the same time?


So the Lions lose Bly and Hall on day one

Maybe this is part of Marinelli's plan, moving some players that are not a fit for the defense. Bly didn't exactly have a stellar year, and Hall certainly hasn't stepped it up. But, the Lions didn't get anything in return, either. Tatum Bell sure seems like another Orlandis Gary. While I'm not happy with Kevin Jones as the starter, adding another so-so RB help the situation.

And, since I'm talking about the Lions, let's starting thinking draft. I'd like to see the #2 pick go toward a stud DL and shore that up; however, I just don't see anyone on the draft board fitting the bill that warrants a #2 pick. Assuming Calvin Johnson goes #1, the Lions should take Joe Thomas, and build their OL around him. Instant help on offense, especially for Kitna's backside.

What happens if da Ray-dahz don't take Johnson (I assume they would take Joe Thomas in that scenario)? Wow, that's interesting. Do the Lions take him? No, trade down a few spots. Someone will give up a late round pick to move up and take him. While he, Roy Williams, and Mike Furrey would make for a great trio, the Lions have too many needs (hence the #2 pick) to stockpile WRs. And look at the lack of talent and depth on D that focusing on three WRs in the first round left the team over the past few years. And once, traded down, take the best overall player available. And that may mean JaMarcus Russell. Wouldn't mind seeing the Lions take a chance on him, and let him develop over the next couple of years. Shoot, it's not like they are contending for the Super Bowl next year. Or, if they can trade down AND get Adrian Peterson, wow. Take it.