Thursday, September 28, 2006

Apples to Apples

I guess I've had a lot to say this week. That happens once in a while. :-)

No, this is not a comparison between the Browns and Raiders. Although it is in preparation for one of those teams first wins (hopefully, Cleveland's), so I need to post, at last, the long awaited answer to the last test.

The class was small - thanks Kayla - but scored well.

The question: what's wrong with this picture?

The answer: representation. If the media wants to compare Muslims to Christians, use the same class of each. Extreme vs. extreme, moderate (i.e. non-practicing) vs. moderate, even liberal vs. liberal. Or, in religous terms, orthodox vs. orthodox. NOT orthodox vs. unorthodox (oops, I mean heterodox). And don't pit fundamental Christians against moderate Muslims. The outcome is predictable.

When this debate does occur it should be framed around the core principles of each religion. Isn't that what you would do if you were comparing Buddhism and Hinduism, or even athiesm and Christianity? Why forsake good debate in order to make one party look good, and the other party look bad. Let the parties define themselves by defending their core principles.

Kayla, you get an A+ and extra credit for the Hendi observation. Hendi's "first coming", per se, hasn't occurred yet, while Christians are awaiting the second coming.

BTW...throwing in Ran Dather was a ruse, a mere afterthought to the point of the question. I wanted to poke a little fun at my favorite anchor. (Wow, what a perfectly descriptive word for him.)

To see the first test, see here and here.

Shameless plug - Running in Circles plays at the Mayfield Boneyard tomorrow night (Friday, Sept 29). We will start at 10:30pm. See you there.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Me-first Politicians (sorry, I repeat myself)

You know what really tweaks me about politics? Politics. That's what tweaks me.

Before you declare me intellectually incompetent, let's review:

- Politicians "lobby" for your vote. Believe it or not, not only PAC's lobby; politicians do, too. It's called "campaigning". Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot about the non-PAC groups, which "advocate". It's still lobbying.

- You vote. At least, I hope you do. You either pick the candidate you like, or pick the candidate you least dislike. The definition of "like" is subjective, usually a matter of personal values and taste.

- The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes is declared the winner.

- The winner is inaugurated.

- Then, the trump card. The winner governs - makes tough decisions, does what's right even though it's not popular. Protects the freedoms and liberties defined by the Constitution. Defends the country.

Gasp! Who let the air out of the room?

Okay, so I'm wrong on the last one. I should have written, "The winner continually puts himself in a position to effectively win the next election, governing be damned."

That is what I hate about politics.

Candidates are elected to govern, not to politic.

Politicians no longer do what's best for the nation, but what's best for their re-election campaign. Polls tell candidates how to increase their popularity with their base and with undeclared moderates. There is very little thought to doing what's best for the country at the time it's needed. Anything can be whittled down to a sound bite that can hurt you when you are up for re-election, so it's better to do nothing at all, or criticize the other party for their position.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Midwest Broward, part II, or..."Click"

If you haven't read part I, see here.

Dialogue with friendly Board of Elections crank:

Q: Hello, my name is "Fred". I am calling because I registered for an absentee ballot, but got rejected because I am not a registered voter. However, I've voted for the past nine years in the same precinct.

BOE crank: What's your address?

Q: It is 12000 Smith Street. But I think I know where the problem is....

BOE crank: If you're gonna give me problems, sir, I will redirect your call. I am not going to put up with an attitude this morning. attitude, no anger, just wanting to offer a theory, based on the fact my mailing address had one too many zeros in it . Some people wake up on the wrong side of the bed, no matter which side.

BOE crank continues: Why were you calling?

Q: My registration for an absentee ballot was rejected, like I said before.

Click. Bzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Yep. Click. As in, "sayanora, sucker!".

Don't worry, I got her back. My cell phone lost its connection the next three times I tried talking with her again. LOL!

The lady did eventually resolve my problem, and managed to give me a lecture on what good customer service is and how she provided it to me. I could even learn a lesson from her, she said. I guess that means that, next time someone asks for my help, I'll hang up on them.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

CLC Radio, Trinity, Week 15

Only the readings & sermon today. Technical difficulties - no equipment available to record the bible study. :-)

Head's up - after we are finished studying Hebrews (next 1-2 weeks), Revelation is next. Stay tuned.


Hey, the Cleveland Browns looked like a football team today. Their key players - Charlie Frye, Kellen Winslow, Jr., and Braylon Edwards - all made good plays. Charlie threw an interception with about 2 minutes left in the game, and the defense allowed Baltimore to drive for the winning field goal, a 52-yard shot by Matt Stover.

It looks like there is hope, but I'm still gonna give out idiot of the week awards.

  • Win - Maurice Carthon. Quipper...3 weeks in a row? Yep. The Browns didn't have an answer any of the adjustments that Baltimore made in halftime. Yet, the Ravens offense made all the adjustments I believe we should have made. (BTW...our two touchdowns were caused by Frye's scrambling ability, not necessarily because the calls were good ones.)
  • Place - the Browns defense. Quipper, they only gave up 15 points? Yes, but when it counted, they couldn't stop the Ravens from driving. Points scored in first three quarters - 3. Scored in fourth quarter - 12.
  • Show - the OSU defense. Yes, the OSU defense. Granted OSU won, but the defense slept for two series. Had Penn State been any better at finishing their drives, the outcome probably would have been different.
Kudos to the Browns in general for not backing down against the Ravens. The offense showed glimmers of hope against a blitz-happy team, and Frye is looking like one tough character. Now, if Maurice would only buy that Play Calling For Dummies book.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Evil vs. Evil

WARNING! The event you are about to observe is only a test.

Yes, Quipper is posting another test, in the form of a "debate".

The mediator is none other than the middle-of-the-road, fair reporter himself...Ran Dather. Ran has quite a portfolio of, ahem, journalistic experience. He has manipulated - er, facilitated - debates in the past, and is quite skilled at maintaining an unbiased view of hot-button topics such as document forging and drug use.

Representing party #1: Halleleuja! Robertson. A man who tells it like it is, because God tells him what to say. And, when Mr. Halleleuja! gets a message from God, he can't be wrong. (Loose-jaw Falwell was unavailable for the debate, and sent his regrets.) H!R. has a longstanding case of foot-in-mouth disease, and has the delusional impression that he represents all Christians. After all, he has a successful television empire, doesn't he? God would never let him have that if he wasn't the best steward of the flock.

Representing party #2: Imam Yahya Hendi, Georgetown University chaplain. A man who represents all that is good, kind and loving about the Muslim religion. Mr. Blather and his associates at BS News attempted to find a suitable photo for this debate, but could not find one. Imam Hendi, and hundreds of other Imams from newly-built mosques all across the United States, were falling all over each other in an attempt to participate in this debate. Being a well-educated man working for Georgetown, a university of academic excellence based in Washington, D.C., no one better could have been selected to represent peace loving Muslims in the United States.

The topic of the debate? It doesn't matter.

The question: what's wrong with this picture?

Answer coming before the Browns win a football game. (Now, watch, they'll win tomorrow. In that case, then answer coming before the Browns win two football games.)

Disenfranchised, or "Broward County, Midwest"

Hey, I liked traveling to Florida so much, I "chose" to plan two more trips. Okay, so it's now my job responsibility. I just wanted to make it sound like I really had an option. :-)

One of my next trips will be during the November election. I'm so excited not to use the electronic voting machines in Midwest Broward, er, Cuyahoga County. Am I anti-technology? Let's review the facts: I blog. I use e-mail. I work in I.T. I shop online. The answer is NO!!!, I am not anti-technology.

I am, however, anti-stupidity. It has been reported that the Chairman of the Board of Blunders (er, Elections) in Midwest Broward refused the week-plus of training on the Diebold machines, and instead whittled it down to a day or so of 'train the trainer' training. Of which, not all the trainers attended. Cost cutting measure, you see.

In case you missed it on the news, the 2006 primary election in Midwest Broward was a fiasco. We were (or should have been) the laughingstock of that election day. I think this technology could be great. But, there is no accountability trail, no solid backup mechanism, and apes running the thing (Sorry, Scottius.)

I think you should have to pass a basic literacy test before you are allowed to vote. Too easy for "helping hands" to prompt you where to cast your vote on these machines. And if you cannot prove you are a U.S. citizen who is not a felon, and that you can pass the literacy test, you should not be allowed to vote. Sorry, this isn't about fairness, it's about our responsibility as citizens to be accountable.

Which brings me to my point. I have lived at my current residence for eight years. I have voted in all but one election, I believe. I am always the first or second from my precinct to sign in and vote. (Mr. 2-doors-down and I are usually 1 and 2 in our precinct.) I recognize the volunteers who help with my precinct, even though I don't know them by name.

Since I will not see them for this coming election, and I would like to see the electronic voting process mature (I mean, get corrected) before I trust my valuable vote in the hands of the Midwest Broward ape boxes, I registered for an absentee ballot. I mailed in my registration, and received this response:

Okay, so that's not really what it said, but it might as well have. What I actually received was a note that said I was not registered to vote, and that I needed to register before I could request an absentee ballot. Huh?

Thank heavens that our zany postal workers are smarter than the Board of Blunders employees. I reviewed the mailing address on the envelope. Yep, one too many zeros on the address, yet they got the mail to the right residence. Darn, did I fill in the absentee ballot registration correctly? Yes. I know this because they sent a copy of the registration with their "we are stupid" note. Then wazzup?

I checked online to see whether I am registered, and I am. Cool, I get to use the Board of Blunders own website against them to prove that I am already registered. Then, I will resend them the original absentee ballot registration, and pray that they process it correcly so I can receive my ballot. Good thing we're over a month away from the election.

Midwest Broward. Mark my words.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm Cool!

At least, that's what this test said.

Am I cool or uncool? [CLICK]
You are Cool!
You're pretty cool! People look at you and think.. 'wow.. that person is cool!' Congratulations. Use your position wisely and teach the dorks below you a thing or two. There's nothing like recruiting a cool person.
Cool quizzes at

Okay, now for the context: Mrs. Quipper and I were ready to go to the shooting range, and she wasn't quite ready to leave yet. So, I went to check some blogs, but didn't take off my sunglasses. I ended up traipsing through several of these goofy web quizzes, and stumbled upon the "cool" test.

I don't think anyone would consider me "cool". A goofball, yes. Cool, no.

Cover up, please!

It's good to be home again, eating home made food, and being with Mrs. Quipper and the kids. The travel was okay, but I started to loathe eating; I had to force myself to eat dinner last night, and went without one meal two other days this week.

Those of you that have seen me around a pot luck are probably shocked to hear that I got sick of food. :-)

Anyhoo...I got to the airport today around lunch time - there I go, using food as a time reference - and what do I see? Denim mini-skirts. Tight t-shirts and tank tops. Low neck lines. Lots of over-tanned skin revealed. Low-rider jeans, and shirts that don't meet the waistline.

But, these weren't teenie-boppers and college kids dressing in the latest bimbo clothes. These were ladies in their late 30s to low 50s. Ladies trying to be their teenage daughter's best friends. Or worse, just plain denying their age (and maturity).

Ladies, and I use the term "loosely", let me make this plain and simple. You are not in high school any more. You are not in college. And you - being in Florida - may be looking for spouse number "x", trying to look attractive. Cover up, please. You're making me gag.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Misreading the Signs

This blog was prepared especially for you, by little green men from the planet CLKXHEEJ.

Yeah, so maybe it was a little late when I left work last night. The cleaning crew had already left my area, and was two sections past me. But now, it was time to call it a day, get dinner, and sleep in a hotel room with non-working internet service. (Geez, I couldn't even finish the work I wanted to do before the next

I know my way around the building fairly well. I always take the stairs when I go to meetings; there are only two floors, after all. The building is easy to navigate, and it is good to get some level of "exercise" instead of sitting on my keister ALL day. I have no need to use the elevator.

Except for last night.

Both sets of stairs had just been mopped, and were still wet. Choosing life, I hit the button for the elevator. No big deal, except for the sign I saw - or thought I saw - after I pressed the button. Upon second viewing, the sign did say what I saw, just not the way I saw it...

"Do Not Use Elevator When Flashing"

What can I say?

Not The First Time

I did the same thing on one other occasion. I used to have a job with mass leniency on flex time. I lived ten minutes away from work, and worked a 6:30am-3:30pm shift. So, one morning, I wasn't as awake as I thought I was. One building that I drove past had two tenants: the first, a dentist; the second, a shop for something artsy. When my eyes scanned the building signage, I read "Creative Dentistry".

I tried to make sense of it all, but couldn't. :-)

And Finally

I think it's really sad that certain traffic signs discriminate against slow children, even if they are playing. What about the fast ones? Is it okay to hurt THEM? :-o

Have you had any similar situations or thoughts?

And, off topic: does anyone know the words to the second verse of Hang On Sloopy? The one that starts "Sloopy wears a red dress, yeah"? I cannot decipher the words in the second part of that couplet. Thanks in advance for your help, even if you despise the song.

Update: we have the long lost Sloopy lyrics.

Sloopy wears a red dress, yeah
As old as the hills.
But when Sloopy wears that red dress, yeah
You know it gives me the chills.
Sloopy, when I see you walkin',
walkin' down the street
I say, don't worry Sloopy girl
You belong to me.

Thanks to Emily and Marie for the help.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cleveland Not-so-confidential

It's Sunday evening, and I'm reading and writing blogs. What a country! So, wazzup on the Quipper menu?

1. Band practice - we had our first practice in, um, let's just say weeks. The smaller gigs have been the practices for the larger gigs. Anyway, we decided that our covers of Cleveland Rocks, 99 Red Balloons, Hang On Sloopy, and Somebody Told Me will be on the next gig's set list. And, get this, the band is excited about perfecting Let's Get It Started, too, but that will come after another practice or two. I get to "sing" all the rap parts. I guess that makes me "vanilla chocolate".

2. Mrs. Quipper cooked a fantabulous turkey today. Oh, sorry, it wasn't a turkey. It was an 8 lb. chicken that we bought from the friendly folks at the Favorite Apron homestead. Best chicken I've ever had. Thanks, Polly, for the marvelous bird, and Mrs. Quipper for the great meal!

3. I recently posted a blog named "Idiot Season", "idiot" being my term of endearment for the goofballs on the pro and college football teams I follow. Thankfully, there were no idiots on the OSU Buckeyes.

Unfortunately, there is a semi-pro team in Cleveland. Yeah, they play in the NFL, but you could find them guilty of impersonating a pro team right now. Scottius Maximus commented last week about an "idiot of the week". So, since Scottius planted the seed, here are this week's idiots:

Win - Maurice Carthon, highly "offensive" coordinator for the Browns - for a second week in a row, he proves he doesn't know what he is doing. Here's your gift certificate to Borders, Maurice. Maybe you can pick up a copy of "Offensive Play Calling for Dummies". There should be a couple used copies available.

Place - Romeo Crennel - if you had to call out your team for lack of passion, enthusiasm, intensity, etc., last week, then they didn't hear you all that well.

Show - Marvin Lewis, head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. He kept Chad Johnson in at the end of the game and he got walloped - WALLOPED! - by a Browns saftey. Not smart when your team is already down three offensive starters.

4. I've added some new videos to the Quipper Entertainment site. If you haven't stopped by lately, you've missed flashbacks to the trippin' 70s, hair-band 80s, and rockin' 90s, and a new set of personal, just-for-you-from-me lyrics.

5. I leave for Florida again on Tuesday, as long as tropical storm Helene stays where it is or projects northward. Yikes!

CLC Radio, Trinity, Week 14

Bible study and Divine Service.

We are also looking at the opportunity to expand our programming. If you are confessional Lutheran, and have any ideas, please let Mr. Schreiber or me know. Thanks.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Queen, and the Ft. Lauderdale Int'l. Airport

In a rousing corporate rendition of "Who's On First", I was asked to travel to Florida to learn "everything our Senior VP of Financial Reporting" does - on his own - to either a) provide inputs to the financial month-end closing process, or b) help prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements. On day 2, I learn - as does the whole company - that the Senior VP of Accounting is also leaving.

Wait, hold the fort! After further review, we have a reversal. Mr. Senior VP of Financial Reporting decides to stay. I imagine the CFO was singing "Oh, won't you sta-a-ay, just a little bit longer". The combination of his cool voice, the increase in $$$, and increase in responsibility all helped sway his decision.

So, my reason for traveling to Florida has changed, right? Nope, not one iota. The person who decided to stay still cannot run all the reports he used to run. Someone in IT needs to get those programs into the proper hands, pronto! So, my responsibility hasn't changed, and we will commence to continue what started LAST AUGUST, and finish the job soon (I hope).

Oh, the title of the post? Yeah, I almost forgot about it. Here it goes:

Continental Airlines has great direct flights between Cleveland and Ft. Lauderdale, but the return flight to Cleveland departs at 1:00pm. I wanted to leave later - you know, get as much time with the Finance pawns (er, maybe Rooks and Bishops) as possible before leaving Dodge. So, instead of booking the return flight back with Continental, I go with US Scare. My flight is scheduled to leave at 18:55.

Cue weather...

Something about being in Florida, I guess, makes the air traffic controllers break into song - "Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening", when the weather goes south (er, deep south). We waited IN the plane, AT the terminal, for 90 minutes. Lightning, bad...veeeeeerrrrrrry baaaaaaaad.

Suffice to say, I learned how not to coddle your kids in an airplane. The one kid on the flight, probably 3 yrs old, was constantly begged by her parents to be nice and quiet down. They gave her toys, distractions, etc., but NEVER DISCIPLINED HER. Ugh!!! It was a distraction during the delay, though.

So anyway, back to our regularly scheduled folly. This happens each time I've had a flight scheduled to leave Ft. Lauderdale in late afternoon or early evening. It always seems to rain, and the airport freaks out. (Golly, good thing they don't see snow.)

When we arrive in Charlotte - US Scare doesn't do direct flights to Cleveland - the Cleveland contingency on our flight are told that "if you run, you can catch your flight. It's not leaving for 10 minutes." We pull our best, pre-murder OJ and run through the airport, running somewhere between a quarter and third of a mile with laptop cases, etc. Guess what? Flight "just left two minutes ago". That would mean it left five minutes early. And, it's the last flight of the night. Turns out, the same thing happened to folks trying to return to the Philly area and Columbus, OH, too. Sounds like US Scare has a recurring theme.

Oh well, I got to stay in a lovely Fairfield Inn, courtesy Yep, since the problem was not an airline problem, US Scare wouldn't pay for lodging. Thankfully, the company allows me to expense it. My flight left this morning, promptly at 8:20 as expected, and I got home in time to crash on my own bed and wake up for lunch.

Thankfully, I scheduled next week's round trip with Continental, all nonstop flights. Start spreading the news, I'm leaving Tuesday....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Every Man A Minister?

Let's project this concept to other vocations. Every man a(n):

  • Singer - Have you seen the American Idol auditions?
  • Musician - Seen anyone who can play by sight, but not by ear. Or know theory, but can't improvise? Or are just plain tone deaf or have no rhythm?
  • Accountant - Know anyone who you never want to touch a checkbook?
  • Athlete - Many AAA baseball players won't make it to the Major Leagues, and they are much, much more talented than I am. How many people can golf like Tiger, or play tennis like Agassi (in his prime) or Federer?
  • Gardener - Best way to kill a plant? Have me take care of it.
  • Mechanic - My best friend is the service station down the street. Mrs. Quipper is very happy about that.
  • Handyman - I'm handy with the yellow pages, phone and checkbook. That's good enough around here.
  • Project Manager - Do you know people that forget to take their brain when they walk out the door for work? "Planning" means being excited that you will remember to eat at lunch time?
  • Spouse - I think divorce stats, and failures on second and third marriages, tell us all we need to know here.
  • Politician - Sorry, I'm not that spineless.
  • Child bearer - Nope, I don't think so!
See the point? God gave us talents and sweet skills (a little Napolean Dynamite lingo there). He didn't give everyone the same skills - spiritual or physical. To paraphrase some of 1Cor:12, I am grateful we are all not "eyes" or "feet" or "hands". I am grateful that the farmer tills his soil and raises his crops, that those crops are purchased, prepared, and delivered to the stores, where Mrs. Quipper can purchase them with funds allotted from my paycheck because people are responsible and law-abiding enough to buy car insurance, and the payroll and HR personnel make sure those funds get to my check.

I am a much more capable witness when I work within my areas of expertise, answer questions about my faith, and direct folks to my called and ordained Pastors instead of trying to be the minister.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

That's The Way You Do It

Yeah, baby! The little boys of summer are making the Tribe look halfway decent again. Now, if they could only play every month as though it were August or September.

Sowers is looking good (as I hoped he would), and it looks like Marte and Garko are starting to settle in. Who knows, maybe the Tribe can be looking at pocket Aces (Sabathia and Sowers) next year.

I know, it's too early for that type of thinking. :-)

Monday, September 04, 2006

CLC Radio, Trinity, Week 12

Our production qualities have increased greatly, and more improvements are forthcoming.

Here are the readings, a hymn, and the sermon for Trinity, Week 12. (Click 'Play' after linking)

Idiot Season

It is that time of the year again. The guys come out to do their thing, and hopefully do it well. The Artist and I spend daddy/daughter time by going into the den, turning on the tube, and watching the guys do their thing. Then it happens:

Dropped pass...tackling at the shoulders...missed block...interception...missed block...offsides penalty...missed to convert on 3rd and 1...give up a first on 3rd and 17...missed tackle

Being the mild, sensible father that I am, I exhibit sound judgment by governing what starts in my vocal cords, works past my tongue and teeth, and comes out of my mouth. Of all the sundry words I could use, they all get translated into the same word: IDIOT!!! (Mrs. Quipper and Mom Of Quipper have a friendly bet about how many times I will use that word on "any given Sunday".)

The volume changes regularly. The more exasperated I get, the louder it gets. The more subtle the guffaw, the quieter the exclamation. I think the Artist learns more about the game when I get frustrated than when she actually asks about what is happening. It's pretty funny.

Anyway, hope springs eternal on Saturdays and Sundays. Here's to Romeo, hoping he can coach the Brownies to an over-.500 season and a potential trip to the playoffs. And to Tressell, hoping the Buckeyes can maintain their lofty ranking and work their way to a BCS championship.

Go Teams!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Morning After

It's now 12:05pm on Saturday. We had a great gig last night, playing at one of the establishments in Cleveland's "Warehouse District", which is the you-have-to-be-there spot for anyone who cares about that type of thing. The almost-gridlock traffic in the early morning attests to this, I guess.

I got home late. Okay, so what is "late" when I'm usually getting home from a gig a little before 3:00am? How about 4:00am, due to equipment taking longer than normal to take down, and our drummer getting a flat tire, and needing my jack for assistance. (We couldn't get his jack out of his car, which is a Honda Element. Guess he needs to talk to the dealer about that.)

So, having been awake for a mere 90 minutes, ears still ringing, eyes still glassy, body awake but mind sleeping, I navigated through some blogs, courtesy of Mrs. Quipper. What I found were two great posts from Eating Words. While my ears are still ringing and my eyes are still somewhat glassy - why am I looking at a computer monitor, you say? - I am now mentally awake.