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November 30, 2005

Ian... Give Thanks

Okay, so here is a video of Ian.
It's not filmed so well...
The audio got deleted when I uploaded it. I'll try to find a diffreent uploading site on a Google search or something. I want you all to be able to hear the audio...

(Click!)

Posted by shane on 02:23 PM | Comments (13)

November 29, 2005

The Penguine Club

Nine days out of ten, the hardest thing I do all day is get out of bed. Trust me, this isn't because my life is easey. It's because getting out of bed is so hard.
Cold Swimming.jpg
Today was the exception.

You see, shane and I have what we have officially named the penguine club. It's an elite, exclusive group of people dedicated to living life to the fullest, or at least to the coldest. The members (yeah, it's just me and shane) are going swimming every month of this year.

We're kind of procrastinators, so we didn't take our november swim untill today. We got to Fair Hill at about 5 o'clock, and it was already dusk. We took off our shoes and ran a quarter of a mile down to our swimming hole, our feet getting a little closer to numb each step of the way.

We got there and stripped down to our underwear and stood there, peering through the falling darkness. The water looked blac and cold. I wished I had a snooze button I could hit and be warm for four more minutes, but it was raining and the sun was already down. There was no time to waste.

"It's not getting any warmer." I said. We both nodded, each of us wondering who's stupid idea the penguine club was anyway.

I tried to jump in, but my legs disobeyed. I tried to throw shane in but he ran away.

"Who's going first?"

"You"

We stared at the water and neither of us moved.

"Forget about that, go ahead"

"We'll go in together."

So, we went in together, like true rock stars. We counted "Uno, dos, tres, quatorce!" and we jumped.

Jumping into water that cold makes you feel like your brain just exploded and your lungs collapsed. We came up gasping, and when we finally got some air in our lungs we screamed like girls and scrambled and splashed our way back onto dry land. The first jump was so gread I just had to have another. That time my face got so cold it was aching all over.

We ran back to the car and drove home (I was still in my underwear) with the windows down singing along to Taking Back Sunday.

I guess summer only ends when you let it.

Posted by ian on 09:06 PM | Comments (13)

November 28, 2005

Talk to an actual person

OK, so if you're at all like me you probably hate it when you get trapped in the endless maze of "press 1 if blah blah blah" and most of the time you need to talk to a person and not a robot.

Well, some brilliant guy has now made that possible, listing a whole bunch of ways to cut straight to a real person.

Posted by jason on 08:26 AM | Comments (3)

November 27, 2005

Congratulations!!!

Everyone, an important update. Ian and Collin are out fishing in the bay ALL NIGHT on the pier! They just sent me this picture from collin's cell phone.
coll.jpg
(They probably just borrowed someone else's fish for a quick picture. haha. I can say that because they're far away, and they will be too tired to beat me up tomorrow.)

This is way more fun than writing that essay...

Posted by shane on 12:25 AM | Comments (14)

November 26, 2005

Don't let. . .

the bedbugs bite.

For those who thought they were just a silly nursery rhyme, be prepared to be skieved out.

Posted by jason on 09:35 PM | Comments (3)

The Vine Magazine Online

Someone heard our music and wanted to create a video to post on her online magazine for young christian girls. It's ready for viewing.

Hi Jason, Your video is up and running on the website! I'm still working out the kinks of the site and haven't even given the URL out yet (not officially anyway). I hope that you like how your contribution to the site came out. I will send you guys your videos a.s.a.p. I hope that you will pray for THE VINE as I have prayed for your band. We have to just keep plugging along no matter how hard it gets. http://thevine-videomag.com/ Yours truly, Mary Wheeler Editor THE VINE

Overall, I think it looks nice, thanks Mary!

Posted by jason on 09:25 PM | Comments (6)

A Cold Farewell

My hands are numb. I just spent the last few hours outside on the lawn tractor. Yes, I am aware that it is november 26 and most people do not mow their lawns this late into the season, but I am a different case. My job is to make this tract of land in the middle of the woods look like a golf course all year around. That involves mowing when the grass is growing and vacuuming the leaves off of it when it is not. At least once per week, I fire up the tractor and go out to spiff up the yard. I have been a caretaker of this large property for the past 2 and a half years, but that is all about to change.

I have not wanted to mention it for fear that something would happen and it would all come crashing down, but Lindsay and I are buying a house. We settle on Monday. We are finally finished pouring through years worth of tax documents, faxing miles of paperwork, and talking to bankers, lawyers, agents, and underwriters. Everything checks out (as we knew it would) and we sign the final papers Monday morning.

We have been looking for a house over this past year. We have considered everything from fancy townhouses, to gutted shells of rundown shacks on lots of land. The goal was to invest in a property that would make a good deal of money over the next few years, sell it and buy something we really like. Well, we were able to skip that whole inconvenient middle step.

We found an amazing house that was cheaper than most of the investment properties we were considering! We are buying a log cabin on 2 acres of land in PA. There are lots of gorgeous old hardwood trees and evergreens on the property and it feels like it is in a world all its own. The house has been impeccably maintained, and it is ready for us to just move right in. It has 2 fireplaces and a woodstove, and it is all wood inside and out. I really can't describe how beautiful it is (I am sure that pictures will be posted before too long).

We are just about finished packing. It is amazing how much stuff 2 very non-materialistic people accumulate in such a short amount of time. Linds and I spent our first summer we were married living out of backpacks, hitch-hiking around Thailand, and climbing mountains in the Whites (NH). When we moved in here, our moving van was a yellow 2 door ford festiva filled with boxes and clothes (Ian and Laura helped carry our bed and dresser with a mini-van). Now, two and a half short years later, it has literally taken about a week to pack up and we have an entire bay of a garage stacked full of boxes. I am astounded, but not disappointed as I would have imagined a few years ago. things like plates, chairs, tools, and toasters make everyday life a bit easier and more enjoyable.

It has been a great opportunity to live where we have been for the past 2 and a half years, but it has been a LOT of work. We can't wait to move out. Today as the setting sun was sinking into the cold november evening, I backed the tractor into the garage for the last time and smiled to myself. This has been a nice chapter in life, but I am sure the next will be even better.

Posted by collin on 05:30 PM | Comments (9)

November 23, 2005

First Snow of the Season

We finished a fine practice at the Palkovitz house, where we concentrated on relearning the song "Becoming" and working on another new masterpiece. And I'm walking out of the house and WHAT it's snowing, and really coming down pretty heavily and there is already a nice white carpet on the ground.

I don't know what it is about snow exactly, but I love it. I think it has something to do with the fact that it used to raise the chances of Missed School, and then I could Sleep In and Do Whatever I Wanted. But even now, when I work in my basement and enjoy the work I do, I still love snow days just as much. It still gets me just as excited inside. It's almost magical and mystical to see these pure white crystals fall from the heavens.

I love a snowy thanksgiving. I'm so thankful.

Posted by jason on 11:27 PM | Comments (15)

November 22, 2005

Sad News

Everyone,

The ugliest dog in the world (I think his name was "Sam") Just died.

I have pictures (somewhere on some CD) of what is now the ugliest dog in the world. I met it in thailand.

I will try to have those up here soon...


Kitchen cleaning time!

Posted by shane on 11:26 PM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2005

So who is buying one?

Picture 1.png

In my younger days I perhaps would be outside tonight waiting in line to get my hands on one. Actually, if I'd have gotten one, I'd be selling it. Like I did when the PS2 came out and I made $500 off the transaction.

But honestly, right now I just think it's all a little too much. And I really don't like how you can't seem to buy one without have a $1000 lying around.

Is it even going to be all that great of a system? Time will tell. But for now, I'll just keep waiting for the Revolution.

I think I'll wait until it's $150 in the bargain bin. Oh not. I never did buy one of the first Xbox systems. But I do want to get on Xbox Live at some point.

Posted by jason on 10:37 PM | Comments (8)

The show in Seaford

So we had a pretty good show on Saturday night.

The Highs:
The turnout was pretty good actually.
The other bands were good too.
We had alot of energy and played tightly.
We had backup vocals.
We had a number of people tell us they liked us after the show.
We got paid $40, one pizza and as much sodas as we could drink. (Drew made that work out actually, downing 8 by himself).
We sold some merchandise.

The Lows:
I think I should change my stage name to "Tree Falling in the Woods" because "when I sing, can anyone can hear it?"
No one could hear our backing vocals either.
As a total crowd, the response wasn't amazing.
I think since we're not hardcore, the interest wasn't as high as it should have been.
We had to drive 2.5 hours to Seaford.
On the way back, someone on the highway threw a can of Dannon Yogurt at the van and broke a headlight. The offending yogurt was coming from the oncoming lane, so it hit at the equivalent of 140 MPH probably.
I had a horrible hamburger from Royal Farms before the show. One of those microwave ones. I ordered it from "the grill" so I thought maybe they might use "a grill." But no.

Posted by jason on 09:48 AM | Comments (15)

November 18, 2005

I did something that I didn't even know was possible

The other day Collin and Joe and myself from Elany Arts had a big important meeting with the Delaware Teacher Center in Dover (we're putting together a fancy website for them, which they really do need).

After the meeting, we stopped for lunch at Uno's. We ordered a crab and shrimp dip for appetizers. So we're just talking having a good time. . . chatting and waiting for our entrees to show up while dining on this delicious crab and shrimp creaminess.

I have this strange problem that happens to me every once in a while. It's kind of like when you're drinking something and it goes down the wrong pipe and you start choking. Except, for me, it happens when I'm not even drinking and a little bit of saliva chokes me up. It's always unbelievable when it happens, but I cough and tear up and choke and it's loud and disturbing and strange. I didn't really think it could get any worse.

Well, if you've just eaten your fill of crab and shrimp fondue, it can get much worse.

The inexplicable choke happened to me, and caused me to spontaneously throw up on the table. Like mid-sentence. Like an exorcism. Here I was, vomiting and watching Joe and Collin react in suprised horror. But it's not over, I'm still choking, the throw-up has not solved this problem. But this time. . . and I didn't even know this was possible. . . I throw up through my nose.

Yes, that's right, a huge amount of vomit flies out of my nostrils. By this time I have turned my head so this is happening on the booth seat, covering it. And my sinuses are chock-filled with crab meat and pieces of shrimp. Argh, I can't quite describe just how much this hurt and how disgusting it was. For the rest of the day, I still was blowing strings of crab meat out of my nose, and nothing I could do would scrub the smell of vomit from within my nostrils.

Of course, as soon as I throw-up, the waiter starts to come with our steaks. In half-blinded desperation, I grabbed as many napkins as I could and furiously started cleaning up the recycled crab dip. Somehow, the waiter didn't notice, even though I was just finishing the scrubbing of the table as he placed the plate down.

I'd like to say that I somehow learned something from this experience. Like maybe how to avoid it in the future. However, I don't know how it happened and now am cursed to live with the knowledge that this very well could happen again, at the worst moment.

And you thought you had problems.

Posted by jason on 09:32 PM | Comments (19)

November 17, 2005

America's Torture Policy

We've discussed the Torture issue on this site before. Newsweek magazine's recent issue has some excellent articles to consider in forming an opinion on this.

The first is John McCain's take on the matter. He should know more about torture than any of us, seeing as he was actually tortured during Vietnam. In short, he believes that "we're better than this" and actually, it doesn't even work. When tortured to give up the names of his commanding officers, he would give the names of the Green Bay Packers' Offensive Line. The more I read from John McCain these days, the more I get the sense I'm looking at the next President of the United States.

Another analytical, well-researched article is called "The Debate Over Torture". One quote that I found particularly interesting was the following:

Torture still works to extract the truth in the movies and on TV shows like the popular '24,' but not in real life, say the experts. A prisoner who has his fingernails pulled out or his genitals shocked will say (and make up) anything to make the pain stop.

Why do we talk about this and why does it matter? It matters because there is right and wrong in this universe and there are consequences to actions. How can a nation truly be considered great and moral and good if it tortures people? People that could be innocent.

Posted by jason on 12:40 AM | Comments (5)

Saturday in Seaford, DE

Just wanted to remind everyone that we will be playing in Seaford, DE this Saturday. We'll be playing a 25 minute set and we should rock out and sound good if tonight's practice was any indication.

If anyone wants to go along with us down there and caravan a little, let us know.

Posted by jason on 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

Feeling Sad?

Then go here.


Yes it's a lame entry, but you're the ones who wanted a new entry. So there you have it, a stupid new entry.


Posted by shane on 04:06 PM | Comments (7)

Disposable Sock Update

Since we have become the web's foremost proponent of non-wasteful, affordable, bio-degradeable disposable socks, it seems only right that we also now be the largest international distributor of this product.

Today I received this email.

We are interested in importing disposable socks to our country South Africa. Please could you send us more info in this regard.
René Testa

OK, Rene, we'll start sending them as soon as we invent them.

Posted by jason on 02:43 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2005

Another Show Played!

Yo.

We played this Saturday.

I think that we did well, although I don't really know. I could not hear a darn thing! I was behind the drum cage and heard only the one song when Ian played the keyboard which came through my monitor. Other than that, nothing...

I couldn't bring my own drums. It was horrible, I hate the drumset that I played. This is a thing that only maked sense to drummers.

I think that the other guys did really well though.

we will have more shows soon...

Posted by shane on 12:00 PM | Comments (8)

November 11, 2005

Bird Flu. Confused?

I was really confused by this whole thing, and actually didn't care. Here is an article that you can read if you're interested in learning more about it.

Apparently, it is lethal to humans, it just doesn't pass between them. A little strange, but now I see why people are worried about it.

Honestly though, I don't think that it's going to turn into an epidemic.

Posted by ian on 05:00 PM | Comments (3)

A Brett Weber Photograph

Brett took this picture. I like it a lot.

Laura_Hale_Ian_Palkovitz.jpg

There is just something about a cold fall night. It's windy, leaves are falling, and you just know that things are changing.

Fall is so fluid, so changing. Summer and Winter, they arrive, and they are real, genuine seasons. Fall just passes through. It's different out every day. It's a time of transition.

Honestly, that's how I feel about my life these days. Not in a depressing way, like everything is falling apart and getting cold. I just feel like I'm changing, becoming who I'll be. I'm in a transition between just living for the present and doing what school I have to do every day to taking hold of my life and directing it. I'm thinking about carreers, and plans. I'm picturing myself working, and I'm doing what I need to do to get there.

I'm pretty much a happy-go-lucky person. I take life as it comes, and I have a great time of it. I've always thought "I've got plenty of time," and so I've put off thinking about what I'll end up doing with my life once I'm done with school.

But now I'm thinking about it, and It's pretty exciting.

Posted by ian on 12:20 AM | Comments (11)

Artists of the day:

(Mellower ones)

-Jackson Browne

-Matt Jones

Posted by shane on 12:06 AM | Comments (5)

November 08, 2005

A Glowing Review

We played at the ISA fall show last week and had a great time! Today I picked up a copy of the Review, which is UD's school paper and was happy to find an article about the show inside. Here is what they had to say about the show and us:

The first half of the show contained performances of traditional dances such as Nritya Jhankaar, Desi Dhamaka and a performance of Bhangra by a group from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia...

After intermission, the band The Look Machine performed a series of traditional songs with a new-age feel.

Lookout Rolling Stone! There is a an up-and-coming rock critic headed your way.

Posted by ian on 11:40 PM | Comments (8)

Senator Arlen Specter Supports Drilling ANWR

Today I got an email response from one of my senators, Senator Arlen Specter. I had written to him last week about my thoughts on the ANWR issue. As it turns out, he supports drilling ANWR and was one of the ones who voted to start selling of parts of this valuable reserve.

I thought it was pretty nice of him (or one of his secretaries) to take the time to write back and tell me his thoughts on the issue. It was a pretty long and detailed letter though, and I started to get suspicious. I google searched a line from the letter and found the same letter, word for word, posted on 10 other people's weblogs. Well, even if it is just a form letter that he has one of his secretaries send out to the environmental crazies, it was still nice to get a response. And you have got to give him props for being honest and not just saying something like. . . "thanks for your thoughts. I will definitely take that into consideration for my future votes."

Read the letter after the link:

Dear Mr. Palkovitz:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the possibility of opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy exploration and development. I appreciate hearing from you.

In my twenty ‑four years in the Senate, there have been few more heavily lobbied issues than ANWR exploration. I have personally visited the area and my support for oil and natural gas exploration in ANWR is a tough policy choice for me, but one I view as necessary in light of the rising costs for home heating oil, diesel fuel, gas at the pump, and our long-range national security needs. It is especially difficult because of my commitment to protecting the environment for future generations, as evidenced by my strong environmental voting record.

On one occasion in the past, I voted against exploration in ANWR, but the time has come where we must reduce our reliance on OPEC oil through a number of means, including at least limited oil exploration in ANWR. Of course, this must be done with the maximum protection for the environment that is possible, which would be required under Federal law. Past energy bill proposals would limit acreage eligible for exploration, which, combined with today's technology can mitigate environmental impacts of exploration in the area. Such technological advances include: the extended reach of multi-directional drilling, which can decrease "footprints", reduce waste, and increase the amount of product recovered; high resolution imaging that produces more precise well locations and consequently reduces the number of wells needed to access reserves; and the use of ice roads and winter season drilling techniques to maximize the season and reduce the amount of time to bring the reserves to market, while recognizing the needs of wildlife.

Tapping domestic supplies is only one of many steps that must be taken to free the U.S. from dependence on OPEC. To rely on the Saudis and Iran is to court disaster. Our reliance on domestic oil has broad ‑ranging implications on our policy in the Middle ‑East including our support for Israel. While debating energy policy during the 107 th and 108 th Congresses, I supported significant increases in renewable energy, generated from wind, the sun, biomass, hydro and geothermal sources. I have also supported expanding tax credits for clean coal technologies and I led efforts to mandate a reduction of U.S. oil consumption by one million barrels per day by 2013. It is only through concerted efforts to reduce projected U.S. oil consumption and to utilize domestic energy resources that our nation will be able to become energy independent.

Again, thank you for your thoughts on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Rest assured that I will take your thoughts into consideration if the Senate debates this issue in the 109 th Congress. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office or visit my website at http://specter.senate.gov .

Sincerely,

Arlen Specter

Apparently he thinks the potential of making money and becoming more autonomous as a country (no matter how small of a step it is) is worth going back on the Government's word and re-writing history. The fact that much of the land in question was legally set aside as land belonging to the native people living there doesn't matter to him. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The American Government has been stealing land they designated to native people since our country's foundation. Nothing new there.

I also thought some of his lines were entertaining and revealing. . . Here is my personal favorite. "To rely on the Saudis and Iran is to court disaster."

Posted by collin on 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

November 07, 2005

Call me Julius Caesar

I took a very thought-provoking survey called "Which Historical General are You?" I'm proud to say that I am Julius Causer. Should I be trying to figure out who my Brutus is?

By the way, I first saw this on Jason Jazemski's cool Xanga site.

Read on to see the breakdown and take the test for yourself.



Julius Caesar

You scored 50 Wisdom, 71 Tactics, 54 Guts, and 45 Ruthlessness!

Roman military and political leader. He was instrumental in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. His conquest of Gallia Comata extended the Roman world all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, introducing Roman influence into what has become modern France, an accomplishment of which direct consequences are visible to this day. In 55 BC Caesar launched the first Roman invasion of Britain.
Caesar fought and won a civil war which left him undisputed master of the Roman world, and began extensive reforms of Roman society and government. He was proclaimed dictator for life, and heavily centralized the already faltering government of the weak Republic. Caesar's friend Marcus Brutus conspired with others to assassinate Caesar in hopes of saving the Republic. The dramatic assassination on the Ides of March was the catalyst for a second set of civil wars, which marked the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire under Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus.
Caesar's military campaigns are known in detail from his own written Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details of his life are recorded by later historians such as Suetonius, Plutarch, and Cassius Dio.





My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 9% on Unorthodox
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 54% on Tactics
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 49% on Guts
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 40% on Ruthlessness

Link: The Which Historic General Are You Test written by dasnyds on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Posted by jason on 11:18 PM | Comments (17)

November 06, 2005

Why, T.O.?

How can someone so good be such a disappointment?

Owens, who blasted the organization on Thursday for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch two weeks ago, will miss the Eagles' key Sunday night game against the Washington Redskins.


Terrell Owens was suspended by the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday for conduct detrimental to the team, a catch-all sanction that team officials imposed after deliberating much of Friday over how to address the latest flap involving their loquacious wide receiver.

It is uncertain when -- or if -- he will return to the team.

I think the time has come. Andy Reid should (literally) kick T.O.'s butt out of the locker room and off the team. Despite his ability to catch footballs and run down the field with them, I believe his off-the-field antics are more of a detriment to the team than his ability is worth. If he's going to cry about not getting enough money or attention, then he can cry himself all the way to NFL Europe (since I don't think any NFL team in their right mind would take him, for the all trouble he's worth). I'm tired of him, his team is tired of him, and Philadelphia fans are tired of him.

What a butthead.

TO.jpg

Posted by xerxes on 06:13 AM | Comments (9)

November 05, 2005

The ISA Show

We performed tonight at Mitchell Hall at the University of Delaware, as part of the Indian Student Association's Fall Show.

It featured amazing Indian dancing, Caribbean dancing, African dancing. And us.

And it was excellent, the best crowd we've ever played for really, cheering so loud and actually groaning in disappointment when we said we were done. Wow. What fun. Plus, the hall was awesome, the place was packed, and the sound was good.

What fun. Thanks ISA for letting us play and take part in such a high energy event. What a night.

Posted by jason on 09:26 PM | Comments (9)

November 04, 2005

Senate Approves Drilling ANWR

Yesterday, by a 52-47 vote, the US Senate directed the Department of the Interior to begin selling oil leases within four years in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), with the goal of lowering the deficit and helping to pay for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Oil would not be available for another ten years, and according to a 2003 DOE report, opening the Alaska refuge to drilling would only reduce U.S. dependence on imported crude oil in 2025 from 70 percent to 66 percent. The House of Representatives decides next week on whether to keep the drilling measure in the bill.

This is what ANWR currently looks like.
ANWR-OkpikakFlowers.jpg

ANWR-OkpikakFoothills.jpg

ANWR-PolarBear.jpg

These are pictures of current oil facilities in Alaska. These facilities meet the same environmental regulations the proposed drilling would. This is considered "clean" drilling.

arcclean.jpg

arc_cov.jpg

pipeline3.jpg

So, over the next 20 years, if we get the most we possibly can out ANWR, we may reduce our dependency on foreign oil by 4%.

There are several reasons why I find the whole concept of drilling in Alaska to be disturbing.

1. This land was set aside as protected land in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration. Drilling it would be blatant disregard for a legal contract that protects the land. What good are laws and legislations if we can simply overturn them when there is money involved?

2. Part of the reason it was designated as a wilderness area was to protect the lands where one of the last surviving indigenous tribes lives in much the same way as they have for centuries. If we drill for oil, they will be forced to leave their homes and their land. They will literally be rounded up like cattle and forced onto a reservation.

3. There are endangered species that live exclusively in that part of the world. Drilling would ruin their habitats and disrupt their migrations, thus making extinction virtually inevitable.

4. There is inherent value in preserving wilderness as it was created. ANWR is literally one of the last great wildernesses.

5. No matter what you hear, drilling for oil is NOT clean and WOULD severely damage the environment. The current alaskan drilling projects have shown us time and time again, that despite the best efforts of science and industry, terribly damaging spills happen with regularity and frequency. On average, there is one oil spill of 2000 gallons in Alaska every day. This is considered routine and clean.

6. Although I don't think drilling would be worth it at any cost, WE WOULD ONLY REDUCE OUR FOREIGN DEPENDENCY BY 4%!!!! Also, because drilling in that environment would be so expensive, there would be NO drop in gas prices.

7. There is only enough oil in ANWR to sustain US oil consumption for 6 months. Drilling there would ruin it forever.

If you want to do your part in trying to stop this, please email your representative and let your voice be heard. While we do not live in a democracy, many voices can still change minds. Congress will vote next week. This is not a done deal. Congress could overturn the senate vote. YOUR OPINION MATTERS!!!!!!!

Click Here To write to your representative who will vote next week.


Here are email addresses for the senators of some states where I know we have a lot of readers. Please take the time to write to them too. Let them know if they did not vote in such a way that represents you. Perhaps your thoughts will influence how they vote in the future.

Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter
Delaware Senator Joe Biden
Delaware Senator Tom Carper
Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes
Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski
New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg
New York Senator Hillary Clinton
New York Senator Charles Schumer

Posted by collin on 10:12 AM | Comments (13)

The Republic for which it Stands

When I pledged allegiance to the U.S.A. I took the words at face value. I thought "the republic for which it stands" was something more than just empty words. I thought it was a nation that valued human life and dignity, a land of opportunity. A country that offered liberty and justice for all.

Did I pledge allegiance to a dream?

Check it out.The Associated Press points out that:

Led by Vice President Dick Cheney, the Bush administration is floating a proposal that would exempt covert agents outside the Defense Department from a Senate-approved ban on torturing detainees in U.S. custody.

Again, according to the The Jurist points out:

The White House recently proposed absolving CIA agents abroad from proposed legislation advanced by Senator John McCain barring the "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" of detainees.

So in a nutshell, the government is asking permission of itself to torture terrorists suspects. Not convicts. Suspects.

They are holding them without trial for undisclosed amounts of time in top secret prison camps scattered around in different countries.

Is this liberty? Is this justice?

Go ahead, read about it.

The Central Intelligence Agency has held and interrogated some of its most important al Qaeda suspects at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

According to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents, the secret facility is part of a larger covert prison system that has set up compounds at various times in Thailand, Afghanistan, and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The existence and location of these facilities, called "black sites" in government documents, are known to only a few US officials and are indicative of the CIA's unconventional war on terror.

Another sorce points out:

There is mounting evidence that countries known to practice torture have been specifically selected to receive certain suspects for interrogation in an attempt to distance the USA from the abuse, the rights organization said. This is outsourcing torture.

Unbelievable!

First off, it’s sick, inhumane, and terrible. It’s against everything I thought that America stood for.

Second, how is this going to help to stop terrorism? This is only going to fuel anti-Americanism.

Since when did the land of the free arrest and torture suspects with no trial? And when did the home of the brave start slaughtering people from the air?

The Post mentions that about 20 people were killed late yesterday by two U.S. airstrikes. "The people gathered to rescue people whose house was bombed in the first strike," said one neighbor. "A short time after they gathered, another plane came and bombed the house again, killing most of them."

America, do not be deceived, you reap what you sow. Stop sowing hatred! Stop sowing violence! Stop sowing seeds torture and injustice. Stop slaughtering the innocent, the civilians.

Stop sowing terror.

Posted by ian on 01:48 AM | Comments (22)

November 03, 2005

A New Car

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I did something I've never done before in my entire life, something that Darby has never done either. I bought a brand spanking new car. As someone who has taken as gospel the mantra that "A car loses 20% of its value when it drives off the lot" this is certainly something I thought I'd never really do.

I went to a Saturn dealership planning to look at their 2003 Saturn Vue with 13,500 miles. It was listed at $12,995. However, seeing it up close, I saw that it had a number of deep scratches that had started to rust and its interior was not looking so good. Since the most I've ever spent for a car was $5000, I really didn't want to more than double that up for a car that didn't look so hot and already needed some repairs.

Also, its warranty was running out in like 3 months. I'm just tired of having to worry about car repairs so being under warranty would be a necessity for me here. So If I bought this used car, I would going to need to buy an extended warranty.

I wandered over to the new cars and saw that the 2006 models listed at $17,995. Hmmmm. . .. a brand new car, with no mileage at all and 3 full years of warranty. Plus the new cars come with a $500 rebate AND a $500 gift certificate from Target.

So let's figure this out.

Used car --> 13,000. Add 3 years of a warranty = +$3,000. We're already up to $16,000 here to reach the warranty I'd get with the new car. And you don't get to take advantage of the $1000 discount on the new car. So really, the new car is now down to $16,995. For me, $995 is worth having a car that is 3 years newer and has 13,500 less miles. So this is how. . . somehow. . . I ended up with this new car.

Also add in that the new car gets slightly better mileage (29 highways versus 27) and contributes less emissions. .. and the fact that I don't even have to go to the DMV now, I will get the title mailed to me with no need to get an inspection (you know how I feel about Maryland's inspection process), and the fact that I get to pick a color that I very much like (midnight gray) versus the orange. I was sold. I really like that color. In the words of Paris Hilton, "It's Hot."

(I added a leather interior and a nice roof rack too. . .for not that much.) Darby and I have this weird habit of treating things really well when they are of nice quality, but unfortunately we junk up things that are not of such quality. So I thought if we got the leather interior, I'd ensure we'd keep this car clean.

The bad news? I have to wait 4-6 weeks to get this thing. It's in the factory right now, rolling down the line, being lovingly crafted by Saturn's highly skilled artisans.

Actually, that long waiting period might be a blessing in disguise. If at any time in the next month and a half I reconsider. . . I can cancel the sale. . .

Posted by jason on 08:59 PM | Comments (5)

New Music

Let's share for a moment.

Here's what I'm listening to and liking.

Depeche Mode's new album Playing the Angel is an unexpected yet welcome return to form for them. It's equal parts Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion with a dash of Black Celebration thrown in as well. Seriously good music.

Thrice's new album (don't want to look up how to spell it, like Vishniuui or something). I still can't tell if I like it more or less than their last release, but I definitely do like it a whole lot. Something very epic about the way it sounds, with piano and blistering guitars and excellent vocal performances. I especially like the drums. One thing I noticed is they've really gone full-on Christian with this release.

Last night I saw Ben Folds at the Electric Factory in Philly and he had a band opening for them called The Fray. I like them. If you like Coldplay or Counting Crows you should listen to them. . . they're very talented.

I also recently got the new Dar Williams and Imogen Heap (ie Frou Frou) releases, both of which are good, but I have to hear them a little more to really develop an opinion.

So. .. what are you all listening to?

Posted by jason on 07:41 PM | Comments (13)

"Pitch His Tents"

Wow. What do you get when you mix a very embarassing Freudian slip, a Christian Youth Rally, and a Youth Pastor with the energy of Chris Farley's Motivation Speaker? This.

ps. . . take a look at the poor guys eyes when he realizes what exactly he accidentally said.

Posted by jason on 05:13 PM | Comments (5)

November 01, 2005

From beyond the grave

Albert Einstein emailed us a fan letter today. I have to say, we're flattered.

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Posted by jason on 04:07 PM | Comments (17)

Practice+

The Look Machine Sollin has Sexy Hair.jpg
Here is Collin's new hair-dew for practice nights.
The Look Machine Drew At Practice Sleeping.jpg
Here is Drew practicing away...

more...

The Look Machine Ian and his pumpkin.jpg
Ian and his new guitar.
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Jason. I don't really have an explanation.
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Me drumming away.
The Look Machine Josh Latshaw Boy Sets Fire.jpg
Here is Josh. (He's definitely not at our practice. This would be the "+" part of the title.)
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Our new lawn mower. ("+" no.2)

Posted by shane on 12:38 PM | Comments (16)