7 hours on a ladder

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Spent 7 hours standing on a ladder today, staining the rest of our deck. Holy cats. The good news is that it's all done, and the deck looks pretty good. The stain is a bit splotchy in some spots -- I don't know how that happened; I applied it exactly as instructed, using two coats, brushing it carefully. Yet, it still shows some splotches... I'm guessing that the wood absorbed more product in certain areas, and that led the the uneven finish. Maybe it'll level out after a year or so.

To make the job a little more tolerable, I purchased an inMotion m600 iPod radio. The thing is awesome. It's tiny -- about 1/4 the size of my laptop but has great sound. It has a built-in rechargeable battery that lasted the entire day (I worked from 9:30am - 6:00pm). If you have an iPod, I highly recommend this "boombox" - it plays pretty loud, the battery lasts a long time, and it's extremely portable. It even charges your iPod while it's docked. Well worth the money.

I used the m600 to listen to Al Franken's "Lies And The Lying Liars That Tell Them", and I almost fell off the ladder from laughter - that, and from shaking my head in disbelief.

I was never a huge fan of Al Franken, but this book is fantastic. It's absolutely hilarious and he makes some incredible arguments. He provides well-documented and proven facts and references to show how people like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reily, Rush Limbaugh, and good 'ole Dubya' mislead the public on a regular basis, all the while screaming about how everything is the "liberal media's" fault.

The chapters on terrorism are particularly interesting. Consider this: Regan lost 500+ American lives in the 80's during two terrorist attacks: Beirut and PanAm 103. He also supplied Afghanistan with tens of thousands of RPGs, rifles, ammunition, rocket launchers, and technology that terrorists use today to fight our troops.

Bush Sr. didn't lose any American lives to terrorism under his watch, but he implemented operation "Ignore" when the Cold War ended, and rather than gather-up all of the armaments from Afghanis, he simply deserted the area, leaving the weapons behind and leaving the area to become a haven for anti-American terrorists in training.

Clinton implemented funding and introduced anti-terrorist legislature, well before 9/11. When the WTC was bombed in 1993 (just 38 days after he was inaugurated), Clinton immediately captured, prosecuted, and imprisonned the people responsible, including Ramsey Yuseff. In 1996, Clinton authorized an assassination order for Osama Bin Laden, and he pressed congress to increase spending on anti-terrorism efforts. He suggested that we implement measures similar to OFAC and the Patriot Act (back in 1996). The Republican congress turned it down (including the assassination order), and scolded Clinton for his efforts. They were more interested in going after him for Monica Lewinski, and picking on Al Gore over his concern for the environment.

Bush Jr, well.... despite losing nearly 3,000 American lives during 9/11, and some 3,500 in Iraq, he's actually cut anti-terrorism funding, and well, we're still looking for Osama. Oh, and we're still fighting an unwinable war in Iraq.

What else? He's set the stage to put us some 4-trillion farther into debt. He's screwed up the economy, got the entire world mad at us, and has all but run the country into the ground. But, hey, at least the gays ain't allowed to get married, right?

Please, do yourself a favor and read or listen to Franken's book. It's pretty insightful. Many thanks to my friend John Janzen for sharing the book with me - he's recommended 3 books to me, and so far has hit home runs with each of them.

In other news, I'm off to Dallas on Tuesday - should be back on Wednesday night.

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