September 06, 2007

New and Improved Second Edition Now Available!

You can still buy my wife's book. This edition has been revised for a middle school audience. By buying a single copy you can raise her Amazon rank by 100,000 places! Visit her website to learn more.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:38 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2006

For the Record

The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. has posted all the exhibits from Zacarias Moussaoui's trial. It is unlikely the link will work for quite some time due to bandwidth restraints.

Posted by Charles Austin at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

What If?

I've occasionally wondered what might have happened if only one of the two towers had been hit. Unfortunately, with no one anticipating the collapse, the death toll might have been much, much worse. If only one tower had been hit, would it have done irreparable damage to the whole site when it collapsed? Is it possible that in the bastards overzealousness that they may have not killed as many people as they otherwise might have?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2003


Jake was a bad tabby cat. We got Jake just about 5 years ago as a kitten, rescuing him and one of his sisters (Maddie). They both got their shots, id chips, collars, and neutered and spayed respectively. It's funny how much my "free" pets have cost. Anyway, Jake had a sweet disposition and was really good with kids, but he was loud when we wanted to be quiet, often annoying, and frequently destructive. We had him declawed, which worked for a while, but after a couple of years he started spraying in the house. By now, I was ready to get rid of Jake. So, as a compromise Jake became predominantly an outdoor cat. He became a permanent outdoor cat about two months ago when he came into our bed while we were sleeping in it and urinated on it between my wife and I. Jake was rapidly using up all his lives as far as I was concerned. Then Jake nipped a little girl a couple of blocks away who had been petting him. We never learned all the details, but that seemed out of character for Jake. The animal control folks came by and took Jake away and after a mandatory quarantine period he was free again. Well, you know what I think we should have done, but we didn't. Then two weeks ago, one of our neighbors informed us that Jake was coming into their house at night through their cat flap and fighting with their cats. What made it stranger is that they have a full grown Labrador, but then again, Jake was always brave and elusive. So Jake started spending his evenings in a large outdoor cage. My wife is definitely a cat person, but even she had become fed up with Jake and his antics.

About 6:30 tonight, Jake got hit by a car and killed. Daughter #1 is devastated. Fortunately, while daughter #2 is a little sad she doesn't seem to care that much. My wife is a little relieved since she no longer has to deal with the problems Jake has been causing. I honestly will not miss Jake, but I do feel for my daughter and what she's going through. This might be the first death of a pet she was emotionally attached to that she's had to deal with. Maddie, Buddy (our dog), Pujenkins (her lizard), and her fish are helping console her a bit, but tomorrow or the next day, I expect we'll be looking for a new kitty to rescue.


Posted by Charles Austin at 10:58 PM | Comments (5)

August 29, 2003

All's Fair In Love and War

I'm surprised it has taken this long, but I think this is a good thing:

In the 20 weeks since the fall of Baghdad, two U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi women won each other's hearts.

The American men and Iraqi women courted, fell in love and decided to marry, but they had to battle disapproving senior American officers and fears of retribution by militant Iraqis.

When they finally held their double wedding ceremony Aug. 17, the nuptials were carried out with the secrecy and synchronization of a commando operation.

The two brides -- one in a print dress, the other in slacks -- and a few family members came to a city street corner at mid-morning. From there, an Iraqi intermediary led them to the route of their fiancés' foot patrol.

The grooms, carrying M-16 rifles, marched up in their Army uniforms, complete with bulletproof vests. A nervous Iraqi judge arrived, and the group ducked into the grassy courtyard of a dilapidated restaurant, where the vows were exchanged.

I wish them the best! IMHO, I think this is part of what the remainder of the dead-enders are most worried about.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2003

Language and Other Oddities

Shouldn't we call a hot water heater a heat water hotter?

Whose wont was what we won't want?

If you could travel at the speed of light and look back at the path you are taking, would everything be dark?

Wasn't The Grateful Dead's biggest single, "A Touch of Gray"? Maybe it will be Gov. Davis' anti-recall theme song, "... I will get by, I will survive."

Arnold Schwarzenegger has only played one bad guy in the movies. And he has rectified that twice.

Words I have said on several occasions that I dread hearing from my daughter, "I'm going to see a guy I met on the Internet."

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:16 PM | Comments (2)

And Now a Water Shortage Too!

Millions Flood Streets During Blackout

Oh, the humanity.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

This Never Happened When Rudy Was In Charge

Ok, so the electricity is out on the East Coast. Does that mean I won't have to hear any more stories about how we can't keep the electricity on around the clock in Baghdad?

On CBS a reporter and Dan Rather are blabbering on about how "...people don't know what to do..." as though everyone in New York (New York!) are helpless children who cannot be trusted to take care of themselves. (Ed. Well, Bloomberg is the mayor after all.) But my favorite part of the CBS we-interrupt-this-broadcast-to-bring-you-faux-news emergency -- let's face it, if you don't have power you're not watching the news, and if you do have power there ain't a whole lot you're going to learn from watching Dan Rather -- has to be the little line scrolling across the bottom of the screen letting us know that the pre-empted The Young and the Restless can be seen in its entirety later this evening. Except on the East Coast, of course.

So if you are somehow reading this on the East Coast, stop in your local deli or store, pick up a light dinner, some snacks, and a bottle of your favorite adult beverage and kick back in a secure place until tomorrow. You're not going to be getting out of town this evening anyway and after dark -- ooo ooo ooo, law of the jungle. It might be safer to be in Iraq tonight.


Posted by Charles Austin at 06:01 PM | Comments (1)

August 01, 2003

Looks Like I Picked A Bad Month To Stop Sniffing Glue

With apologies to Lloyd Bridges for that title, I'm back. I take most of a month off and Richard Cohen gets re-listed on Drudge. Obviously, your humble Scourge has work to do! But that will have to wait a bit until the torrent of backlogged items gets washed away.

I stepped away for a while to address a crisis of whether to quit blogging or not. As you can see dear reader, I have decided to continue -- though posting may be a little more sporadic and bursty at times than in the past. To rebuild my barely adequate psychic defenses I spent two weeks in Southern California with the family where I logged on only once, though the capability was always available. So I think I blog like I drink, heavily but sporadically. Anyway, I proved to myself that I could step away if I wanted to, and that's important --at least to me. I didn't really miss blogging, which kind of surprised me, but I definitely fell out of the news cycle. I didn't even know Uday and Qusay had assumed room temperature for several days. Huzzah!!!

Before recounting the adventures in La-La land, I first must thank Andrea Harris who has graciously provided a forum for me away from Blogspot. Thank you webmistress!!! I'll also put in a kind word for Dodd Harris, Dean Esmay and several others who have offered to help me move in the past. Moving has been extremely easy, thanks to all of you. Archives and some other special features, including a blogroll, will follow soon.

And now for the vacation...

We stayed with some friends in San Diego who graciously put us up for most of two weeks. Highlights included visiting Old Town, Coronado Island, the Cabrillo National Monument (in a bizarre coincidence, the planning calendar I bought my wife last Christmas features lighthouses, and the lighthouse pictured this week is the one at Point Loma), La Jolla, the Miramar MCAS golf course (I shot an 84!), Torrey Pines (alas, I planned to play the North course one day and the South course the next, but a recurrence of gout in my left knee -- no doubt two weeks of heavy drinking and eating had something to do with this -- destroyed my opportunity to do so, so I had to settle for a shirt and a ball marker until my next visit), Sea World, a visit to Anza-Borrego where it was 115 degrees, many days at the beach; and a side trip to Anaheim where we went to Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, and I had an evening out with Martin Devon.

My wife asked my what I enjoyed the most about the vacation and I told her it was not getting up for work in the morning. She assumed it was my night out with Martin, which was damned fine, but had it come after a day of work, I don't think I would have enjoyed it quite as much. I know I wouldn't have enjoyed going to work the next day! If you care, the first posted picture of me that I know of can be found in Martin's gracious writeup of our night out. I cannot improve upon his summary of our fine soiree.

Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure were nice, but they pale in comparison to Disneyworld and Epcot. The place is really showing it's age and it would have been nice if the rides hadn't broken down at least six times while we were on them over three days. Well, the kids loved it and all the little problems aside, I still admire what Disney has done. And while I understand the synergy of a media empire that has gone from being a Sunday night feature on NBC to one that includes ABC and ESPN, the incessant pushing of the X-Games and ABC sitcoms seems more than a little vulgar to me. I don't think Walt would have approved. But I digress.

Anyway, here I am. Tanned, rested and ready -- your recherché raconteur.

Blog On!

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:52 PM | Comments (3)