Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It's been a while since I last posted anything here, and a lot has been going on.

I picked-up my new boat this weekend and proceeded to spend the entire weekend on the water. The weather ended-up being perfect for boating/fishing, and I have the nasty sunburn to prove it. I think I'm going to dig the whole boat thing, though. However, it does look like I'll need to do a little "accessorizing" before we head-out to Michigan for the annual fishing trip. Gadgets. Gotta have the gadgets.

After another hard-fought win at home (the first home game I've missed this year) my beloved Crew is uncontested atop the single-table standings in MLS! This is the best start the team has had in the last four seasons, and things are looking bright for the Black-n-Gold. The influx of new talent this year, combined with the solid core of returning players looks to be a winning combination. Let's just hope they can continue to win, build confidence and AT LEAST make the play-offs this year.

This Friday (May 2nd) is my birthday. I'll be 36 this year, but I don't feel a day over 40. We'll probably do the normal birthday celebration... Marlo, Sydney, the in-laws and I will probably go out to dinner at the eating establishment of my choosing, and then I'm thinking about catching a screening of Iron Man. I'm such a comic book movie geek!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Welcome to Ohio

I once read that Ohio is ranked in the top-five states in the nation for the LEAST number of sunny days per year. As I sit here looking out the window at another dreary, overcast, rainy horizon, I would have to agree. Don't get me wrong, though. Ohio does have its good points... But it may take me a few minutes to think of them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Boat Bug: Part 2

It looks like I'm picking-up my new (2007) Tracker Pro Guide V-17 SC on Friday! I should have that 90 horsepower Mercury churning-up the water by Saturday! Woohoo!
Oh man... What have I done?! I guess since the Harley is paid-off I still only have one "toy" payment, so it's all good. Right? ;-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Boat Bug: Part 1

I like to fish. I have for years. While living (on a lake) in Northern Indiana I fished almost every day. It was easy. I could just walk outside and fish from the bank, put the row-boat (no motors allowed on the lake I lived on) in or, for that matter, call up a buddy with a boat. It seems like everyone I knew in Indiana had a boat of some sort.

Since moving here to Columbus it has become much more difficult to go fishing. There are plenty of lakes, but I don't know anyone with a (fishing) boat and renting one is a gigantic hassle. Bank fishing prospects are plentiful, but not very rewarding. So I've been relegated to a one-week-a-year fishing trip with my father-in-law and some other family members (and still renting a boat).

This past Saturday was a typical, miserable Ohio spring day. Just enough cloud cover and rain to kill any hopes of seeing the sun and squash any plans for outdoor activities while still being nice enough outside to make you NOT want to be inside. Days like this have a tendency to get me in trouble, and I found myself cruising to a couple different marinas to look at boats.

After much tire-kicking I finally decided which one I'd get, you know, IF I was to actually get one. A Tracker Pro Guide V-17 SC would be the perfect boat for me... If I was actually buying one.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Top 'o the Table!

The MLS single table standings chart to the right doesn't reflect it yet, but my beloved Crew are currently #1 in the East, and #1 overall after a great road win (2-1) over D.C. United last night! There are still plenty of Week 4 games to be played tomorrow, but for the time being the Black-and-Gold is numero uno!

Last night's game wasn't as much of a barn-burner as last week's win over Chivas, but there was some solid play on our side. Moreno is a bulldog, and he is finally getting his chance to shine now that he has the right bunch of guys behind him. He was the most fouled player in MLS last year for good reason... The man is NOT afraid to mix it up.

One of the most inspiring performances of the night came from Frankie Hejduk. He played like a man on fire, and on both ends of the field. Hard tackles combined with some great runs were reminiscent of the Frankie of old. Welcome back Frankie. We missed you!

Gaven and Roberts were pretty quiet last night, but they both turned in very good performances as well. They really worked their asses off, playing the entire game from end-line to end-line. While neither had a goal, both were responsible for multiple corner kick opportunities and some stellar defending. These guys are two of the best young midfielders in the game, and when they hit their stride the league is in for a surprise.

The back line was solid last night. Moffat and Carroll are starting to gel and it really shows in their play. Moffat in particular had a great personal effort leading to the own-goal that ended-up being the game winner.

Padula is starting to settle in to his role, and his steady nerves and great service are going to be key this year. Plus, he looks like a left-footed Frankie Hejduk which can't be a bad thing.

Some have criticized O'Rourke's performance in the central defender position, but I was pretty impressed with him last night. He had a few akward touches, but he also did some GREAT defending. With more experience, and with Chad Marshall (who also had an awesome game) by his side, I think we are well on our way to the solid defense that we were in such need of last year.

And Schelotto... What can you say about this guy? His touch is amazing and his vision is almost mythical.

I don't want to jinx it this early in the season, but this is the stuff play-off teams are made of.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ohio's "Castle Doctrine" Passes Senate Unanimously!


Now if we can get it past the House, our illustrious Governor can sign it into law!

Putting the "Hooz" in "HoozYerMama"

A few people have asked where I came up with the name “hoozyermama” (“HoozYerMama”, actually) so I guess I'll address that.

A long time ago (in 1997) a computer game was released that would change the face of gaming as we then knew it. Quake II, building on the foundation of its predecessor, presented the computer gaming crowd with the most spectacular online multi-player experience ever seen. Online death-match and cooperative team oriented mods spawned vast communities of rabid gamers. I am almost ashamed to admit that I fell victim to the Quake II mania myself. Capture-the-Flag was my deal, and I played so much that it almost got me divorced. But I digress.

Back in those days, every self-respecting clan (No. Not THAT clan! Quake II teams were called “clans”.) member had to have a cool handle. At the time I was living in Indiana and so I played on the “Hoosier” angle with “HoozYer”. The “Mama” part was just a whimsical add-on that made for entertaining in-game commentary. “LittleJimmy was just fragged by HoozYerMama” just had a nice ring to it.

My nick was eventually shortened to just "Hooz", and it just stuck, even through all these years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another day, another big-freaking-wad-of-dollars!

Another tax day has come and gone, and I find myself with a large, smoldering hole in my wallet yet again. I pay all of the normal Federal, state and local (city) taxes but, being self-employed, I also get dinged by the illustrious "self-employment tax".

Everyone pays FICA (Social Security). I've got no problem with that. Well... I do. But that is a whole other issue.

For anyone who works for someone else, their FICA bill gets split in half. You pay half and your employer pays half. For those of us who work for ourselves though, there is no employer to cover half the tab. Instead, we pay the entire thing (15.3% to be exact) ourselves. Nifty, huh? Just think about what you could do with another 7.65% of your annual income in your pocket, especially as a self-employed small business owner.

Man. I just can't wait until we get a Democrat in the oval office who will let those pesky "Bush Tax Cuts" expire! You know, the tax cuts he gave to "the rich"! Yeah! And we need to raise taxes some more so we can cover our new socialized medicine, finance the world via the "Global Poverty Act", fight global warming and expand our social services even more!

For those of you lefties who read that last paragraph and got all excited... It was SARCASM!

Since I'm kind of on the subject of the "Bush Tax Cuts", maybe someone can explain to me how they are considered tax cuts "for the wealthy". Let's break-down some of this tax data, shall we? Let's compare actual tax for a few different income ranges for both 1999 (Clinton) and 2008 (Bush).
  • Single, making $30,000
    1999 Tax: $8,400
    2008 Tax: $4,500
  • Single, making $50,000
    1999 Tax: $14,000
    2008 Tax: $12,500
  • Single, making $75,000
    1999 Tax: $23,250
    2008 Tax: $18,750
  • Married, making $60,000
    1999 Tax: $16,800
    2008 Tax: $9,000
  • Married, making $75,000
    1999 Tax: $21,000
    2008 Tax: $18,750
  • Married, making $125,000
    1999 Tax: $38,750
    2008 Tax: $31,250

A monkey could see that the Bush tax cuts were not just "for the wealthy", they were for everyone, at every income level. If you pay special attention, you'll also notice that the discounts get smaller as the incomes get bigger. Go figure. The "wealthy" actually get LESS of a break than the "poor" under Bush's plan. Huh.

Yeah. Those tax cuts are evil. We should do away with them ASAP! (More sarcasm!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cold + Rain + Chivas USA = Crew Win!

Sydney and I braved the cold and rain on Saturday night to go watch our team play, and we were not disappointed. It was probably one of the most exciting soccer matches I've seen in a long time. This week saw the hardest-working-team in Major League Soccer up against Chivas USA, a team that the Crew has never beaten at home... Ever.

The final tally was 4-3 in favor of the Black and Gold. The score in itself doesn't tell the whole story, though. There were two send-offs in the second half (both for Chivas USA) and the play was "spirited" to say the least.

The Crew won the season (and home) opener two weeks ago against Toronto FC (which we also attended), and then proceeded to suffer a loss on the road against the New York Red Bulls last week. This win keeps them in the top of the pack in the East, but can they keep it up? The season is still young, so only time will tell.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sad Day in Hilliard

Earlier today my wife called to let me know that there was an accident at my daughter’s former elementary school. Apparently a dump truck failed to stop for a crossing guard and a couple of students in the crosswalk directly in front of the school. The crossing guard attempted to push one child out of the way of the truck and was hit, as was the child.

The guard, Diane Sharp was treated by paramedics on the scene before being air-lifted to the OSU Medical Center where she later died of her injuries. The child she was trying to save is also in the hospital, but he is reportedly “doing well”.

I live less than a mile from where this happened, and I drive through that exact same area every day. I’ve seen people fly through there during school hours, but usually there is a patrol car sitting there waiting to greet them. Evidently the cop wasn’t there this morning, and the dump truck driver said he was driving slow but “didn’t see them”. He must not have been paying much attention, though. You know… Bright yellow vest, big red stop sign and all…

Indentured Servitude: Nanny State Style!

Ohio State Representative Sandra Williams (Democrat... Go figure!) has introduced a bill (HB519) that would require Ohio parents to "volunteer" at their children's school at least 13 hours per school year. While that seems well-intentioned on the surface, the fine print is what interests me.

You see, if the parent(s) don't hit their 13 hours of "volunteer time" for the school year:
(F) Not later than the thirtieth day of June of each school year, the superintendent of each school district shall report to the department of education the name and address of each parent who, in that school year, did not complete the requirements of division (B) of this section. The department shall impose a fine of one hundred dollars on each parent reported under this division who does not show good cause as to why the parent was unable to complete the requirements. The department shall send the parent written notification of the fine. The notification shall inform the parent of the following:

So... If you don't put in enough "volunteer time" at your kid's school, you get fined $100. Don't worry, though. If you blow-off the fine the State will just deduct it from your income tax return!

Umm. What?!

While I am a firm believer that today's parents need to be more involved in their children's lives both in and out of school, having the government mandate it smells an awful lot like socialism to me.

First Blog Post

I have been blogging on my own sites for about 9 years now, but recent upgrades to my personal webserver have broken the CMS ("Blog") functionality. Since I am entirely too lazy to fix the functionality on my personal site, I decided it might be time to give this free blog thing a shot.

Maybe this will inspire me to keep things more up-to-date.