Friday, March 31, 2006

Democracy

Interesting reading.


About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in
1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of
Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some
2,000 years prior:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a
permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. Fr om bondage to spiritual faith;
2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
3. From courage to liberty;
4. From liberty to abundance;
5. From abundance to complacency;
6. From complacency to apathy;
7. From apathy to dependence;
8. From dependence back into bondage "

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul,
Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the 2000
Presidential election:

Population of counties won by: Gore: 127 million; Bush: 143 million;
Square miles of land won by: Gore: 580,000; Bush: 2,427,000

States won by: Gore: 19 Bush: 29

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Gore: 13.2
Bush: 2.1

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush
won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great
country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in
government-owned tenements living off government welfare..."

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency & apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

Pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

1 UP!

Ok I really need 's get furry icon for this one. Thinkgeek is now selling a kit to make your own Super Mario Brother's 1-UP mushroom. You can see the fungi details here.





Update: Well apparently I've fallen for my first April Fools day joke.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

People of Influence Installment 3

Robert Francis "RT" Tracy

Unfortunately I never knew RT when he was healthy. By the time I met him, Alzheimers had taken away many of the things that older employees would talk about. I do know about his legacy. RT started what is now Dot Foods, Inc. out of the family station wagon almost 50 years ago. Now his vision and persistance have led to a $2.2 Billion per year company.

Because of his work building the company, he was also able to build the community of Mt. Sterling. Not many communities the size of Mt. Sterling can boast a YMCA or an employer as large as Dot.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Yes or No

The Rules

1. You can only say YES or NO.
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you/comments and asks!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tagged by umrguy42

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Clerk, Shopko
2. Technical Support, WCUSD #15
3. System Administrator, Math and CS Department at Truman State
4. Network Administrator, Dot Foods, Inc.
Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Patton
2. M*A*S*H
3. Keeping the Faith
4. When Harry Met Sally

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. M*A*S*H
2. Mythbusters
3. Secret Life of ...
4. JAG

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Roma, Italia
2. Tampa Bay, Florida
3. Phoenix, Arizona
4. London, England

Four websites I visit often:
1. Livejournal
2. Slashdot
3. Facebook
4. Fox News

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Ravioli
2. Horseshoe
3. Sausage and Mushroom Pizza
4. Corn Dogs

Four friends who I have tagged that I think will respond:
1. deanster
2. lunadepapel
3. zanyzigs
4. I need more LJ friends!

You've Got Sappy

Darn TBS and their weekend playings of movies like "You've Got Mail". It sucked me in this morning as usual. Why can't real life be like that? Yesterday I had the privilige of hanging out with four awesome women from Truman (including deanster and my buddy zanyzigs. Just wish that I didn't have to always travel for hanging out with people that I click with. Surely there are some nice people my age in Jacksonville somewhere that don't believe that the bar is the be all end all of existence?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lyrical Thought 15

Song: So Long & Thanks for All the Fish
So long and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this
We tried to warn you all but oh dear?

You may not share our intellect
Which might explain your disrespect
For all the natural wonders that
grow around you

So long, so long and thanks
for all the fish

The world's about to be destroyed
There's no point getting all annoyed
Lie back and let the planet dissolve

Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your
pregnant women

So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
So long, so long, so long, so long, so long

So long, so long and thanks
for all the fish

(yeah)

So long and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this
We tried to warn you all but oh dear?

(oh dear)

Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your
pregnant women

So long, so long, so long, so long, so long
So long, so long, so long, so long, so long

So long, so long and thanks
for all the fish

Think God!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lyrical Thought 14

The Meaning of Life

Why are we here? What's life all about?
Is God really real, or is there some doubt?
Well, tonight, we're going to sort it all out,
For, tonight, it's 'The Meaning of Life'.

What's the point of all this hoax?
Is it the chicken and the egg time? Are we just yolks?
Or, perhaps, we're just one of God's little jokes.
Well, ├ža c'est le 'Meaning of Life'.

Is life just a game where we make up the rules
While we're searching for something to say,
Or are we just simply spiralling coils
Of self-replicating DNA. Nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay.

In this 'life', what is our fate?
Is there Heaven and Hell? Do we reincarnate?
Is mankind evolving, or is it too late?
Well, tonight, here's 'The Meaning of Life'.

For millions, this 'life' is a sad vale of tears,
Sitting 'round with rien nothing to say
While the scientists say we're just simply spiralling coils
Of self-replicating DNA. Nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay.

So, just why-- why are we here,
And just what-- what-- what-- what do we fear?
Well, ce soir, for a change, it will all be made clear,
For this is 'The Meaning of Life'. C'est le sens de la vie.
This is 'The Meaning of Life'.

Regression is Fun

Ok so I guess in light of not having any basketball that interested me tonight I decided to peruse my DVD collection for movies that I haven't watched yet. Madagascar popped out so I watched it. What a funny flick. Ok so it's a kids movie, but hey regression is fun. I still have two hours to fill until bedtime though. Hmm what to put in next. Perhaps, yes I think so, it's time for some Monty Python... Now the question is which one? I can hear right now in his head going "Oh God you are so big..." yup Matt that's right, it's time to discover... the Meaning of Life!

Catholic Young Adult Conference

Ok so there is a Young Adult Conference that I would like to go to in Steubenville, OH this summer, but I'd rather not drive cross country alone. Anyone out there want to put a carpool together? It's the first weekend of June. The details are on their website. It really sounds like an interesting conference to attend. That and I need an excuse to leave Illinois for something other than work.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

March Madness

Well Illinois is now done after a heart breaking loss to Washington. Now my only interest in the tournament is that either Bradley (long shot) or UCONN get me into the money of the pick 'em pool I'm in. Guess it's time to put the Illinois shirts away and break out the Cubs shirts. Go Cubbies!

On a related baseball note. I would like to congratulate our rivals to the south (aka St. Louis) for finally replacing Sportsman's Park. The temporary facilities that they were in for the last 40 years were rather low brow for a baseball game. ;-)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Muppet Personality

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tornado Aftermath

Well today I had to go to the eye doctor in Springfield. On my way home road closures forced me through the disaster area. It was very weird to look towards the shopping center with Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target and see darkness and piles of debris.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tornado Update 2

* Lots of wind damage in Springfield, New Berlin and other parts of Sangamon County
* My manager's brother's house was hit, he's ok, but a tree is on his truck.
* Injuries have been reported.

Keep praying, round two is still to come.

Tornado Update

Please pray. The storm is hitting Springfield and so far one major store lost its roof in a heavily populated area. People are trapped.

Tornado Warning Number 1

Well I've just returned from my bathroom after the first Tornado Warning of the spring. I know that it is "Tornado Week" on the weather channel, but somehow I would think they'd cut in with alternative programming during a severe weather breakout. Something about having pictures of massive F-5 tornadoes and damage on the screen as you're under a Tornado Warning is just a bit surreal. Looks like Jacksonville has missed wave one, but there apparently is a Tornado on the ground 10 miles south headed towards Springfield. This is one of those nights that I wish I had a basement. From the looks of the radar, I'll probably be woke up around midnight with round two.

On a funny note, I'm not sure how I could tell a tornado was about to hit my apartment. With the train tracks less than 100 feet away I'd say that I hear freight trains all the time... Ironically one is passing now.

History of Math

Oh boy is this so true. I found this on another blog and he attributed it to an e-mail forward so here it is:

HISTORY OF MATH TEACHING IN THE UNITED STATES:



Last week I purchased a burger and fries at McDonalds for $3.58. The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters back, but she called the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she just stood there and cried.



Why do I tell you this?



Because of the following evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:



Teaching Math In 1950

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?



Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?



Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?



Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.



Teaching Math In 1990

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)



Teaching Math In 2005

Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?

Monday, March 6, 2006

Soundtrack of Ben's Dating

Ok this is a random post, but I was thinking about how I have songs associated with most of the dating relationships in my life and some of the women I wished I could have dated. I'll protect the innocent and not post names, but certain people I'm sure can unravel the mystery.


  • As I Lay Me Down -- Sophie B. Hawkins

  • Color My World -- Chicago

  • Annie's Song -- John Denver

  • Kiss the Girl -- Disney's Little Mermaid and Someone To Watch Over Me -- Frank Sinatra and Can't Stop This Feeling -- REO Speedwagon

  • Dive -- Steven Curtis Chapman and A Thousand Miles -- Vanessa Carlton

  • Electric Blue -- Icehouse

  • Bless the Broken Road -- Rascal Flatts



Comments on this post are screened so feel free to guess.

Lyrical Thought 13

Jesus, take the wheel
(Carrie Underwood)

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
She was going way to fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on

Oh, Jesus take the wheel
Oh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Oh, take it, take it from me
Oh, why, oh

Happy Polish Voter Day!

For those of you that aren't from the great state of Illinois, today is Casmir Pulaski day. Casmir was a mercenary from Poland that fought with George Washington's troops. He was key in training our troops to fight the British regulars.

Now you might say, great, but why are the school kids getting off for that when they don't get off for other more known American heroes? Well because our former Governor Jim Thompson needed a few more votes from the Chicago Polish population. Hence Polish Voter Day!

Sunday, March 5, 2006

The Joy of Lent

Gasp did I just use Joy and Lent in the same title? Well yes I did. This weekend I went to Mass with my parents at St. Joseph parish in Springfield and they had a liturgical booklet for their lenten Masses with that title. On the front cover was the following quote from the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer for the first week of lent:


Saturday, March 4, 2006

Uh Oh

Well today I went and visited my parents for a belated b-day party since I was out of town last weekend. If they mention grand kids one more time I may go insane. Trust me I'd like to make them happy, but dang it I need a wife first!

Friday, March 3, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Murderers on death row can find women to marry them. I can't find one to sit through coffee with me." -- Dr. Fraiser Crane

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Awakenings, Career Expo and Facebook

Ok so it's catch up time on the postings. Over the weekend I attended my 11th Awakenings ( is up to 12, but who is counting besides us?) with the Kirksville Catholic Newman Center. I graduated in '02, but it was a blast to meet all of the new people. I guess you can go home.

As a result of people asking me to "facebook them" after returning from Awakenings I created a facebook account so that I could connect with all of them. It's a rather addicting phenomenon actually. Sorta like a digital yearbook. As a side effect I found a new LJ to monitor. My friend is an awesome person from Truman.

I also spent a couple of days in Kirksville recruiting for Dot. It was kinda slow, but I got to catch up with a lot of professors, Bettie and Fr. Bill.