Yearly Archives: 2003

You get what you pay for

Complaints about taxes have certainly been a strong fixture in the news lately. After opening up my property tax bill (which arrived in the mail the other day) I thought I’m really getting a lot for my money. Parks, recreational trails, library services, fire protection, police protection, refuse pickup… the list goes on and on. I would much rather pay to have those services and facilities available to me than to live somewhere without them. What would it be like to live in an area without libraries, without a good park system, not to mention fire and police protection? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”

I for one would rather live in a civilized society than have a little more money in my pocket.

Ryan Adams, Love Is Hell

Ryan Adams’ latest CD, Love is Hell (actually a two part EP) is one of the best albums of this year. An excellent blend of subdued songs along with some rockers, Love is Hell was originally intended to be released as a full album. Instead Adams decided to release the unpolished, albeit more rock-friendly Rock n Roll and offer Love is Hell as a limited edition, two EP set. The reasoning behind this decision is beyond me.

Continue reading Ryan Adams, Love Is Hell

Spare us the dime

Our nation is battling terrorism and violence overseas, the deficit is growing exponentially, unemployment continues in this stagnating economy and what are our lawmakers working on? A bill that would replace the face of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the dime with Ronald Reagan.

Don’t they have anything better to do?

I don’t understand the conservatives need to push Reagan up to iconic status — not to mention the fact that the man is still alive. If they must use Reagan’s likeness on a coin, considering his administration’s trickle-down economic policies, putting it on a penny seems more appropriate to me.

Pointing to libertarian left

Who would have thought that I have something in common with Gandi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela? According to the quiz I took at Political Compass, our political views all fall into the libertarian left category.

I’m sure my mother will be proud to learn that I also seem to be the exact political opposite of our current President (who is listed as authoritarian right). Come to think of it, I’m a little proud myself.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

I’ve always been a little fascinated with the concept of time travel. So when I saw the book The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, I just had to pick it up. I was glad I did. The author had me hooked right from the beginning of the story. It’s about a man named Henry, who is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, and his wife Clare. The disorder causes Henry to periodically be misplaced in time, drawn to people and moments that have emotional importance to him. Clare first met Henry when she was six and Henry was thirty-six. Henry first met Clare when he was twenty-eight and she was twenty. Confused? I was too at times, but it actually makes the story that much more interesting.

Henry’s disappearances (and subsequent shifts to other times) are unpredictable. At times they can also be humorous and distressing, making the book funny, sad, romantic and even a little suspenseful. The way the author created that emotional combination made The Time Traveler’s Wife one of the best books I’ve read in a while.

Home field advantage

It can be a real downer watching your favorite football team lose in an opponent’s stadium. This past Saturday I was at Ryan Field when Wisconsin lost to the Northwestern University Wildcats. I think the worst part of the whole experience was hearing all of the Wildcat fans cheering and having a good time when I was so disappointed. It’s one thing to watch your team lose in its home stadium, but when most of the crowd is cheering because your team is making mistakes (and losing the game) it can be very disheartening.

How soon until basketball season starts?

Mixed Nuts Comedy

Mixed Nuts Comedy screenshot

A new web creation of mine, Mixed Nuts Comedy, went live today. To read a little about the creative process behind the site, check out its page in my portfolio on www.BloyDesigns.com.

Update: February 9, 2007
As of today, the domain BloyDesigns.com no longer exists.
Information about my web development work can be found on my resume.

Indian Summer

Right now where I live we are in the middle of Indian Summer. It’s tough for me to name a favorite season, but days like today make me think it might be autumn. I was lucky enough to have the day off and with the weather being so nice, I got out my bicycle this afternoon and rode through the beauty of autumn here in Wisconsin. While riding through one of the nearby parks in the area I spotted a great blue heron wading in one of the park’s ponds. I am always amazed when I see wildlife like that in the middle of the largest metropolitan area of the state.