Matt's opinion

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Quiz time

I recently received an email and I thought it was very insitefull. In the email there is a quiz about historical events and I thought you might take it as well, just to see how you'd do. So here it is:
1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

I think you all should get the point by now. I guess I never really put all of these things together, and hadn't made the connection, but it's all true. The hardest thing to think about is to come up with a solution to the problem of Muslim extremism. How do we do that? I think about it a lot and I haven't come up with anything that can honestly be implemented right now. The one thing I do know is that the non-extreme Muslims of the world have to start stepping up and taking some responsibility for the actions of others who proclaim the same faith. Normal Muslims have been screaming about their civil rights being violated and how they are profiled all the time by others. Here's a tip guys, if you went into the Mosques these extremists were preaching in and tried to convert parishioners with as much fervor as you are screaming about your rights being violated then your rights wouldn't be violated at all because maybe we wouldn't have this enormous problem!!!! That's my two cents.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oh yeah, one last thing

For those of you who don't know, whom I was one of until just recently, a Florida room is just a screened in porch that has a cement slab underneath it and is attatched to a house. In most houses the screens are replaced by walls and the floor is carpeted so it just looks like a sun room.

Oh, and Rick Santorum is a douche.

Thank you. Goodnight.

A little review

So here we are again, waiting for another run of a computer program I wrote that acts as my personal secretary, taking data from one monster file and breaking it up into seperate files according to my evil plan. {muh ah ha hahahaha (<-- diabolical laughter)}. I thought I'd take the time and share a little bit about my weekend. First thing's first though, I think you should all go and take a look at the pics we took at Carly Ostman and John Gaba's wedding this past saturday at : It was a great time and we wish them the best.

The one thing that I am still in awe of from the wedding is how beautiful the church was. It was my first time in a Greek Orthadox church and I must say that it is the most ornate and breathtaking church I have ever been in. Granted I've never been in any European cathedrals, but if you look at the pictures then you'll get my point. The ceremony was filled with what seemed to be very traditional prayers and rituals along with chanting by the preists and another man. I wasn't expecting the chanting, but it sounded quite good and I was very impressed. I couldn't help but notice that the chanting from the lone choir member (if that's even a good analogy) resembled, at least a little, that of the call to prayer chanted from mosques in Muslim areas. The actual prayers and some of the creeds said during the ceremony also reminded me quite a bit of the prayers that were said in the Lutheran churhes I attended when I was younger.

All of these things lead me to wonder about how different the three religions really are, or if they are that different at all. It didn't seem like it to me at that moment. I know there are some major differences between all of them, but it seems as though they all have the same base in the Old Testament of the Bible, which you could also say of the Jewish faith. That's all regarding religion for right now, the last thing I want to do is oversimplify everything and offend someone's personal faith.

The last thing I will touch on is something that pissed me off last night. I know what you're thinking, it's about damn time I'm pissed off about something, you don't read this because you find my eating habits interesting, you want controversy!! Damn straight. So here it is: I was watching the Daily Show last night and to my amazement John Stewart had on Senator Rick Santorum (R, PA) on as a guest. Now Santorum in a part of the Republican leadership in Congress, and John Stewart is obviously a staunch liberal so this surprised me that they were on the show together. Turns out Santorum is promoting a book he wrote, which is fine, but that the book focuses on how America and the federal government should focus on America's best interest which is a married couple (one man, one woman) and their children. After repeated questioning by Stewart regarding how this "best for America" arguement is leaving out most Americans who come from single parent families, those who are not married and all homosexuals. Santorum also suggested that although there are vituous people in the categories being left out, that America should strive for (and the federal government should legislate for) only the married family unit and to preserve it at all costs.

Now I know that Republicans hate gay people, that is a given, but I didn't know that Republicans are now moving on to dissenfranchise everyone who does not fit their model of a married man and woman and children. This means that not only is being homosexual imoral, but being from a broken home or raised by a single parent is also immoral as well. I was so pissed off when I heard this, as was Stewart, that I could barely think enough to yell profane language (which is coincidently immoral) at the TV.

Rick Santorum of PA: YOU ARE A DOUCHE BAG AND THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA ARE DOING A DISSERVICE TO THE ENTIRE NATION ELECTING YOU TO OFFICE. It's one thing to want a change in the culture of today, which I agree is not what it used to be, it's a completely other thing to try and tell me and half of America that we are immoral simply because of how we grew up or what sexual orientation we are. That is against every fundamental American principle and I pitty you for thinking that way.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm back

Well I seem to have left you all hanging about whether or not we got the house we made the offer on. We got it........and then we backed out of the deal. I'm picturing you saying something like "What!!, what are you thinking?" Well, we found a separate townhome a lot closer to school and for a lot less money so it was a no brainer to cancel the offer we had. I have a meeting tomorrow morning with the guy who is selling the place through his investment company because he doesn't want to involve a realtor and have them make commission off of the sale. This makes me a little skeptical right off the bat, but I'll wait till tomorrow to judge. I talked to the guy last Thursday and he said he's selling it for a particular price and wasn't going to do a whole lot of updating or anything else.

I did some research tonight and every other place in the complex has sold for about $30,000 less than what he is asking and most of those sales were in the last year or two. I still have to look online and see if some others are listed on the internet. If they guy won't go lower I'll just walk. While we were in Chicago this weekend Melissa's sister Jennifer put an offer in on a condo and I learned quite a bit from how her agent approached the contract and price negociations. Unlike our agent, her's wanted to start the bidding at $15,000 below asking price while ours would have insisted offering asking price knowing that it's our first time buying something and probably wanting to take us for everything we're worth. I guess the joke would be on her when she found out how little that it, but anyway.

The rest of the weekend was great, but because it's after 10pm, and I'm an old man, I have to get to bed. I'll post more about it tomorrow hopefully. Till next time kiddies.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

promised link to house pics

here is the link to a website where the pictures we have of the house we made an offer on and will hopefully get:

An offer they can't refuse

So we made another offer on a house, and this one promises to be a much better deal than the last attempt we made. This house, although a little plain in front and a little more modest is in move-in condition, which no house we've seen was in, with a finished garage. The finished garage was a little weird to us at first but the people who did it actually did a good job putting laminate tile at the back of the garage where the washer and dryer go and then carpeting the rest with a sliding glass door where the garage door would be. The only problem is that the garage would be air conditioned by a separate wall unit instead of the central air in the rest of the house. The remainder of the house is has nice large tile (tan or buff colored) with smaller decorative tiles running across each room. There are two carpeted bedrooms and a "Florida room" which is a screened in patio off of the kitchen which needs a little work but is fine for a while until we get settled. The back yard is nice, not too big, not too small. The odd thing is a ~8' by 4' fenced area on a cement slab that we think was used as an outside dog kennel. It's really not that big and is in good condition so it doesn't bother us all that much. There is also and outside patio to the left of the screened in porch. The yard is big enough for a pool should we ever decide to put one in, but I doubt that will ever happen.

We should hear today by 5 if we got the house or not so I'll let you know. I'll also try to post some pictures of the place as Melissa emails them to me.

Otherwise there really isn't too much going on. We have to start packing for our trip this weekend, which should be fun. I've been trying to save clothes that I want to wear this weekend which isn't leaving me with a whole lot of choices for this week but oh well. That's all for now, I'll get working on those pics of the house.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Spelling is not my forte

Yesterday was a good day. Mostly because Melissa and I got out the door fairly early in the morning to get our usual weekend shopping done. The great thing was that we only spent half of our budget on groceries, woo-hoo!! Maybe that trip to Sam's club actually paid off. But then again that accomplishment will be overshadowed by our trip to Chicago this weekend and our visiting Six Flags with the family. It should be fun. We were done with our shopping by noon, ate lunch (some of the best grilled cheese I have every had, thank you very much), and then had the rest of the day to do nothing. We decided it would be in our best interest to make a visit to the pool for a while considering none of the houses we can afford will have one. Oh was that nice, the only thing that would've made it nicer is some sort of tropical drink. After that we went inside and I got to keep up with my reading. I'm determined to finish this behemoth (I have no idea how to spell it, but you get the idea) of a book and continue reading more books afterwards. I have resolved to carry it around with me to school and elsewhere and get in a few pages whenever I can.

After a delicious dinner of fish sticks, mashed potatoes and frozen green been casserole (yes, a full meal and not just a side dish, take that Tracy!!) we watched the two episode of the Family Guy on Fox. Brilliant!!! That show never ceases to amaze me, or make me laugh. If you haven't seen it, Do it!! Do it!!!

Well I actually have work to do so that's all for now.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saturday Afternoon

This is a little odd for me, I'm posting, but I don't have a whole lot to post. One thing I am excited about is a call I got from Brock yesterday telling me about the new job he got. Congrats man, you've been at it for a long time and you got a great job as a result. Other than that not a lot is going on. Surprisingly we didn't get a call from our real estate agent to go look at houses this weekend so we're a little worried she's not looking as hard as we'd like. Maybe there just isn't anything we haven't seen already, but when we drove around the area we were able to find about 10 houses in less than an hour (although only half of them were in our price range). Oh well, we'll pick it up when we get back from Carly's wedding.

The kitties are doing better and have all of their bandages off. They still don't do a whole lot of walking around yet but I'm sure that'll wear off in a few more days.

Recently, actually a week or two ago, I started reading Bill Clinton's autobiography My Life. It's the first real book that I've read in a very long time, and let me tell you I started with a dousy. I'm about 230 pages into it now and although I enjoy reading it immensely I still have about 700 pages to go, talk about a life story! As of right now I've made it to the early 1970's when he unsuccessfully runs for congress after being a law professor at the Univ of Arkansas for only 3 months or so. I'll keep you updated on how far I get, I just hope I have the persistence to finish what I started instead of losing interest in it halfway through. I doubt that will happen this time as I'm actually interested in what I'm reading about.

Hey, a reminder to those of you who read this to leave the web address of your blog so I can catch up with you. That's all for now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A whole lot of nothing

Well, that does it. I'm officially frustrated. Well not anymore, but I have been really frustrated the last couple of days with all of the real estate descisions that have had to be made and the stress of worrying about my kitties and their recovery. The latter of the two is really the least of my worries, I just can't stand it when they look up and me and let out a pittiful little whine as if they are saying "Matt, why don't you take the bandages off my paws you inhumane bastard". At least I can take them back into the vet tomorrow to get the bandages taken off.
The real estate question continues to be a tough one. Buying a house sucks. The whole process is filled with people who'd just as soon make another buck off of you than say hello. No one we've delt with so far has really leveled with us about what things are actually worth or can give us any estamites without us commiting to a certain property. I thought the estamites would be required to give us a better understanding of the property and motivate us to buy it or pass it up. I guess that's just not the case. There are some things to be optimistic about: the agent that we have thought we only wanted to look in a specific area around Holiday, FL, which dosen't really matter to us, so our search area is going to be widened; we didn't make the mistake of buying a broken house. The house we did make an offer on, I think I described it in one of my previous postings, we retracted because we lost a lot of sleep that night about whether it was worth it or not and that's just not the right kind of thought you want running through your head about the first house you buy so kudos to Melissa and I on that one. Also a big thank you to those of you who threw your two cents in on the matter, honestly it helped a lot. Those of you whos cup is overflowing with real estated knowledge and care to shower us in it feel free at any time.
Other than those few things there isn't really anything going on down here. We're looking forward to coming home to Chicago in a couple of weeks for Melissa's friend Carly's wedding. Carly's always been a good friend and one that I particularly appreciate because she helped talk Melissa into going back out with me after I made a fool of myself all those years ago. Not that I haven't acted like an idiot on occasion since, but not nearly as bad. The monday after the wedding, which I can't remember the date, we're going to six flags great america with my mom's family, something the clan used to do every summer for a few years when I was in high school. That should be really fun, and if anyone else wants to come they're welcome, if you can get off of work....HA HA!!
One last thing I've got onmy mind. I saw a show last night that I'm sure will become some kind of new trend, it was about unruly kids who got sent to some kind of wilderness boot camp to correct their behavioral problems. I forget what the show is called but it's on ABC. Anyway, I couldn't help but think that there was something in common with every one of these kids and sure enough I was right. All of those kids are in their teens, and a lot of their acting up is part of growing up and there's really not a lot anyone can do about it. I'm confident I displayed at least half of the traits that are being displayed when I was younger: anger, aggression, being a loner, being overly cocky. Let's not kid ourselves, I'm still not perfect by any means. Now having considered all this during different segments of the show there were interviews with all of the parents of these kids and I noticed another similarity between all of them. Apperently, they all feel that it's all the kids' fault and that they can't tollerate this obscene behavior anymore in their household. Wait a minute. When are the parents going to accept even the slightest bit of responsibility for their children? The kids are out at this camp and one of the main focuses of the entire camp is to get the kids to admit that they are irresponsible (which they are), but what are they going to come home to? The same parenting style that lead them to the obscene behavior in the first place. I think that this is getting at an issue all to common in this country: bad parenting. You wouldn't have to worry about kids in street gangs, school shootings, or care so much about video game violence if you just had parents who cared enough to spend time with their children and teach them right from wrong. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Has anyone else tried that Yahoo! internet radio service? I just started to customize a station to play only songs that I like. To set it up you go through and pick out artists and genres of music that you enjoy and then the computer picks out songs that it thinks you will like based on your previous selections. I happen to enjoy rock, classic rock and alternative rock (really i like any rock, Ha!), but then when the computer starts selecting songs for me I get songs from Kool & the Gang and Asia, and the best was "Pour some sugar on me" by Def Leppard. WHAT!?! The experience was more funny than it was furriating. Especially because of that commercial where the guy thinks the words go " Pour some sugar ramen!!!, in the name of love.....pour some sugar ramen!!!" i guess refering to ramen noodles and sugar? That was so funny.

Now on to more important things, like what a horrible pet owner I feel like. This morning I had to take my kitties in to get declawed, and needless to say they were a little nervous to even leave the house. As soon as I got Mia out of the apartment door she let out the loudest cry I've heard out of her since we took her home from the animal shelter. Max took it all in stride, although I really don't think he understood what was going on and isn't nearly worried about things as Mia is. The vet I took them to seemed like any other doctor's office I've ever been in so I took that as a good sign. I even met the doctor who was going to do the surgery and he was a very nice older southern guy, which made me feel a little better as well. The hardest part was taking away the food and water dishes at 10pm last night per the vet's request. I thought it was cruel until i remembered my previous surgery experience when the doctors requested the same of me. I was hungry, but I survived and so will they. Max especially could lose a half a pound or so, he's hefty for a 10 month old kitty anyway (like 10lbs already).

The other major happening is the visit to the house that we want tonight to inspect for any structural damage that had not been repaired, or is otherwise obvious. Apparently the house had some settlement issues, which is Florida talk for a sinkhole, and had 11 pillars drilled into the ground down to about 30 ft where they hit hard limestone. We think as long as the house looks solid and it passes an inspection we're going to buy it. I hope so anyway, I want this house search to be overwith and the house move-in prep to begin. Thankfully the house is move-in ready right now so there shouldn't be much work to do, but we'll see once we get a closer look. I'm bringing the camera tonight so hopefully I'll have some pics for you tomorrow. The house itself is nice, a 2bed with 1.5 bath and a 1 car garage. The house used to have a screened in porch, but the previous owners made that into a walled (with nice windows) carpeted room which we like a lot and we think the cats will like as well. All in all the house is about 920 sq ft or close to it, but the yard is quite large. As I remember it the back yard is about 100 ft along the length of the house and like 80 ft back with a nice oak tree in the back and a shed in the back right corner. Unfortunetly the house is located about 45 min from USF, where we work, but it's the only area we could afford so we'll get used to it.

*A note to those who read this blog. If you have a blog of your own, which I know most of you do, leave the www address so I can visit it. I don't use AIM anymore because of all the pop-ups I was getting, so I don't talk to some of you as much as I'd like.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Has it been that long?

I just got to thinking about how little I actually post to this blog-o-mine. Oh well, I have better things to do, like watch TV and do nothing. Actually I'm supposed to be working on my thesis research as we speak, but that is far less interesting than writing to a blog right?

Most recently we escaped certain demize when hurricane Dennis whized by Tampa. I was so glad when the forecastors said that it was going to the panhandle, not like those poor souls need another disaster. Melissa and I were both so worried about it we cancled our anniversery trip to Orlando for the weekend to stay home incase Dennis came our way. Oh well, I think we still had a good time anyway.

We spent our first wedding anniversery making ourselves sick thinking about aquiring our first home. We saw 4 houses on Saturday and really like one of them so we decided to make an offer. This is until we found out the house had a sinkhole that was just repaired and the house is now sitting on some sort of pillar system. Needless to say we are not to enthused anymore, but hopefully I'll get a fax shortly describing the extent to which the house was damaged and subsequently repaired.

That's it for now, perhaps later today I'll post some more, if not I'm sure you'll be biting your nails for the next month when I post something new.