Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010

I am still unemployed- indeed, I have not worked since November 22- the longest stretch of unemployment for me since the beginning of 2008 (the last time I lived in the Springs). I still make frequent calls to all the temp agencies I'm signed up for. And I've had at least 2 interviews this week, as well as a callback on one of last week's applications. However, I was in the bathroom when that call hit my answering machine, and I've tried 4 times to call the callback number back with no success. So much for Colorado Springs being a better job market than New York City- the unemployment rate here is up to 9.2% (well above the Colorado statewide average, although lower than Pueblo). The only good thing right now is that I am on unemployment due to a seasonal job ending 2 months earlier than it was supposed to. I've had a few short term assignments, including ad insertion for the Gazette, and a 2 day moving job at Fort Carson that ended with my left toe getting injured. While the toe stopped hurting the following day, it is still purple colored in spots- and after that incident, I'm not even bothering applying for labor positions that require constant lifting of 60-100 pound materials, since that's what fell on my toe. I'm getting older, and my physical strength isn't what it was a few years ago. But supposedly, Woodford and Walmart's remodeling crew will be calling up people again in January, so if none of these other job prospects pan out, I might be working at one of those old jobsites again. But either way, it beats $132 a week in unemployment or the $235 a week after taxes I was averaging at my messenger job in New York.

This has been one weird autumn. New York, the Midwest, and the southeast are seeing record cold and snow, yet Colorado Springs tied for its latest start to the snow season ever with a 2 inch snowfall that started on the evening of November 28. It hasn't snowed again until this morning, and as of 2PM MT, that snow is gone, and another storm is supposed to hit tonight with a possible 1 to 4 inch snow range. If it must snow, it's better this happens when I don't have to drive out in it.

I have had more time to work on my novel and on my side hobby of music mixing. I put the link to my SoundCloud site that features some of my mixing abilities on the right side of the page. The novel draft (at this point titled Purgatory on the Third Rail) is usually updated on my website. The link to it can be found here (novel link). It took a while to update the last draft because the computer that processed many of these blogs since July 2007 stopped working right after a major virus infection (probably caused by the Wikileaks cyberwars). I got a replacement computer Saturday night, which has a 1.7GHz processor and 250MB more RAM than the old computer. For some reason, the newer Dell computer, which was installed with Windows XP, has Windows 2000 Professional on it instead. That means that a lot of my backed up files from the old computer don't work on the Dell. And because it currently has Windows 2000 Professional, I can't upgrade it to my copy of Windows XP Home edition- it can only be upgraded to Windows XP Professional, which is presently out of my budget. Indeed, between shelling out $45 for the Dell, $70 for my most recent utility bill (which is double September's bill) and $15 for my most recent visit to Peak Vista health clinic, there isn't much leftover money to throw around.

Monday, November 01, 2010

November 1, 2010

As tomorrow is election day, I have decided to publish my own endorsements for various races.

COLORADO (my current home state)

Governor: No endorsement. The Republican, Dan Maes, has been caught in various lies, is deeply in debt, and is polling at 5-8%, bad enough to where despite the potential Republican victories in other state offices, they will be (for legal purposes) a 3rd party in this state. The two main candidates (tied at around 40-45% of the vote) are former Republicans John Hickenlooper and Tom Tancredo. Hickenlooper switched his party affiliation to Democrat so he could run for and win his current job (Denver Mayor). While Hickenlooper is running as a conservative budget balancer and government job trimmer, his true colors came out at last week's debate when he came out against Colorado's anti-Obamacare Amendment 63, and for potentially raising taxes to keep the state's budget in balance. Tancredo, on the other hand, bolted the Republicans for the American Constitution Party this year because Maes and his primary opponent Scott McInnis wouldn't drop out of the race. And let's not forget Tancredo's extremism on the immigration issue (supporting an Arizona-style immigration law is one thing, but trying to restrict the ablities and options of legal immigrants is another). Colorado in 2011 could end up as messed up as New York, where one of the architects of the Great Recession (Andrew "no homo" Cuomo) is way ahead in the polls to replace David Paterson.

Judiciary: Colorado is one of those states where a judge can be voted out of office after a few years (2 years for recently appointed judges, 10 for incumbent members of the state supreme court). Part of the reason Amemndments 60, 61, and 101 are on the ballot this year is because 4 liberal judges found loopholes around the state's TABOR law and used them to hike state fees dramatically. Three of those liberal supreme court judges are up for a yes or no vote this year (the fourth, Mary Mullarkey, who was the state's chief justice, decided to quit rather than face a certain no vote). I urge Colorado voters to VOTE NO on the 3 Supreme Court justices up for a vote- Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice.

Attorney General: John Suthers is the clear choice over liberal Boulderite Stan Garnett.

Secreary of State: I recommend Scott Gessler over Democrat Bernie Buescher.

Treasurer: Despite the recent DUI charges (which the Democrats have distorted to the point where even the liberal newspapers are condemning their last minute campaigning on), I still endorse Walker Stapleton over Cary Kennedy.

Senate: I made no endorsement in the Republican primary back in August because no matter if Jane Norton or Ken Buck had won, either would have been preferable to liberal Andrew Romanoff or Obama puppet Michael Bennet. Ken Buck won, and is leading the polls despite a few gaffes and the full force of the Democratic establishment condemning him. I strongly endorse Ken Buck for the Senate. If Michael Bennet was serious in his recent ad about having his pre-teen daughters transporting gullible voters to the polls, then that alone should disqualify him from ever holding public office again. (I will never endorse my former Congressman, the Weiner, due to his cookie bribing incident at a polling site I worked at back in 1998.)

House District 3: The clear choice here is tea party-endorsed Scott Tipton over anti-Springs Puebloite (and more recently, Obama and Pelosi puppet) John Salazar. Fortunately, this is one of those races which has gone from toss up to soon-to-be-former-Democrat.

I'm also endorsing Republicans Cory Gardner for District 4 and Ryan Frazier for House District 7.

Colorado State Senate: The Republicans have a shot out of wresting this from the Democrats. One of the tightest races is in my Senate District 11. My current state senator, the state Senate leader John Morse, is running annoying "boots" commercials complete with talking boots denouncing Air Force Academy graduate Owen Hill as anti-Military. Those boots need to be used to kick Morse's posterior (and various other jackasses) out of Denver- I strongly endorse Owen Hill.

Colorado State House: This chamber could also flip to the Republicans. My liberal state representative Michael Merrifield is abandoning this seat for a probably losing race for one of the El Paso County Commission spots (which hasn't gone to a Democrat in years). The clear choice is Republican Karen Cullen over Democrat Tim Lee in District 18.

Amendments and Propositions: Voting on these are crucial to fixing the state government.

Amendments 60, 61, and Prop 101: Hell fucking yeah I support these! Don't believe the scare tactics that these will cause massive job losses and a "voter approved "recession". They will cause public sector layoffs (which even Hickenlooper wants to do as governor), while at the same time lowering taxes and automotive and telecommunications fees.

Amendment 62: Yes, if passed, this amendment will outlaw unrestricted abortion on demand in Colorado. For that reason alone, I strongly support this amendment.

Amendment 63: If passed, this will outlaw in Colorado the most odious aspect of Obamacare, the requirement that all people must have health insurance or else face massive fines from the government. I have not had health insurance for most of my adult life because it is too damn expensive and most insurers won't cover me anyway because of my asthma. Forcing me to pay for a product that I can't afford and in most cases wouldn't be able to use anyways is so immoral that I would seriously consider leaving the US if the "insurance requirement" survives Constitutional challenges. I support Amendment 63.

Amendment Q: This amendment allows for relocating state government in case something catastrophic happens in Denver. I support this amendment, and would go further as far as suggesting the state government should move out of Denver now- preferably to the Springs, Castle Rock, Cripple Creek, or Grand Junction.

I also support Amendments P and R.


Governor: Rent is too damn high in this state, Paladino is a bit nuts, but Andrew Cuomo is one of the architects of the Great Recession, and considering he's from the same party apparatus that put job-killing prostitute-loving sleazeball Eliot Spitzer into the Governor's mansion 4 years ago, there is no way in hell I can endorse Cuomo. I support Carl Paladino for New York governor, and I hope that the NY polls are wrong tomorrow.

Comptroller: Albany shill Tom DiNapoli vs Harry Wilson? Of course I'm endorsing Harry Wilson.

Attorney General: Albany shill Eric Schneiderman vs Staten Island DA Dan Donovan? I'm endorsing Donovan.

State Senate and House: The NY Senate was a "chamber of horrors" last year. The Democrats are disorganized, corrupt, and need to lose 3 seats to reclaim the minority in the state Senate. Unless they are running on the Conservative, Republican, Right-to-life, or Tea Party lines, I cannot endorse anyone running for New York's state legislature. Most deserving to go: Assembly sleazer leader Sheldon "Shyster" Silver.

Senate seats: I endorse Jay Townsend and Joseph DioGuardi over Chucky Schumer and his parakeet Kirsten Gillibrand. While both Republicans will probably lose, Schumer will probably be the next US Senate Majority Leader if the Republicans don't win back the Senate tomorrow.

House: I endorse Altschuler (NY-1), Gomes (NY-2), and King (NY-3).

House District 4: Colin Ferguson shot the wrong McCarthy. I'm endorsing Fran Becker.

House District 8-9: Don't vote for "Jerrolmander" Nadler or the Weiner. Sheepshead Bay and Forest Hills don't belong in the same Congressional district. Neither do the West Side and Brighton Beach. Hopefully redistricting will redraw the 8th and 9th districts into something that is sensible, competitive, and less leftist, especially since Southern Brooklyn is one of the most conservative parts of NYC.

House District 13: I endorse Michael Grimm over too-liberal-for-Staten-Island Michael McMahon. This is the one NYC seat that should flip back to the Republicans tomorrow.

House District 19: John Hall sucked when he was with Orleans in the 1970s, and he is just as lousy a Congressman now. I'm endorsing Nan Hayworth, and according to most polls, she should win tomorrow.

I'm also endorsing Chris Gibson (NY-20), George Phillips (NY-22), Matt Doheny (NY-23), Richard Hanna (NY-24), and Tom Reed (NY-29).


Governor: I'm endorsing Tom Foley for governor over Dan Malloy.

Senate: I strongly endorse Linda McMahon. I hope tomorrow she will layeth the smacketh down on Vietnam faker Richard Blumenthal.

Also, I encourage all Connecticut voters to wear WWE gear to the polls tomorrow.


Down with the Reids! I'm endorsing Brian Sandoval for governor and Sharron Angle for Senator.


I'm endorsing Rick Scott for governor and Marco Rubio for Senator in my late father's home state. I know the governor's race here is tight, but isn't Sink the perfect surname for a Democrat?


I'm endorsing Tom Corbett for governor and Pat Toomey for Senator in my late mother's home state.


House: I'm endorsing Todd Lally over way-too-liberal-for-Louisville John Yarmouth in the 3rd District.

Senate: I'm endorsing tea party favorite Rand Paul over Jack Conway, who disgraced his faith and killed any chance the Democrats had of taking this Senate seat with the infamous Aqua Buddah attack ad.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 25, 2010

As of this writing, I have spent a combined total of 6 years in my hometown of Colorado Springs. But this city keeps changing (probably more so than NYC over the last 3 years), and not always for the better.

With maybe 3 exceptions, the people I knew and socialized with during my last stint in the Springs (May 2007-May 2008) aren't here anymore. This city has one of the highest turnover rates in the country. Some of it is due to the military presence. That's how my family ended up here in 1973 and why it left by the end of the 1970s. In 2007, medical marijuana had few dispensaries in this state. Now, there's too many to count in this city (including one just 2 blocks from where I go to Mass) and the unincorporated parts of El Paso County are trying to outlaw them. And it is not that difficult for a physically well pothead to get a prescription for a joint. Wisely, all the major colleges outlaw "legal" marijuana on their campuses. Maybe the Feds should step in and remind them that non-medicinal use of marijuana is still illegal under Federal law, despite what one would believe by reading the back "Cannabiz" section of the Colorado Springs Independent.

The media and politics are also screwed up here. Why is it that the Republicans have a better chance of taking back Albany than Denver? Because the Colorado state Republican party totally screwed up. An unknown candidate by the name of Dan Maes beat the establishment candidate of Scott McInnis (mainly due to Maes's strong support in this county, since excluding the El Paso Republican results, McInnis won everywhere else in the state). And what does that mean now? An underfunded candidate being attacked by the right (Tom Tancredo, who left the Republicans for the American Constitution Party) and the left (Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who is a lot more liberal than outgoing Democrat Governor Bill Ritter). At least the tea party is actively supporting Republican candidates Ken Buck (for Senate) and Scott Tipton (who is running against a member of the infamous anti-Springs Salazar clan for Pueblo's Congressional seat). At least in New York, Carl Paladino has enough money to counter the Democratic machine. Hell, Carl Paladino and Rush Limbaugh recently discovered that Village Voice article from 2008 that ties Andrew Cuomo to HUD policies that caused the housing crisis that caused the Great Recession. What is it with New York Democrats and their love affair with candidates that are proven job and economy killers? Hello- read anything I've written on this blog between 2006-2008 with the keyword of "Spitzer".

And the local media... I understand Colorado Springs is too small to have all the dailies and free papers that New York City has. But 75 cents is way too overpriced for what the only paper in town gets you. And according to the Nielsen ratings, the number one station in this media market isn't even based in Colorado Springs or affiliated with a watchable network. Between KKTV, KRDO, and KXRM, are there are 3 pretty good alternatives. As far as broadcast quality, I would probably rate KRDO and KXRM ahead of their broadcast networks' owned stations in New York (although WABC and WYNW get better ratings in New York than KRDO and KXRM do in Colorado Springs). And now that the damn Pueblo station's main digital signal picks up in the Springs, why are they on both Channel 42 and Channel 30? KHWS TV is fairly good, but it can only be picked up on cable since they don't have a digital signal. And one also needs cable to get the Ion family of networks. And how come Accuweather isn't on any digital subchannels here? And let's not forget our local cable company is Comcast, which also now owns the worst network in broadcasting and gives it channel preference over most of the Springs stations.

And as far as KKTV, while they're no WCBS, they tend to have the best local news, although one would not believe that by reading the local Nielsens. But I do have a gripe with KKTV- despite being the last VHF station in town (and by far the strongest digital signal on my converter box), they want to move from Channel 10 to Channel 49. Why, so they can weaken their signal? So they can lose their coverage in the the southern Denver suburbs and in Southeastern Colorado? Ever since WCBS was forced to move to UHF in New York, they've lost a lot of coverage in Orange and Suffolk Counties. The FCC is allowing WCBS to get a repeater signal on 22 since WCBS's main signal on 33 conflicts with WFSB Hartford's signal, also on 33. Before 2009, WCBS was on Channel 2 and WFSB was on Channel 3, and both could be picked up in the far northern suburbs. Now, neither can be picked up without cable. Great going, FCC. I see KKTV moving to Channel 49, falling further behind in the ratings, and possibly losing their longtime CBS affiliation if they don't apply for more repeater signals.

While CBS is the dominant primetime network and (in NYC, Philly, Chicago, and LA) a heavily listened to radio news source, there is no CBS radio news in Colorado Springs. CBS lost their longtime affiliate, KVOR-AM (the original owner and callsign of KKTV) in 2007. Despite the fact that KRDO-AM/FM was (and still is) an ABC news affiliate, KVOR's owner decided to switch to ABC. But then KVOR's owner (Citadel) bought ABC's radio networks and could have easily yanked that from KRDO-AM/FM, but didn't. There are also 2 Fox News radio affiliates that pick up here (KZNT and KCSJ).

And now, I need an internet connection to listen to anything resembling a news radio station or a dance music station

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

There has been a break in blogging due to my move. I am now living in the west end of Colorado Springs, CO. The area is very scenic, but the rent is a little high and the amenities are malfunctioning at times (namely the free cable and the wireless internet, which is why I'm posting this from the Old Colorado City Library). I start work on Monday the 16th- making this period (July 31-August 15) the longest I've spent not working since the last time I was living in Colorado.

Today is primary day in Colorado. Normally I would be outspoken about who to vote for, but I can't in these primary elections because (A) I can't vote in them (I moved here too late to vote in the primaries), (B) the campaigns are even more negative than what I've seen in New York, and (C), all the candidates with the exception of unopposed Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Hickenlooper, are to the right of most New York politicians.

I will probably vote for whomever wins the Republican primaries in the fall. Hickenlooper is way too liberal for my tastes (and way too far to the left of retiring Democrat Governor Bill Ritter), and former Republican/ACP candidate Tom Tancredo is way too extremist for my tastes. Unfortunately, Tancredo has a lot of support in this state, and his entry into the race could make leftist John Hickenlooper the next governor.

And for some reason, I reactivated my Facebook account. Now I can waste time when I do have internet access talking to old friends from New York and my relatives.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

Outside of a highly probable move back to Colorado Springs in 2 weeks, nothing else much to report. I am still off of Facebook. Certain longtime friends I had disputes with last month are still not talking to me. I finally got to return to Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts for the first time in 4 years last weekend. I have never seen the place so crowded! And the water levels were low, which meant I could cross to the other side of the falls without getting wet. I didn't go to far, since my normal work shoes are not designed for mountain hiking. Out of all the scenic places I wanted to visit when I moved back to NYC in 2008, the only one I haven't visited yet is Montauk, but I should be visiting there next weekend. Ironically, the first time I visited Montauk was a week before I left NYC for a 3 month stay in Pennsylvania, in 2003.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 27, 2010

It has been more than a year since I last posted here. In that time, my residence and job title have not changed, although my employer's payroll office has moved twice in that time. Michael Jackson is still dead. So are President Obama's sky-high approval ratings.

This may be my main online outlet to the world since I decided to get rid of my MySpace and Facebook accounts. It is sad that in this day and age that one should determine their ability to make friends by how many "friends" they have on Facebook. I had at most 42 "friends" on Facebook, and nearly half of those were relatives that I mistakenly advised to join the service. I actually helped create 3 Facebook profiles and assisted in adding photos and comments to 3 other profiles. But maybe Aunt Nancy and Uncle Rodger were right- who wants to post all that info online and allow anyone with internet access to read it?

And who in real life has over 100 friends? Or, in the case of a certain estranged niece and a former friend from New Jersey, over 500 friends? I've never had that many friends- and thanks to a dispute with someone I thought was my best friend, I noticed a lot of people "unfriending" me on Facebook. But then, I hated the idea of cliques in high school (which for me thankfully ended over 20 years ago), and I don't care for them now at age 38.