The Tiger's Eye: December 2007

31 December 2007

'07 Predictions Redux

Back In December 06 I rashly made some predictions. Lets see how I did.

1. Defunding the war -
Well happily this one did not turn out like I predicted. Rather the president has gotten pretty much exactly what he asked for over the course of the year. More than anything was the fact that the Surge did work pretty much as planned and now most everybody is saying that we might just actually win in Iraq.

One of the funniest things about this issue was that after the 06 election results all we heard in the media was how” that election results were a “mandate” on the war. The incoming Congress was going to settle the President’s hash and listen to the electorate and similar rot”.

In fact, what the election truly indicated was that the Republican base decided to sit out the process in a fit of pique to protest that party’s elected representatives acting like Democrats! They were spending like proverbial sailors on a shore leave and the voters ( R ) were saying ENOUGH DAMMIT!. When Ms. Pelosi and Mr Reid took power they immediately showed us their true colors by kowtowing to the MoveOn types only to discover how isolated that position really was.

2. The Soldiers as "Victims" -
Back in March I commented that Thomas Sowell had a nice piece on this very phenomenon and over the course of the year we heard more and more of these types of comments. I attribute this to the fact that the media to a large part simply cannot see this war as anything other than “Vietnam in the desert”. While it still could prove to be a disaster (especially if the Democrats were to win in the next election and pull defeat from the jaws of victory or if the AQ types manage to pull off a Tet-like offensive in Iraq sometime in the next months, I doubt if we will see any sort of traction in portraying our troops as victims. The major difference this time appears to the internet and Talk-Radio. Troops have the ability to tell their own story thus breaking the major network’s monopoly on news.

3. Fighting in Afghanistan -.
The verdict still appears to be out on this one. Back in March I had commented that the press had referred to the Taliban as “resurgent” but since then it has been pretty dammed quiet there. What has changed is the eruption in Pakistan with Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

4."The war is lost" -
Well again, happily this one did not turn out like I predicted. All through the year we heard a chorus of “This war is LOST” from all sorts of people who should have known better. What was most disturbing was the disgraceful way the Democrat side of our elected officials handled General Petraeus’ testimony to Congress back in the Summer; Especially when he was bringing us good news! You would have thought that Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi wanted us to loose in Iraq by the way they (mis)handled his testimony.

5. The Draft being reinstated.
What I said in March still holds true. I missed this one by a mile. The draft is dead as long as our troops continue to perform as they have this year.

6. Impeachment -
Again what I said in March appears to be holding true. While a few of the far-left nutballs are calling for impeachment. The older, greyer hairs of the Democratic Party realize as Mr. Carville would put it, “ that dog just ain’t huntin!”

7. Green Laws -
Congress recently passed a bill that will supposedly make the incandescent light bulb illegal soon. At least that was the major talk about the bill across the internet. It is being touted as the next step in saving our planet but many are decrying this bill as nothing more than political gas-bagging. Sure the CAFÉ standards are being raised but past history has shown us that raising the CAFÉ only results in people driving MORE. There is money in there for Ethanol production but that is primarily a political sop to the farm states especially Iowa shortly before the Caucaus. Cynical am I? Sure, I feel that this entire Green issue is a political ploy to make a power grab of unbelievable proportions.

9. Gas at $3.00 -.
Sadly I was dead on with this one. Gas is currently selling at $3.05 per gallon about a mile from my house although it was as high as $3.30 earlier this summer and as low as $2.50 in the late summer/early fall The raising and lowering of gas prices has become a guessing game of mine. This website has become a favorite..(update) just to prove it, as soon as I posted this I went to the site and checked . WHAT DO YOU KNOW, YOU CAN GET GAS AT $2.89/gallon today! I have no idea anymore!

10. Recession -
Depending upon who you talk to on this one I am either dead on or so far out in left field that I might as well give up. With the mortgage bust of the past summer and the drop of the dollar, I am tending to believe that we will hear more and more about it being worse that we thought, especially if the Republican candidates start to show any traction in the primaries.

11. Mortgage rates heading up to 10??? -
No comment.

12. Immigration amnesty -
I have no idea where this one is going. On the one hand, conservative radio sank the “Comprehensive Immigration Bill” earlier this year but on the other there has been no more movement on ANY other Immigration bill either. The Republican candidates for ’08 are all saying “close the borders” but I doubt any of them would actually do anything other than talk if elected. All of the candidates; Democrat or Republican are simply too scared of the Hispanic vote to do much more than posture.

13. Conservative Republicans -
Fred is currently running in at best 3rd place in most polls. Depending on whom you read the Republican nomination is up for grabs with no clear front runner ready to assume Ronald’s mantle.

14. The election -

As I said in March, watch the fun. Currently Hilary was acting like she was the party’s designated hitter only to discover that Obama and the Breck-girl had other ideas. In the end I think they will pretty much give in to her machine which will give the Republicans the most beatable candidate of the bunch. That being said I think it will still turn on some unknown issue that we have not seen yet.

The fun ones

1. MAN WAS I WRONG ON THIS ONE!!! Its still fun to say it!!!
Bears 17
It is still fun to say “WORLD CHAMPIONS INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!” however to hear the sporting media talk, you would think that the Patriots are able to walk on water. Yeah, Yeah, they went 16-0 but I bet the final AFC representative in Phoenix won’t be flying out of Logan airport come February.

2. The Pacers haven't managed to eliminate themselves - YET!!!
No playoff appearance for the Blue-n-Gold, new team, new coach. BINGO!

3 &4. IU/Purdue split and actually was fun to watch. Both are in the dance along with Butler and Notre Dame. UPDATE:
Butler made a really sweet run in the tourney but all we heard around here was GREG ODOM!! (he’s a pretty nice kid apparently)

5. Major League Baseball.
We made one Indianapolis Indians game this year, it was fun but we should have gone more times.

6. Loosing weight
I have actually lost over 20 pounds since July!

7. Blogging
In retrospect I blogged about the same and about as seriously as before. The things that irked me in 06 still did so in 07.

8. 50th wedding anniversary party.
As I said, it was family only. Happy 50th Mom& Dad!

9. Daughter.
I couldn’t say more. She IS the Princess Tiger

10. Wife.

l there are lots of things I could say about my Queen but all of them would embarrass her beyond belief. Suffice it to say that I would not trade the last 19 years for any amount of gold.

There you have it. Some I hit, some I missed. Not much different than anyone else. Have a Happy New Year and I will see you in ’08.

29 December 2007


Why I...

Bought a ZUNE at the After Christmas sales...,2933,318907,00.html

Because there was ACTUALLY a Zune in my box when I opened it.

(its pretty cool).

26 December 2007


File under absurdities of our modern culture
PHFWH=People Having Fun Without Helmets
See Here:

Quote for the day...

Fretting about overpopulation is a perfect guilt-free—indeed, sanctimonious—way for “progressives” to be racists.

P. J. O’Rourke

Hat tip to Little Green Footballs:

25 December 2007

Old words but still true

Today's Old Testament reading is from the Prophet Isaiah.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad
tidings, Announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing salvation, and
saying to Zion, "Your God is King!"
Hark! Your watchmen raise a cry, together they shout for joy, For they see
directly, before their eyes, the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the LORD comforts his
people, he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; All the
ends of the earth will behold the salvation of our God.

Is 52,7-10.

And from the Gospel of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw
his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and
John testified to him and cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said,
'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.'"
From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him.

John 1,1-18.

Merry Christmas 2007

24 December 2007

Morning fun at Casa Panthera tigris altaica

I’m replacing the batteries in the touch-pad operated LED lights under our kitchen counters. When I hear;” Scramble, scramble, bump-thump, jingle, jingle, thump…” (accompanied by the sound of cartoon scrambling cat-feet on hard flooring as Pete zips behind the sofa).

“What was that?” a disembodied voice came from the bedroom, “What do you THINK it was?” I replied walking from the darkened kitchen switching on the lights to see if any of the “X-mass Tree 2007” was damaged beyond repair. The sound underneath the tree was Pete attempting to rearrange the presents to further his possession of the kitty cave made by the tree, the presents and the corner they sit in. Most of the day if you look under the tree you will see a pair of green eyes peering back at you. He is convinced that Mom built this fortress just for him.

“ZIIIIP!!!” Pete scurried past me into the bedroom.

“Yeah; you’d better get in here and tell Mommy what you did!”, “What were you doing in there?”

“Morrrrow!” - And so it goes all before 6:15am on this Christmas Eve.

(Sidebar comment) Much of my time at home these days is spent chuckling to my wife talking to her cat as if he were a small child. I swear he knows how to respond like he understands. That and the fact that our house now often sounds like the soundstage for “Rodger Rabbit” with the scurrying feet and bouncing cat bodies.

When living in the house with two adolescent male cats you liken it to having a pair of “related-but-not-brothers” pre-teen boys around. You know those guys that at the family reunion that always seemed to know how to get into the most trouble while finding something fun to occupy their time; those guys who always had angelic smiles when talking to the adults but in fact were little hellions away from supervision?

That’s our house now. Before last Thanksgiving we were “Dog people” The kind of people who live quietly on a cul-de-sac with two old dogs in a fence that all the neighborhood kids know. After Bailey’s sad demise we became the crazy cat couple who everybody whispers about when strolling past. “See them in there? They have cats now. She treats hers like a BABY!”

Most mornings begin early, as in 3am early. Max (Back to camera, bookish quiet guy who would rather keep to himself) sits quietly staring at himself in the darkened window.

I swear he sits at the window all night peering at “that identical cat who is staring at me outside, whyHEevenblinkswhenIdo!”

We finally figured out why Max is so skittish (even for a cat). When he was a kitten he was dumped in a field where when found was near death of exposure and sickness. The nice folks at our Vet took him in and patched him up but one of the side effects appears to be some severe hearing loss. He is constantly being surprised by almost all noises. Walking into the room startles him and the most startling thing of all is Mom. It doesn’t matter how nice she is and how soft she pitches her voice, he just won’t relax around her.

Pete on the other hand (“bright eyes in the picture) is still busy getting into mischief. Remember the little punk down the street who would always find a way to piss you off when you were busy doing something? The kid you just wanted to thunk on the back of the head but always seemed to be a hand-length out of reach? That’s Pete. He appears to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get Max to play with him only to irritate Max to the point of near murder. Even as I sit here sipping cold coffee I hear scrambling feet and the sound of cat-wrestling in the living room.

No it’s never a dull moment around here and the day hasn’t ever really started yet. .

21 December 2007

I gotta play along...

It’s a "state law! You can look it up!"

Becky hit me with a Christmas themed “meme” and being the good sport that I am I will play along.

(These are the rules).

1) Link to the person that tagged you (which would be Becky) and post the rules on your blog.

2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.

3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. (This may be hard to do as I usually don’t like to intrude on other blogs but as I have been “memed” I guess I have to. (“It’s a state law! – Nora will know what that means)

4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here goes:

1. Wrapping or gift bags? Gift bags all the way baby!.

2. Real or artificial tree? Well we have an artificial tree that looks pretty nice but the first two Christmases we celebrated here in Indy we planted live Spruce trees and I always liked the completeness of the act.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually about the Second weekend of Advent.

4. When do you take the tree down? February?

5. Do you like eggnog? Not really

6. Favorite gift received as a child? One particular Christmas doesn’t stand out above the rest. All were good as a child.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I think we have 4 including an antique one from Linda’s Grandma.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A tie between Grandma’s “DooGood” and her insistence that all of the grandkids presents be exactly the same amount. This meant that one year when I was 12; I received a slot car, a pair of tube socks, a razor and 16 cents! Talk about strange!

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail.

10. Favorite Christmas movie? Tie between “A Christmas Story – “It’s a major prize!” and “Christmas Vacation”

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually not till the bonus comes in.- we attempt to keep it cash at the Tiger’s Lair.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas Eve meal of Pork Roast, Mashed potatoes, etc…

13. Clear lights or colored? Both.

14. Favorite Christmas song? “O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM” It’s a family favorite.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? STAY AT HOME.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? There were reindeer in Turkey?

17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? Both, this year it’s an angel.

18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas morning.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Awful faux Christmas Music. The WORST are the non-religious rock-n-roll numbers that spew forth starting in September from all of the Mall stores.

20. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing anymore but when Sarah was a kid we left cookies, milk and some carrots for the reindeer. Every year I would suggest that “Santa really needs a beer after all that work” but I was always voted down.

21. Least favorite holiday song? See No. 19

22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? Yes. Every year this is a topic of much consternation between King and Queen. This year Red-n-Gold won out. We now have 11 strings of gold lights.

23. Favorite ornament? A tiger that Linda and Sarah gave me years ago.

My “tags”

  1. BlahBlahBlah Blog – Gotcha T’dog!
  2. Fire Mission – Hippies in the open -
  3. Back Home Again in Indiana – Welcome home Jerry
  4. Chez Pez
  5. Your Crazy Uncle – Crazyunk – DON’T SHOOT!!!
  6. I would also have included the late lamented “Leaning Right in a Leftward leaning Town” - but sadly Mr. Westcott pooped out and quit the game this past March and is now only available on the Wayback Machine.

Christmas 2007

I has been a fast and hectic year. Professionally my time has been spent entirely on a single project which has both made time pass quickly and yet strangely seem like it crawls slowly away.
Our family is relatively healthy, wealthy and hopefully a bit wiser.
We have made a few new friends and lost a few old ones. To those new we say welcome to our lives. To those who have moved on we say thank you for the time spent with us, we were enriched by your presence.
2008 beckons us.

Merry Christmas 2007 from all of us at the Tiger's Lair.
Kent, Linda, Pete and Max

Heinrich Schutz - O Jesu, Nomen Dulce - Andreas Scholl

A bit of baroque vocals for this weekend.

16 December 2007

another read

To quote his profile - "...Liberal Minded, Right Wing Ideologue."

(caution - his language is a bit rougher than here)

Ok if this don't put a tear in your eye then your must be dead.

The girls get a surprise.

A bit o mornin music

The Pogues - If I Should Fall from Grace with God

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If Im buried neath the sod
But the angels wont receive me

Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

This land was always ours
Was the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
Not to any of the others

Let them go, boys
Let them go, boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Bury me at sea
Where no murdered ghost can haunt me
If I rock upon the waves
Then no corpse can lie upon me

Its coming up three, boys
Keeps coming up three, boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If Im buried neath the sod
But the angels wont receive me

Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

IT’S THE STORM OF….errrr…uhhhh….???

Hmmmmmm…lets see. We can’t call it the “STORM OF THE CENTURY!!!” That’s been overdone so many times and besides it’s only a mildly bad one this time.

We could call it; “The Storm of the Season!” but that’s anticlimactic and doesn’t really make much sense;

We could call it; “WinterStorm 2007” but its not technically winter yet and I think we used that one last February.

I know! Let’s call it: “THE ONLY STORM WE GOT 2007!”

Ok, I guess it’s another unwritten rule of blogging that when ever the weather does anything you have to memorialize it with pictures. For the last week the local news services have been pummeling us with predictions of this storm. We have heard that it was going to be as little as 1-2 inches with freezing rain and as much as 18” of snow with just about every permutation in between.

We appear to have received somewhere around 6-7 inches of snow overall but stuck in-between the first phase and the second round we received about 3 hours of freezing rain that packed the original 3 inches down to ice.

Picture No 1 shows our drive after I shoveled the snow away. It was nearly freezing and the snow packed pretty nice. It took about 20 min to shovel and by the time Queen Tiger got home from her hair appointment it was almost melted on the concrete.

Picture No. 2 shows the front of the domicile around 10:30 last night as the freezing rain was just starting to fall.

Picture No. 3 is from our front window (the one in the second photo) at about 8:30 this morning. The wind has really picked up and between the ice and blowing snow it isn’t good driving weather out there. I guess up north around Lebanon and Frankfort it’s pretty bad (Jerry, be thankful you're down south where its warm.)
. They got considerably more snow this morning.

I think that Pete has the best idea.
It’s a good day to hunker down and snooze till 4 when the Colts are on.


13 December 2007

What I've been saying

Andrew Bolt nails it on the head. I mean he hits that 12p nail with a 16# sledge and drives it completely into the wood with one blow!

09 December 2007

As promised here is the 07 storm season wrap-up

OK, it’s Dec 9 which means the 2007 Hurricane season is officially over.
Back in July I went out on a limb:

The phrase I used was; “…predicting that this season will be pretty much like most. A few storms, maybe a bad one here or there but nothing particularly awful or END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!! (Emphasis ALGORE Vs. II.b)”
I’ll admit that I was being a bit hyperbolic in blaming our former Vice-President as he actually didn’t say it would be the end of the world this year, the phrase seemed to ring true and this day that is the important thing. Something must appear to be true whether it is or not. - "Rather's rule")

Let’s see how I did:
The official prediction (original - not revised) “On December 8, 2006, Klotzbach's team issued its first extended-range forecast for the 2007 season, predicting above-average activity (14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 of Category 3 or higher)”

Let’s see how it panned out:
(I’m using the Wikipedia article because it is accurate, general and easy to understand.)
There were 16 “named” storms (one – “Andrea” actually happened before the season but we'll count her anyway).
They broke down as:
1 Subtropical storm – “Andrea”
2 Tropical Depressions – “10” & “15”
7 Tropical Storms – “Barry”, “Chantal”, “Erin”, “Gabrielle”, “Ingrid”, “Jerry”, “Melissa”
6 Hurricanes – “Dean”, “Felix”, “Humberto”, “Karen”, “Lorenzo”, “Noel”

At first glance it looks like this was a pretty typical Hurricane Season. Of the 6 Hurricanes, only Dean and Felix were listed as Category 5 storms. Both storms followed similar paths plowing across the south Caribbean and hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. Felix developed rapidly and went from a Cat. 1 storm to a 5 shortly before hitting land in less than 5 days. Both made landfall in sparsely populated areas of the Mexican coast thus limiting damage and casualties.

The remainder of the storms of the ’07 season:

Subtropical Storm Andrea – never made landfall although there was some associated damage due to higher than normal winds and waves along the Florida and Georgia coasts.
Tropical Depression 10 - made landfall in the Florida panhandle causing some tornado damage but only reaching max wind speeds of 35 mph sustained.
Tropical Depression 15 – never made landfall and caused no damage to anything.

Tropical Storms:
Barry – Ran a long track up the eastern seaboard dumping much needed rain in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina then skirting up the coast to Canada. We drove through Barry on our way to Kiawah Island in early June.
Chantal – Confined to open ocean although she did cause much rain in CANADA.
Erin – Made landfall in Texas and caused heavy rain and flooding.
Gabrielle – Touched land in North Carolina and then veered back out to sea. Caused some light damage to ocean areas of North Carolina.
Ingrid – never made landfall and caused no damage.
Jerry – never made landfall and only lasted one day.
Melissa – Never made landfall and never got closer to land than 425 miles from Cape Verde (that’s a bunch of islands west of AFRICA)

Humberto – Cat 1 – made landfall into Louisiana and then petered out.
Karen – Cat 1 – never made landfall
Lorenzo – Barely Cat 1, landfall south Central American isthmus.
Noel – Cat 1 that wandered thru the Eastern Caribbean.

All in all, aside from the 2 Category 5 hurricanes (neither of which was a monster like the Cat 5’s in recent memory like Andrew, Hugo or Katrina) the hurricanes as well as the other storms were not significant in any way other than how many of them never reached land or caused any damage. While I am in no way making light of any damage or casualties that were caused in this season’s storms, it certainly does not seem that neither 2007 nor for that matter 2006 were particularly bad Hurricane seasons.
My point earlier in the season was that I felt the “experts” were guessing about the severity of the upcoming storm season and were playing to the current popular sentiment in the media that “Human-induced Global Warming” was causing worse weather systems especially hurricanes. I felt this was silly and thought that I could guess as accurately as they did. As it turns out it appears that I was about as accurate as they were. One could argue that the Klotzbach’s team was technically more accurate because there WERE 16 “named” storms but I would contend that 3 of those storms hardly classify as they either numbered “tropical depressions” or were the “Sub-tropical” depression Andrea which happened before the season started and two of them caused little or no damage. The three tropical storms Ingrid, Jerry and Melissa were open ocean storms which only “count” because they were being watched by the weather service. If you discount these 6 named storms you actually have 10 named storms which would make this year no worse than an average year for hurricanes.

As it turns out The Florida and Gulf Coast tourism industry is pretty pissed off at NOAA and the prediction. Apparently some people stayed away from the coast during the season and their insurance rates went up. Some are apparently talking lawsuits. Ahhh, our culture's solution to dammed near everything.

David Freddoso at NRO takes a similar tack in this discussion -

Also, on an unrelated note gas here in Indy is selling at under $2.70/gallon all over the city with a low at $2.63/gallon -

02 December 2007

A couple-o-thoughts

I found this on a website I sometimes view -

Do other countries issue green cards for foreign residents?

Also, gas is $2.79 here in Indy. Almost makes me want to buy a gallon just to light it on fire.

Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, Transatlantic sessions

A short Sunday mornin post.

It sounds REEL good!