Friday, February 27, 2004

I'm not going to be around this weekend, nor Monday since Donna and I are headed down to Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ. We have a comp room and it's only $59 for the second night, so we'll be meeting our Brooklyn friends Pete & Bella for some relaxation and gambling.

If we have a chance we'll probably swing over to the new Bogota, since Pete has a comp room there and we've been meaning to check it out. I'll let you all know what and how we did when I get back here on Tuesday.

Have a good time with the Oscars and stay out of trouble, okay?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I'll probably not go see THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST in theater, unless Donna really desires to go. However, Roger Ebert's review certainally, makes me wonder if I'd want to go even then. I doubt that this is a film that Donna would wish to see, other than the subject matter. Like Ebert I remember watching numerous 'biblical' epics over the years, and while I'm not religious (nor spiritual, in any fashion) I can certainly feel if a film is able to convey something to me.

Personally, when reading a book or watching a film with a religious theme, I allow myself to suspend my disbelieve in such things. Just I can enjoy something like POLTEGEIST and not believe in the supernatural, or ET and not believe in extraterrestrial travel, I can accept for the period I'm involved in the 'reality' of what is being presented.

Ebert makes a lot of very good points (as usual) and I think he hits the nail on the head (if you'll pardon the pun, given the theme of the film) when he ends with comments re the MPAA. This is the same group which gave an NC-17 to Trey Parker's ORGAZMO, which was a spoof of porno movies. There was no graphic sex, although there was nudity. Apparently, as witness the hysteria regarding Janet Jackson, it is more important to keep kids away from bare breasts than the beating and impalement on a cross.

As usual, just my $.02
Bless, Gary Trudeau! Regular readers of DOONESBURY (and aren't we all?) already know about Trudeau's offer of $10,000 for anyone able to substantiate the President's attendance at National Guard duty. Glad to see that not only is the offer getting media attention, but that some folks are actually responding. I have to assume that most of the replys are from folks joking around, but it would be cool if something serious (one way or the other) came out of all this. :-)
When I used to live in New York I was a regular listener to Howard Stern's morning show on WXRK (K-Rock). Since Stern is only available on a FM channel in Hartford, it was all but impossible to continue hearing his show when I moved to Connecticut. I've since become a fan of The Zone, which is an all-sports talk station in the New Haven area.

Still I can't believe that Clear Channel is shocked or surprised that Stern wouldn't 'tone down' his routine because of the threat of FCC fines. The guy has made his career of pushing the limits. Frankly, Stern doesn't have the audience he once did, perhaps peaking a year or so after his feature film. His second attempt at a syndicated TV show went bust, with only his E! Show still up and running.

While I don't know if I'll get back into the Stern habit when I move back to Brooklyn, later this year, I think that this is all part of the unbelievable over-reaction to the Janet Jackson booby-gate scandal. Station owners are freaking out and I have a feeling that the Fall Season on the major networks might attempt to play down the sexual innuendo, just to be on the safe side. We'll see how far this all goes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Since players are beginning to report to Spring Training and we're only 33 days away from the first game (Yankees vs Devil Rays in Tokyo of all places!) I wanted to add a link to Baseball Almanac over to the left. I've officially decided that I'm going to care more about baseball this year than politics, since the Red Sox can always be depended upon to break my heart, while both Democrats and Republicans only confuse me.

I may add more baseball related links, but probably not to a specific team. Folks like to follow their own favorites, so I'm sure you can all find the latest scores, trades, etc. somewhere else. Baseball Almanac actually consider the history of the game, which I think is sometimes forgotten in the heat of pennant races. Enjoy!
Over at CNN you can read all about Fed Chair Greenspan's comments to Congress. Apparently he feels the best way to keep things in check, is not to repeal the Bush tax cuts or raise taxes on those poor rich folk, but to cut the Social Security benefits of those future recepients who'll be living under enormous federal debt.

Hasn't this guy been in office a bit too long at this point? I mean, every comment he makes seems to have Wall Street types either toasting each other or peeing themselves. I don't know if Greenspan even knows (or cares) how the things he does or says effect the non-investors in this country. Perhaps the next President might choose a Fed Chairman who hasn't lost touch with how Real Folks live.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Here's another article from Information Clearing House (a link to which I'll be adding shortly on the left) about at least one Republican who'll be voting for "Anybody but Bush".

Btw, if you check in at and click on the P2004 link, you'll actually discover something the media has conveniently forgot to tell you (among other things). There ARE actually close to two dozen other Republicans running against the President for his party's nomination. Many are running simply because they feel that no one should run unopposed, but some actually don't think that G.W. is the best thing for the country. Some are to the right of the Pres, but others have disagreements with one policy or the other and believe that a candidate, for any party, should make clear where he stands. Good for them!
Just because I found it interesting and the mainstream doesn't seem to want to discuss it I wanted to point out this column on the Draft, from the fine folks over at Information Clearing House.

To be honest, this was forwarded to me by a professor at UNH who feels the student at the University might very well begin considering the possibilities.
Well, I certainly don't think that any of us are surprised that the President has come out in favor of a Consitutional amendment on marriage. You couldn't go for a safer bet for gearing up his Christian right constituents. I mean it takes years for an amendment to not only get out of Congress but to then make its way through all the states necessary to become the 'law of the land.' By that time Bush will be back in Texas (although I have to wonder if he will actually retire there, since the ranch will no longer be a backdrop for political events) and he won't have to take flack for whether it passes or not.

I personally believe that this, more than Gibson's movie, will stir up strong feelings of prejudice and move certain folks to violence. Just another reason to work for change come the election. Not only for President, but for senators and representatives who won't use hot button things like the amendment to detract citizens from the serious problems confronting this country. Down off the soapbox...sorry!

Monday, February 23, 2004

Poor Public Citizen! Just got this e-mail from them regarding Ralph Nader, which begins:

"We have received many inquiries about Ralph Nader's presidential
candidacy. Please keep in mind that Mr. Nader now has no formal
relationship with Public Citizen."

Apparently lots of folks are sending PC e-mail, both pro & con, regarding the Presidential run. Guess they're trying to put some distance between Nader and the organization, and add that PC: "hence has no position on the candidacy
of Mr. Nader, or any other candidate, and we are not associated with his campaign."

Re, the Nader candidacy the NY Times and other newspapers all have comments from folks on both sides of the issue. It will be interesting to see what develops, especially on Ralph's home turf.
Mark Evanier posted a link to this article by Frank Rich on Saturday, but I didn't have a chance to read it until today. Because of my own memories of serving in the Navy, during the Vietnam Era much of what he says hits home.

I was fortunate in that my own naval service did not bring me into the war zone. I served most of my first enlistment on three vessels that were homeported on the east coast, so spent most of my underway time in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean oceans. While serving I was also active in the ill-fated McGovern Presidential campaign, not only working the phones and filling envelopes with campaign information, but personally donating several hundred dollars to the campaign. At the same time I subscribed to several anti-war/leftist publications and signed my fare share of petitions. I'm certainly not comparing myself to what guys like Oliver Stone, John Kerry and other Vietnam Veterans Against the War were up against. However, I did support them, donating money and subscribing to their newsletter.

Like many folks, even in progressive/leftist circles, I felt that Jane Fonda crossed a line when she flew to North Vietnam. Still, everyone has made mistakes and Fonda had certainly explained her actions. Whether one forgives her or not is a personal matter. On the other hand, I'm sure that there are photos around of my own attendance at protests, meetings and marches that show me in near proximity to folks with whom I'd rather not sit down and drink. Weird to think that this next election may turn, in some fashion, on not who did what in Vietnam, but on who happened to be near you for one event.

Shouldn't we dig up some photos of some current members of the administration (or their father) hanging out with Saddam? Who knew whom back before the first Gulf War and why aren't they talking? Fair's fair, right? Just my $.02.
Needless to say my note to Ralph Nader didn't seem to persuade him. *sigh*

I think it's a serious mistake, both for Nader's credibility (he just comes off as somebody who puts his own ego/agenda over that of the citizens he supposedly wishes to assist) and for the independent party movement. I'm the first to say that I believe the U.S. would be in a better situation if the current two-party system didn't seem a permanent fixture, but Nader, like Perot earlier, doesn't seem to really care what his candidacy will do. I fear that the few votes that Nader gets this time out, will tilt things in some states.

Granted neither Edwards nor Kerry are my dream candidate, but either would certainly be better on many issues than another four years of the current administration.

Shame on you, Ralph!

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Here's the text of the letter I sent to the Raplh Nader 'exploratory site.'
Dear Mr. Nader,

I have been a long-time admirer of your efforts to correct the injustices and ill-considered policies of both major political parties. I've also felt it my duty and privilege to vote for you in your past election efforts. This time out I believe that such a run for the White House, would indeed do more harm than good.

I don't think that NOT running would automatically be seen as an endorsement of the Democratic nominee (whomever that may be at this point), but I do think that it would show people that you seriously think more of your push to make things better for all Americans than for any personal glory.

With all due respect for everything you stand for, I ask you to put aside a run for office at this time.


Steve Chaput
I don't know who is funding this, but the folks over at Ralph Don't Run do make a lot of sense. I happily voted for Ralph Nader in both Presidential elections in which he ran. Even in 2000, with many of my Democratic friends urging me to vote for Al Gore, I felt that the Democratic nominee should win or loose on his own terms and I wanted to send a 'political message'. Sadly, the message I got was that the Supreme Court was loaded with Republicans who would take advantage of the situation in Florida to hand the election to someone they wanted.

I've already sent a brief note, via the RDN link, to the Nader site urging him to consider NOT running this time. I don't expect him to come out and endorse the Democratic nominee, but I think that he should realize that his entry into the election would cause more harm than good. My $.02 as usual.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Discovered the very interesting today and decided to throw up a link over on the left. The fascinating thing is that it has links to all sides of the political debate, not simply the standard Republican/Democratic favorites. Besides 'Liberal' and 'Conservative', there is also "Libertarian and "Radical" under the IDEOLOGIES section. Be forewarned that the "Radical" links to cover skinhead, neo-nazi and other sites which I really find offensive. Your milage may vary, as they say, but I think that offers those interested a chance to read the views of folks who they generally would never think of checking out.

As I said, starting out, I only discovered this site today (Thanks to the kind folks at the DCCC!), so I haven't had a chance to do more than skim the main page. With things just starting to kick into serious high-gear re: the Presidential (and congressional) campaigns I think it's a great place to keep track of what others are thinking.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

"I'm not a statistician. I'm not a predictor." A quote from President Bush, according to his Press Secretary, in answer to a question about the loss of jobs and the change in White House predictions on job growth in the near future.

I think he meant to say, "I'm not a predictationary," but became confused. :-)

Back in the mid-1970s, when I attended my first couple of San Diego comic conventions, I had an opportunity to see Scott Shaw! in action. He, with aid from a few pals, appeared as "Dr. Raul Duke" and allowed them to bust a cement brick on his chest. Later that night I saw for the first time what was then known as the 'esoteric comics' slide show. Amazed and surprised to say the least!

Since then Scott has changed the name to "Oddball Comics", but he continued to show off his material at SD for years and even produced a collection of trading cards (which I'm proud to still own) and a calendar (which I sadly DO NOT own). You can see what this is all about over at his site (which I've placed over on the left), and you should check out other things at Comic Book Resources while you're there. Make sure you have an hour or so just to check out Scott's stuff.

Btw, I have to thank Mark Evanier's Monday posting for reminding me about both Scott and the fabulous Lil' Archie series which I loved as a kid. Somewhere among my belongings I have a sketch of Lil' Reggie that was done at one of those same SD conventions.
Appears the Dean campaign has ended, or at least gone into retreat back to Vermont. My understanding is that while Dean will not 'formally' campaign his organization will continue and he will not officially drop out. This allows those steadfast Dean followers to vote for him in up-coming primaries, giving the former Gov some say at the convention. *shrug*

As I've said before I'll probably vote for Kerry on March 2nd, when Connecticut has its primary. I've nothing against Edwards, but I just think that Kerry has more experience. Plus 'back in the day' I was a supporter of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
"Whatever may be tolerated in monarchical and despotic governments, no republic is safe
that tolerates a privileged class, or denies to any of its citizens equal rights and equal means to maintain them." Frederick Douglas - 1866 (Speaking on Reconstruction)

Just something to think about as the current Administration and state legislatures around the country consider amendments to ban 'gay marriage' or to enshrine the "institution of marriage as being between a man and a woman."

Just my own $.02
"Shape of an ice menorrah!" Damn, you can't beat a Wonder Twins reference, can you? I was watching SCRUBS last night and almost spit up my ice water. LOL! The past few episodes, guest starring Michael J. Fox, have been brilliant, but last nights 'Epiphany roof toilet' has to be one of the best shows this season. Classic! :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

If you're a fan of the old TV show MISTER ED, you might be interested in lead story on CNN's Entertainment page. Not sure how I feel about Ed speaking like "Mister Jefferson", but I've always liked Sherman Hemsley and don't begrudge him the gig. David Alan Basche, who has appeared in several failed sitcoms over the past few years (most recently Miss Match) landed the Alan Young part as "Wilbur".
For what it's worth I'm passing along this bit of information (by way of Elayne's blog). The National Association of the Deaf has posted a list of those television programs which may and may not have 'closed captioning'. Seems an odd group of choices for which show becomes eligible and many children's shows (such as the popular animated show DEXTER'S LAB) don't make the cut, while a number of sports shows do.

Here's a link to the NAD website which has the list, so you can see for yourself.
I've been reading Jimmy Breslin's columns for years and his recent ones dealing with the President and the families of soldiers in Iraq have only reminded me what a real writer & columist does. I've added a link to his archive of New York Newsday columns and recommend those who don't have a chance to read them to give those from the last week a look.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Came across this in the Washington Post and had to pass it along. Those wacky Young Republicans, huh?

Friday, February 13, 2004

Thinking about a few of my bad habits today, since I've gotten e-mail dealing with them I thought I'd add a couple of links over to the left. One is for the Yankee Brew News, a website version of a newspaper promoting beer and home-brewing. My pal Gerry and I have had a lot of fun over the past few years hitting some of the reginal 'beer fests' and you can always depend on copies of the YBN and similar publications being given out. If you happen to be a beer drinker, or a brewer, you might want to check it out. It has links to similar publications and lists events happening around New England that you might want to drop by. Naturally, don't drink and drive!

I actually went to highschool with Pete Slosberg, who started Pete's Wicked Ale almost 20 yrs ago. A few years ago he sold his company (I still recommend the beer, even though Pete's no longer at the helm) and since he doesn't like to repeat himself he wanted to do something different. Looking around for something new he started Cocoa Pete's which puts out some of the most delicious chocolate treats you've ever had. He hasn't completely lost his fondness for beer, however and the company puts together 'chocolate & beer' get-togethers in the SF Bay area.

In case you're wondering I don't get anything for plugging either site, but just thought I'd like to share them with you. After all nothing says Happy Valentine like chocolate and a nice pale ale. :-)
Sad that Mayor Bloomberg uses the death of a soldier to try and make himself look good. Here Jimmy Breslin has a few things to say about His Honor as well as the Commander in Chief.

It's amazing that the man who made a name for himself taking verbal shots at the Nixon Whitehouse continues putting things in perspective today.
Some of you may recall that when things were getting tight in the vote counting back in 2000, there was some talk about the votes cast by Americans (armed service and civilians) living abroad. There was some controversy over the votes of service people who used absentee ballots, whether or not those arriving after the deadline should be counted, etc. I found this item via World Press Review (link over to the left) and thought it might be interesting to see what some of the ex-pats in Germany are up to.

As noted before I'll probably vote for whomever the Dems put up this year and will likely be voting for John Kerry in the Connecticut primaries next month. Not the biggest fan of the Massachusetts senator, but he's certainly not the worst choice on the ballot. :-)
Found this piece from Rueters over on When the late night shows latch on to something like this they'll not only milk it, but keep it in the public eye for quite a while. Doesn't appear that this National Guard issue will disappear as quickly as it did back in 2000.

Also, I linked to that article on Barbie yesterday, figuring that most folks would not hear about it. However, I guess I didn't realize what a slow news day it was and that both local news and the Today Show (this morning) would have a few minutes to fill. Reminds me of the stories on the Clark/Lois wedding that seemed to get so much airplay about a decade ago. Still, with the continuing situation in Iraq, the economy, turmoil in Haiti, etc. it is sad that so much ink and videotape can be used up on a promotional campaign.

Then again, Congress is having hearings on Janet Jackson's breast and Kid Rock wearing an American flag for a poncho.

Oh, and it's Friday the 13th, which seems to freak some folks out, but has never bothered me, since I was born on the 13th of December. Granted it was a Wednesday, but still I've always thought of the number as good. :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A few quick comics related stuff, for what their worth.

Kurt Busiek is still capable of amazing work and it shows in both ARROWSMITH #5 and ASTRO CITY: LOCAL HEROES #6. The two series are about to have a crossover, which I'll be happy to pick up. Also, both will be continuing, with a AC one-shot appearing shortly.

I was surprised to actually find myself enjoying the latest issue of CEREBUS #298, wherein Cerebus has a chat with his son, Shep-Shep. Despite my problems with much of Sims political/social positions the last few years it is going to be weird NOT to be able to pick up a new issue of the book every month. My first experience with Sim's creation was way back in issue #26, lo those many years ago. Two more issues to go!
My sister Pam received a Barbie doll when she was a kid, possibly when it was first available. I don't know how she'd feel about this event, but I don't think I want to be the one to tell her. :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Very belated condolences to the friends and family of the great Julius Schwartz. I wanted to post something yesterday, but it has been extremely busy here.

I'm not nearly as into comics as I once was and frankly get all my 'news' on the industry from the occasional mentions by Mark Evanier or what Tony Isabella writes in his column (which he's kind enough to e-mail along to me). I didn't even hear of Mr. Schwartz' passing until Tuesday afternoon.

When Elayne and I were hitting the convention circuit we had the opportunity to meet him several times. No matter how busy he was he seemed happy to sign autographs or chat briefly with the numerous fans who came up to him.

For a certain generation of fans, Mr. Schwarz was almost as recognizable as Stan Lee. His imprint on the DC universe he monitored bore his distinct mark.

R.I.P. Julie! The industry will never find another one quite like you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Thanks to the folks at Slate I found this interesting piece over on Calpundit Kevin Drum's blog. Some of us do recall the story back in 2000, but the media pretty much poo-pooed the whole thing. Perhaps this time around there'll be a bit more interest, since the media can't turn this coming campaign to an anti-Clinton focus.
A professor here at the university passed this article along on Drake University and their problems with the Patriot Act. Political descent and academic freedom are issues which don't seem to be very important in this day and age, so it's necessary for those of us who do care to take note of events such as this.

Monday, February 09, 2004

"The American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is." President Bush on MEET THE PRESS.

I'm not even going to get into the thing at this point, since I did not watch the program, nor have I done more then read some excerpts. Perhaps I'm taking this all out of context, but I don't know how much confidence I have in him at this point.

When I was serving in the Navy and one of the ship's officers made some decision or gave an order which had most of us enlisted folks rolling our eyes, you could count on at least one non-com giving us the old, "You don't have to respect the man, but you must respect the uniform." Replace 'uniform' with 'office' and you'll see how I view the current occupent at 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave. How far that goes at this point is an open question.

Since, as I've said before, I'm not really very good at checking out many other blogs I have probably missed others linking to this article over at Slate on Dennis Miller and his new CNBC show. When Miller was hosting the Weekend Update segment on SNL there was not a funnier comedian, mining the political waters. I'm not going to belittle his apparent change of heart (although it does seem sometimes a bit self-serving), but I don't think taking shots at Dennis Kucninich (who has all but disappeared from the limelight) or giving the President "a free pass" leaves Miller with much credibility. My $.02, Charchi!
Not a whole heck of a lot to report here from this past weekend. Donna and I have zero interest in the Grammy's (I generally listen to classical music and Donna has her favorite contemporary artists, like Barbra Striesand and Celine Dion), since we don't really follow much of what is current. Laughable that CBS had to go with a five-minute delay out of fear that there would be a repeat of the Janet Jackson revelation.

Seems the John Kerry steam-roller is continuing in the Democratic primaries. Frankly, as I may have mentioned before I have no problems with Kerry, and besides anybody the Dems come up with at this point is going to get my vote. A.B.B., as they say. :-)

Actually picked up a stack of comics yesterday. The first time I've been in a shop in over a month. If I have a chance later today I'll try to get around to talking about a few that I've read already. To be honest I've hit one of those cyclical periods where I have minimal interest in comics. Probably going to continue to pick up a handful of books that I actually look forward to, while dropping just about everything else. Maybe once I get back into New York and have a chance to start hitting the various shops I might regain some of my enthusiasm.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Nice article by Paul Krugman (beware you may have to sit through an ad for the 'Forsythe Saga') in the New York Times about the administration doing a bit of historical re-writing. The bad intel on Iraq will no doubt be a campaign issue this year (as well as the report by the 9-11 investigation group), so you can be sure they'll be spin-o-plenty going on between here and November 2nd.

Meanwhile over at Slate, Adam Kirsch takes a look at what Americans expect in Heaven. It brought to mind Daniel Pinkwater's THE AFTERLIFE DIET, a wonderful book about...well, just what you'd think from the title. :-)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Sadly a non-issue (at least in my mind) is going to become a major campaign issue this year. In my opinion, I see no reason why any two adults cannot enter into marriage if that is what they want. Hell, would a constitutional amendment have prevented Brittany Spears from getting married for less than a weekend? I think that does more harm to the 'sanctity' of the institution of marriage than a gay or lesbian couple deciding to make their commitment permanent and binding in a legal sense.

I have friends and family members who happen to be homosexual and currently in very loving relationships. The male couple would probably gladly marry, should the option be available, while the lesbian couple would probably want to wait a bit to ensure their relationship is a lasting one before committing (and they should!).

Donna and I have both been married twice before, so I think you can safely say that we know that 'heterosexual' marriages aren't always the most perfect and enduring things. When two people take that vow they never know what is going to happen down the line. Why shouldn't homosexual couples be able to take the same risk? :-)
Poor Justin didn't have a clue and his family is upset. Jermaine Jackson feels that everybody should leave his family alone. You've got to love it, even though the whole thing is getting way too much airplay. Oh, and since Donna and I were eating dinner at the time, I'd like to thank the Murdoch empire for allowing me to actually see the breast in question in their British papers.

Let's see, Jason Williams once shot and killed his dog, because it caused him to loose a $100 bet, then he turned the gun on his 'friend' and forced him to bury the body. According to the trial judge this is NOT relevant and the jury at his murder trial (if you'll recall he is charged with killing his driver, then trying to cover up the crime). Cross country Robert Blake has dismissed his defense lawyer for 'irreconcilable differences'. Meanwhile, the main witness against Martha Stewart (my one time fellow Westport resident) says he was fearful of his boss so was lying originally, now that he has been offered a degree of immunity he is willing to come clean and we can believe him. (Millions of dollars are being spent to convict Stewart of coming out about $46,000 ahead on a stock deal. )

I mention all this in passing, as it never fails to amaze me that the news in this country is so focused on the fates of the famous and things like the continuing Iraq war, the econony and other things that actually effect everyday people are given fleeting if any notice.

Fortunately, for the majority of the American public the Olympics and Major League Baseball will make the summer easier to get through and we can ignore the boring old election campaigns until after the World Series. Oh, will be time for the new Fall season, won't it?

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

While I'm glad that nobody seems to have suffered in the incidents in D.C., it does serve to remind folks that the original 'anthrax' letter writer was never caught. It also demonstrates that the once major story becomes backpage pretty quickly, as if we needed anyone to remind us of that.

I know that I'm not a big sports fan, but it is pretty sad that the Jackson/Timberlake stunt had overshadowed what was a great ballgame. Both teams, after the very boring first half, came alive and turned up everything several notches.

As for the commercials, a couple of the Budweiser spots were pretty good, as was the Charmine tissue ad. Nothing stands out however and overall they were pretty bland. My favorite was Homer Simpson, naturally! :-)
Was going to talk about the Super Bowl situation, but everybody in the world has already commented so why bother.
It was a stunt which backfired and just makes Janet as clueless as her brother. Also, anybody who believes that the honcos at MTV didn't know what was going down are deceiving themselves. They get plenty of publicity and frankly I think they were looking for an out from the half-time production deal anyway.

The apartment has sprung several leaks, so we have pans all over the kitchen. We believe the roofer came yesterday, since nothing major was leaking last night. Tonight, with lower temperatures and rain predicted it will be a major test.

Also, the windshield wipers froze halfway through their action and we had to bring the car into the dealer, so we're driving a rental (Saturn is picking up the cost) until we can the car back this afternoon.