Finally Redid the Banner

Well, for what it’s worth, that’s the new banner for now. I can’t say that I’m completely satisfied with the tile that I cropped from my old banner.


Other than that, I like it fine, especially the new title and sub-titles. Any suggestions that don’t require a masters degree in graphic design, or require me to buy Photoshop — which I have managed to get by without all these many years? Actually, I did this with Snagit, a screen capture tool that’s essential for traders needing to take snapshots in time of various streaming charts during the trading day.

Now, if TypePad would create a standard layout that included three columns, but with the two narrow columns side-by-side to the right, I’d be really content.I’m seeing that more and more on blogs, and I think it’s a great design. I’ve looked into various things like WordPress and such, but it just seems like I’d have to spend too much time on configuration and not enough on writing. TypePad has the ability for complete customization as well, but you have to do it with CSS scripts. I played around trying to modify one of their templates so as to better suit my needs, but as soon as I would get one element looking right, it would mess something else up, and so on. An entire afternoon was enough to set that aside.

An Aside About Dad

Some who read here regularly may know that my dad used to comment here, but though we’re a lot alike (big surprise, eh?), we share the single massive antagonism of religion. I hate it to the depth of my bones. He believes. I love him dearly, in spite of it. But it doesn’t stop me from spewing the hate I sometimes let loose here.

I could say that it’s because I care, but that’s pretty self-serving. Moreso, I think I allow myself to do it because I trust that our love and respect for one-another will ultimately withstand it. And, I respect his ability to draw necessary distinctions. Both of those assessments have proven true. My dad and I have a relationship that it’s almost natural to take for granted; it has changed so little in these many years.

My dad loves breakfast at cafes. Bacon & eggs; sausage & eggs; ham & eggs, and so on. Even in those days of relative modest financial means, he managed to get out to breakfast once a week — usually with his brother on Saturday morning. This is 40 years ago, now. Though I’m sure he left me behind a time or two, I can’t remember it. All I remember is going with him every Saturday morning and it was the most important thing in my life.

I’ve no idea how that has formed what I have become, because I can’t imagine a life without that cherished experience.

Do you know what? Except for my time away at college, and then my time living out of the country for several years, my dad and I have almost never missed a weekly breakfast together at the local cafe. Now it’s Friday mornings, and we’re joined by two of my three younger brothers. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for him.

But here’s what I wanted to write about. After the last conflagration, I "banned" him from commenting. It’s not as ominous as it sounds. We agreed it would be the best thing, and it’s become somewhat of a joke between us since. Outside the blog, our relationship hasn’t changed at all. There’s still bacon. There’s still eggs, hash browns (well done), and toast. Every Friday morning.

Then today, he made some comment on our family email list about not being allowed to comment. But you know what? There’s nothing preventing him from doing so. It’s just that he honors that I said not to…which got me to thinking.

I dunno, it was about a month or so ago, and my wife and I were having a conversation and she said something I’ve never in my life thought about. She said:

Your dad doesn’t lie.

I thought about that for a moment, and replied: "you’re right." When I think about it, not even the common ass-covering, embarrassment-saving, truth-shading little lies almost everyone tells. I’ve been guilty.

Damn straight. I can’t name a single lie my dad has ever told and you have no idea how important I think that is.

Are You an Individualist?

Alright, yesterday’s little exercise was both amusing and intriguing. Intriguing because I realized anyone can create a quiz at So, I had the idea of creating a quiz myself. I got started yesterday afternoon, and then realized: It’s kinda hard. Really. First, you’ve got to come up with the questions, making sure they don’t have obvious answers for most people. Then, you’ve got to craft multiple-choice answers that are reasonably plausible for at least some people to choose. Finally, you’ve got to weight each response from -6 to +6, keeping in mind what sort of bell curve you’re trying to create.


I quickly gave up: like, after question number one. Then, for whatever reason, I got up this morning, made my coffee, had a smoke, and jumped right in. So:

Are You an Individualist?

Are you? Take the quiz and find out. It’s got 22 questions and should take five minutes or so. The first two questions are mandatory for every quiz (’s demographics), but don’t have any bearing on the result. Unsurprisingly, here’s my result:

You are 100% Individualist

You’re an individualist through and through. The bedrock of civilization. If you scored less than 100%, then it can probably be accounted for by shortcomings in the quiz itself. Your individualism is heart and mind, integrated into an uncompromising whole. You are to be congratulated on your ability to see through feeling and tough issues, abandoning "easy solutions" through theft and aggression. You are part of the hope for civilization, as civilization was built upon people such as yourself. You power is such that civilization marches onward in spite of every effort to tear it down by collectivists and communists, or to suck it dry by socialists and fascists.

Are You an Individualist?
Make a Quiz

When you’re finished, the quiz will render a bit of copy/paste code. Please feel free to slap it in the comments; if you’re not too embarrassed by the result, that is.

“More Than Half Terrorist Sympathizer”

Your ‘Do You Want the Terrorists to Win’ Score: 66%

You, sir or ma’am, are more than half terrorist sympathizer. Your ill-will toward America can barely be concealed, and has now been uncovered by this quiz.  Your love of America and of her dear leader, President Bush, is clearly approaching treasonously low levels.  But it’s not too late for you.  Shut yourself out from all liberal influence, listen only to Sean Hannity, read only Ann Coulter, and above all stop questioning!  Questioning only gets our troops killed in their noble battle against the forces of evil that besiege our great land!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Via Radley Balko, a "terrorist-loving scoundrel who who hates our dear leader and the values he defends." Of course, you don’t need to tell me that the quiz is created by a lefty. Pretty obvious. And, of course, as in all such multiple-choice quizzes, some questions have no correct answer to choose from.

Feel free to take the quiz yourself and copy/past the display code in the comments.