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Journal Journal: Open letter to President Bush 7

Dear President George W. Bush,

        As you may know, both the left and right are less than thrilled with your nomination of Ms. Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The conservative right do not believe she has the values they would like in a justice and the left are threatening to filibuster just because she is your nominee. In addition, much of the general public is concerned that she lacks the experience and qualification to be a Supreme Court Justice, or, even worse, is being nominated just because she is your friend.

        To help you in this matter, I have a suggestion of whom you can nominate that may be acceptable to everyone. The person I have in mind is familiar with all 3 branches of the government. She is a former trial lawyer in good standing with the A.B.A., a member of the Southern Baptist faith, and intimately familiar with both the legislative and executive branches of the government. Her political ambitions are many and they know no bounds.

        Yes, the best candidate for the Supreme Court you could put before the senate is Hillary Clinton. Not only is she religious, qualified, and not a crony; she is just what you need to replace Ms. Sandra Day O'Connor: female. Don't underestimate the value of nominating Mrs. Clinton. Not only will you receive praise for bridging the gap between the right and the left, but also you will do more for your party, the Republicans, than you could imagine. By putting Mrs. Clinton on the stand, you effectively eliminate the Democrats greatest hope for presidency in 2008, thereby all but guaranteeing the republicans at least another 4 years in the White House.

        In closing, please consider the compromise presented in this letter. It could save face and promote your party farther than the nomination of Ms. Harriet Miers ever could.

-Abmoraz

User Journal

Journal Journal: Lesson Learned 6

So, I thought I learned my lesson with driving back from the bars after my actions almost a year ago, but aparently I was wrong. I also thought that .08 was the limit and if you were there or lower, you were fine, but aparently that is wrong as well.

Yesterday, I had to work from 10am till 6pm during one of the busiest weekends this year (Penn State vs. Minnesota football game). After work, I stuck around and watched the end of the game, which ended at about 6:50. From there, I drove home and took a nap till 10pm. Got up, took a shower and drove back into town to meet some friends at 11pm. There I had a can of Busch beer (it's what they had).

After that, I went to a bar (for those familiar with the area, the Lion's Den) to meet some other friends. This was about 11:45. At the bar, I had 2 rum and cokes. I left the bar at 1:45 and went back to the first place, picking up a 12-pack of Yuengling lager on the way.

When I got back there at 2am, I played 1 game of beer pong, where we won and I drank 1 beer. This took less than 10 minutes. My current tally was 4 drinks in roughly 3 hours. The rum and cokes were a little strong, so I was estimating 5 MAYBE 6 tops. At my weight, I figured I was right about .07-.08 so I then proceded to sit around and BS with my friends drinking water for another half hour just to make sure.

At 2:45, I got in my car to head to an after-hours party from work on the other end of town. I placed the 12-pack in my car (there were 6 left because I gave some away, but they were unopened). I drove to a convenience store on the way to get smokes (The Minute Mart on the corner of College and Atherton). From there, I was going to park in the west-campus lots because they are free and I could leave my car there overnight, as I had every intention of actually getting drunk at the party and had already claimed a couch at the place. The parking spots for the Minute Mart have access to Atherton to the east of the store, but the alley I wanted runs perpendicular and is blocked off by a fence to the north. I pulled out into the road and hung a "hard left" to get to the alley. Drove down the alley, turned right to head up into the parking spots where cop lights turned on behind me.

I pulled over, gave the officer my license , registration, and insurance. He informed me that the turn I made was illegal because I never entered the proper lanes of travel and that if I'da gone all the way across the street, THEN pulled a hard left to come back, it'd been OK. He shined the light in my car and saw the 12-pack and asked me where I was coming from and going. I told him. Then he asked if I had been drinking, I told him yes and repeated everything above**.

He asked me to get out of the car and began issuing a field sobriety test. I passed the light/eye test. I failed the walk a straight line test because 2 of the 18 steps were not heel to toe. He then asked if I had any health issues that prevented me from walking well or standing and I showed him the scars on my knee from my surgeries and the scars on the other from the near ganggrene I had.

At this point he decided that he should issue a field breathylizer on me. He informed me that I had the right to refuse and that the results were not admissable into court either way. I told him that, "I felt fine, but I will consent because if I am wrong, then I deserve to be removed from the road, even though I was coming right here, because I could've put myself or others in danger." I blew a .08.

He showed me the results and I said, "That is the limit, right?" He said, "yes." I replied, "well then I'm OK."

This is where I guess I was wrong with interperating the law. He said that anything between .05 and .08 is at the officer's discretion and that to verify it, he was going to take me to the hospital to have bloodwork done. I had the right to refuse, but if I did, I would be immediately arrested and lose my license for a minimum of 6 months. I consented and held my hands out to be cuffed.

At this point he laughed and said, "How big are you?" I replied, "6'04" and 320 pounds." He looked at me and said, "no way!" I replied with, "when we get to the hospital, we can weigh me if you like." He did a quick frisk, took my wallet, cell phone, and lighter, but left me with my gum, smokes, and blistex. I turned around to be cuffed again and he said, "I don't think that's necessary. I'm going to have a hard enough time fitting you in my car to begin with.

His back-up officer moved my car to the parking spot I was heading for originally, locked it up and gave my keys to the officer with me. We drove to the hospital
where they drew blood. The officer then said he would either "A. take me home or B. take me to the party." I was sitting in the back seat saying, are you telling me that you're going to drop me off, with my keys to go drink next door to where my car is after taking me all the way up here on the suspicion of drunk driving?"

He thought for a second and said, "Let's go home then."

Morals of the story:
      1. Never make an illegal left. Even if you've made that same left over 300 times before over the last 6 years.
      2. Laws are fuzzy.
      3. Don't push limits.

The officer told me that my speech, driving, and eyes were fine. I was by far the nicest and politest DUI stop he's ever encountered. He said that if the tests come back .08 or even .09, that he would probably opt to not press charges because I did not demonstrate any dangerous behavoir and seemed to attempt responsiblity as well as accepted my responsiblity in the matter, rather than trying to bargin, whine, or threaten my way out of it.

He will get the blood results on wednesday and call me. *crosses fingers*

-Ab

** I have always found that yelling, taking an attitude, or lying to the police is ALWAYS counterproductive. Just tell them the truth and bight the bullet if you are in the wrong.

User Journal

Journal Journal: things about me 4

Why not...

1. I'm 5 years younger and 50-70 pounds heavier than everyone thinks I am when meeting me in person.

2. I have never lost a chugging contest.

3. I dressed for 2 pro-hockey games (though, only got to actually play for 30 seconds in the second one).

4. I loving playing guitar, but only accoustic guitars.

5. I've never been out of the US.

6. I hate to travel in general.

7. I hate to fly, but I love to skydive.

8. I've moved 11 times in my life, but all 11 have been within 150 miles of each other. 3 times back to the same house.

9. What most people consider "good" beer, I hate (guiness, bass, blue moon, la fin du mon...) and what most people consider bad beer, I also hate. (anything carrying the Bud name, miller lite, natty, beast, Coors, schlitz,...)

10. I make money playing online poker.

11. I do like most amber beers, be they lagers, bachs, or ales.

12. I've been declared dead twice.

13. I have 2 joints in my body made of mostly nickel/titanium.

14. I put on my resume for my last job under "special skills" that "I can hit a softball REALLY REALLY far." (yes, I got the job)

15. In the last 3 years, I've put a total of 6,000 miles on my car. If I can finish fixing it up, I can apply for "classic" plates in january.

16. I have an overactive immune system that can often incapacitate me in the form of allergies, bursitus, excema, and dehydration.

17. I do not drink coffee or tea. In fact, I try to avoid caffeine in all forms (though, I do occasionally enjoy a coke or cherry coke).

18. I hold all stupid people in high contempt (yes, that includes myself at times)

19. I am staunchly libertarian. I believe that people are allowed to be assholes, stupid, or otherwise non-social without any repercussions from the government, but at the same time, they should be in no way rewarded with gov't support or monies beyond what they've personally paid in taxes, especially disaster relief or social welfare.

20. I'm currently being sought after by 3 debt collectors because I refuse to pay doctor's bills if they got the diagnosis (and therefore treatment) wrong. I will pay if they correct themselves, but if I have to go to another doctor because the situation got worse, then no money for you ... ESPECIALLY if it's a reasonably common problem or ailment that they should've gotten right. The bills are for $26, $75, and $230 respectively.

21. bonus factoid: I hold language in contempt. Especially english. More so grammar/spelling nazis. If people didn't make their own little changes, then we'd all still be speaking ould english with the "thee's", "thou's", "thine's", "ere's", and non-phonetic spellings than anyone could care to cry about. For anyone that doesn't think it'd be that bad, try reading "Canterbury Tales" in their original middle english. Olde english is barely related to that because of the evolution of the language to suit the people rather than the elite.

22. Bonus factoid #2: I never preview or proofread. I find it dishonest and it denies the original writing (but not so much the intent).

-Ab

User Journal

Journal Journal: My feelings on Katrina 15

(and the southern coasts in general)

MOVE!

My donation to Katrina Relief Fund is a giant map of the United States with a GIANT FRICKIN' ARROW pointing north.

Guess what? Tennessee doesn't get hurricanes. Move there! Neither does Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana or Pennsylvania. By the time the storms get to those states, they are just long thunderstorms. Hell the worst most of those states see is an occasional drought, a rare tornado, and rarely a blizzard.

But Abm0raz, the weather's so nice here! It's nice 360 days out of the year, if you like that "sunny and warm" crap (I personally don't), but 5 days out of the year, your house blows down, you lose everything you own, 10% of your neighbors die, and your whole world goes to hell. But that's a reasonable price to pay for great weather, right?

So, with that in mind, I will put my money where my mouth is. I will donate to a charity who's sole purpose is to move people from Hurricane Alley (FL and anybody in coastal GA, AL, MS, LA, TX, SC, or NC) north to a safer area. Otherwise, I will continue to donate my crudely hand drawn map with the giant red arrow.

-Ab

ps. Yeah, I know it's rough, but you can't tell me for a moment that people who live in a BOWL-SHAPED city on the coast that is BELOW SEA LEVEL didn't see that this could have been a very real possibility?

pps. For those that think I'm a hypocrite, I broke off my engagement several years back because I did not want to move to Florida with her. I don't want to deal with the weather. (fun fact: Florida has more hurricane, lightning AND tornado damage (each seperately) than any other state in the union.)

ppps. True to my word, anyone from that area that needs a place to stay, I can house 1-2 people. They just gotta get here. Hit me up at abmoraz at gmail dot com.

pppps. Feel free to comment. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. If you disagree with me, I can handle that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: drunken journal entry 1

Show us your tits!

no, really.

So, I was stuck downtown tonight after deciding to let my roommates go home without me. 7hours later (at 6am) I found myself stumbling down the main road (West College Avenue, for those that are familiar). I see a familiar vehicle slow down while passing me then speed up and turn onto Barnard street. I call my buddy Paul and he answers:

Me: Paul, did you just drive down college Ave?
Paul: yeah.
Me: think you could do an old drunk** a favor and do another lap around the block and take me home?
Paul: sure.

So ... instead of walking across town west to east) to get my keys the walking across town again (south to WAAAAY more south), I got a ride and all is good in the land of me. For all those female types that were thinking that I might make a good father, know that my first born (and possibly my second) will now be named "Paul".

All is even better since I have come leftover vegetable stew (see earlier journal) to munch on.

-Ab

** as for me being an old drunk, Paul is almost 10 years older than me. 10 years minus 3 weeks. I was born in mid january, he was born in late december 9 calander years earlier. I can still whomp his ass at golf though ... and drink his pathetic liver under the table.

Wine

Journal Journal: great dessert (special diet friendly)

How to make sorbert (SORE-BAY)

Ingredients:
    2 cups white sugar (substitute 2.5 cups clover honey for SCD diets)
    2 cups water (1.5 cups for SCD)
    15 RIPE** passion fruits (or equivilent of other non-starchy fruit, such as berries, plums, or cherries. Avoid melons, apples. Alternative recipe for bananas and citrus at the end)
    1 cup white wine (clear rum if you're feeling extra naughty).

0. Place a ceramic baking pan (about 6"x9"x3") in the freezer the night before.
1. Pour the water and the sugar or honey into a pan on med-high heat. Stir often until completely dissolved.
2. remove from heat and put in fridge for 1-2 hours. At this point, the syrup should be about the consistancy of cheap pancake syrup. sticky, but fairly runny.
3. Slice the passion fruits in half in line from top to bottom. Scoop out the insides (seeds and all from the skins into a medium sauce pan.
4. Add the wine and turn the heat to medium low.
5. Bring just barely to a simmer for a minute or 2, stiring. The mixture should get "slimy".
6. Remove from heat and set aside.
7. Remove syrup from the fridge. It should be more like good maple syrup now. Much thicker, but still flowing (not like molassass, if it's that thick, add more water, re-boil, and re-chill).
8. Add the fruit/seed/wine mixture to the syrup. Stir well.
9. Allow to sit in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
10. Remove mixture from fridge. Remove baking pan from freezer.
11. Place a medium strainer over the ceramic pan and strain about 2/3rds of the mixture through. Stir and press with a rubber scraper to get all the liquid/syrup in the pan and off the seeds. Be sure to wipe off what's clinging to the bottom of the strainer into the pan as well. THe more you get out of the strainer, the more flavor you'll have. DO NOT GET LAZY with this step or it'll turn out with very little flavor.
12. Pour the other 3rd into the pan (I like a little bit of the passion fruit seeds in the mix. They're very small and crunchy and add some texture.)
13. Stir and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
14. Remove from freezer. Whip with a fork for about 2 minutes. The color should get much lighter and it should seem to increase in volume. (This adds air to the mixture and will give you sorbert instead of italian ice)
15. return to freezer for at least 2 hours.

Serve like ice cream.

To use other fruits:
      -Bananas: Must be very ripe (almost all black, some bruising wouldn't hurt either) Mash with a fork to a liquid pulp before adding the wine. Be sure to break up all the starchyness. You may need a bit more wine (or add a VERY small bit of vinegar and a dash of salt). No need to strain if you puree the bananas in a blender first.
      - Berries: Need to peel strawberries. Most other berries you can just smash slightly to break the skins so the juices can mingle. You'll need to strain all of the mixture instead of 2/3.
      - Plums. Peel, smash, treat like passion fruit.
      - Melons and apples: They tend not to have enough flavor and to be too starchy (melons and apples have larger starch grains than most other fruit and tend to absorb flavor rather than give theirs up.)
      - Citrus: Juice fresh citrus. Use a zester to get the zest. Peel and discard the rest of the skin. Add JUST the de-juiced "meat" of the fruit to the wine and the zest. Strain all of the wine/zest mixture and add the fresh juice before before adding to the syrup.

Even with the wine, this dish has almost no alcohol (as it evaporates out in the cooking). Instead of wine, you can use a 1/4 white vinegar and 3/4 cups water if you are worried about kids eating it. Just be careful. Error on the side of water if you choose to use vinegar. Adding a teaspoon of salt can help as well. The alcohol and acid in the wine helps pull the flavors out of the fruits (especially if using blander fruit like bananas)

-Ab

** Passion fruit should NOT have shiny, tight skin. They should be wrinkly and dull. This signifies that they are ripe. If you use shiny, tight skinned passion fruit, your sorbert will turn out bland with a slight bitter aftertaste.

User Journal

Journal Journal: poll/question/not a meme 1

Dunno why, but I got to thinking tonight about primary education. Who were your homeroom teachers in each grade?

K. Ms. Ciampa
1. Mrs. Baker
2. Mrs. Wescott
3. Mrs. Reynolds
4. Mrs. Hatfield
5. Mrs. Celmar
6. Mr. Smith (coolest teacher EVAH!)
7. Mr. Burkett
8. Mrs. Seese
9. Mr. Penrod
10. Mr. Zajdell
11. Mrs. Chulmar
12. Ms. Ciesielka

In High School I rarely went to homeroom. I was consistanly late every day (spent several days in In-School-Suspension for it) and spent most of my evenings in the computer room as I was on the last bus out. Until I was accepted to Penn State, Case Western, and MIT in my sophomore year, I was #1 in my class. After I got accepted to college, my grades went downhill fast as I stopped caring.

-Ab

User Journal

Journal Journal: Quick and Dirty Jumbalaya

Dinner tonight (those that have restricted diets, sorry)

1-2 lb hamhock
1 whole chicken legs and thighs (on the bone)
1 160z bag of pepper stirfry mix* (frozen)
1 box of Rice-a-roni (spanish flavor)
1/4 cup of louisianna hot sauce
2 tbsp butter
lots of water
1 can of french style green beans

1. defrost the meat in the fridge the night before. About 2hrs before cooking, set the meat out to finish defrosting at room temp.
2. put 8 cups of water in a soup pot, add a dash of salt, cover and bring to boil (covering and adding the salt will make it boil faster)
3. Add the chicken, (bone and all), bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to regular boil and boil until about half the water is gone.
4. while the chicken is boiling, dice the ham into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes (about 2 cups).
5. In another large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and brown the rice-a-roni. Stir often and fast. Make sure the roni part is BROWN. (more than if you were cooking it usually).
6. Add the chicken stock (but not the chicken) and the hot sauce to the rice. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Do NOT cover.
7. Set the chicken aside to cool for 5-7 minutes.
8. poke a fork into the veggie bag in a few place, then smash repeatedly with a meat tenderizer (to smash the frozen veggies into pieces)
9. in a LARGE skillet, brown the ham on medium-high heat. As the ham browns, it will release a LOT of juices. Periodically drain these off into the rice. This will speed up the browning. You want black "gunk" to form on the bottom of the pan and on the ham. Brown it GOOD.
10. when the ham is really browned (near burnt), dump it and the veggies (but not the bag) in the rice.
11. Pour a small amount of water into the skillet and the black cunk at the bottom will release (it's called 'deglazing'). pour this gunk into the rice and stir.
12. now that the chicken is cooled some (I use rubber gloves designed for cleaning to handle), use a fork to pull the meat off the bone in small bits (should make about a cup and a half of chicken).
13. dump the chicken in the pot.
14. Add another cup of water.
15. keep simmering the mixture until there is barely a small layer of liquid on the top.
16. remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
17. Open the can of beans into a microwave save container (liquid and all) and microwave on high for 3:30.
18. serve with the beans as a side garnish on the plate. (makes about 8-10 servings.) (about 50 min to make from start to finish)

Caution. It is a bit salty. If salt is a problem, do not drain the ham juices into the rice nor use the pan gunk.

If you like seafood in your jumbalaya, cook it seperate and add it fairly late. Otherwise, the whole thing will taste like seafood.

-Ab

* It a bag of mixed veggies including red, green, and yellow bell peppers as well as onions cut into thin strips

User Journal

Journal Journal: New definition of "Going Balls Out" 1

So, background:

I play in a bar-league softball league. We were the number 1 seed (11-1 in the regular season) and got a first round bye. We played the #6 seed today, who we destroyed in the first game of the season 44-12. After they got hammered by us, they went out and recruited about 6 ringers.

Fast forward to today. I'm the pitcher. We're up 7-3 in the top of the third. I pitch the batter exclusively inside. He tries to turn on one to hit it to right and lines it right into the ground at my feet. It pops up and smacks me in my jublies before I can react. I pick up the ball and throw the guy out at first (who they called safe anyways, cause they say the first baseman lifted his heel up, but that's another story). I didn't even see the catch cause as I let go of the ball, the "4 seconds of rage" that a guy gets when nailed in the baby maker was up and the shooting pain in my gut caused me to drop like a rock.

I pitched the rest of the game (under much duress). I even batted 3-4 (did I mention I was playing with a sprained left wrist, so batting was near impossible), but we ended up losing 24-19 after a horrendous 13 run top of the 6th.

-Ab

ps. does anyone have a spare body I can borrow. Mine hurts.

User Journal

Journal Journal: the meme 1

( ) Succombed to your peers just to be part of a meme

-Ab

ps. dammit, I just hit preview then read the rest and saw FK's response. And here I thought I was being original :(

User Journal

Journal Journal: We got Sydney Croooosby! 7

We got Sydney Croooosby!
We got Sydney Croooosby!
We got Sydney Croooosby!
We got Sydney Croooosby!

I am the happiest fat kid in all he land!

-Ab

User Journal

Journal Journal: Best new show on TV

Mind of Mencia** on Comedy Central. It airs 3-5 times each week. New episodes debut on Wednesdays after South Park and before The Daily Show. Funniest stuff I've seen in ages.

Check it out.

-Ab

** Those with children may want to choose to not watch it with them. Those with heavy tree-hugging, hippie beliefs of "love and respect everything" should definitely watch.

User Journal

Journal Journal: PSA for users of Pokerstars.com 4

If you play at PokerStars.com (looking at you Em and FK) AND used your Visa Credit or debit card, call your card issuer immediately. The company that Pokerstars uses to validate VISA cards was hacked today. I got a call from my credit union (PA has some VERY strict laws on disclosure on this type of things). No money was missing yet, but I had to cancel the old card and have a new one on the way.

-Ab

Google

Journal Journal: For anyone that Competed in the Google Puzzle Championship 1

Here are my answers:

1. B2,J6,A7,E9 (I typed it in wrong and put in E5 instead of E9 on my oficial answer sheet)

2. 34,344,43,23

3. Szarvas

4. ADCBHGKLRQIFEJMPSTONXYVUWZ

5. 1,3,1,1

6. 27668213851

7. 43

8.

9. 83,79,46,33

10. 1,1,3,3,3,4,5,5,5,7

11. 1,2,2,3,4,6

12. 6,10,4,3,9,8,5,11

13.

14. 4,300,10,20,30,20,400,1

15. D4,B3,E5,D5,E3

16.

17. A1-D4,C2-B4,E2-E5 (Also mistyped this and had an extra dash between the B and the 4)

18.

19. 345162,236541

20. RAHPK,RMIOA,AORRA,LYNTA,TELGL (For some reason, I had the number 1 in instead of a letter L on the official sheet)

21. 1,10

22. 927398514,849561372

I was one minute and 34 seconds late submitting my answers (-20 points) and submitted 3 with mistypings on them. I might've had a real shot at qualifying if I'da not made the dumb mistakes. Oh well.

-Ab

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