"Those who know and know they know are wise, listen to them. Those who do not know and know that they do not know are intelligent, teach them. Those who do not know and do not know that they do not know are dangerous, smite them." -- unknown, paraphrased

Day 1 - Our New Home · 5 May 09 by John

So, I asked myself this morning, “should I attempt to blog about the entire home building process?” I decided the answer is, “why not?” So… let’s get caught up to where we are. This is really “Day 2” but I’m going to call it Day 1 because I’m blogging about the events leading up to the signing of the contract.

We’ve chosen to build a Brady at The Landings in the Pinnacle subdivision in Grove City. We were moments away from walking away. More than once M/I Homes chose to quietly “not mention” things that most buyers would find objectionable… like a $1061 annual assessment on the property which is separate from the Home Owners’ Association dues and the property taxes. It was listed in its monthly form in one of a couple dozen lines in the “estimated monthly cost of ownership” form… but that was the only time it was even written down. And, no one bothered to mention it in our discussions about the home. Luckily, when they shoved 15 pages of documents to sign in front of us, we said, “OK, we’ll take these home and read them and get back with you.” I have to wonder what percentage of their buyers never notice that $1000/year until they’ve signed everything.

I made the appointments with the M/I Financial to see if they can beat our current loan offers. Thanks to AJ, we have really good credit and a little bit of a war chest and a good salary history which makes us a pretty attractive loan applicant. We also made our appointment with their design center where they’re going to try to sell us $20,000 worth of upgrades until I tell them that we’ll walk out the door if they try it.

They’re in the business of selling emotional content. Anyone can sell and build a house. To be profitable at it, you need some type of emotional content. I’m going in sans emotion… so let’s hope I can keep it that way and we can keep our money and they can keep their bidet!


Who Do You Think You Are? · 16 September 06 by John

“We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents.” – Justice William J. Brennan, Texas v. Johnson


Who do these men and woman and these men and women who voted for a Constitutional Amendment to somehow “protect” Old Glory think they are? I know they think very highly of themselves; but, do they really think so highly of themselves that they think they can do anything, anything, that can further protect and uphold the greatest symbol of freedom the world has ever known? It is embarrassing to see my congressional representative Pat Tiberi and senators Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, men who have never even served their country in uniform, think that they can vote away the First Amendment and somehow further consecrate and defend our nation’s symbol of liberty?


Our flag is protected by something that no law can ever surpass. It is consecrated and venerated by something that no politician, no governmental action, no resolution and, dare I say, no Constitutional Amendment is greater than. Forget the stupid, devisive arguments which the Republicans want to divide us with about how those who would not vote for an Anti-Flag Desecration bill are somehow un-American. Forget about those who even think it is antithetical to the First Amendment (of which I am one). There are greater reasons for us to be opposed to an Anti-Flag Desecration Amendment. Humility. Awe. And Honor.


No one among us, in any fashion, can protect Old Glory more than she is already protected. There isn’t a law great enough nor a person exhalted enough to enact a law greater than the protection our flag already has. Those who think they can are not only fools, but also braggarts and self-indulgent, pompous elitists who think far too highly of themselves.

Why do I think this? Why would I call those who want to “protect” our flag such virulent names? It is simple. 551254, as of the time of this post, men and women have died in action for the flag of the United States of America. Their blood, their sacrifice, their lives were given to her to protect her for all eternity. And anyone who thinks some words on some paper can provide more protection than that is rightly deserving of scorn and ridicule. I’m starting with Tiberi, DeWine and Voinovich… but you can spread the word.

Have a comment?


Tempests in Teacups · 12 September 06 by John

Strange little things enter my head every day. Today, the right to bear arms popped into my head. Much ado has been made in the past ten years about carrying handguns and owning semi-automatic rifles but they have all been tempests in teacups.

Any fulfillment of the Constitution’s framers’ intent with the Second Amendment was lost decades ago. Those men knew that the only way to keep a government from being an oppressive government was to keep the governmental officials in constant fear of armed rebellion. To fight the oppressive British, the rebels needed cannon, musket, pistol and horse. Those items comprised the totality of the weapons of war.

To extrapolate the necessary weapons necessary to overthrow the government today would require tanks, helicopters, fighters, missiles and myriad other weapons which cannot be legally bought by the average citizen. Imagine attempting to acquire enough weapons to take on the local-yokel volunteer police department of some rural town let alone the entire U.S. military. You’d have the ATF on your doorstep sometime between buying the grenades and the claymores.

I don’t think the U.S. government needs overthrowing. In fact, I think we’re perhaps one of the best countries in all of history. I’m merely speaking to the framers’ intent with the Second Amendment. So, for the NRA to cry that they are losing their Second Amendment rights or for Sarah Brady to say that Americans’ Second Amendment rights haven’t been curtailed enough is to ignore the fact that those rights, as conceived by the framers of the Constitution, were lost long ago.

What does it matter? The right has long tried to use the issue of handguns and semi-automatic rifles as a fašade for dividing Americans. Their supposed “stance” to protect the Second Amendment has been a hurricane in a wash basin used to whip their constituents into a frenzy over the most minuscule and useless of items. Who thinks any citizen who pulls a gun on a police officer whom the citizen thinks is oppressing him would live to tell his side of the story? Who thinks a store owner who mows down a handful of rioting teenagers for looting his store would find any pity when his prison sentence is handed down?

The framers knew a little something about throwing out an oppressive government. The Second Amendment exists for a reason and we no longer have the rights to uphold the reason and we’ll never be even close… so why do we let politicians hoodwink us with this stupid issue every election cycle?


Welcome StumbleUpon Users! · 12 September 06 by John

So, I would have never imagined the number of hits this site is getting only after being entered into StumbleUpon just a day or two ago. It’s actually very exciting to see. I’m going to try and get some of my old blog entries off of blogspot and put them here. Who’s to say that I have anything worth listening to? Mostly I just wanted a place where I could write articles about how my family could better use their computers.

Since you’re already here, check out some of the other stuff I’ve been working on lately: My Great-Grandfather’s War Diary from the Spanish-American War and UltimateRack: A Military Ribbon Rack Builder

Watch for more in the very near future.



UltimateRack, the ultimate online rack builder · 11 September 06 by John

So, about a year and a half ago I decided I couldn’t find any good military rack builders that would do what I wanted. I wanted a program which would make a single graphic with all the appurtenances which go on the ribbons. So, I decided to make one myself. I never could have imagined how much work it would entail. The amount of information I needed to gather was immense. And, attempting to sort through it all is almost impossible for one person. But, nonetheless, I’ve got a pretty workable product out there and think you might be interested.

Give it a try: UltimateRack


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