Category Archives: Homelife

Another cool (stylishly, meteorologically) July 4th in Western New York

Another year in Western NY, and another 4th of July has come and gone. Despite some hot weather, into the 90ºs, in the days preceding the 4th, Independence Day managed to be quite cool and sunny all day, even rather chilly that night — into the low 60ºs. We attended what’s become our usual venue for viewing fireworks, where this sloping hill overlooking some baseball diamonds…


…spectacularly serves up this luminous sight after darkness sets in and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” commences:

IMG_8880The colorful explosions in the sky go on for a while, maybe 30mins. Here’s a 2min30sec video from the display last Friday night. We’ll have more fireworks at the end of the summer, shot over the Erie Canal, a picturesque setting if there ever was one. Perhaps I’ll cover that blast, too. So there you have it, a solid reason to stay tuned to EMP for more, er, bombast!

“Stop crying and fight your father.”

It’s that time of the year again to pull out your aluminum poles, air your grievances, and test your feats of strength. For the rest of us this time of year, there’s Festivus.

And this just in from Florida…it’s another Festivus miracle!



After spending the better part of the last two weeks sparring with neurosurgeons regarding degenerative vs. traumatically induced herniated discs, I’ve been ignoring anything “fun” including this website.  All these posts resurrected from the dead!  Hmmm.  Rather than comment individually, I’m gonna try to take a crack at just hitting a lot of topics in one long post.  But first, a public service announcement (click to enlarge):

Jerk Store

So Peashoot’s Canal-Pal has now crossed the line into physical contact.  Surely this constitutes assault and battery – defined in the law as any unwanted touching.  I wonder if he thought he was trying to be funny, but the tone of the post suggests otherwise.  I’m not sure exactly what advice to offer here.  Your predicament reminds me of that great line from Animal House: “This moment calls for a really stupid gesture on somebody’s part” to which Bluto responds, “We’re just the guys to do it!”  Sarcasm and name-calling come to mind, but this guy has ably demonstrated he has a short fuse.  The Jerk Store derives some sort of pleasure by harassing you so if you ignore him it might burn him more than anything else.  Or you could just trip him the next time he jogs by and explain your foot slipped.

Phelps Redux

If only this dealt with Frank Costanza’s furious outburst at Steinbrenner for trading Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps, dead son notwithstanding.  I liked the link and counter-protesters have dogged Phelps for almost as long as he’s been doing this stunt.  Certain motorcycle clubs travel with Phelps to “block” the families’ view of these people and motorcycle guys aren’t usually associated with homosexual causes.

I wouldn’t be Wild Billy if I didn’t adress a few of Peashoot and Ms. Henking’s points.  First and foremost, we need to recognize that Westboro Baptist boasts a congregation slightly larger than a Class 5A high school football team – according to Wikipedia 71 adherents, most of whom share DNA with Phelps.  This is hardly representative of Christianity in America and to suggest it does borders on slander.  Henking recognizes this in her article and employs quotation marks around the word church whenever referring to it. I was pleased to see that.

Peashoot writes, “[c]itizenship for many in this country must involve Christian ideology.”  I think “many” is a stretch; replace it with “some” and you have a fair point.  I’m not going to troll around looking for the social science data, especially since I cannot footnote a post (damn!) but I’m pretty confident that is not the view of the overwhelming majority of Christians.  That the most ardent, non-Jewish supporters of Israel tend to be Evangelical Christians illustrates an acceptance of non-Christian faiths.  While certain congregants of the more “mainstream” Christian faiths might hold that view, you would be hard pressed to cite to a Bishop or Pastor who said or wrote such an idiotic thing. 

As for the woman who adorns herself in the flag – the flag is a powerful symbol.  That’s why people burn it, salute it and lots of other stuff.  Everyone sees something in that symbol – for some it brings pride for others shame.  Symbols get misappropriated all the time.

Then we come to the contention that this type of ugly speech is a phenomenon of the right.  Peashoot hints at it; Henking gets right out in front with it, “progressives and reasonable people show some discretion in the enactment of our dissent even when we profoundly disagree with or find repulsive the perspectives or actions of others.”  Really?  Really?  I found this after searching for less than a minute online:

Before we go breaking our left arm patting ourselves on the back for being the potentates of civility, let’s see some more “discretion in the enactment of our dissent”:

How about some more discretion?

If this counts as discretion, I’d hate to know what these folks really think.  Now, the point here isn’t to get into a childish “you started it” type of row.  The point is that the far-right and the far-left are equally idiotic.  Suggesting these three images neatly summarize the views of the legitimately earnest anti-war crowd is equally slanderous.

Giving everybody the freedom of speech invariably encourages hurtful behavior sometimes.  Ward Churchill referred to the victims inside the WTC as “little Eichmanns”.  I find it abhorrent, but it was his right to say it.  The entirety of the 9-11 “Truther” movement utterly disgusts me, but again that’s their right.  Besides, I want those idiots right out in the open where I can see them.  That goes for Phelps too.

Phelps plans to picket the funeral of one of the stars from  MTV’s Jackass (  The Jackass crew make Beavis and Butthead look like Masterpiece Theater and I’m sure they will be plotting an appropriate humiliation for the good “reverend”.  I hope they film it.   

Oh, and “Dogs love fags” made me laugh.  A lot.


I do love a good debate, but I’m tired of defending free speech rights.  Here’s some interesting – and by “interesting” I mostly mean “stupid” – stuff I’ve come across recently.  I always thought the bars turned the music up loud to drown us out when we have our liquor-fueled debates (i.e. is black a color?) but it turns out it increases consumption.

Wondering what your favorie cartoon character’s skeleton looks like? Here’s a helpful website. 

How about a beer bottle chandelier?  It will really tie the room together.

Okay, I’m going to log off for now and start working on the periodic table posted above.

Fun Ride Comes to an End

It’s been a pretty hectic week here in the racing world. The rumors finally started playing out this weekend and were officially confirmed on Monday, Red Bull is pulling the plug on its NASCAR effort. Details of the actual demise are still hazy and it’s likely some outside investor will purchase the team (hopefully not to just liquidate), it’s just not clear when this will all happen! I guess all good rides have to come to an end!

All The Junk That’s Fit To Print

You know the economy is tanking when this guy is looking for work.  In other homelife news, in between preparing medical abstracts for an upcoming trial I received a call from the managers of Mac’s doggie-daycare facility.  They were quite upset inasmuch as the pooch has allegedly been tweeting pictures of his junk to Schnauzers.  While I agreed that such behavior surely merits some sanction and rebuke, I inquired why they weren’t focusing their efforts on restoring the fiscal health of the facility which is in dire straits.  I also mentioned that in addition to the two rows the dogs have been waging against feral cats for a near decade,  a new one with ill-defined objectives and without formal approval might be violative of the Dog Powers Act of 1973.  My inquiries were brushed aside as the manager assured me “junk-tweets” was all I was capable of understanding.

Book Thread

So what’s everyone reading?  I’m about halfway through David McCollough’s John Adams.  I’ve been meaning to read it for years and now I can’t put it down.  He is an excellent historian whose works read more like literature than studied analysis, though it has plenty of that.  Vibrant and fast-paced, I cannot recommend it enough.  (Duh – it only won a Pulitzer).  I should finish it in the next couple of weeks but may be detoured a bit by an upcoming trial.  Any recommendations for summertime reading would be appreciated, fiction or non.