Joelle Grace...


Obsessing over Government...

On second thought why get all worked up???

This is what we want to paint on the wall in the baby's room.

Ali Spagnoli designed this for us.



I'm just thinking out loud here (actually in print): Is it the right thing for us to say thank you and have a small amount of gratitude for those who have the highest percent of their income taxed to sustain the spending habits of our politicians in our federal, state and local governments?

The grandiose scale of government would not be possible without these people.

If they decide that their hard work and personal sacrifice is no longer worth it, there will be serious problems, not just for the politician's re-election chances, but for those whose welfare is depend on government assistance.


City Views...

50+ Stories up (touch it...go ahead, touch it)



Yesterday I had to endure one of my least favorite things to do - get a haircut. All my life my hair has never really cooperated; it is a struggle to style it, gel it, fix it, etc...the hair goes where it wants to go and I've become okay with that. Laura however does not concede as easily as me. You wouldn't think it but something as simple and insignificant as a haircut often causes marital strife. Yesterday was no exception. What is simple and insignificant for me, not for her.

A typical dude haircut should not be that difficult; a 20 minute task that costs about 12 bucks + a tip. Every time I go to a barber it looks like I got run over by a lawnmower or they are sending me to Iraq. High and tight pretty much sums it up. So now I endure the uncomfortable environment of a salon. I hate walking into those places. It is just not my scene. Typically I will get a good intentioned girl right out of cosmetology school who instead of high and tight wants to make my hair crooked and uneven with maybe a few chunks missing - depending on how much she is talking to me. I can't win.

The futility of it all has caused me to seek consolation in my beautiful, well-groomed wife who makes me appointments at the place she gets her hair done. This adds a twist to the ordeal: now besides getting a haircut I also have to endure getting shampooed. I really don't want anyone washing my hair. It is awkward and redundant because I just washed it 30 minutes before I walked through the door. Plus it reminds me of washing my dog Peppy (RIP) as a kid. I finally get comfortable with it and this time they throw me off by giving me a dude. Yeah, I have this dude dressed in a tight vest with no t-shirt underneath lathering me up and scrubbing me down. All I see is arm pit. It is B.S.


Atlas Shrugged...

Reading fiction is not all that interesting to me. I think I have read 5 fiction books in the last 10 years. I am trying to incorporate them into my reading habits to exercise my mind and escape from political issues and religious dogma.

Honesty, I feel too ignorant to analyze the book. I probably need to reread it and let it sink in. I feel competent to make a few comments.

The story was great - all 1000+ pages of it. I enjoyed the characters personality and how the author used words to describe there actions and reactions. I laughed out loud a couple times (humorous laughs and laughs of disbelief). Every spare moment I had I opened this book, i.e., on the train to work, waiting for subways, on the subway, waiting for Laura to get ready, etc. People who always had a book open were an enigma to me. Now I can understand.

"Redistributing the wealth" and "spreading it around" are phrases we have heard a lot over the past year. Atlas Shrugged gives a window into the way these people think which is really unknown to me. I can't believe some people believe it is moral to take (tax) one person to give it to someone else. I understand the necessity of taxes but to to want more and more to redistribute is very disturbing to me.

The book inspires me even more to invent something. I studied Civil Engineering in college. My first job was in construction management with a consultant that worked mostly on state DOT projects. I was so bored that I had to quit (but it took me a year to do it). I remember my manager asking me how it was going and during the course of the conversation he says, "well we can't all be rocket scientists." That attitude really should appall us.

There are two things that I want to invent (or create): a school (because i believe that the public school system will become irrelevant) and a way to make existing home energy efficient & self-sustainable.


City Views...

Upper West Side (105th Street), 5 stories up, looking south (with an eastish twist).


Word of the Day...

Somnambulist - a sleepwalker (courtesy of Dictionary.com and Ayn Rand)



This how much our schools in Babylon, NY spend per student. The national average is $6058 per student according to Sperling's Best Places. Many people are leaving Long Island because of the taxes. Since I have always rented I never really paid much attention to property taxes. Now that we want to buy a house we are seeing how the taxes significantly reduce the affordability of a home (well I should say a nicer home).

So I have been thinking about how i can get involved to monitor this situation. It would be hard to imagine taxes ever going down unless people started building/buying more expensive homes increasing the tax revenue. I guess budgets could be cut but this rarely happens right?

It is my understanding that Babylon is a union free school district. I'm not sure the impact that has on taxes. I do like the educational philosophy of the school board:

The Board of Education is dedicated to educating students to develop desired moral, ethical, and cultural values, to stimulate and expand a continual learning process and to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, which will enable them to function effectively as independent individuals in a democratic society. The Board strives to maintain a comprehensive approach to satisfy the educational needs of the students of the district by meeting or exceeding the state's requirements.

The Board seeks to implement a variety of instructional methods and to increase the opportunities for the development of each individual's capabilities and personality. It is the district's goal to foster in students good work habits, integrity, self-discipline, individual creativity, originality, aesthetic appreciation, good sportsmanship, self-confidence and a sense of purpose. Extracurricular activities will be offered when possible to enhance the academic program.

The Board encourages parents and teachers to offer their expertise in helping to develop a school environment that is academically challenging, psychologically satisfying and socially fulfilling for students at all levels. The objectives of an educational program are best realized when mutual understanding, cooperation, and effective communication exist among the home, community, and school.

They stress the individual...very interesting and also the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Wow.

Long Island is an expensive place to live so I get why we need to spend more per student. I think it should be the school boards goal to have every parent involved in the education of the students. Good schools raises property values. There is a school board meeting Monday night. I want to go but looking over the minutes from past meetings it doesn't look like they do too much. Maybe there will be light refreshments.