Monday, January 30, 2006

My Anniversary

Today marks the last day of my first year blogging. Since January 31, 2005 I have posted 105 times.

Sometimes I have been opinionated, sometimes playful and always lurking in the background is that sense of "Hey, lets not take ourselves too seriously".

I have made, I think some new friends through the blog, and correspond regularly with columnists from various newspapers around the country. You would be surprised at the number that take the time to respond back.

Starting into the second year, I ponder what I am going to do when I grow up. The answer to that of course is that I probably won't.

Early this year, we spoke about my discovery of Prostate Cancer, and about the treatment options I had. I chose Brachytherapy, which is the implantation of small radioactive pellets into the prostate. That happened in October. My PSA went from 6.0 to 2.2 and is still falling. I anticipate no serious problems and see a full recovery in sight.

My newest business venture is off to a slow start. It seems that doing nothing is more comfortable than working. That will come to a halt when I finally get in gear.

Some of us bloggers have tossed around the idea of a get together. I propose that since I'm about half-way between Coeur d'Alene, and Sandpoint, Idaho. That we do that here in Bayview. I would like to hear from those of you that are interested in getting together face to face for a visit. I'm sure that Dave Oliveria and others will attend. Give me feedback on this and I will go forward with the project.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Seahawks Future Looks Bright

I have been pondering the future of the Seahawks. Certainly one of the major reasons why teams rise and fall is that when players over achieve, more money is required to keep them. That is only fair, as it is always important to be able to earn a raise for outstanding performance, regardless of what you do for a living.

The salary cap enters the picture at this point. Teams that are at or near the cap, are unable to sign players they would like to keep. Every season we read where star players are released for salary cap reasons.

The old system was broke, where players were indentured to a team with no other choices other than to quit. This one is broke too, from the opposite direction.

Paying athletes to perform for three hours once a week several millions per year is probably skewed the other way. I don't have the answer to this dilemma, other than to notice that teams do not pay players. Fans that buy tickets and/or watch television with the commercial messages do.

I can no longer afford to buy tickets to these events, as much as I would like to.

In another sport, baseball, I remember the Los Angeles Dodgers, back in 1963 were backed into a corner by Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Two of the all time best. They were demanding $50,000 per year each. My box seat tickets were $4.50.

The Seahawks, however have been judicious with the cap. I am told by Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times, that the team has enough room under the salary cap to sign both Steve Hutchinson and Shaun Alexander, both whom are free agents at the end of the year. Maybe even football teams can budget. Long live the Seahawks!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

We Blog

I have noticed recently that journalists and cartoonists throughout the country are dissing bloggers. I'm not sure whether this is because we write bad stuff, or because they feel threatened.

The first example isn't valid, simply because bad stuff won't be read widely. That brings us to professional jealousy. As we enter an electronic age, newsprint is becoming less popular to many. Personally though, my morning reading of the Spokesman-Review is a ritual. Disposal of tons of unwanted ad copy is not my choice. Tons of paper clog dumps when a click of a key can bring you the same story. The irritation of reading a few lines of a story on the front page, then having to fold back the paper to page 13 or whatever is continuous.

One would think that if newspapers and magazines want to survive they would become more reader friendly. Anyone besides me object to the extra half page attached to the comics? How do you get that out of the way so you can read in comfort? The advertising people don't care. Stick it in your face is the rule.

Even here in the Spokane, Washington/North Idaho area where the Spokesman-review encourages bloggers, we are disrespected. I remember a meeting just about a year ago, where the S/R online Guru explained how our contributions would be like many neighborhood correspondents.

In that year, after 102 blogs of my own, and reading many thoughtful opinion pieces by others, not one was picked up as a guest editorial. Not one. Even here, in our enlightened community, the print guys would like us to quietly go away and stop bothering the real people.

I personally believe that this will change at some point, but only after being dragged kicking and screaming into the future that appears to already be here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Internet Law

Today's Spokesman-Review editorial suggests that the new internet law will chill free speech. I must respectfully disagree.

Speech is never really free. There is a standard of behavior that is firmly entrenched in the law. That standard is that you may not slander another without legal consequences. To be guilty of these violations, the law requires very stiff criteria. You must have the intent to harm the libeled person, and be telling a harmful untruth.

To be in a position to be judged fairly on this issue, one must be identifiable. To attack another person, or their ideas, without identifying yourself, is plainly cowardly and despicable.

The internet is reasonably new, and many adjustments are being and will be made to coincide with existing social custom. The fact that anonymous communications are common, does not make them right. The new law, does NOT prohibit the annoyance of another. It merely states that if you wish to do so, that you identify yourself.

As a practical matter, attacking another in the dark can be very self-serving...Such as a political candidate attacking another under the guise of a false name. Or better, you don't like someone, so why not get them run out of town by spreading malicious gossip about them... Under another name.

Many terrorists use pen names too. Should we encourage them that? I think not.

The S/R makes reference to letter to the editor. Those writers have to identify themselves up to and including name, address and telephone number. If the new law stops abusive behavior by unidentified cowards, I'm all for it. It seems that the only weak point is the term "annoy", which is obviously too broad. With a little tweaking, I believe this is the right direction. I have always signed my opinions and always will.

Samuel Clemens didn't harm anyone by using the pen name, "Mark Twain", ergo he was legitimate.

Those "blurkers", that's a term adopted by Dave Oliveria of the Spokesman-Review, for non-blogging commenters, that choose to attack under fake names,can and will disappear. Those that do not, will have to watch what they say.

Herb Huseland

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Careers N' Stuff

Recently, I posted "re-unretirement". In the many posts since I started back in January of last year, I hadn't received more than 6 or 7 comments.

When I published my intent to go forth and be broke no more, I got 17. This can probably be interpreted many different ways, but it does confirm that you folks feel I have way too much time on my hands, and that it would certainly benefit the general welfare, if I were to do something useful for a change.

I have, at the local watering hole, been told that I have way more opinions than is entirely necessary. I looked back, and sure enough, I posted over 100 times in the last year. That doesn't even count those opinions wasted at said watering hole over the same time period.

I'm already kind of in the swing of things. I got up this morning with the aid of an alarm clock. One that's function is dubious, since I have my hearing aids out at night, and can't hear that frequency when it goes off. I may have to find one of those ancient mechanical clocks that when ringing, annoy one to the waking state.

Anyway, enough digression. I dusted off one of my white shirts, and put it on. It still kinda fits. Bounced...No that's not true, I drug myself into the shower, dressed in unfamiliar clothes, (It took me awhile to find them) and drove to Coeur d' Alene for the first appointment in my renewed career.

Wait...I think I showered first, THEN put on the white shirt...Oh well, you get the idea.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hell Freezes Over

I read Michael Kinsley's op/ed in Tuesdays Spokesman-review. I swore that I would never find anything about Kinsley to agree with. I not only swore that, but swore on many other occasions that his radical tongue waved.

This time he stayed off politics. A good thing, too, since he has very little knowledge of how they work. He writes that newspapers as we know them, are on their way out. Well they probably are, but to hear it from these lips that are constantly curled in a sarcastic smirk, was remarkable, to say the least. Perhaps, knowing this, he will take up blogging.

In other news:

Washington State, (bless their liberal little hearts) has discovered an oversight in the new "Indoor clean air act". It turns out that by banning all smoking everywhere, they forgot religion. For instance:

If in Washington State, the Pope were elected, burning the ballots would result in the College of Cardinals being arrested and hauled off to the hoosegow.

Forget making nice with the Indian Tribes. Smoke the peace pipe? You are under arrest. (Again, the Indians might exclaim?)

Ah, how about funerals that make use of burning sweet grass, or of a priest waving that smoke pot thing they use? (Sorry, no disrespect intended, just can't remember the name)

I just knew that when the government got away with saving us from ourselves with the seatbelt laws, Pandora's box would be open for ever.

Welcome to Idaho!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Loafing is good, but it doesn't pay very well. I have become restless in retirement and have decided that although my body is old, my brain probably hasn't atrophied much.

Some of you know that prior to retirement, I had a career in Mortgage Banking. I have been cajoled out of retirement and will re-enter the lending field. I will specialize in SBA business loan packaging and placement.

I'm looking forward to working with some of you as the need arises.