Freedom Lives

December 31, 2004

Buy this book

Well the elder god of blogging is just a few days behind me but go out and buy Bill Whittle's book anyway. It is number 401 on Amazon and rising.

Silent America: Essays from a Democracy at war.

Posted by Starhawk at 12:48 AM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

Not a bad game at all

Been busy for the last two days driving to San Antonio and back with a friend to see my Buckeyes beat the Cowboys 33-7.

It wasn't really even as close as the score would seem. Ohio State controlled the entire game with the Oakies getting their only touchdown in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter.

Very very nice.

Pictures of the Riverwalk and Alamo later today or maybe even next year depending on when I recover.

Posted by Starhawk at 12:42 AM | College Football | Comments (2)

December 27, 2004

Austrailian Tree Fern - dormant

I have probably gotten more email about this plant than any other. One reason is that it is so spectacular and the other is that is not supposed to grow up here.
This one is in the front of my house is about 4 years old.

When the nice ladies at the Wal Mart garden department delivered my lawn tractor ( they don't usually do that but I convinced them to put it on their pickup and bring it to me) they were in shock. They had the same plant but still in the pot and had always moved it inside in cold weather.

As you can see from this picture it does not like cold at all. If you compare it with yesterday's picture where it was in the background and very green, these fronds are likely dead and will soon fall off. It has been our experience though that new ones will come up when it gets warm and it will be bigger than ever.

This one is about 6 feet high, 5 feet across and we bought it in a 1 or 3 gallon pot.
We bought several others after this one and its twin. We will see how they do. They first two years they grow pretty slowly but in year three they exploded.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Posted by Starhawk at 11:11 PM | 2004 Garden Pics | Comments (0)

Reading Room

Great article on blogs in Fortune that you can read here.

Something else that you can read online but you really should buy the book is Bill Whittle's Silent America.

Something you can't read online, at least I don't think, so is Hugh Hewett's book Blog.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:15 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

Bleeding Heart

This is a nice little vine that we bought last year and never got around to putting into the ground. We thought it had died and ignored it until we found that it was not only still alive but had decided to grow around the pillar rose that its pot was sitting next to.

Notice the Austrailian Tree Fern in the background. This was taken before the freeze. Tomorrow I will show you what happened to it after the freeze.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Posted by Starhawk at 11:07 PM | 2004 Garden Pics | Comments (0)

December 24, 2004

Miracle on 34th St.

Quote of the Day

I just watched this movie with my daughter. I have seen it so many times I have lost count but I still shed a tear or two at the end. Just a great flick.

Kris Kringle: Oh, Christmas isn't just a day, it's a frame of mind... and that's what's been changing. That's why I'm glad I'm here, maybe I can do something about it.

Miracle on 34th Street - 1947

Posted by Starhawk at 09:55 PM | Quote of The Day | Comments (0)

Happy 24th

I did all the Cristmas shopping I had left to do yesterday since I got out of work early.

We finally got the tree decorated this afternoon.

Then I took the wife to Breakfast and then to Target to see what they had in Christmas decorations that we could pick up for a song in two days. They had a lot left I thought but the place was as busy as I have seen it since if opened six months ago.

Of course we ended up buying something and then more when the wife saw some glasses that she liked. I picked them out while she went to the lady's room so naturally we got them home and found one with a chip.
Back to Target which was just as well since we needed to buy groceries also.


Posted by Starhawk at 05:24 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0)

December 23, 2004

No More Paris

Lloyd Grove of The Daily News devotes an entire column to why he will not be writting about Paris Hilton anymore.

Yes he admits at the end, he has been one of her chief enablers, but he has had enough and aside from the fact that he is devoteing an entire column to this pretty worthless person he has some good points.

Over the past five years - without any discernible talent, education, scruples, manners, modesty or underpants - the pretty blond great-granddaughter of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton has waged a terrifying campaign for world domination.

The arc of Paris' "career" - from rich, witless party girl to rich, witless party girl with a hit television show - is an insult to the American sense of fairness: the idea that you get ahead by working hard, playing by the rules and acquiring a skill of some sort.

Paris has bothered with none of the above, and yet society continues to reward her with money and fame.

We will see how long he lasts with this New Years resolution. Probably until he needs material again but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for having good intentions. For now.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:29 AM | Misc. | Comments (0)

December 22, 2004

Sad State of Education

I am generally a fairly positive person but I have been distressed for sometime on what passes for education in our country.
Reading a post like this just makes me shake my head in distress.

I am going to grill my 15 year old later and see how many of these questions see is able to answer. She might not do well but when we are done she will know the answers. She might even remember some of them for more than 5 minutes.

Posted by Starhawk at 08:57 PM | Education | Comments (1)

New Blog - Sort of

I have been a little remiss in not calling the attention to the return of one of my favorite bloggers, Rachel Lucas whose new site is the Blue Eyed Infidel.

It sounds like she has been reading Allah too much.

Check her out, it is worth the trip.

Posted by Starhawk at 07:33 AM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

December 21, 2004

Thanks Steven

A lot of us in Blogdom, myself included, were inspired and owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay to Steven Den Beste.

He has retired from blogging likely to never return. The reasons can be found here .

Thank You Steven and I wish you all the best.

Posted by Starhawk at 12:58 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

Required Reading

If you want to know about the current world war, what is at stake and how the "game" is being played you must read this article.

Hat tip to Roger.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:12 AM | War on Terror | Comments (0)

December 20, 2004

New Arrivals

I have neglected to introduce the new members of our household.
Originally the trip to the local pet store was just to get a new cat for my daughter whose cat got poisoned on something.
We went to the pet store thinking they would not have what she was looking for but of course they had 3 kittens and one was black just as she wanted.
That would not have been so bad but my wife took a shine to one of the others,
"Look at that face"
Of course I could have said no but I guess I am not that type of guy.
Now of course my wife has a new kitten and so does my wife and while I am watching TV guess whose lap they have both decided they like to sit in.

Anyway so here are the new members of our household, Minuet and Hiei (named after one of the characters in my daughter's favorite Anime shows).

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Posted by Starhawk at 10:44 PM | Dogs and Cats | Comments (0)

December 16, 2004


I continue to rank impossibly high in the Ecosphere but I seemed to have peaked at 411 and have now fallen to 420. I assume the bug has not been fixed yet.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:55 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

December 13, 2004

Large Mammals

Freedom Lives has reached 477 in the Blogosphere Ecosystem which is its highest rank ever.

I want to thank all my loyal readers and linkers.

I also want to thank whatever bug has gotten into the system since I don't really think that I all of a sudden have 251 blogs linking to me.

That said it is nice to be out of the pack for a change even if it is only until Bear fixes whatever it is has gone wrong.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:47 PM | Housekeeping | Comments (0)

Dead Pool 2005

Lair is doing the Dead Pool again this year and it is not too late to get your entries in for 2005, just go here.

Unlike last year I at least made it unto the scoreboard this year thanks to the overdue passing of Yassar Arafat.

Posted by Starhawk at 10:26 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

December 12, 2004

Christopher Hitchens

Quote of the Day

I was just watching Linda Vester interview Christopher Hitchens
about his new book, from earlier this week and I was struck once again how brilliant he is with words, always using the appropriate word and getting right to the heart of whatever matter he is discussing.

Linda: You have been pretty hard on Michael Moore in this book, why is that?

Chris: Because he is a scumbag.

I love this guy.
Love, Poverty, and War : Journeys and Essays
by Christopher Hitchens

Posted by Starhawk at 09:04 PM | Quote of The Day | Comments (1)

December 08, 2004

Music and Memories

I am listening to a song named Working Class hero right now.
I just listened to Imagine, Whatever gets you Through the Night, Give Peace a Chance and Julia.
Next is Norweigian Wood and then I am going to sleep.
If you don't know why, you should.

Posted by Starhawk at 11:12 PM | Rock Music | Comments (0)


We have developed a saying at work over the last few weeks as things seem to be going awry. Much the same as things seem to be happening to this lady.

The cause of our problems and hers is the planet Mercury which is currently in retrograde.

Being a former Astronomy major I course have been long aware of what retrograde motion is. It is the apparent movement of a planet backwards in the sky caused by our own planets revolution around the sun. I didn't realize, until it was pointed out to me, how this affected things in a Astrological way.

I don't of course believe in Astrology and like any true double Aries I know I am entirely responsible for all my headlong rushing about but this Mercury stuff is starting to make sense. I can't wait until it is over on the 19th and I am so glad that I got my car before it started.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:49 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

What really matters

What really matters to some people is getting a high vote count on the wizbang weblog awards.
Not people like Meryl who is asking for votes but whoever it is that has caused Kevin to put in one of those things where you have to enter some numbers to proceed.

I guess someone set up a robot to vote multiple times and Kevin is reacting to it. I just don't get it.

Posted by Starhawk at 09:35 PM | Other Bloggers | Comments (3)

December 05, 2004

Ruby Red Grapefruit

I don't remember if I posted this before but this picture is of my grapefruit tree which I took back in April.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

We had a late freeze two years ago and didn't get any fruit that year or last.
It made up for it this year.
It fact it was so good that we had to pick everything except 10 or 12 fruits off it early since the tree is only about 5 feet tall.

Actually we didn't count very well and there are 17 fruit left of which we just picked the 5 you see below.
They taste great.

Photo by Starhawk - All Rights Reserved

Posted by Starhawk at 04:33 PM | 2004 Garden Pics | Comments (0)

Christmas comes early

The wife decided to get some of her shopping done early at least as far as the family was concerned.
For over a year I have been watching a TV where the picture was in shades of green due to a surge that clobbered the tube. Being as I was out of work at the time and have been catching up since a replacement has not risen to the top of my priority list yet. I was very surprised when she came home last week and handed me a reciept for this Panasonic 32" HDTV and told me to pick it up whenever I had a chance.

I was overcome, picked it up the first chance I got and have been enjoying real color ever since. It is wonderful to watch my Babylon 5 DVD's on something other than my 17" computer monitor.

Update: In order to get HD with this monior, even though it says it is HD ready, you need to buy a separate box which sells for $200. I checked with Dish and they told me that they would rent me the box for free when I bought their HD package which costs $9.95 per month. I am going to hold off on that a while since there is not that much I watch that is on HD but since I will have to pay the $9.95 anyway when I decide to get it it's nice to know that I don't have to pay another $200.

Posted by Starhawk at 01:41 PM | Home and Family | Comments (0)