Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thou shalt not kill

It was that simple for my grandmother. She was tough as nails and had seen a lot. I wouldn't want to be on the opposite side of a battle with her, but tough didn't mean that she would endorse any penalty for criminals. She was against the death penalty, because she followed the Sixth (the Fifth, in some views) Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill.

Actually, the Commandment isn't really thou shalt not "kill." It's thou shalt not "murder." Even so, Nana believed that the deliberate taking of a human life, outside of self-defense (and the collective defense fits, I think), was wrong. So she was against the death penalty.

My view isn't quite so direct. There are some unspeakably brutal criminals in this world. For a select few, I can't say I'm against the hastening of their demise, at least in principle. My problem is more practical: human beings make mistakes. Having represented the police in court, I understand how many detectives work. They sincerely believe they have the right suspect, so they build a case to get a conviction. They don't mean to railroad anyone, but they're going to do what they have to to get the bad guy. That's part of the problem, but there also are bad witnesses, mistakes in court, unequal levels of legal representation, etc.

This may be another case of the wrong man being sentenced to death. There have been others before. As each story surfaced, various people tried to assure all of us that there was no evidence of innocent people having been put to death in the past. Really? I think we, as a society, just don't want to look too hard. Sadly, I'm sure it has happened.

As bad as it would be to send an innocent person to prison, at least there is the opportunity to make amends to some degree if an error is found. Death is forever. I have no doubt that the cops, the witnesses, the judge and the jury believed they had the right person, but people make mistakes! That's all the reason I need for saying we shouldn't be killing people, no matter what we're convinced they did!

Michael C. Hall looks good!

We watched the first couple of seasons of Six Feet Under, but Michael C. Hall didn't do much for me then. He wasn't hard to look at, but he didn't do much for me, either.

When we saw him on Broadway in Cabaret, he couldn't fill the shoes of Alan Cumming (whom we had previously seen in the show). He did a good job, but it just wasn't the role for him. Again, he was nicely built (too well built for the role of the syphilitic emcee, actually), but he didn't do much for me.

Now he's before me again, and things have changed! We've just begun watching Dexter (on DVD from Netflix), and he looks GOOD! Maybe it's that he has some color to his skin now. Maybe it's the color of his hair (it looks redder than before). Maybe he's just aging well. Whatever the case, he's easy on the eyes!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Male insecurity and bad coffee service

I did something bad today. I went to Starbucks. I was desperate! Sadly, there aren't any local coffee shops near my office (in fact, most of them in this county have been run out of business by the coffee colossus), and I needed a good strong caffeine fix. So, despite how much their coffee sucks, I went to Starbucks.

Most of the employees at the Starbucks near work are women, and that explains this issue coming up nearly every time I go there--I can't get them to leave enough room for milk. When I order my coffee, I say that I want a large (okay, I do say "venti") brewed coffee "and leave an inch for milk, please." I know, what does that have to do with the gender of the employees? Well, I'm glad you asked!

Clearly, these poor young women have been victimized by their boyfriends' insecurities, since I usually get half an inch or less. I say "an inch," and they think, "okay, so Doug is about this long... divide that by 8... okay, there we go, one inch!"

Hence the problem. Or at least that's my theory! :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still milking the Bingham Cup photos

There have been various things about which I've considered blogging over the past few days, including the Nicky Cooper debacle, but I think it's more fun to stick to rugby for now...

This just makes me wish I had a closer shot of Steve there.*

*Sadly, Steve wears those compression shorts under his regular shorts, so we'd still be deprived of a good view. ;)

Some pre-match coaching.

Injured guys from the other team (the Sydney Convicts).

Numerous paramedics

In the end, I think the guy was okay, but it was scary. They immobilized his neck and put him on a backboard.

If you want to see a fierce look, click on this photo of Paul.

Eric's not hard to look at, either.

James relaxes on the grass after the Sydney match.

Okay, I guess I've gotten enough mileage out of those photos, but what you've seen is really just a sampling. The full set of rugby photos includes 330 shots. If you're interested in viewing all of them, go here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back to Dublin

Let's continue with the Bingham Cup photos. The first series is fun, not just because it's a good run but because James' boyfriend comes into view, and you can see his reaction as James runs and then loses the ball (but it winds up with a teammate, so it works out okay)...

See Eric in the background, with his arms raised?

Still smiling, arms raised.



Uh oh.

But it's okay, because Mikey got it...

Did I mention Mikey's muscles? The man is BUILT. You should see him when the shirt comes off!

And he scores!

Remember Steve, our host from this weekend? That's him to the left.

And now Kieran has the ball.

By the way, I'm only posting a fraction of the photos. Every time you see a series of four or five here, there probably are another 4 or 5 in the series. I just want to keep the post sizes reasonable.

In case you want to see them all, I'll post a link to the full set when I reach the last blog post using this set of photos. In the meantime, enjoy these!

Monday, July 21, 2008

There are more rugby photos, but first...

We had a team barbecue this weekend. So before we continue with Dublin rugby photos, how about some photos from the barbecue?

Our host, one of the guys from the team, had his niece there, and they spent some time playing horseshoes.

These were kid-safe (plastic) horseshoes.

And other guys from the team joined in.

Then some awards were given out.

Mostly, everyone just hung out and relaxed.

The first couple, Eric & James (James, in black, is this year's team president).

Our host, Steve.

My better half watches as the boys fire up the Slip 'N Slide.

Did I say Slip 'N Slide? Why, yes I did! Half-naked ruggers on a Slip 'N Slide! Whee! :)

And they're off!

But it's important not to go too fast!

Stopping suddenly on the grass can hurt!

Thrown a rugby ball, Nuno's next dive onto the slide sends up a nice spray!

Now Steve tries it.

From his next run (with the ball). I find something particularly appealing about this view!

Dual sliding!

And from the "only the ruggers" category...

Sliding with a cast on!

Not like the cast will get wet or anything!

Next, the guys started doing two at a time in opposite directions. The idea was to miss each other...

Here we go!


No damage done, and they come away laughing.

Steve, baby, just keep sliding this way!

We left some of the guys still lounging around and headed home after a fun afternoon!

If you'd like to see more, the full set is here.