Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

THE ODDYSEY OF THE DAR

Well I finally made it to New York last night after AN 8 HOUR TRIP. I left my apartment at 1:15 and between plane delays, transportation not coming and the damn G Train, I did not get to my old home in Brooklyn until 9:15. Here are some of the highlights...

John Peckerwood being paged over in B Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Sitting next to a Chinese guy that smelled like pancake syrup.

Waiting 50 minutes for the "every 15 min." shuttle to the Port Authority bus terminal.

A New Jersey ad for BJs. Not sure what they are, do or sell. But any place called BJs is enough to make the Beavis in me chuckle.

A Belgian kid that was told to walk from 42nd Street all the way to 122nd street. Nothing like an 80 block stroll in the cold New York drizzle.

Friday, December 10, 2004

KATHERINE WATCH

The last words outta Africa...

"I hope this email finds you all well! This is going to be my last one in Africa.... I can't believe it! The time has flown by, and next week I leave to come back to the US. I will be leaving Mon, but I will not actually arrive in MI until Tuesday evening. I can't wait!! There is so much to do in this last week, and it is going to fly by.

Last week was World AIDS Day, and I hope that you all celebrated it in some way. The program here went over well, and I have started a club that is going to take off when I am gone. In order to keep this up and running, I have started a website and email to keep in contact with the students here, so I hope that works out well. I am sure that I will be back here eventually to work on it, it is just sad that I have to leave already!

This weekend was a lot of fun, but I am glad to be back at my African home. I love traveling, but it is tiring after awhile. We had a 6 hour bus ride on a dirt road, so it was bumpy, hot, cramped, and sweaty. I even got to pee under a tree on the road home, and that is when I realized that I am so thankful that I am going to be coming home next week! There are just certain things about home that I will always miss! It is all part of the adventure though- peeing on the side of the road, taking bucket showers, sweating all the time.... it is the way of life. I do appreciate it. It will be nice to be cold for once! I don't think I will ever complain again about the weather at home! Or the living conditions for that matter!

I am finished teaching, so I am just working on the AIDS presentations this week along with meeting with the United Nations and possibly some political leaders. Ghana has their presidential election on Tuesday, so things are getting a little heated in the area with the different parties. I am sure it won't be anything like our past election in the US this fall though.

I am so thankful to come home. I am already sad that I have to leave Africa, but I know that I will return. I am so glad to come home to great family and friends who love and support me- which is all of you. Thank you for always being there for me during the past 2 months, and also throughout my life. I really love each and everyone of you, and I thank you for making such and impact on my life. Being in Africa has taught me so much, and I appreciate the little things so much more. I can't wait to show you what I am talking about with the pictures and stories of Ghana. It has been an amazing 2 months, and I am already looking forward to my next adventure. If you ever get a chance to come here, YOU SHOULD! It is such an awesome country. I have never met so many friendly people in my life! You will learn more about life than you can ever imagine! This has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. It puts so many things into perspective....and it makes me want to go home and sell everything that I own to give the money to the people here who need it. $10 is worth 100,000 of their money, and can buy so much. Even though I am broke and graduating from college, I will always find a way to give to people who need it. Maybe this Christmas you can all do the same- spend a little extra on a charity. It will make such a difference!"

You could. On the other hand, you could have yourself a Tondar Christmas. Sleep until 1:30. Wake up and start drinking. Give mother her annual air freshener. Forget to eat. And then play a round of shopping cart shot put while screaming delightful phrases such as: "I hate my life" "OhcrraaaapIforrgottoeat!" "Seth ain't the only jew born today!"
PIGPEN REJECTS ANOTHER OF JEN'S OFFERS

From Pigpen...

"Did you look at the "hidden treasures", those things are crap. Oh and I'm unclear, do we get the trinkets by registering, or do we register 40 billion times so Jen's chances at the trinkets increase?"
TAKING THE CHRIST OUTTA CHRISTMAS

From Pigpen...

"In the latest sign of liberal agendas and corporate knee jerk, here are the first couple of lines of a company (not my company) email I just received about the company Christmas tree."

"To all employees:

In keeping with the tradition of recent years, [company name] will hold it's annual Non-Denominational- Holiday-Tree-Trimming Reception [redacted] next Wednesday, December 15th, from 5 pm - 7 pm.

Yes, gentlemen, we don't have a Christmas Tree any more, it's a "Non-denominational Holiday Tree."


Oh, Non-denominational Holiday Tree
Oh, Non-denominational Holiday Tree
How lovely are your branches

Doesn't really have the same ring does it?
I DID NOT KNOW...

From Pigpen on GR and Van Andel...

"As irritating as I find it that EVERYTHING in GR is named after him or his family, Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos really are great philanthropists and the city has lost a great and generous icon of ambition and hard work. Richard DeVos delivered a small press conference shortly after Jay's passing and I have a new found respect for those two. They are very down to earth and Christ-centered. I just hope that the Van Andels continue his philanthropy work, because Jay really is the sole reason downtown is NOT a crap-hole anymore and that the national medical community is investing lots of research resources into our city. It really is a shame that he is no longer living.

Sorry about the love fest - this is big news up here. TV8 cancelled NBC's tues night primetime programming to show some special things about VanAndel, DeVos and Amway."
PACK IT IN, PACK IT IN, NEW YORK AGAIN

Not for good this time, just four days. I figured, I should swing up and see the kids cuz it's been a while. Plus, my membership to the Met expires at the end of the year so I figured I might as well put in another 8 hr. session. I'm just curious if this trip will go better than my last 2. Hey, it can't go any worse considering the Erika Debacle of '03 and the Career Debacle of '04. But stay tuned to the Daily Rant for updates from the Liquor Store, the Met, and all that's GREAT about NYC!
PULLIN' THE LYNNDIE

From Woodie...

"Not really safe for work. Not in very good taste. Pretty entertaining."

Looks like I have a new pose to add to my "Neil Diamond" when I'm racing around European castles.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Dark Lord Denise: "I bet your female cousins would be alotta fun for you!"
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

Check out the stunt UM football's Larry Harrison Jr. got caught "pulling." Though Lloyd Carr tries to put a positive spin on the situation...

"The charges are very serious and very alarming. I can only hope they are not true."


Though of course it could be the OTHER 6'3" 300 lber that had been wandering around campus and "sacking the li'l quarterback" 14 reported times this school year. With a bright football career ahead of him, this is truly one you CANNOT get your head around.
HEY, WHA HAPPENED!

Sorry the blogging has been light lately. Things are a bit hectic in the ATL. Plus, blogger.com has been running really slow and shifty. I think after the election, alot more people are trying their hand at electronic publishing. For the greater good, this is cool. However, for The Daily Rant, this sucks bigtime because it makes the website and software pokey. In the "word(s) of Roekel "BAAAAAAH!"
ANOTHER APPROACH TO UKRAINE DEMOCRACY

In his latest column Pat Buchanan raises an interesting point regarding America's support for Ukranian democracy. However, his thesis relies on 2 faulty assumptions. First, the elections in Ukraine were legitimate (hmmmmmm). Second, that the U.S. government is directly involved in swinging Ukraine towards Europe and away from Russia. Nevertheless, his main point is that we should not be choosing sides against Russia...

"Our most critical relationship on earth is with the world's other great nuclear power, Russia, a nation suffering depopulation, loss of empire, breakup of its country and a terror war. That relationship is far more important to us than who rules in Kiev."


Personally, Ole Tondar tends to be more of a democratic idealist (along the lines of Kristof). However, it's also important not to send Russia down the road to another Cold War. Just because communism has failed does not mean that the Russian bear has become a playful teddy. Putin is constantly consolidating his power. And nothing creates a "rally 'round the flag" effect better than an encroaching enemy. Pat may be off on his reasoning, but his point still has a great bit of credibility.
EXCITING OFFER FROM JEN

No this isn't Cialis spam. But Jen does have a great offer for you...

"As most of you know I am now working for TV Channel 13 WZZM. I have recently been working with Catherine Behrendt for a segment on her show Take Five Grand Rapids the segment is called Hidden Treasures. Hidden Treasure features local specialty shops for Holiday gift giving ideas. The segment is airing December 6th-17th from 5-5:30pm. There is also an online contest to register to WIN the prize that was featured on-air. I have included a link to register to win the prizes below. I was able to get some really awesome prizes from my clients! You can register to win as many times as you like. The more times you register will actually increase your chance of winning as the computer randomly selects. Good Luck to all!!"
NOT THAT GREAT OF AN EXPERIMENT

Pigpen sets the record straight on Joel's "experiment"...

"Ok, this is stupid. The brita filter will do nothing, it is set up to take out various metals that are suspended in regular tap and well water. The impurities that are in various grades of vodka are filtered through a system that requires many distillations and a charcoal filter that is configured in a way that leeches the impuritied out rather than a trickle through method. These impurities are not metallic, rather organic depending on the grain that was used (corn, potatoes, etc). Further more, the claim that Kitty Dukakis filtered rubbing acohal to make martini's is absurd, rubbing alcohal is already 100%, cannot be distilled anymore, is industrial grade (isopropanol) which is not the same as that used in spirits and cannot be ingested. Chaska vodka is Chaska vodka is crappy vodka because the alcohal is added to the mix, not distilled as in the case of most crappy spirits. It is primarily a man made form that is made from corn. The largest producer in the US being GPC Corporation in Davenport IA (I had the pleasure of interveiwing for a process engineering position with them - no thanks) - If you ever wondered where ALL of the alcohal in 5:00 brand comes from, it's from this hole. All the momo's on the website did was get wasted on crappy vodka and think that it was getting increasingly better - all liquor does after it gets to a point, you know that. Good job proving the plecebo effect."

Monday, December 06, 2004

EXPERIMENT

From Joel...

"Probably too late for Yeza (at least in college) but this might help some poor college kid you know..."
MAINTAINING A PROFESSIONAL WORK ENVIRONMENT

From work...

"This message is primarily for the ladies in the office....................

We are experiencing an ongoing problem in our ladies bathrooms and it has quite frankly become an embarrassment. Some individual (s) are making a mess on the toilet, on the floor and walls ......a mess that does not appear to be completely an "accident" but others are having to clean up in order to use the facilities. Ladies, please clean up after yourselves so others won't have to. Help us keep the restrooms clean by doing a better job of cleaning up after yourself and be more considerate of your fellow employees. If everyone does their part, we will all
benefit."

WTF!?!
THAT'S TERRIBLE

As kids we've all been playing, and had our baseball, golfball, etc, go astray. But at least nobody got runned over for it. I hope she goes to jail for a LONG LOOOOONG time.
THE BEST 6-6 TEAM EVER?

Here's an interesting thread inspired by one of my coworkers...

"Just overheard the lone MSU grad in our office...

"The spartans are the best 6-6 team in the history of the NCAA."

HA

HAHA

HAHAHA

From Rutgers to Penn St. It has been quite a season.

I'll give em Wisconsin but I dont think you can even consider this dillusion a "house of cards."


Though on the other hand Seth raises an interesting point...

"I wonder, who is the best 6-6 team in the history of the NCAA?

You won't have to look too hard, 'cause they didn't play 12 games until
a few years ago and they didn't let 6-5 teams into a bowl game until the
mid-'90s."


So after a bit of research Seth came up with the answer...

"Clemson, 1999 season. They had a Heisman candidate in Woody Danzler. Two of their losses came to the BCS #1 and #2 (Virginia Tech and Florida State) teams, and another was at the hands of then-Heisman front-runner Joe Hamilton and 8-2 Georgia Tech. They were the closest (17-14) anyone came all year to upsetting the wire-to-wire Seminoles. They finished 5-3 (tie-2nd place) in a tough ACC year. They lost their bowl game to Misssissippi State because Danzler was injured. And the teams they did beat: Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Wake Forest (who upset Arizona
St. in the Aloha Bowl), Duke, and Lou Holz's first South Carolina team (they stunk, though).

I know they didn't beat anyone as big as Wisconsin, but considering the amount of Clemson footage on TV that year, the amount of future NFL players came from that young team, and how close they came to beating Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, that's the team I'll go with.

But you know what? The more I think of it, the more I think your co-worker may be right, because they hung with the big boys. I know Rutgers looks bad. But Penn State had more talent than they were playing with most season. Iowa, a close game until the very end, turned out to be conference champions. Michigan they had beat until the Wolverines made freak catches, injured MSU's best player, recovered an onside kick, and won in triple-overtime. And that was AT MICHIGAN, while Clemson had the Seminoles at home. Notre Dame was the other team to take out the Wolverines, so no embarrassment there. Ohio State was picked by some to be national champions at the beginning of the year. As for wins, they creamed #5 Wisconsin. They creamed Minnesota, who at the time had only lost a close one to Michigan the previous week. Only Central Michigan was a gimme win.

However, your co-worker will have to take his statement back in a few weeks. You see, the Spartans play a 13th game this season, at Hawaii on Dec. 4. They actually took a vote amongst the players to see if they should have this game:

"Hey, fellas, let's take a vote. All those in favor of a free trip to Hawaii the weekend after Thanksgiving, say Aye. All those in favor of sticking around East Lansing in early December, vote Nay. Remember guys, you'll have to miss a class or two if we go..."
KATHERINE WATCH

Only a little time left to press the rains. Lets see how Katherine is holding up in sub-saharan Africa...

"Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I am hoping you are all enjoying the snow, food, and shopping of this holiday season! I thought about all of you on Thursday as I was eating Guinea fowl for dinner. Mmm mmmm mmmm. I just pretended that it was turkey!

I just got back from Togo this afternoon. I spent a week there relaxing and having a great time with the other student teachers. We left last week Tuesday, and for the whole week I had to learn to speak French! I learned a little, but it was definely hard to get around not knowing the basics.

We stayed at the University of Lome, and I had my own room and bathroom. It was super hot, but that is what it is like everywhere in Africa I suppose. Our professor that is here with us from CMU is from Togo, so it was a great week for him to see his family. He sure does know the high rollers in the country! His brother is the CEO of the Road Commission, so he had a huge mansion in the middle of poverty. We went there for dinner, and it was amazing. We had wine, chamagne, spaghetti, salad, and ice cream. I wish that I could have communicated with him more, but I tried the best I could with the little French that I did pick up.

The rest of the week was pretty relaxing. Dr. Adewui (our professor) had quite a rich family, so we spent the week traveling around to see them while being treated like royalty. We went to the pool for a few days, and I got to eat lots of great food. What could be better? It was also really interesting to see where Dr. A grew up. He lived in a village with mud huts and told us his stories. We saw where he taught, and WOW.... what a difference from American schools.

Yesterday, we met his old boss who now owns the airport in Togo. We got a tour complete with VIP treatment including drinks and a lunch on the beach. I even got a cool shirt that airport personnel wear! Sweet! Overall, the week was pretty awesome! I also have great contacts and friends in Togo in case I ever decide to return. Their family is wonderful, and they told me anytime I want to come and stay that their door is open. That means I will be learning French very soon!

Now I am back here in Ghana... where they speak English thank goodness! I must admit that I am getting really excited to come home. Two weeks from now, I will be home! Yes!!! There is so much I have to do yet before I leave Ghana, but it is all going to go by in a flash.

Tomorrow, Wed. Dec. 1st is World AIDS Day. I hope that you all celebrate this by wearing a red ribbon to spread AIDS awareness. I am doing a program here at the college and at the primary school tomorrow, and then I will be doing a few more presentations next week. I can't believe that next week is the last week I can work on this project. Part of me wants to stay here so that I can do more with HIV/AIDS, but I guess that means I will just have to come back. I am goign to try and meet with the United Nations next week in Accra to see what I can do for the future. I am also setting up a website and email for people from the area to contact me and also so that the students can keep my program up and running! I hope it all works out as I plan!

Well, I have to get back to work. I haven't been online in a week, so there is much work to do. Tomorrow is another big AIDS day for me, so I'd better get moving!

PS- "If it's not on, then it's not in!" That is the slogan around here for Safer Sex. There are stickers on all of the taxi's and tro-tros with giant condoms promoting it. Gotta love it. Do you think that would go over well in America?!?"

It's funny last year we spent Thanksgiving together in Spain and yet there was no mention of pretending to eat Turkey. She must be pretty hard up, having to go 2 years without I guess ;)
TRES IS HITTING THE ROAD

As you may or may not know, Oblivion has broken up. However, if you happen to be in the area, be sure to head out and support Tres' solo project. Also check out his 4 song demo. It's really good stuff.
THE TONDAR DIET

A while back Seth and I were talking about weight loss and I introduced him to the Tondar Diet. Eat half as much and work out twice as much. Well a few months back I was talking to Roekel and he was telling me about his diet. Eat anything you want in the morning. Eat food high in protein for lunch. And then at night eat only fruits and vegetables, if you even eat at all. Well Since September ole Tondar has been doing a combination of the two. And I'm proud to announce that I've lost 17 pounds on the Tondar-Roekel diet. Feel free to e-mail me if you want some pointers.

If it worked for Dar it can work for you!
GET OVER YOURSELVES

From Pigpen...

Looks like the fight marches on. Afterall, if you're on the left, don't let a little thing like an election or a majority stop you from making an idiot of yourself.
YA KNOW YOU WANT TO

Remember in Naked Gunn 33and1/3 when Anna Nicole Smith distracted the guards with bubble rap? Well now there's an online version.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

BLOGGER PRIVILEGE

Seth's not too down with the idea of new media and blogging. However, the fact remains it is here, and now we have to deal with it. Check out Eugene Volokh's piece in the NYTimes about freedom of the press, and journalistic privilege in the 21st Century. Very interesting and well reasoned to say the least.
SURPRISE, IT'S TEXAS

Well now it looks like we're gonna be playing Texas in the Rose Bowl. I guess you can add Cal to Auburn and put them amongst those screwed over by the BCS. As much as I hate to say that Seth is right, the BCS can suck it. We either need to go to a playoff, or back to the old system of exhibition bowl play. USC vs. Oklahoma...UGH! Michigan vs. Texas...TRAVESHAMOCKERY!
KING TUT

Check out what the always delightful Steve Martin has to say about King Tut's latest shakedown for the Egyptian government. The only man alive who can tell a Pharoh where to go and what to do when he gets there.