Posted by: schmoffly | April 7, 2010

Article 1, Section 4

The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

This clause allows the states to make all laws regarding the elections for Senators and Representatives.  However, Congress does reserve the right to make uniform national rules.  Congress has done this by setting aside the Tuesday following the first Mondat in November as national election day for Senators and Representatives.  The Supreme Court interpreted “manner” to mean “matters like notices, registration, supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, duties of inspectors and canvassers, and making and publication of election returns.”

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

This was intended to guarantee that Congress would have a certain meeting day in the event that communication and transportation would be difficult.  This was written in 1787, so I’m sure this was often the case in those times.  Now, Congress is in session nearly year round.

Posted by: schmoffly | March 31, 2010

Article 1, Section 3

Moving on with the Constitution.  Caitlin and I thought there was a lot of wisdom in this article.  For example, the part about the rotating “classes” in the Senate so that only a 1/3 of the Senate would be new every year and there would always be 2/3 left that knew what was going on.  What great foresight our founding fathers had!

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.)

This is the part I mentioned in the intro.  The parts in red were changed by the 17th Amendment, Articles 1 and 2, respectively.  I like how you can’t delete anything in The Constitution, but only add.  It really shows how America has evolved over the years.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The minimum age of a Senator is 30 and he has to be live in the state he represents.  This is up 5 years from the House.  Maybe because the Senate has a little more power?  I guess I will find out as I keep going through this.  The average age of a Senator these days is a little over 63 years old.  The spectrum is quite large however as there is one senator that is 92 (Robert Byrd, Democrat from WV) and ten in their fourties with John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire being the youngest at 40 on the nose.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

So, on a 50/50 vote, the Vice President can break a tie.  Very interesting.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

If the Vice President is unable to be President of the Senate, the Senate can choose someone to be President.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

The Senate is the only body capabale of impeaching a President and if they try, it takes a 2/3 vote to make it happen.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

An impeachment trial can only impeach and nothing else.  However, a seperate trial may be conducted concerning the events that led to the impeachment trial (whether the impeachment was successful or not, it seems) 

Posted by: schmoffly | March 30, 2010

The Constitution

The blog is back!  These past few months I have just not been able to bring myself to write about anything- that is, until last night.  Caitlin and I read scripture and pray every night before we go to bed, and last night we decided to add a little something different to the mix- The Constitution of the United States of America.  There has been a lot of talk about The Constitution lately because of the Health Care Bill that Barak O-Donell signed and put into action.  There was a lot of talk about it being unConstitutional, but I had/have no idea why because, well, I am ashamed to admit, I have never read The Constitution before in it’s entirety.  So, that is exactly what we have decided to do: read The Constitution.

So, each day, I plan on posting the parts we read, and then interpreting what it means.  The language can be a little confusing since it is over 200 years old.  We covered the intro, and Article 1, Sections 1-2 last night.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

A nice intro here.  You can see a direct correlation here between the rights that the Colonists believed they should have and the rights that were being taken from them by the British.  Justice, domestic Tranquility, providing for the common defence [sic], promoting the general Welfare and securing the Blessings of Libery were all things that were intruded upon by things such as “The Stamp Act,” “Taxation without representation,” and the lack of what John Locke,  an English philosopher termed “social contract.”  Also, you can see the colonials idea of “republicanism,” or a form of government that stresses liberties and civil rights as values, and vilifies corruption.


Article. I.

Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Congress shall have all legislative powers and will consist of two seperate sub-branches, if you will: the Senate and The House of Representatives.   A legislature is a “deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws.”

Section. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Each member of the House serves two year terms, and are elected by the members of the “Peopel of the several States,” or American citizens.  The last phrase means that the voters in each state shall know the qualificating requirements or “requisite[s]” in otder for someone to be eligible for the House.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

I found this to be very interesting.  You only have to be 25 years old to serve on the House of Representatives.  I looked up some facts, and the average age of a House Member is 56.  However, there is hope!  Aaron Shock, a Republican member from Illinois, was born in 1981, which makes him 29!

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. 

House Representatives and taxes will be in proportion to the number of people in the respective State.  All free people shall count as “1” and those bound to a “Service for a Term of Years” or those indentured servants (people who agreed to work for a number of years in America in return for “free” passage across the Atlantic) will count as “3/5” of a person.  Unfortunately, this also included slaves, whose “Term of Years” was their whole life.  Thankfully, America saw the error of it’s ways, and the 13th and 14th Amendments abolished slavery and counted everyone as a “whole” person.  I also read that there are no “untaxed Indians,” so every single person in a state counts towards the “Numbers.”

 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

This part established the census.  The first was three years after the “First Meeting of the Congress of the United States” which was 1780.  Every 10 years after that, we have a census.

The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

In July 2009, the population of the US was estimated to be around 307,006,550 people.  According to the section above the minimum number of representatives was at least one for every state, but no more than 1 for every 30,000 people.  However, if we did 1 for every 30,000 people, there would be over 10,000 Representatives, so in 1911, the number of House members was set to 435.  This comes out to about 1 Representative for every 700,000 people.  The rest of the section sets the initial numbers for the First House of Representatives.

Man, I have already learned a ton!  I am really looking forward to this!

Posted by: schmoffly | December 23, 2009

Stupid did a writeup on all the celebrity deaths there were in 2009.  Here is an actual sequence of pictures.

Seriously?  The stupid Taco Bell dog goes between Farah Fawcett and Micheal Jackson?  The list also includes the likes of Ted Kennedy, Walter Cronkite, and Ed McMahon.  What stupid editor decided it was ok to put the death of the TACO BELL DOG on a memorial to celebrity deaths.  What makes it even worse is the stupid tagline of the picture, “Her famous phrase, ‘Yo quiero Taco Bell’ will always be remembered.”  WHAT?!

Yeah, that dumb dog dying really shook up America.

Ahhhh, I’m so angry!

Posted by: schmoffly | December 21, 2009

Uncle David

RIP Uncle David.

Posted by: schmoffly | December 11, 2009


I am so angry.  I really can’t stand people sometimes.  Ahhhhhhhh!  I am so angry!  I know that is so terrible and such a strong way to feel but reading a particular news story this morning really got my blood boiling.

The gist of it is  this:  A 17 year old Texas high school teen gets pregnant.  Her volleyball coach benches her until she comes back with a doctor’s note saying she is cleared to play.  Her stupid, ignorant parents file FOUR lawsuits based on “Title IX,” a Federal Law that prohibits gender discrimination in athletics.  Her parents said that other girls on the team did not need a doctor’s note  to play, so their daughter was discriminated against.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?!?!?!



For all my loyal blog reader (‘s’ intentionally left off) I am an expecting Father- my wife is pregnant.  There are so many things that can go wrong with a pregnancy.  We didn’t even tell our parents for 12 weeks because there is something close to a 20% chance of miscarriage up until that point- and that is if you are doing everything right.  My wife does not lift anything, she doesn’t bend over to pick anything up and I drive on all trips so she can be more comfortable.  We take extreme care to do everything slowly and methodically so as to give the baby the best chance possible at being healthy.  And, oh yeah,


And here is the real kicker:  The doctor’s note actually supplied several restrictions on the girl’s play- it seems the coach was right!  The girl should have been benched! 


I am so glad the coach stepped in and made this decision.  Harm could have been done to that child that could never have been undone.  But how stupid do the parents have to be to want their daughter to keep playing volleyball so much that they would bring FOUR lawsuits on the school and coach?

One of the reasons that Socrates was executed by the “lethal injection” method of the day-drinking a poison- by the Athenian government was for inciting sedition in the youth of Athens.  What it boiled down to was that Socrates didn’t believe in the democratic ideal of letting the general populace vote on a leader because the general populace is too stupid to make such an important decision.  People like this girl’s parents make me want to down a cup of Hemlock myself!

Posted by: schmoffly | December 7, 2009


Don’t forget that today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  On December 7, 1941, more than 3,500 Americans were injured or killed because of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Dec. 7, 1941 a “date which will live in infamy.”

Take some time today to say a prayer for American soldiers who have been fighting since 1775 to keep this country a country of freedom for all.  No matter what your opinion is of the current situation in the Middle East, there have been times in the past (Germans, Russians, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire of World War I and Nazi Germany and Japan of World War II) where American soldiers undeniably kept the world a safer, more free place for us. 

This point was really brought home to me by the past couple Black Friday sales days.  There is nothing wrong with saving money: it is the best day of the year to get necessary items at the cheapest price.  However, when stories surface of someone being trampled to death as people stampede to get the cheapest 50″ flat screen, or people camping out for 2 days to get a Playstation 3, I think about the soliers who are fighting for their lives against hostile forces and being killed and I think of soldiers camping out in the Afghanistan desert just wanting some shade.

We recieved a list of items today at work that the soldiers are requesting.  Check it out:

  • Powdered drink singles for mixing in water bottles
  • Chewing gum; it helps alleviate thirst
  • Plain cotton handkerchiefs
  • Magazines (used), on such subjects as sports, hunting, cars and gardening
  • Puzzle books, such as Sudoku or crosswords, with pencils
  • Lip moisturizers, such as Chapstick, with SPF protection
  • Hand cream in small pocket-size containers
  • Hair trimmers, gently used or new ones

Here we are, being put out because we didn’t save $200 on a $1,500 flat screen TV because Wal-Mart only stocked 136 and we were the 137th person and all the soldiers want for Christmas is some chapstick and a haircut.

Just keep these things in mind this Christmas.  Help someone out in need.  Support a group who sends gift boxes to soldiers.  If you don’t want to do that, go to Wal-Mart and buy one of the prepacked dinner bags for your local food bank so some unfortunate family can have a good meal this year.  For every dollar you spend on yourself this season, pledge to give $.25 or $.50 or even $1.00 to a charity or to a food bank or to a soldier fund.

I don’t believe Christmas is Jesus’ birthday anymore than I believe it is my birthday, but this time of year is one when most people are thinking about him.  Instead of his birth, let’s focus on his life for a little bit.  What did he say about helping people?  I end this with Matthew 25:31-46… read it and see if this doesn’t give you chills.  Which side do you find yourself on, the right or the left?

 31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

 44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

 46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Posted by: schmoffly | December 2, 2009


Apparently the c compiler I use at work didn’t like what I programmed.  You never want to see something you are working on output the word “panic.”

Well, back to the grindstone I guess.

Posted by: schmoffly | November 25, 2009


I had a wee bit off an accident, but I think I took care of it quite nicely.  What do you think?




Side-by-side comparions:


 I am pleased with the result although saddened by the paint chipping as a hammered out the dent.  No way around that I guess.  I definitely saw a real life example of why I weightlift though.  As you can see, on the left the bumper is bent at a decent angle.  To fix this, I basically did a modified rack pull and deadlifted the bad angle out.  Also the rear quarter panel (Is it called that on trucks?) was bent some and I sat down and pulled like I was doing a sitting low row and pulled the dent out.  You can see the obvious results on the right.

It took some sanding and some patient repainting of my bumper, but you would never know what happened (and never will, so don’t ask) if it wasn’t for the split paint.  Although a body shop would have fixed it as good as new, I would have been out several hundred dollars.  My fix cost me a can of Rust-Oleum flat black, and some wet/dry fine grit sandpaper.  Total?  Less than $10.


Posted by: schmoffly | November 23, 2009

What My Wedding Cake Should Have Been



Found here.

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