Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque

Before we begin any discussion of a sensitive subject, it is necessary to “condense the nonsense” thereby insuring that our opinions are formed around actual information and not you cousin’s Facebook status or the e-mail forward from Frank in Accounting.
1. The “ground zero mosque” is actually called Park51 (based on the address) and at no time was ever named or going to be named “The Victory Mosque,” “The Dead Infidel Complex,” or any other such nonsense. Also, there have been no credible reports that the blood of Jews, Christians, or Hindus will be utilized in the building’s construction.            
2. Park51 is currently operational as a Muslim prayer room and has been for some time. The new plans would add a community center, swimming pool, gym, basketball court, culinary school, child care facilities, an official mosque area, and a September 11th memorial. There are currently no plans for an Al-Qaeda training facility.
3. Park51 is actually located several blocks from ground zero and even when the proposed structure is built it will not have any views of the September 11th memorial from anywhere in the complex.
4. Park51 will be funded entirely by private donations and will not receive taxpayer money. They claim that all donors will be screened by public and private security firms and no money will be accepted from any organizations flagged by the United States government.
5. The proposed structure does not violate any existing local, state, or federal zoning ordinances or statutes. In fact, there is an operational mosque just 4 blocks from the World Trade Center that has been in the area since the 70’s.
The “Hallowed Ground” Argument
There is certainly some merit to the idea that the site (and by extension, surrounding community) should be held to more a stringent standard when it comes to the types of establishments allowed a presence in the area. Two-thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy Six people lost their lives as a result of the World Trade Center attacks, and if New York had an ongoing zoning ordinance that catered to sensitivity in the area then perhaps a case could be made. However, the same “hallowed” area is home to a strip club, a peep show house, and off-track betting facility. See map below:

When this information is taken into account, I have trouble believing that a mosque / community center on the site of an abandoned building would diminish the “reverence “of the surrounding community. Any dissenting opinions would need to be based on more than the preservation of a non-existent sacred zoning area. And if New York Dolls is holding a weekly September 11th prayer vigil in the VIP room, I sincerely apologize.
The “Evil Imam” Argument
Many have raised objection to the mosque based on the leadership of the congregation. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, 52, was born in Kuwait and is married to Indian-born Daisy Khan who is an architect. He is widely considered to be a moderate Muslim leader and has penned several books (one is entitled What's Right with Islam Is What's Right with America) that further his agenda of peace and reconciliation. Imam Rauf is a regular contributor to the Washington Post’s Religion Blog, has openly condemned the cult of Al-Qaeda, and currently leads a Muslim congregation in the Tribeca area of New York City.
If the claims that he might have ties to a terrorist organization had any merit, I can only assume that action against him would have been taken years ago when he first began teaching in New York. This leads me to one of two conclusions:
1.       His credibility and motives have been called into question simply because he is associated with a controversial project.
2.       We actually believe that moving a few blocks into a new building will cause a dramatic shift in his entire theology transforming him into a violent extremist.
The “Why Can’t They Just Put It Somewhere Else If They Don’t Want To Offend Anyone” Argument
This is an interesting angle that has a modern parallel. On Tuesday April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Colorado’s Columbine High School and executed twelve fellow students and one teacher using a variety of firearms. As it happened, the National Rifle Association (N.R.A) had planned to hold its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado just miles from (and a few weeks after) the massacre. The NRA, and its then president Charlton Heston, was relentlessly criticized and vilified by the government officials, victim’s families, and the media. Students formed a human chain around the conference’s hotel, Denver’s mayor publicly told the group “We don’t want you here,” and Michael Moore skewered the organization for its callous stance in his documentary Bowling For Columbine.
The group agreed to cancel the gun show that it had scheduled, but staunchly refused to be forced to a new location because of the tragedy. For their refusal to relocate, they were called senseless, heartless, and evil. People could not understand how a group associated with weapons could be so insensitive as to hold a meeting so close to a tragedy. The NRA was (unfairly) associated with the young terrorists who chose to gun down their classmates and teachers simply because they promoted freedom and enforcement of constitutional rights. Heston refused to allow public emotion and sensitivity to be utilized to chip away at the freedoms this country has fought so hard to preserve.
So why don’t they just move somewhere else less offensive? The answer, I believe, is because they have the privilege of living in a country where they do not have to.
 Let me say that I, personally, would not have chosen to place a new Islamic complex so close to the World Trade Center site; but to be fair, I would have never refused to cancel an NRA meeting so close (in both time and proximity) to one of the worst school shootings in US history. The argument, however, is not whether or not they should build the complex, but whether or not they have the constitutional right to do so. I have not heard a legitimate, legal argument that would convince me that we have the responsibility or the right to dispense freedoms based on our emotions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This Week in Useless Statistics

Last week, popular dating site and useless information distribution point released the most non-scientific study ever: They correlated sexual promiscuity by smart-phone usage. Their study showed that iPhone users saw more amorous action than their Blackberry or Android phone counter parts. The findings were as follows: 

  • Female iPhone users averaged over 12 different sexual partners by age 30 (men only 10). 
  • Female Blackberry users averaged 8.8 different sexual partners by age 30 (men only 8.1).  
  • Female Android users averaged 6.1 different sexual partners by age 30 (men averaged 6.0).
    So where did this empirical data originate? What complex mathematical equation was utilized to generate these numbers? The results are from 10,000 registered users of, who just so happened to use a profile picture taken by a smartphone in their profile, and just so happened to answer a questionnaire in which they identified the number of partners they have had.
    Now if that is not a comprehensive view of the American populace, I don’t know what is. Utilizing the same data, one could easily draw several conflicting conclusions. For instance, does owning an iPhone encourage female promiscuity amongst registered users of or are promiscuous female members of disproportionately attracted to the iPhone? 
    Not only is this irresponsible static analysis, it is dangerous journalism as well. Unverifiable studies like this can give birth to stereotypes and we have only begun to see the repercussions of this data. I can only imagine the pick-up lines that will be endured by women who own an iPhone thanks to the inferences of this study.

    •          “Hey darling…..I couldn’t help but noticing your data package.”
    •     “Your mouth is saying no, but your handset choice is saying yes.”
    •     “You look lonely baby. But don’t worry I have an app for that.”
    •      “I heard that you are pretty good with a touch interface.”
    •      “Would you do me the honor of allowing me sync my iTunes with your library?”
    •       “I would really love the opportunity to get to know your coverage map.”
    •       “Hey beautiful, I foresee you, me, and the nation’s fastest 3G having a good time tonight.”

    The ridiculous info doesn’t stop there. OKcupid then conducted a study on, and this is the actual title, “Photo Attractiveness by Camera Make and Class.” Unsatisfied with the rudimentary “hot or not” rating system so prevalent on the Internet today, they rated the “attractiveness” of users based on a decimal scale with 0.30 being most attractive and - 0.25 being least attractive. Presumably this was done to confuse frat guys who have long relied on the 1 -10 scale for esthetic ranking of potential mates.
    They then cross-referenced the solid “.30’s” with the type of camera used to take the photo used in their profile. The results are enlightening:

    • Users that use higher-end cameras featuring an inter-changeable lens system tend to have more attractive photos than those who used less expensive point and shoot cameras.
    • People whose profile pictures were taken by cell phone tended to be less attractive than member’s whose photos were taken by a dedicated camera.
    • People who used Motorola cell phones to take their picture were the least attractive (-.20) and those that used Panasonic Cameras with interchangeable lenses were the most attractive (.30)

    What strikes me the most is that iPhone users (who did not make the top 10 in attractiveness) can still rack up a baker’s dozen in carnal encounters. I would hate to see the numbers from the OKcupid members totting around a Panasonic DSL with a telephoto lens.  The other, more reasonable explanation is that members who own high-end cameras are more likely to have a copy of Photoshop. Presumably, people with access to Photoshop are more likely to know how to use Photoshop and people who know how to use Photoshop are more likely to utilize Photoshop on the pictures of themselves that they take with their expensive cameras.
    I believe what the statisticians at are trying to tell us is this: If you are standing in line at a camera store and the hot girl in front of you is purchasing a lens for her Panasonic camera while talking to a friend on her iPhone about being locked out of her OKcupid account, she is a prostitute.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Impregnate, Propose, Repeat

    There is nothing that pains me more than witnessing the implosion of true love, which is why I was understandably distraught when news broke that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston had called off their engagement, again.
    So what could have soured such a sacred bond? They certainly enjoyed a solid foundation. It was even reported that when Levi lost Bristol’s promise ring on a caribou hunt (it could’ve happened to anyone) he had her name tattooed on his finger. In 2008, Bristol’s mother was chosen as John McCain’s running mate in the upcoming presidential election which coincided with the revelation that Bristol was “in a family way.”
    So on September first of that year, the couple decided to make their dedication public and announced their engagement (and Bristol’s pregnancy) at an intimate gathering of close friends (the Republican National Convention). Unfortunately, this first engagement was called off just a few months after the birth of their son and a schism developed between Levi and the Palin camp causing the couple to go their separate ways.
    Bristol, who is now gainfully employed as an abstinence spokesperson, is the centerpiece in a living dichotomy. After all, it can be argued that the very reason she possess the name recognition that landed her the gig was the fact that she never bought the message she was hired to sell. In fact, she told Fox News in a February 2009 interview that abstinence was “not realistic at all.” Perhaps even more ironic, is the fact that her platform of “sexual abstinence” is being funded by a company whose exploitation of fragrance-enhanced eroticism has become legendary. The Candies Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Candies Fragrances and Fashion, is dedicated to preventing teen pregnancy through, among other things, abstinence. Below is an example of a print ad for Candie’s Fragrance line.
     Maybe I am reading too much into this. Perhaps Mark McGrath and his raven-haired roommate are simply following the Candies Foundation’s directives and pausing to “think about the consequences” and “reevaluate their relationship.” Or maybe it is exactly what it looks like and this girl will be left will nothing but regret, a signed Sugar Ray CD, and a low-grade fever. 
    For his part, Levi and his family claimed that they were under a “gag order” that prevented them from discussing The Palin Family until Sarah’s bid for the White House had run its course. In subsequent interviews, Levi would also claim that The Palin’s knew he and Bristol we having sex in their house and even offered to secretly take Bristol’s baby and raise it as their own. Palin denied the claims and labeled Levi as “attention seeking and desperate.” Seeking to disprove Palin’s assessment of him, Mr. Johnston decided to pose nude for Playgirl Magazine.
    In an interview on CBS, Levi insisted that all pictorials would be done “tastefully” and that his financial compensation would be used to support his family. His manager, Tank Jones, reiterated the classy nature of the photos to TMZ by announcing “everything's gonna hang out. We're talking full johnson." This drew criticism from momma Palin who publicly referenced Levi’s blossoming “porn career.” Johnston later backed down and declined to fully showcase his “man bits” but insisted that Sarah Palin’s comment did not affect his decision. Tank was reportedly inconsolable.
    Yet despite the public bickering, a nasty child custody case, and the discovery that Playgirl Magazine was still a financially viable publication; the two lovebirds privately reconciled. In July of this year they announced that they were engaged and on the very night their re-betrothal was made public, Levi decided that he should tell his fiancĂ©e that he may or may not have impregnated another teenage girl.  Bristol publicly announced that she “had been played” by Levi and that it was really over this time. If only Levi had not sprayed on his Candies Cologne before walking into that Starbucks…….

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Illegal Immigration

    I have long avoided weighing in on the immigration issue, but after doing some research I have had to rethink several of my ideas. As with any issue, it is imperative that there is a full understanding of the facts. So with that in mind, I have compiled the following statistics from The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Pew Research Group, and a report released by The Department of Homeland Security and the Congressional Budget Office:
    1.       There are 10.8 million illegal immigrants estimated to be currently living in the United States.
    2.       Between 4 .5 and 6 million of those were admitted legally (temporary work visas or border crossing cards) and are considered illegal because they have violated the condition of their crossing by not returning home.
    3.       Around 76% of illegal immigrants are Hispanic but only 59% of illegal immigrants are from Mexico. The next closest ethnic group is Asian at 11%.
    4.       Around 5.4% of the entire labor force of the United States is comprised of illegal immigrants.
    5.       In 2008, 25% of all farm hands were undocumented workers and 17% of all construction workers were here illegally.
    6.       Around 11% of people born in Mexico resided in the United States in 2008.
    7.       The number of illegal immigrants in the United States is greater than the total population of Ohio.
    8.       34% of all illegal immigrants are between the ages of 25 -34.
    9.       The states with the largest illegal immigrant population are California (2.6 Million), Texas (1.6 Million), Florida (720,000), New York (550,000), Illinois (540,000), and Georgia  (480,000).
    10.   The states where illegal immigrants make up the largest percentage of the total labor force are Nevada (12.2%) and California (9.9%).

    There are many issues attributed to such a large number of illegal aliens residing on United States soil:
    ·         State and local governments often provide services to illegals and their families (everything from parks and after-school programs to police and fire service) but are unable to recoup these expenses through income tax, property tax, etc.
    ·         It raises healthcare costs because most illegals rely on hospital emergency rooms for even routine medical maladies which in turn cause the hospitals to inflate prices for American citizens.
    ·         Illegals are willing to perform tasks for lower wages which forces many American citizens out of their jobs and inflates unemployment numbers.
    ·         Large concentrations of illegal immigrants often coincide with higher instances of crime (drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder.)
    Proposed solutions:
    ·         Beef up border security between Mexico and the United States to reduce the number of illegal crossings.
    ·         Empower local, state, and federal law-enforcement to verify the immigration status of citizens whether or not they are suspected of committing a crime. If the person’s status is deemed illegal, they are immediately deported.
    ·         Abolish legislation that allows children born on American soil to receive immediate citizenship.
    ·         Increase fines for employers that knowingly employ illegal workers.
    ·         Offer amnesty to all illegals already in the country to compel them to pay taxes.
    ·         Combine all of the above.
    Border Security
    Proponents of this strategy argue that if the border is not secure, we are wasting money by deporting anyone since they can come right back over. One realization of this strategy is the Secure Border Initiative Fence, an ongoing program that seeks to prevent unauthorized entry using state of the art fencing, cameras, thermal imaging, and radar. According to a 2009 report on the project, this hi-tech barrier averages a cost of $2.5 million per mile (although costs vary wildly due to terrain, labor, and land acquisition fees) which allows us to estimate the total cost of securing the 2,000 mile Mexico / U.S. border at roughly $5 billion dollars. However, this does not account for the increased personnel costs for the United States Border Patrol which currently employs over 20,000 and costs the federal government over $10 billion a year to operate. The major flaw of this strategy is that 50% of all illegal immigrants crossed the border legally, so even at its most potent this strategy only affects half the issue.
    Identify, Arrest, Deport
    Proponents of this strategy advocate that stricter enforcement of existing laws will remove illegal immigrants and discourage others who seek to enter the country illegally. By sweeping a wide dragnet across the country we can affect all illegal immigrants regardless of whether they originally crossed the border legally. Theoretically this sounds pretty effective, but what would the cost of such an operation be? Julie L. Myers, chief of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, estimated that the cost to simply deport the all illegals currently residing in the United States would be $94 billion at a minimum. This does not take into account the financial burden that would have to be assumed by state and local governments to add personnel to their already overtaxed law enforcement agencies. While this strategy would certainly be an effective way to reduce the number of illegal immigrants, it would be costly and could result in larger government agencies and less personal freedoms.
     No Citizenship for Babies
    Many point to the allure of “instant citizenship” for children born on Unites States soil as a major catalyst for illegal immigration. Nearly 47% of illegal immigrant households consist of children under the age of 18 and 73% of those children (or around 3.1 million) are legal United States citizens by birth. There are two opposing theories for the large number of children in illegal immigrant households:
    A.      A large percentage of pregnant women cross into the United States illegally so that their child will qualify for welfare benefits, plus it makes it more difficult for the federal government to deport the rest of the family.
    B.       Since illegally crossing the border is a risky, often physically challenging ordeal; most people who cross into the United States are in their prime working and child-bearing years so they would naturally have a higher rate of children.
    As with most issues, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle; and while repealing a law is certainly cheaper than the billions we would spend on fences and deportation, the rewards are likely to be minimal since children who are legal citizens are going to be the most likely to grow up and pay taxes.  
    Fines for Employers
    This strategy involves punishing those who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, thereby reducing the number of jobs available to them, which would minimize the temptation to enter the country illegally. As the figures revealed, the majority of illegals work as farmhands or construction workers which means that the largest fines would be assessed to American farmers or construction companies. This could have a negative impact on food prices and construction costs and, like the deportation strategy, puts the burden of enforcement on state and local agencies.
    The thinking behind this approach is that illegal immigrants are given the chance to come forward and register as United States citizens. This would bring in more tax revenues (around 77%) but would also create a greater drain on public services (around 118%) creating a cost of around $29 billion. Like any other proposed solution, amnesty does not come cheap and is not a full-proof solution. Interestingly enough the deficit created by amnesty is not necessarily because illegals would use more public services; rather it is because under the current income tax system they would owe very little on their meager wages.

    How Bad Is It Really?
    Since there is no clear cut solution, and certainly not an inexpensive one, the prudent step is to assess the threat illegal immigration poses to the citizens who would have to fund its remediation. Here again, we must look to statistics and estimates:
    ·         According to a study by the University of Michigan and the PEW research group, about 55% of illegal workers currently comply with federal, state, and local tax laws.
    ·         Some states fare better than others. For instance, sales-tax heavy states (such as Tennessee) tend to recoup expenditures faster from illegals than states that rely on income and property taxes.
    ·         The demographic most likely to find themselves competing for the same jobs as illegal aliens are adult males who did not receive a high school diploma or a G.E.D.
    ·         The top three jobs held by illegals are farming (25%), grounds keeping (19%), and construction (17%).
    ·         The average household income for illegal immigrants is $36,000 per year compared to $50,000 per year for non-illegal immigrant households.
    ·         This is a complicated picture to get a handle on and is extremely region specific. For example; 15% of people incarcerated in Arizona are illegal immigrants even though illegals make up only 7% of the population. Even more troubling is that of all state prisoners locked up for kidnapping, 40% were illegal immigrants.
    ·         The story in other border regions is just the opposite. The FBI reports that the crime rate in border regions has dropped by an average of 10% over the past decade.
    ·         San Diego, California saw violent crimes drop 17% over the past decade and even Arizona saw an overall crime rate drop of 10%.
    ·         Proximity doesn’t seem to factor in much anyway, as one of the cities with the largest drop in violent crime (37%) was El Paso, Texas, a city that sits 5 miles across the border from Juarez, Mexico which boasts the highest murder rate in the world.

    It was extremely hard to find reasonable sources for the illegal immigrant issue. I found several sites that insisted that illegal immigrants were costing the country trillions of dollars a year, and others that praised illegal immigrants as a blessing to the economy. By taking the statistics in aggregate, I have come to realize that illegal immigration does cost taxpayers money. How much is debatable (in 2004 the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that illegal aliens cost the Federal government almost $11 billion) but what is equally clear is that any proposed “solutions” will also cost money.
    Some would respond that the cost is irrelevant because those who cross the border illegally have committed a criminal act and therefore we must enforce the laws, but that it is a difficult position for me to follow considering that 50% of all people currently considered “illegals” crossed into the country with our permission and just didn’t go home when we asked them to.

    Promising Tactics
    ·         Reevaluate the circumstances under which we issue temporary visas and work permits. We are obviously unable or unwilling to enforce the parameters of the permits we issue and most are being used as a permanent pass to set up residency.
    ·         Further secure the border by adding personnel and upgrading fencing and surveillance technologies. This will cost billions, but it is still a bargain compared to other options.
    ·         Offer amnesty to those already here. Our country is drowning in debt, and with an estimated price tag of $94 billion we cannot afford to sweep a dragnet across the country and toss everyone out. Furthermore, the massive invasion of privacy necessary for a large government entity to identify, arrest, and deport 12 million residents is a frightening thought.
    Interestingly, it appears that the most effective way to reduce illegal immigration is economic downturn. Since the onset of America’s economic recession, the number of illegal aliens residing in the United States has plummeted by 1 million, the single largest drop in three decades. It would seem that the most successful immigration deterrent is widespread financial collapse and scarcity of employment and that is one solution that we do not need to try again.

    The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments

    Portrait of an Unauthorized Immigrant

    Estimate for Deportation of Illegal Aliens

    2010 Report by Homeland Security & The Office of Immigration Statistics

    Does Illegal Immigration Lead to More Crime?

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    The Lockout

    It began as a typical evening at the Taylor home. I had showered, slipped into my smoking jacket, and was spending some quality time on the couch with my Kindle when Ashley came into the living room and inquired as to whether or not I had fed our dog Sandy. I admitted that I had not, and realizing that it was almost 10:00 I quickly gathered up some dog food and made my way onto the back deck.
    While I was scooping food into the Sandy’s bowl, Ashley decided to come out onto the deck and pet our beloved canine. As she exited the house, she pulled the back door closed to prevent moths from flying into the living room but did not realize that the door’s knob lock was engaged. We spent several minutes on the deck and finally decided that it was time to make our way back into the living room when we discovered that we were locked out of the house.
    We quickly assessed the situation and it was grim: I was wearing pajama pants, a t-shirt, and a pair of old sneakers. Ashley was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and no shoes. Neither of us had our cell-phones, keys, or even wallets on us. To make matters worse, I was not even sure we could get out of the back yard. I had secured the gate of our six-foot privacy fence from the outside with a large piece on concrete to prevent Sandy from escaping (as she could manipulate the lock) and even if we got out I had no way to call for help.
    I left Ashley on the deck and proceeded to try and force the gate open. My first few attempts were unsuccessful and just about the time I had resigned myself to climbing over, I felt the concrete move enough for me to get my hand out. Finally out of the back yard, I ran around the perimeter of my home checking to see if I could jimmy any of the windows open. I must say, as a block captain of my neighborhood watch I was slightly disappointed that a disheveled man desperately trying to force open windows in the dark did not attract more attention.
    At any rate, I reported back to Ashley that our only option was to wake up a neighbor and ask to use their phone. We have an elderly woman living next door who goes to bed before Wheel of Fortune is off the air, and although I knew beating on her door would scare the bejesus out of her it really seemed to be our only option. Ashley, however, noticed that a neighbor down the street still had several guests at what appeared to be a party. I lobbied for scaring the elderly neighbor, but she insisted that we try the shindig down the road. It became a test of wills, a matter of principle and I would not be defeated.
    Thirty seconds later we found ourselves explaining to lady of the house (and several party guests) that we had locked ourselves into our own backyard and needed to borrow her cell phone. She graciously agreed and within minutes I found myself attempting to explain what my key looked like to my mother who was unable to hear me due to loud volume at which the Purple Rain soundtrack was being played in the background.
    After I returned the bedazzled cell phone to our hostess, she invited us to wait with them in her kitchen and listen to a “story” that one of her slightly inebriated guests wished to share. In the kitchen we found an older gentleman I will refer to as “Silverfox”, a jovial middle-aged man I will call “Hambone,” and his wife “Lil C.”
    Hambone had just begun to explain that his parents had been flamboyant “swingers” and progressive nudists whose penchant for sexual deviance had been legendary. He recalled (in youth-scarring detail) that his father would often mow their front yard dressed in nothing but a pink man-thong and some tastefully applied nipple jewelry. His parents were also unusually concerned with his romantic relationships and would often inquire as to whether he was properly providing his dates with “the pleasure.” 
    Against this backdrop, Hambone revealed that his family decided to have a garage sale one year in order to liquidate some items they no longer used. The sheer volume of pornography and adult accessories apparently attracted shoppers from a one-hundred mile radius. Some of the more easily identifiable items included some sort of motorized spanking machine and a ceiling apparatus, but the point of the story (other than to stunt any unrealized emotional development among the listeners) concerned a homosexual Latino couple. According to Hambone, the couple arrived in a sub-compact Ford and proceeded to purchase all of his mother’s “leatherwear” for their own recreational use.
    This narrative was punctuated several times by a hearty “No s**t ya’ll!” from Hambone and the occasional “F***ing real deal!” from Lil C. About halfway through Hambone’s tale, I noticed that Silverfox had become uncomfortably focused on my wife’s unsupported chest and touched her arm at several intervals throughout the story. Wishing to feel productive and avoid an uncomfortable conversation with Silverfox, I requested a butter-knife so as to jimmy the lock while waiting for my parents.
    Hambone boisterously insisted that he would be more than happy to follow us to our home and get the door open. Before we knew it Ashley, myself, and a man whose childhood could reduce Larry Flynt to tears found ourselves walking up the sidewalk toward our home. True to his word, Hambone was able to gain entry to my house much quicker than I was comfortable with.
    Safely inside our home, I felt the overwhelming urge to shower for a second time that night and vowed that when given the choice between scaring the elderly and scarring myself, I will always chose to scare the elderly.