I went to sleep pretty early last night. I fell asleep during House, as I sometimes do. Amanda explained it thusly: I stay up late playing video games or watching TV throughout the week then get up early on Sundays, so by Tuesday night it catches up to me. I guess that’s about right.

Speaking of video games, I beat my current game of Medieval 2: Total War. I was supposed to capture 45 territories and Jerusalem. I’ve got all of Europe up to Russia except for some of southeastern Europe including the British Isles and Scandinavia, North Africa (all of Africa that is on the game) and a little bit of the Middle East plus some of Greece. The part of Europe between Italy and Greece that I don’t have is because the nations there were either allied with me or haven’t started any mess with me. Almost everyone else I fought as because they attacked me first.

I picked up the tax returns today. I was unpleasantly surprised. We’re getting money back from the state return, but we owe most of it back on the federal return. Apparently Amanda and I made almost double to the penny what we made the previous year, so we’re in a new tax bracket. Not enough money was withheld from my check to cover it, even with all the deductions I had. Since the people I had do the taxes are also the people my boss uses for his payroll, I had them up my withholding right then and there.

On the way back I stopped by Fanboy Comics, the comic shop I go to, and got called out for stopping by the competition a week or two ago. He happened upon this site, so we had a good conversation about basketball and such (since I’ve made my feelings about many things known here on my website). It was kind of cool that someone ran into this site. It’s been a while since anyone told me they had.

Elliot Clark stopped by here to drop off his and Melissa Nicholson’s dog, Bernie. He’s a Maltese-Poodle mix. A moodle. Elliot dropped him off by himself because Melissa didn’t want to leave him, and when Elliot left he told Bernie, “Make yourself at home, but not too much at home.” Bernie must have blocked out the second half of that, because as soon as I went upstairs and sat down at my desk Bernie came up and popped a squat right in front of me. I thought it was actually a little funny in light of what Elliot had said, but they apologized profusely when he and Melissa called around dinner.

I’ve been lax on reporting world affairs for a while. The biggest thing, I think, right now is that Iran took some British sailors captive, saying they were trespassing in Iran’s waters when GPS data says they were clearly within Iraqi waters. Why would they do that other than to cause friction? I mean are they really scrapping for a war?

On top of that, there’s a town in northern Iraq, Tal Afar, which has made quite a bit of progress on the sectarian violence front. After the troops pulled out insurgents came in and blew some people up under the guise of handing out grain to people. Today a bunch of people were killed in revenge. It’s just so frustrating! How can people live like that? How can a whole geographic region be so filled with hate?

And speaking of frustrating, our own politics make me want to scream. Why is it that if you’re a Republican you have to be a far-right conservative, and if you’re a Democrat you have to be a far-left liberal? Why can’t there be an in-between. It’s like Duke and friggin’ Carolina- one side just can’t get along with the other! Hell, that’s not even a fair comparison because at least between Duke and Carolina, you’ll sometimes find people who can admit respect for people on the other side. But my point is that there’s absolutely no middle ground. God, how I wish a truly moderate third party would emerge. I think someone needs to run on a “common sense” platform. Just do what’s right, what’s good for the country and not what whoever is in charge of your side wants you to do or say or think. Put the country first- not this group or that group. Put the country first.

Stepping off my little soapbox, we watched Friday Night Lights tonight while I recorded the McDonald’s All-American game (which I’m watching now), the big game showcasing a the top high school talent who will be entering the college field next year. There are three (possibly four) Duke players in the game- Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Taylor King and (the possible) Patrick Patterson. I’ve never bothered watching one of these games before, but I tell ya, these kids are playing almost no defense at all. With a minute left the score is 114 to 112.

It just finished with the same score. The Duke kids are looking pretty good.

We also watched American Idol. Chris Sligh, the chubby guy with the curly hair, went home tonight. He was an early favorite of mine, and I thought of the guys he had one of the best voices. He also had a pretty good sense of humor. Ah well, Sajaya strikes again.

Zach Dotsey