Putting some assorted thoughts down while watching Keith Olbermann’s Countdown Wednesday night. The #5 story was about a backlash against the wildly popular novel The DaVinci Code. I don’t know much about the book, other than I may be the only person to fly American Airlines in the past year who hasn’t read it. Anyway, there are several “rebuttal” books coming out that argue against some of author Dan Brown’s plot developments, especially those regarding the life of Jesus. One rebuttal author appeared on the Countdown story. His assertion was people are getting “confused” by Brown’s use of history in a novel and unless they read non-fiction, historical accounts, they’ll continue to be confused about what really happened 2000 years ago. So let me get this straight: it’s a reasonable expectation that people who read a work of fiction and take it as fact can make an honest assessment of true historical documents? It’s a freaking novel! It’s made up! It’s a series of ideas that popped into somebody’s head and he wrote them down, even if he put them in a historical context. What’s wrong with people?

I’ve watched almost none of the NBA playoffs so far, which is an odd shift from where I was last November. Remember when I was contemplating a future in which I was a bigger NBA fan than anything else? For starters, few of the match-ups are intriguing. The Kings-Mavericks series lacks the sexiness of last year’s series between the two teams. Other series just aren’t good match-ups; especially in the East with sub .500 teams getting into the postseason this year. But most important, the NBA has ruined the playoffs. Seven game first round series are just ridiculously long. Worse, first round series which should be the least competitive of the playoffs, are stretched out over insane amounts of time. Had the Pacers not swept the Celtics, but rather gone the full seven games, the series would have been played over the course of 18 days. That’s just stupid. Perhaps this stupidity is some of the reason that I’m more into baseball than the NBA playoffs this year.

Living in Indiana, which isn’t exactly a battleground state when it comes to presidential politics, we don’t see many of the commercials my friends back in Missouri get to see. Occasionally, however, while watching a national program, I’m lucky enough to catch a Bush or Kerry commercial. I like politics, especially the horse race element of it, but I’ve never seen so many totally negative commercials so early in the campaign. John Kerry isn’t even officially the nominee yet, and the mud is flying anyway. What I do like is the little disclaimer at the beginning, “Hi, I’m Joe Blow and I approved this message.” Two weeks later you read that the commercial is full of lies, half truths, and makes assertions about one candidate that could easily be made about the person paying for the commercial. Makes them look really smart if they “approved” the message, wink wink.

We do have a governor’s race this year in Indiana, though. I’m pleased to see one of the three major candidates thinks the two most important issues the next governor of Indiana needs to worry about are gay marriage and abortion. That is if his commercials are to be believed. All the ills of Hoosier taxpayers would be solved if we could just keep the gays from getting married and women from having abortions. It’d be a veritable utopia here in Indiana if we could resolve those two issues. I’m incredibly proud not only to live in a state with so few problems, but with a candidate who understands them and is willing to tackle them head-on.

I fear I’ve done you all a great disservice this TV season. I’ve talked about a few shows that I watch, but I don’t believe I’ve spent any time talking about my favorite show. No, not Seinfeld reruns. Scrubs. It’s freaking brilliant. There’s never an episode that I don’t laugh myself silly over. It’s exactly the kind of intelligent yet stupid humor (if such a thing exists) that scratches me right where I itch. If you don’t watch, write yourself a note to start watching next fall. Nothing else remotely good will be left on NBC, so it should be easy to catch in between Divorcee Fear Factor and The Janitor.

I forgot to mention the other highlight of our weekend past. We went to dinner at the home of one of S’s coworkers who just happens to be 36 weeks pregnant. There was also a couple present who brought their six week old son with them. You guessed it, dinner discussion was 90 minutes of theories on birthing techniques, when to feed, do you let you baby cry or not, and on and on. And I was into it; I thought it was a great discussion. It wasn’t until later that I realized four years ago, when every Saturday night meant going to the Peanut, if you told me this was what my life would one day become I would tell you that you were a total idiot. Those cats at Johnson and Johnson have it right: having a baby changes everything.

As you all know, I moved away from Kansas City last June. I immediately filed the appropriate paperwork with my employer to stop the withholding of the KCMO earnings tax. Wednesday, I received a bill from the fine city of Kansas City, MO requesting immediate payment on approximately $550 of back taxes, penalty fees, and interest. So immediately I was pissed, despite the fact I know I owe nothing. I read the document further, looking for the process for letting them know they’re wrong. I found the official dispute policy which makes great pains to point out that the balance is due no matter what. There is no phone number to call, only a mailing address and fax number. I spread the word with a couple coworkers, one of whom went through the same thing when he worked in Overland Park a couple years back. He chose not to pay the fee while he protested, which resulted in a warrant for his arrest. He went ahead and paid the $200 he owed to get the warrant removed, only to have the city return the money a few months later when they found his story to be believable. Anyone else gone through this mess? I think it’s safe to say there will be no checks written to the city of Kansas City from this house, regardless. I’ll also make great pains to ensure I’m not pulled over by any traffic police while the balance is still pending. Idiots.

Larry Star, eBay legend. He’s on Countdown right now. A genius for the common man! I salute you! The famous wedding dress went for $3850.00 tonight. Some of the high bids were apparently joke bids that had to be weeded out before the auction could be closed. Still, he cleared about $2500 more than the dress originally cost and has dreams of a new motorcycle that he can ride to Mariners games. I’m sure the Ex will be claiming her share of the bounty soon.