Schmit Family
Welcome to , , , and virtual front porch. This web site is just that; a place to visit for family, friends, and anyone, who are too far away, to stop by in person. Pull up a chair and stay a while....

31 March 2004 5:08 pm

Poetry by Our Secretary of Defense

A newsletter from Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ) alerted me to some interesting poetry of Donald Rumsfeld that had been featured on NPR. While my appreciation for poetry is sometimes comparable to that for flowers, I found this worth sharing.

Posted by geoff at 17:08 in /politics

31 March 2004 4:56 pm

Between a real dozen and a baker's dozen

Dylan had his two-month check-up at the doctor's office today. At 2 1/2 months old, he now weighs 12 lb., 6.5 oz. That explains why he is outgrowing some of his newborn outfits that are supposed to fit up to 12 lbs. He has grown another inch in length to reach 23 1/2". His head circumference is now 16.5", which puts him in the 75th percentile still. Dylan is now between the 50th and 75th percentile for his weight and length. Dylan did not enjoy the four shots that he received in his thighs (two shots each side), nor did I enjoy watching his reaction to them. Geoff got to console Dylan afterwards. It looked quite painful, but Dylan seems to be doing well now. Overall, it was a good check-up. It will be two months before Dylan's next well check-up.

While we haven't taken as many pictures in the weeks since I've returned to work, there are some that we posted last weekend. More photos that we took over the last two weekends will be posted soon... I hope. Keep checking back for more updates!

Posted by geoff at 16:56 in /family/dylan

21 March 2004 12:25 pm


With its Lordly
Beds, the Royal Palace
Lies; outside a man sleeps on a
worn bench.

Cazenovia, New York

This poem was one part of the first exercise of my Advanced Placement English class in high school. It was a wonderful exercise. It started like most first assignments in English class in that we were to write about our summer vacation. However, after that initial part, the exercise was quite unique. I believe the second part of the assignment was to condense what we had written to a single page; next, a single paragraph; next, a single sentence. The second to last part of the exercise was to write a poem based on the original writing. The final part of the exercise was to reduce our report on our summer vacation to one word. Mine? The title of the poem, Antipodes.

The inspiration for this poem was the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain in all its magnificence and opulence. As we were walking by the palace, I noticed a homeless man sleeping on a park bench out front. At some point, we heard that the Royal Family was traveling abroad. That juxtaposition remains a vivid memory.

Posted by geoff at 12:25 in /poetry

10 March 2004 10:36 pm

The Matrix

No, this has nothing to do with the red pill or the blue pill. The Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (Matrix) is a potential reincarnation of the Total Information Awareness project for which congress finally banned funding. Wired News has a story on the Matrix and Wisconsin's decision to join the program. Out of the 13 states that started the program, six of the original remain: Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida. The others realized that their citizens weren't too keen on a company in Boca Raton, Florida collecting all the personal information on which they can get their hands and providing it to various government agencies. This program is especially troublesome since it could be used as a predictive tool. Imagine Minority Report and replace the precogs with database agents. The Matrix web site claims your information is safeguarded through what sounds like an end-user license agreement (EULA). This is not reassuring given how well everyone reads and follows software EULAs.

Want to send a clear message to your elected representatives regarding privacy rights? That may be difficult. As the primaries are held throughout the country, we are beginning to see the manifestation of problems with poorly designed electronic voting systems. Think butterfly ballots are bad? The LA Times reports that in 21 precincts in Orange County, electronic voting machines reported more votes than registered voters. Given how close the 2000 presidential election was and how close Kerry and Bush are in the polls, we, as a country, are setting ourselves up for a disaster.

Update: As reported by Wired News, Wisconsin and New York have withdrawn from the Matrix program. Five states remain: Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. So, has this shrinking number of participants convinced the Matrix officials that this program isn't wanted. Nope. Instead, they are skipping over the states and trying to get the Department of Homeland Security to fund the program for all fifty states.

Posted by geoff at 22:36 in /politics

8 March 2004 11:31 pm

The Journey

As I lay in the valley,
I opened my eyes and the dazzling light blinded me,
Yet I could see the halo of the sun overhead.

   As I crawled toward the mountain,
   I opened my fist and the piercing rocks cut me,
   Yet I could feel the warmth of the earth below.

      As I toddled toward the mountain,
      I opened my mouth and the sour skin sickened me,
      Yet I could taste the sweet nectar within.

         As I walked toward the mountain,
         I opened my nose and the thick smoke nauseated me,
         Yet I could smell the fresh breeze above.

            As I climbed the mountain,
            I opened my ears and the screeching wind deafened me,
            Yet I could hear the soothing melody ahead.

               As I stood upon the summit,
               I opened my heart and the mountain embraced me,
               And gave my life a flame.

Cazenovia, New York

I wrote this poem for an Advanced Placement (AP) English assignment. I'm not sure what the assignment was, but, based on reading this poem, perhaps it was related to multiple metaphors and parallel structure. I feel like this poem is unfinished and needs polishing. I probably ran out of time and had to submit it.

Posted by geoff at 23:31 in /poetry