Our skylight and window projects are lurching towards completion.  The guy we hired as something of a general contractor for the skylight project is cool.  The guy to whom he subcontracted the drywall mudding is a flake.  The window guys finally reached some semblance of completion on Thursday last week.  We still need to stain and paint a couple of things, however, to cover up some of their errors.  It will be nice to finally get all of this housework done so that we can start enjoying our house without always having some sort of major remodeling either in progress or right around the corner.

So, if you can belive what they say (which is always a very big if), the Bush administration found strains of the "bioweapon" botulinum in Iraq.  Were we--the skeptical American public--supposed to be impressed by this fact?  Were we supposed to overlook the fact that badly canned pickles, cole slaw, carrots, tomatoes, and the like are breeding grounds for botulinum?  Does that mean that if I have canned tomatoes in my cabinet with a broken seal, that I'm secretly harboring a weapons of mass destruction program?  We went to war because Iraq has a food storage and preparation problem?

The Twins are now out of the baseball playoffs.  They had a good run this year, but, to be frank, they weren't as good this year as last year.  Their starting pitching wasn't very solid as it was last year, and they weren't producing many runs at times.  As much as I would have liked to see them beat the Yankees (and I would really have liked to see them eliminate the Yankees), I'm not surprised that they failed to do so.

If you missed Dave Barry's most recent column about telemarketing, you missed a classic.  An excerpt follows:> "Tim Searcy of the ATA was quoted in The Los Angeles Times as saying that the impact of the Do Not Call Registry would be (I did not make this quote up) 'like an asteroid hitting the earth.' Yes. An asteroid!"As I write these words, lawyers and politicians and lobbyists and judges are swarming all over the telemarketing issue, so I don't know what the legal status of the Do Not Call registry will be when you read this column. But it appears that the telemarketers plan to continue their efforts to save the planet by fighting for the right to call people who do not want to be called." We finally had to pull the garden out of the ground this weekend.  We got a hard frost last week that killed off the tomatoes and whatnot.  So, out of the ground they came, just in time for the ash trees to start coating our lawn in leaves.

Now is the time to get on the Minnesota Vikings bandwagon.  Now that they are 5-0, bandwagon jumping will really accelerate.

We saw Josh Ritter play at The Annex last week.  Talk about the wrong person playing the wrong venue.  We last saw Josh Ritter play at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA.  That was a great, one man, one guitar show in a classy venue.  This was a four-man, multiple instrument, blare-a-thon in a concrete-brick box.  The venue itself is terrible.  The walls are all concrete-bricks.  The only soft objects in the room are the acoustic tiles in the drop ceiling and the audience.  Everything else is just one big reflective surface.  Ritter also strayed from the formula that makes him good.  He is a great entertainer with just a guitar in front of a small crowd.  In front of a moderate crowd in a dimly lit box, with a backing band and an incompetent behind the sound board, he leaves plenty to be desired.