Tuesday, February 28, 2006
40 Days... Can I Do It?
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I've given up the computer for Lent. I don't intend to type, touch a mouse or look at a CPU until the Monday after Easter. If I pull this off, it'll be the longest I've gone without doing those things in 16 years.
Meanwhile, if you come across something interesting you'd like to share, please feel free to leave a link as a comment on this entry. I'm sure I'll return to the computer like a hungry dog on April 17, and I'll be grateful for fun links to click.
I'll talk to you then.
Monday, February 27, 2006
State Of The Black Costume
All I heard about on talk radio today was the State of the Black Union hype. All of which lead me to ask the unavoidable question: What's the latest on the hype surrounding the State of the Black Costume in the upcoming Spider-Man movie? My ramblings, complete with pictures, can be found at film geeks.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
My idea of Heaven is a lot like Mayberry.
Veteran television and film star Don Knotts died Friday of lung cancer at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
As the news of his death hit home, West Virginians remembered his contributions not only to television but to the state...
Knotts' notoriety reached far beyond the borders of West Virginia and the United States; media outlets as far away as India, China, Australia and the United Kingdom are all remembering his life and legacy.
In the Mayberry Heaven of my dreams, everybody has one of those "Fra-GEEE-Lay" leg-shaped lamps:
Darren McGavin was painting a movie set in 1945 when he learned of an opening for a small role in the show, climbed off his ladder, and returned through Columbia’s front gates to land the part.
The husky, tough-talking performer went on to become one of the busiest actors in television and film, starring in five TV series, including “Mike Hammer,” and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic “A Christmas Story.”
McGavin, 83, died Saturday of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital with his family at his side, said his son Bogart McGavin.
Yeah, I know Johnny Cash has been dead for some time now. I'm just still ticked off about it.
And I'm not sure what to make of this:
Legendary country singer Johnny Cash has topped the 'Awesomely Dead Rock Stars' list.
The singer beat other legends of the music world such as rapper Notorious Big and the 'King of rock' Elvis Presley, who came in second and third place respectively, to emerge as the clear winner in a poll conducted by Blender's magazine...
The list for the top ten 'Awesomely Dead Rock Stars' as per Blenders magazine is:
My two cents:
Johnny Cash was awesomely alive until he died, and he still is alive when I listen to his music.
The Notorious B.I.G. (or, as I call him, the Notorious C.O.R.P.S.E.) and Tupac Shakur have no business on this list. If Blender ever does a list called "Most Awesomely Over-Rated, Mediocre Pseudo-Musicians," then that'll be the place for them.
Elvis Who? Look, pal... Chuck Flippin' Berry was the real king of rock and roll. Accept it.
Imagine there's no Lennon / It's easy if you try /
No over-hyped White Album / No Lucy In The Sky /
Imagine Paul McCartney in ob-scur-a-teeeee, whoo HOOO...
Jimi Hendrix was a genius and probably created the style that evolved into the reason that the sound of an electric rock guitar solo is my favorite sound in the world. Well, it's often my favorite sound in the world. Not always. Two words: Nuno Bettencourt. (Shivers)
Jerry Garcia was a musician? I thought he was a painter, an ice-cream flavor, a necktie designer, a gourmet tea manufacturer, and an advocate of unemployment. He also played music? Who'da thunkit? If only word of that had gotten around, I'm sure he'd have had a huge following.
Kurt Cobain was a loser and a crybaby: "Oooooh, my belly hurts. Oooooh, I don't like being famous. BANG!" Get over yourself and buy a new sweater, you dirtbag.
I'm not a Bob Marley fan, but I'll concede that he was a super cool genius pot smoking reggae guy. Or whatever.
Ray Charles was one of the single coolest human beings who ever lived. You might not call his music "rock," although he defied classification most of the time. Nonetheless, Ray symbolized everything that is cool about the rock aesthetic. He overcame racism, blindness, and a business that was, at the time, engineered to keep musicians poor. He changed popular American music forever. Culturally, we'll probably never recover from the loss of such a true original. Ray was so damn cool. Somebody ought to make a movie about him sometime.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
For Christ's Sake
Alright, so I read this in the paper this morning:
Cartoons depicting Jesus in a Radford University online student magazine have created controversy just weeks after Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad touched off violent protests throughout the Muslim world.
In his "Christ on Campus" comic strip, sophomore Christian Keesee has satirized the hypocrisy of some churchgoing students, the greed of some televangelists and the commercialization of Christmas, among other things, in 12 cartoons he's published on Radford's Whim Internet Magazine.
I checked it out myself, and you can too... the magazine has a website.
Just a few observations:
The first thing that sticks out is that the cartoons just aren't funny. Don't get me wrong, I do have the ability to realize when comedy that satirizes my own religion is funny. I think that Monty Python's The Life Of Brian is screamingly funny. And the late Bill Hicks, who mocked Christianity with nearly every other joke, used to make me laugh until I was in pain. Oh, I didn't agree with him, but funny is funny. There's no denying it.
But, hey... this is just a college kid doing a cartoon for kicks. He's not a professional humorist, and I haven't paid to enjoy his humor, so it's not like he's ripping anyone off. I cut him a little slack in that area, since the internet is full to the brim with amateurs trying to be funny... like yours truly.
One day the kid will be working in a cubicle, looking back on his glory days in college as a controversial satirist who really got those Christians all stirred up, telling himself that he really kept 'em on their toes. And, that's fine. We all have our own ways of getting through the day out here in the real world.
The second thing that sticks out is that the kid seems to have a grudge against Catholics in general. Of course, I might be a bit more inclined to pick up on that than non-Catholic Christians... but when you depict the Pope as a gangsta rapper, posed with a bikini-clad demon woman, it somehow seems a tad much. And a gun-wielding, greasy haired Pope really can't have any point other than an effort to offend... but then, that's just me.
The thing is, this kid and his supporters at the website have resorted to some seriously lame tactics in their efforts to defend him:
Keesee, who is from Salem, considers himself a Christian. Though he admits he's not a regular churchgoer, his parents are.
"My mom and dad, they look at it every week," he said. "They see some of the points I'm trying to make. They're very supportive."
First of all, let's dispense with the "It's OK, I'm one of you" defense. I, for one, am just getting tired of hearing it. I'm sick of Michael Moore blustery statements about how, by Gosh, he really does love this country. I'm sick of hearing how Cindy Sheehan cares so deeply about American soldiers. And, I really don't care to hear how it's OK if this kid mocks Christianity and Jesus Christ since, after all, he really is a Christian. You want to mock Christianity? Fine. Just don't be two-faced about it.
Now, again, I am willing to cut this kid some slack. A lot of it has to do with his age. And, God knows, I was pretty obnoxious when I was a young man. Really obnoxious. I'm talking about Late 1980's REM fan obnoxiousness. Since he's a college sophomore, I guess this kid is in his late teens or early twenties. That's an intellectually awkward age. It's an age when the part of your brain that does the thinking and questioning is in overdrive... but the part that judges the quality of your own actions and thoughts hasn't developed yet. Most of the time, that part of the brain does develop for most people. Once it does, those people go on to live normal, healthy, productive lives. For some people, however, that part of the brain just never develops... and they go on to form Jam bands, get roles on reality TV shows, and/or join the Green party.
Then, there's this:
(The website's executive director Andrew) Lent said most of the cartoons are pro-Christian, such as one where two students are moving into their dorm. They decide not to help Jesus because "he's only carrying one thing."
The next cartoon shows an exhausted Jesus carrying the cross.
"Yeah, just one thing, but he's carrying the weight of the world there, and no one is helping him," he said.
Oh, come on.
As a self-admitted amateur humorist, I can tell you from experience that if you have to resort to explaining a joke, it might just be that the joke is kinda stupid.
What's more, if the explanation you offer is insulting and condescending, then maybe you are kinda stupid.
That's just my take on it, though.
But, hey... don't take my word for it. Decide for yourself. There's plenty of "Christ On Campus" cartoons for you to consider:
You can read the one where Jesus makes out with a co-ed and wonders if he has a condom. Or a penis.
Check out Jesus beating up a non-believer.
Check out Jesus playing poker with figures from other religions.
Witness Jesus ignoring a gay couple and hoping they'll go away.
See Jesus kill an underwear-stealing bunny rabbit. Seriously.
And don't miss Jesus telling an upset young man that if he keeps bothering him about the victims of Hurricane Katrina, he'll "rain down hell" upon him.
I'm willing to concede that I might just miss the point of these cartoons.
Then again, maybe the cartoonist doesn't have a point.
Friday, February 24, 2006
McFat At Eight
I guess it's better to hand your test in late than not at all.
1) From any television show past or present, which character would you wish to have as a sidekick in real life? Valid answers include but are not limited to talking vehicles, intelligent animals, ghosts, sassy maids and more.
After a lot of thought, I've decided that I'd like to have Nicole Ritchie as my sidekick. She was great (I assume) as Paris Hilton's sidekick on "Supermodel Reality Show Thing" (I don't remember what it was called), and I think she'd be a great real-life sidekick. She could do things like:
- Call me "girlfriend."
- Carry my dogs around for me. Of course, I have a Brittany (example) and a Basset Hound (example), so they'd not be as easy to tote around as a couple of rat crackhead dogs are. (Chihuahuas, I think they're called?) Nicole would have to beef up a bit. It would do her good. At this point, I'm certain that the Brittany weighs more than Nicole. Until Nicole is physically able to actually carry the dogs I'd allow her to pull them behind us in a red wagon.
- Talk on her cellphone with people I don't like while we shop for $700 bras.
- When I'm suffering the embarrassment of having one of my long-forgotten, coked-out sex tapes turn up on the internet, Nicole could create a distraction for me by overdosing or falling over from hunger. That would keep the press off my back.
So, as you can see, Nicole would be the ultimate sidekick. Watch for us in a high-priced lingerie store near you. I'll be the fat white guy. Nicole will be the drugged skeleton pulling the dogs in the wagon.
2) "Guns n' Roses" might be releasing a new album this year: If you could hear a new CD from a band that's no longer together, possibly with deceased members, what band would that be?
I suppose the band would be Toad the Wet Sprocket. As far as the deceased members are concerned, I guess we could kill the guitar player. I've never thought he was that good. He'd probably object, but hey… that's the price you pay for being a rock star.
3) What's the worst thing a person could ask you on a job interview, and how would you respond?
A number of questions come to mind:
"Will you please lower your voice?"
"Will you please put your pants back on?"
"Where did you get that gun?"
"Will you kindly watch your language?"
"Do you have a lawyer or would you like to have one appointed for you?"
4) What do you consider your greatest weakness, and greatest strength?
I suppose my greatest weakness is my uncontrollable tendency to mock and degrade everything. That's also my greatest strength.
5) Who is your favorite game show host and why? If you don't watch game shows, you can skip this question or choose some random individual you’d enjoy as a host.
I don't really have a favorite game show host, so I did a Google image search and found this odd picture. Therefore, by default, my favorite game show hosts are these two intense, odd looking gentlemen in the picture.
Poor, Poor Pitiful Me
Don't read any of this. Really.
You were warned.
I'm just going to bitch and moan about the past week, none of it will be worth reading, none of it will be particularly funny, and your gut reaction to all of this will be "Come'on, man, could you feel a little more sorry for yourself?"
You'll be right to feel that way.
Having said all of that, on with the gripe session.
I'd LOVE to be able to gripe about some of the things that are going on at work right now, but I'm terrified of getting dooced… so I won't complain about my employer. In fact, I really don't have a reason to complain about my employer. The company I work for is wonderful. It's the greatest paper company in the world. I almost feel like I should pay them for the privilege of working there. Nope, there's nothing at all to gripe about when it comes to my job.
I have a friend, though… his name is…uh, Darrin. He works at another paper company, and he recently sent me an e-mail about the company that he works for. That is, the company where I am not employed, and therefore it's safe for me to post some of what he says about his company, since it has absolutely nothing to do with my company. Got that? Good.
So, anyway, this is some of what Darius had to say about the company that he works for, which, I remind you, has nothing whatsoever to do with the company that I work for:
My department supervisor is an idiot. No, I take that back. I shouldn't say that. It's unfair to idiots for me to say that. My department supervisor is sub-idiot. He makes idiots look like philosophy majors. This is a guy who would need a compass and a flashlight to locate his own ass. This is a guy who would find a way to wreck a picnic in Heaven on Christmas Day.
When you go to this guy with a concern, a complaint, or important information about the department, what he tends to do is launch into a prolonged bureaucratic lecture about how seriously he takes the concerns of his employees… how important it is to him that the experience and input of the department not be taken for granted… and how, by Gosh, he is going to get on the situation right away and put things right. Then he wanders off, apparently to sit in a men's room stall and play with a Rubik's Cube or something. The next time we see him, when we voice the same damn concern, again, it's as though we're trying to communicate with someone from another universe who's never seen members of our species before.
I have to tell you, when I read what Daniel wrote above, the first thought that comes to my mind is "Wow, that certainly isn't indicative of my employer, my department supervisor, or anyone I know… and any resemblance it might bare to any real person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
Above all, it certainly bares no resemblance to my own department supervisor, who is clearly the smartest, most capable, best looking, most charming, and sweetest smelling individual who's ever set foot on this planet.
I'm sorry, I have to take a break from typing now. I've just vomited on myself. I'll be right back.
Alright, I'm back. Where was I?
I wrote back to Dandelion and asked him if there's anything else he'd like to complain about with regard to his company. His response:
Of COURSE there is. We're absolutely stuffed to the gills with morons. Complete and total dolts. The level of idiocy, from the highest level supervision right down to the lowliest part-timer, is stunning. Here's an example: Recently, our company safety coordinator circulated a memo reminding people to be careful and pay attention to detail because it's the small stuff that gets neglected that can lead to accidents that get people killed. His memo said he was taking the opportunity to remind us about important minute details because of the recent tenth anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Maybe if Captain Safety had been paying the slightest bit of attention to detail himself, he'd have realized that it was the twentieth anniversary of the Challenger disaster, not the tenth anniversary. The irony is just beautiful: "Pay attention to details! Don't neglect the small stuff! I'm a mouth-breathing simpleton who has trouble typing with my head jammed this far up my own tailpipe!"
Then there's the union I'm a member of. If you look up "chump" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of me forking over my union dues every month… forking it over to an organization made up of people so dense they'd need help from the local's lawyers to spell union, much less run a union. I swear, I can't think of a single use of my monthly union-dues money that wouldn't be an improvement over the way I'm wasting it now. If I blew that money on Pixie Stix and snap bracelets, it would be a better use of every cent of it.
So, as you can see, Dracula has a lot of complaints about his workplace. I, on the other hand, have other things to bitch about:
Tuesday afternoon, for no apparent reason whatsoever, a filling fell out of one of my teeth. I was at work, doing my job (and thanking my lucky stars that I work for such a competent, intelligent, and studly department supervisor)… and, all of a sudden, I notice that there's a piece of metal in my mouth. A bit of investigation with my tongue uncovers a large, jagged hole where there should be a nondescript tooth. And that's when the pain starts. Pain that slowly, incrementally begins to throb in my mouth and spread to my face. In a short period of time, the pain is shooting up behind my left eye. At this point I dashed off to the men's room to check my reflection in the mirror, as I was sure I'd find jagged chunks of glass shooting out of the top of my head.
Long story short, I had to leave work and make an emergency trip to the dentist, who gave me a temporary filling. In two weeks I'll either have the tooth recapped or have a root canal. I've been told that root canals aren't as bad as they once were. There was a time when getting a root canal was the physiological equivalent of having an angry, drunken Irishman shove a hot poker into your mouth for two hours while making degrading remarks about your mother. I've been told, however, that the root canal process is better now. Now it's as thought the Irishman isn't drunk at all.
So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
Oh, and get this: This is the absolute highlight of my week: At some point Wednesday evening, somebody stole my wallet. Not only that, but he then took my Visa POS card to Wal-mart and bought FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS worth of stuff at 1:00 in the morning. Of course, I didn't realize that I'd been robbed until the next day, AFTER the bastard had his shopping spree.
Thankfully, the bank's insurance will cover the money. I'll be credited for the $1,500 … on the condition that I do everything I can to help the police catch this slimeball. Of course, I'm doing just that. I've spent the day on the phone with the police and the bank, and I really hope to be able to report that the thief has been caught soon. I really can't write any more about it right now, though, because I've been asked not to say too much about it while it's being investigated.
So there's my list of complaints for the week. I promise to get back to my usual irresponsible mockery and social deprivation as soon as possible. I just had to get all of this out of my system.
I had to get some of it out of Darren's system, too.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I've been waiting to weigh in on this; I've wanted to make sure that I understand the situation as well as my feeble mind allows...
A political firestorm escalated Tuesday over plans by a British company to sell its operations at six U.S. seaports to a Dubai government-owned business, despite assertions from security experts that the deal will not alter U.S. security standards at the ports involved...
President Bush said Tuesday he would veto any bill to stop the deal...
(Florida Congressman, Republican Mark) Foley said he's worried because the United Arab Emirates has been named as a transfer point for nuclear components shipped to Iran, North Korea and Libya. It also was one of only three countries that recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government, and it is discussing plans for free trade with Iran...
My biggest complaint with the Bush administration so far has been that they're too soft on illegals. I've thought that they were willing to compromise on issues regarding illegal imigration because they saw the potential for political gain by doing so. I've felt that, in that way, their attitude is strikingly innapropriate for a post-9/11 world.
I think that the Bush administration's attitude on the Port Authority deal is also terribly innapropriate. I just don't think it's worth compromising even the perception of security. There are too many concerns, both real and imagined, for this deal to make sense. I'm sure that there are economic reasons why it does make sense, but in this day and age, the threat of terrorism is the trump card.
I'm also discouraged by the President's attitude about those of us who aren't willing to make the compromise.
This isn't the kind of leadership I expected when I cast my vote for Dubya in November, 2004.
Don't get me wrong; I'm still convinced that John Kerry would have been a far worse choice... but I never expected this from Bush.
Meanwhile, I'm disgusted by the liberal/Democrat response to the matter. Suddenly, Democrats and liberals are worried about the threat of terrorism. The've tried for years now to paint the Bush administration as a regeme that governs by building up a false sense of fear. Now, however, the liberals are making more noise about the threat of terrorism than they've ever made. How completely transparent. The liberals will say whatever they feel like they need to say to try to bring Dubya down.
The irony is that this time the liberals are right. How ironic; the liberals are right because they're taking the conservative stance on this issue. And, Dubya is wrong because, in this instance, he's behaving the way the liberals accuse him of always behaving.
Beyond that, the uproar could be a major chink in the Republican party's armor with regard to the 2008 Presidential election. The Democrats will spin this deal for all it's worth, and I just don't see how the Republicans stand to gain from it in any way.
Ultimately, I think this does qualify as a betrayal by the Bush administration.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Can You Sit Through That Slow Acoustic Guitar Theme Music One More Time?
Hat tip to my non-blogging buddy Otis for forwarding this along:
If you're not sick of the Brokeback parodies yet, check this one out. I think it's the funniest one I've seen.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
A Failure To Communicate
Actually, this post will detail TWO failures to communicate.
One happened at work the other night. The other happened today when I misread a sign on a newspaper machine.
The story about the miscommunication at work involves some mildly vulgar language, so
Here's what happened:
A guy I worked with walked up to another employee and myself while we were taking a break. I'll refer to the guy who approached us as "Co-Employee #1" and I'll refer to the guy I was taking a break with as "Co-Employee #2." I'll refer to me as "Me." Co-Employee #1 had a big smile on his face, and it was apparent that he was coming to share some good news with us while we were on break.
Anyway, Co-Employee #1 walked up to us and said something. Here is what I thought he said:
Co-Employee #1: I'm going to go beat off when I'm done at work this evening.
As you might imagine, I was a little shocked and puzzled by this remark. Off-color remarks and humor certainly aren't foreign in the industrial environment where I work... but saying something like this with an expression of jubilation on his face certainly made Co-Employee #1 seem a bit odd. I wasn't sure what to say in response. Here's the brief conversation that followed:
Me: Uh..... OK?
Co-Employee #1: I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to it.
Co-Employee #1: My wife usually takes pictures. I'll bring some with me when I come back to work if you guys want to see them.
Me: Dude, I don't know is this is a joke or what, but I think it's kinda sick.
Co-Employee #1: Oh. Alright.
With that, Co-Employee #1 gave me a puzzled look, as though I'd been rude and behaved strangely, and walked off.
I then had the following exchange with Co-Employee # 2:
Co-Employee #2: What were you so upset about?
Me: I wasn't upset, I just thought what he said was kinda weird.
Co-Employee #2: Why? It sounds to me like he and his wife are going to have a real nice time. I almost wish I could join them.
Me: Uh.... what? What the hell are we talking about, here?
Co-Employee #2: He said that he was going to the beach after he's done at work this evening.
Me: Oh. I think I'll go get a cup of coffee.
I never tracked the other guy down and explained everything to him. I had no idea how to start.
Here's the other miscommunication that took place this weekend:
Our church had a pancake breakfast today (and I've had "St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast" in my head all day, as a result)... but because of my work schedule, we didn't have time to attend. So after mass, while the kids were in Sunday School, Wendy and I just dashed down to a local coffee shop to get a cup of coffee.
It was nice outside, so we stepped outside to the tables and chairs at the front of the coffee shop.
There was a newspaper machine in that area, with a sign on it... an advertisement for the local newspaper's classified ads. I'll try to duplicate the sign here, right down to the size of the letters, the color of the fonts, etc:
Frustrated With Your Job?
Check our classifieds!
From where I was sitting, a corner of the table was just slightly "cutting through" the ad and blocking the bottom part of the g and the h in the expletive "Argh!"
Because of the way that small parts of those letters were hidden, from my perspective, the sign appeared to say:
Frustrated With Your Job?
Check our classifieds!
So there I sat, drinking my coffee and thinking "What the $%%#??"
I had a good laugh once I walked around the table and saw what it actually said.
Those are my stories, I'm sticking to them.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
A Desperate Plea For Help
Alright, I need input about the template.
There are two reasons I've changed the template. One is because the old template took FOOOOREVERRRR to load. Another is that the right-side column didn't look right in Internet Explorer. That column was either overlapped by the middle column, or else didn't show up at all.
It always bugged me to no end that the blog took so long to load. I finally decided that I couldn't live with it anymore.
The main complaints I'm hearing about the new template are that the fonts are too large and that the header isn't centered.
If you don't mind, please leave me a comment with quick answers to the following questions:
- Is the new template OK with you, or is it hard to read?
- Do the fonts, colors, etc, look OK?
- Is the header centered? It looks OK on Firefox on our PC, but it might look awful elsewhere.
- If you don't like the new template, what are you main complaints?
Again, the main thing as far as I'm concerned is that the blog now loads quickly, which makes it all worthwhile to me. But, if the majority of the people who are kind enough to look at this blog from time to time just flat-out hate the new template, I'll go back to the old one.
Thanks in advance for your input.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Link Roundup, 02/16/06
A Twuck? A Wedding?
I started my day the way I often do, watching Fox News. Lauren Green came on to do a news update, and I got the impression that she might be... well, drunk. She was doing a story about a police chase and twice referred to the vehicle being chased as a "twuck." In fact, she also seems to refer to the "dwiver," and says that the "twuck" was going the "wong way."
No word on the possibility that the guy who stole the truck was "wascally."
Then, at the end of her bit, she went back to the weatherman for details on the "wedding," as she said at first. You can click the pic for about 45 seconds of video.
Lauren was really having a rough morning. Maybe she was channeling Barbara Walters.
Reason 45,792 To Love Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is actually willing to publicly snub the Hollywood left a little bit by admitting that she doesn't agree with the political message of Stephen Spielberg's relativist flick Munich:
Portman tells US magazine Entertainment Weekly: "(I don't) agree with half of what's in Munich, but political film-making is about putting something out there that people aren't going to like."
Batman Vs. Osama
The good news: Batman is going after Osama bin Ladin. The better news... it's a Frank Miller story:
Miller, who has already inked his way through 120 pages of the 200-page opus, told a recent comic book convention that the novel was an unashamed "piece of propaganda" in which Batman "kicks al-Qaeda's ass".
The driving force behind the work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now".
Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Gay Cowboys
The great Willie Nelson's sense of humor is still in tact:
"Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist. But it was written long before this year's Oscar-nominated "Brokeback Mountain" made gay cowboys a hot topic.
Available exclusively through iTunes, the song features choppy Tex-Mex style guitar runs and Nelson's deadpan delivery of lines like, "What did you think all them saddles and boots was about?" and "Inside every cowboy there's a lady who'd love to slip out."
How About Some More Offensive Cartoons?
Good stuff from Cracked Magazine. (I have to admit that I didn't know Cracked was still around. I always kinda thought of Cracked as a poor-man's Mad. Nonetheless, the cartoons they've come up with are actually very funny. Hat tip to Hud for this stuff. On a more serious (way more serious) note, the protests about the cartoons in Muslim countries are getting worse and worse. Yesterday, an eight year old boy was killed when a protestor randomly fired a gun and the bullet struck him in the face. Chill out, people. They're cartoons. Get over it. By the way, liberals... remind me again why Christians are the really dangerous, nutty ones and Muslims are the poor, oppressed victims of Western culture?? I seem to have forgotten the details on that particular bit of PC BS.
Who Said That? Could It Be..... SATAN??!?
Good idea: Putting a quote from the Bible as the message on your church sign. Bad idea: Quoting Satan. The Burr in the Burgh has this one:
The sign in front of the United Church of Christ congregation in Limerick, PA read: "If only thou wilt worship me, then all will be thine" (Luke 4:7).
Sounds pious, eh? Until you notice that the person who speaks those words in the Gospel is SATAN.
Oops. Better change that sign.
Thomas Sowell And The Media
Thomas Sowell, as he often does, has succinctly and eloquently put the Cheney hunting accident story in a nutshell:
The accidental shooting of Harry Whittington, while he was on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney, has nothing to do with government policy or the Vice President's official duties but the mainstream media have gone ballistic over it nevertheless.
They are also angry that the news was not given to them more quickly, which prevented it from becoming the feeding frenzy of the Sunday television talk shows. Whether this delay was deliberate or otherwise, it is being called a "cover-up" in the media, as if there were some crime to cover up...
The media love to wrap themselves in the mantle of "the public's right to know" but there is no such dedication to that right when it goes against the journalists' own prejudices...
The "public's right to know" apparently extends only to such things as will not cause the public to reach conclusions different from those of the liberal media...
Read the whole thing. It's outstanding. Which is no surprise; it's Sowell. Hat tip to Cube for that story.
By the way, the Gun Toting Liberal has some interesting observations (as usual) about the Cheney story. Not saying I necessarily agree or disagree with what he's saying... I'm just saying it's interesting.
And check out this great bumper sticker:
I'm playing around with the template today. It's time for a change. Excuse the mess. I hope to have a decent looking final product in a little while.
Monday, February 13, 2006
The robbery happened at the drive-thru window. Deputies said the two men brandished a handgun and demanded cash before running away on foot.
That kicked off a widespread manhunt for the two suspects. Deputies in a helicopter and on foot searched for the men. Even the sheriff's K-9 unit was unable to track much of a scent.
Deputies released very little in the way of a description of the suspects and are hoping someone saw something that could help bring them in.
Meanwhile, the authorities have determined that the robbery was an inside job:
Vice President Dick Cheney today accidentally peppered a 78-year-old hunting buddy with shotgun pellets during a quail hunt in Texas, injuring attorney Harry Whittington.
Filled with remorse over the incident, the vice president immediately repealed the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees “the right to bear arms.”
“I’m truly sorry that I winged Harry when he blocked my shot at the quail,” said Mr. Cheney. “I now realize that gun violence is not just an inner-city poor problem, but rather an epidemic that can spill out of the ghetto and affect wealthy and powerful, elderly Americans.”
Cox and Forkum have a great take on it, too.
Hat tip to the Wet Noodle
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Here's how the picture meme works: Post the picture you like best from the first or second page in the Google Image search. Search for the following search terms, you are not allowed to use quotation marks. I had to bend the rules a bit because my last name is so odd, but here's what I came up with:
The town where you grew up:
The town where you live now:
Your grandmother's name:
Your favorite food:
Your favorite drink:
Your favorite smell:
Your favorite song:
If you're interested, the search terms I used are posted as a comment.
Hat tip to the wife for this meme.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Three Quarters Southern Anarchist
OK, so Jerry and the Blogger Who's Name We Do Not Speak Aloud both did this political test thing, and I did it, too. And here I sit, scratching my head, trying to figure out exactly what to make of it...
| You scored as Republican. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>|
What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com
I think this test is highly skewed and far too simplistic, of course.
The only three labels I am really comfortable assigning to myself are "Christian" (specifically, Roman Catholic), "Conservative," and "Capitalist."
It doesn't really surprise me that the test would indicate that my beliefs line up closely with the Republicans. Still, I am not a member of that political party, nor any other political party. There are a number of things that separate me from the majority of card-carrying members of the Republican party. The big one is my opposition to the death penalty. Another is that I'm sympathetic to those who believe in marijuana legalization.
Anarchism? Huh? How do I score so highly as an anarchist? One of the questions on that test has to be far-too-highly weighted toward anarchism. It must have something to do with my inherent mistrust of government, although I believe that I'm more of a libertarian than an anarchist. The closest I would say I've ever been to anarchism is that there are a number of old-school punk bands that I like (Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Flag). Other than that, I think I'm basically a law-and-order kind of guy.
The funny thing about that, though, is that part of my job involves assigning an alpha-numeric character on our products to distinguish them for shipping purposes. When I assign the letter A, as often as not I put a circle around it to turn it into a punk anarchy symbol. I do it as a gag. I think.
I can't see me ever wandering into the Democratic party. There are just far too many things I disagree with them about. The easiest way to sum it all up is to say that I believe that most Democrats... most liberals, in fact... are closed-minded moral relativists.
Socialism? Believe it or not, I'm more sympathetic to out-and-out socialism than I am to modern liberals and democrats. For the most part (although not entirely), it's my belief that the hearts of socialists are in the right place. They believe in many of the same things I believe in... equality, justice, providing for the poor, etc. The problem is that socialism as a political structure simply doesn't work, and it's failed every time it's been tried. Still, I think that a bit of socialism is a good influence on the human heart. It probably promotes compassion... so even though it's unrealistic, I guess I see it as political poetry.
The Green Party is full of nuts. Harmless, silly, ineffectual nuts, I'll grant you that... but nuts all the same.
As far as Fascism and Communism, I'm curious about which of my ideas can be aligned in any possible way with those two brutal philosophies.
And, lastly, the test says I'm zero percent Nazi. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
I don't take these things very seriously, of course... and although I take these tests as a goof from time to time, I rarely put any thought into them. In fact, I've thought more about the results of this one than any other.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
News Links, 02-09-06
French forensics at it's finest:
French police who spent two years trying to identify a woman who was murdered by a blow to the head were relieved to discover the reason their efforts were failing: the woman died half a millennium ago.
OK, this one is a bit hard on the stomach...
A Pakistani Shiite Muslim beats himself with a knife to mourn the death of Islamic leader Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006 in Karachi, Pakistan.
Now I know this might seem alien, violent, and upsetting to Westerners... but just think. At least this guy isn't one of those Christians! I mean, those backward, closed-minded Christians believe that gays shouldn't marry and that women shouldn't be allowed to get abortions. But, then again... Shiites believe that gay's shouldn't be allowed to continue breathing and that women shouldn't be allowed to read. Hmmmm... maybe I better check with some of the really good liberal relativists so I can figure out a better way to say "Muslim good, Christian bad."
Medical science continues to astound:
Isabelle Dinoire, who received the world's first partial face transplant, addresses a news conference at Amiens hospital in northern France, February 6, 2006.
It is nice to have a story to feel good about now and then.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Ooops. I Did It Again.
I haven't had a car payment for two years. I paid off my phat, pimped-out '98 Geo Metro (that's right, ladies... I know you feelin' me) in '04. Yeah, it was the envy of the road... almost as cool as this Metro right here. Getting it paid off, actually owning it... well, it was a nice feeling. I was glad to make one less payment every month from then until today.
Today, I bit the bullet and bought the car that our family has needed for some time now.
This isn't a picture of the one I bought... I found this pic on the internet, and it is absolutely indistinguishable from the one we actually bought. It's a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country.
It's really a nice van for the money. It's got a lot of the bells and whistles that make a van fun to drive, and I was able to get a really good deal on it.
I'm trying not to think about the four year loan I got on it. I HATE being in debt... but buying a house or a car without taking out a loan isn't practical unless you're Bill Gates. Just ask Jerry about that. He's experiencing the whole house-buying thing now, and I have felt his pain.
So, anyway, I'm now officially a fat old white guy with a minivan full of kids.
Dr. Tran: Hero
Before you click this, I want to warn you that it's really, really, really, really, REALLY offensive. Language-wise. It's full of really harsh, awful, offensive language. In fact, the language is so harsh and so offensive that I highly recommend that you don't click it at all. It's that bad. It contains many very, very, very naughty words that shouldn't be heard by children or adults or animals. Besides that, it's really, really silly. It's just stupid. Silly and stupid and shameful and extremely offensive.
It also made me laugh until I thought I was going to pee myself. Keep in mind, though, that I am an extremely weird person with a weird, juvenile sense of humor. There is really something wrong with me. I just ain't right.
Really, you're better off not clicking it. If you do, that's your problem.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
McFat O' Seven
McFat Seven: MCF puts us to the test yet again:
1) On Friday, I wrote about The Physics of Superheroes, and cited the example of Schrödinger's cat. What do you think of that theoretical example? Does lack of an observer allow for the simultaneous existence of contrary realities? In other words, if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it both make a sound and not make a sound?
Um. I like it when Spider-Man jumps way up high. That's cool. Did you know that he can do anything a spider can?
2) What is your favorite color? Why?
Dude, I haven't thought about that since third grade. I suppose my favorite color is transparent. It's very versatile.
3) Choose an actor or actress whose work you enjoy. What is the first project you recall him or her starring in? Next, check IMDB. What was their first starring role, and have you seen it?
Oh, dear Lord. Do you have any idea how long I could ramble about this kind of stuff? I could practically have a whole seperate blog dedicated to this kind of thing.
4) Who is your favorite corporate mascot? Who is your least favorite?
I had some trouble with this one. I really thought about it. I guess that I'm a bit annoyed by Buddy Lee, the mascot for Lee Jeans. The commercials that feature Buddy Lee strike me as affected and stupid. It's like they're trying to be cool, but they just seem pointless.
I don't really have a favorite mascot. I went to Google Image Search (I couldn't blog without it) and looked around for "corporate mascot" or "company mascot" matches, and found a few that are, I suppose, worth mentioning.
This little dog is apparently the mascot for Daytona Parts Company. I get the impression that the poor dog feels imposed upon by the job. There he is, standing beside a group of carburetors (I think that's what they are) and he seems to be saying "What the hell am I supposed to do with these? I don't know anything about car parts. I'm a friggin' dog."
This drop of blood is the mascot for the American Red Cross, and if I understand the page correctly, he's also the mascot for the Canadian Red Cross. I can't say for sure about Canada, but I know that the Red Cross uses this mascot in America. He's a little smiling drop of blood. How cute. How lovable. How freaky and macabre. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks so, I dunno... but I think that a drop of blood smiling at me and reaching out as though to embrace me is just creepy. We have a fridge magnet with this guy on it, and every time I go to get a soda or milk for my cereal, this is the face that I see staring back at me. It's almost enough to kill my appetite. Almost.
I don't know what the deal is, here. The website where I found this image didn't really make it clear what I was looking at, or who's mascot he's supposed to be. I'm betting that it has something to do with potatoes. I'm not at all sure, though. I'm not even sure that he's supposed to be a potato. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw him was that he was some sort of mutant cyclops turd. Then I noticed that it isn't really one big eye staring back at me, it's actually the face of the guy who's wearing the costume. The really wonderful thing about that is that the guy in the costume isn't spared any shame at all. No anonymity for him. I don't know what this costume is really for, but I'd suggest that it has several uses for creative criminal sentencing.
This is another image that came up when I was searching for corporate mascots and company mascot costumes. Just like the one above, the website didn't really give me any information about the "mascot," what company he represents, what his name is, etc. I'm left with the unavoidable conclusion that this is some kind of fluke... that this guy really is not a corporate mascot, and that his image came up spuriously. I think that is a real shame, because if there's any image that's just crying out to become a corporate mascot, it's this guy. Look at that face! Who could resist buying anything that he's selling? I think that his day in the sun has come. It's time for some company to retire one of the many old, tired, overexposed corporate mascots out there and give this guy a job. I can imagine a number of products that he'd do a great job of marketing. Here's an example:
5) How would you deal with being a superhero? Would you maintain a secret identity, lying to even those closest to you to protect them, or would you operate publicly as a full-time hero?
I'd have to do it full time with no secrecy. The whole "secret identity" thing wouldn't work for me. I'm no good at keeping secrets and going stealth. I'd be hero-guy all the time.
Link Roundup, 02/07/06
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Agony... The Ecstasy... The Tedium... Oh, The Endless Tedium...
Super Bowl Extra Large is history. And, it was such an exceptional ..... yaaaaawn... viewing experience. Here's a quick wrap-up, in case you missed it... or missed some of it... or just weren't able to stay awake as it drug on and on and on and on...
Aretha has lost it. It pains me greatly to say that, but it's just a fact. Aretha doesn't sound like Aretha anymore. This former vocal goddess who could (in her prime) sing the phone book and make people weep, is (alas) way past her prime. It was painful to listen to her singing half the National Anthem, a job she shared with Aaron Neville. Neville, by the way, sounded even worse. The game began with Aretha's weak, sluggish, sloppy performance... and the tone she set was never changed.
Here's Hans Blix (I think that's what they said his name was), the guy named Most Valuable Player of the game by the NFL. He did score one big touchdown with what I had to admit was a beautiful catch, and nobody can take that away from him. Korean Americans are proud this morning as one of their own does well. That's fine with me. America is all about opportunity, and it still brings a bit of a tear to my eye to see immigrants and their descendents living the dream. I just wish he'd been able to find WMDs in Iraq.
Two of the biggest names in popular music proved that they're more than just pop stars. Rapper 50 Cent and Metallica's guitarist Kirk Hammett helped their team push on to victory last night. I guess they did, anyway. They didn't seem to have shown up for the first half, and by the second half I was too distracted by the officiating to really pay any attention to the players. However, I'm told that Kirk Hammett's fans are very happy this morning, so I'm happy for them. And 50 Cent's fans are, I'm sure, happy that he has brought his eloquence to the NFL.
Here's Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards, experiencing a "flesh malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime show. After Janet Jackson controversial display during halftime a couple of years ago, the NFL seems hell-bent on playing it safe. Last year they drug the corpse of Paul McCartney on stage for a rollicking rendition of some of his best known hits from the 1930's. This year it was the granddaddy's granddaddy of rock bands, the Rolling Stones. The whole time they were on stage I kept expecting Bruce Campbell as Ash from the Evil Dead movies to show up and chase those British zombies out of the stadium. Mick Jagger has always been creepy, but watching him pout and preen now that he's in his late '90's is just beyond the pale. He looks like a Wes Craven creation. Is there anyone left who still enjoys these old farts? If so, why?
Here's the play of the game, "Big Ben" Roethlisberger's drive for six points, completed with an assist from referee Bill Leavy. I'll give credit where it's due, almost all of the Pittsburgh fans I know have had the good sense and good taste to admit that, no, this was NOT a completed touchdown. Roethlisberger fell several inches behind the goal line. His arms were down, clearly on green turf. Then, after he was clearly down, he slid his arm (and the ball) into the white, across the goal line, for the... ahem, touchdown. If that's what you want to call it. It'll be disputed for years. Nonetheless, watch the play during one of the many chances you'll have this week. Watch "Big Ben's" facial expression. He knows what he's doing. He knows he's guilty. Guilt was written all over his face. I've only seen guilt written that obviously on a football player's face once before in my life.
And here's the real Most Valuable Player of the game, Referee Bill Leavy, who scored the first touchdown of the game (for Pittsburgh) and set the tone for the Steeler's victory. I'm surprised he was able to stop waving his terrible towel long enough to come out on the field and announce his decision.
And, with that, another Super Bowl is in the books. Both teams were as sluggish and sloppy as Aretha was at the game's beginning. One of them had to win, however, and during the second half, Pittsburgh stepped up and cashed in on the momentum that Leavy guaranteed them. Whoopie.
The irony is that I went into the game pulling for Pittsburgh, and once it became obvious that the officials were pulling for them, too, my allegiance changed. I just didn't care to see a team win that way. Like I said before, it speaks well for the Pittsburgh fans I know that they're as unhappy about the lopsidedness as I was.
All of which reminds me why I only force myself to sit through one NFL game each year.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Play Stands As Called??
I never "live-blog," and I really don't care much about pro-football... but...
I'm watching the Super Bowl right now. It's halftime. I went into this game rooting for Pittsburgh because I know several Pittsburgh fans and I'm chummy with a number of Pittsburgh bloggers, so it seemed like Pittsburgh was a good "default" home team for me to pull for.
Having said that, at this point, I'm pulling hard for Seattle. Seattle is being RAPED by the officials. It just isn't pretty.
First of all, Roethlisberger DID NOT score. Period. If you saw the play, you know I'm right. He was a good six inches back into the green. He slid the ball into the white, but only AFTER it was down. What total highway robbery.
Also, although I can't remember the player's name, Seattle was robbed of what looked to me like a perfectly good complete pass in the first quarter. The receiver caught the ball and made two or three backward steps before he went down. Looked fine to me. The officials called it incomplete. I just don't get it.
Oh, well. I guess they don't call them the "stealers" for nothing. (ha ha)
Update: Three minutes and something to go. The game is all but over. I can't deny that Pittsburgh played well in the second half, although there were still a number of calls against Seattle which I disputed.
The play of the game for me was that big return on an interception by Seattle. Wow! I thought they were back in the game. It just wasn't to be, I guess.
So with the game wrapping up... Pittsburgh is just watching the clock at this point... I guess it's safe to say congratulations to the 'burgh and all my blogging pals from that area. Your boys played well in the second half and earned the win.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
...And I'm PROUD To BE an AMERICAN...
|You Passed the US Citizenship Test|
Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Quick Link Round-Up
No time to post pics today.
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