Sunday, December 28, 2008

QFLC #2

In honor of the forgotten words of dead mostly dead (looking) people everywhere, today we continue our weekly casual examination of:

Quotes

From

Last

Century
...

Century...

Century...


(That's an echo.)

When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage. More disastrous, however, was the Federal Reserve's attempt to assist Great Britain who had been losing gold to us because the Bank of England refused to allow interest rates to rise when market forces dictated (it was politically unpalatable). The reasoning of the authorities involved was as follows: if the Federal Reserve pumped excessive paper reserves into American banks, interest rates in the United States would fall to a level comparable with those in Great Britain; this would act to stop Britain's gold loss and avoid the political embarrassment of having to raise interest rates.

The "Fed" succeeded: it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, in the process. The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market-triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralizing of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed.


--from the essay "Gold and Economic Freedom" by Alan Greenspan, 1966 (wherein he argues FOR the gold standard)

NOTE: This was 20 years prior to him being named Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. 30 years prior to the excess credit which his Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market-triggering a fantastic speculative boom. And nearly 35 years prior to the same thing happening in the real estate market. Cast in this light, his "Oops, I failed to detect a flaw in the model that defines how the world works" excuse somewhat breaks down.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Is More And Ho Ho Ho

That's my neighbor's house across the street. I know it's a bad picture, but I'm a bad photographer and people started asking questions after the fifteenth take so I kinda rushed it. Plus, this is only about half of it, and it was hard to get all the lights in the shot because they're synchronized to the music that plays till freaking midnight and some were mid-blink.

This sort of thing used to piss me off. The vacuum-esque shrill of 37 inflatables. The unending chirp of looped MIDI Christmas carols. The obnoxious cram-it-all-in attitude devoid of style or forethought. The—OK, possibly it still pisses me off, but I was trying to make a point here... What was it?... Hell if I know.

Anyway, Merry C—

Oh yeah, I remember. This used to piss me off so much that one day a few years back I'd finally had enough (and probably like seven Coronas), so I walked across the street to have a little chat with my idiot neighbors. I didn't know what I was going to say. I only knew it wasn't going to be pleasant. I ring the doorbell and my neighbor answers and I open my mouth to launch the first volley of sarcasm bombs, but then I stop because I realize for the first time that my neighbor—the guy I see everyday walking up and down his driveway, the asshole who never waives back no matter how many times I waive, who doesn't even acknowledge me—turns out he's blind. He had that spooky white glaze over his eyes which I had seen on elderly people before but this guy was only in his early fifties max. And if that wasn't bad enough his wife comes walking up behind him and turns out she's got the white glaze over one eye and the other one's normal. So now I'm feeling like a lowlife and of course I don't tell them the real reason I came over. I lie and say I just wanted to wish them a Merry Christmas and blah blah blah and we get to chit chatting about this and that and eventually the subject of their Christmas decorations comes up. They ask me what I think and I start to say something polite because they're actually nice people but before I say anything the wife jumps in and tells me they've been putting up these decorations the last three years for their granddaughter who's nine.

Four years ago the two of them were in a really bad car accident. They nearly died. Lost most of their vision, etc. The driver of the car—their son and father of their granddaughter—he didn't make it. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. And it happened on Christmas Eve. So this little girl woke up Christmas morning four years ago at five years old thinking she was going to open presents from Santa but instead finds out Daddy's not coming home anymore. (At this point I'm feeling like a total loser by the way.) Long story short, the granddaughter and daughter-in-law spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my neighbors now and since it's such a traumatic time for all of them but especially the little girl they use all the lights and music and inflatable characters as a way to make it somewhat norm— All right, that's total bullshit. They're not blind and they don't have a granddaughter. They're just obnoxious consumer-trons with a $700 power bill. I don't know where I was going with that.

But I do love them because they give me something to bitch about, and that's the best present of all. Plus they still haven't figured out who keeps egging Frosty in the nads.

Anyway Merry/Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Yule/New Year's/Etc.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Great Summation

By one of the good guys.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Signs Of The Apocalypse #2

I don’t know what’s more amazing: that it took me so long to find Sign #2, or the fact I actually remembered I’d started this series. For those of you who’ve failed to keep your Signs of the Apocalypse Tracking Chart up-to-date, Sign #1, brought to your attention way back in June, was Pringles In A Bag. Today’s sign, I’m afraid, is much more ominous.

Last evening the plan was simple. After work I was to meet my wife and kids at the m— the m—m—m… the m—m—mahh… mmmaaahhhh… the mall [shudder] so the kids could talk to a stranger who was pretending to be the real live version of a myth, aka Santa. I had to work a little late, but that was no problem says my wife on the phone because the sign said Santa was “feeding his reindeer” until six o’clock. Probably more like “spanking his bald-headed little helper” or “snorting his speedball” I say, but this is exactly the kind of thing she doesn’t want to hear so I apologize by letting her hang up on me.

Anyway, I battle the traffic and the parking lot and I’m finally walking through Macy’s or Penny’s or whatever the fuck place hasn’t gone out of business yet when what to my wondering eyes should appear? A goddamn dog. Yes, a dog. In the middle of the store. It was attached to a leash, which was in turn attached to some dude who was neither a cop nor a blind guy. The two of them were being led through the perfume department by a twenty-something woman who was clearly in charge. Less than five minutes had passed since I parked the truck and already I’m irritated because 1) I’m in the friggin mall and 2) there’s a schmuck walking his retriever through it. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people pushing the boundaries of accepted social norms, but I draw the line when pushing the boundaries increases my chances of stepping in poo.

So I decide to follow the schmuck and his dog and their high-heeled leader to see what they’re up to, because I feel it’s my responsibility to keep tabs on the clinically stupid who bring unmuzzled animals into commercial retail space. But I didn’t get very far because as soon as I walked out of Macy’s and into the mall I was distracted by a small yappy dog barking in front of the Hello Kitty Store. At this point I stopped short, and had this been a scene in a movie, the camera would’ve panned around me 360, two or three times, background a blur, as I slowly realized the whole fucking place was filled with dogs!

I glance down at my hands to make sure they’re still hands and not paws, just in case I’ve slipped through some weird dog dimension portal and turned into a dog too, or maybe I’ve crashed on the interstate and this is really all a dream I’m having while my comatose body is laid up in ICU. But it’s cool. I’ve still got hands. So I use them to do the only thing left to do. I call my wife.

“Honey, there’s a bunch of fucking dogs waiting in line to see Santa.”

“Yes, I know.”

“No, no. I said dogs. Big ears and paws and shit.”

“Yeah, we’re in line too.”

“What?!”

“To your left.”

I turn and there is my wife and our three children patiently waiting in line for Santa. Behind a poodle.

I hate waiting in annoying lines. Traffic, theme parks, checking out at Wal-Mart because they won’t open a third register. I won’t do it. Santa I will wait in line for. BUT I also have strict criteria regarding who I will wait in line with. It’s a simple test: In the event of a catastrophic collapse of civilization, would I willingly kill anything in this line and eat it for sustenance? If the answer is yes, I don’t wait in line with it. Obviously dogs fall into this category, as do obnoxious tourists from Scarsdale, but that’s another subject entirely.

“The hell’s going on?” I say.

“It’s pet night,” says my wife.

“Pet? Night?! You gotta be shitting me. The end is nigh.”

I look at the kids. Our nine year-old son—who I know has figured the whole Santa thing out but refuses to tell us, and my wife refuses to let me question him on the subject—is laughing at the dogs smelling each other’s butts. Our two year-old daughter is sitting quietly in the stroller. But our seven year-old daughter, who is the middle child and therefore has the shortest fuse of the bunch, has her arms spread wide and her face contorted in Exaggerated Disbelief.

What are they thinking?!” she says. “Do they think dogs can tell Santa what they want for Christmas?!”

“They probably do, sweetie.”

Why?!

And here I had a moment of clarity: It’s one thing to lie to your kids about a jolly fat man because of tradition and magical childhood memories and whatnot, but it’s never acceptable to lie to them in order to politely excuse the behavior of idiots. “Some people are idiots,” I say. “They’re easily swayed by peer pressure and mass market media and have convinced themselves they need a twenty dollar picture of their pet defecating on Santa."

My wife gives me one of her Looks Of Death, because I’m using my Unnecessarily Loud Voice. My daughter, who wasn’t even listening to me, points to the poodle in front of us and says, “What in the world does that dog want for Christmas?!”

Now we’re feeding off each other, my daughter and I, so I say, “From the looks of it, a parvo vaccina—.”

My wife elbows me in the ribs because she thinks that’s where the switch is.

“This is an hour line at least,” I say. “With dogs. Santa isn’t even back yet. He’s still waxing his—” Elbow to the stomach.

A quick survey says the two oldest are cool with coming back another time. “You tell her,” says my wife nodding toward our two year-old. “She’s been so excited all day. She’s done nothing but talk about Santa.”

No problem. Little one is scared to death of big noisy dogs. I lean down to begin my appeal and I see the reason she’s been so quiet. Her hands are clenched into fists, her eyes wide and fixed on the golden retriever behind us. As if on cue it lunges at the poodle in front of us and the barking begins. Two year-old grabs onto me and I lift her out of the stroller. "We're outta here," I say. "You fucking people are insane."

My wife doesn't elbow me. Instead she rams the stroller into dog owner ankles and offers sarcastic apologies to them as they scramble to control their pets.

This ridiculousness will end tragically one day when a kid gets his or her ear bitten off. It won't be my kid though.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Silly Romans

Found this via Holly Lisle.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Songs Of The Season

O Christmas Tree


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Those Germans screwed you over
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Murdered from Spain to Dover
If you had legs you’d run and hide
But since you don’t it’s timbercide
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Disguise yourself with clover.







O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
It pains me so to do this
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
The kids want you this Christmas
You’ll give us hope as best you can
Then we’ll give you to the garbage man
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Your roots I hope you won’t miss.








O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
I hate to be a killjoy
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Our angel's not your sex toy
She’s shining bright; she’s standing fast
Your highest branch is up her ass
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We thought you were a good boy.









O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
I hoped to stem disaster
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
My anger's rising faster
We gave you lights and bells for free
Then you dripped sap on my new Wii
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You ungrateful bastard.








O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
We should have picked another
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You, I'm about to smother
You wilted fast and turned real brown
But did you have to burn our house down?
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Next year we’ll kill your mother.



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meming My Life Away, Looking For A Better Way…

Pete used his "Get Past Impenetrable Meme Shield Free" card and tagged me with this meme. Fortunately for me, that was the only card in circulation.

7 Random or Weird Book Facts Meme

1. I was never good with libraries, especially when I was in school. I'd go to research a paper on French Impressionism and wind up reading a John McDonald novel instead. Or, I'd actually make it to the Monet section, but then I'd start to wander and three hours later I had skimmed through five books on 18th century piracy. Eventually I'd get the paper done and turn it in late, but it would be riddled with irrelevant facts like: swashbucklers didn't buckle their swashes, they swashed their bucklers.

2. Another problem I had with libraries was they let you take books home for free, but then if you didn't bring them back by a certain date—a date that was allegedly "stamped right there in plain view, man"—they charged you money. I eventually figured out you could reduce the amount of overdue fees by keeping the book for several months, at which time they would wipe your overdue fees clean and charge you for a new book instead, which was considerably cheaper. Then you could clandestinely return the book in the overnight drop box, lay low for about six months while continuing to default on your payment, and by that time they'd have switched to some new tracking system and would've lost all record of your debt. Then you could start over from scratch. Kind of like foreign aid.

3. One of my favorite books growing up was The Wind In The Willows. Starting in the fifth grade I read it every Spring Break for like four years in a row.

4. I used to hold the irrational belief that I had to finish reading every book I started, especially the ones that clearly sucked, like somehow it was good for me or it'd make me a better person. Not anymore. I have no problem abandoning a piece of crap. And I don't set it aside in hopes that someone else might find something of value inside its pages either. I throw that fucker right in the trash and spit on it. Life's too short, man.

5. Another ridiculous thing I used to do was read paperbacks without ever creasing the spine. I don't even know why I did that. It's not like it was enjoyable. You had to hold it up to the light just right because there was only about 30 degrees to work with.

6. For the last year or so my 7 year-old daughter has been writing a series of stories featuring a character named Baby Bunny. They run about 2 to 3 pages (30 – 40 words), are fully illustrated complete with cover, and she does the whole thing in PowerPoint. She prints off about 10 copies, then sells them back to all our family members at $2 a pop, which more than covers the printing costs. Except it's not her ink.

7. Back in the day, while running with the quote unquote wrong crowd, my friends and I used to shoplift Tom Clancy paperbacks. It's not something I'm proud of, but I did learn a lot. For example, it's extremely difficult to walk nonchalantly with a 900 page piece of over written garbage down your pants. But it did inspire one of our all-time favorite catchphrases: "Is that The Sum Of All Fears in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" We eventually moved on to Grisham because he didn't chafe as bad.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate. Happy Thursday to those who don't.

If you're traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, just remember: Those aren't pillows!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disturbing Artwork For The Sports Fan

Here's an interesting drawing of a hockey stick.

See the entire exhibit at the St. Louis Fed Gallery of Fine Art.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lazy Linky Week Continues

This is really interesting. Especially as it appears to have been written around 2002ish.

Also, the other phony maverick.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kneel Kash And Kari Is A Chump




Darrell Issa ripped into him too.


Friday, November 14, 2008

This Pretty Much

says it all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

QFLC #1

In honor of the forgotten words of dead people everywhere, today we begin yet another numbered series that may or may not appear on a regular basis:

Quotes

From

Last

Century
...

Century...

Century...


(That's an echo.)



To cause high prices, all the Federal Reserve Board will do will be to lower the rediscount rate, producing an expansion of credit and a rising stock market; then when business men are adjusted to these conditions, it can check prosperity in mid career by arbitrarily raising the rate of interest.

It can cause the pendulum of a rising and falling market to swing gently back and forth by slight changes in the discount rate, or cause violent fluctuations by a greater rate variation and in either case it will possess inside information as to financial conditions and advance knowledge of the coming change, either up or down. This is the strangest, most dangerous advantage ever placed in the hands of a special privilege class by any Government that ever existed.

The system is private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people's money. They know in advance when to create panics to their advantage. They also know when to stop panic. Inflation and deflation work equally well for them when they control finance.


--from Banking and Currency and The Money Trust by Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. (Not the airplane guy. His father.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Just Participated In The Most Important Election In The History Of The Universe And All I Got Was This Stupid Sticker

Last week I made fun of all the robotrons who voted early, and I promised to take a stopwatch with me to the polling place today to see if standing in line for two hours at the library would’ve been an efficient use of my time. I figured any yahoo could press a button twice and write down some numbers, so this yahoo also took copious notes. It’s kinda long, but in the spirit of quasi-journalism I thought it best to present the unabridged version.

11:31:03 AM - Pulled into Church of the Holy Bloody Cross Our Savior/polling place parking lot. Briefly contemplated why no one makes a big stink about separation of church and state on Election Day. Preliminary conclusion: Most people don’t really give a shit because the threat of theocracy lives only in the minds of the eternally paranoid.

11:31:14 AM – Almost ran over some dude.

11:31:16 AM – Thought he wanted to charge me for parking but turned out he was only waving a sign with the name of his favorite politician on it.

11:31:42 AM – Parked. Locked truck. Walked halfway across parking lot. Stopped.

11:31:43 AM – Patted pockets. Said, “Son of a…” Retraced steps upon realizing I forgot my wallet.

11:32:27 AM – Retrieved wallet.

11:32:52 AM – Walked over to dude with sign. Said, “Hey man, I was gonna vote for that other guy, but I really like the way you wave that sign around. You convinced me.”

11:32:59 AM - Dude thumped his chest twice, flashed peace sign.

11:34:16 AM – Walked into polling place. Greeted by geriatric poll worker propped up against exterior door.

11:34:19 AM – Nicknamed him Crotchety Carl.

11:34:28 AM – Entered polling place proper/narthex. Looked for long lines to stand in.

11:34:37 AM – Spotted sign-in table helmed by poll worker with nametag that read: Mary.

11:34:46 AM – Poll Worker Mary asked for my ID.

11:34:51 AM – Thought about saying, “Pretty sure this isn’t the fake one.” Decided against it.

11:35:58 AM – Made way to polling booth/rickety plastic rectangle with legs.

11:36:07 AM – Voted straight party line. (I’m a card carrying member of the Throw All The Incumbent Motherfuckers Out On Their Asses Party (TATIMOOTA Party).)

11:38:34 AM – Navigated oceans of lawyer-speak to vote on state constitutional amendments.

11:40:54 AM – Handed ballot to Poll Worker Mary. She handed me “I Voted” sticker.

11:41:02 AM – Poll Worker Mary slyly glanced at my vote for president, appeared to resent giving me sticker.

11:41:41 AM – Exited polling cathedral. Accosted by young woman with clipboard who smiled at me like she was being paid less than minimum wage to do so. She asked who I voted for.

11:41:57 AM – Responded, “Nunya.”

11:41:59 AM – She briefly consulted her clipboard. Said, “Nunya who?”

11:42:03 AM – Replied, “Nunya Business. Go get a real job.”

11:42:07 AM – She cocked her head, appeared affronted. Said, “This IS a real job.”

11:42:15 AM – Chastised the myopia of our fast food gratification-on-demand culture in general and suggested that exit polling was a symptomatic correlation of—

11:42:22 AM – She walked away.

11:42:28 AM – Shrugged. Walked halfway across parking lot. Stopped.

11:43:16 AM – Patted pockets. Said, “Son of a…” Retraced steps upon realizing I left wallet in polling booth.

11:43:47 AM – Received quizzical look from Crotchety Carl. He said, “Hey, didn’t you vote already?”

11:43:51 AM – Said, “Once is never enough, my man.”

11:43:53 AM – Carl said, “Right on, brother.”

11:44:12 AM – Reentered polling tabernacle. Poll Worker Mary appeared smugly triumphant, made smarmy suggestion about holding onto my wallet.

11:44:13 AM – Oh, the irony.

11:44:15 AM – Returned Poll Worker Mary’s passive-aggressive animosity with shit-eating grin. Opened wallet. Counted money. Twice.

11:45:08 AM – Received scowl from Poll Worker Mary.

11:45:10 AM – Inquired about obtaining some extra “I Voted” stickers for the kids.

11:45:18 AM – Poll Worker Mary said, “Get lost, dipshit.”

11:45:23 AM – Proceeded to get lost.

11:45:51 AM – Exited polling temple again. High-fived Crotchety Carl on the way out. Said, “Carl, my man. I’ll be back around three for some more democracy.”

11:45:58 AM – Carl said, "God bless you, sir. And God bless America."

Total elapsed time: 14 minutes 55 seconds.

Conclusion: Told you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Meemer Meemer

6 Random Things About Me Meme. Tagging courtesy of Robin. If you wanna be tagged consider yourself tagged, but I'm now officially protected by an impenetrable meme shield.

1. When I was four or five years-old someone gave me an LP of the soundtrack of The Country Bear Jamboree, that thing at the Magic Kingdom with the singing robot bears. It was the entire show from beginning to end and I listened to it over and over and over until I had the whole damned thing memorized, accents and all. It's not something I'm proud of.

2. I often begin my daily commute by lobbing foulmouthed epithets at the squirrels who pissed on my windshield overnight. Sometimes I imagine they're sitting up on a branch laughing at me like Beavis and Butthead going, "Heh heh. Heh heh. We, like, did it in the wee hours. Heh heh. Yeah. That was pretty cool. Heh heh."

3. For about three years while I was in college, I had a bumper sticker that read: Ask Me About Microwaving Cats For Fun And Profit.* While stopped at red lights during that period I received approximately two dozen respondent inquiries (of which only one I would say was legitimate), 47 middle fingers, 5 death threats, and one fatherly advice-like moment from a retired Sheriff's Deputy who told me he'd seen people get their heads blown off for less. A friend took a magic marker to the "C" and made it an "O" so it read "Ask Me About Microwaving Oats" because she claimed she was worried for my safety, or maybe it was because she was embarrassed to ride with me, or I was an idiot. I don't remember her reason. It washed off in the next thunderstorm.

4. Also in college, one of my roommates and I were walking home from a party late at night when we found an area in front of the campus bookstore under construction and kind of roped off with yellow plastic tape. We procured some chalk from an art major we knew after waking her up by throwing pebbles up at her window. Then we drew the outlines of two dead bodies on the concrete in the taped off area. Turned out the next day was some kind of open house for prospective students and all these high school seniors and their parents had to walk right past the crime scene, which apparently upset a few of them, or so the school paper wanted us to believe with their disapproving caption and front page photo. The crime was never solved.

5. I once filleted about a half inch of my index finger trying to slice a two day-old bagel. None of the skin was completely detached and it healed OK, but now I've got a sizeable L-shaped scar. Fortunately, it's on my left index finger so now if I ever get confused I just look at my knuckle.

6. I remember sitting in my sandbox at a very young age, spotting my dad's Igloo cooler—the cylindrical yellow one with the red top—and thinking: Biggest. Castle. EVER! I dragged the hose over to the sandbox and got the mixture going and filled about a third of the cooler up with wet sand before construction was halted by a major ass whipping.


* I actually have no idea how to do it! Never even tried.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Voting Poll Results

Ha! Ha! No. It’s not what you think. Though probably just as important.

Early voting in Florida started on October 21st. Twelve hours a day at all public libraries, at least in Orange County where I live. During my daily meanderings, I drive by at least two, sometimes three, libraries several times per day, and from 10AM on the lines are out the door and around the corner. And I keep thinking to myself: Why?

I know some people will be out of town on Election Day and they don’t trust/never heard of absentee ballots. I understand that some people will not be able to get off work to vote. But I can’t imagine that’s the case for most of the ding dongs standing in line. So yesterday afternoon I stopped at one of the libraries and conducted an impromptu poll of all the people waiting outside. OK, I didn’t actually stop, per se… But I did roll down the window and shout, “Hey! Why are all you dumbasses waiting in line?” And I guess technically I was speeding off too quickly to hear all of the responses, but I did get enough of an earful to finally understand this phenomenon. Here are the results:


37% - Think they’re saving time by waiting in long lines now instead of waiting in no lines on Election Day.

26% - Just can’t wait to shoot their electoral wad.

24% - Unable to vote in Orange County on Election Day because they’ll be voting in multiple other counties and traffic’s a bitch.

19% - Saw a line and didn’t want to miss anything.

17% - Thought they were in line for Splash Mountain.

16.5% - Wanted to make sure their vote for Pat Buchanan counted this time.

14% - Think standing in line is patriotic.

12.5% - Have a dimpled chad fetish. (I didn’t have the heart to break the news to them.)

11% - Unable to get off work.

6% - Couldn’t wait another week for their “I Voted” sticker.

2.2% - Will be out of town on Election Day.

0.5% - Just trying to return overdue books.

0.3% - Didn’t have any overdue books until this silly early voting started. Now they owe twelve bucks. Friggin democracy.


Yes, I realize it adds up to 186%, but this is presidential politics we’re talking about and there’s a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to numbers and facts.

But hey, maybe I’m way off. Maybe I’m the dumbass. Maybe I’ll be the one standing in line for three hours on Election Day due to a magical curing of voter apathy and record turnout. But seeing as Orange County has 262 polling places on Election Day and only 9 libraries, I kinda doubt it. I’ll take a stopwatch with me and let you know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rick Santelli Is Pissed

Taking a page from Scott's blog, here's a video of Rick Santelli making the anchor bots uncomfortable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spot The Bullshit, Episode 1

It’s time once again for everybody’s favorite game show:

SPOT!

THE!

BULLSHIT!

[CUE THEME SONG]

One of these things is not like the others
One of these things is a truth misfit
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I call bullshit!


Three of the items below are factually accurate. The other is total bullshit. Can you guess which one? Links to the real stories in the comments.


1. Kung Pao Whitetale. A Chinese restaurant in New York was shut down recently by the Health Department after a health inspector caught employees butchering a deer in the kitchen. There was no indication deer meat was served to any of the customers. However, neither the health inspector nor customers ordered the Bang Bang Lu.

2. The Manchurian PC. US intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense are concerned about the very real threat of compromised computer chips manufactured in China that could contain virtually undetectable Trojan horse circuitry. It’s possible that kill-switches and backdoors--which could be activated remotely--are built into hardware components inside just about any device from home PCs to mission critical military systems.

3. Hey! Hey! Hey! Florida state election officials recently uncovered several apparently fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by ACORN, attempting to register the likes of Woody Woodpecker, Quickdraw McGraw, and Fat Albert. When questioned about the alleged fraudulent registrations, an ACORN spokesperson indicated racism played a major role, claiming, “If Fat Albert was white this would be a non-issue.”

4. Turn-Offs: Global Economic Crises, Hairy Guys, and Pink Slips. If you need more proof that the global financial crisis is sinking all boats, it is being reported that Hugh Hefner may be laying (ha) off some of his Bunnies due to the credit crunch. A Playboy spokeswoman would not confirm the firings, and it’s possible the entire issue is part of some smoke and mirrors hocus pocus involving magician Criss Angel.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Covering His Posterior For Posterity

It leaves me in a state of shocked disbelief that he's in a state of shocked disbelief.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meme A Little Meme Of Me

The wonderfully wascally Whirlio has tagged me with a meme. On the one hand, the act itself makes him a bastard. On the other hand, it's the easiest and most painless meme I've ever seen and therefore carries a significant negative bastardity value, giving him a net score well into the good guy range.

Here it is. Lines 2-5 from page 59 of what I'm currently reading. Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

He was angry that while the government of New York was claiming poverty, the governor was earning a salary that was far greater than the combined salaries of the governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. He implied that rather than being used to defray the costs of government, the taxes were being embezzled by government officials.


Myself, I already score so high on the bastard scale that even the net bastardity reduction of this meme will do me no good, so I'm not tagging anyone.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Silly? Stupid? Or The End Of The World?

I haven't done a news round up in a while and that freakazoid Gizmo is frightening people, so I figured why not?

1. This article is pretty useless, but I always enjoy when AP writers pepper their accounts of financial turmoil with references to The Princess Bride. Yes, I know. "Pit of despair" in the headline could be a fluke. But his second sentence begins, "It almost seems inconceivable…" Clearly not a coincidence. Don't waste your time looking for more though. It's just the two. I like to think the original draft was full of references to the markets being only MOSTLY dead, etc., but they were later slashed by a humorless editor.

By the way, the ban on short selling was lifted yesterday. Had it been lifted sooner, or I dunno, NEVER INSTITUTED AT ALL!, the major indexes would likely be higher because those few brief bounces could've easily turned into short squeezes like they normally do in markets free of micromanagement. But hey, I'm sure those upstanding people at the SEC know what they're doing. Or if not, then surely the bastards heroes at the Treasury. Or maybe the Fed. Right?

UPDATE: You may or may not have noticed the markets opened down today, waaaay down, possibly much of it caused by a rush of short sellers. But as of now (10:20AM) the markets have recovered somewhat (the NASDAQ is positive), probably caused by a rush of short sellers locking in their profits which they can only do by BUYING. There's no guarantee the markets will stay up. They'll probably go right back down. But now people have MADE SOME FRIGGIN MONEY! which they can use to buy stuff. Or lose on the next trade, I guess. But at least they've got a choice.

2. Here's the headline: 12-Foot Burmese Python Found Near Jupiter

Space faring snakes? Amazing! No, not really. Jupiter's a town. But while we're on the subject, here's a related story about the wonderful unintended benefits of living near jerkoffs who are too cool for cats and dogs.

3. As a guy, I hesitate to laugh at this one. But take a look at her mug shot, then read the caption below it. She seems very proud. Or possibly she's still drunk. Either way, it's damned funny. In a way that makes me involuntarily cross my legs.

4. 9-Foot Dolphin Leaps Into Boat And Knocks Woman Unconscious!

Where, oh where do I go with this one? So many possibilities. Let's start with my favorite line from the article:

The chance of a dolphin jumping into a boat is 1 in 3,000,000, Local 6 reported.

Local 6 did not report, however, where they got that number so I have to assume they made it up. But that's irrelevant because the mere act of laying down odds implies randomness. You wouldn't say the chance of an intelligent thinking human being jumping onto the hood of your moving car is 1 in 3,000,000, would you? Of course not.

The best part about this (aside from no one being seriously injured) was watching the local TV news anchors trying to come to grips with this story. You could see the gears grinding in their heads.

Well that's a... a... strange... story.

Yes, Bob, definitely... strange...

Hey, aren't dolphins supposed to be smar--

And here's Dan Ebersol with sports.


The flip side of course is that it wasn't random, but an intentional, calculated move by a super intelligent being. Oddly, I haven't seen that explanation being proffered.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Help Me Help You, Or, Show Me The Money

Dear Suddenly Impassioned Political Neophyte Blowhard Who Keeps Interrupting My Lunch With Breathless Tirades Of Lunacy,

I appreciate your recent concern for our country and the state of the world in general. However, after much consideration, I've concluded your daily bouts of crap mongering are not unintentionally funny attempts at saving my political soul, so much as they are desperate pleas for validating yours. While I must regretfully decline participation in such endeavors, by no means am I requesting you discontinue your idiotic rants, as they are extremely entertaining. Especially when you and that other guy, the one who supports the other candidate, engage in a lunchtime huffy puffy spittle-slinging battle royal. Like, you’ll misquote something Keith Olbermann told you to say, and then he’ll retaliate with an inaccurate compilation of what Bill O'Reilly told him to say. Oh, ho ho! Good times.

Unfortunately, despite your protestations to the contrary, you and your counterpart are not making a difference. You’re making a sum. Huge sums. For the FoxNewses, for the MSNBCs, and for all the other political ESPNs out there that grow richer and more powerful by telling you which team to root for, and by filling your head with bullshit. You get enough of that already from your respective candidates.

I’m truly going to miss the quasi-intellectual lunchtime debates once the election’s over. However, I sleep well knowing that, should the other candidate win, you will immediately declare him the Antichrist. You will spend the next four years ignoring the few things he gets right, and instead focus on, embellish, or completely fabricate the colossal fuckups that are sure to dominate his administration. Conversely, should YOUR candidate win, you will spend the next four years making highly suspect arguments for why the country should excuse, forget, or forgive his equally colossal—possibly monumental—fuckups, which he will have perpetrated on the American public solely because he is, some will say, the Antichrist.

The good news is your political nemesis from Accounting is going to do exactly the same thing! This means unending lunchtime entertainment for me! For the next four years! Or at least until you lose interest, so… maybe January. But I’m sure you’ll be ready for the 2012 election. And with that three and a half year rest, you’ll be even more amped about the same hot button issues you don’t fully understand. The same irresolvable issues upon which the President has no constitutional authority to act. In fact, the only real change four years from now will be your hair style and the capabilities of your cell phone.

In the meantime:

The Federal government will continue to grow;

Members of Congress will continue to fail in their duties, while continuing to convince their constituents that term limits are a bad idea, all the while chuckling to themselves because as long as they bring home the pork and refrain from making unseemly foot gestures in airport bathrooms, they’ll be reelected;

The Federal Reserve will continue to fiddle with a house-of-cards monetary system while discreetly wondering if sneezing is a valid option;

And human beings will continue to fight wars, because that’s what human beings do.

All of this will continue because real change—no matter the ideological flavor—is never as politically or financially lucrative as the appearance of change.

And I’m sorry to say that the ills of this country are not George Bush’s fault. They’re not Bill Clinton’s fault, and they won’t be John McCain’s or Barack Obama’s fault. They’re your fault, for being continually fooled by deceptive language. And they’re my fault, for not giving a shit anymore. They should probably put that on our tombstone: They were fooled by deceptive language, but they didn't give a shit.

But hey, don’t let my cynicism spoil your fun. Go ahead. Don your blue “Obama’s #1” foam hand, or your red McCain version, swill your beverage of choice, and shout your hackneyed insults from the cheap seats. The Super Bowl of politics is underway, complete with expensive-much-hyped-yet-meaningless commercials. I hope, for all our sake, that your guy doesn’t experience a full-scale wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show. But if he did, would you tell him he has no clothes?

All the best,

Your Mildly Amused Co-worker

P.S. If you use my stapler again without asking, I’m gonna kick your ass.


Okay, my original plan was to just let that post fly and see what happened. It was meant to break the ice and possibly make you angry, though it pretty accurately conveys my current thinking. I know a lot of people avoid talking politics on their blogs for the sake of not offending anyone, but I think that's a mistake. All these smart people around, surely we can learn something from each other.

I've been down the rabid partisan political junkie path, and as odd as it sounds, that's actually much easier than calling bullshit on everything and everyone. I would like nothing more than to concede the wrong-headedness of my thinking, but every time I try, I run up against the immovable wall of insidious, deceptive bullshit language. From the politicians, from the talking heads, from news articles, from candidates' websites, from uninformed co-workers… and I get pissed off all over again. So please, convince me there’s more to it than that. Doesn’t matter if you have no stake in American politics. Bullshit affects us all®. Help me help you help me.

If you're interested, here's what we'll do. I won't insult or personally attack you in the comments, but if the need to lash out overcomes you, feel free to direct your venom at me. I only ask that you be creative in your name calling, otherwise what's the point? However, you cannot take pot shots at other participants expressing their political views. I have no way to enforce that, and I won't delete anyone's comments, but the confrontational neener-neenering—while great for TV ratings—is boring and trite, and if you try it we’ll all know you’re a lame unthinking stupidhead and you probably still suck your thumb and wet your bed crib. Neener neener.

If you're not interested, that's cool too. I won't take you off my Christmas card list or anything. Unless you don't celebrate Christmas. Or you're offended by the mere mention of the word Christmas. Or you—okay, I don't have a Christmas card list. It was just an expression.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oops, Forgot To Post This Yesterday

If you're reading this, odds are you already know about Agents and Editors Week over at Book Roast, so what are you doing here? If you're not reading this then you--

OK, wrote myself into another logical corner.

Just go.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time To Grab My Mail Sack

Not only have I failed to post much over the past month and a half, but I’ve also neglected to answer any reader mail, and as a result, my mail sack has swollen to an ungainly size. Hopefully, this will lessen the load:

Hi Blogless!

I’m having trouble figuring out when you’re being honest and when you’re full of crap!!! What ever happened to the Truth-O-Meter? Will it be back anytime soon?

Thanks!!!!!

Debbie from North, SC


Debbie,

I appreciate your enthusiastic, if somewhat self-serving, concern for TOM. Actually, I recently had a sit down with him, and for the time being at least, TOM’s taking an administrative leave of absence. To spend more time with his family. Don’t even think it’s because he ran out of clever semi-relevant ways to say “True” or “False” (his words).

By the way, I Googled “North, SC” because, frankly, I thought you made it up. I was a little troubled to learn it actually exists, and what’s worse, it’s located smack dab in the middle of the state. No wonder you’re confused. So, to alleviate your confusion while TOM’s away, here’s a helpful rule of thumb:

Every lie contains 85% truth.

Therefore, I’m lying 15% of the time. Of course, as you’ve no doubt guessed, that last statement was a lie, and right now you’re busy calculating 85% of 15%. I’ll save you the trouble. It’s 12.75%. A reduction in the amount of lying of 2.25%! So you see? The more I lie, the closer I get to the truth. I hope this helps. Maybe you should move to Arkansas.

Hey BT,

I clipped this headline from the Drudge Report and sent it to you in case you missed it.



Given your propensity for tearing dolphins a new one, and your equally unhealthy attitude toward sports related mass hysteria, I’m surprised you haven’t devoured this story with the ferocity of a rabid pit bull in a kitten nursery. What gives?

Surprised? You’re surprised? How about proud? Do you know how much restraint I’ve exercised over the last three days? Look, to be perfectly honest, the last time I ragged on the dolphins I received a handful of thinly-veiled death threats from exactly the type of lunatics you don’t want to piss off. We’re talking major chemical imbalances here. And now you want me to do it again? And make fun of Michael Phelps at the same time? Surely you jest. Besides, what am I going to say about him? The guy’s kicked so much ass his feet are permanently stained brown. And if he wins the last two gold medals, and at least breaks the world record in his remaining individual event, then I have no problem calling him The Human Dolphin. Though maybe we could shorten it to “THD” because that sounds less dorky.

But I’m warning you. Don’t think for a second those wiley dolphins will take it all in stride… er, stroke… whatever. They can’t deny he’s won all those races, so instead they’ll probably try to discount his slew of world records. I look for them to implicate the Chinese in some kind of construction scandal, claiming the ChiComs built the Water Cube pool an eighth of a meter too short, or something like that. Sure, it’d be a tough sell, but hey, they’re dolphins. And wouldn’t you love to see the Human Dolphin go head to head with smarter-than-human real dolphins in the court of popular appeal? Confronted with that choice, people would spontaneously explode.

That reminds me. I watched the entire Women’s All-Around Gymnastics Event last night just to see if Bob Costas would refer to sixteen-year old Shawn Johnson as “the adorable Johnson.” He did. Twice! It was like, something, something "is about to embrace the adorable Johnson." So-and-so "must now try to beat the adorable Johnson." My inner Beavis couldn’t stop laughing.

dear dolphin hating jackass

I,m goig 2 kill u! I;m exactly the type of persen u DON”T, ie DO NOT want 2 piss off. what gives u the rite 2 talk about things u no nothing about, spefically dolphins aka marine mammels of any kind? watch yor back. u;ve been warnd!

Anonimuss

ps if u think im telling u my real name u r crazy! it,ll surprise when I sneak up on u!!!!!


Dear Anonimuss,

Regrettably, I’m not a legal scholar, so I’ve taken the liberty of forwarding your inquiry to the experts at the FBI. Hopefully, with their resources, they will be able to assist you in your quest for the origin of “rites.” Don’t forget to vote in November.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

When The Troll's Away, The World... Is Still Insane. So It Doesn't Rhyme. Screw You.

It’s been so long since I've posted, I forgot how to come up with a topic. So I wrote some random phrases on strips of paper, put them in a hat, and picked a few. Here they are in no particular order.

Citius, Altius, Fortius Concussio: Is it just me, or do you sense the dark cloud of impending doom over Beijing? Not that I give a shit about the Olympics. The ChiComs could censor the entire thing, from flame-on to flame-out, and I probably wouldn’t even notice. I mean, if you’ve seen one doped up athlete you’ve seen them all. And I don’t think I could stomach another athlete-triumphs-over-personal-obstacles story. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit on Bob Costas. Are any of you planning on watching the Olympics? And if so, why? What’s the appeal? Seriously. I’m not being sarcastic. I honestly don’t get it.

Wish I Knew How To Quit You, Joker: Saw The Dark Knight. Hope these guys saw it too.










And took notes.

What I Really Need Is One Of Those Crazy Ass News Stories So Fantastically Loony That No One Would Ever Believe It If I Didn’t Provide A Link: Cool.

Gone Baby Gone: Don’t know if or how closely you’ve been following Caylee Anthony: Without A Trace (cue theme music). Unfortunately for Caylee, Greta Van Susteren is on the case, which means she’ll likely never be found. Say what you want about Greta, but she knows an eight month ratings booster when she sees one. Just ask the Holloways. What I really like about Greta is the way she goes from talking about the fate of a missing little girl to Brangelina baby pics to Brett Favre shenanigans and back again without ever changing the expression on her face, as if all three were equally significant. They don’t teach that in TV school; it takes natural broadcast talent. Or excessive cosmetic surgery, I’m not sure which.

Greta’s been in North Korea for a week or so, but she was back last night discussing—with Mark Fuhrman no less—the forensic fine points of whether fingerprints, hair, urine and defecation stains found in the trunk of a car were more or less suspicious than finding them in the back seat. And as I hypnotically listened to them tease out the salient threads of their hypothetical analysis, I couldn’t help thinking: O.J., you sonofabitch! If you hadn’t butchered your wife, I could be watching two totally different schmucks exploitatively furthering their careers under the guise of investigative journalism!

Wouldn’t it be great if all the Caylee Anthonys of the world, all the Natalee Holloways, all the other kids who go missing every year and are never found—the ones who aren’t cute enough or blonde enough to sustain a 24/7 media circus—wouldn’t it be great if Greta Van Susteren had them all? You know, just… stashed away somewhere, like at her secret underground mansion in Colorado, or “North Korea,” and she used them to periodically bolster her ratings? And wouldn’t it be great if they were all living somewhat normal secret underground lives, making somewhat normal secret underground friends, and playing somewhat normal secret underground games? And like, Mark Fuhrman would stop by from time to time and bring presents and they’d all run up to him and give him great big hugsies and call him Uncle Mark and he’d pat them on the head in a totally non-sexual paternal manner and dispense wisdom and life lessons to them via humorous parables and they’d all say, “Thank you, Uncle Mark!” Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it?!

The media’s been using kid gloves on the mother because some of them feel stupid for having cast Elizabeth Smart’s parents in a dubious light. But hey, innocent until proven guilty, right? Or until the cops offer you immunity in return for the slightest bit of cooperation in the search for your two-year old daughter. Who knows? Maybe this IS a bizarre and convoluted kidnapping case worthy of an episode of Without A Trace. Maybe the mother WANTS to talk but she CAN’T because the mysterious kidnappers have threatened to harm Caylee if she does. Maybe her lack of cooperation is all a ruse designed to bamboozle the kidnappers, and she’s secretly working with authorities behind the scenes to arrange a clandestine meeting/ambush, in which Caylee is returned unharmed, the bad guys arrested, and everyone happily ever after fades to black, roll credits. Wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it?

I SAID, Hold The Mayo: All right, just so we don’t end on a depressing note, here’s some of that whacky Florida-ness everyone likes. I actually kind of sympathize with this guy. Many a time have I restrained myself from leaping over the sneeze guard and pummeling the sandwich artist because he didn’t understand the phrase, “No fucking olives!”

UPDATE: It must be an airborne virus.

UPDATEST: The good people at Yahoo have some of the Subway 911 call available here.

Monday, June 30, 2008

My Abbreviated Presence

Got back from some R&R, during which I administered a little CPR to my WIP that’s been DOA since Jan/Feb. Add some increased BS at work, and the available blogging tick-tocks have dwindled to nil. QED. So I’m going OTG for the time being.

I’ll probably throw up the occasional post, but it’ll be at a Wonderwood-like frequency. (That guy’s always right, BTW.) So don’t think of me as AWOL or MIA. It’s more like I’m LOLing in the dark.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whoa! He's On Vacation And He STILL Found Time To Plug This New Blog? That's Dedication.

Check it out. A brand spanking new book roasting/review blog by the same people who brought you... some other blogs... and stuff.

And hey, there's prizes! So go! Go now!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Signs Of The Apocalypse #1

I see a lot of these. Crystal clear markers that the end is nigh. They're everywhere. I figured I'd start cataloging them, so at least I could say I told you so…


Today's sign: Upscale Pringles in a bag!


©2008 P&G



What the hell is going on here? Either you’re sophisticated, or you eat Pringles. Not both. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “All right, Blogless. Clearly Pringles has jumped the shark, but signaling the end of all life as we know it? C’mon.” Well, you can bury your head in the sand if you want to, but my eyes are wide open. You know what happens when you put Pringles in a bag? They break. And any Pringles eater worth their maltodextrin will tell you, the only reason to buy Pringles in the first place is to make the patented Pringles duck face:







And that’s impossible to do with chip shards.

The Pringles people have seen the writing on the wall. They know unusual behavior is the norm when the sand is almost through the hourglass, much like how animals go wacko right before an earthquake. So they’re cashing in while they can. Do you really think their intent is to be taken seriously when one of their other products, the Sour Cream and Onion Pringle, is responsible for producing some of the worst smelling gas in the history of mankind? I think not.

The end is nigh.



Monday, June 2, 2008

My Town… Is It Monday Already?

Once again I've overestimated the number of hours in a day. If I was a comic book villian, I'd be called Imprompt-O; I'd just cackle maniacally and make people late for stuff. My costume would be yesterday's clothes and a Flavor Flav clock necklace with The Riddler's question mark on it.



Anyway, we'll try My Town Monday again next Monday when I've got some time. In the meantime, feel free to share your villianous alter ego.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stoo Pid Bits


I’ll admit, I was a little surprised by this. But I don’t know if it’s NC-17 like Henry & June, or NC-17 like Orgazmo.



blog readability test

Guess it’s Orgazmo.



The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Apparently, “fuck” is a now a cuss word.

And here's some local news. Seems a young black bear has been hanging out at the Hard Rock Hotel. Please take the time to watch the video. The on scene reporter does a bang up job of pandering to the stupid by showing a picture of the “type of bear” they’re looking for, I guess so people won't confuse it with other kinds of bears roaming the area. And kudos to Lt. Jeff Hudson of Florida Fish and Wildlife for explaining the situation by quoting Bugs Bunny. Opposite of kudos to him for botching the line. It’s: “should have taken that left toin at Albuquerque.” But now I’m curious. Do all wildlife officials quote cartoon animals? Is it like a game for them? To see who can slip in the most references while keeping a straight face? If it’s not, it should be.

I’ll be on the road again next week and away from the computer, which totally screws me for June trivia, but I’m gonna start doing My Town Monday, Travis Erwin's invention, and I hope to have the first one up this Monday. Tuesday at the latest.

UPDATE:

Figures.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Lolita Effect

If you’re reading this, you already know that today Ello is hosting a Q&A with Dr. Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It. So what the hell are you doing here? Go. Go now.

When I think about all the ridiculous media-driven bullshit my two young daughters will all too soon have to navigate through to reach adulthood intact, not to mention b-b-b-b-boys and s-s-s-s-se-seh-sehhh-stuff, I feel kinda like this:




And no, that’s not Hayden Christensen driving the boat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indy… Eh, Nah

I've started writing this post fifty different times, fifty different ways, without any success. I tried presenting a cohesive, somewhat standard movie review. I tried waxing sarcastic about George Lucas' galaxy-sized ego and how it relates directly to his narrative dysfunction. I even considered doing an Adaptation-like post of me trying to write this post, but decided it would require too much effort, and I'm afraid that I, like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, just don't give a shit. So instead I'm gonna shotgun some observations, commentary, juvenile insults, etc., and you can put them in order or context and assign whatever meaning to them you choose. I won't give any of the plot away, for the benefit of those who haven't seen it yet, which won't be difficult because there's not much to give away.

1. The stakes aren't high enough. The baddies aren't bad enough. And the good guys solve their problems and overcome their obstacles way too easily. Classic storytelling blunders made by alleged storytelling geniuses.

2. Sometime in the mid-80s, George Lucas started believing the overblown praise being heaped on him by the sycophants, and ever since then he’s considered himself a cinematic genius. Like all people who believe themselves to be geniuses, he thinks everything that comes out of his shitful skull is brilliant. George baby, you need to reconnect with your internal editor.

3. Spielberg joined him in the 90s.

4. Spielberg described the new Indy as "the sweet dessert I give those who had to chow down on the bitter herbs I used in Munich.” What an arrogant prick.

5. To give you an idea of how out of touch Lucas is, he was creaming all over himself when talking about how the movie wasn’t shot in digital format, and that it looked "like it was shot 3 years after the Last Crusade, you'd never know there was 20 years between shooting." Earth to George: 99% of the movie going public don’t give a shit about that. We’d rather have a good story.

6. I was blown away by the lack of effort devoted to the character relationships, especially when compared to The Last Crusade and Indy’s relationship with his father. Hell, his relationship with Shorty in Temple of Doom was deeper and more fully developed than the ones in this movie.

7. Between Spielberg, Lucas, and Harrison Ford, it was obvious to me at least that Ford was the only one who cared. If he had phoned it in like the other two, the movie would’ve been nearly unwatchable.

8. Actually, the acting all around was pretty decent considering what they were given to work with.

9. Lucas, who seems to have embraced the New Income Streams Over Good Stories operating procedure, has said he envisions Shia LeBeouf continuing as the MC of the series, with Harrison Ford making a Sean Connery like cameo in the next film. I actually don’t have a problem with that, as long as they find someone else to come up with the story. Shia LeBeouf has two things going for him: 1) he’s funny. He’s got the false bravado/hero clown shtick down to a tee; and 2) he’s not Hayden Christensen. By the way, for those of you wanting to increase your blog hits, mentioning Hayden Christensen in a post is good for 15-20 additional hits minimum. I know. I don’t understand it either, but it works.

10. Apparently, the Russians are pissed about the portrayal of communists in this movie. I think that says more about where they are today, than where they were fifty years ago. This movie portrays the FBI in a worse light than the commies, which says more about Lucas and Spielberg than the FBI.

11. There’s some dialogue between Indy and Marion about what went wrong with their relationship, and she says something along the lines of, “There must’ve of been plenty of women after me.” To which he replies, “There were a few, but they all had the same problem.” And she says, “What’s that?” No less than five people sitting in my immediate vicinity shouted out the answer before Indy. I would’ve shouted it out too, but I hate people who talk during movies. Though, I hate it less than predictable clichĂ©d dialogue.

12. I’m guessing the “big reveal” at the end was supposed to be shocking and unexpected and therefore emotionally satisfying or at least interesting, but it was so unoriginal, and it’s been done so many times, and it had been telegraphed non-stop throughout… I dunno. Maybe I expected too much.

13. There’s a scene involving a snake that was teetering back and forth between Stupid and Funny. Funny nearly won out, until the last line of dialogue, and then it swung back way past Stupid and into the realm of I Just Lost Respect For Indy.

14. At some point, George, you have to acknowledge that stupid titles are not clever homages to the adventure serials of yesteryear. They’re just stupid titles.

15. It would’ve been fun to see writers like Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio take a crack at Indy. They’re the writing team responsible for the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and the two National Treasure movies. All five of those are better Indy movies than this one. Plus, they challenge the viewer to keep up, or at least, they don’t explain everything to death, a technique genius George has yet to master.

16. Karen Allen was good for the first two minutes. She spent the rest of the movie in a pointless role wearing a goofy grin that said to me, “Hey! Lookit me! I’m in another Indy movie!” Not her fault.

17. I liked Cate Blanchett in this movie, but her character is weak. She’s the main baddie, who apparently has some psychic/mind reading abilities. The problem is she never uses them successfully. So what’s the point? I got no satisfaction from seeing the alien turn her into dust at the end. (Oops. ***SPOILER WARNING***) In fact, I almost felt sorry for her, and I’m not even a communist.

18. Also, if “knowledge” is the treasure, and Cate Blanchett is turned to dust because she seeks the treasure, what the hell kinda view point is that? Are we supposed to be happy with whatever little knowledge our alien teachers decide to dole out? Screw that. Possibly, I'm not smart enough to comprehend the subtle sledgehammers of George's story, or the raspberry tarts of Spielberg's vision.

19. I could go on (pointless monkeys, no sense of danger, random tangential bad guys dispatched too easily, etc.), but it’s just a movie, so who gives a shit?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Of The Same

Been slammed at work lately, which is eating into all of my writing time, but here’s a quick news round up. Just because.

1. So long Jabba, you crooked sonofabitch.

2. I'm sure somebody's made this comparison before, but it just occurred to me. I can now put my finger on why I don’t like MySpace: it’s a DIY Jerry Springer Show.

3. Cancer-sniffing dog being cloned in South Korea. This unfortunately discredits my theory that dolphins are aquatic dogs. The dolphins are gonna have to come up with something huge just to stay in the same league. Only time will tell.

By the way, a lot of this article was spent discussing the miracle of cloning, and heaping praise on the dog for her “world top cancer-sniffing ability,” but I didn’t see any practical applications for cancer-sniffing dogs mentioned. I mean, it’s cool and all. The dog can theoretically detect cancer cells in human breath and urine. But then what? Do they still have to do a biopsy anyway? Or does the dog do a full work up and diagnosis right there in the examination room? I smell ulterior motives.

UPDATE: Upon further review, I guess the cancer-sniffing dog could serve as an early warning cancer detection system. But would you really want to trust your physical well being to something that licks its own crotch?

BARK! BARK!

"I'm sorry, Mr. Gunderson, but Cujo detects the presence of cancer cells in your urine."

BARK!

"Oh... It's time for walkies. My mistake."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Junk Mail

I usually delete these, and I never forward them. Most of the time, one or two will strike a chord and the rest will be whacked out filler. So I was surprised to find all of these were dead on. Still didn't forward it to anyone though.



You know you're from Florida if...

...Socks are only for bowling.

...You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.

...A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.

...Your winter coat is made of denim.

...You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.

...You're younger than thirty but some of your friends are over 65.

...Anything under 70 is chilly.

...You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.

...You could swim before you could read.

...You have to drive north to get to The South.

...You know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.

...Every other house in your neighborhood had blue roofs in 2004 -2005.

...You know that anything under a Category 3 just isn't worth waking up for.

...You dread love bug season.

...You know what a snowbird is and when they'll leave.

...You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.

...You were twelve before you ever saw snow, or you still haven't.

..."Down South" means Key West.

...You think New York drivers licenses should only be valid in New York.

...Flip-flops are everyday wear.

...Shoes are for business meetings and church.

...but you HAVE worn flip flops to church before.

...Sweet tea can be served at any meal.

...An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.

...You smirk when a game show's "Grand Prize" is a trip or cruise to Florida.

...You measure distance in minutes.

...You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.

...You get annoyed at the tourists who feed seagulls.

...A mountain is any hill 100 feet above sea level.

...You think everyone from a bigger city has a northern accent.

...You know the four seasons really are: hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season and summer.

...It's not soda, cola, or pop. It's coke, regardless of brand or flavor, "What kinda coke you want?"

...Anything under 95 is just warm.

...You've hosted a hurricane party.

...You go to a theme park for an afternoon, and know when to get on the best rides. (Space Mountain during the Electric Light Parade!)

...You understand the futility of exterminating cockroaches.

...You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than to own a boat yourself.

...Bumper stickers on the pickup in front of you include various fish, NRA, NASCAR, Go Gators , Go Noles and a Confederate Flag.

...You were 5 before you realized they made houses without pools.

...You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.

...You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.

...You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee, Ichnatucknee, Withlacoochee and Micanopy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Wasn’t Gonna Bother With This...

But it’s too damn funny. Well, it’s funny because no one got their skull crushed. Don’t forget to watch the video.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Meme-ify-hiii, Meme-ify Meeeee

Aerin tagged me with the Inquisition Meme, and while I may not be Christian Bale, I could give him a run for his money in the mastery of accents department. Here are the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.


Inquisition Meme

What were you doing ten years ago?

Helping my then fiancĂ© plan our wedding. My duties consisted of dropping off various deposits at various places scattered about town, and saying, “Mmm-hmmm. Yes. I totally agree.” (I’m a fast learner.) Driving an ’89 Ford Bronco II.


What are five things on your to-do list for today?

1. Finish project for work.

2. Memorize on-base percentage stats for entire 1982 Atlanta Braves roster.

3. Contemplate the similarities between the movie Star Wars and the novel The Firm, with special emphasis on “timing of release” not “quality” as a primary causal factor for popularity.

4. Monitor global dolphin activity.

5. Watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Junior.


What are some snacks you enjoy?

1. Sunflower seeds.

2. Oreos.

3. Dove Dark Chocolate Minis, the individually wrapped ones with messages of inspiration on the inside.


What would you do if you were a billionaire?

Buy a boat. Go fishing. Spend more time writing. Take family on trip around the world. Subsidize small Caribbean nation, or finance the creation of a new one. Change will to include a Brewster’s Millions-like clause, or conversely, spend all money before kids can inherit it so they’ll have to earn their own and learn the value of hard work.


What are three of your bad habits?

1. Involuntarily spewing smartassiness when people want me to be sincere.

2. Procrastinating, though I’m not sure this qualifies as “bad” because I work much more efficiently under pressure.

3. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Or so I’ve been told. And apparently, “magical kitchen gnomes” is not the correct answer to “How do you think they get in the dishwasher?”


What are five places where you have lived?

No particular order.

1. Sanford, FL

2. DeLand, FL

3. Apopka, FL

4. Daytona, FL

5. Maitland, FL

Hey, the weather’s great, I’m an hour from the beach, and we don’t have state income tax. Shoveling snow is for other people.


What are five jobs you have had?

These are listed in order, but you have to guess which kind of order.

1. Mower of lawns.

2. Copy editor/proofreader for now defunct publisher of law books. (It wasn’t my fault.)

3. Bartender.

4. IT Manager/Database Admin/Computer Guy/Nick Burns.


What were the last five books you read?

1. Foop! by Chris Genoa

2. The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil

3. The System of the World by Neal Stephenson

4. Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin

5. Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign by Stephan Talty


Aerin added a new question, so I will too.

What’s playing on your iPod right now?

DRUNKEN LULLABIES by Flogging Molly


What five people do you want to tag?

Writtenwyrdd, Pete, Fairyhedgehog, Kiersten, Wonderwood, and [Insert Your Name Here].

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Precie’s May Book Contest #2

Precie is running her second contest of the month. This is what it is:

This week's theme: Playtime

This week's contest assignment: Write about a childhood game. (Up to 500 words.) You can either post your entry in the comments here OR on your own blog with a link in the comments here.

Deadline: Friday, May 16, at 11 pm Eastern

What do I mean by "a childhood game"? Again, I'll leave that up to you. You may end up writing a fiction piece about kids playing, about adults reliving their past...You might write a poem about Twister or Connect 4 (yes, I realize I'm showing my age)...You could write a non-fiction essay waxing philosophical about Little League competitiveness or a memoir snippet about the first time you played Dodgeball or Break the Gate...


So here’s my entry. It’s a poem.


To My First Love

When I'm blue and downtrodden, I look for some ways
To rekindle the memories from my happier days.
Without fail, they’re of you, my forsaken, unwed.
Yes you, my first love, Atari Twenty-Six Hundred.

In the years since we parted I oft contemplate
How dreary life’s been without your bits of eight.
Even rites of my passage, like my very first makeout,
Failed to compare to our long nights of Breakout.

The places you took me, they nourished my soul,
And you took me there quickly, like a Solaris wormhole.

Though at times we sank slowly—water o’er the gunwale—
Like in spring ’83 when I got carpal tunnel.
And although disgusting, I played through the moist ick
Produced by repeatedly handling your joystick.

And likewise, you too, forgave most of my faults,
Which could've been—should've been—labeled assaults.
Like, I tripped on your cords ‘cause my eyelids were saggy.
Or I pummeled you senseless ‘cause the screen went zig-zaggy.

But I understood you, and you understood me,
And together a match made in heaven were we.

We braved the flat jungle to help Pitfall Harry.
Missile Commanded world safety when nuke death was scary.
We Dig Dug deep tunnels, and Pac-Manned blue ghosts,
Shot the shit out of each other—we were both Combat toast.

The Position of Pole we achieved for our cars,
And we exacted Revenge belonging to Yars.
Day after day we played way after dark,
And that long, grueling summer we recovered the Ark!

No end in sight for our fun, so it seemed.
And we beat every challenge those game makers dreamed.

But alas, we grew distant as days faded to years,
And I weep when I think how you faced your worst fears.
And alone you did face them, for I gave you no splainin’.
Though I'm sure you deduced I really wasn't abstainin’.
And you probably felt hollow, a return sans deposit,
When I buried you gradually under crap in my closet.

So I'm here doing penance for misdeeds of my youth,
‘Cause I owe you, I think, some case-closing truth.
Neither easy to swallow nor to stomach this be,
But ages of sages claim truth sets you free.
I beg in advance for your grace and goodwill.
Truth is my dear 'tari two-six-double-nil:

I left you for another, and for that I’m so sorry-o,
But my heart was aflutter for that dude Super Mario.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Really Wanted To Move On, But…

I swear, I'm as sick of the Florida shit as you are, but I couldn't not link to this.

Oh, and the state's on fire. Again. They say it could be worse than 1998. In 1998, I remember thinking: Why is it snowing in Florida? In July? But it was actually flakes of ash from wildfires thirty miles away. I inspected a lot of the burnt-to-a-crisp houses afterward. Mobile homes with nothing left but charred framing, like headless, tailless, rectangular whale skeletons… Okay, bad simile. And this was only four months after tornados racked the area. I'll never forget the image of blades of grass, green bendy grass we're talking here, sticking out of vinyl mobile home siding. Imagine being killed by projectile grass. I say bring on the hurricanes. People got a chance to get out of town at least, but tornados and wildfires are like the great white sharks of weather. You're dead before you even know you're in trouble.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time Wasters, Crutches, And Secession

And I thought the internet was a time waster. There’s nothing like sitting through two days of nothing new that could’ve easily been compressed into one day of nothing new. Damn, I love bureaucracy. And if having to wear dress pants for the two day boring ass seminar wasn’t enough, get this, we also had to wear dress shoes. I know. And, of course, I forgot my trusty Dr. Scholl’s Extra Support Insoles and ended up reaggravating a prior foot condition. No big deal, but then I decided to be a tough guy and ignore it during our Little League game Saturday, and woke up this morning unable to walk. I’m pretty sure something’s sprained. Yes, I sprained my foot by… walking.

All right, enough whining. In case you missed it, South Florida has dreams of seceding from the rest of the state. It’ll never happen, but the first step in finding a solution is identifying the problem, and in this case it’s that South Florida is fucking CRAY-ZEE. It’s always been a sort of unspoken fact of life that Miami-Dade is actually a different country. And after the 2000 presidential election, you could throw Broward and Palm Beach counties in there as well. So in a way it’s good they’re finally being honest. In all other ways though, it’s just dumb.