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:





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.