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


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


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:







(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.