Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
Summertime. I start my summer internship tomorrow, and I expect that I won't have a lot of free time during the day to blog. It won't be the charmed life of a graduate student schedule where the day doesn't start before 10 a.m., and it will call for more than the 8 hours of work a week I put in at my old job. So blogging activity might be sporadic for a while until I figure out what my schedule will be like.
Until then, you can always watch a monkey washing a cat.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Product Placement. Not just for television and movies anymore. Courtesy Ahhhnold:
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should pull a political commercial off the air that promotes the junk food products of his campaign donors, consumer advocates said.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called on Schwarzenegger to return the quarter-million dollars he received from companies featured in the ad, and for the corporations to pay the market value of the advertising to the state because it is improper for the governor to use public office to sell corporate products.
The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.
Donors connected to Pepsi Co. and Arrowhead Water's parent company, Nestle, gave the governor a total of $279,800 in campaign contributions. Also recognizable on-screen are Ruffles, Sun Chips, Cheetos and a SoBe Beverage, all brands owned by Pepsi.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Californians realize that perhaps electing a former steroid-taking, serial-groping, body-builder turned movie star with no real political experience to be governor for the sixth-largest economy might not have been the best idea. Oops.
Likewise, people seem to have figured out that Shrub, a Republican-controlled Congress, and a quagmire in Iraq don't match their priorities. Too little, too late.
More of Roanoke's Most Eligible. Here. I don't know what he has against Bingo.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Chainblogging. One thing that I'm not a fan of is chainmail--an email that says you have to forward the message to 100 of your closest friends, otherwise you'll be stricken with shingles and die a fiery death. What sort of a friend would put you in that type of situation? Not a very good one, I think.
And so it is with much disappointment that I have been trapped in a senseless act of chainblogging. One person answer the questions and then passes them on to five other friends. It's called a "baton", maybe because you use a baton to beat senselessly the person who this originated with.
Whatever. Because I have nothing else to say, here goes....
Total volume of music on my computer: 607 megs. I've had my computer since 1999. It's a 500 mhz processor with 6 gigs total memory. I don't even listen to music on it anymore b/c the music player is crap and manages to skip somehow. The last MP3 I downloaded was a Beck bootleg in September 2003. Before that, I downloaded three songs in February 2002, and everything else was done back when Napster was still free and illegal, and I was using dial-up.
Last CD I bought: Tenacious D (self-titled) bought in 2003.
Song playing right now: None. So wait just a second while I put something on the stereo....Morrissey, "Now My Heart is Full" off of Vauxhall and I.
Five Songs I Listen To A Lot: How about we make this "five CDs that have been in the car for several months"?
Modest Mouse, Good News For People Who Love Bad News
Beck, Sea Change
Radiohead, The Bends
Five Songs that I'm ashamed to admit I've even downloaded:
I have no shame. I'm proud that I have these--
Dokken, "Breakin the Chains"
Def Leppard, "Photograph"
KLF, "3 AM Eternal"
Bon Jovi, "Dead or Alive"
Ini Kamoze, "Hotstepper"
Five people to whom I'm passing the baton:
Nobody. This stops here.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Idiots. Turning the corner.
A newspaper ran intimate photographs of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in US military custody, including one of him half-naked, prompting an investigation into possible human rights abuses.Yes, I'm sure the insurgents will see these pictures and decide to give up. Just like the pictures of Saddam's dead sons. Just like Saddam's capture. Just like the abuse at Abu Ghraib. Just like the elections. Just like everything else in the sense that it won't change anything.
In the accompanying article along with other intimate photographs of him, the newspaper quotes US military sources as saying they handed over the photos in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq.
"Saddam is not superman or God, he is now just an ageing and humble old man. It's important that the people of Iraq see him like that to destroy the myth," the source was quoted as saying.
"Maybe that will kill a bit of the passion in the fanatics who still follow him," the source said. "It's over, guys. The evil days of Saddam's Baath Party are never coming back - and here's the proof."
Oh, and regarding the evil days of the Baath party, meet the new boss.
Iraq's treatment of detainees has drawn criticism from human rights groups. A 94-page report by Human Rights Watch in January concluded that abuse by the Iraqi police and intelligence forces had become "routine and commonplace." Based on research between July and October last year, the study found "little indication" of any serious measures "to enforce existing laws and put an end to" the mistreatment.
Iraq to Iran: Our bad. Iraq admits it started the war with Iran in the 1980s.
A United Nations investigation after the war effectively assigned responsibility for the start of the war to Mr. Hussein, said Farideh Farhi, a professor of Iranian politics at the University of Hawaii, but Iran's claims of huge sums in war reparations unresolved.Actually...
Ms. Farhi said the statement Thursday appeared to be directed more at Mr. Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iran, an issue very important to Iranians. As the Iraqis drew up guidelines for the trials of Mr. Hussein and other Baath Party leaders, they decided not to extend prosecution to any crime perpetrated outside Iraq's borders, and Iranians want international recognition that they suffered under Iraqi gas and chemical weapons attacks.
"The issue for Iranians is not whether or not Iraq is identified as the aggressor," she said. "That was something that had been settled before. The issue that is not settled for them is the issue of war crimes. During the time the Iraqis were using chemical weapons on Iran, the international community was not willing to take a side on that issue."
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Kaboom. Last week, we was riding his bike clueless that thousands of people in D.C. were to told to implement the post-9/11 disaster mitigation plan, a.k.a. run for your lives. And now this:
Contrary to initial reports, a grenade that landed within 100 feet of President Bush during an appearance in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi last week was a live explosive that was tossed into the crowd and posed a threat to the president, the FBI said today.Protocols I guess. If a grenade is tossed in my general direction, that's the sort of information that I'd like to have ASAP. But not Shrub. He's not one to be bothered by some tinhorn terrorist.
FBI agent Bryan Paarmann, the bureau's legal attache in Georgia, said in a statement that the grenade was wrapped in a handkerchief when it was thrown and only failed to detonate because of a mechanical malfunction.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said at the time that Bush was not aware of the incident until he was informed by Secret Service agents on the trip home.
Nerfherder. I'm glad to see that "Revenge of the Sith" is getting better reviews than the first two movies. But don't anyone tell me how it ends. Ha.
Huzzah. "Arrested Development" has been renewed for a third season. If you've never seen it, put the first season in your Netflix queue.
Speaking of Netflix, can anyone recommend some good movies? We have 100 picks in our list but there's a lot of junk that I added when I was at my old job and would kill time by adding movies to Netflix. We're currently in the third season of "Homicide."
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Jeff Gannon's Buddy. So Scotty McMuffin says yesterday, "The report has had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged." FINALLY!!! The White House has admitted that it started a war based on bad information, leading to widespread death and destruction, and the harm done to the U.S. image abroad and at home will take years and years to fix.
Oh...wait...he's talking about a Newsweek article.
When I hear Scotty Bighead say this, I shake my head wondering if he or anyone around him gets the irony of what he's saying. I have my doubts.
Turns out that the Koran flushing story has been around for two years. Shocking, I know.
And remember that U.N. oil for food scandal that was supposed to show how the French were in bed with Saddam? The one that was supposed to take down the UN? Oops!
Monday, May 16, 2005
Holy Handkerchief. Somebody out there is working really hard to save me from eternal damnation. Whoever it is, please stop. The latest evidence came in the mail today. The outside of the envelope read, "God said, 'I was to loan you this to start turning things around for you...so here it is. Use it [underlined three times] and be blessed." On the back, the envelope had, "Dear Jesus, We pray that you will bless someone in this home spiritually, physically, & financially. And please dear Lord, bless the one who's [whose, not who's...jesus, ugh] hands open this letter." That's me!, I exclaimed. It continued, "Make good changes in this one's life and give them the desires of their heart. We pray over and bless this letter in your holy name. Amen."
At this point, I thought that maybe the religious right had gotten into the credit card business, and they wanted to offer me a lifetime 0.99% APR on all balance transfers. That would be a fucking sweet blessing.
But NO, this evelope had something of far greater importance inside than just another opportunity to do the credit card shuffle. This envelope contained a Bible Faith Handkerchief. Here is the full text of the letter:
HERE, I LOAN YOU, IN JESUS' HOLY NAME, A PAPER, BIBLE FAITH HANDKERCHIEF FOR SOMETHING GOOD TO HAPPEN TO YOU (ACTS 19:11,12)...
Dear...Someone Connected with This House, [that's me!!!]
We've been on our knees, praying over this address and someone connected with it, because we feel someone connected to this home needs God's help and blessings. One in our prayer group is over 90 years old, another is 87, and several are in their 70's. Together we are helping people who need prayer. And, God is doing great things every day here at this half-a-century-old church.
As we prayed, the Holy Spirit said, "if you want this home to be blessed, mail a biblical faith handkerchief like the Apostle Pauld did, at Acts 19:11,12, where miracle blessings began when people used the blessed handkerchiefs." Here, let me read what God's Holy Word says about these Bible handkerchiefs: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick H-A-N-D-K-E-R-C-H-I-E-F-S or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." ACTS 19:11,12.
My father had a bad habit of drinking, and he could not stop. I sent one of these to my mother, and it flat stopped Dad from a bad drinking habit. It works!
Here is what I ask you to do, in Jesus' name...(1)PRINT YOUR NAME AND YOUR MOST PRESSING PROBLEM, BY FAITH, IN THE CENTER OF THIS BIBLE HANDKERCHIEF. Yes, that's what I said...print your name, by faith, in the center of this church handkerchief AND THE NAME OF SOMEONE ELSE WHOM YOU REALLY LOVE THAT NEEDS GOD'S HELP Print their name under yours. (2)Then, OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO THE BOOK OF ACTS, CHAPTER 19, VERSES 11 AND 12, if you have a Bible. [Oh, shit...I don't have a Bible!] If not, it's okay. God sees. [phew!] (3) Then, LAY THIS BIBLE FAITH HANDKERCHIEF (with your name printed in the center on it) ON THIS SCRIPTURE. (4) Leave it there for TONIGHT ONLY!
Please, in the morning, get this faith handkerchief out of that Bible, put it into this self-addressed envelope (the church will pay the postage for you--this is so important) and return it to us in the morning. I repeat, please do not keep this faith handkerchief, and please do not break this flow of God's spirit from our prayer group to your home. Rush this Bible, church handkerchief back. We have a free spiritual gift we want to send to you that can bless you for a lifetime. [a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring?]
Now, when our church, which is 54 years old, receives this Bible handkerchief back from you (with your name on it), we are going to pray over this handkerchief a speical prayer for a miracle blessing for you.
Let us ask you: Would you like to have God's blessings upon your home, your family and finances? Say, "Yes, Lord Jesus, I do need Your financial blessings upon me and my family's finances!" Deuteronomy 28:6. Just put a check mark by your needs below, telling us that you want prayer. Also, check any other needs you are facing. Pray about sowing a seed gift to the Lord's work. Give God your best seed and believe Him for His best blessing (St. Luke 6:38). Now, go and use this Church Faith Handkerchief. The Lord is watching and waiting. You are about to enter the Holy Spirit of God right here in your home, through this faith exercise. Then, it is a must that you return it for another to use.
We feel, in our hearts, that we must pray for you right away. We don't know if something has happened [What?!?], is happening [oh shit!], or is about to happen [sonuvabitch!]. We know that the Holy Spirit is in this spiritual letter and is speaking to your spirit now while you read these words. Please obey the Holy Spirit and let God's blessings be bestowed upon you.
We are waiting, as a prayer group, on this faith handkerchief back from you, with your name printed in the middle of it and the name of someone you love printed under yours. St. Matthew 18:19. You are holding a church, Bible faith handkerchief. Go and place it in a Bible, if you have one. If not, it's okay. God sees. I believe the windows of heaven are about to open for you and your needs. Mail it back immediately. We're waiting.
Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Saint Matthew's Church
Friends of Jesus for 54 Glorious Years!
Dammit, that was one long and redundant letter. This Bible faith handkerchief must be the Holy Grail of chain letters and pyramid schemes. You see, "sowing a seed gift to the Lord's work" translates to, "send us money." Someone else has already checked into the St. Matthew's Church.
But what if my Brothers and Sisters in Christ are right, and God is watching to see what I do with my holy handkerchief? What if I break the chain? Will my financial blessings never come? Will I be destined to be poor forever? Aren't the poor supposed to inherit the earth? Fuck the poor. I want my money.
So, I filled out my prayer page, and I filled out my prayer handkerchief with my most pressing problem, my name, and someone else who needs God's love. Now all that's left to do is send this back in the prepaid envelope, and then sit back and wait for my sweet blessings to come rolling in. Thankyou, St.Matthews Church!
Star City of the South. I was checking out the Roanoke Times website to see what I could find. I was not disappointed. Here's one of Roanoke's Most Eligible.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Friday, May 13, 2005
NEWSFLASH!!! The mystery surrounding the Wendy's chili finger has been solved.
My Pet Goat's Bicycle Ride. So it turns out that when 30,000 people in D.C. were told to run for their lives the other day, nobody thought that it might be a good idea to inform Shrub that something was amiss. Maybe they thought that he'd just sit there for seven minutes without doing anything like he did on 9/11, and so there wasn't much confidence that he'd have anything useful to add. And so Shrub kept on peddling his bike, probably smiling and listening to "My Sharona" on the presidential iPod.
Some reporters yesterday thought it might be useful to ask Scotty McMuffin a few questions on why Shrub was kept in the dark. Scotty's response was summed up in one word that he said thirty-four times--protocols.
The only thing I miss about my old job is the time I'd spend each day in my office with the door closed, the lights off, and the glow of the daily briefing from the computer screen. Because I don't watch regularly, I sometimes forget that 9/11 changed everything:
Q Scott, United Airlines got the go-ahead this week to dump $6.6 billion in pension benefits on the U.S. agency that insures these. From the White House's perspective, is this an appropriate way to deal with cost at companies --Some thoughts on how the United story fits in with the Bankruptcy Bill.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, are you talking about United Airline?
Q Yes. Is this an appropriate way for companies like United, other airlines, to deal with their cost structures? And what's preventing this move by United from starting a whole flood of these kind of --
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. We talked a little bit about this yesterday, I think. But, one, there is a court decision relating to this on the bankruptcy proceedings related to United Airlines. The President has worked to make sure that airlines are taking the necessary steps to restructure in the aftermath of September 11th in our changing transportation world. And so many airlines have been working to restructure and adapt to the circumstances.
You're aware after September 11th, there was a need to provide some support to the airlines, and we did.
Paging CNN. Three hundred children aged four to seven have gone missing in London in a three month period. Oh, wait...the children aren't white, and they aren't girls. Nevermind then, CNN.
Sex, sex, and more sex. Family values Republicans. Nothing says "values voter" like anal rape.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Thanks to the well-wishers. I certainly don't feel like I'm 29. And 29 doesn't seem like a very exciting age to be. This is from an email I sent to a friend who turned 29 last week:
wow. you're 29. you are sooo much older than me.And how am I spending today? Working on one course paper, going to my last class of the semester tonight, and then working on the paper some more. So please, if you arranged to have strippers show up at my door tonight, see if it can't be rescheduled for another time. If you arranged for a clown to show up, then just cancel that. Clowns are scary. And if you arranged for a stripping clown, then you're a sick individual who needs help.
29 just doesn't have the same kind of pizzazz that 28
has to it. it's like you should really be 30, but
you're just struggling to hang on to that last shred
of youth credibility. you're too old to hang with the
rest of the kids in their 20s, but haven't quite yet
done enough with your life to be moving into your 30s.
rather sad, actually.
oh well. happy birthday!
This Day in History.
- 254 - Stephan I replaces Lucius I as Catholic Pope
- 1792 - Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals is patented
- 1847 - Odometer invented
- 1905 - Tigers 3B Bill Coughlin pulled off the hidden ball trick on Boston's Hobe Ferris in the second inning of the game which Detroit won, 8-1.
- 1932 - Over two months after he was kidnapped, American aviator Charles Lindbergh's baby is found dead; Lindbergh had paid the ransom on April 2; Goofy, aka Dippy Dawg, 1st appears in 'Mickey's Revue' by Walt Disney.
- 1938 - Sandoz Labs manufactures LSD
- 1949 - Soviet blockade of Berlin lifted.
- 1963 - Race riot in Birmingham, Alabama
- 1971 - The Rolling Stones singer, Mick Jagger, marries his fiancee Bianca Perez Morena de Macias after a row with the media nearly halts proceedings.
- 1985 - Lionel Richie received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama (his alma mater).
- 2003 - Ari Fleischer said in a press briefing, "I think, slowly but surely, people are seeing telltale signs that back up the confidence that the administration has for why we maintained Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that underscore our ultimate confidence that they're eventually being found."
- 1670: August II, the Strong One, King of Poland
- 1820: Florence Nightingale
- 1910: Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, determined structure of vitamin B12 using X-rays
- 1969: Kim Fields Freeman (Tootie on "Facts of Life")
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Ka-Ching. From a post last October 26th:
Next thing you know, Bushco is going to say that they need another $70 billion for their war on terra. Wait! They just did!Now let's just update that for May 11, 2005.
"We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." Paul Wolfowitz, 3/27/03
One more week.
Next thing you know, Bushco is going to say that they need anotherBushco makes blogging so easy. Thanks, America!
$70 billion$ 82 billion for their war on terra. Wait! They just did!
"We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." Paul Wolfowitz, 3/27/03
One more weekOne hundred ninety-three more weeks.
Oh shit, Gary! Here's an oldy but a goody. My first year in Tucson, I lived in a one bedroom apartment a few blocks away from campus in a complex named "Casa Feliz." That's "Happy House" for those of you without a rudimentary knowledge of la lengua espanol. In this sparsely furnished apartment, I had a recliner saved from a dumpster, office furniture left behind by another grad student, one box that served as a coffee table and another for a bedside table, and a queen-sized futon for a bed. All that was in the bedroom was the futon, the box, and a flimsy particle board bookcase. It was truly an apartment made for and by a 22 year old male. I even had a clear shower curtain with no curtain liner. Classy by all accounts.
After a night out drinking one, two, or three too many cold beverages, I came home and crashed on the futon. Some time around 4:00 in the morning, I woke to what sounded like someone getting the crap kicked out of them next door. "Unh! Uhh! UHNHAHH!" Too tired to care, I tried to ignore it and fall back asleep. But the grunts and groans from next door kept on going until I realized that my neighbor was getting freaky. After a little while longer, the loud sex ended, and I fell back to sleep.
A couple of weeks went by without any more disturbances, until when on another night I woke to the sounds of my neighbor having more loud sex. And then again another weekend after that. So, for xmas that year, my legal-counsel-in-training got me a digital sleep machine so that I could drown out the noise with the sounds of a rolling stream, ocean waves crashing, crickets chirping, or white noise. I generally went with the ocean sounds.
The sleep machine did its job, and life at the Happy House continued without incident for some time. But then at some point in the spring, I woke up in the middle of the night to my neighbor's groaning and shrieking. "UNNHH!!! OOHHH!!!OOOHH!!! Oh Shit! Shit! SHIT! UNNH!!! Oh shit, Gary!"
Oh shit, Gary, indeed. Gary was a machine. But having had enough of this, I pounded on the wall hoping that they'd either quiet down or take it to another room. No such luck as my neighbor yelled back, "I can't help it, baby, it's good!"
I had never actually seen my neighbor until a couple of weeks after this last incident when I saw her outside with some kids, and she referred to herself as "Grandma."
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Mother's Day. From the Despair.com calendar for May 1st, "Anna Jarvis, founder of Mother's Day, is born. She will spend her later life and fortune fighting its commercialization (1864)."
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Talking with students. Conversation from yesterday:
"James--Cinco de Mayo tomorrow."
"Yep, sure is."
"Come drink with us."
"I've got a class tomorrow night."
"Come out after your class."
"I have a wife at home."
"Bring her, too."
"I'll get back to you on that."
IOKIYAR. Rep.Don Sherwood (R), family man. Gee, I wonder what would happen if Don had a "(D)" after his name instead.