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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Holiday Cat Blogging

I went for the sneak attack with the Santa hat.

The cats got another perch this year.

It looked like it might be a bit small for Mr.Tibbs.

But it turned out to be just right.

Meanwhile, Coco showed that all you need is a good cardboard box.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

He knows if you're awake.

Friday, December 23, 2005

He knows if you've been sleeping.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ho Ho Ho.

Mr.Tibbs and Coco are busy fighting the War on Christmas. But I'll try to post a few new dignified pictures for the holiday season.

Newsflash! George W. Bush full of shit. Bin Laden phone leak an urban myth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Off the wagon. Stunning clip from the "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" suggests that Shrub may be drinking again.

The poor. It's what's for dinner.

Your Best Flight Now. Joel Osteen's wife, Victoria, was asked to leave a plane after failing to follow a flight attendant's instructions after boarding a Continental flight to Vail, Colorodo (must have been going there to help the poor). Certainly not the actions of a person of excellence. She's lucky a sky marshall didn't put six in her noggin.

(kudos to my Legal Counsel for sending this story)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Democracy Rocks. Pop quiz, hotshot. Can you identify to which country's election the following quotation refers?
"This election is completely false. It insults democracy everywhere. Everything was based on fraud, cheating, frightening people, and using religion to frighten the people."
If you said, "Iraq," then give yourself two points! If you said, "America," then you'll be surprised at just how quickly the Iraqis have gotten the hang of this whole "democracy" thing.
BAGHDAD, Dec. 20 -- Sunni and secular political parties angrily claimed Tuesday that Iraq's national election was rigged, threatening to leave in shambles the delicate plan to bring Iraq's wary factions together in a new government.

Faced with an emerging strong victory by the religious Shiite group that has close ties to Iran, the minority Sunnis demanded a new election and hinted darkly that the violence of the insurgency would be accelerated by the suspicions of fraud.
Such fast learners. It took us over two centuries to get to such a point, and Iraq did it on their first try. Totally worth the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the thousands wounded and killed to watch this heartwarming story unfold in which a political party of religious conservatives with strong ties to Iran takes power amid charges of fraud and corruption and continuing violence.

Huzzah! And if they cross their fingers, the Iraqis might also get a leader who thinks he is infallible, above the law, and on a mission from god.

Roanoke's Most Eligible. Apparently, that means being convicted of making a phone threat, contempt of court and possession of marijuana, being wanted in another state on charges of disorderly conduct related to a fight with a "romantic partner," and having been on probation for three years after being charged with selling cocaine.

Sadly, the Roanoke Times has discontinued the feature.

The new terrrrrist threat. Vegans, environmentalists, and gay law students.

I, for one, feel confident in giving Shrub unchecked power to circumvent the law and the Constitution.

Bush lies. But you already knew that.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Schoooooool's out.

Handed in my last paper of the semester. It's almost time to settle in for a longer vacation than I deserve. One of the perks of a $13K salary.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Criminal. I've been saying for years that Shrub is a crook. And now with his admission that on 30 occasions he authorized the unconstitutional spying on American citizens without warrants, it would seem that we have the proof.

Before this story came out, more people supported impeaching Bush than any poll taken during Clinton's time. I'd like to see those numbers updated in a week.

The Bushco Motto: "We'll do whatever the fuck we want to do."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bye, Bob. CNN has opted not to renew Novakula's contract. I wonder if the Douchebag of Liberty ever thought that his parting words on the network would be, "Well, I think that's bullshit, and I hate that."

Update: Novakula's moving to Faux News. Fair and Balanced.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Drowning on the ice during spring training.

When you think of Roanoke, you probably think of big hair, Wal-mart, and a big neon star. You probably don't think of hockey. But hockey has been around the Roanoke Valley since the Salem Rebels came to town in 1967. Since that time, the team has changed names, locations, owners, and affiliations many times. (via here)
1967-1972 Salem Rebels
1972-1977 Roanoke Valley Rebels.
1977-1981 The Dark Days of No Hockey in Roanoke
1981-1982 Salem Raiders
1982-1983 Virginia Raiders
1983-1990 Virginia Lancers
1990-1992 Roanoke Valley Rebels
1992-1993 Roanoke Valley Rampage
1993-2004 Roanoke Express
2004-2005 No Hockey
2005-present Roanoke Valley Vipers
During the 1987-1988 season, my dad lived next door to some of the players, and so they'd give us some tickets, and he'd buy them a case of Old Milwaukee's Best. At that time, they were still playing at the Lancerlot complex in Vinton. It was an old, smoky, dark place with a max capacity of 3000, and there would always be loads of fights on the ice. And so it was cool.

In 1993, the team was sold and a heavy snow storm damaged the Lancerlot, forcing the team to move to the Roanoke Civic Center, the Boston Gardens of Roanoke. The team adopted the name "Express" because of Roanoke's longstanding ties with the railroad, and the mascot was Loco the Junkyard Dog. Tickets at that time were only $5 for students. On weeknights the crowd would be about 2000, double that on the weekends, and we'd sit wherever the hell we wanted. We'd heckle the opposing team, mock other fans, and pick up girls from Cave Spring. A good time for all.

But then they started to actually win, and people took notice. Over the next few years, they jacked up the price a few dollars, but people would still show up because the product was good, and there really isn't a boatload of other things to do in town. One season, they were selling out 9000 tickets. For minor league hockey, that's a feat.

Then at some point a couple of years ago, some genius decided to end the sale of beer at the hockey games. No beer at hockey games? Are you insane? That was the death knell for the Roanoke Express franchise (aside from being in the red for years).

But then in 2005, hockey came back to town with the introduction of the Roanoke Valley Vipers. Vipers? Really? But it would seem that nobody much cares. Attendance is hovering around an average of 1500. Low even by minor league hockey standards, and no amount of promotion or begging seems to be making a difference.

And so I checked out the ticket prices, and lo and behold, found the reason why nobody is going to the games. Center Ice Sections are $15.50, Goal Sections $12.50, and $11.50 for students. Kids are $8.50. So there's your problem right there, Roanoke Valley Vipers management. It's freakin minor league hockey, you can't charge that much and expect people to regularly show up. Unless the beer is free. Which I'm sure it isn't.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Falafel. Did you hear the one about the school that changed the "Silent Night" lyrics and forced the kids to sing a secular version? More of the war that wasn't.

Falafel. With so many instances of just how full of shit Bill O'Reilly is, it begs the question of just how stupid you have to be to actually watch and believe his show. Not to mention his falafel fetish.

So here's O'Reilly fighting against another salvo in the War on Christmas:
O'REILLY: Yeah. I think it's the first time in my lifetime that the United States Postal Service has not had a spiritual stamp for people like you who would like them. And, again, disrespectful. Flat-out disrespectful, insulting you and your beliefs, [caller], because your spiritual stamp is in context to the celebration of Christmas. And we gotta stop that, and we will.
A shocking allegation from O'Reilly. If there isn't a spiritual stamp on a Christmas card, people everywhere will wonder just why the fuck they are getting all this mail and why they have a tree in their living room.

Shocking. But not true. The USPS continues to sell "Madonna and Child" postage stamps this holiday Christmas season. O'Reilly might still have a point, though. Every year, a new "Madonna and Child" design is usually chosen. But not this year. This year, they are using the same design as last year.

So it's true! There is a War on Christmas, and Christmas is losing! But no. Why wasn't a new design chosen? There was an overstock of stamps left over from last year. An overstock! That's just flat-out disrespectful and insulting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

File Under: TICHTYY. Things I Could Have Told You Yesterday.
An Associated Press analysis of a little-known government research project shows that black Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger.

Residents in neighborhoods with the highest pollution scores also tend to be poorer, less educated and more often unemployed than those elsewhere in the country, AP found.
Other TICHTYY filings here and here.

Paging Dr.Freud. Maybe Falafelman O'Reilly's fight in the War on Christmas is just reflective of his Oedipus complex.

"We have tortured an elf." That could quite possibly overtake "311, I am ready to fight" as quote of the year. Details here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Jesus wants you (to buy this shirt).

Help O'Reilly fight against the war on Christmas.
Rev. Tim Bumgardner: Be American. Celebrate Christmas. People spend more money. Jesus makes people want to spend money!

O’Reilly: I agree. I’m with you.
Funny, I don't remember Jesus being American. And I'm no religious scholar, nor did I pay much attention in church (especially once they did away with donuts and the possibility of more donuts to come), but I don't remember ever hearing anything about Jesus doing infomercials or hawking his own brand of merchandise. Didn't he chase the merchants out of the temple and turn over the tables of the money-changers? I guess he didn't understand the need for a pro-growth agenda.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mr.Roboto. For my super-cool readers (i.e. those who watch "Arrested Development"), you'll appreciate this clip. (it's on Salon, so watch an ad if you have to). It ought to be a crime if nobody else picks up that show.

The Coolest Thing. Google Earth. Like Ahhnold says, "Do it! Do it now!"

WWJD? Carl Hutcherson (D), the Mayor of Lynchburg, Va., who is also a minister, was indicted for Social Security fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and lying to a federal grand jury.
Carl B. Hutcherson Jr., the mayor of Lynchburg and a prominent businessman and minister, has been indicted on federal fraud charges.

The indictment was handed down Dec. 1 but was not unsealed until Wednesday. It accuses Hutcherson, 61, of being in such "severe financial difficulty" that he took money from his own charity and from two Social Security recipients to pay back taxes and make personal purchases.
The indictment charges Hutcherson with two counts of Social Security fraud, two counts of mail fraud, bank fraud, making false statements to an investigator and lying to a federal grand jury.

According to the document, the mayor and his business, Hutcherson Funeral Service, owed the Internal Revenue Service more than $100,000 and also owed money to the City of Lynchburg.

To pay debts, the government says, Hutcherson turned to the bank account of Trinity New Life Community Development Corp., the charity he started to help the downtrodden.
Stealing from a charity fund for the poor? That can't be good for your karma. But here's my favorite part:
Hutcherson is charged with Social Security fraud in connection with his role as "representative payee" for two Social Security recipients. In that role, he was authorized to receive their checks so long as he used the money for their needs, the government says.

The indictment claims that Hutcherson took money from those individuals, who have not been identified, and used it to buy a television, stereo, cable television service and a mattress, and to make contributions to his church in the recipients' names.
I hope he enjoyed his mattress because if convicted, Carl Hutcherson could face 105 years in prison. Gotta love those republican family values.

UPDATE: With so much corruption surrounding the GOP these days, I just assumed that Hutcherson was just another. I was wrong. Thanks to BOB from Lynchburg for telling me so. Hutcherson is a Democrat and it seems that he's actually fairly progressive (aside from the charges of social security fraud, that is).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tomorrow in Unnatural History. I'm posting this one today because I'll likely either forget or be too busy tomorrow. I know, both propositions are equally shocking. And so here you have the last Unnatural Sighting of the Fall semester of 1994.
12/8 U.C. Lunch
Communicating with unnaturally decent looking female. Something she said surprised him. Adam frightened.
And for those of you keeping score at home, Unnatural Man's final bowling average from Bowling 101 was a whopping 104.3. Mine was in the 150-160 range, making me 50-60 percent more of a man than him. Combined with my stellar performance on the written final (yes, there really was a written final), that was enough of an increase from the my average for the first half of the course to secure an "A". I didn't fare as well in Calculus given that I actually knew more at the beginning of the semester than I did by the end.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Charge it. I think this alone should end any debate over Bush's claims to be a "fiscal conservative."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Plan? What plan? From the Department of You've Got to be Joking.
The United States Agency for International Development is seeking applications for an Assistance Agreement from qualified sources to design and implement a social and economic stabilization program impacting ten Strategic Cities, identified by the United States Government as critical to the defeat of the Insurgency in Iraq. The number of Strategic Cities may expand or contract over time. USAID plans to provide approximately $1,020,000,000 over two years to meet the objectives of the Program. An additional option year may be considered amounting to $300 million at the discretion of USAID. Funds are not yet available for this program.
Eligibility is unrestricted. So if anyone wants to get on this one with me, let me know. Think of all the cool shit we could buy with $1.32 billion! As shown by Halliburton, there's no oversight, and that means one thing: X-Box 360s for everyone!

The deadline for applications is 1/31/06. So I guess that means that until then, Bushco doesn't have a plan to stabilize Iraq. Hooray for post-war planning! Hooray!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ballroom Blitz. Via BGW, we get this amazing quotation, "311, I am ready to fight."
Former Creed lead singer Scott Stapp and members of the band 311 were involved in a fight on Thanksgiving in the lounge of a luxury hotel, according to hotel security staff and 311 members.

311 were in Baltimore for a weekend concert when several members ran into Stapp earlier that day, band drummer Chad Sexton told The Associated Press. Both Stapp and 311 have the same producer, and Sexton said there were no problems during the first meeting.

But Stapp later came into the Harbor Court Hotel bar while Sexton and bandmates SA Martinez and P-Nut were watching basketball on television. He stepped in front of the screen and said, "311, I am ready to fight," according to Sexton.
Sadly, it was not a fight to the death, and we will most likely be subjected to more crappy music from these people.

Side Note: How is it that I never heard this story before?

Democracy: American Style. Who needs Jim Crow when you've got Tom DeLay?
Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.

The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.

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