Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Good Dog; Bad Owner!
Dog's that probably hate their owners (VIA Look At This...) At best, my blogging habits would described as lazy. I really don't want to put much effort into this, because then if it sucks, who cares? This posting reflects my tendency to harvest links, such as this one, which features cute doggies in silly outfits. Who doesn't like cute doggies and general sillyness? And as a bonus lazy ass move, this picture gives me another opportunity to recycle an old posting.
Subversive Cross Stitch (VIA Yes But No But Yes) Rather than punching a wall, a much better way of channeling your anger and venting your frustration now exists. These off-beat cross-stitch kits come equipped with all the materials you'll need, as well as a healthy dose of irony!
Sporadic posting will continue to be in effect for a bit longer, since things continue to be crazed at work. The post holidays period is almost as bad as what precedes it. Today was no exception to that rule. One of the many "balls in the air" today was preparation for the big New Year's Day Mattress sale. We had discussed the need to "create excitement" and come up with a visual package that drew people into the bedding area, which is located in the bowels of the store. When we were brainstorming, I had said that we should do something along the lines of a Burma Shave series of signs that would lead like a trail of bread-crumbs to the area. I should have realized that the blank looks I received meant that nobody other than me knew what I was talking about, but that is not an unusual phenomenon.
When I came in, I found that a series of signs were going up saying "Tired?" or "Sleepy?", which just wasn't cutting it for me. I fired off an e-mail in poetic form (not my usual means to communicate) where I said "Timid signing gets no glances, take a chance; you'll get the masses" (if you try a series of signs like this):
Sleepless nights, spousal fights?
Can't get sleepy, getting weepy?
Tossing, turning, new bed yearning?
Lowest prices of the season: How much more of a reason...
Do you need to buy a bed? Great selection just ahead!
Now since I spent about 60 seconds of effort on this, and had a ton of other stuff to do, I didn't give it too much more thought until later when I saw our visual team leader who ask me, "Did YOU write that? I like it and want to use it, but I just don't want us to run into any plagiarism problems." Geesh, the world's worst piece of rhyming crap, and I get accused of stealing it? Yeah, that's the kind of day I had!
It seems like as we approach the end of the year, the temptation to look back proves too much for bloggers and MSM to ignore. Numerous "best of lists" appear and I promised myself I wouldn't join in on this trend. I almost caved in when I saw The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years, but as entertaining as the list is, I can't agree with all their choices...and neither of these links count, btw. But I WILL continue to post the occasional McSweeney's List.
I only mention them since the gadget list made me aware of the History of the TV Remote Control. I was shocked to learn that channel surfing was born five decades ago! Another trend that I discovered too late. I didn't stumble into this until sometime in the 80's, just about the time I was asking myself, "Do I REALLY need a computer?" My, how things change.
Although The Onion has a good bit where U.S. Troops Draw Up Own Exit Strategy, I doubt our real exit will be quite as simple. ("In sharp contrast to the administration's plans, the troops' 'Operation Screw This' sees them boarding a plane and leaving Iraq within 15 minutes.")
Unfortunately, this quagmire won't be this easily resolved. To draw attention to the issue, a national day for "Out of Iraq" events have been scheduled for January 7th. You can host or participate to further the debate.
Despite the secrecy of the ongoing domestic surveillance, the White House had Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Gen. Michael Hayden, the nation's No. 2 intelligence official, brief reporters:....
He and Gonzales said it was essential to bypass the legal requirements to obtain secret court warrants for such operations because they had to move quickly to stop terrorist threats. But they struggled to explain why the administration could not have relied on FISA provisions that allow surveillance to be conducted and a warrant obtained after the fact in emergencies.
(Yes, General Hayden, you remember him? The guy who said they didn't get the retroactive warrants because it involved "paperwork" and "making arguments.")
The Bush administration simply cannot answer this one question - if time was of the essence, why didn't they conduct the searches and get the warrants after the fact, something that is allowed under the FISA law? They conducted the searches alright, but they never once sought the retroactive warrants.
They have yet to answer this question, and this is the ONLY QUESTION you need to be immediately focusing on. There is no answer, short of the administration simply wanting to defy the law. It wasn't for expediency, because they could do the search immediately. And if they say it was because they were afraid the court would deny the warrant, that's absurd since the court has refused only 5 to 15 of 19,000 warrants that have been requested.
The only reason the court would refuse a warrant in post-9/11 America is if the warrant were for something outrageous, such as, oh I don't know, spying on an American elected official or an American journalist. It would have to be a pretty outrageous request if the administration were afraid the Potemkin court would turn it down. So aren't you the least bit curious what that request was, and whether it involved YOU?
Come on guys, make us proud, ask an obvious question and stick with it until you get a satisfactory answer. You have your Watergate staring you in the eyes, grab it.
Great; my newspaper delivery person (it just doesn't seem right to refer to a grown person as a "paperboy") inserted the obligatory Christmas card in my morning paper as a reminder to give him a tip. Normally, I would play ball, but since I seldom get my paper on the weekend before 10 or 11am, (if at all) I find it hard to justify the tip. Here's a tip: get me my damn paper on a timely basis! And the lawn guy shows up yesteday and runs the leaf blower over the yard to pick up the six leaves that fell down since the fall cleanup, and leaves me a bill for that dubious service. I guess that's called a "do-it-yourself Christmas bonus". Just call me Scrooge, I guess.
Cooks Find Jesus Image In Restaurant Pan Oh yeah, that's what it looks like. I can think of at least half a dozen things that this more closely resembles. I think that they were just looking for an excuse not to wash the pan.
Bush keeps telling us that "there is an enemy among us who wants to hurt the American people." Probably the first statement that he's made in a long time that I agree with. Unfortunately, I'm referring to "43" and his administration, which probably isn't what he was talking about.
As he pursues his full court press towards renewal of the Patriot act, he continues to bang the drumbeat of "terrorism" and "fear" as he has done so successfully in the past. Luckily, that song doesn't play as well as it used to. And his track record of expanding and abusing presidential powers in increasingly questionable and shady areas such as torture, indefinite detention, and spying on US citizens should remind us what a slippery slope we are traversing.
"If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative." Arthur C. Clarke
On a day that I might find it difficult to motivate myself to get to work, it might help to take a look at the Worst Job Ever! Probably NSFW...unless you work in a particularly abusive and ugly environment...or have a private office.
I stole the following meme from Monty, who also is too busy to be bothered to use her brain for a "real"post. Besides, unlike most memes this one could be fun...or just plain weird, but both of those work for me. Here goes:
1. Take five books off your bookshelf. 2. Book #1 -- first sentence: "Toulos Restaurant, adjacent to Capital Hill, boasts a politically incorrect menu of baby veal and horse carpaccio, making it an ironic hotspot for the quintessential Washington power breakfast." 3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page 50: "Where you keep them mutherfuckin broom?." 4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page 100: "Remember that we must not embarrass the Governor." 5. Book #4 -- next to the last sentence on page 150: "At Lee William's suggestion, I also asked Senator Fulbright." 6. Book #5 -- final sentence of the book: "Perhaps you could express your opinions through the medium of acting, in which you are of unparalleled skill, and not on Larry King, where you seem like kind of a douche." 7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph: "Toulos Restaurant, adjacent to Capital Hill, boasts a politically incorrect menu of baby veal and horse carpaccio, making it an ironic hotspot for the quintessential Washington power breakfast. Where you keep them mutherfuckin broom? Remember that we must not embarrass the Governor. At Lee William's suggestion, I also asked Senator Fulbright. Perhaps you could express your opinions through the medium of acting, in which you are of unparalleled skill, and not on Larry King, where you seem like kind of a douche."
These came from: 1. Deception Point, Dan Brown 2. A Confederacy Of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole 3. The Power Broker, Robert Caro 4. My Life, Bill Clinton 5. America (the Book), Jon Stewart
Driving around and seeing all the Christmas lights got me thinking that there should be a rule: you can't have a light display that is nicer than the house you live in.
I saw one of the most disturbing clips posted on the net the other day, The Passion of the Benny Hill. Not that I'm that sensitive, but wow, that's a bit much.
I happened to see a Buick the other day that I thought was sharp looking. This shakes the foundations of my universe, since I've always thought that Buicks were farty cars for old people. It raises the possibility that I've turned into an old fart without even noticing.
I hate when bloggers engage in mean spirited cheap attacks on others, so this might cross that line but here goes anyway. I saw a disturbing sight today in the mall. A little kid who bore the most unfortunate resemblance to Carrot Top. As if this genetic burden wasn't enough, the parents made the questionable fashion choice of two smaller 'fro/buns on each side of her head. The poor child came off looking like Mickey Mouse.
Doggie grooming time yesterday. It's so not fair that the groomer comes to the house to cut her hair, but when I need a haircut I have to jump in the car and drive there. I'm pretty sure the dog would enjoy driving there if she could; but I'm kind of ambivalent. I was tempted ask if I could climb in the van and get shaved down, but I whimped out and went the traditional route.
Since just about EVERY blogger has posted a link to this funny piece from SNL, I guess I have to be a conformist sheep and do the same! Unfortunately, I missed it so I'm glad the blogosphere is exposing it to a wider audience.
I worked a late shift on Saturday night, and got home in the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to watch some TV to unwind, but my channel surfing wasn't giving me too many compelling options. Finally, it came down to a choice between L&O reruns and catching the end of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I'm hoping that if I'd seen the entire movie, I'd have a more positive reaction, but I really doubt it. I was kinda' wishing that they could do one of those "mind wipes" that would erase the memory of this film from my consciousness.
But, then again it might have just been a result of being tired and cranky. When the movie was over, I was ready to head to bed, but when the HBO teaser for the next show, Cathouse 2 came on, I was like a guy driving a car by the scene of an accident. You want to look away, but you just can't. Even that show failed to amuse me much. It's a pretty sorry state of affairs, when hookers and their sexcapades don't brighten up your day!
Rejected Holiday Specials 11. Chewbacca Sings Your Holiday Favorites 10. Kwanzaa with Carrot Top 9. You're a Fucking Consumer, Charlie Brown 8. The Matrix: Re-gifted 7. Santa Conquers the Arabs 6. The Year Without Department Stores 5. Steven Spielberg's E.L.F. (Electronic LifeForm) 4. A Very Hasselhoff Hannukah 3. William Shatner Goes A-Caroling 2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Coke Fiend 1. An Insane Clown Posse Christmas
Welcome to your new Eden. Welcome to Idiot America.
LET'S TAKE A TOUR, shall we? For the sake of time, we'll just cover the last year or so. A federally funded abstinence program suggests that HIV can be transmitted through tears. An Alabama legislator proposes a bill to ban all books by gay authors. The Texas House passes a bill banning suggestive cheerleading. And nobody laughs at any of it, or even points out that, in the latter case, having Texas ban suggestive cheerleading is like having Nebraska ban corn. James Dobson, a prominent conservative Christian spokesman, compares the Supreme Court to the Ku Klux Klan. Pat Robertson, another prominent conservative preacher, says that federal judges are a more serious threat to the country than is Al Qaeda and, apparently taking his text from the Book of Gambino, later sermonizes that the United States should get with it and snuff the democratically elected president of Venezuela.
The Congress of the United States intervenes to extend into a televised spectacle the prolonged death of a woman in Florida. The majority leader of the Senate, a physician, pronounces a diagnosis based on heavily edited videotape. The majority leader of the House of Representatives argues against cutting-edge research into the use of human stem cells by saying that "an embryo is a person. . . . We were all at one time embryos ourselves. So was Abraham. So was Muhammad. So was Jesus of Nazareth." Nobody laughs at him or points out that the same could be said of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or whoever invented the baby-back rib....
As the holiday gets ever closer, everybody gets busy and time is of the essence. The EZ PLAY Christmas tree may just be the time saver that you are looking for. The tree comes complete with LED lights as well as a built in MP3 player with speakers located in the base. However, if you are more the "do-it-yourself" arts and crafts type, and you aren't easily offended, this Tampon Tree (VIA Bifurcated Rivets) may be more your speed. "Feminine hygiene has never been so festive!"
It wasn't that long ago that a popular form of advertising was the holiday calendar that was distributed at year end. They still exist, but not that many businesses use this tool anymore. In the event that you are still looking for a distinctive calendar for the coming year, Beware of the Blog brings us this stunning Drunken Russians 2006 calendar!
10 Things That Sound Dirty at Christmas (VIA nicoleMART) 10. Did you get any under the tree? 9. I think your balls are hanging too low. 8. Check out Rudolph’s honker! 7. Santa’s sack is really bulging. 6. Lift up the skirt so I can get a clean breath. 5. Check out that fruitcake. 4. I love licking the end till it’s really sharp and pointy. 3. From here you can't tell if they're artificial or real. 2. Can I interest you in some dark meat? 1. To get it to stand up straight, try propping it against the wall.
In a bold flash of sulfur and smoke, Satan descended into the White House daily briefing and dropped some shocking intelligence: he is the father of VP Dick Cheney! Satan has been in the White House for decades, but what drove him to make such a shocking announcement?
"It was time he knew the truth," Satan told the Underground Reporter.
Cheney's mother could not be reached for comment, but sources suggest that Satan is in fact her baby's daddy.
I suppressed my inclination to predict the outcome of last night's "The Apprentice", since most of my prognostications prove to be horribly wrong. This time however, I would not have been going out on a limb to predict that Randal would go home with all the marbles and that Trump would try to hire both of them. It's been obvious that he liked both of them, which is only natural since they are probably two of the most talented candidates that have ever been on the show. After a season of mass firings, you just knew that the temptation to do a double hiring might prove too much for the Trumpster to ignore.
I was more that a little bit surprised that Trump even ask Randal his opinion on the subject, and even more shocked that he that he vetoed the idea. But I completely agree with Randal that “It’s not ‘The Apprenti,’ it’s ‘The Apprentice.’” A tough call that seems in conflict with the lovefest that preceded it, but it's the right decision although I hate to see that Randal is now portrayed as selfish. I think it would have been a Jump The Shark moment, although the moving the show to LA seems to portend that event.
And speaking of bad ideas, I cringe to see that yet another Star Trek Movie may "boldly go" where we've gone before. Although I loved the "mirror universe" episodes of ST, and the one done in the final season of Enterprise was great, this movie idea seems like a retread of that. It seemed obvious that they probably had planned to have Shatner in that episode, but just couldn't "make it so". Just let it rest.
So many times pop culture bastardizes classic music and gets inside of our heads in strange ways. Who among us can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking about The Lone Ranger? And every time I see a headline about the media company Knight Ridder why does my mind's eye always see David Hasselhoff? And now as one more assault on our sanity, the good folks at Lexus have taken another piece of music and linked it to their December To Remember ad campaign. I'm not sure which is worse, the linkage of the song to Lexus, or the message that if you don't buy your spouse a $40,000 car you are a loser? Yea, when the car payments come due in January, it WILL BE a December to remember!
Holiday shopping seems to be taking it's toll on me. Maybe it's just the long hours, but I've been dragging my sorry butt home with little energy to spare. No time to surf the web, or much else for that matter. I've gotta take a vacation after the first of the year; this looks like a nice resort.
Are you kidding me with this “There’s a war on Christmas” bullshit? FOX News wasn’t raking in enough cash already from all the Christmas commercials for Kill ‘em All Barbie and Girls Gone Wild Brand Toddler Gear? They had to start publishing books about some bogus attack on Christianity? And who did they pick to lead this particular charge? John f'ing Gibson. This guy has wiener written all over him. Bill O’Reilly gets all the credit as the biggest nutcase in FOXville, but Gibson really deserves his own special wing in the happy house...
What makes him such a dick? I mean, besides making a fortune by screaming hysterically about how oppressed Christians are by the other twenty percent? How about advocating bombing countries that don’t vote the way we want in their own elections? Way to encourage democracy, fuckhead. And maybe he was kidding when he wished, on air, that the French had gotten the 2012 Olympics instead of the Brits so the terrorists would “blow up Paris,” but it might have been just a touch over the top to call for it again on the day of the London train bombings. Classy move, asshole...
The Sound Of Music Drinking Game (VIA Bifurcated Rivets) "You've seen the film, you know the songs....why not spice up that next repeat screening of everyones favourite musical, by using it to get rip-roaring drunk?" This just might breath new life into an old classic. For example, some events that will make you take one sip:
Everytime you see a nuns bare hands (multiple sips for multiple hands ).
Bush Toys: Simple Products for Simple Minds Toys that don't challenge children by requiring them to find the right answer. Most have multiple correct answers, and some have no answers whatsoever. Perfect for your own little underachiever.
If a meteorite crashed down on the White House today, the conversation at the Pearly Gates might go something like this.
"Oh-h-h. Where am I? St. Peter?"
"Welcome, Mr. President. I just need to see if you belong here."
"Well, St. Peter, you know I'm a born-again Christian. I pray every day. I'm very religious. I brought Bible study classes to the White House."
"That's terrific. And have you helped any lepers lately?"
"Not exactly. But my cuts in the top tax rates will create wealth that will trickle down and help lepers. I'm getting there indirectly, instead of barging through the eye of a needle."
"And St. Peter, I've been upstanding in defending Christian values. We made sure that we call the tree at the White House a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree. And we sent out 1.4 million White House Christmas cards!"...
"Mr. President, our checklist doesn't have anything about sending out Christmas cards, or putting up Christmas trees. It's more about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and housing the homeless."
"But St. Peter, they're just trying to put Christ back into Christmas. They see how faith is threatened by people saying 'Happy Holidays,' instead of 'Merry Christmas.' Fox News has covered 'Christmas Under Siege,' and one of its anchors has a new book called 'The War on Christmas.' The American Family Association is boycotting Target, and the Catholic League threatened a boycott against Wal-Mart. This hasn't been my issue, but these are my people, St. Peter. They're doing this to glorify Christ."
"Frankly, Mr. President, here in Heaven, I say 'Merry Christmas,' but others prefer 'Happy Holidays.' Gandhi prefers it. And a Jewish rabbi told me that his family felt more comfortable with that as well. ..."
"But St. Peter, that's one rabbi. ..."
"Whose name is Jesus."
"Jesus says Christmas shouldn't be about picking fights and organizing boycotts. All that legalistic nitpicking just reminds him of the Pharisees. Do you really think that if Jesus returns to Earth tomorrow, his priority is going to be organizing a boycott of Target stores? You think he's going to appear on Fox to say, 'Worry about genocide and hunger later - first, let's battle with liberals over what holiday greeting to use'?",,,
I overheard somebody say that a person wouldn't be coming to work because they had a "bad accident". This makes me ask the question, "What is a GOOD accident?" A fender bender, perhaps. Or a scenario including buttons popping off a blouse, but the less said about that the better. Most accidents fall into the category of bad and worse.
Snow sucks. Tonight is our third snowfall of the season, and I'm tired of it already. The wife looks at every storm as a potential day off, and I look at it as decreased foot traffic at work and a greater likelihood of my bonus slipping away. Hopefully, this won't amount to too much accumulation either. You know what they say about snow, it's like sex...it doesn't pay to worry about how much you're gonna get or how long it's going to last.
With the fundamentalist wingnuts making such a stink about the "assault on Christmas" why haven't they made a fuss over all the "gay" lyrics in Christmas songs? Listening to these songs over and over again at work reminded me that there are many containing these references ("Have yourself a merry little Christmas Make the yuletide gay"...."Don we now our gay apparel"...."With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings") If these dudes are getting this upset over people saying "happy holidays" you would think the thought of gay meetngs and such would drive them crazy.
Confrontational Marketing -- Building Brand Awareness in a Saturated Market (VIA Adrants) An account of one of the newest marketing schemes being used by Starbucks. They pay guys to attach a cup of Starbucks to the roof of their car, and drive around so you think that he's "forgotten" the cup up there. Let's see...scam me and embarrass me, and that's going to motivate me to buy your overpriced (but tasty) coffee? Interesting choice.
Alibi Network I would like to think this is a joke, but I suspect that it is a real business. If you need an excuse for missing work, skipping a friend's party, or looking to cover for spending time with a "special" friend, then this service may just be what you are looking for. "We offer a service which can help protect your loved ones from undue anxiety, and help ensure the stability of long term relationships and financial security." sounds so polished and professional. Much less sleazy than "covering your sorry ass while you bang your secretary".
"It's always Christmas time (for Visa)!" Before you whip out the plastic and run off to do your Christmas shopping, you may want to check out this cute animation about abusive credit card practices. Too many people just jump in with both feet when they get those low interest rate credit card offers only to see the rates skyrocket over time.
Although as a consumer, you can use your head and read the fine print, but there are bills coming before the House and Senate to level the playing field. Urge your representatives to support the pending legislation which would ban abusive credit practices, and give consumers more of a fair shake.
Nice to see that the European leaders made an attempt to hold Condi's feet to the fire over some of our abhorrent practices. Too bad the same type of challenges and criticisms are absent on this side of the pond.
In her op-ed piece today, Maureen Dowd (sorry; Times select reg. required) offers her take on the subject. Since I'm in a particularly lazy mode today, and as always mesmerized by her, I just do a bit of the old cut and paste:
Our secretary of state's tortuous defense of supposedly nonexistent C.I.A. torture chambers in Eastern Europe was an acid flashback to Clintonian parsing.
Just as Bill Clinton pranced around questions about marijuana use at Oxford during the '92 campaign by saying he had never broken the laws of his country, so Condoleezza Rice pranced around questions about outsourcing torture by suggesting that President Bush had never broken the laws of his country.
But in Bill's case, he was only talking about smoking a little joint, while Condi is talking about snatching people off the street and throwing them into lethal joints. "The United States government does not authorize or condone torture of detainees," she said. It all depends on what you mean by "authorize," "condone," "torture" and "detainees."
Ms. Rice also claimed that the U.S. did not transport terrorism suspects "for the purpose of interrogation using torture." But, hey, as Rummy likes to say, stuff happens.
The president said he was opposed to torture and then effectively issued regulations to allow what any normal person - and certainly a victim - would consider torture. Alberto Gonzales et al. have defined torture deviancy downward to the point where it's hard to imagine what would count as torture. Under this administration, prisoners have been hung by their wrists and had electrodes attached to their genitals; they've been waterboarded, exposed to extreme heat and cold, and threatened with death - even accidentally killed.
Does Ms. Rice think anyone is buying her loophole-riddled defense? Not with the Italians thinking of rounding up C.I.A. officers to ask them whether they abducted a cleric in Milan. And with Torquemada Cheney slouching around Capitol Hill trying to circumvent John McCain, legalizing torture at the C.I.A.'s secret prisons, by preventing Congress from requiring decent treatment for U.S. prisoners.
When Ms. Rice was a Stanford professor of international relations, she would have flunked any student who dared to present her with the sort of willfully disingenuous piffle she spouted on the eve of her European trip.
Maybe she figures that if she was able to fool people once with doubletalk about W.M.D., she can fool them again with doubletalk about rendition.
As chatter spreads about Condi as a possible presidential contender, we are left wondering, once more, who this woman really is. Is she doing this willingly, or is she hemmed in by the powerful men around her? As a former national security adviser who has had the president's ear for five years, did she try to fight the appalling attempt to shred the Geneva Conventions, or did she go along with it? Is she doing Vice's nefarious bidding on torture, just as she did on ginning up the case for invading Iraq?
I thought I was having some bad days recently, but after reading this piece where Tempers boil over in long line, I guess things haven't been that bad after all.
And I'm glad that I had nothing to do with this hugely unpopular decision to change the Marshall Field's name, which as many have pointed out ranks right up there with "New Coke" in the bad idea department.
Chicken To Ride A cute little animation that illustrates a mondegreen for a classic Beatles song. The term comes from the writer Sylvia Wright's childhood memory of the folksong "The Bonny Earl Of Morray". She heard "they have slain the Earl of Morray and Lady Mondegreen" as opposed to the actual "they have slain the Earl of Morray and laid him on the green". Hence, misheard lyrics get called mondegreens. Once they get in your head, you seldom can get them out. To this day, whenever I hear the song Love Train, I can't help but think they are saying "get on the love train, Lorne Green." A few more related links:
Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth I can seldom get enough of The Dandy Warhols. Yet, up until I discovered this on Google videos, I had never seen the video for this classic song. Glad we fixed that.
Today is the day! Congress gets back to Washington today, and what better way to welcome them back than to send them a message about ending the war in Iraq. Call, email, or fax your representatives and send them this simple message: "I am calling to let Rep. ______ know that I think the Iraq war is wrong and all our troops should be brought home immediately!"
Christmas Lights To continue the holiday theme, behold the neighbor from hell. Hands down, probably the most obnoxious display of lights you can experience. And to insure that this annoys you, set to music as well.
Christmas Abstract (VIA Cynical-C Blog) Some hilarious and on target analysis of the classic Christmas songs. As an example, his take on Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer:
I'm really not trying to be Grinch McCall here. My intention isn't to ruin any of these songs for you. Well, that's not exactly true -- insofar as you've got any warm feelings about Rudolph, I'd like to be sure they curdle like month-old milk by the time you're done reading this. "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" is usually taught as inspirational verse and a statement against prejudice and mockery: Rudolph is visibly marked and consequently discriminated against, yet he rises above the catcalls to achieve fame and success. Sounds great, right? Let's look a little closer. Rudolph's moment of redemption comes not as the cause of any consciousness-raising, but because his difference (superficial as it is) is shown to have utility to the corporate body. He is accepted by his peers not for his own merits, but because circumstances conspired to harness his idiosyncrasy and turn it into profit for his employers. What is the real lesson we take from the fable of Rudolph, boys and girls? ***Difference will be tolerated and celebrated only if it can be put to the service of the power structure.*** Otherwise, you're just a wacko, and you can forget about those reindeer games for good. Once again, Santa Claus is portrayed here as an unfeeling, self-absorbed cad -- he makes no intervention in Rudolph's persecution until he needs to save his own ass (at least the TV special got that part right). But does Rudolph get his moment to tell the boss to screw himself; that his hypocrisy won't be tolerated? No, he's the first one tethered to the sled, happy to take the whip of his former oppressor as long as he can feel both useful to the corporation and validated by his peers. If I had a kid, this would be about the last lesson I'd want to teach her.
Christmas Humor, New Orleans Style (VIA Folderol) It's refreshing to see that somebody in New Orleans still has a sense of humor. This model train display at a local mall featured some realistic scenes that you might have actually viewed, such as collapsed roofs, houses with spray-painted X's, and other evacuation related scenarios. Apparently, not everybody found it funny, but the pictures remain.
World Famous Hand-Crafted Dog Poop Since this is the time of the year that people go around buying crap for others, could there be a better time than now to point out DogDoo.com? They sell "the most realistic dog doo that money can buy". The feel the need to point out that they are "the original" as if there are many others selling doggie doo?
The Smoking Gun: Framed! The dumb-ass of the year award goes to this New Hampshire burglar who was in the process of robbing a hair salon when the cops show up. Apparently, he watched too many bad action flicks, and tried to escape by diving through a closed window. He didn't quite make it.
When he was picked to be on the ticket, many criticized him for his lack of experience and for using his connections to get out of serving in Vietnam via a National Guard stint. While in office, he was constantly ridiculed as being a lightweight and being unable to handle the job. His run for the Presidency in 2000 fizzled since Republicans picked another candidate who had none of that baggage. Go figure.
In recent weeks, there has been widespread speculation that President George W. Bush, confronted by diminishing approval ratings and dissent within his own party, will begin pulling American troops out of Iraq next year....
A high-level Pentagon war planner told me, however, that he has seen scant indication that the President would authorize a significant pullout of American troops if he believed that it would impede the war against the insurgency....
Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.
Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror....
Voice-Activated R2-D2 Ok, admit it. It's not like you have to be a geek to want one of these R2D2 clones. This baby responds to voice commands, navigates rooms and hallways, and makes any home feel like it has been transported to a galaxy far, far away. This IS the 'droid you are looking for!
Dharma dogma Dogs represent the blissful Zen side of Buddhism. "Only when you understand how little you know will you know anything at all." Thanks to Archie McPhee, you too can have this attractive image at your side in your search for enlightenment.
My head is still spinning from the corporate evolution with AT&T begeting Verizon, SBC, and the rest. Then to make things interesting AT&T spins off the wireless division, which is then sold to Cingular which is owned by SBC, which buys AT&T and now wants to re-brand Cingular as AT&T. Ah, to return to a simpler time. This review of the old AT&T Logos (VIA Information Junk) just might do the trick. Either that, or phones with cranks.