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John's Blog

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!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Costume Blues

The saga of the Halloween costume continues. Not wearing one to work risks branding myself as "not a team player", and that's a headache I can live without. I've found plenty of ideas that are appealing, but I'm trying to work within the following parameters: 1) low cost, 2) low effort, and 3) non humiliating or inappropriate.

My first idea was to just wear black pants and a turtleneck, pay a visit to the MAC counter, have them paint my face black and walk around carrying my iPod. But as I was bouncing this idea off a coworker, somebody else overheard and ask me "so you are changing your ethnicity for Halloween?" I hadn't though how easily this idea might be misinterpreted and it seems like that could get me in trouble with rule #3 if people don't make the connection with the Apple commercials.

But keeping with the Apple theme, I thought I could dress like a Mac, and I'd have someone else dress as a PC, but my candidate for the role of the PC guy balked, saying it was too subtle and that he wouldn't get credit for wearing a costume. I considered staying this course without him, but the consensus is that the idea is even LESS funny without having both characters.

I found this penis costume amusing, however having gone to a party as a broken condom years ago with a costume consisting of trash bags and shaving cream, it becomes a case of "been there, done that". Oh yeah, and that damn rule #3 rears it's ugly head once again. As I recall I was ask to leave that party, so it's reasonable to assume I'd get the same reaction at work.

So with necessity being the mother of invention, a trip to the basement to find one of my father-in-laws' old hard hats along with my reflective vest from running, and it looks like I'll be the lamest construction worker ever. Perhaps, I'll make the claim that I'm one of the Village People, even if I'd rather be the leather guy instead.
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Look...Up On The Couch...Oh, No...It's A Dog

Since misery loves company, what better way to share the wealth than by dressing up the dog in a Halloween costume as well? I believe her sad look saying "Why do you humiliate me like this?" needs no explanation.
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"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."
Woodrow Wilson
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Not Ready For Prime Time

After getting burned too many times by being an early adopter, I've had a long standing rule that I don't do "dot-zero" software releases. Far better to wait until all the bugs are worked out. But being a fan of Firefox, when I saw that Version 2.0 was out I downloaded it and installed it without hesitation. Big mistake! No matter what settings I tweak, each page appears in a 1/4" space to the left along with the scroll bar that's usually on the right. You would think you could grab it and expand the tab, but that doesn't seem to work. Luckily, I did back up the old version, but it seems that the updates to the plug-ins have screwed up its' old functionality. Only now am I reading that the new version is buggy, but I guess I should have known better.
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Time For A Change

Stay the Course?

You have to hope that enough people finally see through the rhetoric driven posturing that's been masquerading as leadership the last few years. But then again, I was sure two years ago that everybody finally seen "the emperor had no clothes" and I was proved horribly wrong.

And if that's not enough cause for sleepless nights, these 20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA should be. Just a few to consider for a pre-Halloween scare:

  • 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
  • There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.
  • The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.
  • The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."
  • Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.
  • 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.
  • All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.
  • Tags:
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    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Why Not A TV Rant?

    Ah yes, the "busy/tired/lazy/bored" syndrome has once again sapped the urge to blog right out of my system. But I did finally get the time to catch-up on the TV shows that I missed watching this week. At the top of my list is my new favorite show Heroes, and this weeks' episode was another good one. However, as much as I like the show, there are these little nagging details that drive me crazy. Things that don't make sense, except that they are thrown in as a lazy way to develop the story. I suppose someone should call the irony police immediately, since it's silly for me to call someone else's work lazy, just as it is silly to bemoan logical fallacies in a show about people with superpowers.

    That being said, a few of the things that have been bugging me:
  • When Niki stops at the mother-in-law's house and makes the statement that she didn't want to expose her son to this why DID you stop and visit then?
  • Hiro leaving messages on Isaac's answering machine in Japanese when he could have his companion Ando translate to English?
  • Niki is pushing the blond stereotype a bit too far, I mean just how much stuff has to go down before she figures out that she's involved? It looks like this gets resolved next week.
  • Speaking of "next week", could we have some previews that are just "teasers" and not "spoilers"? Too many times they show us a key scene, that pretty much ruins the dramatic impact when you see it during the show in context. I used to moan about "The Sopranos" previews that were carefully edited to imply an event that doesn't take place, but I'll take that any day over just spoiling the damn episode.
  • Nathan escapes his captors and flies to a diner, where he borrows a cell phone and asks someone to come pick him up. Maybe you could just fly back to your hotel instead?
  • Like anyone in the internet porn business (Niki) would leave a data trail that would allow one of her customers to stalk her and walk into her living room?
  • Why Claire's parents haven't been investigated by the child services department, since the only clothing she has to wear seems to be that cheerleader outfit? Then again, after seeing what happened to Matt and the quarterback, maybe they HAVE been, and just forgot why they went there.
  • And a special "WTF" goes to Emerson Electric who is suing the show over the scene where Claire shoves her hand in the garbage disposal and it emerges a bloody mess. They claim that it portrays their product in an unsavory light, suggesting that serious injuries will result. So, like, it's OK if I try that?

  • But even with my "nit-picking", I'll be back for more next week to check out where the story is going. Anybody else expect to see Claire's sinister, creepy father (Mr. Horn Rimmed Glasses) turn out to be one of the good guys?
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    Name Game

    Although these guys didn't make the cut, the Top 10 Dirtiest Names in Sports list contains some memorable favorites. I'm just a little disappointed that Dick Pride and David Seaman weren't on the list, but not everybody can be a winner.

    But you just can't beat the classics, as Abbott and Costello's Who's on First reminds us.
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    "They always talk who never think."
    Matthew Prior
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    Attention Shoppers

    During the last Presidential election, 76% of those who voted for Dubya shopped at Wal-Mart once a week. Needless to say I seldom shop there, but I get my discount fix at Target. Steve offers up the 10 Reasons Target is Better than Wal-Mart. He explains the contrasts of the popular, more upscale discounter to the evil empire of Wally World. Pretty much dead-on observations, even if he pissed-off (or is that on?) the Nascar crowd.
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    Stir Things Up

    How many times have you been working away at your computer and you get a craving for some tasty fondue? Now it's only a USB port away thanks to this handy USB Fondue set! Make your desk the office hotspot, and let your co-workers stop in for a dip. But I'm gonna hold out for the USB chocolate fountain myself.
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    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Advertising Rant

    So many commercials today have me scratching my head and wondering, "what were they thinking?" Although after viewing this old ad for the Chrysler Cordoba, it reminds me that sometimes those fond memories of old commercials might not be founded in reality. But who among us doesn't get a warm, fuzzy feeling when hearing the words "rich corinthian leather"?

    Most of the current batch of TV ads usually sparks a debate in our household over their intent and effectiveness. Inevitably, a commercial will bug one of us and not the other. The wife hates the new Geico commercial with the caveman going through the airport, and thinks it doesn't work. Myself, I've been a huge fan of the caveman series, and I just can't get enough. But I'm not a big Gecko fan.

    She also HATES the commercial with the dancing scissors that run around cutting up credit cards. This could be from the ugly imagery of the attacking scissors, or the unpleasant thought of cutting up credit cards, I'm not sure which. The ones that really set her off recently are the ones for VW, where they have a guy playing a guitar. She didn't recognize Slash or Nigel and thought they were stupid. But now there's a third one with a guy plugged into a Beetle convertible and I don't have a clue who the heck he is. Suddenly, I see things her way.

    But a few more that get under my skin include: ANY that include the Travelocity gnome or the BK "King", the Old Navy commercials where people are flying ("get your fash-on"), and the equally obnoxious (but less repetitive) follow-ups to the Head-On commercials featuring endorsements. And a disturbing trend I've noticed on the radio are the ads that just repeat the same short message over and over again, in the style of "Head On; apply directly to the forehead..." which can't be a good sign.

    Now that the cooler weather is here, the Lexus "December To Remember" campaign can't be too far behind. These obnoxious ads feature people who fail to select a more traditional Christmas gift and decide to buy a $40,000 vehicle instead. The year I do that, there will no doubt be a "foreclosure to remember" as well. And the ads feature a piece of classically styled music (now ruined for me) that causes a battle for the remote to hit the mute button.

    Speaking of car ads, after viewing this Toyota one, I'm sure glad I opted for a Honda instead since I'm not sure I could handle the maintenance on this model.
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    The Wind Doesn't Blow...

    Yet another mash-up of sorts, Full Metal Classroom gives us a new twist on an old classic.

    And as a special treat, rare footage of Bush Military Training.
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    "When people are the least sure they are the most dogmatic."
    John Kenneth Galbraith
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    Political Link Dump

    I'm A Democrat (VIA skippy the bush kangaroo)

    The Worst Congress Ever:
    There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?

    These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable...
    The Republicans have been smart and duplicitous in so many ways, but none more effective then their creation of a new technique that is now known as "swift boating."

    Truths, honesty, integrity, what meaning could that have when the Republicans are running for, or trying to remain in office.

    It is incredible how the Republicans managed to take a decorated Naval hero Kerry, and cast significant doubt on him, while at the same time protecting the reputation of a sitting President with a very questionable military record.

    These guys have mounted a campaign that speaks to their actions that will protect America during "a war on terror." They use Television and the Presidents incumbency to create a variety of expressions that extol their actions, and vilify their opposition. They have fractured the Constitution, but what does that matter if by so doing, they can promote the notion that we can sleep soundly in our beds in that they are standing guard.

    It is time that the Democrats fight back by using the same techniques, sort of like "fighting fire with fire," (how trite), and I suggest that they start with the following slogan, or something like it:


    This mantra should be used to counteract the cut and run Republican expression that is their "bumper sticker" approach to politics and the moronic war in Iraq...
    Daniel Ellsberg: The Next War:
    A hidden crisis is under way. Many government insiders are aware of serious plans for war with Iran, but Congress and the public remain largely in the dark. The current situation is very like that of 1964, the year preceding our overt, open-ended escalation of the Vietnam War, and 2002, the year leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    In both cases, if one or more conscientious insiders had closed the information gap with unauthorized disclosures to the public, a disastrous war might have been averted entirely...
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    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Viva La Difference!

    The NY Times notes that Good Girls Go Bad, for a Day: "In her thigh-highs and ruby miniskirt, Little Red Riding Hood does not appear to be en route to her grandmother’s house. And Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed. There is a witch wearing little more than a Laker Girl uniform, a fairy who appears to shop at Victoria’s Secret and a cowgirl with a skirt the size of a tea towel."

    Geesh, they make it sound like the gradual migration of "Fright Night" to "Dress Like A Slut Day" is a bad thing? Like an abundance of too many sexy French Maids is going to be a problem? Somethings you just can't overdo, no matter what. Ooh la la!
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    From The Land of Pleasant Living...

    They don't make commercials like THIS one for Natty Boh anymore, and that's probably a pretty good thing. I've whined about how this jingle gets stuck in your head before, so don't say you haven't been warned. But, in the event this doesn't quench your thirst for nostalgia, there's more of this frothy goodness!
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    My Bad

    It often occurs to me that I sometimes skim things too quickly as I poke my way through the web. As I glanced at the headline "Microwave Cloaking is Now a Reality" my first take was that Microsoft had invented a cloaking device. Like that wouldn't suck badly and work out much like this? I need to pay a bit more attention to the details.
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    "Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
    Winston Churchill
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    Conspiracy Theories

    FROM Move over 9/11, There's a New Conspiracy in Town....:
    They believe insurgents are intensifying attacks against US soldiers to influence November's mid-term elections." Were we (gasp) that obvious? For the uninformed, you have absolutely no idea how hard it is contacting the dozens of different factions fighting each other in Iraq, and convincing them to put aside their differences for a month so that they may more effectively kill our American soldiers. Trust me, I didn't think we would ever succeed at that. But hard work and perseverance paid off, we are now on track to exceed all expectations. And it would appear that it's having it's desired affect. Voters are becoming disenchanted with Republicans and the Iraq war.

    Bill OReiley also caught on to us. The other day he made the comment: "Now, the reason North Korea is causing trouble is that it wants to influence the November election. As we discussed last week, Iran's doing the same thing in Iraq -- ramping up the violence so Americans will turn against the Bush administration. That is not a partisan statement. It is a fact." I'm not sure how Bill figured it out but he's right. And I have to tell you, convincing a nutjob such as Kim to accelerate his nuclear bomb program to coincide with the November elections was about the hardest thing we ever did. That too was worth the effort. I mean, just look at the latest polls on Bush. He's in the tanks, thanks in no small part to our Comrade Kim who sacraficed thousands of workers to detonate an atomic bomb just to help the Democrats cause.

    The crowning glory though, happened right here in our back yard. Turning Mark Foley into a pedophile, telling Hastert about it years ago, then keeping the whole thing quiet till Nov. 06 was a juggling act that you just can't appreciate unless you were involved. I can't count the times Hastert wanted to go public and censure Foley over the last few years. Even now, I'm not sure how we pulled that one off.

    Why am I telling you all this? Guilt, I suppose....... I don't want all my conservative friends laying awake nights wondering if this was indeed a conspiracy. Of course it was. You don't think all this was random chance......... do you?
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    Good Excuses

    Blogger was having another of it's funky days again, so I ditched the idea of posting until now. But at least other people have come up with better excuses for not blogging than I have had recently. A few of the classics found at the f blog: Sorry I haven't posted in awhile (VIA Boing Boing):
  • "work has rurned out to be a curse and blessing, more money but I work with a bunch of alcoholics."
  • "It must be because I haven't done much around the house to brag about! The place still looks the same, so this must mean that I am at least maintaining the mess instead of adding to it. I still have a piles everywhere."
  • "I just don't enjoy it as much as I convince myself I do."
  • "I think a post I wrote a couple weeks ago was too big and clogged up one of the tubes leading to my "own personal internet." Fortunately I just bought some eDrano, so things should be fine now."
  • "I forgot my password..."
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    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Halloween Planning

    What good news it is to hear that we are being "encouraged" to dress up for Halloween at work....NOT! I'll get into it for a party, but I'm never a fan of forced frivolity in a place of employment and I'm not looking forward to this. Maybe it's not too late to take the day off. Or maybe I could just wear THIS costume and hope that I get sent home.
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    So why not a visit to Thrill World?

    I guess I've reached a place where I find myself with a newfound approach to blogging:
  • I've been way too busy to have blogging emerge as a priority. And I've also been remiss about leaving comments.
  • When I DO surf the web, I find myself surfing material for my own enjoyment, and spinning it into a blog entry is the farthest thing from my mind.
  • When blogging thoughts actually creep in, I find myself having one of the following reactions: been there/done that, probably will be (or has been) done better by somebody else, so why bother?
  • I'm realizing that it's possible to break the addiction, perhaps? But I can't make a clean break and just walk away. I just might find the motivation, or the occasional thought worth sharing. So for now; less frequent posting.
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    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
    James Madison
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    Tech Lust Dilemma

    Following all the rumors and teased product releases can drive you insane, although in my case that's a very short trip. The pending release of a smaller, cheaper Palm Treo smartphone offers a tempting alternative to my aging PDA and cell phone. And when I see that Cingular may be offering the Treo 680 for free if you take on a two year plan, it gets me salivating.

    But as if to get me even more crazy, I see the possibility that an Apple iPhone may be on the way, one of them a smartphone featuring a keyboard and wifi. Be still my heart.
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    Car Or Wife?

    Keepers of Lists: Things You Can Say About Your Car, Not Your Wife:
    I got it from a good friend of mine.
    Wanna take it for a spin?
    The best ride i have ever had!
    It's good but it's old...
    You can use mine, while I'm out of town.
    I keep pumping it, but it won't turn over.
    Nice Headlights
    Time to trade the ol' girl in for a new one
    She may be old and not much to look at, but damn what a ride.
    I have to get that high-pitched whining noise fixed.
    Its got big trunk space.

    || JM, 9:46 AM || link || (1)||comments|| Email this link:

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    Not What You Were Looking 4-0-4

    Area 404 catalogs some of the most unique and creative "page not found" messages on the web.

    One of my favorites includes this one from the site that puts a "poe-etic" twist on the situation...
    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I websurfed, weak and weary,
    Over many a strange and spurious website of 'hot chicks galore',
    While I clicked my fav'rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning,
    And my heart was filled with mourning, mourning for my dear amour.
    "'Tis not possible," I muttered, "give me back my cheap hardcore!"
    Quoth the server, "404".

    And sometimes, the message is a question of how you interpret it, as this 404 Not Found page illustrates.
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    Retro Intro

    God, the drivel that you watch on TV as a child that you thought was great. The show Search is a primary example. The premise of this sci-fi series sounds silly now, but was pretty appealing to the fantasy driven mind of a teenager. The show featured the adventures of three secret agents who were equipped with miniature TV transmitters, allowing a central controller to monitor their missions and provide information from their "Probe-control computer", which is the typical 70's blinking/whirling mainframe monstrosity about the size of a bus. Also appealing to teenage hormone driven fantasies and providing a guarantee that I would tune in was the presence of Angel Tompkins in the cast. She had a minor part, but I had a major crush. I've watched shows for worse reasons than that.

    But if you enjoy wallowing down memory lane, then get prepared to O.D. on some classic TV goodness. Main Title Heaven is a fantastic blog which features a ton of clips of the opening title sequences to many of the shows from the past that you know and love. And some you don't...and won't.
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    "One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory."
    Rita Mae Brown
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    Rattle The Chain

    Why don’t I get amusing emails like this one that claims the “ Ghost of a teen who died in a sewer strikes down those who don't repost her story”?

    In this one, being debunked by Snopes, the story is that “2 months ago, 16 year old David Gregory read this post and didn't repost it. When he went to take a shower he heard laughter from his shower, he started freaking out and ran to his computer to repost it, He said goodnight to his mom and went to sleep, 5 hours later his mom woke up in the middle of the night cause of a loud noise, David was gone, that morning a few hours later the police found him in the sewer, his neck broke and his face skin peeled off… If you don't repost this saying "She was pushed" or "They Pushed her down a sewer" Then Jessica will get you, either from a sewer, the toilet, the shower, or when you go to sleep you'll wake up in the sewer, in the dark, then Jessica will come and kill you.”

    No, I just get e-mail claiming I won some sort of international lottery, or those from someone who needs my help claiming their money from a bank account, and of course those thoughtful people who are willing to hook you up with boner pills. But I DO enjoy the creative spelling used in an attempt to get around the spam filters (VlkAGRA 4 Less...Grooup lascivious teenss haardcore!...and so on). But I'm still scratching my head over the subject line "Do you want gamy Sluts?"...if you mean ones that have the odor of spoiled fowl, then I'm going to have to respectfully decline.
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    A Handy Guide

    The Republican Handbook (VIA skippy the bush kangaroo)

    Some "Frequently Asked Questions" about being a Republican:
    Q: I once heard George Bush is a liar. Is this true?
    A: No. President Bush is the most honest man in the history of the White House—he is a born-again Christian, after all. You should report whoever told you this to the proper Party authorities so they can be questioned, and sent to Guantanamo Bay, if necessary.

    Q: I support the troops, but I don't support the Iraq war. Can I still be a Republican?
    A: This is clearly a trick question, because we all know anyone who supports the troops must also support the war on terrorism. The two are inextricably linked. Now, if you cannot even bring yourself to support the troops, you obviously aren't Party material. You may make a fine liberal, however.

    Q: Do I have to believe every single talking point, even if I don't agree with them?
    A: Yes, especially if you don't agree with them! By reciting talking points in your head and saying them out loud to democrats, you will actually start to believe them. Remember, joining the Party is not a half-measure. You are either in or out. People who only believe 90% of the talking points, for example, are arguing for the other side 10% of the time. That's no way to run a nation. Just imagine if United States soldiers fought for the other side 10% of the time.
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    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Accept No Imitations

    The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products
    A favorite of Wile E. Coyote, the Acme Corporation has long offered a wide variety of products; now you can shop for them on-line! But sometimes, they don't work as planned.
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    May The Farce Be With You

    Another installment of the continuing saga of Chad Vader. In Episode 4, he gets to deal with both a dog and a new opportunity.
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    "When the rich make war it's the poor that die."
    Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Then And Now

    Bush Ten Years Ago - And Now!
    Compare for yourself; amazingly he didn't always appear the first class dumbass he is now. Over the last ten years a gradual decline appears to have taken place. Pre-senile dementia? Perhaps.
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    Where's The Beef?

    The phrase "Bush policy failures" seems dangerously close to an oxymoron, since time and time again it appears that there isn't any real policy or planning going on in Washington these days. Unless, of course you consider talking tough and doing nothing sound policy. The shrubs' attempt to re-focus the national debate on foreign policy to divert attention from the Foley mess probably isn't the way to go, since it simply reminds us of the numerous misfires and missed opportunities. Let's hope voters can see through the smoke screen, and don't buy into the big brother b.s. one more time.

    Keith Olbermann: The Elimination of Habeus Corpus

    Robert Scheer: Dear Leader Brings It On
    Well, Bush showed them, didn’t he?

    Over the past six years, our “my way or the highway” president blew up a crucial nonproliferation agreement which was keeping North Korea’s plutonium stores under seal, ended bilateral talks with Pyongyang, squashed Japan’s and South Korea’s carefully constructed “sunshine policy,” which was slowly drawing the bizarre Hermit Kingdom back into the light, and then took every opportunity to personally insult the country’s reportedly unstable dictator because it played well politically at home.

    If you shun them, they will shape up—this was the essence of President Bush’s non-diplomacy, as it was in regards to Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The result? Cold War-style brinkmanship that has left the United States helpless.

    The policy options left are dumb and dumber: Either passively accept Pyongyang’s defiant threats and ability to slip weapons-grade plutonium around the world, or launch an invasion that could spark a devastating attack on Seoul...
    Talking Points Memo: Will someone come out and say what a monumental twit Condi Rice is as Secretary of State
    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday defended the Bush administration's refusal to hold bilateral talks with North Korea in the face of Pyongyang's claim of a successful nuclear test. She told CNN the Clinton administration tried that approach in the 1990s and it had failed...

    But let's review the salient facts one more time.

    "Failure" =1994-2002 -- Era of Clinton 'Agreed Framework': No plutonium production. All existing plutonium under international inspection. No bomb.

    "Success" = 2002-2006 -- Bush Policy Era: Active plutonium production. No international inspections of plutonium stocks. Nuclear warhead detonated.

    Face it. They ditched an imperfect but working policy. They replaced it with nothing. Now North Korea is a nuclear state.

    Facts hurt. So do nukes.
    Rolling Blunder: How the Bush administration let North Korea get nukes
    Conservatives today portray Bush's unwillingness to negotiate with Kim as a virtue that will make the world safer, and Clinton's '94 framework as something that rewarded evil and therefore undermined our security. But the simple fact is that if Clinton hadn't signed it, North Korea could have built dozens of nuclear bombs by now--to store as a deterrent, rattle as weapons of intimidation, sell to the highest bidder for much-needed hard currency, or all three. And if steps aren't taken to ward North Korea off its current course, Kim Jong-il could build dozens of bombs over the next few years. This is why, ultimately, Bush's no-negotiations policy is not merely puzzling but irresponsible. Kim may be playing the nuclear card as a bargaining chip, but if the United States declines to bargain, he will gladly keep his chips and stack them high.
    || JM, 12:20 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Kickin' It

    Kiss My Ass, George (VIA freakgirl)
    Drop your drawers and and take a picture, which you can upload to this site, along with your message of discontent which appears as a mouseover. A special gallery for those who actually write the message ON their ass! Once they get 1000 asses on board, a special framed poster will be sent directly to Dubya,
    || JM, 8:20 AM || link || (3)||comments|| Email this link:

    Pun Stuff!

    Silly Puns (a redundant name if I've ever heard of one) provides the following:
  • Did you hear about the optometrist who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?
  • Why is Saudi Arabia free of mental illness? There are nomad people there.
  • When I was in the supermarket I saw a man and a woman wrapped in a barcode. I asked, "Are you two an item?"
  • A guy walks into the psychiatrist's office wearing only Glad Wrap shorts. The shrink says, "Well, I can clearly see you're nuts."
  • I fired my masseuse today. She just rubbed me the wrong way.
  • Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentist's Novocain during root canal work? He wanted to transcend dental medication.
  • A guy walks into a bar with jumper cables. The bartender says, "You can come in, but don't start anything!"
  • This duck walks into a bar and orders a beer. "Four bucks," says the bartender. "Put it on my bill."
  • Four fonts walk into a bar. The barman says "Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here"
  • Tags:
    || JM, 8:19 AM || link || (1)||comments|| Email this link:


    "Television news is like a lightning flash. It makes a loud noise, lights up everything around it, leaves everything else in darkness and then is suddenly gone."
    Hodding Carter
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    Tube Kings

    Providing us with a bit of déjà vu reminiscent of the dot-com boom Google buys YouTube for over a billion dollars. Let's hope they don't take this "re-branding" suggestion from the NY Times, which just conjures up ugly thoughts. Promises of better service & more innovative features can't even be delivered with a straight face; but on the other hand I'd laugh all the way to the bank for a whole lot less.
    || JM, 8:14 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    You expect silliness when you view a Worth1000 Photoshop Contest, like this example of reengineered propaganda posters. And if you are silly enough to read NewsMax, you should expect the same. It didn't take them too long to blame North Korea's nukes on the Clinton administration. I'm pretty sure he's responsible for my missing sox, as well.
    || JM, 8:12 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Above Us Only Sky...

    Although the untimely and tragic passing of John Lennon is usually noted on the December anniversary, today marks the day this cultural icon was born. Given his high-profile and vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, it's not hard to imagine (no pun intended) that if he were still with us he would be just as outspoken today, as he was then. Although we still have artists who are politically active, even when they band together, seldom do they make the kind of impact that Lennon did, and to a degree still does.

    Unfortunately, today political apathy seems to be more the order of the day than it was when Lennon's star was at it's apex. Back then, political activism was at least given more lip service, even if the reality may be about the same as current participation levels. But it's hard not to wonder, what was taken from us on that cold, dark December day, both musically and in terms of his social and political advocacy.

    A little Lennon influenced link dump to commemorate what would have been his 66th birthday:

    John Lennon: Imagine
    John Lennon Performs Give Peace A Chance
    Absolute Elsewhere: The Spirit of John Lennon
    Everybody's talking about Bagism
    The U.S. vs. John Lennon
    Imagine: The Bush Remix
    Accordian Beatles
    Meet The Beatle Barkers!
    || JM, 12:18 AM || link || (2)||comments|| Email this link:

    Too Many How-tos

    Sometimes, you just need a helping hand to move you in the right direction. This rappin' Wendy's Grill Skills is a taste of a '89 training video that time has NOT been kind to.

    If you're in the mood to be enlightened, a few more "how-to" videos:

    Sexual Harassment Corporate Training Video
    Old Training Videos
    NYPD Training Video
    How NOT TO Socialize with your coworkers
    How to open a beer
    How to Iron Sexy
    How To Lose Your Job
    Tags: ,
    || JM, 12:14 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
    Abraham Lincoln
    || JM, 12:12 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Winds Of Change?

    Although it's far too early to consider this a "slam-dunk" (irony intentional) you have to be encouraged that there appears to be a momentum shift occurring politically. But unless Chimpy rolls out some sort of October surprise, or unless the hand of Diebold influences the outcome (something we SHOULD be more worried about) we may see significant churn in the current congressional make-up with Democrats making more gains than I had thought possible. Let's hope this momentum of discontent builds as we approach election day, and is accompanied by a significant turn-out of those who want to challenge the status-quo.

    A quick sampling of the blogosphere buzz :

    Newsweek: How low can the Republicans go?
    Come hell or high water-ran the conventional wisdom-Republicans could rely on two issues to win elections: the war on terror and values. Then came Mark Foley. The drip-drip-drip of scandal surrounding the former Congressman from Florida, which became a deluge this week, now threatens to sink Republican hopes of keeping control of Congress...

    Time: End of the Revolution (VIA skippy the bush kangaroo)
    Holding on to power has become not just the means but also the end for the onetime reformers who in 1994 unseated a calcified and corrupted democratic majority. washington scandals, it seems, have been following a moore's law of their own, coming at a faster clip every time there is a shift in control. it took 40 years for the house democrats to exhaust their goodwill. it may take only 12 years for the republicans to get there.

    Glenn Greenwald: Unclaimed Territory (VIA skippy)
    The same people who impeached a popular, twice-elected president of the u.s. over a sex scandal involving consenting adults, who caused our country's political dialogue for several years to be composed of the filthiest and most scurrilous speculation peddled by some of the lowest bottom-feeders and dirt-mongers, and who constructed a political movement based in large part on sermonizing about private sexual morality and demonizing those who deviate, are now protesting -- without any irony -- the fact that a sex scandal is distracting from the truly important issues our country faces and that mark foley's sexual pursuit over many years of 16 and 17-year-old congressional pages is nothing that really matters.

    Shakespere's Sister: Reality check
    The Democrats have by no means won the right to lead, but Republicans long ago forfeited that right. Slowing the race to dictatorship is a worthy (though insufficient) goal all by itself. My point is that we shouldn't expect the impossible, and should realize that no matter what the results are on November 7th, we're still in for a long, hard slog, and will not have the luxury of thinking the mission has been accomplished.

    Alec Baldwin: The Embarrassed Republicans
    Sad to think that it took the Foley situation to get the "Embarrassed Republicans" to start voicing their embarrassment. Nearly six years of lies, incompetence, lies, hate, lies, corruption, lies and war. Misguided, meaningless war that has destroyed the landscape of Iraq and the souls of the Iraqi people. And what has the war done for us, other than line the pockets of Bush, and his father's friends?

    Well, you know what they say, you can lie to the American people, take us into an ill-conceived war and subvert the Constitution in the process, but you diddle one page...and it's over. I hope it's over. I'll take the end of what Gingrich started, regardless of how we get there. If it's Mark Foley's body we step over, and hopefully Hastert's as well, then so be it.
    || JM, 12:10 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Comic Relief

    PBF: Cover Blown
    Another slice of life as only The Perry Bible Fellowship can provide. Can't wait to see the book.
    Tags: ,
    || JM, 12:08 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Pathological Preznut

    This evenings' broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" included another outstanding, blistering "Special Comment" from this generations' Edward R. Murrow, The Difference Between Terrorists And Critics:
    The president doesn’t just hear what he wants.

    He hears things that only he can hear.

    It defies belief that this president and his administration could continue to find new unexplored political gutters into which they could wallow.

    Yet they do.

    It is startling enough that such things could be said out loud by any president of this nation.

    Rhetorically, it is about an inch short of Mr. Bush accusing Democratic leaders, Democrats, the majority of Americans who disagree with his policies of treason.

    But it is the context that truly makes the head spin.

    Just 25 days ago, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, this same man spoke to this nation and insisted, “We must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us.”

    Mr. Bush, this is a test you have already failed.

    If your commitment to “put aside differences and work together” is replaced in the span of just three weeks by claiming your political opponents prefer to wait to see this country attacked again, and by spewing fabrications about what they’ve said, then the questions your critics need to be asking are no longer about your policies.

    They are, instead, solemn and even terrible questions, about your fitness to fulfill the responsibilities of your office....

    Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?

    Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?

    In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.

    If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.

    We have, of course, survived all manner of political hackery, of every shape, size and party. We will have to suffer it, for as long as the Republic stands.

    But the premise of a president who comes across as a compulsive liar is nothing less than terrifying....
    || JM, 12:31 AM || link || (7)||comments|| Email this link:

    Young Man...

    Giving new meaning to an old standard, The Ointment offers up a new version of Y. M. C. A. in the light of Mark Foley situation.
    || JM, 12:28 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Dream On...

    I had what I thought was a great idea, that somebody should put together a program along the lines of those adult baseball fantasy camps that would allow you to do someone else's job. But as with most "original" ideas, somebody else has already thought of it. Vocation Vacations offers you the opportunity to test drive just about any job you can think of. You can view it as a fun experience, or as a way to try out something new as a first step in a career change.

    The program presents a surprisingly wide range of opportunities; the only ones that I couldn't find listed were Astronaut and Stripper. However, if you are tempted to sign up for the $699 per person two day session as a bed & breakfast innkeeper, here's a bit of advice. Just go to a B & B, stalk the innkeeper, and pocket the change.

    But although many of the career options that they are offering up are for some prestigious and interesting fields, what appeals most to me would be some far simpler experiences. A few of the jobs that I'd like to have, if only for one day:

  • I'd love to drive a train.
  • Or to be a back-hoe operator.
  • The guy who drives the boarding tunnel to the plane at the airport always looks like he could be having fun... although they seldom look like they enjoy it. Then again, don't come to my job and critique me either.
  • A guy who drives the one man garbage truck, with the giant mechanized arm that empties the can into the back of the truck. Funny thing, my parents told me that as a child, I used to watch the guys load up the garbage trucks, and told them that I wanted to do that when I grew up. They must have been very happy to hear that.

  • Strange how all these involve operating the proverbial "heavy machinery". I'm sure some Freudian analysis could reveal something dark and ugly about that.
    || JM, 12:23 AM || link || (1)||comments|| Email this link:


    "To know the value of generosity, it is necessary to have suffered from the cold indifference of others."
    Eugene Cloutier
    || JM, 12:21 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    The Onion: Apple Claiming The Term "Pod"
    "Apple Computers is laying legal claim to the term "pod," used in words like "podcast." Here are some other items Apple is trying to claim as its own:
  • Human silhouettes
  • Several thousand Chinese children
  • Thinking differently
  • The last slice of pizza
  • The term "tunes"
  • Any Granny Smith with a bite taken out of it
  • The concept of sharing
  • The pronoun "I"; Effective immediately Apple will collect royalties from anyone referring to oneself in this manner"
    Of course, this seems like a perfect time to thrown in a long absent Friday Random Ten from the 'ol iPod:
    1. Caring Is Creepy (The Shins)
    2. Don't Phunk With My Heart (Black Eyed Peas)
    3. Juicebox (The Strokes)
    4. Walk Idiot Walk (The Hives)
    5. Paralyzed (Rock Kills Kid
    6. Empty Room (Marjorie Fair)
    7. Hump de Bump (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
    8. Mrs. Robinson (The Lemonheads)
    9. 15 Beers Ago (Deaf Pedestrians)
    10. Eye On You (Rocket from the Crypt & Holly Golightly)
    Tags: ,
  • || JM, 12:15 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Bad Code

    Google Code Search (VIA can be a great tool for programers looking for code. But the rest of us can just have fun looking for the obscene stuff!
    || JM, 12:12 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Too Much TV!

    I've become an unabashed TV junkie with the advent of the new season. Although my goal has been to watch less TV and to blog less frequently, I haven't been successful in either area. My "must see" list currently includes: Boston Legal, L&O, L&O:CI, The Dog Whisperer, Countdown, and The Office. I started out strong with "Eureka" which I found interesting, but I keep forgetting to tune in, so I'll catch up in re-runs or when the DVD is released.

    But so far, I've got hooked on the new shows Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and tonight's The Nine which looks like it will be intriguing. After bailing on "24" after the first season, which I loved, I've been avoiding shows which require "commitment". All of these shows have linear plot-lines which creates another addiction for me to deal with. Just what I needed.

    A few more rambling TV thoughts:

  • Last nights' Boston Legal was a Star Trek nerds' wet dream. An episode that included Kirk (Shatner), Odo (Rene Auberjonois), Quark (Armin Shimerman), and Nelix (Ethan Phillips) PLUS a hot midget... who incidentally wasn't in ST. And as an added bonus we had Herb from Moonlighting who looked nothing like you might have remembered, but the voice gave him away. I guess "Seven of Nine" (who appeared on the show last season) was busy with her new show.
  • Countdown just isn't the same without Olbermann, who missed the show last night for his Letterman appearance. Adding insult to injury Andy Dick was on first.
  • Too bad to see the big ratings drop off for Studio 60. Let's hope this catches on, but it's probably too inside and too intelligent for a mass audience.
  • I keep seeing comments on message boards about Studio 60 complaining that the pretend sketches aren't funny. Duh... it's a dramatic show ABOUT a comedy show. Did "Sports Night" have to show actual sports highlights? Get over it!
  • While watching "L&O:CI" last night it occurred to me that the "doink doink" was missing. Upon pointing this out to the wife, her reaction was along the lines of "WTF are you talking about?" A quick Google search pointed me to the wave file, which I played over and over. She was NOT amused. She'll be even LESS amused that it is now the sound effect when a new e-mail is received!
  • I was prepared to hate Heroes, since the hype and formula had turned me off. But after two episodes, this proves to be a satisfying mix of the sci-fi, mystery, drama, and soap genres that looks to be better than I would have expected. Although, it's tough NOT to make comparisons to The X-Men. The interactive graphic novel is a great idea, too bad navigation and page loading sucks.
  • "Men In Trees"? Wasn't this show called "Northern Exposure" last time around? And "Help Me Help You" I believe was called "Newhart".
  • I think I've reached the breaking point with my tolerance for reality TV. With The Trumpster firing Carolyn and the show moving to the west coast, there isn't ANY reason for me to care anymore. If you catch me watching anything with the word "celebrity" in the title; please shoot me!
  • Anybody other than me think that Rita Cosby gives deep raspy voices AND blondes a bad name? I can't find the remote fast enough when she comes on!
  • Don't get me wrong; I love Jon Stewart and think he's at the top of his game. That being said, can't someone tell him that "The Seat Of Heat" isn't working? Was this something that Craig Kilborn left laying around the office?
  • || JM, 7:48 PM || link || (2)||comments|| Email this link:

    Couch Time

    This is Sofa King kewl!! Does the horse appear dead? Naw...

    Simpson's Sofa-Rama
    Simpson Sofa Animated Phone
    The Simpson's: Inflatable Sofa
    D'oheth! Couch gags
    Tags: ,
    || JM, 7:46 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    "The greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising up every time we fall."
    || JM, 7:45 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Web Junk

    Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense/Body Parts Slang
    I never cease to be amazed at the wealth of information and nonsense that can be found on Wikipedia. This entry, containing a list of euphemisms for body parts was quite entertaining, especially if you have a 6th grade sense of humor like me!

    A few more semi-related lists and links on obscuring meaning:

    The Euphemism Generator
    Thought-terminating clichés
    List of Nineteen Eighty-Four Newspeak words
    NCTE Doublespeak Award
    Encyclopedia of Sex
    The World's Largest Collection of Masturbation Synonyms & Random Masturbation Synonym Generator
    And taking this just one step too far A list of Things People Put up Their Butts .
    || JM, 7:44 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Not Magical

    When Everything Goes Wrong! is NOT a recap of the GOPs' recent fortunes but is actually of magician Harry Blackstone and his "amazing" halftime show during the '87 Orange Bowl. The worst half-time show... EVER! If you're a real masochist, you can check out the full version.
    Tags: ,
    || JM, 7:42 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Send In The Clowns

    Since when does the story that a Clown is running for mayor really qualify as news? Certainly it's not the first time we've seen clowns clogging up the political process. Seems like business as usual to me!

    And, in the interest of "full-disclosure" I have to confess that I hate clowns, political or otherwise! I'm also none too fond of mimes and fundamentalist religious groups, so it's only natural that I'd probably hate Mimeistry which combines both!
    || JM, 5:46 PM || link || (2)||comments|| Email this link:

    Another Movie Remake?

    In these days where remakes are a dime-a-dozen, this is one I'd really like to see: Martin Scorsese's version of Sesame Street.
    Tags: ,
    || JM, 5:44 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:


    "The longest journey is the journey inwards."
    Dag Hammarskjold
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    Push It

    Today's joke of the day comes to us courtesy of Miss Cellania:
    On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting in my lawn chair, drinking beer and watching my wife mow the lawn.

    The neighbor lady from across the street was so outraged that she came over and shouted at me, "You should be hung!"

    I took a drink from my can of Busch Light, wiped the cold foam from my lips, lifted my darkened Ray Ban sunglasses and stared directly into the eyes of this nosy ass neighbor and then calmly replied,

    "I am. That's why she cuts the grass."
    And an honorable mention goes to Wonkette who asks: "Why don’t GOP congressman use bookmarks? They don’t need to; they simply bend over the pages."
    || JM, 5:39 PM || link || (1)||comments|| Email this link:

    Where We Are Now

    Another new edition of the political comic series Tom Tomorrow: This Modern World, which looks at the recently enacted torture legislation.

    And Wired takes an out of the box look at the bill and concludes that if should be looked at as a programming error:
    if (person = terrorist) {
    } else {
    || JM, 5:32 PM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link: