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!
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Life Is Short; Use The Good China
Perhaps your household could use the touch of class that this vintage, hand painted M' f'er Plate (VIA Nerd Approved - Gadgets and Gizmos) provides? "This 9" vintage English porcelain plate has a fluted edge and a slightly worn pattern- not that you even notice when the statement's so eye-catching- ahem!" Probably perfect for those meals where you eat by the glow of the beer mug lamp.
I love a good mash-up, so you can bet that this Boogie Nights: Star Wars Edition would be right up my alley. It occurs to me that Boogie Nights is one of those movies that I've never truly seen from start to finish in one sitting, having caught different chunks at various times on cable. Perhaps I should rent the DVD and take care of that.
But what I really don't get is that when I look at the Wikipedia entry on Boogie Nights and someone felt the need to hyperlink "penis", as if there is someone who isn't familiar with the term? But I shouldn't point a finger, since I've been know to get carried away and go hyperlink crazy myself. And even worse, I've recently started to edit Wikipedia articles that I think are missing some arcane and meaningless detail that probably matters only to me and about two or three other people. Great, I'm one step removed from being Cliff Claven!
After linking to the Bob and Ray cover of this song, you would think I would have had my fill. But the Tiny Tim version of Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? just defies description, taking cheesy and suckey (sounds like an 'ol time comedy team, doesn't it?) to a new level.
A veteran of the Vegas act "Mini-Kiss", 4 ft. 2 inch Terra Jole joins the Hard Rock Casino variety show as Mini Britney! If you didn't catch her recent performances feel free to catch her act thanks to the magic of YouTube. True fans might want to add her as a myspace friend or call her at 818-795-2122 to book an appearance!
Since the original seldom does that much for me, I actually find Terra the more attractive of the two. If Britney had any real sense (which most people would conclude she doesn't) she would consider touring with her to get her career back on track. But, ironically, Mini Brit actually sings and does full length shows, unlike the real deal.
Never let it be said that you can't keep a good meme down. Although, the jury is still out on if you can beat it into the ground. The latest variation on the LOLCATZ craze is sure to appeal to any self respecting geek, LOLCODE (VIA linkfilter). This example of COUNT!!1 is sure to bring a smile to anybody who has spent any time cranking out code:
HAI CAN HAS STDIO? I HAS A VAR IM IN YR LOOP UP VAR!!1 VISIBLE VAR IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10? KTHXBYE IM OUTTA YR LOOP KTHXBYE
I can't think of any words that could match those of Paul Krugman, from today's op piece Trust and Betrayal:
“In this place where valor sleeps, we are reminded why America has always gone to war reluctantly, because we know the costs of war.” That’s what President Bush said last year, in a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Those were fine words, spoken by a man with less right to say them than any president in our nation’s history. For Mr. Bush took us to war not with reluctance, but with unseemly eagerness.
Now that war has turned into an epic disaster, in part because the war’s architects, whom we now know were warned about the risks, didn’t want to hear about them. Yet Congress seems powerless to stop it. How did it all go so wrong?
Future historians will shake their heads over how easily America was misled into war. The warning signs, the indications that we had a rogue administration determined to use 9/11 as an excuse for war, were there, for those willing to see them, right from the beginning — even before Mr. Bush began explicitly pushing for war with Iraq.
In fact, the very first time Mr. Bush declared a war on terror that “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” people should have realized that he was going to use the terrorist attack to justify anything and everything.
When he used his first post-attack State of the Union to denounce an “axis of evil” consisting of three countries that had nothing to do either with 9/11 or with each other, alarm bells should have gone off.
But the nation, brought together in grief and anger over the attack, wanted to trust the man occupying the White House. And so it took a long time before Americans were willing to admit to themselves just how thoroughly their trust had been betrayed.
It’s a terrible story, yet it’s also understandable. I wasn’t really surprised by Republican election victories in 2002 and 2004: nations almost always rally around their leaders in times of war, no matter how bad the leaders and no matter how poorly conceived the war.
The question was whether the public would ever catch on. Well, to the immense relief of those who spent years trying to get the truth out, they did. Last November Americans voted overwhelmingly to bring an end to Mr. Bush’s war.
Yet the war goes on.
To keep the war going, the administration has brought the original bogyman back out of the closet. At first, Mr. Bush said he would bring Osama bin Laden in, dead or alive. Within seven months after 9/11, however, he had lost interest: “I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure,” he said in March 2002. “I truly am not that concerned about him.”
In all of 2003, Mr. Bush, who had an unrelated war to sell, made public mention of the man behind 9/11 only seven times.
But Osama is back: last week Mr. Bush invoked his name 11 times in a single speech, warning that if we leave Iraq, Al Qaeda — which wasn’t there when we went in — will be the winner. And Democrats, still fearing that they will end up accused of being weak on terror and not supporting the troops, gave Mr. Bush another year’s war funding.
Democratic Party activists were furious, because polls show a public utterly disillusioned with Mr. Bush and anxious to see the war ended. But it’s not clear that the leadership was wrong to be cautious. The truth is that the nightmare of the Bush years won’t really be over until politicians are convinced that voters will punish, not reward, Bush-style fear-mongering. And that hasn’t happened yet.
Here’s the way it ought to be: When Rudy Giuliani says that Iran, which had nothing to do with 9/11, is part of a “movement” that “has already displayed more aggressive tendencies by coming here and killing us,” he should be treated as a lunatic.
When Mitt Romney says that a coalition of “Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda” wants to “bring down the West,” he should be ridiculed for his ignorance.
And when John McCain says that Osama, who isn’t in Iraq, will “follow us home” if we leave, he should be laughed at.
But they aren’t, at least not yet. And until belligerent, uninformed posturing starts being treated with the contempt it deserves, men who know nothing of the cost of war will keep sending other people’s children to graves at Arlington.
Gee, does it really count as having visited Disney World if you never really set foot in the park? Naw, I didn't think so either. Having spent the last three days in a Disney Resort, held captive in meetings that lasted from morning till night didn't leave me with any free time to experience the Disney magic, or even to blog for that matter. So in lieu of a real blog effort, a few random observations from the last few days:
Although a terrific meeting by most standards, the organizer insisted on asking the crown "isn't this fun?" Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, and enjoyed the conference, but don't ask me to categorize any of this as "fun", a term I reserve for leisure time activity. But then maybe I had an attitude, knowing that the "real fun" was just down the road.
I used to be one of those "anti-Disney" types until the wife drug me kicking and screaming to visit Disney for the first time. And then I bought into the magic. But even that has it's limits. Being greeted at the airport by a Disney person wearing a giant Mickey hand wasn't the least bit cute, and in reality just gave me a giant craving for Hamburger Helper. But I really had to draw the line at giving a "standing-O" to a person wearing a Mickey costume who showed up at the one session. What, am I ten years old or something?
Good Lord; Florida has some really big assed bugs! I've got no idea what they were, but as I was going to my room, I found myself covered with these huge, black things that I've never seen before. I guess that explains all the giant screened in structures I saw in people's yards that looked like circus cages.
To move up from one ballroom to another, they used people riding Segways ringing a chime. Kinda like wimpy cowboys rounding up the herd. Nothing better than being treated like cattle.
Our landing in Orlando was one of the worst I've ever experienced. I should have know we were in for trouble when the pilot gave us the landing speech and said "there's not a cloud in the sky" yet I could see tons of clouds through the window. When the plane hit the ground, we bounced back into the air, and rebounded violently from wheel to wheel a few times making us glad for seatbelts. I was beginning to think that the child who had spent most of the two hours we were in the air screaming in terror had the right idea. Since I wasn't able to visit "The Tower of Terror" this will have to do.
I still get a childlike sense of amusement looking out the plane windows. I was actually able to identify landmarks as we ascended, and was able to see the neighborhood were I live as we flew over it! And another simple, yet dramatic highlight was when I was staring out the window and saw another jet go whizzing by in the opposite direction. Although you know you are going fast, it seldom feels like it without a point of reference that a "fly-by" like that provides.
And I'm not quite sure about the goes into the TSA screening standards. I can't take more than three ounces of liquid in a carry-on container, but other items that might be a threat seem to be not a problem. On the return flight home, without doing an exact head count, there were at least 15 people on board that had all been to the same meeting. And I know that we all received the same "goodie bag" one of the items being a 12" fry pan, and I'm sure most of us packed it in our carry-on. Like that wouldn't be a powerful weapon if all of us ran up the isles waving them about?
One true highlight of the last few days was getting to hear motivational speaker Mark Sanborn, the author of The Fred Factor. He spins a tale about a postal worker he once encountered who went the extra mile, and embodies some simple, yet powerful ideas about success and happiness and the difference that just one person can make. A funny and informative message that will inspire you to Be A Fred.
With Father's Day not too far off, you may wish to start shopping early. What better gift could there be than a lovely pair of these Freudian Slippers? Don't repress your urge to buy, even if they look more like Statler & Waldorf than 'ol Sigmund.
But if you desire something a bit more phallocentric, these novelty boxer shorts just might do the trick.
Two things I just can't get enough of: Law & Order, and hot women in bikinis. This clip of L&O: Special Beach Unit gives us both!
And since we're on the subject, I just saw a tidbit on Law & Order that mentions that Rene Balcer will return to the mothership from L&O:CI for next seasons' shows. Hopefully this portends good things creatively, although sadly there will be no J.T. Dolan penned episodes to look forward to. This year wasn't their best effort, and there are plenty of folks who say the shark is circling. But still, a bad L&O is certainly better than much of the other "crap" that's out there.
Speaking of crap, the other day I was watching TV with my mom, and she ask "Do you mind if we watch 'Crossing Jordan'?" I did, but in the interest of being nice, we watched anyway. Although I love Jill Hennessey, I've never felt the love for this show. The season/series finale featured a plot where the cast was in a plane crash and stranded on the side of a mountain. I was rooting for them NOT to get rescued, since that would have made a better conclusion to my way of thinking, but they went for the safe and saccharine "everybody lives" ending. Bummer.
This week's final L&O episode had many of the elements that remind me why this season's shows have been frustrating. Although I thought the addition of Milena Govich was a good choice, she hasn't lived up to my expectations. It still seems like the writers don't know what do do with her, and she doesn't bring much to the party. In the past, they've always had a good mix of a "strong" partner with a less seasoned one, and as much as I like the quiet strength of Jesse Martin, he doesn't ad the right chemistry to this formula.
The whole "ripped from the headlines" thing is getting kinda' old and worn out. Taking really high profile stories and re-tooling them doesn't seem like the fun it once was, when they did it with local or more obscure incidents. Did we really need two story lines inspired by Anna Nicole?
And the use of big name guest stars like this week including Harry Hamlin, Jeremy Sisto, and Jeffrey Tambor is also a distraction. It's like watching The Love Boat in a courthouse, although they could redeem themselves on this if they were to cast Gavin McCloud in the role soon to be vacated by Fred Thompson.
But the final blow for me came in the closing moments of the show, as the ADA was making the closing argument. After waving the knife used to commit the murder she stabs it repeatedly into a book on the desk to make a dramatic point. In the final shot, they bring the knife into focus briefly, and we get to see the "Analon" logo clearly. What, we have to include product placement in L&O now too? It's bad enough that Syler has to melt GE toasters on Heroes, and that The Office has blatant placement for Staples & Chilli's (even though Scranton, IRL, doesn't have a Chilli's franchise). In the past Dick York has said that "If somebody wanted to integrate a product into (our) story, I would find that risible", but with his back to the wall and eager to see his show reach the 20 year mark, he may have been more vulnerable to the corporate pinheads.
Let's hope they get this series back on track, and that it is successful in it's attempt to unseat Gunsmoke as the longest running TV show. And in the process keeps this "L&O Acting School" in business as well....
OK, although I've seen this linked all over the place, but I just can't get enough of these unconventional e-cards from someecards. I know, I've got the maturity level of a 14 year old, but I've been sending them to friends and colleagues all weekend, just to amuse and offend. With cards for just about every occasion, and a few you probably hadn't considered.
Or maybe, it will just make you nuts. This example of one of Seven Laughable Warning Labels advises us on how to use Scrubbing Bubbles: "DO NOT USE FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE"! So just how do you propose we reach those out of the way areas? It's certainly not the first time that they've gone and ruined a good thing.
Seems like the perfect time for a link dump, but beware the stupidity:
First, came the internet meme LOLcats, which seems about one step removed from the classic O' RLY owl. These image macros consist of cat pictures enhanced with witty captions utilizing strange spellings, syntax, and the impact font.
Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, meant that new variations would soon appear. Before you knew it LOLgeeks, LOLgays, and many others soon made the scene. But where, oh where were the dog entries? Why should cats have all the fun? Certainly our canine friends are just as much fun to poke fun at. But every LOLdogs has its' day.
THINGS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO SAY WHEN DRUNK: 1. Innovative 2. Preliminary 3. Proliferation 4. Cinnamon
THINGS THAT ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO SAY WHEN DRUNK: 1. Specificity 2. Anti-constitutionalistically 3. Passive-aggressive disorder 4. Transubstantiate
THINGS THAT ARE DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY WHEN DRUNK: 1. Thanks, but I don’t want to have sex. 2. Nope, no more booze for me! 3. Sorry, but you’re not really my type. 4. Taco Bell? No thanks, I’m not hungry. 5. Good evening, officer. Isn’t it lovely out tonight? 6. Oh, I couldn’t! No one wants to hear me sing karaoke. 7. I’m not interested in fighting you. 8. Thank you, but I won’t make any attempt to dance, I have no coordination. I’d hate to look like a fool! 9. Where is the nearest bathroom? I refuse to pee in this parking lot or on the side of the road. 10. I must be going home now as I have to work in the morning.
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.
If the Cincinnati Reds were really the first major league baseball team, who did they play?
Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.
If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.
Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.
The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.
I knew a transsexual guy whose only ambition is to eat, drink, and be Mary.
You can prick your finger — just don’t finger your prick.
Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”
The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.
The Flickr group Faded Grandeur offers "pictures of places, buildings and the like who've obviously had their moment of glory but now have appeal as their grandeur fades...", or in other words, tons of nostalgia and browsing fun.
I suppose I should be happy to have discovered that the company I work for hasn't cornered the market on bad customer service. I recently interceded in a problem that a customer had concerning a furniture delivery, where just about everything that could go wrong did, and in some cases happened more than once. The customer was understandably angry, and wasn't getting much satisfaction from the customer service department and contacted me. I quickly shared his frustration, dealing with people who weren't engaged, and didn't really get it or care about what needed to be done to fix the situation. I've usually found that the right mix of listening, showing empathy, and throwing money at the problem can usually turn anything around, but I wasn't getting any of this from them. Needless to say, I had to step up to the plate to fix things.
So with this experience freshly in my mind, I went to use my cell phone only to find that they had turned off my service. When I got the last bill, I noticed that they hadn't received the previous month's payment which I had made on-line, so I contacted my bank to find out what the problem was. I'd always assumed that on-line transactions were done electronically, but in reality they just cut a check an put it in the mail and this check was M.I.A. The bank suggested that payment should be stopped on this missing check, and they would reissue another. The only problem is that they didn't issue the new check, and Verizon now somehow gets the missing check and tries to cash it, only to find out that payment has been stopped.
You would think that this situation could be resolved quickly and easily, especially since I made the payment after the missing one. But they quickly took a "we don't care, we just want our money now" posture. Apparently courtsey, common sense and a sympathetic stance aren't required to work for Verizon Customer Service. If I could cancel my contract, I'd do so. But it looks like I'm not the first person to have a beef with them.
And I'm none too happy with Wachovia, who also excel at projecting the "we don't care" attitude. Refusing to take responsibility for offering services not provided doesn't seem like the way to go. Their only suggestion was that they could put me in contact with the person who dropped the ball; what, so we could reminisce about good times? I guess it's too much to expect actual "service" from customer service, but I'll remain hopeful that it's not impossible.
Nicholas Kristof explains what it would take to capture the attention of Americans in regard to the genocide in Sudan: marketing! Maybe we should try to Save the Darfur Puppy:
Finally, we’re beginning to understand what it would take to galvanize President Bush, other leaders and the American public to respond to the genocide in Sudan: a suffering puppy with big eyes and floppy ears.
That’s the implication of a series of studies by psychologists trying to understand why people — good, conscientious people — aren’t moved by genocide or famines. Time and again, we’ve seen that the human conscience just isn’t pricked by mass suffering, while an individual child (or puppy) in distress causes our hearts to flutter...
So maybe what we need isn’t better laws but more troubled consciences — pricked, perhaps, by a Darfur puppy with big eyes and floppy ears. Once we find such a soulful dog in peril, we should call ABC News. ABC’s news judgment can be assessed by the 11 minutes of evening news coverage it gave to Darfur’s genocide during all of last year — compared with 23 minutes for the false confession in the JonBenet Ramsey case.
If President Bush and the global public alike are unmoved by the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of fellow humans, maybe our last, best hope is that we can be galvanized by a puppy in distress.
So I took great joy in finding the Batgirl Pilot on YouTube since I'd never seen it before. Apparently this was shot as either a pilot for a spinoff, or as a vehicle to pitch the character that Yvonne Craig so memorably portrayed. Ironic that the fight scene included the term "Boff" which of course comes to mind every time I see Batgirl. Numerous Music Videos on YouTube suggest that I'm not the only one who fell under her spell. And I don't recall this Batgirl PSA for equal pay (with a "fake" Batman) but it's worth a look as well.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't fess up that I also had a thing for the only "real Catwoman" Julie Newmar as well.
1. Inability to put forth the effort required to complete any task.
Yup, that pretty much sums up where I'e been coming from recently. I've had a tendency to avoid blogging, thanks to having other stuff on the table. The little time I've had to surf, etc. seems peppered with interruptions that siphon off the little bit of energy and concentration that goes into my lame postings. Much like being poked periodically with a stick; it's just bothersome. Perhaps clarity, motivation, and direction will find their way back to me at some point. Let's hope it's soon.
And while we're on the topic, a probably NSFW Something Awful Forum thread, Make porn not-porn, where the challenge is to "Turn a scene of dirty, depraved, America-destroying pornography into something harmless."
More attractive and functional than those overhead message-boards flashing some inane and unnecessary message, these horizontal wind turbines (VIA TreeHugger & Eyebeam reBlog) offer an untapped alternative energy source. Harnessing the turbulence from vehicles whizzing down the highway, overhead turbines could produce an annual output of 9,600KwH of electricity, which is nothing to sneeze at! And just think, if we could harness the energy wasted by blogging, we'd probably be energy self-sufficient in no time at all.
It's hard NOT to take note of this dubious four year anniversary. But perhaps the original photo was right, and maybe he wasn't referring to Iraq. If the "mission accomplished" refers to making government ineffective by subjugating it to his own personal agenda, then he has been successful beyond measure.
By ignoring the advice of anybody except the cadre of "yes-men & women" he surrounds himself with, and by ignoring the will of the American people he has clearly cemented his legacy as "the worst President ever". Unable and unwilling to admit mistakes, he trudges on like the guy driving the car who is too proud or stupid to pull over and ask for directions.
He still thinks that he can utilize blame shifting to veto the funding bill with the withdrawal deadlines he so abhors. His fancy footwork may have distracted us in the past, but few will ignore that the responsibility for our continued failures lies clearly at his feet. No amount of finger pointing can distract us. Enough lies, enough death, enough corruption, enough failure. In another place and another time, these acts would have at least been impeachable offenses, although I think we should view them as the treasonous acts that they really are.