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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!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hot Digity Food Pr0n!

No, this picture really doesn't have much to do with this posting. But for some odd unknown reason, I really, really like it, so I had to include it. Yes folks, the subject today IS the under-appreciated hotdog, although fans of healthy eating may wish to look away. When the subject of dogs comes up, at least in this neck of the woods there are many good options to pick from and everybody has their favorite.

If Jersey Dog fans agree on anything, it's usually that the hot dogs at Rutt's Hut are among the best. Their deep fried fare are known as "rippers", since when they come out of the frier, the casings are split and cracked. Although hardly located on the far side of the moon, I seldom find myself in the neighborhood of Clifton, so this remains one of those "holy grail" spots (like Holsten's) that I promise myself I'll get to eventually.

So when I discovered that an outlet of Amazing Hot Dog had opened in nearby Bound Brook, it seemed my lazy ass had run out of excuses not to do a road-trip, since the GPS said it would only take 15 minutes to get there. My first surprise was to find it right off the expressway in a neat and clean little strip mall. Perhaps I've seen too many greasy spoon "hole in the wall" type joints and I was expecting yet another. The interior was equally as clean and well put together and the staff was friendly. The lunchtime crowd looked like it contained more than a few regulars.

The surprises continued with the food, and apparently there's a good reason that they use the term "amazing" in their name. They serve a huge, quarter-pound natural casing beef dog that's deep fried, wrapped in bacon, and served on a Martin's potato roll, with a seemingly endless number of toppings available. (OK, I exaggerate. They had 25 to pick from.) The casings have a great "snap" when you bite them, and the taste is outstanding; so much more substantial in both size and quality than the typical supermarket frank.

I wimped out on the toppings, so I could better savor the dog. But for the adventurous they've got some interesting combos: My Schmiero (w/cream cheese & scallions), Smokey Joe (w/ BBQ sauce & baked beans), Hawaii 5-0 (dipped in teriyaki sauce w/ pineapple, sesame seeds, & scallion), Jersey Breakfast (w/fried egg & melted cheese) and The Caped Crusader (w/homemade chili, cole slaw, & jalapeños) to name just a few! Next time, I'll be more adventurous.

What would any junk-out be without fries? Theirs were hand cut shoestring fries that were twice fried, and were pretty good. Although after having the ones at Five Guys which became the gold standard of fries for my money, the ones at AHD only get a silver metal.

And as guilty as I feel about pigging out, at least there is another level of gluttony that I DO NOT aspire to. They have an eating contest, and if you consume 6 speciality dogs + 1 large fries + 1 20 oz. soda within one hour, you receive A FREE T-SHIRT and your name goes on a plaque. And you get the food free as well, unless there is a "reversal of fortune". I think I'll pass.

For good measure, why not a "sausage-link-dump" just to round things out?

History and Legends of Hot Dogs
Etymology of Hot Dogs Urban Legend
Why is there no ketchup on a properly made hot dog?
Hot Dogs, Get Your Hot Dogs
What are hot dogs made of?
What is REALLY in a Hot Dog And How Unhealthy Are They?
A Hot Dog Program
Hot Dog Champ: Takeru Kobayashi
The NEW Champ: Joey Chestnut
Woody Allen & Jonathan Winters Explain How To Make A Hot Dog Bun
Hot Dog Accident
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Quote-A-'Da-Day:

"Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
George Carlin
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Are You Happy?



Most of us define happy as enjoying, showing, or demonstrating pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. There are others who will tell you it's a place in Texas. This clip provides us with some great inspirational Quotations of Happiness, in the event you need them. Apparently not having a blouse isn't a hinderance on the path to happiness.

Since we all define happiness differently, you may wish to consider some of these 20 Simple Ways to Get Happy, although this illustration pares that list down substancially. Or you could pursue an alternative path resulting in a happy ending instead. Need I say, probably NSFW?
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Unsinkable?

Since most people view Hilary's recent attempts to throw everything except the kitchen sink at Obama as akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, somehow this tale of a book report via ilovebacon seems somehow appropriate:
Students at a local school were assigned to read 2 books, 'Titanic' & 'My Life' by Bill Clinton.

One student turned in the following book report, with the proposition that they were nearly identical stories!

His cool professor gave him an A+ for this report.

Titanic:.... cost - $29.99
Clinton:.... cost - $29.99

Titanic:..... Over 3 hours to read
Clinton:..... Over 3 hours to read

Titanic:.... The story of Jack and Rose, their? forbidden? love, and subsequent catastrophe.
Clinton:..... The story of Bill and Monica, their forbidden love, and subsequent catastrophe.

Titanic:..... Jack is a starving artist.
Clinton:..... Bill is a bullshit artist.

Titanic:.... In one scene, Jack enjoys a good cigar.
Clinton:..... Ditto for Bill.

Titanic:..... During the ordeal, Rose's dress gets ruined.
Clinton:..... Ditto for Monica.

Titanic:..... Jack teaches Rose to spit.
Clinton:..... Let's not go there.

Titanic:...... Rose gets to keep her jewelry.
Clinton:.... Monica's forced to return her gifts.

Titanic:..... Rose remembers Jack for the rest of her life.
Clinton:..... Clinton doesn't remember Jack.

Titanic:...... Rose goes down on a vessel full of seamen.
Clinton:..... Monica....ooh, let's not go there, either.

Titanic:..... Jack surrenders to an icy death.
Clinton:..... Bill goes home to Hillary - basically the same thing.
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A Novelty That's Sure To Achieve Market Penetration



Unlike the last seven years where the President F's you, these Presidential Dildos allow you to turn the tables, so to speak. A little late for your Presidents Day celebrations, but offering the Black History Month Frederick Douglass model makes it a timely inclusion.

Shockingly enough, no George Bush model. But fear not, since he's been immortalized as a butt plug instead!
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Quote-A-'Da-Day:

"A fellow who is always declaring he's no fool usually has his suspicions."
Wilson Mizner
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Fly The Friendly Skies



For the .001 percent that still pays attention to this stuff, the in-flight instructions of airline safety as done by Virgin America. Pretty well done and may actually get people to watch, and is similar to the one done by Virgin Atlantic. But Delta Airlines goes for a slicker, more traditional approach which is worth a look if only for the smokin' hot stewardess. Although the tip 'o' the hat to Orbit gum was a WTF moment that seems unnecessary.

Personally, I prefer the satirical view of airline safety as provided by Airtoons or as done by Louis CK myself.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Spare Change?

Thanks to Slate, more Obamania as they provide us with The Encyclopedia Baracktannica! A series of terms that have been "Obamafied" by Slate and their readers. One more bit of evidence that the "Omentum" continues. Let's hope for no gutter balls!


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Quote-A-'Da-Day:

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
John Lennon
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No Corvairs For Old Men



He's kidding; right? I can only hope that the recent announcement from Ralph Nader that he intends to run for President again is a joke. How could he possibly think that it's a good idea or something that ANYBODY is clamoring for? It's bad enough that he might have been the spoiler who delivered the Presidency to Dubya in 2000, and there's just no need to go down that road again. Perhaps his narcissistic ego needs to be stroked every few years, but couldn't he find another way to go about it? I hate to question his sincerity, but if he were really serious about this, shouldn't we have seen some evidence of building a progressive coalition that could evolve into a legitimate 3rd party? But to roll this "sctick" out every four years gets pretty old and isn't helpful in moving his supposed agenda forward.

It's beginning to resemble the repeated campaigns of Pat Paulsen, but at least they had the benefit of being funny, and Nader's attempts benefit nobody. Except Republicans. A few planks from the Paulsen platform:

  • "All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian."
  • "We have nothing to fear but fear itself...and of course the boogieman."
  • "I am neither left wing nor right wing. I am middle-of-the-bird."
  • "I feel proud to be living in a country where people are not afraid to laugh at themselves and where political satire is tolerated by the government, if not the television network."
  • I must choose my words carefully in order to avoid any negative interpretation. Among politicians, this is a tactic known as lying.”
  • "I belong to the Self Talking American Government Party, or STAG Party for short."
  • "The right to bear arms? No, I believe in the right to arm bears."
  • “Many of you have asked why it’s taken me so long to select a running mate. I have no intention of reaching into the political grab bag and grabbing any man to be my running mate. I’m going to reach in and grab a woman!”
  • "Manifest destiny? What's in it for me?"


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    LIVE! Well; Not So Much



    Having missed the return of SNL this week, I had to rely on Hulu to get caught up. Some good stuff like this fake commercial for "Annuale" that seems far too real, especially the side effects at the end. (“Do not take Annuale if you plan to ever become pregnant, as it may turn your baby into a firemonster. In the days around your period, you may develop a leathery tail.") That and the Grandkids in the Movies short makes me sorry I missed it.

    Despite the annoying, but mercifully brief commercials I find my self really liking Hulu to catch up with what I've missed. And now, I've discovered a forgotten treasure "Mr. Mike's Least-Loved Bedtime Tales" from the original SNL cast. The bizarrely dark Michael O'Donoghue shares with us a parable as old as time itself"...


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    Wednesday, February 20, 2008

    Perfect Together

    The good folks at BurnTees have some of the funnier t-shirts around. But when I discovered their New Jersey tees I may have found the first acquisition for my summer wardrobe. Although Staten Island has much going for it, it's most valued contribution is to boost NJ's self-esteem. And in case anyone asks the proverbial question, it's 10 and 131.
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
    Mahatma Gandhi
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    Sound Advice



    I have to admit, I really wasn't a fan of Alec Baldwin until 30 Rock. But his portrayal of the slick Jack Donaghy has won me over. In this clip we see his unique spin on therapy.

    But unlike the Republican that he portrays, in reality he's a bit more liberal. His recent piece on Obama vs. Clinton: What Tips the Scales would certainly make "Jack" uncomfortable...
    Watching some Democrats kick around Mrs. Clinton has grown into a sad spectacle.

    Hillary Clinton would make a fine president and I think all reasonable people know that. She would make a better president, offering more constructive policies protecting more Americans, than McCain could ever hope to. Her problem is that Americans, in any given election cycle, can become inflamed with a true passion for change that can only exist in a country like ours. She does not represent that change as well as Mr. Obama does. In spite of her superior capabilities in many areas, Obama would still move into the White House with more foreign policy experience than George Bush had when Bush and his brother stole the election in 2000.

    Americans can put up with a lot. After these past eight years, they have proven that they can put up with more than anyone ever imagined. However, that cannot hold forever.

    What Mrs. Clinton has that Mr. Obama does not have, Mr. Obama can get. What Mr. Obama has that Mrs. Clinton does not have, she can never get.

    Which one is the best hope at defeating McCain, who sounds more like a Bush brother with every passing day?
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    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Game Over?

    It's a pretty sad day when I find myself going to ytmnd - you're the man now dog! for my fix on politics, but what better way to evaluate the mood of the general electorate than to look at the lowest common denominator? Besides, Metal Gear Primary: The Escape really made me chuckle. Maybe it's because I've spent too much time playing video games, or perhaps just because I've got the maturity and humor of the typical 14 year old?

    But while we're at it, a few more YTMND gems that flirt with the political arena:

    Hillary Holds A Rally
    John McClane '08
    Govenator Makes A Phone Call
    Arnold V. Arnold
    The Vote Spread Equalizer

    And we should have known that it was only a matter of time until the ever popular cat macro was combined with Obabma-mania, leading to YES WE CAN HAS (cheezburgers) (VIA Wonkette)!
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    Now See Here...



    Looks like this is one bank robbery gone horribly wrong. Certainly not the first time that someone who needed glasses got into trouble.

    And as a public service, feel free to test your own visual acuity with the following:



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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them."
    Jane Austen
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    There Will Be Parody



    Get ready for the next big overused catchphrase as "I drink your milkshake!" begins to worm its way to the heart of pop culture. We can only pray that the time this spends in the spotlight is brief and painless.
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    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Things I've Learned:

  • Recent Chicago Cubs acquisition Kosuke Fukudome pronounces his name as "Foo-koo-DOUGH-may" and NOT "Fuck-you-DO-me" as I had first thought. Glad we got that straightened out before any embarrassing conversational gaffes.
  • If your instinct tells you NOT to click on a link, run with your instinct. Never, ever click on a link titled "Two Guys, One Horse" assuming that it was hilariously mislabeled as some sort of joke.
  • NEVER answer the "Does this make me look fat?" question. And tread lightly when the "What are you thinking?" one is lobed at you.
  • Mistakes are the workshop of growth and learning.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff, yet paradoxically little things mean a great deal!
  • I'm not sure if it's age, A.D.D., or early onset of Alzheimer's, but I find I need to make notes and lists to get things done. Now, if I could just stem the occurrences of going places at work and forgetting why I went there in the first place.
  • Tackle big problems in little steps.
  • Deadlines (much like traffic signals) are merely suggestions. However, in both cases it's usually best to comply.
  • Better to lose the battle and to win the war.
  • You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, BUT you can't pick your friends' nose!
  • Half the crap on the internet credited to Andy Rooney probably wasn't his material.

    And with that in mind, a few that may, or may not be from Dave Berry's List:
  • There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to
    make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.
  • The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of
    helicopters in it.
  • There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.'
  • If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human
    race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential,
    that word would be: meetings.
  • No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too
    seriously.
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures."
    James Thurber
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    Me, The Jury?

    I merely cringed when I received the summons for jury duty, since in the past I've usually been lucky enough to avoid reporting. On the one previous occasion that I had to report, it turned into a relaxing day of hanging out and reading, so I still wasn't all that worried. That sounded like a pleasant break after working what felt like a two week stretch without any time off.

    But my lucky streak was apparently over, and after the group swearing in I found myself in the second group taken to the judge and I quickly heard my name and number being called for a jury. The temptation to try and get out of service is great although the judge was quick to explain the civic responsibility that being a juror entailed. Although a burden and an inconvenience, the opportunity to serve and fulfill my obligation was something I quickly accepted, and once I passed that hurdle I actually began looking forward to it.

    Not everyone accepted it quite as easily, and a few people tried thinly transparent attempts to claim a lack of objectivity. Although they were dismissed quickly, they had to spend the rest of the day there and also come back for another day in the jury pool next week. It could have been worse, since those kind of shenanigans could result in a charge of contempt of court. Luckily nobody tried to recycle the excuses used by George Carlin ("I'll make a terrific juror because I can spot guilty people, snap, just like that.") or the suggestions that David Letterman gave to get out of jury duty: ("Say you're looking forward to hearing judge sing — like on Cop Rock." or "Ask if there will be opportunities to examine bloody undershirts." and "Tell them you've already done jury duty on Matlock.").

    I immediately lowered my expectations, getting ready for it to be boring and tedious. Even though many aspects were as I had expected, much of it was dramatic and captivating. I was sympathetic to the plaintiff's plight, but unfortunately little compelling and credible evidence was presented on her behalf, although a great volume of material was reviewed. On the other hand, the defense presentation was simple, concise and seemed credible and convincing.

    But putting the plaintiff on the stand to testify on her pain and suffering probably wasn't the greatest idea. Her lawyer was trying to show how the accident had caused the alleged permanent damage that she was seeking compensation for, and had ask her to describe her pain. He requested she rate her pain level on a continuum from 1 to 10 for various body parts, over various periods of time. To each question she consistently answered "9". A fellow juror was allowed to ask a follow-up question, which the judge said wasn't relevant but he would allow anyway. When ask to describe the pain of childbirth on the same scale, again the answer was "9". It was like the point in a football game where there is a sudden and dramatic momentum shift, really calling her credibility into question. The look of panic on her lawyer's face: PRICELESS!

    Unfortunately, once the deliberations began I found myself on the outside looking in, since I was thrown into the alternate pool. It was a big letdown to have missed the final phase, although there apparently wasn't that much dissension or discussion. They called us back in 15 minutes to announce the verdict, which was in favor of the defendant. Too bad that in addition to placing the burden of proof on the plaintiff, they can't dump the cost of the trial on them as well when the cases are as frivolous as this one.
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    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Surreptitious Love?

    PostSecret is an ongoing project where people submit postcards anonymously revealing and illustrating their secrets. In this week's update they feature those relating to Valentine's Day. As you might expect, not all of them contained good news like this.

    And as an added plus PostSecret: A Valentine Video!
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    Let Me Hold Your Celestial Body



    I knew the Death Star was big, but I didn't know it was big enough for romance. Even the cunning and brutal Darth Vader proves to be no match for Cupid!

    And although this is a stretch, in a semi-related clip, two internet memes intersect when Chad Vader Chats With Obama Girl.
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "Reality is nothing but a collective hunch."
    Jane Wagner
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    Super Debate!



    I'm pretty sure that viewership would be up (so to speak) if it went more like this one!
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    Friday, February 08, 2008

    I'm Gonna Party Like It's 1912!

    Your kids will be the envy of the neighborhood once you get them this Titanic Adventure Slide (VIA Nerd Approved)!! Their little faces will light up with glee as they slide down the 50 foot incline to the icy waters below. I can hardly think of a better way to pay respect to the tragic loss of over 1500 lives than by turning it into a children's play toy.

    Afterwards, you'll probably want to feed those hungry rug-rats by firing up some hot dogs on your new "Space Shuttle Challenger BBQ Grill". Maybe you can chow down on some delicious "Irish Potato Famine French Fries" as well while you are out on the deck, bathed in the warm glow of your "Chernobyl Patio Lights". And of course, no "Kids Party From Hell" would be complete without entertainment from Pogo The Clown!
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    A Few Easy Steps



    The good folks at POYKPAC provide some helpful hints for the socially inept on How To Get Laid! A good bit more honest than most of the purported tutorials that are out there. To nobodies surprise, there are plenty of people with the same goal. But I'm a bit taken back at the statistic that "433 out of 462 people (93%) think this is worth doing." which makes me wonder, what's wrong with the other 7%???
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny."
    Stephen Hawking
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    A Banner Crop!


    From Cracked comes a funny look at If Banner Ads Were Forced To Be Truthful. And I can't wait to see the results of their current Photoshop contest, Inappropriate Children's Books, which looks like tons of offensive fun!
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    Wednesday, February 06, 2008

    Say Cheese?

    List Of The Day takes some classic 70's portrait studio photos and re-captions them with snarky goodness. And you then wind up with Great Olan Mills Photos like this one! Much LOL fun to be had!
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    How About Mediocre Wednesday?


    We survived Super Tuesday with no knock-out blows being scored by either side. I'm sure both camps will have the spin machines going full tilt explaining how things went just the way they wanted. But this one looks like it's gonna' be much more of a horse-race than we've seen in a long, long time.

    Let's hope that this speed bump doesn't throw off the alignment of the Obama campaign momentum which seemed to be building prior to Tuesday's vote. When you look at Obama's widening base as seen in the exit polls, and consider that the states Hillary won are the "traditional" Democratic strongholds, I have to conclude it suggests that Barack is probably the stronger candidate in the general election. Lets face it; despite the problems I have with a Clinton candidacy, if the choice comes down to her and Mr. CrankyPants, the choice is easy to make. But do I think that Clinton has the same appeal to the swing Republicans or the independent voters? Of course not! Obama has a greater potential to pull the undecided and those from the other side of the isle, without bringing the dark clouds from the past.

    As Maureen Dowd pointed out in her Op-Ed piece Darkness and Light, there is still much work to be done if we are going to see Obama emerge victorious...
    Hillary Clinton denounced Dick Cheney as Darth Vader, but she did not absorb the ultimate lesson of the destructive vice president:

    Don’t become so paranoid that you let yourself be overwhelmed by a dark vision.

    I think Hillary truly believes that she and Bill are the only ones tough enough to get to the White House. Jack Nicholson endorsed her as “the best man for the job,” and she told David Letterman that “in my White House, we’ll know who wears the pantsuits.” But her pitch is the color of pitch: Because she has absorbed all the hate and body blows from nasty Republicans over the years, she is the best person to absorb more hate and body blows from nasty Republicans....

    Her argument to the Democratic base has gone from a subtext of “You owe me,” or more precisely, “Bill owes me and you owe him,” to a subtext of “Obambi will fold at the first punch from the right.”...

    Better the devil you know than the diffident debutante you don’t. Better to go with the Clintons, with all their dysfunction and chaos — the same kind that fueled the Republican hate machine — than to risk the chance that Obama would be mauled like a chew toy in the general election. Better to blow off all the inspiration and the young voters, the independents and the Republicans that Obama is attracting than to take a chance on something as ephemeral as hope. Now that’s Cheney-level paranoia....

    But, if he wants to be president, he will still have to slay the dragon. And his dragon is the Clinton attack machine, which emerged Tuesday night, not invincible but breathing fire.
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by not dying."
    Woody Allen
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    Behold, The Future!



    While all the Presidential candidates are PROMISING change, a South Korean fried chicken chain "BBQ Chicken" (no, NOT barbecue) has actually made good on the promise. A new fast food hybrid, The Col-Pop combines chicken nuggets AND soda in one convenient container! If only they delivered....
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    Monday, February 04, 2008

    WOW!!

    Although not entirely erasing the pain of watching my NY Jets lackluster season, the post season play of the "other" local team has certainly taken the edge off of it. So many Super Bowl games are super let-downs, but I'd have to categorize this one as one of the best ever! A true team effort from an underdog team with a lot of heart, the game kept you on the edge of your seat all the way to the end. And seeing the dour, dejected look that Belichick had after the game was just icing on the cake!

    Unfortunately, the best game ever was accompanied by the worst commercials ever! Far too often the commercials have been better than the game, but not this time. The closest thing to one that approached the standards set by those of prior years' blockbuster ads was the FedEx one with the giant carrier pigeons that delivered havoc and destruction. Even the normally solid Bud ads weren't all that funny or memorable with the exception of the caveman one. And let's make sure we send the "Sales Genie" back to school to attend the political correctness class. Who knew that in today's world we'd be subjected to such dated ethnic stereotypes on network TV?? Then again, it was on Fox. At least we have the game to look back at fondly.
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    Quote-A-'Da-Day:

    "Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision."
    Muhammad Ali
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    Barack To The Future?

    Ex-Senator Gary Hart serves up some of the reasons that prevent many of us from taking the Hillary candidacy seriously in his recent piece Iraq as Metaphor:

    All issues are equal, but some issues are more equal than others. Those more equal give an insight into decision making, leadership style, and even character. Anyone who has served in office is familiar with the question, "Why did he/she do that?," meaning why did that politician do what they did? It is a question impossible to answer, that is without having some divine access to the inner recesses of an individual's mind or even soul.

    Great decisions, however, can reveal how future great decisions might be made. No decision since the so-called Gulf of Tonkin resolution in Vietnam is more important than the vote on the 2002 war resolution on Iraq. Unlike health care, economic stimulus, immigration, and a host of other concerns, on that question there is clear difference between the Democratic finalists.

    For those in the process of deciding between them for super Tuesday and beyond, they should be urged to consider this question very seriously. Those who decided to grant George W. Bush virtually unilateral authority to invade Iraq now must accept responsibility for its consequences. Votes have consequences. The consequences in Iraq are well over 30,000 American casualties [casualty: killed and wounded], possibly one million Iraqi deaths, and at least a trillion American tax dollars spent on restructuring (much wasteful and corrupted) and not spent on U.S. schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.

    On issues such as this, it is not enough to say, We all make mistakes. One of the remaining candidates cannot even bring herself to say that. Why not, at least, say, The president misled me? Given how tragically wrong that vote was, such an admission would be at the very least a signal of humility, responsibility, wisdom, and character.

    Consider these two questions when deciding how to vote on Tuesday and beyond: Why did Senator Clinton give George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq; and why can she not bring herself to admit she was wrong? Regarding the first, she now says that she was only authorizing war as a last resort. Others who voted as she did and now admit error, including Senators Biden, Dodd, and Edwards, do not make that argument. They admit they were wrong. As to the second question, the plausible excuses are few: she still thinks it was right; she thinks the operation was mismanaged; she clings to the hope that this vote and continued support for it will serve her well with conservatives in a general election; she believes it is a symbol of "strength."

    Sorting through a great deal of obfuscation, Senator Clinton still seems to cling to the argument that Bush mismanaged the whole project, that it was worth doing but it was done badly. Thus, she seems to accept unilateral invasion as a first resort, even when intelligence, as it was in this case, is less than clear. She seems to be willing to follow policy makers, in this case neocons, who had a publicly announced imperial agenda in the Middle East. And she permits the impression to grow that "triangulation," in matters of war, requires placing protection of political career over protection of the national interest.

    Throughout my life I have tried consistently to avoid being judgmental regarding the motives of others. But, like Senator Obama, even on the sidelines, even without access to classified briefings, even under the war drum beat of the right, and even with a compliant mainstream media, I knew both in my mind and deep in my soul that invasion of Iraq was wrong, that it would lead to semi-permanent occupation, that the war would only just begin when Baghdad fell, and that we were pouring blood and treasure into the sand.

    "Triangulation" and "centrism" may have led to eight years of a Democratic presidency in the 1990s.. But it also blurred the principles of the Democratic party. It led young politicians to believe that the safest course was in some vague middle ground. And, tragically, it led too many Democrats to believe they had to prove their national security credentials by voting for any military misadventure right wing hawks could think up.

    This nation needs a president who will question the conventional wisdom, who will exercise skepticism concerning foreign entanglements, who will have the courage to resist pressure from the narrow-minded bellicose right, who will admit to error when major mistakes are made, and who can look farther over the horizon than most of us. Most of all, we need a president who can restore America's honor, respect, and moral authority in the world.

    That president is not Senator Clinton. That president is Barack Obama.
    || JM, 12:02 AM || link || (2)||comments|| Email this link:

    Yes We Can



    Just in time to energize and mobilize Super Tuesday voters, a music video from the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am: Yes We Can!!

    UPDATE: And now we have the TYRA REMIX!!!
    || JM, 12:01 AM || link || (3)||comments|| Email this link: