Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2009

ArcoMage

Years ago there was a game, and the game was good.

Might and Magic by EDO was the game – it was a four-person-party first-person-shooter slash RPG game and it was always (1) a hoot, (2) large, and (3) interesting.  It could take you HOURS just to get to this little itty-bitty teeny area only to get your clock cleaned.

Did I mention it was fun?

Note:  keep reading, there will be graphics in a bit, down below…

It had a sub-game in the later versions (MM7 and MM8, I believe) called ArcoMage.  ArcoMage was a game you played in taverns once you found a special deck of cards and you actually went into taverns just so you could play the game-within-a-game as much as MM itself.

You drew cards that could be played at the expenditure of certain resources and you could build your wall, build your castle, tear down your opponent’s wall, or tear down his castle.  Whoever hit the winning conditions of a certain amount of resources in one area or destroyed the enemy castle first was the winner.

A few weeks ago I thought it would be fun to find it again, except find it in a board game so I could play with Cruel Wife (Yes, I know – spend time with the wife.  On purpose…) face-to-face.  Actually I wouldn’t mind playing games w/ her if we could both get off our damned computers.   Well the problem is that the game doesn’t exist outside of a computer.  You can buy it online and play it on your computer and you can even network it so the two of you can head-to-head… on your computers.

So I said *($&#%^@% that.   And now I’m making a board game.  Not to sell, but to make three or maybe five copies, give them to people who are special to me, and let them be the only ones of their kind in the world.  And it is a worthwhile endeavor.

I know all the original cards but they were old and grainy and kind of cool for the graphics of the time but not good enough if one is going to go through this kind of effort.

crystalshield_small1

click to embiggen

The plan is to build a wooden gameboard/box and to do it in SteamPunk style – with lots of brass and victorian flourishes wherever possible.

Make something well, and make it timeless, I say.  Make it something that will be cool in 100 years.  I like to think these look cool so far.

floodwater_small

click to embiggen

I am currently done with card #68 out of a total of 102 cards.  I have to say, it is one hell of a lot of work.  I do it an hour at a time after I’m done working for the evening or for several hours a night on the weekends.

I’ll keep you posted if there’s any interest in the progress.

*********

Education is no substitute for intelligence.  I’m amazed that Fox News even thought about putting this on their website.

Studies Find Eating Dirt, Worms Make Us Healthier

Friday, January 30, 2009

Can eating dirt make you healthier?

Several studies called the hygiene hypothesis show that when organisms from bacteria, viruses and worms enter the body from dirt, the immune system becomes stronger, The New York Times reported.

The ongoing studies imply ingesting worms redirects a skewed immune system, curing people with autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma.

“What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment,” Mary Ruebush, a microbiology and immunology instructor, wrote in her new book, “Why Dirt Is Good” (Kaplan). “Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”

Dr. Joel V. Weinstock, director of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and Dr. David Elliott, a gastroenterologist and immunologist at the University of Iowa,said children who grow up on farms and are exposed to worms and other organisms have been found less likely to develop allergies or autoimmune diseases.

“Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,” Weinstock said.

Let’s use a bit of logic here…

IF THIS WERE TRUE, THEN HUGE SECTIONS OF THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA WOULD BE HOME TO THE HEALTHIEST DAMN PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET.

But then someone will come along that says “Oh but you need to take in parasites in moderation.”

Read Full Post »

Duré Wept

A faithful minion over at O’Boy and Asshattery – The Snark Years (dat’s Steamboat McGoo to those who know him)… the faithful minion, cbullitt, has passed on information that is disturbing and grievous.

The Hyperion Cantos – a four book set that so richly describes a world that it is hard to encompass it all without several readings – is to be made into a movie.  Now, while I have always dreamed of seeing the story come to life on film, I have small hope of it being done with due justice.

hyperion_cover

Dan Simmon’s official website has a note about it, here.  You would think that with the author’s blessings, it would be something I should stop worrying about.  But… authors have let movies be made before with bad results.  Hopefully if Mr. Simmons ever reads these words he will understand that it is out of deep respect for his writing that I’d even say all this.  It’s too wonderful of a story to let it be done wrong.  Writing the screenplay and directing the movie not be attempted by anyone less than an IQ of 145.

I get worried by statements like this:

King acquired the rights to the series several years ago, but its structure, inspired by Boccaccio’s “Decameron” and Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” and its multiple timelines made the task of adapting it into a feature unwieldy and challenging.

Brought in by GK Films’ Grey Rembert and Gail Lyon, Sands won over the execs by taking a selective approach to the two novels’ multiple points of view in a way that managed to coherently and unconfusingly tell the story.

The key words being “selective approach”.  Those words strike fear into my heart.

If you’re expecting a book review with a synopsis, you won’t get one.  There’s too many things to choose from and it would be a long review.  A long review would not be fair to you if you will be a potential reader because it will let you peek ahead when the story must be told as it is told by Father Hoyt, Kassad, Martin Silenus, Sol Weintraub, Brawne Lamia, and the Consul.

Suffice it to say that “epic”, “sci-fi”, “saga”, and “amazing” all fit quite well together here.  The characters are believable, they aren’t forced, they are good, they are evil, they are brave, and they are cowards.  The worlds are hellish, deadly beauty, fire, ice, mysterious, empty, and vast – and there are a lot of them.

And in case you are wondering as to the title of this post, Father Paul Duré is a main figure in all the books, and he self-crucified himself only to die and live again and again in a vast forest of raging Tesla trees.  And that was only part of the beginning.

********

United Airways had their little problem a few weeks ago, remember?  Just one week prior to that I flew to VA on business and had an experience.  No crash but I wasn’t tickled pink.  After the whirlwind day trip on their airlines I came up with the following summary, which I also sent in roughly the same wording to the secretary and the bosses:

(1) US Airways sucks.
(2) US Airways really sucks.
(3) US Airways really really sucks.
(4) Landing in Philly in high wind and turbulence sucks, too.
(5) Coastal VA is flat-out beautiful, even in wintertime, and if the company wants me to start a branch there, I’m up for it..
(6) On the way back (now NW Airlines) the Seat 21-C that our secretary put me on is not actually a seat in Row 21 on a plane per se, but is actually the left-side bathroom at the rear of the DC-9 model aircraft (thankyouverymuch).  I had to keep getting up every three minutes to let other passengers use my “seat”.  I suppose this is the result of some perceived slight on her part and I’m paying the price but it must be said that the ticket price is a tad high considering how little cushioning there is on the seats in the lavatories.

I didn’t walk away very happy with US Airways.  The planes were not in good condition, the seating was terrible, and I had to pay to get any kind of beverage at all.  At least on NW Airlines when I asked her if they were charging for a drink, the stewardess said “Yes, the price of a soda is a smile.”  She got her smile.

That said, the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 still has my utmost respect.  One hell of a job there.

Note:  21-C actually is a seat on a DC-9.  It is however, so close to the lavatory that you can hear toilet paper hitting the floor when someone drops a square.

Read Full Post »

Gosh this was a fun news article. Zombies ahead!

0_61_zombies_320

Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, "Zombies Ahead." - foxnews.com

Huh.  I would have thought that this would be applicable in any educational institution.  Or anywhere that Congress-Critters congregate.

********

A grandmother baking cookies with her grandchildren?  Oh I think not.  Perhaps if they were animal cookies with live animals.

Pelosi, now that she has some real power has discounted the need for bipartisanship.

Note:  I can’t stand the term “bipartisanship”.  It is a politcal snipe-word used against anyone who happens to exercise their rights by having a dissenting opinion.  In this context however, she feels no need to compromise, opting to emphasis “taking” over “working together for a mutually acceptable solution”.

********

In my fight against the “figures don’t lie but liars figure” I have to give the hysteria-whippers credit for being sneaky here:

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967.

(source:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Americans-receiving-jobless-apf-14193255.html)

But wait… uh… these are stacked.  Americans are getting benefits longer.  About all that steaming pile of horseapples they call statistics tells us is that odds are that people are taking longer to find jobs… and they’re getting benefits longer. Wow.  Oh wow.

It should say something that right after that nightmarish statement involving “1967” we read this:

A department analyst said that as a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment recipients is the highest since August 1983.

Oh.  So that means… what?  I could freak out and say “AAAAA!  1960-freakin-seven!!!”  or I could freak out and say “Holy Guacamole – 1983!!”.  Big whups.  I was there, folks.  1983 kind of sucked ass.  We lived.

The bigger point that should be made here is saying “since such-n-such date” tells me nothing about context.  Say for the sake of argument that the years since 1983 have had unemployment at a steady 4.77 million.  Now we see it go up to 4.78M.  What does that tell us about 1982?  Nothing other than it was bigger than 4.78M.  What if up until 1983 it was 27.3M?  It tells us nothing about context and only a little bit about relative status based on whatever key stat the hysteria-monger wishes to use to their ends.

In the end, it still serves news outlets even if I walk away confused and not really any more informed because as long as I am left with this emotional impact of “shit shit shit, things are grim”… well, they’ve done their job of informing me, haven’t they?  Now we can all feel uneasy and they can do a report about how “More Americans are uneasy than at any time since 1974 according to a People magazine poll.”

I am not downplaying anyone’s troubles because as I’ve said before – I was once out of work 8 months and I’ve been there, I understand.

What I am pointing out with zero mercy is that the imbeciles in the news media are playing a very real (and dangerous) part in demoralizing good honest people using crappy data and they are doing a damn fine job of whipping up a lot more fear than there should be from objectively looking at facts.

A statistic I’m more likely to believe because it doesn’t show something negative… Economy slows at a lower pace than expected.

********

What is it with guys that give “gifts of love” (kidneys, breast implants) and want to take them back when the relationship goes sour?

Man tries to take back implants with a knife.

********

Now, I am warning you. This is kind of woozly if you are squeamish (I am not, at least not about this).

I was looking for some textures that had snake scales and so I googled “snakeskin”.  This link showed up.  I have no idea what else is on that blog nor did I want to find out, so don’t blame me if there is anything unsavory there.  You’re big kids.

All the rage among those who feel that a good honest tat is just pedestrian and are wishing to take it to the next logical step.  Logical?  Did I say logical?  While this lady arguably is more drunk than I’ve ever been, has balls way bigger than me, or is a CIPA sufferer… there are truly folks walking around who get off on this.   The tone should be set if I say that this is a link to… skin carving.

********

People are surpised??? C’mon, children, this is Detroit.

more later…

Read Full Post »

Ok, anyone who is anyone has seen the Drudge headline…

$335,000,000 FOR STD PREVENTION IN ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL
Wed Jan 28 2009 09:58:30 ET

Democrats may have eliminated provisions on birth control and sod for the National Mall in the "job stimulus" -- but buried on page 147 of the bill is stimulation for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases!

The House Democrats' bill includes $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

In the past, the CDC has used STD education funding for programs that many Members of Congress find objectionable and arguably unrelated to a mission of economic stimulus [such as funding events called 'Booty Call' and 'Great Sex' put on by an organization that received $698,000 in government funds.]

"Whether this funding has merit is not the question; the point is it has no business in an economic plan supposedly focused on job creation," says a stimulated Hill source.

How about that?  You’re out of work but you’re free of the clap.  Actually even that is not right.

Your tax dollars in a crappy economy are aimed at helping people who can’t keep it in their pants.  Great use, you socialist jackasses.

Not that our government should be in the “bailout” business.  When a market adjustment like this happens and the hedonistic glow dies down, people lose.  They lose because projected earnings never materialized and they weren’t cautious.  No use railing against that reality – it’s like bitching about how you have to die someday because you’re alive now.

Read Full Post »

Blogger Down for Maintenance…

Ok.  Posing a question here.

How do you know that you are old?

old40

Well? (No, that pic has nothing to do with this post)

Ok, I’ll tell you how.

You know you are getting old when you arch your back and stretch with your arms up over your head and twist just so and POP happens in your lowest left rib.

It’s a wet-paper-bag tearing kind of pop-like sensation.  It is galvanizing and enough to make you leap off the couch in a jittery-cold sweat.

On Saturday for hours it was a sit-on-the-couch and wait game until Cruel Wife came home, sending the children out on hunter-gatherer missions.  GirlHead can reach stuff up on the counters and shelves as well as dig out everything from the 2/3 mark and lower in the fridge.  MonsterBoy can get shoes, pillows, blankets, and hit replay on Cars, which we watched twice.

It’s the sneezing and coughing that is killing me.  And throat-clearing.  And hiccups.  And deep breathing.

Grown to hate narcotics of any kind over the last two years and that has extended to ibu and tylenol (guilt by association) so we’re just gonna ride this out rodeo style.

UPDATE:  Doc says no office visit necessary (yay!) and that time, heat, and taking it easy is all that is necessary.  This is good, except for the time aspect.  Time is stretched by discomfort, you know.  Good news anyway, because pain when you breathe is kind of unnerving.  Better safe than sorry.

********

I can honestly say:  “This will never happen to me.”

Poisonous fish testicles send diners to the hospital.

Well, actually, you might convince me to try Fugu, but not fish testicles.  On a price per pound basis they have to cost more than saffron.

********

Talk about making career choices…

Judge Uses Vulgar and Racial Epithets While Charged with DUI

Her end of the conversation, in part, is: “I don’t need a ride home. … I’m a criminal. … What? What? … Well, they got the head n—– in charge and he … Which one, the head n—– in charge? … Washington. OK. That’s H-N-I-G….”

Then she hands the phone to Washington, who talks to her husband about getting the car off the highway. Washington asks, “Do you guys have Triple-A?”

Hearing that, Cofield interjects: “Oh, no. We don’t. We’re ghetto Negroes. We don’t have Triple-A.”

Earlier, when asked if she was injured, Cofield replied: “Yeah, I am. I’m humiliated by your f—–g attitude.”

I’m no fan of police brutality, but I think I’d make an exception here…

Washington asked if she was willing to take an intoxication test. She replied: “Mr. Negro Washington. I need to go to the bathroom, and then I will take the test.”

“It’s Sgt. Washington,” he replied, adding, “Don’t disrespect me, and I won’t disrespect you.”

At another moment, after she had given a urine sample, Cofield asked Washington: “Do you have a reading on my urine test, Negro trooper?”

I need to say that you see these thoughts pop up just enough that you wonder how prevalent it is in the black community.  It isn’t helped much by Michelle Obama, Rev. Wright, Je$$e Ja¢k$on, Sharpton, and other prominent “leaders”.

When asked to sign a form that she understood her rights, Cofield said, “I’m not signing anything, because when it comes down to the bottom line, who’s smarter — me or you? We’ll figure it out, won’t we?”

Asked if she took any drugs, Cofield responded: “Oh, yeah, I’m a crack addict. Do I look like that to you?”

Then she directed her attention to the first state trooper on the scene of her accident and asked him, “Can you tell me why you came first, and then you had to bring him [Washington]? Is it because you had to make this valid by bringing a Negro?”

Think about that:  “Can you tell me why you came first, and then you had to bring him [Washington]? Is it because you had to make this valid by bringing a Negro?”  That tells you what she thinks of whites in general and any “brothers” that work with them. I surely don’t understand this way of thinking.

This is rich:

Cofield was originally appointed in 1991 as the state’s first black female judge after Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. nominated her and legislators confirmed her. She was last renominated by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and approved by lawmakers in 2007. Her current term expires on June 6, 2015.

My guess is that there are provisions in place such that her term will expire a whole lot sooner than that.   According to her it’s probably the “Uppity N______ Judge Retirement Clause”.

Note:  I cannot stand the use of the word, myself.  I use it to mock her attitude.

********

Wouldn’t be the first time an officer succumbed to drugs, but not like this.

RIP, Max.

Read Full Post »

Update: I know, I know, hard to believe, but just because you’re from Michigan it does not mean that you are a mental giant.

****

So, last Sunday I’m sitting there with Girlhead on the couch and we’re watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.  Now, if you are not familiar with this show the guy goes around to do jobs for a day and they usually are nasty, hot, smelly, dangerous, and yes… dirty.

Girlhead once said as my wife came in the door:  “Mommy!  Daddy and I are watching Dirty Movies!”   Had to nip that in the bud.  We both knew what she meant (Dirty Jobs) but you can see how that might be awkward at times.

So anyway, we’re watching Mike Rowe at a tannery – he did all the jobs required start-to-finish in order to make leather.

Girlhead turns to me and says “Daddy, what is leather?”

I tell her that it is the skin/hide of cows, deer, or whatever animal you have on hand, and that leather is used in belts, coats, bags, saddles, or whatever.

She looks at me, smiles evilly, and says “What about CHIPMUNK leather?”

A Lakeshore Images picture of an adorable chipmunk.

A Lakeshore Images picture of an adorable chipmunk.

Picture:  Copyright © 1996 – 2008 Jon R. Vermilye  – more of his pics here.

Too small for a loincloth yet still quite valuable.  Cats are good for loincloths.

As Steamboat McGoo put it – I swelled up with pride and could have died and gone to heaven right there.

I asked her:  “Do you have any idea how many ‘munks it’d take to make a leather coat?”

(Evil grin) “LOTS!”

That’s my girl!!!

I suggested last night that her dollhouse could have something very much like a bearskin rug but using chipmunks.  She liked the idea.

She and I also discuss how we think baby animals taste better.  I do believe she’ll be a handful when she is older, but she won’t be lacking in character.

****

Over at the Wash Post this story came up:

In golf, they call it a mulligan. A do-over.

There’s no formal name for what President Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did last night.

After flubbing his one role on Inauguration Day — administering the oath of office to Obama — Roberts traveled to the White House to re-administer the oath.

Just to make sure.

“We decided it was so much fun . . .,” Obama joked while sitting on a couch in the Map Room. Obama stood and walked over to make small talk with pool reporters as Roberts donned his black robe.

“Are you ready to take the oath?” Roberts asked.

“I am, and we’re going to do it very slowly,” Obama replied.

After a flawless recitation that included no Bible and took 25 seconds, Roberts smiled and said, “Congratulations, again.”

Oh geez, please everybody just shut up about the lack of bible in this event.  Stop it before it starts.

****

Somebody tell me why this shouldn’t be charged as “Murder”, not “Manslaughter”.

Another thing that pisses me off is in spite of sexual equality, women still receive the lowest bail every single time.

McKie and Nelson were held in lieu of $200,000 bail, while the judge set Albright’s bail at $50,000 – which the correction officers union said was “appalling.” All three officers were being held in the Westchester County Jail.

The inmates are criminals but they are first and foremost human beings and deserve to not be ill-treated.  (Unless they preyed on children or defenseless innocents, in which case, have at ’em.)

****

Dick Morris has things to say about Obama being the harbinger of Socialism.  I think he is all too right.  I worry that enough people are not going to think it through and use only short-term-motivated powers of discernment and end up quite shocked at where the behemoth of gov’t is lumbering towards – and by then the momentum will be wicked hideous.

****

Taking out the trash.

They’ve trucked out 130 TONS of trash after the inauguration.

“There was so much trash left behind. Piles and piles,” Lyons said. “When all those people were there, you didn’t realize how bad it was. But once they left, we saw the work ahead.”

“People left so many of their personal effects. Blankets, sleeping bags,” Lyons said. “Then the places where the vendors were, some of them just left their tables behind

(Nancee Lyons, a Department of Public Works spokeswoman)

They blame the problem on a dearth of garbage cans.  Yeah.  Right.  A responsible adult, when faced with no trashcan, will keep their trash bundled up and truck it out of there themselves.

By yesterday morning, thousands of spent hand warmers were gone. Bottles, cans, wrappers, papers, gloves, hats, blankets, sleeping bags, American flags and folding chairs had been removed, and only flocks of birds were left to feast on high-protein snack crumbs.

The inability of the self-proclaimed party of environmentalists to police themselves is nothing short of astounding.  One could be left to believe that the left doesn’t really believe in their causes so much as believe that they need to belong to a cause.  If so, that’s a sign of an empty person, bereft of self-worth or independent thought.

****

Speaking of taking out the trash – when is Pelosi’s term over again?

Pelosi said one of her favorite moments from Inauguration Day was when Marine One lifted off the Capitol grounds, signifying former President George W. Bush’s exit from Washington. “It felt like a 10-pound anvil was lifted off my head,” she said.  (source:  SFGATE)

Just what is it going to take to give her that feeling back?  That dropping of a 10-pound anvil on her head.  What a bitch.

Like I said folks, the democrats are showing off their classy composure again.

****

French Ex-President Jacques Chirac mauled by his maltese pooch.  Man!  Can these guys win any wars whatsoever?  Well, to be fair his dog was depressed.

Read Full Post »

The latest pants-wetter globular worming announcement by Penn State University shows that us doubting “contrarians” (their words, not mine) are just wrong wrong wrong.

They show this colorful picture (color is more cinematic and enhances my wrongness):

NASA)

Warming in Antarctica over last half-century (source: NASA)

Wow.  The colors mean we’re extra-wrong, right?  Oh gee.

Now, lets compare that to the volcanic range underneath Antarctica:

map_antarctica_volcanoesDoes anyone else see a correlation or do I need glasses?  Just so happens that Mt. Erebus is currently the most active Antarctic volcano.  How about that?  Oh, and it has been continuously active since 1972.  Wow.

I’ve found a site that tells about the clockwise direction of the Antarctic current (Circumpolar).  So it would tend lead this layman to conclude that it would sweep any warmth up and around/past Graham Island.

I’m not an expert but I am decidedly skeptical.  Still.  But no… there’s no way that a volcanic region could have more effect than our selfish-evil-human carbon buttprints, right?

*******

Considering a vast majority of the throng that converged upon the Mall to witness the inauguration must have been democrats and ardent disciples of the Obamessiah, I was surprised at the carbon buttprint shown in this picture:

Environment is our charge and we are responsible sayeth the Liberals.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Environment is our charge and we are responsible sayeth the Liberals. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I expect the occasional lost roach-clips or hemp handbags, but this looks like a damned landfill.  Come on, you who attended, you were at the damned NATIONAL MALL – a historical place worthy of respect and you treat it like a $20 whore.

Yes, I’m steamed.  Yes it probably happens every time, but cripes people it is not hard to police yourself.

****

Always the class acts, the liberals are showing their superiority in the most childlike and spiteful ways they can think of… as posted on Drudge, I have to bring it up again.  It fits a theme.

Benediction at Obama ’s inauguration, Rev. Joseph Lowery: ‘Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick aroundwhen the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen’

  1. Blacks have not been asked to stand in back for decades now.  Certainly not in my lifetime.
  2. Brown can stick around?  What the hell does that mean, exactly?
  3. Red man can get ahead… yes, he found us out.  Every white is indoctrinated in the crib to oppress injuns.  Damn, he saw right through us, didn’t he, my aryan brothers?
  4. And when white will embrace what is right.  Uh, excuse me?  Whites have died for civil rights causes.  Whites… *AAAAAIIIIIEEE* … Geez, you blithering IDIOT.  I can’t even form words or describe how utterly contemptuous I am of your purposely myopic world view.  I submit sir, that you are a racist pig.  You take people like me who are on your side and say things that are equivalent to spitting in our faces and piss us off.

Another case in point… the crown booing when still-President Bush stepped up during the inauguration. I didn’t like Clinton.  I went and saw him speak.  And never never never would I have shown the office of the President disrespect like that in those settings, regardless of what I thought of the man.

Such quiet dignity on a very solemn occasion…  I’d have been so awed by the whole thing that there is no way at all that I could be cavalier about anything I did.  I see it touched Rahm the same way.

dignity

Rahm Emanuel showing dignity and poise, as expected.

In the inaugural speech:

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

We’ve been leading all along – even when the rest of the world was too yellow-bellied to act.  I’m not sure what planet he’s from.

Obama also has a wonderful ability to state the obvious (at face value) but is trying to make a point where the point is one that is truly divisive:

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

You hear this wording on NPR – “where all people deserve the chance to lead healthy productive lives”.  This sort of wording has an implied tone given that it was even uttered in the first place, which is that if you do nothing you preserve a status quo where not all are free, not all can achieve a full measure of happiness or a full measure of productiveness.

The implication being that there is a vast conspiracy to oppress people in this country based on race/color/creed/handicap.  It’s a loaded statement based on the premise that something unproven is taken as fact.  (In the same class of  “So, have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

There and back again… classy example of poor impulse control on Biden’s part – a comment that was un-necessary and won’t gain him traction with the Supreme Court.  Seems to me that judges are pretty open (usually) but not at all when they are being dissed.

Read Full Post »

Update 1:  Now I am offended.   And more than a little pissed off.  It’s like we don’t live in the same country.

Benediction at Obama 's inauguration, Rev. Joseph Lowery: 'Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen'

What the hell?  What the HELL?  How am I supposed to spin that so I’m not being called an oppressive racist?  There is no way…

Update 2Should you expect anything less?

The crowd packed on the west side of the Capitol grounds serenaded President Bush in mocking fashion when he took to the inaugural stage alongside Vice President Dick Cheney.

“Nah nah nah nah, hey hey, good-bye,” a section of the crowd chanted.

The crowd packed immediately below the podium received Bush in stony silence when he took his seat on the stage surrounding the podium where Barack Obama was scheduled to take the oath office to become the 44th president of the United States.

The jeers are among the final public feedback Bush will receive as president.

Update 3:  Should the post below demoralize you too much, feel free to peruse this happy little tidbit of shite.

Ok, so that was mean.  Let’s look at the counterpoint by Liz Peek at the Fox Forum:

Whoa there America– take a deep breath. As impressed as we all are with the significance of this moment — we are about to inaugurate the first African American President of the United States –– it is possible that our collective giddiness will lead to the worst kind of disappointment. President-elect Barack Obama is being breathlessly compared to FDR, JFK, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. So far — he has won an election.

Even Obama is hyperventilating. In Sunday’s speech, he said “I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States will endure.” Endure? Did he think the country might actually go out of business? Merge with France? Sell out to Wal-Mart? That we might decide that Citigroup was too frail, Iraq too complex and our waistlines too bulging to carry on? What did he mean?

******Now, on to the posting…*******

My co-worker’s e:mail to me was so emphatic and on-point I had to post it.  The start of the video linked below has this insipid inspiring image:

lonely_president

Notice all the caring that happens once it is no longer Bush that is president?

Compare to…

lonely_president2

Change you can believe in.

lonely_president3

Yep. Hope is just oozing out my pores.

In my co-worker’s e:mail pasted below, the bolded and italicized emphasis is my addition.

I heard this “pledge” on the radio this morning and almost drove into a bridge abutment.  Eventually, I calmed down enough that I could drive again without screaming in fury every half mile or so.  If you must watch the video, please make sure you haven’t eaten anything in the last six hours unless you feel the need for an inspection of the contents of your digestive tract.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/breitbart/2009/01/19/where-were-you-celebrities-after-911/

The total hypocrisy of these people would be absurd if it weren’t so completely offensive at the same time.  They want to “be a better father”, “conserve energy”, and, apparently, relax their personal hygiene habits now.  If they feel so strongly about it now, why the hell weren’t they doing this before?  What, was George Bush personally coming over to their houses and flushing the toilet or something?

Suddenly, all these Hollywood celebrities are proud of America and want to come back into the fold instead of spitting on pictures of the president and burning flags, just because a different president got elected. Did that suddenly change the whole composition of the country?  Did Obama’s election flip a little toggle switch in everyone’s brain from “conservative monster” to “liberal puppy-kitten-fairy-playtime” or something? If so, my switch must be stuck.

A couple of the “pledges” toward the end were what almost made me ditch the car in fury.  “I pledge to be of service to Barrack Obama,” and “I pledge to be a servant to our president…” Excuse me, but WHAT?!  Apparently, some people in Hollywood need a lesson in American Government.  Last time I checked, the government was supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

By the way, I am glad to see that Ashton Kutcher is pledging to “always represent my country with pride, dignity, and honesty.”   I guess it’s never to late to stop being a douchebag, but to judge from this video, he’s off to a slow start.

More later…

Read Full Post »

Note: Some of this is entirely debatable since the issue is so very complex.  I welcome additional thoughts, even dissenting thoughts, provided they are respectful and non-combative.

Capitalism is supposed to work both ways.

1)  It increases competition between companies to provide a product or services that are most attractive to consumers – either in price or quality

2)  It also means that a company desiring good employees will compensate them accordingly.

Part of that has been short-circuited by practices that have slowly desensitized people to socialism.

Let’s use health insurance as an example.

In the past, you were paid a salary or hourly wage for your work at a given company.  It was understood that you had certain basic needs that had to be met and the free market drove those costs.

Ultimately it was up to individuals as a whole to determine what the fair wage was for a given profession and indeed, it was up to individuals to decide how they wanted to use that compensation… not the employer’s responsibility.

For the sake of argument, a company wants to pay $10,000 for a person to perform a job, which we’ll call “Senior Poodle Pooper”.  Another company is willing to pay more for that service in order to attract better poodle poopers.  Professional poodle poopers will gravitate to those businesses who pay more and those businesses will flourish because they are able to pick and choose to find the best candidate worthy of that higher wage.  A company with better quality employees will run better and generate greater profits (generally).

Now, this only goes so far since the system is self-limiting.  Offer a Senior Poodle Pooper wage of $100,000 and eventually the gains are outweighed by the cost.  The actual worth of the position is taken into account and this drives the wages back down to a reasonable level.   So on average the wages for a Poodle Pooper (Sr) will probably fluctuate around $14,379 (just an arbitrary example).

Here’s where it gets interesting.  Now let’s roll in all sorts of benefits, such as health care and claim that the value of those benefits is $2000, reducing your compensation to $12,379.   You don’t know what it *really* costs your company to provide that health care plan, and if they are smart they will try to get a plan where there is a bargaining position for an aggregate group of subscribers thus lowering the premiums.

So when you are told that part of your compensation is in benefits, how do you know that the claimed total value of your benefits plus paycheck wages meets the actual total value – in terms of the total value you personally receive?

Will your premiums through a company plan be lower or higher than if everyone were to put pressure individually  on insurance companies by choosing their own plans?  It would seem that it’d be fairly obvious that the better rate is through a group plan, but insurance companies prefer you use group plans.  Why is that, do you think?  They make more profit through the employer benefits model.

Now every employee gets the same benefits package that levels out part of the compensation (in real wages).  You are getting less value for more money than if you were given the total wages for the real value of your profession.

I guarantee you, if everyone had to go back to providing their own health care, insurance premiums would drop.  Why?  Because then insurance companies would be forced to work under a truer capitalism model and less under a socialism model.  People are a lot more discriminating when they see the total dollar amount coming out of their pocket.  When you hide the cost in a tangle of accounting and bureaucracy there is a lot less chance of sticker shock.

Employers are finding it harder to afford these plans because it isn’t that much cheaper when times are hard and the price of premiums have been allowed to be inflated.

A collective bargaining group-aggregate model also ensures that your premiums are used to subsidize other’s health care by leveling everybody’s rate regardless of risk and lifestyle.  It’s socialism and it was brought in under the radar.

But it was made so palatable and attractive this way that it is a short step to saying national health care is also OK.

Ask yourself:  Is helping your fellow man “worth any cost”?   Does “any cost” still apply if it were to come out of your paycheck?  What about your tax burden increases, is it still worth it?

If you think so, then you should be thrilled with national health care.  There will be a minimum level of substandard health care across the board that is paid for using your dollars and if you are financially able to do so you will also be paying for extended coverage for yourself and your family.

In any economy that is even partially capitalist, given finite resources, one person’s gain is another person’s loss – in our context the second question to ask is:  “Since the insurance and health industries are fully behind universal care, why would they be earning more money to do so?”

Note:  Rationale for insurace/medicine being behind national health care is simple – the lobbies would squelch the notion very early on if it was a profit-drainer, and business is not there to provide more service for less money.

So next time you look at your compensation package, evil thing that it is, ask yourself “How much of a change in my bottom line would there be if everyone was expected to pay their own way?”

Read Full Post »

Sick and they have to change.

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.  – Gordon Gecko – Wall Street (1987)

A certain amount of greed is absolutely necessary – your reach exceeding your grasp – and the desire to succeed driving you forward.

Problem being that in excess – and it doesn’t matter where it happens or what markers or chips you use – any field has it’s weakness.  In science it can be publications and acknowledgment, in business it is money, in sports it can be performance enhancements, whatever.

Check out what the son of Circuit City’s founder, Alan L. Wurtzel, CEO from 1972 to 1986 said (emphasis mine):

Wurtzel has previously said Circuit City didn’t take the threat of rival Best Buy Co. seriously enough and, at some points, were too focused on making a profit in the short term instead of building long-term value. (source: Circuit City to liquidate remaining US stores)

This is where almost all of our issues trace back to.  Unbridled greed.  Unbridled greed has little or nothing to do with working, clarity, or evolution.

Look at some names – Madoff, Lay/Skilling, the Keating Five, Walsh, Kozlowski/Swartz… and many more.   Look the largest recent-history instances – Dot-Com and Fannie/Freddie Subprime.

A short term profit motive involving a large company is more often than not self-centered in nature and the equivalent of pissing on food once you’ve gotten your fill.

It should be noted that many of these companies also expanded during the ridiculous overexuberance (there’s that overzealous greed again).  Because spending has been so out of control in the consumer markets these businesses, eager to scratch out bigger shares than their competitors based on the simplest and stupidest approach of brute-force market flooding, all built store after store after store.  The hard-work approach to outdoing your competitors is not as profit-friendly but does the most good, which is to become a professional and high-quality outfit where employees are expected to excel and to make the customer the center of the business.  Not many companies do this.

When the market contracts entire stores and chains of stores disappear in short order just to keep profits up.  Then stores disappear as profits dry up and disappear.  Finally stores disappear as companies flounder under a burden of debt and the threat of bankruptcy.

In all cases, the employees who are the second-most valuable asset to a company – just behind the customer – suffer.  Employee/employer loyalty and steadfastedness is at an all-time low.  As employees suffer and the most simple-minded of  cost-cutting measures are implemented so too does the customer suffer and drives the entire system into a spiral.

The intangible assets of “quality” and “people” are the first victims of greed in our business models.

Read Full Post »

Update: Holy sheep shi… stuff.  Down to -7.6F and still dropping… the night is still young.   Starting to really notice where the house has leaks.  If you come to SE Michigan, keep your brass monkey indoors.    01.16.09 – 00:22 hrs

Listening to my old Berlin album (Best of Berlin, actually) – The Masquerade, You Don’t Know, and Blowin’ Sky High cranked as loud as it’ll go (11).

-12.1F – 01:47 hrs   Damn.  Took Zoe out and both our noses froze shut.  She urinated and you could hear yellow ice as it hit the ground.

-16F – 07:30 hrs.  Absolutely OTT.

Since pants-wetters the world over have shrieked at every stiff wind or warm/muggy day and called them “evidence of global warming”, it is only fair to give them back some of their medicine.  Here I refute every claim they’ve ever made (infinity, infinity!) with just one data point.

global-warming-more-evidence

****

Everybody has their price. Sad to say hers was monetary.

“Nevada has been out of step with the rest of the country for many years with regards to prostitution, and that’s why I think it’s important for federal prosecutors to look into this, so that Nevada does not dictate the morals and moral decency for the rest of the nation,” Staver told FOXNews.com.

Actually, Staver is just not very conversant with historical documents from the founding of this country… it’s the rest of the nation that is not supposed to dictate morals and moral decency for the state in question.

****

In our back yard, practically. Man falls off deck and freezes to death.

It is colder than a witch’s bits out there. It was -9F this morning. Yes, I know N. Dak., Montana, Wisconsin, and others routinely get worse, but that does not negate the fact that even our wimpy -9F is too damned cold for man or beast. I have icicles the size of my arm on the house (which I need to remove PDQ).

Damned Globular Worming… if it gets any warmer, I don’t know what I’ll do.

I rarely ever agree with Camille Paglia, but her response to the bottom-most letter… I can agree with her about the last sentences:

We should all be concerned about environmental despoliation and pollution, but the global warming crusade has become a hallucinatory cult. Until I see stronger evidence, I will continue to believe that climate change is primarily driven by solar phenomena and that it is normal for the earth to pass through major cooling and warming phases.

Also concerned about the cold, Zoe-pup was spayed (I call it “shoveled”) yesterday and it was hard seeing her slog through wickedly cold snow to do her business. It was even harder to stand out for the length of time it took her to find “The Mostest Perfectest Place to Take a Dump”.

Zoe, pre-shoveling (Zoe is the one with the fur, by the way)

While at the vet’s they put her on morphine (hey, getting shoveled is major surgery), and she did what is common for dogs on morphine and barfed.  Not too surprisingly canine addiction rates for morphine are very very low.  Cruel Wife saw the tech come out with a baggy of some stuff. Zoe had horked up most of a paper towel and two earplugs.

Gross, dog.

****

Now for some humor.

Some dudes at work were seriously creeped out by who I call the Chernobyl Hamsters – Cruel Wife hated them, too. Some say they are rats. Others say that they have only prime-numbered numbers of digits on each extremity.

Me, I thought they were a hoot.


WE LOVE THE SUBS!!! … Coz they are gooooood to uuuuuuuus…

Makes me laugh my ass off every time.

So does this – Verminus Dramatis:

Read Full Post »

The obscenity is the price tag of the inauguration.

Yeah, this makes sense in days of bailouts, record debt, and congress throwing money away like drunken sailors. (Bernanke, too) Especially in the days when the porn industry is asking for handouts. Really, they are.

Well, it’s better to spend lots of money on this than helping shore up the budget, right? It’ll give the peasants hope. I meant to say “people”, sorry. It’ll give the little people hope. Damn, did I do it again? I really meant to say just “people”. Damn.

Barack Obama’s inauguration is set to cost more than £100m making it the most expensive swearing-in ceremony in US history.

Think about it: £100,000,000 = $145,760,000

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty revealed that is amount that will be billed in the days after the January 20th event. US authorities had previously budgeted just £10m for the day based on previous inaugurations for George Bush and Bill Clinton.

I say televise a small gathering at an Elk’s lodge and provide a couple of kegs of beer. Hope and change, my ass.

Think of the ego it must take to accept this kind of obscenity and not say “Hey, this is out of hand.”

Note:  I should point out the quotes illustrate a deft use of “burying” on the part of the reporter.  You had to dig for the second quote.

By the way… in ’05 Bush was slammed for the $40M price tag.  How about that?  Not saying $40M isn’t obscene but hey, let’s be consistent, ok?

Read Full Post »

Not going to post much as I have business travel coming up.  This’ll rock you back on your heels.  It was in the Patriot Post today.

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, 29 November 1802

Quite a few extremely intelligent men were engaged in the formation of our country, no?  Too bad it wasn’t passed down in sufficient quantity (or guts, for that matter) to reverse the trend or at least halt it.

****

Spokane residents deal with record snow.  Had to highlight this section…

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – More than 6 feet of snow in the past three weeks has left Spokane residents frustrated. Tempers are so frayed that a man was arrested for shooting at a snow plow operator.

Oh yeah, sure… kill the snowplow operator and the snow will stop. I hear a chicken’s foot tied around your johnson while smearing yourself with mayo and yodeling helps, too.

****

It is no sillier than Las Vegas’ roads or any of the other Bailout Beggars.  The adult entertainment industry joining in was just a matter of time.

****

See, this is the sort of behavior that doesn’t impress me.  The palestinians cheered when the WTC went down as well.  When a protestor calls for “jews to go back in the oven”… a bit OTT.

So why is it that after dealing with terrorist activities and Hamas for years that the liberal-minded world sees fit to denounce Israel?

Palestinians as a group/society don’t appear to have many redeeming qualities.  I’m absolutely positive that there are fantastic individuals but the whole… meh.

They chose Hamas to be their government.  They are thugs who hide behind women and children in hospitals, schools, and mosques.  Actually this seems true of quite a few fanatical muslim organizations.

Question:  Where are the moderate followers of Islam who have the guts to stand up to these abuses?

“She does not represent the opinions of the vast majority of people who were there,” said Emmanuel Lopez, who helped plan the event, one of many sponsored nationwide on Dec. 30 by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism ) Coalition.

Lopez, a state coordinator for ANSWER, admitted there is a problem with anti-Semitism within his organization’s ranks. But then he went on to call the supporters of Israel across the street “barbaric, racist” Zionist terrorists.

Why is it when I hear the word “Zionist” my first thought is that the speaker is speaking with nearly blind hatred?  Hmm.  Must just be my imagination.

Terrorists purposely target innocents for the sake of targeting innocents.  Terrorists use suicide bombers.  Terrorists torture and kill for the sake of – well – terror.

Israel hasn’t risen to that level, sorry.

****

Starts with a “P” and rhymes with “Rick”…

Reid assures Franken that Coleman will never serve as Senator.

I’m thinking our elected parasites have entirely too much power and the heady feeling that goes with it.   Arseholes.

****

You KNOW what I want to say.  But I’m above that.

Having a Big Derriere May Be Good for Your Health, Study Finds

Oh hell with it… gee, I guess we got a lot of healthy folks out there.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »