Monday, October 31, 2005

Luke, I am your father

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

For Sale

I have a 1998 Chevy Blazer. I do not want it anymore.

If you want it, and are willing to give me something that you don't want anymore, specifically $5,000.00 I will give you my Blazer.

I have loved it all it's life, but now it is time for us to part.

It has 105,000 miles, power everything, CD player, leather interior, 4X4, tow package....it is in excellent shape and drives nice. The A/C does not work, but who cares, it's cold outside....

top story of the day

my apologies to James Taranto's Best of the Web, but just in case you are too lazy to actually go to his site, here are the highlights from yesterday--I had to share these...

The World's Smallest Violin"When it comes to reading or arithmetic, Marvin Calvin is delighted to help his two children," the Associated Press reports. "But when it comes to MP3 players, video game consoles, computers or the Internet, he is just baffled":
"I won't even sit down with them and play that little game thing because I don't even know how to operate it," said the 48-year-old Calvin. . . .
He is a technological Rip Van Winkle.

Why isn't Calvin up to date on the latest gizmos? No good reason, really. All he did was a little armed robbery, which landed him in prison for 10 years. "Because of the rapid pace of technological change, thousands of inmates like Calvin leave prison every year to find a world very different from the one they knew when they went in." The heart bleeds.

And Just as His Sentence Was Ending!"Man Serving Life for Murder Dies"--headline, Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, Oct. 24

Luckily, He Won't Have to Pay It"Dead Man Gets Parking Ticket"--headline, Reuters, Oct. 21

At Least Unicorns and Dodos Are Safe"Mermaids, Dinosaurs Deemed Terror Targets"--headline, Tampa Tribune, Oct. 25

Cheese-Eating Surrender Ducklings"Egypt Slaughters French Ducklings Amid Flu Fears"--headline, Expatica.com, Oct. 23

'You're Supposed to Pin It on the Donkey, Dammit!'"Six Stabbed at 1-Year-Old's Birthday Party"--headline, Associated Press, Oct. 24

Monday, October 24, 2005

shaken, not stirred

I must admit that my rock solid faith in conservatism has been shaken recently as I came to the cynical realization that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, or possibly worse, because they say they are for limiting government spending, stronger defense and against judicial activism to get elected and then go ahead and throw away those "principles" and spend like a drunken sailor, nominate a complete unknown moron to the highest court without a shred of evidence that she is qualified, and completely turn a blind eye to some security threats while pursuing others relentlessly despite the fact that they are not that real of a threat-----

but then I read this and it reaffirmed a little for me:
When you demand lower taxes and less government, you're damned by the Left as "selfish." And, to be honest, in my case that's true. I'm glad to find a town road at the bottom of my drive, and I'm happy to pay for the Army and a new fire truck for a volunteer fire department every now and then, but, other than that, I'd like to keep everything I earn and spend it on my priorities.
The Left, on the other hand, offers an appeal to moral virtue: It's better to pay more in taxes and to share the burdens as a community. It's kinder, gentler, more compassionate, more equitable. Unfortunately, as recent European election results demonstrate, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: Once a fellow's enjoying the fruits of government health care and all the rest, he couldn't give a hoot about the broader societal interest; he's got his, and if it's going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he's dead, it's fine by him. "Social democracy" is, in that sense, explicitly anti-social . . .

That's the position European governments find themselves in. Their citizens have become hooked on unaffordable levels of social programs which in the end will put those countries out of business. Just to get the Social Security debate in perspective, projected public-pensions liabilities are expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of GDP in the U.S. In Greece, the figure is 25 percent — i.e., total societal collapse. So what? shrug the voters. Not my problem. I paid my taxes, I want my benefits.

I know that political discussions are "boring" and they are already well made on both sides in many other forums, but this is my blog and therefore I get to write about what I want to write about....

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I love cars

I have always been a “car guy.” I took great pride when I was younger on being able to distinguish between a Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable’s headlights in the rear view mirror and a Crown Vic. (A handy skill for someone who was in the habit of exceeding the speed limit)

So like I was saying, I have always been a car guy, I could rattle off stats and distinguishing characteristics of late model vehicles like Dustin Hoffman counting cards in Rain Man.

I know what you’re thinking---it’s not about bling, or materialism, or status—I just love cars. Especially cars that are “the best” at what they are designed for.

Even though I am obsessed with cars, I have only owned a few and the ones that I have owned have been predominantly boring…however I have had one great one—

When I was 18 I was involved in my one and only automobile accident….and it was a pretty good one. I hit a minivan head on—actually front left corner to front right corner at 50+ mph. No one was seriously hurt, but I totaled my Pontiac Sunbird. The silver lining of that cloud? I found a 1980 Jeep CJ-7 Laredo—black with a hard top and black vinyl seats—4 speed manual with an inline Chrysler 256 six cylinder. It was a great vehicle—purchased for 4750.00, driven for 18 months with only a couple of minor repairs (which was miraculous considering the way I drove it) and then sold for 4250.00. It was the kind of vehicle that you took the top off in April and put it back on in October….if it rains you drive it to a parking garage and leave it until it stops raining. It did not require keys to start---an unfortunate fact that meant that my friends were constantly moving it from where I left it… I sank it in a creek up to it’s headlights, I rolled it on it’s side in a field (no damage or injuries), I pulled out many other vehicles in precarious positions…it was a classic, the perfect vehicle for that time in my life. Fun, reliable, ready for any adventure, loud, obnoxious, tough and one of a kind. I am digging through old photos to see if I can find one of it. I found a stock google image of one, but it doesn't do it justice, mine was "cherry."

Monday, October 17, 2005

And I liked 'em before....

"Computer chips that store music could soon be built into a woman's breast implants," Ananova.com reports:
One boob could hold an MP3 player and the other the person's whole music collection. . . .
BT Laboratories' analyst Ian Pearson said flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a panel on the wrist.
According to The Sun he said: "It is now very hard for me to thing [sic] of breast implants as just decorative. If a woman has something implanted permanently, it might as well do something useful."

There are so many things that could be said...

In the interest of fairness, where will I implant my IPod?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I put the "pro" in procrastinate

I have been looking at buying a new vehicle for a long time. Actually for about 1.5 years.

I drive an old Chevy Blazer. Actually my wife used to drive it with the kids until I found out that it is the single most dangerous vehicle on the road. More deaths per accident in the Chevy Blazer than any other vehicle. You might be thinking, "what's the safest?" A Mercedes E320 followed closely by the Toyota 4Runner. Both excellent vehicles, but not exactly in my price range.

So I jsut keep shopping, and sooner or later (most likely later) I will buy a new vehicle, and give it to my wife---and then I will start driving hers...My buddy keeps telling me to buy an Odyssey but I don't want a minivan. Minivan means "I give up, I will not even pretend to be cool anymore."

I still want to pretend.

3 steps of working late...

Whenever one is faced with more work than one can get done in a given period of time--there are two choices:
1. Drop the ball and hope no one notices
2. Work late and try to get out from under the boulder, like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill.

Whenever one chooses the second option, (and in most cases I would recommend option 2) there are 3 stages of acceptance of your fate.

Step one---as everyone else is wrapping up for the day, you generally hint that you envy everyone else leaving and wish them well, while making it obvious that you are not leaving yet.

Step two---send out correspondence to anyone that has emailed you, that way there is a time stamp to verify what a truly dedicated grunt you are. That way when Bob in sales comes in the next day, he sees that you responded to his email at 9:30 pm--and thinks to himself "my goodness, djobe must really be working hard."

Step three---finish what it is that you stayed late to work on.

I actually enjoy coming in late in the evening....it's completely quiet, there are no phones, no co-workers asking questions, virtually no emails.

At some point we have all either engaged in or observed all three of these stages--it's part of office culture.

Monday, October 10, 2005

great minds...

So a few days ago I said the reason that box office numbers are slipping are not only because of competing technologies and substitutable goods/services, but also because the quality of the product is lacking.

"Just like the box office, people are going to fewer movies, not just because DVD's offer a good viewing experience, but more so because the product is just not that good anymore. Name a great movie that came out this summer----"

Looks like others agree....here

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

going tribal

There is a show on Discovery that blows my mind every time. check it out

Going Tribal basically takes an english white man and drops him into some of the most isolated and ancient cultures on the planet.

The most recent episode puts him with the pygmy tribes of Africa for more than a month, after a month of living with the tribe they decide to initiate him into their culture by feeding him ibogo root, which causes intense halucinations and introspection.

We don't call them pygmy any more, we call them forest people, I am afraid I don't know how to spell their tribal name.

Regardless, to watch a white man be accepted into some of the most ancient cultures with open arms is amazing. I have wathed Bruce go to Mongolia, the Amazon, and Africa, and each time he takes at least a month living with his hosts until he is completely assimilated.

I don't know if I would have the fortitude to handle that kind of immersion.

I don't remember seeing this in the Constitution...

The Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, has declared that WiFi internet access is a "fundamental right to have access to information universally."

Now I know that San Francisco isn't a real city, so we should take it's leader's declarations with a grain of salt, but I rechecked the Constitution and sure enough...right there in amongst the voting rights there was a tiny little emanation--a penumbra if you will--see if you can see it in this passage...it's the 15th amendment.

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. And wifi internet access shall be provided to all citizens regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Those founding fathers were geniuses.

I think it was Mencken that said "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

Podcasting for the people

Senator Jim Talent (R) Missouri, has started podcasting, further confirming that politicians can take anything cool and turn it into a tool of the state---

news release here