Thursday, December 31, 2009

Real Security Defined

From the excellent piece by Bruce Schneier at CNN:

The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability, the kind of strength shown by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.

By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.

Once a society starts circumventing its own laws, the risks to its future stability are much greater than terrorism.

And the best line of the entire piece:

Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans...
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people...
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen should become void. The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

Thanks to Lori K for sending this.

The Known Universe


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Illustrator vs. Freehand

I came across this on Daring Fireball and couldn't agree more with John Gruber. I learned Illustrator in college, but preferred the interface and usability of Freehand. But finally in 1999 I was forced to learn Illustrator when a client demanded it.

I still miss Freehand on many, many occasions. Great video.


Kristi and the kids are out of town today, and when they are I generally treat myself to barbecue at my favorite local barbecue place, Big Daddy's. Big Daddy's is actually inside a gas station - that's a story for another time.

After I paid for my food, imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw this:

Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback! In new (vintage look) packaging! In Brenham, Texas!

I was so giddy I bought all four twelve packs.

I haven't opened the Pepsi yet, but here's a shot of the Mountain Dew can. It's wonderful, and I love that they went all the way back to the original Hillbilly and white packaging.

It's probably a good thing Kristi is out of town because I'm probably going to spend the evening, now, in a Throwback-induced stupor.

Thanks, Pepsi and Big Daddy's. I love you, too.

My Mecca

My new goal in life is to visit this place - and this guy - before either of us dies. It's nice to see another true soft drink connoisseur.

This one's for you, Girl.

I know how much you LOVES you some fried okra, but not so much okra cooked any other way - because of the sliminess.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Speculative Prehistory of the iPhone

Interesting pre-history predictions regarding the iPhone from before it was even announced, similar to the much-rumored iSlate. The best part are all the great concept mockups, some of which don't even look very Apple-like at all.

For more iPhone mockups, check this out.

More Insane, Pointless Regulations from the TSA

On Christmas Day, a failed terrorist attack aboard an international flight from Amsterdam to Detroit saw a man sew explosives into his underwear. The passengers of the plane subverted the attack, but on the heels of the failed attack, our ever-vigilant government has released even more restrictions during travel that are sure to thwart any plot that a terrorist might concoct. *cough SIKE! cough*

From AppleInsider:

According to a report in the New York Times, international travelers bound for the United States are now being told "they could not leave their seats for the last hour of a flight, during which time they also could not use a pillow or blanket, or have anything on their laps," including a laptop.

All international flights are now being required to enforce new rules during the final hour of the flight which includes: insisting that all passengers remain in their seats and prohibiting passengers from accessing any carry-on baggage or from having any blankets, pillows or other personal belongings on their lap during the final hour of the flight.

But even more genius is this:
Additionally, airlines' international flights are now required to "disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight."

The directive also insists that, while over U.S. airspace, "flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks."

The directive does nothing to prevent potential terrorist passengers from looking out the window to observe their location, and does not address the possibility that rogue passengers could obtain their own accurate position using a GPS device (such as a smartphone) that they brought onto the plane themselves.

Gone are days of "and if you look out the left side of the plane, you'll see the Grand Canyon."

They stopped just short of requiring everyone to take off their underwear. But I bet Richard Branson is working on it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How Star Wars Should Have Ended

How Superman Should Have Ended

Chuck Norris vs. Bruce Lee

Merry Christmas.

My Thoughts on the Senate's Passage of Government Run Health Care

I guess what pisses me off more than anything is the open giddiness the Senate displayed when they successfully circumvented the will of the American people. 2010 is going to be ugly, folks, as the public attempts to rise up against these bureaucratic dictators who are intent that they know better than we do what we want. But we must not give up or give an inch. That's how they've gotten this far. There must be no compromise with people who would strip us of our freedoms.

They're drunk with power, and they've just been emboldened by their own slimy actions and by the pats on the back by the sycophantic media. We've got a long road ahead to take back our country. Every last Republican in Congress needs to keep the spine that they've shown in this debate. And we need to be even more vocal about how we feel and what we're mad about.

Ridiculous, brazen government spending of tax dollars that were extorted from us under penalty of law.
Excessive, abusive taxes.
Government interference in our daily lives.
Government waste, corruption and misrepresentation.
Refusal to stop illegal immigration.
Socialism in the United States.

Can we have an election, already?

So What Now? Trickery and Rule-bending Like You Ain't Never Seen...

From the Wall Street Journal:

Look for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.

North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad, chair of the Budget Committee, has already warned that if the final bill "isn't close to the Senate bill, there will be no way to get the 60 votes here" to shut off debate and pass the final product. But many House members, led by Michigan Rep. John Conyers, are insisting on major changes in the Senate's version.

Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi would love to come up with a way to bash heads in private and skip any public discussion that further reveals just how incoherent and unworkable both the bills are. Luckily, there is a subterfuge readily available that wouldn't require the House to swallow the Senate's bill unchanged but also ducks the traditional give-and-take of the conference committee.

When Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they increasingly did not send bills through the regular conference process. "We have to defer to the bigger picture," explained Rep. Henry Waxman of California. So the children's health insurance bill passed by the House that year was largely dumped in favor of the Senate's version. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel and other Democrats complained the House had been "cut off at the knees" but ultimately supported the bill. Legislation on lobbying reform and the 2007 energy bill were handled the same way -- without appointing an actual conference.

Rather than appoint members to a public conference committee, those measures were "ping-ponged" -- i.e. changes to reconcile the two versions were transmitted by messenger between the two houses as the final product was crafted behind closed doors solely by the leadership. Many Democrats grumbled at the secrecy. "We need to get back to the point where we use conference committees . . . and have serious dialogue," said Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama at the time.

But serious dialogue isn't what Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are interested in right now. Look for the traditional conference committee to be replaced by a "ping-pong" game in which health care is finalized behind closed doors with little public scrutiny before the bill is rushed to the floor of each chamber for a final vote.

Senate Passes Health Care Overhaul Bill

On Christmas Eve, as you and I and the rest of America was spending time with their families and friends and otherwise distracted, Democrats in the Senate bent us collectively over and shoved a huge package of their own down our chimney, despite that more than 70 percent of us have made it very clear that we didn't want any presents at all (or at least nothing like the one they were offering). They just gave us the legislative equivalent of a Zune when all we wanted was an iPod.

The fact that they did it on Christmas Eve is insulting in itself. The fact that any time they pass questionable "progressive" (read: Socialist and Big Government) legislation like this they always time it on a holiday or when Americans are otherwise distracted is suspect. I supposes they're right, though. No one is going to riot on Christmas Eve.

From the NY Times:

The 60-to-39 party-line vote, on the 25th straight day of debate on the legislation, brings Democrats a step closer to a goal they have pursued for decades. It clears the way for negotiations with the House, which passed a broadly similar bill last month by a vote of 220 to 215.

The bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $871 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The budget office estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 31 million uninsured people, but still leave 23 million uninsured in 2019. One-third of those remaining uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, a moderate Republican [*cough, cough RINO! cough*] who has spent years working with Democrats on health care and other issues, expressed despair.

“I was extremely disappointed,” Ms. Snowe said. After Senate Democrats locked up 60 votes within their caucus, she said, “there was zero opportunity to amend the bill or modify it, and Democrats had no incentive to reach across the aisle.”

RIP: Roy Disney

I'm not sure how I missed this a few weeks ago, but Roy Disney passed away on December 16. He was 79.

As head of Disney Animation, Disney helped to guide the Studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artistic and box office successes that included The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King."

John Lasseter said about Roy Disney:
"I first met Roy when I was still an animation student at CalArts. Not only did I consider him a personal friend, but he was a great man who believed deeply in the art of animation. He put his heart and soul into preserving Disney's legendary past, while helping to move the art of animation into the modern age by embracing new technology. Roy was a visionary and passionate supporter of the art form, and he was all about quality.

via D23.

Tit and Tat on Global Warming

Interesting back and forth side-by-side comparison of the Global Warming debate.

Rules Journalists Should Live By

I have my degree in journalism and am constantly frustrated by the shoddy journalistic practices I see in newspapers (on the web) and on television. These rules written by Jim Lehrer, if followed by journalists, would restore integrity to the profession.

• Do nothing I cannot defend.
• Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
• Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
• Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
• Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
• Assume personal lives are a private matter, until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
• Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.
• Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions.
• No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
• And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26. What's missing?

Answer: Any sign whatsoever of Christmas. So its okay to put up Christmas decorations in August - a full four months before Christmas - but taking them down before midnight on December 24th is top priority for Wal-Mart.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

1989? Seriously????

Who thought this would be a good idea?

File this under "they've got a lot of damn nerve"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Star Wars Phantom Menace Review EVER.

This is 70 minutes long, but completely worth it. It's hilarious, it's insightful, and it's not safe for work. Just like Destructoville.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thought for the Day

If we can't even change the weather, how in the world are we supposed to believe that we can affect the climate?

Quote of the Day

When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiger Woods' Wife, Kids Leaving Him for the Holidays

From Us Magazine:

Philandering golfer Tiger Woods likely won't be spending the holidays with his wife and two children.

Moving crews were spotted Tuesday at the family mansion in Windermere, Fla. Several workers were seen carting such items, including carefully wrapped artwork.

A source tells New York's Daily News that "Elin is planning to take the kids to spend the holidays with her family in Sweden."

Hello? Is this really a smart move? I think we've already established that he can't be trusted when left to his own devices.

Also, who takes the paintings when they go on vacation?

European Union Drops Long-Running Antitrust Case Against Microsoft

From the NYTimes:

European regulators dropped their antitrust case against Microsoft on Wednesday after the company agreed to offer customers a choice of rival Web browsers. The settlement ends what could have been a second costly legal battle for the American software giant.

Good for Microsoft. It's about time something fell their way. Good things happen when you don't try to bully your customers.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've been listening to a lot of guys here in town lately talk about deer hunting and what they do when they go. I've never been hunting, but I would love to go someday - but not the way a lot of these guys do it.

You see, what they do is putout a feeder that spits out food every day at a certain time. The deer come and eat the food and hang around the feeder. Then when hunting season opens, these guys go out and sit in a deer stand right next to the feeder and wait for the deer to come along to eat. Then BAM! they shoot the deer dead and pump up their chests like big mighty hunters. Then they bring the deer back and make chili and sausage with the meat that they "hunted."

Now again - I've never been deer hunting - but it just doesn't seem sporting to basically shoot a pet. I mean, if you're going to go hunting, then walk around with a gun looking for a deer to shoot. Sneak up on him and then shoot him. Now that's hunting. There's sport in that. But feeding deer into complacency just so you can blow them away when they come to eat at the trough? Come on. How do you live with yourself?

Democrats Give the Finger to the Country


The Democratic-controlled Senate yesterday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.

So let me get this straight... we're in the middle of a recession where people are losing their jobs in the tens of thousands every month, people are protesting in the streets because of government over-spending, the president is telling all of us in his speeches that we must learn to do more with less and the economy has been bad enough in the past year to where we had to spend trillions of dollars to stop the bleeding for fear of a complete collapse of our entire economic system?

And yet the Democrats can't stop spending money and are, in fact, giving "generous budget boosts" to federal agencies???

Eff you too, Democrats.

Citigroup Reaches Deal to Repay Bailout Billions

From the NYTimes:

Citigroup said Monday that it would repay $20 billion in
bailout money that it received from the Treasury Department,
after trying to persuade regulators that it was sound enough
to stand on its own.

Enough already, of this government nanny state! If they have the money to pay back the loan, let them! If they screw up and turn around and go out of business because they run their company stupidly, then let them! That's what happens in a free market economy. Trust me - the world will not end. Another company always slides in to take the place of the fallen.

Gatorade: A Case Study on How to Confuse Your Customers

From AdAge:

Gatorade is looking to innovate itself out of a sales slump and will spend some $30 million on product and packaging development to do so. The granddaddy of the sports-drink category is pushing forward with plans to introduce "G Series," a grouping of three product categories, while giving another facelift to its core product lines.

As part of the new product introduction, the core Thirst Quencher and G2 lines will also receive another facelift, the second in just over a year. Mr. d'Amore said the new packaging would be "more functional." The redesigned graphics will more prominently feature a low-calorie message for the G2 brand, which will have its calories reduced to 20 per 8-ounce serving, from 25. A spokesman declined to comment on the redesign of the Thirst Quencher products beyond saying that the brand is committed to G, the logo it introduced last year.

Then why change it? Gatorade, as well as its parent company Pepsi, just seems to be floundering around trying any stunt or change that will bring it sales in the short term. Pepsi reminds me of the comic book market in the '90s, when everything suddenly became about foil embossed holographic #0 die-cut covers. Everything was really, really flashy. Image comics was the worst about it. Oh, it sold boatloads of comics at first - until the novelty wore off. Pretty soon things settled back down to regular covers with story-driven issues inside. People were lured by the flash for awhile, but what people want is good, quality storylines and characters to read with their expendible money. And the same can be said of soft drinks. People are more concerned with dependable, consistent quality over the long run than a flash in the pan.

Just focus on the quality of the product, Pepsi, not gimmicks. And please develop a long-term strategy for your products that is built on the actual product rather than fads and marketing slight of hand. You're only confusing, well, everyone. And that leads to lower sales. People like the tried and true, especially in brand names they know and grew up with.

Gatorade has said this year's marketing efforts are on track, but sales and market share both fell in the first half, when the "What Is G?" marketing campaign was most prominent in the marketplace. In the first half of this year, volume dropped 18%, according to Beverage Digest, while market share dipped four points to 75%. Year-to-date volume is down 14% for the brand.

The reason both sales and market share have both fallen is because Gatorade is competing too heavily with itself and watering down the market. Al Ries said it best: "Then there’s Gatorade Tiger, with three flavors. Gatorade A.M. with two flavors. Gatorade Endurance Formula with three flavors. Gatorade Energy Bar with two flavors. Gatorade Nutrition Shake with three flavors. Gatorade Thirst Quencher with seven flavors. And Gatorade G2 with three flavors. Total: 23 flavors or varieties of Gatorade.

23 flavors? That's ridiculous. I'm assuming that includes the Gatorade Rain line. Or have they discontinued that? See what I mean? You can't just say "go get some Gatorade" anymore. It almost takes a college degree to figure out which Gatorade you want. Let me help them out: When I buy Gatorade for cycling, I still buy original Gatorade in either lemon/lime, orange or fruit punch flavors (just for variety). When I was mascotting, it was the same thing. I prefer the taste of Gatorade over Powerade, but I still stuck to those basic three flavors in the original formula. I tried the rain and the dew and the Tiger, but they didn't have the same effect that straight-up Gatorade did. And let me assure you that if there are any athletes out there who know about and value good hydration - it's mascots.

That's it. It's just that simple. Less is more. Wake up, Pepsi, and focus on why people drink your products and less on what will drive sales in the next quarter. Sales are going to slump, especially in a recession. But if you build a brand that people can depend on, the sales will be there for the long haul. Ask Coca-Cola.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Apple CEO Steve Jobs named finalist for Time Person of the Year

From AppleInsider:
Time magazine will announce its annual Person of the Year this week, and the magazine has revealed its top seven finalists, with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs making the cut.

The magazine issued its narrowed list this week, prior to the reveal scheduled to be made Wednesday on NBC's Today Show. In addition to Jobs, the finalists are President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, and "the Chinese worker."

They can quit the charade. I think we all know who it's going to be.

Fake Steve Jobs on AT&T and the iPhone

Brilliant piece from Fake Steve Jobs:

And now here we are. Right here in your own backyard, an American company creates a brilliant phone, and that company hands it to you, and gives you an exclusive deal to carry it — and all you guys can do is complain about how much people want to use it. You, Randall Stephenson, and your lazy stupid company — you are the problem. You are what’s wrong with this country.

Thought for the Day

"After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says W T F"

Thanks to my Dad for sending this.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A-hole of the day

Friday, December 11, 2009

Damn, I Wish I Could Vote for This Guy

Lt. Col. Allen West:

Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to in 2012.

Thanks to Grandma for sending this in.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daddy's girl

Canada's Solution: Killing Your Kids is the Answer

The Canadians seem to have all the answers, don't they?

This, from the Financial Post:

A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

Yeah, that one-child law has really worked for China, hasn't it? It leads the world in population with 1.3 billion people. The U.S. is third on the list with only 308 million. Once again, some socialist is telling us we need to emulate a failed (and immoral) system in order to save the world. Canada could help out the world population in a couple of generations to the tune of 34 million people if they simply quit reproducing. No kids killed in that instance- just none born.

This is exactly why we neither listen to socialists or Canada, kids.

Sickening Photo

This makes me want to barf.

History calls: an art installation at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo shows Barack Obama with Martin Luther King, who won the peace prize in 1964

One stood up so his race would stop being stepped on. One stood on the necks of his own race for his own personal gain.

Photos of these two men don't even belong in the same room.

from the Financial Times.

From Norway with Weird

Two stories from Norway, of all places, this morning...

First , (and frankly more interesting) is this, from the Mail:

Mystery as spiral blue light display hovers above Norway

The mystery began when a blue light seemed to soar up from behind a mountain in the north of the country. It stopped mid-air, then began to move in circles. Within seconds a giant spiral had covered the entire sky. Then a green-blue beam of light shot out from its centre - lasting for ten to 12 minutes before disappearing completely.
Onlookers describing it as 'like a big fireball that went around, with a great light around it' and 'a shooting star that spun around and around'.

... that, and apparently President Obama is actually IN Norway to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. And apparently he's making quite the impression while he's there being all Obama-y and only attending the handful of events he actually feels like attending and snubbing the king of Norway.

Could it be, perhaps, that what we're witnessing in Norway is actually the end of the world? Obama accepting an award that he clearly didn't deserve and weird spiraling lights? What if what we saw was, in fact, the creation - or even the near creation - of a man-made black hole by the Large Hadron Collider, only 1200 miles away? Wouldn't it be ironic that the day the antichrist accepts a big peace prize that the world get swallowed up by a black hole?

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Mucho thanks to Steve for sending this.

'The Office' Ends As Documentary Crew Gets All The Footage It Needs

Also from the Onion:

SCRANTON, PA—After nearly six years on the air, NBC's hit show The Office ended abruptly Thursday when documentary filmmaker Ian Sheffield announced that he and his crew had all the footage of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company's Scranton branch required for their project. "In retrospect, we really over-shot this thing by an enormous margin," said Sheffield, adding that he likely had more than enough good material after filming a British workplace from 2001 to 2003. "We would have finished much earlier if one employee or another didn't insist on being interviewed every three minutes. And I have no idea why we were invited to Jim and Pam's wedding. All of that stuff is totally unusable." Sheffield said that the footage will be drastically cut down and used primarily as B-roll for the planned 90-minute educational film about paper manufacture and production.

What Ever Happened to Truth in Advertising?

I call bullshit.

Hilarious Correction

From the Onion:

The UPC code sequence on last week's print issue read thin black line, thin white line, thin black line, thick white line, thick black line, thin white line, even thicker black line, thin white line, thick black line, thin white line. There should have been two thick black lines at the end. The Onion apologizes to everyone who was charged for broccoli.

This is why I love the Onion. It was a really smart joke like this back in 1999 that got me started reading the Onion. One the back page of their print edition was a grocery store ad with the headline: "Attention: Target Demographic!"

I still laugh about that headline.

Al Sharpton Blasts Tiger Woods for Lack of Mistress Diversity

The Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference today to blast Tiger Woods for
the lack of diversity among his mistresses. Sharpton claims that the lack
of African-American women among Woods’ harem will have a negative affect on
the black community, specifically young black girls.

“Why is it that a man who calls himself black can’t bring himself to cheat
on his wife with a black woman?” said Sharpton, speaking to a group of
supporters in Harlem . “What does it say to young black girls everywhere
when you pass them over? Shame on you, Tiger Woods. What would your daddy

Sharpton, who has long championed taking black women as mistresses, said
that today’s black athletes need to stop neglecting black women when it
comes to extramarital affairs, and should follow the examples of positive
black role models such as Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr., both
of whom cheated on their wives with black women. Sharpton also stressed
that cheating with African-American women would help the black community
financially by giving black girls the chance to sell their stories to
tabloids and gossip magazines.

Added Sharpton, “I’m not asking you to not cheat on your wives, I’m just
asking you to give back to your own community.”

Thanks to Aunt Peggy for sending this.

Damn, It Feels Good to be a Pollster...

From The Hill:

Nearly $6 million in stimulus money was paid to two firms run by Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s pollster in 2008.

Federal records show that $5.97 million from the $787 billion stimulus helped preserve three jobs at Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations and communications firm headed by Penn.

Forget that Clinton pollsters got $6 million in stimulus money. Does anyone else think that it's really, really excessive that the $6 million went to save only THREE jobs????

The Sooner We Can Have an Election, The Better.

This is why I don't trust a damn thing that Harry Reid says today about health care. Because just two days ago he said this, equating those who don't favor a government takeover of health care to those in the 19th century who defended slavery.

How does this man still have a job today?

Senate Leaders in Preliminary Deal to Drop Government-run Insurance Plan

From the NYTimes:

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said Tuesday night that he and a group of 10 Democratic senators had reached “a broad agreement” to resolve a dispute over a proposed government-run health insurance plan, which has posed the biggest obstacle to passage of sweeping health care legislation.

I don't trust him or what he says one bit. This is a move to make the American public think that they've gotten their way.

Mr. Reid refused to provide details. Other senators said the tentative agreement would sideline but not kill the “public option” championed by President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress.

We may need genuine reform in the health care system, but back room deals and arm twisting and outright deception with a political endgame in mind is not how it should be done. But then, this isn't really about health care at all, is it?

Friday, December 4, 2009

U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 10%

From the NY Times:

U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 10% as Economy Shed 11,000 Jobs in November

The United States economy shed 11,000 jobs in November, and
the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent, down from 10.2
percent in October, the Labor Department said Friday.

This is a horribly written lead. Just at a glance, I read it as good news that the jobless rate fell from, say, 12% to 10%. But no - the jobless rate actually rose to 10%. Why they would write the jobless rate this way is puzzling. If there was some meter somewhere, it would be of employment with 100% being the full meter (the goal) at the top.

This is misleading at best and downright deceptive at worst. Shame on the NY Times.

In addition, the headline of the story reads "U.S. Economy Lost Only 11,000 Jobs in November." Loses only 11,000 jobs in November??? That's over one-third of the number of troops that Obama deemed as a force overwhelming enough to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

The Times also had the nerve to add:

In the strongest jobs report since the recession began, the government reported Friday that the nation’s employers had all but stopped shedding jobs in November, taking some of the pressure off of President Obama to come up with a jobs creation program.

All but stopped shedding jobs??? Are they kidding??? They're trying to spin 11,000 people losing their jobs right before the holidays as a good thing?

This is mighty convenient spin the day after President Obama;s dog and pony jobs summit. I've seen media shilling for the president before, but this is fully ridiculous.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The New York State Senate Votes Down Gay Marriage Bill, 38-24

From the NY Times:

The State Senate defeated a bill on Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage, after an emotional debate that
touched on civil rights, family and history. The vote means that the bill, pushed by Gov. David A. Paterson, is
effectively dead for the year and destroys the optimism of gay advocates.

The 38-to-24 vote startled proponents of the bill and signaled that political momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage, even in heavily Democratic New York. It followed more than a year of lobbying by gay rights organizations, who steered close to $1 million into New York legislative races to boost support for the measure.

Senators who voted against the measure said the public was gripped by economic anxiety and remained uneasy about changing the state’s definition of marriage.

Tally one up for the vast majority of society. A couple of quick notes, though:

"...momentum, at least right now, had shifted against same-sex marriage..."
The momentum has always been against same-sex marriage. It's a rabid ultra-minority group that keep trying to force this down our collective throats under the guise of "civil rights" or "fairness."

"Senators who voted against the measure said the public was gripped by economic anxiety and remained uneasy about changing the state’s definition of marriage."

So am I to understand that when the economy picks up a little that people will suddenly see the light and think its okay to throw away thousands of years of accepted societal convention? This is ludicrous on its face. People having money has nothing to do with what they think is wrong based on their moral compass.

Failed Magazines List

A fascinating look at the magazines that have folded under pressure from the economy or digital media.

from (a publication that I suspect will follow suit).

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Nevermind. I think I can just do it from here..."

What if Star Wars characters used Facebook?

Check this out.

Hilarious. Thanks to Matt for sharing.

James and Handbrake Sitting in a Tree...

I love Handbrake. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

What's Handbrake, you say? It's a free little application that allows me to rip my DVDs into digital files so I can watch them on my iPhone or on our AppleTV. This comes in handy when Noble wants to watch Cars - no, Curious George, no - Mickey, no - Cars! Or if I want to take some movies with me to watch on a business trip. I finally got saw The Godfather earlier this year this way. Quit laughing.

But back to Handbrake. It's been around for a few years, but encoding a movie has usually taken somewhere around two to three hours to encode. But that was on my old Mac Mini. When I got my awesome new iMac a couple of months ago, the encode time dropped to about an hour and a half for a full length movie. Wow! I loved it. It couldn't get any better than this! Right?

Wrong. Last week they released a 64-bit version of Handbrake. Hominahominahominahominahominahominahomina. This thing is fast. I just encoded The Polar Express, one of our favorite holiday family movies, in about 45 minutes, although most movies seem to take just a little over an hour to encode. And ripping episodes of How I Met Your Mother to play on the AppleTV without getting up to switch discs now takes about 8 minutes each. The new 64-bit version also averages about 49.6 fps when encoding, which is awesome.

Wal-Mart 'Til I Die

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was doing an impression of a certain relative who is known for being very opinionated and is convinced that he's always right, even when he's way wrong. Great guy, but sometimes really hard to listen to.

That's when my mother-in-law chimed in and said "you know, [family member's name redacted] says that you can buy a casket at Wal-Mart now, but only in the big city stores."

Well, my BS detector started humming and I called BS on that. I've been to plenty of big-city Wal-Marts and I've never seen a single casket. Plenty of dead people, but never a casket. Now, had this person said that you could buy them at Sam's, I probably would've believed it. But Wal-Mart?

So I went to Wal-Mart's website and did a search for caskets. Holy effing sheet, Batman. This relative was right! For as little as $895, you can buy a pretty darn nice looking casket online at Wal-Mart. My favorite is the Sterling Deluxe Stainless Steel model so you can be buried and host a kickin' afterlife grill party all at the same time.

Always Wal-Mart. Always and for eternity...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ABC's `Good Morning America' Cancels Lambert

From APNews:

Adam Lambert's racy American Music Awards performance cost him a gig on "Good Morning America," but he will perform live instead on ABC's morning rivals at CBS.

While singing his new song, "For Your Entertainment," at the awards program on Sunday, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert's crotch. The performance prompted many complaints to ABC, and the network cut out the brief oral sex simulation for its West Coast broadcasts.

"Obviously, I respect their decision - they gotta do what they gotta do," Lambert said Tuesday in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. "It's too bad - I think there were a lot of fans who were excited to come see me.

That's a whole lot of ego for some dipshit who's just starting out. Who the hell do you think you are, Mick friggin' Jagger? Somebody start a clock. This no-talent hack won't be around long.

And this from the New York Post regarding his AMA performance:
The "American Idol" runner-up pelvic-thrusted his way through the four-minute, S&M-themed routine, taking time out from singing to grope a female dancer, kiss a male musician and, most shockingly, shove a male dancer's face into his crotch, in an act that simulated fellatio.

The raunchy stuff was apparently added to the live broadcast, and the routine, at the last minute, and the network said yesterday it was caught by surprise.

A source, who was in attendance at the AMA rehearsals, said that the sex act was not one of the dance moves that had been rehearsed. "It wasn't there; it did not happen," the source says.

When you have to resort to this kind of crap to get attention it means that you have no real talent and don't think you can stand on your own merits. He sure is talking really big and acting really stupidly for somebody who is still basically an unknown and who's very first CD just came out three days ago.

The Future of Transportation

Awesome film from Disney in 1958.

Quote of the Day...

Brand New on AOL:

After making the announcement in May of this year, this upcoming December 10, 2009 AOL will become independent from Time Warner, nine years after the two merged to create one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. In that span of nine years, the online world that AOL ruled at the turn of the century, is a completely different organism, populated by people for whom AOL is a punch-line, or a sad reminder that they paid $10 to see You’ve Got Mail, or, most probably, people that have never used AOL at all.

My previous post on the subject is cross-referenced here for your viewing pleasure.


I won't rehash this piece from the UK Telegraph, but it's definitely worth a read. It pretty well sums up the problem that the Global Warming crowd is having right now since it was exposed by a hacker last week that even they know that their data doesn't support global warming theories. A tale of data suppression and data manipulation...

The sky is not falling, but the nuts are.

The Perfect Christmas Present for the Dog ... Lover

Aunt Peggy, you can expect this for Christmas.

Thanks to Matt for passing this, along with some cool others, along.

Quantum Leap Cheap

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Quantum Leap. Go ahead - judge all you want. But it captivated me when I was a teenager. I was given Season One on DVD a few years ago for Christmas, but haven't gotten any other season because they've been priced at around $50 per season.

But Amazon just put seasons 3-5 on sale. !!!!

For $12.50 apiece. !!!!!!!!

And I just spent the last of my blow money on the complete collection of Little Rascals shorts, which Amazon also just put on sale. :(

Oh, boy...


One month until CHristmas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More on Adam Lambert

This from

We headed to New York's Times Square on Monday (November 23) to find out what fans thought of the edgy performance.

Lindsay, 16, a longtime Lambert fan, said she enjoyed the AMA routine. "I just liked the dancers and everything," she said. "I thought it was really good."

First of all, Lambert has only been around on the public scene since January when this season's American Idol premiered. So now a 16-year old kid who's been a fan of some other kid for, like, 10 months now is considered a longtime fan. So by extension that means that Lambert has been around a long time and is, in all reality, damn near the Grandfather of Pop. ONe word: twit.

Jaquita, 18, applauded the use of props. "I really liked all the chains," she said.

Um, yeah...

And finally, from the Degenerate in Chief himself on the performance, to Rolling Stone:
"We're in 2009 — it's time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people's eyes, and if it offends them, then maybe I'm not for them."

Keep it in the gay clubs, you little no talent freak. Prime Time TV, when kids are still watching, isn't the place for your debauchery. Even Madonna never tried to pull this bullcrap, although she came close with Britney Spears a few years ago.

WTF of the Day: Adam Lambert at the AMAs

There's no reason for any of this. The sooner his 15 minutes are over, the better.

Damn, I'm Sick of Orpah Already

This headline from the New York Times:

"Looking for a Leader in the Post-Oprah Landscape"


And apparently, the media is determined that its going to be a loooooooooooooooong two years.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oprah Goes the Way of Cher

From People:

Oprah Winfrey has made it official: In a tearful announcement at the end of her show in Chicago on Friday, she confirmed that The Oprah Winfrey Show will end in September 2011.

Why is everyone making such a big, tearful drama-filled deal about this?

1. She's still going to be around for almost two whole years!
2. She's not leaving TV, and she's admitted as much. She's launching her own narcissistic cable channel, The Oprah Winfrey Network.

It's pretty ironic that the initials of her new network are OWN, because that's what she does to the stupid saps that are bleary-eyed about this today.

Who else wishes that she would just go away altogether?

The Worst Cup of Coffee Ever

I'm sitting here drinking some of the shittiest, nastiest tasting coffee I've ever had. It came from the break room downstairs. And that got me thinking about what the nastiest coffee I've ever tasted was.

It was called Radio Coffee, and it was disgusting.

I used to work for a guy named Bill Moffett who was a radio announcer and station manager back in the '70s and '80s (the old 97 Rock was his station) before opening his own production studio. It was while I worked there that I began drinking coffee, but I had to take care when I got a cup. Mid-afternoon was a good time because the morning coffee had run out by then. What was wrong with the morning coffee? I'm glad you asked.

You see, Bill liked his coffee as strong as possible, so in the morning, whatever coffee was left over from the day before was poured directly back into the reservoir and run through a new set of coffee grounds, which created coffee with the consistency something like maple syrup. And that was called Radio Coffee because the AM deejays needed heavy doses of caffeine to wake them up in the morning to be so perky and entertaining.

And he drank his black, right out of the pot because, as he explained to me, when you were on the air you didn't have time to mix all kinds of stuff in it - you just had time to pour some in the cup and get back to the board to cue up the next record.

And while my cup of coffee this morning is nothing like Radio Coffee, it does taste something like the vinyl seat of a '77 Mustang.

I wish I knew why.

The Guidelines They Are A Changin'...

From the New York Times:

New guidelines for cervical cancer screening say women should delay their first Pap test until age 21, and be screened less often than recommended in the past.

The advice, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is meant to decrease unnecessary testing and potentially harmful treatment, particularly in teenagers and young women. The group’s previous guidelines had recommended yearly testing for young women, starting within three years of their first sexual intercourse, but no later than age 21.

Arriving on the heels of hotly disputed guidelines calling for less use of mammography, the new recommendations might seem like part of a larger plan to slash cancer screening for women. But the timing was coincidental, said Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, the chairwoman of a panel in the obstetricians’ group that developed the Pap smear guidelines. The group updates its advice regularly based on new medical information, and Dr. Iglesia said the latest recommendations had been in the works for several years, “long before the Obama health plan came into existence.”

She called the timing crazy, uncanny and “an unfortunate perfect storm,” adding, “There’s no political agenda with regard to these recommendations.”

It's always great when people deny a question that no one has even asked yet, right?

The timing is indeed suspicious. After decades of "better safe than sorry" and "get tested regularly" and "you're never too young to get tested" two groups come out and recommend rationing of health care just when there's a bill in Congress that calls for the same thing?

How stupid do they think we are, exactly?

If this recommendation has truly been in the works for several years, I wonder also why they chose not to make either of these announcements last month during Breast Cancer Awareness Month when it would have been actually been more timely to womens' health awareness.

No. this smacks of political arm twisting and back room deals and politics at its worst.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession

From Reuters:

BEIJING, Nov 18 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.

"It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," he said.

No shit, asshole. The quit spending f*#@ing TRILLIONS of our dollars!!!!

This is completely typical of Barack Obama: say what the people want to hear while you're doing the exact opposite.

Why You Don't Pole Dance at a Wedding

I bet right after this, the bride went all Mortal Kombat on the red-dressed harlot.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bush warns of threats to freedom, economic growth

From the Washington Times:

Former President George W. Bush, outlining plans for a new public policy institute, on Thursday said America must fight the temptation to allow the federal government to take control of the private sector, declaring that too much government intervention will squelch economic recovery and expansion.

With the Obama administration establishing far-reaching controls in the auto, real estate and financial sectors, Mr. Bush said that "the role of government is not to create wealth, but to create the conditions that allow entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive."

Damn. I wish he had been that conservative when he was president. As it is, thanks for TARP and the first bailouts, George.

AP Poll: Americans Are Either Morons or the AP is Lying

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — A new Associated Press poll finds that Americans favor taxing the rich to pay for covering those without health insurance.

Of all the approaches Congress is considering to pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the only one that got majority support in the AP poll was a new income tax on upper-income people.

That's the approach House Democrats took in their health care legislation, which passed earlier this month. The poll found 57 percent in favor of the idea, and 36 percent opposed.

In contrast, the public does not favor a tax on high-value insurance plans under consideration in the Senate. Fifty-six percent were opposed and only 29 percent in favor of that idea, which is also opposed by organized labor.

I'd like to state for the record right here and now that I don't support taxing other people to pay for something that I expect to be handed to me. I don't have my hand out, and I'm willing to pay for the goods and services I use.

And you other 57 percent - if you really exist - are effing morons for expecting "the rich" to pay for everything. I, for one, want to be rich someday and I'll want to keep my money. I work damn hard for my money, and I don't need some bullshit Congress confiscating it from me to pay for heath care for some unwed mother somewhere with twelve kids who couldn't keep her damn legs together.

Wake up, dipshits. You're killing your golden goose.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bud Adams Fined for Flipping Off Bills Fans

From MyFoxNY:

The NFL has fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making an obscene gesture at Bills fans.

It happened Sunday in Nashville. After the Titans beat the Bills 41-17, Adams was seen "flipping off" fans from his luxury suite at the stadium.

Adams apologized later in the day for the display of his middle fingers.

He's probably so used to seeing the gesture directed his way that he didn't think anything of it.

R2-D2 in the Strangest Places

It seems that R2-D2 made not one, but two cameo appearances in summer blockbusters this year. First, from Transformers II, there is this frame:

And then, in a move that will send many sci-fi freaks into spasms, R2-D2 also shows up in Star Trek, as shown here:

The little guy gets around.

He even made two cameo appearances in another one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark:

Now, if only he had appeared in Back to the Future, my inner-geek would be satisfied.

Thanks to Matt for starting the ball rolling on this.

Obama Again Prostrates the United States to the World

That's a damn big bow for a simple show of respect. It's a little reminiscent of the "Kneel before Zod" moment in Superman II. Ridiculous.

The Making of Sammy

I recently completed an illustration of Sammy Bearkat walking down a katwalk runway in a fashion show. While it's not my favorite illustration ever, I thought I would use the opportunity to try out Quicktime X's newfound screen capture abilities. Unfortunately, I didn't think about it until more than half way through the project. But sped up, it's fun to see some of the Photoshop work that went into building the katwalk.

and here is the final:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Who to play the 2010 Super Bowl

From the Telgraph:

The British band have been signed up to play at the showpiece sporting event, the Super Bowl XLIV, in Miami on February 7.

Since their songs were used as the theme music for the CSI series, the group have reached new heights of popularity in the US. They are currently working on material for a new album.

Bruce Springsteen performed at last year's Super Bowl, which drew an audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the second most watched programme in US television history, behind the series finale of Mash in 1983 (106 million).

The Who had their first hit in 1965 with I Can't Explain and only two members of the original line-up survive: singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend. Drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle in 2002.

This is ridiculously stupid. The NFL, in an effort to avoid anything resembling "edge" in its Superbowl halftime show are sticking with aging rockers that are completely unfamiliar and disconnected to the average football viewer.

I barely know who The Who is, and that's only because I have an aunt that helped instill in me a love of Classic Rock (thanks, Aunt Peggy, btw.)

Contrary to how the article makes it sound, record numbers of people didn't tune in last year to watch Springsteen. They tune in to watch the game. I think people tuned in last year because they wanted to see a bloodbath in the form of the Steelers pounding the infamously horrible Cardinals or perhaps to root for the perennial underdog. There was also a bit of an East versus West thing happening, too. People tune in to watch the commercials, too. And, in the height of the recession, credit and housing crises and economic uncertainty people didn't go out to Superbowl parties and such as they had done in the past. They stayed home and watched the game. Even Wikipedia refers to the 2009 game as "The Recession Bowl."

As for halftime performers, there have only been a couple of halftime performers who were even remotely relevant at the time they performed - U2 in 2002, Britney Spears in 2001, Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias in 2000 and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in 1999. Everyone else who has performed has been well past their prime or their window of pop culture popularity. BoyzIIMen in 1998? ZZ Top in 1997? That's not to say that there haven't been some great, legendary performers. The Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins and Aerosmith are just a few.

But my point is that by the time these people performed, they were several years past the height of their popularity. Tom Petty - one of my all-time favorite musicians - would have been a much more natural fit in the early to mid '80s. Same with Springsteen. Same with ZZ Top. Actrually, the same with just about everyone.

The Super Bowl halftime show needs to be at least relevant. I don't think anyone is expecting cutting-edge popularity. But how about performers from within the last year or so? Jack Johnson? Black Eyed Peas? John Mayer? Miley Cyrus? Taylor Swift? The Killers?

And why does it make sense that because The Who sings the CSI theme song that they should perform at halftime? Next year if the Super Bowl is on ABC, should Psapp sing at halftime because they composed the theme to Grey's Anatomy???

The Who is a horrible choice for a halftime show and the NFL is showing us yet again how out of touch they are with the people who watch their games.

Water Found on Moon, Scientists Say

From the New York Times:

There is water on the Moon, scientists stated unequivocally on Friday, and considerable amounts of it.

“Indeed yes, we found water,” Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, said in a news conference.

The confirmation of scientists’ suspicions is welcome news both to future explorers who might set up home on the lunar surface and to scientists who hope that the water, in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years, could hold a record of the solar system’s history.

The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), slammed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The impact carved out a hole 60- to 100-feet wide and kicked up at least 24 gallons of water.

Holy effing crap.

Busing Illegals is Stupid

I started reading a story this morning about Governor Perry (correctly) stating that President Obama is deliberately trying to move our country toward Socialism. But part of that story talked about something called the Alien Transfer Program, which buses illegal aliens to a town in Texas for processing before they are deported by bus back to Mexico.

According to a story by the CBS affiliate in Odessa, the illegal immigrants are returned to Mexico via secured buses. The station also reported, “last year 4,500 illegals were sent back through Presidio. Now 94 will be bused across this bridge 7 days a week.”

In addition, Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune reported last month that Bill Brooks, spokesman for the Border Patrol Marfa Sector, where Presidio is located, said the plan would not create any burden on the local community.

Grissom wrote, “The plan will bring two buses per day to Texas, each with 74 undocumented immigrants. The immigrants will be checked for health problems and will have signed voluntary deportation agreements. The program will not involve immigrants charged with criminal violations, Brooks said. Mexican officials are participating and will provide the immigrants with bus tickets to their hometowns, Brooks said.”

Is it me, or are we making it way too easy for these illegals to just turn right around and come back in? The Mexican government is providing the immigrants with bus tickets back to their home towns??? Who really believes that these people are going to get on that bus and go back to the place they broke international law to leave when they're standing a few hundred yards from the border?

It seems to me that instead of wasting time and money busing people from Arizona (or anywhere) to Texas that we should be putting their asses on a plane and flying them directly to Mexico City, deep inside Mexico. From there maybe the Mexican government could give them their bus passes to their home towns. But let's at least make it difficult for them to try to sneak back in to the United States.

Why am I not in Congress yet?

ACORN Sues Over 'Unconstitutional' Funding Cuts By Congress

From Fox News:

Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.

I spent the better part of the night picking through the Constitution. I can't seem to find any mention of funding for ACORN set forth by our founding fathers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Huntsville To Decide Whether to Extend Hours of Alcohol Sales

From via Matt:

How late should bars and restaurants be selling alcohol? That's the question Huntsville city leaders could decided Thursday evening.

This would be the third reading of the proposed ordinance that would allow alcoholic beverage permit holders to obtain a late hours permit to sell alcoholic beverages, beer and wine between midnight and 2 a.m. on any day.

Some bars and restaurants claim extending the hours makes Huntsville more attractive when it comes to recruiting conferences and business meetings to the city.

I have to admit that I was surprised and a little inconvenienced that we had to call it quits at Midnight last month when I and several former Sammy Bearkats got together during Homecoming to have some beer and shoot the bull. I felt like we were just getting warmed when they told us we had to go.

Apple's (Not So) Secret Stash

Via 9to5 Mac:

Fascinating. Apple doesn't need AT&T. It could buy it up just with cash on hand.

Nokia is suing Apple. Apple could make the suit go away by simply saying "drop the suit and we'll pay for your budget shortfalls - about $190 million - from last quarter. Hell, Apple could simply buy them, kill the company and forge on without batting an eye.

Excessive, you might say? I say no. It's good business.

A good business will take a portion (say, 2%) of its profits and just save them for a rainy day (like a recession or a patent infringement suit). That seems to be what Apple is doing - incrementally building its savings.

Every company should run their finances this way. Every family should run their finances this way...

A Beer Odyessy

Thanks to my Dad for sending this.

Star Wars for Daddy

Around the beginning of October, I realized that Kayci, now six, had never seen Star Wars. She's heard me make references to it. She's seen me wear my Star Wars T-shirt. Heck, she even owns two light sabers. But she had never actually seen it.

So we all sat down on the couch one Saturday morning to watch it.

She seemed interested and asked several questions throughout the movie:

"What's THAT, Daddy?"

"That's a giant snake skeleton."

"Is it real?"

"No. It's pretend."

"Oh. Okay."

We had fun watching it, and I felt better because I had shared something with her that she should know about - one of the best movies of all time. And that was about it. We didn't really talk any more about it and she never gave any indication that she had even retained any of it.

Then last week she brought home a huge stack of papers and drawings she had done at school. She came and brought this to me, sheepishly. I was sitting on the couch with Noble when she placed it on my lap and then skipped away.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

And inside:

I don't know whether she was interested enough to retain all the names of the characters (sans Han and Chewie) because she was genuinely interested or of if she could sense that it was something important to me. I guess it doesn't matter, really.

Man, I love that kid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brilliant Redesigns of Boring Football Helmets

Check them out here.

I only wish they were real. Beautiful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Damn Lies from Grandma

I got this in an e-mail from my Grandma today:


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth.

Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.

However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big F at the top of his papers .

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around..'

His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.'

His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.

She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume..

But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him,the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets..'

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs.Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer....

The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there.

You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs.Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last
Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make difference.

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it.

Just try to make a difference in someone's life today?

A truly beautiful and touching story.

Unfortunately, according to, it's also completely false.

What amazes me about this, and a lot of other such e-mails floating around is how much time people put into them. In this case, the story started out as a piece of fiction in a magazine. The somebody took the time to make some changes to it (she told an 'untruth' instead of a 'lie) and spread it out there on the internet as truth. Someone along the way even decided to make up the fact that little Teddy has a cancer wing named after him in Iowa.

This would make a fascinating study in psychology. What would possess someone to openly, knowingly lie about such things?

This is exactly why I developed my patent-pending BS-detector® and I fact check almost everything I get that sounds like it could either be a Lifetime movie or a country-western song.