Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
If you're interested, let me know and we'll talk business (and art).
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Prince William County, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., is making it impossible for illegal immigrants to live there. Crackas and wanna-be crackas believe that Hispanics (they claim illegal ones, but the new rules are so vague it's impossible for a county cop to distinguish between a legal resident, an illegal, and a U.S. citizen except for the Hispanic-sounding surname) are leading to social ills in their precious, manicured county.
If this isn't "ethnic cleansing" a la Américain, then I don't know what is.
Check out the story here.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
From the NY Times:
Childbirth: Position of Woman’s Body Could Ease Delivery
By ERIC NAGOURNEY
Published: October 16, 2007
"Women who go onto their hands and knees while in labor may be able to reduce the pain of childbirth, researchers say."
The Inuit and other native peoples had been doing it this way for thousands of years before "modern" medicine told them not to because it is "savage" and "inhuman."
Ancient Wisdom 1
Elitist Parochialism 0
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Silly Russians. They're even sillier than the Americans. Let's make big, big, big bombs! The Americans' Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) is meant to kill and destroy hundreds of soldiers and tanks at once (as if battlefields even exist anymore). The Russians' Dad of All Bombs is four times more powerful than the Americans'. According to a deputy chief in the Russian military, "it is meant to "protect the nation's security and confront international terrorism in any situation and any region." So when the Chechens take over another theater, instead of gassing everyone to death, the Russians can just blow up the entire town.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Six years ago today, medieval assholes killed many people in the United States. This lead to a subsequent (largely vengeful) killing spree in which even more people - outside of the United States - died. And it led to one of the most counter-intuitive and mind-numbingly anti-intellectual foreign policy initiatives in the history of the modern world.
Goddamn, how I deplore fundamentalism.
By the way, I love Naomi Klein. I need to get her new book, which has a "trailer."
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Remember the time when anyone who expressed an artistic or a nuanced worldview was considered "gay"?
Now we have people like, Rep. David Dreier, Rep. Mark Foley, and Senator Larry Craig.
Turns out the biggest gays out there are self-hating gays who have horrible politics.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Hulk Hogan's son was in a serious car wreck on Sunday. Now, you may be thinking: Will Dan blog about the glory days of the World Wrestling Federation, or about driving dangerously and aggressively on our nation's roadways?
First this from CNN:
A high-speed car accident in Florida has left the teenage son of wrestling star Hulk Hogan seriously injured and a companion in critical condition late Sunday, police said. Nick Bollea, 17, was the driver of a Toyota Supra that went out of control while driving at a "high rate of speed" about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, said Wayne Shelor, a spokesman for the Clearwater police in Clearwater, Florida.
The car "inexplicably left the roadway," jumped across a raised median and slammed into a palm tree just east of downtown, Shelor said.
OK. The car was driving at a high rate of speed, and - because of this - jumped the median, and "left the roadway." How is this inexplicable? Mr. Shelor, you just explained it!
If you're going to Vocabulary Land, and you've never been there before, please take a map.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
People with severe OCD kind of make me laugh. You'd think that maintaining a healthy environment is a good thing, until you become a Cleaner. Adopting cats and dogs is admirable until you become a Hoarder.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. has labeled Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a "global terrorist" because of "growing involvement" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.
Who do those Iranians think they are?! The Marines?
The Iranians are to the Middle East what the Marines are to Latin America. Actually, the Marines - along with their shadowy colleagues in the C.I.A. - are much, much worse:
|Argentina||1890||Troops||Buenos Aires interests protected|
|Chile||1891||Troops||Marines clash with nationalist rebels|
|Haiti||1891||Troops||Black workers revolt on U.S.-claimed Navassa Island defeated|
|Nicaragua||1894||Troops||Month-long occupation of Bluefields|
|Panama||1895||Naval, troops||Marines land in Colombian province|
|Nicaragua||1896||Troops||Marines land in port of Corinto|
|Cuba||1898-||Naval, troops||Seized from Spain, U.S. still holds Navy base at Guantanamo|
|Puerto Rico||1898-||Naval, troops||Seized from Spain, occupation continues|
|Nicaragua||1898||Troops||Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur|
|Nicaragua||1899||Troops||Marines land at port of Bluefields|
|Honduras||1903||Troops||Marines intervene in revolution|
|Dominican Republic||1903-04||Troops||U.S. interests protected in Revolution|
|Cuba||1906-09||Troops||Marines land in democratic election|
|Nicaragua||1907||Troops||"Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up|
|Honduras||1907||Troops||Marines land during war with Nicaragua|
|Panama||1908||Troops||Marines intervene in election contest|
|Nicaragua||1910||Troops||Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto|
|Honduras||1911||Troops||U.S. interests protected in civil war|
|Cuba||1912||Troops||U.S. interests protected in Havana|
|Panama||1912||Troops||Marines land during heated election|
|Honduras||1912||Troops||Marines protect U.S. economic interests|
|Nicaragua||1912-33||Troops, bombing||20-year occupation, fought guerrillas|
|Mexico||1913||Naval||Americans evacuated during revolution|
|Dominican Republic||1914||Naval||Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo|
|Mexico||1914-18||Naval, troops||Series of interventions against nationalists|
|Haiti||1914-34||Troops, bombing||19-year occupation after revolts|
|Dominican Republic||1916-24||Troops||8-year Marine occupation|
|Cuba||1917-33||Troops||Military occupation, economic protectorate|
|Panama||1918-20||Troops||"Police duty" during unrest after elections|
|Honduras||1919||Troops||Marines land during election campaign|
|Guatemala||1920||Troops||2-week intervention against unionists|
|Honduras||1924-25||Troops||Landed twice during election strife|
Credit: "History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America"
And that's just up to 1925, folks!
A fascist is a fascist: end of story.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Aren't you glad I am here to provide you with insipid news items?
I wonder if people (I guess Oprah disciples, in this case) realize that this is complete crap:
Monday, July 30, 2007
I have been tagged by Phantom Kitty and commanded to lay out before you all the essence of my birth, school, work and death - each in one sentence.
Birth: I was born almost 901 years after Robert Guiscard conquered Palermo, and a little over one month after Nixon was re-elected President in a landslide.
School: Archaeologist-cum-international development geographer-cum-Archaeological geographer.
Work: If SAS programming were Ferraris, I would be the Dodi Fayed of the Census Bureau.
Death: "It's no good down here, I can't maneuver!"...Stay on target"..."We're too close!"..."Stay on target"..."Loosen up!"...[here I die in a massive explosion involving lots of Star Wars nerds and other random sci-fi geeks, except for Harry Potter fans - they're just weird.]
I now tag Amy Lee and Porchop.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
1 oz. chilled Limoncello
1 oz. clear rum
1/4 oz. lemon or lime juice
Smear a lemon edge around the top of the glass, and overturn the glass on sugar. In an ice-filled shaker, shake the lime juice, rum, and limoncello. Pour onto said glass with more ice.
Drink. Repeat, if necessary.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
At 11:30pm Thursday evening, my neck muscles began to spasm, along with strikes of pain all along my spinal column and shoulders; I couldn't breathe very well. After slowly standing and stretching I began to control the pain somewhat and the spams subsided. I took a hot shower, but was extremely stiff; I coud barely move my head. So I went to the emergency room.
I am not sure what Michael Moore's new movie, SiCKO, says about E.R. visits, but let me illustrate my experience:
* We arrive at 12am. We wait 20 minutes just to register my name and state my condition.
* After about an hour, I see a triage nurse and better explain my condition.
* We wait another hour or two in the waiting room before we are sent back to the E.R.
* A nurse asks me again what's wrong. She doesn't say much other than that the MRI machine only works during the day time hours. She disappear and doesn't come back. We wait for another hour.
* Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes a doctor. An actual M.D. She begins asking me very pointed questions. She is knowledgable, a trait that my primary care doctor certainly does not share. She offers many possibilities of what may have happened, and gives me a slew of strategies of making sure this doesn't happen again: Oxycodone and muscle relaxants are involved. Let me tell you: muscle relaxants are AWESOME.
* It's 5am. At this time, we leave the E.R.
Why did this take so long? Who knows. The wait was unbearable.
I noticed that there were at least three doctors back there. Maybe it's a staffing issue. I can't really fault the staff; they do what they can do.
Anyway, I am whole again. I am changing primary care doctors and will begin going to physical therapy.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We went to Gunpowder Falls State Park last Saturday and met up with some friends. It was a truly gorgeous day: no humidity, breezy, sunny, low 80s, and the lazy river made the entire setting pristine (except for a couple of very annoying dogs). Above is Ed making some rather large bubbles. All we did was relax, drank some beers, went tubing down the river and laughed. That is the Fine Art of Chillaxin'...
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Note to Self: If we're ever in Gaza, don't let Julieana watch the children's show "Tomorrow's Pioneers"
A "Mickey Mouse-like character named Farfur who spouted anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish nostrums at children"..."was beaten to death by an Israeli who wanted his land on the previous episode of the children’s show “Tomorrow’s Pioneers.” "
Holy crap, that's not educational at all...
Monday, July 16, 2007
According to CNN, seven U.S. meat producers have been banned in China after Chinese inspectors found contaminated products, such as chicken. You will remember that the U.S. government has banned certain Chinese imported meat products.
Note to the U.S. government: make sure the companies that rely on your support practice what you preach.
Oh, wait: the mass production of chicken tenders, ground beef, and insert-any-body-parts-inside-an-edible-sleeve-for-consumption-with-ketchup-and-mustard relies on the lackadaisical, laissez-faire attitude of the government. And this hands-off policy certainly leads to much higher levels and more instances of cross-contamination.
Carry on with your hypocritical bad selves...
Friday, July 13, 2007
In Das Kapital, Marx highlighted what's called the "expanded" form of a particular commodity's value:
z Commodity "A" = u Commodity "B" or = v Commodity "C" or = w Commodity "D" or = g Commodity "E" or = etc.
(20 yards of linen = 1 coat or = 10 lbs tea or = 40 lbs. coffee or = 2 ounces gold or = etc.)
Or, as real estate speculators in New York City now prove, a $225,000 house almost anywhere in the country = a parking space, in Manhattan.
From the article (with my emphasis in bold):
Cynthia Habberstad is at the top of that list. She chose not to buy a spot when they were selling for $165,000, but changed her mind only to learn that all the spaces had been taken...
She and her three children, ages 7, 9 and 11, live on Long Island, but the children’s modeling schedules bring them into the city at least twice a week, and the apartment they bought in the building will be a pied-à-terre.
“If we’re coming in late from dinner or we have a lot of stuff in the car, do we really want to have to walk a few blocks to get home?” Ms. Habberstad said. “It all makes sense now that I don’t have it.If you're that desperate to spend your money and that lazy to walk a few blocks, you had better go see a cardiologist, check your blood pressure, and take yoga. Life is too short to be worrying about shit like this.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Washington Post's Science section had a great article about lead exposure and the statistically significant correlation it has with increased criminal activity. A Fairfax, VA economist now claims that lead abatement and removal starting in the 1960s was the main reason why crime in New York plummeted in the 1990s - not Rudy Giuliani's "Broken Windows" theory of policing crime: arrest street-side window washers, panhandlers, and petty crooks.
It's an elegant argument, and one that it more empirically rigorous than the notion that the legalization of abortion led to decreased crime (why didn't this happen in Britain and other European countries?). It also shows that many urban areas with the most crime suffered twice as much as other areas: lead abatement rarely was conducted (or done so last) in poorer, urban areas, and later the Giuliani "broken window" campaign targeted these residents specifically.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The near-eradication of Brown vs. Board of Education: ✔
Curbing students' free speech: ✔
Relying on ignorant rhetoric instead of reason and reality: ✔
Reinforcing the binds between Church and State: ✔
Disenfranchising workers: ✔
Empowering Corporate America (even more): ✔
Soon, it's going to be 1953 all over again!
Thanks, Supreme Court!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In the last few weeks, more Shiite killed more Sunni, more Palestinians were killed by Jews, Hamas and Fatah killed each other some more, some Whites hated some Blacks, some Blacks hated some Whites, and fundamentalists killed many seculars and non-seculars alike.
It's really all so . . . tragic. Not just because of lives lost, but also because all of this is based largely on differentiating themselves from the "Other." You're different . . . BANG!
Nevermind that biologically we're all alike. We all have the same ancestor. I heard a blurb about the Human Genome Project on today's Writer's Almanac: that everyone on Earth - all 6 billion of us - can trace our ancestor back 7,000 generations.
Here's a USA Today article from last year:
" "Had you entered any village on Earth in around 3,000 B.C., the first person you would have met would probably be your ancestor," statistician Jotun Hein of England's Oxford University marveled.
It also means that all of us have ancestors of every color and creed. Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past. Every Sunni Muslim in Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite. And every Klansman's family has African roots."
Many cultures pride themselves in honoring their ancestors. Let's practice what we preach.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I am so tired of half-assed American political leadership. I have never felt so politically disenfranchised in my life. Or rather, I have never felt so utterly tired of America. Of course, I lay blame all of this on Bush and his cronies. Terrorism - the spread of Al-Qaedaesque terrorist organizations - has expanded in a seemingly exponential fashion since Georgie went into town (Iraq) blazin' away like some third-rate Hollywood cowboy. Moron.
This is all so depressing.
I sometimes feel like taking m'ladies and hunkering how into a bunker.
By "bunker" I mean Barcelona, however. Or some other city - large or small - along the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
Maybe I should sell my house, pay off some debt, and take the rest of the equity to pay for a modest apartment in the Andalucían coast. I know Carolina would love that.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Most people who read my blog - the regulars - are pretty liberal. Even a Republican friend of mine (Jimbo!) is pretty liberal on lots of topics; he may choose the word "rational," however.
So, for most of us, the FBI's recent admittal to breaking the law regarding privacy concerns should not come as a surprise. There have been thousands of instances where agents used the nefarious National Security Letter, a post-9/11 intelligence-gathering tool, to find out people's credit, telephone conversations, etc. I distinctly remember the FBI stating months ago that they would make sure that this procedure would not be "over-used." Ha! Yeah, right. Well, guess what? They sure over-used it, alright.
Allan, aka "Bury my thoughts in the pixellated thought-hole," posted something interesting today. It's called "Get Grandpa's FBI File." Check it out, especially those of you who have a longer history here in the States than us children of recent immigrants.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Lots of people have complained about the special treatment given to Paris Hilton, thanks to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Before being sent to jail, Paris seemed resigned to the fact that she would have to spend 23 days in a cell:
"I'm really scared but I'm ready to do this. And I hope that I'm an example to other young people."
She presumably meant taking responsibility for your own actions or misdeeds, not actually going to jail.
There was a great September 2000 article in Vanity Fair about the young Hilton sisters, Kathy their goofy misguided mother, and the general sense of Club Kid malaise that permerates their lives. In the story there was a particularly fascinating and ironic scene about "celebrity justice."
"Well, just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you shouldn't get in trouble if you do something," Paris says.
"Oh, yeah, celebrities think that all the time," Kathy says quickly.
"You keep interrupting me," Paris tells her mother.
There's a long silence.
Nicky laughs again, dryly and somewhat mysteriously.
"There are some people, I guess," continues Paris, "who feel they can get away with anything—"
"This is just so ironic," scoffs Nicky.
Kathy giggles nervously. "We were having this conversation last night," she says.
No one says anything for a while. The silence is deafening.
I say, "Your eyes are so blue, Paris."
"Yeah," says Paris. "They're contacts."
Nicky says, "Mine are real."
I think it's quite telling that, when the judge re-ordered her back in jail after being prematuely released by the Sheriff, Paris shrieked the following:
"It's not right! . . . Mom!"
To quote Nicky Hilton: This is just so ironic.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
This is what you get when you surround yourself with religious fundamentalist policy makers and brown-nosers who think they know the law...
You get bitch-slapped by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
I laugh now at this Administration's flaccid legal maneuvering.
I just found out that the defendent has a horrid mullet.
Hang his ass!!!!
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Except for the entire Iraq War garbage, I agree with Christopher Hitchens on most issues (especially issues of religion and governance).
Sean Hannity got an honorary degree from Falwell's Liberty University. Seeing him spar with an Oxford-trained expert on the English language makes me laugh.
Hitchens' last barb at Jerry Falwell was "If you gave [him] an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox." So true.
Hitchens is an ass, but a lovable one.
Good lunch-time fun.
Friday, June 1, 2007
I love this.
The link - provided by the Porticus Centre - is from an old audio clip from an episode of Dragnet, c. 1949. The show did not edit out the actual connection of the call - almost two whole minutes of connecting the AT&T/Bell long lines from who-knows-where to Murphy, Idaho.
In this day and age of instantaneous communication, where time space is irrelevant, where one can not only hear the blah-blah chatter of others, but also is able to read various mindless (if innocent enough) inanities like "LOL" or "ur my BFF!!11" or "KOKO BAAATAH!11," we often forget how involved telephony once was.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
IKEA's online help is pretty lame. All I wanted to know was whether or not their EKTORP sofa came in dark brown leather. "BAS" and MJUK" doesn't tell me much.
So I got online and found their Anna-bot. She didn't adequately answer my initial question, so I thought I'd bring up old news regarding IKEA and NAZIs.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I have blogged about this racist a-hole elsewhere. He conveniently forgets about the classical neo-liberal economics which he pushed and peddled in the 1980s. This did a lot more overall harm to the middle class than illegal Mexicans slaving away in some Colorado slaughterhouse.
Anyway, the New York Times has a sharp critique of Dobbs' half-assed logic and his quasi-journalistic endeavors which are well-steeped in the realm of the inane.
Friday, May 25, 2007
That populist CNN asshat, Lou Dobbs, loves to tout the "security" of the borders as THE issue on the minds of the American public. Reactionary elements in Congress and on the airwaves bitch and moan and complain about how the U.S. is somehow a bastardized version of what it once was (supposedly whiter? more German? more Italian? more English?). Listening to these cretins talk, one would think that they are tapping basic U.S. sentiment regarding illegal immigration:
"No more immigration!"
"An illegal immigrant is a criminal"
And so on, and so forth.
It's nice to see that the New York Times published an interesting article on how rational and supportive we Americans really are when it comes to immigration.
Here are some of the questions:
"Do you favor a guest worker program?"
66% say YES.
"What should happen to illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least two years?"
62% say SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO APPLY FOR LEGAL STATUS
In a nationwide survey, people realize that immigrants who come over without documentation, are NOT criminals, and are not coming to become criminals. That is a silly racist straw man that reactionaries love to use.
Rational people realize that illegal immigration is not going to stop, and that by building walls and alienating them even more will simply drive many of them farther into an already worrisome underclass.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I didn't get it.
I will survive.
I am now applying for a Social Science Analyst position at the Department of Justice. It's in the Civil Rights Division. I figure the sane ones at Justice are there, and not in the Office of the Attorney General. The cool thing is that it's right downtown, by the National Mall and the Capitol (see image above).
Oh, and by "sane ones" I mean those who aren't reactionary fundamentalist Bible-thumping fascists.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
MAXIM's Hot 100 List is out.
So, Lindsay Lohan is the hottest woman, huh?
I thought she was an anorexic chain-smoking wraith. I mean: decomposing deer corpses have more meat on their bones.
But hey: if that's what MAXIM editors are into, I can't really criticize them.
To each his own, right?
Take THAT, Hot 100 List!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 100
That was my entry for JPG Magazine. Well, I just got word that it will be published in Issue 10, coming out soon. I get $100, a year's subscription to JPG Magazine, and a $100 Suicide Girls gift certificate. I checked out their merch and it's all crap. Maybe I can buy 10 pairs of boy shorts for Carolina.
I'm pretty happy. It's been a good week so far.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Walt tagged me.
a) My five obsessions
- Polishing a 29 million record-long turd via SAS
- Trying to build and configure UNIX software called UFRaw on my Mac
- Photography and other bullshit (har.)
- Kissing my bebeh's dimpled hands
- Cursing the gas mileage on my 1993 Buick Century with one hubcap missing
- Attention whoring
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Mission "Accomplished." Most of us who have working synapses could see right through Bush's pathetic attempt at self-glory that day. Check out this interesting article in Editor & Publisher on how the New York Times covered that episode and the subsequent aftermath.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Today I read in Page Six that Tobey Maguire travels with an entourage of ten people, plus a personal chef.
Page Six states that part of this entourage includes his fiancee and their daughter, and also two cases of bottled water, a rocking chair, and a full-sized refrigerator. So really, it's an entourage of eight with a bunch of crap. I would say that's perfectly acceptable and a somewhat modest number for glitzy Hollywood.
Except for the fridge though: that's just weird.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
This is HUGE! Do you know how HARD we at the Census Bureau try to keep sensitive information from being leaked out to the public? After all, that is our charge: maintaining your privacy intact. Otherwise, why give us your information for the Decennial Census?
I guarantee you that I will hear of this on Monday. I have been working on a program to remove any vestiges of personal information from our corporate address database (phone numbers, Social Security numbers, proper names, etc.). You see, VARCHAR2 fields are nasty things. These are columns in a database in which anything can be placed in the cell. When our Field Enumerators ask you for your phone number (something he should NOT do), he may place it in the throwaway "Location Description" or Comments column (either on the paper form or the digital hand-held/laptop device). 99.9% of this stuff is automated once the information is keyed, and we don't know - can't know - of what came from the field until much later.
But at least it's in our corporate database, something that cannot be accessed by the general public. However, when other agencies use our data, they MUST follow our own privacy laws. Putting this shit on the Internet is so incredibly stupid, and we at the Census end up looking like complete jackasses. Plus, it makes the Federal Government look like some efficient totalitarian/Orwellian enterprise when - trust me - it's really not that smart. The Federal Government is not Big Brother. It's more like Lenny, from Of Mice and Men.
Yeah, well anyway: Monday is gonna suck.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
It was bound to happen, wasn't it?
From progressive comic (combining the Superhero aesthetic with humor) to over-done (if entertaining) film(s).
But now...now this is just pathetic.
The know-nothing, creatively lazy asshats of Hollywood and the gluttonous Marvel executives will add the dreaded words ": The Muscial!" to Spider-Man.
Truth be told: I am not a comic book fan, and really could care less that this particular comic will be re-interpreted, yet again. What bugs me is the sheer laziness of those who manage an industry which has the potential to produce something new, something different, something dazzling and fresh.
The Third Circle of Dante's Inferno is reserved for the gluttonous hordes, forever feeding upon their own excrement.
May the Marvel scrubs end up there for filling their bellies with the profits from inane renditions of each and every comic in their catalog (and reducing themselves to "The Musical!" mentality).
* Jazz Hands! *
Monday, April 16, 2007
As of this writing, 33 people lay dead by a lone (?) gunman. I am sure for obstinate Second Amendment cheerleaders, clearly this isn't enough reason to do anything about rampant gun violence. For the rest of the country which favors Reason over archaic legal statutes which now border on the non sequitur, the time is now for a truly progressive set of gun control laws.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
1. Adult diapers: ✔
2. Pepper spray: ✔
3. B.B. gun: ✔
4. Steel mallet: ✔
5. Knife: ✔
6. Rubber tubing: ✔
7. Cash in U.S. and British currency: ✔
8. 69 orange pills: ✔
9. Two USB drives: ✔
and last, but certainly not least,
10. Sixteen images depicting various scenes of bondage: ✔
I really don't know why I insist on checking out CNN. Their stories - like this one - make my brain hurt. They're like skid-marked underwear blowing in the breeze.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Would you like to know how much of a nerd I really am?
The New York Times took The Nation's self-described verse columnist, Calvin Trillin, out on the town to test-drive the self-parking mechanism in the new Lexus.
To me, this is laugh out loud funny. See the video here.
Friday, April 6, 2007
I have a pretty good job (geographer), at a pretty cool place (The U.S. Census Bureau), but something is missing. Maybe it's the need for a little bit more money, maybe it's the need, the drive to improve myself professionally.
The worst part of my job is that I feel like I am quickly making myself irrelevant. Really, just how marketable is a subject-matter expert on the intricacies of Puerto Rican addressing systems? Is this even geography? The answers to both questions are, "Not Very" and "No." Even these two issues aren't really issues at all, but since my employer refuses to pay for even nominal training on professional advancement (say, Project Management courses), I feel very much like I am a cog in an overly-complicated machine.
I work as a GS-12, but I do the work of a GS-13 here at the Census Bureau. For those of you who don't know, a GS-12 is essentially the highest rank a Federal employee can be before hitting the supervisory GS-13 levels. I have managed projects, I have appealed for (and gotten) higher budgets, I will be over-seeing a team to evaluate commercial off-the-shelf software: all highly visible tasks (Upper Management has noticed).
Yet, they don't even throw me a Project Management bone. I could sure use that Project Management certificate/degree. Oh, wait...that makes me more marketable elsewhere in the Geography Division, or elsewhere period.
So, long story short: a GS-13 position has opened up and I have been writing like crazy, trying to get my knowledge skill-sets all written before the close of business on Monday.
Wish me luck.
Shit. I wish myself luck. I'll need it.
Tryin' to get ahead, tryin', tryin',
Tryin' to get ahead in this race called life . . .
Oh, hell. I'd rather relax, but relaxin' ain't gonna pay the bills, son.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Religious hysteria. Why do zealots insist on jumping to conclusions or reducing themselves to jiggling mounds of hyperbole when someone else reinterprets an aspect of their faith?
A few years ago it was Chris Ofili's use of elephant dung in a painting of the Virgin Mary. Catholics cried foul and felt as if they were being demeaned and belittled, even though Ofili's use of dung pre-dated the Virgin Mary scandal (thereby negating the Catholics' contention that he intentionally meant to offend them).
Now it is a controversial exhibit of Christ sculpted in milk chocolate. Because of Cardinal Edward Egan's incessant howling, the Lab Gallery in Manhattan, where the exhibit was housed, shut down the show and its Art Director stepped down. According to CNN, Egan said that the exhibit was a "sickening display" and Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, called it "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."
Never mind that the sculptor, Cosimo Cavallaro, is a food artist and incorporates food into each piece. Apparently, mixing milk chocolate and Christ is a no-no. If Donohue's hyperbole is true about it being offensive, then it's right up there with the Moors converting Spain into an caliphate of Damascus.
And don't tell me that the real reason these two Catholics are so offended is because Christ is nude. If Cavallaro had put a Marshmallow Fluff loincloth on him, they would still have cried blasphemy.
If you ask me, the most offensive aspect of this entire "scandal" is Cavallaro's use of milk chocolate. That shit is just nasty. I am all about dark chocolate.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Am I the only one who sees a clear relgious element to this photograph? Maybe it's just me. Even though I am a flaming skeptic and naysayer of all things "godly," I do love relgious iconography (see here and here and here and here and here and here).
I don't know. I see this in the New York Times:
And I am reminded of something similar to this: