Friday, November 30, 2007

The funniest video to come out of Iraq

LOL Iraqis...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is why I love my wife. . .

A Girl and Her Dog 1

She is honorable and decent, and will jump at the chance of righting wrongs. She despises injustice and will fly in the face of it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

a l t . FRAMES

The Frame
Originally uploaded by grace*c*
As some of you know, I make picture frames. Well, they're not so much "frames" as they are little works of art enveloping a photograph. I use discarded, antique, and otherwise forgotten media. The one above was commissioned by Cory, and it's an old Erector set, circa 1929.

If you're interested, let me know and we'll talk business (and art).

Thursday, November 1, 2007



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

. . . At the Gay Bar . . .

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ethnic Cleansing, American-Style

Serrated Goodness

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

Just in case you're keeping score...

"Booooorn Freeee"

From the NY Times:

Childbirth: Position of Woman’s Body Could Ease Delivery
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

It's the opening twirl that makes it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yet Another Example of How Patriarchy and War Go Hand-in-Hand

Easter Fun

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

I honor those who died by reaming out those who lied.

Miss Jezebel loved her children: stewed.

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

What is Iran?

Hope Continues. . .

My friend Walt passed this along. When you think of Iran, do you envision burqas and loud populists with chips on their shoulders? Too bad, that's the wrong answer.

Check out what Iran truly is, and the implications of war upon their society.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Right Wing Republicanth Are Tho Gay

Hot Crabs

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

v0cabN@z1, Part II

Ladies and gentlemen: Introducing Miss Teen South Carolina!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Tour de Mars

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

Oh, hell no...

Friends don't let yuppies furnish your home.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"In Your Yard I am the Ferengi Man"

Thanks to Allan for the link.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

R.I.P. Rex , Or What Happens When You Adopt dozens of Animals When You Have Hoarding Issues

It was there: behind the door.

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

A Fascist Is a Fascist

Federal Art Deco

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
Costa Rica 1921 Troops
Panama 1921 Troops
Honduras 1924-25 Troops Landed twice during election strife

: "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

Words of Advice from, Or "How to Get Through to a Man"

Dada Washington, D.C.?

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:

"Men love to show women their tools."

I mean...c'mon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Birth - School - Work - Death

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

A Cure For What Ails You, Or How to Chill on a Warm Sunday Evening

Chill with Freezola Beverage: Refreshing & Tasty!

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


The Window 530 Meters Above Sea Level

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

The Fine Art of Chillaxin'

Ed and His Bubble

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"

I think someone ate the brown acid after all.

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

China Makes a "W" Sign with the Fingers and Says "Whateva!..."


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

Capitalism, Or Fun With Commodities!

Scale (Zedero)

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

Deer in Headlights

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Get the Lead Out

The Future

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.

Monday, July 2, 2007

My Brain Hurts

"Synergy" makes Baby Jesus cry.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Second Image

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


Copper Sol

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

The San Joaquin Valley Library System

O.A.S. and Blue Sky

I just checked Google Analytics (which helps me track my blog). Kudos to Fresno for being a dedicated ALT-[frames] Head.

As a present, here is a giant shark coming out of a building.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

File Under: "I Saw This Coming a Mile Away"

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

On Paris Hilton, "Celebrity Justice," and Irony

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.

Nicky laughs.

"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.

Dear Hamas & Fatah. . .

Pieces of her washed ashore yesterday.

Dear Hamas & Fatah:

Fucking chill out.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Onion pretty much says what's on my mind.

Joe Lieberman is a raving lunatic. I mean - we all knew this.

It was only a matter of time before he would stop self-medicating and utter sheer nonsense.

Check out today's American Voices to see what I mean.

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.

Ohhhh, daaaaaamn.

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

"If you gave Falwell an enema, he could be buried in a matchbox"

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

"Number, please."

AT&T Long Lines Building

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

Introducing "IKEA Anna"

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

Lou Dobbs is a Racist Jerk (Part 9,839)

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

Pro-immigrant bitch slap, OH SNAP!

Gate and Stairs

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?"

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

RE: the job I applied for

Otto Dix Would Be Proud

I didn't get it.

It's OK.

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

Carolina: HOT, Lindsay Lohan: NOT

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?

Here's mine:

Take THAT, Hot 100 List!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


The Moai wait for their return.

"Modern Moai"
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

I have been tagged

La Mano de Julieana

Walt tagged me.

a) My five obsessions

  1. Polishing a 29 million record-long turd via SAS
  2. Trying to build and configure UNIX software called UFRaw on my Mac
  3. Photography and other bullshit (har.)
  4. Kissing my bebeh's dimpled hands
  5. Cursing the gas mileage on my 1993 Buick Century with one hubcap missing
b) five reasons why I blog
  1. Attention whoring

c) i’ll tag a few people if interested:




Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy Mission Accomplished Day!

One Big Honkin' Crack

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


Condoleezza Rice with heavy make-up, c. 2007

Michael Jackson with heavy make-up, c. 1983


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

Happy Birthday, Love!

Carolina Splendor

Today Carolina is 29 years-old.

And I love her more than ever.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oops! ... I didn't do it.

Dear Leader

Oh, WOW!

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

Spider-Man, Gluttony, and ": The Musical!"

Kiss Me, I'm a Slovenly Bastard!

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 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

Time for Gun Control

11:27am at the 47-50 Street/Rockefeller Center Subway Station

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

A Checklist for a Scorned Female Astronaut

Baltimore, My Baltimore

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

The Art of Automated Parking with Calvin Trillin

Jalopy Funtimes

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

Must . . . Get . . . Ahead . . .

Tour de Mars

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

More Religious Zealotry, YAY!

Cristo Rey

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

Religious Iconography in the New York Times

Mother Angelica (Super-Saturated Re-Mix)

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: