Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Strange bedfellows

The Teamsters are protesting a Democrat tax-hike in New York. Merely self-preservation; I'm sure the overall point about crushing taxes destroying jobs will be lost before the next election. Note also that the Republicans were not invited to budget negotiations.

Paterson did relent on the 118% increase on beer taxes, down to a 27% increase, but apparently it's no big deal for InBev to move production to New Hampshire. I don't drink Budweiser, but if they close that'll affect the distributors, and I need them, especially the importers. The Beer Map already looks bleak.

"Even flushing yourself down the toilet of history is trickier than it looks."

Literal bathroom reading at Radishhof--Mark Steyn's NR piece on the death of Europe and the Europeanization of America is now online.

Key graf:
When the state “gives” you plenty – when it takes care of your health, takes cares of your kids, takes care of your elderly parents, takes care of every primary responsibility of adulthood – it’s not surprising that the citizenry cease to function as adults...
But of course, you must read the whole thing for the delightful Steynian prose that induces snickers amidst the gloom.

Interesting, not in a good way.

Can't say I'm surprised. Gays sentenced to death in Iraq for crime of homosexuality. I'm not sure why people expected differently; even if the government was completely secular, the people voting for its members aren't. Not that UK Gay News will note there's a reason homosexuality is a crime in the region...or maybe in the UK they legally can't.

(And of course, the commenters can't seem to figure out which religion it is that wants to kill them.)

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Upcycling", before it had a smarmy trendy moniker

I hate the word "upcycle."



I need outbuildings.

Taxes...

Once again, I'm pissed off that "federal income taxes paid" are not subtracted out of my "Wisconsin taxable income." That's one of the first lines on the Iowa form...

I never see this money. As far as my take-home pay, that money doesn't exist. Why am I being taxed on money that I never receive?!?

("Why are you just noticing this now?" "Now? I'm two weeks early this year!")

This is the only place I can complain about it; too many people respond with "Why are you complaining when you're getting a refund check?" and I'm irritated by people who believe they're smart (and on paper are "educated") but can't be bothered to learn/understand where their wages go.

Basketball and business

BERKELEY, Calif. – Iowa State used a furious 8-0 run over the final 1:10 to defeat Michigan State, 69-68, and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Championships for the second time in school history. The Cyclones improve to 27-8 overall, tying the school record for wins which was set in 1998-99, the school’s other Elite Eight season.
Tonight's game against Stanford is on Sirius. If I listen, they'll lose, just like the only other game I caught on Sirius this year. :P

I'm still cranky that Sirius/XM won't make baseball available on Sirius receivers; I have to activate my old XM receiver--I switched to get NFL games, back before they merged (XM receivers will get NFL games). But I'm considering it a fee for leaving Milwaukee during baseball season. :P

Maybe Obama will tell Sirius-XM how to run their business and save me $4.99/mo. *snort* Probably won't be able to fit it in between retreats/television appearances.

I've been reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Last night I got to the part where newly-named Chancellor Hitler called the heads of the big corporations into his office--after they had supported the Nazis in the most recent election--and told them how it was going to be in Germany from then on. Eerie.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oooh, so true.

I'm expecting some blowback for becoming a "fan" of Rush and EIB on Facebook (although I already "unfriended" the unhinged talking-points robots who kept referring to Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal as "douchebags"*, and probably no one else will notice). But if anyone reasonably sane bitches at me, I have a link for them, courtesy of Kathy Shaidle.

Andrew Klavan, writing in the LA Times:
Whenever I interrupt a liberal's anti-Limbaugh rant to point out that the ranter has never actually listened to the man, he always says the same thing: "I've heard him!"

On further questioning, it always turns out that by "heard him," he means he's heard the selected excerpts spoon-fed him by the distortion-mongers of the mainstream media. These excerpts are specifically designed to accomplish one thing: to make sure you never actually listen to Limbaugh's show, never actually give him a fair chance to speak his piece to you directly.

Few political interactions with my "rediscovered" friends have been more satisfying than sending someone unattributed paragraphs of Limbaugh transcripts, being told they agree with his position, and then telling them who said it.

Not to say I agree with him all the time--I am still offended that he spent a whole half-hour bashing laid-off people who continued to enjoy their families and their hobbies in their free time--but at least I know specifically what I'm disagreeing with. Same thing with Barry O's pronouncements.

* I looked up "douchebags" on Wikipedia, expecting links to Barney Frank and Rahm Emmanuel, but it just took me to "douche".

Mirth Hour

I fell asleep before 8:30--but the heat was cranked up--and it appears the Gorons' prayerful sacrifice did not impress the Sun. Still no sunspot activity.

I'm pretty sure my ancestors did not work their whole lives for me to spurn human progress and voluntarily roll back to a 17th-century standard of living. Especially not at the request of a totalitarian religion spinning lies and preying on superstitious, ignorant dolts. In my observations, people fervently into "green" are people who need to believe they "make a difference" for the planet because otherwise their lives are completely empty. They also seem to have slept through math classes, and taken history after all the white men who built America--bridges, canals, railroads, factories, dams, Menlo Park--got stripped out.

My maternal ancestors would be especially angry if I eschewed the technological developments that allow beer to be imported from Germany and kept cold until can sit down to enjoy it after a long day of not scrubbing my laundry on a board and not kneading my own bread over a stove fired by wood I did not have to split. Who am I to let them down?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Human Achievement Hour Tonight!

I like this approach to rebutting the morons who think watching their TV in the dark for an hour "makes a difference."

You want to make a difference in energy-consumption, eco-whackos? Turn it all off and leave it off. Especially your computers, modems, routers, servers... You'll save all kinds of energy! Do it!

I also like this approach. Wish I knew more about power transmission.... But I'll be striking my blow for human freedom and achievement by refusing to modify my usual Saturday evening activities. It will have exactly the same effect on the climate as celebrities eating specially-arranged candle-lit dinners: none whatsoever.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I have been remiss.


I was so otherwise occupied this week I didn't notice the Iowa State women made the Sweet Sixteen. Excellent. :)

Note to self: Next year pay more attention.

God love ya, Chuck!

Occasionally, Grassley is still lucid. Heh.

Well, it's official...

I've been offered a six-month contract pressing buttons in East Syracuse, NY, and since I don't have anything better to do, I'm going to take it. (I will be leaving just before Opening Day and returning around the playoffs, grumble grumble, but for $5/mo I can get Bob Uecker on XM radio, and they're paying me well enough I don't have to give up my Bratwurst Bobblehead Day tix, muahahaha). So, if you see a fat woman in a Brewers hat, puffing around the Finger Lakes or Lake Ontario with a camera on a Sunday afternoon, do say hello. :-P

I'm bummed I'll be missing the last half of my German class, and the Tax Day Tea Party in Madison, but I'm kind of excited about having a new region to explore, even if it doesn't have bratwurst.

Erie Canal at Seneca Falls, from my 2005 trip to the area:
Erie Canal

I have a much better camera now. Muahahaha.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

PSA

Don't forget! Hour of Power is this Saturday!



Graphic from The PeoplesCube, who recycle their tips from last year. Tim Blair has a roundup of world events: "For some reason, Chicago’s South Side isn’t often mentioned in Earth Hour previews."

Don't forget to call the pizza guy before the Hour begins. May as well make your meaningless hypocritical gesture in comfort. I guess that's why they do it close to an equinox and not in the dead of summer/winter...wait, you don't have to turn off your air conditioner, just your lights. Hell, this year you don't even have to make the supreme sacrifice of turning off your computer. Don't forget to tell your Facebook friends you're sitting in the dark by yourself because you care!

I'll be ironing some fabric while watching a DVD (which is probably what I'd be doing anyway), and baking cookies (with evil non-locally-grown chocolate!). I could drive around the east side noticing that none of the yuppie-hippie types have shut off their outdoor security lighting, but then I wouldn't get fresh cookies. My priorities are in order.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just what you've all been waiting for...

For all your quilting and home decorating needs: Barry O cotton fabric.



I need a bigger picture to determine if that's a Nazi salute, or if he's pointing out Superman. But the vignette where he's posed as a bobby-soxer dreaming of himself, that's priceless.

Ironic: Cranston is one of two, maybe three fabric finishers left in the U.S., after the EPA sent them all to SE Asia. Textile production needs energy, and Barry's going to do his damnedest to make sure they can't get it at a reasonable cost.

In a few months, if I find some on clearance somewhere, I will take great delight in denegrating this particular religious iconography, a la Shawn Quinlan, whom I respect for his use of fabric, despite his tired cliches and hackneyed leftoid talking points. But I'm not willing to pay new fabric price right now.

Travel.

I caught the tail end of this today (the AM band in my rental car was already tuned to the station that aired Rush--convenient!) on the way to an airport.
LEVIN: The statist creates nothing. The food Obama has was created by capitalism. The suit that he wears when he does these press conferences, he can thank capitalism, not a single bureaucrat. The car that he drives or that's driven for him -- the helicopter, the jet he takes -- all of it is a creation of capitalism.

RUSH: The teleprompter.
Did not drive off the road.

Changed flights at DTW, which smelled like a yak soaked in dog piss--I assume a fault in the climate control, since I can't find any news articles about shaggy bovines loose in a terminal--and featured stadium-sized screens of Airport CNN, which seemed to have Dear Leader's stand-up routine on a loop. There were smaller screens everywhere except the ladies' room. I finally found a dank corner where the screens were too far away to read the text--and the sound was being piped out of a speaker directly above my head. Thank God I had earplugs.

The young man seated next to me on my flight into MKE was a member of the WI National Guard returning home after graduating from basic training. He seemed tired, so I did not pester him with too much chat. His wife met him at the baggage claim and they were adorable. Heartening, somehow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Whatever You Like.



Have been avoiding blogging because there's not really much I can say except "we're toast, we are so toast" (only usually with a string of profanity in two languages that makes the cat blush), everytime I read anything in the news. I should probably start avoiding news altogether, but I don't want to become the sort of low-information dimwit that gets talked into voting for people like Barry O 'cause they don't know any better...

I'll be offline for a couple of days at an interview in a different time zone (bonus: I'll miss Dear Leader's monthly television address to the serfs) and maybe I'll have something to say when I get back and maybe I won't.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Milwaukee Mystery Photo Revealed

Stone Lion 1

Chinese Stone Lion, one of a pair that guards the entrance to the Zeidler Muncipal Building. They were a gift from the city of Ningbo, China.

Never noticed them until I walked by with a camera.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Milwaukee Mystery Photo

Mystery photo

I took this yesterday, somewhere between the lakefront and Water Street. Feel free to leave guesses here or at Flickr.

One of those things I'd walked by a half-dozen times and never noticed until I walked by with a camera in my hand...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dreams from my TelePrompter

*laugh*

I made a bitchy comment over at Ace of Spades yesterday about Barry O is getting half a million dollars so someone can abridge a book with his name on it (I'm sure the House of Representatives won't demand he send 90% of it to the Treasury, either...), which memed around the Intertubes until Mock Barack! created an excellent mockup of the cover:


Conservative bloggers are hereby given express written permission to use the phrase as they see fit; late-night liberal "comedians" need to send a check first. Heh.

I love Wisconsin.

If I had known there was a Cheese Championship with a Cheddar Lombardi, I would have taken a drive today.



It's like the Combine Demolition Derby--why can't I ever learn about these things before they happen?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PSA

Have you successfully avoided foreclosure? The Journal Sentinel is looking to talk with consumers who have taken steps to keep their homes.


If you made a down payment, took out a conventional loan, only borrowed an amount you could repay with your actual income, read the "instrument" before signing it, or even just bothered to make your mortgage payments on time, give them a call. Heh.

(I'm successfully avoiding foreclosure by paying my rent on time. Yes, I'm a chump.)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Can they even get started for $91M?

This seems unnecessary:

Congress authorizes "downtown streetcar loop"

I can walk from one end of downtown to the other in about half an hour if I don't dawdle with my camera. But even on Friday nights, I can park sufficiently close to my destinations for less than Portland charged for two (I assume most people don't dine out and go to shows alone) all-day streetcar tickets. Usually for free, since I don't mind walking six blocks.... Why would anyone drive downtown and pay twice?

About 6% of Portlanders--they of smug self-congratulations about their eco-awareness--actually use the light rail and street car on a regular basis. And it goes well past their downtown into other parts of the city.

But, $91M? Seems like just enough to fund some "feasibility studies" done by political supporters.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I like this...

Jim Treacher:


(tagging a post "assholes" and "Democrats" seems really redundant lately.)

"Conceptual clarity is not mobthink's strong suit"

Armchair psychology is dangerous, especially among the untrained, but I don't think you need to be Dr. Sanity to see unhealthy, damaged people projecting their own distorted realities onto others in this article about being harassed for donating to the Prop 8 movement. If you seriously believe some woman you've never met has personally denied you your "single chance at happiness"* by supporting a political movement, seek professional help.

(I also like her collages.)

* OK--it's fun to the melodramatic center of the world from time to time and I've indulged in it myself. But if the condition persists and you don't start taking care of your own business instead of blaming everyone else, your misery is your own damn fault. Filed under "things I wish I would have figured out about fifteen years before I finally did."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I love winter.

Wind off Lake Huron pushes ice onto shore (and not for the first time...):


Some actual information, which the CNN page doesn't give you.

Note to self: don't build so close to the water.

I have wasted my life.

I could be pulling down big money doing nothing, if I had had babies.

*sigh*

Heh.

I got a call today from a staffing organization named after the protagonist of an Ayn Rand novel gaining new relevance in 2009. OK, he was a genius electromechanical engineer. But I really don't see him accepting an hourly rate to make money for some corporation for 6-12 months, with or without an option to go full-time upon completion of his contract. I admit to skimming through the 60-page monologue after the first five or six pages, but I think he'd already made his point...

They're a "certified woman-owned business." I'm trying to figure out why the practice of governments differentiating "women-owned" businesses irritates me. Perhaps because I resent being seen as a va-jay-jay to meet an affirmative-action quota rather than as a competent candidate, so I don't appreciate the world being encouraged to view me in that fashion with an official government seal of approval.

(Contra other women, I've never liked Brad Pitt, either.)

OK, back to the phones. Just got a good laugh out of it: professionals are talking about "going Galt" to avoid Pelosi-Obama's tax hikes on wages and businesses, and this "Galt" wants earn business income hooking me up with work (in one of those high-tax high-government coastal states I'm told is superior to any state in the Midwest...not that desperate yet). Bizzaro World.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random thoughts

A new survey commissioned by Northwestern Mutual finds a new "American Reality" in which Americans value quality of life issues as more important than career, money and material possessions.


a) How can you have a quality life with no job or money? You're dependent on other people (most likely the government) to provide for you, so you're stuck with whatever they give you. I know some people really enjoy just sitting around doing nothing except letting other people pay their bills, but I like to be able to afford to leave the house every now and then...have a nice meal, see friends who don't live within walking distance, buy new underpants when the elastic gives out...selfish evil capitalist shit like that.

b) I suppose it's a good thing people don't value jobs, money, or stuff, because by 2012 only government employees are going to have any. Heh.

c) Chicken and egg. Do people say they don't value jobs and money as a psychological way to prepare for/compensate for not having any, or does not valuing jobs and money lead people to vote for the clowns who promise to take all that away from the rest of us?

d) The people who don't value jobs and money must be people who have never had either, and people who have never not had either. If I had a trust fund of sufficient size, I wouldn't be going to job interviews in Illinois...

Must stop reading the paper.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This stem cell thing

I have been offline being interviewed on the wrong side of the Cheddar Curtain (no worries, all my expertise is in functions this company outsources to India *mmmph*), so I haven't been following it, but in half an hour of catching up with personal journals, I am depressed by all the ignorant, small-minded, mean-spirited bigots who are taking Obama's executive order as an opportunity to bash Sarah Palin (she's going to drag us back to the "12th century" on a snowmachine, dontchaknow) in specific and Christians in general.

I can't make the font big enough for the WTF.

I also note none of these people have contributed a thin dime of their own money to embryo-destroying stem cell research (much less their own zygotes). So I'm not impressed by their level of commitment any more than their logic (Barry && embryos != "stupid asshole Godbag" rant).

And Congress/Obama just spent a trillion dollars we don't have on misguided crap a couple weeks ago--is there really a pressing need to spend billions more we don't have on additional misguided crap?! Really?!? Even if I didn't think experimenting on embryos was creepy, and was willfully ignorant of adult stem cells are being used in actual effective applications, I'd think the executive order was a bad idea .

(I need better friends, I think is the lesson here.)

The flip side of furries.

Cats don't actually do this, which may be a sign of superior intelligence, at least compared to a subset of humans in Western Society.

Ask-imam.com (the online fatwa resource!) is choking on searches; askimam.org returns 0 records for "furry". I would love to be in a room when someone works up the nerve to ask if it's halal, as long as you don't wear a dog suit...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Recycling

Here's my anti-DST rant from last year. My opinion hasn't changed.

Neither did the cell phone tower nearest my apartment. I went to sleep well before 2 a.m. with the alarm set for 6:30; it went off at 6:30, which was actually 7:30 according to the clock on the microwave. I'm going for a drive later on so it can get the real time from a new tower. ZOMG, energy use! Oh noes! Bwahahaha.

(Looks like Blogger hasn't changed, either. Interesting.)

UPDATE: I'm newly irritated by everyone chirping "I love DST because I can play outside with my kids after work!" You needed a literal act of Congress for this? Go home an hour early and leave the rest of us out it. Sheesh.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Uh...

Does anyone recognize the face on Corey Hart's new tattoo?

Yeah, I'm a little behind on baseball.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I hate Web 2.0/Fun with Google

In preparation for a job interview, I'm Googling my name. There are over four hundred women with my first and last name on Facebook, and not all of the ones featuring photos of half-naked drinking have birth years and locations that make it obvious they are not me (especially the one from Milwaukee whose public profile states she is a fan of Barry O, Jim Doyle, and Gwen Moore, ugh).

According to HuffPo, women with my name gave over $1k to John Kerry in 2004.

Women with my name have also roasted Flava Flav on Comedy Central (I'm not sure I could pick him out of a lineup if everyone was wearing a clock), recorded several country albums, hold a Ph.D. in biochemistry, belong to the Toronto Bead Society, and play high school basketball here in Wisconsin. Also several brides with tacky dresses, a "genetic counselor", some graphic designers, professional cake decorators, graduates of UIowa--except for the brides, should be obvious they're not me if all you have is my resume.

Googling my whole name, which is on my resume, gets you my quilts, my Scrabble tournament results (my lifetime record is 29-28-0), and a photo I took of Freising, Germany. Also a midwife in Ontario and a couple of dead women in Australia who obviously aren't me, more chicks on Facebook, a mortgage in default in Seattle, and a real-estate agent who has done business under two additional last names.

I'm worried about someone assuming that Gwen-Moore-loving party chick from Milwaukee with no birthdate information is me and throwing my job offer in the trash. Sigh.

(I also got quoted at SteynOnline in 2007 and didn't even notice! Some superfan I am...)

We've become a Soviet-era joke...

Oleg Atbashian, writing for PJM:
* Liberals believe they’re advancing people’s power — yet they don’t believe people can do anything right without their guidance.
* People can’t do anything right — yet the government bureaucracy can do everything.
* The government bureaucracy can do everything — yet liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives.
* Liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives — yet they vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government.
* They vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government — yet they believe they’re advancing people’s power.

Gratuitous cat photo

IMG_4245

Don't ask, I don't know either.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Evan Bayh (D-IN) says O should veto the latest spending bill

It was impossible for me to read this and not think, "Yeah, he's just pissed he's not VPOTUS."

Summary quote:
Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.

As soon as things are flush again, though, he'll take the checkbook back out for more government, yee-haw!

And now for something completely different

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, who married the Berlin Wall 30 years ago. A love story, until tragedy struck in 1989.

Is there any aspect of life Democrats don't want the government to control?

W. Va. Lawmaker--party affiliation actually given in the news report!--wants to ban Barbie.

I've read enough feminist "research" about Barbie and I'm profoundly indifferent. I didn't get one until I was eight. Most of her clothes were made out of double-knit polyester scraps by a lady in a nursing home, and she spent most of her time roller-skating, so I missed the whole consumerism angle as well as the feminine beauty skills girls are supposed to learn from dolls.

I also had space Legos. Much more fun.

I don't recall getting any "body image" messages from the doll, possibly because I was getting them daily from my mother and my peers, who spent as much time belittling my "intellectual development" as they did telling me my hair and body were wrong and ugly.

I realize that the experiences of normal women are probably different.

That said, I'm fascinated in this concept that people with children are so stupid they need Democrat lawmakers to make every decision for them. If you don't want your daughter to have a Barbie, don't buy one (hey, that's what mainstream feminists used to say about abortion, back when they wanted it to be "safe and rare"...). If you can't figure that out, you ARE too stupid to raise your own kids.

I want to believe Americans aren't that stupid, but I keep seeing proof to the contrary.

Change I can believe in

More snow fell during the past two winters in Milwaukee than at any time in the past century.*
I moved here in 2006. You're welcome. :-D

Meanwhile, change I don't believe in: Barry's going to tax all forms of energy to "save us" from "warming." Well, yeah, it's really to cripple what's left of the economy, make more people dependent on the government for their daily needs, and limit the freedoms of those few who aren't, but a spoonful of "save teh planet!" helps the central planning go down.

I wish I understood why so many people feel they need to be "saved" from the future, let alone that a bumbling jug-eared Marxist is their Savior. Oh, wait, he plays basketball and waxes his chest. *snort*


* Note that there are no records of yearly snowfall before the evil white people moved in. You can get some overall climate info from tree rings and oral tradition, but not "inches of snow in February." I'd love to know how much snow fell on Milwaukee during the last Maunder Minimum, compare it to snowfall since the sunspots went dead last year...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ich habe keine W├Ârter.

I expect the "fat acceptance" blogs to agree with Frum

...because they're all O-bots. You can't judge a person's intellect or ideas by the person's size (which I think is a sensible position) unless that person's name rhymes with "Simbaugh".

David Frum likes Obama more than Rush because Rush is fat.

And O has stayed married to a politically-connected Klingon. Feel free to speculate how much he's motivated by twue wuv and how much he's motivated by fear of physical repercussions.

(I'm less interested in the Steele vs. Rush thing than I am that Michael Steele nods in mute agreement when partisans tell him Republican conventions "look like Nazi Germany." Hello...)

Oh, and apropos of nothing, if it's wrong to remind newly laid-off Obamatrons that they voted for business-destroying change, I don't want to be right.

18 inches??

It's been blue skies at Radishhof all day, except for thirty seconds where we got four flakes I didn't even have to brush off my car because they melted in the sun.

Odd and unfair.

Heh.