Thursday, January 31, 2008


A guest of Rush today told a "joke" that I've heard six or seven times this week:
You know that Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady went to see God, and God asked Peyton Manning, "What do you believe?" He said, "I believe in family, winning, and going after everything you can when you got the opportunity." God said, "I like that belief, take a seat on my left side." He asked Brett Favre, "What do you believe?" He said, "I believe in winning, going after everything, taking care of family." He said, "Man, I really like that belief, sit on my right side." He asked Tom Brady, "What do you believe?" Tom Brady says, "I believe you're in my seat."

I don't know why they always end the story there. Anyone who ever went to Sunday School as a crumbcruncher should know what happens next:
God does not laugh. Thy God is a jealous god. An epic smiting ensues. The firestorm upon New York City and Brazil makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like a light dusting of snow; the rash upon Brady's skin makes Job's boils feel like a mild case of dandruff. Meekly, Brady apologizes and is shown the door. Then the feast was begun, and the Favre--the Favre himself!--carved the roast beast.

OK, I made the last sentence up, but the rest is true!

I'll be out visiting my brother for in Des Moines a few days. We're watching the game with his friends at some gay bar, which seems wholly appropriate this year. It's his birthday.

(Go Giants, obviously.)

"Useless bread-eaters" won't be allowed to eat in public in Mississippi...

...and Huckabee hasn't even won the nomination yet.
Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State). Under this bill, food establishments are to be monitored for compliance under the State Department of Health and violators will have their business permits revoked.

It's not a joke; the text is online, and it's a bipartisan fascism. The submitter is a Republican, a co-sponsor is a Demorcrat, and, most shameful of all, one of the co-sponsors is a fat Republican.

I like how the Junkfood Science blog illustrates the bit with a vintage photograph of a "Whites Only" restaurant sign, because it's an excellent analogy. And I wonder if "food establishments" is a clever way to make sure those worthless subhuman fatties (full disclosure: That would be me!) can't even buy GROCERIES. Getting turned away from a restaurant--not even allowed to order a freaking SALAD--will just send me straight into a pan of homemade brownies. How the FUCK is this going to benefit anybody except the bigotted assholes who don't want to see fat people in public?

Even Britain hasn't devolved to the point you need state approval to go out for dinner...although I bet they're taking notice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Something to look forward to under HillaryCare

Or ObamaCare, or, HuckaMed...

A new study has found such sporting events are associated with a 326% increase in cardiac emergencies among men and nearly a doubled risk among women. These are actual myocardial infarctions and cardiac arrhythmias, not surrogate endpoints for heart problems. For those with heart disease, the risks are twice those of people without a history of heart problems.

Calls have already begun to ban all competitive sports to protect public health and contain healthcare costs...

I hate soccer.

Music for pressing the same button over and over for eight hours

The Polecats:

His Royal Weirdness (with special guest):

The Bobs.
Sadly, not available on YouTube.

Recommended reading

I am newly in love with The Health Institute of Nutrition, in the same way I love the People's Cube but never fell for Scrappleface.

Starch is a carbohydrate, a word which comes to us from Greek. Note the presence of the word “hydra” in the middle there. In Greek myth, the hydra was a dragon-like serpent with multiple heads who could not be killed. This is all you have to know about carbohydrates.

I'll have do to a "stuff I read" box on the sidebar one of these days.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wisconsin News of the Weird

A 51-year-old Dodge County woman is charged with her first offense of operating while intoxicated after she called 911 to report a drunken driver -- herself.

A little too dependant to the nanny state around here...why regulate your own behavior when the authorities should do it for you?

Well, we're ripe for HillaryCare, I see.

I think I found my candidate!

January 29, 2008 -- PI, the popular mathematical symbol, today announced that it is a candidate for the presidency. Pi's campaign theme "Endless Change", is based on its infinite and endless series of digits.

He's irrational (heh!) but trustworthy. And sadly, he's the best of the lot at this point.


The safest place to be in this city is apparently "anywhere a (well-compensated) white guy was shot the night before." There were a lot of squad cars around 2nd and National on Saturday night, more than I've ever seen around North/Farwell Streets or West Allis. Uniformed officers even came into LaCage to tell people not to park on side streets. At the time, I was puzzled, because I hadn't read this:

The weekend murder of a Miller Brewing Co. executive in the Walker's Point area...slaying Saturday of Lodewikus "Vic" Milford, 43, Miller's director of compensation and benefits. Milford was shot during a robbery near S. 2nd and W. Walker streets about 1:10 a.m. after leaving a bar, Milwaukee police said.

Suddenly it all makes sense.

There's a lot of speculation about the "social contract" of armed robbery, but I'd bet money that when/if the suspects are apprehended and charged, we (by which I mean "prosecutors", because I'm sure this won't be reported) will learn that the murder was not part of the robbery itself but an afterthought of the "Die, fag!" variety. I arrived at this conclusion after a co-worker who'd been out with us Saturday said, "Took the wallet, then shot him? Sounds like they're covering up a hit." Possibly. But given that the bars in that neighborhood are openly gay-themed/friendly, and young Hispanic men are statistically intolerant of gays (and to gain an advantage in the relocation bit, Colorado would probably knock off an exec who directed facility management instead of an HR exec...), I think Occam's Razor favors my theory.

I'm not a fan of "hate crime" qualifiers and whatnot: you're just as dead regardless of motive. There are very few good reasons to shoot anyone in the head. But I'm more surprised no one has mentioned that this may be an anti-gay crime than I am that the news coverage has hidden the ethnicity/descriptions of the suspects. I guess Hispanic-ness rates higher than gay-ness on the local Victim Scale.

(Aside: Muslim-ness rates higher than gay-ness in Europe. I'm very tired of bullies being the "real victims".)

It's all very sad, either way.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I wonder if these things are related.

Two articles I read today:

1. Today’s single young men hang out in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood.

I feel kind of hypocritcal noting this, because most of my friends in MKE are single men under 30 who like to game and watch sports and think marriage and children are stupid. I'm damned grateful they'll hang out with a cranky old woman, because it fills in my too-copious empty time and distracts me from realizing how pathetic I am.

But there seems to be a problem here.

2. The stifling of skills/The passivation of leisure/The triumph of triviality/

Hello, Maxim and Spike TV and internet pr0n.

I'm not immune; I'm noticing that lately I'm spending way too much time reading the internets (politics, which is a form of pr0n) and not enough time...well, doing anything useful.

They seem connected somehow, but while I'm good at noticing connections, I'm not very good at articulating them. The extended male adolescence wouldn't be possible without the general...dumbing-down isn't the right word, vapid-making-ness?...of society.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Something I don't understand.

How can a man who has three illegitimate grandchildren from three of his four children (and the mother of the youngest was thrown over for a woman who actively disparages the Church to the international press) be touted as an example and an expert of Catholic fatherhood? One kid flouts your moral values and you can chalk it up to free will; 75% of your kids flout your values and you have to start questioning the efficacy of your approach, not preaching to other men.

I particularly like the part where he talks about "the values he instilled in his son", which apparently didn't include marriage and family. I'm not all up on Catholic theology--my nephew was baptised Catholic so I'm picking up stuff--but I thought that stuff was important. It's important to Lutherans, too, which is why I can't spend a lot of time in church... *sigh*

Anyway. This strikes me as exactly like taking child-raising advice from Britney Spears' mother.

Tony Dungy for President

I'm personally still torn between Dungy and Homer Drew for my write-in vote, but I guess I'm not the only one. I can probably figure out his domestic agenda, but I wonder what his foreign policy views are...and why his backers can't use a standard HTML that doesn't look like crap in Firefox, heh.

Would anyone like a cat?

I went to Cabela's today for some new boots and got a fur-lined hat with earflaps.

By the time I finished all my errands in the sun all afternoon, I had a raging headache so I left all the stuff in the living room and went to bed with some Advil.

Y'all know what happens next, right? Fuzzy bastard senses the rabbit fur, wrestles the hat out of its plastic shopping bag, and eats a hole in the front trim. When I found it, dragged halfway down the hallway, it was still damp, and the cat was hiding under a rack of clean laundry.

And of course the hole is right in front--my ears and brow will be warm, but I'll look like a moth-eaten dork (instead of the usual sophisicate who goes about with earflaps, I know).

I also got sunburned.


Stops in Ames and will more likely than not go through my hometown. They went through in...1994? and it was insane. I had a summer job a couple of towns over and got the afternoon off because the community band was playing in the Rose Garden. We did polkas, marches, and show tunes--I don't know how anyone can ride 60 miles on a bicycle and polka around a rose garden, but they did.

Someone in the comments of that article is bitching about the "carbon footprint" of the event. It's a freakin' bicycle ride!

If you really believe carbon dioxide is a "pollutant" you should probably just stop breathing as soon as possible.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sweepstakes of a lifetime...

10 Grand Prize winners and three guests will meet Peyton and Eli Manning in New Orleans... and each Grand Prize winner and one of their guests will get to Double Stuf Lick Race against the Mannings for a chance to win $10,000. Only one $10,000 prize will be awarded.

Lick Race? With both brothers? It's like Penthouse Letters...with Oreos...

Meanwhile, Coach is in "Next Year" mode already:
Last year, we lost two games by four, one game by two and one game where we didn’t play all of our guys. We never lost a game by more than a touchdown and we won 13, so we don’t have major holes to fill. I think it’s a solid team.

The Fonz will be Bronzed

Much to the dismay of our frustrated betters. *snicker*

Beauty, or in this place cool, is in the eye of the beholder. Mike Brenner, who started Hotcakes Gallery four years ago, said the statue - which he called a monstrosity - was originally billed as art but after some in the art community complained, it was called a "trinket."

He plans to close his gallery permanently, partly because of the statue. Brenner already wasn't doing well financially and blames it on the lack of local interest in the arts and city leaders' lack of vision....

So I looked up the gallery's homepage, and the first image that popped up was a man committing suicide and/or autoerotic asphyxiation, and the second was a homoerotic photograph of two men in 1950s swim trunks--both part of an exhibition of artists from Phoenix AZ. Can't imagine why people are spending the hard-earned dollars the city and state allow them to keep to frame Favre's SI Man of the Year issue instead of "local arts"... *heh* And when taxes shoot up residents are going to de-prioritize buying art, but that's not the complaint here.

Maybe it's a failure of the public school system. All those years of indoctrination, and people still want to decorate their living room walls with images that make them happy, instead of scared, sad, or grossed out. (I liked the men-in-swim-trunks photo, but I don't want to see it every morning while I'm eating breakfast.)

There's something entertaining about adults taking their ball and going home because everyone's having fun with a Frisbee, though.
The statue perpetuates the perception that Wisconsin doesn't have more to offer than the Packers, serial killer Jeffery Dahmer and the show "Happy Days," Brenner said.

The only people who ever mention Dahmer are the ones trying to turn the place into NYC.

I still don't understand this self-loathing and disgust with beer, cheese, hunting, blue-collar heritage; how did showing up every day to to support yourself/your family by making stuff people want/need become a source of shame, while expecting government grants/corporate charity to make stuff people don't necessarily want or need became a source of pride?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vote for me and I'll set you free

Hey hey!

Love & Rockets:

The Temptations have better outfits, but they're harder to dance to:

I've been hearing the L&R version in heavy rotation on Sirius (Bauhaus has a new album coming out) and it sticks in my head, but the anti-Reagan bit confuses me. "Vote for me and I'll set you free"--that's Hillary, promising to give you everything you didn't know you needed so you never have to be responsible for your own well-being ever again. Wikipedia says it was originally written so as not to offend conservative fans of The Temptations. Hrm.

Still scarily relevant. And the band plays on.

I need a new best friend.

I got this e-mail this afternoon from Charleston:
Just shook hands with Uncle Willy.

M - Pleasure to see you again, sir. You're my fave prez of all time.
UW - Well, I hope that means you'll vote for my wife!
M - No sir. She scares the shit out of me. I'll be voting for Edwards on Sat.
UW - *head tossed back in laughter*
M - *leaves*


Kinda sounds like the Onion was right, though. They often are.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Can't say I'm surprised.

Kinda bummed Fred Thompson dropped out, but after I didn't get any e-mail from his campaign Sunday, not surprised at all. I have to pick one of the bozos who isn't Hillary Clinton in Christ's clothing (hrm...metaphor needs work) to vote for on Supercalifragilistic Tuesday, because if I don't vote I'll lose my right to bitch about the eventual nominee, and bitching is my most treasured right.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Put down your beverage.

Clinton then accused Obama of calling conservative darling Reagan a better president than Clinton.

I think they're referencing Bill talking about himself, but I'm not sure it matters. It's like accusing me of saying it snowed today. Comedy gold.

(Conservative darling? I'm pretty sure three people ever called Reagan a "darling", including his mother.)

A press conference to say "nothing happened."

And there's video. Tony Dungy will stay at Indy at least another year.

Now, what about Marvin Harrison...

Li'l Bro

It took Peyton Manning nine long years to qualify for the Super Bowl; it took his kid brother less than half that. And who ever saw that coming? Did you? Really?
Well...when Eli was drafted, I bitterly predicted he'd go to a Super Bowl before Peyton and the Colts ever would, but that was not an opinion about Eli. Heh.

I'm going to watch the game in Des Moines with my own little brother (and some other people who watch one NFL game a year *shudder*), because it's his birthday and I haven't seen him since he got back from his National Guard training last fall.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Only you can prevent the East Coast and Hollywood media from feting those !($%!# *&!(# !>@<~%$*!! from now until the UN Global Warming Regulators shut down the NFL because the athletes produce carbon dioxide and the lights use energy.

Holy frostbite, Batman.

Liberal Fascism II

Last night, instead of pecking at the refresh button every 7 seconds like a crack-addicted lab rat waiting for the SC returns, I went to bed early and read for hours.

The first thing that stands out is how wretchedly little I know, although that hasn't been a surprise for many years now. I had to start keeping a list of names to look up later. (One name I did recognize was Paul Douglas, Senator from Illinois, because he was instrumental in getting the Indiana Dunes set aside as a national park. Now how am I supposed to sit on the beach and relax without thinking of his admiration for Stalinism?)

The second thing that stands out is "Holy crap, if George Bush had actually done a tenth of the arresting, beating, silencing, fining, etc., of anti-war and other dissenters that the KosKids claim he has, he'd be about 1% as totalitarian as Wilson and FDR." Which I've noticed before, it was just jarring to see it all laid out together. (It's going to be interesting to see what happens if Hillary Clinton becomes POTUS and starts shutting down the kook left...)

In the chapters on Woodrow Wilson, I kept thinking, "Holy crap, he's an upscale Huckabee." Claiming he's doing the Lord's work, check; the government is the arm of God, check; big taxes to run big government, check; attempting to regulate family meals, check... Actually, I think I have that backwards; Huck would be trying to be a Wilson without the East Coast edjumacation and the ability to openly admire Bolshevism.

Also very interesting how Mussolini admired the American fascists and vice versa.

Finally, the eugenics and racism of Margaret Sanger/Planned Parenthood/their admiration of the Nazis/the Nazi admiration of the American left. Very little of that material was new to me. Especially after last week, when the news about the the U.S. abortion rate being the lowest since 1974 came out and the loudest reaction was "Oh noes! Brown women are having more babies--they must not have enough access to abortion clinics!" Heh. (Don't click that link, it's disgusting.)

I think there's more, but I feel kind of dumb today. And I have a lot to do before 5:30. Starting with disposing of the corpse who thought it would be cute to ask me what time the Colts play today.

Go Fred Go


I don't understand how people can like a guy's policies and ideas and yet vote for a guy with almost the opposite ideas because he has a better live-TV personality. I don't believe this happened when newspapers were the only mass media, and people had to evaluate candidates on their words and records and not their !*#$(# hair.

Whichever un-conservative non-Huckabee who finally wins the most delegates should pick him up at VP.

OTOH, eight years ago when I didn't like W all that much, I figured he couldn't screw it up too badly with Cheney backing him up, and I seem to have been naive.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Are we all sick of this quilt yet?

My Lombardi Trophy quilt in context. Scroll down, it's orange.

I wonder why so many people made quilts of trees last year...I wish the accompanying text each artist wrote was online because there's quite a few of them I don't understand (there's one on the first page that looks like a pregnant woman with a red circle/slash over her...what in the world could this woman be trying to convey to the audience?).

I won't mention this again until it's on display in Chicago. Heh.

No surprises here.

In the end, we have to face the fact that political intolerance in America -- ugly and unfortunate on either side of the political aisle -- is to be found more on the left than it is on the right. This may not square with the moral vanity of progressive political stereotypes, but it's true.
I wonder if this study depressed Arthur Brooks, the author, as much as his study that showed conservatives were more generous with their time, money, and blood than liberals.

It could be colder.

I wish I had more time to study historical data. The Weather Underground (I get a kick out of the name being used for innocuous purpose) reports that this week in January Milwaukee was much colder in 1985, 1930, and 1888...and much much warmer in 1996, 1964, 1934, and 1906...

What I really want is a list of "highest low temps" and "lowest high temps" instead of just the record highs and lows.

In my life in the Midwest, I have many fond memories of highs below zero in January and February. It doesn't happen every place every year, but MLK weekend in 1994 Valpo cancelled classes due to highs below zero; I drove to VA during MLK weekend 1997 when it was below-zero in Indianapolis; I took a December final at ISU in 2000 when the air temp was -17F; 2004 there were highs below zero in Cedar Falls before the first snowfall (that was annoying); Super Bowl weekend last year was below-zero here and around zero in Indy...

This is a long way of saying "Winter is cold. BFD."

The part that surprises me is that it's slightly colder and windier in Milwaukee than in western Iowa, where my parents live. It's usually more extreme (heat, cold, wind) out there. Hrm.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dog blogging

My aunt's malamute, Adam, is writing his memoirs. OK, the ownership goes the other way, but there was no smooth way to construct that sentence without using the default human convention...

When I was a kid my mother used to say quite frequently, "You're just like your aunt!" (my dad's sister), and it wasn't a compliment, which I didn't understand until I was much older. When I was 11-12, we went to St. Paul for her ordination as a Lutheran minister; how freaking cool is that? Not cool in my mother's family: Kinder, Küche, Kirche--but when they say Kirche they don't mean "lead the service", they mean "fill the pews and shut up." And yet, if all God wanted us to do was make pies and babies, he would have made us pretty and dumb instead of, well, how we are.

[I've been reading a biography of Queen Victoria's daughter Vicky, the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who really pushed the "women's place" business the same way his grandfather did, which about the time my mother's ancestors were leaving northern Germany for Iowa. That part of the book seemed very familiar somehow.]

But nevermind me. Adam!

Has Al Gore been to Siberia recently?

MOSCOW (AFP) - Expected temperatures of as low as minus 55 degrees Celsius (minus 67 degrees Fahrenheit) in Siberia prompted weather warnings from Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry on Wednesday.

The ministry warned the unusually cold weather could kill, cause frost-bite, cut electricity to homes, disrupt transport, increase the rate of car accidents and even destroy buildings across Siberia.

Average temperatures in large Siberian cities in January usually range between minus 15 degrees Celsius and minus 39 degrees Celsius, according to data from the US site

We should send him. They could use the hot air.

I'll drive around the block a few extra times this weekend. It's for the CHILDREN.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Is there nothing that woman won't destroy?

Scrabble is one of "Oprah's Favorite Things." I hate it when that woman puts her stamp on stuff I like, I really don't want people thinking she influenced me. Bleah.

Anyway, against my better judgment, I was talked into registering for a Scrabble tournament next month. It's not like living-room play; there's a clock, strict rules about dropping tiles under the table (don't ask), and 2-person games only.

I haven't played any Scrabble since the last tournament I was in fifteen months ago (same organizer talked me into THAT), which was the first time I played a timed game since I moved to Milwaukee. It's a good hobby for the socially inept, the terminally boring, the pedantic, and the mentally ill. Like having a blog, except all the letters are capitalized. :)

I'm kind of hoping obsessing about two- and three-letter words for a few weeks will be slightly less unhealthy than everything else I've been obsessing over lately.

Now that football's over...

I got an e-mail from the Big XII offering me a chance to pre-buy tix to the first two rounds of the 2009 NCAA men's tournament in Kansas City. There's a Slurpee's chance in Hell ISU will be one of the top 16 seeds and get to play close to home, so no personal interest (dangit, last year football went long enough I didn't notice how bad my basketball teams sucked; why couldn't that happen this year, too?).

The part that surprised me...they want $189, plus $9 in "fees", for each three session ticket, two games per session. Good grief! In 2002 I went to the first day in St. Louis for $60. That's a 315% increase. Food prices are through the roof and they haven't even gone up that much since 2002! My pay certainly hasn't gone up that much since 2002...

I hope food doesn't go up that much over the next year. Damn.

There's some nice stuff about Scott Drew in this article about Baylor's comeback. Of course, I knew all along he'd do great. ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Still wish the Packers had signed Randy Moss?

A temporary domestic restraining order has been issued against Patriots’ receiver Randy Moss, after a Florida woman alleged he battered her and then refused to allow her to seek medical attention on Jan. 6, according to court documents.

Rachelle Washington, 35, of Fort Lauderdale, filed a petition for a temporary injunction for protection against dating violence by Moss in Broward County on Monday.

The temporary injunction was issued that same day. The court order forbids Moss from coming anywhere near Washington, her home or her car. He is also ordered to surrender any guns he may have and to appear at a hearing Jan. 28. That’s when he will have a chance to defend himself, and the court will decide whether to extend the restraining order.

Moss does not face any criminal charges in the case.

At Gillette Stadium this morning, Moss addressed the allegation, saying in his 30 years, “I’ve never put my hand on one woman.”

Just hits 'em with his car
, but apparently nothing wrong with that.

Of course, he claims she's a lying extortionist, and I can believe that just as readily as I can believe he hit her. If anyone ever hits me hard enough I need to seek medical attention, my second call is to the police, and not a week later. Then again, at rookie camp they tell them to be cautious around women who just want money and fame...(insert Tony Romo joke here).

Still, I'm extremely amused by the timing and note that if they'd just lost a few games earlier, he'd have been safe at home in Boston alone in bed with a playbook on the night of the alleged abuse. *blink* What?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I figure I should go see Europe while I can still walk around with my hair and face showing.

If I can get to O'Hare, I can fly Virgin Atlantic to Munich with one stop for the same price as flying from Milwaukee on Northwest with two stops.

I hate O'Hare; never had a trip begin, end, or pass through there that hasn't been screwed up. Heck, I've had trips that never got east of the Mississippi River get screwed up by O'Hare. But I hear really good things about Virgin.

Anonymously Famous II

Me me me me.

My first memory of helping my dad do stuff around the house and garage was when I was 4 or 5 and we got snow tires for the station wagon. Didn't have a lot of weight to put on the jack but I could hold things and fetch things and get the lug nuts started...

And of course, your teenage daughter can't get drunk/raped/pregnant/herpes when she's installing drywall at home on a Friday night (Dad taped Rush during the afternoons so he could listen uninterrupted when he had time...if he would just get broadband, I'd get him a subscription to the podcasts).

I should have thrown in the bit about the studies that show teenage girls have less sex less often with fewer people when they have an involved father (they have even less if they're ugly, or at least that was true when I was in high, probably not so much).

Of course, a girl home working on plumbing won't get asked on dates, go to the prom, get married, or have babies--the last two are the point of the original Kay Hymnowitz article K-Lo posted about earlier--but at least she'll make it out of high school before her life is ruined. I don't know how anyone can go out on the road without knowing how to check/add oil, change a tire, add windshield fluid, but going by the workplace phone-home conversations I've been hearing over and over for the past ten years, complete ignorance of all things practical makes you desirable.

I wonder if the women signing up to learn how to use tools because they don't have a tool-wielding man are reacting to the recent American cultural phemonenon of "male adolescence now lasts until 40" or vice versa or both. It seems like a giant feedback loop...

Liberal Fascism I

My inscribed copy might take a few weeks, but the Borders at Fox Point had a stack up front on a table marked "new and noteworthy." Got through two chapters last night; not sure why people think the beginning is dry because it seems to me that Goldberg writes like he talks/blogs.

So far, the most fascinating part is in the intro, where he includes a URL and offers to engage anyone who wants to discuss the book "in good faith." I'm fascinated because I've been reading books for over thirty years (admittedly, the first year or two the books had big pictures) and this is the first time I've seen a discussion URL in the actual text. In the additional miscellaneous material included by the publisher, but not the author's text ("Anna Arkedyevna sighed, and logged into to read about a new miracle diet while she waited for the samovar to sing...").

It could be an interesting trend, since very little on the Internet lasts for five, ten years. You'll probably always be able to find the text of Shakespeare online--someone will manage to procure tax dollars to fund the server--much like you can find century-old printed copies, but the YouTube video of kittens "acting" out King Lear is very, very fleeting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fiber Artists for Obama

The quilt blogs are abuzz with postings about a special group on Obama's fundraising website dedicated to fiber artists. Oooh! He loves us! He really loves us!

There's also a group called "Holland for Obama" (when did we give them a vote?), "California Republicans for Obama" (fruits and nuts), and "*1,000,000 Americans for Obama*" (Members: 3386).

I should make a quilt with a big red pickup truck.

Go away! You're wrecking my denial!

Geez, I didn't even get my coat off at work this morning before someone wanted to give me crap about football. I'm trying to deal with it in my own special way, which means pretending it doesn't exist:

"Hey, Heather, WTF happened to the Colts?!"

"Did you see Ryan Braun's moving to left field? I bet Prince Fielder hits more home runs than A-Rod this year!"

At least Marvin Harrison didn't cry, preserving a small shred of dignity I can wear wrapped tightly around my head so I don't have to watch the F-Pats be crowned Best Football Team Then, Now, and Forever and Ever Amen--May As Well Disband the League Because No One Will Ever Be Good Like That Again. But I'm deeply disappointed no one threw a beer at Philip Rivers. Geez, what an ass.

Football is dead to me, but I'll probably watch the NFC game.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It feels so good

to see Marvin Harrison back where he belongs!! (although I could have done without the fumble there...)

Last game in the Hoosier Dome; I feel sniffly.

UPDATE: OMFG. Apparently Shawne Merriman (admitted cheater, lest we forget) can dance around taunting to his steroid-weakened heart's content, but Bob Sanders patting his old college buddy on the back is a 15-yd penalty (I bleeping HATE the Hawkeyes).

Bob Lamey says "This has been a very strangely officiated game." No shit, Bob.

I need a new hobby. This one frightens the cat.

UPDATE: Not that the officials NEED to help SD when we have no defense and can't catch a ball with a butterfly net...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

That looked like fun.

I used to think the best job ever would be "zamboni driver" but I've changed my mind. Best job ever has to be "driving the Gator that removes snow from the goal lines at Lambeau."

Not that I'll turn down a chance to drive a zamboni.

Might even make one.

*sigh* I tried to talk about the football game with my best friend, but she went off on another "bring everyone home from Iraq NOW" rant. I told her to stop watching CNN.

Public Service Announcement

Someone from the 920 area code just called looking for Euell to get the number of Artie because they're trying to set up a surprise party for "unintelligible"'s daughter Shelly.

So Euell, drop me an e-mail, and Shelly, try to act surprised, OK?

Snow falls in Baghdad.

First time in sixty-five years or so.

I'd love to be a fly on al-Gore's wall.

(Heck, a fly could live out his entire life in al-Gore's Tennessee mansion and not see the whole thing.)

So here's how jaded I've become in my old age

The cross-dressing part of the "groom announces transvestitism at his wedding!" story wasn't the least bit interesting. He wears women's clothes, yawn. Rude/cruel to spring on your mother (possibly a problem if she has a weak heart or nerves) in that fashion, but not particularly interesting. I suppose the psychology of revealing your sexual secrets to the world could be interesting if 20 years of American television hadn't already explained it to me in lurid fashion.

The bride in the black dress? How 80s. A graphic demonstration of why I never wear sleeveless shirts in public. But not interesting.

Ah, here we go:

walking down the aisle with his bride Robyn, who he met in the ladies toilet of a nightclub.

Interesting, in a repulsive sort of way. If I am ever so desperate for male attention/affection that I start dating a man I meet using the women's room (exemptions granted for EMTs responding to a call or law enforcement working a case, 'cause they're not using the women's room they're working in), please shoot me.

The bride being an ex-pat from Chicago is interesting, too. Why would anyone voluntarily submit to the UK's worthless National Health and creeping Sharia? The first will give you free gender re-assignment surgery at the expense of cancer patients and expectant mothers, but the latter doesn't bode well for the wives of transvestites. Even burqa-wearing transvestites.

I'm going to start a category called "I don't understand the 21st century."

Terrorist Catch-and-Release

U.S. Navy releases Al Qaeda Terrorist

The US Navy today announced that it has released a senior Al Qaeda terrorist after questioning him extensively for 27 days while being held prisoner aboard a US aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea.

In a humanitarian gesture, the terrorist was given $50 US and a white 1962 Ford Fairlane automobile upon being released from custody.

The attached photo shows the terrorist on his way home just after being released by the Navy:

1962 Fairlane? A senseless waste of a muscle car! Send them off in a Geo Metro or a used Civic, geez!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred

Yes, I've e-mailed it to my best friend who plans to vote in the SC GOP primary. She spent the evening at a food bank where she volunteers, because John Edwards was going to be there. She was less than thrilled--she was called to be there early to do the actual work because they expected volunteers would get caught up in the media circus instead of, you know, volunteering.

I told her to ask him why he didn't send a staffer out with part of his personal fortune to buy a coat for the Girl With No Coat he keeps yapping about. She didn't bother to reply, although later I got a picture of Tom Brady carrying his girlfriend's lap dog--and his own testicles--in a designer tote. *snicker*

Potpourri for $1000.

  • I'm really tired of people whining about snow. It's January. It's supposed to snow. If you don't like it, Alabama's thataway.
  • (True story: I have a friend who went to Mississippi State for eight years, and the only time it snowed on campus while he was there was a weekend I visited.)
  • The best thing about Hillary Clinton as POTUS will be hearing Rush Limbaugh play the clip of her screaming "it's patriotic to criticize the adminstration" every day. Twice.
  • According to the e-mail I got today from the Mustard Museum, "[t]he tuba recital scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on January 23 at the Mount Horeb Village Hall has been cancelled out of respect for the living."
  • Four weeks old, and they've already arranged her marriage to Knut the Cute (personally, I like him better now that he's big and surly).
  • This is the most disturbing image I've seen in weeks.

One third?

One out of three school-age children in Milwaukee lived with a family in poverty in 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Wednesday.

That's a large number, putting us sixth in the nation in large school districts. And yet, from the rhetoric that flies around this city, I honestly thought it was closer to 75-80%...e.g., almost everyone except the east side.

As always, the solution is more taxes, er, "resolving school-funding issues." It's unclear to me how throwing more money into health insurance for school board members and teachers' union dues and such is going to provide stable homes for kids.

But that's why I press buttons for a living.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mad world.

Hit the Habitrail for awhile after work before having dinner with some friends (Barnes and Noble's computer told me Jonah Goldberg's book was not being shipped to the store to be put on the shelves--it was only being sold to pre-paid orders). Came home, read a billion Corner posts about Obama beating the pantsuit off Hillary.

Settled in to watch some bad NBC (curiously, the serial killer wasn't a conservative Christian--someone lose a page of the script?), which was interrupted by the declaration of Hillary as the winner of New Hampshire.


I can't believe they interrupted a crime drama for THAT.

Today's xkcd


My closet full of X-Files toys action figures, books, clothes, DVDs, etc, and I are vaguely insulted.


Interestingly, my "proud Southern Democrat" best friend has decided to vote in the GOP primary there because the leading three DNC candidates seem identical under the surface. She likes Fred on immigration and she liked his health care bit of the debate Saturday (there was a debate? I was out...), she thinks Romney is a--I quote--"scary ultraconservative" and she's has latched onto Guliani because she thinks he'll use the government to keep her hurricane insurance premiums from rising. *shakes head* Scary ultraconservative??? ROMNEY?? I thought it was a punchline, but she was serious. Has he been running ads about abortion in SC? People usually throw around words like that to describe candidates who don't believe I should have to pay the doctor they hire to kill their baby...

I have a week to work on her... She says she watched Fred's "Message to Iowa" video, but if he was serious, he'd be running 30-second ads during American Idol telling her what he thinks government should do for her.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hey hey Bobzilla!

AP Defensive Player of the Year is Bob Sanders.

Most of the Colts D has been a new guy every week; he's done a hell of a job making the big plays and keeping them all together.

I've forgiven him for going to UIowa. He grew up in Erie PA, he didn't know any better. :P

UPDATE: The Indy Star has video of his reaction and a cute story about Gary Brackett promising to buy him dinner.

No in-school suspensions?

Whole lotta Milwaukee ninth graders getting kicked out of school. This interested me:
While many teachers say they spend too much time dealing with a handful of misbehaving students rather than teaching the bulk of their students, Andrekopoulos argues that ways can be found to keep many of those students in class or, in the alternative, at least keep them in school.

I always thought out-of-school suspension was the Holy Grail. Sleep late! Watch TV! A day without the tedium of class! That's not a punishment, that's a REWARD! But the in-school suspension: stick 'em in a room where all they can do is read all day--THAT'S a punishment (I enjoyed my in-school suspension immensely after my father didn't kill me, but I'm not typical).

The article didn't give any data on how many students are typically serving suspensions simultaneously, so maybe they don't have sufficient space (or guards) to hold all the disruptive students. But you know, they'd be in the building; they'd have to hold off on the sex and violence until after 3 p.m.

The rest of it--all the kids flunking 9th grade, etc--I don't know. I just work for a living.

Call me a misogynist, but...

No passes for having internal genitalia: anyone who sincerely cries in public after losing one skirmish--with no loss of life--is going to have a real hard time being Commander-in-Chief in these Interesting Times.

And this just makes me want to vomit:
"As a woman, I know it's hard to get out of the house and get ready," said Marianne Pernold, a local freelance photographer. "Who does your hair?"
Good God. Migraines make it hard to get out of the house. Depression makes it hard to get out of the house. A thousand different medical conditions neither Hillary nor I have make it hard to get out of the house. Having to do your own hair when you can't find anyone in Podunk to your liking? Give me a break.

I'm going to be bummed if she drops out, though; low-hanging comedy fruit.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Woman artist gets death threats over gay Muslim photos

She's an Iranian exile herself, so I'm willing to believe she knows something about the culture she's critiquing with her work, as well as the risks she took in having it displayed.
She said that by photographing gay Iranian exiles in masks of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and Ali, his son-in-law, she had wanted to expose a “hypocritical” attitude towards homosexuality in countries such as Iran, where men can be hanged for homosexual conduct.
I can see where people could think the masks were unnecessary, that she could have taken more traditional portraits of the men, but I've seen some of the photographs in ARTNews and the masks are not gratuitous. Without the reference to Muhammad, there's no distinction between them and other photographs she has made of Dutch gays, and certainly no illumination of the social phenomenon she set out to illustrate in the first place. Similar to depictions of Barack Obama as Jesus that comment on an attitude toward his campaign; not at all similar to defecating on a religious icon, which doesn't illustrate anything except an artist's lack of wit (you're supposed to grow out of poop jokes by the time you're old enough for art school...).

Overlooked by both art critics and those who believe in free speech: it's obvious that if the men's faces were visible, she would have put THEM at risk of being killed by family, neighbors, or activists who see the work (in contrast, the models in the infamous "Sex Toy Last Supper" go about their business with no worries). The artist chose to exercise her right to comment freely on a society, and she did it in a responsible manner.

The museum that was to originally display the work didn't even wait for a "request" from Muslims before it censored them--the masked men could not be included in the forthcoming exhibition because “certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive”. Even still-lifes of FLOWERS are going to offend SOMEONE. No one refuses to display scat-on-Christianity art because it's offensive (I wouldn't--I'd refuse because it's lousy art). If you're afraid of losing your building or other artwork to homemade explosives, come out and say so!
Wouter Bos, the deputy prime minister, seemed to take a stand for freedom of speech, saying: “In a democracy, we do not recognise the right not to be insulted.” The left wing de Volkskrant newspaper, by contrast, praised the museum for its “great professionalism” in excising the images.
Another museum has agreed to display her photographs; we'll see what happens.

(Aside: I have an urge to propose an installation I'll call "art that offends no one." It will be an empty room with blank white walls. Someone will be offended by my use of the color white.)

I love Milwaukee.

Spotted in the North/Oakland/Farwell/etc bar district about 1 o'clock this morning:

It was my 21st birthday last night--really! If you use a base number significantly larger than 10, my age can be represented as 21!--and my friend Andy organized an evening out.

We had 24 people to dinner at Botanas on S. 5th. Everyone got everything they ordered prepared correctly and fairly quickly, which impressed the hell out of me because usually service breaks down around 8-10 people. The food was good, and who doesn't love a decor that includes scenes of Aztec human sacrifices?

The conversation on my end of the table was fun until one of my friends from outside work started in on how Bush and Cheney should be impeached, even though they haven't broken any actual laws, but because they "know things." Then the guys I play cards with started in with the tired cliches about Bush the simpleton and Cheney the evil extraConstitutional conspiracy mastermind who shoots people he doesn't like blah blah blah. Sigh. I had to stand up and tell them to please stop ruining my birthday, which made everyone laugh. But they stopped. :P

After dinner we adjourned to the bar district on North Ave; drinks magically appeared in front of me. At one bar playing 80s music, when I was dancing by myself to Billy Idol, I realized the crowd was largely composed of people whose parents hadn't met when the songs charted and whom had never heard the music played in a non-ironic fashion. Unlike me, with my fond memories of hearing the song during my 4-H club's annual outing to Skatetown in the county seat. I felt uneasy. But that could have been the tequila.

Anyway. Back to acting my age. *shakes fist* Damn kids. Get off my lawn!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thought experiment.

Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee — and then imagine he loses.

Interesting, in a Chinese-curse sort of way. Reminds me of this.

Nothing cheers me up like Achmed

The Dead Terrorist.

(warning: I forgot he had bigoted unfunny Jew and Catholic jokes. Skip over those)

Walter is running for POTUS but I'm not sure he's Constitutionally eligible.

I knew this would happen.

The center-right half of the blogosphere reads like DailyKos today. Just replace "Rethuglikkkan" with some form of "corn-sucking snaggle-toothed inbred hillbilly" and they're exactly the same, right down to the f-words. Ignorance, bigotry, racism, self-congratulation...bleccch.

I realize "enlightened" suburban bigots aren't going to listen to anything I might say, but there are no "hillbillies" in Iowa. Remember the part of your rant where you go off about how flat it is?? No mountains = no hollers = no hillbillies. Dirt farmin' halfway up the side of a mountain ain't the same as busting prairie sod; the areas were settled by people with different cultures from different countries at different time periods.

I'm half hillbilly--well, my father prefers Appalachian-American--and trust me, southwestern Virginia and Iowa are two different worlds. Not that anyone who never leaves the interstate would notice!

And frankly, no one has ever explained to my satisfaction why I should be ashamed of an ancestry that worked, refused handouts, and despised government interference in their lives. I wish the Iowans running the corporate subsidized farms felt the same way...hell, I wish suburban soccer moms felt the same way.

Iowa Caucusness

Then again, I am mildly embarrassed by some footage of Huckabee's supporters in Iowa; they've got that stereotypical bovine appearance I complain about East Coast media promulgating. Not to mention that herd mentality. "Everyone at church is voting for him, so I will too! Are there any more of those meatballs?"

I wish I'd thought of this, though. *snicker*

The important part is Fred's third; he seems upbeat and South Carolina's only two weeks away. I'm also curious to see what Hillary will do next.

Can't sleep, cat'll eat me.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

*gasp* A caucus cartoon that doesn't diss Iowans!

I used to write software for tractors. The only part of the job I didn't hate was driving prototypes to collect data.

Chris Rock speaks truth to power

He's gonna end up with yearly IRS audits like Gennifer Flowers.
On Hillary Clinton: "I think America's ready for a woman president . . . just not that woman. Being married to somebody doesn't make you good at their job. I've been with my wife 10 years now. If she got up here right now, y'all wouldn't laugh. At all. You get on a plane tomorrow, you want the pilot's wife flying you?"
I wouldn't want my gynecologist's husband doing her job, either, so don't bother telling me I'm anti-woman. :P

Non-cheesy image?

"We are the Green Bay Packers. We are a great agricultural state. We are America's Dairyland," said Rep. Steve Wieckert, a Republican from Appleton. "But we are more than that."

Said Linda Gorchels, a marketing expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "There are certain stereotypes that people have about Wisconsin, and it's very, very difficult to change those stereotypes. Nothing is going to happen very quickly."

I'm not sure what these other non-cheesy "non-stereotypical" things Wisconsin should be known for are. Oppressive taxes? Government waste? Communism? Patchouli? DUI? Sex with deer? Corruption? "Milwaukee isn't Detroit yet" fits on a bumpersticker, but doesn't inspire. Normal people don't like six months of cold and four months of snow (I love them, but I'm not typical). Hunting and fishing...are those stereotypes *really* going to be more appealing to the upscale elite than the beer and football stereotype?

Industry? The hipsters around here already hate the association of Milwaukee with "blue collars." Happy hard-working Midwestern families (minus the "struggling to get by")? A rainbow of diversity holding hands and singing "Give Peace a Chance"? Cojack is less cheesy...

Eschewing the Packers seems really silly, too. I doubt you'll see local NYC leaders complaining that their fair burgh is known for the Yankees even though they suck, or the Texas legislature trying to de-emphasize rodeos and high school football; if you ever do, it won't be a year the Yankees go to yet another World Series.

I don't see a point in being ashamed of beer, football, sausage, cheese, deer season. Sort of like I've never seen a point in pretending not to be what I am.

New Year's Irresolution

Not sure how I missed this over the weekend: Lileks' Irresolutions.

It's funny--when I was driving home from the airport Tuesday, I was wondering what I would fix if I wasn't already amazing *snicker* and the only thing that came to mind was "drink more beer." Which was also my goal for 2007, and well-accomplished. I'm developing quite the collection of empty growlers from breweries in cities I may never visit again (I also preserved my Super Bowl bar tab for biographers...gonna be hard to surpass that this year).

For 2008 I should add "make a quilt out of labels soaked off bottles." Or at least collect enough different labels to make the quilt in 2009.

I do have a serious goal for 2008: I'd like to finish three quilts, larger than the three I finished last year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Anyone can amass a fortune if he struggles for only that. It is he who struggles to be poor and ends up wealthy with whom we should be annoyed.

Finally some good news from Iowa.

Or at least, news which doesn't completely suck: Late-Breaking Surge for Thompson

David Limbaugh is being polite when he says other candidates "drool publicly over the prospect of becoming the most powerful man in the world." Most of them, especially the woman who would be the most powerful man in the world, seem to have a deep-seated psychological need to be POTUS. Like Ted Bundy needed the thrill of describing his crimes to the jury for one last orgasm...

Anyway, I'm not getting too hopeful over the Zogby pool, because in 2000 I didn't know whose name I was going to write down until they handed out the ballots.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I had a friend out for the weekend, and while he hassled entertained der Dämonkater with toys on strings, I tried to get some action shots.

I am easily amused.

And if I don't post in the next few days, please send someone to look for the shredded remains of my body. The cat is never amused.

Random Aside: The cat's main name is FUZZ, which is short for "You Fuzzy Bastard." As you probably surmised, he chose that name for himself, rejecting "Reggie Miller", "Fred Hoiberg", and even "Ken Dilger" (when he moved in, I was saving "Marvin Harrison" for an actual firstborn). He is not named for Packer Fuzzy Thurston, who is the only Valpo alumnus to play in the NFL and who spoke at my graduation (I spent a lovely evening once around the turn of the century drinking with friends at his bar in Green Bay). But that would be a much better story, wouldn't it?

Screw facts, give 'em the narrative!

This seems familiar.
In a 2005 study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, Flegal, Williamson, and two other researchers reported that people the government considers “overweight” have lower mortality rates than people with supposedly “healthy” weights. They were criticized not so much for being wrong as for being unhelpful. “Your patients likely did not read the original article,” said an editorial in the journal Obesity Management, “but they did likely hear about it in the news and the message they got was not to worry so much about overweight and obesity. I do not think this is the message you want them to have.”

Fat, jihad, "global warming"--don't publish actual findings so the peasants can weigh evidence for themselves! Stick to the story we want people to believe!

(I don't make resolutions. Every few weeks I'll realize I need to eat fewer tasty foods and more foods that resemble weeds; after about three days I'm miserable and end up at Kopps. But that's no one's damn business but mine, thank you.)