Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad Idea of the Week

(Scary Photo Source)

First he said he'd do it. Then he said he didn't want to do it. Then he was upset McCain picked someone else...

Meanwhile, if anyone is looking for a new Cheddar Jesus, he's in Missourah. Of course.

Would you like condescension with that?

A group that promotes "community" vegetable gardens on vacant lots along North Ave. is going to ask the Board of Zoning Appeals tonight to bar a fried-chicken franchise from moving into a vacant restaurant at 17th and North.

I read this as "fascist--possibly racist--assholes would rather a building remain empty than let a business move in, hire people from the neighborhood, and start paying city taxes."

I'm guessing this group is not comprised of conservatives, or even those rare liberals who realize that low-income adults (of color) aren't children.

Thoughts on the Milwaukee Massacre

The Iowa State Cyclones Football page at Wikipedia contains no information at all about 1979-1994. For good reason (representative sample...I tried to find a reference to the 1991 Sports Illustrated cover that named ISU the "worst football team in NCAA history" but Google sucks).

When I lived in Indianapolis, I would joke that Iowa State was a good preparation for watching the Colts. I wasn't really joking, but since no one this side of the M'sippi had ever heard of Iowa State (thank you, Larry Eustachy *spit*), they just laughed.

So...yeah. I should have known not to expect too much from perennial lovable losers when I move to town. Not sure what happened the past few weeks.

The usual coping mechanism is to wait for the next season to start--chanting "Sweet 16" at the Hawkeyes, that sort of thing. Jim Sorgi's big day is Sunday already!

Ludacris follow-up

What's the over/under on when this guy gets fired for dissing the Obama Or Die crowd?
"As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn't want his daughters or any children exposed to," campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement Wednesday. "This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics."

Ludacris' publicist and manager did not immediately return calls Wednesday for comment.

I'm not sure I believe that O's been criticizing rap lyrics "many, many times in the past." *cough* But at least they didn't shrug.

Tangentially related: Not all celebrity endorsements are helpful.

UPDATE: Gutfield!
Let`s state the obvious – if the singer was a white, pro-McCain rapper, and the paralysis joke was directed at Obama, the outcry would have filled the airwaves, and the streets. But that sort of thing never happens – mainly because there`s no such thing as a white, pro-McCain rapper – and most conservatives don`t wish ill-will on their political adversaries. That`s because, to them - good and evil is more important than left and right. On the progressive end of things though, it`s built into the recipe: if you don`t agree with me, something evil lurks in you – and you should probably die. And when you die, I will dance on your grave.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I can't keep up with the rules.

I've been wondering if there is a group that lobbies on behalf of the actual (mentally or physically) disabled that has the balls to call out "Ludacris" for this bit of filth.

Not because they disagree with anything he says on behalf of The O (heaven forfend!), but because calling an able person "handicapped" as an insult is a re-educationable offense when anyone else does it (and for awhile, just using the word "handicapped" was verboten--is that still on?).

But there might be an exemption for rappers I'm unfamiliar with...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quote of the indeterminate time period

Colts Middle Linebacker Gary Brackett:
“You’ve got to love what you do. We’re off for about five or six months, then you’re out here running around, playing a kid’s game again. Obviously, we’re very competitive. We love competing with the offensive guys. I think that’s how you get better.”

Victims? No, not really.

I'm going to quote from an AP article. Come sue me.
LAKE CITY, Ga. - More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC's "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family's decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show's most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis.

Gosh. How can a family who was given a FREE HOUSE on their existing lot get foreclosed?
After the Harper family used the two-story home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it's set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed.

They don't say whether they started their own business with this irresponsible financing or just gave the money to someone else to lose, but either way, they're not a "victim of the foreclosure crisis", they're a victim of their own selves. They gambled and lost--they weren't robbed by the banking industry.

Anyway, if someone would like to give me a free "four-bedroom house with decorative rock walls and a three-car garage" with "a lobby that featured four fireplaces, a solarium, a music room and a plush new office" (or even two bedrooms and a basement with a sink) I promise I can hold on to it, unless I get shot on the way home from work or crunched by a FIB on the freeway.

This is such a great idea I can't believe no one's shut it down yet

From Reason, inner-city students in several cities work five days a month at area businesses to pay for most of their Catholic-school tuition.

Nutshell: Taxpayers waste thousands of dollars to give kids (the ones who bother to show up) a crappy education, here's a chance for the motivated, able kids to get real-world job experience *and* a good education, at a fraction of the cost, borne by private companies/individuals who actually get a little ROI. These kids all plan to further their education after graduation, but how hard would it be to open it up to kids who want to learn a trade....

Read the whole thing.

It's brilliant. Expect the NEA to and its subgroups to drag it out behind the bar and kill it with an axe as soon as they find out about it (see WEAC and the online schools, ugh).

While I'm pricing plastic surgeons...

Middle and upper-class women around SE WI feel they have a right to be jerks in public because they never get to have fun and no one ever listens to them. Or something. Ladies at the wine bar screaming about their "issues they might be having with the men in their lives"--I'd rather be in a Hieronymous Bosch painting. *shudder* Even if the wine bar is showing SportsCenter.

And Heather Mac Donald explains--again--that there is more variability in math ability among men than among women, and the difference between genders actually exists at the high end of the curve, and--sorry, feminists--most women choose to do better things with their lives.

This I find interesting:
(Asians, however, showed a very slight skew toward females above the 99th percentile, while there were too few Hispanics and blacks scoring above even the 95th percentile to compute their gender ratios.)

Math isn't just sexist, it's racist, too (and since the Asians don't fit the desired outcome, we ignore them, just like college admissions). Has anyone studied the sexual orientation of the 99th percentile? Math could hit the trifecta...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Posting about my life at the risk of boring people.

My tickets for the Colts-Packers game arrived today!!!

This will be my first time at Lambeau. Please don't hurt me.

I've been enjoying reading the Packers blogs this week for some reason.

In which I consider gender-reassignment just to avoid derision by association 2

I've often wondered if one of my X chromosomes has some damage...
Women come to feel so close to celebrities, they almost consider them part of their circle of friends.

Yeah. When Angelina Jolie or Katie Holmes helps you move or even invites you to their birthday party, let me know.

And there there's these women. Not Rachel Lucas, the laydeez who annoy her. Sweet Olivia Manning! Katherine Berry called it: It’s not because you’re a female. It’s because you bore them.

And trust me, it goes both ways--they're as bored with me as I am with them. I got kicked out of a ladies' online group just after 9/11 after being told that "real women" don't and shouldn't care about history, art, or travel--they have husbands and babies to tend to! Changing a diaper was far more thrilling, relevant, and POWERFUL than anything I will ever do in my entire worthless unwomanly life!

Instead of whining about being taken seriously, I started reading more history and art stuff. Meh.

(What's wrong with cat-blogging? *scritch*)


Frank and Ernest:


We're boned, so let's just get it over with already, mmm-kay? This whole pulling-off-the-bandage-slowly thing is making me than usual.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Submitted without comment

Iowa case raises question: Is stripping an art?

It does seem to be different from the recent "but it's art" controversy in Australia, where the underage nude models weren't photographing themselves--their parents volunteered them.

ARTNews recently had a "how far is too far" article that mentioned 57 varieties of "artists" taping themselves and others having sex, but didn't mention depictions of Mohammed at all. Apparently we are all in agreement that that is too far.

More Postville...

Congressmen from California and New Jersey visit Iowa to listen to people whine about how mean and unfair it is to arrest people for breaking the law. Note that neither they nor the "reporter" bothered to talk to anyone who might have disagreed...
''This is wrong,'' he said. ''We've taken men and women who want to work and made felons out of them.''
Oh, come ON. They chose to commit felonies when they stole Social Security numbers and used them to fraudulently apply for jobs they were not legally eligible to take. The only culpability "we" have is not stopping them at the border when they entered illegally.

I'm so tired of these clowns.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Comments I want to make on blogs but don't because it's not worth the blizzard of insults I'll get 3

No specific blog singled out for this one...but apparently I'm the only X-Files fan (X-Phile, for those who watched the show as it originally aired) not infected with shrieking BDS.

There was a scene from the movie--this won't give anything away--in a federal building and the camera focused on a framed portrait of the 43rd POTUS. It was unflattering, but humorous, and I laughed, mostly out of joy at NOT seeing Janet Reno and that antimilitary nympho clown who was POTUS during most of the show's run on TV (would be a good one for an X-Files drinking game--JANET RENO! DRINK!!!).

So anyway, all the freaking X-Files movie fan sites are full of users posting about how they pissed their pants laughing at the ChimpyMcHitler reference, and spouting the usual twaddle about how we're living in some fascist unfree world. As if! They wouldn't know a fascist if one forced them to do 50 hours of unpaid labor every year. *cough*

So, a big STFU for all you spoiled brats who started watching the show on DVD two years ago when you were 23 and living in your mom's basement, and got to see the midnight showing because it doesn't matter what time you roll out of bed when you're still living in the basement, thinking you're so cool because you hate George Bush.

I swear, it is impossible for a reasonable adult with even the slightest conservative leanings to participate in the popular culture of the 21st century without getting smacked on the head with a 2x4 every time they venture out.

Short review: Very much for existing fans; one of the guys I was with fell asleep (my fault for keeping them out past 8, I suppose). Needed more explosions. Nice to see Scully as a real doctor, not just doing autopsies. Would have preferred a "sentient fungus the size of the UP" monster. Xzibit is a terrible actor--Agent X is spinning in his grave.

Mostly I'm bummed because it doesn't seem to be very well attended--possibly from lack of publicity--which means there won't be another one with a better monster.

I need a new hobby.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Friday, I'm in love

I haven't had my coffee, and I'm already twitching close to my resonant frequency. Stand clear, this could get messy...

Training camp starts today!! Football!! FOOTBALL!!!!! (I think the only guy in the "arriving to camp" photos that I recognize without his helmet on is Vinatieri.)

Mulder and Scully are back today!! Die Wahrheit ist da drau├čen! I've got seven geeks from the office going with me tonight to scoop me up after the movie and make sure I get home. Heh.

ZOMG, the Brewers. I know I'm technically a bandwagon fan since I didn't start following them until they were good (which just happened to coincide with the first complete season I lived here, does that remove the stigma?), but except for a few dark weeks in May, they've been amazing to watch. Er, listen to on the radio.

The only metaphoric pebble in my shoe? A temporary crown from yesterday's root canal prevents me from eating Milk Duds at the movie tonight. Otherwise I'd be squealing like my niece when she opened the box containing a Sparkly Cotton-Candy Dora the Explorer doll.

Biting sarcasm will return Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brewers news

On Monday, Yost announced that any player who attempted to devour another, no matter how delicious they seemed to appear, would be subject to disciplinary action.

Seems reasonable...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

#6 with a caveat

Reason Magazine puts Milwaukee #6 on a list ranking the 35 biggest cities in America for "exercising personal freedom." However, as Ace notes, they didn't look at taxes, property rights, or the costs of doing business in the city; they used adolescent measures like strippers and junk food. But it's a neat vacation guide.

Chicago, of course, came in dead last. Vegas is first. Vacation accordingly.

This is the funniest sentence in the article: "Today, nearly one quarter of Chicago’s precincts are alcohol-free." Yeah. Just like there are no handguns in Chicago, 'cause they're banned. (Insert Capone joke here.)


This delights me, in a way I have not been delighted since I was living in Cedar Falls and turkey vultures decided to live in the power plant downtown.
If you’re a vulture, Orthopaedic Hospital is conveniently located near the Milwaukee River and the roadkill-rich I-43 freeway. Plus, you have Solly’s across the street, and you know all those butter burgers are going to take someone down eventually.

Rollin' on the Lincoln Highway

Annual Iowa tradition RAGBRAI--who in their right mind rides a bicycle across Iowa in July!?--rolls through my hometown today on what's left of the Lincoln Highway (I feel like I've just outed myself...). When the Favre did they get a website?? I tried to make one in 1995, with clippings from the library, and no one was interested...

I've been homesick lately, but most of the people I miss have been dead for years, and when I read news I don't recognize the names--I'm sure they're related to someone I do know, because who in their right mind moves to towns with no stoplights in the middle of nowhere without being related to someone there already??--so there's no point in taking a long weekend drive.

OTOH, I can always save up to drive the whole Lincoln Highway. I've lived in three towns it passes through, and driven on it in five states, but never across the whole continent. OTTH, I expect AlGore will have outlawed the ownership of internal combustion engines for anyone making less than a million dollars a year before I have enough money. Bah.

(Photo is of the Lincoln Highway marker in the formal rose garden. I tried to take photos of the Mr. Lincoln roses therein, but they didn't turn out too well.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A tale of two quarterbacks II

Meanwhile, a source told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday that Favre has continued to use a cell phone issued by the Packers, and when the team checked the phone records, they showed "repeated calls to coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell."
How much money have the Packers given Favre all these years? And he still can't get a freakin' free phone with a 300-minute plan to talk to the Vikings behind their back?? Heh!
On Tuesday, Dungy said he was optimistic the Colts' biggest question heading into training camp -- Manning's valuable knee -- could be resolved quicker than most people expect.
Woo-hoo! More importantly, Manning, Polian, and Irsay are watching this Favre/Packers thing and taking notes on how NOT to act in 5-6 years.

Speaking of Dungy, my copies of his new children's book arrived today. The illustrations are great. Reading it made me cry (I'm old and still haven't found anything I'm good at/want to do/am still young enough to do), but I think my small relatives will enjoy it when they're slightly older. It's promoted as ages 4-7, but the protagonist is 8 and the text seems a little dense for preschool (but what do I know?). (CBS interview about the book)

Possible tragedy in MN

I can't tell from the photos or the video, so I'm not sure how tragic this really is: "A semi truck carring[sic] beer kegs,[sic] tipped over just off highway[sic] 100 and interstate[sic] 494 in Bloomington Monday afternoon." (Is it just me, or does the KARE11 web proofreader seem a little sloshed themselves?)

Looks like the truck has a Miller Lite logo on the side, but it could be hauling Leinie's... Aside: Don't let your cat spill Berry Weiss on any white shirt you wish to wear again.

This is regrettable; this not so much.

Shut up and sing!

I admit to owning George Michael CDs (purchased 10 years ago or more), but this is just reprehensible:
Michael, 45, touring North America for the first time in 17 years, told fans during a concert at New York City's Madison Square Garden that "I know you guys all need a change."

He admitted he doesn't know what kind of change Obama would bring if elected, saying that after "months of watching CNN" he still does not know what Obama or Clinton stand for. But he went on to say that the Illinois and New York senators would make "the strongest team" for the Democratic ticket.

If you don't know what you're yapping about, then STFU, as we say on the Internet. Holy cat, that's irresponsible.

(I want to be Statler and Waldorf when I grow up.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

I didn't write this but

I wish I did.
For heaven's sake,
if you europeans are so in love with Obama,
you have him. Make him president of europe,
if you can get those plucky Irish to ratify the Lisbon treaty.
Apparently they don't care that all he can say is "Merci, beaucoup."

How I spent my weekend

In Omaha (only thing worse than Omaha is Omaha in July, ugh), building Lego towers, brushing plastic ponies' hair, and getting suckered into driving to LaCrosse in September to babysit while her parents attend a wedding. Unfair negotiation techniques were used. :-P

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Your tax dollars at work!

I can't figure out which level of government is funding the construction on the Teutonia Ave/Silver Spring Dr bridge (which needed the work), but they're not getting their money's worth from the sign rental:
Your Tax Dollars at Work!

Oh, look! The culprits:

815 is an Illinois area code...which doesn't excuse whoever is responsible for procuring the signs. It might even make it worse, if it's city money being sent out of state for substandard equipment... (My Google-fu is unable to locate any information about this construction project, but it did turn up this bit of entertainment).

I have to look at this abomination twice a day; my funk is not improving.


My "there's nothing wrong with that, it's just their culture, we shouldn't judge them" friends are going to be annoyed with me today when I prick their self-righteous bubble of multiculturist smug...(via FFOF, via DhimmiWatch, which I should be reading more than I have been lately)

10-year-old bride gets beaten, raped; family pays husband $200 to compensate him for divorcing her.

CNN cheerfully ignores her religion until way at the end; I'm surprised they bother to report this sort of thing at all.

So, dear friends with COEXIST! bumperstickers who believe we shouldn't impose our way of thinking on other people, please explain to me why you support cultures that see nothing wrong with raping 10-year-old girls, and how they are equivalent to (or better than!) cultures which condemn child rape. Please explain to me how holding in contempt religions that advocate old men have sex with 9-year-old girls is worse than old men having sex with 9-year-old girls.

I will continue to mock you until you get it right.

Postville update

The Amnesty Press would like us to feel sorry for illegal aliens still living in their own homes despite being arrested in the May raid in Postville. The piece is basically a plea for donations to help these poor, persecuted people out.

I do feel a little sorry for them; they should be allowed to go back from whence they came. Seems sort of silly to me to force them to remain in Iowa when we know they're not supposed to be there. Otherwise...begging for toothpaste? You brought it on yourselves.

You know what I'm not looking forward to? In 10-15 years when all these "citizens by place of birth" (i.e., anchor babies whose deported parents didn't leave them here) who grew up in other countries turn 18 and come legally streaming back over the border, presumably harboring some level of resentment, and obviously entitled to vote. I don't think anyone on the "legal immigration only" side of things has thought that through very well (the "reward people for law-breaking!" side no doubt feels a tingling up their leg).

(Identity theft is a five-month sentence? That seems really light; you get a lot more time for crimes that don't completely fuck someone else over for the rest of their life.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sign me up!

Heck, for that kind of money I'll fetch Rodgers a clean jockstrap at halftime.
"We'll pay you $12 million, but you've got to hold the clipboard and ball cap?," Favre said.
I look forward to this week's Onion Sports.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Maybe I will relocate...

Global warming at work! Alert al-Gore!

Summer Snowstorm Kills 2 on Bavarian Mountaintop

My kind of climate. I took the cable car to the top, of course...

All-Star Game

  • EEEE!!! Bob Feller!!! *geeks out*
  • Sheryl Crow should never be allowed to play the anthem.
  • (My reception of FOX has some interference from a Catholic radio station, which provides some interesting juxtapositions of choir and Hall of Famers)
  • Ben Sheets, not bad.
  • I sit around waiting three hours for Corey Hart, and he lets the ball go by...
  • Did they play "Sunglasses at Night"??!?

It's like they're writing about me...

(They are, sorta. I was a research subject at SMPY at Iowa State, although they don't seem to have used data from those years in the referenced study.)

The harpies who continue to push Title IX into places it wasn't meant to go now want the federal government to start insisting on hiring quotas for women at research universities.

I've spent 20 years observing all this "chicks in science" stuff from the inside--from special summer programs to jobs at companies that make a big show of hiring women and minorities first--and probably the only thing I can say with some certainty is you can't make women who'd rather play with babies be interested in calculus or debugging circuit boards. Especially if they don't have the abilities to do calculus in the first place (remember the variation amongst women is greater than the difference between the male and female average, thanks).

Ms. Pinker, a clinical psychologist and columnist for The Globe and Mail in Canada (and sister of Steven Pinker, the Harvard psychologist), argues that the campaign for gender parity infantilizes women by assuming they don’t know what they want. She interviewed women who abandoned successful careers in science and engineering to work in fields like architecture, law and education — and not because they had faced discrimination in science.

Instead, they complained of being pushed so hard to be scientists and engineers that they ended up in jobs they didn’t enjoy. “The irony was that talent in a male-typical pursuit limited their choices,” Ms. Pinker says. “Once they showed aptitude for math or physical science, there was an assumption that they’d pursue it as a career even if they had other interests or aspirations. And because these women went along with the program and were perceived by parents and teachers as torch bearers, it was so much more difficult for them to come to terms with the fact that the work made them unhappy.”

Wow. That sounds exactly like me. Lots of encouraging talks from men and women in science/engineering careers about how exceptional women should go on and succeed; lots of scorn and derision from women not in science/engineering about how women shouldn't bother (men outside frightened away by my job title, sigh). And I've tried to leave the field twice post-college, and ended up unemployed and broke both times. I love science, I liked math enough, but the business is soul-destroying.

I'll have to pick up a copy of this book.

I'm sure I could rant much more, but it's time to watch Ben Sheets and Ryan Braun and Corey Hart. :) Keeping focused on what's important here...

Insert 'sac' joke here

We interrupt the Greying Drama Queen* saga for an important news item...
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had a medical procedure Monday to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee.
F-Pat fans rejoice, like the Fuligo septica they are.
Colts president Bill Polian announced the procedure, described as routine, on Monday night. Polian said the team's medical staff expects Manning to have "a full and complete return to action" in four to six weeks. Colts training camp begins July 25.
The Hall of Fame game is in 19 days (not that I'm looking forward to watching it on NBC or anything) addition to the Maytag Man, the roster has an undrafted rookie and the guy who got intercepted by Ellis Hobbs to lose the 2004 Indepedence Bowl (I can make anything come back to the cardinal and gold, I can).
Manning has started 160 straight games dating back to the first game of his rookie season. He has the longest streak in the league if Brett Favre remains retired.
Suddenly, I understand why #4 reneged on the whole retirement thing, although I still think maybe he shoulda thought about that in March.

And then there's this, which makes me wonder if Manning's had some concussions the rest of us didn't know about.
"I'm going into my 11th year. I'm 32, but I really feel I'm in a younger body than that," Manning said last week. "I feel I'm in a 28-year-old body because I've had great protection from my offensive line. I feel that's hopefully going to allow me to play a number of more years."
He's completely forgotten 1998! That can't be good.

* At the risk of getting chased into Illinois by pitchfork-wielding fans, I have to say that whole Fox News thing was attention-seeking on a Spears-Lohan-Winehouse level. Next stop: flashing the paparazzi...

Monday, July 14, 2008


I would like to be excited about the Executive Order forbidding offshore drilling being rescinded, but a) no way in Hell is Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid going to sponsor a Congressional version of the same and b) President Big O is just going to sign another one in January.

Why on Earth no one thought of this when gas first hit $3 after Hurricane Katrina and Congress wasn't veto-proof...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guess I'm an elitist after all.

I like a good lawnmower race as much as anyone, but this...this is horrifying.

Disclaimer: I won a whole bunch of ribbons at the Central Iowa Fair 20-25 years ago for various housewifely arts. Feel free to laugh.

Gary Varvel, of course (click to enlarge). I love how he draws ears.

Unrelated: Tie-dyeing flannel is a bitch. Took the color beautifully, but I had to rinse it for HOURS.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obit round-up.

I can't believe Dr. DeBakey never popped up during "famous living Americans" week in elementary school like Dan Gable, John Glenn, and (feel free to snicker) Mary Lou Retton. His obit reads like a 20th century Thomas Edison, and the "son of Lebanese immigrants" should endear him to the usual suspects...oh, except for that pesky "the spoke English" thing.

Then again, I can name very few scientists/inventors currently practicing. James Hansen, because he's been busted for manipulating his "data" to get the public reaction he wanted. Roy Spencer, because I just read his book. Linus Torvalds. Ron Popeil.

I'm continually suprised that with all the news I read, I don't read about incredible people until they die. Forget "history starts the day you're born"--in the 21st century, history started last week.

And Tony Snow's death is just--wow, 53.

I'm increasingly depressed by my inadequacy, having neither a family nor a career. If anyone needs me, I'll be in the lake.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Christmas in July

Mark Steyn filled in for Rush today. Woo-hoo!

It's the little things that keep me from killing myself, it really is.

Spin, spin, spin

James Taranto calls this "two papers in one."

Attendance at Summerfest is down. ZOMG! Teh economy, it is shambles!
Attendance and merchandise sales at Miller Park are way way up. DESPITE teh shamble-y economy. (Everytime I'm at a game, watching underage kids in $130 hoodies, drunk off $7.50 beers, I wonder if the Congressional "college loan bailout" will happen in 2012 or 2014...)

C'mon people, is this not obvious? People are just choosing to spend their money--and their time--at one venue over the other. Maybe they need to work with the Brewers to not schedule a homestand during Summerfest. But "teh lousy economy" doesn't seem to have affected the level of summer live-entertainment spending.

And--I feel this is worth mentioning even though it won't apply to most residents of SE Wisconsin--when I was looking for something to do over the recent long weekend, I chose to spend my entertainment dollars at the ballpark instead of Summerfest because I knew none of the players were going to climb out of the batter's box and deliver a leftist political lecture to the fans. They could all be card-carrying members of Code Pink, and I have no idea because they don't talk about it when they're playing or giving interviews. I appreciate that. Maybe the Summerfest organizers need to take this into consideration when they're booking bands.

UPDATE: This link from my favorite Colts blog (the owners are Reds fans, snicker) disturbs me. Although that is one cute kiddo getting a beer bath.

UPDATE 2: Corey says his daughter is just fine and everyone should lighten up. Works for me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, the O-man is embarrassed that Americans don't know the language of every country to which they may travel (nevermind that English is the international language of business), and yet he's going to give a speech in Berlin in Englisch. Give me a break.

I'm still trying to figure out how to continue learning German--I was able to buy stamps and order off a menu as long as the responses followed the script in my head--but it really wasn't necessary for a week in Bavaria. Roland, mein Deutsche Freund, says it's pointless to try to become fluent unless I plan to move there, which doesn't interest me, but I enjoy learning stuff (I'd also like to learn how to knit and how to drive a standard transmission, neither of which is necessary to live in the 21st century).

This whole insistance that we should all be learning Spanish instead of continuing to use English as a common language, though, annoys me:
It is profoundly selfish of him to profit from his excellent English, and then to suggest that young Hispanics and other immigrants who have difficulty with English remain in their linguistic ghetto.
Well, yeah. As much as I like to wax faux-indignant about members of my ethnic background being forced to Anglocize and forbidden to publish German newspapers during WWI, I'm so much better off that my actual ancestors learned to speak and write English (imagine how cool I'd be if they'd shown any interest in my education instead of dumping me off at the daycare in my hometown for ten years.). So why wouldn't I want other people to learn English and succeed as well? Seems kinda racist to me to insist they shouldn't...

So where do people who already have high school diplomas go to learn German? Bah.

Well here's something they never taught me in school.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King was murdered, Jackson dipped his hands in King's blood and wiped them down the front of his shirt. Later, Jackson appeared on television and spoke to the Chicago City Council wearing the shirt. There are different interpretations of this gesture - including that Jackson was doing the Baptist thing and trying to absorb power from the slain leader's blood - but Mrs. Coretta Scott King didn't speak to Jackson for years. Her interpretation was the Jackson was trying to use her husband's assasination for his own aggrandizement. The widow King was a wise woman.

Learn something every day, although some days I wish I didn't.

(Jack$on's Obama-castration fantasy? Unsurprising, except I thought O's balls were already in his wife's purse. Learn something, etc.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is it OK to laugh?

CHAPPAQUA, NY—After months of tirelessly supporting his wife on the campaign trail, devoted spouse and former president Bill Clinton breathed a resigned sigh Monday and carefully folded the charcoal silk, fitted sheath dress he had hoped to wear as first lady during next January's inauguration and placed it back in its beautiful box.

. . .

After slowly tying the original silk bow around the box and clutching it to his chest for 45 seconds, the former world leader gently placed the dress inside his so-called "first lady hope chest." Sources close to the Clintons have confirmed that the chest includes items the 42nd president had planned to bring with him to a Hillary-led White House, among them a pair of unworn white satin gloves, some hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments, a pewter locket bearing a portrait of his mother, a pressed daisy, two pearl drop earrings, and a handful of wallpaper and fabric swatches.

The illustration isn't as funny as the one in my head.

But I still need brain bleach.


I resemble these Gutfield remarks. Not the first sentence, but after that...

This is America, 2008, after all – where schools continue to abolish grades because objective truth hurts dumb students. Add to that reality shows promising fame to the untalented and obscure, or contests rewarding those who mimic playing instead of really playing an instrument –and the line between doing and not doing has been blurred beyond recognition. Throw in the bloggy world of the internet - where real achievement is dwarfed by the moaning sounds of those who can't leave their bedrooms for lack of drive or fresh underwear - and now every one is a star – but no one is good at anything. We are left with a rotted carcass of a culture where the feeling of accomplishment can be derived without accomplishing anything at all.

The only solution, it seems, is to wallow in our fake achievements, and wait for those fanatics who still believe in winning to invade and remind us what it's like to lose.

Nothing like an unpleasant realization to start your day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Expect O to add "free dog food" to his list of social programs...

I don't know why this is relevant, but it's interesting. Pet owners prefer McCain, others prefer O.

(This post is a pretext to run a photo illustrating why I never get anything finished:
I'll get you later.)

Conservative/McCain quilts?

This was on a quilt list today.
You guys have been a great help sending images and information about your quilts and others for this political (Get Out and Vote) exhibit for Houston this fall I want to send a great big Thank You!

We seem to have a lot of quilts being made in support of democratic candidates, at least those are the quilts being sent for consideration in response to our request. We really need to be fair, so I'm asking if anyone has a McCain quilt or a republican quilt they would like to share? Please contact me directly at and not through the list. Send a photo, size, and brief statement/explanation regarding the quilt prior to the August 15, 2008 deadline.

I think it's going to be a really unbalanced exhibit, since there's about three U.S. quilters who aren't self-styled "progressives", and they don't do political work.

But if any of you know anyone who loves McCain or the GOP enough to make a quilt, please tell them of this opportunity to display it.

(It'll be interesting to see this exhibit when it comes to Chicago 3 months after the inauguration...)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not so modest proposal.

I love this.
The solution to the energy price problem? Simple! Ban all registered democrats, commies and greens from owning any personal transportation vehicles and air conditioners as well as any light bulb with a higher than 40 wattage.

If that doesn't do the trick, turn them in to bio-fuel. For the good of Gaea.

Put yer stinkin' brain-dead carcasses where your mouths are and leave the rest of us alone.

I'm getting really tired of listening to people who have clearly never seen a city smaller than Chicago nattering on about how expensive gas is awesome because now we all have to walk or take mass transit. I grew up 15 miles from the nearest supermarket--who walks that far to get groceries for six people?? No one who wants any of it to be edible when they get it home, that's who.

Meanwhile, I have some family business to conduct in Podunksville this summer, and there's no bus service there from Milwaukee, which suits me fine because I like driving. Gas prices don't stop kids from being born and baptized...



Frank 'n' Ernest.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

No one driving contemporary pop culture has any imagination

There has been nothing new in music, movies, or fashion since the first Clinton administration, and the stuff that's been getting replayed died for a reason.

Hypercolor is back.

I guess there's a new generation of children with too much disposable income to be milked. I'm a big fan of capitalism, but occasionally it would be nice to see something new, eh?


The MLB widget reminding y'all to vote for Corey Hart to make the All-Star game has a picture of Geoff Jenkins. Nothing against Geoff Jenkins, but his name's not on the ballot...

So pretend there's a widget with Corey Hart and click here. (...if you're smart enough to make out the numbers on the "validation key", which apparently I am not.)

I'm just glad they are.

Kate, from Small Dead Animals:
The Senate and Congress are controlled by Democrats.
The majority of state governors are Democrats.
Nearly every big city mayor is a Democrat.

So, tell me again - why are they waiting for Obama?

Speaking of, I'm not sure why no one on O's staff realized this "mandatory service" crap might not resonate with the portion of the electorate who has spent their whole lives being taught that the "mandatory service" of their ancestors--real ancestors or dead people who kinda look like them, doesn't matter--automagically makes them victims of the oppressive American system even if they never lift a finger. I can see why it never occurred to him, but his wife should have been all over it. I suppose it doesn't matter, since that portion of the electorate is going to punch the chad for him no matter what he says or does.

And--come on! Those 350 hours of "service" to get your HS diploma would be much, much better spent on useless twaddle like proper written English and how to put condoms on yourself instead of bananas. I'm a fan of forced child labor, but at the direction of their parents, not the damn government. (I can't rent my niece and nephews to hang drywall if Uncle Barack's got them painting over gang graffiti in Omaha. Feh.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Not quite Dukakis in a tank

...but I look forward laughing at photos of The Big O pretending to drive a race car. Er, racing car. (I denounce myself.)

I particularly chuckled at this:
Bill Clinton tried that tack in September 1992, campaigning at the Southern 500 Stock Car race in Darlington, S.C., but drew jeers and catcalls and insults about his lack of Vietnam War service. That was the year Richard Petty was retiring, and the staunch Republican and racing icon told track officials he wouldn't drive the pace car -- part of his retirement-year sendoff -- if Clinton was in the parade.

Clinton lost South Carolina by 8 points.

I hope O's had his shots.


Not to sound like some sort of jingoist wingnut, but the world hot-dog eating crown should never, ever be won by someone who isn't an American.
NEW YORK -- Joey Chestnut reclaimed the top spot at the annual hot dog eating contest on Coney Island on Friday after first tying with archrival Takeru Kobayashi in a 10-minute chow-down, then beating him in a five-dog eat-off.
. . .
"He wanted it, but I needed it," Chestnut said of his diminutive Japanese rival.

So did we all, Joey. Thank you!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

I love Sam the Eagle.

Happy Independence Day!

I miss Cox & Forkum. Here is their 2006 Indepedence Day cartoon:

This is kinda cool: You can sign the Declaration of Independence and print it out. I still have the oversize replicas of the Declaration and Constitution my third grade teacher gave to all her students (I think she babysat Grover Cleveland; the educational philosophies of the 60s and 70s and beyond never trickled down to her, and I am so much better for it).

I'm free to spend my day drinking crappy beer, eating bratwurst, and ogling outfielders--alone and with my hair and arms showing!--so this is clearly a great country. If you're sitting in the loge level and you see a fat woman with green shoes, reeking of SPF 180 sunblock and sniffling from the national anthem and the veteran tributes, please say hi. :)

Blog of the Beast

This is my 666th post.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

All-American motor sports

Lawnmower racing!

The comments are full of racist epithets, of course.

I haven't been to a tractor pull since I was about 8, but after two years in the city I'm starting to feel a need to reconnect with my birth culture. Yo yo yo, keep it reals, dawg!

Insert tired corn joke here

My brother reports, via his cat's blog (no, I'm not linking it), that they has switched to a cat litter made of "whole kernel corn."

So if burning food in your gas tank doesn't stick it to the Third World, orangutans, Amazonian rain forest, and Midwestern wildlife hard enough to make you happy, you can always poop* in it.

*The State of California encourages the disposal of cat feces in trash and discourages flushing cat feces in toilets or disposing of them in drains.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bus shelters again

So, yesterday when I got into work, there were three glass panels lying in shards around the bus shelter out front, and a second shelter by the parking lot had a glass panel with a hole in it. Today after work they were all fixed.

This is the third incident in three weeks that I've noticed personally. Consensus in the security van on the way to the parking lot is at least one of the shelters will be damaged again by Monday.

Meanwhile, we "need" a tax on cars in Milwaukee County to pay for the bus system? What the hell is wrong with people??

Summertime, and the trash-talk is easy

ESPN reported this afternoon that retired Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is interested in making a comeback, and has communicated that interest with the team.

I'm sure Antoine Bethea will be happy to catch passes thrown by Rodgers, Favre, both, or even one of those rookie QBs.

I've already started planning my tailgate. Cookies for anyone wearing a horseshoe...

In which I consider gender-reassignment just to avoid derision by association

DEAR ABBY: I dress my Siamese cat, "Belle," in clothes and pajamas. (Yes, they make apparel for cats.) I also push her around in a stroller. My friends think I'm crazy, but I consider Belle to be my daughter.

One time, a teenager came up to me as I was pushing Belle in her stroller and asked, "Where's the baby?" I told her that Belle was like my baby.

Is it nuts to treat a cat like a child? -- MOM OF A FUR KID IN N.Y.

DEAR "MOM": Nuts? No. A bid for attention ... perhaps.

Dear Abby and Not A Mom:

You're both pathetic, deluded, insensitive assholes. Please stop making the rest of us barren spinsters with cats look even sadder, crazier, and despisable (despicable?) than we really are.



P.S. Nobody is fooled by the phrase "Fur kid." See below for handy educational diagram:

The one on the left can be left home alone all day with a bowl of water and some crunchies. If you do that to the ones on the right, better hope you get arrested before their actual Mom (or Grandpa or Aunt Radish) find out about it and come looking for you. See? Not the same.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day....

Dear Mr. Obama:

If I wanted to live in Canada, I'd move there. If YOU want to live in Canada, I'm sure they'd be happy to have you. And where are Canadians going to go for timely neo-natal care and oncology if you nationalize American health care? I understand why you want Americans to be killed by bureaucracy and rationing, but why do you want to kill Canadians?

Peace, love, arugula!

How did this get in the paper?

The hoi polloi aren't supposed to know that their pockets are getting picked for no actual benefit...
Motorists in southeastern Wisconsin pay an average of 14 cents more a gallon for gasoline billed as cleaner for the environment, but the government and air quality experts now question how much the gas actually cuts pollution.

The article is written to obfuscate the 'science'--you have to get all the way to the end to learn that the models they're using to justify special formulations have been proven incorrect--and they've got the requisite evil capitalist who "doesn't care about clean lungs" scare verbiage *snort*, but there's a seed of doubt planted about Totalitarian Green Government Saving The Planet.

Isn't there an editorial oversight board to keep this from happening?