- MY OTHER STUPID STUFF:
If you're looking for more of the same, check out my Twitter page at http://twitter.com/OlderMusicGeek or my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/oldermusicgeeksstupidstuff and also https://www.facebook.com/pages/Too-Offensive/150216568435564. Or just hit the links below.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
So while I was sitting on the john the other day - where else do men do all their great thinking? Anyway, while on the john, I came up with this ditty that was too long to use at work, but I thought you all might appreciate. - OlderMusicGeek
Merry Christmas. You've dialed 1-800-SANTA-CLAUS, the Santa Claus hotline.
If this is an elf reporting an emergency, please press 1 to contact the N.P.P.D. and N.P.F.D.* Next time, please dial 9-1-1.
If this is an elf reporting late or absent for work, press 2. Please have the name of your supervisor ready.
If this is an elf calling with payroll or benefit questions or issues, press 3. Please state your full name and worker ID number. Remember, you can also get instant information at Santa'sworkshop.com. That's santa-apostrophe-s-workshop (one word) dot com. Click on the payroll or benefit tab.
If you are calling to report someone as naughty or nice, press 4. Please have the first name, middle initial, last name and home town of the person you are reporting on.
If you are calling about your Christmas list, press 5. Please give your first name, middle initial, last name and home town. You can also go to santaclaus.com and push the Christmas list tab.
If you are a member of the media, press 6. Please remember Mr Claus is a very busy man around Christmastime.
If you are a government calling about changed airline flight plans that could interfere with Mr Claus's flight, press 7.
If you are calling for Mrs Claus, press 8.
If you wish to hear this message again, press 9.
Press 0 if you wish to speak to someone immediately. Around Christmastime though, the wait could be for an extended time. You will hear traditional carols while you are on hold.
Thank you for your cooperation. And again, have a very merry Christmas.
*The North Pole Police Department and North Pole Fire Department
Monday, December 19, 2005
Another great internet discovery sent to me by Ernest T. Spoon. I recommend you go check the whole thing out.
Friday, December 16, 2005
This year's show
Thursday, December 15, 2005
My first comments:
I guess I'll have to speak for the other side.
But I'll say first that I think the two sides are unwilling to even look at the other side. I understand that abortion cannot be a simple choice and that the woman will think about her decision for the rest of her life.
But I am not comforting with deciding that only after birth does the fetus become a human being. A newborn baby is just as vulnerable as a fetus and cannot take care of itself.
I'm sorry but when another life is involved, things change. And I do think society needs to defend those who can't defend themselves.
My second comments:
Sorry, ran out of the time before I could finish.
The unwanted child is a sticky problem. But most children, even if the pregnancy was unwanted, are appreciated and loved. And there is adoption. Almost all babies are adopted.
Admittedly, this would probably make it more difficult more older children to be adopted. But I prefer this, than saying it's okay to kill something that can't survive on its own.
My third comments:
My viewpoint on the woman controlling her body is that a woman should be able to control as much as anyone else. But no one should be able to do something to their body that could harm anyone else. I don't think a siamese twin should able allow to kill its sibling to have a better life. That's the way I see the abortion issue, although I'm sure you two don't agree.
I DO question the moral values of people - men or women - who engage in activities that could endanger a fetus or a child - like smoking, or beating a pregnant woman. (Not that it's okay to beat to beat a woman who's not pregnant!)
On the adoption issue, I suppose that I'll just have to say I see adoption as better that having a society that draws a line on what is human and what is not in a spot where I don't think it should be. But there is no doubt that your points on adoption are valid.
I do agree with Eclectic, that the religious tone the argument takes does make it difficult to discuss. Being an agnostic who does not believe in The Bible, I don't base my view on something an old book says. But I don't see how we can "de-religionize" the argument. If that is part of their belief structure, we just can have to deal with it.
Not being a Bible follower, I don't feel right discussing how it should be interpreted, so you excuse me, Eclectic, if I leave that argument to others. But I will say everybody feels there is a point where society must step in - for instance, we now step in when children are beaten - we just agree where and when society should step in.
Finally, since I come from a secular viewpoint, I'd like to know how I'm being "subversive"? I, personally, prefer a secular argument, because religious people sometimes don't worry about listening to the other side points, because they "know" they're right.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE BIG DEAL ABOUT HAVING A BABY IS
by Wendy Molyneux
If there's one thing I'm tired of, it's hearing about how hard it is to have a baby. I hate to break the news to you, but people have been having babies for literally billions of years. In the olden days, women would have their babies right out there in the field, or on the back of a dinosaur, or, when we were still fish-people, right there in the stream. Then they would put the new baby in a crib made of stones and let a brontosaurus watch it or whatever.
But ask any modern pregnant woman whether she'd let a dinosaur watch her baby and she'll freak out as if you've just said the most outlandish thing ever. I guess irrationality is just one of the many so-called symptoms of pregnancy. Another symptom seems to be a case of the chubs. I don't know if these women know this, but nobody likes a fat girl. Sure, I'd love to order the nachos and the onion rings and claim that I'm "eating for two," but I guess I have something these pregnant women don't: self-respect.
When they aren't busy eating, pregnant women are constantly crying or going to the bathroom. They'll swear up and down that these are more of those famous pregnancy symptoms, but I watch television and I know that unstable women who constantly need to run to the bathroom are drug addicts. Perhaps you remember a certain episode of Saved by the Bell, when Jessie Spano got addicted to caffeine pills and Zack Morris had to stage an intervention to get her to stop the madness? Well, every time one of these pill-addled fatties waddles down the hall toward the loo, I wish I had Zack's courage.
And the worst part is that the endless complaining doesn't end after the baby is born. Rather than appreciating the fact that they had a normal child in spite of the drugs and the reckless overeating, new parents go on and on about how hard child care is. Everyone knows that kids love television and candy. Yet I've met parents who refuse to give a baby candy or let it watch TV, and then complain when it cries. Wouldn't you cry if someone took away your bourbon and cut your cable line just as Desperate Housewives was about to commence? What if Eva Longoria said something especially sassy and you missed it?
And then there are the babies themselves. Try saying something polite to a baby, such as "How are you?" or "Did you see Lost this week? Were you surprised to find out what was in the hatch?" The baby will simply fix you with a cold, fishy stare and not reply at all.
Listen, I don't want to brag, but I've done a lot of hard things in my life, and I'm tired of being told I have "no idea" what it's like to have a baby. Why, just last week my friend Carrie gave me a set of Calphalon pots and pans. These pots and pans are not machine washable, and you can only use nonmetal utensils with them or you'll risk scratching them. In short, my Calphalon pans are just as hard to take care of as a baby. But try pointing this out to a pregnant woman and the next thing you know, she's kicked you in the crotch.
Link to the original site
Thursday, December 08, 2005
My sister was talking to my ex (who was still my wife at the time). They were discussing her immigration status. My ex told my sister she was a "Permanent Resident Alien".
My niece looked real surprised and exclaimed, "Aunt *** is an alien!"
We are all told her yes.
Then she sputtered, "But she doesn't look like E.T. or anything!"
For those curious, I'm a Hazelnut. I'd say about half of the description is accurate, and the other half is somewhat correct. But I don't consider myself very demanding, though I guess some might. - OlderMusicGeek
Find your birthday and then find your tree.
Dec 23 to Jan 01 - Apple Tree
Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 - Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) -Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 - Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 - Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) - Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 -Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 - Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 - Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) - Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 - Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) - Beech Tree
TREES (in alphabetical order)
Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.
Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.
Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.).
Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.
Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.
Chestnut Tree (Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.
Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.
Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey; honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.
Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, few sexual relationships, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.
Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well, loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.
Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.
Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.
Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.
Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many omplexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress
Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.
Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.
Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally soft, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.
Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.
Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.
Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very jealous and passionate, no compromise
Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh
Citing an insufficient amount of manpower to faithfully monitor the vast amount of territory along the United States’ border with Mexico for the unsanctioned crossings of undocumented migrants, the anti-illegal immigration vigilante group known as ‘The Minutemen’ has begun enlisting the paid help of Latino workers, many of who are likely undocumented migrants themselves.
“Unfortunately the requirements of maintaining a vigilant watch over our country’s porous border with Mexico have exceeded what our volunteers can handle, so we’ve been forced to resort to supplementing our ranks with temporary workers recruited from local spots where individuals willing to work for what we can afford to pay congregate,” commented Arizona Minuteman spokesman Russ Mangrove, “That isn’t to say they are illegal aliens, however. We don’t know for certain because we don’t check. The important thing is that we stop more illegals from entering the country and taking our jobs.”
It is estimated that over two hundred migrant workers are hired by the Minutemen each week, for which those lucky enough to be chosen are invariably grateful.
“It is good work,” spoke Eduardo Ruiz, an undocumented migrant from Guatemala, “I sit in a chair and looking through the glasses at birds and drinking Jarritos todo el dia. Sometimes some amigos walk by and I let them talk on the radio to the gringos saying, ‘Tu madre tiene un bigote!* No Mexicanos here! Bueno usted mencas cabronas!† Diez y cuatro senor!’ It is funny. Then I sleep until their truck and loud mierda musica is waking me up and I stand up like I’m looking very hard and say to them, ‘Besa mi culo, lambiaso!’‡ then they give me twenty dollars and I say, ‘Gracias. Un burro sabe mas que tu!’”±
Somewhat ironically, a principal reason for the Minutemen’s need to hire extra help stems from elements intrinsic to globalization which have contributed to the impoverishment of working class people worldwide, including some Minutemen themselves, forcing individuals to work longer for less and in some cases leave their homeland in an attempt to obtain a wage sufficient to support themselves and their family.
Said former Minuteman Chuck Tooley, “I used to be able to volunteer with the Minutemen Saturdays and Sundays, but then my company cut my wage by a third to ‘help promote growth’ and my wife’s job was outsourced. Now I gotta work all weekend scooping ice-cream down at the Rite-Aid just to help get by until Wanda finds something else.”
Meanwhile, many scholars and economists have called into question the philosophy of the Minutemen.
Remarked UCLA Economics professor James Warnich, “Sure, it would make more sense for these vigilantes, if they were so concerned with preserving these fruit picking and Wal-Mart floor mopping jobs for Americans to perhaps organize and force those employers to maybe provide an attractive enough wage so that a non-migrant might actually want it in the first place instead of going after the immigrants themselves whose labor and tax contributions are indispensable to this country as it is, but I suppose that would be a lot less fun than going around playing army hero.”
Link to original article
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
My daughter was talking to my mom on the phone and telling her what she wanted for Christmas. And my daughter was describing these dolls called Brats.
She was explaining how they had big head and little bodies. Then she said, "If they were real, they would be saying, 'Oh, I have telekenetic powers because my head is so big!'"
Now I don't know whether to be proud that my daughter who only about half way through elementary school knows what telekenesis is or ashamed that she's picked up the comic book idea that big brains give you special mental powers.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
And it makes the ideal Christmas present... for the nerds you love the most! Anyone want to spend over 200 grand on me?
Posted Jul 31, 2005, 6:07 AM ET by Deidre Woollard
The auction house Profiles in History took in over $2 million during their recent auction of artifacts from movie and television history. The six-hour auction included bidding from around the world with record prices. Items that took in the largest amounts of money included a Luke Skywalker hero light saber from Star Wars which sold for $200,600, a Harrison Ford signature leather jacket from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for $94,400, a Chewbacca face mask for the Star Wars films for $50,150 and the 4077th hometown mileage signpost from M*A*S*H for $29,500.
link to the article from luxist.com ("Luxist is a blog — an online magazine — obsessively covering luxury products")
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
'Twas The Night Before Christmas
(as if written by a technical writer for a firm that does US government contracting)
'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.
The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums. My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.
Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said to rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller. With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.
As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by way of the smoke passage. He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.
His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry. His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water.
Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly. His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container. He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.
Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from his aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage. He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn."
Versions of this article have been floating around the Net for years. According to one visitor to this page, "...this piece was compiled by students at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. The article was printed in the Rapid City paper in December, 1983. I cannot recall the name of the paper, but I still have my clipping of it from that year so I do know from whence and where it originated."
And Catherine writes, "As a graduate of South Dakota School of Mines (SDSM&T) in 1978, I can tell you that I found it in about 1974 at the University of South Dakota (USD). I posted it on my dorm door at USD and at SDSM&T. I recall I may have even read it when working as a d-jay on KTEQ (the school's station). Interesting that it ended up in the newspaper in Rapid City. Who knows, it could have originally come out of Mines."
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I was wondering around the 'net and I found this delightful site. Who says all scientist are ugly nerds?
And even Brian May of Queen is a member - page with Brian May on it - about 1/2 down
Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™
Highlighting the heads of science
compiled by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, AIR staff
The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) is a club for scientists who have, or believe they have, luxuriant flowing hair.
The 2004 Ig Nobel Tour of the UK and Ireland included appearances by LFHCfS members and their hair -- and also a contest to choose the Science Barnet of the year.
HOW TO JOIN THE CLUB: To propose yourself (and your hair) for membership in the club, please send info to:
LUXURIANT HAIR CLUB
Please include a photograph -- or a URL that points to a photograph -- in which the luxuriant, flowing hair is CLEARLY evident. Also please include a URL pointing to your credentials as a scientist. You may nominate someone else whose hair you admire, provided that you have first consulted that person.
NOTE: Each new member is entitled, should he or she request it, to a free issue of the Annals of Improbable Research.
Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists
Friday, November 25, 2005
It took me a long time to realize this. And an even longer time to face the awful truth. But now that I know, there's no turning back.
I'm sorry to tell you this people, but the truth must be told!
And that awful truth is - so-called dear old Santa Claus is part of the blood-sucking Undead!
How do I know this you ask! Let me tell the evidence I have gathered, and then you can decide for yourself.
When you rearranged the letters of "Santa's Workshop" you get "Satan's Porkshow"! I'm not sure what pigs have to do with vampirism, but I think the cloven hooves may be involved.
When you rearranged Claus all you get is Lucas or Sulac. I don't know if Lucas has anything to do with anything, and Sulac just sounds like a Vulcan name. But that would explain the elves' pointy ears!
But wait! Claus is short is Nickalaus. And Ol' Nick is a nickname for the Devil!
Old Nick n. The Devil; Satan. See Regional Note at Old Scratch.
Source: The American HeritageÂ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright Â© 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Old Nick Pronunciation: 'Ol(d)-'nik Function: noun-- used as a name of the devil
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Ah, but I hear saying. Oh sure, Santa is Satanic. We've been told about that for years! But that doesn't make him a vampire! Maybe he's just a devil-worshipper.
Just be patient, my dear reader. My evidence is still mounting.
As long as we have known old so-called Saint Nicholas, he has always been old... but he never has died. I mean let's face it, people. He has been an old man for at least a hundred and eighty years.And he's been smoking all that time. And still no lung cancer?! I mean, com'on, people! It's only undead lungs that could handle that much smoking!
I know. I hear you. You're all saying just because he's an immortal devil-worshipper doesn't mean he's a vampire. I know there are other ways to be immortal besides vampirism. And yes, I have heard that some vampires are pagans and even agnostics and atheists, as well as rumors that some vampires in India are Shiva-worshippers...
But wait I have further evidence!
When does so-called Saint Nick do his run? At night, that's when! He goes around the world at night!
And where does so-called Saint Nick live? At the North Pole, where is night all day for six monts a year. Ha, what a place for a being who would turn to ashes in sunlight! (For convenience though, we will ignore the fact that the sun also shines all day six months a year at the pole, making it a nasty place for a vampire in the summer.)
Now things are starting to sound more convincing, huh? I know though, some of you are saying, "Okay, so he's a night-loving immortal Satanist. So are a lot a plastic-surgeon using movie stars! That doesn't make him a vampire!"Evidence #5:
How does such a big man get down chimneys, especially when a lot of us only have a small pipe coming out of the roof of our houses? Well, if you remember your vampire lore, my dear readers, you know that vampires can change into smoke! Than our big man can get into any home he wants!Okay, I know what you're saying - "So he's a shape-shifting night-loving immortal Satanist! That doesn't make him a vampire. That could describe a movie star turned politician!"
Santa is hot with the babes! Don't believe me! Go listen to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", or better yet "Santa Baby".
How could such a scraggly looking fellow be considered so hot? Vampire sex appeal wouldn't hurt, huh? I mean, come on, a guy with that much hair on his face has to have quite a bit coming out his ears and nose as well as his back and butt. Trust me, I can't grow a beard as thick as his and I still have hair growing everywhere!
Before you saying anything else, I have one last question -
Just one question - how do you think his reindeer can fly?
So there I leave you, my dear readers. Doubt if you want, but on Christmas Eve when you feel the whiskers on your face and the teeth dipping into your neck, remember what OlderMusicGeek told you.
We'd all better be good for goodness sake!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
This I Believe: There Is No God
by Penn Jillette
I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?
So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The Atheism part is easy.
But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."
Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.
Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.
Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.
Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The Center for Disease Control has released a list of symptoms of bird flu. If you experience any of the following, please seek medical treatment immediately:
1. High fever
5. Aching in the joints
6. An irresistible urge to crap on someone's windshield
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
10. I need to whip it out by 5.
9. Mind if I use your laptop?
8. Put it in my box before you leave.
7. If I have to lick one more, I'll gag!
6. I want it on my desk, NOW!
5. HMMMMMMMMMM, I think it's out of fluid.
4. My equipment is so old it takes forever to finish.
3. It's an entry level position.
2. When do you think you'll be getting off today?
1. It's not fair...I do all the work while he just sits there.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Here is my problem with the ten commandments - why exactly are there 10?
You simply do not need ten. The list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here's what happened:
About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people and keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around.
Well let me ask you this - when they were making this up, why did they pick 10? Why not 9 or 11? I'll tell you why - because 10 sound official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it's a decade, it's a psychologically satisfying number (the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed). So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision! It is clearly a bull list. It's a political document artificially inflated to sell better. I will now show you how you can reduce the number of commandments and come up with a list that's a little more workable and logical. I am going to use the Roman Catholic version because those were the ones I was taught as a little boy.
Let's start with the first three:
I AM THE LORD THY GOD
THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME
THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN
THOU SHALT KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH
Right off the bat the first three are pure bull. Sabbath day? Lord's name? Strange gods? Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent civilized humans in the 21st century. So now we're down to 7. Next:
HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER
Obedience, respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is that obedience and respect shouldn't be automatic. They should be earned and based on the parent's performance. Some parents deserve respect, but most of them don't, period. You're down to six.
Now in the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we're going to jump around the list a little bit.
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL
THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS
Stealing and lying. Well actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior - dishonesty. So you don't really need two. You combine them and call the commandment "thou shalt not be dishonest". And suddenly you're down to 5.
And as long as we're combining, I have two others that belong together:
THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY
THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE
Once again, these two prohibit the same type of behavior. In this case it is marital infidelity. The difference is - coveting takes place in the mind. But I don't think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else's wife, because what is a guy gonna think about when he's waxing his carrot? But, marital fidelity is a good idea, so we're gonna keep this one and call it "thou shalt not be unfaithful". And suddenly we're down to four.
But when you think about it, honesty and fidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing "thou shalt always be honest and faithful" and we're down to 3.
THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR"S GOODS
This one is just plain stupid. Coveting your neighbor's goods is what keeps the economy going! Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays "o come o ye faithful", and you want one too! Coveting creates jobs, so leave it alone. You throw out coveting and you're down to 2 now - the big honesty and fidelity commandment and the one we haven't talked about yet:
THOU SHALT NOT KILL
Murder. But when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, Kashmir, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It depends on who's doin the killin' and who's gettin' killed. So, with all of this in mind, I give you my revised list of the two commandments:
Thou shalt always be honest and faithful, especially
to the provider of thy nookie.
Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course
they pray to a different invisible man than you.
Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:
Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
By Xeni Jardin
Filk Music: Odd Voices for a Digital Generation
Day to Day, October 20, 2005 · What has 30 legs, five laptops, four kazoos and one Yoda? A filk singing circle. Filk is a little-known genre of folk music composed and performed by science-fiction fans, usually revolving around sci-fi and fantasy themes.
These so-called "filkers" share a lively online culture online -- and in the real world, some entertaining and slightly bizarre get-togethers.
Some songs riff on stories and characters from popular movies, TV shows, or games -- Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Dungeons and Dragons are popular launch pads. Other tunes come from deeply weird depths of the songwriter's psyche.
Filk has been around for decades, but the genre is gaining new popularity, in part because of digital music downloads and free Internet radio. At the 19th annual Con-Chord, one of about eight yearly "filkfests" in the United States, a group gathered at a Los Angeles-area hotel to share their newest tunes.
"It's like a hootenanny on another planet," Jardin says. "Audience members sometimes cheer topically -- a song featuring bioengineered chickens is met with clucking. Another featuring pigs in space, with oinks. Another about the physics of farting is met with -- well, you get the idea."
Filk.com's radio station on Live365.com
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Here's the top ten matches...
#10 - Dan needs help at the polls on election day and with door-to-door canvassing
I didn't even know I was running for anything!
#9 - Dan needs your help in editing his news report
Obviously, someone doesn't like what I post on my blog!
#8 - dan needs medical help
Well, since I've reached 40, I have developed bad knees, psoriasis (dry skin), worse adult acne and skin bumps on my eyelids.
#7 - Dan needs a new homepage
I need to get a computer again before I can have a home page!
#6 - Dan needs help with the MAWMUG!
Sounds like I'm battling some evil monster. "Quick, distract the creature - while I give the killing blow!"
#5 - Dan needs to sell the team
I'm not selling my family despite what google thinks!
#4 - Uncle Dan Needs You
Don't you feel special? And maybe I'm the uncle you never had.
#3 - dan needs the love too, y'all
Well, who doesn't? But I like to think I'm a better dad this Dan.
#2 - Dan needs a new car
Apparently, this blogger doesn't know that I just bought a car. Or else, he doesn't think much of the car I bought. But I sure can't afford the cars he's suggesting.
#1 - Xie Xingfang: Lin Dan needs to overcome himself
Once again, I am shown that I am my own worst enemy!
Friday, October 14, 2005
BUSH STRAFES NEW ORLEANS: WHERE IS OUR HUEY LONG?
by Greg Palast
Friday, September 2, 2005
The National Public Radio news anchor was so excited I thought she'd piss on herself: the President of the United had flown his plane down to 1700 feet to get a better look at the flood damage! And there was a photo of our Commander-in-Chief taken looking out the window. He looked very serious and concerned.
That was yesterday. Today he played golf. No kidding.
I'm sure the people of New Orleans would have liked to show their appreciation for the official Presidential photo-strafing, but their surface-to-air missiles were wet.
There is nothing new under the sun. In 1927, a Republican President had his photo taken as the Mississippi rolled over New Orleans. Calvin Coolidge, "a little fat man with a notebook in his hand," promised to rebuild the state. He didn't. Instead, he left to play golf with Ken Lay or the Ken Lay railroad baron equivalent of his day.
In 1927, the Democratic Party had died and was awaiting burial. As depression approached, the coma-Dems, like Franklin Roosevelt, called for balancing the budget.
Then, as the waters rose, one politician finally said, roughly, "Screw this! They're lying! The President's lying! The rich fat cats that are drowning you will do it again and again and again. They lead you into imperialist wars for profit, they take away your schools and your hope and when you complain, they blame Blacks and Jews and immigrants. Then they push your kids under. I say, Kick'm in the ass and take your rightful share!"
Huey Long laid out a plan: a progressive income tax, real money for education, public works to rebuild Louisiana and America, an end to wars for empire, and an end to financial oligarchy. The waters receded, the anger did not, and Huey "Kingfish" Long was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1928.
At the time, Louisiana schools were free, but not the textbooks. Governor Long taxed Big Oil to pay for the books. Rockefeller's oil companies refused pay the textbook tax, so Long ordered the National Guard to seize Standard Oil's fields in the Delta.
Huey Long was called a "demagogue" and a "dictator." Of course. Because it was Huey Long who established the concept that a government of the people must protect the people, school, house, and feed them and give every man or woman a job who needs one.
Government, he said, "We The People," not plutocrats nor Halliburtons, must build bridges and levies to keep the waters from rising over our heads. All we had to do was share the nation's wealth we created as a nation. But that meant facing down what he called the "concentrations of monopoly power" to finance the needs of the public.
In other words, Huey Long founded the modern Democratic Party. Franklin Roosevelt and the party establishment, scared senseless of Long's ineluctable march to the White House, adopted his program, called it the New Deal, and later The New Frontier and the Great Society.
America and the party prospered.
America could use a Democratic Party again and there's a rumor it's alive -- somewhere.
And now is the moment, as it was in '27. As the bodies float in the streets of New Orleans, now is not the time for the Democrats to shirk and slink away, bleating they can't "politicize" this avoidable disaster.
Seventy-six years ago this week, Huey Long was shot down, assassinated at the age of 43. But the legacy of his combat remains, from Social Security to veterans' mortgage loans.
There is no such thing as a "natural" disaster. Hurricanes happen, but death comes from official neglect, from tax cuts for the rich that cut the heart out of public protection. The corpses in the street are victims of a class war in which only one side has a general.
Where is our Huey Long? America needs just one Kingfish to stand up and say that our nation must rid itself of the scarecrow with the idiot chuckle, who has left America broken and in danger while he plays tinker-toy Napoleon on other continents.
I realize that the middle of rising flood is a hell of a bad time to give Democrats swimming lessons; but it's act up now or we all go under.
A pedagogical note: As I travel around the USA, I'm just horrified at America's stubborn historical amnesia. Americans, as Sam Cooke said, don't know squat about history. We don't learn the names of a nation's capitol until the 82d Airborne lands there. And it doesn't count if you've watched a Ken Burns documentary on PBS.
I suggest starting with this: read "Huey Long" by the late historian Harry T. Williams. If you want to ease into it, get the Randy Newman album based on it (Good Old Boys) with the song, "Louisiana 1927." Listen to part of the song at www.GregPalast.com Do NOT watch the crappy right-wing agit-prop film, "Huey Long," by Ken Burns.
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his commentaries or view his investigative reports for BBC Television at www.GregPalast.com
On the first day, God created the dog and said: "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said: "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said: "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said: "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?"
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said: "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said: "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day, God created man and said: "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years."
But man said: "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You asked for it."
So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which ALMOST went unnoticed last week.
Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at age 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in, and then the trouble started...
SHUT UP! I KNOW!
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
1) You walk pasta da bakery.
2) You walk pasta da candy store.
3) You walk pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4) You walk pasta da table and fridge.
This joke reminded me of a debate I had with Sassycat at her website - Sassy Says. It's too long to put here as a blog, but I put all the related links below.
The Slate article - which inspired the Pound blog - which inspired Sassycat's blog - which inspired my comments - but I don't know why she swallowed a fly
The Pound blog that inspired Sassycat's blog
First Sassycat blog on obesity and my comments
The response that wouldn't die! - Sassycat's blog in answer to my comments
Wow. You love the fatties. - Sassycat's last blog (so far) on the subject
Morning Edition, September 16, 2005 · In the days before Hurricane Katrina hit land, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, FEMA Director Michael Brown and other top Homeland Security officials received e-mails on their blackberries warning that Katrina posed a dire threat to New Orleans and other areas. Yet one FEMA official tells NPR little was done.
Leo Bosner, an emergency management specialist at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., is in charge of the unit that alerts officials of impending crises and manages the response. As early as Friday, Aug. 26, Bosner knew that Katrina could turn into a major emergency.
In daily e-mails -- known as National Situation Updates -- sent to Chertoff, Brown and others in the days before Katrina made landfall in the Gulf Coast, Bosner warned of its growing strength -- and of the particular danger the hurricane posed to New Orleans, much of which lies below sea level.
But Bosner says FEMA failed to organize the massive mobilization of National Guard troops and evacuation buses needed for a quick and effective relief response when Katrina struck. He says he and his colleagues at FEMA's D.C. headquarters were shocked by the lack of response.
"We could see all this going downhill," Bosner said, "but there was nothing we could do."
National Situation Update: Saturday, August 27, 2005
State of Emergency Declared in Mississippi, Louisiana DueIn anticipation of a possible landfall, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco declared States of Emergency Friday. In Louisiana, New Orleans is of particular concern because much of that city lies below sea level.
According to Gov. Blanco, Lake Pontchartrain is a very large lake that sits next to the city of New Orleans and if the hurricane winds blow from a certain direction, there are dire predictions of what may happen in the city.
Robert Latham, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, said evacuations of tourists along the coast could begin late Saturday afternoon, followed by mandatory evacuations of coastal residents on Sunday. The National Guard had been activated to help with storm preparations, he said.
The last time Mississippi or Louisiana saw landfall from a storm classified as Category 4 or stronger was in August 1969, when Hurricane Camille roared ashore with winds in excess of 155 mph, killing 143 people.
In the Gulf of Mexico, six oil companies operating offshore facilities evacuated at least 150 people as a precaution. However, most of those employees were described as "non-essential" to production, and rigs and platforms continued to operate.
At least 12 platforms and nine oil rigs in the Gulf have been evacuated -- a small portion of the 953 manned rigs and platforms operating there, according to the Interior Department's Mineral Management Service.
National Situation Update: Sunday August 28, 2005
Dangerous Category Four Hurricane Katrina Continues West-Northwestward But Expected To Turn Northward
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the North Central Gulf Coast from Morgan City Louisiana eastward to the Alabama/Florida border including the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.
A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are in effect from east of the Alabama/Florida border to Destin, Florida and from west of Morgan City to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
National Situation Update: Monday, August 29, 2005
Extremely Dangerous Category Four Hurricane Katrina Moving Northward Toward Southeastern Louisiana And The Northern Gulf Coast
A hurricane warning is in effect for the north central gulf coast from Morgan City Louisiana eastward to the Alabama/Florida border including the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. Preparations to protect life and property should be completed this evening.
Katrina is moving toward the north near 15 mph and this motion is forecast to continue today. A gradual turn toward the north-northeast at a slightly faster forward speed is expected later tonight and tomorrow. On the forecast track Katrina will move onshore the southeastern Louisiana coast just east of Grand Isle this morning and reach the Louisiana/Mississippi border area this afternoon. Conditions will continue to steadily deteriorate over central and southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern Alabama throughout the day.
Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/hr) with higher gusts. Katrina is a strong category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some fluctuations in strength are likely prior to landfall but Katrina is expected to make landfall as a category four hurricane. Winds affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings will be significantly stronger than those near ground level.
Katrina remains a very large hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 230 miles. Recently, a sustained wind of 53 mph with gust to 91 mph was reported at Grand Isle Louisiana, and a wind gust to 71 mph was reported in New Orleans.
The minimum central pressure recently reported by an Air Force Reserve unit reconnaissance aircraft was 915 mb (27.02 inches).
Coastal storm surge flooding of 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels, locally as high as 28 feet, along with large and dangerous battering waves can be expected near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Some levees in the greater New Orleans area could be overtopped. Significant storm surge flooding will occur elsewhere along the central and northeastern Gulf of Mexico coast. NOAA buoy 42040, located about 50 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi river recently reported waves heights of at least 46 feet.
Hurricane Katrina should make landfall in eastern Louisiana or Mississippi during the morning hours. Katrina reached category 5 status yesterday morning and remains a powerful hurricane. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible prior to landfall, but Katrina is expected to remain a major hurricane as it impacts the Gulf Coast. A storm surge of 20 to 25 feet is possible along and to the east of the center of Katrina. On top of the water level rise (surge), waves of 20 to 40 feet are possible.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Morning Edition, September 12, 2005 · For years I really didn't know what I believed. I always seemed to stand in the no-man's land between opposing arguments, yearning to be won over by one side or the other, but finding instead degrees of merit in both.
I remember some 35 years ago, sitting at a table with the editor of The Washington Post and a half dozen Harvard kids. We were all finalists for a Post internship and the editor was there to winnow our numbers down. He asked each of us what we thought about the hot issues of the day -- Vietnam, Nixon, the demonstrations. The Harvard kids were dazzling. They knew exactly where they stood. Me, I just stumbled on every issue, sounding so muddled. I was sure I had forever lost my shot at the Post. Why, I wondered, could I not see as clearly as those around me?
When the lunch was over and everyone rose to leave, the editor put his hand on my arm and asked me to stay. We talked again about the war and how it was dividing the country. A month later he wrote me a rejection letter. He said I was too young for the job but he liked my attitude. He told me that he "hunched I had a hell of a future" and to keep bugging him. I did.
Seven years later he hired me.
But that first letter, now framed in my office, had already given me an invaluable license. It had let me know that it was OK to be perplexed, to be torn by issues, to look at the world and not feel inadequate because it would not sort itself out cleanly. In the company of the confident, I had always envied their certainty. I imagined myself like some tiny sailboat, aimlessly tacking in whatever wind prevailed at the moment.
But in time, I came to accept, even embrace, what I called "my confusion," and to recognize it as a friend and ally, no apologies needed. I preferred to listen rather than to speak; to inquire, not crusade. As a noncombatant, I was welcomed at the tables of even bitterly divided foes. I came to recognize that I had my own compass and my own convictions and if, at times, they took me in circles, at least they expanded outward. I had no wish for converts -- where would I lead them?
An editor and mentor at the Post once told me I was "Wobbly." I asked who else was in that category and drew comfort from its quirky ranks. They were good people all -- open-minded, inquisitive, and yes, confused. We shared a common creed. Our articles of faith all ended with a question mark. I wouldn't want a whole newsroom, hospital, platoon or -- God forbid -- a nation of us. But in periods of crisis, when passions are high and certainty runs rabid, it's good to have a few of us on hand. In such times, I believe it falls to us Wobblies to try and hold the shrinking common ground.
This I Believe
Monday, September 12, 2005
1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto. The blockage will be almost instantly removed.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.
5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget about the toothache.
Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:
You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape.
If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40.
If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
August 31, 2005
Storm is sign from God
The hurricane and floods in the Gulf states are another wake up call from God to the United States. Each warning gets more intense. How many more wakeup calls do we need before this nation turns back to the God of our forefathers?
The liberals are trying to remove everything godly from our nation: prayer in schools and other public arenas, the Ten Commandments from public places. They allow immorality of every type to be promoted. It is time we pray for revival in this nation, which was founded on all the things we are gradually losing. Wake up, America!
JAN LANDIS Southeast Portland
September 1, 2005
Did God make a mistake?
I wondered how long it would take a benighted fundamentalist Christian to nominate Hurricane Katrina as a sign that their God is in a snit over liberalism ("Storm is sign from God," Letters, Aug. 31). Odd that the punishment meted out by Jan Landis' God would strike three Southern red states that probably contain more Baptists and Pentecostalists per square mile than they do heedless and hedonistic liberals.
Apparently, this protest by God could have been more intelligently designed.
STEFFEN SILVIS Southeast Portland
Where superstition leads . . .
So those darn liberals are the cause of Hurricane Katrina and probably global warming, too? What's next? Sacrificing a couple of virgins into Mount St. Helens' crater every week or so?
Better get that Hubble telescope out of orbit soon because it allows us to see a universe that has been billions of years in the building. Should burning NASA scientists at the stake be the next order of business?
BILL POWELL Northeast Portland
Hurricane Katrina: God's Punishment for a 'Wicked' City?
Urban Legends and Folklore Blog
August 31, 2005
A reader writes: Is it true that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on a day that was to observe "Southern Decadence Day" with 100,000 homosexuals gathering to commit unspeakable acts in public?
In a word, no. Despite the fact that some fundamentalist Christians appear eager to characterize the disaster as "God's judgment" on the "wicked" city of New Orleans, and despite their attempt to link its timing to a gay celebration held there annually, the claims are patently absurd:
The hurricane struck on Monday, August 29. This year's Southern Decadence, sometimes called the "Gay Mardi Gras," was scheduled to open today, Wednesday the 31st, and continue through Sunday. The storm obviously did not strike on "the day" of the celebration. Many, perhaps most, of the revelers had not even arrived yet.
Southern Decadence is a 35-year-old tradition in New Orleans. Why did God choose to wait till 2005 to "punish" the city for it?
Why is the French Quarter, the district where the event (now canceled) was to be held, one of the least devastated parts of the city so far?
If this tragedy occurred because God is angry at New Orleans, what was the point of the awful devastation and loss of life wrought in Mississippi and Alabama? (And, if I - OlderMusicGeek speaking here - may add a point, Katrina was heading for New Orleans, but switch directions before hitting land. Did God get distracted and let his aim go off? Let it hit Mississippi more ?)
Lastly, if I may vent a bit, I find it shameful, given the massive destruction, loss of innocent life, and ongoing hardships suffered by the hundreds of thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, that any self-appointed spokesperson for God would have the nerve to suggest that these people in any sense deserved their fate. Natural disasters happen all the time, and Katrina was certainly not the first hurricane to strike the southern United States this season. By what logic, and by what right, does any human being arbitrarily declare that this natural disaster was a punishment meted out upon sinners by God?
Al Qaeda group in Iraq, which is led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on Sunday praised in an Internet statement what it said was the "start of the collapse" of the United States after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
"Congratulations to the Islamic nation, to our sheikh Osama abu Abdullah (Osama bin Laden) and to sheikh Ayman Zawahiri (bin Laden's deputy) for the destruction of America, which is at the forefront of evil. It is the start of its collapse."
The statement was referring to the hurricane which left some 10,000 dead.
In recent days, Islamists website connected between the storm and the "US war against Islam." According to them, Katrina was sent by God to torment the American empire.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Weekend Edition - Saturday, September 3, 2005 · Sitting on the sidelines during a disaster is tough to do, even for a seasoned journalist. Hurricane Katrina provides many difficult choices for Americans who want to do something -- anything -- to assist victims of the storms. But the most valuable commodity may be leadership.
Monday, August 22, 2005
For those who are interested, here's a couple of links to drawings done by children from Darfur, Sudan, where genocide was taking place. It's sad and heart-wrenching when you see what these kids have drawn.
NPR story on the drawings
a collection of the drawings
While we're on the topic of genocide, I would like to say a little something.
I get so sick of people talking about genocide as if it ended and never happened after WWII. A number of people on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz discussed genocide like it was only a horror to the last generation. I'm sorry, but Rwanda in 1994 and Bosnia in 1995 show that the promise of "never again" hasn't been met. It might never happen to the Jews again, but that's little comfort for the Tutsis, the Serbian Muslims, and the children of Darfur.
It's time we admitted that genocide is still with us and is part of the 21st century, not some problem of the past we've done away with.
Peace Pledge genocide site
Prevent Genocide International
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Here's the original post from Vanity Run Amok.
I've always been the kind of person that wonders if people are talking about me behind their backs. As much as I loathe being the center of attention, my biggest fear is that nobody is talking about me - that my constant wonderment is for naught because nobody has even bothered to notice me. I don't care if they are singing my praises or trash-talking me as long as people have noticed that I exist.
Now that I'm a little older and have gained a bit more self-confidence, I still feel this nagging self-doubt daily. I know that people talk about me when I'm not around. I know because people tell me so. But I don't believe it.
So go ahead. Talk about me. Thanks!
And this is my response to her blog:
Well, it seems to me that everybody talks about everybody. If we're all just chatting and talking about some stuff we did with someone, I really don't care. About when people dig for dirt and say something about someone that they can't say to their face, that irks me and I tend to leave.
But I've come to realize that there is no way to stop gossiping, so you might as well learn to live with it. Having a bitter ex, I've come to realize just how true that is, especially when you have no interest in talking about the other person. Then lots of idiots assume that only her side is true. But enough about my life.
People talk. And the more unique and different you are, the more they will talk about you, and some of it won't be pleasant. So you can either try to fit in and be yourself and put up with the talk. I've chose the former.
And to fight the gossip and gossiper is a losing battle that will just drive one crazy. And on the plus side, you get to know who your true friends are, because they're the ones who don't believe or listen to the stupid crap about you. Or at least they come to you and ask you about it!
ZUHN (excerpt from her blog): Two: The whooping teens. These are the youngsters (I include the 20 and 30 year old who still live with momsy and popsy) who drive down in their parent's SUVs with the windows rolled down no matter the weather with offensive rap lyrics blasting and whoop. Stop with the whooping. And girls, stop encouraging the whooping. Evolve. And stop drinking in the car. Although I suppose such a long drive from the 'burbs, you do get kinda thirsty. And don't pee on my streets. How 'bout I come and pee on your leather seats?
ME (excerpt from a comment): As for teens, give it up. They've been whooping downtown for DECADES! It ain't ever going to stop!
But you are absolutely right about peeing on the streets. I'll join you in peeing on their leather seats!
ZUHN (excerpt again): As for the whooping teens, I really don't get it. I was never a whooping teen so I know it can be done! Does this mean I'm getting old?
ME: You're not necessarily getting old. Has a high schooler called you "ma'am" yet? (I'll never forget the first time one called me sir! "I'm not a sir yet!")
But you probably are getting OLDER. And that's not a bad thing.
I never understood whooping either - even when I was in high school. Like a girl's going to go, "Oh, come here, you big shouter! That really turns me on!"
Though I must admit I get a guilty pleasure when the young girls whoop at me when I walk home after working late, but then I'm a recently divorced 41-year-old. I need the ego boost!
ZUHN: I was on the plane this summer and the whole time they kept calling me ma'am. I'm still not sure what's so great about getting older. I can now rent a car without paying underage fees, but I swear the day I turned 25, I started getting heartburn!
Young girls whoopin' at ya, eh? Not too shabby!
ME: 25! My heartburn didn't start until I was 35! You better take better care of yourself!
I wouldn't take too much stock in a stewardess calling you "ma'am". They're paid to do that.
Well, to quote Pete Townsend, "We can't pretend that growing older never hurts." (Might not have that exactly right.) But getting older isn't without its benefits.
You can get away with certain things you couldn't before. And you get a certain amount of respect for just having made it this far in life.
If I didn't include the fun I have with my daughter, I'd say my youth was more entertaining. But I still have fun, and being a dad - even a fortysomething dad (talk about being exhausting) - is pretty cool. Shouldn't do that in your youth!
Hang in there. The best may not be yet to come. But there's still a lot of fun on the way!
ZUHN: Thanks, oldermusicgeek. I'm sure you're right and that the best is yet to come. Actually, I don't like being young much, but having grown up as the youngest in the family, amongst our group of family friends, and even now I'm usually the youngest one when we go out, I do miss the honorific of 'young'un'.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Before long the Captain in charge of the induction center began noticing that Beaudreaux was getting a 99% sign up for the top GI insurance.
This was odd, because it would cost these poor inductees nearly $30.00 per month more for their higher coverage than what the government was already granting.
The Captain decided that he would not ask Beaudreaux about his selling
techniques but that he would sit in the back of the room and observe Beaudreaux's sales pitch.
Beaudreaux stood up before his latest group of inductees and stated,"If you have da normal GI insurance and go to Iraq and get killed; da government pays your beneficiary $6,000. If you take out da supplemental GI insurance (which cost you only $30.00 a month); the government has to pay your beneficiary $200,000.
"NOW," Beaudreaux concluded, "Which bunch do you think dey gonna send to Iraq first?"
Friday, August 05, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
1. "YOU GET THIS ONE, NEXT ROUND IS ON ME."
(We won't be here long enough to get another round.)
2. "I'LL GET THIS ONE, NEXT ONE IS ON YOU."
(Happy hour is about to end...drafts are now a dollar, but by the next round they'll be $4.50 a pop.)
3. "HEY, WHERE IS THAT FRIEND OF YOURS?"
(I have no interest in talking to you except as a way to get your attractive friend into a compromising position.)
4. "EVER TRY A BODY SHOT?" (MALE TO FEMALE)
(I am even willing to drink tequila if it means that I get to lick you.)
5. "EVER TRY A BODY SHOT?" (FEMALE TO MALE)
(If this is how wild I am in the bar, imagine what I'll do to you on the ride home?)
6. "I DON'T FEEL WELL, LET'S GO HOME." (FEMALE)
(You are paying more attention to your friends than me.)
7. I DON'T FEEL WELL, LET'S GO HOME." (MALE)
8. "WHO'S GOT THE NEXT ROUND?"
(I haven't bought a round in almost 3 years, but I am an expert at diverting
9. "EXCUSE ME." (MALE TO MALE)
(Get the hell out of the way.)
10. "EXCUSE ME." (MALE TO FEMALE)
(I am going to grope you now.)
11. "EXCUSE ME." (FEMALE TO MALE)
(Don't even think about groping me, just get the hell out of the way.)
12. "EXCUSE ME." (FEMALE TO FEMALE)
(Move your fat ass. Who do you think you are anyway? You are not all that pretty, missy, and don't think for one minute that you are. Coming in here dressing like a ho... Get your eyes off of my man, or I'll slap you, bitch, like the slut you are.)
13. "WHAT DO YOU HAVE ON TAP?"
14. "THAT PERSON LOOKS REALLY FAMILIAR."
(Did I sleep with him/her?)
15. CAN I JUST GET A GLASS OF WATER?" (FEMALE)
(I'm annoying, but cute enough to get away with this.)
16. I DON'T HAVE MY ID ON ME." (FEMALE)
17. "I DON'T HAVE MY ID ON ME." (MALE)
(I don't have a license since I got pulled over and blew a .2 after my last visit here.)
Monday, July 11, 2005
These are seminal events in a person's life. After you have been through one of these events, your life is forever changed and you don't see the world in the same way - or at least part of the world.
I can't say that I have done all of these, so I don't know first-hand if some of these really change your perspective, but from all I've read and heard, I think I'm probably on the right track.
So without further adieu....
1. Taking drugs.
2. Having sex.
3. Living with someone.
4. Getting married.
5. Having children.
6. Getting divorced.
7. Going to college.
8. Traveling outside the U.S.A.
9. Living outside the U.S.A.
10. Being illiterate.
11. Being in prison.
12. Losing one's faith.
13. Regaining one's faith.
14. Getting fired or laid off.
15. Going to war.
16. Killing someone.
17. Attempting suicide.
18. Almost dying.
Like I said, I haven't had all of these things happen to me, but more than I wish for sure.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Well, I would probably agree that Michael's trial is a better illustration on how the American justice system should work, but I think O.J.'s trial also demonstrated it.
I'll say right off that I didn't followed the trial that closely. In fact, I tried to avoid it as much as I could. But it was, of course, totally impossible to completely avoid it.
And from what I saw, I have to admit that I think O.J. is probably guilty.
But I still think he should have been found not guilty at trial.
Why? Glad you asked.
Because they didn't have any way of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that O.J. did it. The evidence had been tampered with and dealt with so poorly, that there was no way it could be rightfully used. Therefore, there was no way to prove O.J. was guilty.
And you can't - and should not - arrest a man for probably or possibly killing someone.
And I know a lot of people will whine and cry about it and complain about our justice system. But I think our justice system did the right thing in the O.J. trial.
If you don't want murderers going free, then make sure the police are honest, so honest people can't be set up. O.J. has to be set free, so that innocent people who are set up can be set free.
And finally, if you want to get mad at someone for O.J.'s freedom, then you should get mad at the LAPD and the crime lab. Because it's their fault the evidence was messed up. If they had done their job right, O.J. might be behind bars now. Like I said, make sure your police are honest.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Date: Tue Jun 14 00:01:08 EDT 2005
hubba-hubba (HUB-uh HUB-uh) interjection
Used to express approval, enthusiasm, or excitement.
Also, akin to wolf whistle.
[Of unknown origin.]
"On Erin Wheeler's first Valentine's Day with her then fiancee,
she received a card featuring a hippo in a tutu on front and a
'Hubba, hubba,' written inside. Enough said."
Annie Pierce; Love American-Style: The Female Take; Columbian
(Vancouver, Washington); Feb 12, 1999.
"I also received a few messages of the hubba-hubba variety from my
female readers, which were greatly appreciated."
Robert X Cringely; IE Nixed, Mozilla Fixed; Infoworld (San Francisco,
California); Jul 30, 2004.
From: Mary Stewart (indiansmaryATaol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A-Day--hubba-hubba
I associate the expression "hubba hubba" with burlesque show humor. If repeated by a well-endowed, scantily clad female it causes her torso to rise and fall in a manner most pleasing to the male audience, who shout "hubba hubba" back to her.
From: Goldie Silverman (goldie.silvermanATcomcast.net)
When I was a teenager in the 1940s, hubba-hubba referred to a girl with breasts. A common ploy was this: a boy would say to a girl, "Can you touch your elbows behind your back?" When she tried to do this (try it and see what happens to your chest), he would say, "Hubba-hubba!")
From: Adrian Ashmore-Price (scoutsATninefish.co.nz)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hubba-hubba
Down here in New Zealand this has another less savoury meaning.
I guess it's still an interjection though :-)
For many kiwis hubba-hubba is sex, to the point that there's a national advertising campaign to young adults with the byline of no hubba hubba without a rubber, set to a hip-hop anthem and delivered by graffiti styled characters.
But in the end what better expression of approval, enthusiasm and excitement can there be?
From: Martha Miller (marthamillerATtelus.net)
In the fierce world of an elementary school playground, one of our favorite taunts to any girl and boy we spied talking together was: "Hubba hubba, ding ding, don't forget the wedding ring!"
From: Nancy Wilson (wilsonnaATsonic.net)
I remember hearing this, growing up as an Army brat in post-war Hawaii, and always associated it with military slang. The line "Hubba-hubba, ding ding, baby you've got everything" came to mind, and Google says that was from a song by Vince Maloy.
Then I went to Stuart Berg Flexner's "I Hear America Talking" and found this:
"Hubba-hubba, 1941, wide armed forces use in World War II. It's from the Chinese greeting "how-pu-how" and was first used by air force personnel, who got it from Chinese pilots being trained at an air force base in Florida. It was made very popular by radio comedian Bob Hope, who broadcast his weekly show from military bases during the war, using armed forces terms and references to get laughs."
From: Kelly Shannon (kshannonATcybermesa.com)
I first heard "hubba-hubba" as kid during WWII at the age of 10 or 11; used by GIs. Examples:
"All right, everybody outside for mail-call. Lets go, hubba-hubba."
"Serg. wants this truck loaded on the double!, hubba-hubba!"
In, "A Browser's Dictionary and Native's Guide to the Unknown American Language," by John Ciardi, Harpers & Row, Publishers, 1980, Mr. Ciardi writes the following note p.192: hubba-hubba WWII. A variable expressive. When shouted by troops, a cry of enthusiasm. When shouted by an officer or a noncom, a command to react enthusiastically and on the double. [Based on 'hubbub.' It is the fixed dementia of the military mind that troops can be made enthusiastic by being ordered to shout.]
I have to admit that the meaning of "hubba-hubba" that I know from growing up in the '70's - yes, I was an Eric Forman type character, but without the leadership or hot girlfriend - actually I was a lot like the boy in Freaks and Geeks, if anyone remembers that excellent tv show that unfortunately only lasted one year!
But as I was saying, in the '70's in my neck of the woods, "hubba-hubba" wasn't used very much... but we all knew what it meant - that girl is hot! In that way, I suppose it's not that different from what people were saying here.
Did - or does - "hubba-hubba" have a different meaning where any of you are from?
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Favorite Local Music Acts
- The Hollowmen (the best band EVER to come out of my state) on The Secret History website
- The Hollowmen (the best band EVER to come out of my state) on The Underground Archives and Network website
- Head Candy (80s local alternative rock)
- The Vandon Arms (local Celtic punk) official website
- The Vandom Arms (local Celtic punk) on MySpace
- The Vandon Arms (celtic punk) on YouTube
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) official website
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) on MySpace
- North Of Grand (local pop punk/hard rock) on YouTube
- Look Out Loretta (local pop punk/hard rock)
- Slaughterhouse 6 (local ska/alternative)
- Gumbohead (midwestern Cajun/Zydeco band)
- Gumbohead (cajun/zydeco) on YouTube
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) official website
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) on MySpace
- Pumptown (local pop/rock) on YouTube
- Old Scratch Revival Singers (local punk folk/alternative)
- Old Scratch Revival Singers (local punk folk/alternative) on YouTube
- Buick McSnake (local alternative)
- Buick McSnake (local alternative) on YouTube
Favorite Internet Sites
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My Blog List
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