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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

HUMOR: Merry Christmas, Santa Claus Hotline

At work, I'm often near the phone in the back room, and therefore delegated to answering it. It has caller id, so if it's a co-worker, I often answer with a smartalecky remark like, "CIA headquarters. Please state your mission and code-name."

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

Friday, December 16, 2005

ENTERTAINMENT: Some Interesting Christmas Music Shows

My favorite internet radio show, All Songs Considered, puts out a holiday show every year. There an interesting eclectic mix, although a little heavy on the alternative and folk side. I recommend you give this a listen.

This year's show

Thursday, December 15, 2005

POLITICS: A Discussion on Abortion I Was Involved In

Vanity Run Amok had an interesting post on abortion. You can click here if you want to read the whole thing. Below is some comments I posted on it.

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.

Friday, December 09, 2005

HUMOR and CULTURE/SOCIETY: I Don't Know What the Big Deal About Having a Baby Is

Zuhn of Vanity Run Amok directed me to this piece. Found it humorous enough to pass on. - OlderMusicGeek

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

HUMOR: Aliens in Our Midst

A friend's email reminded of a misunderstanding that happened a few years ago when one of my many nieces was young. I thought some of you would find it amusing.

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!"

CULTURE/SOCIETY: What Tree Did You Fall From?

My mom sent me this, and I thought you all might find it interesting. Don't ask me how they determined which tree goes with which birthdates.

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

POLITICS: Minutemen Using Illegal Aliens To Help Patrol US-Mexico Border?

This is a web article Ernest T Spoon pointed out to me. The whole site is cute and kinda funny. - OlderMusicGeek

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

HUMOR: How I'm Both a Good and Bad Influence on My Daughter

I just find what my daughter did amusing and I thought I'd pass it on.

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.

Merry ChrisBoxSolsTurnaKwanzaKah

Friday, December 02, 2005

ENTERTAINMENT and CULTURE/SOCIETY: Over $200,000 for Luke Skywalker’s Light Saber

Saw this and just had to pass it on. All I can say is - if I had $200,600 to waste, I would have bought it too!

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")

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