Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Popular WTF Series

The picture on the left depicts what is apparently known as a "rogue cow". That would be the "rogue cow" that is featured in what the calls "our popular rogue cow in Australia series". I believe the appropriate response to that sentence is, "WTF?"

I guess the gist is that a cow escaped from it's life of farm captivity and decided to wander about the freeway system in search of a new life. If the freeways in Australia are anything like the freeways in the US, it's going to have a new life as a Big Mac real soon if it's not careful.

The rogue cow caused traffic in both directions to stop and that led the police to determine that the animal was posing a danger to motorists and that they needed to do something about it. (If the traffic kept going, would the police have determined that it was OK that have the rogue cow traispsing about the roadways? One has to wonder.) That was apparently easier said than done, although it's unclear if it was because trapping a cow is difficult in general, or if it was more due to how they tried to capture it.

Their first idea was to "contain the cow by locking up a fence using a chain." Apparently, there are fenced in freeways in Australia. Go figure. I thought I understood what that meant until I read, "after ramming the fence, the cow managed to jump over the chain and continued to run along the motorway." So....they just took a chain and stretched it out in front of the cow and...? Yelled, "Stop!"? I don't get it. Did they really expect that to work? I'm not a cattle rustler or herder or anything. I don't even eat red meat. But I think I'd know enough to do something a bit more containing than that.

Here's my favorite part. (Well, my favorite after the "rogue cow in Australia series" line.) "This zany, high-spirited and knockabout chase was finally brought to a slightly disheartening end, as police were forced to shoot and kill the animal after an hour-long pursuit." Apparently, their arsenal of "courses of action to contain a rogue cow" is limited to chain stretching and bullet shooting.

But after reading that, I found myself disappointed that the American press does not write like the fine folks over there at "This zany, high-spirited and knockabout chase". That's some fine journalism right there. See, writing like that would have put a whole different spin during the OJ Simpson low speed chase debacle of yore. Think about it. "In our popular, US Celebrity Runs Afoul Of The Law Series" tonight, OJ Simpson led police on a zany, low-spirited and parade-like paced chase through the LA freeway system." SO much better. It would have been even better if it could have ended with, "The ridiculousness was brought to a slightly, but not entirely, disenheartening end, as police were forced to shoot OJ after an hour-long pursuit that covered three and a half miles."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Honey, Bambi and I Are Going For A Walk.

I'm pretty creative, but some things I just cannot make up. LIke this:

This from WXII-12 in Winston, NC. Witnesses eating lunch Sunday at TJ's Deli in Winston-Salem were startled when they said a woman walking a pet deer on a leash lost control of the animal, causing it to break through a window and run amok through the restaurant's dining room.(Although walking a deer on a leash in and of itself is odd, I'm actually more curious (at this point) as to how one gets a deer, pet or not, on a leash in the first place. And since when can deer be pets? What the hell is going on over there in North Carolina anyway?)

Store employees tried to shoo the deer toward the restaurant's back door, while patrons stood on tables to avoid the fracas. (Not that standing on tables in a restaurant won't actually contribute to a fracas, but in the heat of the moment, I could see where it would seem like a good idea.)

The deer, which witnesses described as a 120 to 140-pound doe, finally ran through the kitchen and out the back door. (Apparently, a description of the animal and it's approximate weight was necessary in order to convey the meaning of the term "deer".)

No one was injured in the melee, and there's no word on why the woman had the deer or if charges would be filed against her. (How in the hell is there "no word" on why the woman had the deer on a leash and was taking it for a walk?! THAT is the crux of this story! How do you get every other bit of information, including the weight and sex of the deer itself, but not find out why a woman had it on a leash?? It's things like this that keep me up at night.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

See Jane Fight Terrorists?

Here's a news flash for ya: That Al-Qaida is a sneaky, untruthful bunch. I know. Shocker. But apparently, some people out there are a bit surprised that Al-Qaida isn't all that upfront with it's plans.

In December, Al-Qaida said that it would take questions from the public and give what would amount to "an interview" online and that Weird Beard's deputy would answer the questions it received on it's website. (How is some Middle Eastern terrorist given the title of "deputy"? As in "dawg"? Does he have a badge? I'm going to need to see a badge before I'm going with the "deputy" thing.) Well, they got a bunch of questions and they haven't answered a one of them and their soft-headed sheep like followers are pissed that Al-Qaida didn't keep it's word.

The reasoning behind Al-Qaida doing this was basically because people were wising up and not buying into all of their propaganda crap and they needed a way to draw the soft headed sheep of the world back toward their odd and angry world of suicide bombings, cave dwelling and beard growing. Hey, do what you gotta do, I guess. The assessment of their reasoning was given by Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center. WTF?! I don't know what the hell that is and I don't know what the hell they do, but I do know that they need a better name. Jane's?? I don't get it. What does that mean? It's really not very terrorism-y and certainly not very insurgence-like. Not that "Deputy Weird Beard" is all that scary either. I'd just like to see them come up with something better than Jane's.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

I Only Need A Couple of Gadgets

I just read a list titled "The Best Bathroom Gadgets". They ranged from a toothbrush with a timer on it (so you know when to stop brushing your teeth, not when that cake in the oven is done), a toilet with a glowing purple light emitting from within, a phone in the shower, an all over body drier (which I imagine is just as effective as those air hand dryers in public restrooms. That is to say, not very.), and something called "Toilet Tunes" which I really didn't want to know much more about and just skipped right on over that one.

Now, look, I'll admit to being a tech junkie. I'm a big fan of the gadget. My favorite ones are gadgets that have dual purposes, preferrably things that have nothing to do with each other. "It's a chain saw AND a bagel toaster!" But I'm drawing the line right here and right now.

Please, whatever you do, do not lose sight of what are really the most important things for you to have in your bathroom. I'm kinda afraid that people will get so enthralled with the commode commodities and start to forget about the very basic items that are essential to the general makeup of a bathroom overall. Believe me, in the end (pun intended), it's not gadgets that you want. It's the basics. That's it. Not very glamorous, not very gadget-y, but honest to God, it's all you need.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

We're Safe And We're Moral!

In 2003, ABC aired an episode of 'NYPD Blue' in which Charlotte Ross was preparing to take a shower and was shown naked from behind. Remove the word "from" and you have what the FCC considers to be a problem. Naked behind.

The FCC has decided to fine 52 ABC stations a total of $1.4 million dollars. (By the way, that amounts to the paltry total of $26,923.08 per station. Yeah, that'll teach 'em.) The fine is being imposed because , according to the FCC, the scene shows "multiple close-up views" and those views are of a "nude buttocks". So showing Charlotte's ass was a problem because the FCC's definition (not to be confused with a real definition) of indecent content requires that it "depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities" in a "patently offensive way". It also says that those depictions or descriptions of said activites must be horrifically done so between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. So I guess Leno's or Letterman's ass would be just fine. (But I don't really want to find out.)

The FCC said that the show was consistent in meeting that definition because it "depicts sexual organs and excretory organs - specifically an adult woman's buttocks." The only argument (that I can find) that the network had was that a human ass is not a sexual organ.

Come on, ABC! That's all you got?! Really, they should have gone into the definition of "sexual organ". (For God's sake, I'm not going to. But they could have taken a stab at it. Not literally, please.) I'd probably agree that the ass is not a "sexual organ". Now, without getting overly graphic, I'm sure that, yes, it could be used in such a way. But, hey, sometimes I use my power drill as a hammer, but that doesn't make it right.

Here's the real issue for me. This was in 2003!!! A quick calendar check and I have just confirmed that is, in fact, 2008. FIVE years later and they're fining ABC for showing some chick's ass on 'NYPD Blue'. If they were going to fine ABC for showing anyone's ass it should have been for showing Dennis Franz's because, good Lord, man, no one wants to see that.

Five years. Who the hell is running the FCC? I'm guessing it's those guys who came up with the new requirements for driver's licenses.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thanks For "Explaining"

So, sometime late last year, the Mars rover Spirit took a picture of the surface of the planet that appears to show some sort of a human figure sitting amongst or atop the rocky Martian terrain. See said photo here:

Now, granted, it does look like something that you wouldn't necessarily expect to see on another planet that is presumably without life. However, I won't go as far as some have in suggesting that it looks like Rodin's "The Thinker" or that it's Bigfoot. But I will go just a bit farther than the scientists who have given an explanation for what the object is.

Are you ready for the explanation? Brace yourself. Sit down. Deep breath. Take another. OK. Good. You seem prepared for this earth shattering announcement from scientists and astronomers. Here it is...the scientific explanation of the object's a rock.

WTF?! No s---, Sherlock! Since when does "it's a rock" qualify as a "scientific explanation"? What the hell else would it be?! It's on friggin' Mars! You don't have a lot of choices!

I've decided I'm going to be one of those kind of scientists. My world renowned fame is only moments away. I can feel it! I'd better practice for the interview. Ahem...."It's a chair!" "That? That's a tree!" "It's a dog!" Here comes the tricky one..."'s a rock!" There. I'm a scientist.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

I Mighta Called Mary-Kate Too

Surprisingly, I'm actually going to defend the masseuse who found Heath Ledger and decided that the most appropriate first action to take would be to call Mary-Kate Olsen.

Finding someone dead (let alone, naked and dead) is not a pleasant thing. I'm sure it's a very odd experience. But there's a difference between finding someone dead whom you would expect to be dead (or wouldn't be surprised that they're dead) and finding someone dead whom you would not expect to find dead. Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Dick Cheney; none of those would be a huge shocker. Heath Ledger? Mmmm....kinda.

Think of it like this: Masseuse goes in, there's her client. Naked. Lying there. Could just be sleeping soundly. (Remember, you're not expecting him to be dead. Sleeping is the first thing that would come to mind.) Sleeping that soundly is a little strange. Maybe something is wrong. But what if it's not? How close can she get before it gets weird? Tries to remember the protocol for situations when it's appropriate to approach and possibly poke a naked client to determine responsivity. Draws a blank. What to do? What to do? Sees dude's cell. Looks for something or someone. A-ha! Mary-Kate! That Olsen twin. I'll call her.

I mean, at that point, you're really searching for anything that is familiar and normal to grasp onto. And I realize that "familiar and normal" doesn't exactly describe Mary-Kate Olsen to a tee, but you'll take what you can get at times like those.

Look, in her defense (again, surprising that it's coming from me) she did call 911 after getting off the phone with MK. Had she called MK back and not called 911, well, I'd be all over that. But let's cut her a break. That just can't be good. For anyone. Especially Heath. Sorry, dude.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Were You Expecting an Encore?

It's now been about 36 hours since Heath Ledger was found dead in his apartment. (An apartment, by the way, that was $26,000 a month. That is definitely a VEA. Very Expensive Apartment.) That's dead. As in deceased. As in not coming back. What? You already knew that? At least someone does.

Here's the quote: "Playing the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie "The Dark Knight" may be his final finished performance."

May be his final performance? May? Unless there's going to be a "Weekend At Bernie's 3", I'm thinking it's fair to say that is "was" his final finished performance.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Warning: Not Suitable For Those It Was Made For

This episode of Sesame Street is brought to you by the letter 'S' as in "soft, soft headed individuals".

Sesame Street is out on DVD. They start at the beginning in 1969 when the show first aired. There are a few noticable differences between the Sesame Street of today and the Sesame Street of yore. The most noticeable one to me was that Oscar the Grouch was some sort of orange-y/reddish color instead of green. Definitely not something that warrants the DVDs coming with the following warning: "These early Sesame Street episodes are intended for grownups and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child." Huh?

I tried to think of what could possibly have warranted that sort of a warning. All I came up with was that "special relationship" between Ernie and Bert. And I guess that Big Bird was the only one who could see Mr. Snuffleuppagus could technically insinutate some sort of LSD issue. Maybe Oscar in that trash can all the time alludes to homelessness? Nope. None of those.

See, there were kids running through a construction site! They were jumping on old box springs! They were (brace yourselves) riding bikes on the set without helmets!

In one episode, Cookie Monster is relaxing in some sort of reading room, wearing a smoking jacket and ::gasp:: smoking a pipe!! Granted, there's NO smoke that's actually seen, it looks funny as hell, and at the end? That's right. He eats the pipe! Hil-arious. Er, uh, I mean Blasphemy! Or something like that.

Seriously, what in the hell is wrong with people? Let me ask you, did you wear a bike helmet when you were a kid? No, you didn't. Did you ever fall off your bike? Crash your bike? Collide with other bikers? Of course you did. And you're still able to read this! Amazing!

This needs to stop. When TV shows for children come with warnings that say that they may not be appropriate for children, it's gone beyond silly and has entered full blown idiocy. Hey, you know all of those helmets that I do NOT advocate children wearing? How about if all of the adults who think that stuff like this is a good idea be the ones who wear those helmets? Because they are the ones who really need them. They are the ones with the melted ice cream soft craniums that need to be protected...from themselves.

Please stop trying to protect everyone from everything that doesn't hurt them. Please stop trying to keep anyone and everyone from experiencing any sort of pain or harm or rejection or difficulty. Please stop thinking that accidents will always be able to be prevented by simply taking every precaution you can possibly think of for any situation that may possibly occur. Please just allow everyone to go through life and experience it as it comes along and without helmets! We'll all be just fine. AND we'll get to watch Sesame Street without any warning labels! And you'll be fine afterwards. And that's a great thing because that Cookie Monster cracks me up.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

That Fence Guy Can Go Home

In regard to whether or not the enclosure was too short at the San Francisco Zoo from which a tiger escaped and killed someone. I don't care what the recommended height is. I don't care what the height of the enclosure/fence is. I don't care what the reports say. I just don't care. Why not? Because the fact that the tiger was able to escape and kill someone tells me right then and there that the fence/enclosure was not tall enough! That moat could have been filled with water and tiger-eating sharks and been surrounded by an electrified barbed wire fence. If a tiger gets out of it and kills someone, it's not enough! I don't need to consult a book of rules and regulations to figure that out!

That official fence measuring guy that they brought in to help with the investiation can go home now. I'll take it from here. It's too short. Next!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Vocabulary 101 For AP Reporters

I don't claim to be a journalist. It's unfortunate that so many others don't do the same. Mainly those over yonder at the AP. They seem to have lost sight of what it means to "report". "Report" should not be demonstrated as "state the obvious". And it really shouldn't be demonstrated by "we think we're stating the obvious, but we still got it wrong."

On Sunday, a couple of private planes collided in the air. What does the AP use as their headline? "Answers Sought At Plane Collision Site". I'd like to see that investigation. I'd like to see the investigators hovering hundreds of feet above the ground looking for their answers. The planes didn't collide on the ground. They fell on the ground. They collided in the air. That headline should read "Answers Sought At Plane Wreckage Site." Below that it should read, "Journalists Wanted" because this article gets worse.

"Authorities were trying Monday to learn why two small planes collided over a row of businesses, dropping a macabre shower of debris and body parts and killing someone inside an auto dealership when one of the aircraft punctured the roof." That opening sentence makes it sound like the planes had planned to cause the chaos that they did. Like there was some big Cessna conspiracy afoot. Er, awing.

"Witnesses told authorities that one of the planes slammed into the other." Good thing there were witnesses there, eh? How would we ever determine that if people hadn't seen it? And good job, AP, for getting statements from those geniuses. Yeah, without that, readers across the wire would have been totally befuddled as they struggled to comprehend the basic principles of "a collision".

"All four people aboard the two aircraft also were killed in Sunday's crash, on a clear crisp afternoon that seemed ideal for flying. " Well, I'm sure the afternoon was ideal for flying. The flying wasn't really so much the issue here as was the colliding and crashing. But I guess it's never really an ideal afternoon for that.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are We Women or Are We Hookers?

At the International Consumer Electronics Show last week, vendors were unveiling a myriad of new gadgets, some of which were marketed specifically toward women. This, in theory, doesn't really sound like a bad idea. I don't know if it sounds like a good one, but it doesn't sound like one that is going to irritate people. But although it doesn't sound like it, it is. Irritating, that is. Very irritating.
Take our good friend, the Taser. The good folks over there at the Taser factory think that a good way to sell Tasers to women is to have them in pink or in jungle themes; leopard prints, for example.

Why is pink or the fur pattern of any jungle creature supposed to be a selling point for women? Most women I know don't particularly like pink. A shade of pink, perhaps. Maybe a mauve, a rose, a toasted plum even. But the stereotypical, bubble-gum pink is not at the top of our list. (Hey, product marketer idea guys! We, women that is, like things that are sleek. Anything kinda metallic, anything a shade lighter than the basic color, anything silver, and anything curvy, we're down for. Bright six-year old girl pink? Not so much.)

As for the jungle creature prints? What am I? A hooker? A pole dancer? A hoo-ure? I'm none of those and I'm none of those on safari either. Remember those great bands of the 80s? Poison? Warrant? Now they weren't women, but they were big on the animal print spandex. And women did like that. A lot. Have ya seen Bret Michaels lately? Have ya seen him in zebra spandex lately? That's my point. What's good then is not necessarily good now. We're over the 80s and the product designer/marketer guys should be too.

Personally, when it comes to Tasers, I don't care what it looks like. All I want to know is if it's going to fry the genitals of my male attacker when I whip it out to do it's thing before he whips his out to do it's thing. As long as it does that, I'm good.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Checkmate, Bobby

Bobby Fischer, the US born chess champion, has died of kidney failure at the age of 64. At first, I found this news rather depressing (hey, I like chess!), but the more I read about him and some of his anti-Semitic (read: hateful) comments after 09/11, the more he started to sound like a Jew hating Commie, so, good riddance.

In an article by the AP, it describes Fischer's descent into odd behavior as consisting of "turning up late for tournaments, refusing to play unless the lighting suited him and was intolerant of photographers and cartoonists."

Um....cartoonists?! How is one intolerant of a cartoonist?! That doesn't even make sense! "Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, Berke time for you! Out! Out I say!!!" I'm so confused. And yet, at the same time, very intrigued. In an odd sort of way.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm Sorry, That Position Has Been Filled

Osama bin Laden's son (who looks an awful lot like Weird Beard himself) wants to be the "ambassador for peace" between the West and the Muslims.

I don't think I need to go into excruciating details when I say, "Um, thanks, but no thanks."

One of the statements that he made on this matter was, "My father is asking for a truce but I don't think there is any government (that) respects him." At least he's perceptive. About some things.

There appears to be a lack of perception from this statement, "At the same time they do not respect him, why everywhere in the world, they want to fight him? There is a contradiction."
I was unaware that hunting down and killing the SOB who is responsible for the murders of thousands of people needed to have a sprinkle of "respect" in order for it to be a valid cause. Since when do you have to "respect" someone to hold them accountable? Never.

I'm sorry, Son of Weird Beard, but that position has been people we respect.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Father of the Year Candidate #1

Only January and already a nominee for Father of the Year. Resident of Wisconsin loser Matthew Kowald was cited for disorderly conduct after he forced his 7-year old son to wear a Packers jersey. Apparently the boy had refused to wear the jersey after the Packers beat the Seahawks. So the man did was any loser would do by restraining the boy for an hour before taping the jersey on him.

The man was cited when his wife contacted authorities (she has since filed a restraining order against said loser, Kowald.). The police thought that the incident sounded strange at first (ya think?!), but the mother had apparently taken pictures with her cell phone and, according to the lieutennant, "that type of evidence is difficult to dispute." Again....ya think?!

Although I'm sure the pictures were a good idea, I'm having an issue with it. An HOUR this guy was restraining his son during Jersey-Gate. Was the mother there the entire time? Or did she just walk in, find her song duct taped to a jersey and then start snapping photos before un-ducting the boy? Hard to tell at this point, but she might be up for Mother of the Year.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It Is SO Different

Kevin Federline, the ex-husband of Britney Spears who, to the surprise of many, turned out to be the "smart and stable one" of the two, has said to People magazine, "People put it up on this pedestal when it's really the same way that everybody else goes through their stuff, you know. It's not really any different."

Oh, but it is! It is VERY different. See, most people (not all) that get divorced and are in the middle of custody issues don't do things like repeatedly not show up for court hearings, hole up in the bathroom of their home with one of their children that they're refusing to return to the custodial parent, get committed to a psych ward for 72 hours, have Dr. Phil come and visit them, have Dr. Phil hold a press conference afterwards where he deems them to need serious help, go out clubbing without underwear (AGAIN) after they've been released from said psych ward, get photographed without the aforementioned underwear (AGAIN), wear their wedding dress whilst shopping for a new car and scream at paparazzi photographers in a British accent! Yeah, that's a little different, K-Fed. That's very different.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is There A Trapeeze Involved?

Clay Aiken has joined the cast of "Monty Python's Spamalot". He will be playing one of the lead characters, Sir Robin, from Friday through May 4.

He said that he was so sore from rehearsals he "couldn't even get off the toilet the other day." "It hurts so bad. I don't know if it's I'm not coordinated or using muscles I never had to use before," he said.

What the hell is the role and what the hell was he doing?! The muscles that are involved when toilets are involved should not have anything to do with Monty Python stage musicals and the rehearsing thereof!

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You Have To Ask??

Monday, announced that it is going to take more steps in order to protect children from prossible predators and from adult content that is on it's site. This resulting from "increasing pressure" from "state attorneys general". That's kinda good.

Does it really have to take "pressure" from state attorneys for MySpace to do more to protect younger users from porn and perverts? What? Without "pressure" they'd just allow the site to gradually morph into Porn-A-Palooza? Who benefits from that? I can't imagine anyone, other than the pervs, would.

Look, it's unfortunate that I don't make the rules. I am not the boss of the Internet. But, come on! Can these major websites not just do something that is reasonable and makes sense and is probably better for everyone in the end (again, except for the pervs) without having to be asked/told first?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Held Up With Drywall Compound

In general, I've never really thought of bank robbers as the sharpest tools in the shed. This guy just hammers home that perception for me.

Some dude in Pennsylvania robbed a bank and smeared drywall compound all over his face for his disguise. I know, I know....what's wrong with the ski mask? The paper bag? The Nixon Halloween caricature? Couldn't tell ya.

The other weird thing (as if this story needed more) is that when he was arrested, they found drywall compound smeared on some of his clothes and more drywall compound in the passenger side of his car. So......what? He spackled up right there in the car? Took out the trowel and just smeared it on? (I'm assuming he didn't tape any seams first or anything.) That's strange.

Even if you, at one point, thought that this seemed like a good idea, wouldn't you start to feel just a little bit like a jackass once you started doing it? You probably should just go and get a can of blue spray paint, cover yourself in that, then the cops can just look for those guys from Blue Man Group instead of you.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Result of 7 Years of Thinking

No big lead-in. Just some highlights of what the DHS spent seven years coming up with for their REAL ID Act, designed to make it harder for those who potentially want to kill us to obtain government issued IDs, such as driver's licenses. The key here is the seven years part. That and originally this program was going to got $14.6 billion but the "managed" to shave it down to $3.9 billion, a saving of 73 percent.

Highlight 1: The licenses will have three layers of security measures that will NOT be microchips. They're not saying what those three layers are. I'm guessing they had to go with corn chips as part of that 73 percent cost reduction.

Highlight 2: Over the next year, the government expects that all states begin checking Social Security numbers and the immigration status of people who apply for a driver's license. Apparently, the majority of states already check SSNs. Only half of the states currently check immigraton status. So, not much of a change there, really. Although it does surprise me that these things aren't being done already. It's kind of a no brainer.

Highlight 3: This is my favorite. And it clearly shows what 7 years of government thinking will get you. They will now take your picture at the beginning of the process instead of the end. That way, if something should go awry, such as you can't prove your identity or your citizenship, they already have a photo of you in case you try to weasel your way back in again. Uh-huh.....and.....? Nope. That's it.

Although I'm glad this program isn't going to cost $14.6 billion dollars, how in the hell is it going to cost even $3.9 billion dollars?! How?! There's no way! None! There is NO way that this cost can even come close to being justified. Even if they went with potato chips instead of corn chips (and I'm talking the good potato chips, not those crappy store brand ones that always have the burnt edges with the tinge of green), this cannot possibly cost $3.9 BILLION dollars!

And they spent SEVEN YEARS coming up with this crap? If this is what they finally decided would be best, what in the name of God did they reject?? How could they have spent SEVEN YEARS going, "No...maybe the end would be the best place to take the photo. Let's do the photo at the end. What? At the beginning? might be onto something there, Johnson. Er, Thompson. Whatever. Anyone else have thoughts on this? Anyone? Anyone?"


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Saturday, January 12, 2008

7 Years Later, It'll Take 6 More Before We're Safe

The US has "unveiled" it's new, "more secure" rules for driver's licenses for anyone born after Dec. 1, 1964. According to the AP, the Homeland Security Department (What do these guys do again? I mean, I know what they do, but what have they done?) "has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act" which is supposed to make it more difficult for people who we don't want to have government issued ID (ie, terrorists, people in this country illegally, and con artists. Go figure.) to obtain one.

The key part above are the words "spent years". Now, being as how it's a government entity, "spent years" is also the equivalent of "pissed away bazillions of your tax dollars". I don't think the AP really looks at the term "pissed away" as a show of journalistic aptitude, thus the more accepted term of "spent years." I, however, have zero problem with "pissed away". Thus, it's inclusion in my rant.

Not only has the department "spent years" on this program, but in order to make it "more appealing to cost conscious states" the overall cost was reduced from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion. First of all, which are the non-cost conscious states? Which states are out there just blowing through taxpayer money right and left? Seems like a good state to get a job in, that's all I'm sayin'. But back to the cost. That's $10.7 billion that they were able to shave off. And while I'm glad they did that before implementing said program, wtf?! 73 percent. I'm dyin' to know how it looked before they reduced the cost. And that's only because I want to know what those guys over there thought would be a good idea in the first place before they realized that they were going to have to pull that money out of their respective asses in order to fund it.

They need to pull their heads out of their asses while they're at it. One of the 09/11 hijackers apparently had four driver's licenses and three ID cards from different states. This is what prompted their slogan for their REAL ID plan. Ready? "One driver, one license." Um, yeah, it's crafty. But, how do I put this? Oh, THAT'S HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE!!! I don't need a SLOGAN that states the blatantly obvious! That's like "One hand, five fingers." Duh! Next thing you know, my cereal boxes will have a label that reads: Food...for eating. And the milk with say, "Liquid....for drinking." We know that! Your slogan is not witty! You want to know what my slogan would have been? "One license. Deal with it."

I'm going to twist right on off if I keep going on this one. The HSD has made some of the details of their program public. I just can't get into it in this post. I might need psychiatric help afterward if I do. I'll get into those tomorrow, maybe. Later today, possibly. Now, ain't gonna happen. Years. That's all you need to remember before the details are clear. Years. It took them years to come up with this. Good God, if only the rest of us had that kind of time.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Ach de Polar Bears

Apparently, Germany has some sort of "thing" with polar bears? I phrase that as a question because I had no clue. But apparently, polar bears and their cubs are quite the rage over there in Germany. Problem is that the zookeepers don't exactly know how to help the cubs along in captivity when they're born there. And from what I'm reading, it's questionable as to whether or not the polar bears know how to help their cubs, born in captivity, either.

Here's a quote from Time magazine: "Earlier this week the country's tabloid press agonized over the deaths of two tiny Eisbär cubs in a Nuremberg zoo, who were presumably eaten by their inexperienced mother, Vilma, after zookeepers decided not to intervene."

"Inexperienced" mother?!? Since when is eating your young a sign of inexperience? It's a sign of hunger and it's a sign of carnivorous-ness, but not necessarily inexperience.

When explaining the reasoning behind the zoo's approach toward the polar bears, the article in Time goes on to state: "The zoo's deputy director insisted that the laissez-faire approach had a reason: "If you don't let the mothers practice, they'll never learn how to bring up their cubs," he said.

Practice? How is "accidentally" eating one's young dismissed as "practice"?! How many of one's young does one have to actually ingest before the "practice" is deemed to be ineffective at best? Again, curing one's hunger by ingesting one's young is not "practicing"; it's eating. And "they'll never learn"? They're not American teenagers! They're eating their cubs!! Also, since I'm not recalling that the polar bear is native to the German land, I'm thinking that having them in captivity, regardless as to how much the people do enjoy just looking at them, is not exactly in anyone's best interest. Especially that of any recently ingested cubs.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Weather Related What?

You know NECCO? They make those chalky wafer-like things that they pass off as candy. They also make the chalky heart-shaped-like things they pass off as candy around Valentine's Day. Yeah, them. For some reason, they have decided that the candy hearts, Sweethearts as they are called, will have a weather theme this year. Yes, a weather theme. A theme about the weather.

Some of the phrases to be included on said candy heart are "In A Fog" "Chill Out" "Sun Shine" "Get My Drift" and "Heat Wave" to name a few.

They are also including some nature themed phrases, such as "Nature Lover" and "Wild LIfe".

According to the marketing manager for NECCO, these phrases, "highlight the excitement and unpredictability of the day to day change of weather and people's love lives."

OK, I get that. But why am I concerned that my candy hearts need to make a statement about the weather that is also congruent with a statement about love? Oh, that's right, I'm not. So why are the folks at NECCO concerned with it? Is it because of all of the concern about the environment and they saw this as an opportunity to jump on the green bandwagon? It just doesn't make sense.

It reminds me of a little shop that was across the street from a place that I used to work at. The store sold Greek pastries and rented Spanish videos. I swear. We called it Baklava and LaBamba.

NECCO should call this idea "Weather or Not".

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hugo and Naomi, Take Two

I said I couldn't wait to hear how the Naomi Campbell interviews Hugo Chavez incident turned out. I lied. I could have waited.

Apparently, Campbell was hired by the British GQ to interview Chavez.The article comes out on Thursday and in it, Campbell write that Chavez is a "rebel angel". She also praises his singing voice and chats with him about the Spice Girls.

Of course! That's what the current international policy of the US is missing! Spice Girl chit-chat!

But wait, there's more! Perhaps too much more. He also offered to pose shirtless. Again, clearly what the currenty US international policy is lacking; more skin!

Apparently Chavez's BFF is Fidel Castro. Also apparent is that there is WAY too much talk about fashion and dress in this interview. Not on Campbell's part. On Hugo's part!! Chavez said Castro's "dress sense" made him the world's most stylish leader. (As if that is actually a necessary qualification of one who strives to be a world leader.) And, yes, he is referring to the same Fidel Castro who looks like a withered and bearded Stuart Little in fatigues. He says, "His uniform is impeccable. His boots are polished, his beard is elegant." Perhaps instead of spending a lot of time with Castro, Chavez should start spending more time on the Castro. As in Blvd. As in San Francisco. He'll find a lot of polished boots over there. They'll have women in them (well, technically they're women), but they'll be polished.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Larry Craig Is Back

Good Lord, can't Larry Craig just let it go? We all know he's got a thing for men going on. Just move on, Larry. It's over. It's done. We've all moved on. We think you should do. For God's sake, man, don't keep giving us more ammo.

His latest reason for overturning his guilty plea? Foot tapping and hand swiping (ew!) are protected under free speech. Yes, I am aware that nothing was actually being "speech-ed" with those two actions. I'm just relaying info here.

Craig's appeal says that the disorderly conduct law in Minnesota "requires that the conduct at issue have a tendency to alarm or anger 'others."' It says that the only person affected was the undercover officer. You know, the one Craig hit on. The appeal goes on to state that the "bathroom encounter" is not that of a criminal nature because it did not involve multiple "victims"

I'll disagree with that statement. I was affected just at the thought of anyone, male, female, whatever having sex in an airport bathroom! Gross! Could there be a more germ infested vestibule for something like that? Especially if that's what people have been doing in there? I repeat: Gross! So that right there is more than one. Good luck, Larry. Next time you get caught soliciting gay sex in the men's restroom of the Detroit airport and would like to deny it, just don't plead guilty and save us all of this.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

Some Things Are Just Too Easy

Headline today over at AOL News: Naomi Campbell Interviews Hugo Chavez.

I think I speak for everyone when I say, "WTF?"

I'm sorry, I've been blissfully unaware of Naomi Campbell's dive into the interviewing forte. What in the hell could she possibly have asked him? Where'd you get those shoes?

The fact that Chavez would even pacify her by giving the interview is a bit more interesting, although he's kinda nuts, so that can be easily explained.

I can't wait to read how this one turns out.

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tigers and Idiots

It just keeps getting better. The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that paramedics heard 23-year-old Kulbir Dhaliwal tell his brother, Paul, 19, "Don't tell them what we did." Nice.

The article also cites sources that say that both brothers had been using marijuana and drinking. The younger brother had apparently drank enough to have a BAC greater than .08. Yes, that would be the brother who is 19 and not legally old enough to drink.

So, stoned and drunk and at the zoo, possibly taunting 350 pound Siberian tigers who like to eat meat that people are made out of. It sounds just like it must have been with Joseph and Mary and the Baby Jesus at the very first Christmas.

Can we all just hope that these idiots are not going to be rewarded for their idiocy with a huge pile of money? Please? I don't care if the zoo is liable for making sure that the animals are secure at all times regardless of circumstance. Why does "circumstance" have to include idiots. I am tired of hearing about the zoo's liability. I want to hear about the liability of people who do stupid things and reap natural (and unpleasant) consequences as a result. Where is their liability? Why are the natural and unpleasant consequences suddenly an injustice to those who have reaped them? When do they get held accountable? I'm guessing, with Mark Geragos involved, not for a while.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

That Tiger Got a Raw Deal

The more I read about the tiger that killed one guy and mauled two other guys at the SF Zoo on Christmas, the more I start to think that those guys received a natural consequence for something and that the tiger got a raw deal when it was shot and killed.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting this morning that the two brothers, Paul and Kulbir Dhaliwal, are refusing to let police look at their cell phones for any text messages or photos that are believed to be on the phones from the day that the tiger went all, well, tiger on them.

I'll try putting myself in their position....without the dumbness. I'm mauled by a tiger. I didn't do anything at all to provoke the tiger into thinking I was it's lunch for the day. Police ask me to see my cell phone. I give them my cell phone.

Does that seem accurate for someone who didn't have something to hide? Does that seem accurate for someone who doesn't have Mark Geragos as their attorney? Does that seem accurate for someone who just wants this whole thing to be done and over with and for everyone to finally get to the bottom of what happened? Sure it does.

And now I ask the same questions of someone who has refused to let police look at their cell phone under the same tiger-mauling scenario. Does that seem to be an accurate response? Refusing to let those investigating look at your cell phone. Of course not. It's ridiculous. There's absolutely zero reason for them to refuse that request. Well, if they didn't have something to hide, there's absolutely zero reason. If they DID have something to hide or if they think that whatever is on those cell phones might result in their monetary reward for damages (that I'm sure they are anticipating) being significantly lessened or eliminated, well, then it would make sense.

But when you're claiming that you didn't do anything wrong, yet you don't allow anyone to fully investigate and you hinder investigations that are going on in order to back up or refute that claim, you've just indicated that you did something. I don't know what it was and I'm not claiming to know and I'm not even going to try to guess. But whatever it is, I'll guarantee it's more than nothing.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

AMC or VH1?

I'm flipping channels tonight and come across "Working Girl" on AMC. A couple things struck me as I watched the last 30 minutes.

First, comparing then and now, Alec Baldwin is huge. He used to be this pasty, pale, wiry guy with no ass and pipe cleaner arms. But he's been looking like Al Gore's long lost brother for a while now.

But when did AMC start using the bottom, oh, fifth of the screen as a non-scrolling marquee for little known film tidbits? Seriously. The bottom fifth of the screen is this ugly gray color and every 15-20 seconds, some new little cinematic nugget shows up. "The ferry that Melanie Griffith rode in the movie was 25 cents each way." "Carly Simon filmed her music video for the movie's theme on a ferry in a hailstorm." "Men like Melanie Griffth more than women do." "Even though Sigourney Weaver was in this, there were no aliens." (I made the last one up, but the rest were in there.)

I find it highly annoying. And pointless. Am I watching AMC or VH1 Pop-Up Video?

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back To The Tiger

There's now reports that the guys that were attacked by the tiger had slingshots on them and they had an empty bottle of vodka in the car that they took to the zoo. Like I said yesterday, I'm holding off on total judgement until more facts are uncovered. But I'm not holding off on all judgement.

Look, if these guys were taunting the tiger, what did they expect? Granted, if the enclosure that the tiger was in was not tall enough (apparently it was supposed to be like 18 feet but it was really only the height of a street curb.) that is problematic. However, would it have been as problematic if the tiger didn't have a reason to go a-leaping from it's captive abode and start seeking out those who taunted it? Of course not.

If I were an animal held captive in a zoo, I think that, after a while, I'd get a little pissed off. And it would only be a matter of time before I just completely snapped. Now, if someone had a slingshot and was hurling things at me, I'm gonna snap a lot sooner than I would have had that not occurred. And, in those circumstances, it would hardly be unreasonable. It's a TIGER! They look all nice and cuddly, but they're carnviorous animals. They eat meat. They eat meat that they have killed. People are made out of meat! Tigers do not discriminate as to where their meat comes from. And if it comes from something that has been pissing them off, all the better for the tiger.

Should things like this happen? Of course not. Would they happen if people didn't do dumb things? Of course not. So why is it that people do dumb things and suddenly there is this huge uproar that this shouldn't have been allowed to happen? If the enclosure had been the right height, then they could have taunted the animal all day long and it would have jumped and jumped and jumped and never ate them. THAT is supposed to be OK? How about just not taunting a tiger and if you do, well, you're taking your chances as to what could happen next. What's wrong with THAT thinking? Must be something wrong with it, because I seem to be the only one with that thought.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's Never Good If Mark Geragos Is There

Dude gets killed by a freaking tiger at the SF Zoo on Christmas Day. His two buddies get mauled. The tiger gets shot dead (eventually). Enter Mark Geragos, lawyer for those who will get a lot of publicity and never for a good reason.

Geragos, you may recall, was the attorney for Scott Peterson (scumbucket husband who killed his wife, Laci), Michael Jackson (scumbucket alleged child molester), Winona Ryder (aw, I like Winona. She gets a pass.), Gary Condit (scumbucket politician who was having an affair with then soon to disappear only to be found dead intern Chandra Levy), and the list goes on.

Whenever I hear this guy's name, I just cringe. He is just a slippery, slippery guy. There's always a very far-fetched reason for everything that his clients are accused of. And I've noticed it's never a very emphatic far-fetched reason. It's always a "On a scale of 1 to 10, the reason is about a 6" sort of attitude toward everything.

Of course, he's representing the two brothers who survived the "attack". (Attack is in quotes because it hasn't been determined yet if the tiger had been taunted by these three. See, now if the tiger was unprovoked, then it's an attack. If the tiger was provoked, then it's just being a tiger. HUGE difference.) And, of course, the two brothers have lawyered up and they have also stopped cooperating with law enforcement. The first one, not a huge shock. The second one....Huh?

They're not talking. They've lawyered up. They've teamed up with Mark Geragos. Something is just not quite right with that whole scenario. I'll hold off on passing any more judgement until more investigating into this ordeal is completed. But I'm telling you right now, if Geragos is there, something is amiss.

Has Geragos actually successfully defended anyone? Oh, wait, he got Susan McDougal of Whitewater fame acquitted. Other than that, his success record at defending famous individuals isn't great. Oh, wait, he also got probation for Victor Willis, the former lead singer of the Village People (he was the cop)as opposed to state prison. Hmmmmm....I'd hire someone else.

Side note: This is quite possibly one of the most interesting trivia nuggets of all time: Who was Victor Willis once married to (and for a long time, like 8 years or something like that)? Give up. Phylicia Rashad. Yes, that is correct. The actress who played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show. HER and Victor Willis. Husband and wife. See? Is that not the best trivia nugget you've ever heard? Of course it is.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, to my surprise, the new year has started off with something reasonable. The good folks over there at Lake Superior State University have come out with their "33rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." And God bless 'em for it, too. You guys rule. Unfortunately, none of the words of the year were on that list and they did restore usability status to "truthiness", but no one's perfect. The list:

~ Perfect Storm I'm not really sure what this refers to, although it is not a hurricane.
~ Webinar Haven't even heard this one too much. Glad it's gone though.
~ Waterboarding This makes torture sound much more fun than it really is.
~ Organic Code word for "sucker" if you're paying the price for something "organic".
~ Word Smith/ Word Smithing Again, unclear as to meaning. Hate it when I hear it.
~ Author/Authored What the hell was wrong with "wrote"?
~ Post 09/11 Everything is "post 09/11" if you think about it. Everything is also post yesterday.
~ Surge If something was surging, in the past, it usually wasn't good. It's used now like it's great.
~ Give back Always in an ambiguous form. Never states "to who", "give what" or "why"
~ (blank) is the new (blank) As in "dumb is the new smart".
~ Black Friday If they can get rid of it's distant cousin "Cyber Monday" next year, I'll be thrilled.
~ Back in the day People using it do not realize it makes them sound really old. And dumb.
~ Random Misused, usually by teenagers, and also used to state the blatantly obvious.
~ Sweet Hate this word. If they can axe 'phat' from the list next year, they'll be on a roll.
~ Decimate Used to refer to utter destruction. Now refers to any degree of loss.
~ Emotional Usually when it's used, it's redundant as we can SEE the emotion being described.
~ Pop Overused by any designer when referring to one color enhancing another.
~ It is what it is Mainly used by those responsible for a debacle to avoid taking responsibility.
~ Under the bus Basically, to blame. Why a bus? Why not a truck or a plane? I don't know.

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