Saturday, July 8, 2006


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Facing criticism, potential 2008 presidential candidate Joe Biden has been forced to explain his recent remark that, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."
The Delaware senator said his words were taken out of context. He was asked about the comment during an interview with CNN's "The Situation Room." The senator said he has had an "incredibly strong" relationship with the Indian-American community in Delaware and that his comment was misinterpreted.
I love the "out of context" excuse. Take another second and read the quote, and tell me how it could be taken out of context. I can't see any context other than what is evident in the statement itself, but Biden can somehow make it sound like we are hearing it wrong, and his meaning is somehow skewed. I was born during the day, but not yesterday.
Incidentally, isn't this the same Joe Biden who admitted in 1987 he plagiarized part of a law school paper in 1965. He copied five pages from a law review in a 15-page paper without citing the source while at Syracuse University Law School.
While running as a Democratic presidential candidate in 1987, he also used quotations in speeches from former British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock and the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy without giving them credit.
Recently, the United Press International picked up a story, reporting at the time: "The parents of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., own a home in Wilmington, Del., that has an old deed prohibiting sale or occupancy by blacks." In that instance, Biden insisted that neither he nor his family knew of the restrictions. Yeah, right.
What have we learned today?
Joe Biden's family may have racial restrictions on the sale of their home, he plagiarized a law school paper, he makes racially insensitive jokes in public, and I'm pretty sure he has hair plugs, but I may be taking that out of context.
We have also learned that the Democrats should look elsewhere for a presidential candidate in 2008, and leave Joe to his 1 electoral-vote state, where his constituents seem content to put up with his nonsense.
No soup for you!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Here's a Coincidence

Although widespread virus outbreaks may be a thing of the past, the total amount of malicious software being written is on the rise, according to McAfee. On Tuesday, McAfee vendor added the 200,000th definition to its threat database, and the security vendor expects the total number of identified threats to double in another two years. McAfee's antivirus products use these definitions as digital fingerprints to determine which software should not be allowed to run on a user's PC.
What is the coincidence, you ask? I thought I heard you asking. The coincidence is that McAfee, the company that "delivers world-class retail and online solutions designed to secure, protect and optimize the computers of consumers and home office users" is telling us that the amount of malicious software is going to increase. In other words, they write the software that protects your computer from viruses, and they are telling us that there will be more viruses.
Do you think, for even a minute, that McAfee could be somehow subsidizing the hackers that are writing the viruses? Why else would an enterprising young hacker write up a virus routine? For the money? Maybe. My cynical nature takes over and tells me that the company that is responsible for virus protection could be kept in business by subsidizing the people who write the viruses. I don't think it's that hard to comprehend.
Between Symantec (the brains behind Norton) and McAfee, I wonder if they aren't responsible for most of the viruses that we pay them to protect us from. I know it's poor sentence structure, but can you prove me wrong?

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Concrete Balls

After John Gilbert Graham blew up a plane with 44 people in it (including his mother), Lenny Bruce declared that, "The American people are really losing their sense of humor. Anyone who blows up a plane with 40 people and his mother can't be all bad."
Now, some 50 or so years later, the Germans have lost their sense of whatever they think is humor. A couple of enterprising German youths who, according to this story, had a nice little idea of their own, only to run afoul of the cops:
BERLIN (Reuters) - Police in Berlin said on Wednesday they had arrested two men on suspicion of placing cement-filled soccer balls around the city and inviting people to kick them. At least two people injured themselves by kicking the balls, which were chained to lamp posts and trees alongside the spray-painted message: "Can you kick it?"
Police said they had identified a 26-year-old and a 29-year-old and had found a workshop in their apartment where they made the balls. The two are accused of causing serious physical injury, dangerous obstruction of traffic and causing injury through negligence, police said.
I don't see anything there that is worthy of a criminal record. It sounds to me like the young men found a market for a product and set out to capture said market. Isn't that the same thing young Joel Goodsen did in Risky Business? Was he arrested? No, in fact he won a prize at school for his ingenuity. Filling a soccer ball with concrete is at least as good as turning a home into a brothel, and my boys did it in an apartment, which must be even more difficult.
I think they should have arrested the two people who kicked the balls on suspicion of being a dumb ass.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Nature's Fireworks

It's raining again here at My Sick Headquarters. Lately, we have had a thunderstorm almost every day, along with heat and high humidity. It has reached the point where West Deptford residents are traveling to the Amazon rain forest for the cool, dry weather. It clears out our sinuses, I think.
During today's thunderstorm, I flipped on the Weather Channel to see where the red and yellow stuff was. As it turns out, it was right over my hometown. The little crawl at the bottom of the screen was telling me to expect high winds and damaging hail. No kidding. Out the window, I could see that it was raining sideways. Then, it warned me that I should watch out for lightning because "lightning is one of nature's number one killers." I had to read it twice, quickly before it disappeared into the space at the side of the screen. One of nature's number one killers. That's interesting, since I had no idea that there was more than one number one. My head was about to explode - or was that more thunder?
I decided to look it up, because I can't imagine that lightning kills that many people, since I am constantly reminded that I have a better chance of being hit by lightning than winning the lottery. But, with New Jersey shut down, I assume the lottery odds just went way up. As it turns out, extreme heat is the number one weather-related killer, according to NOAA and Al Gore.
Then, I found another site that told me that flash floods are the number one weather related killer. Yet another site I visited told me that, world-wide, the number one killer is drought. What I gleaned from that combo is that a good, steady rain that stops will not kill anyone. That's a handy piece of information to have.
You're welcome.
This one told me that heat is the number one non-weather related killer, but if heat isn't weather, then what is it? It's still nature, right? Unless you die under a French fry heat lamp at McDonald's, it's nature. As we know, only God can make a fry. They also told me that if it's hot, I should stay out of the sun. I'll take "The Bloody Obvious" for $100, Alex.
I'm exhausted. If research-fatigue kills me, can we count that as a nature-related killer or do I blame Google? I'm not even sure who Google is.
So, what did we learn today? We learned that if it's hot, stay out of it and when the thunderstorm hits, run out and buy a lottery ticket.
I also learned that lightning is one of nature's number one killers, and not to argue with syntax anymore.

Monday, July 3, 2006

My Little Tribute

Today, my favorite athlete in the whole world, Annika Sorenstam, won the U.S. Open for the third time. I will not refer to it as the "U.S. Women's Open" as is customary, since we all know she is a woman and plays golf, so the gender designation is unnecessary.
She had to go to a playoff against Pat Hurst in order to do it, but when it came down to today's final 18 holes, she blew her out so quickly that I doubt that Pat knew what hit her.
I admit to being a bit of a women's golf geek, even though I don't play golf. Mostly it's because I admire their skill, but partly because I enjoy watching women play golf. There's something elegant and powerful about it. Delicate on the greens and powerful off the tee. There's the geek part.
There are a lot of great players on the LPGA tour, but Annika obviously stands apart, much as Tiger Woods does on the PGA tour. As I have noted here in the past week or so, it isn't easy to come up with professional athletes that are worthy of our respect and admiration, but Annika and several other women on the LPGA tour fill the bill nicely. It's easy to admire someone who dedicates so much of herself to the game, and comes up big in crucial situations.
Thanks Annika ... and Paula, Carrie, Natalie, and Michelle, and Christie, Pat, Juli and Se Ri ... for giving me professional athletes worthy of my respect and admiration. You restore my faith in humanity - for now.

A Source of Misinformation

While I was checking my Stat Counter (at the bottom of the screen) I noticed that some poor soul did a search on, wondering "when was terry cloth invented". The screen he got in return for his query looked like this:

As you can see, my little blog came up as response #4. Presumably, they are listed in order of relevance, and what could possibly be more relevant than My Sick Mind? As you can also see, of the other 3 responses, mine is the only one that comes close to addressing his question, albeit dateless - as am I.

If you're out there, poor soul, I hereby apologize if I led you astray in my June 20 post, claiming, facetiously that Terry Bradshaw was somehow responsible for that miracle fabric. For the record, it is also not true that 1,000 leggers have 998 legs, nor is it true that the Smokey and the Bandit films were based on unpublished works by William Shakespeare. I only hope that this minor indescretion has not damaged the heretofore unblemished record of reliability that I have built in a scant 3 months.

For now, the date of the invention of Terry cloth remains a mystery, but a much bigger question remains. Why would anyone want to know?

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Welcome to New Jersey

Our governor, John Corzine has enacted a constitutionally mandated shut-down of all state government functions as of July 1 because he couldn't get his state budget passed. Well, most state functions. There are one or two that seem to fly under the radar and get preferential treatment.
The head of the Casino Control Commission ordered gaming in Atlantic City to cease at 8 a.m. Wednesday — the day after the July Fourth holiday — if New Jersey fails to enact a budget by then. Republican Assemblyman Francis Blee, whose district includes the casinos, said it was important for them to remain open.
"We will have tens of thousands of individuals, real people, that are going to be hurt by this," he said. "There will be bread-winners who are not bringing home a paycheck
." Well, Mr. Blee, what about all the other state employees who are also bread-winners? Too bad for them that they don't work for a casino, and only operate vital state government functions. We can't concern ourselves with their petty problems - like not having a paycheck. THE CASINOS MIGHT CLOSE!
Or, to look at it another way, tens of thousands of individuals will be bringing home more of their paycheck because they won't be squandering it in the slot machines. I feel bad for the employees, but it is interesting to see how the Casino Control Commission (key word - Control) finds their way around such things as our recently enacted indoor restaurant and bar smoking ban. We are still allowed to smoke in the casino, but not in regular businesses. God forbid they lose any more money. It's OK if we lose it, though, which is comforting to know.
The state stands to lose $2 million in tax revenue each day the casinos are closed. That's a shame, but I'm sure they will raise the gasoline tax or increase some other tax to make up the difference. Here's a radical idea: Tax the casinos a portion of their revenue for the holiday. That won't happen either, because the budget crisis is now the taxpayer's responsibility. Corzine's budget impasse is largely the result of his desire to raise our already high 6 percent sales tax to 7 percent, so the process is off to a rollicking start, ain't it?
The state lottery and road construction projects were the first to close, but the precious casinos will stay open at least through the vital July 4 holiday. We shouldn't allow them to lose their holiday revenues - especially on such a materialistic and patriotic day, should we? That would be wrong ... I guess.
Who's running this place, really?