Saturday, August 5, 2006

We're Close to the End of Civilization

The August 2006 cover of Babytalk magazine. Readers of a US parenting magazine are crying foul over the publication's latest cover depicting a woman breastfeeding, with some calling the photo offensive and disgusting(AFP/HO)
When are we ever going to get over this nonsense that parts of the body are "offensive and disgusting?" It's a baby and mother, for chrissakes. My guess is that the people calling the magazine cover disgusting have other issues that they should explore over at Psychology Today magazine.
LONDON (Reuters) - Hundreds of Britons are being urged to attend what is being branded as Europe's first "Masturbate-a-thon", a leading reproductive healthcare charity said on Friday. Marie Stopes International, which is hosting the event with HIV/AIDS charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, said it expected up to 200 people to attend the sponsored masturbation session in Clerkenwell, central London, on Saturday. The Marie Stopes spokeswoman said local religious groups had been initially outraged, but after people had heard what the event was about, most had approved it. Police had also given it their approval.
It's a shame they didn't ask the police and religious groups to approve the magazine cover. God knows, the only way to raise money to fight AIDS is to masturbate in public. Great idea.
Group masturbation in public - Good
Magazine cover showing a baby and mother - Bad
Is it any wonder that a lot of kids are growing up with whacky ideas about sex? MySpace gets the blame, while parents and social groups walk away scot free.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Jeepers, Creepers

This is Paula Creamer, a pro on the LPGA tour. Are those the greatest eyebrows you've ever seen, or what? I know ... what am I doing looking at eyebrows? I figure she spends so much time on them, that someone should appreciate it. Plus, the girl can golf like nobody's business.
I don't care if you think I'm strange.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Dick's for Dicks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police supervisors offered prizes to officers who wrote the most traffic tickets during an eight-day period over the July Fourth holiday. Five officers from the department's North Division earned $10 gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods. "I don't think there is anything inherently evil or bad about rewarding officers for putting in extra effort for a good cause," Major John Diggs (who oversees the division) said.
So, now we know the high priority that some law enforcement agencies place on their job. GIve a guy a ticket for going 45 in a 35, make his day miserable, cost him more on his car insurance and make him write a check -- all for a Dick's gift certificate. It seems unethical to me - because it is.
I thought police were supposed to be above treating their job like a game show? No, they're just people. People with a badge. Otherwise, they're no better than the rest of us. As far as being heroes, well - some of them are, but these guys are just skunks.
Besides, I thought they weren't allowed to take gratuities? That's what the guys on ADAM-12 always used to say.
SUGGESTION: If you want to try to talk your way out of your next traffic ticket, make sure to carry a $25 Dick's Gift Certificate in your car. Out bid the bastards.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Those Nutty Muslims

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest theme park has called off the country's first "National Muslim Fun Day" because of lack of interest, the park said Wednesday. Alton Towers in central England was to open on September 17 for Muslims -- with halal food [meaning: permissible under Islam], a strict dress code and prayer areas. Sounds like a hoot!
Geez, I can't imagine why there was no interest. Probably because there were no freedom fries...

Our Long National Nightmare is Over

WASHINGTON (AFP) - French fries are back on the menu of cafeterias that cater to US lawmakers on Capital Hill, more than three years after they were replaced by "freedom fries" in anger over France's refusal to join the US-led war in Iraq.
It was a ridiculous over-reaction to the terrorist attacks, and a perceived slap at France, and I'll bet you that not one of the lawmakers that ordered them referred to them as freedom fries. Fries will do. Sometimes our lawmakers do things that they think will make them look good, but wind up being silly.
France is looking smarter every day.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are running ads spotlighting centerfielder Aaron Rowand, and calling him a "hero" because he chased a fly ball into a fence and broke his nose. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a lot of hubbub that started around September 12, 2001 proclaiming that we shouldn't use the word hero loosley. They're athletes who play a sport for our entertainment. The real heroes, we were told, were the firefighters, police and emergency respondents, many of whom died the day before.
How soon we forget.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

My Little Heathens

Try as I might, I couldn't find a list of celebrity Satan worshippers to go with yesterday's Famous Mennonites. They must be out there, and I wonder why they are so shy to share their stories? Shy, I guess. But I did manage to find a site where you can buy a celebrity's soul:
I think that I can, however, direct you to a partial list of Satan's pals on FIRESTARTER5.
It's as hot as Hell. Nice tie-in, eh? It didn't quite get to 100 degrees, but what difference would it make? They tell us that the Heat Index is something like 110, but all they have to tell us is that it's humid, too. I swear, TV news producers must be nursing little woodies when it's really hot or it snows. They love their silly weather stories. Ironically, it's the only news story we can literally look out our window and see for ourselves. You'd think it wouldn't be that big a deal.
But that didn't stop our local news spent the first ten minutes of the 6 o'clock report telling us how hot it was. Action News (our ABC affiliate) sent 4 reporters to various hot locations to clue us in on the heat, in case we weren't sure that it was hot everywhere. The only reason they stopped at ten minutes is because they had to go to commercial. But, they came right back with the weather forecast. TOMORROW: Hot. Probably humid, too.
One reporter was at the beach (ya think it was hot there?), one in a city neighborhood where it was particularly hot, another followed the Phillie Phanatic around in his green suit that must smell as bad as it looks, and another at the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Tweeter Center in Camden - fouling the luster given it by Fiona Apple a mere four days ago. Stinkin' Parrot heads. It was hot everywhere.
Local news spent almost as much time on the weather as MSNBC spent on the Mel Gibson story. Once again, we have been duped into financially supporting yet another skunk. It's almost as bad as one of your deadbeat relatives who continually cons you out of money for what he tells you is food and rent, but later you find out that he's been spending it on whores and beer. For Mel, that would have been an improvement.

Mennonite, Schmennonite

Famous Mennonites
Floyd Landis, who was raised conservative Mennonite.
JC Chasez from boy band N'Sync.
Adolph Rupp is a basketball coaching legend.
Cindy Klassen is a Canadian skater and Canada's all-time most decorated Olympian.
Jeff Hostetler is a former NFL quarterback.
Graham Kerr created the cooking show "The Galloping Gourmet."
Simpsons creator
Matt Groening is a descendant of Russian Mennonites.
James L. Kraft founded the cheese company J.L. Kraft & Bros. Co., which later became Kraft Foods.
Milton Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Jerome Smucker founded the food conglomerate J. M. Smucker Company, popularly known as
Canadian actor
Brendan Fehr stars on the television series "Roswell."
Canadian actress
Evangeline Lilly from the TV series "Lost" has some Mennonite ancestry.
I read some things about the Mennonites, but nowhere did it say that they had unusually high levels of testosterone. Certainly not Graham Kerr, and probably not that N'Sync guy, either. Meanwhile, ol' Floyd Landis, it turns out, did have artificially high levels of testosterone in his body during what they told us was his win in the Tour de France, (according to the latest test) and not the naturally high levels he contended he had just a few days ago. So, common sense would tell us that he lied.
Great. Cycling needs another drug scandal the way baseball needs ... ummm ... another drug scandal.
I don't know if people (a) are surprised to hear that a person raised in a strict religious household has lied and cheated (b) are surprised that another cyclist is cheating or (c) they aren't surprised by any of it.
It did look a little odd that Floyd was buried after he bonked on Stage 16, then, less than 24 hours later has the ride of his life and takes off up another mountain and right out of the TV screen to make up most of the 8 minute deficit he lost the day before. Anyone who does any kind of endurance activity knows how tough it is to come back like that, but we bought into it because we wanted to believe that a human is capable of inhuman feats. We're funny that way. We like to believe in Santa Claus, the power of prayer and the indomitable human spirit. When it turns out that the human spirit was helped along by pharmaceuticals, we act surprised, but probably aren't, really.
After the cynicism kicks in, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that anyone, regardless of their upbringing, religion or social status is incapable of lying or cheating to get what they want out of life. Sad part is, they figure they will get away with it, which I suppose is the last vestige of a scoundrel. But I wouldn't know, since I've never been able to get away with anything, and the people that have would never let us in on it. I guess they can live with themselves, but I can only hope that it eats them up inside.
For now, I still choose to believe that The Simpson's is drawn by real people, and Hershey's is made with real chocolate, and it will take a lot more than another cycling scandal to convince me otherwise.
TOMORROW: A list of famous Satan worshipers and their accomplishments.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Something Old, Something New ...

Canadian actress Pamela Anderson is seen before her wedding ceremony with US musician Kid Rock, aboard a yacht in St. Tropez, southern France Saturday, July 29, 2006. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
Nice wedding dress, Pamela. I'm guessing those are new boobs, an old hat, blue pants and she probably had to borrow underwear. Although, I think she could have taken the time to cut the pockets off the pants - or had one of her "people" do it. Which reminds me, where are the bridesmaids?
Who knew she was Canadian? Or that Kid Rock was a musician?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Road Apples, Mules and My Return to Earth

One of the major problems with traveling a great distance for an event is that there is a heightened probability that the event will not justify the effort. Such was the case when we ventured almost 300 miles to Connecticut to see the Dave Matthews Band and Gov't Mule in Hartford, Connecticut.
The endearing charm of both bands is that one could follow either of them from city to city and never see the same show twice. That has as its downside the fact that one of the shows may be the dog of the bunch. I've seen the DMB four times this summer (twice in Camden and once in Hershey, PA) and twice last year (Camden and NYC) and I would say that Saturday's show ranks as the dog of the bunch. My friend, who has seen them dozens of times, agreed that it wasn't one of her favorite shows, either.
I've seen Gov't Mule even more than Dave, but always as headliners of their own shows. I wondered how they would react to opening for such a big act. Their set was subdued and I thought, too laid back for a crowd that wanted more energy from a night that clearly needed a cooling breeze and some exciting music, but they're promoting a new CD, so I guess concessions must be made.
Dave's set was equally mellow, and too much so for an evening where the discomfort of high heat and humidity were exaggerated by the impatience of waiting for something exciting to happen. So ... as they say, you pay your money and take your chances.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Upon returning to the car after the show, I discovered that I had left my driver's side window open. Fortunately, nothing was missing from the car, so I chalked it up to the honesty of concert-goers, when in fact, I was parked so close to the car next to me that it probably wasn't noticeable.
One of the chances one takes involves the travel to get to wherever it is you're going. In the case of the northeast, that often means traffic, congestion and construction. The traffic is a given. We're in the famous northeast corridor, and the amount of people exceeds the space to house us by about 2 to 1. The great conundrum is that construction projects need to be done in the summer, which is precisely the time when people want to travel. If you could build a road in February, go ahead and do it. My ass is inside keeping warm by the glow of the TV. But they can't. It has something to do with concrete, I think.
All those things don't amount to much until you add in the incessant toll booths and the congestion they create. On vacation in the southwest, I drove for 2 weeks (almost 2,600 miles) and never paid one toll. All of it on pristine state and interstate highways, crossing 3 states. I wondered how Nevada, Arizona and Utah did such a good job of maintaining their roadways without a seventy cent toll every 15 miles, like we have in New Jersey. Every time the brake lights illuminated, I thought there was some sort of accident up ahead, but no! Soon, there would appear a PAY TOLL 1 MILE AHEAD sign, which not only served as a warning, but as a reason why traffic has crawled to a near stop. Add to that the ceaseless and senseless lane-changing by aggressive drivers who think that the world moves in their wake -- [WHY DO YOU NEED TO BE IN THE MIDDLE LANE, WHEN THE REST OF US ARE MOVING ALONG QUITE NICELY, AND THERE ARE A THOUSAND CARS AHEAD OF YOU?] -- most notably by 3 Porsche drivers, moving in tandem at 90 mph, weaving along I-95 -- and you have the makings of what we call 'an accident waiting to happen' - a few of which we saw on the way. But it all comes to a screeching halt when we arrive at the toll booth -- the driving equivalent of a buzz-kill.
We tax people without children (like me) for schools, tax liquor and cigarettes even if you're buying them as gifts and charge property taxes to people (like me) who live in condominiums, all of which falls under the general umbrella of taxation without representation. We fought a war over it a long time ago. Perhaps we should wage a similar fight over the ridiculous toll road system that we have come to accept here in the northeast? It isn't the hardest problem in the world to solve, and I suppose if we really wanted to, we could, if it weren't for the patronage jobs and corruption that is not only built-into the system, but is embraced by it.
Meanwhile, Fiona Apple would have been worth a climb of Mount Everest to see, but I only had to go about 20 miles. Sometimes, the best things are right outside your door. No tolls, traffic or congestion - just art, expression and great music. The brightest star in a Universe of dull, brown dwarfs. She would be kicked off American Idol before her hands were warm around the microphone, but I'd buy ice cubes from her in Alaska sooner than I'd buy another Ford from Taylor Hicks. In some ways, it's sad that artists like her have such trouble finding an audience, but in another, selfish way, I'm glad that the audience she has found has me in it.