Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hanna Storm

That could be a nice Jackson Pollock painting or a close-up view of a carpet stain, but it's the weather radar for my little slice of Heaven on Saturday afternoon. Hanna moved through and screwed up an otherwise nice day off. Funny how often these things come on the weekends, especially when you figure there should be a 1 in 7 chance and all.
I don't mind when it snows on the weekend, because I'd rather take my time and shovel the crap on my own time rather than have to hurry so I can get to work on time. Rain, on the other hand, doesn't require any maintenance and just fouls up a day when I could be doing something more productive than this or staring out the window watching the weather go by.
The only good thing is that I just got the DVD's of season 2 of Heroes and season 4 of The Office in the mail, so I have plenty of entertainment options.
They goofed up the forecast (naturally) and it didn't start raining until early in the afternoon. I had already decided against the usual Saturday morning bike ride with our group, so maybe I'm just bitter. I did manage to get to the gym this morning, I usually bike there, but because of the weather I drove, and moving the car when I otherwise wouldn't bugs me too.
So it's off to warm up the TV and plant my butt for some indoor entertainment.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bicycle safety hint number 1

Remember to lock your bicycle to a secure location like a post or other immovable object. This cyclist has chosen a prime spot behind the local Wawa in Woodbury Heights, where his bicycle is cable-locked safely against infants, small animals and anyone who cannot lift 20 pounds to a height of three feet.
It is however, guaranteed to remain upright in the event of high winds or tipping by force.


Betelgeuse: Ah, well... I attended Juilliard ... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen "The Exorcist" about a hundred and sixty-seven times, and it keeps getting funnier EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT! Not to mention the fact that you're talkin' to a dead guy! Now what do you think? You think I'm qualified?

If Satan wanted to infiltrate society, he wouldn't come back as a devil with horns and a big red spikey tail. He'd come back as a clever figure that we trust and think, "Gee, he's not so bad." That's how the devil is. By the way, that Dick Cheney disguise ... not so good. Just thought I'd tell ya, it didn't fool me for a second.
Now, we have Sarah Palin, the latest Republican Satan disguised as a [quote] normal [unquote] person, with problems and issues "just like you and me," including a pregnant daughter and a child with an affliction. Sounds convincing, right? Add to that the fact that most men over the age of 40 would like to nail her and you have the perfect candidate. Or so it seems. You know that Satan is a shrewd mother. Consider this...
Let's start with the fact that her convention speech was written by one of G.W. Bush's speechwriters. Need I say more? Satan's training ground.
Palin recently said that the war in Iraq is "God's task." She's even admitted she hasn't thought about the war much - just last year she was quoted saying, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." But you already knew that, but why did she leave God out of her convention speech?
Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group—who advocate for a vote on secession from the union - to "keep up the good work" and "wished the party luck on what she called its 'inspiring convention.'"
Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn't made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact. She left that out too.
Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade." Who then? Left it out.
Palin opposes comprehensive sex-education in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. How has that worked out for you? She left that out.
As mayor of Wasilla (a town of 7,025), Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them - shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time magazine, "news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor." According to Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who observed City Council, Palin also brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting, but did not follow through with the idea. She touted the mayor thing, but left out the issues.
In October 1996, she asked the Wasilla police chief, librarian, public works director and finance director to resign, and she instituted a policy requiring department heads to get her approval before talking to reporters. In January 1997, Palin notified the police chief, Irl Stambaugh, and the town librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons that they were being fired. Palin said in a letter that she wanted a change because she believed the two did not fully support her administration. She rescinded the firing of the librarian, but not the police chief. Left out.
In 2006, Palin supported Ketchikan's Gravina Island Bridge, better known outside the state as the Bridge to Nowhere, before she opposed it. Palin claimed that she said "thanks, but no thanks" to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist." Palin's campaign coordinator in the city, Republican Mike Elerding, remarked, "She said 'thanks but no thanks,' but they kept the money." Democratic Mayor Bob Weinstein also criticized Palin for "using the very term 'bridge to nowhere' that she said was insulting. She kinda lied about that.
In 2002, term limits prevented Palin from running for a third term as mayor. Her stepmother-in-law, Faye Palin, ran for the office but lost the election to Dianne Keller after Sarah Palin endorsed Keller. What?
Palin has strongly promoted oil and natural gas resource development in Alaska, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has opposed federal listing of the polar bear as an endangered species, warning that it would adversely affect energy development in Alaska. Oops ... left out the environmental deal. Sorry.
Palin is a long-time member of the National Rifle Association and strongly supports its interpretation of the Second Amendment as protecting individual rights to bear arms, including handguns. The NRA? Forgot about that, didn't she?
Palin also opposes strengthening protections for beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet, where oil and gas development has been proposed. Who needs animals when we can have more oil and natural gas?
In 2007, Palin supported the Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing Alaska state biologists to hunt wolves from helicopters as part of a predator control program intended to increase moose populations. The program was criticized by Defenders of Wildlife and predator control opponents, and prompted California State Representative George Miller to introduce a federal bill (H.R. 3663) seeking to make the practice illegal. In March 2008, a federal judge in Alaska upheld the practice of hunting wolves from the air, though limited its extent. On August 26, 2008, Alaskans voted against ending the state's predator control program.
So go ahead guys, wish you could bone the vice president, but be advised that your potential children will be the spawn of Satan. You'd be better off fucking Cheney in the ass.
Oh ... by the way, that governor's jet plane that she said she "put up on eBay?" Sure she did, but it didn't get any bids and she wound up selling it for a loss. Her campaign promise to sell the Westwind II jet purchased (on a state government credit account, against the wishes of the Legislature) by the Murkowski administration for $2.7 million in 2005 was followed by an August 2007 listing on eBay and later sold for $2.1 million. Loss? Yes. How did she manage to leave that out of her convention speech? Beats me.
She managed to drag the family out and trot them around and spew out a lot of political rhetoric (courtesy of the Bush speechwriters), all the while making herself seem like just one of the gals. A hockey mom. Just like you.
Don't fall for that nonsense. If Satan wanted to gain your trust, he'd surely come back as a former Miss Alaska contestant and, for good measure, he'd win the Miss Congeniality award, and he'd make you wish you could have sex with him.
It's how he works. Then, when you least expect it, he shoots you in the face.
Aaron Altman: What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing ... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance ... just a tiny bit.
- "Broadcast News"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin drone

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."
In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."
Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.
"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."
"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.
"I can do my job there in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded," she added. "But really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God."
Funny, I didn’t hear any of that last night during her rousing acceptance speech at the big Republican pep rally. I heard a lot of political rhetoric, which is expected, but none of that God stuff, which doesn’t play well with a prime-time TV audience. We’d rather she picked up her skirt and showed some leg than hear about her religious convictions. It will come out, though because it has to. Hey gang, let’s all pray for that pipeline because that’s what God wants – a big steel tunnel funneling natural gas to the people of America.
Among other things, she spouted on about funding coal and nuclear power, sounding a bit more like Wilma Flintstone than a progressive-thinking candidate. Haven’t we had it with junk from underground? Isn’t it time to start looking over our heads and around us rather than drilling more holes and digging up the Earth? They ate that stuff up.
Then of course, it was family night. She introduced all of her strangely-named children and her husband, the “snow machine racing champion” of Alaska. I’m not sure how I felt about dragging the infant out there. Whenever I go to a big event like a concert or sporting event, I wonder why parents would want to bring infants along. They’re little more than excess baggage, since they aren’t taking a thing in and mostly just whimper, fidget and cry through most of it. In this case, I suppose we needed to get the full effect of the baby with Down’s Syndrome, which is sad I know, but I couldn’t help but feel odd watching him passed back and forth between Sarah, dad and daughter so that one or the other of them could wave to the crowd. Don’t they have nannies in Alaska? I felt sad for the child but if we are using Bristol's pregnancy as a thing we aren't supposed to talk about, then why would the baby matter? He doesn't, which is precisely the point. Wave and smile kids, Mom is on TV.
Then, we were treated to her vast political experience which includes 20 months as the governor of the third least populated state and the mayor of her hometown, which I presume she won by default. That and the fact that we are supposed to elect John McCain president because he was a prisoner of war made for a rousing speech full of applause breaks and timed out so that it overlapped into the 11 o’clock news here on the East Coast. They keep saying (and I keep asking myself why) that McCain’s military experience qualifies him to lead the country.
It’s either short-sighted or na├»ve. There’s a Hell of a lot more to running this country than leading the military, but we’re being sold this whole “Commander in Chief” deal as though it’s the most important qualification. Maybe we’re being sold that because they don’t have anything else to sell us or they’re trying to distract us from the real issues.
I think that’s why Sarah Palin is here to begin with. She looks good on TV, and for now she’s a media darling. Maybe soon we’ll hear her talking about real issues.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Three storms, no waiting.

Hanna, Ike and Josephine. Hanna is lined up to screw with our weekend, and it looks like the other two are lined up to screw with the next two weekends. I suppose it's better than living on the Gulf. You couldn't pay me to live there. Seriously. It's relentless. There's a little storm factory off the western coast of Africa that sends a spinning water dump on the area of the country that is at sea level. Do you still believe that God loves us? If he does he has a sick, twisted sense of humor.
When John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his vice presidental nominee, he stressed that she is the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard to somehow boost her level of experience. What the media later found out was that Palin has never ordered the Alaska National Guard to do anything, thereby making the Alaska National Guard America's least stressful job. We'll see how she reacts to a little pressure when she addresses the Republican National Convention. For some odd reason, I'll be watching.
Don LaFontaine, the voice of movie previews and one Geico commercial died over the weekend. Not only will our movie-going experience change, but Pablo Francisco will have to come up with a lot of new material. Either that, or he can get a job doing the preview voice-over's...

Read the blog, get a shirt.

I wish I had a clue.
I wish I knew how many people stop by here and actually read what I write.
The stat counter tells me that people ("folks" as the president would say) stop by, but I have my doubts about the length of their stay. They're here searching for world's smallest penis or some other odd reference I might have made 2 years ago. I wonder about the relevance of it all.
Meanwhile, I keep getting strange e-mail's from politicians and people who tell me I've won some lottery or another...
Can you donate at least $12 today to help get this program going right away? If you do, we'll send you a free Obama T-shirt:
The great American marketing tool: The Free T-Shirt. First, I have plenty of t-shirts. Second, I'm not all that anxious to wear my political heart on my sleeve (or chest) and third, I'm not sending them twelve dollars. If they want me to wear a shirt with their name on it I think I should be the one getting the twelve bucks. We spew out a small fortune for clothing that has some logo or name stitched on it and we do their free advertising and pay them for the privilege. How about a nice blue shirt?
The last one of those political shirts I bought shrunk up like testicles in cold water, so why would I send twelve bucks for another one?
Besides, that ain't free is it? "Send us twelve dollars and we'll send you something for free." What part of that doesn't make sense? It shouldn't be legal for marketing people to tell us that they're giving us something "free" when we have to send them money, but we fall for it and they get away with it.
I get a lot of offers for "free" stuff that I'm supposed to send for. I just bought second season of Heroes on DVD, and inside was another of those "free" offers for a Heroes magazine. Free, it said, if I sent $2.95 for postage and handling. What's free about that?
Maybe I should start sending out free t-shirts?
Or better yet, charge you twelve bucks.
There's an idea.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Acts of God

Those Republicans are shrewd mothers. Of course, you already knew that.
Their little pep rally is going on this week in Minnesota while Hurricane Gustav (who names these things?) is taunting New Orleans.
In a show of support for those put-upon people of the gulf they decided to cancel the day-one events of the convention which included a speech by George W. Bush and surely a ringing endorsement of John McCain - whether he likes it or not.
President Bush skipped his planned speech to go to disaster and relief centers, determined to avoid a repeat of the disaster mismanagement of Katrina.
Of course he did. Why be a leader and make a speech when you can pack boxes?
"This is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats," Cindy McCain said.
Do you really want 4 years of crap like that?
Added the first lady: "Our first priority for today and in the coming days is to ensure the safety and well-being of those living in the Gulf Coast region."
I'm having trouble finding the link between a political convention and a storm in Louisiana - that wasn't as big as expected, by the way - but that doesn't keep the Repugnicans from playing it for all it's worth. What they were really concerned about was having a big party while people were treading water. But isn't that what they do every day anyway?
There's rampant poverty in this country that goes on every day and they don't stop partying for that group so why a storm? There isn't any difference other than one is a news story and one is a way of life. Your convention was scheduled and the storm was not, so why not continue? Whether or not you have your convention won't change a thing that goes on in Louisiana - other than make you look like humanitarians - or maybe that's the point?
"If things turn out to be not so bad as we had expected, things probably will go back to a more normal agenda," said Grace Hickman, an Oklahoma delegate. "I would like for us to be able to have a more complete convention, like the Democrats had theirs, but we also have to think about the country and the people in Louisiana."
White House officials held out the possibility President Bush would make a televised address to the convention from Washington. The decision on Bush's role, if any, appeared to rest with the McCain campaign, which has tried to distance the Arizona senator from the unpopular president
The McCain campaign must be living right. A hurricane hits the gulf on the day when President Worthless is going to make a speech to endorse a candidate who would like nothing better than to distance himself from the last 8 years, so they cancel it and look like heroes, and we buy it because it's supposed to be 'the right thing to do'.
That's what worries me about November.
THIS JUST IN: The president will address the convention by satellite from the White House for about eight minutes.
We'll be hanging on his every word.

Monday, September 1, 2008


A good writer knows his audience. "Give them what they want" is the popular phrase that is used whenever something unusual proves to be popular - like American Idol or Paris Hilton.
Who'd-a thunk (another popular phrase) that an essay about laxatives could garner so much interest? I would have figured you would have seen the Dulcolax box and flipped the screen in a gentle but effective way.
But no. That's why I'm not in marketing or involved in a field where it is necessary to determine what people like. Thanks for all your well-wishes and you can take heart in knowing that like the popularity of Ms. Hilton, this too shall pass.
Meanwhile, today was Labor Day. Unless you're in the service or retail industries, you had the day off. Labor Day is another of those strange legal holidays where almost everything is open and oddly, the people who earn the lowest wages are generally the ones working. Throw some time-and-a-half plus holiday pay at them and they'll give up the "unofficial last day of summer."
God, how many times have I heard that today? The unofficial last day of summer. It's going to be 90 degrees around here for another week.
If you were fortunate enough to work in an industry that didn't have to work today, congratulations. Some people never get a holiday and others get all of them.
I have Tuesday off too.