November 24, 2004

Broken clock, twice a day and all that jazz

Andrew Sullivan weighs in on the decision by See BS to keep Rather on at 60 Minutes. Excerpt:

Why on earth is Rather staying on full-time at Sixty Minutes, the show whose reputation he besmirched by rashness and partisanship? Notice the ABC News story barely mentions the memo-gate fiasco. Rather's tenure as CBS anchor was bound to end some time soon. Big deal. A simple question: How can you rehire a man for Sixty Minutes when you haven't even published your own investigation into the journalistic meltdown that he presided over? Shouldn't you wait until you know what actually happened before you declare that someone will stay on full-time? And how long does such an investigation take, for Pete's sake? My bullshit detector just went through the roof on this one.

Update: Sigh. Trying to compete with a guy who reads the entire freaking Internet before breakfast is simply a waste of time. I guess I could go on about the great minds et al, but why bother?

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The rest of us still aren't sorry

However, the world finally responds to our their begging for forgiveness. Here's my favorite:

bush the power.jpg

Damn. They're on to us.

Update: Forgot to give credit where credit is due for the link. Whoopsy.

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Non-holiday humor and associated dreck post

Vox posted an interesting comment from JW about how men treat women and vice versa. Excerpt:

In my circle of acquaintances, and probably with yours, there are a few men that do not treat their women well. But the majority of the time, in a group setting, it is the women who disrespect their men. Every 10-15 minutes two things happen: a woman asks a favor of their man, and a woman disses her man (by insulting him, mocking him, scoffing at him, or making him the brunt of a joke). These women regularly say things to or about their man, publicly, that they would be irate about if he said the same. The ironic thing is that most of these women are otherwise decent people, but no one seems to take offense to their verbal snarls at their men--but if a man says something disrespectful there is a rallying call to support the woman.

Vox responds, displaying his usual facility with the English language. Pertinent excerpt with the money quote highlighted:

JW is correct and I am no misogynist, but being a male of unusual verbal skills, I have always enjoyed the look of utter shock on a woman's face when I turn her words around and shred her to bits in public. I'm not sure if it is my ability or my willingness to do so that is more unexpected, but on more than one occasion I have had the impression that the men around were on the verge of breaking into spontaneous applause at the verbal vivisectomy. I can't stand bullies of any kind and I derive much the same pleasure from taking down a verbal bully as I once did from bouncing a physical bully's head off a brick wall.

One of the reasons that I married Space Bunny was that she never once forced me to treat her that way; she is far too civilized to play show-the-leash games or indulge in bully-cat behavior. Such women are, in the words of the wise man, more precious than gold.

Amen to that. I count my blessing every day that I stumbled onto, and somehow convinced to marry me, a woman like that. I've been around too many eviscerating harpys in my lifetime; I can't imagine living with one.

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This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Via Kevin. I'm certain that the musical quality will rival that of this album, which appears to be out of print. However, the website linked above allows you to hear such holiday classics as "Zip It".

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Just what eveyone wants

An interactive game to Fix-A-Turkey. Lots of violent humor. Mheh.

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A Thanksgiving prayer

From Charlie Sheen, no less. Excerpt:

Thank you, O Lord, for keeping Heidi Fleiss's mouth shut when it was supposed to be shut, and open when it was meant to be open. Wink, Wink.

Thank you, O Lord, for my magnificent head of hair.

Thank you, O Lord, for my Bank Card commercial which airs every NFL timeout. I make more for that 30-second spot than my gardener Hiyoshi will make in his lifetime, and as You know, those Japs live forever.

Thank you, O Lord, for my wife Denise Richards. She is just as sexy a little slut in real life as she was in "Wild Things," and I need not remind you, Almighty Father, how hot she was in that.

::sniff:: It's beautiful, man. Go read it all to truly get into the Thanksgiving spirit.

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How to cook a turkey

This has been making its way around the Internet since 1500 B.C., even though the first computer still hadn't been manufactured yet. However, if there's one thing that you can count on me for, it's recycling the stalest holiday humor you've ever seen between now and the New Year.

Step 1: Go buy a turkey

Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD

Step 3: Put turkey in the oven

Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens

Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink

Step 7: Turn oven the on

Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky

Step 9: Turk the bastey

Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get

Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer

Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours

Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick

Step 17: Turk the carvey

Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch

Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey

Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out

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the Cameron Column #1(#57 reprinted): The Thanksgiving Turkey

Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.

Take the Thanksgiving turkey (and I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But take Thanksgiving--my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.

"Ha!" I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV remote control, would pick up their spears, huddle, and then go out and pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a mammoth, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a car under.

Words cannot describe the delight on my wife's face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions, it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the turkey for this thawing procedure.) Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother's recipe in that there are no flames or threats of divorce "if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes."

I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that's not entirely true--at one point, I am asked to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird's "mouth," but I'd rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is happy about this development.

As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many leftovers, to which I logically reply, "hey, YOU cooked it."

Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric reactions to turkey consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and, judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.

Thanks... oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too.

The Cameron Column, A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1998

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Spicing up Thanksgiving dinner

Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.
2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully (see
3. Roast according to your own recipes and serve.
4. Watch your guests' faces.

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Thanksgiving proclamation from 1789

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1789

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd day of October, A.D. 1789

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November 23, 2004

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving


Update: Gregg Easterbrook adds more. Excerpt:

In other NFL news, Thanksgiving has become Throwback Day, with teams to wear
old-fashioned uniforms and old logos on the home page. TMQ suggests this
menu for your own personal Throwback Thanksgiving:

  • Wild turkey, shot with a musket and hand-plucked.
  • Dried maize; no corn-on-the-cob.
  • Ample, overflowing servings of lobster. (The Pilgrims considered lobster
    tasteless and complained in their diaries of having to eat it so often.)
  • Seal meat.
  • Hard apple cider. (Till the early 1800s or so, hard cider was in rural
    North America considered the only totally safe beverage, because the alcohol
    killed waterborne pathogens; children often drank diluted hard cider and went
    through the day slightly tipsy.)
  • For desert: plums, grapes and stewed pumpkin. (There is no chance the
    Pilgrims ate pie at the first Thanksgiving, because they had no refined sugar.
    Until the 1800s, most Americans rarely tasted anything containing refined

As you dig into your turkey, stuffing and pecan pie, washed down with a $10
bottle of wine superior in quality to any wine available to the 17th-century
kings of France, remember how hard your ancestors worked, and how they
sacrificed, in the dream that someday their descendants would be warm, well-fed
and secure against nature. Considering that your forebears just a century ago
had an average lifespan of 46 years and often shivered during winters while
eating mostly salt-preserved food, try to get through turkey day without
complaining about anything, okay? Happy Throwback Thanksgiving!

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Burn baby burn

The anti-capital punishment types will be out in force over this case. Actually, I have no problem who oppose ALL killings on moral principles. My sister opposes abortion and capital punishment. Anyway, what's really going to get my goat are those "but for the grace of God, there go I" ultra-leftist feminist types who will be out in force claiming that this poor, poor, misunderstood woman actually lopped off her 11-month old baby's arms as a cry for help. Maybe they can qualify it as a really late term abortion. After all, it's HER body. The fetus has no rights.

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Bird droppings or cow pie: you decide

Andy Rooney spoke to students at Tufts University recently and had the following pearls of wisdom to offer:

Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance. "I am an atheist," Rooney said. "I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense."

He said Christian fundamentalism is a result of "a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer."

Rooney said he also could not understand how "men who work with their hands voted for George Bush," and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education. "The labor force is conservative," he said. "How in the world did that happen?"

Translation: you people are freakin' morons, especially those of you who believe in God. Now go back home, but don't drive too far or you'll fall off the edge of the Earth.

Nice little assnugget, this Mr. Rooney. I guess my degrees in physics and nuclear engineering, my background as an engineer in aerospace alloy development and my current career as a computer programmer are all illusions. After all, someone that believes in God can't be educated, right? Anyway, the old pusbag does make one valid point, which might surprise his friends at See BS:

"I am very critical of some of the people at CBS who make it apparent what their political leanings are," Rooney said. "That's what happened to this thing of Dan Rather's that got out. There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush."

I think that Rooney and the Dan are going to have a chat soon.

: Paul is already on the case.

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Anti-religious bigotry continues to grow

And just a little way up I-95 from where I live. Apparently, it's forbidden to let the children™ know that the Pilgrims were a devout group that repeatedly thanked the Almighty during the first Thanksgiving. Excerpt:

Young students across the state read stories about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, simulate Mayflower voyages, hold mock feasts and learn about the famous meal that temporarily allied two very different groups.

But what teachers don't mention when they describe the feast is that the Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God.

Thanksgiving is usually taught as a part of social studies and emphasizes cultural immersion.

"The Pilgrim Story is read in Spanish and English," said Alfreda Adams, principal at Mills-Parole Elementary School in Annapolis, where 70 Hispanic students attend. "We make sure that we celebrate all cultures."

School administrators statewide agree, saying religion never coincides with how they teach Thanksgiving to students.

The Mayflower, Pilgrims, Native Americans become enduring symbols to students before the week-long hiatus they are granted each year to spend time with their families.

"In elementary school we learned that the Pilgrims came to the Indians and they all had a feast," said Emmanuel Cobington, 13, and a seventh-grader at Annapolis Middle School.

Dude, righteous feast! Cool.

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Flatus: a heartwarming Thanksgiving tale

There was an old married couple that had happily lived together for nearly forty years. The only friction in their marriage was caused by the husband's habit of breaking wind nearly every morning as he awoke.

The noise would always wake up his wife, and the smellwould cause her eyes to water as she would choke and gasp for air. Nearly every morning she would plead with him to stop ripping one in the morning. He told her that he couldn't help it. She begged him to see a doctor to see if anything could be done but the husband wouldn't hear of it. He told her that it was just a natural bodily function, and then he would laugh in her face as she tried to wave the fumes away with her hands. She told him that there was nothing natural about it, and if he didn't stop, he was one day going to "fart his guts out."

The years went by, and the wife continued to suffer, and the husband continued to ignore her warnings about "farting his guts out", until one Thanksgiving morning. Before dawn, the wife went downstairs to prepare the family feast.

She fixed pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, made gravy and, of course, a turkey. While she was taking out the turkey's innards, a thought occurred to the wife as to how she might solve her husband's problem. With a devilish grin on her face, she placed the turkey guts into a bowl and quietly walked upstairs hours before her flatulent husband would awake. While he was still soundly asleep, she pulled back the covers and then gently pulled back her husband's jockey shorts.

She then placed all of the turkey guts into her husband's underwear, pulled them up, replaced the covers and tiptoed back downstairs to finish preparing the family meal.

Several hours later she heard her husband awake with his normal loud butt trumpeting. This was soon followed by a blood curdling scream and the sound of frantic footsteps as her husband ran to the upstairs bathroom.

The wife could not control herself, and her eyes began to tear up as she rolled on the floor laughing. After years of putting up with him she had finally gotten even.

About twenty minutes later, her husband came downstairs in his blood-stained underpants with a look of horror in his eyes. She bit her lip to keep from laughing, and she asked him what was the matter. He said, "Honey, you were right. All those years you warned me, and I didn't listen to you."

"What do you mean?" innocently asked his wife.

"Well you always told me that I would end up farting my guts out one of these days and today it finally happened. But by the grace of good Lord and these two fingers, I think I got 'em all back in."

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November 22, 2004

This just in...

There's a new video game in town. No official word yet on what the company's next release will be, but anonymous sources say that The Polly Klass Sleepover Extravganza will be on the shelves by next Christmas.

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Lileks on scifi

Harvey, the following is the only part you would care to read of today's Bleat:

I watched the first episode of Battlestar Galactica’s new season. Not something I ever thought I would look forward to, given how much I loathed the original. I mean, if you were eight years old and watched it in your Underoos and have great love for it because it was part of your childhood, that’s fine. Sad, but fine. At the time we quasi-adults thought it was stupid, and an obvious ripoff of the Genius of George Lucas. (In retrospect, they just showed us what Lucas probably would have done if he’d had to produce a weekly series.) I watched the two-hour special on Sci-Fi only because Ronald D. Moore was connected to it. He could re-envision “My Mother the Car” and I’d watch it. (In his version, the “mother” would be some sort of holographically stored personality matrix based on the character’s dead mother, loaded into a GPS program to humanize the user interface; he buys a new car, hears his mother’s voice. As the season goes on the computer program based on his mother begins accessing emotions and memories the software writers did not intend to include, but were unintentionally added to the matrix due to the program’s cross-correcting synaptic relay duplication algorithms, or something like that. In Moore’s hands, it would be believable and touching.)

Anyway. The new series has not yet broadcast here in the states, but it’s coming. Bottom line: Yes. Yes, indeed. It’s very good. Even the Courtney-Love-as-Starbuck thing works. The slogan for the show: “The World is Over.” And that’s exactly how it feels. The show has a pervasive ache to its tone and timbre, and I applaud all involved. I can only hope that the people behind the 80s version of “Buck Rogers” watch it and soil themselves in shame. If Twiki ever went up against Jar-Jar I’d root for the Binks. Which says a lot. To be exact, it says “bidi bidi bidi.” Meesa hate that.

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Yes, I'd like cheese with that whine

I enjoy running. Not so much when some lunatic is chasing me while weilding a meat cleaver, but rather for fun and exercise. I'm not a fast runner, but I am able to maintain my mediocre pace over long distances. Consequently, my times in 10k+ races tend to be reasonable, usually around the middle of the pack. However, it seems that every time I try and train for a marathon, I end up getting injured. Here's the annoying part: not one of those injuries has been injury related.

Example #1: After completing my sixth half-marathon, I decided to start lengthening my biweekly long runs a la Jeff Galloway's method of training. Two days after completing my 18 mile run, my neck seized up. More specifically, a knot formed in the muscle tissue near the crest of my scapula, forming an acorn sized mass that was physically palpable. It felt like a rock. This painfully tightened all of the muscles along the left side of my head. I started eating aspiring like Chiclets just so I could sleep. The jouncing of my neck muscles while running made me want to scream, so I had to curtail my training for about 5 months. Scratch one race. Oh, I tried running the marathon on zero training for several months. Around the 20 mile mark, my leg muscles attempted to curl themselves into a fetal position. Argh.

Example #2: I was at the 15 mile mark when the spring in my car door sprung and the door slammed onto my shin. Hard. The resulting bone bruise and damage to the fascia took a long time to heal. Scratch race #2.

Now this year. I started my training far too late to be ready for the Richmond Marathon, but I was thinking about the Virginia Beach Marathon in the early spring. Along comes the most beautiful of baby girls into my life. I spent a lot of time on my knees next to her crib while trying to console her. Apparently, the soft tissue in my left knee is not really a fan of newborns. Now I have an appointment with an orthopedic guy near the end of this month to try and figure out how much damage there actually is. Guess what I've been unable to do for the last 7 weeks. And I can't use the exercise bike either due to the excessive pain. Pretty much all leg motions make me squeal like a pig, so swimming is out, too. So long, hard-earned fitness. Sigh. I'd feel sorry for myself, but then I look at my wife and two children and realize just how damn lucky I am. The knee is a just a nuisance. An excruciatingly painful nuisance one, though.

Here's hoping the ortho guy can figure out what's wrong and fix it. Scope, knife, whatever. I just want to get it done.

See, freedom from beal is easy. You just need to be self-absorbed and whiny; it looks like I hit the daily double with this post.

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And still more yummy goodness

Carnival of the Recipes #14 is up and running over at Boudicca's place.

Why am I always the last to publicize this? Besides being a freaking idiot, of course.

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Curmudgeonly scifi author at it again

I love Ray Bradbury. Not so much his science fiction, although The Illustrated Man and Farenheit 451 are a couple of my all-time favorites, but rather for his I-don't-give-a-damn-what-people-think approach to speaking. He says exactly what's on his mind, regardless of his audience. I used to enjoy seeing him trade bards with Bill "Dickhead" Mahrer on Politically Incorrect, back when it was funny. One night sexual harassment came up and Bradbury was asked his opinion. His reply went something like this:

Mahrer: "So Ray, what do you think about sexual harassment?"

Bradbury: "I think sexual harassment should be legal. I sexually harassed my wife for 2 years before she agreed to marry me."

It's tough to imagine the current touchy-feely PC age producing someone like him. Anyway, he's got an editorial at Opinion Journal. The subject? An expedition to Mars. Excerpt:

Put all these together, shove them in tomorrow's slot machine and pull the handle. If the totals come up with three swastikas, three hammer and sickles, or three papal crowns with honeybee insignia, the results may well be the same.
What we need now is a competition of hatreds and loves. The final reward on Mars might well be not spices or gold, but the squashing of egos and a promise of immortality.

In any event, time is running out. Congress, as usual, is imitating Sleeping Beauty. It is time to waken from the slumber.

That footprint on the moon is being filled with eternal dust and Mars still waits to have its canals filled with our dreams. Where, oh where, is the technological madman to wake us from our slumbers and provide us with the proper destiny?

Tomorrow morning, may that madman be born.

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