June 23, 2005

May the Farm Be With You

Sure, it's a glorified commerical for organic produce, but it's still pretty funny. And where else will you get a chance to see Chewbroccoli and C3Peanuts?

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More on starting a blog

Harvey has compiled lots of great posts on how to get started blogging. Others are also on the job. Excerpt:

1. Determine a theme. Most bloggers take one of three approaches. Some write on whatever happens to interest them at the moment. In this sense, their blog is truly a “web journal.” Others, select a single theme and stick to it. Frankly, this takes a lot of discipline. Still others, like me, focus on a primary theme but occasionally deviate from it. If you want to develop a following of loyal readers, I think the latter two approaches are best. People who have similar interests will keep coming back for more.
7. Publicize your blog. You’ll want to make sure you’re “pinging” the major weblog tracking sites. Most of the blogging services handle this automatically, as do the offline blogging clients. Don’t worry if you don’t understand this process. You don’t need to understand it to use it. (Here's a simple explanation.) Basically, your service or software will send a notification to the tracking sites to alert them that you have posted a new entry. If your software doesn’t allow this, you might want to make use of pingomatic. This is a super-easy service that will ping fourteen different services. All you have to do is enter your blog address whenever you post a new entry. If you want to manually enter a comprehensive list of ping services, here’s a list to get you started.

8. Write regularly. This is the best advice I could give you for building readership. If people like what you write, they will come back. However, if there’s nothing new to read, they will eventually lose interest. So, the more regularly you post something, the more your readership will grow. I suggest you schedule time to write. It won’t happen on it’s own. At some point, it comes down to making a commitment and sticking to it.

Read the rest.

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June 22, 2005

Horrible accident in Germany

A friend sent this photo of a horrible accident in Germany. The picture may be kind of hard to take for some of you. If you look closely you can see what appears to be some survivors of the accident still in the wreckage.

Although the picture is horrible, it makes you realize how quickly our loved ones can be taken from us.

I've lost some very good friends this way!! See the extended entry for a picture only if you have a strong stomach... more...

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God loves us and wants us to be happy

Sure, that's what Ben Franklin said about beer, and he was right. Then again, old Ben didn't know about this, either.

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Things that make you go hmmm

Okay, I wasn't fond of the Paris Hilton ad. If I'm going to watch porn, I prefer if the women aren't exactly stick figures; big hooters are optional. But this ad has me thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'd rather be watching Skeletor Hilton in a bathing suit. Ugh.

Go blame Lycan for the link.

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Badge of obscurity

Susie has issued a call to arms and I will be one of the first to respond! Or maybe it's a call for beer, in which case I'll definitely be the first. In any case, I've languished in relative obscurity for long enough. Now it's time for real obscurity. Fellow Munuvians, rise up out of those armchairs long enough for two shots of tequila! Or vodka; whatever pours is fine.

You can't stop us; you can't even hope to contain us.

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Carnival of the ???

Laurence Simon hosts this week Carnival of the Cats Vanities Cats Vanities Cats Vanities.

I'm sensing that there's a theme, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

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Words of wisdom

From Andrew Sullivan:

MOORE AWARD NOMINEE: "The torture that was so bad under Saddam, is equally bad under U.S. command." - Markos Moulitsas, on DailyKos yesterday. Look, few have been as outraged as I have been by what this administration has perpetrated and permitted with regard to detainees in U.S. care. But this kind of morally cretinous hyperbole only discredits the serious case against the administration.

Update: Of course I spoke too soon. Best of the Web shows the followup quote. Scroll down and look for "Mr Excitable".

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June 21, 2005

Belated Father's Day

I don't really remember my biological father, seeing as he decided to seek other pastures when I was 3 years old. However, my stepfather provided the male influence that I'd need growing up. No one would ever confuse him with a Father Knows Best type of dad, but he always loved and protected me. Still does, by the way, even though he and my mother are no longer together.

What kind of a father was he? The kind who could ungently disarm some jackass who had made the mistake of shooting him, and still cry like a baby at my wedding. The kind who thrashed three guys who'd made the mistake of beating up his brother, but who was almost afraid to hold my firstborn for fear of breaking him. The kind who, despite his many fights with my mother, has always, always looked out for her and hers, and still does to this day. The kind who went looking for payback the night I got mugged(those guys were lucky the police found them first). The kind who managed to scrape together $1000 for me when I was in trouble, at a time when he could barely find 2 nickels to rub together. And most of all, the kind who always ends our conversation by telling me he loves me.

What makes a father? Not biology. Anyone too stupid to wear a condom can help create a child. Fathers are known by their actions. My real father isn't bound to me by blood, but rather ties of the heart and spirit. I love him dearly.

Update: Vox posts on this topic. Excerpt:

Fathers cast great shadows; it is daunting to step out from them and for the first time clearly see the man behind the role. It is both a disappointment and a relief, but it is necessary. And if we cannot hope to match the giants of our youth, we can still walk in their footsteps.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

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"You are Blackfive"

Another outstanding post by Matt to mark his second anniversary as a blogger.

And there was much rejoicing: yay.

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A Jinx ?

A man was walking across the road when he had the accident. The impact was on his head, which caused him to be comatosed for two days before he finally regained consciousness. When open his eyes, his wife was there beside him.

He held her hands and said meaningfully : "You have always been beside me. When I was a struggling university student, I failed again and again. And sometimes, even my re-papers as well. You were always there beside me, encouraging me to go on trying.."

She squeezed his hands as he continued :"When I went for all the major interviews and failed to clinch any of the jobs, you were there beside me, cutting out more adverts for me to apply..."

He continued "Then I started work at this little firm and finally got to handle a big contract. I blew it because of one little mistake. And you were there beside me."

Then I finally got another job after being laid off for sometime. But I never seem to be promoted and my hard work was not recognised. As such, I remained in the same position from the day I join the company till now...And you were there beside me."

Her eyes brimmed with tears as she listened to her husband :"And now I met an accident and when I woke up, you are here beside me....there's something I'd really like to say to you..."

She flung herself on the bed to hug her husband, and sobbing with emotion.

He said..., " I think you really bring me bad luck.."

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Somewhat obscure reference of the day

If you've never read/watched a Beckett play, this post will go totally over your head.

I will admit that I'm surprised that there's no mention of "erections due to hanging". After, it IS Protein Wisdom.

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Betcha can't eat just one

Or, you know, maybe you can.

Two daughters have sued a synagogue after they found a potato chip can in place of their mother's remains behind the locked, glass door of her niche in a mausoleum.

When the women visited Vivian Shulman Lieberman's niche in a Houston mausoleum a year ago, they found the cedar chest containing her ashes missing and a can of sour-cream-and-onion potato chips in its place.

Ugh. But it could have been worse: it might have been a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

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This week's sign that the Apocalypse is upon us

Another Billy Jack sequel is in the works.

I've always liked the theme song, One Tin Soldier, though.

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Required reading

The first part won't be a surprise because it's from Mark Steyn. However, the fact that the second part resides at Ace's place might be a bit of an eye-opener. If you've been paying attention, though, it won't be. Excerpt:

Jonah Goldberg pointed out how liberal media bias hurts liberals: In a nutshell, they just don't see these shit-storms coming. Conservatives almost always see these shit-storms coming, because we know every false-footing (yeah, I know the French term, but fuck 'em) will be played up on page one of the New York Times. So we're naturally hesitant and paranoid and a little afraid of public reaction (or, rather, media attempts to drive public reaction).

Unless of course the conservative in question is a total tool like Trent Lott or Jerry Falwell.

But liberals get caught an awful lot with their little pink dinks poking out of their zippers, because the reinforcement from their cocooned liberal social circles and the New York Times editorial page tells them You're not only right and brave to do this, but you'll be rewarded handsomely in political terms.

They see little else but a very skewed sample of "American opinion." I'm sure Dick Durbin was mouthing off about this at a DC cocktail party a few weeks ago, and he got nothing but "Huzzah!'s" from his dopey liberal buddies. Someone should have the guts to say that on the Senate floor, someone told him, who, just guessing, was probably a cute 20-year-old intern at The Washington Prospect.

And so, partly to impress his little cocktail party chickadee, he decided he'd compare the very minor physical coercion at Gitmo to Pol Pot's killing fields and Hitler's industrialized genocide.

And then he found out something that should have been obvious had his mind not been clouded by bedding an intern: This was a colossally stupid, dangerous, anti-American, and politically disastrous thing to say.

Here I was searching for more dick and fart jokes. Instead, I'm treated to thoughtful political analysis. Well, there's always alt.tasteless.jokes.

As I've mentioned, I have many problems with the current Republican party. Being a libertarian-leaning conservative myself, I have to say that the Republican party is becoming less and less the party for conservatives if, in fact, it ever truly was. But the Democrat party's slide into dementia has left me of the firm opinion that this is not a group to be trusted with sharp objects.

Update: More from Steyn. Excerpt:

One measure of a civilized society is that words mean something: "Soviet" and "Nazi" and "Pol Pot" cannot equate to Guantanamo unless you've become utterly unmoored from reality. Spot the odd one out: 1) mass starvation; 2) gas chambers; 3) mountains of skulls; 4) lousy infidel pop music turned up to full volume. One of these is not the same as the others, and Durbin doesn't have the excuse that he's some airhead celeb or an Ivy League professor. He's the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Don't they have an insanity clause?

Now let us turn to the ranking Democrat, the big cheese on the committee, Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Leahy thinks Gitmo needs to be closed down and argues as follows:

"America was once very rightly viewed as a leader in human rights and the rule of law, but Guantanamo has drained our leadership, our credibility, and the world's good will for America at alarming rates."

So, until Guantanamo, America was "viewed as a leader in human rights"? Not in 2004, when Abu Ghraib was the atrocity du jour. Not in 2003, when every humanitarian organization on the planet was predicting the deaths of millions of Iraqis from cholera, dysentery and other diseases caused by America's "war for oil." Not in 2002, when the "human rights" lobby filled the streets of Vancouver and London and Rome and Sydney to protest the Bushitler's plans to end the benign reign of good King Saddam. Not the weekend before 9/11 when the human rights grandees of the U.N. "anti-racism" conference met in South Africa to demand America pay reparations for the Rwandan genocide and to cheer Robert Mugabe to the rafters for calling on Britain and America to "apologize unreservedly for their crimes against humanity." If you close Gitmo tomorrow, the world's anti-Americans will look around and within 48 hours alight on something else for Gulag of the Week.

And this is where it's time to question Durbin's patriotism. As Leahy implicitly acknowledges, Guantanamo is about "image" and "perception" -- about how others see America. If this one small camp of a few hundred people has "drained the world's good will," whose fault is that?

The senator from Illinois' comparisons are as tired as they're grotesque. They add nothing useful to the debate. But around the planet, folks naturally figure that, if only 100 people out of nearly 300 million get to be senators, the position must be a big deal. Hence, headlines in the Arab world like "U.S. Senator Stands By Nazi Remark." That's al-Jazeera, where the senator from al-Inois is now a big hero -- for slandering his own country, for confirming the lurid propaganda of his country's enemies. Yes, folks, American soldiers are Nazis and American prison camps are gulags: don't take our word for it, Senator Bigshot says so.

Update: For the love of God, I cannot believe that the Democrat base is actually standing by their man instead of telling him to STFU. Money quote:

Ye the left has rallied to Durbin's side--their biggest blogger, Markos Moulitsas, proclaimed, for example, "the Wingers are freakin' out about Durbin right now, trying to shut his efforts to speak the truth."

Even if you're daft enough to believe that Bush is Hitler(not reincarnated, but the shitty mustache-sporting Nazi himself), you have to be fucking "I'm coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!" loony to make a statement like that one.

Know what's funny? A lot of my friends are Democrats, and certainly many of them would be called liberal by today's definition of that word. But I don't really know many that believe the tripe these nutjobs are spouting on daily basis. Maybe it's because a fair number of them actually have family members in the military. Calling little Johnny a war criminal probably subdues the holiday festivities a bit.

Update: From Lileks, of course:

In any case, I don’t expect what I say here will change minds; if chaining terrorists to the floor and messing with the thermostat is the Gulag, the new Auschwitz, then your head is protected by a thick cap of beliefs that can only be penetrated by, oh, a nail expelled by a suicide bomber’s dynamite belt. But we need to find some common ground, no? Perhaps we can agree that only 2000 Jews stayed away from the WTC on 9/11?
Anyway. Here’s the deal. We decide what constitutes torture, and identify it as the following: insufficient air conditioning, excess air conditioning, sleep deprivation, being chained to the floor, and other forms of psychological stress. The United States is free to use these techniques against hardened terrorists. Those who disagree with the techniques sign a register that records their complaints. When the terrorist finally spills the details of a forthcoming attack, on, say, Chicago, the people who signed the register and live in Chicago are required to report to the Disintegration Chamber. Very simple. Everyone’s happy.

Well, no, I imagine not. The standard response would be “I want the interrogators to get the information, but not if it makes prisoners crap in their pants or pull out their hair.” Agreed. I would like them to get the information without any sort of effort whatsoever. It’s a fair cop, guv. Here’s where we’ve stored the fertilizer and here are the names of my associates. Now if you’ll show me to my cell, I’d like to get started whiling away the time until most of the networks are compromised and the Iranian government has fallen, after which we can talk about letting me return home. Jolly good!” But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Conversely, I don’t want them to beat the hell out of these people until they spit names and teeth, in no particular order. But I don’t care if they make them stay awake most of the day for a month or two. I really don’t. I’m sorry. We’re talking about people who will not be satisfied until Israel is gone and the United States crippled. I’d like to know what they know, and if they wet themselves in the process, I do not regard this is as the equivalent of uprooting several million people to Alaska to build a canal dressed only in long johns.

Final update: John Cole has been getting hammered by people from both the right and the left. How he manages to keep his sanity while jackoffs (like me, maybe) froth at the mouth is beyond me. Anyway, excerpt:

Durbin's remarks were ill-conceived, poorly received, and just plain stupid. And, more tragically, it has once again queered the debate. Good folks like the Mudville Gazette, Black Five, and the Indepundit have a right to be pissed- I can completely understand it. They feel their honor and dignity and service to the country has been impugned, and, in a way, it has. There will be people in the Middle East, Berkely, and elsewhere who sieze upon this as confirmation of their lunatic fantasies about the evil United States. Likewise, I can understand why Democrats are up in arms in their defense of Durbin, because the overwrought reactions by the usual suspects smacks of rank political opportunism.

At any rate, with the calls for censure the entire episode has been elevated to the point of farce. If you feel pissed at Durbin- organize, raise money, write letters- counter his idiotic speech with more speech and defeat him in the election. But the censure bit is a tad much- if Democrats want to knock him out of his leadership position, that is their prerogative. A bunch of Republicans screaming for his head is just going to be seen, rightly, as more of the same political opportunism that there is already too much of in this country.

Durbin should have never said what he said the way he said it, and it is worth remembering that American troops are not Nazi SS or the Khmer Rouge, and America is not Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia, or, for that matter, Stalin's Russia, etc.

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I'm back. Thank you for your patience.

I take a weekend off to deal with family obligations and I miss important press releases. Probably a good thing, though, since I'm wearing shorts as work right now. A little "going commando" combined with a bit of leg-crossing could end my job. However, I promise to remove the cotton layer when I get home. My wife has long since learned to ignore my eccentricities.

Since this ,err, holiday is in honor of Harvey, I'm offering him a gift in the extended entry below.

Don't ever say I didn't give you anything. more...

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June 17, 2005

Time waster

Go here and start throwing paper balls into a wastebasket. My record so far is 35.

Kudos to the Conservative UAW Guy for finding this link.

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June 16, 2005

GABF, here we come...

The room is reserved, the seats have been booked and we've all signed up as volunteers. Am I ready for the Great American Beer Festival or what?

I'm also at my prime drinking weight, which unfortunately doesn't correspond to my actual ideal weight. But I'm working on that part.

If anyone is in the Denver area Sept. 29- Oct.1, stop by to drink some a lot of good beer.

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What happens when you piss off your customers

Pointless Waste of Time has an amusing screed called A Gamer's Manifesto. Actually, it would be more amusing if it weren't so damnably accurate. Excerpt:

3. Don't bullshit me about your graphics

How, in 2005, can there still be gamers taken in by EXCLUSIVE SCREENSHOTS of games that are obviously taken from cutscenes and have NO connection with what the actual game will look like? I blame the developers formerly known as Square for this.

4. Nipples?

Speaking of adult games, where are they? Politicians bemoan the bloodthirsty horror of video games, but really the standards are almost Victorian when compared to R-rated Hollywood fare such as Sin City and Kill Bill and Cinemax's Voyeur Safari IV: Dildo Island. You get a little harsh language and some comic-booky sprays of gore, but that's about it. There is an "AO" (Adults Only) ESRB rating for games, but when is the last time you saw it?

We're not for speeding the moral degradation of the modern world, but imagine a Hollywood where only PG-13 movies could get made. Say goodbye to everything from Shindler's List to The Matrix.

Chances of that happening...

We've got one hyphenated word for you: Wal-Mart. The largest game seller in the world simply won't stock games with the "AO" rating. Period. So those games won't sell and developers won't make them. So until they invent new and varied and Wal-Martless ways to sell the games, we're stuck with the AO games found only in our fantasies.

8. I understand that John Madden was raised by wild boars...

...and that he learned his few English phrases phoenetically from watching reruns of Wild World of Sports. But EA, if you want to get me revved up about Madden 2006 on the XBox 360, don't show me a damned screenshot that's obviously from a cutscene...

...and instead promise me that you won't play the same Madden commentary sound files on every fifth play. "Whoa, he looked like he was hit by a truck! A five-ton truck hauling a trailer!" Yes, you'll hear that one six motherslapping times in one game of Madden '05. YOU HAVE A HARD DRIVE NOW, taking data from a 9 GB DVD. You have NO excuse to keep recycling the same mindless observations over and over and over again until we're pointing at our television with a shaking finger and screaming "EAT ME, JOHN! JUST EAT MEEEEEEE!" as most of us do now.

Read the rest of it.

Unrelated update: Don't miss this article on suicide, either. Excerpt:

Life is a tricky thing to predict, that's the problem. Even if you don't have any kind of special talent, you don't know where the ride will to take you. I had an uncle named Jeff, who lived up in the mountains in the Northwest. He was so poor he could barely feed his family. But one day he was out hunting for some food and when he fired his rifle... something black bubbled up from the ground.

It was oil. Black gold. Texas tea. Well, the next thing you know, old Jeff's a millionaire. He moved away so I don't know what came of him after that, but you get the idea.

Not to say that promises of financial riches are the only thing to keep a man going. A wealthy man once came up to me and offered me $100 million dollars, and said all I had to do was let him chop off my legs and, once a day, ram a lit blowtorch up my ass.

I said no, realizing for the first time that, while I didn't have $100 million, I did have something worth more than $100 million to me. Specifically, my legs and an unburnt anus. So if I already own something worth more than $100 million it's silly to worry about the bill collector at the door demanding his few thousand. That's a true story, by the way.

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Spot on

Jeff Jarvis has the right idea for construction on the WTC site. Excerpt:

I've changed my mind. I don't want to redo the International Freedom Center to turn it from an flagellation fest into a celebration of democracy and freedom in America.

No, I want to eliminate it.

The memorial at the World Trade Center should say everything that needs to be said.

So in the place of the so-called Freedom Center, I want to see the truest expression of American freedom: commerce.

I want to see stores that sell scanty clothes, no burkas allowed.

I want to see restaurants that serve liquor.

I want to see movies that show anything, even sex.

I want to see bookstores that celebrate free speech.

I want to see stores selling products from all over the world: the fruits of globalization.

I want to see life there. Defiant, unapologetic life.


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