October 15, 2010
Yeah, go ahead & update your bookmarks
The new Bad Example
I'm designating this spot a historical landmark and leaving it as is in all its glory for the benefit of old friends and future generations.
October 02, 2010
I'm going to test drive a Blogger site for a while, because I really hate the commenting system I'm using here.
Haloscan was wonderful. Then JS-Kit bought it and converted it to Echo, and now it's a useless, annoying piece of shit.
Anyway, I'm posting here for a while to see if I like it better (same name, different URL):
Don't update your bookmarks yet. This is only a test drive. I'll let you know.
Meanwhile, stop in & leave a lot of comments so I can see if it's an improvement over Echo.
September 29, 2010
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF FREAK IS OBAMA, ANYWAY?
This post from Brutally Honest got me thinking:
Much is being written about Obama's defense yesterday of his Christian beliefs and what he had to say in that defense:
"It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead," Obama said. "Being my brother's and sister's keeper. Treating others as they would treat me."
Now, Rick rightfully points out that the whole "brother's keeper" thing isn't even from Jesus. It's an OT reference to Cain not knowing where his brother was. So Obama's inclusion of it here is somewhat bizarre in a discussion of Christ's precepts.
But it gets stranger.
First of all, I've never met a Christian who talked about "precepts". They always refer to it as the "teachings" of Christ. Obama's construction is quite peculiar. Especially since the term precepts is more commonly associated with Buddhism. In Christianity, it's used more typically by academics than practitioners.
But even odder is his clumsy mangling of the Golden Rule. Most people learn it as "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But the thing is, people don't LEARN it - they MEMORIZE it. And they don't SAY it, they RECITE it. Not saying it exactly as memorized is awkward and uncomfortable. Most normal people would construct their sentence around the recitatation rather than paraphrase a memorized quote, like Obama did. It's as weird as saying "when it rains, it usually pours pretty hard".
Not to mention the fact that Obama's construction has more of an "eye for an eye" connotation than the patient, tolerant empathy that Jesus was going for.
And then there's Obama's mangling of the Declaration of Independence - twice omitting the phrase "by their Creator".
Who the hell paraphrases the Declaration? For most Americans, it's memorization and recitation. Recitation, I might add, that typically includes a noticable tone of awe and reverence.
It's like Obama is some Asperger's-afflicted sociopath to whom words are mere sounds without meaning, whose sole use is to manipulate the emotions of whatever audience is in front of him.
I find that - and Obama - quite disturbing.
September 22, 2010
OH GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANY MORE!
There are 24 people on Michelle Obama's staff.
And not ONE of them had the common human decency to take her aside and casually mention that not even a blind monkey on acid would be tasteless and insane enough to think that pink shoes go with a green dress:
Curse you, HuffPo, for letting me know that this exists.
September 19, 2010
Here are the Useful Tools links that got left at my doorstep:
Manswers - Answers for man questions.
Random Thoughts - Yes, they are.
From VW Bug of One Happy Dog Speaks:
Lightning Strikes - Map of lighting strikes around the country.
Binary to Decimal Quiz - Yes, it is.
Website Readability Test - I need to start using bigger words. I mean... Brobdingnagian lexicalities.
From Teresa of Technicalities:
Dropbox - Cross-platform file synching.
Ubuntu - OS on a stick.
Richmond of One for the Road:
Bra size calculator - I don't want to know what mine is.
Rave of... well, either you know or you don't...:
GuerillaMail - Temporary, disposable email addresses.
RetailMeNot - Online coupon codes.
BugMeNot - Logins & passwords for avoiding compulsory registration.
Machelle of Quality Weenie:
Plenco - A guide on processing injection molded products. Heh. She said "injection".
Leslie of Leslie's Omnibus:
The Awsomer - A collection of awesome stuff.
Then there's folks who didn't leave links, so I just plugged the comments into Google. Here's what came up.
Basil of Basil's Blog:
Ktreva of The Reality Ranch:
Jay Solo of Dispatches from Blogblivion:
Wally of... I don't know, because JS-Kit comments suck. Don't suppose anyone knows of a decent third-party commenting system? Seriously, I am *this* freaking close to jumping to Blogger:
That 1 Guy of Drunken Wisdom:
Tammi of Tammi's Trail:
_Jon of... probably somewhere totally gay like Facebook, or something.
Contagion of Miasmatic Review
Pamela of... again JS-Kit comments don't tell me the URL in my notification email. Is it Pamibe? I'm guessing. If I'm wrong, I apologize:
September 17, 2010
Today, my mom was going through the newspaper and cutting out coupons for me to use. She hands me two of them, one for tampons and the other for a pregnancy test saying "well, you're gonna need one or the other this month."
September 14, 2010
44 ON THE 14TH
Which, I guess, will make me the most powerful handgun in the world.
Anyway, this year I was wondering what to ask for and drawing a blank. But I was pruning some of the dead links off my sidebar (which, apparently, I haven't done since 2005) when I noticed that the section labelled "USEFUL TOOLS" (right side, way towards the bottom) needs more links.
So, that's what I want.
Links to web sites that belong in the "USEFUL TOOLS" section of my sidebar.
Leave 'em in the comments to this post (which I'm post-dating to keep on top for a while).
I'll put the lot of them into a post-birthday thank-you post sometime after the 14th.
PS Would someone (or someoneS) link this on Facebook so that all my AWOL blogkiddies will be reminded to drop by & leave me some love?
September 11, 2010
Blogson Peter of Shakey Pete's Shootin' Shack has some good advice on creating wealth.
I'll add a little to that.
Pay yourself first - cash your paycheck, put away 10% for saving/investing. Use another 10% to pay down whatever outstanding debts you have, and do whatever it takes to live off the other 80%.
What to invest in? Well, personally, I think civilization will continue for a while, so I like stocks. Which are kinda pricey. So, put the money in a savings account until you have enough to invest. I recommend a stock index mutual fund. You'll never BEAT the stock market average return, but you'll never come in under it, either.
If you're less optimistic about the future of civilization, then invest in inflation-proof assets. I'm partial to the advice from the book "The Alpha Strategy". His two most important things:
Education - learn how to grow stuff, make stuff, and fix stuff. Your best investment is a marketable skill. Secondarily, hit a book sale and find some guides on carpentry, home repair, gardening, hunting and camping. At the very least, get a Boy Scount Manual. Keep 'em handy just in case.
Tools - good, solid, reliable hand-tools. And not just the electric ones.
As for Pete's advice about buying gold & silver, it's sensible, but I'll add this: don't bother with fancy collectable coins or bullion bars. Go to a pawn shop & get rings, chains, and beat-up coins with no collectable premium. They're smaller, and easier to sell, trade or barter if the need arises.
SPITTING IN THE URINAL
Question on Metafilter:
"Spitting in the urinal, what's that about? Why do so many guys feel the need to spit first, before urinating?"
Lots of half-baked theories from "it helps you pee" to "because men are assholes", but I think one guy nailed it:
We like to have a target.
Heck, even tossing a piece of toilet paper in the bowl would work. Guys LOVE target-shooting.
1000 OR SO WORDS ON 9/11
This picture is an original work of art by Bryan Larsen, which I found pre-9/11/01 at the Quent Cordair Art Gallery site. It fascinated me enough to bookmark it then, and I've viewed it many times since. Both professional quality and poster prints of this image are available via the Quent Cordair site.
The following text appears at the first link:
The following letter was written by Quent Cordair on Friday, September, 14, 2001, to our mailing list:
Dear friends, family and associates,
As a former U.S. Marine, I once carried a rifle in our defense. I've two younger brothers in the military who now stand ready to cover that end of things. The firemen, doctors, rescue personnel, blood donors, the brave New Yorkers and others on the scene are giving what they have to give to the effort. Philosophers are fighting with the pen. The artists' tools are uniquely valuable as well.
As a gallery owner, I offer what I have -- a single image to inspire, to counter the endless images of the destruction which we've all endured over the past days. This image stands in lucid contrast, in defiance of those who would destroy. It is a re-affirmation of who we are, of what we've created, of what we've built, of what we will rebuild and build higher yet, with unthwarted and unconquered determination. Those who would destroy us have not touched our essence.
My thanks to the artist, Bryan Larsen, who during the months in which others were plotting to destroy the World Trade Center, was busy creating, featuring the towers in an artwork which identifies and celebrates in theme all the towers stood for. The creation of this painting while others were targeting the painting's subject for destruction was no coincidence; there is no irony in the timing. Each side identified the WTC as a vital symbol of America in these times; one side sought to destroy that value, the other to celebrate it and build on it. In retrospect, the artwork stands in memorial. The World Trade Center was not fully appreciated, by many, until it was gone.
May this image serve as inspiration as we recover and look to the future. Please feel welcome to share it with all, to remind ourselves, and the world, of who we are, undaunted and unbeaten. God bless America, those who built it, those who will build again, and higher.
Again, I say...
September 10, 2010
Ya know, I *was* one of those "they have the right to do it, but it's not right to do it" guys when it came to Pastor Bad Moustache's Koran Barbeque and Tent Revival, but then I read this article on CNN:
Some relevant quotes:
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called Jones a "religious criminal" and a "retard that expresses a Western-retarded mentality"..."I call upon God the merciful, if they want to rip the Quran, for God to rip them apart and their state and make them an example for the believers."
The ISAF said two people were hurt in the protests, and the deputy governor of the province said thousands turned out, one protester was killed and three were wounded.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono... "the government and the Americans must continue to take serious action to prevent and stop such uncivilized acts."
The Somali government... "this action could generate more extremists and could spark new violence as the move would assist al-Qaeda and its affiliates."
the Taliban in Afghanistan told CNN, "If in Florida they were to burn the Quran, we will target any Christians, even if they are innocent"
Secretary General Ronald Noble said September 11 should be a day to fight terrorism, not a day to "engage in provocative acts that will give terrorists propaganda" to recruit others to their cause.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said everything possible should be done to ban the Quran burning. "If it does take place, it will inflict the most severe damage to inter-faith relations and human and cultural dialogue and will be used as a pretext by extremists for more killings and retaliatory killing," he said.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari... called for doing all it takes to stop such a "senseless and outrageous act."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan... considers "Islamophobia as a crime against humanity."
So, what I'm hearing is "burning a Koran is worse than the 9/11 attacks, and Muslims will kill Americans if a Koran is burnt anywhere in America."
What I'm hearing is that, since Muslims are issuing death threats, we should roll over and comply with their demands.
Being a civilized human being means that you ignore assholes until and unless they hurt your or take your money.
Being a civilized human being does NOT consist of threatening to kill people over their selection of kindling.
I say light the barbeque and let the Muslims prove to us that they're ready to join the civilized world by virtue of their physically peaceful reactions.
And to anyone worried about videos of burning Korans being an excuse for Muslim terror, well... they've already got that:
And there's plenty more.
As for this "putting our troops in harm's way"... brother they're already there.
CRAP... GUESS WHICH ONE I AM
[YouTube direct link]
[YouTube direct link]
THEY SAY IT LIKE IT'S A BAD THING
Facebook now scientifically proven to be useless and evil.
Using Facebook is the online equivalent of staring at yourself in the mirror, according to a study.
Those who spent more time updating their profile on the social networking site were more likely to be narcissists, said researchers.
Facebook provides an ideal setting for narcissists to monitor their appearance and how many 'friends' they have, the study said, as it allows them to thrive on 'shallow' relationships while avoiding genuine warmth and empathy.
Blah, blah, blah... I used to hear the same derogatory crap about blogging back when the somnambulistic media first started taking real notice of its existence.
Apparently we're still burdened with folks who don't understand the difference between brief social contacts and shallow ones.
September 09, 2010
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU GREW UP WITH
Despite record sales at McDonald's, burger lovers surveyed by Consumer Reports gave the chain's basic beef patty a thumbs-down. Topping the burger pile was Five Guys and California meat mecca In-N-Out Burger.
The nationwide survey of 28,000 of the mag's online subscribers ranked McDonald's a lowly 18th out of 18.
The study asked participants to rate the burgers they had eaten on their last visit to each restaurant on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.
McDonald's weighed in with a 5.6.
Ok, but I've tried White Castle. It's a shitty, gristly Steak-Umm on a cheap dinner roll. How can you people eat this shit?
Still, I'll admit that McDonalds is just shitty, gristly kangaroo meat on a cheap stale bun, so what's the diff?
The diff is, McDonald's burgers were considered a "treat" when I was growing up, so my childish mind associated them with being "something special".
Plus they were dirt cheap, which fit my budget then, now, and forever.
But seriously, whatever you grew up with is what you will love eternally, and some codswallop article in Consumer Reports will never affect that.
And don't even get me started about that cheap Pizza Villa pizza I used to eat (and love) that was basically grease on a cracker.
WEST AND WEWAXATION AT WAST
No offense, parents of young children, but I would LOVE to see one (or more) of these open up in my neck of the woods:
A restaurant in Carolina Beach is stirring up controversy over a couple of signs reading, "Screaming children will not be tolerated."
The owner of the Olde Salty restaurant, Brenda Armes, is tired of having her customers complain to her about children misbehaving and screaming when others are trying to enjoy a quiet meal.
Armes says the signs have worked.
"It has been a good thing for us," Armes said. "It has brought us in more customers than it has ever kept away."