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busy, busy, busy

Monday, August 29, 2005

Despite the cultural/social situation, I'm really fucking glad I live in Kansas right now...


"Disfarmer's reclusive personality and his belief in his own unique superiority as a photographer and as a human being made him somewhat of an oddity to others."

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Work Well With Others

A step-by-step, illustrated guide to a new hobby that involves a match, some houseflies, and cryogenics. I wish I had known about this yesterday when I was trying to find something to do.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Pat Boone shreds Cindy 'peaceniks'
Music legend Pat Boone is blasting the peace message of Cindy Sheehan and other anti-war activists, claiming their rhetoric is making the U.S. more vulnerable to future terrorist attacks.

"This lady and the groups that have been demonstrating in front of the president's ranch in Crawford and following him around are the very same people that were the dropout, turn-on, anti-war peace activists back [in the Vietnam War era]," Boone said. "They still have this crazy notion that by just being peaceful and maybe toking up or something like that – it's like an ostrich with its head in the sand – maybe the danger and the bad guys will go away and leave you alone, which is not gonna happen."

He does have a really good point--if all those peace-loving tokers had kept to themselves during the Vietnam War we wouldn't be a bunch Vietnamese-speaking Communists right now.

And he's hardly a music legend, unless re-recording great r&b songs to make them palatable to white people makes him a legend.

But you know what? That's hardly the best part of the article:
During the program, Boone, a well-known Christian, took a strong stand against evolution, mocking the notion the U.S. would become some kind of repressive society if the theory of evolution were not taught in schools, and he supported the teaching of "intelligent design."

"The idea that all of this could have happened mindlessly with no blueprint is sheer stupidity and very unscientific."

He cited America's founding documents, quoting the Declaration of Independence as he stressed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator ... ."

"That's how opposed to God Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that, was. Yet he is credited with trying to keep all mention of God out of public life. I wish Jefferson could be back here today just for 30 minutes to set things straight." [italics in original]

With 38 Top-40 hits on the music charts and selling over 45 million units, Boone is ranked the No. 10 rock artist in history, higher than Madonna and Billy Joel, and is looking to mark his 50th year in the entertainment industry in a special way.

"My main goal is to hit the charts with five albums in one year, and that's something nobody's ever even thought about, much less done."

To that end, he's releasing "American Glory," a collection of patriotic songs, with one titled "Under God," a response to California atheist Michael Newdow who has tried to remove the phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance.

The other four include a NASCAR-themed rock album, a gospel collection, love songs and Rhythm & Blues classics where Boone is joined by stars such as Smokey Robinson and James Brown.

Despite his recording success, Boone has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though there is an online effort pushing for his inclusion.

My mind is so confused with possible comments about this that I can't even come up with a coherent response. One thing, though: I think just a single album consisting of patriotic NASCAR-themed gospel songs would be pretty kick-ass.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

For my latest installment of Awful Song Lyrics, here are two lousy songs from the worst band of all time. (Sorry, Maggie.)

"Rio" by Duran Duran

Moving on the floor now babe you're a bird of paradise
Cherry ice cream smile I suppose it's very nice
With a step to your left and a flick to the right you catch that mirror way out west
You know you're something special and you look like you're the best

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande

I've seen you on the beach and I've seen you on TV
Two of a billion stars it means so much to me
Like a birthday or a pretty view
But then I'm sure that you know it's just for you

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grande

Hey now woo look at that did she nearly run you down
At the end of the drive the lawmen arrive
You make me feel alive, alive alive
I'll take my chance cause luck is on my side or something
I know what you're thinking I tell you something I know what you're thinking

Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
Just like that river twists across a dusty land
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio, Rio dance across the Rio Grand
Her name is Rio she don't need to understand
And I might find her if I'm looking like I can
Oh Rio, Rio hear them shout across the land
From mountains in the north down to the Rio Grande
Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do

"The Reflex" by Duran Duran

"You've gone too far this time"
But I'm dancing on the valentine
I tell you somebody's fooling around
With my chances on the dangerline
I'll cross that bridge when I find it
Another day to make my stand
High time is no time for deciding
If I should find a helping hand

So why don't you use it?
Try not to bruise it
Buy time don't lose it
The reflex is an only child he's waiting in the park
The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark
And watching over lucky clover isn't that bizarre
Every little thing the reflex does
Leaves you answered with a question mark

I'm on a ride and I want to get off
But they won't slow down the roundabout
I sold the Renoir and the TV set
Don't want to be around when this gets out


Oh the reflex what a game he's hiding all the cards
The reflex is in charge of finding treasure in the dark
And watching over lucky clover isn't that bizarre
Evey little thing the reflex does
Leaves you answered with a question mark

Modern Living

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans
Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.

The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served...

"It just seems a little brazen that that's put on stones," said Jeff Martell, owner of Granite Industries of Vermont. "It seems like it might be connected to politics."

Something tells me Mr. Martell doesn't spend much time thinking about such things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dead Air Space

Radiohead has their own blog. It's about what one would expect, being Radiohead and all.


I just realized that for the past week or few days I've been hitting the "save as draft" button instead of the one clearly marked "publish post". Hmmm.

I also just realized that it's 1:15 AM and I'm not asleep, nor am I anywhere close to being asleep. Dammit.

Currently reading:
The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot

Monday, August 22, 2005

Who would Jesus assassinate?

According to Pat Robertson: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, of course.

Why? "He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent."

If you ask me, if the guy apparently can get communist infiltrators and Muslim extremists to work together, forget about assassinating him--let's elect him to public office in the United States. That sure seems like a fellow who can get shit done!

(via Media Matters)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

School Spirit

Quantrill's legacy differs on each side of border

I am merely embarrassed to admit I live in Kansas. This makes me ashamed to acknowledge I am from Missouri.

Quantrill was responsible for killing 200 people and burning an entire town. He led the killing of those 200 people because they opposed the enslavement of human beings. To invoke the memory of a brutal massacre carried out by pro-slavery terrorists by using it as a fucking taunt at sporting events is appalling.

And anyway, fuck MU.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Happy Birthday to Mac!

I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago and was somewhat troubled about reaching that milestone, but then when I considered that the passage of time is only an illusion I decided it didn't make a damn bit of difference at all.


After eleven long, glorious years, my little beard has shuffled loose this mortal coil, and swirled down the drain of my bathroom sink. I wish I had kept it, because I think my chin looks ridiculous.

Here is a rough approximation of what I currently look like without my little beard.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I didn't know I was supposed to be gay

Is My Child Becoming Homosexual?, or, More Wingnut Fuckwittery From Focus on the Family
Evidences of gender confusion or doubt in boys ages 5 to 11 may include:

1. A strong feeling that they are “different” from other boys.
2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.
3. A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play.
4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.
5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”
6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately.
7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.

With the exception of #7, none of these are "evidences" of gender confusion; they are merely archaic social constructs, and none of them have anything to do with homosexuality. For proof, I offer myself. "Evidences" 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 (minus the dressing part) perfectly describe me as a 5-11 year-old, they perfectly describe me as a thirty year-old, and I am quite heterosexual. I feel "different", am non-athletic and always avoided "roughhousing", enjoy a good cry, definitely prefer to spend my time in the company of women, and although I'm no longer teased and called names I'm pretty sure most people with whom I work really think I am gay.

So, seeing that I'm obviously not a Real Man, when does my deprogramming begin?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Crosses vandalized at antiwar mom's Texas camp site
Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan tried to calm tensions on Tuesday with area residents upset by her vigil but expressed outrage after a pickup truck driver ran over crosses at her campsite near U.S. President George W. Bush's ranch.

Some 800 white wooden crosses, bearing the names of soldiers killed in Iraq like her son, have lined the road near the area where Sheehan has pitched a tent. Witnesses said they saw a truck dragging a pipe and chains drive over some of the crosses on Monday night.

Chances are that the truck probably had at least one magnetic ribbon prominently on display.

Awful Song of the Day

The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by Leonard Nimoy
Peep the video here, if you think you can withstand the horror...

In the middle of the earth in the land of the Shire
lives a brave little hobbit whom we all admire.
With his long wooden pipe,
fuzzy, wolly toes,
he lives in a hobbit-hole and everybody knows him.

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He's only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Now hobbits are a peace-lovin' folks you know
They don't like to hurry and they take things slow
They don't like to travel away from home
They just want to eat and be left alone
But one day Bilbo was asked to go
on a big adventure to the caves below,
to help some dwarves get back their gold
that was stolen by a dragon in the days of old.

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He's only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Well he fought with the goblins!
He battled a troll!!
He riddled with Gollum!!!
A magic ring he stole!!!!
He was chased by wolves!!!!!
Lost in the forest!!!!!!
Escaped in a barrel from the elf-king's halls!!!!!!!

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Now he's back in his hole in the land of the Shire,
that brave little hobbit whom we all admire,
just a-sittin' on a treasure of silver and gold
a-puffin' on his pipe in his hobbit-hole.

Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
He's only three feet tall
Bilbo! Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins
The bravest little hobbit of them all

Sunday, August 14, 2005

His Noodly Appendage extends...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster meme has popped up in my local rag, thanks to none other than Paul "Population Bomb" Ehrlich.

Effort under way to get Morris off education board
She started out as the darling of conservative Republicans.

A born-again Christian, living in far western Kansas, who taught elementary school and overcame personal obstacles to straighten out her life and win a stunning victory to the State Board of Education over a Republican incumbent.

Now, Connie Morris is under fire.

There is a recall effort under way in her sprawling district, which covers 40 percent of the state.

There are mounting questions about her infamous trip to Miami.

And her conduct on the board prompted an internal review about how board members should treat each other.

“She is doing things that don’t represent the feelings of this district,” state Rep. Jim Morrison, R-Colby, said.

Her divisive comments and willingness to blame others are wearing thin, he and other critics say.

“Connie is an example of what is dividing and splitting our communities,” said Terry Woodbury, a consultant and ranch manager who lives in both Leoti and Kansas City, Kan.

Morris — whose district covers most of the western third of the state — has defended her actions and stances on the board, blaming the media and liberal critics for much of the criticism.

In response to e-mailed questions for this story, Morris declined to answer queries about her out-of-state travel expenses, saying, “I am finished haggling over my travel.”

She said she planned to run for re-election next year, and that her brand of politics was gaining support.

“I believe Constitutional Conservatives are becoming more plentiful every day, as well as growing acutely aware of the duty to vote,” she said.

Constitutional Conservative? Huh? Seems like shorthand for "I'm a born again Christian in Western Kansas so I can do whatever the fuck I want and you can't do anything to stop me!"

Horrible song lyric of the day (or week, month, quarter)

"The Final Countdown" by Europe

We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground (leaving ground)
Will things ever be the same again
It's the final countdown...
The final countdown
Ooh oh

We're heading for Venus (Venus)
And still we stand tall
Cause maybe they've seen us
And welcome us all (yeah)
With so many light years to go
And things to be found (to be found)
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown...
The final countdown
The final countdown (the final countdown)
Ooh ooh oh

(ass-shreddin' geetar solo)

The final countdown
Ooh oh
I'ts the final countdown
The final countdown
The final countdown (the final countdown)
It's the final countdown
We are leaving together
The final countdown

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My new neighbors

I discovered this soggy trio while taking out my trash this morning. I'm not quite sure how they got into the giant dumpster, but they seemed pretty resigned to the fact that they weren't getting out anytime soon.