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Your Fiona Fix
Honesty Is The Problem
What I've Been Reading and Watching Over My Summer Vacation, by Jon Darby (age 12 years, 298 months)
Zee American Beer!
Slow Night In WWRantville
Well, That Will Do It
Reading to Be Ready
What's In a Name? (Episode 63)
Roll Over Tide

« August 2003 | Main | October 2003 »

September 30, 2003

Your Fiona Fix

OK, as usual, all pedophiles please report to the Atomic Destructo-MaticTM down the hallway to the left.

For the rest of you, here's your Fiona fix for the present time. Lordy, lordy, but somehow our inter-Atlantic genes made an adorable blob of a baby, no?


If you disagree, you're stupid, so shut the hell up.

Posted by Andy at 11:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (3)

Honesty Is The Problem

At least it is for Alabama's 19th Judicial Circuit district Worthless Check Unit.

Budget cuts and the growing trend of more people using debit and checking account cards are threatening to cut deeply into the money Houston's Worthless Check Unit brings into the 19th Judicial Circuit district attorney's office. Last year, the unit accounted for more than a third of the office's budget.
That's a damn shame - the fact that the market has found a better and more efficient solution to a problem is going to cause the government to lose some precious funds.
Houston is concerned the increasing use of debit cards and checking account cards will cut down on the number of bounced checks. With check cards, the transaction won't take place unless there is money in the account to cover the purchase or service.

"While that is good for business, it's bad for cash-strapped district attorneys' offices," Houston said.

In other words, the district attorney's office thrives on rampant dishonesty and the penalties for such - yet another case of a government organization not serving the people, but only serving its own continued existence.
Houston has a worthless check coordinator in each of the three counties in the circuit. There are three other staffers who assist in the effort. Brooks has five people in her Worthless Check Unit in Montgomery County.
Well, here's an idea - let go of two of them and you've probably saved the state some $90,000 in salary and benefits than can then go to pay people who actually provide a needed service. I know, such shocking ideas are anathema to government of, by, and for itself.

Posted by Andy at 11:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)

What I've Been Reading and Watching Over My Summer Vacation, by Jon Darby (age 12 years, 298 months)

Now that I finally have a square yard of breathing room (I’ve been designing web pages [including a pain in the arse tutorial and quiz that freshman complain is “too hard”*), searching for candidates, serving on 11,008 committees, totin’ barges, jumping down, turning around, and picking bales of cotton, academia style) I’ll take a moment to review some books worth reading that I managed to get in at night. (Did you know Oscar Wilde could read a 500 page book in 30 minutes and retain it? Incredible but true; I myself am not a fast reader, but I make up for it with my killer smile and Quiche Lorraine [prior to my 22nd birthday I was the Virgin of Quiche Lorraine].)

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Jon at 05:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2003

Zee American Beer!

As if I needed yet another reason to dislike Jacques Chirac, now I have this:

"I still like a Bud."

- Jacques Chirac, French President, who once worked at an Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, MO, on his fondness for the US, despite strains in French-American relations over the war in Iraq.

Still? Jackie-C, it's a damn shame to have ever liked a Bud (and I admit that, once upon a poorer time, in my college days, I drank the stuff like the tap would run dry on the morrow). I got over the affliction of poverty; so should you.

Out of all the ways to show that he really does like Americans, he chooses to insult us instead. That's it, nuke'em.

He should have said something like "By Dubya, I do indeed like good barbecue!" or perhaps "Andy, mon ami américain, let us dine at Gator's for the finest bacon cheeseburger in the known universe!" or even "Bartender, more Fat Tire!"

But, no, he said Bud. Bleh. Damn French.*

* I'm sure some of you are plenty a-ok. Really. Just don't drink Bud.
And is Jacques on the pot in that picture or what?

Posted by Andy at 11:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


Hmmm, wonder if I should give Audblog a try - the first one is free. I know that some of you out there have heard my voice and now, on a daily basis, self-mutilate and scratch the furniture and walls because you need to hear it again, but - is that worth $3/month (for me, I mean)?

I'll have to think about it. Could be weird creepy fun.

Posted by Andy at 11:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Slow Night In WWRantville

Alrighty, little ones, I had high hopes for this evening - I had planned to update the NaNoWriMo blovel site o'mine, "Ephemera, First Edition," this evening, but alas the hour grows late, at least when you get up for work at 5 in the morning. So, that'll have to wait until tomorrow night.

I know, I know, wrap your arms around yourself, rock back and forth, and just mutter "Momma say it gonn' be alright."

In the meantime, I leave you with a Wil Wheaton joke - not about him, but by him. Although if you have any about him, I'm sure he'd love to see them posted here in the comments. Honest.

And, for more fun, visit this post at Josh Claybourn's site, where a picture of the Earth and Moon convince a few people that, yes, Virginia, Baby Jesus does exist. I have to set them straight.


Posted by Andy at 10:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Well, That Will Do It

Some of the companies that provide the software for file-swapping are trying to show their dedication to upholding the law:

A group of software companies at the center of the controversy over online music and movie piracy today extended an olive branch to Congress, unveiling a code of conduct that condemns the illegal trading of copyrighted works and promises to give parents tools to limit children's use of song-swapping networks like Grokster and Morpheus.

P2P United, which represents Grokster, Morpheus and several other popular peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, published the code as part of an ongoing effort to legitimize file sharing, saying it has been been unfairly demonized by the recording industry.

In a related development, the makers of Kazaa have hired Judge Roy Moore to advise them on how best to incorporate the Ten Commandments into their welcome splash screen.
"Drugs, violence, teen pregnancy, and, yes, even file-sharing over Satan's world wide web can be curbed if we just show people the ten most holy laws that our God gave to a bunch of backwards sheep-herders," said Judge Moore, knelt in prayer and engaged in self-flagellation for his transgressions.
Hey, it could happen.

Posted by Andy at 06:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reading to Be Ready

I figure that if I plan to finally sit down and write a novel, I ought to do a better job of reading them. So, that's what I'm doing, currently focused on the ever-so-happy and oh-so-joyful theme of "oh Lordy, Ma, it's the end of the world!" Not that my novel will deal with the end of the world, unless, of course, it does - but I won't know that for some weeks to come. Bated* breath and such.

With that in mind, I am nearing the end of "On The Beach," the 1957 story of the end of the planet thanks to nuclear war. More accurately, the tale of the last surviving people Down Under as the radiological cloud o'death marches their way. You simply have to know that only a rousing, happy, woo-hoo kind of story can follow this book's opener:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

- T.S. Eliot

So, as I approach the end of the novel, I'm faced with the same knowledge as the characters in the book. There won't be a happy ending (or if there is, I'll scream "Deus ex machina!" at the top of my lungs).

Next up are "Alas, Babylon" and "Earth Abides."

I just hope the literary depression that is hanging over my reading choices won't result in my writing a Pollyanna, happy-bunny-land story. Unless, that is, it sells millions.

* Yeah, whatever, Tom.

Posted by Andy at 02:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

What's In a Name? (Episode 63)

Just an observation, but if I was going to spend nearly half a million dollars on a new home, it wouldn't be in a neighborhood called "Ranch Reserve" or "Savory Farm."

The first sounds more like a very special bottle of salad dressing, and the second just conjures up a big tongue licking various livestock (or maybe not, but it's a silly name regardless).

Marketing, people, marketing.

Posted by Andy at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 27, 2003

Roll Over Tide

Well, quite the game that was, watching the Crimson Tide take a commanding lead, only to lose it in second overtime. Congrats to Arkansas - they earned that win. However, Matt and Vicky, you owe me some serious beer for that game.

Now I'm off to drown my football sorrows.

Posted by Andy at 07:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Lovely Day, Lovely Day

It's a beautiful late September day here at the edge of the Rockies - the sun is out, nary a cloud about, and the temps are sitting right around 70 - and do you know what that means?

That's right, it means you wish you lived here too.

It also means it's a fine day for Alabama football and beer cheese soup with friends.

In fact, right now I am in the kitchen preparing my culinary delight (with the recipe kindly being hosted my friend Kris May so I don't have to dig through stacks of recipes). You see, I've entered the Geek Age (honestly, that's what the anthropologists of 2490 will call this time), and have my new work laptop with built in wireless capability sitting on the kitchen island. Where it has found my neighbor's wireless network. Wide open.

I'm liberated from the DSL line! Woohoo!

OK, back to cooking.

Posted by Andy at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

September 26, 2003

OK, Writers!

All of you that said you might be interested in National Novel Writing Month, well, the collaborative site is up. If you're still onboard, I'll send out instructions for pinging the page from your own blog whenever you update re: NaNoWriMo, your progress, or your writer's block. If you're no longer interested, well, we never expected much from you anyway - just like your momma, so just go on and push writing your masterpiece back to "one of these days." When you ping it with a trackback, an excerpt will appear on the page, enabling one and all to see how poorly the group is doing at writing - joy!

In the meantime you can check out the page here.

Special thanks to Zuly and Dork for their help getting all the bits and pieces of the page to work.

Update:Even though NaNoWriMo doesn't officially begin for over a month, please feel free to ping the page with updates regarding your thoughts on the event, how any storyline development is going, books you're reading now that might serve as encouragement or inspiration, books you've read that suck so bad they show you how not to write, or how Italians like Ronaldo should be sent to Camp Delta so we rich and powerful and egotistical Americans can laugh upon his suffering.

Posted by Andy at 07:42 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Hey, is anyone else having problems with their installation of Trillian? I've now had it start crashing continually on two different PCs, all within 12 hours of each other; has me wondering if the latest update to Yahoo or MSN is also, by design or not, screwing up Trillian. Just found it odd that I am getting the same crash from the same program on different computers that aren't remotely related to one another.

Thanks much if anyone has any info on this!

Update: By doing what I should have done first, it looks like it's a problem with Yahoo:

If you cannot get into Trillian to shut off Yahoo autoconnect, you can edit your Yahoo.ini file. Here is how:

Click Start -> Run, then type:

notepad c:\program files\ trillian\users\default\yahoo.ini (take the space out of the \ trillian\ part)

If the file does not load, open Windows Explorer and find your Documents and Settings directory, then your name, then the Trillian directory. There should be a Yahoo.ini file in there.

Change the line that says auto connect=1 so that it reads auto connect=0. If you are using more than one Yahoo connection, change the line for each connection.

Now save the file and reload Trillian. We are working on a fix for this problem.

Posted by Andy at 07:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2003

I think I smell...

a Constitutional amendment! Let's put that mother to a vote!

Posted by Tom at 09:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Fabulously Famous in Europe

OK, well, somewhat unpopular with a certain Italian whose e-mail address is, as indicated in the comments here:

Well well, another fat layabout goodfornothing warmongering american spills his brains via his keyboard, if the good ol tolks in America spent just a little less time ramming their fcuking right to free fcuking speech down ours necks, and a little bit more time repairing and making amends for the horrific damage and destruction that they cause while they are "freeing" the good people of Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Kuwait and now Iraq, we might all have a little more time for them.

As it is, I own a bar and hotel in Ialy and we wont even serve americans here, unless they speak italian and so far only one of them have been able to break the mystery of the language by asking for a cafe instead of a coffee, we have a US naval base here and the soldiers spend their whole time off trying to chase after the local girls who wont have anything to do with the baby murdering sons of whores,




PS think about this, any american will tell you, within an hour of meeting them for the first time, how many cars they have, how big their house is and how fcuking great they and their country are. Bullshit, stay in America, we dont want you in Europe murdering our babies

For all his ranting about Americans not speaking Italian, you'd think he could at least spell the name of his own country properly in our language when dazzling us with his grasp of English. I'm sure more Americans would speak Italian if it were useful for much more than saying "Hey, this isn't Greece!" or "Who is that old guy in the funny hat?"

What a moron - at least that's what this American with two cars, and a 2200-square foot, tri-level home thinks. Now, my fellow Americans, let's just be thankful we live in the greatest country on the planet! Yay, America, yay!

Imagine fireworks here, please.

Patriotic music.

But no goddamn Lee Greenwood.

As for murdering babies in Europe, and old people for that matter, I think the Continent's socialized medicine and a heat wave did just fine.

Vaffanculo, Ronaldo!

Posted by Andy at 06:59 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Fluffy Feelgood Post Of The Day

That's right, time for a lengthy post on a fluffy topic just so it looks like I'm a passionate blogger, writing page upon page of bloggy goodness for you, when in reality I'm just cutting and pasting like a wildman. But, don't let that make you think that I don't love you, baby, 'cause I surely do. You know I wanna get freaky on that ass.

Cue lame R&B modern R&B music

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 09:03 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

A Warning

Hey, you - yeah, you - you alien punks: Don't mess with The Milky Way:

Our Milky Way galaxy is gobbling up its galactic neighbor, Sagittarius, and on Wednesday, scientists offered documentary proof of this continuing cosmic cannibalism.

Astronomers have mapped the Sagittarius galaxy to show in detail how its debris wrap around and pass through the Milky Way, which contains Earth.

On its way to oblivion, the dwarf Sagittarius -- which is about 10,000 times the mass of the Milky Way -- is getting stretched, torn apart and ultimately eaten, scientists at the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts reported.

Awwww yeah, gonna open up a black hole of intergalactic whoop ass on y'all.

Posted by Andy at 08:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Trouser Snakes

And not the kind you ladies would want to play with, either:

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A Swedish man has been charged after Australian customs officers found eight dangerous snakes, including four dead king cobras, strapped to his leg after he arrived on a flight from Thailand, officials said on Wednesday.
I think having one is enough for me without strapping eight more in there. Those fangs could hurt.

Posted by Andy at 08:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 24, 2003

Maybe They Do Control Us All

The Jews that is, as a new study explores the role that religion plays in wealth:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new national study shows that religious affiliation plays a powerful role in how much wealth Americans accumulate, with Jews amassing the most wealth and conservative Protestants the least.

Mainline Protestants and Catholics fall in between and are about average with the rest of the population in terms of overall wealth.

Interesting observation: conservative Protestants amass the least wealth. They do, however, have a disproportionate share of double-wides.
Keister said she hopes the results of the study can be used to help others build more wealth.
Just call me Andy O'Goldstein.

Thanks to Razib for the link to the article.

Posted by Andy at 09:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

The Hippie to the Hip Hip Hop

The RIAA, in its efforts to further annoy music fans everywhere, has ended up looking pretty silly:

The Recording Industry Association of America has withdrawn the first of its file-swapping lawsuits after a possible case of mistaken identity.

The trade association confirmed Wednesday that it had withdrawn its suit against a Boston-area senior citizen named Sarah Ward, who claimed that she could not possibly have been involved in the file-swapping incident attributed to her. Among other objections, Ward is a Macintosh computer user, and there is no Apple version of the Kazaa file-trading software she is supposed to have used, according to attorneys who have spoken to the woman.

According to attorneys who have spoken to Ward, she is a sculptor, former early childhood educator, living at home with her husband. Her children and grandchildren do not live with her, and would not have used her account to trade files on a PC, they say.

Nor is Ward likely to have downloaded many of the files allegedly on her computer, such as songs by rapper Busta Rhymes, said Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Cindy Cohn, who helped Ward with her case.

Aw, c'mon now, we've all seen The Wedding Singer. Give the old lady the chair!

Posted by Andy at 02:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 23, 2003

Sharing the Love

I've been accused by some people of being anti-Christian. It's a typical accusation that is slung about any time you dare to criticize someone's precious belief as being patently silly. So, while I'm on a roll, let's mock Hinduism too.

A Hindu fanatic sentenced to die for killing Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons hoped to "bury" the spread of Christianity, the judge said...

A newspaper report on Sunday quoting investigators said the extremists decided to kill Mr Staines after seeing Indians eat beef, which is forbidden by Hinduism.

The judge said Singh presented himself as a "saviour of cows".

It's a sad tragedy that religious fervor claimed the life of someone who was working for a greater good in India. It's even sadder that it was basically because of a hamburger.


Posted by Andy at 09:00 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (2)


Yeah, that about sums it up for today.

More later.

Stay tuned.

Oh, and I know this is jumping the gun a bit, but I think I have the first line of my novel. Now I just need the other 49,993 words to make my quota.

Posted by Andy at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2003

Music, Man, Music

Hey, kids - do any of you play an instrument? Do you have an interest in making music? Honestly, I don't care about your theology, your philosophy, your love of perverse anime, so long as you want to make music - and so long as you want to help out and sink some funds into the fun.

How about a true BloggerBand? No well-known names, no carry-us-on-your-byline types of events - just a bunch of regular folks bringing their influences together to make music, beautiful or otherwise. It could be painful - could be fun. Could be butt-humpin' ugly.

Anyone up for it? Consider it NaNoWriMo for the ears.

Find below some photos of my guitars and, cough, studio as it were - join the fun, folks, let's make some music. Why should blogging be but a spectator sport?

Look, if nothing else we can have fun drinking beer and having fun - at best, we write 12 seconds of beautiful music. Who could ask for more?

If you're local (Dean Esmay thinks it will help to mention I live in Denver), sign up already! Hell, if you're long distance, sign up - with the wonders of the net, you can still produce absolute crap though miles stand between you.

Posted by Andy at 11:55 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (4)

Who Likes Who

John Hawkins, of Right Wing News, just completed a survey of right-leaning bloggers to find out their favorite political websites. I was asked to participate, but life got in the way and I didn't even get a chance to start on thinking about it until after the deadline for submissions. Ah well, maybe next time.

You can find the results here.

Posted by Andy at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2003

Something Shlocky This Way Comes

Just an early reminder that National Novel Writing Month is fast approaching:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over talent and craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

While I'm inclined to lean more toward the talent/craft side of the aisle (since some kind souls tell me I write rather well; let's see if it carries over to the novel format), I think it's good that someone is out there simply encouraging people to write. Practice can do naught but improve one's writing, and that's a primary reason I've kept up with blogging - you know, aside from it being fun to be right all the time and share my universal "rightness" with all of you.

So, who's in?

I know that Kafka is taking the plunge - and I'm encouraging Jolene to give it a go. And I have vague mental images of Matt Moore saying he would try, but those might be fake beer memories.

What's the worst that can happen? You write 50,000 words of pure crap and lose a month of your life that you were only going to spend watching the idiot box anyway. No big loss. Come along.

So, how about it Jon Darby? You've got roughly 396 unfinished tales in your head - polish one up and put it on display.

Michele has posted some of her short story work; bring it on, oh ye of the often-slapped ass!

Zuly? You're an avid reader - give writing a try! Make it part of the Zuly's Reading Room adventure!

Anyone else? Why the hell not? You people disappoint me, ya know that? Heh.

Update: Zombyboy is in, planning to write a tale of love between himself and the various members of The Screaming Trees, and the unfortunate involvement of one tub of Crisco and a shaved llama.

MmmoxieTM is interested, but is too lazy to read up on it. That's a shame, because she has some good fodder for a story. And she could include pictures. Lots of'em. Ayup.

Update, The Second: Kafkaesquí decides to help out MmmoxieTM with this inspiring description of NaNoWriMo:

It's a month* of sore wrists. A month of sore back. A month of sore body parts you won't find in any biology text. It's a month of sleep deprivation. A month of neglected family. A month of ignored friends. A month of shirked responsibilities. It's a month of confusion. A month of self-doubt. A month of absolute despair. It's a month, 30 seemingly unending days, when your conscious faculties, your sanity and your spare time goes right out the window in an attempt to produce 50,000 words of pure and utter dreck.

Simply, NaNoWriMo is a month of self-imposed torture. Sound like fun? You bet it does!

* Or less.

Quite the motivational speaker, that guy.

Update, The Third or More: Lordy lordy, this thing keeps on growing. No, ladies, back down, I'm not talking about that. I'm talkin' about the people foolish enough to join me in NaNoWriMo. Who's up? Let's see!

Tony, the Kiwi athiest, has joined the team. He'll be writing about sheep. Lots of sheep. And canola oil and gags.

Tiffany has also signed up for literary pain.

Fools. I mean, uh, smart folks willing to endure pain for a greater good. I love you people!

Posted by Andy at 07:38 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (8)

September 20, 2003

It's Like Now, But Not Now, You Know?

It's been a while since there's been a good theological free-for-all here, so I'm linking to this ongoing discussion regarding the futility of intercessionary prayer. My contribution follows, quoting from a response to the Raving Atheist given by Catholic blogger Michelle Enjoy.

I would need about four long posts to fully respond to every point RA made. That would qualify me for a Godidiot of the Month award from RA, so let's keep it short and pick out only a few points to remark on:
And here I thought that to be persecuted for your belief, even on a blog, is admirable in the eyes of the Christian god. Tsk tsk. Sure, it's not quite up there with getting nailed to a cross, but it's bound to count for something, right?
An "infinite number [of] years" is an oxymoron, RA. Eternity isn't an unending chain of years; it's entirely outside time. Because we are material beings with spiritual souls, we exist within time because material changes, evolves. But such change or evolution is a limitation and there can be no limitations on a perfect Being. So time doesn't exist in eternity; eternity is like an ever-present Now with no past or future. Therefore God isn't pondering our fate for billions and billions of years; he knows it Now.
Sadly, according to Merriam-Webster, eternity is "infinite time" - and since a year is a unit of measure for time, Raving Atheist is quite right to say that it's an "infinite number [of] years." Making up your own definition to explain away the flaws in your theology isn't terribly honest or, for that matter, convincing.

Further, how does a spiritual soul exist in a material world? How does it interact with and drive the bag of skin we call our body? This is the primary problem with the entire concept of the supernatural - once it affects the natural world, it's obviously part of it.

Which leads to the problem of your made-up definition of "eternity" - you've just described something you can't possibly understand using nonsensical phrases like "it's entirely outside of time" combined with the directly contraditory "ever-present Now" (note that in your description of something that is outside of time, you used words that are about, well, time - sorry, doesn't fly). Perhaps, though, that's the only way you have to describe this concept, which means even you don't understand it - so why are you so sure of it?

Ah, because your theology won't make sense without it. Clever.

The interaction between free will and omniscience is indeed a difficult theological conundrum, but the two are not mutually exclusive. If omniscience is indeed All-Knowing, it could certainly Know how to budget for its own gift of free will to its creatures.
In other words, you don't have any clue how to reconcile them, but you're sure that your god does, and that's good enough for you. So much for intellectual rigor and the application of reason to the world around us!

I see little point in going into her (cough) analysis (cough) of how free will is like that movie where Kate Winslet gets naked on a boat. Quite simply, the question is: Can you do something that God does not know you will do before you do it? If the answer is no, then free will is but an illusion. If the answer is yes, then your god is not omniscient.

Update: Couple of things for you good people:

Posted by Andy at 04:37 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack (11)

Ah, Music to the Ears

For those of you who have been keeping up with the development of future world tyrant, and adorable baby, Fiona, I proudly present her latest vocal accomplishment in MP3 format. Just click that cute little face.

oh, she's so precious!

She must be learning to speak from me, since so many say I talk out of my ass.

Posted by Andy at 12:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

A Question for the Ages

Why do people bother commenting or e-mailing to tell me that my writing contains hostility, or that it's cynical, or that - goshdarnitalltoheckandback - I'm just so insulting to those with whom I disagree? I think I know that already. Next they'll be telling me I could stand to drop a couple of pounds, and lay off the beer already.

Can't they read the name of the site? It's not the World Wide Hug-A-Puppy.

Posted by Andy at 11:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 19, 2003

A Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day

That's all that can explain why Mark Morford is suddenly talking sense:

Here's the gimmick: Take a weird, modern conservative revisionist New Testament and wrap it in faux-hip fashion-mag duds and hawk it to unsuspecting young maidens who otherwise wouldn't get within ten low-rise jean lengths of the gray-bearded dust-choked finger-wagging dogma of King James and all his hoary misogynistic machismo. Clever indeed.

It's called "Revolve: The Complete New Testament" and it's apparently racing up the sales charts -- whatever that means -- as it sucks up all the accoutrements of a teen fashion rag and rams them through the cute Christian grinder of humorlessness and sexual rigidity and homophobia, and regurgitates them as kicky dumbed-down slightly numb virginal tidbits of advice and admonition and, yes, Biblical storytelling.

As the strange planetary alignment that allows him to talk with some intelligence rolls on through the cold void of space, he utters magical words like:
"Revolve" takes a decidedly conservative view of the Bible, condemns homosexuality, encourages virginity until marriage, and informs girls that excessive makeup and jewelry and revealing clothes are to be avoided and chastity is to be rewarded because, well, Jesus really loves baggy sweaters and granny underwear.
The only purpose granny underwear serves is to tell us men when we're not getting any because the monthly visitor is in the house.
And yet, weird little makeup tips abound in the book, outright groaners for all but the most painfully gullible Bible-belted girls. "You need a good, balanced foundation for the rest of your makeup," says one "tip." "Kinda like how Jesus is the strong foundation in our lives."

Yes that's right. Jesus is the Chapstick for the dry lips of your sinning self. Jesus is the holy Clearasil for your Satanic shin zits. Jesus is that amazing clenched feeling you get when you lie back and aim the shower massager just right and... oh, never mind.

It might feel like finding God, ladies, but - trust me - that ain't Jesus.
Where, pray where, can a young teen turn for true unadulterated perspective and inspiration? For insight and anxiety relief and a big heaping dose of the gloriously convoluted, slithery, well-accessoried mess that is modern life? Hmm. Maybe that's why God invented books.
Which is a nice segue to my reminding you that it's Banned Books Week! Oddly enough, I doubt the Bible will ever be banned (but if only we could move it to the fiction section at least).

(found at tbogg)

Posted by Andy at 06:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Weather 1 - Mighty Mighty Power of Prayer 0

Once again demonstrating the complete inability of prayer to do anything remotely useful, aside from lulling people into the sense that they somehow have the ear of some supreme being so they don't feel helpless against the world, Pat Robertson makes the news:

Headline: Pat Robertson prays for Isabel to go out to sea
And, well, it eventually will, but not before bringing about its fair share of death and destruction.

Pat should take a hint, don't you think? He prays to be President, no luck; he prays for a hurricane to hit Orlando to teach those damned dirty homosexuals visiting the Magic Kingdom a lesson, and instead his mass medium of lies homestead in Virginia Beach gets whacked; he stares in the mirror lamenting the fact that he looks like a horribly deformed cross between a dwarf and a hobgoblin, praying for a JesusTM-powered extreme makeover, and nada. Give it up, preacher-man!

Thanks to Josh for reminding me of this story.

Posted by Andy at 06:14 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

Burn Baby Burn

Yes, folks, once again it is the start of that annual celebration of the idiots among us trying to control what we can read and how we think - Banned Books Week. Since 1982, those who believe in intellectual freedom have been giving the big middle finger to the thought Nazis.

Here's a list of the most challenged books of 2002. Why not pick one up and read it?

Oh yeah, and give one of those anti-freedom zealots the finger while you're at it.

Posted by Andy at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Because It's Fashionable

What is it with Palestinians and suicide?

Speaking in his partly demolished West Bank headquarters in Ramallah, Arafat pointed to his machinegun lying on the floor and said he would use it to kill himself if Israel tried to deport or assassinate him.

"I am a Palestinian soldier ... I will use my gun to defend not only myself but also defend every Palestinian child, woman and man and to defend the Palestinian existence," the 74-year-old former guerrilla leader said.

"Is there anyone in Palestine who does not dream of martyrdom?"

Uh, yeah, probably one or two intelligent people don't share that idiotic dream, Yassir.

I wonder if the US will condemn his offer to kill himself as not helpful to the peace plan; after all, we whine whenever Israel suggests they'd take care of the problem. Looks like now the problem might take care of itself - I vote for a feint on his compound, and let's see if he, for once in his terrorist's life, will be a man of his word.

I doubt it.

Posted by Andy at 08:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

September 18, 2003

People Suck, Still

Especially people like this:

David Gallegos, 34, plead guilty to two counts of felony child abuse. He broke his son Ethan's leg and fractured his ribcage in 17 places. Some of those fractures had begun to heal by the time the abuse was discovered in March. Ethan was nine weeks old at the time, and had to wear a body cast for nearly six weeks.
The gene pool reject of a father has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, after which he'll be free to breed again, lather, rinse, repeat.
"I'm going to man up and say what I did was wrong," Gallegos said tearfully during the sentencing hearing. In a telephone interview on Wednesday, he told 9News that he squeezed the baby too hard when he slipped down the stairs, injuring his ribs.
Nah, a man - nay,a father - would not have injured his son so seriously in the first place. Saying you're sorry doesn't make you a man - it makes you someone scared shitless of going to prison. Furthermore, why would you apologize and say it was wrong to slip down the stairs? Accidents happen. Somehow, I have the feeling it was no accident.
"I am not a monster. I never meant to hurt my baby...I'm a drunk. I have a problem. When I lifted his leg to change his diaper, I never dreamed it would break."

But Ethan's family said Gallegos had not been drinking the night the leg was broken.

How damn hard do you have to lift a baby's leg to break it? Answer: too hard for this piece of human refuse to be telling the truth.
Jennifer Gallegos has divorced her husband, and hasn't spoken to him since he was arrested...

"I will tell him what happened," Jennifer Gallegos said. "But I don't know how I'll find the words to explain how someone who was supposed to love him unconditionally hurt him so badly."

With the simplest explanation of all: a lot of people just suck. Fact of life. Let's find out who they are, deal with them, and move on to people worth being around.
David Gallegos told 9News he had found God and God would turn his life around. He said he hoped one day to have a relationship with his son, and to teach him to swing a baseball bat or play golf.
Oh great, a child abuser who has found God, giver of the laws that say back-talking children should be killed - oh yeah, this is good news.

Maybe we could teach the kid to take the bat to his father's head in a few years. Let us pray.

Posted by Andy at 07:18 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Freeware of the Day

Not that I'll make a habit of recommending software or anything, but this time I will make an exception and recommend YahooPops! It's an affordable (read: free) solution for those of us who want to be able to check Yahoo mail from a standard mail client (like the way Outlook is able to check Hotmail accounts), and it works pretty well at that once you follow the configuration instructions. If you're like me and try to run it without reading two paragraphs, then you might get frustrated.

Posted by Andy at 06:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WWR *hearts* James Lileks

It may be just me, but it seems that the shrill, pukey-liberal, Bush-hatin' set is gaining an upper hand on the results of the war in Iraq (as if you can really even say anything about those results six months after the fact.) People are steadily letting the lib mantra of "Where are the WMD's?!" (as if that were the only reason to go to war with Iraq) penetrate. Why, the other day, I even read someone repeating the old "faked Jessica Lynch rescue" saw on a message board without being shredded from head to foot.

But then Lileks waded back into the battle, sarcasm flashing in the air and biting turns-of-phrase hacking off chunks of dumb-shittery. Witness:

Every day I read a piece like the Strib edit. They all have an inescapable conclusion: Saddam should have been left in power. No, they don’t say that. Yes, the writers would surely insist that Saddam was a wretched tyrant, and the world is better off without him in power, BUT, Baghdad’s electricity service is now undependable. No, but. Yes, but. Perhaps, however. Perfection has not been achieved; the depredations of a three-decade nightmare have not been banished in six months, and that really is the issue, isn’t it. Sorry, what was your question again?
I went back to the editorial archives today, to see what was said around the time of the Dec 1998 “Desert Fox” campaign...[.] ..."Lift the sanctions" was a popular item. And why? Because it would show Saddam the world was serious about giving him one last chance. Okay, here’s your gun back. But if you shoot us we’re going to take it away. The naivety nearly makes you weep. These people didn’t want Saddam’s body bobbing ass-up in the Tigris. They wanted a world in which the fascist clique that ruled Iraq curtseyed and bowed in the lovely gavotte of international diplomacy. However many people died in Saddam’s gulags was irrelevant; what mattered was that the UN was Concerned, and that the Iraqi Ambassador - clad in a nice Western suit, skilled in many tongues, daubed with a Macy’s cologne - agreed to facilitate the process of calibrating the precise nature of the consquences of failing to live up to the spirit of the letter of the penumbra of the -

Ah, it’s noon; shalll we have lunch sent in, or have our drivers take us to the Village? I understand there is an excellent Tibetan restaurant that’s just opened.

And this was 1998. What has changed since then? Why, nothing! Nothing at all. Why do you even ask?

And the most scintillating piece of insight yet:

I’ve read enough editorials from various papers from this period to reinforce something I’ve long suspected: the reason many editorialists hate this war is because they don’t feel it’s theirs.

If Clinton had risen to the occasion, wiped out al-Qaeda, sent Marines to kick down the statues and put bullets in those filthy sons’ brainpans, this would be the most noble effort of our time. We would hear clear echoes of JFK’s call to bear any burden. FDR, Truman, Marshall Plan, forbearance, patience - the editorial pages of the land would absolutely brim with encouragement and optimism every damn day, because the good fight was being waged, and the right people were waging it.


Posted by Tom at 05:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

September 17, 2003

The Source of Morals?

Hmmm, either evolutionary biology is right or God gave the monkeys their own set of Commandments:

Knowing when you have been ripped off is not solely a human skill, biologists have discovered. Monkeys can spot a raw deal when they see one, and if they are not treated fairly they throw a tantrum.

The finding confirms the idea that cooperative behaviour, which relies on the participants' having a sense of fair play, appeared early in our evolutionary history.

Yay, science!

Posted by Andy at 12:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

One Wasn't Bad Enough?

Apparently not, as Kellye Cash, the great-niece of the dearly, recently departed Johnny Cash, felt compelled by the spirit of the Lord Jeebus to re-record Lee Greenwood's masterwork of maudlin cheesy goodness, "God Bless the USA."

Oh my but it's painful on the ears.

Not as painful as this musical atrocity, but...still. Please, people.

Oddly enough, there's not a mention on her site about her great-uncle going to hang out with angels named Sue. They must have been close.

If you're interested in a giganto-sized picture of her head, click here. Small children might be alarmed - it's that big.

Posted by Andy at 01:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2003

A New Fan

Why is it that the people who lack reading comprehension skills are generally the only ones to bother commenting about posts they don't like? It seems that Exhibit A is all upset that I insulted their man Johnny Depp:

I think Johnny Depp is awesome...
As an actor? I'll agree. As a political commentator? Surely you jest.
...and he can say whatever he feels like saying. Its called freedom of speech.
You win the Pan-galactic Big Freakin' "Duh!" award of the month, genius.

Unfortunately, Mr. Depp was in France at the time, where his First Amendment rights don't exist (consult a globe, dear brainiac, should you need to locate France. No, no, that's Canada - go East. No, that's Maine. Keep going. Ah, there you go, Mssr. SmartyPants). In fact, the French aren't exactly known for loving freedom of speech, unless it involves insulting Americans (ask Yahoo about Nazi merchandise on their auction site in France...or Oriana Fallaci about insulting Islam).

And, you make the worst jokes i've ever heard in my life. Depp-uty Dumb?
I realize that (a) the sentence following the "Depp-uty Dumb" joke was written in smaller print and (b) you have a very tiny and only partially reliable intellect, but it said, quite clearly I thought, that I realized it was a childish insult and was put there to be funny by, get this, not being funny.

Apparently such things are beyond you, Mr. - that's for all you spambots that stop by the site - and I imagine you find great and complex humor in the combined bodies of work of the Olsen twins and Carrot Top.

Sigh. Is this what my readership has become?

Posted by Andy at 10:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Just an Update

Well, day two of the new job has come to a close, and I'm once again sitting in World Wide Rant World Headquarters, drinking a tasty adult beverage and catching up on my bloghopping. My apologies for the light blogging - I promise, new people drawn here by the Rocky Mountain News, I am usually more prolific and entertaining (depending on who you ask and who I've paid to say it's true). However, havng just started a new job, with much to do and learn and people to bedazzle, I figure I should save my blogging for the early morning and evening. Unfortunately, that means that the masses will have to go to people like Instapundit for their news fix, rather than here as they usually do. Right.

Thanks for bearing with me as I engage in the age old endeavor of "earning a living and making my way in the world" - I realize that some of you on the far left are probably scratching your head, wondering what that last phrase meant, but just let it make that "whoosh" sound as it buzzes over you and be done with it.

On an unrelated note, I have crickets in the basement window well outside this room. They're driving me nuts. They're going to meet their maker (if he existed, which he doesn't, it's just a phrase people!).

Posted by Andy at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2003

In The News

Why, the World Wide Rant is in the news, along with tighter coverage on some other local blogs. I am a bit stumped though why online newspapers, when posting URLs, never seem to actually have them hyperlinked.

Ah well, beggars, choosers, and all that. I'm off to work!

Posted by Andy at 08:12 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (2)

September 14, 2003

Got Them Steadily Depressin' Low Down Mind Messin'...

...going back to work blues.

Yes, boys and girls, tomorrow is my first day back in the workforce. I once again have to join the rat race, waking up before I'm ready, driving nearly 30 miles across the heart of Denver, all so I can contribute to the tax base like a good, responsible citizen. I've no idea how this new job will affect my blogging; it will depend on their internet policies, and how busy I am. I suspect I'll be pretty busy, but maybe I'll have time at lunch to fire off a quick post or two so that none of you end up twitching on the floor from withdrawal.

Or perhaps I'll become a night-blogger. We shall see.

I must admit I've grown quite spoiled the last two months, living by my own schedule (or Fiona's, as necessary), doing what I want when I want with whom I want, but all goods things must come to an end (I don't really believe that - I can think of some good things that have lasted for years, and others that I intend to see last for the same - but it seems the kind of thing you say in such a situation so that people think you're very erudite and sophisticated and so, so much better and more important than they could ever hope to be)...uh, where was I?

Ah, yes, work. Up early. First day. Should be interesting. Wish me luck.

Oh - and guys (Matt, Matt, and Zomby), let me know if we're still on for beer downtown tomorrow evening. I figure I could make Rock Bottom by 6-6:15.

Posted by Andy at 08:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Phonier Than a $3 Bill

Remember how back when they started introducing the new look of US currency, some people who, apparently, lived without the benefit of television, radio, or contact with outsiders, and who worked in positions in which they would be responsible for taking said new currency from the populace, thought it was funny money? Well, even if you don't, some folks did. But that's not my point.

This is.

SEPTEMBER 12--North Carolina cops are searching for a guy who successfully passed a $200 bill bearing George W. Bush's portrait and a drawing of the White House complete with lawn signs reading "We like ice cream" and "USA deserves a tax cut."
Found via our pal and yours, MoxieTMpop.

Posted by Andy at 07:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Pinch Me

Overnight, apparently, the world went topsy-turvy, inside-out, and backasswards-crazy, because on the O'Reilly Factor, Tom Green has become a parental role model:

O'REILLY: But the marketing's for children. See, the marketing is for children. This is like HBO in the middle of the night. I don't care. But it-- I just asked you a question that you neatly dodged. If you had a 10-year-old girl and she saw that [the Madonna / Britney Spears kiss], do you think that's appropriate?

GREEN: I wouldn't use the word "appropriate" or "inappropriate." I think it's just something that I would have to sit down with my daughter, and I would talk to her about how -- what was going on and that they were just, you know, clearly doing something to be entertaining and silly and shocking perhaps, but I think it's probably more important that parents talk to their kids....

Imagine that, parents being parents. The end is surely nigh.

Posted by Andy at 11:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2003

The Love of the Game

See, told you, photos of Fiona showing her Crimson Tide spirit, as Alabama meets Kentucky in Tuscaloosa. In the first, she's watching Brodie Croyle hit a man downfield with a long pass. In the second, she's taken her most comfortable chair, pulled it up in front of the television, and is enjoying the game (until we start losing, that is).

Just like with religion*, folks from Alabama start'em early, steeping them in the love of all things crimson. Unless, of course, you like Auburn, but that would just be silly.

You can get live stats on the game here.

Update: And just for Jane, Fiona would like to offer up this link to educate her on the Alabama tradition (that's the University of Alabama, mind you, not the whole state, where the biggest tradition is marrying your cousin).

* Which isn't to say I'll be indoctrinating my daughter with religion - what kind of atheist would that make me? Not a very bright one, I would guess.

Posted by Andy at 07:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Resume Rule #1 - Don't Lie

Some folks like to flaunt the so-called "Bush resume" and use it as proof positive that the Bush administration is nothing but an incompetent group of malcontents (interesting how for being so incompetent their plans for evil - muwahahaha - flow right along, but then consistency has never been a virtue of the dishonest on either side of the political aisle).

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The End of Summer, Etc.

Feels like it anyway, with the sky an overcast concrete gray, and an afternoon temperature that is threatening to break 50, but hopefully won't, as it would mess up the illusion of autumn settling in. I've finally gotten to break out a sweatshirt of sorts, woven from thick, rough-hewn threads, complemented by a pair of shorts and sandals (sadly, not Tevas, but I'm cheap). I live in Colorado now, might as well look the part.

Somebody slap a "Native" bumpersticker on me.

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 03:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

That's Gonna Leave A Mark

Morningstar isn't happy with some mutual funds:

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Fund-rating firm Morningstar issued an unusually critical report Friday recommending that investors consider selling their stakes in the mutual funds run by Janus, Strong, Bank of America, and Banc One.

The report, the first of its kind from Morningstar, comes in the wake of allegations that, if true and if widespread, point to one of the biggest scandals in the history of the mutual fund industry.
I've only ever owned a fund with one of those companies, Janus, right before and during the tech wreck. Ah, the glory days of seeing my investment soar 50% in three weeks, only to come crashing down a couple of months later to where I almost broke even.

It seems that Morningstar is being particularly harsh with Janus, especially when this report opens with the line:

We think that the Janus fund family does not deserve investors' confidence.
Well, without that, they've got nothing (ok, aside from some large institutions). This will be interesting to watch unfold.

I realize I don't normally blog about news like this, and I've probably just bored all six of you to tears. My apologies.

Posted by Andy at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 12, 2003

My How Things Change

At least they sure do change when your traffic is choking on a big one. For those who are new on the scene, or forgetful, or who didn't pay attention before because of random shiny objects just on the edge of their field of vision, you might recall that the right wing's very own version of a moonbat didn't take kindly to many bloggers of common sense (yours truly included, but in particular I'm thinking of the ass-slap-worthy Michele).

Well, let your inbound hits drop below Gary Coleman's shoe size and see how things change:

Given that the Lib Media, in their infinite wisdom, have decided not to feed our righteous anger today by "dwelling" on the 9/11 attacks too much than is "good" for us, the best thing to do is to read the blogs cited below.
Uh, apparently the evil forces of liberalism also infilitrated Fox News and the Fox network, because even they weren't on the 9/11 relive-the-moment bandwagon (can it be a bandwagon if no one is on it? Maybe not). I'm not saying I agree with the lack of coverage, just that our pal Jen is looking for bogeymen where none exist (except in those dark, unexplored caverns of her Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper-sized mind).
These fine fellow web journalists helped put me in touch with my feelings and my inner resolve as a person and for that, I thank them.
Further, they illustrate in a real way what fine people my fellow Americans are and what beautiful human beings come into being in a country where we have the freedom and the opportunity to reach our greatest potential.
This from the woman who considers anyone non-Republican to be a DIMocrat, the ideological enemy, the socialists at the gate. Hoo boy, Jen, suck on up to'em, sugar bear. Our freedom and opportunity is what scares you most - it means people might not think like you (one can hope).
But if America had to go through 9/11, thank God we have the best people to fight the killers--both on the battlefield and in the war of words and ideas in the blogosphere.
Oh lordy, you know that, everytime I log into Movable Type, I praise the Baby Jeebus that 3000 people died so I might be inspired to write something here and there. Ah Allah Akbar! Wait, I mean, uh, God is wonderful in his planning!
Is it any wonder that President Bush states that "We will prevail" so unequivocally?
I doubt he had bloggers in mind. I'm pretty sure that one Marine with a rifle is more important to national security and success than one blogger with a keyboard and a few spare moments. Blogging is brilliant - writing is wonderful - and some of the folks out there really do make a difference, but, please, let's not pat ourselves on the back while the real fighters are over there spilling their own blood on the burning sand in defense of us, ya big loon.

She goes on to lavish praise upon my friends Steve Green and Michele Catalano, two people who, sadly, aren't her ideological zodiac matches in the least. They aren't beholden to all things Dubya, they think for themselves, they write eloquently, and they find the evils of the far right no less pernicious than that of the far left. They are, in fact, the precise people she would turn her Medusa-esque venom spitting fascist tongue against for disagreeing with her assertion that George Jr.'s got quite the package. My, how things change indeed, pumpkin.

Ah hell, I don't have the patience to humor her by critiquing the rest. Go read for yourself. If you want more traffic, sister, show a little leg.

Wait, don't.


Posted by Andy at 10:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Mark Morford, moonbat kook extraordinaire, has done what policy planners and think tanks could not - he has found the solution to world terrorism:

Do you remember? The days immediately after 9/11? That rich feeling of global sympathy and sincere concern and this powerful, overarching sense that maybe, just maybe, if we work together and reach out to each other without snide bias or prejudice, we can re-make the world in an entirely new, politically purified, blazingly conscious, peace-seeking vision?
I want to live in Mark's world, really I do, where such solutions are so obvious, so easy, so clear. Why, all Osama really needs is a big hug and an "I'm OK, you're OK." Arafat? Just invite him over to tea and have him talk about his feelings.

If only all of the peace and freedom loving individuals around the world had, on September 12th, 2001, joined hands and chanted "Kumbaya," we would have melted the stony, poisoned hearts of the Islamists that chant "Ah Allah Akbar" while planning our deaths.

So clear! So simple! So idiotic!

Granted, he's right on about some of the civil-liberty-threatening actions that our government has taken, and that we have sadly allowed, in the aftermath of the tragedy, but when he spouts off nonsense like the above, does he expect to be taken seriously?

And, of course, he can't keep a single issue clear in his little-widdle mind - is he ranting about how we responded to our attackers? Is he mad about the Bush presidency? Or is it all about the environment in some literary way?

Have you taken 9/11 and its subsequent flurry and fury of sadness and antagonism and outright hate and let them dictate your life, run roughshod over your id like an SUV crushes a bird's nest?
I'm entering that one in the "Worst Analogy Contest." I've yet to see an SUV climb a tree, and I'm pretty sure that even a hybrid car would flatten a bird's nest that was in the road.


He gets paid for this?

Posted by Andy at 10:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

We've Lost Two More

Johnny Cash has died.


Maybe I'll go back to bed.

Update: This one is even harder to believe - John Ritter has died too. Hat tip to War Liberal for that sad news.

Posted by Andy at 08:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 11, 2003

Just Another PSA

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a dog person - not that I have half-human, half-canine DNA or enjoy howling at the full moon or maybe cock my leg every now and then when near a hydrant, but I think dogs are great, especially my own two, Eddie and Sydney. However, right now there's a dog who could use your help so that he can help others.

Meet Dante, the therapy dog. Sure, he's not as funny as Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, but he's cute, caring, and in need of assistance.

Dante is a 1-year-old Rottweiler that works as a therapy dog. But he also has needed some advanced medical attention. He has Muscular Dystrophy and bone deformities that make it hard for him to stand and walk.

Dante is one of only 15 dogs in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. The others died as puppies. Vets are helping Dante overcome the odds so he can keep helping people.

If you can help, please do so. You'll be doing something much more positive and good than all those idiots getting naked to protest the WTO or puking on sidewalks thinking their esophageal karmic magic will make George Bush choke on another pretzel. That's got to count for something, right?

Posted by Andy at 07:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Essay That Wasn't

You know, I was going to write something rather lengthy and meaningful for today, honest I was, but it just - for whatever reason - never quite came together the way I wanted it to. Originally, I planned on doing a "where was I on 9/11" type of piece, but there's not much drama in my being on 6th Ave in Denver, aside from it being only my sixth day of heading to work in a skyscraper (or in what passes as one in the Mile High City).

The thing I remember most is calling my father and asking him, all polite lingual manners aside, "What the fuck is going on?" And him responding - a man, mind you, who rarely, if ever, lets a colorful word pass his lips - "Those assholes attacked us is what's going on!" The rest of the story became painfully clear once I was at work, seeing the twin towers collapse like steel-latticed Goliaths.

But, like I said, I wanted to write something to move beyond all that.

It dealt with living in the moment, and how in both our best and worst experiences, we feel truly alive. How when we're consumed with horror, anger, and pain - and, conversely, joy, passion, and love - life takes on much more meaning. And how I think that scares some people, and they want to move on from those feelings and return to the humdrum of everyday life. And how they think if they dwell on the highs and lows, they'll either never get out of bed or never be satisfied again. And how the further away from those events we become, the more they seem like dreams. And how I want to hold on to those feelings and let them fuel my life, rather than let them overshadow it.

Move on? No. Live on? Yes.

I promise, in my medicinally-valuable, drug-induced haze during my illness of the last five days, it came to me in pieces and assembled itself in my head as I lay there in bed. I remember thinking "Yeah, that's good" - not quite an epiphany, but more powerful than picking on Judge Roy Moore yet again. Now that I'm on the upswing, I only have fragments of it lying around and a vague notion of how it all tied together. It's the best I can do for now.

It'll have to do.

So, there you go. Maybe it makes sense to somebody besides me. If not, oh well, you've done nothing but lose two minutes of your life reading it. Make the rest of it memorable.

And remember 9/11.

Posted by Andy at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2003



That's all. Goodnight.

Posted by Andy at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Awww, Po' Widdle Telemarketers

The American Teleservices Association is all upset and going to cry about a Dave Barry prank:

Encouraging readers to call the ATA ''to tell them what you think'' about the group's telemarketer members, Barry included the organization's toll-free phone number in his column titled Ask not what telemarketers can do to you .

Readers of the column, published weekly in about 500 newspapers across the country, took Barry up on his suggestion. They called. And called. And 10 days later, they're still calling.

Turnabout, fair play, yada yada yada. I imagine they aren't really enjoying getting unsolicited calls (at least none of them are probably sitting down to dinner in the office when the phone rings).
''It's in the few thousand,'' said Tim Searcy, executive director of the ATA, who was straining to take the matter lightly. ``It's difficult not to see some malice in Mr. Barry's intent.''
No, Mr. Searcy, only an idiot would be unable to see malice in Barry's intent, and only a bigger idiot would wonder why such malice might exist in the first place. But then again, any company that calls me at 8pm on a weeknight to try to sell me an item I don't need, want, or have any interest in is a pretty sizeable idiot to start. Color me not surprised that you're among this group.
The ATA has filed legal challenges to the Do Not Call list, which now has more than 40 million phone numbers of people who want to avoid telemarketers' sales pitches. The ATA argues that the list violates telemarketers' First Amendment rights.
Nah, the government is simply doing what it should do - protecting my property from the abuse of others. I pay for my phone service. I pay for the phone into which those twisted copper pairs run. You have no right to send your data across any of my property without my consent. Since you fail to respect my property and my unwillingness to deal with you, the government has stepped in, as it should. Consider it a really big No Trespassing sign that even you simpletons can read.

Your industry brought this on itself with its utter disrespect for the property of others.

Searcy said Barry's prank will be costly because the association must pay for the toll-free calls and for the staff member who spends hours sorting through the recorded messages.
Awww, cry me a river and I'll play the world's tiniest violin for you. Hell, Dave, do it again next week. And the week after.

Found here.

Posted by Andy at 11:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

The Falling Man

A little bit of recommended reading from Esquire, on this, the eve of the second anniversary of 9/11. Foud via Common Sense & Wonder.

Posted by Andy at 07:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

We Do It Your Way

At least Red Meat does. For those of you who are fans of the comic strip, you can now build your very own Red Meat. Yes, I know, just what everyone needs to be doing when they should be working.

Found via Chapel Perilous.

Posted by Andy at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Read My Failing School Systems: No New Taxes

Well, once again the Barabbas of benighted short term self interest wins the audience vote in Alabama. Kyrie Elaison, tis the state of the damned, surpassing Nigeria in terms of brain drain (but at least there's no lottery- or toilet paper in the schools).

On the bright side, looks like the kids will probably have an extra long Xmas break this year (from roughly November 1 through August).

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A Nice Place to Visit

Even though my wife is British, I have little to no desire to ever reside across the pond in the UK. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a beautiful country - I love that the countryside and cities are steeped in a history that dwarfs that of the United States - I love the sense of community to be found in a village pub, with a selection of fine ales - and I even love to eat toad in the hole.

All of that notwithstanding, Phil at The Speculist points to the idea that Big Brother has a British accent. I bet ol'John Ashcroft would be needing a clean up on Crotch Aisle 1 if he could make such things happen here.

Posted by Andy at 03:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Belated Congratulations

To our friends Sean and Carmenza, who were married one week ago today. I've known Sean for several years and can safely say that Carmenza is the best thing to happen to him in the dating/love/get-your-freak-on department. She's funny, smart, attractive, and decidedly non-psychotic, so far. Congratulations you two!

And sure, I could have posted a different photo, but where would the fun be in that?

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September 09, 2003

Slip Slidin' Stupidity

Overtaken by Events brings us this story:

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The makers of the Slip 'N Slide filed a lawsuit Monday over a scene in the hit movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" that shows actor David Spade skidding to a painful halt on the summertime water toy...

The lawsuit, filed against Paramount Pictures and Happy Madison Productions, charges the filmmakers violated its trademark by using the product without permission.

Wham-O also claims the scene violates the product's safety guidelines, which limit the use of Slip 'N Slide to children between the ages of 5 and 12 weighing less than 110 pounds and under 5 feet tall.

Next we'll have automotive makers suing Hollywood because they don't intend their cars to explode (except for the Ford Pinto), crash, or run over people. Gun makers going into litigation heaven because their weapons are intended for law-abiding citizens and not mobsters. Water companies pissed off because water should be consumed, not used for a spit-take.
Guidelines also state the slide must first be inflated and wet and that users should also be wet before diving on the plastic. The company is concerned that the scene might prompt adults to imitate Spade's action, which could lead to injury and lawsuits.
Lawsuits which should, I hope, be laughed out of court (but, perhaps adding some merit to Wham-O's case, they might not be in our culture of it's-not-my-fault). As for injuries - well, stupid people doing stupid things deserve whatever they get. In this case, having the skin of your belly burned off is probably too little punishment.
Monday's lawsuit mentions one legal action brought by a Wisconsin adult who became paralyzed after diving onto the slide while intoxicated. The plaintiff in that case was awarded $12.3 million in damages, according to Monday's lawsuit.
OK, maybe Wham-O has a point. But the problem isn't with their product or some silly David Spade movie; it's with complete nitwits and the juries who coddle them.

Posted by Andy at 05:29 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)


For those who can't get enough of me, I did a guest post over here. Ooh, a multimedia experience (put your mouse over the photo in that link).

Posted by Andy at 04:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hating Life a Wee Bit Less

My, my, but it's been a long three and a half days. I've had two trips to the emergency room (courtesy of severe dehydration and other fun effects of whatever has been attacking lil' ol' me), and spent almost every hour in bed, either sleeping or praying for death. This morning was a repeat, but at some point I fell asleep and woke up only recently, feeling moderately more human. I hope this time it will mean I'm actually getting better.

No sign of food poisoning - seems to just be a particularly nasty strain of a stomach bug. I wish it would go bug someone else for a while and leave me be. At least this is happening now and not, say, next week when I start my new job.

So, long story made after-school-special short, I should be back blogging in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Posted by Andy at 02:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 06, 2003

Hating Life

Well, just this portion of it right now anyway, as I've spent the last three hours finding biologically creative ways to lose water weight. Must have eaten something bad last night. Ugh.

Somebody shoot me already.

Correction: The gallery of porcelain horrors lasted nine hours. I know, too much information - but I feel like it really helps us all get to know one another, and isn't that what life is all about?

Yet Another Correction, Aren't You Pleased? The misery continues with a wild assortment of double-you-over-in-agony stomach cramps. But, I soldier on, because I am about to watch my team quite possibly get the tar pounded out of them. Roll Tide!

Posted by Andy at 06:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

September 05, 2003

Weather Report

It looks like Hurrican Fabian has its eye on Bermuda. In a related story, Fabio has his eye on Matt Moore, probably due to his new Atkins physique.

Posted by Andy at 12:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Who Rides The Bus?

In the mind of a few Wellesleyians (is that a word?), only little black kids:

A black kindergartner who lives in Wellesley was mistaken for a student in the Metco desegregation program, put on a Metco bus at the end of his after-school program on Tuesday, and erroneously dropped off in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, program officials said...

The executive director of the after-school program, which is run by the private, nonprofit Wellesley Community Children's Center, yesterday called the mixup inadvertent. But Mary C. Kloppenberg, the executive director, said she has launched an investigation into whether racial bias clouded the judgment of the white teacher who directed the child to the Metco bus on the first day of school.

Whoops. Couldn't someone just ask the kid where he lived? Are most educators, particularly in the Northeast, of the liberal variety? (Honestly, I'm curious) - and if so, wouldn't racial profiling be a no-no?

Posted by Andy at 12:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks to John Hawkins

For making the World Wide Rant the Right Wing News Website of the Day.

I'd do a website of the day here, but I doubt the recipient could handle the extra four hits.

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Keeps Me Warm*

I'm not the only one who is still mad about watching 3,000 of my countrymen and assorted others perish in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, a Pennsylvania field, and the Pentagon:

Angry? Almost two years later I’m still f*#king furious about it, if you want to know the truth. I’m not sure what emotion these people want me to have. An appropriate amount of sadness mixed with an appropriate amount of shame mixed with a soupcon of perspective and a dram of self-hatred? Can you send me the precise recipe, please? Because from where I stand, I see the two forces I thought the left deplored: religious intolerance and fascism. Together at last! Swirled into one cone! If Kluxers had flown planes into the UN building, these people would be insisting that America was bubbling over with millions of Bubbanazis, and the failure of the networks to mount Second Anniversary specials would be proof that the media secretly embraced the White Power agenda.
And why are we so pissed off?
Three thousand people died by design that day. Only a fool couldn’t help noticing what it meant: they want us all dead. They want a world in which my daughter is a slave - and even though they’ll never get it, they will kill someone else’s daughter a half a continent away just to make their point. They want a world in which there is no US, and the Bosnias and Rwandas are not only commonplace, but proof that their god is ascendant.
Sorry, but I have no plans to forget or forgive that atrocity. Indeed, life does go on, but those of us with rather sophisticated brains (say, above the level of the average dog) are capable of holding multiple thoughts and motives in our head at one time. I can live my life, love those I love, and still seethe with anger everytime I see the words "Taliban" or "Al Qaeda" scroll across the bottom of the screen, or when I see Palestinians celebrating that yet another innocent civilian has their insides smeared across the twisted wreckage of a city bus.

Maybe in happy-happy-hippity-hoppity-bunny-love land where so many on the far left seem to live, they don't really want us dead. It's all our fault anyway. They were just trying to make a point. They're not so bad after all. They're just misunderstood. Well, when we or the Israelis track them from the air and blow them to bits with a couple of Hellfire missiles, consider that our counterpoint. Consider the toppling of the Taliban just a plank in our platform. Consider the liberation of Iraq nothing but a rejoinder to their marvelous line of reasoning.

We will, however, win this debate.

And while you're here, why not go check out Michele's 9/11 remembrance project, "Voices."

Gimme gimme more more more »

Posted by Andy at 11:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 04, 2003

Life Imitating Art, Again

OK, it's a stretch to call "Night of the Lepus" art, but this story shows how frighteningly close to a cuddly-bunny-nightmare the world has come.

Dounreay's rabbit population has been ruled free from radioactivity following tests by the Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS).
A probe was carried out after the bunnies were found to have burrowed into low-level waste pits at the nuclear plant in Caithness.
Disaster averted.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) had served an enforcement notice on Dounreay managers ordering them to stop the rabbits gaining access.
Calling Elmer Fudd - come in, Elmer Fudd. Save us from our Peter Cotton-Tailian fate!

Found via The Speculist.

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Attention Unemployed Bloggers

Perhaps this could be your dream job:

Do you have a sensual voice? Do you love flirtatious chit chat? If so, you may be the perfect candidate for telephone acting! You MUST have an open mind, a very charming voice, and a desire to create fantasies and role play!

This job involves ADULT conversation.

Paychecks are mailed WEEKLY!
Flexible Hours - full time/part time or set your own hours working as an independent contractor.

Complete and total anonymity!

We employ over 1,000 agents nationwide and entertain over 10,000 clients daily. Our top agents earn up to $15 per hour.

Sound like a fun and easy way to earn money? It is!

Glad to be of service.

Posted by Andy at 12:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 03, 2003

Awww, She's Adorable

The throngs of fans have demanded it, and so I give in to their pleading and begging. Here are a couple of recent photos of Fiona for your baby viewing pleasure (except for you, yeah, you, the pedophile over there on the left - get the hell out of here before I kick your ass).

Eventually, someday, maybe and quite possibly, I will get the Gallery software up and running so her website can make a triumphant return. Until then, this will have to do!

Update: To keep yourself busied, why not go check out Silflay Hraka's kid? Awww, babies.

Posted by Andy at 03:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

Let the Idiot Speak

And oh how he does:

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- Hollywood star Johnny Depp said on Wednesday the United States was a stupid, aggressive puppy and he would not live there until the political climate changed...

"America is dumb, it's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive," he said.

"My daughter is four, my boy is one. I'd like them to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out," said the star of the off-beat films "Edward Scissorhands" and "Dead Man."

So, rather than work for change, he insults each and every one of us who still love this country, even with its flaws (you know, such as Judge Roy Moore, Michael Moore, and Pieter Friedrich). And rather than have his children work for the change he desires, he seems to solely want them to use America to their advantage while giving nothing back and then taking their leave.

Political climate change or not, feel free to remain in France, Depp-uty Dumb.*

* Grade school insults do so have their place, nyeh nyeh nyeh.

Posted by Andy at 12:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2003


It's not just for crazy Islamists anymore:

An unrepentant Paul Hill boasted Tuesday on the eve of his execution for the shotgun slaying of an abortion doctor: "I expect a great reward in heaven."

Barring an unlikely last-minute stay, the 49-year-old former minister will be put to death by lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1994 murders in Pensacola of Dr. John Britton and his escort. Hill has not appealed...

"The sooner I am executed ... the sooner I am going to heaven," he said. "I expect a great reward in heaven. I am looking forward to glory. I don't feel remorse."

Shoot'em up, warden, and send him on his way to his virgins streets paved with gold. Of course, not everyone feels that way.
Death penalty opponents have also pointed to the prospect of violence as a reason to stop this execution in particular.

"We're very concerned that Paul Hill's call for violence may be picked up by any person to whom God speaks," said Abe Bonowitz, the head of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

I would suggest instead that we pick up any person to whom God speaks as they are certifiably nuts.

Posted by Andy at 06:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

Top o'the World, Ma!

Well, at least in the top 0.671% of it when it comes to income. I'm curious if their numbers are based solely on income or on other assets as well. Also, it doesn't take into account where you live - my salary in Denver allows me to lead a good life; in NYC, I'd be much worse off. In Cameroon, I'd be King (or CEO, once AndyBudCo bought the country).

I'm the 40,315,565 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

Regardless, I'm the richest man in the world because of my daughter, Fiona, who is playing on her playmat and farting up a storm behind me right now. Not that I can buy food, shelter, or other necessities with her - I just said that to make all you womenfolk say "Awwwww."

Global Rich List found via Plum Crazy.

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Asleep On the Left

Sen. Kerry, the man with executive-styleTM hair, just doesn't get it:

"I do not want more American troops in Iraq. I want foreign troops," said Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, who this week hopes to reenergize his campaign with a kickoff announcement in South Carolina on Tuesday. "We have to reduce the sense of American occupation. We have to take the target off of American troops."
Perhaps he missed the attack on the United Nations in Iraq. You can't get much more foreign than a bunch of foreigners. The enemy doesn't like the West, not just those flying the American flag. Hell, they don't even like other Iraqis.

Or is Sen. Kerry implying that more foreign soldiers should be targeted in place of Americans? How...dedicated of you, sir. We wanted this war. We won this war. It's up to us to win the peace. To do anything less is to shirk our responsibility to the people of Iraq (but, hey, if we did that now you'd be able to say that Bush broke his promise to them - a new campaign angle).

Kerry said he stood by his vote but faulted Bush for what he called "a rush to war."

"The difference is, I would have planned. I would have been patient. I would have worked with the United Nations," Kerry said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Apparently Sen. Kerry slept through the last twelve or so years of UN ineptitude in dealing with Iraq. Perhaps some of that magnificent hair is growing into his brain.

Posted by Andy at 12:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Sky is Falling

Yet again:

A giant asteroid is heading for Earth and could hit in 2014, U.S. astronomers have warned British space monitors.
Damn, that's only another eleven years to enjoy our planet. Somebody probably thinks that's a good reason to live everyday like it's your last, but that's always struck me as kind of dumb - why would I want to spend the rest of my life moping around in a depressed funk? Can you imagine a world in which we all walked around, each and every day, nodding to one another and saying "Hey, been nice knowing you?"

Brief interlude for a move recommendation, made once before actually: Last Night.

But for those fearing Armageddon, don't be alarmed -- the chances of a catastrophic collision are just one in 909,000.
Hmmm, the chance of being struck by lightning is, so I've read, about one in 600,000 and all but the dumbest among us tend to take shelter when it shows on the scene. The really dumb tend to take shelter under trees, and are conveniently removed from the gene pool. Alas, in this case, we've all pretty much got our cards in the same basket, and other mixed metaphors like that.
On impact, it could have the effect of 20 million Hiroshima atomic bombs, a spokesman for the British government's Near Earth Object Information Centre told BBC radio.
Wow - the effect of 20 million Hiroshima atomic bombs! Holy cow, that means 1,200,000,000,000 Japanese people will perish. They better get busy on that whole procreation thing in the next 11 years.

OK, obviously I'm not too worried about this big rock; which is odd, considering I'm pretty sure that one of these days we're going to get smacked out of the blue.

There, that was a happy ending to a post.

Posted by Andy at 11:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 01, 2003


Are you watching the History Channel tonight?

I am.

Update: Interesting - prior to 9pm, they made an extreme effort to hide any indication of female nipples with dancing stars. Once the nine o'clock hour passed, they were suddenly visible to the naked eye. Did every child in America go to bed at 9pm or something? Ohhhh, what's that? You say it's some silly idea of responsibility that should really lie with parents? My mistake.

Posted by Andy at 09:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Labor Day any and all of you out there who happen to be in labor today. Trust me, it's worth it - well, if you're the guy who just gets to watch. Even better for you if your partner/wife/alien hybrid/whatever is having a c-section as then you don't have to see them in pain (until the drugs wear off anyway).

How have I spent this Labor Day?

I slept in, laboriously, if my dreams were any indication.

Then lunch out with the family. After that, a trip out for some liquid sustenance and some much need automotive supplies. Much needed because of the cute, little beasty (owned by Vicky) to the right who - while spending the night in my garage during Vicky's final 24 hours in Denver - decided to perform Riverdance all over my car. While his dancing was admirable, I do wish he had chosen to wear some shoes. Ah well, they say scars give one character.

But no matter, as the scratch repair goo and my polish and wax have done a beautiful job of bringing my car back to its former glory. A glory which includes seven years of wear and tear, various dings and nicks, and a power antenna which grates on the ears as it grows erect upon insertion of the key. A couple of scratches here and there are the least of her worries.

In an unrelated story, I like Keller William's song "Love Handles" - kind of a funkier, more technically proficient Jack Johnson. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Jack, even if it took the rest of you a couple of years to catch up on his cool.

Now I take my leave, briefly, to see what is on the television. I'll be buying a new one this week or next, so any recommendations would be appreciated - looking to spend no more than $800 or so for a high quality 27" or greater screen. I could be swayed though.

Posted by Andy at 08:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Women of the World Rejoice Toyota introduces a car that can park itself:

Toyota's new hybrid gasoline-electric Prius sedan uses electrically operated power steering and sensors that help guide the car when reversing into parking spaces.

Toyota President Fujio Cho sat in the driver's seat at a demonstration laid on for the press, surprising reporters by holding his hands up as the car quickly parked itself.

"I forgot to put on the brake," Cho said. "But it's easy."

I know what my wife's next car will be.*

Update: Lesley at Plum Crazy had a very similar thought - and she's a she! I'm afraid she'll be asked to turn in her Girl's Club card now.

*Note to self: begin putting on flame retardant suit immediately

Posted by Andy at 12:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)