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How I Spent my Sunday
As a Public Service
Oh Lordy Lord
Their Cups Runneth Over
American Idol Live Recap
Apology, I Wonder
The Sweet, Sweet Taste of Science
Andy's Fourth Law of Car Ownership
The Politics of Science

« March 2006 | Main | May 2006 »

April 30, 2006

How I Spent my Sunday

I slept in a bit and then...

...went out to lunch with the family and had something similar to this, and then...

...bought and assembled one of these....

...felt old watching this movie, featuring Bill Paxton's first Oscar-caliber performance, a certain 80s geek icon, an apparent drug-addled genius, Kelly Lebrock (who had previously shown us the naughty bits in this movie), and some other guy who just kind of disappeared...

...and now I'm watching a further bit of mindless television until bedtime.

How about you?

Posted by Andy at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2006

As a Public Service

"Katharine McPhee and the Little Yellow Dress that Could," a story told in pictures. Wonderful, wonderful pictures.

I love me some pictures.

You're ever so welcome.

Don't worry folks, this is just a phase I'm going through. I'm sure to grow out of it. Soon. Maybe.


Posted by Andy at 08:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2006

Oh Lordy Lord

Kirk Cameron, apologist, genius.


"We even have squirters," says Kirk.

So much for that abstinence education.

Note: Ok, how many mildly bright atheists did they have to sort through to find this dumbass they interview? C'mon, surely he's a plant...

Posted by Andy at 10:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


It's not just for us animals anymore:

John Koza has created an "invention machine" - a 1,000 processor parallel-processing marvel that has succeeded in creating patentable inventions. The Patent Office requires a "non-obvious step" - until now the sole province of human designers.

Koza's invention machine uses genetic programming to come up with something new - ideas that were never thought of by the original code designers. Koza's genetic programming uses a Darwinian method with a twist; after an inital run at a problem, the software looks for the bits of code that were most successful in meeting the objectives of an assigned problem. The software thus does more than simply tweak parameters on a finished design; it can actually evolve a new design to best solve a problem, requiring in some cases hundreds of generations.

For example, in working with a project on circuit design, the computer output designs for a pair of controller circuits that control feedback that were so original, Koza and his colleagues filed for, and received, patents. This method has been shown to work on optics design as well.

And in a definitely science-fictional touch, the same genetic programming technique was used to create a unique antenna for a NASA microsat experiment. This will be the first "artificially evolved" object to be launched into space, according to NASA.

Too cool.

That's all.

Posted by Andy at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 25, 2006

Their Cups Runneth Over

Keeping you abreast of a swelling tide of good news busting out of mainland China:

Bra producers have been forced to offer bigger cup-sizes in China because improved nutrition is busting all previous chest measurement records.

The report, seen on the daily's Web site Tuesday, said that the Hong Kong-based lingerie firm Embry Group no longer produces A-cups for larger chest circumferences and has increased production of C-, D- and E-cup bras to meet pressing demand.

I think there's probably a joke somewhere here about Chinese boobs and being horny an hour later, but moving right along...

Posted by Andy at 10:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

American Idol Live Recap

Once again, here we go:

I think Andrea Bocelli was just singing "me.... monkey...." I'm not sure I want to know any more about that.

Andrea says Katharine McPhee has a beautiful voice. This is when someone should tell him it kind of sucks to be blind (although since it happened to him in his youth, he's probably seen some Italian hotties in his time). Of course, seeing Katharine in this yellow dress (and such portions of her bosoms that might not be in the same yellow dress), I still think it's a shame he's blind.

I think the judges are on crack (well, I think we all know Paula's on something most nights she's sitting at that table). Katharine's got a fine voice... and the legs ain't bad either (also revealed by the yellow dress). I might be a bit biased by her knockout good looks though... oh well, I'll get over it.

Elliott is up, all gussied up with no sign of his bosoms. Huzzah.

Good rendition. Great voice tonight. And, look, like I told you: Paula is deep in the drugs tonight. "You move me in my musty, lusty places, Elliott!"

Kellie Pickler... another bad time to be blind... let's see if it's a good time to be deaf or not...

First impressions: ok, with that odd hairdo, perhaps Mr. Bocelli is the lucky one in that he can't see it.

So, "Unchained Melody." Hmmm. Not sure about this one... the wee Fiona just crawled into her chair and is falling asleep. I blame the music more than Kellie's voice or, say, her rear in them thar jeans. Looks like the judges came off their crack for this one.

Paris, who I've liked since the first show (not that I watch American Idol, of course), is up now. Looks like a little Gladys Knight. Big voice... squeaky breathing. I like her performances because she gives the impression she's actually read the lyrics and knows the story they tell, rather just being a robot (a la Pickler vs. MechaPickler).

Taylor Hicks... looks like George Clooney in that lighting. And why are he and Elliott so in love with the Kevin Corvais "stiff-armed palm of great emotion" gesture? The judges' comments aside, I think the dude puts on the best show of the lot of them (well, depending on how much cleavage Katharine's outfit reveals on any given episode).

Chris Daughtry just said a Bryan Adams song was great musically and lyrically. American Idol? Maybe. Sane? Highly questionable as of tonight.

You know, guy's not a bad singer, but if he wins, I hope he uses his earnings to buy a new expression. And, hey, everyone, look - the camera loves the classical guitarists (are they contestants?). I suppose if Kat McPhee can have her own accompaniment below her chin, then Chris can have a couple of dudes with guitars.

Personally, I didn't think it was nearly as good as the judges thought... but then I'm not the one who is going to take any originality the guy has, filter it into a non-descript uber-blandness, and make millions off his labor, so what the hell do I know?

So, let's sum up: who's going home this week?

Don't really care. Unless it's Katharine. Then I weep... but, thanks to baby Jesus, we'll always have her through the magic of Google.


Note: The American Idol formerly known as Zombyboy is doing some Cliff's Notes blogging on the show.

Note 2: All of you Google-hunters in search of "Katharine McPhee nude," this is not the blog you're looking for. But, uh, if you do score that photo, how about let a brother know, ok?

Note 3: Another Katharine fan with running commentary and this line:

Paula's tears stand out as one of the most uncomfortable moments in a long series of uncomfortable moments.

Note 4: And one more:

Oh, Katharine McPhee. You can wear your tight yellow dress with your amazing boobies and your amazing legs and sing any song you want for me....

I mean, seriously was it that bad? I'll openly admit that my thought process was, "Boooobies. HAIR. HELLO, LEG! Seriously, HER HAIR! Oh, boobs of joy! KAAAAAAAATHARIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"

. . .if Katharine gets voted off before Kellie Pickler? I will punch everyone in America in the face.

Good, that'll save me the trouble of doing the same.

Posted by Andy at 08:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Apology, I Wonder

Will the right-wing blog brigades be extending any kind of apology to alleged CIA leaker Mary McCarthy in light of this?

A lawyer representing fired CIA officer Mary O. McCarthy said yesterday that his client did not leak any classified information and did not disclose to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest the existence of secret CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe for suspected terrorists.

The statement by Ty Cobb, a lawyer in the Washington office of Hogan & Hartson who said he was speaking for McCarthy, came on the same day that a senior intelligence official said the agency is not asserting that McCarthy was a key source of Priest's award-winning articles last year disclosing the agency's secret prisons.

McCarthy was fired because the CIA concluded that she had undisclosed contacts with journalists, including Priest, in violation of a security agreement. That does not mean she revealed the existence of the prisons to Priest, Cobb said.

Cobb said that McCarthy, who worked in the CIA inspector general's office, "did not have access to the information she is accused of leaking," namely the classified information about any secret detention centers in Europe. Having unreported media contacts is not unheard of at the CIA but is a violation of the agency's rules.

Assuming all of the above is true, my bet is that it will change to a "yeah, but" regarding her media contacts in general. Of course, if a CIA employee had undisclosed contacts with Fox News, I think the battle cry might be a little different...

The more I look to the left and right wings of the political spectrum, the more I dislike what I see: unhinged and off-the-handle partisan whackjob nuttiness.

Posted by Andy at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 24, 2006

The Sweet, Sweet Taste of Science

Use your brain? No, your tongue.

n their quest to create the super warrior of the future, some military researchers aren't focusing on organs like muscles or hearts. They're looking at tongues...

The device, known as "Brain Port," was pioneered more than 30 years ago by Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, a University of Wisconsin neuroscientist.

A narrow strip of red plastic connects the Brain Port to the tongue where 144 microelectrodes transmit information through nerve fibers to the brain.

Instead of holding and looking at compasses and bulky hand-held sonar devices, the divers can process the information through their tongues, said Dr. Anil Raj, the project's lead scientist.

In testing, blind people found doorways, noticed people walking in front of them and caught balls.

Too cool.

In an unrelated study, blind people who prayed to catch balls ended up with lots of bruises on their forehead.

Posted by Andy at 10:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Andy's Fourth Law of Car Ownership

The more studious one is about protecting one's new car from dings and dingbats, the more likely it is that the first scratch will be because of something dumb that you did.

Posted by Andy at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 21, 2006

The Politics of Science

The Republicans continue their war on science:

The Food and Drug Administration says there is no sound scientific basis for believing marijuana use has medical benefits...

The statement contradicts a 1999 finding from the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, which reported that "marijuana's active components are potentially effective in treating pain, nausea, the anorexia of AIDS wasting and other symptoms, and should be tested rigorously in clinical trials."

Dr. John Benson, co-chairman of the Institute of Medicine committee that examined marijuana's effects, told the New York Times that the federal government "loves to ignore our report ... They would rather it never happened."

Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, said Thursday: "If anybody needed proof that the FDA has become totally politicized, this is it. This isn't a scientific statement; it's a political statement."

Mirken said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., a foe of legalizing the medical use of marijuana, had asked the FDA to make the statement.

Hmmm, do I look to the National Academy of Sciences for my scientific information, or to an agenda-driven Representative? Tough call.

Given that many Republicans are fond of looking to a 2000-year old text full of holes for their understanding of the universe, maybe this shouldn't be that surprising.

Souder, chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on drug policy, has said the promotion of medical marijuana "is simply a red herring for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Studies have continually rejected the notion that marijuana is suitable for medical use because it adversely impacts concentration and memory, the lungs, motor coordination and the immune system."
Because, you know, when you're suffering through the pain and wasting of chemotherapy, being able to concentrate on how much it hurts is a really good thing. But, hey, suffering makes you just like Jesus, so said Mother Theresa...

Anecdotal, but my friend Tom, before he passed away, told me of his experience with medicinal marijuana: it was the only thing that took care of his nausea and pain from chemo. He limited his use because he didn't like being, well, stoned and out-of-it. So much for it just being a pro-legalization step.

I've met a number of Republicans who also seem to think that libertarians like myself are just conservatives who want to do drugs, so - once again - I'm not surprised at yet another misrepresentation on their part.

Now, now, my rightwing readers, don't misunderstand me: the Democrats would abuse science to fit their agenda just as quickly. My point is that you're all a bunch of yahoos.

Posted by Andy at 08:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Correlation Isn't Causality

Here we go again:

Five teenage boys accused of plotting a shooting rampage at their high school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre were arrested Thursday after a message authorities said warned of a gun attack appeared on the Web site

Norman said that the potential victims were popular students and that the suspects may have been bullied.

"I think there was probably some bullying, name calling, chastising," he said. He also said investigators had learned the suspects were computer buffs who liked violent video games.

I have it on good authority that millions of other teens, none of whom are plotting to kill people in their school, also like violent video games. And hamburgers. And nudie magazines. And a good wankity wank every now and again.

A lethal combination, that.

Posted by Andy at 08:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2006

Almost Half a Million

But not quite.

Sometime this evening, ye olde SiteMeter ticked over the 400,000 mark. Yes, in the several years I've been toiling at this with little or no thanks (but do I mind? No, I don't!), a whole lot of you have stopped by to read this stuff.

Of course, a whole lot more of you were brought here by your inability to read the snippet that Google provides after your search, somehow leading you to think that maybe, just maybe, this site really was all about the obscure sexual practice of which you were hoping to find photos.

For those of you who come here searching for "Katharine McPhee nude," well, friends, I feel your pain.

So, there you go: a milestone of sorts.

In honor of this momentous day, I give you a picture of a young Jason Bateman.

Note: Awww, c'mon, you know I really do appreciate each and every one of you. Well, except for alessandra; although even the nutjobs serve a purpose in my master blogplan.

Posted by Andy at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Good Eats

Last night was date night at the WWR homestead; that rare night when both the kids are taken to the sitter for a few hours while the wife and I go out and pretend we're DINKs once more, knowing full well the illusion will shatter when the kids are back in the car and our bank account is a little lighter from the payoff.

We had a complimentary dinner reservation at The Pinnacle Club, atop the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver. From the windows on the 38th floor, we were greeted by a starfield of city lights scattered toward the mountains to the West and the rim of the north valley to the, uh, North.

Had we truly been DINKs with nary a rush in the world, rather than parents not wanting to be away too long, it would have been even better. Better still if the family of noisy parents and ill-mannered children, apparently with enough money to think that civility is beneath them (and for the kids to be bored of riding in their limo, if I heard right), had decided to eat elsewhere.

Anyway, the food... yes. The food.

We thought it was outstanding...

For the starters, I had the Buffalo Carpaccio, drizzled in Hot Honey Mustard and topped with Caper Berries. I can't say I've ever eaten raw meat before (and I even loathe sushi), but this was tasty and tender. And, uh, raw... thankfully I knew what the carpaccio after buffalo meant.

The wife had the Lobster Spring Rolls, with Asian Vegetables, Spicy Ale Mustard, and Sweet & Sour Drizzle. Her plate was clean, so I imagine she enjoyed it.

For the main course, I had the Over-Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breast, with Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese, Roasted Pepper, and a Basil Olive Relish. The wife had the Braised Lamb Shank in Rosemary Sauce. I ate everything except the relish, as olives and I have a long history of conflict. The wife praised the lamb, having been unable to find a good piece of lamb since leaving England (because, apparently unknown to most of the world, the Brits are good at cooking at least one thing).

We topped it all off with a shared Creme Brulee in a martini glass. Quite possibly the richest and creamiest one I've ever tasted, and - let me tell you - I've tasted... well... a few. Maybe five or six, really.

All considered (and being free is a big consideration), it was a damn fine meal; one that I would love to partake of again, in some rare moment of insanity when dropping a C-note for dinner for two* strikes me as a good idea.

* We're married. Fancy dinners aren't a prerequisite for the naughty-naughty.

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

And on The Third Day, Things Were a Lot Like The Second Day

I think my deconversion, from Catholic to atheist, is finally complete. I didn't even realize this was Easter weekend until maybe last Tuesday... and today, when I saw our favorite Mexican restaurant was closing at 1pm, I was momentarily stumped as to why that would be.

Hmmm, private party maybe?

Then it hit me - today's the day some folks celebrate a particularly clingy myth about a resurrection, hijacking any number of pagan symbols and rites in the process, never bothering to ask: which came first, Jesus or the egg?

So, for those of you engaged in such celebration, may your day be filled with joy and happiness and hopefully no salmonella from the undercooked egg you just ate.

For the rest of us, happy Sunday just like any other Sunday!

Posted by Andy at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 15, 2006

The V-Word

The good and Godly folks over at AgapePress can't even bring themselves to type out the word "vagina."

Notre Dame's President John Jenkins recently stated that he saw "no reason to prohibit performances of the V Monologues on campus." His position comes as a surprise to some who object to the play's content, which includes profanity and graphic descriptions of lesbian sexual relationships.

The prestigious Catholic school near South Bend, Indiana, has hosted the V Monologues for the last five years and a "gay and lesbian" film festival for the last two years. Patrick Reilly, president of the Catholic watchdog group the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), says he is not surprised the university is continuing to allow homosexual activism on its campus.

The V Monologues? That's got nothing to do with lesbians and everything to do with evil lizard-like aliens masquerading as humans while giving speeches.

P.S. Vagina vagina vagina vagina.

(found here)

Posted by Andy at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2006

The Good (if largely crazy) News

The Pope is all set to ramble on for Easter:

THE Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the “satanic” mores of modern society today, warning against an “inane apologia of evil” that is in danger of destroying humanity...

Particular condemnation is reserved for scientific advances in the field of genetic manipulation. Warning against the move to “modify the very grammar of life as planned and willed by God”, the Pope will lead prayers against “insane, risky and dangerous” ventures in attempting “to take God’s place without being God”.

Apparently, though, the Pope has no issue whatsoever with genetic diseases and that lovely genetic misfire called cancer, all given to us by the One True and Loving God, who only wants us to be happy (when we're not, uh, suffering, I guess). It would seem that "sanity" is not a requisite for the position of Pope.

On the bright side:

The Pope will also confront the question of evil in the world in a meditation that asks: “Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty . . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?”
I have my suspicions that his answer will consist of equal parts irrationality, platitude, and flibble flabble double babble. Takers?

And, jeez, I really do need to get around to posting my thoughts on C.S. Lewis; with everything going on, I keep losing track of that... so, let me look at my schedule, set aside an evening to collect my thoughts, and get them out for all of you to find so passionate and convincing.

Posted by Andy at 10:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oh Sweet Irony

Thy name is Dave Chappelle:

His decision to leave the Comedy Central series last May led fans and industry executives to question his motives, and his sanity.

But in a 10-page spread in the Esquire magazine arriving Saturday, he says he closed "Chappelle" for reasons cultural, professional and personal.

Culturally: "The bottom line was, white people own everything, and where can a black person go and be himself or say something that's familiar to him and not have to explain or apologize?"

White people own everything?

I guess that $50 million contract wouldn't have bought much more than some new rims and a family reunion t-shirt, eh Dave?

I just took stock of all that I own and "everything" appeared nowhere on the list. I guess I'm more ruddy than white, though.

Damn honkeys.

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

April 12, 2006

Find One; Make Two

A missing link has been found:

Scientists have unearthed a set of fossils in the Ethiopian Afar region that they believe is a "missing link" between a primitive ape-like creature that lived more than 4.4 million years ago and a later ape-man who became our own ancestor.

The discovery means that the region now boasts the discovery of the fossilised remains of eight distinct species that represent different stages in the evolutionary transition from ape to anatomically modern man.

However, good people, let us not kid ourselves: no fossil find, no genetic evidence, no nothing shall convince the Biblically-blind that their path is wrong, that they tread down a trail of ignorance.

For, you see, everytime we find a missing link, another loop in the chain of evolution, we create two gaps that the creationist will claim need to be filled. We have species A and C... we find species B... and they'll demand hard evidence of species A and one-half.

It's a con man's game played by those whose weak and rambling beliefs cannot stand firm in the light of reason, of science, and of truth.

The trail of human evolution grows clearer and clearer; it's unfortunate we left so many of our supposedly modern brothers swinging from the tree of ignorance.

Posted by Andy at 10:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Flight 93

I don't know if this has been available before or not, but here is a transcript of the flightdeck recording from United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

Can't really tell who is saying what, except for when ground control chimes in or when they translate from Arabic, but still... the terrorists were worried about losing their weapon, that much is clear, and so they ditched.

There's no telling how much we owe the passengers of Flight 93. It sounds cheesy, but it still moves me to think that this was the first stand made by Americans in the War on Terror.

Posted by Andy at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 11, 2006

She's Tight*

Against the recommendations of some, primarily those who think that linking to such an insignificant and annoying gnat on the ass of the blogosphere is akin to rewarding the twisted thought-stylings of a bigoted moral fascist**, I really just want to say this: a certain someone sure sounds like they need an orgasm, and soon.

* Calm down, punkin, that's a Cheap Trick song.

** "Moral fascist," my new catchphrase... it just sings!

Posted by Andy at 07:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

One Donation Down, One to Go

I've sent off one of the donations in memory of Tom Vicker, this one to the EIF National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

Donation Receipt

Donation Date: 04/11/2006
Donation ID: EIF-580672
EIF Tax ID: 95-1644609
Grantee Category: EIF's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance
Donation Amount: $620.00

I'm sure you can call them and provide the donation ID to confirm, should you feel so inclined.

I tried sending the $525.00 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but it rejected my card (nowhere near my limit, so I assume it has something to do with trying to make two large transactions at different places within minutes of each other). I'll try again this afternoon and, if that fails, will contact them to do it over the phone and provide the details here.

I say it a lot, but thanks again for your help with this project.

Posted by Andy at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Life Well-Lived

Don't worry, not about to ask for more money from anyone, just thought it's interesting the life my uncle, who passed away on April 7, had:

William R. Harlow Sr. - Finance Executive

William R. Harlow Sr., 88, a retired commercial finance industry executive, died April 7 at the Capital Hospice of Arlington County. The cause of death was listed as "failure to thrive."

Mr. Harlow, an Arlington resident, was a volunteer small-business adviser with Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) for the past five years and vice president of the Jefferson Homeowners Association in Arlington.

He was born in Boston and worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps as a young man. He joined the Navy during World War II, serving as an aviation machinist mate first class, and flew in blimps on antisubmarine patrols over the Atlantic.

After the war, he worked in the commercial finance industry in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Ohio and Pennsylvania, becoming vice president of Philco-Ford Corp. and later vice president of the ITT Diversified Credit Corp. He retired in 1980 and moved to Savannah, Ga. He moved to Northern Virginia in 2000.

His wife of 52 years, Margaret O'Reilly Harlow, died in 2000.

Survivors include two children, Margaret A. Harlow of Alexandria and William R. Harlow of McLean; and a sister.

I only really got to see Uncle Bill and Aunt Peg at family reunions, although I did catch up with Bill and his kids (who are, uh, a fair bit older than I am so calling them "kids" seems funny) back in 2001 when I was contemplating a move to the DC area. Hard to belive he retired when I was only nine years old, but I guess that means my father (the youngest of about sixteen thousand children in an Irish Catholic family) is also climbing the stepladder of years - and so am I.

You might know his son, William Harlow, as the former Spokesman for the CIA and current (I believe) periodic talking head on MSNBC. Oh, and author of this novel, which several of you have probably received as a Christmas or birthday gift already.

Now that there are used copies available for cheap, perhaps a lot more of you will be getting it as a gift soon.

Posted by Andy at 08:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

And the Sky is Blue

The Royal Society is having a wee webcast:

Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right
It begins today at 1730GMT, which is something like one billion o'clock here in the Mountain Time Zone, so I doubt I'll be able to watch it.

But you probably should, and then tell me all about it.

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

April 10, 2006

When She's Hot

Say, seen that newish Old Spice Red Zone commercial with the hot dancing chick? Of course you have!

Well, now you can make your own mix of the video. Or maybe just repeat your favorite shot over and over and over.

And, uh, over again.

Posted by Andy at 09:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bedwetting Nanny-Staters (or "Oui, We Wee-Wee")

Millions of French youths have accomplished their goal!

Helping their economy further down the road to ruin!

The French government has scrapped a controversial youth job law, bowing to weeks of million-strong protests with a change of heart likely to further undermine the image of the country's embattled Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
What exactly has to happen in Europe for the nanny-state bedwetters to wake the hell up?

Attention: young people of France. Life is not always fair, and the government cannot make it so. Legislation might make it difficult for your employer to fire your lazy, incompetent rear, but the end result is that the economic damage bites everyone in the ass, rather than just having yours bounced out the door.

Posted by Andy at 09:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2006

A Curious Headline


Iraqi insurgents use mannequins, pigeons to kill
Followed by this subheading:
Kites and children also used in guerrilla warfare
So, um, mannequins, pigeons, and kites are somehow supposed to shock us more than the use of children? My god, the pain those fake people must feel when they get blown apart! The horror!

Or maybe it's a case of "oh yeah... and they use... um, children... but they're sooo crafty in other ways too! Like kites! And pigeons!"

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

The Final Tally

OK, so I ran the numbers on the donations that went through Paypal, added in my match, and here's how it shapes up:

National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance: $620

Lance Armstrong Foundation: $525

A couple of folks went the direct donation route and sent me their receipt, bringing the grand total of donations to $1255. Not too shabby for a few days work I think.

Thanks again for all your help and support and kind words this last week. You folks rock.

Posted by Andy at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2006

Denver: America's Safest City!

It simply must be.

What else could explain why, on the drive to the office this morning, I saw no less than 11 police officers engaged in pulling over speeders? That's one per 2-point-something miles of highway.

I guess we don't have any robberies, assaults, murders, or acts of vandalism in our fair Mile High City; nothing to protect and no one to serve!


Posted by Andy at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thanks for your Kindness

I know a lot of people probably don't want public thanks for their contribution to my wee donation drive, but since all we generally hear about is the bad guys in the world, I think the good guys deserve some praise.

So, in no particular order:

If I've missed anyone, please let me know. It wasn't intentional.

I'm at the office this morning wrapping up a few things, and then I'll make the donation later today.

As of this morning, thanks to your kindness and generosity, I'll be sending $1130 to the charities that Tom's wife suggested, divided per your earlier instructions.

Thanks again: the knowledge that there are good people in the world offsets the knowledge that people like Alessandra breathe the same air that we do.

Update: Add the Raving Atheist to the list of good folks, bringing us to $1230 in donations. Thanks!

Update 2: And Bill from INDCJournal. Thanks!

Update 3: And, because I suck and apparently left someone off the list, let me give a big thanks to the family of Abel PharmBoy at Terra Sigillata.

Posted by Andy at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Questions That Answer Themselves

From two different Google searches in the last 12 hours:

Where is Cambridge University located?
Shocking answer: Cambridge.

I weep for our educational system.

Posted by Andy at 12:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2006

On Manners

If I told you that my friend died from colorectal cancer, would your first response be "Huh, was he a homosexual?"

Of course it wouldn't.

However, this bigoted bitch thought the question was somehow appropriate.

Now, let it be known, that dear alessandra is a crazy kookity kook, convinced that any bare booby is just a timebomb waiting to turn a man into a sex offender, and that anything other than missionary-position sex is an indicator of the depravity of our age. I suppose I could have stopped at "crazy kookity kook," eh?

Anyway, I had just returned from Tom's memorial service when I read her comment. Still filled with thoughts of my friend and of what a truly good human being he was, making me pale in comparison, to see a bigot go on the offense not just (ignorantly and incorrectly) against my friend, but against many people I consider friends was simply too much.

My response (scroll through the comments for the whole exchange) was, well, also not the most polite:

No, you worthless sack of shit disguised as a human being. He was a happily married newlywed to a beautiful bride. He was generous and compassionate and accepted everyone regardless of who they were. He was the kind of person you could hold up as an example for us all, on how we should live and treat one another and embrace life to the fullest.

That you even think such a question is remotely funny, let alone appropriate, is an indicator that you are an examplar of what is wrong with humanity, a walking genetic defect whose dad should have kept his dick in his pants and spare the world such a stinking twat of a woman.

No offense to other women, of course. I think women are terrific (and, even though I've seen many a naked booby on the page and the screen, I'm still not a sex abuser, despite alessandra's bizarre thoughts on the matter).

I remain convinced that alessandra's tremendous anti-porn crusade, her narrow sense of sexuality, and her bigoted stance on homosexuality are all the result of sexual abuse as a child. I've known a few women who had been sexually abused by trusted figures in their lives, and each had one or another dysfunction when it came to their sexuality and views on sexual mores. It's an unfortunate tragedy, but no justification for insane blathering.

If alessandra hasn't been sexually abused, well, then - I suppose - she's just a nutcase, sans excuse. And that's too bad.

Update: Just read more of Tom's story at a memorial site. Maybe reading this would help alessandra to appreciate that behind every innocent death is a world of family and friends left in pain; a life story, the ending of which is but one small chapter; and, in this case, a human being deserving of respect for putting up a hell of a fight when the odds were stacked against him.

Maybe it would. I doubt it, and I'll not link to it lest she fill the comments with her inane bigotry and irrational nonsense. She's no problem intruding on my grief, so I'm sure she'd happily make Tom's widow cry more. A brain so warped and disengaged from reality is unlikely to appreciate the patterns that make life's tapestry so beautiful and interesting.

So, let me speak to alessandra in words so plain she can understand them without aid: go fuck yourself.

Update 2: The prosecution presents into evidence this post in support of the accusation that alessandra is a whackjob:

If [Hitler] were alive today, and if he couldn´t find his way in some military, secret police system, I have no doubt he could become a substantial millionaire, building an empire of violent pornography, using people of all ages, including children.
Yup, that just reeks of sanity, doesn't it?

Posted by Andy at 08:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 04, 2006

Cancer Sucks

Updated Total - March 6, 4:15pm: $680 (with my match, $1080)

Woohoo, we broke $1000 today! I'll still accept donations or evidence of donations for the tally until sometime Saturday morning and then figure out how much goes to which charity, make the contributions, and then post an update.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped out.


Thanks! That meets my goal of $400, but don't let that stop you from donating; if it's ten or twenty bucks, every penny will help!


This morning, April 4, my friend Tom Vicker passed away, a victim of the ravages of cancer. Though a young man of only 40 years, relatively newly married, with fully half of his life ahead of him, Tom was diagnosed with Stage D Colorectal Cancer.

The first I knew of it was when he and I met for lunch one day and he complained of significant abdominal pain. Surely, it wasn't the fish. And don't call me Shirley. I know, it's the wrong time for joking, but if I don't make jokes, I'll just be depressing.

After that lunch, I didn't hear from him for a few weeks, so I called him, left a message. He called me back, didn't leave a message. This went on for a couple of weeks, so I had a feeling it wasn't going to be good, whatever it was.

He finally got a hold of me, told me about the diagnosis. He did everything he was supposed to - took to living right, endured ridiculous amounts of medical intervention, tried some of the alternative approaches - and, for a while, things looked better.

Until they didn't.

While at one point, he thought he might have beaten it, tests looked good - his e-mail about it was happy and hopeful! - it was during a surgery soon after that they found it had spread: small spots of the nasty shit on various organs.

No miracle cures for my friend (there goes God's chance at winning this atheist over).

I didn't get to speak to him much in the last couple of months. At times, he was out of town, pursuing his last best hope; in the final weeks, he was on morphine to control the pain, and I don't think he wanted to be seen in a state in which he'd be incapable of interacting fully let alone remembering that you came by.

I had hoped to see him this week or next; I missed my chance.

Now my friend is gone. The husband of a beautiful bride is gone. The son of proud parents is gone. A good man is gone.

Maybe I can help stop another family from having to go through this. Maybe you can too. Maybe working together we can help ensure that a young man like Tom, a man far younger than any test would expect to call a victim, might live a full life, might overcome this horrible disease, might prove the current odds wrong.


I'm hoping you'll help me. I'm hoping you'll join me in contribuing to either the EIF National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (donate here) or the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Colorectal cancer is the #2 cancer killer of American men and women combined, but it's preventable and curable 90% of the time when detected early.

That's why EIF's NCCRA is dedicated to the eradication of colorectal cancer by promoting the importance of early medical screening and funding research to develop better tests, treatments, and ultimately a cure.

So, there it is. We can do this.

I'll match, penny for penny, every donation up to a total of $400, split between the NCCRA and the Lance Armstrong LiveStrong Foundation per your instructions. Of course, any donation totals over the initial $400 will also go to the charities, in whatever way you wish to divide the donation.

So, there's my plea. My original plea was going to be for matching $500, but I wanted to put $100 aside to cover any PayPal fees. Maybe they'll waive the usual take, I don't know. If they do, I'll match the first $500.

You can either PayPal the money to me (see the link to the upper left) or make the donation on your own and let me know about it. If you don't go the PayPal route, please send a screenshot and/or receipt e-mail verifying your donation to (replace the -at- with @).

When I make the donation, I'll post a screenshot of either the receipt or bank transaction so you know your money went where it was intended.

Thanks in advance.

Yeah, I've got a soft side. Don't tell anyone.

Update: Wow, you people rock - within minutes we're at $75.00 (so, with my match, that's $150). Thanks!

Update 2: Make that $135 from you folks now. Thank you so much.

Update 3: Oh yes, the comments on the individual entry page don't work as I'm fighting spammers; so, if you wish to leave a comment, please visit the main page of the site and click on the rants link to leave a comment. Thanks - and sorry'bout that.

Of course, if you're on the main page already (you can see more than one entry by scrolling), the comments link should work just fine.

Update 4: Make that $185 $210 $260 from your kind donations.

Update 5: I'm off to sleep the sleep of those who have been drinking in response to any given day. Thanks again to you all; you're frickin' wonderful.

Posted by Andy at 08:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

American Idol Recap

And, here we go:

Holy cripes, is that really Kenny Rogers? Did he wear a lot of eyeshadow once upon a long ago? Did I just forget what The Gambler looked like?

Anyway, on with the reviews:

My vote: once again McPhee and Pickler in some sexy kind of wrestling thing for profit.

Update: Looks like Zombyboy is in the American Idol groove too.

Posted by Andy at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 03, 2006

We (Continue To) Get Mail

Really, really, really stupid mail from really, really, really bizarre and stupid people.

To wit, Dean Berry:



A FREE COUNTRY that has secret police, unwarranted searches, excessive bail, seizure of property without due process, concentration camps, torture, rigged elections, engineered disasters like the WTC (for the purpose of ultimately declaring martial law), and confiscation of firearms! Are you stupid? Can you say, "Heil Hitler"?

I guess he missed that part about me being an atheist. And that part about including punctuation marks within quotation marks.


Posted by Andy at 09:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 02, 2006

I Wanna Be... Anarchy (Just Like All the Other Unique Children)

Forever cementing their reputation as anti-establishment, punk rock icons for the 21st century, Green Day wins Favorite Music Group and Favorite Song... at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

No word on whether Billie Joe's mom would be willing to drop him off at the mall for their next gig.

Posted by Andy at 06:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the WWR Kitchen

Back in from an afternoon of lunch (Mexican), shopping (baby monitors and sewing machines), and watching a brushfire consume 1300 acres of northwest Denver, I decided to cook dinner for the family.

Because I'm nice and I care and, hey, maybe I'll get lucky come bedtime.

So, on the menu for this evening is Black Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef, served with roasted potatoes, Carrots with Lime Butter, and maybe some bread of some sort (there's a mass-produced "artisan" loaf of bread on the counter, s'pose I'll slice it). If so inclined, click on those recipes and hit your browser's stop button as it loads - that will prevent the anti-recipe-theft pop-up from blocking your view of the guidelines for tasty goodness.

Or, be an honest sort of chap, and subscribe to Food & Wine magazine like I do. Good stuff.

The wine for tonight is undecided, although a Syrah is probably in the offing. Salud!

Posted by Andy at 06:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 01, 2006

MSM Once Again Late to the Party

It only took them ten years longer than me to find good barbecue.

I think the citizen BBQ journalist - a veritable Army of Davids with messy hands and a gallon of sweet tea - will revolutionize the food reporting industry.

We shall overcome!

Posted by Andy at 07:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Hullo there. While I contemplate a new site design, an upgrade in the ol' blogging software, and my navel, I went ahead and added the free Haloscan system to the site, which will - I hope - dodge the spammers for at least a little while, and still allow you express your deepest thoughts and desires, right here on this very blog!


Haloscan didn't give instructions for adding Trackback to an MT installation, but I think I have sussed it out. Feel free to test it for me if you like. If not, no big whoop.

Posted by Andy at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)