Thursday, September 30, 2004


Team Magnum Cocktail Hour. Part One

So we got together for cocktail hour. Neighbor Lady was a no-show, a disturbing trend on her part. I should tell you now: beers were consumed. Those in attendance: Mr. Texas, Sista Girl, Princess Wolfie, Miss Lola, Miss Judy, Drinking Buddy.

Princess Wolfie has suggested that we get a team photo for display. This seems agreeable. Fortunately, beers lubricated the discussion. We needed some kind of theme. Some sort of cool costumes. Hip-hop was briefly discussed, and mercifully dismissed. Old West saloon type cowboys and bar girls sort of thing? Popular, and really easy at a local phototorium. But those photos are so great because of the props. Guns and liquor might not be appropriate for work. So we think we’ve settled on a 1920’s theme, with flapper type gals and the guys dressed up like ummm, like . . . well, like guys dressed for a night on the town in the Roaring 20's. The suits and hats guys wore then, if you look at old pictures from the 20’s, a lot of the guys look like they could have been mob types. At least that’s the image in my head. At the Hall of Elders (remind me for a pesky non-human update), there is a photo of two ancestors, cousins, we think, maybe close to 30, dressed up suit and hat, and you look at these slicked up farm boys and the first thing you think is they look like hit men. Ok enough. Apologies for the ramble. So it’s 20’s style.

Everyone was driving, except for Princess Wolfie, who got a ride with Miss Lola. Princess Wolfie pressed her advantage. She dropped her beer once, but luckily she was holding it just a few inches over the table and it landed safely. But you know, the glasses get condensation on them, they’re slippery, you’re engrossed in conversation, your grip unconsciously loosens, it could happen to anyone, right?

Except the next day, Princess Wolfie could not remember that it happened. How great is that?

Probably the most vigorous conversation rested on the concept of soul mates. Mr Texas is of the opinion that people do not have soul mates, the one perfect match for you in all the world. After all, if we did, you’d have a one-in-upwards of six billion chance of finding the person. Pretty much an impossibility. You’re deluding yourself if you think you’re married to your soul mate. You’re actually married to your pretty-good mate. Just accept that there is a body of people within your range with whom married life would be good and happy. Your life would be just as happy with Wafe A and Wife B and Wife C. Would your life be different? Of course. The point is, there isn’t just one person who makes you so much happier than all the rest. There are many people you could marry and have a happy life.

You’re married. You probably know plenty of other married couples. You may get together for parties around the holidays, or for occasional birthdays. Think of your house filled with ten couples for a party. Admit it. Your husband gets along with, clicks with, some of the wives more than others. And hubby, your wife gets along with some of the hubbies more than others. Maybe there’s even one that stands out above the rest. The one that always gets your jokes. Maybe you happen to work together or have known each other since high school. Now imagine your hubby and that woman if somehow they never met any of the other people at the party. They aren’t married. They don’t know you or the other hubby. In that situation, couldn’t you see them together?

Of course, we aren’t in that situation. Your hubby loves you, and that other lady loves her hubby. And everyone’s just friends. And this couple that could have been happy together never acts on it. You may know several people who, if circumstances were different, you could see yourself happily married to, provided you didn’t know your current wife. They’re nowhere near as rare as soul mates, but they are pretty-good mates. And you know what? You might even be a little bit happier with one of them than you are with your current wife.

This is not to say, as several of the women argued, that Mr. Texas is just hanging on to Mrs. Texas until he finds a better model. This came to be known as the Used Car Salesman defense. Untrue. The commitment is to the woman you married. The woman you love. The woman you are happy with.

All we’re saying is that there really isn’t a perfect person for each of us, and even if there was, you’d never meet him or her. Now ignore everything I just said and be grateful for the one you love. And let that person know how you feel.

So I guess that about covers cocktail hour for Team Magnum. And a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Blogger Tribute On Daily Show 9/29/04

Maybe not 100% accurate, but pretty close from memory. This came from a “report” on Thursday’s debate and aired on Wednesday night. Ed Helms is the correspondent. Helms has just read his "after the debate" story. Here’s the comedy pearl:

Stewart: Wait a minute. You already wrote your report for the debate?

Helms: We all do it. We prepare the narrative ahead of time and then make the story fit.

Stewart: But what do you do if actual news happens?

And the sandy grain of truth around which the pearl is formed:

Helms: That’s what bloggers are for.

Wictory Wednesday...

…is a day when we take time to take stock of our nation, where we are, and where we’re going. You may recall that on past Wednesdays, we have pointed to ways to help President Bush. Now that the convention has passed, our focus shifts to important senate races around the counrty. Today we are supporting Lisa Murkowski in her race in Alaska.

Those who would like to help Lisa Murkowski can find out how to donate to her campaign here. You go look now!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


By Popular Demand...?

These searches keep happening, so here’s what people have been looking for: ponytails coming out of baseball caps, and Al Sharpton.

Al part one and part two.

Ponytails out of a baseball cap is here.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Team Magnum

So Princess Wolfie is a very organized type. You may recall the office team building retreat in August. If not, start here. Then go here. Just scroll up from there.

In addition to the larger office team building, we developed our own smaller team, Team Magnum. No, it wasn’t a team of two made up of Princess Wolfie and I. Ask me later if you want new developments on the crush thing. There were eight, and a couple more have been added since. I just noticed that they’re all part of the Young Group.

Anyway, Team Magnum is having a further team building exercise tomorrow night. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Someone Correct My Misapprehension (With Actual Update)

Another link to Wizbang. This time on the subject of SAT’s, school spending, and even more in the comments. The post can be found here. You go look now!

What stood out for me?

SAT's bad. Facilities bad. School boards bad. Teachers bad. Materials bad. Ed philosophy bad. Unions bad.

What's missing? Students.

Even if God came down from Heaven above and made all those bad things into absolutely perfect ideal forms, a student who does not care about or value education will find a way to fail. “You can lead a horse to water…” and all that.

When I was a kid, I was afraid of doing bad in school. It was clearly unacceptable. The Elders were very concerned about my education. Same went for Special K. And it still goes on for Code Name Eagle and Little D. Special K definitely felt it worse than I did. Ask me later if you want to hear about her mini-breakdown in 8th grade.

Unfortunately, my fear of doing bad in school was opposed by my laziness. I mean, even as late as 9th grade, I was still finding one subject a year to get a “D” or “F” even though I kept myself in the mostly “B” and sometimes “C” range. I don’t think I failed anything after 9th grade. I think most people who were aware of my study habits were surprised that I did so well. My usual routine was to listen in class, do minimal homework/studying, and carry myself with good tests. SAT’s were ok for me. I took it cold, and got a 1200 in 1987. I seem to recall it was divided something like 560 verbal 640 math. Is that good or bad? I don’t know. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d probably try to look it up.

And now we have competing laziness. I could be lazy about research and not look it up. Or I could do the research in order to facilitate my laziness about household chores that I would rather put off. Well, that wasn’t too difficult. The research, I mean. The decision to put off chores was a no-brainer.

How does it look? In 1987-1988, California averaged 1008 combined score. The US averaged 1006 combined. No state averaged 1200. Only nine states had an average 1100 or more combined. The 1999-2000 results have 17 states at 1100 or more. Wisconsin (1181), Iowa (1189), and especially North Dakota (1197) got close to 1200. US results up slightly to 1019. California also up slightly to 1015. However, some at the Wizbang link have noted that the test has been dumbed down over the years, so who knows if the comparison is valid. I don’t, but maybe some of you can educate me. I guess I could do more research, but I won’t.

See how easy that was? First I was motivated. Now not so much. The final decision was mine. And it’s the same decision that separates “A” students from “F” students and high SAT scores from low SAT scores.

I could easily blame all the things mentioned at Wizbang and not carry the responsibility for my grades on my own shoulders, but I do try to be responsible for myself. If I wanted to do better, I could have. I chose not to. Any blame for my poor grades rests squarely upon me. And even if I was lazy, I still knew that the Elders had high expectations and that education is important. The Elders did their best to shape and guide me. What about students, lazy or not, who don’t get that message from their parents? I guess I’m just saying that school or SAT success depends on the personality traits, not the intelligence, of each individual student (with exceptions for those who are genuinely mentally disabled). Parents play a major part of shaping the personality of the child, but I still think the vast majority of the responsibility lies in the student himself.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Some students are just never ready. And no one can do anything about that, except the student.

Actual Update: Holy crap! I fixed it now, but the title originally read "Someone Correct My Misapprension." What exactly is misapprension? I blew it. I hope this correction satisfies the standards of blogger etiquette.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Blogosphere Political Compass Project

So where are you? Take a short quiz and find out. See how you compare to other bloggers. See how you compare to famous world leaders past and present. Get yourself listed among the luminaries. Do it all here. You go look now!

Your Mission...

The Alliance has a new mission. Form: Limerick. Subject: Puppy Blending. Example: See below.

At frats you can swallow a guppy,
Get cheerleaders drunk, and make schtuppy.
At Tau Sigma Glenn,
That's considered a sin,
Their pledges all drink blended puppy.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Say This Out Loud Three Times Fast.

Diamondtrim Floppington Joker has a tongue twister for you. Just say it out loud three times fast:

Eye hymn sofa king stew pit.

And then go here to finalize my pimp name.

Update: Who would run a search for sibson+chips+Gatorade? Whoever you are, I hope you found what you’re looking for. Especially since I was the only result.

Update II: I’ve also run across several searches for this post about Al Sharpton’s phony claims that African Americans are being killed in disproportionately high numbers in Iraq. So go check it out.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Domestic Terrorism Isn’t Just For Eco-Nuts Anymore!

You may have heard recent reports about the vindictive and petty nature of some on the left. Stories about homes and cars being vandalized because of Bush bumper stickers or lawn signs. An excellent post on this topic can be found here. You go look now!

These people represent a sort of low grade advo-terrorism. I’ve touched on this issue before. You can find a higher grade of advo-terrorism here. You go look now!

Advo-terror is a larger, catch-all term. In days past, eco-terror pretty much summed it up. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. As noted above, you don’t have to be an animal rights reactionary or an enviro-nut to commit violence for your cause, although you can see several examples of their handiwork here. You go look now!

And it's not just the left, because you’ve got the abortion terrorists here. You go look now!

Our friends noted above are carving their own little niche of advo-terror.

But it isn’t all grim news. Wizbang has a hilarious example (and remember, even if it is fake, it's still accurate) of karma here. You go look now!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Wictory Wednesday...

…is a day when we take time to take stock of our nation, where we are, and where we’re going. You may recall that on past Wednesdays, we have pointed to ways to help President Bush. Now that the convention has passed, our focus shifts to important senate races around the counrty. Today we are supporting Mel Martinez in his race in Florida. With all the hurricanes, Floridians especially need effective representation.

Those who would like to help Mel Martinez can find out how to donate to his campaign here. You go look now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Classic Rock I Can’t Stand

Sometimes the radio in the car is on the local classic rock station. Which I usually prefer. But you all know the bands they play and the songs they play. I find that recently, I’m not liking most of the songs I hear. Maybe I should change “not liking” to “sick of.” Plus their so-called thirty minute commercial free rock blocks rarely last thirty minutes. Conveniently, the local punky alternative station is suddenly playing a great song every time I turn it on.

Pimptastic L Kicks presents the top ten classic rock bands worthy of hate.

10. Lynyrd Skynyrd
9. Eagles
8. Tom Petty
7. ZZ Top
6. Bog Seger
5. Jimi Hendrix
4. Kansas
3. Journey
2. Led Zeppelin
1. Pink Floyd

And then cast a vote to finalize my pimp name here.

Monday, September 20, 2004


Take A Break With Great Short Fiction.

James F Treacher has an excellent little piece of fiction today. I strongly urge you to check it out. Especially if you've ever watched the X-Files. You can read it here. Ghetto Fabulous Lord Glide says, “You go look now!”

And then cast a vote to finalize my pimp name here.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Tattoo Update

Ha ha! I thought I might need two links, but one is sufficient. You may recall the Tattooed Texan, she of the sexy new glasses. She had made mention of a tattoo, and the possibility of giving us a peek. You can find sexy glasses and sexy tattoo here. Tricktickler Floppington Squeeze says “You go look now!”

And then cast a vote to finalize my pimp name here.

The Toilet Seat: Up Or Down?

Alternate title: Ask, and ye shall receive.

Allie Cat recently mentioned that she despaired of ever getting her guy roommates to put the seat down. Since Deacon Dr. L Dazzle gave Allie Cat some advice on an earlier question, she thought she’d toss the question my way. The tender vittles:

Being the only girl living in this house really stinks sometimes. Back in May when we first moved to Modesto I thought "I will never teach these three boys to leave the toilet seat down."

I just wanted to reiterate that fact...and tell you I was right. It can't be done. Please LF, tell me what is going on!

Well of course I will. See what a benevolent dictator I would be? This is a difficult question without any easy answers.

A quick one: “You wanted equal rights, you got ‘em, baby! Lift your own damn seat!” You hear enough about what a jerk you are because you happen to be a guy, and a little lashing out might bubble up to the surface.

A bit longer: Guy wonders why the woman can’t put the seat down. She wonders why he can’t put it down. She wouldn’t complain unless she found the seat up, at least part of the time. And yet, presumably she was able to put it back down and successfully conduct business. Is it really such a burden? Is the agony so great that this must be an issue of contention?

She might argue that it’s just common courtesy, but let’s take a closer look at this so-called courtesy. Guy steps up, does his thing. What next? He could put the seat down. But where is the guarantee that she will go next? He may be next, and what would he get? Lift, go, drop. He makes extra work for himself not only with the act of courtesy, but also later as a result of his courtesy. Why should all of the burden be on him? I mean, does she leave the seat up as a courtesy to him? Nope. And when he comes in, he has to move the seat before he can go. What women are complaining about in guys is exactly what they do themselves. We both leave the seat where it is when we finish.

And even though women are complaining, they’re actually getting the better part of the deal. Sorry for the use of man-logic here. Every time a man follows a woman, he has to lift the seat. Her activities are 100% seat down. I don’t have to go into the details to for you to understand that guy’s activities are not 100% seat up, do I? Granted, most times when a woman follows a man, the seat is up. But there are some times when a woman follows a man and the seat is down. The seat cannot help but be her way more often than it is his way. Is it not enough for the balance to be in her favor? Must it be 100% her way?

What is the compelling argument, that cannot apply equally to the guys? Courtesy? You be courteous and put the seat up every time. Because he loves you? Well don’t you love him enough to put the seat up? You’ve already got a better deal than us, and we don’t complain. In short, why should we put the seat down? Until a woman can answer that question, Allie Cat has almost no hope.

Unless she can make the guys sit-downers. As you may have guessed, sit-downers always take a seat, no matter which order of business is on the agenda. At home, that is. Public restrooms are always stand up for guys, unless in a dire emergency. Unfortunately, not every guy has the potential to be a sit-downer. They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And so it is with this.

The only real benefit of the sit-down is the elimination of the splash factor. How can I put this tastefully. Ok. How bout this? When shooting a rifle, you sight down the barrel, pull the trigger, and a bullet moves along a straight and inflexible barrel and flies generally straight, especially over short distances. These conditions don’t really apply to stand up business. The aim is not accurate, and it isn’t easy. Without going into details, my understanding is that women who have “assisted in the office” generally express surprise that it isn’t as easy as they thought. And so it is almost inevitable that the seat itself may take a few random drops here and there. Sit-downers never have to worry about a “clean-up on aisle zero.”

So that saves some effort. Guys can work with that. Plus, if the seat is always down, the sit-downer never has to move it. That’s another step saved. Put it over the top with some reading material. Put some Mad magazines in there. Funny is good. Plus it has plenty of short bits. Perfect for a short sit down. Beyond that, all you can do is hope. They may go for it; they may not.

Whatever you do, let this be your guide, “Remind, but don’t nag.” Nagging just makes us dig in our heels. You might also make a deal. Tell him you won’t mention the subject for two weeks, if he does his best to remember to leave the seat down. And then don’t bring it up for at least two weeks. If you find the seat down, even once, show your appreciation for his efforts, and tell him that you would like to extend the deal for another two weeks of no nagging. He may improve over time. People prefer doing things they want to do over doing things they have to do. If you aren’t nagging, it becomes his decision. He has nothing to rebel against. He knows he won’t be blamed, even if he isn’t perfect, and he has a positive association with the behavior you desire of him. Good luck!

Call Of The Wild. Part Seven (Revenge Of The High Evolutionary)

You can find part six here.

Part seven has been interrupted by the High Evolutionary. Apparently he has reached down from on high and shaken the snow globe that is the Ecosystem. We’ll see how things settle out for next week.

Meanwhile, Papa Lord Kicks says use the time you were going to spend reading this post to cast a vote over at this post here.

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day…

…so talk like a pirate! And go cast a vote here, or the fleas of scurvy sea dogs will infest yer corpse in the briny deep. Arrgh!!! So says Captain Treacherous Floppington Sizzle!

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Bush Talks Funny

But so what? So does Kerry, in a different way.

Kerry gets his words right, usually, unless he‘s talking about sports. It’s the tone that does Kerry in. He just sounds snooty. He sounds boring. He sounds like a Hollywood stereotype of a high-falutin’ out of touch richie rich senator.

Bush gets all kinds of words wrong, but he manages to sound right somehow.

I call it the Yogi Factor. Yogi Berra is more famous for his wacky comments than he is for his baseball career. Some of you may know a statistic or two from Yogi’s career, but probably all of you have heard “It ain’t over til it’s over.” Nobody quotes Yogi to ridicule him. He had funny lines, and it became an endearing part of his character.

Of course, I’m a Bush supporter, but still. He’s just a likeable guy. And likeable people get passes where people who seem like jerks don’t. The Yogi Factor makes the difference between a cute quirk and a disturbing eccentricity. If you’ve ever said about someone, “Yes, but I still like him,” you may have been talking about someone with the Yogi Factor.

Friday, September 17, 2004


This Result Is Pretty Accurate

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I found it thanks to these guys here. You go look now!

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Lord Floppington Pimp Name Contest

Read part one here.

What’s that you say? You thought Lord Floppington was my pimp name? Au contraire, mon frere! The Pimp Name Generator had so many good pimp names for me, I couldn’t decide. Lucky for me, I have you. So here they are, in no particular order, the ten names you can vote on (with comments as necessary). My future flyness is in your hands:

1. Deacon Dr. L Dazzle
2. Golden Brown Lord Flash (sounds like I just came out of the oven)
3. Papa Lord Kicks
4. Treacherous Floppington Sizzle
5. Pimptastic L Kicks
6. Dopetastic Lord Dogg (that can’t be a good name for a cat)
7. Mr. White Chocolate Floppington Valentine
8. Ghetto Fabulous Lord Glide
9. Reverend Doctor Lord Rockefeller
10. Tricktickler Floppington Squeeze
Bonus: Diamondtrim Floppington Joker

Cast your vote in the comments, or email them to me.

Alexis? No. The Flyest Cat In The Alley? Maybe

Allie Cat is going to get sick of me sooner or later. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that while things I write are crystal clear in my head, they can get a little obscure on the blog. I wrote a recent post about my visit to a local music fest. You can read it, and her comments, here.

Visit Allie Cat on her own blog here. You go look now!

Apparently, someone else signed in on a “line 17.” I had just written mine in at the bottom of one page and labeled it #17. Another page also has a line 17. That person was Alexis somebody. I guess I don’t seem like an Alexis. But Allie did find Lord Floppington eventually.

Alexis was wrong. My actual name is [read the post above this one].

At least, that’s my name according to the “Get Your Pimp Name! How to be a true PIMP!” name generator. You put in first and last name, and a pimp name is generated for you. Discover your pimp name here. You go look now!

I found it thanks to these guys here. You go look now!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Border’s Sabotages “Unfit For Command” Except It Doesn’t

Charles over at LGF is outraged, and with 517 comments, it seems many of his readers are as well. You can experience their anger yourself here. You go look now!

Problem is, it wasn’t really that way. The cached version has 28 posts, which were posted from August 21st to August 31st.

Post 6 (from the top) by Takahashi:

We're "finding" that most of the few copies we're getting are damaged and need to be sent back, so sad. Too bad, Bushies! Regnery needs to be more careful. I'm hearing from people at 2 other stores that this seems to be common.

Why should we help destroy what's left of our country?

Takahashi again, on post 9:

You guys don't actually HAVE to sell the thing!

Just "carelessly" hide the boxes, "accidentally" drop them off pallets, "forget" to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Micheal Moore book as a substitute. Borders wants those recommends, remember?

I don't care if these Neandertals in fancy suits get mad at me, they aren't regular customers anyway. Other than "Left Behind" books, they don't read. Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair. They are the people pushing retailers to cut costs, don't forget. And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it!

Don't get mad, get even!

And that’s it. Two posts by the same guy out of twenty-eight, affecting a total of three stores. Disturbing? Yes. A huge corporate conspiracy? No.

Let’s look at the other posts. None support or condone Takahashi’s suggestions. Three posters, Withrow (#14), Classical-Liberal (#24), and Merry 10 (#26) repudiate Takahashi’s actions. A sample from Withrow:

I really, really disagree with this point of view. Booksellers have an ethical obligation IMO to present different points of view and not get in the way of freedom of speech. What you're suggesting is a form of censorship, only worse, because you're not being up front about it.

If you read his entire post, you’ll see he hates the book and its publisher. Yet, he’s still willing to sell the book.

Other posts? Make It Stop (#10, 17), Heron (#11), Rinky Dink (#13), and Dogma (15) wonder why the book is out of stock, discussing whether Regnery is too small a publisher without experience in putting out huge print-run books, or is using a “Harry Potter” scheme of withholding books to artificially build up reports of huge demand that ends up selling even more books, or is withholding books to build up reports like the one at LGF that malign the left and energize the right.

All of these issues take a back seat to the one theme that most of the posts have in common: people who work in any business that has a cash register (retail, food service, gas stations, and so on) hate their customers. The only difference between excellent service and crappy service is how well they disguise their hatred of you. You must know someone who works in a place like this. Ask them if they have any horror stories about bad customers. You’ll hear plenty. Ask them if they ever fantasize or joke about how to best kill customers with their fellow employees. Your friend may not admit this, but probably has.

And that’s what most of these posters care about, with the tidbits noted above just the tomatoes on the salad.

Once again. Is Takahashi wrong? Yes. Are his actions criminal? Yes. Does every other employee who posted, or is Borders Books itself, part of some huge conspiracy to silence criticisms of Kerry? Don’t be ridiculous. And don’t be like Dan Rather. Own up.

LGF posts only Takahashi (#9). This story definitely needed a “Read The Whole Thing.” Whole lotta smoke, not much fire.

Full disclosure compels me to add a few things. I have never been a regular reader of LGF. I only hear the best things about it when I see it mentioned on other sites. The Rathergate coverage has been excellent. I just think we should be careful and conscientious, especially during this period of triumphalism blogs are experiencing and the heightened scrutiny it brings.


Hopefully Polite, And Not Too Snarky

You get more flies with honey, right? Thanks to some excellent backup from Dave Huber (much appreciation, sir!) about this post of mine, I decided to go ahead and write to Paula Zahn, or at least to CNN. So let me know. Was I too soft? Should I have been more harsh? Was it just about right? My thinking was that an adversarial approach would alienate them, so I tried to write a comment that would get them to view me sympathetically and perhaps motivate some sort of response. Read the email I sent and let me know in the comments how you think I should have handled it. The email:

Al Sharpton made a statement that African Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers in Iraq. A moment later, Paula Zahn stated that the statistics bear this out. I find myself wondering which statistics she is referencing.

US Census indicates African Americans are 12.9% of the US population, and African American Males age 18-29 make up 13% of all males age 18-29.

What about African American population within the military specifically? US Department of Defense has the following numbers:

Army: 29.2%
Navy: 20.3%
Marine Corps: 16.4%
Air Force: 18.2%
DOD: 22.3%

American deaths in Iraq now total 1,020 and African American deaths in Iraq now total 126. My calculator tells me that African American deaths are 12.35% of the total deaths.

It appears that among the general population and among military age males (18-29), African Americans are actually dying in smaller numbers than their proportion of the population would suggest.

Among the military population, the difference is even more stark, with African American deaths substantially lower than their percentages in the military population would indicate, anywhere from 4.05% up to 16.85% less.

If anyone is dying in disproportionate numbers in Iraq, it sure isn't African Americans.

I am not a professional statistician. If I am somehow misreading this information, I hope you will correct me so I can be a better-informed citizen. If I am right, I hope Paula Zahn will correct her statement.

I do have links to the above statistics, but I was not sure this comment form was the appropriate place to put them. I would be happy to send them to you in a regular email.

One more thing. I got the death totals from Iraq (total and African American), from the running feature you have on the CNN website.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and for taking your valuable time to address this issue.

Of course, you guys can get the links from my post linked above. I was really fortunate that Dave commented, because he is the one who found the African American population within the various branches of the military. Follow his link above to see his post and the stats he found. Thanks again, Dave!

Wictory Wednesday...

…is a day when we take time to take stock of our nation, where we are, and where we’re going. You may recall that on past Wednesdays, we have pointed to ways to help President Bush. Now that the convention has passed, our focus shifts to important senate races around the counrty. Our first race is John Thune vs. Tom Daschle. Those who would like to learn more about this race can go to the excellent Daschle v Thune page run by Jon Lauck here. You go look now!

Those who would like to help John Thune can find out how to donate to his campaign here. You go look now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Sharpton Does It Again

I do a lot of goofs and parodies on this site. I just want to take a moment to state that this is a serious post, about a serious issue, backed up by serious links.

Look, a long time ago, I wrote about Al Sharpton, and his claims that African-Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers in the War On Terror, or Afghasnistan, or Iraq. After looking at various figures, I managed to come to a conclusion. The tender vittles:

Seems to me that African American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are actually less than their representation within the total U.S. population and within the population of military aged males.

So Sharpton was way off-base. And it irked me. I never really saw it come up anywhere. Tonight I was watching Paula Zahn, anticipating Glenn Reynolds and John Hinderaker from Powerline (Hinderaker got bumped in favor of the operator of Free Republic (Jim Robinson?), where the “Buckhead” post was made), and Sharpton happened to be on. The tender vittles:

ZAHN: …let's start off tonight by listening to one of the radio ads also being aired with the obvious purpose of getting the black vote out for John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, THE MEDIA FUND AD) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush is a rich man in the White House who is sending black men and women to be slaughtered in Iraq, while Cheney and his Halliburton boys get rich on oil. Don't keep getting played.


ZAHN: Is that ad over the top?

SHARPTON: I think that the ad is not only over the top. I think that when you look at the fact that everyone in politics gives towards the market that they are trying to interest, they are directly talking about how a disproportionate amount of people that died in Iraq were black.

ZAHN: So, wait a minute. You're saying it's not over the top? You agree with the essence of what it's saying.

SHARPTON: I'm saying that there is no question Halliburton made money. There's no question a lot of blacks died in Iraq. No one should have died if the premise for going in was weapons of mass destruction.

So I think that, clearly, you can't deny that Halliburton made the money. You cannot deny that people white and black died, and you cannot deny that blacks died disproportionately. So the Republicans need to answer it, rather than talk about what is over the top. Let's talk about what has in fact happened.(Emphasis mine)

Yes, Mr. Sharpton, “let's talk about what has in fact happened.” Turns out, I can deny it.

Lucky me. I just realized the other relevant statistics will be the same, and I only need to look at updated totals of soldiers who have died in Iraq, the country specifically mentioned by Sharpton. The two relevant stats from my other post:

African Americans as % of U.S. population: 36.4 million (12.9%) of total US population

African American males 18-29 as % of all males 18-29: 3,079,238 (13%) of 23,672,589 (all males 18-29)
(Arbitrary age range to approximate “military-aged” males)

And the variable in the equation, updated death totals in Iraq:

Total US military deaths in Iraq and percentage of those deaths that are African Americans(click “race” at the bottom): 1,016 total deaths, of which 12.4% (126) are African American.

12.4%. Funny, it’s the exact same percentage as in my original post on July 23, 2004. And it’s still below the African American percentages of our total population and military-aged males. Please also keep in mind that we have no draft; everyone in our military volunteered. How long can Sharpton keep saying this? This statement is another in a line of false statements made by prominent lefties to engineer the defeat of President Bush in November.

Update: Here's what Paula Zahn said a moment later in the transcript: “ZAHN: You look at statistics and they do tell you that more African men and women are dying in this war than whites.”

Do they really? I wonder which statistics Zahn is looking at. I made my calculations based on the fatality meter on CNN's own website! So now we can't trust CBS or CNN?

Monday, September 13, 2004


Unusual Connection Between Rather, Kerry Documents (With Updates!)

Jim Treacher has a post on the Rathergate situation here. You go look now!

Back? Ok, good. As I read the article, there was just something about it that bothered me. Nagging doubts kept buzzing through my brain until I was compelled to do a little research of my own. Finally my efforts paid off and I found the original article. Italics indicate the changed portions of the text. The tender vittles:

Kerry: "Prove I'm Not Queen of the Space Unicorns"

New York -- For the fourth time in as many days, Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry has interrupted his nightly stump speech to reiterate his claim that he has been crowned Queen of the Space Unicorns.

Glaring into the camera, Kerry leveled a stern denunciation of his skeptics, terming them "hateful" and "jealous."

"I have told you again and again the tales of my ascension, my travels and adventures amongst the Cloud People, my ongoing struggle with Lord Gnarl and the Carved Army of the Fateful Forest. You've heard the facts, and that's the end of it. You think you can challenge my claim to the throne? Go for it. But you can't, can you? You can't, and you know it. So let's just get past this."

Holding up a document that he insisted was proof of his royal lineage, Kerry repeated his demand to be addressed as "Queen Alareol the Wise, Protector of the Rainbow-Flame." The document appeared to be a doorknob menu for a local Chinese restaurant.

"I don't expect you people to understand what I'm going through," continued Kerry. "I don't have to take this. All I want is a little consideration here. A little consideration, and some nice green grass. Crunchy, delicious grass. Nnnnnyaaaaar."

The Kerry version just feels more true. Therefore it must be true, and the Rather article is just a forgery. In addition, if you look at the date, you’ll see that what might be called the Kerry Version was written before the Rather Version. Jim Treacher is a man of the highest ethical standards. Unfortunately, he has been taken in by a hoax. Just another example of the care we must take to maintain high standards.

Actual Update: Figures. I forget a headline on one post, and it's the one everyone comes to see. Also, thanks to Jim Treacher for linking, and to all of you who came to visit. Feel free to look around. There's about 200 other posts you haven't seen yet.

Actual Update II: While the above post was all in fun, I do have a serious post, with real links, about Al Sharpton's repeated statement that African Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers in Iraq. Paula Zahn agreed with him tonight (9/14), but they are both wrong, according to CNN's own numbers. Read that post here, please. I can't be the only one that's bothered by this, can I?

Actual Update III: Thanks again to Jim Treacher, whose link tipped me over the latest milestone on the hit meter. A pathetically puny milestone, I grant you, but a milestone nevertheless.

Actual Update IV: Ooops! How could I forget to mention all of you who followed that link? My sincere appreciation to everyone who stops by.

Actual Update V: Wow! It's the link that keeps on giving. Three days later and I'm still getting lots of hits (for me) from Jim's link. Thanks again to all who have stopped by. Click the big orange banner at the top to see the main page and more current posts.

Actual Update VI: For those of you who are not too sensitive in your sense of humor, you can vote on what my pimp name will be, here. Pick a good one.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Call Of The Wild. Part Six

You can find part five here.

I find that it’s time once again to examine my own evolution and see how things are going. Last time, I was a Large Mammal, and I’m still there. Let’s face it. I’m not likely to go much higher. I’ve come semi-far in the ecosystem, all the way to level thirteen (of sixteen) but I’ll have to go three times as far to get the next rung. So as long as I’ll be here for a while, I need to decide if I’m going to stick with my lion avatar, or choose a different large animal each week. Decision made. There’s lots of large mammals, right? Continuing the tradition, I shall now take a look at the Large Mammals just above and below me.

My murderous grizzly rage is directed at (one spot above me): Not Geniuses. Tagline: None

This blog is written by Joe, Matt, Nico, Ryan, and Clay. I read posts by all of them but Clay, so maybe there’s still hope. These guys are on the other side, but they were on the list, so I’ve got to put them in. Their blogroll tells me they prefer writers from the left who, how can I say this, are perhaps a little disreputable. Nobody there corrected a post about an issue from Kitty Kelly’s book that has been discredited. This is not a blog I would read, but if you’re a lefty, consider checking it out. Pacing is good. Mostly short to medium posts. Prescription: three times a week for two weeks, then as needed.

My mighty bear hug has just pulped (one spot below me): Doctor Weevil. Tagline: Punditry, Pedantry, Poetry, and Pie ("Mmmmm . . . . Pie!").

Another political blog, with an occasional personal tidbit thrown in here and there. This one is well-written, and the good Doctor clearly demonstrates his knowledge and mental acuity even in the few posts I read. Special feature: Dork of the Week. You all know that I really want the word dork to get more usage, so thank you Doctor Weevil. When I am benevolent dictator, you shall be rewarded. Added bonus: He has taken the time to put his blogroll in alphabetical order. Pacing is slow, but steady. Mostly short to medium posts. Prescription: twice a week for three weeks, then as needed.

First Impressions (With DVD Update)

I forgot to take my little notebook with me, so I’ll have to go by memory. I got there in time for Virgil, then Transport, then Nothing Less. Virgil and Nothing Less were great, but Transport had a tough time setting up their equipment, and they just didn’t seem to recover. They weren’t bad, but this couldn’t have been one of their best shows. I’ll let you know more after I listen to the CD. Ditto for Virgil.

I already had the Nothing Less CD, so this time I got a DVD of theirs. The biggest shirt they had was medium, which for me is a no go.

Virgil and Nothing Less had good sized crowds for the venue. Nothing Less was clearly the crowd favorite, based on the number of girls with Nothing Less bumper stickers across their asses. Lots of girls like the ones I described in the previous post. Overall, a nice, happy, energetic crowd.

And now, Mr. Cowboy. Who is he? And why was he either talking into the phone or holding it up toward the stage for the entire set Nothing Less played. I couldn’t help but think he was some sort of agent and maybe the guys will be making the big time soon. But what do I know?

Allie Cat was there, of course, but I never saw her. Or perhaps I should say I never recognized her. I have terrible facial recognition skills. Ask me later if you really want to hear theories about my neurological deficiencies.

I got the last DVD and signed up for the email list. Number 17.

Here are some people who looked like other people. A guy who reminded me of William Miller enjoyed my Frank J shirt, Know Thy Enemy: Terrorist version. He came back later and asked me if I had a nickel. A nickel! If I had one, I would have given it to him. I should have just given him a buck. Then there was the guy who looked like Jack Black wearing the wig Adam Sandler wore in Little Nicky. And there were lots of hotties who looked like, well, hotties.

At one point, one of the guys in the band was asking about who in the crowd came from this or that local town. I swear, they named just about every town but mine. And of course, any time a musician mentions a local town, I always flash back to various Simpson’s episodes that poked fun at this practice. On the other hand, these guys did move here from Alaska.

Actual Update (DVD): After everything I wrote in the post below this one I couldn't help but get a huge laugh when the naughty nurse at the end poked out her pierced tongue. The DVD includes the cool video for "Record Store" and a very entertaining making of the video as well. Go to a show and you can get the DVD there for five bucks! For those temporarily beyond the reach of the ever expanding juggernaut that is the Nothing Less tour schedule, you can go online and order your copy here. You go look now!

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Sexy Tattoos And Other Stuff That Make Guys Drool

Ok this post discusses sex type stuff. Those who are faint of heart may wish to skip this one.

Good Citizen Alyssa (potential nickname Allie Cat) was talking about tattoos recently. Specifically tattoos on girls. Even more specifically, two tattoos she is thinking of getting. Allie Cat updated that Tom Cat really wanted her to get one two years ago. Problem is, Tom (her guy friend), who never used to have a problem with girls with tattoos, suddenly seems to think they are trashy, and that she shouldn’t get one. You can read all about it here. You go look now!

Well I told Allie that I would try to explain the apparent discrepancy. Maybe I should start from the general and work to the specifics of this case. I have heard that women decide in the first five minutes of meeting any guy whether or not she would ever sleep with him. I say “heard” because no one has ever let me know they want to sleep with me after five minutes.

Guys don’t work that way. We want to sleep with practically everyone! Since practically everyone doesn’t actually sleep with us, or at least me, how do we keep this optimism going? We’re able to keep it going because even if women everywhere won’t sleep with us (me), we still see some women who look like they might sleep with anyone. “Look like” being the key words. So what do these women look like anyway?

Before we answer that question, it might be helpful to divide women into categories. For our purposes, we need only two: good girls and bad girls. Joanie Cunningham is a good girl. Pinky Tuscadero is a bad girl. Good girls are, well, good. They don’t sleep around. Bad girls do sleep around. For most people, being a good girl is the mainstream, or, perhaps, default position. Bad girls are non-mainstream, counterculture types. Of course I realize there are fresh-faced cheerleaders who nail the whole football team after every victory, and multi-pierced stoner chicks who are saving themselves for marriage. But I’m talking generalizations and perceptions here.

So for us guys, even though not every woman wants to sleep with us, it’s not too difficult to run across bad girl types who at least look like they are willing to sleep with lots of guys. So if you dye your hair some non-natural color, you’re outside the good girl mainstream, and maybe you’re easy (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”). If you have more than one or two piercings in each ear, you’re outside the good girl mainstream, and maybe you’re easy. If you’re tongue is pierced (according to numerous sources, and no personal experience, this helps fellatio), you’re outside the good girl mainstream, and maybe you’re easy. Same goes for nipples, belly buttons, and lower nether region piercing. If you’re all Gothed up, you’re outside the good girl mainstream, and maybe you’re easy.

And then there are tattoos. Definitely outside the mainstream. There are very few good girl tattoos. Maybe a small heart or flower on an ankle, but that’s about it. And really, it’s the fact of the tattoo that is important, the content is secondary. The simple fact that most casual tattoos are in places where they can be covered up is another example that tattoos are outside the mainstream. Say it with me my little angels, “If you’re outside the good girl mainstream, maybe you’re easy.”

However, just because it’s covered up doesn’t mean these women don’t want you to see it. The first two questions anyone asks when they learn someone has a tattoo? “What is it?” and “Can I see it?” And in most cases, they wouldn’t bring it up unless they wanted to show it to you.

The most common tattoo I’ve seen the last few years? Those tats across the small of a woman’s back, just above the top of her jeans. She wears a nice bare midriff top, and when you’re behind her, there it is. “Look at me. Look at the small of my back. Tanned, bare skin, the curve of my waist, I’m on display for you and I want your attention. And guess what? Looking at my tattoo, I know your eyes can’t help but take in my nice round ass. They may even drift down my legs and back up again. I could have worn something more modest; instead I deliberately chose to put on this show for you.” Trashy? Yes. Do guys care? No.

At least, as long as it’s some random girl we were going to fantasize about anyway. But if it’s our gal, we don’t necessarily want EVERY OTHER GUY SHE EVER MEETS to have extra fantasy material. Or to think she’s easy.

How does this apply to our current case? I think it’s pretty clear. At least, I thought I did til Allie Cat told me Tom Cat wanted her to get one two years ago. Now I am privy to almost no details of their relationship, but I guess I could imagine a few scenarios.

First, were they actually “together” two years ago when he told her that? If not, and Tom was interested in Allie, her willingness to get a tattoo would be a boost to Tom’s morale and his hopes for future “togetherness.”

Second, two years is a long time, especially if the two years happens when you’re somewhere between eighteen and twenty-two. Tom Cat may have matured quite a bit. He may very well know the difference between any old gal and his gal. What is the difference, as far as guys are concerned?

“Any old gal” is the girl he meets at a party, sleeps with in an upstairs bedroom, and leaves thinking “Damn! This is my lucky day!”

“His gal” is the girl he has feelings for. He cares about her. She is a special and precious part of his life. He is reduced without her. She makes his life better. “His gal” is always a good girl, no matter what sort of “togetherness” they might share privately.

And that’s why a tattoo that makes a girl trashy (in a sexy-trashy sort of way) is perfectly fine for “any old gal,” but not so fine for a “his gal.”

So what’s the moral of the story? Guys, if you think you’ve found your very own “my gal,” cherish her. Her presence will elevate everything else in your life, and without her, you’ll wish you were dead. She’s worth her weight in gold. “Any old gal” is a dime a dozen.

How do you know if your gal is Miss Perfect? And does each of us have only one true soul mate? Oh my goodness, don’t even get me started.

Busy, Busy, Busy, And Thanks

Just a few tidbits:

1. With my new schedule at work, weekday posts will be late afternoon or evenings.

2. Apologies for nothing new yesterday. I had that meeting after work with the new clients I’m co-managing. Because I have another long day today, I went to bed early.

3. I have to sign some contracts today, then another meeting scheduled to last five hours, and then I have that music fest to go to that I talked about here.

4. I’m not likely to be home before midnight. I may or may not post then. I may go to bed and just post Sunday morning.

5. I have prepared nothing about 9/11. I’m sure you’ll find tons of stuff just about everywhere else. Go read them, and then take a few minutes to think about where we are today, and where we hope to be in the future. Then vote accordingly.

6. Getting close to three months now on here. For anyone who has dropped by, all six of you, thanks.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


AP Exclusive: Unnamed CBS Document Examiner Comes Forward

E-mail from a friend of mine inside the AP. It’s a draft of an article waiting on one more confirmation and some last minute polishing. I inserted what I thought were appropriate links to articles/posts on the web:

60 Minutes II produced several memos that cast President Bush in a negative light. Once copies of the documents were released, questions about their authenticity were almost immediately raised. On the internet, Powerline took the lead, collecting countless sources and providing a clearinghouse of information.

CBS cited unnamed experts who told them the documents were genuine. According to CBS, the documents were “thoroughly investigated by independent experts.” At the same time, several prominent document examiners have come forward to publicly denounce the documents as forgeries.

Late Thursday night Major George Byron, an expert on forgeries, came forward, declaring himself as one of the unnamed experts. Byron noted CBS never mentioned any other experts, and did not ask him for referrals to other experts:

“I asked them once, who else they had working the documents, and they told me not to worry about it. I brought it up again, because who backs a document with only one expert? I told them they needed at least three. They said they had it covered, they just couldn’t talk about it to protect confidentiality and keep the story from leaking. I had misgivings, but I know documents, not reporting. In this relationship, CBS was the expert, and I put aside my doubts. I sincerely regret that now.”

Byron was further disturbed by what CBS has done to his report. The CBS interpretation produced a conclusion almost diametrically opposed to the conclusion reached by Byron himself. The contention involves the font used in the memos. The public experts seem to be settling on Times New Roman font, common enough on word processors today, non-existent when the memos were written.

Key points in the argument include the use of a superscript “th” after a date (14th), the shape of the apostrophe (curved/curly vs. vertical hash mark), and spaces between letters. The CBS memos appear to have been produced on a modern word processor. One expert was “99% sure” that the documents were forgeries. Byron had said the same thing in his report to CBS:

“CBS asked me if there was any way the documents could have been produced on the indicated dates. I told them I didn’t know of a machine that could have done it in that time frame, but an advanced IBM research prototype may have had some of the capabilities demonstrated in the memos.” This was almost the answer CBS wanted. Byron continued, “They came back with, ‘So it’s possible right?’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. On a trillion-to-one shot it was possible, yes. So I told them while it might be possible, the memos were almost certainly forgeries.”

That was good enough for CBS. They ran the story and are using Major George Byron as their unnamed source.

My friend says AP wants to hit this one out of the park to get the public eye off them and onto anybody else after the “Bush crowd booed” fiasco. There’s also a chance Lindlaw and Hays may be quietly canned if the heat on CBS flares up enough. Obviously the story isn’t on AP’s site yet, but an examination of the header on my friend’s e-mail indicates it is from an internal AP address.

Post 200: Lost Tales (Thrills, Chills, Danger, And Good Citizenship)

I advised you yesterday to go look here. If you haven’t, go now.

Back? Good. So my neighbor Clippie invited me to the musical type festival referenced above. She bought the tickets, and I drove us. We got there around 5:00 PM, and this thing would be going til about midnight or so. Plus they served beer. The whole thing covered about three square blocks, which had been enclosed with barricades and such to keep the beer in and the non ticket buyers out. Beer is good. Many were consumed.

I had heard of only one of the many bands at this festival. I think Clippie knew a few of them. And we kept drinking those beers. A local casino had a few blackjack tables set up for funtime gaming. You could win a mug or a t-shirt with the casino logo. And we saw more bands. And we had more beers.

Now I am a guy. And even though I was in the middle of a huge crush on Princess Wolfie, I have to admit Clippie is good looking and, well I don’t really need to go any further than that do I? Ok maybe a little further. I have not had sex since July of 2003. Now I know I don’t need to go any further. Ok just this much further: Clippie is in a similar situation. Plus this: Guys can be foolishly optimistic about physical contact with the opposite sex. ‘Nuff said.

Among the bands, we saw a show by Nothing Less. They were great, and we even got the CD. And had more beers. Eventually, midnight came and we made our way back to the pumpkin to head home. And who knew what might happen then? Not I. My last beer: maybe 9:30. Clippie’s last beer: about 11:55.

Parking at an event like this can be tricky with limited public parking. I ended up picking a lot that had posted signs saying two hour parking, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. To me, arriving at 5:00 PM with a two hour window takes me to 7:00 PM, beyond the window of regulated parking. Seems simple enough.

At the parking lot, I had déjà vu. I often come out to a parking lot and misremember where I might have parked. Then the déjà vu ended. Clippie confirmed that the car was not in our spot. Some helpful people who apparently like to hang out in this parking lot said that some jerk from the business in question called out a bunch of tow trucks to haul off all the cars in the lot. Yes, even though the cars were not in any sort of violation of the posted regulations.

So now what? Fortunately, we had some loose change between us so I could use the pay phone. No number was posted by this evil business to call and find out where they towed the car, so I just called the police. I went ahead and pointed out to them that it must have been stolen, since I wasn’t violating any parking regulations. When they ran the plates, they did find that it had been towed, and even told me the place.

Progress. So I called the place, and they informed me that the car was there. All I had to do was show up and pay the money and all would be well. I took the lady at her word. How did I know that she was even more evil than the jerk that had me towed in the first place.

We got a cab and proceeded there. Forgive my faulty directions. We were right downtown in Modesto, California. From our starting point on 9th street, the cab took us I think east. We went over a long bridge that in mid-July had some construction on the north? side, perhaps to widen the bridge. Kinda funky and industrial and rundown in this area. The cab dropped us off and was nice enough to wait while Clippie and I confirmed the car was there. Now we’re talking close to 1:00 AM.

Cab goes away, and the (as yet unrevealed evil) lady starts to process our paperwork. It came to $160 and change. So I whip out my plastic and prepare to complete the transaction. Then the lady tells me that her machine is down, she doesn’t take checks, and we have to pay cash. Since we’d seen the area on our way in, we didn’t need Evil Tow Lady to tell us that any possible ATM’s were far away.

Naturally, I asked why she would not tell us that we had to pay cash when we called her to see if the car was there. She took the opportunity to rub our faces in her evil. Turns out, since I didn’t ask her if the credit card machine was broken down, and I didn’t ask her if she took checks, she didn’t feel the need to inform me of these facts.

Status: in the boonies, bad area, cab gone, us stuck. Options: call another cab to take us to an ATM and back to the tow company. Problem: the cab will arrive in about an hour. So maybe by 2:30 AM, we’ll be able to leave the tow place, to get money and come back. Solution: Screw that. I can walk a long way in an hour.

Clippie reluctantly agrees. So we walk. And we walk. And we walk. And finally we get back to civilization, with streetlights and everything. And the whole time, we’ve been cursing the Evil Tow Lady. And wondering why she lets her six or seven year old daughter to hang out there, playing and running around the tow lot past 1:00 AM.

And now we get back to the good citizens. A couple of the guys at the original parking lot, who had tipped us to the whole shady tow situation, happened to be cruising around and pulled up next to us.

While I can’t recall the exact words of the conversation, the gist was this: You two white people must be crazy to wander around, on foot, in this meth area, in the middle of the night. And they gave us a ride to the ATM and back to the Evil Tow Place. They enjoyed our little tale so far, and thought they might also like to give Evil Tow Lady a piece of their mind. As Evil Tow Lady started our paperwork, amidst some semi unpleasant grilling from all four of us now, there were other people arriving by cab to claim two more cars. By the time they made it inside, their cabs had also gone.

One might think that Evil Tow Lady would have learned from our experience, and notified these new people that they needed cash. But then she wouldn’t be evil, would she?

We thanked our temporary drivers for their help, got the car, and got out of there before things got really ugly. But not before telling the newcomers that Evil Tow Lady had screwed us over and should have known better when she dealt with them on the phone, which pretty much meant she had screwed them double.

Now it’s about quarter to three, and we’re hungry. We stop for food, and are home by 4:30 or so. And a good time, but no sex, was had by all. Still…

Nothing Less than the end of the world could stop me from seeing Nothing Less again at the Turlock Music Festival, along with a bunch of other bands. Who knows? Maybe there will be a new New Band Link over there on the left on Sunday.

The show is at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $10 and parking is $2. Directions are here. Zoom out a couple of notches to get the big picture on freeway approaches (Highway 99). Gates open at noon and the show ends at 11:00 PM. If you don’t want to spend the whole day there, at least consider arriving by 5:00 PM for the 9/11 tribute/memorial observation. If you hang around the B93.1 stage, where Nothing Less will headline at 10:15 PM, you might even see Lord Floppington’s human pet enjoying the bands and possibly even buying CD’s from other new bands. I already bought “Beyond Therapy,” but if Nothing Less has a new CD, I’ll be getting that too.

And don’t worry about my bad luck in July; there’s plenty of parking at the fairgrounds. And at two bucks, it’s $158 less than I paid for parking last time I saw these guys.

For a more official press release, scroll down to Turlock Music Fest on this page here. You go look now!

And if you see the guys from Nothing Less, or buy a CD or get some promo goodies from them, make sure to tell them Lord Floppington sent you. Dropping my name probably won’t get you anything, but if word of it gets back to me later, I will make sure that you are rewarded when I become benevolent dictator.

“Would You Like To Tie Me Up With Some Of Your Ties, Ty?” What Movie?

So I’ve lost my parking space. For the last three years, I’ve parked in the same space probably every day except maybe five days at the most. In the last couple of weeks, someone has been taking my spot. This space doesn’t have my name or anything, it was just the one I always used. I used it for so long, I started to feel entitled. Squatter’s rights or some such. So I was a little perturbed.

I felt a little better when I learned that the offending vehicle belongs to one of the big cheeses I hold in high regard. This particular big cheese has been getting to work a little bit earlier, and I’ve been getting there a little bit later.

I blame it on the ties. Since I started wearing them, it’s just taken me a little longer to leave the house each morning. I notice that instead of being second car in the lot, and sometimes first, I’m now fourth or fifth. Me no like that. I shall make an effort to do better. Plus I heard a rumor that big cheese is coming in earlier for some special project that might be temporary. That would help.

Post 200 will have the lost tale I promised yesterday. It may be a little long, so give me a bit to get it posted. Don’t feel like you have to hurry back, it’ll still be there tomorrow.

Better. Stronger. Faster. Part Ten

I wrote a little about the dishonorable behavior of the AP here.

Powerline has a Better. Stronger. Faster. take on that story, plus tons of good stuff on the 60 Minutes II anti-Bush documents which are looking more and more like forgeries that conveniently cannot be checked with the alleged author, who died in 1984, here. You go look now! And then scroll up for the AP posts!

Update: It may be worthwhile to note that when I first read the Powerline post linked above, there were 176 track backs, which was the highest I have ever seen on any blog. Now that I’m writing this an hour and a half later, the track backs are up to 226. Conclusion? People are hungry for the truth, and they know they aren’t getting it from the big media.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Tune In Thursday…

…for a lost tale from the breaking of the hermitage. Get some necessary background for the story here.

Wictory Wednesday...

…is a day when we take time to take stock of our nation, where we are, and where we’re going. So myself and the people you see below take some time on Wednesday to remind you that President Bush needs your help to get re-elected and keep our country from becoming France, Jr. And nobody wants that.

Those who would like to keep the world free through volunteer action can find out how, here. You go look now!

Those who would like to keep our country strong through a donation can find out how, here. You go look now!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


It Is Alive.

Ok long ago and far away, there was a blog. Mean Mr. Mustard. He sacrificed himself, suffering a fate worse than death: he lived with various hippie liberal left types attending UC Hastings at Berkeley. He took one for the team and showed us how crazy they really are. And then he retired.

On the one hand, you hated his guts for cutting us off. On the other hand, how can you not respect a guy who puts aside a major part of his life to focus on being the best law student he can be. That’s discipline. There was such an outpouring of well wishes after his final post that he had to know he had a lot of people out there who would miss him.

He’s been back since August 2nd. And nobody told me. I had to find out by accident. Anyway, he’s been reincarnated as Mean Mr. Mustard Version 2.0 and you can find him here. You go look now!

Monday, September 06, 2004


Michael Moore Tells The Truth. For Real! Ultra Link Edition!

Well Michael Moore finally admitted the truth. Fahrenheit 9/11 is not a documentary. Maybe it was the American Heritage Dictionary that helped him out. The Tender Vittles:

ADJECTIVE: 1. Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents. 2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. doc·u·men·ta·ries
A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.

However it happened, Moore decided that the Best Documentary category was not appropriate for his film. You can read the story here. You go look now!

Now I know Moore may contend, and even truly believe within himself, that he is just helping his fellow documentarians (although Super Size Me isn’t really a documentary either), but let’s face it folks, that notion is about as grounded in reality as Christmas in Cambodia. Moore’s film will be going for Best Picture. Even in Hollywood, I don’t think Moore’s Disease has spread far enough for him to win in that category. My prediction: Moore will not win an Oscar this year for Best Picture. I would tell you the film that will win, but since I’m writing about Moore, I figure it’s ok to use the tradition of the left to vote against something, rather than for something.

Every silver lining needs a cloud, and the cloud here is this: Moore took himself out of the Best Documentary category, when the Academy should have done it a long time ago. Anyone remember the alleged documentary Bowling For Columbine?

Special thanks to Tech Central Station and Paul at Wizbang for doing such great work collecting information and putting it in one easily accessible place.

Unsubstantiated Gossip Update: The Academy didn’t appreciate the criticism after giving an Oscar for Bowling For Columbine, so they sent a little bird to Moore, giving him the chance to pull the plug before they did. It’s nice to have friends on the inside.

I Vote Against Things Rather Than Vote For Them

No, the title isn’t a Kerry quote, as far as I know, but it could come from half of his supporters. USA Today/CNN has a poll out today that bears this out. While around 82% of likely voters and 80% of registered voters who will vote Bush say they are casting a vote FOR Bush, 50% of likely voters and 55% of registered voters who will vote for Kerry say they are voting AGAINST Bush. You can see the whole post (the numbers above come from questions 2B and 2C) here. You go look now!

Not a good sign when half or less of your voters are actually FOR you.

Test Your Knowledge. Part Two

You can read a really long quiz post here. And a shorter one here.

See I always knew I was a bastard, but not completely evil, so this sounds about right.

You're Seth Gecko, you bastard.
Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Brando Advises Kerry

The title is true; at least, according to Kerry, it’s true. What did Brando advise him about? That’s for you to have fun imagining. Many thanks to Soxblog for bringing this to light. The Tender Vittles:

And now come a couple of stories that make Kerry look just plain silly. In a recent interview, Kerry boasted of a phone relationship he enjoyed with acting legend Marlon Brando. Ever an insightful mind when it came to world affairs, Brando had some advice for Kerry on how to handle Nicaragua. And it’s a good thing he did. According to Kerry, “I took his advice on a couple of angles. A couple of points.”

Your mission from Soxblog, should you choose to accept it, is to imagine other conversations, other advice, Brando might have given Kerry. Apocalypse Now references will face point reduction for being too obvious. You can read the full post here. You go look now!

My own cheesy effort:

"I remember the day Brando called me, back during my reelection campaign in 1996. It’s seared--seared in my memory. He invited me to go fishing with him on Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, I had a commitment to a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, and if there’s one thing I don’t flip flop on, it’s attending fundraisers. They help me keep in touch with the little guys like China. Marlon’s advice to me: 'Take the money. Leave the egg roll.' "

Sunday, September 05, 2004


More Halloween Costume Controversy

You may recall the controversy over child pimp and ho costumes.

But are these costumes really any better?

Call Of The Wild. Part Five (International Edition)

You can find part four here.

I find that it’s time once again to examine my own evolution and see how things are going. Last time, I was a Large Mammal, and I’m still there. Let’s face it. I’m not likely to go much higher. I’ve come semi-far in the ecosystem, all the way to level thirteen (of sixteen) but I’ll have to go three times as far to get to the next rung. So as long as I’ll be here for a while, I need to decide if I’m going to stick with my lion avatar, or choose a different large mammal each week. Decision made. There’s lots of large mammals, right? Continuing the tradition, I shall now take a look at the Large Mammals just above and below me.

My bad rhino eyes are squinting at (one spot above me): Selective Amnesia. Tagline: Thoughts. Colorful. Seductive. Fleeting.

This blog is written by Chandrachoodan (Chandru) Gopalakrishnan. Chandru writes “slice of life” posts and a little of this and that, when he’s not working in his day job as a copywriter. Sort of like me. Chandru recently attended a Madras Bloggers Meet. Madras? What the…? Am I doing a Call of the Wild post about an evil Islamic school website? What’s the ethics of that? I mean, if I start fudging results, I might as well just pick any old blog to write about. So I have to include it. But I ain’t gonna. Then I realized I shouldn’t get too worked up til I check it out myself. And my ignorance has been reduced! Madras is a city in India (madrass is the evil school), and you can learn more and see some beautiful pics of this beautiful city here. You go look now!

This is a very good blog to read, especially if you’re like me and have rarely left the US. Chandru’s English is excellent and from the posts I’ve read, his ideas are very accessible to westerners. Or maybe I should say he doesn’t seem too foreign. This is not in any way negative; I just feel like I have things in common with this guy halfway around the world. I have never anticipated or even considered going to India, but Madras might be a good place to start. Follow the about me and look diligently to find a pic of Chandru (the one on the main page didn’t open for me), but otherwise, few pics. Pacing is good. Mostly short posts. Prescription: Twice a week for three weeks, then as needed.

My dreaded rhino horn has impaled (one spot below me): Bjørn Stærk Blog. Tagline: War, politics and Norway since Sep 22 '01.

An interesting blog that covers Norway issues and politics, as well as a recent post on the Belsan situation. Another good read from a foreign country. Huh. A two-fer today. Read this blog and you‘ll learn politics is the same all over. Pacing is good. Mostly medium-length posts. Prescription: Three times a week for three weeks, then as needed.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Ummmm Yeah. Did I Mention Ego? Part Six

Yes, but it’s been over a month.

I was looking at the behind the scenes stuff here and noticed someone visited from a Yahoo search for Daschle v Thune. Mr. Lauck runs that blog, and he does an excellent job. Rather than read past kiss-hiney posts I’ve written about it, just go read Daschle v Thune here. You go look now!

The ego part is this: The Daschle v Thune search brought me up as number 6 out of 19,300 links. Rarrgghhhh!!!!! Feel my power you 19,294 people below me!

Before I go too crazy, maybe I should look at the same search on Google. Not so good there. I first show up at number 210. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with Daschle v Thune. Google keyed in on my use of the letter “V” to describe the pattern I use when putting ketchup and mustard on a hamburger. I show up again at 213 with a post about haircuts. I cannot discern what connection Google made between this post and a search for Daschle v Thune. Ego crushed to normal proportions. Life goes on.

Response To My Venting

Read my e-mail to ATT here. Then come back.

Back? Good.

So ATT wrote me back. I’m not sure if my letter worked, but the reply is from Don from the ATT Executive E-mail Team. Does that count as second supervisor? Read Don’s email and tell me if it sounds like a template or form letter. It wasn’t very satisfying. I mainly emailed them because by the time I got the bill and tried to call, their customer service lines were closed. Anyway, everything is all cleared up, thanks to my local tin can and string provider, who were competent and effective in solving my problem. Don’s letter:

Dear Lord Floppington:

Thank you for contacting AT&T Online Customer Service.

In reference to your e-mail regarding the charges, I have reviewed your
account and our records indicate that the charges on the account are for
the Long Distance call plus other charges and taxes [who could have guessed that the charges on a long distance phone bill would be for long distance phone calls.--LF].

Also, our records indicate that you are with AT&T for the Long Distance

The current charges on your account are $10.30 [did I mention that this bill, covering July 26 to August 25 has exactly one long distance call on it? Or that the charge for the call was less than all the taxes and fees? Less than half of the $10.30?--LF].

However to cancel Long Distance services with AT&T, please call us at
1-800-222-0300 to cancel your service [yeah. You could include the hours that line is in operation, couldn‘t you Don?--LF]. Please keep in mind that AT&T is
continuing to develop new and exciting offers. To view our latest
offers [aka fiendish plans to screw you over.--LF] please access our website by visiting:

You are a valued customer [except I did not sign up for ATT this time or the other two times you screwed me over!--LF] and we appreciate your business [and we like to show it by constantly screwing you!--LF] . If you need
further assistance please contact us at:

You can also Ask Allie, our online virtual representative. Allie has
answers for many questions about billing, account management and even
plans and services [not true. Allie is evil. She‘s like a phone tree at any company, lots of runaround that never actually connects you to someone who can actually do something about the way ATT is screwing you over.--LF]. Just go to:

For your protection [for my protection? Is Don telling me ATT is going to put on a condom before they screw me over any more?--LF], AT&T is maintaining an original of this e-mail
transmission in a secure file.


AT&T Executive E-Mail Team

The sick part is, I'm so stupid I'm still using ATT Wireless.

Friday, September 03, 2004


“We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor.” Who Said It? Plus Updates!!!

I haven’t done a quote for a while. For whatever reason, my posting topics lately haven’t been sparking quotes in my mind. I especially love this one. I mean it really speaks to me as a person. It easily gets in my top ten most important works of western literature. It sure as heck beats “I’ve got your back.” But let’s get to the post.

I’ve written a lot about Wizbang, which happens to be a blog that supports Bush. I saw a post there today about Bill Clinton’s need for heart surgery. On most posts, I don’t read comments, but this time I did. I wondered if people would be saying mean things about Clinton.

I’ve often wondered to myself about those on the left. Many of them don’t just disagree with Bush; they often seem to have a visceral hatred of our president. This may be an unfair comparison, but I’ve often wondered if Bush dropped dead from a stroke, or was assassinated, what the reaction of those on the left would be. I was surprised at how easily I could envision them dancing in the streets, just like middle easterners danced in the streets after 9/11. I have never heard or read or seen anyone on the left expressing that attitude specifically about Bush’s death, but the things they do say, well as I said it makes me wonder. And that’s why I checked the Wizbang comments. I mean, we’re better than these guys, right?

Maybe the jury’s still out. In the comments you’ll find some funny posts, some serious posts and a couple of posts that were over the line for me. I did not vote for Clinton. I did not vote for Gore. I won’t be voting for Kerry. I don’t want any of them to hold any office ever again. No matter how much I disagree with their politics, they’re all human beings with friends and loved ones. I may be a total jerk, but I don’t go around hoping they drop dead, and I don’t take pleasure in Clinton’s health problems.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one who feels this way. By the time I read the post and comments, two others, Cool Tester and Bryan C., had already made these same points. You can find the Wizbang post here. You go look now!

You can give Bryan C. thanks for his citizenship and his good example at his blog here. You go look now!

You can tell Cool Tester the same thing by clicking the email link at the bottom of his post.

Our troops are pledging their lives, most of us are not. Many who are financially able pledge some part of their fortunes, many of us do not. But every single one of us can pledge sacred honor, and I submit that this is an obligation that every citizen has a duty to fulfill. No matter how much you disagree with his policies or his actions, Bill Clinton is a human being; hoping he dies or taking pleasure in his poor health isn’t sacred, and it sure isn’t honor. Hold yourself to a higher standard. No matter how bad your life is, no matter how poor your fortunes may be, your sacred honor is the one thing over which you have total control. Exercise it.

Actual Update: An example of someone who isn’t getting enough exercise can be found at the always excellent Daschle v Thune here. You go look now!

Actual Update II: AP prints a story about Bush and his supporters that is an outright lie. There is no other way to describe it. Don’t take my word for it. Powerline has all the goods. This story, and a string of other excellent posts (are these guys bloggers of the year yet?), can be found here. You go look now!

No sacred honor at AP, I guess.

Actual Update III: Captain’s Quarters is another excellent blog that is on the case. The Captain has been kind enough to provide email addresses of AP executives here. You go look now!

Then use them to write a nice email like this:

Mr. AP Executive,

I was wondering if you have time to dash off a little note [here I tried to show appreciation for his limited time to email a nobody like me, and to convey that I’m not a heavy trying to browbeat him by using the phrase “little note.“ --LF] explaining how those two false statements (in bold print below) made it into your story about Bush's speech at West Allis, Wisconsin:

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - President Bush (news - web sites) on Friday wished Bill Clinton (news - web sites) "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery." "He's is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally. Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them. Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath. Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and "the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president."

Audio of the event actually shows dismay at the news and cheers when Bush asked for prayers for Clinton's recovery. Later versions of the article have the fabricated [notice how I chose “fabricated” to emphasize this is a lie, not a mistake?--LF] lines removed. However, as I write this [here I give an “as of now” type statement. My goal is to admit he may have addressed this issue and I haven‘t seen it yet. Hopefully I look open-minded, give the impression that I believe he is the sort who does the right thing, and don’t give the impression that I think he is hiding something.--LF] , there has been no explanation or acknowledgement. The statements are not merely shaded or slanted, they are completely made up.

The New York Times eventually admitted Jayson Blair had lied, and he was fired. While I have not studied Blair's false articles [admitting I may be wrong, and I am open to convincing by new evidence. See how non-threatening I am, Mr. AP Executive?--LF], I feel comfortable asserting that whatever he lied about, his lies were not nearly as harmful to our nation's future as the lie your reporter [establishing distance between Mr. AP Executive and the reporter by using “your reporter” as opposed to “you”.--LF] told about Bush during an election campaign.

How many millions of people will see the lies in this article? How many will see an acknowledgement of this, should you decide to do so? Probably far less. Accurate, truthful reporting is critically important during any election [a final common ground, “we can at least agree on this” sort of statement.--LF].

Thank you for your time. I hope your undoubtedly busy schedule allows you to respond [have I got a tan? No, it‘s just a brown nose.--LF].

Blah Blah Blah

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