13. February 2012 · Comments Off on Building a Better Tomorrow · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, General Nonsense, Technology, The Funny


Found, courtesy of a comment thread on PJ Media.

13. December 2011 · Comments Off on Vader, did you know? · Categories: A Href, Fun and Games, Geekery, General, General Nonsense

A Star Wars take on a popular Christmas tune.  Very ingenious, I think


26. October 2011 · Comments Off on Don’t Remember Hearing About This… · Categories: A Href, General, General Nonsense

It’s been far too long since I”ve wandered over to Babalublog….


State Dept. uses $70,000 of our tax dollars to buy copies of Obama’s book, “Dreams From My Father“.

Money goes to book’s publisher.

Royalties go to Obama.

I know $70K is a drop in the bucket, but still…

22. October 2011 · Comments Off on So, Whither Occupy What Street? · Categories: Domestic, Fun and Games, General Nonsense, My Head Hurts, Stupidity, Tea Time

As a terribly scarred and battle-hardened first gen Tea Partier, I am following the fortunes of the OWS with mixed emotions; those motions mostly being a combination of disbelief and horror. Your leaderless insurgency just sort of decided to get together, camp out in a public place and make enough of a spectacle for the media and general public to take notice. Well, that’s a goal of sorts, but didn’t anyone do any serious advanced event planning? Organizing skilled volunteers with specific skill-sets to see to billeting, portapotties and their maintenance, security, law-enforcement coordination, clean-up, outreach and education? Nobody gave consideration about yourselves and your main message (whatever that message may actually be) from pervs, rapists, assorted unappetizing/potentially embarrassing freelance whackos and a collection of thievish and destructive blights on the activist community. Was there no guidance considered to urge protest participants to make nice with business owners and members of the general public who have varying degrees of concern about the space you have chosen to take over for your purposes? Was there any prior planning (which prevents piss-poor performance, as the old military saying goes) in advance of these momentous decisions to take to the streets? No confabulations, through social media, no focused meetings of intensely interested volunteers, no hours-long conference calls, thrashing out the basics?

Sigh – it appears that the answer to these questions is not.

(As an aside – you will never get 100% consensus among rational adults about anything. Settle for 2/3rd majority, respect the dissenting 1/3rd, and move on. Give way to the minority on something else: it’s called negotiation, my dears – or in vulgar parlance: horse-trading. Prioritize what is important and which you will not compromise upon, and work out what lesser principals you will trade off to achieve that. It’s what adults in a functioning democracy do. People who have real lives and real jobs, those who do not live the Great and Shining Cause 24/7, 365 days a year, will not have the patience or endurance for epic meetings deciding upon minutia . . . however, I have noticed that a certain kind of career activitist/community organizer does have stamina sufficient for meetings of the endless and ultimately pointless sort. I’d advise you to avoid that kind of person, but it probably is a bit too late. )

I do have to hand it to the Occupy Whatever Street – the major national news media are already giving the various protest events the warm sloppy tongue-bath, even to the point of serving your public relations functions. It took the SATP a good six months of outreach and conferences with various local TV news directors and newspaper editors to get any respect at all. But, as a sort-of PR professional, I have to say that this good-will towards the OWS probably will not last, and may already be shriveling. A long-established protest site in the heart of a big city can only be made to seem cool, subversive, and glamorous for so long, in the face of ongoing noise and vandalism, reported harassment of local residents and law-enforcement personnel, and just the general rat’s nest appearance of the average OWS protest camp. This will not go over well in the long run with ordinary, hard-working, peace-loving citizens, even those in general sympathy with some of the stated goals. There are a fair number of new reports indicating that your immediate neighbors in your various venues are growing sick and tired of your presence. This is something that you should pay attention to; bad optics, from a public affairs point of view. Which brings me to my next point –

A street protest is just a starting point for a truly broad-based and ground-up political movement. Getting together in a public space all those who are moved enough to be unhappy about things as they are . . . my dear people, that is only the first step. The next one is to go home, to fully understand the issues and the various options that would perhaps alleviate those of most concern, and to continue the outreach, the consultations, the epic convention calls, the even-more-epic meetings among the most dedicated and skilled – the formulation of email lists, the cultivation of donors . . . all of that. It’s much more of a job and not as attention-catching as a simple temporary event. It’s work, and it’s hard and dedicated work. It is not fun – hardly a romp in the park, if I may be so kind as to draw that analogy. It’s work. Hard work and it will almost always take a lot more temporal and psychic energy than you might think at first. Been there – done that, ever since working to resettle Vietnamese refugees in 1975-75.

Unless you are all willing to do that work, then you are merely dilettantes in protest, having a public temper-tantrum.

I remain most sincerely yours and this entry is posted as my best professional advice

Sgt. Mom

28. August 2011 · Comments Off on Things That Make You Start to Laugh Uncontrollably · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, The Funny

So there we were last Monday evening , sharpening up our awareness of odd things one might pick up at a yard sale or a thrift store for fifty cents or a dollar and which might later turn out to be worth a small or medium-sized fortune, by watching Antiques Road Show (US version) when this particular item was spotlighted for an appraisal. (Go ahead, take a look, you won’t regret it. I’ll wait.)
This episode was a repeat from 2009, actually – our local PBS station depends heavily on repeats, which is one reason I have never pledged to them. (The other being that they would never hire me, although as a retired AFRTS type, I was perfectly qualified for any job they had on offer. Deal with that, KLRN!)
And my daughter took one look at it: having picked up a considerable vocabulary of Brit-speak, through hanging out at various on-line fora, (as well as reading the Daily Mail Online every morning) she exclaimed,


It’s a family curse – an unexpectly ribald sense of humor, which I blame on my father — or the fact that both of us were some years in the military — not a place you go for refined comedy … because the pictured item immediatly called this novelty item to mind. I began to sing,

“Do your balls hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o’er your shoulder
like a Continental Soldier?”

I swear, we laughed, hysterically and uncontrollably all the way through the segment featuring this pot. We even laughed through the following segment, about a pretty piece of custom-made early 19th century jewelry.

One of my daughter’s career ambitions is to buy something at a yard sale, estate sale, thrift store, or even to pick it up from the curb, take it to the next Antiques Road Show and discover it’s worth . . . well, a whole lot.

A pot like that isn’t one of them, though. Although in this current economy, we could certainly make use of the amusement value.

(Cross-posted last week at Chicago Boyz)

14. August 2011 · Comments Off on Reissue of Memo: John Wayne is Dead and Arnie Has a Day Job · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, Rant, sarcasm, War

(In light of the current ruckus over President’s Obama’s very personal wet smooch from Hollywood regarding the proposed “get Osama” movie, I am reissuing my historic memo, from 2004 or so. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has the whole depressing, infuriating saga of the world’s longest proposed political advertisement, here.)
To: Providers of our Movie & TV Entertainment
From: Sgt Mom
Re: Lack of Spine and Relevant Movies

1. So here it has been nearly three years since 9/11, two years since the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, a year since the thunder run from the Kuwait border to Baghdad, and all we get from you is a TV movie, a couple of episodes from those few TV serials that do touch on matters military, and a two-hour partisan hack job creatively edited together from other people’s footage. Ummm … thanks, ever so much. Three years worth of drama, tragedy, duty, honor, sacrifice, courage and accomplishment, and all we get is our very own Lumpy Riefenstahl being drooled over by the French. Where is the Casablanca, So Proudly We Hail, Wake Island, They Were Expendable? My god, people, the dust had barely settled over the Bataan surrender, before the movie was in the theaters. You people live to tell stories— where are ours? What are we fighting for and why, who are our heroes and villains, our epics and victories?

2. And it’s not like other media people have been laying down on the job: writers, reporters, bloggers have been churning out stories by the cubic foot: the brave passengers taking back Flight 93, the stories of people who escaped the towers, and those who helped others escape, as well as those who ran in, the epic unbuilding of the Trade Center ruins. What about the exploits of the Special Forces in Afghanistan, on horseback in the mountains with a GPS, directing pinpoint raids on Taliban positions, the women who ran Afghanistans’ underground girls’ schools? What about Sgt Donald Walters, Lt. Brian Chontosh, the 3rd ID’s fight for the strong points at Larry, Curley and Moe and a dozen others. There’s enough materiel for the lighter side, too: Chief Wiggles, Major Pain’s pet turkey, the woman Marine who deployed pregnant and delivered her baby in a war zone, the various units who have managed to bring their adopted unit mascots back from the theater. (Do a google search, for heaven’s sake. If you can’t handle that, ask one of the interns to help.) The shelves at my local bookstore are pretty well stocked with current writings on the subject, memoirs, reports, thrillers and all. Some stories even have yet to be written; they are still ongoing, and even classified, but I note that did not stop the movie producers back then: they just consulted with experts and made something up, something inspiring and convincing.

3. Of course, actually dealing with a contemporary drama in the fight against Islamic fascism would mean you would have to actually come down out of Hollywood’s enchanted world, and actually, you know … speak to them. Ordinary people, ordinary, everyday people, who don’t have agents and personal trainers and nannies, and god help them, they don’t even vote for the right people, or take the correct political line. Some of them (gasp) are even military, and do for real what movies only pretend to do … and besides, they have hold to all these archaic ideals like honor, duty, and country. (Ohhh, cooties!)

4. And since even mentioning the Religion of Peace (TM) in connection with things like terrorism, mass-murder, and international plots for a new caliphate is a guarantee to bring CAIR and other fellow travelers seething and whining in your outer office … ohh, best not. Drag out those old villainous standby Nazis, or South American drug lords, even the odd far-right survivalist for your theatrical punch-up, secure in the knowledge that even if you piss off what few remains of them, at least they won’t be unleashing a fatwa on your lazy ass, or sending a suicide bomber into Mortens’. Just ignore the three large smoking holes in the ground; cover your eyes and pretend it away. Never happened, religion of peace, all about oil, la-la-lah, fingers in my ears, I can’t hear you.

5.To make movies about it all, is to have to come to grips with certain concepts; among them being the fact that we are all potential targets for the forces of aggressive Islamo-fascism, that it is not anything in particular which we have done to draw such animus, and that we are in this all together, and that we must win, for the consequences of not winning are not only unbearable for us all — but they would be very likely to adversely affect you, too. I would expect an industry dependent on the moods and fashions amongst the public at large to have a better feel for what would sell … but I guess denial is more comfortable, familiar space, Sept. 10th is what you know best.

6. Still, if you could pass a word to Lumpy Riefenstahl, about getting signed releases, for footage, interviews and newsprint. It would be the courteous gesture towards all the little people for whom he professes to care, and save a bit of trouble in the long run.

Sgt Mom

24. June 2010 · Comments Off on Not Only do I Miss George W. Bush… · Categories: General, General Nonsense, Politics

…but I quite honestly miss Bill Clinton.  At this rate, I should miss Jimmy Carter by the Fall Equinox.

Update:  I’m not sure whether I should be mad, flattered, or downright scared that I’m starting to think like Rush.

14. February 2010 · Comments Off on Memo: Monday Morning Miscellany · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, Stupidity, Tea Time

From: Sgt Mom
To: Various
Re: Some Apparently Inconvenient Home Truths

1. Oh, my – the case of the absent-minded professor, the irreproducible results and the ‘dog-that-ate-my-data.’ Yet another stake through the heart of man-made-global-warming, to add to the existing collection; I swear, in popular media culture this global-warming c**p has more lives than Freddy Kruger. Hey, aren’t we all ready to have a good long laugh at Al Gore, now? And can we at least have our incandescent light-bulbs back? Thanks, ever so.

2. Note – to aspiring politicians (I’m looking at you, aspiring candidate for governor of Texas Debra Medina, who was about to break out on the national media level, but flubbed a key question asked by Glenn Beck – who, I may add, was not exactly hostile media to fiscally conservative, independent and grassroots candidates, m’kay?) – there is only one acceptable answer to that particular question. That acceptable answer is “no.” Or “hell, no.” Although the Bush administration, and before that, the Carter administration, might have been able to put together the pieces of the intelligence puzzle a little more efficiently, or take more seriously the rantings and threats of a wierdy-beardy Islamist squatting in an Afghan cave – the US government most certainly did not coldly and callously enter into a labyrinthine plot to murder 5,000+ of their own citizens in one morning. If you well and truly believe that a conspiracy of that magnitude is doable, probable and technologically possible – than why do you chose to remain a citizen of such a monstrous country? And more to the point, if you believe in 9/11 as a government plot, why would you even want to become a part of the government? S**t, people, the X-Files was a fictional TV show, not a documentary – get a grip.

3. OK – one more time: the Tea Partiers are not knuckle-dragging, sister-humping, room-temperature IQ racists, and the more certain of you choose to bang on about this meme, the more you are blowing your credibility with the public, outside your own cozy little echo chamber that is. One more time – they are fiscal conservatives, small federal government, free market and libertarian. The Tea Partiers I know don’t give a good g***amn about the color of your skin, the color of the POTUS’ skin – and we wouldn’t care much about what Captain America thinks of us either, except that once a meme gets going, it’s a pain in the *** to uproot. See item 1, above.

Oh, yeah – and our protests are fun. Lots of smiling, friendly people, lots of laughter, music – kind of like a very laid-back neighborhood block party. And we clean up after ourselves, too.

4. And in reference to item 3 above? Yeah, for a while I went around explaining earnestly that using the word “teabagger” in a discussion of the Tea Party movement was kind of like using the word n*gger in starting off a discussion about civil rights – now? Eh, not so much. When I see it being used, I can be pretty sure the person using it is as aggressively ignorant as they are bigoted and rude, so I can safely disregard anything they have to say. Just by using it, they’ve already proved they have nothing much to say, so I can save valuable time.

5. I’d write a good scathing essay about Courtney Cook – except that it looks like pretty much most of the milblogosphere already seems to have taken some good hearty thwacks at her Salon essay. (Jeeze, what is it with Salon and Open Salon these days? Is there some kind of convention going on for shallow, narcissistic writers over there?) Passive-aggressive, self-absorbed and immature is no way to go through life, dear – just my opinion.

Sgt Mom

21. January 2010 · Comments Off on The Economy is so bad… · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Fun and Games, General, General Nonsense, Politics

(From another one of those emails going around)

The economy is so bad that:

I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

I ordered a burger at McDonald’s and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?”

CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.

McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.

Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.

The Mafia is laying off judges.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

Congress says they are looking into this Bernie Madoff scandal. Oh Great!! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!

And, finally…
I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Lifeline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

25. November 2009 · Comments Off on PT Barnum Was Right · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General, General Nonsense, Rant, Science!

There is a sucker born every moment, and who else should have known better, but the shameless old huckster? Even though it’s most probably one of his competitors who actually voiced that deathless observation, PT is the one that we remember today. Fleecing the credulous for a living is not a game which was thought up yesterday. People who desperately want to believe something are as common now as they were in the 19th century; they lined up then to gawk at the so-called Cardiff Giant, and now and again, there are enough poor gullible schmucks who answer a Nigerian spam email . . . and really think that someone with an uncertain grasp of vernacular English and indifferent punctuation skills is really going to transfer umpty-million dollars into their bank account. But belief in such improbabilities is not a crime, and does not generally do any more harm than to the believers’ pocketbook.

Part of this whole ‘free country’ thing is that you are free to believe in any such improbable thing you want to, like Megan Fox can act, or that Dan Brown can write a good book. Or as is sometimes the case – to not believe in something. I, for example, do not believe in global warming, or that sort of alleged global warming supposed to have been caused by human activity, the sort of global warming that calls down unexpected blizzards where-ere Al Gore doth appear, and causes polar bears to fall out of the sky. Never did, don’t and never will. As I have been tiresomely reminding certain of my friends over the years – it was warm enough in Roman times to grow wine grapes in Britain, and in the 10th century for European-style subsistence-farming in Greenland. It was also cool and wet enough for the Pueblo tribes in various places in the American southwest to do pretty much the same. Conversely, during the 16th and 17th centuries it was cold enough in some English winters for the Thames to freeze solid, at or above London. Once there were lush oases in the North African desert, and glaciers covering most of Europe and the North American continent . . . and all of that happened before human kind existed, or that our technologies, and our presence created nothing more than a gentle burp in the cosmos.

So, are we all clear now on the concept? The earth’s climate has changed in the past, sometimes quite drastically, it will change in future, and in fact the weather changes every darned minute. We don’t even have that much precise and reliable data about it anyway: systematic records are spotty at best, much before the 19th century. So, thinking human activity does much to change the climate of the Earth one way or the other? It’s a theory yet to be proven, and massaging, or vigorously pummeling the existing data, and not being able to provide enough of it for anyone else to reproduce the same result? There is a word for that – several ones, actually, but the one I have in mind is ‘opinion’. And dragooning scientific peers and rivals into seeming to share it by monstering or ostracizing them does the actual science no favors. (I would agree, in passing, that generally it is not good to foul our own nests, and to be tidy-minded and to refrain from spilling dangerous pollutants into the air, the earth, or the water; on the whole that has proved to be one of those Good Things that a concern for the environment has engendered over the last forty years.)

The assumption that mere human activity is having Dangerous World-wide Consequences And We Must Do All In Our Power To Ensure Perfect Entropy; that is marvelous to behold, how it became the trend of the moment, among public, the media, corporations and politicians . . . old PT Barnum thought only to fleece the gullible masses by exercising his own creativity! The suspicion about the Global Warmenists – that they were hoping to fleece the gullible by drawing governments into it, as well as corporations – or at the very least, score some more grant money and fat speaking fees for beating the good ol’ Global Warmest/Coolenist/Changiness Drum like a rented mule has been richly rewarded by the leaking of a body of emails from the institution most prominent in recent years for propagating the theory as if it was a matter of established fact. So, no surprise to me, the revelation that the smugly certain Global Warmenist/Coolenist/Changiness advocates were swapping e-mails about how to reward their friends and punish the insufficiently enthusiastic comrade-scientists. What is a bit of a surprise is how miserably like a bunch of middle-school snots deciding among themselves who is really cool enough to hang with the in-crowd that they appear . . . and alternately, how much like a cat trying to hide the crap on the kitchen floor by frantically scratching at the linoleum.

The theory of anthropomorphic global warning is certainly up for more discussion, and for more research . . . that is, honest research in the sense of the search for pure data, uncontaminated by any thought of arriving at the predestined conclusion, or corrupted by receiving the monetary benefits derived from magisterially insisting that it is settled, no more discussion. That’s what a theory is – and to bend the observations in order to serve a conclusion, which is what appears to have happened here – this is not good science. Or it isn’t the science that my dear old Dad taught to us. Science is never settled – what we think to be true is ever-evolving, and one of the first requirements is to be rigorously honest about the data. Fudging the data in order to provide the expedient and much-desired answer? That is not good science. And making social and political demands based on it is even less desirable.

15. October 2009 · Comments Off on I Love the Smell of Dripping Sarcasm in the Morning · Categories: Fun and Games, General, General Nonsense, sarcasm, The Funny

(From one of those e-mails going around, this one from the military broadcaster’s discussion group, a well-known nest of racists and terrorist sympathizers. This will no doubt get me on several watch lists as a person of doubleplusungoodness.)

Wonderful news! After astonishing the world by receiving the Nobel Peace Prize that was so richly deserved (according to the Democratic leadership and all right thinking people everywhere) Our Dear Leader Barack Hussein has been honored again; the Pentagon announced today that the wonderful light of greatness that is our glorious leader has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor! this after visiting a Marine Corps base last summer. General Sabot, the new military czar in charge of “honoring dear leaders” stated today “We know some reactionary types both in the civilian sector and those in the military (who unlike myself have had their decision making process clouded by actual combat experience) will not agree with this decision. Nevertheless, a careful review of a cellphone photo-capture of the presidents’ arrival clearly shows the light of virtue and really great greatness that is our savior and bringer of change, his majesty Barack (the peace bringer) He has the clear facial expressions of someone who is really going to do something really really brave and stuff!”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated: “It’s about time we gave this award to someone who deserves it!” she then expanded: “In the recent past we have given this medal to mostly Warmongering military types who followed the orders of the disgraced prior administration! These mostly Republican types received this award while committing horrible war crimes during the period when this was a illegal war. It is appropriate then that his majesty be given this honor as the war has magically become legal under our more enlightened leadership.” Col. Savemyarss, under-military czar of “sayin’ good stuff about our dear leader” stated: “We believe this award is a proper follow up to all those on the General Staff who are now saying that the new administrations’ war plans are enlightened and much better than the old plans of the prior administration and that it is better way to show our loyalty to the new administration since after almost a year we still have no idea what the new administrations war plan are yet. But don”t take that to mean that I think that a year is to long to come up with a plan! It’s just about right! and I am sure the plan will be like the greatest ever! As a matter of fact I hear there is a school in New Jersey that is writing a new song of praise for our dear leader based on the wonderful new plan we all know he is putting together! “and that you can quote me on!”

And it burns, it burns us, it does!

Yeah, I saw this at Protein Wisdom. In a perfect world, this would have been on Saturday Night Live. Alas, most funny and deeply sarcastic stuff is on YouTube, these days.

29. April 2009 · Comments Off on A Little Light Entertainment · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General, General Nonsense, That's Entertainment!

(These are lifted from an email sent out to the Yahoo group for FEN broadcasters. The following are alleged to be quotes from translated kung fu movies. No idea of they were really in movies or not; they just sounded pretty funny.)

1. I am about to choke you like a chicken!
2. Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.
3. Gun wounds again?
4. Same old rules…no eyes, no groin.
5. A normal person wouldn’t steal pituitaries.
6. Damn, I’ll burn you into a BBQ chicken!
7. Take my advice, or I’ll spank you without pants.
8. Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?
9. Quiet or I’ll blow your throat up.
10. You always use violence. I should’ve ordered glutinous rice chicken.
11. I’ll fire aimlessly if you don’t come out!
12. You daring lousy guy.
13. Beat him out of recognizable shape!
14. I have been scared shitless too much lately.
15. I got knife scars more than the number of your leg hairs!
16. Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected.
17. The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?
18. How can you use my intestines as a gift?
19. This will be of fine service for you, you bag of scum. I am sure you will not mind that I remove your manhoods and leave them out on the dessert flour for your aunts to eat.
20. Yah-hah, evil spider woman! I have captured you by the short rabbits and can now deliver you violently to your gynecologist for a thorough extermination.
21. Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our karate feets on some ass of the giant lizard person.
22. I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way.

28. January 2009 · Comments Off on I Hate That (090128) · Categories: General Nonsense

I hate when you almost run smack dab into a great big wad of dark first thing in the morning.  And they you practically kill yourself tripping on the bathroom rug trying to avoid it but you run right into anyways and of course, it’s just dark, so you go right through it and bump your shoulder on the wall.

This is my brain on cold medicine.  Any questions?

15. January 2009 · Comments Off on Another Country Heard From · Categories: European Disunion, General, General Nonsense, Israel & Palestine, Media Matters Not, sarcasm, The Funny

A send-up from Israel’s answer to “Saturday Night Live”, on BBC coverage of the current situation in Gaza

Link: the BBC coverage of Gaza - with subtitles

Found by degrees through Rantburg and Hot Air. Enjoy – it’s subtitled, which puts almost everyone in on the joke. Look, haven’t I been saying we ought to make fun of these guys … and this one makes fun of the Palestinians as well.

03. October 2008 · Comments Off on Just for Fun – 101 Uses for an Antique Tractor · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General Nonsense, Technology

(courtesy of Al Past, another IAG Member, and also cross-posted at the IAG Blog)

The juggernaut was-and still is, according to a quick internet search, an enormous, towering wagon, with the image of a locally-worshipped Indian deity enthroned at the very peak of it, under a vast canopy, which is taken out for a grand procession once yearly, pulled by devotees through the streets of the city. This is no quick spin around the block and back again, for this wagon is enormous, clumsy, and heavy. Picture Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, arriving to meet Mark Anthony, or the Persian emperor Darius grand entrance in 300; it’s an arresting image, which must be why it was used to indicate a certain sort of power and will.

And it also comes to my mind, increasingly often, this election season. Rather than picturing our very dear mainstream press creatures as deep-sea divers so far into the tank for Obama that they must have a couple of handlers and a pump feeding oxygen down to them, now I visualize the Obama campaign vehicle as a garganutuan, creaking juggernaut, pulled along by the masses of our media, along with lashings of the more loudmouthed and stupider popular entertainers. I visualize them straining at the chains, the ropes that bind them to the axles of this impossibly heavy vehicle as they tug it painfully onward, as they push at the back of it. They lean their shoulders to the wheels, willing the tottering structure ever onward towards the finishing line. They will accomplish this, of course – it is in the power of their will to move the One to glorious victory, and never mind those concepts – or those among them who fall under the wheels or are crushed against the side of a stone building as the juggernaut lurches briefly out of control.

I have honest to god never seen it as bad as this, as blatant – and I was paying attention during the last election. As hard as they could, the mainstream media couldn’t make the sow’s ear that was John Kerry into a presidential silk purse. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though – and they weren’t helped that he appeared to have all the actual, personal charm and charisma of Frank Burns and Eddie Haskell put together.

This time, they appear to have thrown any pretense at impartiality under the wheels. What can you think after seeing the storm of vicious editorials and outright fantasies about Governor Palin that somehow appeared out of the clear blue, upon being named to the VP seat? How can anyone not compare and contrast the energetic digging into her past, personal life and professional career in the last few weeks, with the elaborate disinterest in Senator Obama’s over the last 18 month and not begin to wonder if there is something just a little unbalanced about this sense of focus.

It’s not been unknown for members of the working press to have sentimental favorites – look, they about got down and drooled over John. F. Kennedy, and the deity knoweth some of the old press guys and gals still view him through a hagiographic haze. Similarly, Lyndon Johnson was so universally despised by the press and the intelligentsia that I (as a middle school kid just getting interested in that kind of stuff) rather felt sorry for him. Nixon was loathed, and Gerald Ford lampooned as a clumsy oaf – but in between all that, the serious media still were capable of some kind of detachment. Well, mostly – and mostly those in the middle of the road, not veering off onto the lunatic fringe. Which sense of impartiality still lingered long among us- but it just seems now the lunatic fringe is driving the whole thing. And that sense of even-handed detachment is what the media is losing, or has already lost this season. It’s gone; no one who has been paying attention the last couple of weeks, months, years – no one believes that mainstream media is neutral and independent any more. They are become the organ of state, or the state that they hope will be, once they drag the juggernaut over the finish line.

It’s as if NPR and the New York Times were about to morph into Pravda, or the state media in one of those third-world nations where el Presidente’s cousin is the head of the national press council – and no one dare print or broadcast a critical word about either of them. What a pity – for a lot of the last century, being a journalist in the mainstream American media was a respected profession . . . and now they are reduced to shoveling out propaganda and dragging the juggernaut along.

22. September 2008 · Comments Off on Oh, and For September 22d · Categories: General Nonsense

Happy Birthday Bilbo, where-ever you are.

19. September 2008 · Comments Off on Avast Me Hearties! · Categories: General Nonsense

…and stuff like that.

‘Tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day.


15. September 2008 · Comments Off on Maybe it’s not the camera… · Categories: General, General Nonsense

My mom spent my entire lifetime taking family pictures. And we have photo album after photo album filled with pictures of people missing either their heads or their feet.

Finally, in the early 90s, my mom invested a couple hundred dollars in a 35mm point & shoot camera (most money she ever spent on a camera). Oddly enough, the new, fancy camera still cut off people’s heads or feet in the pictures she took. Mom blamed the camera.

We laugh, of course, because it was obviously Mom who was cutting off the heads or feet of the folks in the picture, not the camera. It was all in how she framed her shots.

Reader’s Digest had a story once, in one of their humor sections… a famous photographer had some folks over for a slide-show presentation of his trip to somewhere exotic (Alaska, Antarctica, wherever). As the guests were leaving, someone’s wife said to him – “Those are wonderful photographs. You must have a very expensive camera.” He smiled and thanked her. A while later, he was invited to a dinner party at that family’s house. He attended, and enjoyed a delicious meal. As he was leaving, he said to the hostess: “That was a delicious dinner. You must have very expensive cookware.”

It’s absurd to think that fancy cookware is all that’s needed to make an excellent dinner. Why then, do folks think a fancy camera is all that’s needed for good photos? It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer. A skilled photographer can take excellent photos with a crappy camera. Granted, good photos are easier with a good camera, but it’s ultimately the skill of the photographer that counts.

Case in point… for years, I had a 2.1mp digital camera. Folks would talk about how important it was to have higher megapixels, and faster shutter speeds, less lag between the time you click the shutter button and when the picture is actually taken. People would talk about how they missed shots because their camera wasn’t fast enough. And they needed more megapixels so they could print bigger pictures, because a 2.1mp camera just can’t give you a good 8×10 picture.

Now, I’m not against better cameras, don’t get me wrong. But I printed many good quality 8×10 photos from my 2.1mp camera. And I got many good action shots (in bright light) from my impossibly slow camera.

Because I knew how to take pictures. I had learned over the years, by practice and by reading everything I could get my hands on about the art of picture-making.

If you want an action shot, you don’t wait until the last minute to try and get it. You anticipate it. If your camera is slow, then not only do you anticipate where the action will be, you half-press the shutter button to set the focus, and keep it there until the action happens.

For instance, each of these photos was taken with my very old, very slow, 2.1mp camera, using the method I just mentioned:

Every time I’m on a message board and I see someone post “Wow, great pictures! What kind of camera do you have?” I cringe, because asking that question implies that the CAMERA is the reason the photos are so good, not the photographer. If they’re asking me, I smile politely and answer the question. Maybe they’re in the market for a new camera, after all.

But I know for a fact that there are people in this world who think that if they can only buy the correct camera, all their picture taking problems will be solved. And it’s NOT true. A camera is only a tool, not a miracle-machine. It’s up to the person using the tool to create the good picture.

UPDATE: The camera I used for the above pics, as well as my current camera both have a “fully manual” mode. My original digicam was an Olympus C2100-UZ (ultra zoom). Lens by Canon, 10x Optical zoom, 2.1mp. And yet I printed some very nice 8×10 pics (and 11×17, as well) with it. A lot of the print quality rests in the processing of the photo before sending it off to print, in my opinion.

My current is a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ20. Leica lens, 5mp, 10x optical zoom (maybe 12x? Don’t remember off-hand). It supports additional lenses/filters, has a hot-shoe for external flash, costs 1/2 to 1/3 what a dSLR would have cost me at the time, and I don’t have to lug around a bunch of lenses. My back loves it. Yeah, I’d love to have the newer FZ-whatever, with slightly shorter lag-times, and more ISO equivalencies (mine sucks at low-light shooting), but this one is good enough for now.

I have another Panasonic that I take on business trips – it fits in my backpack or my pocket, and does what I need. It’s their Lumix TZ-1. Lens by Leica, 10x optical zoom, 5mp.

I won’t invest in a dSLR until I’m ready to go back to the world of manual shooting, and I’ve really enjoyed using the auto feature and letting my camera do the thinking for me. But my FZ20 supports fully manual mode, so as long as it’s doing what I need, why change it?

23. July 2008 · Comments Off on Well, here’s a first (and a lesson learned) · Categories: Domestic, Fun and Games, General, General Nonsense, Home Front, sarcasm

So I get an email from a former classmate today. That, in itself, is not unusual. This classmate periodically forwards emails to me, thinking that I agree with political viewpoint and will enjoy them. She’s usually fairly correct in that assumption. Unfortunately, she also seems to be one of those people who automatically assume that anything she reads on the internet or that gets forwarded to her from a friend is incontrovertibly true.

On that, we disagree. I’m a big fan of Snopes.com, and a firm believer in checking the flotsam and jetsam of my inbox before sending it on to others. And it irritates me that others don’t do the same.

Usually, I can simply ignore the bazillion forwarded items, but sometimes I just get an itch to do a public service and let folks know that no matter how much they want it to be true, Barack Obama is not the child of the anti-christ (or the devil himself), and the little boy in the UK is not still on his deathbed and trying to set a guinness world record for number of greeting cards received (if, indeed, he ever was). When this itch strikes, it’s usually not enough for me to simply reply to the individual who forwarded the email to me and her 5000 closest friends.

Not this time. Maybe it’s because I had a bad day at work today, or maybe it’s exhaustion, or the summer heat/humidity affecting my brain, but this time, I chose to “reply all” and let the entire recipient list of that email know that snopes calls it false.

Oh, maybe I should describe today’s email in more detail? Sure. More »

18. June 2008 · Comments Off on Summer in Texas has arrived!! · Categories: Domestic, General Nonsense, Local, The Funny

I got this HILARIOUS e-mail from a friend, it was too good and too funny to pass up putting it here:

Dear Diary:
June 10th:
Just moved to Texas ! Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! It is beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14th:
Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I’m turning into a sun worshipper.

June 30th:
Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing the lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10th:
The temperature hasn’t been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least, it’s kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th:
Fell asleep by the community pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body). Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.

July 20th:
I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag, then popped like a water balloon. The car now smells like Kibbles and $hits. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat. Good ol’ Mr. Sun strikes again.

July 25th:
The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it’s hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th:
Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now. $225,000 house and I can’t even go inside. Lomita is the lucky one. Why did I ever come here?

Aug. 4th:
It’s 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

Aug. 8th:
If another wise a$$ cracks, ‘Hot enough for you today?’ I’m going to strangle him… D@mn heat. By the time I get to work, the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

Aug. 9th:
Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when I sat on the seats in the car, I thought my a$$ was on fire. My skin melted to the seat. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and a$$ . . . Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried a$$, and baked cat.

Aug 10th:
The weather report might as well be a d@mn recording. Hot and sunny…Hot and sunny…Hot and sunny…It’s been too hot to do $hit for 2 d@mn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t it ever rain in this d@mn state? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can’t live in this d@mn heat.

Welcome to HELL! Temperature got to 115 today. Cactus are dead. Forgot to crack the window and blew the d@mn windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and guess what he asked me??? ‘Hot enough for you today?’ My sister had to spend $1,500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking Texas ..What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here?? Will write later to let you know how the trial goes…

07. June 2008 · Comments Off on Late To Her Own Funeral · Categories: General Nonsense, Politics

Its 12:40 Eastern Time. Weve had the TV on news for the past 45 minutes or sowaiting for Hillarys concession speechwhich was scheduled for 12:00 Eastern. Ya know, if it wasnt so typical, I might be insulted. If I was one of her supporters, I would be insulted. Pardon the title, but its true. I think this may be the end of the Clintons.

12:44her name is announced.

12:45, she takes the podium.

12:46 she finally starts talking.

Shes gratefulyadda yadda yadda. Young peoplebig young cheer. Old peoplecough, wheeze, get off my lawn.

18 Millionbig cheer.

Endorsing Baraksmaller cheer, lots of boooooos.

Socialist agendalots of cheers.

Billlots of cheers.

We need a Democratlots of cheers.

YES WE CAN!!! Some cheers, less booooos.

Talking points as to why we need to help Barak Obama get elected President. Some of her supporters are definitely not buying it.

All in all one of the best speeches I’ve heard her give, and remember, I’m not a fan. I’m with the analysts though, I don’t think she’s convinced all of her supporters. I give her props for not mentioning the Vice Presidency and for laying out that the dems need to unify if they’re going to win.

03. June 2008 · Comments Off on Can’t…Stop…Laughing · Categories: General Nonsense

I spent a bit of time today visiting some old blogs that I stopped reading in the last year. Just seeing if there was anything funny or new around. Umm…not much.

But this pic over at KisP has me OMFG ROFLMAO. I’ll have to pass this on to Kate.

31. May 2008 · Comments Off on Steal the Symbol · Categories: General Nonsense, Rant

When is a scarf not a scarf? Apparently when it’s a keffiyeh. I know, I know, I said I was done reading Michelle Malkin over a year ago and seriously? I haven’t. But I do read Venomous Kate regularly and her post led me to MM’s. Apparently Charles Johnson of LGF was the first to “report” on this serious breech of national security, but I only read him when I’m bored and I’m looking for someone or something to be pissed off about. Frankly with my blood pressure, reading him would violate my Doctor’s and Beautiful Wife’s orders.

When I first heard about this on the news all I could think was, “Rachel Ray? A Terrorist Sympathizer? Give me a freakin’ break!” She needs to be arrested for being overly perky, but I’m fairly certain that she didn’t wake up that day thinking, “I’m going to send a message of support to our Palestinian brothers and sisters while I try to help Duncan Donuts sell some coffee, maybe I’ll get the Arafat secret recipe for falafel.” It wasn’t until I read Kate’s post that I discovered it was Johnson and Malkin who “got the word out.”

Malkin and Johnson’s point seems to be that if Ray and Dunkin Donuts had no idea about the political overtones of wearing a keffiyeh, they darn well should have and being “clueless” about the symbolism was just as bad. At least that’s what I got out of it.

Sigh. Excuse me while I go pound my head on a wall for about 15 minutes.


What’s my point? Well, you all know that I’m not a fan of radical islam. It’s what I consider a “Bad Thing.” But I think we have enough real things to be worried about without having to look at every piece of minutiae that might be part of a terrorist plot. Instead of “exposing” what for some is just a fashion accessory as the insidious symbol of Palestinian terrorism it REALLY is, steal the symbol.

Ya see, in my mind, if folks who aren’t terrorist sympathizers choose to wear a keffiyeh because, oh, I don’t know, they think it’s a cool scarf that goes well with their outfit, then it stops meaning what the terrorists and Gladys Kravitz’s of the world want it to mean. It takes the power out of it.

Think about it. If designers started making kaffiyehs with little stars of David? Maybe with American Flags? Make them in red, white and blue? Car companies could put their logos on them. Cafe Press could sell them with Little Green Footballs all over them, or maybe tiny pictures of Ronald Reagan. Or even…I don’t know…have a cooking celebrity with no ties to any terrorist organization wear one when she’s selling coffee for Dunkin Donuts. Liberals would start hating them it because now it’s a symbol of U.S. capitalism instead of Palestinian unity. Conservatives could start wearing them with pride. I’d like to get one with the Starbucks Mermaid all over it because it would offend people that don’t know a mermaid when they see one.

30. May 2008 · Comments Off on SNIRK! · Categories: Fun With Islam, General Nonsense, Iran, Politics

Robert Ferrigno on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Usually I hope that Robert is just kidding. In this case, I hope he’s not.

30. May 2008 · Comments Off on Why I’m Not In Advertising (080530) · Categories: General Nonsense

Sung to the tune of R.E.M.’s “The One”

This one goes out to the one I love

This one goes out to the one I left behind

A simple prop, to occupy my time

This one goes out to the one I love

Viaaaaaaagraaaaaaa, viaaaaaagraaaaaa.

It came to me while driving on the way home from work.