Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain/Palin '08!

I gotta say, McCain's choice of Michael Palin for his running mate is a bit confusing for me.

On the one hand, Palin can do diabolical with the best of them:

And diabolical is certainly in line with a McCain presidency. We have the great example of Dick Cheney to live up to, people!

On the other hand, I'm not even sure if Michael Palin can run for Vice President, being born in Britain and all.

... Wait, what?

Oh, not Michael Palin. That's less confusing. So who is it?


Who's Sarah Palin?

Governor of where? Alaska?

... Never heard of it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Will They Listen To?

I guess one of the things that I am concerned about with this election is the inexperience of every candidate involved. None of them has been president before. Hillary was First Lady, and she's married to a former President, so I would guess that she would adapt more easily to the pressures and demands, especially since she's got Bill right there.

I would hope that Obama is going to actively ask Big Dog for advice during at least the first year of his presidency. His campaign's repeated dismissal of the Old Coalition of the Democratic Party, and the continued arguments of his supporters that we vocal Hillary supporters are hurting Obama's chances and furthering the media's narrative of a split in the party, don't reassure me that Obama's going to be asking Bill for much advice. I know that's irrational -- that Obama certainly can't control the opinions of his supporters -- but it hasn't died down since Hillary suspended her campaign, Obama's praiseful speechifying about Clinton notwithstanding. Something's certainly keeping it agitated.

On the other hand, should McCain get in and ask former presidents for advice, he's got 41 and 43, neither of them stellar presidents, and one of them actively malicious towards the rest of the world. If we don't want them to continue in power, it looks like Obama is the only game in town.

I just wish he'd listen to us.

Oh God

We got a DVD in the mail a couple days ago, here at the office. I didn't open the package because the return label read "Citizens Commission on Human Rights" and I thought it would be a project to raise awareness of the homeless or starving kids in Africa; not something we could do much about with our current level of cash flow.

So it sat on my desk for a couple days until this morning, when I in a moment of idleness tore it open and tipped it up.

Out fell Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.

(What's up with that gunsight? "Ima shoot the president, and I'll practice on these pictures of Benjamin Franklin I've got lying around in my abbatoir!" Oh, hey, let's just add some stock photos of Arlen National Cemetery! Yeah, death and money! That gets our point across!)

This is a Scientologist screed, people. I don't know why they'd send us one, gratis, but I've no interest in watching something so full of smears (David, on the other hand, promised to watch and point and laugh). They probably want us to soften up to all of the wonderful sue-my-psychiatrist-because-I'm-not-well-after-three-visits cases we haven't been getting lately.

The Scientologists must think One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is depicting conditions in modern, state-of-the-art psychiatric institutes.

Anyway, the Scientologists split their church back in the 80s to avoid having to pay almost $100 million dollars in lawsuits. Since the Church of Scientology was the entity being sued, they founded dozens of other companies, with virtually no mention of Scientology, and spread the money around to them, so they could claim the Church was almost broke and thus avoid paying anything much.

You'd think all those Thetans inside 'em would teach 'em how to be honest and forthright.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary Clinton, Cheerleader

Hillary Clinton is slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention tonight. She has been a vocal supporter of Barack Obama ever since she suspended her campaign back in early June. She's been asking her supporters to vote for Obama at almost every public appearance she has made since then.

He won't let her onto the team, in fact he seems to scorn her and her legacy, but he seems to expect her to be enthusiastic and get people to support him. Is that the definition of a cheerleader, or what?

There is this seeming expectation among the Obama camp that everything will be all right after she speaks tonight, that all of her supporters will immediately come over to Obama's side, like all they were waiting for was permission (or orders) from Clinton. Well, great. She's given us permission (or orders) in every speech she's given these last three months. If that would have solved the problem, it would have done it by now.

I haven't seen a great outpouring of enthusiasm for Obama, have you? The fact that he's barely leading McCain in the polls seems to indicate that a lot of the country is unhappy with him -- not to the point where they'd vote for McCain, but to the point where they'd abstain or vote for a third party. If enough of them abstain, or cast their votes for someone other than Obama, then Obama will not win this fall.

And because of that expectation that Clinton's words tonight will make everything better, should McCain become 44, who do you think is going to be blamed for Obama's loss? If you said "Hillary Clinton," give yourself a pony!

An Obama loss will be bitter enough, but if people in their frustration and disappointment blame Hillary, that would just be infuriating. If the party is divided now, how much more fractured would it become if it turns out people can't let Obama win or lose on his own, and have to shift the blame onto Clinton? Are the cheerleaders blamed when the football team doesn't win the championship?

For further thoughts, please read this column by Marie Cocco, "Clinton's Thankless Job," about how a person can be forbidden to win a leadership role, yet still be expected to do a lot of work.




... Um, wait ...

Crud! Saturday Night Live's classic Kiwi Trappers sketch doesn't seem to be on YouTube, and I can't even find a still image on Google.

So let me jar your memories here:


Monday, August 25, 2008




Sunday, August 24, 2008

They Were Right

Tell your congregations ... they were right!

Watch at Youtube.

Tip of the ol' miter to Aaron Williams.

Friday, August 22, 2008


(c) 2008 SAP, from Shakespeare's Sister.

The amount to which Joe Lieberman is involved in this campaign is aggravating.

I keep reminding myself that ol' I's Independent Now is not worth my anger. I can go as far as aggravation, but that's all he deserves.

Does anyone remember what narratives the media had about Loserman back in 2000? 'Cause if this ends up McCain-Leiberman I think we are justified in dusting them off. I know Campaign 2000 was all about "Gore's a liar and he's a fake and he sighs too loud!" but surely some vituperation was aimed at Holy Joe.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toffee Nugget

From a rare, recently-unearthed antique box of Whitman's:

Few men dare ask the question "What is toffee, exactly?" All those who have investigated this substance are now either dead or insane.

(c) 1920 H. P. Lovecraft.

Go read, as it is so often suggested on the Toobz.

Link via Aaron Williams.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Friday Pictures

Captured in the wild, from

Usually you see pictures of yellow ducklings. This one is quite a bit bigger than a hatchling, but not quite full-grown.

I have no idea. Just don't even ask.

The Goggles

They do nothing!

Via Shakespeare's Sister -- Patriotic Image of the Day.

Blast from the Past


Via Pundit Kitchen.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dear Clients

I appreciate that your time is precious. I appreciate that a lot of the time, all these questions that we're required to answer by law are bullshit. No, I don't know why they want to know about that thing in first grade with the noodles, except they are legally empowered to ask and pin us to the wall if we fail to answer.

I do appreciate that sometimes you have to come all the way from another state to bring us the materials. I know that mailing rates are absurdly high.

Having said all that,

Please do not wonder why we don't know about the noodles.

Please do not tell us we have all of this information, when in fact we do not actually have your tax returns from the past 10 years.

Please do not state that apparently we are too lazy to do all of this stuff ourselves, and wonder why you paid us in the meantime when you actually haven't, and threaten to go to another lawyer if we ask you one more stupid question.

And if, somehow, you can't avoid doing all of those things above, please make sure you actually have given us everything we need to answer these questions, because we can't read your mind and tell what you've done for a living the past ten years.

Thank you.


Your Friendly Neighborhood Office Manager.


oh                 CARP
see more crazy cat pics

They're all over Watt's Bar Lake, and their numbers are getting stronger. I've never seen one actually catch a fish, though, just flying back to the nest with whatever they've snagged.


View at Youtube here.

Our friends, John and Sara, went to see Stardust while it was in theaters. I remember John expressed his concern to me that it wasn't particularly appropriate for children, despite being a children's movie. I didn't explain to him at the time the difference between Neil Gaiman's fairy tales and those of the Brothers Grimm. Neil's fairy tales aren't for children. You can tell because they don't feature all sorts of grisly violence and bloody vengeance, but they do address things like existentialism and sexual orientation. I wish I had told him that.

While you're at YouTube, check out this Coraline sneak peek and Tori Amos' take on Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I can type a lot more accurately and faster if I am not looking at the screen while I'm doing it.


I think perhaps the reading portions of my brain interrupt the typing portions of my brain. So bits of my brain are pulling Scrabble tiles out of the bag and other bits are reading out "What do you get if you multiply ... ?" while yet third portions are noting that I've spelled Libray with one R again.

And if I watch the beige wall or the clock or anything other than the screen or my hands, I get along much better. Probably because I'm concentrating more attention on which keys my hands are actually touching. If I concentrate too hard, though, I get into the centipede's dilemma and get all fouled up. So there's a trick to it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dennis Crane '08!

For President:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

For Vice President, perhaps he could select Megatron of the Transformers, as voiced by Leonard Nimoy (scroll all the way down).

Friday, August 8, 2008


Pisa delivree.       Avon caling.  Landshark.
see more crazy cat pics

I can't find video of the Land Shark sketch anywhere on YouTube, so just imagine that I put up a video with a linky, okay?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Read this, and there will be cake.

The Nation has an open letter to Barack Obama, urging him to relinquish his centrist stance and adopt a progressive agenda. Right now it's up to 18,500 signatures, and they'll be collecting signatures right up until the start of the Democratic convention. They'll deliver the letter to him on the first day.

Go here to read and sign this letter.

And now, the cake:

Hey, I never said there would be good cake.

The letter via. The cake via.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor

It has become a bit of a gag on the Intarwebz lately to suggest that the Fellowship of the Ring should have just flown over Mt. Doom on the Eagles so Frodo could drop the ring in. That would have saved six books' worth of angst and many lives, not least of them Boromir's. Just some background for this picture:

No, No, I said Rohan...  Not Mordor!
see more crazy cat pics

And then there's this one:

Bear is the host and star of the Discovery Channel's program Man vs. Wild. He tends to parachute into remote locations with a cameraman and walk to civilization, or survive for a certain period. It's an excuse to film in Africa, the Pacific Islands, and other locations around the world. I think perhaps there is also a conscious effort to exploit the Eww factor. The one episode I have seen dropped him in Kenya and he walked out, finding water and sustenance where he could, and it seemed like he went for the grossest solutions he could find.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Under Pressure

We went to a potluck dinner at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church yesterday evening, in response to the shooting at the Tennessee Valley UUC. A lot of people from UUCs around the region were in attendance, as well as people from other churches. Despite the heavy crowd, Linda, Isabel and I were able to get dinner and find seats at a table. Despite sitting still, we somehow managed to mingle, and I would like to think we contributed to a sense of community that helped people affected by the shooting.

Afterwards, we attended a Vespers ceremony, the meat of which was an invitation to anyone who felt it necessary to come up to the altar, light a candle, and say a few words about how they felt and what they hoped for, to which the congregation would respond "You are not alone." Fifteen or twenty people went up. Some of them were in tears. Some of them were very calm. All of them were told they were not alone. The one who evoked the largest response from me was the penultimate one, a woman with a babe in arms, who came up and lit a candle.

"I miss my aunt," she said, "And I'm thankful for what everyone has been doing these last couple of days, for everyone who's come to the house and helped out." Then she paused, and her face collapsed, and she lost her composure. It was a couple seconds before she could go on. "But I'm more thankful for what Jesus did for me on the cross. I have found hope at the foot of the cross. That's the only place you're going to find it, it's not in yourselves, it's at the foot of the cross."

There was no immediate reaction, apart from the murmur of "you are not alone." No one stood up to argue with her, or anything. In fact, the only objections I heard about it came after the congregation was filing out of the sanctum, and then only from Linda and Isabel. We agreed that it was a shame that this woman felt pressured to witness for Christ, even in the middle of her grief.

It must be horrible, living with the belief that your beloved aunt is in trouble because she went to the wrong church. It can only be made worse by the feeling that you must tell people about Jesus, come hell or high water, or you yourself might be in trouble.