Jul/07
2005

Show some respect

Now, you all know I work shift work. Or at least most of you do. Normally there are 3 people on each shift. Due to the 4th of July holiday; each member gets a floating day off to compensate us for having to work on the 4th. So, tonight, one of the guys (let’s call him Tom) on my shift was scheduled to take his floating day off. Now, the remaining member of my team (call him Dick), decided that he didn’t feel like working today. So he tried to call out *coughcough*sick*coughcough*. He was informed that because a single person is incapable of doing the job of 3 people, he was required to come in, or find a substitute. That policy sucks, I admit, but that’s the way of it. Especially since his ass was faking and everyone could tell. So, Dick manages to do some fast talking and talked one of the new guys on the day shift into staying late. Dick said he’d be in at 11pm, which meant that Mr. Day Shift had to work 15 straight hours. So, 11pm rolls around. No Dick. So, I see one of my other coworkers on AIM, and ask him to help out for an hour or so until Dick finally showed up. That way Mr. Day Shift could go home. The guy was very cool about it and agreed. Bonus points. At midnight, Dick was still being a dick and hadn’t shown up yet. So I started calling around. Tried his house. His mother’s house. And finally his ex-wife’s house. Found him. He was “just getting ready to head out the door”. Gee, how nice. An hour after you’re supposed to show up, you’re getting ready to go. And it’s only a 45 minute drive for you to get to work. How thoughtful. What the fuck people. When you work a job that requires you to show up on time so that other people can go home, you need to mother-fucking show up on time. Fucking Dick.
Jul/06
2005
''We are deeply concerned that an investigation intended to uncover potential wrongdoing by U.S. government officials has instead sent a terrible message to the rest of the world. Repressive regimes who routinely jail journalists have already used this case to justify their actions.'' -- Ann Cooper, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. ''If reporters can be used as information pipelines to government authorities, that will chill their ability to do their jobs and it could, in some circumstances, put them in harm's way. This action imperils not only the press, but the rights of ordinary citizens.'' -- Jeff Bruce, editor of the Dayton Daily News.
Jul/05
2005
''Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality -- no one in America is...'' - Federal Prosecutor and Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in submitting a brief demanding the Times reporter testify before a Grand Jury regarding the leak of a CIA Officers identity.
Jul/05
2005
That purpose being to indicate that the rider is a complete moron. For those not familiar with the old wives tale, the saying goes: "Loud Pipes Save Lives". This has been replaced with the more correct phrase amongst riders with an IQ over 50: "Loud Pipes Reduce Rights". The argument on one side being that the loud pipes help awareness of an oncoming motorcycle versus the argument that loud pipes do nothing to help awareness, they only piss people off and get you arrested. First let's take a quick jaunt into the merry land of science. Who here has heard of the Doppler Effect? Well, ok, maybe you had to actually graduate high school to be familiar with the term, but still. "The apparent change in wavelength of sound or light caused by the motion of the source, observer or both." This means that if a source is travelling, the sound will be compressed as it nears the listener and then stretched as it passes by. Virtually everyone alive has experienced this phenomena. So if I'm a hapless pedestrian on the sidewalk, I'm assaulted for a short time as the bike approaches, and for an annoyingly long time after. But really other than letting the person on the street know it's time to stick his fingers in his ears and scrunch up his face it doesn't serve any safety purpose whatsoever. Pedestrians are hardly ever the cause of serious motorcycle accidents. Trust me, I ride. People have yet to launch themselves off the sidewalk, from behind bushes and mailboxes and streetsigns at me.... and I have a stock exhaust on my bike too. Nope them pesky pedestrians stay on the sidewalk, not an issue. Sloppy or unsafe riding also isn't mitigated by loud pipes. That's a pretty large cause of accidents. A loud pipe never moved a tree, swept away the sand or straightened a curve, trust me with this. So what's left... other vehicles right? The whole premise is that other vehicles will hear the motorcycle coming and use caution. ROFL. Ok, well - for starters lets say they have their windows open and A/C off. They aren't listening to music or on a cell phone either. They're also moving, coming towards the motorcycle, again there's the Doppler effect - which means that by the time the sound actually reaches the them, there's maybe a second or two before the motorcycle appears because they're moving towards each other. No time to react. If they're moving to an intersection, again, because both the sound and the listener are moving, there's very little time to identify where the source is in relation to their position. The point here is that the whole 'Loud Pipes' theory does very little in terms of alerting someone in a moving vehicle - the very type of accident situation that most seasoned cyclists expect. On the other hand what it DOES do is piss people off. The residents in the sleepy town you want to take a nice drive through. The person in the really really large SUV right behind them. It makes laws tougher and enforcement harder on those who DO ride with stock exhaust. Look, if you want to ruin your own hearing, that's just great. But the fact is loud pipes is just a sign that you're too stupid to understand that riding isn't about image - it's about riding. And if you don't know what I mean, then sell the bike, you're already so far behind the clue ball you're never going to catch up.
Jul/05
2005
I've never had to choke back the vomit reflex until yesterday. There was a trashcan left in the sun by the previous occupant of my new home. The trashcan contained the contents of the 'fridge from 5 or 6 days before. The stench was so overpowering, that I pulled the can to the back alley and attempted to move its loose contents into actual bags in order to deter the flies and the smell. At one moment, I forgot myself and took a breath through my nose. It was enough to make me choke. I found a an ice scraper in the garage to use as my shovel. Amidst the rotting fruit and meat were half a dozen solied rags. As the rags came tumbling, they deposited the seed of their bountiful folds - to send their bounty wriggling and pouring into the loose gravel drive. Maggots. Twisting and seething with a blind impulse fired by what small nerve endings suffice as a brain, the writhing larvae festered at the lip of the can as I scooped what I could into several bags - to be tightly sealed and set far away. The real kicker of this is that there was a roll of trashbags sitting right next to this pit of putrid decay. The ice scraper found its way to the garbage with the rest of the trash.
Jul/01
2005
So I commute every day, and, as traffic crawls along I see at the intersection of two major routes a roadside memorial. Old, rusted, bits of tattered cloth and faded plastic flowers. It annoys me. People died all over the fucking globe. If we had to put up a marker every damn place someone bit it there would be no goddamn room to move. What makes this spot more special to one person who died on it than another? Furthermore, why the fuck do you think that I need to know that your friend/relative died in that spot? And let's be honest, it's not really THAT spot is it? It was 12' to 20' away on the road, or at the hospital, or in the ambulance. Cemeteries are the place for you to remember your dead, privately. It's pretty apparent from the disrepair that your dedication to the deceased has lapsed, along with the faded plastic and shredded cloth. One creative asshole decided to put up a 3' metal cross, covered in reflective tape on the left lane. Yeah that was great. As you drove down the road at night this massive, white cross suddenly jumped out at you, distracting, blinding. It lasted maybe 2-3 weeks. It dissapeared. Hopefully the highway maintenance people took it away. It comes down to the point that your memorial is an unwanted intrusion on my awareness and that the land you've decided to claim is not yours. Maybe your dead person caused the accident. Maybe they were drunk, maybe they were just a really shitty driver, in a fit of road rage or just oblivious. I don't know, I don't care, I shouldn't have to. Highway maintenance should make a point to remove every and all roadside tributes, keep your pain to yourselves and spare us the crap - the world does NOT care.
Jun/30
2005
.. don't do it at all. I can't take it anymore. In decades past, music had a special quality. There have been few songs in recent memory that have captured that flare, that spark, that sense of wonder. Today's music, as the song says, ain't got the same soul. Now, I don't fault our modern music. Some of it I like. Some of it I don't. Some of it took lots of talent to create. Some took 10 minutes and 3 chords. But what really gets me is the disrespect some musicians have for the older music. Or at the least, the perceived disrespect given the manner in which they cover those beloved songs. Some artists cover songs and totally mutilate them. It's a sin what they do to these cherished songs. Let me give you some examples to show you what I mean. Madonna's remake of 'American Pie'. Horrid. Britney's remake of 'Satisfaction'? Bad beyond words. Jessica Simpson's latest effort of 'These Boots are Made for Walking'. Wretched. Fiona Apple's remake of 'Across the Universe'. Eh mediocre at best. Hillary Duff's version of "My generation (the Who, not Limp Bizkit), Cake's version of 'I Will Survive', Avril Lavigne trying to do 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'? Bad, bad, and worse. And the grand finale A Perfect Circle daring to touch 'Imagine'. As if. In some of these cases, the artists are simple incapable of doing the song justice. In others, they should just be ashamed of themselves for such feeble attempts. Now, this doesn't mean I don't like a good cover. Nor do I think that the cover needs to sound just like the original. I mean, list to the Animal's cover of 'The House of the Rising Sun'. It's poetry in motion. But it doesn't sound anything like its predecessors. 'Turn the Page' by Metallica was decent. Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt' is breathtaking. Opinions may very on how good a cover is, but some of them are just horrific. As an artist, if you decide to cover a song, do it justice. If you're a bubble gum pop star, assume that you can't do real rock 'n' roll justice.
Jun/30
2005
There's little I find more annoying than commercial conformity, most especially wrt issues of social and emotional impact. In the days immediately following the attack on New York, people turned on their headlights during the day as a symbol of solidarity. It was a silent comment, and still one of the best ones I can remember in my life. Yes there are some cars with Daytime Running Lights, but it was still a small percentage at the time. This was impressive. Then came the flags. Flags decorated everything, cars, hair, houses, shirts. That was good too, it was strengthening. Still, I didn't put one in my car. It wasn't convenient and I didn't want to tie anything to my antenna or clog my view out a window. At the time I wondered if anyone was going to wreak retribution on me for not providing a patriotic display. It never happened. Eventually someone decided to make magnetic flags, those were pretty convenient. I didn't put one on my car, but I saw them start to proliferate. It made sense, you could easily put one on, take it off - it didn't block the view, shred or bend your antenna. I thought they were a neat invention, and a pretty handy one. Little did I realize they were actually the harbinger of annoyance, little demons of future angst, minions of pre-packaged, cookie cutter social expression. Immediately following the flags came the magnetic "ribbons". And things went to hell. While the flags were a plain, direct expression of support for our country - the ribbons were far more specific "Support our troops". Now that, to me, is completely different than "I support my country and fellow citizens". No, this can be interpreted a muddled support for the retaliatory war, or perhaps support for the guys out there committed to a war and not for the president that started it from his comfy desk in Washington. Most people punched out the center triangle from the ribbon, leaving these strange, semi-triangular yellow nodules with some smaller, unreadable comment that people either tossed or put on their car in general confusion. A few people never bothered punching these out, which I found even more annoying. Further, unlike the yellow-rubber bracelets that identify the wearer as a supporter for a cause, the ribbon labels everyone in the car as pro-cause, like it or not. If you decide to share a ride, you suspend your views for the ride? That's not me. Obviously. The yellow ribbons begat pink ribbons begat white ribbons (or were they just sun-bleached yellow ones?) begat cammo ones and so on and so on. I saw one frightening, mutant, bastard ribbon that had a visually disturbing pattern like a multi-colored regurgitation of puzzle pieces supporting autism. Autism? This is as important as the men that are dying far away from home? I notice now that the magnetic ribbons have basically lost their meaning, and most people are letting theirs slowly fade or just dissapear. I don't worry any more that someone will open their mouth, point and scream a-la Body Snatchers because of my lack of conformance. Instead my apathy is their apathy, sure there's still a war, people are still dying, but as with anything it's old (if unwelcome) news. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything will commemorate our exit, if a hard conclusion can possibly exist. I suspect that by displaying nothing I will still be ahead of the game...
Jun/29
2005

BANK OF AMERICA SUCKS HAIRY DONKEY BALLS

- Their attitude stinks - Their "colors" (blue/gold/red) stink - Their new website stinks - Their melago-monolithic bank-that-owns-all-atms stink - Their promises of 'better' quality stink I hope all you rich mother fuckers from Fleet that got paid wheelbarrows full of cash choke on it.
Jun/29
2005
Why are you so blatanly stupid? First of all, you rent your house to a friend for the exact amount of the mortgage payment. You then move in with your boyfriend, not even making a dime on the house. Then you put it on the market. But you're so damn cheap, you won't hire a real estate agent. You sell it "as is" and apparently don't even bother with an appraisal. When you figure out that yes, you could have asked for ten grand more, you start to get a bit twitchy and difficult. When you start to have problems with your boyfriend and figure out that you may not be able to live with him, and really have no other place to go because you're selling your house, you get down right mean. The fact that the FHA appraisal required you to put up a railing by your front steps was not a personal attack. The fact that I have a right to a final walk-through of the property before closing is not a statement on your character and what we think of your "word". The very idea that you should provide actual information about your house, instead of vague estimates and guesses should not come to you as a shock. It's a house. It's thousands and thousands of dollars. You should work for it. Did you think that there would be nothing invovled in selling the house? Did you think there would be no paperwork? No requirements? No need for information? Someone would just waltz in with a bucket of cash and you'd just hand over the keys? Three days before closing, why do you have to suddenly turn into a raving lunatic and an uncooperative bitch?
Jun/28
2005
In case you haven't heard, what you're reading is now under the scrutiny of the Feds. Well, not just this blog - but all blogs in general. Teh Intarweb, the last great open frontier has now garnered enough attention from the average person-on-the-street that the FEC has decided to take notice. In fact, so many people went to the internet in the last election that web-based expression of political viewpoints, (and more generally blogs), are now the target of suspicious inquisition. To wit; Do bloggers have enough social and political impact that they need to be subjected to campaign finance laws and rules? I suppose it depends. I sure the fuck am not making any money doing this. No one is paying to advertise here on my blog. The only gratification I (and my fellow blauthors) get is the satisfaction of the rant. Still, it's an interesting catch... what if the world were to suddenly start flocking to my site? What if, suddenly, I had so much traffic people were knocking on my door to advertise their views? Seriously, while I'm pursuing this fantasy (hmmmm, the only regular traffic I get in the 50-100 hit/day range is sex-freak-pharma-eastern european-spam-monkeys littering my stats with useless links in an attempt to improve their google status HA HA FUCKTARDS ALL MY LINKS NOW HAVE 'NOFOLLOW' IN 'EM NOW - NO SOUP FOR YOU BASTAGES)... uh where was I, oh yeah... While I'm pursuing this fantasy, if lessay, someone from the Kerry Campaign were to have approached me during the last election to post a link to their web site and offer me $$$ (lolololol) I'd have done it. Well, I wouldn't take money for it, but I'd have linked for them. But bandwidth costs, and I could see how other bloggers, maybe ones who are full time bloggers with no day-job, are now in a pickle. So where are we now? Bloggers have their own PAC (yes BlogPac), and are starting to use the common means of stumping the mighty halls of our government in a retaliatory strike against regulation. What was once free and unstructured is now coalescing into a tangible entity. The next step might be social and political acceptance of the impact blogging, and webpresence, can have in real life. Of course most of us already know this is/has existed since Navigator and IE first started exchanging epithets... it just took a time (and the smell of money) to wake up the sleeping federal institutions to this fact.
Jun/24
2005
It's amazing to me that anyone with children can choose to live in Florida, what with all the news coming out of that 'Bush' state. Little girls kidnapped, abused, murdered, children in the care of the state lost, murdered, it just goes on and on. Chances are if you see a story about a child molester running amok after being released it's in Florida... or Texas, but that really isn't my point. I just wanted to start out bashing Florida, not that it's really all that hard to do. My real point is that as a result of all these molesters commiting heinous crimes, the laws against them are getting fierce. They're being tracked, they're being ousted from places they live or work after people find out who they are. They are branded with a scarlet letter, and everyone who's interested can find out who they are and what they've done. That's fine, I support that. If you're nasty enough to commit a crime, much less one of a sexual nature, well then you deserve to be branded for the rest of your life...but that's if you've commited a crime against a child. Lets back up a minute and see how a child is defined under the law. It's someone under the age of consent, isn't it? But what if you're looking at an 18 year old with a 15 year old girlfriend. Is the 18 year old a child molester? Even if the sex is consentual, if the parents find out the boy can be branded for the rest of his life as a sex offender- under the same rules and restrictions as someone who kidnaps a 6 year old and abuses them and has been released from prison. Take a look at some pregnancy statistics (www.teenpregnancy.org): In the US, if we take an age range of 15 - 19, girls between 15 and 17 have approximately a third of the total births - that means: 281,900 out of 539,910. The US also has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates of the 1st world nations, amazingly higher than our nearest neighbor Canada (4x the rate of France, and twice the rate of Canada or the UK). The message here is that if our teen pregnancy rate is so high, then underage girls ARE having sex and those men - every one of them - is by our definition a sex offender. The question I ask is this: given that kids are sexually active in High School and even Middle School - is it right to label the boy a sex offender who is just out of that age range an "offender"? Younger teenage girls have been dating older guys since forever... when does it become a crime?
Jun/24
2005

18 USC 2257

In another step in the "Oh My God, Think of the Children"™ campaign, many years ago, they passed 2257. basically, it said that producers of pornography had to maintain records that demonstrated that the actors involved were all 18 or over. A good law, and one that I support. But it’s a little different today. You see, without actually changing the law, they have changed the requirements for compliance to the law. As of Thursday night at midnight, they decided that every single person who had pornography online qualified as a producer of pornography. They also beefed up the requirements for compliance. Now, every single web host that contains a pornographic picture must keep records of the name of each person in the item, their real names, all aliases they’ve ever gone by, their home address, as well as a link to every place on the internet that hosts this same picture. That’s for EVERY SINGLE item. Furthermore, this change went into effect Thursday night, BUT it will be retroactively enforced back to the signing of the original bill. Now, in order to maintain compliance of this, all records must be available 365 days a year to a max of 20 hours a week. Anything that is suspect or unverified during an inspection may be confiscated as evidence. Mind you, these inspections do not require a warrant. They can just show up, and inspect your records, than seize whatever they want. Now, all of this seems like yet another of my “only 2 logical conclusions” scenarios. Either 1) they have no idea how the internet works and why those requirements are impossible to follow or 2) they have decided to try to drive a multi billion dollar aspect of our economy out of business. And that’s just the obvious portion. The search and seizure requirements seem unreasonable. It’s retroactive? WTF. When did it become legal to make things retroactive? And how am I supposed to know if some asshat out there stole a picture off my site and posted it on his. Finally, it’s been ruled on before. In Sundance Associates, Inc. vs Reno the court ruled that only the primary producer of the imagery had to maintain age records. Look, I know we want to ‘save the kids’ and all, but come on people. This isn’t reasonable enforcement. Now, the mainstream media has barely said a word about this. I have no idea why. It would seem to be a direct attack on first amendment rights. As of today, the department of justice has agreed to place a temporary stay on enforcement until Sept. 7th. And by that time, I would imagine it will be in federal court with an injunction. But it’s still fucked up.
Jun/23
2005

Quagmire

For what must be the millionth time, our beloved Defense Secretary has rejected the assertion that Iraq has become a quagmire. Personally I’m starting to become more and more confused about this. Let’s look at the definition: quag•mire n. 1. Land with a soft muddy surface. 2. A difficult or precarious situation; a predicament. Now, I would assume that anyone with any familiarity with the Middle East can easily recognize the entire region is a difficult or precarious situation, even before we decided that Iraq was a threat to our national security. And to be as kind as I can be, our actions in Iraq haven’t exactly made the entire place any less complicated in general. If I focus on Iraq specifically, I think it’s obvious to EVERYBODY that this is not just a minor problem we’re dealing with. So this leads me to one of three conclusions. Either 1) Rumsfeld doesn’t know the definition of the word quagmire, but refuses to look it up and see its obvious application to the situation in Iraq or 2) he’s totally kept out of the loop on the situation, to the point where he doesn’t even turn on FOX News, or 3) he’s got the mental capacity of Terry Schiavo. Sadly I’m not sure which of those is true. Nor am I entirely certain which one is worse. Wake up and smell the shit you’re shoveling. It’s a fucking wreck over there, even by the best accounts. The people are better off, and in a few years the country may actually stabilize. But to insist that it’s not a quagmire now is incompetence of the worst sort. It’s an attempt to undermine the will of the people by feeding them bad information and refusing to admit the truth. Don’t look now, but the emperor is naked.
Jun/23
2005
This virtually needs no rant from me, but here's the text: Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 23, 2005 Filed at 10:50 a.m. ET WASHINGTON (AP) -- A divided Supreme Court ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth conflicts with individual property rights. Thursday's 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas. As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. Local officials, not federal judges, know best in deciding whether a development project will benefit the community, justices said. So, to summarize in one line: The local government may take your home and pay you a 'fair price' (not relevant to the mortgage you may own) and give the land to a private developer. These are not run down homes, these are not languishing neighborhoods. These are places where someone's ancestor bought a prime piece of land when no one else was around and has been well loved, maintained, a home to several generations. Now if someone wants that land to build a commercial property - hotel or whatever - the wealthy developer wins, not the person with the legal deed. Now, who does our government represent? Pretty clear isn't it. It's not 'For the People, by the People' - unless your definition of People is 'Wealthy, influential and politically valuable'. ...and to the 80 year old couple that has lived in their house for more than 50 years? I'm sorry guys, I really am.
Jun/22
2005
Ok, this is a very long standing irk of mine. I hate, loathe, detest, hate (yes it rates hate at least twice) women who attempt to portray martial artists just based on their looks with no requirement whatsoever on their skills. A really good example is the first Mortal Kombat movie, the BimBo (with 2 capital B's, one for each side) who plays Sonja Blade has NO, I repeat NO ability to even imitate martial arts, much less any freekin muscle tone. Those thighs JIGGLE. She can't punch and they never even took the time to teach her to pose correctly in ~any~ sort of martial arts stance. Again, it's the old mysogeny in play... for the male actors they either get genuine martial artists or they spend the time (for example Keanu in the Matrix) to teach them so they look effective. I realize that these action-adventure flicks are done by men, for men, but what the film industry needs to realize is that actresses like Lucy Lieu really do kick ass and combine beauty with deadly flexibility which is far more valuable in determining the believability of the film. For fuck sake at least make them do pushups before each rehearsal so they can develop some arms... I'm sick of big breasted air heads wheeling around with obviously fake kicks firing weapons you know would break their skinny wrists on the first shot. There's plenty of athletic, beautiful women out there - dammit - pick skills over looks you shallow morons. If we can love male-actors with distinct features (not cookie-cutter perfect) then the same can be applied to women. Can you imagine what Hollywood would be like if they banned all actresses with boob-jobs and lip-injections? I'd like to....
Jun/22
2005

Cell Hell

Personally, I don't have a cell phone. People look at me oddly when I tell them that. 8 year olds have cells, why would a person like myself not have one? Well, to tell you the truth I don't like being found. My work is the kind of place that if you have a cell phone, it means they can call you anytime they want. If I want to talk to them, I'll pick up my house line. If I'm not at home, I probably don't want to be interrupted. This is true of both my workplace and my friends. But that's not to say I don't appreciate their usefulness. They are damn helpful. Occasionally, there have been moments where I really wished I had one. However, I become very annoyed at the people with cell phones. This happens often enough that I can't stand the device itself, even though it's just the person that's mentally handicapped. I mean, in a given conversation, do you really need to check your voice mail three times? Kinda tells me that you don’t give a fuck about our conversation and would rather be off somewhere else. And while polyphonic ring tones are cool, I really don't need to hear your craptastic ring tone every time you leave it behind on your desk. And besides, who the fuck wants to hear the jaws theme or some annoying ass pop song every fucking time their phone goes off? Don't get me started on the high pitched screeching ones. Is cell phone courtesy that difficult? When at work, cell phone to vibrate. When you get a voice mail or an IM, it can probably wait 5 minutes until we’re done talking. But if you really must be Annoying Cell Phone Guy™... beware. Next time may be the time I snap and shove your cell phone up your ass