Saturday, July 26, 2008
Anyways. I really have nothing to report on. Tim's in the process of packing for his move back to Canada tomorrow. I'm sitting on the couch, drinking coffee, listening to people outside go to the farmer's market, and blogging (but you knew about that part already).
To avoid wasting this post entirely, I'll pass along a couple of things that I've seen on the internet this week.
About a month ago, I posted a video of the Epic Ball-Girl Catch, which I thought was just about the coolest thing ever.
Well, my bubble has been burst, because the whole thing was revealed to be a hoax - the "ball-girl" was actually a stunt woman, and the "game" was a Gatorade commercial. Oh well.
The whole "accidentally" calling Obama "Osama" and vice versa is getting pretty old. If you really can't tell the difference, Jon Stewart gives us some ways to remember - for example, "Obama has only ONE radical Muslim wife."
And, I've seen some close calls (well, on the internet), but...whoa.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Quote of the year from our extern, by the way. (And you guys know how I feel about externs.) He's a guy in his 40's who does flooring or something. He's slow and is the least proactive person I've ever met in my entire life. You can tell him to do one thing, and three hours later, he'll be done, and he won't look at the list to see what else needs to be done - he'll just stand there until you tell him what to do. We call him "Bad Dad" behind his back because he got tossed in jail over Memorial Day weekend because he missed quite a few child support payments. Anyways...he gets mopey and grumpy because frankly, some of the easy prep projects are long and mind-numbing - like cleaning the stems off of swiss chard leaves, then going back and cleaning the aforementioned stems, picking the stems off of a case of spinach...you get the idea. But yesterday..."Straight A's in school and I'm working pastry." (Note - he's not really working pastry - our pastry station is more of a "pastry plate-up" station - we have a pastry chef who works mornings and actually makes the desserts - all the PM person does is put them on plates - and then they spend the rest of their time doing the aforementioned boring prep.) I was ready to go off on him, but didn't really have it in me, so instead I said, "Sucks, doesn't it? I need you to hurry up on that chard if it's going to get done by the end of tonight." Just because these attitudes kill me. Thankfully, he'll be done with his externship in three weeks and we're through with him.
So, aside from the boring work stories, I've got lots to share with you today.
First of all, Happy Moon Landing Day!.
And speaking of which, check out part four of "The Googling," in which two guys find out a little more than they should have about the moon landing.
If you liked those, I'll point you to the other three - Google Maps, Google My Maps, and Google SMS.
All are safe for work.
You've probably heard the news that Starbucks will be closing 600 stores in the United States - the official list has been released. Take a look and see if yours might be on there - I don't really go anymore, but thankfully, mine are safe. And now that the list has been published, here come the inevitable "Save Our Starbucks" campaigns.
From the article:
In towns as small as Bloomfield, N.M., and metropolises as large as New York, customers and city officials are starting to write letters, place phone calls, circulate petitions and otherwise plead with the coffee giant to change its mind.
"Now that it's going away, we're devastated," said Kate Walker, a facilities manager for SunGard Financial Systems, a software company, who recently learned of a store closing in New York City.
It's an unusual twist in the saga of Starbucks, one of the fastest growing retailers of the past decade. For years, Starbucks gained attention when a town didn't welcome it. Independent coffee shops complained about the big-muscled competition, and residents bemoaned the erosion of local character.
But ever since Starbucks announced this month that it would close 600 stores by early next year, as its business struggles, the rallying cause has switched to saving these endangered locations.
From the folks who brought you the internet sensation I Can Haz Cheezburger comes the somewhat funny Totally Looks Like, comparing celebrities to their doppelgangers. Bill Gates looks like Janet Reno, etc, etc, etc. If you've got five minutes to waste, take a look.
Hmmm...what else, what else, what else...
I'm tired of writing, so I suppose that's it.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Having grown up in Wisconsin, and having paid my dues as the only Bears fan in Packers-crazy country, I've seen the lengths Packers fans will go to for their team. At least, I thought I knew the extent of it. If you click on the above link, there's another link to a video, showing Packers fans rallying at Lambeau Field, which apparently, they plan to do every Sunday until Favre is re-instated as the starting quarterback. These people, they have too much time on their hands.
Oh yes, and the article was accompanied by the most saddy-pants picture I've ever seen. It's like he's imitating a three year old who isn't really sad, but is just trying to make it look like he is:
Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Wow, my feet hurt. It's been a busy past few days, but everything's gone well.
Our garlic dinner was on Sunday - menu is as follows:
- Roasted Garlic Croquettas
- Garlic Sformato with Herb Salad and Garlic Chips
- Sopa de Ajo with Chorizo, Poached Egg, Garlic Toast
- Garlic and Potato Ravioli, Spring Onion Butter
- Braised Grouper with Garlic Broth, Aioli, and Marrow Beans
- Garlic Pastry Cream with Berries
Not too shabby.
I could comment on the Obama/New Yorker cover story, as well as the Jesse Jackson "I'm gonna cut his nuts off" story, but I'm not going to expound to great length on either one of those. I'll just mention that the cover is tasteless and stupid, and the comment was just plain stupid. Can we move on now?
On to the stupid of the day. I'm not even sure why this is news, but there's some gas station in New Hampshire charging by the half gallon. It's because the cost of replacing the pumps to reflect the ever-increasing gasoline prices is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 - but the "story" (and I use that word very loosely) here is that people are getting confused.
"[Petroleum Equipment] Institute vice president Robert Renkes said small stations should buy kits to recalibrate their pumps if they can't afford to replace them.
"If for no other reason, half pricing is confusing and can be inconvenient for the customer. When I buy gasoline I stop the pump at the dollar amount I want to spend. So let's say I have $60 to spend and the meter, if it's on half pricing — reads $31.50 and I forgot to stop it at $30, what do I do?" he said."
I dunno, Rob, learn MATH? What would you have done if you have $60 to spend on gas on an ordinary system, and you forget to stop it at $60? I've said it before, and I'll say it again - people are dumb.
Kind of like this guy here, who was just trying to go to the ATM:
Or KTLA reporter Eric Spillman, who decided that "responsible journalism" meant he should go down to the Apple Store on the day of the iPhone launch to ask customers waiting in line if they've "ever seen a woman naked." And subsequently, he gets his pompous line of questioning handed right back to him on live television:
And with that, I'm off to work.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I said, "You've got to be kidding me. I just spent an hour and a half dealing with the bus system, I'm trying to give you $1500 for a product you have in stock, and you're telling me you're not going to help me?"
"Ummm...unfortunately, with the iPhone launch...uh, I can set up an appointment for you to come back tomorrow..."
"No," I said, "I need to buy a computer today and I can't come back tomorrow. I don't need a 'specialist.' I want to buy that computer, right there, I don't need a specialist, all I need is a cashier. Otherwise I guess I could head to Best Buy and pick up a Dell."
So I got my computer. I just can't believe that, despite whatever else is going on, that they would turn away a customer who's willing to spend the equivalent of six iPhones. Also picked up a printer (free with rebate - yippee), which was a pain getting back to the bus and home...but it's something I've needed because I'm tired of going to the library.
So I got home, set the thing up, stole all of Tim's mp3's...it's nice to not have to borrow Tim's whenever I need to look something up. Expect my blog posts to jump exponentially - I bet you're looking forward to that! (ha)
Hmmm...what else? I finished Kill Bill - great second part, so-so ending. I took a three hour nap (really not smart). And I screwed around a bit more on the computer.
On to the Internet!
Let's get the politics out of the way first. The AP (via Yahoo) reported last week that pet owners prefer McCain to Obama by a 42 to 37 percent margin. Thankfully, I don't take advice from people who name their cats "Lady Jane Taylor" and "Mr. Tommy Katz" (I'm not kidding - read the article).
On the Huffington Post, Max Bergmann says the McCain campaign should've been virtually over after the events of this week - but mass media simply isn't covering it. Among the issues are: his top economic adviser calling Americans "a bunch of whiners" for worrying about the increasingly uncertain economy, and proof that he knows absolutely nothing about Afghanistan and Pakistan. Oh yeah, and that offhand joke about killing Iranians.
I've been meaning to share this one for a while - I KNOW the story's two weeks old, but it's too funny just to skip over. The American Family Association's "OneNewsNow" website posts stories from the Associated Press - in a way. The AFA is so afraid of...something...that they put their implicit trust in an auto-replace system to weed out anything "offensive" in their articles - and if the last sixty years of sci-fi movies have taught us anything, isn't it "DON'T TRUST COMPUTERS"?
So the AFA had a bit of egg on their face after sprinter Tyson Gay took the 100 meter race at the US Olympic track and field trials. Thanks to that pesky auto-replace, the filtered story on the AFA website read:
That's what you get.
Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.
His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999. […]
Homosexual didn’t get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday. Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: “A little fatigued.”
Speaking of internet stupidity (redundant?), some "writer" gets paid to blog about celebrities for the LA Times. Every paper has an entertainment and gossip section, but doesn't it always seem that the writers of these sections are always complete idiots? And I'm getting to the point.
Elizabeth Snead of the LA Times blogged last week about the oldest and most stale topic in the book, celebrity baby names.
What the hey is going on with all these strange celebrity baby names?
The latest unusual celeb baby monikers are Matthew McConaughey's son Levi, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's daughter, Sunday Rose.
Levi is, according to the gospel of McConaughey, a biblical name and another name for the apostle, Matthew. Whew. Because for a minute there, I thought he'd named his son after his favorite pair of jeans."
By the way, the author's first name, again, is Elizabeth. If there was ever a more classically Biblical name, I think that's it.
Finally, have you seen the Will It Blend guy? It's an entertaining advertisement for Blendtec blenders and food processors. In this series of videos (up to 50+ at this point), a science-y looking guy, dressed in a lab coat and protective goggles, puts random things in a blender to, I guess, prove its power. This week's test subject, was, appropriately enough, the new iPhone:
He's also done a MarioKart Wii Wheel and a copy of GTA IV.
I've got to get to work, so, until next time...
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I write, of course, of the lack of central air conditioning during a humid, sticky July, which has turned the cheap oscillating fan I found in the basement into my best friend and my favorite outfit into a pair of boxers and a cheap t-shirt, accompanied by a pitcher of ice water. Come onnnn, September!
Life in Madison has been pretty decent lately. I'd discussed coming back to Chicago, but I think I'm going to stick around for a little while longer. I signed a lease yesterday to move to the efficiency apartment upstairs, so (knock on wood) I'm looking forward to the easiest move I'll ever have in my entire life. And if I want to head somewhere else, apartments around here are ridiculously easy to sublet. I'm staying mostly because I'm finally feeling comfortable at work, and I'm not ready to leave quite yet.
Hmmm...oh! I saw the first part of Kill Bill last night. It was pretty good. I'm looking forward to the second one coming in the mail in a couple of days. Not quite the "THIS IS SO AWESOME" love fest I heard about it when it first came out a few years ago, but I'm digging it so far.
I just FINALLY paid off the debt from my old computer in full. Only took me six years (ha). When I get the new one sometime this week, I'm making absolutely sure it's paid off in a year.
I bet you didn't know the United States economy is going down the tubes! I've been reading articles like these in the news every day for the past three months. And I've gotta say, the people profiled by these newspapers need a serious dose of reality if they think their lives are "hard" because of the recent economic downturn.
Get those Kleenexes ready...
The Cincinnati Enquirer today published a sob story about the cutbacks families earning more than $100,000 a year are being forced to make. The families featured in the article have so far had to sell their second homes, their Lincoln Navigators, and cut back on their $5 lattes. Boo. Hoo.
And the New York Times wrote about $100 fillups!
Bryan Carisone, a heating and air-conditioning contractor in Raritan, N.J., "absolutely loves" his new GMC Denali XL, an extra-large sport utility vehicle with televisions built into the leather seats. But in June, one week after he bought it, he pulled into a station on a near-empty tank and watched the total climb higher and higher - to $109.
"It just about killed me," Mr. Carisone said.
I hate to be the one to say it, but, um...I told you so. Anyone who drives an SUV and wasn't prepared to pay the price, especially if (re-read that quote) his GMC Denali XL is brand new, and didn't have a clue or a care as to how much the tank would cost to fill up, is the kind of idiot who I refuse to feel sorry for. Dude. You bought a gas-guzzler a week ago. And now you're sad because it guzzles gas. The lack of logic of some people just absolutely astounds me.
Did you notice that Denali is an anagram of Denial? Just like the guy later in the article who's buying a gas guzzler because he thinks prices have hit their peak? Didn't we say that back in the good ol' days, when we hit $3 a gallon? The days of cheap oil are OVER. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm at least attempting to get used to it.
You know you want to call 'em:
Oh, and Britain's National Children's Bureau wants you to keep an eye out for toddlers who don't like spicy food. See, it means they might be racist. So for all of you who have toddlers, if they don't beg for curry every night...send them to Tolerance Camp!
Okay, that's it out of me.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
So, I had a good Fourth of July. It was pretty low key, but fun nonetheless. Sam, Craig, and I headed to some stand in a parking lot to stock up - we showed admirable restraint, spending only $100 between the three of us on fireworks:
I love fireworks - partly because I think of them as badly written action movies. Sure, they try to put a plot or theme in there, but at the end, it's all about the explosions, isn't it?
For example, RoboDog:
Or Noah's Ark:
So we came back to my place and sat in the backyard for a while, noted the irony in drinking Newcastle (a British beer, for those of you who are a bit slow on the uptake) while celebrating our nation's independence, lit off a few firecrackers and bottle rockets from the backyard, befriended a homeless guy named Larry who came around the corner and joined us...headed to a friend of Sam's house where we lit off the roman candles, the remaining bottle rockets, and the aforementioned RoboDog, headed down to Lake Mendota and sent Noah's Ark to Valhalla (mixed metaphor?)...it was a decent Fourth of July. And to continue the celebration, a buddy of mine had a bunch of mortars (the class A fireworks that cities buy for their official celebrations) last night at Harvest, so we lit those off from the parking lot after dinner service. Good times, indeed, and I'm lucky I still have all of my digits.
In politics this week...George W Bush has taken the
"terrorist fist jab" over to the Republican side of the circus. Of course, now that Bush has done it, it's quickly being rebranded as "Super Heroic American Freedom Democratic Bump" (thank you, Fark).
According to reports, John McCain became "visibly angry" the other day when asked if his military experience prepared him to be president. This whole "military service" debate is really being blown out of proportion - especially when McCain's camp begins to blame the Obama side for the alleged "smears" on his military record.
Apparently McCain doesn't realize that no one in their right mind is denigrating his service (well, maybe he does realize it, he's just attempting to destroy the truth and hope that no one actually looks for the facts - classic Republican move, there!). The actual story is that McCain has nothing else to run on besides his military record - and while the vast majority of Americans respect and honor our veterans, we still say that simply having served in the military isn't enough to qualify one for president. And I'm still waiting for someone to ask Senator McCain how, after his supposedly agonizing imprisonment and torture in Vietnam, how he can support the United States' use of torture. Seems a little hypocritical to me.
Lastly, the GOP is claiming that Obama has now reversed his position on Iraq. Read the linked article - it's another vicious distortion of the facts. McCain spends so much time trying to label Obama as a "flip-flopper" - I almost feel like we're back in 2004! But if we're going to play that game, Senator McCain, let's play. Let's take a look at McCain's record (from Countdown:
This weekend, Senator John McCain said, quote, “This election is about trust and trusting people’s word. And unfortunately, apparently on several items Senator Obama’s word cannot be trusted.”
In our third story tonight, judging candidates based on their consistency.
You see where I’m going with this.
The signing of the GI Bill, not the only time Senator McCain was against something, before he was for it — or vice versa — or both.
You may want to get pencil and paper and write all these down.
On political reform, McCain last January opposed a grassroots-lobbying bill he once supported. In 2006 the New York Sun reported that his presidential ambitions led McCain to reverse his support of a campaign-finance bill… called McCain-Feingold.
Last October, he said he would vote against the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act… that he co-sponsored. Then he said he would vote against an immigration bill that he introduced.
In 2006, he said on Hardball, quote, “I think that gay marriage should be allowed.” Then, after the commercial break, he added, “I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal.”
On abortion… 1999, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade… privately opposing it, in a letter to the National Right to Life Committee. The 2000 debates… he would change the GOP platform to permit exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. May, 2008… no, he won’t, ABCNews.com reports.
Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain? Flip.
Military action against rogue states? Flip.
Negotiating with Kim Jong Il… not acceptable, until President Bush did it.
With Fidel Castro, acceptable in 2000… not 2008.
With terrorists? Appropriate when Colin Powell went to Syria… and in 2006, when McCain said “sooner or later” we’ll talk to Hamas. Not appropriate now.
Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan? “Confused leadership” when Obama suggested it… not when Bush did it.
Warrantless wiretaps? Six months ago, presidents had to obey the law. Not any more.
Torture detainees? No way… except for the CIA.
Hold them indefinitely? Wrong in 2003. Right in 2008.
The Iraq War? “The right course,” 2004. “Stay the course,” 2005. Today, McCain’s always been a Rumsfeld critic.
Tax cuts for the rich? In 2001 he could not “in good conscience” support them. Now he can.
The estate tax? 2006: “I agree with President Roosevelt”–who created it. 2008: “most unfair.”
This month, not for privatizing Social Security, never has been. 2004, doesn’t see how benefits will last without it.
In February, promised a balanced budget in four years. By April… make it eight years.
In May, “glad to look…at the windfall profits tax.” By June, “that was Jimmy Carter’s big idea.”
2000, no new off-shore drilling. Last month, “would take years to develop.” This month, “very helpful in the short term.”
The Bush fund-raisers McCain called “coyotes,” breaking the law in 2000… by 2006 were co-chairing McCain fundraisers.
Buddy Jerry Falwell… an “agent of intolerance” in 2000.
The Reverend Hagee… In, then out, in this year alone.
In 1983, opposed Martin Luther King Day. Today, not so much.
1986, opposed South African divestment. This month praised it.
And in 2000, defended South Carolina’s Confederate Flag… “a symbol of heritage.” Two years later, McCain calling it, quote, “an act of political cowardice” not to say the flag should come down. Quote: “Everybody said, ‘Oh, look out, you can’t win in South Carolina if you say that.’”
McCain’s campaign says his positions evolve.
Ironically, in 2005, McCain said alternatives to evolution should be taught in school… Evolving the opposite position he took in 2000.Sorry about the extended copy-and-paste. Follow the link if you want to see the video, and see examples of McCain's "changing positions" on each one of these issues listed.
So, that's it out of me. Happy Sunday!